As I’m sure you’ve heard by now, there’s a new Fifty Shades book. Because E.L. James totally needs more money, right?

It’s called Grey: Fifty Shades of Grey as Told by Christian. And as much as I hate E.L. James’ writing, as much as I loathe the campaign of kink miseducation she’s inadvertently created with her shoddily-researched “literary” empire, I just couldn’t stay away. I was too curious. I had to get my hands on this goddamn book.

I mean, it’s not like this is a surprise. I have seen the Fifty Shades movie FOUR TIMES, after all (most notably, at Drunk Feminist Films and while eating pizza and riding a Sybian). I endured these viewings and half of the first book despite pretty much hating every second of both, because, I guess, I’m even more of a masochist than Anastasia Steele.

(Is Ana even a masochist, though? Emotionally, maybe… but sexually, I don’t get the impression that she’s as into pain as Christian wants her to be. Anyway, that’s a can of worms for a whole ‘nother day…)

So without further ado, I’m gonna start a series of blog posts wherein I review and pick apart Grey, chapter by chapter. I can’t guarantee I will get through all the chapters; it’s an absurdly long book. But for as long as I can bear to read this garbage, I will blog about it. Because what’s the point of reading shitty shit if I can’t even snark on it?

(Incase you needed to be told: THERE BE SPOILERS AHEAD!)

Chapter 1

Grey opens with a dream Christian is having wherein he is a child, but I’m so used to E.L. James’ terrible writing that I thought it was just Adult Christian’s inner monologue for a while.

I have three cars. They go fast across the floor. So fast. One is red. One is green. One is yellow. I like the green one. It’s the best.

The dream Christian is having is actually a memory of his drug dealer/prostitute mother, who calls him “Maggot” and otherwise largely ignores him. Because that’s what drug addicts do, right? And because sad childhoods inevitably lead to sexually fucked-up adulthoods, right? Guh. This book is pissing me off already.

After Christian wakes up, he goes for a run on his treadmill while watching the “morning business news” on TV. One of my favorite features of the Fifty Shades franchise is how little E.L. James knows about business, or even the business that her main character is the boss of. The phrase “business meeting” is repeatedly used in the first book and movie. Like… can you do the tiniest bit of research on the lingo of the world you’re inhabiting? Or at least be the slightest bit more specific than “business” in all the many, many contexts you use that word?

Later in the day, Grey meets with his personal trainer, who is named Bastille. It’s like James is trying to make a historical reference, something about how Christian’s physical fitness and aggression serve to protect him from emotional vulnerability the way the Bastille fortress protected the French in its day. But I dunno. It doesn’t quite work. I mean, what kind of a name is Bastille?

My mood is as flat and gray as the weather.

Oh, Christian, what an original thought.

At work now, Christian is scheduled to be interviewed by journalism student Kate Kavanagh for her school’s newspaper. Grey and Kate’s father have “done business together” (yup, another vague reference to “business”) and Christian is “curious about his daughter.” Is he planning to mack on Kate?

Of course, Kate’s fallen ill, and Anastasia Steele has been sent as her replacement. Though Christian initially “repress[es his] natural annoyance at such clumsiness” when she falls headfirst through his office door (what a kLuTzZz!!), he’s immediately caught up in her “powder blue and guileless” eyes that seem to be able to “see right through” him, and then all of a sudden he’s wondering “what [her skin] would look like pink and warmed from the bite of a cane.” Yikes. This guy is an instantaneous predator. Straight creepin’.

She gapes at me, and I resist rolling my eyes. Yeah, yeah, baby, it’s just a face, and it’s only skin deep. I need to dispel that admiring look from those eyes but let’s have some fun in the process!

Oh my god, I hate this guy.

A bashful, bookish type, eh? She looks it: poorly dressed, her slight frame hidden beneath a shapeless sweater, an A-line brown skirt, and utilitarian boots. Does she have any sense of style at all?

Uhhh, Christian Grey is definitely having a Miranda Priestley moment.

He goes on to remark to himself that Ana can’t possibly be a journalist because she lacks assertiveness and seems submissive. As a journalist myself, yes, I can say it is true that you need to be assertive. But what the fuck is this conflation of weakness and passivity with submissiveness? Being a sexual submissive is incredibly active in many ways and requires strength and tenacity. This is exactly the kind of bullshit misconception that the Fifty Shades series is infamous for peddling.

As she fumbles and grows more and more flustered, it occurs to me that I could refine her motor skills with the aid of a riding crop. Adeptly used, it can bring even the most skittish to heel. The errant thought makes me shift in my chair. She peeks up at me and bites down on her full bottom lip. Fuck! How did I not notice how inviting that mouth is?

I wish I could shake Ana by her shoulders and tell her to get the fuck out of there. This dude is not safe.

Literarily speaking, can we talk about how James writes the entire book as Christian’s inner monologue but also occasionally italicizes certain phrases, as if to say, “Look, these are Christian’s thoughts”? The whole book is Christian’s thoughts. I’m confused by this choice. I’m confused by E.L. James’ entire approach to writing, actually.

The interview continues. Ana asks a bunch of smart questions and Christian answers them patronizingly while thinking about fucking her mouth and whipping her ass. What a charmer.

The chapter ends with Christian making a call to some guy named Welch to ask him to run a background check on Ana. Helloooo, stalker.

No surprise here: chapter 1 of Grey was every bit as creepy and worrisome as I expected. And E.L. James’ writing was just as bad as I remembered. Hip hip hooray for the modern literary industry!

When my amigos at Sex Toys Canada told me they were starting a shoe site, I got reeeeal excited. Because, as a femme, I love ridiculous shoes. I may not wear them very often (in fact, hardly ever), but when an occasion arises that requires an out-of-control, over-the-top pair of shoes, you just gotta have ’em.

I combed through Shoe Freaks ogling pumps and boots (my life is so hard, am I right?!) and picked a few of my favorites to highlight for you. Now let’s all revel in fancy femme footwear for a while…

I didn’t fully recognize Minnie Mouse as a femme icon until my 3-year-old cousin became obsessed with her and started rocking her merch 24/7. And yeah, girl is a hella cute mouse. These Funtasma flats are a subtle homage to Minnie and would pair beautifully with an all-black ensemble or a little red dress. (And they’re only $19! Score.)

These Bordello Teeze boots are fantastic. If I am ever fortunate enough to be invited to a Goldmember-themed party, I will seriously consider making these a part of my costume. They would look bangin’ with some white booty shorts and maybe a gold sequinned halter top. And they have stretchy tops and a side-zip closure, so even chubby-thigh’ed folks comme moi could probably squeeze into them.

I have desperately wanted marabou slippers ever since seeing Renée Zellweger prance around in them in a dance sequence in Down With Love. They are pretty much the most glamorous thing you can put on your feet, especially for loungin’. This Fabulicious pair has a manageably low heel and a cushioned inside, so you could potentially bum around in them at home all day without traumatizing your feet for the sake of beauty.

These Demonia sandals are like what Dana Scully from The X Files would wear if she was dressing as a Spice Girl for Halloween. ’90s vibes out the wazoo. And I love that ankle strap, because it means this shoe would actually stay on your foot while you were out chasing aliens or dancing to “Wannabe” or whatever else Scully Spice does in her spare time.

 

A pal of mine is getting married soon, and I’m one of her bridesmaids. I think these bridal pumps would be right up her alley. They’re girly and fun but still sophisticated, and the side cut-outs are classically sexy. I also love the idea of your wedding shoes being your “something blue”; if that’s your jam, Pinup Couture makes some blue glitter pumps that kiiiinda give me heart palpitations. (Maybe I can convince my friend that these need to be our bridesmaid kicks…)

If Dorothy Gale grew up to be a drag queen and/or a stripper, she would absolutely wear these Pleaser sandals. And they would look fucking fierce on her. There’s no place like home, baby!

What shoes do you put on when you want to feel like you own the goddamn universe?

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Oh, June! What a beautiful month it’s been. I had so many sexy adventures and I didn’t even have sex with anyone but myself. Here’s some of the lasciviousness that took up real estate in my brain and my vagina this month…

Sex toys

• I bought a NobEssence Seduction when I was in Portland for #DildoHoliday, and HOLY FUCK, it is a vaginal blessing. I will have a lot more to say in my review, of course, but for now, just know: this thing is a total game-changer. HELLO, G-SPOT.

• Also at DildoHoliday, Piph let me try her Magic Wand Rechargeable (a.k.a. cordless Hitachi). I liked it so much that I immediately emailed my pals at Sex Toys Canada to ask if I could review one for them, and they were very obliging, so now I have a Magic Wand of my very own. It’s a vast improvement on the original Hitachi and I’m looking forward to writing my review!

• As of this month, I think I am officially a size captain. My vagina partied with Piph’s Eleven (2″ wide), the Tantus Splash (1 3/4″), VixSkin Maverick (2″), Jollies Jollet (1 7/8″), and the glass dildo I made at #DildoHoliday (2 1/4″!!!). It’s funny how, when I first started blogging, I thought a 1 1/2″-wide dildo was the outer limit of my vag’s capabilities, and would remain that way – but now, my vaginal proficiency is above and beyond what I ever dreamed. “Believe in your vaginas, people; they can do ANYTHING!”

Fantasy fodder

Audio erotica was my everything this month. Admittedly, though, I still giggle at the sound of a lubed penis being stroked quickly. I mean, it’s kind of a funny sound. Right?!

• I continue to be obsessed with Heather Harmon. Her enthusiasm and skill are astounding. Bow down to the blowjob queen. (I also found this article which discusses Heather’s legacy, and it’s kinda fascinating. So are the comments: “You can see her out and about if you frequent gun shops”???)

• I am contemplating writing a Rosa/Amy fanfic, basically just because Rosa Diaz is soooo fucking hot and I want to see her bang everyone.

Et cetera

• I had forgotten how fun it is to masturbate communally. I don’t even really find it hot so much as I find it to be a sweet, comforting feature of the best sex-positive friendships.

• I wrote a magazine article about female ejaculation this month (details to come when I know ’em!) that inspired me to give squirting another shot. I think I might just have one of those bodies that isn’t capable of ejaculating, for whatever reason, but even just trying to make it happen is fun!

• Behold my current favorite song about cunnilingus. “I want to lick your pussy in the afternoon…”

What were your favorite toys/fantasies/sexy thangs this month?

Dildoface: Rainbow Amor from Girly Juice on Vimeo.

Pride is one of my favorite dress-up occasions of the whole year. It’s common to see Pride spectators and participants wearing eye-gougingly bright colors, over-the-top kinky ensembles, or sometimes nothing at all. For a fan of the outrageous, it’s a beautiful time to be alive!

Inspired by Pride weekend here in Toronto, I decided to make a video. It’s the first in what’ll hopefully be a series of DILDO-INSPIRED MAKEUP TUTORIALS! (How did I never think of this before?!)

In this video, I show you how to do an obnoxiously bright rainbow eye look, inspired by the Fun Factory Rainbow Amor. It’s one of the cutest dildos in my collection, and even featured prominently in a strap-on selfie I took this morning. What better dildo to evoke an eyeshadow look?

If you want an Amor of your very own, you can get one at SheVibe. The rainbow version has been discontinued (boo!), but you can still get one in pink, orange, or black. Adorbz!

Let me know what you think of Dildoface: should I do more videos like this? What dildos from my collection would make for good makeup muses? I’m all ears!

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Me and Caitlin at Body Pride

Last week, I went to Body Pride – again.

It was my third time going, so I know the ropes by now. But I remember when I attended my first one. It felt like there was so much to worry about.

In everyday life, probably only about 30% of your body, maximum, is showing at any given time. The upkeep of the rest is less important, because it’ll only be seen under special circumstances (e.g. during sex). But when you’re gonna be naked in front of people – especially for hours at a time, like at Body Pride workshops – there’s more to consider.

Granted, the whole point of Body Pride is self-acceptance. But you still probably want to look and feel your best. So here are my tips for preparing when you know you’ll be naked for a while – whether you’re shooting porn, going to a nudist colony, or just hangin’ out with some pals in the buff.

Test-run your makeup look in advance, if you wear makeup. I don’t quite know why, but some types of makeup look totally fine when you’re clothed but super weird and out of place once you get naked. I find that nudity pairs best with minimalistic looks – but on the other hand, if thick winged liner and fire-engine red lipstick will give you the confidence to rock your naked bod, by all means, go for it.

Wear a layered outfit that’s easy and quick to remove. Does that sound like a contradiction in terms? It shouldn’t – layers don’t necessarily have to be bulky or restrictive. The reason I recommend layers is that you might feel awkward if you’re the first person to get done undressing. You’ll be standing there completely nude while others are still shimmying out of their jeans. It’s best if your outfit can be removed quickly or slowly, so you can adjust your stripping speed to fit the vibe of the event. I usually like to wear a slip dress or nightgown (easy to step out of in a hurry) and a cardigan (allows for dawdling while I undo the buttons).

Do your body hair removal well in advance, if body hair removal is a thing that you do. Razor burn, ingrown hairs and post-wax rashes are not only unsightly but also uncomfortable. Give yourself at least a couple days between hair removal and naked-time, just incase something goes awry.

Moisturize. Cool clothes jazz up your appearance when you’re wearing them, but when you’re naked, moisturized skin provides a similarly polished effect. Trust me, it’s way cuter than dry, ashen skin. Moisturization is also important if you plan on doing any self-tanning before your big naked event.

Use internal menstrual products if you get your period. Menstrual cups, sponges, or tampons (with the string tucked inside) can all be basically invisible, even when you’re completely nude.

Think about butt and vag protection. This really depends on the location where you’ll be getting naked, and what you’ll be doing once you’re naked, but it’s worth thinking about. If you’ll be sitting on the floor or ground, you’ll probably want a pillow and/or towel so you don’t get dirt on your bare ass and/or vaginal fluids on somebody’s bare floor.

Maintain good posture and body language. I don’t know why, but slouching looks even less attractive than usual when a naked person does it. Contrastingly, there is something so sexy and beautiful about a straight-backed, lithe-looking person in the nude. When you’re naked, all your body’s shapes and lines are visually amplified, so make like a Botticelli babe and think long, tall, loose-limbed and elegant.

Ensure you’ll smell good. Naked bodies produce scents more readily than clothed ones; it’s a fact of life. You might want to expand the zones where you typically apply deodorant and/or perfume. (Don’t go overboard, though, especially since there might be some folks with scent sensitivities. Ask if you’re not sure!)

Enjoy yourself! Being naked is so much fun. In our culture, free-and-easy nudity is rare, so appreciate the opportunity when it comes your way. You may even find (as I do at the end of every Body Pride event) that being naked starts to feel like the most natural, lovely thing in the world!