Friday, 29 May 2020

The Goop Lab - "The Pleasure is Ours"

With this whole lockdown business, you'd think I'd have plenty more time for Netflixing. But what with work and writing and my new found talent for daytime napping, I haven't been spending much time at all watching television.

However, I have been enjoying Gwyneth Paltrow's 'Goop Lab' series. Is 'enjoy' even the right word? It's a laughably earnest exploration into the sort of woo bollocks that she has been espousing for a few years on her Goop website.  Never one to let the opportunity to straight-facedly investigate some new age pseudoscience pass her by, Paltrow's Goop Lab has featured energy healing, parapsychology and psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy.

The Goop staff go out and about on what are basically very strange team-building away days. I once had to go to a company event where we had to run an obstacle course up and down hill lifting heavy tyres as we went. I cried afterwards because while I have a level of fitness which allows me to sit at a computer and occasionally carry files around, it really wasn't sufficient for that sort of thing. Given the choice though, I might elect to do that again, rather than do what Paltrow's staff had to do and get semi-naked, take drugs or explore my innermost self with my co-workers.

Every episode, the Goop staff sing the praises of whatever weird-arse activity they've just undertaken. They kind of have to though, don't they? They're at work. You're hardly going to tell the boss that you hated every minute of something you did on work time.

Best day ever. Honest, Boss.
I am going to talk about the episode entitled "The Pleasure is Ours" - an exploration into female pleasure. The Joys of Lady Wanking is one of my areas of particular interest, you know.

The show features a couple of Sexuality coaches. One of them, Isabella Frappier, is a lovely, floofy, ethereal, Aquarian sort of counsellor that you would expect to find on a programme like this.

Then there is Betty Dodson.

I have completely fallen in love with Betty Dodson and want her to be my new best friend. She's a straight-talking vulva-promoting ninety year old woman who has been running solo-sex workshops since the 1970s.

Dodson and her business partner and heir-apparent Carlin Ross are fun, frank and informative. It's like they have wandered onto the wrong show. Although, I can see why Dodson would leap at the opportunity to bring her knowledge and experience to a wider, more mainstream audience. Demystifying women's genitalia is literally her life's work.

We see clips of Dodson's Bodysex workshop in action. Although in this case, none of the Goop staff are directly involved. (Apparently getting naked and sitting cross-legged in front of a group of women before pleasuring yourself was too much even for a Goop Office Away Day.)

The full demonstration of the Dodson method is left to Ross, who gamely explores her vulva in front of a mirror (and a film camera). The first half of the programme coyly skirts around showing any actual lady bits. Boobs and bums and thighs are caught on camera but mounds and labias are discreetly obscured.

Then, starting with Ross's own, there are full-on vulvas in abundance and it's great. Dodson is adamant that you can't just show one vulva because then it would appear that that particular one is the norm. You need to show as many as possibly in order to show the rich diversity of shapes, designs and colours that are both perfectly normal and utterly beautiful and deserving of celebration. So that's what happens.

I checked Dodson and Ross's website and Bodysex workshops are, understandably not running in their normal format at the moment. You can book a virtual workshop for $500 which sadly puts it out of my price range. I would urge you to check out that link anyway though. It's wonderfully informative and provides a selection of line drawings on different designs of vulva. Who knew that they could be categorised as "Baroque", "Classical" or "Gothic"? Well, not me, until now.

Mine's more of an 'Art Deco' vulva, apparently.
Dodson recommends the 'Rock 'n' Roll' orgasm technique. This involves rocking your pelvis forward toward your belly button and squeezing your pelvic floor muscles then relaxing and rolling your pelvis back to the ground. I haven't actually tried this yet but I will do and if you're really lucky I might report back on here.

The orgasm is where the programme naturally, well, climaxes. Under Dodson's guidance and with the help of a wand and vaginal stimulator,  Carlin Ross brings herself off on camera. And a jolly nice time she seems to have of it too.

So for all my snidey comments about the series and Gwenyth Paltrow's goopy credulousness, I found 'The Pleasure is Ours' to be a genuinely uplifting programme. Anything which promotes self-love and women embracing their bodies is OK with me.

Yay for masturbation! It's great isn't it? And if the fabulous and astonishingly youthful (there is no way she looks like a woman born in the 1930s) Betty Dodson is anything to go by, then it is clearly very good for you indeed.

Saturday, 16 May 2020

Should I spunk a hundred quid on a bluetooth vibrator?

Gentleman friend and I are still undertaking an extended break from one another. It's been two months since we've engaged in any of the that hanging out together, cuddling, kissing and spanking business that used to take up quite a lot of our weekends. 

This is what my social calendar looks like right now.
It's just the way it is. And I don't want to moan about it. Well, actually, I do want to moan about it quite a lot. But, you know, it's hardly a unique situation. Non-cohabiting couples up and down the country are currently finding themselves negotiating a long distance relationship that they weren't expecting.

In the last week, my thoughts have turned to long-distance sex toys. The world has the technology, it turns out, to control one another's orgasms through a smartphone app. It's like living in the actual future.

The vibrator that I am very, very close to purchasing is this one:

Vibease Smart Massager

"Stay intimate with your partner from anywhere! Sync the vibration with your favourite erotic audiobooks! Waterproof for fun moments in the shower!" This is a thing I need in my life (and my knickers), right?

Well, there are a couple of things still holding me back from clicking the 'purchase' button.

Firstly, the cost. I'm not going to get much change from £100 which is definitely at the pricier end of "things I fancy just for the hell of it". It's a reasonable investment, I suppose, if I knew I was going to get my money's worth. But that brings me onto point number two which is that Gentleman Friend and I aren't currently doing any kind of mutual long distance masturbation at all.

Our text and phone conversations are at least 80% smutty talk and we've done a couple of naked video calls. But we've not actually done any wanking together. And I think that maybe before I spend the best part of a days wages on a pretty new toy, we should explore the much cheaper masturbatory aids on offer. Like, well, him just telling me over the phone to pleasure myself and then me doing it. 

It's nice that this lady has taken her Vibease out to show it the garden.
I'm not sure why we haven't. Embarrassment is probably part of it. Which is odd because when we meet in the real world, we're absolutely shameless. I think the fact that my libido has plummeted since lockdown is a large factor. Wanking isn't really happening in my life at all at the moment. It isn't something that it occurs to me to do during my alone time. This is a new thing. Normally, I'm quite the fan of quality me time.

There is, of course, a compelling counter-argument to me telling myself that I shouldn't buy a masturbatory aid because I'm not masturbating enough. Maybe a "smart massager" is exactly what I need to rekindle my wanking habits. Maybe my clitoris is feeling a bit bored and jaded and a Barbie pink silicon friend would perk it right up. Especially if Gentleman Friend was taking charge of the controls. He is usually far more thorough with regards to my pleasure than I am.

I am not sure what is going on here. Has it escaped? Is it making a bid for freedom?
So am I going to buy it? Maybe, yes, no, possibly, definitely, probably not... Decision-making is not really my forte at the moment.

I think I will spend the evening, adding the Vibease to my shopping cart, then changing my mind and removing it and then putting it back in five minutes later.

Hey, at least doing that will pass the time.

Sunday, 10 May 2020

The Sex Symposium - A fun way to spend a Saturday afternoon

Yesterday I went to my first ever online Sex Symposium. It was in fact my first ever Sex Symposium full stop. Online or otherwise. Come to think of it, it is probably the first event I've ever attended in my life that was called a "symposium". Usually, I'm just not that classy.

Plato's Symposium. The Sex Symposium was just like this except it was on Zoom.

The event was hosted by Tinted Blu, the sex and lifestyle blog and was a three hour treat full of sex advice, positivity and orgasms. Well, discussions about orgasms, anyway. If any of the panellists were actually orgasming at the time, then they were being terribly discreet about it.

Among other things, there was an introduction from Renee Denyer of Sh! and Dolly, a speaker from Sexplain, the inclusive and comprehensive sex education site. There was also the aforementioned orgasm discussion during a panel called, appropriately enough, 'Orgasm!'

The first panel discussion was on 'Lockdown Sex' which is a broad-ranging subject given that some couples are too stressed to even think about sex at the moment, some are at it like rabbits because it's their favourite indoor hobby, and some people, like me, are separated from their sex partners and haven't touched anybody else's genitalia for over two months.

My favourite panel discussion was the 'Alternative Sex' one because it focused more on things that are bit kinky and if you know me at all, you'll know that I'm all about the kink. The panel consisted of the fabulous Girl on the Net, Brighton sex shop and dungeon owner, Calandra Balfour and Tabitha Rayne, erotic author and sex toy inventor.

And can I just say what a marvellous thing "Sex Toy Inventor" must be to put on your CV. Or, like, give as your profession to John Humphrys during your introduction on 'Mastermind'. In fact, the best thing about that scenario is that Tabitha's toy, the Ruby Glow, is designed to be used while sitting down so you could totally use it while sitting on the Mastermind chair.

Might make answering the questions a bit trickier though

The panel discussed audio porn, online strip clubs, virtual orgies and the importance of sourcing ethical porn among many other things. Honestly, I could have listened to them for hours.

And if you want some ethical porn by the way, the two sites which were recommended were and Girl on the Net wrote an excellent article the other day about the ridiculous situation that has arisen from the existence of Porn Hub and why people now expect for free something that clearly costs money to make. She uses coffee shops as an analogy and I really recommend you read it. I don't use Porn Hub myself because, weirdly, it never occurs to me to watch porn videos. ("You mean you can see the sex instead of reading about it? Crazy!")

Now, I want to seek out and pay for ethical porn. I feel like doing so would help make the world a better place.

Buy porn!
The Sex Symposium was a great way to spend a locked down Saturday afternoon. A fabulous collection of warm, witty, knowledgeable sex-positive women who were happy to give their time talking about all things pleasurable.

Huge thanks to Sherryl from Tinted Blu who hosted it and everyone who took the time to organise it and share their experiences.

Learning new things is always good. Learning new things about sex is even better. And my "Sex Toys I Want To Try" list has just got longer.

Tongue Vibrators! I had no idea they were a thing.

Sunday, 3 May 2020

Looking for something to read during lockdown?

Plenty of us are a bit limited in the amount of actual IRL sex and spanking we can undertake at the moment.

But that doesn't mean that we can't still enjoy the virtual pleasures of curling up with a nice, sexy spanky novel.

If your virtual bookshelf is looking a bit empty, might I recommend The Liberation of Miss X?

It's a Victorian BDSM romance full of spanky, bondagey fun and historical escapism.

Available at Amazon now!

Go on! You know you want it!

Quick excerpt:

William stared into Flora’s beautiful blue eyes. They looked so open and trusting. They also shone with lust.

What a delight she was. Her tiny frame, blond ringlets and delicate features made her look so very sweet and innocent. And in a way, ‘innocent’ was exactly what she was, sequestered away in the bishop’s palace for all those years.

But the speed and willingness with which she had embraced this new way of life left William in no doubt that this was what she wanted. The mood that she was currently in was in no small way down to the fact that she had spent a good part of yesterday in a dungeon being tied up, whipped and then exquisitely tortured by a woman she had hitherto only met on a handful of occasions.

The experience had evidently made her very, very happy.

She had been innocent because innocence had been imposed upon her. Not because that was what she had wanted. She clearly wanted to enjoy all the pleasures that life had to offer.

But for all that, William reminded himself, she was still technically a virgin. And much as he wished they were man and wife already, they were not yet married. Did Flora realise the significance of what she was asking? What she was offering?

He ran his thumb softly across her face. “Like husband and wife?” he asked. “Would you care to elaborate?”

Flora swallowed. “I should like you to give me as much pleasure as Madame J did yesterday. I mean, if you can…”

If you can! William’s eyebrow shot up at Flora’s words.

Flora giggled at William’s reaction. “I’m sorry, William. I did not intend for that to sound like a challenge.”

“Hmm, I am not so sure I believe that,” said William. His cock felt rock hard beneath the confines of his clothing. Intentional or not, the implied challenge was certainly having an effect on his body. William wanted nothing more than to demonstrate to Flora exactly how much pleasure he could give her.

Flora continued, stammering a little in her nervousness. “I… I know how a man and a woman b-bed one another once they are married. I know that you are often ready for me down there.” Her eyes darted to his crotch. “I can feel it.”

“You want me to make love to you?”

“Yes! Yes, I do.”

“Would you not rather wait until we are legally married?”

“No!” Flora was adorably emphatic. “We are to be married. There is no question of it, surely?”

“None at all.”

“Then what would be the benefit of waiting? Why deny ourselves the pleasure that we could be having right now?”

An excellent point, thought William pulling Flora towards him and once again claiming her mouth with his own. His passions enflamed, William managed to pull himself away long enough to speak.

“Turn around,” he instructed hoarsely.