12 Days of Girly Juice 2017: 7 Bangin’ Selfies

It’s hard to pick selfies that sum up your whole year, but these are some strong contenders! (Content note: there are boobs in this post!)

Femme friends were so important to me this year, and every year. One such pal is Rosaline, a pink-haired pixie who’s always around to cheer me on and pump me up over a bottle of white wine.

We had lots of goofy adventures together this year, mostly involving pre-drinking for various parties, doing our makeup together, and then marching into said parties all flirty and long-lashed like queens. I love how my femme friends remind me of immutable truths: being a femme person in this world is hard but it is also wonderful, and femmes are even more brave and powerful than the misogynist cultural forces that aim to keep us down. I hope to continue to foster my femme friendships in 2018 and beyond.


Speaking of good friends… I didn’t get to spend as much time with Brent this year as I have in previous years, because he wasn’t in Toronto as much. But when we did hang out, we made it count: we laughed a lot over beers, played a ton of Use Your Words, and on one memorable occasion, he saved me from a bunch of pill bugs I accidentally sat on. Our friendship is strange and lovely.

The night this photo was taken, I attended Use Your Words’ Toronto launch party because I was a staff writer on the game (fancy!). Between talking, schmoozing, and playing the game, Brent and I decided to order a couple of corndogs from the bar kitchen. “Can I take a selfie of us eating these?” I asked him, to which he replied, “Only if we both put ’em in our mouths like we’re fellating them.” Stuff like this is why we’re friends.


In March, my local community discovered someone we thought we could trust was actually a misogynist shitbag, and it shook the foundations of what we thought we knew. For weeks, I felt unable to trust any men (moreso even than usual). What was the point, if any so-called feminist man could turn out to be a total garbage fire?

I had coincidentally been invited to a party later that week whose theme was “femme witch power.” We were encouraged to wear whatever made us feel feminine and powerful. I slung on a navy skater dress, rimmed my eyes in dark eyeshadow, and painted on a deep maroon liquid lipstick. At the last minute before leaving the house, I added my glass eyeball necklace, pulled my tits out of my dress, and took some fierce-faced selfies on my laptop webcam.

I didn’t feel like smiling that day. I wanted to wield my femininity and sexuality like a weapon. So I resisted the urge to pull a smile or make a “pretty” face, and just stared down the camera, fierce and unforgiving. I felt beautiful, but in a way that was just for me – not for the consumption of the abusive fuckfaces who think they can just take and take and take.


I took this while out getting ice cream with Suz and Bex before a jaunt to Tell Me Something Good, our local sexy storytelling night. It was a lovely evening out with friends, and equally wonderful was that sometime either before or after this photo was taken, someone came up to us on the street to tell us they read and loved all three of our blogs. Getting recognized in public is a special kind of thrill, and the more it happens, the more my impostor syndrome melts away and I feel like a Real Writer doing Real, Important Things!


This was taken on one of the first days I actually felt slightly cute, competent, and coherent after a breakup that totally devastated me. I like how you can see in my facial expression that I’m still kind of a mess: I’ve heard fellow depressed people describe feeling “like an alien” who can’t even tell whether their face is forming appropriate and normal facial expressions, because they’re so numb and blunted, and that’s how I felt on this day. Unsure how all my different components hung together, but attempting to make a good show of myself nonetheless. Like Tony Kushner wrote on heartbreak in his magnum opus Angels in America: “Just mangled guts, pretending.

It’s telling that I’m wearing short shorts and have tied my shirt into a crop top. Depression makes me want to hide, but as I surface from that cave, I begin to want to show off again. Maybe just a little. Maybe still from the safety of monochromes and familiar fabrics. Bit by bit, I always come crawling back to my joy, even if it takes all the strength I can summon.


(Content note for suicidal ideations in this one, folks.) One of the most exciting events of my year was going to a My Brother, My Brother and Me live podcast recording at the Kings Theatre in Brooklyn. I first started listening to MBMBaM almost three years ago, and in that time, these boys have literally saved my life on countless occasions. When I’m too mind-numbingly depressed to be trusted with my sad thoughts in solitude, let alone to get out of bed and rejoin society, I put on a McElroy podcast. They keep me occupied until I can get back to living without wanting to die.

I went to this show by myself, because I didn’t know anyone else who was both as McElroy-obsessed as me and financially and temporally able to get to the venue. I snapped this photo quickly, self-consciously, as I stood in line amongst throngs of other fans. Moments later, when the line moved ahead and I walked into the theatre, tears burned down my cheeks. I couldn’t believe I was so physically close to these boys who had saved my life, walked me through dark days, made me laugh when nothing else could. Thankfully, no one seemed to think my weeping was weird. I bought a poster, waited in line for a radioactively green cocktail, settled into my seat surrounded by jovial strangers, and laughed the night away.


I’ll close here with a moment of genuine joy; it’s a good note to go out on.

One night earlier this month, I was on the phone with someone who makes my heart feel all fuzzy and stupid. We exchanged goofy selfies while we talked, trying to disarm each other, to feel physically close though we were not.

He had asked me about the way my hair was cut, so I shook it out to its full glory so I could capture it in a selfie. Just as I went to hit the shutter, he made some dumb joke that set off sparks in my heart, and I burst into giggles and snapped this shot. “Aw, you made me laugh mid-selfie,” I commented, looking at the result on my phone screen and trying to decide if it was too silly to send.

No, I thought. This is how I wish I looked all the time. Lost in giggly reverie.

12 Days of Girly Juice 2017: 9 Best New Sex Toys

It was a good year for sex toys! I acquired over 65 new toys this year. (Yeesh. Being a sex toy reviewer is weird and great.)

You would think it might be hard to pick my top 9 favorites from that massive number, but actually, I’m a total snob. It’s rare that I acquire a new toy and love it enough to keep using it after I’ve reviewed it. Here, then, are the 9 best new treats I got this year, and where you can get ’em if you think you’d also like ’em…

9. Kronic Sensations wooden bat. I picked this up impulsively one day at local Toronto sex shop Kink T.O., and it was such a good purchase. These bats are incredibly thuddy, like getting hit with an actual mini baseball bat – so if you like your impact sensations deep and penetrating, rather than surfacey and stingy, you’d be into these. (Available at Kink.)

8. Sportsheets under-the-bed restraints. These are so basic, so useful, so necessary that it’s odd to think they haven’t been attached to my bed for my entire adult life. But no: I only acquired them earlier this year. They’re the easiest way to seamlessly incorporate bondage into your sex life. When I’m having a lot of kinky sex (i.e. not lately), I use these all the damn time. A++, 10/10, would recommend. (Available at SheVibe, Ignite, Peepshow, PinkCherry U.S., PinkCherry CA, the Smitten Kitten, and Early to Bed.)

7. Zumio. I’m rarely in the mood for this thing, but when I am, woof, I need it. It’s one of the best tools available for intense, pinpointed clitoral stimulation. Its mega-intensity also makes it useful for kinky forced-orgasm scenes: if you’re holding a Zumio to my clit, you’ve got my goddamn attention, I’ll tell ya that much. (Available at SheVibe, Ignite, Peepshow, the Smitten Kitten, and Early to Bed.)

6. We-Vibe Gala. I just got this recently and am already loving it. (Full review to come in 2018!) Its two-eared shape makes it ideal for people like me who abhor direct clitoral stimulation and prefer having their clit touched through the clitoral hood or inner labia. The motor is also excellent, as is standard for We-Vibe toys. (Available at Come As You Are, SheVibe, Ignite, Peepshow, and the Smitten Kitten.)

5. ScreamingO Charged Vooom. I reviewed this along with a cadre of other cheap vibes and the Vooom was the only one I loved and continued to love. This zippy little raspberry-pink bullet vibe performs remarkably well for its price point, and makes a capable understudy for my beloved Tango when needed. (Available at Come As You Are, SheVibePeepshow, and PinkCherry U.S.)

4. Weal & Breech purpleheart paddle. This beaut unseated my previous favorite impact toy from its throne this year. Fancy, handmade, and one-of-a-kind, it makes me feel like a kinky queen. The perfectly balanced weight and ergonomic handle make it clear this paddle was created by kinksters. I’ll never forget when, midway through our first spanking session with this toy, my then-boyfriend moaned low in his throat, “I reeeally like this paddle,” to which I moaned back, “SO DO I.” (Similar product available at Come As You Are.)

3. We-Vibe Nova. I technically got this last year, when Bex gifted me one, but didn’t give it a proper shot until early 2017. The Nova is, hands-down, my favorite dual-stimulation vibe I’ve ever tried. As is par for the course with We-Vibe, it’s thoughtfully designed, high-quality, and pleasantly rumbly. When I’m craving deep vibration on my G-spot and clit simultaneously, I know the Nova is the best tool for the job. (Available at SheVibe, Peepshow, Ignite, PinkCherry U.S., PinkCherry CA, and Early to Bed.)

2. Doxy Die Cast. Definitely the prettiest wand vibe in my collection! I still reach for my Magic Wand more often, because it’s lighter and the lower speeds are rumblier, but the Die Cast has definitely snuck into my starting lineup this year. It’s wonderfully luxurious and always powerful enough to get me off. And that glitter finish! Swoon! (Available at Come As You Are, SheVibe, and Peepshow.)

1. Standard Glass S-Curve. A gift from Bex, this is indubitably the best toy I received all year. Quite possibly my favorite dildo ever, now that I think about it. Yes, the S-Curve has usurped my beloved Double Trouble as my vagina’s favorite thing, simply because it’s slimmer and more targeted and doesn’t require warm-up like the DT does for me. The S-Curve finds my A-spot with such ease and speed that it’s pretty much the closest thing I have to a “press here for orgasm” device. I’ve also heard reports from partners that it’s a simple and intuitive toy to fuck someone with. Win-win! (Available at the Smitten Kitten.)

What were your favorite toys of the year?

12 Days of Girly Juice 2017: 12 Femme Essentials

December is here, and therefore, so is 12 Days of Girly Juice, my year-end wrap-up series! In the next month, I’ll summarize my whole year in selfies, sex toys, sexual encounters, tweets, and more. But today, we begin with a subject that’s dear to my heart: beauty and fashion! Here are my top 12 must-have femme items of 2017…

Giorgio Armani Rouge d’Armani lipstick in “Lucky Red”

Last November, I went to Rome with my mom, and it was momentous. All day every day, we walked around that ancient city soaking up world-famous sights. It was almost too much beauty and history to handle, and made me feel like I was buzzing right out of my body with deep glee and meaning.

One day, we visited the Spanish Steps. Sitting on those stairs surrounded by other tourists, I felt called to buy something that would remind me of this place. I didn’t want gimmicky miniatures or boring old postcards, so I did what any consumerist femme would do: I walked into Sephora. (Yes, there is a Sephora opposite the Spanish Steps. Yes, it is a strange, anachronistic place. It’s like femme purgatory: surreal and always bustling and highly unlikely.)

I wanted a lipstick, since that’s the cosmetic item I use most often and also the one I associate most with glamour. I figured it would make me happy in subsequent months to be able to think of said lipstick as a souvenir from glorious Rome, and to tell people that when they asked about it. Suitably, the one I went with was by Italian brand Giorgio Armani. It’s a cool-toned, bright red that makes me feel like a 1950s movie star or a high-gloss spy. It goes on satiny and dries to a slightly more matte crimson that stays put better than almost any other lipstick in my arsenal (which it damn well better, for $43). It’s my favorite red lipstick I’ve ever owned, and I have owned a lot. And that mystique only has a little to do with where I bought it.

Coach turnlock tote in turquoise crossgrain leather

I bought this on sale for half-price last holiday season, and it has served me well all year long. Not only is it the most aggressively, delightfully vivid shade of turquoise I’ve ever seen, it’s also roomy enough for almost all my various adventures. I’ve taken it as an overnight bag to sex-dates at beaux’ houses, as my carry-on when shuttling back and forth between Toronto and New York, and as a gig bag when en route to photoshoots or porn-y events that required wardrobe changes. It has lots of pockets, which I tend to stuff with extra tissues, mints, love notes, bobby pins, lipsticks, vibrators, business cards, supplements, and lube samples. It’s my dream bag and I adore it.

Tarina Tarantino heart necklaces

I have three of these now: one small purple/green/turquoise one, one larger one emblazoned with Queen Alice, and (my favorite) one giant pink sparkly one that attracts stares and compliments wherever I go. I bought the Alice necklace direct from the company during a sale, and snapped up the other two on eBay, since they seem to have been discontinued. They make me happy every damn time I wear them.

My heart necklaces function like day collars for me: they sit heavily around my neck, grounding me, reminding me of how good I am, keeping me on task. In times of emotional turmoil, they also feel like shields for my heart, deflecting negative energy and keeping me safe. I hope to collect a couple more – maybe a blue one and a black one – because we all need more sparkly hearts in our lives!

Perfume

It’s hard to pick a specific perfume here, because I’ve loved so many this year! Under the influence of The Dry Down, a mega-poetic newsletter about the philosophical and emotional side of perfume, I started buying perfume samples galore to try out. This is much cheaper than committing to full bottles of particular scents, and also makes more sense with the mercurial way I tend to fall in love with a perfume for a while, then move on to a different one.

Some of my 2017 fragrance faves: John Varvatos, a spicy, masc-leaning gourmand. Leatherstock, which smells like straight-up leather and which I like to combine with other scents for an extra kinky dimension. Tom of Finland, which is like pressing your nose against the pheromone-laden skin of someone attractive and comforting. Memoirs of a Trespasser, the scent of a rugged, babely adventurer come back home to roost. Carnal Flower, which smells like (per Helena Fitzgerald) “monied femininity.” Good Girl, a somewhat heavy, almost overbearingly feminine scent that reminds me of slutty honey. And most recently, Noel au Balcon, a hyper-festive wintertime scent that reminds me of cloves, oranges, honey, and the champagne-fizzy excitement of a tipsy conversation with an interesting stranger at a holiday party.

H&M skater dresses

H&M did a wonderful thing this year: they made what is basically the perfect dress, as far as I’m concerned, and released it in 15+ different colors and prints. Best of all, they priced each dress at $15.

I own said dress in 10+ different colorways now, and they get more wear than practically anything else in my closet. They’re just exactly what I want from a dress: comfortable, flattering, versatile. This year I wore them on dates, to shows, in photoshoots. I danced in them, kissed in them, partied in them, even occasionally fucked in them. They are perfection and I’m so glad I stocked up.

Yo Sox

Last month, I settled in for a phone sex session with a handsome gentleman, and he asked me – as phone sex suitors are wont to do – what I was wearing. I’d promised to wear something nice for him, something that made me feel sexy, even if he wouldn’t actually be seeing it. “I’m wearing a T-shirt, some panties, and a pair of kneesocks,” I told him, truthfully. He made a sound that was half-gasp, half-growl. I smiled.

My enduring love for knee-high and thigh-high socks comes partly from the predictable reaction they get out of many men, and partly from how they make me feel in my kinky little heart. When I’m putting together an ensemble designed to make me feel like a babygirl, girly socks are a vital part of the look. This year I discovered Yo Sox, a company that sells whimsical socks both online and in their brick-and-mortar store on Toronto’s Queen Street West, and I swiftly fell in love. It’s hard to feel sad when there are unicorns or whales prancing across your feet!

Tiny black shorts

Another H&M acquisition, I bought these minuscule shorts for $15 on an impulsive shopping trip in April. They ended up being a go-to for me all summer, garnering tons of compliments and making me feel cute in a way I rarely feel when my chubby bod is being shown off so flagrantly. They work well with crop tops, bralettes, and even over tights for a more cool-weather-appropriate outfit. I even wore them a lot while mired in post-breakup depression, because they felt effortless and accommodating.

BH Cosmetics Smokey Eyes palette

I didn’t do full-on fancy faces as often this year as I have in previous years, because frankly, most of the time I just couldn’t be bothered. But I did buy this eyeshadow palette on the recommendation of a femme friend, and it has served me well for many dress-up occasions this year.

The deep blues and purples flatter my hazel eyes. The silvers and greys allow for striking smoky looks. The pinks fulfill my deepest femme desires. In summation: this palette rules.

BH Cosmetics spooley brush

Another great find from this cosmetics company: the best eyebrow brush I’ve ever used. I’ve written before about Anastasia Dipbrow, my go-to brow product, but I’ve neglected to mention the importance of the brush you use to apply it: Dipbrow is finicky as hell and you gotta have your tools on point. This one has a spooley (i.e. eyebrow comb) on one side and an angled application brush on the other, so I can flip back and forth quickly between shaping my brows and filling them in. I use this every day and it has made my makeup routine both more efficient and more joyful!

Danier vintage leather jacket

Leather was important to my aesthetic this year. In fact, I’m possibly developing a bit of a leather kink (she wrote, having recently fallen asleep cuddling a leather impact toy to her nose so she could smell it all night long). One of my most beloved leather possessions is a jacket I inherited from an older cousin years ago. It’s simple, sexy, and classic. And it makes me feel like a total badass.

Many times, I’ve considered upgrading to a more classic motorcycle style, but having tried on many such jackets, I think they’re boxier and more boyish than I can comfortably pull off. The blazer-esque fit of this one seems to match my aesthetic better and I like it. Although, I must say, if I ever encounter a hot pink leather biker jacket, I might have to buy it on the spot…

Lacy bralettes

There is something about cute bralettes that makes me feel adorable and put-together even if I am essentially wearing underwear in public. My favorite ones are by Aerie, as they strike a balance between aesthetics and comfort that one rarely encounters in the realm of lingerie. Most of the ones I currently own are either turquoise or pink (how predictable) so I’d like to expand my bralette color palette in the coming months. Maybe I need one in red, yellow, or black…

Animal Hair internal clitoris necklace

I bought this necklace to advertise my sex-nerdiness and it certainly does the trick. Everywhere I go, people either say, “What is that?” or “Oh my god, it’s the internal clit!” I enjoy the way its hot pink shade sets off pink lipstick and pops against all-black ensembles. Animal Hair makes a light blue one too, so I think I’m gonna expand my clit collection in the new year!

What were your favorite fashion and beauty items of 2017?

12 Days of Girly Juice 2016: 1 Fantastic Toy Company

Here’s a riddle for you. What’s sexy as fuck, smells wonderful, and makes kinksters swoon?

No, not my vagina. Although: that too.

Nah, I’m talking about products made by Aslan Leather. Like my vag, they are glorious beacons of kinky wonderment, made right here in Toronto, and much-revered by sex-nerdy bondage enthusiasts. And this year I’m profiling Aslan as my favorite sex-products company of the year, because I just love ’em so very much.

I met Carey Gray – Aslan’s fearless leader – at a Tell Me Something Good event back in mid-2015, when we co-judged that night’s storytellers. Uncharacteristically for me, I struck up a conversation, because I just had to tell him how much I admired his beautiful products. He very kindly offered to let me review an item of my choosing from Aslan’s catalogue – truly a kinkster’s dream come true.

A few weeks and back-and-forth emails later, I found myself trotting down an alley to Aslan Leather’s sorta-secret workshop in downtown Toronto. I had requested the Crystal Blue Cuffs, and the craftspeople plucked a pair from their overflowing stock drawers and handed them to me, all nicely wrapped and pretty as hell. On my streetcar ride home, I kept taking the cuffs out of my bag, holding them to my nose, and inhaling deeply. Like many people, I have a visceral reaction to the smell of leather: it’s intoxicating, inviting, and sweetly sexy. Even now, if I open a drawer containing one of my Aslan products, the scent wafts out to greet me, and I feel both comforted and turned on.

Since acquiring those gorgeous cuffs, I’ve picked up a few more Aslan products: two collars (one black and one pink, natch), and a pink harness. All of them are absolutely stunning, well-made, sensuously fragrant, and buttery-soft. I swoon a little every time I touch or see or smell an Aslan item. They are simply top-of-the-line, as far as I’m concerned.

A materialistic kinkster’s heart is never sated, so I have a few more toys on my Aslan Leather wishlist. I’d love to own one of their ballgags (somehow I’ve never used a ballgag!), their pink leather paddle, and the ankle cuffs that match my wrist cuffs. I’m also all starry-eyed for the line of bluish-purple leather toys they released as a posthumous tribute to Prince (SheVibe carries the harness from this line, and it’s a stunner).

In 2017, I hope to widen the variety of companies and craftspeople that comprise my kink-toy collection: I want a ballgag from Oddo Leather, a leather paddle from 6Whips, a Lexan glitter cane from RavenHawk, a chest harness from Mad Elephant, and a torquemada from Creative Kink. But for now, I’m pleased as punch that Aslan Leather items make up most of my kinkwear “wardrobe.” They make me feel like the cutest little subby princess when I wear ’em, and that feeling alone is worth the price of the products.

What was your favorite sex toy company of 2016?

12 Days of Girly Juice 2016: 2 Fears Defeated

After I chickened out on going down on a girl during a threesome this year, my male fuckbuddy – the other participant in said threesome – commented, “I wish I could hack your brain and cut your anxiety out of it.”

I could’ve been offended. I could’ve interpreted this as him wanting to circumvent my resistance and artificially coerce me into doing something I didn’t want to do. But I know him well, so I knew what he meant. He wanted to rid me of my sexual anxieties, not only because it would be more fun for him, but because it would be more fun for me.

I can’t argue with that. There are, no doubt, a lot of fun activities I could enjoy if I didn’t psych myself out of doing them. But we can’t control the mental illnesses we’re saddled with, and we can only do what we can do. So I try not to beat myself up for the hurdles I’m not yet strong enough to jump – and I try, instead, to celebrate the hurdles I have leapt over with flying colors. Here are two such hurdles I cleared in 2016.

Doing porn. I don’t even like my partners to look at me during sex. I don’t know why I thought I could handle porn, where the eyes on me would total not only my partner’s but also the cameraperson’s, any other crew members’, and those of the eventual viewing audience. But it sounded fun, to some deeply buried and uncharacteristically brave part of me, so I gave it a shot. It helped that I have a lot of friends who are involved in porn – most notably Caitlin of Spit and Taylor of Feisty Fox Films – so I knew I’d be safe and supported.

I kicked off 2016 by shooting a scene for Spit with the devastatingly handsome Dane Joe, who bent me over a coffee table in Caitlin’s cozy downtown apartment and spanked an epic bruise onto me with a paddle while I stared at a bowl of oranges artistically placed in front of me. And then I got to eat a cupcake for having been such a good girl. (This scene was later screened at Smut in the 6ix in front of dozens of people, to my blushy glee.)

A few days later, I got naked in the Glad Day Bookshop for Taylor’s camera, posing with goofy props gathered from around the store. The manager pumped Justin Bieber tunes through the stereo at my request and I wore an unshakeable smile as I sidled around the shop in my skivvies, still bruised from my last shoot.

Photo via Spit.

In February I performed in one of Spit’s live porn shoots at Oasis Aqualounge: Dane Joe bossed me around and fucked me with various toys for the crowd’s amusement, until I had a surprise orgasm while she pounded me with my Eleven.

In May, I skipped over to Taylor’s house with a tote bag full of sex toys and masochistic implements. He and his photographer pal Caroline Fox trained their video cameras on me, and I didn’t feel nervous at all – instead, I came alive, perked up, put on a show. I smacked myself silly with my stone crop, then fucked myself with toys until my body burst into climax.

In June, I showed up at Riverdale Park in full rockabilly garb. Caroline, shooting for CherryStems this time, helped me sleuth out a relatively secluded area in the middle of the park, and I saucily stripped off my clothes while she snapped away. Then she handed me an ice cream cone and I fellated it with the juicy joy of someone who loves sugary treats as much as she loves blowjobs. (A lot.) Being photographed for CherryStems felt like the fulfilment of a very old wish: I’d longed to do pinup modeling since I was a wee lass poring over SuicideGirls.com before I was legally allowed to view such materials.

Mid-year, I complained on Twitter that I’d never shot blowjob porn and wanted to – and to my surprise, I got a DM from the owner of one of my favorite dicks, volunteering his gorgeous cock for me to suck on camera. I contacted my friends at Spit and managed to organize things so both Bex and I could shoot scenes for them while Bex was visiting Toronto that month. Bathed in soft light and the giggly glow of a happy little princess, I knelt on the floor between my fuckbuddy’s knees and Spit’s artistic director John Bee shot us in a stunning POV BJ scene. Weeks later, me and my co-star huddled together in my bedroom with boozy ciders and watched the scene on my little laptop. “Do I look pretty?” I asked him, and he replied, “You look very pretty. And sexy. And determined.”

Porn has never been a career ambition for me, never something I took very seriously – I’ve always done it for the fun and thrill of it, more than for money or glory (both of which there is little of, in Canada’s small porn scene). So I don’t know if I’ll do much more of it, now that I’ve basically achieved what I wanted to achieve by gettin’ sexy on camera. Maybe in 2017 I’ll shoot a solo scene for MakeLoveNotPorn.TV, or spank a pretty girl for Taylor’s camera, or co-blow a handsome person for Spit. Only time will tell…!

One-night stands. Sometimes it’s hard to differentiate fear from regular ol’ dislike. Prior to this year, I’d always theorized that one-night stands would not be my jam (peep this old post where I wrote, “I’m soooo not interested in sex where the partner and I know nothing about one another… Boring!”), but this year I finally delved into them a little bit. I had one in Minneapolis and a couple more back home in Toronto.

Those experiences were okay, but they also confirmed for me what I’d already suspected: that one-night stands are not my preferred type of sex, not at all. I didn’t have an orgasm during any of those three encounters, and it wasn’t a coincidence: sex with a brand-new partner who’s a near-stranger is rough on my anxiety, making it hard for me to relax into pleasure, plus my genitals’ preferences are so specific that someone really needs to bang me a few times before they’ll learn how to get me off. With one exception (a porn shoot at a sex club, using amazing toys), all the orgasms I had during partnered sex this year were with steady romantic partners or consistent fuckpals – people who knew my body, and who I felt comfortable bossing around til they learned what worked.

Another factor that makes one-night stands not-so-great for me: there’s often alcohol involved! It isn’t necessary for us to drink before boning, of course, but it just shook out that way a lot of the time: either we went on a Tinder-borne pre-bang drinks-date, or we met at a bar or party where there was some boozin’. Alcohol numbs sexual sensation, which – for me, during one-night stands – just compounded my already-extant orgasm troubles in those situations.

It’s interesting how sometimes conquering a fear introduces you to your new favorite thing (that’s what happened for me with improv!), but other times, it just shows you how much you dislike the thing you once feared. It’s still always better to know than to suspect, though, so I’m glad I did the legwork and learned one-night stands aren’t for me. Sexual empowerment is a process, and part of that process is learning what you like and what you dislike.

I think in 2017, I’ll avoid one-night stands. (To the best of my ability, anyway. Sometimes you can’t predict when a sexual encounter will be a one-off.) The only reasonable exception I can imagine is if I’m desperately craving a dick in my mouth – in which case, I won’t be especially concerned with getting off, so it won’t matter if the non-BJ parts of the experience are subpar. I’m hoping my sexual situation in 2017 will involve some more consistent, longer-term sexual partnerships – but if not, I think I’d rather just double down on masturbation than risk terrible sex with a stranger!

What fears did you conquer in 2016?