Jan 23 2017

Sex Toy Reviewers: Oh Joy, Sex Toy

As I’ve previously written, Hey Epiphora, is my favourite sex toy review site.

Oh Joy Sex Toy, however, is my favourite sex toy review–and sex education–site for the more visually-inclined. (That means it’s a webcomic.)

The comics are written and drawn by Erika Moen, who I first learned of through Strip Search–a hilarious webcomic reality show contest run by Mike Krahulik and Jerry Holkins of Penny Arcade. You should watch it.

On that show, Erika rather overshares about the various types of ‘virginities’ and losing them. (There are more than one orifice and more than one gender with whom to explore those orifices, after all.)

Oh Joy Sex Toy has been running since 2013 (it’ll be four years in April) and reviews sex toys for vulvas and their accompanying parts and penises and anuses and prostates.

The peens and prostates posts are written by her husband, Matthew Nolan.

The site includes guest strips by other artists covering topics often related to various types of kink play–why people are into it and how to do it safely. Some strips have included information on 24/7 BDSM by TeMeL, Watersports by Sicklyhypnos and general BDSM safety by Abby Howard. (Amongst many others. Go to the archives and scroll down or just start at the beginning OR buy the books!)

Speaking of books, there are also a few book reviews, which I’d forgotten about until I started putting this post together. Yes, I forgot about book reviews. It’s the site where I first heard of Come As You Are by Emily Nagoski, which I immediately purchased and… it’s still waiting to be reviewed on the show.

There are also strips on sexual health; why it’s important (and not embarrassing or bad) to get tested for STIs, vaginismus, and the copper IUD.

There is also the occasional erotic webcomic by a guest artist. Those are incredible. Even if the subject matter isn’t my thing–the artwork is usually impressive.

I learn something in every comic–even if it’s, ‘I do not want to buy that toy, as it will probably burn my clit off.’

Her recommendations take into account that every body won’t be the same and she notes who a toy may or may not work for. Her rec is why I bought the Tantus Uncut 1. It’s still a bit too large for regular ‘dates’, but the first time I used it it gave me the biggest orgasm of my life. The kind that leaves you staring at the ceiling in shock for several minutes.

Her toy reviews often include a discount code at the bottom of the post so you can get a percentage off. Handy!

Moen is also the creator of the Anal Sex Safety Snails, which I’ve talked about on the show. I love them.

One of the best things about the comic is how inclusive it is. All body types, configurations, races, orientations, genders, you name it, are represented. It’s refreshing.

It’s such a great comic I don’t even mind all of the puns.

There are helpful drop down menus along the top of the site so you can find topics and comics of interest, or you can keep clicking ‘Previous’ and read your way backwards.

Do I  need to say this is 5/5?

Status update

I had a wonderful and restful weekend in Manchester. I’ve returned to beaucoup work, though, & it will take a few days to respond to all of the correspondence that has accumulated in the interim. THANK YOU for all of the words of encouragement. <3

Jan 21 2017

Periodicals: Olde Timey Porn & Full Time D/s

D/s (reality check): This article from Kink Craft lays out the reality of a full-time Dominant/submissive lifestyle, for anyone curious about how they work or worried theirs might not be perfect because it doesn’t look like a fantasy.

LGBT Issues: AMAZING article by Brooke Shelley on The Toast about why banning cis men from certain gatherings in order to provide safe spaces is backward thinking and, ultimately, hurting the cause.

Porn (Olde Timey): HonestPornReviews reviews Delta of Venus (the website, not the book), which is a website just full of vintage porn–photos and videos and articles.

Sex Toys (and trans* bodies):  An enlightening review of the cordless Hitachi Magic Wand on Hey Epiphora by a trans woman, explaining how it’s helped her regain her sexuality.

Sex Toys (kink variety): Kinkly has this article on where to find items in your house to get nefarious with. Some people call them pervertables.

Jan 19 2017

Episode 039: The Pageist Talks a Break

Episode the thirty-ninth; wherein the Pageist needs a bit of a break from the world and its nonsense. Recent world events have finally taken their toll.

Two episodes will be up next week.

.48 The Talking Bit

Next Week

Jan 18 2017

Outing: The Nuclear Option

Outing is the second worst thing you can do to a person as a kinky individual. The first is consent violation.

Outing someone is a consent violation in its own right.

Seriously. It’s NEVER a good idea. (source)

What dragged this to the forefront of my mind and put a big spotlight on it was someone who knew of the show invited me to join a private Facebook group for people into BDSM. They were enthusiastic about my sharing posts from the site and links to episodes—I didn’t ask—they said I should feel free to do so. Excellent.

The invite arrives and I accept and then find I can’t post as The Pageist. I can only post as myself—under my actual name with my face right there. Usually, Facebook allows people to post as their page or themselves—I suppose that because this was a closed group that wasn’t an option? I was invited as my page—not my actual self.

If I had known that as soon as I accepted the invitation the owner of the group, if no one else, would know my legal identity I wouldn’t have joined the group.

So of course I’m not going to post anything to do with the show or site, as I’m not at the place where I’m ready to be completely out. Not for me so much, but I don’t know how it would affect my husband’s career. Do people care what someone’s spouse does? I don’t want to find out in a foreign country where we have literally no savings and no way of moving back to the States.

I want to be out. I want to be able to post selfies at events or doing fun things. I don’t want to worry about what would happen if someone knew about this part of myself because I’m certainly not ashamed of it. Some of my favourite people in the kink world are completely out and I’m envious.

Sinclair Sexsmith has an excellent writing on the various ways of being out—there was everything from the not-even-remotely-out option to the completely-and-entirely-out option. Pros and cons were identified for each choice.

I was the middle one—where you have an alter-ego. I call it being a super hero. You have a different name, implausible clothing, lots of gadgets and toys most people don’t and you probably know how to do a few cool tricks that could be dangerous if done improperly. Or properly, come to think of it.

Why I Want to Be Out

Not being out is weird, because right now I’m ‘unemployed’, right? Never mind that I’m working on film/app/site reviews, reading books, writing podcast episodes and essays, listening to other podcasts to review, doing social media stuff every day and more. I work seven days a week and many more than eight hours a day (and love every second of it).

I may look very serious here, but I’m loving life, promise. (source)

But to many people I not only don’t have a job—I’m also not looking for one. They must think I’m the laziest person ever, which I hate. I hate people thinking I’m lying around doing nothing, particularly when I feel like I’m doing something important and useful.

My goal with my job is to let people know they’re not alone, they are perfectly healthy being who they are while also helping them learn how to do the things that speak to them safely. This sort of thing saves lives. I wish I had the kink community when I was a teenager. I am incredibly proud of what I do and would love to be able to tell people.

When we were preparing to move to England my doctor asked, ‘So what are you going to do when you get there? Find a job or just enjoy being in England?’

The words, ‘I’m going to be a professional kinky word person!’ nearly burst from my throat without bothering to pass my lips.

I want to be out is what I’m saying.

However, I do not want someone to out me. It’s a consent thing—a control thing.

Outing someone as an act of vengeance is the nuclear option. You cannot un-press that button.

There’s a Chasidic tale about a man who was spreading gossip about a rabbi—he eventually realised what he had done was wrong and went to apologise and attempt to make amends. The rabbi told the man to cut a pillow open and scatter the feathers to the wind.

The man thought this was odd, but complied. Then he returned and the rabbi told him to go gather the feathers saying that he couldn’t fix what he’d done any more than he could find all the feathers from that pillow.

The damage done from opening your big yap is unforgiveable, as the damage is too far-reaching.

Considering Outing Someone?

Outing a person can literally ruin the rest of their life. Or their current life, housing situation, custody of their children, educational opportunities, career, marriage—everything.

If you think pushing the big, red, glowing button is good because that person did something to upset you—you’re the one who’s going to look like a lunatic. It’s called a proportional response. Is it ever okay to rape a person? (If you said yes, go straight to therapy.)

Go to therapy & out yourself. (source)

Because outing someone can have a devastating effect on the outed person’s life, as well as their family. People will find out you’re the one who outed that individual and even if they didn’t like that person no one will forget that it didn’t take anything to push you to that point. You will be persona non grata. No matter how much someone hates another person—no one loves the person who violated their consent. Even if they enjoy that person’s discomfort for a split second—they’re not going to be friends with you because what if you suddenly turn on them? You clearly can’t be trusted.

You’ve played yourself, as the kids say—you’ve messed up both your lives.

Think it Can’t Happen to You?

There are some petty, insane people out there who will push the nuclear button for the tiniest of reasons. And a person doesn’t have to see you for you to see them. It’s possible for someone to know who you are without you knowing them so the argument of ‘Well, if they know I’m at the dungeon then I’ve seen them, too,’ does not fly. Some screenshots to HR or your mom or your ex and his or her lawyer is all it takes.

I’ve also heard: ‘I’ll just sue them.’ That’s not going to put your life back together and I’m glad you have disposable income on-hand just for that occasion.

Ways to Avoid Being Outed:

Not having your face connected to your kink profiles is the big one.

Not showing your tattoos (I don’t adhere to that one very well so oh well.)

Don’t post the same photo on your vanilla accounts as your kink accounts—a person can do an image search and find all the places it’s posted. ‘Oh look, Carrie Vanilla-Girl has the same photos as Kitty SluttyPants. What a coincidence.’

If someone has your phone number in their contacts on an iPhone you will be recommended as a ‘friend’ on Facebook. With your actual face and name right there. I learned the real names of several people in my local munch back in North Carolina that way. Which means they learned mine. Luckily I trust those people and I wouldn’t out a person, so they’re safe. But if I’m outed in the future, that’s five or six people I can’t account for. All it takes is some random, insane girlfriend/boyfriend: ‘Who’s THIS?!’

You can say, ‘Facebook is just recommending them as a friend. I didn’t friend them.’ But crazy gf/bf is crazy and you know how that conversation is going to go. They look at your profile then they have all sorts of personal information about you. And you just know that happens. Just be careful who you give your number to if you have your face on your FB account and make your account private. Lock it down.

Secure as in ‘old timey’ bank vault locked down. (source)

If You are Outed:

You have all of my sympathies. You did nothing wrong. You wanted to post your face and tattoos? That was your choice and you should be able to do that. Victim-blaming is utter bullshit. It’s like blaming a rape victim. Nagasaki was not to blame, okay? The up-side is you’ll find out who your friends really are. The down-side is everything else. And holy hell, am I sorry.

I can give no advice on how to handle specific situations, as each one will vary so greatly depending on where you are in the world (or even in your specific country), if you have children, your position in the community and other factors.

People will surprise you—for the better and the worst. I haven’t been outed, but I’ve read a lot of outing stories and that is the one thing they have in common.

Though I can’t advise on every situation, if you’re in the U.S. and you need legal help, contact the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom (NCFS)—they advocate on behalf of people having difficulties due to their non-traditional sexualities or romantic relationships. (If you can, support them financially–you never know when you or someone you care about will need their help and everything they do is volunteer-based.)

In general, people will treat you the way you behave—if you act ashamed they will feel it’s something to be ashamed of and will gloat and be even more insufferable (this comes from dealing with homophobes—I know about this). If you behave with dignity and explain whatever you need to with grace, they’re the ones who will look like the bad guy they are.

‘I’m sure you wouldn’t appreciate having your private life dragged out into public view, either. All I’m asking for is civility.’ Summon your inner Michelle Obama.

What All of Us Can Do:

It’s important to make sure everyone in the community knows outing is never an option. If you hear someone talking about outing someone—explain why that’s unacceptable. If someone you hate with every cell of your hate bone is outed—don’t laugh—because it could happen to you. And it’s never funny—it’s a consent violation.

Actually. I take that back. It’s funny if it’s a homophobic Senator from Nebrahoma who turns out to like taking it up the back passage from male escorts. Those guys—after passing anti-gay laws and ruining people’s lives for years—when they get outed—that’s fucking funny. That will never not be fucking funny.

I feel sorry for them for hating themselves so much they have to hide who they are, but get some therapy and learn to love yourself. Once you start taking it out on everyone else I lose sympathy for you pronto, broheim. Just because you had a shitty childhood doesn’t mean you get to be a serial killer, m’kay?

[This is an updated, expanded version of a piece that originally appeared on episode 30 of The Pageist podcast.]

Jan 17 2017

Opening Up by Tristan Taormino

[This is the text of the book review from episode thirty eight.]

This week’s book is Opening Up: A Guide to Creating and Sustaining Open Relationships by Tristan Taormino.

Though the title is about open relationships, the book covers anything that isn’t monogamy.

Opening Up is geared both towards people new to non-monogamy and people with experience; those who want to open up an existing relationship, those involved with someone who wants to open up an existing relationship, and single people who identify as poly.

Included are personal stories about every kind of relationship—there are quotes throughout chapters, then a longer interview with a couple or group of people in a relationship at the end of each. It’s always nice to get a real life take on how non-traditional lifestyles affect the people involved. Seeing how people navigate their relationships makes them seem more manageable and less nerve-wracking for those of us who are nervous about exploring the unknown.

The Introduction includes the methodology for the people Taormino interviewed. Woof—methodology. The respondents were largely US-based and it wasn’t a scientific study, but still provided a nice array of personal stories.

Early on, the author says that in writing the book she realised there is no formula for creating a successful open relationship. There were often similarities, but each was unique, so Opening Up is more of a general guidebook than a strict recipe.

The first chapter covers beginnings—the history of swinging and other non-traditional relationships, as well as gay and lesbian contributions and communes.

Chapter two is concerned with myths about the non-monogamous folks. That’s a good one to wake you up in the morning if you’d like to get your blood pressure up.

Chapter three aims to help the reader decide if open relationships are right for them. This includes reasons people do the poly thing, as well as reasons people should not give it a shot. One of those reasons is in order to ‘fix’ a current relationship. Which seems sort of obvious, but okay. I mean, it’s not going so great with the two of you so let’s add an entire other person (or more) with their own emotions and needs into the mix.

Why not buy a house, move across country and have kids, too? That will fix everything forever.

I kind of get it—you’re not happy and think if you can see other people that will help because the problem is you’re bored or stuck or whathaveyou, but… no. You’re just inflicting your awful relationship on other people, which isn’t polite.

This chapter includes questions to ask yourself to ascertain your current beliefs about relationships (we all know how much I love homework—and there were several assignments throughout the book).

One of the reasons people have multiple intimate relationships was stated this way:

People in open relationships enjoy exploring different dynamics with different people—sexual, emotional, psychological, and spiritual. Non-monogamy gives them the opportunity to create unique relationships that nourish and support each other.

This is what I am here for. I know people who think married men shouldn’t even hug women who aren’t their wives. The idea that the person you are legally attached to having to not only meet every need, but also not being allowed to explore a variety of connections with anyone else is nuts. How possessive can you be?

Within the concept of different types of connections—the author talks about people in bi/straight, vanilla/kinky or even Dom/Dom pairings. I hadn’t considered that last one, but that must be something else.

Taormino is very kink-friendly and, if a topic can have a kink-related issue, she addresses it.

This isn’t surprising, as she edited The Ultimate Guide to Kink, but still, it’s nice to see, since that’s most relevant to my life.

In this chapter she says:

My mission in sex and relationship education has always been to empower people to explore all their options, discover what works best for them, and go out and get it.

She’s my kind of individual.

Chapter Four is What Makes an Open Relationship Work?

The same things that make kink work—consent, communication and self-awareness for starters. This chapter is full of excellent advice because just because you’re aware of what you’re feeling and why you’re feeling it it doesn’t make the jealousy (or whatever) disappear.

The ever popular Non-Violent Communication makes an appearance—you know, the one where you use ‘I’ statements and own your feelings—that one.

Other things that make open relationships work: trust, honesty, boundaries and fidelity and commitment. Taormino delves into all of these in depth and explains why they’re important and how to implement them into your new, awesome life.

Then we get into different styles of non-monogamy in chapters five through nine, which include partnered nonmonogamy, swinging, polyamory, solo polyamory and polyfidelity.

Each chapter provides a definition and other information specific to that style, as well as pros and cons and why you may choose that particular style.

I wasn’t familiar with all of those, so, in case you aren’t either, here is how the author defines each:

Partnered nonmonogamy is for committed couples who want a relationship that is erotically nonmonogamous, where each partner can be involved with other people for sex, BDSM or other erotic activities. The BDSM play may or may not include genital sex.

In other words—you can do sexytimes, but can’t date or get romantically attached. This is what I personally think of when someone says they’re in an ‘open relationship’.

Swinging gets its own chapter, even though it’s a type of partnered nonmonogamy, because there’s a lot going on there. Even within the swinging community you have options galore. I interviewed Cooper S. Beckett in episode eight, where we discussed swinging (amongst many other things) if you’re looking for more information specifically on that.

Polyamory is next and Taormino defines it as:

…the desire for or the practice of maintaining multiple significant, intimate relationships simultaneously.

The relationships don’t have to include sex, but they can.

Solo Polyamory was one I hadn’t considered but made sense once the idea was introduced. This is when someone doesn’t want a primary partner. Legally they’d be considered single, but they’d have multiple intimate, varied relationships that overlapped or coexisted.

The final one mentioned is Polyfidelity, which is when multiple people are fidelitous to one another. Like a sexy, loving sports team.

In the polyamory section the author includes non-sexual poly relationships. I was surprised (happily) that they were not uncommon—according to Taormino. Perhaps poly people are more accepting of non-traditional sexualities and different types of relationships.

That section also covers hierarchical poly and non-hierarchical polyamory. The first is when one relationship is considered primary and takes precedence in one way or another over any others and the second is when all relationships are equal.

After that is a chapter on mono/poly hybrid relationships, which was of particular interest to me, as this is the style I’ll be entering and it has its own challenges and stigmas even within the poly community.

The chapter also addresses how to deal with lop-sided feelings of jealousy—in most open relationships people can look at it like, ‘My partner is going out tonight, but I have a date tomorrow so it’s fine,’ but that doesn’t apply in hybrid configurations, as well as guilt on behalf of the partner who is ‘getting everything they want’.

It’s going to be a good time. I’m looking forward to it.

As a sidebar—something I realised about myself in reading this is that I would like to eventually live with both my husband and D-type. Somehow, my brain hadn’t presented that as a possibility before, but learning that there are people who are co-husbands (or two men involved with the same woman and quite happy about it) made me think, ‘Baroo?’ I could very happily—I think—live with a female D-type and Walter and do the housework during the day while they went off to their respective jobs. We’d all have our separate rooms and it’d be swell. She could date or whatever, but I’m the sub, hmph.

Chapter eleven contains guidelines on how to design your open relationship, starting with things like whether or not you need to share an emotional connection with anyone you’re involved with, whether you can see yourself married/committed/partnered to more than one person or disliking hierarchy. Amongst other things. These are only general guides—every situation is going to be unique, of course.

This section goes into a great deal of detail so you can try to work out what you want—the author says she’s tried to think of everything for you, though you can’t plan for everything—you can be as prepared as possible.

Some of the particulars to consider are Who, meaning gender, coupled status, age, D/s status, etc. There are checklists. You know how that gave me heart eyes.

Then there’s what—as in, what you’re looking for. Safer sex, romance, BDSM activities. Be specific about all of these.

When: Frequency, Specific Days or Times.

Where: Geography, Events, Home—are you allowed to only see other people when travelling? Are you allowed to have sex with someone else in your shared bed?

There’s a chapter that specifically addresses jealousy and other intense feelings like envy and fear of abandonment and other things people write songs about. Then a chapter about compersion, which is the opposite of jealousy—when you get the warm fuzzies because someone you love is happy.

Chapter fourteen is on common challenges and problems and how to deal with them like New Relationship Energy (or when your partner is being really annoying because their brain chemistry looks like a meth lab), Time Management (because they haven’t invented Time-Turners) and Agreement Violations (or visits to the Not-Cool Zone).

Fifteen addresses something that’s important to keep in mind for kink relationships as well—continual communication. It’s called Opening Up Again: When Something Changes.

A relationship isn’t a static thing designed like a house and works perfectly just the way it is. Things change—people change—needs and desires change.

Sometimes people move from one type of nonmonogamy to another. The chapter includes this quote:

People’s self-judgment can be exacerbated by criticism from other nonmonogamous people. Some polyamorous people believe so strongly in polyamory as a lifestyle that they see other styles—even other styles of nonmonogamy—as inferior.

Sigh. The Judgersons. They are legion. It’s important to feel superior to someone, isn’t it?

There’s also this:

If you’ve explored your options and chosen monogamy, remember that your choice is valid. You seek a relationship style that fits your needs, and for some people that style is monogamy. Take all the relationship skills you learned from nonmonogamy and apply them to your monogamous relationship.

I’m not sure how I feel about the word ‘chosen’ there, but I agree with the sentiment as a whole. The more I think about it the more I think people are naturally monogamous or nonmonogamous. They can choose to behave monogamously or choose to try to be nonmonogamous, but won’t be entirely true to themselves. I’m 100% on the side of being true to yourself if you’re not hurting anyone else so…

I guess what I’m saying is, I’d phrase it: If you’ve explored your options and realised you’re monogamous, remember that’s valid.

Of course it is. There are also completely straight people in the world. I’m sorry this is how you had to find out.

The following chapter is on coming out—the hazards and benefits. Why are people so threatened? Nevermind. I know why. They think nonmonogamous people are having orgies in the street and if they were allowed to then they would suddenly partake, too. For some reason. Because sex is evil and irresistible. Or something.

People are insane.

There are chapters on the unsexy but vital topics of STIs and safer sex, raising children in non-traditional familial arrangements and legal issues.

The chapter on STIs was the most out-of-date (the book was published in 2008) and we know more now, but the how to have safer sex information was still accurate.

That last chapter was the most infuriating one of the book, as non-married partners have no legal standing in the eyes of the law without investing time and money into legal services.

Even then, in some ways, non-traditional relationships are still discriminated against.
For example, though many groups are protected under fair housing provisions—people can’t discriminate based on religion, race, disability, sexual orientation, and so on—poly relationships aren’t protected.

Another was that, in some places, it’s illegal for more than a certain number of unrelated adults to live on one property (I suppose to keep it from being a hotel? Who knows.)

So if you’re in a group who all wants to live in a massive Victorian together—check the zoning regulations.

That’s insane! It’s just grown up human beings choosing where to live!

I suppose because the idea of loving more than one person—or being involved with more than one person—has always made sense to me I don’t get what the big deal is. I also don’t get why it took me so long to work out I’m poly, but that’s a different thing.

I was looking at reviews on Goodreads and one person went on a bit of a tear about something this book espouses, which is that no one person can’t be everything to anyone else so it makes sense you’d want to be involved with other people to get different needs met. This makes perfect sense to me, as that’s what I’m all about. The person who was unhappy with this assertion says that makes other people into need-providers rather than separate, complete humans.

Oh. Right. That’s a fair point. What if they stop providing the thing you originally bring them into your life for? Do you cut them out again? Do they become disposable? Yeah. How much of a dick do you have to be to see people that way? It’s one thing if you only have one thing in common and you drift apart if one of you loses interest in that one thing, but if I had a Domme and our relationship moved from power exchange to friendship I hope I wouldn’t be, ‘Oh, well if you’re not my Dominant then I don’t want to know you.’

If I like you enough to serve you then I should hope we can still play board games or talk about books or watch films or, freakin’ something.

Anyway, the book has notes and resources galore, for people who’d like further information, and the book also has its own website OpeningUp.net.

This is a must-read for people considering or those interested in improving their non-monogamous relationships. I would even recommend it over Ethical Slut, though I think both are highly useful this one covers some areas that one doesn’t. 5/5

Jan 16 2017

App Review: Kinkd

Brief Description: Tinder-like app for kinky people with the least-helpful website known to mankind.

Cost: Free (?)

Platforms: iOS, Android

Websites: kinkd.club & kinkdapp.com

Features: Pattern lock. Filterable search feature. Messaging system.

Will work best for: People looking for hookups or chatting about kink. Probably one-handed, based on the spelling.

Gender, Orientation and Role Options: The options for choosing your gender are Man, Woman, Couple, TS/TV/TGs, Other, which was a little offensive, to say the least. (Do no FtM individuals use the site?)

There are no options for orientation, which was really interesting. You choose if you’re looking for a woman, man, couple, transgender person or other, but never identify whether or not you’re straight/bi/gay/lesbian/asexual or anything else.

In terms of roles—there are a decent number. Most people should be able to tick at least one box, if not more. And there’s the ever-popular ‘kinkster’ if nothing else fits.

Genders you can designate yourself as or look for. Pictured: Problematic.

User Experience: I downloaded this app when it was first released some months ago and filled out my profile. Hook up apps are not my thing, but I like to know what’s out there so I can give other people informed opinions and I thought at the very least I’d meet someone who was interested in what I was and we could chat.

Au contraire. The ‘very least’ are people who don’t fill out profiles with complete sentences, choosing rather to respond to:

My role & Looking for:

With a complete list of every possible role out there without indicating which one they are and which one they are seeking.

This is where the ‘Tinder’ aspect comes in, yes? It’s not so much about words. You have photos of yourself (like KNKI, public photos must adhere to app store decency guidelines) and look at photos of other people and tick whether you like the look of that person or not. If they like the look of you, the app matches you and you can chat.

You can also set some photos to ‘private’ and those photos can only be seen by people you allow to see them. Those photos can be of whatever content you’d like.

My profile. I do like the cleanliness of the design.

There’s a second button at the bottom of the screen called Moments. It’s a feed of the most recent updates—newly uploaded public photos and status messages that can be liked and commented on.

The middle button is for searching and will allow you to filter pretty well.

Then there’s the messaging system, which I’m sure works fine. I didn’t use it because I hadn’t connected with anyone on the site and no one had chosen to message me—if you use the app and there’s something wonky about the messaging system, please leave a comment. Here. Not on in my messages.

In the search options, users can filter by gender sought (which are the same as the genders you can choose to identify as), age range, location and then only show profiles that have photos—but only if you’re a ‘gold member’. Which, apparently, I am. I don’t know how I became so designated—perhaps because I use complete sentences and proper punctuation in my profile.

It wasn’t because I’d paid—I hadn’t—and the app isn’t listed as having in-app purchases on the app store.

I couldn’t find information on it on their website, but I couldn’t find any useful information on their website.

The website that comes up when searching from a search engine is kinkdapp.com, but the developer website through the app store is kinkd.club. The latter says they approve all profiles manually, though there is no mention of this on the former site.

Fair dues, there’s not much mention of anything on the main site. I went to the ‘Press’ link and was invited to download the press kit from Dropbox. That’s new.

Overall: If the people on Tinder are too vanilla, give this a go. You’re probably not going to find the love of your life (but maybe you will!)

Or maybe you’ll find someone whose role is and they’re looking for: Dominant, Domme, Master, Mistress, Switch, Submissive, Slave, Fetishist, Kinkster, Pet, Bottom, Sadist, Masochist, Sadomasochist, Ageplayer, Daddy

Jackpot!

Seriously, I’d probably recommend KNKI over this one, but both of them seem to have difficulty recommending people within close-range of the user–I saw people complaining about this in the feed on Kinkd.

Jan 14 2017

Periodicals: Censorship and Penetration

Books (queer and feminist): Autostraddle has a list of the best queer and feminist books from 2016. Dammit–tempting me with an Anne Carson I’ve been trying to avoid spending money on.

Dominants (being a good one): KinkAcademy has a great guide for what to do when you make a mistake –because all Dominants will make a mistake eventually.

Drag (and ballet): The world’s only drag ballet (which has been around since 1974) challenges gender roles while making people laugh. If they ever come to England I’m going to see these guys.

Gender (presentation of): When you’re a queer lady, it’s hammered into you that your nails have to be short. Formidable Femme says hell no to that in a piece about why she loves her long nails and the journey she took to get to that point. It made me want to grow my nails out again.

Porn (censorship, UK): As the digital economy bill drags on, the free speech advocate for the UN, David Kaye, has warned that, if it continues the way it’s been proposed, it’s a big, fat violation of privacy and international human rights law.

Porn (censorship, USA): Oh boy. Many states are trying to pull this nonsense. They want to classify anything that can host the internet a ‘porn vending machine’ and tell you what you can and cannot see on it. Is your state one of 26 attempting to pass this insanity?

Sex Advice (Positions): Girl on the Net offers some extremely useful (and hilarious) tips on 10 Positions to Not Have Sex In. As an asexual, I appreciated a list I could identify with.

Sex Education: In France, they’re using 3D printed models of the clitoris to teach about anatomy. What?! Lucky bastards.

Sex (definitions): How do you define sex? Does it have to include penetration? Do you think our culture has too rigid of standards around the definition?

Toys (travelling with): KinkAcademy offers some excellent advice on how to travel with a variety of kink gear and sex toys. From how to pack fetish clothing to what to check vs what’s safe to carry on.

Jan 13 2017

Billions (Season One)

U.S. Attorney Chuck Rhoades (Paul Giamatti) has the hate horn on for hedge fund genius Bobby ‘Axe’ Axelrod (Damian Lewis).

Rhoades knows Axelrod has built his fortune from nothing using less-than-honest means—primarily insider trading—and it’s his job to prosecute people who break the law on behalf of the American people.

But this instance is personal. Rhoades really wants to take Axe down.

His desire is so strong he’s willing to do things that are beyond certain lines.

Axelrod is a popular figure in New York, though. He was the sole survivor from his firm after 9/11 and made it his goal to take care of the families of his late colleagues. Coming from a blue-collar background, he is a completely self-made billionaire who’s given hundreds of millions to the fire department, as well as doing other good works.

If Rhoades is going to take him down, his case has to be air-tight.

And he wants to take him down forever.

A potential difficulty is that Rhoades’ wife, Wendy (Maggie Siff), works for Axe—she’s a therapist to his many traders. (People who handle that much money are under a great deal of stress and need a therapist close to hand.)

Wendy Rhoades has been with Axe since the beginning—they’re more than colleagues—they’re friends.

The relationship is strictly platonic, though, as Axelrod is madly in love with his wife, Lara (Malin Akerman), a woman with a similar hard scrabble background and the mother of his two children. She is not a woman to be fucked with. If someone messes with her husband she will Lady Macbeth them. Except she’ll actually do something to them, rather than puss out.

Due to his wife’s position at Axe’s firm, Rhoades’ Chief Assistant Bryan Connerty (Toby Leonard Moore) and the ultra-capable Assistant DA Kate Sacker (Condola Rashad) urge him to recuse himself.

Also advising him at every turn is his highly-connected father, Chuck Rhoades Sr (Jeffery DeMunn). Chuck the Elder constantly offers advice and guidance whether it is requested or appreciated—the viewer gets the impression Chuck the Younger isn’t living up to his father’s expectations in one way or another no matter what he does.

That said, Chuck Jr has no scruples about asking his father for a favour when it suits his purposes—if you want clear cut good guys and bad guys go read a fairy tale. This show is not for you.

Over in the Axe camp there’s Mike ‘Wags’ Wagner, played by the hilarious David Costabile as well as the shadowy Hall (just… ‘Hall’) played perfectly by Terry Kinney. He’s a sort of sinister adviser on what Axe needs to do in any scenario in order to avoid jail time or prosecution. He procures spies and offers various options in a straightforward way.

There’s also a variety of traders, each with their own personality quirks and foibles. And nicknames. Pouch is called Pouch because he has no balls. His ballsac is empty. It’s a pouch. Like that.

A scene involving Axe and a trader called ‘Dollarbill’ Stearn later in the season was what my husband called the ‘funniest scene in a dramatic series ever’. It was pretty fucking funny.

Then there are the cameos. Penn Jillette makes an appearance, as does Metallica (?!)

While I’m sort of on the topic of music—this is the first show I’ve seen that has a dubstep soundtrack (it’s by Eskmo and it really works).

When a show opens like this you know it’s going to be good. Or someone’s been kidnapped. (source)

The reason I’m reviewing the show on this site is because the Rhoades are into kinky sex—Chuck is sexually submissive. The opening scene is Chuck tied up on the floor and Wendy putting a cigarette out on him then easing the burn by… well. He’s very into it.

The kink doesn’t feature heavily, but it’s accurate, thanks to a company called Kink on Set. In a later episode, Chuck goes to see a Mistress he refers to as ‘Troy’ which is a head nod to the woman who runs Kink on Set, Olivia Troy. (I learned about the show through an article about the company on Vice.)

It’s so nice to see accurate kink in the media. I wished there was more of it in the show. What is there is mostly implied.

Still, the show itself is compelling enough I’m looking forward to the next season starting in February.

If you’re only looking for the kink, there probably isn’t enough to make it worth your while. If you enjoy shows with morally-ambiguous characters who aren’t necessarily likeable or easy to root for then I highly recommend this one.

Because the characters are insanely wealthy there are a great deal of very nice material possessions on display including helicopters and sweet-ass cars. I’d hate to think what the production budget is like but it’s fun to look at.

5/5

Billions airs on Showtime in the States and the rights are owned by Sky in the U.K.

Jan 12 2017

Episode 038: Opening Up

Episode the thirty-eighth; wherein the Pageist (briefly) returns to her roots, explains why your neurotransmitters LIE and shares some exciting news about the site. The book reviewed is Opening Up: A Guide to Creating and Sustaining Open Relationships by Tristan Taormino.

.48 Intro & Announcements:

  • A new Facebook follow: Welcome to Richard! And a new like from Darkling. Hellooooo!
  • The listener in Djibouti makes me laugh because he reminds me of me.
  • The show & site has a new Patron: BIG thanks to Barrett! Check out the perks of supporting the show over here.
  • The mobile version of the site is getting a swanky upgrade next month! I am very excited!
  • If you haven’t already, check out The Cage. I reviewed the site here.
  • Episode thirty-five–where I talk about dealing with depression and how the site and podcast have helped me enormously.

4.58 My Submissive Life:

  • A sample of my original accent and how changing the accents we’re born with is similar to challenging unhelpful beliefs.

9.45 Book Review:

28.33 Closing Remarks:

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