Womens March – Equality Needs to be a Reality

A Personal Essay on Feminism

On Friday, the World as we know it changed forever. If you follow me on Twitter you will have seen that over the last 48 hours I have been retweeting much more that I usually do. I tried to reign it in but I had so many feelings and I wasn’t managing to process them. So sharing other’s reactions was my way of showing support, solidarity, etc. Friday I was all about the inauguration, today was all about the Womens March. I have never felt more hope or pride than I did today seeing so many images from all over the World of women standing together and saying, “No, this is not okay. We are equal, and we will be treated as such.”

I don’t know if it will make a difference. After all, we have hundreds of years of societal, cultural and religious conditioning to combat. But it is a start. It is setting something in motion. Judging from the social media reactions of the patriarchy it is terrifying them. Maybe they are getting a glimpse into what OUR lives have been. I realised today that this is what the patriarchy are truly afraid of, that if they allow us our equality we will begin to treat them the way they have treated us for centuries.

It is 2017 we should not still be having this conversation but we are. We are still prisoners because of the idea some one came up with long ago that men are somehow inherently superior purely because they are men. Because of an accident of birth they are somehow stronger, smarter, better than we are. But I’ve never cried and threatened murder because some stranger (of the opposite sex) on the internet dared to have an opinion about a video game that I disagreed with.

IT HAS TO STOP. THE TIME HAS COME.

We need to speak out. We need to fight. We need to start holding the policy makers accountable. We need to be united. Our differences don’t matter. We need to stand together. We need to stop tearing each other down. We are women. We need to support each other, to support ALL women. The march today has shown no matter where we are in the World we all believe that we should be treated equally.

The Womens March

This morning some bloke decided to ask why “women” in England were protesting. What did we think it would achieve. Do we think America’s Government care what women in other countries think of them. I believe his exact words were:

“Utter pathetic! What the hell has the US president got to do with Leeds. #MakeAmericaGreatAgain #Brexit”

Delightful, right?

A very lovely lady replied explaining that it wasn’t just about the USA it was about women’s equality, she asked the original tweeter if he’d heard the way Trump speaks about women. His response is somewhat typical of the kind of men who live in denial of rape culture, and the reality of what women deal with on a daily basis.

womens march

Yes, he really does say “People choose to take offence, others don’t give offence. If something offends you that’s your problem.”  He boils the entire womens march principle down to us being offended. You can see my response in the photo but just in case you can’t what I point out is that the way Trump talks about women doesn’t offend me it terrifies me.

The way Trump talks about women is not only disrespectful it is a symptom of the patriarchy. He is normalising the belief some men have that women are just there for their gratification. That men’s sexual pleasure is more important than women’s autonomy. They feel justified in policing our bodies. They can do what they want with them but heaven forbid we use them ourselves. Let us not forget that the man who is now the President of the United States once said:

“I did try and fuck her. She was married. I moved on her like a bitch, but I couldn’t get there. And she was married. Then all of a sudden I see her, she’s now got the big phony tits and everything. She’s totally changed her look. I’ve gotta use some Tic Tacs, just in case I start kissing her. You know I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star they let you do it. You can do anything… Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything.”

This is not okay. This is NOT normal, and it should NEVER be treated as if it is. We are NOT chattel, we never were. Someone just decided to treat us that way because it was the only way to exert some form of control.

It is time to say no more. We will not be under your control any longer. We will speak up. We will speak out. We will use our words, our voices, and we will make things different. The womens march is only the start. You will see how far we can go.

 

We are the creatives, the writers, the artists, the musicians…..we are the revolution.

Patreon – Can You Help Support my Writing Work?

Hey All

I’ve got a special announcement that I want to let you in on. I just joined Patreon.

patreon

Patreon

In case you’re wondering, Patreon is a simple way for my fans to contribute to my writing every month, and get great rewards in return. I have a few different reward levels available. Anything you can pledge to give each month will help me. I am working as hard as I can to get more jobs that pay me but this means my true passion, fiction has to take a backseat. By contributing to my campaign you are helping provide me with the support I need to truly live my passion.

I wanted to share the link with you, if you can’t help now I will be putting a banner on my side bar, so you can help laterif you want to. You can check my Patreon page out here.

Also, if you have any suggestions for other rewards I could offer then please drop me a note (no I will not be offering nudes as part of this deal). 

Please feel free to share to share this post, and/or the campaign.

Female Orgasms – Addressing Women’s Sexuality

Women’s Sexuality

This morning my attention was drawn to a tweet someone shared on twitter about female orgasms. The original post had been retweeted by MissRavenRubies with a good dose of incredulity, understandably so.  The original tweet was from a (female) self-confessed sex researcher and educator, who stated “I don’t believe women have a sex drive – that does not mean that they are not sexual. Women’s responses are primarily emotional.”  Yes, she really did say that. She also said “Cunnilingus does not cause female orgasm. Partly because a woman is not aroused with a lover. But it’s also the wrong stimulation.” So according to her we (as women) can’t orgasm from just physical stimulation (not anywhere), we have to have some sort of emotional or psychological stimulation. And we cannot orgasm from oral because that is wrong stimulations. That may be the case for some women but for others it will not be even vaguely true.

female orgasms

This woman tweeted at Chris (QuietlyKinky) “So where are these women IN THE GENERAL POPULATION who can confirm all these beliefs? Why are they so silent?”  When many female sex bloggers responded to this explaining clearly that they DID orgasm from physical stimulation, etc. She responded not by engaging, and discussing these alternate experiences but by blocking everyone who disagreed with her. Yeah, she’s very “Open ears.”

Female Orgasms

I am going to talk very specifically about myself now, about MY orgasms, MY sexuality, how I come. Just because this is how I come doesn’t mean it is how YOU will come. We are all individuals, who will like different things, and that is totally okay. I am also a CIS woman so my point-of-view will be skewed in that direction.

I used to be quite self-conscious about my orgasms. An ex once described me orgasming as being caught in an earthquake, he also told me he’d never been with someone who orgasmed like me before. What I heard was; “you’re weird in the way you come, your orgasms aren’t normal.”  This made me really anxious about it for a long time. However, I realised that not all women have the same kind of orgasms, and one women can orgasm in many different ways. I should also say I come really easily, and I mean really easily, something I find quite funny because I am such a power queen when it comes to vibrations.

My Orgasms

For me I think there are three types of female orgasms THAT I HAVE;

  • Small clit orgasms – these tend to be the ones I have when I have having a quick speed wank, and just want to….let some steam out of the pot. These usually happen from direct clit stimulation, either the sucking of my Satisfyer Pro 2, or the vibrations of my Doxy or We-Vibe touch. My clit prefers a broader stimulation when it comes to vibrations, nothing too pin point. This type of orgasm usually happens very quickly, I don’t tend to have time to fantasise, it’s a 30-90 second thing.
  • Main orgasms – For me this is a sensation that comes in waves. I literally feel it roll in and crest, and roll in and crest, and roll in and crest, and…..well you get the idea. This is the sort of orgasm that if I am having penetrative sex with an actual cock the person attached will be able to feel me contracting around them. This is the earthquake sensation my ex described. I can do this for hours, at least 10 orgasms isn’t unusual for me. I can have this type of orgasm from both internal and external stimulation. Receiving oral sex generally gives me a combination of this type of orgasm and the small clit orgasms.
  • Squirting orgasms – These are the most intense orgasm I have ever experienced. Everything suddenly becomes very sharply focussed, and then goes very very floaty. When I have this type of orgasm, I become very sensitive to touch afterwards, almost painfully so. I also get very dry, all my natural lubrication disappears for about ten minutes. Squirting usually happens after all the other types of orgasms have happened, and afterwards I need at least ten minutes to ‘come back down’.  It is the closest I’ve ever come to passing out from an orgasm. Fucking amazing.

 

Female Sexuality

On her website the “sex researcher and educator” makes this statement:

The very first time I had sex I knew that something was up. I thought I knew what I could expect to happen. But I felt absolutely zip, zero, nothing. I almost couldn’t believe it. I had already been masturbating myself to orgasm for a year by that time. The two experiences had nothing in common. But over the following months and years, intercourse continued to be non-erotic. I felt like a prostitute acting out a mechanical part: just stimulating a man until he ejaculated. I concluded the whole thing was a hoax. I wasn’t the first woman to be disappointed by the reality of sex.

There is something very sad about this paragraph. I had initially dismissed her a crazy kook, who was peddling a harmful (religiously motivated) agenda. I still think she has an agenda, and I still think her form of ‘sex education’ is harmful, not just to women who will read it . But also to the men who will read it and believe that every woman they’ve had sex with was lying because there is no way they CAN be a good lover and give a woman an orgasm. I think the real tragedy here is that this woman knew how to make her body work but was unable to communicate that need to her sexual partner, and was therefore left disappointed and wanting.

In my experience (and maybe I’ve been very lucky) once you start verbalising to your sexual partner what you want or need, they will happily do their best to please you. Yes, I have had partners that weren’t interested and didn’t care about my pleasure but they were bad partners, there wasn’t anything wrong with me.

The lovely Dawn said this:

female orgasms

This made me start to wonder about the ‘sex educator’. Reading many articles on her site, especially ones about arousal and rape makes me wonder exactly what has happened in this woman’s life that has left her feeling like this. If she truly isn’t aroused by men, could she possibly be aroused by women, or (because she mentions finding all genitalia unarousing) could she be asexual?

Conclusion

A good sex educator needs to be willing to look at experiences other than their own, to give a balanced view on sexuality and sex. This woman seems to only be addressing a heteronormative personal experience and applying it to everyone. Because she couldn’t come using a vibrator, no woman can. because she can’t come from penetrative sex no woman can. Because she can’t come from oral sex no woman can. I have to wonder what exactly she can bring to the discussion.

Ladies however you are having sex, whether you are orgasming or not, if you are enjoying it then it is totally okay. Gents (and ladies) if you are concerned your woman isn’t enjoying sex as much as you’d like her to, talk to her, communicate, find out what else you could be doing. It’s good to ask

LELO HEX’d – Have LELO Lost The Plot

A Decision

I’ve been agonising over writing about the LELO HEX for the last few weeks. I knew writing it would mean I could no longer accept new review items, or promotional items from LELO. I feel bad about this decision because the people I have worked with during my contact with LELO have been great. However, this is about LELO management, the people at the highest level. They continually disregard the people who buy and use their products, proving they just don’t care about the consumer.

The LELO HEX controversy is just the latest incident in LELO’s dive off the deep end. It has been addressed by people much more eloquent than myself but I still felt like I had something to say. I have endorsed their products on HornyGeekGirl in the past, and therefore feel I have a responsibility to say something. I will be leaving those reviews up but they will now include a link to this post.  The people I have seen writing about this are: Sarah at MarvelousDarling who was the first I saw responding on Tuesday. Lilly at DangerousLilly talked about it on Wednesday. FormidableFemme covered it from an abuse survivors’ perspective on Thursday. This issue has also been covered in blog posts by countless other people; CaraSutra, DailyBeast, Dizzygirl, Shawna at Sexsiopa, Molly, ShWomen store, NinjaSexology, . (I will add to this list as and when I see new posts). also wrote a review covering the ‘safety’ aspect of the HEX.

lelo hex

The Decline

When I first started reviewing sex toys LELO were one of the brands I really coveted. To me they were one of the top luxury brands. They cared about their customers, and about making innovative products that would speak to women. Unfortunately, over the last few years LELO seems to have become completely removed from that image. They use gimmicks to create a buzz but forget about creating an actual viable product.

The ‘Bankers only’ Pino Cock Ring, that came packaged with cuff-links and a money clip. What on earth were they thinking? HeyEpiphora did a great post about it. Then there was the scented Lily 2. A gimmick that seemed to have no place in reality. The vibrator itself was adequate but what was the point of the scent. I found I couldn’t smell it unless the Lily 2 was directly under my nose, and after a few washes even that had gone. I would rather have had more power than the pointless scent. Most recently there was the Penis Tuxedo. They created a (dry-clean only) Tux to fit a cock. No, I don’t know either. It’s like three or so years ago management at LELO all had brain transplants. Out went sex-positive, female driven design, and in came douche-bro marketing and design. Which leads us to the LELO HEX.

When LELO first announced the HEX it was unclear whether or not it was supposed to be an April Fool’s joke……I still think it’s unclear. It feels like the whole thing might be a prank that has just gotten out of hand, and no-one is prepared to yell stop.

LELO HEX

First there was all the mystery marketing. Where they talked in very vague terms about their new condom. Saying it was revolutionary, and innovative. That it completely redesigned the condom from the ground up.  Then things got a bit more detailed, which is where confusion set in. Their ‘revolutionary and innovative’ LELO HEX condom was still made of latex. The only difference I could see was that it had a slightly different structure…..or rather a very pretty pattern.  They were touting it as ‘safer’ because the honeycomb structure was stronger. That it would hold together even when pricked by a pin. Which sounds good in theory but in practice I want to know if my condom has a hole in it. I want to know as soon as the hole forms. I want to be able to stop and replace the broken condom before I end up with any unwanted consequences.

A condom that holds together after being pricked by a pin isn’t going in my toy box. Cells are microscopic, millions of them could get through a pin prick hole. Maybe I was wrong. Maybe LELO had tested thoroughly, and would have reams of data on how their condom held up…….they didn’t. When ‘scientists’* at the launch were asked about this, they seemed confused. When the query was clarified and they were asked for specific data, “what is the transmission rate, if one of these fails?”. They had a small meeting and their response was “well we won’t know that until people have been using them for a while.” Yeah, you heard that correctly. They are selling a product on a benefit that they haven’t tested. Letting people believe it’s much safer, even though they don’t know.

I am desperately hoping this is just a case of the staff at the launch not being properly prepared for real questions. If not, this seems like a massive judgement lapse on the part of LELO. One which is sure to have an unhappy ending.

HEX Spokesman

They seem to be all about lapses in judgement at the moment. Not just in describing a fairly standard (if not potentially more dangerous) condom as revolutionary but in choosing their spokesman for the campaign. To some degree I do understand why his name may have first been suggested, however it should have been vetoed immediately. You do NOT want someone representing your (supposedly women friendly, sex positive) company who has a history of domestic violence. Who ‘allegedly’ had unprotected sex with sex workers without disclosing his HIV+ status. Nothing about Charlie Sheen says safe, responsible sex. It feels like they just found a celebrity who was willing to work with them, and grabbed with both hands.

At the launch Charlie Sheen gave a speech about being chosen as the LELO HEX spokesman. He actually said “I am here to make the condom cool”, and then talked about his influence on young people. I think (or rather hope) he was overstating his influence here. If most young people know him as anything more than a coke-addicted, actor with a history of abusing his domestic partners I will be very surprised. The idea that this man could have a positive influence on young people is truly laughable.

Overall

I just cannot continue to recommend or support a company who have shown such complete disregard for ethical practice. I believe there were much better qualified people who LELO could have chosen to work with. I believe they could have just sold their condom without all the hyperbolic advertising. Should people use condoms? Yes. Should it be the LELO HEX? No. Choose condoms with a proven track record, don’t buy into the hype and spin that LELO are spreading here.

 

 

*Strong suspicion the ‘Scientists’ at the launch were actually just PR people dressed in white coats.

Living in Fear – An Essay on Male Entitlement

An Essay on Male Entitlement

This post was prompted by the fact that in the last week I have seen statuses posted on Facebook by two different women both along similar lines but I’m fairly sure every woman who follows me has similar stories to recount. The title came to me because even when a situation makes us mad rather than scared as a general rule I feel all the women I know are to some degree living in fear.

living in fear

Living in Fear

In a week, where a rapist was found unanimously guilty on three different charges but sentenced to just six months jail time because of the impact prison would have on his life. A week where I read this post and nodded along because I too have had sex when I didn’t want to but couldn’t say no.  These Facebook statuses told stories detailing how women are living in fear; how in the normal course of their day to day lives they have been made to feel uncomfortable or unsafe by men who have felt it is their right to yell out obscene comments at any woman who walks by them, men who feel it is totally okay to invade someone else’s personal space, men who think any woman should be grateful to be treated like she is there purely for their entertainment. Men who’s sense of entitlement is so strong it overrides common human decency. Men who are shown by the ‘establishment’ that their potential is worth more than that of the women they violate.

Below is a screen grab from a status update by Cheryl of Sexhibition.

living in fear

 

No is a complete sentence

A few months ago I had this type of situation happen to me twice in a week, and these men seem incapable of understanding the word no. Or maybe they just don’t hear it, no matter how clear you are.

One of these times I’d been out for food with friends, and was in the City Centre at about 9pm waiting for a bus home. I’d walked with my friend and her husband from the pub to my bus stop, then they’d carried on to their bus stop. I had about 20 minutes to wait for the next bus. I’d been there about two minutes when a guy approached me (I was wearing jeans, big stompy boots, a hoody, a hat, and a scarf).
His first comment was “You have pretty hair? You should show it off. Why you hiding it under that hat?” Really not sure how he could know what my hair looked like under the hat.
I turned and glared at him, “Because it’s fucking freezing, and I want to.” I turned back towards the road.
“Where are your friends?” I paused, wondering how he knew I’d been with other people.
“What friends?”
“You were with a guy and girl, I saw you crossing the road with them. I parked my car to come and talk to you.” Alarm bells went off, did he really not know how totally creepy that sounded. My heart was now pounding, that feeling of living in fear set in, and I just wanted him to go away.
He touched my arm, “What’s your name?”
I pulled my arm away, “I’m not telling you my name.”
“Why not? My name is xxxx. Now what’s your’s?”
“I didn’t ask your name, I’m not interested.”
“Where do you live? I live in xxx. Do you live near there?”
“I didn’t want to tell you my name, why on earth would I tell you where I live.”
He actually laughed at me, “I’m only asking the area. Not like I can find your address, and come to your house.” At this point I was starting to panic. There was hardly anyone about, just a few people down the street, and this guy had just laughed about what amounted to stalking.
“I’m not telling you. Look I said I wasn’t interested. I don’t care what your name is, I don’t care where you live. I don’t know you, I’d just like you to go away.”
He smiled, and reached to touch my arm again. “I’m just trying to start a conversation with a pretty girl. My car is over there, I can give you a lift home, we can get to know each other.”
I looked at him in disbelief, “I’m not getting in a car with you. I’m not interested. Please go away.”
He laughed again, “You’re really cute. Want my phone number?”
“No, I didn’t want your name, why would I want your number.”
He smiles, “Maybe we can see each other sometime?”
“No.” I started to turn away from him again but he reached to touch me again.
“Well I might see you here, then I can talk to you.” Maybe it was paranoia but by now I was really freaking out, and that sounded more like a threat than anything else.
“No, and if you do see me, don’t approach me, don’t try to talk to me. I am NOT interested. Now please leave me alone.” I stepped away from him turning my back, while trying to keep an eye on what he was doing.
“Bye pretty girl, I’ll see you around.” He walked away.

My heart was thundering in my ears and I was so anxious I felt sick but I forced myself to watch him get in his car and drive away. About two minutes later a couple arrived at the bus stop, they were reading the timetable, and I couldn’t decided if they were waiting for a bus or just checking times. Living in fear meant I was really desperate though, and I quickly spoke to the woman, briefly explaining what had happened and asking if they would mind waiting with me until my bus came in ten minutes. I think they could tell how panicked I was and they were really lovely about the whole thing. Turned out I was really glad I’d spoken to them because a few minutes later the guy came back, I don’t know what he’d done with his car, or what he would have done if I hadn’t been chatting to the couple but as soon as he approached us I spotted him, and it must have shown on my face because the woman asked if I was okay. I just managed to stutter out that the guy was back, and angled my head in his direction. The woman’s partner stepped round to my other side so he was between me and the guy, and after a few minutes the guy just walked off.

I was terrified. I thought he was going to try and see what bus I got, or that he would try to follow the bus, and see where I got off. It was awful. When I finally got home, I ran round the house checking all the doors and windows were locked, and when my housemates got home I was sitting waiting for them. It took lots of hugs and some herbal tea before I calmed down enough to explain why I’d just crazily asked if they’d noticed anyone hanging around outside. That is living in fear.

The other time I was on a bus. The guy had sat behind me, and then tried to talk to me. I’d ignored him; staring straight ahead with my hood pulled up. But he kept talking, and when I still didn’t answer he leaned closer and tapped my shoulder. I leant away from him still not looking round. At which point he started trying more earnestly to engage me in conversation.
Finally I turned and said, “Look I’ve had a long day, I don’t want to chat. I just want to get home.”
“Okay.” He sat back in his seat for about two minutes and then it started again. But it gets worse…

I stood up to get off the bus, having waited until the last possible minute to ring the bell, he gets up and follows me off. I thought maybe it’s just his stop so I stopped at the bus stop bench and pretended to be looking for something in my bag, thinking he would just keep walking. He stopped, and then tried to speak to me again. Living in fear you plan how you will react but my fight or flight kicked in, and with the bus still standing at the stop I pretty much yell at this guy, “Stop following me, you are making me feel unsafe. I told you I didn’t want to talk to you, I have no interest in talking to you. You are making me really uncomfortable, please leave me alone.”
I could see the bus driver watching us now, as well as a number of passengers. His eyes shifted towards the bus, and without saying anything else he turned and walked away. I had another bus to catch, and set off walking round the corner to the stop, the bus I’d got off passed me as I got to the main road. As I turned the corner I glanced back and the guy was standing by the bus stop watching me. I hurried to the new bus stop, swearing when I realised I had a 20 minute wait for the next bus. There was a pub behind me with people coming out, so I ducked inside. A girl looked up, “Sorry love, we’re just closing.” I walked to the edge of the bar and explained about the guy following me, a voice behind me said “Stay as long as you need, and when you go out I’ll come out with you.” I almost sobbed in relief, stuttering out a thank you.  The girl smiled, “that’s our manager, he’s a really good guy.” I sat down and she brought me a drink. The manager was true to his word, he came out with me, and made sure I got on my bus okay.

living in fear

I was lucky in both those situations, I managed to find other people who I could be around until I felt safe again. But what if I hadn’t. I was also lucky that I didn’t trigger an aggressive response in either of them, but again what if I hadn’t?  The first situation was worse because I was saying no loudly and clearly and the guy was just not getting it. The fact that he’d seen me crossing a road and parked his car so he could follow me is still a terrifying and very creepy thought.

The other thing about these situations that I hate is that in my head I am thinking but what can we do about it? About these men? Because so often if you say something back, if you get angry, you run the risk of antagonising them, and the even greater risk of them becoming violent. Which of course would then be our own fault for being “so mouthy when he was just trying to compliment you.” We as a society need to change things; men need to realise they are not being complimentary, they are being creepy. If we try to stand up for ourselves we risk escalating the situation, and if we do nothing or try to diffuse the situation we are risking being assaulted because we’re “stuck-up bitches who wouldn’t answer them.”

I’d like to clarify here I am not talking about the guys who stare too long at my tits when I have on something fitted, or the ones who having checked the boobs then turn to check my arse as I’m walking past. While that is not always great fun it’s just a look, and as long as they’re not too close or actually leering it doesn’t really hurt. Besides, I’ll admit I often have a good perv if a nice looking guy walks past me but I don’t say anything (I might smile if they catch my eye), and I am fairly sure none if them are worried I’ll attack them, I’m fairly sure most of them aren’t living in fear of the women who might eye them up. The problem is the guys who feel they have a right to a conversation (or to comment on you personally) just because they think you’re attractive.

I have a friend who is a gorgeous woman, she is beautiful inside and out, and while I know there are many people who will be saying lucky her, it’s as much of a curse as it is anything else. She gets so many personal comments, to the point where she is now living in fear and hardly goes out because people get right in her face, and feel it’s okay to be overly familiar. This is part of a post she shared on Facebook (shared here with permission):

How big are you boobs? Real or fake? Do you use all of the toys you work with…? You must be really good in bed. How come you’re single? – would have thought a bloke would have snapped you up. Don’t do that, your face is so pretty.

I last went out properly in public a couple of weeks back to catch the rugby and I was shouted at (based on how I look) so much in the stands that I was shaking by the time we got to our seats. The only thing I could do is comment to my friends ‘this is why I stay at home all of the time’.

We are woman who smart, funny, confident and we are being held hostage by situations that aren’t our fault. We are living in fear because people think they are entitled to make personal comments about anyone they see. What happened to common decency, and politeness. I am fucking sick of it. I am tired of living in fear. Of mistrusting every man because of the ones who make us feel we can’t trust any man. Do you see the difference there? No? Then read it again. No, it’s not ALL men but it is ANY men.

‪#‎NotAllMen‬ but enough of them that we have to fear all of them.