Erotica & Depression

It comes to no surprise to anyone that follows me on twitter, but for the last little while,

I’ve

been

depressed.

I live with schizoaffective disorder (which is like a hellish mixture of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder) and I experience both manic and depressive episodes. Lately, I haven’t had any energy to get out of bed, let alone write. As a creative writing major and a blogger, a lot of what I do – both for university and for leisure– involves writing. I’ve had difficulty finding any inspiration or motivation for anything creative. I’ve also had a very decreased interest in sex. I’ve started keeping a sex spreadsheet (inspired by Kate Sloan’s own sex spreadsheet!) and I have had almost record breaks between sex and masturbating. I’ve gone from more-than-weekly sex in February and March (standard for me, considering I still live with my parents) to having absolutely no sex in April. Both times I’ve had sex in May have been followed pretty devastating fall-outs, where I’m shaking, upset, and nearly non-verbal. I’m batting average when it comes to masturbation this month, but only because I have spent literal hours lying in bed with nothing better to do. It’s not out of any real desire to jerk off, I don’t watch much porn during (very unusual), and it’s not uncommon for me to cry afterwards. Overall, sex has been a veritable bogeyman for me lately.

 

Nevertheless, I’ve been consuming more erotica (read: sexy fanfiction) than ever. It’s all I ever want to write and present in almost everything I read. The things I’m most proud of writing over the past two months have been two incredibly self-indulgent PWPs (porn without plots). Even then, I’m not particularly happy with them, but I like them much, much more than anything else I’ve written lately. When I was writing the first piece of erotica, it was confusing to me: I feel uncomfortable even thinking about having sex, but I could write about fictional characters getting it on at the drop of a hat. I reached the conclusion that it mostly comes down to two things: that I love, and have always loved sex, and that I can detach myself from the situation by writing it about fictional characters.

 

Sex is fun. It’s primarily about pleasure and mutual enjoyment. When I’m depressed, I drastically self-isolate, but I feel lonelier than ever. Sex is about connection and emotion, and it’s comforting to be able to fabricate that emotional exchange in written form. It’s the same kind of escapism that a lot of people look for in books – you could read fantasy novels because you want to feel brave, you could read detective novels because you want to feel smart, you could read erotica because you want to feel connected. Often when I’m depressed, the emotions that I share with my partner during sex are overwhelming for me, and leave me feeling upset and self-conscious. With erotica, I can control everything about the situation, right down to what emotions are cropping up. Absolute control is useful to stop any unwanted sadness from seeping in, but it can also mean that I can play out my fantasies in a very fulfilling way. For me, fiction writing is often about playing out personal fantasies, and my erotica is no different. I still crave some kink practices when I’m depressed, but I’m not in the headspace to engage in them, so I write.

 

Part of writing out a fantasy is detaching that fantasy from real life, which I definitely do with erotica. I’m not writing about myself and I’m not writing about people I know. However, it’s not always easy to distance myself from what I’m writing. Writing about my kinks and my fantasies can make me feel a bit raw afterwards – not as intense as if I had actually had sex, but it definitely makes an impact. I had a lot of difficulty writing a scene with a trans character in it, because it felt too much like imagining myself having sex.

 

Erotica also has a strained relationship with my dysphoria. Lately, I’ve been feeling really at wars with my body versus my gender presentation, and reading and writing about characters who are generally thinner, taller, and prettier than me is frustrating. It can leave me feeling inadequate and upset. My dysphoria gets particularly bad with stories about cis men, because descriptions of all the wonderful things a penis can do can whip up some unwelcome feelings about my genitals. I rarely have bottom dysphoria, but when I do have it, I have it bad. While erotica can be a bit of wish fulfillment, it can also be very painful, a reminder of what I’m lacking.

 

Fanfiction, rather than just general erotica, has the added benefit of almost immediate attention. I get likes and comments and appreciation, that makes me feel like I wrote what I did for a purpose. I know it’s unhealthy to rely on external approval for my mental health, but sometimes it’s the only way to brighten up a bad day. Fanfiction is also low pressure, because I don’t have deadlines or obligations with it, so it’s written mostly for me. The cost-benefit of the stress versus the approval is very favourable.

 

Writing erotica can be an escape, it can be cathartic, and it can be just plain fun. When I’m depressed, I think I deserve all the fun I can get. As far as coping mechanisms or self-care goes, it’s hardly the most conventional, but I’m not ashamed to while away a few hours writing about blowjobs where I would otherwise be spiraling in self-loathing. I’m not suggesting that erotica is a useful tool for many, or even for some, but it works for me and for that, I’m glad.

A red brick wall

From Brick Walls to Buttsex: A Personal Journey Through Fanfiction

I first learnt to delete my internet history for fanfiction. I would search up dirty and no-so-dirty stories on livejournal in the hour or so before my mum came home from work, and voraciously read about my favourite characters getting together and getting it on. I was 13 when I read my first sex scene. Instead of regarding it with fear like many of my friends did with their first exposures to video porn, I was intrigued. I didn’t know people could write about sex, and I didn’t know they could do it in a way that appealed to me. I don’t remember much other than the description of the brick wall that the character was pressed up against gripping his back like tiny hands. It was ultimately that line that encouraged me to write my own fanfiction.  For a long time, all the fanfiction I wrote was rank plagiarism, filled with other people’s phrases and scenarios, and it thankfully remained unpublished in private word documents and notebooks. After a while, I began to become more original. I wrote “fanfiction” about my own life, about what I wished my crush would do and say to me. I wrote stories almost every day, building on my fantasies each night.

 

When I was 13, I realized I was interested in women as well as men. Fanfiction became a way to read about gay people in love, in a way that I couldn’t find anywhere else. Sure, most of the stories I was reading were about gay men, but it still filled that lonely hole in my heart that begged to see someone like me. I was also reading stories where weird, neurodiverse characters were being loved and loving in return. I was a mess of undiagnosed OCD, anxiety, a mood disorder, and pre-psychosis, and I frequently worried that I was too nuts to date. I could imagine that there was someone in my future who would love me and wouldn’t think I was disgusting for being crazy and bisexual. I used to print out fanfiction and read the physical print outs when I was feeling sad or alone. It was the strangest kind of hope.

 

Almost as soon as I started reading smutty fanfiction, I started imagining myself in the positions of the characters. I imagined what it would be like to get a blowjob, to fuck someone, to kiss someone and have them feel my stubble. In the year following, I found that more and more of my fantasies were of myself with a penis, or myself with a flat chest, or myself with a deep voice. It wasn’t until I was 14 that I consciously knew what the word transgender meant, but it didn’t take much deliberation before I decided that that word described how I felt. Fanfiction yet again opened up to me the same opportunity it had with my blossoming gayness: a chance to read about characters I already related to, and reading about them as trans, while being loved and fucked and happy.

 

I didn’t put anything I had written up on the internet until I was 15, when I had my own computer. I wrote regularly after that, putting my favourite characters into different scenarios and settings. I loved writing, and it became my main pastime. I wrote introspective character studies and silly jokes and everything in between. Fanfiction is looked down upon, obviously partially because of its connection to femininity and women’s labour, and I was ashamed of what I was writing. It didn’t seem like people would enjoy what I was writing, but eventually I worked up the courage and posted. It was exciting for people to read what I had written, and I enjoyed seeing people’s responses to my work. I wrote my first sex scene when I was 16. I was, as I am now, in love with blowjobs, happy trails, and puns during sex, but had an inexplicable obsession with licking the roof of your partner’s mouth while kissing. I loved writing it, and I loved writing about sex. I have no doubt that my interest in sex and sexuality started with fanfiction. I went through a period when I was 17 where I identified as asexual, because a mix of depression, severe anxiety, and dysphoria made my sex drive absolutely plummet. I did, during this time, spend 24 straight hours writing asexual-themed fanfiction with a friend. It was a respite for me, a way to escape from the realities of my life. I was in the grips of my final year of high school and I had less time to read for pleasure, so the shorter format of fanfiction was the perfect solution. Fanfiction was still a constant as I began to discover my own sexuality again, encouraging me to try out new things and build new fantasies.

 

Last year, I took an extended break from fanfiction. I was busy with university, and my mental health was deteriorating, and I was doing other forms of reading. I didn’t have time really to engage in fanfiction in the same way I did before. I still found I needed an outlet to read and write about sex, though, and I became more interested in the world of sex blogging. Last year, I started this very blog, and it was a wonderful outlet for a few months. In March, I fell in love with a new show, and a month ago I wrote my first fanfiction in 8 months. These past few months, I’ve been able to see my kinks reflected in a more precise and cerebral way than I can in porn, and I’ve been able to explore fantasies in a safe and non-judgmental environment. I’m not kidding when I say that there’s a particular story that gave me a foot fetish. Because I’m more kink oriented than I was a few years ago, my fanfiction creation and consumption has become more kink oriented. I’m also studying a creative writing degree now, and fanfiction is a fun, low pressure way to play with character development and phrasing and emotion. I see myself writing fanfiction in some way or another for a long, long time. It’s been a way to process emotions, to discover new things, and to learn more about myself. I’m so glad I’ve found my way back.

Colourful New York Toy Collective dildos standing in a display. Walls of other toys are visible in the background.

Max Black: A Love Letter

I can smell Max Black from half way down the street. It’s a subtle, clean, fresh-out-of-the-box smell, and it makes me smile every time I notice it. Max Black was the first ever sex shop I visited, and I couldn’t be luckier. It is definitely a “boutique” or “high end” sex store but I strongly believe that these kind of stores should be the norm, rather than the poorly-lit and poorly-stocked “Adult Bookstores” that people usually think of when they think of adult stores. Up the fairy-lit stairs is a welcoming, curated store. My first visit in 2014 was filled with nerves, because sex still held an illicit thrill for me. I had heard about Max Black from a friend, but didn’t know much more than that it sold sex toys, specifically the Lelo Mona. At the time my only exposure to sex toys had been a few Oh Joy Sex Toy comics and a post of two from Epiphora. I didn’t know anything about body safe toys, or vibration quality, or reputable brands. All I could appreciate is good floor design and friendly staff. The first thing that sets Max Black apart from other (less appealing) sex stores is that the walls are white. It’s elegant and understated, so the focus is on the toys, but you don’t feel like you have to run anything under blacklight. The store is in a U-shape, which you follow from vibrators, to dildos, to kink, to anal toys, to strokers, with a side section for the Rubber Room. This allows you to browse at your leisure, and I was never flustered by where to look first. There are luxury modules in glass cases at the sides, for things like unique materials or for particular brands. I remember seeing the njoy module on my first visit and being amazed that they made sex toys out of steel. The now familiar Pure Wand was alien to me then, and I had no idea how it was meant to be used, let alone how amazing it could be. I distinctly remember that the sight of the Pure Plugs was frightening rather than exciting. The kink wall is full of leather cuffs, collars, and whips. At the time, kink wasn’t even a twinkle in my eye, so I didn’t spend too much time lingering there. Instead, the kink section was reserved for furtive glances when I was ostensibly standing in front of the dildos. And oh, the dildos. I found my first love in Tantus that day, with even a small selection of their range on display. They were well crafted, in plain, unassuming packaging, and I could hold a dildo in my hands for the first time.

Colourful New York Toy Collective dildos standing in a display. Walls of other toys are visible in the background.Since then, Max Black has been with me through many firsts. I got my first vibe there, which my then partner bought for my birthday. The $20 Neon Bullet XL was the cheapest toy there, and in hindsight I regret getting something so weak and cheap, but I was enamoured with the experience of buying and owning my very first sex toy all the same. The staff helped me get over my disappointment at the lack of Fuze Velvets in stock, and listened to me rant about everything I loved about the Velvet, before directing me to the Fun Factory Amor. Max Black was where I got my first luxury vibe, the first vibe I truly loved, my first paddle, my first strap on harness, my first butt plug, and my first latex piece. It took me two years to muster up enough courage to venture into the Rubber Room, but upon my meek request to “Uh… have a look at the… l-latex, please?”, the staff were so welcoming and informative. Max Black has introduced me to brands like the Australian leather company Wild Hide, and Tom of Finland’s kink range, as well as introducing me to real, printed books about sex and kink. The staff were irreplaceable during the We-Vibe Touch saga, I’ve never been yelled at when my (and I say this with love) annoying friends hit me with display dildos, and they taught me how to test-hit paddles on the backs of my calves.

Each item on sale is carefully chosen and high quality. While there are some toys I would be reticent to try (*cough* Jimmyjane *cough*), the selection is high quality and body safe. Some people I know complain about their high price point, but these toys are well-made and already expensive, plus the cost of running a brick and mortar store is expensive, especially if you have to ship products to Australia. Max Black is not just a place to buy sex toys, it’s a place to experience them and to learn. It’s an invaluable resource to the Sydney sex positive community, and I’m so glad I get to live in the same city as such an amazing store.

Casual Voyeurs 1

Welcome to Casual Voyeurs, to my interview series! I’m interviewing my friends and partners about their relationship to sex, both as a way to showcase different opinions on sex and sexuality, and also to give a little glimpse into the people I surround myself with. This first interview is with my sweet, sensitive, switchy girlfriend of two years.

Introduce yourself! How do you identify and what are your pronouns?

I’m a non-binary trans woman, and I use she/her pronouns.

Why are you interested in sex?

What’s not to love?? It’s intimate, you get up close and personal with people, it’s intense and it’s lots and lots of fun.

What was your sex education in school like? Was it relevant to how you have sex today?

Not even slightly. They don’t teach you anything about anal, and it was otherwise pretty limited.

What was your first sex toy?

A small cheap vibrator, that didn’t make me come but was very nice

What was your first visit to a sex shop like?

I honestly don’t remember much. I think I was a bit intimidated, but mostly curious.

How did you find out about safe sex toy materials?

I don’t know that I ever really did, to be perfectly honest. I think you’re the person who tells me the most.

What is your favourite part of sex?

I think it has to be when I make the other person moan. Either that, or being slowly worked up to orgasm with lots of teasing.

What is the scariest part of sex?

Whenever someone says to stop I always have a split second of panic that I’ve hurt them or gone too far. I think as well though, sometimes opening yourself up like that can be very emotional, and I have a definite fear of rejection around sex.

How does sex interact with your mental health?

Wildly variable. Sometimes it helps me feel better, sometimes I seek out the approval, and sometimes I feel too bad about myself to want it.

How does sex interact with your gender?

Not as much these days, but I used to have a real panic and anxiety around penetrating people and being too man-like in doing so. I’m more comfortable about it now.

How does kink interact with your sex life?

Not often enough! It’s usually a nice addition if the people involved have the time or energy to do it.

How does kink interact with your everyday life?

Not really much, aside from sometimes I wear collars out, because they’re cute.

If you could have any sex toy, what would it be?

Hard question. I’m really curious about We-Vibes. Aside from that I’m usually pretty self sufficient, other than a nice butt plug.

If you could buy me any sex toy, what would it be?

Some kind of elaborate fucking machine probably, something intense for personal use.

Finn’s rating: 8/10 – I’ve been curious about fucking machines but often the attachments aren’t body safe. Though maybe this answer encompasses a Sybian?!

Elust 91

Welcome to Elust 91

The only place where the smartest and hottest sex bloggers are featured under one roof every month. Whether you’re looking for sex journalism, erotic writing, relationship advice or kinky discussions it’ll be here at Elust. Want to be included in Elust #92 Start with the rules, come back March 1st to submit something and subscribe to the RSS feed for updates!

 

~ This Month’s Top Three Posts ~

Forcing Growth

In Stitches

The Instrument and the Ornament

 

 

~ Featured Post (Molly’s Picks) ~

Imagine? You Might Wish You Hadn’t!
she’s picture perfect

 

~Readers Choice from Sexbytes ~

Morning Stretch

(more…)

The Tantus Thwack paddle lying on some grass.

Spanking: Chapter 1

The Tantus Thwack paddle lying on some grass.

For the past few weeks, the thought of spanking (which I am using as an umbrella term for impact play in general) has made my mouth go dry and my heart rate skyrocket. I think about it almost every day, and every hour I grow more impatient for my next spanking date. (Which, at the time of writing, is less than 24 hours away, and I’m not sure I can wait even that long.) I think about spanking when I’m manic, when I’m depressed, and when I’m content. It’s a deep seated craving. Three months ago, however, spanking was the furthest thing from my mind. As cliché as it sounds, if, in October, you had told me that in January I would buy three spanking paddles and a flogger in two weeks, I wouldn’t have believed you.

Previously, I had very mixed feelings about spanking. I didn’t even like the word. The strongest association I had with “spanking” was of non-consensual childhood disciplinary spanking, which is something I am firmly opposed to. I preferred “paddling” or “slapping”, or anything really, other than spanking. Having never been spanked as a child, there was an instinctual revulsion I felt towards the act, which had been instilled in me by my parents. On the flip side, I also suffered from a spot of kink elitism. I too often think of kinks in an escalator model, with each practice a stepping stone to more intense and more dangerous practice. I hate being the least experienced or the newbie in a group, so I spent a lot of time when I was 18 cultivating kinks that I felt made me seem more experienced and sophisticated. This lead me to do crazy things, like cast aside my love for rope bondage because I couldn’t immediately master a whole body karada. Luckily, I was surrounded by people who were sensible enough not to let me jump into blood play without any training, but that was my first inclination. Suffice to say, when I was sloughing off the “first tier” kinks, spanking was the first to go. Sure, I would spank other people if they asked, but I secretly thought I was above that kind of stuff. (Yes, I was a real dick when I was younger. What can I say? You’re always in the process of building your best self.) It wasn’t until I started to read the blogs of spanking aficionados like Bex and Kate Sloan that this really started to change. I began to think of spanking as more complex than just a dichotomy between abuse and Baby’s First Kink™. Hearing people speak so effusively about what spanking meant to them made me rethink my prejudices. I realised that spanking could be about power dynamics, and endurance, and mental health, and most importantly for me (an avowed sensation slut) the physical feeling of a hand or a paddle or a flogger across your asscheeks. Of course, it’s fine if spanking is your only kink (or if you don’t even consider it a kink!) but it was incredible to find such depth in something I had previously considered so simple.

So why am I so obsessed with spanking now? As I’ve said before, I love the physical feeling of being spanked. There are a whole lot of nerve endings on your butt and thighs, and spanking gets the blood flowing and awakens the nerve endings there. There’s a more in depth discussion of the physical responses to spanking in the spanking episode of Tina Horn’s podcast, Why Are People Into That?. I’m still unsure if I consider myself a masochist, but I certainly enjoy the way that spanking creates a delicious mix of pain and pleasure. That particular place is my favourite murky puddle to play in. Another thing that I’ve come to realise is that spanking can really help to moderate my mental health. I have schizoaffective disorder, which is like a mix between bipolar and schizophrenia, so I experience both manic periods and depressive periods. When I’m manic, my thoughts race and I feel almost painfully active. Spanking gives me something to focus on when that’s happening, and I get a release of all that pent up energy. I find that I crave paddles and palms when I’m manic, because the more thuddy sensation allows me to ground myself. A beating that I can feel shaking my whole butt and thighs is much more attention-grabbing in the long term than something that is just focused on one strip of flesh. Conversely, I crave stingier sensations like crops and floggers when I am depressed. Stingy beatings light up my nerve endings much quicker than thuddy ones, and it gives me energy when I need it. I also find that spanking other people is something I enjoy more when I’m depressed. (If you want to read more, Kate Sloan is basically the queen of writing about spanking and mental illness) I, somewhat jokingly, consider myself a service top, by which I mean I am primarily driven by a desire to take care of my sub, and give them the best experience possible. When I’m depressed, the thought of giving someone a spanking when they really want one is enough to get me to smile or start to get out of bed. Finally, I love the versatility of spanking. I love to collect gear, and I love pervertables too, but spanking is something that you can do really simply, with just a hand and some skin.

I’m by no means at the end of my spanking journey, and I’m sure there are deeper depths to plumb when it comes to how spanking interacts with my mental health, or my other kinks. I’m always going to be growing my collection of paddles and floggers, and finding new people to spank and be spanked by. I’m filled with joy just from thinking about this kink, and how it fits neatly into my conception of myself as a kinky, cerebral person. If you were thinking of getting into spanking, as a gateway kink or not, I just want to impress upon you how rewarding and exhilarating it is to start to write your own spanking story.

Elust 90

Welcome to Elust 90

The only place where the smartest and hottest sex bloggers are featured under one roof every month. Whether you’re looking for sex journalism, erotic writing, relationship advice or kinky discussions it’ll be here at Elust. Want to be included in Elust #91 Start with the rules, come back February 1st to submit something and subscribe to the RSS feed for updates!

 

~ This Month’s Top Three Posts ~

Conflicted part 1

Glow

Happy Endings

 

~ Featured Post (Molly’s Picks) ~

Please You to Please Me

How to suck my cock – part 1 (attitude)

 

~Readers Choice from Sexbytes ~

Visions of Sugarplums

(more…)

A bottle of Dettol hand wash, a medium njoy pure plug, and a packet of disposable latex gloves.

Anal Retentive Or Just OCD? My Brain And Anal Sex

I feel really silly saying this, but I’m scared of anal play. I don’t hate it, but it’s rare that I’m the first to suggest it. It feels like I should love anal play, as someone with a keen interest in sex and who considers themself a sex blogger. Or at the very least, I feel like it shouldn’t scare me like it does. In the abstract, of course, I have no problem with anal play. I’ve been interested in long-term wear butt plugs ever since I started thinking about sex toys. I can watch anal scenes in porn, read about anal sex, talk about anal sex, but when it comes time for me to actually get up close and personal with an ass, I practically run away. It just seems like some old-timey hangup, or that I’m not sex-positive enough for not champing at the bit to fuck or be fucked in the butt. Erika Moen’s lovely comic “Requirements of Being Sex Positive” helped me realise that it’s ok not to love certain sexual practices and still call yourself sex-positive. Kate Sloan’s “fuck that” in episode 9 of The Dildorks podcast (“Enthusiasstic”) followed a similar line of thought. She talks about how she wrote a tweet that wasn’t well thought out, about a sex partner who wasn’t into receiving anal sex. The culmination of the discussion is that it’s not fair to make assumptions about someone’s relationship with a sexual act because of their sexual politics, and vice versa. This helps alleviate the shame I feel about not champing at the bit for anal sex, but it doesn’t address the underlying problem.

Most, if not all, of this anxiety stems from my OCD and the contamination fears that are a part of that. I have some other compulsions that affect my every day life, but when it comes to sex, it’s my contamination fears that screw me over. It manifests in two ways, in that I’m just terrified of being exposed to butt germs, and I hate stickiness. With stickiness, I just have to wash my hands of lube and I’m ok, but contamination fears are more persistent. The thing about contamination fears is that they aren’t logical, at all. I know, logically, that I am mostly safe from infection if I use gloves and condoms and the like, but I still obsess over the possibility of getting contaminated. It isn’t even that I am worried that I’ll get sick, I’m just disgusted by the thought of being in contact with bacteria in the abstract. Even if I’m wearing a glove, and I take the glove off as soon as I move on to the next activity, I’m still stressed about bacteria. I’ll avoid using that hand if possible, and if I touch that hand to another body part, like my thigh, that part will be contaminated and I will have to shower more thoroughly than I would otherwise. Even thinking about anal play will give me hand-washing compulsions. This doesn’t transfer into other types of play, though. I’m inconsistent with cleaning my toys, which doesn’t bother me. I have a passing interest in piss play, and I absolutely adore blood play, but I don’t get contamination fears from those. Obviously I’m not taking unnecessary risks, especially when I’m doing blood play, but I’m not obsessively thinking about how I’m going to get sick and die.

I want to get over this. It’s not like a practice or a kink that I’m not into, which I can just avoid. I actually want to do butt stuff, it just makes me anxious. For my girlfriend, it is a really important thing for affirming her gender during sex. Plus, she gets a lot of physical pleasure out of it and reacts in a way that she doesn’t to other stimulation. I want to make her feel good because I am otherwise, in my opinion, a bit of a pillow prince. Personally, I just really love strapping it on, and it seems silly to limit my opportunities to do so because of a hang up around anal sex. While I don’t have any genital dysphoria and I love bottoming, it can be really nice to top. There’s something exciting about looking down and seeing a physical manifestation of my sexual intent sitting between my legs. Plus, it’s a good excuse to show off my growing dildo collection. In the abstract, I should love anal sex, but the second I get a glove on my hand, I start to feel faint. I know this is illogical, and overall, my biggest motivator isn’t the promise of pleasure, but my desire to overcome a symptom of my OCD.

I was browsing Max Black in October, with the intention of buying the Fun Factory Big Boss. On a whim, I also grabbed the Fun Factory Bootie. I’d always intended to buy a butt plug, and since I didn’t have to actually have my finger inside an ass to use it, it seemed like a good cheat code for anal play. I showed it to my girlfriend when I got to her place, and upon seeing it, she remarked “I already have a butt plug.” I clarified that this one was for me, and she seemed a little surprised, but not put off. It sat on the bedside table for a few hours while we caught up on TV shows and ate dinner, but later that night, I was intent on taking my new toys for a spin. My girlfriend fingered my front hole for a little while, before someone (I can’t remember which one of us) asked if she could finger my ass. She put on a glove, and slowly eased a finger in. It felt odd at first, but not unappealing. I eventually began to feel the tingling that usually accompanies vaginal penetration without external stimulation. My girlfriend worked me up to two fingers, and was thrusting pretty hard, which I was really enjoying. I was too busy feeling the sensations to worry about germs or bacteria, and when it was over, everything was as clean as it could be. I consider it my best sexual experience of 2016. Since then, I have worn the butt plug on more than one occasion, for a few hours at a time. I am growing to enjoy anal stimulation for myself more and more.

I’ve fucked my girlfriend since she fingered me in the ass, and I’m far from free of my anxieties. I still need to use multiple gloves and wash my hands thoroughly afterwards, but I don’t balk at the idea as frequently as before. Having that concrete memory of what anal stimulation feels like really helps me relax into it, even if I’m not the one being penetrated. I just need to think about how well that last time went, and how clean and relaxed I felt, and I can work through my anxious thoughts. I’m not by any means saying “if you don’t like something, all you have to do is try it yourself”, but I am saying that rewriting some of your anxious thoughts can be helpful, especially when the new thoughts are reinforced by orgasms or the like. I’m not at the end of my journey with anal sex, but I feel like I at least have a solid path to walk on.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a butt plug to play with!

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.