The International Year of the Co-op
While most of us are thinking about and planning for our resolutions for the new year, at Come As You Are, we're thinking more about our new year's revolution.
As a worker-owned, sex-positive sex shop, we fancy ourselves revolutionary on so many levels. Most importantly, we hope our existence provides a space where folks can gain the tools and the information to launch their own personal sexual revolutions against the tyrannical forces of shame and fear.
This is our raison d'être - to provide a small corner of the world where people can feel good about their desire and sexuality.
Let's face it, for so many of us, there are so few parts of our lives where we aren't marginalized or stigmatized for being open about our sexualities. The holidays can be a real reminder of how closed much of our lives are to honest sexual expression - especially for those of us who happen to co-operatively own a sex shop and suddenly find themselves scrambling to describe CAYA workshops to long-lost family without using the words 'ejaculation' or 'fellatio', let alone 'blow jobs' or 'fisting'. Yikes!
The real revolution, however, is in our co-operative structure and democratic workplace.
Among the many beliefs we hold dear, we sincerely believe that most of you tune out as soon as we start talking about our business structure. We know that everyone would much rather talk to us about sex toys, or porn, or the time Shannon Bell ejaculated on our bookshelf during a workshop (repeatedly), than about our consensus-based decision making model, or our visioning process, or our very strong feelings about the Ontario Worker Co-operative Federation, or our membership process.
However, the United Nations has declared 2012 to be the International Year of the Co-operative and while we're always happy to discuss anything and everything concerning sexual pleasure, health, and education, we also consider it our duty to spread the good word about worker-owned co-operatives. We promise, our co-operative structure is actually the least boring thing about us.
Co-operatives are different because they are owned by their own membership and they are responsible to their own membership. For some co-ops, the members are the people who shop in the store (like MEC), but for other co-ops, like Come As You Are, the business is owned by the folks who work for the business.
This means that all of the worker-owners have an equal say in how we run the company (the products we carry, the workshops we run, the health benefits we get, etc) and there are no external shareholders and no big boss dictating how we do business and demanding we satisfy their need for profit.
Instead, we have completely invested worker-owners who have no interest other than making our customers happy, keeping the store running smoothly, bringing in more worker-owners, and hopefully making a living wage doing it. We've always believed sex toys could change the world, and more and more each day, we believe that co-operatives can too.
Ejaculation & The G-spot Workshop with Shannon Bell
Monday, January 16, 2012. 7:30 – 10:00PM
Unique among ejaculation pioneers, Shannon Bell's focus is on demonstrating the extreme power and technique of ejaculation in a safe and fun atmosphere. This popular workshop begins with a live demonstration of the power and potential of ejaculation techniques, followed by a fast ejaculation genealogy. Join us for an enlightening and inspiring tour that finally contextualizes both personal and historical g-spot knowledge. $30 | check out Ejaculation and the G-Spot
10 Rules For Happy Non-Monogamy Workshop with Andrea Zanin
Sunday, January 22, 2011, 5:30-7:30PM
So you'd like to be romantically involved with more than one person at once? Or maybe you'd just like to sleep with someone other than your one-and-only? Whether you're considering your first steps into non-monogamy or you're an old hand looking for a fresh perspective, you'll find valuable tidbits in this common-sense approach to enjoying love and sex in the plural. $30 | learn more about 10 Rules For Happy Non-Monogamy
Get your erotic arts and crafts on!
Are you a kinky crafter, a naughty knitter, a dirty designer or someone who is? We want you!
We're currently accepting applications for our annual Valentine's Erotic Arts and Crafts Fair (and cabaret!!) at Toronto's infamous Gladstone Hotel.
Fees are minimal (seriously, we don't make a penny off this event), the exposure is great (we get good media attention for the event and even have our publicist working the fair), and you'll get to bump elbows with other folks who share your passion for the erotic arts and meet your fans.| learn more about the fair and fill out our application at EroticArtsandCrafts.com
How do you feel about sex toys?
Have you ever wanted to make a contribution to (social) science? If so, we have the survey for you! Leah Shumka, a doctoral student at the University of Toronto, is conducting research into women's relationship to sex toys and she wants your input!
The survey is quick and dirty (in the best possible way!) and all information collected through the survey is anonymous and confidential. Best of all, everyone who participates will be entered into a random draw to win a $60 gift certificate at Come As You Are!
To participate you must: 1) self-identify as a woman; 2) be 19 years of age; 3) live in Toronto or the surrounding area; and 4) use (or have used) sex toys. The survey will be open December 15th through February 14th, 2012. The draw for the gift certificate will take place on February 15th, 2012. | fill out the survey