Shannon Oliver, a "romance-enhancement specialist," is selling sexual aids, including the innocuous -- lingerie and pheromone-laced potions -- and the unmentionable -- battery-operated gizmos. Pat Davis, president of Passion Parties, said that's a common sentiment among women. Shannon Oliver is a full-time saleswoman from Maryland who showing products at another sister-in-law's home in Upland.
The guests included a Claremont pediatrician and a silver-haired Riverside woman. But in a sales force of thousands, these two arrests are anomalies. Linen spray, body glitter, warming balms, lubricants and massage lotions were passed around, sniffed and tasted. Pat Davis, president of Passion Parties, said that's a common sentiment among women. Shannon Oliver, a "romance-enhancement specialist," is selling sexual aids, including the innocuous -- lingerie and pheromone-laced potions -- and the unmentionable -- battery-operated gizmos. Maybe I'm naive, but I didn't know there was this stuff out on the market," she said. A paradigm, he said, is the Emmy-winning HBO series "Sex and the City," which featured an episode in its first season that focused on a sexual aid called the "Rabbit. And in November, a woman was arrested after selling sex toys to undercover police officers in a community on the outskirts of Fort Worth. Oliver showed the most innocuous products first, dabbing a pheromone-based liquid on each woman's wrist. Still, there is a stigma attached, and some question the need and potential effects the adult items might have on marriages and relationships. He attributes the parties' increase in popularity to the mainstreaming of sex, particularly on television and movies. Women are wanting to become more open about it," she said. In , a Texas woman was charged with felony obscenity after police found 17 products in her car during a traffic stop. Prosecutors dropped the charge after Kathy Grubbs pleaded guilty to a drunk-driving charge and agreed to surrender the items to police. That's what it just becomes -- an act, when it's meant to be so much more. The women were eager to get to the most scintillating part of the beginning -- the toys. It's safe, it's comfortable, it's educational, and it comes with a giggle. Ava Cadell, a clinical sexologist in Los Angeles, said the parties empower women. Slumber Parties, out of Baton Rouge, La. Some were waterproof, some were glittery, some were remote-controlled, and one lighted up. Pitched as the Tupperware and Avon parties of the new millennium, the events attract a wide spectrum of women, including college students, career women, stay-at-home moms and older women. These companies and others throw women-only parties in homes, a form of direct marketing that prospered after World War II when Tupperware parties were popular social gatherings and the Avon Lady regularly dropped by. Manuals on sexual positions and massage techniques, and a beginner's bondage kit, came next. One of her customers was Liz Dichirico, 48, of San Dimas, who has been married for 14 years. February 13, Seema Mehta Times Staff Writer In a spacious, modern home in Upland, 30 women have gathered on a sunny Sunday afternoon to see the latest in home gadgets. Champagne flowed, and the woman grew boisterous. The products they are passing around aren't for the kitchen -- they're for the bedroom.
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