[Toy Review] Sohimi Rose Queen

I tend to come to cheap sex toys with a healthy degree of scepticism. Yes, there are amazing toys costing under £30 out there. But so many budget sex toys are poor in quality, made of unsafe materials, have shitty buzzy motors, or die after three uses. I say all this to illustrate how impressed I was with the Sohimi Rose Queen, a $37.99 (that’s about £27.50) dual purpose sex toy that absolutely blew me away.

A Rose Queen by any other name…

(Yes, there are going to be rose puns.)

The Sohimi Rose Queen is a dual purpose sex toy shaped like – you guessed it – a rose on a stem. Look how pretty it is!

Sohimi Rose Queen review product

The flower part of the rose houses a clitoral suction toy, while the handle is a vibrator that can be used internally or externally. Given that the rose head offers a form of flared base, you could even use it anally, if you wanted.

The Sohimi Rose Queen is made of soft and body-safe silicone in a bright shade of red. (Real silicone, not a weird blend or an unsafe gel material masquerading as silicone!) It is rechargeable, offering an hour’s run time and taking around two hours to charge via the included magnetic cable, and fully waterproof.

Sohimi Rose Queen clit sucking vibrator

This toy measures 8″ in total length, of which 6″ makes up the insertable handle and 2″ the rose head. The shaft measures 1.3″ in diameter at the widest point and is lovely and flexible.

Interface and functionality

The Sohimi Rose Queen features two buttons, located on the top of the shaft just below the rose head. The top button (with a lips icon) controls the suction functionality, while the bottom button (with a vibration waves icon) controls the vibrations in the shaft.

Sohimi Rose Queen double ended vibrator buttons

You can use both settings at once, though I’m not really sure why you’d want to.

The clitoral sucking rose head offers five settings: three constant speeds and two pulsing settings. The vibrating end, meanwhile, offers 10 settings: 3 speeds and 7 patterns. I’d have preferred two-way controls, as you have to scroll all the way through to find the settings you want, but we can’t have everything. Remember, this is a $38 vibrator.

Sohimi Rose Queen close-up of clitoral sucking vibrator

Volume-wise, the Rose Queen is acceptable. The vibrations are about what you’d expect for the level of power on offer. Unusually, the clitoral suction end actually gets louder when applied to the body. According to Sohimi, the toy’s highest volume is still under 30 dB, so it’s not egregiously loud or anything.

Rose to the occasion?

So how did the Sohimi Rose Queen fare in use?

The most important thing with any sex toy, ultimately, is “did it get me off?” And dear God, yes, the Rose Queen got me off!

The nozzle is wide enough to encompass a good portion of the external clit, and the silicone is soft enough to provide comfort during use, especially if you add plenty of lube to its rim.

Here’s something I’ve learned: if suction sex toys feel too intense for you, try applying the nozzle over your clitoral hood rather than directly to the glans itself. Many people find that this lowers the overwhelming intensity without reducing pleasure.

Sohimi Rose Queen flexible shaft vibrator

The shape of this toy is a real godsend. Many suction toys are difficult to hold or position in the way that works for my body, simply due to their shape. But the Sohimi Rose Queen’s flexible stem handle is not only comfortable and ergonomic to hold, but also makes it easy to manipulate the toy into my desired position and keep it there.

The vibrating end did less for me. I’m not a fan of internal vibrations, and the vibes are a little too buzzy to do much for me in the way of clitoral stimulation. However, the firm-yet-flexible silicone means it can be used as an insertable dildo for G-spot (or prostate) stimulation, if that’s your thing.

I doubt I’ll reach for the Rose Queen for internal use much, if at all. But that rose head end though? Yes, that’s going to see plenty of use!

Verdict

If you’re looking for an affordable, dual purpose sex toy that offers both vibrations and sucking action, then you’ve found it. The Rose Queen isn’t perfect, of course. The lack of two-way controls and the buzzy vibrations are notable downsides. But overall, it’s a great product that is made of quality materials and gets the job done.

I don’t usually care much about packaging, unless you count getting upset by excessive single-use plastics. But the Rose Queen came packaged in a lovely sturdy box with a rose design on the outside. If you’re on a budget but want to give your loved one a toy that feels special, this is a really nice touch that makes the Rose Queen ideal for gifting.

Get yours from Sohimi, who ship worldwide, and check out their other clitoral vibrators while you’re there.

This Sohimi Rose Queen review was sponsored. This does not impact my views of the product which are, and will always be, my own.

How Audio Erotica is Making Smut More Inclusive

Sofia Sins logo

Do you prefer to read your smut or watch it? Some people love written erotica, others love visual porn, and many of us enjoy a mixture of the two. But now there’s a third option that’s making waves and taking the adult industry by storm: enter audio erotica

Here are a few of the ways that audio erotica is making smut more welcoming, more inclusive, and more enjoyable for everyone. 

More ways to consume

Many people find written or visual porn inaccessible for various reasons. For example, for people who are blind or visually impaired, traditional porn videos are likely to be somewhat or completely inaccessible. While many sites offering written smut, such as Literotica, can be used via a screen reader, that’s not necessarily a super sexy or appealing option. 

But audio erotica opens up a whole new avenue of smutty enjoyment. The best audio smut is narrated by skilled voice performers with sexy voices (which can, of course, mean different things to different people.) Because quality erotica is for everyone, regardless of ability and whether they choose to watch it, read it, or listen to it. 

Pleasure focused and sex positive 

Much of the audio porn currently on the market seems to have been created by women and with female pleasure in mind. Whenever I’ve engaged with audio porn I’ve found the stories to be pleasure focused, consent minded, and overall sex positive. They feature safe and mutually pleasurable sexual scenarios. And when stories do feature an element of coercion roleplay or consensual non-consent, it’s generally made clear that they are fantasy, not reality. 

So much mainstream porn is focused on male pleasure and the male gaze. But audio smut creators understand that women, non binary folks, and queer people want quality erotic content just as much as cis men do… and they’re giving it to us! 

I’ve also found that audio porn trends much less towards using dehumanising terminology and artificial categorisation. Mainstream porn sites often use terms that are problematic at best, and downright sexist, ageist, racist, or transphobic at worst. I haven’t seen the same issue in the audio smut world. 

More options for creative scenarios

Don’t get me wrong, porn makers and performers can get VERY creative! But ultimately, visual content will always be limited by what’s possible (and affordable) to pull off on screen. Audio porn, though, allows for almost anything that the writers and creators can dream up. So if immersing yourself in a futuristic, fantastical, or historical scenario sounds up your street, or you fantasise about sexual acts that are physically or biologically impossible, you can find all of those things and so much more. 

More surreptitious

You (probably) wouldn’t watch visual porn while on the Tube or walking to work, right? And while it’s possible to sneakily read written erotica via a Kindle or smartphone app, there’s always the danger of someone looking over your shoulder. 

Audio porn, though, can be completely discreet. Just choose your story, pop your headphones in, and no-one will be any the wiser. You could be listening to the morning news or a perfectly innocent podcast, for all they know! 

This is also particularly useful for those who live with family, have roommates or children at home, or even have a partner who gives them grief about consuming erotic content. (I’ll argue forever that porn and masturbation aren’t cheating, but I know that’s a losing battle with some people.) Audio smut allows you complete privacy. 

Can be more ethical

There’s a huge amount of fantastic feminist, queer, consensually-produced ethical porn out there. I enjoy visual porn, but at this point I prefer to access it either from production companies I trust or directly from the performers themselves. 

For the average consumer, though, the “tube” sites are still by far the most popular way to access traditional porn. And while these sites do contain some good and ethically produced content, they’re also rife with stolen clips and even non-consensual videos. 

If you’ve ever watched mainstream porn and wondered whether the performers are really consenting or being abused or coerced, you’re not alone. It’s a real and valid concern. Audio smut means you can relax in the knowledge that no-one has been harmed for your enjoyment. 

Allowing you to insert yourself into the fantasy

When it comes to visual porn, it’s often more about the scenario than the individual performers for me. I find a wide range of body types and genders attractive, after all. However, sometimes I find myself distracted because I want to insert myself into the fantasy being played out on the screen, but I can’t find scenarios I like with bodies that look like mine. But when all I’ve got to work with is a voice, I can envision the main characters looking however I want them to look. Instead of the pretty narrow standards set by mainstream porn, you’ve suddenly got a whole world of potential. 

Audio porn makes it easier to mentally put yourself into the scenario. Since the action all takes place in your ears and your mind, you can immerse yourself and place yourself into whichever role takes your fancy. Do you want to be the whip-wielding Domme, the helpless maiden, or a member of the couple exploring group sex for the first time? Now you can! 

Sofia Sins actually takes this premise a step further. When you choose the story you want to listen to, you can read a little bio for each of the main characters and decide whose perspective you want to hear. 

Do you listen to audio porn? Whether it’s your go-to or you’re just curious, I’d love to know what about it appeals to you. 

FYI: today’s post was sponsored by Sofia Sins, a new audio erotica platform from the folks behind Sofia Gray. You can enjoy a 3 day free trial to see if you like it. After that, a subscription is just $4.99 per month or $49.99 per year. All views, as always, are my own! 

[Toy Review] Osuga Cuddly Bird

Osuga is a woman-owned sexual wellness brand founded in 2015 and based in Hong Kong. Their Cuddly Bird toy for people with vulvas has won awards including a Bronze IDEA Award (2020) and a Golden Pin Design Award (2019). So I was pretty excited to try it and see what all the hype is about.

The Osuga Cuddly Bird is so named, because… well, look at it!

Osuga clit sucking sex toy Cuddly Bird

It was posted discreetly and inside, the toy was packaged in a sturdy Osuga-branded box. In the box you’ll find the toy, its charging base and cable, a set of instructions, and a soft, velvety storage bag in the same colour as your toy.

Design and Materials

The Osuga Cuddly Bird is really two toys in one, featuring an ordinary motor for use as a traditional vibrator as well as a nozzle with clitoral suction function.

The Cuddly Bird measures just a hair over 3″ in height. Its body circumference is 7″ (2.2″ diameter) at the widest point, and the clitoral nozzle is 0.5″ in diameter. It weighs in at 133g.

This toy is made of ultra-soft silicone which feels thick and plushy as well as being body-safe and hygienic. Aesthetically, it’s really cute and pretty. I got the mint green variation (my favourite colour aside from purple!) but you can also get it in pastel pink or yellow. The inclusion of a matching storage bag is a nice touch. I particularly enjoyed the charging port looking like a little bird cage:

Cuddly Bird clit sucking vibrator in birdcage charging port

Fun fact: the charging cage will stay lit up as long as it’s plugged in, even as the toy is removed, so you could double its function as a mini night-light if you wish. If the toy is attached, the light will switch off when the toy is fully charged.

The Cuddly Bird is somewhat waterproof. The website says it’s suitable for shower usage and the booklet advises not submersing it below 30cm. Run time is about 2.5 hours on suction mode or 80 minutes on vibration mode for a full charge.

User Interface

The Cuddly Bird has two buttons, one for each of its functionalities. The button with the circle icon controls the suction, and the button with the two wavy lines icon controls the vibration.

Sex toy control buttons

The buttons are sensibly located on the base of the toy and are easy to press. Simply press and hold the button for your desired function to switch it on, use the same button to scroll through the settings (three vibration speeds and one pattern on the vibrating side, three speeds on the suction side.)

Be aware that you can’t use the vibrations and suction at the same time. It’s easy to switch between them, but I would have appreciated the ability to try using them together.

Cuddly Bird in Use

I’ll start by saying that the vibration settings didn’t really do much for me. They’re pretty buzzy, and that isn’t a sensation that works well for my body. The power is also dampened a lot by the thick silicone. If you prefer gentler or buzzier vibrations, the Cuddly Bird may work well for you. But if you’re like me and prefer a deeper rumble, skip this toy’s vibrating mode.

The suction setting, though? Well, that is a different matter entirely!

I have a pretty small glans clitoris (that’s the external bit, for anyone who isn’t a sex ed nerd like me!) and this toy’s nozzle is just the right size to envelop it.

I found the shape of the Cuddly Bird easy and comfortable to hold. For me, the best angle was using it sideways on (so the toy at 90 degrees to my body, closing around my clit from the left hand side). Your mileage may vary and suction toys are notoriously different for every body, so experiment and see what works for you.

Cuddly Bird vibrator

Once I had the angle right, the Cuddly Bird delivered near-perfectly in terms of what I look for from a clitoral suction toy. It very quickly brought me to the point of orgasm. When I’d finished, my legs were shaking – always a sign of a good time!

Bonus: the Cuddly Bird is relatively quiet, maxing out at around 50dB. It easily passed my extremely scientific “door closed, under a blanket” test, and it’s quiet enough that I can comfortably watch porn or listen to audio smut while using it.

Top Tips for Choosing and Using Your Vibrator

I often say that sex education failed me and I believe it failed many of us. One of the most critical aspects of sexuality as a whole is… pleasure! And guess what didn’t get a mention in any of the sex ed I received? Yup, you’ve guessed it.

Like me, Osuga believes that “sex is a beautiful and natural experience” and wants everyone who desires it to have the best sex possible. What that looks like will be different for every person. But whether you’re monogamous or open, queer or straight, male or female or non-binary, you can use toys to enhance your sex life if you want to. Here’s a very quick rundown of my top tips for choosing and using a sex toy:

  1. Pay attention to what YOU like, not what you (or your partner, or society) think people with your body parts are “supposed” to like.
  2. Choose a body-safe product. There are so many affordable body-safe options on the market nowadays!
  3. If you’re new to using toys, aim for a versatile product that you can use to explore different sensations.
  4. Lube makes just about everything better. Choose a safe, water-based lube with as few ingredients as possible.
  5. Clean your toy between every use (see the next section for more info) to keep it hygienic.
  6. Consider experimenting with a toy on your own before introducing it into partnered sex.
  7. If you’re bringing toys into partnered play (which is awesome – yay!) make sure you communicate honestly about what’s working and what isn’t. Aim for exploration and mutual pleasure, not a specific goal.

Most importantly of all, remember that sexuality and sexual pleasure are endlessly, beautifully unique. There’s no right and wrong way to explore or use toys. If you’re staying safe and having fun, then you’re doing it right.

How to Clean Your Sex Toy

If there’s one question about toys I get asked more than any other, it’s probably “how do I keep my sex toys clean?” I actually wrote a whole article about this, but here’s an executive summary:

  • You can boil a silicone or stainless steel sex toy that doesn’t contain a motor (or pop it in the dishwasher on the top rack).
  • For toys with motors, like the Cuddly Bird, you can’t boil them as it will destroy the motor. Instead, use either a 10% bleach solution (9 parts water to 1 part bleach) or a body-safe sterile wipe (I get mine from a medical supplies website). Then rinse your toy and let it dry thoroughly before you put it away.
  • It’s safe to share non-porous toys like the Cuddly Bird, in general, but sterilise it between users unless you’re fluid bonded.

If you take care of it, a body-safe sex toy in a material like silicone will last you for years. A great investment in your pleasure, I’m sure you’ll agree.

Cuddly Bird: Verdict

(Bird-ict? No.)

The Cuddly Bird is a really fabulous little clit sucker. It was a pleasure to use, it got the job done, and the fact that it’s cute as hell and in one of my favourite colours doesn’t hurt, either!

The Osuga Cuddly Bird retails for £78.21 (around $110 for my US friends). You can get $40 off using my link and the code “Coffee”.

Thanks to Osuga for sponsoring this review. Please note that sponsorship does not guarantee a glowing review and that all opinions are my own!

What is Ethical Porn and How Can It Enhance Your Sex Life?

I love porn. 

People are often surprised when I say that. As an outspoken and unapologetic feminist, surely pornography would be against everything I stand for? Well, not exactly.

It’s true that the mainstream porn industry has a lot to answer for. Too often, the large “tube” sites profit from stolen content or non consensual content, including revenge porn and child abuse material. 

But there’s an alternative. If you’ve never explored ethical porn, you’re missing out on something that can be a wonderful addition to your sex life. 

Bellesa Plus ethical porn streaming platform

Today I’m spotlighting Bellesa Plus, a porn streaming platform that calls itself “The Netflix of Porn” and offers a “pay what you can” model costing from as little as $1 per month. The higher prices offer special perks, such as free sex toys and gift cards to the Bellesa Boutique (BBoutique), but the low entry point means you can enjoy more ethical adult content even if you’re on a budget. 

But What is Ethical Porn?

As with many of the things we consume, from food to media, people are becoming more and more concerned about the ethics behind their porn. Untangling exactly what constitutes ethical porn can be a minefield, especially given that the porn industry is still often defending its right to exist at all. 

Here are four things that I believe go into making porn ethical. 

Consent

This might seem like a bare minimum standard, but it’s missing from a shocking amount of mainstream porn. 100% of Bellesa’s content features consenting adults having consensual sex that has been consensually filmed. 

Performers have the opportunity to negotiate with their partner before filming starts, exploring their likes and dislikes. If a scene involves roleplay, performers will be briefed on their role in plenty of time to ensure they’re comfortable with it. 

And if, like me, you’re squicked by all the pseudo-incest (think: “step sister”) content that pops up on mainstream sites, you’ll be pleased to know Bellesa doesn’t do any of that. 

Chemistry and Connection

When I watch porn, I often gravitate towards amateur content because it feels so much more authentic. Whatever the specific acts that they’re engaging in, ultimately I want to watch people who truly like (or even love) each other, having hot sex that they’re genuinely enjoying. 

Many mainstream porn studios don’t give performers much choice who they work with. Bellesa pairs performers who truly have chemistry and actually want to have sex with each other. Because real connection and attraction makes for much hotter content and a much better working environment for the performers. 

Women as Subjects, Not Objects 

One of the things that will turn me off the fastest in any porn scene is seeing women being objectified. This is apparent in everything from the naming of scenes to the ways in which female pleasure is explored (or, often, ignored.) 

Ethical porn puts the pleasure of all participants front and center. In ethical porn, the women being depicted are full human beings with their own desires and erotic agency. In other words, subjects of pleasure, not objects to be acted upon. Bellesa porn is directed and produced by women, headed up by the inimitable Jacky St. James

A Safe and Respectful Working Environment

Making pornography is work, and performers deserve a safe working environment just as much as employees in any other industry. 

This can be as simple as prioritizing their comfort on set, such as making sure they’re well fed and hydrated. Sexual safety is important too, whether that’s ensuring plenty of lube is used or carrying out rigorous STI (and now also Covid-19) testing. And, of course, performers must retain the right to say no or to call “cut” on a scene for any reason. This goes back to consent. 

Performers should also be fairly compensated for the work they do. Making porn can be huge fun but it can also be physically and emotionally taxing at times. Performers are workers and deserve to be paid a fair rate. 

How Ethical Porn Can Enhance Your Sex Life 

Despite what naysayers might say about it, I believe that porn can be an extremely healthy and positive addition to your sex life, whether you’re single or partnered. When you make a point of consuming ethical porn, you can feel good about your viewing habits.

Here are three ways ethical porn can enhance your sex life. 

Get New Ideas

I recently experimented with a new kink activity with my partner. Why? Because I saw this specific act in a porn clip, thought it looked hot, and asked him if he’d be willing to try it with me.

Good porn has the potential to introduce you to new kinks, activities, and ways of having sex that you might never have thought of before. While you might not want to try everything you see, some things are sure to resonate. 

One of the things I love most about human sexuality is its infinite variety. Every single day, people are having sex in endlessly creative ways, many of which I’m sure I’ve never even thought of – and you probably haven’t, either! Ethical porn gives you a consensual window into other people’s bedrooms and allows you to draw inspiration from what you see. 

Enjoy Things You Can’t Do in Real Life

Perhaps there are things you fantasize about but can’t (or don’t want to) do in real life. For example, you might be a bisexual person in a monogamous relationship with a different-gender partner. Watching porn can allow you to express your attraction to same-gendered people without changing the relationship you have with your partner. 

Or maybe you have a particular fetish that your partner doesn’t share. If your relationship agreements don’t allow for getting that itch scratched with others, porn featuring your kink is another ethical and safe sexual outlet. 

It’s also valid to enjoy things in fantasy that you don’t want to do in real life. Let’s say you fantasize about gangbangs but consider the idea too risky to carry out in reality. Ethical porn is a wonderful way to enjoy your fantasies in a safe way that doesn’t carry any of the real-world risk that might come with realising them. 

Boost Your Desire

For many people, including me, arousal begets arousal. In other words, the more you masturbate, have sex, or consume erotic media, the more you’ll want to. The anti-porn crowd would say this is a bad thing, but I believe it can be just the opposite! After all, sexual pleasure is healthy and orgasms are good for us. Why not seek a little more of both in your life? 

So if you’re looking to get in the mood more often or more easily, pulling up your favourite steamy scene can help make that happen. Whether you watch alone or with a partner, the right porn can help to fire up your libido when it needs a little extra help. 

Want to Explore Ethical Porn?

If so, grab yourself a Bellesa Plus subscription. You’ll get access to top content from 50+ premium porn channels, unlimited 4K streaming, access to interactive sex education content, and unlimited access to over 600 erotic stories. You’ll also enjoy 24/7 support, discreet and secure billing, and an ad-free viewing experience. 

Best of all, you can get off to some of the hottest content you’ll find anywhere, and know that you’re supporting a company doing good in this industry. 

Bellesa Plus ethical porn logo

FYI: this post was sponsored by the good folks at Bellesa. All views, as ever, are my own. 

[Lube Review] Promescent Personal Lubricants

I’m picky about lube. Like, super picky. This is for a good reason – there are a lot of ingredients that my body simply does not like or get along with. Having to stop sex because your vulva is burning as a result of some random lube you grabbed at a sex party? Do not recommend.

Couple in bed with lubes in foreground

As a result, I tend to stick to a couple of favourite brands. When companies offer me lubes for review, I often either just say no or end up hating the product.

I say all this so that you understand how unusual it is for me to discover a new line of lubes that I genuinely love and will happily use again and again.

Who Are Promescent?

Promescent is a company dedicated to closing the orgasm gap (a term for the fact that on average, cis men and other people with penises experience orgasm more frequently and more quickly than cis women and other people with vulvas during partnered sex.)

They started out making an orgasm delay product for penis owners, but have now branched out into other lines including lube, condoms, massage oils, and arousal gels for vulva owners.

Promescent works with a medical advisory team including highly trained urologists and sexual medicine experts, and is additionally supported by a medical review team featuring names you may know, including Dr Justin Lehmiller and Dr Laura Berman, and a team of non-medical sexuality experts.

Promescent’s Lube Line

Promescent were kind enough to send me three of their lubes to try. I received the water-based lube, organic aloe-based lube, and silicone lube. I’m going to start by talking about the ingredients, then look at my experience with each product in turn.

Promescent organic and body safe lubes

Each lube comes in a 4fl oz (118ml) disk-cap bottle. You can also get larger 8fl oz bottles, or subscribe for regular deliveries and save 7%.

Ingredients and Safety

With such a large team of sexuality professionals and medical experts on board, one would expect Promescent to be using body-safe ingredients in their lubes. I looked closely at each label and did a deep dive on the internet to learn about them.

My main resources for this research were Condom Depot’s What’s In My Lube? guide, Incidecoder, and SkinCarisma’s ingredients analyser. After looking up every ingredient name I didn’t recognise, I feel safe in saying that these lubes do not contain any toxic ingredients and will be safe for anyone to use as long as you don’t have a specific allergy or sensitivity.

A small disclaimer here: the water-based lube does contain glycerin. This isn’t a toxic ingredient, but it is a form of sugar and can be problematic to people who are prone to yeast infections. I’ve never had an issue with it myself, but it’s something to be aware of.

None of the Promescent lubes contain parabens (harmful chemicals that pop up distressingly often in lubricants and cosmetics and have been linked to hormone disruption, fertility issues, and even cancer.) All the lubes are also pH balanced, meaning they won’t have a negative impact on your vaginal health.

Let’s dive in one at a time and talk about how I got on with them!

Promescent Water-Based Lube

Promescent water-based lube

I always tell my readers that if they’re going to buy one type of lube, make it a quality water-based lube. That’s because water-based is the most versatile type of lube you can get – a true all-rounder!

The Promescent water-based lube has a light, natural scent and a slight tangy taste. It’s very runny and slippery, and you only need a little bit to go a long way. This lube is quick-drying, non-sticky, and did not leave any unwanted residue on either my body or my sheets.

A 4oz bottle of Promescent water-based lube retails for $8.99, making it the cheapest of the bunch. You can use it with any type of barrier and any sex toy material.

Use it for: oral sex, since it has the lightest taste, or playing with silicone toys.

Promescent Organic Aloe-Based Lube

Promescent organic aloe-based lube

I’ve never tried an aloe-based lube before, so this was a new one to me. I’ve been sniffing it and trying to work out what the scent reminds me of. It’s very botanical – basically, if “green” had a smell, it would be this. The aloe lube has a stronger taste than the water-based, though it’s still pretty mild and not at all unpleasant.

Texture-wise, the aloe lube is about the same thickness and runnyness as the water-based. However, I found that it absorbed into my skin more slowly, meaning that it lasted longer. This makes it perfect for lube-heavy activities such as anal play!

It’s got a lovely, slippery feel that is the closest of the three to natural lubrication. It left my skin feeling soft and non-sticky, and did not stain my sheets.

FYI: the aloe lube isn’t safe for use with polyurethane condoms, but latex and polyisoprene are fine. It pairs well with all body-safe sex toy materials.

A 4oz bottle of Promescent organic aloe lube retails for $9.49.

Use it for: anal sex, vaginal penetration with a penis or toy.

Promescent Silicone Lube

Promescent silicone lube

Silicone lube is divisive in the sexuality world. Some people love it, others hate it. I love it in the right contexts, but in practice I don’t use it very often. That’s because silicone lube can sometimes damage silicone toys (though it doesn’t always) and a large percentage of my toy collection consists of silicone products.

Silicone also requires more clean-up, since it can stain certain fabrics and is harder to get off your skin. I recommend putting a towel down for easy clean up when you’re done.

With that said, silicone lube also has a lot of advantages and I enjoyed getting a chance to experiment with it.

Promescent’s silicone lube contains just four ingredients. It is thinner and runnier than many other silicone lubricants I’ve encountered. Again, you really only need a little bit and it goes a long way. It did leave my skin slightly sticky, but washed away easily with my usual soap.

The texture of this lube is super slick, which makes it absolutely perfect for hand sex. Clitoral stimulation is a lot more comfortable and pleasurable when there’s sufficient lubrication, and Promescent’s silicone lube is an excellent choice for this purpose. It’s also ideal for bath and shower sex, since it isn’t water-soluble.

A 4oz bottle of Promescent silicone lube retails for $12.99.

Use it for: hand sex (on yourself or a partner), playing with non-silicone toys.

So which is my favourite?

It’s a tough call, but the organic aloe-based lube is a surprising winner for me! The slick, moisturising feel and the nice natural scent just clinch it. But honestly they’re all great products that absolutely deserve a place on your nightstand.

FYI: this review was sponsored, which means Promescent paid me to test their products and write an honest review. Images are courtesy of Promescent and used with permission. All views are, as always, my own.

[Toy Review] Sohimi Mini Tongue Vibrator

There are some sex acts that are relatively easy to mimic with toys, such as penetrative sex. There are others which are more difficult, though companies have tried valiantly – the blowjob being one such example. And then there are acts that it is seemingly impossible to replicate with a toy. Exhibit A: cunnilingus.

Suction toys have claimed for years that they simulate oral sex. Toys like the Sqweel have tried and, if the reviews are to be believed, largely failed. Today I’m reviewing the Sohimi Mini Tongue Vibrator, another toy that claims to simulate cunnilingus. But how did it fare? Let’s find out!

Sohimi Mini Tongue Vibrator

The Sohimi Tongue Vibrator is a mini clit tickler toy, featuring a large rounded base topped with a small flickering tongue. When the toy is on, the tongue oscillates or flicks rapidly back and forth.

Sohimi Mini Tongue Vibrator purple clitoral vibrator
Image credit: Sohimi

When I unboxed this toy, the first thing that struck me was how small it is. Yes, I know it’s called a mini vibrator, but I wasn’t expecting it to be quite this small. It measures a petite 3″ in height and 2″ in diameter. The tongue is about 1″ long. Thanks to its tiny size, it is super light and fits neatly in my small hand.

The best way I can describe this toy is to say that it reminds me of a cross between a flower and one of those plastic candles with artificial flames that you get on restaurant tables.

Sohimi tongue vibrator for women and people with vulvas

The Sohimi Mini Tongue Vibrator is 100% waterproof and rechargeable via the included USB charging base. It is made of body-safe and surprisingly soft matte silicone in an attractive shade of purple. And yes, it’s definitely real silicone!

Does it feel like cunnilingus?

In all honesty, no.

The thing about cunnilingus is that it’s not just about the back and forth flicking sensation of a tongue. It’s actually a combination of many different sensations – the warmth and wetness of a lover’s mouth, the feel of their hot breath on your bits, that moment when they bury their whole face between your legs as if they want to devour you. So much of what makes cunnilingus great just cannot be replicated with a toy.

So no, the Sohimi Mini Tongue Vibrator does not really feel like oral sex. But that doesn’t mean it’s a bad toy.

But does it feel good?

Yes, it actually does!

Given how choosy my clit is and how much of a power-queen I tend to be, I was a little skeptical to begin with. Would a tiny little clitoral vibrator costing $27 be able to do anything for me?

Well, I am happy to report that it did! The flickering motion feels fantastic and distinctly different from a traditional vibrator. The tongue is structured yet flexible, so it’s ideal for those who love pinpoint stimulation but want something a bit gentler than a hard plastic vibrator.

Flickering tongue vibrator clitoral sex toy

It took a little experimenting to get it right. My clitoral glans is extremely sensitive and direct stimulation is usually too intense to be pleasurable. In the end, I discovered that the most pleasurable way for me to use the Mini Tongue Vibrator was to allow the tongue to flicker against the side of my clit. (The left side is more pleasurable on my body, don’t ask me why.) So if you get one of these, take the time to experiment and try out different placements to see what works for you.

Pro tip: this is a toy that you really need to use lube with. Without it (even when I was quite wet) I found the tongue flicking action uncomfortable. Add a very generous blob of water-based lube to the tongue itself and/or your vulva before you start, and reapply as necessary.

Controls and Interface

The Sohimi Mini Tongue Vibrator operates on a one-button interface, which sits in the centre of the toy’s base and is easy to press. Hold it for two seconds to turn on, cycle through the patterns with quick presses, then hold it for a further two seconds to turn off.

The Mini Tongue Vibrator has 10 settings total: 3 constant speeds and 7 patterns. I think it’s well-known by now that I don’t generally care for patterns much. This is a “stick it on the highest constant setting and leave it there” toy for me.

Other Important Info

The Mini Tongue Vibrator is certainly not a silent toy, but its volume is well within the range of what I consider acceptable. It makes the same kind of low, consistent buzz as a mid-powered vibrator.

It’s also worth being aware that this toy isn’t really one that you can press hard into your vulva (or you can, but the flickering motion will be severely impeded.) Too much pressure and it will stop flicking or slow down a lot.

The pictures on the website seem to imply you can use this toy internally. Which, obviously, I had to try. The verdict? You technically can, but it probably won’t do anything. The tongue is so short that it can’t get even an inch inside the vagina so, unless you particularly enjoy stimulation right at your entrance, this is an external-only toy.

Final Verdict

I’m going to declare this one “surprisingly good for the price!” No, it doesn’t feel like cunnilingus, but it provides something a bit different to a standard vibrator that still feels really good. It’s also small, portable, and body-safe.

The Sohimi Mini Tongue Vibrator retails for $26.99.

Thanks to Sohimi Sex Toys for sponsoring this review. I was paid to provide my honest and unbiased thoughts – all opinions are my own.

Review: “Wylde One” Intimate Lubricant by Into the Wylde

I believe we should say it like it is. Intimate discomfort sucks. It’s unbearable. It causes shame and disconnection. You deserve to feel good, to reconnect, to break down the shame, and get back to your sensual self.”
– Kathie Bishop, Into the Wylde Founder

Into the Wylde official product photo
Photo credit: Into the Wylde

I met Kathie, the founder of Into the Wylde and creator of Wylde One lubricant, in London at Eroticon 2018. (Goodness, that seems like a long time ago now, doesn’t it?) I was excited to learn about what she was trying to do with the company. A woman-led, sex-positive company creating intimate products with health, comfort, and pleasure in mind? Hell yeah, sign me up!

Well, I just received a sample of Into the Wylde’s debut product, Wylde One intimate lubricant, and I can’t wait to tell you folks all about it.

Wlyde One lube mini sachets

Those of you who have been reading my work for a while will know that I’m very, very picky about lube. Most of the commercial lubes on the market, I simply will not use. Why? Because they’re filled with yucky ingredients that are really bad for our genitals and bodies.

From glycerine (which can cause thrush and yeast infections in people with vulvas, amongst other problems,) to parabens (which are hormone disruptors and possibly carcinogenic,) lubes are often filled with all kinds of nasties. I’ve personally experienced burning and irritation of my vulva caused by poor quality lube in the past. Highly unsexy. Do not recommend!

Why is Wylde One Different?

Wylde One is a genuinely body-friendly lube. Into the Wylde founder Kathie is a practising medical herbalist, specialising in vaginal health. This means that she created Wylde One from a basis of a strong understanding of the body’s physiology and how it can be affected by various ingredients. Wylde One is a water-based lubricant with 99% natural and 97% organic ingredients. The full list of plant-based ingredients is listed on the website and on each tube. It’s based around ingredients like aloe vera, marigold, oat, and white nettle extracts.

But Wylde One goes further than just natural, body-friendly ingredients. It is formulated with a low molar concentration, which means that it does not draw natural lubrication out of the vaginal tissues. It also matches the typical pH level of a healthy vagina, at around pH4, and has undergone rigorous testing to ensure it is non-toxic to the body’s cells.

There’s a small possibility of an allergic reaction if you’re sensitive to the Asteraceae family of plants (which includes plants like sunflowers and daisies.) Otherwise, you can use Wylde One with confidence.

Good for the Planet as Well as Your Body

Wylde One’s packaging is made from a plastic/wood composite from renewable sources, making it 100% recyclable to reduce waste. The tubes are BPA-free, and the lube carries the Soil Association stamp of approval for its organic status.

Wylde One is also certified vegan, approved by the Vegan Society. It contains no animal-derived ingredients, and neither the product nor its ingredients were tested on animals at any point in the manufacturing process.

Wylde One packaging with Vegan Society and Soil Association stamps

Personally, as a vegetarian I refuse to buy any cosmetics that have been tested on animals. So it’s lovely to have an option for completely cruelty-free lube.

Presentation

I received my Wylde One sample in plain, discreet packaging. Inside was a 75ml tube of the lubricant, plus ten little one-use sample sachets. These minis are particularly useful for travel and I’ll be popping them in my date night/sex club trip kit bag (when we can eventually go on dates and to sex clubs again! *sob*)

Wylde One mini lube sachet

My tube of Wylde One lube was attractively wrapped in dark green tissue paper and sealed with a branded sticker:

Included are some informational postcards that tell you a little more about the product and company.

Into the Wylde’s packaging is genuinely gorgeous! The brand colours are dark green and pink, a striking combination that brings to mind a garden on a summer day. The artwork, based on abstract line-drawings of a nude woman surrounded by flowers, is similarly lovely. The overall aesthetic is stylish and inviting.

Tube of Wylde One lube

In Use

This is perhaps the closest I’ve ever found to a lube that mimics the body’s natural lubrication. It feels lovely on my skin, and when it dries you can barely tell it was ever there. It’s non-sticky and, since it doesn’t suck away the body’s natural lubrication, a little bit goes a long way.

Fingers coated in water-based lube

Also, while I’m not saying you should use lube as moisturiser, the back of my hand where I did my initial skin-test felt lovely and soft afterwards. Just saying.

Wylde One is compatible with both latex and non-latex barriers, so you can use it with confidence for safer sex. Since it’s water-based, it is also compatible with all body-safe sex toy materials including silicone, stainless steel, wood, glass, ceramic, and ABS plastic. I tested it extensively with my favourite toys, including my Doxy and Nocturnal Bullet. Unlike many lubes I’ve used, it doesn’t leave an unpleasant sticky residue on my toys after play.

Since Wylde One is water-based, it’s easy to clean off both your toys and body with warm water and gentle soap. Bonus: it won’t stain your sheets!

Taste and Smell

Have you ever noticed how many commercial sexual lubes taste horrible? (And yes, I’m including “flavoured” lubes in that – aspartame and fake strawberry flavour is not a tasty combo, thanks!) I prefer my lubes to have as little taste as possible so that I can use them for oral sex without masking the natural deliciousness of my partner’s body.

So I am pleased to report that Wylde One has virtually no taste that I can discern. I stuck a blob of it on my hand and licked it off to do a real taste-test. Being a sex blogger is endlessly sexy all the time, y’all. The best way I can describe it is that it has a very slight detectable tang, nothing more.

Fun fact: the tangy taste is due to the formulation being balanced with a natural vaginal pH4, which is fairly acidic. Sex and science, y’all!

The smell is similarly light and unobtrusive. It has a very mild sweet/sour smell that sort of reminds me of lemon.

Final Thoughts

I’m a convert.

As I said at the beginning, I’m very picky about lubes. Prior to this, there was one brand I would buy, and perhaps two others I would use if available but not purchase for myself. But now I have a new favourite! Good for your body, good for the planet, and created by a small, women-led business – what’s not to love?

You can purchase Wylde One lube directly from Into the Wylde. A 75ml tube costs £11.99 (and shipping is free in the UK.) Since a little goes a long way, a tube will last you ages.

Heads up: this review was sponsored. However, that does not impact my views, which are and will always be my own. Official product image used with permission, all over images by me.

How to Write a Killer Swinger Dating Profile

Whether you’re just starting out in swinging, or have been around on the swinger sites for a while but are not having much luck, you might be wondering how to write the absolute best swinger dating profile you can.

For the purposes of this post I will assume you’re looking for play partners as a couple, but most of the advice works just as well for singles and polycules, triads and groups as well. Read on for a few tricks and tips to help you!

Be honest!

I can’t overstate the importance of honesty! It’s no use saying that you’re 6 feet tall if you’re actually 5’7″, pretending to have tonnes of experience when you’re actually brand new to the lifestyle, or – and yes, I’ve really seen this – pretending to be a couple when you’re actually a single person. Not only is it usually really obvious, lying will be an absolute deal-breaker for most people.

Being honest doesn’t mean you have to be self-deprecating. If you’re struggling to describe yourself in positive terms, try writing descriptions of each other to go on your profile. You’ll be amazed how many sexy things your partner will have to say about you!

And if you’re inexperienced, just say so. Most people won’t mind. Try something like this: “We’re just dipping a toe in right now, so please be gentle with us! We’d love to meet a sexy couple for fun, laughs and maybe a trip to a swingers’ club.”

Write in full sentences and check your spelling and grammar

No-one is expecting your swinger dating profile to be a literary masterpiece, but making an effort is important. Triple-check it for obvious typos and spelling errors before you hit “submit.” Break up your sentences with punctuation and use paragraph breaks to make your content easier to read. If you’re not skilled with words, ask a trusted friend to give your profile a once-over.

Don’t use your genitals as a profile picture

Swinger sites are about the only place in the internet dating world where I’m going to tell you that posting pictures of your genitals is okay. But don’t use them as your main profile picture, please! Put them in your gallery! And limit the number – my rule of thumb is that no more than 1 in 10 of your pictures should be a close-up of genitals.

Your main profile picture could be your faces (if you’re feeling brave,) a clothed body shot, a tasteful nude, or a picture of something that reflects your personalities.

Talk about what you can offer, not just what you want

Nothing is more of a turn-off than a profile from a couple who have clearly not thought beyond what they want us to do for them. By all means, state what you’re looking for, but remember to show what you can offer too.

Sex, whether in a long-term monogamous relationship or a swinging context or anything in between, should be a mutual exchange for the enjoyment and benefit of everyone involved. This means viewing your partners and potential partners as full human beings, not fantasy-fulfillment machines.

In practice, what this means is that posting your super lengthy, scripted scene idea to your profile is likely to scare a lot of people off. As is posting an absurdly specific description of your imaginary “third.” Instead, talk more broadly about the kinds of people you’re looking to meet, and give plenty of information on what you can offer.

Try this: “We’re ideally looking to meet other couples within 10 years of our ages or at a similar life stage. With us you’ll find an educated, friendly and kinky pair who are just as happy enjoying good wine and excellent conversation as getting down to some fun in the bedroom.”

Keep the judgemental comments to yourself

You’re allowed to like what you like. But shaming others for not conforming to your tastes makes you look like a jerk. I’m fully aware that some people won’t want to sleep with me because I have body hair and am carrying a few extra pounds, and I am at peace with that – but it’s still upsetting every time I see my body-type described as “disgusting” on a swinger dating profile. If someone isn’t for you, scrolling on by or replying to their approach with a polite “thanks, but not for us” is all that is required.

Similarly, you might not be into any kind of kink or BDSM – and that’s absolutely fine! – but describing other peoples’ kinks as “freaky shit” is rude.

Being responsible is sexy

When I’m browsing swinger dating profiles, those who mention their sexual health testing regime or that they always use barriers go straight to the top of the list!

Pro tip: don’t use “clean” to describe yourselves as being free from STIs. This language is stigmatising and STIs aren’t dirty! Try “we test every three months and last tested negative for everything on [date.] We use barriers for… [insert your protocols here.]”

If you do have an STI, such as herpes or HIV, it’s important to be upfront about this, too. Don’t be apologetic – there’s nothing wrong with living with one of these conditions! Just briefly mention it as a fact of your life and state how you manage it. I’d personally much rather have sex with someone who is (for example) HIV-positive and knows their status and can take the appropriate precautions than someone who hasn’t tested in a decade and insists they “just know” they’re negative.

Offer something of yourselves beyond the sexual

It’s great that you have an 8-inch penis or F-cup breasts, that you eat pussy like a champ or give the best blow jobs in your state… but that’s not everything! Most people in the swinging community want to meet human beings they can connect with (even if the connection is brief,) not walking sex machines.

So talk about what you’re into! You don’t have to get extremely deep and personal at this stage. Try something like “we love fine dining and would love someone to show us the best restaurants in town,” “our hobbies include board games, 80s B-movies, and salsa dancing,” or “he’s a gym-bunny and loves to run, she’s more likely to be found with her nose in a book!”

The key is to let your sparkling personalities show through!

This post was sponsored by Swingtowns, the world’s largest non-monogamous dating site. Join up now – it’s free! All opinions are, as always, my own.

Swingtowns banner ad, for a sponsored post on swinger dating profiles

Ten Things a Collar Can Mean (But Doesn’t Have To)

Mr CK and I recently had a discussion about collars – specifically, whether there was any context in which either of us using a collar in kink play with somebody else would ever be okay. (This is, and currently remains, one of my absolute bottom-line boundaries – seriously, that limit is so hard you could etch it on a diamond).

After a while of unproductive discussion, we realised we were talking past each other for a simple reason:

We both understood what we were talking about in completely different ways!

To him, a collar essentially means very little. He considers it a piece of equipment, no more inherently meaningful than a length of rope or a paddle – useful as a way to, say, move someone around or immobilise their hands by tying them to it, but that’s about as far as it goes.

To me, a collar means everything. I don’t do 24/7 D/s dynamics any more (for good reasons) but wearing a collar for someone is still a profound display of love, trust, vulnerability and – yes, even for a limited amount of time – giving myself to them completely. For me, my primary partner collaring someone else would be a betrayal akin to putting an engagement ring on someone else.

We were elightened by this realisation, but remain unable to completely reconcile our massively different views on this topic.

But it got me thinking about all the different things collars can mean, and not mean. A simple band of leather (or stainless steel, or faux leather, or whatever) can take on so many different significances. Here are some I thought of, though I am sure there are many more.

A lifetime commitment

This is perhaps the closest to the “a collar is an alternative to a wedding ring” school of thought, to which many kinksters ascribe. For people who feel this way, a collaring – whether with a formal ceremony or not – is as significant as a marriage. I very much felt this way when I was collared to my ex.

Permanent ownership

Not everyone who wears or gives a collar views it as a symbol of ownership or ascribes to an “owner/property” dynamic, but many people do. In this kind of permanent D/s relationship – which may also be romantic or not – the collar can serve as a symbol, marking the submissive out as property of the Dominant. Many people in these types of relationships will use collars that lock and cannot be removed without the key. (If you do this, please, please give your submissive a spare key in case of emergency!) Some even go as far as to get a body modification, such as a tattoo or piercing, in place of or as well as a more traditional collar.

Remember: ownership (of whatever kind) does not necessarily imply monogamy. Polyamory can absolutely be a part of a D/s dynamic.

Temporary ownership

This is perhaps closest to the way in which I think of collars these days. I do not wish to be permanently owned by anyone – but I find enormous comfort, meaning, and hotness in giving “ownership” over me to my partner for a limited amount of time (usually a scene, sometimes an afternoon or day, occasionally up to a weekend). In this type of non-24/7 D/s dynamic, the collar serves as a symbol of going into and then back out of that headspace. When it goes on, I am his property. When it comes off, I am me again.

Connection and closeness

I heard this one a lot from people in long-distance relationships when I threw this question out on Twitter. Wearing a collar can symbolise closeness and connection to your partner, and even a sense of being “with” them while apart.

Consideration or training

There’s a certain school of thought on collaring that has submissives wear a “training collar” or “collar of consideration” for a period of time before being formally taken on as a submissive (at which time they would receive a permanent collar). Many people who view collars in this way describe a collar of consideration as the D/s equivalent of an engagement ring, and the permanent collar as the wedding ring.

A way to get into a headspace

When Mr CK and I go to an event together where I’ll be in the submissive role, often one of the first things he’ll do on arrival is put my collar on me. Kneeling in front of him (or even standing with my head bowed and moving my hair out of the way) while he puts it on is an almost instant subspace trigger for me. This seems to be a pretty common experience – with the collar, you also “put on” a certain role or headspace. Similarly, a pet play enthusiast on Twitter told me that putting on their collar is how they quickly access their “pup” headspace.

Leave me alone, I’m taken!

When I was in a 24/7 D/s relationship, my partner rarely came to events with me. As such, I was usually attending with friends without a partner in tow. Often, I’d be the only person not visibly partnered in our group. So wearing my collar was an easy way to signal “not available!” It worked… sort of. I definitely got significantly less unwanted attention when wearing it (and yes, I did an experiment). Unfortunately, it also led to some comments implying that if he wasn’t physically with me, I was available for any random Dom who took a fancy to me.

Nothing, it’s a tool like any other!

This is the version Mr CK most closely ascribes to. In this schema, a collar is there for what it can do rather than what it means. For example, he’s had me wear an anal hook to an event and then fastened this with rope to the back of my collar. He’s also clipped my cuffed hands to the ring at the front of my collar to immobilise me. There are dozens of ways that a collar can simply be of practical use as part of a bigger scene.

Nothing, it’s just for decoration!

Collars look pretty! I have one that, though I adore it, doesn’t have any particular meaning as part of a relationship (it was given to me as a freebie to review). I sometimes wear it out and about, just because I think it looks pretty, complements my outfit, or subtly flags me as kinky. Which brings me on to…

Flagging kinky in public

“Flagging” originates from the “hanky code” of the 1970s US gay and bi male scene, where coloured handkerchiefs placed in certain positions indicated interest in various sexual practices. Thus, it refers to using outward symbols to subtly indicate your proclivities to other interested parties. There are any number of events where it’s safe to assume many of the participants will also be kinky, but not all of them will be. (Think gay and bisexual community events, goth clubs, geek/sci-fi events, Renaissance Fairs and so on). For me, wearing my collar signals that I am a kinkster and invites other kinksters to come and make friends.

Do you wear a collar, or does your partner? What does it mean to you? Comment below or tweet me – this topic is so fascinating to me in sheer variety alone.

The Taboo Brighton Logo

This post was sponsored by the good folks at Taboo Brighton. Taboo launched in 2003 and has established itself as a genre-defining Brighton retail experience, winner of the “Best Sex Shop in the UK” at the Erotic Trade Awards and once described in The Guardian as the “Dolce and Gabbana of Sex Shops”. It has also featured on many TV shows including C4’s Sugar Rush, The Sex Inspectors and the forthcoming documentary The Family Sex Shop Business. I love checking out Taboo whenever I make it down to Brighton, but you can browse and shop their whole extensive collection online. All views are, as always, my own. 

Sexting is a Real Sexual Relationship

When I was seventeen and we had not long moved in together, I caught my then-boyfriend sexting online with a random woman he’d met on the internet. We were, at the time, in a monogamous arrangement – and to say I was livid doesn’t cover it. I absolutely considered it to be cheating. (This is to say nothing of the fact that they’d been planning to meet and have sex, and only didn’t because I found out before that happened.) But the point is that I considered the online sexual relationship – in and of itself – to be a sexual relationship, and therefore a violation of the boundaries of a monogamous relationship. Of course, every relationship is different and if both parties agree a little digital flirtation is okay, more power to them. But there are certain things that are assumed to be off-limits in a monogamous commitment, unless very explicitly negotiated otherwise.

I stand by my assessment (of those activities as cheating) to this day, some decade and change later. This is because I completely believe that sexting, cyber-sexing and other forms of exchanging sexually explicit content online is a form of sexual relationship. It might not involve physically being in the same room or rubbing genitals together, but it is sex nonetheless.

My relationship with Mr CK began primarily online, as we lived 100 miles from each other. As we tried to work out what we felt for each other and what it meant, we texted day after day and sexted, cyber-sexed and exchanged filthy pictures and videos by night, until we reached the point that we simply had to see each other in person. But by the time we took it “real life,” not only were we already in love but we already had a pretty decent understanding of each others’ likes, dislikes, kinks and curiosities. Such is the power of digital sexuality.

“It’s only online!” I hear this all the time. I hear it from people in ostensibly monogamous relationships who have been caught having illicit cyber-sex behind their partner’s back. I’ve heard it from people who are trying to convince themselves they’re not really into that person they have been swapping naughty messages with every day for weeks. I even said it myself, when I was trying to deny the fact that I was fast falling in both love and lust with the man who blew up my phone with sexy texts multiple times a day.

We live in a digital world. There’s no getting away from it. Whether you’re keeping in touch with your long-distance sweetie via naughty Skype chats, booking private shows with your favourite cam models on Chaturbate, or using sites such as freesextingsites.com to find sexy chat partners, the vast majority of us have engaged with our sexuality online in some form or another. I would venture to suggest that the vast majority of adults around my age have nude pictures – their own or someone else’s – lurking on their phones.

Personally, I think sexting and cyber-sex are brilliant. Many of us have partners who live a good distance away from us – a different city or a different country – which makes regular in-person sex impossible. Online sexting is an amazing way to keep the spark alive in those relationships.

But it has benefits for those of us with more local partners too – even partners we live with. Have you ever received a steamy sext from your partner in the middle of the day, and then just wanted to go home and rip their clothes off their body for the rest of the day? Exactly. And if you’re very busy, or one of you has an illness or injury that is making a physical sexual relationship difficult or impossible, a virtual one can be just as satisfying.

Crucially, I think we need to move away from viewing sexting or cyber-sexing as less “real” sex. There are infinite ways to have sex, and as sex positive people we’re trying desperately to move away from the narrative that sex only “counts” if a penis goes into a vagina. I propose that we also move away from the idea that virtual expressions of sexuality are less valid, less real, or count less than in-person encounters. Let’s stop devaluing sexting and embrace it as one of the infinite possible ways to express delicious, hot, consensual human sexuality.

FYI: this post was sponsored. All views are, and will always be, my own.