Leather, Wood and Bottoms: My First Kinky Party!

I am known for being remarkably prescient. My friends have commented on this ability when I can often find the words they lose and can even guess what they are going to say before they say it. So I’m proud to add yet another point in favor of my psychic abilities when I predicted the following: kinky people know how to throw the best parties. After receiving an invite to a BDSM play retreat, I packed up a bag with snacks, toys, a spare outfit, wriggled into the sexiest dress I own and drove out to have a blast.

When I walked into the house of the host and saw men, women and all other members of the alphabet mafia in gorgeous attire, I knew I’d found my people. I was absolutely delight by what I saw: A hunk of a man wearing a red leatheresque thong, hot kinksters in kilts, fems in leather chest harnesses, and cute littles in cuter onesies abounded inside the house.

I set my contribution to the party’s spread on the absolutely massive kitchen counter (chocolate peanut butter cups, chocolate covered coffee beans and veggie straws respectively) and was then whisked into a perverse wonderland by the man, the myth, the legend: KinkThings. To describe the tour would be to wash out the color of the event, but I will say as I traveled through the house that I was struck by the sense of being Alice, escorted by a grinning Cheshire Cat. Welcome to Wonderland indeed.

The tour’s notable part led me into KinkThings’ workshop, which smelled like heaven as far as I’m concerned. The aroma of wood, leather and treatment ought to be made into a perfume. I saw his toys and believe me when I say that I was happier than a dragon confronted with another hoard. In some ways, the interaction between KinkThings and I was akin to two dragons meeting, though with more generosity than one might expect. It was also then that KinkThings offered me something new and beautiful: a baseball bat cut down into a perfectly thuddy impact toy. The sides are cut down to give it a paddle type of surface, with the edges of one side sloped just so in order to resemble a blade. The handle is long and wrapped in beautiful purple leather, leading me to swing my new prize like a sword. I could not stop eyeing my prize that entire night.

Wandering out of the workshop, the rest of the house was a delight. Crosses and suspension rigs were set up, and I got to watch several people bottoming in scenes. My favorites were probably a cute boy being flogged by BadKitty herself and a cute girl being beaten while on the cross in the Sunrise Room. The scenes were beautiful, hot and also very intense to watch. I admit to bowing out of the Sunrise Room once the knife play part of the scene started, but then I walked directly into a hot as hell suspension scene. Holy hell, the party never stops!

As I explored the rest of the rooms of the house, I saw scenes with electricity, a submissive being strapped to a suspended cross, spun, and tortured with water and smacks, a truly excellent flogging, and a girl in a suspension scene. There was not a single boring moment at that party. As far as the people, I loved everyone there, and the hosts and their guests truly made the party. BadKitty showed me just a small piece of her beautiful makeup collection, KinkThings bequeathed me with the most lovely and imposing of impact toys, a couple who delightedly told me about their mushroom growing operation and an imposing man with an infectious laugh and good advice on how to work with leather, I feel like any one of the party goers could have a book written about them.

The climax of the party (for me) was when I got to use my new most perfect treasure, my bat, on the ass of a real human! I squared up my stance and delivered the first few tentative smacks, feeling the perfect weight of the bat blugeon a cute butt, all the while my mentor KinkThings beamed in delight. If I were to describe the scene to you, I’d say it felt like a coach taking a rookie slugger under his wing. Except perverse. Once KinkThings had corrected a few things with my grip and stance, my beautiful new bat was smashing into the ass of my dear demo bottom. Beautiful purple marks bloomed on her ass and on the back of her thighs. I could feel my heart pounding in my ears and the adrenaline pushing my senses to their height. I felt like a tiger that had caught a deer and was now relishing in tormenting the helpless thing. Pulling the bat over my shoulder, I considered the purple lines tattooing her skin with a sense of pride and something close to hunger. Something inside me woke up and roared, and I know I’m going to have to put this to toy to use more and more.

After my scene with the bat, I retired from the party somewhat reluctantly because I knew I would be dead tired the next day. I packed up my bag, putting away the few paddles I had brought and carefully placed my bat in the passenger seat of my car. As I drove home, I couldn’t help but grin the whole trip home. God, kinky people really do throw the best parties. I can’t wait to go to my next one.

Anime, Drag Queens, Leather and The Internet: A Journey Through Gender

I’ve been thinking a lot about gender.  If you look around online, there are a lot of theories about gender and what it means and how to do it and express it. My conception of gender is that you are what you say and know yourself to be, but what does it mean to apply a label to yourself? I’ve often pondered what exactly I should call myself. My internal conception of gender has been changing, not to mention my outward presentation and my ideal aesthetic. Through virtual and real life means, I’ve been doing my best to explore who and what I am but…I’m not sure if this is ever going to be a process I’ll finish. Maybe I’m not supposed to finish.

My earliest memories of experimenting with gender were strictly in virtual spaces, since my mother strictly refused to entertain my notions of dyeing my hair a bright teal. I would often roleplay online as someone with a radically different look than I had, and I would select pictures of girls with dyed hair, facial piercings and tattoos to represent myself online. Sometimes, when I was feeling particularly daring, I would pick an anime boy to be my avatar and I would romance all of the other girls in the roleplay. Pretending to be someone who had the courage to experiment with their look was addicting, and I adored roleplays for the chance to explore the character I got to write. But I didn’t just try on new personalities and have cool supernatural powers; I got to try on new modes of gender expression. I would explore different fashions, aesthetics and new ways of being a woman (or a man!). Perhaps this love of trying on new identities has sparked my eternal admiration of the concept of shapeshifters. To this day, I still love writing, and I’ve learned to love it for it’s own sake. But there’s an especial sweetness to it when I get to be someone far more interesting looking than the basic athlete I was in high school and college.

Through the exploration of online spaces, I also began exploring my gender in reality through changing my own expression through fashion. One of my most recent purchases that I’m particularly proud of is my new leather motorcycle jacket. It is black, with beautiful silver hardware and a buckle at the waist and it gives me the sexiest biker look imaginable. When I slide into my leather jacket and pair it with my Doc Martens, I slide into a more comfortable version of myself. Wrapped in leather and flannel, I feel a pure aesthetic bliss. That thrill that I felt when I pretended to be an edgy anime girl online is something I get to feel now, but a thrill that’s based in my reality and presentation.

Gender-fuckery is something of a personal subject with me. I think I developed a particular love for androgyny and androgynously beautiful characters because I had a somewhat repressive household. Growing up in the South and in a white, conservative and Christian household, I had a lot expectations already put upon me for how I should look and act as a girl. These expectations were mitigated because I was an athlete, so I got to have some lee way when I cut my hair short or wore unfeminine clothing in the service of sport. But I didn’t fully escape the female beauty expectations. One of the more ridiculous examples was when my mom taped a sign to my mirror that read: “Don’t leave the house without eye makeup!”. The sign even had a little black and white clip art of an artfully made up eye. That sign didn’t exactly force me into wearing makeup, but I remember it very strongly.

Another instance was when I timidly suggested to my mother that I wanted to dress up as a male character from one of my favorite mangas. I remember feeling flutters in the pit of my stomach as I thought about binding the mosquito bites I called breasts. This conversation didn’t lead anywhere, and I didn’t end up cosplaying as a cute anime boy, but this notion of ‘cross-playing’ as it is called, stuck with me. After these timid gender mixing beginnings, I found myself drawn to drag and drag artists in a visceral way. I consumed all drag content with an all consuming appetite; from RuPaul’s Drag Race, to the classic To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, to the edgier alt scene of Dragula. I started following drag artists on Instagram, watching how people transformed themselves into a sensual and glamorous spectacle and I long for that. Watching drag artists love themselves so much and make themselves into art has been pushing me into more honestly embracing my own gender aesthetic. I know drag is a spectacle; it’s an illusion and a show, but it makes me want to try to bring a little sparkle of that into my quotidienne existence.

My long history with gender-fuckery and the slow evolution of how I relate to my gender has led me to question a lot of things. For a while, I explored the non-binary identity, trying it on to see if it would fit better than the strict confines of ‘being a girl’. I confided in a few friends that I didn’t ‘feel like a woman’, and I asked a few of them to refer to me with they/them and she/her pronouns, as well as by a chosen name. My friends, as wonderful as they are, had no problem adjusting when I asked this, and I couldn’t be more grateful to them for giving me the time and space to explore my gender. As I’ve grown, I feel that the label non-binary doesn’t really fit me as well as I’d hoped. I don’t know that I feel like the term ‘woman’ fully embodies my identity and mental landscape, so I’ll keep exploring my expression and how other people explain their gender to get a grip on these messy feelings.

Gender is messy. For me, it’s a slow process of aesthetic joy and frustration and trying to find terms that fit me best. Being online and having good friends gave me the space I needed to begin examining my presentation and altering it to suit me better. Even if you’re cis, I highly recommend taking the time to sit and think about why you do your gender the way you do. You might discover some surprising truths and come out of your exploration with a new mode of expression, or, a deeper understanding of why you love your aesthetic. I shared my story of anime and drag queens to show you how I’ve altered it over time. Now, I hope this inspires people to tell their own stories and start their own journeys of gender and expression exploration.

How would you describe yourself? How would you describe your expression and style? What’s your gender?

Five Quick Pick Me Ups

This week has been tough for me! In between writing and testing and looking for a place to move to, I’ve been doing my best to keep the stress under wraps! I’ve been lucky that I’ve been able to keep it up so far, and here’s what I’ve been using most often to get through the days!

  1. Mindful Meditation: Meditation sounds kind of new age and spiritualist, but it has real health benefits. Namely, it reduces stress! When I’ve been feeling overwhelmed lately, I tap on my Calm app and squeeze in a quick session. Focusing on my breath helps me return to the present moment and get things done when I need to get them done.
  2. Browsing cute animal photos: This is kinda cheesy, but often I’ll look at adorable bird pictures to cheer myself up. Looking at something that makes me happy reminds me that there’s more to my life than my worries and day-to-day issues.  I especially love the r/bears subreddit which has loads of cute photos of bears and the r/superbowl subreddit which features superb owls!
  3. Listening to a podcast or audio book: Getting engrossed in something like PseudoPod (my favorite horror podcast) or listening to The Sword of Shannara really helps me calm down. It’s a kind of escapism I can really appreciate on my commute and can give me the mental space I need to recharge and take on the rest of my day. Other podcasts I love are: The Adventure Zone, Tanis, The Black Tapes and Alice Isn’t Dead! I’m always in the market for more horror podcasts and I’m looking into the No Sleep Podcast as well!
  4. Going outside and mentally cataloguing what I see: A lot of times, we end up zoning out and living in anticipation of the future and not appreciating the present moment. I find a good way for me to get out of this is to try and get outside. There, I make myself really consider what I’m looking at. ‘There’s blooming daffodils’ I’ll think, and then I’ll list other things. How many trees are in view. What the weather is like. How many birds I can hear. Getting immersed in my surroundings brings me back to the now, where I can actually do things rather than the future, where I can’t do anything yet!
  5. Snacking on something yummy: Sometimes a good way to get in the zone is to engage your senses, as evidenced by my above methods. So if you engage your eyes and ears, why not also engage your taste buds? I like to snack on pretzels with peanut butter pockets, peanut butter banana bites and uh…well anything having to do with bananas or peanut butter! Anything I can eat helps me regain energy and helps me refocus on the present moment rather than ruminating over the past or angsting about the future.

Most of these techniques are all about bringing myself back to the present moment. Instead of worrying about things that may be or ruminating over past failures, choosing to focus on the present makes me less stressed and more productive. Being a naturally anxious person, I’ve experienced some measure of stress reduction as I’ve employed being mindful in my daily life. What do you do to reduce stress?

Discipline and Recovery

There is no way to say this in a way that doesn’t sound shameful. But I am an addict. To what you may ask? Well, it’s not to anything substance related. My weakness is for social media. The almost drug-like high feeling of seeing my followers retweet my work, the fun interactions, the browsing of media content, all of it is a rush for me. Heroin doesn’t hold a candle to the instant gratification of penning a tweet that gets likes. Seeing my blog do well gets me jazzed to the point of distraction. And I should be happy! But unfortunately, this gets in the way of the real crisis. As someone currently unemployed (having just quit my waitressing job), social media has been kneecapping my dreams.

By putting all my energy into my online presence, my real life situation has stagnated. I haven’t studied like I should for the tests I claim to want to take. My application for jobs lately is admittedly half-assed, wanting to just send in my resume without putting in the extra ten minutes to make it appealing to the actual employer. I can explain in part, that social media is something I’m good at and my deep fear of failure is crippling me. But of course, that just leaves the ugly solution staring me in the face. If not quitting cold turkey then at the very least highly structuring my online activity such that it doesn’t ever encroach upon my real life ambitions to such a degree ever again.

Social media is addictive to people like me. And when I say people like me, I mean people with executive dysfunction/ADD. A lot of bloggers struggle with mental illness, and I’m not any different. My struggle is one of self control, anxiety and maladaptive coping. I cope with my feelings of inadequacy and fear badly. Sometimes I get into funks where I don’t eat and don’t buy groceries because I feel stuck in my own brain. And the way I’ve been coping with this illness until now has been harmful to me and to the people who believe in me. And so something will have to change.

I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t painful to write this. As I think of it now, I’m ashamed to show anyone these words. It’s tempting to hide this post in a journal entry and forget about it. But I need to make a stand here and now to tell not just myself, but everyone that I’m going to discipline myself and recover. That I’m going to get my life on track and seriously pursue my ambitions and once again commit to putting in the hard work.

So what does this mean for this blog? Is this a fiery declaration of imminent shut down? Well no. I still believe this blog is important. It’s brought me into a wonderful world that I honestly believe has made me a better person. What it will mean is that I’ll be taking a much more structured and scheduled approach. I’ll be less active on my Twitter, being reachable there for just a portion of the day. I’ll set boundaries and deadlines and work on them in a way befitting of a professional. In short, this is not the end, merely a restructuring for the benefit of myself and others.

There is one note of brightness. I know I can do this. I have the most supportive friends and family I know. My partner loves me deeply and will help me get through this. I’m going to get better. For everyone who believes in me. My parents, my partner, and my friends all want me to succeed, and I haven’t been worthy of that support. Not yet anyway. But I will be working to be worthy of these people.

How to manage your anxiety and have better sex

I know I might not look it, but I am an anxious person. I worry constantly about my status as a non-employed person being supported and about several other existential worries. And yes, for a long while I worried about sex. But over the years, I’ve slowly learned ways to manage the nagging fears and worries in the sexual arena, and it’s made all the difference. This is intended to be a comprehensive guide to conquering all of your insecurities, but are some tips to get you started. And so without further ado: how to manage your anxiety and have better sex.

  1. Get on a reliable birth control method. If you’ve got a vagina and ovaries, there’s a lot of fantastic options out there. Personally, I would advocate for the IUD if your insurance covers it and you can tolerate slightly more painful menstrual cramps that the procedure feels like. But if that’s not your style, other options include the pill, the ring, the implant, and the Depo-shot. If you’ve got a penis, sadly there are far fewer options for controlling your fertility. The best I can offer you is condoms unless you’d like to get a vasectomy.
  2. Get an STI test. Most health clinics will offer one and most insurance covers it. This is basic sexual health and I understand that it may be incredibly nerve wracking to go into a clinic, but you shouldn’t encounter anything other than routine tests. They may take blood, do a vaginal swab, and may take a urine sample. It’s a little inconvenient, but having test results to look at will alleviate a lot of gnawing fears. And being tested in advance makes it easy to ask your partner or partners to get tested as well since you’ve gone ahead.
  3. Have pregnancy tests on hand/emergency contraception on hand. If there’s a possibility you or your partners could get pregnant, having a test handily available will make it much easier for the pair of you to learn your results and then make decisions from there. Emergency contraception (the pill kind) is also extremely valuable, as having it handily available will kneecap a lot of pregnancy anxiety. It’s no substitute for regular birth control, but if your regular methods should fail, then this is vital. Plan B has a four year shelf life, so you don’t have to use it right away for it to be effective. It can be ordered online now, so make sure you’ve got something on hand before you have sex to prevent these sorts of fears.
  4. Negotiate in advance what you want to do. This can be as simple as you like. But honestly telling your partner what you’re into and what acts are on or off the table is a good way to start.

These are the beginner tips. Once you’ve got these settled, here are a few more specific ones to make your sex life that much better:

  1. Light the room. Having a softly lit room can do wonders for the ambience and will cast you in your best light. If you overhead light leaves something to be desired, consider some fairy lights or a standing lamp to cast your room in a warm glow.
  2. Wear your good luck accessories. Not everyone has access to perfectly tailored lingerie or fetishwear. But a pair of bondage rope earrings? Rocking that accessory is not only cute but gives your partner a sorta subtle clue about what you’re into. If that seems too daring, pick anything that makes you feel sensual and beautiful.
  3. Fish for a compliment or two. Listen, we all want to feel attractive and appreciated. While you shouldn’t pester your potential partner with questions about your own attractiveness, asking for a little feedback is normal and will boost your self esteem.
  4. Journal about your worst fear. Once you’ve got your fear on the page, you can properly address it. Maybe you’ll see it’s something irrational, like your partner being a murderous serial killer. Or maybe it’s more rational, like you’re worried about a particular scar. Either way, now that you’ve got it on paper, you can address it and formulate a way to communicate it to your partner.
  5. Take a deep breath and think about your best feature. If you’re plagued by anxiety with how your body looks, consider that this person likely wouldn’t have accepted your invitation to sleep with you if they didn’t find you attractive. And also? Mostly, people have what you expect under their clothes. There will be genitals, shaved or hairy or some stage in between. There will be cellulite, scars, freckles and birthmarks. They have all these things, just like you. And they probably don’t care about yours.
  6. Exercise. Now I don’t mean in the lose weight sense. I mean in the ‘get your blood flowing and your endorphins going sense’. Exercise often makes people feel more positive and upbeat. Whatever this looks like for you is excellent. Maybe you go up and down some stairs or walk around the block a few times. Maybe you bust out a couple squats. Whatever it is, a little light exercise will help you feel more confident.
  7. Know that you’re valuable and worthy even if the encounter isn’t magical. This one is hard. If something goes wrong, it’s very easy to get very down on yourself. Please don’t. Not being able to make someone come or having a a lackluster experience in bed is normal and not something you need to beat yourself about. If you listened to your partner, respected their boundaries, and had consensual sex then you did your best. Encounters can go wrong for all kinds of reasons, and some may not have anything to do with you.

As I said, this isn’t a comprehensive guide. But as someone who used to agonize over sex and what could happen, following these kinds of guidelines has helped me to have much more pleasurable encounters that don’t have anxiety buzzing in the back of my head. So go forth and have fun!

Halloween Watch 2018

It’s Halloween, and therefore it is time to bust out your movie snack of choice and dig in to some horror movies. Earlier I spoke with Lust Arts about collaborating on a Halloween Movie Watch List, and to my delight, they were up for such a collaboration! Here’s our list of recommended horror movies:

All of these are excellent horror and action films, and if you were ever in need of something to watch this Halloween, Lust Arts and I have got you covered!

Visions of The Future 10/13

Currently I’m away visiting my family, so my review work is being put on hold. But I’ve been wanting to update you with what you can expect from my blog the rest of October! There’s going to be some very varied content!

This is a plug I received from the absolutely DARLING Peepshow Toys. It features a beaded design that I have quite a few thoughts about. That’ll be this October.

This is my first dual density dildo that I ever purchased. It’s long, straightish and has the strongest suction cup of all my toys.

I started lusting after an acrylic paddle after Girly Juice raved about hers. While her particular paddle isn’t available anymore, Ethos Leather makes an absolutely GORGEOUS paddle that I purchased for myself and I’m excited to review.

  • Kinktober Erotica

I’ve been keeping up with Kinktober in my journal and I’ve written some pretty raunchy pieces. After running a poll on Twitter, apparently some of you are interested in seeing what gets my motor revved. So expect to see a few of those!

  • A Horror Move Playlist

The product of Lust Arts and yours truly coming up with a quintessential Halloween watching experience! GOTTA LOVE A DILDO MAKER WHO KNOWS THEIR FILMS.

  • Pretty in Pink, Better in Butch

A personal piece dealing with how I experience femininity and my constant conflict with it.

Marco is a VISIONARY ARTIST and a damned good dongmonger. These were a delight to receive and I’m pretty excited to share about em!

Hopefully I’ll surprise myself with even more posts, but these are my plans as of now! Happy haunting y’all.

My First Full-Sized Wand: An experience and a review

I have never owned a full sized, plug-in wand vibrator until this year. And funnily enough, my first plug in wasn’t the legendary Magic Wand, or Hitachi as it’s known by by its diehard fans. No, mine is the tokidoki x Lovehoney Unicorn Multispeed Massage Wand Vibrator I snagged when Super Smash Cache was throwing out toys. I felt really lucky to be able to rescue it from the trash, because now I finally get the hype behind full-size wands. I won’t say it’s my favorite vibrator, but I will say that I have not unplugged it for several days. This is a vibrator that is as cute as it is powerful and I’ve come to adore mine.

My vibrator and jean jacket. Both are symbols of living life on my terms.

The tokidoki line is all extremely adorable. These are vibrators that say ‘I had a Hot Topic phase in my youth’ with their adorable unicorn wands that come in varieties such as: Punk, Goth, and Prep. I had a Hot Topic phase, but I could never convince my parents to let me dye my hair teal, wear black filmy shirts or wear black lipstick. So instead as 22 year old adult, I snag a punk unicorn vibrator and have orgasms with it. 16 year old Liz would be proud.

The vibrator is big, over thirteen inches long and it’s HEAVY. I don’t know how heavy, but enough to surprise me when I use it for longer than a few minutes. I typically rest mine against my thigh in such a way so that my wrist doesn’t bear the full weight. Part of what distinguishes this vibrator is that it doesn’t have set speed settings, it has a scrolling wheel I can use to adjust the intensity by minute gradations if I so choose. This has been invaluable when I want just a little more for that final push towards orgasm. Sometimes jumping from the medium setting of a vibrator to the high one can be jarring, but the scroll wheel takes care of this problem neatly. The other thing that sets this vibrator apart is the adorable punk unicorn silicone cap.  This cap is more than just cute, it has a surprisingly excellent functionality: it funnels those powerful vibrations into a point that I can dig into my clit. And I do! Mine is a clit that has always enjoyed pressure, and this lets me put pressure exactly where I want it.

I’ve been using this vibrator continuously since I got it and it hasn’t failed to get me off yet. It has always been strong enough, and with my libido waking up this October, it’s seen quite a bit of use. But that’s not to say there haven’t been downsides for the wand. The noise level is something else. Other vibrators simply don’t compare to the blender like noises of the wand and it invariably makes me self conscious when my roommates are home. Secondly, the heaviness of the vibrator makes it an exercise in endurance when jacking off. And lastly, these are strong vibrations, but these are very, very buzzy. At times it can be overpowering and numbing. Some days the top speed feels like it wants to sand off my genitals and is the furthest things from pleasurable. So while it’s enjoyable, it’s not something I’m always up for.

For a long time I doubted wands. I know I’m on the more sensitive end so I eschewed them for most of my masturbatory life. But now, I think I’m finally starting to get it. With my entering the reviewer world, I’m hopeful I’ll get to try more wand vibrators. But this punk unicorn vibrator is near and dear to my heart, because it lets me have my Hot Topic phase now. Except with more orgasms.

Hey! If you want more content like mine, Super Smash Cache’s blog is a fantastic place to get more reviews and writing. She didn’t sponsor me, I just think she’s great.

What to watch out for: Toxic Toys

“You get what you pay for,” is an adage that I have heard since I was old enough to have memories. Most often I heard it when I attempted to get something cheap that broke when I should’ve gotten something more expensive that would’ve lasted as long as I needed it. If you’ve ever met me in person, then you know I often get wound up about people buying toxic sex toys just because they’re cheap. But since you probably haven’t met me, I’ll go ahead and tell you that nothing upsets me quite as much as any sex toy made of materials that are unsafe. Unsafe materials include (but aren’t limited to):

  • PVC
  • Jelly
  • “Skin Safe” rubber
  • Latex (fine for condoms, they’re one use)
  • Cyberskin/Fantaflesh/Other proprietary TPE/TPR blends
  • TPE and TPR.

What makes these unsafe or toxic toy materials? Well the first thing to note is that all these materials are porous, meaning that they’re all going to hold onto bacteria from use and can harbor viruses, mold and fungi. This happens due to the fact that after you use your toy, you can’t clean the microscopic pores of the toy where bacteria have made a home. No anti bacterial toy cleaner will help, as this will still only clean the surface of your toy and not penetrate the pores. Since you can’t clean it, bacteria, mold and other nasties will have free reign to grow in your toy while you store it. This means when you go to use your toy again, you risk giving yourself an illness or infection from the bacteria you reintroduce into your body. This can lead to chronic yeast infections, UTIs and potentially STIs if shared with someone who was positive for an STI.

In addition to this porous nature, these materials are also subject to a host of other problems: unstable material, potential for having pthalates in the material, and toxicity of the material. Unstable materials are bad for a variety of a reasons. These toys will “sweat” meaning they might leach oil or melt under certain conditions. Two toys in an unstable material will react with each other and might melt into each other. If they’re reacting to each other this way and degrading day by day simply by existing, what these toys are doing in the human body is a horrible thing to consider. In both the anus and the vagina, there are mucus membranes and susceptible ecosystems. Subjecting either to the toxic toys and you could very easily upset this delicate ecosystems. Further more, these unstable materials have the potential to have a nasty chemical reaction inside your body. With this in mind, these toys are best avoided.

What are some safe materials then? Well, there are plenty! They include:

  • Silicone
  • Glass (borosilicate or soda lime)
  • Wood (properly sealed)
  • Stone (properly sealed)
  • Ceramic (with the correct glaze)
  • ABS Plastic
  • Stainless Steel

All of these materials are non-porous and non-toxic. They can be sanitized by boiling (if not a vibrator) or being spritzed with a ten percent bleach solution and then rinsed thoroughly. These materials will not degrade over time, are not able to hold onto bacteria, are sterilizable, waterproof and overall the most hygienic and body-safe options for toy materials.

These body-safe toys range in price, and so almost anyone can find a toy at a price point they can afford. SheVibe possesses a range of stock where you can find inexpensive toy options by searching from low to high pricing. Also, both Funkit Toys and Uberrime have put out new lines of affordable body-safe dildos which look great for people looking for their first dildo.

If you’re curious about sex toy material and safety, I’ve provided a little extra reading here below:

Dangerous Lilly’s Platinum Silicone Myths

Dangerous Lilly’s Toxic Toy Guide

Epiphora – Your Genitals Deserve Better

Now armed with some basic knowledge of what to watch out for, you’ll have a much better time in purchasing and using sex toys. So go forth and buy toys!

Warming Up: Part One on Foreplay

Something that’s been on my mind lately has been foreplay. Not just because I’m a particularly libidinous individual, but also because I’ve had someone ask me about it. I wanted to write something like a guide for properly going about foreplay, but I thought it would be important to first define what it is (at least, what I think it is) and why it’s important. So consider this a part one in my writing about foreplay, because while I think having some solid actionable tips are fun, having a better understanding of what it is and why it’s important first will make those tips more useful by putting them in context.

The definition of foreplay that I’ll be using runs something like this: ‘The sexual or sensual acts leading up to/warming up for the primary sexual event.’ This is admittedly a broad definition and I’m sure a lot of people would have fun with pointing out that many things which are not traditionally considered foreplay would fall into that category. Nonetheless, I think it’s worthwhile to have a definition like this, which allows for a wide variety of sexual acts to be considered the main sexual event. This definition also doesn’t put penetration at the center of sexual encounters, making it a more useful term for those people who, for a variety of reasons, cannot or will not have penetrative sex.

Now that I’ve got my definition down, why is foreplay important? There are a few reasons, some of which are mental and some of which are physical. For the physical side, foreplay provides a time and space for people to get ready for the main sexual event. In the same way that athletes stretch and warm up their bodies for their athletic event, the participants in the sexual encounter also need to be warmed up. Physical arousal takes time for any person, and going through gentler preparation can help for a more physically intensive event. For cis women about to have penetrative sex, foreplay might include oral sex or fingering so that they can become aroused enough. For cis men, foreplay might also include oral sex, as well as things like fingering or kissing. By engaging in foreplay, people become physically aroused enough to go on to their main event, whatever it might.

Foreplay also has a mental component in addition to people being physically warmed up enough. During the time people engage in foreplay, they can also ask questions about how they’d like the main encounter to go. The participants involved might have already discussed what it is that they want to do, communication every step of the way is important, especially when approaching the actual act. These warm up acts also allow the parties to get into a good mindset for whatever it is that they plan on doing. It might seem frivolous that someone might need warm up for something such as an evening of missionary sex or oral, but the truth is that it’s important for everyone involved to be ready for how performing these acts will feel physically and emotionally.

Questions about foreplay are everywhere. How much is enough? What counts as foreplay and what counts as sex? The answer is pretty frustrating: It’s up to you and your partner or partners. If you decide that a blowjob is the main event and everything up to it is foreplay, then that’s your decision. Similarly, if you decide that ten minutes is enough foreplay for penetrative sex, that’s also your decision. Some people really don’t need much to get ready while others need a slower, longer session to be able to get into it. It’s frustrating to be told nothing is certain, I understand that. But I’m afraid that’s a part of the human experience. I could say 20 minutes is the minimum amount of foreplay, but it would be arbitrary and not true for a lot of people who need more time or for people who find that they’re more than ready with just under ten minutes. The most important thing here is to communicate with whomever you’re with and asking if they’re ready to move on to whatever you’ve decided to do next. If you’re communicating honestly and openly with your partner, foreplay should be a fun and sexy way to get ready for whatever your main event is.