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.

5 Reasons You Need Sex Positive Friends

After I write this post, I’m going to be jumping in the shower and then loading the car and heading off to Manchester with Mr CK. There we will convene with 8 of my amazing sex-positive friends for my 28th birthday party. Unsurprisingly, then, when I was considering what to write today I started thinking about sex-positive friendships.

A group of grey kittens in a basket. For a post about sex positive friendsSince I joined the sex-positive and sex writing communities, first on Twitter and then in real life, I have met some of the most amazing people I have ever been privileged enough to call friends. So this is a little celebration of them all, and some thoughts on why you really need sex-positive friends in your life.

You don’t have to self-censor

I hate self censorship, and I do it a lot out of desire to not lose my day job or alienate my family. But sometimes you just want to say “I got fucked realllllllly good last night!” or “check out this awesome shot I took of my boobs!” When you have an awesome group of sex-positive friends, fear of oversharing is… if not entirely eliminated, at least substantially reduced. No-one’s going to say, “ew, I don’t want to hear about your sex life!” when you literally became friends with them through sharing your sex life on the internet.

You don’t have to explain yourself again and again and again

Sure, you’ll occasionally run across someone who doesn’t know the term you’re using, or someone else will use a term you’re not familiar with. And that’s absolutely fine! But the vast majority of the time, terms like polyamory, open relationship, bisexual, pansexual, genderqueer, BDSM, D/s relationship… can just roll off your tongue and no-one will look at you like you’ve grown an extra head.

You can also throw out phrases like, “so my boyfriend’s wife was saying that…” or “when my partner’s girlfriend came over…” without the constant double-take, the wait-what-did-you-just-say?

I don’t mind explaining myself occasionally, and I love dissecting the nuances of our different identities and what they mean and how they manifest for us. But doing polyamory/swinging/kink-1o1 again and again and fucking again is exhausting. With sex-positive friends who get it, you don’t have to do that.

Sex-positive friends will be your biggest cheerleaders

I’ve rarely come across a group of people so loving, so affirming and just so goddamn supportive as sex bloggers, sex writers and other sex-positive folks. These are the people who will retweet the shit out of that thing you wrote that you weren’t sure about, or respond with some variaton of YOU ARE A BEAUTIFUL GODDESS when you share a nude, or celebrate with you when you hit a goal, big or small. We lift each other up when we’re down and we share the highs when we’re up.

Affection is free and easy, and so is consent

Something that sex-positive people understand is that the lines between what society considers appropriate vs. inappropriate between friends are almost entirely arbitrarily imposed. They get that everyone has their own unique boundaries and comfort levels, and that individual relationships get to decide what is and isn’t within their rules. The net result of this is that affection tends to be very free and easy – hugs and cuddles can be joyfully shared without it necessarily needing to mean anything bigger, and kisses and kink play and even occasionally sex can happen between friends without it having to make things weird.

It also means that consent is at the heart of all interactions. In these circles, I’ve also never felt pressured into anything I didn’t want to do. Basically, the deciding factor in whether or not to do something isn’t friends do X, lovers do Y, but simply: does everyone involved enthusiastically want to do X, Y and Z?

I don’t want to go all “hashtag-blessed” on you, but…

Basically, I believe this community has made me a better person. It has certainly immeasurably improved my life and made me a lot happier. I only hope I can give back some small measure of all that these amazing people have given to me.

#ManchBirthdayFest, here we come!