BDSM 101: Common First Time Mistakes

BDSM 101: Common First Time Mistakes

Ms Morgan Thorne has been a lifestyle dominant for 20 years and a Professional Dominatrix for 6 years. She can be reached at her website, twitter, and Facebook.

The first time you decide to do a BDSM scene can be nerve wracking.

You’ve (hopefully!) done all the preliminary things, negotiated what you want to do, chosen your safe words or chosen not to use them. You and your partner are likely anticipating play, much like waiting for christmas when you were young. You both likely have some expectations about how things will play out, which may or may not be realistic.

Often people whose only experiences with kink have been adult material (books, video, the internet, etc), will have ideas that aren’t terribly feasible. Remember, you and (maybe) your partner are going into this without previous experience, you’re probably going to make some mistakes. Lets talk about some of the most common ones that people experience in their first few scenes.

Mismatched Expectations

Often there are complaints from one or both partners about going too far or not far enough. This can result from mismatched expectations and ideas, which is where more thorough negotiation is needed. It can also result from simple inexperience – partners who haven’t done something before may hold back for fear of making mistakes or push too hard due to overconfidence.

In both cases, clear and honest communication is the answer. If we check in with our partners during play, making sure that they are enjoying things, we will have a better chance of scene success.

Many people use the ‘traffic light’ system to communicate during play.

It’s fairly simple and ties into the use of traffic signals for safe words. The Top will ask the bottom “What’s your colour?” and the bottom will reply with “green” to mean good, “yellow” to mean they are getting close to a limit, or “red” to express the need to communicate further, stop the particular activity or stop play entirely.

Another way for a Top to get a feel for where a bottom is at is using the 1-10 scale.

Again, the top can ask “what number are you at?” and the bottom can reply with a number between one and ten. Generally for play that involves pain, it is good to keep the bottom around a seven. Going above that point is reserved for more intense masochists or scenes where you’ve negotiated a pushing of limits. Ending the scene before the bottom gets to a seven can result in the bottom not feeling satisfied with play.

Of course those are just general guidelines, everyone is different and play should be tailored for your individual partner.

When playing with a new partner, I would much rather have a scene be not intense enough, rather than too intense. I can always go harder or more intensely the next time we play, but I can’t take it back if I’ve pushed too far, if a bottom didn’t feel comfortable telling me when they were at their limit or other similar issues. I explain this to all my new partners, and most appreciate my caution – those who don’t aren’t a good fit for me.

Playing Above Your Skill Level

This isn’t a mistake reserved only for Tops, bottoms can overestimate their abilities as well.

As Tops, if we play above our skill level, we can have many problems. We could, as a worst case scenario, do something that causes injury to our bottoms. We could harm them in ways that they did not consent to and that we didn’t intend. Much of BDSM is potentially dangerous, and it is our responsibility to ensure the safety of our bottoms.

We can also lose the trust of our bottoms – especially if we cause injury, but also if they feel that we put them at risk because of our lack of skill. Finally, in playing above our skill level, we can have an awkward and unfulfilling scene.

Bottoms playing above their skill level risk getting hurt. The hurt could be physical in nature, if the bottom exaggerates their skill or experience in an area such as rope bondage, which can be physically taxing. Unskilled bottoms who exaggerate experience can risk nerve damage, since they don’t know when to tell the rigger about issues and may think that the issues they are experiencing are normal.

They can also be harmed emotionally, if a top doesn’t know about hidden triggers or other problems. Finally, they risk losing the trust of their Top, who has to rely on them to be honest about desires and limits.

Often, in our excitement over a scene we will not prepare properly. We have a super hot scenario running through our minds, but lack the skill to prepare for it or just get too wrapped up in the fantasy to do the mundane parts.

Before starting, it’s always wise to gather all your supplies, practice anything you need to and be sure you have things there ‘just in case’. This can include a way to cut rope for bondage, a first aid kit and even condoms, in case you’re both in the mood after or sex is a negotiated part of the scene.

Too Focused on the Details

Being too focused on the details can result in a scene that can feel scripted and mechanical. If you’ve fantasized about a scene for so long that you and your partner have to learn lines before you start, you may want to re-think things. While it’s best to go into a scene having a good idea of what you want to do, be sure to leave some room for creative thinking. Sounding like the Dominatrix from a bad porno is definitely not sexy!

Nerves

Finally, the one thing that can often get in the way of a good scene are nerves! If this is something you’ve been fantasizing about forever, you may feel nervous when the time comes to actually live it. Try to relax – just don’t get into the ‘liquid courage’, you need to be sober and thinking for this kind of play.

Doing something for the first time is nerve wracking, but we’ve all been there.

Keep things simple, you can always get more elaborate later on.

You may feel more comfortable doing your first scene in the privacy of your own home, or you may want to play at a dungeon, where there are others you can ask questions of. It’s your choice, do what makes sense to you.


Now that you know some of the common pitfalls, you can hopefully avoid them. It’s really important to have a good, honest idea of your skills, be prepared (for the scene and for emergencies) and do your best to relax. After all, this is supposed to be fun!


Ms Morgan Thorne has been a lifestyle dominant for 20 years and a Professional Dominatrix for 6 years. As a former health care worker, she is very knowledgeable regarding safety in BDSM. She is a sex work advocate and an outreach worker with The Naked Truth Entertainment. Morgan is also a fetish film performer and model. She is a writer with Kink E Magazine and volunteers in her local community as a DM and event organizer. She is a kink educator who teaches across North America. Identifying as pansexual/asexual, Morgan tries to be inclusive of all identities and orientations during her teaching. Her new book “A Guide to Classic Discipline” is expected out spring/summer 2015
How To Use Ben Wa Balls

How To Use Ben Wa Balls

What Are Ben Wa Balls?

If you’ve read 50 Shades of Grey, or ventured into an adult store, you might have encountered “Ben Wa Balls”. (Or maybe you haven’t and you’re wondering what in God’s name they are…)

ben wa balls

Un-tethered silver Ben Wa Balls from Pink Cherry

tethered ben wa balls

Tethered Ben Wa balls from Pink Cherry

Essentially, they are small balls meant to be inserted into the vagina (NOT the butt!!) They often contain weights to encourage the balls to roll around within the vagina, increasing stimulation. They are more of a “slow burn” toy, meant to gradually build pleasurable sensations.

Although some women report reaching orgasm through the balls alone, most women enjoy them as a teasing foreplay method – the balls can be left in for  an extended amount of time, held in place by your pelvic floor muscles. In fact, some women routinely wear Ben Wa balls to strengthen their PF muscles.

Like other sex toys, Ben Wa balls can be made of a variety of materials including glass, medical grade silicone, and metal. Some varieties are attached by a tether, with a string that remains outside the vagina to make retrieval easier, while others remain loose. The type of material may influence the difficulty of keeping the balls in place – stainless steel or glass balls will require more muscle strength to keep in place, while silicone balls are easier to “grip”.

How Do You Use Ben Wa Balls?

Because the balls are held in place by your pelvic floor muscles, we recommend starting with smaller sized balls.

Before inserting them, lightly coat the balls with your favourite body-safe lube (we reccommend this). Too much lube may make it difficult to keep the balls inside you – yes, they can slip out. Lie horizontally on a comfortable surface, and grib the balls between your thumb and forefinger. Press against the vaginal opening until the balls “pop” into place. You may want to experiment with the depth of insertion.

Although certain novels (*ahem* 50 Shades) may imply that you can immediately wear the balls in public, we suggest wearing them around the house before venturing outside. Because they are held in place by your muscles, if you aren’t used to constantly using those muscles, the balls may slide down. Wear them for as long as you like! Wear them while you partner stimulates your clit, or just sit in a rocking chair for a bit (yeah…. it’s much better than it sounds.)

Just like tampons, the balls cannot get lost in your vaginal canal. To remove tethered balls, simply tug gently on the removal string. If you use un-tethered balls, insert your thumb and forefinger into your vagina and grasp each ball. If that proves difficult, try lying or squatting and bearing down on your diaphragm.

Make sure you clean them well before and after each use – the cleaning method depends on the material (check out our article on how to clean your sex toys for more info). 

The “Luna” beads set from Lelo is perfect for beginners – it comes with 2 sizes, allowing for gradual advancement in strength.

"Luna Beads" from Lelo

“Luna Beads” from Lelo

Swinging

Swinging

What My Introduction Into the Swinging Lifestyle Has Taught Me About Myself and About Love.

Maisri is a 39 year old Scorpio, country girl, music lover, and a 2 times divorced lover of life.

The definition of “Swinging” courtesy of Dictionary.com:

noun
1.
a person or thing that swings.
2.
Slang. a lively, active, and modern person whose activities are fashionable or trendy.
3.
Slang.
a person who indulges in promiscuous sex.
a person who engages in the exchanging of spouses for sexual activities.

Swinging seems to be the buzz these days, or maybe it’s just because I am newly aware of the lifestyle. It’s like when you buy a new car, suddenly you are hyper aware of all of the cars out there that look JUST like yours.

Unfortunately, as you can see from the definition above, there are some definite misconceptions about “swinging”, the least of which is that it means a person indulges in promiscuous sex. My opinion and definition of swinging is mine alone, and anyone can free free to disagree with me, but I’d like to tell it how I see it, and I don’t see it at all the way that the dictionary does.

It’s important for you to know that swinging can mean different things for different people. Some couples see it as an avenue to strange sex. Others might see it as an avenue to act out their fantasies in the safe company of their partners.

I’m a 30 something professional woman with a very healthy sexual appetite, and until recently I had very little outlet for my libido.

In the throes of the divorce of a 2nd marriage gone horribly wrong (for a multitude of reasons, but one big one was a complete lack of sexual compatibility) I had one of those moments where you fall head over heels in love with someone you never expected to meet, let alone fall in love with and dream about a future with… Tim.

Life happens. What are you going to do, flip the birdie to the Universe and say, “Sorry, not what I had in mind for my life”? Not this girl. The Universe and I are buds, it always gives me exactly what I need at exactly the right moment, whether I realize it or not.

So in the process of committing to and getting to know each other, and getting more and more personal about ourselves Tim and I established that we both enjoy sex more than maybe the majority of our friends, and that we were both proponents of a life theory similar to “free love”. The world would be such a happier, more peaceful place if people could just love each other, free from judgement, jealousy or self imposed dogmatic “truths” about the way life is supposed to be.

If you want to be monogamous, fine, no judgement here, but I’m guessing that if you chose to click on the topic of this post and you’re still reading, there is a part of you that’s interested in the lifestyle. Don’t be shy, it’s human nature to be curious.

It took me some time to understand some things: (To be clear, I’m still learning and adjusting, and there are still “I wonder what he/she is thinking” moments)

How does a couple keep things “fair and balanced”
Are there rules?
How will my partner feel after I’ve been with someone else?
How will I feel after my partner has been with someone else?
Will I be able to watch? Do I want them to watch me?

My Experience with Swinging

Now sit tight, I’m going to break down my experience for you, including the epiphany I had when my first “date” was over, but first I want to dive into the emotions around swinging a little bit. These are the emotions and thoughts that my partner and I have, they are certainly not gospel. (I wonder if there IS a gospel on swinging?)

My situation is special, in that my partner and I have a long distance relationship. With long distance love affairs, things can be really stressful and emotionally taxing at times. My swinging became a way for me to fulfill some emotional need as well as physical. Sometimes you just need to be held, am I right?

Tim’s view is that he wants me to have everything and anything that I need to make me happy. He knows he can’t be here now to fulfill my emotional and physical needs, so he encourages me to seek them elsewhere. We always discuss the potential “friends with benefits” that I am considering, but 10 times out of 10 he will tell me “If this feels good to you, go for it and enjoy yourself”

We spent hours over the course of our budding relationship talking about what we were ok with and what we were not. Some things were easy, like no sleeping over: that’s too intimate (I know, sounds crazy right?). Most couples who swing have rules, some refer to them as preferences.

Some examples:

  • Never have intercourse without a condom
  • No swallowing of bodily fluids
  • No separate rooms during a party
  • No lone dates (meaning they always play together)

Some of those rules or preferences (or maybe all of them!?) will change, develop and evolve over the period of a couples swinging “career”. The most important factor in a relationship like this, is communication.

Not every couple can take a trip down the swinging trail…it’s not for the faint of heart, it’s not for the couple without a rock solid foundation or at the very least, an epic strength of love and commitment to each other.

Couples will swing together, or for all intents and purposes, you can change the verb from swinging to cheating, which isn’t fair to anyone involved.

My first experience and my light bulb moment.

For the purposes of anonymity I’m going to refer to my first connection as Jack. I met Jack on a website called Swing Lifestyle . It’s much like any matchmaking website, you create a profile, upload pictures, search for people, window shop, or connect via their platform email, or instant messenger. (With video capability too)

I signed up at SLS upon the encouragement of my partner who had already been a member for some time. He was not new to the lifestyle. I found a couple of people (or couples) I found interesting, and decided to message them.

Jack messaged me back and we had a nice chat, volleying back and forth a few times. Then I had a little bit of doubt, and lack of clarity about what our rules were, so I put everything on hold for a while. After more conversations and more reassurances, I decided to reach out to Jack again after a few months had passed.

We decided to meet for lunch near my office and we hit it off right away. There was a physical attraction, and an ease of conversation. After a few more emails and phone calls, we set a date to “play”.

You’ll have to use your imagination about the details of our playdate, but the important thing that happened, was on my way home when I got this message from my partner:

“Thank you for trusting me enough to do this for yourself”

Wow. Bells and whistles went off in my head. Like a 2×4 between the eyes, I finally understood with complete and total clarity what this swinging thing was all about.

I had been really worried in the back of my mind, that he was testing me, testing our relationship, and as soon as I left that date, he would be letting me know that I had failed, I couldn’t be trusted, and he was through with me. (Hangups much? I know, I’m a work in progress)

For my partner and I, swinging is about being able to fulfill physical (and on some level, emotional) needs with other trusted people, without worrying or wondering about how your partner looks at you or feels about you.

Is it about fulfilling sexual fantasies with your partner? Yes.

Is it a free for all to fuck as many people as you’d like? It shouldn’t be.

Is it the same experience for everyone? No way Jose.

Since my first experience I have gone on to become really good friends with Jack, and another couple that he introduced me to. In the emotional difficulty that has surrounded my long distance relationship as of late, they have been of great comfort to me as friends, who sometimes play together. They have also gotten to know Tim from a distance which is of some comfort to both of us.

I’m still learning about swinging, I read the forums on SLS and talk to people who have been in the lifestyle for a long time.

I don’t claim to be an expert.

There are things I’m not yet comfortable doing such as attending the big parties where you can wander into private or semi privates rooms and play with strangers. Eeeek…..not there yet. That’s like the deeeep end of the pool, and I’ve still got my sexy toes in the shallow end.


Swinging for me is about freedom. Freedom to be who I am, do what feels good, and be surrounded by people doing the same.


 

BDSM 101: Contracts

BDSM 101: Contracts

Ms Morgan Thorne has been a lifestyle dominant for 20 years and a Professional Dominatrix for 6 years. She can be reached at her website, twitter, and Facebook.

Contracts are sometimes used in BDSM and have become quite famous after their mention in the 50 Shades series. So let’s talk about what contracts are, if you need one, when you may want to use one and how to create one.

In any discussion about BDSM contracts, it has to be said that they are not legally binding, just a bit of kinky fun for people to indulge in. Some people take their contracts very seriously – in that a breach of contract by either (or any) party results in the relationship being dissolved. Like so many things in the kink lifestyle, you can pick and choose what works for you in this department – contracts are totally optional.

Not every couple (or triad, quad, etc) in a BDSM relationship has a contract. In fact, I know very few players who make use of them – and I know a lot of kinky folks! Contracts are often a part of more protocol heavy kink, and are more likely to be found in those types of communities.

With that said, many people do enjoy having a contract – for both erotic and practical reasons.

It is a tangible symbol of power exchange, much like collars, and can emphasize the feelings of ownership within a relationship.

Many people who use contracts view signing one as a profound sign of commitment (again, much in the way that collars are regarded by some). Contracts can also be very practical – the people involved have clear expectations of their partner(s) and know what is expected of them in return.

If you want to design a contract that stipulates a power exchange relationship on weekends only, go for it! If you want a contract with precise details about what is expected from partners, to apply 24/7, have at it! Kinky contracts can cover as much or as little as you see fit, you just need to sort out what works for your relationship.

Things to consider when creating a contract

  • The slave/submissive’s responsibilities: What will they be responsible for in the relationship? Will they do all the household chores? Will they be sexually available to the Owner/Dominant at all times? Will they obey all commands or face punishment? Will they give up financial control? Worldly possessions?
  • The Owner/Dominant’s responsibility: What will they provide to the slave/submissive? It is generally assumed that they will lead the relationship, but will they have power over all decisions? Financial, career and household? Will they provide financial support? Will they punish transgressions? Generally, Owners/Dominants are expected to care for the safety and wellbeing of the slave/submissive.
  • Safewords: Will there be a safeword? Will the slave/submissive have the chance to say no to a command without consequence? Under what circumstances (breaking the law, bodily or psychological harm, etc)?
  • Will punishments be used or will partners talk about disobedience? What are the punishments or consequences to disobedience? Will breach of contract dissolve the relationship?
  • Will there be consensual non-consent (CNC)? Will the Owner/Dominant be able to order the slave/submissive to do something they wouldn’t normally want?
  • Limits: What are the hard limits of all parties? Soft limits? Under what circumstances may those limits change (for instance, when the person who has the limit decides to reopen negotiation)? Can hard limits be added as time goes on?
  • Activities: Do you want to list specific activities that are required from any party, or leave it more open ended?
  • What will be public and private protocols? (for instance, slave/submissive nude at home, dressed in a way that pleases the Owner/Dominant while out of the house)
  • Relationships: Will the people under the contract be allowed to have kinky or sexual play with others? Under what circumstances? Will the Owner/Dominant be able to lend out the sexual or kink services of the slave/submissive (act as a waiter at a party, be used as a demo bottom, sexually please others, etc)
  • Under what circumstances can the contract be dissolved?
  • How will you handle it if someone’s (Owner/Dominant or slave/submissive) needs aren’t being met?
  • How often will you sit down and evaluate the rules and other specifics of the contact, if ever? How will changes to the contract be made? Who can initiate changes?
  • How will switching (people who enjoy both Dominant and submissive roles) be handled (if applicable)?
  • Will there be a trial contract? How long will it last?

Those points should be enough to get you started on writing your own contract, or at least give an idea of what to think about when doing so.

You don’t have to cover all of those points or you can add any that are important to you. While there are many pre-made contracts available online, I suggest creating your own. Not only will it be more personal, but the act of designing it from scratch can be a wonderful bonding experience.

A contract generally comes later in a kinky relationship, not at the beginning.

It takes time to build trust, to know your partner’s limits and how total you would like your power exchange to be. Many people regard BDSM contracts in the same way as a marriage contract, not something to rush into. Of course, if you find the concepts of contracts erotic, you can have a play contract, that outlines the timing, style or types of play that you will engage in with your partner(s).


BDSM contracts, while not needed, can be fun, intimate and useful for some people. Don’t think you need to have one before you start playing, but if you enjoy the idea, have fun with it. The best thing about BDSM is that there is no ‘one true way’ (we often joke about people who preach ‘true BDSM’) – everyone is free (or not) to play and engage in whatever way they choose.


Ms Morgan Thorne has been a lifestyle dominant for 20 years and a Professional Dominatrix for 6 years. As a former health care worker, she is very knowledgeable regarding safety in BDSM. She is a sex work advocate and an outreach worker with The Naked Truth Entertainment. Morgan is also a fetish film performer and model. She is a writer with Kink E Magazine and volunteers in her local community as a DM and event organizer. She is a kink educator who teaches across North America. Identifying as pansexual/asexual, Morgan tries to be inclusive of all identities and orientations during her teaching. Her new book “A Guide to Classic Discipline” is expected out spring/summer 2015
How To Use A Butt Plug

How To Use A Butt Plug

Using Anal Toys

Anal sex can be a treasure trove of pleasure. Maybe you’ve already explored anal sex (and if you haven’t, check out our article!). Maybe not. Maybe you’re just curious about ways to go about anal play – beads, plugs, vibrators, dildos… there is certainly a lot of choice. Butt plugs are a popular first toy for anal play beginners.

So, what exactly is a butt plug?

A butt plug is a toy that is specifically designed to be inserted into the anus: it has a smaller tip that increases in size to the base, with a flayed end. That flayed end is crucial – that’s what stops the toy from going too far into your butt – yes, that is possible! They can be made with a variety of material: silicone, glass, rubber, vinyl, etc.

How do you choose a butt plug?

For beginners, it is recommended that you start with a small size. Many stores sell “kits” that come with plugs of various sizes that you can work up to as you get more comfortable.

As mentioned above, plugs come in various materials, but we recommend that you purchase a toy in a soft, smooth material like high grade silicone that is both soft and easy to clean. Make sure there are no rips, tears, or sharp edges that could tear the delicate lining of the anus.

 

We recommend the Little Flirt Butt Plug by Tantus – billed as the least intimidating butt plug for beginners!

For more advanced anal play, consider adding some vibration to your plug.

 

 

 


Tips for Using a Butt Plug

  • Lube: Just like with any other kind of anal play, lube is absolutely crucial. The anus does not self-lubricate, so apply your lube of choice liberally. Apply more before removal, since things can get dry quickly. (We recommend this lube.)
  • Lots of foreplay: As we discussed in our article on anal sex, the anus is designed to stay tightly closed. Get good and horny before attempting to insert a butt plug.
  • Leave it in for only as long as you’re comfortable: Some people like to have a butt plug inside them for the entire duration of sex (or even throughout the day), while others prefer it only for a minute or two. Do whatever is comfortable for you.

Have fun. If you’re not having fun, or it hurts, or you decide you are uncomfortable halfway through, stop. This should be a pleasurable and exciting experience for both parties. If it isn’t, don’t do it.


 

 

Body Confidence Through Burlesque

Body Confidence Through Burlesque

Sassy is a performer with Capital Tease Burlesque, one-part of the production duo Frisque Femme, and a burlesque emcee who enjoys gently scandalizing her audience with her pretty pout and her trucker’s mouth. Sassy can be found on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

Body Confidence Brought to you by Burlesque

The question I get asked, more than anything else, is some version of “how do you do what you do?” I’m asked this by women mostly, and clearly, they are asking me how I get on stage and reveal my plus-size / curvy / extra everything and a side of fries body to an audience full of people I have never met before.

Well, here’s the secret: I just do it.

The secret is not a deep well of healthy self-confidence (though I do have that – more on that later).

The secret is not a perfect body (I do not have that). I think there is nothing wrong with eating a whole wackload of bacon and sausages before performing. In fact, I encourage it. And you should also do suggestive things to the sausage while making strong eye contact with someone else – preferably a stranger.

The secret is not a love of money (definitely not!).

The secret is not booze (I almost never drink).

The secret is camaraderie.

I create acts that celebrate my body, but I never hide from its truth. I’ll pull a funny face while squeezing out of a skirt – that is joke between you and me (us). It is an experience I can share with you, and we can laugh at it together.

The secret is community.

The burlesque community is incredibly diverse. We have our struggles, but we are always striving to be better for each other, and for the world that we are reflecting. There is an incredible amount of support and positivity. There are also many opportunities to see all sorts of naked bodies – and the more you see, the more you appreciate others and the kinder you are to yourself.

The secret is knowing that some people won’t like it, but that someone who needs it will love it.

The secret is you.

I do it for you. I do it so that you can come up to me after a show, and ask me how I got up there. So that I can tell you, with complete confidence and understanding, I am you. This could be you, and you deserve the stage and a spotlight as much as anyone else. Your body is beautiful. It is creation and art at its finest. It is magic and it is strong. It is comfort and warmth. It can be different, silly and strange – but it is always beautiful.

I also do it because – damn boo, have you seen my ta tas? They are a national treasure, and I have a moral obligation to share them with the world. If you haven’t met them, you should come out to a show and introduce yourself. Frank and Bob (the twins) love meeting new people.

Body Confidence Brought to You by You

The other key to body confidence actually has very little to do with your body, and everything to do with your mind. The majority of my confidence comes from my achievements, from the things that I have done and accomplished with my life. It also comes from my happiness with myself, and my ability to stand up for the things that I believe are important to me and to my communities.

I have taken risks in my life, and they have paid off. I moved across the country without a job to pursue graduate studies and hopes of continuing my career in the public service. I worked hard to get the job I dreamed of, finished my Master’s degree while working too many hours, and started shaking my money-maker (my brain, you pervs!). I am very successful in my line of work (though as a young woman, it definitely comes with its own challenges – more on that in another article).

I’ve set goals, and I have worked hard to achieve them. I have been given challenges, fought through set-backs. I have been disappointed in myself and in others. But I have grown from these experiences, and I have chosen (this is key!) to learn to be better.

In my heart and in my mind is where I grow my confidence.

Loving Your Body

All those lovely things being said, sometimes I just do not feel good about my body. I struggle like everyone else.

Sometimes I don’t want to get out of bed, let alone go on stage.

My weight is not something I have felt very in control of, it is a constant source of personal struggle. However, I have learned to appreciate my strength. Every day I am grateful for my abilities and for my health.

As I learn to appreciate myself more, it becomes easier to take care of myself and make self-care the priority it should be. For me, this does mean going to the gym. At the gym I can test myself and compete against the person I was yesterday. At the gym I can lift heavier than last week, stretch further than yesterday, and run longer and harder than I ever have.

When I’m taking care of myself, putting good things into my body, and giving myself time to marvel in its strength, I feel better about how my body looks. I don’t need to achieve a perfect form (and I know there isn’t one – I’ve seen so many nudes now – it really does help!). I can have a soft belly, and thunder thighs, and be strong and healthy.

And yes, if you are on the elliptical/treadmill/rower next to me, we are racing. You can pretend you don’t know it’s happening, but it is. I’ll set the resistance level to 20, I’ll gasp and pour sweat. I’ll turn purple. I’ll beat you. And it’s okay if you lose to a chubby girl.

 


Want more sass? Check out Sassy’s other articles for FYV!

3 Lessons on Self Love

3 Lessons on Self Love

Why Self Love Can Help Overcome Trauma

Alexis Pierce is a life coach and yogi dedicated to helping women discover and live their true purpose. Discover more here

Six years ago, I was raped on a work trip.

It wasn’t the first time I’d been raped – my first sexual experience was forced. But as I lay there frozen in my nervous system’s desperate attempt at safety, I resolved it would be the last.

Finding your way to a healthy self-image after 16 years of poor sexual choices and low self-esteem isn’t easy.When your early messages around sexuality imply that you’re both worthless and only good for sex, it’s hard to know where to start, let alone how to make it right.

You only know you feel empty.

You only want to feel loved.

But you can’t get the love and respect your deserve from others without learning to love yourself. It’s the only way to heal.

It’s also one of the hardest things you’ll ever do.

Here are a few lessons I’ve learned on my journey to loving me that may help you:

1. Forgive yourself.

It’s normal to be angry when you’ve been on the receiving end of sexual violence. You may be angry at men, adults, kids, our shared culture – or all of it. But you need to forgive yourself first and foremost to break the cycle of trauma and hurt.

That means facing your shame, humiliation, and embarrassment. It means finding compassion for the choices you’ve made that you think tie you to blame and guilt.

It means facing yourself head-on and being willing to accept that you’re not perfect, and then saying

“That’s okay. I forgive you anyway. Just because you’re you.”

Brene Brown’s book Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead helped me understand how shame played a role in my life, which then helped me take better control of my choices.

2. Be gentle.

If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably heard for years that you’re too hard on yourself, have too high expectations of others, push too hard, or are a perfectionist. The desire to control and contain is a natural reaction when you’ve experienced trauma outside of your control.

But you can’t forgive yourself and heal if you’re still being hard on yourself.

To learn to be gentle, you need to learn an alternative way of thinking. Since the only voice in your head is most likely yours, you may be hearing distorted messages caused by the chronic stress of post-traumatic recovery. That may make it hard for you to imagine what being gentle looks, feels, and sounds like.

This powerful practice helped me start to retrain my inner voice:

When you feel like you need to change yourself or be “better” in some way to receive money, love, or affection, ask yourself – “Can I accept this?” about the feeling, situation, or belief.

If the answer is yes, great. If it’s no, then ask yourself if you can accept that the answer is no.

What this practice does is slowly build trust with yourself. It gives you a way to tune into your inner dialogue, allow space for your feelings and thoughts, and show that you both hear and care about what you’re really feeling.

The more attention and consideration you give yourself, the more you’ll be able to feel safe and supported by your self. Then you’ll be able to create that same safety and support in relationships with others because you’ll know how to show up for yourself.

3. Reclaim what “woman” means

If you’ve lived with the consequences of sexual abuse or trauma for years, you may be cynical about what it means to be a woman. You may have tried to shut down and “turn off” your own feminine sexuality by cutting off your hair, gaining weight, or wearing baggy clothes.

On the flip side, you may have also tried the opposite extreme – being seductive, overtly sexual, or revealing.

Both approaches may have left you feeling disillusioned and dissatisfied with femininity and sex. But you need to own your sexual power in a healthy, whole way to heal from sexual trauma.

For me, the sacred sexual practices of Tantric yoga were transformational. Within the ancient breathing techniques, I discovered a philosophy that celebrates the creative, transformational power of women.

Yoga also honors sexuality as a spiritual experience – one which can help you discover and explore your true nature, not just your physical body. By embodying the divine feminine, I learned to embody myself. In the process, I healed my heart and learned to believe in the beauty of intimacy again.
No matter where you are in your healing journey, there is always more room for self-love, care, and attention.

I leave you with a quote shared with me by a very wise woman:

“To love yourself is to forgive yourself. To forgive yourself is to heal yourself. To heal yourself is to love yourself.”


Alexis Pierce is a life coach and yogi dedicated to helping women discover and live their true purpose. Her upcoming program – the Sacred Secrets of Tantric Sexuality – introduces women business owners to the power of Tantra. Tantra helps you access, raise, and channel your sexual energy, so that you can use your most powerful, vibrant and creative force to excel in your life and business. Discover more here
My Corset Training Experience – Part 2

My Corset Training Experience – Part 2

Busty Woman In Corset

Photo By: Brian Rouble of Shuttered Moments

Aka ‘Can I Really Lose Inches Using A Corset?’

After tons of research (click here to check out part 1 of this series) I made my decision on which corset to buy. I chose a size 22 (5.5 inches smaller than my natural waist) black satin underbust corset with 24 flat and spiral steel bones. Although there were cheaper options, all my research had lead me to realize that if I was serious about waist training then it would be difficult to find a corset that was going to be effective for under $100 USD. So, I invested.

Here is what happened over the next two weeks (including before & after photos and a special Free Your V discount code from Alter Ego Clothing for those of you who are in the market for your own corset!):

Day One:

When I first tried on the corset I immediately saw a difference in my figure. I had a 27.5 inch waist at the time, and I saw my figure reduced instantly before my eyes. Although the difference appeared to be drastic while looking in the mirror, it was actually only a 1.5 inch difference when I measured my waist in the corset.

corset seasoning scheduleI had to fight the urge to do up the corset as tight as I possibly could, but during my research on corset training I had learned that it was important not to tighten my corset past 2 inches of reduction during the first 2 weeks of corset training. The first 3 weeks of wearing your corset is referred to as seasoning and it protects your new corset from being damaged. I found this fantastic graphic detailing the corset seasoning process in Waist Training 101 group on Facebook.

The easiest way to explain the seasoning process is to equate your new corset to a new pair of stilettos. When you first put them on, they look fabulous and you feel sexy! However, if you were to wear them for the next 12 hours straight, on your feet, with no breaks, chances are you would end up very uncomfortable, with big blisters on your heels, and no interest in putting your stilettos on again the next day. The same idea applies to a new corset.

I thought that the first would not be difficult, but I will admit, that I was happy to take the corset off that evening. Although it was not uncomfortable to wear in general, I spent that evening at a hockey game, alternating between sitting and standing up to cheer, while stuffing myself with popcorn. The restriction of the corset made the overeating process less appealing, which was likely a good thing. Who needs an extra large bag of popcorn to themselves anyways?

IMG_3766Days Two-Five:

I wore my corset for 2-3 hours each day, while working. I managed to hide it under my clothing, without anyone noticing (as far as I know). What they did notice is how ‘fit’ I was. I got a ton of compliments on my figure (from men and women) and felt particularly confident.

When I took my corset off each day there were slight indentations in my skin, but nothing more than a tight part of pants would cause on my thighs.

Although I had been a healthy eater before starting to wear my corset, but wearing something tight while eating made me more aware of how much I was eating. There was no question that I was eating less during the meals when I was corseted, than the ones when I wasn’t. I also tended to choose items that were lighter; I was more likely to go with additional veggies on my plate then rice.

I will be honest, my lower back started to hurt near the end of the max seasoning time each day. I was concerned at first, as the pain would go away almost as soon as I took off the corset. The pain was only happening when I was sitting down. By the end of the first week I realized that was happening… I had better posture while wearing the corset and that was making my back muscles fight against the new position. As the days went on this discomfort began to fade.

IMG_3759Days Six-Thirteen:

The more I wore my corset the more comfortable I found it to be. The constant compliments from friends, colleagues, and strangers helped me to forge onward on the days where I wanted to take it off early. Although the lower back pain was almost gone by this point, I did began to notice other small annoyances, the worst of which was the increased gas and burping that I would get after meals when I wore my corset.

However, I also began to notice some really exciting changes. I lost an inch off my waist in the first 2 weeks. Although I did exercise (but NOT while wearing the corset- that’s just dangerous!), I did not exercise any more often than I did before wearing my corset. I did eat less during the meals when I was wearing a corset, but those meals were only once or twice a day, so I don’t think that the reduced diet alone can be to blame for the inch loss. Overall, I think that the combination of diet, exercise, and corset wearing had equal benefits.

CorsetSample

Conclusion:

Corset training clearly works, but it is certainly not easy. It takes self control to not over tighten or wear your corset for too long during the seasoning process. You need to be disciplined in order to wear the corset on a daily basis. Corset users also have to be willing to deal with a degree of discomfort (but this does reduce over time). And, like all forms of weight reduction, you need to be patient for the effects to occur. .

I am quite happy with the results that I achieved in 2 weeks and am looking forward to what will happen to my waist as I continue to train!

Hey lady! Where is that special Free Your V discount code from Alter Ego Clothing that you promised us?!?

Here it is: all you have to do it put in the code freeyourv when you go through the check out process on Alter Ego’s website. Be sure to check out their signature product, the Waist Trainer Steel Boned Corset.

Alter Ego Clothing Discount Code Corset Waist Training

Alter Ego Clothing Discount Code Corset Waist Training

I will be documenting my waist training journey for Free Your V. Click here to check out the other articles on corset waist training!

 

*Disclaimer*

This guest poster is not a doctor, nor is she advocating that anyone try corseting before weighing the decision with a medical professional. While some medical professionals say that wearing a corset has no risks, others say that the risks are the same as wearing other constrictive devices, such as Spanx or skinny jeans; skin irritation and restriction to the area. Free Your V decided to post this series after reading Dr. Ann Beaumont‘s take on modern corset use:

“The corset controversy spans centuries, as it had defenders in both camps. Opponents cited that dislodged organs caused various health issues, and proponents who claimed that even the most extreme forms of lacing were without consequence for health. As evidence was never gathered in a scientific manner, it is difficult, but not impossible, to find a relationship between the two.”

BDSM 101: Negotiation

BDSM 101: Negotiation

The Importance of Negotiation in BDSM Play

Ms Morgan Thorne has been a lifestyle dominant for 20 years and a Professional Dominatrix for 6 years. She can be reached at her website, twitter, and Facebook.

Negotiation isn’t really a word that a lot of people associate with sexuality. It’s something you do in business or when buying a new car, not when you’re trying to get hot and heavy with someone sexy.

In BDSM, negotiation is very important and one of the first steps in arranging an encounter.

While kinky negotiations will look different for everyone, there are some basics that you should cover. We discussed in our conversation about consent that only a yes means yes, and negotiation is how we get to that yes. We will begin by discussing things that are important in negotiating a play scene.

I always encourage people to be very thorough in negotiating with new BDSM partners – even if you’ve been married for years. If this is a new area of exploration, it’s best to be rather explicit in what you want to get into. As you gain experience with your partner, you may find that you don’t need the same level of negotiation, knowing each others likes and limits means you don’t have to discuss them every time, unless something changes.

No matter how experienced in BDSM you or your partner are, if you are new to each other, detailed negotiation can save a lot of trouble down the road.

Limits

The first thing we will talk about are limits. This is a word you will hear often in kinky circles, as people talk about what they are and aren’t into. There are two kinds of limits, hard and soft, and it’s important to communicate these to your partner before any kink activities get started.

Hard limits are things you will not do.

You may not have any interest in the activity, you may find it repugnant or too dangerous. There are a million reasons for an activity to become a hard limit – your reasons are your own and you don’t have to explain them to anyone, unless you want to. If something is listed as a hard limit, by either the Top or bottom, Dominant or submissive, it needs to be respected.

Partners should not beg or harass, pushing to do things on your hard limit list – it is incredibly disrespectful to hound someone about limits, often grounds for the ending of kinky relationships.

Soft limits are things that you may not enjoy, but would be willing to do for the right person.

They could also be an activity that you do enjoy, but that you will only do with people you trust or know well. They could be activities that take a high level of skill or energy, so you won’t engage in them with just anyone. Again, activities on your soft limit list can be anything you want them to be, but let your partner know if they are things you’re interested in exploring with them at this time or not.

Everyone is allowed to have limits – they aren’t just for bottoms! Dominants/Tops can have limits for the same reasons that submissives/bottoms do – they aren’t into an activity, it makes their skin crawl, they don’t have the skill set, etc. No one should ever be shamed for having limits, there are no activities that make one a ‘true’ Top/Dominant or bottom/submissive that everyone must engage in.

Keep in mind that your tastes can change over time and so can your limits.

There may be things you see at the beginning of your kinky journey that freak you out, that after a few years you come to regard as hot. You may fantasise about an activity for years, but after actually trying it, find it’s not what you thought or that you hate it. Think of it like food – many things we hated when we were young are now things we love – our tastes change over time. If or when your limits change, be sure to let your partner(s) know, so that they can adjust their expectations of play accordingly.

A discussion about safe words should also happen – decide if you want to use safe words or plain language to communicate during the scene. If you do want to use safe words, you should agree on which word or words to use and what they will mean for you. Everyone has a different interpretation of safe words, so again, it’s much better to talk about it so you’re on the same page. It can save unwanted pain, both physical and psychological, for everyone involved.

Deciding on which activities you do want to engage in looks different for everyone. Some people choose to fill out BDSM activity checklists (google that phrase to find many examples to use or make your own). Where ‘likes’ overlap you have an idea of what you may want to do together.

Some people will negotiate every activity they want to engage in for a particular scene – covering each implement or action to ensure their partner is consenting. I suggest this type of negotiating with new play partners. Again, once you get to know someone’s play style, you can shift to less detailed negotiation.

Scene Agreement

One way to do this type of negotiating is to agree on a type of scene – let’s say an impact play scene – then allow the bottom to choose which implements they would like used. The top doesn’t need to use all of those implements, but at least has a general idea of what the bottom is hoping for. This also helps with misunderstandings that can happen.

For instance, if someone agreed to playing with floggers, they may have meant only fur and suede floggers (anticipating a more sensation focused type of play), where I may take it to mean they are ok with all the floggers in my collection – including the metal weighted falls that make even the most eager masochist think twice.

With more established play partners (someone you’ve played with many times and have a good idea of their likes and limits), you can simply negotiate a theme for the scene – impact, sensation, etc. Just be sure to negotiate anything new; toys, limits or anything else that may have changed since your last play time.


Communication is essential to a good relationship and this is especially true when it comes to BDSM relationships. Without consent, our play becomes assault or abuse. While talking about what we want to do or have done to us may be uncomfortable in the beginning, it is an essential skill that those who want to engage in kink should develop. It gets much easier the more you do it and those improved communication skills (and the confidence in them) can have a positive impact on more than just your sex life!


Ms Morgan Thorne has been a lifestyle dominant for 20 years and a Professional Dominatrix for 6 years. As a former health care worker, she is very knowledgeable regarding safety in BDSM. She is a sex work advocate and an outreach worker with The Naked Truth Entertainment. Morgan is also a fetish film performer and model. She is a writer with Kink E Magazine and volunteers in her local community as a DM and event organizer. She is a kink educator who teaches across North America. Identifying as pansexual/asexual, Morgan tries to be inclusive of all identities and orientations during her teaching. Her new book “A Guide to Classic Discipline” is expected out spring/summer 2015
Do Women Have Wet Dreams?

Do Women Have Wet Dreams?

Can women orgasm in their sleep?

Most people are aware that men have nocturnal emissions (aka wet dreams) – the evidence in the morning is pretty clear. But do women have wet dreams?

You bet!

Although we may not be left with sticky sheets, we can most definitely experience orgasm during sleep – so yes, women have wet dreams!

In a landmark study in 1953, Alfred Kinsey found that by age 45, 37% of women in the sample had experienced a dream resulting in orgasm. (We like those odds…) And it wasn’t just a one-off (ha!) experience: women who experienced these “sleep-gasms” did so three or four times per year. Interestingly, a more recent 1985 study found the same percentage of the women involved – 37% – had experienced nocturnal emissions.

What is a Sleep-gasm?

It is an orgasm.

No, really.

Orgasms that occur during sleep are essentially the same as orgasms that occur during wakefulness.

Typically, orgasms occur during “deep” sleep stages and REM sleep. That makes sense: during deep sleep, blood flow is directed towards the muscles – increased blood flow to the genital region mimics what occurs when you get turned on.

And in fact, the increase in vaginal blood flow that occurs during some REM events is identical to the increase in vaginal blood flow that occurs during erotic stimulation when awake.

That also means that nocturnal emissions may not be the direct result of a sexual dream – it could just be the body reaching a physically aroused state during REM sleep, and using orgasm as a natural release of that arousal. That being said, typically sleep orgasms occur during sexual dreams.

The vagina may lubricate, which may be the only evidence that an orgasm occurred during sleep. Some women report that the orgasm wakes them from sleep.

Why Am I Having Orgasms in My Sleep?

Some evidence suggests that

“Positive attitudes toward and knowledge of nocturnal orgasms, sexual liberalism, and waking sexually excited from sleep (without experiencing orgasm) were the most important predictors of nocturnal orgasm experience”

So having sexy dreams that result in orgasm doesn’t mean you’re unhappy with your sex life, or that you’re not getting enough sex.

It could just be the result of your sexually liberal brain in REM sleep!

Either way, it’s a very common phenomenon. (And not to worry if you DON’T have sleep-gasms – they aren’t the rainbow unicorn of sex.)

Happy dreaming.

What are Rape Fantasies?

What are Rape Fantasies?

* CAUTION: This post may serve as a trigger for some individuals..


 This is the second post in FYV’s “The 4 W’s of Rape Fantasy” Series. This article seeks to address the “what” aspect: what exactly are rape fantasies? Do women who have them really want to be raped?


Rape

noun \ˈrāp\

    • Penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.(According to the FBI)
    • A sexual act that takes place without proper consent.

That doesn’t sound like fodder for fantasies.

Yet one study in the Journal of Sex Research that evaluated 355 female undergraduates found that

62% of women have had a rape fantasy…For women who have had rape fantasies, the median frequency of these fantasies was about 4 times per year, with 14% of participants reporting that they had rape fantasies at least once a week

Another study from the same journal that evaluated current research on rape fantasies found that

for 9% to 17% of women these are a frequent or favorite fantasy experience.

But what actually is a “rape fantasy”?

First of all, the term “rape fantasy” is not entirely accurate.

Rape in real life is an awful, traumatic, sometimes life threatening experience.

What many women fantasize about is “safe” rape – an oxymoron, to be sure. It essentially means that the dominating partner is driven beyond control by lust or need for the “victim”. There is no element of actual danger, so the traumatic elements are replaced by purely sensual ones.

  • Thus the fantasy is not about actually being coerced, of actual forced submission, but the illusion of forced submission.

The fantasy offers validation – the dominating partner is so consumed by the desirability of the “victim” that they are willing to forgo traditional, socially-acceptable forms of sexual interaction simply to satisfy this intense and overwhelming sexual urge.

Fantasy allows us to explore the outer reaches of our sexuality.

In these fantasies, women can experience their sexuality in a raw and primal way, without the very real physical and psychological dangers associated with actual rape. In this way, “rape fantasies” are actually about willing surrender, as opposed to coerced surrender.

In fact,  as Leon Seltzer, Ph.D explains in his article ‘Don’t Call Rape Fantasies”, women in rape fantasies retain their power: their own desirability has provoked a response that they then allow to come to fruition.

The fantasies themselves may include things like:

  • physical restraint
  • gagging
  • not being able to see the dominating partner
  • not knowing the dominant partner
  • ripping clothing
  • rapid penetration
  • darkness or a “dangerous” location
  • submission

… all things regularly found in the genre of romance novels. The key element is that the submission is not associated with real danger, only the illusion of danger.

WOMEN WHO HAVE RAPE FANTASIES DO NOT ACTUALLY DESIRE TO BE RAPED IN REAL LIFE.

They desire the illusion of coercion into powerful sexual interactions where they are dominated by another, without any real peril.


 In the next article in this series, FYV discusses the scientific theories on why women have rape fantasies.


 

My Corset Training Experience – Part 1

My Corset Training Experience – Part 1

How To Choose A Corset

I first came across corset training several years ago when researching ways to have better posture. I work at a computer all day and find myself sitting slumped over more often than not. During the course of researching how to choose a corset, I learned that corsets can also be used to reduce the size of your waist.

I can be skinnier?!?!

 

That settled it; I was going to give corset training a try! But where to start? This article outlines considerations to make when buying a corset, as well as a special Free Your V discount code from Alter Ego Clothing for those of you who are in the marketing for your own corset!)

 Coco De Mer Corset1: Buy a good quality corset:

Corsets have come in and out of style since the Victorian age, so it was no surprise that there were thousands of options to choose from.  Attractive and well reviewed corset choices ranged from $130 to over $1500. While I admit to spending quite a long time fantasizing about the $1450 USD Sian Hoffman Cleo Slave Suspender Corset, I decided that my first corset should likely be more practical.

Many of the lower priced corsets did not have the steel bones that my research told me was necessary to achieve waist slimming, so I focused my attention on brands that did. Amidst the thousands of reviews online, Northbound Leather, Alter Ego Clothing (ACE) and Coco De Mer emerged as top contenders.

sample2: Choose a Style:

An overbust corset covers the breasts, while an underbust corset stops just below them. Underbust corsets are far easier to buy off the rack than overbust corsets as they go by the waist measurement only, rather than waist and bust. If you are planning on wearing your corset underneath your clothing an underbust corset is far less obvious than an overbust corset.

Personally, I decided to go with an underbust corset, since they seemed less restrictive, in terms of both movement and what I could wear with it.

corsetback3: Look For a Steel Busk:

Look for a steel busk in the description of the corset, as they can stand up to the pressure created by drawing in your waist.  Steel busks are stronger than zippers or hook and eye tape. They are metal hardware fasteners consisting of loops and knobs sewn inside the corset which open and close the center front of the garment.

 

MEASUREMENTS_original4: Choose a Size:

I was told that a corset to be used for waist training should be around 6 inches smaller than your natural waist. My waist measured at 27.5 inches, which meant that I was to buy a size 22 corset (they only came in even numbers). I suggest posting in Waist Training 101 on Facebook to get some help from their mods when choosing a size for the first time.

Instantly upon putting it on I looked small in my waist. I whipped out the measuring tape, only to be shocked that my waist now measured 26 inches. The reflection in the mirror seemed so much slimmer, but the reality was the difference was of just over a single inch.

I started to get really excited, because, to me, this meant that I would be able to achieve drastic results. I already loved how my 1 inch smaller frame looked, and I had heard many stories about women losing several inches off their waist within a few months.

Free Your V has a special discount code from Alter Ego Clothing so you can save when buying your own corset!

 

Here it is: all you have to do it put in the code freeyourv when you go through the check out process on Alter Ego’s website. Be sure to check out their signature product, the Waist Trainer Steel Boned Corset.

Alter Ego Clothing Discount Code Corset Waist Training

Alter Ego Clothing Discount Code Corset Waist Training

 

I will be documenting my waist training journey for Free Your V. Click here to check out the other articles on corset waist training!

*Disclaimer*

This guest poster is not a doctor, nor is she advocating that anyone try corseting before weighing the decision with a medical professional. While some medical professionals say that wearing a corset has no risks, others say that the risks are the same as wearing other constrictive devices, such as Spanx or skinny jeans; skin irritation and restriction to the area. Free Your V decided to post this series after reading Dr. Ann Beaumont‘s take on modern corset use:

“The corset controversy spans centuries, as it had defenders in both camps. Opponents cited that dislodged organs caused various health issues, and proponents who claimed that even the most extreme forms of lacing were without consequence for health. As evidence was never gathered in a scientific manner, it is difficult, but not impossible, to find a relationship between the two.”


FREE ’50 Weeks Of V’ Sex Challenge

FREE ’50 Weeks Of V’ Sex Challenge

Vaginoplasty and Labiaplasty: Female Genital Cosmetic Surgery

Vaginoplasty and Labiaplasty: Female Genital Cosmetic Surgery

Most people have heard of cosmetic surgery for your nose, your tummy, your boobs… but what about your genitals?

There are actually several types of cosmetic surgery available for women wanting to modify their genitals in some way.

Vaginoplasty 

Purpose: To tighten the vagina.

What Does the Surgery Entail?: Incisions are made to the vulvovaginal muscle structure (either with a laser or, more traditionally, a scalpel) in order to knit the muscles and soft tissue together, and shorten them. The vaginal opening can be made smaller by removing excess “vaginal lining” (the mucosa layer). The surgery is typically done in an outpatient facility as a “day surgery” – patients are usually sent home the same day.

Average Cost: $3500 – $5000+

*To see a labeled photo of female genital anatomy, click here!

Labiaplasty/Labioplasty

Purpose: To reduce the size of the labia,, or to “correct” asymmetry in the lips

What Does the Surgery Entail?: Through various techniques, a section of tissue is cut out from the labia – generally the labia minora, although the tissues is occasionally taken from the labia majora. The tissue can be taken from the edge, or the thickest part of the lips.The loose edges are stitched up. Some clinics offer the“Barbie” treatment, where most – or all – of the inner lips are removed, in order to create a single, tight line. Labiaplasty can be performed under general or local anesthesia, depending on the complexity of the procedure.

Average Cost: $4000+

Vagionoplasty and Labiaplasty are the two most common procedures. But there are more procedures out there:

  • Hymenoplasty: “restoring” the hymen – with a membrane created from a flap of existing tissue with its own blood supply, or an artificial membrane without its own blood supply
  • Clitoral hood reduction: reducing the amount of tissue covering the head of the clitoris
  • Labia puffing: injection of artificial filler into the labia tissue, or grafting of fat from other parts of the body to inject into the labia lips

Risks of Genital Cosmetic Surgery

The The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada produced a policy statement on female genital cosmetic surgery in 2013. Below are five of the more troubling  revelations in this comprehensive document:

  1. Evidence is currently lacking for the safety and efficacy of FGCS procedures, most of which have no clearly accepted or consistent definitions.

  2. The labia continue to remodel with childbirth and can again undergo significant change with menopause… No data exists that tracks outcomes through these life transitions

  3. During the normal female sexual response the vagina must be able to dilate and “balloon.” This capacity can be adversely impacted by both physiological processes such as menopause and iatrogenic causes such as cancer treatments, radiation, and surgery.

  4. Urethra, bladder, and bowel are intimate with the vagina, and surgery to the vagina carries inherent risks of compromise of these important structures

  5. Women considering these surgeries should be informed of the risks of the procedure, including bleeding, infection, scarring, dyspareunia, alteration in sensation, pain, wound dehiscence, decrease in sexual pleasure, and possible dissatisfaction with cosmetic or other results. There are no available long-term data on the safety or efficacy of these procedures.

“The SOGC’s position does not support non-medically indicated female genital cosmetic surgery procedures considering the available evidence of efficacy and safety.”

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists released a document with similar warnings.

The risks are serious, and the cosmetic benefits are not well-documented, nor well-studied. The field is not as highly regulated as other cosmetic procedures, and the results are not often clear – especially in the case of “vaginal tightening”.

Obviously, women’s motivations for desiring such cosmetic surgery are varied, and we would never judge a woman’s choices. We respected and appreciated the choice of our previous guest poster to get a breast augmentation. And we recognize that a woman may make a fully informed, conscious decision to undergo elective surgery.

There are risks involved in any elective surgery. But genital cosmetic surgery is a relatively new field, and complications abound.

We aren’t doctors, so if you have questions about surgeries like this, talk to your health care provider.

 

Why You Don’t Really Have a Shoe Fetish

Why You Don’t Really Have a Shoe Fetish

aka What Having a Fetish Actually Means

Don’t get me wrong, I love shoes. Probably more than the average person. I cannot pass a shoe store without, at the very least, stopping to peer through the window. Sandals, boots, wedges, pumps… I love them all. My shoe collection takes up an inordinate amount of space in my closet. I have purchased shoes that were half a size too small simply because they were so beautiful I had to own them. I love the way I look in a pair of beautiful shoes, and I love the way other women look in a pair of beautiful shoes.

But do I really have a “shoe fetish”?


fet·ish
ˈfediSH/
noun

    1. an inanimate object worshiped for its supposed magical powers or because it is considered to be inhabited by a spirit.
      synonyms: juju, talisman, charm, amulet;
    2. a course of action to which one has an excessive and irrational commitment.
      “he had a fetish for writing more opinions each year than any other justice”
    3. a form of sexual desire in which gratification is linked to an abnormal degree to a particular object, item of clothing, part of the body, etc.
      “Victorian men developed fetishes focusing on feet, shoes, and boots”

 

I suppose you could argue that definition number 2 might apply here, although that’s a stretch.

The thing is, when most people use the word “fetish”, they are referring to definition number 3: a sexual fetish.

There are plenty of articles out there listing sexual fetishes, intended for people to laugh or sneer at – ooo, isn’t that so weird? Isn’t that so gross? The idea is that fetishizing something like feet is a deviant sexual perversion.

It wasn’t so long ago that homosexuality was considered a deviant sexual perversion.

Think about that.

For many people, certain objects (like clothing) or body parts simply act to increase arousal or pleasure. It isn’t needed, perse, in order to achieve arousal, it just helps light the fire. So most people exhibit a very mild form of fetishism.

For those with true fetishism, the fetishized object is required to obtain sexual gratification. The item or object or body part is often rubbed, smelled, licked, etc to achieve gratification, or the partner is asked to interact with the item or object.

True fetishes can be categorized in two ways (although a fetish could be both):

Form fetish: the shape of the object is important (high heels, feet, etc.)

Media fetish: the material of the object is important (silk, leather, etc.)


So unless you require interaction with a certain object, item, or body part to acheive sexual gratification, you don’t really have a fetish.


Rape Fantasy After Sexual Assault

Rape Fantasy After Sexual Assault

* CAUTION: This post may serve as a trigger for some individuals. All names have been changed.


 

This is the first post in FYV’s “The 4 W’s of Rape Fantasy” Series. This article seeks to address the “who” aspect: who has rape fantasies? We got a first hand account from a young woman who prefers to remain anonymous. This is her story.


 

I was 17. It was summer –  I remember the sound of the cicadas. It was the kind of night where you could comfortably wear a hoodie without sweating, a slight chill in the air that says fall is coming. But the park was as busy as ever, people streaming in to get their summer camping experience in before the season was over. There was a party for a long-time staff member at the park who had recently announced that he wouldn’t be returning the following summer. People were sad to see him go, and since everyone wanted an excuse to have a party anyway, this seemed like as good a reason as any.

I was sitting on the porch, drinking a cooler and trying unsuccessfully to flirt with a guy who was devastatingly not interested in me. I worried that my short hair made me look too masculine. My attempts at flirtation were noticed by a dark-haired stranger, who suggested that another cooler might bolster my efforts. I agreed, and he cracked it open for me.

As cabin parties are prone to do, things started to get rowdier. Someone jumped in the lake naked. Piggy-back rides ensued. I consumed multiple coolers, and found myself decidedly funnier. The group around me, including the mysterious cooler opening guy who I vaguely remembered worked as a guide in town, found my antics utterly hilarious. Jack* informed me  that I wasn’t near drunk enough, and pulled me onto his lap. He then held a beer to my mouth, tipped my head back, and nearly choked me in his attempt to get me to chug the beer. His friend told him to stop. Incidentally, Jack was not drinking that night.

I said I wanted to find the object of my previous flirtation attempts. Jack said he knew where my crush had gone, and would take me to him. In my drunken haze, I was trusting.

Of course Jack knows where to go, that makes sense.

I followed as he lead me, half stumbling, away from the noise of the party. We got to a secluded area by the lake, and I had to sit down for fear of falling over. Jack suggested that lying down might be the best course of action. As I could now barely keep my eyes open, I complied with his suggestion. (Typing this now, I cringe: how much more cliche could my story be? It sounds like a low budget cop show plot.)

I fluctuated in and out of awareness. His hand lifted my shirt, found it’s way down my pants. I tried to slur a protest, but everything was spinning. At one point, his friend found us. I remember the friend shouting angrily, “She said no!“. I remember trying to stop his hands, but finding my arms curiously heavy. I felt his fingers inside of me, and I remember thinking:

How did he get my pants undone?

He had been angry that his friend wouldn’t leave.But his friend must have left, because his attempts became much less persuasive, and much more forceful. He had me pinned, and it hurt. My bra was undone, and he was pressing so hard on my breasts that I thought they would explode. He was breathing in my ear, heavily. My pants were around my ankles.

How did they get there? 

I felt panic, and a very sudden realization that there was absolutely nothing I could do.

Then I remember there was shouting, and the pressure on my chest was violently removed. I was half carried, half dragged away, my pants hastily pulled up, and stuffed into a car.

The park warden working the night shift had come by the party to give his well-wishes to the departing staff member, and had been notified of my disappearance. Jack’s friend approached the warden, and expressed some concern for my safety. He guided the warden to my location, where they found me, shirt ripped, pants around my ankles, Jack on top of me. Which is exactly what they expected to find.

His penis didn’t enter my vagina, so it wasn’t called rape.  It was called an “unfortunate situation”, and a few people whispered about underage drinking and its unintended consequences. The police officer involved in the case had a burning hatred of sexual offenders so hot I wondered if he might erupt. He wanted blood – Jack’s blood. I just wanted it to go away. The humiliation of repeating my story not once, not twice, but three times to the police makes me cringe to this day.

And since I was underage and Jack was not, I had no choice in the decision to lay charges. The charges were eventually downgraded from sexual assault to simply assault, because Jack was young and a sexual offence would have ruined his life.

I am now in my mid-twenties, and I like to think that I am a fully functioning sexual being. I’ve had many sexual partners, and a few serious relationships. I love my current partner more than I thought was possible, and our sex life is fantastic. But I have one pervasive sexual fantasy…

RAPE.

I want to be shoved against a wall and taken forcibly from behind with a sweater pulled over my head. I want to be pinned to the bed with no hope of escape. I want my shirt ripped and my panties pushed aside.

That’s really fucking confusing.

How could I possible have those fantasies? Is it because I have lingering mental issues from the incident so many years ago? Is this normal?

I decided to look into it, and I want to share my findings.


 In the next article in this series, FYV speaks to a man who also has a rape fantasy, and his struggle to understand himself.


 

The Anal Series – Having Anal Sex

The Anal Series – Having Anal Sex

aka Now You’re Actually Going to Have Anal

You thought about it, you prepared for it (but you didn’t douche, right?!), and now it’s actually time. It’s actually time to put something (a penis, a toy, whatever) into your butt. Obviously you want to make sure this goes well, that it is actually pleasurable for both parties, and that no one is hurt.

Go slow.

anal sex anus diagram

Photo from here

The outer anal sphincter (the one you can control) is in a constant state of contraction, designed to keep the anal canal closed. That means that you need to be extremely relaxed and comfortable for those muscles to release. How do you relax? FOREPLAY. Kissing, stroking, petting, whatever gets you to your happy place. This is not a quick operation. Unless you’re relaxed, those muscles are going to want to stay nice and tight.

 

Lube Up.

Your anus isn’t like your vagina: it isn’t designed to stretch and lubricate when you’re aroused. The specialized tissue that lines the anus and anal canal has no hairs, sweat glands, or oil glands, and it contains a larger number of sensory nerves than skin. So without lots of lube to make the area very wet, that tissue is very easily torn (and that will hurt much more than cutting your skin).

Communicate.

If you need more lube, more foreplay, or need to slow things down, SAY SO. This obviously applies to any kind of sexual interaction, but because this may be unfamiliar territory for one or both partners, and because the risk of injury is greater, communication is even more key here. Definitely discuss boundaries before hand. Maybe you even want a safe word!

Don’t Do it Doggy

When most people think of anal sex, they think of getting down on their hands and knees and thrusting their ass to the sky. Sure, that can work. But for the first time, that’s very overwhelming. You’re putting yourself in a very vulnerable position, which may make you nervous. And remember, nervous = tight anus = pain. Try a position where you have equal control of the depth and speed of penetration: spooning, or good ole missionary with your hips lifted (by a pillow, for example.)

No Switcheroos

Vaginal flora is very particular (which is why we don’t douche, remember?). Introducing things from the anal canal to the vagina is likely to lead to infections. Bacteria that is perfectly healthy in the anal canal is not meant to be in the vagina. So once you’ve put something in your butt (toy, penis, fingers, whatever), avoid putting it in your vagina.


 Have fun. If you’re not having fun, or it hurts, or you decide you are uncomfortable halfway through, stop. This should be a pleasurable and exciting experience for both parties. If it isn’t, don’t do it.


 

Breast Reduction

Breast Reduction

aka Why I Wanted To Make my Boobs Smaller

**disclaimer: This post contains real pictures of breasts, including scar tissue.

FYV spoke to a woman who wanted, and got,  breast augmentation surgery. But what about the opposite?

“B” was 20 years old when she decided to get a breast reduction. She was not happy with her breast size, and just like our other guest poster, decided to do something about it. It’s been 30 years since her first reduction, and FYV had the chance to interview her about her experience.

Why did you decide to get a breast reduction?

I had my first reduction at age 20. I developed very early and was extremely self conscious. By 20 I was a 36D and nothing fit properly. I was also a runner and even the best sports bras at the time didn’t help.

How did you select the surgeon?

I was fortunate in that I had had a plastic surgeon do an abdominal scar revision for a surgery I had when I was 10. I really liked him and felt that he would be a good fit for me.

What was the whole process like?

The initial consultation involved the surgeon looking at and touching my breasts. We discussed why I wanted a reduction and what the expected results could look like. There was a photo album of patients before/during and after. He drew out on paper where the incisions would be. We discussed recovery times.

After the initial consultation his office submitted the paperwork to the provincial insurance system to see if I was eligible. I waited about 6 weeks before they came back and I was approved to have the procedure paid for by the provincial insurance system. My only cost was for the anesthesiologist and 30 years ago it was $300.

I visited the surgeon about one week prior to the surgery to go over again the procedure, expectations and what he thought would be the optimal size for my body type. We also discussed the possibility that I would not be able to breast feed should I ever have children and that there was also the possibility that I would lose nipple sensation either temporarily or permanently. My reduction was also combined with a mastopexy or breast lift. I am not a great healer so there was also the possibility that I would form keloids – raised, red scars.

The surgery took place in a hospital and was to be day surgery. When I woke up in the recovery room the surgeon explained that I had lost a lot of blood during the procedure and would be spending the night in the hospital as a precaution. I had a binding garment on that had to remain on for a few weeks – to keep the swelling down. There was a fair amount of pain for the first week but subsided after that. The incision was like an anchor – under the breast in the crease, straight line from the middle of the crease to the nipple and around the areola. The areola was actually removed and re-positioned when the breast was lifted.

What was recovery like? (Any lasting scars or pain?)

Recovery was pretty good. I did end up developing keloids but even with that I was thrilled with the results.

How did you feel about your body after the reduction?

It definitely improved my self confidence and made me less self conscious.

I did all of this without my parent’s knowledge – even though my father was a physician. I had tried to discuss the option with my mother (who is a double A) and she dismissed it as unnecessary and ‘silly’. They found out a few weeks after and it was never discussed.

Do you have any regrets?

Absolutely not. While I still have scars, I was able to breast feed and though I lost some sensitivity it was well worth it. I had a second reduction 9 years ago – different surgeon – and was equally happy with the results.

What is Squirting?

What is Squirting?

aka What the hell is “female ejaculate?!”

You may have seen it in porn, or you may have experienced it yourself: the expelling of copious amounts of liquid through the urethra during orgasm, generally after the stimulation of the front wall of the vagina (aka the “G spot”).

Otherwise known as “squirting”.

The female sexual experience seems to be much more convoluted than the male sexual experience – large parts of our experience is hidden from view, for starters. It is surprising, therefore, that there is controversy surrounding the phenomenon of “female ejaculation”: here is a very visible sign of the sexual experience, and we still aren’t sure what it is or how it is produced! Because there are so many theories out there, we thought we would break them down.

Theory 1: Squirting is Urine
Squirting is pee The fluid that is squirted comes from the urethra, so it makes sense that it could be urine. Since urine comes from the bladder, one recent study conducted pelvic ultrasound scans on 7 women after they peed, and during sexual stimulation (both before and after squirting). They found that during sexual stimulation, the recently emptied bladder filled very rapidly, and was empty again after squirting occurred.

To be sure, urine samples were analyzed before sexual stimulation, and after squirting occurred. Urine contains urea, ceratinine, and uric acid: all of which were found in both the samples taken before sexual stimulation, and the squirted fluid. However, prostatic-specific antigen (PSA), a compound secreted by the Skene’s glands (which are often referred to as the “female prostate”), was also found in the squirted fluids of 5/7 of the women.

Why this theory is problematic:

  • Many women and their partners report that the fluid that is squirted during orgasm does not smell, look, or taste like urine.
  • Women say the sensation of squirting feels nothing like voiding their bladder
  • The study used only 7 women – that is a very small sample size

Conclusions

Although the sample size is small, the evidence is extremely convincing. The bladder was empty, filled up again very rapidly, and then was empty again.

Where did all that fluid go, if not out through the urethra?

The fact that the squirted fluid doesn’t smell, look, or taste like urine could be due to the fact that it is extremely diluted – the bladder fills so quickly that there isn’t time for the waste to accumulate in the urine. The highly diluted urine is mixed with PSA from the Skene’s glands when it exits the urethra, which could also contribute to the differing taste and smell.

Theory 2: Squirting is not Urine

skenes glands

The Skenes glands. (Photo from here)

Some studies purport that the fluid squirted during sexual stimulation is produced in the Skene’s glands (the female prostate), and is not, in fact, urine.

According to this study, the glands have long ducts that lead to the urethra. This leads to the possibility that the fluid squirted during sexual stimulation could have been produced in these glands, and travel to the urethra to be ejaculated. In this case, the squirted fluid would be mostly prostate secretions like PSA.

Why this theory is problematic:

  • The Skene’s glands are very small – it is unlikely they could produce and store the amount of fluid that is often squirted

Conclusions

As this OB/GYN states:

the Skene’s glands are tiny, about the size of a pea, and are just not physiologically capable of producing any more than a few milliliters of fluid at best

Although the wet spots many women experience are due to the secretions from the Skene’s glands, it seems unlikely that the copious amounts of liquid some women squirt could be produced from these tiny glands.

 

Theory 3: “Female Ejaculate” is Not Urine, but “Squirt” IS

This theory is mostly semantics. Some studies say that there needs to be a distinction made between the secretions that come from the Skene’s glands, and the large amounts of squirted fluid that comes from the urethra during sexual stimulation.

One study explains:

“…female ejaculation is the release of a very scanty, thick, and whitish fluid from the female prostate, while the squirting is the expulsion of a diluted fluid from the urinary bladder”

Secretions from Skene’s glands = female ejaculate (likely named since the Skene’s glands are often called the “female prostate”): milky, whitish, small quantity.

Squirted fluid = dilute urine: clear, larger quantity.

WHY DO WE CARE?

What do we even want to answer the question: “what is squirting”?

  1. Many women feel inadequate because they cannot squirt. Understanding what squirting really is might help them realize that it isn’t the magical unicorn of sexual experience.
  2. In our mind, more research is needed about the female sexual experience in general, so we see this research as a step in the right direction.

That being said, we don’t NEED to care.

If you squirt – is it pleasurable? Is it fun?

Then who cares what the chemical composition of the squirt is, or where it comes from?!

In fact, if it is diluted urine, does that make it any less a part of the sexual experience? (As in: “Oh, it’s just pee. That’s not sexy.”) No, of course not. It is no grosser or more weird than semen.


 If it’s pleasurable and fun, keep squirtin! (If it bothers you, or you think it might be indicative of other physiological problems, see your doctor!) If you have never squirted, don’t worry, you’re not any less of a sexual creature.


 

 

BDSM 101: Safe Words

BDSM 101: Safe Words

The Importance of Safe Words in BDSM Play

Ms Morgan Thorne has been a lifestyle dominant for 20 years and a Professional Dominatrix for 6 years. She can be reached at her website, twitter, and Facebook.

One of the best known things surrounding BDSM is the safe word. In kinky circles, the use and necessity of safe words are often debated. In this article, we will take a look at safe words, whether you need them and when to use them. This isn’t meant to cover all instances of safe word use, nor all the subtleties involved, but simply to give a general overview.

The easiest way to let your partner know what’s going on with you is to communicate in plain language. Checking in and communicating is essential to many play scenes. People should feel able to talk to their partners during a scene: to talk about how they are feeling and indicate if something is wrong. However, there are times when this is not possible or appropriate, which is when safe words (or signals) come into play.

If you are engaging in consensual non-consent (CNC) or resistance play, you may want to use a safe word.

CNC and resistance play can refer to scenes where the Top ‘forces’ the bottom to perform activities, and the bottom resists (verbally or physically). These activities are negotiated beforehand, so the resistance is more role-play than genuine distress.

Safe words allow partners to engage in this type of play, where the bottom may be saying ‘no’ or ‘stop’. The Top then knows that they can continue in their actions, even overcoming resistance, without having to figure out if the bottom really wants them to stop. If the safe word is used, the Top then knows to check in and find out what the bottom wants or needs.

Safe words are also very useful when engaging in many types of pain play.

A well known line in the kink world is “ouch is not a safe word”. A bottom receiving intense pain play will often say/yell things that would make us think twice about continuing. I’ve been called a bitch (and much worse) by bottoms while in one of my sadistic moods. I know that they are simply processing the sensation rather than genuinely upset with me in part because they aren’t using their safe word.

Of course, if a Top is ever unsure about the reactions a bottom is having, it’s best to check in using plain language!

Safe words are also used in public dungeons and many private play parties.

This is one of the ways dungeon monitors (DMs) can keep track of play. You wouldn’t want a monitor stopping your scene to make sure everything is ok, just because one of the people involved is role playing distress. While it is a general rule that you must let the DM know that you will be engaging in this type of play before hand, they do expect a certain amount of dramatic yelping during play. A DM will step in (or should step in) if they hear a safe word used and the Top doesn’t stop play to check in with the bottom.

If a bottom is gagged or unable to speak for any reason, safe signals can be used.

A safe signal is a non-verbal cue that takes the place of the safe word. Safe signals can be whatever you agree on, as long as everyone involved is clear on what they mean. Tapping out is probably the most well known signal and it works great if partners are close to each other or able to use their hands. Dropping a ball or an item that will make noise is another common signal to use and works well if partners have some distance between them.

Likewise, safe words can be any word (or combination of words) that you would be unlikely to use during sex or play. At parties there are usually house safe words – ones that all participants are expected to use so that the DMs can identify when a safe word is used. Common ones include:

  • ‘safe word’
  • the traffic light system of ‘yellow’ and ‘red’ (with yellow meaning slow/ease up and red meaning stop)

Feel free to create your own safe words, but I prefer to use these as they are easy to remember or say and understood by kinky people everywhere.

A safe word should be used if play is getting too intense, but that’s not the only time it’s applicable.

Bottoms can indicate that they have a muscle cramp, for example, or that there is an issue with bondage that needs adjusting. Safe words can also indicate a withdrawal of consent – if the bottom changes their mind about the planned play, they can revoke the consent they previously gave by using their safe word. When I play, a safe word is reason for a check in, where what is said will be taken at face value. My partner can tell me that something needs to be adjusted, that they want to continue, but without me using a specific implement that is becoming too much or that they want to stop our scene for whatever reason.

Safe words are not just for bottoms, Tops can use them as well. Most of the time though, Tops simply stop the scene or change what’s needed instead of using a safe word. They are able to do this because they are directing the play.

When a person uses a safe word, they should never be ridiculed for it.

BDSM isn’t a competition and bottoms aren’t expected to just take whatever a top decides to dish out. A safe word should not be looked at as a bad thing, but rather for the tool of communication it is. Having a safe word in place doesn’t do much good if the bottom is afraid to use it or too proud to use one when it’s needed. As a Top, I rely on my bottom to use a safe word (or otherwise communicate with me) when they need to do so. As much as they trust me to stick to our negotiated play and keep them safe, I trust that they will let me know if something is wrong.


Again, safe words are optional, use them if and when you see fit. Safe words are not a magic word, they only work if the people playing respect their use. They are another way that partners can use to communicate. Be sure that you cover the use of safe words in your negotiation before play and don’t assume that everyone uses them or uses the same words.


Ms Morgan Thorne has been a lifestyle dominant for 20 years and a Professional Dominatrix for 6 years. As a former health care worker, she is very knowledgeable regarding safety in BDSM. She is a sex work advocate and an outreach worker with The Naked Truth Entertainment. Morgan is also a fetish film performer and model. She is a writer with Kink E Magazine and volunteers in her local community as a DM and event organizer. She is a kink educator who teaches across North America. Identifying as pansexual/asexual, Morgan tries to be inclusive of all identities and orientations during her teaching. Her new book “A Guide to Classic Discipline” is expected out spring/summer 2015
50 Shades of Mr. Charette

50 Shades of Mr. Charette

There is no doubt that 50 Shades of Grey is an international phenomenon. The books, and now the movie, has brought BDSM into the bedrooms of many more people than ever before, but how can you act out these fantasies? We have been exploring the safety surrounding this topic with our BDSM 101 series with Ms Morgan Thorne, but we thought that you could use a little inspiration. We scoured Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram before we came across this sexy photography series from a team in Ottawa, Canada; how could we not share it with you?

Presenting 50 Shades of Mr. Charette:

 

  The Team Behind The Images:

Isabelle Perrier

Isabelle Perrier

Model

I discovered my passion for photography thanks to my father; I admire his work enormously.  I decided to explore the dimension photographer in January 2015 when I went on a trip to cuba and voila! I became an avid photographer! Also, I discovered my dimension as a model during the last 4 years. I love organizing photoshoots; I am very artistic and always full of ideas. Photography, for me, is passion!

Dominic Charette

Dominic Charette

Model and Photographer

I have been a photographer since 2007; I specialize in event and sport photography. Occasionally I model, but I prefer to be behind the camera!

Steve Tran

Steve Tran

Photographer

The joy of photography it allows me to express myself—my opinions and beliefs. “Everything has its beauty, everybody has its secret, everyone has its littlThe joy of photography it allows me to express myself—my opinions and beliefs. “Everything has its beauty, everybody has its secret, everyone has its little miracle to reveal. I’m always trying to capture that.” from the present momente miracle to reveal. I’m always trying to capture that.” from the present moment

Mélanie Tremblay

Mélanie Tremblay

Photographer

Freezing the present moment in the form of photography is a real pleasure for me. I have been taking pictures for two years and for me; this is a real passion of mine.
Annie Faubert

Annie Faubert

Art Director

Me a visual art That leaves the bodies Expression about a thousand and one being white as an artistic person I always loved the photo and picture The picture is payable on all forms . Me servant of my visual asset I get a FIND DIFFERENT angles For Models That Which Adds new opportunities for photos.

Narcolepsy And Sex

Narcolepsy And Sex

Today is National Narcolepsy Awareness Day in Canada (also known as Suddenly Sleepy Saturday in the United States) and in honor of that fact we reached out to NAPS: Narcolepsy Awareness Programs and Services to request a guest post on how living with this rare sleep disorder can affect dating and sexual relationships.

Everyone deals with their own share of problems in the bedroom. Many women feel alone, because certain glossy magazines purport that achieving a stunning and satisfactory sex life is as simple as cooking bacon for your partner in lingerie. This is not the case, as many women well know. One woman has been dealing with the unique effects of her health condition on her sex life, and decided to share her story with us. Narcolepsy and sex – This goes well, well beyond being “too tired for sex“.

Narcolepsy Not So Sexy

I have Narcolepsy with Cataplexy. What this means for me, is that my body has no way of regulating sleep and wake cycles, so I am left with some pretty interesting symptoms. The 5 main symptoms of Narcolepsy with Cataplexy are:

EDS (Excessive Daytime Sleepiness): This symptom causes an unusual amount of fatigue throughout the day and can result in sleep episodes that feel like an irresistible urge to sleep.

-Cataplexy: Thought to be REM sleep behaviour that intrudes into wakefulness, this symptom causes a complete lack of muscle tone in everywhere but my diaphragm and eyes. It is the function that paralyzes the average person during sleep to protect them from acting out their dreams. It is triggered by strong emotions such as laughter, surprise, fear, etc. (I will come back to this, as it was the main culprit in my sex life for a long time)

-Hypnagogic Hallucinations: quite simply, dreaming while you’re still awake. This symptom can cause visual, auditory and tactile hallucinations upon waking or falling asleep.

-Sleep Paralysis: this symptom occurs upon waking, and feels like a heavy weight is sitting on your chest. This symptom can be accompanied by hypnagogic hallucinations.

-Disrupted nighttime sleep: pretty self-explanatory. People with Narcolepsy have sleep that intrudes into wakefulness and wakefulness often intrudes upon sleep. Our bodies have no natural internal clock.

So there I was, a young adult in what was supposed to be my physical prime. My early twenties were straight out of a comedy of errors. I would have several episodes of cataplexy every day, which not only resulted in a huge shift in priorities but concerns for my safety (and sexual safety) as well. When I finally felt comfortable enough to share that part of myself in a relationship, it was not without its challenges.

When I met members of the opposite sex, I felt I had to disclose certain parts of myself that I wouldn’t be able to explain in the heat of the moment. There were awkward questions, of course. I had just discovered that when I was close to having an orgasm, my entire body would collapse underneath of (or even more embarrassingly on top of) my partner. I was awake for these cataplexy episodes, unable to do anything except try to look away and will my muscles to be within my control again. There were people that I knew I was never going to have sex with based on the question “If you have an episode should I keep going?”.

Then came treatment. Finally I had a medication to help get my stubborn brain into submission. The only problem was that it was a drug called Xyrem. More commonly known as GHB – gamma-hydroxybuterate, or quite simply, the date rape drug. I thought I had problems with Cataplexy! Never was I more suggestible or in a sexier mood than the time I spent on that medication. It had it’s own awkward set of questions. “Can I accidentally rape you?” “How do I know if you actually want to have sex?”. If you’re curious, the answers are “No” and “Because I said so!” respectively. Using Xyrem also meant that I was likely to fall asleep before I had the full experience of the drug’s ability to put me in the mood. (Cue another set of facepalm- worthy questions and explanations.)

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from all of this, it’s that sex can be complicated enough without having to worry about a sleep disorder as one of your bed partners. Since my time on Xyrem I have opted to use other, less expensive medications and I have found that my sex life has become significantly less embarrassing over the years.

I am now in a long-term relationship with a person who accepts me for who I am and celebrates the milestones I achieve, both in the Narcolepsy community and as an individual – separate from any disorder or diagnosis.

BDSM 101: Consent

BDSM 101: Consent

Why Consent Is King In BDSM Play

 

Ms Morgan Thorne has been a lifestyle dominant for 20 years and a Professional Dominatrix for 6 years. She can be reached at her website, twitter, and Facebook.

 

BDSM has been in the spotlight because of the recent release of the 50 Shades of Grey movie, and has had more attention paid to it in the last few years because of the books by the same name. As a long time practitioner of BDSM and a kinky educator who has taught all over North America, I wanted to both see what all the fuss was about and share some of my knowledge on the subject. I recently sat down and read the first book (the one the movie is based on) by E. L. James.

This series of articles will be inspired by the book – the things that people just starting out on a kinky path should know about what it is we do (WIIWD).

Consent is the foundation of BDSM and it’s also one of the areas where the books are criticized the most. It seemed as good a place as any to start.

Let’s start with a basic definition.

Consent is permission to do something or to allow something to be done. It is an agreement between all parties involved. There are different types of consent, depending on the situation and needs of those involved.

  • Implied consent is the assumption of consent, perhaps because consent had been given in the past or because actions lead to the presumption of consent. People in the BDSM community are not fans of implied consent – it is generally not acceptable when it comes to sex or kink and it certainly doesn’t meet the legal threshold in those areas either. Now, when a couple (or triad, quad, etc) have been together for a long time, they will often ask for and get consent in non-verbal ways – a sultry look is answered with a passionate kiss, for example. It is important to note that people just starting out with a new person or new activity should not rely on implied consent – asking for and getting affirmative or express consent is essential.
  • Affirmative or express consent is asked for and given explicitly – verbally, in writing or with a gesture – thumbs up, a nod or by signing. In kinky contexts, getting affirmative or express consent can be fun and part of the play. Having a partner beg for something not only shows that they want it, but it can be pretty hot!

Implied consent is doing something and waiting to hear a no if the person isn’t into it. Affirmative or express consent is getting a clear yes before proceeding.

Consent doesn’t mean anything unless all parties are aware of the possible risks, benefits and consequences of an action, known as informed consent. In BDSM, this means that both the top (dominant, Master/Mistress, etc) and the bottom (submissive, slave, etc) know enough about an activity to understand what could go wrong, since we will assume that the benefits are satisfaction (sexual or otherwise), happiness or pleasure – ours or our partners. Since the top is the person performing the action, they should be knowledgeable enough in the activity that they can share information about risks and consequences with the bottom.

If I want to do a spanking scene with someone, I need to ask them and have them say yes before I can just hit them. I need to tell them that the risks of hand spanking are minimal and the consequences are a potentially bruised ass. Now, things can be done to minimize the consequences (proper warm up, not hitting as hard, stopping at the first signs of bruising), but it’s still a possible outcome.

Consent can be withdrawn at any point.

The bottom can decide that the spanking I’m giving is more intense than they wanted, they started to feel ill or that they’re not as into it as they thought they would be. If consent is withdrawn, even in the middle of play, it is the top’s responsibility to stop immediately. Consent is withdrawn by saying ‘no’ or by using a safe word, whatever the people involved decide.

When asking for and giving consent, a person has to be sober.

This means not drunk, not high and no altered states of mind.

BDSM and booze/drugs don’t mix, since informed, express consent becomes difficult or impossible and because sobriety is needed by both parties to engage in SM safely. A wasted top could easily lose control and play too hard, an impaired bottom may not realise that something is causing unintended pain or harm. Since everyone’s limits for intoxicants are different, each person needs to decide what they are comfortable with.

Personally, I won’t play with a new person if either of us have had even one drink. For regular partners, I will make an exception to this, but only if we have had two or fewer drinks over a few hours and the play is a low risk activity. These are my limits, YMMV (Your Mileage May Vary).

Re-negotiating activities mid-play can be problematic.

While playing endorphins are often released, subs can enter what is referred to as ‘subspace’, tops can also experience ‘topspace’ (more on these concepts in later articles). Subspace can affect a person’s perception of pain, it can also make them more amenable to suggestion or willing to do something they wouldn’t normally do. Topspace can affect a person’s perception of their own skill level or make it harder to maintain the precise control needed to be a safe top. Adding activities or renegotiating the terms of play while either person is in this headspace is potentially unethical and dangerous.

Consent is invalid if a person has been coerced to agree to an activity, by threats (I won’t love you if you don’t do X), social pressure (but everyone’s doing X!) or nagging (want to do X? How about now? Now?).

Consent is only valid if it is given freely.

Non-kinky power imbalances can also affect consent. It’s why (real life) teacher/student affairs are looked down upon – the student may feel unspoken pressure to consent. These things can happen in the BDSM world too, a person may feel pressure to play with a popular community leader, educator or celebrity.

A form of pressure that is often seen in kinky circles is the insinuation that if a person doesn’t do X, they are not a ‘true’ submissive/dominant/bottom/top.

Saying “a real submissive would…” or “a true dominant would…” is unfair and untrue. Tops & bottoms, submissives & dominants are all allowed to have limits – things they will not do – and just because a person is into an activity, doesn’t mean they are into it with you.

Consent is an in depth topic, one that kinky people talk about often. These discussions are also seen in the wider, non-kinky world too. Schools are considering teaching affirmative or express consent. People are moving away from the ‘no means no’ model to ‘yes means yes’.

By adopting this affirmative/express model of consent, we are helping to ensure we have more satisfying encounters with our partners and that we only engage in activities with people who really want to.

Ms Morgan Thorne has been a lifestyle dominant for 20 years and a Professional Dominatrix for 6 years. As a former health care worker, she is very knowledgeable regarding safety in BDSM. She is a sex work advocate and an outreach worker with The Naked Truth Entertainment. Morgan is also a fetish film performer and model. She is a writer with Kink E Magazine and volunteers in her local community as a DM and event organizer. She is a kink educator who teaches across North America. Identifying as pansexual/asexual, Morgan tries to be inclusive of all identities and orientations during her teaching. Her new book “A Guide to Classic Discipline” is expected out spring/summer 2015
The Vagina Monologues

The Vagina Monologues

Violence against women hasn’t stopped.

And until the violence stops, we need to keep fighting against it.

That’s the purpose of “V Day“. It is a global movement to help end violence against women. Activists in cities all over the world participate in benefits and events to raise both awareness and funds for the cause. Rape, battery, incest, sex slavery… they are all still very real in today’s society. We may not like talking about them, but they happen all the same.

Until the violence stops, we must fight against it.

In Ottawa, Ontario, a benefit production of the famous play “The Vagina Monologues” is being performed by a talented cast as part of their contribution for VDay 2015. The funds raised by the performance go towards  The Sexual Assault Support Centre of Ottawa, The Ottawa Rape Crisis Centre, and the One Billion Rising Revolution.

“The Vagina Monologues” is an episodic play composed of a variety of women speaking monologues on topics related to the feminine experience, including violence against women. It is powerful, funny, and emotionally stirring.

Free Your V had a chance to speak with two of the talented cast members from the production in Ottawa.

Samantha the vagina monologues ottawa vday 2015

Samantha Oxley is a civil servant who has recently discovered a passion for performance arts and is thrilled to be making her theatrical debut with this performance in her first VDay.”

 

 

 

 

Shirley the vagina monologues ottawa vday 2015

Shirley Manh has been on stage, behind microphones, and in front of cameras since the 5th grade […]This is Shirley’s 5th Vagina Monologues show (her 2nd in Ottawa), and her 6th monologue.”

 

 

 

Why did you get involved with VDay 2015 and The Vagina Monologues?

Samantha: I wanted to become involved with VDay and TVM for many reasons. I wanted to surround myself with the beauty and power that the group of women in this production bring. I wanted to be a part of the change I hope for my future. My mother is a survivor of abuse. I am a survivor of abuse. This movement has a very powerful personal meaning to me.

 

Shirley: I consider myself fortunate to have been a part of the VDay movement since my first year in undergrad at Wilfrid Laurier University; the Women’s Centre at WLU produced the show every year on campus. That was about 12 years ago! I auditioned ‘just for fun’, and for a chance to perform in an interesting, well-known show. I got cast, and despite the fact that it was my first year, I performed both “My Vagina Was My Village” and “Cunt”, two monologues at either end of emotional extremes. The experience I got from being in that show was not just fun; instead, it was very powerful. I was connected to a deeper part of myself and to others who already had, or were just, experiencing the same transformation. And that’s what has kept me involved, year after year.

What, in your opinion, is the message of The Vagina Monologues?

 

Samantha: TVM celebrates the beauty of women. TVM is about personal empowerment, growth, and triumph. It honours the collective experiences of women and unites us as a community.

 

What is the most challenging aspect of being part of this performance?

 

Samantha: The most challenging part of being part of this performance is channeling the emotions that the content evokes. It’s made me think about who I am, reevaluate myself as a woman, changed how I feel about myself and my gender as a collective. Those changes have been amazing but powerfully emotional. Being part of TVM has made me more aware of who I am, made me love and accept myself and my fellow women as we are, for who we are. That shift in paradigm, although beautiful, completely changed my world.

 

Shirley: I’m not sure if I’ve ever told anyone this, but personally, I find it a challenge to be an audience member during “My Vagina Was My Village”, despite the fact that it was the first monologue I ever performed. I’ve heard it rehearsed and performed now by many, many other women over the years and it still brings tears to my eyes every single time. You become that girl, who once was living a beautiful life, and then became a victim of unimaginable violence. The dichotomy between those two worlds is stark; the imagery is vivid and can be difficult to listen to. I take a deep breath after every time I hear anyone rehearse it.

 

What is the most gratifying aspect of being part of this performance?

 

Samantha: The most gratifying part of being part of this performance is the beautiful and talented women I have had the privilege of becoming friends with. We’ve created a family. We care about each other, we support each other, we are invested in each other. We are all very different individually, but cohesive and collectively. I admire my fellow cast and crew and have learned so much away from them and through this experience.

 

Shirley: It’s a privilege to have the opportunity to share stories that aren’t your own. It’s definitely fun to create characters around a monologue, but I really appreciate knowing that these stories come from actual people that Eve Ensler met with. Every time I perform a different monologue, I try very hard to do justice to the women who are giving me the honour of sharing their story, and I find that to be a gratifying process.

 

Did you learn anything from your involvement in this project?

 

Samantha: I learned that I am capable of doing something I never thought I would do. I learned that I have a lot to learn about who I am, and that excites me. I learned that I have a lot to learn about other people and that excites me even more. I learned to love and accept myself, and I learned that I can help other women do the same.

 

Shirley: Every year, my involvement in VDay is humbling; it’s a reminder that everyone needs to be empowered, and a chance to practice that for myself.

 

Why should people come see this performance?

 

Samantha: There are so many reasons people should come! It’s a meaningful cause and attending means being part of that. It’s funny! It’s sad! It makes people laugh and cry. The cast and crew are talented and dedicated and I think the performances reflect that. There’s something for every woman (and man) in these monologues.

Shirley: Seeing The Vagina Monologues is perfect for people who:

– are interested in a fun night out
– appreciate community theatre and story-telling
– want to contribute to very, very, worthwhile causes that work towards supporting victims of sexual violence and ending violence against women
– will appreciate a ride on an emotional roller-coaster
– currently love women, would like to continue loving women, and/or would like to love women more
PS: We also love men, and love it even more when they come see the show as well!

 

You can get your tickets to support a fantastic cause (and see a fantastic performance of “The Vagina Monologues”!) here.

 

The Anal Series – Prepare for Anal Sex

The Anal Series – Prepare for Anal Sex

aka So, you want to try anal sex.

 

Well, shit.

That’s great. Toys, fingers, penises… all can result in wonderful feelings and much satisfaction when placed correctly (or not, that’s fine too. No one says you have to like it, or even want to try it. But, you’re here, so you probably do.)

We’ll just state the obvious, here. Everybody shits. Despite the many products out there to mask the evidence of said bodily functions – the most hilarious of which being Poo-Pourri – it doesn’t change the truth. You obviously already know this.

But there is no shame in wanting to stay as far away from the accidental shit-under-someone’s-fingernails dream that leaves you in a cold sweat. Every advice column ever will tell you that you need to relax to enjoy anal of any kind, so clenching your ass in fear of fecal matter ending up on your butt plug will ensure the experience is less than enjoyable.

So, what’s the solution? How do you prepare for anal sex so you aren’t busy worrying about poop?

DO. NOT. DOUCHE.

“But it’s only water!”

Nope.

Don’t do it. Even using “only” water carries too many risks to make it worth it. Your rectum has a mucous lining that is CRUCIAL in maintaining bowel health, and douching, can wreck that lining and open the door for infection. Not to mention the potential for tearing – yeah, just think about that for a while.

We know that lots of people swear by douching, but we honestly can’t, in good faith, tell you to do it. (And likely, neither will your health professional)

So how do you “prepare” for anal sex? You wash your butthole with a warm washcloth.

That’s it, that’s all. Use a mild, unscented soap in the shower if you want, but you really don’t need to do much more than that.

If you have a healthy bowel, your rectum empties totally every time you poo. Feces doesn’t enter your rectum until it is about to be expelled, so unless you hold it in for too long, or aren’t getting enough fiber, there shouldn’t be much left in there after you poop.

Ok, so you bused out the washcloth and feel fresh as a cucumber.

Now what?

Now on on to part 2 – having anal sex!

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50 Weeks of V Sex Challenge

Whether your sex life is scorching or burning out, whether you're single or taken, everyone can use a little motivation to keep the fire alive in the sack.

 

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