I Get Paid to Write About Sex

November 3rd, 2016

..and it has nothing to do with this blog.

Which isn’t to say that I haven’t made money from this blog. But I am not so awesome (like Epiphora!) to have made it my job.

I do get paid to write about sex, though, even if I’m not directly paid to write about sex toys. And I like it that way.

Mostly, I do tfghost-writing. Although, I do get a byline here and there. I typically write blog posts for sex toy stores and communities, including the Bad Girl’s Bible, Romantix and Cirillas, among others. I get to tell people how to choose sex toys, how to talk about sex, what it means to slut shame and which lubes are best for which sexual activities. All in all, it’s a charmed life.

And yet, it wasn’t at all what I set out to do. In the beginning of my freelance writing career, I wrote often about technology-related topics: cell phones and iPods, routers and browser settings. Several years ago, I began writing almost exclusively about search engine optimization (SEO). There were many things happening in the world of SEO, which meant there was much to write about.

All of these topics interested me as most things do – at least for a while. Writing about sex, relationships and toys fell right in line. It has given me an opportunity to write things that I truly believe have helped readers (and I’ve seen feedback from readers that validates this). Like I said, a charmed life.

Sure, it sometimes feels monotonous or redundant. There are topics that I find frivolous or shallow, but not everyone has read (let alone written) a blog like mine for 8 years. Some people are just discovered their sexual side, and my words may help make it easier or more fun. Who knows? And everyone once in a while, I learn something new to me as well.

So, yes, I get paid to write about sex. And, yes, you can hire me.

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Making Sense of Dating, Sex and the Internet with Chase & Hunter Candles

November 2nd, 2016

Being a woman in her 30s in 2016 is a bag of mixed nuts, to say the least. I didn’t grow up with smartphones, but I am fluent using them. I’ve watched the Internet move from home pages and forums to Facebook and Tinder (which has resulted in a brand-new wave of dating mistakes). Voice mails? Why bother when you can leave a text!

Technology changes how we do everything, from sex and relationships to scheduling a doctor’s appointment. And we’re all learning how to navigate those changes together. But it doesn’t come without its difficulties, especially for men who are so often expected to be the pursuers and take the lead in relationships.

It’s easy to miss cues and steps when you do the bulk of your communication over text and while the anonymity of the Internet means many of us are being more open than ever (just look at this blog as an example!) people are, in some ways, as much a mystery as well.

One of the great abilities of the Internet and surrounding technology is the ability to crowd source — ideas, money, talent and efforts. If you can dream it, you can (probably) do it. You can get answers without worrying about saving face, and your favorite social networks are full of “life hacks” (not to mention instructions about building your own sex toys!) that make this world just a little bit easier to live in.

You’re probably wondering where this all is going, and it’s here: For the man who doesn’t just want to learn more about women (and can, thanks to the Internet), I introduce Chase & Hunter. What might as first seem like a simple candle is actual a tool — to create ambiance, to impress a partner, to case a flattering glow and more.

Chase and Hunter Candles

Chase & Hunter candles are specifically for men, adding a touch of sophistication to your bachelor pad. Chase & Hunter go on step further by helping you to pick the right candle (like, you might sex, a sex toy reviewer helps readers choose the right G-spot vibrator or dildo!). The result are scents designed to fit a certain mood, whether it’s makeup sex or a booty call in the wee hours of the morning.

Now, I don’t know that I would be floored by names such as “First and Goal” (although “Miranda Rights” is fairly clever) but I would relish walking into a man’s home that smells good. It’s an interesting idea.

And it needs your help to get off the ground. Chase & Hunter candles aren’t yet available to purchase, but you can help them become a reality by contributing to their Kickstarter. A $15,000 goal would allow the minds behind Chase & Hunter candles to create disposable, soy candles that are made in the U.S.A. and a variety of other merchandise.

The campaign has only been going for a day, and they’re already making strides toward that goal. If you choose to contribute, you’ll see perks such as candles, merchandise and even a trip to Montreal. Click here to learn more.

 

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Intimacy Disorders: Sex Addiction in Women

March 24th, 2016

Lack of knowledge and research about female sex addiction led to a tendency to think of hypersexual behavior as a male problem. Men are more likely to have some recognizable ways of acting out sexually such as having anonymous sexual hook-ups or compulsively watching pornography. But women can also be sex addicts, although, in their case, it might be more difficult to get a correct diagnosis and a proper treatment. For instance, the proliferation of free pornography sites has made more and more women “visually excited” or responsive to erotic images, a characteristic previously thought to be encountered only in men.

What is Sex Addiction? Male vs. Female Acceptance of the Condition

Sex addiction, also known as hypersexual disorder, has been typically described only in the male realm, so the fact that studies on female sex addiction is pretty poor does not come as a surprise. Up till now, research has shown that men are more than comfortable discussing their behavior of sexual nature with a therapist, unlike women who always seem to downplay their sexual activity, redirecting the discussion towards their relationships. The reason is that men who suffer from hypersexual disorder are generally seen as studs, while the women – as sluts, according to cultural references.

Sex addiction is a condition which is characterized by excessive preoccupation with sexual behavior and fantasies and these obsessions have such a high degree that they come to interfere with personal safety, health, work, school or home and they are extremely damaging to relationships. The condition is often destructive both physically and emotionally.

The stigma and the sexual double standard concerning female sexuality have created a gap in the study on sex addiction; therefore, almost all of the research has been conducted with male subjects and female addicts have been ignored.

Linda Hudson, a licensed professional counselor and ex-president of the Society for the Advancement of Sexual Health, has been treating female sex addicts for over 20 years. Together with several therapists, she published the first book which offers treatment options for specialists who work with female sex addicts: Making Advances: A Comprehensive Guide for Treating Female Sex and Love Addicts.

Elisabeth Edge, another certified sex addiction therapist from Atlanta says that “society’s belief is that women do not have sex issues”, although this has obviously changed for younger generations. For instance, the proliferation of pornography has made more and more women “visually excited” are very responsive to erotic images, a characteristic previously thought to be encountered only in men. Research on female sex addicts shows that a definition of sex and love addiction might be: a disease of loneliness, fueled by despair and shame; a powerful urge to use sexuality, romance and people to be able to feel more alive.

Causes of Sex Addiction in Women

The causes of sexual addiction in women are not yet fully known but they’ve been strongly associated with childhood abuse or neglect, emotional and physical abandonment and trauma. Female sexual addicts report having experienced some kind of abuse during their childhood and this affected their ability to bond in healthy ways with others as adults. This usually leads to chronic relationship issues of intimacy which will eventually morph into sexual disorders.

The lack of sexual education caused women to be usually ashamed of identifying their problems as sex addiction. It’s possible that they don’t even realize what the condition is and they call it “love or relationship addiction”. Female sex addiction is surrounded with more shame because men are usually respected if they have lots of sex or multiple sexual partners, unlike women. Men are basically seen as cool studs, and women, as sluts. So, it easier for women to cope with their condition if they simply call it “love addiction” or “relationship addiction”. Allison, a sex addict, perfectly describes the sexual urge in just a few words: “like a shark that must constantly hunt, I feel the need to move from one relationship to another, from man to man”.

Treatment for Sexual Addiction

The treatment for women is usually similar to the methods used in case of men; it includes the exploration of the causes that led to the addiction and developing some coping strategy in order to be able to combat the craving for sex. When the intimacy disorder treatments are successful, women will have a better chance for a long-time recovery from other emotional problems linked to sex addiction.

It’s important to acknowledge the fact that sexual addiction is not just a “guy thing” and it’s time we try to better understand the subject of women’s sexuality.

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I Don’t Want to Have Sex with Myself

October 28th, 2015

Well, no, that’s not exactly right. I am a sexual being. I generally enjoy masturbating, even if my orgasms are more perfunctory than anything else, and even if the most I get out of squirting is bragging rights (it doesn’t accompany orgasm).

But it’s not something I’ve ever been good at planning per se. Because I don’t I want to. Unlike with sex, masturbation is almost always something I do at the spur of the moment, and that’s how I like it. If the mood strikes after watching a particularly sexy movie scene or browsing Tumblr, I’ll pause for somewhere between 1 and 10 orgasms, weak wrists and fatigued arm muscles allowing.

I can’t really entice it to happen, however. Sometimes erotica helps, but it doesn’t always. And I don’t necessarily care that much. It’s like I simply can’t be bothered to stop playing Ingress or watching another episode of The Munsters (because it’s almost Halloween!) or playing some random Facebook game that’s not just a time suck but a boring one at that.

It’s disconcerting to care so little for something that defines me so much, but right now it’s something I can “get away with” because of my lack of sexual partner. And even if you argued I am my own partner in this, it’s not something I’m chasing myself down to do. I’ve no doubt this will change eventually, but it’s a weird place to be in right now.

 

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The Latest Bondage Trends: From the Bedroom to the Catwalk

October 23rd, 2015

Fashion designers are looking to bondage for some inspiration this season. So how can you sex up your look?

Bondage has been pretty popular in the bedroom for a long time. Plenty of people use things like whips, cuffs and chains to spice up their love lives – but bondage has been reaching a far bigger audience of late. Yes, we’re talking about fashion. From handbags to wedding dresses, the runway has been decidedly raunchy this season. So if you’re wanting to invest in some bondage-inspired buys, here are some ideas.

Catwoman

Catwoman takes a few cues from bondage

Dressing to impress

The fashion industry’s fascination with all things bondage isn’t exactly new (remember that dress of Liz Hurley’s?), but recently we’re really seeing a lot of it on the catwalk. From sheer tops with strategically placed leather straps at Tom Ford, to big, bold black leather coats at Givenchy, it seems that designers are keen to walk on the wild side. If you want to spice up your wardrobe this winter, then take inspiration from what we’ve already seen on the runway. Dresses with sheer panels that flash the flesh are great for those who are a little daring. Likewise, corset detailing and metal studs will ensure that you turn heads for all the right reasons.

Those all-important accessories

If you’re not feeling quite brave enough to rock the look head to toe, then why not invest in some accessories? Knee or thigh high leather boots are really popular at the moment, and look just as great with skinny jeans as they do fishnet tights. For extra style points, go for a pair with buckle or lace-up details. The same goes for handbags too. A bag made from black, patent leather with chain handles is a great way to introduce a little bit of raunchiness to your wardrobe.

Walking up the aisle in style

It’s not just everyday fashion that’s getting a bit risqué though. Bridal dresses are taking some inspiration from bondage too. This year’s Bridal Fashion Week has seen plenty of out-there designs from some of the top designers in the industry – with one memorable dress featuring black straps that just preserved the model’s modesty! If you’re not feeling that daring, then just opt for some sheer fabric detailing and delicate cut out designs.

Something a little racier

If you’re bringing some excitement to your wardrobe, then it’s only fair that your sex life gets the same treatment too. Treating yourself to some bondage gear is the perfect way to spice things up in the bedroom. For beginners, handcuffs and soft whips are the perfect introduction into the world of S&M. If you’re more of a seasoned bondage enthusiast though, you can really push the boat out. Sensory deprivation hoods, medical instruments and strap-ons are all there to be taken advantage of. Whatever you decide to buy, you can be sure that your sex life will reap the rewards!

How will you rock the trend?

As you can see, bondage has never been hotter than it is right now. It doesn’t matter if you’re buying yourself a new pair of shoes, a party dress or upgrading your sex toy collection, you’ll be spoilt for choice. Remember, your look can be as daring as you want it to be – whether that’s in or outside the bedroom. So go on – indulge your love for all things x-rated!

 

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8 Beginner Bondage Toys That Will Transform Your Sex Life

July 11th, 2015

In recent years, we’ve fallen head over heels for anything bondage. Whips, cuffs, floggers – you name it, we’re buying it. Could this be the Fifty Shades effect?It seems that as soon as it hit the shelves, we realised how much fun we could be having in the bedroom. So whether you’re trying to emulate what Christian and Anastasia get up to or you’re doing things at your own pace, there are a multitude of toys out there. To help you out, we’ve picked ten of our favourites.

Quickie Cuffs

Handcuffs are a staple of any bondage toy collection, and the Quickie Cuffs are extra special. Made from stretchy silicone, they’re incredible easy to slip on and off. If you’re nervous about using cuffs, then these are a great starting point. Being extra light and flexible means that you can pop them into your overnight bag too.

Fetish Fantasy Butterfly Nipple Clamps

The Butterfly Nipple Clamps by Fetish Fantasy are just as delightful as they sound. Pretty as well as functional, the dangling butterflies provide extra stimulation when they move. Adjusted by simply turning the screw, they’re simple enough for even complete beginners to get to grips with.

Check out this review of other Pipedream nipple clamps.

Frisky Take Me Thigh Cuffs

For a different take on restraint, why not try the Frisky Take Me Thigh Cuffs? Made from soft and durable fabric, the cuffs are attached to bands worn on the thigh. As well as being comfortable, this allows wearers to use these cuffs anywhere – there’s no need to worry about attaching them to something else.

Frisky Paw Me Silicone Foot Crop
Crops are a favourite of bondage enthusiasts, and this one is great for beginners. The little silicone foot at the end is firm enough to leave a ‘paw print’ behind, but soft enough to not be too overwhelming. In sexy red and black and at an impressive 16” long, it’s one of our favourite crops ever.

Rimba Electrical Sex Dildo

If you’re feeling adventurous, the Rimba Electrical Sex Dildo is the ideal gift. Working just like a normal vibrator, it also delivers small electric shocks to your deepest pleasure spots. Build up confidence using just the vibrating function, then for mind blowing orgasms, try using both together.

Silicone Cockcage And Ring

If you’re new to cock cages, then the Silicone Cockcage And Ring is perfect for you. Flexible silicone means that it’s easy to get on and off, while the three cock rings in varying sizes allow you to choose just how tight you want to go.

House Of Eros Leather Old School Ruler

House Of Eros Leather Old School Ruler

House Of Eros Leather Old School Ruler

Go back to school with the House Of Eros Leather Old School Ruler. Great for teacher and pupil role play, it’s the best way of dishing out a little bit of disciple in the bedroom. The supple leather feels so good, you’ll be behaving badly on purpose!

The Amazing Bondage Sex Toy Kit

The Amazing Bondage Sex Toy Kit is for those who just can’t choose. The kit contains a whip, eye mask, cuffs, collar, rope, whip and a ball gag. Either choose one piece or use a few together for sex that’s out of this world. For us, that sounds like the perfect night in!

Your sex life can only get better

Sex toys make sex more interesting, offer us more ways of achieving orgasm and improve the bond between partners when used in a loving, caring environment.

So there’s no excuse not to treat yourself to something a little kinky! All of the above fun toys can be purchased from the Adult Sex Toys store.

It’s important that you keep your toys clean and used a water-based lubricant for comfort and safety. As long as you do that, sex toys will improve your love life greatly.

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Best Sex Writing of the Year, Volume 1

June 14th, 2015

Another year, another edition of Best Sex Writing. Actually, this anthology of essays, blog posts and personal tales doesn’t come out every year, but we’re fortunate to have a release this year. This is the first since Best Sex Writing 2013, and it’s a bit different from previous options due to a new editor, Jon Pressick.

Thus, Best Sex Writing of the Year, Volume 1 sounds like the first title in a brand-new series, but it’s actually not. So if you’ve read any of the previous Best Sex Writing books, then you know what to expect from this one. And if you haven’t, you’re in for a collection of stories and articles to entertain and inform.

There’s plenty that’s familiar with the books that are now edited by Mr. Pressick, who you might know as the brains behind Sex in Words. For instance, there is a touching piece from Joan Price, who knows how to tug at my heart strings when discussing her deceased husband, and a piece about what exactly we should call sex toys by our own Epiphora. The former editor, Rachel K. Bussel, has even submitted a thought-provoking piece on sobriety and BDSM.

Best Sex Writing of the Year incorporates personal stories with professional studies and everything in between. Per usual, I find myself somewhat more enamored with the chapters that analyze sex and society from a scientific/research viewpoint. However, some of those personal pieces were interesting. Two such stories were those by former porn star Danny Wylde and current porn star Stoya. Wylde discusses his sex life after porn and Stoya discusses her mother’s influence on sex education, feminism and motherhood.

In another piece dedicated entirely to the industry of sex work, Laura Augustin looks at the complicated and often heart-breaking relationship that sex work and sex workers have with the world at large. Often ignored, penalized by laws and ignored by police, these people are treated as less than human and stigmatized. The article is insightful, articulate and well-researched.

There’s also a great op-ed from Alexandria Goddard, the blogger who is responsible for outting the young men of Steubenville who participated in, recorded and later posted about on social media the gang rape of a woman woman. Goddard was undoubtedly crucial to bringing these men to justice, and like her title says, wouldn’t change anything about what she did, even though she received a lot of flack for her actions.

There are too many stories to name individually. Jiz Lee and Mollena Williams discuss fisting and desire/submission, respectively. Tina Horn’s chapter about The Gates, a dominatrix house in Califonia, was telling and relateable, even to someone who has never been a prodomme.

In the pages of Best Sex Writing of the Year, you’ll find memoirs that make you cry, articles that enrage you and personal stories that make you chuckle and nod in understanding. Topics range from sex toys to laws to BDSM to sex work and everything in between. No corner of sexuality is left in the dark of this year’s anthology, and the collection is not only one of superb pieces by intelligent writers who love to talk about sex. Like other books in this series, and perhaps this is why I love it so much, it encourages you to talk — and think — about sex in new ways, as often as you can, and to everyone upon whom you happen.

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