How do I approach people online for fetish play?

Today’s post is quite exciting for me, because it represents something I’ve been itching to do for a while.  I love helping people and providing sex education, and one way to do that is to answer questions that people ask about sex and sexuality.  I recently had a reader write to me with a question, and although I replied privately, I also wanted to take this opportunity to address the subject on my blog so that all of you can read about it.

 

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The reader who wrote to me is a heterosexual man who has a foot fetish.  He is interested in finding female partners online who are interested in indulging his fetish by chatting and sending pictures.  He wanted to know how he could go about finding receptive partners in a respectful way.  I had a number of suggestions for him that I wanted to share with you.  These don’t necessarily apply only to foot fetishists, but anyone who is online seeking partners for sexual or fetish play.

 

The mere thought of looking for partners for fetish play can be nerve-wracking.  For starters, most fetishes are still looked upon with a degree of fear and many are misunderstood.  A lot of people who have kinks also hold a lot of shame around those desires.  Add to that the nerve-jangling fear of rejection and social anxiety and you get a kinkster who would prefer to cower in the corner than put themselves in the vulnerable position of looking for a play partner. Luckily, the internet has provided a multitude of options when it comes to looking for someone to explore with.  But there are a few things to consider before you throw yourself in headfirst….

 

Choose your platform carefully

One of the biggest mistakes people make when searching for partners online is not looking in the right places.  There are so many different social media platforms that allow us to connect with other people, but not all of these are ideal for finding partners to engage with sexually.  Instagram and Facebook are fantastic for sharing pictures with your friends, but they’re not the place to trawl for people to play with.  If you imagine the internet as a city, then Instagram and Facebook are like the public park.  Just like people don’t go to the park looking for a hookup, most people aren’t using these sites to find sexual partners.  Therefore, approaching strangers on Facebook or Instagram with requests for fetish play is likely to cause distress.  You wouldn’t walk up to a strange woman at the park and demand that she shows you her genitals, so you shouldn’t message a stranger on Facebook asking the same.

 

On the other hand, there are a number of sites and apps that are filled with people who are actively looking for people to explore with.  These are like the kink clubs, the singles bars and the hotspots in a real life city.  If you look on these sites, you’re automatically off to a better start because you’re working with a pool of people who are open to meeting people to talk about kinks, who are interested in hooking up or online play.  Fetlife is a great place to find like-minded individuals who share your fetishes.  You can join groups devoted to particular kinks, find events nearby and make friends.  Tinder is good if you’re looking for dates or hookups and dating sites are a good place to meet people who are interested in meeting potential partners. For fetish play though, I’d start with Fetlife to meet people who are interested in your specific kinks.

 

Treat people as whole, not just a collection of body parts.

When you send a message to a new friend or potential play partner online, it’s really important that you treat them like a whole person, not just as the life support system for the particular part you want to engage with.  That’s objectification and it’s not cool.  Rather than leading with a message that says “I want to see your feet, send me a picture” open with something a little more casual.  Introduce yourself, ask what they’d like to be called and see if they’d be interested in chatting.  Ask questions about them and answer their questions honestly.  This helps your new friend to feel more comfortable and makes them much more receptive to a request for play when you offer one.

 

Respond to rejection gracefully

It’s likely that you’ll experience some rejection when you begin chatting with potential play partners.  There are going to be people who are not interested in your particular kink, or who are not looking for someone to play with. Whatever their reason, if they do turn you down, accept it gracefully.  Resist the urge to demand an explanation, call them names or plead with them to change their mind.  Treat their “No” with respect and thank them for chatting with you.

 

Bring in a professional

If you’re not looking for an ongoing relationship, it might be worth bringing in a professional play partner to fulfil your fantasies.  Many escorts, adult performers, pro-dommes and cam models specialise in fetish work.  A bit of research online is likely to turn up a few professionals who will be able to indulge your kink and give you the play that you’re craving. This is especially true if the play you’re dreaming of is very specialised, unusual or requires particular equipment or training.  In the case of a foot fetish, there are loads of camgirls and porn performers who will sell pictures of their feet to you, and many even sell their socks and stockings to their customers.  If you’re shy about meeting people online, paying a professional can be a great option.

 

Finding play partners for fetishists can be a minefield.  But the internet has given us so many avenues to search for likeminded people who may be interested in exploring with us.  As long as you’re looking in the right places and treating people with respect and courtesy, you’ll be off to a great start and hopefully you’ll find that special someone who will share your erotic kinks.

 

Do you have any suggestions for meeting potential play partners online?  If so, please feel encouraged to leave a comment.

 

 

 

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What I wore 13/2/2018

I recently found out that a local Thai restaurant that I used to frequent is now doing all-you-can-eat banquets during the week.  So naturally my parents, my aunt and uncle and I wasted no time hopping in the car and hauling ourselves to sample the dinner fare.  And we were not disappointed.  But before I headed out for an evening of deluxe food and first-rate company, I had to decide on what to wear.

I often make the mistake of overdressing for events such as this.  It’s so easy to get carried away and winding up wearing something that’s much too much for the occasion.  For this particular dinner, I wanted to look dressed up, but not over the top.  My solutioin was to pair a fairly casual tee shirt with a simple skirt and then jazz it up with fancy hosiery and shoes.  And I think it worked a treat, don’t you?

I am wearing:

  • Cruella De Vil tee shirt from Threadless
  • Emerald green skater skirt from Princess Highway
  • Nude fishnet tights from Razzamatazz
  • Gingham heels from Scooter
  • Drop pearl earrings from Louvisa

 

 

 

Nude fishnets are one of my most favourite types of legwear.  They look effortlessly vintage, they go with every colour and they are so easy to wear.  These ones have lasted me so many years and they’re ideal to wear in summer when you don’t want to be completely bare-legged but it’s too hot to don full stockings.

I was so comfortable and cool in this outfit, but I still felt dressed up enough for dinner out with the family.

 

How to avoid topping from the bottom

“Topping from the Bottom” refers to an instance in a BDsM scene where the submissive partner, or bottom, seeks to control the scene.  It’s a frowned-upon practice in the BDsM community and a somewhat controversial topic.  Today I wanted to unpack the idea of “Topping from the Bottom” and discuss some of the things I’ve found help to avoid it.

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What does “Topping from the bottom” actually entail?

One of the reasons why it’s so difficult to discuss topping from the bottom is that there isn’t a universally agreed-upon definition of the kind of behaviour that it involves.  What some dominants consider acceptable, others will be angered by.  For example, some submissives indulge in “bratting” during a scene, where they refuse to do what their dominant orders until they are made to comply.  For some people, bratting is part of their dynamic, and having the dominant “make” them submit is an important aspect of play.  For other players, this type of behaviour is deeply disrespectful to the dominant.

 

So it’s difficult to say “X behaviour is topping from the bottom, while Y is not” because what is acceptable varies from person to person and scene to scene.  There are a range of practices that might be considered topping from the bottom depending on the circumstances.  But generally speaking, any instance where the submissive partner tries to manipulate play in a way that has not previously been agreed upon would constitute topping from the bottom.

 

Why does it matter so much?

Topping from the bottom is so frowned upon because it violates the power exchange that is the core of most BDsM scenes.  Usually, when a scene takes place, the submissive party gives up some of their power and control to the dominant, who promises to look after them and drive the scene.  For many dominants, when their submissive tops from the bottom, it can be seen as a declaration that they do not trust them.  It can also be extremely frustrating for a dominant who has carefully planned a scene to have it disrupted by a submissive saying “No, use the red flogger, not the black one”.  Planning and executing BDsM scenes is mentally and physically draining for a dominant, and it can feel like the submissive doesn’t appreciate that hard work and effort if they interrupt or manipulate the scene.   At it’s core though, topping from the bottom is seen to matter because it means that the submissive has failed to carry out their role in the scene.

 

So, how can we avoid topping from the bottom?

Clear and comprehensive negotiation is the best way to avoid topping from the bottom.  Negotiation is an important part of BDsM scenes, and there are a few things that should definitely be touched on to diffuse a situation that could give rise to topping from the bottom:

  • A lot of the time, when a submissive won’t submit or tries to manipulate a scene, it’s because they’re afraid.  They’re worried that they might get hurt or that their dominant will harm them in some way.  Discussing fears, phobias, triggers and limits is a vital part of negotiation and if the submissive party feels that they’ve been heard in this realm, they’re a lot more likely to be able to hand over the reigns to a Dom.
  • Sometimes, people have a very clear picture in their minds of how they want a scene to play out.  Perhaps they have a particular fantasy that they’re trying to recreate, which means that certain details have to be just so.  If you’re trying to do a fantasy role play scene, discussing these details and planning out how to achieve them beforehand can help.
  • Set out rules and limits that all parties agree upon as to what is acceptable during play.  For example, if you know that you like to be a bit of a brat during a scene, speak up and decide if this is ok.   Whatever works for you, just make sure that you’ve set out the rules for the scene clearly before you begin.
  • Finally, agree on a safeword or signal and decide what will happen if the safeword is called.  Many submissives will have one safeword that means “Slow down and check in” and another that means “Stop right this second”.  Both parties should commit to following the rules you set out for safewords.

– Trust is another important factor in BDsM in general, but it is a huge component in avoiding topping from the bottom. When a submissive feels secure in their relationship with the dominant, and they are confident of their top’s abilities, it’s so much easier to put themselves in that person’s hands:

  • Build up scenes slowly over time.  Don’t leap right into a suspension rope scene or heavy impact play with a new partner.  Start with something simple, a light spanking scene or some scarf bondage and build up to the heavy stuff.  Each time you navigate a new scene or type of play with your partner, your trust in them will grow.  Start out with play that involves a small exchange of power, and work towards the big, complicated power dynamics as your trust grows.
  • Talk about your individual skills and abilities, and don’t commit to doing scenes that are beyond your comfort or skill level.
  • Debrief after the scene is over.  Once everyone is feeling calm and you’ve done your aftercare, have a conversation about how things went, what was good and what could be better next time.

There is a lot of introspective work that goes into BDsM.  A huge amount of time goes into soul searching and self evaluation

  • Be very honest with yourself about your personal limits and desires.  And then be unwavering on your limits when negotiating a scene.  Don’t agree to participate in play that you aren’t comfortable with.  That way, you won’t be put in a situation where you’re afraid and anxious and trying to manipulate play to protect your ego.
  • Commit to your role in the scene. If you’re in the submissive role, your job is to submit.  Even if you’re a brat or you resist, your ultimate role is to submit and do as you’re told.  And if you don’t want to do that…then maybe BDsM play isn’t for you. Or maybe you’d be better off in the dominant role.
  • If you’re a submissive, it’s very normal to experience resistance to submission.  Even when I trust my partner and I’ve given my full consent, I still experience moments where Sir will tell me to do something and I hesitate.  In these moments I’ve learned to have a quiet word with myself, to remind myself that I trust my partner and that He has a plan for the scene.  I remember that He knows what He’s doing and that Sir would never harm me.  Reminding myself of those facts helps me to relax and give myself over when anxiety or fear creep in during a scene.
  • Manage your own expectations.  This is particularly important if you’re doing a fantasy role play, because fantasies rarely translate perfectly into reality.  When you let go of the need for the scene to go exactly the way you pictured in your head, it makes it easier to resist the urge to micromanage it.

Topping from the bottom is a very tricky topic to discuss, because it can mean many things to different people.  But ultimately it’s about a submissive who is either unwilling or unable to surrender and submit.  And I believe that honest communication and slow building of trust will go a long way to allowing that submissive to let go and hand control over to their dominant.  It’s not easy to submit, but once you’ve established that safety and trust, it’s so much easier to release your grip and just enjoy the ride.

 

Do you have any tips on how to avoid topping from the bottom?  Or any questions about BDsM scenes and negotiation? If you do, please leave a comment below.

 

 

In the Style of: American Horror Story Freak Show

Freak Show was one of my favourite seasons of AHS.  Although I enjoyed the story and the characters, the thing that drew me in and held me tight was the costumes.  It was the first time that a season of AHS was set entirely within one time period.  The early fifties are the setting for this instalment of the titillating television show.  It was an era that mixed Hollywood glamour with rugged rock and roll and gave us some of the most enviable fashion of all time.  And Freak Show gives us a wealth of gorgeous characters with distinctly different looks to dazzle our senses.  So pull up a seat, grab your popcorn, and feast your eyes on the style of American Horror Story: Freak Show.

Dandy Mott

Dandy Mott
Spoiled and polished, this dastardly villain’s style is pure preppy.  Tailored lines, pinstripes and razor sharp accessories make Dandy’s look devilishly handsome.  Choose high collars, brogues and ascot ties to copy this look at home.  And don’t forget to add a clown tie pin, a homage to Dandy’s secret desire to run away and join the circus.

Amazon Eve

Amazon Eve

Eve’s look is down-to-earth but never sloppy.  She evokes the image of the sweet girl-next-door with her shorts and bright red sneakers.  But Eve is anything but rough and tumble.  With her off-the-shoulder blouses and gold earrings, she’s got a sexy side too.  Although she’s the one who has to hang all the lights and banners, her headscarf keeps every hair perfectly in place, so this amazon always looks sinfully gorgeous.

Elsa Mars

Elsa Mars

 

If there’s one word that sums up Elsa’s style, it’s “Drama”.  Elsa incorporates rich colours, luxurious fabrics and luscious textures.  This is a woman who dresses to be seen, and she wants to make sure that even the folks in the cheap seats can’t miss her.  Feathers, sequins, splits and prints all make their appearance in Elsa’s wardrobe.  Although ultra-femme with her heels and silk stockings, Elsa manages to incorporate several androgynous elements like fedoras and neckties to take power dressing to it’s glamorous pinnacle.

Desiree Dupree

Desiree Dupree

 

Desiree is pure, unadulterated sex on a pair of teetering heels.  Her clothes are intended to entice and allure, but never give away too much of the game.  Sheer fabrics and deep plunges are common, but flouncing layers and thick furs make sure that plenty is left to the imagination.  Desiree loves dark shades and leopard print, and is never without a pair of dramatic earrings.  Gorgeous lingerie is a must for this diva, to make sure that the final flourish is as dazzling as possible when she finally disrobes.

Bette and Dot Tattler

Bette and Dot Tattler

Bette and Dot’s style is a study in duality.  There’s a definite push and pull here, and this is the style of a woman who is still very much a little girl at heart.  Sheltered and timid, yet eager to experience the delights of the big world beyond their backyard, Bette and Dot mix mature and innocent elements to create outfits that are pretty but still a tiny bit cheeky.  Soft colours, sweetheart necklines and their ever-present hairbows mix with heels, handbags and silky fabrics.  And of course, the twins are never without their journal to record every day of their adventures.

Bette and Dot Tattler by nessbow featuring head wrap headbands

 

 

Jimmy Darling

Jimmy Darling

 

Jimmy’s look is reminiscent of so many Hollywood bad-boys of the era.  Jimmy takes inspiration from Elvis Presley, James Dean and Marlon Brando for a look that is casual, rough and super masculine.  Jeans, fitted tee shirts and open button-downs are the staples of Jimmy’s wardrobes.  His outfits are unfussy and simple, and the colours are earthy.  The one hint of adornment is the gold chain Jimmy wears on occasion, although this lobster charm is a cheeky addition I made to his outfit.
Which character’s style do you most covet?

 

My favourite Accidentally Vegan foods

When I first went vegan, my initial reaction was to panic about all the things that I wouldn’t be able to eat anymore.  I had this idea that my days of grabbing a tasty treat off the supermarket shelves were over.  It was easy to think that my grocery shopping was going to be limited to the produce and health food aisles, maybe snagging some tea bags in between.  And for the first few weeks, this is where I shopped.  It was extremely expensive because a lot of the speciality vegan foods are very pricey.  It didn’t occur to me to look in the regular sections of the supermarket and once I did I was pleasantly surprised by all the accidentally vegan foods that I found.

An “accidentally vegan” food is a product that doesn’t contain any animal products even though it’s not specifically marketed as being vegan.  Loads of delicious treats and snackfoods fall into this category, and they’re easy to find if you take your time to check the packaging when you do your shopping.  Today I thought I’d share some of my favourite accidentally vegan foods to show you that you don’t have to stick to the health food aisle when shopping for cruelty free foods.

Kettle salted caramel popcorn: I am a sucker for anything that’s Salted Caramel flavoured, but most of them contain butter.  This delectable popcorn is sweet and salty and is the perfect movie treat.

 

Pringles- Original and BBQ flavour: It cracks me up that often the BBQ flavoured chips are the ones that tend to be vegan.  Pringles have been vegan for a long time, but they’ve only recently begun labelling their cans with the Vegan sunflower symbol.

 

Skittles: These fruity lollies have been a favourite of mine for years, so you can imagine how chuffed I was to find out that they don’t contain any animal products.

 

Arnott’s roast chicken flavoured Shapes: Yet another example of a meat-flavoured snack that is vegan.  Sadly, the vast majority of the Shapes flavours contain milk or cheese.  But these tasty snacks get their flavour from herbs and onion powder.  Plus they taste absolutely scrumptious.

 

Sour Patch Kids: It’s really difficult to find jelly lollies that don’t contain gelatine or carmine.  But Sour Patch Kids hit the bill and are perfect for the vegan sweet tooth that likes a sour hit.

Arnott’s Lemon Crisp biscuits: Tangy and sweet, these go down a treat with an afternoon cuppa.

 

Cadbury drinking chocolate: Ironically, while most of Cadbury’s chocolates contain milk, their drinking chocolate has no dairy content.  Which is awesome because it’s probably the yummiest hot chocolate mix on the market.

 

Massel gravy: In addition to being incredibly delicious, the Massel gravy is probably the easiest instant gravy I’ve ever made.  Just mix a few tablespoons with cold water to form a thick paste, add boiling water and stir vigorously until the gravy thickens.  It’s incredible on roast veggies or tofurkey.

Calippo icy poles: These are an Aussie summer favourite. I always have a pack of these in the freezer for sweltering days.

 

These are just a few of my accidentally vegan favourites.  As you can imagine, there are still so many choices on the supermarket shelves for vegans if you’re willing to take the time to check the packaging.  I’ll admit, it is a bit time consuming to begin with, but once you’ve found the things that don’t contain animal products you’ll be able to get your shopping done in a jiffy.  There’s no need to miss out on treats and snacks just because you’ve decided to give veganism a whirl.

 

Do you have any accidentally vegan favourites to add?

Fun Factory Stronic Zwei Pulsator review.

This is a review that I’ve been trying to write for several months.  I bought the Stronic Zwei nearly two years ago, and it’s taken me this long to finally sit down and tell you about it.  I feel a real internal push-and-pull about this toy.  There are so many things that I love about the Stronic Zwei, and yet…..overall I’m underwhelmed.  And my reaction is partially due to the toy itself and partly due to my own expectations, so it’s kind of hard to land on a definite opinion of the Stronic Zwei.  Some days I love it, and some days I want to hurl it across the room.  But let’s go back to the beginning.

I stumbled across Fun Factory’s Stronic line when I was hunting for a new toy to add to my collection.  I was on the lookout for something new, some exciting hook that would set it apart from other toys.  And I believed that I had found it in the Stronic toys.   See, Fun Factory’s Stronic toys aren’t vibrators…they’re pulsators.  The shaft encases a magnetic plate that moves back and forth, creating a thrusting motion.  I was eager to try this pulsation for myself and spent a long time deciding which of the Stronic toys to purchase.

At the time, there were three Stronic pulsators available: The Stronic Eins, The Stronic Drei and the Stronic Zwei.  (Fun Factory has since added the Stronic G to the collection).  I spent a long time weighing up the three designs before I settled on the Zwei.  I didn’t like the long, mostly straight shaft of the Eins, because I felt the shape would bypass my g-spot.  The Drei had the curve I wanted, but I was put off by the extreme ridges which I worried would feel uncomfortable and be difficult to clean.  I settled on the Zwei because I liked the sweeping curves and smooth finish.  I was a bit wary of the fact that the Zwei is marketed as a prostate toy, but there are plenty of prostate toys that work amazingly well for g-spot stimulation so I was willing to take a chance.

When I lifted my Stronic Zwei from it’s box, I was instantly smitten by the physical features of the toy.  The shaft is the most delicious, velvety silicone that feels luxurious to touch.  The handle is hard plastic and the whole toy is quite hefty.  The three raised buttons are smooth and easy to press, but not so sensitive that they’re likely to get accidentally pushed during play.  The Stronic Zwei reminds me of a sexy pirate sword with it’s firm handle and flared pommel.

Sadly, once I put the toy into use, some of these features showed their darker side.  That velvet silicone is a total dust-magnet and this toy picks up every hair and speck of lint in the vicinity.   This toy is also the worst lube-hog in my collection.  The soft finish just seems to dry out lube exceptionally quickly, which sucks because you need quite a generous amount of lube to use this toy successfully.

The Stronic Zwei’s controls are fantastic.  They’re easy to use, intuitive and simple.  To turn the toy on and off, you press the big red FUN button.  The plus and minus buttons allow you to cycle through the different pulsation patterns.  I adore the fact that you can turn the toy off with a single click of the FUN button. The Zwei is also equipped with a travel lock so that your toy won’t accidentally get turned on in your luggage.  However, I’ve found this feature redundant because this toy is too freaking heavy for me to consider taking it with me when I travel.  It’s possibly the only toy that has been left behind on every single journey to my partner’s house, solely because it adds far too much heft to my luggage.

My play sessions with the Stronic Zwei have been equal parts joyful and frustrating.  When it works, it’s magnificent, but when it doesn’t it’s an orgasm-killer.  And it’s taken me a lot of trial and error to get to a point where I have at least as many positive sessions as sigh-inducing ones.

The main issue I have with the Zwei is a common one with most toys do anything other than vibrate.  See, when you look at such a toy on a display, and you see it thrusting away merrily, it looks really impressive.  But as soon as the business end of the toy encounters resistance (for example, when it’s buried in your vagina or anus) everything comes unstuck.  What usually happens is that the movement gets transferred to the handle, because the shaft of the toy is being held still by your body.  So in order to stabilise the toy, you have to hold the handle firmly in place.  And even then, this often results in a muffling of the motion.  I’ve never experienced the same level of movement during use as you’d get with a toy that’s just wriggling about on a display.

This is definitely the case with the Zwei.  If I try to use it hands-free, it pumps away merrily and quickly slides out of my vagina.  If I’m not holding it, it absolutely won’t stay in position for more than a few seconds.  But if I hold the handle too firmly, the pulsations pretty much grind to a halt.  So I’ve had to experiment to find just the right amount of pressure on the handle to keep the toy in place, but also to make sure that the pulsations are still powerful enough.  And if my grip varies slightly in either direction, then pleasure quickly morphs into frustration.  So often, I’ll be on the edge of an orgasm and tense or relax at the wrong moment and the toy will either freeze or slip from position, resulting in me wrenching it from my genitals and reaching for a more reliable vibrator.

When the stars and planets align and the Zwei is perfectly in place, the pulsations do feel really awesome.  It’s a very different sensation from any vibrator I’ve tried, like a very deep rumble and quake.  It doesn’t feel like thrusting to me, but it does feel great.  The Zwei has 10 vibration patterns that vary in speed and intensity.  I prefer the hard, slow shakes to the fast, galloping pulses personally.

One thing I will say in favour of the Zwei is that it’s magical as a manual dildo.  If I use it without switching the motor on, it gets me off every time.  The firm handle gives me plenty of leverage to thrust with.  The curved tip finds my g-spot effortlessly, and has an ideal firm-yet-squishy texture that massages it to perfection.  The weight of the shaft means that thrusting with your hand feels powerful, even if you’ve got weak spaghetti arms like I do.  It’s just a shame that I can’t get these orgasmic results using the toy the way it’s intended to be used.  It feels like a bit of a waste.

In the name of science, I attempted to use this toy anally just to see how it felt.  The Stronic Zwei is most definitely an advanced anal toy, and it was too much for my poor butt.  I managed to insert it no further than the first curve, and it was just too large for me.  If you are more experienced with anal play, you might really enjoy this toy, but I can honestly tell you that it’s not for beginners.

The Stronic Zwei comes with Fun Factory’s click-and-charge charger, which attaches to the base of the toy with a magnet.  Normally I’m not a fan of magnetic chargers, because it’s really easy to knock them out of position but this one makes strong contact and stays in place.  The fact that there is no open charging port means that the toy is waterproof and can be submerged for underwater play and easy cleaning.

Now, as this is a luxury sex toy, it comes with a luxury price tag.  The Fun Factory Stronic Zwei costs around $250 at full price.  I got mine on sale for $200, but it still makes it the most expensive toy in my toybox.  And honestly….I don’t think it’s worth it.   Although the toy has some amazing features and is a really innovative design, I just don’t think it’s worth paying $200 for.  Now, I take full responsibility for the fact that I chose not to buy either of the toys that are designed for vaginal use, and instead went for the prostate massager.  It’s possible that if I’d bought one of the other two designs, I might have had a better experience.  But I’m still dubious, because I don’t think that the Eins or Drei are so dramatically different that they would stay in place more effectively.  Now that Fun Factory has released the Stronic G, which is more targeted for G Spot penetration, I’d be keen to give that a shot.  But I’m not curious enough to pay upwards of $300 to find out if it’s a more effective toy.

 

I’m not willing to recommend the Stronic Zwei if you’re intending to use it as a g-spot vibrator.  While it does have many admirable features, it just isn’t terribly effective for this purpose.  Although there are other Stronic pulsators available, I can’t really comment on whether or not they are any better.  I found this particular toy good, but not good enough to warrant paying a quarter of a grand for it.

Vegan transition tips

We are now into the third week of Veganuary and I thought that this would be a great time to share some of my tips for transitioning to a vegan lifestyle.  I’ve been a vegan for around eighteen months now and I can tell you that the first six weeks are the most difficult. But those weeks were difficult for reasons I hadn’t anticipated.

I had expected that I would have to deal with strong food cravings during my transition period.  In particular, I predicted that I would have the most trouble separating from cheese, because it was my favourite food in my pre-vegan days.  In actual fact, food cravings weren’t that much of an issue for me.  What I found the most difficult was just navigating the shops and restaurants as a new vegan.  Tasks that had previously been second-nature took on a whole new dimension and became time consuming and difficult.  I had to check labels, ask questions and the whole process was kind of overwhelming.  Additionally, modifying recipes to make them vegan was tricky in the beginning.  But as time passed and I gained more knowledge and experience, these things became much simpler and less stressful.  Let me share with you some of the things I wish I’d known when I first became a vegan, as well as my top transition tips.

  • Go at a pace that feels manageable for you.  There is no rule that says you have to be completely vegan from the get-go.  You might find it easier to cut out meat one month, then progress to dairy and eggs when you are ready.
  • Don’t rely on meat substitutes.  In the early days of adopting a vegan diet, you might be tempted to replace your usual meals with the “meat free” version.  Although this sounds like a good way to ease away from meat, I found this actually made it more difficult.  Meat substitutes are great, but most of them don’t have the flavour or texture of meat.  This means they’re less likely to satisfy cravings. Use meat substitutes sparingly and instead stock up on fresh veggies, legumes, grains, pasta and spices.
  • Try new things.  This is the perfect time to experiment with new recipes and ingredients.
  • Eating out can be a bit of a minefield when you’re a new vegan.  But there are loads of options available, even at restaurants that aren’t specifically vegan.  Mexican restaurants have a huge range of options, pizzas can be ordered without meat or cheese, salads are served at most restaurants and most burger places have at least one veggie burger.  Even my local pub has a veggie stir fry with smokey soy sauce that is accidentally vegan.
  • Plan ahead when you go shopping.  Make a list and spend a little time researching at home which brands offer vegan options.  You can find lists of accidentally vegan snacks at Veggieful which are super helpful.  This will save lots of time and stress when you actually hit the shops.
  • Embrace home cooking.  If you don’t know how to cook, this is the perfect time to learn.  Even though it might be difficult to find vegan versions of your favourite foods in stores, it’s pretty easy to make your own snacks, sweets and meals at home.  It’s also so much cheaper than buying pre-packaged meals or eating out.

Image from mikimottes.com
  • Don’t stress out about protein.  A lot of people believe that meat, eggs and dairy are the only sources of protein.  This isn’t true at all.  If you’re eating a wide range of foods that includes nuts, legumes and grains, you’ll be fine.
  • Some folks love to be jerks to vegans.  It sucks, but it’s a fact.  Accept this, but realise that it’s not your job to respond or be an ambassador for the vegan lifestyle.  If you want to, that’s your choice, but you do not have to engage with someone who is harassing you over your diet.
  • Don’t be alarmed by portion sizes.  When I first went vegan, I got really worried because I had to eat a much larger meal in order to feel satiated.  This occurs simply because plant-based foods don’t have as many calories and therefore it takes a larger amount to make you feel full and satisfied. So if you’re eating a lot of fruits, vegetables, grains and beans, you might find that your serving sizes need to increase in order for you to feel full.
  • Make your own rules and choices.  You don’t have to be the “perfect vegan” and you don’t have to answer to anyone but yourself.  You get to decide how to implement your lifestyle and make choices that suit you.  For example, some vegans get rid of all of their animal-based clothing and only buy animal free clothes.  I still own wool and leather from my pre-vegan days, and I will continue to use these things until they are worn out.  I won’t buy new items that are made from wool or leather but I will still purchase second-hand items made from animal products because I believe in recycling and getting the most out of clothing that is still wearable.  That’s my choice, and it feels right to me, even if it might not be the “perfect vegan” choice.
  • You are going to make mistakes.  You will buy things that have sneaky animal products in them.  You will accidentally order a meal that you didn’t realise had cheese or cream included.  It’s ok.  Mistakes happen and we learn from them.  Don’t beat yourself up or expect to be perfect.

It’s true that the first month or so of trying a vegan lifestyle can be difficult, but I promise you that it does get easier.  And the benefits definitely outweigh the initial struggles.

 

Do you have any transition tips that you’d like to add?  Or any questions about transitioning to a vegan lifestyle?  I’d be happy to answer them.