Friday, August 28, 2015

I Had Sex With Something Called A Clitoral Stimulator

My pricey lover with unidentified companion
I don't know if I'm bragging about this or confessing, but Good Vibrations gave me a new kind of vibrator to test out in return for my honest review. Everyone has their price, supposedly, and I now know mine:  $189, the exact cost of  The Womanizer Rechargeable Clitoral Stimulator.

For your $189--or in my case, the whoring out of v. personal moments--you get a thing that looks like an ear thermometer, plus a USB cable, extra tip, fancy case and instruction booklet translated from the German with references to the KLITORIS and somewhat frightening/mysterious exhortations like "Turn the device off whenever unusual sounds are heard and do not continue using it."*

To use (fuck? make love to/with?), you put a little suction cup-like thing directly on your clit and it sort of vibrates and does something that feels a lot like gentle sucking, like someone's mouth is on you. It's a totally different sensation, as far as vibes go--sweet and nice, but not too ethereal. There are like 6 settings of intensity but I could only handle the first two.

The Womanizer and I have had relations twice so far (we are keeping it casual) and the first time we had some first date issues. During some of it, it was insanely good, then it would somehow suddenly be just "meh" and I could have gotten up and had lunch or something with little regret. Then back to insanely good again.

Instead of a straightforward Masters and Johnson graph from arousal to orgasm:


...it was more like one of those Family Circus cartoons where Billy takes the meandering, long-ass way somewhere...

La de dah.

I'm still not sure if that was because I was being watched by someone and thus overly self-conscious or if my body didn't know what to make of this new sensation. Still, I kept with it out of sheer determination, which is not exactly an optimal sex attitude. It was pretty frustrating. But then, when it finally happened, I literally screamed. Like, out loud. In a good way, in case you were wondering. This is not something I generally do.

Second time I snuck in the bathroom and put some porn on my phone (is this making you hot? No? Sex stripped of its mystery, connection and passion is so... almost workaday, like I'm describing how I changed the oil in my car or something. Which for the record, I don't know how to do, so don't bother asking me to). The Womanizer caused no screaming this time, but it was quick and easy, which sometimes is all you're looking for.

So two dates, two experiences. I will get on that thing again and see what happens. If you shell out for one, let me know how it was for you, 'cause then I will feel like we're even somehow.

xoxoxo
jill

*Because that's when the ghosts have taken over the vibrator. (Denn, wenn die Geister haben die Kontrolle ├╝bernommen Der Vibrator)

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Why We Fuck

I was sprawled across my bed, utterly wrecked, one morning many years ago. I'd just had amazing amazing phone sex with someone who, to this day, remains the most attachment-avoidant person I've ever met.

"Holy fuck," I mumbled, made dreamy by ravishment. "Why was that so...good? We were on the phone."

"People need connection," he said simply. To my surprise, even he had known this, deep in some barely accessible part of his poor love-avoidant heart. And it had been a connection, an intense sexual communion that felt like something real had happened, even though no body parts had been touched or even seen.

This private connection between lovers--This is why we fuck each other, even though there are plenty of promiscuous toys, pillows, and shower spouts that can do the job quite well. And, yes, it has to be fucking (of some sort) because other human interactions--a nice chat in the bank line, for example--just won't do it.

Bearing witness to someone surrendering to their instincts--just being with them in the moment they lose themselves--is fucking powerful. And to find someone you trust enough to fall into that void with them, well, it's a rare and beautiful gift.

On a less sublime level, I think it's also about being present in the Now and existing in a state of Flow, where you are wholly consumed with what you are doing. These are purportedly optimal (and often needlessly Capitalized) states for achieving happiness, inner peace and well-being. (See also: Ekhart Tolle's  The Power of Now and Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's  Flow). The orgasm is, like, a bonus to what's really going on.

Caitlin Moran describes this kind of focused-attention-on-another in her book How to Build a Girl about a teenage Brit who transforms herself into a badass music journalist/sexual adventurer:

"Here's the amazing thing about sex:  you get a whole person to yourself, for the first time since you were a baby.  Someone who is looking at you--just you--and thinking about you, and wanting you...You are in a room with a closed door, and no one else can come through it....It seemed to me that this was the real reason people wanted to fuck so much. To get here. To get to this tiny, quiet place where there was nothing else to do but be with each other. Just to be two humans who had--for a short while--stopped wanting."

That idea fits nicely with what I discovered when I looked on PornHub the other day for the Top Rated Video of All Time. It wasn't "Bitch takes cum in her hair" or whatever I was expecting, but a sweet little clip of a sleepy, tousled-haired woman waking her lover up and giving him a blow job. 

This top-rated video--OF ALL TIME!--showed two people portrayed as affectionate, familiar lovers happy to be waking up together in such a nice way. They weren't over-the-top porn excited, but just enjoying the everyday-yet-so-amazing swollen pleasures of taking someone you like in your mouth and/or being taken thus. In the world of porn, this was maybe about the squarest, most vanilla thing ever. And yet it was the most loved...of all time! (For that one day, at least. Today, alas, I can't re-find it. It has been replaced by "Hot blond maid having anal." Top-ratedness is apparently fleeting. )

The point of all this being: sexual connection, in whatever form it takes, is something we all seek, including the millions of surreptitiously wanking users of Porn Hub on that particular day. Even my old friend, dear attachment-avoidant boy, needed this intimacy, albeit from the distance that felt safe to him.

We all need to get this place, however we can--where you get to be two humans who have--for a short while--stopped wanting.

Go find your place.

xoxox
jill

(photo)

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Here's Your Absent-Minded Pat on the Head

Hanna-Barbera's probably cool with me using this, right?
You know that part of The Jetsons where George gets so overwhelmed by the treadmill that he gets sucked under it, winding around and around in a fashion that probably wouldn't stand up to more rigorous standards of physics? I am so a George right now, just in life.

You're my favorite thing in the world though, and I want to give you...something, so let's just get to it.

Stuffed Animals--Fuck or Be Fucked By? 
While working on that story about weirdly specific sex toy accessories (Lube called "Best Soup Japan"! Sex doll aroma spray--scent of "clumsy girl with big breasts"! Fake hymens--comes in multi-pack for "practice"!), I discovered Teddy Love, a Teddy Bear that provides “direct clitoral and vaginal stimulation” via his 10 speed vibrating l'il Teddy nose and tongue. That was all fine enough--I guess--and I only mention it to pass along this accompanying bit of chilling and/or reassuring bit of advertising prose, “the tongue can touch the taint.” Which, you know...finally!

Teddy led me to Jumbo Wolf, a large stuffed animal with a SPH (strategically placed hole) “for extra cuddling fun." I do not mean to pick on eternally beleaguered plushies—yay sexual freedom and all that--but was so struck by this auto-generated message on JW's page: “Customers who bought Jumbo Wolf also purchased MaxSize Penis Erection Enhancement pill.”

Not just one customer--customers. Is it that buyers want to make sure it's extra hot for Jumbo Wolf? Or is it the more curious situation of being a plushie yet worrying about not being able to perform for it/him/her? (In which case, perhaps you're not actually a plushie and maybe it's time to come out the closet about that...?) Anyway, it seems like Jumbo Wolf would totally understand an off night-- perhaps he might even be relieved to close up the old SPH for the night. So, you're probably good. On that at least. 

Things People Bought From Amazon Last Month Through the IBWMW Link That I'm Gonna Erroneously Assume Are for Sexual Purposes 
--Something called an Ultra Probe
--"Dandy Blend" tea
--A tenor ukelele
Thank you! (And thanks for the rest of the purchases that you'll presumably be using in a non-sexual "just friends" manner! I know it's that one little bit of extra arduousness to use the link--Huge love to those who made the effort!)

"I Saw This And Thought Of You"
Among the things that people saw lately and were reminded of me (which is not horribly flattering, but my cross to bear) include: 
--A business that will turn your enemy's logo into a penis. Although I'm not sure than anyone over 10 still has "enemies." 
--A Fuck Me Silly torso-only fuck doll which, according to one reviewer, was "not delivered discretely!" making me desperately want to hear the back story on that one.
"Hope I get a pair of X-ray specs!"
 --News of a "robotic butt" for med students to practice their prostate exam moves on/in. I like this for so many reasons (not the least of which is that awesome photo. Is that guy putting his whole damn hand in there? Slow down, sailor.) but would especially like it if the teacher put surprising/alarming things in there--whoopi cushions, old timey wooga-wooga horns, a fish head, that sort of thing.
--Stillman, also the bearer of the robotic butt news, sent word of a vibrator/camera selfie stick that you insert inside yourself so you can FaceTime from where things are actually going down. "The device offers the unprecedented opportunity to be on the phone with someone's genitals," reads the sub-head. ("Mr. Henderson, there's a pussy calling on line two.") Wrote Stillman, who is the best #weirdfriend I could possibly ask for: "I'm going to get an inter-urethral FaceTime catheter so our genitals can communicate from the insides." Which, if you must know, is by far the best offer I've had in a while. 

The Best Porn For Women 
My Cosmo piece on the 15 Best Porn Sites for Women has been shared almost 20K times, and mutated on Esquire into a piece on what "women" like to watch. This is kinda insane because I am just one chick sitting around my house without proper porn-watching credentials, but there you go, modern journalism.Yes, me and a few of my pervy friends deciding what "women" like. On the upside I discovered James Deen, who, dear GOD, is so fucking hot, I can barely stand it. 

Not Learning My Lesson
Still, I'm pretty bossy ('cept when I'm not) and am quite happy to keep telling you what I think is sexy. Which today is this video of St. Vincent and Andrew Bird doing "What Me Worry?" There's no actual sex, and anyway St. Vincent's dating some hot model/actress, and yet it feels so so sexual to me, at least in the sense of what good sex is (to me--and, you know, women). It's their unspoken communication, their close close attention to the moment and each other, the push and pull of action and reaction, the contrast between her aggressive slash of her guitar with his insanely delicate way of  sloooowly drawing his bow gently across his violin's strings, and their sense of delight and discovery throughout. And I swear, they both look flushed after, as well-fucked people do. I don't know--perhaps I'm reading waaay too much into it, with my porn-addled mind. Have a look and tell me what you think.



What do you think is sexy that's not actual sex? Tell me!

xoxo
jill

Thursday, July 23, 2015

The Blow Job as Path to the Divine

I am not a religious person. I don't even know that I want to be. I have sort of tried, a little, but for better or worse, I don't seem to have the God gene. The closest I ever get to the sublime feeling of connection with the universe that religious people describe is generally through music. Walking at night, the wet smell of the evening mist, a full moon hanging overripe in the sky, and Pandora radio seducing me with exactly what I want to hear before I know myself (Damn, Pandora, I will tell you again, I would so fuck you if I could) is the closest I get to experiencing the Divine.

Except for sex. I think what's appealing to me about sex is not the actual friction between body parts-- although that's pretty damn good, too--but the out-of-body, out-of-your-fucking-mind, brain/body explosion that happens during the best sex. Good sex is just somehow...beyond. You're extremely focused on the Now, the line between you and other is blurred, and, in the best moments, you feel like you and the Universe are sort of throbbing together as one. Which sounds a lot like religious ecstasy.  (Other times it's just you and your partner, or your hand, or your vibrator--you get off, then go about your day. Which is fine as well.)

In an oldish issue of Playboy, Samantha Gillison wrote a wonderful essay "The Platonic Ideal" on this idea of sex as route to the Divine. I would link to it, but-- incredibly in this day and age--it is not available on-line! Well, unless you pay. This is why this month, I am a member of iPlayboy.com.  For my $8 (paid happily because I care for YOU, dear reader), I get to go into the link that says "Members Only," which in Playboy parlance = "swanky". I can also look at every issue ever made, which would be great except my computer is so old that every issue ever made is slightly blurry, rendering the copy barely readable and the voluminous boobs semi-impressionistic swipes of pink and white.

In Gillison's piece, she describes the moment she became illuminated on the joys of giving head. It was after a Bad Brains concert, and in the darkness of the parking lot, she knelt before her date.
We could have been strangers--we almost were--and somehow the darkness, the anonymity of the situation liberated me from worrying about doing something wrong or feeling self-conscious. I allowed myself to sink deep into the fantasy of what it must feel like for him--the pressure, the warmth, the wetness. All of a sudden the only thing in the world was that cock and my connection to it.
Previously, Gillison had thought of blow jobs as something you gave, like a gift, or something you did as a favor. Plus there was some fear and uncertainty.
It was just that I was unsure of cock when I got up close to one; it contained unreadable male mysteries. I might hurt it or maybe just do nothing right. Maybe I looked ridiculous. I didn’t really know which parts of it wanted to be touched, or how. It seemed to be its own creature, almost uncannily separate from the man who owned it. Perhaps simpleminded but authoritarian and judgemental.  
 This time, however, she had a revelation.
But starting that night in the parking lot, I began to understand the profound, dirty pleasure of giving blow jobs. It isn’t just that I discovered how much I like being in control, how much I like giving the kind of pleasure that makes someone helpless, and how intoxicating it is to be on the receiving end of hurricane-levels of desire. But, that night, it was also the revelation of the particular male smell you get up close with a cock and balls that turned me on in ways that are almost beyond description.  It was like being inside sex.
Which is so completely hot. Are you still with me here?
Plato said that human beings can only truly access the divine through sexual ecstasy, Eros.  This has always made so much sense to me. When else are humans as rapt by feeling as when they come and when they touch God? That feeling of connection to the universal, the feeling of having exited my own body as I orgasm is nothing other than touching the infinite.

Yet I have never been able to get close to that Platonic, out-of-my-mind kind of sexual ecstasy unless I can satisfy a primal hunger:  Whether in fantasy or reality, I need a connection to another equally raunchy human being. It has always been the case with me, since I was a teenager, that I have to see someone else’s horniness in order to feel horny. What I happily realized on my knees in the parking lot is that an erect cock in my face is among the most blatant ways of experiencing the realness of someone else’s desire I’d ever encountered. And every time, it spurs a response in me, hot and dark and if I’m doing something transgressive in the best possible way.
Blow jobs! Philosophical talk! The phrase "erect cock"!  Gah, I am a goner! LOVE this $%$#!

I'll add a little bit more of her essay, because I want to make sure I don't stray from "fair use" territory to "stealing" and "copyright infringement." Here's Gillison on the experience of blowing a long time friend and feeling, then overcoming, the awkwardness inherent in that particular situation.
But then a supple communication started between me and his penis as I began to suck, a communication beyond words and much deeper than any we had ever had before.

His cock felt so sexy in my mouth, hard and hot and aching with desire. But I could also feel how much of this man was being revealed to me:  his sexuality, his vulnerability, his musky smell.

Soon the connection started to feel like a merging, as though I was experiencing that blow job too. It felt crazy, off-the-charts raunchy, to fantasize that I was not only giving head but getting it. All of a sudden I was overwhelmed by pure animal pleasure. I was so turned on that I came.

Since that night’s discovery I always revel in the double fantasy of giving and receiving. And I honor the wisdom of the old Greek philosophers who pointed out that although the Divine is inscrutable, it is easy to find while sucking on a dick.
And there is no better way to end a post than what Gillison ended with right there, so I will leave you to your day.

xoxoxo
jill

* Afterword:  Do NOT do a Google image search for "penis public domain." Hideous medical photos!  "Lesion on the glans"! Holy crap! Look away! Look away!

photo: William M. Rattase

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Dopamine, The Cruel Bitch Mistress

If you'll open your books to where we left off the other day...we talking about the exquisite agony of The Crush. The crush, as you recall, is where we basically become dreamy fuckheads, walking ids powered by the hideous/delicious combo of single-mindedness, spaciness, magnanimity to your fellow humans ("Everyone is so awesome!"), hateable neediness, and general giddiness alternating with sudden despair--all set to the constant backdrop of the throb of unquenched sexual desire.

As reader can't keep anything to myself put it:
Crushes are torture, but the most delicious kind of torture. They make you realize what a masochist you really are. It's such a fun feeling though when your insides are squirming and you're smiling at random people like an idiot because you're thinking about them again and your jaw hurts from smiling so hard/much.
If you are suffering thusly right now, please know that you're not acting like such a pitiful lovesick idiot because you're inherently weak or out of your fucking head, but because cruel, cruel dopamine is totally screwing with you. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter, "a kind of natural drug associated with the expectation of a reward that brings us pleasure," writes Sheril Kirshenbaum in The Science of Kissing. Dopamine can start fucking you up even during a first kiss. Writes Kirshenbaum,
Spiking during a passionate kiss, dopamine is responsible for the rush of elation and craving, and can also result in obsessive thoughts that many of us experience in association with a new romance--almost like an addiction.
I'm sorry, did she say "almost like"? Because dopamine is involved with stimulating the mesolimbic reward system (Mmmm, you like it when I talk to you all scientifically, don't you?), the part of the brain involved with virtually all of the addictive drugs. Wheee!
It primes us to make us want more, making us feel energized. Some people pumping lots of dopamine even lose their appetites, or feel that they cannot fall asleep--not surprisingly, the same 'symptoms' commonly described when "falling in love."
So maybe you're not in love, maybe you're just high on dopamine, you friggin' junkie. Which can go either way, depending if your ardor is returned. Writes the delightful Helen Fisher in Why We Love:
Because romantic love is such a euphoric "high," because this passion is exceedingly difficult to control, and because it produces craving, obsession, compulsion, distortion of reality, emotional and physical dependence, personality change, and loss of self-control, many psychologists regard love as an addiction--a positive addiction when your love is returned, a horribly negative fixation when your love is spurned and you can't let go.
If you don't get your love fix, well, it's not good. The suffering includes all kinds of sucky withdrawal symptoms like "depression, crying, spells, anxiety, insomnia, loss of appetite (or binge eating), irritability and chronic loneliness," reports Fisher.

Fisher continues, and I suspect she based her research solely on my diary entries from 1987: "Like all addicts, the lover then goes to unhealthy, humiliating, even physically dangerous lengths to procure their narcotic."

Which is not good, either. (Well, it's sorta good.)

Our takeaways from all this?  Hmmmmm, I guess, if you're going to get all hepped up on dopamine over someone, at least try to make sure that they might be someone who'll like you back. Which, you know, is totally easy. (Helpful hint: After years of painstaking research--ahem, Nobel committee--I can say with a fair degree of certainty that emotionally unavailable, meanish, and your basic garden-variety insane dudes are not, to my great surprise, good choices. You're welcome.)

Anyway, after awhile nature finally gives us a break. Because even a good dopamine ride can be, well, a bit much. I mean there's only so much time you can spend in a state of constant arousal, contemplating such uber-focused matters as the insanely lickable curve of a loved one's particularly enchanting body part. "Our biology places a limit on how long the 'high' conferred by dopamine can last," writes Kirshenbaum. "Studies have shown that levels of this intoxicating neurotransmitter decrease as we become more accustomed to a romantic partner, which might be why sexual desire tends to wane with the same person over time." (See also: the Coolidge Effect in "Our Genes Can Be Heartless Puppeteers").

On the other hand, it also doesn't seem reasonable, or at all fun, to avoid excessive, stupid, sexy, out-of-your-fucking-mind passion, for fear of getting the dopamine monkey on our backs. As "Slow Sex: The Art and Craft of The Female Orgasm" author Nicole Daedone's current, possibly grammatically problematic, Facebook status says, "Desire is there to be lived inside of."

I will await your tales from the front....

xoxo
jill

[addendum: As the unrelentingly brilliant and hilarious Betty Fokker points out below in the comments, the sweeter, more mellow high of attachment and bonding chemicals conveniently kick in just as the harsher high of the dopamine fades.]

[addendum 2: My dear friend Tricia sent me this bad-ass article on the fleetingness and horrible unsustainability of such passion.]


(photo: Marlo Broekmans, Photo extraite de la serie "Autoportraits")

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Overthinking the Magic Bra

Sandra and I were shopping for bras in what is still called--in this day and age!-- the "Intimates" department when I saw it: the Maidenform Women's Ultimate Push Up Bra

Have you seen this thing? "Add two cup sizes!" it promises, as well it should, since it seems to contain a small throw pillow's worth of padding in each cup. The bra was pretty ridiculous, really, so we gave it its proper mockery then continued with the special hell that is bra-shopping. [Oh, men, you don't even know! The egregious misstocking, the deciphering of strange terms (is "demi" good or bad?) and the hideous also-rans (I'm talking to you, green pin-striped push-up bra.) It's enough to drive you to the smelling salts, quite honestly.]

After some time (hours? days?) I had gathered a few bras that appeared that they might work (though "gathered" is not nearly a strong enough term for the savage, skillful foraging it took.) Though oddly, as though guided by some sort of unseen force, I kept finding myself circling back to the Ultimate bra. "Oh look," I thought to myself, with a forced casualness that didn't fool me one bit. "It's that ridiculous bra again." In a jump of logic that remains unclear to me even now, I concluded, "Well, may as well try it on."

I did, and well....DAMN! I had huge boobs, insanely inflated porno boobs, boobs that could not be tamed by man nor bra. My bosom, as they say in the romance novels, was swollen. My cups runnethed over. I was like the chick in this photo modeling the bra in question, but...more. Way more. My boobs were so huge, I was unclear on which side of the sexy/comically large divide they fell. "Sandra!" I called to the other dressing rooms. "You must come in here and behold my giant boobs." She looked. "Damn!" she said (as well she should.)

"I don't know...I look...different," I said, hoping Sandra, who knows about such feminine matters, would tell me whether to get it or not. Sandra took charge immediately. "Well, girl, I look different when I'm not wearing make-up--that doesn't mean I don't wear it, " she said definitively. "You Are Getting That Bra."

So I got it. And it sat, unused, in its preternatural perkiness on my dresser. I put it on only two times. Once to show Leah and once to show my husband. "Look at my boobs!" I said. Leah looked. My husband looked. "Damn!" they said.

I liked it. Kind of. I think. I don't know. The bra was becoming... problematic. I just couldn't bring myself to wear it. Was it indeed sexy, or was it just too damn big, borderline silly? Would I feel comfortable showing up to my usual haunts with my suddenly gigantic rack? (It should be noted that I already have a pretty smokin' D cup, but the difference with the magic bra was noticeable, way noticeable.) What if someone started flirting with me just because of my big fake boobs? Would I be irked that they were into something I didn't actually possess? Hey, my eyes are up here, Mr. Big Boob Lover.

And what if you were still dating and wearing this bra? The padding was so flippin' thick--would you even notice when things had gone to, as we used to say, second base? And what about a "home run"? As you flung your bra to the floor, so would go your boobs, piled there on the carpet, still waiting perkily at attention. (Warning: never do your real boobs look so dreadfully inadequate than after taking off the magic bra.)

The magic bra was causing me to overthink. I mean, not that I control the direction of society with my bra choices, but did I really want to be promoting this as what a women's chest should look like? By wearing the bra, in some small--albeit, incredibly busty--way, I would be raising the bar of what a woman's chest was supposed to look like. If my D-cup needed enhancement, what about my C, B and A-cup sisters? Would they be forced to don a completely fabricated chest, similar to those boys' superhero costumes with the build-in foam muscles? Would we one day just all don our blonde-haired, big-boobed, sweetly smiling full-body foam costumes, completely covering our unworthy, misshaped, shameful selves? No, by jingo! I would not be a part of it!

I found the tags and the receipt for the bra. I had to return it--for the Good of Society.

But first I tried it on one more time.

Damn.

xoxo
jill

Addendum: Btw, if you, like some of the commenters below, wish to play your part in bringing down society, you can get the thing--it's full of lies, I tell you!--at a department store like Kohl's or order it via In Bed With Married Women through the link above:
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