If #NotAllMen Are “Bad,” Stop Acting Like You Are

May 27th, 2014

I have a problem with the #NotAllMen hashtag and misogynistic assholes. I plan to tackle these issues, perhaps not so succinctly, in this post.

First, #NotAllMen. It’s the trending topic that started when men wanted to point out that not all men are rapists. It’s true, according to numbers. According to numbers, however, it’s also true that most rapists are men and most victims are women.

The problem with #NotAllMen is it always comes across as “but I’m not a rapist.” Congratulations. Do you want a cookie? Not being a rapist isn’t good. It’s neutral. And you don’t get an award for being a human being who doesn’t hurt other human beings. This should be something we expect as society.

It’s the bare minimum you should be when it comes to not subscribing to sexism and rape culture. In fact, you can be “not a rapist” and absolutely be a douchebag.  Men don’t even disagree with this point. After discussing this with a guy friend, he said that he wants to point out that #NotAllMen are rapists or sexist because he isn’t, because he is personally offended to be associated with them. On the one hand, being repulsed by rapists or the idea that someone could think you are one is good. It shows a moral compass. On the other hand, that behavior brings the discussion back around to men. If there’s one thing that human rights advocates and feminists have been fighting to say, it’s not about you, men. It’s not about you. You are not the victim.

It’s also not about men who are victim to predatory women. Yes, this happens. Yes, it’s awful. No, this is not the forum to discuss it. Because that isn’t a result of system-wide hatred and objectification of men — but the idea that a man shouldn’t be so “weak” to become a woman’s victim is a result of misogyny.

And if pointing out that systematic hatred for and objectification of women hurts your feelings, I am okay with it if it also helps put an end to the societal constructs and beliefs that treat women as less than human. Because your hurt feelings don’t even fall on the scale of terror when rape and murder make that scale.  Think big picture. Do your hurt feelings pale in comparison to rape? I can live in a world where men are offended by this means women are safe.

Does defending yourself take attention away from the problem — a system that, at best, leaves women uncomfortable and worried about their safety for their entire lives? A system that, in reality, results in 1 in 8 women being a victim of rape in their lifetime and that fails to enact justice for rapists, some of whom are even able to continually harass their victims until their victims have to change their lives because they live in a world that does not protect them. Women live in a world where we are told to deal with harassment and abuse and then questioned as to what we did to cause it rather than a world that tells men not to harass or abuse women.

But maybe you’re not an abuser or a harasser. You’re a nice guy. At best, you’re #NotAllMen and you treat women as human beings and not objects. You are someone who everyone may describe as a nice guy. However, you’re still not helping to fix the problem. Ignoring the problem is the same as letting the problem persist.

What do I think men can and should do to help defeat rape culture?

  • Don’t advertise that you’re not a rapist. Simply be a decent human being whom others, especially women, can trust. You can build trust by not raping.
  • Don’t make rape/non-consent jokes. Call out inappropriate jokes whether it’s from your peers or a talk show host. Remember, in a room with 8 women, one of them is likely a victim or will be a victim. Your jokes could be triggering them again and again.
  • Skip catcalling women. Forgo objectification in general, whether it’s online, in person or during a discussion with your buddies.  Recognize that women are not there to look good for you. No one owes you that. Measure women on the merits of their character and skills, not their appearance. View women as complete human brings who do not just exist to get you something (sex, popularity, a cup of coffee).
  • Teach your sons not to rape. Do not teach your daughters that a certain aspect of dressing means they are “asking” for rape. Do not “slut shame” women for the way they dress, which has nothing to do with their sexual activity. Ditch the words “slut” and “whore.” You might even do away with “bitch.” On that note, do not judge women who are sexually active or celibate. Whether a woman chooses to have sex or not, she does not deserve to be a victim of harassment or rape.
  • Call out men who describe women who don’t want them as “bitches” or any other negative label. Explain to men that rejection is okay. Not every woman will be interested. This is a part of life. No one is entitled to another person’s affection or body. Let men know that they should leave women be who do not return their interest.
  • Engage in conversations about behavior that may actually contribute to rape culture even if that is not your intent. Let women express themselves without going on the defensive.

Because subtle versions of all these things mean you still subscribe to rape culture and misogynistic views. Even if you’re just mimicking things you’ve heard, you’re contributing to the problem. If you let other people around you do these things, you are actively part of rape culture. I know many men — and even women — who are so immersed in these things that they don’t realize how entrenched it is in society. Just because you don’t see it or even think about it doesn’t mean it’s not there.

The problem is that while most men don’t think about these things, haven’t even considered them, no woman is ever allowed to not think about them. It might not be all men who are a danger to women, but all men need to hear the message until all men are on board and, then, when a woman is victim of violence or harassment, we’ll know it was because of one unwell person. Not a person who was taught these things every day of his life and just treating women in a way that society taught him was acceptable.

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How to Survive International Sex Toy Shipping

April 23rd, 2014

If there’s one thing that makes being a reviewer slightly less than awesome, it’s mail. I live in a locked building and often miss carriers. However, the worst-case scenario is that a package is sent back. Once or twice, I’d had to pick one up at the carrier’s office. This is nothing compared to some of the horror stories I’ve heard about people using international shipping but retailers like CherryAffairs try to make it easy for shoppers. Make sex toy shopping less stressful with these tips.

FedEx Express Airbus A300 Jager

Know the rules of each retailer and delivery service to make shipping less stressful

  • Know your country’s tariffs. More than once, a blogger or sex toy reviewer friend has been contacted by their national postal service or a delivery service such as UPS and had to pay tariffs or fees for their bundle of BDSM gear. This is especially true for Canadians. If you’re ordering from another company and the item is of low value, you could be paying a fee that’s actually more than the value of what you’re buying, which means that it might be smarter to make large purchases and pay a single duty rather than making smaller purchases.
  • Make it worth your money. Many retailers offer free shipping over a certain amount — $50, $75 or $99 are common. Stock up and pay a single shipping fee rather than ordering every vibrator separately.
  • Find local retailers — and I don’t just mean those that are in town. Sometimes you might not have that option, but if you look for a company that’s located within your own country, you can avoid high tariffs and long shipping periods. Canada and the UK both offer several options. However, just because you’re in an area where sex toys are less common doesn’t mean you don’t have the right to get off. In Singapore, for example, you can shop for sex toys online at CherryAffairs and have vibrators, dildos and BDSM gear delivered right to your door no matter where you are.
  • Get a P.O. box. A box at your post office can solve a lot of problems — like snooping parents, thieving neighbors and a work schedule that doesn’t allow you to get to the door. If there’s no locked mailbox large enough for packages containing sex toys, a P.O. box is useful. Plus, you can rent them for temporary periods. However, there’s a downside. Not every sex toy retailer will ship to P.O. boxes. Make sure to verify shipping policies before deciding if this is the way to go for you.
  • Plan ahead. Whether you’re vacationing in Singapore or you just won’t be home for the day because of work, make sure to get your ducks in a row. Ask someone who won’t snoop though a box of dildos to get your mail, notify the shipping service to bring a package to work or have the post office hold your parcel until you can pick it up.
  • Purchase insurance or tracking. I always feel best when a package is safe in my hands. Second-best, however, is when I can track every move it makes. It’s a little more difficult when it comes to shipping from overseas, but a tracking number goes a long way (almost as long as a package coming from Asia!). CherryAffairs offers tracking for all overseas packages and an option for local customers to upgrade to registered shipping  to get a tracking number along with piece of mind.You can also sign up to get text or email alerts from most delivery services so you never lose a sex toy in transit.
  • Do your research. Finally, you’ll want to make sure that you’re aware of a company’s return policy. If you miss UPS three days in a row or your package gets stuck in customs, what happens then? Will the sex toy retailer try to ship it again, or will you simply get a refund? Will you have to pay for additional shipping? It also helps to check out customer service. Does a sex toy store have a number for international consumers? Can you contact them via email or even WhatsApp — CherryAffairs offers this — if that’s more convenient?

When you’d looking at high fees, missed packages and stolen goods, a discreet package is the least of your worries. Many of these tips will also help people ordering adult toys within their own countries who have experienced frustrations.

Do you have a sex toy shipping story that’s funny or terrible? Let me know!

 This post brought to you by CherryAffairs, Singapore’s leader in adult novelties, vibrators, couple’s toys and more. Cherry Affairs promises discreet and expedient shipping the world over. Check out the CherryAffairs Facebook page for more information.

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The shield of shame surrounds these everyday male issues

March 31st, 2014

When broaching any mention of a medical concern, men find it too embarrassing to discuss. These problems are common and should be aired to remove the taboo.

male issuesMen prefer not to discuss Premature Ejaculation

This topic provokes a great deal of unease with men but this ailment is very normal and occurs in practically every man at one stage in their lives. They find it belittling that they are unable to be in control of their ejaculation. The more often it happens, the less they are able to deal with it and can become, to their detriment, more introverted and it may even lead to depression. The knock on effect of this symptom of depression, is that it will affect the relationship that he is in. There is a solution called the Prolong Climax Control Programme which consists of a six week programme offering a treatment that can postpone orgasm until both he and his partner are ready.

Men avoid discussing Low Sperm Count

Hearing that you have a low sperm count is not uplifting especially if you are hoping to start a family but there is no need to feel awkward about this: in fact it is a very common reason why male infertility happens. Sometimes this is due to a hormone balance or an infection which is treatable through a series of either hormone replacement treatment or antibiotics.

Men are uncomfortable talking about Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI)

One of the main points that are hard to bring up among men is STI and they find it even more humiliating in from of a doctor. What men do not realise is that it is fairly usual for STI to occur even if he is not careless and can only be treated with medication administered by a GP.


Men can’t face talking about Gynecomastia or Male Breasts

When Gynecomastia results in a man, it invariably means that he has put on weight and the pectoral region develops fat. However it is essential that if a man’s breast enlarges suddenly or they become painful, medical examination will need to be conducted. A few of the other causes for this ailment are chronic liver disease, kidney failure, tumours, genetic disorders (ex: Klinefelfter’s syndrome), reaction to some therapeutic medication and androgen hormone exposure. However in older men, these enlargements may be due hormonal imbalances.

don't let goMen are incapable of opening up about Erectile Dysfunction

Discussing this subject is not easy at all amongst men. The definition of male impotence focuses on the inability to fulfil or continue an erection for as long as it takes to be satisfied by sex. For this to happen, the blood flow must be acceptable for the penis to maintain an erection. The underlying origin may be cardiac or vascular disease. Check for cholesterol, obesity and smoking plus change your lifestyle. The medication available include Cialis, Viagra and Levitra.

It is time now to open up and stop the discomfort!

Thanks for the guest post, ProlongShop.

 

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2013 in Review

January 5th, 2014

This might be the third year in a row that I’ve posted a best of list. I figured I wouldn’t just do the wonderful toys but provide you with some of the strange and disappointing, too.  I’ll have to fudge the lines of “this year” a bit. I must have written last year’s a little early because there were two reviews in December 2012 that didn’t make it on the list. I waited until January for this post because I really wanted to get one last review in, so let’s start there.

D.1 stone dildo

D.1 stone dildo

I liked the design but expected the Ceramix Pleasure Pottery Dildo No. 4 to be a gimmick with its hollow inside for warm. But warming this dildo up far surpassed my expectations. It’s one of the few dildos that I’ve ever used twice, and I think that says a lot.

I’ve been pimping out the Jimmyjane Form 6 G3 all this year even though it was one of those reviews from late last year. The latest version if powerful, versatile and feels luxurious. It’s the first Jimmyjane vibe that I actually like. Maybe it won’t be the last. My review was on the EF, though, so I’ll probably get around to writing something up on OSAL for you to read.

The Delight by Fun Factory was actually my second. I swapped for one of the originals — the ones that came with a charging case — but never got around to using it. When I moved last year, I misplaced the cable. I wound up trying out the Delight for shape to see if I liked it, and I did like it so much that I purchased the new Click n Charge style. Not only do I love the magenta and black, but it fits my anatomy extremely well.

The Decor Stashe Pillow in Velvish Aubergine won’t get me off but it will hide everything that does and in style.

After using the D.1 stone dildo, I have to say that this blows every metal dildo I’ve ever used out of the water. I am so grateful to have the opportunity to use it and see myself using it frequently in the future.

Another new type of toy was the Stronic Eins Pulsator, which has made its way around many of these lists. It feels good. I just need to wash off all that lint, charge it and use it again (and again and again). This was also my first video review, you guys!

Finally, I cannot tell you how much I love my SHE AfterShave Oil. I could show you the nearly-empty bottle, though. I definitely need to purchase another one.

So, there’s the good.

How about the weird? Strange? Disappointing? Ridiculous?

  • Cat toy or vibrator?

    Cat toy or vibrator?

    The Sonic Revel Body. Cool tech, totally not going to get me off. And those attachments? WTF!

  • This costume from ILoveSexy just didn’t cut it. I mean, I kinda hate the cut.
  • The Revive Energy isn’t terrible but they needed to test the storage pouch, first. Now, mine looks like a sick leopard.
  • Ovo looked like a promising brand, but the kegel balls fucking hurt. The t1 didn’t hurt. It just sucked.
  • I got 2 Gigi 2s. I am giving both away. Meh.
  • I’m not sure that this UFO vibrator works for me.. or anyone.
  • The U Touch Down and U Touch Up just need.. to be better.
  • These “keyless cuffs” are so not practical.
  • This vibrator looks like a cat toy. Pretty sure the cat toy would get me off better.
  • Icicles 39 Handle Broken From Shaft

    Bummer..

    Why the fuck are companies still making these pieces of shit?

  • I’d rather fuck the actual Flash, and he’s my least favorite of the Justice League.
  • But, hey, at least it’s better than vibrating vaginal balls.
  • Minna Ola is the most overrated, over-hyped, overpriced piece of junk I’ve used.. until the Revel Sonic.
  • Remember when that glass dildo broke before I even had a chance to use it?

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What Sex Toy Retailers Can Learn from the EdenFantasys Scandal

October 13th, 2013

Let me preface this article by explaining which scandal I am talking about because there are many. EdenFantasy has been doing wrong by employees, clients, manufacturers and reviewers for years. But several months ago, the owner “discovered” there was barely enough revenue left to keep the company afloat. He fire all the employees and shut down all the clubs and programs, including Sexis and EdenCafe, that had been going on. He, then, decided to cut how many points — points that contributors had earned — that contributors could put toward their orders. This resulted in a strange “point consideration proposal” by Fred who literally and liberally berated the community for abusing the system that he had championed for years.

I quote:

You will be asked to submit a reconsideration request. It is optional. If you chose not to participate, your points will remain as they are now.
We review the submission manually and decide whether your points will be restored or completely erased.

All your points (or converted Gift Cards) will be cancelled and removed if company finds that you accumulated 500 points or more by intentionally abusing the system.

EdenFantasys is not a store you an trust!

Around this time, many products were “discontinued.” Reviews and orders were being canceled left and right. Some, mind included, took months to get out. Anyone who wanted to buy something was hard-pressed to do so. Affiliates who had reached their payouts were not — and some still haven’t been, 5 months later — paid. During this whole thing, Fred refused, and then denied when I brought it up, to discuss or admit the state of the company. He banned many contributors and limited the accounts of others, myself included. However, many of the previous employees began to speak up about how this was just the cherry on top of the shit sundae.

Reviewers and shoppers who wised up by reading posts like mine left in droves, many opening up a blog for the very first time. Others took to Twitter and other review/affiliate programs in light of Fred/EdenFantasys’ policies.  SheVibe opened their own forum.

There’s no doubt that it’s a ridiculous scandal and one that could have been completely avoided. It hurt the company and left the community scarred and fragmented, but that’s not all there is to it. Eden’s fallacies are absolutely a lesson that other companies can — and should — learn from. This is far from a cohesive list, so I encourage you to add your thoughts in the comments. I may even add them to this post. The scary part is how many of these facts are simply common sense.

Business Management

  • Don’t turn a blind eye to things like the bills. They don’t go away. Quite the opposite. They pile up, and you ruin your reputation with consumers, manufacturers and other companies with whom you have a relationship. When it gets to the point that the company needs to be shut down or sold immediately because you ignored or tried to deny away the problem for months or even years, there’s no one to blame but yourself.
  • Yes, you have to spend money to make money. No, you shouldn’t spend thousands or millions of dollars on projects that don’t bring in money and ultimately bleed the company dry. Yes, working with bloggers can yield positive results. No, it shouldn’t be your only end game.
  • Don’t blame the customers for your bad business practices. This falls under the “there’s no one to blame but you” category, but I’ll talk about it more anyway. Don’t blame customers for taking advantage of programs or sales that you created.
  • It’s such a sleazy thing to base your business on the idea that you will make deals with others. That you will slip them something a little extra under the table or that you’ll bow to their demands to appease them, especially if you’re hurting your customer in the process.
  • Don’t try to do it all. Even if you have the best of intentions, you can’t do it all. You just can’t. Determine what you can do and do it well rather than spreading yourself too thin. Otherwise, you wind up starting clubs and giveaways and blogger outreach. The best case scenario is that it works with a few hiccups or that it doesn’t, and you can gracefully back out. Sometimes people will understand. On the other hand, if you don’t realize that you’re setting yourself up for failure, you might make a bunch of promises that you can’t deliver on, which may result in some unhappy customers.
  • Treat your employees well because they are what make your company run. They may be the face that customers see. They have the power to testify against you in court and to tell your dirty little secrets.

Community

  • When you reward your contributors for listing pros and cons about things, they’ll do the same for your company. It’s not about bloggers, it’s about pissing off vocal people. And bloggers will talk — even Metis Black mentioned how quickly the network works a CatalystCon West —  partly because we like to talk to begin with, but it’s more than that. I feel as though I owe readers the truth, whether it’s about a a toy or a company. I feel an obligation to tell buyers that a company isn’t reputable. As a blogger, I feel a sense of community with my fellow bloggers, and I want to help protect them from companies that will take advantage of them. So it’s my job to talk about it on this blog, on Twitter, on Tumblr, on Facebook or on your forum. Wherever I can talk about what you did wrong, I will. It’s not about you. It’s not petty vengeance. It’s about raising awareness of wrongdoing.
  • This leads me to my next point: don’t lie. The truth always comes out. Either you wind up telling bigger lies to cover up the succession of untruths, you get caught in the act or you wrong a person whom you trusted with your secret, and the truth comes out. The truth always comes out. Can you deal with that?
  • People don’t react to change well, especially not if it’s sudden. Yes, you may have to change the focus or programs that your company has. If you do it all at once, people will complain because they’ve become accustomed to a certain lifestyle. You can attempt to smooth things over by explaining why you have to change, and even though you don’t have to explain how your company works or what you’re doing, a little transparency goes a long way. When you start lying, even if it’s just by having shady practices, people stop trusting you.

And that trust? Yea, it’s kind of important when you use marketing campaigns about how people can trust you.

 

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The Most Disappointing Sex Toys I’ve Used

September 27th, 2013

Not all of the reviews that I write are positive, and I don’t make any apologies for that. I’ve used some great toys that just didn’t fit my anatomy, and many, many toys are beautiful, but just won’t cut it when it comes down to it. There’s almost nothing worse than drooling over a toy, especially an expensive one, and realizing that I hate it. But it’s worse for consumers like you, who spend your hard-earned money without the steep discounts that I get as a reviewer.

So let me help you avoid the same mistakes I’ve made by compiling this list of toys that I just can’t recommend; in fact, I don’t want you to have your heart broken just a little like mine was.

Vibrators

  • bbold-premium[1]I don’t know what the hell was the problem with my Mimi. Either it was defective, or everyone who liked it was batshit crazy. Now, I don’t want to insult all my readers, but we were not having the same experience at al. So I let my cat chew on my Mimi before trading it away. Just kidding. I can’t control those pussies.
  • I have disliked almost all of the Jimmyjane vibrators I’ve used, and the Form 2 was no exception. From weak, buzzy vibrations to breaking randomly, it as all bad.
  • There was so much buzz about the iRide. It wasn’t intended for human use at all.
  • Minna Ola uses technology that sounds so intriguing but is freakin’ frustrating to use in reality. I spend a bit of money on this G-spot vibrator, and now it’s sitting in a drawer.
  • Bbold Premium is gorgeous, and I’ve always liked BSwish as a company. However, almost all of the vibes — especially the rechargeable ones — are stupidly weak.

Try this instead: Form 6, Mona 2, Delight

Dildos

  • I haven’t liked a single toy from Tantus. I don’t understand it, but the Splish was among the worst. I should have paid more attention to the specs, yes, but there’s not a single reason for a dildo to be the size of a pinky finger like this was.
  • Tantus Delta was flexible as fuck. Eww.
  • And the Alumina Revolve? sort of pretty. Totally disappointing.
  • Don’t even get me started on the Pure Wand.
  • Icicles Number 39 was gorgeous. I think I could have loved if.. If it didn’t break before I even got to use it. I don’t want to say that you shouldn’t try Pipedreams glass, but this gives me serious misgivings about the entire line.

Icicles 39 Handle Broken From Shaft

Try this instead: Tex, Twist, 24K double pleasure, Fun Wand

Sensual/Massage

  • The Cake Body Butter smelled like shit. Well, not quite. It was rancid.
  • And Lelo’s massage candle smelled okay but was terrible when it came to massage.
  • Lelo Luna Beads were all hyped up. I don’t think that there’s any point to multiple weights in kegel balls.

Try this instead: K-balls, Pink Cupcake lotion, Shunga Apple massage oil, Contour M massage stone, Oil of Love: Raspberry Kiss,

Lingerie

  • Material Girl Fetish Fantasy dress was too small and unflattering in so many ways. The lack of adjust-ability was also terrible. It was pretty ridiculous.

Try this instead: Kissable Leopard babydoll, Sheer Pleasure Chemise, Raspberry fields babydoll 

BDSM

  • Sasha Pouch and GartersThe Touch of Fur rabbit flogger actually came apart when I used it. I sewed it back together by hand because I fuckin’ love the feel of it.
  • The Crystal Whip by liberator is attractive and versatile, but it’s also cheap quality wise. Rhinestones fell off. I think I superglued one back together.
  • Finally, the Sasha harness looked cool but didn’t fit in a flattering way. It was one of the biggest bummers ever.

Try this instead: Wartenberg wheel, Under the bed restraints,

What vibrators, dildos or lingerie have left you wanting more? What’s the biggest disappointment in your life and how much did it cost?

 

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The Number of Orgasms Doesn’t Count

September 8th, 2013

It’s been a while since I’ve written something other than a review or personal experience on here. It’s been a while since I’ve felt so passionate about something that I felt like I should write it, even if someone else had already written about it or, even worse, written about it better. But here it is.

The Number of Orgasms Doesn’t Count

Read it a second time. Maybe in italic.

The Number of Orgasms Doesn’t Count

Orgasms are, generally, good. For more heterosexual sex, the man’s orgasm indicates the end of a session. The ability to finally attain orgasm is a big deal for many people, especially women. I understand. I like having orgasms. I wouldn’t last long in a sexual relationship with a person who didn’t care whether I was having any orgasms or who left them completely up to me without any (oral) assistance.

...orgasm is a sincere gift from GOD.But, and this is a big but, sex shouldn’t necessarily lead to orgasm. That is, orgasm shouldn’t be the only goal. When you’re focused on getting off, your sex can become mechanical. Your eye is on the finish line, and you miss out on the journey. Now, this doesn’t always happen, but I frequently find that if you focus on enjoying the moment and feeling good over where you’re going, you’ll feel like your time’s well spent, even if you don’t get off.

Furthermore, focusing on achieving orgasm is the very thing that makes some people unable to orgasm. I notice that when I sufficiently distract my mind, I get off quicker and better.

I have literally had sex where I’ve had multiple orgasms, and it was unenjoyable overall. I’ve also had sex where I just didn’t manage to orgasm, but it was pretty much amazing. It felt more toe-curling, tear-inducing and intimate than sex where I achieved orgasm multiple times. I think, for some people, this doesn’t compute. They associate orgasms with pleasure. The more orgasms, the greater the pleasure except..

It’s just not true.

You can still feel pleasure without orgasm. Sex can be intimate. It can be rough. It can be carnal. It can teach you about yourself or your partner. It can just be a fun time — and all without orgasm.

And if either you or your partner is having difficulty achieving orgasm, the added pressure may just not be worth it.

Maybe someone will read this and something will click. Maybe they’ll stop pressuring their partner to cum or blaming themselves for their inability to bring their partner to orgasm an arbitrary number of times. Perhaps someone who has felt guilty over their inability to orgasm. Maybe you’ll let go long enough to just enjoy the moment. Because there are so many moments to enjoy and so many ways to enjoy them. Orgasm is not the only way.

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