May 292012

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May 222012

A Twitter friend pointed us to HuffPo’s article on this past weekend’s BDSM-angled con, DomConLA. She was specifically pointing out that RedemptionsGirl is in a few of the photos, but what I took notice of was actually some curious wording.

“…..who is a willing submissive at a dungeon party during the DomConLA convention”

I cocked my head and thought it a bit strange. And then when I flipped through the slideshow more, I saw that that “disclaimer” was on every. single. photo.

Except for three. The three that featured a submissive male being whipped.

” Domina beats a submissive man at a dungeon party during the DomConLA convention”

There is no distinctive wording here to emphasize that he is a willing submissive. Why? Why is there a need to state the obvious for the female subs but not the male? Why state the obvious at all? The article is about DomConLA – a highly respected kinky conference that has visitors from all levels of kink & fetish.Taking bets on how many times Consent was reference, inferred or discussed at length would be like guessing how many M&Ms are in that 5 gallon jug at the bridal shower.

Then again….the comments on the article are filled with ignorant trolls. It’s fairly clear to me that the aspect of ‘Fifty Shades of Gray’ that is “sweeping the nation” isn’t the BDSM aspect at all. It’s the “saving the man” aspect; it’s the Cinderella-twist aspect; it’s the “she orgasms on command over and over and over and over” aspect. The majority of the general American public is just way too judgmental to even tolerate a mere article on DomConLA.

“People often abuse their bodies because they feel ugly inside.”

“these people didnt get enough hugs growing up…”

“or they got way too many!”

“Maybe that’s the only way ugly people can get attention…?”

Not all comments are negative like this. But enough are to make me never go back and read anything else “sexually progressive” at HuffPo. Anyways these jerks aren’t my point. My point is that I fail to understand on any level why apologies, excuses and special words are needed to make sure the intolerant jerks don’t flip out even more about these “willing submissive women”.

Please weigh in with your opinion. Enlighten me. Because I’m not going to understand this all on my own.

Tantus Stroker XL

 Reviews, Sex Toys, Toys for Penises and Prostates  Comments Off on Tantus Stroker XL
May 202012

Just like there are many different types of vibrators, there are different types of masturbators for men. The Tantus Stroker XL is pretty much exactly what the name implies: Something to add on to your stroking. It’s not going to mimic a blowjob or sex for the most part, but it can be a great alternative to the simple hand job.

The Tantus Stroker XL is in a small class; there really aren’t many high-quality, silicone masturbators out there. While most men are never going to share their masturbators, having something made from a very porous material can still be a downfall (ever forget to clean up after a good masturbation session? It happens to me, and the husband, more than one would like to admit). My husband has ruined both a Fleshlight and a Tenga Fliphole from either forgetting to clean it and then putting it away for awhile, or cleaning it but not letting it dry 100% before putting it away for awhile. He’s never experienced an obvious mold situation with those, but they did both retain an unpleasant odor that didn’t go away with rubbing alcohol.

It’s not exactly easy to accurately describe the feel of the Stroker XL. It’s solid, yet soft. It stretches and moves, yet not nearly as much as rubber, jelly, TPR or Elastomer blends. If you’ve tried a Fleshlight product or any Tenga product, they’re much softer and much stretchier. Yet they’re also porous. They’re a little difficult to clean because you’re restricted in what you can use. Tenga products tolerate soap and water, whereas Fleshlight can only tolerate water or a little rubbing alcohol if absolutely necessary. Silicone, of course, can be boiled, thrown in the dishwasher, washed with soap and water, etc. The mere fact that the Tantus Stroker XL was made of body-safe, easy-to-clean silicone was enough to persuade us into trying it. The silicone has a more matte “texture” to it; it is partially translucent when unstretched. It doesn’t catch and hold onto dust and fur/hair as easily as the more “sticky” material of the Tenga Fliphole; however it does gather up some detritus (much moreso than the Tenga 3D strokers).

The Stroker XL is bigger than the original Stroker. Just a little over 5 inches long, the unstretched inside width is 1.5 inches; the unstretched inside width where a ridge is is only 0.9 inches. This sleeve does stretch and has give, and it is soft….yet those ridges are very, very substantial. There is nothing subtle about this stroker. Each ridge is almost 1/2 an inch thick from the outside of the stroker to the inside edge of the ridge. If your cock is sensitive at all – if you don’t like pressure, if you prefer the silky, smooth things in life – you’re not going to like this. The prominent ridges can easily “catch” on the frenulum. Perhaps for someone with a cock that is not as thick as my husband’s, it wouldn’t feel so overwhelming (he’s about 7.5″ long and 1.75″ wide).

I got my husband the Tantus Stroker XL and a Tenga 3D Sleeve (Pile) at the same time to try. Despite the fact that the Tenga was a little *too* soft for him and he ended up being a little too rough with the material, the Stroker was a little too much. And this is coming from a guy who can enjoy a really firm grip on his cock during a handjob. We started out at first with the Tenga 3D, switched to the Stroker XL, and then back to the Tenga 3D. He did say that the Stroker made his cock more sensitive, which allowed him to climax more easily then using the Tenga. That’s not to say it’s a necessary step in order for him to orgasm with the Tenga. He did use a lot of lube with the Stroker and after just a few minutes use, his cock was noticeably more pink than before. You know how your clitoris or penis is really sensitive just after orgasm? Well I’d recommend that you remove the Stroker XL from your penis before you climax. Our thought is that the sensation would be unpleasant to slide it back down just after orgasm.

Another aspect that drew us to this stroker is that it doesn’t look like anything. It’s pretty plain. The “realistic” stylings to the Fleshlight products don’t do anything for my husband; neither do designs that look like a flower, a dinosaur, etc. Since this is a “Stroker” it is open-ended and will not provide any suction. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but my husband prefers masturbators that cover the entire head of his cock and the shaft and so he didn’t really love this open-end design.

The standard recommendation is to proclaim that only water-based lubes can be used with silicone products. However, Tantus uses only high-quality, pure silicone. A high-quality silicone (or blended) lube will not necessarily ruin the product. I’ve successfully used a couple of silicone lubes on Tantus items. Another option for someone who prefers a thicker lube for masturbation is to use Boy Butter, either formulation. Tantus has said that coconut oil is perfectly compatible with their silicone and I asked them if Original Boy Butter was safe with the Stroker; a resounding yes was the answer!

All in all though, this isn’t going to get used anymore. Tantus would have to completely remake this in a softer silicone for it to be good for someone my husband’s size.

 Posted by at 12:17 pm
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.

May 132012

The bane of a bloggers existence some days is the evolution of the Scraper. The Scraper is someone who has set up a website solely to garner advertisers. They have numerous sites like this and they obviously don’t have time to write their own content, so they “scrape” illegally from others. It’s only scraping, though, if they are stealing your entire post1. Many times these scrapers have automated the process and will scrape directly from your RSS feed. I’ve added on anti-scraping plugins to WordPress which put in things such as unique keys (so that I can search for that key and find who else is using it) and copyright / anti-scrap notices in the post – they alert the reader that if they’re reading the post anywhere other than, it has been illegally scraped and please contact me.

Even worse, however, is when a fellow community blogger or sex toy manufacturer/retailer uses your content in entirety without permission. Some are just completely uneducated as to the rights and wrongs of blogging, but really….we all started out in the same clueless space and most of us have gotten where we are just fine without violating copyright, stealing content or plagiarizing, ever.

What is Copyright?

According to Wikipedia, copyright ‘is “the right to copy”, but also gives the copyright holder the right to be credited for the work, to determine who may adapt the work to other forms, who may perform the work, who may financially benefit from it, and other related rights.’

A few years ago when I was dealing with a site that took harassing me to a new level, which included posting my photos without my permission, claimed that all was well and fair in the copyright world simply because they had attributed the photos to me. Nope, sorry, that is not the only condition that must be met. Especially not since I have this copyright notice at the end of every post and at the bottom of my main page: “All text and images on this site require permission before they can be used anywhere. To obtain permission click here to contact me”. Notice how I’ve stated that all text and images on this site require permission before they can be used anywhere? Yeah. That’s kinda the whole key.



eh. fine line.

There’s an article on Sexis about bloggers and copyright – not necessarily our own copyright but talking about how we steal things. Namely, photos. Some are more guilty than others of course but the fact is, copyright violation in terms of using a photo in your post is pretty rampant. Not just sex bloggers, but any blogger. So while attribution doesn’t equal permission when you’re talking about using someone’s entire post, attribution can equal permission when you’re dealing with photos. It will simply depend on what the copyright holder allows. But if you found the image on Google because hundreds of others have used it without attribution, what can be done? The best we can do is protect ourselves with watermark copyrights on our own photos, and when we use a photo that we know actually belongs to a fellow blogger, retail store or manufacturer…..attribute it. Ask for permission if it is a blogger.

Microblogging vs Blogging

Now, here’s the rub: With the over-saturation of social media sites where you “share” stuff with your followers, you “reblog” on Tumblr, you “retweet” on Twitter…you have a blurry line of kosher sharing when it comes to blogging. When you reblog and retweet on Tumblr and Twitter respectively, you are copying what someone said and providing attribution. The line is blurred even further with Twitter, where “copyright” doesn’t really seem to exist. I mean, how can you possibly lay copyright to a Tweet? On Tumblr it’s a little different I suppose, but many people treat Tumblr as blogging. So if I posted a photo on Tumblr and nowhere else, I still retain my copyright. That photo is my intellectual property and if you post it on your own Tumblr without an attribution link, then you’ve effectively stolen content.

The fine line lays in the type of sharing. Tumblr, Twitter, Pinterest, even Facebook are all considered forms of “microblogging“; places where the “reblog” is common practice and accepted. Standard Blogging is vast and varied; we’re accustomed to WordPress-based sites, Blogger, LiveJournal, etc but there are many other places as well. Somehow, the concept of “reblogging” seems to have bled over (incorrectly) to regular blogging with the prevalence of microblogging.

Product Reviewing and Ethics

In the past I went toe-to-toe with Lelo when I noticed that suddenly they went from quoting excerpts of reviews to pilfering entire (but slightly modified to remove retailers links and in some cases, had no links to the review itself) review posts. They’d never told anyone reviewing products (given to the reviewer by Lelo) that this would be done; they never asked for permission; and in fact they did this on reviews where the product came from retailers! After raising a fuss like I am wont to do, they apologized and removed it all and now only have excerpts (with links).

I’ve noticed that niche sex toy maker Duncan Charles has been lifting entire reviews2, as well, and what’s worse is that they have ignored emails. Back when I posted about Lelo, Shanna Katz commented that it had happened to her a lot over the years as well.  I was offered the chance to do reviews for Nexus and at the time I viewed their site, I noticed that they had full text of reviews with no hyperlink. They had a text-only site address, though. But I wasn’t cool with having my entire review posted so I turned them down.

Ethical Blogging Practices

~Reblogging is NOT copying someone else’s entire blog post without their permission, throwing up an attribution link and calling it well and good. I see this as copyright violation and content theft. Also, just Bad Blogging Manners.  You can quote something from my post, with an attribution and link, and that is a horse of a different color. You can share a photo I’ve posted here via Tumblr, with an attribution and link, and that’s just fine.

~Posting someone’s photo without an attribution is content theft and copyright violation. I don’t care if the click-through link goes to their blog, the attribution line  (and link) is absolutely necessary.

~Creative Commons licenses on someone’s blog does not mean you get to skirt copyright basics or do away with attribution. Creative Commons exists to allow someone the flexibility of letting people know that sharing and even revamping is fine (with attribution) but it doesn’t dissolve copyright.

~And please…don’t EVER think you’re doing someone a favor by putting their content on your site. It’s insulting, it’s copyright violation, and it will earn you a very bad reputation.



  1. I’ve oddly run across scrapers who are more like news feed, where they take an excerpt – presumably for search engine content?- but not the whole post. This is usually done after they’ve been caught for full post content scraping.
  2. Of course since all the reviews lifted seem to obviously be reviews originally published on EdenFantasys, the only people that DC has to listen to is EF
May 132012

I love that Rafflecopter makes entering contests and having contests so easy. It’s really a lot less of a headache! Of course, in fairness to all, manual verification of entries still needs to happen to be sure that everybody followed all of my rules and restrictions but I was able to do that as things went along for the most part.

After a lovely run and lots of entries, I’m pleased to announce that the winner is……



Penny, who writes the blog “A Penny for Your Dirty Thoughts”!


Congrats Penny! She really spread the word about sex toy safety – her Twitter posts, Tumblr posts and even a great blog post about sex toy safety!

 Posted by at 10:37 am