BDSM: A Guide for Explorers of Extreme Eroticism

October 31st, 2016

One of my goals this year was to read more, and I’m poised to finish about three dozen books by the end of 2016, which is a number with which I am quite happy. Few of these books are “assigned” reading a la reviews, and most of them actually aren’t about sex. I wanted to branch out into hard science and nonerotic fiction, so few of the titles on my bookshelf or Kindle were related to sex.

As you can guess, BDSM: A Guide for Explorers of Extreme Eroticism doesn’t break that mold, but it does stand apart from other books that I’ve read this year.

Now, I am no stranger to BDSM books. You can check out my reviews for As Kinky as You Wanna Be, Decoding Your Kink: Guide to Explore Share and Enjoy Your Wildest Sexual Desires, and S&M 101, among others. There are even a few in there that I forgot. BDSM: A Guide is not one that I will soon forget.

Part of this is because it’s a tome of a book. With over 600 pages, it might be the longest book I’ve read this year — or during the past several. There is a wealth of information provided by the author Ayzad.. if you’ve the time to peer between the pages. I do think this book could be intimidating to some because of its size and other reasons, which I will touch on later.

First, let me introduce you to Azad, an Italian and self-proclaimed pretentious European who wrote the first version of this book over a decade ago. Ayzad’s experience and connections have resulted in something that could be described as the ultimate BDSM textbook. If it’s not in this book, it’s either urban legend, frowned upon by conscientious kinksters or has been invented since this summer.

The original Italian book has been translated and updated for the world at large, and I was fortunate to review a copy on my Kindle. As you can imagine, a 500+ page book is one that could easily become overwhelming. I recommend the Kindle version not just for ease of searchability but also because it’s about half the price of the soft cover on Amazon and, I would imagine, a sure bit lighter!

I don’t normally comment on Kindle formatting, and there’s nothing terribly wrong with BDSM: A Guide for Explorers of Extreme Eroticism, but a lack of numbered chapters — both within the table of contents and the pages themselves — makes it a bit hard to determine where you are in the book. A bit of tweaking with the different headings would also aid this, but it’s certainly not the biggest thing that would prevent someone from picking up this book.

BDSM: A Guide for Explorers of Extreme Eroticism is, well, daunting. If you read the original, want a complete BDSM library or only want to read a single book on the subject ever, then this one is for you. On the other hand, I might recommend something a bit more specific to readers who are already well-versed in BDSM but wanted to learn more about a particular niche or something more accessible for those who are new to the subject or perhaps unsure whether BDSM is for them.

Ayzad doesn’t coddle his readers, and I must admit that I agree with when he describes himself as pretentious. Initially, this was offputting, but there is no doubt that the usefulness of this book overshadows that eventually.

As a resource, BDSM: A Guide for Explorers of Extreme Eroticism stands head and shoulders above other BDSM publications and certainly above most things you’ll see online (where many people are seeking answers to specific BDSM questions). I’ve written guides myself, but this book delves far deeper than typical BDSM activities and terms, introducing the reader to ideas that they never knew they wanted to try (or perhaps never realized they wanted to avoid!).

Indeed, Ayzad lists potentially dangerous activities such as choking out of due diligence, even while advising against them. He goes beyond a quick warning not to flog a person’s kidneys and provides ample advice for dealing with a scene gone wrong. In short, Ayzad emphasizes safety and consent in such a manner that shames traditional sex education for a lack thereof.

Ayzad includes a level of detail that’s not merely impressive. It’s almost magnificent. You can see this in charts, which explain to the reader just how much weight certain body parts can hold, how to care for BDSM implements of different materials, the effect of electricity on the body, and how much saline solution you can inject into various body parts. You can easily learn basic knots and how to create rope harnesses (not to mention the difference between Eastern and Western rope bondage) from the words and photos in these pages despite the fact that it’s just one element of BDSM.

BDSM: A Guide for Explorers of Extreme Eroticism isn’t dry, however. Stunning photos are peppered throughout the pages; although, positioning might be a little less than ideal if you use custom font sizes on your Kindle as I do.

The photos themselves are not the only thing that will arouse a reader’s mind. If you’re into any particular kink, this book will likely have your heart beating faster when you discover the section that’s closest to your deviant heart. For me, that was reading about needles, which I found particularly inspiring. Ayzad writes in a way that I imagine could inspire creativity in most readers who have a serious interest in BDSM. I found it difficult not to imagine myself shopping in a medical supply store looking for items that could be perverted for this very purpose.

There is such a wealth of information that Ayzad frequently refers the reader to his website to learn more (you’d be hard-pressed to find a more comprehensive list of BDSM websites than in the resources section), and I often found myself performing quick searches when I would discover something new (such as what a tawse is). I must admit humility upon learning how much there was yet to know about BDSM. In fact, he tries to introduce the reader to the Internet and the role it plays in learning about BDSM and finding like-minded individuals and partners. This is a worthy cause but seems a little futile to me given how frequently the Internet changes. The best place to

This is a worthy cause but seems a little futile to me given how frequently the Internet changes. The best place to read about using the Internet is simply online. These final pages seemed rush and lacking in the detailed information found previously in the book probably because of these the ever-changing nature of the Internet.

I’ll wrap this review up because, while nowhere near the length of BDSM: A Guide for Explorers of Extreme Eroticism, it’s certainly lengthy. There is little this book doesn’t touch on that falls under the umbrella of bondage, discipline, domination, submission, sadism and masochism. If you’re all at all familiar, some of the content may be redundant, which is why I recommend the Kindle version for ease of use.

For those people who are unsure about BDSM or need a friendlier tone, I might recommend As Kinky As You Wanna Be to pique your interest and quell any worries you have about consensual BDSM.. before eventually adding BDSM: A Guide for Explorers of Extreme Eroticism to your collection if it felt lacking.

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In Which There Is Confusion

September 8th, 2016

Adriana sees a guy who is completely gorgeous. She discovers he is also geeky. They hold conversations in public spaces. There is laughter.

Adriana hems and haws over asking for his number or sending a message. She eventually adds him to Facebook and sends a message. He responds that he was also of the mind they should talk outside of his work.

Adriana and this guy texted sporadically for some two months in an attempt to hook up. Attraction was there, but timing was not. The conversation was not fluid. The rapport was strained. She found herself losing interest.

Adriana sends a last-ditch message, to which he replies immediately. He contacts her as promised, but she is busy. Some more time passes. Adriana visits family out of town. He contacts her.

Adriana is bound and determined to fuck him after all this hassle. She is finally free when he messages at 4AM at a Saturday morning. She rushes through showering and shaving. She looks cute as fuck.

Adriana answers the door, and he is there, adorable but somewhat unsure. He greets her cats, makes himself comfortable on her couch — and on her body.

Adriana finds him adorable and funny but also pretentious and a little obnoxious. She likes how smart he is but wishes he was less arrogant about it. She finds him slightly less perfect. This reassures her.

Adriana has sex with him; it was going to happen, after all. It’s awkward and underwhelming. She doesn’t mind that he doesn’t finish but would prefer she someone got off.

Adriana wonders what any of this means as he hangs out in her bed for a while. She finds him adorable as he becomes sleepy.

Adriana says “Good bye.” She reflects that while she had fun, the sex was disappointing. She wonders if he can be trained or if she even cares to. She decides that she’s okay whether she sees him again — or not.

Then her fucking feelings decide they like him some 24 hours later. Now, Adriana wants him back in her living room and perhaps her vagina. But Adriana isn’t bold enough to be forthright.. yet. So she doesn’t know what he wants.. if she even knows what she wants.

Adriana is confused.

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A Toy A Day #3: Lelo Mia

September 7th, 2016

I recently took a look at my nightstand and realized that there were dozens of toys that I neglect. Not only should I use them more, but I should use them at all. Even my favorites have been collecting dust as of late. More often than not, I use toys only to review them and stick to manual stimulation when I want to get off because it’s quicker and more convenient.

There’s nothing wrong with this per se, but I do feel as though my sexuality isn’t completely integrated with the rest of my life lately. And it’s not just because I am perpetually single.

Regardless, I can change the situation with my sex toys. So as summer winds down, batteries will be recharged, and I will work my way through the draw. I expect to remember how much I loved some toys, be disappointed with those that I have grown apart from and be surprised by toys that has finally won me over.

I plan to detail this attempt in a little project called A Toy A Day.


Lelo’s Mia was one of the first USB-rechargeable toys I tried, and it’s one of the few that plug directly into your USB port. In practice, I found this less useful than in theory; although, I now have enough adapters that I can just stick the toy in one of them to charge rather than my laptop. It seems like desktop users would find the design more practical.

Because there’s a cap that hides the USB dongle, the toy feels cheaper than most Lelo toys. I tend to almost bend certain clitoral toys, Mia included. I can feel the cap shifting in my grip. The cap seems like it’ll come off or even become malformed after some time.

While Mia is surprisingly powerful for its size, it’s nowhere as rumbly as We-Vibe Tango. Neither of the toys is as rounded as I’d like; although you can choose to use the rounded or more angled side of the Mia if you’re okay using the capped end.

I find myself enjoying it, but it quickly becomes buzzy and annoying because the shape it off. I can’t get the sort of pressure or stimulation that I enjoy, so I opt for something stronger and more appropriately shaped.

Mia is relatively quiet and would be good for some people for travel, but it’s not going to provide me with consistent orgasms.

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A Toy A Day #2: We-Vibe Tango

September 4th, 2016

I recently took a look at my nightstand and realized that there were dozens of toys that I neglect. Not only should I use them more, but I should use them at all. Even my favorites have been collecting dust as of late. More often than not, I use toys only to review them and stick to manual stimulation when I want to get off because it’s quicker and more convenient.

There’s nothing wrong with this per se, but I do feel as though my sexuality isn’t completely integrated with the rest of my life lately. And it’s not just because I am perpetually single.

Regardless, I can change the situation with my sex toys. So as summer winds down, batteries will be recharged, and I will work my way through the draw. I expect to remember how much I loved some toys, be disappointed with those that I have grown apart from and be surprised by toys that has finally won me over.

I plan to detail this attempt in a little project called A Toy A Day.


I guess I never got around to reviewing the We-Vibe Tango on my blog. I think it’s because so many people liked it. And I can generally see why. It came in a tiny package but had rumbly – albeit not super strong vibrations. Few companies were offering vibrators of this caliber and certainly not in this package.

I’ve never been a huge fan of lipstick vibrators, though I’ve tried this one and the Mia by Lelo. They work.. eventually. But getting off is a finicky process that requires a lot of involvement. I prefer rounded shapes, like the head of the Laya Spot or the Yooo or even my long-dead Tuyo. Pinpoint stimulation is neither a necessity nor a drawback, but you can’t exactly get that sort of stimulation from a round toy.

Anyway, I’ve had the same Tango for quite some time. I used it fairly frequently but it would often die in between charges, an issue others seem to have had, too. I wasn’t sure it would charge at all. Indeed, I had issues aligning the magnetic charger up just right. There’s a light that would often be off when I checked, so it’s hard to determine how long it actually charged.

I grabbed it for a test, anyway, and wound up shoving it down my underwear. It fit will and was easy to maneuver, but the shape wasn’t just right. I don’t think it got me off. I got close, but it died before I could get there despite the rumbly vibrations,

And I can’t even say if it’s because it’s old and the battery is dying. Or maybe it didn’t charge all the way. Or both. I do recall it dying frequently during use, so this might be just the sale old issue that I — and everyone else — has had since day one. I’ve just forgotten about it long enough to, well, forget about it.

As I finish up my uterine shed, I’ll be trying out more of the G-spot and internal vibes in this series. Keep your eye out!

 

 

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I Don’t Want to Be Friends

September 3rd, 2016

There have been a few people with whom I flirted or had sex. There was excitement in the beginning because I suspected there was something, but I realized it was going nowhere and called it off. I would tell them I just wanted to be friends. Or sometimes they would say the same to me. Either way, it was a lie.

What I meant was that it’s easier to let someone down when you say you wanna be friends. But in my heart, I know I was only making room for these people if there sexual or romantic potential. I don’t need another friend.

Before I might have thought that line of thinking crude, but now I know it to be true.

And when someone says they want to be friends with someone who is rejecting them, they more often than not mean that they hope things will change if they stick around. I know that, too. I’ve been that person.

But there’s more. Saying you want to be friends makes it less awkward, even when breaking up from a long term relationship. Otherwise, it just feels like you’re just ignoring or denying the fact that someone’s existence has suddenly been revealed to you, perhaps along with their hopes, dreams and other intimate details. What do you do with that knowledge when it’s time to part ways?

At least if you’re friends, you don’t have a vault full of knowledge about a stranger. It doesn’t feel quite so wrong or dirty or whatever-it-is-that-rubs-me-so-wrong to know all those things. But sometimes we may need to forget those things about a person, and that means we can’t be friends.

Which is okay. I didn’t want to, anyway.

 

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A Toy A Day #1: Laya Spot

September 2nd, 2016

I recently took a look at my nightstand and realized that there were dozens of toys that I neglect. Not only should I use them more, but I should use them at all. Even my favorites have been collecting dust as of late. More often than not, I use toys only to review them and stick to manual stimulation when I want to get off because it’s quicker and more convenient.

There’s nothing wrong with this per se, but I do feel as though my sexuality isn’t completely integrated with the rest of my life lately. And it’s not just because I am perpetually single.

Regardless, I can change the situation with my sex toys. So as summer winds down, batteries will be recharged, and I will work my way through the draw. I expect to remember how much I loved some toys, be disappointed with those that I have grown apart from and be surprised by toys that has finally won me over.

I plan to detail this attempt in a little project called A Toy A Day.


Layaspot, Desire clitoral vibe and Siri 2

Layaspot, Desire clitoral vibe and Siri 2

There have been a number of toys that I liked or even loved while my fellow bloggers were lukewarm or even less satisfied with them. Fun Factory’s Laya Spot was perhaps the fist. I enjoyed it so much that I powered past a disgusting BO-like smell right out of the packaging. And when my first one died after years of steady use, I replaced it.

Some months ago, the batteries in my Laya Spot died. It’s one of the few toys that I keep around that doesn’t have an internal battery and one of select few that runs on AAA batteries. Laya Spot’s strengths were never the vibrations. They’re lackluster and toward the buzzy end of the spectrum, which I don’t necessarily love.

No, it’s always been the shape of the Laya Spot that does it for me, so it’s no surprise that after switching to fresh batteries, I was able to get off within 60 seconds. Using the Laya Spot feels good, not utilitarian. And it’s all due to the shape. That drastic angled with the rounded tip has always nestled between my labia like it belongs that.

Laya Spot is also one of the few clitoral toys I have that’s rigid, and I cannot help but think this has something to do with why the shape works well for me. Not only is it pronounced, but I can easily achieve pressure thanks to the material. Fun Factory described it as Elastomed, but it feels like a slick-ish plastic to me, so movement is easy.

Throughout my years of using Laya Spot, I’ve used it over my underwear and directly against my skin. If I’m lazy and perhaps haven’t had time to clean it, I’ll use my underwear as a totally not effective barrier. But because it’s the shape and not the vibrations that I love, I rarely use it directly against my skin.

Now that there are fresh batteries in my Laya Spot, I’m sure I’ll find myself reaching for it in the dark of night when I half wake up, aroused and delirious.

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Cloud 9 Pro Sensual Warm Touch Silicone Rechargeable Vibrator

September 1st, 2016

If there’s something I dislike more than trying really, incredibly hard and long to get off and failing to do so, it might be having to write about a toy that I would describe as “Meh.” I’m several hundred toys into my sex-toy-reviewing, er, career, and this increasingly happens despite that fact that I am now reviewing fewer toys than ever.

These two things go hand in hand, as I’ve discussed before. When I have little or nothing to say about the toy, you practically have to pry the secret from my brain via physical surgery like the mice wanted to do to Arthur Dent in H2G2. I digress just a bit.

So.. this is your introduction to the Cloud 9 Pro Sensual Warm Touch Silicone Rechargeable Vibrator, which you may never have heard of before. Even if you did, you might have forgotten about it given that the name seems more of a random assortment of words than a strong branding choice.Cloud 9 seems to be the new kid on the block, and they’ve got everything from basic

Cloud 9 seems to be the new kid on the block, and they’ve got everything from basic G-spot wands to kegel balls to heated, rechargeable vibrators. Once upon a time, this might have knocked my socks off, you know, if I even kept them on during masturbation (I am not that kind of heathen, after all). It’s still enough to draw my attention, and that’s how I wound up with this vibrator in my hands courtesy of SheVibe.

But making a rechargeable vibrator from silicone and well under the $100 price range is no longer difficult. Lovelife does it, and while their Cuddle may not heat up, it won over several reviewers/bloggers, myself included. But I digress.. again.

The Cloud 9 Pro Sensual Warm Touch Silicone Rechargeable Vibrator is one that shares similarities with many toys. The controls and heating function are similar to Svakom Leslie. The general shape reminds me of a Lelo toy, but that can be said about most toys that are trying to be – or at least look – premium.

Two-button control panel

plus, the magnetic charger reminds me of many Fun Factory toys. Cloud 9 might actually have the leg up because instead of just two contact points, there’s an ellipse groove into which the charger sits, making it more stable and providing more consistent contact during charging.

It’s not exactly like the other toys, however. While for Leslie and this sex toy take a while to warm up, The Cloud 9 vibrator does eventually become noticeably warm, warmer than Svakom’s Leslie. The description says it gets over 100 degrees F. In fact, some people might find the amount of heat to be too much. Of course, you can turn it off, but you can’t adjust it. Perhaps that will be a feature we see in similar toys in the future.

Unlike Lelo, the tip is quite squishy. The entire shaft is much squishier, actually. You might prefer this to those toys with thin layers of silicone that are mostly rigid. It may even make someone a good clitoral vibrator, but it was less than stellar for me personally.

I think I need more deep and strong vibrations or a toy with a shape that juts out in some way to be useful clitorally. This vibrator has quite buzzy vibrations that tickle my hand and leave my clit feeling a little “numb” after use — not because they’re so strong but because of how shallow they are.

I always find that toys with buzzy vibrations have lackluster modes. How can a pulsation feel good if it’s just not deep enough? This can be said for the Cloud 9 Pro Sensual Warm Touch Silicone Rechargeable Vibrator, sadly.

Overall, the Cloud 9 vibrator lacks bells and whistles. It’s got a gentle curve and is coated in soft silicone. But there’s no defined hook or bulge for G-spot stimulation. I don’t typically require texture, but I did finhas quite buzzy d the lack on this toy to be underwhelming.

This fact that it’s got 5 insertable inches and a 1.5-inch diameter kind of adds to this feeling. It’s just so.. middle of the road.

To be fair, it’s a decent, rechargeable vibrator made of soft silicone for less than $60. But unless you’re dying to try a heated toy or don’t own a single rechargeable, internal vibrator, I can’t see why anyone would rush out for one. I mean, you don’t have to. SheVibe can ship it right to your house complete with awesome box art. But I’d hate for that the be the best thing about the package you receive in the mail.

SheVibe

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