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?

I Stuck a Shoe in My Ass So You Don’t Have To (Unless You Really, Really Want To)

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When you’re known as a femme sex blogger, people constantly send you links to sexy femme things. Rhinestoned vibrators. Penis-shaped lipsticks. And – most intriguingly to me – leather pumps whose heels are butt plugs.

I’ve been mutual Twitter followers with the proprietor of Ainsley-T for a while, and earlier this year, they offered me a pair to review. My approach to sex toy reviewing lately is based more on what I think’ll be weird than what I think’ll be good, so of course, I said yes immediately. Not too long thereafter, a package arrived in the mail for me containing what is now, no doubt, the oddest pair of shoes I own. (And I say that as someone who owns heels with cartoon duelling snakes hand-painted on them.)

My Ainsley-T Plug Pumps are black, sexy, and powerful. The heel itself is glossy, while the shoe’s upper is a more matte calfskin. I requested a European size 39 for my U.S.-size-8 feet, and they fit well: not so loose as to slide off when I walk, and not so tight as to pinch.

Despite my other femme proclivities, I am not a “heels person.” Wearing heels for any length of time annoys the shit out of me. I can hobble around in my Sofft T-straps or padded Naturalizer pumps for a few hours if need be, but I’d rather not; stick me in some harness boots or leather flats and I’m a happy, comfy, ambulatory little princess. So I wasn’t expecting to like the Plug Pumps as actual shoes, and I don’t. The heels are perplexingly, fetishistically high – 5.9 inches, with a 1.8-inch platform – and walking on them makes me feel like I’m teetering on some very kinky stilts. I’m also not particularly a fan of the severe square toe – give me almond-toe or give me death!! – but I can see how others would be into that aesthetic.

So, since wearing these shoes on my feet isn’t an appealing option, obviously I shoved one in my ass.

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Let me be clear. I did not shove the whole shoe in my ass. That would be quite a feat (heyooo, see what I did there?!). But even taking the heel of this pump proved to be quite a challenge. Luckily, I’m a sex toy reviewer – I’m used to sticking strange things in my holes.

I started my testing session with the Plug Pumps by watching a porn scene in which a deliciously femmed-up Tina Horn dominates a pathetically trussed-up Danny Wylde. I chose this because I happened to have it stored on my phone and was feeling lazy, but it proved to be an ideal choice: Tina towers over Danny in high heels throughout the scene, allowing me to fantasize about mean, toppy femmes as I proceeded with my masturbatory adventure.

I began by trying the heel in my vagina. With no added lube or protection of any kind, I slid it in. You probably shouldn’t try this at home, kids. The Ainsley-T site specifically says, “We recommend the use of a condom if the footwear is to be used for anal or vaginal play,” because the heels are made of a lacquered ABS that’s presumably not as orifice-safe as, say, silicone or steel. My contact at Ainsley-T told me the finish isn’t porous, but that he wanted people to be able to use the shoe “without requiring excessive bravery.” So, wrap that shit up, friends.

The heel didn’t feel like much in my vag. I wouldn’t expect it to; it has a diameter of just 1.4″ and my vagina is on some next-level shit. But it was a good warm-up while I got myself turned on with porn and a vibe, and it gave me more confidence in my ability to stick the heel in my ass next.

I lubed the heel and went to slide it into my butt… which was more difficult than anticipated. You don’t fully appreciate ergonomic butt plugs until you’ve tried to insert a plug that has a fucking shoe attached to it. Each time I inserted or re-inserted it, it took me several tries to get the angle right – and once the heel did find its way inside me, holding and thrusting it by the vamp was awkward-bordering-on-impossible. Plus, the toe and platform rest right over my clit when the plug’s all the way inside me, making added clit stimulation difficult. Eventually I flipped the shoe around so the toe was closer to my tailbone than my clit – that gave me more room for vibes or fingers, and the shoe was easier to maneuver that way.

Now, keep in mind, this shoe wasn’t designed for masturbation. I get the feeling the target audience is dominant femmey types who want to fuck their subs’ asses and/or engage in general shoe worship, at least judging by the promotional images on the product page. But I told the Ainsley-T dude I’d review his shoes the same way I’d review any sex toy, so that’s what I’m doin’.

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My usual lying-flat-on-my-back position doesn’t work great for butt stuff, and even with my Jaz under my hips, the shoe was too awkwardly large to use the plug that way. For a while, I sat perched on the edge of my desk chair, knees bent high for better butt access, but that grew uncomfortable too. So I settled onto all fours, the shoe’s sole resting on my lower back while its heel was buried in my ass.

Grinding my clit against my Magic Wand in this position, everything actually started to feel pretty good. I made little mewls of pleasure while fantasizing about Tina Horn shoe-fucking me (or… shoe-Horn-ing me, if you will). The heel’s moderate diameter felt just right, and the narrower shaft below the plug’s swollen middle gave my butt muscles something pleasant to clench around. I began to think I might actually have an orgasm.

But then… the heel slid out of my ass. I squealed “Noooo!” and grabbed it up again, re-lubed, and re-inserted. This kept happening, though. I don’t know if a wider diameter would help or hinder this problem. In any case, like I said before, most people using this product will have another person’s foot/leg/body holding the shoe where it’s supposed to be, so I can’t fault the heel for repeatedly falling out of me.

I eventually MacGyvered a system where my face and arms were braced against my Liberator Wedge while the sole of the shoe was settled flat against my Jaz. This worked brilliantly for me, but, y’know, that’s a lot of expensive positioning equipment and you could probably replicate the effect with a plethora of firm pillows. With the shoe securely pressed against my Jaz, I was able to wriggle and gyrate against it while I buzzed my clit with the Magic Wand, and that gave me the sensation of actually being fucked. (It helped that the only time I’ve actually been fucked in the ass, I was in the same position, using the same vibe. Hellooo, fantasies about handsome gentleman fuckpal.)

Some minutes later, I had an orgasm, and it was loud and weird and good. But my hips tilted forward to make firmer contact with the Hitachi, and this allowed my pelvic muscle contractions to eject the heel from my ass at top speed. It was as if the shoe was crying, “Finally! I can go back to just being a shoe!”

As I lay there in a sweaty heap on top of my Liberators, a lube-drizzled pump beneath me and a vibrator tucked in the crook of my arm, I reflected on what a weird life sex toy reviewers lead. In no other line of work would anyone be expected to stick a piece of footwear in their butthole and then write about it in salient detail. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

 

Thank you so much to Ainsley-T for sending me these gorgeous shoes, and for having a terrific sense of humor about me wanting to review them as a sex toy. It’s companies like this one that make toy reviewing such a fun endeavor, I tells ya.

Monthly Faves: Bruises, Tongues & Glitter

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November was possibly the most sexually active month of my year so far, so that’s pretty rad. Here are some of the things that made that possible…

 

Sex toys

• I had loaned out my Pure Wand to a friend, and when she returned it to me mid-month, I sure made up for lost time. I used it on myself during a threesome, and during many a solo sexytime session thereafter. It still provides a more intense sensation than I usually find pleasurable, but when I get into the right mood for it, nothing else will do.

• I bought a Fucking Sculptures Double Trouble this month. (Yes, feel free to “ooh” and “aah” here.) Mine is blue because it was the last remaining toy from the limited-edition “Dreamy Daze” batch Fucking Sculptures made in May. Swooooon. I will review it, eventually, when I can pry myself away from it for long enough to write a review…

• It’s hard to come up with a 3rd item for this list, because I honestly didn’t use a lot of toys this month. But I did have one particularly memorable session with the Tantus Uncut #1 that reminded me how lovely it is. Unf, dat foreskin.

 

Fantasy fodder

• I bought a Bright Desire subscription and I’m so very glad I did. Hot female-gaze-oriented porn filled with cuties. A database easily searchable by keyword. Behind-the-scenes director’s comments available for practically every clip, incase you’re a porn nerd (which I am). Too too too good.

• Please help me: I still have fantasies about a hot guy from my past who turned out to be a total asshole. He’s just… so… attractive. Do you ever struggle with this dilemma? Does it leave you feeling guilty and depleted after you come incredibly hard? ‘Scuse me, I’ll just be over here in the corner, hanging my head in shame.

• Remember that Danny Wylde/Dylan Ryan scene I’ve been obsessed with for literal years? Yep, still in love. I pulled it out a few times when I was having trouble reaching orgasm, and it always helped. How are these two SO HOT? How is that amount of sexual chemistry even legal?!

 

Sexcetera

• After feeling kind of “meh” about cunnilingus for the past year, I got some incredible head from two different guys this month, and remembered how much I love it. I still haven’t come from oral in about a year and a half, but I’m confident that it will happen one of these days…

• At various times this month, I had a bite mark on my neck, a bruise on my breast, and scratches up and down my torso. Only two out of those three were actually sex-related, but, damn, still pretty neat.

• I got spanked a lot this month. Hell yes. Isn’t it fantastic when you find someone who loves to do the things you love to have done to you (or vice versa)?!

 

Femme stuff

• I bought my metallic blue Doc Martens when I was 18. I don’t know when or why they fell out of my regular shoe rotation, but it’s a travesty that they did. I pulled them out again for Playground Prom and now I kinda wanna wear them every day. How can you ever be sad when your feet look like laser beams?

• I’ve been really into sequins lately. As above, this was also kickstarted by Playground Prom, where the theme was “glitter Candyland masquerade.” I went shopping for New Year’s Eve clothes with a femme friend and bought a gold sequinned tube top, because I am a 16-year-old girl from 1984, apparently.

• Very, very enamored with EmMeMa’s lingerie. Also, she’s a total sweetheart. You should buy pretty things from her!

 

What were your November favorites?

Fancy Shoes For Femmes & Fetishists

When my amigos at Sex Toys Canada told me they were starting a shoe site, I got reeeeal excited. Because, as a femme, I love ridiculous shoes. I may not wear them very often (in fact, hardly ever), but when an occasion arises that requires an out-of-control, over-the-top pair of shoes, you just gotta have ’em.

I combed through Shoe Freaks ogling pumps and boots (my life is so hard, am I right?!) and picked a few of my favorites to highlight for you. Now let’s all revel in fancy femme footwear for a while…

I didn’t fully recognize Minnie Mouse as a femme icon until my 3-year-old cousin became obsessed with her and started rocking her merch 24/7. And yeah, girl is a hella cute mouse. These Funtasma flats are a subtle homage to Minnie and would pair beautifully with an all-black ensemble or a little red dress. (And they’re only $19! Score.)

These Bordello Teeze boots are fantastic. If I am ever fortunate enough to be invited to a Goldmember-themed party, I will seriously consider making these a part of my costume. They would look bangin’ with some white booty shorts and maybe a gold sequinned halter top. And they have stretchy tops and a side-zip closure, so even chubby-thigh’ed folks comme moi could probably squeeze into them.

I have desperately wanted marabou slippers ever since seeing Renée Zellweger prance around in them in a dance sequence in Down With Love. They are pretty much the most glamorous thing you can put on your feet, especially for loungin’. This Fabulicious pair has a manageably low heel and a cushioned inside, so you could potentially bum around in them at home all day without traumatizing your feet for the sake of beauty.

These Demonia sandals are like what Dana Scully from The X Files would wear if she was dressing as a Spice Girl for Halloween. ’90s vibes out the wazoo. And I love that ankle strap, because it means this shoe would actually stay on your foot while you were out chasing aliens or dancing to “Wannabe” or whatever else Scully Spice does in her spare time.

 

A pal of mine is getting married soon, and I’m one of her bridesmaids. I think these bridal pumps would be right up her alley. They’re girly and fun but still sophisticated, and the side cut-outs are classically sexy. I also love the idea of your wedding shoes being your “something blue”; if that’s your jam, Pinup Couture makes some blue glitter pumps that kiiiinda give me heart palpitations. (Maybe I can convince my friend that these need to be our bridesmaid kicks…)

If Dorothy Gale grew up to be a drag queen and/or a stripper, she would absolutely wear these Pleaser sandals. And they would look fucking fierce on her. There’s no place like home, baby!

What shoes do you put on when you want to feel like you own the goddamn universe?

Party Essentials for Foxy Femmes

It’s that time of year again: FEMINIST PORN WEEK! And you know what that means: I am going to zillions of events.

Seriously. My schedule is so crowded this week that I had to make a spreadsheet to keep track of the time and location of each event, how to get from one to the next on public transit, and what I plan on wearing to each.

I promise I will have a full and juicy wrap-up for you next week, complete with outfit photos – but for now, I’m still meticulously working out my schedule and throwing ensembles together. In that spirit, here are some things I think every femme ought to have in her arsenal for times such as these…

A pair of gorgeous shoes you can dance in

Define “gorgeous” however you please. My favorite shoes in the world are my Frye harness boots: thick black leather, a slight heel, incredibly comfortable, and just sliiiightly sexual (the harness on the side looks like, well, a dildo harness). I happily wear them everywhere except the most formal of occasions, and they serve me very well.

I also recently found this pair of cherry-red Sofft T-strap pumps at a thrift store for $10.50 (CAN YOU BELIEVE?!?) and they are surprisingly danceable. I plan on wearing them to the Feminist Porn Awards gala on Friday.

If comfort and mobility are what you’re after (and they should be), I recommend a Mary Jane, T-strap or ankle strap style. The extra support will keep the shoe on your foot more securely, making it easier to walk, run, dance or whatever without too much pain. (To be real with you, though: I’ve never met a pair of heels that didn’t hurt at least a little. I consider them a worthwhile/necessary evil for how cute they make me feel, however.)

A long-lasting lipstick that makes you feel radiant

Few things can light up your face like a well-chosen lip color. For parties, make sure you go with a longwear formulation so you can drink and/or kiss to your heart’s content. (Depending on the formula, some color might end up on your glass or your date, but if you choose well, it’ll stay on your face nonetheless!)

For parties, I tend to go with either a classic red or a hot pink. Kat Von D’s “Outlaw” is a total vixen red and Bite lipstick in “Violet” is the creamiest shocking pink I’ve ever found. If you like something a little subtler (or cheaper), trot down to your drugstore and grab one of those Revlon “balmstains” that look like oversized crayons; their balm-like formula can be worn lightly or heavily for different effects, and they really do stay comfortable and colorful all night long. (I think “Smitten” is the prettiest shade.)

A convenient bag containing everything you’ll need

By “convenient,” here’s what I mean: it should be small and light enough that you won’t be annoyed or in need of a massage by the end of the night, but it should be big enough to carry your crucial stuff. It should have a strap (shoulder, crossbody, or wrist) so you will have full use of your hands all evening (FUCK CLUTCHES, am I right?!). And, convenience aside, it should go with your outfit – which is why most of my “party bags” are an easy-to-match color like black or silver.

Here’s what you should pack for a party: your phone, a couple pieces of ID, whatever you need for travel (Metropass, car keys, etc.), slightly more cash than you think you’ll need, debit/credit cards, a camera (if your phone’s camera doesn’t meet your photographic standards), your lipstick, any other cosmetics you might need to reapply, a small mirror, condoms (even if you don’t need one, someone else might), and any medication or other necessary objects you need to have with you for safety reasons. You can bring more than that, if you want, but it probably won’t get used, so you might as well leave it at home.

Cute underwear

This is for two reasons. Firstly, you never know when someone attractive might see you in your skivvies. Secondly, you will feel more confident and adorable if you’re dressed well under your clothes. (Just ask Tori Amos if you don’t believe me.)

Fun hosiery

There are few things more delightful than having a new pair of kneesocks or thigh-high stockings to rock. Good legwear brings something extra to an outfit and is worth investing in, if you are femininely inclined.

American Apparel does my favorite stay-ups (which actually STAY UP, even on my chubby thighs! Hallelujah!) and I hear wonderful things about the socks and tights at Sock Dreams. I’m also ride-or-die for Hue opaque tights, which come in lots of fun colors and are just the best-quality hosiery I’ve ever found (I have pairs that I’ve owned for years without rips or runs!).

Fellow femmes: what clothes and makeup do you always have in hand in case of a Party Emergency?