Friday, September 28, 2012

One Profound Moment:
What's Your Own Self-Worth?

Last night was the first night that I went to group and sat amongst eight men who have sexually offended and laughed. It was the type of laughter that can't be contained, the type of laughter that is utterly contagious and uncontrollable. I listened as a group member described in great detail the psychological warfare he's been engaging in with his neighbour, laughing and living through him as he weaves the intricate details of his daily life.

It's important to celebrate the achievements and the joys of daily existence, but our group is bound by men who share many obstacles, challenges, and heartache. Not ten minutes later after laughing along with the group, I'm suddenly filled with reverence and respect as another man shares the story of his offence from beginning to end, pausing often to find the language for the words he hadn't yet spoken out loud. Two hours is gone before I even realize it, and I'm left thinking about the many profound truths I'd witnessed in that short time.

The following discussion took place between a new member who is currently awaiting sentencing and a veteran member who remembers being in his same precarious position. 

Man One: 
I've lost my half-million dollar house, the Cadillac in my driveway, my boat and my big screen TV - every material thing I own is gone. But you know what? That's not even the worst of it. I've been served my divorce papers, my friends and family have up and disappeared, I'm not allowed to see my kids, and just about every source of happiness that I had before is gone. I have nothing - literally nothing. Suicide? Sure, it's a thought - isn't it always? - but I don't want to be that headline, the one that says I've somehow escaped justice. Whatever that means.

Man Two:
I feel like I was right where you were after my offence - except for the Cadillac maybe. I was lucky enough though that the first corrections officer I made contact with sat me down and said something to me that I'll never forget. I had just been stripped of all my personal things, and I was a mess. He saw that, and he took a minute and said to me:

Everything you have, someone can take from you. Not one thing that you hold close is safe from being ripped away without a moments notice. Everything except your self-worth - no one can take that from you. Ever. So what is yours worth?  

At that moment I realized that I had always valued myself for what I had, not for who I was. My self-worth needed to be based on my character and my values, not all the shit I bought to blow the money I barely earned. But I know what you mean, the worst part is all of the real stuff - the family, the friends, the kids. The people you love. It's hard to go through losing all that, but it's even harder when your self-worth is shit to begin with. When you're left with nothing and you are nothing because of it, well, suicide looks pretty good, doesn't it?


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Toy With Me Tuesday:
Freedom and Privilege

When I started thinking about this week's 'Toy With Me Tuesday', I wanted to take Ness' suggestion and talk about sexual freedom for a quick minute, because it's actually something that means quite a bit to me. I've been privileged enough to not only enjoy sexual freedom in (and out of) the bedroom, but I've also been privileged enough to be able to study sexuality in an academic realm. I recognize that not everyone everywhere has had the opportunities and privileges I've been graced with, and I want to honour that.

If I had been born a few decades earlier, my life's path would surely be quite different.

I might not have owned a Hitachi, let alone have been able to enjoy the wonders of orgasm. I might not have had access to my own library of sexual information, let alone been able to read.

This is my privilege.

You can find more creative sex toy photography by heading on over to this week's Toy with me Tuesday collection. You can also follow the #ToyWithMeTuesday hashtag on twitter.


Saturday, September 22, 2012

Not the Safest Bet

Product: Fishnet Babydoll
Manufacturer: DreamGirl
Material: 92% Polyester, 8% Spandex
Comes With: Cut-out Chemise and Thong, with bonus Nipple Clamps and an attached Silver Bullet. 

Cleaning: You'll want to hand wash this set in cold water and hang to dry.

Whenever I'm shopping for lingerie online, I tend to gravitate to generally classic, tasteful, safe outfits. When I saw this Babydoll, it was unlike anything in my closet, and I just had to have it. Partly because it would be great for our D/s play, and partly because of the clamps and silver bullet - I love anything that comes with 'extras'.

I don't believe it's a safe choice in any way - not everyone will like the way they look in this, and not everyone will be happy with the way they feel in this.

I had doubts about whether I'd actually like this on me, since the woman modeling it looks just a little too plastic to be representative of my varying skin tone. I worried that my sun-kissed arms and torso would be too dark in contrast to my pale breasts; I didn't want to cordon off my breasts and accentuate that difference for fear of looking absolutely ridiculous. My fears (in this regard) were mostly unfounded, and will probably become more so as fall and winter continue to approach.

This item is a one-size fits all, so beware. There is a little stretch to it, but not as much as I expected (or would like). My measurements are as follows, for your comparison needs.

This item seems (to me) better suited to my fellow small-chested ladies; though any size chest would fit in the cutouts, I can't imagine it being overly comfortable to squeeze a pair of DD's into the little designated spaces - and the lace beneath the cutout would surely be lost entirely, which would be an absolute shame since it's one of my favourite parts of the outfit.

As I said, it's a little tight on me - there isn't as much give as I was expecting. Perhaps this is why it doesn't stay in place - if you zoom in and check out this picture, you'll notice that the model wears the thong over the chemise. You have to. Otherwise it scrunches up and just looks unflattering. This is fine, depending on your personal sizing. I personally am not a fan, since I then have to position the thong far too high to really utilize the 'crotchless' aspect of them. It just doesn't work for my proportions as well as I would like.

The three visible seams the run vertical along the sides and back of this chemise are probably my biggest pet-peeve. From my perspective, they're unnecessary and ugly, and they ruin any semblance of quality workmanship for me.

Now let me get to my absolute favourite part of this lingerie - the nipple clamps and attached silver bullet.

Firstly, I have another pair of clamps that I reviewed not long ago. They were my favourite - until now. The one's that come with this set are a thousand-fold more comfortable and more secure. They're longer and more narrow, rather than stumpy and thick. They look incredibly feminine. They're adjustable, of course, and no matter how tight or loose you have them set, they clamp on and stay on. They feel incredibly secure and even the biggest tugs can't pull them off.

Even if I hated the lingerie, the clamps would be worth the price - no question.

The clamps have a chain that is 21" long (15" from the bottom of the V) and attached on the bottom is the silver bullet. Now this is a pretty standard bullet - it takes four watch batteries and vibrates away the second you've got it assembled. There is no on or off button, so you're best to take the batteries out and store them somewhere close by so that the bullet isn't eating through batteries while not in use - and it does eat through batteries.

You can also remove the bullet if you're so inclined - it attaches pretty simply through a loop of ball chain. Beware that once removed, the bullet has a little more difficulty staying on afterwards, since the ball chain seems a little too flimsy and flexible for the weight of the bullet. A better quality ball chain fixes this and is ultimately a relatively easy fix if you're crafty and have a few meters of ball chain in a craft closest somewhere close.

I know this is a lot of information for such a tiny piece of fabric, so here's the bottom line:

Of all the lingerie I own, this isn't my favourite piece; I don't want to take it out of the closet simply for the sake of wearing it. It doesn't make me feel that great, and it just isn't that comfortable overall.


Friday, September 21, 2012

One Profound Moment:
We're Not Victims

Yesterday was my second day of providing direct client service for a group of men who have sexually offended, and I'm once again lost in contemplation about the conversations we had for those two short hours. Words cannot express how truly grateful I am to have the opportunity to be part of their group and to share with them in those moments of profound realization and epiphany.

The only way I can truly say thank you is to pass it on.

The following took place within a larger discussion of society and the general community. The men began to talk about what they wished the community knew about them:

Man One: 
I wish people knew that I'm a victim of my offense too - yeah, there are real victims here, my victims, and I don't want to diminish that - but I'm not just going on with my horrible evil life like nothing happened. Everyone involved has suffered from my offense - myself included. I don't think people see that, and I wish they did.

Man Two: 
But we're not victims of our offenses - at least not the way I see it. My victim had no control over the situation; they couldn't control the fact that I was in their midst and that I chose to act on my unhealthy desires. I didn't choose to have unhealthy thoughts and desires, no, but I chose to act on them. And that's on me. A victim has no control over what happened to them - I had control and I lost it.


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Toy With Me Tuesday:
Blue Girl Group

  In this week's 'Toy With Me Tuesday', Dottie (my CalExotics Pleasure Dot) happily hangs out amongst her blue friends in the Bathroom. 

You can find more creative sex toy photography by heading on over to this week's Toy with me Tuesday collection. You can also follow the #ToyWithMeTuesday hashtag on twitter.


Friday, September 14, 2012

One Profound Moment:
Oh, The Irony

I've talked about this on Twitter quite often over the last few months, but I want to briefly explain one (new) aspect of my life that will slightly change the overall nature of this blog from here forward.

As part of my human sexuality degree requirement, I work with men who have sexually offended in an AA style program designed specifically for the needs of the offending population. Yesterday was my first day providing direct client service to these men, but already I know that to not write about my experiences with them would be to betray my own sense of self.

I write about what moves me in all aspects of my life, and I want to honour that.

I consider myself quite fortunate to have the opportunity to get to know these men, hear their stories, and understand the struggles they face and the triumphs they celebrate. I feel blessed to be amongst them, and I want to share with you each week one nugget of profoundness that I take from them.

The following conversation took place between two men in the group who have been (or are in the process of being) charged for accessing, possessing, or distributing child pornography.

Man One: 
The justice system, and everyone else too for that matter, sees me as a one-dimensional thing: a monster. That's all they see - this monstrous thing that I've done. I think I'm a good person, and when I think about my character, I think, yeah, it's pretty good. But I've done this evil thing, this horrible thing, but that's all anyone sees. They don't see me - the person behind this horrible monstrous thing.

Man Two: 
But that's the irony of it all, don't you see? We saw them as one-dimensional; we didn't see the person, the hurt, the victimization behind those images. What we did to them, we are having done to us. 


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Toy With Me Tuesday:
Plugging the Starburst

I was actually a little stuck coming up with a submission for 'Toy With Me Tuesday' this week, mostly because I knew I wanted to showcase the Happy Valley Ergo Plug and highlight the vibrancy of its orange body, but I didn't quite know how I wanted to do it. 

I was still mulling it over when RS came home from shopping with a bag full of Starburst to fill up the candy dishes that we leave out on our mantle for guests (and our own snacking pleasure of course!) and voilà, problem solved!

You can find more creative sex toy photography by heading on over to this week's Toy with me Tuesday collection. You can also follow the #ToyWithMeTuesday hashtag on twitter.


Monday, September 10, 2012

His Parents

I refuse to use the term 'in-laws' when talking about RS' parents.

In a practical sense, we're not married. The law has no current place in our relationship. There is no legal binding between RS and I, let alone between us and anyone else. The law hasn't yet created a 'family' around us, so on a pure semantic level, the 'in-law' title just doesn't fit.

They say you can't choose your family - I humbly disagree. Blood does not give you the right to be involved in my life. Family or not, you have to earn your place at my dinner table. For me, family isn't about Christmas dinner and in-the-mail birthday cards; it's about the interwoven lives that reach out and continue to weave themselves into one another. The law can not create that, and I refuse to pretend that family can mean so little.

My Mother raised me, guided me, and cultivated the person I am today. As my parent, she has been the single most important person in the formation of me. I refuse to accept the idea that marriage magically bestows the title of 'parent' on anyone, regardless of qualification or ability. My Mother is a wonderful, strong, intelligent woman who I admire and respect more than anyone else; using the term 'mother-in-law' would require that I drastically alter my conceptions of 'Mother', for no mother-in-law could ever stand on equal footing with my Mother. I would never wish to dilute the meaning of Mother in such a way.

For these reasons - and perhaps a million more - I refuse to use the term 'in-laws' when talking about RS' parents. I don't yet have a term for them. I don't yet know if they even deserve their own title, their own classification in the grand scheme of my life. For now they are just 'his parents'. Nothing more.


Friday, September 07, 2012

Are We Kinky Enough For This?

When I first started studying human sexuality exclusively, I was surrounded by beautiful, strong, and amazing individuals of incredible diversity on a daily basis. I admired them greatly. For every experience my textbooks touched on, there was someone next to me living it, breathing it, and embracing it.

I'm a middle-class white heterosexual and cisgendered female; it wasn't long before I began to wonder how I could belong in this group of strong and unique individuals. I couldn't help but wonder what I could possibly have to offer.

Eventually I managed to reconcile such feelings in the academic arena, realizing that my social location didn't define me, that I could (and always will) have something of value to contribute to any discussion at hand. I don't need to live something to speak to it, nor do I have to live something to advocate on behalf of it.

Truthfully, I still start to feel that way sometimes though, but in a much different arena.

When surrounded by other wonderfully kinky individuals, I often start to lose focus on my journey with kink, instead weighing myself down with realizations that I may be X,Y,Z, but I'll never be Q,R,S. Suddenly Q,R,S emerges as the epitome of kink for me, and I just don't measure up.

I love my kink; I value it and embrace it for what it is. My kink is my own, and that's all I could ever want. There is no trophy for the kinkiest bitch out there - I'm not striving for that title. One persons kink is another persons vanilla; it's all subjective. I love all things kinky, and yes, I still get swept away with it all from time to time.

I'm learning (and trying) to stop this habit. It's destructive and unhealthy. I don't believe in keeping up with the Jones' in any other aspect of my life - I don't intend to do it in the bedroom either. I like where RS and I are in our sexual development; we're always trying new things and navigating our way in this crazy space where everything and anything goes.

I'm still just getting my feet wet in a lot of different ways, but really, aren't we all? If we aren't chasing new sensations and opening ourselves up to new experiences, well, what's the point?

I'm surrounded by beautiful, strong, and amazingly kinky individuals of incredible diversity - but I guess perhaps I'm one of them too.


Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Battle Scars

Since a little bit of pain is always a good thing in my book, it's always a surprise when that invisible line is crossed and tears ensue. The line isn't about what has and hasn't been negotiated; it's the line between good pain, and unplanned accidental 'I'm-so-sorry-are-you-okay?' pain.

It's happened two nights in a row now, and I sort of feel like a bonafide sex veteran; I've got the battle scars to prove that our sex life can get a little rough, and I'll probably discover a pinch of PTSD the next time RS attempts to gently caress my face.

The first night graced me with a sore eye after RS skimmed me rather roughly, nearly gouging my eye out - the thought of which probably hurts more than the actual skimming - and a stiff neck after being thrown down and having my neck slammed against the headboard. We were entirely unaware of how close we were to it and how far away we were from the nice soft pillows - a mistake we won't make again any time soon. Naturally, I claimed paralysis and stuck to it despite RS' attempts to prove that I was not, in actuality, paralyzed.

Which it turns out, he was right about - but you can never be too careful with neck injuries you know, it's serious business.

Last night's battle scar wasn't technically achieved while having sex, but since I'm pretty sure it was RS' intention and end goal all along, it counts in my book.

Without any sort of warning whatsoever, RS leapt up from his seemingly-sleeping state and punched me square in the face. At first I thought he had broken my nose or something equally as ridiculous, but it was soon apparent that my lip had taken the majority of the impact and my nose was quite fine after all.

Swollen and sore, RS dutifully got me some ice to take the swelling down despite my protests, because icing a swollen lip is incredibly unsexy, and I thought sex might still be in the forecast. (Hint: it wasn't.)

He apologized the entire time, claiming that he had meant to tackle me, but missed my arms and hit me in the face instead. Suure, no one's believing that for a second. I'm sticking to my version of events, wherein he was still angry about a conversation we had been having previously, and he just didn't want to admit to domestic battery.

See, there was this joke when we first started dating, that went sort of like this:

MY SISTER: RS, what happened to your laptop?

RS: *moving one closed fist into the palm of his other* 
          It broke.

MY SISTER: Boston, what happened to your face?
                           *moving one closed fist into the palm of her other* 
                            It broke.

Laughter ensues and we all make light of the severity of domestic abuse. All fun and games, right? Yep, there will be more fun and games when I get to make that joke to my sister today and make it so that RS never hears the end of "that time, you know, when you 'accidentally' punched me in the face?".


Disclaimer: I don't actually believe that RS purposely punched me in the face. Accidents happen, but only to me, which is actually kind of questionable perhaps. Also, we in no way endorse domestic abuse or battery, and in no way believe it is acceptable to make light of such situations.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Toy With Me Tuesday:
Beneath the Shining Lights

For this week's 'Toy With Me Tuesday', I thought I'd shine a light on the Happy Valley Little Snoop silicone dildo. Its sleek black body fits right in perched atop the french industrial art inspired lamp that helps me read all the oh so sexy research studies that my degree requires while RS sleeps soundly beside me.

My lamp must be ecstatic to finally be shining a light on something decidedly more concrete than letters, words, and sentences. You're welcome lamp; you're very, very welcome.

The lamp, in case you're wondering, is an Ikea creation called the FORSÅ.

You can find more creative sex toy photography by heading on over to this week's Toy with me Tuesday collection. You can also follow the #ToyWithMeTuesday hashtag on twitter.