Oz Kink Fest haul

This past weekend I was lucky enough to attend the Oz Kink Fest Expo at the Fitzroy town hall.  It was like a cornucopia of amazing sex toys, bondage gear, lingerie and sex positivity.  Needless to say, I had an absolute blast and bought a stack of new goodies.  I thought I would make a video to share my sexy treasure trove with you.

 

 

As I mention at the close of the video, I was completely blown away by how inclusive and open the expo was.  There were people in various states of dress, some in full fetish gear and some in street clothes.  There were a myriad of gender expressions, body shapes, relationship types and kinks represented and I didn’t hear a single nasty or creepy remark.  Every person I spoke to was incredibly open and respectful and it was truly fantastic.  I felt so proud and happy to be in such a sex positive space.

 

I bought a lot of toys at the expo.  Online shopping good and all, but there’s nothing like shopping in person for sex toys.  It’s wonderful to be able to touch the toys. to decide if you like the feel and weight of them.  You’re able to press buttons and you’ll know right away if a toy is horribly buzzy or emits a noise that sets your teeth on edge. Best of all, you can talk to people who know exactly what they’re talking about and get lots of great advice when choosing your toys.  The prices at OzKink Fest were insane, and I got a lot of things super cheap.  There were toys in my haul that have been on my wish list for years, but this weekend I saw prices that I just couldn’t pass up.  I’m very pleased with everything I got and I can’t wait to review them for you.

 

I hope you enjoy checking out what I bought.  If you have any questions, please feel free to leave it in the comments or shoot me an email.

 

In the style of: American Horror Story: Coven

With each season of American Horror story I’ve been utterly blown away by the costumes. But the two seasons that have inspired me most deeply were Coven and Freak Show.  I’ll devote another post to Freak Show at a later date, because right now I’m ready to get witchy.

Season 3 felt like the strongest season of AHS to me for many reasons, but one of the biggest was the solid fashion aesthetic that was woven through the show.  When the season ended I wanted to cover myself in black lace, massive hats and sky-high heels.  It could have been so easy for the costume designers to tread a very traditional path with the coven’s outfits but instead they threw in some unexpected elements and the end result is breathtaking.

Today I’d like to take a closer look at the wardrobes of several of my favourite characters from American Horror Story: Coven

Zoe Benson

Zoe Benson

 

Zoe’s wardobe seems to be filled with items that a person might have purchased it they were told that they were being shipped off to a witch boarding school.  Her clothes are mostly black and white, and everything has a very prim and proper vibe to it.  Her shirts are always buttoned to the neck and she rarely wears anything revealing.  My favourite item in Zoe’s closet is the amazing black wide-brimmed hat that she sports on numerous occasions.  I feel as though Zoe’s style is the least defined of all of the characters, as she regularly borrows elements from the style of the other three student at Miss Robichaux’s Academy.  This may be a wink to Zoe’s newly attained knowledge of her magical powers, a way to show that she’s still figuring out who she is.

Myrtle Snow

Myrtle Snow

 

The two words that leap to mind when I think of Myrtle’s style are “Big” and “Bold”.  We’re talking big hair, bold patterns, bright colours, statement jewellery and voluminous layers.  Myrtle takes her fashion very seriously indeed and every item on her body is carefully curated.  She will wear colours and prints and textures that should all clash horribly but somehow the end result is a masterpiece.  She favours polka dots, embroidery, ruffles, gloves and blazers.  And no Myrtle Snow outfit would be complete without a pair of sharp cat’s eye glasses and a swipe of violently red lipstick.

Queenie

Queenie

 

Queenie’s look is the most casual of all the Coven members, but she always looks sharp and ready for action.  Queenie is a big fan of graphic tees and brash gold accents.  She dresses for comfort in jeans and leggings.  Her outfits are usually topped off with a flashy pair of earrings and sneakers.

Nan

Nan

 

Nan is like a psychic gothic lolita.  Her clothes have a very definite Victorian feel to them, with swathes of black fabric and her ever-present Peter Pan collar. Her dresses are always prim and feminine and are usually in shades of black, grey, white and navy.  She doesn’t wear much jewellery or makeup, just a well-placed swipe of blush and a headband to hold back her sleek hair.

Madison Montgomery

Madison Montgomery

 

Madison’s style is probably the least “witchy” of all the students at Miss Robichaux’s Academy.  She is glamourous and sexy to the extreme.  Her incredible figure is usually bound up in a body con or bandage dress that shows every asset to perfection.  Madison will accessorise with bold heels and furs in dramatic shades.

Misty Day

Misty Day

 

It’s no secret that Misty’s biggest hero is Stevie Nicks.  Her style is very closely modeled on Stevie, with the floaty hippie dresses, tall laced boots and mountains of jewellery.  And of course, none of Misty’s outfits would be complete without a fringed scarf to twirl with. Her wardrobe is filled with earthy tones and shades of blue and green.
Were you a fan of AHS Coven?  Which character’s style would you most like to steal?

Style icons: Harley Quinn

I was pretty rapt with the Suicide Squad movie.  Even though the critics have kinda panned it, I really enjoyed the film. There can be no doubt that a huge part of my love for the film came from the presence of one of my favourite DC characters, Harley Quinn.  After seeing the film, I was so inspired by Harley’s awesome sense of style, and I wanted to dedicate a Style Icons post to the mad clown queen of Gotham City.

 

 

Mod Harley

 

There can be little doubt that Harley is the queen of colour blocking.  She likes large panels of bold colour, usually in a half-and-half style.  Her favourite combos are red and black and blue and red with splashes of white thrown in for good measure.  Her two-tone look even extends to her hair, often worn in pigtails with dip-dyed tips for dramatic effect.
Casual Harley

 

Harley’s outfits are usually form-fitting or scandalously brief.  She loves being the centre of attention so eye-grabbing pieces are a must.  But although you might want to touch, you’d better keep your mitts to yourself.  Harley’s relationship with The Joker is anything but open.  He keeps her on a tight reign, and while their relationship is pretty dysfunctional, there are also strong elements of dominance and submission present.  I really liked the way that bondage gear and winks to Harley’s BDsM relationship with Joker were woven into her costumes.  Her “Puddin” collar, ”Yes Sir” cuffs and “Property of Joker” bomber jacket all speak to her submission to Mr J.
Daddy's disco princess

 

It’s the tiny details that are key to Harley’s outfits.  She particularly partial to diamond shapes, which harken back to her harlequin-inspired costume in the original cartoon.  Jagged edges and circus-goth finishings are also perfect for a girl who is more at home on a tightrope or aerial silks than with her feet firmly planted on the ground.
Rev her up

 

Interestingly, a large number of items in Harley’s wardrobe are inspired by sporting apparel. From her triple stripe sneaker stilettos to her baseball tees, Harley likes to blend a bit of activewear in with her outfits.  This possibly has to do with the fact that her weapon of choice is a baseball bat (when she’s not wielding her comically-huge mallet).  Harley likes to match her baseball jacket with teeny tiny shorts and a liberal application of bling.
I’m head over heels in love with Harley’s look, and it’s so tempting to sprinkle a bit of madcap circus-gal fun into your own wardrobe.  You could quite easily add a few small touches, or go for the full-shebang in two-toned gear, a collar and booty shorts.  It’s up to you how far you take the look, but once you get going, it’s hard not to go a little bit nuts.
Are you a fan of Harley’s look?  Which parts would you like to incorporate into your own wardrobe?

What I wore 9 August 2016

I recently purchased my first ever flannelette shirt. This may not seem like a big deal, but it kinda baffles me that I’ve gone thirty years without one.  They are a staple item in Aussie wardrobes, and a huge part of the grunge and punk rock looks I love so much.  How have I never bought a flannelette shirt before now?  I picked up this one last weekend and I had to rock it immediately.  I’m in love.  It’s warm, it’s soft and so super comfortable.

My initial instinct was to style this bad boy with jeans and boots.  But I didn’t want to be too predictable.  I wanted to push my boundaries a little and wear it with something slightly unexpected.  Enter this black lace corset dress, which has been in my wardrobe longer than I’ve been writing this blog.

I still wore my trusty Doc Martens for a classic 90’s grunge look.  My boyfriend told me I looked like I’d stepped out of The Craft.  I was only too happy to take that compliment.

I am wearing:

  • Red flannelette shirt from Jay Jays
  • Black corset dress from 7 Angels
  • Black cage tights from Pulp Kitchen
  • Black Dr Martens boots
  • Deathly Hallows earrings (gift from my brother)
  • Christopher Walken pendant from Etsy
  • Silver rings (assorted)
  • Leopard print socks from Sportsgirl

 

 

I felt pretty darn awesome in this shirt, and I’m looking forward to wearing it again.  Maybe with the jeans-and-boots combo that I’d envisaged or perhaps with something completely different.

 

Is there an item that you’ve recently added to your wardrobe that you can’t believe it’s taken you this long to wear?

The three common principles of BDsM

I’ve had a few requests for some posts about BDsM.  Some of you might know that I’m interested in BDsM.  I’m both a scholar who likes to learn about new techniques, fetishes and relationships and an active participant who likes to indulge in BDsM  play in the bedroom and in day-to-day life. I’m by no means an expert, but this is something that I’m fascinated by and passionate about. I’m happy to write about this part of my life as long as my readers are interested.  And since I casually mentioned it and got a few responses asking for more information, I’m guessing that at least a couple of you are.

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I thought a good place to begin talking about BDsM on this blog would be to introduce you to the three core principles of BDsM.  BDsM covers a vast range of practices, scenes, fetishes, fantasies, lifestyles and roles.  It can be something very extreme, involving complex equipment and dedicated participants, something light and gentle or anything in between.  Even though the scope of the term BDsM is incredibly broad, there are three core principles that apply no matter whether you’re tying someone up and hanging them from the ceiling or giving your lover a few playful swats with a hairbrush.  Those are the principles of Safe, Sane and Consensual.  These three words are the cornerstone of all BDsM play and should be considered very carefully by all players involved.

So what do I mean by Safe, Sane and Consensual?  Let me break it down for you.

Safe” means that you have taken into consideration the potential risks and how to eliminate or minimise them.

  • You understand any and all equipment that you are using during your scene.
  • You have practiced the techniques that you will use.
  • You are aware of what warning signs to look for that may indicate that your partner is in distress.
  • You are able to administer first aid or quickly obtain assistance if necessary
  • You have safety equipment such as rope cutters close at hand.
  • You have discussed any physical ailments or limitations with your partner.
  • If your BDsM play involves sex, you will practice safer sex.
  • Safe words or signals should be decided upon.  If the word or signal is used, play must stop immediately.

Sane” means that you are in a rational and clear-headed state of mind.

  • You will not practice bondage, impact play, sharps play or other dangerous scenes under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • BDsM should not be undertaken to harm another person, to vent anger at your partner or to exact revenge.
  • Proper aftercare should be employed to ensure that all parties are feeling safe and stable after play time is over.
  • The person who takes on a Dominant or Top role must be aware of the vulnerability of their sub or bottom and not take advantage of them or abuse their position.
  • Extra care must be taken if you have a mental illness.  Potential triggers should be discussed with your partner, as well as any additional needs or aftercare that you may require.
  • You must act responsibly and with self-control.

“Consensual” means that all activities are undertaken with full and informed consent of all parties involved.

  • All scenes are negotiated well before play begins.
  • Parties should discuss their limits and boundaries, and those limits should be respected.
  • Honesty is essential to achieve informed consent. You must not lie or mislead a partner about what you intend to do to them during a scene.
  • Make sure that you tell your partner if they are approaching your limits, or if they are doing something that you do not like.

As you can see, there is a tremendous amount of care and consideration which must go into the practice of BDsM.  The amount of planning and negotiation is proportionate to the level of danger or the degree of power exchange involved, but it is always a vital part of BDsM.

 

I’m certainly interested in writing more about BDsM or play.  If there are any topics you’d like me to touch on in future posts, please let me know.  As always, questions are welcome but I ask that you keep them respectful.

 

Five Fandom Friday: 5 facts about me (if I lived in the Harry Potter universe)

July has been dubbed Harry Potter month by Heather over at Flying on Ruby Wings.  To celebrate, she’s put together a list of special Potter-themed prompts for Five Fandom Friday.  As I’ve been crazy busy, I’ve missed out on all but the final one.  But I’m determined to jump in and give this one my all.  So I’m delving deep into my imagination and dreaming up what my life would be like if I lived in the Harry Potter universe……(insert harp music here)

fandom5friday_zps5c82dc45

1.My patronus is a hummingbird

When I imagine which animal would be my patronus, the hummingbird comes to mind.  Like me, it’s small and fast, they’re often brightly coloured and they’re very partial to sugar.  I’m quite petite and my mind moves a mile a minute, flitting from one thought to the next.

2. I run a vintage clothing shop in Hogsmeade

I think my dream job in the wizarding world would be dressing the witches and wizards who came to visit Hogsmeade.  I can see myself living in a village like Hogsmeade, with loads of quaint stores, delicious eateries and just a train-ride away from London.  My store would be crammed with gorgeously embroidered gowns, frock coats, whimsical jewellery and brightly coloured shoes.  Rather than helping the wizards to blend in with the muggles, I’d encourage them to stand out, to wear something outlandish and richly coloured with a stunning backstory.

3. My best subject at Hogwarts was History of Magic

I know, I know, none of the students enjoy History of Magic.  After all, it’s dull and dusty, and the professor is a ghost!  But I thrive on history, and learning about the past fascinates me.  I believe I would have had a ball learning about the witches and wizards of yore, and in my final year I might have turned in an epic thesis providing an in-depth study on the four founders of Hogwarts, much to the delight of Professor Binns.

4. I’m a Metamorphmagus

Like Nymphadora Tonks, I’m a rare breed of witch who can change her appearance at will.  I mostly use this talent to alter my hair colour and style frequently, but I occasionally put it to good effect for costume parties.  I enjoy meddling with my looks and adopting a variety of disguises for my own amusement. Mostly though, I’m pretty happy in my own skin.

5. I’m great pals with Hermione Granger

If I’d met her at school, I’m sure that I would have found Hermione insufferable.  Probably because her hard-headedness and know-it-all attitude would have been too similar to my own, breeding competition rather than friendship.  But as we met as adults, we’ve grown to be great mates.  We ran into one another at a screening of a documentary about the emancipation of house-elves, and bonded over our similar political leanings and taste in books.  Although we’re both rather busy, we try to catch up on the regular.  Some of our happiest weekends are those where Hermione leaves the kids with Ron and trains it to Hogsmead.  We stay up for hours talking about feminism, history and wizard-age sex toys.

What do you imagine your life would be like if you lived in the Potterverse?  If you’d care to share a tidbit in the comments, that would be awesome.

Things I Love Thursday 28/7/2016

Thursday is here again, so it’s time to lay down a list of the things that are bringing light into my life this week.  It’s been pretty mental over in my neck of the woods, as work has been uber busy and I’ve felt like I’m drowning in paperwork a lot of the time.  Being so occupied has worn me out a bit, and made me even more grateful for the glimmers of awesomeness that have speckled my week.

She's in training for the cat olympics #catstagram #calico #gymnastics

A photo posted by Vanessa Bowen (@nessbow64) on

This week, I love:

  • Dragging a blanket and some pillows onto the loungeroom floor for snuggle time with my dude.
  • The new 50’s style diner that has opened up two blocks from my house.  I took myself for a dinner date the other night and had the most exquisite bacon burger.
  • Getting an awesome performance review and a pay rise.  Go me!
  • Horrible Histories.  I know it’s meant for kidlets, but I’m really enjoying the silly humour and awesome songs. And I’m learning so much!

Spent the evening colouring on front of the heater. #colouring #bright #babushka #cute

A photo posted by Vanessa Bowen (@nessbow64) on

  • Colouring with the new pencils I got for my birthday.
  • Knitting socks.  I’ve currently got four different pairs on the go, and I keep finding more yarn that I want to turn into cozy socks for my friends, myself and also my shop.
  • Looking forward to punk rock gigs.
  • Waking up wedged in between Jelly and Ringo as they try to snuggle close to me to share my warmth.
  • Rainy weekends at home alone. I’ve been very social lately, which is awesome, but it’s so nice to have some quite time to indulge my introverted nature.
  • Tina Horne’s podcast Why Are People Into That?  Tina takes an in-depth look at a variety of fetishes and sexual practices and delves into what makes them so appealing to the people who are into them.  It’s a fascinating listen.
  • My new lube. I bought a bottle of Sliquid Sassy lube, and it is gosh-darn amazing.  It’s designed for anal play, and while I do use it for that, it’s also great to use for other sexy exploits.  It’s so slippery, it lasts for ages and it is kind to my lady parts.
  • Hanging with my friend Tom, eating weird cheeses and chatting about books.
  • Big, giant, sweet cups of coffee.
  • Waking up to the sound of rain.
  • Fuzzy jumpers.

What do you love this week?