Paige Mehrer

When Tuck Malloy transitioned into their nonbinary/transmasculine identity, they wanted to use their position as a sales lead and in-house educator at She Bop to help other people experiencing their own gender transitions and explorations.

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“There were a lot of things I wanted more insight and community around,” says Malloy, “particularly in relation to the fact that a lot of those [gender-related] realizations for me came from sexual or sensual experiences.”

In addition to being a sex toy shop, She Bop also offers classes and workshops on a regular basis. So Malloy crafted a class called “Exploring Gender Identity” that centered on “exploring those questions of gender through our sensual experiences.” They built the class around two questions: “How can we heal in our bodies if bodies that are not cisgender are often places of trauma for people?” And: “How can we move towards our affirmations of gender, rather than just moving away, like ‘That’s not my gender’?”

Malloy’s class is one example of how She Bop lives up to its tagline of being “A sex toy boutique for every body.” While gender and sexuality are two different things, gender identity can play a big role in how one relates to their sexuality, and vice versa—and for people who are trans or fall outside the gender binary, navigating a sex toy shop can be alienating. Gretchen Leigh, She Bop’s education coordinator, says sex toys are often designed and marketed with cisgender people in mind, but She Bop’s staff practices “a lot of creative thinking about how our products can be used.”

Tuck Malloy (left) and Gretchen Leigh (right) Blair Stenvick

“We really try to stay away from saying, ‘This is a g-spot vibrator, and no one else with any other body parts can use it,’” Leigh adds. “We’re always thinking, ‘Who might be excluded by this packaging and this language? How can I create more room for you for the joyful exploration of your body?’”

In addition to practicing generally inclusive practices—like using gender-neutral pronouns for new customers by default and incorporating customer feedback about language and class topics—She Bop also caters directly to trans and nonbinary people by stocking a gender expression section of its store. The section includes chest binders and packers that create a bulge in the crotch area. Transmasculine people commonly use both these items, but they can be difficult to find in a brick-and-mortar shop.


All the products at She Bop can fulfill multiple overlapping purposes: To help someone feel empowered in their identity and give someone the tools they need to feel sexually confident.


“I think we’re the only place in town where you can actually try on a binder before you buy it,” Malloy says. “That is a really huge loss, particularly because binders can have a big impact on someone’s physiology.”

(Editor's note: A helpful reader emailed to let us know that Fantasy's Hollywood, downtown Portland, and Tigard locations have binders you can try on as well. Thanks, helpful reader!)

Like most sex toy shops, She Bop places an 18-and-older age limit on customers during regular hours. But they allow parents with underage kids to make after-hours appointments for binder fittings. Often, kids who experience gender dysphoria but don’t have access to safe binders will bind their chests in unsafe ways, using ACE bandages and other constrictive materials.

“So many kids come in and have been binding in really unhealthy ways,” Malloy says. “We’re able to offer a safe opportunity for them to try it on. It’s very sweet and very rewarding, and very adorable.”

Youth binder fittings are also an opportunity for She Bop’s staff to educate parents who are confused about gender identity and pronoun use. “We’ll get emails from parents like, ‘My kid wants a binder and I don’t know what’s up with that, but can you help?’” Leigh says. The staff will then point those parents toward books and other resources for parents of kids who are transitioning.

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While the gender expression section might be separate from the sex toys, Malloy and Leigh make the point that all the products at She Bop can fulfill multiple overlapping purposes: To help someone feel empowered in their identity and give someone the tools they need to feel sexually confident.

“For a lot of people coming in here for the first time and putting a binder on—whatever their gender is—it can make them feel so good and sexy and empowered,” Malloy says. “Gender is a huge part of people’s sexual lives, and it’s a really important part of a healthy sex life—having a good relationship to one’s gender.”