Sep 082016
 

I Gave Up Vibrators for 4 weeks (just to see what would happen)Despite this being 2016; despite the enormity of the sex toy industry; despite the amount of tech, pomp and circumstance that is being shoved into all manner of vibrators… for many people, vibrators are “naughty”. They’re inferior to “natural ways”. They offend teh menz who think that, thanks to porn, people with vaginas can come easily, often, and loudly with just some vigorous thrusting of objects into the vagina. Some people can. I envy them! Many can’t, and for that we have the work of many many scientific things and people and polls to thank: It’s a much-trotted out fact that most people with a vagina actually need clitoral stimulation in order to orgasm.

My sexual history pre-vibrators is rocky. I found vibrators in 2005. I probably found my clitoris roundabout oh…..2000? 1 But I didn’t know what to really do with it. I knew that things felt nice, usually, but then it would stop feeling nice and I’d be left hanging….So when I found vibrators, and found one that actually brought me to orgasm – not as efficiently as maybe I would have liked, but finally an orgasm I FELT and KNEW what was happening and could say YES I CAME! – it was a change that marked a turning point for me. I’d not often faked feeling intense pleasure from sex, but I faked the climax for a long time because well, enough is enough at some point. It did take me awhile though to start incorporating a vibrator into my partnered sex life. Flings and one-timers? Nah. They never saw the vibrators. But when I did bring it into my committed partnered sex life, my husband embraced it thoroughly.

We adapted our sex to fit around vibrators, instead of expecting to find a vibrator that seamlessly fit into how we have sex. But that’s a rant/discussion for another post….

So. I’ve known for quite some time now that instead of vibrators “ruining” me for non-vibrator playtime, they actually made manual orgasms easier. Of course, when you’re talking about “easier” being it moves from a 0.5 to a 3 on a scale of 0-10….it’s relative. But still, I learned a lot about my vulva and clitoris thanks to vibrators. I learned about my spot, and that when I can repeatedly ping that spot correctly, over and over, I don’t need extreme power. I learned that I dislike broad vibrators, and buzzy vibrators. I learned that my impossible-to-please clitoris o’steele was maybe just finicky and a bit Goldilocks. But could it be “reformed”?

I Sent My Clitoris to Reform School

I took advantage of my time away at Woodhull and then my weeks-long illness2 to put this to the test. I left everything alone, untouched, for 3 weeks. Then I tried masturbating “manually” over the next week; I even tried three times, thinking there could still be outside factors. It simply felt the same as it’s always felt – decent, but the stars weren’t aligned and my wrist wasn’t up for a 40 minute session so there was no orgasm. There may not have been even with 40 minutes to spare (I gave it 20 – what can I say, my attention span is shit).

When I did use a vibrator again I didn’t even need less – at least not the first time. I didn’t magically become more sensitive. I still needed a higher intensity setting and about 10 minutes. The second time (2 days later) I did need less intensity, but who knows why. Even when I’m using vibrators daily sometimes I can come in minutes, and from a lower intensity setting. Some days I need more time, more intensity. It’s just the way it is, and depriving MY body isn’t going to change this. And I don’t want to.

Might as Well Face it You’re Addicted to…

No. I don’t buy into the “vibrator addiction” rhetoric thrown about by people who feel threatened by vibrators. In talking with other bloggers about this post a number of them have said that before vibrators, they had few problems getting off – and it’s still the same after vibrators. They don’t need to take a break.

Many people are under the incorrect assumption that vibrators will desensitize you, numb you, so that you keep needing more and more and more. SOME vibrators can temporarily numb you – like the Magic Wand Original. It’s super powerful and kinda buzzy. You only need to take a little break (a few hours) and you’re back to normal. But that’s a topic I’ve written about before because I kept getting a lot of hits from the search term “are vibrators dangerous” 3. A number of sex ed professionals have agreed that vibrators are not a bad thing – in fact they’re great because guess who just went from anorgasmic to gleefully enjoying solo and partnered sex? You did, my friend.

And a survey has been done, by Debby Herbenick, who found (among other facts): “Most women (71.5 percent) reported having never experienced any side effects associated with vibrator use. Those side effects that were reported were typically rare and of a short duration.”

Embracing My Vibrators

My experience isn’t your experience. Or maybe it is. Maybe some will hold fast to their “natural ways are better” viewpoint and insist I didn’t abstain from vibrators for long enough. But didn’t I already in my life? Didn’t I already spend years without a vibrator and then years without a decent vibrator to “prove” my need? Why the fuck do I need to prove my need? Why is this a thing? Why is needing vibrators a bad thing? Can’t I just fucking orgasm the way I want to, the way I feel I need to without someone telling me I’m “doing it wrong”?

If you feel “broken” because you need a vibrator to orgasm, I see you. I felt that way for quite some time myself. I see it as kind of equal to refusing to wear glasses because hey, you were born with this bad vision! Embrace it! Rawr! I’m just curious – Do you also wash your clothes on a scrub-board and hang them outside to dry? Do you use the broom and dustpan in place of a vacuum? I get it. Society (porn…doctors?) hasn’t quite embraced it all just yet. Ever is the quest to find a vibrator that can be used during sex that remains invisible, silent and requires no hands because let’s not talk about that, we don’t talk about these things, ignore the pink elephant. Let’s sweep it under the rug. OR! Now here’s a novel idea: We can all accept that every body is different and you know – a little helping hand is great.

But What About ME?

If you’re the partner of a person who needs a vibrator, you’ve probably had a whine-fest at some point about how their need of a vibrator makes you feel less than. Less needed. Like a failure. Because, after all, you’re supposed to be your partner’s everything, amirite? I mean you do provide them with every single possible other thing they need in life, 24/7.

Seriously though, what’s the difference between supplying the pleasure that results in orgasm from your tongue/fingers/penis and a vibrator? No, you can’t vibrate. You’re right. You can’t do that. So. Fucking. What. Would you rather effectively lock up your partner? Or get to watch as they have an intense orgasm? You can participate. There’s plenty you can do that is invaluable. You can be an extra set of hands and spread the pleasure around; nipples, g-spot, neck, lips, etc. You get the idea. You are just as much as active part of the whole thing as you were before but with the added bonus of watching something amazing. An orgasm from a vibrator is a lot better to watch/hear than a faked orgasm.

So jealous cis men, tell me this: would you turn down partnered sex for your own hand or even a sex toy of your own?

Just sayin.

~ ~ ~ ~

If you have personally found that your body prefers not to use vibrators, great. Good for you. You’ve found what works best for you, and hey congratulations on not needing expensive things to orgasm. But if you do need these marvels of technology? Well hallelujah, you’ve got options. You’ve got options coming out your ears. And if my body’s requirements don’t meet yours, I’m sure there’s a blogger out there who is your vulva-twin.

  1. For reference, I’m nearing 40
  2. it’s impossible for me to give a fuck about masturbation when I’m in pain, exhausted, and then sick as hell
  3. This is a rant we’ve all probably had before, but Piph had a great one from a few years ago
 Posted by at 7:50 pm
Jul 032016
 

Sandra-Bruce-600x600-Speaker-QuotesIn exactly 1 month I will be heading to Woodhull’s 7th Annual Sexual Freedom Summit, or #SFS16, courtesy of my amazing sponsor, Shevibe.com.

The Sexual Freedom Summit is more than just a place for the blogsquad to converge upon and roam the halls like a bad-ass gang from some progressive musical – it’s a place where we also learn a lot and bring that education to you readers. Take a look at the schedule of sessions and please comment if something jumps out at you that you’d like to read more about. I may only live-tweet it, but I also may blog about it.

The first thing I KNOW I’m doing is JoEllen’s Sex Geek Salon. And of course on Friday night I’ll be at the Blogsquad PJ Party.

The session I KNOW I’m attending is “Navigating Social Media Practices for Adult Businesses”, not because I’m planning on becoming a business but because one of my amazing sponsors is on the panel, Ms Sandra Bruce, and also Metis and blogger extraordinaire, JoEllen. It’s a topic I’m going to tweet the fuck out of, and it’s a topic I hope the companies who follow me will pay attention to. From how Blush Novelties handled blogger backlash about them copying a Tantus & Shevibe design to the problematic beached whale that we know as Lelo, to simply the clueless newbie companies who ask big-name bloggers to promote their sales for free or retweet our review tweets by quoting and adding in a link to THEIR store…..there’s a lot of education that needs to get out there.

I’m considering attending the following, and I’d like input from my readers – which of these would you most like to hear about? I know my brain;I can’t cram in a ton of sessions, I have to pick and choose maybe 4 or 5 total.

Social Justice in Sexual Health Research and Care: A Case Study in Bacterial Vaginosis

Sexuality Education Through a Social Justice Lens

Facing the Monster Under the Bed: Continuing the Conversation about Sex and Depression

Side Effects May Vary

Sex, Laws and Video: Legal Updates from Woodhull’s Free Speech Advocates

The Whore Singularity: If everyone’s naked on the Internet, is no one naked on the Internet?

I can’t even put into words right now how much I’m looking forward #SFS16, how much I need this time with like-minded people. Daily life, when your co-workers and family members are much more conservative than you, wears on a person after awhile. Spending 4 day surrounded by diverse, smart, like-minded people is so amazing.

 

p.s. a big huge extra-special thank you shout-out to SheVibe for sponsoring me to attend for a second year in a row. I wouldn’t be able to attend without their support, and that they think so highly of me as to spend money on my attendance means so much to me. Make sure you’re following them on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram for amazing SheVibe art and more. 

p.p.s. a special thanks to Crystal Delights, Holistic Wisdom, and Ignite Pleasure Products for agreeing to sponsor Caitlin, Sarah and Sugarcunt, ensuring that the #blogsquad learns and grows in rank, that these sex educators & bloggers get the chance to learn and spend a weekend with peers and mentors.

 Posted by at 12:21 pm
Jun 222016
 

Last week, the 15th, was technically my blog anniversary but I felt that bitching about Lelo and Charlie Sheen took some priority.

I started out this calendar year doing things different. I tried to vow to write something every week. Every month I’m giving away gift cards to my RSS subscribers. I’ve mostly posted every week, although sometimes I’ve missed. When I started 2016 out I really thought that my 8th year would be a bigger deal to me, that I would know for sure where I stand.  I wrote on my 5-year blog anniversary that it was my 800th post; I checked in to see where I was at for year 8 and was confused at first to see I was only at 837 posts.

But then I looked at the private posts section and found 140-some posts that I’d taken away – the trying-too-hard “sexy” photos, the erotica that was written mostly for someone else. At the time I hid those posts I was starting to divulge the blog to a few people in real life and I didn’t want them to see the photos or read those words. I also thought I couldn’t be taken as seriously if I had those posts up. Seriously by who? I don’t know anymore. But it doesn’t matter. The girl who wrote those words and posted those pictures doesn’t live here anymore. I’m a full-time dildo-burner and toy-critic, heavy in my “sex toy activism” and, yes, SJW posts. I’ll go ahead and claim that label. I don’t see why it’s a bad thing.

I found it interesting to look back at blog anniversary posts over the last few years. At year 3 I was deeply depressed after having moved to a new state the month prior. I didn’t expect the move to be bad, in fact, I’d looked forward to it. But the change and isolation was tough. Year 4 I just apparently ignored the blog anniversary, with nary a mention.  At 5 years I was dealing with some personal stuff and thought I was going to have to quit blogging. I was planning a slow fade-out but after 9 months the situation changed and my time freed up. My attitude changed. And my blog continued to change. Year 6? Big fucking change. I was lighter, I was happier, I was back. I was sure of myself, my blog and grateful. Year 7 I mused on the fact that all of my friends now are friends I have through blogging. You guys GET ME. I LOVE YOU, MAN.

It’s now officially 8 years. At least I’m not breaking tradition by forgoing a blog anniversary giveaway! I just don’t have time for the prep and the stress and the things one must do over the course of a big blow-out giveaway. I’ve opted for the kinder, gentler thing this year which is reward those who read me. Fear not, there’s a giveaway or 10 every month now in blogger land. They’ve become so commonplace! I could start an “In MY day” story but oh, you already know I’m an ole fogey so I don’t need to confirm that, now do I? If I make it to 10 years then I will do something major, I promise. But right now I’m getting used to working full time for the first time in 5 years (and in a job where I cannot be on social media and my blog all time, go figure) and it’s killing my scheduling and my writing! But hey, I’ve done some writing things this year that I’m a little proud of:

For now though, I am literally counting down the days until the Sexual Freedom Summit of 2016. It will be the Best Thing Of The Year.  AND I haven’t yet gone a whole month without a post, so that’s good. Year 8 is still lookin good. I don’t have plans for anything big and groundbreaking the remainder of the year so I will take suggestions!

 

We’ve come a long way, baby….

 Posted by at 9:02 pm
Jun 152016
 

A telling conversation on Twitter about Lelo's feelings on our anger about partnering with Sheen for the Lelo Hex. When asked why they are working with someone who has assaulted women, Lelo responds by saying they are not endorsing his past, that this is about promoting condom usage and preventing STIs. How many new sex toys has Lelo put out in the last 3 years that have made reviewers wonder “Did they even test this on a human first?”. But hey, prototyping, that would be the smart way to go. It also costs money, so Lelo is going to avoid that. Instead, they’re going to continue to make products that are often more miss than hit; they’re going to hype them up and add gimmicks like scent or music-responsive capabilities. They’re going to angle for that celeb market that Jimmyjane tried to corner years ago with their Little Platinum and Little Gold vibrators – they’ve started offering 24K gold plated versions of their half-assed sex toys. They’ve made offensive ad campaigns but nothing has angered the sex-positive, feminist community (and, arguably, well beyond) like their Lelo Hex condom.

FYI: The links to other articles are worth full reads. I couldn’t make umpteen quotes from them all so trust me on this one: You want to read these.

Why? Because they chose to use a celebrity who has been charged with domestic abuse on partners time and time again. Sarah chronicles this well, starting off with this gem:

If you only know Charlie Sheen as a man of negligible talent whose body composition is probably 13% cocaine, you might not be familiar with the night he spent in jail after assaulting his then-wife, Brooke Mueller. This was in 2009. He was charged with felony menacing, third-degree assault, and “mischief”. He was released on $8,000 bond. He pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault as part of a plea bargain and never set foot in jail for this crime again.

The comments have been furious and plenty on social media. I gathered up just a very small fraction of the best tweets about the Lelo Hex debacle; it should give you a pretty good idea of the flaws people are finding with their decision to partner with Charlie Sheen AND their condom design which makes it pretty imperceptible that there’s a hole/break. Just what we all want, right?

Lelo’s response has been to basically not give any fucks about the haters and just continue on sticking their heads in the sand. As written in the New York Times

Steve Thomson, LELO’s chief marketing officer, said in an email that Mr. Sheen was “the perfect choice for LELO, a tragic reflection of the current situation in sexual health of today, but more importantly, a symbol of change with the strength and the courage to confront key issues head on.”

And that is really the heart of the problem, and my primary reason for putting them on my Blacklist. They give NO fucks about their retailers, the sex educators, the bloggers, and their customers. Don’t believe me? This comment on my post that details all of my grievances with Lelo over the years is from someone in the industry who needs to remain anonymous:

I think the thing that upsets me the most is that Lelo – or at least the individual(s) at Lelo that are in charge of creating the most recent rounds of campaigns – simply don’t care.

I don’t say that as a ‘they obviously don’t care as they’d be back tracking if they did’. I say that as someone who is acquainted with at least one individual who orchestrates these decisions, as far back as the Pino shitstorm. I watched their personal Twitter account and their interactions with their peers who were asking them WTF they were thinking. They were proud of it. They *are* proud of their Hex work, and have made that abundantly clear.

They. Don’t. Care.

Publicity is publicity to them – negative doesn’t matter. They referred to sex bloggers and educators who were rightfully questioning their decisions as ‘whiney SJWs’. Our opinions mean zero to them – and in fact, the more we tweet, the more they can say they’re the hottest topics of conversation.

They feel they are too big to fall, too trenched in the industry to lose out. The more attention, the better even if it’s folks throwing out their Lelo toys in mass droves and swearing off never working with them again.

They. Don’t. Care.

I am not supporting the Lelo Hex. As Bryan Menegus at Gizmodo aptly put it: “Safe sex is important, and everyone should wear a condom. It just doesn’t have to be this one.” I am not supporting Lelo. I’ve spent 2 years actively trying to recommend other brands to people instead of Lelo, but some items are just (unfortunately) better than the competition. Not many, but a few. However, every single review I have published for them will link to this post. Every extraordinarily reluctant and infrequent recommendation will come with this post as a warning. I am done reviewing their products; if you are a reader and want to know MY opinion on their new items….sorry. I can’t do it. I won’t do it.

2r6ft54

One more choice quote that I have to pull; from Menegus’ article at Gizmodo, linked above: [the Lelo demonstrator/employee?] also insisted on showing me that, once fully unrolled, the HEX has the word “respect” printed in some sort of latex bas relief at its base. “Respect, what?” I asked, genuinely unsure of the message’s implications. “Respect the man who wears it,” was his impromptu answer. 

Further reading: 

Molly’s Daily Kiss – Is it just a big Con dom?

Ninja Sexology- Hex no, Lelo

The CSPH – Video: Why The CSPH Store No longer stocks Lelo

A small sampling of the many people on Twitter who proclaimed outrage and/or boycotting promises when the announcement came out.

The comments to my Tumblr post show even more people boycotting Lelo – this goes beyond educators and bloggers

The Smitten Kitten: Writing about why they won’t be stocking Lelo products

Educator Jill McDevitt with her thoughts about Lelo, and her boycott

Cara Sutra: When a Condom Fails

UK shop Sh! writes about their feelings on the launch party and the choice of Charlie Sheen as the rep

Horny Geek Girl, another blogger boycotting Lelo

The Daily Beast: Charlie Sheen’s Lelo Condom gets the shaft from sex bloggers

Because this whole thing needs a theme song:

 Posted by at 6:46 pm
Feb 292016
 

A photo collage depicting my low libido as it relates to sex toys; it shows two dildos tucked haphazardly beneath of pile of clothing, headphones, and an ear thermometer. The text reads: "The Sex Blogger's Curse: A Low Libido Story (aka: DO I really have to masturbate today?)"Buying a house. It may not be a stressful event on the Holmes-Rahe Life Stress Inventory’s top 20 but it’s been stressful for us. We’re both anxious people and we loved the house, so we REALLY wanted it. Then, things went to shit. The seller’s agent was also part-owner / flipper of the house and when it appraised low it was our own personal World War 3. I was under so much stress that I had near-constant chest pain; turns out stress/anxiety really makes your gallbladder grumpy and that chest pain was mine freaking the fuck out. A little over a year later from the start of things and I’ll be having the fucker removed. So yes, we bought our first (and maybe only) house. We have been dealing with all the things (and then some) that new homeowners deal with, including slowly finding out that little things around the house weren’t as well-done as they seemed. Compound all of this with two people who both already have mental health issues, one of them (me) untreated and the other starting a new treatment and the stress continues. Add in an unknown “injury”for myself that’s stumping doctors and racking up bills. Add in 8 weeks of illness (5 of them fairly major including oral surgery) for the spouse and 4-5 months of illness for me culminating in my first surgery of my life.  And hey just for good measure….let’s mix it all up with that lovely little side effect that some people get with untreated depression or anxiety: trouble keeping up with personal hygiene, things as simple as showering regularly. Yes, it’s a thing; it’s a thing we don’t talk about it, but it’s a thing1. The chances of us both having the ability to shower on the same day? Low.

Do you know what you get? You sure as hell don’t get laid.

And we both know that the lack of intimacy isn’t necessarily healthy for our relationship but we both see it for what it is – out of our control and something we’ll work on when our health improves. We know this and we miss it, but our libidos are too low to care *too* much, so at least we’re both in the same place. We know it’s nothing personal. But you don’t feel sexy when you haven’t showered in 4 days or brushed your teeth since yesterday.

But it feels a bit frightening for a sex blogger! Thankfully I’m no longer the “sexy” sort of sex blogger who writes erotica, takes sexy photos, writes about her sex life, etc. If I were I’d have nothing to write about. If I were, the pressure I’d be putting on myself would be huge.  The lower sex drive is affecting my reviewing, though, too. It’s making me less interested overall in anything that doesn’t vibrate, for one. Dildos just don’t hold as much appeal to me. I could, were it not for the reviews, go a month or so right now without needing g-spot stimulation and that’s the sad truth. I have a Lelo Tiani 3 that I very badly wanted to review now that it’s being sold in the States once more but guess what that kinda requires: a partnered sex life. Guess who doesn’t have that right now? This guy. And when we do finally have PIV sex do I really want to waste time on a vibrator that I know won’t help me orgasm? Been there done that and I’d like to not repeat that again but that’s the life of a sex toy reviewer. It just means that, for now, I have to put the Tiani 3 review on hold and I feel awful about that.

Update: Since writing this post I got the chance to try the Nuelle Fiera Arouser for Her, a product designed for low libido

I reviewed the Doc Johnson Truskyn dildo because I felt strongly about telling everyone about the new, affordable dual-density silicone but I wasn’t really very sad to be done with using it so that I could move on to cutting it and burning it for science.  The same thing happened with the CuRious Wand – I really wanted to tell you about it, penny stink and all, and re-acquainting myself with the Pure Wand as part of the testing was nice but I could have gone without it. Testing vibrators like the L’amourose Prism and We-Vibe Rave have been a different story because at least they vibrate. I can still form strong opinions about sex toys and feel good while using them. I can still orgasm; it’s just that I can go a week without even wanting to. I have this complete Orgasmatron X2 kit waiting on my review and trying to find the ability to really put it through the paces has been rough; as of this writing though I’m realizing that perhaps I need to just force it because I don’t know how many weeks after my surgery I’ll be in pain and unable to use insertable toys.

There’s no answers, and I’m not really seeking them. I don’t feel like I can just take time off again from the blog; I had to do that in 2013 (actually I thought I might have to quit) and it created a lot of problems. One of the problems being a drastic decrease in affiliate sales. My sales are finally at a level where they really are helping out with our household expenses and I can’t afford to see a drop. I don’t want to lose readership or followers. I don’t want to fall out of contact with my blogsquad – I fucking need them! At this point I think I can just be grateful that I can still orgasm and that I no longer have the “sexy” expectations hanging over me; due to a bit of a traumatic dramatic “thing” 4 years ago I lost all taste for that sort of thing. It was to such a dramatic degree that I didn’t just stop doing it, I hid it from view on the blog. You can’t easily navigate your way through to those sorts of posts anymore.  But that’s a story for another time…

I wrote about my slowly-increasing depression a year ago, mere days before we found The House and that whole snowball of stress started building. I am no stranger to it, but back then the low libido hadn’t affected my desire to use any and all sex toys. I am, at least, in good company (if there is such a thing in this not-great space to be); plenty of other sexuality bloggers & reviewers have gone through this same thing. I don’t think it gets written about a lot. Sure, maybe we’ll tweet about it but it’s not a hot topic. So I kinda wanna drag this one out into the light – not at all for sympathy, please don’t fawn with sympathy – but in solidarity. There’s things that get discussed only in private messages and I’m ready to say “Here I am, here’s my issues, anybody with the same issue need to chat?”. Whatever pedestal you’ve maybe put me on, pull me down, I don’t belong there. I might feel a little broken some days, but deep down I know I’m not. And if you’re in the same boat, you’re not broken, either. Far from it. I know that this could be worse; I could be completely unable to orgasm. Couldn’t very well review regularly if that were the case. I could lack a support system and understanding spouse; I am grateful to have friends in the same boat and a spouse in the same boat! At least we’re going through this together. With Tumblr porn at the ready I will carry on and hope that soon it comes back, for both of us. In the meantime we’ll have substitute intimacy in the form of curling up together on the couch for TV time, finally sleeping in the same bed, and supporting each other. There are fixes and workarounds there’s something out there that will help me, I just have to find. I hope you are able to find the thing you need to help yourself, if you’re in a similar situation.

Some other posts and must-reads from other bloggers dealing with similar issues:

Sugarcunt on depression, anxiety and zero libido

Jillian Boyd on being the “sexy” sex blogger with low libido

The Redhead Bedhead’s articles on Sex & Depression

 

  1. Why don’t we talk about this? Oh that’s right, because not everyone is like this and the people who religiously shower once a day or more will judge you so fucking harsh. I have confided in other bloggers privately and we have compared notes on how long since our last shower. For those who are judging us, fuck you. Count your blessings. This isn’t abnormal
 Posted by at 9:00 pm
Feb 192016
 

A few of the thank-you emails I've received over the years, they keep me going when the voice in my head doubts what I doI’ve been writing here for a long time now, nearly 8 years. My blog has changed drastically from that first year. My writing style is different, my topics are changing, my soapbox is growing to immense proportions. I didn’t start this blog to have a voice in the war against the toxic chemicals we put into our body in the name of pleasure, but that’s what it’s become.

You see, I’m the sort of person who gets mad when people are too lazy to walk their shopping cart to the cart return. I’m the sort of person who is enraged at the people who continue on through the intersection well after their light has turned red. I get angry and I let it show because somehow, something in my brain says that if they know it’s wrong (thanks to my horn and my middle finger) they’ll eventually stop1. Toxic and porous sex toys (and poisonous lubes) make me mad. And so I never shut up about it. I kept on finding ways to research and write about it. I eventually stopped working with shops that carried mostly porous sex toys. I do my best to continually tell people “hey…you know that’s porous, right? Do you know what that means for you?”. I spend my words fighting the myths that seem to keep spinning around. And eventually other reviewers started talking about it too. I don’t believe I was the first and I don’t believe I was the catalyst, but I think I had some influence on a few. And then those few had influence on a few more, and so on.

Over the years we reviewers have grown more and more vocal about safe sex toy materials. We send a message when we refuse to give our time to porous and toxic sex toys. We are sending a message to the manufacturers who, in recent years, have exploded with under-$75 (even under $50!) sex toys made from truly body-safe materials. With our honest reviews we are giving some assurance to people that when they spend $100 or more on a sex toy, we’ve thoroughly vetted it as best as we can. When we review the affordable toys we are helping people find safe, decent sex toys that fit their budget – our role is not only to make sure the high-end sex toys are worth their price tag, but to make sure the affordable sex toys are still as decent as they can be. After all, what’s the point of buying any sex toy, no matter the cost, if it doesn’t perform well? And when we continually reassure our readers that their pleasure is important, their bodies matter and that yes they need to care about the materials of their sex toys and the ingredients of their lubes we are validating that these items are important. They are not just for the lonely, the celibate, the single. They are tools for every body. And every person deserves access to safe pleasure tools.

I can’t tell you how many readers have assumed that because an item is for sale, because an ingredient is in a lube, it must be safe. After all who would sell us unsafe things like that? Who would so blatantly disregard common sense and decency to make a buck even if it is at the expense of our health?

If you’re comfortable, talk about your body and your orgasms and your sex life on your blog. We’re a society of grown ass adults who were never taught a thing about pleasure, who were taught the location of fallopian tubes but not the clitoris, who grew up believing the porn narrative of what orgasms look like. For years as a teen and young adult I did not know where my clitoris was. I didn’t know, and I couldn’t orgasm; I thought I was broken. We need sex-ed, and we need pleasure-based sex ed….who else will teach it, but us? We are blessed with some amazing educators who are allowed to talk to teens on college campuses; along with sites like Scarleteen and places like the Center for Sexual Pleasure and Health we are slowly spreading the education. But never doubt the power of your blog to reach the people not attending seminars and classes.

I’m writing this to remind you how important it is to speak up on the matters of safe sex toy materials, safe lube ingredients, and to research your information. If you feel comfortable, write about these things. Remind your readers in your reviews that this is a non-porous material and why that matters. If you, our readers, also understand how crucial this education is then share our posts with your circle, even if your social media circle doesn’t expect you to be sharing things about sex toys. When I see people on Tumblr sharing my posts about materials, people who normally would never reblog something about sexuality, I then see other people who also wouldn’t normally reblog things about sexuality reblogging and commenting. Learning. Sharing the knowledge. Small ways of “preaching outside the choir” and not just waiting for them to find our blogs when they search “dildo burning me” or “black spots on dildo”. Learn about the issues with big name brand lubes; for some people this is the only “sex toy” they will have and they will suffer through years of irritation without knowing any better. Hell, bring up the conversation with your doctor when they reach for the KY or Surgilube during your next exam. Talk to them about the bad ingredients and how detrimental it can be to the vaginal health of at-risk people. Bring your own damn lube! Anywhere you feel comfortable, teach someone something that may end up impacting their sex life forever simply by opening their mind a little.

Pictured above is just some of the thank-you letters I’ve received over the years. I have them printed and filed, to be pulled out on the days where my own anxieties and insecurities threaten my sanity. When my brain says “you’re not doing anything important”.

We are mighty. As a group we are loud; we are getting shit done, and we are not shutting up. Please, keep writing. Your voice is important, your story is important. Somewhere out there is another hundred people with the same tastes, problems and worries as you – you are helping others. You are teaching. 

  1. My husband assures me I’m wrong on this logic, and they will never learn. I can’t help it, though.
 Posted by at 3:31 pm