Elust #57


Cammies on the Floor

Photo courtesy of Cammies on the Floor

Welcome to Elust #57 -

The only place where the smartest and hottest sex bloggers are featured under one roof every month. Whether you’re looking for sex journalism, erotic writing, relationship advice or kinky discussions it’ll be here at Elust. Want to be included in Elust #58? Start with the rules, come back May 1st to submit something and subscribe to the RSS feed for updates!

~ This Month’s Top Three Posts ~

I’ve Got 99 Problems

Vasectomy Blues

I’ve always wanted to call myself queer.


~ Featured Post (Molly’s Picks) ~

Aoyama Yuki and My Very First Times

I don’t know how to be happy


~ Readers Choice from Sexbytes ~

*You really should consider adding your popular posts here too*

Review: CrashPad’s Guide to Fisting

CrashPad’s Guide to Fisting stars Lorelei LeeBeretta James. This episode is their first educational porn endeavor. I’m all about sex ed porn, so I was very excited for the opportunity to write a review for CrashPad.

CrashPad's Guide to Fisting

CrashPad’s Guide to Fisting

Instructional & educational porn sounds like the best idea ever, right? It’s hot and you get to learn something – and especially for those Sapiosexual’s out there - that’s doubly hot. But this isn’t the easiest concept to execute. Education tries to speak to reality. And porn is not in the business of reality making. Porn tries to get us off. Often in the most unrealistic and fantastical of ways. Both are awesome, but hard to combine.

Educational porn is not the end all be all of sex education. It does a lot of things a book or a classroom can’t do though. It’s hot and informative. One thing it’s exceptionally great at is being a resource for couples. Porn can set a mood and put a dialogue in motion. And that’s exactly what this expert’s guide does.

The episode doesn’t teach everything I’d like my partner to know before fisting me – but then again I often research everything before doing any one thing. What the film does do is give people a sense of the fisting experience. Fisting requires desire, time, patience, communication, and a little bit of familiarity and instruction.

The episode starts out with Lorelei Lee & Beretta James together watching other CrashPad videos with fisting. Very meta – especially considering I was watching this with my partner.

Lee was experienced and James was learning. The other episodes they watched exemplified fisting on a more advanced level. There was hardly any warm-up time. It went from zero to fist.

When Lee & James turned off the porn, they did a quick review of the duck hand position (seen above), and started on each other. And it was hot. They were hot. Their moaning, laughter, ease, orgasms. All of it. Their chemistry felt natural with a sort of excited nervousness – as any piqued fisting novice might feel.


Unlike the meta-porn they were watching earlier, the camera shots now were more conducive for learning. We watched as more fingers were capable of insertion. It wasn’t all genital close-ups. They kept us involved in the whole experience. Fisting can be quite the emotional, full-body experience for both partners involved. I’ve been told. Getting to see their body movements and reactions created a real sense of what fisting is like.

At moments I was pretty sensitive to what was going on. I got pretty tense. I also got reeal excited. But I don’t want to give anything away. All I will say is towards the end sex toys get involved. I could only imagine their blissful bath of tingly orgasms. (read: I was a little jealous.)

When learning about fisting the books are important, but it’s important to go beyond the books too. It’s helpful to see how the process looks and feels. I once attended Chloe Camilla‘s workshop “Give Me a Hand: The Art of Erotic Fisting“, where we, the audience, witnessed a live fisting. If you ever have an opportunity to go to a workshop like this, it’s amazingly informative. The whole live fisting in a crowd of strangers thing is not for everyone, in which case watching CrashPad’s Guide to Fisting from the comfort of your own home is the best option.


From the “Whole Lesbian Sex Book” by Felice Newman.

I suggest:

- Cuddling up, with or without a partner, and watch CrashPad’s Guide to Fisting.

- And then maybe read one of these.

- And be on your way to full fisting expertise/pleasure.


- Rent here for 9.99


- Get all the awesome porn you want AND watch this guide with a membership for $22-37 a month 

Thanks to CrashPad & Jiz Lee for being so awesome and giving me a

free subscription in exchange for my honest review of the Guide to Fisting.

A Tour of Fucking Sculptures Sex Toy Studio

I visited their studio and I felt compelled to write about Fucking Sculptures, a sex toy manufacturer making hand sculpted glass dildos.


lee and maria shaping a dildo

Photo by Jeremy Francis

On a rainy day in February, Fucking Sculptures was celebrating Valentine’s Day a week early by inviting the public to their bay side studio in Berkeley. On my walk over from BART my decade-old-rain-boots broke and were cutting into my ankle. It hurt badly enough that I was debating whether or not I should continue walking over. And I’m glad I toughed it out. I had a complete attitude change once I was inside the warm studio, enthralled and inspired by the artwork and the people behind Fucking Sculptures.

Maria and Lee are the founders of Fucking Sculptures. And you know what? These glass sex toys are made with love. Like serious artful love. The Fucking Sculptures duo are lovers in both work and play. The company started when Lee Miltier made Maria an unrealistically large dildo. For art’s sake more than actual fucking. I think. But the giant dildo sparked the idea for Fucking Sculptures. The legendary dildo is still proudly displayed in Maria’s home.

dildo in the glory hole

Photo by Jeremy Francis

Soda-lime glass is one of the most common types of  glass used for making glass containers. Lee Miltier creates large, luminous, and shapely vases when he is not arms deep in dildo making. It only makes sense then that Fucking Sculptures also uses soda-lime glass. Many glass sex toys we know, such as Crystal Delights and Pipedream’s Icicles line, use borosilicate glass. Most of us know borosilicate glass as Pyrex. Borosilicate glass has a very high resistance to heat and chemicals and is produced by either glass blowing or glass pressing. Soda-lime is slightly more sensitive to heat, making it easier to re-soften and then recycle any scraps or used pieces. Shop eco-friendly with Fucking Sculptures. 

There is no mouth blowing involved in the making of Fucking Sculptures products. You know what I mean. They use a hot sculpting technique. A metal rod gathers the molten glass in a furnace in temperatures as high as 1675°C. Separate metal tools are used to shape the glass while it is still hot on the rod. And it’s finished off with a blow torch.

Hot sculpting is often used to form more solid structures compared to Pyrex, which might be what makes their dildos a little heavier than your typical glass sex toy. But this is coming from someone who knows nothing about glass.

When I asked them about the weight of their sculptures, they seemed to be just as curious as to what makes their products feel a little heavier than other glass toys. For the record – weighted dildos can definitely be a perk for some people, especially when it comes to g-spot stimulation. A firm curve can feel more intense compared to a soft silicone end.

Photo by Jeremy Francis

Photo by Jeremy Francis

Hot sculpting takes time. In their studio they can only make a few products in an hour. When you are buying from Fucking Sculptures you are paying for the quality, time, art, and thoughtfulness with each piece. And now I’m about to get real cheesy – but I love this idea, considering how intimate we can be with our sex toys. We form crushes on our toys. We can identify with them. We have connections with them. It only makes sense that a lot of care should be put into each one. I feel like this is how sex toys are meant to be made. Each one of Fucking Sculptures products is unique and truly a sculpture to be displayed – and you know, fucked. You are literally getting off from art.

Photo by Jeremy Francis

Photo by Jeremy Francis

Buy Fucking Sculptures products at shevibe.  Right now they have 25% off select Fucking Sculptures products.

25% off select fucking sculptures

25% off select Fucking Sculptures

Bonus: As a bath lover, I have to share this great read on how Fucking Sculptures relates their glass toys to awe-inspiring baths.

Review: Duet by Crave

FYI: I’m comparing the Duet and the FORM 2 by Jimmyjane fairly often in the this review. They are both “dual-motor” vibrators that “hug the clitoris”, so many people might be here to decide between the two.


Duet by Crave
(with lint on it – to prove it’s quality silicone – not because I’m too lazy to Photoshop it)

There is no denying the sleekness and coolness of Crave products. All of Crave‘s toys are beautiful products made by people of talented industrial design and masterful engineering backgrounds. Like the company name suggests, there is a sense yearning or desire of satisfaction. Crave is just so smart and cool and pretty, like those popular kids in school.  Craving their coolness!

The Duet makes question myself – am I cool enough?

Eventually, though, a sort of disillusionment with the Duet arose. Kind of like realizing you didn’t have anything in common with the popular kids anyways and decided your better off without them. That isn’t exactly how it went down with the Duet, but sort of.

The Duet and I have had our ups and downs. At first I longed for the Duet. Their Kickstarter/Indiegogo campaign intrigued me. It was pretty, it looked like a tuning fork, it was designed by a woman, they cared about quality, and honestly – I just love that burgundy/crimson color. That was my go-to font color back in AOL Instant Messenger days – the “AIM” days, if you will.

I finally acquired my own Duet. And after years of getting off from the strength of the FORM 2, I guess I’m slightly disappointed. And this is WITH the new Turbo mode on the Duet. Turbo mode is where you press down on the “+” button for a little longer than you would when simply cycling through the power levels. After holding down long enough the vibrator jumps into turbo mode, making the vibrations more intense compared to the otherwise highest power level. For those who care about patterns – you cannot use the patterns during turbo mode.

So Crave listened and knew to make the Duet more powerful, but unfortunately this Turbo mode doesn’t quite make it to the top power of the FORM 2.

After my first masturbation session with the Duet I had a few thoughts: (1) this toy would be useless to me without the Turbo mode. (2) I want more. Not only more power, but more girth. More surface area. My labia feels cold, lonely, under appreciated, and reluctantly untouched!

I get that the Duet is suppose to be a small and discreet vibrator. But it is too thin to really stimulant everything I’d like it to. It is also very pin-pointy. If you love pin-pointy and can’t get enough pin-pointy, get the Duet. If you still want that “hug the clitoris” feature, but would like to cover a little more ground with your external vibrator, go another direction. Go with the FORM 2.

Upon my subsequent sessions with this toy, however, I did start to warm up to it. Change is always hard you guys, but I can adapt.

I found that the thinness actually made made the Duet easy to use with another dildo. I now prefer using the Duet while the addition of a g-spot toy. I got that dual-stim going on, so I don’t neeeed the power of a really strong vibe on my clit.

And, also, the Duet is pretty, remember. I guess I’m a little superficial with sex toys. I’m like a sex toy mid-life crisis. Instead of having my arm around a 21-year-old, I feel good with the Duet around my clitoris.

There is one thing I cannot get used to though.

The buttons. Let’s discuss these buttons. They are all lined up next to each other in a horizontal formation, rather than vertical, like the FORM 2 or most Fun Factory vibrators. There is a “+” on one side and a “-” on either side. These two are for the power levels. There is an “0″ in middle of them, which controls the patterns. This line up is less than idea because I tend to move my toys in all sorts of ways while masturbating.


Let me paint you a lovely masturbation picture:

Here I am, masturbating, flipping the vibrator about, moving it around, you know, blissfully feeling good feels. Things are heating up. I’m getting close to orgasm. It is time to turn up the the power setting to finish myself off. And you know me – I’m all about the turbo mode, so I gun it, full speed. Suddenly, my vibrator turns off.

See what I mean? Not an ideal situation. This happened because I didn’t notice the buttons switching around. I couldn’t distinguish the difference between the “+” and the “-”.  The buttons would never flip sides like that with a vertical button formation. Unless, of course I flipped the entire toy around, but I’m pretty sure I would notice that.

Sure the “+” and “-” are embossed so maybe someone somewhere can feel the difference. But I kind of doubt it. These buttons are real small and my hands are covered in lube. If a vertical button formation isn’t possible, then maybe a “+” “-” and then “0″ order would be better because then at least I know the “+” is on the outside.

Summary: I overcame the size and the power, but the buttons will always irk me a bit.

Other cool things about the Duet that I didn’t mention:

- It is super easy to travel with because it is USB rechargeable! No wires, just stick it in the USB drive on your laptop/adapter.

- Silky smooth and safe silicone

- Every time you turn on the toy it will warn you how charged it is: One buzz means you should probably pick another toy. Two means you’ve got some time, but use it wisely.  At three and four you’re good to go.

Bonus: The Duet is fully waterproof. Like really actually waterproof. Like an outlandish 100 feet waterproof. The co-founder/engineer used to make underwater video equipment and still uses his expertise with sex toys. Check out this cute video:

The (Sex) Life Aquatic from Crave on Vimeo.

If you want this beaut of a vibrator, you can find the Crave Duet at Shevibe for $149.

If you want the FORM 2, you can also find it at Shevibe for $145, AND THERE’S A SALE RIGHT NOW: $123.25

Review: Susie Bright’s “I Dare You: 30 Sealed Seductions” Card Game

The box might be my favorite part of this card game. The presentation is lovely. And really, presentation is everything for these couple’s card games. These games are usually meant as baccalaureate gifts or filler valentine’s day gifts or stocking stuffers anyways.

Susie Bright's I Dare You: 30 Sealed Seductions box open with one I Dare You card sticking out

Susie Bright’s I Dare You: 30 Sealed Seductions

The outer material is soft and smooth. The top layer is matte and makes that swishy sound when you run your fingers over it. Do you know what material I am talking about? Some books bound in this material. I am continually compelled to slide my fingers across it because it feels so good.

There is a plush, squishy feel to the top of the box. It is as if there is a cute little pillow sitting on top, wrapped up in that magical material. To open the box, you untie the black ribbon. Inside you’ll find the cards are sitting in a neat little indent covered of black velvet. More sensation play for your fingertips!

From the inside out the entire set up is black and red with an ora of deviousness and sensuality. I feel like a sexy serpent or dragon should pop out at any moment.

Each card is placed inside an envelop so you can go through the whole tingly-anticipation ordeal before embarking on your Truth or Dare.

The cards get old fast. You should only really use one or two cards at a time and then just get it on. Return to the rest of the cards another night.

I’ll tell you why:

    • The “fantasy” cards are all pretty vague and similar. There’s a good chance you’ll repeat yourself.
    • Majority of the Truth cards deal with previous sexual experiences. You are awkwardly confessing all the awesome sex you had with your ex. Yes, this can be informative. Yes, some couple’s love that shit. But other couples do not, especially not on a romantic night celebrating just the two of you. Hearing about your partner’s other partners is cool/fun once in awhile. When you hear about it all night it can be dulldrum/not-hot.

And I’ll give you some examples:

There’s one card in the deck that you might want to take out before handing over this present to your partner – unless you want to kill the mood or if like, whaling emotional tears gets you off. My partner and I got this card during that early-ish point in the relationship when we were definitely into each other, but not quite saying our “I love you”’s yet. We subtly put it back down without responding to it and moved on:

I dare you… to say goodbye to me like it’s forever. I’m shipping out in the morning; chances are I won’t be back. Make love to me like it’s the last time.

Like, I get it. It’s cute and sweet. It’s meant to bring out that great sex – that kind of epic make-up-sex or long-distances-lovers-sex. I get that you can totally be playful with card, too. But like I said, that awkward stage! It can make things awkward!

Out of all the couple’s card games I’ve seen though, Susie’s are preferable. Susie Bright is known for her radical activism, writing, and erotica. Her True or Dare cards are way better and way less confusing than all those Cosmo card games. The Cosmo games are so convoluted. You can’t get carried with the task at hand. All of Bright’s Dare cards can be used as a simple and novel catalyst for the rest of the night. Cosmo has ridiculous, but kind of serious, suggestions. Bright has actual humorous/awesome suggestions. Behold:

I dare you… to call up and order take out while I go down on you. Order appetizers and entrees – and don’t forget the steamed rice.


I dare you… to go into the kitchen, take the most outrageous picture you can, and then come back and show it to me without any explanation.

 Buy Susie Bright’s “I Dare You: 30 Sealed Seductions” at Shevibe for $12.99

This review was brought to you by this one time I won a couple’s gift package on the internet and along with free massages and dinner was Susie Bright’s “I Dare You: 30 Sealed Seductions” 

Review: Groovy Chick by Rocks-Off

siiiighhhh. Toys like this confuse me.

They make me have a slight identity crisis. The kind of identity crisis where you don’t know if you have an allergy or if you just hate something. Do I ask for no onions because I’m allergic and know I’m going to have a bad time? Or do I ask for no onions because I fuckin’ don’t like onions, okay!….

I don’t like the Groovy Chick, okay. I don’t. She (do I say she? she’s called a chick? ohh Rocks-Off, you slay me with these gender pronouns, animisms, and your Ed Hardy aesthetic…don’t worry, readers, I wont say she) This g-spot vibrator has that seemingly perfectly cuddly C shape, but just like rabbit vibrators – it is an ideal that is hard to meet. They only fit a specific anatomy and an anatomy that I do not have.

But am I (most likely) never going to use this toy again because it doesn’t fit my anatomy? Or because I just don’t think it is that great? The world may never know, unless I get labiaplasty. But that is far more commitment than I am willing to give to this review.

photo (12)

Despite my anatomy complaint, it actually does hits my g-spot pretty nicely, not as perfectly as others have, but pretty well. The flexible C shape glides the toy right towards my g-spot, making this toy really great for someone who is on the epic g-spot search. However, once they finally get there with this thing they might be too disappointed to continue and go back to the clitoris, where it is fun. Though some people might find it, stimulate it, and strike gold. Maybe. I don’t know. I don’t know those people, but I’m sure they were part of the prototyping.

Anyways, it hits my g-spot. But then the curve is too big to actually hug my clitoris, who is now feeling very left out in the cold. It almost reaches my middle pelvic region, which, side note: if it did reach up all the way, would be awesome for my menstrual cramps. Imagine a toy that could massage and relieve pain where my uterine lining is sloughing off AND get me off at the same time!?

The worst part about the Groovy Chick might be that the strongest vibrations are at the top end of the vibrator, the place that is meant to touch the clitoris. So for me, the strongest vibrations are wasted. They are buzzy, too. The vibrations get a tad lost in the thick silicone, but are still present enough to buzz my fingertips to numbness, because that is also the only place to hold on to the toy.

There isn’t anywhere else to hold on to it because the toy is meant to be hands-free. You wear the toy in such a fashion that it should simultaneously stimulate the g-spot and the clitoris (similar to how the we-vibe works, except that the Groovy Chick isn’t meant to be a “couple’s toy”), and then you rock back and forth in a seated position. I tried this and it feels good. It does. I got pretty wet doing it. I also never got off doing it. It’s a lot of work and after Stronic treatment and learning about Treat Yo Self day, I know that working that hard for an orgasm is absolutely unnecessary.

The best thing I could do with this toy was lift the handle (or lift the mildly-textured-for-clitoral-stimulation part) and pull on it so that my g-spot could get more pressure and then use a small clit-stim toy for the external stuff.  This felt great and I got off.

groovy_chick_pink_face_hiI wish I could have said better things about this toy because Rocks-Off has good things going for them:

The people are friendly and easy to work with. The packaging is perfect for shops because it has a classy design, it is sturdy, it can be hung or shelved and the front is clear, allowing people to see exactly what they are getting before they buy. The silicone has no weird smells and feels nice and smooth and squishy. The bullet can be taken out for easy cleaning and if you have another bullet vibe you adore, you’re welcome to stuff that in the silicone instead. It comes with Rocks-Off’s very own RO 80mm bullet, which is pin-pointy and strong. Stronger than the  bullet that comes with Tantus vibrators.

It is a quality toy for the price, because it isn’t outrageously expensive. It is battery operated, so if you want to travel with it, simply take the batteries out. It only has one button to shift through the three power levels, four patterns, and turning it off. That one button thing is slightly annoying to me, but a simplification many people prefer.

Maybe the Rock Chick Mini would have worked better for me and my anatomy? Maybe not? Until then, if you want to try a Rocks-Off toy, I liked the 4US vibrating ring. If you want a g-spot toy, this has worked best for me so far. If you want a C shape toy – buy them all and try to find one that fits.

And if you still want to get the Groovy Chick, you can get it at Rocks-Off for £39.99

Or at Shevibe for $44.99.

As always, eternal thank yous to Rocks-Off for sending me this toy!

What MAP Means For The Sex Toy Industry

What does MAP even stand for? And what does it mean when a sex toy company has a MAP policy?photo (11)

Well, MAP stands for Minimum Advertised Price.

You know when a retail shop has a STORE-WIDE-SALE-!, but then the asterisk says “except for ____” brands. In the sex toy world, Fun Factory, Jimmyjane, and Crave (and soon Lelo) are usually mentioned. These companies have a MAP policy set in place. Toy manufacturers can make MAP policies that give shops a MINIMUM price to sell the product for. There is no limit on how high the price can be, just on how low it can be. Lets say a shop wants to carry Fun Factory products, the shop must agree to and abide by all the Fun Factory MAP regulations. If this shop does want to have a that store-wide-sale-! we talked about, they totally have the ability to ask for the manufacturer’s permission about whether or not the sale could include to their toys.

The MAP policy is actually a really great system, especially for small brick and mortar shops, because then customers can’t necessarily use the shop as a show room and then simply find the item online for much cheaper. But still, I know we have all seen $100+ toys reduced to half price on Amazon, but we can’t be sure that these aren’t knock-offs. For this reason, I always recommend buying from a reputable retailer.  And because, ya know, the idealist in me loves supporting a company that has a meaningful sex positive mission statement.

Basically, MAP policies levels the playing field and reduces crazy competitions for shops. So we should all thank MAP for keeping our favorite quality sex shops (See: Right side bar) alive and profitable. It also doesn’t hurt manufacturer validation. Shops support MAP because they know the product is priced at its worth – or at least at the price people are willing to pay.

Learn More: An interview with Fun Factory CEO, Frederic Walme, about their MAP “movement”

“Because MAP policies exist, it is less risky to carry a new product or brand. You are protected from undercutting prices by other retailers who are willing to make less profit.” - Entrenue


Review: Plunge Paddle by Tantus

ppboxThe Plunge Paddle is part of TantusSensation line, which consists of 100% silicone paddles that are srsly not for the weak. These paddles are made of thick, solid silicone that offer a real proper stinging. The actually spanking part (the head?) of the Plunge is very flexible. It can easily whip back n’ forth if you are waving it in your hand. When it goes in one direction, it automatically bounces back to the opposite direction. I’m pretty sure this, combined with its heavy weight, is what makes this particular paddle so stingy.

I actually learned a bit about my own pain tolerance from the Plunge. It’s only been a little over a year since I’ve discovered how into spanking I am, so at first I thought I was going to have to always tell my partner ‘no, softer’ when using the Plunge. However, unexpectedly, my partner is hearing ‘yes, more’ instead. With this paddle in hand, I have grown to handle and crave a little harder of thwacks. I’m not going to deny that this is partially due to my overwhelming excitement with always wanting to use this toy.

When I first received the Plunge in the mail I was a little worried because it had a funny smell. A smell I would never associate with a Tantus product. If you didn’t know already, Tantus products are made of totally safe, nonporous, amazing, etc. material. I was hoping the smell had something to do with the packaging material, rather than the material of the paddle. I emailed them to clarify. Jenna, the customer service coordinator of Tantus, got back to me immediately with a couple email exchanges and superhero customer service.pptag

Her response is worth relaying to others, so here’s a little excerpt from the email:

“Sometimes a possibility is that occasionally there can be a little bit of residual release agent from the molds. During production, silicone is poured into a mold, and to make it easy to get out once it’s done, they use a spray. It’s exactly the same process you’d use for baking a cake, actually, only instead of Pam or oil it’s a release agent. The toys get washed after, but it’s possible to sometimes get a little bit of residue on the toy that didn’t get completely washed away. This is why I’m always adamant on social media that people should wash their toys before using them. It’s pretty rare to see this at all, though…

…Going forward we’re going to try and make sure they’re as free of that release agent stuff as possible before they leave our warehouse. Judging by the feedback, the process up until now hasn’t been doing the job as well as we’d hoped….but we’re listening closely to the feedback, and taking steps to resolve it.”

(and if anyone has any other questions they want to specifically ask her, her helpful services are offered at Tantus’ Contact page.)

woo, safe toys! And sure enough, the smell went away as soon as I washed it.


The handle of the paddle doubles as a dildo – hence the Plunge Paddle. It is a decent length and very sturdy, allowing for good control over the movement of the paddle for the spanker. As a dildo, well, let my g-spot orgasm tell you a little about that… uhhh yeah, it’s amazing.

I was shocked, actually. The girth is relatively thin, so sliding it in wasn’t a problem and then it hit my g-spot suddenly and perfectly. Of course, all of our anatomies are different, but I mean, this toy, it really works.  The head of the dildo is super round and bulbous and hardly flexible so it puts really nice pressure on the g-spot.


I’m just so excited about this toy, you guys. And its totally affordable as far as nice, quality sex toys goes – it’s $54.99 for like, TWO toys. Or THREE if used for butt stuff! It is totally safe for butt stuff, by the way, because the paddle end acts as a flared base.

I’m developing such a crush on this toy and my poly-amorous nature enthusiastically recommends you to buy it!

Thank you for sending me the Plunge Paddle, Tantus! It is always a pleasure to be Tantus affiliate.

Review: Dark Secret Love by Alison Tyler

Dark Secret Love: A Story of Submission is part memoir part fantasy erotica written and lived by Alison Tyler. This book has the excitement, self-reflection, and timelessness of classic coming-of-age stories. However, despite being brought along on her journey, this is more of a coming-of-sexuality story than a coming-of-age one. Tyler pulls us into her submissions so we too can experience the pain and pleasure she feels from finding what she truly wants and eventually allowing someone else know too. We get to feel both the strength and vulnerability it takes to get there. Not to mention the spankings.

There’s no better accolade I could give then admitting that this book revealed to me some of my own hidden fantasies. Growing up as women, we can often fall into a facade of being sweet and delicate kitties, but some of us have secret compulsions to be dark and deviant. It kills me sometimes that I come across to others as a flower when actually I feel grimy and tangled and ripe for the belt. Anyone with a story or a fantasy of wanting to blossom into something other than what was expected of them will relate to Dark Secret Love.

“Sometimes he bent me over the hood of his car and striped me with his belt, taking the worn leather off my own waist first, his hands so rough, undoing the buckle, sliding the old brown leather free. Sometimes he talked to me while we fucked, his mouth pressed to my ear, saying the things he knew about me, things I tried to hide from the world. ‘Such a sweet girl,’ he’d say, ‘That’s what everyone thinks. Right? But I could tell. From the way you walked. From the way you looked at me under those dark lashes, stared at me while you drank your gin.’ I always wondered how he had known.”

Honestly, a lot of what I wanted to say about the book Annabeth Leong probably said much better in her review. But I do want to also mention my adoration for this cover art. Of course I was immediately intrigued to read a full length erotica/memoirish novel from Alison Tyler, but this cover made it all the more exciting and perfectly exemplifies the mood of the book. Totally gives me butterflies.

I’ll save the sexiest parts for you to read on your own, preferably with one hand holding the book, rather than being on the computer…but here’s another nice little excerpt I liked (I excluded names as to not give anything away if you haven’t read it yet):

“‘You’re all the color I need,’ He said, coming closer, setting his drink down on the nightstand. ‘You seem to blend in at first, dark hair, pale skin, perfect for my black and white environment. But then you change.’

‘What do you mean?’

‘Your cheeks turn pink when I make you blush. Your lips become a dark berry color when you bite them, nervous, wondering what I’m going to do to you next. Your ass, after I spank you, takes on that wonderful shade of well-punished red.’

I squeezed my eyes shut tight. I’d been hoping to get a rise out of him, and clearly I had. But the way he was talking and moving, poetic a slow, had me off balance. Sometimes when he was on his way home from work, he’d call and give me a chore or an assignment, letting me known what was in store for me. ‘Get out the crop.’ ‘Put on your collar.’ Other times he’d burst through the door with electric energy and take me into the hallway or out on the balcony. But this was different. He was moving slowly, like a panther stalking its prey, and I felt mesmerized, at his mercy.”

Everyone buy & read this lovely book right here!

Thank you Cleis Press for sending me Dark Secret Love!


Review: Violet Blue’s The Adventurous Couple’s Guide to Sex Toys

book_imageViolet Blue came out with a second edition of her adventurous couple’s guide this year. Although I never read the first one, I was still excited when Cleis Press sent me the book because I’m a big fan of Violet Blue.

The book is fun, knowledge, sexy, and has a sense of humor… you know, everything we want our sex lives to be! She makes everything in the book very accessible, whether you are into ‘vanilla sex’ or rocky road there are no stigmas or judgements presented. No sense of the kinky stuff being treated with a different tone from the ‘first timer’ suggestions. It’s a book that tells you as much about vibrators as it does whips or butt plugs or teledildonics or other high concept sex machines.

Some how Violet Blue is brilliant enough to write important health information in a really sexy way too – but not a sexy cheesy pukey way. Behold, an example:

“Make sure that everything regarding your mutual decisions to tie, bind, spank, whip, suck and fuck is all crystal-clear, and don’t deviate from those decision unless they beg really, really nicely.” 

The extend to which this book is nonjudgmental even made me a little uncomfortable in regards to the acceptable toy material choices.  I’ll start by mentioning that I work at a very curated, very strict about body safe materials kind of sex shop, so when she mentioned to just use a condom over the possible toxic jelly toys I was taken aback a little. I automatically think to just stay away from anything not pthalate-free. However, it is true that I don’t show any such evaluations like that to customers in case someone is using these kinds of toys and I don’t want to offend them. I appreciate her ability to focus on harm-reduction rather than making people feel bad if they already have or only have easy access to those kinds of toys.

On a daily basis Violet Blue has a really great recommendations and a really strong fan base around her to take advantage of them. On her blog you can find great porn, news article, artist, etc. types of entertaining curations. At the end of the book, as well as scattered throughout, she offers loads of sex toy/informational sources and recommendations. Although with that said, I just gotta throw this out there… I’m a little skeptical that the book has an unworthy bias towards Doc Johnson products….

The unfortunate part about writing a book about sex toys is that it can never really be completely up to date. Sex toy technology is always being upgraded and especially in recent years the competition for making awesome luxury sex toys is getting greater. No complaints about that though, obviously. If you are looking for specific toy recommendations I would suggest reading/talking to toy reviews/ers (Hi guys! Email me anytime with any questions/recommendations!), visiting a shop, or perusing online shops and their blogs.

Who is this book for then? People who do not have awesome sex toy shops with informed employees, or maybe those who do no feel comfortable going to these shops and talking to the employees, could really benefit from reading this book. If a couple has been talking about exploring or one partner wants to and isn’t sure how to bring it up, this book is a really good resource for those types of situations. Someone who is looking to be a sales associate for a sex toy shop could learn about different types of toys, how to talk about them, and push their knowledge past what they probably will be selling – seriously you guys, she talks about some pretty out sex toys for the scifi world, it is dope.

Part of me totally gets the people who might slam the book for being out of date and saying people should just use the internet for this information. However, I also disagree a little bit. I’m all for more and more accessible sex positive information. Maybe this book will be the first glimmer of hope for a positive sex toy experience for someone. Maybe a teenager will find it on their parents bookshelf one day – like many of use found the Joy of Sex on our parents bookshelves – and it will be their first look into the lens of having a healthy attitude about sex. Totally worth it to have this book around.

And I will leave you with this lovely quotation that pretty much sums up the mission statement of the book:

“Our culture talks about sex more than ever before, happy, horny, and adventurous guys and gals are looking at each other’s bodies like the pleasure playgrounds they were meant to be. And that’s a really good thing.”



Hooray for consent is also another radd theme her provided throughout the entirety of the book.


Thanks again to Cleis Press for sending it to me! Buy it here.

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