Spring At Last

Hey everyone, can you believe it’s finally spring! The birds are chirping, the sun is shining, and I’ll be starting Spring Quarter next week. You may be thinking that this is bad – more school for Dusk, more months of wondering where I’ve gone and if I’ll ever finish my review to-do list. Never fear! I’ve created a new schedule for this quarter to better balance my schoolwork and it includes a few hour block of blogging each week. Hopefully *fingers crossed* this will give me the structure I need to be back on here consistently.

What have I been up to lately? Well…a little of everything.

I had a practicum experience this quarter with Health Promotion and one of my main goals was to get experience talking to other young folks about sexual health. I had the opportunity to do four presentations about condom and dental dam use, and for one of those I even discussed various methods of birth control and passed around samples for students to look at to see the different types. Throughout this whole process I was working with the peer educators and working on our area’s website. The best part was at the big event seen above, where lots of folks were coming in and watching the demo and doing condom races. One of the peers I was working with had never done a Latexology program before and was extremely nervous; I coached her through it and by the time we were supposed to switch stations, she decided to stay because she was enjoying it so much!

This past week we were on Spring Break, which meant I spent a lot of time in the city with M and lazed around most of the week. I came back into town on Thursday though, for the Hunger Games! I enjoyed going to the midnight showing with some friends, even though I don’t think the movie did the book justice as much as I’d hoped. I dressed up as Katniss and was thrilled that I had people pointing me out and telling me I looked just like her.

Tomorrow I’m off to a national conference for a professional organization I’m a member of, so I’ll be packing up tonight in order to carpool with friends in the morning. Even though I’m generally introverted and this is a huge conference, I’m thrilled to be going and I hope to meet a lot of new people. It’ll also be a good opportunity to get used to the large crowds before I go back next year to interview for full-time jobs.

What can you all expect from me when I return? Hopefully, some more consistent posting of reviews. I’m honestly hoping for one a week with a few missed opportunities if I have exams. I’ve got a bucketload of lingerie to review as well as a few other items, and I’d like to start some kind of basic-informational series for new readers, especially those who are actually looking for education and aren’t already sex bloggers. If you have any ideas for info-pieces that you or your friends would like to see, please leave a comment for me below.

Enjoy the spring weather!

My Opinion on Sex Toy Parties

…is that they have to be done by someone knowledgeable enough on the subject, inclusive of all communities, and good at presenting. If you don’t have one of these three skills, then please, please work on it as best you can. Be open about the fact that you’re still working on it. And if you proclaim yourself the top sex toy saleswoman in the state then you better be damn good at it.

Unfortunately tonight, I attended a sex toy party that made me cringe. In fact, my staff hosted it in the hall as an educational program and I was excited to come out and support them. This woman was enthusiastic, had some fun games, and looked like she really loved her job.

However, more was wrong with the presentation than was good ((in my opinion)). The first thing I noticed was that she was not using inclusive language; the entire time she talked about the woman in the room “pleasing their man” and what not to tell “him” about the products. Not once did she make any attempt to acknowledge that there may be those of other sexual orientations in the room. By about the fifth time she said something about “him” I was ready to stand up and call her out in the middle of the room.

I also didn’t appreciate her lack of care for consent when picking people to participate in her games. There’s nothing wrong with hilariously embarassing and awkward games at a sex toy party, as long as you ask people if they’re okay participating. I realize any of us could have said no – I explicitly did during a “get it in the hole” game because I knew such public touching of my staff member in that manner could be construed as sexual misconduct, especially in front of a group of residents. But our presenter never once asked. She called volunteers out of the crowd before giving them any hint of what they were doing. She squirted drops of an unknown liquid on the fingers of four women before telling them to go up to the bathroom and put it on their clit. Um, excuse me? You couldn’t have asked, or given them a hint of the activity before that?

Most annoyingly, she kept telling us that certain items were made of silicone that I knew were jelly or TPE. Even when she discussed the issue of silicone lube used with silicone toys, she mentioned that “almost all of the toys [she] was talking about today [were] silicone”. Um, no, they aren’t. I pointed that out to the folks sitting around me. Loudly.

There’s nothing wrong with being a sex toy saleswoman; hell, as soon as EdenFantasys gets some kind of program on board, I’ll be jumping all over it. But I’m going to be damned well informed about my materials. And, if I’m not sure about something, I’ll be honest with my customers. I’ll get their contact information and find out what they want to know. I’ll be honest, and showcase products that I know are fantastic. And hopefully, if I’m really good, I won’t have to cringe at my own presentations.

Review: Glass Kegel Exerciser from MJ42

I’ve finally gotten around to getting my review up for MJ42 ’s custom glass kegel exerciser that he made just for me!  J makes a range of beautiful glass items, from pipes to pendants to ornaments.  He even has a glass version of the Elder Wand from Harry Potter. For some sexier items, head over to his mature shop. He makes a variety of glass dildos and kegel exercisers, and he’ll even custom-design one to fit your specific needs!

MJ42 made me a kegel exerciser in some of my favourite colours, blue and green. It’s 1.5″ wide and 2.75″ long, in a sort of teardrop shape with a hole at the top for a cord or ribbon. The blue and green spirals together from the bottom up into an expanse of clear glass. I loved it from the moment he sent me pictures; I can tell how much care was taken in making this kegel exerciser.

In use, MJ42‘s kegel exerciser does the trick. It’s the heaviest of any that I own, and comparable to the weight of the first two in the Je Joue Ami series…about 4.5 oz. I’ve been using a lot of lube for insertion, and tying a piece of lanyard cord around the top of the teardrop. Some days the size is perfect, but others I have trouble inserting the rather large diameter. My fault, of course, but I look forward to using this more as I stretch out and especially after I have kids one day. I do wish that MJ42 would pair up with one of the etsy suppliers who makes silicone toys, in order to get a silicone cord to go with his kegel exercisers. This is because while other kinds of cord are functional for removing the exerciser, I would love to have something permanent and sterilizable. As it is now, I have to cut a new length of cord everytime I use this toy.

Overall, I would recommend MJ42‘s work anyday. It’s a rare opportunity to have something custom-made just for you, and his work is exceptional. On top of that, his prices are reasonable; kegel exercisers go from $30-40 and dildos from $30-90, with one special piece swirled with 22K gold and priced at $220.

The wonderful MJ42 also agreed to answer some questions from my readers!

1. What made you decide to market custom glass toys?

I was actually adopted by a lesbian family while in college who introduced me to the world of strap ons, dildos and adult toys. Many years later I was accepted into a glassblowing internship and begin to make glass art. About halfway through the apprenticeship I realized there was quite a market for adult glass toys, but it was very limited to certain shapes and forms. That is when I began to offer custom glass dildos based on the ideas of the buyer. Since then I have created everything from ray gun dildos to eyeball tentacle glass dildos!

2. Where do you draw your concepts and inspiration from?

Mostly from the customers. You all have amazing ideas for new toys, please keep them coming – I love a challenge. And do not be afraid to write a long description of what you are looking for. The more info you supply, the better I can make a glass toy to fit your wishes. On the other hand, I also thrive on artistic freedom if you are willing to let the universe guide my hand in manifesting the perfect toy for you!

3. How did you first get started as a glass blower?

I was looking for a new career/home and found myself in Austin, TX checking out the city. Fortune than smiled upon me and I stumbled upon a craigslist ad looking for new apprentice glassblowers. I applied and was accepted, did my year of hard labor and became a glassblower. On a side note, any of you looking to become a glassblower in Austin, be VERY wary of who you apply to. If it has anything to do with monkeys, run away as fast as possible and find a more reputable glassblower to apprentice with. I would recommend stopping by your local glass suppliers and chatting with them for a bit to find a reputable local blower.

4. What is your favorite sexual item you’ve made so far? How about your favourite item in your non-mature shop? (pictures would be great!)

That is easy, a customer requested a sparkly rainbow colored unicorn horn dildo a while back and I have made at least four of them now, they are a big hit!

As far as non-mature items, I would probably say my gigantic eyeball steamroller, it smokes wonderfully and is super trippy!

5. What is your favorite drink?

Currently a mango, banana, blueberry smoothie with psyllium husk and kelp, but if you meant alcoholic, I would say plum wine.

6. If you had to pick one sex position for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Probably missionary, it has the best intimacy and contact with your partner. I tend to value the personal connection over the infinite positions!

7. What advice would you give to anyone thinking about starting up their own Etsy shop?

Research is key. Search for all the shops that sell the same items you are considering and see how they market them and what is actually selling and what they set there prices at. Also, customer satisfaction is key. Respond to inquiries promptly and professionally and package your items safely. Make sure all of your photos and descriptions are accurate and highlight the selling points of the product. And lastly, do not be afraid to add a personal touch to the listings. Tell a story about the item and really connect with your customers.

Thank you so much to MJ42 for letting me review your stunning work! 

Misstreated: Vivienne

This year, I was lucky enough to review my first leather underbust corset! The wonderful folks at MISStreated sent the Vivienne corset my way in exchange for an honest review. My greatest apologies to them for taking so long! I can’t wait until I finish school and blogging can be much higher on my list of priorities.

MISStreated is an online Canadian boutique for corsets, lingerie, costumes, fetish and bondage wear, and other items of an adult nature. If you’re lucky enough to live in Canada in the Olds to Airdrie, Alberta region, you can even host a corset party! The folks who run MISStreated were wonderful to work with, even if their website isn’t up to the standard I would like to see in an up-and-coming boutique. I had trouble reading paragraphs of large text and I had certainly hoped for larger and more detailed pictures of their products. There isn’t any sizing information for customers to understand what a “small” really means, and shipping gets quite expensive for the price range  that their corsets fall into. I would absolutely love to see someone re-vamp MISStreated’s website because I think they could draw in more customers with an easier-to-navigate format that gave out more details for each product.

Despite any confusion regarding the website, my contact at MISStreated helped me pick out the right size and even let me choose a different size g-string to go with my corset! I would suggest that anyone looking to purchase a clothing item from MISStreated go ahead and contact them for some wonderful personalized customer service.

When Vivienne arrived, I couldn’t be happier. My mother actually opened the original shipping package, which must have been rather discreet otherwise I surely would have heard it from her. Since I had just left to go back to school, she sent the corset over to me in all its original packaging but the box. Vivienne was carefully wrapped in tissue paper and came with a leather and elastic g-string, a small re-sealable baggie of detachable garters, and a good helping of beautiful business cards for me to give my friends. The price tag was even hand-written. It made me smile to think that such care had been put into mailing my corset.

The corset itself is almost perfect. I ordered mine in a Large after doing a bit of research on general corset sizing. Allure, the company that seems to make the Vivienne, say in their general lingerie size chart that a Large is appropriate for a 30″ waist, 38″ bust, and a 40″ hip. I personally have a 30″ waist, 34″ bust, and a 35″ hip. When choosing my sizes I knew I wanted a corset tight enough to fit snugly but comfortable enough not to play against my claustrophobia. I also knew that I would prefer something that would tighten up to an appropriate size rather than a corset that was simply too small. I also worked with the MISStreated staff to help with the estimate.

I would say my size choice was appropriate considering the guesswork involved. I lace my corset up as tightly as possible, but it is comfortable and snug on my body. The only area which isn’t tight enough for my taste is the piece right under my breasts. I was hoping that it would be extremely constricting but the shape of the corset flares out slightly at the top. The corset itself is a beautiful piece of work; the front and back are pink with a gold, black, and blue brocade pattern throughout. The sides and the edges are soft black leather. The back contains the main lacing area but there are also laces at the bottom of the sides. I love this design because it allows one to adjust for different shaped bodies between the waist and hips. The corset lacing is a soft but thick rope that allows for a proper lacing style; one tightens the corset from the top and bottom, meeting the laces in the middle to tie off in a bow or knot. The boning in this corset is also real steel, which really excites me! I can feel the difference when I’m wearing it and, unlike my cheap Charlotte Russe fashion corsets, my Vivienne corset retains its shape even after a lot of wear.

The accompanying g-string is surprisingly comfortable as well! I got a size Small, which worked out perfect for my size. The front V-shape is soft leather to match the corset, while the strings are a flat elastic. From first glance, I expected the g-string to be extraordinarily uncomfortable. Surprisingly, the shape sits well on my hips and my Mound of Venus. I love the way it looks, too! ((I’d love to have a picture for you but I can’t find the damn thing, now))

The garters are made of a strong fabric with a little bit of elasticity to it. They adjust from 6.5″ to 10.5″ and I believe they will hold up for a very long time.

If you’re looking for a high-quality corset with excellent customer service behind its sale, I highly suggest you visit MISStreated and find something that fits your lifestyle. Be sure to look around at their other products as well!

TMI Tuesday 2/7/12 – Let’s Go to Bed

1. A friend is coming to have sex. There are 3 twin beds and an air mattress in the room. What do you do?
a. Have sex where ever we land first, who needs a bed?
b. Have sex on a single twin mattress
c. Have sex on an air mattress
d. Or?

2. What is the oddest thing you have in your bedroom that someone would be surprised to find. Why is it there? Right now it’s the twin mattress on the floor. My queen bed needs replacing and I’m waiting for the department to get me a new one, so at the moment I’m sleeping on the twin on the floor because I don’t feel like moving over to my spare room.

3. What are your favorite sheets?
a. Flannel
b. Cotton
c. T-shirt cotton (jersey)
d. Satin

4. Do you sleep with sheets tucked in or out? Why? Out. I like balling myself up in the sheets, but I don’t like the feeling of being stuck when they’re tucked in at the sides and the end. 

5. What is your usual bedtime? Why?
a.  8-10 pm
b. 10-12 midnight
c.  12-24
d. Whenever my eyes won’t stay open any longer.

5. Do you sleep with closet door(s) shut or open? Bedroom door shut or open? Any particular reason why? Doesn’t really matter to me.

6. Have you ever broken a bed or other furniture during sex? I have popped out some sofa bed slats, but we put them back in and kept going :P

7. What’s your favorite type of bed for sex? Haven’t tried enough to figure that out. 

8. What do you sleep in?
a. Lingerie
b. Underwear
c. Day clothes
d. T-shirt
e. Nothing
f. Pajamas

Check out this week’s other players!

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