This week we sat down with romance products industry veteran Casey Murphy, the founder and owner of The Pleasure Parlor, a sex-positive, body-positive company that offers exclusive, professionally curated, adult subscription boxes and an online shopping boutique.
The Pleasure Parlor is all about offering products that are designed to create confidence and creativity by tapping into your personal journey of self-love and body acceptance. Casey brings a decade of experience with industry trends and has personally tried every item they sell. All items are discreetly packaged and selected with a thoughtful approach to all comfort levels and a variety of interests.
b.Blunt recommends the Zodiac Box, a quarterly subscription box, (or one-time box) that is fully personalized with items selected based on your astrological sign. Or, for those on your list looking to really elevate the mind and body, check out the Ganja Vibe. Promo code is BLUNT for 15% off any order.
Tell us about yourself, how did you come up with the idea for The Pleasure Parlor?
In 2004, I fell into the pleasure products industry by happenstance! Over the span of 14 years, I worked in just about every corner of the B2B toy business – advertising, marketing, sales, manufacturing, and distribution. About two years ago, as a sales rep for a sex toy distributor, I was selling products and managing orders for different businesses around the country (retail boutiques, online stores, home party planners, etc.). I realized it wasn’t sales that I was interested in, but talking business strategy with my customers. Creative marketing, SEO, social media, copywriting, event planning, product education, customer service, biz dev….I didn’t realize how valuable my knowledge was once I saw it impact other business owners. That resulted in a big paradigm shift, and I decided that if I was going to hustle every day, it was going to be for myself.
I knew the sex toy industry inside and out, had every product available to me, and had the basics down to get the ball rolling. I knew I wanted my business to be different than anything I had seen or worked with. To execute multiple business models under one umbrella: an online store, mobile pleasure parties, curated subscription boxes, pop-up boutiques at mainstream events, local sex toy delivery…and somehow include private coaching in the mix, too.
Even though it took a year to decide on a name (!), build a website, and really put things in motion, I wanted the company to possess the following values:
- Encourage women to stop settling for mediocre sex by reclaiming their orgasms
- Open a dialogue about the importance of pleasure and self-care: exploring it, making time for it, defining it based on what feels good to you (no sex required)
- Be inclusive of all body types, ages (18+ of course!), sexual orientations, budgets & experience levels
- Pack as much knowledge, humor, and relatable content on the website to encourage visitors to keep clicking
- Feature local, femme-identified PNW artists, not just pleasure products (Self-care journals, pins, stickers, and candles are are big crowd pleasers in our rotation)
- Consciously select bodysafe items and cater to anyone navigating trauma, painful sex, body sensitivities, etc.
It took me a very long time to establish a guilt-free relationship with my sexuality. Why doesn’t anyone in Catholic school teach you that the clitoris is the ONLY organ designed solely for pleasure? Talk about giving God some damn credibility! I hope the Pleasure Parlor is able to make an impact by re-defining social perceptions of sex, pleasure, and everything in-between.
How would you describe your brand to someone who’s new to buying sex lifestyle products?
I would describe the Pleasure Parlor as a safe, shame-free space for a beginner to start, and also the gateway for exploration! We are a femme-owned and operated brand committed to helping women step outside of their comfort zones and into more empowered versions of themselves. We aim to present toys in a fun, approachable fashion, whether that is in a group environment (private party), shopping privately online, sending us an email with questions, or taking the plunge and signing up for a subscription box. (Also, unicorns! Vibrators! Unicorns ON vibrators! What’s not to love?!)
What are your best-selling products and why? What products do you recommend for Holiday gift giving?
Best-sellers are a tie between our quarterly couple’s subscription box, Just For Us, and the Zodiac Box (astrology + sex toys)! These are so popular because people either don’t know how to shop for themselves, or they find a retail store environment to be too intimidating. We solve these issues by eliminating time and research for you, while selecting tried and true items you wouldn’t normally think to purchase on your own. Plus, you kind of get to let us take the blame for sending a kinky product from time to time (even though you secretly wanted us to).
Runner-up is the Satisfyer, which employs a clitoral suction technology to induce a clitoral orgasm in like, 30 seconds. I’m not kidding.
For the holidays, subscription boxes are perfect, because they are the gift that keeps on giving!
I am obsessed with the idea of The Zodiac Box, a subscription box based on your astrological sign. How did you come up with that idea? Do you offer any other subscription boxes?
Thank you so much! The Zodiac Box is a customer favorite, for sure!
I have always been that obnoxious girl who asks “WHAT’S YOUR SIGN??” within minutes of meeting someone. It’s because I identify so hard with my sun sign – inside and outside of the bedroom – and thought it would be really fun for those who feel the same way. I collaborated with an astrologer to ensure we got it right– to enable women and couples get in touch with their desires on a more intuitive level.
The two other options we currently offer are Just For Us (couples box) and Just For Me (solo box). Both are available as one-time or recurring boxes, and both can be fully customized based on your preferences (Fully Personalized option).
The next box that we are launching for the holidays is the Body High Box, which is a collection of sensory play items to inspire full-body pleasure and exploration. It is so easy to get stuck in a routine, whether alone or with a partner (racing to the finish) – it is so important to slow down and savor the whole experience! The Body High box begins shipping on December 1!
I would love to come to one of your pop-up boutiques. Where is your next event?
They are so much fun! We will be setting up our next pop-up shop with The Felt Sense for their upcoming event on 12/8 in Northwest Portland. This event is geared towards exploring sensuality through erotic art, meditation and conversation. Tickets are available here! For discount tickets to The Felt Sense event use PleasureParlor for $10 off.
You also offer private coaching. Tell me about that.
Aside from the retail component, I offer business coaching for femme-identifying entrepreneurs. I started the Pleasure Parlor with limited resources and a full-time job. At this point, it is almost sustainable on its own – which demanded many late nights and a commitment to personal development. There are so many moving parts as a business owner; tapping into spirit is just as important as business strategy. My 1:1 coaching and group programs integrate mindset techniques, creative marketing, and pleasure rituals to help women grow purposeful, profitable businesses.
In your opinion what is the biggest challenge for women business owners? What motivates you to keep going?
My goodness…there are so many variables that challenge business owners, no matter what stage of entrepreneurship they are in. Having a family and/or a full-time job. Not knowing how to efficiently build a business with limited resources. Giving up after not seeing a return on investment right away. If there is a will, there’s a way, honey! Be patient. I would love to expand on three other common challenges for entrepreneurs:
- Imposter syndrome is so, so real. Comparison often stops us from taking action and/or operating from a place of authenticity because we are afraid of judgement, or that someone else is doing it ‘better’. That is not true; there is more than enough room for your voice to shine, and more than enough financial abundance to go around. Keep your blinders on, and keep moving.
- Letting the tough shit paralyze you. Do you want to hide, cry, or binge drink when you have to respond to a difficult email or customer review? I sure did! I called in success and received it literally overnight (Don’t mess with New Moon magic if you ain’t ready!); that’s when the real work started. I had to learn to ask for help and delegate in order to keep my head above water – just to ensure that my customers would not be disappointed. Did I fail at times? Ugh, yes. New levels of success will bring new challenges. How does your work ethic and integrity align with your response to adversity?
- Losing sight of your divine purpose, and your “WHY”.If you were motivated/driven/called to start a business, it’s because you have a message to share, and people need to hear it! What about your business lit you up when you started? What was your “WHY”? If you’ve forgotten, how can you evolve your vision so that it excites you again? The “how” is completely irrelevant, stay committed, show up consistently for your audience, and know that everything you desire is already on its way to you.
Do you have recommendations for products to use while elevated?
Sensory play is SO awesome while elevated. For a lot of women, climaxing is all mental, so get out of your head and into S L O W full-body exploration, whether alone or with a partner. Feather ticklers and sensory pinwheelswill amplify a yummy body high while perfecting the art of the tease. Vampire Gloves are pretty thrilling across the shoulderblades and behind the knees. (They don’t have to hurt!) Something as simple as a blindfold will heighten the rest of the senses, while stimulating mind and body simultaneously.
Do you use cannabis and if so how was cannabis introduced to your lifestyle?
Cannabis was first introduced to me in high school. I smoked during my early college days, but I really didn’t know my limits and experienced a lot of paranoia. I quit altogether because I really wasn’t able to enjoy it, especially in social situations. When cannabis became legal in Oregon, I started experimenting with CBD for medicinal healing. It is so versatile, and a fantastic alternative to pharmaceuticals. I rely on high CBD/low THC tinctures and topicals to alleviate stress, anxiety and joint pain every day. I’m a huge fan of Mata Kushna’shemp-based CBD Love Oil and Empower 4Play– both have helped me achieve quicker, more intense orgasms.
Do you have a favorite cannabis or sex related story or memory from the Holidays?
Surprisingly, no! Although I’m pretty sure I have an ambrosia fetish.
Where are you located?
I reside in beautiful Southeast Portland, Oregon!
How can you be reached?
Online, you can find us at thepleasureparlor.com – and I can be reached directly via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.