12 Days of Girly Juice 2017: 1 Fantastic Toy Company

“Wow, you really like We-Vibe, huh?” my boss asked me shortly after I started a stint working sex toy retail earlier this year.

I looked at her blankly. Of course I like We-Vibe. We-Vibe makes high-quality, body-safe vibrators with strong, rumbly motors and some of the best-honed technology on the market. What’s not to like?

Choosing a company to profile in this year-end feature has sometimes been tricky for me (previously: Fucking Sculptures, Aslan Leather), but this year it was so, so easy, because I use We-Vibe’s products more than those by almost any other company. They fit into my sex life seamlessly, whether I’m alone or with a partner. They just… do what they’re supposed to do.

The We-Vibe Tango remains the real MVP of my toybag. I own two of them now, and frequently exhaust their batteries from jerking off with them several times a week. In fact, the Tango was far-and-away my most-used vibrator of the year, facilitating a whopping 93 of the 333 orgasms I had this year (that’s 27.9% – more than any partner I had this year, certainly!). It just works well. The vibrations are rumbly and powerful, the shape jives with my clitoral preferences, and I know I’ll reliably have an orgasm with this toy. It’s also magnificent for sliding between bodies during partnered sex, whether a partner is fucking me, fingerbanging me, or using other toys on me.

I also keep a We-Vibe Touch at my parents’ house for my use when I sleep over there, and it serves me well. The shape isn’t my favorite but with dat motor, it doesn’t really matter.

Speaking of motors, We-Vibe’s made one of the only existing couples’ vibes with an actually good one: the We-Vibe Sync. This is my #1 recommendation for people looking for a couples’ vibe or a toy that can be controlled long-distance. With their We-Connect app and Bluetooth connectivity, We-Vibe has perfected this functionality in a way other companies have failed to. The toy stays connected, does what it’s supposed to do, and is controlled via an intuitive and exciting mobile interface. As someone who’s had multiple long-distance beaux this year, this toy has been an important one for me!

Some other favorites of mine from the We-Vibe catalogue: the rumbly and usefully-shaped Gala, the G-spot-targeting Rave, and the dually-stimulating Nova. To be fair, they also released a few toys this year I’m not as fond of – like the Wish, with its finicky motors, and the uncomfortably-shaped Ditto – but, for the most part, they are always pushing themselves to make better products, and seem to take customer feedback into account. When a new We-Vibe product comes out, even if I’m skeptical, I’m always at least curious.

I knew my We-Vibe love had become part of my brand when, the other night, after some thoroughly unraveling phone sex, a long-distance beau asked me, “What vibe were you using? The Tango?”

“Yep. I love it,” I said. “I have two.”

“Alright,” he countered. “No need to brag.”

12 Days of Girly Juice 2017: 2 Fears Defeated

In theory, I think we should all face our fears head-on constantly. Every day, we should pick something that makes us nervous and tackle it with full-hearted fury. This would make us better and stronger, day by day by day.

The reality, though, is harder than that. Every fear I confront takes something out of me for a while. It saps me of bravery points. I have to take a beat and let them recharge before I can dive back into the juicy, meaty boldness I ache to embody.

Here are two big fears I conquered this year. There were others, but these were the biggest. They took the most out of me and also gave the most back to me – as conquering your fears is wont to do.

Polyamory. Okay, I’ve been non-monogamous off-and-on for a few years, but this was the first year when it was actually difficult for me. My mid-2016 boyfriend didn’t give me jealousy feelz because I just wasn’t that invested in him; by contrast, I had Primary Partner-level feelings about the dude I dated in mid-2017, and that was not reciprocated. That’s cool – not everybody does the hierarchical poly thing, and I’m not even sure it’s what I want anyway – but it made non-monogamy acutely uncomfortable for me. What had previously felt like a breezy cotton T-shirt now rankled me like an itchy sweater.

I thought, for a long time after the end of that relationship, that maybe its dissolution meant poly wasn’t for me. If I was “meant to be poly,” I reasoned, it wouldn’t have hurt me so badly when my partner pursued another person with the passion of NRE. But in thinking about it more, I’ve come to the conclusion that his way of doing poly wasn’t necessarily the only way or the best way. He started dating someone else two weeks after we met, without even running it by me first, which crushed me and destabilized me before I’d even found my footing in that relationship. I learned from this experience that there are some things I need from my poly relationships, and some things I cannot handle, and those are important things to know.

My current situation is something like what’s known as “solo poly“: maintaining my autonomy, dating several people but not viewing any of them as a “primary partner,” and valuing my own self-care highly. This mental shift has helped me nix most of the jealousy and instability I was feeling earlier this year, because I find that when I don’t view anyone as my main squeeze, I don’t start expecting things from them that they’re unable to give me. The result: a much happier and more balanced dating life, for me and hopefully for my partners as well. Hooray! Here’s to more poly adventures and explorations in 2018.

Polite rejection. Though I’ve been romantically or sexually rejected countless times in my life and it makes me into a teary-eyed mess, I’d rather be the rejectee than the rejector, any day of the week. When someone else did the rejecting, you can blame them, get angry, cry over them, journal about them, rationalize what happened, feel sorry for yourself… but when you’re the one rejecting someone, you only have yourself to blame. It’s not your fault you don’t want to be with them, of course, but it can feel like a deep personal failing sometimes. “Why can’t I just like them?!” you ask yourself in the hollow-hearted dead of night. “Everything would be so much easier if I did!”

The trickiest thing, for me, is turning someone down when they’re completely lovely but I just don’t feel that magical, ineffable chemistry. It feels like punishing a perfectly good person for being perfectly good. it feels like discouraging them from something they should never stop seeking. It feels like the inverse of cruelty I’ve had inflicted on me, and it can be devastating.

This year, however, there were a couple of times I had to put on my Rejector Hat and do the thing. I ultimately came to the conclusion that being upfront and clear is kinder than being wishy-washy and dragging things out. Devising a simple script can help you do what you gotta do; for example: “I’ve really enjoyed our time together, but I’m not really feeling a romantic connection here. I’d still be down to stay friends, though!” If anyone flips out at you for communicating your truth kindly and clearly, that’s on them, not you.

What fears did you face this year, my loves?

12 Days of Girly Juice 2017: 3 Fave Encounters

This is the third year I’ve done 12 Days of Girly Juice, and this instalment – the one about my top 3 favorite sexual encounters of the entire year – is always one of the most fun to write, and one of the most difficult to decide on.

This was true in 2015, when my sex life wasn’t terribly robust but each sexcapade nonetheless felt fresh and magical – and it was true in 2016, when my sex life was hoppin’ and each new partner brought something wonderfully different to the table. This year, I had more sex than either of those years, and, once again, it’s been tricky to choose just 3 encounters that stick out in my mind as top-o’-the-charts. But I think these 3 represent the kind of year I had sexually – which is to say, a very, very good year.

All rumpled in his bed the morning after.

Kink Mastery

I had a boyfriend from April to August who became, even in that short timeframe, one of my top-3 lifetime sexual partners by number of encounters – topped only by my previous long-term loves of 3.5 years and 1.5 years, respectively. That he managed to barrel into my top 3 in the few months we dated speaks to what total horndogs we were, both separately and (especially) together. Our kinks aligned perfectly, like lock and key – and when two sexually compatible pervs come together like that, lots and lots of good sex tends to ensue.

It’s difficult for me – even now, months after the breakup that devastated me – to look back on those experiences without sadness and remorse. But I’m getting there. The reason the relationship unraveled was that we didn’t actually have much in common outside of our sex life, a fact that seemed frustratingly inconsequential to me at the time but would’ve become more and more apparent if we’d kept dating. So I’m starting to view that relationship as what it was: a blisteringly hot sexual tryst, the romantic backdrop of which is ultimately forgettable and unimportant. (Does that sound mean? Well, it’s okay, because he broke my heart. As Anne Lamott says, “If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.”)

Anyway, we had a lot of good sex, some of which still guiltily hangs out in my autoerotic archives. But one encounter that particularly sticks out to me is this: one night in May, we kissed and groped and moaned together in his cozy bed in a west-Toronto basement apartment. He spanked me over his lap, taking me into subspace sternly and easily. He made me suck his cock while he held my wrists down flat on the bed so I couldn’t use my hands, then fucked my face while holding me firmly by the throat, combining two acts I’d hated with everyone before him but somehow loved with him.

After that, he tied my wrists and thighs together with rope and fucked me, circling my clit with his fingers all the while, in the manner of someone who’s fucked me enough to know how to do it properly. He untied me and went down on me until I came in his mouth, spacey and incoherent, and then he held me down and fucked me until he came inside me, leaving a deep bite mark on my shoulder that I admired for days afterward.

What this relationship ultimately taught me is that I’m willing to put up with a lot of painful complications in exchange for good sex – and that maybe that shouldn’t be the case, going forward. But damn, was the sex ever fantastic.

Casual and Wonderful

In January, I spotted a boy from across a room and immediately thought, “Damn. Who is that?” It was the truest example of “infatuation at first sight” I can remember experiencing in a long, long time. He was geeky, cool, and unassuming. I felt my breath catching and was vaguely aware I had started to sweat. And then he turned, noticed me, and I saw him having what looked like the same reaction to me that I’d just had to him. He walked up to me, said breezily, “I don’t think we’ve met,” and introduced himself. A few minutes later, he was casually saying, “We should go to [local sex club] Oasis together.” It’s emblematic of my social anxiety and insecurity that even then, I didn’t fully realize or accept he was into me. Silly girl!

Over the months that followed, we gradually became fuckbuddies, and then, at some point, actual friends with benefits in the true sense. We’d meet at the sex club once a month or so, have drinks in the heated outdoor pool while catching up on each other’s lives, and then get down to the sexytimes. I found that every time we parted ways, I felt good – uplifted, confident, desirable, satisfied – in a way I’d never really felt when saying goodbye to other previous fuckpals. There was no sense of longing or rejection; I didn’t want any more from him than he was able to give me, and vice versa. It was a kind of casual bliss.

My favorite encounter with this handsome weirdo so far was much like most of the others. We hung out in the pool for a while, chatting and laughing. When I finished my drink and set it down by the side of the pool, my pal pushed me up against the wall and kissed me, fierce yet unhurried. I moaned, as I always do when he kisses me; he’s very, very good at it. He pushed his hardness against me through his swim briefs while we continued to make out and I felt myself get more and more turned on – another remarkable talent of his, given how difficult it is for me to relax into sexual situations in public.

There came a point where the things I wanted to do to him were no longer possible in the swimming pool, unless I intended to drown, so I told him we should go upstairs to the third floor – an area specifically designated for sex, where all men have to be accompanied by at least one woman to dissuade creeps. He pressed me harder against the pool wall, playfully kissing me and grinding against me until I reached a zenith of arousal so intense that I had to say, “No, seriously, let’s go. I want you to fuck me.” His signature goofy grin appeared as he said, “Yeah, that sounds good,” and followed me out of the pool.

Once upstairs, we kissed more, all chlorine-scented and towel-swaddled, and he pushed my towel aside so he could go down on me while I melted and writhed and called out meaningless syllables over the cacophony of other people fucking in the next room. Before too long, he was pushing two fingers inside me, deep, stroking me exactly the way I like it without needing to be told, and I was coming on his hand, feeling unrushed and unpressured. He’s very good, I thought, like I always do with him.

Then he fucked me relentlessly with his absolutely excellent dick, muttering all the while about how tight and hot and wet I was, until we collapsed in a damp heap on the red vinyl.

I treasure our post-sex ritual almost as much as our sex itself: we cuddle casually while watching and mocking the bad porn always playing on massive TV screens around the room. He makes me laugh and makes me feel safe. That night, I stayed until I was too tired to keep my eyes affixed on the porn anymore, and then he walked me downstairs, I got dressed, and we said good night.

The breakdown of romantic relationships always makes me especially grateful for my intimate relationships that are not romantic – their specialness and specificity, the affirmation they provide without demanding much in return, the needs they fulfill for me when more “serious” relationships feel too intense or difficult or unattainable. That hookup on the top floor of Oasis left me glowing, and not hurting. Except for the dull ache in my vag that means I’ve been well and truly fucked.

Sexplorations

This list is about my favorite encounters of the year – which, to be clear, doesn’t always necessarily mean the best sex I had all year. Sometimes the most memorable and meaningful encounters are also clumsy, imperfect, unpracticed. Sometimes sex is good emotionally moreso than physically – and sometimes it’s both.

Last week I went to hang out with a long-time far-away Twitter crush for a planned date. We had negotiated a broad range of activities, mostly including him inflicting sensations to me and exerting control over me, because that, as you may know, is my jam. Usually.

But once I got there, things felt different. I am ordinarily the subbiest sub and the bottomiest bottom, but this sweet pervy man turned to mush any time I climbed on top of him or told him what to do, even with commands as innocuous as “Come here so I can fix the tag on your T-shirt.” My dormant inner domme stirred, as we pushed and pulled each other’s limits and buttons. “I think I want to sit on your face,” I proposed as we laid in bed many hours into a multi-chapter sex-a-thon, and his voice trembled with excitement as he breathed, “Okay.”

Facesitting doesn’t have to be a dominant act, and I’ve done it as a submissive many times. Someone can pull you onto their face and hold you there until they’ve had your fill of you, while they lie with their head on a comfy pillow like a gluttonous monarch. This was not that, though. This time I was the queen… and his face was my throne.

I tugged on his curls to get him exactly where I wanted him, and took from him all the pleasure I wanted for as long as I wanted. When I was done, I brushed my hand along his skin, his chest hair, his belly and hips and the significant swell in his boxers. “Tell me what you want,” I murmured in his ear.

“I… I don’t feel I have the… the right to ask for anything right now,” he stammered subbily. I smiled.

“It wasn’t a question,” I clarified. “Tell me what you want. Nobody said you’re gonna get it.”

He swallowed hard. His words weren’t working so well. “I want to come,” he managed, at length. “I want your mouth on me.”

I purred with pleasure. This was the answer I wanted and he knew it. I crawled down his body and began to tease him with my tongue. A leisurely almost-blowjob, purely for my own tactile pleasure, my own amusement. “Tell me how beautiful I am,” I ordered, and he did. “Now tell me three things you like about my mouth,” I continued, and he did – still stammering, still barely coherent. “Do I need to stop?” I warned, his cock stilled in one hand, when he couldn’t quite get through an answer. “No, no, please,” he protested, and tried to get the words out. Good boy, I thought, but did not say, because my mouth was full of him. A very good boy indeed.

Dominance has always scared me because I anxiously and self-doubtingly believe no one will ever really want to do the things I tell them to do, because I’m not worthy of being wanted that much. But what I’ve learned is that some people do want me that much, and that sometimes the strength of their desire can lend me a confidence I don’t otherwise possess. And that can heal me, a little bit. As I take my pleasure from an obedient cutie, I can also pull some strength from them, some focus, some courage. Kink, as I’ve noted here many times before, is so much more than just a “sex thing.”

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?