I’m Not In Love And That’s Weird

March 22nd, 2017

I’m always in love, aren’t I?

I’m always falling or fallen and pained because of it. There’s always someone. A person. Him. Occasionally Her.

For over half my life. Nearly every day of every year.

I am good at being in love, even if I am not good at being in a relationship.

But I am not in love now.

I haven’t been, not for a year. Give or take (and it usually is take).

I am infatuated with dead celebrities. Attracted to assholes who are terrible in bed. Curious about new people. But I am not in love.

That is okay, of course. I don’t always have to be in love. Sometimes I don’t even want to be in love.

But you can become accustomed to things that you don’t want or need. We do it all the time, even when we shouldn’t. Especially when we shouldn’t.

So when I realized that I wasn’t in love and that this is the longest stretch in my entire adult life where I haven’t been in love, it gave me pause.

Still, it feels good. Somehow. I am not in love, but I know I will yet again fall in love. I can look forward to the good (and brace myself for the bad) of falling in love.

I am something of a fresh slate, ready to be written. Then crossed off and erased. Modified and corrected. Maybe it’ll even be a happy story for a time.

Either way, it’ll be fodder for this blog. For my writing.

I’m not in love now. That’s okay. I’ve got time.

It’ll happen sooner than we all think, anyway.

 

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Science of Sex: Conditioning

March 11th, 2017

Welcome to the first post in a new feature on Of Sex and Love: Science of Sex. In this feature, I plan to discuss the science of sexuality in an easy-to-digest format that’s accessible to the casual reader. I will also follow up with some extended reading material for people who want to know more about the subject of each post.

I hope you enjoy. 

Science of Sex -- Conditioning

We all learned about Pavlov, his dogs and classical conditioning in school. By associating a neutral stimulus (the ringing of a bell) with a desired reward (food), Pavlov was eventually able to condition dogs to salivate at only the sound of the bell, even when there was no food in sight.

Much like food conditioning, sexual conditioning exists. However, many people first stumble across their capacity for conditioning quite by accident. Whether you masturbate to hardcore porn during your formative years and become unable to get off any other way or you realize that you’re physically turned on at the sight of a bright red lipstick that your partner wears specifically for sex, you’ve been conditioned.

Human’s aren’t the only animals capable of sexual conditioning. In fact, humans may be less prone to this type of conditioning than other animals. People who higher sex drives who more easily respond to sexual stimuli are the most likely candidates to become sexually conditioned, whether by accident or design. Most studies focus on men, who may be more likely to become sexually conditioned; however, women can experience it, too.

Upon discovering sexual conditioning, some people like to experiment it. BDSM practitioners sometimes employ sexual condition as it’s especially helpful to force someone to orgasm on command. You can certainly play around with sexual conditioning without being kinky, however.

Attempting to sexually condition someone without their knowledge may cross fall into consensual gray area. And classical conditioning has been used for nefarious purposes: specifically to change a person’s sexual orientation. The process, known as conversion therapy, attempts to change a person’s orientation with stimuli such as electricity or nausea drugs. No reputable studies show that this type of conditioning is successful, and one proponent of conversation therapy who wrote a controversial paper about it has since changed his stance and offered an apology to the gay community.

Finally, PTSD because of past trauma can lead to conditioned behavior in otherwise neutral environments because of fear conditioning. This is one reason why it can be difficult for survivors of assault to engage intimate behavior after the assault.

Fortunately, negative conditioning and fear conditioning may be reversed through a process known as counter-conditioning.

Although classic conditioning used for sexual purposes is possible and can be fun, we must address the ethical implications as well as the limitations of sexual conditioning.

Further reading on conditioning and sexuality:

Did you enjoy the first installing of Science of Sex? Do you have further questions or suggestions for next month’s subject? Leave me a comment!

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My G-Spot Makes Me Cry

February 24th, 2017

Well, there you go with a sensational title. Sorry that the rest of this post will be logical and reasonable (sorry not sorry).

So the last time I masturbated (with a unicorn dildo, no less. It was pretty awesome), was the first time I’d experienced penetration in a while. A while might be quite the underwhelming way to describe it, in fact.

Regardless, it was the first time. And my body stretched and groaned against it, but it all worked out swimmingly. I enjoyed new toys and a few orgasms, and I squirted for the first time in (don’t say “a while”).. you-don’t-what-to-know-how-long.

It was altogether a pleasing experience if it was slightly less than toe-curling, but it was also followed/joined by an onslaught of tears. I posted about it on Twitter — briefly.

And discovered that I’m not alone, but I can only tell my story.

There’s a lot of hokey new-agey type stuff about the G-spot, but it certainly seems a quick button for catharsis. I’m certain it’s rooted in biology, and oxytocin specifically causes all sorts of emotions when it rushes through your veins.

But I temporarily forgot this. There wasn’t any way for me to be contained. I was both squirting and crying, and if this sounds like a bad thing.. it’s not. It was a cathartic cry like when you watch a chick flick, perhaps with ice cream, and just let it go.

It was primal and unedited and perhaps just what I needed. It was unexpected only because it’s inconsistent. But hindsight is 20/20, and why wouldn’t I have an intense reaction the first time I experience penetration in months?

And it’s not at all like crying and masturbation or sex don’t go hand in hand for me. When I was with my ex, I discovered that I would sometimes cry from sex. It was because of overwhelming feelings of love and connection, but it pushed the experience to an intensity that I desired. With more recent partners, I’ve achieved a similar intensity through rougher sex.

After I stopped having sex with The Bartender, my poor broken heart was unable to think of anything else when I jacked off, and this resulted in all sorts of crying as I came. It wasn’t pretty, that’s for sure, and it wasn’t always wanted. But it ushered in all sorts of feeling, and sex is one of the few times when I am relaxed enough, stripped bare enough and out of my head enough to just feel. To be.

It’s more difficult, of course, if I’m dealing with unresolved feelings in addition to hormones. Although, that wasn’t the case this time around. I was in a place where I could just notice and feel both amused and impressed with my physiology. It’s a pretty neat thing.

Sometimes my G-spot makes me cry, and that’s always okay even if it’s inconvenient.

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How Porn Has Changed Through The Ages

February 6th, 2017

Porn has changed considerably through the ages. What started off as sexy pictures in magazines has now turned into elaborate films. The internet has also ensured an easy distribution of content. Marty Adler from Smut6 says that the content of porn is quite modified to meet regulations as well.

Where the content of porn has become more graphic and explicit, it has also become more inclusive. The standards of beauty have changed, and there is now content for every type of person. Some of the remarkable changes that porn has undergone are listed below:

  1. Use of Sex Toys

One major change that is visible is the use of sex toys to spice things up in the bedroom. As the lifestyle changes for the world population today the world of sex toys opens up new avenues.

Men and women all across the world are now embracing sex toys thanks to porn. Earlier porn was just about the sex, but now it can give couples in a rut ideas about how to make things interesting again.

  1. Porn as Sex Education

It has been reported that porn is being extensively used by teenagers to better understand sexual intercourse. Considering the state of sex education in schools nowadays porn sites are getting increasingly many queries that are educational in nature.

Young adults are looking for unbiased knowledge about how to have safe sex. There is also an added effort made on the part of adults to understand better how they can pleasure their partner in bed.

Porn makers have responded to this need. Tristan Taormino is just one director of educational (and feminist!) porn. Her Expert Guide to series teaches you how to be a better lover while being sexy.

  1. Porn for Women

A significant change that has occurred over the ages is the making of porn for a female audience. There is now more content that are women friendly. This move by the porn industry has helped countless women accept their sexuality.

Again, we see Tristan Taormino stepping up in this field. Her Chemistry and Rough Sex series are just two options for porn lovers who want something different from the mainstream. Others in the industry include Erika Lust, Courtney Trouble, Joanna Angel, Kelly Shibari and Petra Joy all make and/or star in women-friendly porn.

Check out films by Bright Desire, Comstock films and For the Girls to see all the options. Women-friendly toy company Good Vibrationd even has a porn department!

  1. Gay Rights

Gay rights have been one of the hottest topics for the past decade. The entire world is fighting either for or against them.

In this fight for rights, the porn industry plays a very important role. This industry was among the first to embrace gay rights. With content tailored for gays and lesbians and everyone in between, they send out the message that it is perfectly fine to have any sexual preference or even gender identity.

  1. Openness About Squirting

Many things about the female sexuality are taboo. However, porn helps make it better known. For example, the act of female ejaculation that is accompanied by an orgasm is not very common, but thanks to porn is now talked about.

Squirting is a phenomenon that was not reported until very recently it was brought up by the porn industry. Now research is going on to understand this better. Bringing such phenomenon to the open helps women embrace their sexuality and talk more openly about what happen to them.

Porn has undergone an incredible journey through the ages. Maybe it has become more graphic and violent, but they have brought about more openness and acceptance in the society.

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Why So Serious? On Laughter and Sex

January 30th, 2017

Today’s post was inspired by this tweet from Girly_Juice.

It sounds like she’ll be talking about it in the upcoming episode of Dildorks, but I wanted to give you my own take on it. Plus, dear readers, it’s been a hell of a long time since I wrote anything, let alone anything about my personal sex life. So, down the rabbit hole we go.

I’ve had a lot of serious sex. My first sexual partner and ex-husband was pretty serious about it. We didn’t laugh during sex, even though we smiled and we loving. Laughter, it seemed, wasn’t something that *belonged* in sex. Sex was Serious Stuff (TM), and there was no room for laughter.

I felt that if we laughed, it took away from the moment. It meant we weren’t taking it seriously enough. As a result, any laughter was accidental and often uncomfortable. That’s a pretty association to have with something so awesome, don’t you think?

But it was all I knew.

It wasn’t the worst sex of my life by far. We were in love, after all. But it was limiting, and I couldn’t come to understand that until I had a few more notches on my bedpost. Although many men near my age seem to subscribe to that sort of serious sex-having, some don’t. The Bartender is a notable example. While I originally found him to be overly chatty, I eventually fell in line.

We talked and, yes, we laughed. Without all the limitations created by such serious sex, I found myself being more myself inside the bedroom. It helped me to de-compartmentalize, and it was a welcome change!

Apparently, the change became permanent. Even though it’s been years since I’ve slept with The Bartender, my last partner remarked how much I chatted. It was obvious that being chatty and even laughing at something he did that was funny took him directly out of his headspace. He couldn’t be interrupted in any way.

Neither of us left satisfied, I’m afraid. I’m not one to judge, but if you’re unable to have sex with someone who is talking to and laughing with you during sex, then you’re limiting yourself — just like I was limited with my ex.

And the realization dawned on me that this just wasn’t good for me. It left me feeling disconnected. So not only was I left out in the cold physically, but there wasn’t any sort of human connection, and I was stuck inside my head. That’s something I’ve battled with for years, and it’s not a place I like to be when I can help it.

Perhaps this beautiful and seemingly inexperienced man was just a bad match for me. But I bet a lot of people would enjoy themselves a hell of a lot more if they simply allowed themselves to be themselves during sex, chattiness and laughter included.

Sometimes you kick someone in the dick, you fart or positions just don’t work. Being able to laugh at those moments and with one another seems to be not just something that is desirable but might be necessary to enjoy sex without complete mortification.

I guess, what I’m saying is, I crossed that bridge laughing the whole way. And now I won’t go back.

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The Best and Worst Sex Toys of 2016

January 4th, 2017

As it turns out, it doesn’t take much to list your most-loved and most-hated sex toys in a year when you only review a handful. I hadn’t realized how many items I hadn’t reviewed until just now. To be fair, there are a few things in my queue that I could review, should have done so long ago, but most of these don’t inspire loving sonnets or wrathful rants.

And I wrote more erotica and personal blog posts than I have in some time. But reviews were few and far between.

So let’s talk about what I loved.

The Best Sex Toys and Books of 2016

BDSM: A Guide for Explorers of Extreme Eroticism
Ayzad’s BDSM: A Guide for Explorers of Extreme Eroticism is pretty much an encyclopedia BDSMica. Whether you want to complete your collection, find specific measurements for health and safety when you’re playing or are just curious, I recommend this book.

However, it’s a weighty tome that will take some commitment to finish in full. Fortunately, you don’t need to read the whole thing if you’re really only interested in, say, needles.

She’s on Top
This is one book that took me a while to page through, but once I did I was hooked. As the name suggests, this collected erotic works between the covers deal with female domination and male submission. If that sounds up your alley, add She’s on Top to your bookshelf.

The Worst Sex Toys of 2016

Layaspot, Desire clitoral vibe and Siri 2

Lovehoney’s Desire didn’t measure up to other clitoral vibes

Lovehoney Desire Clitoral Vibrator
The next item on this list is another clitoral vibrator that just didn’t do it for me. Although Lovehoney pulled out all the stops when it came to product and packaging design, the Desire clitoral vibrator still fell short.

And it’s almost entirely because of the lackluster vibrations. I wanted to love it, but lusting over a sex toy ultimately doesn’t lead to satisfaction. (The same is true for people, as I learned this year.)

Ooh by Je Joue Pebble Attachment
Okay, so I didn’t actually review this. And there’s a reason. After enjoying the What Happens in Vegas Kit, I shelled out my own money to by the clitoral attachment. I almost never do that.

So you can imagine my disappointment when it just didn’t work for me. My increasingly-arthritic fingers just couldn’t grasp the toy without discomfort in short time. Despite the enjoyable vibrations in the small motor, the attachment shape didn’t allow for the pressure that I usually enjoy.

Ah, well, lesson learned.

Minna kGoal
Let me sum up my experience in short. I guess do not have the typical anatomy of women, because inserting and removing of this kegel exerciser was fucking hell. Seriously.

Then, there were problems with Bluetooth and accounts. I was only ever able to use it successfully a few times, and I quickly became sick of having to wipe all that lube off my hands.

The folks at Minna were helpful, but it was simply too much trouble to try and try again. The feedback provided by kGoal is useful and the concept worthy, but this product was not ready for release.

Let’s hope Minna does better with their upcoming make kegel exerciser.

I know this post is a bit late, but I certainly hope you find it useful. Just going through my archives showed how few sex toy reviews I’d written in the past year, so I have already taken steps to rectify that by reaching out to companies who might be in need of reviews.

2017 will have more things to choose from and, hopefully, more sex toys that I actually like!

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Minna’s kGoal Kegel Exerciser and Its 4 Fatal Flaws

January 3rd, 2017

You’re not going to find many negative reviews of Minna’s kGoal, and I think that’s because it works for most people. But it didn’t work for me. Not technologically. Not shapewise. Not at all, and I think it’s important for people who have similar bodies and preferences as me to know what they’re getting into. Because what they want is a smart toy that helps them exercise their PC muscles, not an exercise in frustration.

By now, you all know that kGoals uses Bluetooth to connect to your device. It contains sensors that measure the strength, and the app (for Android and iOS) includes “games” to help you get your reps in without boring to death.

But there are a few problems with kGoals.

1. Bluetooth

Any wireless technology struggles with physical barriers. It’s why pretty much any remote-controlled vibrator is terrible, why WiFi signals decreases the further you are from the router and why cell reception is so difficult to find in rural areas.

Your body is a pretty big physical impediment to wrap directly around a Bluetooth-enabled device, and I quickly found this out with the kGoal. It works best when you connect before insertion, which makes sense. But sometimes even that wouldn’t work. And while some of my devices would connect, not all of them would.

Once it was connected — and I only had it connected successfully during insertion twice tops — the connection is prone to drop because of these same issues. Of course, you’ll need to drop your phone, remove the toy, clean lube from your fingers, reconnect the device, reinsert it and get back into position. It’s a fucking hassle.

2. Random Account Issues

I cannot explain how awesome Minna was at answering my questions. When I attempted to use kGoal with my new phone — because my mmold one doesn’t turn on —  I couldn’t even sign in. There was some account error, and they told me to sign up again.

Of course, this would lose any information I had from my previous account, meager as it were. If this problem persists, then it could wipe out a lot of user data between devices.

Also, I’m pretty sure I’m still waiting on an email and can’t even log in soooo =/

3. Shape and Size

Listen, I know that my pubic bone doesn’t run exactly the same as other women. It’s why I don’t need very much of a curve for G-spot stimulation and why the Pure Wand totally didn’t work for me. It’s also why most kegel balls are too damn large and feel pinchy.

Now, you also need to understand the design of the kGoal to understand why it also won’t work for my anatomy. The kGoal looks like a dual stimulator, and the arms are quite flexible from one another with the external part being rather flat.

The insertable portion is coated in essentially a balloon of silicone that expands with air and compresses with force (of your vagina or hand). It feels more similar to the Minna Ola than the Limon.

There’s a very narrow shaft in this, but the head is rounded and very firm beneath the silicone. It is also huge. I mean, it shouldn’t be. I’ve taken larger cocks and toys, but they weren’t rigid.

Minna’s kGoal always hurts going in and it gets stuck behind my pubic bone when I want the damned thing out. I know that Minna tried that damnedest to work with the actual human body, but we’re not all identical.

Unfortunately, I think you’re not going to know whether this works for you until you try it but if you have a similarly pronounced pubic bone as I do, I might advise against the financial and physical risk you’re taking with kGoal.

4. Vibration

I don’t know. They say it’s supposed to be pleasurable. Maybe the pitiful vibration would be better for someone who didn’t feel like the crotch was in a Chinese finger trap/lobster claw/C clamp (choose your metaphor).

You can use the thing for pleasure or for exercise without the app, but it really takes away from the innovation and usefulness if you’re just relying on the vibration.

So once you get it inserted, if you can get comforted and connected, you open up the app and play some games. There are two simple games that requires squeezing to accomplish tasks. “Game” might even be giving them more credit than they deserve. Activities? Regardless, it’s harder than you might think, and it’s great for giving you feedback about how you use your PC muscles.

You set goals for how often you want to work out, and the app will remind you. These are all pretty good features.

But the problem with kGoal is there are so many damn “ifs” to get to that point, and it’s difficult to pinpoint how to minimize them. I cannot in good conscience recommend a toy this costly with so many risks.

Does kGoal sound like something you’d like? Are you okay with a really innovative and costly paperweight? If so, buy it. If not, buy anything else.

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