A December 2016 calendar, with the 31st circled.

2016 Run Down

I’ve been running this blog for less than a month, but both twitter and my inbox have been full of end of year posts, and I’ve been writing my own end of year posts in my head ever since I started reading Epiphora’s blog in 2014, so I felt like I couldn’t feel satisfied with the year without writing one. I haven’t written much this year, so my top picks will be broken into five of my favourite posts by other people, three of my favourite sex toy purchases, and my number one sex experience, all from this year.

5 favourite posts (from other people)

It’s interesting to look at this list and reflect on what I like best about sex blogging now. My list only contains one review, and four more reflective posts. In 2014, when I first started reading into the world of sex blogging, I only wanted toy reviews, and anything else was at best good for a laugh, and at worst an unwelcome distraction. Now, I’m appreciating the more personal posts more and more, because these bloggers are no longer just faceless sources of information, but people I respect and admire. Their personal posts are sources of advice for my writing just as much as their reviews are advice for my purchasing. Here are five posts from five of my favourite bloggers that I loved, and gave me a bit to think about.

#5 – Erika Lynae’s review of the Tantus Bound, on The Ins and Outs 

I found Erika Lynae’s reviews while looking at bad sex toy reviews on Youtube. Spoiler alert: her reviews are far from bad. I really, really like her quirky style and the confidence it must take to do your reviews in a video format and show your face to the world, which is often unkind to the sex-positive people. I particularly love the green under-the-eye eyeshadow in this video. There are some sweet little one liners, such as “not for the faint of heart, or orifice”. Erika is also really expressive, using hand gestures and facial expressions to really draw the viewer in. I really like the advice given in this review of a highly textured dildo: warm up, use lube (specifically Sliquid Sassy, my favourite lube!), and clean the dildo thoroughly after each use. But what really makes this review a stand out for me is Erika’s realisation that she is, as some call it, a texture slut. It’s so exciting to see people realise things about themselves and their sexual preferences, and Erika really relayed her anticipation for trying out new, texture-heavy toys.

#4 – Bex’s post about Sex Down South, on BexTalksSex.com 

I read about Woodhull and other sex positive conferences with a mix of awe and jealousy. My limited experience with nerdy conferences has really made me appreciate the atmosphere of being surrounded by people who care about the same things you do, and sometimes care about it in the same way. It’s really something that you can’t replicate in any place other than a conference. Bex seemed to have had a great time at Sex Down South, and you can really feel that in this post. The little details, like including a lanyard with their name and pronouns on it, and directing you to their livetweeting of the conference, made me beam. They got to spend time with someone in a similar D/s situation as them (a submissive with a long distance dominant) and the relief that they seemed to feel from meeting someone with similar experiences is palpable. They gave tantalising details about some of the amazing sessions and incredible presenters, and I really got the vibe of fun and excitement that I’m sure they felt at Sex Down South.

#3 – Kate Sloan’s post, A Year With The Double Trouble, on GirlyJuice.net 

This post had two things I love: journal style posts, and Kate Sloan’s writing. I really enjoy getting a snapshot into people’s lives, which is maybe why I’ve taken so well to twitter, and posts like these seem so conversational. Kate Sloan has a really interesting style that I find hard to describe, other than it seems like it should be read with a constant smirk. However, her writing can be really vulnerable and self reflective, as is especially evident in the entry for May where she talks about how anti-depressants affected her sex life. This whole piece illustrates the versatility of sex toys, which is something I try to impress on people when talking about purchasing them. The Double Trouble is used solo, with a sex partner, in a threesome, to orgasm, and to relax. This post was also the first time I ever heard about the A-spot, and I love things that are both enjoyable to read and teach me something!

#2 – Erika Moen’s comic about her visit to the CrashPad studio, on Oh Joy Sex Toy 

Oh look, the second Erika of the list! I’ve already written that Oh Joy Sex Toy was my introduction to sex blogging, and I have a special place in my heart for Erika Moen because of that. I love her art style, which is cute but also frequently quite sexy. I usually loathe pink, but the use of different shades frequently makes me forget that it’s pink, which is a testament to Erika’s skill. The people depicted are cartoonified, but still easily recognisable. I also love CrashPad! This comic really reinforced the things I like best about CrashPad – honest, unreserved sex that the performers actually enjoy and decide upon. This comic didn’t just focus on the performers, though, it included a bit about the production team. There was important appreciation and respect for the people behind the scenes who help bring porn to our screens, often without much recognition. Of course, there were also some pretty hot drawings of the scenes themselves, but these felt secondary to Erika’s reflection on how beautiful it was to watch porn being made. I can’t entirely empathise with how it felt to see two people “fuck exactly the way they want to”, but Erika really conveyed how humbled this experience made her feel. This made me think more about what I like to see most in porn, which is palpable connection and enjoyment.

#1 – Epiphora’s post, A Sex Blogger By Any Other Name, on Hey Epiphora

This is the post that convinced me to start my blog, so it seemed obvious that it would get the first place. This piece really highlights what I love best about Epiphora’s writing – she certainly deals with concrete emotions and feelings, but there is also an undeniable message to the sex industry or society at large. The idea of working for your name is something I really relate to as a trans person, and I something that I can see happening again with my blogging name, and Epiphora vividly depicted her relationship with her professional name. But, there was also an important point to be made about the double standard between people working in the sex industry and other public figures. Celebrities are allowed aliases and mononyms without a second thought, and some are even allowed a modicum of anonymity. However, if you are involved in the sex industry, using an alias or stage name is seen as hiding something, or a sign of shame.

3 favourite sex toy purchases

I’ve limited this to things I have both bought and received in 2016, which has been the year that my sex toy collection has expanded from half a drawer to almost two. Some people might think that that’s laughable, but for someone on a student budget, I think I’ve done quite well. I’ve had an orientation to diversifying my materials and sensations in my arsenal, which I think is reflected in my top three. It was surprisingly easy to pick my top three, but I want to give an honourable mention to the Doxy Wand, which is my favourite sex toy, but I did not purchase this year, so couldn’t make it onto this list.

#3 Vixen Mustang (Tie Die)

I feel bad for liking squishy silicone. It seems so naive, and I loathe the marketing that says it’s more “realistic”. I feel like I should have graduated from squish to firmer materials, but there’s still something so exciting about having something to squeeze around. The Vixen Mustang is now my go-to dildo for lazy masturbation, and it’s one of the prettiest in my collection.

#2 njoy Pure Wand

The njoy Pure Wand has cult status in the sex toy world. It pulls g-spot orgasms from me without a thought, and I love the heftiness of it. There’s something so sexy about stainless steel, and for that reason, I’m definitely bringing it with me to my first play party in 2017. I’m really glad I own the Pure Wand, and I hope to have many a fun time with it in the new year.

#1 Fun Factory Big Boss G5

Even though I’ve bought more sex toys this year than I have in years previous, there was no contest for which one was my favourite. The Big Boss was a challenge for me to overcome when I first bought it, but I’m head over heels now that I have tackled it. It is the perfect accompaniment to my favourite vibrator, for the kind of orgasms that make my ears ring. It does what it sets out to do, and it does it simply.

1 favourite sexual experience

I’ve only had sex with one person this year, so she really knows my body and I’m incredibly comfortable with her, but every experience kind of blurs together after a while. However, the top sexual experience of 2016 is clear in my mind, because I drafted a blog post about it. It was sort of moments for me, because it was the first time I had ever been on the receiving end of anal play from a partner. I haven’t made it all the way to proper anal sex yet, but this was the first step. It was also the first time I had used a butt plug, and the first time I had used my adored Big Boss. I got fucked, and finished off in style with a Magic Wand. It was a little awkward, as all “firsts” are, and I was nervous as all hell, but I only have good memories, and that’s all I’m really asking for.

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