Stuffed by Silicone: The Sensi Dildo Review

Sex bloggers want two things out of a sex toy: something well-designed that satisfies our libido, and something that doesn’t force us to give up being lazy. We see these conditions satisfied in inventions like the Stronic, a pulsator toy that thrusts itself and was lauded by many a blogger and in innovations like lube dispensers. Toys that are badly designed are rightly roasted, but perhaps more frustrating are the toys that require things to be just so for us to come. So when I heard of a new Uberrime dildo that promised almost effortless sensation, my heart fluttered. Could it be true? Pleasure for almost NO EFFORT? SIGN ME UP! Folx, please spread your legs and clap your hands for the latest in dildo technology: The Sensi.

By most accounts, the Sensi is a fairly petite dildo. At just 4.5 inches long and 1.6 inches at the thickest and incredibly squishy, the Sensi is safe size-wise for most vaginas. The shape is a little unusual, a little reminiscent of a traditional butt plug due to the thinner neck. But the Sensi differs from its butt-plugging cousins as it features an unusual base meant to not chafe the labia which is greatly appreciated. This peculiar base makes the Sensi work perfectly for vaginal plugging, but not at all for anal plugging. While I kind of wish for a multi-use plug, I’m honestly not upset. Butt plugs are ubiquitous, vag only plugs are rare and exciting.

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The Sensi as featured on Uberrime’s website. What a drool-worthy trio!

Having never had the chance to try a vaginal plug before, I was beyond excited. The only other plug I knew of was the Jollet, a toy beautiful, but purportedly quite hard and unforgiving in the orifices. So when the Sensi promised a softer experience, I felt giddy with delight. Squishing the silicone between my fingers, I knew I’d be in for it. Already visions were dancing through my head of how I would use my new prize. Most prominent in my mind was a kink scene featuring the plug in me all day long. I fantasized about how I would fare going about my daily errands while squeezing around the Sensi’s plush silicone, eliciting little shivers of pleasure I went plugged to the library.

As I slid the Sensi in, it locked in place as though it were a missing puzzle piece from my vagina. It had all the mental satisfaction of fitting a corner piece into it’s spot with all the sexual pleasure of a well-shaped dildo. Visiting a library while covertly squeezing around plush silicone felt FUCKING EXCELLENT. The Sensi presses against my G-spot, and stays in even during vigorous exercise all the while being comfortable to wear due to the softness. The base nestled between my labia agreeably, with the soft oval shape almost forgotten as I went about my day. The smallness of the base is also excellent, because it doesn’t block access to my clit and the sheer laziness of popping the Sensi in and holding the Exposed Nocturnal against my clit makes me grin every time. I feel almost smug with that level of ease. Were I more inclined to feel shame, I might feel a little embarrassed about how quick and easily I came with the Sensi. But I’m not inclined to feel shame; I fucking love how lazy and decadent the Sensi makes me feel.

As a kegel exerciser, I found the Sensi to be fairly good in this purpose, with more G-spot sensation coming as a reward for every squeeze. Idly squeezing the dildo as I read has become a favorite past time of mine and has helped me in the writing of more tedious pieces. And through some parts of this review, I’ve found myself slipping in the Sensi, ostensibly for more research but mostly because it felt amazing.

I’ve had only one bad experience with the Sensi. Feeling extra ambitious one day, I used it in conjunction with the Medium NJoy Pure Plug and that was a mistake. My orifices felt crammed too full and so I had to pull the Pure Plug out to avoid feeling like my butt and vag were being torturously pried open. I imagine though that I might eventually be able to do a pair of plugs if I slowly worked my way up to that, which I might someday do, if only to be one of the first to have both orifices plugged pleasurably.

Marco has created a toy for kinksters and lazy people alike, which is kind of amazing if you think about it with how much work kink usually involves. The Sensi deserves to be the next biggest thing; a dildo that not only do you not have to thrust to enjoy, but one that you can wear to work with everyone unknowing AND it has a comfortable base for long-term wear. At $39, this is a STEAL for an item that I frankly haven’t seen any other company attempt since Jollet, who’s products don’t lend themselves well to long-term wear. My toybox is being slowly overtaken by Uberrime, but the Sensi shines among my toys as something truly special.

This product was provided to me free of charge in exchange for my honest review. Thanks Uberrime and SheVibe!


Sex by the Seaside

Note to literal minded readers: This is a joke and I hope it makes you laugh!

So you’re at the beach with your s/o and the two (or more) of you are feeling randy. You remember the jokes about sand in your crotch, so you wisely avoid having sex on the actual dunes. But then you start to wonder…what are my options for actual sex at the beach?

Well, I’m delighted you asked! I had a great deal of seaside sex this past weekend and I’m just burning to tell you all about it!

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Ah the sea. Picturesque and the perfect place to get sand in your crotch.

1. Sunburn Sex

Ah sunburn sex. Perhaps the next most iconic type of sex at the beach aside from the sandy sex. You get back from a perfect day at the beach and you get ready to get down and dirty with your significant other when you realize something horrible. You’re both the exact same shade as freshly boiled lobsters. But don’t despair! There’s workarounds that’ll make this happen!

The first part is slathering the both of you in aloe to stop the burning. Be sure to lay down a towel so your sheets don’t smell like aloe or get stained! It’s like period sex, but with more unbearable skin burning!

Part two is all about delicate angling so that the two of you don’t touch each other’s burns. You might need to be creative depending on where your burns are, so some flexibility is required! Or if you’re a kinky sort, you can bring your burns into impact play for a new level of intensity! Bonus points if you peel each other’s sunburn as a form of aftercare.

And the final part of sunburn sex is setting a glacially slow, consistent pace. This is so you don’t accidentally jolt your partner and upset their skin! Spontaneity is out for sunburn sex, while awkward twister positions, borderline gratuitous aloe and meticulous planning with accompanying diagrams is in.

2. Cramped Shower Sex

The clever among us will realize that having sex in the shower while at the beach is absolutely the move! Cool water soothing burns, sand and sunscreen residue coming away, this sounds just perfect right?

Of course it does! All you have to do is wedge two bodies into your cramped shower at your rental place and then have at it. You might be kicking yourself for not bringing only water-based lube or struggling to position yourselves, but at least it’s better than gritty sand sex!

This kind of sexual experience isn’t exclusive to the beach, but the beach does put a bit of a spin on it. Some things you won’t get anywhere else such as: Noticing the ring of sand hanging around the drain, wondering if the brackish taste in your mouth is shower water or leftovers from the ocean and if your partner is noticing it when you kiss them, and keeping your caresses carefully off sunburns!

And now for our last, extra special version of beach sex:

3. Gritty Sheets Sex

For those of us who want an authentic, if somewhat milder beach sex experience, gritty sheets sex is for you. Achieving this is simple: if you exist at your beach rental and don’t remove every microscopic granule of sand, then it gets in your sheets! All you have to do is be a human who existed at the beach and then later has sex and you’ll experience that classic mild but not extreme discomfort of individual sand particles scraping against your back.

Now remember, this is just a taste of the myriad of seaside sexual opportunities! So much more is in store for you such as ‘Jellyfish Sting Sex’ and ‘Disappointing Beach Bro Sex’ and more beyond that! But now that you’ve got a taste of it, go forth and fuck!

April Wrap Up: Moving, Malaise and Morning Pages

Partnered Life

My partner and I have been in a trying time what with his graduation and us moving in together! With all these moving parts, we’ve been working to remain intimate, but we’re looking forward to the relief we’ll feel once we finally get unpacked! Right now, there’s currently a metric ass ton of boxes in our place. So most of this week we’ll be sorting through our stuff and trying to make our place more of a home.

In addition to this nonsense,  my boyfriend and I plan on christening the apartment by having sex as soon as we canI am delighted to finally have a new space and I will be moving into a safer neighborhood.

Also, I’ve learned the unfortunate reality of couples: if one of us gets sick, we both do. The night after my boyfriend’s last day of classes he got sick and I took care of him the next day. But then I ended up contracting the same sickness. I had a fever for a few days while we were moving and I felt just like a rotisserie chicken as we moved. Luckily I’m starting to recover and having some down time has let me get back to posting on this blog! I’m hoping to write twice weekly again as things calm down and we settle into a routine.

Health and Wellness

With both my boyfriend and I both sick, this section is again a little light. We both remembered the power of the power up potion: a tea made with lemon, ginger and honey and drank scalding hot. It’s our go to for sick days and it’s healthier than Gatorade.

In terms of mental health though, I’ve found doing my morning pages works wonders for my brain! Spilling out onto the page in the morning puts me in touch with my thoughts and feelings in a very tangible way. It also helps me recognize my goals. In fact, journaling is what made want to start my very own sex blog, so getting back into it is refreshing.

Also, I’ve been taking more time to sit and read books, which has proved to be very relaxing and helps me get to sleep. I’ve just finished Bird by Bird and The Artist’s Way and I’m on to reading How to Write a Novel in 30 Days as well as A Billion Wicked Thoughts and the novel Supermarket. And I finished listening to the first book in the Game of Thrones series, so I think I’m making a great deal of progress on my reading list!

Turn ons and Toys

I’ve been in LOVE with Uberrime’s Uberron. I’ve got both the A and the B for when I want a stretch (which is often). I’ve also been reading more porn than watching it, which is a refreshing change for me. I’ve found dommy scenes to be extremely hot, especially with spanking and fingering scenes. I want my boyfriend to bend me over his lap and go to town on my fat ass now. Maybe I could convince him to finger my ass too…

I’ve also been DREAMING about the Doxy I got from my pal SugarCunt! I’ve been looking for a powerful wand to bully my clit and I’m finally getting a Doxy! I’ve talked about wanting one before, but it’s only recently that I finally nerved up and got one! As soon as I get one in hand, I have no doubt it’ll be used for forced orgasm scenes, reviews and much more. I’ve got a backlog of dildo reviews, so having this sucker will be instrumental in my playtime as clit stim.

Also, I’ve been thinking about writing Avenger’s fanfiction ever since I went to see Endgame. Specifically, I want all of the male cast to get topped by the female cast. I’m a sucker for femdom and for guys getting the strap, so you may see some of that on my blog!

Miscellaneous 

Having a regular order at my favorite pizza place. Checking out books from the library and finishing them. Taking the window seat by the café and doing my morning pages. Petting my foster kitty. Discovering new cafés to eat at. Taking care of my sick partner. Watching kaiju films naked with my boyfriend in our new apartment. Making coffee. Telling my boyfriend about my kinks. Writing in a Moleskine journal. Bathing in my new tub. Talking to friends. Writing bad poetry.

Restraints Review: Under the Bed Restraints and Sincerely Locking Ball Gag

The identity of Liz encompasses a variety of facets: fencing coach, sex blogger, coffee enthusiast, queen of ab workouts and schlocky horror nerd to name a few. Among these, I am also sometimes a submissive, but I am always full time lazy. I love being restrained and I’ve been looking to up the intensity of my submission, but doing so takes work! Work that my partner and I aren’t always into. But this past month, we’ve managed to get some more submissive scenes in thanks to two products: The Sincerely Locking Lace Ball Gag, and the Bed Bondage Kit by Candystraps. One of these was an amazing find and the other…well, more a fun and aesthetically pleasing novelty.

The Gag

The Sincerely Locking Lace Ball Gag is a bit of a puzzle to me. In some ways, the gag is supremely comfortable, and in others…less so. The straps of the gag are nicely adjustable to fit a wide variety of skulls, as it fit perfectly around both my boyfriend’s larger than average head and around my far more petite skull. Using silicone for the ball gag was also an excellent choice, as this allows the gag to be shared and cleaned far more easily. Also, the silicone is smooth and seamless, making for a relatively pleasant mouthfeel. The sides of the gag didn’t pinch at the corners of our mouths, which made bearing the gag much more comfortable. I love the all black color scheme, as it made the look more intense. And I’m also a big fan of the goth style, so it helped me realize my dream of being a submissive goth slut.

However, the ball of the Sincerely Locking gag made my jaw ache after a relatively short period of time and didn’t quite fit in my mouth right, though my boyfriend was quite comfortable. I would advise more petite persons to seek out a slightly smaller ball gag in order to get a more comfortable fit, or to seek out a bit gag in order to ensure long term comfort. Well, that is unless you are looking for a little discomfort, in which case, the Sincerely Locking Gag would absolutely be your cup of tea!

The Restraints

The Bed Bondage Kit by Candy Straps are beautiful. They’re a lovely blue on blue color scheme which gives them a playful vibe I don’t see in most bondage sets. While I usually prefer a classic look when it comes to my own personal scenes, I just can’t help but be swayed by that blue!

The Candy Straps restraints fit perfectly under my bed, which is Queen sized. I had plenty of room on my bed and it came to the correct height. We enjoyed using it to cuff my wrists the most, and the cuffs were perfectly adjustable. It was also extremely hot to watch my boyfriend cuff my wrists to the bed while he was straddling me. He was a vision of cool domliness, his eyes fixed on the cuffs tightening around my wrists while his hard cock throbbed and pulsed with anticipation of fucking me.

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The Blue Bondage Set looking SO CUTE.

During sex, the cuffs were perfectly comfortable, and while they did make me feel constrained, the sensation was a bit milder than rope bondage. The cotton Twisted Monk Rope is at about a 5, the Agreeable Agony a 7.5 and the Bed Bondage Kit are a comfy 3 in terms of intensity of sensation. This is a great way to introduce someone to bondage who has otherwise been vanilla. The appearance is playful, the feel is comfortable and the set up is vastly more convenient than rope bondage. More seasoned players will probably enjoy the Twisted Monk ties because of their intricacy, but I believe the Bed Bondage Kit is just perfect for vanilla folks just starting to dip their toes in.

In all, I’ve enjoyed using both these products, but I find myself drawn more to the ease and comfort of the Candy Straps Bed Bondage Kit. The Sincerely Locking Lace Ball Gag is fun when I want to up the intensity, but for the average day? Sign me up for the comfortable, confining embrace of the Bondage Kit.

These products were sent to me free of charge in exchange for my honest review. Thanks Betty’s Toybox and Candy Straps! 

 

Digital Filth: The Beginning

(An edit has been made in clarification with regards to a comment)

I was born in ’96, back when the internet was still getting its legs under it. Mostly, the internet was for Neopets, online Disney games, The Sherwood MMORPG, and a writing site that I can sadly no longer remember but where I first attempted writing a novel about dragons. As I grew older though, my body began to change…and so did my search history. I began with the most tentative of searches: the word sex typed into the Yahoo! search bar. I would look up definitions and masturbate to that, eyes feverishly running over fairly clinical descriptions of PiV. I would type ‘porn’ into the search bar and jerk off to the descriptions of porn videos, too afraid that my parents would find out if I dared to click the link.

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Thanks to the Way Back Machine, you can get an authentic feel of what teen Liz felt.

Later, becoming more adventurous, I actually dared click on some links to these searches. Little did I know that I was fated to discover that which western white men so love: hentai. I discovered a world of shiny-eyed heroines scream-moaning as a censored penis penetrated them, with gratuitous internal shots and depictions of semen spurting violently when the male lead ejaculated. Sometimes, if the heroine was a virgin, there would be a scene of blood streaming down her legs to show her innocence breaking. These first few scenes would begin my non-con fetish which persisted until my 20s, after which, the visceral distress became a squick rather than a turn-on. When I hit my 20’s, I realized I’d been getting off to some fucked up things because my upbringing had never given me a framework wherein a woman was allowed to enjoy sex without being ‘dirty’ except when she unwillingly enjoyed it. Once I realized this I quit cold turkey in favor of  openly consensual pornography. When I did have this fetish though, I would seek out pornography wherein there was degradation, non-consensual sex, and distress on the part of the heroine. I distinctly remember reading and re-reading the same Naruto fan fiction on DeviantArt because of it’s graphic depiction of sex. The female lead had her consent violated over and over again, but would eventually give in to the pleasure of being violated and orgasm. Teenage Liz found this depiction of sex extremely compelling, and it was only fear of being caught that prevented her from adding this first fic to her spank bank.

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You’re not allowed to critique my basic-ass Naruto ship

Having outgrown DeviantArt, Liz then moved to Tumblr, back in the day when it was still legal to be horny there. For years, Tumblr was where I got my more unusual porn. With just a few taps of the keyboard, I could view almost any kind of erotica. I jerked off to amateur videos of guys cumming in fleshlights, I read erotica with themes of sissification, and I hungrily read the porn comics featuring attractive monster boys. In essence, I became an erotic omnivore. I developed a taste for some more niche fetishes, and had passing dalliances with types of pornography that no longer turn me on. For example, I used to be very turned on by pregnancy porn, wherein the sexual recipient gets pregnant as a result of sex or otherwise insemination. But the pregnancy kink so often coincided with incest that I’ve not jerked off to it for sometime now. Incest is probably one of my primary squicks what with being from the south and having that disgust ingrained in me thanks to my parents.

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The art is by user @quailtea. I couldn’t find a way back for this, but this was one of my main sites for monster boy porn.

This brief vignette of my sexual development all serves to explain this: that thanks to the internet, sex and sexuality have evolved. For more than a month now, I attempted to synthesize a piece connecting sexting, erotic roleplay, Gaian kink culture, sexting chatrooms and erotic fan fiction to no avail. All of these elements were vital to my sexual development, but they would not stick together as a cohesive piece. So instead dear readers, I present to you my newest series: Digital Filth. This series will be a rambling dive into the corners of online sex and erotica with a wide range of subjects. It’s an exciting ride and I hope you join me as we explore!

 

The Gooshi Dildo and Gooshi Titan Review

I love working with indie manufacturers of sex toys. They’re always bringing something new and exciting to the table; whether it be the chunky, cheerful semi-realism of Uberrime or the stunning colors of Strange Bed Fellas or the intricate detail of Lust Arts, indie makers are constantly bringing new shapes and colors to the sex toy industry. For this reason, I reached out to a relatively unknown dildo maker on Etsy: Gooshi Dildos. I gushed to him about his homemade dildos, asking if I might review them. To my delight, he agreed! Matt sent me the Gooshi proper and the Gooshi Titan in exchange for my fair review.

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The Titan pictured left and the Gooshi Proper pictured right.

The Gooshi proper and the The Gooshi Titan are sort of abstract in style. The Gooshi is a plain, curved affair with three prominent ridges for internal stimulation, while the Titan is an undulating piece of varied thickness. The measurements for the Gooshi are well within the average dildo size, clocking in at just under 7 inches in usable length and is about 1.5 inches thick according to the webpage. The Titan, as its name suggests is somewhat more formidable in girth. Like its sibling, it is also about 7 inches long, but it sports an impressive maximum girth of 2.2 inches. That was what really excited me, the girth queen. Eager to get these boys into my vagina, I lubed them up, turned on some pornography and…was a little disappointed over all.

Neither Gooshi has worked well for my body. Those ridges on the Gooshi proper, which looked so promising in the product photos and squished so delightfully in my hand were quite painful upon insertion. Upon entering into my vagina, I winced and groaned from the surprising pain. There was a sharp discomfort upon insertion and removal, not unlike the discomfort I felt with the Element #2. Except there were three ridges this time, so it made for x3 discomfort. Even paired with a strong clitoral vibe, I still couldn’t find a lot of pleasure because of how the ridges felt during thrusting. Frustrated, I switched to another dildo and finally brought myself to orgasm after an hour of frustration.

The Gooshi Titan was less uncomfortable than its smaller sibling, but still somewhat lackluster. Something about the swell didn’t agree with my body, and it became something of a task to force the dildo inside. I’ve taken 2 inch thick dildos before without any trouble, so my difficulty with the Titan was a bit mystifying. The feeling of the head was pleasant, but the design of the swell just didn’t gel with me. I wish I had more to say, but I’m afraid that’s all I can offer.

While these two dildos have disappointed me, I still have hope for Gooshi as a whole. This is a one man operation, so I imagine feedback is important and will allow Gooshi to grow and craft better, more pleasurable toys. With the debut of Gooshi’s Infinity Dick and Pony dildo, which I note lack sharp ridges or awkward swells, I think Matt of Gooshi dildos is learning his trade and creating more beautiful toys. But if you’re thinking of the Gooshi or the Titan, I urge you to think again.

March Wrap Up: Cafés and Crazy Karate TV Shows

Whew! This is a little bit late, but here’s what I was up to in March!

Partnered Life

The boyfriend and I are in the process of moving! We’re going to be moving in together and finding a place has been exhausting. We’ve seen at least six apartments and we’re also looking at townhouses, so it’s a long journey.

I’ve also introduced my boyfriend to a goofy show called ‘Into The Badlands‘. There’s some influence from old karate movies, so the fight scenes are ridiculous. My boyfriend has to start drinking before he can enjoy the show and he can only watch ten minutes at a time. I like it a good bit more since I find it funny and uplifting despite the over the top fight scenes. It’s nice to have a bit of escapism. Breaking Bad is the other show we watch, but we mostly refer to it as ‘Depression’. Ex: ‘What do you want to watch tonight hun?’ ‘How about some depression?’ ‘Excellent.

In addition to Betrayal, the Rocket Science couple has acquired a new board game: Settlers of Catan and its respective expansions. Many is the night where we’ve bickered over the trading and cussed at each other for getting cut off in our territorial expansion.

The Rocket Science couple has also developed a fierce and abiding love of dumplings. We’ve been frying up huge batches of them when we want something quick. Our favorites are the pork and chives fillings. Also, I often grab a box of mochi for our dessert!

Health and Wellness

Since I’ve been coaching more often, I’ve noticed my fitness improving! However, my sleep schedule of late has been down the drain. Going to bed past midnight most every night has left me lethargic and with little appetite for sex or masturbation until well in the afternoon! And the shortening of my days has me cranky.

I’ve been doing fairly well on my new prescription of anti-depressants, though I have noticed a slight lowering of libido. With my ultra ADHD brain though, it’s been difficult to take it consistently. Here’s hoping I can rectify that!

Soliciting any sleep tips from my wonderful blog squad!

Turn Ons and Toys

The Exposed Nocturnal is a perennial favorite. I used it this month during sex with my boyfriend and it was amazing. Apparently he could feel the vibrations while he fucked me, which was awesome! I’m hoping to get a wand vibrator to put it in the mix. I’ve been lusting after the new Doxys so I’m hoping I might get tapped to review them! That or I suppose I’ll save up and purchase that DREAMY red #3.

I’ve been fantasizing a lot lately about being a demon torturing a sinner, and it’s found its way onto my Twitter in the forms of horny musings. I wish I could be a demon tormenting a sinner! I’d make my sinner do cardio, cracking them across the ass with the crop if they weren’t running fast enough. This probably came about from me reading the Love in Hell manga. Although, I also want to be the sinner being tortured by the demon! I ended up writing out a torture scenario in my daily writings…maybe I’ll post it sometime?

In addition to this, I’ve also fantasized about being a mean girl domme. I want to be the cheerleader captain bullying one of the other girls in school in a sexy way. I even thought of a way to use croquet mallets and dildos in a scene reminiscent of the classic Heathers film. Heather Chandler is an icon forever and always and while I don’t often wish I were her, I sometimes want to inhabit her role now and again.

Miscellaneous 

Reading ‘Sex Outside the Lines’ and penning snarky tweets about it. Discovering a new café to write in. Re-visiting an old anime roleplay website for research. Playing Catan until late at night. Getting compliments on my jacket. Talking to sex toy makers that I adore. Forming friendships with other bloggers. Listening to A Song of Ice and Fire on my way to a job interview. Drinking almond flavored coffee with my boyfriend. Holding a ferret. Finding a new matte pink lipstick. Laughing so hard I cry. Eating too much butter cake. Making plans to go to sex conferences.

Five Quick Pick Me Ups

This week has been tough for me! In between writing and testing and looking for a place to move to, I’ve been doing my best to keep the stress under wraps! I’ve been lucky that I’ve been able to keep it up so far, and here’s what I’ve been using most often to get through the days!

  1. Mindful Meditation: Meditation sounds kind of new age and spiritualist, but it has real health benefits. Namely, it reduces stress! When I’ve been feeling overwhelmed lately, I tap on my Calm app and squeeze in a quick session. Focusing on my breath helps me return to the present moment and get things done when I need to get them done.
  2. Browsing cute animal photos: This is kinda cheesy, but often I’ll look at adorable bird pictures to cheer myself up. Looking at something that makes me happy reminds me that there’s more to my life than my worries and day-to-day issues.  I especially love the r/bears subreddit which has loads of cute photos of bears and the r/superbowl subreddit which features superb owls!
  3. Listening to a podcast or audio book: Getting engrossed in something like PseudoPod (my favorite horror podcast) or listening to The Sword of Shannara really helps me calm down. It’s a kind of escapism I can really appreciate on my commute and can give me the mental space I need to recharge and take on the rest of my day. Other podcasts I love are: The Adventure Zone, Tanis, The Black Tapes and Alice Isn’t Dead! I’m always in the market for more horror podcasts and I’m looking into the No Sleep Podcast as well!
  4. Going outside and mentally cataloguing what I see: A lot of times, we end up zoning out and living in anticipation of the future and not appreciating the present moment. I find a good way for me to get out of this is to try and get outside. There, I make myself really consider what I’m looking at. ‘There’s blooming daffodils’ I’ll think, and then I’ll list other things. How many trees are in view. What the weather is like. How many birds I can hear. Getting immersed in my surroundings brings me back to the now, where I can actually do things rather than the future, where I can’t do anything yet!
  5. Snacking on something yummy: Sometimes a good way to get in the zone is to engage your senses, as evidenced by my above methods. So if you engage your eyes and ears, why not also engage your taste buds? I like to snack on pretzels with peanut butter pockets, peanut butter banana bites and uh…well anything having to do with bananas or peanut butter! Anything I can eat helps me regain energy and helps me refocus on the present moment rather than ruminating over the past or angsting about the future.

Most of these techniques are all about bringing myself back to the present moment. Instead of worrying about things that may be or ruminating over past failures, choosing to focus on the present makes me less stressed and more productive. Being a naturally anxious person, I’ve experienced some measure of stress reduction as I’ve employed being mindful in my daily life. What do you do to reduce stress?

Fiction and Reality: Coping Mechanism or Not?

CN Warning: Mentions of non-consent as fiction discussed below

Today I had some complicated thoughts regarding fiction and its place in our lives. And how it can affect reality. My specific thoughts were regarding taboo topics like pornography with themes of non-consent and other taboo, illegal or violent themes. Honestly I ought to cut and paste from my FB chats with my boyfriend what exactly I think, but I’ll honestly try to reproduce my thoughts here in this blog post.

I think people broadly fall into two camps whose main axioms run thus: The first group believes that fiction is a safe place for individuals to explore things they would not do in reality. The second group believes that fiction can and often does affect reality and has consequences because of human interpretation and experience. Many arguments are made that because a work is ‘just fiction’ that it ought not to be taken as a guide or even and endorsement of the activities that take place therein. And that’s fair enough. Many who have suffered real life traumas also use fiction as a coping mechanism. For example, a survivor of rape might create a work of non-con erotica in order to re-contextualize and reclaim their experience that they suffered. I believe that this a valid strategy provided that the individual is, to the best of their knowledge, using this as a way to cope without re-traumatizing themselves. However, I also believe that same work could have drastically harmful effects on another survivor who sees their experience of rape being eroticized. Not to mention, people who would like to or are in reality rapists might find such erotic work validating and normalizing. A survivor’s attempt to cope with their experience could very easily damage another survivor and validate a rapist who takes the work of fiction to be an endorsement of their actions.

It’s not like I don’t understand the argument for fiction being an exploratory space. I totally and completely understand that someone might create a raw, violent and intensely emotional piece of fiction in order to cope with past traumatic events. I think having pieces of fiction that allow us to explore and work through traumatic events is incredibly valuable. Furthermore, there’s some evidence to suggest that survivors can ‘re-write’ their traumatic experiences by re-enacting them differently. But other evidence suggests that some people can be re-traumatized by the same material, so the situation remains sticky as ever.

The first solution most people argue to the problem is to tag such works with appropriate things that denote the content. I would agree that tagging things so that survivors who want to engage in catharsis via their preferred method can do so, while allowing those wish not to see it to avoid it by black-listing or otherwise avoiding that tag. However, you have to wonder if by flagging it, you’re also making the material easily searchable for rapists and pedophiles and what have you who find the work encouraging and validating. Now you have an easily searchable database full of your preferred taboo, and no one can criticize you if you claim to be a survivor. It’s so skull-splittingly hard to determine people’s motives and the truth online, and even in real life. Who knows why someone clicked on your non-con pornography? Maybe it was a survivor looking for catharsis? Or perhaps someone looking to indulge a kink they would never consider acting out in real life? Maybe it was a rapist looking for pornography to jack off to. It’s really impossible to know what someone behind the other end of your screen thinks.

One of my thoughts today was if there ought to be a website which is entirely run by survivors who would like to have their work accessible to others. It would need to be very explicitly run by survivors and have some kind of disclaimer on the front page that might read: “By clicking on this, you understand that the work hosted here is made by survivors who wish to create something by which they can reclaim and control their experiences. By consuming this content, you understand that the creator does not endorse the events depicted. Furthermore, by consuming this content, you agree that you will not use this content in such a way as to promote or perpetrate the acts or events that are depicted in these works. To re-post these works outside of this context constitutes a violation and a subsequent banning from this site, as removal of the context will vastly change the meaning of this work and make it a damaging force to survivors who wish not to interact with works of this nature.” I think such a disclaimer would adequately communicate the intent of a website, but as I stated it above, when you create a work and make it available to view, you invite anyone to view it for any reason.

Ultimately, I suppose that I believe people should be able to do as they like with their personal fiction. But I further believe that a lot of the works with the themes mentioned above might not be suitable for a wider viewing audience because of the potential for harm.

What are your thoughts on fiction that portrays violence or taboo themes?

 

Growth and Development: Reading, Writing and Meditating

I’ve meditated upon my craft quite a bit lately. Recently I’ve been on a reading kick and its been exhilarating. I’ve purchased The Elements of Style, The Artists’ Way and Bird By Bird, all excellent writing manuals. I’ve also got 10 Percent Happier on my Audible account and new earbuds to listen to it with; and while I find the work a little bit more memoir than helpful, its been enjoyable to listen to nonetheless. Per the recommendation of The Artist’s Way, I made a commitment to doing morning pages and meditating, trying to get myself back into the swing of writing. I find that after I do my morning pages that I feel a little unburdened, and that words pour out more simply. Maybe they aren’t good words and they require some polishing, but I feel delighted nonetheless that they flow outwards.

I’ve also finished reading Come As You Are and Becoming Cliterate, both interesting books on sex. I found Come As You Are to be powerfully illuminating and I believe it merits another, deeper read. I’m hoping to secure more sexual literature in general though, so that I can turn my writing skills and fascination with sex into a synthesized whole. To write beautifully and clearly about the sexual cycle, how we go from arousal to desire would be amazing. I’ve seriously thought about creating a sexuality and writing group course in the hopes of fostering more community engagement with sex writers. Making a list of required reading, constructing PowerPoints, and holding academic discussion about sex online is an exciting thought, and I know with my experience of coaching fencing that I enjoy teaching.

One of my issues recently has been my inability to stick with a project. I find it difficult to stay interested in any one thing for very long, a function of my ADD mind. A million ideas flood through my brain on the daily: holding sex community events, creating sexual literacy classes, creating a podcast on sex, life and horror and more. It can be a lot to manage all my ideas and I’m still looking for compatible software to sort ideas into actionable ones. Saving them all in a Word document feels clumsy to me and isn’t aesthetically pleasing. Let me know in the comments what organising software you use to keep track of ideas! But further more, scheduling and sticking to a schedule is going to be the next thing on my list.

But first and foremost, this is going to be the week where I publish a post everyday. Maybe it will be more navel gazing in the sense that this is me fiddling about with my writing style and giving you a peek into the disordered, chaotic, joyful and agonized brain by turns. With luck though, I’ll make some excellent posts and grow a little bit more as a writer.