Blog

[Guest Blog] Sex & Physical Disability by Alannah Murray

Part of the point of this “new voices in sex writing” pitch call that I put out months ago was to lift up and amplify marginalised voices. You may remember an incredible piece by my metamour Pippin a few months ago – well, I think this piece by Alannah Murray, also about sex and physical disability, is a perfect follow-on to that. I’m so proud to be publishing it and sharing it with you all today. Check out Alannah’s site and follow her on the Twitter!

Without further ado, over to Alannah…

Amsterdam lit up at night. For a post on sex and disability by Alannah Murray

Sex and Physical Disability by Alannah Murray

Hey everyone! I’m one of the incredibly grateful people chosen to guest blog for
Coffee and Kink! My name is Alannah. I’m 22, from Ireland, and I’m a postgraduate
researcher working towards a MA Research degree. I developed an auto-immune disease as a child which has blessed me with a slick power assisted wheelchair. You should see it on a dance floor!

Because of my physical disability, I see the world a little bit different than most (and I don’t just mean everyone being taller than me!) I wrote my undergraduate dissertation on the fashion industry and advertising, and how advertising affects public perception of disability. I’ve been a vocal advocate of disabled people for the past few years, but I was also a college student for four years – a time where you go out, make all your mistakes, and then venture out into the world. My generation also witnessed the birth of apps like Tinder and Bumble.

So, today I want to tell you all about my experience of being a young physically disabled
person, the funny ways able-bodied people have affected my experience of sex and my body, and what I hope to see for the future of the emerging sexual liberation movement.

The misconceptions around physical disability and sex range from mundane to hilarious.

You find the latter a lot in online dating. Like most people my age, I decided to give Tinder a go when it first got popular. I made sure to use plenty of pictures of myself where my wheelchair was visible, and I had wheelchair puns in my bio. Let it be known now that I adore my body for what it is, and I’ve learned how best to use it. It’s surprising how many people on Tinder have a curiosity about having sex with a disabled person. I’ve had multiple people ask me if they can have sex with me IN my wheelchair which to me just sounds like a logistical nightmare – and looking to get injured. Someone else asked if they could turn my wheelchair into a sex swing; I wanted to let him try purely based on me wondering if it could be done. Others made cruder comments about what an ideal height I was at in my wheelchair, asking me if I was “still functional”. That is a sure-fire way to make sure I will not be having sex with you, ever.

My point is, my experience of disability has been fetishised when it comes to online dating; and yet, in wider society, disabled people aren’t seen as sexual beings. Take disabled bathrooms. I know people have sex in them, regularly. I see you sneaking out together, you aren’t slick. BUT, people would never expect to see a disabled person in that situation. I think if I left that bathroom with someone else in tow people would assume that I just needed a hand in there, that whoever I was with was “incredible for doing what you do”.

Little would they know it would be ME they were doing. It would be the perfect ruse, really. You also never find condom machines in disabled bathrooms. So, able bodied people appropriate disabled spaces to express their own sexuality but don’t expect disabled people to do the same. Society has sanitised and infantilised disabled people so much that people don’t know how to handle it when they express themselves sexually. When they put themselves in those spaces, when they demand to be equals in sexuality with able-bodied peers.

Part of embracing my body is learning every inch of it.

I grew up never seeing my body in magazines or on a runway. I grew up hating how parts of my body jutted out more than others. I hated all the evidence of medical procedures strewn across my body that you’d never see in editorials. It was always someone else’s body, whether it was a doctor or a physiotherapist, or even my parents. I never felt like I was in control of it. So, as I got older and I started working to tune in to my body, I decided it was time to invest in it. It was time to enjoy it and treat it kindly after all it had been put through. That meant doing what any responsible body owner would do when they want to treat themselves; I went sex toy shopping.

Sex toy shopping was… an interesting experience initially.

I didn’t really know what I was looking for, and I was embarrassed. I was 18 at the time I think when I wandered in to my first shop. It was a haven of lace and I think I fell in love with every bra set in there. The toys were down the back, and normally in these situations a staff member would come over and ask you what you’re looking for or something like that. My experience was a little different. The staff were looking between themselves, as if to debate whether to approach me. It was more like trying to figure out how you were gonna lure an escaped pet into the house. Eventually one came over and asked if there was anything they could do, but they were obviously uncertain; maybe even uncomfortable.

I ended up buying a small bullet vibrator which absolutely wasn’t gonna do anything for me, but I was so eager to leave that I just bought it and proverbially ran. I tried to not let it sully my experience because I think it’s important to be in tune with every part of your body and what it needs. It was a long time before I tried shopping in person again though, and my life has been a lot of online trial and error. Plus, shopping online isn’t ideal because I still live with my parents and they love opening my  post. I normally dread when I need to upgrade; thankfully I’m sorted for the moment.

It’s not just toy shopping that can be daunting either.

Trying on lingerie is quite hit and miss for wheelchair users like myself. A lot of dressing rooms aren’t equipped for disabled patrons, whether it be sizes or grab rails. The amount of times I’ve just had to try and ignore gaps in curtains or having my chair poking out of a dressing cubicle is unbelievable. I’ve learned not to be shy over the years, but that doesn’t mean I’m comfortable with having a compromised shopping experience because people don’t expect variety in their dressing rooms. However, it’s not all bad!

Retailers seem to be catching up in terms of access; albeit in small doses. In larger retailers
you normally get one singular accessible dressing room… Heaven forbid there’s more
than one disabled person in your shop at any given time, right? Customer service has also
gotten vastly better in terms of lingerie shopping. My favourite experience is lingerie
powerhouse Victoria’s Secret. They recently open a 3-floor store in Dublin and let me tell
you, I’m convinced it is heaven on earth! The staff are incredibly professional and thoughtful, and it reminds me that attitudes towards disability and sexuality are changing. With more brands like Aerie lingerie using disabled models and disability being featured more within modelling through the likes of Aaron Philip and Jillian Mercado, disabled people are becoming more visible; but people’s attitudes still need to change, especially when it comes to sex.

Which brings me to my next point – What my trip to Amsterdam taught me about people’s attitudes towards sex.

I went to Amsterdam last year with one of my best friends. I was having a tough time in
college, she was getting divorced, it seemed like the perfect way to get both our minds off it. There are a lot of reasons people go to Amsterdam. Mine were more culture based – there were lots of museums and stuff I wanted to see – but that didn’t mean we weren’t going to also sample some of the more NSFW culture points.

Funnily enough when we were lost trying to find our hotel we ended up in the red-light district by accident. I think it’s a great testament for how normalised sex work is in Amsterdam, nobody was really paying attention apart from some stag parties. People were completely unbothered. Why would they be, I suppose. I for one found my friends reaction hilarious – she wanted to walk a little quicker because that wasn’t something she’d been around before. Traditional family and everything.

After two days in Amsterdam we decided our last night would be our ‘party night’ where we would go to a café and ramble down to see what trouble we could get into in the Red-Light District. It was surprisingly picturesque, and the neon really added to it. The paths were accessible too which made navigating around a little easier. However, that was where the access stopped. For those who were “window shopping” as I heard people referring to it, there was a step down into the rooms and they were quite tiny. So, if you were in Amsterdam with a physical disability looking for a good time, you were out of luck.

It was the same with the clubs. Some of them were up multiple stairs, or down multiple stairs. There was one that had steps at the front and the security said they were more than willing to help carry me in. I didn’t because of the financial barrier (it was 45 Euros for 8 shows if I remember correctly, and I was just completely smash broke). I just didn’t understand the logic of being inaccessible. This was one of the biggest draws Amsterdam had for tourism, and it was almost completely off limits to an entire demographic of people. It also wasn’t my wider experience of Amsterdam – everywhere else had been great and most places only had one step in, with some friendly local or random passerby more than happy to help you navigate it. It occurred to me that it was as much of a social barrier as it was an architectural one. They weren’t designed to be accessible because obviously it wasn’t expected that disabled people would be occupying those spaces. It wasn’t for them, essentially.

As a 22-year-old queer person who is also disabled, watching the sexual liberation movement take off has been a double-edged sword.

While I am obviously ecstatic to see more people be open about the need for representation and consent, I wish there was more of an emphasis on access for disabled people. I want to be able to access spaces that will allow me to be my most open self, where I can go and be myself without worrying I’m taking up too much space in my wheelchair. When we have diversity panels discussing sex, I want to see more disabled people present to discuss what sexual liberation means for them. It is important that we stop disassociating disabled people from conversations about sex; we have sex, and these spaces are ours too.

We could benefit from disability being seen clearly in lingerie advertising, not in a fetishising way but in an empowering way; acknowledge that disabled people want to, and have a right to, be sexy. Advertising and advocates alike need to catch up and recognize that diversity comes in all shapes, sizes and abilities. Sexual education needs to be more diverse to include disability, and it needs to be accessible to EVERYONE.

Viva la sexuality!

If you’re interested in keeping up with me, my twitter account is @Wheelie_Healthy and you can check out my (frequently inactive) blog. You can also follow our insta (@Wheelie_Happy) where you’ll find my previous work and my contact details if you want to get in touch for anything!

Interview: Gabrielle Alexa Noel

Today I’m delighted to be interviewing the amazing Gabrielle Alexa Noel, a sex writer and journalist who has written some of the best stuff on bisexuality, feminism, race and consent that I’ve read in years. She’s an absolute force to be reckoned with in the sex writing world, and I’m so grateful to her for giving up her time to answer some questions for us! – Amy x

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

I’m a writer who primarily focuses on sex and bisexuality. I also host events on sex education and other sexuality topics and make videos on feminist topics!

What made you want to start writing about sex? What’s your background and how did you break in to the industry?

I didn’t set out to write about sex but when I started unlearning certain misconceptions about bisexuality and female sexuality, I was able to heal a shame that I hadn’t realized I was carrying. When we stigmatize sex and sexuality, we stigmatize biology, we stigmatize identities. I wanted to destigmatize those topics.

I started off as an intern at Galore. After almost a year, I left to start freelancing. I pitched myself at different publications and committed myself to doing research on sex/sexuality. And now I write for a number of sex positive publications.

What is the most challenging thing about writing about sex for a living?

I guess the stigma — just writing about it has made people suggest that I had an unstable childhood. Specifically when I talk about sexual assault, I face a lot of digital harassment. People don’t see digital harassment as real or problematic so I try to highlight it on my platform. It’s not just people calling someone “ugly”, it’s people telling me I deserve to be raped or that I am a disrespect to all rape victims. It can be damaging.

What about the most rewarding thing?

So many people tell me that my writing has helped them unlearn myths about themselves. That’s my favorite part! I want to be the person I wish I’d had access to growing up.

What’s something that people always misunderstand about your work?

I guess people think that talking about sex/sexuality is largely about getting attention. First of all, everyone looks for and receives attention, women are just the ones who are primarily shamed for it. And also, I don’t care who is looking at me as a sexual being. I’m more concerned about destigmatizing sexuality for people assigned female at birth.

You’ve written a lot of amazing and intense things about topics such as race, queerness, consent and sexual assault. Why do you think it’s important that such things get talked about?

These topics are important because there are so many misconceptions! I run into so much biphobia because bisexuality is an identity people don’t understand. Women are also policed and stigmatized for our sexuality. Sex negativity, then, becomes a tool for social control. And of course, when you consider the way people of color are hypersexualized and fetishized, you can see the importance of discussing race in terms of sexuality.

What’s something you’d really love to write on but haven’t yet?

I want to write about my favorite TV shows SO BADLY but nobody ever commissions me for those pieces! People love for writers to talk about their marginalization but it’d be cool to just talk about Bob’s Burgers.

What’s your dream byline?

The New Yorker maybe? Playboy? This answer changes weekly! I want new bylines wherever I can connect with people I can help.

What’s your favourite piece that you’ve ever written and why?

These are hard questions! I just wrote about how internalized biphobia ruined my first Tinder date and it was published on the Tinder website. So many people have reached out to say that it was an important read for them. But most importantly, it was a healing experience for me. Some of my best writing often is. Before that, I wrote about coming out to my family for Hello Giggles, and that was also was both difficult and soothing. But I always have a soft spot for my Elle piece about being bisexual because that was essentially how I came out to a lot of my peers.

Who inspires you personally and professionally?

For some people this is a weird list. I love Erica Lust’s committment to feminist porn and revamping the porn industry. I love people like Ericka Hart and Rachel Cargle, who are speaking on topics of race and sexuality. I love Shan Boodram’s work in sex education. I love Lindy West. I just love people who are doing work in intersectional feminism on some level.

Who’s your favourite sex educator and why?

I love all sex educators, oh my god! Haha. Again, I love Shan Boodram, but I’m also digging Eva from What’s My Body Doing, Stevie Boebi, my friend Elyse from SX Noir, and Cameron from Sex Ed in Color.

What’s something you used to believe about sex relationships that you don’t believe any more?

I stopped believing that the only “real” kind of sex is penetration. Most women don’t even orgasm from penetration and people of all gender identities/sexualities have sex in a variety of ways. I classify sex now in terms of sexual pleasure. And I include masturbation, or solo sex, in that definition.

And just for fun because it is “Coffee and Kink” – do you like coffee? How do you take it?

Of course I like coffee! It’s part of the whole writer shtick. I like it light and sweet.

Thank you so much again to Gabrielle for her time. Check out her work and follow her on the Twitter!

Fuck You, 2018 (A Surprisingly Positive Year-End Wrap Up)

A lot of things sucked about 2018. A lot. Two people in our lives passed away far too young.  Politics continues to be a fucking farce. It was generally a bit of a trash-fire.

But there were good things this year. Small good things sometimes, true, but good things nonetheless. So, in time-honoured fashion, here’s a top three round-up before we say goodbye to this hellscape of a year.

3 awesome new sex toys

  1. Blush Exposed Nocturnal Bullet. This little $32 powerhouse was probably the biggest surprise in this year’s reviewing. It’s small, powerful as hell, rumbly, has controls that actually make sense, and is ridiculously affordable. Now we just need a UK retailer to start stocking them.
  2. Womanizer Premium. At the other end of the spectrum, this was the most expensive toy I tried this year. Simply, nothing else quite mimics the sensations this thing produces. And the cool extras such as the Smart Silence feature really pushed it into the “worth the price” bracket for me.
  3. Sola Cue. A surprisingly strong and rumbly mid-priced vibe that I just keep coming back to again and again. A great in-between when a bullet is too pinpoint but a wand is too broad.

3 proudest achievements

  1. Making spot 6 on Molly’s Daily Kiss’ Top 100 Sex Blogs list. Holy fuck.
  2. Making just over £5000 from my blog this year.
  3. Raising £1100 for Abortion Support through Smutathon 2018: #SmutForChoice edition.

3 favourite blog posts

  1. On Weight, Rope, and Grief for the Body I Wanted. This was probably the most painful thing I wrote this year, talking about being fat and not being okay with it and being unable to engage in some of the kinky things I want to do as a result.
  2. Me and My Fur: All About Body Hair. A love letter to my body hair, a tale of learning to love it, and a rant about the negative reactions it gets from society, all in one.
  3. Love Letters to People I’ll Never Fuck. A collection of mini love-letters for Valentine’s Day, celebrating non-romantic love – to my best friend, my metamour, the longest-standing friend I’m still in contact with, my childhood best friend who moved to Australia when we were 13, and a straight girl with whom I was once in unrequited love/a very emotionally complex friendship.

3 favourite publications elsewhere

  1. The Ethics of Age-Gap Relationships for Girl On The Net. Drawn heavily from my own experience in a relationship with a 20+ year age-gap, I discuss the ethical concerns to take into account if you want to date someone substantially older or younger than yourself.
  2. Sex Robots: The Next Frontier of Sexual Pleasure, or Damaging Rape Simulators? for Sex Tech Guide. I’ve been wanting to explore the topic of sex robots forever, and getting to dive deep into the consent implications of AI now and in the future was fascinating.
  3. Sex Blogging Saved My Soul for Hot Octopuss. A personal story of how this blog, and by extension this community, gave me hope and removed so much of my personal shame around sexuality.

3 favourite events

  1. Eroticon 2018, of course. This event changes my life a little bit for the better each year.
  2. My accidental-sex-party for my birthday.
  3. (Not a sexy event, but) my sibling’s wonderful wedding.

3 amazing books

  1. The Purity Myth by Jessica Valenti. If you want to know what I mean when I say “virginity is a social construct invented to oppress women and girls,” read this book.
  2. Vibrator Nation by Lynn Comela. A fabulous history of feminist sex toy shops and how they did so much for the business and politics of sexual pleasure in America and beyond.
  3. Playing Well With Others by Mollena Williams-Haas and Lee Harrington. The book I wish I’d had when I was entering the kink scene a decade or so ago!

3 superstar humans (apart from my two romantic partners!)

  1. Kayla Lords of Loving BDSM, The Smutlancer and more. I never stop learning from this amazing woman (and her equally wonderful husband!) In particular, she’s done so much for me personally with regards to advising me as I launch my Smutlancing career and try to go full time as a professional writer.
  2. Quinn Rhodes of On Queer Street. Yes, you’ve probably gathered by now that we’re play-partners, but beyond and separately from that, in this remarkable woman I have found a true friend and a creative kindred spirit.
  3. My metamour Pippin. I’ve not always had the best experience with metamours, but they welcomed me with open arms into The Artist’s life and continue to be a wonderful friend. They introduced me to the concept of “radical cosiness” and being a part of this polycule continues to be one of the most profoundly healing experiences of my life.

3 goals for 2019

  1. Make £10,000 from my blog and associated Smutlancing activities this year.
  2. Significantly advance my vanilla writing work and income from this.
  3. Finish my damn novella.

And that’s it, folks. Everyone with me now: fuck you, 2018, you relentless garbage-fire of a year.

Thank God It’s Over.

Camming, Sex Journalism and More! with S. Nicole Lane

I’ve been chatting to some awesome folks lately, guys. I put a call out for interesting people doing awesome work around sexuality who would be willing to talk to me. And oh my you guys delivered! Today I’m chatting with journalist, artist, former sex workier and awesome advocate S. Nicole Lane. I’ve recently discovered her work and I am in love with her writing – check some of it out, I’m sure you’ll love it too.

A headshot of S Nicole Lane

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

I have my hands in many projects. I’m a journalist based in Chicago where I cover a multitude of topics: the LGBTQ voice, women-owned businesses, health in relation to women and non-binary people, the healthcare system, visual art, and my favorite topic – sex.

I’m also a visual artist and create pieces made of latex, found objects, and video. Most of my work stems from my relationship to my body and imagining a queer future. The pieces are familiar but foreign, as they do not resemble in specific part of the body but hint at a commonality. My video work is very sexual, typically working with images and audio that I recorded during my time as a sex worker. Both my writing and visual practice are tied together in such a way that themes and symbols definitely cross over.

What made you want to start writing about sex?

I had a Xanga all through high school where I would embarrassingly describe my relationships and intimate moments. At sixteen, I knew nothing about sex or love. I was just a huge romantic who listened to way too much music. I wanted so badly to be Anais Nin, whose book I picked up my first year in High School. She changed my life. I would write religiously, every day. It became an obsession. I also publicized this blog for everyone to read it – I had nothing to hide and have always been a proud and confident person.

I stopped writing compulsively for about five years until I moved to Chicago where I was struggling with vaginismus—an involuntary muscle spasm that results in painful sex. After being frustrated that zero doctors could diagnose me and there was no easily accessible literature about it online, I decided to begin writing about it myself. My first piece was published on Bustle and my second on The Establishment which sparked my writing career in sexuality.

Before this, I was writing art exhibition reviews (I studied art, specifically photography) but the language was dry and repetitive. Writing about sex, kinks, so-called “taboos” allowed me to reach out to people who were struggling like I was during that time. Now I cover a range of sexual topics and celebrate kinksters around the globe. My beginnings as a angsty teenage nymphomaniac have transformed into a fruitful and very rewarding career.

You mentioned that you used to be a sex worker. Could you tell us a little about how that experience was for you and, if you’re comfortable doing so, why you decided to exit that line of work?

I was a cam girl for almost two years where I also created private videos and sold materials to men online. Camming is so exciting and I still miss it sometimes! I am also a trained dancer so for me, camming was just getting up and dancing for an invisible audience, while making money and losing a little bit of clothing along the way. Freelance writing comes with obstacles and some months. Before really getting into a regular work routine, I would find myself extremely worried about money. I was writing an article on camming for a publication and decided to give it a try.

At first, I was simply “researching” for the piece but soon, I was putting in a full six hours a day or night. Yes, camming is exciting, powerful, and feminist, but I did have my moments of exhuastion. It’s a full time job—viewers messaging you, sending you images, demanding attention. Moreover, moving your body, talking, and performing for hours is a type of tired that I had never experienced before. My body physical hurt after a session. But it was always my choice to turn off my camera, always my choice to shut down my site.

I also talked to my viewers about sexual health. I’d quiz them on topics like HPV or other STIs. I would talk to them realistically. No, I didn’t like deep throating. I wasn’t going to pretend for some extra money. Of course this lost me viewers, but my viewers who stayed were very dedicated. I miss them sometimes.

I decided to exit camming once my writing was more steady. At the end of the day, writing is what I wanted to be spending my time doing.

What is the most challenging thing about writing about writing about sex for a living?

It can be really fucked up! By that I mean that it can make you really horny while your partner is at work, or when they aren’t in the mood, and you’re simply consumed with thoughts of sex positions, dildos, and cunnilingus. Another challenge is coming up with new, exciting topics. I don’t want to write another piece that describes the same tips to giving the best blowjob. Of course, those articles helped the hell out of me when I was young. But I’m not personally rewarded by writing those (plus I think they can be done better). Moreover, many publications reject my pitches because they are too “niche” for their audience—specific kinks or fetishes are still stigmatized.

What about the most rewarding thing?

The most rewarding thing about writing in general is relaying information and connecting to such a vast group of people all over the world. My inbox is always filled with email of people wanting to talk to me about certain health concerns or thanking me for writing a piece.

On the topic of vaginismus, a serious sexual health concern, most doctors dismiss the patient’s pain. I had several doctors tell me it was “all in my head”. This morning I opened up my email to find that someone had written me saying that she felt all alone, secluded in her pain until she read my piece.

As for my more kink-oriented and sexy pieces, those are rewarding because I find joy in eradicating taboos and stereotypes, especially while living in America under our current administration. I couldn’t have asked for a better profession.

What’s something that people always misunderstand about your work?

People always assume it’s just reduced to listicles describing the 10 best ways to achieve an orgasm. I research constantly, I read all of the time, and I put a lot of effort into every single one of my articles. I have to absorb information at a fast pace in order to accurately deliver a piece.

What’s something you’d really love to write on but haven’t yet?

I would really love to have a regular sex advice column for a platform. I feel like many of the sex advisors are very vanilla misogynists who don’t pay attention to non binary and trans people. So I would love to have a weekly column where I focus on all bodies.

What’s your dream byline?

Two years ago I said that once I’m published in Playboy, I’ll personally feel like I’ve made it in my writing career. Last year I wrote a piece on anal sex and now I write regularly for Playboy about art and occasional sex topics! Of course, I’m still not satisfied with my portfolio and hope get published on smaller platforms like Mel Magazine and Jezebel… and, eventually, The New York Times!

What’s your favourite piece that you’ve ever written and why?

Oh this is so hard! I love writing for Healthline, the editors are incredible and supportive. I did a huge piece where I talked to a collection of queer, trans, polyamorous, non binary, and heterosexual people and how sex can change in their decade in September. And then my favorite sex toy piece is on Broadly where I experimented with electro-play.

Who inspires you personally and professionally?

I look up to various writers, especially Abby Norman who wrote an incredible book called “Ask Me About My Uterus”. All of the brave people in the Healing From LEEP/LLETZ Facebook Group inspire me. The MedTruth community. I also look up to my close friends and partner for inspiration.

What essay, article or book about sex do you really wish you’d written?

In 2015, the Establishment published an incredible piece by Katie Tandy which left me slack jawed called “The Dirty Politics of Period Sex.” It’s a love letter to period sex and it’s incredible.

And just for fun because it is “Coffee and Kink” – do you like coffee? How do you take it?

This is funny because I was a five cup a day drinker my entire life. My mom always said, “Don’t trust anyone who doesn’t like coffee or Nutella”. But after researching how coffee can affect me hormonally (acne, issues with my period), I decided to cut it out which resulted in the worst withdrawals I’ve ever experience. My acne didn’t improve and my period sort of returned, though not fully. I’ve been drinking tea for a year but recently—because I can’t resist the smell or comfort—have been cheating and having a cup of coffee every other day. And of course, I take it black.

Thanks to Nicole for her time! Check out her awesome writing and give her a follow on the Twitter and the Insta.

Interview: Ellen of The Sunsette Erotica App

Everyone who knows my work will know that I LOVE erotica. I think we should all read – and write – more of it. So when Ellen, creator of the new erotica app The Sunsette, got in touch with me, I just had to interview her for the blog.

I hope you enjoy – and, of course, I hope you all get the app when it comes out. Here’s my interview with Ellen.

The logo of The Sunsette erotica app

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

I work and live in Portland ME. I’m a certified functional medicine coach and also work for a local publisher in Portland in addition to my work building Sunsette. At Sunsette I run the “front end”, while my boyfriend, who has a business degree, runs the “back end”. We are also working with several partners across web development and design to bring the project to fruition.

What made you want to set up an erotica app?

We saw a few things that caught our attention in this space: the general lack of high-quality erotica in mobile app form, the changing public preferences with respect to content that is empowering rather than demeaning, and our own research that suggested that many people are seeking new forms of adult entertainment.

How is your product different from other erotica platforms on the market?

Erotica apps currently available on the app stores are either aesthetically unpleasant or feature demeaning and even violent content.  Further, we gamify it bit by delivering stories at sunset Sunday-Wednesday each week with a countdown feature that builds anticipation. This, in addition to a shorter 10-15 minute read time on average, right-sizes the reading experience to the duration people generally view pornography (which we view ourselves as an alternative to) as opposed to the longer form literature out there where people have to skip around to find the good bits. Finally, our curation is really what sets us apart. We’re featuring the best work of the best authors out there, carefully selected for diverse plotlines, categories, even kinkiness levels!

Tell us a bit more about the development process for the app?

We needed to make sure we were building features that people actually want, so we did a number of targeted surveys to gather as much data as possible. The survey responses we get are invaluable, and the app itself has gone through (and will continue to go through) multiple iterations as the feedback continues to come in. Potential users can still take this survey.

If authors want to get involved with writing for you, how can they do so?

Authors can submit here.

Who’s your favourite erotica author and why?

Different authors have different strengths – that’s the benefit of working with a talented group like our Sunsette Authors. We have a high bar for quality writing, so if an author is approved it means we’ve read a lot of their writing and have a lot of respect for their work. They become part of the family.

Do you write erotic fiction yourself, or just enjoy reading it?

I’m a pretty big reader in general, so I stick to my lane! It helps me see our product from the user (reader) perspective really well. That said, I do have a publishing background so I’ve learned to look at writing with more of a critical eye as not only a copyeditor but a curator of broader themes across stories.

When and where will the app be available? How much will  it cost?

The app will be available to download from both the Apple and Google Play app stores for a monthly subscription of $3.99. We’re hoping to launch in December, pending App Store approval. Our up-to-date news on that front will be posted on our website, where you can subscribe to our newsletter and get an alert once we go live.

Do you think reading and enjoying erotica is still stigmatised? If so, why?

It appears to have become less so over time, at least in America, but at the same time people still want privacy – especially when you’re talking about erotica versus romance (the latter being a bit less spicy). An app on a mobile phone is a nice way to package this content discreetly, because there is no physical book laying about, no web page lurking behind your browser window when you’re making a presentation at work. Overall, it’s amazing to see how the culture towards sex has shifted in a progressive direction in the midst of the 50 Shades of Grey phenomenon and the #MeToo movement, and we’re really excited to play a part in that.

Who inspires you personally and professionally?

Besides our creative and talented authors, I’d add Bill & Melinda Gates, Sarah Robb O’Hagan, Ellen Degeneres, Sam Harris,  Elon Musk, Brene Brown… And some of our favorites in sex tech are the people at Dame Products, MindBodyGreen, Unbound and OMGYes. Lots of people doing really great things for the world in different ways both within and outside of sex tech.

What’s something you used to believe about sex or relationships that you don’t believe any more?

I grew up with a fairly open mind, and that hasn’t changed much. As I’ve gotten older and interacted with mainstream online porn more, I think that feelings of guilt during or after viewing have bothered me increasingly – and at the same time I’ve grown a bit desensitized to it, which also bothers me when I consider it. So that growing awareness has reinforced my interest in creating an alternative for people, something that engages imaginations more and ultimately is more arousing for many people. That’s why our tagline at Sunsette is “No Guilt. Just Pleasure.” and I think that sums it up pretty well. I’m happy to say Sunsette has really hit that spot for me, so to speak, and I hope others out there will agree once we launch.

And just for fun because it is Coffee & Kink – do you like coffee? How do you take it?

I love coffee! I take it with cream and a few drops of maple syrup. You didn’t ask for my kink, but while I’m at it… well, download the app and you’ll get all kinds of good examples!

Thanks so much to Ellen for kindly agreeing to be interviewed. Check out The Sunsette for all the latest news.

[Wearable Review] Lovehoney Elixir Luxury Lingerie Set

Has anyone else noticed that Lovehoney are on fire with their awesome lingerie offerings lately? I’m not surprised after meeting their wonderful and skilled designer at the recent blogger day – she makes it her mission to find the most beautiful fabrics and use them to create gorgeous pieces for all bodies.

The suspender belt from the Elixir lingerie setI originally asked for this set in black, but they didn’t have any black sets left for review. Bright red and gold feels a bit much for me, being the shy retiring creature that I am [1]. Still, it’s good to get out of one’s comfort zone, isn’t it? So red it was.

[1] Except when the catsuit of joy comes out.

There’s a lot of pieces to this one…

The Elixir set is four separate pieces:

  • A long-line bra, with padded cups and velvety straps and framing detail.
  • Crotchless knickers.
  • A suspender belt with four velvety suspender straps.
  • Wrist cuffs joined with a delicate gold chain.

Note that stockings are not included, so you’ll need to buy those separately. I recommend these red thigh-highs. Perhaps pair with killer heels to complete the look?

Glamour and luxury

I was put off red lingerie years ago because so much of what’s out there is just so… tacky? This is not that.

The fabric is a bright, luscious red and shot through with flecks of gold. The gold just makes the whole set feel so luxurious and high-end – it really feels like it should be much more expensive than it is. Each piece is also adorned with a cute little charm in the shape of the Lovehoney heart logo.

I also love the slightly kinky aesthetic that comes from the cuffs. They are purely for decoration – the chain is extremely thin and the lace is delicate. Don’t try to pull against them or use them for restraint as you’ll damage them.

How does it fit?

Fit is always a bit difficult when it comes to lingerie, because we all have such different proportions. Lovehoney provide handy sizing charts on all their lingerie so you can work out which size is best for you. And if you’re, say, a medium on top but a large on bottom, just get in touch and they’ll help you out if they can.

The Elixir set is available in S/M/L and also in Plus Size, so will fit anyone from size 6 to 24.

I’m currently wearing a UK 14/16 (and occasionally 18, it’s a bit brand-dependent) so after some deliberation I got the Large. The fit is not perfect but pretty good. The bra covers my 38DD boobs pretty well, and the knickers are a great fit. The suspender belt was a bit small on me and didn’t sit properly on my body as a result, but I’m an hourglass shape with big hips so this makes sense.

A question of comfort

I mean, it’s sexy lingerie. It’s not particularly supposed to be comfortable! That said, this set is designed with maximum possible comfort as well as aesthetic in mind. The lace is super soft – not scratchy at all. So though I wouldn’t wear it all day, it’s surprisingly comfortable when compared to other, similar items on the market. I could happily spend an evening out at the club – or in with my partner – wearing it!

Making you feel great

I struggle with body-image. I’ve written about this before, if you’d like to read (CWs for weight, body shame and diets in linked posts). In short, I really struggle to feel good about my body or to feel sexy – and a lot of the time, I hide behind jeans and jumpers and baggy loose clothes. I avoided lingerie for a long time out of the vague feeling that it’s not really for me or my overweight body.

Sex blogging has forced me to dip a toe in to trying lingerie – can’t easily write about it if I don’t try it, now can I? And Lovehoney’s pieces consistently make me feel gorgeous when I put them on. The designs work for a wide range of bodies, not just the proportions of a mainstream lingerie model, and they make a wide range of women and femme folks feel look and feel beautiful.

A great sexy gift?

Christmas is coming up! (As if you’d forgotten). Could this set be a lovely gift for the special femme in your life? Or just a special treat for yourself? The colour scheme is delightfully festive.

The entire Elixir range is currently on sale at 20% off, so you can pick up this gorgeous set for just £35.99. And, if you order before the end of 21 December, there’s still time for delivery before Christmas!

Thanks to Lovehoney for sending me the red Elixir luxury lingerie set to review. All views my own. All pictures by me. If you make a purchase, please use my affiliate links and send some commission my way at no extra cost to you. 

[Toy Review] Lovehoney Metallic Classic Magic Wand

I’m definitely not above acquiring a new version of a sex toy that I already own, if the company re-releases it in better colours. Look, I’ve got to live up to my #Sparklefemme goals, okay!? So when I first saw Lovehoney’s new twist on their Classic Magic Wand vibrator way back in summer, I knew I needed it in my life. Thankfully, my pals at Lovehoney HQ were able to hook me up.

Let’s dive in, shall we?

The Classic Wand… but SHINY!

The Metallic Classic Magic Wand is a new spin on Lovehoney’s bestselling Classic Wand. It’s a mains powered (UK plug!) multi-speed wand vibrator. It’s visually gorgeous. You all know I’m not super into pink toys, but the pink-fading-to-purple is definitely an aesthetic I can get behind.

Like most wand toys, it’s pretty hefty. The Metallic Wand is 32 inches in total length, with a 7.5″ circumference head. That said, it’s not excessively heavy for its size and level of power. The cable is a useful 1.8m long, so plugging in isn’t an issue if you don’t have outlets right next to your bed.

That scroll wheel tho!

One of the things I’ve always appreciated about the Lovehoney wands over other designs is the scroll-wheel control. It makes it so easy to change the vibration speed really quickly, with no annoying button pressing. It also means you can be super precise about the level of power you want.

This simple and easy user interface is something other toy designers could learn from. Also, bonus: this toy has no “patterns”! Just simple, steady vibration. Bliss.

New silicone head!

Apart from the aesthetic, this is the main change this version of the Classic Wand has gone through as far as I can tell. The head is now silicone! (Previously it was PVC, which was a bit grey-area for me in terms of body safety). I’m so glad they’ve made this change – silicone is none-porous, phthalate-free and 100% body-safe, so you can use your wand with confidence.

Clean your wand head with a body-safe sterile wipe and then a warm damp cloth. Being mains-powered, it is not waterproof and should not get wet! You can stretch a large condom over the head of your wand if you want to be extra cautious, or if you’re sharing in a non-fluid-bonded relationship. Water-based lube is recommended.

Did it match up, power wise?

You all know by now that I fucking love mains-powered wands. They’re my favourite types of toy, hands down. I love them because they’re just so damn powerful compared with literally anything else. Though this wand isn’t the absolutely most powerful on the market (that honour goes to the Doxy) it’s still very impressively strong and will be powerful enough to satisfy the vast majority of users. I can get off with it quickly and efficiently. The vibration is a little buzzy at higher settings, so I prefer it a speed or two below maximum.

The only downside is the noise

This isn’t the noisiest toy on the market by any stretch. However, the noise it makes is less of a low rumble and more of a higher-pitched whirr, which for some reason I found super distracting! I managed to mitigate the issue somewhat by using it under the blanket, but it’s definitely something to be aware of if you’re sensitive to noise. Wand vibrators are never going to be whisper-quiet, but the type of sound this one made was bothersome to me.

So do I recommend it?

Yeah, I really do. Wands are for everyone! They’re so often lumped in the category of “for women” but actually they’re great regardless of gender or anatomy. They’re obviously brilliant for clits but that’s not where the fun stops. Penis owner? Press your wand against the underside or head of your cock, or invest in a simple attachment for all-over buzz. Wands are also great for partnered sex – place it between you during P-in-V intercourse, or take turns getting each other off with it. You can even use it to give each other sensual back or full-body massages. And don’t forget you can get all kinds of attachments for your wand, making it a truly versatile investment.

The Metallic Classic Magic Wand retails for £49.99 ($69.99), putting it at the more affordable end of the spectrum for a body-safe, powerful wand.

What are you waiting for? Go buy one for the femme in your life. Even if the femme in your life is you!

Thanks to Lovehoney for sending me the Metallic Classic Magic Wand to review. All opinions, as ever, my own. Buying through my affiliate links sends me a small commission at no extra cost to you and helps keep the blog going. Images are by me. 

[Toy Review] Ruse Jammy Silicone Dildo by Blush Novelties

Can we acknowledge for a second how much great stuff Blush Novelties have been coming out with lately? From the best bullet to come out in ages which is rivaling the famed Tango in popularity, to their brilliant and colourful ‘Pride‘ line, this New York City based company is really one to watch. They’re already doing brilliant things and I suspect they’ll do more. Plus, their philosophy is “that all bodies are beautiful, worthy, and deserving of celebration and pleasure”. Can’t argue with that!

This new offering, the Ruse Jammy silicone dildo, was sent to me by our pals at Peepshow Toys. Visit them for all your body-safe pleasure product needs!

A sizeable realistic offering!

The Ruse Jammy is definitely a dildo for size-lovers. It’s 7.5″ long with a full 2″ in girth. For reference, the average factory-installed penis is around 5.1″ long and 1.4″ wide when erect. This is a sizeable toy! I gulped when I first took it out, but I’m unafraid in my quest to put things in my vagina and write about it for you… even things that make me go “eek!” when I see them.

The Ruse Jammy is made of 100% silicone, and has a suction cup. This means you can attach it to a hard surface – a wall, floor, bath/shower screen – and it also means it’s harness-compatible (why not pair with this fab Blush harness-brief I tested recently?) and anal safe.

The Ruse Jammy is also realistic in design. It has a veiny shaft, a subtle natural curve and a pronounced coronal ridge and  head. There’s even realistic-looking skin texturing and a meatus. This is a very well-designed realistic style toy! Of course, if realistic colouring is your thing you’ll want to look elsewhere – the Ruse Jammy comes in purple or jet black rather than anything resembling a lifelike skin tone. The silicone has a lovely smooth, satiny finish which feels wonderful to the touch.

Body-safety and things

This is a 100% silicone toy which means it’s completely body-safe. The best way to sterilise your silicone toys is to pop them in a pot of boiling water or the top shelf of the dishwasher. In between uses, wash with warm water and gentle soap or use a body-safe sterile wipe.

The Ruse Jammy is condom-compatible, but given the size you’ll want to use large condoms. Water-based lube is, as ever, recommended for silicone toys.

So how did I get on?

I’m not a size Queen, friends. I’m just not. I sometimes enjoy larger things inside of me (fisting is fun!) but more often than not, an average sized cock or small/medium dildo is more than enough to keep me satisfied.

I also have to be careful with depth of penetration, because I have an IUD and anything touching my cervix is painful. So realistically, taking this dildo all the way inside me simply wasn’t going to happen. Even so, I decided to give it a good go and see how I got on!

I tried it with one of my partners during a play session. With plenty of lube, we managed to get about half the shaft inside me relatively comfortably. It gave me a nice full feeling which I did very much enjoy. Once I’d got used to it, my partner tried fucking me with it. This, unfortunately, very quickly led to “Ow! Ouch! No! Too much!”

For me, the best use for this toy is to let it just sit inside me while I do other things such as clitoral play. Thrusting with a toy of this size is not something I find pleasurable.

So do I recommend it?

To size lovers, yes. If you’ve played with smaller dildos and just found they weren’t quite enough for you, the Ruse Jammy is a great and affordable larger option. Considering some toys this size run to £100 or more, the $33 (about £26) for a large silicone toy of this quality is an absolute steal.

I don’t recommend this one for beginners, or those who don’t know they can take large penetrative toys comfortably. But I wholeheartedly endorse it for length/girth lovers and those looking for a realistic toy at an affordable price.

Thanks to Peepshow Toys for sending me the Ruse Jammy to review! If you buy through my affiliate links, I make a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Five Meaningful Things To Do for World AIDS Day

December 1st is World AIDS Day. The AIDS epidemic, at its height in the 1980s and early 1990s, is still in many ways ongoing and has claimed over 35 million lives in the last ~40 years. Check out this fact sheet to learn more.

A red ribbon for a post on World AIDS Day

From the World AIDS Day website:

[World AIDS Day is] an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, to show support for people living with HIV, and to commemorate those who have died from an AIDS-related illness. Founded in 1988, World AIDS Day was the first ever global health day.

Many of us, especially LGBTQ+ people, feel helpless in the face of something this huge. It scares the shit out of lots of us – and it should. AIDS was and is one of the most destructive pandemics in human history. But there is hope, too. UNAIDS have a hugely ambitious treatment plan which, if it works, will see 90% of HIV-positive people knowing their status, 90% of these on antiretroviral therapy, and 90% of these with a viral load declared “undetectable” – all by 2020.

So today I wanted to share some small but meaningful things you can do to make a difference this World AIDS Day.

1. Donate if you can

Donate to a charity that’s doing important work in the areas of HIV and AIDS. I suggest amfAR who are pioneering research into a cure, Terrence Higgins Trust who campaign and provide services connected to HIV and sexual health, or the National AIDs Trust who fight for change and champion the rights of people living with HIV/AIDS.

2. Get a test and know your status

When was your last full sexual health screening? Go book one in now! If you’re sexually active, you really should be getting a test every six months at a minimum – and more often if you have multiple partners, practice unprotected sex, or regularly have anal sex. I’m fairly slutty and I have a full screening every 3 months. Knowing your status is the best way to protect yourself and your partners.

3. Smash the stigma and share factual information

See people talking shit about people with HIV, AIDS or STIs? Tired of false information? Engage in some stigma-smashing by challenging them to rethink their views and sharing some facts. People living with HIV are not dirty, sluts, immoral or stupid. HIV cannot be transmitted except via infected blood or sexual fluids (or to infants via breast milk). It cannot be passed on through kissing, skin-to-skin contact, sharing food or drinks, water fountains, toilet seats, mosquitoes, saliva, sweat, or modern blood transfusions. This handy guide is useful to share.

4. Stock up on sexual health supplies

As many people as possible practicing safer sex is one of our greatest weapons against HIV/AIDS. Make sure you’re well-stocked with condoms, dams and gloves, as appropriate to the types of sex you have. If you can’t afford to buy supplies, ask your doctor or sexual health provider where you can access them for free. Remember to check your condoms and dams before using to make sure they’re still in date!

Pro tip: Gay bars/clubs and sexuality-focused events often give out safer sex supplies as freebies. If you go to any of these, don’t be scared to claim some for yourself! I used to go out to gay bars so often I don’t think I paid for condoms until I was 24.

5. Wear your red ribbon

The red ribbon is the internationally-recognised symbol of HIV/AIDS awareness and advocacy. Here’s a useful list of where to get them in the UK. If you can afford to, you can also buy a brooch version and support NAT’s work.

What are you doing to support World AIDS Day and show solidarity with people affected by HIV all over the world?

Image from Pixabay. Contains an affiliate link.

[Guest Blog] The Thirst of “Femmes d’un Certain Age” by Evelyn Archer

When I started out on this quest to publish a select few guest bloggers on my site (and pay them for it, of course!) part of my mission was to share the stories I cannot tell. The experiences I have not had. That’s one of the reasons I was so excited by this piece by Evelyn Archer. Here, we’re talking Sex After 40! I’m in my late 20s. The myths about sex stopping is one of the things I’m very afraid of about growing older. But here, Evelyn tells us that not only can sex after 40 be amazing – it might just be the best ever. She’s also sharing some wisdom she’s learned along the way. Over to her…

Amy x

A 40th birthday cake, for a guest post on sex after 40 by Evelyn ArcherThe Thirst of “Femmes d’un Certain Age” by Evelyn Archer

Some doctors call it “The Surge”. I call it “The Going Out of Business Sale”.

Here’s the truth: in my late 30s through mid-40s, I’d done without sex for a long time. In a long, otherwise happy marriage – between medication side effects, interpersonal issues and plain old fear – we’d been Not Having Sex for longer than I like to admit. I told myself that everyone gets to define these things for themselves (still true), but there was also another message that I was getting and internalizing without really realizing it. A woman over 40 with a sex drive is a joke. A grotesque joke. Either played for laughs or an object of scorn and pity – we’re Stifler’s Mom from American Pie, Mrs. Roper from Three’s Company (Google it, my sweet babies).

I had no model for what my sex life after 40 was “supposed” to look like. It was “supposed” to Go Away. In fact, cursory Googling revealed a stark, depressing story of “sexless marriages”, of couples living with resentment and disappointment, or at best as friendly roommates, co-owners in the Business of Our Life. A sexual life was something I used to have, someone I used to be, and it looked like I would have to find a way to live without it.

But through hard work in therapy and a bunch of other stuff we came together again.

And now we can’t stop boning each other. But as an essentially cishet (I mean, het-ish, but that’s another post) monogamous couple, in order to truly get back on track, we had to take our cues from outside the cishet community (which is unsurprisingly UNHELPFUL in terms of sex positive information). Instead we turned to queer folks and trans folks and polyamorous folks.

If my partner and I were struggling, for whatever reason, with penetrative P-in-V sex, why was this the “end of sex” for us? Would we say that what our queer friends, our trans pals did in bed wasn’t “really sex”? Of course not! That doesn’t even make sense! So why did it have to be that way for us? Once we stopped putting P-in-V sex at the center of our sex lives, once we stopped seeing “everything else” (oral and manual and toys and everything) as a “lead up to the main event” our entire sex lives transformed. All of a sudden, “fucking” was whatever we decided it was.

So we started fucking all the time.

We can’t seem to stop. He comes home early from work just for banging. We send dirty gifs to each other. We keep a Sex Toy Wish List on Lovehoney. And we haven’t seen our friends on a Saturday night in months because we’re so tired from banging all afternoon, all we can do is eat spaghetti and watch cartoons.
And it was from polyamorous folks writing about relationships and intimacy that we learned that we have to TALK ABOUT EVERYTHING ALL THE TIME. We have to find ways to talk about stuff we don’t want to talk about. How to sit in uncomfortable feelings like disappointment and jealousy, and still hold space for each other.

It never occurred to us to actually have a conversation about what we WANTED to do
specifically, only what we DIDN’T want to do. From the BDSM community that we learned that we can just talk out whatever is “on the table” for fucky stuff and instead of all that talking “ruining the moment” (or whatever) it leads to a more fun and satisfying play-time.

The power of just listening

But let me be clear: all these terrific queer, trans, poly sex positive folks (bloggers, Twitterers, Instagram folks) are not giving this information to US. Their work is not necessarily FOR us, it’s for themselves and for each other. But by shutting up, and by watching and listening closely, I learned a new way to look at and talk about sex. As these folks process and manage their own sex positive liberation, it shows me a different way of inhabiting my own sexuality, shows me ways to question and ways to talk. It’s not one person in particular, but this chorus of voices, and quietly immersing myself in what they have to say has utterly changed my marriage, my relationship to sex, and the way I see myself.

But still, my high levels of desire seemed to be out of sync with public opinion and popular culture. There’s still the Google-able stuff about The End of Sex, but dig a little deeper and there’s something called “The Surge”. The way I understand it (and I am a writer not a doctor, so do your own research!) is that here at the End of my Childbearing Years my body knows that each egg it releases could be its last. So it releases a surge of hormones telling me “YOU BETTER BANG EVERYTHING BECAUSE THIS COULD BE YOUR LAST CHANCE”. But there’s SO little information on this (and most of it anecdotal) it reminds me of how monstrous our culture sees Femmes d’un Certain Age whose sex drives are still strong. We’re still a joke, still grotesque. Still Mrs. Roper, still Stifler’s mom.

Dawn Sera and Tristan Taoromino have talked about it on their podcasts a couple of times, but there’s little in popular culture for me to look to. Even looking for women over forty in romance novels came up thin, even thinner if you want something a little hotter than “sweet” and “tender”.

So…where ARE we?

WHY is no one talking about this? Why is the only talk of women and
middle age and desire about our thinning hair, our drying and atrophying vaginas, our hormone therapy, our inevitable march to a dry and sexless grave?

Well, I’m not having it. I’ve decided to embrace my monstrousness (if indeed that’s what it is). And I’m leaving you with some resources that really helped me. (These may Old News to you Sex Positive Veterans, but they were news to me).

Resources

  • Tristan Taoromino’s podcast “Sex Out Loud” (available wherever fine podcasts are uploaded). She has more talk of kink and gender and queer politics so this was right up my alley.
  • Dawn Serra’s “Sex Gets Real” (available wherever fine podcasts are uploaded). She has a softer, more relationshippy slant. There’s also lots of good stuff about the intersection of fat positivity and sex positivity. (Be prepared to hear the word “yummy” a lot.
  • Oh Joy, Sex Toy is a web comic by husband and wife team Erika Moen and Matt Nolan. I went there just for sex toy reviews and what I got was SO much more. The illustrations are really sweet, with lots and lots of body diversity (which I don’t see everywhere).
  • Come As You Are: the Surprising New Science that will Transform your Sex Life, by Emily Nagoski. The research here on how desire can work for some folks was a revelation to me. (Also Erika Moen does the illustrations!) Not so science-y that it’s dry, yet doesn’t read like a self-help manual. She is a scientist and a sex educator and this book is great.

Author photo of Evelyn ArcherEvelyn Archer is an author living in New England. You can find her books here and you can sign up for her super fun newsletter, “The Strange Files” here. She also writes erotic shorts as “Madeline Moon”. You can find them here, or here.

 

Affiliate links are contained within this post. All views are the author’s own.