My good friend Crista Anne has recently catapulted into the spotlight for her awesome Orgasm Quest. As defined by Crista herself, Orgasm Quest is about self love and beating depression-related anorgasmia. Because
I send her pictures of my boobs she’s such a dear, Crista has agreed to answer some questions here for my readers!
1. How does it feel to have basically blown-up over night? You’re not new to blogging, to orgasms, or to the sex ed community. Does it feel like your hard work has finally paid off?
To be honest, I think I’m still in shock. I’m a pretty intense introvert, so there have been a few times that I’ve had to shut my computer and curl up in a blanket fort for self care. When Dildology launched we went through a similar period of viral attention, that was when I felt that my hard work was paying off. #OrgasmQuest feels different, not that my hard work is paying off, but that I found a sweet spot that is getting the “right” kind of attention while furthering my larger goals within progressive pleasure cultural change.
2. The “right” kind of attention is definitely important, especially for sensitive introversts. From your recent appearance on Dr. Drew’s show, it sounds like you’re doing really well with boundaries and self care in the midst of all this.
In what ways do you think your quest could help other women?
I’m a woman and this is my personal project, so while most of what I am saying is “woman” oriented, I believe that breaking social stigmas about speaking openly regarding sexual side effects of medications, the positive benefits that masturbation can have and speaking openly about mental illness can help anyone of any gender. That it helps our society at large. These stigmas are toxic. The silence is hurting people. I want to start conversations and start changing that.
3. Excellent point: People of all genders do deal with this, and they shouldn’t have to do it alone.
What do you typically say to people when they express concern over how your children will handle growing up with a sexually open mother? (I know there’s gotta be better phrasing for this, but I haven’t finished my coffee.)
Obviously, there has been a lot of questions/comments about this because most of the media focuses on my Motherhood as part of the narrative. To begin, my kids are very young so at this point all they really are aware of is that Mama is typing at her computer a lot. I was raised by a sex-positive Mother (though she didn’t have that language at the time) and I’ve turned out wonderfully. My children are being raised in a sex-positive, body-positive environment. We have open dialogue with them on topics across the board. As they grow up, Val (my partner) and I will be as open as is age appropriate about what I do for a living. There won’t be surprises, they aren’t going to have a friend suddenly say “Your Mom talks about SEX online” and be shocked. #OrgasmQuest and my writing all speak about sex in frank manners, but I tend not to be sexually explicit.
Right now they know that there is a locked chest in my office that is Mama’s “specials” and isn’t for them. They check out my vulva puppet, which we’ve used as we’ve explained body parts to them, and they think it’s pretty. Our partnered sex life isn’t open about the house, they aren’t being “exposed” to anything.
It’s very important to me that my kids understand that Val and I are people as well as their parents. That we have parts of our lives that do not involve them. I was raised that way and I credit that as a huge part of why I have such a wonderful relationship with my Mother. She knows everything I do, she reads my blog, she’s really proud of me. I’m incredibly proud of her as well. Beyond being my Mom, she’s an amazingly strong woman who has survived great struggles. Hopefully, this carries on and I have a similar relationship with my kids. I’m dong the best I can, and I’ll find out in a few decades how that worked out.
4. Your mum sounds great! Your relationship is similar to mine and my mum’s, and I was raised similarly as well. Of course, I think your kids are adorable and will turn out to be awesome people, well-versed in consent and sex-positivity.
Why do you feel that masturbation is so important to you? (I know the answer to this, but my readers would love to hear it in your own words, I’m sure.)
I came out of the womb depressed, but I also came out of the womb with one hand on my clit and it’s really never left. My Mom raised me without sexual shame. When I was very young and discovering my body (as kids do!) we called it “my feeling good stuff” and I was taught that I should engage in “my feeling good stuff” in my bedroom because it was a private, special thing just for me. From that amazing foundation, I’ve masturbated virtually every day of my life. Heck, I had an orgasm during my homebirth with my youngest child. Masturbation is my life hack. Masturbatory orgasms are a tool for me more than a sexual act. I can use them to combat panic attacks, stave off migraines, help calm a fibro flare. When I’m overwhelmed with life, those few minutes of pleasure are something I use to feel connected to my body, to remind me that are good feelings to be felt when I’m in dark places.
Not everyone has this relationship with masturbation and that’s valid, my brand of sex-positivity is the Carol Queen brand. I believe that sex and masturbation can be good and healthy, but also recognize that they are not for many others and that’s okay. That’s Valid. I am in no way saying that EVERYONE SHOULD MASTURBATE!! I’m saying that for me, it’s an invaluable tool that I desperately want back.
5. Yes! I love that you’ve clarified your sex-positivity. It often gets a bad rap, but what you’ve said makes perfect sense. Love it.
What do you think about society’s fixation on partnered pleasure, especially when it comes to women?
Oh goodness, I have a lot of “feels” here. A fixation on pleasure within a healthy relationship/healthy sexuality is a good thing in my book. Our society’s fixation on Orgasm being the End All Be All of sex is flawed and toxic. Anorgasmia (Inability to orgasm) affects millions. Orgasms are hard to achieve for a wide variety of reasons, sex without getting off is not a failure. It isn’t “less” valid than sex that does include orgasms. My personal view is that the cultural idea that vulva owners should be getting off constantly, the pressure that places on people, is part of why some vulva owners cannot orgasm. I’ve heard from thousands of folks who cannot orgasm easily or at all over my career – most of them feel broken. You. Are. Not. Broken. Society is lying to you. (Emphasis added by Sarah.)
Focus on mutual pleasure is important. Sex without an orgasm can still be mind-blowing. Can still be positive, intimate, pleasurable.
I want to make this abundantly clear because I realize that I’ve stumbled on this clarification at the start of #OrgasmQuest: My Quest is not about my partnered sex life, it is not because without orgasms my personal sex life is suffering. Yes, I do miss the amazingly intense, universe creating, orgasms that I had before. I would like those back because tap dancing dildo gods, they felt great. My partnered sex life is just as good as it was before. #OrgasmQuest is about my masturbatory orgasms. It’s about getting those back. About my pursuit of self pleasure and self care.
The focus on orgasm goal oriented sex is something that I believe to be toxic, I hope that conversations about that happen along with the other conversations that #OrgasmQuest has started.
6. That’s a great, multi-faceted answer. I don’t even think I have anything of value to add to that ’cause you got it all.
What’s one piece of advice you would give someone beginning their own Orgasm Quest?
Be patient and kind to yourself. Focus on yourself. Your pleasure. Give yourself an abundance of time to get where you want to go with your own quest. Try not to focus on the orgasm, enjoy the journey. Also, if it is feasible and something you’re interested in, invest in a quality sex toys. They are amazing tools.
Thank you so much, Crista, for agreeing to one more interview on what I’m sure is a long, long docket. Crista has now been featured on The Daily Dot, Jezebel, The Doctor Drew Show, CNN, and in the Philadelphia City Paper article that started it all. You can follow Crista on Twitter and check out her blog here.
If you’ve been a reader of my blog for a while, you’ll know how much I love the Lelo Mona 2. It was the first toy that reliably provided me with effortless G-spot stimulation, and it works a charm on the clitoris as well. It’s a bit on the pricy side, but I always recommend it to anyone looking for a versatile, quality vibrator.
When Lelo approached me about reviewing their Mona Wave, I actually physically jumped up and down and squealed at my partner. When it arrived, there was even more jumping and squealing. I was pumped.
Mona Wave is very similar in both looks and measurements to Mona 2. Mona Wave has a more pronounced curve by perhaps 10-15 degrees (disclaimer: I do not own a protractor – sorry, dad). Where the Mona 2’s base was made of hard plastic with silicone buttons, Mona Wave’s base is silicone with buttons located beneath the surface.
Mona Wave’s unique selling point is that it moves in a come-hither motion, which is the classic gold standard for G-spot stimulation. This has been a dividing issue. As far as I know, no friendships have been dissolved, but there are some strong feelings out there, ladies, gents, and enbies.
Personally, I absolutely loved the wave motion. Internally, I found it highly satisfying, especially when combined with clitoral stimulation. It felt like the laziest sex ever, and I am all about that. Sessions with the Mona Wave were slower and a little more involved than with other vibrators, but for me, this turned out to be a pleasant change of pace. I found the wave motion to be equally satisfying clitorally. In fact, it’s the only toy I’ve carried in my suitcase for any trips I took between November and January. (Which was admittedly unwise, because I have a big ole pile of toys that need to be reviewed.)
For me, it’s a great multi-tasker.
Sidebar: As always, I write reviews from my own point of view. I try to include recommendations on who might find a toy satisfying, as well as who might not. Two important parts of sex toy reviewing are to know your own body, and to know your readership.
For as long as I have been having orgasms, I have had them easily. A few of my reviewer friends got into reviewing because they had a hard time reaching orgasm and wanted to take charge and do something about it. (Some of my “real life” friends have the same challenge – if this is you, you are not alone.) On the other hand, I got into reviewing because I love masturbating and I love being critical. I can get off with almost anything. It’s not uncommon for me to have a dream orgasm.
Therein lies the problem.
After reading Lilly’s review of the Mona Wave, I decided to pull out my Mona 2 and my L’Amourose Rosa (review forthcoming). I had never noticed a vibration strength discrepancy between Mona Wave and Mona 2, but now I had my doubts. By god, she was right! The Mona Wave is perceptibly less strong than the Mona 2. And Rosa beats both of them. So the obvious choice would be to completely write off the Wave, right?
However, I strongly recommend you consider your vibration needs and preferences. I usually use my Monas on their middle settings. I am not a power queen. So, for me, the Mona Wave is awesome and unique and totally gets me off. If you are a person who cannot orgasm without the strength of something like the We-Vibe Tango or the Magic Wand, then you may very well find yourself displeased with the Mona Wave. If you can orgasm from even a half-hearted fingering, then you have a bit more flexibility in your buying choices.
Overall, for the average user, I would still recommend the Mona 2 over the Mona Wave. You get more power, and it costs a good bit less (~$40). But for the vagina that has everything? The Mona Wave might be just the ticket. It’s definitely earned a spot in my rotation.
Note: If you’re looking to buy the Mona 2 or the Mona Wave, you can use my coupon code MD15 for 15% off your order from my friends at Filthy Dirty!
Big thanks to LELO for providing me with the Mona Wave in exchange for a fair review!
To the average person, all lube seems pretty much the same, right? You go into the pharmacy, or maybe the grocery store, and head to the “family planning” aisle. They might have some KY Gellee, Astroglide, maybe Durex or Wet. You might see a flavor or two, or a bottle marked “premium”. But how do you decide? I’m here to help you decode one of the greatest mysteries of the universe: “What lube do I want, and why?”
First, let’s tackle the easy part: Why?
Lubricant often gets a bad rap because people assume that the body’s natural lubrication should be enough. In reality, there are all kinds of reasons you might need lube. If you have a vagina, medications like birth control pills, antihistamines, and antidepressants can affect your natural moisture and arousal. If you’re interested in anal play, you’re going to need something to help ease things in. And, of course, a little extra moisture can just feel great and can keep things going long past when your natural moisture might start to wane. In short, there’s no shame in the lubrication game. Now we can move onto what kind of lube is best for what you’re doing.
Now, let’s look at what we want to avoid. If you or your partner has a vagina, you want to stay away from lubricants containing glycerin, especially cheaper lubricants. Glycerin can be irritating, and worse, it can actually cause dryness. Many people prefer to avoid parabens as well. Parabens are a preservative that have been used for decades, and are generally considered safe. However, some studies suggest that perhaps they’re not so great for the body. Many people like to avoid parabens in a “better safe than sorry” kind move. This means that Astroglide, KY, and most other drugstore brands are best left on the shelves.
Head over to KIIROO.com to read the rest of this post, including my top lube picks!
With all of the ranting I’ve been doing recently, it might be easy to forget that I really, truly, love the sex toy industry. It changed my life! I believe that good toys can have a profound impact on one’s quality of life.
Luckily, the holidays are a great time to find good deals on toys. Below, I’ve gathered up some of the best deals out there, and included some of my suggestions for last minute gifts. If you’ve waited until the last minute, know the Dec 15 is the last standard shipping day that most online shops can still guarantee Christmas delivery. SheVibe is always bringing the deals. If you missed their Black Friday/Cyber Monday blow out, have no fear. They almost always have the best prices around anyway. If you click the banner above, you’ll be taken to their homepage (and you’ll be supporting Marvelous-Darling.com). My top gift picks from SheVibe:
- Lelo Mona 2 ($129) or Mona Wave ($169): If you haven’t read my review of the Mona 2 yet, go do so, because then you’ll understand why I’m a card-carrying member of the Cult of Mona. The Mona Wave is one of Lelo’s newest releases, and in my opinion, maybe their best toy yet. Mona Wave has the powerful vibrations and perfect shape of the Mona 2, but it’s also capable of a come-hither movement. I’m working on my review, but suffice to say, I adore it. It’s like PIV sex for extraordinarily lazy people.
- We-Vibe Touch ($99): The We-Vibe Touch is my favorite small clitoral vibrator. It’s strong, rumbly, reasonably quiet, body-safe, waterproof… It’s everything you could want in a funky little package. Plus, We-Vibe is a great company with a proven track record of listening to their customers and fans. Check out my review here.
- Tenga Iroha Mini ($23.99): The Iroha Mini is a nice little vibrator that makes a great gift for anyone who is completely new to the world of toys, and particularly has never used a toy before. I would call its vibrations strong but buzzy. I gave this to a toy novice friend for her bridal shower, and it was a hit. You can check out my full review here.
- Any Tantus Plug ($24.99 and up): My personal favorites include the Meteorite and Neo, but I would also recommend the Little Flirt, Perfect Plug, Perfect Plug Plus, and Ryder (listed in order of size/experience level).
- Fleshlight (~$57): There’s a reason it’s a classic. If someone on your list has a penis, Fleshlight is the crème de la cum. You can buy a few versions of the Fleshlight from SheVibe, including the Classic Pink Lady. I’ve been trying to talk my husband into reviewing one for years, but he’s too shy, so instead I will point you towards Epiphora’s partner’s take.
- Tantus Bound ($49): SheVibe and Tantus collaborated to make a beautiful, detailed dildo for the texture obsessed. While Bound is a relatively modest-sized dildo, its texture ensures that it’s far from boring. What do you get the toy lover who has everything? You get them this. (While I don’t have one myself, I can point you towards Property of Potter’s excellent, thorough review.)
Filthy Dirty is one of my favorite shops, because it has a lovely boutique-y feel. I appreciate that kind of curation when it comes to my number one vice. You can check out my stocking stuffer page right on the Filthy Dirty website (how cool is that?) or keep reading to find out some more of my top picks. You can use the code SANTABABY at checkout for free shipping and 20% off.
- JeJoue MiMi Classic ($81 or $64.80 with code): I bought myself the original JeJoue MiMi after a breakup in February 2012, and that’s essentially how this entire phase of my life began. I was immediately hooked on luxury vibrators made of body safe materials. And now here we are. The updated MiMi Classic is the same pebble shape that I love, allowing for either pinpoint or broad vibrations, but its motor was beefed up and the controls were made easier to use. What’s not to love?
- Joyful Midnight Glass Wand ($42 or $33.60 with code): Filthy Dirty sent me the Joyful Midnight to review and to inspire a post on glass for their blog. My absolute favorite thing about glass toys is how easily they glide. Even with the amount of texture on this dildo, I found it easy to thrust with, and it provided really lovely G-spot stimulation.
- Revel Body Sol ($139 or $111.20 with code): While many were displeased with the original Revel Body, I never received it. Instead, I was sent the Sol, which must be a different animal entirely. I found the Sol’s oscillations to be different from even some of the strongest vibrators I own, and the small, spherical shape fits very comfortably in my hand. For some reason, the OM setting has me orgasming in minutes. You can check out my review here.
- Tenga Eggs ($7 to 44 or $5.60 to $35.20 with code): These adorable plastic eggs contain well-designed, disposable masturbators for people with penises. You can choose from a variety of internal textures, each made of a soft, flexible elastomer. One is $7, or you can get a half dozen for $35.20.
What will you be gifting this year?
I’ve hated them for quite a while. Between sexist marketing, hideous toys, unsafe materials, blatent misogyny, barf-worthy sex dolls… Wait, where was I going with this? I had to take a break to puke.
In short, Pipedream is everything that’s wrong with the adult industry. They’re one of the big boys, and they’ve been around for a while, which makes them think they’re untouchable. And perhaps, for now, they are. But one day, I hope to watch them burn to the ground. (Figuratively. I am not threatening arson, do not make me lawyer up.) What’s got my goat currently, you ask? If you follow the blog on Facebook, or if you’re a personal friend of mine, you might have seen my post this morning. Pipedream has released a blow-up sex doll made to look like Jennifer Lawrence, called “J-Law Hacked”. This in itself is gross enough, because she certainly was not asked to consent to be turned into a fuckdoll. But oh, it gets worse. The box features an actress who bears a striking resemblance to Lawrence, in a Katniss Everdeen costume. For those of you unfamiliar with The Hunger Games, Katniss Everdeen is a 16 year old girl. Another level of gross! Surrounding her are nude photos made to replicate those leaked during “the Fappening”. Do you have your puke bucket ready? Because this is how Pipedream describes their product:
We’re not sure what came faster, news of J-Laws leaked selfies or the thousands of guys waiting for this day to finally come! She did the world a favor when her sexy selfies spread across the internet, and now Hollywood’s honey is getting naked for the money! If hacked cell phone pics weren’t enough to make J-Law our favorite new selfie slut, her brand new blowup doll is proof that this blockbuster babe is ready for primetime penetration! Just add air and this American hustler transforms into America’s hooker right before your eyes! There’s no silver lining to her 3 love holes, but if you add a little lube they feel great wrapping around every inch of your pleasure rod! Her cloud got hacked so you can get jacked!
It’s one thing to post about this. That’s giving Pipedream the attention they want, and I know that. So I want to challenge you to take it a step further. Pipedream has a contact page that anyone can use – you don’t have to be a part of the industry to contact them. Tell them why you’re angry. Tell them why this is unacceptable, and why they won’t be receiving a single red cent from you. Below is the note that I just sent them. If you’d like to copy it, go right ahead.
Unfortunately, there is not a subject line available from your drop-down menu that simply states the disgust I feel for your latest release. I have never purchased a Pipedream product, though I had my eye on your ceramic line. Now I’m very glad that you’ve never received a cent of my money. Being in the industry myself (I also work as a copywriter and product design consultant), I understand that all publicity is good publicity. I understand that your JLAW doll was created to be shared, to stir up trouble. It was created as a joke. But it’s not a joke. Or at least, it’s not a very good joke. Any joke that punches down instead of up is nothing more than a boring nod to the social norms that are already in place. There is nothing subversive about what you’re doing. You are the Dane Cook of sex toys. I’m not going to beg you to take it down. I’m not going to tell you that you’re better than this. You’re not better than this. Pipedream is a steaming pile of shit, and I can only hope that better brands will eventually, one day, drive you into the ground so that you may return to the hell from whence you came. Have a great day, and don’t strain your shoulder from patting yourself on the back for that clever campaign, you rascals.
If you want to link to the product, do so using donotlink.com, a service that allows you to spread a link without adding to the originator’s web stats, or copy from here.
I’m not the only one who’s disgusted. Here are some choice posts from some of my friends on the matter: