Playtime: What Goes in the Box…

Vibe

Many moons ago I bought my first vibrator. It was exciting. It was taboo. It was hidden in a brown bag so no one would know what I’d purchased. After a quick trip to the store to pick up some batteries (let’s be real, first timer…didn’t want to run out and didn’t know what to expect) I rushed home, excited to play.

Alone in my room, I freed the teal gel cylinder from the wrapping, washed it, and slid the batteries the hard plastic handle piece. I toyed with the various settings against my hand to get a feel for how it operated, then disrobed and moved to the bed.

This was going to be awesome, right? So much easier and fun than my own fingers?

Not exactly.

It wasn’t so much the going in. Lubrication (both self and purchased) helped with that. It was more the uncomfortable, burning feeling.  And the feeling like the only way to rid myself of that uncomfortable burn was to pee.

I knew that the lady at the pleasure party said that they were considered “novelty” items, but it was explained that this had more to do with the rules of other countries about exporting things that were used for sex. That’s why there were things like rabbit ears or hummingbirds or dolphins on the clitoral stimulator….or so I understood back then.

It never occurred to me that pleasure items were not held to any health or safety standard. That they could be toxic. In the end, I gave up on that particular toy figuring it must be an allergic reaction. Heck, I’ve been known to have a sensitivity to latex condoms, so I just chalked it up to that! And then I did a bit more research.

Did you know that many of the older toys were made with toxic products? That they were safer to be used in conjunction with a condom? Or that the type of lubricant you use can actually dry you out? In fact, check out the article I wrote for Sexual Wellness News on exactly this topic this week! It’s all about how to shop for great non-toxic toys. And if you have any doubts that not all lubes are created equal? Check out this blog post from my favorite lube company. It’s from a nurse’s perspective on why their stuff is head and shoulders above the rest.

Don’t get me wrong, this has NOT stopped me from enjoying pleasure enhancers. It’s just made me much more careful in my choices. Heck, ya’ll know I’ve always been pretty vocal about sharing what I like….and reading materials to help you get there.

What about you guys? Any sex toy nightmares to share? Any tips you’ve learned along the way? Caring is Sharing, afterall!

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Lessons In Going Solo #MasturbationMonth

Who has ever heard or said some derivative of one or both of these statements?

“He has intimacy issues.”

or

“It’s his responsibility to make sure you cum first.”

I’m guilty. I remember finding out from a friend at a pleasure party I hosted that she’d never achieved orgasm and me (and every other woman in the room) blamed her boyfriend. It was a reflexive reaction, probably partially programmed through years of hearing how when something goes wrong it must be the man’s fault/responsibility.

Lately, though, I’ve started looking at things differently. Men aren’t the only ones with intimacy issues. In fact, many women have major physical intimacy issues with themselves. I wish I could say it’s uncommon to hear how women are uncomfortable with their own bodies or that discomfort at masturbation is still a thing. But it’s not. In fact, I’ve discovered that it’s much more likely for me to talk to people with hang ups about this subject.

Why is that? As my buddy, August McLaughlin, points out in one of her GirlBoner posts, Orgasms are good for us! I’m going to take things a step forward and say that self induced orgasms are important for both your confidence and your love life.

Remember the old adage, “how can you expect someone else to love you if you can’t love yourself?” There’s truth to that. Not because other people can’t love you, but because if you don’t love yourself, often you don’t recognize when someone else does. Well, why are our bodies any different? If we don’t know how to rev our own engine, is it really fair to blame the partner who has difficulty deciphering our physical codes? Sure, there will be times when someone who really knows his/her way around the human body may make yours sing in ways you’ve never experienced before, but that’s not the norm.

Building and maintaining physical heat takes communication… Sharing what gets you hot (or not). If you don’t know where to start on your own body, it’s total guess work for your partner. And if you’re one of those people who “fakes it” because you don’t want to disappoint, you’ll probably never know the wonders that your body is capable of providing for you. The endorphin rush is amazing. Addictive, even.

But seriously. The best way to ensure sexual satisfaction? Start with yourself. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with a bit of sensual exploration. In fact, here are a few suggestions to aid in your self discovery.

My newest favorite

Lubricant– ladies, lube isn’t just a thing for men, and they’re not all created equal. We’re not always wet when we begin a self pleasuring session, and this can be an incredible help. This particular one, made by Aloe Cadabra, is made with 95% Organic Aloe and is 100% awesome! The one pictured in my hand is the peppermint flavor that gives you that wonderful tingly sensation while you’re playing south of the border. It also doesn’t leave you feeling greasy or sticky or slimy when you’re done. It’s even got healing properties…. Who knew?

Pleasure paraphenalia

Pleasure paraphenalia

Toys– There’s this myth that says growing up means we outgrow playing with toys. I beg to differ. The type of toys we play with simply changes. When I began to explore these bedroom enhancers, I found some very interesting devices, but found I had a sensitivity to some of the materials used (jelly, specifically) to create these passion playthings. That’s when I remembered hearing about glass toys. They can be warmed and cooled, allowing me to pick my pleasure without the after-effects of vaginal irritation and/or discomfort. Nowadays, it’s amazing how many options there are, so it’s just a matter of finding what works for you. Me? I enjoy shopping at adult shops or hosting pleasure parties (though others may prefer the privacy shopping online affords them). In fact, I hosted one at the end of last month. My consultant was a truly fabulous woman named Stacey…and she’s moving to Wisconsin, so if you live in that area and want to have a party, here’s her website. Tell her I sent you!

naughty nights2

Inspirational Paraphanelia– Not everyone can get heated just because they’ve decided to explore. Some are great at being able to close their eyes and fantasize, but not everyone can do it quite that easily. Erotic reading materials are a fantastic source of inspiration. In fact, click here to check out a current ongoing blog hop (It ends on the 21st) that’s all about giving away Wickedly Hot and Sexy books or Amazon gift cards. Yes, I’m giving away a copy of one of my books. 😉

Partners– Hey, if you’re in a relationship, discovering what works for you can be a joint adventure. There’s something extremely sexy about sitting across the room from your lover, watching him/her enjoy himself while you do the same. Me? Sometimes I prefer a taste of danger or the possibility of getting caught. Yes, there’s something about enjoying myself in the passenger seat when my partner has to keep his hands on the wheel that appeals to me. Or surreptitiously doing it in a public place where an observant person might notice, but maybe not. You know, like in a fancy restaurant, sitting across from your lover….or in a movie theater.

Yes, the pleasure possibilities are endless! The health benefits are great. The ability to take responsibility for your own orgasm and lead your partner to pleasing you? Priceless! The fact that May just happens to be Masturbation Month just gives you the perfect excuse opportunity to explore.

What major insights or changes in thinking have you experienced with regards to sexuality and/or relationships? If you’re one who enjoys the solo touch, what advice or lessons would you care to impart on folks who might just be opening up to self discovery?

And, of course, my warped humor wouldn’t let me leave out the ever-so-famous Sex in the City “Rabbit Intervention” episode. 😉 Enjoy!

 

Pre-Valentine’s Day Preparedness

Whether you’re single, in a relationship or an “old married couple” there’s something about the Hearts and Flowers holiday that brings out the need to love and be loved.

As it turns out, I’ve got some people who just might be able to help with that!

First, we have my dear friends at Go Deeper Press, Lana Fox and Angela Tavares, hosting a 3 day event for FREE called The Mermaid Voyage. This is all about erotic self discovery. These lovely women are in touch with their sensual sides and are offering their assistance to help YOU get in touch with YOURS!

Next, here’s some help from Love Experts, Chuck and Jo-Ann Bird for those of you who feel like you’re in a sexual “rut” with your partner. Nothing like a little Role Play (and the right rules) to help bring back the spice. These guys are fantastic.

Then there’s my dear friend, August McLaughlin and her GirlBoner radio (available to view FREE HERE on iTunes). She’s all about frank, honest talk about the joy and beauty of human sexuality. I love her Sex Positive outlook on the world (which is actually probably one of the first bonds we shared). Care to know more about what it means to be Sex Positive? Read this post…I felt pretty awesome that she enjoyed my first book enough to mention it as part of this post. What an honor!

Finally, for those couples looking for something more “obscure” to spice things up….Here’s a post from one of my buddies, Anna Cade, of Herding Cats and Burning Soup that lists some of the more unique toys…including a “fleshlight.”

Now it’s your turn. Have you recently found a post that you think needs to be shared in preparation for Valentine’s Day? Are you a Valentine’s day hater? Do you have some great/funny opposing views to share?

Four One Night WEBSITE USE

My contribution to Valentine’s Day this year is my newest release, Four One Night. Did you miss the excerpt I shared on Emma and Loni’s pages a couple posts ago? Here it is, one more time, just for you guys.

Excerpt:

I nodded my head, an idea taking hold in my mind. “You know, I decided I needed to blow off some steam about three hours ago. You’re coming with me. You need it even more than I do. We’ll call it medicinal.”

“That sounds exactly like the kind of distraction I need,” she said, a smile flitting across her face.

“Good. Because it’s too freaking cold to be standing around. My nipples are pointing all over the place for all the wrong reasons!” We hustled to my car, heels clicking a rapid staccato against the asphalt. “All this pent up energy has me in the mood to play. It’s time to call in reinforcements.”

“Ooh!” She looked at me over the hood, her baby blues full of mischief. “That means Michael’s coming. Think he can handle both of us?”

“We’re about to find out! If not, there’s always you and me.” I laughed and yanked my phone out of my purse pocket.

“Danielle Monroe! You are such a tease.” She tossed her dark gold curls over her shoulder.

“Am I? You’ve never seen my bad girl side.” My eyebrow raised, daring her to take me up on the offer.

“Now that sounds promising.” She said, batting her eyes in the worst parody of exaggerated flirtation I’d seen in a while.

Shaking my head and smiling at our antics, I dialed Michael. With the receiver to my ear, the muted strains of “My Cherie Amour” floated through instead of a ring. The frigid air whipped through the thin cotton of my shirt causing a shudder to ripple through my curvy frame. I grabbed for my key fob and quickly pressed the unlock button.

“Hey babe,” his dark, raspy voice came on the line. “What’s up?”

“Well, that all depends on you,” I purred as my hands motioned Candace to get in the car. “Work was nuts and Candace and I need to blow off some steam. We’re headed over to Club Heat for ladies night. Will you join us or do we need to find some other sexy men to play with?”

“Ooh, someone’s feeling feisty.” I could practically see his smile through the rumble in his voice. “I love it when Miss Dani comes out to play.”

“Then you’re gonna love me tonight.” Grabbing the handle, I tugged my door open. Finally out of the chilled air and in the driver’s seat, I slammed the door shut and shoved my key in the ignition.

“Two wild women looking to unleash themselves after a bad day?” The little beep of his car alarm being released sounded through the receiver followed by the slam of the door. “That may be more than I can handle alone.”

Tipping my head against my shoulder to cradle the phone, I turned the key in the ignition, quickly followed by the heater. “Michael Gallo! Afraid you might need reinforcements?”

Music flared in the background as he started his car. “Afraid is such a strong word. I prefer to think of it as being prepared for any eventuality.”

“Well, you know how I feel. The more, the merrier. Hot men and alcohol make everything better!” With one last look in my rear view mirror, I shifted into drive, leaving our bad day in the dust.

Cheating: Where Does Your Line Get Crossed?

Ok, guys and gals…it’s confession time again. Today’s topic? Fidelity. No, no…hubby and I are fine. No need to worry on that front. Nothing extramarital…unless you count the heroes in my naughty, naughty stories…as they dance their way through my brain.

Here’s the deal. I’m very quirky about extramarital affairs. I hated The Scarlet Letter and refuse to watch or read The Bridges Of Madison County. Maybe it comes from my dad repeatedly cheating on my mom, but I don’t find anything that glorifies or excuses adultery to be the slightest bit appealing. Having said that…I’m about to throw a big kink (pun intended) in this whole thing. Strange as it may seem, I have absolutely no issue with committed polyamorous relationships or sharing as long as both parties in the committed relationship are either there or have given consent. Yeah, that means I’m okay with exploring the voyeur/exhibitionist sides of relationships. The truth is, I LOVE reading this kind of book. Menage, BDSM, exihibitionism/voyeurism…I’m good with all of it! In fact, that’s the playground where I enjoy dipping my pen. Is this kind of relationship something I’d be interested in for real? No. I’m perfectly happy with having only one husband. Two may be a bit much to handle…LOL!

Why am I bringing this up? First, because I can. 😉 Second, because a friend of mine called me yesterday and got me thinking about cheating. She was talking in the context of her ex-husband. I’ll expand on this in just a moment.

Here’s the question I have for you guys before I continue with her story and put in my $.02. What construes cheating to you?

I know people can be very different about this. I’ve spoken to some women who’ve told me that the reason they’ve never purchased a sex toy (vibrator, dildo) is because their husband would feel threatened…and felt that this was necessary because they weren’t good enough in bed or some other such (in my opinion only) nonsense. The husbands have stated that they viewed this as a form of cheating. Personally, I subscribe to my friend Ande’s point of view that it can enhance the relationship (especially when used together). I don’t think that’s particularly progressive, just fact. Am I wrong? Well, if my girl Katie could cheat on her DVR with her boyfriend, I guess anything’s possible…;-)

I have other friends who feel watching porn is cheating. Personally, I don’t have a problem there, either. In fact, hubby and I have watched adult movies together. Sometimes it can spice things up! Sometimes it can give you ideas. Hopefully those ideas are more feasable than Natalie’s, because trips to the ER are not much fun, not to mention embarassing to explain to hospital personnel…trust me. I used to be hospital personnel…I could tell you stories! LOL! (Maybe another time)

What about constant texting and Facebook/Twitter messaging or emailing? Especially if it’s kept quiet from the significant other? Some feel that this is cheating emotionally. I don’t think it’s a good idea, but I don’t quite think it’s cheating. It’s definitely a gateway to heading down that path…because then it’s usually followed by meeting for coffee or drinks without telling the person with whom you’re in a relationship. Yeah…that’s a gateway. Anything that requires secretiveness and/or lies is probably not a great path to go down…but still not quite cheating.

Prostitutes or other one nighters…different area code or not? Yeah, to me that’s cheating. Sex of any kind without your significant other’s concent crosses a line for me. Am I wrong?

Here’s the story with my friend’s ex. You guys tell me if you think it’s cheating. My last statement above should probably tell you what my thoughts are… Her ex-husband used to sit online looking at porn and “spanking his monkey”. A lot. Here’s the twist. He was “jerkin’ his guerkin” to live webcam feeds. Interacting with the girls. Paying them. Telling them what to do. Watching them while they watched him. In a situation like that, would you consider it cheating? That he was doing this furtively goes without question. Where do you draw your cheating line?