For vegans committed to choosing cruelty-free products in all areas of their life, bedroom supplies can be quite difficult to find. Other posts have addressed that many condoms contain casein, a milk protein, and personal lubricants and massage oils often come without an anti-vivisection guarantee. Persons with sexual appetites for paddles and the like may also struggle to find these in materials other than leather.
However, at the Berlin-based store, Other Nature, things are a little different. Established in 2016, this is a sex shop which stocks almost solely vegan items, and focuses on environmental-friendliness; as well as finding non-leather accessories and vegan condoms, many products are manufactured locally using locally made using sustainable materials, and none of the sex toys contain phthalates. Those who do not live nearby can take advantage of the option to shop online, with international shipping and discreet packaging available, whilst locals for reasons of preference or need can even make an appointment to browse and shop in private when the store is usually closed.
Readers interested in linked oppressions may be pleased to learn the owners' description of Other Nature: "A Feminist, Queer, Sex-Positive, Eco-Friendly, Vegan Sex Shop." Ok, the store, which also has a Facebook and Twitter presence, is not completely vegan, so the statement is not completely accurate, but at least this is acknowledged openly on the website and not hidden. As for the other parts, eco-friendly is addressed above, and whilst feminist and queer have many different interpretations, the (female) owners use the former to mean that products which reinforce gender stereotypes and promote sexism are not stocked; there is no misogynistic packaging, and the pornography and instructional videos on sale are female body-positive and mostly produced by women. The latter does not mean that only those who identify as queer are welcome, but rather that the concept rejects binary understandings of sex, such as it being an act between a dominant man and submissive woman. Trans shoppers are welcome, as are persons of all orientations, genders and tastes, and can find a range of vegan products designed for their enjoyment, which are not found in many 'mainstream' sex shops, and the sex-positive attitude, which is the theme of some of the workshops held at the venue, rejects the notion of sex as shameful.
Find menstrual cups, toys, oils, books and even artwork; Other Nature is well worth a look.
Photograph: Author's Own