New music from the lesbian staple

The Indigo Girls have a new album out on March 24th, Poseidon and the Bitter Bug. (What’s up with that title? I don’t get it.) It’s a two-disc set, one electric version and one accoustic version of all the songs. Still a fairly regularly-priced CD, and it’s an interesting idea. I’m a big fan of their accoustic stuff, but I know others who like the rockin songs more, so maybe it’ll be lovely to have the different sounds.

indigo2

I’m sorry but, helloooooo Amy Ray. That is a fabulous photo – of them both! – and really the only reason I’m writing this review is so I can point out how freakin butch Amy Ray is. In fact, I saw her live with her band – her ALL-BUTCH BAND – back in October, and was completely blown away. Amy was playing with Kaia Wilson, Julie Wolf, and Melissa York (see a whole bunch more photos from their west coast tour from indigospike on flickr), and they sounded so amazing together. Amy’s newest album Didn’t It Feel Kinder is one of the very few CDs I’ve actually spent money on in the last few years, so I can’t recommend it highly enough.

Except, just one thing about the photo: the tie tip should touch the middle of the belt buckle. Not sure why Amy’s tie is so short, maybe that’s some styly thing I don’t know about?, but it looks a bit awkward to me. (What’s the tie-length rule when one’s shirt is untucked? Or perhaps that rule presumes an always-tucked shirt.)

Kristen and I listened to it on the way back from a small trip to Boston last week, and she said something I thought was interesting – something like, what’s the point of a new Indigo Girls CD, the entire point is that you know all the words and sing along.

I forget that they’re seen as such a sing-along band. I’m not one to sing-along at concerts – I’m more of the guy glaring at the singers usually, though not at Indigo Girls concerts: it’s true, there are just too many songs that everyone knows, and that is a part of it. Going to Indigo Girls concerts every summer was a big part of my identity development – it’s like an Ani Difranco concert, which I’ve come to call “the family reunion” because of all the dykes, as in “are you going to the family reunion this summer?” “Oh yes, of course, I never miss ’em.” – seeing all those gay women in one place was like going to Pride or the Dyke March, made me feel more at home in my own skin.

I still remember the first time I watched the video for Closer to Fine, my mind blew a bit. I couldn’t stop watching Amy’s delicious swagger and it definitely took me a while to figure out that I wanted to be her, not do her.

Take a listen to many of the songs on Poseidon and the Bitter Bug over at Indigo Girls.com so you can start memorizing the lyrics. Read Tina’s review here and leave a comment (on her blog! not mine!) to win a copy of it, if you like.

Review: Lesbian Life: Real Sex San Francisco

real-sex-sf-211x300I’m not sure how it happened actually, but somewhere in the last few months I started updating my Twitter account with thoughts when I was watching porn to review. That’s aka “live-tweeting porn.”

A month or so ago, I finally got the Video On Demand on Good Vibes to work, and sat down to check out Madison Young’s Lesbian Life: Real Sex San Francisco, and tweeted throughout. Many other folks on twitter chimed in with their thoughts on the film, and on some lesbian sex tips in general (like, what’s with that twisty hand thing? How come there’s no fisting on DVDs?), and what kind of toys they’re using in this episode.

Lots of the San Francisco queer porn stars are on Twitter, too, so a few times Jiz Lee (@jezinyoureye) and Syd Blakovich (@SydBlakovich) jumped in to add some thoughts about their scene (“@SydBlakovich ps. it is really hard to fuck on a massage table.”)

Here’s a transcript of the Twitter stream as I was watching the film.  If you aren’t familiar with Twitter: the first @____ is the person who is writing this, the second @___ (if there is one) is the person to whom they are directing that writing. Photos were borrowed from Alpine SubDreams’s Lesbian Life review, thanks!

Foreplay ….

SCENE ONE: Jiz Lee (@jezinyoureye) & Lorelei Lee

real-sex-scene-1-300x166

  • @mrsexsmith jiz lee is impressive on the [playground] rings.
  • @EssinEm @mrsexsmith I totally went to that park/playground when I was there!!
  • @mrsexsmith @EssinEm it’s a loooooong park scene. still going on. I’m not that into it. oh wait … lorelei lee just bent over … getting better now ..
  • @hotmovies4her @mrsexsmith Are you watching Lesbian Life – Real Sex SF? haha, I JUST reviewed Scene 3 for tomorrow. it is so so so hot!
  • @mrsexsmith @hotmovies4her yes! I’m still in scene 1 … i’ll look forward to 3 then.

SCENE TWO: Syd Blakovich (@SydBlakovich) & Lorelei Lee

  • @mrsexsmith oh I dig this scene in the bike shop. way hot. STILL no cocks though!
  • @jezinyoureye @mrsexsmith LesbianLife:Real Sex SF cocks in scene 3 (johnny used by @SydBlakovich on Carson) & scene 4 (buck used by me on Dylan Ryan)
  • @mrsexsmith reason #1 why the bike shop is more hot than the park scene: lorelei can make more noise. love the way she whimpers.
  • @mrsexsmith @jezinyoureye YES! good cocks too. yummm.
  • @mrsexsmith holy hell! – four fingers in and HARD too. fuck fuck this is great!
  • @mrsexsmith lorelei has left her red high heels on. mmmm that is my kinda girl.
  • @SydBlakovich @hotmoviesforher & @mrsexsmith glad u like it! Took me a sec to get the grease and cum off of me.
  • @jezinyoureye @hotmoviesforher @mrsexsmith those were my coveralls; @SydBlakovich returned them to me with grease & cum all over them.
  • @mrsexsmith @jezinyoureye :O how rude! hope you took it out on @sydblackovich ‘s ass
  • @EssinEm @jezinyoureye Oh, how awful
  • @SydBlakovich @jezinyoureye whatever u have her cum all over ur face anyways, I was just helping u match.
  • @mrsexsmith @SydBlakovich ohh and here you are doing a bit of primping, getting the grease & cum off. fucking HOT.
  • @jezinyoureye @mrsexsmith Too bad we’re cant show fisting in porn DVDs. We can online though — all the folks in LesbianLife are on CPS, and we fist. :D
  • @EssinEm @jezinyoureye New goal (in addition to everything else on my list): come back to CPS and get fisted.
  • @mrsexsmith @jezinyoureye !! I didn’t know that! though I have suspected. I do know your CPS work well :)
  • @jezinyoureye @mrsexsmith If I had a nickel for every time a queer person was surprised to hear that fisting is not allowed
  • @jezinyoureye @mrsexsmith … I’d buy out the industry and allow fisting for all.
  • @mrsexsmith @jezinyoureye oh I like that plan! i’ll gladly throw in a nickel. who makes these rules?
  • @pazenlavida @mrsexsmith this episode of frontline explains why you can’t fist on dvd’s. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/porn/
  • @SydBlakovich Check out episode 89. Lorelei and I do an interview. http://www.blowfish.com/radio/

SCENE THREE: Syd Blakovich (@SydBlakovich)  & Carson

real-sex-scene-3-300x169

  • @SydBlakovich ps. it is really hard to fuck on a massage table.
  • @mrsexsmith @SydBlakovich I bet, but you pull it off like it’s nuthin. what harness is that??
  • @SydBlakovich @mrsexsmith I think it was the cloth version of the terra firma but u can take any jock style cloth harness and remove the backing piece.
  • @mrsexsmith great music in this tattoo parlor scene. great music in every scene so far, actually.
  • @mrsexsmith um. omg. blow job. with the johnny. fuck that’s impressive.
  • @mrsexsmith did I mention that I’m watching Lesbian Life in San Francisco via @GoodVibesSF VOD? they’ve got some great flicks available to download.
  • @mrsexsmith dykes often do that twisty thing with their fingers/hands when finger fucking in porn. for me & lovers that has been uncomfortable. thoughts?
  • @EssinEm @mrsexsmith What twisty thing?
  • @mrsexsmith @EssinEm twisting your hand over, basically. ouch.
  • @bailar_vivir @mrsexsmith The twisty maneuver is painful when performed on me. Yoikes!
  • @dolphyngyrl @mrsexsmith I’d have to see what you’re talking about, exactly, but the twist thing can help open things up.
  • @dolphyngyrl @mrsexsmith con’t: The point is getting more in as you twist.
  • @evilgrrlevilgrrl @mrsexsmith – Do the twisty thing SLOWLY and gently at first with LOTS of lube.
  • @EssinEm @mrsexsmith Oh. I like that usually, with enough lube.
  • @aisforalisha @mrsexsmith I was thinking about that the other day.. I’ve never done it, but was curious..
  • @mrsexsmith @aisforalisha well @essinem says it’s good with enough lube – which is a good point. enough lube and any friction is good friction.
  • @Weebeasty @mrsexsmith That always leaves me really sore but not in a good way.
  • @EssinEm @mrsexsmith But I think I’d prefer to just be fucked very very hard.
  • @bailar_vivir @EssinEm I wish being fucked very very hard didnt hurt in a bad way… sounds awesome! :(
  • @mrsexsmith re: the twisty thing: @dolphyngyrl “it can open things up” and @evilgrrl “slowly/gently with lots of lube.” Hmmmmmm

SCENE FOUR: Dylan Rion & Jiz Lee (@jezinyoureye)

  • @mrsexsmith oh, dylan rion and your signature blow job earrings.
    @mrsexsmith aww @jezinyoureye brought a rose! aren’t you sweet.
  • @mrsexsmith ooh @jezinyoureye is wearing my favorite cock (and the white jaguar harness?) and mmmmm dylan’s mouth is on it. that is delicious.
  • @mrsexsmith four fingers and dylan rion is making beautiful noises. ohmygodYES.
  • @mrsexsmith blow job on glass? (or maybe it’s acrylic?) makes me a bit too conscious of teeth.
  • @jezinyoureye Not so much a BJ — we were just licking off the cum.
  • @mrsexsmith and that was the last scene of Lesbian Life in San Francisco, brought to me by @GoodVibesSF … uh, anything else I should watch from there?

Pleasurists #20

Pleasurists is your round-up of the adult product reviews that came out in the last seven days from bloggers all around the sex blogosphere. Did you miss Pleasurists #19? Read it all here. Do you have a review for Pleasurists #21? Submit it here before Sunday March 15th at 11:59pm PST. Please re-post this list on your own blog if listed.

Want to win some free swag? All you’ve got to do is enter.

Madame Editrix

Scarlet Lotus Sexgeek

On to the reviews…

Pumping: How to Grow a Dick

I wrote about clit pumping in February 2008, and since then, I’ve researched pumping a bit more.

Pumping is most well-known, probably, for endless spam emails: Make her feel your Wang! Make Your Meat-Stick Massive! Give Her Real Lovefest! Turns out, the more you engorge your cis-cock with blood, the bigger it becomes. Similar to working a muscle, I suppose – this is the way you work that particular muscle.

And about two years ago now I heard from a friend that clit pumping was all the rage at a particular trans conference they had attended. Reeeeeally, I asked. How does that work?

Apparently, quite well. Some guys grow inches on their clits from pumping. I did a bit of research (i.e.: googled it, and tried to avoid the nasty sites), which is how I stumbled across a clit pump that I reviewed a year ago, and then a great sex toy store asked me to review multiple pumping products and compare them together.

I feel a bit like Goldilocks and the Three Pumps, trying these out – which one will be just right?

The Clit Pump:

This is the same clit pump I reviewed before – I didn’t realize until it arrived that they were the same. It comes highly recommended, though, now, from multiple sources, so if you’re looking for a clit pump, this is probably a good one.

It was interesting enough that I sought out more information on pumping, but ultimately I wanted more suction and pressure than this little thing could offer.

I’m still not really sure what the appeal of a clit pump is for gals who aren’t looking to enlarge their clits – or, why you would want to enlarge it, I guess. Is it simply an extension of the penis pump? Someone just assumed a woman might want a bigger clit? Bigger = better, etc?

Generally, this pump is weak in pressure, and not deep enough in the cup. The plusi s that it is actually made for my anatomy and thus fits easily over a clit, unlike the penis pumps, whose openings are 2″ wide. On to those next.

penispumpThe Large Pump:

More pressure, more depth in the shaft of the device – depth indeed! Like 12″ of depth! Maybe a bit overkill, I certainly don’t need more than two inches max. The opening is big, too – 2″ around, with a plastic sheath inside – and kind of a challenge to find the seal on the suction. In fact, I often felt like I was pumping my labia as well as my clit, because it’s hard to get a seal just around my clit without getting the labia in there too.

It’s a bit unweildly, feels awkward to have this huuuuge long thing protruding from my clit, so it was kind of uncomfortable. After I got the hang of the suction, it got easier to actually pump: I squeeze the little bulby thing to the point of pressure (not pain) and hold for a few minutes (five, not twenty). The squeeze-pump style is alright, but sometimes felt like it was letting out air rather than making the seal tighter.

So, this one is better with suction … but uselessly too long for a clit, and awkward.

penisheadThe Penis Head Pump:

Aha! Maybe this will solve it – still has the pressure of a “real” penis pump, but it’s smaller, not quite as GIANT and awkward. Let’s see.

Suction: still difficult. This one has a bit of plastic built around the edge of the opening to make sure the seal happens, but that’s, again, only useful if you’ve actually got something to stick inside of the pump itself, which I don’t. Once I get the hang of it, once I get the placement right one time, I can usually get it again and it gets easier. But I’m still pumping my labia (not what I want – at times, that’s painful for my labia piercing) in order to get a seal, and I’m not crazy about that.

Pumping action: This has a squeeze-trigger type of pumping action instead of a squeeze-bulb, which I like better. Easier to add precisely the amount of pressure that I’m aiming for, the bulb feels like it lets some of it out sometimes.

Size: Fine … better than the huge one, easier to wield, but still feels like it wasn’t made for my anatomy. Because, uh, it wasn’t.

In conclusion … Oh yeah – there’s an important question I missed here: does this work? YES. My clit is definitely bigger than it used to be, not so much when unaroused, but it definitely gets larger than it used to when aroused. And this is, well, fun.

The Penis Head Pump is the one that I would keep using, were I to keep using a pump. But, I might not continue pumping very often. After a few months of trying out all three of these in various capacities, I’ve noticed that my clit, though noticably bigger, is also, I think, decreased in sensitivity. I’m having a harder time coming now than I ever remember coming in my life. I’m not sure why, but it could be related. So I’m going to back off for a while (of pumping and of my hitachi, sigh) and see if that helps me get off easier.

Have you tried pumping? What was it like for you? Are you interested in doing so? Leave your two cents in the comments.

Cock Confidence and the KinkForAll Conference

I had a wonderful time at the KinkForAll conference at the LGBT Community Center yesterday. Major thank-yous to Maymay and Eileen (remember her story? mhm I do too) and all the unorganizers and folks who brought food (oh my lord what were those sticky chocolate wafer things?!) and attended and presented – I left with a lot of things on my mind and a lot of ideas to take home.

Some of my favorites? Calico‘s presentation on “Dirty Sexy Money” – I thought we’d talk about sex work, but in fact we were talking about money play and the ways that money can enhance power differentials in role play scenarios. That definitely got my mind going. And also, in Jason’s “What Can’t You Do with Vet Tape?” presentation, I learned that you can’t really use vet tape to beat someone up, but oh boy can you ever use it to tie someone down. I liked the blindfold/gag demo and I am very inspired to pick up some of that. A #kfanyc investigation on twitter reveals that jeffersequine.com is the place to pick it up online. And Barbara Carrellas lead a quick sex magic/tantra presentation that had the whole room breathing, visualizing what we wanted. I will definitely be looking up her workshops and trying to catch one full-length, I’ve heard wonderful things about her and her work for years but have yet to attend.


I did my own presentation as well, and at the last minute called it COCK CONFIDENCE in a butch/femme context. I had some notes, but was also not feeling very well, and twenty minutes goes by so fast!, so I had a lot more to say about the subject that I didn’t get to. Here goes.

1. What is cock confidence?

Particularly, what is it in a genderqueer context, with a strap-on as opposed to a cis-cock?

Most of us who strap on have had those moments of awkwardness when we go from the hot-and-heavy making out to “oh my god, this is really gonna happen,” then the sudden realization: “oh shit, when (and how) do I whip it out?”

Cock confidence is knowing when and how, and doing it smoothly so it doesn’t ruin the mood. This does not necessarily mean taking yourself (or your cock) incredibly seriously, sometimes a little bit of camp and sillyness can be totally appropriate and keep you laughing and connected to the hot lil piece of ass that you’re about to fuck.

(I happen to be a particularly serious lover, so it didn’t even occur to me that taking it seriously was separate from having confidence, though I think those are two different things.)

2. How do I get (more) cock confidence?

Two particular things come to mind here: you can develop confidence solo, with yourself, and you can develop it with a lover.

Lots of us have lovers, but they don’t necessarily validate our cock confidence, or perhaps our cock confidence is so low that we want to gain some of our own before we bring it into play with a partner. Do this on your own! Get to know your cock, get it out, wear it, put it on, clean the house, watch your weekly tv show while you’re wearing it. Get off with it on and see how that feels. Incorporate it into your own self-luuuuv rituals.

The more comfortable you are putting it on and taking it off, the more practice you have at it, the easier it will be to do with a lover present too. You’ll struggle less with the buckles and snaps if you have done it a dozen or fifty or a hundred times already. You’ll get the feel of how long it takes when it goes smoothly, so it won’t feel as long and endless of a process when you’re doing it in front of someone else.

Secondly: practice cock confidence by getting with someone who respects the way you want to wear and wield your cock. This, in my experience, is best done by talking to the person you’re fucking, either the one who you are already sleeping with (an ongoing partner, perhaps) or the one you are trying to get in bed, preferably before you’re in bed together.

And this is where gender discussions as foreplay come in.

I’ve written about gender as foreplay before, but let’s see if I can’t go into a bit more depth here. I find it rather easy to bring up gender during a date, it’s often one of my early talking points when I meet someone new (“What do you do?” “I’m a writer, mostly of smut and gender theory.”), but I’m not sure exactly how it comes up or what I use in order to discuss it.

If I’m on a date, I start a conversation about chivalry and the ways that I use it as courtship and interest, as a way to enhance the gender differences between us, and as respect. Chivalry is so connected to gendered interactions, it leads automatically into a discussion of gender. I like to ask about someone’s gender, about how they came to the gender they’ve got, to tell their gender story.

The gender story is a big one – how I came to be the way I am – it tells so much about where a person is at, their past loves, past heartbreaks, what they’ve learned from relationships and what they know now to be true about themselves.

Someone asked me how to make this gendered conversation sexy, or sexual – foreplay rather than analytical conversation. The short answer is, I’m not sure I know, since the analytical conversations about gender really do turn me on.

The longer answer is … what about gender turns you on? Talk about that stuff. Does it turn you on to talk about cocks and cufflinks and gender as a form of power play and femme markers like stockings, earrings, makeup? Talk about that. Is it suits and dresses? High heels and combat boots? Or is it some other version of femme and butch, of not conforming to gender, of wearing boxer briefs under a mini-skirt, of genderqueer or head-shaving and how liberating it is to not have any hair, plus it feels good, run your hands over it. It’s more than just physical markers, too, of course. So talk about that – what does your “inner gender” mean, say, feel like? What makes you feel the most like you, the most sexy, the most wanted, the most desire?

All these discussions of sex and gender are absolutely to determine what kind of chemistry and compatibility you might have with this person once you get in bed, to determine whether or not it’d be a good match. You might be very physically attracted to them, but that doesn’t necessarily make you a good match in bed – I’m sure this is not news to most folks, but it doesn’t hurt to reiterate.

I mean, I don’t really fuck without a cock. I joked about this at KinkForAll – “I mean, what would I DO?!” Of course, I don’t really mean that (and I hate to perpetuate the idea that lesbians don’t have anything to do together in bed, since there’s no cock involved). I have plenty of ideas about what to do with my hands, mouth, fists, without involving a cock.

But that’s not the kind of sex I prefer.

(Obviously, you already know that, if you read this site.) I prefer strapping on. I prefer a submissive femme girl on her knees gulping my cock down her throat, I prefer throwing her onto the bed before shoving my hand between her legs. And conversations about gender, and how I use gender as part of the sex play, are key to knowing whether or not a girl would be into that before we really start to get it on.

I watch what happens when I mention my cock. I watch her reaction, I watch her eyelids flutter as she checks to see if maybe, just maybe I’m wearing one right now (I am). I watch her skin flush on her neck as heat comes to her body.

And that’s how I get my cock confidence.

Any questions? Class adjourned.

PS: Lolita got a shot of me during the Cock Confidence workshop, thanks Lo!

Pleasurists #18

I don’t usually submit to Pleasurists – I don’t really consider myself a toy reviewer in the way that others do. I just like to try things out & talk about them. This week, though, I liked how many comments I got about the Jaguar Harness – it’s a widely-used harness, so it was great to hear everybody’s two cents on what they thought of it and whether or not they use it. I think that discussion is really useful! Thanks for weighing in.

Pleasurists is your round-up of the adult product reviews that came out in the last seven days from bloggers all around the sex blogosphere. Did you miss Pleasurists #17? Read it all here. Do you have a review for Pleasurists #19? Submit it here before Sunday March 8th at 11:59pm PST. Please re-post this list on your own blog if listed.

Want to win some free swag? All you’ve got to do is enter.

On to the reviews…

Editor’s Pick

  • Bill and Desiree: Love Is Timeless by Domina Doll on Viviane’s Sex Carnival
  • Everything they do, they do with exhilaration and wild abandon. They explore their sexual love like children who are delighted and amazed by everything they see and touch. I had a perma-smile welded on my face as I watched them make love with such tenderness: their smiles, laughter and joy radiating out of the screen to affect me as well. It was so powerful and beautifully poignant to watch their sweet ecstatic moans and tearful orgasms as they convulsed with ecstasy.

Madame Editrix: Scarlet Lotus Sexgeek

Review: Johnny

johnnyAs of 2/8/16 This product is no longer available at Babeland

In my opinion, the four major things to consider about a cock are: length, girth, shape, and material. Here’s how the Johnny from Babeland measures up.

Length:

Near perfect. Not too long, but long enough.

Girth:

Also near perfect. Thick enough that it makes you stretch a bit, but still narrow enough to get my hand around. Would be a little too wide for blow jobs probably, but I’d like to see her try.

Shape:

Superior. Realistic in it’s slight upcurve and balls, great for g-spot stimulation, nice head.

Material:

Aaaaaand here’s where the trouble comes into paradise. The material is high-quality silicone, sterilizable, which is generally great – the only trouble is that I know something better (Vixskin Vixskin Vixskin) is out there, and I know how much better it feels. This silicone is so hard and solid and doesn’t give at all – it feels so much less lifelike and real, and that matters to me in sex play these days.

So: it’s a great cock, if you like the typical traditional silicone. If you like realistic cocks, skip it and go for Vixskin.

Next up: The Outlaw. Oh my god I have been waiting to get my hands on this for, it seems, ever. I can’t wait.

Do you have this cock? What do you think of it?

Review: Jaguar Harness

jaguarEveryone rants and raves about the Jaguar harness by Aslan Leather – and I get it, I do: the leather is beautiful, it’s incredibly well-made, it feels like a buttery second skin. It’s snug, it adjusts well and easily, stays in place, it feels pretty good to wear – I could keep going with the general praise. You might just love this harness, many people do.

Personally, though, I just prefer one-strap harnesses, so I’m not crazy about this one.

Here’s the thing: I don’t really like my harness to feel like I’m wearing underwear. Maybe it’s because I came across the Barely There harness when I started packing and it feels practically like wearing nothing (except a cock), but I just don’t like the feel of that much material between me and my cock (and a girl). I start feeling frustrated that I can’t get closer.

Here’s the other thing: I can (sometimes – rarely, it seems, these days) get off myself while strapped on and fucking. But the key to this – for me – is pressure against my clit, and a one-strap harness that runs right between my legs is the way to get it. Even if I don’t come (which seems these days I don’t, but that’s another post) I still love the sensation, the pressure and stimulation right at the right spot. Two-strap harnesses don’t do this for me, so I feel all the more disconnected from the fuck.

I adore Aslan Leather in general and I recommend this harness often to folks who ask for help picking one out. It is gorgeous, so well-crafted. If only Aslan made a one-strap version (with thinner straps!) I’d snatch it up quicker than you could say “Jameson rocks.”

Do you have this harness? What do you think?

Review: Bow Restraints

bowAs of 2/8/16 This product is no longer available at Babeland

“I feel like a present,” Kristen said, and whispered, “I kind of like being objectified.”

I like the bow restraints. They came to me from one of my very favorite fabulous sex toy stores. The bow itself, and that it is locked with a key – very hot. Unfortunately, they’re not so easy to get on and off, and they were a bit uncomfortable to wear, too.

First: the bow. When I saw these I thought, okay, that’s either going to be a HOT femmey accessory, or it’s going to look stupid. And we all know I’ve got a bit of a fetish for ribbons and ties, right? I don’t know what it is exactly, but something about bondage and femininity together. And the bow works. I like the look of it.

It’s more like an accessory. I kind of want to throw a bondage party and ask her to wear it all night, not sure she would, but it would be hot to watch her struggle to eat, drink, host.

The lock: also cute. Heart shaped and little, comes with two keys. Clicks open easily.

The trouble comes into paradise here when putting all these things together – the loop that holds her hands, the bow part (which is purely decoration), with the lock holding them both together. That’s three layers of material, and the lock, though very small, doesn’t slip in very easily. This isn’t much of a problem at first – “okay, I’ll just be patient, work it in,” I am thinking. [Do I have to say it? ‘A boy’s gotta know how to be patient and work it in.’ Yeah, I know, I couldn’t restrain myself.] That worked fine, but later, in any moment of panic, they couldn’t be removed very quickly, which could make things much worse and could even be a bit dangerous.

Maybe I just need to break ’em in a bit more. Maybe there are ways to pull them less tight, so the lock is easier to manouver. I don’t want to give up on these bow restraints just yet – but I know I probably wouldn’t just impromptu grab them from the toybox without preparing to use them, making sure I had the keys handy. Especially when I could use my bondage belt in two seconds, and I know exactly how easy and uncomplicated it is to put on and take off.

Best Sex Toy Reviewers of 2008

topstr1The Best Sex Toy Reviewers list was published today, and on it, at #7, with a bullet, is yours truly. Thanks y’all! I’m glad the reviews that I do are useful for you.

So … now that I’m writing about sex toy reviews, I have a few things to say before getting on to the list. Our sexblog communities are currently flooded with sex toys. Go figure, sex toy shops have figured out that it is quite profitable for them to give us not-so-expensive products, which in turn gives them sales. Sex bloggers are happy – free sex toys! – and sex toy stores are happy – more sales!

Okay, but what about the readers?

I’m sure some reviews and recommendations are very helpful – especially when you’re not so used to shopping for sex toys, have no idea what’s out there or where to start. Great! Happy to help, happy to provide some information and ideas about certain products and how they worked for me.

I have a couple complaints about this, though:

  1. Some blogs seem to be taken over by reviews, and the reflective, personal writings are becoming background content.
  2. Some bloggers never write bad reviews. This kind of makes sense, since for the most part, the toy comes by request of the blogger, and we’re not really about to request things that we dislike. But how can I trust the good reviews, if there aren’t any bad ones?
  3. Some sex toy sites are sketchy, and bad business. I cringe at their awful objectification of women and hetero-centric gaze. I wouldn’t want to support them with my money, and I do sometimes feel judgmental about supporting them with links and promotions.

I did a lot of reviews in 2008 – thanks to my lovely assistant Alisha, I’m working on a round-up of reviews from the last year, especially focusing on which toys I still use (and which are just sitting in a box). I admit, I was wowed by the options of getting sex toys in the mail (yay!) in exchange for my opinions on them. I reviewed for Eden, Babeland, Spartacus Leathers, and even got a harness from Good Vibes. And I was asked by at least a dozen other companies to review things for them, but I usually felt too strange and uncomfortable about their politics for me to follow through.

For me, it comes down to this: our sexblogs are profitable promotional tools for sex toy sites & companies. I want to be intentional and consciencious about the politics and policies I’m supporting. Toys with phthalates cause cancer and are a problem. Lack of gender and queer diversity and knowledge is a problem. A non-feminist approach to sex, sexuality, and sexual health is a problem.

I have been limiting myself to one review a week (max!), and I’m going to continue to say no to a lot of the review requests that come through. I will absolutely accept review requests for gender-bending products, for cocks and harnesses, for BDSM toys, and for occasional other fun stuff that I’ve been curious to try out, but I’m saying no a lot more than I was last year. I don’t want toy reviews to overwhelm the content of this site.

If you’ve got opinions on the ways that I review things, now’s a great time to speak up!

  • Any toys you would love to see me review?
  • Any specific questions about toys that I’ve reviewed, sex toys in general, how to use a harness, which cocks to start with, etc etc? Ask away, I’ll see what I can do to answer!
  • Any ideas about how I can make reviews more useful?

And now, without further ado: the Best Sex Toy Reviewers of 2008.

Congrats, Essin’ Em, for the #1 slot! You definitely deserve it.

Best Sex Toy Reviewers is a new annual list compiled by Domina Doll and Scarlet Lotus Sexgeek. Only reviewers who reviewed during the year of 2008 were considered, there will be a list for 2009 next year.

  1. Essin’ Em
  2. Domina Doll
  3. Beautiful Dreamer
  4. Scarlet Lotus Sexgeek
  5. Epiphora
  6. Gabe and Elizabeth
  7. Sinclair Sexsmith
  8. Catalina Loves
  9. Agent Ansley
  10. Betty Rocket
  11. Carnivalesq
  12. J.D. Bauchery
  13. Toygirl
  14. Thursday’s Child
  15. Dame Demi
  16. Shay
  17. Shasta Gibson
  18. AlwaysArousedGirl
  19. Freddy and Eddy
  20. Dangerous Lilly
  21. Jack
  22. Erin Leone
  23. Sleeping Dreamer
  24. Ellie Lumpesse
  25. Wendy Blackheart
  26. Ducky Doolittle
  27. Curvaceous Dee
  28. The Porn Librarian
  29. Lux Alptraum
  30. Kyle
  31. Naughty Secretary
  32. Monkey
  33. Nadia West
  34. Alpine Subdreams
  35. Bulma
  36. Radical Vixen
  37. The Beautiful Kind
  38. Toys for Tarts
  39. Sienna
  40. Audacia Ray
  41. Mariella
  42. Ang
  43. Lucy Vonne
  44. Holden
  45. Coy Pink
  46. Backseat Boohoo
  47. Bad Bad Girl
  48. Jimbo Jones
  49. Tess
  50. BOX: Les Petites Morts
  51. Zephyrine
  52. N
  53. Phaedra Fallen
  54. Jiz Lee
  55. Alisa
  56. Syntax
  57. Panthera Pardus
  58. Red
  59. Sommer Marsden
  60. Mollena
  61. The Countess
  62. Adriana
  63. Madeline Glass
  64. Hussy Red
  65. Trouble
  66. Roxy
  67. Sexorcism
  68. Roxanne Rhoads
  69. Amber
  70. Roxi
  71. Kinkerbelle
  72. Sylvanus and Mina
  73. Dark Lady
  74. Sex Is Fun
  75. Adrie Santos

Review: Butch Jamie (film)

I watched Butch Jamie recently – you can imagine why I was intrigued, there are so few butches on screen, at all!, that I like seeing my kind represented and tend to seek out the queer films anyway, so of course I picked it up. And by picked it up, I mean, Wolfe Video was kind enough to send one to me.

Here’s the trailer:


Cute, right? And I stand by my original impulse – it’s really fun to see a butch in a film. I’m pretty critical of film in general, especially queer films, so I definitely have some criticisms of the way the plot developed. Some of it was just silly and unbelievable, in a kind of annoying way. But I actually really enjoyed Jamie’s roommate, I thought her character had probably the most integrity.

Have you seen this film? What’d you think?

Review: Pink & White’s Champion

To all of you who just complained that there are no butches or real sex on the L Word.

To all of you who don’t have a favorite porn star.

To all of you who think that lesbian porn is hetero-made and consists of two pretty girls with French tips tongue-kissing.

To anyone who likes hot butches, bois, trans guys, femmes, and other genderqueers.

Watch this film.

Buy it, and watch it, and tell your friends about it.

Watch it, and praise it, and buy and support the other amazing things that Pink & White does, too.

Queer porn director Shine Louise Houston’s new indy flick CHAMPION was released on DVD by Blowfish this week, and last night I sat down and turned it on.

I twittered some of my immediate reactions:

  • oh my god, the noises that Madison Young makes. oh. my. god.
  • what cock is it that Syd & Madison are fucking with in this second scene in Champion?
  • I am loving the original score on this Champion film.
  • @blowfishtwitter oh I <3 you.
  • :O what is that behind-the-knees spreader bar used on Dylan Rion?!? oh I so need one of those.
  • shit – it’s a golf club? and rope!? jesus, note to self.
  • why isn’t there more dirty talk in porn? just lots of moans & grunts … that’s sexy too, but c’mon, let’s hear some good words.
  • I actually had a dream that crash pad series #4 was already out and published. dammit. at least there’s #3 and Champion!

Toward the end of the flick, my jaw still hanging open in awe and having barely moved from the spot where I sat down, I realized: no one but Syd Blakovich could’ve played the lead role of Jessie. I imagine it was made for her – she’s worked with Houston in the past, and so Houston must know about Blakovich’s MMA and Ultimate Surrender credentials, plus precisely how skilled Blakovich is as a top in scenes.

I loved the training sequences, Blakovich’s punching and kicking at gym equipment with hard, concentrated looks on her face, muscles straining and rippling. Especially juxtaposed with the sex scenes – almost all of which feature Blakovich – the bodily similarities were heightened and the fighting sequences were amazingly erotic.

Speaking of sex:

Blakovich pairs with an amazing cast of porn stars throughout. Her real-life partner Jiz Lee makes more than a few appearances (as Jessie’s ex), and it is so obvious that they know each other’s bodies.

The scene with Blakovich and Madison Young is amazing. Amazing. If Champion had a spine, I would surely break it right at that scene. Young has orgasm after orgasm, and I actually wondered at one point if she was going to be torn apart from the intensity – Blakovich does not let up, and oh my god what Young can take as a bottom blows my brain. The power and strength with which Blakovich was pounding away at Young’s inner thigh, at one point – and Young just opened and took it, gasping, and holy fuck it was hot.

Morning after, Blakovich delivers my favorite line to Young: “No one’s keeping you here, honey.” I gasped at the screen. Did she just kick Madison Young out of bed?! Shit.

(Remember that time I wrote about Avah fucking Madison Young? Yeah, me too.)

Blakovich is also, eventually, paired with her character’s rival, Dallas (playing Violet), at the end of the film (not to, ahem, give away the plot or anything). The scene is more tender than others, but still very hot. I really love the way Dallas makes noise, very low-pitched and incredibly hot.

Blakovich is not the only one who gets to fuck – Dylan Rion gets her chance with Javier, in a hot hot scene in a van involving an impromptu spreader bar at her knees made of (I think?) a golf club and rope. She’s one of my personal favorite bottoms in all the porn I’ve seen, so that scene definitely sticks out.

And plus? Rion leaves her heels on.

Even Houston makes an appearance, briefly, as a reporter.

Pink & White – Houston’s production company – and Houston herself – have been hailed again and again as innovative, cutting edge, and authentic, and though it is starting to sound redundant, I can’t not praise her vision: she directs real genderqueer porn, with butches, femmes, bois, and trans folks, in real scenarios with real sex that both inspires and reflects my own sex life. I never saw myself reflected in porn until I started watching Houston’s work – and for that, I will pick up every DVD Houston releases, to support her.

Buy the DVD from Blowfish or from your local women-owned sex-positive sex shop.

Watch the NC-17 version of the trailer, or the PG-13 version, below:

Review: Gee Whiz … the Hitachi Upgrade

(It’s actually a little challenging to write about vibrators … seems very personal, which is weird, compared to all the rest that I write about. But how I get off in private, alone, is not something I usually share.)

I was in college when I invested in the Hitachi Magic Wand. It is the Grandmother of All Sex Toys, and unless your clit is super super sensitive (in which case the VERY strong vibrations will simply be too much), I recommend one for every toy box.

The first time I brought it home and used it, though, I just couldn’t get the pointed stimulation I was used to or liked. I like the strong vibration, but I still wanted more concentrated focus in … certain spots.

I was complaining about this with some of my fellow Women Studies students, and one friend of mine said, “The attachments are where it’s at. That’s what you’re missing.”

“Huhwhut? But I don’t really want internal penetration …”

“No, no. Use it on your clit. It’ll just be more … gathered attention this way. Trust me.”

I did. She was right.

The Hitachi and the G-spotter attachment (shown left … I guess Babeland doesn’t carry them anymore? I can’t find it on their website) have been my nightcap for many years now.

I’ve seen the other attachments – like the Gee Whiz, silicone, a little fancier, more sculpted – at Babeland ever since, and while I was somewhat curious, I wasn’t sure it would be worth it. They seemed more made for penetration and I didn’t think I wanted that. The

Alright, Babeland: I stand corrected.

The best part about this innocent little attachment is that it’s got this nub on the underside of the cap that is perfectly situated for clit stimulation.

Time will tell if this attachment will stay at the top of my toybox or get buried, but for now, I’m damn excited about it. And considering this review is done, and I have a little time before I have to grab a shower and get going with my day, I think I might just get back into bed. Mmm yeah.

(If you don’t have a Hitachi yet, you can get the Hitachi & Gee Whiz together and save some money.)

Review: Simply Sexy Leather Harness

The reviews for toys that I loved aren’t a problem – I just write, hey, I loved this, and here’s why (with lots of detail).

The reviews for toys I didn’t like are so much harder. For one, I always feel that I didn’t adequately give the toy a chance, and if I just used it better, differently, again, warmed up to it, then I’d like it. Or, at least, I’d see it’s full purpose and write huh, it’s really good for this and this function, but that’s not a function I’ve ever needed or have ever anticipated reading.

gv_harness1But, nonetheless, I try to report what it was like for me to use any given toy, my observations, how I think it would be useful and how it didn’t work for me, with the hopes that it is a lot of data and not as much opinion, so you can make your own decision.

So, given all that:

Good Vibrations sent me the Simply Sexy Leather Harness, a one-strap harness with leather straps and a leather panel behind interchangeable O-rings. And I was not impressed. Let me tell you why:

  • The back piece is too big and thick, and felt, when I had it on, like I was wearing underwear or a shield (which perhaps some people would like, but I don’t)
  • The O-ring is a problem. A big one. Because of the way it attaches with small leather straps to the back piece, there is very little room under the O-ring. This means cocks with a particularly thick base (like, say, oh, the Silky, which I think we all know is my cock 75% of the time) does not fit. At all. Making the harness practically useless to me.
  • Okay, so maybe I can use it for another cock, right? This is what I was thinking. Just because it is a no-Silky-zone doesn’t make it useless. But no: aside from Silky, my next go-to cocks are much larger in girth and need a larger O-ring. This harness’s O-rings are interchangeable, so I just get out a bigger one, right? No … the same O-ring problem again. The straps that hold the O-rings attach to the leather triangle backing at a fixed distance, not to the harness straps themselves, and it is near impossible to fit a 2″ O-ring comfortably. It will fit, but it doesn’t sit right and it isn’t tight enough or comfortable. It also feels like it’s going to snap off.
  • The straps are also a slight problem. The center between-the-legs strap is nylon, but hte around-the-waist straps are leather, and very hard to tighten or loosen as needed. Maybe that’s a good thing really – once you get them where you want them, they won’t move – but as a packing harness, where I don’t want it biting into my hips all night but I want to be able to tighten and go when I’m ready, it wouldn’t work.

It is rare to find a solid one-strap, and I do like those; I also like the combination of leather and nylon, and I like that the O-rings are interchangeable. I had high hopes for this Simply Sexy Leather Harness but I can’t imagine it being useful – especially not when I have harnesses like the Jaguar, the Barely There, and the Joque in my sex toy arsenal. And this is not to say that Good Vibrations doesn’t have other fabulous harnesses to buy, too … it’s worth checking out what they’ve got available, they’re a great feminist sex-positive sex toy store.

Review: Leather Paddle

leather-paddleNew Year’s Eve has inspired me to revive this review of the Spartacus Leather Paddle, which somehow slipped through the review cracks this past year. I think I got this in the late summer last year, and I’ve had very few opportunities to try it out, which is why I’ve been waiting to finish the review.

The paddle itself is lovely – 16″ long, thin enough that it bends easily but still solid enough to make a very satisfying smack.

I don’t really like the handle … it’s a little uncomfortable to grip, since it’s so flat. The edges dig into my palms a bit. Someone suggested I wrap it with something (tape? fabric?) but I haven’t done that yet. I may do, especially now that this paddle and I are getting along quite well, and I’d like to spend some more quality time with it.

I recently took my wooden paddle to a birthday party, and I’d nearly forgotten how completely hard and stiff the paddle is – I can’t hit as hard as I’d like because it doesn’t absorb the blow at all, unlike the slightly-bendy leather which bounces a bit more, so I can hit harder. And, yeah, I like that.

Spartacus Leathers, in case you haven’t heard of it, has a store in Portland, Oregon in addition to their online store. Aside from being a retailer of various products, they create their own leather products … and oh they are beautiful. This paddle is sturdy and luscious, and I very much look forward to using it more.

(Surfing around on the site I’ve just found that you get your very own Mistress Bear with orders over $100. That is really tempting, they have way more than $100 of gear that I am coveting.)

The paddle also comes as a black and blue frat paddle (but I think they’re the same other than color). And did you see everything on clearance?

Review: The Pleasure’s All Mine (book)

pleasureI picked up The Pleasure’s All Mine by Joan Kelly a month or so ago, and it was a pleasing, quick read. Perhaps my hopes were high, thinking she might add to my understanding of being submissive or bottoming, but unfortunately it was moreso a big of a glamorized account of being in a generally dominatrix-dominated field and being submissive.

When I first heard of this book, the idea sent a jolt through me – a professional submissive? Really? I love the idea of a formal study of the skills of bottoming, and I definitely wanted to read that kind of analysis and those kinds of stories.

The memoir, unfortunately, read as a fairly naive linear narrative of her time from discovering that she’s kinky, to working in a dungeon as one of only two submissives on staff, then becoming “freelance,” if you will, and taking private clients. It is incredibly breezy, almost effortless, moving in and out of one place to the next with no change in tone or depth of emotional weight, so I never got the idea that one place was harder or easier than another – even though she’d write “I was happier there than at the first place” for example, there was no emotional connection on my account with the difference between those experiences. She never recounts the problems with professional submission, either – she vaguely hinted at it, and, toward the end of the book, relayed a particularly scary account where she was tied to a shower curtain and seemed terrified. I was very uncomfortable for her, for example, and nothing in the writing told me that she was actually having a good time – I was expecting a few pages of “this is how I recovered from that situation” and “this is what I learned, and I never got myself into such a bad scenario again.” But the situation, once the description of it was over, was barely discussed.

This book got me thinking, too, about the difference between a “sex worker” and a “professional submissive.” I’m not so up on the world of sex work, so do correct me here, but I would guess that sex workers don’t necessarily figure kink or BDSM play into the mix, and professional submissives are more skilled at the various ways to bottom and receive in those scenarios of sensation play or power play. And yet, I went away from her memoirs feeling like she lacked explanation for these deeper BDSM bottoming techniques and consciousness.

Perhaps I’m being too harsh. It was an easy, fun read, and I was quickly absorbed in it. But the writing wasn’t anything special, and her selling point – that she’s a “professional submissive” and ooooh isn’t that such an amazing, wild, sexy thing to do – felt underanalyzed and naive by the end. I would’ve loved to see some analysis that was more intentional and conscious, in a greater context of the kink and BDSM communities.

Have you read this? What did you think?

Review: Alumina Revolve

revolveAs of 2/8/16 This product is no longer available at Babeland

Um … woah.

This is the Alumina Revolve, one of Tantus’s new line of aluminum toys, called Alumina, and there are four – all of which unscrew at the center so you can mix-and-match the handles and shapes.

I want the whole set.

This is the fantastic affordable substitute to perhaps some of the Njoy toys, like the Pure Wand, which, though they completely amazing and current gods of the sex toy industry, are completely out of my (and most people’s, I imagine) price range. But the new Alumina line from Tantus is not – though the pricetags on their various Alumina items are not cheap, at least they’re under a bill and not over a hundred bucks like the best Njoy toys.

So, the material: the aluminum is really the selling point of these toys. It’s heavier than I expected, has a great heft to it that most wand-style toys do not. Not as heavy as the stainless steel toys of Njoy, no, but still, much heavier than most plastic or even silicone cocks. Plus it’s smooth. Sleek. And aluminum cleans up easy – soap & water to maintain, then a quick wash through the dishwasher and you’ve sterilized it completely.

Since it’s metal, it’ll conduct temperature. Currently my toybox is housed near the windows in my room, and since it is winter in New York City this week, it’s freezing and the toy is ice cold when I first pick it up. It warms quickly – and would retain some heat, too, if you were to submerge it in warm water for a while before pulling it out for use.

Extra bonus points for sensation play.

The Revolve specifically is made for G-spot stimulation, it’s a little more bulbousy (ew, that is NOT a sexy word, but how else to describe the shape?) than the other toys on the longer end, then the “handle” side is wonderfully tiered for some anal play. It’s narrow too – 8-1/4” x 1-1/4″ – not good for size queens, but plenty big enough.

The Alumina Pace is a butt toy, the Alumina Flow is sleek and would be great for PC exercises (uh, right), and the Alumina Motion has more taper to it, which would be perfect if you are particularly tight. If only I’d asked Babeland to send me one of each!

Two Crash Pad Series Website Memberships – For You!

Oh, Crash Pad. Oh, Shine Louise Houston. How do I love thee, let me count the ways.

… What’s that? You’re not familiar with the original Crash Pad DVD, or the subsequent THREE DVDs of episodes compiled from the Crash Pad Series website? If only someone would give away a membership for the lonely, cold month of January!

Oh hey! That’s exactly what I’m going to do!

The Crash Pad is the hottest porn I’ve ever seen. Hands down.

I mean, I’m not actually an expert on visual porn – when I came out about ten years ago, I started renting lesbian porn and was incredibly disappointed (with perhaps the exception of some s.i.r. productions films, like Hard Love/How to Fuck in High Heels and Sugar High Glitter City), and I kind of lost interest in the genre.

Well … until it became increasingly obvious that dyke-made-dyke-porn-for-dykes was booming, and butch/femme queer porn was, uh, the hottest thing I’d ever seen. In my wildest dreams I hadn’t fathomed someone could videotape something so goddamn hot.

Uh, yeah.

(I’ll be in my bunk.)

Ahem.

The fabulous folks over at Pink & White (thanks to a suggestion from Jiz Lee) have offered up two Level Two (video!) membership to the Crash Pad Series website for the month of January for me to give away.

Whatcho gotta do:

Leave a comment answering who is your favorite porn star and why? If you don’t have a favorite star, make it your favorite porn film. If you don’t have a favorite porn film, well – you really need to win this contest! Leave a comment anyway.

Two winners will be chosen randomly on Thursday morning, 18 December.

Special extra minutes for you from Hot Movies For Her

Uh, did you see the photo in that ad? It comes from one of their films, Post Apocalyptic Cowgirls, and no I am not kidding.

Fabulous reviewer for HMFH, Ms. Debauchery, describes it thus:

Ever since I was first given the heads up about this latest Bleu Productions movie, I’ve been super excited to check it out. Two tattooed, gritty post apocalyptic cowgirls dressed in leather, boots and bad attitudes cross paths on the Arizona highway and fuck wildly in the empty desert.

Uh, for reals? Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus, and this year, that would be me, the man with the bag: thanks to Hot Movies For Her, Sugarbutch is passing on 20 minutes of anything you’d like over at HMFH where you can watch Post Apocalyptic Cowgirls, Good Dyke Porn, Turn Me Up Over & On, any number of flicks with trans man Buck Angel, Sappho’s Girls #1 … Hot Movies For Her really does have a great selection. Check out their new queer films section too – not just lezzzbian, but queer! Awesome.

Here’s the deal: sign up for an account through this link and it’ll give you twenty minutes FREE. You do have to enter your credit card information (to verify your age), but you do not have to give up anything else.

Post Apocalyptic Cowgirls isn’t your boyfriend’s lesbo porn film, though, beware.

I might not recommend this hardcore lesbo flick to someone looking for a soft focus lens and romantic tribbing, but for all us down and dirty dykes, I say this one is for you!

Check, please. No more talking over dinner, no more making eyes across the table: I’m taking this one home with me.

So … what’d you download? Any good recommendations?

Excellent Queer/Lesbian Films

Hey Janet – thanks to the Random Number Generator, you are the winner of the copy of She Likes Girls 3 from Wolfe Video!

Everybody else, She Likes Girls 3 comes out on December 2nd – preorder your own copy, it’s going to be great.

Janet writes at Mid-life Clarity. Congrats! I’ll be in touch with you via email.

In this completely informal poll that wasn’t even really a poll, here are some of the queer films that you all answered when I asked what is your favorite lesbian/queer film of all time?

Top favorites:

Incredibly True Adventures of Two Girls in Love (7)
But I’m a Cheerleader (6)
If These Walls Could Talk 2 (5)
By Hook or By Crook (4)
Better Than Chocolate (3)
Bound (3)
Fried Green Tomatoes (3)
Imagine Me & You (2)
High Art (2)

One mention each:

All Over Me
Priscilla, Queen of the Desert
Itty Bitty Titty Committee
Little Darlings
D.E.B.S.
Paris is Burning
Tipping the Velvet
Boys Don’t Cry
The Alley Cats (by Radley Metzger – “1960s lesbian sexploitation at its finest”)
Derek Jarman’s “The Garden”
Puccini For Beginners
Show Me Love (aka Fucking Amal)
Saving Face
Fire
The Gay Bed and Breakfast Terror
Go Fish
Antonia’s Line
Aimee & Jaguar
Kissing Jessica Stein

Films that weren’t mentioned (but probably should’ve been):

Desert Hearts
Chutney Popcorn
When Night is Falling

Perhaps you know some young gay folks who might just love to have their little queer worlds rocked the way ours were when we first saw some of these films, when we first saw ourselves reflected on screen, given that it’s the holidays and all.

And speaking of the holidays – want to be a Gay Santa for Sylvia’s Place, homeless queer youth services?

—please forward widely–

Expand Your Shopping List This Christmas – Be a Gay Santa MCCNY/Homeless Youth Services is seeking volunteers for our “Gay Santa” program. Gay Santas respond to letters written by the LGBT youth in our program requesting gifts. Gifts are mailed or dropped off at the shelter so that each young person has a gift to open Christmas morning. Interested? Contact: kate_barnhart@yahoo.com

Review: Liv vibrator

As of 2/8/16 This product is no longer available at Babeland

I’m not a vibrator connoisseur, I’ll just go ahead and disclose that right now. I couldn’t really tell you just by turning on a vibrator if it is more or less strong than another one from memory, I find it challenging to give them a number based on how strong their buzzing is. It’s even hard when two of them are right next to each other – unless one is the Hitachi Magic Wand, pretty much, which is of course the Grandmother of all vibrators.

And I do like my Hitachi, I do. It is a fairly standard go-to for quick-and-easy jerk off sessions. My nightcap, if you will.

But …

When my roommate is home, the Hitachi has quite the vroom-vroom-vroom engine that is really not so subtle. Especially at three in the morning when my whole building is quiet.

So I’ve been vaguely searching for a decent vibrator which would be very quiet, but strong enough still to get me off fairly quickly and easily.

I reviewed the Laya Spot vibrator a while back, and that’s been a pretty good one on this quiet-but-powerful scale, but now that the Liv vibrator by Lelo has come along, I haven’t picked up the Laya Spot once.

Liv is smooth. Sleek. It doesn’t hurt that it’s black, and silicone, but the silicone doesn’t really separate from the plastic/electric pieces, so aside from just soap and water I don’t think there’s a way to boil it in order to sterilize it.

It’s got three speeds, and a couple different variations of sensations too, including a short-quick-bursts and longer, rolling pulses. It is not too strong, or too big either, but if you like something easy that can be inserted and that buzzes quite nicely, this may just be perfect for you.

The battery for Liv is rechargeable, which in theory is really great but in practice has proven to be a little bit of a pain in the ass, as it seems to lose its charge fairly easily (or maybe I just get off a whole lot more than I realize?) and the last few times I’ve grabbed for it, it has been dead. It’s dead now, actually, and will take a full two to four hours to recharge, and because I want to finish and get this review up immediately (while I am feeling inspired to do so), I’m not going to describe the pulsing as accurately as I would if the vibrator was pulsing away in my, uh, hand, right now.

So that’s a little annoying. It’s great, though, that there will be no awful AA batteries accidentally leaking battery fluid inside my vibrator – which I have had happen.

The price tag on this little bad boy is kinda high, $109, but it is such a high-quality toy. It’s no silver bullet (which was my go-to vibrator for years, and I would go through one every six months or so. Those suckers just don’t last). I haven’t had it for all that long, but it feels like the kind of technology that is built to last, not to be replaced.

The elegance is particularly lovely. It comes in a very nice box with a little silk bag in which it gets nicely stored – and hey, presentation and packaging counts for something. All the more bonus that it delivers so nicely.

Thanks, Babeland.

Review: Lollipop crop

This is my new favorite crop or slappy toy. It is not something I probably ever would have picked up on my own, but it appeared in my inbox one day and I thought, huh, why not, I need a new crop of sorts, I don’t have anything like that, let’s give it a try.

So very glad I did.

It is an excellent length, I get a nice swing – which I don’t always with shorter slappy toys. The wand holding the red circle is thin enough that it cuts the air with a buzz if I wind up enough. The red – silicone – circle itself creates the most satisfying smack I have ever heard in a crop. It doesn’t have the sting that most crops do, since it’s a bit thicker, I think, and a wider circle – but ohhh the sound. I can’t get over it.

(The first day I got it, I carried it around smacking it on the palm of my hand, my thighs, the table, my roommate – whatever I could. The sound is just so satisfying.)

I keep my crops and whips and floggers hanging on my wall, so I had to add a ribbon to the handle so it would hang – but that is my only complaint about this finely crafted, simple crop that packs a whallop.

Pick up the Lollipop crop at Babeland for $54.

Sinclair loves Njoy

I didn’t mention this in yesterday’s post about the New York City Sex Blogger Calendar and should have – the sex toy company Njoy was single-handedly responsible for the printing of the calendar, and we owe them big big BIG thanks.

They have been so courteous and giving through this project, and really a pleasure to work with. They clearly support Sex Worker Awareness – which is where ALL the money from the calendar is going, didn’t I mention that? – and they have also given us some wonderful raffle prizes to give away.

I’m sorry, but have you ever actually used one of the Njoy products? SOLID STAINLESS STEEL. Can you imagine how goddamn hot they are? I know the price tag is really high – really high – but they are freakin’ amazing. Smooth and sooo heavy.

I haven’t tried the Eleven yet – that’s it in the diagram above. Did you catch the part about how it’s 11″ long, and 2″ at one end? That fucker is HUGE. I mean 11″ is almost a foot, almost the size of a standard ruler or your forearm. And it weighs almost three pounds. THREE POUNDS.

And I believe we’re giving one of them away in the raffle on Friday night. You better believe I’m going to be buying up those raffle tickets.

Thank you, Njoy, for sponsoring the calendar, and for making such high-quality toys.

8against8: Saving Marriage (documentary)

Saving Marriage film trailer:

About the film, from Saving Marriage (the movie) website:

Masschusetts is First

In a historic decision, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court makes that state the first in the nation to legalize same-sex marriage.

That puts Massachusetts at the front lines in a war now raging throughout America. On one side are those who believe marriage is a civil right that all couple should have. On the other are people who believe it is a sacred institution reserved for a man and a woman.

Both sides believe they are right. And both sides believe they are saving marriage.

The Political Firestorm

The court ruling allowing gay marriage causes a public outcry that pushes legislators to propose a constitutional amendment that would override the decision and take gay marriage away. Suddenly, the lawmakers find themselves enmeshed in a passionate debate pitting civil rights against tradition.

On the day of the vote, just a few feet from the legislative chamber, thousands of demonstrators from both sides pack the Statehouse to capacity, screaming and singing until they have no voices left. Thousands more spill outside.

At midnight, when legislators cast their vote, the gay marriage advocates suffer a crushing defeat, as the amendment is approved by a razor-thin margin. Gay marriage is one step closer to being made illegal again.

The Fight Continues

But there is still hope. To become law, the amendment must withstand a second vote in eighteen months. For everyday people, the political has become personal, and they intensify their efforts to defeat the amendment.

Two months later, and many months before the second vote is held, the court’s decision goes into effect. Gay and lesbian couples begin marrying all over Massachusetts, even though the pending amendment means their legal status remains in jeopardy.

Overnight, married gay couples become a reality, and people in this small New England state begin to re-examine how they view same-sex relationships.


I haven’t actually seen this film – if you’ve seen it, please do leave a comment and what you thought about it, or write it up on your blog and leave a link.

8 Against 8: 8 lesbian bloggers – 8 days – raising as much as it takes to defeat Proposition 8 in California. Vote NO on Proposition 8!

8against8: Tying the Knot (documentary)

This is part a series (2 of 3) of trailers & write-ups about documentary films about gay marriage.

Watch the trailer for the Tying the Knot documentary:

Reprinted from the Tying the Knot website:

When a bank robber’s bullet ends the life of police officer Lois Marrero, her wife of thirteen years, Mickie, is honored as her surviving spouse but denied all pension benefits. When Sam, an Oklahoma rancher, loses his beloved husband of 22 years, long-estranged cousins of his late spouse try to lay claim to everything Sam has. As Mickie and Sam’s lives are put on trial, they are forced to confront the tragic reality that in the eyes of the law their marriages mean nothing. From an historical trip to the Middle Ages, to gay hippies storming the Manhattan marriage bureau in 1971, Tying the Knot digs deeply into the past and present to uncover the meaning of civil marriage in America today.

TYING THE KNOT is a journey through 5,000 years of history with marriage in mind. Didn’t princes and princesses used to live happily ever after? Author EJ Graff corrects some myths and fairy tales that the Extreme Right has been spinning as of late.

For example, did you know:
• Marriage has been a constant battleground and has changed many times to reflect the values of society?
• Marriage had no religious significance even in the Catholic Church until the Middle Ages?
• Protestant churches have split a number of times over issues related to marriage?

Are these quotes from the 2004 Republican National Convention?
• “This sort of marriage is not in the best interest of children.”
• “God has a plan for marriage and this isn’t it.”
• “Allowing this kind of marriage will pave the way for all sorts of moral depravity.”

In fact, these arguments were made about marriage between a man and a woman. In TYING THE KNOT civil rights attorney Evan Wolfson tells the love story of Mildred Jeter and Richard Loving, who fought a long battle with the Commonwealth of Virginia for the right to marry. The year was 1962. Mildred was black and Richard was white, but their loving lives together were anything but simple.


I haven’t actually seen this film – if you’ve seen it, please do leave a comment and what you thought about it, or write it up on your blog and leave a link.

8 Against 8: 8 lesbian bloggers – 8 days – raising as much as it takes to defeat Proposition 8 in California. Vote NO on Proposition 8!

8against8: I Can’t Marry You (documentary)

This is a series (1 of 3) of trailers & write-ups about documentary films about gay marriage. There is a lot of information out there, a lot of activism happening around this issue, so much organizing. I’m getting overwhelmed researching it all. I’m trying to pass on the best stuff during this 8 Against 8 campaign.

I Can’t Marry You film trailer:

From the I Can’t Marry You website:

The 2003 documentary “I Can’t Marry You,” narrated by host Betty DeGeneres, explores same-sex marriage issues through the personal experiences of twenty gay and lesbian couples who have been in long-term relationships of 10-55+ years. Their poignant and powerful testimonies put faces to, and actual examples of, the painful impact of discrimination on our daughters and sons, sisters and brothers, parents, aunts and uncles, loyal friends, coworkers and tax paying neighbors.

This one-hour program features interviews with:
The twenty couples, their parents and children; Evan Wolfson, the prominent civil rights attorney of Freedom to Marry; John J. McNeill, Former Jesuit Priest and author of “The Church and the Homosexual;” Adam Aronson, of Lambda Legal; and the leaders of the New York Christian Coalition.

Filmmaker, Catherine Gray created this documentary to educate her own gay constituency about the importance of having these rights and to show us that gay and lesbian couples can have healthy, committed long-term relationships. She believes that education is the only way to affect change and win this civil right.

Gray shot the film in large and small cities across the country, including: New York City; Saugatuck, Michigan; Asheville, North Carolina; San Francisco; Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach, Florida. She felt it was important to represent diverse couples that vary considerably by age, ethnicity, religious and educational backgrounds.

Our film debuted in New York City at the GLBT Community Center to a sellout crowd.

“I Can’t Marry You” would not have been possible without the support of many individuals and organizations who gave their support, including: Human Rights Campaign, GLAD and Marriage Equality. Unfortunately, until the laws in our country change, marriage for same-sex couples is still a dream.

Buy “I Can’t Marry You” at Wolfe Video, top gay/lesbian-owned exclusive LGBT distributor of films, DVDs, and videos.


I haven’t actually seen this film – if you’ve seen it, please do leave a comment and what you thought about it, or write it up on your blog and leave a link.

8 Against 8: 8 lesbian bloggers – 8 days – raising as much as it takes to defeat Proposition 8 in California. Vote NO on Proposition 8!

review: Pfun plug by Njoy

One of my favorite sex toy stores ever sent me the Pfun Plug by Njoy a few months ago. Literally, months ago. I think it was July.

So that right there should probably tell you a bit about what I think of this toy – I review toys sometimes that aren’t even on my review list because I get so excited about them! But this one was hard for me to get into. At first I thought they were sending me the Pure Plug, which I was totally excited about, but when I ended up with the Pfun plug I was skeptical. It’s made specifically for prostates, after all, a bit of anatomy that I don’t have.

So, it sat in its beautiful satin-lined box for a little longer than I’d care to admit.

And finally I was chatting with Tess one day, before this whole calendar nonsense started, partially because I know she’s a big fan of Njoy. Big fan. This Pfun plug is my first Njoy toy, so hey, don’t get me wrong, I was really excited to receive it.

I say to Tess: I’m not sure, it’s such a boy toy
Tess says: Just fucking try it. I thought so too, but it’s actually super great.

And oh my is it. Maybe it’s the weight, which is what differentiates it from the other … many … butt toys I have, but it’s really quite different. The head is not too fat and goes in pretty darn easily, with this great warmth because of the weight of it. And the smaller ribbed part of it is just pronounced enough to give it a lot of texture when going in and out.

It’s pretty good as a sort of ben-wa balls for g-spot stimulation too – obviously it’s not really long enough to get too far inside, and for you size queens out there (you know who you are) it’s not going to be enough, but generally the Pfun Plug has got a great angle for hitting the g-spot just right.

Okay, some logistics: this buttplug is 3-1/2” x 1-1/4″, which makes it a bit longer than average, but an excellent width that is not too much but not too little. It weighs 10.6 ounces, which is, uh, heavy. Very heavy. It’s made of stainless steel.

This lovely little toy makes me want to try out the Eleven. So. Much.

Review: Goodfella

Yep, it’s the Goodfella from Vixen Creation’s Vixskin line. I have yet to come across any cock that is superior to the texture, feel, realistic-ness, and quality of the Vixskin.

(Is it just me, or does the Goodfella always remind you of The Godfather? It’s just the g-f- thing, I know, but every time I read it or write it I think of Brando’s famous scratchy voice.)

The Goodfella really should’ve been included in my write-up on packing cocks 101, and would have been in tight competition with the Silky as The Best And Most Superior And Most Comfortable Cock That You Can Pack AND PLAY With On The Market Today.

Just to be clear, I still think the Silky is the best it is more comfortable to pack with. The Goodfella can be a little pokey in the pants, in my expeirence. There was some question about which one was larger, and they are nearly identical in size. The difference is that the insertable length of the Goodfella is shorter than the Silky, because the Goodfella has balls and Silky does not. But, on the other hand, the Goodfella has balls and that is pretty damn cool.

Have you noticed that Eden now has a few new categories that rate their dildos – rating (number of stars out of five, based on the customer reviews), popularity, and material safety. Material safety, this is a big one. If you take anything away from my reviews of sex toys, it’s to be careful about the materials that you are inserting into your precious parts! They are not all the same, and some of them are harmful to you. That’s bad! So I love that Eden’s got some more visibility about safe materials in the products they sell.

Silicone, glass, metal – those are completely sterilizable, and the best. Then watch out for things with phthalates, that’s the really bad material.

You can also read my review of the Silky over on Eden, or hey, skip the review and just check it out.

why is leather so damn sexy?

I’m not sure I get it really, why leather turns me on so much, I mean, hell, I was vegan for about five years and got very political about using the skins of other animals … but I just find it so very sensual. Even the smell. I remember Babeland once carried leather-scented lube … I’ve often wished I’d bought some.

Spartacus Leathers sent me a couple goodies that arrived this week, and I’ll be writing ’em up soon. When they approached me about some reviews, I asked them about their company policies and how they operate, and this is what they told me:

Spartacus Leathers is legendary in Portland, OR for the retail outlet we’ve had downtown since 1987. The brick & mortar retail store has two sections: The “all-ages” section full of alt-fashion and costumes and accessories, and the “18+” section full of sex toys, BDSM gear, and adult books and videos. It is extremely woman-friendly, staffs a huge range of freaks and fabulousness, and is managed by a lesbian woman.

Spartacus Leathers is also a manufacturer. Our biggest sellers are our cock rings and nipple clamps, but we also specialize in a wide range of bondage and S&M gear. Both the company and the store support local leather groups, gay pride groups, and all sorts of alternative sexuality groups because, well, they’re our people AND our customers. We are extremely health-conscious. We offer lots of phthalate-free elastomer and nitrile cock rings and vibrators.

All things that I really love to hear! I had never heard of Spartacus before, next time I’m in Portland I’ll definitely visit their store (and Powell’s of course, which is just about the best bookstore in the world). I’m really impressed with the quality of their leather. There are a couple more things on their site I have my eye on now – I’m still in search of The Most Amazing Perfect Harness Ever, as I’m just not happy with any of the harnesses I have at the moment, but perhaps I’ll find that through Spartacus. Here’s hoping!

Review: Massage Bongers

As of 2/8/16 This product is no longer available at Babeland

If you have ever stopped by one of Babeland’s brick-and-mortar stores (Seattle, LA, New York in Soho and the Lower East Side, and now Brooklyn!), you’ve probably played with the bongers.

They seem to be one of those non-scary toys that folks early in their sex-toy shopping tend to gravitate toward, probably because they’re unique, and at first you think “oh my god, does that go up my … ?” But then you find out they’re just massagers, whew, and start bonging the person you brought with you on this wonderful sex-toy outing, or you start bonging yourself.

I’ve seen the bongers at Babeland for years, and often pick them up, often thought, “oh that’d be nice to try out,” I do like giving and receiving massages, but I never bought a pair. They’re $25, and I don’t usually have an extra $25 hanging around for something that seems non-essential like Bongers. (Especially when I’m in Babeland and every $25 is already planned to go toward some hot cocks or leather or supplies.)

I brought these home recently and I gotta say, I really love them. No, they’re not so kinky really; even in the context of a sensual lover’s massage, they’re kind of unsexy with their bouncyness and being round balls on the end of sticks.

But they feel amazing. No really, amazing!

It took me a while to warm up to them though. After a few weeks of keeping them in my room and feeling unsure what I would even do with the bongers, I brought them out into the living room when my sister and her boyfriend were hanging out, watching tv, drinking some wine.

And oh we had a blast, once we got into them. “Do me now!” “These are so great, my hands aren’t nearly as tired as when I do a usual massage.” “Wait I can’t quite reach you like that … ahh perfect. They take so little effort to use!”

And then:

“I wonder if the kitties would like the bongers?”

And yes indeed, they really do. We leave the bongers under the coffee table now, and often get them out when we’re unwinding, relaxing after our long city days. And when the kitties start hearing the bonging noise, sometimes they come running, I’m not even kidding.

Human tested, kitty approved.

Tess at Urban Gypsy brought her bongers to work … I bet my coworkers would get a kick out of ’em, for sure.

So these might not be the sexiest toy that at Babeland, but it is always an improvement for your sex life to be more relaxed, more calm and connected to your body, right? And if you’re the kind of person who particularly likes to use massage as foreplay, to get connected to each other’s bodies and to relax your own muscles, then this tool could be a really great addition to your toy arsenal.

Me, I think I’ve just found my holiday gift. Bongers for everybody! My parents would love ’em, my relatives, maybe it’ll be what I bring to my holiday exchange at work too.

A particular place that I really recommend: the bottoms of your feet.

with what and where? ‘spanked’ winner

The winner of the delicious new anthology by Rachel Kramer Bussel is saintchick, with this submission about a great time she was spanked:

My ex had to work late one evening at school, so I thought I would surprise her by showing up. Her fave black dress, no undergarments except for the black and red garter, and black patten leather stilettos. Knocked on her classroom door and walked in, she was expecting me and from the look on her face I was in for some trouble. We made some small talk, and by small talk I mean she grabbed my hair and brought me close to her. Her lips barely touching my ear, telling me the exact things she had in store for me. I had only one rule to follow since I had already been a good girl. It was not to look back.

With that said I pretty much flung myself onto her desk, knocking off books, term papers, paper clip holders. She lifted my dress just so my cheeks were visble. Then I heard it, the sound of her opening her desk drawer. My legs started to quiver. I knew better to look back, but I so wanted to see the look on her face. She then placed her hand on the middle of my back to hold me down, and I felt the ruler graze my cheek. She then began alternating between the wooden ruler and her hand. She has this way about her. She would bring me just to the edge when I thought I could not take anymore and then would bring me down gently just to work me up all over again.

Once she admired her work and let her fingertips move over the fresh red marks, she let me up. With one long deep kiss, and one perfectly placed hand I came. On her and her desk. It was one of the best times ever.

Once I straightened out her desk, wiped her desk off (Thank God for Clorox wipes). I kissed her goodbye and just walked out of the classroom. As my stilettos clicked down the hall, a smile on my face, the security guard just looked up at me and managed to say nnnnight ma’am.

Good lord that’s hot. Makes me want to fuck in a classroom, or buy a fabulous ruler, or perfect

(Thanks to the anonymous semi-famous guest judge, you know who you are.)

Sorry I was so behind last week! My ‘real’ work is getting hugely in the way of my posts here. (Want to help me make Sugarbutch my full-time job?) Many posts on their way, including, of course, some butch eye candy, the call for femme eye candy, writings about the architecture of femme identity or what I learned at the Femme Conference, a post about strap-ons, follow up to the Spanked review about the ick factor, more poems, and oh gosh just a whole bunch of stuff. If only the day had more hours.

with what and where would you like to be spanked?

Naked before me in the middle of our living room, blindfolded and tied to a chair, her delicate toes gracing the insides of my favorite shoes, her beautiful ass raised high in the air. I had left any sense of my integrity at the door.

Yeah, I felt like shit. But I couldn’t take anything back. Not a fuckin’ thing. And the thought of this made me whack her hard with that skateboard, landing just underneath her ass on the meaty part of her thighs. She cried out this time, without a saucy backup line to follow. The cry teetered between pleasure and pain, a perfect balance of both. I needed to do it again. Swinging the board up high, I aimed at the dead center of her buttocks and caught it just right. This caused the entire chair to move, and the flesh on her ass sprang back and forth again. A rush of air escaped from Logan’s lungs.

– from Logan by Rosalind Christine Lloyd

Rachel Kramer Bussel’s new anthology Spanked is out and making the blog rounds on a blog book tour – and today is my day.

I have all sorts of elaborate notes for an article that includes my review, but I was at the Femme Conference in Chicago all weekend and am today so exhausted and catching up on work that I will not have time to write all three parts.

On the plus side, one of the reasons that I’m so exhausted is because I was up until past the sunrise on Saturday night (Sunday morning), and had the opportunity to flog the cutest cheerleader wearing a gorgeous pinup-style bathing suit over the edge of a hotel bed.

So until I can get a little more caught up, consider this the introduction to the upcoming series of posts on reading pansexual erotica anthologies, smut, and this spanking anthology in particular. The other parts go like this:

  1. The Suspension of Heterosexual Belief
  2. The Ick Factor
  3. Review of the pansexual erotica anthology book “Spanked”

Since I don’t have much to review today, Rachel says I can give away one copy of the book, so here’s what you gotta do to win it:

Leave me a comment and tell me either:

  1. a great place you were spanked
  2. a great implement with which you were spanked
  3. somewhere you’d like to be spanked
    or
  4. something with which you’d like to be spanked

UPDATE: I really didn’t mean to make this so damn bottom-centric. Actually as the results came in, I kept thinking, where are the tops? Then I re-read and realized oops, it is quite pointed toward bottomy answers. So, you of course can also respond by saying:

  1. a great place you spanked someone
  2. a great implement with which you spanked
  3. somewhere you’d like to spank someone
    or
  4. something with which you’d like to spank

I guess I am a little bottom-centric at times, oops. But I don’t mean to be! I was dashing this off as fast as I could while at work today and didn’t write through all the options. It’s just cause I was salivating at the idea of reading some great bottoming stories … but of course, top perspectives on the spanking stories are so welcome too!

So, leave me your comments and I’ll get a guest judge to help pick the hottest answer tomorrow.

Don’t be shy; just give me the first one that comes into your head. It doesn’t have to be long – just a few lines of the key details.

Keep following the Spanked book tour as it makes the rounds. The book also has it’s own blog, and tomorrow’s review will be at Breathing In and Breathing Out.

Oh look, Sinclair talks about cocks. Again.

I just got Vixskins packing cock Goodfella from Eden this week – it is made to pack with, so its very bendable, and it has balls that aren’t flat, but rounded, and made to sit in front of the O-ring on the harness. I guess there was some confusion about how to get the cock into the harness, ’cause Vixen made this video demonstrating.

So far, though, I’m not too impressed. It doesn’t fit in the standard O-ring, so I’ve had to get out a particular harness with a larger ring in it – and y’all already know I’m in search of a good new harness, so it frustrated me.

Also, Goodfella is really small! Look at the video again – her fist is nearly as long as the cock, and her fingers easily wrap around it. So, yeah, maybe it’ll work packing, but the Silky is longer and thicker – though it doesn’t have the balls, and it’s not silicone.

I should have included Goodfella in my packing cocks 101 review, but I didn’t realize it was so possible to pack with it. I don’t think it’s quite as comfortable to wear in the pants as the Silky is, but I’m still testing it out. We’ll see how it goes.

review: Lipstick on her Collar

The most recent Pretty Things Press anthology called Lipstick on Her Collar and Other Tales of Lesbian Lust landed on my desk recently, and I took my time reading through it.

I love lesbian erotica books … I think for many queer women, it’s one of the first places where we begin to access the languages of lesbian desire and sexuality, and as such they can be very powerful, transformative books, not just jerk-off material but also an introduction to entirely new concepts and ideas. I’ll never forget some of the early books that did that for me, like Breathless: Erotica by Kitty Tsui and Best Lesbian Erotica 1998, which became roadmaps and secret-tellers.

I’m a bit picky about my erotica these days, though. There’s more and more of it out there, and what turns me on is butchtop/femmebottom aligned writings, fairly exclusively. I can read through other anthologies and appreciate the writing, the characterization, the plot lines (no, seriously!), but I don’t tend to find myself putting the book down to go jack off.

This book, though, has an impressive number of butch/femme scenes. This is partially because, I imagine, the anthology includes “lipstick” in its very title, thereby encouraging more of the gendered play than many lesbian erotica anthologies usually include.

Three, in particular, stand out: Kingdom Cum by Scarlett French, about a femme seducing a drag king after a drag show; Femme Princess by Ellen Tevault, about a femme in a bed death relationship who answers a butch’s personal ad and reawakens her sexual desire, seeming to uncover her own gender fetish at the same time; and Now and Then by Barrett Bonden, about a butch’s return to her long-term femme lover, which ranges from quite smutty and dirty (especially in the dialogue – “Get up on the bed, slut. Hands and knees, ass in the air.”) to very sweet and long-term lesbionic.

Don’t get me wrong, the whole book is not butch/femme oriented stories. But there are a few great ones, as well as some femme-femme scenes, a decent story dealing with body ability where one of the characters is in a wheelchair (its inclusion made me realize how very little body-ability diversity there is in these types of anthologies, in general), some strangers, some long-term lovers, and a couple of my favorite lesbian authors, including Skian McGuire and Rachel Kramer Bussel.

It seems Alison Tyler is doing some great books with Pretty Things Press, and I’m glad to see a lesbian anthology with more gender included in their catalog.

review: undercover harness

As of 2/8/16 This product is no longer available at Babeland

I was just speaking about packing cocks, so now I’ll throw you a little review of the Undercover Harness from Babeland.

I’m in the market for a new harness. The harness I’ve loved for a few years now is slipping from it’s #1 ranks because it’s not staying tight enough, so when I had the chance to check this one out, I jumped at it.

I need a new good one.

I’m skeptical of two-strap harnesses, because I like how thin one-straps (aka “g-string style”) hit my clit while I’m fucking. But I love where my cock sits in this harness:perfectly over my clit. It’s slung low, and feels great.

It’s comfortable going on & off, no buckles, pulls on like undies. There’s something appealing about that, I guess because it doesn’t take as long to mess with and pull taut and get it sitting just right.

Great for packing under clothes, since it’s smooth, no big buckles to poke into tender or fleshy places.

At first, I thought this harness was going to be too small, as the elastic was tight and even cut into my hips a bit. But when fucking with it, the elastic was even a bit too stretchy (or maybe I fuck a bit too hard) and I didn’t feel the precision that I like, the straining against leather and feeling it pulling and pressing against my hips. I like it to be this push-pull dance of pressure, not just me and my sex partner, but me and my cock, me and my harness. There is some of that with this harness, and it does have a nice push-pull part because of the elastic.

There are some great things about this harness and I’m glad to have it, but it’s not quite The Perfect Harness. I’ll keep looking.

Review: Packing Cocks 101

One of my particularly favorite sex toy stores sent me a slew of packing cocks to review – cocks that aren’t necessarily hard enough to fuck with, but which you can wear around and feel that weight between your legs, to tuck into jeans and rub up against your honey when you go out dancing, to get a little squeeze on the ride home, to fuck with gender, to feel more complete, to feel more powerful, just for fun.

Even before I begin this review, here are two cocks that Eden sells that I discussed with the fine sex educators at Eden which we decided that were not even worth reviewing because they’re awful toys.

  • The Soft Touch Penis: appears to bend like my favorite Silky, and is realistic, so I was curious. I’m told it is made of awful material which has pthalates (which can cause all sorts of bad things), smells funny, doesn’t really bend, and is not harness compatible.
  • The Blush: Though it has a slew of reviews at 5 stars (?!! Who are these people?), the material – Ultra Realistic – is awful. If it comes into contact with your skin, it can give you yeast infections. Just reading the descriptions of the material makes me nervous: “extremely porous, dirt can easily hide.” “Dusted in a powdery material” to keep it soft, but that means it needs constant maintenance. “Store each toy separately in a plastic zip bag or thin sock because the porous surface can absorb dyes from other materials. These materials are also very incompatible with many substances.”

The Futuristic Flexi-dong I did receive to review, but it’s made with this same substance. As soon as I took it out of its packaging I knew I could never insert it, and I didn’t even want to slip it into a harness and see how it packed because I didn’t want the material anywhere near my cunt. I didn’t even want to hold it in my hand! I stuck it back in its plastic bag, and I’ve barely even played with it. Sorry, Flexi-dong, but that’s a great big FAIL.

Moving on, though, to the fun stuff.

I am reviewing these packing cocks in four different categories: material (of which the above FAILED), packing, playing, and realisticness.

Mr. Limpy – I know, I know, stupid name, it’s as if they have to camp-up the fact that people without penises are making their own, you know, because that’s a step UP in the hierarchy of gender power. Mr. Limpy is pretty darn cool. This material is Superskin, which, though porous, is non-allergenic and doesn’t leak chemicals like the Ultra Realistic. So that’s the material.

Mr. Limpy packs excellently. Mwah – it’s practically perfect. It’s very limp, obviously, but that means it fits so comfortably in just about anything I wore, from tight tight briefs to loose boxers by themselves. I’ll speak to packing straps when I talk about Mr. Right, below, but I do want to note that the easiest way to use Mr. Limpy is to just tuck him into some tight briefs. You just have to be slightly cautious if you go to pull your briefs down, for whatever reason – it’s possible that Limpy will tumble out, and that wouldn’t really be good. Not only might it tumble onto some dirty floor (public restroom), but it also might be very embarrassing to have your penis roll around on the floor.

I love the way this one feels; it’s lightweight, but still has enough of a tug when it sits in my briefs that every once in a while, I remember it’s there, and I feel … comforted by my little secret tucked away.

This is the packing cock that I reach for most weekends, it’s become part of my undergarments, like a binder.

Playing … uh, no. Unless you get a particular enjoyment of receiving blow jobs on a totally flaccid cock, this is not a cock to play with.

Mr. Limpy is realistic, to a degree, but it only comes in this funny cotton-candy pink color. I don’t mind the pink terribly, but partially that’s because it’s fairly close to my beige/caucasian color, close enough that when the lights are low it doesn’t look completely detached from my body. Still, people of color would probably be disappointed with the lack of flesh-tone, and some folks who don’t like pink (I know you’re out there) would probably be put off by that.

Next up is Mr. Right & his packing strap. This is, in many ways, the packing cock that everybody’s been waiting for, and of course it was made by the amazing Vixen Creations, who make some of the very best cocks out there, and are very gender-forward.

The material is silicone. That’s right, silicone. Silicone is pretty much the gold mine of sex toys, because it can be completely sterilized, it doesn’t carry funny leaking chemicals, it can be used with multiple people (because you can sterilize it in between). Aside from Silky, which is not silicone (sadly), I haven’t spent money on a cock that wasn’t made out of silicone in many years. It’s a really great material, it’s got a little give to it, though not as much as the ultra-realistic or elastomer or “vixskin,” but enough that it’s a little bit floppy.

It is very easy to pack with Mr. Right because you can pick up this fantastic packing strap by Aslan leather that was specifically made for Mr. Right. It’s elastic around the waist, so it has some give, and the back of the little pouch is leather. The problem with the strap is that the leather backing is quite wide. I prefer my balls to hang fairly low, almost between my legs, and because the leather is wide, it doesn’t fit there, it has to be worn higher. That’s a bit annoying, I’ve found.

You don’t need the packing strap to pack with Mr. Right, though – you can tuck it into your (semi-tight, I’d recommend) briefs and be good to go.

Also, because Mr. Right is silicone, it doesn’t have the give that the Superskin of Mr. Limpy does. I also find that I hang right, by which I mean, my cock tends to get tucked on the right side of my body at the crease of my hip. Mr. Right is much more rigid and can only really comfortably pack the way it looks in the photo, because that’s the way it’s molded

All that said, though, if you’re new to packing, you can probably get used to how Mr. Right feels – it’s just because I’ve been packing with other products and prefer my cock to feel certain ways that I have a bit of a hesitation here. Despite my critique here, though, It’s still probably the best packing cock out there, and I wouldn’t give it up, I’m so glad to have one in my toybox.

It’s kinda hard to play with Mr. Right. Sure, he’s a bit harder than Limpy, but he’s still not hard. At best, you could probably give/receive a blow job, but I haven’t been able to bring myself to ask someone to suck such an unhard cock, even for a review. Sorry, just too awkward and a little ridiculous of a request.

Mr. Right is the most realistic of all the cocks I reviewed. It comes in vanilla (pictured, with a nod to acknowledging the race-hierarchy), caramel, and chocolate colors, which are a pretty good range of human skin-tone. The flexibility isn’t perfect – it doesn’t have the hardness of Silky or the softness of Limpy – but it’s a great middle.

Last, but certainly not least: my buddy the Silky. Those of you who have been reading me a while know how much I love this cock, so it’s kind of biased of me to even attempt to review it here, but I’ll try to put it in terms of comparison against the other two.

The material is elastomer, which is pthalate-free (whew!) but still porous, and must be used with a condom every time, because it can’t be sterilized. Keep it clean, people!

It packs well. It doesn’t pack as comfortably as either of the other two cocks, meaning it is bulky in the trousers, and sometimes the base is kind of awkward. It’s semi-hard because it has an internal spine, but that’s also part of what makes it great. The elastomer material is actually quite squishy and gives a little at a squeeze of a hand or mouth, it’s just the spine which makes it a little more awkward to pack with, because it doesn’t mold against the body in the same way. The spine, though, means that it can bend in just about any direction that you like, so I can (and often do) hang right and tuck this under whatever harness strap I’m using to hold it on.

Oh, you do kind of have to use Silky in a harness. It wouldn’t really sit in your briefs comfortably, and it doesn’t fit in packing straps (usually packers are held in packing straps by their balls slipping into a little pouch). I recommend a really small harness like Bare as you Dare because it’s such small material under clothes. Many of the leather ones are hot and uncomfortable when wearing under slacks or jeans.

It plays – oh gosh, does Silky play. It can be bent slightly up to have a wonderful g-spot curve, which I like. It’s a fabulous size for a blow job cock, not too big, but still significant. I’ve found that it’s a very easy size for most girls to take, not too big, not too small (though for marathon sex days I tend to find that girls want something slightly bigger, eventually).

It’s the only cock in this review that you can actually strap on and fuck with. Thank you, oh internal spine of Silky!

Here’s the catch though – the elastomer material combined with the internal spine means that the spine breaks, or even, sometimes that it actually rips through the material. I have never had the spine rip through the material, and I’ve been packing with this cock for about 4 years. I have had the spine break – in fact, I’m currently on my fourth Silky – but I have never had it break during sex. It’s broken when I’ve been packing (probably bending it the same way over & over doesn’t help), and broken when I fell asleep wearing it. But don’t let this discourage you: at this point, I just accept that the cock will last about a year, and then I’ll probably have to replace it. Yes, it’s more expensive than a silicone cock which is pretty much a lifetime guarantee, but you can’t pack-n-play with a silicone cock like you can with Silky.

There’s just nothing else out there that is comparable.

Silky is only somewhat realistic – it is fairly realistically shaped, I like the ridges on the cock, the head. But it has no balls (boo), and it only comes in funky colors – Eden carries blue and purple only. It also has a teeny little smiley face on the underside of the head, which I forget is there and tend to completely ignore. I’ve seen that commonly in from toys made in Japan.

Alright folks, there you have it – six cocks, three useless, three on a very nice scale of pack-to-play, all having their own pluses and minuses. Any questions?

If you pack, what do you use? If you decide to buy one of these to test out, leave a comment or write it up on your blog and share how it goes. We could use more discussion of this type of stuff in the genderqueer sex-positive blogosphere.

review: Bonk by Mary Roach

You may remember Mary Roach from the book Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers, which made a big splash a few years back, especially relating to her ability to make scientific research incredibly readable and interesting to average folks. She also wrote Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife. (Her titles, though clever, now after book 3 seem slightly formulaic.)

Now, in Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex, she tackles sex. I was intrigued! And what I remember from Stiff is still true: her work is incredibly readable. She makes pig inseminations in Denmark, penis reconstructive surgery in Thailand, and sexual reflex studies in Cairo seem relevant and interesting. I read through chapters on testicles, erectile dysfunction, and penis implants, amused by her stories and laughing, following along with Roach’s investigation of human sexuality.

I kept wondering when gay people would start coming up. Especially when she starts discussing a guy whose genitals were “the size and shape of a navy bean,” (p159) I started wondering if that person was probably in fact intersexed, born with ambiguous genitalia. From what I can tell, this account was in the early 1900s, but I expected Roach to launch into some explanation of why someone might be born with small-to-minuscule genitalia and what and how they would be dealt with today (which would probably be with surgery, although that would depend on the awareness of your doctor). But no: no mention whatsoever of any sort of intersexuality or between-sexes options.

She discusses penile reconstruction and again, no mention of the science behind sex change surgeries like phalloplasties. Page 67 is the first place she even mentions homosexuality, and it’s only in passing, in describing Princess Marie whose husband, Prince George of Greece, was “a latant homosexual.” By page 188, her 2nd mention of homosexuality in parenthesis – “He had never had sex, never had a girlfriend (or boyfriend)” I was beginning to suspect that Roach doesn’t think of homosexuality as more than a tiny side-note.

Then, after reading through three chapters on male reproductive functions specifically (testicles, erectile dysfunction, and penis implants), we get to two chapters on women, “The Lady’s Boner: Is the Clitoris a Tiny Penis?” and “The Prescription-Strength Vibrator: Masturbating for Health.” She mentions a clit pumping device, and I found myself yet again thinking, wow, this subject leads directly into the field of trans men who opt against genital surgery but whom enhance their genitals – often their clit – with a small penis pump (or large clit pump) and encourage their clit to get larger, to become a tiny penis. That stuff is fascinating, and wouldn’t it be great if she lent her investigation, research, and accessible writing skills to that subject?

But again, no. No mention of anything remotely related. I know, these topics could absolutely be books unto themselves, but that she either a) ran into the material and deemed it completely unimportant, as to not even warrant a mention, or b) did not run into these studies or material at all, makes me think that she either wasn’t looking very hard or was deeply heterocentric in her research. If she did run across it, why not mention it? She didn’t have to go into the subjects in depth, especially because the topics of trans, gender, and homosexuality obviously intersect in well, pretty much every single place along the study of sexuality, but simply some acknowledgment of these things existing is, I think, necessary.

So, this is what I’m thinking about halfway through the book. I keep reading the chapters on the female genitals, and then the science of orgasm, and I come across female ejaculation in a footnote. I kid you not, the ONE AND ONLY time she mentions female ejaculation is in a footnote. A FOOTNOTE! A long footnote, comparatively, but still! Isn’t there more science to female ejaculation than simply one footnote? Maybe not – maybe that one footnote is seriously the only scientific study she could find on female ejaculation. But hey, isn’t that significant? Isn’t that an interesting cultural commentary on sexuality, where she’s spent almost an entire chapter on male ejaculation, sperm count, what it is made of, how far it shoots, how much comes out?

But Roach skips over all of this.

She does note, in a footnote again, on p197, that there are “351 ways to say penis … and only three for clitoris: bean, button, and the little man in the boat.” She goes on to make note that the “authors [of this study] felt this reflected society’s disregard of human pleasure, which is probably true, but I simply bemoan the lack of useful synonyms.” Well, the reason there aren’t ‘useful synonyms’ reflects the value in the culture, doesn’t it? It’s not as though we have any shortage of small, round objects in our lives – pennies, marbles, pearls, gemstones, pebbles come to mind. So what does it reveal about a culture that we don’t have a language to describe the primary source of female sexual pleasure?

That’s not what Roach is writing this book for, though, clearly. As I got into the last third of the book, though, I had to wonder: why is Roach writing this book? What’s her point? She doesn’t seem to do much except summarize scientific sex studies with a distinct lack of feminist, gender-positive, sex-positive (see chapter 10, “Masturbating for Health,” and her implied judgment when mentioning “Mr. Fred Jelly Dongs” and “Vibrating Port-A-Pussies” as examples of sex toys), and trans-inclusive perspectives. As I kept reading, I found myself wondering why it was I was trusting this person’s perspective, considering that clearly our values were in such different places.

By the end of the book, much as I had enjoyed her witty writing, I was convinced of it. She begins the last chapter describing a Masters and Johnson study called Homosexuality in Perspective in 1979, which actually addresses directly what lesbian and gay men do in sexual partnerships and how it compares to hetero couples. The penultimate paragraph, though, takes a turn for the worst when Roach writes:

Sadly, the main thing people recall about Homosexuality in Perspective … is that Masters and Johnson spent the second half of the book touting a therapy for helping homosexuals convert to heterosexuality. The team went out of their way to assure readers that they screened clients carefully, accepting only those who had turned to homosexuality after a traumatic experience with heterosexuality (rape or abuse, for instance).

… But let’s give Masters and Johnson their due. … The laboratory study of sex has never been an easy, safe, or well-paid undertaking.

Yes, they are due some credit in modern sexuality studies, certainly. But hey, why don’t we address this blatant homophobia? Is Roach assuming that we are so far beyond homophobia in our culture, and in her readership, that we don’t even need to address how damaging and dangerous perspectives like those are? Perhaps Masters and Johnson were under other pressures from homophobic fundors, perhaps there were political difficulties getting human subjects review board approvals for seemingly “encouraging” homosexuality – there could be various explanations for why they spent half of their book discussing the “cure” and how to “convert” homosexuals.

And then, to end the entire book with these paragraphs, given the blatant disregard of gay and lesbian sexuality, sex-positivity, or progressive gender understandings, leaves me with an awful sense of injustice.

Mary Roach, I love your writing. I really do. But there were many ways to validate and acknowledge perspectives that you do not understand without actually incorporating our experiences into your study of human sexuality. You were so very broad that you missed some huge, gaping holes. Hope your next study is more honed, thoughtful, and inclusive.

review: gettin’ off, butch style

How do I love Babeland … let me count the ways.

Well, so first, they asked me if I’d like to review the Papillion vibrator. And of course I said sure, I’d probably review a paper cup for Babeland if they asked me to, and I’ve been looking for a small-but-powerful vibe when I don’t want to power up the Hitachi. The Papillion is a little girly in some ways … the butterfly is not exactly my style, but they don’t really make butch vibrators. But hey, if it works well, it doesn’t matter so much what’s painted on it.

Turns out, part of the proceeds from this sweet vibe goes directly to the Living Beyond Breast Cancer organization, which is pretty darn cool. I didn’t get a cute little butterfly vibe to review, but instead, the fine folks at Babeland sent me a few other treasures – and both in black! Much more butch, I appreciate that.

First, the Laya Spot vibrator. It’s small, cute, discreet, easy to control, pretty powerful. It’s got three different “buzz patterns,” gentle pulses of vibration that are pretty fun to play with. Still not as powerful as the almighty Grandmother of vibrators, the Hitachi (you have one of those, right? It’s up there with the bunny as Toys That Should Be In Every Toy Box). It’s kind of an upgrade to the Silver Bullet – better looking, much more suave, better vibration power, better grip. It’s like the Silver Bullet’s suave older brother who has his own car and comes home from college on the weekends with a different blonde and his laundry. Still needs something else to really get the job done, but it’s a great start, and coupled with a few other goodies – like jacking off with the Share – mmmhoney yes.

Okay, so. The Share double dildo. I reviewed Feeldoe’s version of this dildo recently and wasn’t particularly impressed, but the Share has subtly altered a few things that make a big difference.

The material is much nicer, for one. The Share is silicone, as is the Feeldoe, but the Share is a kind of matte finish which is silky and lovely, where the Feeldoe feels like slick plastic (not so sexy).

I’m pretty particular about how I want to have control of a cock with which I fuck, so controlling a double without a harness was very difficult. The internal part of the Share – the one that goes inside of me – is thicker than on the Feeldoe, and differently shaped such that it stays in much easier. I still have to exercise my kegels a bit, but I can tell that I have a much easier, better grip on it, which – hopefully – will mean that my precision will be better with this one.

Can’t tell you yet, exactly, because I’ve only used it to jack off so far. I probably won’t be busting out the Share with Penny – it’s too long, too thin. And honestly, I don’t know any girls who prefer to get fucked long rather than in girth; it’s that feeling of being stretched open that, in my experience, female-bodied folks want. If a cock is too long, it starts hitting against the cervix, which actually can be painful.

Long & thin is really great for anal play, though … hmm, ideas.

I’ve got a few more things coming from Babeland soon, I hope, which I’m excited to keep exploring. They are very queer- and gender-friendly, many of my friends have worked there in the past, their staff is really super smart and knowledgeable. They’ve gone through some changes in recent years, but they still have tons of great books, resources, and a sex-positive environment to explore sexuality, sex toys, gender, play, sensation. And yes, I know they’re sending me toys and all, but I’ve always adored them – when I moved to Seattle ten years ago their store was one of the first things I sought out. I credit them with much of my adult sexual awakening, and love the work they’re doing.

review: tantric sex for women

My Tantric Sex for Women book review went up over at Eden Fantasys today.

I really wanted to like this book, I did – I want to know more about tantra and I’m even open to the woo-woo new agey aspects of it, but I just couldn’t get over the ridiculous aspects used in the exercises in this book (which is what makes up the majority of the content). There are some interesting things, but ultimately it’s not worth it.

Read my full review, and, if you feel like helping me out by upping my “reviewer rating” by commenting on or rating my reviews, I certainly wouldn’t mind.

Mr. Bendy Strap-On Cock Broke, Again

Okay, on a lighter note?

I didn’t mention it two weeks ago, when Penny and I had our last date, but we broke my cock that day. My infamous Silky/Mr. Bendy (named differently depending on where you buy it), my very favorite cock – because you can pack with it, and play with it, and it actually works – unfortunately, that’s incredibly rare in the world of cocks.

This was the blue one that Penny broke – uh, I mean, that Penny and I broke, together – and it’s the third one I’ve broken. (Remember broken, breaking? That was the second. The first time I broke it, with Callie, I wrote that up, too, but I can’t find the link.)

Unfortunately, that’s just one of the things about Silky’s reality – it doesn’t last.

So, Eden has a blue or a purple version of Silky, and Babeland has pink or black – but I’ve never actually seen the black one in stock. I’ve ordered it before, only to be sent the pink one. I started thinking it was the unicorn of cocks, a myth, an urban cock legend.

But? It’s in stock. And the one I reordered as a replacement came tonight. Man, they sure all nice all new and hard, spine all bendy and supple. Mmm, this weekend’s date with Penny is going to be fabulous.

If you want a black one, order it now – who knows how long it’ll stick around!

While we’re on the subject of things you should order while they’re in stock, take note of Bear Bergman’s book Butch is a Noun, published by the fantastic Suspect Thoughts – it’s gone into a second printing after being out of stock for a long time. I’ve got plenty to say about this book, I’m very fond of it – remember the video of Bear reading the opening chapter a few months ago? Snag a copy while you can.

Review of Crossdressing: Erotic Stories

crossdressingCrossdressing: Erotic Stories
Edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel

“Some people might call this a fantasy, but it’s my deepest truth.” – from “Temporary” by Tulsa Brown

Cleis is famous for their smart, sexy smut, and Rachel Kramer Bussel’s pansexual anthologies are quickly becoming a huge part of not only my personal smut library, but also most smut collections at bookstores – the girl is constantly producing anthologies full of interesting, new, and complicated stories that turn the reader on – sure, of course they do that, and damn, do they do that – but they do more than that: they’re edgy, intellecutal, and affirming.

Crossdressing is one of those anthologies.

It’s no secret that I have a bit of a gender fetish. I find the polarized categories of male-and-female fascinating, and I find it all the more enthralling and interesting to adopt the roles for sexual play.

The stories in this book do just that, in more ways than I could’ve imagined: a gold-star dyke wondering what it’d be like to be with a man, so her girlfriend surprises her in drag with a realistic cock packed underneath slender slacks. A girl who dresses her boyfriend up in drag, shaving his legs and sharing her clothes. A butch in a vintage evening-gown shop, who strikes a deal with the owner for a beautiful Marlene Deitrich tuxedo and eagerly shows it off on the town. A trans woman performer who ends up in the arms of a macho kitchen worker after a night of singing. A man at a business meeting secretly running the show by the power of his silky bra and panties underneath.

If you pick up this book strictly for stories to get you off, it might not quite be what you expect – specifically because of the pansexual array. Most folks I know don’t get turned on by just any depiction of gender or crossdressing, for example, and your particular orientation might get in the way of you enjoying many of these stories – I, for example, am not so turned on by the stories of male crossdressing, girls dressing up their boyfriends in drag, etc. But I loved reading those stories anyway, from a gender perspective.

Reading through these stories makes me think about my own experiences with crossdressing, though I don’t call it that – I call it part of my gender identity. It’s a wide range, of experiences and orentations and gender expression, and it’s interesting to read some other ways that people play with gender, play with costuming and clothing and all sorts of ways of expression.

Gender play is still unusual, and can be deeply empowering, and deeply threatening to those who don’t understand it. Violence against trans folks often comes under the guise of the “deception” of someone’s “real” gender, and violence against queers.

But, at it’s core, gender experimentation and presentation is all about connecting with and displaying aspects of our selves which are deeply personal and very real – it’s about being able to display a more accurate sense of self, a more comfortable way of moving through the world.

And we all want to be able to do that, right?

Maybe it sounds idealistic, but anthologies like Crossdressing actually make us genderqueer folks feel connected, and a little less alone. The complicated gender discussions are clearly part of the smut, of course – but they are also hidden under the guise of simply turning-you-on or getting-you-off, which, I hope, will prompt all the more folks to pick up this book, and perhaps widen their range of understanding about dressing up and playing with gender, in all sorts of ways.

they call it ‘stout’ for a reason

Finally finished my review for Eden Fantasys of the Feeldoe stout double dildo … perhaps you would guess, but I’m actually not quite as impressed as I expected. It’s missing a) control b) precision c) did I mention control?

There’s just nothing sexy about wondering where my cock is going, how it’s behaving, what angle it’s at … even on the cocks that I know really well, I still often keep my hand on it (or under it, or next to it) in order to continue to feel precisely how and where it’s moving. For the same reasons, I keep my harnesses quite tight: much more control that way.

Still, on occasion, I could see the Feeldoe having a very welcome place in my tool box. Pulling it out on a lazy morning in bed, slipping it in and rolling her on top of me … yeah, I’ll have one of those, thanks.

Well, until that happens, I’ve got a few new products to review to keep me busy. Did I mention Eden just got some packing cocks? Aw yeah.

what I’m obsessing over

A small installment of what kept me busy surfing the net this weekend …

Yael Naim: New Soul (video) – “I’m a new soul / I came to this strange world / … Finding myself making every possible mistake.” It strikes me as quite appropriate for this gender exploration, and the social policing that means that our delicate gender identities take a while to fully form and solidify. See also: Yael’s cover of Britney Spears’s song Toxic – fantastic. I can’t say I know much about Britney in general, but like anyone who lives in the US, her songs are pretty much impossible to avoid, so I do know a little about her. Yael’s cover also reminds me of this cover of Britney’s new-ish single Gimme More, where suddenly I hear the lyrics in an entirely new way.

Can’t we call it cock? (article) by Diana Cage over on the OurChart blog about sex. Okay, so maybe I have a crush. I was on Diana’s radio show this week and she’s just so articulate and funny and fucken brilliant. (Of course, she’s taken, so I’ll be my chivalrous self and admire her from afar with boundaries.) After this article, you won’t be able to call it a “dildo” again without a firm Hobbit reference in your head.

Dungeon Beds (website & product for sale) – ohh my my. Secretly, I’ve always wanted a fancy four-poster bed, but I never quite envisioned one that wasn’t all girly and canopy-like. I can’t believe these. It never even occurred to me that something like this exists, but now that I know, I feel like it must be my goal in life to not only have one, but to have an adequate bedroom in which to house one. Wow.

I was reminded of the lovely cluster of sites I Feel Myself, I Touch Myself, I Shoot Myself, and Beautiful Agony. They aren’t exactly porn, even though they do feature people (mostly girls) getting off. They’re tasteful, erotic, real, sometimes so beautiful and raw that I get breathless. Watching one of the free previews on I Feel Myself: this girl is on the edge of a train car, gripping the metal of the door behind her, wearing thigh highs, cowboy boots, a thin slip of a dress, and a hat, with the trainyard in the background. It is gorgeous. It’s rare that I come across art that is made or written so well that I wish I’d done it, I get jealous of the artist’s very ability to create something so stunning. 

Dyke Tees (sponsor & product for sale) is Sugarbutch’s first official sponsor – that means advertisement, yes. You’ve probably noticed that I’ve added some advertisements and affiliates over in the left sidebar. I’m doing this because I am spending a lot of time on SBC, and if I could somehow make some compensation, between that and freelance writing, perhaps I could eventually make even more time to work on it. I have more ideas for posts than I have time to write them out, many products to review, lots of smut stories I wish I’ve written up for you. So: Dyke Tees! Thanks for your sponsorship. They’ve got some good tee shirts over there, I’m particularly fond of the Good Girl design with the image of a girl bound by rope … the caption says, “it’s only kinky the first time.” Hah! I also like the winged heart design on the tee shirt Love Without Labels, but we all know I like labels, and think they can be incredibly celebratory, so I probably wouldn’t actually wear it.

give me a london girl every time

I heart Brooklyn Girls, the femme pin-up calendar, has definitely been making the rounds around my parts, but I hadn’t seen I Love LDN Girls calendar until just today. Honestly I wasn’t too impressed with this year’s BG calendar – last year’s was so gorgeous, perhaps I just had high hopes.

But, thank heavens, my queer pinup faith is renewed with the LDN Girls calendar. Plus, there are some gorgeous butch/femme photos, some androgyny, some femme/femme shots, all of which are really stunning photographs. I’m ordering mine now.

 

my favorite harness: review

My very favorite strap-on harness, reviewed over at Eden Fantasys. It meets my three major requirements for harnesses:

  1. interchangeable O-rings,
  2. thin harness straps that hit my clit, and 
  3. g-string style, also so it hits my clit

I love how small it is, it’s easy to conceal and comfortable under clothing, and it’s nylon so it washes so easily. Plus? It’s only $16.

Have you used this harness, or one similar? What’s your favorite harness style, & why? Leave a comment here or, better yet, over at the Eden review.

My other reviews for Eden:

pumping: my homegrown dick

clitpump

One of the first things I thought, really, was, why the fuck does it have glitter and little hearts all over it? Doesn’t that seems a little ridiculous? Maybe it’s because generally I don’t buy vibrators (I have a few, ranging from a tiny Pocket Rocket to the grandmother of all vibrators, the Magic Wand, and honestly I don’t have any desire to add more to my arsenal of sex toys. Cocks, on the other hand … ) so I am unused to the stereotypical femininity of flowers and hearts.

Well, for that matter, why is this clit pump a vibrator?

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Shasta at Stiletto Diaries also has a review of this Vibrating Clitoral Pump, and her review was fairly negative – only one O out of a possible five. I suppose really it depends on what you’re looking to this clit pump for – if you want it as a sex toy, to aid in masturbation, it seems like there are quite a few superior things out there, I’m not sure why you’d want this. The vibration is semi-powerful, but the ring is made to go around your clit – maybe some people like that, but I tend to like things actually touching mine. When I’m getting off, that is.

But clit pumping … this little device has a particular purpose: to enhance bloodflow, and, ultimately, elongate the ligaments, in and surrounding your clit, making it – you guessed it – bigger.

When I went to Seattle in December, I came back in a mini-masculinity-crisis, perhaps you remember? One of the things that happened while I was there was that I got the updates from the trans conference Gender Odyssey that some of my friends had attended, and at which one had run a great workshop. Apparently the big buzz around the conference this year was pumping for trans men – enhancing your dick (i.e., clit on T, not necessarily a constructed penis) with pumping, which purportedly works, and could add an inch or two. Since then I’ve been vaguely curious about trying out one of those clitoral pumps (which I assumed would work better, for me at least, than an actual penis pump).

So I jumped at the chance to get this one.

Shasta is right, the suction is not all that powerful. In fact, a few times I wasn’t even sure it had created a suction – it’s a little hard to tell with the labia and such. (My friend & fluffer femme spy (you really need a tag of your own, considering how often I mention you, don’t you?) swears by the snake-bite kit, note to self, go get one.) I Googled clitoral pumping for trans guys – because, well, what else do you do when you want to know something? You go to the almighty Google gods – and I found an article from ’98 on pumping – Trans Sexuality: Gonna Pump You Up – that had a few interesting things:

About what will happen when you use it:

Growth will depend on how consistent you use the pump, what you had to start with, and genetics don’t hurt any either. I polled the mailing lists on the internet and received only one response, so there are basically no figures available as to what you can reasonably expect. I know that I gained a 1/2″ in diameter and near approximately 3/4″ in length before becoming rather lazy about pumping. These changes have been permanent and in my eyes worth the $80.00 that I spent.

Seems like they aren’t in the $80 range anymore, though I don’t know much about penis pumps, I’m mostly looking at clitoral pumps – they seem to be in the $20-30 range. I wonder if there’s better information about pumping now – I should ask my friend who was at the trans conference I guess. Doesn’t seem like there’s much online, that I could find.

The author goes through how to make a pump, how to buy a premade one, and finally, how to use one:

It is best to be sexually aroused before beginning to pump. You want blood flowing into the erectile tissue so as to enable you to form a seal. Place the cylinder on your erectile tissue. Once the cylinder is in place pump slowly and gradually until you feel pressure. If you feel pain, back off. An intense pinching sensation means that you either need to resituate the cylinder or it’s time to move up in size. If there is no pain, leave the cylinder on for so long as it feels comfortable, but do not exceed 5-10 minutes. You can expect to feel pressure or perhaps a very slight pinching sensation on the underside of your member. Release the pressure then rest for 5-10. Repeat once. As you get familiar with the device and the reaction of your body, you can work up to a second repetition … Go slow and easy. Soreness is an indication that you need to take a break for a day or so. It is imperative that you listen to your body. When you are done pumping . . . well, I don’t need to tell you how to scratch that itch.

(Quotes reprinted without permission.) Worth a try, or a few tries, I think.

After the first time, I can tell you: 1. it was definitely arousing, and I needed to beat off afterward; 2. I couldn’t tell how well the suction was working, and I wanted it to be stronger, but – 3. I’m a little sore afterward, in a way I am usually not after jacking off. I would assume this has to do with the pumping. Maybe it works after all! I’ll try to do this just about every day for a while and see if it makes a difference.

An Elegant Blindfold

wink blindfold

A friend turned me on to this silk and suede blindfold called Wink from Jimmyjane, and I really want one. Or, perhaps more accurately, I really want a girl to give one to.

More versatile than your favorite scarf, this suggestive accessory can ravel while you unravel. Made of over 3 yards of 100% hand dyed silk cut on the bias, it provides more than enough comfort and just enough yield. The fabric softens beautifully with use & time. We’ve been known to slide off the mask and wear it out on the town — our little secret.

Each side of the supple suede mask is embroidered to help you get what you want. One side shows the universal symbol of snooze: the Z! Wear it nightly as a decadent sleep mask, or flip it over and flash your partner the come-hither heart.

They’re even more elegant in person.

k.d. lang’s Watershed

When I saw k.d. lang perform live recently for the first time, I was so incredibly invested in and taken by her presence onstage, in her suit and bare feet, crooning so intimately with the audience. I felt connected in a way I hadn’t felt at a concert before, and I wasn’t sure exactly what that was, until I realized that it was probably one of the first times I’ve seen a butch woman perform. Okay, so I’ve been to Michfest, I’ve seen Ferron and Alix Olsen and Melissa Ferrick – but somehow this was different, I’m not exactly sure how. Maybe because we were at Radio City Music Hall, and the audience wasn’t particularly queer? These were jazz lovers, a highbrow audience.

k.d. is one of the few artists whose albums I will go out and buy the week they come out. I have almost her entire library in my collection, and I often go back to her old albums just as often as her new. Hymns from the 49th Parallel is just as brilliant as Drag and as Ingenue … I love ’em all.

Watershed, which came out recently, is really worth a listen. It’s her first collection of songs written by her since 2001, and it’s gorgeous. Here’s the ad trailer (!) for the album.

L-word fans (or, if you’re oldschool, Murmurs fans) probably know that k.d. lang dated Leisha Hailey for a few years … man, to be a fly on the wall in that bedroom. Talk about a power couple. That’d be some good fan fiction, if I wrote that kind of genre.

butch/femme holiday guide

My Butch/Femme Holiday Gift List is getting out of control. I have four pages of notes in my journal, multiple notepad files with links and images. And I just can’t seem to polish it up enough to finish, and fuck, time is running out.

So, I’m going to pick five.

Gifts for the butch-leaning gal in your life:

Engraved hidden message collar stays
From Red EnvelopeI’m always losing collar stays in the wash, and these are super sweet, with messages like “You’re so handsome.” Awww.

Men’s accessories box
From Red EnvelopeBecause we still have watches, leather cuffs, chains, collar stays, rings, pocketwatches, cuff links … so of course, we must have somewhere fabulous to hold it all!

Red Envelope has many other excellent gifts, check em out.

Ties that Don’t Suck – by Cyberoptix TieLab on EtsyThese ties are so badass. Some of them are kinda spendy, but they’re beautiful, and so high quality.

For someone slightly more punk rock, consider Tomcat Threads for some awesome one-of-a-kind vintage silkscreened ties. I have one of these with a microphone on it, and it’s my favorite tie of all.

Look for somewhat slim, skinny, narrow ties, especially for female-bodied folks who are slender. Cyberoptix has many options in the narrow-tie style.

Whiskey Glasses
Via AmazonHandblown glass remake of a classic whiskey tumbler. Perfect for other refined liquors, even if she’s not a bourbon/whiskey/scotch kinda guy. Also consider a flask – even better if it’s engraved with some memorable phrase or image she will love. I wouldn’t recommend something like “to my sweetie, love, me” – it’ll be much more timeless with a personal touch, but not a personalization.

Tiffany Classic Money Clip
From Tiffany & CoEven if she’s more of a wallet kind of guy, a money clip is a good thing to have in the accessory box … and Tiffany’s engraves. Gorgeous, classic.

Also consider Cufflinks from Tiffany, there are some fantastic classic, plain, smooth sets that would be such a great gift.

Gifts for the femme-leaning gal in your life:

Perfume BottleI wouldn’t really presume to buy her her favorite perfume, or a new perfume, unless she asks for it (or hints at it!) specifically, but antique perfume bottles are so beautiful on a dresser or vanity, and hold the scents that she picks out.

LingerieOh, I know. It’s a tough one. You gotta know her size, and have an idea of what she likes – and what you like. Browse around through Princess Tamtam and Agent Provocateur for inspiring ideas.

(Yes, that’s Maggie Gyllanhall over there, modeling Agent Provocateur lingerie. Many other photos of her at the site.)

Shoes. Oh my god, shoes.Shoes are another tough one. I can recommend some good sites, but probably not specific shoes: the Red Door Store has a fantastic selection, as does Endless (and, as a sidenote, I really geek out on the navigation and interface for Endless. Gorgeous).

The Red Door Store has lingerie, costumes, and bondage gear, too …

shoe

Vintage Brush & Hand Mirror setThese are kinda hard to find; I bought a set on eBay as a gift for the Unholy ex last year (you may remember that, if you’ve been around. I can’t find the post on it) and I thought it was a brilliant suggestion. The beauty of these items alone, even if they are not used or functional, is such a lovely addition to a vanity or dresser top.
JewelryMan, I feel like I’m going with very cliche femme gifts. Perfume, jewelry, shoes, lingerie? Really, Sinclair? Somebody help me out here, leave more suggestions in the comments, please. Good thing I don’t have anybody special to buy for this year.

Meanwhile: I adore this necklace from Janet Jewelry. You can customize some text to go onto it, or choose some excellent phrases that Janet has already made, like “The best revenge is living well” or “whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” Super sexy.

More Jewelry … rings, this timeRings are loaded, I know, but if you can go for it, these rings from Amy Peters Studio are amazing and lovely. I want a set for myself, someday.It’s a ring set, three rings with different words on each one: Believe Dream Hope Wish / In About For For / Peace Magic Love Happiness. So they make a little sentence as they rotate on your finger.

I also really love her Message in a bottle pendants and double sided necklaces

I got some great comments from femmes about what they wanted for the holidays, so I’ll direct you over there for some more ideas. The iBuzz vibrator for two was suggested, and one last particular mention comes from a reader via email:

I am a submissive, by choice and nature. And though my butch is quite accomodating, there are some things I can’t even imagine her doing unless asked. Brushing my hair, painting my toenails, wearing a sleeveless tee, baggy jeans with a hint of boxers revealed, and Tims, donning toolbelt, hammering and drilling at my command, sweating and…wait, I’m getting ahead of myself. You get my point. In a nutshell, I want a day of servitude from my butch…anything I want for a whole day.

Sounds like a fabulous gift, to me.