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[Toy Review] Zumio S

Those of you who have been reading my work for some time may remember that I tried the original Zumio last year. I’d had extremely high hopes for it, as it was touted as The Ultimate Clitoral Toy and, well, clit stimulation is my jam. But I loved it much less than I hoped/expected to, and ultimately it’s sat in my sex toy stash drawers unused for the last year. I just didn’t get on with it

Therefore, when Zumio approached me to review their new S model – designed for those who are more sensitive or didn’t enjoy the intensity of the original model – how could I say no?

S is for… Stats

The Zumio S follows broadly the same model as the original Zumio. It features the trademarked SpiroTIP, a very small head which works not by vibrating, but by spinning very fast in tiny circles. The idea is that many people with vulvas enjoy fast circular motion on their clitoris. The Zumio can achieve this more intensely and for longer than a finger. As sex toys go, it was a genuinely innovative idea. I know a lot of people who loved the original toy.

It looks a little something like this:

The Zumio S is a slightly lighter shade of purple than the original. It comes with a cap to protect the fragile tip when not in use. The overall aesthetic can best be described as a slightly futuristic electric toothbrush.

The Zumio S is a rechargeable toy and comes with a little charging cup that you stand the toy in, as well as a cable which you can plug into any USB adapter. According to the copy, the charging time from low battery to full charge is a slightly ridiculous SIXTEEN HOURS. But honestly I found four quite sufficient. The battery life from a full charge is around 4 hours, depending on intensity of use.

This toy is waterproof up to a depth of 0.5 metres, should you wish to take it into the bath or shower. It also has a travel lock, so you can prevent it turning on by mistake in your bag! (Always awkward. Ask me how I know.)

S is for… Safety

The Zumio S is made of ABS plastic with a silicone cover over the plastic SpiroTIP. This means it is completely body-safe. A generous slather of water-based lube will greatly enhance your experience with this toy and reduce any risk of discomfort from the sheer intensity of it.

As the Zumio S is waterproof, you can wash it in warm water with some gentle soap. To sterilise it, sit the tip in a 10% bleach solution for ten minutes then rinse thoroughly, or use a body-safe medical wipe. Click here for a more in-depth guide to cleaning your sex toys.

S is for… Settings, Power and Controls

The Zumio S features 8 levels of intensity and – praise whatever deity you believe in – no fucking annoying patterns!

This toy features a simple 3-button interface, with a small on/off button and the up/down power buttons set in a figure-8 shape just above. The buttons have raised edges, making them easy to feel for without needing to pause to look for them. I did find the power buttons a little fiddly and sometimes had to press them more than once before the setting changed, which was annoying.

I should say, for the benefit of fans of the Zumio Original, that the S is definitely gentler. But “gentler” is also relative and this toy still packs a serious punch.

S is for… (Some of) My Experience

I’ll be honest: my Zumio S hasn’t left my bedside since I first tested it. I really, really like this toy! The slightly wider and silicone-covered (and therefore softer) tip really solves the “so intense it’s painful” experience I had with the original model. And what’s left is just… the glorious kind of intensity.

If I’m sufficiently warmed up, the Zumio S can bring me to orgasm in less than five minutes. For me, that’s very fast. On the other hand, if I’m in the mood for a slower and more involved play session, I like to start out with the S on the lowest setting and slowly build up and up and up.

One thing to note is that this is definitely a “first orgasm” or a “one orgasm” toy for me. I tried using it to get myself off a second time, and found the type of stimulation was all wrong for that. Once I’ve come once, I need broader and deeper stimulation for subsequent orgasms. (Doxy time, anyone!?) As with anything in sex, your mileage may well vary.

S is for… So what’s the verdict?

If you are a fan of intense and focused clitoral stimulation, get yourself one of these! If, like me, you tried the original Zumio and found the tip too small or too hard, the S might just surprise you. A couple of small annoyances notwithstanding, Zumio have absolutely knocked it out of the park with this one.

The Zumio S retails for $140 at Shevibe. I’ve not been able to find a UK stockist outside of Amazon yet, but I’m hoping Lovehoney will get it in stock soon!

Thank you to Zumio for sending me this product in exchange for an honest review. As ever, all views are my own. Images are property of Zumio. Affiliate links are contained within this post.

Six Ways to Be More Fierce

“And though she be but little, she is fierce!”
– William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream

This is possibly my favourite quote in all of Shakespeare, but what does it mean to be fierce? I took to Twitter and asked my brilliant followers what they thought. The answers were, as always, brilliantly insightful and brilliantly diverse. The themes that came up again and again were power, confidence, sass, self-love, and taking no shit.

So let’s explore some ways you can bring more fierceness into your life.

Strive to give fewer fucks what people think

Living true to yourself is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself in life. If other people don’t like it, fuck them. Are you striving to be a decent person, operating with compassion and consideration for others? Then go do your thing! People will always find something not to like. You don’t have to dwell on it. That’s a them problem.

Stop apologising

Many people, especially women and those socialised as women, have a deeply ingrained tendency to apologise when they really shouldn’t. When something is actually your fault? Sure, apologise then. But in all other situations, and especially where someone else has actually caused you harm or inconvenienced you? Stop fucking apologising. When an apology is about to fall out of your mouth, pause and count to five and ask yourself if it’s really, truly warranted. 99 times out of 100, it won’t be.

Take up space

Whether it’s physical space with your body, emotional space with your thoughts and feelings, or air space with your voice, you deserve to take up space. You deserve to exist in the world without having to make yourself smaller for anyone else’s comfort.

Call people on their bullshit

Calling someone on their shit is one of the most liberating things you can do. I don’t mean start yelling at people for every perceived infraction. But if someone does something that legitimately pisses you off, stand up for yourself and say “no.”

Don’t let someone talk over you

If you’re talking and someone cuts you off or tries to talk over you, speak up if you can. That annoying dude in the meeting who always tries to butt in when you’re making your point? Shut that shit down! Practice the phrase “Bob, I was still speaking” in advance if you have to.

Wear something that makes you feel like a badass

Whether it’s lingerie, a super sharp suit, head to toe latex, your favourite t-shirt or nothing at all, give yourself the gift of putting on clothing that makes you feel your most amazing, powerful, fierce self. Even if you’re not going anywhere, you could snap a few amazing sexy selfies.

What makes you feel fierce?

Today’s post was brought to you by Lovehoney‘s new Fierce collection, gorgeous lingerie and fetish-wear for every body from a size 6 to a size 26. This post contains affiliate links.

#IWillBeFierce

The Question Game

For Smutathon 2019, I promised to write a bespoke story for the first person who donated $200! That wonderful person was @SuperSleepyDude, and they requested a first-date hypnokink story involving a pocket watch. I added a bit of orgasm control because, well, that’s my jam. I hope they – and all of you – enjoy it!

A pocket watch. For a piece of erotica called Question Game

One: Them

I watch her across the table as she sips her drink. She way her eyes flutter closed just for a second, the faint kiss of purple lipstick she leaves on the glass… god, she’s gorgeous. She swishes her drink around in the glass, intently watching the pale pink liquid. I suspect this is so she can buy herself another second before she has to meet my gaze again. I know she’s shy. The way she blushes just makes me want her even more.

This might just be the best first date of my life, and we haven’t even touched yet, apart from a quick hug and very chaste cheek-kiss hello. This woman is whip-smart, hilarious and pings all my kink buttons, as well as being just the kind of femme cutie I can’t resist.

For the last half hour – dessert long since cleared away and our second round of drinks recently delivered – we’ve been playing the Question Game. We take turns to ask each other a question. They started off tamely enough – what was your favourite subject at school? Tell me about your relationship with your siblings? Gradually, as the hour grows later and drinks make us bolder, they get more risque. What was the strangest place you ever had sex? Tell me a fantasy you’ve never told anyone before.

I drain my glass of whisky and signal to our waitress to bring me another.

“I believe it’s your turn,” I tell my date.

She meets my eyes. There’s a wicked smile playing around the edges of her lips. The question that comes out of them, though, is not what I was expecting.

“What’s in your jacket pocket?”

“My… what?” Caught off guard, my hand goes automatically to the pocket.

“There’s a chain poking out of your pocket. What is it?”

“Oh. This.” I take out my pocketwatch and hold it out for her to see. I slip it into her hand so she can look closer and she turns it over, admiringly, pops it open then closes it again.

“It’s beautiful,” she says.

“Family heirloom,” I say. “It goes everywhere with me. For good luck, I suppose. Or something.” I wonder if she’ll notice the faint note of mischief in my voice. It’s there, but faint enough for her to pick up on if she chooses and leave aside if not.

I take the watch back and slip it back into the breast pocket of my jacket. “My question. What were you hoping it would be?”

“I didn’t have hopes. I was just curious.” She rests her chin on her interlocked fingers and regards me with a gaze that says she knows exactly what she’s doing. “So is it true?” She says after a second. “The myth about hypnosis and pocket watches?”

“Do you want it to be true?” I’m reasonably sure I know the answer – my hypno-kink experience and her curiosity about the same occupied a good portion of one of last week’s late-night IM chats, after all.

“Uh-uh. My turn to ask the question,” she says, a flash of what she calls her latent switchy energy coming to the surface.

“Yes, it’s true.”

“And how does it…” she begins, but I cut her off.

“My turn.”

She sits back and grins. We’re sparring with each other now, and it’s hot as fuck. She mimes zipping my lips shut and waits for my question. I consider it, and decide to take the gamble.

“Do you want to see how it works?”

“What?”

“That’s my question. Do you want me to give you a demonstration of how it works?”

She’s thinking. She purses her lips, takes another sip of her drink, then sits forward and leans her forearms on the table. “Sure. And since that makes it my turn for a question… your place or mine?”

Two: Her

Half an hour later and I’m in their bedroom. A quick pre-negotiation covers the boundaries, and they explain to me their fundamental axiom that governs this type of play: “I can only hypnotise you if you consent to being hypnotised. It’s not mind control. I can’t do it to you if you decide not to let me.” I tell them I agree. I tell them I really, really want this.

The preamble out of the way, they tell me to lean back against the pile of pillows at one end of the bed. I sink into it and they kneel in front of me. We’re both fully clothed, still. That somehow makes it hotter.

They pull out the watch. I resist the urge to giggle, suddenly, at what a stereotype this is. When I asked if the pocket watch thing was true, I didn’t really expect to be offered a demonstration (though, if I’m honest with myself, in my deepest fantasies it’s exactly what I wanted.) They stifle the giggle before it surfaces by fixing me with such an intense gaze I think I might just melt into a puddle on the spot.

“Now I want you to focus on the watch. It’s going to start swinging very gently back and forth. Follow it with your eyes. That’s it. Listen to the sound of my voice while you keep watching it. Watch it swaying, feel the rhythm, you can’t look away, just keep following it and listening to my voice…”

The specific words start to become meaningless after a while. As I keep my eyes fixed on the swaying watch, I begin to feel as though my upper body is swaying gently along with it.

“You’re going to start feeling like you want to close your eyes. When you feel that, it’s okay to do so. That’s it, be a good girl and close your eyes for me… feel your eyelids getting heavy…”

I’m not sure it’s even accurate to say that I obey them, because it does not feel like a conscious choice. Rather, my body follows of its own accord. All it wants to do is what that gentle, soothing, encouraging voice tells me to do.

Three: Them

The thing with hypnosis is that some people are much, much more susceptible to it than others. Some people just can’t really get there – a part of their brain just won’t switch off enough to allow it. But the woman in front of me is definitely, definitely susceptible. I can’t remember the last time I saw someone trance so quickly and easily.

Fuck. I feel my cock getting hard as I think of all the sexy possibilities. Not tonight, though. Tonight I’m not even going to touch her. Not directly, anyway.

“Put your left hand down by your side,” I instruct, taking care to keep my voice low and calm. A first-time trance can be fragile and I don’t want to break it. She does so. “That hand is tied there. You cannot move it again until you’re given permission. With your right hand, I want you to put it between your legs and touch yourself the same way you usually do.”

I pause for a moment and watch her. She slips her hand into her skirt and panties and a whimper escapes her lips as her fingers find her clit. “You’re going to rub slow circles on your clit for me. One… two… three… yes, good girl, keep that rhythm going. You will not speed up, slow down, stop, or orgasm unless I tell you to.” I pause and watch her. God, this is so unbelievably sexy. “I’m going to be asking the questions now, and you’re going to answer them honestly for me. Can you do that, pretty thing?” I ask her.

“Yes, Sir.” The voice that comes out is quiet, compliant, submissive. Exactly the state she told me she gets into when she’s in deep subspace. Perfect.

“First question. How aroused are you right now, with a one being not at all and a ten being at the point of orgasm?”

“Five, Sir.”

“I see. And is that because being under my control gets you going?”

“Yes, Sir.”

“Do you want me to take control of how aroused you can get?”

“Yes please, Sir.”

“Then I’m going to give you a number from one to ten. That number is how aroused you’ll be and how close to orgasm. You will not stop what you’re doing or change the pace at all. Now, I think you’re a little too excited for this early in the game so let’s take you back down to a three. That’s it, good girl.”

Her breathing steadies, but her fingers keep moving. Good. This is working very nicely.

“Now let’s very slowly ramp back up to a five… remember to keep those fingers moving exactly the way I showed you, no faster or slower… one… two… three… four… let your arousal slowly increase.”

I decide to take the risk and try something. “Now for five seconds, you’re going to be right up at an eight. Ready? Now.” She moans and the hand that I’ve bound clutches at a handful of sheet, but remains in place. She squirms as I count down the five seconds. “Was that nice? Good girl, now let’s calm you back down to a four…”

I sit back and watch her, a little mesmerised myself by the rhythmical, steady movements of her fingers on her clitoris.

“Next question. If I let you pick any number right now, what number would you pick?”

“Nine.”

“Nine? That sounds like somebody wants to be on the edge but not quite coming. Is that right?”

“Yes, Sir.”

“Perhaps we’ll go to a nine a little later. Let’s get you to a seven right now.” I’m not sure if the whine that comes from her lips is pleasure or frustration, but I love it either way. I’m rock hard and I know I’m going to be jerking off to the memory of this for a long time to come.

“That’s it, hold that there for me, sweetheart. Such a good girl. Keep those fingers moving, don’t speed up, don’t slow down… hold that seven for me, good girl.”

“Next question. Do you think you’ve been a good enough girl to be allowed that nine you asked for?”

“Yes, Sir.”

“Mmmmm. Yes, I think so too. As you wish… nine. Feel your arousal increase. You’re so close to the edge now, aren’t you? I love knowing you’re so close but I have such control over you that you can’t tip over into orgasm unless I give you that magic number.”

She’s squirming, seemingly uncontrollably, humping her own hand as if trying to get more stimulation but not able to rub any harder or faster than I’ve told her to. Her sounds are sometimes moans and sometimes whimpers, but always fucking music to my ears.

“Feel the orgasm building inside you, so close you can taste it but not able to wash over you unless I let it. It hurts, doesn’t it? Feel that exquisite ache, feel how much your body wants it… but it wants to obey me even more. Keep that hand moving nice and slowly. Good girl.” The calmness of my voice, juxtaposed with the writhing and whimpering of the desperate, tranced girl on the bed in front of me, amuses me. I feel my inner sadist poke their head out.

“Bring it back down to a 7 now. Good girl, come down off that edge. You’re still really aroused, though, aren’t you? Hold it there. Good girl. Last question. Do you want me to give you a ten and tip you over into orgasm?”

“Yes please, Sir!”

“Take your hand away. I think that’s enough for our first session. Time to start bringing you back to earth, sweetheart.”

Unlearning Sex Negativity

I’ve been meaning to write this piece for a long time. So today for Smutathon seems like as good a time as any!

A white rose. For a post on unlearning sex negativity.

I need to start by admitting something that doesn’t make me look good. When I was younger, I engaged in a lot of slut-shaming. I held a very, very strong belief that people should only have sex in the context of Capital L Love. I kinda low-key considered myself better than other girls because of the small number of people I’d had sex with and the fact that I insisted on a strong emotional bond before I would consider it.

To be clear, I am NOT demisexual. Obviously some people are and this is a completely legitimate sexual identity. However, I experience sexual attraction and desire outside of emotionally committed relationships. Definitely not demi. I just… had some very strange moral ideas about sexuality. I would, in my late teens and early twenties, quite often find myself wanting to have sex with someone but insisting I couldn’t because it would be *wrong* because we weren’t In Love. Even when I became polyamorous, I was one of those insufferable “it’s not about SEX! It’s about LOVE!!!!!!” people.

And now? Well, I’m a swinger! I love casual sex! I’ve had threesomes and foursomes and orgies. I’ve been to countless sex parties and facilitated a few. The number of people I’ve slept with is probably still not particularly impressive to some, but I stopped counting at thirty which is way above the national average.

So… what the fuck happened?

The short answer is that I learned. The longer answer is that I took the time to step back and consider my position – really consider it – and couldn’t find any morally defensible reason for continuing to hold it. I also realised that I could be a whole lot happier if I actually allowed myself to have what my heart and body wanted, rather than holding on to some strange morality that didn’t actually stand up under scrutiny.

I have a fairly clear idea of where my ideas about sexuality came from. Though I wasn’t raised religious, I was brought up in an environment where long-term monogamy was held up as the Right Way and sexual promiscuity was shamed. In addition, my first long term relationship was with an older guy who was very clear that he prized me for my Purity. Because I was a virgin when we met (I was fourteen!) he expected me to somehow stay all innocence, naivety about sex, and wide-eyed-inexperience forever. He slut-shamed me for liking some of the sex we had together (I was supposed to put out, but seem reluctant about it – make of that whatever you like!) In turn I slut-shamed myself and internalised the idea that I wasn’t supposed to enjoy sex and that being into it made me less appealing to the men I was having sex with.

To be clear, I don’t think my experience was anything particularly atypical. Girls in our culture are often brought up under the weight of massive sexual shame, in a society that still stigmatises and even pathologises female desire and sexuality. Girls are taught it’s their job to say no to boys, to resist any whiff of sexual activity… but then somehow know exactly how to “please their man” once they’re in a socially-sanctioned relationship. It’s fucked up.

No-one who is brought up in this kind of environment can escape without internalising some of it. It’s almost impossible. Some of us fare better than others, of course, but we’re all swimming in this toxic sex-negativity. To escape from it takes a real effort.

It took me years to unlearn some of these toxic beliefs about sex, and to be honest that work is still not entirely done. I still occasionally have to catch myself when I find myself playing down my eagerness for sex or being tempted to lie when someone asks me how many people I’ve had sex with.

But the actual unlearning was a process. First, it required consciously acknowledging that actually, being promiscuous and engaging in casual sex was something I would enjoy. Then learning how not to judge myself, or others, for these types of behaviours. And that took a lot of reading, a lot of critical thought, a lot of listening and talking to others and questioning questioning questioning my beliefs at every step of the way.

I still vividly remember the first time I had sex with someone I didn’t love. It felt as though an enormous weight had lifted off my shoulders. I’d kinda wanted to bang that particular person, a good friend with whom a romantic relationship wouldn’t have worked, for a long time. But I’d always denied my interest and said no because I had this weird moral conviction that it would be somehow wrong and say something bad about me as a person if I engaged in Sex Without Love.

Sex with love attached is great. And sex without love attached can also be great. Sex, in the context of a consensual exchange between adults, is fucking awesome.

If you want to only have sex with the one person you’re married to for your entire life, I support that. If you want to have gangbangs with thirty strangers every weekend, I also support that. When we free ourselves from arbitrary sexual morality, we can look at the things that really matter (consent, agency, risk-aware practices, pleasure) and stop judging ourselves and each other so harshly for the consensual sex we engage in.

This post is part of Smutathon 2019. Please donate if you can and help us raise lots of money to support abortion access!

The Smutathon 2019 logo

Ten Tips for Getting the Most Out of Fetlife

Ahhhh, Fetlife.

Love it or hate it, the “Facebook of kink” is still the absolute number one place to be on the internet if you’re a kinky person who wants to interact with the BDSM and fetish community outside of your bedroom.

But if you’re not careful, it can be a bit of a cesspit. Here are my top ten tips for getting the most out of Fetlife.

Fill out your profile

You really need to fill out your profile if you want to use Fetlife to help you build a community. You don’t have to post an essay, but “I dunno just ask me” or “I hate talking about myself” do not constitute a profile.

Tell us whatever it is about yourself that you’re happy to share. For starters, try: how long have you been on the scene, what does kink mean to you, what your relationship(s) look like, and what you’re looking for. You could also include an outside-of-kink hobby or interest or two!

Choose your role carefully

There are tonnes of different role options you can choose from. Of course there’s the ubiquitous Dom/Sub/Switch, but there’s also Kinkster, Hedonist, Pet, Brat, Daddy, Princess, and many more. Choose the one that best suits you (and, if you want, say something about what it means to you in your profile!) Remember you can always change it, too, so don’t be afraid to swap things around as you gain experience and change as a kinkster. I wrote a deeply personal post last year about the different role descriptors I’ve used over the years.

Consider your location

The running joke is that there are more kinksters in Antarctica than people, because so many Fetlife users put “Antarctica” as their location to avoid revealing where they really live.

If you need to conceal your location, I’m absolutely not judging. Please do what you need to do in order to be safe! But if you can, consider putting your actual town/city or at least somewhere close to it. (Or a general area, like your state or county.) This makes it easier to connect with people who live near to you, and also means you’ll get event recommendations based on your location. (Not many dungeon parties in Antarctica, funnily enough!)

Say what you’re looking for

In your profile header, you can pick “What I’m Looking For” from a dropdown menu. Options include everything from “a Master/Mistress” to “a lifetime relationship” to “Events” to “Friendship.” You can choose more than one. Consider carefully what it is you’re looking for and be honest here! Saying you’re only looking for friendship or events won’t entirely stop the creepers from messaging you, but it will cut down on it. If you say you’re looking for a romantic, sexual or kinky partner, it’s a really good idea to delve further into what you’re after in your profile (or by using the “Writings” feature.)

Read profiles before messaging!

I really cannot emphasise this enough. Please read someone’s ENTIRE profile before messaging them – and pay attention to what it says. My profile states very clearly that I have no interest in submissive cis men and that they should not under any circumstances message me. I still get an average of one “HeLlO MiStReSs CaN i LiCk YoUr BoOtS?” type message per day. I also say I don’t add strangers as friends, and yet the random friend requests still flood in. Read a damn profile, and heed what it says. You are not the exception.

Message respectfully

So you’ve read someone’s profile and they’ve sparked your interest enough to want to make a connection. The first message can really make or break things here. Don’t go in with sexual content straight away (yes it’s a fetish site, but there are human beings on the other end of your message!) Don’t make demands, make assumptions of roles (this means no calling someone Sir, Mistress, Daddy, slut, slave or any other kinky title without consent!) or ask people to meet straight away. Do at least a cursory check of your spelling and grammar (graduate thesis level perfection is not expected but making an effort is nice.) Don’t wall-of-text. Don’t ask someone to meet straight away. Just… be a friendly, normal, respectful person.

Join groups

There are literally thousands of groups on Fetlife! These operate as discussion forums based around topics. Many are for specific kinks or fetishes (for example, Spanking, Orgasm Control or Needle Play.) Others are based around a specific geographical location, or even a specific event (Attendees of Fetish Fest 2020, for example.) There are even non-kinky groups where you can just discuss a topic of mutual interest! I’m in book groups, health and fitness groups, groups for people who are childfree-by-choice, and many more. Pick a few interests and join groups.

Read and obey group rules

All groups have rules governing the kind of content that is allowed in them. Many, for example, will specify “no personal ads” (cruising for dates/play,) “no advertising” (commercial or business content or advertising your event,) or even be limited to a certain demographic (such as under 35s, women, or LGBTQ folks.) Disregarding group rules is likely to get your posts deleted and may even get you kicked or banned from groups. It also wastes moderators’ time, annoys group members, and makes you look like a dick. Just read the rules and follow them.

Don’t pay too much attention to Kinky & Popular

Ugh, Kinky and Popular. This page highlights posts (photos, videos and writings) which have garnered a lot of attention in a short space of time. No-one is 100% clear how the algorithm works, but that’s the gist of it. The thing is, K&P is mostly full of what can best be described as “vanilla porn” – videos of fairly heteronormative, vanilla sex acts and nude pictures of skinny, young, normatively attractive white girls. Which are fine if these are your thing, but they’re not really what most people go to Fetlife for.

K&P also generally makes people who don’t fit into these narrow beauty standards feel shit about ourselves and our bodies. There are occasional K&P writings that are absolute gems, but you have to weed through a lot of crap to get to them. Just ignore K&P is my advice. Kink isn’t a popularity contest.

Reach out to community leaders and prominent figures

See someone who looks like they’re a leader, event organiser or prominent and respected person in your local community? Reach out to them! Amongst all the crap in my inbox, I love receiving the “I’m new to the scene in [place where I live,] saw you’re pretty active and wondered if you’d be willing to be a friendly face at [the munch next Tuesday/Bob’s party on Friday night/the next Peer Rope workshop] as I’m a bit nervous” type messages. Community leaders become community leaders because we love helping people and helping the scene to thrive. Reach out. Be polite, be respectful of their time, and be specific if you can in what you’re asking.

Erotic Literature

A narrow corridor in a bookshop, the shelves and floor piled high with books. For a story called Erotic Literature.

I manage not to blush too deeply as she starts ringing up my purchases. That’s progress, at least. I’ve been coming to this bookstore for the entire three years I’ve lived in this neighbourhood, and most of my purchases are from their incredibly well-stocked “romance” (read: erotic fiction) section.

I don’t give a fuck when the older male owner is working the cash register, or the college student who must be all of nineteen. They can think what they like. But when this girl is working – this thirty-something soft-butch with her short turquoise hair and well-tailored shirt and lip-ring – I get all tongue-tied and feel like a clueless teenager buying her first Jilly Cooper and furtively skipping to the naughty bits, not a sexually confident woman of twenty-nine.

“You must really like this author,” she says, holding up one of my purchases. “This is the third one you’ve bought this month.”

“I…” I stammer over my words, feeling suddenly caught out as I hand over a twenty pound note. “Yeah, she writes great… characters.”

A raise of an eyebrow. “Characters. Sure, sweetie.” She drops my books into a bag and hands them to me. “Enjoy.” She winks. “By the way, you’re cute when you blush.”

“I am not bl…”

She cuts me off by leaning over the counter and planting a kiss, quick and soft, on my lips.

We stare at each other. She seems almost as shocked as me. “Shit. Sorry. I shouldn’t have… I should have asked..”

“No. Don’t be. I liked it. I mean, I like you. And…” Fuck. What’s the correct way to say every time I’ve seen you for the last three years I’ve been wishing you’d just fuck me against one of these bookshelves?

She comes around from behind the counter and switches the door sign from “Open” to “Closed.” Flicks the latch to lock the door. Then she comes to me, lifts my chin with her hand to make me meet her eyes. Her eyes ask the question before she asks it out loud.

“Yes?”

“God, yes.”

Her lips press to mine. She tastes of peppermint chapstick. As our tongues entwine she pushes me back against the hard edge of the counter.

Her hand finds the waistband of my skirt. Yes, yes… but she pulls back at the last second. “Much as I want to fuck you right here, anyone walking past could see us. And while I’m sure they’d enjoy seeing you being a dirty little slut, I don’t want to get fired. Come with me.”

The back office is small, messy, and piled high with books. Books in boxes, books in piles on the floor, books strewn haphazardly across the desk. She sweeps a few papers off the desk chair and points to it. “Sit.” Powerless to resist her dominance and not even wanting to, I do.

“Now,” she says. She takes the carrier bag I’m still clutching from my hands and pulls out one of my purchases. She opens it and hands it to me. “You’re going to sit in that chair and read for me from this smut you like so much. While you do, I’m going to eat your cunt. If you stop reading, I stop licking. So if you want to come, you’d better do a good job for me.”

Fuck. Seriously? My cunt definitely likes the sound of this game. I worry I’m soaking through my knickers.

She goes to her knees and reaches under my skirt, putting her hands on my thighs to spread my legs. Then she peels my knickers off and grins wickedly up at me. “I might be on my knees, pretty girl, but don’t forget who’s in charge. Now start reading.”

I bite my lip and look down at the page. Concentrate, I tell myself. Hesitantly at first, I begin to read. My face flushes at hearing the kind of erotic filth I like to read spoken out loud. Her tongue makes contact with my clit and I fight back a moan. Keep reading.

The scene heats up quickly and by the time I’m on the third page, her flicks of my clit with her tongue mirrors what’s happening between the characters. I try not to squirm too much and to concentrate on the words in front of me, though they’re all starting to swim together. God, she’s really good at this. I can feel my wetness dripping onto the chair underneath me.

She slides two fingers into my cunt and my voice falters as my eyes flutter closed. She takes her mouth away from my cunt just long enough to say sternly, “don’t you fucking dare stop reading.” As if to emphasise her point, she nips she inside of my thigh with her teeth. I squeak at the sudden pain.

Fuck, she’s really good. My legs are shaking and the hand that isn’t holding the book is gripping the edge of the desk, white-knuckled. Her fingers stroke my G-spot in the come-hither motion I love as she laps more forcefully at my clit.

The words are coming out of my mouth more erratically, now, as I frantically try not to lose my place. Until now I’ve always assumed I need perfect concentration to be able to come – but her tongue and fingers are pushing me closer and closer to the edge.

She looks up from between my legs and her eyes meet mine. “You can come when the girl in the story does,” she says.

Knowing I’m not going to last much longer, and desperately not wanting to disobey this gorgeous dominant woman, I try to speed up my reading to reach the climax – ahem – of the scene.

Getting close!” I read as the woman in the story is finger-fucked by her partner.

“Her fingers worked their way in and out of me, harder and faster, and I knew I was seconds away from coming and that I was probably going to gush all over her hand…” I read, my voice now shaking. The woman between my legs presses harder against my G-spot and encircles my whole clitoris with her warm mouth.

“I’m coming…” I read. And with one last flick of her tongue, she pushes me over the edge at the same moment as the woman in the story. I feel the rush of fluid from between my legs and I know she’s made me squirt. The book drops from my hand to the desk as I hold her head against my cunt, fucking her face until the last waves of orgasm have subsided.

She sits back, licking her lips and looking very pleased with herself.

“I just realised,” she says. “I forgot to ask your name.”

This piece was written as part of Smutathon. Please donate if you can – all funds raised to go support safe, legal abortion access. You can read everyone’s smutty work at the Smutathon website.

The Smutathon 2019 graphic

Letting Go Is Not Forgiveness

“You have thrown it all away,
Stand back, watch it burn –
Just watch it all burn.”

(“First Burn” – Lin Manuel Miranda)

A sky full of balloons in different colours. For a post about forgiveness and letting go.

Close to a decade ago, two people I trusted hurt me very badly. The finer points of the story are unimportant; the Spark Notes version is that my partner and metamour (who was, I thought, a dear friend) deliberately lied to me and deliberately betrayed my trust in a deep and profound way that had lasting implications for my life.

First I was sad. Then I felt stupid, because how could I have let them take me in like that? Then I got angry. And then… well, then I kinda stayed angry. I raged to my other partner and my friends, and I was still angry. Then I yelled on the internet and I was still angry. I burned everything he gave me that I could put a match to, and I was still fucking angry.

Occasionally I still see them; once a year or so when I go to an event that I love and refuse to be pushed out of just because they’re going to be there. And every time I’ve seen them for so many years, I get this visceral sense of fuck you both.

Honestly, it felt kind of powerful for a while. Because if I was angry, if I was actively hating them, then I couldn’t feel like an idiot. I couldn’t question whether it was my fault – whether by letting my partner sleep with someone else (to whatever extent the notion of “allowing” another adult to do something is meaningful) I had tempted fate that eventually he’d like her more. Whether I’d trusted too easily and so allowed this to go on right under my nose, suspecting nothing. Or whether I’d just not been giving enough, pretty enough, sexy enough to keep him interested in me. Being angry gave me the illusion of having the upper hand. Of “you two might have ripped the rug of my life out from under me, but at least I still have the moral high ground.”

Sometimes I barely think about them for weeks or months. And then something will spark it all over again – a dream, a post on social media that has somehow bypassed my “block them and their partners on absolutely everything” measures, something I see on TV that reminds me of the situation – and there’s that flash of white-hot anger, powerful as ever.

But my therapist recently helped me to realise that being angry really isn’t serving me any more – and probably hasn’t been for a long time. At this point, all it serves to do is to take up space in my brain that those two really haven’t been entitled to for a very long time. All it does is cause me to mistrust everyone who gets close to me – to start from a point of assuming betrayal and harm is inevitable and making them work their way up from there, rather than the fairer position of starting from a place of neutral trust equity.

“I need to let it go, don’t I?” I said, close to the end of one session.

In that way characteristic of good therapists, she answered my plea that she tell me what to do with another question. “What have you got to gain if you do?”

I thought about it. “Space in my head, mainly,” was my answer. There were other things, too, of course. Things which would improve my relationships with others, my relationship with myself, and my ability to trust other people again.

“I can’t forgive them, though,” I told my therapist. “I draw the line there.”

“No-one is asking you to forgive them.”

That’s when I realised that it might be possible to let go of something in a way that doesn’t imply forgiveness. In a way that doesn’t, directly or indirectly, tell the person who hurt you that what they did was okay or doesn’t matter any more. Because it does fucking matter!

Forgiveness, despite what well-meaning people often tell me, is fundamentally about the person who did the hurting in my opinion. Forgiveness, in the context of an ongoing and loving relationship where someone has fucked up (even very badly) is a great virtue and can be what enables the relationship to continue. However, I believe that in order to be meaningful, the person who is being forgiven has to understand what they did wrong and take steps to never do it again. I don’t have that. They still don’t think I did anything wrong – I was just an obstacle they had to clear to get

Letting go, though? That’s for me. That’s all mine. My therapist taught me that letting something go is a gift to myself, not to them. It doesn’t involve them at all! Letting go says that they don’t deserve the space in my head it takes to think about them any more. Space which could be better used for writing, learning, making my current relationships awesome, or honestly even just watching hours of back-to-back cat videos on the internet.

Letting go says “your loss, I’m gonna go live my life now.”

I’m taking a deep breath, and I’m letting all this long-held anger go.

This post was written as part of Smutathon 2019. We’re writing intensively for 12 hours to raise money for the National Network of Abortion Funds. Please sponsor us if you can – we’d like to raise $5,000 to help ensure access to safe, legal abortion is available for anyone who needs it.

The Smutathon 2019 graphic

[Toy Review] Womanizer Starlet 2

Before we dive in: did you see I’ve revised my Patreon? There are new reward tiers, better perks, and more ways to get involved! Go check it out and maybe support me – every single dollar really does help.

Despite saying I was going to do substantially fewer product reviews, interesting things to try out keep finding their way to me! Remember when I said I’d been wanting to get my hands on a Womanizer toy for ages and hadn’t had the opportunity? Well, my cup runneth over, so to speak – as I have yet another new Womanizer product to tell you all about!

Suction Toys

I wrote recently about whether or not I think all suction-based clitoral stimulators are basically variations on the same theme. The conclusion I came to was… sort of. The sensation provided by these toys is remarkably consistent across models and even across brands. However, unique design features can really make or break each specific model. Read on to find out whether I thought the Starlet 2 was a hit or a miss.

A little more down-to-Earth…

The Womanizer Starlet 2 sex toy on a brown wooden surface.

After the high-end luxury with price tags to match that defines the Womanizer Premium and Duo, the Starlet 2 is a simpler product – more aimed at the everyday consumer, rather than at serious toy enthusiasts with serious money to spare. The Starlet 2 retails at the much more affordable £69.99 (that’s $79.99 to my American friends!) and is an upgrade of the original Starlet model.

It’s a petite toy, only 5 inches in total length, and very light. I have tiny hands and would have preferred the body of the toy to be slightly longer for ease of use, so bear that in mind if you’re a person with big hands. However, for those who find holding larger or heavier toys difficult, the compact nature of this model could be an advantage for you.

The Starlet 2 is USB rechargeable, requiring 30 minutes’ charge for 30 minutes’ playtime. I’m really not impressed with the battery life here. 30 minutes, for me, is often not even long enough to reach orgasm – and the same is true for a lot of people with vulvas. When other toys can do two or three hours on a full charge, this is a major negative in my view.

The Starlet 2 is also fully waterproof, if playing in the bath is your thing. It comes in two colours – a pinkish-orange called “coral”, and a deep blue.

Body-safety, care and cleaning

The Womanizer Starlet 2 sex toy in coral resting on a white sheet

The Womanizer Starlet 2 is made of hard ABS plastic with a silicone nozzle. Like all Womanizer products, this makes it completely body-safe.

The silicone nozzle is removable, so you can remove it and sterilise it in the usual ways – boiling water or a 10% bleach solution. You can also buy replacement nozzles, which are your best bet if you’re going to be sharing the toy with a partner, as it’s not really possible to use a suction toy with a barrier.

Pro tip: swirl a bit of water-based lube around the rim of the nozzle, and put some on your clit too. Lube makes everything better!

Controls & Settings

The Starlet 2 has four possible speeds. This is far fewer than the higher-end models: the Classic has 8 speeds, and the Premium has a massive 12.

The Womanizer Starlet 2 sex toy in coral on a white sheet

Honestly, I think for most people, 4 speeds is probably enough? They’re not as finely graded as they could be, true, but they allow for a steady increase in intensity. But I’m aware I am saying that as someone whose usual play-style with toys is “whack it on the top setting and leave it there.”

The controls are two simple buttons: On/Up and Off/Down. No complaints here – they’re sensibly located in the centre of the main body of the toy, and they’re easy to press. If anything, the Off/Down button could do with being a bit bigger – it’s smaller than the Up button and I see no good reason for this. Overall, though, I’ll give the Starlet 2 points for simple and sensible controls.

So was the Starlet 2 a rising star?

I had high hopes for this toy after my amazing experiences with the Premium and the Lovehoney/Womanizer Pro40. Unfortunately, it just really missed the mark for me in practice.

Due to the shape, and how little the nozzle sticks out from the body of the toy, I found it almost impossible to get the right angle against my body. I tried holding the toy in multiple different ways, but all of them either left a gap between part of the nozzle and my body (thus meaning my clit got much less stimulation) or required contorting my hand/arm in uncomfortable ways. A longer handle and a more pronounced nozzle would go a long way to mitigating this issue.

I also really noticed the relative lack of power at the higher settings, compared to other suction toys.

I tried this toy three times, and was not able to orgasm with it on any occasion.

So do I recommend it?

Unfortunately I don’t. I was hopeful about the Starlet 2, but it didn’t live up to expectations for me at all. It’s not egregiously bad or anything, but I was left unimpressed and I doubt I’ll use it again. I recommend splashing out another £30 if you can and getting the Womanizer/Lovehoney Pro40 instead, which is just so much better.

Thanks to Womanizer for sending me this product in exchange for an honest review. All views are my own and images are by me. Please use the affiliate links within this post if you want to make a purchase; commission helps to keep this site going!

[Wearable Review] Wild Blooms Lingerie by Lovehoney

Content note: this post briefly discusses my wonky relationship with my body image, including weight (no numbers and no diet talk!)

Often, when I review or write about lingerie, I’ll try it on a couple of times, take some photos, and then basically never wear it again. It’s rare that I find a piece I genuinely just want to wear again and again and again.

The official Lovehoney product picture of a white female model with dark hair wearing the Wild Blooms Embroidered Body
Official product photo featuring Lovehoney model. Selfies coming up…

My Wild Blooms Embroidered Body is one such piece.

Blooming Wild…

Wild Blooms is Lovehoney’s latest lingerie offering. It features 3 different designs – a basque set, a bra set, and the body – each of which is available in Standard and Plus sizes. This means all the pieces can fit anyone from a UK size 6 to a size 24.

A close up of my neck and the top of my chest wearing the Lovehoney Wild Blooms Embroidered Body

They’re all made of a sheer black mesh (polyester/elastane blend) and embroidered with colourful flowers in orange, blue, and shades of pink. I actually have a Monsoon dress in a very similar fabric which is one of my favourites!

I received the Embroidered Body to try out – let’s take a walk in the garden…

The Wild Blooms Black Embroidered Body

I love one-piece lingerie! This is partly because I am fundamentally quite lazy when it comes to my femme aesthetic – I enjoy things I can wear and look hot in without battling straps, suspenders, and sets with five separate pieces. (See also: the Catsuit of Joy, and the fishnet dress thing I got as a Halloween freebie and absolutely adore.) And, to be honest, if I’m wearing lingerie it’s likely because I’m going to a kink club, swing night or sex party. Therefore I want something I can take off for play and put back on again afterwards with a minimum of fuss!

A white female-bodied person wearing the Lovehoney Wild Blooms embroidered body.

So the Wild Blooms Embroidered Body was an obvious pick for me. I can get in and out of it in less than 3o seconds, and without getting tangled up in anything. Definitely an A+ for convenience!

Fit & Comfort

These pieces, like most of Lovehoney’s lingerie, don’t come in individual dress-sizes but in S/M/L etc. sizing. The website provides sizing guidance and I’ve generally found them to be fairly accurate. I’m currently wearing a size 14, so I ordered the Large and found it a good fit. I think when I was a size 16 I would have found it tight, so I recommend going up a size if you’re not sure. (Luckily, Lovehoney have a solid returns policy – just keep the tags on and send it back for an exchange if the sizing isn’t quite right!)

A word of caution to those with larger busts: this thing does not contain your boobs! Like, at all! Mine were either “barely contained” or “nipples falling out” depending on the position I was sitting/standing in. Of course, that can be a hot look which a lot of people enjoy! Smaller-busted people will find it provides a little more coverage.

The collar and crotch fasten with simple poppers. The fabric in these sections is somewhat stretchy to provide a flexible, comfortable fit. And, of course, the crotch fasteners offer the opportunity to have all kinds of fun without even taking the body off if you don’t want to!

I had a slight issue with the length of the sleeves. I have shorter limbs than average for my body size, and they were definitely too long for me. Luckily, they can be tucked under easily without ruining the look – and if you’re handy with a sewing machine, you could even turn them up with a few stitches.

My favourite thing about this piece? How disproportionately comfy it is compared to a lot of sexy lingerie! The mesh fabric is surprisingly soft. I expected it to be somewhat rough or coarse against my skin, but it really isn’t. It’s sitting next to me as I type and I keep running my hand over the lovely soft fabric. The embroidered sections are a little coarser than the plain mesh parts, but still much softer than I expected when I saw the picture. There are also no wires, no scratchy lace, no digging in or pinching. All around, I’m giving the Wild Blooms Embroidered Body top marks for comfort!

Care & Cleaning

Like a lot of lingerie, the Wild Blooms range is hand-wash only. Put it in a protective net bag and use the cold “hand wash” cycle on your washing machine, or just wash it with cold water and some mild laundry detergent in the sink. The fine mesh can tear easily, so be gentle with it! I recommend storing delicate pieces like this in a separate bag in your lingerie drawer/box – that way, it won’t snag on anything else and accidentally tear (bra clasps are the devil for this!)

Aesthetics & Sex Appeal

I feel so hot in this piece that I actually snapped some pictures immediately, posted them on Fetlife and sent them to my partners!

I have an “ugh” relationship with my body-image much of the time, especially due to a lot of weight gain in the last couple of years. So lingerie that makes me look in the mirror and go “yeah I’d fuck that” is like gold-dust. For me, I find the Wild Blooms Body draws attention away from areas of my body I feel self-conscious about (stomach; back fat) and towards the parts I feel really good about (waist/hip curve; amazing boobs.)

The aesthetic is feminine and elegant. The flower embroidery speaks straight to my femme heart, without being too over-the-top.

Yes, I love this garment!

Get Yours…

The Wild Blooms Embroidered Body is available from Lovehoney for £44.99 at full price (but is currently on sale at £35.99!)

Thanks to Lovehoney for sending me this piece for review. All opinions are, as ever, my own. Affiliate links send a small commission my way, which helps to keep this blog going! Official product image is property of Lovehoney and used with permission. Other photos are by me.

[Toy Review] Womanizer x Lovehoney Pro40 Clitoral Stimulator

A quick PSA before we start: I’ve revamped my Patreon! There are new tiers (named after types of coffee because of course,) new rewards, and plans for lots of exciting content in the near future! Please check it out and support me if you can.

Many of you may remember from a a while back that I am a Womanizer convert! The Premium was just so damn good. So when I heard that Womanizer had teamed up with Lovehoney to produce a toy together, how could I resist giving the Pro40 a go?

The Womanizer Pro40 black and rose gold clitoral suction toy lying on a white bedsheet.

Are all suction-based simulators broadly the same?

I’ve been wondering this as I try more of them. And my answer is… sort of. All the air suction based clitoral toys I’ve tried have been, in many ways, remarkably similar. Each one has slightly different features, of course, and some certainly work better for my body than others. But if you like one you’ll probably like a lot of them, and if you hate the sensation of one then you’ll (probably) dislike most of them. They’ve certainly got better over the years (the first time I tried one I did not see what all the hype was about!)

But broadly speaking, one suction-based clitoral stimulator feels very similar to the next. Luckily, the sensation they provide is one that I absolutely love. My clit gets overstimulated easily with direct contact, so the gentle caressing sensation is perfect for me. These things, if I’m in the right headspace, can give me full body, clutching-at-the-sheets-and-trying-not-to-wake-the-neighbours orgasms.

With that said, how did the Womanizer x Lovehoney Pro40 stack up?

The Womanizer x Lovehoney Pro40 is a one-off collaboration between these two companies. It uses Womanizer’s signature Pleasure Air technology, which stimulates the clitoris via rapid pulses of air. These types of clitoral stimulators can be a godsend for those who find that vibrators often make them feel numb. (They do not, however, feel like oral sex! Whatever the hype says, I will die on this hill.)

The Womanizer Pro40 black and rose gold clitoral suction toy in my hand on the background of a white bedsheet.

I’ll be honest: a lot of the time I’ll try a suction toy, review it, and then shove it in a drawer and not bother with it again for months. I fucking love this one, though. I’ve been reaching for it again and again lately, long after all the necessary testing sessions for this review were complete. It’s just really, really good.

Important bits…

The Lovehoney/Womanizer Pro40 has an ABS plastic body and uses silicone nozzles. This makes it completely body-safe. The nozzles are also removable, which is convenient when it comes to cleaning. Just pull the nozzle off, sterilise it in boiling water or a 10% bleach solution, pop it back on and you’re good to go! You can also buy , should you need to.

You can’t really use a barrier with a suction toy, so I suggest swapping out the heads between users if you’re sharing with a partner. As ever, water-based lube is recommended – I find swiping a bit of lube around the rim of the nozzle makes the whole experience feel so much better.

The Womanizer Pro40 black and rose gold clitoral suction toy lying on a white bedsheet.

The Pro40 is fully waterproof, and is rechargeable via the included USB cable. The battery life is great – I’ve had over 3 hours use out of a single charge.

Price and Aesthetics

The plastic body of the Lovehoney/Womanizer Pro40 is a pretty mix of black and rose-gold. (The latter of which seems to be VERY trendy for sex toys right now.) It comes packaged in Lovehoney’s distinctive style, with just a shade of Womanizer luxury thrown on top. This toy, and its packaging, lacks the high-end feel of some of Womanizer’s other recent products, but nontheless has a sleek, stylish vibe.

At £99.99, it’s far from a cheap toy, but is more wallet-friendly than the pricier Classic, and the eye-wateringly expensive Duo and Premium.

Ease of use

The Womanizer x Lovehoney Pro40 is around 6.5 inches long and pleasingly light to hold. Ergonomics-wise, this one is a huge win for me. I have found some suction-based toys cumbersome to hold or difficult to position, but this one feels comfortable in my small hand and fits against my body like a dream. It helps that the nozzle also sticks out a good distance from the body of the toy, making it much easier to angle it effectively against my clit.

The Womanizer Pro40 black and rose gold clitoral suction toy lying on a white bedsheet.

It also has easy, intuitive controls. There’s an on/off button, and +/- speed buttons and… that’s it. The buttons are easy to press, sensibly located on the main body of the toy, large enough, and well spaced out. The only thing that could improve the controls would be to have the +/- signs on the buttons raised, so that the user could easily feel which was which without having to look.

Settings & volume

The Lovehoney/Womanizer Pro40 has six levels of intensity. It also has – praise the sex toy gods – No Fucking Patterns!

This toy is pretty quiet on the lower levels, but does get quite loud when you turn it up to full power. Not as loud as a wand, but definitely louder than your average vibrator. So you’ll want to bear that in mind if discretion is important to you.

Overall, do I recommend it?

Yes. I adore this toy! I was so surprised by how good it was, and how well it stacked up against more expensive models. Fully endorsed with the C&K Stamp of Approval.

Thank you to Lovehoney for sending me this product in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are, as ever, my own. Affiliate links are used within this post and send a small commission my way if you make a purchase. Images are by me.