Rising With Confidence…by Lea Caughlan of The Rubber Rose

l.caughlan.blogWhat does a sex shop have to do with ending violence against women and girls?

A lot.

Before I even thought about selling sex toys, I thought about the intersection of capitalism and relationships and how it affects women and girls (and men, and boys, and how we all treat each other). I thought about the intersection of assault and ownership of one’s body. I thought about how one’s sexuality is at the core of a being and about how our sex is the most private and most dangerous part about us as humans – dangerous because of the power it wields over others – the power of destruction and the power of liberation.

I started talking to folks about all these thoughts. And we keep talking about them.

At the Rubber Rose, which yes, is a boutique sex shop. We talk to folks daily about what a healthy relationship with yourself and others can do each individual and for all of us.

304003_10150310705363553_521768552_8013728_655930476_nPerhaps, if we all became rooted and more comfortable in the skin we are in, in the body we walk around in each and every day, and gave it respect, and commanded respect, and in turn taught respect, perhaps that skin would feel like ours. Perhaps the soul that lives in that skin is simply surviving in this damaging society we live in, but perhaps it could fly free if given this respect, and, perhaps, could change the world.

What does liberation look like?

It looks like a woman in her 80s deciding that since her husband passed she was going to finally get some pleasure, and buying her first vibrator.

It looks like a young couple exploring wants and desires for the first time together and actually talking about those desires, voicing their yeses and setting their limits for their nos and adding categories for maybes.

It looks like a woman who has been a victim of assault rebuilding a sense of self, and wanting to come full circle by reminding her body that it can still feel, that it still wants to feel. Reminding her body that some feelings are good, and that the good can wash away the bad, and wanting to ride those cleansing waves again…and again, and again.

shop_wall_of_framesIt looks like someone who was told that she was difficult and that no one else was going to ever make her feel good (even though that same person was responsible for all the bruises and emotional scars alongside the love bites and orgasms). It looks like that person deciding that pleasure is inherently within, and that pleasure lies in her own hands. No one else’s.

And maybe some of that sounds counterintuitive. Perhaps, while she was able to walk away from her abuser, she wasn’t able to stay away, because that person was the only one who ever told her she was beautiful. Maybe that person was the only person she had ever had sex with, or perhaps the only one with whom she had orgasmed. Perhaps try as she might, she just couldn’t stay away because with all the violence there was a co-dependence that looked like love, that felt like lust, that felt like being wanted, and she was afraid that without that person, her body just didn’t work the same.

And yet, perhaps, coming to us and either buying a toy or simply talking to us, and putting her own pleasure first, is the final string that cuts her free from that cycle.

Some folks joke that the products we sell are gonna replace them.  Usually I laugh with them saying that they are all just tools, toys, fun things to be used in collaboration. But the women who come to us to rebuild their bodies, to rebuild their trust in themselves, in their own pleasure, and in their own orgasms, they say yes. Yes, you were just replaced. And they smile.

This liberation also looks like folks who have never witnessed assault, or practiced violence, or been the victim of violence. Folks go about their lives confident, armed with knowledge and power of self, feeling secure in saying no, but also in saying yes. In saying, “this feels good, do this” instead of leaving pleasure up to someone else to pull from their bodies like some sort of treasure that is then owned.

This liberation is our goal: women who have never experienced destruction because the world belongs to them and they belong to the world and they shape it daily. We believe in that world, but today, we stay rooted in this one, knowing each person walking in has a story. We start there.

Just us, in a sex shop, in the skin we’re in. In solidarity.


Lea Caughlan is a sex educator and owner of the boutique sex shop, The Rubber Rose, in San Diego, California. She focuses on a sex positive, education-based approach to adult retail by creating a space where healthy and joyous exploration of sex and sexuality is encouraged and embraced. Determined to radicalize the sex toy industry, The Rubber Rose boasts a completely non-toxic selection of products which, in an unregulated (and toxic) industry, is a good find for the savvy shopper. Open since 2006, it exists to encourage people’s vision of the fluidity of sexuality and, by staying true to the mission, The Rubber Rose facilitates the development of a stronger, safer, and more educated sex positive community.


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Break a Leg, V-Day Warriors!

Starting this evening and running through Sunday night, our amazing San Diego V-Day Warriors will take to the stage in InnerMission Productions’ benefit performances of The Vagina Monologues and The MENding Monologues. Directed by Rhiannon Jones and Kurt Kalbfleisch, these performances promise to be provocative, heartfelt, creative, moving, passionate, and brave. These courageous men and women will bear their souls and touch your hearts. Are you ready?

Shows will be held at Eveoke Theatre (2811 University Ave) and tickets can be purchased here. Proceeds go to the Center for Community Solutions and V-Day.

Break a leg to our amazing casts and crews!


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Submitted from the Internet

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OBR Photos

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RISING…by Eve Ensler (2:14 pm)


Written in Kerala for the women of India who lead the way

This could have been anywhere
And was
Mexico City
Nighttime men
like wolves
for prey
that single dimly painted door
paying nothing
a couple of dollars
or euros
or pesos
to have her
Enter her
Eat her
Devour her
and throw away her bones.

This could have been anywhere
And was
A Buddhist nun on a bus
Trying to stay dry for the night
A woman leader speaking out against
The repressive government
A young woman traveling with her boyfriend
One lost her voice
The other her following
The last one her life

This could have been anywhere and was
Pink wooden crosses
A stack of stones
Red wilting carnations
Empty chairs in a square
Ribbons flying in a sultry wind
I ask Anna Nighat Kamla Monique Tanisha Emily
Why Why
Porque Eran Mujeres
Parce qu’elles étaient des femmes
Because they were women
Because they were women

This could have been anywhere
And was
Where she got fired for being too beautiful
Fined for drinking after she was raped
A serious offer to marry her rapist
Got told it was legitimate but not forcible
This could have been anywhere
They do such a thing
When the girls go for fire wood
Step into the lonely man’s car
Drink a little too much at the college party
Wake up with her uncle’s fingers inside
Run from the screaming machete and guns
Be taken at sunrise
Get a bullet in the brain for learning the alphabet
Be stoned for falling in love
Be burned for seeing the future

I am done
Cataloguing these horrors
Data Porn
2 million women raped and tortured
1 out of 3 women
a woman raped every minute
every second
one out of 2
one out of 5
the same
I am done counting
And recounting

Its time to tell a new story
It needs to be our story
It needs to be outrageous and unexpected
It needs to lose control in the middle
It needs to be sexy and in our hips
And our feet
It needs to be angry and a little scary the way storms can be scary
It needs to not ask permission
Or get permits or set up offices
Or make salaries
It wont be recorded or bought or sold
Or counted
It needs to just happen
It is not a question of inventing
But remembering
Buried under the leaves of trauma and sorrow
Beneath the river of
semen and squalor
vaginas and labias
shredded and extracted
body mines
mined bodies
It is not about asking now
Or waiting
It is about rising

Raise you arm my sister my brother
Raise your one
Your one heart
Your one of us

I used to be afraid of love
It hurt too much
What never happened
What got ripped away
The rape
The wound
And love
I thought
was salt
But I was wrong
I was wrong

Step into the fire

Raise your arm
Raise your one

Eve Ensler for One Billion Rising

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Events Already Happening

Some early-rising flash-mobbers were at KUSI this morning reminding people to RISE at 2:14; MARCH at 4:30 and DANCE at 6:30 p.m.

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San Diego, We Rise With You…by Shael Norris of V-Day

obr_logo-HQ Dear V-Day San Diego,

I am so honored and proud to be a part of such amazingness happening all around the globe.  What you have done in San Diego has rippled and inspired organizers everywhere to go bigger and bolder than ever.  It is awe inspiring.  You are all my sheros and heros and are truly rocking it this year!

Waking up this morning, on the day we have been planning for since our last anniversary, I am anxious & excited & cannot WAIT to feel the tsunami of women and men around this world as we change the planet ~ rise, ride the wave we are sending from the East Coast & carry it all the way to Fiji!

With all my love,


Shael Norris is the Director of College and Community Campaigns for V-Day and has worked at V-Day since its inception in 1999, when she met Eve on the Off-Broadway production of The Vagina Monologues. She now resides in Rhode Island with her three children (Aela, Aidan and Natalie) and husband Jason.

DSC_7591The entire family will be road-tripping to the place where it all began for ONE BILLION RISING on February 14th ~ the Hammerstein Ballroom, NYC!

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Mayoral Proclamation of One Billion Rising Day

Proclamation from San Diego Mayor Bob Filner

Proclamation from San Diego Mayor Bob Filner

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One Billion Rising Checklist


– Wednesday, 13 Feb: The Tonight Show with Jay Leno – Anne Hathaway
– Wednesday, 13 Feb: Piers Morgan Tonight – Jane Fonda
– Wednesday, 13 Feb: The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell – Rosario Dawson

– Thursday, 14 Feb: Democracy Now – Eve Ensler Calling In Live From Congo
– Thursday, 14 Feb: CNN International – Thandie Newton Live from London

Katie Couric Rises Up for “One Billion Rising” on Katie! >

V-Board Member Thandie Newton with Jon Snow on Channel 4 >
V-Board Member Kerry Washington on Katie! >

Your One Billion Rising Event Check-List

RISERS are you ready? We know there are a lot of details to remember so we wanted to send you a quick One Billion Rising Check-List to help you make sure you have your bases covered!


  • LOCATION: Make sure your Rising is on the Map so people can find it and attend
  • VOLUNTEERS: Do you have a great group of volunteers to help you?
  • PERMITS: Do you have permits from venue and police, if needed?
  • PROMOTION: Do you have banners and flyers and picket posters?
  • PERFORMANCE: Have you asked someone to read Eve Ensler’s newest Monologue “Rising”? Download
  • SHOW THE WORLD: We want you to document this historic day! Ensure you have people in the crowd videoing, photographing, recording your event.  Then post on facebooktwitteryoutubeinstagram and Google+ so that the world can see what you are doing to end violence against women!
  • LIVE STREAM: We’ve got a simple “How to”  that will give you all the details to get your event is seen round the world!
  • #1BillionRising: Get #1BillionRising Trending! Join our #1BillionRising online flash mob on Thunderclap! And please ask your friends and followers to join us too
  • MEDIA: Have you reached out to engage the Media? Follow these easy Media Tips
  • ATTIRE: Have you told your crowds to wear Red & Black? Dress in One Billion Rising colors to let people know you are part of a movement!!
  • STRIKE: Moment of Solidarity! Choose a time during the day to take a moment, join together with your colleagues, fellow students, family members, and friends, and leave your workplaces, schools, and homes and be together as one
  • V-MEN: Have you made every effort to get men involved! Invite them to the event, to dance and stand in solidarity.  Spread the word with the The Man Prayer, Jarvis Green Interview, and multiple I Am Rising’ videos from men across the planet
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