Beating the Stigma: Whipsmart Thoughts on Kink and Mental Health


It’s funny to me that many people think of kink as dark, dangerous, and edgy. It can be all of those things, of course. But for me, it’s not scary or mysterious. It’s a key part of how my brain works and how I relate to other people. It’s a sexual interest and also a non-sexual paradigm. And sometimes, it’s a boon for my mental health.

Earlier this year, I entered the last semester of my four-year journalism degree, and found myself unable to cope with the challenges it brought. Newsrooms are an anxiety-provoking place to begin with, and I was also experiencing one of the worst anxious and depressive episodes of my life – so, as much as I wanted to be up to the task, I just wasn’t. Two days in the newsroom were enough to convince me of that: the real work hadn’t even begun yet, and already my heart pounded, my mind shouted self-hating epithets at me, and I found myself thinking everything would just be easier if I walked out in front of a speeding truck.

I spoke to one of my instructors, and she – blessedly – was sympathetic to my cause. We discussed possible accommodations and arrived at the idea that I’d get my final credit by creating a journalistic audio series on a topic of my choice.

Over the preceding months, I’d found that my bad mental health days could sometimes be turned around by an intense spanking, a service-submission BJ, or various other acts of kink. Giving up control to a partner made me feel, ultimately, more in control of my life. So the intersection between kink and mental health was front-and-centre in my mind at that time, and I pitched that as a topic for my audio series. My prof loved it, and so I began.

I spent the next six weeks producing Beating the Stigma. Several local sweethearts volunteered for interviews, and generously lent me their time and energy to discuss this topic on tape. Our conversations ranged from intense to funny to mindblowing, and were often all three. I’m so so grateful to my interviewees for being candid and clever every step of the way.

You can listen to the whole series by clicking here, or you can skip to specific chapters below:

Chapter 1: Introductions

Chapter 2: Pain

Chapter 3: DD/lg

Chapter 4: Dominance

Chapter 5: Safe, Sane and Consensual

Chapter 6: Trauma and Recovery

Chapter 7: Sex 2.0

Chapter 8: Aftercare

I hope this series sparks some thoughts and feelings for you! The process of producing it certainly brought a lot to the surface for me.

6 Reasons to Get Your Ass to SMUT in the 6ix


Did you know that Toronto is one of the up-and-coming porn hotspots of the world?

Well, sorta. We’re no L.A., but there’s some exciting stuff happening here in the realm of indie porn. And there’s an event coming up that’ll prove it.

SMUT in the 6ix is a “magnificent celebration of perviness” masterminded by Caitlin K. Roberts of Spit, Samantha Fraser of Playground Sexuality Events, and Sophie Delancey of Tell Me Something Good. It’s happening next Saturday, the 14th of May. Here’s six reasons you should buy your ticket now and join me there…

The panels.

SMUT’s daytime programming consists of four panel discussions on topics related to porn. These sessions will cover several aspects of #PornLyfe, from social stigma to diverse representations to camera skillz.

They’ve got a ton of great speakers lined up, including MakeLoveNotPorn.TV curator Sarah Beall, CinéSinclaire bosslady Kate Sinclaire, and indie porn darling Rebecca Deveaux, among others. And – drumroll, please – I’ll be moderating one of the panels! So you’ll get to see me being a Smartypants McCutieface. Bonus.

The performances.

SMUT’s nighttime gala will feature burlesque, spoken word, live music and dance. All the performers are local and you can be assured their acts will be appropriately smutty. Emceeing the evening is Dane Joe, who I can tell you from firsthand experience is charming as hell. (And also knows how to wield an Eleven like a fuckin’ champ. Unf.)

Plus… I’ll be performing, too! I’m gonna bust out some dirty ukulele songs. You don’t want to miss that, surely?!

The party.

The gala will have DJs, dancing, and general merrymaking. S’gonna be a hoot!

In particular, I’m interested to see what everyone will wear! The sartorial intersection of “fancy” and “smutty” is always an interesting one.


The babes.

There are soooo many attractive people in our local porn scene. And I’m using the word “attractive” in a deeper sense than just the physical one (though they are visually babely, too). If you (like me) are attracted to smart, funny, easygoing, sex-positive, feminist cuties, you’re not going to find a better event to get your flirt on than SMUT in the 6ix.

The porn.

Of course, no porn-centric event would be complete without, y’know, porn. Rebecca Deveaux and my pal Taylor J. Mace are curating and co-presenting a selection of homegrown porn at the event. If you’ve never watched porn in a roomful of people before, you should – it’s a unique experience, and can be a lot of fun!

The bragging rights.

Spit‘s going to be a big deal in the porn world one day, and so is the city of Toronto! Get in on the ground floor of our burgeoning indie porn scene, so you can say you liked Toronto porn before it was famous.


Check out the SMUT in the 6ix website and then buy your ticket! At just $37 for the whole day, it’s one of the cheapest sexuality conference tickets I’ve come across. I hope to see you at SMUT; make sure you say hi if you spot me!

Naked in Front of People: A Guide for Nudity Newbies

Me and Caitlin at Body Pride

Last week, I went to Body Pride – again.

It was my third time going, so I know the ropes by now. But I remember when I attended my first one. It felt like there was so much to worry about.

In everyday life, probably only about 30% of your body, maximum, is showing at any given time. The upkeep of the rest is less important, because it’ll only be seen under special circumstances (e.g. during sex). But when you’re gonna be naked in front of people – especially for hours at a time, like at Body Pride workshops – there’s more to consider.

Granted, the whole point of Body Pride is self-acceptance. But you still probably want to look and feel your best. So here are my tips for preparing when you know you’ll be naked for a while – whether you’re shooting porn, going to a nudist colony, or just hangin’ out with some pals in the buff.

Test-run your makeup look in advance, if you wear makeup. I don’t quite know why, but some types of makeup look totally fine when you’re clothed but super weird and out of place once you get naked. I find that nudity pairs best with minimalistic looks – but on the other hand, if thick winged liner and fire-engine red lipstick will give you the confidence to rock your naked bod, by all means, go for it.

Wear a layered outfit that’s easy and quick to remove. Does that sound like a contradiction in terms? It shouldn’t – layers don’t necessarily have to be bulky or restrictive. The reason I recommend layers is that you might feel awkward if you’re the first person to get done undressing. You’ll be standing there completely nude while others are still shimmying out of their jeans. It’s best if your outfit can be removed quickly or slowly, so you can adjust your stripping speed to fit the vibe of the event. I usually like to wear a slip dress or nightgown (easy to step out of in a hurry) and a cardigan (allows for dawdling while I undo the buttons).

Do your body hair removal well in advance, if body hair removal is a thing that you do. Razor burn, ingrown hairs and post-wax rashes are not only unsightly but also uncomfortable. Give yourself at least a couple days between hair removal and naked-time, just incase something goes awry.

Moisturize. Cool clothes jazz up your appearance when you’re wearing them, but when you’re naked, moisturized skin provides a similarly polished effect. Trust me, it’s way cuter than dry, ashen skin. Moisturization is also important if you plan on doing any self-tanning before your big naked event.

Use internal menstrual products if you get your period. Menstrual cups, sponges, or tampons (with the string tucked inside) can all be basically invisible, even when you’re completely nude.

Think about butt and vag protection. This really depends on the location where you’ll be getting naked, and what you’ll be doing once you’re naked, but it’s worth thinking about. If you’ll be sitting on the floor or ground, you’ll probably want a pillow and/or towel so you don’t get dirt on your bare ass and/or vaginal fluids on somebody’s bare floor.

Maintain good posture and body language. I don’t know why, but slouching looks even less attractive than usual when a naked person does it. Contrastingly, there is something so sexy and beautiful about a straight-backed, lithe-looking person in the nude. When you’re naked, all your body’s shapes and lines are visually amplified, so make like a Botticelli babe and think long, tall, loose-limbed and elegant.

Ensure you’ll smell good. Naked bodies produce scents more readily than clothed ones; it’s a fact of life. You might want to expand the zones where you typically apply deodorant and/or perfume. (Don’t go overboard, though, especially since there might be some folks with scent sensitivities. Ask if you’re not sure!)

Enjoy yourself! Being naked is so much fun. In our culture, free-and-easy nudity is rare, so appreciate the opportunity when it comes your way. You may even find (as I do at the end of every Body Pride event) that being naked starts to feel like the most natural, lovely thing in the world!

I Showed My Face on the Internet & Nothing Awful Happened

I am a sexy ghost. A faceless apparition. My Twitter avatar is a picture of my boobs. My bio photo is my knees, adorned in sex toys. The name I go by is not my real name, obviously (although: admit you would be at least somewhat impressed by my parents if they had, indeed, legally named me Girly Juice).

There are two main reasons I have always hesitated to show my face in any capacity connected to this blog:

1. I worried that potential future employers, distant conservative family members, shitty misogynist trolls, etc. would stumble across my pictures and use them against me in some way. These worries, if I let them get too far, always morphed into melodramatic waking nightmares in which I ended up homeless, alone, and disgraced. (I know. I’m ridiculous. I told you, I have anxiety.)

2. (And this is an even sillier and more embarrassing reason…) I’m insecure about how I look, and I worried that if people saw what I looked like, they wouldn’t think I was sexy or pretty, and it would cause them to discount my opinions and stop reading my blog.

When Caitlin and John came to my house to interview me and film me masturbating (which is a whole ‘nother story for a whole ‘nother blog post), we got onto the topic of sex blogging and anonymity. Caitlin point-blank asked me why I kept my identity (and my face) so private in the blogosphere, and I went on a meandering ramble about closed-minded office jobs and facial recognition technology and sex-negative assholes… and my tirade was so aimless that at the end of it, I was left thinking, “Why don’t I show my face? Is there a real reason, or is it just my stupid anxiety-brain?”

I have so many friends in the sex-positive corner of the internet who reveal not only their faces but their names, their real-life accomplishments, their identities. And I’ve always been jealous of them, because they can be their whole selves. When their readers and fans love them, they really love them, not some reductive persona.

A few months ago I tweeted that I was toying with the idea of showing my face, and some douchebro replied something like: “Don’t. I like mysterious women.” It reignited all my old doubts about how anonymity might be more alluring to readers than my actual face and body. What if you thought you were reading the sex stories of someone who looked like Jamie Dornan and then you peeled back the curtain and it was actually Gilbert Gottfried under there?! (That’s not to say that I think I look like Gilbert Gottfried… or that he doesn’t have some perfectly lovely characteristics… but you see what I’m saying, yeah?)

When I got dolled up for the Feminist Porn Awards, I came downstairs and there was no one in my house. (This is quite unusual; I live with three other people and two of them work from home.) I got frustrated that there was no one around to tell me, “Hey, you look good!” and that combined with the overall sex-positive, yay-for-sex! attitude that tends to pervade Feminist Porn Week… so I impulsively posted some selfies. Of my face.

And people were really fucking nice about it.

Like, literally every single person who sent me a reply was incredibly sweet and supportive. No one made me feel like it was a particularly big deal or shocking reveal. Everyone was just… great. And it’s one of my most-favorited tweets to date.

I’ve posted a few more Twitter selfies since then (and not just of my cleavage or underwear or disembodied lips), and the results have always been the same. My followers are complete and utter sweethearts. They have made me wonder why I was so scared of doing this for so long.

And they’ve also shown me that my constant self-criticism about my looks is unfounded. I don’t look like a magazine model, and I never will, but lots of people still think I’m pretty. No one, so far, thinks my face or body are incongruous with my femme-sexpot internet persona. It’s just not a big deal. At all.

Sex bloggers and other sexy-on-the-internet types: do you show your face? What’s your reasoning behind showing or not showing it?

Porn Review: SPIT

Some friends of mine have started a feminist porn collective, and it is blowing my mind and titillating my genitals.

Spit calls itself “alternative porn for the aroused mind.” It’s photographic porn featuring performers who have never or rarely made porn before, so it feels authentically sexual – because it is.

Most of the photosets on the Spit website thus far were shot at play parties (i.e. sex parties) held with the explicit intent of generating porn imagery. Participants can have sex privately anywhere in the space, and if they want to get involved in the porn, they can sign up in advance, get partnered up with another performer based on mutual attraction, and fuck in a porn-specific room in front of photographers.

I have friends who have modeled for Spit, and I can confirm from their stories that they’ve been treated ethically and have had a great time doing their shoots. Ongoing consent is valued and is clearly communicated through the photos. That’s important to me in the porn I consume. My conscience needs to be at ease before my pussy can get in on the arousal party. If you’re that way too, you’ll dig Spit.

Straight sex, queer sex, hard-to-define sex. Some sex without kink, some kink without sex, and a whole lot of kinky sex. Cocks, twats, hands, toys. You’ll see all of this on the Spit website.

The photographer of each set is identified along with the performers, so if you find yourself digging a particular photog’s style, you can look at other sets they’ve shot. I find it especially fun to see different photographers’ takes on the same erotic event: while one artist might focus more on genitals, another might pay more attention to facial expressions. It’s so cool to see.

I’ve never been a huge fan of still-photo porn – it calls to mind stuff like SuicideGirls, which is beautiful to look at but (at least for me) not nearly as arousing as video – but some of Spit’s sets capture passion and movement wonderfully.

The folks behind Spit also mentioned to me that they will be moving into the realm of video in the future. I can’t wait.

I’m in an interesting position in that I know a lot of the people who are in these shoots. I’ve talked with them, I’ve sipped wine with them, I’ve cuddled with them – so it’s surreal and magical and cool to see them fucking each other in porn.

But I think, even if you’ve never met any of these people, there is a neat sense of “Huh, these people look like average, regular people.” They’re sexy as hell, in a “I could actually fuck a person like this” sort of way. I love that.

The website’s interface isn’t the best. Each photoset is laid out all on one page, so it’s not terribly friendly for people with slow internet connections. I’d prefer a system that allows for flipping through sets using arrow keys, or viewing a set of thumbnails and choosing just the pictures I want to see. Spit is still in its infancy, and I’m looking forward to seeing its functionality improve as it gets bigger.

Membership is $9.99 a month, which gets you unlimited access to the photos. (Spit also hosts some erotic stories, but the photos are really the main event. You can find sexy stories all over the internet, but these photoshoots are one-of-a-kind.)

If we’re betting on what’ll be the Next Big Thing in the feminist porn genre, my money’s on Spit.

Thank you, lovely Spit folks, for letting me look at your porn!