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.

[Toy Review] Blush Novelties Exposed Nocturnal Lipstick Bullet Vibrator

It feels a bit sacrilegious to say this, but I think I’ve found a bullet vibrator I like more than the hallowed We-Vibe Tango. And it’s an unassuming little thing from Blush Novelties that retails at the shockingly reasonable price of $32 (about £24 for my Brit readers). Meet the Exposed Nocturnal “lipstick bullet,” sent to me by Peepshow Toys, excellent purveyors of body-safe toys for all budgets.

Details and Dimensions

The Exposed Nocturnal lipstick buillet vibratorThe Exposed Nocturnal bullet is 4″ long in total and has a dimension of 0.9″. It’s shaped, as the advertising copy implies, like a lipstick – a cylindrical body leading to a gently tapered tip with one flat edge. I really like this shape for clitoral vibrators, because it gives you so many options. You can use the tip, the flat edge or the whole shaft, depending on how pinpoint you like your vibrations.

The Exposed Nocturnal is waterproof, submersible, and USB-rechargeable. It comes in four colour-ways, three of which can be described as variations on “pink,” and the fourth (called “Sugar Plum”) is purple. The colours are sort of shimmery in quality, which is really attractive.

Functionality & Interface

The Exposed Nocturnal lipstick bullet vibrator.The Exposed Nocturnal bullet has a simple two-button user interface built into the base (which is also where the magnetic charging points are). You hold down the + button to switch on, use the + and – buttons to navigate the various settings, and hold down the – button to switch off.

This is one of the areas where this toy really comes out ahead of the Tango, as well as most of the lower priced toys on the market – you can cycle either way through the settings! Gone up a notch and decided it’s too intense? No worries, you can skip straight back down again without cycling all the way through.

My only real complaint, and it’s a minor one, is that the buttons and markings on them are so small that it can be hard to see which is which in low light. I would also have liked a travel lock, but you can’t have everything.

Body-Safe and Easy to Clean

The Exposed Nocturnal bullet is made of body-safe ABS plastic, which is non-porous and non-toxic. I really enjoy hard plastic as a toy material, because it’s so firm that it doesn’t dampen down the strength of the vibrations at all.

This toy is also a breeze to clean. Use a body-safe medical wipe, or some gentle soap and warm water – it’s fully submersible! Oil-, silicone- or water-based lubes are all fine with ABS plastic toys.

For extra protection if you’re sharing your toys, pop a condom over it or clean it thoroughly between users.

In Use: Power for Days!

Power is always the crunch point for me, when it comes to whether I like a toy or not. Basically, I want power and lots of it! And ohhhh boy, did the Exposed Nocturnal bullet deliver in this area.

It has 10 settings: five constant speeds and five patterns. Mr CK was stunned when I switched this toy on to show him its power, then said “and that’s the LOWEST setting!” It’s got less pure rumble than the Tango, but no less power. (If the Tango is a 9 on a 1-10 scale of rumbliness, this toy is about a 7.5). Starting out at a low rumble and building up to what I can only describe as a tiny power tool, make no mistake: this baby is extremely powerful. I can come reliably, in only a few minutes, with this toy on the lowest setting – which is practically unheard of for me.

I should mention that it’s a little on the louder side. The volume isn’t unreasonable for the level of power, but it’s not a good choice if you need near-silent. (It does, however, pass the “can Mr CK hear Amy wanking from downstairs when she’s in the bedroom with the door closed?” test. He could not).

In conclusion: the best bullet I’ve ever tried.

And I do not say this lightly! This toy is in-fucking-credible for the price. If you need power but you’re on a limited budget, or if you’re looking for a discreet little vibe to take on your travels with you, look no further.

Let me say it again: This. Toy. Is. $32. Next time anyone tells you that you can’t get a body-safe product without shelling out hundreds, point them to this post.

Thanks to Peepshow for sending me the Blush Novelties Exposed Nocturnal lipstick bullet to review. It will feature next month in a piece on the best body-safe vibrators under $40. Links in this post are affiliate links and if you use them, I will make a small commission. As ever, all opinions my own, and please don’t steal my photos!