Holiday Gift Guide 2017

It’s that time of year, folks! Whatever you’re celebrating this winter, it’s likely you’ll have cause to give gifts to your loved one(s.) For your romantic or sexual partners (or friends with whom you have that kind of relationship) why not give them a sexy gift they’ll really love?

And, of course, don’t forget that YOU are someone you love! Whether you’re partnered this festive season or not, why not treat yourself to something special too?

To give you plenty of time to get your sexy shopping in, here’s my specially curated gift guide for 2017.

A couple of quick notes:

1: I have deliberately avoided gendered language in this post. I talk about vulva-owners and penis-owners because people of all genders can have all kinds of genitals and too many of us feel alienated by aggressively gendered toy marketing.

2: Links here are affiliate links unless otherwise stated. If you buy from an affiliate using my links, I will make a small commission which helps me to keep doing this work. As always, I only partner with companies I trust and I promise to NEVER recommend an unsafe product, or one I’m uncertain as to the safety of.

DISCOUNT JUST FOR ‘COFFEE & KINK’ READERS! Get 15% off EVERY gift guide item available at Lovehoney when you use the links in this post. Prices listed here DO NOT include the discount.

Top Picks: Vibrators
The Doxy Original, a purple wand style vibrator with a grey head, held on an upturned palm.

 

The Queen of vibrators and one of my favourite things in the whole world, the super-powerful Doxy Massager will always be top of my list. My Doxy is the only toy that always lives next to my bed, and it remains the best gift a lover has ever given me. £89.99 from Lovehoney.

The Doxy Die Cast, a deep purple wand vibrator with a large black silicone head.

 

 

If you love the Doxy, there’s also the newer, smaller-but-heavier Die Cast version,  with a beautiful aluminium and titanium body and body-safe silicone head. £149.99 from Lovehoney.

 

 

The We-Vibe Tango, a small blue bullet vibrator. For a review post.
Small but mighty, the We-Vibe Tango was one of my favourite discoveries this year. Discreet, small, easy to use and POWERFUL AS ALL FUCK, this one’s a sure winner for the power queens out there – and anyone who likes their vibes portable. Unlike many pocket-sized vibes, it’s also really rumbly. Check out my review. £54.99 from Lovehoney.

The Rocks Off Bamboo, a small lipstick shaped rose gold vibrator.

For those on a budget, the Bamboo vibrator by Rocks Off is my favourite low-priced vibe discovery this year. Body-safe, pretty, quiet and powerful-ish, this is a really solid little toy for the price. £16.99 on Lovehoney.

Top Picks: Dildos

The Idee du Desir Orchid 1001 Nights dildo for a review post. Pictured with an orchid flower.
The Idee du Desir Orchid 1001 Nights dildo is a really beautiful luxury wooden dildo that I completely fell in love with this year. With its subtle gold shimmer, it’s the height of classiness, and those gentle ridges feel divine. €90 from Idee du Desir (not an affilitate)


A line of Effulgence Ambit silicone dildos in a range of shimmery colours.I discovered Godemiche this year at Eroticon and I am in love with their beautiful, unique silicone toys – each one is hand poured and they come in all kinds of beautiful colours. The Effulgence Ambit range, pictured, is my favourite because GLITTER. £35-47 from Godemiche (not an affiliate.)

The Tantus Vamp Super Soft, a midnight purple dildo with a realistic head and flared base.

Tantus make beautiful silicone dildos that feel absolutely divine. My favourite is the Vamp Super Soft (in midnight purple, obviously!) With a flared base, it’s perfect for vaginal or anal use and can even be paired with your favourite harness for the ultimate strap-on experience. $69.99 from Tantus Inc.

 

A curved glass g-spot dildo from Lovehoney

 

Glass dildos have long been a love of mine. I like to insert them and then juuuust barely wiggle them against my G-spot. They’re so rigid that even this slight movement provides a world of blissful sensation. Try the curved sensual G-spot glass dildo from Lovehoney, £24.99.

Something A Bit Different

The Zumio, a purple sex toy with a small plastic tip. Shaped a bit like a toothbrush.
There’s been a lot of buzz (sorry) about the Zumio this year. I hate the claim that it is guaranteed to give any woman an orgasm in 60 seconds or less because BODIES DO NOT ALL WORK THAT WAY, but the product itself is genuinely innovative and has received overwhelmingly positive reviews. For lovers of direct, pinpoint clitoral stimulation, this is the one. £134.99 from Lovehoney.

 

The Eroscillator, a purple sex toy that looks a bit like a toothbrush. Pictured with 6 attachments.I was lucky enough to try the Eroscillator as a friend’s place recently. (Yes, I have excellent friends.) Despite looking like what Kate Sloan describes as a “steampunk toothbrush” (yes) it’s amaaaazing. Because it oscillates rather than vibrates, it somewhat mimics the sensation of fingering, only faster. It also comes with six (count them!) attachments. Perfect for lovers of the kind of clit stim that brings you to a deliciously slow-build orgasm. £199.99 from Lovehoney.

 

I just got my paws on this cutie for a review and it’s brilliant! The straps hold it against the vulva for hands-free use and it’s operated with remote control, making it super ergonomic to use solo AND suitable for delicious partnered play. Try wearing it and giving your lover the remote to take control of! It has 8 patterns and 12 speeds. £74.99 from Lovehoney.

 

The Satisfyer Pro Penguin Next Generation, a suction based sex toy that looks like a little penguin wearing a pink bow-tie. For a review post.

Suction based toys are all the rage right now and my favourite is the Satisfyer Pro Penguin Next Generation, which I reviewed recently. Don’t let the cuteness put you off – aside from literally looking like a little penguin in a bow tie (because obviously!), this baby gives me orgasms so powerful my partner can hear them from the other end of the house. £69.99 from Lovehoney.

Favourites for Couples

The We-Vibe sync, a wearable purple C-shaped vibrator. Pictured with the remote control and a mobile phone.

We-Vibe created the original wearable vibrator for couples, and the Sync is the newer and improved version of their classic. Worn during intercourse, the internal piece stimulates the penis and G-spot, while the outer arm stimulates the clitoris. It’s remote controlled, so no worries if you want to adjust the speed while you’re wearing it, and the app functions make your experience super customisable. £159.99 from Lovehoney.

 

A black strap on aet with silicone dildo and another smaller dildo pictured to the side. From Lovehoney. I love strap-on play, especially pegging (where a vulva-owner penetrates a penis-owner anally with a strap-on.) This set is great value. I love it because the harness is really adjustable to fit a wide range of bodies, and you can use it with any dildo with a decent base. I like using the 5 inch slimline dildo it comes with for pegging, and swapping out for the bigger size or my Tantus if fucking another person with a vagina. £44.99 from Lovehoney.

 

The Feeldoe, a purple double ended v-shaped vibrating dildo.

The Feeldoe has become a classic for good reason. The shorter end is inserted into the vagina of the giving partner, and they use the longer end to fuck the receiving partner. Somewhat more advanced than a basic strap on, but with the huge added bonus of direct internal stimulation for the fucker. Plus, it’s made from lovely body-safe silicone and even has an inbuilt vibrating bullet. From $124.99 from Tantus.

 

Top Picks for Dicks

Note: this section is somewhat out of my area of expertise. These recommendations come from extensive reading of reviews and help from some of the wonderful dick-owners in my life!

 

I can’t have a section on toys for dicks without mentioning Fleshlight, the original and best-selling masturbator. Flight by Fleshlight comes highly recommended. One reader commented that he likes that it’s less obviously anatomical looking than some penis toys. £44.99 from Lovehoney.

The Pulse III Solo, a black three-quarter sleeve style toy for penises.

 

I adore Hot Octopuss. Their toys are so innovative and their #SexNotStigma campaign is brilliant. (Check out the sponsored post I wrote for them a little while ago!) Their Pulse III uses oscillating Pulse Plate technology, which is – get this – medically proven to bring about ejaculation. The Solo is designed for – unsurprisingly – solo use, while the Duo boasts a vibrating underside to stimulate a vulva during partnered play. £79.99 (Solo) or £99.99 (Duo) from Hot Octopuss, with 10% off when you use this link and code CK10.

The Tenga Black Flip Hole, a black male masturbation sleeve with buttons on the side, held in a female hand.

 

The Tenga Flip Hole masturbator boasts “multiple asymmetrical textures and buttons that enable you to manually tailor pressure anywhere along your shaft.” This is a far cry from “just stick your dick in and fuck it” penis toys, and allows for an amazing range of different sensations. Bonus: it pops open for easy and thorough cleaning. £69.99 from Lovehoney.

The Tantus C-Sling, a red silicone cock ring with a contoured tongue.

Cock rings are brilliant! They restrict flow of blood from the erect penis, giving a stronger erection and keeping the dick harder for longer. The C-Sling from Tantus works in basically the same way, with the added bonus of the contoured tip which gently stimulates the perineum during play. $34.64 from Tantus.

 

Anal Fun

The We-Vibe Ditto, a purple silicone butt plug. Pictured with the remote control and a mobile phone.

The We-Vibe Ditto is We-Vibe’s first and long-awaited anal toy. It’s relatively small – the insertable length is only about 3 inches – and uses We-Vibe’s signature powerful vibrations. It’s remote- or app-controlled and has 10 different vibration modes. The Ditto is even waterproof if you want to get your sexy on in the shower. £109.99 from Lovehoney.

 

A glass butt plug from Lovehoney.

 

Did I mention I LOVE glass toys? Well, that goes for anal toys too. Mr CK bought me this beauty from Lovehoney for my birthday and it is one of the most perfect plugs to ever go up my butt. £19.99 from Lovehoney.

 

The Rocks Off Naughty Boy, a curved reverse C-shape black prostate vibrator.

 

I love Rocks Off! Their Naughty Boy is a slimline vibrating prostate stimulator with a gentle curve to perfectly hit those sweet spots. It has 7 different functions and is powered by a removable RO80 bullet. £49.99 from Lovehoney.

 

The Aneros MGX, a white curved prostate stimulator with a curly base.

 

This one comes to the list courtesy of my friend, fellow blogger and sometimes co-creator Exhibit A, who describes it as “the other love of [my] life!” (One assumes the first love is his awesome wife Livvy!) The Aneros MGX is a plastic (body-safe!) prostate massager works with the sphincter muscles for hands-free fun, and stimulates both the prostate and perineum. £39.99 from Lovehoney.

 

Let’s Get Kinky

If you’re into impact play, how about treating yourselves to the most beautiful floggers you’ll ever own? Kabunza is a small business, headed up by designer, maker and teacher Aemilia Hawk. Not an affiliate, I just love them forever. Every creation is unique and you can even custom-order. Various prices.

A pair of silver "Clover" nipple clamps held in a female hand.

 

I’m a big fan of nipple clamps, and clover clamps are my favourites of all! They are quite pinchy and tighten when you pull on them. Not recommended for beginners to nipple play! This is the set we have, from Bondage Boutique. They’re so affordable and have lasted us two years and are still going strong. Remember… they hurt more coming off! £8.99 from Lovehoney.

A coil of violet dyed hemp rope from Twisted Monk

 

Bondage enthusiasts understand the sensual and aesthetic appeal of beautiful rope. If you love natural fibres in beautiful colours, get your hands on some of Twisted Monk’s hand-dyed hemp. The violet, pictured, is my favourite. Not an affiliate. $35.99 for 30ft from Twisted Monk.

 

Luxurious Lingerie & Foxy Fetishwear

 

The Lovehoney Moonlight Wine Crotchless Basque, a deep red one piece of lingerie, modelled by a pretty white woman with dark wavy hair.I The Lovehoney Moonlight plunge babydoll, made of red wine satin and black lace. Modelled by a pretty dark haired woman.am completely in love with Lovehoney’s brand new Moonlight range. The black lace and red-wine satin oozes sophistication. My favourite pieces, pictured, are the plunge babydoll set and the crotchless body. Perfect for cosy winter nights in with your lover. I’ve just received a review piece (look out for that!) and it makes me feel like a total babe. Every piece comes in plus sizes, too, so everybody can look and feel gorgeous. £34.99 from Lovehoney. My favourites are included in the offer, or you can check out the whole range and take advantage of 25% off when you buy any two pieces.

 

A black PVC full body catsuit, modelled by a pretty white woman with blonde hair.

 

My new favourite is this sexy catsuit from Latex, Leather & Lace. I tried one on in their new store and it was love at first meow! (Watch out for my full review, coming soon). Pair with some sexy black boots (like those below, perhaps?) and you’ll be “feline” gorgeous all night long. £64.99 from Latex, Leather & Lace.

 

 

A black leather overbust corset modelled by a dark haired white woman running her hand through her hair.

 

I adore real leather. The feel, the warmth, the smell… oh god, the smell. Mmmff. That’s why I am lusting HARD after this Lady Anne corset by Allure Leather, and I’m sure you will be, too. £160.99 from Latex, Leather & Lace.

 

 

Pleaser 1020 black high heeled lace up boots
I hate most things about winter. What I do love, though, is that it’s BOOTS SEASON! I can’t even remotely walk in heels without breaking myself, but I do enjoy wearing them to feel sexy once in a while. This winter I’m lusting after these Pleaser beauties. The high-heel wearer in your life is bound to love them too! £70.95 from Latex, Leather & Lace.

 

 

All pictures in this post are property of the respective retailers and are reproduced here with their permission.

Beyond Safewords: Tools to Help You Stay Safe

It’s #KinkMonth! I’m celebrating by writing posts inspired by Kayla Lords’ fantastic 30 Days of D/s project, which you should totally check out.

Today is all about safewords, a subject about which I have Many Feelings. Kayla and John ask simply:

So, the question today is, what’s your safeword? If you don’t want to have one, why not?

A set of traffic lights on s dark background, red, amber and green, for a post about safewords

I love safewords. Truly, I do. There are fairly few things in kink I take a really hard line on, but you need to have a safeword is one of them. (Along with “thou shalt not cheat” and “it’s all a game at the end of the day.” But those are both subjects for other posts.

A safeword, for those not aware, is basically a word that means STOP IMMEDIATELY. It’s useful in scenes where words like “no” and “stop” are not supposed to be taken at face value – resistance play and certain roleplay scenarios, for example. The most common safeword is “red,” but any word you wouldn’t normally use in a kinky context will work. My first safeword was “canary.” I also used “aardvark” at one point.

Again: safewords are really, really important. If you’re playing any kind of scene where “no” might not really mean no, you must have a safeword. Others will disagree with me, and that’s fine. But again: I take a really hard line on this. Have a fucking safeword.

But safewords are not the be-all, end-all of safe BDSM. So here I want to suggest a few other tools you might want to have in your “safer kinky fuckery” toolkit.

The word “no.”

In the absence of very explicit negotiation to the contrary, “no” is the untimate safeword for everyone. Unless you’ve very clearly spelled out “for the length of this scene (or relationship, I suppose,) no doesn’t mean no”… guess what? No means fucking no.

A “check in” or “adjust” word.

The most popular of these is “orange” or “amber” (usually alongside red, like a system of traffic lights. “Green,” though less commonly used, means “keep going!”) This is valuable because it differentiates between needing to bring the entire scene to a screeching halt, and just needing to adjust something.

Mr CK and I have agreed that if I say “red,” the scene is finished and we’ll stop playing, commence aftercare and debrief about what went wrong. “Orange,” though, could just mean “I’m nearing my limit, maybe spank a little more gently” or “my arm’s going to sleep, can we change positions?”

Really robust negotiation.

You’ve fully negotiated before you began playing, right? (Read this post for tips and tricks on doing just that.) Of course, things can always go wrong and there’s no shame in that as long as everyone was operating in good faith. But the more fully and clearly you negotiate, the better chance you have of having a hot, sexy scene where everything goes well.

A 1-1o scale.

This is mostly useful if you’re engaging in pain play of any kind. 1 typically means “I can’t feel it,” whereas 10 means “I am about to use my safeword.” The sweet spot will vary from person to person, and you should be ready to communicate yours to your partner if you use this scale.

For me, anything between a 4 and an 8 is enjoyable. Lower than 4, and I’m probably not getting much out of it. 9 is well into the “I’m enjoying the endurance challenge of this but not the pain itself” territory, and 10 is pretty much synonymous with “orange, stop hitting me right now.” I once Topped a guy, though, whose goal was to hit a solid 9 and stay there for most of the scene.

Again, no one size fits all, but the scale is a useful way of communicating if you’re engaging in pain type play.

Body language and non-verbal communication.

If you know each other well, you probably know each other’s body language and non-verbal cues pretty well.

Does he go silent when something’s wrong? Do deep, guttural moans mean she’s having fun, but high-pitched squeaks mean she’s reaching her limit? Do they clench their fists when they’re having a tough time with something? Is crying good or bad?

Body language is far from foolproof, and should go alongside using your words, but it’s a massive part of how we communicate as human beings and can be a really, really valuable tool if you take the time to tune in.

References.

If you want to play with a new person and they’re active on their local scene and/or Fetlife, it’s a good idea to do some asking around and see what their reputation is. Most people won’t hesitate to tell you what their impression or experience of someone is.

Sadly, this method has its problems, and how useful it is will likely depend upon your local scene politics. Kink communities often have a problem with sheltering abusers (especially if the abuser is popular, charming or throws good parties.)

Ask around, always seek a second opinion whatever you hear, and don’t rely solely on this information to keep you safe.

Safe-calls.

This is where you arrange to call/text/otherwise contact someone – perhaps a friend or another partner? – at a prearranged time, during or after a date, to tell them you’re safe.

For example: “I’ll call you by 4pm. If I don’t, please call me. If I don’t answer, I’m in trouble, here’s where I’ll be.”

Aside from the obvious benefit of having someone who knows where you are, who you’re with and can alert the relevant authorities quickly if something happens to you, setting up a safe call and informing them about it can also tell you a lot about the person you’re going to play with. If you say “I need to call my friend at 4pm to let her know I’m safe,” a good play partner will say “sure, maybe set an alarm to remind yourself” and not “WHAT THE FUCK WHY DON’T YOU TRUST ME I’M A NICE GUY!!!”

If it’s a variation on the latter, run.

A spotter.

Lastly, a tool which I feel is under-utilised but really, really valuable. A spotter watches the scene but is not directly involved unless they’re needed. For example, a more experienced rigger might watch a rope scene to make sure the tie is safe. Using spotters is brilliant when you’re learning new skills, but their usefulness extends beyond just beginners. If you’re playing with someone new or someone you don’t know very well, having a third party to observe and check in if necessary can help to keep you safe – especially if it’s someone who knows you, and your reactions, particularly well.

What tools do you use to keep yourself and your partners safe, beyond just safewords?

Kinky item of the day: Jacks Floggers’ pocket singletail. This is not an affiliate link and I have no connection to the company, I just love the hell out of his stuff. I bought this whip for Mr CK last Christmas and we both adore it. (MASSIVE SAFETY DISCLAIMER: singletails are dangerous. Please do not use one on a person until you’ve been taught how by an expert and had adequate practice.)

The image in this post was offered for use under creative commons licensing.

The Hard Limits That Changed

It’s #KinkMonth this October. To celebrate, my lovely affiliates over at Lovehoney are offering 15% off any purchase of £50 or more and I’m writing a post a day inspired by Kayla Lords’ 30 Days of D/s project.

Today is all about limits. Kayla and John ask:

Do you know what your hard limits are? Are there a few things you’d like to try but you’re a little nervous? They’re such a big part of D/s and kink, it’s never a bad idea to think about them no matter where you are in your relationship.

A close up on a section of a barbed wire fence for a post about hard limits

Hard limits are an interesting thing. In a nutshell, a hard limit is a thing you absolutely will not do under any circumstances. We all have them and we must respect and honour our own and our partner’s.

What people won’t often tell you, though, is that hard limits can change. Some will never change, and that’s okay. But some will shift over time. A “fuck no” might become a “well, maybe…” From there, it might go back to being a “no,” or it might become a firm “yes.”

Mine have certainly shifted over time. I have a few that will almost certainly never change (DD/lg, ageplay, scat, cutting, to name just a few) but others, like those included below, have fluctuated and evolved over the years.

Anal sex

I wrote a post about my turbulent relationship with anal sex over the years. Pressure to engage in it long before I was ready made me shut down and close myself off to the possibility. For a long time, I declared anal a hard boundary and made it clear to anyone I had sex with that butt stuff was off the table.

The secret to cracking this limit was that I had to come to it in my own time. I had to be in a situation with enough love, trust and intimacy to enable me to explore it safely. In other words, I needed a space where I could peek around this particular door, knowing it’d be safe and okay to slam it shut again if I needed to.

I’m only engaging in it with Mr CK at the current time, but anal sex has moved from a hard limit to one of my favourite activities in the space of a few years.

Topping

Yep. Your card-carrying Twue Switch over here once insisted that she would never, ever Top or Dominate somebody under any circumstances. I once safeworded out of a threesome because the guy tried to Dom me into Domming the other woman.

And then, well, I got curious. I wanted to see what it was like. For science, you understand. To better appreciate the other side of the slash. What I didn’t expect was to like it as much as I did. (I wrote a little about that, too!)

I’m still about 80-90% sub (percentages vary on any given day!) but switchiness is a pretty key component of my sexual make-up and how I like to play these days.

Play-piercing

For years I simply could not understand the appeal of this. The idea of it viscerally squicked me the fuck out.

So why did I try it? Mainly, I think, to say I had. I thought it might be a funny story, a crazy anecdote to share about that time I explored a super edgy activity. And also, a little bit, because I was annoyed at myself for being so afraid of it.

It’s still very much in the “soft limit” category – a very occasional activity (literally three times ever) and one I have to be extremely careful with, for mental and physical health reasons as well as obvious safety concerns. Not to mention, of course, the sheer amount of trust required and the fact that I wouldn’t let anyone do this to me who hadn’t been trained in at least the basics by an expert.

And one that changed back: 24/7 D/s

This one could be a whole post by itself, and I may write that post at some point. For years, I insisted I would never do a 24/7 relationship – the idea of letting somebody have that level of control over me was, frankly, too terrifying to comprehend.

So why did I decide suddenly, in my early 20s, that I wanted it? Why did I ask my sometimes-Dom boyfriend to be my Master? The answer to that is complex and multi-faceted, but sadly the kernel at the core is this: I did it to justify to myself the fact that he already had pretty much complete control over my body, emotions, heart and life. I already barely breathed without permission, so why not stick a collar on it and call it kink?

Of course I understand that not all 24/7 relationships are abusive. There are some great and wonderful ones out there! (Hi, Kayla & John!) But that experience was valuable for me, if only because it taught me that that life isn’t for me. I don’t want to answer to anyone except in very limited and negotiated capacities. I certainly don’t ever want to hand over control over my entire life again.

Remember: limits can change! And that’s okay!

I now have three categories of limits: hard limits (NOPE NEVER ABSOLUTELY NOT,) soft limits (sometimes, under certain circumstances, with lots of negotiation,) and only-with-Mr-CK limits (things I won’t do with anyone but him.)

Your limits will change over time too. We’re humans and change is part of what we do. What’s important is to check in with yourself regularly, and keep communicating with your partner along the way!

Kinky item of the day: Jute 5mm, my bondage rope of choice. The smell, the feel, the tightness across my skin… mmmm! (This is not an affiliate link and I have no connection to the company, I just love their rope.)

#SinfulSunday Week 336: “Just Hangin’ Out”

Today was very special for us – Mr CK did his first ever (supervised) rope suspension on me! The goal was to accomplish this by the end of the year so we’re absolutely thrilled to have done it.

Seemed only right to share, for this ‘Sinful Sunday,’ a picture of yours truly just – as the title says – hangin’ out in my beloved’s ropes.

Me from the neck down in a face up horizontal suspension a few inches off the ground. For a Sinful Sunday post

Please excuse the shitty camera quality.

Model: me. Rope & photo: Mr CK. This picture is our property and must not be copied or distributed without our express permission.

Check out everyone else’s sinful goodies by clicking on the lips.

Sinful Sunday

Sex Educator Interview #3: Dawn Serra

The latest interview in this series comes from Dawn Serra, sex educator extraordinaire and host of the amazing Sex Gets Real podcast. I’ve reached out to Dawn for advice before, as have many other people, and I’ve always found her to be one of the most open-minded, affirming and compassionate educators around. I’m absolutely thrilled she agreed to take part and give us a little peek into her world.

The header image of the Sex Gets Real podcast by Dawn Serra

Tell us a little bit about you and the work you do?

Officially, I’m a sex educator, sex podcaster, and a sex & relationship coach. But what those titles actually mean is I’ve dedicated myself to shame reduction, resilience building, emotional & sexual intelligence development, and helping people find words for things that feel scary or awkward. I’ve learned that what people really need is permission – permission to ask questions, permission to explore, permission to let go of stories that hurt them, and I try to do that every day by connecting the dots between the cultural stories and systems of oppression that keep us all trapped in pain and disconnection, and then giving people new tools and skills for moving in the direction they’d like to move.

What first made you want to be a sex educator and run a sex podcast?

I’ve always been the person my friends came to with sex questions and confessions, even in middle school and high school. Then, in my early 20’s, I started selling sex toys with one of those in-home party companies. While the company & products were problematic, it gave me a chance to talk with hundreds of women, one-on-one, about their deepest fears and shame.

It cracked me open in ways that surprised me, and I knew it was work I wanted to keep doing. It was fascinating to watch groups of women socially interacting with each other around sex. Many of them were loud and laughing, telling these wild stories about their sex life, very Sex and the City, but then behind closed doors with me would admit they’d never had an orgasm or didn’t know they were allowed to use a sex toy with a partner. Others would be quiet and shy during the group portion of the party, and then break down crying in private with me over their deep sense of shame, of being a disappointment to their partners. I started realizing just how many of us are performing what we think sex is supposed to be and look like without actually experiencing it in a way that made sense for us.
That was the beginning.

My podcast, Sex Gets Real, got started was because my friend, Dylan, and I heard some terrible advice about strap-on sex from a shock-jock Playboy type of podcast. We just could not let it go. We were angry at how wrong it was, and that people were actually listening. So, on a whim, we decided our voices were needed. A few days later, we recorded our first episode and now I’m nearing 200 episodes and 3 million downloads. Whoa.

How did you break into the industry and how does one ‘make it’ as a sex educator?

That’s the million dollar question, isn’t it? I still don’t have it all figured out.

But for me, it’s always been about relationship building in the industry and finding ways to promote and lift up other voices. I knew that if I helped everyone around me, they’d in turn want to help me win and celebrate. I started attending conferences like Woodhull Sexual Freedom Summit, promoting all the speakers, and stepping outside my comfort zone a bit by introducing myself to folks I’d long been a fan of.
The podcast also was a huge help. Even in the very very beginning of the show, I found that if I asked nicely, told someone why I thought they were super awesome, that they’d almost always say yes to an interview. Having them share the show helped me grow organically, which built some buzz, too.
Now I coach sex educators and therapists around building an online presence, creating online summits and courses, and my number one piece of advice for getting noticed is always be yourself. It’s SO tempting to want to emulate, copy, parrot, and follow in the footsteps of other educators. But then people don’t really know who you are. Be bold around stating your vision for a new world, your beliefs of what’s holding us back, your story and why it matters. Learn about social justice and oppression and then find ways to be unapologetic around your values and ethics in those spheres. Apologize when you’re wrong or hurt someone (because you will), and always always always take feedback graciously.

That more than anything has helped me to show up and be known for the sex educator I am today. The money stuff I’m still trying to figure out because the bottom line is people don’t want to pay for sex education unless it’s built on shiny promises and magic bullet solutions. To offer something more real and honest means a lot of swimming against the current. It’s possible, but it takes some grit and determination. And never, ever feel bad if sex education is your side hustle while you have a day job that pays the bills. Some of the biggest names in the industry do the same thing.

What does “a day in the life of a sex educator” look like for you?

For me, a typical day is a whole lot of admin work around the podcast, projects I’m working on, managing client updates and emails. One a good day, I’ll have a chance to do one or two podcast interviews with ridiculously amazing people. I may have a client session or two for personal or business coaching. Loads of social media writing and planning. Nurturing my Explore More group on Facebook. And then making big plans for future workshops, summits, webinars, etc.

What’s the best thing about being a sex educator, in your opinion? The worst?

The best thing is seeing people have massive shifts – seeing their relief, seeing their eyes light up at the possibilities they never knew could be theirs, hearing their vulnerable stories and knowing they trust me enough to hold them so gently and tenderly. That feeds my heart and soul.

The worst is how sex education is treated in the world. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram – they all ban ads and promoted posts from sex educators because they consider sex education the same as pornography. Google Ads won’t allow you to buy ad space for the same reason. Getting the word out can be so tough because so many people are so filled with shame and embarrassment they aren’t willing to share your posts, even if they love them, for fear of people seeing them consume the content and thinking something is wrong.

Also, people don’t realize just how badly they need support around sex, love, relationships, and their bodies, so they aren’t willing to pay for webinars and workshops unless they’ve reached a total place of crisis. I wish more people understood that the sooner we all start practicing and learning together, the less we ever have to be in crisis or deep shame. But the world isn’t quite ready for that shift. Until then, we hustle and we persist, even in the shadows.

What’s your favourite episode of the podcast and why?

You have no idea how much I agonized over this question. I decided to go with one of my more recent episodes, simply because I’m incredibly proud of it.

For episode 162, I interviewed law professor and author Carol Sanger. It was the first time I dedicated an entire episode (or more than a few moments) to the topic of abortion. Carol’s book is truly spectacular, and to honor the seven years she spent writing it, I asked listeners to send in their abortion stories. I received about a dozen submissions. Each and every one was raw, real, and deeply personal. I felt like I was holding some of the most precious stories on earth – stories many of these people had never told another living soul. I read some of them on that episode, and Carol and I held them together. It wasn’t a super popular episode because I think too many people are scared of or biased around abortion discussions, but I am so so proud of that work.

Tell us about a book that changed your life/perspective completely?

Bessel van der Kolk’s “The Body Keeps the Score.” As a trauma survivor with PTSD, it was the first time my body, my reactions to situations, my trauma actually made sense. I started understanding what was happening inside of my body, inside of my brain, and it felt like pure relief.

Until I read that book, I considered myself broken in a lot of ways, incapable of healing or moving beyond certain things. I carried tremendous shame around my triggers, especially as a sex educator since my PTSD tends to come up in sexualized situations with strangers.
The research, the techniques to move towards integrating and recovery gave me hope. That book also gave me new language that allowed me to not only create permission and space in my own trauma, but around the trauma of the people I work with.
It led me to Peter Levine’s work and Somatic Experiencing. It took me down a path of learning more about being trauma-informed. It made sense of so many of the things that seem to not make sense in the world.

I am forever grateful for that book and the shift it caused in me.

Who inspires you, professionally and personally?

Professionally, Meg John Barker. Their work is powerful. They turn a lot of cultural stories and myths upside down, and in a way that doesn’t feel super threatening. I’ve found that so much of what I thought to be true is actually not true at all thanks to them, so I keep a close eye on their work. It’s always radical and permission-granting. Kate McCombs, Karen BK Chan, and Megan Devine in their work on empathy and emotional intelligence. That has done wonders for my professional work, how I work with clients, and my personal relationships, as well.

Personally, I’m inspired by folks who are brave and fighting endlessly for justice. The more I learn about my own racism, transphobia, fatphobia, ableism, classism, the more I grow and can lift others up. People like Ijeomo Oluo, Kelly Diels, Monica Raye Simpson, Jes Baker, Feminista Jones, Audre Lorde, Conner Habib… I feel rich with the people who offer me tough questions and who challenge me. It’s my favorite place to be, even when it feels terrible.

Also, as sappy as it sounds, my husband. He is so ridiculously smart. He reads endlessly, he listens to brain-growing podcasts all the time, and he knows more about all the things than anyone I know.

If you were stuck on a desert island (sorry, sorry, I HAD to do a ‘desert island’ question) and could take one sexy book, one sex toy and one kink item, which would you pick and why?

For my sex toy, I’d bring a rechargeable Magic wand. We’ll just pretend the island has a source of power for charging it. It’s deliciously diverse: I use on myself, I use it on my husband, and we use it together for sex in all sorts of configurations and positions.

For my kink item, it would have to be rope. I was tempted to say a flogger, but we could fashion a flogger from rope because it’s versatile like that. Then I’d have rope for both the kinky stuff (I’m imagining being tied to a palm tree and fanned with palm leaves) and practical island living stuff. Ha!

One sexy book… I have to go with Anne Rice’s Sleeping Beauty trilogy (it’s a box set, so I’m counting it as one). The first time I read those books I was probably 19 or 20 years old, had never heard of kink or BDSM, and they terrified me. Absolutely terrified me. I couldn’t understand why I kept feeling aroused by these very very unusual (to me) activities. In fact, I couldn’t finish the 3rd book because it was too much. A decade later, I picked them up and had to laugh. By then, I’d dabbled in all sorts of kink, had a chance to exploring shifting identities, and met people into all the things in the book. Now, they’re a fun escape that’s sexy and hot and full of delicious ideas.

What’s something you used to believe about sex/relationships but don’t believe any more, and what changed your mind?

I used to believe men wanted sex more than women. I used to believe there were only two genders. I used to believe monogamy was the only way to do relationship. I used to believe fat bodies were rarely, if ever, desirable. I used to believe that love was enough. I used to be in soul mates and true love and fairy tales. I used to believe if you loved someone enough that sex would be automatic and natural, with no need for words or explaining myself or awkward moments. I used to believe you couldn’t come back from betrayal.

I’m sure there are hundreds of other things I used to believe, having grown up on Cosmo magazine and Sex and the City. What really changed my mind was listening to peoples stories and realizing that it’s not that every single person is broken or inadequate in some way – it’s that the system, the stories, the culture are fundamentally flawed.

Reading powerful books on racial justice, reproductive justice, and sexual autonomy helped give me words and new questions which led me on a journey to overturn and question nearly everything we’re taught. I have a talk called Everything You Know About Sex is Wrong. It’s not because any individual is wrong, it’s that everything we’ve all been taught is wrong.

What’s the one thing that you wish everyone in the world could understand about sex/relationships?

I wish more people realized that we’d all be a lot better off if we normalized a lifetime of learning and professional support BEFORE crisis struck in both sex and love.

I wish people knew just how much pain, shame, uncertainty, hesitation, anger, resentment, confusion, and regret they could shed if they worked with folks like sex educators, sex coaches, sex therapists, relationship coaches, relationship therapists, trauma counselors, sex workers, body workers, etc.

So many people spend months, years, or decades silently suffering, worrying, not sure what’s changing or why things are so tough, and if they only knew how much permission and relief they could find with the help of folks trained to do this. No one should have to wait until they’re in deep pain or betrayal to begin to do the work that could genuinely move things forward for them.

There are a lot of amazing people (and even more pretty terrible ones, so be particular, folks) doing incredible, affirming work in all of these rich areas. Even professionals need a safe space to process, to learn and grow, to grieve and mourn the things they’ve fucked up or gotten wrong, to gain a little perspective. So if professionals needs it (goodness knows I do), then everyone does.

If we could all celebrate asking for help and having places to turn to constantly ask new questions together, I suspect we’d have a world with a lot less shame and fear and so much more connection and pleasure.

What do you think is the most toxic myth that our society perpetuates about sex/relationships?

In my humble opinion, all myths that we have are built upon one myth that feeds them all. It’s the myth that tells us the answers we need are outside of ourselves.

We are a culture that teaches children to turn to others to tell them who they are. We are trained from the youngest of ages to accept labels from people who do not know us, from people who are not us, and we are a culture that thrives on conformity (while claiming to admire independence).
Because of that, we get trapped in stories that tell us to compare ourselves to others, to let outside forces dictate our identities and our worth, to tell us what a normal life or romance or happiness look like. It is a myth that says you are not the one with the answers. We don’t know how to trust our bodies, how to speak up for ourselves, how to advocate for our pleasure because we, our bodies, our lives, are foreign to us.
And yet…we are the only ones who live in our bodies, who think our thoughts, who feel these sensations, who experience these feelings. If we can begin learning how to listen to our bodies, how to trust those sensations and the wisdom we have about what’s best for us, how to sit in our feelings and ask ourselves questions about what we really want and feel, we’d find that we have tremendous power and sovereignty over our own lives.
Sex wouldn’t be about performing what we think sex should look like. It would be about intimately knowing our bodies and what brings us the most pleasure on our own terms without worrying if it looked like everyone else.
Love wouldn’t be about achieving a relationship status or adhering to external, superficial factors, but instead about connection and curiosity and knowing based on a deep trust of ourselves.

Entire industries would collapse, but wow what a world that would be.

What’s one question that you wish people would stop asking you?

I love that you asked this, and at the same time, it’s difficult to answer because my goal is always to create space to reduce shame so folks can ask the hard questions. By answering, do I, in turn, create an atmosphere where it’s no longer safe to ask this question? Possibly, yes.

To answer the question, though, I wish people would stop asking how to “make” their partner orgasm because they’ve decided, on their partner’s behalf, that their partner having an orgasm is somehow vital or a huge puzzle piece is missing from their partner’s pleasure experience.
Our cultural focus on orgasm is bananas, and it’s created tremendous pressure on everyone to be orgasming all the time in all the ways, and to feel terrible if they aren’t.
I love people getting curious about their own pleasure and their own bodies, finding new words and tools to advocate for their explorations, and demanding recognition of their pleasure especially if they’re in a marginalized body, so what I think causes a lot more harm than good is people who make their partner’s experiences a personal mission.
Too many people feel like their sexual success, or being good in bed, is tied up in “giving” their partners an orgasm. It’s not really about the partner (though many say that it is). It’s actually about their own stories and needing to feel successful in some way because their partner’s orgasm is tied to their own identity.
That’s not to vilify folks who ask this question, but to point out that the sexual stories we’re given tell us this is normal. That orgasm is the end-all-be-all, and so of course we should want to do whatever it takes to make someone we care about get there. But at what expense? Making them feel more broken or abnormal?
The bottom line is expectations suck when it comes to sex – whether the expectation is a hard penis or certain feelings or an orgasm. It’s the fastest way to turn off pleasure and create distance, because even if an expectation goes unspoken, it still gets communicated – loudly and clearly – to the person who isn’t orgasming that something about them isn’t good enough. And they are good enough.

Instead of worrying about orgasm as a goal, I always invite people to simply focus on maximizing pleasure and being present for each other. Curiosity, space, time, and fun are much more likely to give everyone the peak pleasure experience they’re hoping for, anyways. And yet… no matter how many times I offer this answer, people still ask this question. So I’ll continue repeating myself until we have a cultural shift that takes this pressure off us all.

And just for fun, because it is “Coffee and Kink”: do you like coffee and how do you take it?

I love coffee. The floofy, fancy kind. A latte with caramel or an iced coffee with cream and lavender syrup. It’s a decadence that I treat myself to from time to time rather than a daily kick start.

Thanks again to Dawn for her time and amazing insights – and for being the amazing, fabulous educator she is. Coming up soon, we have educators including Cooper S Beckett, Dedeker Winston and Dirty Lola. Watch this space…
The image featured in this post is the header for Sex Gets Real the podcast. It is owned by Dawn and must not be copied or reproduced without her permission.

[Guest Post] From Clueless Virgin to Enthusiastic Wife (with Sex Therapy Along the Way) by Christine Woolgar

Today I’m so excited to be hosting my first guest post. It comes from my friend Christine Woolgar. I have known Christine for a few years, having first met her at a local munch in the city where I used to live. I’ve been an admirer of her writing for a long time and I am honoured that she has chosen to share this intense, vulnerable, wonderful story with me and all of you.

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TW/CN: This post doesn’t describe abuse, but it is loaded with intra-personal dialogue that enables/allows abuse.

Headshot of Christine Woolgar, a while woman with blonde curly hair, smiling and facing the camera. For a post about sex therapy

Night 1 minus 5 days: My period is late. Darn, I thought my body had fully adjusted to the pill already. I don’t want to have sex on my period but I don’t want an argument on Night 1. I don’t want disappointment on Night 1. So I tell him now that I won’t want sex on Night 1. He agrees. We both figure it’s for the best as we’ll be tired from the wedding anyway.

Night 1: I see him naked for the first time. Wow. And just a bit scary too. But it’s OK, because I’m not taking off my knickers. Not tonight. It’s not the night I had envisaged but it’s a good night.

Night 2: I consent to taking my knickers off. We caress each other and have fun together. He doesn’t come.

Day 3: I’m kinda aroused, but he doesn’t come. Odd. I thought it’d be easy for him.

Night 3: A bit more intensive tonight, but still taking things slowly and gently.

Day 4: I think my hymen has broken. I muse on the idea that I am no longer a virgin by some definitions. And yet neither of us has come. Not what I had expected. What is wrong with me? Why is this so hard?

Night 4: I’m naked and he’s not getting hard. What is wrong with me? Am I unattractive?

Day 5: He is finally hard enough and I’m relaxed enough, but he doesn’t come. What is wrong with me?

Night 5: This is getting silly now. I feel alone. I talk to him about it and it helps.

Night 6: We caress each other. Variable arousal. He doesn’t come.

Night 7: He still doesn’t come.

Night 8: Finally! I am genuinely happy for him.

As for me, I always knew I’d be the difficult one. Can’t expect to orgasm immediately. No woman can. I knew I was lazy with my Kegel exercises. It’s my fault really that I haven’t come yet.

Day 11: Honeymoon is over and we’re back at marriage prep. I learn there are couples out there who’ve taken a year to consummate their marriage. So why am I all upset about taking seven days? I don’t have issues. I must be being picky.

Week 3: By now it’s not too much of a problem for him any more. But it stings when I pee after sex.

Weeks 4-5: It keeps on stinging badly when I pee after sex. I search for causes on the internet. Not helpful.

I feel madly uncomfortable after sex. I don’t understand why.

I know sex is important. I know sex is important for him. But I also know it’s not entirely straightforward for him, so whenever he gets hard I just have to make myself available, otherwise it’ll never happen.

Months 2-6: It takes forever for me to get aroused. I count the days between sex. I feel really bad when it’s longer than seven days. I still feel uncomfortable.

He’s always the one who initiates. I say ‘I don’t mind’. But I don’t want it. Sometimes I say ‘I don’t know’ – that means I really don’t want it. I don’t tell him I don’t want to have sex with him. That would be selfish. It would make me a failure as a wife.

If the marriage fails, it’s my fault.

I try squeezing my pelvic floor muscles during sex. OW! PAIN! BAD! Ow! That hurts! Not good! Do not want! Note to self: do NOT do that again!

I’m picking up my pill and I tell the woman there that I’m in pain after sex. She doesn’t know what to do. She talks to a colleague and comes back saying it’ll go away with more sex. I’m in tears.

He says he doesn’t like seeing me in pain. He says he wants me to enjoy sex. I wonder if that will ever be possible.

I get better at judging my body’s state of arousal so it doesn’t hurt (most times) (much) afterwards. I’m using lube, but I hate the stuff.

He asks me what I want, but I don’t know what I want. I am indifferent to his touch.

Months 6-18: Friday evenings: Tired or meeting friends. Saturday mornings: Maybe there’s a chance, but it depends on how much we need to do that day. Saturday evening: Have supper before all desire drains away. Sunday morning: I need to be up to play hymns and all that jazz. Sunday evening: I’m stressing because we haven’t had sex all weekend. Forget arousal. During the week: Forget arousal.

We speak to a friend and he encourages us not to focus too much on coming, but on enjoying our time together. It helps. Marginally.

It’s not about what I want. It’s about what I can bear to give. Sometimes I get away with just offering cuddles. But it’s not the same as sex and we both know it. How long is this going to last?

I tell him what I mean by ‘I don’t mind’ and ‘I don’t know’. I tell him that I hardly ever want sex.

I realise that I’m actually afraid of his penis and have been since Night 1. Realising this helps. Marginally.

When he’s physically affectionate, I feel nothing in response. I just let him touch me and wait for him to stop.

Month 17: I’m talking to HR about stress and say that my sex life is through the floor. I’m in tears. HR asks how my husband’s handling this; I say he’s being a saint. But there is this aching sadness inside me.

Month 20: I’m talking to someone about it. I try and explain that I have no good memory of sex. Every time I try and have sex it’s like I have to talk myself round that it won’t be a bad thing. I have nothing to look forward to in sex. I’ve learned not to be in pain, but it’s SO HARD to get aroused enough that I’m not in pain.

There are only two things that actively get me aroused: thinking about degrading myself and the thought of being tied up. Problem is, I don’t want to degrade myself and he doesn’t want to tie me up. He’s studied too much history to want to do that to me.

Month 22: I’m talking to my pastor / minister / vicar person about it. He says it’s important that the problem is sorted. He says there’s no shame in getting professional help.

Month 25: I’m picking up my pill again and I’m in tears. The woman there refers me to a sexual health clinic.

I get a letter in the post inviting me to make an assessment appointment. It says that they can’t help couples where there is complete loss of arousal as this comes from relationship issues. We don’t have relationship issues. Letter goes in the bin. They can’t help me. I must be being whiney.

Month 27: He buys me some fantastic clothes to help me feel good about myself. They help. Marginally.

Month 28: I tell him just how bad I feel about not wanting to have sex with him. I tell him how I feel unfaithful. He tells me that I don’t need to feel like I have to save the marriage – he made a vow too. That helps. A lot.

Well, it helps me feel better about myself. Doesn’t help me get aroused.

Month 30: It’s pill time again. Tears again. This woman I speak to actually books us an assessment.

Month 31: We have the assessment. She says the clinic can help. She says it’s a six-month waiting list. We can wait. We’ve waited this long.

She says it’s no bad thing to think of degrading oneself to get turned on.

But I don’t want to.

And I don’t see why degrading myself should be the ONLY way I can get turned on.

Am I asking too much when I want to be turned on by thinking about the one I love?

Seriously?

Month 33: He buys me more fantastic clothes to help me feel good about myself. Positive effect is short-lived. I begin to feel bad about the money spent.

Month 34: He says he’s been doing some research and there are these things called ‘rope dresses’. He says in Japan, tying a rope around something can symbolise ownership. He says there’s a whole art form called ‘shibari’. He says it doesn’t have to be degrading. He says he’s willing to give it a try if I am.

We start learning about rope.

I begin to not dread sex.

Month 36: I’m getting better at understanding my body so that I don’t consent until I’m ready for him. I realise one day I’ve made a mistake: I’m not ready and he’s inside, but if he carries on he’s going to hurt me. I ask him to stop. He stops and withdraws gently. No hard feelings. He wants me to tell him if he’s going to hurt me.

He always has.

I’m no longer afraid to be completely honest with him.

Month 38: I tell HR that we’ve reached the top of the waiting list and I’m going to need regular time off work to go to the sessions. They’re cool with this.

He tells his department head that we’ve reached the top of the waiting list and he’s going to need regular time off work to go to the sessions. Department head is cool with this. Line manager however is gutted she didn’t happen to be in when he asked. Not because he’s taking time off, but because she’ll never know the reason why he asked for it.

Month 39: Therapy begins. She’s like: “So you’re no longer experiencing pain during or after sex; you already know that you love each other, even when you don’t want sex; you’re getting enjoyment out of this ‘shibari’ stuff; kinda makes me wonder what the problem is.”

It’s official. There is no problem. We are wasting therapist’s time. We are bunking off work. We have massively unrealistic expectations and should just get over ourselves. After all, no therapist can PROMISE orgasms or satisfying sex.

I move department at work and need to tell my new line manager about the time off. There’s a moment when I just don’t know how to say it. But when he hears the words ‘psychosexual therapy’ he nods and I don’t need to say anything more. He doesn’t think I’m making a fuss.

Month 40: We’re not having sex and I don’t have to feel guilty about it because it’s required as part of therapy.

Relief.

Though I miss doing rope.

Following all the exercises our therapist gives us. Must show we’re serious and co-operative.

Buy helpful book ‘Becoming orgasmic’ recommended by therapist. Massively unhelpful shop assistant waves it around and reads out its title loudly. Not impressed.

Therapist suggests I masturbate. I tell her I never have and I don’t want to start now. Besides, what difference would it make? Touch doesn’t turn me on.

Month 41: I switch shower products at therapist’s suggestion. I can now come out of the shower and feel remotely comfortable about my body. Wasn’t the case before.

I get proper lessons about the human reproductive system. Majorly embarrassed at my previous level of knowledge (read: lack of knowledge).

Therapist is like: “So on Night 1 you were both virgins and neither of you had ever masturbated in your entire lives. I’d say having vaginal sex after seven days is pretty impressive.” Feel-good feeling quickly gets swamped by feeling that I am wasting therapist’s time.

I begin to enjoy our physical time together. Though I don’t have orgasms. At least, I don’t think so. I’m not sure.

He begins to lose the fear of hurting me unintentionally.

Month 42: Therapist says we’re making progress and can cut down sessions to once a fortnight. I confide my long-standing sexual fantasy with therapist.

I come out of therapy and think about my sexual fantasy. I ask myself if there is a way I can think of it (and myself within it) that isn’t degrading. I realise that there actually is a way. So I picture myself in my fantasy – or rather, within a particular story that resonates with my fantasy. And suddenly I’m wet. I picture myself in another story I love and OH MY GOODNESS I AM SO WET!

I talk and talk and talk with him about power and types of power and all these very sexual thoughts I’m having.

Now when he touches me, I welcome it.

I wake up the next day and I’m wet the whole time. Just as well I’m not playing hymns. I remember nothing of the sermon but cry buckets with a friend after the service. I don’t tell him why, just that it’s a good thing.

Next day, I commute to work and I’m wet. I try to work, but my goodness, EVERY FIVE SECONDS I get turned on. Are people going to notice me going to the toilet so often? My knickers are soaked all day long.

Next day: Wet all day. Can barely think all day. When is this going to end?

The whole week, even the slightest thing gets me turned on. I gradually cool down, which is actually a good thing.

Next session and therapist says we’re done. We book a follow up session in four months.

Now when he touches me I beg him not to stop.

Month 44: We’re a bit stressed but go back on the ropes and find it’s a disappointment. We decide to try again when less stressed.

Month 45: Follow up therapy session. We talk over previous month. We reckon last month was a blip but generally speaking we’re on the up. We book another follow up for three months’ time – we can always cancel if we don’t need it.

Month 46: Back on the ropes and enjoying it.

I’m reading about other people’s experiences of sex and realise I DEFINITELY have not had an orgasm yet. But hey, who cares? I’m having a great time even without them.

I’m relaxed enough now that I let him touch me where I’ve never let him touch me before: directly on my clitoris.

Month 47: He’s stimulating me and it gets proper intense. Oh my goodness, what is this? Don’t stop! I scream. Now THAT WAS an orgasm! Wow! OK, I need to recover now.

So does he. He wasn’t expecting me to scream and only kept going because I was giving continuous active consent.

Next day: second orgasm (a less dramatic experience for us both, but no less satisfying).

Next day: third orgasm.

Next day: don’t need to keep count.

Month 49: Last therapy session. I tell therapist that looking back, there was DEFINITELY something wrong, but there isn’t now.

I now KNOW I wasn’t a time waster. Relief.

Sex life gets better and easier. We can enjoy rope but we don’t need it to enjoy sex. I squeeze my pelvic floor muscles during sex – no pain.

Month 52: We’re talking about consent. We talk about the early days when I didn’t want sex and he got frustrated. We talk about the upset that put on me. We talk about the pressure he didn’t even realise was there for me to say yes. We realise there were times when I said yes, because I couldn’t allow myself to say no. He is deeply, deeply upset at the thought of violating my consent (his words), even if it was something he only did because I deliberately hid my true feelings from him. We both know better now. We share big hugs.

Month 56: I wake up in the early hours of the morning. I lie still so I won’t disturb my dearly beloved. I start to think about my dearly beloved caressing me. And then, almost before I know what’s happening, my body gives me a gorgeously gentle orgasm. It is the first orgasm I have ever had without being physically touched. Wow.

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About Christine: For anyone curious to know a bit more about me, I would describe myself first and foremost as a Christian theological thinker. I live in the UK with my husband, and have a passion for shaping the church’s attitudes in areas around consent, sexuality and equality because… well, you can probably guess why from this post. I am unafraid to tackle awkward questions and I’m an unashamed critic of Fifty Shades.

You can find me and more of my writings on:

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Footnote for anyone concerned about the non-consent described in this story:

I used to think in terms of male privilege and I didn’t know it. Yes, that terrifies me. No, no one had taught either of us about enthusiastic consent. Yes, I am working on changing this. I have blogged in more depth about how I now frame consent in a long term relationship and you can read about that on a fabulous blog run by Ashley Easter. Yes, she’s a Christian blogger. No, this post doesn’t talk about religion. Or marriage. Despite the title.

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Longer footnote for anyone concerned that my husband and I are at risk of going to hell and/or besmirching the name of the church:

I thought long and hard about sharing this story in this much detail.

A lot of what is here is already in the public domain. Back in 2011 (around month 26) I made a short video in which I disclosed publicly that we didn’t have sex in the first seven days of our marriage; the narrative of that video that was also published in 2013 on a multi-author Christian blog. In February 2016 (that is, two years after month 56) I blogged for them again about being on the ‘receiving end’ of sex, and disclosed that my husband and I had sex therapy. Shortly after, I blogged on my own site about our learning experiences of going through sex therapy, writing an open letter to a Christian evangelical couple who I knew were considering it.

I know that these posts have really helped people.

Now, I grant you, none of them were as explicit as this writing is. And although anyone who follows my blog knows that I’m not afraid to write about BDSM, this is the first time I’ve disclosed that my husband and I actually practice anything that remotely resembles BDSM.

Yet this is my story and I believe that sharing it has the potential to really help people. For some people, it might open up conversations on Christianity that wouldn’t happen otherwise. Yes, I have asked myself whether it’s right to disclose this much detail. No, I’m not 100% certain that I’ve got it all right. But then, I don’t think I can be certain because whatever I do, I won’t please everyone.

I decided to disclose about the shibari because if that hadn’t been within our story, then I’d never have started to engage with people in the BDSM scene. You see, around month 43, my husband asked whether we should starting trying to make connections with people on social media and engage in discussions about BDSM, given that we had benefited from the idea of shibari. It was just a question, but as soon as he asked it the Holy Spirit was persistently on his case, saying “Yes, this!” And that’s what led to my blog. Gosh, that’s what led to me being even capable of writing the stuff that’s on my blog. And it is bearing good fruit. So if you’re worried about me, judge me by my fruit. My times are in His hands.

The image featured in this post was provided by Christine and is owned by her. It must not be reproduced or copied without express permission.

#Smutathon2017: Rope Porn

We’re 8 and a half hours into #Smutathon2017 and I promised when we hit £700 that at £750, I’d share an extract from the story I’ve been working on in between blog posts. We were stuck at £745 for a couple of hours but our latest generous donor has given £100. Therefore, here is an extract from my work in progress. This takes place at a rope workshop on the first morning of ‘FetCon,’ a fictional BDSM/fetish conference.

A length of rope twisted into a heart. For a fiction extract for Smutathon.

Meet Allie and Libby…

‘God, I want to fuck you when I’ve got you like this,’ Allie growled into Libby’s ear. She twisted the rope in her fingers, eliciting a squeal of pleasurable pain. Libby was now nude except for her knickers, hog-tied on her front, arms in a reverse-prayer position behind her back and totally immobilised. Allie felt her cock twitch beneath her yoga pants. She could smell that Libby’s cunt was already starting to drip.

Libby let her face sink into the mat, relaxing into the rope as her body accepted the strain of the position and the tightness and slight scratch of the hemp against her skin. She breathed in the scent; a combination of natural fibres, sweat and lust that was found in – and only in – every rope room she’d ever been in. When she was in Allie’s ropes, everything else faded away. Nothing but the moment mattered.

Allie dared to trail her fingers across Libby’s arse and between her legs. Libby gasped and trembled, fighting in vain against the rope to push back onto Allie’s teasing, feather-light touch.

‘Oh, you want more?’ Allie murmured into her girlfriend’s ear. ‘You’re a little slut, aren’t you? Trying to hump my hand in a room full of people?’ Libby whimpered as the teasing hand was withdrawn. ‘Well, you’ll have to wait. We’ve got hours and hours left before I’m going to fuck you. If you’re lucky.’


Libby’s soaking cunt protested as Allie pulled her hand away. She writhed against the rope to no avail. Damn, but this woman knew how to get her into subspace in two minutes flat. Her whimper was rewarded with another twist of the rope, making it cut into the sensitive skin of her inner thigh.


‘Okay, everyone!’ The presenter – Mark, she thought his name was, Allie had quietly called him a ‘Domly Dom’ – called to the room. ‘Time to start untying your partners, and we’ll talk about how that went and move on to the next tie.’


As Allie slowly untied the ropes, she dragged them across Libby’s skin, allowing her to feel every inch of the fibre. Just when she’d untied a rope, she would wrap it around a different body part again suddenly and pull it tight, making Libby gasp. When the last length was tangled on the floor beside them, Libby relaxed into Allie’s arms and marveled at the way this woman could reduce her to a puddle with nothing but her ropes, hands and voice.

If you enjoyed this piece, please check out #Smutathon2017 on Twitter, read some of our other writers’ works, and donate to the amazing charities!

My Top Five Sexy Products

Hello perverts and gentlequeers! I hope you’re all having a sexy Monday so far. (Is there anything less sexy in general than Monday morning?)

A quick one today, before I head out to work.

There are so many amazing sexy products out there on the market today – SO many. And we all have our own preferences for our own reasons, which is wonderful. Today I wanted to share my current Top Five bedroom aids with you all. (Subject to change, because I’m always discovering new stuff and also my cunt is fickle.)

#1: Doxy Wand
The Doxy is the world’s most powerful wand massager. It’s mains powered and a giant beast of a toy. Mine was the first gift Mr CK ever gave me and remains the best present I have ever received from a lover. It’s the only toy that is more-or-less guaranteed, if it’s held in the sweet spot, to give me a quaking clitoral orgasm in ten minutes or less. (Two minutes or less if I’m really worked up.) Seriously, I could be a sales person for this toy, I don’t even know how many friends and lovers have bought one on my glowing recommendation. (Hey, if anyone from Doxy is reading this and fancies a sponsor partnership, get in touch…)

#2. Sliquid Lube
I’m sure we all know the importance of good lube. I’d been having sex for about 4 years before one of my partners introduced me to the miracle of lubricant (the men I’d been with before then had been very much in the camp of “if you need lube, you’re insulting my masculinity. GET WET WOMAN.”) I’ve tried loads of different lubes over the years but Sliquid is my favourite by far. It’s water-based, all natural, body safe, vegan, unflavoured, unscented, easy to clean up, and there’s even an organic range. Particular shout out for the Sassy Booty Gel, specifically designed for anal sex (and ohhhh so good.)

#3: Rope.
Anyone who knows me will know I looooove rope. I love it for many reasons: the scent (I’m a natural fibres girl and it just smells so beautiful,) the aesthetic, the coarseness or softness against my skin, the safety of being tightly held by my lover’s ropes or the thrill of having them helpless in mine. Most of all, though, I love the versatility. A partner can tie me to the bed for a quick-and-dirty fuck, or they can spend an hour or more doing an intricate tie where the rope itself is the sole purpose of the scene and our underwear doesn’t even come off. Rope can be sensual or painful, loving or cruel,  a means to an end or the end in itself. And whichever of these it is, I just love it. (My rope of choice is 4mm or 5mm poly-jute, but you should seek advice and choose what’s right for you.)

#4: Ben-wa Balls
Now these are interesting. They’re essentially little weighted silicone balls that go inside the vagina and are held there by the vaginal muscles. They’re great for kegel toning (which can lead to a stronger pelvic floor and, in theory, more powerful orgasms,) but that’s not why I love them. For me they’re a dirty thrill, a sexy little secret: I can wear them under my work uniform, under a ballgown at a posh dinner, under my running clothes, and no-one is any the wiser. This is particularly sexy when a Dominant lover has ordered me to go out in them, knowing they’ll keep me worked up and horny the whole time they’re in. Not to mention that I can clench my muscles around them repeatedly and bring myself to a vaginal orgasm in less than a minute. (Mine are the Main Squeeze Double Kegel Balls from Lovehoney, but there are loads of options out there.)

#5. My strap-on.
I love gender-fuckery. I love fucking a guy in the ass. I love fucking a woman’s cunt. I love love love watching a partner’s pleasure when they’re on the receiving end of my cock. Is there any wonder I love strapping it on? Strap-on sex is a great equalizer – anyone can wear the toy and anyone can receive it inside them, regardless of gender or anatomy. It removes assumptions of who will be the fucker and who will be the fuckee based on genital configurations. (Mine is the Beginner’s Unisex Strap-on Harness Kit with 5-inch pegging dildo from Lovehoney, but again there are loads of options and you should shop around to find one that works for you.)

A toybag can tell you as much about a person as a bookshelf. What are YOUR top five?