Blog update: where are my pictures?

I just wanted to write a really quick update to let you know what’s going on around here.

 

You might have noticed that a bunch of the pictures in my sidebar and the blog itself are missing.  The reason for this is that I use Photobucket for my picture hosting.  This week, Photobucket have disabled all third-party hosting for all customers except those who hold premium accounts.  In order to enable third party photo hosting, you have to pay $40 per month.  This, in addition to the influx of click-baity pop up ads that have made Photobucket nearly un-usable over the past eighteen months have led to me move away from Photobucket for my photo hosting.

 

So I’m in the process of moving all my hosted photos over to a different hosting site.  This is going to take a while, so please be patient.  I’ve got eight years worth of content to move over!  I’ll also be having a clear out of my oldest posts to make everything fresh and new.

 

It might be quiet over here while I work on revamping the site and getting it all spick and span.  But don’t worry, I’ll be back as soon as I can.

 

In the meantime, please feel encouraged to check out some of my archived posts.  There are some hidden gems in my back pages!

 

Best wishes, and I’ll be back real soon.

The Cruelty Free Shop vegan snack haul

Shopping for vegan food can be a challenge in a small town.  Even though my local supermarket is bursting with fresh produce, plant milks, cereals and fruit, the one thing that is lacking is good junk food.  It can be extremely challenging to find snack foods and sweets that are vegan.  While there are a whole bunch of great “accidentally” vegan items on the shelves, it gets kind of tedious when you have to check every label to make sure that what you’re buying doesn’t contain any animal products.

 

A few weeks ago I visited The Cruelty Free Shop in Fitzroy, Melbourne and it was like falling down the rabbit hole.  It is a vegan supermarket that sells everything from snacks to meat and cheese substitutes, desserts, junk food, cosmetics, toiletries, sex supplies and even clothing.  It was so refreshing to be able to fill my cart with whatever took my fancy, and to be spared the tedium of label-checking.  I knew that every single item in that place was vegan and I went a teensy bit nuts buying delicious snacks and treats.

 

 

The Cruelty Free Shop also has a fantastic online store. I’ve shopped with them online as well and I loved the fast service and awesome range of products.

 

Here is a full list of the items mentioned in my video:

I had such a blast shopping at The Cruelty Free Shop and I can’t wait for my next visit.  There are so many rad things I’d love to stock up on the next time I’m in Melbourne.

 

What are your favourite vegan junk foods?  Do you have any questions about vegan shopping or cooking that you’d like me to cover in future posts?

 

Note: This is not a sponsored post.  Everything featured here was purchased with my own money and I was not compensated in any way.  I just love this store and the products they sell and am excited to share them with my readers.

What I Wore 11/7/2017

I’ve been craving texture and pattern lately.  I like mixing and matching items that kinda-clash and kinda-match in ways that feel pleasing to me.  I enjoy deep, rich colours and fabrics that feel soft to the fingers.  I love throwing all of these elements together into one outfit that is comfortable and sassy.

 

I am wearing:

  • Art deco earrings from Lovisa
  • Black tee shirt from Uniqlo
  • Chevron cropped jumper from Mink Pink (thrifted)
  • Satin lounge pants from Target
  • Sparkle socks from Target
  • Loafers from Target
  • Fox pin (birthday present from David)
  • Assorted bangles (all thrifted)

Rocking loafers and shiny socks just like MJ.  If only I also had his moves.

 

This outfit was worn for an evening of dinner and computer games with my family.  We played several rounds of Murder Trivia Party which has quickly become one of our favourite games to play when my brother comes to visit.  It appeals to both my love of trivia and our dark sense of humour.

This pin was a birthday gift from my love, David.  His nickname for me is “little fox” and for my special day he bought me a whole host of fox-themed gifts.  This pin is just so adorable and the colours are perfect with this jumper.

 

After dinner I enjoyed a brief snuggle with my dad’s cat, Branson.  Branson is an absolute sweetheart, but he’s got to be the most awkward cat I’ve ever met.  He’s got incredibly long limbs and is super gangly.  When he runs down the hallway there are just legs and paws going all over the place, as he slips and slides.  There isn’t an ounce of grace in him, and yet he’s just the sweetest little friend.  He also has such perfectly white paws that look as though they’ve been dipped into fresh cream, which only adds to his appeal.

 

This comfy clash of separates was the perfect thing to wear for a family evening of fun.

M is for Masochism

This is part 4. of my ABC’s of BDsM series.  In each post, I will break down one letter of the BDsM acronym to delve deeper into what practices and preferences make up the world of BDsM.  This is by no means a definitive discussion of BDsM, but is rather intended to be a primer for interested beginners.

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M is for Masochism

Masochism is when a person derives pleasure or enjoyment from pain. This pain may be physical, emotional or psychological.  Masochism is the flipside of the S/m coin, the opposite of sadism. Even though these two practices are opposite and complimentary, that doesn’t mean that a single person can’t enjoy both masochism and sadism.  There are lots of people who enjoy both halves of the S & M pie, but usually they tend to prefer one over the other.

Masochism may show it’s face in a huge range of BDsM scenes.  It often goes hand-in-hand with bondage and discipline, as well as other types of play including:

  • Impact play, where the submissive party is hit or struck with paddles, floggers, hands, canes, whips, crops and a variety of other impact tools.
  • Humiliation play, where the submissive party is forced to dress in clothing that they find embarrassing, may be called names or is made to perform actions that they find degrading.
  • Play piercing, where needles are inserted into the top layers of skin.
  • Primal play such as chasing, biting and scratching.
  • Torture play, in which the submissive is subjected to physical torture, often while bound. This may include breast and nipple torture and cock and ball torture.
  • Hair pulling
  • Breath play, where the submissive is choked or smothered
  • Erotic trampling, where the bottom is stepped and trodden on.
  • Forniphilia, or human furniture.  Submissives may be required to act as tables, footstools or other furniture.
  • Medical play scenes.
  • Electro-sex play, through the use of a violet wand or tens unit.
  • Fire and ice play, including scenes involving fire wands, wax and ice cubes.

To a person who has not explored the world of BDsM, or who cringes at the idea of being in any kind of pain, the thought of intentionally submitting to painful treatment may seem absurd.  Why on earth would anybody want to subject themselves to such play, and how could you possibly enjoy it?  The reasons why masochism is so thrilling are as varied as the people who practice it.  Some of the most common reasons for exploring masochistic tendencies may include:

  • Feeling a rush or natural high from pain.  Pain triggers the release of endorphins in the body, which in turn may cause feelings of euphoria, relaxation and pleasure.
  • Wanting to explore physical and emotional limits. Some masochists liken their practice to endurance running or weightlifting, in that they are fascinated to see how much their body can take and explore and expand limitations.
  • A desire to own one’s pain and learn to cope with it.
  • Enjoying being at the mercy of another person.
  • Wanting to expand trust in a relationship.
  • Getting a thrill from intense sensation.
  • Using intense sensations such as impact, heat or pain to stimulate certain parts of the body, making them more sensitive to gentle touch later on.

I very firmly identify as a masochist.  I find pain erotic and I’ve definitely experienced that natural high after being flogged, spanked or tortured. I also enjoy pushing my personal limits to see how much I can withstand.  In this way, I find things like impact play or wax play almost meditative. Although they do hurt, I try to relax into the sensations, noting them and breathing through the pain until I get to that place of bliss beyond.  I liken it to running and yoga, both things that I enjoy immensely.  With all of these things, to get to the benefits and euphoria, you have to first push through a barrier of pain and resistance.

 

It’s extremely important to note that not all pain will trigger a pleasurable response in a person with masochistic tendencies.  I don’t feel sexy after stubbing my toe or being humiliated by a stranger in public.  As with any BDsM play, it’s vital that the activity is safe, sane and consensual.  The pain should be inflicted in a controlled environment, after lengthy negotiations about needs, wants and limitations. It’s extremely important that both parties trust one another so that both feel safe to explore and enjoy themselves.  It’s also vital that play progresses gradually.  With things like impact play, you can’t just start flogging the living daylights out of a submissive.  You have to warm up with gentle taps, slowly ramping up the intensity.  Proper preparation makes it a lot more likely that you will both enjoy your scene, and increases the chances that you’ll want to do it again.

As well as proper preparation before a scene, aftercare is especially vital in scenes that explore masochism. Pain can bring up all sorts of emotional stickiness, and you need to be prepared to devote the time needed to work through those feelings if they happen to bubble to the surface. The rush of endorphins and adrenaline involved with pain and fear can result in an emotional crash called Subdrop when those chemicals subside.  Subdrop is a fascinating and important topic, and one that I will talk about more in future posts.  Proper aftercare can help bring the submissive back to earth and limit the impact of drop.  Additionally, physical aftercare, such as tending to bruises and cuts, helps to make sure that the bottom is healthy and happy.  Aftercare is really important to foster trust between play partners and reassure everyone involved that they are loved, respected and cared for.

 

Masochism is a fascinating practice, and one that shows up in a variety of different BDsM scenes.  It can be a gateway to pleasure and freedom for some, even though it might seem scary to others.

Fascinated by masochism? You might like to read the other posts in this series”

I hope that you’ve enjoyed reading my ABC’s of BDsM. If any of these posts have raised any questions for you, or if there is anything you’d like to learn more about, please feel free to get in touch.

 

Five Fandom Friday: My favourite sequels

Last week I sat down to watch Army of Darkness for the first time.  About ten seconds in, I realised that it was, in fact, a sequel to The Evil Dead.  So I quickly switched over to watch that instead.  But after the tree-molestation scene I was ready to give up.  I decided to just watch Army of Darkness anyway, and in the end it worked out fine because it was really funny and didn’t relate too closely to The Evil Dead.

 

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So I’ve been thinking a bit about sequels this week and I thought it would be a good time to do the 5 Fandom Friday tag: My Favourite Sequels.

  1. Addams Family Values

The cast of the 1990’s Addams family films was flawless.  Anjelica Huston was the perfect Morticia, and Raul Julia was ideal as Gomez.  You couldn’t ask for a better Wednesday than Christina Ricci and Christopher Lloyd is unrecognisable in the role of Uncle Fester.  This film brought together this incredible cast for a second helping of kooky fun, adding in the incomparable Carol Kane as Grandmama (the only role that was recast for the sequel).  The second instalment had just as many laughs and tongue-in-cheek jokes as the first film, and it also features the glorious tango scene- my favourite part from both films.

2. D2: The Mighty Ducks

As a child of the 1990’s I spent a fair chunk of time watching The Mighty Ducks.  Of the three films, I think that the D2 is the strongest.  It introduced some fantastic new characters, such as Julie Gaffney and Dean Portman (Bash Brothers forever!).  Additionally, this movie was less focused on Charlie Conway than the original, which I thought was a blessing because he always irritated me. There was a stronger rivalry between teams and bigger stakes that made D2 a more exciting film than it’s predecessor.

3. Toy Story 3

I went into the cinema to watch Toy Story 3 fully prepared to hate it.  I felt that 10 years was too huge a gap between Toy Story 2 and 3 and I wasn’t sure that it was going to have the same feel as the originals.  Five minutes in and I had completely changed my tune. I thought it was genius that, rather than pretending that no time had passed, Pixar embraced the time lapse and showed us Andy as a young adult, dealing with the dilemma of letting go of his childhood.  It had some emotional moments, and I choked up over and over.  But thankfully there were plenty of laughs as well (the part with Mr Tortilla Head always has me giggling).  Toy Story 3 was so clever and managed to keep the spirit of the original films while still feeling fresh.

4. The Dark Knight

There are not too many sequels that are vastly superior to the original, but this is undoubtedly one of them.  With superhero movies, the first film tends to be on the slow side, because you have to establish an origin story.   But Batman Begins was excruciatingly tedious.  The Dark Knight saved the franchise by introducing us to Heath Ledger’s Joker, a villain who is simultaneously fascinating and piss-in-your-pants terrifying. In my opinion, The Joker is the best part about this film, and his mad plots and creepy voice never fail to capture my attention.

5. The Golden Age

The Golden Age is another sequel that was made a long while after the original film.  It was released in 2007, nine years after Elizabeth.  Elizabeth was the film that kindled my fascination with the Tudor period, and I always felt a bit disappointed that the story ends just as Elizabeth really begins to come into her own as Queen.  So I was delighted when The Golden Age was announced.  As the name suggests, this film tells of the greatest period of Elizabeth I’s reign.  The first film showed us Elizabeth as a young queen, dealing with the question of marriage and struggling to rule as a woman in a man’s world.  In The Golden Age, we see Elizabeth as a confident, competent ruler.  She has already established her image as The Virgin Queen and is about to unfurl some of her greatest triumphs.  The Golden Age shows another side of Elizabeth, the vulnerable woman behind the white mask, struggling with impossible decisions and deep, personal disappointments.  Although I love both films, I feel that The Golden Age beautifully captures the strong spirit of one of England’s most impressive monarchs.

 

What are your favourite sequels?  Are there any on this list that you also love, or any that you’d like to add?

Product review: Pure Aluminium Medium Pink by Pipe Dream

When it comes to sex toys, I’m always on the lookout for interesting materials and textures.  So when I saw the Pure Aluminium range by Pipedream I was instantly intrigued.  The range comes in five different colours: purple, pink, blue, silver and gold.  Each colour has three sizes: small, medium and large.  And each toy has a different shape.  There are ribs, bulbs, curves and bumps in a variety of configurations.  After much deliberation, I chose the Pink Medium to try for myself.

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The first thing I noticed when I picked up this vibe is it’s weight.  This is one of the heaviest toys that I own, and that is a very good thing.  I like toys that have a bit of heft to them, and this one feels solid and weighty in the hand.  Despite being the colour of a Barbie convertible, this is one toy that means business.  The shaft of the vibe is rock hard and unyielding.  If you’re craving something that has absolutely no give, then this is the toy for you.

The texture of the Pure Aluminium Pink is one of my favourite aspects of this toy.  It has a defined head, which is ideal for pin-point clitoral stimulation.  In addition to that head, the shaft has another two large bulbs, which feel wonderful during thrusting. Although I’m a lover of textured toys, I find that often my vagina can’t feel small ribs or bumps.  The exaggerated curves and swerves on this vibrator are a whole other story.  I have no problem detecting each bulb as I move it inside me.  It’s a sensation that I love, and one of the reasons that I keep coming back to this toy time and time again.

Another textural feature of this toy is the slippery-smooth finish.  Aside from my glass toys, I’ve never found another vibrator that is as incredibly slick as this one.  It is also ideal for temperature play.  This toy starts out cold to the touch, and can give quite the shock when you first place it against your body.  It quickly warms up to body temperature, and actually feels hot after a short amount of playtime.  The metal holds temperature really well, so you can cool it down or warm it up to provide a variety of sensations.  I was pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed the feeling of the cool metal against my skin, and although it’s a bit of a shock, it’s so much fun to play with a chilly vibe.

As a dildo for penetration, I love the texture, weight and temperature of this toy.  But what about as a vibrator?  The Pure Aluminium Medium range are all three-speed, battery operated vibrators.  When I picked this toy up, I had moderately low expectations for it’s vibration power.  In my experience, I’ve found battery-operated vibes to be fairly underwhelming in terms of power and longevity.  But I was shocked by how well this vibrator works.

I can scarcely believe that this toy runs on two measly AAA batteries.  The vibrations are strong and powerful, and generally fairly rumbly.  Although there is a touch of buzziness about this vibe, the heft of the material really help to conduct the vibrations, making it feel much stronger than if it were made of silicone or jelly.  The battery life is pretty great with this toy, and it lasts for ages before dying out.  I find it also gives a little warning, slowing down a tad a few minutes before it cuts out.  I’d much prefer this to a toy that just abruptly dies in your palm. The motor is also surprisingly quiet for a battery operated toy.  There are three vibration speeds and no patterns.  I personally quite like this, because i only rarely use the pattern functions on my toys for solo play. The vibrations do get a tad buzzier as they become more intense, but not by much.

The one drawback to this vibrator is the controls.  The Pure Aluminium Medium vibes are controlled with a single push-button on the base of the shaft. You press the toy once to turn it on, and press again to turn the vibration up.  Because of the positioning of the control button, it’s very easy to accidentally push it during play.  I find this really annoying, because I often wind up turning the toy up higher than I want it, or unintentionally turning it off at a crucial moment.  Additionally, I don’t like the fact that you have to cycle through all three speeds before you can turn the toy off.  I prefer toys that have a separate on/off switch so that you can turn it off in a hurry if you are interrupted, or if you want the vibration to cease immediately.

In addition to feeling amazing, aluminium is body safe and super easy to clean. It’s non-porous and can be used with water based or silicone lubricants safely.  The battery chamber of this vibe has a rubber seal, which makes it water resistant, but not water proof.  So you can safely clean it in the sink, just don’t submerge it in water.  I find a quick rinse is usually enough to get this baby sparkling clean.  There are no cracks or crevices where gunk can get caught, which makes cleaning an absolute breeze.

The Pure Aluminium toys are relatively inexpensive, with the Medium vibrators selling for around $40-$50 each.  Based on the performance of my pink model, I’d say this makes them an absolute bargain.  I own some significantly more expensive toys that don’t perform half as well as this one.  For a battery operated vibe that has strong vibrations, a unique texture and loads of possibilities for temperature play, this is a steal. This is a great quality toy that won’t break the bank, which can be used a multitude of ways for hours of sexy fun.

Things I Love Thursday 22/6/2017

This past month has flown by.  Since the beginning of June, I took a little holiday from work, caught up with loads of friends and celebrated my 31st birthday.  There have been so many things that I’ve felt proud of and grateful for.

This week I love:

  • My friends.  I got so many messages of love and celebration on my birthday and each one brought an ear-to-ear smile to my face.
  • Michael Jackson.  David and I watched This Is It together and it was amazing.  I am a huge Michael Jackson fan and it breaks my heart that he didn’t get to perform his final masterpiece at least once.  I found the rehearsal footage breathtaking, and it’s hard to imagine what the final show would have been like.
  • Putting my cupcake hat on Rupert, David’s cat.  He purred like a maniac and wore the hat for a full half hour before he fell asleep and it toppled off his head.
  • Poking around vintage markets on chilly afternoons.
  • Bean burritos
  • Vegan vanilla cupcakes that look like they were pooped out by a unicorn.

Helloooo! Awesome birthday pin from my brother. #mrsdoubtfire #pins #birthday #geekery

A post shared by Vanessa Bowen (@nessbow64) on

  • My new Mrs Doubtfire pin from my brother.  I am slowly building quite a collection of cute enamel pins, and this is the newest addition to my hoard.
  • Watching the Top 1000 Songs of the 80’s countdown on Foxtel and taking bets on what would be number 1. ( I lost.  I voted Thriller, which was edged out by Living on a Prayer)
  • Kate Lister’s website Whores of Yore.  Kate is a sexual historian who explores the history of sexual practices, language and culture.  Her website is fascinating and funny as well as highly educational.
  • My new heated throw blanket.
  • Watching my cats wriggle on the floor after their dinner each night.
  • The smells of winter mornings: wood smoke, frost and wet grass
  • Booja Booja chocolate salted caramel truffles.  And also the name Booja Booja, which is really fun to say.
  • Skins.  Various friends over the years have urged me to watch this show and I’ve never listened.  Now that I’ve started, I can see why they thought I would love it.
  • The Time Traveller’s Wife.  I’m not usually into romance stories, but this one is so clever and thought-provoking.  Dr Who fans who enjoy the romance between The Doctor and River Song should give this book a whirl.
  • Gloves

What do you love this fine Thursday?