Disclosure notice: Many posts here contain affiliate links from which I make money if you buy the linked products. If a sex toy retailer is thanked at the end of the post, the toy in question was provided to me for free by that retailer in exchange for a fair and honest review.
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I have been a sexually active teenager. As many of you know, it can be a hard life. Sneaking around, telling egregious lies to your parents, struggling to get access to contraceptives… I do not miss it.
However, despite the lies told by abstinence-only sex ed programs, many teens can and do have sex. So obviously, with that reality in mind, the best way to maximize pleasure and minimize problems is to equip ‘em with the info they need. Here’s my guide to having sex as a teen.
1. Get informed. Don’t rush into things without knowing what you’re doing. Here are some resources you’ll want to check out to fill your noggin with crucial sex info:
• Planned Parenthood’s website is full of unbiased, useful facts that your high school sex ed class may have glossed over or missed altogether. Check out the birth control page, as well as their pages on general sexuality and STIs – though, let’s face it, their whole website is gold.
• Violet Blue’s blog might be a bit advanced for teens, but she does have some great sex ed pages. Here are some of the most useful for the average teen: sex advice and techniques, fellatio, cunnilingus, kissing. (There are more in her sidebar.) These pages are full of articles, erotica, and safety information about the different kinds of sex you might be having or thinking about having.
• One of my personal sex ed super-sources when I was a teen was the Sex is Fun podcast. It approaches sex from a non-judgmental and pleasure-focused perspective, and is often quite entertaining. I suggest you start with the first 100 shows, as they cover the most basic topics. You can put ‘em on your MP3 player or phone and listen while you walk to school or work out or whatever it is that you do, and no one will know that you’re learning about sex!
• Scarleteen is widely considered one of the best sources of sex info for teens, and I agree. Their website is soooo full of content that you could read it for hours at a time and still be fascinated. The "first time here" page is the perfect place to start. And they have a message board. Just trust me on this one: you need to check out Scarleteen.
• Reddit’s Sexxit community is a good place to ask any sex questions that you can’t find answers to elsewhere. It’s an adult-oriented community but teens do wander in from time to time, and are always treated with respect.
2. Get protection. Listen to me, younglings: you need to be using some form of protection when you become sexually active. It is a non-negotiable. Sorry, that’s how it is. Here’s what you need to know…
• Condoms are often given out for free at places like Planned Parenthood clinics, other local health or sexual health clinics, high school nurse’s offices (depending on your school’s politics), your doctor’s office (if you ask nicely), and so on.
• If you have the money and are brave enough (or can enlist a friend or partner who is brave enough), you can also just buy condoms at your local drugstore. Don’t get anything that has a fancy texture or cooling/warming lube – just get a box of basic condoms.
• If pregnancy is a possibility with the kind of sex you’re planning on having, you need to think about birth control. (Condoms are pretty effective on their own when used perfectly, but most people don’t use them perfectly, and some people like to use birth control too, just to be extra sure they won’t get pregnant.) This Planned Parenthood factsheet has all the info about the different types of birth control, both hormonal and not, including their efficacy rates, side effects, costs, and so on. Read up and make an informed decision.
• If your doctor won’t prescribe you birth control, or they need your parents’ consent and you don’t want to ask your parents, or your regular pharmacy’s BC prices are too steep, you can seek out a Planned Parenthood clinic in your area and ask them to hook you up. Their prices are typically better and they are good about anonymity.
• If you or your partner have had sex with someone else before, whether consensual or not, STIs are a possibility. You can get tested together (for a fee) at a Planned Parenthood clinic, or another sexual health clinic (if it has no age rules).
3. Communicate. It can be really hard to communicate about sex (what each of you wants in bed, what you absolutely don’t want to do, etc.), especially when you’ve never done it before and/or don’t have a proper model for what it should look like. Here are some good resources about that:
• Dr. Debby Herbenick wrote this article about best practices for sexual communication.
• This UC Davis guide is pretty awesome.
• Here is a random textbook chapter about communicating sexually.
• This zine, Learning Good Consent, teaches all about consent, which isn’t always as simple as “yes” or “no.” You should have a look even if you think you know what consent means and how to recognize it.
4. Find a place to do it. Some teens are lucky enough to have parents who don’t mind them having sex in the house – but then there are others who won’t even let you be in your room with your partner when the door’s closed! Here are some locations you could try:
• Do your parents or your partner’s parents ever go out of the house for an evening, a weekend, or a more extended trip? That might be a good time to have sex in the house. Just make sure you clean up after yourself.
• Do you have any friends with cool parents (or parents who are often out of the house) who might let you use their place from time to time?
• Does one of you have a car that you can have sex in, or can you borrow one? (Having sex in public is illegal, of course, but you may be able to find a secluded enough area. Attempt at your own risk!)
• Keeping the above warning in mind: there are other public places that are pseudo-private and might work. I once had sex inside a playground tube at night, for example. Just make sure you keep a lookout, and bring condoms!
• If your parents are cool with you closing the door but you don’t want them to know you’re having sex, you can get creative to make sure they don’t hear you. It can be hot to have to remain totally silent, like you’re keeping a sexy secret together. And it can be fun to explore the terrain of your bedroom to find the quietest possible surface to bang on. (I used to have a super squeaky bed so my partner and I always had to have sex on the floor to minimize noise!) Additionally, you could try the age-old trick of blasting loud music to cover up your sex sounds, though that might arouse suspicion!
5. Listen to your body and your partner, not your expectations. This is the advice I wish someone had given me when I first became sexually active! Here are some examples of what I mean:
• If you’ve ever watched porn before, you might have the idea that someone who’s really enjoying themselves sexually will make a lot of noise. The truth is, not everyone is noisy in bed. Sexy sounds might develop over time, but don’t expect your partner (or yourself) to bust out loud moans and shrieks right off the bat. If you’re not sure if they’re enjoying themselves, ask them instead of relying on unreliable signals.
• If a particular sexual act doesn’t feel that great to you, but you feel like you’re “supposed to” enjoy it, don’t pretend to enjoy it! Instead, have a talk with your partner about what the two of you could try to make it more enjoyable. Lube? A different speed or rhythm? More foreplay? Harder or softer touch? And if you find that no adjustments can make you like a particular act, remember that you don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do. If a sex act makes you uncomfortable or just feels bad, you don’t have to do it.
• If you’re having sex with someone who has a vagina, remember that clitoral stimulation is required for the majority of those folks to have an orgasm. Vaginal stimulation alone won’t do it in most cases. It’s easy to add clit stimulation: you or your partner can use fingers, or you can incorporate a small vibrator (some drugstores sell ‘em alongside the condoms, if you want to give vibes a try – though don’t judge vibrators on those, because they’re not the best!).
• If your partner asks you whether or not you’re enjoying something they’re doing, try not to lie, even if the truth is kind of embarrassing. When you lie, you give your partner the wrong signals and you deny yourself the kind of sex you want, while also denying your partner the pleasure of making you feel good. Sexual honesty is important, and if you can get good at it early, you’ll be ahead of the game!
• If you’re feeling good and having fun, and your partner is too, then the sex you’re having is successful. Don’t worry too much about orgasms, duration, what sex is “supposed” to look or feel like, or any other peripheral concerns like that. Pleasure and fun should be your main goals; all the rest is extra.
• For more info on how real-life sex can be different from some people’s expectations, have a look through Make Love, Not Porn.
What do you wish someone had told you when you first became sexually active? Teens: what kind of information do you think people in your age group need more of, in order to have safe, fulfilling sex?
Glass toys are such a weird change from other materials when you haven’t used one before, or when (like me) it’s been a while since you’ve used one. They can feel unyielding and uncomfortable, like they’re infiltrating your insides instead of gently slipping into you.
I had that experience with the Icicles no. 6 initially: it awkwardly pressed my NuvaRing into my vaginal wall, bumped my cervix constantly, and generally felt like a bit of an assault.
However, then I had the bright idea to get turned on first. I had forgotten how important this is when using glass toys, or any other kind of super-firm toy. Especially for those of us who, like me, have a somewhat weak-hearted vagina.
This dildo is suuuper long – 7 inches, in fact. Part of that is because it’s harness-compatible and has smartly factored in the inch you often lose when you put a dildo in a harness. But if you’re not using it that way, it can seem intimidatingly long. I can only fit about two-thirds of it inside my short-ish vagina; even at maximum arousal, I can only get it in up to the first ring, so my vag doesn’t get the benefit of that particular texture.
I do get to feel the little nubs, though, and they are fun. In fact, they’re the reason I requested this dildo from Sensual Intelligence: I had never tried a glass toy with that texture before. The modest 1.4” diameter of this dildo makes the nubs a subtle sensation, not an overpowering one. They just provide a little bit of scritchy friction against my vaginal walls that is surprisingly lovely.
The dildo’s head is flared a little bit, as any good dildo’s head should be, if you ask me. It’s too narrow to stimulate my G-spot with any intensity, but if I angle it just right, it can get all up in my A-spot like a champ. Y’all know that I basically live for A-spot stimulation, and this dildo manages to provide it while also gently stroking my walls with its nubblies, so it gets a big gold star from me in terms of sensation (provided I can keep it from bumping into my cervix, which takes a little practice).
Some people have reported that the paint on Icicles toys tends to flake off. The Icicles line is made by Pipedream, a company known for its shitty toys – so yeah, I wouldn’t be surprised if paint was coming off in people’s orifices. Personally I haven’t noticed that with this toy, but I can see that the pink parts are painted on the surface (messily, too!) rather than being embedded in the toy like they ought to be, so I am a little concerned. If you want an Icicles toy without the risk of paint problems, try their clear rippled dildo.
While the Icicles no. 6 obviously isn’t perfect (nothing by Pipedream is), it has produced some pretty intense orgasms for me because of its A-spot access and firm feeling. Just make sure you warm up before you use it!
Thanks, Sensual Intelligence!
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I felt pretty starstruck when I saw Rachel Kramer Bussel at the Feminist Porn Conference, because I’ve been reading her erotica anthologies for years and I’ve determined that we are more-or-less sexually in sync – at least, if her story selections are anything to go by. We dig the same sexual acts, the same turns of phrase. So I always gravitate toward RKB over any other anthology editor, because I know I can count on her to deliver something that’ll turn me on. Serving Him is indeed edited by RKB, but I don’t feel quite the same about it as I feel about some of her other works.
I judge erotica anthologies by how many stories bore me versus how many make me put my hand in my panties, and this book has a medium score on that scale. As the title suggests, it’s full of juicy short stories about dominant men and submissive women (yes, this is a hetero-oriented tome).
Some favorite stories of mine include Lori Selke’s “What You Deserve,” which features fancy food and spanking; Maxine Marsh’s “Tackling Jessica,” in which a football move becomes a fantasy; and J. Sinclaire’s “Duo,” a delightfully smutty MMF three-way.
Some stories in this book contain elements that drain the arousal right out of me – breath-play, humiliation, and dubious consent, for example. While there are obviously folks for whom these things are the height of hotness, it actually made me somewhat anxious to read about them. The Tumblr social justice community has embraced “trigger warnings” wholeheartedly, and I’m wondering if it’s time for kinky/edgy erotica anthologies to do the same thing – sort of in the same vein as how Yes Means Yes uses themed keywords to help you decide which chapters you want to read and which you want to skip.
I also found there were some stories which focused overwhelmingly on the psychological aspects of Dom/sub dynamics, with very little actual smut. This, again, is something that doesn’t hit the spot for me, but may be perfect for folks who find the non-bedroom parts of D/s relationships just as exciting as the actual sexual encounters. To each their own, right?
I should note that I like Dom/sub scenarios, contrary to what this review might indicate. But I guess I only like ‘em when they’re focused on sex and maybe a little spanking – the other stuff is peripheral or antithetical to my personal sexuality, while it might be central to others’.
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For those who don’t know what a “pack ‘n’ play” is, let me bring you up to speed: it’s a (usually realistic) dildo that’s flexible enough to be “packed” (worn under clothes, in a harness) but still firm enough that it can be used for “play” (i.e. fucking) as necessary. They’re great for trans guys seeking to deal with dysphoria, so I hear, but they’re also ideal for anyone of any gender who plans on engaging in strap-on play and wants to have their cock at the ready – maybe after a dinner date or something. They’re really quite an ingenious invention.
At least, in theory. This Tantus pack ‘n’ play works wonderfully for play but leaves something to be desired in the packing department. It’s squishy, yeah, but not so much that you can wear it under close-fitting pants without looking like you have a boner. If that’s the look you’re going for, more power to you, but it’s far from discreet.
The squishiness is perfection and I dearly hope Tantus will come out with more toys that have this VixSkin-like flexibility. It’s much more comfortable than their O2 formulation, if you ask me, but it’s still got enough firmness that it doesn’t feel wimpy in my vag.
This toy is a total A-spot champ, which is great for me because I’m obsessed with A-spot stimulation. It has the holy duality of oh-fuck-yes A-spot power: long enough to reach the spot (6.5” insertable) and soft enough to avoid upsetting my cervix when inserted all the way.
This is actually the first toy that’s caused me to notice the hyper-lubricating effect described by the A-spot’s discoverer, Dr. Chua Chee Ann: the Pack ‘n’ Play #1 always seems to be dripping with lady-come when I’m done using it. (Uh, is that TMI?) Sometimes I look at it and I’m like, “What the fuck?!” but I guess that means the toy is doing its job.
Initial insertion is always a bit painful with this toy. Its widest diameter is 1.75” and that happens fairly soon in the insertion process, right where the head meets the shaft. Tiny-vagina’ed folks, beware!
However, that swollen head, once inserted, presses super-snugly against my G-spot, so it’s worth the small amount of pain involved.
The toy’s base is chunky and easy to grab onto and thrust with. I have done some seriously crazy thrusting while using this bad boy, because that’s the kind of action my A-spot craves when I’m getting close to coming, and it has yet to slip out of my grasp at any point. Yay.
If you are intrigued by the shape of this toy but you want something firmer, the Vamp is just about identical except that it’s made of straight-up silicone, not dual-density, and is a paler color (because it’s meant to be a vampire dick, duh). The Vamp I have is older, so it has a shorter and narrower shaft than the Pack ‘n’ Play, but it’s since been updated, so if you order a Vamp now, it’ll be the exact same size and shape as the toy I’m reviewing.
One issue with dual-density silicone that kind of sucks: the bottom of the base inexplicably starts to dome outward after some time. (I’m using the word “inexplicable” because that’s how it feels to me, although I’m sure there is some sciencey explanation for it.) This means that my Pack ‘n’ Play acts like a bobblehead: if I nudge it while it’s standing up, it sways back and forth but doesn’t quite fall over. If my other dual-density dildos are any indication, this problem will get worse as time goes on, until eventually the dildo can’t stand up on its own at all. That won’t matter to most folks, though.
My A-spot is smitten with the Pack ‘n’ Play #1, even though it doesn’t perform very well as a packer and doesn’t do much for any other part of my vagina. Ah well; sometimes you fall in love with a toy for one very specific usage and turn a blind eye to its other issues. For the average consumer, though, I’d recommend the Tsunami instead: despite its strange appearance, it’s actually a far more versatile toy than the Pack ‘n’ Play.
Thank you so much to Tantus for sending me this toy! Did you know that you can get ANY and EVERY Tantus toy for 30% off this month with the code THEDIRTY30? That same code will also get you free shipping within the U.S. if you spend $75 or more! Consider picking up some of my favorite Tantus items: the Cush O2, Adam O2, Acute, Echo, or Tsunami!
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Happy Halloween, nerds!!!
The Vixen Creations Leo is undeniably one of my favorite dildos ever – and not just because mine happens to be a limited-edition “Batcock.” No, this would be a marvelous dildo even if it wasn’t bright orange and emblazoned with spooky flying bats. (Although, come on, that is pretty cool.)
Leo is the perfect size for my vag. It’s 1 1/2” wide at the bulge of the head and a teensy bit narrower through the shaft, and it’s 7” long. Stunning. Stellar. Fabulous. Flawless.
Its head is only slightly defined, but there is a wrinkly faux-foreskin where the head meets the shaft that is really the crowning glory of Leo. When I describe the texture, it might not sound great – it’s slightly scratchy, a little bit rough – but it is harmless and actually weirdly pleasurable. You need lube, of course, but Leo’s foreskin produces a texture-fuelled feeling unlike any other dildo I own, and that’s pretty nifty.
Vixen’s regular silicone may not be quite as terrific as their well-loved VixSkin material, but it’s pretty damn good as far as silicone formulations go. It’s the perfect meeting point between squishy and firm. (I’m using the word “perfect” a lot in this review, have you noticed? Damn…)
I like to use Leo as a warm-up dildo when I’m planning on transitioning to something huge – but it’s obviously excellent in its own right. When I have my monthly craving for realistic dildos, Leo is always included in that desire, because its shape and size are just simply the epitome of an ideal cock.
Fun facts about Leo:
1. If you’ve ever seen a porn scene starring Roger Wood, you’ve probably seen the Leo. He’s used it in every scene I’ve seen him in, and it seems to perform astonishingly well in a strap-on.
2. It shares a name with Harry Connick Jr.’s character on Will & Grace, so if you’ve ever had a crush on that dude, you can go to town with fantasies while using this toy. (Do you like my extremely dated TV reference? I spend too much time watching old DVD box sets, evidently.)
3. MINE HAS BATS ON IT. BATS! But also, you can get it in purple or black these days, and Vixen’s silicone has a kind of sparkly/twinkly quality to it, so those colors are gorgeous, not boring. Pinky-swear.
In conclusion: buy a Leo. It will make your orifice(s) happy.
This review wasn’t sponsored by anyone, I just thought you should have something nice and spooky to read on Halloween. Kisses!
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I am a notoriously deep sleeper. I have been known to deactivate alarm clocks in my sleep and then wake up hours later saying, “What the hell? Why didn’t my alarm clock wake me up?!” I have missed many a morning class because the quality of my sleep is akin to that of a hibernating bear.
So I was intrigued by the Wake-Up Vibe, though admittedly skeptical. If loud radio announcers or blaring calypso music couldn’t get me up-and-at-‘em, how could vibration do it?
The Wake-Up Vibe is made of ABS plastic covered in soft, smooth silicone. It has a little display which shows the time and allows you to set the alarm. There are five buttons: left, right, up, down, and middle. It’s not immediately obvious how to go about setting the clock, setting the alarm, and turning the vibe on, but the accompanying instruction booklet explains all this stuff very clearly, so read it and you’ll be good.
It comes with a black storage bag which leaves little black smudges on the toy’s surface (you can sort of see this in the photo above). I don’t know why it does this; it shouldn’t, if it’s real silicone, so maybe it isn’t. It also comes with a cute pink sleep-mask and several international adaptors for its charger.
The vibe is shaped in a gentle curve that matches the shape of my mons, coming to a halt in a little ball that is meant to rest on the clit. (You can also position the vibe so that the tip is against your vaginal opening, if that’s more your style.) It stays in place very well all night long if I’m wearing underwear, but it’s totally impossible to wear this vibe without panties or some other close-fitting lower-body garment. I sort of wish there was another way, since I prefer to sleep naked or at least bottomless, but any other way would probably involve all-night vaginal penetration, which wouldn’t be ideal either.
You can set the vibe to start at a low speed and work its way up, thereby waking you up gently and slowly. You can also increase the minimum speed so it’ll start stronger, waking you up with more of a jolt (which I need). It has several patterns – pulses, waves, etc. – so you can pick the one that works best for you. While I’m normally not a fan of vibration patterns, I do find them more effective than straight vibration for shocking me out of a deep sleep. Nothin’ like sudden quick pulses right on your clit to rouse you from slumber.
And rouse me, it does. Sometimes I have some kind of sexual mini-dream just before waking as a result of the vibrations, something weird like Jim Parsons tapping a pen against my clit or my best friend inexplicably going down on me. But then I’m awakened.
The Wake-Up Vibe doesn’t turn me on. I don’t wake up with a ladyboner, even when I’ve had one of those illicit dreamlets. I just feel shocked out of sleep, adrenaline-flooded, just like when your alarm clock suddenly starts blaring pop music at precisely 7:00 AM.
You can also use the Wake-Up Vibe as a regular vibrator, though I don’t see why you would want to. It’s an awkward shape to hold onto with your hand, and the vibrations are buzzy and passable but not especially satisfying. I have tried in vain to get off with this thing and it has not happened – but, to be fair, that isn’t necessarily its goal. If this toy did turn me on in the morning, which it doesn’t, I’d just shut it off and reach for another vibe to finish the job.
I don’t think the Wake-Up Vibe is ideal for someone who needs to get up at a specific time; there’s too much risk that you’ll stay asleep, or that you won’t wake up until the vibrations ramp up to their maximum strength. This is really a better choice for those days when you can sleep in and want to be awakened sweetly, slowly, gently. And if you’re expecting to have an orgasm just as you open your eyes to greet the day, well, look elsewhere, ‘cause this vibe can’t finish what it starts.
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I’ve written about my sex toy storage situation before, but that was over a year ago and a lot has changed. My collection has grown significantly bigger, to the point that I had to pick up an additional small set of drawers at Ikea to keep it all in.
I will warn you right now that these pictures are MESSY. I have no discipline for neatness! But at least the system is functional: I can always find what I’m looking for.
This is the top drawer of my plastic set of drawers. It contains favorites that I reach for often: my Patchy Paul, Lelo Siri, VixSkin Mustang, NobEssence Fling, Pure Wand, Acute, and a few others. The Sqweel is in there, not because I use it a ton, but because when I’m craving it, I want it immediately.
This next drawer is chaotic as hell. It contains all my Kegel toys and anal toys, plus lube samples, bullet vibes, and a huge amount of toy-cleaning wipes left over from the days when I used to receive stuff from an unethical sex shop that shall not be named.
Some of the few toys you can actually see in this photo: the Magic Banana, small Ripple, Eclipse balls, and Icicles no. 26. You’ll notice that most of the silicone ones are wrapped in plastic bags – that’s to prevent them from gathering lint.
The next drawer is a large one, so I use it for one of the most well-represented categories in my sex toy collection: silicone dildos. On top, you can see the Maverick, Curve, Raquel, Leoweenie, and El Diablo. There are several more layers of dildos beneath those.
Again, I mostly keep these wrapped in plastic bags to prevent lint from getting all over them (and to keep the lower-quality ones from potentially melting into each other). I keep some of my VixSkin toys in their original plastic tubes, because they’re kind of cool, but it’s not the most practical solution because of how much space it takes up.
The bottom drawer of my plastic set isn’t pictured, because it’s currently jammed and won’t open up all the way (?), but incase you were wondering, it contains condoms, porn DVDs, and some naked Instax photos of my friends and I.
Over to the metal set of drawers. The top one is for vibrators I don’t use very often, if at all. You can see the Stronic Eins (which should probably be upgraded to my “favorites” drawer, honestly), LayaSpot, Personal Pleasurizer, Ocean, Turbo Glider, and Iconic Rabbit. There are also lots of Lelo vibes in there that are in their storage bags, like the Gigi, Gigi 2, and Lyla 2.
The next drawer is for dildos made of unusual (i.e. non-silicone) materials. For example, I’ve got the glass Amethyst and Large Smiley, some wood toys by Knotty Wood Arts, the aluminum Revolve, the ceramic Pleasure, and the stainless steel Fun Wand. These are all toys that I don’t use very often, but it’s nice to pull them out every once in a while.
The next drawer is supposed to be for harnesses and anything else I might need for strap-on play. In this photo, all that’s in there is my RodeoH harness and the paraphernalia that came with it, but soon I’ll be keeping my new Bend Over Beginner kit in there too. (I also have a dream that one day I will own an Aslan Jaguar, but for now, no such luck!)
This drawer is for men’s toys (and a random We-Vibe charger?), the Fleshlight STU and VerSpanken. My boyfriend recently moved into a new living situation that’s got more privacy and storage space than where he used to live, so he’ll probably take these to his own place soon… Well, he’ll take the Fleshlight, anyway. I’m pretty sure he wishes I would just throw the VerSpanken in the garbage.
This drawer currently contains only my enema. I’m not sure yet what else should go in here. Any ideas? Leave ‘em in the comments!
The bottom drawer is reserved for massager-style vibes. You can see my antique 1960s vibrator as well as my Bodywand, Fairy Mini Wand, and Lelo Smart Wand. I also have a Hitachi, Wahl, and Eroscillator, but those are kept next to my bed.
How do you store your sex toys? Are they organized, or are they kind of all over the place? Do you have any suggestions for how I can improve or change my system?
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I’ve wanted to read The Whole Lesbian Sex Book ever since a friend of mine brought a copy to an LGBT conference we attended in high school and the two of us pored over new-to-us information about different types of orgasms and different ways to achieve them. I was over the moon when Cleis Press offered me my choice of books to review, because I’ve always loved their smart, sexy, informative tomes. The Whole Lesbian Sex Book was first on my list.
Let it be said, first off, that I’m not a lesbian. I’m a bisexual, I’m in a long-term relationship with a cis guy, and I have passing-for-straight privilege for sure. Although my perspective might be different from the average reader of this book, there’s still a lot I can learn and have learned from it – and indeed, I think this would be a great read for anyone who has sex with women, is a woman, is interested in female sexuality, or some combination thereof. This isn’t so much a book about lesbian sex as it is a book about having sex with women or as a woman or both.
And let me tell you, it does a wonderful job of that. This is a huge departure from male-written or male-oriented sex guides. Emphasis is placed on things that matter to women: the clitoris is regarded as the centre of our sexuality, non-orgasmic sex is presented as every bit as viable and valid as orgasmic sex, and the emotional and psychological barriers to good sex are discussed in depth, just to name a few examples of how wonderfully woman-oriented this book is. (That’s not to say these things aren’t also important to men – just that they are traditionally excluded from male-directed sex education resources.)
Felice Newman is a fabulous writer: non-judgmental, caring, and obviously passionate about women’s sexuality. I love that she rarely uses words like “normal” – her book normalizes a whole host of healthy sexual behaviors that people often feel unfounded guilt about. That’s exactly what a sex-positive guide should do.
Some of the chapters in this book offer practical advice on sexual techniques – “Breast Play,” “Clitoral Play,” “Vaginal Penetration,” et cetera. Some of them cover more abstract or complex topics – “Desire and Fantasy,” “Communication and Finding Sex Partners,” “Gender (Not Destiny),” and so on. In every chapter, you’ll find information that would be useful to sexual novices (“Many women enjoy clitoral stimulation combined with vaginal or anal penetration”) as well as information that will interest a more advanced reader.
Newman’s writing is interspersed with quotes from real queer women who responded to her surveys. These, too, have a normalizing effect: it’s fun and validating to see that one’s own experiences, even the weirder ones, have been shared by other women.
I was surprised to note that the book is pretty inclusive of trans people – both trans men and trans women. There is an entire chapter about gender but trans-relevant information is also sprinkled throughout. The lesbian feminist community has sometimes been known to exclude trans folks from their discourse, but this book is on the ball about that stuff, providing info about what kind of stimulation might work for different types of bodies and what the partners of trans people ought to know about how to have sex in a way that respects and pleasures their partners.
Likewise, the book also welcomes with open arms people with disabilities and queer women who have sex with men. I always love when lesbian sex resources acknowledge that some queer women have sex with men, because different considerations need to be taken into account for those women and it can suck to feel excluded because of who you have sex with.
Overall I’m really thrilled with The Whole Lesbian Sex Book. It’s one of the most exhaustive sex guides I’ve ever read (second only, perhaps, to The Guide to Getting It On, which is comparatively very heteronormative). If you like sex with ladies, or you’re a lady who likes sex, or you want to better understand lady-sex, this is undoubtedly the book for you.
Thank you so much to Cleis Press for the book!
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I have never been fisted. I have never fisted anyone. But this T-shirt was just too awesome to pass up.
International Fisting Day, if you don’t know, is an annual day created by Courtney Trouble and Jiz Lee. It not only celebrates fisting but also rebels against the laws that consider fisting in porn “obscene.” It’s an all-around fantastic cause, even if you yourself have no interest in fisting being a part of your personal sexuality.
The design on this shirt is by Nomy Lamm. It features a bluish fist penetrating a pink and red heart-shaped orifice. The text is pretty big and obvious, so I’m not sure where I’ll be able to wear this shirt, other than maybe a sex blogger meet-up or a Crush Party – but I’d still feel proud to own this tee even if I could only wear it to sleep in.
The shirt comes in lots of different colors, fits, and styles. I ordered the “girly fit” in heather grey. The design is printed on American Apparel tees, which I find are pretty true-to-size. (Mine, pictured above, is a ladies’ large.) Among other types of clothing, it’s available in a super cute “baseball tee” style which looks great on Courtney Trouble!
As with all the AA shirts I’ve ever owned, this one is soft and flattering. The sleeves come down to the middle of my upper arm and don’t squeeze my chubby biceps. I might cut off the neck because I tend to do that with T-shirts (high round necks just don’t do it for me) but most normal people will like it just fine.
International Fisting Day is coming up on the 21st, but if you buy a shirt now, you’ll be able to commemorate your love of fisting forever!
I was not compensated in any way for writing this post. I just wanted to spread the word about Fisting Day.
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The Tantus Curve is the general practitioner of dildos. It can fulfill your most basic of dildo needs, halfway and perfunctorily, but if you have a specific wish you want a dildo to grant, you’ll probably need a referral to a specialist.
Want G-spot stimulation that’ll make your knees quiver? Check out the Adam O2 or Acute. Want to give your A-spot a good strokin’? Try the Tsunami. Craving a ton of texture? The Splash and Charmer have got you covered.
The Curve can meet all of these needs; it just doesn’t do any of them all that well. It might be a good choice for you if you use your dildos a lot of different ways but don’t have the cash to buy a different one for each purpose – but if that doesn’t describe you, you’re probably better off spending your money on a different dildo.
The Curve is average-sized: 6” long and 1 3/8” in diameter. The tapered tip makes it easy and comfortable to insert. It’s an ideal size for a warm-up dildo and would also make a great pegging tool for someone who can handle its moderate girth.
It reminds me of a dragon or dinosaur dick. This is probably the closest thing I’ll ever own to a Bad Dragon dildo. While its appearance makes it usable for some kind of medieval-creature fantasy, once it’s inside my vagina, it just feels like a regular ol’ human-cock dildo.
The Curve’s base is sturdy, thick, and wide – ideal for harnesses or anal play. The base comes to a soft triangular peak in the front, for which I discovered a cool use: if I hold my Hitachi against the bottom and smush the triangle into my clit, I can get off from the conducted vibrations. This is technically doable with most dildos, yes, but the triangle peak seems to focus the vibrations onto my clit better than a classic round base.
The gentle ripples along the shaft aren’t really noticeable for me when they’re inside me. However, the coronal ridge under the head of the dildo is a little more major, and feels good on my G-spot. It isn’t amazing, though. This is not a crazy intense G-spot dildo by any means. Even Tantus’ own Acute does a better job of that.
So the Curve doesn’t knock my socks off. That’s okay. It’s still a solid, basic dildo that I think will meet a lot of people’s needs, even if it didn’t impress me much.
Thank you, Tantus, for sending me this toy!
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