Review of Showtime’s Submission

So I watched/livetweeted Showtime’s Submission under the hashtag #ShowtimeSubmission, and then I wrote over 1,000 words analyzing the power dynamics and how they were portrayed and they contrasted… but I didn’t finish it. And then I said, “This is not what I want to post about Submission.” At least… not right now. So here’s my basic review of Submission.

Content warning: sexual assault (largely by way of questionable consent).

SPOILERS AHEAD.

Submission Summary

Ashley leaves her shitty-in-bed asshole boyfriend and moves to a new town to live with her best friend Jules. Jules lives with her roommate Dylan (played by Skin Diamond, who is sexy as hell). Dylan is a submissive to Eliot, and brings him women to have sex with.

Eliot flogging Dylan - Showtime Submission

Ashley finds Dylan’s copy of a BDSM novel by Nolan Keats and is intrigued. She gets a job at the local coffee shop and sleeps with her boss (Raif) one night while they’re getting drunk together. Shortly thereafter Eliot notices Ashley at a party and Dylan tells Eliot that Ashley is off-limits. Eliot swoops in and saves the day while Raif is drunkenly trying to push himself on Ashley at the party.

After chasing Raif off, Eliot follows Ashley to her room, notices the book, and asks her about it. Eliot discloses to Ashley that he wrote the book, which intrigues her. He steals Ashley’s underwear after she leaves the room and makes the random chick that Dylan picks out for him wear the underwear that night while he sleeps with her.

To prove that he’s Nolan Keats, Eliot has a manuscript of the next Nolan Keats novel delivered to Ashley. He calls her and starts seducing her on the phone. Eliot begins ignoring Dylan, which Dylan hates. Dylan bugs Eliot to pay more attention to her, and Eliot eventually tells her to fuck off. Eliot kinkily fucks Ashley and lays claim to her.

Eliot and Ashley - Showtime Submission

Dylan steals video footage of Eliot fucking a bunch of different girls with her in his dungeon. She blackmails Eliot and makes him turn Ashley over to her for a night, and Dylan torments her. Ashley endures the torture. Dylan decides to move out of the house. As Ashley catches her leaving Dylan gives her the videos and tells her that Eliot isn’t Nolan Keats – he’s Keats’ copy editor.

Ashley is hurt and betrayed. She ignores Eliot, he shows up at her house, and she tells him to leave. Dylan shows up on Nolan Keats’ doorstep with her bags. The show ends.

There is other drama in the show about Jules’ relationship with her boss, but, frankly, I find it irrelevant to the main plot and only feel like discussing it in my extended power dynamic analysis.

What they did right

Eliot makes Ashley pick a safeword. Good! SAFEWORD GOOD. Although he does flog her while she’s deciding, and as someone from the “we don’t play until the safeword is set” school of thought I wasn’t a fan of that.

Eliot mummifies Ashley with saran wrap, which is something she is terrified of initially when she sees the saran wrap in his dungeon and he explains what you do with it. The kink play in this scene is surprisingly solid – Eliot takes it slow, he communicates with her, he gives her water. He’s very attentive.

The kink in Submission was nice to watch if you ignored all the fucked-up shit going on around it. The gear used was cool and authentic. Where can I get a web of chains for my dungeon?

Quotes I liked

“Most men think it’s just smut.”
“What’s wrong with smut?”

“Society wants us to believe that women are these pathetic little creatures that live and die by a man’s happiness.”

“My goal is to open you up, not shut you down. You will never have to do anything you don’t want to do.”

What they did wrong

Other than Skin Diamond and a random guy that she fucks, the entire cast is white. They’re also all thin, non-disabled people. But I expected that. Diversity is important, but here’s what pissed me off even more:

Ashlynn Yennie, who plays the main character, Ashley, said in an interview with The Daily Beast:

“I hope our show, Submission, can shatter that glass ceiling of false belief and show the world what it truly means to trust, communicate, and finally feel free to talk about what you want and don’t want sexually in a consensual and healthy way.”

Consensual? Healthy? Consent was portrayed VERY poorly in Submission. Raif makes a move on Ashley and has sex with her after she says, “No, we’re not doing this, because I’m drunk… and you’re kind of drunk.” At a party the next night a drunken Raif thrust himself upon Ashley, assuming that their single night of previous sexual interaction meant she consented to it again.

Dylan and Eliot’s relationship goes from a functional, consenting M/s scenario to a fucked-up trainwreck where Eliot never verbalizes the withdrawal of his consent and Dylan (who wears a collar that we assume is from Eliot), thinking he’s still into her, tops from the bottom. She says “I’m getting tired of you telling me no.” She misbehaves, seeking punishment. Finally she handcuffs herself to him and forces him to fish the key out of her vagina to escape. It was a painful disaster to watch. The show portrayed this scene as a minor inconvenience that didn’t faze Eliot and just pissed him off, but it was assault, and it was not cool. Then when Eliot tells Dylan to fuck off for good she (nonconsensually) blackmails him.

And finally, even though Eliot seems like sort-of-an-asshole-but-mostly-a-decent-guy because we see a few scenes where Eliot is an experienced dominant that focuses on consent and care, he also forces Ashley outside of her comfort zone (not in a good way) and manipulates her into subbing for Dylan so that Dylan won’t blab his secret to her. Ashley specifically tells him that she doesn’t want to be shared and that other people are a big NO for her, and Eliot shames her into it, telling her that it’s the ultimate act of trust and submission and that she has to explore and take risks to know what she wants. Consent-tastic! As someone who was coerced into sexual abuse as a child and has been manipulated with an almost identical narrative from my emotionally abusive fuckface ex, I felt so great about that scene!

And then the scene with Dylan was not… stellar. It would have been hot if Ashley had wanted to be there. “Tonight I’m not your roommate, I’m the bitch you answer to.” Like… YAAAAAS… if it’s enthusiastic and consensual. But it wasn’t. Is BDSM that you don’t really want to do but agree to because of coercion and stubbornness a type of sexual assault? My signs point to yes.

Conclusion

It was interesting. The kink and the food for thought re: power dynamics were enjoyable, but I did not find the plot especially inspired. Especially the way Dylan is cast aside by Eliot. It’s a sad trope that you see in a lot of popular BSDM media: a submissive (usually a woman) is collared by a dom (usually a man), then her dom loses interest in her and tosses her aside. It’s practically ancient – that’s how The Story of O ends (master claims sub, master demands sub bring him other subs, master ditches original sub). Endings in which the sub gets screwed over do not represent the lives of many real people in happy, long-term M/s relationships, but it’s a risk that exists, just like it does in vanilla dating.

Should you watch it?

If you want to see kinky softcore sex and don’t mind the show’s flaws and “meh” plot, sure. I usually enjoy livetweeting things, even if they’re mediocre, but I probably could have found better uses for my time, like painting my nails, findomming strangers on the internet, or writing reviews for vibrators that felt like a million butterflies fluttering over my vulva.

Sex & Mischief Flogger and Collar from Sportsheets

I’m delighted to announce that I’ve begun a review relationship with Sportsheets, because there’s nothing that motivates me to get back into the bedroom more than godawfully kinky shenanigans. This month they sent me the Sex & Mischief Red Leash & Collar set and the Sex & Mischief Red & Black Striped Flogger.

CollarA black and white photo of a woman posing in a collar with the leash in her mouth

I was disappointed by the collar because it didn’t fit my neck. It fit my husband’s neck, but there was no way it was getting around mine. Strangely, even though Sportsheets provides the length of the leash in their product listing, they don’t say anything about the length of the collar. I guess that a long leash is more important than a collar that fits…? I don’t know, come on Sportsheets, fix that shit. Like the last collar I tried, this collar is pretty tall to keep your head up and restrict your movement. (Maybe it wouldn’t for people with longer necks?)

The product itself isn’t bad, it’s kind of plush, which is a step above the last collar I tried. In fact, I’d say that overall this collar gives the sense of being a little better-quality than Toyjoy collar from my last post. Sportsheet’s collar is thicker, more flexible, and it looks nicer in the front.

The collar fastens with studs that work like buttons. It’s weird, but not entirely unmanageable. The fastening method definitely looks better than your standard buckle that you find on most collars, because it’s not clunky at all… in fact, it’s kind of stylish. The biggest problem with the stud-buttons is that they may be harder to fasten or unfasten for people who have trouble executing fine motor skills with their hands.

Sex & Mischief Red and Black Collar with leash

Ruling on the collar: If you’ve got a neck on the thinner side of average, this collar should fit you. I can’t speak for how it feels on the neck, so I can’t give you any information about extended wear. It’s not the worst collar I’ve ever owned, but it’s also not the best. The best was an $80+ fur-lined collar made of real leather, and is an entirely different beast than anything you’ll find from the Sex & Mischief line. Sportsheets’ aim with the Sex & Mischief line seems to be bringing affordable kink into the bedroom with prices that are non-threatening to beginners in the BDSM scene. The materials don’t feel quite as cheap as you’d expect a $12 collar to, and the red color is nice. You’re paying pretty much entirely for the collar, because the leash is the equivalent of a $1 strip of nylon (I think it’s nylon?) that you can get as a dog leash from a dollar store.

FloggerA black and white photo of a woman posing with the Sex & Mischief flogger in her mouth

We had a lot of fun with the flogger. It’s faux leather, and the red and black color scheme is nice. As much as I would love to have a cute pink flogger, the red and black appeals to the classic goth part of me and it looks awesome in my bedroom, because we have red walls.

It’s a 32-inch flogger, so you have to be careful not to flog yourself in the back when you’re rearing back to hit your partner. Or maybe you’ll do that on purpose, if you’re into pain too. It’s up to you. Or maybe I’m handling the long flogger the wrong way and there’s some secret to not flogging yourself in the back that I have yet to discover. I am by no means an expert. Learning to use a flogger properly has been an adventure and I’m still practicing. The finer points of maneuvering a long flogger have escaped me, so most of my strikes are still kind of half-assed, leading my husband to prompt me with lines like, “You swish and flick it, it’s levio-SAH not levio-suhhhh!” and, “Now hit me like I’ve been bad! Hit me like I took away all of your sex toys!”

Sidenote: It’s really hard to flog someone when you’re laughing too hard to stand up straight.

Anyway, the Sex & Mischief flogger hurts so good on the receiving end. It’s mostly a sting-y sort of flogger, I don’t feel like the materials and length are right to get a very thuddy flogging out of it. It’s definitely the most effective flogger in my collection; I have three, and the other two are short.

Long faux-leather flogger with red and black handle

Ruling on the flogger: I like it a lot. I don’t have much to compare it to, but if you’re just getting into being flogged, I think it’s a very nice toy to start with. It’s only $14 in the Sportsheets shop, so it won’t break the bank if you don’t like it. Neither of us flogged the other person hard or long enough to leave distinct marks on the skin, so I can’t give you much input on how those will look. I encourage you to try to discover that on your own. You can do anything you put your mind to. Go forth and beat the shit out of a consenting partner.

Thank you, Sportsheets, for providing me with these toys in exchange for an honest review!

$40 Bondage for Beginners? Toyjoy Amazing Bondage Sex Toy Kit

I like to review toy kits because they have a lot to offer people who are new to the scene. Bondage kits carry a few different things, and that allows you to get the basic concept of their use down before you go and spend $80 on a hand-knotted leather flogger. Generally kits don’t bring anything too exquisite to the table in terms of quality, but they do allow you the opportunity to see what you like. With that in mind, when Bondage Bunnies DMed me offering me an opportunity to review one of the products they carried, I chose the Toyjoy Amazing Bondage Sex Toy Kit because it appeared to have the most options, and at £27 (roughly $40 USD) it seemed like a pretty affordable way to sample some offerings from BDSM-land.

Toyjoy bondage kit with flogger, wrist cuffs, ball gag, nipple clamps, collar, leash, blindfold, and rope.

Collar, Cuffs, and Leash

The collar isn’t very long – it doesn’t fit around my neck enough to clasp without being pulled very tightly. It fits my husband just fine, though. It would really be convenient if Bondage Bunnies had listed the length of the collar in the product description. I haven’t measured my neck, but if a product description told me that a collar was a certain length I would make it a point to do that before I spent money on the product.

The collar is also very tall, which isn’t great for people with short necks (like me), but I recognize that tall collars do have a purpose – forcing the wearer to look up, keep their neck straight, and usually look straight ahead. It’s just not ideal for extended wear, and personally I hate having my head movement restricted like that. I’m more of a 24/7 collar sort of person.

The leash is a leather-look leash. It functions. Not sure what else to say about a leash – in a $40 kit no one expects a diamond-studded leash. I haven’t completely stress tested it, so I’m not sure how hard you have to pull on it to break it.

The wrist cuffs have a decent amount of length to them. They fit okay around my wrists, which are somewhat thick. They come with D-rings and some little clasps that allow you to hook the cuffs together. They’re not the most comfortable cuffs I’ve ever worn, but as far as starter cuffs go, you could probably do worse. They at least have the benefit of being relatively sturdy.

The material of the collar and cuffs is the same. It’s obviously not real leather, but there’s not really any information about what it actually is. It feels like plastic and is supposed to be easy to clean by just wiping it down when you’re done.

Gag

The ball gag is also plastic, and has breathing holes in it, which is great. My first ball gag did not have breathing holes, and while I find the sight of a solid rubber ball to be more aesthetically pleasing, a ball with holes is safer, ensuring that your partner can easily breathe through their mouth. You just have to ignore the fact that it looks like you’ve crammed a wiffle ball into their piehole.

I also noticed that unlike my rubber ball gag, this ball felt quite large. Uncomfortably large, in fact. I can fit my fist in my mouth, but wearing this gag for just a few minutes made my jaw ache. Depending on the kind of bondage you’re into, this is either a good thing or a bad thing. If you prefer an underlying sense of discomfort because you feel that drives the scene, then this is great for you. If you want your submissive to be comfortable (what kind of hippie nonsense is that?) then this gag isn’t ideal unless they have a pretty big mouth.

Nipple Clamps

The nipple clamps were kind of hard to review, because my nipples are pierced, and it’s hard to wear them. They’re rubber-tipped tweezer clamps and I don’t know if y’all know this, but when you have a barbell through your nipple, putting a clamp on it is just about impossible. I don’t have enough nipple to clamp the tissue in front of the barbell but if I clamp behind the barbell it feels like it’s going to squeeze the jewelry out. With that in mind, I can’t give you a good sense of what the clamps are like. They come with little purple bells, though, so if you’re into that…

Blindfold

Not much to say about the blindfold. It blocks light as decently as most other blindfolds in a similar style. It’s not entirely cloth, so it isn’t particularly flexible.

Rope

The rope that the kit comes with seems decent, but I’m not a rope connoisseur so I don’t know what it’s made out of or how it compares to high-quality rope. It hasn’t come apart on me yet, so I count that as a relative success. It’s black and not scratchy. I’m also not entirely sure how long it is in inches, but there’s definitely enough of it to do some basic wrist/ankle binding.

Flogger

And finally the little flogger. It’s not a terrible piece, but I wouldn’t say it’s something to write home about. I think that shorter floggers like this are a lot easier to use when you’re learning how to hit with a flogger, because the ones with longer tails are more unwieldy. The quality was passable – it didn’t fall apart, but I’m not awed by the materials. The strips are lightweight. It’s a little sting-y at best and provides a bit of a thump since it’s shorter, but the sensations aren’t overwhelming. I don’t feel like the tails are solid enough to induce a severe sting. If you’re a bondage beginner (the target demographic for this kit, in my mind) then it’s worth trying if you don’t know what kind of flogging pain you prefer. Just know that flogging can feel different depending on how a flogger is made, so if you don’t like this one, you might like a different kind.

Unnecessary Decoration

This kit also comes with a small army of fake rose petals, which I had to dig through to get out all the products and later found lying all over my living room because the box wasn’t sealed completely and came apart when it fell off the couch. I suggest you take out all the pieces of the kit that you want and trash the fake petals immediately unless something about sad red fabric scraps turns your partner on. I did not find cleaning them up to be a sensual experience (0 out of 10 stars) and only recommend it if you’re into domestic servitude.

Conclusion

All in all, the quality was about what I expected. I didn’t think I was going to get supple leather cuffs lined with luxurious fur at that price point. The kit is pretty utilitarian, although it’s not ugly by any stretch. I really loved the look of the collar and was very intrigued by the fastening mechanism, but I was so disappointed that it didn’t fit me without choking me out. So obviously the collar is no bueno if you’re fat, but the cuffs did fit my wrists, so some of us living large can probably enjoy that aspect of the kit.

It you (or your partner[s]) have thin necks that the collar will fit around and you’re looking to dip a toe into the world of bondage but don’t want to commit a lot of money to individual items of varying quality, then I would recommend this kit. If you buy it and find that you like bondage, then you’ll have a small variety of items to use while you build your toy collection. If you don’t like it, you only spent $40 to try out several bondage staples and won’t feel bad about wasting a lot of money. I wouldn’t recommend it if you already have most of the items in the kit or you have particularly discerning tastes about the quality of your toys.

If you’re interested, you can get the Toyjoy Amazing Bondage Sex Toy Kit from Bondage Bunnies! They’re located in the UK, but they take USD and ship to the U.S. as well! Thanks, Bunnies, for sending me this kit in exchange for an honest review!

Show Yourself to Me by Xan West

I don’t read a lot of erotica anymore. Don’t get me wrong, I like erotica okay. I’m going to be reviewing a couple erotic novels in the near future. I can masturbate to the written word. But for the most part, erotica usually feels like it’s missing something for me. I can get on Literotica and read some short stories, but they always seem to lack body, depth, characterization, and passion. With that deficit in mind I was thrilled when I started reading Xan West’s Show Yourself to Me.


Book cover for Show Yourself to MeShow Yourself to Me
is a book of queer kink erotica that goes above and beyond what I’ve been conditioned to expect from erotica. I agreed to review it because I’ve read some of West’s blog posts about writing diverse characters in erotic stories, so I expected inclusivity, but nothing could have prepared me for this book, because it is so damn good.

West’s characters are gritty and empowered – they fill up the page, and feel real on a visceral level. Over the course of just a few pages I can go from being introduced to a new character to feeling like I actually know them. I know this seems like a strange thing to say – after all, when you’re reading a novel it can take the span of the entire book for that level of characterization to occur – but West’s descriptions are rich, and they really give me a sense of what makes each character tick.

The scenes are beautiful, and many of the stories talk about BDSM as more than just play, addressing the transformative aspects of it as well. BDSM is a way that many people explore their limits and identities, work through trauma, and strive to become better, and West’s stories demonstrate this. The stories are sexy and engaging, and they don’t feel detached or clinical at all. They are dark (but not in a morbid way) and heavy, and I love that.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with light ‘n fluffy BDSM or tales that only focus on the outer sensations, but that just isn’t what Show Yourself to Me is. The stories are deep and the play is intense. Heavy sadism, rough body play, and edge play are regularly featured throughout the book.

West does the reader the courtesy of including a content guide section after the table of contents, so the reader has forewarning of which stories include potential triggers such as trauma, knife play, humiliation, or consensual nonconsent. If you find that certain types of play may trigger you or simply aren’t to your taste, I urge you to use the content guide. On the other hand, if you’re specifically in the mood to read about blood play, the content guide will tell you which stories are up your alley.

It would be remiss of me not to mention the diversity in writing. West’s writing introduces you to disabled, fat, and transgender people. There are people of color (PoC) in the stories, and they acknowledge some of the baggage that surrounds PoC and BDSM play. Part of what makes the characters feel so real is that acknowledgement of the different people who participate in BDSM: people of different ethnicities, people of a larger size, people with canes and scooters, people using neutral pronouns, people who embrace stone sexuality. Instead of being as vague as possible, West specifically mentions the things that make characters part of minority groups so you don’t automatically assume everyone is white, cis, able-bodied, and thin… and that is beautiful.

I also learned a lot about different areas of kink from this book. Until I read this book I had never been exposed to certain BDSM cultures and fetishes like leather, Daddy/boy, or rough body play. Reading about these subcultures and kinks was fascinating, and really gave me insight into the appeal of some things that I’d never considered before. If you like these things, then this book is definitely for you, but if you’ve never given them any thought and would like to then this book is a great place to start thinking.

My favorite stories were The Tender Sweet Young Thing (which you can read here!), Falling For Essex, How He Likes It, Facing the Dark (you can read Xan’s backstory for it here), and Ready. You can view the Table of Contents for Show Yourself to Me and read little excerpts from the stories in this post on Xan’s blog.

I highly recommend Show Yourself to Me for kinky queers that love the written word. You can get eBook or print copies from Go Deeper Press and you can buy the book on Amazon. You can read more thoughts from Xan West at https://xanwest.wordpress.com/.

Book Description:

In Show Yourself to Me: Queer Kink Erotica, Xan West introduces us to pretty boys and nervous boys, vulnerable tops and dominant sadists, good girls and fierce girls and scared little girls, mean Daddies and loving Daddies and Daddies that are terrifying in delicious ways.

Submissive queers go to alleys to suck cock, get bent over the bathroom sink by a handsome stranger, choose to face their fears, have their Daddy orchestrate a gang bang in the park, and get their dream gender-play scene—tied to a sling in an accessible dungeon.

Dominants find hope and take risks, fall hard and push edges, get fucked and devour the fear and tears that their sadist hearts desire.

Within these 24 stories, you will meet queers who build community together, who are careful about how they play with power, who care deeply about consent. You will meet trans and genderqueer folks who are hot for each other, who mentor each other, who do the kind of gender play that is only possible with other trans and genderqueer folks.

This is Show Yourself to Me. Get ready for a very wild ride.

Blog Tour Stops:

Here Kitty Kitty

I don’t review a lot of porn. I think lots of bloggers agree that porn reviews are harder to write than some toy reviews. Normally I just don’t even know where to start… but things are different with Here Kitty Kitty.

The first thing I noticed was that Kitty Stryker is my porn aesthetic; this became apparent when the film opened on her masturbating in a pink wig and tiara, and my certainty of it increased with every scene – a different hair color, different jewelry. Kitty ears, eyeliner, and sparkles. “Yes,” I thought to myself, “I want to be like Kitty when I grow up.”

Magic Wand Original, Pink Wig, Tiara, Cat Ear Headband all arranged in different squares in a picture reading "Kitty Stryker Starter Pack"

The first partnered scene is a strap-on scenario with April Flores. I watched, enraptured, as these two beauties did all kinds of sexy stuff. The communication and consent was great. “You’re so pretty, I just want to hurt you a little bit,” April whispered. “Can I choke you?” Yes. With an attitude like that, you can smack me around any day, April. Call me.

Here Kitty Kitty.Still006Hotter still was when Kitty asked, “Do you like circles more, or back and forth?” while playing with April’s clit. It’s such a simple thing, but it was great to see porn performers talking about what they liked! In lots of porn you don’t see much negotiation about what kind of stimulation the performers want. I liked this. It was great knowing that April was actually enjoying what was being done to her.

That’s something that I find that lots of queer porn brings to the table: genuine enjoyment. Sure, I could pull up Pornhub and find some guy ramming his dick into a quivering hole over and over again, but there’s no sense of connection in that. I have yet to see mainstream porn where the performers communicate beyond, “Harder, harder!” and, “Open that ass up for me.” Eventually it starts to feel kind of joyless.

 

I felt the okittycinnpposite of joyless during the next scene with Cinnamon Maxxine. Cinnamon wears a glove (yay, safe sex!) and expertly works Stryker over with their hand and a Hitachi. There are lots of scenes in Here Kitty Kitty where you envy Kitty’s role in the scene, but this is one of the best.  In this scene Kitty squirts, and it’s because Cinnamon clearly knows their way around a vulva.

 

MVI_5980.Still001Miss Quin is the thinnest participant in the film, and it’s always pleasing for me to see a person of size with someone smaller. If you’re fat, you probably understand how nerve-wracking it initially feels to be with a smaller partner, so it was great to see a size difference like this represented in pornography. Quin and Kitty exchange oral sex, use a wand vibe, and scissor. I was totally thrilled by the scissoring. I have never seen tribbing with a larger person involved – usually your standard tribbing participant in porn is a very thin woman with a specific type of vagina. This scene was a breath of fresh air.

 

MVI_9577.Still002The finale is described as a “boy/boy/girl” threesome between Kitty, Ruckus, and Kitty’s real-life partner Ned Would. The first half of the scene was very focused on Kitty, and I wondered if we’d ever get to see Ruckus and Ned fuck. The answer is yes. You do get to see that, and it is super hot. The highlights of the scene are Kitty’s creampie, Ned getting fucked by Ruckus, Ruckus jerking off two dicks with one hand (what sorcery is this?), and Ruckus cumming in Ned’s mouth.

Kitty mentioned that she thinks the bi male scene turned off the mainstream porn press, and she’s probably right, but that is a serious fucking travesty. This scene is amazing. Something that helped me enjoy it more was reading about how Kitty planned it out on Pinterest… because if Pinterest was made for anything other than making you feel like shit for being bad at crafts, then this is it.

 

Screen Shot 2015-04-09 at 12.09.12 AM

I highly recommend Here Kitty Kitty for people looking for a little bit more body diversity in their porn, and for equal-opportunity fuckers who want to see people with vaginas with other people with vaginas, people with vaginas with people with penises, and people with penises with other people with penises. You can get it here for $30.00, and it is well worth the price tag! Alternatively you can enter this awesome giveaway for a download of the video, a signed copy of Hard Femme, and some limited-edition Ban This Sick Filth stickers – just hurry, it’s ending in a few days!

Thanks so much to TroubleFilms for sending me a copy of Here Kitty Kitty in exchange for an honest review!

The Tantus General

The Tantus General might be one of my new favorite dildos. It’s not the biggest dildo I own (that title goes to Amsterdam, which I still haven’t managed to get into my vagina), or the biggest dildo that I’ve fucked (the T-Rex is 2.25” in diameter whereas the General is only 2” at its widest). It is, however, a dildo that has provided me with one of the most satisfying orgasms I’ve ever had.

When the General was offered to me, I hadn’t given it much thought before. It looked like a nice dildo, but it only came in black (a matte black, for those who are wondering) and featured a gentle shape with no gimmicks, so I’d only given its product page a cursory glance. I thought the biggest thing (no pun intended) it had going for it was its size. Do not make my mistake and underestimate the General. I accepted the review offer because I like to try new things, and I am so glad that I did.

The Tantus GeneralI don’t recommend just trying to stick the General inside yourself first thing. It doesn’t have texture anywhere near that of the Rippler or the Diving Nun, but a 2” diameter can be considered somewhat sizeable, even though it starts at 1.75” at the head. Do yourself a favor and size up just in case. I warmed up by going from the LoveLife Adventure to the Tantus Cush O2 to the General and found the progression to be quite comfortable, but given that the Cush and the head of the General are the same size I probably could have skipped the Cush and moved on to the main event more quickly.

I used the General vaginally and found it quite pleasing. The General’s gentle, full shape and slight curve gave me a really pleasant sensation of being full. The tip did hit my G-spot, and I felt the full effect of that by slowly thrusting it into me. As much as I love texture, I wasn’t disappointed by the General’s smoothness. It lends itself well to fucking yourself at any speed, and it was also really pleasing to leave inside myself and flex my muscles around. The girth is a beautiful thing.

Heart-Eyed Cat EmojiTo be honest, I can’t say enough good things about the General. It was awesome to use. It might be my dildo bae. I would text it emojis. It sits on my bedside table and I stare longingly at it as I’m falling asleep. I picture us running through a field, barefooted, wearing airy white dresses that trail behind us and blow in the wind.

The Tantus site recommends using the General for anal play, but since I don’t do much anal (for lots of reasons, which I’ll probably address in a blog post eventually) I didn’t try it there. Will did, and he loved it and gave it a rave review for prostate play.

Everyone knows that I love Tantus and I cherish my relationship with them. Tantus has great employees, great ethics, and great toys. I cannot recommend them highly enough, and if you’re interested in the General, the T-Rex, or any of the other large toys Tantus is selling for 30% off during the Big Ass Sale, now is the time to spend your money there! Just use the code HEEHAW at checkout to receive your discount. The sale ends Thursday, June 18th, so buy some awesome toys now!

Thank you, Tantus, for providing me with the General in exchange for an honest review!

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The Tantus T-Rex

The Tantus T-Rex

I was really eager to try some giant dildos in honor of TantusBig Ass Sale, a sale of the biggest toys Tantus makes that you can put in your butt. While I don’t consider myself a size queen, I do love a good thick dildo every now and then. Sometimes you have an itch to be filled to the brim, and Tantus was kind enough to scratch it for me. Shoutout to Tantus, the real MVP of this blog post!

The T-Rex has intrigued me ever since it came out. It has a very distinctive shape, a pronounced head, and some of the cutest balls I’ve ever seen on a dildo. (Seriously, I think they’re adorable.) I’ve never owned a dildo as big as the T-Rex, and when I saw it I knew that I would get one, one day, and I would conquer it.

The good news is that I did conquer it. It was actually not difficult to get in because of the size with the progression of toys that I used. I used the OhMiBod Lovelife Adventure, then the Tantus Cush O2, then the Tantus General, then the T-Rex.

It worked like a charm at first, but pushing in the T-Rex further in was an event. It was kind of like going downhill on a roller coaster… and then being jolted to a stop. When I was putting the head in it felt really great, and then the scraping started. The silicone of the T-Rex is pretty solid and the minute the pronounced ridge of the head came up against my pubic bone it scraped against it. When I pulled the T-Rex back out it scraped against my pubic bone again, and worse – the ridge caught against my bone. It was not good times, people. It was bad times. I tried this thrusting motion a few times before I decided that this was not a thrusting dildo.

The Tantus T-Rex in purpleInstead I opted to leave the T-Rex inside of me while I used a vibrator on my clit. It was better than thrusting, but I still found the entire thing to be vaguely uncomfortable. When I brought myself to orgasm with the T-Rex inside of me the sensation of the orgasm itself was pretty awesome, but the feeling of clenching around an already uncomfortable dildo is not one that I’m eager to relive. It didn’t totally disrupt the experience, but I did notice it, and I did not like it. The fullness? It was great! But everything else just kind of felt off.

I’ve had a few more orgasms with the T-Rex, and each one has been just as uncomfortable as the first. I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong, but I have to say that the unpleasantness of having my pubic bone scraped has well and truly convinced me that I have no desire to give birth… like, ever.

I think the discomfort is because of how firm the toy is. Unlike some of Tantus’ other large toys, the T-Rex isn’t made out of that neat dual-density-feeling stuff where the outer layer of silicone has some give to it. Instead the T-Rex is completely solid, and what’s more, it’s straight, not curved in any way. Make no mistake, the quality of the silicone meets the standard that I’ve come to expect from Tantus – high-quality, flawless, and it feels great to touch. It’s not a quality issue, it’s entirely an issue with the design conflicting with my anatomy.

I knew the T-Rex had mixed reviews for vaginal use, but Ninja Sexology seemed to like it well enough, and Ruffled Sheets gave it a great review for anal use! I still wanted to try it vaginally for myself. That ridge in the head looked like it was going to be amazing. Oh Past Sugarcunt, if you only knew what you were asking for. While I love the way the T-Rex looks, the scraping was just unpleasant. It was all I could think about while I was using it, and that’s absolutely the last thing I want to be focused on when I’m trying to get off.

Ultimately I think that the dealbreaker was the combination of the hard silicone, the girth, the lack of a curve, and that huge ridge in the head. As individual elements I know that these things can be enjoyable, but I don’t think that this particular combination is for me. Now the question of, “Can I really brave the T-rex?” is answered. I can. I just choose not to do it anymore.

Thank you, Tantus, for providing me with the T-Rex in exchange for an honest review! If you’re looking to brave the T-Rex yourself, you can get it on Tantus’ website at a 30% discount during the Big Ass Sale! Just use the code HEEHAW at the checkout page before June 18th!

Überlube Über Alles

It’s no secret that sex toy reviewers love lubricants. How could we not? We put many things in our cavities over the course of one toy testing/masturbation session, the ass and penis don’t self-lubricate, and everything is better when it’s wetter (except your phone).

In this post I aim to educate as well as lubricate.  Let’s dive right in.

The last silicone (semi-silicone?) lube I tried was Wet Synergy, a hybrid water-silicone lube that wasn’t terrible, but contained glycerin and made urethras burn… yeah, nope.

Octopus scooting across the ocean floor with

Überlube, on the other hand, is a solely silicone-based lubricant, and I am pleased to report that Überlube has never burned a urethra in my household. Most of the regular forms of the lubes you’re probably familiar with (Astroglide and K-Y, to name a couple off the top of my head) are water-based. The difference is exactly what it sounds like: water-based, silicone-based. While most water-based lubes are thicker than your standard silicone lube, silicone lubricants will require less applications overall, since silicone sits on top of the skin and stays nice and slick.

This is the place where Überlube begins to differ from other silicone lubricants. Überlube says that their product performs as long as you’re using it, but I’ve found that isn’t entirely the case. One of my favorite things about it is how it dissipates and feels like a moisturizer when it does, but that works against it in certain situations, like when I’m giving handjobs.

Uberlube bottle on black background

My partner and I love handjobs, and he prefers them to be very moist. I like that the lube doesn’t get sticky, and you can always apply more lube, but it is admittedly a little jarring for my partner because the moisturizer keeps me from realizing when it stops being slick enough for him. He has to tell me, or I’d just pump away obliviously. Obviously I’m not complaining because we have to communicate – my complaint is that since the Überlube dissipates and I don’t have the stickiness of water-based lube to indicate when I need to re-lubricate, the handjob gets uncomfortable for him. “Not sticky” is not really a complaint, because I love that about it. I guess I should phrase my complaint as “might dissipate too subtly”?

As someone who doesn’t have much difficulty self-lubricating I find that Überlube is excellent for me to use if I want to put something in my vagina without much warm-up, because it will always feel silky and moisturizing and once my body starts producing its own lubricant the silicone lube can take a backseat. If your vagina doesn’t produce as much lubricant as mine does you may find that you need to add a bit more Überlube the longer you go. Just as with the handjobs, there’s nothing inherently wrong with that, but there might be discomfort until you reapply, and that’s not something you probably expect from a silicone lubricant. I have not used it for anal, and it’s pretty thin and drippy, so I’m not sure that I would recommend it for larger anal insertions, particularly if you find that you need lube with a lot of padding. Just go with what feels good for your body.

Ignoring the minor inconvenience of re-applying the lube (which you also have to do with water-based lubes, so I’m not really subtracting a lot of points for that) I find that the moisturizing effect is amazing. I love how Überlube feels on my hands and I can just rub it into my skin if it drips or I have any left over. It has never stained my sheets. I also love it when I’m on my period. Paradoxically my vagina gets super dry when I’m menstruating (don’t ask, I don’t get it either) and so it’s nice to be able to coat a tampon in a little Überlube to make the experience less unpleasant.Uberlube close-up

Überlube is also different from other silicone lubes because it’s made with nothing but four ingredients: Three types of silicone (dimethicone, dimethiconol, cyclomethicone), and tocopheryl acetate (vitamin E). It is odorless and tasteless. Because it’s quite pure I’ve had no problem using it with any of my silicone toys made of good silicone. Obviously you should patch test any silicone lubricant on an unobtrusive spot on all your silicone toys before you try to slather them down with it, but all of my Tantus toys (including the dual-density Cush) have fared very well with Überlube. My Jopen Key Comet and the LoveLife Adventure and Dream also had no problem with it either, and I love that. It feels amazing dripping down the smooth silicone of the Comet – there’s no drag, so it’s just a smooth glide to G-spot town.

When using Überlube they tell you to start with a small amount of product and add as you go on. It’s good advice because you don’t want to waste money, but I find that for handjobs I usually end up using about five pumps to start just for good measure. That amount at once might horrify the creators, but it works for us. When you’re trying the product for the first time I’d only suggest one or two pumps to start.

I strongly recommend Überlube if you’re looking for silicone lube and willing to shell out the money for a luxury lubricant. I consider it to be well worth your time. Shevibe offers a travel size that’s $14, a 50mL pump bottle for $18, and a 100mL pump bottle for $28.

What’s it definitely good for:

  • Handjobs (if you don’t mind re-applying it)
  • Vaginal intercourse for those who take a little while to self-lubricate
  • Remedying everyday vaginal dryness
  • Shaving and keeping your genitals from chafing post-shave
  • Sex in water (please be careful not to get it on the floor of the shower, because you will slip and might get a concussion)
  • Lube slip’n’slide

For more a few more non-sexual uses for silicone lube check out JoEllen’s post about Lube Sex Geek Life Hacks at her site, The Redhead Bedhead!

Thank you, Überlube, for sending me your amazing lubricant in exchange for an honest review!

The Bodispa Almighty

 

This is your genital guinea pig reporting in with a new vibrator after my long absence. I asked SheVibe for a Bodispa wand vibrator because I was intrigued by it. For starters it’s called “The Bodi-Spa Almighty Hot-Cold Body Massager” and if the use of the word “almighty” in a product’s name doesn’t pique your interest then you’re dead inside. I was super curious about the hot/cold functionality and really excited about the idea of putting something toasty on my genitals.

The box was enormous. The toy is enormous. As we all know I have a unique difficulty with product specs. Even with a ruler out I just don’t get them… so nothing prepared me for how huge this thing is. I mean I thought the Amsterdam was big but I did not understand that the tip of the Bodispa would be bigger than a clown shoe. I pulled the Bodispa out and gasped, “This is wider than my entire vulva.” It is roughly the size AND weight of a scepter. It kind of reminds me of the scepter in Super Mario Brothers.

Wendy_O_Koopa
You know the one.

When I marvel at the size of it I know that it is not made for genitals. That much is apparent. The manual doesn’t say “put it on your junk,” but neither did the Hitachi and Wahl manuals. In fact I’m fairly certain that the Wahl warns you NOT to. (I’m a blogger, I LAUGH in the face of danger!)

I mean of course I tried the Bodispa out on other places, but I don’t generally request products unless they have some sexual function. In fact, if I CAN’T put it on my genitals or use it to rub someone down, tie someone up, and/or (consensually) beat them, I usually pass on it.

In broken English the Bodispa manual tells me all the important stuff: charge for eight hours, don’t use on broken skin, don’t stare directly at the sun, whatever. The manual says one charge should last 45 minutes, but I’m not sure whether that’s with or without the temperature settings.

If you need small toys, this is not the toy for you. If you need discreet toys, this is not the toy for you. If you want to hear your porn, this is not the toy for you. The first time I heard it I decided that the BodiSpa Almighty sounds like a tractor fucking another tractor in the tailpipe. My partner says this is a slight exaggeration.

The Bodispa AlmightyThe thing that drew me to the BodiSpa was that it has heating and cooling settings. To the BodiSpa’s credit, it heats and cools REALLY quickly, and doesn’t seem to have much trouble going from one setting to the other. The temperature stuff is transmitted through a big metal circle in the middle of the head, and it has pretty colored lights around it to indicate what temperature setting you’re on.

The warm setting on my vulva is pretty nice as long as I don’t think, “Am I peeing myself? I might be peeing myself.” Because I’m not peeing on myself when I use it, and don’t recommend peeing on yourself with this piece of equipment pressed against your genitals. It has vent holes and you will ruin it. The cold setting is very refreshing. I anticipate summer coming up because I’m probably going to spend a lot of time with this thing nestled between my legs on the cold setting… assuming I can ignore the numbness in my thighs from the vibrations.

This thing vibrates a LOT. It’s not very buzzy; both speeds are really rumbly, so the massager vibrates my legs. I’m pretty sure that whenever I have it between my thighs for a long time I can actually feel my body stop shaking a few seconds after the toy turns off. It’s not orgasmic shaking, it’s just shaking because the toy has been jostling me around. I actually wish it had just a temperature-on setting without vibrations because I’d love to have the temperature stuff without the hellaciously loud vibrations.

When I tried the BodiSpa out at first I was not impressed. I didn’t think I was going to get any orgasms out of it because of how the vibrations are spread out. Back when I had my hood piercing I found that I preferred broad stimulation over pinpoint, but these are too broad.

With the shape of my vulva (it’s fat) there’s also no way I can get this vibrator directly up against my clitoris – instead I just have to let it vibrate the top of my vulva… which actually works! I’ve had several orgasms thanks to the BodiSpa, but they’re not the most amazing orgasms I’ve ever had. It’s kind of like having the orgasm equivalent of being in a shallow wave pool – you know the waves are more substantial in the deep end but you keep getting washed closer to the shore. I have no idea how to get to the deep end with this thing, and I’m not sure there’s actually a way to get there just because of the shape of my body and the size of the toy.

The Bodispa AlmightyWith that said, I actually really like this massager. Do I recommend it as a sex toy? Ehhh. I think that you probably need to have a very specific genital configuration or the ability to get off by vibrating your overall genital region. If you need pinpoint stimulation I absolutely do not recommend this. Obviously. It’s huge.

With the BodiSpa’s iffy sex toy capabilities aside, I think it’s a pretty awesome massager. I keep finding myself using it, turning the heat setting on and massaging my thighs, my shoulders, my vulva. I use it more for massaging than I do for trying to get off. It’s like I’m not even a sex blogger anymore. The hot/cold functionality is pretty awesome. Pressing the massager firmly against my body doesn’t feel like it dulls the vibrations.

It is so cool and so not-obviously-a-sex-toy that I’m seriously considering getting one for my mom.

If you want your own BodiSpa Almighty to keep your genitals toasty you can get it from SheVibe!

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Thank you, Shevibe, for sending me the BodiSpa in exchange for an honest review!

Courtney Trouble’s Live Sex Show

I was privileged to obtain a copy of Courtney Trouble’s Live Sex Show, and I’ve had it for quite a while.  With all of the mental health hoo-ha that came up last few years, it’s no wonder that I never got around to reviewing it in a timely manner, and so when I glimpsed the DVD in one of my bins of sex stuff, I was like, “Oh shit!” So here we are in 2015, with me finally reviewing this film.  I apologize from the bottom of my heart for its lateness.

On the whole, I really like Live Sex Show. It’s sexy, the performers are clearly into it, and it covers a range of sexuality. Would I recommend it? Absolutely.  What follows is a description of the scenes, but my descriptions can’t come close to capturing the awesomeness that you experience when you watch it.

Kimberlee Cline starts off the film by performing a strip tease and solo scene. She wears a crotchless fishnet bodysuit, and goes from 0 to 60 in a very small amount of time. It’s a short, sweet, and sexy.

Peter Devries and Jolene Parton have very organic sex. It’s flowing, and doesn’t have a lot of noise other than moaning. The scene progresses naturally, and it’s filled with kissing and cuddling. I don’t have a lot of commentary about it – it’s not particularly hardcore because they don’t open up for the camera. It just looks like comfortable, intimate sex, which is something I can really appreciate since you don’t see that much compared to mainstream pornography.

April Flores begins her scene by masturbating on the floor. The Matador joins her and they have absolutely gorgeous sex. One of my favorite parts of the scene is when The Matador reaches around April and rips her fishnet tights. The oral sex during this scene is totally awesome. The Matador looks like he eats pussy like a god.

Tina Horn and Roger Wood are next up. Their scene begins with some impact play – a nice hard spanking and some flogging with what appears to be a leather flogger. Roger wields the flogger expertly, and I was really impressed with how he handled it once he got warmed up. The two use a strap on for some rough sex, and watching them fuck is glorious. Her ass ends up bright red, and Tina’s expressions really capture how she’s riding the line between pleasure and pain. One reason I love this scene is because there’s a lot of smiling and laughing. When they stop because they think they’re out of time, they’re told they can go on and so they get back to it and have more sex. Their enthusiasm is fantastic!

Nina and Jiz Lee have a brief negotiation where Nina goes over what’s good for her. Jiz announces that they shaved their legs, “which felt really kinky.” I can relate to that. Nina and Jiz get down to business, and things quickly escalate to fisting. Not a bad way to get things rolling, if you ask me. After several orgasms, Jiz fucks Nina very slowly and slaps her cunt a little bit before Nina whips out the Magic Wand.

There is a steady stream of back and forth that goes on during the Nina/Jiz scene. My favorite exchange is when Nina gives Jiz a Magic Wand. Jiz asks Nina to tease them at least once before allowing them to orgasm, and Nina says, “Oh, if you wanna do that then, no, fuck you!” as she yanks the Magic Wand away.

The scene between Jiz and Nina is probably one of my favorite scenes on the DVD. Not only does it star not one but TWO of my favorite porn stars, it’s filled with choking, fisting, slapping, dirty talk and laughter. I did notice that Nina uses the wrong pronouns for Jiz, which was a little disconcerting. There may have been any number of reasons for this, and I’m sure none of them are malicious. Maybe they didn’t talk about pronouns and so Nina didn’t know. I have no idea. It just stood out to me every time Nina used female pronouns to refer to them.

Then the Courtney Trouble gangbang starts. Jiz, Nina, April, Tina, and Roger all fuck Courtney, blindfolding them and piling on top with strap-ons, gloves, and the Magic Wand. Nina comments on how strong Courtney’s muscles are. Someone plays off that comment and makes a joke about it being horrible for anyone that tries to rape Courtney. That killed my boner a little bit. Nina says, “Consensual rape,” possibly trying to tone down the joke, but that didn’t help me get it back up. I’m sure some people probably wouldn’t even have noticed, but it stood out to me because I don’t think comments like that are funny, even when they aren’t threatening in any way. I imagine that some people who hate rape jokes wouldn’t care because it wasn’t a joke that framed rape in a positive light. I cared.

Aside from that comment making me cringe, the scene is a highly respectable gangbang, and Courtney has what sounds like a great orgasm. They even ejaculate, and I think they’re the only performer in this film who does so. 

Courtney Trouble and Carol Queen did a great job putting this together. The performers have great chemistry, everyone looks happy, and it’s hot as hell. All around I’d say it’s a win involved for everyone: the organizers, the performers, and viewers like you. If you haven’t seen it and you like the other work of any of the stars involved, I give it a 9 out of 10 and think you should buy it right now.  It’s $15 on Courtney Trouble’s web store!

As a note, if I have misgendered any of the stars of this film, please let me know in the comments so I can revise my writing.  Some of the participants don’t have much information about them on Courtney Trouble’s site or IAFD.