Need pandemic self-care? Try Denver's Awakening Boutique.

Editor’s note: This is part of The Know’s new series, Staff Favorites. Each week, we will offer our opinions on the best that Colorado has to offer for dining, shopping, entertainment, outdoor activities and more. (We’ll also let you in on some hidden gems). Find our previous Staff Favorites here.

If 2020 was the year of the pandemic, this should be the year of self-love.

We’ve never needed self-love — known currently by its buzzy marketing catchphrase, “self-care” — more than we do now. With most of our favorite luxuries stripped away, we’ve all turned inward these last 11 months, finding solace in the little indulgences we used to take for granted. Because sometimes, lighting a candle while taking a bath is all the self-care we can muster, and that’s OK.

Enter Awakening Boutique, the perfect Denver store to help cultivate a little self-love. With locations in RiNo and on South Broadway, Awakening bills itself as a “sex-positive boutique and community resource.” At this store, don’t expect a lot of whimsical party favors in what I can only describe as bachelorette party-shaped packages. This is self-love for grown-ups, with products — particularly vibrators and sex toys, Awakening’s top sellers — made using body-safe materials and ethical sourcing.

Part of what makes Awakening an amazing resource is that it isn’t just for any one gender — this boutique sells products for all gender expressions, anatomies and budgets. And there is absolutely no question too taboo. If you’re afraid to ask, scope out the literature here, which runs the gamut from basic sex-ed to intersectional feminism, relationship workbooks and the intersection of astrology and romance. Once it’s safe to resume events, we’ll be back here for Awakening’s book clubs and workshops.

And of course, this being Valentine’s Day weekend, there’s plenty of lingerie and lingerie-adjacent clothing — though during the pandemic, co-owner Rose Kalasz says, that hasn’t been quite as popular.

“During quarantine, we started selling a lot of loungewear — boxers, soft cotton bralettes,” Kalasz said. “We just figured people were at home and wanted to be comfy.”

Whatever self-love you’re looking for — a new candle, some bath salts, a timely new book or maybe some super-soft boxers to lounge in — Awakening likely has it. And for us, spending money at local, woman-owned businesses is its own form of self-love.

Awakening Boutique, 2936 Larimer St. (Inside Modern Nomad) and 38 N. Broadway, awakeningboutique.com

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