Category Archives: Personal

Why I Removed My Copper (Paraguard) IUD

Disclaimer: Everyone’s body reacts differently to hormones/IUDs/contraceptives, this is just my experience. I’m not trying to dissuade anyone from getting an IUD–they work well for lots of people. Also although birth control pills work well for me, they’re not the right option for everyone–you have to find what works for you.

I decided to get the copper (Paraguard) IUD in the summer of 2016 for a few reasons. Most importantly, I was having trouble remembering to take my birth control pills since I was stressed and going through a lot at the time. I also wanted to try a more “natural” route, and I thought maybe hormones were negatively affecting my body, mood, and sex drive (really though, life/stress was affecting my mood and sex drive more than anything.) I also loved the idea of a birth control method that would last 10 years without hardly any thought on my part–no taking pills or picking up prescriptions.

Having the IUD inserted wasn’t as painful as I imagined. It hurt, but it was quick.1 I had some light cramping immediately after and on and off for a few days.

When I had my consultation for getting the IUD, they warned me my periods might be heavier and my cramps worse–but I figured it was probably worth it. Cramps aren’t fun, but I’m not really bothered by blood and since I use a Diva cup, I didn’t think it’d really affect my daily life much.

Oh, was I wrong.

I’m so glad the IUD is an option for people because it works great for many, but it was terrible for me.

Not long after I had the IUD inserted, I started getting cystic acne on my jawline and on my back. At first I thought it was stress related or from not eating well while traveling, but it never went away. I eventually decided to see a doctor about it, and even after recommended diet changes and topical acne treatments, it didn’t go away. It negatively affected my self esteem and my sex life. I stopped taking self portraits, I didn’t even want to take my shirt off (which is not normal for me–I usually love being naked!) or wear tank tops because the acne would show. I’m not saying acne should be shameful or hidden, but I didn’t feel like myself with this sudden acne all over my back, not to mention that it itched and even hurt sometimes as well.

My periods were also horrific. Like clockwork, on the 7th day before my period, I would wake up with terrible, extremely painful cramps. I continued to have painful cramps on and off the entire week before my period…and then during my period too, which was now much longer and heavier. Before I got the IUD/when I was on the pill, I would bleed fairly lightly for 4-5 days. With the IUD, my periods were 7 days and sometimes up to 10 days. On birth control pills, I could go without my Diva cup at night because I wouldn’t bleed much, and with the IUD/no hormones, I bled a lot more and definitely couldn’t do that.

Honestly I’m surprised I lasted as long as I did with the IUD (a little over a year.) At first I thought I was still adapting and that maybe I’d get used to it, and then after awhile it started to feel like it was normal, even though my pms and periods were far worse than I’d ever experienced. Eventually my partner and even some of my friends commented that they were worried about me because I was always home with cramps, and I only felt ok for 2 weeks or less during each month. Honestly it’s kind of impressive I accomplished anything last year.

Deep penetration was also less comfortable–something I only noticed after a friend was talking about how sex was painful for her with an IUD as well. I had written it off as just my moody vagina–sometimes I’m not in the mood for penetration at all anyways, and my cervix can get finicky around my period, but thinking back I realized I had stopping liking positions that allow for deep thrusting since getting the IUD, and I wasn’t choosing to use any toys bigger than the Mustang either.

I also had a few other minor side effects–like I’d randomly get pains in my vagina. They were mild, but it was a weird feeling, and I also worried about the IUD moving out of place, which I think is rare, but I worry about those kinds of things. I’d check my string with my VagCam and it was still there, but the worry associated with having something foreign in my body always lingered in my mind.

After a little over a year, I’d finally had enough, and I made an appointment to have my IUD removed2, and then immediately got back on hormonal birth control to help my acne (and possibly my cramps as well).

I’ve been back on the pill for a little over 3 months now, and my acne is finally healing. My cramps are much more manageable–they’re much milder and last only a few days as opposed to 14+ days. I’m not sure if my cramps/bleeding were from the IUD itself or from not taking hormonal birth control pills or both because I’d been on the pill before, but either way, my quality of life has improved so much. (Based on what I’ve heard/read, I think most likely my acne was from lack of hormones from the pill and the bad cramps were from the IUD itself.) The only side effect I experienced getting back on the pill was sore breasts for a week or so…and they’re definitely bigger now, all the time.

I admit that it felt kind of defeating taking out the IUD–I really wanted it to work for me and to not have to take hormones, partly because I thought not taking hormones would be more natural/better, but even though the copper IUD doesn’t utilize hormones, it’s not really “natural” either. (The only real “natural” birth control method I know of is monitoring your cycle/not having sex when/around the time you’re ovulating.)

I have a newfound love for my birth control pills, and I could care less if they’re natural or not. By the way–if you know of any cute birth control enamel pins/art, let me know!

PS–It’s possible the Mirena IUD could have worked better for me since it’s hormonal, but I didn’t want that one since sometimes you don’t get periods (I think not having periods sounds great in theory, but not having a monthly reminder I’m not pregnant would worry me.)

Have you had/do you have an IUD? Does it work well for you? Do you prefer the pill or another birth control method? Let me know in the comments!


  1. I also took 400 Ibuprofen before my appointment. 

  2. Thankfully, the removal was even less painful than insertion. 

G Spoon (and an update)

Hey everyone! It’s been a while. I haven’t been blogging as much on here lately, and you may be wondering why. I want to try to explain…and hopefully find my way back to this corner of the internet more often.

Part of the reason I haven’t been sex blogging much lately is that last year I lost both my mom and my partner’s mom, and I went through a period of grief when I didn’t do much of anything other than try to support my family and get through the days. I didn’t talk about it on here at all or even on social media really because I didn’t feel comfortable doing so, but I did eventually write a little about it on my other blog.

When I was finally able to get back into writing and photography, I felt passionately about veganism and health, and I ended up starting a new blog to focus on lifestyle topics like cooking, cruelty free beauty, vintage fashion, travel, etc. It’s not that I don’t care about sex anymore (I do!), it’s just that I found myself going in a different direction, and it felt easier to start anew with a fresh blog. It felt difficult to pick back up with this blog full speed as if nothing happened. Also obviously my sexuality was impacted, and though I do feel more like my old self again, for months the only toy I used was my beloved Hitachi.

I’m still interested in sexuality and sex toys, but I’ve been feeling burnt out, particularly on things like reviews that I don’t feel as passionately about anymore. I still like trying new toys, but I’m not interested in trying new toys just to try them, I only want to try things I’m fairly confident that I’ll love, otherwise my writing will be lackluster, and the toy will end up wasting space in my closet.

I do miss the parts of this blog that were my favorite though, like my (often creepy) self portraits, artistic sex toy photography, and erotic stories (damn, it’s been a while.) I had a ton of fun earlier this year when Ely and I shot nudes of each other at Hippie Hollow. I miss hanging out with my babely sex blogger friends at conferences and having amazing adventures like making our own glass dildos.

I have some ideas on how to get my groove back on this blog and have ideas for crossover topics. For example, I’m thinking about writing about menstrual cups on my lifestyle blog, instead of this one, because I think it’d reach people that may know less about the topic than my readers over here. I also think it’d be cool to bring parts of my other blog over here, and I have ideas for that as well. I’ve already done some with my vegan safter sex barriers and sex toys posts.

I’m also thinking about doing a spooky/sexy photo every day during October, if I can get enough inspiration and content next month.

I’m glad I took a break–I needed it, but I miss y’all! Can anyone relate? If you’re a regular reader, what do you like most about my blog? Any ideas for me? Let me know in the comments!

Also–back to the title of this post–I bought this g-spoon when I saw Epiphora tweet about Fucking Sculptures closing up shop. 🙁 I’m glad I was able to get one before it was too late, and I love this photo I created of it.

7 Things I’ve done with my partner that I never thought I would

pennysblog_7years7 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!

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Support me on Patreon!

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!

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Longer description, from my Patreon page:

Hey y’all, I’m Penny, and I’m a sex positive blogger in Austin, TX.

My blog, Penny for Your (Dirty) Thoughts, is a mix of sex toy reviewssexuality opinion pieces, sensual self-portraiture, , erotic tales, fancy sex toy photos and more! I started my blog 3 years ago when I was working in sex toy retail as a way to talk to more people about sex toys and sex topics, and it’s evolved into a full time project that I work really hard on and that I’m really proud of.

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!

Thanks so much, y’all!

Sex Blogger Life: Real Talk

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.

And that’s ok.

 

Why I Post Nude Photos (and why I blog about sex)

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.

My body is mine. My sexuality is mine.

Self Portrait: Free

Just Touch It

I thought you were so cool:

An older, firefighting hero, a senior.

You seemed to wink at me,

An upwards, devilish glance

Across a circle of kneeling, head-bowed bodies.

 

You said you liked smooth skin,

So before your maroon truck pulled up,

I shaved in the little half-bath downstairs,

My parents snoring behind a wall.

 

You rubbed my legs like a cold Buddha statue for luck,

In hopes you’d get what you wanted, not

For the feel of it.

A boy once said to me,

 

A girl will do anything

If you ask her at 3am.

You weren’t that boy,

But somebody must’ve told you.

 

I didn’t ask to see it.

I didn’t want to touch it.

I wanted soft fingers on my face,

I wanted to feel

Your lips on mine. You said baby,

 

You turn me on, come on,

Just put your hands around it.

Just put your hands around it,

Just stroke it a little bit.

Just touch it.

 

The seat divider jabbed into me,

An imaginary elbow saying, “don’t.”

I asked you to kiss me,

You said no,

Kissing is too personal.

 

I don’t remember the smell of your cum,

But I can guess it now: Sour, rotten.

I don’t remember what it looked like,

Except that it bobbed up and down

Like an ugly buoy.

 

It happened more than once,

A ritual, you must have practiced,

You were a lay minister, you knew

The words, the motions.

 

When you weren’t asking for it,

You were telling me about

Her, that perfect girl you couldn’t snare.

I wanted to be that girl,

The one you kissed.

 

Just kiss me,

Just kiss me,

Just kiss me,

My begging was silent, unlike yours:

 

Just put your hands around it,

Just put your hands around it.

Just stroke it a little,

Just touch it.

My First Time…In a Sex Shop Pt. 2: Age 18

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 cartoon face 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 simultaneously giving 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:

Buying a Sex Toy: What You Need to Know

Dildology & Safe Sex Toys

P.S. If you have this vibrator and somehow like it, I’m sorry. Not for offending you, for your vagina.

*I wrote this story to support the Superhero Sex Shop Tour Indigogo campaign*

 

My First Time…In a Sex Shop Pt. 1: Age 16

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

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.

*I wrote this story to support the Superhero Sex Shop Tour Indigogo campaign*

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The Beginning

After drinks and dancing with friends on 6th street all night, I texted Jake to see if he was working and could give me a ride home. We’d only met a few nights before when I wrote down my number on a napkin at the pizza shop where he worked, but he seemed interested.

When we got to the parking lot at my apartment, he kissed me for the first time, his tongue swirling with mine as I softly gripped his face. He was overwhelming sexy with curly blonde hair, rough hands, and sincere confidence, and I wanted to invite him up, to have sex with him that night, but I was on my period, and I told him that. I wondered if he thought I was making it up as an excuse to wait, and I told him that as well. He said he believed me.

We sat in his Jeep talking for what seemed like hours. He told me he was from New York, he had moved to Austin about 4 years before, and had spent the majority of that time in a relationship that ended a few months prior. It didn’t seem like he was hung-up on her or dwelling in the past, it just seemed honest. I told him about how I moved here around the same time he did to go to UT, and how I’d recently returned from an unforgettable trip studying abroad in Argentina.

We talked music, and I lifted my black dress up to show him my Chili Peppers tattoo. I only later realized that he got a good look at my blue panties. The way he openly offered information and stories from his past made me feel like there must be deeper layers that he didn’t share so easily. We kissed goodnight, and I went upstairs alone.

The next day we went out to eat at Pluckers, a wing bar in walking distance of my apartment, and he told me more stories from New York, about how people often picked fights there and how everyone seems easier going in Texas. Our faces and fingers were messy with sauce the whole time; neither of us cared.

This time I invited him up afterwards, but I told him I was still on my period. I wondered if he thought I was weird for continuously bringing up, but I honestly just really wanted to have sex with him already and didn’t want the first time to be a bloody mess. He didn’t seem to mind.

After lots of making out and a few glasses of Fernet, he came up from behind me, one hand holding my chin and the other touching softly over my skirt. I moaned into him, wrapping my arms back around him, warmth budding between my legs at the thought of his fingers on my skin. I felt his own excitement growing beneath his jeans. He pulled my skirt up, tracing my lips over my cotton thong and pulling my mouth to his. As we kissed he moved beneath my panties, and everything faded except his fingers on my clit and his hot breath on my ear.

My orgasm came easily, as if it had been waiting patiently all along, and he was simply coaxing it out from inside of me. I was beyond impressed with his skill as well as my body’s deep response to his touch. I wanted more, and I wanted to return the favor. The blowjob I gave him on the futon after was rushed but thrilling since my roommate could come home at any moment and catch us.

A few days later I got a text from him inviting me to go watch a movie at his place. And this time my period was finally over…

wickedwed

This story was written in response to the “Memories” prompt for Wicked Wednesday.