Review: Tantus Echo

I love my purple dildo. Every time I pick it up, it seems that I find a different use for it. It's been endlessly helpful in my work as a phone sex operator. I don't even put it away when I'm finished with it. I take it right to the kitchen, boil it, let it dry, and sit it back on my bedside table. I use it so much that it's easier to leave it out so I don't have to go fishing through my drawers when I need it. And I need it almost every day. Now admittedly, I don't have a gigantic sex toy collection. I only started reviewing last month. Nonetheless, I can tell that the Echo and I are going to have a long and pleasurable relationship.

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Living with Herpes: Growing Through the "Yuck"

It is easy to get sucked into the negative when you get a herpes diagnosis. I remember the day that I was diagnosed. I was at the health center at my university and I had the most horrific first herpes outbreak anyone could imagine. Two solid weeks of not being able to sit, lay down, use the bathroom, or shower without excruciating pain. Not to mention the accompanying nausea, fatigue, and general feelings of misery. The nurse gave me the diagnosis and I felt my heart hit the floor. 

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Learning the Language of Connection

“Okay everyone, for the next part of the exercise, we’re going to practice eye gazing for two minutes.” There was a collective gasp as the participants tried to envision staring into a complete stranger’s eyes for two minutes. Even as a staff member, I was feeling a little nervous as I had never performed this feat either. “Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and relax your body.” I drew a shaky breath and exhaled slowly, wanting to give myself as much time as possible to prepare. “Now open your eyes and look into your partner’s eyes. Two minutes starting now.” I opened my eyes and looked into the most beautiful blue eyes I’d ever seen. For two minutes I felt myself get lost in her eyes, drawing me deeply into the depths of her soul. As I looked into her eyes, I realized that at the same time, I was feeling seen for the first time in my life. No pretense, no quick smiles or misdirection. There was nothing but the two of us in those moments and we connected in a way that I didn’t know was possible. For the rest of the weekend, just being near her was enough to make me feel whole and comfortable. Welcome to the Herpes Opportunity weekend.

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Healing and Empowerment After Sexual Assault: My first radio interview

In the process of moving cross country in August, I was fortunate to have a stop where I could do a radio interview with the lovely Devi Ward, from "Better Love and Sex with Devi Ward!" 

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I'm a Superhero Sex Blogger!

The votes have been tallied and the results are in! My blog came in at #18 on Kinkly's Top 100 Superhero Sex Blogs of 2013!

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5 Things I Learned from Phone Sex

I used to be completely intimidated by phone sex. I thought I would sound silly or that my partner wouldn't be turned on. I had a hundred excuses why phone sex was just "not for me." Until one day I said, "fuck it" and tried it. It was with a partner who I had been with for a while and I knew that if it didn't work out, he wouldn't hold it against me. We set aside time and had toys and lube at the ready. I even had notes in front of me so I could remember what he liked in case he got flustered. Turns out, I didn't even need them. After the initial "how exactly do we get started?" I began to feel better. I was just talking to my lover. He'd seen me naked! He's watched me clean up after sex and we've fought over who has to lay on the dreaded wet spot! There was nothing I was going to say that was going to ruin it. I just had to be myself. Five years later, I have men paying me to have phone sex with them. 

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The Family You Choose

Who do you consider to be your family? Imagine them in your mind. If you’re like me, not all of the people are biologically related to you, or to each other. Each one of us comes into the world and is brought into a home. It could be a home with two biological parents, a single parent, adoptive parents, co-parents, or some other arrangement. We have little to no control over the families in which we are raised. Our families of origin could be completely healthy and nurturing or dysfunctional and toxic. Often, there is some combination of the two. Our family of origin can imbibe us with strength and resilience. It can also saddle us with baggage and maladaptive coping skills. These factors will influence how we interact with others as we grow and mature. We cannot control where we came from—the actions of others are beyond our control. What we can control is the family that we create as adults.

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Confession: I Was Bullied

Edited 3/10/15 to add: This post was from September 2013. At the time, I was not publicly naming my rapist. The name below, Brent, is a pseudonym. My rapist's real name is Ben, and I've detailed my experiences with him here

In my mission to be an authentic blogger and sexuality educator, I’ve focused a great deal on modeling vulnerability. I’ve written about being a sexual assault survivorliving with genital herpes, and my struggle with body confidence. However, one thing I have not discussed yet is my history of being bullied. I think it’s important that I share my experience, because it has had a huge impact on the person I am today. Until I was about 22, I always felt like an outsider. From elementary school until college, I never quite fit in. I had a few friends here and there, but I was teased daily by the rest of my peers. Even now, as I look at how far I’ve come, I still find myself surprised when people want to spend time with me. I’m thrilled, don’t get me wrong. And no one has treated me badly in years. My friends are kind, loyal, supportive, and loving.  But there is a part of me that is always afraid that I’ll say or do something to mess it up, or that my beloved sex geek community will suddenly decide that I’m not worthy to be part of the group. That fear stems from old scars. Here’s how I got them.

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Consent is Sexy...Sometimes. Consent is Mandatory...Always

Sometimes consent is awkward. We live in a culture where people take certain liberties without asking permission. People are used to that. We’re used to having old Aunt Marge pinch our cheeks and leave lipstick smudges. When someone comes at us for a hug, sometimes we just grit our teeth and get through it instead of feeling comfortable saying “no.” Breaking out of that mold means asking first, and that’s a skill that requires practice.

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My Struggle With Body Confidence

I want people to know that it’s okay to struggle. It’s okay to have conflicting feelings about your body. Some days I love my body and feel confident, and some days I hate my body and avoid mirrors. It’s okay. The important thing is to recognize these patterns and notice the things that make you feel better about your body, and do that more! 

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