Come Learn About Vulvas and Vaginas From Me!

Illustration of the internal clitoris from Dr. Laurie Mintz’s book Becoming Cliterate.

I’ve always loved teaching. A perpetual teacher’s pet, I used to help out other students in elementary school when they had questions about math curriculum, English texts, or the inner workings of the vagina (#SexNerdLyfe!). In high school, I was a “peer tutor” for a grade-10 history class and a grade-11 improv class, dutifully taking attendance, handing out worksheets, and answering kids’ questions. After I graduated, I coached my school’s improv team for a year, running scene drills and giving notes and cheering for those kids when they performed in improv competitions; the time I spent with that team is still, to this day, one of the proudest achievements of my life.

In recent years, I’ve befriended tons of sex educators – like my friends Bex, Taylor, and Sarah, to name a few – and started to think, “Hey, maybe I could do that too!” Whenever I see a pal wax poetic about blowjobs or kink or Tinder in front of a crowd, it stirs some itchy envy in me. The owner of local sex shop The Nookie, Veronica, kept asking me every time I saw her if I planned on pitching a workshop soon, and my answer was always the same: “I can’t think of any specific topic I know enough about to teach a workshop on!”

That all changed one day on a bus ride home from Hamilton. I’d spent the morning eating breakfast with my friend Suz at a diner, encouraging her to pitch some workshops and helping her brainstorm some ideas. As I sat squeezed into a window seat on a Go bus, staring out at the galloping highway, I suddenly had an idea for a workshop I could teach. And it was a good one.

See, I’m known, in my sex blogger circle, for spreading info on little-known erogenous zones. I’m all about the A-spot, the external G-spot, and the clitoral shaft, to name but a few. Beyond just enjoying stimulation of these spots myself, I also think it’s important we talk about zones like this, so that people don’t feel broken if their enjoyment doesn’t hinge on “typical” things like the G-spot or the tip of the clitoris. Plus, sex isn’t much fun without variety, and learning about different spots can help you achieve that!

I’d long considered teaching a workshop on the A-spot alone, but I wasn’t sure there was enough material there for a full hour-long or 90-minute session. So when it suddenly occurred to me to talk about not only the A-spot but also all the other little-discussed vulvovaginal hotspots, I knew I had my workshop pitch at long last.

I spent the rest of that bus ride frantically making notes, planning and structuring my workshop-to-be. I found that I am bursting with information about these spots, and so excited to share it with curious sex nerds!

So, without further ado: if you’re in Toronto, or can get here, you should come to the debut of my new workshop, Vagic Tricks: Hidden Hotspots of the Vulva and Vagina! It’s happening at The Nookie on Wednesday, November 29th at 8PM. You can buy your ticket online for $25. I hope to see you there, and I can’t wait to teach you what I know!

You’re invited to Our #BirthdayBruises Spanking Party!

Photo by Taylor J Mace

It’s that time again, folks! Just like last year, we’re celebrating Bex‘s birthday with a spanking party – and best of all, we’re livestreaming it over the internet!

Here’s what you need to know:

  • If you support our Dildorks Patreon at the $5/episode level or higher, you’ll get access automatically! The spanking party livestream will be our September #DildorksLive event, which your patronage gets you access to.
  • If you don’t support our Patreon at that level, you can still get access to the livestream by sending $10 USD to Bex via this Paypal link. In the “notes” field of the payment, make sure to specify the email address where you’d like us to send your invite!
  • During the livestream, you’ll also have the opportunity to buy extra hits. They cost $5 for 10 smacks or $10 for 26. You get to specify which partygoer provides the hits you purchased (if they consent, of course) and which implement they use. Fun!
  • If you’re wondering where your money’s going: it’s paying for Bex’s travel and accommodations expenses so they can come to Toronto and be with me for their birthday!

The livestream is happening on Monday, September 11th at 8PM Eastern, and will be broadcast via Google Hangouts to all attendees. Make sure to get your ticket if you’d like to watch!

Additionally, if you have any questions about #BirthdayBruises, feel free to ask them in the comments of this post or to tweet them at us (@BexTalksSex and @Girly_Juice).

How to Flirt With Your Conference Crush

I just got back from the Woodhull Sexual Freedom Summit, and… wowza, y’all. There were a lot of cute people at that event.

While some of the cuties were folks I’d never heard of before I arrived, many of them were people I’ve low-key known on social media for a while. It’s maddeningly exhilarating to meet someone IRL and find that they’re even more adorable and charming than they were on the interwebz. That pleasant surprise can throw you off your game and make you nervous – maybe even so nervous that you can barely talk to your crush, let alone flirt with them!

I definitely fell into that trap with a few people this year. So I’ve put together this little guide to flirting with your conference crush. Hopefully it helps you – and maybe it’ll even help me at the next conference that rolls around!

Pre-game. If you start flirting with someone out of nowhere at an event, they might be confused or even put off – so it’s good to get a feel for their interest level and flirting style before the event itself. Build rapport over a period of weeks or months with jokes/jibes/compliments on social media. Find excuses to slide into their DMs, if they seem down to talk to you (our social media flirting episode of The Dildorks has some great tips on this).

Use this time to gauge how receptive they might be to your flirtations. If you’re particularly crafty, you might even be able to establish what types of activities you’d be up for at the con (“I have this new paddle I haven’t gotten a chance to use yet…” “It’s been so long since I’ve been properly fingerbanged!” “I’m looking forward to some possible makeouts at the event…”). Maybe you’ll plant a seed that’ll turn into a fun hookup later on!

Check in. Boundaries and consent are vital! Conferences are professional environments for many people, so your crush might not feel entirely able to say no if they’re not into you. This makes it super-extra important that you establish clear consent for any flirting-and-more that takes place.

Meta-communication is great for this, particularly if the crowd at your con is nerdy about sex and relationships. Flirting expert Reid Mihalko often recommends asking some version of “Is this a good time to flirt with you?” or “Are you open to being flirted with right now?” and I think that’s a good approach, so long as you’re attuned to hesitant yeses that are actually no’s.

If you’re not sure how you’re being received, you can also pay attention to the length and tone of your crush’s responses: are they engaging with your flirtation and coming back with their own, or are they simply acknowledging your comments with short responses every time? When you enter a room they’re in, do they look at you, smile, walk up to you, or do they avoid you? Pay attention to cues and do your best to be respectful. All the other tips in this post will only go well for you if your crush is receptive to being flirted with; if they’re not, doing this stuff will just be creepy or even harassment.

Use social media to your advantage. Many conferences have heavy social media engagement, so it won’t look too out-of-place to throw a few swoony tweets into your con coverage (provided, of course, that you’ve been getting good signals from them, as per my previous point). Some examples of things you could tweet: “OMG, @YourCrush’s outfit today is AMAZING 😍” “I keep hearing @YourCrush’s adorable laugh during panels and it makes me so happy!” “Thrilled I got to meet @YourCrush after loving their blog for months!”

You could also try tweeting general callouts like, “I’m going to the pool/business centre/balcony; y’all are welcome to join!” or “I’ll be at [x panel] next; come sit with me!” If your crush is creepin’ you like you’re creepin’ them, they’ll probably show up to some events you’re attending – at which point you can get yo’ flirt on.

More social media tricks for con flirting: send an “It was nice to finally meet you tonight; hope I get to see more of you!” DM a little while after saying goodnight. Ask them if you can get a selfie with them at some point (provided you’re also getting selfies with other people; don’t be a creep!). If they tweet about being at a panel they’re not enjoying, or not knowing what to do next, send a reply along the lines of “We’re at [x place/event]; you’re welcome to come join!”

Sync your schedules. Don’t follow them everywhere, obviously. That’s gross; don’t do it. But if you’re getting good vibes from them, you could try inviting them to lunch, telling them about a cool panel you’re planning on attending later, or letting them know about an after-hours get-together you’ll be at.

If you’re really getting good vibes, you could try straight-up saying something like, “Hey, I feel like I haven’t gotten enough time with you at this con! Wanna [sit together at this next panel/grab coffee and chat/come look at my dildo collection in my hotel room]?” Cons are busy enough that they’ll have an easy “out” if they want to say no but don’t feel comfortable being upfront (“Ahh, sorry, I can’t, I have to [go to a different panel/go talk to my friend/take a nap]!”).

Say yes to adventure. It’s easy to get tired, overwhelmed, or nervous at cons, which might lead to you declining invitations you otherwise might like to accept. While self-care is hugely important, you should also cultivate the ability to tell when you’re so tired that more socializing would actually burn you out, versus when you’re tired but still capable of going on adventures if you push yourself a little. Ask yourself which choice will make for the better story, or which choice will make you prouder of yourself in the morning. Maybe that’s going to the loud late-night spanking party, or maybe it’s ducking out early to have drinks with just a couple people at the hotel bar.

Cons can feel like a wacky dream, full of implausible situations with implausible people. If you receive an invitation that sounds fun but a little intimidating – like “Hey, come smoke weed with us in the parking lot!” or “We’re gonna play Strip Scrabble in my hotel room; wanna come?” – don’t just write it off immediately. It might lead to flirtation you would’ve regretted passing up.

Shoot your shot. Here’s what it ultimately comes down to: a conference is a time-limited opportunity to have lovely experiences with people you rarely get to see. If you want something to happen and it hasn’t happened, you can either give up, or take some action. If you’re getting flirty vibes from your crush but neither of you has taken much initiative, and the end of the con is coming up fast, it might be time to get real and make your move.

The best approach to this is going to depend on you and your crush and what kind of people you are. However, I asked some fellow introverty blogger friends, and their opinion matched mine: I think the best way to “shoot your shot” at a con would be to send your crush a DM saying something along the lines of, “Hey! You might have noticed by now: I think you’re super cute/charming/fantastic. If you feel similarly, would you like to [make out/play/hook up] sometime before the con ends? I’d regret it if I didn’t ask. If the answer is no, I’ll totally understand and won’t be offended at all, and I’ll still think you’re great!” My blogger friends agreed that a private message is better than a public tweet or an in-person convo for this, because it gives them an opportunity to think things over and phrase their answer carefully if they need to.

Have you ever had a conference crush? Did it ever turn into more than that?

10 Things I’m Looking Forward To At This Year’s Woodhull Sexual Freedom Summit

The Woodhull Sexual Freedom Summit is about a month away, amigos! It’s “like sex blogger Christmas” – we wait all year for it to come, and now it’s nearly here. I hope to see you there, but if you can’t make it, you can follow along from afar by tracking the #SFS17 hashtag on Twitter and on Instagram.

There are soooo many things I’m looking forward to at this year’s Woodhull; here are my top 10!

The digital creators’ meet-and-greet. This is a fun opportunity for sexuality-focused digital content creators to meet up, talk shop, and get to know each other. There will be bloggers, vloggers, podcasters, and more. We’ll do skillshares and nosh on snacks – what could be better?! (You have to RSVP to this event in order to attend, so make sure to do that if you have your eye on it.)

Storytelling for Social ChangeI’m fascinated by the way narratives help us teach things, learn things, and feel things. Stories are powerful tools for anyone who has a message to share, and they can be particularly useful in areas where emotion runs high, like sexuality. This panel promises to explain “how storytelling techniques can be used to resolve conflict, reduce stigma, increase pleasure, and change the world.” Exciting!

Suz‘s butt after I spanked her with my Lexan paddle last year.

Spanking babes. I’ve only been to Woodhull once before, but hotel-room spankings there have already become a solid tradition in my mind. Let’s just say I’m packing some impact toys in my suitcase…

Femme As Fuck. This panel, put together by three glorious femmes, will discuss how the feminist movement has often devalued femininity and femmeness in its path toward empowerment and “coolness.” Fuck femmephobia forever, am I right?!

Bedpost Confessions. This yearly event involves sexy storytelling, provocative poetry, and carnal confessions. Then there’s a dance party. What’s not to love?!

Hurts So Good. This panel on pain disorders’ interaction with sexuality looks intriguing. I have some chronic joint pain in my hips and knees that’s often affected my sex life, so I’m interested to hear what folks with chronic pain issues have to say about self-advocacy and boundary-setting around pain and sex. (I wonder if they’ll talk about consensual pain, too?!)

Wearing ridiculous outfits. I feel closer to my “true self” at Woodhull than I do almost anywhere else, because everyone there is chill as fuck and knows me more as my brassy online persona than the awkward wallflower I often am “in real life.” As a result, I tend to dress weirder at Woodhull than at any other time all year. Last year, I rocked princess pajamas, a blue striped rockabilly dress, a sparkly mermaid ensemble, and a dress covered in vulvas. Who knows what silliness this year will bring?!

The Dildorks live recording. I’m absolutely thrilled to report that my bestie Bex and I will be doing a recording of our podcast for sex nerds, The Dildorks, in front of an audience at Woodhull! We’ll dole out our best tips for attending sex conferences, from making friends to absorbing workshop content to taking care of yourself. Come be a part of Dildorks history by watching our first-ever in-person live event!

Keep Giving a Fuck. This panel will discuss how to prioritize sex (or maybe whether to prioritize sex) when you’re going through tough times like health crises, financial problems, or – hell – the current political climate in the U.S. I always love seeing JoEllen speak, and I find her work so encouraging as a fellow sufferer of clinical depression, so I’m excited to hear her thoughts in this talk.

Hanging out with sex blogger friends. Chillin’ with the #BlogSquad was absolutely the highlight of my Woodhull experience last year, and I know this year will be more of the same! I feel so loving and grateful every day to have found a crew of like-minded sex-nerdy weirdos on the interwebz, and Woodhull’s one of the only times all year when we get to hang out IRL. I can’t wait to laugh til I cry, ogle each other’s sex toy collections, make bad puns, livetweet en masse, and feel surrounded by blogger love!

Will I see you at Woodhull this year? (If you spot me, come say hi!) What are you most looking forward to about the summit?

25 Things I Absolutely Must Do This Summer

It is, at long last, warming up here in Toronto. I have been Googling “When will it get warm?!” for months, so I’m thrilled, obviously.

While Canadian weather leaves a lot to be desired, it does make me especially grateful for new seasons when they appear. I am always making dreamy lists in my journal of the adventures I hope to go on when the weather changes. Here are 25 activities I endeavor to embark on in the coming months…

Drink a mint julep on a patio. Mint juleps are my summertime boozy go-to. They are so refreshing and decadent when it’s balmy outside. Last I checked, you could get a good julep at Clinton’s during the warm months. I also keep hearing good things about Bar Isabel, and I love the classic cocktails and cozy vibe at Northwood. Here’s to lots of cold drinks on sunny patios this season!

Read lots of books. Speaking of patios: there are few leisures more pleasurable to me than sitting on a café patio with a big iced coffee (or mango smoothie) and a fascinating book. I’ve got plenty of good ones to work through this season: Love, Sex, and AwakeningThe Remedy, and I Love Dick, to name just a few!

Make out on a sunny hillside. Look, no summer in Toronto is complete without kissing a cutie in Riverdale Park at sunset. It’s one of the prettiest views in the whole city, and being there with someone I adore always fills me with a sense of renewed hope and optimism. (The Chester Hill lookout, pictured, is also a great spot for makeouts if a picturesque view is your idea of romance.)

Swim naked. I spent several evenings this past winter making out naked with cuties in the heated pool at a sex club. Being naked underwater just feels primally right somehow, when you’re in the right environment and headspace for it. Hopefully I’ll be invited to some lascivious pool parties or beach days this summer. Or maybe I’ll just invite a handsome suitor into my bathtub with me. Whatever works.

Buy a great new lipstick. Summer is traditionally when I rock my brightest pinks and weirdest purples. Having a new lipstick to wear can give you a whole new lease on life. I love going shopping with fellow femmes, trying out a zillion shades on the back of my hand, and buying the one that makes me happiest.

Go dancing. You can really do this year-round but there is something particularly hedonistic about summertime dancey nights: you can wear a short dress or tiny shorts, adorn your face with a healthy sprinkling of glitter, and boogie til you break a sweat. Clinton’s has frequent themed dance nights, and there’s also the Queer Slowdance and so many other spots. I want the unmatched exhilaration of moving my body to beats well into the wee hours!

Get a tattoo. I’ve gotten new tattoos two summers in a row, and maybe I’ll continue that streak this year… I have some ideas percolating but I’m not totally sure yet. Hmm!

Host a party. My get-togethers are usually simple affairs involving pizza, cider, sex gossip, and maybe a few rounds of Use Your Words or “Which Would You Rather Bang?” But low-key though they might be, they’re still nourishing to my soul. Laughing with good friends on the reg is so important that you should pre-schedule it if that’s what it takes to make it happen.

Go on vacation. My main trip of the summer will be for Woodhull, but I’m going to try to get away at least one other time as well. Maybe I’ll go visit friends in Hamilton, Kingston, or Montreal. Maybe I’ll trek down to New York to see Bex. Wherever I end up going, I think it’s critical to escape one’s home for at least a few days in the summer, just to shake things up.

Stay up all night. This is a habit I picked up during high school, when my loosey-goosey summertime schedule enabled me to fuck up my sleep patterns all summer with no repercussions. Now that I’m an adult with responsibilities (not to mention an aging body), this is less possible – but it’s still doable if I time it right. Here’s to watching sunrises from rooftops with babes I adore, and fuelling my jangling brain with coffee that makes my teeth chatter when I smile.

Go on first dates. You can spark new romances any time of year, of course, but they feel particularly salacious and fresh when it’s warm out, I find. I plan to hop on Tinder, OkCupid, or SwingTowns and find some new cuties to romance. Even if none of your rendezvous lead to anything beyond one date, you can still make the most of those dates and have a fun time. Getting to know someone new is an exercise in empathy and communication skills, at the very least.

Celebrate Pride. There are certainly valid criticisms of Pride – its corporatization, its predominant focus on cis gay white men, its tumultuous relationship with police. I still love it, or at least the idea of it. It’s tradition. I love putting on a ridiculous outfit, slathering myself in sunscreen, and shimmying down the street with other rambunctious queers, shouting proud slogans and singing silly songs. I love taking up space as a queerdo and insisting on our importance in this world.

Get breakfast at a diner with someone cute. Grabbing an all-day breakfast after a night of bangin’ (or just platonic hangtimes) is one of my favorite simple joys. Eggs, toast, homefries, coffee, sausage, bacon, and good conversation. What’s not to love?! (My favorite spots for this are 7 West and the Detroit Eatery, but you knew that already.)

Go to an outdoor movie screening. Toronto always has plenty of these in the summer, at Yonge-Dundas Square and in Christie Pits Park and various other places. One of my fondest summer memories is laughing my ass off with a bunch of strangers at a public Anchorman screening years ago; I dressed up like it was the 1970s and we chorused our favorite lines at the screen. Communal movie-watching is so fun!

Try something new sexually. I first received oral sex one balmy July night in 2008, and I lost my PIV virginity on a sweaty evening in May of 2011, so I guess summers are entangled with sexual “firsts” in my mind. Maybe this’ll be the summer I finally get fisted, or go down on someone who has a vulva, or fuck on top of a grand piano, somehow…

Go on a long walk. I love exploring my city when it’s warm enough that I can do so without a coat. Podcasts or songs keep me company in my earbuds, and I go wherever my feet want to take me. Walks always calm my mind and sate my body – and I often have flashes of creative brilliance mid-walk that lead to fantastic blog posts, articles, or songs!

Visit a nude beach. I’ve never been to Toronto’s clothing-optional Hanlan’s Point Beach, and I can already hear my local friends groaning their dismay as I type that. Surely this is the summer when I finally make the trip! Being casually naked around other people is so good for your body image and self-acceptance.

Devour a TV show. In summers past, I’ve gorged on How I Met Your MotherThe OfficeThe L Word, and various others. It may sound trivial, but immersing myself in a fictional world always leaves me fulfilled and inspired. Each new lens through which you view your life gives you new tools and new ideas. I am always trying to broaden my horizons in any way I can, even if I do so by becoming temporarily obsessed with fictional romantic storylines!

Journal at sunrise. I don’t know why all my thoughts feel so much more poignant and important if I have them while the sun is coming up, but they do! I like sitting on a rooftop, café patio, or hillside as the day begins and meditating in my journal about whatever’s bothering me or whatever I’m grateful for. I always feel so cleansed and productive afterward.

Pose for gorgeous photos. Sometimes I think I hear the voice of Future Me whispering in my ear from decades ahead; she always tells me to appreciate what I have now. Part of that, I think, is appreciating what I look like now, because – shallow though this may sound – I’ll never look this young again! I’m lucky enough to have lots of photographer friends; maybe they’d like to indulge me in snapping some sunny glamor shots sometime this summer.

Go out for ice cream. This doesn’t have to be a date, but gosh, it’s cute when it is. You get to debate the best ice cream flavors and make fun of your date’s questionable tastes. You get to giggle at them when they get melted ice cream all over their lips, and then maybe kiss it off ’em. You get to banter wittily, or sit in comfortable silence, while crunching your cones. Like many food-related dates, it’s more about the ritualistic glee of it than the food itself – although, let’s be real, Baskin-Robbins’ peanut butter chocolate ice cream is a damn fine treat.

Wear high heels. I normally hate doing this, but hey, summer is the time for it. Even if I just end up gallivanting to the corner store or local café in my Sofft T-straps or Zara wedges, wearing heels in summer still feels crucial somehow.

Seek out new music. Spotify’s various music-discovery tools make this super easy, so I have no excuse! I love having specific soundtracks for particular times in my life, both because new music makes life feel more exciting and because it can act as a sensory time capsule when I listen to it again months or years later.

Get together with old friends. I have several pals who go to school in other cities but come back into town each summer, and I love catching up with them when I can. We go see improv shows or outdoor theatre productions, get dinner or drinks, and reminisce about old times. It always feels so necessary and uplifting!

Experiment with different identities. Summer is always the time when I try new perfumes or clothing silhouettes, push the limits of my personality, and consider launching bold new projects. The more relaxed climate lends itself better to identity shifts, somehow. I’m looking forward to seeing who I become this year.

What do you hope to do this summer, my loves?

 

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