Archive of ‘Personal & Advice’ category
When I was contacted about reviewing 50 Shades of Kink, I anticipated that I would blow through it quickly and have the review up just as fast. Wrong! My apologies, Clies Press.
If you’re looking for an introduction to kink without the fluffy handcuffs and the Cosmo spin, this is a great guide to pick up. It’s like an antidote for 50 Shades of
Bullshit Abuse Grey.
This book covers a lot of practical concepts, from what BDSM is, to what kinds of play can be incorporated, to safety. I fucking love that safety is one of the first topics that’s covered, and is one that comes up over and over again each chapter. Safety encompasses consent, compassion, sub care, setting boundaries… Everything that’s totally ignored in the mainstream disaster from which the book borrows its title phrasing.
In chapters 6 through 10, you’ll learn the basics about some of the most popular kinks like bondage and sensation play. Taormino doesn’t just give you suggestions and allow you to run wild. Instead, the reader is given ideas, and all of the important information necessary to execute them safely. Did you know that a misplaced cane can cause kidney damage? Yeah, this is serious stuff.
Now, this book is an introduction. As such, it’s pretty short, and it doesn’t cover any one particular topic in depth. I’m sure you can find whole books just focusing on Dom/sub, pet play, D/s lifestyle, etc. This book is meant to be one of your first forays into kink. Read more. Read lots. Read often.
Personally, I didn’t find this book to be particularly useful in my bedroom. But as a sex educator, it’s really important for me to have a general grasp of many different sexual preferences, kinks, and pleasures. I’ll be honest with you: My sex life is not as crazy as one might think. (It’s good, but nobody’s writing controversial erotica about it, y’know?)
You can pick up your own copy in both Kindle and Paperback editions on Amazon.com, or through Clies Press directly.
When I first started blogging, I had a lot to learn. Just in general. I was in my third year of university, and like most people in their third year of university, I thought I knew a lot of shit. I was totally wrong. Mostly, I was wrong about thinking I was a Libertarian, and in not understanding feminism or intersectionality.
When we talk about sex, it’s very often gendered, or at least sex-organs-based. As in, we talk about men as though they all have penises, women as though they all have vaginas, and the two of those as though they’re the only genders and are opposites. But there are people who identify all over the map, in terms of both gender and sexuality.
When we talk about dating, there’s often a lot of gendered advice. “Is it okay for a woman to ask a man out?” is a query that still gets a lot of hits, and a lot of the advice still addresses the question as though it were a reasonable fear. Why? Are we going to keep pandering to these ideas and these rules forever?
Clearly, things are changing. People are speaking up about why this makes them uncomfortable. Sometimes, these people are ridiculed, and even face violence. The language that we use on a daily basis can either reinforce the status quo, which some people find downright harmful to their personal wellbeing, or it can help things shift into a place where there’s greater safety for more people.
I’m sometimes very embarrassed by the things I used to say and the things I used to believe. I think that’s just a part of growing up and expanding your mind. I’m definitely not doing this perfectly, and I have no illusions about that. I’m straight, white, middle class, educated, cis-gendered (as in, I identify as a female and I was born/socialized as a female). There are spaces where I feel unsafe, but only because I’m a woman. I can’t imagine being a woman or a non-binary person with less privilege in those spaces. The toughness that some people I know have developed as a result of having to navigate unsafe spaces astounds me.
So, I hope that I can do better. I hope that by working in an emerging adult field, I can help make things better in the adult industry for people who don’t have the privileges that I have. I want to see the end of the days of sexist marketing and heteronormative ideals. It’s my goal to be part of the group moving forward instead of clinging to what benefits only people who are exactly like me. I hope that if I say something that’s hurtful or problematic going forward, someone will call me on it. I know that if they do, there’s a chance they won’t be “nice” but I won’t really necessarily deserve their niceness, you know?
As you might have noticed, I haven’t posted a lot in the last couple of weeks. I’m not losing interest in reviewing – far from it. I’ve just had a whole lot going on. Last week, I took a trip to Amsterdam to interview with a brand new startup. And I got the job! I’ll be revealing more soon, once I have or can create some guidelines to keep each space secure. Long story short, it looks like I’m going to have the opportunity to help shape my favorite industry.
Additionally, I have a handful of toy reviews in progress, but I’m not quite happy with any of them yet. From the Bbold by Bswish (thank you, DiddleWorks!) to a little treasure box sent by SheVibe containing the brand new Iroha Mini and some other goodies, I have a lot on my plate.
Since this post is a little low on content, here are some links of interest!
From my archive:
Sales, deals, and promos:
From around the web:
If you’re interested, I’m also now accepting sponsors. You can check out my statistics and rates on my sponsor page. If you have any questions, please email me.
Around this time of year, I start to get nostalgic. It’s not Christmas, New Years, or anyone’s birthday… No, around this time two years ago (2012), I bought my very first luxury vibrator, and a whole new world was opened up to me.
The way I feel about my first luxury toy is the way some people feel about their first love. Just thinking back on those first few orgasms puts a smile on my face and a spring in my proverbial step. But how did I get to that point? What pushed me make that purchase? A double-whammy UTI and bacterial infection, a breakup, and a lot of time spent scouring the internet.
In August 2011, I became a Pure Romance consultant after hosting a party. I loved it. Finally, an outlet for my perviness! And I actually did make money. I did about 1-2 parties per month, and averaged $600 in sales per party. Then, I got a horrible infection from a product I had never thought to question. At that time, my interest in sex toys and other adult products became deeper. I started digging, and I wasn’t happy with what I found.
For as much as those massive party companies (Pure Romance, Slumber Parties, Pleasure Parties, etc.) want you to think that they rigorously train their consultants, I’m here to tell you, the training material never covers the most important topic: real, scientifically-based material and ingredient safety. You might get lucky and hear “phthalate free,” but in an unregulated market, that means nothing. My personal pet peeve is one particular creamy emollient Pure Romance lubricant (Whipped) that’s made with ingredients which are completely unsuited to the vagina, including oils and glycerin – something consultants are never warned about. The emollient nature makes it easy for the product to be pushed into the urethra, and the ingredients simply do not belong up there. Unlike a simple water-based formulation like Sliquid Sassy, your body has a much harder time eliminating Whipped with an after-sex pee. That’s how I wound up on a bevy of drugs, peeing blood, and begging the good Lord to cease the pain. Oh, and did I mention that because consultants get a 30-50% cut, and the company itself still has to make money, everything is egregiously overpriced? I’m talking $30+ for a gross jelly cock ring with a watch battery bullet. (You can get a pure silicone ring with a bullet vibrator from my loves at SheVibe for $10.99.) Thank God for the Internet.
So, armed with new knowledge (extra special thanks to Epiphora and Lilly!), I rebelled. I quit, I continued my search for knowledge, and I purchased my first completely body-safe vibrator: the original JeJoue Mimi, which now also comes in an intriguing soft version.
At the time, I bought my MiMi from the godawful wasteland that is EdenFantasys, where I also took advantage of their review program. Besides their horrid disrespect for the English language, they also have terrible ethics. If you’d like to learn more about why you should avoid them at all costs and why I and many others left their program a long time ago, please check out Epiphora’s post on the matter.
In March 2012, I started blogging in earnest, and a while later began reaching out to companies for products to review. I’ve had the good fortune to work with some amazing, fantastic, big-hearted people at SheVibe, Vixen Creations, We-Vibe, Tantus, Bad Dragon, and Vibratex. I really hope to grow that list in 2014. I know there are people out there working to change this industry and turn it into what it should be: pleasure- and health-based, open to all. I’ve made a lot of blogging friends (shit, I ran out of words!). I’ve tried a lot of toys, both really good and really bad. I’ve even spent a weekend with some of the most inspiring folks alive.
If you’re interested in doing what I do, it’s entirely possible to start right now. Don’t let anything intimidate you. You don’t have to be a size queen, but it’s okay if you are. You don’t have to be kinky, but you will be welcomed with open arms if you want to write about BDSM. If you’re willing to learn, to be completely honest, and to treat masturbating like it’s your job, then you can do this, too. It’s not always an easy job, but it is rewarding.
By our, I mean yours and mine, this blog, for everyone who interacts with it. I’m determined to take it to new heights this year, while I have nothing but time and at least decently appropriate tools of the trade.
Expect many more high-quality photos to be hitting this blog! As it turns out, you can’t really use Amazon.com gift cards to buy things in Germany. For some reason, I was totally convinced that shipping would be no big deal – WRONG. Very, very wrong. So we split the card values, and I Donna Meagled my half. For Black Friday/Cyber Monday, I scored a Nikon D3200 with the regular kit lens (18-55mm) plus a bonus telephoto lens (55-200mm). Now, I just have to get back behind the viewfinder and dust off my skills!
So far, I have four products in my review line-up for early 2014: the WeVibe 3, the Magic Banana, the Tantus Meteorite plug, and the Crave Wink. I had to visit the customs office twice, and explain each product to a disapproving lady with hideous frosted hair, but I finally got my hands on those last three. Oddly, my favorite toy of the bunch so far is the one I was least sure about. (Anyone care to guess which?)
In the coming year, I’d really like to expand my review horizons. I’d love to tackle another wand vibrator, like the new Magic Wand, or one of its competitors. Because my G-spot can be even more fickle than most, I’m still looking for the perfect G-spot vibrator for my anatomy. As an exceptionally short lady with a tall partner, I think I’d be able to really put a position assist cushion through its paces. And, of course, to go along with more G-spot play (because I would love to make 2014 the year of the female ejaculation), it would be pretty rad to finally try an absorbent sex throw. As always, anything else you want to throw at me I will at least happily attempt to put into one of my orifices.
So, what would you like to see on Marvelous-Darling.com in 2014? More reviews? More dating advice? More on sex, with and without toys? Let me know, please!
Bonus: While this has nothing at all to do with sex toys, in the last two months, I’ve fully rediscovered my love for makeup. If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter, you might have noticed, since literally half of what I got for Christmas or had shipped to the US for myself was made by Urban Decay or Stila. One of my major goals for 2014 is to begin writing about beauty. Since I recently refocused Marvelous-Darling.com on sex toys and sexuality, I’m not sure if I’ll be doing that here, if I’ll be pitching to outside publications, or if I’ll be turning to Tumblr. I’d love to hear your thoughts on that.