Limits – A Firm No to Rape Play

StopI’m starting a new blog series. This one is going to be all about our sexual limits, boundaries and the reasons behind them. I decided to start with my hardest limit, one that is firmly placed in my red zone, a place it will never move from. Most of my limits are within the orange realm, so are subject to change, but this one is not up for discussion.

When my partner and I first got together, I opened up to him about a sexual assault and rape that I experienced when I was younger. He was great about it. He was happy to take everything at my pace and sat with me through the many panic attacks that happened during our first sexual encounters. As a result of what I encountered, I find this a touchy subject and I completely understand others will too. It’s not something I was ever going to talk about here but I decided to write about this subject when I heard a podcast that the wonderful Kink Craft did discussing it.

I like to think of myself as an open-minded Person and a firm advocate of doing whatever you want as long as along parties involved are consenting. This excludes illegal acts of course. As a result, I wanted to understand this sort of play more in the hopes of getting some answers and being more accepting of it. So that’s exactly what I did. Through the research I’ve done over the past few months, i can now (sort of) understand the attraction to consensual non consent.

The feeling of having the control being taken away from you but knowing you have that safety net of being able to stop at the drop of a safe word. That is something I can relate to. My partner and I have explored elements of this within bondage. An adrenaline rush that comes through control play can be very exciting, but I draw the line at consensual non consent when it’s in the form of a roleplay rape. I feel like I would have said it’s not healthy for anyone to do this a few years ago, but now I think it’s fine as long as all the safety precautions are in place, such as safe words and signals, aftercare and trust.

I am still very much affected by my experiences and struggle to cope with it on a daily basis, even ten + years later. I still receive treatment and there are days where I can’t even consider being intimate with a partner, let alone actually following through with it. Sometimes I think I’m going to be fine but fall apart the second we get between the sheets. It can be tough, but this is exactly why I could never engage in rape play. I’m still dealing with the aftermath so something like this would do more harm than good.

What I found when I researched was interesting. The amount of survivors that use this type of play as a form of taking back control. I give these people huge props, because this is something I couldn’t do. Turning something traumatic like that, into a situation where you have all the power over the outcome, is actually very smart and important to recovery, regardless of how you choose to do it. I’m doing a similar sort of thing with this blog, I’m reclaiming my sexuality and learning that sex doesn’t have to be painful or harmful, it can actually be lots of fun.

My Thoughts On Ask a Porn Stars Horror Set Stories

ASK A PORN STARI was going to write a review today, but I came across a series of videos that I wanted to talk about instead. I can’t remember exactly how I came across this series, I just ended up on the weird side of Youtube and found a video entitled ‘Ask A Porn Star: What was your grossest on set experience?’. I became intrigued, so I decided to watch said video.

I don’t know much about porn or the porn industry as I don’t watch it and never really have, obviously I’ve seen the odd video here and there, but it’s not something that I personally find appealing or seek out. I don’t need the visuals to get off, but for those who do, I think you’ll be surprised by some of the stories these adult performers talk about in this video. I almost turned the video off at the sight of one male performer who’s been in the headlines quite a bit and I don’t think I need to mention any names here but I’m glad I watched the rest of the video because it turned out to be eye-opening.

First of all, I have major respect for these performers after watching this. Some of the horrific things they have to go through to put on a show for the viewer, I could never do. If any of the things I’m about to mention ever happened to me, I’d call it a day and be absolutely mortified. I have to give them props for cleaning up and carrying on.  I love that they’re so open about what they do and embrace it, rather than be ashamed of it. It’s definitely not a job that’s easy to do, so I have some respect for the performers, even though porn isn’t and will probably never be my thing.

So, onto the topics mentioned in the video… There’s lots of shit stories. Literally.

I assumed accidents happened during anal scenes now and then, but apparently, it’s a very common/regular thing to happen on shoots. So many different examples are mentioned in this video, it’s actually quite shocking. I feel so sorry for everyone who’s ended up with it on their face, but again, major respect for carrying on, I would not feel up for sexiness after that. There are so many stories about people not understanding their bodies, so to me that just proves that this taboo subject needs to be talked about more, even amongst adult industry professionals.

The damn make-up sponges. I could have gone my whole life without knowing that. I have never heard of people putting a sponge inside their body to stop bleeding and I’m still not understanding how people can forget it’s there. Can you not feel it?

Thirdly, how reassuring is it to hear that even porn stars struggle with squirting? I think it’s very well assumed that every porn star or woman can, but it’s just not the case. We are all different and we can’t all orgasm in the same ways and that is ok. Judging by the stories in this video, you might never know if your favourite porn star can really squirt or if they’ve just had water pushed into them that they let out on cue. I hope that people out there who are putting pressure on themselves to squirt can take a minute to watch this video and understand that even some ‘professionals’ cannot do it, it’s not the be-all and end-all of orgasms. There is nothing wrong with you if you can’t do it.

*photo and video links can be found on woodrocket.com or the woodrocket youtube channel, which is the source of the content spoken of in this post. no copyright intended*

My Worst Lube Experience ft Durex

If you go to my sex essentials page, you’ll notice I’ve tried five different lubes by Durex. I’ve given the brand a good go, but they just don’t do it for me. I don’t use condoms regularly, but when I do, I always opt for Durex, they are good at condoms, that’s definitely their niche, but the lubes could be better.

If I’m honest, until I started ordering sex toys and talking within the adult community, I didn’t even know there was such a thing as a ‘bad‘ lubricant. I just assumed any lube was good, because you know, it was lube and it did the job. Looking back, I can’t believe how naive I was, but it’s not surprising considering lubricant isn’t spoken about much outside of the sexual twittersphere, blogs and forums. Sure I knew it existed and I used it, but it was a quick impulse buy from Amazon or the shelf of my local supermarket. I didn’t spend time deciding what to get, I just went for the well-known brand options in whatever flavour or kind looked alright.

I think I never took any notice because it had been regimented in my mind as a teen that using lubricant was something to be embarrassed about. It was something you only used if your partner couldn’t get you wet enough or you didn’t like performing oral sex without some extra flavour. It was never even mentioned to me that flavoured lube wasn’t just for aiding blowjobs. During my sex education lessons, we were made to feel as if using lubricant was a bad thing & if we needed to use it, then there must be something wrong with us. My sex education was clearly shit and non-existent. We were never told the purpose of lubricant or that using it was ok, why we might need to use it or what types we should use for specific activities.

Back to Durex, as you can probably gather from my previous paragraph, I never researched before using their lubricants. If I had, I probably would have just avoided them. I assumed in my innocence that they were the best brand because they were trusted and well-known, being sold everywhere for convenience. My question is how many people are there out there who have no idea how many other choices there are? For me personally, there’s much better options out there. Durex lubes seem to hinder my sex life more than aid it.

Why don’t they work for me? Well, they irritate me and they make my partner itch too. I should mention we both have sensitive skin, me in particular, so that might be why they don’t work for us. There is one lubricant in particular though, that I had a really bad reaction to and it put me off using their lubricants. That lubricant was the Play Tingle. It set my vagina on fire and I found myself crying in a freezing cold shower scrubbing myself raw. This experience really changed the way I viewed lubricant and was the catalyst for learning more about them. We also had a really bad experience using the Passion Fruit lubricant during intercourse, which just so happened to be my ‘official’ first time. It said it was fine to use for sex, but I now realise the sugars in it had irritated me and that’s what caused the burning that I had experienced.

Did I ever like their lubricants? I thought the Strawberry was the best tasting, it was still very artificial, but during the early stages of my relationship we did use this successfully for oral sex. I didn’t like the texture though. Another lubricant I didn’t mind at first was the Massage 2-in-1 Sensual one, I thought it was great in the beginning, until I discovered not all lubes are meant to be that sticky or dry out faster than you can thrust. We used it primarily for massage, but a month or so after my initial review, I realised there were specific massage oils that did the job much better. It wasn’t an awful lubricant, but we did have to shower straight after sex because it felt like we’d rolled in candy floss.

Would I recommend them? To someone like myself who has sensitive skin, isn’t keen on artificial flavours or wants to avoid Glycerin, no I wouldn’t. I do know plenty of people who do love their lubricants though, so it’s a try it and see for yourselves scenario. I gave the massage lubricant to my mother who actually does like to use it for massage, so it’s different strokes for different folks! If they ever change the formula, I’d give them another go, but I’d definitely be more cautious about it.

Let’s Talk: Don’t Feel Guilty

I have no problems writing negative reviews. If I were a manufacturer and my product sucked, even if it hurt my ego, I’d want to be told. I’d want to take the feedback on board and fix the problems to improve my product. If you’re a company that can’t handle negative feedback and have to pay people to say great things about your product, you can’t have much faith in what you’re trying to sell. If you don’t believe your product is amazing, why should I?

When I first began reviewing, I wasn’t very descriptive in what I wrote and felt guilty if I didn’t like a product that everybody else loved. I probably rated things higher than I should have because I didn’t want to sound like I was being petty with things that bugged me about the product. Now, I don’t care how I sound, I want people to know why I didn’t like it, so they can make their own choices about whether the same things would irritate them. I’ve discovered lots of people share my gripes about noise, buzziness and bad quality items and I’ve become comfortable with dishing out criticism. My aim is to be constructive and let people know what I want and how I want it, which is exactly how I act in my sex life with my partner. If you don’t communicate, you end up stuck doing the same shitty routine that does nothing for you.

I suppose it started with materials, once I’d learnt about the dangers of Jelly Rubber and other porous toys, it helped me to understand why I couldn’t enjoy using toys made from these materials. I understood why I felt a burning sensation, why it hurt and why it wasn’t pleasurable in the slightest. If I was buying my first sex toy now, I’d want to read about the  downsides of choosing a toy in a certain material. When I ordered my first vibrator, it had no reviews, it was just featured on the popular page of a site and I thought that meant I’d enjoy it. After all, if it’s popular, it can’t be bad, right? Wrong. These toys are often popular because they’re cheap, not because they’re good quality or safe to use. After a couple of months wondering why I had such a bad experience, I found the bloggers of the industry and wondered how on earth I could have not known. I didn’t even know the sex toy industry wasn’t regulated until I started reading through blogs!

So out those toys went and in came, slightly more costly, body-safe toys. There’s no phthalates, foul odour or leaking chemicals, nothing that should give me an infection or bad reaction, it’s just a clean slate. A trust worthy canvas. So now I have to look for other things that explain why a toy won’t work for me, sometimes it’s really obvious and sometimes it isn’t. It’s interesting to read reviews and share opinions with other people who’ve experienced the same toy, there might be a way you haven’t tried to use it yet that turns out to be the answer to all of your questions or they may share the same feelings you have, indicating that the problem is the toy.

Noise in particular is subjective, what may be quiet for some, could be loud for others, it depends on many factors. I live at home, in a semi-detached house with thin walls, so I can’t use my wand in the middle of the night as I’ll wake everybody up, however if you live in a farm-house in the middle of nowhere, the chances are, you’re not going to be too concerned about waking up the neighbours. (If you even have any!) If you relate to my situation, we probably share similar opinions about what classes as noisy. For me, it’s if the neighbours can hear or the TV can’t drown it out. This doesn’t mean a toy is bad, it just means it’s not the right one for me.

The purpose of this post is to encourage everyone to be completely honest about the product you’re reviewing. Talk about the things that a product description can’t tell you. Talk about why it worked for you, or more importantly, why it didn’t. Share your experiences. If you don’t feel the toy is a good fit for you, who might it be good for? Don’t feel guilty for not liking something that other people raved about or for leaving constructive feedback, your review could help someone just like you to save money and more importantly, buy a toy that they will really loveHonesty is always the best policy.