What I wore: Benalla Shorts film festival.

I feel very blessed to be from Benalla.  Even though it’s such a small town, we have a lot going for us.  There’s the yearly Wall to Wall street art festival, a huge number of amazing cafes and restaurants, gorgeous picnic spots and the mural.  A relatively new event that’s sprung up is the Benalla Shorts film festival, which showcases short films made by local and national film makers. This year I scored tickets to the event and frocked up to attend.

 

I was very unsure about what to wear.  I wanted to be dressed up, but not over the top.  It was also absolutely stinking hot the day of the festival so I needed something that would be cool and comfortable.  So I opted for billowy, printed trousers and monochrome accessories.

 

 

I am wearing:

  • Black and white silk trousers (thrifted)
  • Black tank top from Uniqlo
  • Black patent heels from Nine West
  • Leopard print fascinator from Dangerfield
  • Art deco locket (thrifted)
  • Cubic zirconia earrings (belonged to my Nana)

 

 This turned out to be the perfect outfit to wear to the film festival. I was so comfortable and I felt confident in my monochrome ensemble.  The fascinator was a fun touch, and added the perfect amount of whimsy to the whole outfit.  I feel like without it, I’d have looked a bit more casual and that’s not the vibe I was going for.

 

The festival itself was so much fun.  The winning film was called iRony, an animated take on how technology and social media is affecting our life in a negative way.  The most impressive thing about that film is that it was hand-animated, written, narrated and produced by one person….and he’s eighteen.  I was blown away by the sophistication of the film from such a young filmmaker.  I also voted for a film called Munchies, which was an adorable claymation feature about a farmer with a snail problem.

 

I feel that my black and white outfit was perfect for a cultured afternoon of short films.  I hit the mark and didn’t feel overdone or too casual, and I was truly confident in the way I looked.

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Tying tubes and trying choices

This year I’ve given more thought to the subject of contraception than I have in the last decade of my life.  After twelve years of taking the oral contraceptive pill, I chose to have an IUD fitted in an effort to control my chronic migraines.  When my uterus rejected my IUD, I had to think carefully about what kind of contraceptive I would try next.  Although there are a multitude of contraceptive options available, my choices were severely limited.

The contraceptive pill was out, because although I knew it worked well for me, it definitely made my migraines more frequent.  There are a number of hormonal birth control methods, such as the Nuva Ring and The Patch which were also not appropriate for me because of my migraines.  I looked into the Depo-Provera injection but I didn’t want to have to have a shot every three months. I wasn’t keen to try another IUD and I wasn’t impressed with the failure rates of methods such as the diaphragm and cervical cap.  In the end I settled on an Implanon implant, because it was one of the few options available to me that was highly effective.

 

The effectiveness of each method was one of the most important factors to me when considering which kind of birth control to choose.  The reason for this is that I don’t want to have kids.  Not just now, but ever. During all this research and weighing of options, one other birth control method was on my mind- tubal ligation.  I thought long and hard about getting my tubes tied, and made the choice that if the Implanon didn’t work for me, then my next step would be pursing voluntary sterilisation.

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It’s really important for me to stop a moment and highlight just how much thought I gave to this choice.  This isn’t a snap decision I made on a whim.  I have known for a very long time that I don’t ever want to have children.  It’s a path I’m positive that I don’t want to walk.  For me, it’s not so much the fatigue from trying so many different contraceptive methods, but rather the fact that it seems futile to temporarily alter my fertility when I know for sure that I never want to become pregnant.  I don’t want to have children, and I would feel relieved if my body were no longer able to accidentally surprise me with one.

 

When I was rolling the idea of sterilisation around in my mind, I spoke to several friends about it.  Every one of them, at some point in our discussion said the exact same seven words…..”But, what if you change your mind?”

 

This gave me pause.  Each time I heard those seven words I felt frustrated, upset and invalidated.  I felt like nobody was hearing me.  That nobody understood the fact that I’ve made up my mind, that I definitely 100% do not want kids.  That they were all viewing me as some cold-hearted bitch whose biological clock was ticking like a time bomb, just waiting to blow my decision to remain childless to smithereens.

 

It occurred to me that when a person states that they want to have a surgical procedure to prevent them from having children, it is generally believed that they are making a mistake and that they will inevitably change their mind.  Conversely, when a person announces that they are planning on undergoing artificial insemination or IVF or another fertility treatment, nobody ever says “But what if you change your mind?  What if you don’t really want a baby?  What if you regret it?”.  And the reason for that is fairly simple.

 

Women are supposed to want to have babies.  That’s meant to be like an in-built factory setting.  Procreating is meant to be so deeply ingrained in our DNA that those who don’t want to breed are seen as strange, or wrong, or simply late-blooming.  Surely at some stage, that innate feminine urge to bear a child will overtake every woman.  Having a child is seen to be the right choice. And if that’s not the choice you’ve made, then it’s expected that eventually you’ll realise your mistake and change your mind.  Nobody questions the decision to have a child, because our culture says that having children is what you’re meant to do.  It’s the right choice, and deciding to remain childless is not.

 

One person said to me, “Imagine how horrible it would be if you decided that you wanted to have a baby, but you couldn’t because you’d had your tubes tied”.  I explained to them that this imaginary scenario didn’t worry me, because I am positive that it is only a remote possibility.  That I worry far more about the possibility of finding myself accidentally pregnant.  And they then said to me “But if you did get pregnant, once you got over the shock, you’d be excited about it”.  Again rears up the belief that pregnancy is so innately coveted that even if we think we don’t want it, if it happens we will be elated.  I couldn’t find the words to tell this person that finding myself pregnant by accident would be traumatic.  In this imaginary scenario, I feel as though my body has been hijacked, that I’m being driven by a spawn intent on pulling my world apart and destroying everything I want for myself.  I imagine being lost in the gaping maw of motherhood, pulled into a vortex that sucks me into a dimension I want no part of.  It feels wrong to express this kind of dramatic aversion to motherhood, because being a mother is supposed to be the right choice.  It’s meant to be what I want.  But I don’t.  In every corner of my being, I know it’s not what I want.

 

It’s also really important to note that there are plenty of women out there who have chosen to remain childless who have not regretted their decision.  So I don’t believe that having a baby is the right choice for everyone, nor do I buy into the idea of this mythical biological clock that is going to change my thinking.  And although our culture’s underlying ideal of motherhood is damaging in some ways, there is something that I find more upsetting.  And that’s the fact that when I wanted to talk about the idea of sterilisation, none of the people I talked to were willing to just accept my choice to remain childless.  Not one of them could respect the fact that I  know my own mind and each one had to undermine my autonomy with those seven little words.  I know that none of these people meant to show disrespect or to upset me, but it’s hard not to feel judged when your decisions are being questioned and undermined.

 

These past few weeks have brought up a lot of fear and anxiety that I hadn’t felt in a while.  I’ve had to confront a lot of shame and feeling like I’m broken because I don’t want the thing that all women are supposed to crave.  That the ‘right choice” of having a child feels deeply wrong to me.  And feeling judged by people around me for not pursing the path of motherhood.  But ultimately I’ve had to put on my big girl trousers and realise that I have to make these choices for me.  I can’t live my life a certain way just because it’s what you’re “supposed” to do.  I have to do what’s right for me, because I’m the one who knows what’s best for my life. And having a child isn’t the right choice for me.

Product review: Wevibe Rave

If one was to make a list of the sexiest words you could think of, do you think “ergonomic” would make the list?  Nope.  It definitely wouldn’t.  It would be lingering around the bottom with words like “durable” and “flannelette”.  And yet, ergonomics is actually super important when it comes to sex toys.  A toy that is easy to hold and manoeuvre is vital if you have limited mobility, difficulty with grip or struggle with stamina.  In addition to just being easier to use, ergonomic toys that are designed to fit your anatomy will have a much better chance of hitting all the right spots.  And so I come to the Wevibe Rave: an ergonomic toy that works like a dream.

Wevibe seem to be well aware that “ergonomic” isn’t an exciting word, so instead they’ve opted to use the term “Sensually Sculpted” on the packaging. But what it all boils down to is the fact that the shape of this toy is just made to fit in your hand, find your pleasure buttons and work them with ease.

So what makes the shape of this toy so darn pleasing?  Well, let’s begin by looking at the curve of the Rave.  The shaft of the toy has a gentle swoop, so it resembles a boomerang.  That bend means that when inserted into a vagina, the head of the toy is already perfectly positioned against the front wall of the vagina, which is where the g-spot is located.  Many people find that the g-spot responds best to repetitive pressure rather than thrusting, so the curve of this toy provides excellent leverage for rocking the head against your g-spot.  The handle fits easily into your hand, and you need very little effort to create the perfect rocking motion.  This is great news for people with arthritis, wrist issues or limited upper body mobility.

The curve also has a second benefit.  Although the Rave is intended to be used as a g-spot vibrator, it also works as an external vibrator.  When facing downwards, the curve lines the toy up with your genitals so you’re not having to twist around to try to find the right spot.


The Rave is assymetrical, and the shaft has one side that is somewhat flat, rising up to a bulge on one side.  I was very unsure of this shape when I saw it, but in practice it’s unlike anything I’ve tried.  As I mentioned before, the Rave works beautifully when rocked against the g-spot, but it can also be twisted to create a massaging sensation.  It took me a while to get the hang of it, because it’s not really a natural instinct to twist something inside your vagina but it blew my mind.  It’s like a firm massage of the g-spot, rather than a frantic pounding.  It’s a new sensation for me and one that I love.

The asymmetric head also makes the Rave a great external vibrator, because it gives you lots of different surfaces to play with.  If you prefer a wide area of stimulation, you can lay the head of the vibe against your clitoris.  For more pinpointed precision, use the edge of the head to send vibration exactly where you want it.  I love the versatility this offers, and the fact that this shape makes the Rave suitable for a wide range of bodies and preferences.

When it comes to vibrations, the Rave offers top notch quality.  Deep, rumbly and penetrating vibrations make this toy a winner.  For me personally, my clitoris will tolerate buzzy vibes, but much prefers a rumble.  But my g-spot simply will not put up with buzzy vibrations.  It must be rumbly or my g-spot cracks a tantrum and refuses to play.  The beautifully deep vibrations of this toy make my g-spot sing.  It is also very quiet, which is unusual for such a powerful toy.

There are a couple of things that I wasn’t thrilled about with this toy.  The first one was the controls.  The Rave has three buttons on the handle: a + to turn the intensity up, a – to turn it down and a centre button to cycle through the patterns and turn the toy on and off.  However, the buttons are set right into the silicone and it’s not obvious by touch where they are.  You also have to press the buttons very firmly before they’ll respond.  On one hand, this is a good thing because it reduces the chance of inadvertently pressing the wrong button at a crucial moment.  On the other, it means that it can be frustrating to control and may pose difficulties for people with limited dexterity.

 

One way that you can get around this difficulty is by using the We-Connect app.  The app allows you to easily swipe through the different modes and increase or decrease the vibrations with a tap of a finger.  It does bother me a little that I had to use my cell phone to control my gorgeous toy, but the app does make the Rave easier to use.

 

The We-Connect app also offers an option for long-distance play with a partner.  Your partner can use their phone to control your vibrator from anywhere in the world….or at least that’s the theory.  The app easily loses connectivity in the long-distance mode, and doesn’t actually give you a warning that it’s no longer connected.  So your partner will think that they’re still controlling the toy, while you’re lying there wondering why you’ve been stuck on the same setting for five minutes.  The tagline of the app is “the app that brings couples together”, but my boyfriend and I spent most of our sexy long-distance sessions yelling at our phones and frantically texting “is it working now?” over and over. After I had such a roaring success with the Lovesense Lush, I was thoroughly disappointed that the long-distance setting on the We-Connect app wasn’t up to snuff.

Other than those two hiccups, I was really impressed with the Rave.  It has a couple of other features that I adore, such as a low-power warning and 100% body safe silicone that is soft and velvety. Overall I think the We-Vibe Rave is an excellent all-round vibrator.  It’s shape makes it extremely versatile and opens the door for inventive play.  The ergonomic design is fantastic and the vibration quality and range gives you heaps of variety to experiment with.  I adore this toy and it’s quickly become one of my nightstand favourites.

DDlg World

I’m a huge fan of anything adorable and sweet.  When it comes to sex toys, I’m drawn to designs that are inspired by mythical creatures like fairies, unicorns and sea monsters.  I adore lingerie that’s lacy and ultra femme and BDsM accessories with a soft edge.  So I was thrilled when I discovered DDlg World, a store that caters to my sugar-coated tastes.

 

DDlg World has a huge range of sex toys, BDsM gear and accessories at excellent prices.  They have an impressive selection of glass wands in so many extraordinary textures, butt plugs with jewels and tails attached and adorable costumes to ignite your imagination.  Today I thought I’d show you some of my favourite things in the DDlg World store, and give you a peek at my personal wishlist.

This under-mattress restraint system just looks like so much fun.  I like the idea of having cuffs attached to my bed so that any time I felt like playing, I could just jump right into it without setting up spreader bars or points of attachment.  The cuffs look really soft and comfortable, and are faux fur.  Plus, you can easily tuck the cuffs away when they’re not in use, so nobody would know that your bedroom doubles as a dungeon!

 

I have a whole rainbow of dildo colours in my collection…but I don’t have a rainbow dildo!  This semi-realistic toy is 100% silicone and has a suction cup base for hands-free play. What fun!

 

I have a soft spot for glass toys, and the bumpy texture on this Pink Glass Heart Wand has my heart all a-flutter.  It has a slight curve which would make it great for g-spotting and glass is great for temperature play.

 

I’m a huge fan of wand-style vibrators, and I love the idea of the dial control on this Fairy Magic Wand.  I feel like having a dial would allow you to build the intensity of vibrations slowly, which would be awesome.

 

Not only does this cage harness look fierce, the O  ring at the throat acts as a point of attachment for bondage.  You could attach a leash and lead your sub around the room, or use the harness as a base for some beautiful shibari rope bondage.

 

This is just a taste of some of the goodies DDlg World has in store.  I definitely recommend taking a closer look at their shop if you’re interested in adorable BDsM gear or toys.  And if you see something that you like, you can use the code “nessbow” to get a 10% discount off your order.  I’ll be reviewing some of their toys in the future as well, so keep your eyes peeled for upcoming reviews.

My IUD is gone

You might remember that a few months ago I wrote about my experience having my IUD inserted.  Well, I now have another chapter to add to that story, to close the book on my experience with the Mirena IUD.

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I had the Mirena inserted in September, 2017.  I had very few side effects and was extremely pleased with it.  I felt very safe in the knowledge that it was in my uterus, just hanging out and zapping any sperm that swam into the vicinity.  Well OK, the IUD doesn’t literally “zap” sperm.  It just disorients them and thins the uterine lining so that if one of those little buggers does manage to fertilize my egg, the egg can’t implant into the uterine wall and turn into a baby.  At any rate, things were going well and I felt very confident that the IUD was working as it should be.

 

Then in January this year I saw my doctor because I was having some abdominal pains.  My doctor sent me for a bunch of tests, which included an ultrasound and a pregnancy test.  The pregnancy test came back negative, which was a massive relief.  Even when I know that I’ve been practising safer sex, there is still a feeling of monumental reassurance when I see that single blue line show up on a pregnancy test.  My ultrasound was a little bit more alarming.

 

As the technician was preparing me for my pelvic ultrasound, she asked me a bunch of questions about my sexual history and what contraceptives I was using.  I told her that I had the Mirena IUD and that I was having regular sex with a monogamous partner.  She then did two ultrasounds- one externally over my abdomen and back (to check my kidneys) and another trans-vaginal ultrasound which is internal.  After she was finished, the technician instructed me to clean off the ultrasound goo, get dressed and then wait for her to return so she could talk to me.  I was a bit nervous because I’ve never been asked to stay behind after an ultrasound and I was worried that some very bad news was in the offing.

 

The technician was quick to tell me that she hadn’t seen anything abnormal, and although my doctor would give me my full results, she hadn’t seen anything to indicate that there was anything wrong.  Everything was where it should be….except one thing.  “I can’t locate your IUD anywhere on the scans” the tech told me.  I was taken aback and asked her if she was sure.  She replied that she’d done a really extensive scan of my entire pelvis, and that the IUD was nowhere to be seen.  So it was likely that the IUD had been expelled from my body.  She warned me that I needed to use barrier contraceptives until I’d sorted out other birth control and then showed me to the door.

 

I spent the entire walk home feeling disoriented and puzzled.  How could the IUD be gone? I knew that there was a possibility that IUDs could be expelled but this didn’t make sense to me.  It took so long and hurt a lot to get it in my uterus in the first place, how could it possibly have dropped out of there without me knowing? Surely, expelling an IUD would hurt, at least a little, right?  And even if it didn’t hurt, if it did come out of my body, surely it would have turned up in my underwear or something.   I was completely baffled.

 

After denial over losing the IUD came anger.  I was furious.  I’d spent a fair chunk of money on doctors appointments and the unit itself, I’d gone through the pain of having it inserted and the stupid thing hadn’t even had the decency to stick around and do it’s job?  I was mad at the doctor who had put the IUD in, worried that maybe she didn’t do it properly, and frustrated with my own body for rejecting it.

 

And then an icy wall of realisation slapped me across the face.  If I didn’t know when the IUD was expelled….it might have been missing for months.  Which means that I’d been having unprotected sex for months.  I knew I wasn’t pregnant because I’d just taken a pregnancy test, but holy crap, I’d been playing Russian Roulette with my uterus.  That thought was the thing that frightened me most of all.  I don’t want kids.  Ever.  And the idea that I was unknowingly at risk of becoming pregnant was enough to nearly make me lose my lunch.  I felt like I’d dodged a bullet, because it really was only by sheer dumb luck that I hadn’t fallen pregnant.

 

I had a follow-up appointment with my doctor to discuss the results of the ultrasound. She confirmed that there was no trace of the Mirena anywhere in my body.  It’s gone.  She believes that the abdominal pain I experienced was related to my uterus expelling the IUD.  As to where the actual unit has gone, it’s possible that it was flushed down the toilet or washed down the drain in the shower without me knowing.  Either way, it’s not in my body anymore.

 

It turns out that expulsion is actually not that uncommon with IUD’s.  Around 5% of people who have a Mirena implanted will expel the device.  Expulsion usually happens in the first three months of having an IUD, but it can happen later on.  Expulsion can be painless, and it’s possible for it to happen without you knowing.  And that’s pretty scary, because it means that you might think you’re protected from unwanted pregnancy, when actually you’re still fertile.

 

I’m not telling you this to frighten you, or to put you off getting an IUD.  IUDs are a very effective form of birth control and work for lots of people.  But they do come with risks and they can fail.  That’s why it’s incredibly important to consider all the different contraceptive options available and also to listen to the messages your body is sending you.  If I hadn’t had that abdominal pain, I might not have had the ultrasound and wouldn’t have known that my IUD wasn’t in position.  I am glad that I listened to my body telling me that something wasn’t right, and got it checked out.

 

So this has been a very frightening and confusing experience.  I’m still feeling upset but relieved that things weren’t as bad as they could be.  I’m back to square one with contraception, and I’ll be getting an Implanon rod inserted soon.  If you’re interested, I’ll chronicle my experience with the Implanon, and also answer any questions you might have about it and the Mirena IUD.  Fingers crossed I have more success this time.

In the style of: American Horror Story Murder House

Each series of American Horror Story has it’s own distinct style, embodied by each of the larger than life characters.  Murder House is probably the season that has the least outrageous and most wearable costumes of all the seasons that have been released so far.  I wanted to take some time out to take a look at each of my favourite characters from this season and dissect their personal style for you.

Violet Harmon

Violet’s wardrobe puts me in mind of a teenager who spends all her time rummaging in thrift stores for treasures to take home.  It’s a mish-mash of eras: the 70’s wide brimmed hats, the 80’s floral dresses and the 90’s knobbly knits and chunky shoes all worn together.  Most of Violet’s clothes are oversized and baggy, all the better to laze on the floor of your room with a book and the neighbour boy.  Shades of mustard, khaki and black are plentiful in Violet’s wardrobe, with the odd splash of deep red.  Accessories are worn sparingly, but this is a girl who loves her hats and rocks fedoras, beannies and fur caps.

Tate Langdon

 

Tate’s style is firmly rooted in the 90’s grunge era.  Take your inspiration from Kurt Cobain and let rips and tears adorn your gear.  Tate prefers his clothes baggy, loose and fraying, preferably in dark shades.  Carry all your belongings in a school satchel and don’t forget your sneakers…perfect for running away from your enemies at school or sneaking around with your favourite girl.

Constance

 

Constance is a total Southern Belle.  A lady wrapped in silk sheath dresses and flawless diamonds.  A goddess in spiked heels and perfectly-coiffed hair.  However, underneath that perfect exterior is a heart as bitter as sour milk.  This flawless appearance is merely a trap to draw people close until she can figure out how best to use them to her advantage.  As such, every detail must be sublimely shimmering in order to create the illusion that she is a true lady of impeccable morals…although she is anything but.

Nora Montgomery

Nora is a very picture of elegance and glamour, tarnished by the stench of death.  Her grief has transformed this once vital woman into a mere shadow of the sophisticated creature she once was.  Her outfits are heavily inspired by 1920’s styles, with drop waist dresses, beaded details and cloche hats on perfectly curled hair. Black is the main colour of choice, with of course, some blue accents to match her eyes.  Art deco jewels and a mourning brooch are the perfect finishing touch to this sombre ensemble.

Moira

 

To get Moira’s look, you have to master the art of duality.  Moira is a woman of stark contrast and deep secrets.  Black and white create a sharp silhouette, and the lines of her outfit look outwardly prim and proper.  The crisp collar, the mid-length sleeves and the polished shoes all speak of someone respectable and modest.  But her corset belt, skyscraper heels and suspender stockings whisper hints that this tightly-laced woman is not all that she seems, and in the right light might just be a tiger waiting to pounce.
Which Murder House character is your favourite? Which one has the most enviable wardrobe, in your opinion?

 

What I wore: Wall to Wall 2018

Every year, my home town of Benalla holds a street art festival.  For one amazing weekend every year, artists set up their paints, brushes, dropsheets and spray cans to create masterpieces on buildings and fences all over the town.  In addition to the artwork, there is live music, food trucks, market stalls and guided walking tours.

The Wall to Wall festival weekend is one of my favourite weekends of the year.  It’s so exciting to watch the artwork taking shape and trying to guess what each piece is going to be.  Last Saturday I dressed up nice and comfy to take a long, lazy walk around the main street and soak up the artwork.

I am wearing:

  • Captain Planet tee shirt
  • Denim shorts from Target
  • Converse All Star sneakers (thrifted)
  • Apple headscarf (thrifted)
  • Mistress D and Master Rick pins from Geeky and Kinky


I was particularly proud of my makeup.  It had been so long since I’d worn a Tank Girl inspired ombre red lip so I revived that look for the day.  It’s such a 90’s trend but one that I still enjoy wearing.


In addition to the street art, this year the Wall to Wall festival also features an art installation by Callum Preston called The Milk Bar.  Mr Preston has build a milk bar inside the Benalla Art Gallery complete with a Telecom phone booth and Australia Post red post box out the front.  It’s really quite incredible, as you walk inside through the plastic strip curtains you’re greeted by shelves and shelves of colourful products all lovingly hand-painted, a rack of magazines and a counter staffed by a very sweet woman with pink hair and a pinny.  I had such fun reminiscing about all the lollies that I once loved which are no longer available (remember Snap n Crackle bars?) and lamenting the fact that Bubbalo Bill ice creams seemed so much bigger when I was a kid.

The Wall to Wall festival is even bigger in 2018 than in any other year.  Best of all, the street art remains up for a full year so if you’re driving through Benalla you can stop off and take a gander.  It’s well worth the trip if you like awesome artwork in unexpected places.