Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Tonight I went to my local eatery to listen to jazz on the patio.

Actually, I recommend that you check this place out.

It's called Whistler's and they are offering free patio jazz on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday evenings. It's lovely (and right across from the Dairy Queen at Broadview and Mortimer where you can appreciate our city's beauty apres diner).

Back to masturbation. How this fits into a prelude about jazz on the patio at Whistler's is something I'll bet you're really curious about.

Here's the deal:


So tonight I'm enjoying my jazz and my mushroom/swiss omelette on the aforementioned patio when I need to visit the washroom. I walk down the stairs and find a stall.

As I go about my business, I overhear the following conversation:

FRIEND A: "Go in that stall....there's a commercial from Durex for a vibrator in there!!!!!"

FRIEND B: (walking into the mentioned stall, laughing) "What do you mean?"

FRIEND A: "A vibrator!!!! Isn't that disgusting?"

Momentary pause.

FRIEND B: "What's that?"

FRIEND A: "You know, a vibrator."

FRIEND B: "I don't get it"

FRIEND A: (laughing) "It goes where a penis goes."


FRIEND A: (joining in consolation) "I'm sharing your disturbing moment, don't worry."

I leave my stall and wait for FRIEND A or FRIEND B to join me at the sink.

One does. I don't know which one.

I desperately want to say something, but don't know how to normalize this so remain silent.


I'm left feeling sad. Sad that we women aren't encouraged and/or taught to understand our bodies and their sexual needs.

I didn't have the privilege of understanding myself at their age, but I had been hoping things had changed some 20 years later.

Which is why I'm THRILLED to tell you that I'm part of a creative women's network in Riverdale (my pocket of Toronto) which includes Kim Sedgwick and Amy Sedgwick.

These are 2 AMAZ-i-CREDIBLE women who co-founded Red Tent Sisters, an independent, pro-woman, pro-sex Toronto-based boutique and wellness centre run by two sisters.

You need to know about their products and services.

Through a retail store, individual consultation and workshops, their products and services empower women to learn about
*feminist films

Their upcoming offerings include:

May 21
Natural contraception – healthy, drug-free alternative to oral contraceptives
Love your body and the earth while you’re lovin’ your partner
Thinking about going off The Pill? Looking for healthier birth control? Join like-minded gals – and bring your guy, if you like - for a 2-hour introductory workshop on Justisse, a fertility awareness method that provides the knowledge and support to manage your own birth control naturally, without drugs, surgery or devices. Justisse Method is 99.6% effective and is a meaningful way to deepen your connection to your own body, while improving your health and reducing the flow of synthetic hormones into our ecosystem.

May 24
Let your inner sex goddess out to play
Natural make-up, hair and beautiful photography
Need a fresh Facebook profile picture? Or maybe you want a record of your pregnant figure? Or how about photography as a gift for someone special – you in a ball gown? You in lingerie? You daring to be bare? This is your chance to see yourself through the eyes of a gifted photographer.

May 25-Jul.13
Fertility yoga:
Preparing your body for conception
This 8-week class is designed for women trying to conceive, with poses and meditations to relax the body and mind and enhance reproductive health. Join other women in a nurturing atmosphere of support and sisterhood.

May 28
Rock his world:
A workshop for women on pleasuring men
Join other women in a fun, relaxed environment to learn the anatomy, tools and techniques to broaden your partner’s o-o-o-orgasmic experience and your own! This two-hour workshop will enhance your knowledge and confidence, whether you’re a novice or pro. And you’ll enjoy the homework!

May 30-Jun. 20
Teaching sign language to babies
Teaching sign language to babies can improve vocabulary, reduce frustration between children and their caregivers, and facilitate cognitive development. Learn to better communicate with your baby alongside other families in this 4-week course.

Jun. 4
Rock HER world:
An ecstasy workshop for men who love women
This 2-hour workshop, led by trusted sex educator Tara McKee, will take you through the exquisite landscape of the female body, give you tips and tricks for adding to your sexual repertoire, and will send you home with creative ideas for curling her toes. All men who love women welcome!

Jun. 25
How to eat a peach: pleasuring her
A workshop for women who enjoy sex with women
Our favourite globe-trotting sex educator and author is coming to Red Tent Sisters to share her secrets, tips and tricks for giving your partner the most happy, loving, awe-inspiring oral pleasure. It’ll be juicy! Includes fun practice on fruits and candy. (No embarrassment, lots of fun.)

Honour your reproductive health
Maya abdominal massage
Maya Abdominal Massage is a relaxing, non-invasive, external, massage that guides internal abdominal organs into their proper position for optimum health and well-being. Maya massage supports the healing of painful or irregular periods, lower back ache, infertility, endometriosis, painful intercourse, ovarian cysts, vaginitus, and hormonal imbalances, among others. Be good to your body.

810 Danforth Ave.
Toronto, ON
M4J 1L6
416-463-TENT (8368)


  1. I was in a car last night, stopped at the intersection right in front of Whistler's patio, and turned to my friend and said, "hey, that place looks nice, have you ever been?" Seriousy. :)

    This is a really important post, I know the saddness you mean when you overheard the 2 girls talking. How does one reach out in that situation?

    The commercial is awesome.

    Red Tent Sisters are one of the reasons I love where I live.

    I was watching The View a while back and masturbation came up and one of the women almost proudly exclaimed she "doesn't do that", in the way one might say that they "don't do" dishes. I couldn't believe what I was watching. I too thought, haven't we come so far on this topic?

    Thanks for this post Jenn!

  2. I had to watch the commercial twice as I'm not good at understanding British accents, but it's very funny. Those girls probably do masterbate, but just aren't comfortable talking about it to each other.

  3. Jen,

    You are the sweetest. Thank you for sharing this story, however sad, and for letting women know about what we offer. One of the main reasons we continue to do what we do is that we frequently have experiences of helping normalize menstruation, masturbation, natural childbirth and more and the satisfaction we get from seeing women shift their perceptions about their bodies is profound. We are honoured to be part of a community of women who feel the same. xo
    p.s. I live around the corner from Whistler's!

  4. Hmm, I commented on this yesterday but it seems to have disappeared!

    I wanted to say: Jenn you are awesome. There are so many things I love in this post.

    Awkwardly intimate public washroom conversations
    Jazz music
    ...and you.

  5. What a beautiful post! Yay you for taking a stand for something so important. And yay for the work of the Red Tent Sisters. I feel so blessed to be connected to such empowered and empowering women!