[Guest Blog] Kink: Not All Whips and Chains by Violet Grey

Ms. Grey is becoming a C&K regular at this point, and I couldn’t be happier about it. She always pitches me great ideas and writes fantastic, thought provoking pieces it’s a privilege to publish. Today, she’s here talking kink and why it’s not all whips and chains!

Amy x

Not All Whips and Chains by Violet Grey

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but chains and whips excite me!

This classic line from Rihanna’s hit song, S&M, encompasses a general flavour of sadomasochism. It’s a common perception that BDSM (Bondage & Discipline, Dominance & Submission, Sadism & Masochism) involve some form of pain or impact play. 

What comes to mind when you think of BDSM? Is it tying people up? Spanking? Paddles? Whips? Giving control to someone else, or being the one in control? 

All these kinks, and many more, are surprisingly common. But “kinky” esn’t mean the same to everyone – it depends on the person. In everyday life, as we’ve seen with books and films like Fifty Shades of Grey, BDSM is often misunderstood if not completely misrepresented. 

Two of the most common misconceptions are: 

  • BDSM, fundamentally, is abusive. 
  • As I heard one person say, “It’s just all hitting each other, isn’t it?”

Firstly, BDSM is not abusive as long as it’s done between consenting adults, limits and boundaries are respected, and they are playing safely and responsibly. While there are individuals who can and do use BDSM as a guise to abuse others, they are not representative of the majority of kinksters. Most of us just want to have good, safe fun. That being said, it is important to vet any potential partners properly and call out abuse when you see it in the community.

Secondly, no, BDSM is not “just hitting each other”. Any knowledgeable and safe sadomasochist will tell you that. If there’s one thing I want you to take away from this piece, it’s this: kink doesn’t have to be about pain. 

Kink without pain!?

This can be quite a shocking revelation to some folks, especially if all they’ve seen of BDSM is someone having a whip cracked against their arse. My first introductions to BDSM were through very two-dimensional Femdom scenes in crime dramas, usually involving heavy bondage and whips. Male submissives were often ridiculed, and sometimes BDSM as a whole was the butt of a joke. 

So when I was first exploring my kinks, it came as a surprise to learn that you can still be really kinky and not incorporate sadomasochism. I’ll be candid here: I’m no pain slut by any means. While I enjoy erotic spankings and rough sex as much as the next person, if you bring a tawse or thick cane near me, I’m running for the hills! 

So how can you navigate getting kinky without pain or impact play? It’s simple: the same as you usually do. Through negotiation and consent, safety protocols and risk assessment. You have your boundaries, and they can and should be respected. 

Painless kink? Let me count the ways!

So what kind of kinks can you have that aren’t necessarily about whips and chains and pain? Oh, so many! 

From someone whose kinks are mostly not pain-related, so to speak, let me list some of mine for you: 

  • Praise kink – A praise kink is where someone feels aroused or enjoys other positive feelings from being praised by a partner in a scene or during sex. A common example is “good girl/good boy”. Basically, if you call me a “good girl” I’m putty in your hands! 
  • Dominance and submission (D/s) – This dynamic forms the foundation for many BDSM and kink arrangements or fantasies. D/s play can incorporate pain and impact play if you want, but it doesn’t have to. Something as simple as doing the dishes or cuddling can be made kinky when you add a D/s twist. 
  • Blindfolds – Pretty self explanatory. Blindfolds can be made of soft material, like a scarf, satin mask, etc., or tougher materials like leather. My go-to blindfold is my silk sleep mask. 
  • Light bondage –  Light bondage can involve something as simple as a scarf, or you can use cuffs or basic Shibari (Japanese rope bonage) ties. As well as the super-hot element of restraining someone, many people find bondage relaxing. However, bondage – even light bondage – carries a risk factor. Always play safely and responsibly
  • Sensual domination – Sensual domination is my kinky happy place. I love it. This is domination that focuses on delighting the senses, rather than giving pain. It is domination that focuses solely on pleasure, and can involve implements like feathers, satin, bondage rope, massage oils, and candles to set the mood. It can even involve all of the above (which for me, it does!) Sensual domination can often be seen as a gateway for people experimenting or getting started in BDSM, but it’s a valid activity in itself that many experienced kinksters enjoy.

Though sometimes I crave the rough stuff, which I also adore, sensual or “soft” kink (as it’s sometimes called) is where I feel most in my element. 

 On that note… 

No shame in soft kink

Some of the more “hardcore” kinks are so-called due to carrying a great deal of risk. Needle and knife play, for instance, are by no means activities for beginners and require deal of studying, safety, and risk awareness to master. 

I’ve seen less “extreme” kinks, or those not involving pain, described as “diet kink.” Some even go as far as to kink-shame people for “not being kinky enough”. Obviously this is not ok.  It’s easy, when looking into BDSM, to internalise “shoulds” and “shouldn’ts”. I should like hard spankings and floggers, or I should be able to do 24/7 Total Power Exchange if I want to be “really kinky”.

But the truth is, if you’ve got a kink, even if it’s just one? Congratulations! You’re kinky!

No two people are exactly the same. It can be easy to internalise (guilty as charged) feeling like you have to fit into a kinky box – and, of course, feeling you have to be into pain. For all the reasons I’ve discussed here, you don’t have to be and if you’re not, that’s ok. Your kinks are entirely unique to you. 

So go forth, experiment, and have fun! And as always, play safely and responsibly!

Violet Grey describes herself as “your 20-something lady who loves to write. I write erotic fiction, along with real-life sex stories, thoughts on sexuality, kink, BDSM, and generally whatever else is on my mind.” Check out her blog and give her a follow on Twitter!

Oh, and if you enjoyed this post, tips and shopping with my affiliates help me to keep paying occasional guest bloggers.

[Guest Blog] Vote by Mr CK

Today’s bonus post is a piece of guest smut by none other than Mr CK himself!

Content note: this is a medical play scene featuring aspects of CNC, public humiliation, voyeurism, and mindfucks. If any of those things are difficult for you, feel enormously free to skip this one. All characters are fully consenting adults!

Five Smutty Flash Fictions

Hey everyone! Smutathon 2020 is well underway, with writers from all over the world typing furiously for 12 hours to raise money for Endometriosis UK, a wonderful charity who deserve all your support.

I asked for one- or two-word prompts for smutty flash fictions on Twitter, and y’all DELIVERED. To that end, here are the first five inspired by your words.

More Tea?

(Prompt: “tea, please,” offered by @luminiferous)

It takes about 15 minutes before my knees and wrists start to ache. 25 minutes before “ache” turns to “pain”. Maybe half an hour before I can feel my muscles trembling with the sheer effort of holding me up.

Have you ever noticed how long half an hour is when your task is to stay very, very still in one position and not do anything?

I’ve been on all fours with the tea tray resting on my back for thirty one minutes, and my body and mind are engaged in a battle of wills. I know I could safeword if I had to, but I keep bargaining with myself to hold out for just another minute. Then just one more minute. And another. And another.

Sir and his friend are mostly ignoring me, except for occasionally reaching out a booted foot to caress me. I have long stopped listening to their conversation. I like doing this because I don’t have to talk, I don’t have to listen or think. Instead, I can let my mind go blissfully blank.

The feeling of Sir’s hand sliding across my naked ass sets my nerves tingling. Coupled with the challenge of staying still and in position, it takes all my concentration not to drop the tray.

I feel him pick up the teapot from the tray on my back.

“More tea?” he asks his friend.

Dessert

(Prompt: “hive mind,” offered by @jennkryst)

I don’t know how, but it seems that all this time, they were both thinking exactly the same thing as me. When I got the text message – “dinner at ours on Friday night?” – I allowed my mind to wander into a delicious fantasy realm for just a moment.

Dinner was delicious, of course – Kate is a chef and everything she makes is incredible. What I didn’t realise until part way through the meal, when their flirtation switched from “plausibly deniable” to “too obvious to ignore,” is that they had something very special in mind for dessert – me.

The way they laid out their proposition, seeming almost nervous for the first time all evening, might have been sleazy coming from anyone else. But from my two dearest friends, married for over twenty five years, it was both sweet and incredibly enticing.

From there, it happened with all the fluidity of long-term lovers coupled with the excitement of a brand new partner. First she ate me out while I sucked his cock, then he fucked me from behind while I went down on her until she squirted in my mouth. Later, they spit-roasted me, her strap-on filling my cunt while his cock filled my mouth until I came so hard I saw stars.

Hours later, and I’m the filling in a sweaty, exhausted, but very happy human sandwich in their big bed. “How did you know I wanted to fuck you both?” I ask them.

Their eyes meet over me and they both grin.

“Just a feeling,” Joe says.

“Call it the hive mind of thirty years of friendship,” Kate adds.

Bake Sale

(Prompt: “cookie,” offered by @ayalamoogsigan)

My wife is up shortly after dawn, making cookies for the church bake sale. Chocolate chip, lemon, peanut butter, oatmeal and raisin. She can’t decide which variety of her famous treats to bake, so she makes them all.

To my surprise, when I wander into the kitchen to get my morning coffee, she’s rolling out dough completely naked except for an apron. She flashes me a wicked grin as I pour coffee, my eyebrows raised in a silent question.

“Well, I only get flour all over my clothes otherwise,” she says. I lean against the counter and sip my coffee, watching her. She slides a tray of perfect, golden-brown chocolate chip cookies out of the oven and replaces it with a new tray of neat balls of dough.

She unties her apron, takes it off and hangs it on the peg on the door. “These take 8 minutes to bake so if you want to fuck me, you’d better do it quickly,” she says. I almost spit out a mouthful of coffee in shock. In eleven years of marriage I don’t think I’ve ever heard my shy, demure wife use the word “fuck” to describe sex. My cock, already half erect from the sight of her gorgeous mostly-naked body, springs fully to life. We haven’t connected much sexually in the last few months, and I have no idea where this new version of her has come from. Still, I have no complaints.

When I bend her over the kitchen sink and slide my hand between her legs, she’s already dripping wet. I push two fingers inside her but her hips thrust back against me, seeking more. My cock quickly replaces my fingers inside her, harder than I can remember it being in a long time.

She moans deeply and I feel her cunt clench around my cock. The gutteral noise I make involuntarily encourages her and she does it again and then again.

“Fuck… I’m not going to be… able to hold off… much longer if you keep doing that!”

“Don’t hold back, then,” she says, squeezing her vaginal muscles around me again. “Come in me, my love.”

The invitation and a couple more of those delicious squeezes is all I need to tip me over the edge. As I come down from my orgasm, I hold her close with one arm, while my other hand finds her clit. I’m wondering if I can get her off before…

Fuck. The oven alarm goes off to indicate the cookies are ready.

My wife extricates herself from my embrace and plans a kiss on my lips before retrieving the apron. “Later,” she says.

Commuter Train

(Prompt: “tickets please,” offered by @witteringwench1)

The jostling of the commuter crowd and the rattling of the train makes me very, very aware of the plug filling my ass. I feel it with every movement, just a little too big to be comfortable. Stretching me. Reminding me, with every step I take all day, that I’m hers.

“Are you going to be a good little slut and wear this for me all day?” she asked this morning when she slid the well-lubed plug into my ass. I know her well enough to understand that the question was rhetorical. She wanted it, so of course I would do it.

I didn’t complain, just like I don’t complain when she spanks my ass until I cry, just because seeing me in pain amuses her. Just like I don’t complain when she brings me to the edge of orgasm, laughs at my frantic whimpers, and then stops and tells me to go and make dinner. She expects obedience, and I willingly give it.

The train pulls into my stop. Only nine more hours of this to go.

First Light

(Prompt: “what time,” offered by @polyladyincali)

“What time is it?” she asks sleepily. I glance at the green digits on the bedside clock.

“Early enough.” We have exactly thirty seven minutes before I need to get up and start getting ready to go to the airport. I wrap my arms around my girlfriend from behind, burying my face into her hair and breathing in the faint scent of her strawberry shampoo.

After a minute or so of blissful, naked cuddling, she reaches behind her and slides her hands between our two bodies. Her fingers quickly find my clit and I shudder as she strokes it in that perfect way that only she can. I bite my lip, a gasp escaping.

She shifts, positioning herself between my legs. She looks up and her eyes meet mine for a moment, before she wraps her lips around my clit.

“Fuck!” I gasp. We’ve been dating for three years but every time we have sex, the skill with which she pulls the responses from my body astounds me. She alternates between sucking my clit into her mouth and pulling back to draw circles around it with the tip of her tongue.

I never squirted until I met her, but she can coax it from me with surprising ease. When I come, I gush, flooding her mouth and soaking the sheets beneath us.

She grins and kisses the inside of my thigh. The first light of morning is seeping around the edges of the curtains, and I know we’ll soon have to go.

“Something to remember me by,” she says. “Until next time.”

So there you have it, folks! Did you enjoy these five little smutty flash fictions? If so, please donate to Endometriosis UK using the link above! And stay tuned for more #Smutathon2020 content.

[Book Review] Pain Play for Everyone by Luna Caruthers

Luna Carruthers has been running Submissive Guide, a large website of resources for anyone identifying as a kinky submissive, in 2009. I actually found the website way back in the early days of my kinky explorations in my late teens and very early twenties. It’s been years since I visited the site, so getting reacquainted with it while reading Pain Play for Everyone and writing this review was a fun trip down memory lane!

Pain Play for Everyone by Luna Carruthers book cover, featuring a pink background and picture of a paddle.

Pain Play for Everyone by Luna Carruthers is a quick read at 102 pages in length. But there’s a lot of useful information packed into this slim volume.

A book for receivers rather than givers

If you want to be the person dishing out the pain in a kinky scene, this book is not going to teach you the practicalities or necessary safety tips on how to do that. There are great resources available that teach you how to do that, and I encourage you to check them out.

Pain Play for Everyone is very much geared towards the submissive or receiving partner. I liked that about it. So much BDSM content is written by and for Dominants, possibly due to the assumption that us submissives just lie there and get stuff done to us.

But I’ve long held that bottoming well is a skill, and one that deserves to be taught – and celebrated – as much as Topping. Therefore, I’m glad to see a book written by a submissive, for submissives.

However, though it’s aimed at submissives and bottoms, I actually think Dominants and Tops should read it, too. The hallmark of a great Dominant is being able to understand and empathise with their submissive’s experience. By understanding how masochists experience and process pain, sadists can become better, more empathic, and safer players.

Accessible and easy-reading

Luna uses accessible language throughout the book, making it easy to read and absorb the information. She simplifies complex concepts and brings them into the realm of real-life kinky play situations.

The book is well-structured with clear headers for each section that make it easy to find what you’re looking for.

Practical tips

Luna shares a number of practical strategies for increasing pain management and pain processing ability during kink play. The strategies are clearly described, making them easy to try out and implement. They won’t all work for you, because everyone is different. But by trying a few different options, you’re likely to find something that is helpful for you.

Experience-informed and well-researched

Luna uses her own experiences throughout the book to help explain the points she makes. By sharing her real-life experiences, she brings the content out of the abstract and into the real.

Pain Play for Everyone seems solidly researched and delves into a little of the neuroscience, psychology, and physiology of pain processing.

I would have liked to see a bibliography or footnotes referencing sources for some of the more science-heavy bits. But that’s because I’m a massive dork and want to go and read more. There are a couple of links to relevant studies and book suggestions included, but I would have liked to see a much more extensive list of sources.

Who is it for?

I’d definitely have found this book useful when was a new submissive and just starting to explore pain play. Most of it was stuff I already knew, given with my well-over-a-decade-at-this-point of experience.

I still got something out of it, though. I particularly found the descriptions of the various types of pain – beyond thud and sting – to be useful. It also gave me a couple of new ways of thinking about processing intense sensation during a scene. But as a broad generalisation, it’s more likely to be useful to newer kinksters than experienced players.

If you’re new to submission or being on the receiving end of sadomasochistic activity, there will be something for you in this book. In particular, you might find it useful if you are looking for ways to increase your pain tolerance or play at a higher level of intensity.

Where to buy it

You can get a free signed copy of Pain Play for Everyone (along with a host of other cool benefits) when you join the Devoted tier on their Patreon page. The book is also available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle edition, along with Luna’s other releases.

I received a copy of this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. If you enjoy my work, please consider supporting the blog – and my caffeine habit – by buying me a coffee.

[Quote Quest] You Need to Have Power Before You Can Give it Away

“Everything in the world is about sex except sex. Sex is about power.”
Oscar Wilde

TW: abuse, abuse of power, shitty Doms

I’ve always found the term “power exchange” – to describe a Dominant/submissive dynamic, relationship, or scene – fascinating. It’s not called a power over or a power from, but an exchange. I think there’s a reason for that. And I think that reason is as this title says: you need to have power before you can give it away.

Have you ever noticed how toxic and abusive Dominants (particularly cishet male Doms) try to get into relationships with the most powerless people they can find? Dominants who are insecure in their own masculinity and their own power chase submissives who are extremely young, extremely inexperienced and new to the scene, and whom they can groom into a relationship under the guise of “that’s what dominance is.”

It’s no surprise that those relationships tend to end up with, at best, a wildly uneven level of dependency. Often, they end up horrifyingly abusive.

Is it really consensual dominance if you take control over someone who has so little power, relative to you, that they can’t meaningfully push back or say no or leave? I don’t think it is. Are they truly giving power consensually if they can’t take it back? I believe not.

My first Dom was intimidated by me the moment I gained any real power. When we met, I was meek and quiet and obedient and so very, very young. A few years in, when I went to University and met my people and found my voice. He told me that he didn’t know what to do with me any more. “You don’t need me any longer,” he said. What he meant was, you can live without me now. And he didn’t like that.

Later, he told me that he couldn’t be my Dom any more because he was worried I was smarter than him. Because I was suddenly confident and outspoken. And what I realised is that he didn’t want to consensually dominate someone who was consensually subservient for fun. He wanted to domineer over someone who he could conceptualise as genuinely lesser.

Power is complicated and multi-faceted. You can have more power than someone along one axis, and less power along another. It’s not always an easy thing to quantify. That’s especially true when Dominant and submissive kink dynamics come into play.

But if you’re seeking out someone who doesn’t know any better due to age or inexperience, who won’t question you, who won’t leave because they need you or feel like nothing without you… ask yourself why.

If you feel threatened by someone who is a little older, has a modicum of experience, or is as smart or as successful or as confident as you (or perhaps even more so,) you need to interrogate that. Why do you need to feel like your partner is beneath you? Isn’t it more satisfying for someone who has a secure sense of their personal power to choose to give it away to you as their Dominant?

And if someone is chasing you who clearly has a hugely disproportionate level of power over you, ask questions. Do they fetishise your youth or your newness or your inexperience or your naïvety or the sense of security they get from feeling like they’re just kinda better than you? Do you feel the urge to put them on a pedastal or to do everything they say, even if it doesn’t feel right, because they say they know better?

Don’t give power over you to someone who doesn’t view your personal power as a beautiful thing that you alone own.

Learn yourself first. Explore with people who will make space for you to be curious, to try things out, to not know. Not with someone who treats you like an untouched lump of clay they can mold to their specifications.

Because you can only consensually give away your power, for a scene or a weekend or a few years or a lifetime, if you have that power to begin with.

Quote Quest badge for a post about power exchange in BDSM

I wrote this piece for Quote Quest, a new weekly meme by Little Switch Bitch. Click the button to see the other contributions or to take part. And if today’s piece resonated with you, you can always buy me a coffee to say thanks!

[Quote Quest] Honouring the Darkness

“Who are you?
Are you in touch with all of your darkest fantasies?
Have you created a life for yourself where you can experience them?
I have. I am fucking crazy.
But I am free.”

– Lana Del Rey

CW: this post discusses mental illness, trauma, abuse, and suicidal ideation (in the past – I am safe now.) It also refers to consensual non-consent in a kink context.

We all have something dark within us somewhere. I firmly believe this. We contain multitudes and we all have depths that most of the people who surround us will never see. Some of those depths will contain elements of our selves that frighten us, shame us, or harm us if we dwell there for too long. It is impossible, for most of us, to let a lot of people in to those scary places within us. Some never let anyone in at all.

As someone with depression and a history of abuse, my personal darkest corners are all informed by my trauma. There are perhaps five people on the planet who have seen the depths of the darkness my trauma history sometimes takes me to.

But something I have learned is the transformative power of exploring my darkness through kink. All the worst and most traumatic experiences of my life were in situations where I had no power, or where my power was taken away from me. Paradoxically, giving up power – for a limited time, and to a loving partner – soothes and calms those broken places in my psyche. Perhaps it is reclamation through choice, or perhaps it is the ability to rewrite the narrative. Perhaps it is simply the knowledge that the only reason I can willingly give power away is because I have it in the first place.

Not that kink is always about going to those dark places, of course. In fact, it usually isn’t. Sometimes it’s giggly and playful and just plain silly. Sometimes it’s intense but in a different way. It’s all a matter of degrees. But once in a while? Exploring the full extent of my psychic darkness through playing out things like consensual non-consent fantasies is not only hot but cathartic. Healing. I go willingly into those dark corners with someone who cares about me to hold my hand, and I feel lighter for days afterwards.

I don’t believe I’m kinky because I am traumatised. No. I was kinky long before I was this particular brand of fucked up, and there are millions of kinksters who have no trauma history at all. But I also think it would be foolish to say that my experiences of trauma had no bearing on the consensual things I do for fun now.

The reality is, I cannot say that I definitely would or definitely would not have had these specific kinks had I not been abused. Because I do not have that choice. I do not live in that world. The person I might have been without those traumatic experiences, and the woman I am now, are not the same.

My trauma is a part of me. My darkness is a part of me. It would be a lie to say I no longer fear it, because I do. My last mental illness-induced trip into the most terrifying corners of my own psyche is recent enough that I can still feel it viscerally. But I have learned not to hate it. Not to blame myself for its existence. And, usually, not to get so lost in it that I cannot find my way back out.

Kink gives me a space to honour that darkness, to revel in it and play in it and fucking dance in it. And then to come back out again and find that the light is still there, too.

The Quote Quest badge, for a post about psychic darkness and kink

This piece was written for Quote Quest, a new weekly meme by Little Switch Bitch. Click the button to see who else was inspired by this week’s quote! And if today’s piece resonated with you, you can always buy me a coffee to say thanks!

[Masturbation Monday] Watching

He watches me. His glasses perch on the bridge of his nose and his mouth curls in a small smile at my embarrassment. I feel his eyes fixed upon me, even when I close my own. Watching, always watching.

I feel his gaze as surely as hands on my skin. He can carress me from across the room with a glance. An approving nod can make my whole day, a warning raise of an eyebrow bring me back into line. Under his control. Under his watchful gaze.

Some nights he doesn’t even touch me. He just sits in the armchair, sipping a glass of Merlot or a strong black coffee, and waits for me to put on a show for him.

I stretch out on the bed, running my hands over my own body. Slowly peel off my clothing, one piece at a time. I never stop being self-conscious. Every time, I feel the flush of humiliation creep warmly through my veins. He just watches.

I pinch my own nipples until they’re erect and smarting. Spread my legs, showing him the deep pink and brown folds of my vulva, running my fingers through my curly black pubic hair. He, watching, knows that I am drippng for him.

When I can’t stand the ache between my thighs any more, I dip my fingers into my cunt. Perhaps I pause to taste my own need, savoring the faint tang of my arousal on my tongue. Or perhaps I just fuck myself, head thrown back, arching my back and thrusting my hips, exaggerating my moans because I know that’s what he wants to see.

The show ends when he’s had enough. If I haven’t had time to reach satisfaction when he says it’s time to stop, I go to sleep aching and wanting. If he wants more, I’d better keep performing for him, forcing climax after climax out of my overstimulated cunt until he’s satisfied. It is for his pleasure. My own is incidental.

Sometimes I wish he’d just fuck me, but that’s not what we do. Knowing I’m gagging for it is part of what gets him off. Knowing that he won’t fuck me. Probably he won’t even touch me. He’ll just sit there, while I make a spectacle of myself for his entertainment.

Watching.

The Masturbation Monday meme is run by Kayla Lords. This week’s prompt image, shown at the top of this post, is by the absolutely gorgeous and extremely talented Cara Thereon. Click the logo to see what everyone else is getting off to this week, and please buy me a coffee if you enjoyed this little sexy story! Plus don’t forget it’s #MasturbationMonth and I’m working with Lovehoney to bring you sexy content all month long.

[Review] Lovehoney Bliss Orgasm Balm

I admit that I am sceptical when it comes to products that aren’t sex toys but claim to boost the chances of orgasm. However, I am also a curious creature and willing to try most things once. So when this little tin of Bliss Orgasm Balm from Lovehoney appeared in my shipment of Masturbation May products, I thought it was high time I gave it a go.

Lovehoney Bliss Orgasm Balm

What is Bliss Orgasm Balm?

Bliss is a topical balm designed to increase sensitivity in the clitoris. It comes in a small heart-shaped tin and is white in colour and has a creamy consistency that melts onto your fingers – similar to a lip balm.

Bliss Orgasm Balm is infused with peppermint, menthol and essential oils. These ingredients stimulate the nerve-endings in the clitoris and encourage blood flow to the area, increasing sensitivity.

Lovehoney Bliss Orgasm Balm

Is it body-safe?

To answer this question, I took a closer look at the ingredients.

  • Argania Spinosa (Argan) Kernel Oil. A natural oil commonly used in cosmetics, make-up and skincare products. It has been shown to have beneficial properties for the skin and is considered safe.
  • Hydrogenated Olive Oil (and) Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil. We all know olive oil has health benefits when used in food, but it is also a common ingredient in skincare and cosmetics. These forms of olive oil were investigated by the Cosmetics Ingredients Review and declared safe.
  • Hydrogenated Jojoba wax. Jojoba oil and jojoba wax were investigated by the International Journal of Toxicology and proven safe for cosmetic use. (Warning: link contains mentions of animal testing.)
  • Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter). An incredibly common ingredient in skincare and cosmetic products. The Cosmetic Ingredients Review investigated shea butter and found it to be safe.
  • Menthol. Menthol is widely used for its distinctive minty fragrane and the cooling sensation it creates on the skin. The FDA has found it to be safe for these purposes and also in food.
  • Tocopherol. Tocopherol is a form of Vitamin E, typically derived from vegetable oils. The Cosmetic Ingredient Review and International Journal of Toxicology concluded that it is safe for topical use.
  • Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Oil. An essential oil derived from the peppermint plant, the Cosmetic Ingredient Review determined that peppermint oil is safe as long as the concentration of the compound pulegone does not exceed 1%.

In conclusion? Every ingredient in this little balm has been declared safe for topical (external) use by experts. Full marks, Lovehoney! Unless you’re allergic or sensitive to any of the ingredients, you can use Bliss Orgasm Balm with confidence.

How do you use it?

You may look at this tiny little tin and think, “is that all you get?” But believe me when I say you only need a little bit to make this stuff effective!

Dab a small amount onto your fingers and massage into your clitoral area. It can be quite intense, so start off cautiously – if you want a more intense sensation or aren’t getting the desired effect, you can always add more.

From there, continue to masturbate or have sex as you normally would.

Remember: Bliss Orgasm Balm is for external use only. Don’t put it inside your vagina or butt.

What does it feel like?

Have you ever used “cooling” or “tingling” lube? It’s a bit like that, only more intense! If you’ve ever put toothpaste on your genital area (which is something I don’t recommend, but a lot of people do) this is a similar sensation – and safer!

The best way I can describe it is as a cool tingly sensation when the balm first goes on. Then, as your body gets used to it, the initial sensation fades but you’re left with a higher than usual level of clitoral sensitivity.

Does it work?

Yes – with caveats.

If you struggle to orgasm, don’t expect Bliss Orgasm Balm to be a cure-all. It isn’t. But it definitely does heighten sensitivity, which can absolutely help when it comes to inducing orgasm. I also suspect it might act as something of a placebo for some people – you expect the balm to help, so you feel more relaxed and less stressed, so having an orgasm is easier.

I absolutely recommend trying a product like this if you find orgasm difficult. But manage your expectations going in, yeah?

If you don’t generally struggle to orgasm but are just looking for some extra sensitivity or a fun way to play with sensations, you might well enjoy using Bliss Orgasm Balm.

Some extra fun ways to play…

As ever, there’s no right way to use sexuality products and you should do whatever works for you. But I found a few fun ways to use Bliss Orgasm Balm that might appeal to some of you.

  • Put some on before you get dressed in the morning to give you a little tingle of arousal as you go about your day.
  • Use it during oral sex and have your partner gently blow on your vulva. This will send cool minty tingles through you!
  • Put some on and then start watching porn or reading erotica and see how long you can wait before you simply have to touch yourself. (Or order your submissive to put some on and then not touch!)
  • Use it to increase clitoral pleasure during penetrative sex. This greatly enhances the chance of orgasm for most vulva owning people!

So do I recommend it?

I rate this product a lot more highly than I expected to! I really liked the tingly sensations, the extra level of sensitivity, and the fun variety it added to my solo playtime. I’m also seeing some great potential in it for kink and power exchange play and I’m looking forward to experimenting more with my partner.

At just £9.99 for a 20g tin (which will last you ages – remember you only need a little bit) it’s a steal. Throw some in your next Lovehoney order!

Thank you to Lovehoney for sharing this product with me in exchange for an honest review. Affiliate links appear in this post. All views are, as always, my own. Pictures property of Lovehoney and reproduced with permission. I’m partnering with Lovehoney throughout May to bring you #MasturbationMay reviews and content!

Masturbation Monday: Three Ways to Explore Masturbating With Your Partner

Masturbating together is a hugely underrated sex act, in my opinion. The overwhelming majority of us are our own first, last and only truly lifelong sexual partner, so no-one knows what we like quite like we do!

Despite this, many of us forget that mutual masturbation can be a wonderful way to explore sex with a partner – or consider it “not real sex.” So today I want to give you three possible ways to explore masturbating together, and why you might want to try them.

Show your partner what you like

This works well in newer relationships where you don’t know each other’s bodies well yet, but is equally wonderful for more established relationships – particularly if you feel stuck in a sexual rut or one of you isn’t feeling as satisfied as you’d like.

Masturbating in front of your partner shows them, in intimate detail, how you like to be touched. This could involve them touching you too, mimicing your movements until they get it just right, or just watching and taking mental notes.

Does this sound cold and clinical to you? It doesn’t need to be! Imagine your partner lying back and spreading their legs, their eyes closing in bliss as they give themselves pleasure. Imagine them saying something like, “I like to have my clit rubbed in little circles like this…” or “I really like someone gripping the base of my cock hard. Don’t worry about hurting me, I’m into it.” Super fucking hot, no?

Talking about what you like in bed is hot. Showing your partner what you like can be even better.

Putting on a sexy show

Is there anything hotter than seeing your partner’s pleasure up close and personal? Masturbating for your partner can be an incredibly hot way to put on a sexy show for them.

Some people find it sexy to exaggerate their moans and movements in this context for their partner’s enjoyment. Others like to simply lose themselves in the pleasure and let their partner see them at their most raw and vulnerable. Experiment to see what works for you.

This can also work really well as part of a D/s game. As a submissive, I enjoy being told to touch myself for my partner’s amusement – especially if I’m not allowed to come (or stop) without their express permission. If you’re in a power exchange relationship or enjoy these games, try telling your partner to touch themself for your entertainment. The details are up to you – are they forbidden to come? Instructed to edge a certain number of times? Ordered to bring themself to orgasm within a specific timeframe? Have fun with it!

Exploring a new fantasy together

Masturbating together can be a lower pressure way to explore a new fantasy. Interested in threesomes, bondage or watersports, but nervous to try? Touch yourselves side by side while you talk through a scenario involving your fantasy. (Frankly, even if you’re not exploring something new, masturbating together and talking through a shared fantasy is a really hot way to have lower-energy sex!)

Another way to do this is watch some porn or read some sexy erotic fiction together while you both touch yourselves.

Have you tried masturbating with your partner? Tell me in the comments or tweet me to tell me what you love about it!

The Masturbation Monday logo, for a post about masturbating with your parter

Masturbation Monday is a meme by Kayla Lords. Click the logo to see what everyone is getting off to this week! This week’s prompt image is by Shelbie Rie of House of Eclipse. This post contains affiliate links, which make me a small commission if you purchase through them. You can also buy me a coffee to show your appreciation!

[Guest Blog] When Sex is Always Painful (And You Love It) by RT Collins

For today’s guest post, I am delighted to be publishing this essay by the exceptionally talented R.T. Collins. When they approached me with this pitch, I knew I simply had to accept it. Painful sex isn’t something we talk about enough, and I’m always here for opening the conversation.

Please note that this essay is about R.T’s personal experience only, and nothing here should be taken as “advice.” What works for one person won’t work for another. If you’re experiencing pain during sex, please seek the support of a qualified medical professional.

And remember – you can help me commission more awesome guest writers by sending a tip or joining me on Patreon.

Amy x

When Sex is Always Painful (And You Love It)

(Or: How I learned to live with a retroverted uterus and accept pain as a normal (and fun) part of sex.)

Earlier this year Netflix’s excellent series Sex Education featured a storyline about a teenage girl – Lily – discovering and dealing with vaginismus. Vaginismus is a painful condition where a pelvic floor muscles spasm when anything is inserted, making it near impossible to have penetrative sex (even if it’s just a finger).

Lily’s frustrations and sadness struck a familiar chord. I don’t have vaginismus, but I do have a retroverted uterus (also known as a tilted uterus). My vagina itself is unaffected, but my womb is titled backwards, and my cervix is in a different place, causing pain every time anything phallic goes up there.

Like Lily, I found this out the hard way. My first penetrative sexual experience was hugely painful, but I’d been told that was going to be the case, so I assumed it was normal. However, as every consequent experience delivered the same amount of pain, I started to wonder if something was just wrong with me. Unfortunately, this was the early 2000s, and I was too scared to look it up on the one school computer that had internet. I just assumed sex was either particularly painful for me, or was that way for everyone and nobody else was complaining. 

Also, the pain didn’t put me off. I was still a horny teenager with raging hormones and an intense sexual obsession with Aragorn from Lord of the Rings. I still enjoyed clitoral stimulation (despite my equally inexperienced partners not quite grasping the concept) and wasn’t yet really aware that sex without penetration was a totally valid option. The general excitement of sex was enough to make me grit my teeth through the painful bit. I could always imagine it was Aragorn. 

And then in my late teens I had sex with a much older man in a respectful, caring and oh-so-hot tryst in a hotel room on a tropical island. He gave me my first full-blown clitoral orgasm (we’re talking pink fluffy clouds) followed by athletic sex in positions I’d never imagined possible. The sex was as painful as ever, but everything else was just so good. It was my first encounter with a person who actually knew what they were doing, and boy did it make all the difference. I found myself asking for more, harder, pushing my own limits, until finally and unbelievably, I came from penetration alone. 

I left that hotel room a changed person – pain, it turns out, could be its own source of pleasure. It was relief, as I’d all but accepted that sex was going to be a trying experience for the rest of my life. I also knew that this was most likely a fairly unique reaction. Very few people enjoy pain, especially as part of sex, I was lucky to have found a way to make it work for me. 

A few years later I moved to the big city, made new – equally horny – friends, and started investigating the BDSM scene. I figured, if, for me, pain could be pleasure, then BDSM could probably teach me a thing or two, and I was right. My first submissive experience consisted of me on all fours in front of a crowd being introduced to a variety of impact toys by an experienced Dungeon Master and his hilariously evil wife. Each toy created a different sensation. Some irritating, some titillating, and some downright orgasmic. It was exhilarating to be welcomed into a world that understood that pain could be a source of pleasure. At 21, I was a young person on the scene and I was lucky to find people who helped me explore this dynamic in a safe and supported way. I found the space to accept and experiment with pain in all forms, both in and on my body. 

Penetrative sex, with penises or dildos, continues to be painful and pleasurable in equal measure. Most partners I end up with have fairly large penises (or impressive strap-ons). I like to think that’s just by accident, but there’s probably an aspect of challenge as well – I’m always pushing thresholds to see how I’ll respond. Occasionally the pain aspect becomes apparent, and it leads to awkward conversations – “no, I promise I like it.. you don’t have to go slowly… I promise I’ll say if it’s too much” etc. It’s a fair response to question why someone wants to continue with something that hurts, so I don’t mind explaining. I just wish there was more knowledge about conditions like this, so it wasn’t so awkward each time. 

1 in 5 people who have a uterus have a retroverted one, to varying degrees. I have no idea what percentage of those people experience pain, but I’ll wager it’s a lot higher than anyone realises. I’m fortunate that, unlike Lily and her vaginismus, the pain is something I can accept and enjoy. It’s a particular reaction that I doubt many people have. By the time I was diagnosed at 22 by a very caring sexual health doctor, who got very angry about the incompetence of all my previous doctors, I was happy to know what was going on… but mostly angry on behalf of those who may never realise, and possibly continue to think something is wrong with them or never find a way around it that works for them (like taking penetration out of the equation altogether). 

Luckily, series like Sex Education are bringing conditions that cause discomfort during sex out into the open. Shops like Sh! Women’s Store in London now stock vaginismus therapy kits. My hope is that more young people become aware of the wide variety of bodies and ways of experiencing pleasure, and come to understand themselves and find help much earlier than I did.   

Everyone should be able to enjoy sex, in a way that works with their body and desires. I’m so glad I can. 

R.T. Collins is a kink, porn and sexual wellness enthusiast based in London. Follow them @DiscoWrites or get in touch at rtcollinswrites@gmail.com