Sunday, October 31, 2010

Change in an RA program

I recently spent an evening talking about all of the recent homophobia-bullying triggered suicides to a friend of mine from Rutgers. My friend is an RA in one of the Rutgers dorms, and she painted a picture for me that hasn't made it into the news.

Tyler Clementi went to an RA for help before he killed himself. While the RA took his situation seriously, and the University had rules in place against invasions of privacy that should have resulted in the expulsion of his filmers, nothing had yet been done about the situation when he decided to take his life. The RA he spoke to hadn't had any idea that he was on the verge of suicide.

The world has seen how the Rutgers community rallied in support of Tyler's family, holding candl-lit vigils in his memory. What they have not seen are the shock waves that have reverberated through the Residence Assistant program. As a group, they are beating themselves up over this. As a group, they feel that they failed him. They blame themselves for his death even more than they blame Ravi.

It will take a long time for the program to recover from the emotional aftermath of this tragedy, but in the healing are springing up seeds of hope. The residence assistance program has a strengthened resolve to be advocates for the victims of harassment. They have a very immediate motivation to make sure that they never, ever overlook the signs of depression and despair in a student. The aims of the program are changing for the good as they are trying to do everything in their power to make sure nothing like this every happens again. Ever.

It was good to hear, from someone on the inside, that Tyler will never be forgotten. It was good to hear that his death has finally sparked the changes that have been desperately needed to protect LGBTQ students from harassment and abuse. It's good to hear that something good will come of this horrible tragedy.

But damn it, what the hell is wrong with us, as a culture, that kids need to DIE before changes are made to protect them?

Monday, October 25, 2010

Just Imagining

In my mind, I am rewriting what happened tonight. Instead of me ending up with a fever and missing out on sex, I'm going to pretend that I got laid. I'm going to imagine that watching our action flick lead to kisses and gropes and fondles. That we kept having to rewind to see the parts we missed while we were making out. That after the good guys saved the day, he turned off the TV and gave me a wonderful massage with this delicious-smelling chocolate massage oil I just got for review. That his massage got a little on the erotic side, and he went down for a happy ending. That we tried out some new lubes, and slipped on a new cock ring to try.

I'll imagine that between that vibrating ring, his cock, his hands, and my trusty Mystic Wand, I was screaming loud enough to wake the neighbors. That we had one of our old marathon-style sex sessions, where we actually have to pause for a rest after the first 45 minutes of fucking. That we laugh as usual at the sheer volume of lube we're having to use ("Does my pussy eat lube for breakfast or something?!"), and my hair always getting between his face and mine just when we want to kiss. That our bodies fit together so perfectly in the heat of the moment, even if someone's head accidentally hits the wall. That we both collapse into a happy cuddle-pile afterward, whispering sweet nothings to each other. That we can't keep our hands off of each other, even while we're cleaning up the toys once we recover. That we end up in bed for another quick round before dinner.

I'm going to imagine that, because it's so much sexier than having to be taken home with a fever by a worried boyfriend.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

On Dealing with Doubts

I know my horribly diminished sex drive is mostly due to medications and my newly-diagnosed GAD (generalized anxiety disorder). I know that it is not my fault. Through working with my therapist, I've started learning to not blame myself for things I cannot control. But still, in those dark hours while you wait to fall asleep, when doubts come creeping, I wonder.

I wonder, why am I broken? Why, no matter what I do, can't I keep my libido from flatlining? Every time I change my birth control method, I get a few months of having a half-decent sex drive, but eventually it always nose-dives again. For medical reasons, I have to hormonally regulate and shrink my periods (unchecked, they cause anemia), but I've reached what my gynecologist has said is the "last" option as far as shrinking side effects go. Sterilization would do nothing for my periods. IUD can cause heavier periods; anything more, and I'd be bleeding for half the darn cycle. Besides, the anemia my periods caused makes me illegible for an IUD. Currently, I'm on the Ring. It's the lowest concentration of hormones you can get floating around in your system while still being useful; if this doesn't eliminate the side effects, no hormonal method will. And most of my side effects did go away - just not the libido issues.

I wonder, are my libido issues even directly caused by my medication any more? Sure, the hormones were the original cause. (Yaz sucked, big time) But... I've changed pills. I've changed dosing methods. Most gals don't get these issues with every single drug they try. By Occam's Razor, it's still being caused by the hormones I can't safely quit. But, because of my ugly GAD, I doubt, I question, I wonder if it really is my fault.

I wonder, is my lack of desire for sex slowly killing my relationship with my boyfriend? We went from two years of jump-each-other-at-the-slightest-excuse to once every month or two in the space of a few months. I know he's been fighting the "does she not love me any more?" demons, because he knows that for me, sex is always about love. I don't do no-strings-attached sex. Even when I had a raging sex drive, the desire didn't get pumping unless I was really feelin' the love. I still love him. I still really, really enjoy the sex we have, but I usually don't want to have sex until my first orgasm hits (or he spends twenty minutes worshipping my labia with his mouth. That feels good even if I have no desire for sex). We both feel so much more connected after sex, but most of the time, until we're actually doing it, I have no desire, no "need" for sex. And he has needs, too. A little voice in the back of my head reminds me that if he were like many guys, he'd have left by now, or would be cheating on me. I know he isn't, and wouldn't... but I have no way of knowing if he's regretting his decision to commit to me.

I wonder, is there more I could be, should be doing to "fix" my languishing libido? I haven't tried supplements, or sprays. I have a balm that causes lovely sensations and helps me get going, but I never have the desire to put it on... because I don't desire sex. Why use something to stimulate desire if I'm apathetic toward the whole thing. I haven't tried couple's therapy; I know that some of my lack of sex drive has to do with problems in our relationship, but I keep rationalizing the way I shy from this option by thinking that we both need to get our mental health issues (my GAD, his ADD) under control first. Also, we're poor college students. We can't afford couple's therapy, and there's no way in hell my insurance will cover it.

I wonder, is there some deep, dark corner of my mind that doesn't want sex? A part of me, outside my conscious awareness, that isn't just apathetic towards sex, but is actively against it? Have I so deeply internalized my family, religion, and culture's demands that I not have sex until marriage, and then definitely not with kink? Or worse yet, the question that arises on the latest of insomniac nights - has some part of me given up on this relationship with the guy who is my rock, my partner, my comfort, my jester, my reality check, my exasperation, my beloved? I want to make us work, I want to spend the rest of my life with him, but... what if some demented corner of my mind has just said "fuck it"?

I wonder, I worry, I fear. But now, I've started learning to fight back. I'm a scientist, damn it! I'm an intellectual. The bodypart I prize most is my cerebral cortex, my dear brain. I'm going to reason my way out of this deep, dark funk, because I deserve better than this!

Am I broken?
Maybe. There's always a chance that some hormonal process got all bzonked to pieces, but you know what? Medication side effects are FAR more likely. I'm on hormonal birth control. I've been on and off methylprednisolone, which plays hell with the hormones. I've got low vitamin B12, which among other things can tank the libido. Over the years, we've found that my body is incredibly sensitive to most medications, so I'm very likely to be having side effects to something.

All of which means, I'm not broken. If I take a step back and pretend I'm looking at someone else's life, I've got it pretty damn good - at least I enjoy the sex I do have. Hell, I'm still wildly multi-orgasmic. Boo-freakin-hoo, I have trouble getting started. At least I enjoy it when I can make it that far.

Am I hypochondriaching my lack-of-libido side effects?
Seriously? I've never, ever had issues with hypochondria. Yeah, I get side effects to many prescription meds, but they usually show up before I go read the side effects list to begin with. If I was "faking" it, that would mean that I would have to be a psychic to pull that list out of the aether. Right. Sounds real plausible, doesn't it?

Am I ruining my relationship?
Yeah, we're going through a rough patch. Ok, call it a rough year. We're having communication issues, but the root of those issues is benign, not sinister - we both hide the things we think would just make our partner worry about us. (So we're a bit over-protective of each other, hahah) We're working on it. We've gotten the dialogue going, and after some long talks we've re-committed to doing everything we can to make this work.

On top of all that, is the lack of sack time hurting us? Probably, but it's not the main element of the problems. He understands that I have no sex drive. He has told me over and over that he intellectually knows that it's not his fault, and he never blames me for it. He knows I still love him, sex or no sex. Once he even told me that if something happened and I could never have sex again, he'd still love me and cherish me and want to marry me. Sex, while a wonderful way to express our love (and have a hell of a lot of fun doing so), is not the foundation of our relationship.

And I totally need to shut my inner voice up about the whole "does he regret it" shpeil. He's told me that he never, ever regretted committing to me. Yeah, he wishes that we didn't have to deal with my health issues, but he wishes that because he hates seeing me in pain, not because he wishes he was gettin' some. I need to learn to just accept his love and trust, without wondering if I deserve it.

Am I not doing enough to try?
Alright, stop it right there. No more of this toxic "coulda, shoulda" talk. I'm doing what I feel comfortable doing right now. There is no "should be" doing anything. There are options I am not pursuing, but you know what? That's ok. I'm not Wonder Woman, for crying out loud. These options are open to me, if and when I feel that I need them and am ready to pursue them. Until then? If I'm not ready, they're not going to do a damn bit of good, because I'll take them to mean I'm broken.

Am I anti-sex?
If I'm going to worry about this, it's time to stop just fretting and drag it out into the light, analytic style, the way my professors trained me. Yes, I have to some degree internalized the anti-premarital-sex ideas that float around me. It was bound to happen, the personality traits that made me susceptible to GAD make it all too easy for me to internalize what other people think. The first step to fighting it off, though, is self-knowledge. I know it's there. Now, I can argue with it, pick it apart until it falls into the insubstantial fluff it really is.

Am I giving up on my boyfriend?
Ok, let's look at this seriously. I have a feeling it's going to look really, really stupid once it's fully articulated. I believe that I love him. I care deeply for him, on a thousand different levels. And it torments me that something in me is sabotaging my relationship? Reality check... if I'd given up on us, this wouldn't bug me. I'd be relieved. It's like the old saying - if you're worried that you might be going insane, then you must be sane. If the thought of damaging our relationship hurts me so much, then obviously it still means a great deal to me.

I'm not broken. I'm not defective. I'm not trying to sabotage my relationship. It's hard to fight the doubts, when they come creeping in late at night, but I can beat them back. You can, too. That first step back from the fears is the hardest, but it gets easier. That little bit of perspective makes it all a hell of a lot easier to deal with.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Review: Fun Factory Share

A curious thing seems to happen when a female-bodied person starts wearing something like the Share. It can happen with any strap-on dildo, but I've heard of it happening a lot more often with this style of toy. We start calling it things like "My cock," "My dick," and "My gloriously radiant fuck-stick of rapture." Ok, maybe not the last one, but you get my point. In some strange alchemical process, they cease to be toys and start to become part of us.

The first time I inserted the bean-shaped "giver's end" of the Share and looked down to see a lovely onyx cock bobbing between my shapely thighs, I began to proudly think of it as "my cock." After I masturbated with it a few times, it was most definitely a part of me in a strange and wonderful way.

Given that my psyche has, without my intent or consent, absorbed an inanimate sex toy into my being, then I guess it's a damn good thing that it's an absolutely fantabulous sex toy, isn't it?

And it is fantabulously glorious. Fun Factory started with their usual soft, velvety, plush, squeezable silicone for this toy, and then made some magic happen on the design table. The bean-shaped giver's end, while definitely girthy (1.9" in diameter at the widest point), is a very comfortable shape once inserted. It stays put pretty well, as long as you have the PC muscle strength to support its weight. The receiver's end is a smooth, sleek, gently curved penis with a slightly pronounced head. It tops out at 1.75" in diameter all the way at the joint, but the portion that is actually usable once it's in use stays between 1" and 1.25", which is a great beginner to intermediate size for vaginal or anal penetration, and a decent size for faux-jobs (like a blow job, but given to a non-biological penis).

The joint between the two ends is shaped to accommodate a wide range of anatomies. I had no problem using it alone or with a harness, or with a small vibrator wedged behind it. The flexibility of the joint makes the cock droop when inserted, but allows the bean to fit many body shapes, and even be inserted anally and still be used (even fitting around the balls of male-bodied users; just be careful not to crush them). I'm torn over whether or not I want a hole for a bullet. As long as I wasn't using a harness, I could easily get a bullet in to my clit, but I do wish I could make the whole thing vibrate. For now, I press my Mystic Wand to the joint to make the magic happen.

In many ways, the Share is the easiest dildo to peg with that I have ever tried (and the hardest in others). I can actually feel what I'm doing, so it's more than just a psychological turn-on for me now; we both get a lot of pleasure out of pegging with this. I can't "feel where I'm going" like I could if my cock were flesh-and-blood, but this is the next best thing. Steering the Share is both easier and frustrating - because of that bendy joint, there's a lot of hand maneuvering of my cock to get started, and once I'm in, some of the force and direction of the thrusts is lost when the joint just... bends. I highly recommend a harness to help with this: I used my Joque Harness, and I could still feel everything while getting a bit more control over the Share. It also helps with the issue of retention, because anal muscles are strong. I don't care how strong you think your PC muscles are, if they haven't fought with sphincters for a dildo before you may be very surprised.

My darling receiver of the pegging was an instant fan of the Share. He prefers slimmer dildos with a nice head for pegging, because it makes it more comfortable for him when he asks me to go hard and rough, so this was right up his alley. While I was frustrated by the bending of the joint, he had a different point of view. The bending meant that if I thrust too hard, the joint acted as a shock absorber to keep him from getting stabbed in an unpleasant manner. He preferred lying on his back facing me so that the upward curve of the Share spent a whole bunch of time cozying up to his prostate.

But did it generate orgasms? It was fun, but did it really deliver?

Yes. Yes it did. Not only did get off, but for once I manged to orgasm from pegging. I actually had trouble concentrating on what I was doing at times, because I was busy having wonderful g-spot orgasms from the inner portion of the Share moving inside me. I finally understand what guys mean when they say they suddenly reach the point of no return when fucking.

The Share is epic even if you don't plan to use it for penetration of a partner or gender play. As a solo jack-off toy, it's a glorious g-spotter. I love hard, pounding lovin' on my g-spot, but my poor joints seriously start to hurt if I start thrusting away at Warp 2 with a regular dildo. It's an awkward angle to hold anything at for long, and with my joint problems it's often not possible. The Share goes after the g-spot completely differently. With the bean inserted, it nestles up to the front of my vagina as happy as can be, my silicone cock bobbing in front of me. I can put my hand in my lap, in a very comfortable position, and grab the phallic end of the Share to start jacking off "guy style." Pumping away at the penis end of the Share starts banging the bean around in my vagina in a wonderful manner, thumping it against my g-spot over and over with a minimum of effort. The only difficult bit about the whole thing it is not shooting the Share across the bed when I orgasm. (Yes, really. Quite amusing, if a tad frustrating)

This isn't the usual semi-direct rubbing the g-spot as a dildo thrusts past, by no means! It's not quite like anything else I've tried, but I like it. A lot.

After play care of my lovely new cock is wonderfully simple. The Share is made of 100% silicone, so it can be wiped down, washed, bleached, dumped in the dish washer, or boiled. It's totally inert, so you can toss it in your toy storage container of choice without a care in the world. Just don't use it with silicone lubes - the one thing that can destroy your Share is silicone lube. Pjur Bodyglide and Sliquid Ride Silicone both tested safe with my Share, but always test your silicone lubes on a small, unobtrusive patch to make sure they won't ruin the toy.

To make a very, very long story short, I love my Share. I adore my Share. It's everything I hoped it would be when I started wishing for it way back when, and more. If anything ever happens to my wonderful black cock, I will be immediately running for the nearest internet access point to buy three more. Just in case.

Thank you Fascinations for sending me the Share to review!

This product was provided to me free of charge by Fascinations in exchange for an unbiased review. This review is in compliance with the FTC guidelines.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Bigotry and Transgender Health Care

On Tuesday, my family was reminded of the discrimination that transgendered couples can face in our area. My transmom had been sick for a few days when she went to see our doctor (who does know that my transmom is transgendered). She sent my transmom straight to the hospital to be checked for diverticulitis. She should have gone straight there, but she couldn't.


Because she had to go home and change into masculine clothes, taking off her bra and switching from panties to briefs. She had to make sure that no one would question her presentation as a man before she could go to the hospital.


Because if she went to the hospital as the woman she is, the hospital could (and has, to other families) turn my mother away and refuse her visiting rights. They are legally married in this state, but the hospital would assume that a marriage between two women couldn't possible be valid, as homosexual marriages are illegal in our state. (My parents can remain married once my transmom legally transitions, but they would not be allowed to marry if they hadn't met until after the transition)

My transmom had to endanger her health and delay going to the hospital, just to make sure that she didn't offend someone by being in a homosexual marriage.

Diverticulitis is not a condition to be trifled with. The doctors at the hospital suspect that my transmom may have a perforated bowel. She may have an infection spilling into her abdominal cavity. She may need to have a section of her colon removed after this.

And she had to delay even going to the hospital, because of pure, unadulterated bigotry.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Pleasurists #99

rainbow by bootlog

Welcome to Pleasurists, a round-up of the adult product and sex toy reviews that came out in the last seven days. For updates and information follow our RSS Feed and Twitter.
Did you miss Pleasurists #98? Read it all here. Do you have a review for Pleasurists #100? Be sure to read the submission guidelines and then use the submission form and submit it before Sunday October 17th at 11:59pm PDT. Also, keep a look out this week for our 100th Edition Giveaway Celebration!

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Scarlet Lotus St. Syr
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Monday, October 11, 2010

Review: Vibrating Dilator Set

The Vibrating Dilator Set is an interesting answer to a common need. Whether vaginally or anally, many people have wanted to work their way up to insertion of something larger, be it flesh or sex toy. However, how many people want to buy a dildo in every half or quarter inch increment between their start and their goal, when they just want to play AT said goal?

That's where this vibrator comes in. With a single sex toy, you have four different sizes to play with, ranging from 7/8" in diameter and 3.5" long to 1.5" in diameter and 6.25" long. (the image above shows the smallest of the three shells already attached to the base over the smallest size) All four sizes are shaped like a basic "stick" style vibrator. The smallest size is built onto the handle and houses the motor. The other three nest around it and lock into the handle, like a set of kinky Russian Dolls. I'm serious when I say they lock in place - they give a firm click when you twist them in, and if they're wet or covered in lube, you are not going to be able to get them back off without hilarity and embarrassment. When you're working your way up, just leave the smaller ones in place and attach the big ones around them. Trust me. Do as I say, not as I do. You can avoid much frustration.

It may only run on two AA batteries, but the motor on this toy is STRONG. I'm talking stronger than Wahl-on-low strong, but incredibly buzzy. As you start adding shells to the dilator, the power damps down considerably, and the vibrations get much less buzzy; with the final shell in place, it starts to move into deep vibe territory. If very strong, buzzy vibrations bug you, make sure to turn the little power dial on the handle way down until you have a shell or two in place. The advantage of this motor is that there is still some power left when it gets all the way out to the last shell, so it's a worthy trade-off. Those vibrations can go a long way for getting either the vaginal or anal muscles to relax, which speeds up the dilation process.

The set comes with a ridiculously large lavender organza drawstring bag. I'm assuming it's there to store the set, but the size is just comical. With everything inside, I was able to roll the excess around the contents three times. The bag also easily fits three netbooks, or five water bottles, or a pair of shoes, or a small pillow. Seriously, they went a little overboard on this one. There is also a clear, nubby silicone blend sleeve included in the kit, which fits over all but the largest shell. You have to like large, squishy nubs for this to do anything for you, though. We never use it, because without it the Dilator is completely waterproof and sanitizable - wash it with soap and water when I'm the only one using it (anal only), or wipe it down with bleach when we want to share. That sleeve is not sterilizeable, so it's a one orifice toy. Share between vaginas if you're fluid bonded, but otherwise you're going to need condoms.

Whether you're working through them in quick succession in preparation for penetration, or slowly, gently teaching your body to accept increasingly larger insertions, this is a good, solid choice. It's not fancy, it has no bells and whistles. It's innovative, and it just works.

Thanks to Good Vibrations Sex Toys for sending me the Vibrating Dilator Set!

This product was provided to me free of charge by GoodVibrations in exchange for an unbiased review. This review is in compliance with the FTC guidelines.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Jaded Adventures

Recently, I've noticed that I may be becoming a bit jaded when it comes to sex toys. It's happening across the board, but I'm seeing it mostly with vibrators. I've tried a whole bunch of vibrators by now, and I've got a very good idea of what works for me, and what doesn't. It takes a lot to get me excited about a vibrator anymore. It does happen, but I don't start jumping up and down and squealing every time someone offers to send me a premium vibe now. (Yes, that did happen once upon a time. The first time I was sent a Lelo toy, I went a little bit nuts.)

Crazy as it may sound, this has been good in some ways. I have a few vibrators (in a wide range of price points) that really get me there; no matter what my mood, that small group has what I need. Because I'm no longer hunting for a vibe to fit an all-important niche, so to speak, I've broadened my horizons. Originally, I had no interest whatsoever in dildos - now, I want to try every non-porous material I can get my hands on. I'm trying toys for anal play, and pegging. I'm wandering around the world of lubes a bit more. And I'm branching into some BDSM and fetish interests.

I haven't reviewed many BDSM toys here, I know. The toys I truly love are almost all handmade beauties I've picked up at vendor fairs, or the occasional toy I've made myself. However, I drool over all sorts of toys I haven't tried or don't own. Wartenberg wheels and other prickly toys. E-stim, both TENS and Violet Wand. Pumps. Clamps. Interesting restraints. Paddles. Floggers and whips. Dragon Tongues and gags. Lovely, lovely rope.

Things I would never have considered a few years ago are now on my radar. A year or two ago, I was curious, but they were never priorities - there were always other things I wanted to review and try more. Now? I'm definitely a lot more curious, though still a little newbie.

Maybe being jaded isn't so bad after all.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Review: Club Vibe

Confession time: I'm a gadget girl. A serious gadget lover. Put a new geeky electronic in front of me, and I'll disappear for hours learning everything I can about it, and just fiddling around with it. Phone? Ebook reader? Camera? Game system? Little whosit no one can figure out? I'm there. For me, a vibrator is just another kind of gadget, so an innovative, cool, and functional looking gadget of a vibrator? The Club Vibe was right up my alley.

There is a lot to love about the Club Vibe. First of all, it's a sex toy that is designed to be taken out and about in your outside-the-bedroom life. That is totally hot. Second, this bullet responds to your environment, vibrating along with the noises you hear. That's where its name comes from - when you wear this vibrator to a club, your clit gets to thump along with the music.

The controls are wonderfully intuitive, and simple (they sound more complicated than they are). One edge of the control box has a slide switch allowing you to choose between Off, On - built in functions mode, and On - Ambient mode. The bottom edge has the audio in jack (cord provided) and the volume roller. The top edge is where the bullet plugs in. The front has two fingertip-sized buttons flush with the control box. When the Club Vibe is set to Ambient, these buttons do nothing. When it is set in Function mode, the circle button turns on the vibrations and switches between functions, and the X shaped button is an instant-off. (I love this one, as I'm always bitching about wanting to be able to turn off my vibes in a hurry. This toy is wonderfully easy to use, with all its clearly labeled buttons.

The thong that came with the Club Vibe was ok. It wasn't amazing, but it wasn't a total loss, either. The fabric is soft, the scalloped edging is annoying, the stretch lace waistband is comfortable. It's supposed to be one size fits most; it fit well in some areas, and gapped in others, so it wasn't something I'd wear to feel sexy. It would work better for someone with the right body shape, but I'll be darned if I can figure out what that is supposed to be. It didn't have a pocket to put the velvety micro bullet in, so I just did what I always do when I don't want to hold a bullet - tuck it between my labia right where I want it. They hold it in place just fine, especially once I put my pants on. You could tuck it inside the vagina (though I'd recommend a condom, since it's not waterproof), in front of or behind the scrotum, or just loose in the underwear to roam where it will, but don't stick it up your butt. This is not anal-safe, and the bullet might decide to go on an unauthorized adventure!

There is a definitely learning curve with taking this toy to a noisy event. I had to fiddle with the volume quite a bit, because on Ambient, the higher the volume setting, the stronger the vibrations for the ambient noise level. I discovered a flaw in use, however. For discretion, I tucked the controller in my pocket, but the fabric muffled the sound. I was vibrating to the sound of my jeans rubbing against the microphone, not the explosions in the movie. I did eventually clip it to my waistband, and hoped that no one would wonder what the heck it was. Problem solved; it picked up the sound effects quite well, and those dramatic explosions suddenly got a lot more exciting!

Where I really ran into issues with this was when I tried to use the Club Vibe while watching porn. I love listening to all the moans and sexy vocals in porn, so vibrating that hit me in time with the moans? Should have been perfect. The Club Vibe comes with a neat little cable: it plugs into your headphone jack, you plug it into your Club Vibe, then you plug your headphones into the split second end of the cable. I found that if I kept the sound low enough that it wasn't physically hurting my ears, I got very little vibration out of the club vibe, no matter how high I turned the control pack's volume. It may have been my nice (but not uber-good) headphones; it might have been my sensitive, musician-trained ears. Either way, I couldn't get vibrations and hear the porn at the same time, which kind of defeated the point.

The Club Vibe can pack a punch. When set to its functions mode, the highest setting is quite strong, but very buzzy. It's about on par with your average 2-3 AA powered bullet. It has some fun patterns, but as usual I found myself going back to the steady settings to get off.

Even though it isn't water resistant, the Club Vibe is pretty easy to care for. The bullet, cord, and battery pack can be carefully wiped down with toy cleaning wipes or a damp cloth. Be careful to get the seam and connection point of the bullet clean, as those two spots like to collect junk. This toy is not sterilizeable, so use a condom to share. Between uses, pull out the batteries and store the whole set in the pretty included bag. OhMiBod gets major props for including this. It's a very sturdy drawstring bag made out of stretchy, almost sparkly black velvet, with OhMiBod embroidered on the front in white and pink. The control box, bullet, all cords, a set of batteries, and the thong all fit inside the bag easily, making it easy to keep track of all the pieces.

Is the club vibe worth it? That really depends on what you want it for. If you've always wanted to have a toy that vibrated along with your porn or music, you may want to pass on this one and go for one of their other toys (the original OhMiBod absolutely shone here; I don't know about the more recent models). If you want a strong microvibe to wear that will pulse with the music or the movie, then this is it. This one rocks that niche.

Thanks to Good Vibrations Sex Toys for sending me the Club Vibe!

This product was provided to me free of charge by GoodVibrations in exchange for an unbiased review. This review is in compliance with the FTC guidelines.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Cystic fibrosis? Again? Really?

Last winter, when my Vitamin B12 deficiency came to light in and around the usual bouts of bronchitis, my primary care doctor (Dr. M) decided that I should be tested for Cystic Fibrosis. She told me to get in touch with my pulmonologist (Dr. D) and talk to him about getting the test done.

Long story short, it took me a month to get that appointment. He had a new secretary, unfortunately - the old one knew that Dr. D wanted patients like me with cronic, often critical medical problems to be worked in the week we called for anything other than the twice-yearly lung checkup. That left me with a month of time to stew.

I've joked that I'm addicted to the internet, that I've got an "interwebs graft into my thalamus" and that I half live in the online world. While it has its downsides, I am also very comfortable and competent at finding good, reliable information on the internet, fast. Google and I are tight, you know? Like a good patient, the first thing I did when I got home from seeing Dr. M was to head over to MedLinePlus (a website run by the NIH) to find out more about this disease she wanted to test me for.

As I scrolled through the page, I learned. I saw lists of symptoms, treatments, causes, and mechanisms. I saw that yes, I did show a few of those warning signs (phlegmy lungs, frequent lung infections, vitamin/mineral deficiencies). Then, I reached the part about  median lifespan.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Another odd little tangent into religious beliefs...

Unlike many people, I rarely experience the divine in a church. I experience the divine in a beautiful piece of classical music, in a perfect sunset, in an insight into quantum physics, in the study of neurulation, the development of the embryo's nervous system. Crazy and geeky as it may sound, I see god/goddess/creator/spirit/whatever you want to call it when I understand a truly elegant biological system like the retina or the neuron. I see these things, and I am struck by awe and wonder. I don't see the divine as "intelligently designing" these things, I see the divine as immanent in them.

And yes, sometimes I see the divine in orgasm, both during masturbation and during intercourse. So I guess you could say that I sometimes pray with my vibrators, hahah.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Why We Gift

"Why do you still give each other anniversary gifts?" My friends as me. "I mean, seriously. You've passed the stage where you need to impress each other, and it's not like you're married!"

It may seem a little strange to some of you. Why force yourself to buy each other gifts? Wouldn't it be more financially responsible to just enjoy each others company? What is this commercialized world coming to?!

Back up a bit. My boyfriend and I are both the kind of people that love giving gifts. We love seeing a person's face light up with joy when they open a gift that really makes them happy. We love how even little gifts can make someone so happy. It's no surprise then that we love to give each other gifts. Heck, we'd be randomly springing little gifts on each other all the time if we could.

And therein lies the rub. Endless random gifts, much as we would love to give them, equal an endless hemorrhage of money from the bank account. Simply put, neither of us can afford the constant gift-giving we want to engage in. We came to a bit of an unspoken agreement that we would try to keep the majority of our gifting tendencies tethered to "excuse days" like Giftmas, birthdays, Valentine's Day, and anniversaries. It lets us save up for one or two really nice gifts each year (the Kindle he got me; the PSP I got him), without also blowing a hole in our wallets with all sorts of "just because" presents.

That doesn't mean they don't happen - they do. The "just because" presents are usually fewer and farther between now; they're usually less expensive. (say, a box of silly Pac Man candies instead of a hardback book or a pretty shirt; doesn't seem like much, but trust me, they add up...) Neither of us feels guilty now when the other brings a little gift. There's no more worrying about "matching" or "topping" the other's gift, either. It takes a lot of the stress back out of gifting, and lets us just enjoy it.

And isn't that what gifting is supposed to be about?