7 years ago today, I met my partner when he served me slices of pizza one tipsy night on 6th Street. 7 years later, we’re still together and stronger than ever, even though we’re both a lot different now than we were back then.
It may surprise you, but 7 years ago, I wasn’t the open minded, sex-positive human I am now. Back then, I was having lots of sex, but I still had a lot of sex negative hang ups, and there was a lot I didn’t know. To celebrate my partner & I’s anniversary and the sexual discoveries we’ve made together, here are 7 things I’ve tried with him that I never thought I would 7 years ago.
1. Anal Sex– Even when I started working at a sex shop (less than a year into our relationship) and began learning about the plethora of anal toy options, I didn’t think I’d actually want to play with my own butt. I used to think, but poop comes out of there! Now I love putting things in my butt! (And surprise, gross things sometimes come out of my mouth and vag too, but I never thought oral and vag sex were weird so…) Butts are full of sensitive nerve endings, and butt play is now an awesome part of my sexual repertoire. Bring on the butt toys and thick lube!
2. Pegging– This goes along with #1, but back when I first learned what pegging was, I thought it was even less likely that I’d put things in Jake’s butt than in mine. I remember my manager at the shop saying, you should try it with Jake…and I thought he’d never do that! I thought he’d think I was a weirdo for even asking. As it turns out, I was actually projecting my own hangups onto my partner…in fact, he’d tried butt things before we were together, and exploring pegging wasn’t a big deal. Communication is key!
3. Squirting– As with pegging, when I first met Jake, I didn’t even know what squirting was. Then I got a hold of Deborah Sundahl’s book… and the rest is history. It wasn’t as simple as reading the book and squirting the next day, but once I learned where my g-spot is, how to stimulate it, and how to get over the fear of being messy during sex, I was on the right track. Now I soak throes and knee socks and write about it!
4. Threesomes– I used to have issues with jealousy. If you can believe it, I used to get jealous of girls who flirted with Jake at work (he’s a bartender.) I used to think that I was supposed to be jealous, and that I was supposed to somehow magically be the only person my partner is attracted to (which doesn’t make sense, since I’m attracted to other people as well.) Years later, we are now non-monogamous and have had quite a few fun threesome experiences that have brought us even closer together.
5. Double Penetration– This could fall under anal sex or threesomes, but I think it warrants its own number. I remember one of the first porn scenes I saw in High School was a DP, and I remember thinking why would anyone do that, ever. Now I know. Because the amazing, intense feeling of being filled and fucked is overwhelming in the best way.
6. Watching Porn Together– I used to think porn was bad. I thought it was only for men. I thought it was demeaning. When I started working at the shop, I realized lots of people watch porn, and that it’s normal. Sure, there is still some problematic porn, but there’s also empowering, hot, ethical porn. In fact, watching porn with my partner led to us talking about things we saw like squirting and threesomes, which led the way to many of the fun experiences we had later on!
7. Electrosex– Of all the things I never thought I’d do, this one is probably the most shocking (pun intended.) If present Penny traveled to Penny of 2008 and told her one day she’d like getting zapped by a wand that looks like it belongs to a kinky mad scientist, she’d be like WHHHAT?! Oh, past Penny, the things you were missing out on!
Jake and I have tried a lot of new things together, sexual and otherwise…but there’s still so much to explore! What are some things you’ve tried that you never thought you would? Feel free to share in the comments!
Hey everyone! I launched a campaign on Patreon, check out my video and page and if you enjoy my blog, please consider supporting me!
I explain how it works in the video, but basically it’s like a virtual tip jar–it’s a way to say thanks and let me know that you appreciate and enjoy my blog. If you’ve found my reviews and guides helpful over the years, if you enjoy reading my stories or like viewing my photography, please consider supporting me! Basically you pledge to give $1 or whatever amount you choose per blog post, and that will include all of my posts except for stuff like sales or group posts that don’t actually include my writing or photography. You can also put a cap on how much you pledge per month, so even if I post a bunch, you’ll only be charged that amount.
The money I make through Patreon will help me focus on my blog full time as well as hopefully allow me to go to more sex positive events and conferences!
If you can’t afford to pledge anything but enjoy my work, please consider sharing my Patreon page instead and helping me get the word out! I will continue to blog and put out free content, but I could really use your support!
Thanks so much, y’all!
Longer description, from my Patreon page:
Hey y’all, I’m Penny, and I’m a sex positive blogger in Austin, TX.
Right now I make a little bit of money off of my blog through affiliate programs, but it’s not enough to survive on without outside work, and it fluctuates a lot from month to month. This is why I’m asking for your help.
Patreon works sort of like Kickstarter, but instead of raising money for one big project, I’m asking for your help on an on-going, per post, subscription style basis. So you choose to pledge $1, $2 or however much you want, per blog post. This will include all of my posts with the exception of stuff like sales or group posts that don’t actually include my writing or photography. Since the number of posts I do per month varies greatly (I post anywhere from once a week to every day, like duringFebPhotoFest), you can put a cap on your monthly amount, say $10 a month for example, if that’s all you want to give per month. Anything helps!
Basically, it’s like a virtual tip jar, as a way to say thanks and let me know you like my blog. The money I make through Patreon will help me focus on my blog full time, as well as hopefully allow me to make more appearances at events and conferences related to sexuality.
As thanks, I’ve made a Vine account, and I’m going to post silly behind the scenes type video clips, me and my cat eating pizza, me shooting my sexy nudes maybe, whatever I want to do, and only my Patreon supporters will have access it!
I’ve been putting out free content on my blog for three years now, and I will continue to put out free content for as long as I possibly can because I love my blog, and I love what I do, but if you appreciate blog and you find my reviews and guides helpful or like looking at my photos, then please, I could really use your help to take my blog to the next level!
I want to start by saying that I do not know everything there is to now about squirting/female ejaculation. I am not a doctor, a scientist, or a researcher. What I am, however, is an expert at my own body. And I know that I ejaculate, and that is is most definitely not the same as peeing. I am not opposed to further study of the chemical makeup and process of squirting–I’m all for more research, and that is not what upsets me.
What upsets and angers me is when the media takes a very small (and arguably poorly designed) study of squirting and proclaims it the truth and the be-all end-all on the matter. I’m not going to link to the media outlets that wrote about it because I don’t want to send traffic to their crappy, patronizing articles, but I’ve read at least three that sensationalize this small, inconclusive study, declaring SQUIRTING IS REALLY JUST PEE all too gleefully.
I don’t care if my ejaculate is chemically similar to pee (and I don’t think there’s evidence that it is), but regardless, my experience of squirting during sex is NOT that of peeing and is tied to my pleasure and to call it “essentially adult bed wetting” is incredibly insulting, condescending, and damaging.
Let’s talk about the study1 for a moment, shall we. First off, as I already mentioned, it studied only 7 women, all of whom ejaculate a large amount2 during orgasm. They took ultrasounds of the participants’ bladders before arousal, right after they became aroused, and after squirting. They also took urine samples before sexual stimulation, samples of the squirt, and urine samples after. In the results, they report the levels of PSA (prostatic fluid) as well as urea, creatinine, and uric acid levels. I’m not going to go into all of the findings in detail, but the main points I took from it were that 2 of the women didn’t have any PSA in their squirt, 5 did, and 1 had a lot of it, and 2 of the participants’ squirt showed little difference in the amounts of urea, creatinine, and uric acid in their squirt/urine.
First off, there seem to be some pretty obvious problems with this study….like why did they only study 7 women, and why only women who ejaculate lots of fluid every time it happens?3 Why didn’t they note the size of the prostate before and after stimulation in the study? Or are they including it with the neighboring bladder, which would pretty much invalidate the whole squirt is pee hypothesis?
Also, a study conducted in Spain in 1999 by psychologist and sexologist Dr. Francisco Cabello Sanatamaria (Sundahl 25) suggests that women ejaculate retrograde into the bladder if they don’t release their ejaculate–how does this relate to the women in the study? Could they be producing the squirt in their prostates, storing excess in their bladders until the moment of orgasmic release? If not, how and why do women produce such large amounts of fluid in the bladder, and only from sexual stimulation of the prostate? Why does it contain prostatic fluid? Does the size and shape of their prostate (there are 4 types) and the number of glands and ducts (it varies greatly) affect the chemical makeup/amount of PSA in their squirt?
I get that no one study can cover everything, but these are all very important questions that need further study.
It seems that the researchers don’t understand the experiences of women/people who ejaculate, and they think it’s a “problem” to be “fixed.” In the end of the study, the report says that a recent study shows that 4 out of 5 women who ejaculate see it as an enrichment to their sex lives…but then they go on to say that since the study didn’t specify how much these women ejaculate, women who ejaculate a lot probably see it as a problem. Based on nothing but these scientists’ conjecture.
The media is disregarding the experiences of so many women who ejaculate and find it a natural, fulfilling part of their sexuality, and trying to portray squirting in a negative light. In addition to people who squirt seeing it as a vital part of their sexual experience and identity, there have also been studies that suggest that squirt may provide a protective agent for the urethra (Sundahl 42) and that female ejaculate plays a role in creating a supportive environment for sperm/reproduction as well (Sundahl 36.)
And let’s not forget the other studies that have shown that squirt is not the same as urine. In her book book “Female Ejaculation & the G-Spot,” Deborah Sundahl (who has been researching female ejaculation for 35 years & references dozens of studies in her book) asserts that female ejaculate is predominately prostatic fluid (produced by the female prostate) mixed with 10% glucose & trace amounts of urine (uric acid, urea, & creatinine.)
Still, the media chooses to disregard all of the previous research, as well as the countless personal accounts of people who ejaculate, and declare “IT IS PEE! IT’S PISS! It’s essentially adult bed-wetting!” They use horribly negative language to portray what so many people consider to be an amazing, natural part of their sexuality. They also ignore the part of the study that I find most interesting– that all seven women reported that their squirting was partner dependent, and that in six of seven women, it was only possible after manual g-spot stimulation. Regardless of where their squirt comes from or what it’s made of, there’s obviously something more complicated going on here than just “peeing during sex.”
Which leads me to my own experience with ejaculation and how I know that ejaculation is not pee. When I squirt, I am not peeing. First off, it took me months to learn to stimulate my g-spot and learn to ejaculate. I wanted to do it, but it didn’t happen until I was not only stimulating my g-spot in the right way, but also relaxed and confident in my ability to do it. If it was “just pissing during sex,” I think it would’ve come much easier than that, and I’d be able to go it without g-spot stimulation. It also does not look, smell, or taste like pee. Most importantly, it does not feel like peeing. It feels like ejaculating.
Before I ejaculated for the first time, I wasn’t exactly convinced that squirting wasn’t pee. But I was interested in trying out a new experience, and I decided if I did pee during orgasm, so be it–I am not squicked out by bodily fluids. When I was first exploring my g-spot, the sensations I felt did remind me of the feeling of having to pee, which makes sense because the g-spot surrounds the urethral canal. But now that I’m familiar with my g-spot and the sensations I feel when it’s stimulated, I can easily distinguish between the two feelings: needing to pee and needing to ejaculate. If I’ve drank too much water and start having sex or masturbating, I know when I need to go pee, and I get up and go pee. If my g-spot is being stimulated by fingers, a toy, or a penis, and I feel the power of my arousal growing with stimulation and pressure to my g-spot to the point where I need a release–I know I need to ejaculate. They are two separate, distinct feelings and experiences.
My ejaculation varies–sometimes I can easily ejaculate while other times I can’t, but that’s not surprising, since the amount/ability to ejaculate depends on where you are in your menstrual cycle, as does its smell and taste (like with vaginal lubrication.) Obviously, it also depends on my mood, my arousal, and whether or not I want to make a mess that day.
I can control whether or not I ejaculate (so it’s definitely not “orgasmic incontinence.)” There have been a few times when I felt it was extremely urgent and perhaps I couldn’t have stopped it (read: uncontrollable, mind-blowing orgasms) but in general, I can control if and when I do it. Sometimes I choose not to, depending on the situation. It also does not always coincide with my orgasm. Sometimes it does, but sometimes I can squirt, then orgasm, then squirt some more…etc. I think it often enhances my g-spot orgasms, but I can also have g-spot orgasms without squirting. Men/people with penises too can learn to separate ejaculation from orgasm, so this isn’t surprising. It also isn’t surprising that for some women it isn’t controllable, as it isn’t controllable for many men. How we orgasm and ejaculate obviously varies.
I’d also like to point out that there is nothing wrong with urinal incontinence, or peeing during sex play, but I am asserting that squirting is a different experience and should not be labeled as “peeing during sex.”
For the people who say, what’s the big deal, why are you getting so upset? It’s just science. Science is objective–no, science is influenced by culture, and science has historically ignored or even vilified female sexuality. Let’s not forget that not long ago, scientists thought that our wombs wandered about in our bodies, creating hysteria–a “disease” that could only be cured by stimulation of women’s sex organs by a doctor. Let’s not forget that in the past, scientists left blank spots on diagrams of women’s anatomy or did not understand its full capacity.
Sensationalizing biased, misinformed, and inconclusive studies is not harmless–it is destructive. In her Vagaculation workshop last year, Diana J. Torres talked about how young women she met in Spain had had their prostates (g-spots) removed unnecessarily because doctors mistook their ejaculation for incontinence. The female prostate is an integral part of vaginal sexual anatomy, and to have it removed (and therefore also the potential for g-spot/orgasmic pleasure) due to misinformation and negative views of squirting is horrifying.
Deborah Sundahl also discusses how if women are consciously or unconsciously afraid they might pee during sex, they sometimes routinely clamp down on their PC muscles to avoid what is actually ejaculation, which can contribute to chronic pelvic muscle tension, a serious physical problem. Not to mention the shame surrounding sexuality after hearing “you don’t have a g-spot” or “female ejaculation isn’t real” all around you, even if you know it’s bullshit. Hearing that ejaculation is just pee or that it’s gross and something to be avoided can damage a person’s sexuality and well-being, even if it’s unconscious.
It has not always been like this. Historically, many cultures have recognized and even celebrated female ejaculation. And even in our culture, many sex educators and sexuality pioneers like Deborah Sundahl, Shannon Bell, Tristan Taormino, and others, have been teaching about the g-spot and female ejaculation and hosting workshops to spread knowledge about it for years. There are tons of personal accounts from squirters, some right therewaiting for you to read (sex blogs!), sharing their stories of ejaculation and g-spot pleasure. It is not something we’re all “making up,” it’s not a porn star trick, it’s not a myth–it is real, and it is not pee.
If you’re still not convinced that squirting is real, and you think I’m full of shit, I challenge you to think about why you find the idea of squirting/female ejaculation so offensive, and why you want to dismiss it as “just pee.” I also encourage you to do your own research–read more about it before you jump on the bandwagon and share one of those articles with silly gifs that mock the valid, real, and incredibly important experiences of so many people like myself. I’ve already heard of people sharing these condescending articles as a way to shame and intimidate people who squirt, and that is disgusting and unacceptable. Think what you want about the topic, but don’t use any article or study to make someone feel bad about their natural sexual experience.
Leading sex blogger Epiphora wrote a brilliant response to the media’s coverage of this study, sharing her experiences with squirting and asking other people who squirt to share their experiences in the comments section of her post as well as on Twitter with the hashtag #notpee. If you’re a squirter, please help us dispel these negative myths about our sexuality by participating!
Update 1/17: Lux Alptraum also wrote a great piece on this subject for the Guardian.
Also, please feel free to share your experiences in my comments section or link to your posts about squirting!
In the blogging/social media age, it’s hard not to look at other people’s lives and compare them to yours. I try not to, but I do it. I think things like, I wish I made more money like —, I wish I was as popular as — blogger, I wish I was as pretty as —, as confident as —, as successful as —. But we all censor our lives for the Internet. We choose what we want to share. Everything looks better through an Instagram filter or sounds better when you’ve carefully thought out your words.
From the outside, my life as a sex blogger probably seems pretty glamorous. I’m a nympho, right? I’m sexy and confident, right? My partner and I fuck like bunnies, right? I’m rolling around in free sex toys, right? I get paid to masturbate, right?
Not exactly. Not at all, really. I think it’s time to let you in on some of my truths:
1. I’m not a nympho.
I like sex. I love sex toys. I believe in the power of self pleasure. I am open about my sexuality. But I am not an insatiable sex machine. Just because I write about sex, that doesn’t mean I’m always horny or that I always feel sexy. I’m a “normal” person. I get sick. I get moody. I bleed. I cramp. Sometimes I feel really down. Sometimes I get yeast infections. Sometimes I just don’t feel like sticking anything in my butt. Or my vagina. Sometimes I forget to take care of myself. Sometimes my partner and I don’t have sex for a week. Or two. We’ve been together for 6 years. We still have to work at it.
2. I don’t always feel confident and sexy.
I’m proud of myself and my body. I’ve told body shame to go fuck itself. I love my boobs. I love my curves. I try to work out occasionally for health and sanity’s sake, but I’ve given up on looking “perfect.” But that doesn’t mean I don’t have those days when I feel ugly. When I breakout from stress. When my curves seem less curvy and more…blah. When I don’t feel pretty enough. When I don’t want to wear makeup, but I feel gross without it. When I start making a mental list of everything that I could do to look better. When I feel like I should stop eating pizza or hell maybe grains altogether (before I quickly come to my senses…pizza.)
3. I self edit. A lot.
I don’t change my body shape with Photoshop or anything drastic, but I reserve the right to remove zits or pick only the photos I feel sexiest in. My photography is one way I celebrate and take control of my body, and I get to choose which photos I share. So although I do post artistic photos and some photos without make up…you don’t really see me at my worst. I don’t wake up with wing tip eyeliner.I don’t always stand in an S shape. I edited out the rash I got on my ass when I was rolling around in the grass shooting nudes. It happens. Photography is an art form, and for the most part, I work really hard on every single photo.
4. I don’t get paid to masturbate.
I don’t get paid to use toys or write reviews. I make some money through affiliate programs associated with my reviews, but it’s not a lot, and it’s not guaranteed. I would not be able to live the way I do and focus on my blog if it weren’t for the support of my amazing partner. It’s a labor of love. But it is labor. I have plans to improve my blog business/income wise, and I have faith in myself…but it’s not easy.
5. The toys I get aren’t free
I am grateful to have a nice collection of toys, and companies do send them to me for “free,” but they aren’t actually free. I have to use them. Usually that’s awesome and obviously the point…but I have to use them even if they don’t seem like they’ll ever fit into my butt, even if they feel like they’re poking my insides, even if they make me shit. I also have to review them, and it takes a lot of work. See #6.
6. Sex blogging is hard work
I don’t just masturbate all the time and write about it. I don’t just snap quick nude selfies. I take copious notes after masturbating. I am constantly on social media. I write. I write. I rewrite. I rewrite. I edit. I edit again. I photograph toys. I photograph myself. I think really hard about where to position my camera, and what lighting to use, and how to pose. I spend hours editing cat hair and dust off of silicone dildos. I do my best to coordinate Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, etc. I fix broken links. I answer emails. Long story short: I work hard on every post, and I spend even more time promoting my work and doing behind the scenes stuff.
7. It’s not just a hobby
I’ve been at this for 3 years now. This isn’t just some hobby to me, at least not anymore. I invest a lot of my time and effort into my blog. This is my main focus in life.
8. It still isn’t socially acceptable
When it’s all done, and my review/photograph/etc. is finally posted, I don’t get that many comments, especially compared to other types of blogging and how many views I get. A lot of people don’t want their names associated with a sex blog. I can’t bring what I do up with family or around certain people. A lot of people still don’t take me seriously.
9. The world is mostly sex negative
Most of the people I meet think it’s awesome that I write about sex, because I tend to hang out in circles where it’s acceptable or encouraged. All of my friends are supportive, thank gob. I’ve met some truly amazing friends and bloggers at conventions and sex shops. I appreciate every comment, every message, every encouraging word. But I still exist in a mostly sex negative world. And my Mom will never stop trying to shame me for what I do. Thankfully she doesn’t bring it up explicitly anymore, but she still sneaks in comments. She doesn’t support my “lifestyle.” I try not to dwell on it, but it still hurts. It’s frustrating.
10. I have doubts
I love what I do, and I think I’ve made a difference in a lot of people’s lives and hope to continue to do so. Most of the time I know in my heart that I’m doing the right thing. But I have my doubts. I worry about if I’ve made the right choice deciding to stand up for sexual freedom, equality, and positivity. Creepy messages don’t help. But my nudes are out there. My face is out there. There’s no turning back.
I still love it (most of the time)
Before you start thinking I’m super frustrated with sex blogging or that I hate my life, let me assure you that’s not the case. I love sex blogging–it’s changed my life. Sex blogging has helped me get over body shame and sex negtivity, and I know it’s helped others too. Sex toys keep me happy, healthy, and sane. I still get excited every time something new comes in the mail. I have epic masturbation sessions and mind blowing orgasms. I love writing and photography, and this is my niche.
And the fact that it’s not socially acceptable or easy makes it that much more important to me. If everyone already had a positive outlook towards sex and knew all about sex toys, I might consider doing something else with my life. But sexual pleasure and body positivity are so important and undervalued, and I want to change that.
But I also wanted to be honest with you. And myself. I admit that sometimes I have to remind myself that I’m allowed to masturbate with only the toys I actually want to use. That my sex drive isn’t always through the roof. That sometimes all I want to do is use my Hitachi over my gym shorts. That I don’t have to try to be a sex goddess, I can just be me. That I can write about things besides sex. That Jake and I have to work at our relationship just like any couple. That sometimes, hell often… I’m afraid of trying new things. Of pushing past my comfort zone. Of failing. And sometimes I just don’t feel sexy, or sexual.
I’m generally pretty adept at not letting society’s women-shaming, body-shaming, sex-shaming attitudes bring me down. I surround myself with sex positive people, and since I work from home, I don’t encounter as many closed minded people as I used to. I hardly ever see my conservative family, so that’s not usually an issue. Shame still comes from at me in a general sense, but when it’s from ignorant people I don’t care about, it’s just an annoyance.
But when the shame comes from my Mom, it hurts.
I told my Mom about my blog early in its creation. It was probably a mistake, as I was merely stroking my ego (the blog helped me get a job, and that’s initially why I told her about it.) At first she was proud, and while the topic of sex toys isn’t her thing, she didn’t condemn it. We’d discuss it from a business standpoint from time to time, and she never seemed to have a problem with it.
That is, until I started posting nude photos. It started when she emailed me this photo of myself from my blog, along with a frantic “warning” that my images could be copied & posted on billboards and in ads. I saw this as a passive aggressive way of her bringing up my nude photography, said as much about it and that it hurt my feelings, and this was her reply:
Your posting of nude photos of yourself shows a lack of self respect, low self esteem and is really a selfish act , which could embarrass you and your family should these photos be copied and posted in the newspaper, books etc……. And you think I should be concerned about hurting your feelings? This selfish act of YOURS has truly hurt my feelings tremendously….do you really feel like this is what you have to do to get an online following? Isn’t your writing talent enough? Isn’t your photography creative enough without posting nudity?Can’t you sell something besides very initimate pictures of your body? I think you have many other talents, which should be used to get work, not your body.
First of all, I am aware that my posting nude images on the Internet results in a lack of control over the images (though they are copyrighted, and I post them at low resolution, so they can’t be easily posted to billboards, etc. Plus it’s illegal to post nudes without model releases & proof of legal age.)
The real issue here though, is that my Mom sees nudity as shameful. She was fine with me talking about using sex toys on the Internet, but as soon as I posted photos of the body I was born with, I have a “lack of self-respect” and “low self-esteem.”
On the contrary, I post nude photos of myself because I am PROUD of my body and my sexuality, and I no longer feel the need to hide it. Why do people assume that if a woman does nude modeling, exotic dancing, or sex work, that she lacks self-respect? Why is showing a woman’s body considered so horrible? In my case, I post nude photography for artistic self-expression, and I don’t currently do it to gain followers or to make money, but what if I did? Why would that be so wrong? What if I didn’t enjoy nude modeling, and just did it for a paycheck? How is that different from someone working a grilling 9 to 5 they don’t enjoy just to pay the bills?
It’s not. Work related to sex is still just work, it’s just stigmatized because it’s related to sex. There is nothing wrong with choosing to work at a strip club instead of choosing to work a desk job. It’ naive to assume that someone doesn’t like their job just because you don’t like it or wouldn’t like it, and it’s also naive to assume that everyone needs to love their job. Sure, it’s great to do things that fulfill you in life, but if you wouldn’t judge someone for cleaning toilets even if they don’t like it because they need to feed their kids, then why would you judge that same person for being a nude model or a sex worker?
I don’t think sharing any degree of nudity or pornographic imagery is shameful, but the particular photo my Mom was so offended by isn’t even super explicit or pornographic. It shows my breasts. It shows my NIPPLES, heaven forbid. I am deeply offended by the fact that women are expected to hide their breasts, while no one thinks twice when they see a topless man. Contrary to sexist belief, breasts do not exist to sexually temp and titillate men. Yes, the photo I posted was meant to be sexy, but that doesn’t matter. Any photos of women’s nipples are regarded as explicit, even women breastfeeding, regardless of intent, and that is not only unfair, it’s infuriating.
I’ve already written about how I don’t see being open about my body and being a talented, intelligent writer as mutually exclusive. I understand that it would be “safer” for me to not post my nude photography and only focus on my writing, but I enjoy nude photography. And honestly, things will never change if we all play it safe. I respect and admire women like Molly who share intelligent writing as well as erotic imagery because it’s a bold act, women daring to be both smart and openly sexual. I am proud to be one of those women. It comes with consequences, but so would hiding the work I’m proud of. So would going to sleep knowing that I let people with narrow minded views of the world control my life.
I didn’t expect my Mom to jump for joy at my posting nude photography. I don’t think most people want to think about their parents or children’s sex lives. But my posting nude photography does not mean I have a lack of self-respect or low self-esteem. And I think it’s (almost) funny that she considers my naked body as more offensive than me describing my sex life in detail. My body certainly isn’t shameful, and neither is my sex life.
Shaming people for their bodies and sexuality is hurtful. Shaming people because they make different life choices than you is also hurtful. Thankfully my Mom and I have been able to agree to disagree on the subject for the most part (we don’t talk about it anymore), and we still have a semi-decent relationship, but she will always consider what I do less valuable than other work (if not downright shameful and embarrassing.) And that’s part of why I care so much about being open about sex and nudity. With all of the negativity and shame that surrounds sex and nudity in our culture, we are in desperate need of strong, positive voices that declare:
Naked bodies are not shameful.
Sex is not shameful.
Sex is natural.
Bodies are beautiful.
*I wrote this piece in response to the Wicked Wednesday prompt “Shaming…or being shamed.”
My photography is one facet of my creative expression through my blog, and the reason I do it is related to why I blog about sex in general. It’s all a part of reclaiming my love for my body and my sexuality.
I’ve always known that I’m a sexual being. Though they’re fuzzy, I have many memories of sexual exploration with friends, as well as reading and thinking about sex as a child. I’ve also always liked attention and having my photo taken; I’ve had a strong sensual energy from an early age.
By the time I was a teenager though, I began to feel ashamed of my urges to explore my sexuality. The Catholic Church taught me that women should be “pure” and “modest” and hide their bodies, and that any sexual encounters before marriage are mortal sins.
I remember videotaping myself one night at age 13, doing a dance I’d made up, wearing a swimsuit top that I pulled up high so you could see the bottoms of my small breasts peeking out. As I danced, I felt in touch with my body, I felt sexy, and when I watched myself afterwards on the little video screen up in my room, I became more and more turned on and excited, but feelings of guilt quickly creeped into my head, and I hastily deleted the video because I thought that if anyone ever saw it they would think I was a slut.
This tension between what I was constantly told to do and think and how I actually felt, acted, and thought, damaged my body image, my view of my own sexuality, and my overall self-esteem.
In High School I started having sex, rejecting the idea that I would be dammed to hell for it, but I had no access to sex education, so I was pretty clueless. My Mom let me get on the pill after I complained about cramps, but I still constantly worried about getting pregnant or getting an STI. Looking back, I’m really lucky that neither of those things happened, since I didn’t even know how to properly use a condom (abstinence only education at its finest.)
The church’s scare tactics didn’t keep me from having sex, but the shame associated with sexuality seeped into my subconscious, and even though I wanted to love myself and my body, I struggled with the embarrassment I had been taught to feel, by both my religion and society in general.
Even though I was having sex, I could hardly look at myself up close, let alone name the important parts like my clit and g-spot. I looked at my vulva once with a compact mirror, and I was terrified by what I saw. I thought it was ugly. I didn’t like my natural smell and constantly feared that I had an STI, so I douched, which is actually horrible for your body. I didn’t know about the importance of communication in relationships, and I hadn’t even heard of the word “consent.” I thought rape was black and white and only encompassed physical force; I didn’t realize that feeling pressured to do things when you don’t want to isn’t healthy, safe, or consensual.
My true sexual revolution didn’t happen until I started working at a sex shop during my senior year at UT. During the three years I worked there, I read and learned more about sex and met sex positive women who I could talk to. I finally got to the point where I was truly proud of my body and my sexuality again.
While working at the shop I started modeling (sometimes nude), but at that point I only showed the photos to Jake and certain friends who I knew would appreciate them. Eventually I started my blog because I loved talking about sex with people at work, and I wanted a bigger outlet for sexual discussion and exploration.
Since I already had sexy and nude photos, I wondered if I should post some on my blog when I started it. I’d always wanted to share my images with a wider audience, but at the same time I was also afraid to. My main fears had to do with family members seeing them or with the possibility of my real identity getting out and the repercussions or lost career opportunities that could come with that. The exhibitionist in me won though, and I began posting photos, although at first only ones that didn’t reveal my face and didn’t show any actual nudity.
After blogging for a while, I realized that I was tired of hiding my face from my photos. I admired women who had the courage to post nude images that showed everything, including their faces, boldly and with pride. I gradually became less concerned with hiding my face.
Posting nude photos as well as sex blogging in general has been an extremely liberating experience for me. Finally, I don’t feel like my body is something I need to hide. I’ve come a long way from my scared and ashamed 13 year old self, and I’m extremely proud of that, especially considering I was raised to believe that my body is obscene and sex is sinful.
I’m proud to say I now know where my g-spot is, how to ejaculate, how to communicate with a partner, how to explore “taboo” aspects of my sexuality, and how to accept other people’s sexuality without judgment. I’m proud to admit I still have a lot to learn.
I’m also glad that I’ve helped other people in their sexual exploration. I get lots of positive feedback from friends and readers of my blog, and I feel good when people tell say they love my photography as well as my writing.
Sure, I like the attention I get from having a sex blog and from posting nude images. I am a bit of an exhibitionist, and I find it thrilling when people tell me they’re attracted to me or that they get turned on reading my stories and looking at my photos. But that’s not the sole reason why I blog or post nude images (though even if it was, I don’t see that as a problem.)
I blog about sex for creative outlet, for exploration, and to facilitate open sexual discussion. I post nudes because I consider photography and the human body art forms, and because I enjoy self-portraiture. When I photograph myself, I explore different aspects of my personality. Sometimes I’m feeling dark, or shy, or weird, or sexy. I find myself in my images. I choose to share them online because I want people to see the work I’m proud of.
I’m not naïve, and I know the risks of posting nude photos in a society that is still overwhelmingly sex negative, sexist, and body-shaming. I have to deal with consequences, like my mother’s harsh words (yes, she knows and doesn’t approve) and society’s pressure and judgments.
I do worry that I might not be taken seriously as a writer because I post nude images. But I resist the idea that being sexually open about my body and being intelligent are mutually exclusive or that they must inhabit separate spaces. I’m smart, I’m good at writing and photography, and I’m also passionate about expressing my sexuality. I know it would be “safer” for me to not reveal my face, or to have separate blogs for writing and for erotic photography, or to not post nude images at all. My heart still races every time I post a new image, but that’s part of why I do it.
I post nudes on my blog because they are beautiful and because I finally have the courage to do so. I post nudes because I feel they are mine to post, finally. After years of struggle and inner tension, I have reclaimed my body and my sexuality, finally. No one is pressuring me, I don’t do it to increase blog traffic or to gain followers; I share myself on my blog because I decide to.
My reasons for blogging and sharing nude photos are important to me. My sexual truth is important to me. I’ve decided to explain it because I’m passionate about it, and so my readers can learn more about my background if they want to. But I didn’t write this piece because I think I need to justify what I do. I don’t need to explain why I share my sexuality or post nude photos, but I do think it’s important to reflect on it.
My sexuality is mine to share with whomever I want to, in any form that I want to. It isn’t something society or religion or my family or any partner can control or define, it’s mine.
When I saw this week’s Kink of the Week topic was fellatio, I knew I had to participate. While looking through some of the other posts, I was inspired by Rebel and decided to write up a Q&A based on Jade’s questions about fellatio in the prompt:
So to start…Everyone loves a blow job, right?
Obviously, no. I have met and talked to various people who don’t like giving blow jobs, or who don’t like any kind of oral sex.
Do you? Is giving or receiving a blow job a particular kink of yours? Or is it a pleasant activity, but one you can do with or without?
Yes, I love sucking cock. Especially Jake’s cock. (But not only Jake’s cock.) I’m not sure whether or not it’s exactly a kink per say (I’ll get to that later), but it’s not something I want to ever do without.
So, why do I love sucking cock so much?
Firstly, I love it for the physical act in itself. The sensory experience, my tongue teasing his head, feeling him grow in my mouth, spit sliding down the corners of my mouth, looking up at him from below, sliding his cock across my face, teasing…
But I also love a lot of other things about it that go beyond the physical.
I love the abandon in straight up, I’m going to give you a blow job and that’s it, fellatio. Don’t get me wrong, I love penis-in-vagina sex or orgasms for myself. Both are amazing. But one of the things I love about giving straight up fellatio-only-sex is that I don’t have to worry about me. There is no multi-tasking, no balancing of reaching out for my own orgasm while simultaneously trying to make him feel as good as I do. Not that I don’t combine blow jobs with other foreplay like fingering, sex toys, etc., because I do, and that’s fun too.
But sometimes I want to just focus on one thing—giving him pleasure. I enjoy being full of him, his cock in my mouth, my hands on his balls, my face sticky and wet. For that time, I exist in the hot space between his legs. I am his mouth, his hands, his eyes gazing up, his to feel and enjoy. And at the same time, he’s mine. It might be one sided if you’re thinking in terms of orgasms only, but it’s not one sided. It’s me, giving him my full attention, and him, receiving it.
But I also love fellatio during foreplay. While sometimes giving my all to a blow job is delicious all on its own, I also like the struggle of balancing each other’s pleasure, like when I’m trying to concentrate on sucking his cock while his fingers pull on my g-spot in just the right way, or while a vibrator is pressed against my clit, and he says, gently but firmly, “keep sucking,” when he’s slipped from my mouth as I’m consumed with my own sensations.
Are blow jobs kinky?
Yes, I think they certainly can be, for me, though obviously what one person considers kinky may seem vanilla to others and vice versa. I don’t think blow jobs are always kinky, sometimes they’re just “ordinary” oral sex, but when I’m lying on my back, head leaned back over the edge of the bed, and he’s thrusting into me while holding down my arms, and I’m deep throating him, there’s power and trust involved. I find “face fucking,” when he controls the thrusting, and I assume more of a submissive role, incredibly sexy, when I’m in the mood.
I think simultaneous cock sucking and fucking can also be kinky, which is something we enjoy occasionally in real life as well as in fantasy play. I like the idea of being completely full of cock—mouth, cunt, ass, maybe even hands, though I haven’t pushed it quite that far in reality yet, I like to fantasize about it.
Which brings me back to the earlier question, are blow jobs a particular kink of mine? I think the answer is yes. For all of the reasons I’ve stated above, and for the fact that I sometimes suck cock while solo masturbating. As in, using a dildo. Or if I don’t have one around and am thinking about it, I’ll open my mouth as if it were full. I don’t do it super often, but sometimes I want to feel like my mouth is really full of cock, even when Jake isn’t around, or when he’s already filling me elsewhere.
Is giving a blow job a submissive act? Or is the person doing it actually the one with the power?
In the scenarios I just mentioned, like face fucking and rough oral, I think it’s a submissive act. But when I’m giving a blow job, and I’m controlling the pace and flow, I feel like I have the power. It definitely depends on the situation.
Are you a blow job expert? Do you have secret tips and tricks that you use to get your partner off?
I am pretty proud of my cock sucking abilities, but I hesitate in claiming that I’m a blow job expert, since every person has different desires, and what works for one person won’t always work for another. I’m definitely an expert at sucking Jake’s cock. I’ve had 5 years of practice, after all. And he’s said before that he thought I was good at it when we first met, and that I’m amazing at it now.
I think it’s all relative though. I remember giving a guy a blow job for the first time in High School and he was all, “oh my god I can’t believe you’ve never done this before you’re amazing.” Maybe I was, for him, at that time, who knows. But I’m confident that I’m about a billion times better at it now than then.
As far as secret tips and tricks? I don’t think there are really any secret tricks that get everyone (or anyone) off all the time. I think the most important thing is to adapt to the person, situation, and mood, and figure out what’s working in that moment.
And now here’s the REAL question? Do you deep throat.
The second time I went into a sex shop, when I was of legal age to actually buy something, was the summer after my senior year of High School. My boyfriend wanted to buy me a “real” vibrator (I already had a “back” massager) since we were going to try a long distance relationship while I was off at college.
The store had big open windows and was bright and not intimidating, which was comforting, considering I was a little nervous this time around. There was one girl working, and when I asked for her opinion on a good toy, she walked me to the rabbit section. She wasn’t very helpful, but I don’t think she really could be, since this was before sex toys were legal in Texas & the products were supposedly for “educational” purposes.
I had my eye on a $100 rabbit, but my boyfriend only wanted to spend $50 or less, and after scanning the boxes I somehow I ended up with a blue Ultimate Beaver Vibrator, AKA the grossest thing I’ve ever put inside of my vagina. My experience trying to use it was unsettling to say the least.
Evil, vagina hating beaver.
It smelled funky, it was sticky, and the rotation confused me and felt incredibly weird and not in a good way. In more of a wtf is this, I am never buying a “real” vibrator again kind of way. On top of all that, it had a fucking cartoonface on the “head” and a fucking beaver attached to the shaft. Even more disturbingly, the beaver, whose tail is supposed to tickle your clit, seemed to be simultaneouslygiving the weird cartoon person oral. What the fuck was I thinking? I can’t believe I bought that toy, and I can’t believe you can still buy it online if you decide you want to frighten and possibly poison your vagina. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that it was a jelly/PVC beaver from hell that probably leaked phthalates and who knows what other mystery chemicals into my poor tutu.
Yes, I just referred to my vag as a tutu. Orange is the New Black is the shit, and it’s cute and a hell of a lot better than beaver, muff, cooter, vajayjay or whatever else. Plus, I just wanted to make sure you were paying attention…
Anyways, that toy was nasty, and I’m lucky that using it was only emotionally damaging and not so much physically, since many women experience painful reactions when using jelly vibes, and all I felt was mild disgust and discomfort. Still, the beaver experience turned me off of internal sex toys for a long time. The next one I tried was about 4 years later, when I started working at a sex shop. And even after trying a few, I didn’t find any that I liked much until I’d already been working there for a couple of years.
Looking back though, I think the dildo gods were in my favor, since my somewhat traumatizing experience with the evil, vagina hating beaver saved me from years of potentially using more dangerous sex toys before I learned more about them and knew better.
And if we want to go along with that theory, I guess the dildo gods chose me to work at a sex store for a reason—so I could attempt to help guide other people’s orifices away from jelly and towards fun and safe materials like silicone and glass. Who knows though, I’m not going to pretend I understand the mysterious ways of the dildo gods.
*In case you don’t know which sex toys are potentially dangerous & which aren’t, check out these past posts:
Bored one night at age 16, I came up with a brilliantly scandalous idea: to go check out one of the local sex shops with a couple of my friends. And by check out, I actually mean ooooh and aaaah at all of the Kama Sutra brand massage oils that, get this, actually cool and tingle when you blow on them! (How sexy!) and giggle at everything penis shaped.
In this particular store, there was a separate section in the back, I think it had an 18+ warning sign but honestly can’t remember, where they hid all of the intense stuff, like dildos, vibrators, and all of the secrets of sex and everything mysterious in the world. My friend Nathan went back there, and when he told me there were flavored condoms, I knew I had to get some. I mean come on, they were flavored. Flavored things that wrap around penises. I was on a mission.
I told Nathan to go get some from the back so I could buy them. So he went back there again all nonchalant, came back out, handed me the condoms, and I strolled up to the checkout counter ready to go home and brag to all my friends about my new fancy chocolate, banana, and strawberry rubbers.
In my mind I figured it wouldn’t be that big a deal. Were they really paying attention to who went back to that room to get what? I didn’t need to be 18 to buy condoms, right? It’s not like I was trying to buy a vibrator or something crazy, they were just condoms, and I’d already bought some myself at Target before.
“I’m gonna need to see your ID,” said the punky looking sex store lady with spiked hair, aka my new-found enemy/anti-safe-flavored-sex witch.
“Oh, I forgot mine, but my friend has his,” I said, trying to look cool and about two years older.
Nathan, looking embarrassed already, started to pull out his, when punky sex store lady, louder this time, said, “I need to see your ID, or you can’t buy those.”
“I don’t have it,” I muttered, my teenybopper anger bubbling.
I walked away from the counter, still clutching the condoms, to convene with my friends in the far corner of the store to decide on a new strategy. There was no way I was going to not buy those condoms. What was the big fucking deal anyways? They were just condoms, with some added flavor. I could probably slather some banana mush on a regular condom and make my own (don’t actually try that), but at this point it was about the principle of the thing. I was a sexually active free person, and I deserved to have protection, flavored or not!
We weighed the possibilities. I asked Nathan to buy them for me, but he didn’t have any money. My friend Mary who was with us wasn’t 18 either. I could just give Nathan cash, but I didn’t have any. Things were not looking good. The only thing I could think of was to give Nathan my debit card and hope the punky sex shop lady would either not notice or let it slide that it wasn’t his card.
But the only things she let slide were all of my hopes and dignity.
“You can’t use her card, she doesn’t have an ID,” mean sex store lady said with a smirk. It might have been the teen rage, but I swear even her nose ring seemed to taunt me.
“Come on, I just want to practice safe sex!” I whined.
“I’m sorry, but I could lose my job,” she said with an attitude.
Then she got that look on her face like she was about to kick us out, but I wasn’t about to let her have the satisfaction.
“Fine, but I am getting those condoms somehow!” I screeched as I pivoted away from the counter, embarrassed and defeated, “let’s go!” I said, as if my friends needed that confirmation.
Outside, I grumbled and complained about how she was the meanest sex store lady ever and how unfair it was that I couldn’t buy the condoms I wanted. It’s as if she wanted me to have boring, latex flavored sex, or even worse, regular sex with STD and BABY flavor.
What if my teenage hormones, which we all known are practically uncontrollable, decided to take over my body at that moment, and I grabbed Nathan and had sex with him right there in the parking lot, and thanks to her, without a banana condom? I would definitely leave the bastard child on her doorstep, along with some flavored condoms (so she’d know it was my baby, of course.)
Luckily I was irrationally afraid of babies and not that attracted to Nathan, so my revenge plan was unnecessary. Regardless, my life was miserable. I was humiliated.
I did get those condoms, eventually. I think I had Nathan or someone else go back and get them. And sadly, they weren’t everything I thought they’d be. In fact, I can’t even remember if I ever used them. But still, it was the principle of the thing.
Actual photo of said condoms, taken with my 1st digital camera. Notice the (barely) visible strawberry label. Yep.
Fast forward 6 regular years and about 100 maturity years later, and I’m the mean, punky looking sex store lady. Except not at all punky looking, and more like the blonde girl next door in a v-neck t-shirt sex store lady.
I probably should have known not to work in a sex toy store after I’d given off that bad bratty sex shop karma. But I did, and although I didn’t have to deal with 16 year olds since we didn’t let them in, I had to deal with plenty of other annoying shit. Like grown women laughing like hyenas at the big veiny dildos and penis shaped lollicocks. Or creepy men asking me which toy’s I’ve tried. Or drunk people. Or penis pump guy. But I’ll save those fun stories for another time.
For now, my point if that if time warp were possible, and somehow both my 16 and 22 year old selves were in the same universe, and I was the sex shop lady dealing with my 16 year old self, I probably would have slapped myself in the face. I was being a brat, and it wasn’t the sex store lady’s fault.
But then I probably would have felt bad about it and slipped myself some flavored condoms. Because even though my 16 year old self was quite irritating, I still think you should be able to buy or have access to condoms, flavored or not, at whatever age it is that you start having sex.
—Stay tuned for part 2, in which I describe my first time of legal age in a sex shop.