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.

I’m 23, and (Almost) Everyone Still Likes Me.

I never really did like Blink-182. (Sorry, Alicia.)



Yesterday, I went shopping for some birthday presents. For myself, as one does. And literally everything I picked out was black, yellow, or a combination of the two. For those not in the know, I’m from Pittsburgh, much like Wiz Khalifa, and you know what it is. I definitely find myself missing my city and everyone in it a little bit more today.

That said, I can’t believe how lucky I am to be here. I haven’t felt as healthy as I feel now in a very, very long time. Recently, I got the chance to start writing professionally (more on that soon), and besides working on my own writing projects, I’ve been filling my time with making friends, reading, cooking more adventurously, and actually cleaning my apartment. And you know, I really like it. Sometimes, it’s a little bit lonely, but I’ve had time to run errands, learn some new things, practice my Deutsch, up my cooking game, and generally focus on feeling well. I’ve lost about a dress size, possibly around 8lb, just from walking so much, carrying groceries to and fro, and cleaning up my eating. And you know I’ve been having wine and beer like everyday, so it’s not some deprivation bullshit. I just genuinely feel so good here!

On Friday morning, all three of us are heading to Amsterdam for the weekend to celebrate my birthday. We booked an AirBnB apartment so Daphne could come with us and experience her third European city. Because my husband has been there before, I tried to plan a trip that would allow us to see as many new things as possible. Of course, we’re seeing the Anne Frank Haus, the red light district, and the Van Gogh museum, but we also want to see the Electric Ladyland – the Museum of Fluorescence, visit the Reypenaer for cheese tasting, drink at the Brouwerij ‘t IJ – an award-winning brewery, and try some Indonesian food (apparently a local favorite). It’s going to be a really exciting three days!

I guess this blog is sort of changing shape, and becoming more personal. Don’t worry – if you come here for toy reviews, I have a few that need to be written, and a couple more products on the way. I’m not going to stop talking about sex, toys, vaginas, and vulvas. But I am going to keep expanding my blog, taking on new topics as they come into my life.

Speaking of which, I’m looking to start a new fitness program, and I wanted to find something that I could do indoors, with minimal equipment. So, I decided to download the Blogilates App, and get the Beginners Workout Calendar. If you also use the Blogilates app, or just like Cassey’s videos, comment and let me know! I’m planning to get started on Monday, and hopefully order/purchase a suitable mat over the weekend. If you’re interested in my fitness progress, maybe I’ll start doing some fitness posts to keep myself accountable.

My Lush Can’t-Live-Withouts

As promised, I finally have a round-up of my can’t-live-without products from Lush!


(Left to right: Fair Trade Honey, Honey Trap, Blousey, Mint Julips, Happy Happy Joy Joy, Cosmetic Lad, Eau Roma Water, Grease Lightning)

My favorite section of Lush has to be the haircare. For a very long time, I used L’Oreal’s sulfate-free line, partly because I’d read somewhere that sulfates were bad and partly because I loved the rosemary and mint smell. My hair felt pretty nice, and much healthier than it had when I was using Garnier. Still, I had a lot of build-up on my scalp, and frequently if there wasn’t build-up, my scalp was dry and itchy.

If you’ve ever seen a picture of me, you know that my hair (when not shaved down to 1/4″) is thick and wavy, but you might not know that it’s naturally pretty coarse and dry. I absolutely have to use a strong conditioner every time I shampoo, and I try to shampoo only twice a week. Before trying Lush haircare, I had pretty much resigned myself to having hair like a Airedale terrier.

During our first week of training, each person got to try several products by taking home samples. I fell absolutely head over heels for the first shampoo I tried: Rehab. It really cleared up my scalp in just a few washes, and it did so without drying out my hair. I’m not sure what kind of sorcery was involved, but I think it has something to do with the combination of jojoba oil and fruit juices.

A few weeks later, we received a box with several of the newest products, which is something that happens from time to time at Lush. We just get to try stuff out. (I ain’t mad.) In it were both Blousey, a rich creamy shampoo made with real mashed bananas, and Fair Trade Honey, a liquid shampoo that smells a bit like an IPA. Blousey might be the second Lush product I completely run out of and have to re-stock on, because it’s amazing. If I have a week where my hair feels like it could use a wash but really needs some extra moisture, Blousey is the perfect choice. Conversely, when I’m sweating a lot or if my roots start to feel greasy, Fair Trade Honey does the trick quite nicely. And if I’m feeling saucy and high maintenance, I mix them, because you can’t tell me what to do.

The first Lush product I had to replace was Happy Happy Joy Joy, because I am a straight up conditioning fiend. I condition my hair almost every day, so I need the perfect blend of rich softness and light texture. Bonus: Happy Happy Joy Joy is vegan, and it’ll make you smell like one fancy-ass garden.

Anyone who has ever had a peek inside my purse knows that I am a lip junkie. Lip balm, lip gloss, lipstick, lip stain, lip scrub. One might even say that I love lip products the way that Bubba loves shrimp. I am not just fangirling when I tell you that Honey Trap is the best lip balm I’ve ever tried, bar none. Even including Fresh Sugar lip balm in its beautiful tints, this stuff takes the cake (at 1/3 of the price!). First, rub some Mint Julips on those crusty crusts you got, lick that goodness off, then smear on some Honey Trap. You’re welcome.

Now, the most mistrusted but secretly awesome section of Lush: Skin Care. I know your dermatologist told you when you were 14 that you had terrible acne and you have to use that Neutrogena orange Oil Free Acne Wash bullshit. I know. But listen, there are other options, I promise you. When I started at Lush, my skin was breaking out but also dry and flaky. Gross, right? I kept slathering on some oil-free moisturizer, washing with acne wash, and wondering why my skin wasn’t cooperating. Enter: Angels on Bare Skin. Unfortunately, my container isn’t pretty enough to be in the above photograph, but I promise you, it’s a life-changing product for anyone with dry skin still prone to break-outs. The first time I washed with it, I realized that yes, you can have it all. My skin felt clean, exfoliated, and pleasantly dewy.

Since the weather has turned from cold and dry to hot and humid, I’ve incorporated Coal Face into my cleansing routine as well. I usually wash with one in the morning and the other at night, followed by a few spritzes the amazingly relaxing Eau Roma Water (alcohol-free toner that actually helps reduce redness). Once a day, I use Grease Lightning either on specific pimples or as an all-over facial serum. The tea tree oil targets blemishes and the aloe soothes, so you don’t get those scaly patches that a lot of spot treatments give you. To top it all off, I’m a big fan of Cosmetic Lad moisturizer, because it’s just matte enough to make it a decent base for foundation, but still moisturizing enough for my dryness-prone skin.

Are you convinced yet to stop by your local Lush and let them pamper you? It’s customary for consultants in the store to offer you a free face treat and skin care consultation, so give it a shot. No one works on commission, so you can shop without feeling like there’s a hand in your pocket.

Next Lush post: How I Became a Mask Queen


LUSH Bath & Body Products


Legalese: To be completely transparent, I am a Lush retail employee. I did not receive these products for free for review, but I did receive them either for free as part of training/work perks, or they were purchased with my generous employee discount. I have not been compensated for this post in any way, nor was I asked to write it by my employer. This post does have an affiliate banner at the bottom, so if you want to purchase online and you like me, I’d surely appreciate it.


My Thoughts on Dove’s “Real Beauty” Sketch Video

Have you seen Dove’s latest Campaign for Real Beauty video?  If not, go take a look.

First of all, I know there are 1,000,001 posts out there already about Dove’s Real Beauty campaign, both positive and negative.  After watching their most recent video, I had a thought that I haven’t seen addressed yet.

The entire thing hinges on how other people see us.  It’s all about how you critique yourself and how other people, especially people who know and love you, see you much more positively.  I feel as though I’m being told that what other people think of me matters more than what I think of myself.

I don’t want to feel better about myself because someone else said I have a nice, thin jawline or beautiful eyes.  That’s still giving the power to someone else.  I have my own agency and I have my own confidence.  If a woman feels ugly, the solution is not to ask someone else what they think of her, and suggest that she draw confidence from that.  The solution is especially not to ask what a man thinks of her, in my opinion.

If Dove wanted to make a real beauty campaign, I think they would have to dismantle what they’ve built so far.  They would need trans*women, women with disabilities, women of color, and women from size 0 to 20+.  They would need to ditch photoshop (btw, they totally haven’t).  I don’t know that we’ll see any of that any time soon.

I understand that they’re trying to sell us beauty products, and they can’t do that if we’re perfectly happy with ourselves.  They still want the focus to be on what other people think of us because then we’re easier to sell to.  And I’m not buying it.

CatalystCon East, 2013

If you follow me on Twitter, you know that I spent Thursday through Sunday in Arlington, VA, and Washington, DC, for CatalystCon. So, what is CatalystCon?

CatalystCon is an awesome conference held on the East and West coasts for sex educators of all kinds. I saw everyone from Tristan Taormino to college freshmen, and everyone was there to talk about sexual health, education, and pleasure. If you’re interested, you should see if you can make it to CCon West, or consider volunteering for CCon East next year. (As a volunteer, my conference pass was free.)

Before the conference officially began on Friday night, I went to Tristan’s Sex Educator Boot Camp, and it was amazing. I didn’t know that one person could talk for 4 hours and keep my notoriously short attention span working.

After Boot Camp, I finally met my friends from SheVibe, and Sandra kept bringing vodka cranberries back for me so the night began to get a little fuzzy… Side note: As an introvert, I really needed time away from the conference to recharge, so I spent Friday night in my hotel room, ordering gyros and watching Drag Race with Steve.

Saturday was a blur. Besides sessions, I got lunch with Epiphora and some new friends, finally saw Lilly for more than five seconds, and stuck my hand in Ducky DooLittle’s glory hole during Dirty Bingo. (I got bingo! But I was the second to shout it. So sad.)

Now, I’m not good at goodbyes, so when Sunday rolled around I went to the sessions I volunteered for and then booked it out of the hotel. By the end of any high-impact weekend, I’m in major need of time to myself. But I did get to attend a talk on what became a pretty heated topic: Fifty Shades of Grey. I could write an entire post on my thoughts from that panel, and eventually I will, but today is not that day.

Thank you to Dee Dennis, the Evil Slut Clique, and others in the Girl Gang for making CCon a reality, and thank you so much, SheVibe, for sending me to Boot Camp!

Also, I’m having some issues with my posting – I can’t seem to get the visual editor to work – so links right now are MIA. Help, anyone?