Tag Archives: events

Dildo Hero

“When I die, bury me with all my sex toys.” —Lunabelle

pennysblog_lunabelleLunabelle, aka the writer of Ninja Sexology, is one of my dildo heroes. I have quite a few dildos, but her collection is straight up awe-inspiring. She currently owns 185 dildos, many of which are from small companies and are unique, colorful, gorgeous, and often huge. Lucky for those of us who attended Woodhull last month, she brought along about 50 of them for us to admire and squish!pennysblog_ninjascollectionpennysblog_ninjascollection2pennysblog_ninjascollection_3SinfulSundayLips100

5 Reasons Why Woodhull Was an Amazing Experience

I had such an amazing experience at the Woodhull Sexual Freedom Summit, put on by the incredible Woodhull Sexual Freedom Alliance. Thanks so much to Tantus and Njoy for the blogger scholarship that helped me get there and to Bex for graciously allowing me to stay with her and drive to the conference together, and for taking me to the beach and watching Supernatural with me, among other things.

1. The Sessions Were Informative, Moving, and Motivating

The sessions at Woodhull were a perfect blend of vital information, important stories, inspiring speakers, and calls to action.

The first one I attended was The How’s and Why’s of Sex Education in Blogging, Retail, and Manufacturing, where we heard from two of the first champions for safe sex toys in the industry, Jennifer Pritchett from Smitten Kitten and Metis Black from Tantus, as well as leading sex toy safety blogger Dangerous Lilly and blogger Caitlin Murphy. The industry has come a long way thanks to these amazing folks, but we still have a lot of work to do. Many people are still unknowingly buying toxic toys that can potentially leave them with infections or chemical burns. Most people still aren’t getting pleasure based (if any) accurate sex education.

There were so many important points made during the session, but the most memorable moment for me was listening to Jennifer talk about a married couple they helped in the store. The wife was unable to orgasm, and they’d seen therapists for decades trying to change that, and until then, somehow no one had thought to ask if she knew where her clitoris is.  The second session I attended on Friday was The Monster Under the Bed: Starting the Conversation About Sex and Depression. JoEllen Notte, Crista Anne, and Stephen Biggs talked about stereotypes surrounding depression and sex, the lack of education from healthcare professionals on the sexual side-effects of medication, the importance of feeling pleasure during depression, and more. JoEllen also shared some of the things she’s learned during her research for her upcoming book on sex and depression, which I can’t wait to read when it comes out. It was an emotional and oh-so-important session.

The most information packed session was definitely Lube! An In-Depth Look at Personal Lubricants–we were all in awe of Sarah‘s incredible lube research and knowledge. Basically, we learned that most water based lubes that are widely available at drugstores are hyper-osomtic and can cause irritation and increase your risk of infections and STIs. If you want to learn more, check out Piph’s notes. The good news from this session was that Sliquid (the lube I use) is one of the few that is safe for most people’s genitals.

On Saturday, I wasn’t sure which sessions I’d go to, but I wandered in to Punishing Pleasure: Legal Updates from the Trenches of Adult Entertainment, and I’m glad I did because the information about adult entertainment and censorship was really interesting. First Amendment Attorneys Lawrence Walters and Luke Lirot talked about how vague “obscenity” charges are and how modern censorship politics link erotica with human trafficking to create hysteria.

The second session I went to on Saturday was Yes, All Genders: How to Normalize and Include Trans Bodies with Alex Morgan and Monique Darling. There was a lot of important discussion and information, and the biggest take away for me was to stop making assumptions about people. Don’t assume someone’s gender or whether they’re cis or trans based on their appearance.  Don’t assume that everyone will fit into the binary and make space for those who don’t. Don’t assume people you’re talking to can’t handle inclusive discussions–challenge your audience, peers and friends. It’s all easier said than done, and I know for me it’s easier in sex positive spaces than in the “real world” but it’s important to constantly challenge ourselves to do better.

The last session I went to was Let’s Talk About Senior Sex by the amazing Joan Price. As was the case last time I attended one of her sessions, many of the things she talked about applies to people of all ages, though her focus is on senior sex. She covered a range of topics from how sexuality changes as we age to specific sex toy needs for seniors to the importance of safe sex and how to put a condom on a soft penis with your mouth (no more, I can’t get hard with a condom on excuse!) We’re all hoping she’ll do a post about that soon. Oh, and I won’t go into it too much because I’m sure Epiphora will write about it, but someone tried to mansplain vibrators to a room full of sex bloggers. Nope.

2. Bloggers Were Welcomed and Appreciated

 

It’s easy to feel lost in a huge conference, but Ricci Levy encouraged bloggers to attend, thanked us for coming, and was so welcoming and supportive, we were blown away. Tantus also sponsored and set up a blogger lounge where we could gather, feel safe, and get our coffee fix, which made all the difference. The attitude from all of the retailers I came in contact with, including the wonderful folks from SheVibe, Smitten Kitten, and Tantus, was that review feedback is necessary and helpful, that negative reviews are just as important as positive ones, and that the Blog Squad is mighty and valued in the industry.

3. I Met Big Name People (and It Wasn’t a Big Deal)

I got to have lunch and spend some time with the fabulous Sandra and Thor from SheVibe. I listened to Metis tell industry stories. Ricci Levy offered a phone number in case we needed anything. Peyton helped us figure out the espresso machine and was so sweet and easy to talk to. I met the genius behind Njoy. Smitten Kitten picked me up some gluten free snacks from a nearby Whole Foods.  Buck Angel sat and listened to the Yes All Genders panel and danced with us during the gala. I didn’t actually get a chance to talk to Nina Hartley, but I listened to her talk about why she got into porn during BedPost Confessions (and she retweeted me a couple of times, *squee*.) I never felt like I couldn’t talk to or approach someone–everyone I encountered was friendly and welcoming.

4. Internet Friends Became Real Life Friends

No conference would be complete without bonding time, and I was so glad I got to see close blogger friends like Bex, Epiphora, and Reenie from Dildo Holiday as well as meet others, some of which I’d known for years on the Internet and some new.

Lilly had warned that she might be shy or hard to approach but that wasn’t actually the case at all–she was super easy to talk to and was equal parts passionate and silly. Since Caitlin was staying with Bex as well, I got to spend extra time with them, and they’re really kind and fun, not to mention fabulously femme–one night they cooked for Bex and I in a pin up dress *swoon.* Artemisia was as awesome as I imagined– she’s gorgeous, sweet, and of course had ALL the glitter nail polish, and I had a lot of fun geeking out over photography with her.

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Lunabelle’s dildos

One of the things Lunabelle is known for is her huge, eclectic collection of unique dildos, and I must say I was not disappointed with the sampling of literally 50 dildos she brought along to show us–seriously, she’s my dildo hero, and she’s also really down to earth and cool.) Also, she brought a traveling bar so…she’s pretty much winning at life.

Mandi was just as sweet, cute, and smart as I thought she’d be, and as she mentioned in her post about Woodhull, we bonded over books and cats. I really wish we (and all of blog squad) lived closer because I would definitely call her to hang out on the regular. Dizzy was also really nice and easy going, and I’m glad I got to have drinks with her and the rest of the Blog Squad Thursday night. Speaking of drinks, when her, Lunabelle, and Lena, a new (and super cute) blogger showed up at the hotel pool with some strong “coffee” (which I naively took a sip of thinking was actually coffee), I thought, yep, these people know how to party.

Some other bloggers I got to meet were Crista (who gives awesome hugs and is an overall bad-ass), Mary and Harry Contrary (Texas peeps, woot!), and Beck (who I wish I had more time to bond over Buffy with.) If I’m forgetting anyone I apologize–it was a whirlwind of smiling sex positive faces!

5. Blog Squad Unite: Magic Happens When Sex Bloggers Gather

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One of the most fun parts of conferences for me is getting the opportunity to be with my peeps–there’s a magic that only happens when I’m with my sex blogger friends. Like Epiphora doing an impromptu photo-shoot of Bex and I wearing nothing but Joque harnesses and Vixen dildos while jumping on the bed. Like it being no big deal to shoot naked self portraits in Bex’s Eleven. Like getting sharpie tattoos on my butt by the babely Artemisia, and Reenie asking if she can send dildo dick pics. Like standing up to a mansplainer. Like snickering in unison at the mention of “sil-a-gel.” Like singing our lungs out to this song and chuckling as we passed a school called Poly Prep. Like talking about vagina feelings, comparing butt plugs to pizza, and using dildos as telescopes. Like getting the best hugs and feeling inspired by the amazing people you’re lucky enough to be friends with. I miss all of y’all so much already!

Want to read even more about Woodhull? Check out the event from ArtemisiaLillyMandiDizzy, LunabelleDeAnn, LenaBeck, and Ruby‘s point of views.

EroticonUSA

Although Jake and I flew in to Atlanta Thursday afternoon, the weekend’s excitement really began on Friday evening at the Eroticon Meet and Greet at the Georgian Terrace Hotel. Some of the first people we met were Lauralyn and Jade (who both rock!) and once I found Molly and DomSigns (who of course know pretty much everyone) we were introduced to more amazing bloggers and friends like Lori, Stranded and his girlfriend Laura, the lovely ladies of Cammies on the Floor, Tonya, Malflic & Lord Raven, Harper, and many more. The night was full of cleavage, kisses, new friends, and tequila shots!

The conference started early Saturday morning with a welcome from Rudy Kiddell, the amazing woman behind Eroticon, and then an Opening Plenary with Jincey Lumpkin, the “Chief Sexy Officer” of Juicy Pink Box. Jincey shared the story of how she started her website and discussed some business 101 basics (like products, market, distribution, and revenue) in a sex-industry related context, complete with her signature class and sass.

After Jincey’s speech, the first round of sessions began, and Jake and I attended When real life and sex writing collide with Molly and Jade. Throughout the session, they both discussed coming out as sex writers and how it has affected their lives and relationships. I really appreciated it when Molly, who is now completely out after initially being anonymous, explained that she only surrounds herself with people who let her be her true self. That doesn’t mean all of her friends participate in her kinky life or even want to hear about it, but they know about her work and don’t judge or insult her for it. As for the people who do, Molly doesn’t care what they think— she knows that other people’s issues with sex are their issues, not hers, and she doesn’t care what they say because that just gives them power over her.

Jade discussed being out as well, and how she sometimes wishes she could be 100% out, but that she prefers to keep her professional life separate. Both Molly and Jade also talked about sex writing and parenting and how they explain what they do to their children in age appropriate ways. I found it especially inspiring when Jade talked about being open with her kids and how her son asked her about something he saw in porn, which led to a healthy discussion on the differences between porn and real sex. For a split second I even considered that I might want to have a kid just so I could be an open, caring, and sex-positive Mom like Jade or Molly. (Keywords: split second.)

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Molly is hilarious and a brilliant speaker, and we stayed to listen to her during the next session, when she shared her Top 10 tips for writing a sex blog. I won’t go over them as she’s planning on posting them on her blog (plus they’re her secrets to share), but I will say that I realized I have a lot of work to do if I really want to streamline my site and improve my ranking. That’s alright though; I’m up for the challenge! The next session I attended, Tech Love with the amazing tech superstar Michael Knight, also gave me a lot of new information on how I can improve my blog.

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The amazing Lauralyn

After lunch, we went to the session I was most excited about, Lauralyn’s erotic photography workshop. Lauralyn told us about her story of transitioning from taking sexy self-portraits to catch men’s eyes on dating sites into finding her true passion in life—her signature “cheap camera 10 second timer self-portraiture” and opening her 1 lb. art gallery. At the end of her talk, Lauralyn gave us a demonstration of her technique by stripping down to a nude-leotard, jumping up into a large window, and creating some self-portraits. Everything about Lauralyn inspires me: her persistence, her self-taught talent, her amazing gallery, her energetic personality, and her raw honesty. Some of the goals I have after listening to and meeting her are to push myself to shoot in unfamiliar places more, to shoot more often in general, and to be honest with people about what I do. If she can do it (in a small, extremely conservative town), then so can I!

Graydancer & Jade

Graydancer & Jade

The sexiest session of the day was the last one I attended, Hands on Kink with Graydancer. Jake and I were interested in rope tying before his session but didn’t really know where to start, so we really enjoyed his demonstrations on Jade and Poetic and purchased one of his DVDs. At the reception after the conference, when M from Cammies on the Floor asked Graydancer to show her husband how to tie her, I jumped in and asked if Jake and I could join as well. So M and I were tied up together in front of some very confused restaurant patrons; it was awesome! I loved the attention and the “adjustments” that M kept giving my rope to make it more…stimulating.

Photo of me taken by Molly from Molly's Daily Kiss

Photo of me taken by Molly from Molly’s Daily Kiss

After the reception and impromptu rope tying demonstrations, a group of us stayed for more drinks and after my suggestion went to a strip club that Jake deemed the “tit factory.” It had a kind of odd dynamic—there were lots of hot, fully nude women, but there weren’t any poles, and it was too crowded to have a more intimate experience with any of the dancers. It was a little disappointing, but I got some Scavenger Hunt photos (and a spanking!) afterwards which definitely made up for it. It was a great ending to an amazing weekend.

All of the sessions at Eroticon were fantastic, and I’m glad that Ruby put so much effort into bringing Eroticon to the US. Jake and I met a lot of amazing people, and since the event was relatively small, it had a very intimate and open feel. We are both dying to go to the next Eroticon in Bristol, but aren’t sure if we can swing it…we’ll see!

 

Eroticon USA Meet and Greet

I can’t believe Jake and I are leaving for Eroticon in 3 days! Here’s my quick intro. for the Meet & Greet:

Name: Penny

Twitter id: @pennysblog 

Where in the world are you? Austin, TX, USA

What brings you to Eroticon USA? Meeting other bloggers and learning more about sex blogging and writing! I also attended CatalystCon 2 weeks ago and it was AMAZING, so I have high hopes for Eroticon as well.

What are you looking forward to most about Eroticon USA? Meeting Molly from Molly’s Daily Kiss and hearing her speak as well as Lauralyn Brickhouse– I LOVE her dash self portraiture and am so looking forward to her photography workshop!

If you had to make up a pen name again what would it be? Maybe something closer to my real name. I’m not saying what that is though. :p

I’m looking forward to meeting everyone and will see y’all in Hotlanta soon!

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Cameryn Moore’s Austin Sidewalk Smut

Along with her slut (r)evolution show, Cameryn Moore performs other pieces as well as sets up her Sidewalk Smut stands in the cities she tours. The basic idea is that she sets up on a popular street in the city and sits with a sign and a typewriter. If you’re lucky enough to be walking along the street she’s at, you can give her a $10 or more suggested donation, and she will interview you for a few minutes, and then after 10-15 minutes she will read you your own custom piece of erotica.

After watching Cameryn’s amazing performance last Friday, I knew I wanted to get my own personalized story at one of these “smut stands.” Last night my friend Nicole was visiting Austin, and we went downtown, so of course we stopped by Cameryn’s stand on dirty 6th. When we first got there she was already working on a custom piece, so we had a drink before returning to where she was parked beneath Blind Pig. When we got there, she asked Jake and I a bunch of questions like,

“Hardcore or softcore?”

“Public or private?”

“Surprise or no surprise?”

“Pain or no pain?”

“Cake or pie?”

“What do you call his/her junk?”

Etc.

After the short interview, we went to another bar while she created our custom smut, and when we returned she read us a sexy story about Jake spanking me during a tipsy game of truth or dare at a party. We were both turned on by the story and had a good laugh at her autograph that read, “To Penny & Jake–it’s not a good sex party until someone is crying!”

We loved it, put it in the car so it wouldn’t get messed up throughout the night, and went back to Shakespeare’s. Before we  left for the night, Nicole decided she wanted a custom piece also, and she too loved her story that explored her submissive side, with another awesome autograph, “To Nicole, just remember some holes need more lube than others!”

I’m so glad Jake, Nicole, and I all got some custom smut from Cameryn’s smut stand. But I was also very upset when I later saw her Facebook post about the night because apparently some guy stole $20 from her box while she was hugging an excited customer. I like to think Austin is a pretty friendly place, but dirty 6th (East 6th Street where the long stretch of cheap bars are) can get pretty damn seedy at night, unfortunately.

I took this last photo of her stand from across the street on the balcony at Shakespeare’s. I didn’t have my camera just my phone, hence the blurry camera photos.

Bedpost Confessions Intimate Salon with Cameryn Moore’s slut (r)evolution

Jake and I didn’t know what to expect as we waited in the lobby area at Salvage Vanguard Theatre in East Austin last night. We had been to two Bedpost Confessions so far, and after those amazing performances, I felt like kicking myself in the ass for not going sooner. This wasn’t a typical Bedpost show though; it was a special “Intimate Salon.” I didn’t really know what that meant, other than that it was at a smaller venue, it was $20 instead of $10, and it was a collaboration with Cameryn Moore’s slut (r)evolution. I knew Julie was the emcee, Sadie was reading a new story, and Etta Strawberry was performing an interactive piece. But who on earth is Cameryn Moore? And what is slut (r)evolution? The description on the Facebook event page was vague, so I searched the program for more clues, but found nothing other than a “for mature audiences only” along with production credits etc.

After the show, I’ve found three important reasons why there isn’t a definitive description on either the event page or program, and they are:

1. How the hell would you describe exactly what the show is? Yes, it was a solo act. Yes, it was a sex related story, or rather series of stories. Yes, it was a theatric performance, complete with scenes, characters, lighting, and props. But it was also so much more…

2. How could you describe the show’s awesomeness? It’s a daunting task. After the show, I met Cameryn at Butterfly Bar and stuttered a clumsy, “I just wanted to say I loved your show, it was the best show I’ve ever seen, oh my god” sort of thing. It wasn’t the most well thought out compliment, and no, I haven’t really been to a ton of shows, but it was all I could come up with on the spot. After more thought, I would like to revise my reaction to this: I was completely captivated from beginning to end, not to mention nervous, aroused, confused, angry, excited, frightened, and laughing my ass off all at the same time.

3.Describing Cameryn’s show is a futile effort. Even though I think my revised description captures more of its essence than “it was the best show ever,” to really see what slut (r)evolution is about, you need to get off of your ass and go see it yourself. Period.

As if Cameryn’s show wasn’t enough, combining it with Sadie and Etta Strawberry made for an incredibly sexy, stimulating night. I don’t want to spoil Miss Strawberry’s act, but I will say that I will never look at a strawberry in the same way after her tantalizing performance. I’ve seen Sadie read various times, but this one was definitely my favorite. Her story, “Climax” about a dusty, mid-day sexcapade she had at Burning Man just a few short weeks ago, was hilarious and arousing, and it felt especially intimate in the small theatre, as if we were actually there with her in the desert, feeling the heat and dust on our skin, smelling the sweat, and watching her necklace swing frantically in the “pleasure dome.”

Austinites, I can’t stress enough that you need to go see the Bedpost/slut (r)evolution show tonight. Unless you’re scared. Actually, if you are, all the more reason to go. After Austin, Cameryn is continuing her tour with shows in New Orleans, Nashville, Huntsville, Philadelphia, and New York City; you can check all that out on her website. While she’s still in Austin, Cameryn will also be creating custom “Sidewalk Smut” from her typewriter on Thursday at South Congress, and of course I will be there waiting for a piece of her action.