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2016 was a big year for this here blog: my traffic doubled, my website now brings in more than one-third of my income, and I published my 500th post earlier this week! Of course, none of this would’ve been possible without people to read my writing, so: thank you. Thank you for sticking with me, thank you for “getting” what I do, thank you for supporting me financially and tweeting at me and leaving me sweet comments. Every day that I get to write for you is a good day!

On that note: here are my 11 favorite blog posts I wrote this year. I’d love to hear which posts were your faves, too!

In January, I wrote No Moment Is Unendurable and Other Life Lessons I Learned From Getting Spanked. It was perhaps the first time I seriously delved into the intersections between kink and mental health, which was a major theme of my work this year. The article is about how getting spanked, in an almost Zen-like way, taught me that pain is not inherently bad, and that enduring it is not only possible but makes me feel like a badass. That’s a lesson I’ve taken with me into all sorts of scary or painful situations: new jobs, new projects, break-ups, rejections, and plain ol’ bad depression days. This is the kind of shit I mean when I say that sex is holistic and informs many different aspects of our lives!

In February I had what I can only refer to as a “blowjob epiphany”: I started liking BJs after feeling lukewarm-at-best about them until then. I wrote about it in a piece called A Dick Worth Sucking, in which I outlined the qualities that do, indeed, make a dick worth sucking. Shortly after writing this post, I was invited to perform in a sexy story slam at Oasis Aqualounge, and I read this piece aloud – to lots of laughs and jeers of approval from the audience, natch.

Later that month, I lost my “butt virginity,” and wrote about the experience in a post titled How to Have Anal Sex for the First Time (If You Are Me). Initially I wasn’t sure if writing it in the second person would work, but I loved the idea of it: I wanted it to induce the same giddy nervousness in the reader that I felt when it was actually happening to me. Sometimes I get cringe-y when I try to write straight-up sex stories from my life, because it’s vulnerable and difficult work, but I think in this case the result was worth all that cringing.

In May, I wrote about one of the highlights of my year, in a post called I Met My Sex-Positive Hero (And We Kissed). It chronicled the backstory of why I desperately wanted to meet Kidder Kaper – my childhood obsession with his podcast, the sex-positive revelations he wrought on my life – and then the eventful drama of actually meeting him: fervent Google searches, friends-of-friends connecting us, and a jitter-jumpy walk to that Minneapolis café. It was quite an adventure, and I’m glad I wrote about it while it was fresh in my mind!

Mid-year, I received a diagnosis of bipolar affective disorder (type II), and wrote about it in a post called I’m an Obsessive, Intense Weirdo and I Wouldn’t Trade It For Anything. It felt good to “come out” about a part of me I’d tried to keep hidden for so long: my utter and complete lack of “chill.” Getting that diagnosis helped me understand myself and my moods and behaviors a lot better, so I felt it was important to share with my readers as well.

In June I was sent a pair of butt plug shoes from Ainsley-T, and I wrote about it in a post called I Stuck a Shoe In My Ass So You Don’t Have To (Unless You Really, Really Want To). In some ways, it felt like a return to my roots: when I first started my blog, I was heavily inspired by Epiphora and her snarky sex toy reviews, and I longed to write reviews as hilarious and dramatic as hers. This post was an opportunity to write a “review” that felt more like a funny anecdote shared over drinks with friends, a style that turns my crank more now than writing straight-up-and-down product reviews.

Maybe my favorite post of the year was I’m a Good Girl, a series of vignettes about formative moments in my relationship with the phrase “good girl.” This was a prescient piece, given that I got that phrase tattooed on me mere months later. A lot of people wrote to me to say that this piece resonated with them or even made them cry, and that response gave me the confidence to write more personal pieces along those lines later in the year.

Reprising the topic of kink and mental health, in July I wrote Meditation, Mindfulness, and My Slutty Mouth, a piece about how blowjobs can be a meditative and calming act for me when anxiety and depression are kicking my ass. I’d never really heard anyone talk about this before, so I felt it was important to write – and, indeed, a lot of people wrote to me to say that they’d experienced similar “flow states” from performing oral sex and had never had the terminology for it before. Isn’t sex fascinating?!

One of my most-shared posts of the year was 5 Awkward But Effective Ways I’ve Initiated Sex. I think it resonated with folks because everyone wants to be a smooth operator but most people just aren’t that confident in their desirability and their “game.” I’m always trying to model an approach to sex that is fun, low-pressure, and adorably dorky, since I think most of our media models of sexuality are unachievably smooth and polished. It’s okay to be an awkward bunny in bed!

In late August, I received a firm-‘n’-final rejection from someone I’d had a crush on forever. I spent a week in bed crying and then I wrote The Quick-Start Guide to Getting Over Someone. Like I say in the post, it’s not an authoritative or exhaustive list of instructions; it’s just the strategies that have worked for me. And indeed, they did work. I’m still squeegeeing emotional detritus off the dirty windshield that is my heart, but at least it’s no longer agonizing. At least now I can look at him without wanting to cry. At least now I can get out of bed. That’s small, but it’s also big, you know?

My most popular post of the whole year was “Every Feminist’s Ideal Boyfriend…” It began as a response to an angry blog post about me which claimed that feminist women are more into Hitachi Magic Wands than men. I sought to prove that the two are not mutually exclusive, by sharing stories of times I’ve used vibrators with partners to spectacular effect. This piece got shared so widely that I even received some hate mail about it, which is how you know you’re doing evocative work!

What were your favorite pieces on my blog this year? How about your favorite posts on other blogs?

It’s December, and that means 12 Days of Girly Juice kicks off today! It’s my annual year-end series where I compile the best of the best from my whole year: everything from selfies to tweets to sexual encounters. Today we’re focusing on femme stuff – my favorite things that made me feel feminine, fancy and fiiine the whole year long.

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Hair

Bobby pins. There are some tragically unsung heroes of the beauty world – a really great hairbrush, a black eyeliner that is truly black, an eyeshadow blending brush that just works – and bobby pins are one of them. This year I used them for three primary purposes: to set my hair in pincurls (after creating the curls with a turquoise NuMe curling iron), to erect the front part of my hair in a triumphant pomp, and to pin bandanas into place so I could rock those rockabilly vibes all day long. I always carry bobby pins in my purse – they’re equally great if you need to pick a lock, scrub ash out of your bong’s bowl (#StonerLyfe!), or pin your bangs out of your face for an impromptu BJ. Soooo useful!

DevaCurl Ultra Defining Gel. This is the good shit. I have so much hair-admiration for my curly-headed sex blogger friends – Epiphora, Suz, and Hedonish, to name a few – but my own curls have always been hit-or-miss, because taking care of curly hair is so much work. However, this year I found a routine that works for me and creates excellent curls when that’s what I want to do. After washing and conditioning my hair, I use a cotton T-shirt to “scrunch” the excess moisture out of it, and then I flip my head over and scrunch in a few dollops of DevaCurl gel. Once that’s done, I cram my gestating curls into a Turbie Twist to help them dry even more. After at least an hour of turban’ed time, my hair’s ready to be taken out and air-dried – at which point, it becomes gloriously curly. DevaCurl’s products are brilliant, and the Ultra Defining Gel, in particular, rocks my world. I can go multiple days without needing to re-set my curls because this stuff keeps ’em in place for so long. YESSS!

Bandanas. I have always loved the rockabilly look – I gorged my eyes on SuicideGirls and old Bettie Page photos from practically the moment I discovered the internet – and I’ve attempted to replicate it to varying degrees of success over the years. In mid-2016 I briefly dated someone who loved that look, so I’d sometimes dress up as his good little Rosie the Riveting, complete with bandana, winged eyeliner, and red lipstick. I adore that aesthetic so much that it endured in my life even after that relationship ended. I especially love the delicious subversion of “queering” this classic 1950s look by choosing my bandana colors according to the hanky code.

img_5218Cosmetics

LORAC Pro palette. I am an extravagant femme, and therefore, I own an excess of eyeshadow palettes. There are many I love for their outlandishness or uniqueness – the Sugarpill Sweetheart palette, for example, or the Wet ‘n’ Wild Petal Pusher palette – but LORAC Pro is my favorite and most-used one, by a longshot. With its eight glitter shadows and eight mattes, all brilliantly pigmented and wonderfully blendable, it’s simply the most versatile bunch of neutrals I’ve ever owned. Whether I’m doing an everyday look or going all-out glamour-femme, I’m likely to reach for my LORAC Pro palette.

img_5216“Sleepy Sloan.” This is the name Tynan gave to the essential oil blend she custom-made for me, even though its effects don’t have anything to do with sleep; it’s just a cute name. I still adore this fragrance as much as I did when she first blended it for me. There’s a drop of it on the collar of my shirt or dress most days I go out, because it comforts and uplifts me.

Revlon lipstick in “Fire & Ice.” I didn’t think much of this lipstick when I first bought it. It’s a classic red that leans slightly orange, which has traditionally not been my jam; I’m more of a blue-based-reds girl. But this color has really grown on me: it’s punchy, saucy, and assertive, just like me on my best and boldest days. Slicking my lips in Fire & Ice gives me an easy confidence, a high-femme swagger. A tube costs about $8 at any drugstore, an admirable value for such a potent mood-booster.

img_5220Bourjois Rouge Edition liquid lipstick in “Pink Pong.” My other lipstick favorite in 2016 was, naturally, a bright pink. As a diehard devotee of pink lipsticks, I have lots of favorites – Bite’s “Violet,” NARS’ “Schiap,” and Revlon’s “Smitten,” to name a few – but this cool-toned, velvety pink really stole my heart this year. It’s not as long-lasting as some other liquid lipsticks I’ve tried, but it’s not as drying, either. If you’re looking for a hot pink that’ll light up your face and make your femme heart sing, this is one I’d recommend.

Clothes & Accessories

Aslan Leather collars. I have two: a pink one Bex bought me for my birthday and a black one I bought myself. I love them both. They’re comfy, good-lookin’, and they signal a bit o’ kink without being too over-the-top to wear in public. Oh, Aslan, why are you so good to us?

img_5221My hot pink Kate Spade purse. The model is the New Bond Street Florence. I bought it on a deep discount back in early 2014, but at that time, it felt almost too brashly femme for me; I was shyer then, and less willing to dress in a way that would command attention. But this year, I really “grew into” my gloriously pink handbag. It’s also conveniently big enough for my beloved MacBook Air, so I tote this bag on work-dates, weekend getaways, and airplanes. It makes me feel equal parts businesslady and fancy femme, and really, what more can you ask for?

MeUndies. I’ve enthused at you about these brilliant underthings before; I won’t repeat myself too much. Suffice it to say: it feels almost sinfully gratifying to swathe one’s genitals in lush, comfy fabric that’s covered in ghosts, donuts, dinosaurs, or little dancing dudes. All underwear should be this adorbz and well-made.

img_4819My new glasses. Before 2016, it had been a couple years since I’d gotten new glasses with my current prescription, and it was time. I’ve been trying to be braver and more authentically “me” lately, instead of always reverting to the shy, compliant little girl I’ve been forever, so I opted for some bold-as-hell frames when I bought new glasses this year. One pair is blue, one is black, and they’re both huge and distinctive. I feel like a hot nerdy bosslady when I wear them, which means I’ve been wearing glasses more often instead of just busting ’em out when I really need them. Hooray!

9279227874_ddd0ab3a62_kFrye harness boots. Mine are the 12R style in black, and I bought ’em back in January 2013. Since then, they’ve become my footwear of choice for so many different occasions: parties, dances, loungin’, adventurin’, performing at porn galas… Whatever my schedule calls for, really! This year I wore them in MaltaRomeMinneapolis, Chicago, and Alexandria, among other places. These boots are such a signature part of my aesthetic that Caitlin said they felt like they were cosplaying as me when they wore a floral-print dress and boots. Here’s to plenty more exciting exploits in 2017 and plenty more stompin’ around in these durable, glamorous boots!

What were your favorite beauty and fashion items in 2016?

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I was very smitten with November. After coming back from a two-week stint overseas, I felt even more in love with my hometown of Toronto than I normally do – not to mention, extra appreciative of the friends I had left behind here. I spent a lot of this month laughing, talking, and/or having sex with people who are super important to me, and all of it felt cozy and affirming. ❤️ Here are some of the products, ideas, and experiences I loved most this month…

Sex toys

• Kenton from Funkit Toys sent me a prototype of his Signet, a textured ring meant to be worn on the fingers for added stimulation during handsex. I wore it out to some events and several people marveled at my “elegant” ring, which I found hilarious. I was excited to use it with my FWB, since he’s already one of the best fingerbangers I’ve ever encountered – and holy jeez, it was great. As soon as he started fucking me while wearing the Signet, my decibel level rapidly increased, such that he laughed and said, “Oh, you like that, huh?!” Indeed: the texture adds an intensity that makes fingerbanging – already a favorite act of mine – even more delicious. Go buy a Signet; you only have until December 9th to do so!

• I spent the first 8 days of the month in Europe with no sex toys at my disposal except the G-Spoon and Tango I’d impulsively decided to bring. When I’m at home, these are both “second-string” toys for me: I’ll reach for the G-Spoon if I’m not up to the task of accommodating the Double Trouble or Eleven‘s girth, or if I specifically want to fantasize about having my A-spot fingered, and I’ll grab the Tango if I want something more pinpoint than the Magic Wand or that I can take in the bath. But maaan, they sure did the trick. The easiest formula for getting me off is a rumbly clit vibe + an A-spot-focused dildo, and this combo totally wins by those criteria.

• I bought a Hole Punch Fluke in a gorgeous blue ombré colorway. My vagina is deeeeeply enamored. It’s moreso a vaginal plug than a dildo; I like keeping it inside me while I watch porn and hold a Magic Wand to my clit. It’s the laziest possible way to administer G-spot stimulation and I love it.

Fantasy fodder

• When I’m in the mood to watch a dominant lady boss people around and be mean to ’em – a rare craving for me, but a potent one when it does come up – my first choice is always Aiden Starr. She’s one of the best dirty-talkers in the biz and she follows through on her smack-talk. I like this clip of “mad scientist” Aiden studying Daisy Ducati’s ejaculations, and Aiden forcing an orgasm out of Sara Luvv with a clit pump and a wand vibe. Good gawd, lady’s got game.

• I mentioned this in my Double Trouble post, and probably repeatedly on Twitter, but I’m not over my usually-vanilla-but-sometimes-vaguely-dominant FWB telling me, “See what happens when you trust me?” after I took his advice to relax into pleasure and he made me come. He told me later that he keeps his dom-y dirty-talk infrequent, partly because it makes him nervous but partly because the effect is heightened if his quips are few and far between. Um, yup. Very yup.

Sexcetera

• Mid-month, I had some friends over for a get-together, and among them were my favorite fuckpal and a beautiful lady. The day before, Suz had dreamed we had a threesome, so it was on my mind… as was the fact that each of these people had independently told me they’d be down to threesome with the other one. I took them each aside to separately ask if they were feelin’ threesome-y, and they both said yes – so later that night, after my other guests had skedaddled, a magical threesome materialized in my bed. It involved marijuana, a double blowjob, fingerbanging, toy-ramming, ample use of the Magic Wand Rechargeable, and lots of giggly makeouts wherein me and Suz kept squealing “You’re so pretty!” at each other. Overall: fantastic.

• Remember earlier this month when I told you all about how weed makes sex better for me? Yeah, I really practiced what I preach this month. At one point, my FWB and I got super high and he did stuff to my nipples with his hands and mouth, and I actually felt like I was sailing out of my body and into the astral plane from the sheer ecstasy of it. “That was hot,” he told me afterward. Yes, it certainly was.

• Some of my work elsewhere this month: I enthused about temperature play and ranted about buying partners sex toys for Ignite. I have a column about the decline of PIV in the latest issue of This. And on our podcast, Bex and I talked about handsex, PIV, butt stuff, and sexting. (Are you subscribed to our show yet?!)

Femme stuff

• I wanted to buy something glamorous while in Italy (’cause “When in Rome”!), so I stopped into a Sephora and picked up Armani Rouge d’Armani lipstick in “Lucky Red.” It’s the exact kind of red I like best: classic, cool-toned, and creamy but not glossy. The magnetic-closure tube makes me feel like a futuristic megababe, and the shade itself is a hot pop of confidence. I loooove it.

• When I’m feeling sartorially uninspired, I like dressing with a particular character or occasion in mind. When I went to an Andy Shauf show this month, I dressed like a navel-gazing hipster so I’d fit in with his crowd. When depression made it hard for me to get out of bed on American Thanksgiving weekend, Bex sent me a picture of them in their fancy family dinner outfit and told me to wear what I’d wear if I was going to their dinner with them. Other recent “costumes” include “hot grown-up Wednesday Addams,” witchy goth babe, and “butch greaser.” Hey, whatever works.

• I’ve been wearing my hair very curly lately (see also, and also, and also). My hair is naturally wavy, but a little wizardry with DevaCurl gel and a Turbie Twist can kick it up to eleven. Having giant hair makes me feel powerful, and I dig it.

Little things

This guide to helping a partner who’s having an anxiety meltdown (potential suitors, take note!). Putting lipstick on my five-year-old cousin at her request. The extreme peacefulness of the Ġgantija ruins. Curvy-lady statuettes. Hazelnut gelato, tiramisu, and cacio e pepe. Artistic advice from people I respect. My friend Lilly’s post about the BlogSquad. My SAD lamp. Going clothes shopping with hot friends and gasping dramatically over how gorgeous they look. Dancing to the Elwins in a dim basement with a new friend. Crackin’ jokes with my ex in a blessedly not-awkward way. “I’d die if I saw you; I’d die if I didn’t see you there.” Friends who happily accept my introvert-y proclivities. Making sweet potato risotto while listening to The Adventure Zone. Meeting a guy with swoopy hair at a party and telling him he looked like a Pokémon villain. Intoxicated BJs. Getting sex toys in the mail (always). Touch the Skyrim. Laughin’ it up with Brent and a bunch of nerds at a Use Your Words playtest. Makin’ New Year’s Eve plans with some babes I adore. Telling stories at TMSG (ideally when the people the story’s about are sitting in the front row and giggling at me). Sleeping At Last’s Atlas: Year One and his new Christmas album. My FWB doing a spot-on impression of my sex noises for my amusement.

What were your fave sexy thingz this month, babes?

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Ah, Black Friday – the day of the year when I perennially snap up new clothes, shoes, makeup, and… sex toys. If you, too, are looking to drop some dough on some delicious pleasure items this weekend, I’ve got some recommendations for you!

SheVibe is one of my favorite online sex shops and is offering tiered discounts right now: use code KRINGLE10 for 10% off orders of $85 or more, KRINGLE15 for 15% off orders of $100 or more, or KRINGLE20 for 20% off orders of $125 or more. Shipping is also free for those in the U.S. when you use one of these codes!

My picks:

  • SheVibe carries a selection of Fucking Sculptures toys, which, as you probably know, I love. Using the code KRINGLE20, you can get a gorgeous gold G-Spoon for just $104, or my beloved Double Trouble for $136. Amazing!
  • NobEssence makes artisanal wooden toys that are beautiful and effective, but pricey. However, using the code KRINGLE20, right now you can get one of my favorite G-spot dildos, the thrillingly intense Seduction, for only $117.
  • Njoy toys are some of the most lusted-after in the biz, and for good reason. The code KRINGLE20 will get you the famously satisfying Eleven for just $240 right now, or you can use the code KRINGLE10 to get a Pure Wand for $90.

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My pals at Peepshow Toys are doing a tiered sale too: the code FIVEDAY15 gets you 15% off orders of $75 or more, FIVEDAY20 gets you 20% off orders of $100 or more, and FIVEDAY25 gets you 25% off orders of $150 or more.

My picks (click here for the full list):

  • Peepshow stocks a wide array of VixSkin toys – hyper-realistic dual-density silicone dildos that feel fantastic in use and are great for strap-on play. The Mustang is probably my all-time favorite realistic dildo and you can get it for $83 with code FIVEDAY15. If you’re a girth enthusiast comme moi, try the thick ‘n’ meaty Bandit, just $82 with code FIVEDAY20.
  • If you want a good, versatile, rumbly-as-hell vibrator for internal or external use, I’d recommend the L’Amourose Rosa ($119 with code FIVEDAY25) or L’Amourose Prism V ($84 with code FIVEDAY15). The motors in this company’s toys make my clit and G-spot very happy.
  • Been eying my favorite wand vibe, the Magic Wand Rechargeable? It’s currently just $100 with code FIVEDAY20. You’re welcome.

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Come As You Are is a wonderful, queer-and-trans-owned, co-operative Canadian sex shop that I highly recommend supporting. Everything’s currently 20% off at their shop with the code AMERICANTHANKSGIVING.

My picks (click here for the full list):

  • CAYA carries the new BJ Dildo, a harness-compatible silicone dildo that’s hollow in the middle and has a hole on each end, to enable the person wearing the dildo to actually feel the sensations if someone gives their strap-on a blowjob. Brilliant! This is only $80 CAD (about $59 USD) with code AMERICANTHANKSGIVING; I think I’ll be snapping one up, actually!
  • There’s a lot of Aslan Leather products at CAYA. Aslan is a local kink-‘n’-leatherwares company and I adore their stuff. You can use the code AMERICANTHANKSGIVING to get a dreamy Jaguar harness for $76 CAD (about $56 USD), a leather collar for $44 CAD (about $33 USD), or leather cuffs for $54 CAD (about $40 USD). I own all of these and they’re a leather-lovin’ kinkster’s wet dream. (Want my limited-edition pink Jaguar harness? With that same discount code, you can grab it for only $104 CAD/$77 USD.)
  • I just recently bought a Hole Punch Fluke and am loving it as a stationary vaginal plug for lazy masturbation. The code AMERICANTHANKSGIVING will get you one for only $68 CAD (about $50 USD).

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Crash Pad Series is offering 15% off memberships with code FEELTHELOVE right now. They make some of the hottest queer porn out there, and always in a way that’s ethical, feminist, and progressive. If supporting good porn is important to you, you should give your money to Crash Pad; they’ll give you entertainment and orgasms in return!

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I have dated and fucked more game developers than the average person. There are concrete reasons to bang game devs over other types of people, sure, but I think I’m just fundamentally, viscerally drawn to people who nerd out about games. I’m not much of a gamer myself, but show me a room full of dweeby video-game enthusiasts and I’ll show you a room where I will get my flirt on.

So, as you might imagine, games and sex integrate pretty frequently in my life. My game-dev ex once built us a game for Valentine’s Day that spun two wheels: one randomly selected a verb (lick, suck, spank, tease…) and one, a body part (ear, tongue, thighs, labia…) and you had to perform said act to said body part. It was somehow both sexy and hilarious. I also love the idea of dice-based spanking games, Truth or Dare as a sexy starter course for shy folks, and a long-distance kink partner telling me I have to do [X brave thing] before I earn [Y reward]. See? Games and sex are a fantastic combination.

My involvements with game devs have also taught me that it’s super fun to be involved in a game’s prototype/development stage. You get to offer feedback that potentially shapes the final game, and your very experience of having fun (or not having fun, as the case may be) is what the developer is watching out for. It’s like being in a goofy science experiment, only with more autonomy and agency.

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I’m telling you all this because I want you to know about Lovely, a smart new sex toy and app in its development stage. It’s not exactly a game, but the spirit of it is playful and it challenges you to get better, like a game does. Lovely is a vibrating cock ring meant to be worn during intercourse, and the accompanying app suggests personalized sex positions, stimulation techniques, and other saucy tune-ups. It looks like a real hoot!

What I love about sexy games is that they give me an “excuse” to do things I might otherwise be too shy or anxious to do, even with a trusted partner. It takes a lot of gumption to say, “Hey, how ’bout tonight we don’t do that thing we always do, and try this new thing instead?” Sex is hard to talk about, and anything that makes it easier is a good innovation in my books!

Lovely is currently in the process of recruiting couples to test their product and offer feedback on the app and the toy itself. The product will retail for $169, but tester couples can get it for $99. Their suggestions will be used to shape the way the app’s algorithms work, making it into a better and better product over time. Think of it like performing a philanthropic act for the future customers who’ll benefit from your feedback – only with way more orgasms than philanthropy usually involves!

You only have three more days to sign up to be a tester – so if you wanna get in the ground floor of this cool new couples’ toy, sign up quick!

 

Heads up, babes: this post was sponsored, but as always, all writing and opinions are my own!