Friday, November 13, 2009

the thing about rape culture...

This morning, my real life and bloggy friend Champagne and Benzedrine posted this article about rape culture - something he'd previously argued was, essentially, not as existent as many people claimed it was. His post essentially reversed his previous argument, conceding that perhaps he just hadn't been aware - or even able to be aware - of just how prevalent rape-culture is. But this is the graf that really got me:

Now, I'm too unevolved to start burning my bra or joining in any marches - but considering that I take certain jokes personally (like cracks about having ginger hair) it made me realise that it must be pretty rough to be a woman who's been the victim of sexual violence when it seems like the entire world (including plenty of other women) are making light of your experiences.

I was going to leave a comment, but then I realized it would probably turn into a post-sized rant, and, well I haven't written here lately, so I thought I'd take the inspiration and motivation and run with it.

I wanted to start off by thanking C&B for being willing to look at the issue through a different lens. And being able to recognize the types of unique sensitivities we all share. For example, I can't especially relate to being discriminated against or made fun of because of my hair color or complexion... My hair has always been blonde-ish brown, my eyes are hazel-ish, and those features are particularly unremarkable. So the best I can do to relate to C&B's offense at the "ginger" crack is to sympathize. But, of course, that doesn't mean I can't relate to other instances of being made uncomfortable by something "The Majority" finds hilarious.

Like rape.

Amanda Hess over at The Sexist (which, by the way, if you don't read, you SHOULD) posted a great deconstruction of rape culture and how it gets perpetuated and avoided by "bros" who don't consider what their buddy did rape. She phrases it especially in context of college life, and I think that's an apt placement. (Not, of course, that rape and rape culture doesn't exist outside college, but I do think the macho-fraternal camaraderie that many college atmospheres evoke does make such things more prevalent... or at least more evident.)

I just graduated from a relatively prestigious, four-year university. A big school of about 20,000 students, on the East Coast. As a journalism major with a minor in LGBT studies, I wasn't exactly the most involved with "stereotypical" college organizations. I ran the campus alternative magazine, spoke on my LGBT studies program, and never once attended a Greek function.

But all of my friends were dudes. And I do mean ALL of them. They kind of came in groups - there were my fellow journalists, my fellow LGBT people, the musicians, and then, oddly enough, a group of frat boys. Only a few of them were actually fraternity members, but they all lived together in this house that could have passed for an Animal House soundstage.

So, what I generally considered boyish "bathroom" humor often prevailed. C&B mentioned in his post that perhaps he just wasn't really able to be aware of the so-called rape culture because he isn't a woman, and hasn't been a victim of sexual assault.

Well, here's the thing: I'm both.

While none of my friends in school ever assaulted me, (most never even drunkenly hit on me,) the prevalence with which I heard jokes about rape was shocking. Literally, there would be jokes where the punchline essentially equated to "then she got raped!" hahahahah! Of course, the instances weren't always so obvious, but there was an insane amount of victim-blaming, apologism, and minimizing or dismissing of the experience.

This Boy's Club mentality - along with the "boys will be boys" excuse - absolutely aids in the creation of a rape culture. I won't say it's entirely responsible, nor will I even say that every person who makes or laughs at a rape joke is a rapist. Also, for the sake of argument, I know here I'm speaking in pretty strictly men-are-the-rapists, women-are-the-victims dichotomy. I am all too aware that is NOT the only scenario in which rape happens. But that is my personal experience, so it's what I can write on.

But there's another side of the rape culture that doesn't get discussed as much - the effect it has on the survivors of sexual assault.

I was raped a long time ago. The experience doesn't hang over me anymore, and while it will always color my sexual experiences, I haven't had a flashback in a long time, and I'm not afraid to walk downtown anymore in the areas I know he used to hang out in. But every time I hear a rape joke, it does bring me back to my own experience. Not in a crippling sense, but it's a reminder, and not a pleasant one.

Now, compound that with the fact that I DO NOT laugh at rape jokes. I think there are some things that are never funny, and rape is one of them. But when you're sitting in a room with 10 of your guy buddies, and someone cracks a joke and rape is the punchline, and they start howling, what do you do? My inability to laugh when everyone else was busting a gut just drew more attention to my discomfort. A few times, someone actually called me on it. Asked why I wasn't laughing. And what the hell do I say there? I'm certainly not about to tell a room full of people that, oh yeah, I was raped, so I don't think that's funny. (Although I just told the entire interwebz, but I suppose that's the benefit of blogging anonymously...) My usual response was to get defensive and get up on my soapbox, talking about how rape is never funny, and maybe even mention rape culture... Until I'd get cut down by the Boy's Club collectively deciding I was too sensitive or a bitch or a whackjob or at the very least killing their buzz.

So the conversation would move on, and I would feel terrible, all over again. Because it was like my experience - regardless of the fact that my friends didn't know about it, and certainly weren't trying to hurt me - had just been minimized, trivialized and dismissed. Again.

Often, when we talk about rape culture, we talk about the fact that it perpetuates rape. That it creates more victims by blurring the lines between what is and is not rape, when really, that line is pretty fucking clear. (For the record: No consent? Then it's rape.) But it also minimzes the experience of those who have been assaulted, while simultaneously reminding them of that trauma. Which, if you ask me, just perpetuates the damages, and makes those wounds even harder to caulderize.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

80s music cures all ills

OK, so ignore the images on this video - it was just the only embed-able video I could find of the right song. I don't know the people in the video, and I'm not implying anything by including the video here.

I adore this song. I can't say I totally understand what it's about, but I get a strangely inspirational vibe. In that screw-everything-and-follow-your-dreams sense. Which is something I could use right now. It's getting grey out here, and I'd love to blame the sadness that I can't seem to shake on Seasonal Affective Disorder, but I think it's more than just the lack of sun that's got me down.

I just wish I could place a finger on what it is, exactly. Last weekend, I was really not myself, and needed to leave suddenly on a night I was hanging out with The Scientist and Nonboyfriend. They hadn't done anything wrong, and the night had been quite low-key, but I suddenly was just so upset that I couldn't stay in the room, or the house, or that part of town with them. I just got up and left. I haven't done that in a long time.

Things are starting to feel out of control again. Work is picking up, and as the holiday season approaches, it means I have an exponential increase in events I'm covering, videos I'm editing, promotions I'm organizing, and, oh yes, when I have a spare moment, articles I'm writing.

I can't control how often I see my friends - none of my closest friends are in the same town. Certainly, it's nowhere near as inconvenient as when I was at school across the country, but it's almost more infuriating to be an hour or two's drive from people who I so desperately want to see.

At the same time, I'm feeling so incredibly drained. I'm back to being tired all the time. There is a part of me that's just going through the motions. I'm feeling like I don't have anything left to give. Which in turn makes me feel worse, because I don't want to not be able to be there for the people I care about. That's what I mean by a loss of control.

Maybe I am a control freak. Actually, I know that I am. I'm a backseat driver, a bit of a neat-freak, and it drives me crazy when people don't use the shortcuts on computers or take a longer route to get somewhere. I get so upset when plans fall through largely because it was something out of my control.

So I need to try focusing on the positive things. The areas of my life where I am in control. And there are a few. I have some concrete plans coming up in the next few weeks about which I'm really excited. Even though they're concrete, I'm still a little scared to say them out loud - or put them in print, as it were - for fear that something will change them. So you'll hear about those events after they happen. Who knows, maybe it'll even bring about a revival of my HNTs. I know they've been absent. But part of the lack of control is accompanied by a lack of feeling sexy. Which, of course, doesn't help my mood.

It's all rather cyclical, isn't it?

"I never took the smile away from anybody's face
And that's a desperate way to look for someone who is
still a child

In a big country
Dreams stay with you
Like a lover's voice
Cross the mountainside:
Stay alive

I thought that pain and truth were things that really mattered
But you can't stay here with
Every single hope you had shattered

I'm not expecting to grow flowers in the desert
But I love and breathe and
see the sun in wintertime.."

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Toybox: Fusion Duality

OK. So Babeland sent me the Fusion Duality to review. The site's description (and the toy's packaging) boasts that the Fusion has "16 different vibrating combinations!" Woo!

Per usual, my nondescript brown package arrived about a week after I ordered the toy. (My roommate has told me she's always curious about what new toy I've acquired whenever I get one of those boxes... hehehe.) The Fusion's presentation was nice - in its own little tin, packed with black foam padding. Certainly seemed promising. And really, who could complain with 16 vibrating combinations! And a curved head to hit your G-spot! And a rounded, bulbous end that's also insertable! Wowee!
Well, apparently I'm that person who could find something to complain about. Maybe complain isn't quite the right word, but I think this toy fell victim to the trying-to-be-too-much syndrome. In my experience, the toys that I enjoy the most do one thing, and they do it well. When toys start to make an effort to be too many different things, everything ends up falling short of the mark.

The hard, phthalate-free material was pleasantly silky to the touch - which is a quality I like in my toys. It's purple, which is fine by me... I tend to be drawn to purple in a lot of aspects of my life. Anyway. The Fusion requires four AAA batteries, which aren't included. I know they're small, but, really? Four? Bleh.

And that much-touted 16 combinations? Well, what they mean is that each side has three settings. Which, with all that fancy math-stuff that's beyond my pretty little head's comprehension, means there are technically 16 combinations. Which is fine. But, of course, if you have one side of the toy inside you, different vibrations on the other side of the toy are going to be pretty difficult to discern. Of course, it's entirely possible that others have more sensitive cunts than I do, but I couldn't feel much of a difference anywhere except in the hand that was holding the toy inside me. Too many things.

I was also excited about the interesting curved shape of the Fusion Duality. The curved end is almost flattened, like a spoon, with a little nub along the shaft of the toy that is, near as I can tell, designed to hit both the g-spot and the clit simultaneously. Which would be awesome. If it worked.
I'm finding this with several different toys, so maybe I just have a weirdly shaped cunt, but this toy wasn't even close to hitting my g-spot. Or my clit. Which was, to say the least, a bummer. If I moved the toy deep enough to hit my g-spot, then it wasn't on my clit, and vice-versa. Again, too many things.

The bulbous end was nice enough, but notably shorter than the curved end. And the buttons are on the bulbous side, which means the insertable length is even shorter if you want to change to a different one of those 16 vibration settings. Shocker: Too many things.

Overall? I'd give the Fusion Duality just one star. It might work for some people, and the site suggests trying it as a double-ended toy with a partner (although I'm not sure it's long enough to do that well), but at least for me, it just wasn't the right fit.

But this is the first real strike-out of anything I've reviewed from Babeland. So it should definitely NOT discourage you from going and checking out all of the awesome stuff this women- and sex-positive store has online. Or, if you think it might work for you, go check out the Fusion Duality!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

my feminism trigger

I'm not a feminism apologist. I don't feel the need to assert that "oh, no, I'm not a femi-nazi" before I say anything regarding equal rights for women. Still, I've never really considered myself a feminist. Because, frankly, that's never where my real passion for equality has lay. I've always been passionate about lgbt rights (perhaps as a reflection of which of my own personal identities I take to be more prevalent or important... I don't know.) (Although in a chat a few nights ago, Nonboyfriend's girlfriend pointed out to me that she's always considered me a feminist precisely because I was so adamant about queer rights. She considers them inherently connected, and I think there's something to be said for that... Aside from the sometimes stereotypical feminist disavowal of automatically equating feminist with "man-hating dyke." But that's a whole other post.) So for something to trigger my feminist rage, it generally has to be pretty agregious. Or at least really, obviously, patently sexist.

Which I encountered this evening.

I was pulling into the parking lot at my neighborhood Target. The parking lot was somewhat busy, but my mom's boyfriend (the only other person in the car with me) noticed a spot in the aisle over, so I went to homestead until the SUV parked in the spot finished backing up. Because of the location of the spot and the terrible turning radius of the car I was driving, my first effort at pulling in placed the car diagonally across the spot. (I am admittedly terrible at parking in normal spaces, though I'm an EXCELLENT parallel parker... which is weird, I know.) But I knew I was going to have to back out and 3-point the turn, essentially. So I put the car in reverse but kept my foot on the brake, and looked behind me, and checked both mirrors. On my left, there was a cop SUV, patrolling the lot, but waiting for me to finish adjusting the car before he passed me. On my right, there were two pedestrians who had stopped, a car away from me, to let me continue readjusting. So I pulled the car halfway out and back into the spot significantly straighter. (But still not in the center of the spot. Because, literally, I'm incapable of it.)

And as I got out of the car, I noticed the cop was still idling directly behind my car. With his window down. I made passing eye contact, but didn't really pay any attention. Until he called out at me from his car.

"Hey there, you be careful with those pedestrians, OK sweetheart? We wouldn't want you to hurt anybody."

SWEETHEART?... Sweetheart?! I just stared at him, flabergasted. "Yeah, uh, can do," I managed, without any intonation.

"OK, well just be careful, honey."

I didn't look back as I speed-walked to the door, but my mom's boyfriend pointed out that the slimeball stared at me all the way to the door. As soon as the door shut behind me, I started muttering "Sweetheart? I'm not your fucking sweetheart. Don't fucking call me sweetheart."

Now, I realize this doesn't carry over as well in text, because I can't get the proper inflection. And his words, if they were said differently, could have been a simple caution. (That I didn't need. As I'd checked for pedestrians before I had pulled back out, and even made eye contact with the ones who were clearly waiting for me to finish parking before they walked behind my car.) But this wasn't polite advice. It was the condescending, you-clearly-don't-have-the-mental-capacity-to-comprehend-parking-a-vehicle-because-you-have-breasts kind of tone.

I'm not sure I should need to mention it, but just to prevent trolls, I was wearing sneakers, jeans, a knee-length white peacoat and a mid-cut v-neck sweater. Definitely NOT overtly sexy or inherently bimbo-esque. (As if clothes were a determination of intelligence, anyway.)

But I was steaming about the "sweetheart" comment for a good few hours. I've cooled down a little, and there's a possibility I was being too sensitive... But I was genuinely offended. I haven't had anyone speak down to me like that in a LONG time. And I've been going car shopping lately... which, for my female readers who've done that, I can imagine you know what a point of reference that is. It was just so blatantly condescending. And yes, it DID feel like it was related to my gender. Admittedly, had he not said "sweetheart," I likely wouldn't be so put off. I still probably would have thought it was probably unnecessary to roll down his window IN THE SNOW to caution me against something I wasn't at risk of doing, and might have grumbled a bit, but you likely never would have heard about it here.

So, THAT'S what it takes to pull my feminist trigger.


Saturday, October 3, 2009

I should tell you...

I've talked about my Ex by several different names on here. He's been a kind of supporting (or not, as it were) character in the background of many of the experiences you've read about here. The short history - we dated for five years... All through high school, and then for our freshman year of college, for which we went to schools on opposite coasts. We went to a tiny high school where, by virtue of his being utterly likable and my throwing nearly every major party anyone in our class or below went to, we secured a tight group of friends. Many of those people both of us remained close with.

Which of course, made it that much more awkward and painful when we broke up in a BIG way at the end of our freshman year of college. He was the one who ended things - at the time I believed he left me for someone else, and I did, in fact, know who it was. In retrospect, I saw it coming. We weren't right for each other, but he figured that out LONG before I did.

And so we've spent the past three and a half years, essentially, discovering new ways to hurt each other - also known as "being friends." We both took our turns doing and saying terrible, cruel, inhumane things, that managed to affect not just one another, but our mutual friends, who grew to make concerted efforts to keep us apart when we were in the same state. Almost a year and a half, I was in rare form (or not, depending on who you ask), and confessed to him that I'd cheated on him back in high school. I'd like to say I did it to try and make myself feel better or in the interest of honesty, but really, it was my drunken, still-heartbroken last-ditch effort to make him hurt as badly as I did.

Near as I can tell, it worked. There was a single email exchange wherein we decided that we were not going to speak to one another again. We were both still angry and hurting, but it was probably one of the healthier things we'd done for each other since we'd broken up. It was three years almost to the day after he left me.

And we didn't talk. Or see one another. Or communicate in any way. Our friends were already used to avoiding the subject of each other when we were around, but even that became more pronounced. I moved on, dated a few people casually - some of whom were good to me, like Nonboyfriend, some of whom weren't, like Edward. My ex didn't cross my mind much.

And then, this summer, tragedy hit our circle of friends. Without going into private details, a terrible, unfair and unexpected thing happened to my best girlfriend, C. The Scientist and I, specifically, threw as much of ourselves into caring for and loving her as possible, and to her credit - she is astoundingly strong. I'm confident I could not have gone through what she did with such grace, maturity, perspective, and strength.

About a month ago, things culminated in an event that saw all of us who love C together at her house to support her. My ex (again, a good friend of hers) had been flaking on his friends back home, and, in all honesty, I think he was guilt-tripped into it. It was a deserved guilt-trip, though. He should have been there for C all along, but he absolutely needed to be there on this occasion.

Which found both of us back in town. In the same house. Together. I knew he was coming, and I also knew that this was neither the time nor the place to deal with any lingering issues we had. I knew why I was there, and it had nothing to do with him. Besides, I didn't have anything left to say to him.

He came early and I was the first person he saw. He quite literally froze in the doorway. He paled, and I swear I could hear him swallow from across the room. I looked at him, said "Hi," and waved. "Uhm, yeah, hey," he managed, a stiff arm and twitchy-fingered wave complimenting the awkwardness. Throughout the afternoon, he and I were pleasant with one another - I started a conversation or two with him... Just pleasantries. But I think we were both impressed at how we were able to BE so pleasant with one another. I found myself almost enjoying his company. Well, at the very least, not minding it.

As the evening wound down, C asked her friends to stay and party with her. Of course, we would have done anything for her, and this was hardly a stretch for any of us. We ended up going to a concert - C, her boyfriend, The Scientist, myself and my ex. We eventually convinced Nonboyfriend and his girlfriend to come down to town as well, because the occasion called for everyone to be there. (C, the Scientist, my ex and I all went to high school together, and the Scientist, Nonboyfriend and my ex are childhood friends, so Nonboyfriend had been incorporated into our circle early in its creation.) We all had a great time at the show, dancing, letting go of whatever we needed to.

At one point, as I was dancing, I took a step backwards and accidentally backed into someone I didn't know. I turned around to apologize, and the guy started hitting on me. Asking me to dance with him, what's my sign (seriously? people still use that?), and I tried to politely decline, telling him I was just there to be with my friends. He didn't go away. He wasn't doing much more than invading my space, but my ex caught my eye, dancing maybe 10, 15 feet away from me. He mouthed "you OK?" at me, and I kind of shrugged and made an "eh... uhm... sortof..." face. Before I could do anything more, my ex was next to me, put his hands around my waist, and pulled me to dance with him. The other dude vanished into the crowd. And I stood there, rather dumbstruck, staring at my ex. I managed to thank him, but I don't think I communicated how genuinely touched I was. I know looking out for someone in the group, protecting them from a creeper, is pretty standard friend behavior, but for my ex and I, the interaction was the friendliest, kindest we'd treated each other in years.

As the concert ended, we took several cabs to various places, some of us stopping at cars on the way, then all of us ending up back at Nonboyfriend's house. For a portion of the trip, it was just my ex and I in his car, after we'd dropped off C and her boyfriend so they could go in their own car. There were some awkward silences, but we did agree that it was, surprisingly, nice to see one another. We both seemed scared to make that assertion... like it might ruin the good we'd managed to accomplish that night.

But back at Nonboyfriend's house, my ex began playing guitar. And I realized he was playing songs that used to be ours. The rest of the group trickled back into the house, leaving just he and I on the patio. Him still playing guitar.

And then we started talking. The conversation started off slow, hesitant, cautious. But soon, it became open, and honest. He started the conversation. He looked at me, tears in his eyes, and said "It killed me, to not speak to you for so long. I hated it. I tried to be angry at you, I really did. But I can't. You are such a part of who I am, and that will never change. You ARE important. You always have been." It broke my heart and healed it all at once.

We kept talking for almost an hour. There were tears shed, but I think more than anything they were a form of release. The most amazing part was that there was no anger. I think we've finally used it up. We were able to talk about what had hurt us, but also what was good. We were able to appreciate how utterly and completely and honestly in love we were with one another... once upon a time. And we were able to move forward.

He hugged me several times that night. And it was good to be back there, my head buried in his chest and his arms wrapped around me. It was sincere. It was necessary. But it wasn't inappropriate. There is no romance left. The fire that once burned so bright for him nearly consumed me... and now all that remains is warmth.

I can finally truthfully say that I no longer have any ill feelings toward him. There are still traces of the boy I fell in love with almost 10 years ago inside him. I needed to know that. I can look back on what we had fondly and without pain. I can wish him well and happiness with his girlfriend, and mean it. And I can mean it when I tell him I'm looking forward to seeing him when he's back in town.

So while I've called him many, many things over the years, and even over the course of this blog, really, the way I should refer to him is as my First Love. Because he was. And he deserves all the import that title commands. Part of who I am today is because of him, and that experience will always be a part of me.

And, finally, thank god, I no longer resent that fact.

"I should tell you
that you were
my First Love..
So it's Christmas time,
It's been three years
And someone else is knitting things for your ears
I have come to know I'll only see you
Interrupting my dreams at night
But that's all right
That's all right
I should tell you
that you were
my First Love
And it's all right
And it's all right
We were seventeen again together,
We were seventeen again together,
We were seventeen again...together."

Friday, October 2, 2009

Toybox: The Divine Vibe

Sometimes, you just want something simple. Sometimes, all the bells and whistles and buzzing patterns and multiple heads and all that jazz are a little too much. Sometimes, you just want something that will get the job done. That will do the job well, and consistently, and perform exactly as you expect it to.

So sometimes, I absolutely crave my Divine vibe. The folks over at Babeland sent me one of the Doc Johnson toys (in black, no less!), I was stoked to try it out.

The Divine is made of ABS plastic, and as such is HARD. It takes three AAAs (which, I'll admit, I had to go out and buy), and has three settings, switched by the press of the only button on the toy, about halfway up the bulbous base. The settings are simple: low, medium, and high. No frills here.

But again, sometimes that's what you need.

The vibrations are consistent, and while not weapons-grade, to borrow a phrase, they escalate nicely from one setting to the next. They do have to be buzzed through sequentially, though, which is sometimes annoying... If you have it set on medium, for example, and want to turn it off from there, you'll have to go to high, then off. Likewise, you have to cycle through "off" each time. Which, again, can be annoying.

But the best part of the Divine vibe? Its shape is PERFECT. At least for my body, the curve of the toy fits my cunt like it was made for it. And I love the way it feels in my hand - the notches line up great with my fingers, and the curvature means I can have vibrations on my clit, all the way down. Which is AWESOME. And, the way the Divine feels in my hands isn't entirely unlike a cock - so there's some easy fantasizing there... Either about having someone else's cock so close to me, or, yeah, having my own.

The Divine vibe has become my go-to sex toy. It's not especially intimidating, and can (and has) work easily into play with a partner. Or it's awesome solo, obviously. It isn't complicated, but it IS reliable. It will get me off, every time.

And sometimes, that's exactly what you want.

Rating: 5 stars. I love this toy.

Want your own Divine vibe? You can get one at Babeland, the super-awesome, sex-positive, body- and women-friendly sex store online and in New York and Seattle.

The absence

I feel like I am always apologizing for being absent.

Yes, indeed, I've been a very bad blogger. I should probably be punished,

Any volunteers?

I have reviews to publish, I have stories to tell, I have comments to make.

So thank you to those of you who are still reading. I'm going to try to get a backlog going this weekend, so perhaps I won't be quite so absent. So bear with me, if you will. There are updates coming.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Toybox: Lover's Paintbox

I don't like chocolate. I should preface this whole review by saying that. *insert "GASP! But you are a woman! How do you NOT like chocolate?!?!?!1!!" here.* I've never liked chocolate. It used to drive my grandparents crazy every easter, halloween, and any other holiday where adults stuff children full of sugar in celebration of... something.

Nevertheless, I did try all three chocolate flavors in the Lover's Paintbox which VibeReview sent me. The kit comes with three flavors of chocolate flavored "body paint:" Dark, milk and white chocolate. I expected to like the white chocolate best, but it was actually a little too tangy for me. I know white chocolate is really hard to get right (although I don't know why), but I think the sharp smell may also have set me off. Opening the jar smelled a little chemical-y... not my favorite scent. To my surprise, the dark chocolate was actually good. Still syrupy and sweet, but a nice, rich flavor. Tasted quite good when licked from one of my partners' neck. The milk chocolate flavor (which, to be honest, I didn't try until later,) wasn't overly memorable. Fine, but nothing to write home about.

The boys who had me tied up with my Under the Bed Restraints seemed to very much enjoy themselves with the Lover's Paintbox, though. They did abandon the "supple body brush" for their fingers quickly, though. (Also, there were two of them and only one brush, and while they were clearly good at sharing, there are logistical limits.) Had I been able to roll around more, I'm sure my sheets would have been even messier than they already were. There was a decided fine layer of sticky chocolate residue wherever they'd painted me.

But it was absolutely fun to have my body covered in chocolate and have the boys have a reason to run their tongues all over me. (A reason BESIDES having me naked and tied up, I mean.) Especially when one of the boys figured out to warm the jar in his hands for a little while before painting me with the chocolate - it went on smoother and felt even better on my skin.

So, while I wouldn't say that this is my favorite toy ever, it definitely added another layer to an already indulgent evening. If you're a chocolate junkie or a true fan of food+sex, this is absolutely for you. I can also see it being a fun bachelorette party gift or something of the like - silly, fun, and just a little racy.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars.

Want your own Lover's Paintbox? How about a great selection of other sexy toys? Then hit up VibeReview and take advantage of their great merchandise and fabulous prices!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Captain Queer strikes again!

As I had previously discussed with The Scientist, I tend to have some capacity to, uhm... queerify my potential partners. I discussed it with him in the sense that I'd just hooked up with his best girlfriend who had never hooked up with a girl before. And I tend to find myself in threesomes... frequently... with two straight men.

Not the same two straight men, mind you. This marks the third different MFM threesome I've had. This year.

God, I love my life.

Which was, incidentally, exactly what I said when I walked back into my bedroom after my two boys and I had gotten back to my house and I'd excused myself to the restroom, as I opened the door and saw them both there, completely naked.

Yes, I have a very lovely life.

The night was an entirely random one. I went to dinner with C, came home and bought Bear a plane ticket to come visit me (huzzah! less than a month!), then was wanting to go play, but no one was around. Which is when a random old friend, who I haven't spoken to in at least two years, facechatted me. And we discovered we live about 10 minutes from each other. And made the executive decision that he and I were going to get drunk together.

He got to my place quickly, and I don't think we stopped talking the entire way home. Or for the stop at the grocery store. Or the liquor store. He was adorably excited, and there was gushing on both our ends. His poor boyfriend must have thought we were cracked out or something. We were just...buzzing... together. It was a blast.

We mellowed as the rum kicked in, and I got a chance to know his boyfriend better - and even bond over some similarities we have. We're the same age, and, oh, are both into BDSM and are total subs. It was one of those kind of nights where nothing is taboo. I loved it.

Eventually, a few of his boyfriend's friends came over... they had asked his boyfriend earlier, apparently, if there was REALLY a girl over. His boyfriend said "Yes, I promise, there is a girl here." By the time the friends got there, I was just drunk enough to introduce myself by saying, "Hi. I'm the promise. AKA Sasha." I thought it was funny, anyway.

I'm not sure it was ever really discussed, but rather it was just assumed from the time the friends walked in the door, that the two of them and I would all be sleeping together.

I didn't have a problem with that. Clearly, neither did they.

I don't know if the two friends have had a threesome with one another before, but they certainly acted comfortable and smooth enough around each other to make me wonder. They worked me like they knew what they were doing. But then again, I let them work me like that. I knew exactly what they were doing.

I knew what they were doing when one of them leaned in to kiss me while we were standing alone in the kitchen. I knew what they were doing when the other came in and found us kissing. I knew what I was doing when I stole away with the other and kissed him on the patio.

And I knew what we were doing when we all decided we were going back to my house.

"God, I love my life."

They both smiled at the comment, pleased with themselves and my reaction, I think. I barely had time to process their reactions, though, before they were both on me, damn near ripping my clothes off.

I will never get tired of the feeling of having so many hands on me at once. No two people's touch is ever quite the same, and, yes, the exhibitionist in me really enjoys it. Also, I've picked up quite the appreciation for naked skin from Friend (and others, but he and I talk about it regularly), and this is just such a delicious way to feed that hunger.

There is much more to be told about the night, of course... But I did get some fantasies fulfilled, which is always excellent. (Aside: I'm going to need to make a list of fantasies I've had fulfilled and which I haven't... I think the former list is longer. Awesome.) Check for details in upcoming product reviews - I do so appreciate when guys aren't intimidated by toys. In fact, that was part of our motivation for going back to my house - I was bragging about my toy collection.

God, I love my life.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Toybox: Under the Bed Restraint System

So, the lovely folks over at VibeReview have been EVER so gracious and patient with me while I took my sweet time reviewing the last two of the toys they've sent me. To be fair, the last two required partners, and, well, those have been in short supply lately. Luckily, that changed this weekend.

I've been aching to test out my Under the Bed Restraints for, literally, MONTHS. The idea is so awesomely fantastic: Affordable, easily hide-able restraints that are not only easy to set up and fit to any bed, but, again, are AFFORDABLE.

As a recent college grad still living paycheck to paycheck (thank you, student loans), I love this fact about the Under the Bed Restraints. I also love the nylon straps that make up the bulk of the system. Laid out, the system looks something like an X with an elongated, straight middle. Maybe like two Ys on top of one another. It is easily adjustable - it fits my full bed comfortably, and I've heard of others who have larger (and smaller) beds saying the same. Essentially, you slip the straps underneath your mattress (between the mattress and the box spring, although I imagine it would also work on an all-in-one mattress, as long as there was something solid to the straps from just falling to the floor. The four straps are all adjustable with easy plastic clips (think of those on a backpack's straps) so even once you've got it set up, you can adjust them to go to the corners of the bed (and stretch you or your partner farther), or pull them to either side to really control how much movement your... ahem...subject has.

And I can tell you from experience - once you've got the straps tightened the way you want them, they are tough to wriggle loose of when you're attached to them. They kept me sufficiently restrained, even when I had TWO boys doing their damndest to keep me writhing as much as possible.

Basically, I love everything about the Under the Bed Restraints. Except the cuffs it comes with. I applaud the makers for including four cuffs, but they are soft polar-fleecey material with a little bit of velcro. First off, I hate polar-fleece stuff, but also, the velcro just didn't do the trick. If you or your partner are anything but a totally obedient and, well, submissive, sub, you'll pop them open. Luckily, I had my own leather and metal buckle cuffs to replace the default cuffs. Once we made this switch, it was smooth sailing. My cuffs were easy to hook to the circular metal rings at the end of each strap.

Yeah, NOT gonna do the trick.

But overall, I LOVE my Under the Bed Restraints. I can't wait to test them out again. Just need a volunteer. Anyone interested?

4.5 stars out of 5. Get yours now! Or just go check out all the sexy stuff at VibeReview!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

What I need...

What I need right now is to hear your car pulling to a stop outside my house.

What I need is to hear the door slam as I race out the side door, across the yard and into your arms. I need to feel the wind across my skin and your arms at my waist as you pick me up, spinning me around, literally sweeping me off my feet.

What I need is to smell you as I press my body to yours, my face into your neck, so I can inhale you.

What I need is to take you by the hand and nearly trip over the patio step as we race in the side door to avoid distractions. I need to almost fall down the stairs and have you grab my hand to pull me back, then pin me against the wall at the landing, and with your body pressing into mine, kiss me so hard that my knees go weak and my mind is erased of everything but you. So that when you pull away, I nibble on my bottom lip and can't do anything but giggle and blush just a little. I need to fumble our way down the last of the stairs, and still be locked in a kiss with you as we find our way into my bedroom. 

I need you to slam the door shut behind you, never taking your hands off me. I need you to pin me against that door with your body again, your hands at my hips, lifting up my shirt. I need to feel that electric charge when your hands touch my skin. I need to feel those butterflies, that dizzy feeling I can't escape when your mouth is on mine. I need to feel breathless and fulfilled all at once and like I can't possibly be close enough to you.

I need to be grasping desperately at your belt, trying so hard not to be distracted by your mouth at my neck as my clumsy hands find the buckle, the button, the zipper. I need to be pushing the waist of your jeans off your slim hips as I feel your hands run up my torso, taking my tank top with them. 

I need to feel my self-consciousness slipping away as you step just an arm's length away to look at me, flushed and increasingly disheveled though I am, and smile - just the corners of your mouth, and your eyes flash that beautiful green I've been stuck imagining for entirely too long. 

I need to run my hands up your torso, bringing your shirt over your head and losing sight of it as soon as it leaves your body. I need to be tracing my fingers up and down your abdomen, around your pecs, and back to your hips, pulling you back to me.

I need to feel your warmth on my skin. I need to feel the contrast of your body, smooth and warm, against the door you still have me against, cool and unforgiving. 

I need to feel your hands at my jaw. I need to feel you pull me to you, slowly, intensely. I need to feel your kiss through my entire body. I need to feel your entire body pulse as you kiss me. I need to feel your lips on mine. I need to feel your tongue on mine. I need to feel you biting my bottom lip, pulling just the slightest on my lip ring.

I need to hear you sigh, contented and hungry, as you tighten your grip at my hips. I need to feel the momentum as you pull me away from the door and push me onto the bed. I need to shiver as your mouth traces delicate patterns down my body. I need to see you look up at me with those gorgeous eyes as you slide my jeans off my hips. I need to feel your hands up and down my legs, then your lips at my ankle, my calf, my knee, my thigh. 

I need to feel the breath, sharply inhaled into my lungs, as you bite at my hip. I need to hear you chuckle under your breath, like you know you already have me. And I need to throw my head back as your tongue starts exploring me.

I need to grasp at the sheets as your tongue finds my clit and your fingers curl themselves inside me. I need to whimper as I hear you moan into me, your tongue and fingers moving faster and in perfect discord. 

I need to see that white heat that flashes by my eyes as every muscle tenses, as I can't help but gasp out "Fuck!" when I can't feel anything but you and pleasure and love and everything. 

And, still shaking, I need to feel you kissing your way back up my stomach, my chest, my neck, until your body is back on top of mine. I need to feel your warmth and that electricity still humming between us. I need to see the smile on your face and in your eyes. I need your mouth on mine again. I need to kiss you so hard it almost hurts. 

I need to kiss you with everything I've got. I need to kiss you like it's the first time and the last time and every time inbetween. I need to pull away for just a moment, whisper out another breathless "fuck," and intertwine my fingers with yours. 

Yes, THAT'S what I need. 

Thursday, September 3, 2009

HNT: The damage

As promised, here's the "worst" of the damage from my fabulous scene last weekend. By worst, I mean most awesome (and most visible) battle scars. The shot was taken when I got home after the play party, but those marks are STILL present. I love that.


Monday, August 31, 2009

Hungry eyes..

No, not the Eric Carman song from Dirty Dancing. Although now I need to go listen to it or watch the movie. Anyways. On to the actual point.

Last weekend, I finally got a chance to see T and his partner, A, again. For those of you just tuning in or without your Sasha's-ridiculously-complicated-relationships Map handy, I met T and A at Thunder last year. A played with Essin' Em, and I played with T. It was my first time playing with a relative stranger in any kind of public setting, and I couldn't have asked for a better escort into the scene. Of course, at the time I was just astounded by how compassionate and kind he was in his aftercare and beyond - I didn't realize that a year later we would still be in touch and he would still be unofficially escorting me into the world of kink.

I hadn't seen T since Thunder (except for a few minutes when I stopped by his work a few weeks ago when I was in town. Which is not as stalker-y as it sounds, I promise, because...) but we had been keeping pretty regular contact with one another. Periodic text messages, emails and facebook pokes. He had invited me to several play parties he and A were hosting (at a local bdsm club) over the past year, but the timing has always been off. Finally, it wasn't.

The theme was pirates, and, well, you know me, I just can't resist a good pillaging. I went in early to help T, A and some other volunteers set up the space. In addition to going because I was invited, specifically by A, I also hoped that by going early to set up it might help me break the ice with people, since I knew T and A would likely be busy hosting for most of the night. And it worked - I got to chatting with a few people, some of whom were new like me, and definitely made some connections there, I think. I actually wasn't even especially expecting to get to play with T, because I knew he would be busy hosting. I would was content to just watch the scenes going on around the dungeon and chat with people.

But you wouldn't keep reading if that's all I'd done, right? Perverts.

There was a stage set up at the front of the dungeon with a St. Andrew's cross and stage lighting prominently highlighting it. It had been designated the "Public Flogging" area... for those scallywags who needed to be punished. (Pirates, remember.) T gave a nice - is it strange to describe it as such? - flogging to one of the women I'd been talking to when setting up. It's always fun to watch people I know, even casually, play. Not long after, T asked me if I'd like to/be willing to be publicly flogged. I pointed out that I'm not the biggest fan of floggers, and he asked if I'd like to do another punching scene, as we had done at Thunder.

I hope my excitement wasn't TOO embarassingly obvious.

He led me up to the stage, and helped me strip down to my underwear - gentleman that he is. (Aside: It's always fun, when you're in a room full of people, to be applauded when you take your top off. Awesome.) We went over safewords, signals, and confirmed consent once more. I love that part so much about the kink community. Consent is ALWAYS informed, and reconfirmed as needed. I think the world would do better to apply this standard more often. He set me facing the cross with my exposed back to him. Then he ran his hands down my back a few times, and started hitting me.

He was obviously warming up, but even with the lighter strikes, I could start to feel the energy flowing. Obviously there's a fair amount of mechanical energy, but there is so much spiritual or emotional energy being transferred, too. His hits came harder, faster and more varied as I concentrated on my breathing, revelling in each irregular breath that escaped my lungs as he hit me. He moved positions periodically, and used different strokes. He punched near my shoulderblades, the muscles running along my spine, and down to my ass. He used his knees, his feet, his knuckles, anything he had to leave me black and blue.

He leaned into me and grabbed a handful of my dark, tousled hair. Pulled me backwards and turned me around to face him, my tender back against the cross. Instinctively, I closed my eyes. I felt his hand on my face, or my head, again, and knew he wanted me to open my eyes. I remembered this about the first time we played - without speaking a word, he asked me to maintain eye contact with him. So that's what I did.

I met his gaze as he punched both of my breasts with his right hand. I didn't break contact when he stuck a knuckle out in his fist as he struck the fleshy space between my breast and collarbone. The only thing I saw were his eyes as he used both fists to punch both breasts, hard enough to knock me back. I followed him as he moved to my side to strike me with the side of his arm and his enclosed fist.

After the first hit with him on my side, he smirked a little. "Have you been wanting this for a while?" He asked, not entirely incredulously.

I think I managed a nod or a chuckled retort. What I should have said was "Not wanting. Needing."

"Because you look... hungry for this," he said, as his fists met my body again. At that I did almost crack a smile. Because it was all too true. I just didn't realize the look was that plain on my face.

He moved back in front of me, winding up to punch me - hard - with both fists. With the first, I couldn't help but cry out a breathless "Fuck!" as his fists and energy knocked the wind out of me. "We're going to do two more of those, and then we're done, OK?" he said.

I nodded, but there was a part of me that wanted to ask him to keep going. I could feel the release just behind my eyes and held up in my chest. I was pretty confident if he'd hit me a few more times, I would have started crying. Not sobbing, and not because I was hurt, but because I would be able to let go of everything that has been making me so tight and crazy and miserable lately. But he spoke before I did, and I didn't want to ask for anything more.

He hit me twice more, hard, and keeping his eyes locked on mine the whole time. As my body stopped resonating from the last strike, I half-stepped, half-fell forward into his arms and we held each other in a tight, warm, electric hug. I took a deep breath and he helped me off the stage. The room wasn't quite spinning, but my feet weren't quite touching the ground, either.

I kept floating like that for a while - a new acquaintance or two offered me hugs, caresses, and conversation. This is another reason that I love the kink community. You might not think it would be the case, but there is so much love and compassion and warmth and understanding within the community, it's almost unparalleled.

As I came down from floating, what T jokingly refers to as my "Bubbles" arrived. I get really happy and hyper and carefree. Again, it might not seem logical, but it's a direct result of (CONSENSUALLY) getting my ass kicked. It lets me let go, give control to someone else for a while, and functions as such a release for so much stress that I just feel infinitely better and lighter afterwards.

And as T and I were talking throughout the rest of the night, there may be other fun adventures in the works, as well. I can't wait to go back.

Of course, I probably SHOULD wait until the bruises heal... See the damage on thursday for HNT.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

It feels like we've been here before...

It's been a while since I've written anything overly personal on here. With my real-world job as a web editor (did I mention that I have a real-world job now? Like, an actual career?), I spend my entire workday staring at a computer screen, so sometimes I'm not overly eager to run home and do the same. I've been trading online interaction for actual, real life socialization. Imagine that!

But there are other reasons for the relative silence of late, too. And I haven't written about them in hopes that they would get better. But, the truth is, they aren't getting better. And I'm starting to feel myself slip down into those dark places I inhabited years ago... And I don't want to do that. In the past, you, dear readers, have been so incredibly helpful and gracious and insightful, that I thought perhaps I would turn to you again.

I've noticed changes in some of my habits. i think some of it is just antsy-ness - this is usually the time of year I would be headed back to school... So it's possible I'm still adjusting to and realizing that this is, in fact, my life. This is not a summer job and a summer apartment and summer flings, but rather the real thing.

Well, in some regards. Of course, it seems the things I wouldn't mind being temporary - the things I wouldn't mind trading out - are the things that are stable, and the things I so desperately want to hang on to are those which are slipping away from me. And it's started getting to me. I'm exhausted all the time. Regardless of how much sleep I get. Waking up is brutal, although I was getting good at waking up at 7am for work without much difficulty in the past month. That has stopped. Of course, when I do fall asleep, it's never through the night. This in and of itself, of course, doesn't mean much, but it seems to be just one part of a series of small problems that add up to something that feels unconquerable. I've gone back to always feeling rather sick - a combination of allergies and near-constant nausea that hasn't been so pervasive since, probably, high school.

If it hasn't been clear from my "frustratingly abstract" (according to Friend) posts, The Optimist is gone. Through no fault of his own, and no fault of mine. The universe decided to throw him a curveball, and he took the good, responsible, compassionate route out. A route that led him, suddenly and without a goodbye, far away from me and his other friends in this state. I don't hold the decision against him in the slightest - actually, quite the opposite. His making this sacrifice confirms my belief that he is this incredible, compassionate, giving person. It makes me respect him that much more. It absolutely supports my fascination with who he is and how he became this truly singular individual.

But his leaving hurt more than I thought it would. I've talked to Nonboyfriend about it - since he and I were in essentially the same boat, being unpleasantly surprised by The Optimist's sudden departure. I felt like (after convincing him that, no, I really wasn't going to turn into some crazy stalker and terrorize his best friend... Because we all know that I do that regularly) he and I could at least identify with each other's heartache. I don't say heartbreak, because that sounds too dramatic. But there is absolutely an ache. And it is palpable. And harder to ignore than I thought it would be. I'm not angry in the least. I am just very simply and without anything else, very sad. It's a pervasive kind of sadness that is at the same time purer than anything else I can remember feeling. I am sad for the loss of the memories I was so looking forward to making. I am sad for the departure of the butterflies that only inhabit my stomach when he's around me. I am sad to not feel that electricity when he touches me. I am sad to not feel his lips on mine and hope my knees don't give out but know even if they did he would catch me - and probably have some perfectly eloquent comment about it. I am sad to not know when I will see his face again. I am sad.

But I believe him (and Nonboyfriend) when they remind me he will be back. I know he will. And he hasn't misled me yet, so I don't expect him to begin now. (Right down to his parting salutation on the phone, which was, verbatim, what I've always told friends I wanted to hear from someone who wasn't sure when the next time they would call might be.) And, again, his reason for leaving is so good and so... HIM... that I couldn't do anything but support it. There was never any other option in my mind. I couldn't not support him. And I hope he knows that. The last thing I would ever want to be or do would be an additional burden for him. That isn't what good friends do, let alone lovers or partners or whatever we were. But it does leave me pining a bit for something I know I can't have. At least right now. And the uncertainty of when I may or may not see him again is eating at me, just a little. It makes it harder to overcome the sadness, because I don't have a set point to look forward to. It's too abstract.

And I know that wound, if that's what we'd call it, is especially fresh. It will caulderize with time... Although I hope my feelings for him don't. I love that I simply cannot have my walls up around him. I love that I feel safe and comfortable and happy knowing he's in my life. I love that he talks to me about life and art and philosophy and also that we can get drunk with my roommates and write haikus about a missing cat. Like I said, he's rather singular. I've never met anyone who affected me the way he does. And just like how it's so easy to get used to sleeping next to someone, and so difficult to get used to sleeping alone (I still sleep on my side of the bed, although I haven't had a regular sleeping-over partner in years), accepting that affectation makes it that much harder to forget about.

And other relationships are suffering as a result. A few nights ago, I completely flaked out on Bear. He was having a rough night and needed someone to talk to, and I just... fell asleep. And I felt so incredibly guilty in the morning. And he's told me that he's not upset, although his tone indicated otherwise. Mostly, though, I just feel awful for being such a shitty friend. My friends deserve better. And usually, I can deliver. I don't know why I couldn't then.

And my best girlfriend, C, is going through some really serious things. I want so badly to be there for her, and it kills me that there's only so much I can do. Going to dinner with her and giving hugs and texting everyday seems so inadequate for how much I love her and how much I want to make her pain disappear. And I know, ultimately, there isn't anything I can do to make it stop, to make it better for her. I just wish there was. But I do know she reads this, so I just want to reiterate, my love, that I am here for any and everything you might need. And I love you more than words, and I only wish there was more I could do. I want to make all this stop for you. I want to fix everything. And I know that I can't. And that just... destroys me.

Maybe that's the best adjective for how I feel right now. I feel destroyed. Not by any single event or person, but I feel just so helpless and out of control, that it's driving me crazy. I'm falling back into old patterns of coping with that loss of control. I don't even know HOW to process these things in a healthier way. And the last thing I want is help, as strange as that might seem. I just want to feel better. I want these things that hurt the people I love to vanish (yes, even when I am one of those things). I don't want any of this. I don't want to feel like this.

Monday, August 24, 2009

another day...

..and the sadness continues.

Aside: I know this video is ridiculous. I have no idea why Amy Lee is wearing black angel wings. I suppose it's some kind of attempt at post-apocalyptic trailer-park goth? I don't know. Anyway. Ignore the video in and of itself, and I know the song is emo, but I maintain that it's also pretty much gorgeous. And it works for me right now. So that's all I've got.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

funny story.

I don't miss you anymore. I really don't. I think you might be one of the few people I have entirely moved on from. I don't even want you anymore. I don't remember what you smelled like.

I only barely remember what you made me feel like.

And in so many ways, that's such a good thing. You have moved on so completely, and so have I. Of course, your recipient is ohsoclose to you, and mine is - once a-fucking-gain, a thousand miles away. But that's the way it is, I suppose. But it was, I'll admit, hard to bite my tongue when we got into specifics. Because under any other circumstances, we'd be sharing this information. Which in no way means you have to share.... I'm just saying.

But it's funny, because there is a difference. There is a difference in how I feel. There is a difference in what I do. I wouldn't go so far as to say something crazy, but I do feel some kind of strange connection. And I know you do too. In case you forgot that I know you read this. Lovelovelove. I'm not ashamed to say it. It's ALWAYS a good thing to send more love into the universe.

And I won't apologize for it. Especially when I'm pretty sure love is what you most need right now.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Toybox: Corset Vibe

I LOVE corsets. Part of it is the sub in me, part of it is the Ren Faire nerd in me, part of it is the fashionista that adores the idea of anything that accentuates my tits and minimizes my waist. Brilliant idea!

So, not surprisingly, I was drawn to the Corset Vibe when it appeared in my Babeland Affiliate email.

I was thrilled when the (pleasantly nondescript brown) package arrived at my house about a week later. (Aside: It's impossible to keep your sex blogstress status a secret when you share a house with roommates who are a little suspicious about packages with alliterative psuedonyms as addressees. hah.) Inside the box was surprisingly decorative packaging, and what I discovered is officially called the "Girdle" from Touche. I must admit, I prefer the imagery of a corset over that conjured by the word "Girdle." So I'm going to keep referring to it as the Corset Vibe.

Two important things. The Corset Vibe is 100% silicone and phthalate-free. Yay for no scary chemical molecules making us sick! Of course, since it's silicone, that means NO silicone-based lubes. Melted, gooey silicone vibes are no fun. Especially when they're as good as the Corset Vibe.

The silicone is soft but not slippery, and the vibe itself is bendable, if not entirely prehensile. The folks at Touche have kindly included two AA batteries, which saves the near-obligatory raiding of household battery-run objects. It took me a minute to figure out how to turn the damn thing on (Hint: Hold DOWN the button. Right. I'm college-educated, I swear.), but then it was easy to change the settings - just a single click on the single button on the bottom of the toy.

The Corset Vibe boasts five different vibration patterns... All of which, actually, I like. There are slow, medium, and high constant buzzing, in addition to two differently timed buzzing patterns. (Think and buzzzz....buzzbuzzbuzz....buzzz.) The slowest/lowest vibration setting was a little soft, even for me, but could definitely be fun for warming up or cooling down. The rhythmic patterns are simply fantastic, with pauses just long enough to keep you aching for the next just as it is delivered.

So of course, the namesake of the vibe comes from the corset-like "lacing" pattern up one side of the shaft of the vibe. I was wondering if these would really make a difference - or even be noticeable - when the vibe was actually inside me. Well, I never got to find out.

I tried, I really did. But the head of the Corset Vibe was just too big to fit comfortably inside me. It's a lovely shape and I'm sure for some people it might work wonderfully - but it felt too snug in me. And my cunt seemed to dull the vibrations - which makes sense, but made me sad because they felt so awesome on my clit. So my only complaint is that the Corset Vibe is too big to fit inside me.

But I LOVE the vibrations it gives off. And while using a dildo-sized toy singularly as a clitoral vibe might seem a little excessive, the speed and variation and intensity of the vibrations are just so PERFECT that the Corset Vibe has become my new favorite vibe.

So, I give it 4 our of 5 stars - because if I could feel those same vibrations in my cunt, I'd imagine they would be even better.

Want your ownCorset Vibe? Check out Babeland, the fabulous, women-friendly and sex-positive place for all things sexy. Check out Babeland online or at their stores in Seattle or New York.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009




My heart hurts.

I forgot about THIS part of caring for someone.


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

I'm in love...

...with Jason Mraz.

All over again.

(Yeah, you can all relax now.)

I started listening to his music back in my freshman year of college, spent in Seattle. My friends and I went to a fabulous concert of his at the Showbox, where a just-before-he-blew-up James Blunt opened. Both Mraz's and Blunt's music is so gorgeously soothing and mellow that it has come to characterize Seattle for me. I can't listen to it without flashing back to fond memories of the people and the places I left back there.

And recently, my best friend from that year tipped me onto Mraz's blog. He's been running a series of posts where he answers questions tweeted to him by fans. This week's installation particularly reminded me why I love him and all of his crazy hippie-zen sex-positivity.

From freshness factor five thousand, first the Tweeter's question, followed by Mraz's response.

klneville2004: What advice do you have for the commitment-phobes?

Assuming your talking about being in a dedicated relationship, if commitment is an issue, odds are there is something you aren’t admitting to yourself. You might have hang-ups or further adventures elsewhere that need attention first. You should talk about EVERYTHING with your partner and see how they handle the REAL truth. He or She will either support you, send you off on your journey, or you two will become even closer and realize that commitment is easy when sharing what’s on your mind. Commitment is listening. Not committing is possessive. To honor your word is to be of good service. Shying away from the truth is to carry a belly full of poison. Flush it out and let freedom ring.

I particularly enjoy that he doesn't equate commitment with monogamy. And I totally agree. While I respect those who associate monogamy with commitment and can be happy and fulfilled in monogamous relationships, I don't think the two are dependent on one another. Commitment is important, but like Mraz says, I think the term says more about honesty than it does about exclusivity. I believe it's entirely possible to be in a committed relationship with more than one person simultaneously. I don't think there's any fundamental contradiction there. In fact, I like to think that's exactly where I've found myself, relationship-wise. It involves making a commitment to be honest with my partners, to (as Mraz suggests) communicate as needed, and to do my best to make them and myself happy.

And none of that hinges on monogamy. Which I think is brilliant.

(Of course, at the same time, it doesn't exclude monogamy, either. I've actually been sincerely impressed with my partners' acceptance of what I need to do/experiment with, monogamy-wise. More on that in the coming weeks.)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Not the doctor

I don't want to be your idol, see this pedestal is high and I'm afraid of heights...

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

My one-track mind...

..and how I worry it sometimes hurts people.

Well, maybe not hurts, exactly. But I do have a tendency to get singularly-minded and focus a great deal of my attention and concern on a single area. I like to finish something that I start. If I hear a new band that I like, I want all their music, and I will listen to it on repeat until I know all the lyrics.

It's part of the reason my job as a Web Editor is tough for me - it's so multi-dimensional, and there are so many big things happening simultaneously that I can't ever finish any single "project" in a day. That can get frustrating.

So, too, I'd imagine, can being my friend when I'm really excited about someone or something. I've realized that the past few weeks, my personal posts have all focused on The Optimist. And, indeed, he is becoming a consistent part of my life. I love that. I love that he's in my life and he honestly fascinates and excites me in myriad ways.

But there are other people in my life, too. People who, maybe, are a little more unsung. Perhaps it means I take them for granted, but especially in regard to one, I feel he's been making an effort to be more present in my life lately, and I haven't acknowledged it as openly as I should. I suppose affections and obsessions wax and wane naturally, but I'm pretty sure it's been a while since I've written a post really talking about Friend. (Who, rightfully so, points out that his nickname is the least inventive of those I am or have been involved with. I still contend that's primarily because he is first, foremost, and always, my friend.)

As a refresher, I've known him for a long time, and we've been sleeping together, on-and-off (off when I was out of town or when I test out monogamy, not because we're fighting) for a couple years. He is very, very smart, and some of my favorite memories with him are conversations we've had where we get in often one-sided debates railing on the uneducated masses. (Snobbery, you say? Never!) Especially when we are together, we are exceedingly silly. He is one of the few people in my life I can always count on to cheer me up when I need to take my mind off something by just being goofy. A week ago or so when he came over for dinner, we found ourselves playing in the rain in a sweetly romantic gesture.

All of these attributes aren't anything new, though. They are things that have always and continue to attract me to him. I love and appreciate them. What I wanted to recognize is what seems to have changed, especially since I've moved back after graduation.

Sometimes, when I was home for summers or vacations or whatever reason, I would get frustrated with Friend's seemingly inherent flakyness. It never felt malicious, it was just kind of... saddening when we would have plans and he just wouldn't show or he would fall of the face of the earth conveniently for the week I was home. I talked to him about it on various ocassions, and while he would apologize where appropriate, I didn't see any change right away. I had recently resolved to just stop letting it bother me. It was, I figured, part of his personality, and therefore part of our relationship. I could deal.

But in the past few weeks, I've noticed him making - what feels like, at least - an increased effort to include me. It's nothing major, but they are those little things that I really appreciate. If he's running late or has to cancel on our plans, he'll shoot me a text. Whereas I've historically been the one to ask him to hang out, there have been several cases recently where he called me and wanted to see me, not the other way around. A few nights ago, he called me up to come help him build some things for work. Admittedly, he needed an extra hand, but it was still nice to feel like he'd thought of me. It was nice to feel included in a part of his life that's normally cordoned off for me.

(It's important here that he's not the only one cordoning off areas of his life. I do the same thing, and as such our times together are necessarily usually just the two of us. We are, essentially, one another's secondary partners. Other partners know about each other, but only in an abstract sense, for the most part.)

The past few times we've spent time together, actually, there hasn't been anything particularly sexual about it. Which, as strange as it might seem, makes it feel MORE like a relationship, not less. I'm not sure entirely WHY that is, but that's the result that often seems to happen.

Regardless, the point is that he's been making an effort. And it has meant something to me. And I haven't mentioned it. So now I am. Because it's awesome. And appreciated. Much love, Gun. ;-)

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Workday procrastination

Ah, the things I stumble upon when I'm scanning the blogosphere for work.

Brilliant. Bloody brilliant.

Via OMG! blog.

Happy Tuesday, everyone.

Friday, July 31, 2009

The Great Nationwide Kiss-In

I don't usually get overly political here, but this is something I'm excited about, and want to spread the word to as many people as possible.

In response to three different incidents across the country where queer couples have been harassed (and, in one case, arrested) for kissing in public, we're holding Kiss-Ins. Throughout the entire country.

And I'm REALLY excited about it. I know there are other, maybe more important issues on the table right now, but this is something I care about, and something I think should be such a basic, no-brainer right that it matters that it's not. Of COURSE we should be able to kiss those we love. In public. Without being harassed. Or arrested.

So that's what we're going to do. On August 15th, at noon Mountain time (that's 11a on the West coast, 2p on the East coast), we're going to kiss. In public. So bring someone you love, and go here to find out where your nearest Kiss-In will be.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

HNT: Satin III

This is the last of the HNT photos The Pilot took when he was here last month.

I suppose that's fitting. I haven't written about it, but my Relationship with The Pilot is... well, it's over. We're negotiating our way back into a friendship, but that is a process. It's a process I think we're capable of accomplishing... but it will take some work.

So, mention of The Pilot will likely be somewhat more sparse. It isn't his fault, and it isn't anything terrible. It's just the way it is.

But here is another shot he took. And I know it's similar to another I've posted before, but the angle is a little different, and I think it's rather beautiful. So is he.


Sunday, July 26, 2009

Quote of the weekend

Compliments of my roommate... at about 1am, as I was in the bathroom brushing my teeth, we were discussing what my role was with her toddler daughter (who I help take care of when I can).

Roommate: Well, you can't be an auntie, because all of her aunties are old lesbians!
Me: Yeah, but when I grow up, I wanna be an old lesbian, too!
Roommate: You're not going to be an old lesbian, you're going to be an old... sex fiend!

I love living here. SO. MUCH.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

HNT: Classic

This is another HNT that's a little bit old school. I actually took it in Spain last fall, so it's almost a year old. I don't particularly remember why I took it, although I think there's a possibility it was to send to Edward. (Ick.)

In any case, I don't have anything exceedingly exciting or special to say about it, but it definitely is half-nekkid!


Toybox: Slippery stuff

My cunt is a sensitive creature, apparently. I realized a few years ago that the reason sex with condoms was often uncomfortable for me was because I was allergic to something in them. I first thought it was the latex, but then realized that it was only SOME latex condoms to which I would have a negative reaction. So, like any enterprising, proud slut, I figured out which types of condoms DIDN'T cause a reaction. And only bought those.

Of course, those ended up being the more expensive and tough-to-find styles, and meant that I ALWAYS had to provide the condom in my encounters. Which can get annoying after a while. And really sucked if, after a particularly rough or lengthy sack session, a partner wasn't done and we wanted to switch condoms, but I didn't have any more.

Or in one particularly memorable instance, where I had two men who both wanted to fuck me... And only one condom to which I wasn't allergic. Weak sauce.

I had similar trouble finding lubes that didn't result in a similar allergic reaction... And yes, of course my first instinct was to go to the doctor and get checked out to make sure it wasn't an STI or anything of the like causing the discomfort. Nope. Clean. Just a fussy cunt. Thanks, body.

So I had just resolved myself to always having to be well-stocked on my upper-echelon condoms. And if I wasn't? Or if a condom or myself needed more lube? Well, that was just too damn bad, wasn't it?

And then came Slippery Stuff. I added it to my Wish List at VibeReview because other reviewers had said it was essentially hypo-allergenic. I figured it couldn't hurt to try a tester, right?

The lovely folks at VibeReview sent me a 4 oz. bottle in my super-sexy package along with several other products. In a habit I picked up from countless trips to the sex store and discussions with Essin 'Em, the first thing I did was put some of the lube on the back of my hand, and taste it.

Slippery Stuff claims to be odorless and tasteless, and while the odorless part isn't quite true (it kind of smells like kid's bubble solution, actually), it really doesn't have much of a taste. Well, it tastes like nothing, is what I mean. I wouldn't drink it with a straw, but it's just a sort of non-flavor. No gross saccharine flavors masking too much glycerin. In fact, Slippery Stuff is totally glycerin-free. And water-based. Which means it's compatible with condoms. Which is awesome.

Because it's a water-based lube, it is a little runny. Be prepared to pour it like water, because it will get all over the place. But that's OK in my book. There are times when adding a little extra mess isn't the worst thing in the world. Slippery Stuff doesn't dry sticky, although it does have a WEIRD stringy property. With a few drops on the back of my hand, each time I tapped a finger into it, I got several strings connecting the finger to my hand. Kind of like when you used to get those obnoxious strings of hot-glue off an otherwise perfectly round blob of glue. (No, I wasn't neurotic as a kid, why do you ask? Why, WHY, dammit?) Even so, it didn't leave my hand (or anywhere else on my body) particularly sticky. Which is much appreciated.

As for its actual lubrication qualities... Well, I should point out that I don't usually need or use lube when I'm alone. I suppose it's my cunt's way of making up to me the allergy - I don't usually need extra lubrication. But in the past, the condoms and lubes I have been allergic to have actually sapped away my natural moisture, leaving me physically uncomfortable... Which is just some sort of cruel joke.

Slippery Stuff didn't do anything of the sort. In fact, I did actually feel wetter, and the lube itself stayed moist much longer when I was actually using it than it did playing with it on my hand. It was silky and smooth and wet and lovely. The only complaint I have is that it made my glass dildo almost too slippery. There are worse things.

I would absolutely recommend this lube for anyone else who's had trouble with lubrication or finding products they aren't allergic to. I was particularly on the look-out for any kind of adverse reaction, and I had none at all. For that alone (even without the other great attributes), I give Slippery Stuff...

5 out of 5 stars

If you'd like your own bottle, or to read more reviews of Slippery Stuff, click here. If you just feel like exploring VibeReview (which I also highly recommend), check them out!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


I couldn't stop looking at you. I couldn't stop myself from melting into your arms. It's a miracle I managed to keep my heart inside my chest each time you touched me. I don't think you have any idea how you affect me.

Because I notice the way your eyes flash when you look at me. How they're smoldering and cool all at once, and I know you see mine turn greener every time you mention my name. And I see the way you smirk at me when you think I don't know what's on your mind. Or maybe that's when you know I do know. Exactly what you're thinking.

And I can't get enough of the way your mouth just makes me melt. Everything about it - your kisses, with your soft, full lips that find such perfect rhythm with mine so easily. Your tongue, and the way it explores my mouth and my body and makes me shiver in anticipation. Your words, and the way they are so beautiful and eloquent and perfect that they can't be real. Because no one speaks like that in real life. No one is so cool and collected and graceful and simultaneously selfless and giving. That only happens in fiction.

And it must be fiction, the way our bodies collide and you wrap me in your arms. It must be fiction, how I can feel your whole body lean into the kisses you lavish on me and yet always leave me wanting more. Nothing you do is single-handed. All of it seems to incorporate your entire body, your entire being...

And it makes too much sense to be ironic when you tell me you take things hard and slow. The explanation proves too confoundingly true to be fact. The things you say to me must be fictional. The way you move inside me must be the stuff of fantasies, and not of this dreary realism we call home. Your beauty and your persistent optimism are too free of irony and naiveté to survive this place. Maybe to survive me. But at the same time, it's so infectious that I hear myself second-guess my negativity.

Your sincerity is too poetic to be composed. Everything I've seen you do is poetry.

Like when you throw me to the bed and don't for a second let our lips part. Or you pull away and I can feel both our flushed skin, and see your eyes radiating in the dark. Some mysterious color that no name would do justice to. It's all passion and intelligence and perfection and fiction because it couldn't possibly be reality. And when you slide your mouth down my body and don't bother stopping to ask permission and before I can protest, my hands are tangled at the sheets, grasping for anything to hold onto my grip on reality. Then you are relentless in your efforts, and suddenly you have control of my body and are pushing all the right buttons at the same time you're only pushing one and the room explodes and leaves just you and I. Me panting and floating, you smiling and gloating.

So I'll bring you to me because when it comes to you, insatiable doesn't begin to cover my appetite. There is, quite simply, nothing else on the menu, no other nourishment, when you are here. Everything before and everything after ceases to exist. There is only you and I and the only thing I can focus on is your skin on mine and the electric charge that comes from that contact, and hearing you say those beautiful, violent, obscene words with such eloquence and unrestrained passion that I can't believe it exists.

How to never be wrong about Gays.

Via Joe.My.God.

Funniest thing I saw all day at work.