Archive of ‘Personal & Advice’ category

All Over the Place Updates

Whew! It’s been a while, and I owe you a bit of an update. Okay, maybe a lot of updates.

As some of you may have noticed, I took a little bit of a step back from my blog in the past couple of months. It wasn’t intentional. Things just began to snowball, and blogging got away from me.

I hadn’t formally announced this on the blog yet, but I’d like you to know that I’m working for KIIROO, a sexual technology start-up. KIIROO makes luxury teledildonic/cyberdildonic sex toys, focused mostly on long distance couples. Officially, I’m a copywriter and content manager. Unofficially, I’m the toy geek and test vagina. I’ve been there since April, so you can see why I’ve been so busy!

It’s a pretty amazing gig, and it even takes me to Amsterdam a few times a month. That having been said, my affiliation with KIIROO has no effect on my toy reviewing. Just like when I was working at a brick and mortar sex toy store, my opinions here remain my own and are in no way influenced by my employers.

Another reason for my absence is one you’ve all heard before if you’ve been reading my blog for some time: Depression. I have a double whammy of clinical depression and hypothyroidism. This means that when one of both of those conditions isn’t treated – or is under-treated – I feel like hell.

Long story short, I went through a months-long process of figuring out how much to adjust both my SSRI and my synthetic thyroid hormone. Now, I think I’m at just about the right place. Sometimes it’s hard to tell, because you sort of get used to a certain energy level and daily ability. Depression can be very subtle and sneaky.

But, I have some good news!

My hours at work have changed, and I’ll once again have Fridays free. This means more blog posts, more toy testing, and more time to network. If you’re waiting on something from me, please be patient just a little while longer. Things are moving into high gear, I promise!

In October, I got the opportunity to attend EroFame, a big erotic trade show in Hannover, Germany. I had a chance to schmooze with some new friends, and got to check out a lot of toys in person. The highlights, for me, included walking away with a JimmyJane Form 2, learning all about L’Amourose and getting my very own Rosa, and seeing that the incomparable Coochy Cream may be coming to Germany (finally)!

Fun story: When I walked past the Classic Erotica stand and saw Coochy, I let out a combination gasp/scream. Immediately, I launched into why it’s the best shave cream (gentle, super soft, no shave rash, best fragrances). Unbeknownst to me, a man was there deliberating whether or not to start carrying Coochy in his shop. And that’s the story of how I got an armload of free Coochy.

Unfortunately, I am participating in No Shave November. My armpit kittens are coming back, and I’m growing out my leg warmers. Why? So I can take pictures in December and weed out the weak.

So, which toys are next? I currently have: a new G-spot dildo from BS is Nice, Curve from Lovecandy by Kendra, Tenga Iroha Mikazuki, JimmyJane Form 2, and L’amourose Rosa. Which one are you most looking forward to seeing? What do you have planned for November?

Shaving: My Thoughts and a Review

A few months ago, I contacted my dears at Lovehoney.de (Yes! A Lovehoney just for us in Deutschland!) and asked to review a shaving cream and post-shave oil. I’d been dealing with some ferocious ingrown hairs, and couldn’t seem to find a proper shave cream in any of the local adult stores. Lovehoney.de graciously sent me Dare to Be Bare shave cream and post-shave oil.

If you have sensitive skin, you know how much of a pain in the ass shaving can be. Whether it’s your armpits, legs, or bikini area, you might break out in a rash or end up trying to dig an ingrown out at the world’s most awkward angle. So why do we do this?

You know why. It’s a social norm thing.

Some people have strong body hair preferences, but I’m really not one of them. Sometimes I let my armpit hair grow for a month or more. I went a year without shaving my pubes. Recently, I’ve noticed a lot more femme people sporting body hair. Is it coming into vogue? Are we entering an era of hair acceptance? I hate to sound pessimistic, but probably not. It’s probably going to remain a fringe trend.

Mostly, I want to focus on how to shave safely. Most of us simply cannot shave with just a dull blade and water. It ends in blood and tears. Using a dull blade can cause all kinds of ills, from cuts that can get infected to ingrown hairs. Buy fresh blades, and your body will thank you.

I did not take my own advice here. About three months ago, I was shaving recklessly. It started with a tiny bump in my armpit. The bump turned red. I thought it was a pimple, or an allergic reaction to my roll-on deodorant. I switched to a deodorant spray, and it calmed down a little, but remained. Over the course of a few weeks, it became bigger and more painful. At this point, I knew something was wrong, but I wasn’t sure if it warranted a trip to the doctor. (Spoiler: I should have gone to the doctor.) At one point, it was so inflamed and painful that I couldn’t wear anything with a seam in the armpit. At that point, I decided to get aggressive.

Do not continue reading if you’re squeamish. I’ll put another statement in bold when it’s safe to read again.

I applied a hot compress, and after a few applications of antibiotic cream, I noticed a head, similar to that of a pimple. I left it alone over night. The next morning, while showering, it began to pop of its own accord. I helped it along. I have never seen so much pus come out of anything besides an abscess. It was disgusting. Finally, a long-ish brown hair appeared. That filthy bastard. After over a month of pain and an unsightly lump, I vanquished the hair. For days, I applied antibiotic cream, hoping it wouldn’t scar. (Or worse, re-emerge.)

Okay, you’re safe.

So, this is why I feel it’s very important to choose a good shaving cream, like Dare to be Bare. I usually prefer creams found in adult stores, because they’re more frequently geared toward professionals, like exotic dancers. If anyone knows how to keep things looking good, it’s a dancer. Also, while these creams do tend to cost more, the ingredients are of much higher quality. Dare to Be Bare feels silky smooth, contains no parabens, and is not tested on animals. It is mildly fragranced like baby powder, but my sensitive skin didn’t have a problem with that.

When it came time to shave, I picked up a new razor and went to town. I noticed that on my legs – which often suffer from razor burn, but never ingrowns – Dare to be Bare worked like a charm. It left them smooth and well-hydrated.

My armpits were divided. One of my armpits is great, and the other is a problem child. The easy going pit loved Dare to be Bare – it was smooth, soft, no problems. My problem armpit was slightly red in a few spots after shaving, but I did not experience any ingrowns.

I was pleasantly surprised when it came time to tackle the pubes. I did need to use a lot of product, but that might be because I’m overly cautious. I was left with much, much less irritation than usual. I did a completely bare shave, just to see how it would go. My skin was smooth and soft, not at all irritated, by about 6-12 hours post-shave.

After shaving, I applied their post-shave Dare to be Bare Oil. It contains Tea Tree, which makes perfect sense for its antibacterial healing properties. As such, it has a little bit of an herbal fragrance, but I didn’t personally find it unpleasant. As for preventing ingrowns, I think it did a great job. I haven’t had another ingrown catastrophe yet. (Full disclosure: I did have a small ingrown situation along my bikini line about 3 weeks ago, but I believe that was from wearing underwear with irritating seams. It was no where near as bad as the Great Armpit Ingrown of 2014.)

As it is, I’ll continue shaving only when I feel like it. Whatever your body hair preference is, you rock it. But when you do shave, shave smart. I’ll definitely continue to use Dare to be Bare when I do.

Dankeschön, Lovehoney.de! Dare To Be Bare ist sehr gut. Sie kaufen Dare to be Bare in einem Kit, komplett mit Post-Shave Öl zu sein, denn 23.99€.

For US customers, you can get a Dare to be Bare from Lovehoney.com for $22.99!

Tristan Taormino’s 50 Shades of Kink

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. 

50ShadesofKink

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.

The More You Know… On Inclusivity and Sex Blogging

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?

Life and Links

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. amsterdam_canalLast 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.

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