Monthly Faves: Hearts, Wands, & Tears

It’s been a tough month, but I feel very loved. Here were some of my fave things in August…

Sex toys

• Swoooon: this month I was gifted a red glittery Doxy Die Cast wand vibrator. Beyond just being stunning to look at, it’s also a remarkable wand. The vibrations are rumbly and shockingly strong, and I just love the way this sexy aluminum wand feels in my hands. Full review to come!

• My other exciting acquisition this month was an Njoy Pure Plug 2.0. It’s massive, and I haven’t been able to get it inside me yet, but I’m holding out hope that someday I will!

Fantasy fodder

• I received a four-hand erotic massage from some local sexological bodywork pros this month and it was fucking divine. This type of massage pings a lot of my kinks about sexual service and partners having intimate knowledge of my preferences, so I found it super hot at the time and continued to find it super hot when I revisited it in subsequent fantasies. (Side note: a hookup asked me how the massage went, and when I said it was so good that I wished I could get one every week, he replied, “Play your cards right and you just might…”!)

• Since I went through a pretty traumatic break-up this month, I’ve had to recalibrate my fantasy life a bit so it doesn’t just constantly make me cry (*sad trombone*). This has meant seeking out new porn, dirty fanfiction, and erotica, as well as cultivating crushes on new people (both celebrities and IRL folks) to ponder in private moments. Masturbation is no longer an emotionally painful process for me, so that’s something!

Sexcetera

• Some of my work elsewhere this month: For Kinkly, I wrote about how an erotic massage helped me get over my break-up. I investigated the new at-home HPV test for Glamour. I wrote a Letter to the Editor about female orgasms for the Walrus. I identified some killer sex toy combinations and common “taboo” fantasies for Ignite. Peepshow asked me to chronicle some weird things people have put in their butts. I was interviewed by Coffee & Kink. I hosted Sex City Radio, interviewing sex toy reviewer Epiphora, break-up coach Natalia Juarez, and asexual sex blogger Taryn. On our podcast, Bex and I interviewed our friends Suz and Claire, and talked about conferences, Woodhull, and dominance.

• Orgasm stats: This month I had 27 orgasms, 7 of which (25.9%) were from partners. I’m surprised I still managed to have so many, despite terrible depression wracking me lately!

• Like I said, I went through a devastating break-up a few weeks ago, and while my heart is broken and life has felt very difficult this month, this experience has reminded me that I have lots of people in my corner and my friends are always there for me. I’m very, very lucky.

Femme stuff

• As per usual, I’m experimenting with various perfume samples lately. Though I’ve mostly been sticking with my perennial favorite, John Varvatos, this month I’ve also been enjoying the Tom of Finland fragrance from Etat Libre d’Orange. It’s supposed to be masculine but on me it’s just femmey, warm and comforting. Good stuff!

• My new hot pink Tarina Tarantino heart necklace is giving me life. It’s HUGE and VERY SPARKLY. God bless Tarina and her magpie proclivities!

• I am looooving my new “Submissive” T-shirt from Pen & Kink. I ordered one in the tri-blend material, so it’s suuuper soft and comfy – truly the ideal garment for a lazy babygirl to lounge around in!

Little things

Bex sending me a selfie of them and their Sir. My new Seven-Year PenThe Bold Type. Emotionally cathartic kink with a trusted partner. Doing a live Dildorks recording in front of a crowd at Woodhull! Readers of my blog coming up to me to tell me how much they love my work. Spanking Suz with a bible. Hanging with my blogger babes. Deep sleeps in big comfy hotel beds. Cadence making me a gin and tonic and gently domming me into finishing my work when I was practically too depressed to move. Watching Friends on Netflix with Max for hours on end. Being comforted/supported by my FWB, who then attempted to fuck the sads out of me. A random guy offering me a no-strings-attached footrub at a sex club. Max bringing me Haagen Dazs. Swimming while stoned. Journaling on public transit. Crimson Wave Comedy. Pinegrove’s wonderful album Cardinal. Improv crushes. Making out in an alley with someone who makes me howl with laughter.

Monthly Favorites: Smulder Smut & Cumshots

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Toys

• I’m still diggin’ on the rechargeable Magic Wand. When you want an easy, quick orgasm to alleviate stress, the Magic Wand is the natural choice. That was my situation this month: I had so many deadlines and work gigs that most of my orgasms were of the perfunctory sort. And the Wand was, indeed, Magic in that respect.

• My G-spot’s favorite plaything this month was, once again, the Njoy Eleven. I don’t know if I’ll ever get over it. Sometimes I fall asleep cuddling it. Sometimes I take it in the bath and stay in there for an hour or more. Sometimes it makes me come so hard that I fall off my bed. What can I say? I’m smitten.

• When I could convince myself to use a dildo that wasn’t the Eleven (a rarity), I usually reached for the Tantus Uncut #1 this month. Its girth is ideal for my current preferences, and its realistic-ness went well with all my recent Fox Mulder fantasies (see below).

Fantasy fodder

• I binge-watched season 1 of The X Files in July, and, well, you know me: if I love a show, I love its fanfic too. Archive of Our Own is absolutely rife with Mulder/Scully smut and I am 100% on board. Of particular interest? Scrabble-fuelled fucking, sexual tension + nipple orgasms, and asexual Mulder/bisexual Scully. (I have a thing for oral servitude, obviously.)

• I feel like I say this in every Monthly Favorites post, but I watched a lot of amateur blowjob porn this month. (There’s that oral servitude kink rearing its head again.) At one point, I typed “best blowjob” into XTube’s search box, and it gave me this. I hit the replay button more times than I care to divulge.

• Do you have dirty-talk phrases that haunt you in your pre-orgasmic moments? Particular words and turns of phrase that, for whatever reason, push you over the edge? Some of mine this month: “You like that?” “Let me make you come.” “Come all over my cock.”

Sexcetera

• SO, I POSSIBLY SQUIRTED. I know I should blog about this properly, but I’m still so paranoid that it was just pee (hence the word “possibly”) that I’m hesitant to write about it in depth, incase it was a total fluke. But here’s the combo that seemed to make it happen: an upright position (as opposed to my usual supine pose), James Deen porn, very fast thrusting of the Eleven, the aforementioned Magic Wand, and a longer-than-usual build-up to orgasm. I looked down right after coming and the handle of the Eleven was dripping, as though my lady-come had spurted down the length of the toy. And then I slid the Eleven out and some more liquid sprayed out onto the floor. Hmmmm. Cool!

• I’ve been noticing lately that it feels best to position vibrators on the upper-right quadrant of my clit, instead of in the middle where I’ve traditionally preferred to be stimulated. Interesting how bodies and preferences change over time! Right now, the closer I can get to my internal clitoris, the better it feels for me. Innnnteresting.

• I started a new dayjob this month and it is in the sexual realm (I can’t say any more than that, unfortunately). It is making me think a lot about the way sex work affects our feelings toward sex in our personal lives (though I should clarify that the work I’m doing probably doesn’t count as sex work, or is at least one of the mildest possible forms of it). It’s strange that I can spend an entire 6-hour shift talking and thinking about other people’s sexual experiences and fantasies, but it isn’t until I’m home with the toys and fantasies that get me off that I actually get turned on. (If you know of any good resources about sex workers’ real-life sex lives and how their work affects it, let me know! I’d love to read about that.)

Femme stuff (fashion + beauty)

• I want to wear MAC Red lipstick every damn day. The satin formula is very comfortable and I love the shade on me. It doesn’t last as long as I would like it to, but it’s so perf that I don’t mind.

• I’ve been wearing my GAP 1969 legging jeans a lot. They’re a faded black color so they go with everything, and they’re stretchy enough to feel good whether I’m working all day, shopping, hanging out, or even doing yoga. Hell yes.

MAC pigments are soooo glittery! I got one in the color “Rose” recently and I just want to rock sparkly copper eyelids all the damn time.

What turned your crank the most this month, my loves?

Review: Njoy Eleven

Review: Njoy Eleven

There is a very enterprising man who lives in my city, and he makes people’s vibrator dreams come true. His name is Wil Mclean and he operates a business called Sybian Toronto. For $150, Wil will bring a Sybian to you, set it up, sanitize it, show you how it works, leave you with it overnight, and come pick it up the next day.

It’s a totally genius business idea. (And I’m not just saying that because of how cute Wil is, though he is very cute.) But what does this have to do with the Njoy Eleven, you ask?

I think there should be a Sybian Toronto-esque rent-an-Eleven program. Because no one should have to buy this toy without trying it first.

My job as a sex toy reviewer is essentially to answer the question, “Should you buy this toy?” and while that’s sometimes easy, it’s a challenge with the Eleven. It costs a little over one-quarter of what a Sybian costs, but it’s still pretty damn expensive (the standard price is $300 – I’ll talk about cheaper options further down in the review). The bigger and firmer a toy is, the likelier it is to cause discomfort or pain when it encounters a body it’s incompatible with – and the Eleven is one of the biggest and firmest toys you can get your hands on, at 11″ by 2″ of solid stainless steel. In addition to all that, it’s also unwieldy, indiscreet, and not guaranteed to hit your G-spot.

When I told Piph I longed for an Eleven, she tried to talk me out of it. I’d read her review, so I knew she didn’t like it: she found it too heavy to thrust comfortably, and it didn’t hit her G-spot as well as she thought it would. “Trust my vagina on this,” she implored me. And while I do, generally, trust Piph’s vagina, I also trust my own – and it was telling me it wanted to be crammed full of stainless steel.

At DildoHoliday, I borrowed Piph’s Eleven from the communal bleach bowl and took it to my room. I paired it with a good clit vibe. I had an orgasm. And I fell in love. Heart-eyes-emoji, head-over-G-spot in love.

elevenhead

The object of my affections, I should explain, is the Eleven’s larger end. The smaller, ridged side, at 1.75″ in diameter, is perfectly fine, but it lacks the pronounced curve and insistent girth that work magic on my G-spot. I use the smaller end as a warm-up, because my vagina may be experienced but it can’t handle two inches of steel right off the bat. So I work myself open using the smaller end, and it usually only takes a minute or two before I’m ready to turn the Eleven around and slide the bigger side into my vag.

Although steel is completely firm and unyielding, I often find it easier to insert large steel toys into my orifices, because they’re so frictionless. In fact, despite the Eleven’s enormity (and, you should know, it is fucking enormous), I almost never use lube with it. My natural lubrication is usually enough – but don’t try this at home, kids; I might just be a freak of nature. Lube is a good thing!

The large end of the Eleven locks in place behind my pubic bone and nuzzles right up into my G-spot. There’s really nowhere else it can go. It’s too big to be pushed in deep toward my cervix, and its flared head keeps it from sliding out of me before I’m ready to remove it. So it just stays exactly where I want it, and all I can really do is thrust it over my G-spot in small motions. Fortunately, that’s all the movement I need for the Eleven to feel fucking fantastic.

Piph and I disagree about which is better, the Eleven or the Pure Wand, and I know why. She likes direct, intense G-spot pressure, the kind best provided by toys with an extreme curve like the Pure Wand or Comet Wand. But as for me, I’ve learned that my G-spot prefers sweet, tender rubbing over aggressive pounding. I can appreciate the Pure Wand and other G-spot assailants of its ilk, but they serve up my pleasure with a side order of “need-to-pee” discomfort, and I’m not always down for that. So something that slides back and forth over my G-spot, rather than slamming into it or grinding against it, works better for my purposes.

And to that end, the bigger head of the Eleven feels divine for me. If I use it with a decent clit vibe, I can usually get off with the vibrator on the first or second setting, because the G-spot pleasure makes up for the lower level of clit stimulation. This combo has brought me to many a stellar blended orgasm. I love blended orgasms best because they leave me feeling incredibly sated and blissed out – and that’s particularly true of the Eleven, since its mighty girth is so satisfying for my muscles to clench around when I come.

Is this review even more graphic and detailed than mine usually are? That’s because the Eleven elicits feelings in my vagina that I can only describe as pornographic. I’m getting turned on just writing this review. Fuck, man. Get out of my head, you vexatious, tantalizing chunk o’ steel!!

The Eleven’s heaviness is one of the main issues some reviewers have with it. And that’s understandable. At 2.75 pounds, it is basically a dumbbell, fit for arm exercise regimens. I find I can get around this somewhat by bracing my arm against my thigh and angling my vag so my thrusts work with gravity instead of against it. (Horizontal thrusting with the Eleven is less tiring than vertical for me.) However, if you have any kind of mobility or strength issues in your arms, run far, far away from the Eleven. Something lighter but equally G-spotty, like the Seduction, will do you right.

Now, let’s talk price for a minute. I still maintain that you should try someone else’s Eleven before you buy your own, if that’s at all feasible for you. I wouldn’t want you to drop a ton of money on this thing and then find out that you hate it. But if you’re prepared to bite the bullet, here’s how you can get the best deal…

For Canadians: PinkCherry Canada‘s standard price for the Eleven is $200. I don’t know how they can afford to price it so low, but they do. PinkCherry frequently has sales, so if you keep an eye on their homepage for discount codes, you might be able to get the Eleven for 20% or even 30% off that already-discounted price. I got mine for $160 this way, which is just slightly more than half what other shops charge. Hey, PinkCherry? My vagina thanks you.

For Americans: You should buy from Sex Toys Canada. They charge the standard $300 for the Eleven, but that’s $300 Canadian, which works out to about $240 USD, depending on the day. STC also has frequent discount codes available. If you buy an Eleven using a 20%-off code, you could end up paying about $193 with the exchange rate, which is pretty A-OK.

I can’t tell you whether or not you should buy an Eleven. All I can tell you is that I love mine, some people hate it, some love it, and you should certainly never pay full-price for one.

Beyond that, it’s up to you. Are your holes calling out for this massive rod of steel, like mine was? Or do you quake in fear of the Eleven’s size (and price tag)? The choice is yours, my friend…

Interview: Tina Horn of “Best Sex Writing”

The two things I love most in the world are sex and writing. So, obviously, Best Sex Writing is the kind of book title that gets my attention.

This year’s edition is edited by Jon Pressick, self-described sexuality media mogul (who has actually interviewed me before, you might recall!), and it’s fabulous. The essays range from academic analyses of racial politics in porn, to journalistic examinations of sex education, to deeply personal stories about sexual adventures. It’s a total treat to read, entertaining and compelling all the way through, and I’m confident that anyone who digs my blog would also dig this book!

I was invited to be part of the book’s blog tour, and when I saw that interviewing an author was an option, and one of the authors was Tina Horn, I knew she was the one I wanted to talk to.

You might remember Tina Horn as one of my favorite porn performers, or as a presenter at the first Feminist Porn Conference. Or you might know her from her podcast, writing, or teaching. In addition to Best Sex Writing, Tina’s also got a new book out called Love Not Given Lightly, which features profiles of various people working in sexuality.

Her piece in Best Sex Writing is called “The Gates” and it’s about her time working at a women-owned BDSM house in the Bay Area. It’s simultaneously a journalistic profile of the women there and the place itself, and a personal look into Tina’s own time as a switch there. I loved reading it and was excited to chat with her about it!

Girly Juice: What was your goal when researching and writing this piece?

Tina Horn: I wanted to write about the period of my life when I was working at The Gates as a professional switch. But I didn’t think the world needed another memoir of a middle class white girl with some literature degrees finding empowerment through professional BDSM. I made it my project to look outward. What was the story of the woman who started her own underground business? What were the social dynamics between the women who worked there? What objects were in the rooms, and how were they designed? How were things organized and regulated? I wanted my consciousness, my experience, to come through the concrete details, and I wanted to get some closure since moving on from that work by honoring it in journalism form.

GJ: As both a journalist and a sex worker, you have plenty of experience with interviewing as well as being interviewed. Do you have any tips or strategies for making a source feel comfortable and able to open up when interviewing them about a sensitive topic like sex?

TH: There is always an ethical question for a journalist or nonfiction writer: at what point are you exploiting your subject? Exploitation comes from false pretense.You work to make someone comfortable and trust you so you can get your story out of them: that’s the job, the craft of reporting. I do my best to negotiate with my subjects when I’m reporting on them just as I would for a kink scene. I ask them what’s off-limits, what THEY want to talk about, how much time they have to talk.

For example, I interviewed Sage Travigne, the owner of The Gates, for my piece. I told her the interview was for my thesis, which it was. Before the final version was published for my Masters I sent it to her for review: not only fact-checking but to give her the chance to take out anything that made her uncomfortable. Before it was going to be in Best Sex Writing, I sent it to her again to get her permission. So, transparency in process is key, especially when you’re dealing with a part of someone’s life that is highly misunderstood and stigmatized such as sex work and kink.

As for getting people comfortable talking about sex: frankly, I’ve made it my work to interview people who are already comfortable and have trustworthy boundaries with subjects of sex, kink, gender, and relationships. Because then we can skip the awkwardness and go deep.

GJ: One thing that struck me about your story on the Gates is the camaraderie and companionship between the employees there. Is that a common experience when doing sex work in shared spaces, or is the Gates exceptional in that way?

TH: Well, I can only speak from my experience, or anecdotally from the many sex workers I know. If you read an article by a service industry person who worked at an amazing woman-run restaurant that transformed her life, you would never assume that all restaurants were like that.

I do think the Gates was an exceptional place for community, humor, creativity, ethics, and female camaraderie. But it’s important to point out that not everyone who has worked there over the course of twenty years has found it to their liking. I happened to find that place when it fit really well into my life. That’s what I love about nonfiction writing: the specificity of a story helps people to realize NOT that all places are like that, but that places like that are POSSIBLE.

GJ: A lot of your work (including your podcast, which I love!) focuses on unusual kinks. Do you have any advice for someone who is uncomfortable or apprehensive about their kink(s)? How about for someone who thinks they don’t have any kinks but wants to explore and find out?

TH: Thanks, I’m glad you love “Why Are People Into That?!” If you have a desire and you’ve internalized some shame about it, remember not to police your own imagination. What goes on between your ears when you’re masturbating is your business. And if you want to live out your fantasy, you just need to focus on communication, compatibility, negotiation, and consent.

Research online, read books, watch porn, find media about your kink. There’s no one way to do any kink: figure out your style. Ask yourself the central question of my podcast: why am I into this? And finally, to quote the great Funkadelic: Free your mind and your ass will follow.

GJ: Lastly, since sex toys are an area of personal interest for me, I have to ask: what are your favorite toys and other sex products to use, either with clients or in your personal life?

TH: NJoy toys are simply the best. Greg, the owner and designer, is so supportive of sex positive community that I feel great about endorsing his products all the damn time. The weight of stainless steel toys creates the most delicious pressure in my cunt and my butt, one of my favorite sexual feelings. They’re non-porous and easy to disinfect and sturdy which is great for brutes like me.

The Aslan Jaguar is like a second skin to me. I have a brown one and a black one with brass hardware.

I love Hathor Lube, which is fancy organic water-based lube with the supposed aphrodisiac “horny goat weed” in it. Funny story. I once sold this lube, among other things, to Beyoncé and Jay-Z. First of all – they said they didn’t have lube at home. Can you imagine how good Bey’s next record is gonna be now that she has lube?! Anyway when I told Jay-Z that this lube contained horny goat weed, he asked me if he could smoke it. I told him if he did, he should definitely write an online review.

Thank you so, so much to Tina Horn and the folks at Best Sex Writing! Make sure to buy the book; I bet you’ll love it as much as I did!

Sex Toys for Canadians

Sometimes it feels like, when you live outside of the USA, you get the short end of the stick in terms of being able to buy stuff. Imported American products are usually more expensive here in Canadaland, plus you have to pay shipping fees that are sometimes exorbitant. No thank you!

Fortunately, there are some great retailers who provide toys to us northern folk without ridiculously overcharging us or obligating us to pay staggering import duties. Here are some of my faves…

Sex Toys Canada was one of the very first retailers to send me stuff to review, so they hold a special place in my heart. (I’m also the main writer on their blog!) They’re based in Montreal, so if you live in the easterly part of Canada, orders will get to you especially fast.

They’re always having excellent sales and deals; check their homepage for any current discount codes. They also have a sale section that’s full of amazingly cheap stuff.

PinkCherry.ca is another one of my Canadian faves. They’re located in Mississauga (or thereabouts – I’m not actually sure) so if you live in Toronto or the GTA, you’ll get your order very quickly. Mine always arrive within 2 business days, which makes me really happy – (almost) instant gratification!

Check their homepage and/or subscribe to their mailing list for updates on current deals and sales. A word to the wise: they have some of the lowest prices in the biz on Njoy toys; you can get the legendary Pure Wand or my all-time favorite butt plug for lower prices than I’ve seen anywhere else. Put some steel in yo’ holes!

Sensual Intelligence is committed to only stocking toys that are body-safe and eco-friendly. Not many companies have that much integrity so I really respect them for making that choice.

They have many of the high-end, luxury sex toys that would be prohibitively expensive to ship from the U.S., like the Stronic Drei, Form 2, and Jopen Lust.

Fellow Canadians, where do you get your sex toys?