July of last year was an out-of-control amazeballs month for me sexually. This July was nice too, in different ways. Here’s some of what I got up to…
• This month I was sent the Zumio, an oscillating clitoral stimulator similar to the Eroscillator but way more pinpoint (full review forthcoming!). I honestly was expecting to hate it, but… I don’t. It’s so intense that I usually only use it on the first setting and through panties – which also means it lends itself well to “forced orgasm” kink scenarios. At one point this month, my boyfriend held the Zumio on my clit while fucking me with the S-Curve, and I practically died of pleasure…
• Speaking of cool shit my boyfriend did to me: he surprised me one day by putting my collar on me and then chaining it to my under-the-bed restraints so I couldn’t move. Then he jammed my Liberator Jaz under my hips and went down on me until I came. Woof.
• A couple times this month, my partner alluded to cunnilingus as an endurance-based endeavor – “I wanna go down on you for a long time,” “I’m not gonna stop until you come,” and so on – and it reminded me of how soothing (and hot) these kinds of reminders can be. One of my number-one sexual anxieties is “taking too long” to come, so it’s enormously helpful when a partner pre-empts those worries by essentially telling me they want me to take a while.
• I did two things this month that are typically associated with “femdom” – pegging and facesitting – but because I did them with my mega-dominant boyf, I did not feel dominant at all. I felt like I was being his servicey little good girl, or like I was being served to him on a proverbial silver platter. Friendly reminder: dominance and submission are not baked into any particular sexual act; they’re attitudes you can bring (or not bring) to any act you choose!
• Here’s a good sentence that came up in my fantasies a lot this month: “I wanna feel you come on my cock, little one.” Oof. ‘Nuff said.
• Orgasm statz: I had 33 orgasms this month (go me!), bringing my total for the year up to 195 thus far. 14 of those orgasms (42.4%) were from partners, including one from a partner who had never made me come before this month (yay!).
• I got some new tattoos toward the start of the month: “THIS TOO” + “SHALL PASS” on the insides of my wrists. This felt impulsive – I went for a walk-in appointment at my tattoo shop early one Wednesday morning – but actually it wasn’t that impulsive: I’d been thinking about getting these tattoos for months, and decided it was finally time. They serve as an important reminder for times when I’m feeling anxious, depressed, or otherwise out-of-sorts. So far I’m finding them very helpful!
• After making a Lush trip this month, I’ve gotten back into an old fave, the Mask of Magnaminty, and been swoonin’ over a new acquisition, Miranda soap. Oh Lush, you always do me right.
Learning about sex surrogacy and sexological bodywork from Caitlin. Longform improv. Queer femme babes. Getting super stoned (and sunburned) in Trinity Bellwoods. The Adventure Zone. Telling my boyfriend “I love you” for the first time (aww). Sexting while high. My brother’s band’s new music video. “Never really knew if I did something wrong; all I ever heard was it wasn’t my fault.” Feminist children’s theatre. My boyfriend making us coffee to thoughtfully sip while we have goofy conversations in the morning. Angels in America. Writing with fancy pencils. Creativity during hypomania. Bite marks. “Babe, can I put my passport and butt plugs in your bag?” Diner breakfasts with Bex. Weed breaks on an Airbnb stoop. Nerdy income stats. Sexy jazz.
• Soon, sex robots will have personalities. Hilariously, one of the 12 personality traits you can choose from is “sexual,” which makes me wonder about the kind of person who would buy a sex robot and not want her to be sexual. The always-whipsmart Tracy Moore writes: “I’ll be honest, I wasn’t sure ‘sexual’ counted as a personality type in a woman, so I asked the man standing nearest to me in the MEL offices if men think it is, and he said ‘Sexual?’ and thought about it for a second. ‘Yeah,’ he said. ‘Horny.'”
• Social psychology is fascinating. Here are some science-tested tips on making friends faster. The “misattribution of arousal” is one of my favorite social-psych phenomena; one day I’ll write a post about it…
• Don’t say “but” when you apologize to someone. It undermines the sincerity of what you’re trying to say. Cari Romm reports, “According to one 2014 study on the subject, a well-executed apology requires the offender to make it clear that they understand what they did wrong, take full responsibility, offer a plan to fix things, and promise to improve in the future.” So simple and yet sometimes so difficult!
• An old friend of mine started a sex blog recently and she’s been writing some fabulous, smart pieces. Her and her boyfriend tried a bunch of wacky sex positions; the ensuing post makes me want to work on my sexual acrobatics!
• The evolution of porn tropes is so interesting to me. Here’s an oral history of the moneyshot. Personally, I’m not really a fan; it turns me on most in porn when a dude’s orgasm happens inside his partner’s mouth or other various orifices, not on their face. The palette of human sexual desire is so wide and diverse!
• Here’s a piece on people whose kink is giving and/or getting tattoos. I thought about this a lot while getting my kinky thigh tattoos last year. I don’t think I could ever get a tattoo that was mentally tied to a specific partner; I’ve never liked anyone enough to want to be with them for-literally-ever! But maybe someday I will…
• S. Bear Bergman has been one of my favorite writers for many years, and after the 2016 U.S. election, he wrote an advice column answering the question, “What do we do now?” He touches on political action, self-care, and countering social isolation in tough times, and he calls Trump “Pumpkin Spice Mussolini.” It’s a much-needed half-laughing pep talk for this weird and worrisome era we’re in.
• The ever-articulate Andrew Gurza wrote about his recent experiences with disability and masturbation. I admire Drew’s candidness and thoughtfulness so much!
• This article is old but I only just discovered it: a Playboy reporter interviewed the founder of the Orgasmic Meditation movement about how she gives blowjobs for her own pleasure. I am always wary of narratives which frame blowjobs as an endeavor of empowered women (including when I myself write that kind of narrative!) because they feel dangerously close to patriarchal tropes repackaged as female empowerment. But if Joanna Van Vleck genuinely gets direct pleasure from giving head (a feeling I know well), I say, more power to her.
• Here’s two of my favorite women writers in conversation: Tina Horn interviewed Alana Massey about the latter’s new book, as well as sex work, internalized misogyny, and gold glitter.
• C. Brian Smith – one of my fave writers over at MEL – hired a masturbation coach for an afternoon and wrote about his experience.
The day before I got my first tattoo, someone on Twitter told me to take a break from sex for a while, and I laughed.
See, my sex life at that time was not exactly hoppin’. I’d only just broken a year-and-a-half-long dry spell, and the person who’d broken it for me had gone back to the far-away city where he lived. So my sexual future didn’t seem bright. This well-intentioned Twitter warning felt like when I got my wisdom teeth out at age 17. As I drifted out of my anaesthesia cloud and back to earth, the dentist told me, “You should probably avoid drinking, smoking, and exercising for a while.” And 17-year-old me – neither a partier nor an exerciser – burst out laughing, to the mixed embarrassment and amusement of the dentist and my mother.
It felt like a moot suggestion. Just like someone telling me to intentionally avoid sex, when it felt like I’d been unintentionally avoiding sex for a long-ass time.
And yet, the very day after I got that tattoo, I found myself cuddled up with a cute boy on his couch, his face so close to mine that my cheeks glowed red-hot.
“Wanna see my new tattoo?” I asked excitedly, two or three hours deep into one of those intense, confessional conversations that make you want to bang someone real bad. (Or maybe that’s just me.) “Yeah!” he confirmed, and I lit up. I pushed my skirt a little lower on my hips, tucked my thumb into the waistband of my panties, and tugged.
To our mutual horror, the underwear stuck to the healing heart, pulling the mushy top layer of skin along with it. “Eeeeuuuugghhh,“ me and Cute Boy both intoned. (Tattoo enthusiasts, worry not: I went for a free touch-up at my tattoo parlor a month later, so the damage was not permanent.)
It was a gross moment, but apparently not gross enough to scare him off; we had sex less than an hour later, in his cozy basement-apartment bed. After teasing me for long minutes – his hands and lips and tongue all over every part of me but my genitals – he paused and observed, “Normally, at this point, I’d take your underwear off, but I’m gonna ask for your help this time, ’cause I don’t wanna hurt you.” I giggled and obliged.
It was my introduction to an experience I would come to adore: Having Sex While Tattooed.
There are certain phrases that come out of my mouth a lot when I’m having sex. Some pertain to logistics: “Can you go a little deeper?” “I would really like to go down on you…” Others are hallmarks of my anxious brain: “Are you getting tired?” “Do you want to stop?” Still others are just stock phrases I blurt when excited or nervous: “Sorry I’m giggling so much; I do that.” “Aaah, words are hard!” I like to imagine listing these phrases to a room full of my past sexual partners. They’d all laugh and say, “Yep. She says that a lot.”
One such phrase, since I first got inked, is: “Do you like my tattoo?”
Without the benefit of hearing my inflection or seeing my face, you might have read that and assumed I ask this question out of insecurity or a need for validation: “My tattoo is cute, right? Please tell me you think it’s cute.” But that’s not how it feels when I ask it. It usually crosses my lips coquettishly, a sly grin on my face. It’s not really a question. The subtext is: My tattoo’s goddamn excellent, isn’t it.
One such incident happened on a chilly night in March. It was the type of first date I didn’t expect to end in sex: our rapport unfurled leisurely but delightfully over drinks, and I thought, I would like to have sex with this boy, but probably not tonight. But one thing led to another and he ended up in my bed with me – ostensibly just to cuddle and sleep.
“Do you like my tattoo?” I asked as I shed my skirt and tights and climbed into bed beside him, tugging my panties a little lower on my hips so he could see the little red heart.
“Yeah! It’s so cute,” he said, with genuine enchantment in his voice. “Can I kiss it?”
I laughed a little to hide my surprise, and said yes. This sweet, gangly boy slid down the length of my bed til he was eye-level with my pelvis. I felt his warm breath on my lower belly. He pressed a firm kiss to my heart tattoo. All that heat and pressure and careful attention, just inches from my clit. It would be an understatement to say that I swooned.
I hadn’t meant to have sex with him. But like… after that… how could I not?
My boyfriend in the summer of 2016 was covered in tattoos. They each meant something different and magnificent. When I confessed I wanted more ink but worried I’d regret it years later, he told me, “Tattoos are just a snapshot in time. They don’t have to represent who you’ll be forever; they just represent who you were at the time that you got them.”
He was one of the first people I told about the tattoos I wanted to get on the backs of my thighs – two pink bows with the words “good girl” above them. “They’re gonna look so sexy on you!” he declared. Sometimes he’d even talk dirty about my hypothetical tattoos while we fucked. “You’re such a good girl,” he’d grunt against my shoulder while I was pinned beneath him. “Soon it’ll be on your skin so everyone’ll know it.”
Ironically, though that boyfriend was more excited about my “Good Girl” tattoos than anyone I knew, he never got to see them on me; we broke up before I actually got them. But it was fitting: I was not a good girl with him. I was in love with someone else, constantly half-distracted, one foot out the door. He was excited for the good girl I would become, though he’d never get to meet her.
Three days after I got my thighs tattooed, my fave fuckbuddy bent me over in a park at 2AM and fucked me like the world was ending. We were drunk and nothing else mattered. He felt deliciously thick inside me and noises bubbled up from my throat unprompted. All I knew was that I didn’t want him to stop.
But he stopped. “Oh, shit,” he said suddenly, stilling inside me. “Am I hurting your tattoos?”
This possibility had literally not occurred to me. But then, of course, alcohol numbs us to such things.
“No, I’m fine,” I said, but by then we were no longer fucking, and instead, messily kissing, because drunk sex makes one activity blur into the next in a way that feels retrospectively picturesque.
He zipped his pants back up, I smoothed my skirt back down, and we caught a streetcar back to his neighborhood. He bought Subway sandwiches for both of us, because he is a goddamn gentleman. When we arrived at his place, I realized I had forgotten to bring moisturizer, and my flaky, healing tattoos felt dry and achy. “Hang on a minute,” he called from the bathroom, as I whined tipsily, face-down in his bed.
When he returned, he was carrying a bottle of fancy face moisturizer. “Shh, just stay still,” he instructed me, so I kept my face planted in his pillow as he rubbed cool wet lotion on my blistering thighs. His touch was warm and tender, and felt somehow more intimate than his dick had felt buried in me mere minutes earlier. “There. That’s better. That’s good.” That’s a good girl, I whispered in my own ear.
A few days after that, I met a cute boy at a sex club and went home with him. He made me laugh and I felt safe around him; that was all there was to it, and that was all I needed.
When we arrived at his apartment and I flopped face-first on his bed, I heard his voice from behind me: “Oh my god.” I didn’t know what he was reacting to: my curvy and excellent ass, the spanking bruises on my skin from earlier that evening, or my adorable new tattoos. Frankly, I didn’t care. The reason for the reaction mattered less than the reaction itself. It was the reaction I wanted.
Tattoos, I realized, are the only femme trappings I can never take off. My carefully-constructed outfit will be shed, a blowjob might erase my lipstick, my perfume will fade into the atmosphere, but my tattoos are forever. Never again will I be reduced to a blank human canvas, devoid of the markers that make me me. I am perpetually emblazoned with these images: one red heart, two pink bows, and the words “good girl.” No one can take these things from me. They are mine, for always, forever.
“God, your tattoos are so hot,” this cute funny stranger said to me as he laid down beside me and began to kiss me, and I thought, Yes, they fucking are.
I love my new tattoos more than I can possibly express. It gives me great joy on the daily to spot them peeking out of my skirts or shorts in the mirror, or to hear the squeals of delight when someone notices them for the first time. They are exactly what I wanted and look even better than I had hoped.
However, the healing process has been an ordeal, y’all. I took good care of my tats, washing them once or twice a day with Dove soap and moisturizing obsessively with unscented Lubriderm, so I didn’t get any infections or complications, knock wood – but infections aren’t the only thing you have to worry about when you get tattooed. The body part you choose can affect your life in lots of areas. Here are some things I wish someone had told me about getting the backs of my thighs tattooed…
You won’t be able to sit properly for a while. For some reason, when I pictured getting my upper thighs tattooed, it didn’t occur to me that that’s what I sit on when I sit down. My thought process was, “The tattoos won’t be on my butt, so I’ll be fine.” Nope. Your thighs are directly implicated in the sitting-down process. Some of this issue can be dealt with by just sitting less, e.g. working at a standing desk, which I did. But in my day-to-day, I didn’t want to subject my fresh or healing tattoos to scratchy couch cushions, filthy bus shelter benches, or fancy theatre seats – so I adopted a sitting position for the first few days post-inking that involved pulling my knees up so my thighs wouldn’t touch the surface below me. Not only does this look super weird (especially in more conservative environments, like the theatre), but it also started to feel not-so-great after a while: my bad knees didn’t appreciate being bent for that long, and I needed to take pain pills to get through those first few days. Yikes.
Using the toilet is risky business. Time for some real talk! What I just said about your thighs being involved in the sitting process? That’s true for sitting on the toilet, too. I experimented with sitting really far forward (often resulting in spraying the bathroom floor), sitting with my knees up (effective, but requires flexibility and impeccable aim), and even straddling the toilet so as to pee into it from above (hard on my knees, hard to aim, and looks goddamn ridiculous). This isn’t so much an issue at my own house, where I know the toilets are more-or-less clean; it was more a concern in public bathrooms, which are, as you know, a festering cesspool of bacteria. If I had this process to do over again, I would invest in a stand-to-pee device.
Spanking is off the table. I don’t think I fully realized just how integral spanking is to my sexuality until I got these tattoos. I took a spanking hiatus that lasted from a week before getting the tattoos to a week after, and that felt like forever. During that time, I read books about spanking, watched spanking porn, researched spanking physiology, sexted with beaux about the spankings they would give me once they were allowed to… I was a girl possessed. And in fact, I wish I’d waited longer to get spanked again after getting inked, because the people topping me, while well-intentioned, didn’t always have the best aim and sometimes smacked me right on the tattoos. I found, oddly enough, that spanking other people scratched that particular kink-itch for me – not completely, but enough that I could get through those spankless weeks without going off the deep end.
Your sex positions are limited. Do what I say, not what I do: avoid getting doggy-styled for at least a couple weeks post-tattooing. I am an idiot and got fucked from behind three days after Tattoo Day – in a park, no less – because I was drunk and just wasn’t thinking about the health implications. I’m extremely lucky I didn’t scratch or irritate my new tattoos on my partner’s thigh hair or pubes, and that I didn’t get any dirt, dust, or lube in there. When I got inked, I initially intended to take a break from any kind of sex involving my genitals (BJ Week, woooo!), but I have zero self-control and that didn’t happen. Still: if you must get boned after getting your thighs tattooed (and trust me, I understand), just be careful, choose your positions accordingly, and wash your tattoos after, just incase anything got in there that shouldn’t have.
Dudes think they’re extremely sexy. I guess I knew this on some level. My tattoos are explicitly meant to be sexual, after all. But, wow, I still managed to underestimate just how much attention they would attract. Whether I’m in a sex club or just walking down the street, fully flashing my tats or just letting them poke out the bottom of a skirt, they certainly get me noticed. Sometimes this level of attention is welcome, and sometimes, less so. I think I’ll be careful from now on to keep my ink covered if I’m in a “please, nobody touch or talk to me” kind of mood.
You will end up showing a lot of people your butt. Your tattoo artist, for one. Your friends. Your partner(s). Your relatives. Pretty much anyone who’s heard about your new tattoos will want to see them, and if you oblige what they ask, that will involve turning around, bending over, and pulling up your skirt/pulling down your pants to show ’em what you got. I’m not normally too bothered by showing people my ass, but I did have a couple of close calls – for example, the time a conservative family member wanted to see my tats and I accidentally gave her an eyeful of fresh spanking bruises along with the ink. Whoops.
They’re hard to get pictures of. This is not a joke: you should probably buy a selfie stick if you’re about to get the backs of your thighs tattooed. I consider myself fairly skilled at taking butt selfies – it involves a lot of spine-twisting, arm-reaching, and clever angling – but your thighs are even farther away from your hands and your eyes so there is even more contortion involved. Do yourself a favor and pick up a selfie stick, because even if you don’t intend on taking “sexy” photos, you’ll probably at least want some pictures of the healing process for posterity. (Posterity… Posterior… Get it?!)
You can’t really even see them. Wow, I didn’t expect this! Without the help of a mirror or a smartphone’s selfie mode, I literally can’t see my tattoos at all. No amount of twisting and rubber-necking allows me to see any part of them. That might be due to my particular body (thigh size, lack of flexibility, and so on), but still: if you want tattoos you’ll be able to see all the time, the back of your thigh is a bad spot. As for me, I’m okay with it – I don’t mind looking in the mirror to see my ink, and I suspect I’d get sick of a tattoo faster if it was in my sightline all the time.
What do you wish someone had told you before you got a tattoo?
When I say that kink helps me in ways both sexual and nonsexual, I mean it. Being a good girl gives me a sense of value and accomplishment that I’d otherwise often lack. Pain and punishments help with my productivity and even my mental health. The potential of impressing a domly beau – whether that person is real or just hypothetical – gives me superpowers to do things I’d otherwise be too weak or scared to do.
Like, for example, getting huge-ass tattoos on a highly sensitive part of my body.
The idea for these tattoos came to me in a flash last month. I was chatting with Georgia, one of my most-tattooed friends, about possible works of art I’d like to get put on my body. I wanted something kink-related, because my kink identities have become more and more intertwined with my overall identity in the past year. I didn’t have a clear image in my mind of what I specifically wanted – just phrases that resonated with me.
But when Georgia suggested I get “GOOD” on the back of one thigh and “GIRL” on the other, I saw it so clearly. I wanted girly bows underneath the text, marking me forever as a pretty plaything, a fancy femme, and a good girl. I wanted these images and words to be visible while I got spanked, posed for saucy pictures, or walked around half-clothed at a sex club. There was no question in my mind of whether or not this was a good idea; I wanted these tattoos immediately.
I felt the same way when I contemplated getting my first tattoo, a solid red heart on my lower belly. There were no “Do I really want this?” worries. I knew I wanted that heart on my skin forever. Just like I knew I wanted pink bows and “good girl.”
Once I’d made up my mind, I asked Georgia for tattoo parlor recommendations. (My first one was done impulsively at Two Trolls in Dundas, Ontario because some friends happened to be going there, but it was super simple. For something more complex, I wanted to do more research and pick the right place and the right artist.) She suggested Adrenaline. My brother and a guy I’m dating had both gotten inked there and had positive experiences, so it seemed like a good bet.
As I scrolled through the Adrenaline Instagram account, I kept clicking on my favorite tattoos to see who had done them – and in most cases, the ones I liked best were done by Laura Blaney. I loved her use of color and shading, and the way her work could appear simultaneously realistic and cartoonishly stylized. I knew I wanted my bows to appear three-dimensional while still being bright and cute, and it seemed like Laura could definitely handle that. So I emailed her some reference images, booked a consultation, talked over my idea with her, paid a deposit, and booked my actual tattooing appointment.
There was a three-week wait time between my consult and Tattoo Day. That time felt interminable; once I had decided I wanted it, I wanted it now! But I knew it’d be worth the wait, and as that time ticked past, it was comforting that my desire for these tattoos didn’t abate. You should be sure before you put something on your body permanently, and I was sure.
Laura is such a skilled and experienced artist that she totally understood what I wanted. I didn’t have to do much: I just explained my idea to her, showed her some bows I liked the shape of, and sent her an image of the words “good girl” in the font I wanted (it’s called Black Rose). When I arrived for my appointment, she showed me some sketches she’d done of bows, asked me where I wanted the text placed, and chose some shades of pink that matched what I wanted. I thought I’d be nervous handing over creative control of art that would remain on my body forever, but I trusted Laura. She was confident, her art looked great, and I had the strong sense that she knew what I wanted.
At one point, I showed her a reference image of a bow I liked the look of. “The one I do will look better than that, but I see what you’re saying,” she said, with complete certainty. (Laura is a total badass. She did my tattoos while six months pregnant. God, I love strong smart talented women.)
Laura applied stencils to the backs of my legs, reapplying a few times until they were perfectly straight and even. Georgia snapped some pictures for me so I could check to see if I liked the placement. I wanted the bows pretty much right under my butt, so they’d peek out of my shorter skirts and dresses but still be easy to cover up for conservative occasions when necessary.
When both she and I were happy with the placement, Laura had me lie down on my stomach on the tattoo table. She fired up the needle and got started on outlining.
The pain was bad, especially toward the beginning before the endorphins kicked in, but it was nothing I couldn’t handle. I chatted a bit with Georgia, who’d sweetly accompanied me; I listened to music on my iPad, read some articles, and tweeted a little. But what really helped was to invoke the same strategies I use when I’m enduring a spanking: I focused on my breathing, purposely intended to enjoy the pain rather than recoiling from it, and reminded myself time and time again that no moment is unendurable. Any time the pain was particularly bad, I knew it would be over soon, so I could get through it.
The first bow, and its accompanying word (“girl”), took about an hour and 40 minutes to complete. Toward the end of it, I started to tire of getting poked with a stabby needle and wanted it to be over, but it really wasn’t that bad. The pain was less bothersome than it had been when I got my heart, I think because back then I was more scared of pain and hadn’t yet experienced it as a consensual and even pleasurable sensation. Plus that tattoo was a lot smaller, so I didn’t have time to get into an endorphin groove the way I did with these larger pieces.
We took a break, during which I got up, walked around, stretched my legs, ate a granola bar, drank some coconut water, and posed for some pictures of the half-finished product. I asked Georgia what she’d do if I chickened out and wanted to leave at that point, and she said she’d gently but firmly dom me into finishing the other leg. See: kink is important and helps get shit done!
But I didn’t chicken out. I laid back down on the table, flipped around the other way, and Laura started on the second bow. It hurt more than the first one, for whatever reason, but it also didn’t take as long. I warbled along to some old ReginaSpektorsongs while continually reminding myself that the pain would be over soon, and it would be worth it.
After the second bow was done, Laura wanted to go back into the first one to fix up a couple spots that weren’t as vivid as they should’ve been. That was the worst pain of the whole evening, because she was revisiting areas that were already sore and tender from their earlier pummeling. But I groaned into a pillow and gnashed my teeth and it was over soon enough.
When the tattoos were done, we snapped some pictures and then headed downstairs to the main desk so I could pay for my beautiful works of art. I hobbled and limped a bit, because my muscles were sore from holding the same position for three hours and the backs of my thighs felt like they’d received a selective, intense sunburn.
All told, this tattoo session cost about five times more than my little heart tattoo did – but it was a bigger and more complicated piece, with more customization involved, and the artist was more experienced and skilled. I firmly believe that if something’s gonna be on your body forever, you should be willing to pay as much as you feasibly can for it, because you really do get what you pay for. I was so pleased with every aspect of my tattooing experience, from the planning to the inking to the finished product.
Do you have any kink- or sex-themed tattoos? Can I see?!