Review: Stockroom Cocksucker’s Mirror

As amateur porn legend Heather Harmon slurped down her husband’s dick on my laptop’s tiny screen, I turned to my boyfriend and said, “This is weird.”

“Why?” he asked, reasonably.

The porn itself wasn’t weird. In fact, if anything, my inner erotic rhythms feel tuned to Heather’s, after adoring her porn for at least half a decade. I’m well used to the mischievous twinkle in her eyes, the slick facility with which she swallows her man’s entire dick, the pleasingly predictable sounds he makes as she brings him closer to orgasm. What felt weird was sharing this all-too-familiar experience with another person – albeit a person whose dick has been in my throat. “I dunno, it’s just, you’re here, and I’m having private-time feelings,” I attempted to explain.

My darlin’ snuggled a little closer to me and our eyes drifted back to Heather’s eager mouth on-screen. “It’s okay,” he said, over Jim Harmon’s formulaic moans, “because I’m right next to you having private-time feelings too. And later, you’re gonna put that BJ mirror on me and suck my cock.”

A shiver went through me. Had he planned this on purpose? A perfect evening of weed-smoking and blowjob-ogling, all in the service of making me more comfortable with the Stockroom Cocksucker’s Mirror I had to review for my blog? If so, apparently my boyfriend was a fucking genius.

The mirror scared me, you see. Don’t get me wrong, I had requested it to review, because it scared me in the same way as certain edgy kinks like knifeplay do: they’re a little hot and more than a little terrifying. What worried me about the mirror was being literally face-to-face with myself during a BJ, after fearing my own sexytimes visage for my whole adult life. I don’t like eye contact during sex, or being aware that my face is someone’s erotic focal point, or feeling my face twist up into aroused contortions when a partner can see. The whole idea makes me incredibly, inexplicably anxious – to the point that I’ll often wear a blindfold during sex on bad anxiety days, to limit the amount of my face a partner can see, and to free me from being expected to watch them in return.

We kept putting off testing the mirror – me because it made me anxious, and my boyfriend because “the thought of it didn’t do anything for him.” I found this surprising, because, months earlier, he’d told me, “The most intensely arousing thing for me is to force my lovers to do things I know they want to do, and have previously consented to.” I thought it would turn him on to watch me do something he knew made me consensually uncomfortable – in this case, watching myself give a blowjob.

After a few more Heather Harmon scenes and a little more weed, my mouth was sufficiently horny that I did something I rarely do with my mega-dominant boyfriend: I got bossy. “You should take your pants off,” I said, in a tone of voice that was closer to begging than commanding.

“Okay,” he said, laughing. “I can do that.” I watched as he shed all his clothes, smiling at me all the while, all chest hair and strong muscles, my toppy masculine angel.

And then he slipped the hole of the BJ mirror over his half-hard dick and I burst out laughing.

Even after he laid on the bed and I set to work, I couldn’t control my giggles. Sometimes laughter is how my body responds when I’m enjoying myself in bed, and sometimes it’s a nervous response to discomfort; in this case, it was decidedly both. The tactile pleasure of his dick in my mouth, coupled with the visual assault of my own face devouring his cock in up-close-and-personal HD, felt so sinfully sexy to me that I was almost uncomfortable being that turned on in front of another person. These were, once again, “private-time feelings,” and my partner was watching me have them. And I was watching me have them. From inches away.

My boyfriend, who is prone to mid-beej dirty-talk, cleared his throat and began to speak. I steeled myself for a filthy missive, but instead, he said, “If you deepthroated me all the way, you could kiss yourself!” It was more a gleeful proclamation than a salacious jibe. I laughed around his cock until I couldn’t breathe, and then I took it out of my mouth and laughed some more, nose tucked into the warm crease of his thigh. Some doms try to cut you down with critical jeers, and here mine was, essentially encouraging me to love myself. Through BJs.

I eventually caught my breath and returned to the task at hand. It was at this point that I began to notice how much I was drooling. Sloppy BJs are increasingly my jam – especially since I read Aerie’s blowjob guide where they advocate “drooling uncontrollably and making a giant mess” for the lubrication and visual appeal – but this was on another level. I have never gushed this much spit during a beej before. It reminded me of when you see a commercial where someone takes a big bite of a juicy hamburger and your salivary glands immediately kick into gear – except in this case, the burger was a dick, and the commercial was my own fucking face. It was absurd, and delightful, and wet.

It helped that my boyfriend was holding the mirror in place, and moving it back into my sightline whenever it slipped off to one side, as if to demand, “No, seriously, look at yourself.” I imagine that the mirror would stay put better if it was draped over a huge dick – the hole has a diameter of 5.5 centimeters or about 2.2 inches – but it might also dig in uncomfortably if used on a dick of that size. It didn’t bother my boyfriend to have to hold the mirror still, except that he couldn’t fully relax.

I snuck peeks at myself from time to time, but mostly my eyes remained closed, as they usually are during BJs. It allows me to concentrate on the sensations in my mouth, and keeps me focused on the steady rhythm that’ll get my partner off. Every time my eyes drifted open for a moment, though, I felt seized with a strange blend of arousal and guilt: seeing myself give head was unbelievably hot, but it felt arrogant for me to enjoy the sight of myself that much. And it embarrassed me to imagine my boyfriend watching me watching myself, as if he’d think I was being arrogant, too – even though he told me later that it turned him on to see me viewing this act from a different angle than I would normally get to.

The mirror didn’t just induce arousal and embarrassment in me, though – it also made me competitive. With my damn self. Seeing myself give head from the angle at which I’d usually watch porn stars doing the same, I saw that what feels like intense deepthroating to me isn’t actually that deep. That real-time view made me want to do a better job: go deeper, faster, harder, put on a better show for my love (and for myself). I could see I was bringing my A-game, but it didn’t feel effortful – it just felt fun.

When my darling started to come, he grunted, “Deepthroat me,” just like Heather Harmon’s husband does in all the porn clips I like best – and I did as I’d been told. Though it would’ve been hot to watch my own face at that crucial moment, doing so didn’t occur to me; I squeezed my eyes shut with the effort of keeping that dick as deep as it needed to be, and enduring the intense contractions of muscles against my tongue and throat. I swallowed, and swallowed, and kept on swallowing, and I couldn’t breathe for a while but it didn’t matter.

When it was over, I pulled myself up and gently slid the mirror off my boyfriend’s dick. He lay there panting and raised one finger as if he had something to say, but couldn’t get it out quite yet. I curled up beside him and waited patiently for him to catch his breath.

“That was the best blowjob you’ve ever given me,” he said finally.

You know that silly adventure-movie trope where the hero uses a powerful artefact to beat the bad guy, only to discover afterward that “the power was within them all along”? I feel that way about the Stockroom Cocksucker’s Mirror. Like a good coach, it brought out the best performance of my career thus far – but it did so by pitting me against myself, challenging me to meet my own standards. It literally reflected my own capabilities back at me, and made me better in doing so.

And y’all, I looked hot.

 

Thanks so much to Stockroom for sending me this product to review!

It’s Different With You

The first time anyone slapped my face, it was because I asked for it, and it was an experiment.

He was an ostensibly vanilla man I’d met an hour earlier, at a sex club. His posh British accent and shy befuddlement set me immediately at ease: this man was no threat to me. He could fuck me, maybe, but he could not fuck me up.

Face-slapping had been on my mind lately. I had no idea if I’d like it. I liked certain types of pain, but getting hit across the face seemed like it’d be uniquely disorienting and extra risky, physically and emotionally.

Normally I like to try new kink things with a safe, trusted, established partner. But I had no such partners available to me. It had been a while since I had. That was starting to feel disheartening. I tried not to think about it too much.

So when this nice English boy had his fingers deep inside me and his lips on my lips, I leaned back and said, “Can you do me a favor? Can you slap me across the face?” His expression, then, was shock muffled by politeness. “Not too hard,” I clarified. “Like, a 4 out of 10.”

To his immense credit, he did not balk. He was vanilla as fuck (or so I assumed from how he later repeated the phrase “good girl” at me like it was a magic arousal spell in and of itself), but he was nonetheless willing to do this for me. Good boy, I thought, as he wound up his batting arm.

The slap landed. It hurt. It shook me. But it did not turn me on.

Huh, I thought. Guess I’m not into that. We did not speak of it again, he did not attempt it again, and the evening progressed in an otherwise vanilla but quite enjoyable way. And that was that. Or so I thought.

The first time you slapped my face, I had also asked for it. But it felt entirely different.

We’d been dating for a few weeks, and having kinky sex in massive quantities. All traces of vanilla had been flushed from my system, it seemed. I thought about going on Tinder dates with other boys, letting them put their hands on me gently and fuck me in entirely standard ways, and the whole idea just bored me to death. Sex with you felt exciting not only because you were rough with me, but also because I trusted you to be rough with me. I wanted to show you how much I could take. I wanted to be good for you. I cared.

We hadn’t talked about it yet, but I felt strongly enough to bring it up nonetheless: “I think I’d like you to slap my face.” You got that devious domly smile on your face I like so much, the one that means you’ve got some mean tricks up your sleeve and I’m gonna like ’em. “I don’t know if I’ll enjoy it, but I want to try,” I added. You nodded and I saw you file this info away for later.

Later came. Long minutes into hard makeouts, you climbed on top of me, straddling my thighs in bed, and grabbed my hair by the root in one hand. “I’m gonna slap you across the face now,” you muttered against my mouth, and I nodded.

My eyes are normally closed during sex; it’s how I process sensations best, and one way I manage my sexual anxiety. But the moment stretched out and I wanted to see. I opened my eyes just in time to see your hand cocked back, ready to strike. A split-second elapsed and you hit me, hard but not so hard it scared me. I felt jolted. Grounded.

My eyes had fallen closed, and after a moment, I opened them again. I did a thing I almost never do during sex: I looked up at you – coyly, through my lashes – and smiled.

You smiled back, and then you hit me again.

Some vanilla people can talk all day long about how romantic their sex can be, how intimate, connective, sweet and life-affirming. That’s fine. I’m glad they experience it that way. But kink can be those things, too. That moment where I’m smiling up at you, knowing you’re about to hurt me, and then you go ahead and do it? That’s the safest and the sweetest. I feel romantic toward you when we’re cuddling or kissing or holding hands in public; I feel it even moreso when you’ve got me pinned and you’re about to leave a handprint on my cheek.

The first time anyone fucked my mouth, it was an accident and I hated it.

He was a submissive boy – which, fine, whatever. Banging other subs isn’t my favorite, but I can deal with it, if it’s only an occasional thing. Submissive guys can still enjoy receiving BJs, after all, so at least there’s some overlap between our tastes.

Reclined on a soft hotel bed, he moaned and mewled as I bobbed up and down on him. I was doing a great job and I knew it. If this was the only fun thing we could do together, I’d be okay with that. It was pretty stellar, as far as BJs go.

But then he started thrusting into my mouth, and I froze.

My gag reflex is off the charts. I have, more than once, accidentally thrown up from scrubbing a toothbrush too far back on my tongue. I like BJs where the recipient is lying on their back, in part because it gives me optimum control over the depth of the dick. When I lose that sense of control, sometimes I gag. Sometimes I panic.

I tried to be chill about it. But after a few minutes, I could not. “Hey, can you stop that?” I mumbled during a pause, pressing my hand against his hipbone to still him. “You’re gagging me.”

“Oh. Sorry,” he said. “I’ll try to stop.” He tried. He didn’t really succeed. I get it; sometimes thrusting isn’t entirely voluntary. But I spent the rest of that BJ trying to get it done, instead of enjoying it for what it was. My throat didn’t trust him anymore.

The first time you fucked my mouth, it was highly negotiated, and I was ready.

A few days previous, I’d mentioned – in one of our many chats about desires and boundaries – that my skittish throat was a frequent buzzkill for me. “It’s why I don’t really like choking or face-fucking,” I said, “even though I’m totally obsessed with deepthroat porn and find it so hot.”

The conversation meandered in a different direction, but a few minutes later, there was a lull, and you mused, with a soft smile: “So no face-fucking, hey?”

The way you say “hey” instead of the more familiar-to-me Canadian “eh” is somehow so endearing to me; it sneaks into your dirty-talk when I fantasize about you, a signature feature of your vernacular that puts an instant smile on my face. With anyone else, I probably would’ve just said, “Yep, no face-fucking,” and moved on. But you – your pressureless demeanor, your easy handsomeness, and that gentle little prod of a “hey” – gave me pause.

I meeeeean,” I began, in that way I begin sentences when I know I can be swayed. “I haven’t liked it with previous partners. Maybe I’d like it with you.” You grinned. I grinned back.

Later, after embroiling me in subspace in all the pervy ways I like best, you arranged me on the bed so my head hung off the edge. You placed my hand on your warm upper arm and said, “I want you to tap my arm if you want me to stop, okay?” And then you slowly slid your cock into my throat.

There was an ease to it I had never experienced with this act before, an instant and eager facility. I could feel myself getting wet as I thought about you using my mouth, fucking all my holes like I was your personal sex toy.

At some point, I started to gag, and tapped your arm. You stopped immediately, made sure I was okay. But I wasn’t scared or shaken. I was smiling. I wanted more.

The first time anyone choked me, I was fucking furious.

“I told you I don’t want to be choked,” I practically shouted. His hand had snuck onto my neck too many times. He knew what was up. This was the last straw.

“I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” he babbled. “My other partners all like being choked. I keep forgetting that you don’t.”

I rolled my eyes. He had used this excuse more than once before. I had no idea whether to believe it. It did seem that his memory was genuinely bad – he’d often tell me a story he’d already told me, or stare at me blankly when I referenced an anecdote I’d relayed the week previous – but it also seemed like a half-assed attempt to eschew my boundaries.

He was the first polyamorous person I’d been involved with, and the whole situation made me doubt that poly was right for me. If mixing up your partners’ sexual preferences was an occupational hazard of poly, could I ever really trust a partner? Could I ever truly enjoy myself, knowing someone could badly fuck up at any moment?

Months after I stopped seeing him, I talked to another former partner of his. She told me he was always “forgetting” her boundaries, too. Maybe that’s not a thing poly people do, I thought; maybe it’s just a thing abusive shitheads do.

The first time you choked me, we had – again – talked about how I’d never liked it before, but thought I might like it with you. You tend to have that effect on me.

“I’m going to put my hand on your throat,” you told me, your face so so close to mine, “but I’m not going to choke you.” You were true to your word. It didn’t scare me. Instead, weirdly, I felt safe.

“When you go home tonight,” you continued, “I want you to masturbate thinking about my hand on your throat. I want you to think about how small and defenseless it makes you feel – and how happy it makes me.” When I relayed this episode to my journal later, I wrote, Damn, he’s good. And indeed, I jerked off thinking about what you’d told me to think about. And it made me really fucking wet.

The first time you actually put pressure on my throat, I squeezed my eyelids shut from the intensity of the sensation. It didn’t feel bad, it was just… a lot. “Open your eyes. Look at me,” you commanded sternly, calling me back to earth. I did as you’d asked. “Hey. It’s okay. You’re okay.” And I knew you were right, and I was safe.

You released the pressure slowly, and I wanted to cry. Never knew I could feel like this, I thought, a love song from Moulin Rouge echoing in my brain. It was a strange thought to have immediately after being choked, maybe, but it was what came to mind.

See? Kink can totally be romantic.

Kiss and Make Up: High School, BJs, and the Disappearing Act

Kiss and Make Up is my new series wherein I review makeup according to how it held up in a sexual scenario. I hope you dig it!

making kissy faces with my friend Cadence in 2010I sprung for Duwop’s Lip Venom in the winter of 2010, when I had a new boy to kiss and it seemed desperately important that my lips look good. I’d wear the cinnamon-y gloss layered over MAC Russian Red (as pictured) or just on its own, and it would do its signature magic of irritating my lips into a plumper appearance. I loved it: the sharp spicy taste of it, the telltale tingle, and most of all, those plush pillowy lips it gave me. What an amazing invention.

My boyfriend, however, was less enthused. “What is on your lips?” he whined one day, mid-makeouts. The Lip Venom, he said, was stinging his lips. I apologized and wiped it off, as if this pretty pink gloss was the only obstacle between us and high-quality kisses. Truth be told, he was a distressingly bad kisser (by my tastes, anyway), and I wished he could’ve upped his game as easily and quickly as I upped mine by taking off that painful gloss.


I wore NARS Schiap lipstick the last day of Playground Conference in 2015. It paired well with my blue dress, pink handbag, and pigtails. In fact, my outfit was apparently so good that when I walked into a panel session late, I immediately got a text from my dom fuckbuddy, sitting across the room: “Oh god, you’re wearing thigh-high socks and a short skirt. I’m going to be thinking about eating you out all day.” This is a very good text to get at 11 in the morning.

NARS semi-matte lipsticks smell like clean laundry (so sayeth Sofie, who is correct). They go on satiny-smooth, and usually look good for several hours, even if you’re quaffing coffee like I was that day at Playground. However, put to the makeout test, they cannot hold their own. I discovered this when, later that day, I gave a hotel-room blowjob which morphed into an impromptu threesome – by the end of which, there was absolutely no lipstick left on my face. I smoothed on some peppermint lip balm to soothe the irritation I’d accrued from kissing a scruffy boy all afternoon, and that helped.

In my post-sex debrief with Bex over mac and cheese that night, we talked about how kissing someone who’s wearing lipstick is a lot like going down on someone who’s on their period. It’s messy, and maybe embarrassing, and I can completely understand why you wouldn’t want to do it. But I’ll like you so much better if you do.


me in pigtails and Pink Pong lipstickI fell in love with Bourjois liquid lipstick in Pink Pong at a drugstore and bought it on the spot. It was everything I most want in a lipstick: an eye-gougingly bright cool-toned pink, an opaque formula, a pleasant scent (pink grapefruit?), even a punny shade name.

Unlike many liquid lipsticks, Pink Pong felt comfortable once dry, and didn’t render my lips dry or cracked, even after many hours of wear. However, that dry texture is what allows truly long-haul lipsticks to stay put (and why Make Up For Ever Aqua Rouge comes with a clear gloss you’re supposed to wear on top of it). My new Bourjois treasure passed neither the makeout test nor the blowjob test.

That was the month when I was seeing both a boyfriend and a beloved fuckbuddy, alternating between them like my life was a buffet of good dicks (which, let’s be real, it often is). I wore Pink Pong to boyfriend’s house one afternoon and blew him while he sat on his couch like a king, arms spread wide, head dropping back in quiet pleasure. When we were done, I ducked into the bathroom and saw that there was no lipstick left on my mouth. None whatsoever. There sure was a lot on my hands, though. (Uhh, my BJs are pretty handsy.)

Later that week, I wore Pink Pong to my fuckpal’s place and we made out like teenagers in his cheap, squeaky bed. When he served us a post-canoodlin’ snack of spicy salmon sushi and Magnum ice cream bars (quelle gentleman!), he wiped his mouth on a napkin and the white scrap came away pink. “Aww, Kate, look, your lipstick’s all over my mouth,” he said, with an affection I had never known any boy to feel about my lipstick before. It made me want to kiss him a whole bunch more.


me in Maybelline Rich Ruby lipstickIn the late summer I briefly had a “spanking buddy.” It was a sweet deal. I’d go over to his place, we’d talk about the Adventure Zone and MBMBaM and other fine McElroy products, we’d vape some weed, and then he would spank me. The spankings were excellent: rhythmic, firm, and merciless. He always left both my sets of cheeks blushing.

One such night, I showed up with a full face of makeup, and by the time we said goodnight, there was none left at all. My lipstick of choice for the evening was Maybelline’s Rich Ruby, a creamy, matte, cool-toned red that normally holds up pretty well through food and drink. But it did not hold up through a spanking. Granted, when I get spanked, I typically bury my face in pillows/blankets/couch cushions, and sometimes I cry, and that combination of friction and fluid is not kind to makeup.

“How’s my lipstick looking?” I asked my spanking buddy when I raised my head off his bed, post-beating. He peered at me curiously and said, at last, “It’s not bad… it’s just… not there.” Indeed, it was not. My lipstick was gone.

After I left his place and went home, I got a text from him. “I found your lipstick,” he said. “It’s all over my blanket.” I laughed and apologized, and we said goodnight.


When my FWB came over to our sunny Airbnb in July to shoot BJ porn, I was nervous to the point of pacing and raving. “Hey, shh, it’s gonna be okay,” he told me. “You’re gonna be great.”

He had brought some underwear options, and asked for my help deciding which ones to wear – possibly as a tactic to distract me from my own jangling nerves. We eventually settled on some turquoisey boxer-briefs. “They’re moisture-wicking,” he commented, for no apparent reason, because he is a weirdo.

Just before filming was to begin, I knelt in front of him, my face all done up. On my lips was a combo of ColourPop’s lip pencil in Heart On and Bite’s fruity lipgloss in Bellini. I wasn’t at all confident it would stay on my face, but then, smeary lipstick is a selling point of BJ porn for some people. “I’m gonna kiss your dick through your underwear a bit before I start,” I jabbered nervously at my FWB. “Sorry in advance if I get lipstick all over these beautiful boxer-briefs.”

“It’s okay, they’re moisture-wicking,” he replied, and so there is a moment in the final porn scene where I giggle like a dork, and that is what I am giggling at.

By the time we finished, my face featured almost no lipstick but a euphoric, nervous-no-more kind of smile.

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.

Links & Hijinks: Sex Robots, Moneyshots, & Bart Simpson

a chair, a table, and a latte

Me: “Why did I start doing link round-up posts again?! I don’t even read that much!”

Also me: *reads a ZILLION articles, wants to share and talk about ALL OF THEM*

The Establishment posts so much good stuff – although I will say, I am extremely biased, because they’ve published my writing on multiple occasions! I just discovered this old piece on there called Online Dating in 7 Vignettes which gave me so much poignant food for thought. It’s one of the more thoroughly philosophical pieces I’ve ever read about dating.

• Soon, sex robots will have personalities. Hilariously, one of the 12 personality traits you can choose from is “sexual,” which makes me wonder about the kind of person who would buy a sex robot and not want her to be sexual. The always-whipsmart Tracy Moore writes: “I’ll be honest, I wasn’t sure ‘sexual’ counted as a personality type in a woman, so I asked the man standing nearest to me in the MEL offices if men think it is, and he said ‘Sexual?’ and thought about it for a second. ‘Yeah,’ he said. ‘Horny.'”

• Social psychology is fascinating. Here are some science-tested tips on making friends faster. The “misattribution of arousal” is one of my favorite social-psych phenomena; one day I’ll write a post about it…

Don’t say “but” when you apologize to someone. It undermines the sincerity of what you’re trying to say. Cari Romm reports, “According to one 2014 study on the subject, a well-executed apology requires the offender to make it clear that they understand what they did wrong, take full responsibility, offer a plan to fix things, and promise to improve in the future.” So simple and yet sometimes so difficult!

• Some sex-magic practitioners weighed in on how to cast spells with your orgasms. (Years ago, I wrote a piece about this for the Numinous, if you’re interested. It is some truly crunchy/hippie/witchy stuff; you have been warned!)

• An old friend of mine started a sex blog recently and she’s been writing some fabulous, smart pieces. Her and her boyfriend tried a bunch of wacky sex positions; the ensuing post makes me want to work on my sexual acrobatics!

• The evolution of porn tropes is so interesting to me. Here’s an oral history of the moneyshot. Personally, I’m not really a fan; it turns me on most in porn when a dude’s orgasm happens inside his partner’s mouth or other various orifices, not on their face. The palette of human sexual desire is so wide and diverse!

• Ever wondered why “shrinkage” happens?

• Here’s a piece on people whose kink is giving and/or getting tattoos. I thought about this a lot while getting my kinky thigh tattoos last year. I don’t think I could ever get a tattoo that was mentally tied to a specific partner; I’ve never liked anyone enough to want to be with them for-literally-ever! But maybe someday I will…

• S. Bear Bergman has been one of my favorite writers for many years, and after the 2016 U.S. election, he wrote an advice column answering the question, “What do we do now?” He touches on political action, self-care, and countering social isolation in tough times, and he calls Trump “Pumpkin Spice Mussolini.” It’s a much-needed half-laughing pep talk for this weird and worrisome era we’re in.

• The ever-articulate Andrew Gurza wrote about his recent experiences with disability and masturbation. I admire Drew’s candidness and thoughtfulness so much!

• This article is old but I only just discovered it: a Playboy reporter interviewed the founder of the Orgasmic Meditation movement about how she gives blowjobs for her own pleasure. I am always wary of narratives which frame blowjobs as an endeavor of empowered women (including when I myself write that kind of narrative!) because they feel dangerously close to patriarchal tropes repackaged as female empowerment. But if Joanna Van Vleck genuinely gets direct pleasure from giving head (a feeling I know well), I say, more power to her.

• Here’s two of my favorite women writers in conversation: Tina Horn interviewed Alana Massey about the latter’s new book, as well as sex work, internalized misogyny, and gold glitter.

• C. Brian Smith – one of my fave writers over at MEL – hired a masturbation coach for an afternoon and wrote about his experience.

• More excellent pieces from MEL this month: why “performing partnership” on social media complicates relationships, the potential queerness of Bart Simpson, how men feel about hookup culture, saving exes’ nudes after a break-up, and saving exes’ Clone-a-Willy dicks after a break-up.

• Queer tarot wiz Carly wrote a column about how to date/flirt/socialize if you’re shy. So much useful and affirming stuff in here!

What did you love reading on the internet this month?