Dec 182012

Today, something quite unusual happened.

I received a friend request on Facebook ~which was preceded by an introduction message~.

I imagine some of you are cocking your head like “what’s that?”, right? I have two Facebook accounts, as many of us bloggers do – a “real life” or vanilla account where we use our real names and connect with family members and people from high school we’d like to forget; and then there’s our “blog-version” Facebook accounts where many of us do the majority of our social media networking and sharing albeit under a pseudonym. On my vanilla account, I tend to mostly play those stupid Zynga games because many are perfect ADD-fodder: your activity is limited to 5-minute bits, perfect for my waning attention span. So it’s not 100% uncommon for me to get friend requests from people I do not know simply because we have friends in common – for these goddamn addicting games require that you have many “neighbors” who also play, so we suckers look for other suckers so that we stop harassing our actual friends with requests for help. But I still make it known on my bare public profile that I don’t tolerate silent requests and I’d like a message first. Most comply.

Yesterday, I finally cleared out 25 friend requests on my blog-Facebook. Not a single one of those people sent me a message first. I am treated completely different; the respect is gone out the window. Half of those people shared mutual friends, half I presume are foreign readers of my blog. Since I tend to reveal personal life details sometimes on Twitter and Facebook, I have privacy settings up on both and I don’t accept just any request. I have allowed subscriptions on Facebook, but most people do not subscribe to my public updates first, they just send a blind “friend” request. I accept maybe 1/2 of these because I feel as if I should network and use it to gain readers. Also, because I’m apparently part British and didn’t know it.  In fact…I don’t think I’ve ever received an introduction message along with a friend request on blog-me’s Facebook.

Today, though, I did. And it shocked me (quite clearly, as here I am writing about it). It was a simple message, stating that we have numerous sex-positive friends in common and I seem like his cup of tea. Simple! Non threatening, not at all creepy…just friendly. WHAT A CONCEPT, EH?? SO much more appropriate and polite than “Nice pic Liily! Nice girls!” or asking “where are you from? live in nyc” of an anonymous blogger.

Now, I understand if the profile is of a fellow community member where Twitter discussions have already happened or blog interactions. But even if you’re just someone in the sex industry, just because I’m a sex blogger, does that mean manners are exempt? I’ve had a few adult performers send friend requests and it’s fairly clear that their Facebook profiles are another facet of marketing; the request wasn’t devoid of common friends, but still. We have no interaction anywhere. The request seems more like “networking” than anything else and I don’t need that or want to be bombarded with that in my feed.

I have sent a few Facebook friend requests to fellow bloggers that I already know and have even met in person, only to get a canned response saying that this is their personal Facebook account (and I didn’t stalk them, we had many common friends) and they’d rather I just go “like” their persona page. While I am not a published author or famous educator, I contemplate doing that same thing to people I do not know. But I’d feel way too weird doing it to people I’ve actually met or interacted with, like I think I’m some bigshot or something – good lord I’m so not!!  I’m thinking I’ll just remove the option for people who have no mutual connections to send me a friend request. That will only take care of part of it, though.

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Related-ish topic….I’ve read countless posts in the last few years about how commenting is “down” on blogs, too many people are just reading and not interacting thanks to Twitter and Facebook accounts. Or we’re just lazy. Who the hell knows.

I think it’s an important aspect, though, and not at all in an ego-stroking attention-seeking way. Feedback is good, continuing conversations is even better. I’m not talking about comments on photos or erotic pieces, I’m talking about the sort of blogging I’ve moved on to. I’m very guilty of not commenting; I read my stuff via RSS and just move on assuming that the other person could give a shit what I have to say. But I need to stop assuming that. If they don’t care about my opinion then they’ll keep on ignoring me and that’s fine, that’s their choice. But I’m going to make the effort anyways to get back into commenting when I have something valid to add or feel that the post needs a “commendation” of some sort.

I’ve also not interacted much with many people on Twitter for a few months now. I need to get better about that before I bitch about being ignored ;) But also I need to get back into interacting before I make any more decisions on stepping down from anything else.

Sep 052012

When I recently visited my longtime friend, the topic turned of course to sex at one or two points. Clinical, theoretical, opinionated talks. One topic, after numerous drinks by the couple, turned to how much noise my friend makes in bed. Or, rather, doesn’t make.

My bold, outspoken, ballsy, loud-mouthed friend is the exact opposite in the bedroom. That’s not to say she’s “frigid” (I hate that word). She loves sex. Her sex drive is crazy high. She especially loves sucking cock and freely, openly admits this in most cases. It turns her on immensely. Unfortunately, this is the only real thing that her boyfriend knows for sure arouses her. When it comes to sex she literally tightens up. He will see glimpses of her arousal and pleasure bursting at the seams but the moment a sigh escapes her lips she unknowingly clams up.

The discussion about this was basically him openly, and lovingly, telling her what she does/doesn’t do and telling her why he’d like her to be more free. To wake the neighbors. Not just for him, but for her, as well. He reasons that because she’s not at all vocal, be it in voice or body language, to his ministrations, he’s never really sure what or if she is enjoying. After a while, my friend started to take it all the wrong way and assume that he and I were saying that there was something wrong with her and that she wasn’t good enough in bed. He insisted that the sex is phenomenal, he loves it, but he knows that she could enjoy it even more and therefore so could he. That getting her off gets him off. Seeing that he is indeed giving her great pleasure is the best thing for him. I would have to agree with him on that…I absolutely need that feedback, I thrive off of it. I know my husband does, too.

We know why she’s like this. She was married to the first and only guy she ever slept with for a long time. Her and her ex had been together for something like 15 years. Her ex wasn’t much into sex. He never, not even on their wedding day, told her he thought she was beautiful. Sex was always brief, perfunctory and very infrequent. Quiet was encourage. Experimentation was not. So the boyfriend of less than a year has a LOT of “damage” to undo. My friend just feels weird making noise. Or saying anything. And then the circle goes right back.

Another topic in this long conversation came around to how rough each of them likes their sex because somehow my friend and I got to talking about BDSM a little bit. She wanted to know what it all stood for, what the words meant. She liked the sound of both masochist and sadist. Rough sex was discussed between the two of them….a little spanking, a little throwing around, etc. They’re both in great shape and she’s got the most incredible pain tolerance. Yet he’s not quite comfortable with being rough enough to spank her. He’s afraid he’ll hurt her. She’s afraid of hurting him. Despite both of them sitting there telling the other “It won’t hurt that much, don’t worry about me”, they kept insisting the same thing. It was like a huge circle talk of frustration. I’d like to think that some good came out of it all though. I’m hoping it did, since last week she texted me for recommendations on ball gags and wrist restraints. Yay!

So what do you think?

Does making noise mean better sex, if it’s genuine and not re-enacting the scene from When Harry Met Sally? Are there better ways for people like my friend to convey what is working and what isn’t, when they’re not comfortable saying a peep?

Aug 192012

A few weeks ago I spent some time with a childhood friend that I hadn’t seen in years. She was the first person from the “real world” that I’ve known for years that I told about my blog and my sex toy reviewing. I didn’t give her the address to the site, though. But I was able to talk to her all about sex toys. It’s nice! When I went to visit though a few weeks ago she told me that her sister-in-law was selling sex toys and I was curious. As luck would have it, SIL popped by for a visit while I was also there. It turns out that she’s just doing it as a side business, simply setting up an online store using a distributor and thankfully not doing those awful parties. My friend told her SIL what I do; questions were asked and I felt awesome to be able to answer them and give advice.

Until….SIL’s boyfriend asked for my business card, or my site address, as they were very interested to read what I do  – my reviews, etc. They were impressed by what I make a month in affiliate sales and how I do it. Suddenly I had to clam up. No business card, nope, sorry. Oh, my site address? Um…*looks around* *changes subject*

No way was I giving out my site address to her SIL + BF….no way did I want them seeing my personal posts or my tits. I didn’t even want to give the site address to my friend – not that she would be squicked out seeing my naked tits much, but there are old posts that I don’t know if she’d really want to read. Who knows.

I guess my point is…I’m starting to second guess this site and where I’ve taken it. It’s half blog, half educational/review. Part is personal, part is professional. Only recently is it biting me in the ass, but it’s too fuckin late NOW isn’t it. I can’t suddenly start up a sex-toy-review-only blog. I don’t know if I want to copy my reviews to a second site, rather than moving them, as simply a place to send the people who I don’t want seeing me naked. But if I send anyone professional there, they will see piss poor rankings and numbers. So do I overhaul this site? Get rid of my risque photos? My erotic fiction and erotic non-fiction?

Name That Toy

One thing I did love was talking to my friend and her boyfriend about the sex toys and lube they have, and giving them advice. They started to describe one very expensive toy they’d seen during their last trip to a store (which was months ago) and I immediately pulled up a site on my tablet and showed them the Tiani 2, sure that that was it. Nope, not quite. Ok….We-Vibe? Nope. That’s not it either, but it looks just like it, except that what they saw they say was mostly white with color accents. There were three of them, each increasing in price, each doing something “more” than the previous.

WHAT IS THIS? Because we never did find it. Apparently it was so new when they visited the store, that the salesperson didn’t know anything about it, they’d only received it the day before. There just aren’t very many small, C-shaped dual sex toys like the Tiani and We-Vibe, so what could it be??


May 192012

Today was my birthday. Yet it was also an un-birthday. What I mean is that it really wasn’t celebrated in any traditional sense. And you know what?

It was pretty damn good.

I lounged around reading magazines, and felt no guilt. I played my Facebook games. I made myself a wonderful steak salad for lunch. I sweetly asked for, and promptly received, copious cups of coffee from husband. Husband (who cleans much better than I) cleaned up the kitchen and hey! We have a kitchen table again! Dinner was lovely; I roasted some purple carrots, made a simple and creamy pasta Alfredo with the most wonderful cheese from Whole Foods, and topped it all off with sauteed langostines. My birthday cake was this chocolate mousse ganache confection from Trader Joe’s. I received birthday hugs from Husband whenever I demanded them.

Could it have been better? Sure. But it was a lot better than last year. So the only family member I spoke to was my mother. So what. So a number of friends said nothing of my birthday. So what! Those that did hold a special place in my heart. So I had no presents to unwrap. So what! Instead, I received a check from my mom and one from the in-laws and today I spent them. They’ve not even been deposited, and I spent them. So I stayed home all day. So what! When you get down to it I’m really not all that social and I don’t know if I would have enjoyed going out with a big group of friends. I did it last year before I moved and left my job, with work friends, and I didn’t enjoy myself at all (but that speaks more about those friends than me). I might have enjoyed a dinner out, but at least in cooking for myself I was able to make it healthier and I was able to make it all taste exactly as I wanted it to.

I bought this quirky yet adorable bag:

Image courtesy of JumpFromPaper

I know. They’re weird and adorable and make you stare and make your brain kinda hurt and they’re totally not me. I don’t care. I like the idea of confusing others.

My other purchase might seem fairly boring to most. 10 days ago I saw this video; a video many of you might have seen. It made me cry. It gave me hope. It came to me on the wings of an unexplained beginning of some sort of inner peace. All of sudden, about 2 weeks or so ago, I started feeling…..good. Mentally and physically. Mentally strong. Physically neutral.

It started out as a feeling
Which then grew into a hope
Which then turned into a quiet thought
Which then turned into a quiet word
And then that word grew louder and louder
‘Til it was a battle cry
~Regina Spektor, “The Call”

That song makes me weep. I cry the ugly cry. But that beginning fully describes me lately. It was a feeling. Then I had cautious hope. And this is my battle cry. I’ve started doing this program, done by the man linked in the video above, called DDPYoga. I figured that if a disabled veteran who couldn’t walk without the aid of serious crutches, knee braces and a back brace could do this and transform…..well then, why not me? Honestly about 3 weeks ago I’d started to give up. The outlook was hazy. I’d just come out of a 3-week long back spasm brought on by absolutely nothing. Everyone says walking is the best exercise but what happens when walking is really bad for your bones? Specifically my pelvis and my spine. I couldn’t find anything that didn’t hurt like hell. But then I saw that video and started the program and joined the community site for it and everything changed.

I can’t actually be certain if my deep-seated happiness started before I saw Arthur’s video or the day after but it took me a few days to recognize the feeling. It is a happiness that is not because of another person; it is a happiness that is deep in me, bubbling up like a volcano that is waking up. I can’t explain where it came from. Have the natural supplements I’ve been taking finally kicked in? No clue. I’ve found inner peace and acceptance in regards to other things, too. I sent off an email to someone and while they didn’t really need to know that I’ve changed and have let them go, I needed to say it out loud to them. I needed to make it real. It reinforced my emotional/mental fortitude that I’m experiencing and made me realize I’m just fine without them.

Where was I? Oh yeah, the other birthday gift purchase. A Yoga Rug to go on top of my not-yoga-mat because I sweat like crazy doing this stuff; it’s unbelievable to me that I can get my heart rate up and that yoga isn’t some peaceful, easy pretzel thing made for thin, lithe healthy folks. This shit is hard but it’s going to be so worth it. And unlike anything else I’ve done, DDPYoga was created by someone with the same back injury as me so everything is done to benefit the back. The other purchase was a “bolster” which I didn’t know existed. I’ve been using a latex pillow with piss poor results (smooth fabric meant I slipped off it and landed myself flat on the floor in what I dubbed the “dead frog” pose) because I have a problem putting weight on my shins or knees (kneeling/Table positions) thanks to the fibro. I normally would have continued on making do with what I have around the house but the birthday check pushed me to get something nice. After all, this isn’t going to be a passing phase.

So I am starting out my 35th year with a happiness I’ve not felt for a very long time, love from those that matter, an answer to a problem I’ve been dealing with for many years, a healthier lifestyle, chocolate cake, realistic expectations, hope and the faint outlines of promising future life plans.

Apr 032012

I mean “aftermath” in the best possible way, but yet my brain is a freaking mess. “Overstimulated” is the best way to describe my current state. I go from leading a fairly boring life to a jam-packed weekend full of sex geek fun, feminist conversations, sex-positive atmospheres and 50-some hours with “my people”. It’s funny to me how different Mcon 2012 was from Mcon 2011 – a lot of the same people were present (but yet a lot of new faces) and a lot of similar sessions/discussions but my experience was very different. This year I co-presented a session on Blogging (the only session not to focus on anything sex-related, I think), I found slightly fewer sessions that interested me and/or applied to me personally, I hung out with different people.  Last year I think I really only spoke with 1 of the vendors but this year many hours of conversation was had whether it was in the vendors rooms or over drinks in the hotel bar. It was enlightening, empowering and validating. I think I have a better idea of what road I’m going to be taking now that my time in the sex bloggosphere has hit a multi-path fork in the road.

I will continue to remain “Lilly” and mostly anonymous. I will not be telling my family anything, unless it gets to a point where I simply have no choice. It’s not easy lying about my whereabouts but it’s been done so far. All that matters is that my husband is incredibly supportive of me and loves what I’m doing, loves that I care. That’s really all I need. He had a supremely shitty work week and was just depressed and exhausted; I felt guilty, a bit, for having fun at Mcon when I felt the pull to be a supportive partner to him but he wouldn’t let me go there. He insisted numerous times that I deserved this fun weekend and that I needed it, that he was proud of me and wanted me to soak it all up. And I did.

I was still my same socially awkward self, but less so. I started up more conversations. I put myself into conversations. Yes, I panicked when I realized that the “oh hey meet us at the bar for drinks” turned into “Oh, we’re sharing a table with Dr. Carol Queen, Dr. Joycelyn Elders, Lynn Comella and Metis Black” but hey, I didn’t speak. I let the grown-ups talk while I sat on the edges in awe with the lovely Jenna of Tantus. Crista (my amazing partner in crime for the weekend, and roommate) and I hung out with Ducky Doolittle, Jenna and Metis; had conversations and intelligent discourse on the ethics and practices of the sex toy industry. It was a dream. I got enough hugs from friends to last me weeks. I felt pretty in my big Victorian skirt. Nobessence is no longer an entity, a luxury company – I know them now to be a spectacularly amazing couple leading a fairly normal but wonderfully sex-positive life committed to making excellent sex toys. I’m trying so hard to keep all the memories and words said in all these amazing conversations fresh in my memory but my cursed brain is leaking out things. I hate that. I wish I could have just been wired all weekend, recording everything like a spy. For my own personal use, of course, nothing else!

You all know I’ve never thought much of the Big 5 companies of the sex toy industry, but I know think even less of them if possible. While I can’t repeat some of what was said, suffice to say you should just take my word for it. Support the smaller companies whenever possible, you’ll never regret it. But I also learned that I’m wrong sometimes and while I still say JimmyJane is overpriced, Jacq from Sugar in Baltimore told me things that changed my opinion a bit. I finally held a fully-charged Form 2 in my hands and noticed it only once had that wonky motor issue other reviewers had mentioned but I also noticed that it was perhaps a little more powerful than I expected and it certainly surpassed the (still hate it) Form 3.

I think I’d like to consider the possibility of hanging up my shingle as an official consultant. Now to narrow down who I can help and what I can do and how to go about making this a reality. But there are a number of smaller sex toy companies/manufacturers/adult industry people that need a better SEO presence and need more information on social media but don’t know how to get it. I think I have something to offer. I have the experience of being on both sides of the coin.

I can only hope and pray that there will be a Momentum 2013 because we all need more – more instruction, more discussion, more debates, more affirmations – and we’re not done learning. If you are reading this and read my posts about last year’s event and say “I wish I could have gone”, here is my advice to you: Do whatever you have to do to start saving up now and get yourself there next year. You have no idea how it will change you. It changes you. It’s amazing. Thank you, everyone, for making this weekend the best weekend I’ll have all year, hands down.

Mar 082012

I used to believe wholeheartedly that online relationships – relationships of all varieties including platonic – were not only feasible but wonderful. I used to believe that one could get to know a person on a deeper level through online chats and emails; sometimes things are easier said when we’re staring at a computer screen and not fearing the judgement in the eyes of the other.

But it’s taken the irrevocable loss of someone I used to write a lot about here to make me realize that nothing is easy online except lying and faking it. In person there are “tells” – a lack of eye contact, the direction a person looks when they answer you, fidgeting, etc. Online? The right sort of confident person could have you believing they’re an alien given enough time. There are two inevitable circumstances that occur when we’re in the midst of a happy online relationship:

~We see/hear/read nuances and meanings as we want them to be rather than the reality

~We project meanings and truths and facts as we want them to be rather than the reality

It’s taken time, time away and a lot of anger and hurt for me to finally look back on old conversations I had with him and finally see the absolute unvarnished truths: I was creating a sort of alternate reality to suit what I wanted. And in many ways, so did he. So many times he would feign innocence and ignorance, claiming to not know how I felt led on and lied to. And the more I learn about him in the real world the more I lose the veil that was once clouding my vision. And no, in fact, he’s nothing like my father (a comparison I hold in high esteem as I thought, and still think, that the sun rose and set with my late father) and he’s often times little else other than bluster and pomp, smoke and mirrors. I will give him credit where it is due; he was great at selling an idea and himself, he was great at spinning realities into something a little more golden. Is it possible that a lot more truth existed than I’m giving credit for? Is it possible that he really did change too much in the last year and that it has nothing to do with me or what there was 3 years ago? I don’t know because even thinking that it’s possible feels like making excuses and glossy edges.

So now I’m skeptical, I’m jaded and I’m yes….still angry. I’m unable to connect with anyone online the way I once could. I now presume that half of what they all say is a version of the truth (at best) or a complete fabrication.

And I’m trying my best to hate him as often as possible because it’s easier to manage and swallow than the hurt, abandonment and stupidity I feel otherwise. I feel loss, but really was there anything even there to lose? I mourn that I have no best friend but really was he even worthy of the simple friend title, let alone “best”? I have completely cut ties with anything BDSM because for me it all winds up back to him and I can’t seem to have or want one without the other. And so I just…..exist. Stagnant. Unable to write, unable to trust. And the irony is that I looked forward to this day, where I lived close enough to him to have an in-person relationship and it ended up ruining everything. Or so it seems.


I was true as the sky is blue
I couldn’t soon say the same for you
So now I find denial in my eyes
I’m mesmerized by the picture that’s in my mind

Tell me when I’ll finally see your shallow heart
For what it is
Cause I don’t want to keep on believing in illusions

I’ve seen your act
And I know all the facts
I’m still in love with who I wish you were
It ain’t hard to see
Who you are underneath
I’m still in love with who I wish you were
And I wish you were here

~ Kate Voegele “Wish You Were Here”