Tag Archives: kink

7 sex toys I want to try in 2017

2016 was kind of a shit show, and I didn’t try as many new toys as I’d like, but here’s to hoping this year is better–let’s start with a list of the top 7 toys I’m dying to try in 2017!

1. B.J. Dildo–Some of you may know of or remember Mr. Man, a dildo with a hole through the shaft that creates clit suction during a dildo blow job. It’s been discontinued for years now, but I was lucky enough to try Epiphora‘s last year, and it was marvelous. I loved it so much that I had my partner try to recreate it by drilling a hole into one of my less used dildos, but sadly it didn’t pan out. But alas, there’s a new B.J. Dildo now! And it comes in a lovely green! Someone just buy me one and attach it to my clit now, please and thanks.

 

2. Hitachi Magic Wand Rechargeable–The fact that I don’t have one of these yet is a travesty. I am one of the BIGGEST Hitachi fans out there, and I think the only reason I don’t have one yet is because I’m kinda old school, and the ancient plug-in Hitachi is still my bae. But I would like to get with the times and be able to share the Hitachi’s glory with others (the rechargeable has a silicone head), or bring it camping (I don’t really camp but if I ever do Hitachi will definitely need to come), and just use the new one’s lower settings (or would I even? who knows.) Plus my Hitachi is getting kind of lonely and could use some company.

 

3. Hole Punch Rad-ish— I’ve been wanting to try something from Hole Punch for a while now, and I want it to be the rad-ish because I’m vegan af and want to collect all of the veggie sex toys (and because Piph said the Plugs Bunny is too long, and yea, it looks too long.) Is it ridiculous if I say my butt is hungry for the rad-ish?

 

4. Fucking Sculptures Double Trouble–I honestly don’t know if I could even handle this dildo but damn I want to try, especially after how much Kate and other friends have raved about it. And I need more glass in my collection! And more big toys so I can work my way up and hopefully be able to fit the huge dildo I made last year in my vagina someday.

 

5. L’Amourose Prism V— I was sent the similar Prism VII last year, and it’s rumbly and gorgeous, but I want the version without the clitoral arm and also want to compare the two. Plus I just want more L’Amourose toys because they’re amazing.

 

6. Leyland Rainbow Glitter Riding Crop–Ever since I saw Artemisia’s review (and photos, damn just go look now for eyegasms), I’ve wanted this crop. It’s synthetic/vegan friendly and it’s so damn pretty. And I used to have a crop years ago that I loved which got ruined and want to replace it. Plus rainbow sparkles!

 

7. Split Peaches Unicorn Horn— It’s a rainbow unicorn horn dildo. Need I say more?

Also, I didn’t include some toys I’m still lusting over from my 2015 list because I didn’t want to be repetitive but I SO SO SO still want the SeductionEleven, G-Spoon, & Shilo.

Which toys are you dying to try in 2017? Let me know in the comments!

 

Best & Worst Sex Toys of 2014

This list includes the best and worst products that I reviewed during 2014! (They weren’t necessarily released in 2014.)

Best Vibrator

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LELO Mona 2– Mona–the vibe that’s so good, I chose it over pizza. It has a wide range of moderately strong vibration, it’s easy to use and hold, it’s waterproof, rechargeable, and incredibly versatile. It’s definitely one of the best LELO products I’ve ever tried, along with the awesome Luna Beads.

Runner Up: Eroscillator Top Deluxe Ultimate Combo– If I were to judge by orgasm alone, the Eroscillator would win over Mona. But the Eroscillator doesn’t have as many other redeeming qualities as Mona–it’s not waterproof or travel-friendly, and it’s not made of silicone. It’s also $115.95 more expensive than the already not cheap Mona for the version I have. In a perfect world, everyone should have an Eroscillator, but not everyone can drop $200+ on a vibe that isn’t even waterproof or discreet. That’s why Mona wins–it has more features and a better overall value than the Eros. If you have the money though, you should get one–your clit will thank you!

Best Dildo

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Vixen Creations Buck– Where do I begin? Buck is a beautiful creature. It’s made of Vixen’s incredibly realistic, squishy silicone VixSkin, and that head… If I had to choose to keep only a few of my dildos, Buck would be in the top 3, below only the amazing, insta-squirt inducing Pure Wand & Comet Wand.

Runner Up: Tantus Splash– I actually didn’t care for the Splash’s unique intense sensations at first…but like Fernet, it was an aquired taste, and now I can’t get enough. Thanks to the Splash, I am now a member of the exclusive “texture slut” club.

Best Butt Toy

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NobEssence Romp– I cannot truly express how amazing the Romp feels in my butt-I can only say that if you enjoy putting things in your butt, you need to experience it. And not only does it feel amazing, it’s fucking beautiful. Just look at it. All hail the Romp!

Runner Up: Fun Factory Bootie– I don’t use the Bootie often anymore because it’s a little on the small side for my tastes now, but it is the perfect beginner plug. It’s small and easy to insert but also stimulating and super comfortable to wear around, and it’s also affordable. Yay, Bootie!

Best BDSM Toy

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Tantus Plunge– It’s an intense paddle, with a dildo-handle. It’s also 100% silicone & completely sterilizable, unlike most paddles. Need I say more?

Runner Up: Bettie Page Picture This Spanking Bat– I love all things Bettie Page, so I fell in love with this gorgeous paddle the moment I laid eyes on it. It doesn’t hurt much, so it’s great for beginner impact play or for those who don’t like a lot of pain…or for any die hard Bettie fan, of course.

Best Book

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The Ultimate Guide to Sexual Fantasy by Violet Blue- Violet Blue’s Ultimate Guide to Fantasy is chock full of helpful information and ideas for adding excitement to your sex life. At 256 pages, it’s not exactly light reading, but Blue pulls you in with an accessible, easy to read tone and exciting topics that will keep you interested the whole way through.

Runner Up: 50 Shades of Kink by Tristan Toarmino- This book should be required reading for anyone interested in BDSM and kink. Taormino stresses the importance of consent, communication, and safety while she discusses the basics of BDSM and power play.

Best Bargain

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Tracey Cox Supersex Toner Balls– Simple and effective, the Tracey Cox Toner Balls are a solid set of kegel balls, and for only $26.99, they’re a steal!

Runner Up: Tantus Slow Drive– The Slow Drive is an amazing little g-spotter and my go-to recommendation for an affordable first time g-spot dildo. At full price it’s only $37.40 with code PENNY at checkout, & right now the limited edition purple haze version is only $25.50 with code PENNY. For a high quality 100% silicone dildo, that is ridiculously cheap!

Worst Toy

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LELO Ida– My version of Ida’s product description: Ida: the toy for those who like a challenge (can YOU finish without crying?) 

Runner Up: Vibratex Princessa– The Princessa looks like a cross between a flower, a nipple, a bug, and an alien, which I love, but unfortunately it has some of the weakest, buzziest vibrations I’ve ever felt.

Biggest Disappointment

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LELO Smart Bead– I was really excited to try out the Smart Bead, which is supposed to measure your “orgasm potential” (aka kegel strength) and then give you a customized 5 minute kegel routine–you squeeze when it vibrates and relax your muscles when it stops. Sadly, the Smart Bead doesn’t seem to measure kegel strength at all, and its vibration is so weak you can barely feel it in use. Oh, and it’s battery operated and has a seam on the part you insert, so lube and vag juice seeps into the bead. A gimmicky, impossible to clean, weak ass toy for $109? Hell no. 

Runner Up: Shibari Halo Wand– I had high hopes for the Halo Wand since it was the first rechargable wand vibrator I’ve tried, and it features a silicone head, unlike many wands, but its vibration is buzzy, and it cannot get me off. Fail.

Most Entertaining Review

Lovehoney Sensual Glass Plug

Lovehoney Sensual Glass Plug– Two words: butthole failure. I did finally get that sucker in, but oh boy was it a journey.

Runner Up: Fun Factory B Balls– There’s something funny about butt toys that fail, isn’t there? I’ve given the B Balls the nickname “poo balls.” Yes, they induced pooping when I used them, and no, it was not pleasant– but it was kind of hilarious.

Well, that’s all folks! What were your favorite and least favorite toys of 2014? Do you agree with my list? Have your own list? Let me know in the comments!

Let’s Play a Game (Spuffy Erotica)

“There’s a time and place for everything, and I believe it’s called ‘fan fiction’.”
Joss Whedon

Disclaimer: Spike & Buffy are property of Mutant Enemy & Joss Whedon. I don’t own Spike & Buffy, I just borrow them for writing masturbation fodder. 

“Let’s play a game Spike,” Buffy says, tilting her head coyly, her curly blonde ponytail brushing her nearly bare shoulders. As she enters Spike’s crypt, the heels of her black boots click against the stone floor. Spike looks up from his couch but away from her, avoiding eye contact. He’s immediately turned on by her sweet smell and gorgeous, petite figure, and this annoys the hell out of him.

“Oh right, is this the game where we destroy a house with our naked wrestling, and then you call me disgusting in the morning?” he says, meeting her eyes now, his lips twitching.

“Or the one where you kick my ass and go off about how you’re the good one, and I’m all pure evil, blood sucking and demon-like?” he says, picking up a glass of vodka on the table next to him, “Because I’m really not in the mood for either one, pet.”

Buffy puts her free hand on her hip and smirks.

“Maybe a little bit of both. Or maybe something completely different,” she says.

Spike raises his eyebrow as he notices the black leather bag that Buffy holds in her other hand. He leans back on the couch, trying to hide his curiosity.

“I’m really not in the mood for games, love. Not tonight. If you want to get me naked just say so, or get out.”

“Don’t call me love.”

Buffy approaches him, setting the bag on the floor nearby. She lifts herself on to his lap, straddling him. Her warmth is intoxicating, her breath a seductive whisper. He looks up at her, confused. She doesn’t usually act like this.

“Call me Slayer.”

“Oh, what is this? Are you on some kind of power trip? More than usual I mean. Are you going to tell me what to do now?” he says. “Do you want me to pretend I’m afraid of the big bad Slayer?”

“Shut up Spike,” Buffy answers as she delivers a nasty blow to his jaw, the aching from her powerful force echoing through his cheek.

“Bloody hell, woman, what do you want from me?” he says, rubbing his face.

“For one, don’t call me woman.”

“Fine, Slayer, what are you getting at?”

“I told you I want to play a game,” Buffy says, pouting her lips a little, running her hands along his chest, “and the first rule is, that you belong to me, get it?”

“Oh yeah, since when?” says Spike, rolling his eyes. “Are you going to tell your friends about us, about these little games you love so much?”

“Shut up Spike.” Buffy pulls her fist back, “unless you want me to hit you again?”

“Fine, I’m yours. What do you want from me?”

“Hmm, what do I want?” Buffy moves closer against him, sliding her hips until they lock in with his, their noses almost touching. She wraps her hands around his neck, squeezing.

“Ow, Buffy” Spike gasps as her grip tightens, “that hurts!”

“It’s supposed to,” she smirks, “I can tell you like it.”

He hardens beneath her, his body responding to the pain the way she knew it would. She releases his neck, moving her hands down to his collar.

“You know me so well, don’t you Slayer,” he laughs.

“Shut up!” Buffy says, ripping his shirt down the middle.

“Dammit Buffy, that’s my favorite one!” he says, holding up the tattered remains, “now I’ll have to steal another.”

She pulls him in close, her lips to his ear. Spike tries not to shake as his whole body tenses from the feel of her on top of him, from her breath, her soft skin.

“I told you not to call me Buffy,” she whispers, biting him on the neck, roughly.

He groans with the pain, but it only makes him harder, makes him want her more.

“It’s your turn to see how it feels,” she says before she pulls herself away from him, standing up. Spike rubs his neck, trying to pretend he’s annoyed when really he just wants her to do it again, to do anything that involves her touching him.

“So, what’s the game, Slayer?” he asks, trying to sound cool.

Buffy picks up the bag from the floor and pulls out heavy shackles and chains.

“It’s about trust, Spike,” she says. His eyes widen. He flinches a little as the chains clang loudly when she drops them onto the table.

She lifts up her black halter, slowly, revealing her smooth skin and bare breasts beneath. Spike opens his mouth, tilting his head slightly as he eyes her lustfully.

“So, do you trust me?” she asks.

“Well now, this could be incredibly kinky, and in that case, I’m in,” he says, running his fingers through his peroxide blonde hair.  He stands up, walking towards her, “Or maybe, you’ve decided you’re done with the games, and you have a stake in that bag,” he says as he circles around her, looking down into her green eyes. He stops.

“Maybe you’ll kill me.”

“Hmmm, I guess you’re right, Spikey,” Buffy answers, her voice mockingly sweet, “are you scared?”

“Hardly,” he scoffs back.  “Fine, I’ll play. You might as well put me out of my damn misery anyway, it’s not like I have anything to live for.”

“Oh, don’t say that Spikey, you have plenty to live for…at least until I’m done with you. Now be a good beastie and do as I say.”

Buffy walks over to the bed, feeding the chain through solid metal hooks on the wall.

“Down, Spike,” she says, nodding at the bed. He lies down, letting her lock the cuffs around his wrists.

“So, what’ll it be Slayer? What do you want from me?” he says, trying to mask his slight fear and overwhelming longing for her.

“You know what I want,” she says as she pulls off his pants, revealing his hard, pale, icy cock.

Spike smiles his evil smile, ready to get down to it, but Buffy punches him in the chest, her little knuckles leaving his skin burning.

“Ow, bloody hell!”

“I want to hurt you,” Buffy says, “And I want you to like it.”

This time she slaps his chin, his neck twisting from the power of her hand, the pain echoing through his skin and downwards.

“I like it,” he says, “You know I do.”

“Good,” she says, pulling off her boots, jeans, and lacy panties.

Buffy jumps on top of him, straddling him again, but this time she rubs herself over his cock, her clit tingling as it grazes him.

She grabs his nipples, her super strength pinching them way past the point of light foreplay. It feels like she’s ripping them off. Spike growls, his arms thrashing as he tries to break free. Buffy stops, staring at him solemnly. He thinks he sees love in her sad eyes, something real. His thoughts are interrupted as she slaps him again, without breaking her gaze. And again, and again.

Just as he begins to feel dizzy, his head pounding, she stops. She leans in and kisses him, and everything disappears, the aching he always feels, the pain, the longing. There’s only her sweet taste, her opposing strength and her soft feel, her smell.

And suddenly, a sharp jab at his heart. Literally. While she was kissing him, she’d reached beside the bed and pulled a stake out of her bag. He stiffens as she presses it lightly on his skin, smiling now.

Spike’s eyes widen; this time he can’t think of a witty comment. He looks up at her, half hoping she’s serious, that she’ll just kill him already.

Oh, what’s the use, he thinks. He relaxes his body, giving in. He closes his eyes. He feels the sharp end begin to pierce his skin, blood trickling lightly. The pain is nothing compared to what’s inside, beneath it. “Just do it already,” he says. Just when he thinks it’s really over, Buffy slides his cock inside her and clenches her warm wetness around him.

Spike moans, opening his eyes. Her hair falls over her face and her beautiful breasts, and she looks down on him, gasping. “Tell me you’re mine, Spike,” she says as she thrusts her hips, her hand pressing against where the stake was, blood smearing beneath her fingers.

“You know I’m always yours,” he says.

Review: Bettie Page Collar Me Set

pennysblog_collarme1Bettie Page goodies…will I ever have enough? The latest item I’ve added to my collection is the Bettie Page Collar Me set.

Like the Spanking Bat & Cuffs, the Bettie Page Bondage Collar & Leash set is part of a collection of chic kink products made by Lovehoney for fans of Bettie Page and retro style. The Collar Me set features a collar & leash made of black faux leather with a 27″ connector chain. Similar to Bettie Cuffs, the collar closes with a buckle and is adjustable (13-17″ with 7 holes,) with an easy release clip that connects the leash to an O-ring on the collar. As with the other Bettie items, the Collar Me set comes with a bonus collector playing card & keychain.

One thing I noticed when inspecting the collar is that collar’s faux leather doesn’t quite match the leash part/cuffs/spanking bat (it’s slightly less textured.) When I brought it up to Lovehoney they pointed out that with all materials there’s a possibility of variations between cuts and that makes the items more unique. It’s a subtle difference, but it’s worth mentioning.

pennysblog_collarme2In use, the collar is light and comfortable with soft velvet lining, and I can wear it for long periods of time and forget it’s there. It’s also fairly easy to put on by myself (the hardest part is threading the extra material through the loop.) It’s my first collar and leash set, so I don’t have anything to compare it to, but it’s comfortable, sexy, and easy to use.

I do have one issue with my collar that I can’t get quite get over though–it has a permanent crease from being folded to fit it in its box (as you can see in the photos.) At first I figured it wasn’t a big deal, and I thought it would go away after wearing it for a while, but it didn’t. I tried stacking books on top of it and leaving it like that overnight, but the crease is still there. It may not seem like a big deal, but a weird crease takes away from the polished look of the product (which isn’t cheap at $75.) It’s also not easy to store the collar in the box without folding it & further creasing it.

pennysblog_bettiecollectionLike the Bettie Cuffs, the Bettie Collar is light, comfortable, and thin as compared to other standard bdsm items, so it’s ideal for those who seek restraints that are stylish but not heavy duty or intense looking. If it weren’t for the crease, it’d get my endorsement for those looking for a comfortable, lightweight, & sexy collar and leash set, so I’m hoping Lovehoney will consider updating its packaging somehow to prevent that in the future. In the meantime, I definitely recommend the Spanking Bat, which is absolutely gorgeous & my favorite item from the line so far.

Thanks Lovehoney!

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Review: Tantus Plunge

pennysblog_plunge1Tantus gives me hope for the future.

What are they going to come up with next? Can we just attach dildos to everything?

Imagine phallic door handles, dong desk chairs, and water-bottle-dildos for immediate re-hydration. Don’t you want to live in a world with Hitachi powered electric toothbrush dildos and robo-dildos that fly around like the cars in Back to the Future?

Ok, maybe Hitachi toothbrush dildos would be overkill (and unsanitary.) Regardless, Tantus’ new silicone paddle with a dildo-handle, the Plunge, is a pretty cool idea. And while there are a few other dildo-handled paddles out there, the Plunge is the only one I know of that’s high quality and body safe.

Made of firm black matte silicone, the Plunge looks like it’s a love child from a steamy affair between the Twack & the Sport. The paddle portion is ~7×3″ and is very flexible, while the dildo handle is much firmer and has an insertable length of a little over 5″ with a 1.25″ max girth. The dildo has a curved, bulbous head for g-spot or prostate play.

So, the idea of a dildo-handled paddle may sound like an awesome idea, you probably want to know how well does it actually work?

pennysblog_plunge2The paddle part is without a doubt a success, though it won’t work for everyone because it really hurts. It’s definitely not a beginner paddle, and even a light slap stings. If you’re looking for a paddle for intense spanking that leaves redness and marks oh-so-quickly with minimal force, then you’ll love the Plunge. If you want something for light impact play or have a low pain tolerance however, the Plunge will leave you in tears, and not the good kind. I don’t like a ton of pain, especially of the stingy-variety, so Jake knows not to hit me very hard with this paddle.

As for the other end, the dildo shape makes for a very ergonomic handle that’s comfortable to grip. As an actual dildo though, I’m not a big fan. The bulbous head does stimulate my g-spot, but it doesn’t have enough girth to get me off with squeezing & light thrusting alone, and I get crazy hand cramps trying to thrust while holding the floppy, hard to hold paddle portion.

Other than the awkwardness of gripping the paddle part to thrust, there are a few others small issues with the plunge. One is that the dildo part has a tiny hole through its head (for display purposes,) so it takes longer than usual to clean. Though neither bothered me in use, the hole as well as a seam that runs the length of the paddle/dildo could irritate people who are sensitive. It’s also harder to hold onto the dildo handle after insertion when it’s lubey and sticky, but that’s probably unavoidable since it’s a dildo handle. 

pennysblog_plunge3If you’re looking for a quality paddle with an insertable handle, you should definitely get the Plunge. Even though the dildo part doesn’t wow me for solo use, it’s still fun to use for mixing spanking with foreplay, and after all, that’s what it was made for! And unless the idea of a dildo paddle turns you off, why not have one just in case. It’s only a few $ more than the other Tantus paddles, and I’ve heard from other bloggers that the dildo handle is easier to wield than the others anyways.

Since the Plunge has a hole in the dildo part, it should be boiled before sharing with multiple partners and between vaginal/anal uses, unless you use a condom over it. I also recommend washing it immediately after use to prevent lube etc. getting crusted in the hole. To clean the hole, use a q-tip & soap/warm water or a 10% bleach solution. Something else to note: my Plunge gets streak/drip marks when drying, and after talking to Jenna from Tantus I’ve discovered it’s because we have really hard water here that affects the matte silicone.

In addition to dildo handled paddles, Tantus is already well on the way to making a dreamy dildo-future come true with their silicone suction cup dildos. To build your own suction cup dildo, grab a suction cup and your choice of Tantus vibe and voilà! And this month all vibes are 25% off & come with a FREE suction cup automatically (you don’t have to add it to your cart) with code YESPLEASE!

Thanks, Tantus!

 

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Review: Bettie Page Cuffs

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You know those vintage tufted chairs? The ones with the big buttons and shiny black leather? That’s what the Wild ‘N’ Willing Wrist Cuffs remind me of. Like the rest of Lovehoney’s Bettie Page collection, the Wild ‘N’ Willing Cuffs are inspired by the 1950’s pin up legend and her famous bondage modeling.

The Bettie Page Cuffs are made of quilted black faux leather and are lined with soft velvet, so they’re comfortable and don’t pinch or chafe. They fasten with belt-like buckles (with 5 notches that fit a circumference of 6-9″) and connect with a 7″ metal chain that clips to rotatable D-rings on each cuff. The cuffs fit both Jake and I, but they’re not as adjustable as Velcro cuffs and won’t work for everyone.

pennysblog_bettiecuffscloseupSexy and comfortable, the Wild ‘N’ Willing Cuffs are perfect for light restraint play. The chain is short enough to feel restricting but long enough to move around a bit, and it’s fun to grip and use for various positions during sex. Since the cuffs have D-rings and the chain has an easy release snap, you can connect the cuffs tighter if desired or use them with other tethers and restraints.

Though the cuffs are lovely and comfortable, they’re not ideal for rough restraint play, as the metal on the easy release closure isn’t really heavy duty. If I pull hard, I can tell the clasp is stretching slightly, and I’m confident that I could break them if I really tried.* For light play though, they’re fine, and Lovehoney does have a flexible return policy, just in case.

I was afraid to get the cuffs dirty because they’re so pretty and seem hard to wash, but of course I ended up squirting on them. There aren’t any directions on how to clean them, but I wiped them down with a washcloth with warm water and a little bit of liquid detergent and let the velvet air dry, and that’s worked fine so far.

pennysblog_cuffsandspankingbatLike the Spanking Bat, the cuffs come in a box printed with black and white images of Bettie along with a collectible playing card and a Bettie key-chain. One small complaint I have is that each Bettie item comes with the same key-chain; it’d be cooler if they were all unique like the playing cards.

Overall, the Wild ‘N’ Willing wrist cuffs have a sexy retro aesthetic, and they’re comfortable and great for light restraint play, and if you’re a Bettie Page fan, you’ll love the packaging and bonus collector’s items. If you’re only going to choose one item from the Bettie collection though, I would get the Spanking Bat rather than the cuffs, since it’s more overtly Bettie themed with her photo printed on the paddle.

Thanks Lovehoney!

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Review: 50 Shades of Kink

Tristan Taormino’s 50 Shades of Kink should be required reading for anyone interested in BDSM and kink. Although 50 Shades of Grey has popularized power play and allowed many people to discover new fantasies, it also inaccurately represents kink, and the books shouldn’t be seen as a guide or a model for realistic or safe BDSM activities. Thankfully, Tristan Taormino has put together all of the basics of kink in an accessible, easy to read guide for anyone who wants to take the fantasies they’ve discovered and explore them safely with a partner. pennysblog_50ShadesofKink In 50 Shades of Kink, Tristan Taormino introduces the basic terminology and practices in BDSM as well as possibilities for play while stressing the essential themes of consent, communication, and safety. And although the book is instructional, Taormino peppers her tips and explanations with sexy images and possibilities, her guides serving as educational foreplay. Throughout the book, Taormino explores topics like sexual power games, sensory deprivation, sensation play, and more.  Below is an excerpt from one of my favorites, “Rough Sex.”

A pink handprint on a pale ass cheek. A fistful of hair. A string of gooey spit dripping down your chin. Nails dragged across flesh. A slap across the face. An order barked with cool confidence. A guttural groan or a high-pitched squeal. These are some of the sights and sounds of rough sex. Although it is obviously intensely physical, there are also strong psychological elements in rough sex. Rough sex tops get turned on by taking control of a partner’s body, using physical force, and breaking taboos. Bottoms like to explore feelings of being scared, overwhelmed, and out of control. In my work as a sex educator, I’ve talked to thousands of people over the years, and some are very big fans of playing rough but don’t associate it with kink at all. It doesn’t really matter what you call it. Rough sex is another kind of dominant/submissive role play where you can explore power, control, and surrender, and use intense physicality to push limits and break taboos. Rough sex can include BDSM activities like spanking, blind-folds, or bondage as well as smacking, pushing, grabbing, hair pulling, spitting, scratching, being held down, and face slapping. If these things sound fun to you, read on. Although some folks distinguish between rough sex and and BDSM and others don’t, what’s most important is that the basic principles of kink should always be in play: consent, communication, negotiation, education, safety and risk reduction, and after care. Telling your partner, “I want it rough,” just isn’t specific enough. You need to negotiate, talk about what activities are off limits, and constantly check in about the degree of roughness that works for you. For example, some people love to be slapped in various places on their body, but being slapped in the face is too much for them. But if you are interested in being slapped on the face, think about what will make it sexy for you. Some love being spit on, but others find it degrading; where does it fall on your “Yes-No-Maybe” list? What about having your hair pulled? If you want your partner to grab you, push you, and generally “manhandle” you, talk about how you want that to feel.

In 50 Shades of Kink, Taormino gives you the tools you’ll need to explore kink safely, stressing the most important one, consent:

Consent–explicit, informed verbal approval after negotiation, a confident and secure “Yes!”–is the bedrock of sex and relationships, and one of the most significant elements of kink. It’s what separates kink from abuse. You will read about consent repeatedly in this book. Securing consent from a partner is a necessity, and this holds true whether the person is brand-new to you, you’ve played together more than a dozen times, or you’ve been in a relationship for ten years. Never assume anything. When you ask for consent, you clearly speak your part in the exchange: I need to know you’ve agreed to this before we begin. Giving your consent to a partner prior to a scene is absolutely crucial. It establishes that you’re ready, willing, and able to proceed; you’ve discussed what’s likely to happen, shared any concerns, talked about your limits, and agreed to dive in. When you give consent, you do so willingly, without pressure, coercion, or reservation. You agree to play, communicate during the scene, and stop if you need to.

Like anything new, BDSM and kink can seem intimidating to beginners, and this book does an excellent job of explaining how to begin without sounding overwhelming or condescending. It’s the perfect stepping stone into the realm of kink if you’re a newbie as well as a great way to review core concepts even if you’re an intermediate player. If you’re already an experienced kinkster, you probably won’t find anything new in 50 Shades of Kink, but I’d definitely add it to your list of resources for newbies.

In fact, although this guide is geared towards people interested in kink, I wish I had read this book before I began having (“vanilla”) sex, because the themes and tips it presents are essential, (oh how my 16 year old self could have benefited from the idea of a “Yes-No-Maybe” list!) and even if there isn’t an explicit arrangement, power play is always present to varying degrees in sex and relationships. I long for a world where 50 Shades of Kink is featured as required reading for sex ed!

If you’ve read the 50 Shades of Grey books or other erotic novels and found the power play, bondage, and hot sex intriguing, I definitely recommend Tristan Taormino’s 50 Shades of Kink. Read it and have your partner read it, or read it together, and use it as a guide and inspiration for your exploration of kink. Thanks Cleis Press!