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Real Neat Blog

Back in May DangerousLilly nominated me in her “Real Neat blog post“, but with various home renos, preparing for the release of Jamie’s second book ‘Husk’, personal issues that left me feeling emotionally battered and broken, and a family members health situation that required helping with the family business full-time, I just didn’t have time to devote to this little site I call ‘home’.

Hoping to produce the bare minimum, I tried to keep up with reviews… but at the end of the day I just couldn’t get my head clear enough to focus on writing anything concise, let alone find the time, energy, or will to masturbate. Basically, I burnt myself out and was in need of a break. It wasn’t intentional, just one of those things that happens when you forget that #selfcare is important.

Now that things have calmed a little I’ll be getting back into reviewing, creating more  Sex Ed 102 videos, adding more content to the site (especially new ‘sex guides‘ and opinion pieces), searching out the bizarre and amazing for #WTFWednesday/#FunFindFriday, and doing posts like this.

So without further ado, here are my answers…

1. What was the reason you decided to start blogging? Has that reason changed over time?

rainbowdildosUnlike many within the community, I never set out to start a blog; back in 2007 my focus was on creating  Sex Ed 102 videos and at the time YouTube didn’t allow anything longer than 10 minutes. Being someone that liked to offer as munch info as possible, blogging allowed a way to say everything I couldn’t in the time allotted. It also provided a central location to house all of my content in one place, I thought it would make life easier for those that wrote asking for links to past videos (nobody likes spending hours scrolling or searching).

Having a blog also meant I could expand my content with in depth Q&A’s, covering topics too taboo for YouTube (at the time), and how-to guides.  There was also the possibility I could make money off advertising, a practice YouTube didn’t allow back in the day. As a struggling 26 year old that really wanted to keep doing something she loved, who also didn’t want to be censored, and hoped to make a living at it, having a blog to compliment my videos was the perfect option.

Over the years my blog has changed in huge ways from its original form, but I think the core reasons I created it haven’t shifted that much. Regarding my videos, that’s a whole other story. Originally I just wanted to pump out new content and focus on subjects I thought might get views, but as I began to work with respected manufacturers, University programs, production companies, and big brands within the industry, I felt like I had to create content that was highly “professional” and stopped doing things off the cuff. By the 6th year of making videos I was burnt out, felt like I had lost myself, and wasn’t having fun with it anymore… that’s something I’m hoping to change with future content.

101vaginabook2. If your site had a goal, what would it be? How do you feel you’re doing with that goal, right now? How do you feel you’ve done with that goal over all?

My main goal has always been to help viewers/readers better their sex lives, build confidence via sex positive education, and make some money doing something I love.

Currently my feelings on this goal are torn; on the one hand I’m doing quite a bit behind the scenes to update content and make the site far more user friendly, on the other hand there’s a lot on my plate limiting the time I have to create new content. Ideally, I’d like to have 2-3 posts per week, however right now that’s just not possible. This lack makes me feel like I’m failing, but I also know life ebbs and flows… soon enough I’ll be back on schedule, the site will be everything I envision, and my readers/viewers will be getting the content they deserve.

Whether it’s answering questions that often go ignored, clearing up common myths and misinformation, reviewing sex toys, and/or providing a safe space for people to learn and explore their sexuality without judgement or guilt, I think I’ve done a fairly good job overall.

3. How has blogging influenced your life?

That should be an easy question to answer, but it isn’t.

bin of sex toy failsWhen I sit down and think about it, blogging has been such a big part of my life that it’s hard to dissect where one thing begins and they other ends, and what impact one has had over the other…

From learning code to discovering my love of photography, participating in a wonderful sex-positive community to understanding the inner workings of the media, discovering who I am and what makes me tick to owning bins and bins of sex toys, learning how to use my voice for positive change to traveling to conventions I never thought I’d attend (even if the trip did turn into a shit show, I still got to travel!), becoming comfortable in my own skin and learning to love my body to helping others in a way I didn’t think was possible.

I really don’t know what my life would look like or who I be if I hadn’t been blogging for the last 7 years.

4. What is your favorite part of blogging?

Educating, offering insight, changing/challenging perspectives, creating something that’s mine, and helping people have a better sex life makes me feel like I’m doing something good for the world; that I’m making a real difference. Earning a living off of it is just icing on the cake.

More than any of that, the friends I’ve made and the brands/companies I’ve been able to work with… I’m still flattered, amazed, and so very thankful.

5. What website on the entire web, besides your own, do you spend the most time on?

That’s probably a mix between Vice, Instructables, TED, reddit, and twitter.

trex6.  Gotta ask one toy question. Name your absolute favorite sex toy. (More than one is fine.)

Seriously? Ugh. I’ll give my top five go-to toys ’cause I truthfully can’t pick just one. Not in any order: Hitachi Magic Wand (amazing clitoral stimulation), We-Vibe Tango (it’s small, discreet, and rechargeable, powerful, and travels well), Tantus Curve (I love that curve!), Njoy Pure Wand (legit g-spot stimulation, also one of the only toys that consistently leads to squirting), and the L’amourose Rosa (vibrating g-spot action. Yes, please).

7. What is the most important thing about you that you want everyone to know?

I have a really hard time calling myself a “blogger”.  There’s no real reason for it, I just see blogging as something that’s so expansive that the word and perceptions of what a ‘blogger’ is seem limiting or minimized in some way. Blogging is work. Legitimate work. Yet far too many people think it’s simply sitting at a computer, typing some shit out, and hitting ‘publish’. In reality there’s so much more involved, be it coding pages so they look right, designing elements of the site so they’re appealing, writing posts that are interesting and flow well, linking to external sites, targeting content for SEO, editing until the writing looks like it was easy, and otherwise. Blogging isn’t easy, but it’s hella rewarding.

Also, if you’ve ever wanted to know me: this.

Tag You’re It!

Apparently I’m supposed to tag other people, but it’s been so long since this whole “real neat blog” thing started that I don’t know who’s done it and who hasn’t. So, for those reading this… if you have a blog and haven’t played along yet, here’s your turn. Feel free to change the questions as necessary, just make sure to let me know that you’ve participated either in the comments below or on social media. I’d love to read your answers.

I’m also going to go an unorthodox route and tag 2 companies I love; Tantus and SheVibe. Rather than having the questions be about ‘blogging’, I’d like them to answer in terms of making and/or selling sex toys.

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Labor Day Sex Toy Sales

Looking back over years worth of blog posts, it seems I’ve made a habit of keeping my readers in the loop when my favourite retailers have big sales.  In an attempt to stick with the tradition, I thought I’d share all of the “Labor Day Sex Toy Sales” I know about. Consider this a token of my undying love for all of you. That and my way of saying sorry for not creating more content over the last 6 months, life’s been crazy, but we’ll talk about that in my next post.

So, without further ado, here’s all the sales, deals, or discounts I know about for the coming long weekend…

Labor Day Sex Toy Sales : Stars

Tantus

For the entire month of September Tantus is giving 15% off the entire dildo collection! Just use code WILDWEST at checkout to apply the savings…

If that wasn’t enough –  through Monday September 7 2015, choose a free gift when you purchase any two Tantus-made Toys. From Plugs, RingsVibrators, and Dildos to Feeldoes, Strap-Ons, and Sensation Toys, Tantus has all the body-safe pleasure tools you’ll need after a long day.  (Offer excludes Grab Bags & Closeouts. Sale ends 9/7/2015.)

*click the images to go to the sale pages

Tantus Sale SeptemberTantus Labor Day Sale

Fleshlight

Summer’s over it’s time to head back to school. Sure, you need books, pens, and all that other shit, but don’t forget to splurge on something just for you… assignments suck, masturbating shouldn’t!

For a limited time Fleshlight is giving 20% off the ‘Ultimate Dorm Kit‘, but these savings end 9/7/15 so snag one while you can! (Includes: GO Torque, Fleshlube water 4oz bottle, Fleshwash, Showermount, and Flight Adaptor. No coupon needed)

*click the image to go to the sale page

SheVibe

My fave online retailer, SheVibe, has some great sales going this weekend; save 15% on select Lelo toys, save 15% on Aneros prostate stimulators, and don’t forget to check out their ‘Frugal Fanny’ sale section where you can get 75% off select costumes and lingerie (just about everything is under $20!), up to 75% off select lube, cosmetics, gift sets and more, and up to 75% off select sex toys (size lovers can get $53 off the Tantus Raptor XL). (No coupon codes needed, free U.S. shipping with orders $79+)

*click the image to go to the sale page

Aneros Sale SheVibe SheVibe Lelo Sale
Frugal Fanny SheVibe

PinkCherry

Screen Shot 2015-09-04 at 4.50.26 PMAnother one of my favorite sites, PinkCherry, is offering 25% off with code LONG25, plus free shipping with orders $49 or more!

Some deals worth checking out:

  • On the Canadian version of the site EVERYTHING by Njoy is heavily reduced! Rarely will you find the Pure Wand for under $85 (they’ve got it for $73.50 with discount).  The Njoy Eleven usually retails for no less than $250, with discount you can snag one for $186.75. That’s a steal!

I’ll be adding more sales as I learn about them, so make sure to check back throughout the weekend!

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Sex Negativity – Just Say NO To Sensationalized Media

Sex Negativity - Just Say NO To Sensationalized MediaIf you follow me on twitter, you probably saw a smattering of angry tweets recently pop up in your feed in response to a Womens Health Mag article (originally posted on Your Tango) that @FemmeReviews shared: “Why I Had To Break Up With My Vibrator: It’s not me, it’s you“.

For those that haven’t read it, the author pens a tale about taking a gig reviewing sex toys for Playboy and getting addicted to her Hitachi Magic Wand in the process.

Um, okay. Sounds simple enough…

Here’s where things get convoluted; the author readily admits to a previous obsession with cocaine and a nine year battle with alcoholism, yet rather than writing about a struggle with addiction that eventually affected her sex life, the article ignorantly became a condescending, fear based piece, filled with generalizations and misinformation, further purporting the stereotype that sex toys are bad and unnecessary if you want to live a healthy happy life.

Spoiler alert: she tosses the Hitachi down the garbage chute and finds herself again. Yay!

Don’t get me wrong, knowing all too well how debilitating a disease addiction can be, I sympathize with the author and her efforts to remain sober. I even respect the experience, we all have our own sexual situations to grow through. However, the apparent inability to accept responsibility for her actions, instead placing blame on a sex toy, is both infuriating and intolerable.

On that note, had this article been about someone ‘breaking up with a sex toy‘ because they learned it was toxic (as pictured above right) – giving Women’s Health Mag the opportunity to teach and empower its readers about making responsible decisions when it comes to choosing a sex toy – I could have supported it. The fact that the mag/author went the sensationalized “sex toys are bad and addictive” route just disappoints me.

Just so I’m perfectly clear: sex toys aren’t bad, THE UNDERLYING MESSAGES IN THE ARTICLE ARE.

Reading Between The Lines: Debunking The Bullshit

I expect that many who read the article won’t give it much thought, let alone notice any of the sex negative insinuations, but as someone who’s devoted much of the last ten years to helping people become comfortable in their sexuality and encouraged self exploration via the use of body safe sex toys, they simply can’t be ignored.

Hitachi Magic WandFor example:

She assuredly writes…

If the Hitachi doesn’t make you orgasm, nothing will.

Not only is this statement a complete load of horse shit, it’s ridiculously discouraging for anyone that has struggled to orgasm, bought a Hitachi, and had lackluster results.

Speaking from personal experience, if I had a dollar for every time I’ve had an orgasm with something that wasn’t a Hitachi, I’d be hella rich by now. Granted, my experiences weren’t all amazing. In fact some were down right shitty. But the point is I did finish… and do you know why? Because I’ve taken the time I needed to explore my body, likes/dislikes, including the type of touch I prefer,  how much pressure is required, which side of my clitoris is the most sensitive, and everything else that’s important when one wants to master the art of cumming.

So, just because the Hitachi won’t make someone orgasm, it doesn’t mean NOTHING ELSE WILL.

Again, this comes back to knowing one’s self: Some people need strong vibrations, others need something muted. Some people need direct stimulation, others need a subtler touch. Some people regularly use vibrators because it’s a far more rewarding experience (not to mention, being necessary), some never do. Regardless of what a person requires, it’s normal, natural, and nothing to be ashamed of. The key is to experiment until you find something that works. And yes, at some point something will work. You just have to keep trying.

And then there’s this:

Vibrator aficionados know better; they also recommend that you put a towel between it and you so that, I assume, you don’t burn your clitoris off—it’s that powerful.

Followed shortly after by,

I was as devoted to my wand as other women are to abusive lovers, and even when I started getting lacerations near my clitoris (those towel recommenders, it turned out, had a point), I covered for my beloved, going so far as to ask my gynecologist if perhaps the little cuts were evidence of a disease.

fear nothing but fear itselfI can see the headline now: WOMAN BURNS CLITORIS OFF WITH ULTRA POWERFUL SHOULDER MASSAGER!

Ugh. Can we please just stop the fear mongering already?

First things first, the Hitachi WILL NOT burn your clitoris off. It is not that powerful. If it was the case, mine would have burned at the stake years ago.

Yes, many will advise placing a towel or layer of clothes between you and it, but that isn’t because it’s going to set your genitals ablaze. Instead, we know that for the inexperienced user the 600rpms offered by the Hitachi may be too much. Rather than overwhelming you from the get go, we suggest dampening the vibrations so that you’re able to ease into the experience, allowing the necessary time to get accustomed to something so strong. Admittedly, there are days when I’m extra sensitive and have to use it over pajamas or jogging pants. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s just the way my body works.

As for the lacerations, clearly that’s a sign of overuse and not indicative of the Hitachi itself. And comparing ones devotion to a sexy toy to an abusive relationship, I refuse to even allow this to be a thing. No. Just fucking no.

But I digress…

Regarding introducing the Hitachi to her partners, she had this to say:

And with an audience, the wand and I couldn’t seem to get into our groove, anyway. During these threesomes, my orgasms, when they happened, were wholly unsatisfying.

She comes first

I don’t think I should have to say this but… sex toys are not people.

They aren’t meant to be replacements for partners. Using one with a partner is not the same as having a threesome. And there is no point in time when they should be referred to as such.  It’s this type of off the cuff statement that creates insecurities within relationships and often leaves partners feeling inadequate. Not to mention feeding the stereo-type that if a woman has a sex toy she doesn’t need a man/partner, and vice versa. But we’ll get to that in a moment.

As for the admission that her orgasms were “wholly unsatisfying”, our lovers are not mind readers, we cannot expect them to know what we need to get off. If you can’t orgasm with your partner it’s your responsibility to teach them how to get you there. It’s not an excuse or reason to ditch them for a vibe. Well, you could, but that’s on you. Not your partner. Or your sex toy for that matter. And to be honest, it’s kinda lazy and shitty.

She then goes on to quote relationship expert, Gilda Carle:

Vibrators are great fun for the short term, when a woman is between loves.

Sex Negativity: Just Say NO To Sensationalized MediaWhen we speak of the gendered cultural ideals around female sexuality, there’s the ever present notion that a woman in a heterosexual relationship shouldn’t need a vibrator, and if she does, there’s something wrong with her, her partner, or the relationship.  There’s also the idea that if a woman has to use a sex toy during intercourse she mustn’t know how to experience pleasure with another person. Thankfully, both of these concepts are often completely false.

Like sensual massage, a playful smack on the ass, or some good foreplay, sex toys can be used as tools to help encourage intimacy, open the doors for honest communication, and enhance orgasms for both partners, among other things.

Aside from all that, whether it’s learning to orgasm, relieving aches and pains, releasing stress and tension, or rebuilding clitoral nerve endings (so that orgasms are possible), this statement completely ignores and downplays the therapeutic use of vibrators before, during, and after a relationship ends.

And don’t even get me started on the use of the word “loves”. Look, I know she’s just using it for effect, but we’re living in a time where sex often happens without ‘love’. So long as people are being responsible and respectful, there’s nothing wrong with that.

As far as I’m concerned Dr. Gilda Carle can take the entire sentence and stuff it up her ass. #sorrynotsorry

Sex Negativity – Just Say NO To Sensationalized Media

After reading Trust Me, I’m Lying I can look online content for what it is – a sensationalized piece/title designed around click-baiting, fear mongering, and/or a crappy attempt at entertainment – however that doesn’t mean I’m not highly offended when content like this, who’s seeming intent is to fill readers heads with the type of unnecessary nonsense many of us within the sex positive community have fought to destigmatize, pops up in my news feed.

My suggestion, forget crap like this even exists, and read Rachel Kramer BusslesIs My Vibrator Ruining My Relationship?” or the informative “Are Vibrators Addictive or Numbing?” instead. While both articles cover similar elements found here, the underlying tone is one of acceptance, understanding, and sex positivity. You’ll thank yourself for it later.

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#FunFindFriday: Hole Punch Toys

I really do hate to admit it, but after 8+ years of working in the industry I’ve started to grow bored with the vast majority of non-vibrating sex toys on the market.

That isn’t to say I think everything is bland, just that many of the highly accessible and heavily advertised ones are surprisingly uninspiring; there’s little attention paid to originality, the color choices are lackluster, there’s no freedom of artistic expression, and damn near all of them have no kick or imagination.

Talent. I’ve been missing talentcreativity… and vision.

Of course there are companies like Babes ‘N Horny, BS Is Nice, Whipspider Rubberworks, Vixen Creations,Vibeology, NobEssence, Divine Interventions, Bad Dragon, Fun Factory, Tantus, and Crystal Delights keeping it real and fresh, but in an industry that’s slowly starting to recognize and embrace smaller companies, there’s definitely room for more.

holepunchtoyscarrot

Enter this weeks #FunFindFriday: Hole Punch Toys, the designer behind some seriously fun and colorful artisanal small batch silicone sex toys, molded and poured by hand, one by one, in an art studio in St. Paul, Minnesota.

From playful radishes to carrot butt plugs, ice cream cones, stunning blue rockets, tri-colored popsicles, and a sleek blacked-out Nun, Hole Punch Toys has most of the bases covered when it comes to mixing art and pleasure.

The uniqueness doesn’t end there, unlike large volume manufactures each is made to order, and details like color are subject to the creators whim at the time of pouring. If he’s in a translucent grass-green mood, that is what you’ll get. Hunter green today? There you go. I have to admit, judging by this misfit box of toys or these white chocolate lookalikes, I’d be more than happy to get something completely my own.

Have an idea for a toy you’d like made? You’ve come to the right place, Bespoke toys are something they do. Just get in contact with a brief description of your idea, and if it’s something that can be done they’ll gladly work with you to make it happen. It’ll probably cost you a pretty penny, but there are times when it’s worth it. This is one of them.

Needing to know more I went right to the source, asking the creator if he’d answer a bunch of questions about Hole Punch Toys, the concept behind the designs, how the toys are made, etc. and he very graciously obliged. Big thanks to Colin for taking time out of his busy schedule, I totally appreciate it.

rocketholepunch1.) Who is Hole Punch Toys?

Hole Punch Toys are an extension of Hole Punch Studio, which is an arbitrary name assigned, for beuroctaric and advertising reasons, to the art I produce. I, being me, Colin. Primarily visual art, both two and three dimentiomal, audio visual, or in this case, silicone. I create one hundred percent of the material associated with Hole Punch Toys, with the exception of some borrowed imagery used in digital assemblages for labels and such.

2.) What motivated you to create Hole Punch Toys?

The same thing that motivates any creative endeavor I think. The challenge of bringing something that exist in your imagination into physical being. The process of making.  I suppose having sex toys in my head to begin with is telling of something, but I’ll leave that for another discussion.

hole punch radish3.) What sets Hole Punch Toys apart from other manufacturers?

It depends. If you are asking about the business as an entity, I would say that the main difference is in production capability.  This is a one person operation. I pour and package each piece to order in my free time which means each piece is approached as a singular object, made from a singular batch of silicone and tinted individually. That could all change of course, but for now, that is how it is.

If you are asking about the toys themselves, I DO NOT differentiate them from other silicone toys of this nature.

I think there is room for as many designs in this world as there are minds and the bodies attached to them. Not everything is for everybody. If someone likes what I make,  that’s fantastic. If not, that’s great also. Although it will hurt me deeply and might make me cry.

teeny creemee hole punch4.) Where do you draw inspiration for your designs from?

It is pretty plain to see my designs don’t come from a very high minded place.  Although I have appreciation for so called “fine art”,  I seem to have been impacted most deeply by the images and symbology of pop culture, from Saturday morning cartoons and comics to advertising imagery and the beauty of everyday objects.

All my art seems to be an effort to break down images and forms into their simplest components, which works well in designing insertables, where detail and complex shapes are not optimal. It suits my style, if I could be bold enough to think I have one.

mother interior hole punchhole punch popsicleass cram cone hole punch
Wanna be the first to know when new products come out? Of course you do! Make sure to follow Hole Punch Toys on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.

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Giveaway: Rhino by Traz

After posting my written review for the Rhino by Traz penis extender the folks at the company got in touch and generously offered one to giveaway as a way of saying thanks… so if you’ve been looking to get your hands on one of the very best penis sleeves around, FOR FREE, now’s your chance!

The contest is open to Canada and the U.S. and includes your choice of sleeve. Not sure which one is for you; if you’re looking for something slender and easy to handle, snag a Sleek. Want a sleeve that’s not too big, nor too small? A Genesis is the way to go. Looking to go all out, balls to the wall badassery? You need a Stampede.

Traz Rhink SleekTraz Rhino GenesisTraz Rhino Stampede
 

Curious as to why I love them so? There’s a lot of reasons, but here’s the gist; they’re totally body safe, comfortable to wear and use, easy to put together, customizable to fit your personal needs, non-porous so they won’t absorb bodily fluids, lube, or bacteria (making them very easy to clean), come in 3 different diameters so you have a variety to choose from, can be used as a masturbation sleeve or to enhance other toys (dildos/vibes etc), have motion transfer technology so you feel every thrust, warm to body temperature quickly, adds both length and girth, and most importantly, they don’t require a strap or harness to stay in place. They’re the first of their kind, and are the very best design I’ve ever had my hands on. #truth

But enough of me trying to convince you. All I’m going to say is this, if you’ve ever been curious about having sex with a bigger penis, you need to try a Rhino by Traz. That’s all there is to it.

As for the contest, entering is easy; just follow the instructions below to gain entries and you could be the lucky winner!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Contests not really your thing? Not to worry, use code ‘KaraSutra‘ when checking out at TrazRhino.com and you’ll save 10% off your entire order! Don’t say I never do anything for you.

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 Traz Rhino Penis Sleeves

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