Pain, Punishment, & Pretty Girls at The Ritual Chamber

My inbox is a perpetual blur of unappealing offers, but there are some propositions you just don’t ignore. Like, for example: “Would you like to come try out our funky upscale queer-positive dungeon?”

It was an email from the Headmistress of The Ritual Chamber, and I practically started salivating as I read it. Yes, of course I wanted to play around in the dungeon. The only question was: with whom?

See, I’m between partners at the moment, and you can’t exactly jump on Tinder and ask a random fuckboy, “Wanna come beat me up in a dungeon?” Well, some people probably could, but I can’t. The very idea makes me hideously nervous. Plus I wouldn’t trust a Tinder bro to know my ass from my elbow if I put a flogger in his hand, know what I’m sayin’?

But then, of course, a perfect solution floated into view: my friend Suz volunteered to be my play partner for the day. I asked our friend Taylor J. Mace to come photograph the proceedings. And just like that, we became a trio on a mission: to trek to the dungeon, bruise Suz’s ass, and get some beautiful photos in the process.

The Ritual Chamber is a gorgeous space that you can rent for you and a partner (or up to 3 partners, if you please!). It’s set up to make a broad range of fantasies come true: there’s a medical clinic room, an elegant Victorian boudoir, an ageplay room for littles and caregivers, and a traditional dungeon space. But what interested me most, when I perused The Ritual Chamber’s website, was its “school detention room.”

I have a thing about teacher/student flirtation. It’s haunted my sex-brain since the days when I was a literal student, sitting at my hard, uncomfortable desk and staring dreamily at whatever babely instructor I currently had a crush on. Of course, I wouldn’t have wanted them to respond in kind, because that’d be gross IRL, but in fantasy, it was thrilling.

So when Suz asked me what she should wear to the dungeon, I told her to “dress like a subby good girl for me.” And when we arrived at the space, the detention room was our first stop.

I had brought some impact implements of my own to use, but ended up not needing them; the dungeon is extremely well-stocked with equipment. I bent Suz over this authentically vintage-looking schoolhouse desk and selected a paddle from the collection arranged in the corner. There were several frat-style paddles like this one, as well as a few wooden rulers for that legitimate mean-teacher aesthetic.

It was fun to make Suz write lines about what she’d done wrong, and then punish her accordingly. But I must admit I got a little distracted when I realized that those lockers behind us are actual, functional lockers. Oh, the school-bully roleplay possibilities!

(By the way, if you’re wondering, my dress is by Vesper and my flower hairclip is from H&M years ago. I don’t often dress in this “businesslady femme” style, but it seemed appropriate for the domme role I was playing!)

From there, we moved on to the ageplay room, which reeeeally appealed to my inner little girl. The toys and stuffed animals everywhere would be so great for comfort during and after scenes, and the impact toys laid out on the bed were perfect for punishment in an ageplay dynamic. One of them was painted to look like a lollipop. Aaaamazing.

I continued Suz’s spanking on the adorable little pink bed in this room, alternating between a wooden hairbrush and a paddle carved in the shape of a bear. Conveniently, there was even a pink footstool for her to rest her knees on. The creators of this space have truly thought of everything!

This room is super authentic-looking, not really a sexy, tarted-up version of a child’s room but more like an actual child’s room. I felt that way about the medical clinic room, too; every detail, from the scratchy paper on the exam table to the dingy fluorescent lighting, felt pitch-perfect. Those details are crucial when you’re trying to fulfill a fantasy – you don’t want to be taken out of the moment by a pervasive sense of artifice. So I really applaud the decorator(s) of The Ritual Chamber for taking so much care in the creation of this space – it looks fantastic, and every single room made me feel dirty in the best way.

The boudoir room is stunning. It reminds me of rich people’s parlours I’ve seen in films set in the Victorian era, like Hysteria. (Which, by the way, if you – like me – have a lot of sexual feelings about Victorian doctors and hysteria, the medical clinic room would be a perfect space in which to enact that fantasy…)

There’s an actual goddamn spanking bench in the boudoir, so obviously I had Suz “assume the position” on it and made her stare at her own face in the conveniently-placed mirror while I hit her with a crop.

As you can see, there was a lot of giggling. I am not exactly a serious domme.

Our last stop was the dungeon proper – a dimly-lit room in the middle of the space, where the walls are lined with floggers, whips, paddles, restraints, and pretty much everything you’d ever need for a kink scene. Even Taylor, a seasoned kinkster, found something in the collection he’d never seen before: a pair of gloves where each finger has flogger-esque falls attached to it, so you can hit someone by swinging your open paw like some kind of werewolf.

We cuffed Suz to the Saint Andrew’s cross in this room and then proceeded to beat her up in several different evil ways. Taylor hit her chest with the aforementioned flogger gloves, I flogged and whipped her with other implements from around the room, and then I scratched “BAD GIRL” onto her pale chest with some metal talons Taylor had brought along. Hey, when you’ve got a cute sub consensually chained to a cross, you make good use of that opportunity!

While this beating was going on, I noticed that the space felt blissfully private and safe. I couldn’t hear any noise from neighbouring houses or apartments, so I could rest assured they couldn’t hear us either. We could be as loud as we wanted or needed to be, and all our cavorting was safely contained in this tidy, well-appointed little dungeon. (And yeah, we got pretty loud at times.)

Our time at The Ritual Chamber was certainly an eye-opening experience! In the past, I’ve occasionally gotten into situations where I needed a private spot to have sex but there wasn’t one immediately available to me. We could’ve dropped by our local sex club in those situations, or tried to rent a hotel room or a last-minute Airbnb, but none of those are entirely ideal: the club might be crowded, an Airbnb might leak sound to its landlord, and a hotel room won’t come equipped with kink implements galore!

If you are in need of a sex-positive, queer-positive, kink-positive space to bring a scene to life, I can’t recommend The Ritual Chamber highly enough. It has just about everything you’ll need, all carefully arranged in a clean, comfortable, private space. It’s the perfect spot for a kinky getaway into your darkest fantasies!

 

Thank you so much to The Ritual Chamber for sponsoring this post, to Taylor for taking all the photos, and to Suz for being such a good girl for me!

12 Days of Girly Juice 2016: 2 Fears Defeated

After I chickened out on going down on a girl during a threesome this year, my male fuckbuddy – the other participant in said threesome – commented, “I wish I could hack your brain and cut your anxiety out of it.”

I could’ve been offended. I could’ve interpreted this as him wanting to circumvent my resistance and artificially coerce me into doing something I didn’t want to do. But I know him well, so I knew what he meant. He wanted to rid me of my sexual anxieties, not only because it would be more fun for him, but because it would be more fun for me.

I can’t argue with that. There are, no doubt, a lot of fun activities I could enjoy if I didn’t psych myself out of doing them. But we can’t control the mental illnesses we’re saddled with, and we can only do what we can do. So I try not to beat myself up for the hurdles I’m not yet strong enough to jump – and I try, instead, to celebrate the hurdles I have leapt over with flying colors. Here are two such hurdles I cleared in 2016.

Doing porn. I don’t even like my partners to look at me during sex. I don’t know why I thought I could handle porn, where the eyes on me would total not only my partner’s but also the cameraperson’s, any other crew members’, and those of the eventual viewing audience. But it sounded fun, to some deeply buried and uncharacteristically brave part of me, so I gave it a shot. It helped that I have a lot of friends who are involved in porn – most notably Caitlin of Spit and Taylor of Feisty Fox Films – so I knew I’d be safe and supported.

I kicked off 2016 by shooting a scene for Spit with the devastatingly handsome Dane Joe, who bent me over a coffee table in Caitlin’s cozy downtown apartment and spanked an epic bruise onto me with a paddle while I stared at a bowl of oranges artistically placed in front of me. And then I got to eat a cupcake for having been such a good girl. (This scene was later screened at Smut in the 6ix in front of dozens of people, to my blushy glee.)

A few days later, I got naked in the Glad Day Bookshop for Taylor’s camera, posing with goofy props gathered from around the store. The manager pumped Justin Bieber tunes through the stereo at my request and I wore an unshakeable smile as I sidled around the shop in my skivvies, still bruised from my last shoot.

Photo via Spit.

In February I performed in one of Spit’s live porn shoots at Oasis Aqualounge: Dane Joe bossed me around and fucked me with various toys for the crowd’s amusement, until I had a surprise orgasm while she pounded me with my Eleven.

In May, I skipped over to Taylor’s house with a tote bag full of sex toys and masochistic implements. He and his photographer pal Caroline Fox trained their video cameras on me, and I didn’t feel nervous at all – instead, I came alive, perked up, put on a show. I smacked myself silly with my stone crop, then fucked myself with toys until my body burst into climax.

In June, I showed up at Riverdale Park in full rockabilly garb. Caroline, shooting for CherryStems this time, helped me sleuth out a relatively secluded area in the middle of the park, and I saucily stripped off my clothes while she snapped away. Then she handed me an ice cream cone and I fellated it with the juicy joy of someone who loves sugary treats as much as she loves blowjobs. (A lot.) Being photographed for CherryStems felt like the fulfilment of a very old wish: I’d longed to do pinup modeling since I was a wee lass poring over SuicideGirls.com before I was legally allowed to view such materials.

Mid-year, I complained on Twitter that I’d never shot blowjob porn and wanted to – and to my surprise, I got a DM from the owner of one of my favorite dicks, volunteering his gorgeous cock for me to suck on camera. I contacted my friends at Spit and managed to organize things so both Bex and I could shoot scenes for them while Bex was visiting Toronto that month. Bathed in soft light and the giggly glow of a happy little princess, I knelt on the floor between my fuckbuddy’s knees and Spit’s artistic director John Bee shot us in a stunning POV BJ scene. Weeks later, me and my co-star huddled together in my bedroom with boozy ciders and watched the scene on my little laptop. “Do I look pretty?” I asked him, and he replied, “You look very pretty. And sexy. And determined.”

Porn has never been a career ambition for me, never something I took very seriously – I’ve always done it for the fun and thrill of it, more than for money or glory (both of which there is little of, in Canada’s small porn scene). So I don’t know if I’ll do much more of it, now that I’ve basically achieved what I wanted to achieve by gettin’ sexy on camera. Maybe in 2017 I’ll shoot a solo scene for MakeLoveNotPorn.TV, or spank a pretty girl for Taylor’s camera, or co-blow a handsome person for Spit. Only time will tell…!

One-night stands. Sometimes it’s hard to differentiate fear from regular ol’ dislike. Prior to this year, I’d always theorized that one-night stands would not be my jam (peep this old post where I wrote, “I’m soooo not interested in sex where the partner and I know nothing about one another… Boring!”), but this year I finally delved into them a little bit. I had one in Minneapolis and a couple more back home in Toronto.

Those experiences were okay, but they also confirmed for me what I’d already suspected: that one-night stands are not my preferred type of sex, not at all. I didn’t have an orgasm during any of those three encounters, and it wasn’t a coincidence: sex with a brand-new partner who’s a near-stranger is rough on my anxiety, making it hard for me to relax into pleasure, plus my genitals’ preferences are so specific that someone really needs to bang me a few times before they’ll learn how to get me off. With one exception (a porn shoot at a sex club, using amazing toys), all the orgasms I had during partnered sex this year were with steady romantic partners or consistent fuckpals – people who knew my body, and who I felt comfortable bossing around til they learned what worked.

Another factor that makes one-night stands not-so-great for me: there’s often alcohol involved! It isn’t necessary for us to drink before boning, of course, but it just shook out that way a lot of the time: either we went on a Tinder-borne pre-bang drinks-date, or we met at a bar or party where there was some boozin’. Alcohol numbs sexual sensation, which – for me, during one-night stands – just compounded my already-extant orgasm troubles in those situations.

It’s interesting how sometimes conquering a fear introduces you to your new favorite thing (that’s what happened for me with improv!), but other times, it just shows you how much you dislike the thing you once feared. It’s still always better to know than to suspect, though, so I’m glad I did the legwork and learned one-night stands aren’t for me. Sexual empowerment is a process, and part of that process is learning what you like and what you dislike.

I think in 2017, I’ll avoid one-night stands. (To the best of my ability, anyway. Sometimes you can’t predict when a sexual encounter will be a one-off.) The only reasonable exception I can imagine is if I’m desperately craving a dick in my mouth – in which case, I won’t be especially concerned with getting off, so it won’t matter if the non-BJ parts of the experience are subpar. I’m hoping my sexual situation in 2017 will involve some more consistent, longer-term sexual partnerships – but if not, I think I’d rather just double down on masturbation than risk terrible sex with a stranger!

What fears did you conquer in 2016?

12 Days of Girly Juice 2016: 4 Fun Events

This year I was officially diagnosed with social anxiety disorder – a pronouncement so obvious to me and anyone who knows me that it was hardly necessary at all. My friends have seen me hyperventilate on the stoop outside a party, walk around the block six times before feeling ready to enter a gallery opening, smoke weed on my way to a networking event to make my presence possible, and break down crying in a busy Starbucks because I physically couldn’t walk into the newsroom at my school. Suffice it to say, events can be hard for me.

While social anxiety is moreso a curse than a blessing, it does make me extra grateful for events where I actually feel comfortable. It helps to have friends accompanying me who understand the anxieties I deal with, and I’m fortunate that wonderful friends accompany me to events more often than not these days. All my favorite events this year were favorites because of the fun, kind, welcoming people I got to hang out with – some of whom may not even know how much I appreciated having them there. Here are those events…

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#HaveDildosWillTravel is the official name and hashtag Taylor, Caitlin, Bex and I gave to our cross-country road trip in the springtime, after rejecting other options like #CarOfQueers, #RoadTripOfBabes, and #HitTheRoadJackOff.

Planned meticulously in Google Drive documents (mostly by Bex, my hero) over the course of several weeks, our trip began in New York, then meandered through Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin, until we reached our destination, Minneapolis. Along the way, we attended a sex conference, bought kink implements at a toy store, oohed and aahed at the Leather Archives, introverted at queer cafés, ate artisanal donuts for breakfast every day, shopped at the Mall of America, ogled Colin‘s sex toy studio, and visited multiple queer-owned sex shops. On the morning of my 24th birthday, I woke up in Bex’s sister’s femme-as-hell bed in a Pennsylvania farmhouse; that night, I went to bed in a swanky hotel in Chicago.

The cast of characters on our wacky trip included, among others: a diner owner’s mother who didn’t understand our collars, an enthusiastic leather archivist who complimented my vulva ring, a helpful moustachioed hotel clerk, a hot domly dude who owned a kink-themed coffee shop, a beardy Tinder boy who owned far too many nerdy snapbacks, a self-identified radical fairy named Dragon who had once made “consent-based vegetable porn” on a commune, a friendly Tinder stranger nicknamed Face Tattoo, and a lifelong hero who kissed me on a sunny side street.

Although I’m 24 and have therefore theoretically been an “adult” for quite some time, it’s only within the past year and a half that traveling without my parents has become a frequent and normal thing for me. This feels like a rite of passage, a bastion of grownupdom, a milestone in my journey toward self-sufficiency. But though it makes me feel independent, I don’t have to do it all alone. Traveling with friends is so damn much fun. We laughed practically all day every day during #HaveDildosWillTravel, about everything from sex to scenery to selfies, and it’s a trip I will always remember fondly.

Photo from Smut in the 6ix’s Facebook page.

Smut in the 6ix sounded like a literal dream come true when I first heard of it. A collaboration between Playground and Spit, Smut was a day-long celebration of the burgeoning indie porn scene in my hometown of Toronto. During the day, porn nerds gathered for panel discussions about the technical, social, artistic, and political facets of porn creation. At night, there was a big gala with live performances, porn scene screenings, and lotsa dancing. Told you: a dream come true.

I was lucky enough to be asked to moderate a panel at Smut, and was also invited to perform some music at the gala. It was a terrific honor to be involved. I’m so grateful to Caitlin K. Roberts, Samantha Fraser, and Claire AH for organizing the whole shebang; as always, it was a delight to convene with my fellow sex-positive weirdos and get nerdy together!

In 2015, it made me super sad to see my favorite sex bloggers social-media’ing about all the fun they were having at the Woodhull Sexual Freedom Summit. I resolved to do my very best to make it to the Summit in 2016 – and I managed to save enough money to make it happen. Hooray!

I flew to Washington by myself without having an anxiety meltdown (success!) and checked into the hotel, where I was sharing a room with Sarah and Artemisia. I hadn’t met either of them in person before, but they were so delightful, and totally ideal roomies for me!

Sex-positive events are where I feel most able to be myself. My anxiety mostly melts away and I throw caution to the wind: I dress weird, speak my mind, laugh loudly, and go on adventures. It helps that people actually know who I am at these events, making me feel like a powerful little starlet! Woodhull had also thoughtfully set up a “bloggers’ lounge,” perfectly appointed with coffee galore and sex toys to fondle. I felt truly in my element.

I wish I could’ve gotten to know everyone at Woodhull, but like many bloggers, I’m an anxious introverted weirdo and could only do what I could do. Luckily, though, I did make several new friends. April offered to let me borrow her lipstick for blowjob purposes; Mandi‘s laugh lit up my life; Lorax‘s dark sass slayed me; Sarah was so adorable and clever I wanted to high-five her constantly; I quaffed wine with Mary and Harry; I cooed over Crista‘s killer eye makeup and bought an Ethical Misandrist sticker from her; Polly‘s sex stories kept me on the edge of my seat; I finally got to ogle (part of) Lunabelle‘s epic dildo collection in person; I delighted in Girl on the Net‘s hilarious sexy poems; and Sugarcunt frequently made me laugh so hard I thought I might choke to death. Plus I got to spend time with several treasured blogger friends I’d met before: Suz, Piph, Lilly, CaitlinHedonish, JoEllen, and of course, my bestie Bex.

I spanked a beautiful butt, learned about sex ed and sexual freedom, attended a fancy gala, and snapped selfies with femme friends. It was truly – to steal a phrase from Lilly – “like sex-blogger Christmas.” I’m already daydreamin’ about Woodhull 2017, and it can’t come soon enough.

Photo via Taylor J Mace.

Bex wanted a spanking party for their 25th birthday, and so, #BirthdayBruises was born. It was lovely to celebrate this milestone with sex-savvy friends both local and far-away. I put on a ridiculous outfit and pranced around our cozy Airbnb playing hostess – a role which involved everything from serving drinks to administrating the livestream to spanking the birthday bean. When Bex had taken all they could take, they were accosted by cuddles on the couch and I brought them some refrigerated mint-chocolate truffles. Sex bloggers really know how to party, y’all.

I’m so glad that this experience was affirming and uplifting for Bex. It was for me, too, even though I barely got hit at all. It’s always comforting to marry my sex blogger life with my IRL/offline life, to blend those two friend groups together, to embody all my favorite parts of myself without needing to compromise or hide any of them. This party also demonstrated my friends’ immense generosity: guests helped us with tech troubles, took over hosting duties when Bex and I were otherwise occupied, and (of course) harnessed their brawn to make Bex’s birthday-spanking fantasies come true. Gosh, I love my friends.

What were your favorite sex-positive or sex-adjacent events in 2016?

Beating the Stigma: Whipsmart Thoughts on Kink and Mental Health

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chapter 1: Introductions

Chapter 2: Pain

Chapter 3: DD/lg

Chapter 4: Dominance

Chapter 5: Safe, Sane and Consensual

Chapter 6: Trauma and Recovery

Chapter 7: Sex 2.0

Chapter 8: Aftercare

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

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

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

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

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

The panels.

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

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

The performances.

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

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

The party.

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

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

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The babes.

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

The porn.

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

The bragging rights.

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

 

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