Links & Hijinks: Murder & the Mona Lisa

• Sarah says pleasure is a form of political resistance. “Queer intimacy is revolutionary. Joyfully reveling in ourselves, each other, and our pleasure is revolutionary,” she writes. “For marginalized people, our pleasure shouts, ‘I see your violence, but you do not get to take THIS from me. My pleasure is mine, and mine alone.'”

• Carly has some great thoughts on money and abundance.

• Men discuss which women’s beauty products they use and love.

• Here’s how sexual satisfaction changes over the course of long-term relationships – and here’s how to keep passion alive.

• My friend Taylor is a delightfully brash flirt.

• Men, here’s how to listen when someone discloses their sexual assault to you. Quit #NotAllMen-ing all over important sexual assault discourse, and start actually being part of the solution.

• Interesting, scary, and sad: the shower murder scene in Psycho kickstarted a long-standing trend of sexual violence in horror movies.

• Who knew so much thought and work went into crafting Mona Lisa’s perfect smile?

First times often suck and that’s okay. (This post also contains a li’l checklist of sexual compatibility + chemistry signs to look out for during a first hookup with a new partner, which I found super interesting and useful!)

• “These days, a good handjob is rare but delightful,” reports MEL. I love giving HJs on intact cocks, but still haven’t quite figured out how to do as good a job on circumcised ones…

• Bex wrote about their spanking birthday party, which was a damn good time.

• Have we reached peak pegging culture?

• This one hit close to home for me: how do I stop obsessing about finding love?

• Tina Horn wrote a beautiful essay on queer culture, bravery, and glitter.

• There’s a new Hollywood film about polyamorous people and it might be poly’s watershed moment.

• Lunabelle reviewed the Teddy Love vibrator (which I’ve previously reviewed) and naturally, it’s hilarious. “Normally I’m at least a little excited to try a new sex toy, but NOPE,” she writes. “Slurpy McBuzzyface and I regarded each other in awkward silence…” This piece is worth reading if just for the utter ordeal Luna endured trying to take her Teddy Love through airport security!

• Merritt wrote about fake boobs and it certainly gave me a lot of boob for thought! Er, I mean…

• A male sex worker answered some questions about his line of work (and made me want to hire a male sex worker).

• Not having as much sex with your partner as you used to? Emily Nagoski has some evidence-based suggestions.

• Some interesting writing about how trans folks’ sexual desires change when they transition.

• Bex has some tips for taking better nudes. “Having dinner with my best friend often means reporting on the selfie lighting in the restaurant bathroom when we get back,” they mention at one point. Can confirm: last time Bex was in town, we got ridiculous BBQ at a place near my apartment, and I took some lovely nudes in the bathroom on Bex’s recommendation.

• A lot of men are bad at fingering and could stand to learn some new tricks.

• Some research on where fetishes come from – a question that has haunted me the entire time I’ve been a sex nerd.

• The great Tina Horn wonders: what do we expect from sex workers on social media?

• Taylor has some advice on flying with kink toys.

• Suz is a major role model of mine when it comes to casual sex and confidence in general. Here’s her advice on how to vet a potential hookup for sexual compatibility before you have terrible, lacklustre sex.

My Best Friend Bex: A Dildorky Love Story

Photo via Clitsta Anne.

If you listen to Erin Pim interviewing me on the Bed Post Podcast, you’ll hear her ask me: “Do you have a primary partner?” And you’ll hear me stammer through my nervous answer: “Not right now. Probably my steadiest sexual relationship is a fuckbuddy who doesn’t even live where I live, and is occasionally visiting. He’s my favorite person to bang. But like, right now, I’m not dating anybody.”

It’s a deflection, a half-truth. At the time, I was deep in unreturned love with said fuckbuddy, and struggling with the lack of a romantic label on our relationship – or on any of my sexual relationships.

In contrast to this noncommittal answer, though, toward the start of the podcast, Erin asks me about my friendship with Bex – and I elaborate with enthusiasm. “They’re my best friend in the world,” I declare. “Our friendship is, weirdly, one of the great love stories of my life.”

I have never had trouble defining my relationship with Bex. We’ve been best friends ever since we threesomed with a mutual friend at the Playground Conference in 2015. I’ve never felt so certain about a friendship so fast. It’s their 26th birthday today, so here are a few of my favorite moments from our almost-two-years of best-friendship thus far.


December 30th, 2015. Bex makes the impulsive decision to drive all the way to Toronto to spend New Year’s Eve with me. I scream.

At the New Year’s party at Round Venue, we dance up a storm, drink too much, make out with drag kings. As the clock ticks midnight, someone pops a balloon full of silver confetti over our heads, and we hug – like the platonic (and, frankly, superior) version of a romantic New Year’s kiss. This bodes well for the year ahead.


I ride a bus for 3 hours to go see a boy I have a crush on. We spend that night in his bed, drinking red wine, giggling, and kissing. The next day, I while away my entire 3-hour-long return trip texting Bex every detail of what happened.

The following week, that same boy comes to a party I host, and we flirt all night long. He invites me to have dinner with him the next day. We kiss goodnight, and I panic at the friend who co-hosted the party with me: “Is he going to ask me to be his girlfriend?! Doesn’t it seem like he wants to date me?!”

She thinks so, yes, but she isn’t sure. I grab my phone and type some all-caps concerns at Bex, who’s away from their phone because they’re at work. I know they won’t see my messages for hours – maybe not even until tomorrow – and that feels unthinkable. I need to know their take on this.

“I feel like half my brain is missing,” I whine miserably at my friend. She’s one of my best pals, and I love her. But she isn’t the other half of my brain. Bex is. I need Bex.


On our way to Caitlin‘s house to watch the new Spit porn scene, Bex and I stop in at Starbucks for coffee and snacks. “What are you two up to today?” the barista asks us brightly.

“Uhh, we’re going to a friend’s house,” I hedge.

“Oh yeah? What are you gonna do there?”

Bex and I look at each other nervously. “We’re going to watch a movie.”

“What type of movie?”

We laugh. “We don’t know yet,” I lie. “We’ll decide when we get there, I guess.”

I watch my best friend practically giggle half a scone out their nose, and we shuffle out of the Starbucks, barely containing our guffaws.


I attempt to double-penetrate myself with two giant dildos – while livetweeting, obviously. Bex coaches me through it via text, reminding me when to put a vibe on my clit, add more lube, or move on to the next warm-up toy. Meanwhile, we’re also carrying on a side conversation about movies we love and TV shows we recommend. None of this feels unnatural. All of this feels on-brand. This is true love.


We go out for lunch at 7 West with my new boyfriend. I know he’s kinky, but I’m not totally sure yet how kinky, or in what ways. In the midst of a theoretical discussion of kinks, Bex rattles off some examples: “Teacher/student roleplay, or doctor/patient, or Daddy Dom/little girl…” Boyfriend doesn’t say anything, but noticeably perks up, like an eager little dominant puppy.

Later, I comment, “That was funny, how he reacted when you mentioned DD/lg.” Bex scoffs, “Oh, I 100% did that on purpose to test his reaction, and he 100% passed the test.”

I wish everyone could have a best friend who wants a fulfilling sex life for their friends as much as Bex wants one for me.


In one of our many, many, many conversations about our various internet crushes, Bex and I decide we’re going to have a four-way wedding someday. This seems like the natural conclusion of our strange, incestuous-yet-nonsexual relationship.

It’s a slow day at my customer service job, so I muck around on my iPad and manage to calculate the exact average location between the four cities in which Bex, Bex’s current crush, my current crush and I each live. I scroll around the map and notice the magic spot is right near a town called… Dorking. “It’s settled. We’re getting married in Dorking,” I announce, sending Bex a link.

“Holy shit. Yes. Perfection,” they reply.


Bex never calls the men I kiss/fuck/date by their names – only by nicknames, which are often a bit cruel. Men don’t get names until they’ve earned them by being not-terrible, which most don’t.

The guy I’m interested in around the time Bex and I first become friends is called Good-Dick Garbage Human, because, well, his dick is great but he’s kind of awful. This naming convention becomes a recurring motif in our nicknames for boys: we are both forever questing for the fabled Good-Dick Good Human. Occasionally we meet a Good-Fingers Good Human, or a Good-Dick Okay Human. One step at a time.

We go to visit my fuckpal-du-jour at the store where he works. After some pleasantries and semi-flirtations, we say goodbye, and he shouts after me, “Don’t be a stranger!” We’re barely three steps out of the store when Bex turns to me and says, “That means he wants his dick in your mouth again.” That particular fuckpal is known simply as “Weird Dude” in the Bexicon forever after.

When I start dating a 5-foot-tall dominant, Bex christens him Napoleon, “because he’s short and thinks he’s in charge.”


Bex and I start using a hashtag in some of our text correspondence: #ThingsIdOnlyTellYou.

Some of the secrets chronicled therein: TMI missives about butts and vaginas, petty complaints about my metamours (#Pettymour), arrogant self-praise, suicidal ideations, creepy shit about crushes, slutty accomplishments, and stuff like this: “Help! I sucked off a Mustang while jerking off today, and it helped a lot with BJ cravings. #ThingsIdOnlyTellYou #INeedToGetLaid”

We joke that these confessions should be published in a book someday when we’re both dead, but dear god, no, don’t do that.


As I’m getting ready to go visit sex shops in Minneapolis, my phone buzzes. It’s a text from Kidder. I burst out laughing, a high-pitched giggly shriek.

From two rooms away, Bex calls, “What did Kidder say?”

“How did you know it was him?!” I inquire, mystified.

I can hear the self-satisfied smirk in their voice. “That was your surprised/funny/turned-on sound,” they attempt to explain. Best-friend mind-reading on point.


I find out Bex has never smoked weed before, and offer to guide them through their first time. One night on one of their many trips up to Toronto, we hole up in my bedroom with a vape, a grinder, some bud we just acquired at a dispensary, and a few blowjob porn scenes on tap, because we will need entertainment once we are blazed.

Bex isn’t much of a lightweight when it comes to booze, so they’re not sure how weed will affect them. “I don’t think I’m high,” they say, wrinkling their nose at me quizzically.

“Touch your leg,” I suggest, drawing from my own experiences of what being high feels like. “See if your skin feels weird.”

They run their hand along their calf. “Oooh, furry! No, I don’t think I’m high,” they chirp, and I laugh. They are definitely, definitely high.


Bex and I smoke a bunch of weed before heading out to see a show at Comedy Bar. On the way to the subway station, we both hear – clear as a bell – the sound of a coin dropping. We spend five minutes looking around on the ground, trying to find the missing coin. We never find it, and reach the conclusion that we must just have both hallucinated the same exact sound at the same exact moment. As best friends do.

At Comedy Bar, we run into my ex-boyfriend, a comedian. We’re both way, way, way too high to navigate this interaction, so it goes horribly. After he leaves, I turn to Bex and say, “Did that actually just happen?”

They look just as bewildered as I feel. “I think so,” they say. We laugh nervously.


Trying to come back home from New York in January, I miscalculate my subway route on the way to the airport, and accidentally miss my flight. Rather, I get there an hour before takeoff, but that’s too late – they won’t let me fly.

I break down in the departures hall, leaning against my suitcase for strength, crying, hyperventilating. I was already descending into a post-travel mental health drop, and this development just kicked it into overdrive. I panic. I freak out. I want to die. I text Bex.

They calm me down, like they always do. Slowly and carefully, like they’re addressing a child (because right now, they kind of are), they talk me through the process of investigating other ticket options, finding out what can be done about my situation. When the answer is “nothing,” they go online and buy me a ticket for the following morning. Then they text me detailed instructions for how to get back to their house on the subway, and insist I update them regularly as I go along.

Suicidal ideations gnaw at me even harder as I drag my suitcase back into the subway system. I feel like a senseless failure, a pointless waste of space. I’ve long since exhausted the limited supply of tissues I keep in my purse, and I text Bex, amid scary confessions and depressed rambles, “I want to go to the CVS and buy more Kleenex. Like, so much that I will never run out. I want my next boyfriend to be made of an absorbent material.”

Dissociating from my body a bit, as I often do when severely depressed, I tell Bex, “I might be a ghost. A wet ghost.” Always witty, even at the toughest of times, Bex calmly responds, “Then you can haunt me and make me a better writer.” I write back, “This sentence is too woooordyyyy!” They quip, “Use less commaaaaas!” I laugh a little on the subway and type back, “Fewer commaaaaas!”

When I finally, finally reach the subway station closest to Bex’s apartment, I lug my suitcase down the endless stairs, hollow and empty and dead inside. At the bottom of the stairs is my best friend, my angel, my knight, wearing a Batman pajama onesie and a leather collar, and holding a brand-new bright yellow box of Kleenex just for me.

They put their arm around me and we walk to the CVS, where they make me buy some food I don’t want to eat, and then we go back to their place, where they make me eat the food because I need to. Then they set me up in front of their computer and let me watch whatever YouTube videos will make my bone-aching depression lift even the slightest bit: McElroy brothers clips, Goodbye Honolulu music videos, John Mulaney stand-up. I feel a little better.

Early early early the next morning, Bex wakes me up and helps me to an Uber. I get to the airport hours early for my new flight. I sit in the departures lounge silently, profoundly awed that I have found such a wonderful friend, of whom I often feel unworthy but without whom I simply cannot imagine going through life.

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).

On Love That Doesn’t Last

I thought about relationship longevity when my college boyfriend asked me to stop wearing antiperspirant with aluminum in it.

“It can give you breast cancer,” he said, “and you already have a family history of breast cancer, so you’re especially at risk. You should switch to one without aluminum. Please.”

I ran a quick risk-reward calculation in my head. Possible eventual breast cancer, in a medical system that knows how to treat it and will do so at no cost to me, versus a few decades of visibly sweaty pits. It seemed to me it was a risk worth taking. Plus there was that other matter… “I probably wouldn’t even get the cancer until my forties or fifties,” I responded, reasonably.

“So?”

“So why do you care? We probably won’t even know each other by then.” My words hung in the air. We peered at each other curiously. A stand-off.

“I care about you and don’t want you to get cancer,” he said, finally, answering exactly zero of the questions I’d implied.

I thought about relationship longevity when a friend asked me if I’d be with my boyfriend forever, and I scoffed, “God, no.”

She was shocked. “But you two always seem so happy! Is something wrong? Are you going to break up?”

I laughed. I couldn’t help it. “No! We’re very happy. I love him a ton. He’s my favorite person on earth.”

I watched the confusion stagnate on her face.

How do you explain to someone that love can be good even if it’s brief, in a culture that adamantly steers us away from that knowledge? How do you prove that what makes you happy now won’t make you happy forever, nor should it have to? How do you unlearn the trope that love’s only love if it lasts?

I thought about relationship longevity when one of the kids on the improv team I coached made a Facebook status: “I love my girlfriend sooooo much and I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with her!” He couldn’t have been more than 15 years old.

Was it cynicism that made me roll my eyes, or just realism?

I cast my mind back to when I was 15. I thought I was in love with the purple-haired girl who’d recently dumped me. She was my first girlfriend, my first kiss, and my first break-up – yet I believed with my whole heart that she was irreplaceable, unrepeatable. I could marry that girl, I wrote in my journal, and it felt true, and maybe it was true; who knows.

When friends asked me why I was so fixated on this girl, the point I returned to again and again was: I could never get bored of her. Our conversations were so sharp and quick, our brains so well-matched, that we could debate and joke and argue forever and every moment would feel fresh.

Now her purple hair is black, and her eyes are sadder, and I can see that our hearts were as bad a pair as our brains were a good one. She wanted adventure; I wanted domesticity. She wanted independence; I wanted reliance. Sure, she never would have bored me, but I’m not sure that’s an altogether good thing.

I thought about relationship longevity when I met Bex. No friendship had ever formed so easily, quickly and solidly in my entire life. One day in November 2015, we were casual acquaintances who vaguely knew each other from Twitter and a bloggers’ retreat. The next day, we had had a threesome together, talked about sex and dating and flirting for hours, and become best friends. “Friendship cemented!” we crowed at each other over mac and cheese, and it wasn’t a joke.

If Bex had been a romantic interest of mine, instead of just a pal, friends would have told me to slow down. They would have said, “Whoa, that person drove nine hours to be with you on New Year’s Eve? Isn’t that a little intense?” They would have said, “You’re staying in that person’s house for five days and they’re letting you borrow their dildos? Isn’t it a little soon for that?” They would have said, “Hang on, you’re starting a podcast together? How do you know you won’t get into a fight and break up?”

But none of it scared me. None of it felt uncomfortable or rushed or ill-advised. Because I just knew. I knew we were meant to find each other in this weird world, I knew we were best friends in the truest sense of that phrase, and I knew we would be friends for a long time.

Sometimes you just know.


Wearing his shirt.

I thought about relationship longevity when I first met my current friend-with-benefits – because I wanted us to never be apart, and I don’t think he knew what he wanted.

Our first meeting was dazzling and disorienting. He talked about himself a lot but every word charmed and fascinated me. We talked for three or four hours over beer (me) and wine (him) and it felt like no time at all. I could’ve listened to him talk all night. And I would’ve, too, if he hadn’t gotten tired and wanted to say goodnight.

As is my M.O. as a shy person, I hadn’t opened up enough for him to see the real me – so he didn’t know we were meant to be friends. He showed me both his outsides and his insides, but he only saw my outsides, so he didn’t know our insides matched. He didn’t hear the jokes that cropped up in my head seconds before he made them, the emotional reactions that crossed my heart before they crossed his face.

When I went home and journaled my first impressions of him that night, I wanted to call him “the twin of my soul,” but that felt melodramatic, embarrassing, even in the privacy of my diary. That phrase floated around in my skull every time I saw him thereafter, though. Did you know you’re the twin of my soul? I thought but never asked.

It took months for me to relax around him, so it took months for him to see who I really was. But when he did, he knew too, I think. “I get the sense that you and I are going to be in each other’s lives for a long time,” he said to me once, slowly, as we sipped coffee at a diner. Harsh afternoon light filtered in behind him, and I shielded my eyes, but couldn’t conceal the grin that split my face. Finally, he understood. The twin of my soul.

Review: Standard Glass S-Curve

Never buy someone a sex toy they haven’t specifically requested. You can’t know what someone’s tastes in toys are. You can’t know what will work for someone else’s body. It’s always better to buy them a gift card, or take them shopping, and let them pick out a toy for themselves.

Unless you’re my best friend Bex, in which case you can disregard everything I just said, apparently.

During my last visit to New York, Bex presented me with a handmade S-Curve dildo by Standard Glass. “It’s your favorite shade of turquoise,” they said, “and it’ll hit your A-spot!” I was stunned. It was a gorgeous, thoughtful gift – the kind of toy I would have picked out for myself. How did I get so lucky to have a friend as good as Bex?

We were hanging out with my FWB, with whom I had a sex-date planned for the following day. “You should fuck me with this,” I chirped at him. But he’s a Responsible Adult so he just nervously eyed the hard tile floor we were standing on and said, “Please don’t drop that.” I slipped the toy back into its gift bag to appease him: “Okay, dad.”

The next night, at the hotel we’d booked, I broke out the S-Curve. “So how does this work?” my fuckpal asked, and I shrugged and said, “I don’t know! Let’s find out!” He lubed the long, smooth end of it and slid it into me, curve facing up to access my A-spot. Moans spouted from my mouth immediately. Oh, yes.

As its name suggests, the S-Curve has a gentle sloping “S” shape. Many of my favorite toys do, in fact; I definitely have a “type” when it comes to dildos. The formidable metal Njoy Eleven, the heroically G-spotty NobEssence Seduction, and my beloved Fucking Sculptures Double Trouble all have this basic shape in common. What can I say? I know what I like.

The S-Curve’s similarities to the Double Trouble are all the qualities I love about it. It’s long enough, and has a subtle enough curve, that it can get all up in my A-spot without bothering my cervix. (It can also hit my G-spot if I thrust it more shallowly, though I usually don’t.) Like another S-shaped glass toy I love, the Fucking Sculptures G-Spoon, the S-Curve’s meager 1.25″ diameter is roughly equivalent to the size of two fingers – i.e. the exact number of fingers I request and enjoy most when partners are fingerbanging me – so it hits my spot brilliantly and I can fantasize about partners fingering me to my heart’s content when I use it.

My FWB calls the S-Curve “the Double Trouble on easy mode,” and for my intents and purposes, it is. It goes for my A-spot with the same precision and deftness, but because it’s slimmer, lighter, and has that bloopy end, it’s much easier to hold onto and thrust with. If I’m craving a side order of girth with my A-spot stim, I’ll still reach for the Dub Trubz – but if all I want is targeted stimulation of one particular internal spot, it gets the job done perfectly.

All S-Curves, while handmade, are basically the same dimensions – 8″ long and 1.25″ wide. It is a glass masterpiece, a beauteous work of art. I don’t need my sex toys to be beautiful, because I don’t spend a lot of time actually looking at them while I’m using them, but it’s nonetheless nice to have something so elegant-looking on my nightstand.

Bex is still the only person on earth I would trust to choose a sex toy for me. They knocked this one out of the fuckin’ park.

 

You can buy the S-Curve at the Smitten Kitten for $120 USD!