Pleasure Stacks – More than just card games!
Brixton-born filmmaker, photographer and business owner Shane Duncan is disrupting the card gaming industry with his very own Pleasure Stacks. Originally inspired by his previous long-term relationship, Duncan has developed a daring set of four card games to be embarked upon by friends, family, your current talking stage and couples who seek a deeper understanding of those around them.
In Duncan’s early years, evidence of his differences in thinking, questionable fashion decisions and entrepreneur leadership were clear from the onset.
Shane Duncan: I’ve always known I was different. Like always. The mandem knew that. I was probably the first person wearing skinny jeans in the ends, the first person wearing cardigans whilst everyone’s wearing hoodies, and I’m wearing these bright cardigans with specs – they used to call me Specs innit. And they’d be like Specs what are you doing?
From his early years, Duncan was inspired by his mother’s zealous work ethic & Gordon (G FrSH) whom he described as ‘the strongest male figure’ in his life since he was 17. Duncan’s entrepreneurial spirit began to bear fruit through his exploration of creative media and sound. From Djing at Harlesden at Club NW10, to capturing motives on camera, and later transitioning his self-taught photography into self-taught video production; Duncan is very much a polymath when it comes to creative media.
Shane Duncan: I knew documentaries and more insightful projects is what I wanted to do. And then I did that for a while, worked with X amount of people like the early stages of Link Up TV, the early stages of GRM (or Grime Daily at the time), and that’s when I linked up with G FrSH pretty much. From there I built relationships with different people in the industry and I did that for a while but, when COVID-19 hit, that is where the birth of Pleasure Stacks came.
Pleasure stacks is an adventurous and interactive drinking card game designed to be played by 2 players or more (depending on which pack you choose to play). The set includes the original Pleasure Stacks pack which feature drinking and interactive cards; Confessions Only which is a drinking-only pack; Couples Only which is a couple-specific version of Pleasure Stacks and lastly The Talking Stage which is a pack dedicated to first dates or simply a conversation starter between friends.
Duncan describes The Talking Stage pack as ‘the most upfront dating specific game’ and the Confessions Only pack as ‘the quickest way to get to find out new things about your friends, […] where you can probably get through 3 or 4 questions out of the 100+ cards and realise you don’t know everything you thought you did!’
Throughout the four-pack set, consent is emphasised on each card to ensure all players are comfortable. It is advised to play the games with people that you are comfortable with and have some sort of connection with.
Jide: Give me the best scenario, off the top of your head, you would see each game played in.
Shane: A random scenario for Pleasure Stacks would be a group of friends who are probably at a party, a quiet sit down or an intimate gathering and it’s easy for anyone to say “let’s play Pleasure Stacks or Confessions Only”. They can play these games, learn about each other, and see what they like and don’t like.
With Couples Only, I feel like it’s a spontaneous date or Valentine’s kinda vibe. On holidays, baecations, birthdays, city breaks etc. If you want to find out if you and your partner are compatible in more ways than one and want to try out new things you have not done before, this is the game for you!
For the Talking Stage, you can use this game in multiple ways, even as a prompt. You could be texting someone you just met on a dating app or in person. It could be a question you need to throw out straight away. I know in some scenarios if particular questions aren’t brought up straight away it may cause some difficulties down the line, so it’s definitely a good way to get the information you need quickly.
Jide: Where did the name of the brand even come from?
Shane: Well to be honest, when I made the first version of the game 5+ years ago I went on holiday with a Jenga set I owned but, as a surprise, I wrote out some of the cards featured in the Pleasure Stacks pack on all the blocks in the box. It was heavily couple-based then, I still have that Jenga set to this day. It was as simple as pulling out a block and complying with whatever was written on it.
I then thought I needed to sell this game and the name was pretty simple to come up with. A stack of blocks and giving and receiving pleasure was the whole vibe… the ‘Pleasure Stacks’ name was pretty much born out of that really. Obviously trying to manufacture that version of the game on blocks was a myth, so I thought a card game version would be a lot simpler and the name could still be used so it was a win-win.
Jide: What are your current goals and strategies to get [the cards] to the market? And what are your long-term plans and goals?
Shane: Right now, it’s in the early phases where it has just come outagain. It’s basically version two like the Yeezy’s, V1 and V2, you know what I mean. I feel like it’s in the space where people love the game and it’s only a matter of time till each game finds the market they reside in. I’ve found that Confessions Only is a fan favourite followed by Pleasure Stacks. Those two get the party started without fail… to be fair, like the namesake of the brand itself, Pleasure Stacks, it pretty much does what it says on the tin – foreplay the fun way!
Where do I want it to go in the future? Definitely more games, if it’s physical that would be great. But digital versions would be cool.
A key takeaway from Duncan’s creation is that Pleasure Stacks is more than just a card game. Through the stacks life-altering and future-oriented conversations are created, as well as, unique and memorable bonds between old and new people in your life.
Pleasure Stacks can be purchased at PleasureStacks.com. Here you will find links to the brand’s Instagram pages, other players’ reactions to questions and everything you need to know to enjoy the games!