Links & Hijinks: Boners, Biting, & Rolled-Up Sleeves

• Hey. You can find meaning without monogamy. “People will accept or reject you for reasons that have nothing to do with you at all,” writes Alana Hope Levinson. “I know that sounds depressing, but it can also be liberating.”

• It’s okay if you don’t like making out! You just have to find partners who feel similarly, or are willing to compromise on this issue.

• This post is from 2013 but I only just discovered it: Sinclair Sexsmith shared tons of helpful info about biting during sex.

• Here’s the only article about Rachel Dolezal worth reading.

• My friend Caitlin wrote about her experiences with mindful masturbation and made me want to do some too!

Why do some people fake their orgasms?

• “A woman’s orgasm shouldn’t be the goal of sex,” argues Jessica Schreindl, because defining orgasm as a goal makes sex into a high-pressure, patriarchal performance for everyone involved. I agree that orgasm shouldn’t be demanded or pushed for, if the person or people involved don’t want to have one – but for me personally, orgasm is an important part of sex and I very much appreciate partners who’ll give me one when I want one!

• This article about piss play is beautifully written. I adore Katie Sly’s work!

• “I want you to consider the possibility that the more chill you seem to guys, the less likely you are to find a guy who loves you for exactly who you are right now,” suggests Heather Havrilesky in an Ask Polly column that tugged at my utterly un-chill heartstrings.

• You can help relieve a partner’s PMS symptoms by talking to them and being supportive.

• Here’s the always-charming John McDermott talking about why dating-related slang like “ghosting” and “cushioning” normalizes bad behavior. I’m not sure how I feel about his argument – I think it’s useful to name behaviors like this so we can identify them, call people out on them, and explain why they’re unacceptable – but it’s nonetheless an interesting thought experiment in how language shapes our actions.

• Katie Tandy wrote a stunning piece about using kink to heal from trauma and it made me cry a whole bunch.

• The ever-clever Alana Massey on One Direction, non-toxic masculinity, and why teen girls love boy bands as deeply as they do. “When you’re part of a fandom, you’re never really alone if you don’t want to be,” she writes, reminding me of so so so many life-affirming experiences I have had in the throes of various obsessions with bands, movies, TV shows, musicals, books, and actors.

Should boners be frowned on at nudist colonies?

• Yo, Planned Parenthood isn’t just for women. I am tired of the anti-feminist rhetoric which says any effort that only benefits women isn’t worth undertaking (women are people! women are valuable! women are a huge percentage of the population!) but it is nonetheless worth noting that Planned Parenthood helps a broad range of people.

• There are still people using Craigslist to find sexual partners, apparently.

Forearms are hot and therefore rolled-up sleeves are hot. (I have been saying this for years!)

• My friend Tynan wrote about how sex doesn’t have to be a priority in your relationship, so long as your priorities line up with your partner’s.

• Fuck “stealthing.” WHY ARE (some) MEN LIKE THIS??

Science misunderstands female desire and this contributes to our cultural idea that women are less libidinous than men. The truth is much more complicated! (In summation: “Women like having sex. They don’t like being socially punished for it.”)

• Suzannah Weiss went to a nudist resort and it helped her learn better boundary-setting skills. Amaze!

• Consensual non-monogamy has its own unique benefits that you can’t get to the same degree from monogamous relationships. Interesting!

• Here’s why some straight men have sex with other straight men.

• Alana Massey wrote about consumerism as a coping mechanism in the era of Trump. Yikes.

• “I’m sitting covered in cum on Christmas Eve in my mom’s basement with a wire hanging out of my ass; I’m a pervert.” Gotta love a good story of masturbation gone awry.

• I love writing that combines sex, gender, and fashion! Here’s a piece on the iconic imagery of a woman wearing a man’s dress shirt after sex.

• Here’s a primer on tentacle porn, incase you were wondering.

The history of artificial insemination is a long and storied one.

• Why do men like to have sex with the lights on? Gosh, I have such a crush on John McDermott: “I’ve done it in all grades of lighting… Blazing morning sun, a pitch-black cave, beneath the soft glow of a streetlamp…” (Incidentally, one time I was making out pre-sex with a Tinder hookup while my bedroom’s overhead light was on, and he said, “Is there a lamp you could turn on instead? It feels like a hospital in here.” Thanks, pal.)

Can a robot be a pickup artist?

• Gala wrote about why her divorce was a blessing. I’ve never been married but this reminded me lots of the final ~4 months of my last serious relationship: the crushing certainty that I needed to end things, but the absolute terror every time I contemplated doing so. In retrospect, I wish I’d bucked up and done it earlier!

• Let’s replace the dick pic with the dick code. (There’s also a vulva code. Here’s mine.)

Top Toronto Spots For… Femmes

my friend Cadence's back with "queer femme" written on it

Gosh, I love when fellow femmes visit my city. I get to take them to all the cool places. We coo over sequinned fabrics together, weigh in one another’s dressing-room successes, and window-shop for pricey makeup we’ll never own. It’s always a rollicking good time.

Here are some of my absolute favorite femme haunts in this city o’ mine. You should check ’em out if you’re femme-inclined and are visiting T.O. for the Toronto International Porn Festival in April, or for any other reason!

me wearing a blue polka-dotted dress and sunglasses in a busy New York square
Rocking a Loveless dress in New York.

Retro clothing: Loveless BoutiqueThis splashy little shop on College Street is a rockabilly babe’s wet dream. They stock 1950s reproduction clothes in a blessedly wide range of sizes. I always stop by Loveless if I have a fancy event coming up that I want to look pretty for, because nothin’ makes me feel quite so foxy as a good fit-and-flare dress. The salespeople are also relentlessly nice and encouraging, in a way that feels closer to femme solidarity than ruthless salesmanship. So much love!

Vintage shopping: King of Kensington and Flash BackToronto’s Kensington Market is rife with terrific vintage shops, but these two are my faves. They stock plentiful vintage goods in categories that matter to me: pretty dresses, tough leather jackets, badass boots, gorgeous handbags, and a veritable rainbow of cashmere sweaters. Some of my most prized possessions from these places include a pair of red sparkly boxers, a periwinkle and lavender striped cashmere sweater, the most perfect red bag, and another cashmere that’s by Ralph Lauren and was in perfect condition when I bought it vintage for $40. Swooooon.

Alterations and repairs: JB Cleaner & TailorIf you need a button or zipper fixed, a piece of clothing taken in or let out, or any dry-cleaning done, this is the place I would loudly recommend! As far as I know, it’s owned and run by one lady, Tuyet, and she’s awesome. Every time I come in with a piece of clothing that needs fixin’ up, she has me try it on in her little changing room, and then she stands me in front of a mirror and whirlwinds around me, pinning and pinning until I somehow look hotter and shapelier than I did when I walked in. My alterations are typically done about a week later, and are always flawless. I don’t trust anyone else with my clothes, honestly.

me modeling some black patent leather Dr. Martens boots
I have had a lifelong love affair with Doc Martens.

Kickass boots: Dr. MartensWe are lucky, us Torontonians, to have an actual brick-and-mortar Dr. Martens shop on our Queen Street West. It’s a nifty little shop: the decor is colorful and punchy, there are comfy leather benches to sit on while trying on boots, and the sales counter is (inexplicably) an upright piano. Even if you don’t have a spare $120–250 to drop on a pair of nice boots, it’s worth dropping by the store just to screech at the tiny, adorable Doc Martens for toddlers. And a hint: if you’re ever in Toronto on Boxing Day (the day after Christmas) and you’re on the hunt for some new boots, come here; they always have terrific Boxing Day sales. (I got my knee-high black Docs and metallic blue ones for about $200 total on Boxing Day once…!)

Lingerie: Secrets From Your SisterThis cozy shop in the Annex is a “boutique” and has prices to match, but hey, good bras are always gonna be expensive. I once accompanied a friend to her fitting here and I was impressed with the process: she was assigned a salesperson to work with, who measured her, asked her about her aesthetic preferences for bras, and brought her a whole bunch of options. After several rounds of accepting and rejecting various bras for various reasons, my friend ended up with two high-quality bras she loved. The whole vibe was relaxed, fun, and low-pressure. I don’t really wear bras, but if I did, this is where I’d get ’em!

beautiful blonde blogger Mia Moore trying on some skull-shaped sunglasses
Mia trying on strange sunglasses for my amusement at the Black Market.

Weird finds: Black MarketNot just for femmes: I usually take Bex here when they’re in town, and they’re a mostly-masc nonbinary queerdo! The Black Market carries a strange mixture of vintage clothes, eccentric deadstock, novelty T-shirts, and quirky accessories. I have some glittery dancewear from there, and I also love to pick up handkerchiefs there for flagging purposes. If your wardrobe needs a dose of fresh eclecticism, the Black Market is the place to go.

Hair: Avalon Hair Design. I have been getting my hair done by Paul for at least a decade. He always, always makes me feel like a queen. He’s pricey, yeah, but holy moses, what a pro. Fun fact: when I was ~13, an unfortunate incident involving chlorine caused my super-curly, thick hair to get irretrievably tangled in one section at the back of my head. My mom made a literal emergency appointment with Paul and he soaked my hair in leave-in conditioner and went to work with a comb. Not too long later, my hair was not only detangled but also more gorgeous than before. Paul’s official title is “Master Stylist” and that shit is no joke!

one of my thigh tattoos: a pink bow with the word "girl" above it
My “good girl” tattoos were done at Adrenaline.

Body mods: AdrenalineI got my thigh tattoos done here, on the advice on several friends, and I’m so glad I did! The staff are polite and professional, the waiting area is sunny and comfy, and I felt well taken care of throughout the process. They do tattoos and piercings, take walk-ins, and are right on Queen West (one of the trendiest shopping areas in the city), so if you’re in the mood for an impulsive body mod, Adrenaline’s a great choice.

Makeup and perfume: Sephora Yorkville. Do not bother with the Sephora at the Eaton Centre; it’s always a crowded nightmare. I find that the salespeople at this location are nicer and the vibe is more relaxed, so I can take my time perusing lipsticks, sampling perfumes, and so on. When you’re done here, you can trot down the street to MAC or Holt Renfrew for even more cosmetic funtimes.

Fellow femmes ‘n’ fancypeople: what are your favorite Toronto spots for gettin’ yer pretty on?

Farewell, American Apparel: A Love Letter

You can feel about a company the way you’d feel about a person. You can hold its flaws and its virtues in your mind simultaneously. You can love it and hate it, both together, more intensely every day. You can halfheartedly explain away its mistakes because you want, so badly, to believe in its goodness, its honor. You can, and I do.

American Apparel is shutting its doors after a years-long battle with bankruptcy, scandal, and cultural insensitivity. Let me be exceedingly clear: this post is a love letter, but there are many things about American Apparel I do not love and cannot condone. The sexual harassment, the sizeism, the snotty atmosphere that causes several of my queer, trans, plus-size, and disabled friends to feel uncomfortable in AA stores… None of this is excusable. I myself boycotted AA for years, for these reasons and more. There are those who would say I am problematic for having supported this company. That’s fair.

Setting aside the things about AA that are actually good – like its labor practices and occasional feminist collaborations – what really made me an American Apparel devotee is the products themselves. The products are what I will miss, when the last remaining dregs of AA in this world are extinguished. The clothes, and how they made me feel.

me trying on a blue dress in an AA dressing roomFor years now, when I have an upcoming occasion for which I need to look slutty and cute, American Apparel has been my one-stop shop. This was especially true during the last couple years, when I had a friend who worked as a sales assistant at the Yonge-Dundas location – I’d text him, “I need some new slutty clothes. Are you working today?” and then I’d come in and he’d bring me things to try. A black pleather bustier. A tight gold skirt. A low-cut dress and the best bandeau bra to wear under it. Whatever my slutty needs might be, AA would have ’em covered. (Or just-barely covered, as the case may be.)

I own three of their “figure skater dress,” because it makes me feel like a fucking glorious bombshell, and that feeling is well worth the price of the dress. I own their ponte pencil skirt in two different colors, and have worn them to job interviews, conferences, and presentations, because nothing else puts me in a foxy-businesslady headspace quite so quickly. I own four of their ribbed racerback dresses and two of their jersey racerback dresses, because nothing else is so easy to throw on, style up, and accessorize. Their basics are indispensable simply because they are indeed so basic, and so well-made.

When dressing for a porn shoot or a sex-positive party, I always consider my AA clothes first. My tiny booty shorts, my fetishistic thigh-high socks, my form-fitting fuck-me dresses. They always do me right.

When I need to transport large quantities of sex toys – to, say, a porn shoot, a hotel sex date, or an out-of-country threesome – my bright yellow American Apparel leather clutch is my favorite vessel. It can comfortably fit my Magic Wand, Eleven, a few more toys, and a plethora of safer-sex supplies. Whenever I take it anywhere, people ask me where I got it. It looks so cute tucked under my arm, and it looks even cuter when I open it and you realize it’s stuffed with sexual accoutrements.

me wearing a shiny gold bodysuitWhen I received an invite to the Smut in the 6ix gala and was told to dress “as smutty as possible” in a black/white/gold color scheme, I knew exactly where to shop. It took me less than fifteen minutes to find the perfect thing on the American Apparel website: a deep-V gold lamé bodysuit. At the gala, I rocked it with a black pencil skirt over top, which I then stripped off when I got up on stage and found I wanted to show more skin. On my chubby frame, the bodysuit looked quite different from how it did on the AA model’s slim body, but I still felt like a luminescent vixen in it. It stretched to skim my curves and made me feel like I could live in gold lamé.

But AA isn’t all party clothes and mega-cleavage. Their hoodies – part of the line of basics which made them famous – are among my go-to loungewear when I’m sad, sick, or depressed. Lined with cozy fleece, they keep me warm and comfortable even when my brainspace feels cold and harsh. I can zip up the zipper, pull up the hood, and tuck my hands into the kangaroo pockets, and it makes me feel snugly, safely bundled up. Insulated from the world by polyester and cotton.

The AA stores in my city – and probably yours too – are currently plastered with sale signs: “75% OFF!” “EVERYTHING MUST GO!” Inside, they’re practically barren. Everything is on sale, even the furniture. It’s a sad sight. But recently, I ventured into one with my friend Suz, determined to find some final souvenirs to take home with me.

One thing I bought is a dark red hoodie, unisex size small to fit my ladies’-size-large body. I’ve barely taken it off since I bought it; in fact, I’m swaddled in it now as I write this. Like all my AA acquisitions, it’s well-made, dependable, reliable. I feel effortlessly put-together in it; I feel at home. It’s a feeling I’ll miss, as American Apparel shuts its stores, takes down its website, and recedes into history. I will wear these clothes until they disintegrate. I will wear these clothes until I find ones I like better. Maybe I never will.

Pieces You Left Behind

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Girl with the purple hair, I’m sad we didn’t date for longer. I know we’re 15, and 15-year-olds are fickle. I know you said the break-up wasn’t about me, that you’re just “not in a good place to have a girlfriend right now,” that you feel “trapped” by labels and that our views on drugs are incompatible. I know all of this. But still I want you.

I daydream about you in class, so flagrantly that stern teachers chastise me and kind teachers ask me if I’m feeling alright. I know which hallways you walk down in between classes, and sometimes I walk where you’ll be, and sometimes I avoid you because you make me feel things that scare me.

I write in my journal, “I could marry that girl.” I put down my pen, stare at the page, and sigh. Because it’s melodramatic and it’s also true.

A contingent of twelfth-graders have organized a clothing swap. It’s one of the minor events written in my calendar; everything that isn’t you feels minor to me lately. Nonetheless, I show up at our school’s sunny, sprawling art room at the appointed time, bag of unwanted clothes in tow to trade away.

I spot you instantly. My eyes are attuned to you, like how cheetahs must have gazelle-dar. (Cheetahs need gazelle meat to live. I don’t know what I need from you, exactly.) You’ve brought some old clothes too, and you’re laying them out on the table to be picked through by intrepid art-school fashionistas.

I say hi to you, because I have to. There isn’t another option. But then I slip away into the throng of girls. I have blushed and giggled in front of you too many times. It feels redundant to do it again, especially now that you don’t want me.

2537272455_c90e77cb96_oExamining the sartorial offerings on the table, I find, long minutes later, a jacket I’ve seen you wear. It’s brown, with pinstripes, and big masculine shoulderpads. It looks like something Oliver Twist might wear if he was a character in The Breakfast Club. I would never, ever, ever wear this jacket. It offends my femme sensibilities on every level there is.

But it’s yours. So I take it. I make sure you’re not looking my way, and I tuck your jacket under my arm, and then I get the hell out of there. My cheeks burn with shame. Look at you, always making me blush in a million different ways.

Almost a decade later, a friend helps me excavate my closet, harshly insisting I expunge anything I haven’t worn in six months or more. I appreciate her authoritarian approach – but when we get to that brown pinstriped monstrosity, I feel icy fear rush into my veins. I beg. I plead. I clutch the jacket to my chest. I even cry a little. I just can’t give this damn thing away.

My friend lets me keep your jacket, and my sick secret is still safe. From you, at least.


4102861067_39e2f2429b_oFemmey friend-with-benefits, you are too too sweet. There are limited ways for 16-year-olds to give each other expensive presents, but you have found one. In my lap there is a plastic grocery bag containing two cashmere sweaters your grandmother gave you, which you insist you won’t wear and don’t want.

“Are you sure?” I ask, lipsticked pout gaping with surprise. “Aren’t these, like, really expensive?”

You rake a hand through your hot pink pixie cut. You’re like if Mia Farrow and James Dean had a baby who grew up to be Ramona Flowers. “I want you to have them,” you say. “They’ll look better on you anyway.”

This is a bald-faced lie. You are slim and slight, and I am ample and curvy. If these sweaters have a certain baggy, laissez-faire, Kate Moss-esque charm on you, they’ll cling to me like woollen skin. And indeed, when I try them on in front of you, the one that’s supposed to be a sweaterdress scarcely conceals my hips and ass. But you tell me, “You look hot,” and then we fuck on my twin bed while your sweater’s still hugging me tight.


Grandma, I’m sorry we’re pillaging your house. You always kept it so neat and sparse when you were alive, and now it looks a fright. But we’re doing this with the best of intentions. We need to clean your house up, clear it out, get it ready to be sold. We won’t be here much longer, I promise.

Toward the end of a long, hard-working day, mum says to us: “If there’s anything you guys want to take, you can do that now.” Max and I both bolt. He heads for the basement; maybe there’s a board game or stuffed animal he wants. As for me, I beeline to your bedroom.

I know exactly what I want to take, and I find it sooner than I expect to: the knitted shawl in autumnal tones. It used to cloak your shoulders through falls and winters, but now it’s draped over the headboard of your bed. It was painstakingly crafted by your brother-in-law, my great-uncle, who passed away mere months after you did. I saw this shawl on you so often, warming your cold bones. It looks like a Mondrian painting in sepia tones. When I bury my face in it, it smells like you: fruity soap, hearty dinners, the vaguest hint of a feminine perfume.

When I leave the house carrying your shawl, I wonder if mum will stop me, tell me she wants it instead, or tell me there’s someone else who deserves it more. But she doesn’t. It’s mine now, and I never ever wear it because I want it to always smell like you.


First love, I don’t know how I managed to plan so poorly for this break-up, considering I’ve wanted to bite the bullet for months. I should have given you back all your things before I tearfully told you on a bustling street corner that we shouldn’t be together anymore. Now I’m sitting numbly in my room with a cardboard box full of three and a half years’ worth of love’s detritus.

A graphic novel you lent me ’cause you said I would like it (you were right). A few sex toys you tested so I could review them on my blog. A stuffed doll of my favorite Pokémon, Ampharos, that you scouted out for me on eBay. A pair of your boxers, printed with black-and-white comic strip panels, found under my bed from a passionate moment somewhere along the way.

For weeks and then months, I think about delivering this box to you – leaving it on your doorstep and fleeing. But I don’t want to risk seeing you, even if the risk is small. This wound still feels fresh, this deep sense of failure, like I fucked up something that ought to have lasted.

As 2014 slips away and 2015 fades into view, I decide it’s time to unpack the box. It’s been sitting in my room taking up physical and psychic space, and I want it gone, along with the illusion that I will ever be completely rid of you. I put the graphic novel on my bookshelf, hide the toys in my toy drawers, set the Ampharos next to my Mudkip – and put the boxers on.

Years later, they’ve interwoven with my life the way any beloved item of lounge clothing does – just something to throw on when I’m lazy or sad or sleepy. I rarely remember their romantic origins; it’s only when another boy tells me, “Cool boxers!” in hazy post-coital lamplight that I feel embarrassed to be wearing them. I’m not a comic nerd; the men I date are. “They were my ex’s, and I kept them,” I explain sheepishly. He ruffles my hair and says, “Well, they’re still cool.” Yeah, I guess they are.


imageTragically unfeminist ex-boyfriend, you were right: I look better in your green-and-blue plaid shirt than you did. I spot it in your closet and want it it not because it’s yours but because it’s bright, beautiful, cozy and cute. That should be a warning sign that you’re not as perfect for me as I think, but I don’t see it that way yet.

We’ve been lying around naked in the morning light, in your filthy bachelor apartment perched high above the city. Well, I’m naked; you’re almost always clothed around me, guarded, distant, clinical. Your constant sexual rejections and occasional body-shaming barbs have pricked my heart and I feel depleted, but I haven’t noticed that yet. All I know is it feels weird being naked around you. So I put your shirt on.

When you tell me to keep it, I skip home in it, vibrating from the familiar glee of wearing a reminder that somebody likes me.

Weeks later, when your charm has unraveled, I sit in the window of a café with a friend. “I have to break up with him,” I realize aloud, capping off a torrent of complaints. “I have to. Like, today.” I grab my phone and text to ask if you can meet me after your show later. My eyes fall on the shirt I’m wearing, and it’s yours. “Guess I should go home and change out of this before I go break up with him, huh?” I ask my pal, a bitter laugh breaking my voice.

Days after the deed is done, you text me. A post-break-up text: that rarest of things. “Hey you! Hope you have fun on your trip,” you tell me (I am reading your words in a car on a highway, two days deep into a nine-day road trip with friends). “Oh, and keep the shirt!”

It had not even occurred to me to give the shirt back. I’ve earned it, after that shitshow of a relationship. “Haha, thanks,” I text back, and roll my eyes.

12 Days of Girly Juice: 12 Femme Essentials

12 Days of Girly Juice is a year-end celebration of all things girly, sexy, pleasurable and fun. Y’all know the kind of stuff I write about: sex, relationships, beauty, fashion, self-improvement. That’s the stuff I’ll be highlighting on this here blog, in big juicy year-end lists, for all of December. Today, we begin with femme goodness. Enjoy!

 

I have the type of personality where I get obsessed with things for short periods of time and then move on. That’s especially true when it comes to objects designed to be used up, upgraded and replaced, like beauty and fashion items. (Oh, dat consumerist escalator. It never stops!!)

That said, there are some femme obsessions that endured through most or all of my 2015. Here are some of them…

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Lip Products

If I ever stop thinking Bite lipstick in “Violet” is the most beautiful hot pink I’ve ever seen, you have my permission to check my pulse to make sure I’m not dead. Because I have a feeling I’ll be in love with this babe for a very long time.

Creamy, pigmented, and long-lasting, its formula is so gloriously on-point that I can throw it on and not worry about it for the rest of the night. And the shade – somewhere between fuchsia, purple, and Jem-and-the-Holograms neon pink – lights up my whole face and just makes me feel like me.

Another favorite lip hue this year was NARS Audacious lipstick in “Charlotte.” I stalked it on swatch sites, ogled it at Sephora, mercilessly Googled it, trawled its Instagram tag. I was a girl possessed. When I finally got my hands on it, it wasn’t quite all I had hoped – it gets crumbly and patchy if I dare to drink a coffee while wearing it, let alone eat an actual meal – but that color. Oh, that color. It is the sexy cranberry of my most glamorous Christmasy dreams. I dutifully reapply as needed, even if that’s 3 or 4 times a night, because it makes me feel like a starlet in a climactic, snowy love-confession scene.

My lipstick list would not be complete without MAC’s “Fashion Revival.” It came out in MAC’s limited-edition Matte Lip collection and I SNAPPED THAT SHIT UP because it is the most, most, most perfect fall/winter color. Described as a “deep raspberry,” it’s somehow a pink with all the drama and glamor of a great red. Fuck. Yes.

While TokyoMilk Salted Caramel Lip Elixir doesn’t lend any color to my lips, I had to include it in this list because it’s been my go-to “gonna-get-kissed-tonight” product since I got it. It’s thick and moisturizing without being sticky or gross, and of course, it tastes like caramel. I’ve known a lot of boys who refuse to kiss lipsticked ladies, but it’s hard to turn down kisses from someone who tastes this good.

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Other Makeup

Laura Mercier translucent loose setting powder was a recommendation from Jaclyn Hill and I’m sure glad I listened to her. I dust this on top of my foundation with a brush, or pat it on with a makeup sponge, and it keeps my face oil-free for… well, until I next wash my face, whenever that might be. As someone whose T-zone would ordinarily make a fantastic Slip ‘n’ Slide for tiny people, I have to say this is pretty damn impressive.

MAC Liquidlast eyeliner is the real deal. Cry, walk through a rainstorm, sweat, rub your eyes, get fucked with your face buried in a pillow, and the rest of your makeup may smear but your eyeliner will still look fresh as hell. It’s gloopy and hard to apply and the brush is weird, but it’s still the only eyeliner I’ll wear if I think I might be crying, sweating, and/or having sex. Which, let’s face it, is most days.

I used to be terrified of blush, because I blush a lot as is. Tarte Amazonian Clay blush in “Natural Beauty” converted me, though. It’s super pigmented and easy to blend, and the color really does look natural. It also straddles the line between pink and red, so I can pair it with just about any lipstick. Perrrrrf.

I would be remiss to leave Anastasia Dipbrow Pomade off this list. It’s such a daily staple for me, such a given and a must-have and a “duh!” part of my beauty routine, that I almost forgot it. But it is vital to my look. My eyebrows are like Samson’s hair: without ’em, I’m nothing. Thanks, Dipbrow, for another year of power brows.

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Clothing

I’m cheating a little by lumping all my polka-dot dresses into one item on this list. OH WELL. When I look back at what clothing made me feel reeeeal femme ‘n’ fabulous in 2015, these dresses take the cake. I bought blue and black ones at Loveless Boutique, a goldmine of rockabilly gorgeousness I serendipitously discovered next door to my hairdresser’s salon one day. The green one was a thrift-store score, and makes me feel like a Scooby Doo character. Too lovely!

I’ve been obsessed with thigh-high socks for a long time, but this was the year when I started wearing them on a regular basis. Whether rainbow-striped or sporty, from American Apparel or Sock Dreams or anywhere else, I just love them. And as a bonus: in my experience, wearing thigh-highs gets you a lot of sexual attention…!

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Jewelry

If you’ve seen me in person at a sex-related event in the past few months, I’ve probably forced you to look at my vulva ring. It’s a custom job from Catstache Accessories and I’m obsessed with it. There is nothing quite like the reaction I get from people when they realize it’s a vulva… and then when I tell them it’s my vulva, specifically.

My other fave accoutrement this year was my eyeball necklace. I spotted the pendant in a display case at the Lincoln City glass studio where we made our own glass dildos, and it was so strange that I just had to have it. I threaded it onto some white suede string and now it often holds a place of honor between my breasts, staring creepily back at anyone who dares to ogle me.

 

What were your favorite beauty-and-fashion items in 2015, my loves?