12 Days of Girly Juice 2017: 4 Fun Events

Ah, sexuality events! Those saucy gatherings in dimly-lit venues, where I can be my truest self and wear my babeliest outfits. Here were my top 4 favorites of 2017… (Previously: 2016, 2015.)

Spit nights at Oasis. Local indie porno babes Spit put on a bimonthly night o’ magic at Toronto sex club Oasis Aqualounge. I’ve spent more time at Oasis this year than any other year of my life – mostly making out with my fuckpal in the pool, because damn that’s a good pool, and damn that’s a cute boy – and Spit’s events are always my favorite nights to be there. The crowd skews younger, there’s always a live porn shoot to ooh and aah over, and there’s often also a smutty variety show featuring comedians, poets, and musicians. (This year I performed in both a porn shoot and a variety show, because I am a well-rounded individual!)

Woodhull Sexual Freedom Summit. This was on last year’s list but I couldn’t omit it from this year’s; it was just too damn good, once again. I made lots more blogger friends, cackling with them in clandestine hotel crannies until the wee small hours. We did a live Dildorks recording in front of a crowd. I learned so many interesting things at the sessions. Mostly, I felt a sense of community and solidarity with other Professional Sex People that I rarely get to feel throughout the rest of the year. Here’s hoping I can make it to this great event in 2018 as well!

Vagic Tricks. I was so excited this year to premiere my new workshop on little-known erogenous zones of the vulva and vagina. I don’t know if in-person sex education is really my medium – I feel like I convey my thoughts better through writing, which also incidentally makes me much less nervous! – but it was a fun challenge nonetheless. I was surprised by how many people came out to hear what I had to say, and I’ve heard from a few of them who told me my lessons have already upgraded their sex lives. Yay!

The Pink Market is a queer/feminist craft market. Yes, it is as great as it sounds, if not better. The booths are jam-packed with embroideries, leather goods, artisanal impact toys, art prints, pinback buttons, engraved pencils, and so much more. It’s the perfect place to stock up on holiday gifts for all your favorite weirdos and queerdos. I hope this event keeps happening year after year, because I love it so damn much!

What were your favorite sex-related events of the year?

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?