“Creepy Fuckery” (or: “Niece Jackie”) – CK Watches You Me Her, S1E5

You may recall that episode 4 ended with Izzy’s roommate (I’m told her name is Nina, according to Google) catching Izzy and Jack making out, moments after crashing into and breaking Nina’s grandmother’s antique lamp. Well, episode 5 begins with them sitting at the table looking sheepish while Nina tells them off.

There’s a knock on the door, and in comes pdeudo-boyfriend Andy. “Ooh, this is gonna be interesting,” says Nina. No kidding. Jack awkwardly introduces himself, calls Andy “dude,” then apologises which just makes the whole thing that bit more excruciating. Jack says he’s Izzy’s uncle but they’re “more like cousins because we’re so close in age.”

  1. Who are you kidding, Jack-Not-Fred?
  2. If Andy is buying this, he’s the biggest idiot in this entire show filled with total idiots.

Izzy asks to move their planned lunch to cocktails later. Andy leaves after throwing a snarky “dude” remark in Jack’s direction.

“Yes, I’m a client,” Jack says, answering both Nina’s question and mine. “There’s your tip,” he adds to Izzy, leaving money on the side and walking out. Nina pockets the money, which is kinda fair given that Izzy and Jack just broke her expensive heirloom lamp.

Later, Izzy and Nina walk across campus and Nina asks Izzy why she kissed Andy in front of Jack. Izzy says it was to keep Andy “on simmer” (um?) but Nina knows it was to make Jack jealous and calls her out on it. Here’s a thing: if purposefully making your partners (who don’t even officially know about each other!) jealous is your game, you’re not ready for non-monogamy.

Nina asks Izzy if she’s okay breaking up a marriage. Izzy confesses her feelings about Jack and Emma. “Oh yeah, it would be so tragic if all three of you didn’t live happily ever after,” says Nina, ever the sympathetic friend. I mean, I can kind of see her point because we all know this is heading towards a trainwreck of epic proportions, but at the same time triads CAN work and can be happy and functional. Just not when they start with both members of a couple cheating on each other with the same escort, the escort inexplicably catching feels, and no-one having a clue how to do even the most basic communication.

The phone rings and it’s Emma. Only apparently she’s “Em” to Izzy now. Emma is with Carmen, who is obnoxiously trying to get her attention – I think to tell Emma to break up with Izzy. Izzy pretends Andy is on the other line and about to take her on holiday, and hangs up. Emma is upset and shouts “FUCK,” despite the fact that she’s in the middle of a public park and there are chilren around. This leads to this amazing exchange:

Emma: “Sorry, sorry! Hey kids, don’t do drugs, stay in school!”
Random Mum: “They’re toddlers, dumbshit!”
Emma: “Dumbshit!? Oh yeah, well I bet those snotty little brats aren’t even vaccinated!”
Random Mum: “I’ll vaccinate your ass!”

And then Carmen pulls Emma away, Emma professes how much she “HATES ANDY,” and Carmen demands that Emma not bring any of the Izzy drama into “HER neighbourhood” or around “HER children.” Hey Carmen, Emma might be acting world-class foolish, but she lives in the neighbourhood too and can invite whoever she damn well pleases back to her own damn house. Step off.

Later, Emma and Jack are having drinks. Emma confesses to phoning Izzy, and Jack confesses to visiting Izzy during his lunch hour. In a moment of surprisingly rational and adult conversation, Emma admits to being “scared and nervous and excited.” Next thing we know, they’re actually communicating! Jack asks what happens next, and Emma points out that there’s a third person involved who should probably get a say. I suddenly find new respect for her until…

…the bitching about Andy begins. “I hope he has low self-esteem!” says Jack. “Does he hate puppies and poor people?” Emma counters. Wow, guys. Really?

We cut to Izzy and Andy, who are eating pizza – because of course when a skinny, normatively attractive woman loves pizza, it’s OMGSOCUTE #Keepingitreal. I bet if Izzy was fat, this scene would get a very different response from viewers. Andy wants Izzy to “decide.” Decide what?

Back at Jack and Emma’s house, they’re fighting about the “niece” thing (remember when Jack told his boss’s daughter, whom he inexplicably felt he owed an explanation to, that Izzy was his niece “Jackie?” Yeah.)

Izzy is in a cab after Jack texts her telling her to come over but take a “slightly different route.” The cabbie is hitting on her and asks if she spot in seemingly the middle of nowhere is where she really wants to be. She essentially tells him to fuck off, gets out of the cab and wanders into some nearby woods, muttering, “damn fucking aunt and uncle bullshit. Fucking JACKIE!” Meanwhile, Jack and Emma are freaking out waiting for Izzy to arrive (apparently they just said “come over” but didn’t specify a time or anything, because obviously people do that,) and right on cue she arrives. Her first words are “if you don’t have something that makes sense in a shot glass, I’m killing everyone but the pug.” On balance, I’m voting in favour of this idea.

Lori, across the street, is spying on Jack and Emma’s house. Because of course she fucking is. Because she’s not only the nosiest busybody in existence, she’s also Jack’s boss and has no sense whatsoever of professional boundaries. If I found out my boss was watching my house, neighbour or not, I would literally take out a restraining order. Lori’s kid (“Ava,” Google tells me) comes outside and says, “we both know there’s something weird going on with them and that niece.” They then quickly realise “Jackie” is “in there.”

Jack, Emma and Izzy are all drunk, but Jack stops them getting stoned before they talk about Serious Adult Things. Meanwhile, back in the bar, Andy is talking to the bartender, who is also the cabbie from earlier who dropped Izzy off. Sure, why not? Also, he’s played by Patrick Gilmore, who was David Mailer in Travelers, if you’ve seen that. (If you haven’t, you should. Gilmore is wasted in this nonsense.) Ooh, Bar & Cabbie Guy (“Shaun” is apparently his name) has recognised Andy as Izzy’s boyfriend and is about to reveal where he dropped her off.

Our intrepid “throuple” (fuck me I hate that word) are talking. Apparently Andy was a ploy all along to make Jack and Emma jealous and see if they “feel the same.” Also, Izzy is all “I MET YOU FOUR DAYS AGO BUT I CAN’T STAND THE IDEA OF YOU HAVING SEX WITHOUT ME.” For fuck’s sake, Izzy. Firstly, they’re married. Secondly, as you correctly identified, you’ve known them ten minutes. Third, and very important, even in non-monogamous arrangements the individual dyads do tend to have sex 1-on-1 at times. We’ve established that all three of them are super jealous for various reasons. This is not a problem in and of itself, of course, but I just know they’re not going to handle it in a constructive fashion.

In the bar, Andy is putting two and two together. In the house, Jack asks “where do we go from here?” “Well the logical question,” Emma replies, “is, has anyone in this room ever had a threesome?” They establish they haven’t. In the bar, Andy gives Shaun $80 to tell him exactly where Izzy is. Creepy. And credits.

Are we FINALLY going to get to see some hot threesome action in episode 6 of this “SUPER HOT THREESOME SHOW?” I will be very angry if not, but based on what I’ve seen thus far, if this lukewarm nonsense can pull “hot” out of the bag I will be stunned.

 

 

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“Is That a Vagina Joke?” (or: “Check a Box”) – CK Watches You Me Her, S1E4

Once more unto the breach, dear friends, for I watched episode 4 of this travesty three weeks ago and have only just gathered enough fucks to write it up.

Episode 4 begins with Jack and Emma fucking. Jack says, as they finish, “it feels like we just gave orgasms to everyone within a two-mile radius!” Um. What? The pillowtalk that follows consists entirely of them congratulating themselves on how sexy their performance was. [Spoiler: it wasn’t.] Emma reveals she used to feel relieved after sex was over (poor woman!) and wonders if this new spark is “all Izzy.”

Jack goes jogging with Emma’s friend Carmen’s husband, Neighbour Dude. ND is interrogating him in a “he blatantly knows” kind of way. Not one to mince his words, he tells Jack “I think you’re a fucking moron” and lectures him on keeping fantasy as fantasy, then admits he’s jealous and asks how the rules work. Also this just in, when two women have sex apparently their vulvas just “smoosh together.” Well then.

Jack admits he thinks he has “never found a fucking G-spot in my life.” I have two comments on this:

  1. This is literally 5 minutes after “OH EM GEE WE JUST REINVENTED SEX.”
  2. It’s, like, just inside and on the front wall in most vaginas. It’s not hiding!

ND mentions that Carmen thinks Emma is in love with Izzy. No she isn’t, they barely know each other. She’s infatuated at best.

Next scene, Jack is at work (he works in a school, remember.) A teenage girl comes in who turns out to be Lori’s daughter (Lori is their nosy neighbour who is also the Dean of the school and therefore in charge of Jack’s entire career basically.)

Lori’s Kid: “Who was that chick at your house?”
Jack: “Why do I have to tell you that?”
Me: “You don’t, Jack! You’re the fucking teacher here! Tell the brat to mind her own business and throw her out of your office stat!”

Lori’s kid is acting inappropriately sexual and Jack tells her to stop with the “Lolita act.” Ew. (Also LOLITA WAS AN ABUSE VICTIM, READ THE FUCKING BOOK FOR FUCKING FUCK’S SAKE.) Jack says Izzy is his neice, leading Lori’s kid to say he must be “old as shit.” Okay why isn’t this kid in detention yet? Jack finally gets rid of her, gets Emma on the phone, and they decide no more Izzy at the house. Lori comes by and Jack goes into full-on Kiss Ass mode, and invites her to a party. Smooth, Jack-Not-Fred. Very smooth.

We cut to Emma and Carmen, who are drinking juice on a pier. Carmen is giving Emma a much-needed reality check re. Lori and the future of Jack’s career. She lectures Emma about ruining her life with the “Izzy” situation and the spectre of waking up one day “with saggy tits, wondering where your awesome life went.” Nice. She threatens to dump Izzy for Emma if she won’t do it herself. Emma grabs the phone back and runs off.

Meanwhile, Creepy Pseudo-Boyfriend Andy is pissed that Izzy has been booty-calling him and breaking dates for 3 months. Fair. She is vegging out on the sofa in jeans, comfy booties and… a lacy bra!? Fuck me sideways, I don’t even wear lacy bras to go out in, never mind on the sofa at home. There’s a knock on the door and…

…surprise! It’s Jack! Izzy scolds him for coming round unannounced. He points out she did the same a couple episodes back. I guess mutual stalking is okay?

Jack: “Why aren’t you dressed? It’s like 12:30.”
Me: “STUDENTS, Jack. Students.”

He makes a show of dumping her – apparently they won’t be “requiring [her] services any longer.” These people have no fucking clue if this is a sex-worker/client or a love relationship and they really need to make their minds up. Izzy calls his bluff, stating that Emma had no part in this decision and he’s unilaterally decided to duck out. Yeah, no shit.

He tells her to keep away from his wife. She calls him a misogynistic dickbag. I suddenly like her a lot more! She makes a bet he’d call her again within 2 weeks. He says, “stop acting like you’re irresistible.” “You don’t think about me?” she asks, taunting him. They make out. Her shirt is off. They crash into a lamp.

“This counts as our date, right?” he asks amidst the making out. Then right on cue, Izzy’s roommate walks in. Roomie is pissed – apparently the lamp was her grandmother’s and is an antique, and also Izzy broke the eminently sensible “Rule #1” – never tell clients where they live. She calls Jack “Clark Griswold,” a reference which is lost on me.

Roomie asks if Jack is a client or “something else.” I’m glad I am not the only one wondering this. Izzy goes, “umm…” and we fade to black.

Goddamn, even for this show, that episode was inane.

[Toy Review] Lovehoney Desire Clitoral Vibrator

This toy comes to me courtesy of my friend TigerStripes, whose podcast Kinky Discussions you should totally check out!

This toy has a lot to recommend it. I’m a big fan of Lovehoney – they mainly avoid gimmicks and provide good quality toys at reasonable prices, with quick and discreet delivery. I bought my first ever sex toy (a tiny bullet vibe) from them nine years ago and I still go to them for the majority of my sexy needs.

This is a nice simple little clitoral vibrator. It’s USB rechargeable and waterproof. The front has 3 buttons – on/turn up, setting change, and off/turn down. It’s maybe 3 inches long and is inflexible but very soft. It also comes in an attractive and discreet case.

The end curves to a soft point which is perfect for those who prefer their clitoral stimulation very direct and focussed, or you can also use the rounder end for a more generalised sensation. For me, it actually worked best when I pressed it side on to my clit, but your mileage – and body – may vary. It has 8 different modes or ‘patterns’ of vibration. As is usual for me, I preferred the constant vibration turned on high, but it’s worth experimenting to see what works best for you. The ramp-up-then-back-down setting is perfect for a slow tease!

My Ratings (all scores out of 5★)

Price: ★★★★
(Full disclosure: I got this at less than retail price from my friend. It retails at £59.99, which is definitely out of some budgets but worth spending for a good toy if you can afford it.)

Materials: ★★★★★
(It’s made of beautiful soft silicone and contains no latex or phthalates, which means it’s body-safe and also suitable for anyone with a latex allergy, as well as feeling absolutely gorgeous in your hand and in other places.)

Appearance: ★★★★★
(I can’t fault the design – it’s small and cute and it comes in either pink or purple. I do wish sex toys were more widely available in a greater range of colours, but that’s a gripe with the industry as a whole.)

Ease of Use: ★★★★★
(Very light, ergonomically designed and fits well in my tiny hand, which sometimes struggles to hold and manipulate the bigger toys for the 20+ minutes it can take me to get off. The buttons are easy to press and it’s so self-explanatory that I haven’t even opened the instruction booklet.)

Ease of care & cleaning: ★★★★★
(Easy to clean with a sterile wipe available from medical suppliers, or some toy cleaner available from most sex toy shops. It’s waterproof and silicone, so it should be safe to sterilise in boiling water too, which is how I prefer to clean my toys.  It’s not the obvious shape to use with a condom, but as always I recommend doing so if you’re sharing your toys with a non fluid-bonded partner.)

Versatility: ★★★★
(As I mentioned previously, it comes with 8 functions and the constant vibration speed can be turned up or down, and it can be positioned against your clitoris in different ways depending on where you like your vibrations focussed. It’s waterproof, so can be used in the bath if that’s your thing. Not suitable for internal use.)

Intensity: ★★★
(This is really the only place this toy falls down. I would have liked it to go a notch or two more powerful. That said, it did get me off, it just took longer than it would with a higher powered vibe. Good if you have a sensitive clit and find the Doxys and Hitachis of this world too overwhelming.)

Overall Score: ★★★★
Overall, I really like this toy and I recommend it alongside many of the things in Lovehoney’s range. I’m giving it 4 ★s instead of 5 only because, as mentioned above, it could stand to be a touch more powerful, and the battery time isn’t brilliant (~60 mins use for ~90 mins charge.)

Recommended for newbies and toy geeks alike.

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[Book Review] Approaching the Swingularity by Cooper S Beckett

★★★★★ – five stars.

Yes, you read the title correctly. Swingularity. As not only a Cooper/Swingset fangirl but a devotee of all things puntastic, how could I resist?

This is actually Cooper’s second novel about swinging and follows directly on from his first, A Life Less Monogamous. I read them more or less back to back but, at the author’s request, I am reviewing the newer one first. Swingularity can also be read as a stand-alone, though I’m of the opinion you’ll get more from it if you read ALLM first. I’m going to keep this review as spoiler-free as possible, but a few plot/character points may need to be disclosed in order for it to make sense.

[Full disclosure: I received a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.]

Approaching the Swingularity takes place during one week at Aphrodite’s Resort & Spa, a fictional swingers’ resort I’m informed carries “more than a passing resemblance” to Desire. It follows several couples, most notably newbie-ish swingers Ryan and Jen (the focus of A Life Less Monogamous) on their first trip, scene veterans Bruce and Paige, and first-lesbian-couple-to-attend Alejandra and Crista. There’s also a storyline following the trip’s leader, Raymond, who struggles to play the jovial, sexy host while dealing with some intense personal pain.

Swingularity is definitely an erotic novel. It’s raunchy, it’s explicit and it’s hot as hell. Particular highlights, for me, were Ryan and Jen’s outdoor fuck in the middle of a summer storm, and Bruce and Paige’s very erotic “couple’s massage,” but there’s more sexy fuckery (and some of it quite kinky!) than you can shake a flogger at. But it’s also a lot more than an erotic novel.

The characters are beautifully thought out and well realised. They all have foibles, flaws and the occasional fuck-up of epic proportions. I fancy the pants-he’s-probably-not-wearing off Bruce, but his actions when an old flame re-appears in his and Paige’s life had me going, “you FUCKING IDIOT” at the book. The relationships, too, are beautiful and real – sometimes painfully so. The struggles within and between the couples are magnified in the intensity of the resort and sometimes tensions stretch to breaking point, but there’s also love and hope that shines off the page. I was genuinely rooting for the characters to work through their troubles in productive ways and end up happier and healthier for them. And crucially, more often than not, the sex serves the plot, not the other way around. Without giving too much away, there’s a scene where a hitherto-straight man explores his interest in sex with another man – the result is in turns sexy, uncomfortable and ultimately gut-wrenching.

It’s also deliciously inclusive. I mentioned to Cooper that this novel is – sadly, one could say – more inclusive than the real-life swinger communities I’ve encountered thus far. There are gay and lesbian characters and bi men,  not just the endless straight-men-and-bi-women-only trope that is all too common in the swinging world. There are characters of colour. There is at least one trans character. There are older characters, younger characters, fat and skinny, able bodied and disabled. There are a huge variety of sexual proclivities, preferences and levels of experience. I wish, how I wish, that the real life swinging community where I live was more like this. We’d probably get laid at events more often if it was.

I would be remiss, too, to not mention how funny this book is. There’s a particularly hilarious incident about half way through involving an obnoxious podcast host and a jellyfish, and the banter between the major characters kept me giggling throughout. Cooper certainly understands the truism I’ve long stood by, that sex is hilarious and ought not to be taken overly seriously too often.

In short: I laughed. I cried. I wanked furiously. And now I’m telling you all to go out and buy this book so you can do the same.

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“No Common Sense Whatever” (or “No Penetration”) – CK Watches You Me Her, S1E3

Well then, I’ve been putting off writing this up but I suppose it is really time I did.

Episode 3 picks right up where Episode 2 left off, with Izzy the escort-not-a-hooker (ugh the sex worker shaming in this show is gross) on Emma and Jack-Not-Fred’s doorstep. It is quickly revealed that they didn’t actually invite her – she “cyber stalked [their] address” and “sprinted away” from Andy, the specimen of creepy toxic masculinity she’s dating.

The dialogue in this show is stellar as ever:
Jack: We don’t have any sedatives, but we do have wine.
Emma: It’s… made of grapes.

(Also, apparently they have bottles of wine that are just for show and not to be drunk. Doesn’t not drinking it defeat the object of wine?)

A short while later, and they’re all smoking Izzy’s weed while talking about Creepy Andy (the “most amazing guy in the world,” apparently – Izzy, your standards need some work, girl) and “why are we doing this?” GOOD FUCKING QUESTION EMMA. Emma confesses her office-wank from Episode 2, but says “I pleasured myself.” Ugh, is it just me or is that such a yucky, twee expression? What’s wrong with “masturbated” or even “wanked?”

Izzy is “way too insecure to feel anything but flattered” by their creepy obsession with her. She should be feeling “creeped the fuck out.” She cannot stop thinking about them, which literally makes no sense – these two idiots are not only her clients but the most boring and nondescript clients I imagine she’s ever had the misfortune to be hired by. A short while later, they’ve set up their arrangement – Jack and Emma each get two nights a week with Izzy (“we each get two dates a week with her… I mean you”) and no penetration.

Emma: We objectified her.
Jack: Honey, she’s an escort!
FUCK YOU, Jack-Not-Fred.

In the next scene, they’re in a cafe deciding who “gets” Izzy first (Emma,) and Emma very obviously foot-jobs Jack under the table. Meanwhile, Izzy spaces out in class and her roommate bullies a random boy next to her into giving her his notes. This scene serves no purpose. We then learn that Jack doesn’t realise his employer could track his browser history on his work computer. This fucking guy.

Emma goes outfit shopping with Carmen, neighbour-lady-and-yoga-friend, and tells her all about how she “couldn’t poop this morning.” Um, yay? Next shot, Izzy’s roommate is working out and enquiring what Izzy gets out of her new arrangement. Um, a SHIT TONNE OF MONEY, I imagine?

The outfit Emma chooses is pretty and classy. It’s kind of a shame that’s the best thing I can find to say about this nonsense. She tells Jack she wants him to “ravish” her later. These people are no unprepared for non-monogamy, it’s unreal.

Emma and Izzy start their date sweetly nervous. Izzy has an “idea” and runs off to a shop. Jack is at a party and VERY STRESSED (I think because Emma is on a date?) I can actually relate somewhat to this.

Emma has taken Izzy to a roof overlooking the city. Izzy talks about being sad because Jack and Emma were sleeping in bed without her the night before, which makes no sense because 1) They’re MARRIED for fuck’s sake, 2) This is a business arrangement, supposedly, 3) She’s known them ten minutes. Izzy talks about vegetables and “disturbing videos,” for some reason, and Emma goes off somewhere and comes back with a blanket and pillow. Emma says Izzy makes her nervous, Izzy says Emma’s beautiful, they make out. Emma peels off her shirt as the making out intensifies. I hate to say it but this is quite hot until…

Emma: I love your eyes. They’re like doe eyes but you’ve probably heard that a million times.

Ew.

Also Emma: It feels so weird that you don’t have a beard. (Hasn’t she been with women before!?)

Also also Emma: I think we broke the no penetration rule.

I’m just wondering why women in films and TV always have sex with their bra on, and next thing we know Emma is creeping in and Jack is fake-snoring. Really badly. Once she’s in bed, he pounces on her for sex but she is “orgasmed out” and tired. He says, “are you serious?” He’s clearly not happy. “I thought we had a no orgasm rule!” he says. Um, they never agreed that. They agreed on no penetration.

Jack is pissed. “I thought we were supposed to bring it home,” he says. And then, “it doesn’t look like I’m getting anything out of [this arrangement.]” Except the two dates a week with Izzy where he gets to do the sexy times too, I guess?

“Maybe a little jealousy is good for both of us?” Emms suggests. I mean, I disagree entirely, but working through their stuff like adults might be good for them. Fat chance of that, though. Instead, Jack is threatening to do the same things on his date with Izzy. Emma seems entirely nonplussed by this, since it is entirely in keeping with what they agreed. They make out.

Izzy, in her room, stares at the ceiling with a dreamy expression then pulls up the selfie she took with Emma on her phone. She zooms in on Emma’s face, puts her hand down her pants, and… her roommate walks in! (Without knocking, which no-one who has lived with a roommate for more than five seconds would do.)

“What are you doing?” Roomie asks. “Sleeping,” Izzy replies. She was wanking, Roomie. WANKING. Roomie grabs Izzy’s phone from her hands in a spectacularly rude and invasive fashion. “Well, fuck!” she says. And end scene.

[Toy Review] Sexy Liberation Lipstick Bullet Vibe

Lipstick Bullet Vibrator

I absolutely love the idea of Sexy Liberation, a company that not only sells sex toys but also offers a small selection for free (for those outside the US, you have to pay shipping, but it’s pretty reasonable.)

They say:

“Many people don’t have access to or haven’t been exposed to the exciting world of sexual exploration, we want to help people, especially women, by being a stepping stone. Personal experimentation with sex aids can help women discover and embrace their own sources of pleasure.  And a woman who knows herself sexually will feel more confident talking honestly with her partner about her needs and desires. If you are woman in a relationship that is having trouble getting off, we are here for you.”

And for that, they are to be applauded.

Unfortunately, for me at least, the toy itself simply didn’t quite measure up. It’s not a bad toy, as such, and I am sure it would work well for plenty of people. But I found it underwhelming. I persevered through several attempts to get myself off with it, with some of my favourite porn for company, but I ended up giving up and using my hand instead.

Plus points: it’s discreet, it’s quiet, it’s ostensibly waterproof, and it was free.

My Ratings (all scores out of 5★)

Price: ★★★★★
(You can’t do better than free on price! Even if you choose to buy it, it’s only $12.99 (about £10.)

Materials: ★★
(Meh. This thing is made of some kind of material simply described on the site as a “firm, non-silicone plastic.” Okay then. The information in the FAQs about toy safety is similarly vague. The toy is waterproof which means the plastic must be non-porous, so there’s that at least. But if you’re going to use a toy and don’t know exactly what it’s made of, I strongly suggest popping a condom over it first.)

Appearance: ★★★
(It looks like a lipstick, which doesn’t really appeal to me personally. I like my toys to either look like sex toys or look like beautiful works of art – the lipstick thing feels a bit ‘gimicky.’ On the other hand, the discreet look might work well for someone who is more nervous than I am about having something that actually looks like a vibrator in her nightstand, so I have to give it a point for that.)

Ease of Use: ★★★
(It’s super light and easy to hold and manipulate, and operates on a simple on-off twist motion. Unfortunately, if you turn it too far in the ‘off’ direction, the battery pops out.)

Ease of care & cleaning: ★★★
(Easy to clean with a sterile wipe available from medical suppliers, or some toy cleaner available from most sex toy shops. It’s waterproof so you don’t need to worry about ruining the motor. However, it’s plastic and not particularly well made so I wouldn’t boil wash or dishwasher it, which is my favourite way of sterilising toys. It’s not the easiest shape in the world to use with a condom, but again I strongly recommend you do as the body safety of the material is not at all clear.)

Versatility:
(This toy has exactly two functions: on and off. The lipstick shape means you have a narrow edge for precision stimulation and a wider side for more general vibrations, but honestly it’s small and weak enough that I couldn’t tell the difference. It is waterproof, so could be taken in the bath or shower.)

Intensity:
(It has to be said that I found this thing pathetically weak. Even right on my clit, it did very little for me. The vibrations are light and buzzy (as opposed to my much preferred ‘rumbly.’ Might be okay for someone with an EXTREMELY sensitive clitoris or someone very nervous about trying vibrators, I suppose.)

Overall Score: ★★
Unfortunately, though I love the idea of this scheme, I cannot recommend this toy.

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“Can You Be Any More Ridiculous?” (Or: “Can You Be Cool?”) – CK Watches You Me Her, S1E2.

gue I live tweeted this damn thing two weeks ago but somehow, writing about anal sex was more appealing than writing it up until now. Alas, I’ve set myself this ridiculous challenge to spare you all from this terrible TV show (and, to be entirely honest, I’m still harbouring a tiny hope it’ll redeem itself,) so here we go.

Episode 2 opens with Jack and Emma pretending that all the ridiculousness they got up to in episode 1 was all a dream. Small mercy that’d be if it was true, but alas, no. They kiss for half a second and then both screw up their faces in horror. These people have been together how long and they can’t cope with morning breath?

We cut to Izzy, she of the ‘college girl escort DEFINITELY NOT A HOOKER’ trope, who is talking to herself in the mirror, then vomiting, then getting text messages from her creepy boyfriend, ‘Andy,’ who is angry that he can’t reach her. A little later, she’s cleaning like mad. Her roommate comes home and accuses Izzy of being in a “death and resurrection cycle,” as if the symbolism needed bashing over our heads any harder.

Jack is at work. He works at a high school, and we are treated to close ups of the word INTEGRITY in the motto on the school’s sign. Okay, we get it, you’re telling us what the people in this show lack with more subtle-as-a-brick-to-the-face camera work. There’s a knock at Jack’s office door and Izzy’s voice says, ‘Fred? Are you in there?’ Hahaha, it’s a throwback to ‘Jack not Fred’ in Episode 1. In she comes, and we cut to Emma, who is looking at Izzy on the escort site on her work computer (just to further hammer home the point that these people are A) unhealthily obsessed with this much younger woman who they hired as a PROFESSIONAL, and B) completely lacking in any kind of basic common sense.)

Back in Jack’s office, Izzy is climbing on his desk and telling him all about what a bad girl she is, just as Emma slips her vibrating mobile phone between her legs on her desk chair (true confession: I used to wank that way when I was about 13.) Izzy’s making out with Jack, then – wait, what? – she’s making out with Emma, too, and…. oh, no. It was just a fantasy and Emma has been walked in on, very obviously masturbating in her office, by a young male co-worker. Izzy moans, ‘Jack.’ A male voice says, ‘Jack?’ And our intrepid hero comes back down to earth, dream-Izzy gone, and realises he’s been caught having a lurid sexual fantasy at work by his boss. Emma makes an inappropriate sexual comment to her terrified young comment and then promises to write him an excellent recommendation (in exchange, one assumes, for keeping quiet about catching her mid phone-wank.)

Izzy pseudo-meditates, for some reason while hanging half upside-down off her bed, then Creepy Andy calls and they make a date. Jack is now hanging out with his brother again, (he of the ‘shag an escort to improve your sex life with your wife’ advice) and talking about having great sex with Emma but fantasising about Izzy. This leads the brother to compare women to cars. Fuck off, Jack’s brother.

Meanwhile, Emma does some weirdly orgasmic yoga and comes out with, ‘I’m having some kind of mind-body renaissance.’ What the fuck is this I can’t even. She then tells her yoga friend (remember Neighbour Lady, whose name seems to be Carmen?) about how great she is at hooking up with girls. Carmen refers to Izzy as ‘that hideously deformed grad student.’ God, this show really hates women. To top it off, Carmen goes straight to, ‘if you’re into girls why not me?’ and calls her a ‘big lesbo.’ It hates bisexuals too, apparently.

Next up, Izzy’s date with Creepy Andy, who is clearly mad at her. ‘I’m trying really hard to be patiently submissive here,’ she says while he glowers. Heads up Izzy, if you feel the need to be ‘patiently submissive’ in your relationship and it’s not consensual D/s, you might be being abused.

‘I think you might be my penance,’ he says, and there’s a veiled reference to ‘evil deeds’ in his past. Well, now this reminds me of the time my ex told me I was a curse. Thanks, stupid show. Apparently they’re going on a date because Andy wants romance.

Back in the therapist’s office, Emma tells her bisexual origin story (a totally sweet and normal college romance with a girlfriend, with only a tiny bit of ‘being dared to kiss by a guy’ thrown in) and Jack is pulling out all the biphobic judgement. ‘I’m embarrassed for you even telling this story,’ he says. Fuck you, Jack-Not-Fred. Also, apparently her having dated women in the past (BEFORE THEY MET) is worse than him having sought out an escort and cheated on her (LIKE LAST WEEK.) So there’s that.

Prettied up now, Izzy is back out with Andy. This guy has some serious toxic masculinity issues going on. Apparently he’s ‘hot enough to be a dick,’ which is definitely not a thing. But, again, he wants romance and will even make her breakfast. I hate everybody in this show.

At home, Jack and Emma are lying on the floor for some reason and declaring their love for each other. ‘It wasn’t a thing!’ says Emma of her bisexuality. Emma, having dated four women is definitely a ‘thing.’ Stop erasing your own bisexuality, other people do enough of that for us.

Communicating entirely in eyebrow waggling, they decide they want to have a threesome with Izzy. Next shot, she’s walking up the drive to their house while a neighbour across the street spies out of her window. Then Izzy’s at the door and supremely awkward ‘hi’s are exchanged. She smiles, and…. end scene.

I’m not sure if I’m more depressed that people are calling this a great portrayal of polyamory, or that there are still 10 more episodes for me to get through.

[Book Review] The Smart Girl’s Guide to Polyamory by Dedeker Winston

★★★★★ – five stars.

As a long-time listener of the Multiamory Podcast, I was seriously excited when Dedeker Winston (one third of the hosting team, along with her partner Jase and former partner Emily) announced she was writing a book. She and her co-hosts are funny, wise, insightful and down to Earth on the podcast, so I had high hopes for The Smart Girl’s Guide to Polyamory: Everything You Need to Know About Open Relationships, Non-Monogamy and Alternative Love  – a fresh take on the polyamory advice book, with women and female experience front and centre.

The book is grouped into chapters, which are clustered into four sections: Polyamory 101, Pre Reqs, Mastering Non-Monogamy, and Out of the Classroom, Into the World. I read it cover to cover, but you could just as easily dip in and out, picking and choosing the sections that feel most relevant to you.

Polyamory 101 covers what polyamory is (and what it isn’t,) some of the different forms that ethical non monogamy can take, and an absolutely fascinating chapter on the socio-cultural and anthropological history of non-monogamy. Dedeker also talks us through some of the common objections to polyamory, from family and friends or from society at large, and possible ways to counter them.

Pre-Reqs deals with self-knowledge, really interrogating who you are, what you want and what makes you tick, as well as the skills required to live a happy and healthy non-monomous life (it goes beyond just “communicate,” y’all!)

Mastering Non-Monogamy was the real meat of this book, for me. There’s the expected chapter on jealousy, a whole chapter on sex and the various issues surrounding it, advice on crafting positive and healthy relationship rules/agreements, and more.

Finally, Out of the Classroom, Into the World attemtps to take the theories discussed in previous chapters and apply them in real-world situations. Dedeker discusses poly dating, finding community, coming out of (or choosing to stay in!) the closet and how polyamory can intersect with a range of marginalised identities and liberation movements.

This book is not easy reading at times. Dedeker approaches difficult topics with a light touch and a healthy dose of humour, but there are parts that are unavoidably difficult reading. Though she doesn’t actually use the A-word, she candidly describes behaviour by a former partner that can only be labelled as abusive. It’s not all sunshine and light – she gives us the bad, the scary and the unshiny parts of polyamory as unflinchingly as she gives us the love and the joy. And she challenges us repeatedly to be brave, to be unfalteringly honest with ourselves and our loved ones, to do the hard work required to be stronger and better and more compassionate versions of ourselves.

What sets this book apart from the others I’ve read is that women are centred throughout. Dedeker shares her experience on the unique struggles of a polyamorous, queer, sex-positive woman and tackles those challenges head on, and encourages other women to battle outdated gender stereotypes, sex-negativity, slut shaming, rape culture and the myriad other issues that disproportionately affect women and those read as women in trying to live a non-monogamous life. But despite this female focus, the book is consistently inclusive – it makes no assumptions about age, sexuality, gender identity or relationship style. For this reason, I really think anyone interested in polyamory should read it.

Dedeker is also refreshingly non-judgemental. She shares her experiences and wisdom about what tends to work well and what doesn’t, without preaching her way as the only (or even the best!) way. She seems to intuitively understand that everyone’s experience is different and that different relationship styles will work for people, while offering principles (including self knowledge, strong communication, compassion, honesty, good boundaries) that apply in making just about any style of relationship a success.

In a landscape of non-monogamy where current trends carry a hefty dose of “you have to be a relationship anarchist or you’re DOIN’ IT RONG,” I can’t tell you how refreshing this is. [1]

I really hope this book takes its place alongside The Ethical Slut, More Than Two and Opening Up as polyamorous required reading, because it deserves to. In my view, Dedeker Winston has written quite simply the best guide book on polyamory on the market today.

_____________________________________________________________________________________

[1] I have zero problem with people who practice RA. I do have a problem with anyone – poly, monogamous, RA, swinger, whatever – preaching their way as the only correct way to be.

“Bad Writing and Clunky Dialogue and Crap” (or: “Cigarettes and Funions and Crap”) – CK Watches You Me Her, S1E1.

Contains Spoilers.

I have set myself this ridiculous challenge of watching and reviewing new Netflix drama You Me Her so that you don’t have to. I was really, really hoping to have more nice things to say but as it is, I think I’m going to have to get through this by making fun of it mercilessly. You can follow what I think as I’m watching at #CKWatchesYouMeHer.

The premise is simple: a married couple invite a young college student, who also happens to be an escort, into their relationship. Things go about as well as can be expected.

Episode 1 – Cigarettes and Funions and Crap – opens with suburban white married couple, Jack and Emma, at what we assume is a couple’s counselling session, bemoaning the fact that they don’t have kids yet and lying about how often they have sex. Cliche the first. We meet their equally boring and suburban neighbours in two minutes of screen time that serve absoluely no purpose whatsoever except to illustrate that Emma is friends with the wife of the couple next door. Okie-dokie then.

Coming home late from a night out, Emma walks in on Jack masturbating and things get weirdly sex-shamey. Yes, he’s a grown man who likes to masturbate. Deal with it. (On a completely unrelated aside, can the notion that people in relationships don’t/shouldn’t masturbate just die in a fire already?) They have some weird, aggressive and totally unsexy sex wherein she tries to get him to spank her and he doesn’t seem keen.

Eight minutes in, I tweet “this is about as romantic as a root canal.” Also, weren’t jokes about married couples not liking sex any more fresh and edgy in about… 1842?

Jack is advised to cheat on his wife with an escort, in order to save their marriage/sex life, by his brother. For some inexplicable reason, he goes for it straight away and we are subjected to his excruciating date with young escort ‘Izzy’ (inexplicably her real name. Nothing about this show makes any sense.) For our next cliche here, we have “college students who are also escorts to pay the rent.” (“But we’re ESCORTS, not h**kers, which is totally different because sex work stigma or something, no-one seems to have a convincing argument for this…?”)

The dialogue throughout this show is so badly written it’s painful. Jack comes out with such gems as “you are also unhideous,” to which Izzy replies “that’s cool. D’you wanna make out?” SEXY. The writers do, however, get in a ‘unicorn’ quip, for which I have nothing but respect.

He rips her shirt. They make out for like two minutes and then he realises he “CAN’T DO THIS” and right on cue Emma calls and Izzy just leaves. That’s like three cliches in one, yes? Actually, this probably some nice foreshadowing for what’s to come when a horribly dysfunctional triad inevitably materialises out of this mess. At home, Jack confesses to Emma and she’s understandably pissed. Sadly, this mainly comes out as anti-sex work rhetoric and her wanting to see pictures of Izzy. Because “does she have nicer skin than me?” (something Emma worries about in the next scene) is totally a bigger issue than her husband having massively and deliberately violated her trust.

We cut to, presumably, a day or two later. Emma is out with her friend Neighbour Lady (I need to look up the character’s name even though she serves no actual purpose thus far) and telling her about Jack’s tryst with Izzy. Neighbour Lady asks Emma what she’s going to do… and then poof! Izzy appears in a puff of unicorn glitter (okay, not quite) and asks for “Lola.” Because the totally sane thing to do when your husband cheats on you with an escort is hire the same escort yourself.

We’re seventeen minutes in and I’m tweeting, “this show is 1000% ludicrous.”

Izzy is drunk because she’s never been on a date with a woman before, and she awkwardly toe-fucks Emma under the table. Only the tablecloth isn’t even very long, so everyone in the restaurant can see their drunken, extremely unsexy toe sex. These two have less than zero chemistry and their subsequent kiss in the bathroom a few minutes later (after Emma confesses who she is and grabs Izzy in a way that totally bypasses even the most cursory consideration for consent) reminds me of all the worst bits of The L Word mashed together into one. And it’s about as realistic.

Emma confesses to Jack what she’s done and he seems surprisingly fine with it. She also drops in here that she’s been with women before. How can you be married to someone for many years and not tell them a huge detail like that you’re bisexual!? The fact that she’s cheated is glossed over, because it’s not really cheating when it’s between two women, is it? (Spoiler alert: it is.)

We’re twenty-one minutes in and I’m getting a bit angry.

In the next scene, Jack hangs around outside Izzy’s building and presses the buzzer repeatedly until she comes along and talks to him. Can anyone say STALKER ALERT? Seriously, this behaviour is creepy as hell and not okay. He then goes home to Emma and goes down on her on the kitchen floor (without removing or even moving her dress at all, because that’s how TV Sex works) while Izzy goes home and cries because she’s sick of getting caught up in other people’s bullshit and wants to quit escorting.

This show has all the hallmarks of “cute young bi women exist to save failing cishet marriages” and, by the time the credits roll on episode 1, I’m thoroughly unimpressed and possibly even a bit depressed.

A ridiculous premise. Characters I am totally incapable of caring about. Plot holes out the wazoo. Sex-negativity, sex worker stigma and gross stereotypes. Literally the only thing this show has going for it is the fact that it’s brought something that might, kinda, vaguely resemble polyamory (if you squint hard) to mainstream TV screens.

[Toy Review] So Divine ‘Wicked Game’ Magic Wand

https://www.ocado.com/productImages/362/362947011_0_640x640.jpg?identifier=7bc6090490b119da9c1368e2f6689614

Toy: ‘Wicked Game’ Magic Wand
Made by:So Divine

This toy was a last-minute win at the end-of-Eroticon raffle, and I was excited to try it out as ‘wand style’ vibrators are consistently the toys I’ve got on the best with over the years. This lovely little thing was no exception.

I tried this out at the club with Mr CK, with him using it on me. For the purposes of full disclosure I should say I hadn’t had an orgasm for about 3 days before this session, but I’m not convinced that makes too much of a difference apart from possibly making me get off quicker than I would otherwise have.

What I love about this toy is that it’s really versatile. Both ends vibrate (though not, much to my chagrin, at the same time. You have to pick one or the other!) and one end is a traditional wand head while the other end is an insertable vibrating dildo. All in one toy! Nice, no? It also has ten different vibration modes – 3 constant speed settings and 7 pulsing patterns.

My favourite is the pulse setting that ramps slowly up, hits a peak and then drops down again. I love being teased (or teasing myself) into a frenzy and this setting does exactly that. For a quicker orgasm, though, the highest of the 3 constant speeds is wonderful.

Now this is where things get really interesting. Mr CK made me come with this toy – twice in an afternoon – really easily. Normally, someone else getting me to come is extremely difficult (possible, but difficult,) even if they’re using a toy I really love. I love my Doxy wand, it is my favourite toy in the whole world, but I come a lot more reliably when I use it on myself than when someone else holds it. Yet this toy is less powerful, but for some reason much more effective in giving me orgasms when in someone else’s hands.

My theory is thus: the Doxy is SUPER CRAZY POWERFUL, to the point that if it’s in the wrong spot – even slightly – it can become unpleasant or even painful extremely quickly. When I’m holding it myself, I know exactly what my body needs and can react accordingly, but my partners – wonderful though they are – do not actually live in my head. Or my clitoris. The Wicked Game, though, is significantly gentler than the mains-powered wands and so I can squirm against it, adjust it if needed, and let my partner know if it needs moving to a different spot before it becomes painful or unpleasant and throws me off my ‘groove.’

In short, I think this toy might be the sweet spot where “powerful enough to make me come” meets “gentle enough to have someone else use on me without discomfort.” I would recommend this for any vulva-owning person who likes vibrations, and I would particularly suggest it as a perfect first vibrator because the experience is so very customisable. Don’t know if you like internal or external stimulation, hard vibrations ot soft pulsing? No problem – with this, you can try them all out with one toy.

Incidentally: it’s also QUIET, which I gave up caring about years ago but might be of interest to those of you with roommates and/or family at home.

My Ratings (all scores out of 5★)

Price: ★★★★
(At £54.99 it’s not a steal and may be outside of some budgets, but it’s still cheaper than some of the really high-end toys on the market and with the amount of functions it comes with, it’s well worth the price.)

Materials: ★★★★★
(Lovely silicon. Soft, smooth and SAFE. Gorgeous.)

Appearance: ★★★★★
(It’s a lovely looking toy that comes in attractive pink or purple colours. Mine, of course, is purple.)

Ease of Use: ★★★★
(The buttons are a little hard to press – especially in the, uh, throes of passion – but apart from that there is an on/off button and buttons to cycle through the settings and switch between the internal and external settings. Nice and simple. Plus it’s light so easy to hold.)

Ease of care & cleaning: ★★★★★
(Easy to clean with a body-safe sterile wipe available from medical suppliers, or some toy cleaner available from most sex toy shops. It’s waterproof so could probably even be boil-sterilised if that’s your preferred method. For safer sex purposes if you share your toys, it’s condom-friendly in shape and material.)

Versatility: ★★★★★
(It has two ends, one insertable and one external, and ten different speed and pulse settings on each. Totally versatile depending on what you like and what you’re in the mood for today. It’s also waterproof, if wanking in the bath is your thing, and though it’s designed for vulvas it works equally well on a penis.)

Intensity: ★★★★★
I’ve given this 5 stars even though it’s not as intense as I typically like my vibes, for the aforementioned reason of hitting the sweet spot between “meh, not intense enough” and “DON’T MOVE IT A MILLIMETRE OR IT WILL HURT.”

Overall Score: ★★★★★
Yeah, I love this toy. I think it’s going to become my favourite new toy to use with a partner.