Wednesday, December 30, 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 first time the Womanizer had relations, 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 think it was self-consciousness due to using it in front of someone coupled with the thing's notable resemblance to a wee little clit-sized milking machine. 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.

Third time, it was good. Real good. I'm a little bit in love with it, if you must know. If that thing had a varsity jacket I would so be wearing it.  

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 übernommen Der Vibrator)

Monday, December 21, 2015

The Little Penis Inside You. Not what you think.

Ask me about my penis!
Janet and I were talking about the last post on how freaking huge a woman's clitoris actually is and she says, "Oh right, the little penis inside you."

I loved this phrase because it sounds so girls-only 7th grade health class. Like, after an uncomfortable and uninformative talk about fallopian tubes and such, the girls would file past the gym teacher, averting their eyes as she hands them each a pamphlet with the words "The Little Penis Inside You" written in swirly tampon ad font. Said brochure would be quickly shoved to the bottom of one's backpack, only to be retrieved for furtive study once in the privacy of one's own room.

Since you probably haven't yet received your pamphlet, I feel compelled to show you this "Clitoral cross section" photo from Wikipedia because it looks exactly like a little penis. So much so that, to be quite honest, it sort of freaks me out. Behold:

Umm, should it be bending down like that?

(I especially like that that one part is unhelpfully labeled "skin." Like the labeler got tired of being so damn specific all the time and thought, "Fuck it. I'm just putting 'skin' and going home.")
If you're feeling brave and want to see a video of this, this...little penis inside turning into what I can only describe as a lady boner, click here for Ed-Sim's sexy sexy video on "clitoral vascularization."  (note: The video keeps going after you think it's over.)

"According to the sexual response cycle, during the excitement stage, the body (shaft) of the clitoris begins to fill with blood and increase in size," it reads. Whew! Is it hot in here?

I'm not yet sure how I am going to deal with this new information. I kind of don't like the idea that I have a little penis inside of me, although it does explain some past decisions I made. You know, thinking with my little penis and all that.

Also feeling slightly less ladylike than usual and hoping my boob-hugging shirt will negate the effects of this post. Look, boobs! I'm a girl!

xoxoxo
jill

(photo: wicked knickers)

Monday, December 14, 2015

Balls (Both Scenic and Educational), Public Masturbation and Florida Woman Does Some Dumb Shit

Breathe deeply. It's all gonna be okay.

Yes, I know, you were promised balls. Here you go, friend.

Balls!
--Scenic balls!
"Men are taking photos of their balls in front of beautiful landscapes" is the alluring headline that led me to Nutscapes, a Tumblr featuring just that--beautiful landscapes with just a touch 'o balls hanging gently above the frame like...well, actually like nothing familiar. Rarely, I think, do any of us view nature from that particular under-ball vantage.

Ah, fresh balls in the morning.
If you're really into balls, this site probably won't do it for you because the balls are pretty blurry, and the scenery and the balls sort of cancel each other out, but I do appreciate that there are a bunch of dudes out there doing something so pointless and vaguely subversive. My only suggestion, and I can't believe I'm saying this: needs more balls.

 --Educational balls!
Meanwhile, Senhor Testicle (aka Mr. Balls) is a scrotum-shaped mascot who travels to classrooms, and other places where there is no escape, to bring awareness to testicular cancer. It also brings awareness to the issue of what you're supposed to say to big ol' hairy Spokesballs, especially one wearing an especially sad toupee/merkin thing, eerily smiling at you and silently making the "hug me" gesture.

The day at the fair takes a sudden turn.

Public Masturbation!
If all this talk of balls becomes too sexually arousing for you, for fuck's sake, please be smart about it doing something about it. Don't be like the Louisiana woman who was caught "inappropriately pleasing with a package of Jimmy Dean sausages in a Walmart bathroom. Believe me, I so get being overcome by passion, but this is not good. Not only does the sign clearly state that merchandise should not be brought into the bathroom, but it's a waste of perfectly good(ish) food. Because, once you actually fuck the sausage, they can't put it back on the shelf, at least not without a real good rinse.

Meanwhile, in a marginally more upscale incident, a Kansas City woman was caught in a Target bathroom singing "Let It Go" and involved in some sort of highly emotional threesome with a carrot and an Olaf puppet.

I think the point here is that public restrooms are overwhelming sexy, so if you're going to a big box store, make sure you masturbate at home first. And please pay for all meat products before sticking them into your vagina.

(If you cruelly enjoy the charming foibles of the clearly mentally ill, as I seem to, I suggest you check out the Florida Woman Twitter account featuring important news like "Florida Woman strips naked in restaurant, sticks chair leg in ass, slathers herself in ketchup" or, to return to the previous theme, "Florida Woman won't let go of security guard's testicles, even while being tasered." If you imagine that it's all just one woman doing all of it, it makes if even better. And better still if while imagining that, you concurrently make love to a pack of Jimmy Dean sausages--but not the spicy hot ones, learned my lesson.)

Superhero Blogging!
IBWMW made Kinkly's 2015 list of 100 Sex Blogging Superheros.  We're #13, which is good, since I try to strive for upper mediocrity in all I do. Not sure what this year's superpower is but I'm kinda hoping it's something like this, sent in by my friend Quentin who has spent his life "avoiding VaJayJay" and now will be even more vigilant in his efforts.

Not sure how I'm gonna use this power yet, but I'm thinking at the very least, it might get me a bit more space at the communal tables at Starbucks.

Or maybe I'll smite somebody. I have just the person in mind right now. Hope it's not you...

xoxoxo
jill

p.s. for you Esperanto readers, here is a complete translation of today's missive:

En lieu de fakta enhavo, mi decidis mi simple tuj uzi multajn ekstrajn ekkrion punktoj por ke ĉio ŝajnas pli amuza. Ni provu !!!!! Ĉu ni? Yay !!!!
Buloj!

--Scenic Pilkoj!
"Viroj prenas fotojn de siaj pilkoj antaŭ belaj pejzaĝoj" estas la alluring subtitolo kiu kondukis min al Nutscapes, Tumblr featuring ĝuste tion - belaj pejzaĝoj kun nur tuŝo 'o pilkoj pendas milde super la kadro kiel ... nu , fakte ŝatas nenion familiara. Malofte, mi pensas, do ajna de ni vidas naturon de tiu aparta sub-pilko panoramejo.
Buloj vidanta la vidindaĵojn.
--Educational Pilkoj!
Dume, Senhor testiko (aka Mr. Buloj) estas scrotum-forma maskoto kiu vojaĝas al klasĉambroj kaj aliaj lokoj kie ekzistas neniu fuĝo, por alporti konscion al testika kancero. Mi konjektas ankaŭ alportas konscion al la antaŭe neesplorita demando de kion vi supozis diri al granda ol 'paro de Spokeballs.
La tago ĉe la foiro prenas subitan turnon.
Publika masturbo!
Se ĉiuj ĉi tiu parolado pri pilkoj iĝas tro sekse concitando por vi, por fiki, kalkaj, bonvolu esti inteligenta pri ĝi. Kaj ne estu kiel ĉi Luiziano virino kiun kaptis "malkonvene placxas sin" kun pako de Jimmy Dean kolbasoj en Walmart banĉambro. Kredu min, mi do restu venkite de pasio, sed tio ne estas bona. Ne nur faras la signon klare deklari ke komercado oni ne enportadis en la banĉambro, Sed unufoje vi vere fuck la kolbaso, ili ne povas remetis ĝin sur la breton, almenaŭ ne sen bona Rinse. Tio estas nur malŝparo de perfekte bona (ish) manĝaĵo.
Dume, en marĝene pli luksa incidento, virino estis kaptita en Cel banĉambro kantante "Let It Go" kaj implikita en iu speco de trio kun karoto kaj Olaf marioneto.
Mi kredas ke la punkto estas, ke la publikaj necesejoj estas abrumadora sexy, do se vi tuj granda skatolo vendejo, certigi vin masturbado hejme unue.(Se vi kruele ĝui la ĉarmajn asteniojn de la klare mense malsana, kiel mi ŝajnas, mi sugestas ke vi kontrolu la Florida Virino Twitter konton featuring gravaj novaĵoj kiel "Florida Virino strioj nuda en restoracio, bastonoj seĝo kruro en azenon slathers sin keĉupo "aŭ, por reveni al la antaŭa temo," Florido virino ne lasi iras de sekureco korpogardistoj testikoj, eĉ dum estado tasered. "Se vi imagas, ke ĝi estas ĉio nur unu virino fari ĉiujn de ĝi, ĝi faras se eĉ pli bona. Kaj pli bona ankoraŭ se samtempe amindumu pack de Jimmy Dean kolbasoj - sed ne la pika varma, ili lernis mian lecionon.)

Superhero Blogging!
Tiu estas la klaso de aĵoj kiuj helpis IBWMW farita Kinkly la 2015 listo de 100 sekso Blogging Superheros. Ni estas # 13, kiu estas bona, se mi provos strebi por supra mezkvalito en ĉiuj mi fari. Ne certas kion ĉijara superpotenco estas sed mi kinda esperante ĝi estas io tiamaniere, per mia amiko Quentin.
Ne certe kiel mi estas gonna uzo ĉi povon ankoraŭ, sed mi pensas, almenaŭ, ĝi povus atingi min iom pli spaco je la komunuma tablojn ĉe Starbucks.Aŭ eble mi frapu al iu. Mi havas nur la persono en menso nun. Esperas ĝi ne estas
xoxoxo
Jill


(ball photo via Nutscapes.com, natch)

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

On James Deen, Darkness and the Erotic

Last night I was reading about porn star James Deen and his multiple accusations of sexual harassment and rape. (See also: Adult Film Star James Deen Labeled The "Bill Cosby of Porn.")

And yes yes, his reported behavior was beyond jerky, violent and pretty fucking creepy. It's some serious %#@#, if the accusations are indeed true. And I tend to believe multiple accusers instead of the dude going, "Whaa...? Liars!"

And yet. There is a vast difference between how the regular, sensible brain and erotic brain perceive the world. I have a huge thing for James Deen. (As does he. Huge thing, that is. Sorry.) As I read, I became somewhat enchanted by one of the complaints in which he came up behind Ashley Fires and pressed his erect cock into her bum.

I was getting out of the shower of the communal bathroom at Kink, I reach for my towel to dry off, and [Deen] comes up from behind me and pushes himself and his erection into my butt,” said Fires in Daily Beast. “He pushes me against the sink and starts grabbing on me and I was like, ‘No, no, no James, no,’ and he released me from his grasp.”

****

This morning, instead of donating to NOW or supporting my fellow women on social media, I somehow ended up watching James Deen porn .*

And it was insanely hot.

The man is so fucking intense, present and seemingly so into it that he's practically growling. I absolutely love the way that man porn fucks.

So. I tell you this because I have no filter, but also because it reminds me of what Esther Perel writes about eroticism in Mating In Captivity. (If you're feeling settled there and read-y, here's a long but super interesting piece she wrote on erotic intelligence.) "Sexual desire is politically incorrect, often thriving on power plays, role reversals, unfair advantages, imperious demands, seductive manipulations and subtle cruelties," she notes.

The erotic lives--and thrives--in places of darkness and the forbidden. Whether we like it or not.

Adult actress Sydney Leathers said she was told of Deen, "He has boundary issues, basically...he tries to break women." And instead of thinking "What a fuckhead!"--as one should totally totally do, I get that--God help me, I was intrigued. To break a woman....it's just so heavy and dark. What would it take to break a woman? To break me?

I realized that if James Deen showed up at my backside pressing his hard-on into my bum, well, my friend, I would fuck the shit out of him. Still. Maybe even more so now.

Not sure what that might mean for you (or me) today, but I'm putting it there in your brain if you'd like to fidget with it.

xoxo
jill

*New link.  Had accidentally put up a weird clean version. Which. What's the point?

Thursday, October 22, 2015

On Orgasm and Beautiful Agony

The site Beautiful Agony exists in a space somewhere between art and porn. It's a collection of short films featuring close ups of people's faces as they pleasure themselves, falling into, then through orgasm. It's a celebration of la petite mort* and it's...beautiful. (It's a pay site, but there are some free samples.)

Explain the Beautiful Agonistas on the project's inspiration:

Beautiful Agony began as a multimedia experiment, to test a hypothesis that eroticism in human imagery rests not in naked flesh and sexual illustration, but engagement with the face. We wondered whether film of a genuine, unscripted, natural orgasm - showing only the face - could succeed where the most visceral mainstream pornography fails, and that is, to actually turn us on.

Considering porn has had a few thousand years to evolve, alongside other streams of culture - you'd expect it to be refined and sophisticated. Yet instead of developing in sophistication and nuance, it has become a brutal and charmless rendering of human sexuality. It's like the people who make it, don't really understand it.


Yes. 

What's also interesting to me about these faces contorted in orgasm is the realization that orgasm does come with a bit of agony. If you didn't know the experience yourself, to see someone moaning and grimacing in orgasm's throes would look, well, you probably would not want to "have what they're having."

The experience of going toward and riding the throbs of orgasm is so outside the realm of our other experiences. I mean, what other thing gets us to this place, this place of incoherence and liquid, sweet strokes leading to the deliciously inevitable?  It's so animal and primal and raw and very vulnerable.

Which brings me to this. Beautiful Agony will pay you $200 for an accepted submission. There are qualifications--you need a decent camera, you have to answer some questions and whatnot--but I wonder how many among us would do it. I could see doing it. The arty veneer makes it seem less porny and I like the idea of contributing real sexual experience to the well of collective sexual consciousness. Plus, hey, 200 bucks.

On the other hand, maybe 200 bucks is not nearly enough for the...gift, I guess is the right word, of something so incredibly personal. I think what makes sex so intimate is not the actual nudity but the sort of metaphorical nudity of letting someone see and hear and feel and smell and taste you as you come. When women have an orgasm, portions of their brain controlling anxiety and alertness go dark.  So to let someone be present with you and for you when you're in that space--bearing witness, as the Quakers say, though certainly regarding other things entirely--is a huge gift of trust.

In a nice twist, the primitive, earthy rutting of bodies, flesh and fluids, leads us to a state of transcendence somehow both grounded in and sublimely beyond the physical. Which is pretty fucking beautiful. (Thanks, life!)  To be able to jump into this void while grasping onto the back or ass of someone else, well, it's a bit of magic, really.

xoxox
jill

*Here's Google, waxing oddly poetic--oh Google, what do you know, really, of melancholia?--on the subject:  "La petite mort, French for "the little death"...describe(s) the post-orgasmic state of unconsciousness that some people have after having some sexual experiences. More widely, it can refer to the spiritual release that comes with orgasm or to a short period of melancholy or transcendence as a result of the expenditure of the "life force," the feeling which is caused by the release of oxytocin in the brain after the occurrence of orgasm."



(photo via Beautiful Agony)

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

"Women Happy Medicine"

I was Googling "sex patents" because -- well, I don't have a good reason for it --and came upon this enchanting piece of history, a 1930s Japanese sexual aids catalogue which purports to provide the "Key to the Sex Question." Whatever this "sex question" is, the answer seems to involve mysterious ointments, finger puppet-looking condoms and a variety of pointy marital aids. But I especially like it for the ad copy, which is charmingly poetic and, often, entertainingly non-illuminating as to what the product actually does.

Consider this:


The copy for the, well, whatever the hell those things are on the right, reads: "This is a blessing to men feel and get young by using this wonderful thing. We particularly recommend it to elderly men." Whatever "this wonderful thing" is (and from the sound of it, even the copywriter is unsure), it appears to come in Big Pointy style or Little Pointy style. I can't read the little booklet in the picture, but I presume it explains why a nice elderly man would want to festoon his wiener with bristles. As for me, if elderly penis is being presented to me, the addition of bristles isn't going to improve the situation. However, I welcome your hypotheses. (And, please know that if you possess elderly penis yourself, I'm of course not talking about your particular elderly penis.)

And speaking of bristles:


More spikes! Why so many spikes? Explains the copy: "If you this (on penis) and love her then she will never separate from you." Because, judging by the photo, she will be permanently impaled (on penis). Which I guess is would be the "unexplainable feeling to women" mentioned on page 6.

And, please, take a moment to enjoy the found poetry on this page:


Like:

"Age lady who has too big organ must use this then she will become condition of virgin."

"If you use this powder putting on female organ then will take off bad smell and increasing her organistic feeling very much."

It doesn't mention how you explain putting powder on your lady's female organ (note: "I'm taking off bad smell" will not go well for you) but "organistic feeling"? That sounds good, doesn't it? Yes, I know these products are overhyped, based on bad science and probably involve banned and/or highly flammable chemicals, but I find myself being lured by the bewitchingly odd prose. If I ever find myself back in 1930s Japan, I am definitely buying the Sexual Stimulants (only 2 yen!) because I am simply unable to resist this sales pitch: "A certain cream and tablets, if used, will make the whole business a real pleasure." And if the whole business can be a real pleasure and provide organistic feeling as well, then damn it, that's 2 yen well spent.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Hysteria

(Before)
I hadn't had a really good fuck in months. And I'd been a bit of a mess, if you must know-- agitated, unduly short-tempered and had taken to drinking obscene amounts of Diet Pepsi (a vice I supposedly kicked years ago). My work suffered and I was prone to random outbursts of weeping. I was, in short, hysterical. In both the current understanding of the word and, possibly, the 19th century sense.

Yes, hysteria.

Sure, maybe it was hormones, maybe it was a chemical imbalance, maybe I needed more Vitamin B or something, but I really do think it was/is hysteria. Something related to my body and my passion and my heart.

Your pussy is your pilot light. It is your central life force energy,” says Pamela Madsen, a woman who says "pussy" a lot and someone I interviewed for an AlterNet article. “If our pilot light is lit and we're turned on--that's were we write our books from, that's where we bake from, that's where we decide to be farmers or artists. We can learn to use that power and put it out into the world."

And as Naomi Wolf writes in my well-fingered Vagina (haha, yes, I know, I am a child) "Female sexual pleasure, rightly understood, is not just about sexuality or just about pleasure. It serves also, as a medium of female knowledge, and hopefulness; female creativity and courage; female focus and initiative; female bliss and transcendence; and as medium of a sensibility that feels very much like freedom. To understand the vagina properly is to realize that it is not only coexistence with the female brain, but is also, essentially, a part of the female soul.” 

It feels like they're on to something big here (as are Anais Nin, Erica Jong, etc...)--something primal and true. In my own life, I've discovered this amazing passion which is, for better or worse, wholly connected with sex, my creativity, my body and my heart. When my passion is engaged, it is beautiful, sublime and yeah, scary as fuck. When it's not, all is meh, or worse (see above: hysteria.)

And while it pleasingly tragic to haunt your own life like a specter, or as Billy Bragg puts it "a little black cloud in a dress," after a while weeping in the car to Joni Mitchell's "All I Want" grows tiresome. So I did stuff to heal* and my humours, or whatever, seem more balanced now.

And yet.

In Madsen's fascinating book Shameless: How I Ditched the Diet, Got Naked, Found True Pleasure...and Somehow Got Home in Time to Cook Dinner, she talks about seeking sensual touch--something similar to a "happy ending," but for women. She ends up with a gay male bodyworker named Tiger who, despite his semi-repellent name, sounds quite amazing. He tends to her body and psyche and, like a human Pandora, knows what she wants before she does. He's like the best lover ever, but also not a lover. He's somewhere in between lover, therapist, massage therapist, and magic fairy godmother.

Sexological bodyworkers give whole body massages to help you get....wherever you need to get. And I mean that in the prurient way--if you want/need to cum, you are certainly welcome to and will be aided in that way--but it's mainly about exploring issues in your life, your sexuality or general spirit. In a way, it's a more loving and aware descendant of Ye Olde hysteria treatment.

I put out the call on the IBWMW Facebook page (Now 97% less tawdry since I purged it of weirdos!) and Matthew told me he did Tantric Bodywork. I'd met Matthew years ago on my blog, which is probably a horrible place to meet anyone--not as bad as the Facebook page, but still... I knew him, but didn't know him, which seemed just about right for this kind of thing.

He gave me the password to his secret web page (email him and I'm sure he will be happy to do the same for you). Writes Matthew:

Tantric bodywork is a beautiful and brave act of care and self-care. If and when you decide to receive this type of touch and attention it is an acknowledgment of yourself as a sexual person regardless of your sexual preferences or the level of sexual activity in your life. This choice shows an openness to be present with yourself and your body in a space it may not always have a chance to inhabit. I think that's pretty fearless choice, and it's a pleasure and privilege for me to be a guide, facilitator and space holder for you or you and your partner.

I love doing this work and am moved to do it because I adore the deep humanity of it. A chance to deeply see people and be seen at their most raw and most tender and to show up the same way. I am moved by the power of sexual energy in all of its forms and wild expressions. I am captivated by the mysterious and sacred power of sexual energy to shift what longs to be moved inside us and in so doing heals and connects us.

Um...yes. When women go to spas, shop, drink too much, inject fillers into their face, etc...this is what they actually want.

So, I am going to meet with Matthew and for two hours he is going to talk to me and touch me in a present, sensual way.** I have no idea what's gonna happen. I think I will probably cry or come or maybe just be in my head and be anxious. Female desire can be scary. When you tap into it, it's such a huge overwhelming life force—intense, emotionally overpowering and not something you can manage. You're not in halfway. And the only way to work with it is to ride it and see where it takes you, accepting that it may take you places you didn't think you wanted to go.

I don't know what the fuck will happen and that's part of what's so good about it. I want to be in that space and see where it takes me. I feel completely confident that whatever does come up, Matthew can handle it.

So yeah, I'm meeting a virtual stranger, alone, and I will be completely naked. In all kinds of ways. It may be the smartest thing I've ever done or the dumbest.

And I can't fucking wait.

xoxo
jill

*Stuff I did to heal: Ate well, swam, started seeing a therapist (a delightfully masturbatory activity--I highly recommend!), took long walks with my daughters, talked to my husband, read good books (next up: Erica Jong's new book Fear of Dying!) and got down with my new toy thing (we are now going steady. If it had a varsity jacket, I'd be wearing it.) I've started looking for connection and depth in my encounters with whoever I come across in my day and I got the best fucking kitten in the world.

**The amazing thing about being a writer--you get to do whatever the fuck you want under the pretense of it being a story! It's total racket!

Jack the kitten, consulting the Oracle

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

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:

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

What I Do When I Leave You

Hey gorgeous,

Even though I've been away hustling words to afford enough Lexapro so I don't harm myself or others, I'm still thinking about you. All the damn time.

Let's just get to it then...

Disembodied Labia

I was working on a story about sex toy accessories* and came upon something that wasn't technically an accessory, but I had to tell someone (you!). I'd already seen a dick casting kit that you use to make a vibrating dildo out of your favorite penis (oh yeah) but what struck me was the ad for the Clone-A-Pussy Molding Kit.

Clone-A-Pussy seemed good for equal opportunity reasons (ERA Yes!) but apparently pussy-casting technology is not yet as advanced as for their dicky brethren. In fact, it kinda sucks. Mentions the site in not nearly bold enough font:

"Please Note: Your new pussy replica is a shallow likeness, without a hole, and not designed for ...ahem.... insertion."

So you can't even fuck it. It just sits there, like a homeless dried peach, but even less functional. Perhaps sensing the complete uselessness of such a product, the site offers this weak plan:

"Use the mold over and over again and create your own treasured collection of life-like vaginas."

(Warning: displaying "treasured collection" of disembodied labia pretty much insures you will never get in anyone's panties ever again.)

In quite related news, Clone-a-Pussy is now on clearance.

Disembodied Labia, Part 2:

Speaking of disembodied labia, as one does, I found this unsettling photo of the RealDoll labia repair kit.  I both love and hate how the labia is just sittin' there all unsexy and out-of-context, next to the tongue depressors and glue. It also makes me a bit cringey, maybe how like men feel when they see another man being kicked in the balls.

I showed this pic to my husband, because I cruelly enjoy making him uncomfortable, and he said "I kind of don't want to know why you might need that." Which is a pretty reasonable point.

My Cheatin' Heart
Here's some stuff you might like that wrote for other people (don't worry, they mean nothing to me and I was thinking about you the whole time.)
--An AlterNet story on the delightful dick pic judging site Critique My Dick Pic.
--A Cosmo piece I wrote on how to give a corkscrew blowjob, including the word "fucking," a possible suggestion to stick a sparkler up your bum and/or suck off household vegetables and a random Rankin-Bass reference is now running in friggin.....Redbook magazine. Yes, 70s mom mag, Redbook. I no longer understand the world.
  
Need You So Bad
I am working on a piece about the best porn sites "for women" and wondering what you'd recommend. I'm not entirely sure what constitutes a womanly site, but I guess to me it's something where--if there is a woman, or women, involved--they are doing things an actual woman with normal sexual responses would do, or at least would want to do. Where would you send me? (And don't tell me about that book Porn For Women where men are vacuuming, unloading the dishwasher, etc... cause that it's not actually that funny--or sexually arousing either. There's a big difference between "sexy" and just "nice things to do.")

~~~~~~~~~
Okay, lovey, I'm gonna leave you here for a bit, but here's a new bowl of water and a nice fresh leaf.  And don't forget to tell me about your girl-friendly porn!

xoxo
jill

*Hey, reader who bought Taming My Teddy Bear--An Erotic Story (Plushie Fetish Book 1) via the IBWMW Amazon link in the right margin (thanks!), you may enjoy the part about Jumbo Wolf with a SPH. 

Monday, July 6, 2015

The Crush, Explained by Science

Careful, don't get burned.
"What is this volatile, often uncontrollable feeling that hijacks the mind, bringing bliss one moment, despair the next?"
--Helen Fisher, Why We Love

The other day, a reader contacted me to tell me she had something I had to write about. She reported that since attending her high school reunion a month back, her old flame had been poking her on Facebook. "Every day," she said meaningfully. It was clear from her words that this virtual poking was getting her all hot and bothered. "It's knowing that, at least for some moment in the day, I am on his mind," she reported.

At first I reacted like I usually do when someone tells me something I Simply Must Write About, which is to pretend that I am interested, then never actually write about it.

But the more I thought about it, I realized the story was the crush itself. Or how this very practical woman was now obsessively checking Facebook to see if any new pokes had come in from Mr. Reunion Dude. She had actually eroticized the little cartoon poking hand icon from Facebook which, to refresh your memory, looks like this:
Is this making you hot?
Still, her Pavlovian response to Facebook pokey hand is perfectly normal. Anyone in the midst of a crush has all sorts of neurochemical crap going on.

The last time I had a crush, I could tell exactly the moment it hit me. We were talking in my driveway, he said something vaguely risque, and I felt it come down upon me, like an actual thing. Like an affliction. "Oh fuck," I thought.

Because, although a crush is delightful and exciting and makes the world shine brighter, it is an affliction. A brain affliction. An affliction as in "pain, suffering and distress."

In her (quite excellent) book, "Why We Love," anthropologist Helen Fisher identified certain characteristics of people "in love." And I mean "in love" in the sense of "God, I want to lick their neck" instead of the "We've been together 35 years and he's an excellent father" kind of love. Like crazy stupid love where you do fucked up things and act psychotic. That one governor who snuck off to Brazil to meet his lover while claiming to be hiking? His kind of love. The astronaut chick who drove across the country to confront her romantic rival while wearing astronaut diapers to hasten her trip? Her kind of love.

According to Fisher, lovestruck people exhibit certain characteristics, including:
--"Special Meaning": This is giving the loved one an elevated status above others. "Your beloved becomes novel, unique and all-important," writes Fisher.
--Focused Attention: "The love-possessed person focuses almost all of his or her attention on the beloved, often to the detriment of everything and everyone else," writes Fisher. (see above: governor ditching his job.) "Infatuated men and women also concentrate on all of the events, songs, letters, and other little things they have come to associate with the beloved." (That would be you, Facebook pokey finger.)
--Aggrandizing the Beloved:  This means that although you can see the beloved's faults, you somehow reframe them as charming quirks. This what was probably happening to me when the (thankfully unconsumated) Crush above was later telling me about some penis test he got for flippin' gonorrhea. It involved a tube and his urethra, but I was all, "Oh really? That's fascinating!"
--"Intrusive Thinking": This is when you can't stop thinking about your loved one. In a 1988 survey, in love respondents reported thinking about their "'love object' over 85 percent of their waking hours." 85 percent! This happened to me with Gonorrhea boy. I would lie awake in bed thinking of him, so much so that it actually became tiresome. At a certain point, I didn't even want to be thinking of him, but my mind kept returning to him, as though he were a plague upon my brain.
--Looking for clues: This is the source of all "What do you think he really meant when he said I was 'interesting?'" conversations.
--Emotional fire: That's when you're so damn happy that eating or sleeping seems so...pedestrian.
--Intense energy: This includes exhilaration as well as the overwhelming awkwardness in the beloved's presence. Noted Andres the Chaplain in the 1180s: "Every lover regularly turns pale in the presence of the beloved." This would be the feeling of "How do I act normal around this delightful, insanely sexy person to disguise the fact that I am obsessively thinking about putting my mouth upon their upper thigh (the left one)?"

Fisher identified several others symptoms like jealousy, hope, adversity strengthening ardor, and such but I, sadly crush-less and thus unfueled by its exhilaration, grow weary upon listing them all.

Even Richard Burton was not immune to the overwhelmingly potent forces of attraction and noted upon meeting the 19 year old Elizabeth Taylor:
She was so extraordinarily beautiful that I nearly laughed out loud...Her breasts were apocalyptic, they would topple empires before they withered...her body was a miracle of construction...She was unquestionably gorgeous. She was lavish. She was, in short, too bloody much....those huge violet eyes had an odd glint...Aeons passed, civilizations came and went while these cosmic headlights examined my flawed personality. Every pockmark on my face became a crater of the moon.
So why do we act like such insecure ass-wipes when we when love someone? Fisher asked herself the same question, though I don't believe she used the term "ass-wipes." She promptly stuck some lovestruck folks into an fMRI machine to see what the hell was going on in their poor, love-addled brains.

What she found was a neurochemical stew driving the ass-wipeian behavior. The ancient reptilian brain, with its dumb quest for good feelings was going crazy. One part--the caudate nucleus, if you must know--is associated with the reward system of the brain and affects "general arousal, sensations of pleasure and the motivation to acquire rewards." Also active was the ventral tegmenal area (VTA), spewing dopamine about the brain, willy-nilly, giving lovers "focused attention...fierce energy, concentrated motivation to attain a reward, and feelings of elation--even mania." 

As a result, few drives are more basic and strong than the quest to bind with a lover. Fisher calls it, "a primordial brain network that drives the lover to focus his or her attention on life's grandest prize--a mate who may pass their DNA toward eternity."

I'll leave you today with these questions:
--Does any of this sound familiar?
--What undesirable characteristics have you overlooked while hepped up on love?
--And finally, do you not completely love the sentence, "She was, in short, too bloody much"?

Monday, June 15, 2015

7 Things I Learned at Homemade-Sex-Toys

Homemade Sex Toys is a site for people who like DIY projects. But what sets these folks apart from regular old Squaresville do-it-yourself-ers is that, instead of thinking, "Can I fix the broken breadmaker?" they think, "Can I have sex with the broken breadmaker?"

Now, I am utterly arts and crafts deficient, so I have a healthy fear having sex with anything I made. And near as I can tell, none of my 6th grade-era macramed plant hangers or bicentennial rug hook projects seem the least bit fuckable.

Still, I admire a can-do attitude, so I wandered around the site awhile instead of doing any number of more productive things. The site wasn't nearly as entertaining as I'd hoped, but I did learn a few things. To wit:

1.  People of both genders can have sexual relations with a cucumber. (New slogan for Association of Cucumber Growers? Send memo.) I think we all know what women can do with a particularly sexy cucumber, but men, if so inclined, can hollow out the insides of a cuke (not one of those long skinny kinds) then make sweet sweet love to it. Important: Do not fall in love with your cucumber because this is a relationship that must remain brief (see also: composting).

2.  Men can also have sex with a whole host of household objects including a heated melon, balloons, a doctored-up toilet paper roll and a bean bag chair. (Note to self: avoid bean bag chair). Women can have sex with a blanket, a cell phone (There is indeed an app for that), and a toothbrush.

3. To my surprise, there's a whole section on fucking toothbrushes. When I got to the heading labeled simply, "Toothbrush in ass," I had to click away because I was too busy running to get my toothbrush--No! NOT to put "in ass"!--but to grab it to make sure it never leaves my side. I am going to insist that my toothbrush take an immediate vow of chastity.

4. The holes on blow-up sex toys are sealed with pull tab-like bits of plastic "for hygienic and safety reasons." (Warning: removed tabs may alert the blow-up doll's strict parents that you two did more than just "hang out at the mall.")

5.  You can make your own solar powered vibrator. I like solar power and *mumbling a bit here* yes, fine, I like vibrators, but when it got to talk of "soldering" and diagrams like this...


...I knew I'd rather just pony up the cash and get a vibrator made by vibrator-making professional. Besides part of the whole "solar" thing is that it uses the sun, meaning, you'd be gettin' down with your jimmy-rigged, questionably-soldered solar vibe out in the damn yard.

6. There are people who enjoy inserting a banana into their loved one's personal sexual orifice, then eating said banana.  I am not one of those people. Again, I like bananas, I like my loved ones, and yet...

7.  And finally, and perhaps most importantly, this information: "Jerking off with Icy Hot or Ben Gay will put you in a world of hurt." Which--although I now strangely intrigued by the idea--I will probably just take their word on.

xoxo
jill

(photo by Dennis Hopper.  Image source:  http://lacontessa.tumblr.com/post/3253789357/dennis-hopper-photo-photography-bikini-1960s)

Thursday, June 4, 2015

What Was Your Formative Smut?

"Is it okay if the girls watch 'Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt'"? my friend texted pre-kid sleepover.

Considering my 13 year old had just seen the majority of the Louie episode where Louis CK ends up in a sex toy store, yeah, Kimmy was fine. (In my defense, I kept thinking the Louie ep was somehow gonna become more appropriate, like, any second. This, despite the fact that the characters were talking about vibrators and it was Louis CK, for fuck's sake. #MagicalThinking)

"I was reading Harold Robbins, Jackie Collins and Xaviera Hollander at their age," noted my friend. "The basement bookshelf was where my mom kept all the smutty books. The Story of O. Lady Chatterley's Lover. Portnoy's Complaint. I spent entire summers down there. She. Had. No. Idea."

You see, my pretties, back before the Internet, when you wanted sexual information, you had to cobble together what you could. It involved a combination of covert reading sessions in back aisles of book stores, excavations under the beds of pervy neighborhood dads (that is, all dads) and checking out the bookshelves of your parents' more free-thinking friends. My own sex ed was an unwieldy mash-up of:

--Sidney Sheldon novels
--Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex: But Were Afraid to Ask
--Where Did I Come From? in which 1977-era cartoon grown ups offer mildly helpful/icky information such as "The man pushes his penis up and down in the woman's vagina, so that both the tickly parts are being rubbed against each other. It's like scratching an itch but a lot nicer."
 --Fear of Flying
--Playboy, Penthouse and the rare Hustler
--The Sensuous Woman by "J"  (at the time her advice on giving proper head and the like was apparently so scandalous she couldn't even use her whole name.)
 --National Geographics (there is no such thing as a single issue of National Geographic--they travel only in packs) for boobic studies.

And yes, Xaviera Hollander, aka The Happy Hooker How strange to realize I'd gotten a ton of my sexual information from a hooker. A happy one, but still.

I studied these books like the Quran, looking for clues on how to behave once naked with another--and to figure out what the hell words like "necking" and "petting" meant. (Actually that's probably not what people are studying the Quran for.) My furtive peeks at these books, for better or worse, shaped my sexual worldview and informs my life even today. (Thank you, "J," you little hussy, for the "silken swirl.")

So yeah, was it the same for you? What was your formative smut? Where'd you find it? What did you learn?  Did any salient passages stick with you to guide your later sexual self? 

Here's the contest part

To enter, tell me what your formative smut was. That's it! From among your answers, I'll pick a winner, semi-randomly, depending on the vagaries of my mood. Deadline is Wednesday, May 27. [edit:  contest has ended. To see winner, click here.] You can comment below, use the comment form at right, or email me at jillhamilton001@gmail.com.

The winner gets a choice of:

-- a $50 gift certificates to Good Vibrations, fine purveyors of sex toys.

OR

--a Pearly Waterproof Rechargeable Silicone Vibrator ($100 value) also donated by Good Vibrations.

"So....wanna fuck?"

Sex Museums!
My story "9 Amazing Sex Museums That'll Blow Your Mind" is running on AlterNet, featuring the highly important information that at NYC's Museum of Sex, there's an G-spot exhibit that's a Hall of Mirrors Maze. If you find your way to the spot, you can move your hands around to play the theremin. Which is genius.

Donations!

"I had to donate! Otherwise I was just exploiting your blog for sex," Phebie wrote, sending money I plan to blow on household electricity. Thank you, Phebie!

"It's about time I paid a subscription fee for the wonderfulness that is you delivered straight to my inbox!" wrote Ada, who signed up via PayPal to make automatic monthly donations, thus forcing me to change the honorary title for Robert, formerly IBWMW Minister of Being the Blog's Only Patron.

To Phebie, Ada, Robert, all those who've donated before, plus anyone who shares posts (like Juanita, who bravely shares practically every post, even the ones with unseemly words like "VAGINA" in the title) and the tons of people who provide smart/funny/deep comments, you keep me out of the Pit of Despair and more like Pit of Despair Adjacent, which is a much nicer area.

Now go think of your formative smut and write me back.

xoxo
jill

(Photo source)

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Sex Museums!

Hey, gorgeous. My story on sex museums ran a week ago or so on AlterNet, but if you're too lazy to click over, I'm bringing it here to you--much like a cat brings its half-dead animal victims to your doorstep.

There were no crushingly mean comments this time around, though one commenter complained that there was no mention of the Icelandic Phallogical Museum, even though there, like, was. In the second paragraph. I tried to feel miffed and insecure about it, but it just wasn't up to the level of the chick who yelled at me: "You have Numb Vagina Syndrome!" 

Anyway, here you go. I killed it just for you:

Sure, there are undeniable pleasures to seeing a nicely curated Natural History Museum exhibit on African savanna animals, but sex museums offer a whole different spin on the museum experience.

Risque exhibits like a giant inflatable boob bounce house (the Museum of Sex) or displays of the sex toys our pervy ancestors stuck up their primitive orifices (several museums--our ancestors were a randy lot) mean lots of visitors and sex museums are popping up all over the world. Even Iceland has one—the Icelandic Phallological Museum, featuring more than 215 penises and “penile parts” from mammals, including Homo Sapiens.

Here's a list of some of the world's best, if you happen to be in the area. Just don't call yourself a sex tourist, 'cause that's a whole different thing.

Museum of Sex, New York City

Around since 2002, MoSex puts a cheeky spin on sex ed, sexual history and erotic art. Running now is FUNLAND: Pleasures & Perils of the Erotic Fairground, an art installation by conceptual artist duo Bompas & Parr, featuring carnival attractions so guests can “contemplate the sexual subtext of carnivals.” (“Carnival sexual subtext” being for most people, maybe...zero?) Still, it's clever, silly and arty with grown-up fun like the boob bounce house (you can really jump in it), Grope Mountain (a body parts climbing wall) and a hall of mirrors maze leading to a “grotto” representing a woman's g-spot. Which is genius. Once inside the grotto, you can manipulate your hands to play the theremin, which is even more genius.


The Sex Machines Museum is small, but has about 200 gadgets showing how humans can't leave well enough alone when it comes to sex. See devices designed to make sex better or at least more interesting, like a racy 1880s chamber pot with a mirror or a chair with strategic holes to facilitate oral sex. There are also contraptions designed to block out sex entirely, like a German chastity belt from 1580 and a really horrible looking electric (!) anti-masturbation device from 1915 (Which, as you know completely wiped out the worldwide scourge of masturbation forever hence. Jk.) If you need to take a breather to balance your humours, step into the theater to screen 1920s porn from Spain, some of world's earliest.

MusEros, St. Petersburg, Russia

“Know everything about what others are silent!” says MusEros' (translated) site, referring to the Soviet penchant for secrecy in, well, pretty much everything. In the History Room (“You will know at first hand that there was sex in the Soviet Union!”), there is a special sex chair reportedly used by Catherine the Great. The Modern Room showcases human ingenuity via a seesaw festooned with strategically placed dildos, a chair rigged up with a naughtily-situated feather-covered spinning wheel, and a glass case of blow-up dolls including men, women, and sheep, waiting with mouths permanently agape ready for your love. The Erotic Culture room has sex artifacts from all over the world and fun facts like “For a long time Koreans believed that the best way to turn a man on was to prick his root of penis with a needle.”


The newly reopened Erotic Heritage Museum makes good on any expected Vegas showiness with exhibits like props from a “Star Wars” porn parody, a Ron Jeremy fortune telling machine and an extensive chart on all Game of Thrones sex acts. They have historical artifacts like Chinese figurines from the 1700s doing “it” and vintage porn posters plus pieces of more dubious educational value like a penis made of pennies. You can also get tickets to Puppetry of the Penis, which you will have to look up yourself—though be forewarned that is sometimes referred to as “genital origami.”


The World Erotic Art Museum was started by the late Naomi Wilzig, a spunky erotic art collector/grandmother and features of 4000 works, from 300 BC to the present. It's a lowbrow/highbrow jumble with Chinese shunga books (erotic art offered as gifts to new brides on their wedding night) and erotic drawings by acclaimed artists workin' blue including Rembrandt, Picasso and Klimt happily coexisting with more kitschy stuff like a four-poster bed with, naturally, penis posts. Guests also dig WEAMs gift shop fare like 1970s/80s Mexican sex-themed comic books for $5 and an especially good collection of postcards.


Amsterdam's Sexmuseum, may not be the most comprehensive museum of its kind, but it's the longest operating sex museum, first opening its doors in 1985 with a small display of 19th century erotic objects. It's since expanded to three floors (albeit narrow Netherlands-size floors) of sexy detritus including fetish gear, a flashing mannequin showing his mannequin naughty bits and historical artifacts like a 16th century chastity belt. Admission is cheap and you'll know the place by the giant bronze penis/seemingly irresistible photo op spot out front.


This wide and varied collection is based on the huge erotic art collection Alain Plumey and Jo Khalifa amassed over 30 years. Their devotion resulted in 7 floors of over 2000 pieces including Aztec fertility idols, Nepalese temple carvings and some Japanese wooden dildo/shoe combo which seems unfit for either purpose. Currently running is an exhibit devoted to the history of brothels from the late 19th century until 1946, including “Polisson et Galipettes,” a collection of freshly-restored erotic silent film shorts made in France between 1905 and 1930 used to 'warm up' the patrons of Paris's famous brothels.

Jeju Loveland, South Korea

Jeju Loveland bills itself as a sexual theme park, but it's more like an erotic sculpture garden with over 140 naked statues going far beyond typical “statue mode” of standing around looking dignified. Loveland is located on popular honeymoon destination Jeju Island and was created to help newlyweds lose their inhibitions by wandering among statues in various states of fuckery and a lovely penis garden. (No figures on how many newlyweds leave with even more inhibitions.)

There's also a Museum of Sex and Health on site, with a mashup of sex education films, novelties like a hands-on "masturbation cycle” and sciencey human body part models alongside less anatomically-correct pieces like a penis with wings and a penis tail and, for good measure, a regular penis in the usual place.

Antique Vibrator Museum, San Francisco

“Your great-great-grandmother might have owned a vibrator” notes Antique Vibrator Museum's web site, in probably not their most alluring enticement. Still, the Antique Vibrator Museum, located at the Polk location of seminal (er...) sex toy store Good Vibrations, offers a fascinating history of hysteria, the vibrators designed to help relieve this rampant “problem” and vintage ads that hedged around the benefits of the vibe without saying exactly where women could put it. ("American Vibrator ... can be used by yourself in the privacy of dressing room or boudoir, and furnish every woman with the essence of perpetual youth.")

Highlights include a 1906 Detwiller pneumatic vibrator that ran on (ack!) compressed gas and a Magic Rotating Disc with its box showing its tasteful use on non-crotchal areas like the feet, back and oddly, the upper arm. There's also Dr. Macaura's Pulsocon Blood Circulator, a turn-of-the-century hand crank number that never caught on, perhaps due to hand crank twisting motions meeting voluminous bushes of 1800s-era ladies. The Good Vibes site also offers a virtual tour of vibrators, starting with the extra scary ones from 1869-1920

(Photo: Salvador Dali, Paris, 1938.)
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