When shopping for the perfect intimate accessory in New York City, between the cheap and cheeky Babeland and the fetishistic aesthetic of Leather Man, there are surprisingly few places that satisfy the everyday Brooklyn girl and guy.
Enter Shag.Two-parts home and body retail and one-part fine art gallery, the Williamsburg boutique (108 Roebling Street at North 6th Street), opening on November 20, will provide a variety of sexy toys and functional art pieces crafted by neighborhood artists.
The shop is the vision of artist Samantha Bard and creative consultant Ashley Montgomery-Pulido, two Williamsburg residents who saw a void in the marketplace for a friendly, yet refined intimacy apparel store, that they decided to fill.
“We don’t want to be called a sex shop.We’re a sexy shop,” said Montgomery-Pulido.“No one is doing locally-made sexy products.”
Bard and Montgomery-Pulido designed their store to be free from raunchiness, instead fostering a positive exploration of sex.The basement, for instance, is dungeon-free, and instead will feature workshops, lectures, and seminars on a variety of topics such as live drawing and body painting.Eventually the store will play host to baby showers and scavenger-hunt bachelorette parties.
“Shag is supposed to be fun and inviting,” said Bard.“We want people to have an open dialogue with us and each other about sexual taboos that people are uncomfortable talking about.”
It’s not all toys either.The new shop will offer hats, lingerie, bags, jewelry, gift cars, dinnerware, linens, shower curtains, and candles as well as services including full-body casting sessions, complete with an in-house shower to wash off pesky bits of plaster.
The castings arose from an art project Bard initiated several years ago after her subjects inundated her with requests for their casts.Bard saw an opportunity to use her methodology to create custom-made sexual aids, which she and Montgomery-Pulido hope will become a trademark for the store.“They’re fully functioning, vibrating 100 percent body-safe medical-grade platinum silicone,” said Montgomery-Pulido.“That’s a mouthful!”
Much of Shag’s featured inventory consists of one-of-a-kind pieces made by artists, such as industrial design-inspired ceramic toys forged by Steven Montgomery and tasteful bronze doorknobs with an imprint of a vagina, which would not be out of place in the gift shop at The Whitney Museum.
“We are offering higher-end products but they’re still small-batch produced,” said Montgomery-Pulido.“This is a give-and-take too.We are showcasing artists’ products in a symbiotic relationship.”
Early next year, Bard and Montgomery-Pulido are planning on launching their own line of organic homemade lubricant, made with all natural products and no added preservatives. A condom gumball machine is in the works too.
“There are a few things still under wraps,” said Bard.
Shag, located at 108 Roebling Street at North 6th Street in Williamsburg, will be celebrating its grand opening on Friday November 20 at 8 p.m.For more information, visit http://www