photo by Yersinia

photo by Yersinia

If you’re looking to make your sex life a little kinkier, but you’re daunted by the sometime high cost of the gear, fear not! Here are some BDSM-hacks that you can add to your holiday wish list without compromising your budget!

Instead of nipple clamps…
Nipple clamps are used to exert pressure or pain on the nipples (obvs!) but you can use them on the scrotum, the labia or any other place you might enjoy a little pinch.

Nipple Clamps

Try clothes pins!
Same great clamping action for a fraction of the price…or free if you have them lying around the house. The trade-off here is nipple clamps are adjustable, while clothes pins are a one-size-fits-all kind of deal. But since you can get a pack of 50 pins for under two bucks, you haven’t lost much if they don’t work out.

Clothes pins

 

 

Instead of a paddle…
Spanking paddles are made of various materials including wood, leather and plastic. They’re generally designed to look and sound like serious business, although you can use them to deliver a gentle pat as well as a full-on wallop.

Paddle

Try a fly swatter!
They may not look as tough, but fly swatters are a mad-bargain. They rarely cost more than a dollar and they deliver quick the licking. If you’re looking for a firmer paddling but still want to pinch your pennies, consider a wooden cooking utensil. Slotted spatulas or one of the spoons with the hole in the middle are especially fun if you like making patterns when you spank!

Wooden spoon

 

 

Instead of a cock cage…
Chastity cages are a way of putting a submissive’s penis under someone else’s control. It doesn’t prevent an erections, but it does restrict a hard on, causing what some describe as erotic comfort. It also prevents access to penis, so if you get turned-on you can’t do anything about it until your play partner decides to release you

Chastity cage

Try a pet muzzle.
Chastity cages can be quite pricey. Pet muzzles, by comparison, are not – so if you’re curious about penile restraint but reluctant to make a big investment, this could be the low-cost option for you. Again, getting a precise fit will with a muzzle might be more of a challenge  but most feature adjustable straps, so you can play around and see what works best for your body.

Pet muzzle

 

 

Instead of the sex store…
No dis to the sex store. I’ve worked in one and I still shop at them all the time. When it comes to items like lube, safer-sex gear, books and most toys and good sex shop can’t be beat. And when you’re ready to invest in some good-quality, long-lasting kinky stuff, your friendly neighbourhood sex peddlers can hook you up proper. That having been said you might pay a premium for certain items.

sex-shop

Try the hardware store!
Some bondage basics can  be purchased at your local home improvement store. Rope, chains, hooks and certain types fasteners are all available at the hardware store. The aesthetics may be a bit more utilitarian, but the prices are usually pretty good. Also a trip to Home Depot is a bit more discreet for those that want to keep their kinky activities to themselves.

Home Depot

Instead of 50 Shades
For many readers, the 50 Shades trilogy opened up a whole world of kinky possibilities. Fiction can definitely inspire exciting ideas for sex in real life; however it isn’t necessarily intended to illustrate the “how-to” ness of kink.

50 Shades

Try SM 101!
This isn’t so much a money saving tip, but if you’re interested in BDSM practices, SM 101 will give you a lot of more bang for you book-buying buck. The subtitle of Jay Wiseman’s primer is “a realistic introduction”. And it is. SM 101 takes you through the basics of negotiation, physical and emotional safety, bondage, spanking, finding partners to play with and more. It’s the first book I ever read about kinky play and to this day it remains one of my favourites.

SM 101

 

So what’s on your sexy wish list this holiday? If you’re looking for more even more gift inspiration you can also check out my latest post over at The Yummy Mummy Club. Happy shopping!

Technological advancement ain’t just for the fancy-pantsy computer folks. Innovation is happening in the safer sex field as well. Just check out these nifty prophylactic developments!

According to it’s website, the Unique Pull is the thinnest and strongest condom on the market today. It comes in a nifty little three pack that looks like a credit card, which allows you to store them safely and discreetly in your wallet. It also comes with pull tabs, so you don’t have to handle the actual condom when you put it on. You can go to the website to get more information (some of which is weirdly gendered for reasons I don’t get). You can also check out the Unique Pull in action in this promotional video bellow.

Prrrow! Dig that sultry narration.

If putting on a condom is a tedious fumbling drag, check out Pronto condoms. Developed in South Africa, these rubbers come packaged in their own easy to use applicator. Just snap the pack, slide them down and voila! It’s a pretty nifty design, though sadly they don’t seem to be available in North America yet.

 

Gals, it’s great to rock a sexy costume, if that’s your flavour. But if you’d rather stay modest you have options.

Well, an option 😉

 Happy Hallowe’en, everyone!

This past weekend I made my way down to f Los Angeles to attend Catalyst Con West, a conference dedicated to the wonderful world of sexuality. I’ve wanted to check a Catalyst event for awhile now and being that L.A. is a short flight from away, this seemed like the perfect opportunity to check it out.

CCon Badge

Flashin’ the badge!

How was it? Phenomenal!

Being at CatCon was like attending awesome summer camp but with hotel rooms instead of cabins and the buzz of vibrators instead of mosquitoes. I played games, made new friends and by the time it was over and by the time I left, I had grown at bit. I learned so much, enough to fill several blog posts. Those are coming but for now I’ll review some of my CatCon highlights. Believe me there were many!

GAGS AND SWAG

Next time I go to CatCon, I’ll bring a bigger bag. I was not prepared for the generosity of the conference sponsors. I came away with two beautiful new vibrators, including the much lauded We-Vibe Thrill. Another fave is was Nature Lab’s maple-scented lube.  This Canadian gal is here to tell you that they nailed the aroma. Now I’ll have nice reminder of the True North during frisky times!

SEX-LEBRITY SIGHTINGS

Keynote speakers (L to R): Tristan Taormino, Jackie Strano, Yosenio V. Lewis, Shira Tarrant PhD and Sinnamon Love.

Keynote speakers (L to R): Tristan Taormino, Jackie Strano, Yosenio V. Lewis, Shira Tarrant PhD and Sinnamon Love.

I had the opportunity to meet so many of sexuality heroes. Charlie Glickman, whose thoughts on sex-positivity have shaped my own. Tristan Taormino, one of my favourite porn performers, producers and authors. Carol Queen, one of the most influential sex-positive feminists of all time. And Nina Hartley, who starred in many of the first feminist porn films I ever saw.

I also met Sinnamon Love. I wasn’t familiar with her work in the adult entertainment industry but after meeting her and hearing her speak, I did some Googling and girlfriend is an adult-film superstar! She is also one of the most intelligent, articulate women I have ever heard speak on the subject of sex work. After making her acquaintance this weekend, you best believe I’m a big  Sinnamon Love fangal now!

TALKING THE TALK

The talks I attended at CatCon were full to brimming with ideas and information that I can use to become a better educator, business person and sex-positive advocate. By the end of each day, my fingers were cramped up good from furious note-taking. But it was worth it. I’ve got a Google doc crammed full of great stuff! I didn’t get to every session I wanted to attend (Note for next year: look into cloning options), but such is life.

I’ve now got a bug in my brain about giving my own at a future CatCon. Given what I heard, I’ll have to bring my A+ game.

FRIENDLY FACES

Chatting with the sexuality big-wigs is a thrill and a honour. But there’s nothing that fills the soul like forming new friendships – especially warm, funny, accepting, amazing friends. These are just a few of the folks I met. I highly encourage you to check out the wicked work they’re doing. And if you have a chance to make their acquaintance, do it- you’ll be very happy you did!

Sex Texts

Queerie Bradshaw

Darling Propaganda

Think Banned

Bondassage

Sex Positive Parent

The Ramblings of Zoya Lynne

BONUS BUILDING!

I also got to build my very own vibrator! For reals!  It’s a nifty little number from Crave, with a special design that maximizes genital sensation, while minimizing that pesky hand numbness. It’s also waterproof. I should know. I tested it myself.

Vibe Building_1

My tools :-)

Putting it all together...

Putting it all together…

 

The finished product! (Shout out to my building buddy, Zoya!)

The finished product! (Shout out to my building buddy, Zoya!)

 

So, that was my weekend. A great time and the perfect prelude for this weekend, when I begin classes for my PhD. Wish me luck? It’s been a looooooong time since this gal’s done the school thing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Open-Sign-1598827

Greetings from sunny California!

Well, sunny save for the reliable cover of fog that blankets my neighbourhood first thing most mornings. But this is Bay Area – a bit of grey is par for the course.

When I last left you, I was packing up my sex toys and saying good-bye to Ottawa. Since then, I’ve driven across the United States with my family, settled into our for-now home in the lovely city of Berkeley and spent my summer days being a stay-at-home parent, exploring my new surroundings and having a good-old summer vacation. But I owe you peeps an apology. I’m sorry. I should have given you the heads-up before going on hiatus. To be honest, the break wasn’t planned, but after all the moving, travel and change it was very much needed.

Now we’re into fall and I’m about to rejoin the back-to-school ranks. I’ll be starting my graduate studies in San Francisco next week, which both intimidates and excites me to no end. Before I start the book learnin’ I’m heading down to Los Angeles this weekend for the Catalyst Con sexuality conference. Attendees include some of my big-time sexuality idols such as Arial Clark, Charlie Glickman, Mona Darling, Nina Hartley and Tristan Taormino, so that’s an extra-helping of excitement!

BTW, if anyone has a smoother introduction than my standard “OMG YOU ARE THE COOLEST EVAR!!!”  please share it.

I’m thrilled to be back to blogging but with heavy schoolwork looming, my output won’t be what it was. At this point, I feel comfortable committing to a minimum of one new post a week. Sometimes there may be more, depending on what’s going down at the time but expect at least a once weekly update.

The other minor change I want to alert you to, is my new e-mail address. My old client had terrible spam filters and I lost a lot of your messages. So I’ve decided to switch to tried and true Gmail. If you have a question or a request, drop me a line at adorkableundies@gmail.com. E-mailing guidelines are here!

Anyway, enough about me –  how are YOU? What did you get up to this summer? What’s exciting you about the fall season? If you met one of your idols would you be cool and gracious or full of squee?

My departure from Ottawa is at hand. But first I have to make sure all my sexy essentials are packed and ready to ship out west. Check out the vlog below for a peek at my favourite books, toys and of course my box o’ porn!

Earlier this week, The Bean discovered a bunch condoms in my office, which led to the inevitable question, “What are these for?”

His question was a prime opportunity for me to hone my parenting and sex educatin’ skills. And to make a new video. Check it out here:


 

What unexpected questions have you had to answer about sex? How did it go? Do you have a practice kid? Feel free to share your experience in the comments.

 

Spring has sprung!

The season of rebirth is always has a slow start ’round these parts. But there are more sunny days than cloudy, the snow is melting and the air carries hints of the warmer weather to come.

Olde tyme cartoons often portray spring as the lovey-doviest of seasons. Flowers, songbirds and frolicking lambs  create a heady, bucolic back-drop for moony couples who’s pupils morph into hearts as they gaze into each other’s eyes. In reality, this early part of spring still leaves me a bit cold (and wet and muddy), but my sexual and romantic inclinations often perk up in May. The blossoms and bird songs really are a bit of an aphrodisiac for me. The lambs are few and far between, but there are many sexy people frolicking in their shorts and sundresses.

Which brings us to this week’s question:

Is there a season/time of year when you feel especially libidinous/romantic?

The comments are open!

How do you define the word ‘sex’?

I use the word in a couple different ways. There’s “sex” the biological category – intersex, female, male, etc. For a long time, I thought of “sex” in this sense as being synonymous with “gender” and would use both words interchangeably. Eventually I learned that “sex” refers to a set of physical traits (hormones, genitalia, chromosomes and more), while gender has to do with a person’s psychological and emotional identity.

Of course, I’m not a super science-y gal, so most of the time when I say “sex”,  I’m referring to the physical act. But what physical act?  “Sex” is a word that open to a lot of interpretation. What I call sex may be very different from your definition of the word. What I call sex today is very different from the definition I had twenty years ago. Back then I would have told you that sex was  penis-in-vagina penetration because it had the potential to result in pregnancy and that everything else was a form of foreplay.

Then I experienced oral sex. Nothing about it felt like a warm up, a precursor or anything but the main event! So, I began to think of sex as not just vaginal penetration, but any partnered activity that was likely to produce an orgasm.

When I began working in sexual health and sex education, I began to understand how varied sexual experience can be. Again, I began to amend my definition of what consitutes “sex”, trying to find a meaning that was a bit broader and didn’t depend on partners or orgasms. Nowadays when I say sex, I mean something along the lines of “an intentional, consensual physical act which produces or enhances sexual pleasure.”

What do you mean when you talk about “sex”? Has its meaning changed for you over time or with certain experience? The comment section is yours!

 

Aaaand…we’re back!

As I mentioned earlier, The MoMs, The Green Bean and I took a quick trip down to San Francisco.  Spending time in the Bay Area is always a pleasure, but we also had much business to take care of, namely scoping out neighbourhoods, looking at homes and meeting the locals.

By now, many of you know (and the rest of you have probably guessed) that come June, the family and I will be leaving Ottawa and moving to San Francisco!

Actually, it looks like we’ll be moving to Berkeley, where a slightly less expensive rental market will afford us an extra bedroom for guests. It’s a pretty happening city in its own right and a short BART ride away from its sister across the Bay. We spent the bulk of our time Berkeley this week and the friendly people, bountiful markets and vibrant night life were seductive indeed.

Why the move?

I decided several months ago that I wanted to continue my career as a sexuality educator. To do so, I knew I’d have to further my education. After a lot of research, discussion with colleagues, discussion with mentors and discussion with my family, I decided to I would apply to begin graduate studies in Human Sexuality this fall. The program that best suited my needs was the The Insititute for the Advanced Study of Human Sexuality, located smack dab in the middle of San Francisco.

The family I and briefly considered the distance option, which would have meant travelling from Ottawa to San Francisco for two to three weeks at a time, every four months. It was doable, but the more The MoMs and I thought about it, the more we realized that that much time apart was going to heap a ton of extra stress and work onto both of our shoulders – something that neither of us wanted.

What we wanted was to spend more time with each other and with The Bean. We wanted a break from some of the obligations that have us both a bit bogged down. The MoMs’ brother and his family recently made a big move to Australia. It was a risk leaving their very established life behind, but the fresh start has done them a world of good. The MoMs and I began to wonder if a new beginning might do us good too. Both of us love San Francisco. Nice weather and the opportunity to be outside in sunshine year-round would undoubtedly be good for the Bean. The MoMs could work there. I’d have access to some of the best sexuality resources and experts in the world. The more we thought about it, the more we realized heading out to California was a no-brainer. So we’re going.

The plan as it stands now is to go for a least a year. I have very strong attachments to Ottawa – especially the family of friends I’ve made in the almost fifteen years I’ve lived here. I also see that there’s a real need for sex positive resources in our city. Eventually I’d love to come back and continue working as a sexuality educator here in the capital. We’ll see what life has in store.

So that’s the jam. There’s a triple-long list of to-dos to get done before we pull up stakes. While part of me is champing at the bit to start this new adventure, I know the next few months are going to race by and I know I’m going to miss the shit out of Ottawa once we go. So I will enjoy the time I have left here, while I look forward to a new set of experiences and the chance to cross item number 8 of my 40 Before 40 off the list!