Diary of a Ghosted Girl

Sunday night. I am depressed. I have been depressed for a solid week, with no hypomanic reprieve. Shit is dire.

I have guzzled more wine than I ought to’ve, and smoked more weed than is probably reasonable. There are one or two crusted tears on my cheeks, but mostly I’m numb. Aching to feel something; aching to ache.

A new OkCupid message lands in my inbox, and I open it with the characteristic slowness of a person weighed down by depression. “Fuck. This profile was an intensely enjoyable read that had me grinning like a total idiot,” it reads. “I don’t even know where to start except HEY (for now).” Then he asks me something about toxic jelly dildos, which I mention in my profile. My ears perk up, and so do I, a little.

I flick through his profile – pictures, paragraphs, compatibility question responses – and it achieves the rare thing of making him seem more interesting rather than less. (Most men are atrocious at writing online-dating profiles.) I message him back.

Our conversation kicks into high gear almost immediately. Jokes. Stories. Questions. All-caps shouts of “ME TOO!” and sparks of recognition. He likes my puns. I care if he likes my puns. I talk about my work and he doesn’t take it as an invitation to ask invasive questions about my sex life, as so many OkSuitors before him have. I am absurdly, miraculously, hastily hooked.

He tells me his full name – “incase you’d like to move this over to Facebook/creep me for mutual friends/affirm I am in fact a real person and not an elaborate cat-fishing account” – and, to my shock, it’s almost exactly the name of a person I used to be in love with. Their first names are as close as Lee and Leo, and they have the same surname. Intellectually, I understand that this doesn’t mean anything. Emotionally, it seems to mean quite a lot. It feels like the universe is shining a spotlight on this boy and shouting in my ear: Notice this person. Pay attention. He could be important.

We move things over to text. We talk about sex in a way that is flirty but not explicit – my favorite, when I don’t know someone well yet. He’s such a good flirt that I’m screaming and cackling at my phone – indeed so good that a friend christens him “Mr. Goodflirtz” when I relay the key points of our conversation later.

I send him a picture of me. Not a nude – just a cute selfie, where I’m pleased with how I look, and I look like the kind of girl that a man like him might be interested in. “Fuck,” he writes back. “…Fuuuuck. I mean you are just so fucking good-looking.” More cackling at my phone. More blushing, sweating, and covering my eyes. My heart is thudding.

But it’s late, and I have to get some sleep – which I laughingly tell him even as he’s still blowing up my phone with compliments in little green text bubbles. “Yes yes sorry,” he writes. “Good night.”

I do a thing I have done too many times, and have promised myself not to do again: I get over-invested. I turn his name and face over in my mind. I lie awake thinking about the dress I’ll wear on our first date, and what we’ll do after he tugs it off of me. Eventually, somehow, I fall asleep – and dream about his pretty mouth all night.

On Monday morning I am pinged awake by my phone’s text tone. “That picture was the first thing I saw this morning as it was still open on my phone,” I blink sleep out of my eyes to read. This is followed by some gratuitous information about how his dick is reacting to said photo and what he is doing about it – information I find charming, not alarming, because at this point I feel like I know him. He is a wizard with words. His words alone have made me want to kiss his face, suck his dick, build some kind of future. It’s ridiculous.

“I’d gladly take any other pictures you’d like to share,” he adds – politely, I think. But I have a boundary around this, which I explain to him: I don’t like to sext with people before I meet them in person. It often makes me lose interest in them, or feel weird, so I tend to avoid it, especially if I suspect I might actually like the person. “Fair enough,” he writes back. “Let’s hang soon, then.”

“I am free tonight or Thursday,” I tell him, and he replies, “Thursday is probably best, but mayyybe tonight.” We talk logistics – locations, times – and lapse once again into giggly half-sexts laced with wordplay. I’m still barely awake; I tell him I’m going back to sleep, and I’ll be in touch later.

That afternoon, I send him a selfie of me looking put-upon and adorable. “This is my ‘You should have drinks with me tonight’ face,” I caption it.

No answer. I try to keep myself occupied with other diversions. Four hours pass. I complain to my best friend, stare at my phone for far too long, then decide to take a nap, hoping I’ll wake up to a text notification.

I wake up a few hours later. “I’m dying of anxiety,” I tell Bex. “Why hasn’t he texted me back?!” Bex, the greatest friend anyone could hope for, replies: “You don’t know much about him. Maybe work got out of hand, maybe he has food poisoning, maybe something came up with his family, maybe a friend just went through a breakup, maybe he was up all night last night and fell asleep, maybe he got hit by a bus, maybe he’s secretly a superhero and is fighting his arch nemesis, maybe he burned all of his fingers making tacos and can’t use a phone, maybe his phone broke and he’s at the store trying to get it fixed, maybe Pennywise lured him into the sewers with the promise of all the pussy he could eat, maybe he is volunteering at an animal shelter and got distracted by all the puppies, maybe he got lost in that weird circus store y’all have and has no phone service and is wondering if he’s going to starve and should start eating his own arm… I could keep going.” I laugh, but I’m still sick with anxiety.

“Or maybe he’s a dick who decided to ghost after 12 hours,” Bex continues, “in which case, you dodged a bullet, because you don’t want to hang out with him, because he’s a dick.”

do want to hang out with him, is the thing.

My anxiety disorder has decided this is the most important thing in the world. I barely sleep, barely eat. I feel nauseous over the idea that not only does “Mr. Goodflirtz” not want me, but no one wants me, no one has ever wanted me, no one will want me ever again. I wonder if he was only ever looking for a sexting partner. I wonder if he Googled me and got scared off. I wonder if he was using fake pictures and fake information to solicit nudes from me. I wonder if he was an undercover creep from 4Chan or the Red Pill. I can’t stop wondering. My sleepless night is a whirlpool of uncontrollable wondering.

On Tuesday morning, I resolve that I will not text him.

On Tuesday afternoon, I text him. “Hey, would Thursday still be a good night to get drinks?” I hate myself immediately after pressing “send.”

By Tuesday night, he still hasn’t answered. I log onto OkCupid to stare longingly at our messages – and I see that he’s online. After fighting the urge to anxiety-puke, I fight the not-altogether-different urge to message him some variation of “Yo, what the fuck, bro?!” I have to physically close my computer and walk away from it to keep myself from doing this. It feels like the most difficult thing I’ve done in a very long time.

On Wednesday I go to a therapy appointment. I sniffle and sob while telling my endlessly compassionate therapist about this dumb boy and all the dumb feelings I’m feeling about him. It’s a double-whammy: I’m hurting because he disappeared, and because I’m embarrassed by how much this has hurt me. He didn’t owe me anything. I know that. And yet I can’t help feeling wronged. Dropped. Ghosted.

“You just lost your job, you’re still dealing with the fallout of unrequited love, and then this happened,” my therapist points out, reasonably. “You’ve been rejected a lot lately. Rejection hurts. But it’s not a reflection on you. It doesn’t mean you’re unloveable.”

Tears stream down my face. I know she’s right. But I don’t believe she’s right. They are two different things.

My phone’s been on Do Not Disturb mode for the duration of our appointment, like it always is – and as I walk out my therapist’s office door, I press the home button, blindly hoping. But nope. Still nothing. The ghost is still dead, and so, it seems, is my heart.

A fuckbuddy I was supposed to see on Wednesday night texts to say that he’s sick, and to ask if we can reschedule for next week. I know him well enough to know he isn’t lying, but my anxiety suspects he might be – because I distrust all men right now. If someone could be so enthusiastic about me and then disappear off the goddamn face of the earth, then everyone could be lying about everything. I ignore the anxious voices in my head and choose to accept that a request to reschedule is indeed a request to reschedule – not another rejection, perched upon my already precarious heap of recent rejections.

On Wednesday night, I spend hours in bed just numbly staring at the ceiling, trying to figure out what I did wrong, what I can do differently going forward. I grab my phone and open Tinder. I know it’s bad. I know. It’s like an alcoholic trying to nix their “one last” hangover with “one last” hair of the dog.

But it makes me feel a bit better. I flirt with a few boys, until I find one I actually connect with on some level. We talk, and joke, and learn about each other, in the formulaic dance that early online-dating interactions all tend to follow. It’s not fiery with white-hot excitement like it was with Mr. Goodflirtz, but it’s something.

We schedule a date, and I go to sleep, dreaming of someone new.

I don’t think about my ghost much on Thursday. But late that evening, my phone’s text tone beeps, and my heart leaps into my throat. I claw the thing out of my purse at lightning speed.

“How are you feeling today?” a friend has texted to ask – and I’m so goddamn angry at myself for being disappointed.

Links & Hijinks: Blowjobs, Dopamine, & Carmen Miranda

• Girl on the Net wrote about rediscovering the real joy of sex after stressing yourself out thinking that sex “should” be joyful. I love pieces like this which acknowledge the sometimes unglamorous realities of sex, which many people feel broken for experiencing.

• Here’s some men talking about their sex toys. There’s lots to like about this article, but I particularly lost my shit over this line: “Men can orgasm at the drop of a hat, generally speaking (at least if it’s a particularly sexy hat — I’m thinking a Carmen Miranda fruit hat, that big wide-brimmed one Beyonce wears in the Formation video, one of those ones that has a beer can on either side).”

• Is mocking a man’s small dick on par with the body-shaming experienced by women? To me, the answer is “obviously yes,” but this article is still worth a read, if just for the absurd story therein about two Instagram models whose post-breakup drama played out online in the form of passive-aggressive dick snipes.

• “I can’t stop thinking about penetration” is one of the best opening sentences I’ve read in a while. Here, the Establishment’s Katie Tandy writes beautifully about penis envy and power dynamics.

• The great Alana Hope Levinson’s thoughts on “the cuckboi” made me shriek with laughter. “The cuckboi understands that there’s no ethical consumption under capitalism, unless you’re eating pussy.” TOO GOOD.

• On the loquacious raving and “intrusive thinking” that happens when you have a new crush: “When the object of your desire isn’t around, and therefore you lack that dopamine rush in your brain, you might feel like you’re in withdrawal. So, you may try to achieve small dopamine rushes from talking about your crush to your friends.” Gawd, I am so guilty of this. Sorry, friends.

• My bestie wrote about why they love blowjobs*sigh* Why am I not blowing anyone right now?! (Well… this post was prewritten and queued up in advance, so I guess it’s possible I am blowing someone right now, as you read this. Who can say?)

• Bex also wrote about sex ed, sex-positivity, and meeting people where they’re at. I love this. I’ve only been working in sex toy retail for two months but I already feel like I’ve learned so much about these concepts from working on the “front lines.”

• This piece on anxiety and productivity is haunting and important. Read this if the current state of the world makes you anxious and so do thoughts of resisting, standing up for what matters, making change.

Trans kink porn is important! God, this article reeeeeally made me want to watch The Training of Poe…

• Depression may actually have a positive evolutionary purpose. Certainly puts things in perspective! “This framing of depression as a space for reflection is empowering, and lends a degree of agency to the person being pressed down,” Drake Baer writes. “Like anxiety, depression might be trying to tell you something.”

• A “boyfriend dick” is the kind of dick you could see yourself settling down with. I must say, though, I prefer the more gender-inclusive phrase “good dick,” which really says it all! (Incase it wasn’t obvious: the concept of a “good dick” is very subjective. Please don’t worry about whether your dick is good or not. If you keep it clean and use it respectfully, there are lots of people who would consider it a “good dick,” I promise.)

• What happens when best friends control each other’s vibrators?! (I think me and Bex should try this sometime.)

• Maybe we need to reject body-positivity and embrace body-neutrality. I love this idea! “Neutrality is the freedom to go about your day without such a strong focus on your body,” says one of the people quoted in this article.

• JoEllen wrote some spot-on guidelines for having good, ethical casual sex.

• This piece about Trump and BDSM argues that consent education, and the communication skills one can learn through practicing kink, are more critical than ever in our current political climate. Interesting stuff.

• I loved this short piece about pain, mindfulness, and transcendence. It spins a whole world out of a few moments of intense (consensual) pain, which is indeed what those experiences feel like to me sometimes.

12 Days of Girly Juice 2016: 4 Fun Events

This year I was officially diagnosed with social anxiety disorder – a pronouncement so obvious to me and anyone who knows me that it was hardly necessary at all. My friends have seen me hyperventilate on the stoop outside a party, walk around the block six times before feeling ready to enter a gallery opening, smoke weed on my way to a networking event to make my presence possible, and break down crying in a busy Starbucks because I physically couldn’t walk into the newsroom at my school. Suffice it to say, events can be hard for me.

While social anxiety is moreso a curse than a blessing, it does make me extra grateful for events where I actually feel comfortable. It helps to have friends accompanying me who understand the anxieties I deal with, and I’m fortunate that wonderful friends accompany me to events more often than not these days. All my favorite events this year were favorites because of the fun, kind, welcoming people I got to hang out with – some of whom may not even know how much I appreciated having them there. Here are those events…

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#HaveDildosWillTravel is the official name and hashtag Taylor, Caitlin, Bex and I gave to our cross-country road trip in the springtime, after rejecting other options like #CarOfQueers, #RoadTripOfBabes, and #HitTheRoadJackOff.

Planned meticulously in Google Drive documents (mostly by Bex, my hero) over the course of several weeks, our trip began in New York, then meandered through Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin, until we reached our destination, Minneapolis. Along the way, we attended a sex conference, bought kink implements at a toy store, oohed and aahed at the Leather Archives, introverted at queer cafés, ate artisanal donuts for breakfast every day, shopped at the Mall of America, ogled Colin‘s sex toy studio, and visited multiple queer-owned sex shops. On the morning of my 24th birthday, I woke up in Bex’s sister’s femme-as-hell bed in a Pennsylvania farmhouse; that night, I went to bed in a swanky hotel in Chicago.

The cast of characters on our wacky trip included, among others: a diner owner’s mother who didn’t understand our collars, an enthusiastic leather archivist who complimented my vulva ring, a helpful moustachioed hotel clerk, a hot domly dude who owned a kink-themed coffee shop, a beardy Tinder boy who owned far too many nerdy snapbacks, a self-identified radical fairy named Dragon who had once made “consent-based vegetable porn” on a commune, a friendly Tinder stranger nicknamed Face Tattoo, and a lifelong hero who kissed me on a sunny side street.

Although I’m 24 and have therefore theoretically been an “adult” for quite some time, it’s only within the past year and a half that traveling without my parents has become a frequent and normal thing for me. This feels like a rite of passage, a bastion of grownupdom, a milestone in my journey toward self-sufficiency. But though it makes me feel independent, I don’t have to do it all alone. Traveling with friends is so damn much fun. We laughed practically all day every day during #HaveDildosWillTravel, about everything from sex to scenery to selfies, and it’s a trip I will always remember fondly.

Photo from Smut in the 6ix’s Facebook page.

Smut in the 6ix sounded like a literal dream come true when I first heard of it. A collaboration between Playground and Spit, Smut was a day-long celebration of the burgeoning indie porn scene in my hometown of Toronto. During the day, porn nerds gathered for panel discussions about the technical, social, artistic, and political facets of porn creation. At night, there was a big gala with live performances, porn scene screenings, and lotsa dancing. Told you: a dream come true.

I was lucky enough to be asked to moderate a panel at Smut, and was also invited to perform some music at the gala. It was a terrific honor to be involved. I’m so grateful to Caitlin K. Roberts, Samantha Fraser, and Claire AH for organizing the whole shebang; as always, it was a delight to convene with my fellow sex-positive weirdos and get nerdy together!

In 2015, it made me super sad to see my favorite sex bloggers social-media’ing about all the fun they were having at the Woodhull Sexual Freedom Summit. I resolved to do my very best to make it to the Summit in 2016 – and I managed to save enough money to make it happen. Hooray!

I flew to Washington by myself without having an anxiety meltdown (success!) and checked into the hotel, where I was sharing a room with Sarah and Artemisia. I hadn’t met either of them in person before, but they were so delightful, and totally ideal roomies for me!

Sex-positive events are where I feel most able to be myself. My anxiety mostly melts away and I throw caution to the wind: I dress weird, speak my mind, laugh loudly, and go on adventures. It helps that people actually know who I am at these events, making me feel like a powerful little starlet! Woodhull had also thoughtfully set up a “bloggers’ lounge,” perfectly appointed with coffee galore and sex toys to fondle. I felt truly in my element.

I wish I could’ve gotten to know everyone at Woodhull, but like many bloggers, I’m an anxious introverted weirdo and could only do what I could do. Luckily, though, I did make several new friends. April offered to let me borrow her lipstick for blowjob purposes; Mandi‘s laugh lit up my life; Lorax‘s dark sass slayed me; Sarah was so adorable and clever I wanted to high-five her constantly; I quaffed wine with Mary and Harry; I cooed over Crista‘s killer eye makeup and bought an Ethical Misandrist sticker from her; Polly‘s sex stories kept me on the edge of my seat; I finally got to ogle (part of) Lunabelle‘s epic dildo collection in person; I delighted in Girl on the Net‘s hilarious sexy poems; and Sugarcunt frequently made me laugh so hard I thought I might choke to death. Plus I got to spend time with several treasured blogger friends I’d met before: Suz, Piph, Lilly, CaitlinHedonish, JoEllen, and of course, my bestie Bex.

I spanked a beautiful butt, learned about sex ed and sexual freedom, attended a fancy gala, and snapped selfies with femme friends. It was truly – to steal a phrase from Lilly – “like sex-blogger Christmas.” I’m already daydreamin’ about Woodhull 2017, and it can’t come soon enough.

Photo via Taylor J Mace.

Bex wanted a spanking party for their 25th birthday, and so, #BirthdayBruises was born. It was lovely to celebrate this milestone with sex-savvy friends both local and far-away. I put on a ridiculous outfit and pranced around our cozy Airbnb playing hostess – a role which involved everything from serving drinks to administrating the livestream to spanking the birthday bean. When Bex had taken all they could take, they were accosted by cuddles on the couch and I brought them some refrigerated mint-chocolate truffles. Sex bloggers really know how to party, y’all.

I’m so glad that this experience was affirming and uplifting for Bex. It was for me, too, even though I barely got hit at all. It’s always comforting to marry my sex blogger life with my IRL/offline life, to blend those two friend groups together, to embody all my favorite parts of myself without needing to compromise or hide any of them. This party also demonstrated my friends’ immense generosity: guests helped us with tech troubles, took over hosting duties when Bex and I were otherwise occupied, and (of course) harnessed their brawn to make Bex’s birthday-spanking fantasies come true. Gosh, I love my friends.

What were your favorite sex-positive or sex-adjacent events in 2016?

12 Days of Girly Juice 2016: 7 Bangin’ Selfies

It’s the 21st century, so our lives are documented most vividly in hastily-snapped smartphone selfies. Flipping through the selfies folder on my phone is an emotional journey: big smiles, momentous days, fond memories. It was hard to choose just seven selfies to tell the story of my year, but I think these are the best ones to do that.

img_1329In April, I went on a road trip to Minneapolis by way of Chicago, with Bex, Taylor, and Caitlin. There were some long, long days of driving – days when we’d be on the road for 10 or 11 hours at a time. We rarely got bored, because we had each other’s company and our phones to keep us entertained (except when Bug Tussel fucked up our cell service briefly), but at one point the road became so monotonous to me that I began sexting a fuckbuddy back home out of sheer desperation. He politely requested a boob selfie from me and Bex, and we reminded him, “Subs respond better to direct orders!” The reply came back, “Okay: topless pic. Now.” In the middle of a rainstorm on a highway somewhere in Wisconsin, we whipped our tits out and snapped this silly shot (with Caitlin in the background). “That was like the boss fight of nudes!” Bex declared afterward.

imageRemember that time I met one of my lifelong heroes, Kidder Kaper, while visiting his hometown in the midwest? Remember how he drove me back to my Airbnb and then asked me if I wanted to kiss?! Remember how, immediately after that kiss, we got out of the car and took a bunch of goofy selfies together? I will treasure these shots forever, I’m sure. This one, in particular, makes me smile. Kidder looks as impassioned as ever, and my facial expression is the exact blend of delight and astonishment I was feeling about the whole situation.

img_2890My friend Brent is one of my favorite people on earth. We connected on Twitter by chance last year when I started listening to his podcast and tweeting at him. Then we met in person when he spent some time in Toronto developing Use Your Words, and instantly bonded over a shared love of showtunes, good booze, and bad puns. (Plus he understands that I am the Queen of Wands.) We took a fair number of selfies together this year, at various shindigs, but this one is my favorite. That glowy, giggly grin on my face? That is how happy this dude makes me, with his jokes, his songs, and his friendship. (Sorry-not-sorry fer gettin’ all sappy on you.)

img_1790It was pretty freakin’ momentous for me to meet Gala Darling in person this year; she’s been my hero since I was 15. She was preternaturally kind and encouraging, at a time in my life when I needed her exact brand of tough-love mentorship even more than usual. We snapped this selfie together on an East Village side street while waiting for Gala’s astrologer friend to come meet up with us. It’s cliché to say I felt like I was dreaming, but I did: how else could I possibly be in New York City with my role model/spirit mama?!

imageI was stoked as hell to meet porn legend Nina Hartley at the Woodhull Sexual Freedom Summit. She was a total sweetheart and I now have bragging rights for the rest of time. But what I think about, when I look at this photo, is the minutes that led up to it. I’d told Bex I wanted to meet Nina but was too nervous to go and talk to her. Bex, ever an encourager of my dreams, calmly told me that I was going to go talk to Nina; there were no two ways about it. Bex grabbed my hand, led me over to Nina, and introduced me to her. I feel so blessed to have friends who care about me enough to give me tough love when my anxiety is being an idiot. If not for Bex, I never would’ve gotten to tell Nina about that time my first boyfriend quoted one of her videos when going down on me!

When I was targeted by a bunch of misogynist trolls in July, one of them wrote a blog post about me and gleefully linked to this photo of me in my Aslan Nicki harness as if it were some horrible, disgusting thing that could not ever be unseen. I had to laugh when I clicked through and saw which photo he’d linked to. It wasn’t anything I’d consider ugly or embarrassing; in fact, I look babely as hell in this picture. I felt hot that night and wanted to celebrate it, commemorate it. That’s why I took this shot; that’s why I take most of the selfies I take. Never let anyone shame you for expressing your glorious, gorgeous self in a reverential self-portrait; you deserve to be immortalized in this way.

img_3453The night this was taken, my friend Cadence had invited me over to catch up, which amounted to me basically crying at her about boys all night. We ordered sushi, drank a lot of whiskey, and I told her about the rejections, break-ups and betrayals I’d been through recently. Getting that all off my chest, and laughing with my oldest friend, made my problems seem surmountable for the first time in a long while. I ducked into her bathroom, glanced in the mirror, and saw a foxy babe staring back at me, instead of just a hollow, depressed shell of a girl. So I pulled my shirt down, fluffed up my hair, and snapped this shot. I felt powerful, defiant, and uncharacteristically capable. I felt like things were going to be okay.

What are your favorite selfies you took this year?

We’re Having a Spanking Party (and You’re Invited!)

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My best friend Bex is turning 25 this month, and what they want for their birthday is to get spanked. A lot.

I enjoy hosting parties, and I enjoy spanking people. Before this, I’ve never had the opportunity to do both at the same time. I’m excited!

We combed Airbnb for an apartment to rent, and found a cute one with a great location, ample space for party guests, and plentiful surfaces to bend Bex over. We’ve invited a small group of sex-positive babes, including Taylor, Suz, and Rosaline. Each guest may give Bex 25 smacks (one for each year Bex has been alive) with an implement of their choice. Those who don’t want to participate can just hang out and chill – it’s a birthday party as much as it’s a spanking party!

I think it’ll be an interesting opportunity to observe the different spanking styles of my various friends. You can learn a lot about a person by how they smack an ass!

Here’s the really exciting part: you can join in on the fun, even if you live far far away. We’re going to livestream the spanking portion of the party via Google Hangouts On Air. The broadcast will get started on Saturday, September 17th at 9:30 p.m. Eastern time. You can buy your ticket by sending $8 (U.S. dollars, please) to Bex through this link. (Make sure to write your email address in the “notes” field, so we know where to send the link to the broadcast.)

The money will largely go toward Bex’s travel and accommodations expenses, enabling them to be with some of their best pals for their birthday. So it’s a double-whammy of deliciousness: you get to watch a cute babe get spanked, and you get to do a good thing for the aforementioned cute babe!

For bonus fun, you’ll be able to “virtually spank” Bex. During the broadcast, you can pay an additional $5 for 10 smacks, or $10 for 25. You’ll get to choose which party guest does the hitting (as long as they consent, obviously), and which implement they use. Fun, right?!

We’re all about social media, so if you want to live-tweet while you watch, you are more than welcome to! The hashtag for the event is #BirthdayBruises. If you feel like hyping us up and cheering us on, before or during the event, Twitter’s a lovely way to do that. You can also tweet the image above, if you want to invite your followers to join the party.

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I’ve already started packing my bag of spanking implements and accessories. Here’s what I’ve got up my sleeve:

• The Tantus Pelt and Wham Bam. These silicone paddles are stingy as hell and pack some snappy momentum into each stroke. I’m a bit sentimental about the Pelt because it’s the first implement I ever spanked Bex with, back in the early days of our friendship. Aww.

• A stone crop I bought at kink-themed café Leather & Latte on our road trip to Minneapolis. It’s very stingy, very mean, and very bruisey.

• A leather paddle made by by Peri Plunders. This is a cool multi-use tool: the flat leather surface is really stingy, but turn the paddle sideways and its thick edge becomes a thuddy bludgeon. I wonder what kind of marks it’ll leave.

• A Lexan paddle from KinkMachineWorks. It’s gorgeously thuddy and has quickly become one of my all-time favorite spanking implements. And it’s clear, so you can see the recipient’s butt smoosh as the paddle hits it. Swoon.

• A wooden spoon and a small bamboo rice paddle. I ordered these from Amazon in preparation for this party. The rice paddle is wide and thin, so it’s very surface-stingy, while the spoon has a bit more of a thud to it.

Arnica cream! Bex’s poor butt will be pretty sore by the end of the evening. I want some pain-management solutions on hand incase they start to get genuinely uncomfortable – although, let’s be real, they’re a trooper and a pain-slut and I bet they’ll be fine.

I look forward to seeing you in our Google Hangouts chat when the party gets started! Don’t forget to buy your ticket for $8. See you there, friends!