I Have Better Things To Do Than Survive

I cut my nails short.

cut my nails short

A fork ring also, for when I am out of spoons.

It’s a symbolic gesture to myself, one that serves to remind me to take care of myself while preparing for what’s to come. My fingernails have always grown long, strong and have been one of my vanity loves about myself, but I need them short right now.

Right now I am fighting with all of my everything not to fall down a deep depressive hole even though all the usual suspects are present. Loss, grief, stress, anxiety that reaches the moon, feeling and being out of control of my life. Having life move and change far too quickly for me to adapt to. Living with very strong trauma reminders (not triggers exactly, but reminders) and it would be so incredibly easy to just free fall to the bottom of that dark pit and sleep.

I don’t want that to happen though. Life is fucking terrifying, but right now it’s pretty terrifying for everyone I know. Taking a step back from the usual subjects of a depressive episode and pretending for at least a few minutes that there is a different American President, there is so much good in my life and possible in my life right now.

Val and I are back together and happy. I’m finding the ability to write again. The kids are all doing well and turning into lovely little people. Poly life is interesting. The world can change in a way that works better for me than how it has operated for a long time. I am closer to the life that I want than I have been in a very long time.

I “just” have to keep myself from falling down that hole, from self-sabotage (my depressive acting out of choice), from getting too deep into an anxiety hole. (Totally different than a depressive one for me, just as hard if not harder to get out of.) “Just” have to keep myself making steps forward and I can get to a level of okay that has been unfathomable until recently.

What the fuck does this have to do with my nails?

My nails are short and polished so that if I do fall down those holes, or if I start to slide, I don’t tear them off climbing back up. They are short and strong, they can grab hold, they can scratch and dig if needed. Chips in polish are little signs where I was fighting back. Scrubbing a floor, building lego sets, typing hard enough I should fear to break my keyboard.

So if – let’s be honest – when I do fall into a hole, one less part of me will be bloody and broken.

My pain is not polished.

This post was written in October, 2016 – when I was positive we’d have Madam President right now and the “Grab em by the Pussy” tape had just leaked. On this day of protests, strikes, backlash, dudes being absurd man babies because something isn’t about them, and that this horrible monster is president, I’m reposting the piece in full, but you can see the orginal Medium post here.

No, I am not done yet. Nowhere near done.

I am going to continue to dump my intense fury, very raw pain and oh my stars y’all. The disillusionment. I *knew* that sexism would crawl out from under rocks like racism did with President Obama, I’ve been steeling myself for it. Assumed that as I interact with MRAs I’d be ahead of the curve.

I did not see being gaslighted by a large portion of my government, elected officials, writers I once respected, the nominee of the Republican party. I do not use the term gaslighting lightly either. (Few people I know do, but I know I’m facing the trope of the liberal feminist killjoy.) Since Friday I have been yelling at my screens, tweeting at people pleading to stop using victim blaming framing… Read More

Over your shit.

Product Highlight: Fun Factory Stronic Eins

Overall, I do not review sex toys. There are so many brilliant bloggers who have every side and aspect of toy reviewing covered – I don’t feel that my voice is desperately needed in those conversations. That being said, after a dozen years in sex toy retail and marketing, I will always have an evangelical love of these products. So, this is not a traditional review. This is me geeking out and loving this product – as well as the company that was wonderful enough to send it to me – Vibrant.

 

While I was on my extended hiatus it was impossible for me to disengage from the wonderful world of sexual products completely, I’ve been thrilled to see that body safe and well-made products have moved to the forefront of bloggers, consumers and manufacturers priorities. I’ve been thrilled to see products hit the market beyond the basics. I’ve been very interested in checking out this product, Fun Factory’s Stronic Enis, especially. We’re all well versed on my deep love of deep and powerful vibration, the idea of deep thrusting action had captured my imagination. Even if it didn’t completely do it for me – I had kept an eye out for a chance that an Enis could appear on my doorstep. Vibrant stepped up to make my dream come true!

 

This picture turns me on

Sex Blogger Failure on my part – I did not photograph the unboxing – and I really should have because even the shipping packaging was elegant. (So elegant I needed to email them to express my appreciation.) Vibrant’s shipping was completely discrete; then you opened the box to find the products well packed with tissue paper wrapping with a Vibrant sticker keeping the paper together. So, should you start to open your box of treasures and suddenly there are prying eyes? The extra step of discretion. This extra step shows how much the folks at Vibrant care about the products they are shipping and your privacy once you receive your order. Did shipping and packaging deserve a full paragraph here? Yes.

Did shipping and packaging deserve a full paragraph here? Yes.

Yes.

Those steps of extra care and respect are everything to me. You can now get quality products at many beautiful places, these additional steps of care and respect? That adds to my brand loyalty before I even get to excitedly open my beautiful new product.

As you’ll see, this pillow is incredibly important to me. Also, I remembered that pictures were part of this job. Oops.

I’ve always loved Fun Factory’s packaging. Working sex toy retail they were one of my favorite brands to merchandise because they stood out from what was the standard at the time (’04ish) all porn models, all the time. Fun Factory’s packaging invites the user in..

Simple. Fun. Easy to slide open – which is a huge benefit for those of us who have trouble with pain, shaking, or range of motion with our hands. From there it is all laid out – fun instruction manual, Stronic Eins itself, and adorable red USB charger. Overall the box is sturdy enough to use for storage, something else that is rather important to me as a consumer.

Out of the box and in my hands, I’m already happy. Nothing about it feels cheap; it has a reasonable heft that I enjoy. If I spend a fair amount of money on a product, I want it to feel sturdy right out of the box, and this gives me that sensation. (Note: I’ve held tens of thousands of sex toys in my lifetime, at this point I have an extra sense of quality from the first touch. You may not care about this nearly as much.)

The silicone end of the toy feels, smells and tastes as it should as body safe silicone. (Yes, I said tastes. I licked the top before using as I’ve had tongue tingling or numbness from faux “silicone” product.) There are no rough seams, nowhere does it feel that the silicone has any imperfections that will catch or pull painfully when used internally.

I love how sleek this looks while still having a touch of texture.

My Stronic Eins arrived with a full charge that lasted through a good 30 minutes of my playing around with the buttons, patterns, thrusting action before any sexual use. I will admit that I did not put the Eins through its paces. Pain levels and life only allowed for a few sessions, enough for me to feel comfortable putting my name on a positive review and recommending it to friends. This new configuration of my life does not allow for anywhere near enough masturbation time, another reason I am not a Professional Reviewer.

In use? At first, I giggled a bit as I found the intensity level I wanted to start with and the Eins looked like it was thrusting its way towards my vulva as if it couldn’t wait to dive in. (No worries Eins, lots of folks feel that way too.) As a mainly clitoral stimulation person, that’s where we started out. Sensitivity to my clitoris and outer labia has returned from the #OrgasmQuest days, using the tip on my clitoral hood was a sensation I’d not had from a sex toy before and gave me a surprisingly quick orgasm off the bat. (Remember: my baseline is that of being easily orgasmic, which is where my body is now.)

If I bless something with my rainbows, you know I mean it

Internally, in concert with the Sutil water-based body glide that feels on the thicker side of water-based lubes, the Stronic Eins is fun. It’s the first product with patterned stimulation that didn’t make me furious. Though some were more odd twitch and others were “Oh, hey, yeah – that’s…yeah..okay..we can work with this..” before working me towards an orgasm. Towards, but without external clitoral stimulation, I was unable to hit orgasmic. Now? You pair the Eins with a flipping Rechargeable Magic Wand?

My eyes started rolling back in my head from memory alone.

Yes, Let’s talk about sex, please. Also – adorable lube!

Yes! Let’s talk about sex. Thank You Vibrant Sticker! Mainly – who should pick up a Stronic Eins and who should probably keep shopping.

Plenty of my #BlogSquad friends had negative feels about this product; I do not. Certainly isn’t for everyone, but very few toys reach that kind of quality of design *cough* Pure Wand *cough* that almost everyone finds pleasure with the product. This is an investment in pleasure product in my mind, something that I’d show to experienced sex toy and vibrator connoisseur. Someone who is looking for something different regarding internal stimulation, someone who has a G-Spot that is easy to hit and enjoys repeated pressure as much as or over vibration. Someone who enjoys the patterned stimulation, or is at least open to giving the pattern a try.

You might want to keep shopping if you’re someone who is just starting their collection and do not have something for extra external vibration/stimulation. If a luxe product is beyond your budget or this is your first luxe sex toy because people’s responses with the Eins is so varied. I want you to get all the bang for your buck.

Quick Wrap-Up: The Stronic Eins is waterproof, rechargeable with a click charge and USB cord, offers a pulsing, thrusting sensation instead of vibration, is made of body safe silicone, easy to clean with a warm washcloth and mild soap, and is a sex toy that both amuses and pleasures me. Vibrant has a beautiful and easy to comprehend run down of the features on their beautifully designed site.

Thank you to my loves at Vibrant for sending me this wonderful toy that will be a regular part of my personal sex life. You’ll be hearing a lot more about this new company from me from here on out.

 

 

 

 

Y’all, I am the most adorable rainbow today – of Fury

This post has been reprinted over at YourTango as “Shaming Someone For Sexual Dysfunction Is NEVER OK & you should also check that article out cause it’s nifty.

It’s 6:30 am & I am already the most adorable rainbow.

Oh, hi. – BTW I’m using my rainbow-hued Crista Anne site again. We’ll see what it turns into as I work off the rust after a few years “off.” My plan is to follow where my words take me, as that’s what has always lead to my best work. So yes, I missed all of you lots, and after two years of biting my tongue on soooooo many topics? I’ve got a lot to say. First, though, self-care in the form of a short black hoodie dress, knee high Rainbow Dash socks, and rainbow fingerless gloves. Today will require all my rainbow revolutionary powers, so obviously – I’m dressed obnoxiously.

There are so many more rainbows I couldn’t get in this picture.

You also need to know that my puppy is the cutest. Yes, puppy. He’s only 4.5 months old.

That pile of sleeping fluff on my couch is Zuri, our Great Pyrenees pup who joined the family about a month ago. He’s the sweetest, but there are challenges when he’s both so big and so small. He stumbles a lot and oh the puppy teeth. The great upside is that he is the sweetest dog you could ask for with the kids and us – but he’s also a Great Fucking Pyrenees and will eat the face off anyone who gets near us without our consent. Full grown he can take on a goddamn grizzly.

Yes, that he’s a guard dog played a role in picking him. My sense of safety at this point is nil, but I’m personally not comfortable with guns in my house – so we’ll have a 200ish pound face eating fluff ball and my dual wielding njoy Elevens for protection. I feel this is a solid plan.

Let’s go back to the Rainbow Revolutionary bit now.

Today is a wonderfully busy day for me, and I’ve decided to write these posts off the cuff – going back to my LiveJournal roots. Friends, cleaning, meetings, and a ton of Woodhull Proposal Work Because Proposals are due today.

Deadline Extended!

(I’m in the super last minute camp too with one, you’re not alone #BlogSquad. Also feel free to message me for help if needed!”)

Going forward there is something that I want to make very clear about my site, my writing and on a very basic level where I am right now – Politics & Sexual Freedom are so intertwined I cannot talk about one without the other. This combination may lose me readers, but this site has been Instagram re-posts for at least 18 months. I’m not too worried about it.

Every day since Nov 8th, I’ve felt like Picard as I either sit down at my desk or picked up my phone, before looking thinking “Damage Report.”

Picard gets me

My pre-coffee self then fell into the abyss of this article. Potential side effects of the drug Trump reportedly takes for hair loss” After reading I needed two cups of coffee and more eyeliner to deal with my response. Now, I’m late on this as it was posted two days ago and is currently the most read story on WaPo, but I have feelings about this.

As a rule, I’m very over hearing people diagnose Trump/wave mental health diagnosis around wildly. Keyboard shrinks need to take a step back cause it’s getting ableist all over and mental illness isn’t a joke nor are the conditions something that anyone but his mental health professionals known. I’ve mental illness; I’m not trying to nuke society for my financial gain. So, I braced myself before reading. This article is written by a Urologist, and he is covering the side effects of a medication that Tr*mp’s MDs have said he takes. Okay. Slightly less bad.

Until I read it and wanted to chain smoke till I had black lung because it made me splittingly furious. The side effects that are so vital for the public to know?

The constellation of potential symptoms, sometimes referred to as post-finasteride syndrome, may include sexual, physical and psychological changes. Of these, the sexual side effects are perhaps the most extensively reported. In fact, in 2012, the Food and Drug Administration announced a label change for Propecia and Proscar, requiring the manufacturer to warn that the medication may be associated with “libido disorders, ejaculation disorders, and orgasm disorders that continued after discontinuation of the drug.”

But Crista, this is taking sexual side effects from medication seriously?! Why U Mad?

Here’s why…

But in speaking to my patients, I have come to realize how often men are not aware of the potentially life-changing and irreversible side effects that may be associated with these medications.

The side effects are being taken seriously because they are happening to men/people with penises. Like the male birth control shut down…which we cannot get me started on cause I’ll scream for days. They are being taken seriously, spoken and warned about – because they happen to people with penises. We don’t have these articles about what happens to uterus owners when we take a whole host of drugs that fuck our libido and desire seven ways to Sunday.

(Ahem: Unless someone “live tweets” her masturbation. Then some attention got paid. That was two years ago, though..)

What pisses me off even more, though? This story is only the most read story because it implies/shames Tr*mp for possibly having sexual dysfunction(s) from his medication. 

I firmly believe that he is an Illegitimate President, I strongly believe he is a white supremacist, I wouldn’t piss on him if he were on fire. I #Resist his actions, beliefs, bans, walls and hatred.

That doesn’t make sexual shaming okay. This one step removed mockery is under my skin because the response to any pushback is that anything that upsets him is good and on twitter a lot of “Why so srs.”

I’m so Srs because sexual dysfunction/sexual side effects and the stigma around them are deadly. That stigma has a body count.

So my political reporter friends? I beg you. Focus on how incompetent he is in the West Wing, or concentrate on the illegal sexual assaults he loves to brag about. If you can’t help yourself, a line or two on how women/people with vulvas & uteruses also experience life-altering sexual side effects from medications would be a huge step forward.

It would also stop me from making anguished rainbow faces. No one likes those.

Anguished Rainbow

***Shameless Self Promotion**
More of my angry feminist ranting will be living over here at Ethical Misandry

It’s a thing

Twitter Really Cares About My Reaction To Scalia’s Death

Supreme Court Justice Scalia died today, I’m not ashamed that this is thrilling, and right-wing twitter really does not like me.

Which is fine, the feeling is quite mutual.

Overall, I do not wish death upon people. I do not celebrate death. There are a few exceptions to this rule, and Antonin Scalia is one of them. Actually, I am not thrilled that he is dead, I am thrilled that he no longer wields great power. Great power used to harm, restrict rights and promote horrific bigotry. As being on the Supreme Court is a lifetime job, that means retirement or death. He died in his sleep and I am glad he is gone. Thus, I tweeted.

Read through the responses at your own risk. I rarely feed the trolls, but today I’m still mostly on bed rest and have a fair amount of anger that needed an outlet. None of that bullshit got to me, I was laughing most of the time.

Here is the deal: I’m a queer, poly, liberal, woman who has needed and received abortive care. Scalia was on the bench since I was four years old, a consistently disgusting monster who through his writings made it clear that he loathed who and what I am. Viewed me as a second class citizen at best. A monster with extreme power. Now he is gone and as hard as right-wing twitter has tried, you cannot and will not shame me into feeling sadness.

I feel empathy for those who loved him. For his wife and children. Look, my Dad died eleven years ago. My Dad, who I love and miss, was kind of a shitbag. There are plenty of people who are glad he’s dead and I do not begrudge them that. I’ve harmed people in my life and I’m sure they will be happy when I die. Lots of people told me about how thrilled they will be today alone! Rock on. I’ll be dead and thus will not care how the fuck people react.

“Don’t speak ill of the dead”

NOPE. Nope. Nope. Nope.

I want nothing to do with the making of the mythology of this person. Towards the end of his life/career, he seemed to slide completely into professional troll. Professional trolls are bad enough on their own, professional trolls on the fucking supreme court? I’ve read more than enough of his opinions to feel his loathing for people like me, people like my family, people who are my friends and loves. Plenty of words are being written on his record and life, that’s not what I’m doing here.

What I’m doing here is saying that right now his dead body in Texas has more rights than those of a pregnant person in that state. Abortion rights are about to hit the Supreme Court and I am crying tears of joy that he will not be on the bench for that. Shamelessly.

A whole mess of folks have named me the face and the voice of liberalism on twitter today, so I shall inform you all that as your Queen and Liberal Ruler, you may address me as Her Royal Pinkness. Beware the tyranny of my oppressive socialism and rainbows. The Tyranny of Glitter Everywhere.

Behold - Her Royal Pinkness

Behold – Her Royal Pinkness – Your Liberal Queen

Obviously, I speak for myself and myself alone. 

I choose to have fun with folks who were calling me the face of liberalism when it suited them. I’m a white cis woman, my voice should not be the loudest any longer. Hopefully my sarcasm here was noted by those whose opinions I care about.

Now, back to the amusement on twitter…

shevibestickerYou don’t like what I have to say? Don’t like that I dare speak ill of the dead? 

Don’t fucking read my words then.

I’m not for everyone, that’s fine. I’ve no interest in being palatable to everyone. Feel free to continue to tell me how horrible I am. The fucks I give continue to stay at zero and the moment that I get bored, I’ll go back to ignoring the trolls. For now though? Thanks for the amusement. Thanks for the hate views to my site. Thanks for keeping me distracted from the pain I’ve been in recently. I actually do appreciate that.

Hello and welcome to the new folks who RT’d me for positive reasons. Hopefully the rest of what I have to say resonates as well. If not, I wish you well. 

Scalia. Was. Toxic.

Thanks to @femsplain for this graphic

Thanks to @femsplain for this graphic

Finally: If you were one of the way too many people who took the time to fill my mentions with hatred, slurs, threats and other bullshit – expect an invoice from me in the near future. See, my time has monetary value and all of you are proud capitalists so I expect you to understand this. Reading your intrusive tweet is $5, Abusive tweets are $10 and Threats or Slurs will cost you $20. 

-Anne Lamott

-Anne Lamott

A Less Than Friendly Reminder That You Don’t Know Me.

The fierce Ella Dawson, someone who I am truly honored to call a friend, wrote an excellent piece entitled “A Friendly Reminder That You Don’t Know Me” on her site documenting some harassment she was subjected to this weekend. With her permission I’m posting an excerpt here, but I implore you to go read her full post, then return here. (I know I’m asking a lot.)

I am a woman who talks about her vagina on the Internet and that gives strange men the mistaken impression that they know me. They don’t. I sustain a steady stream of snarky observations on Twitter and that gives strange men the mistaken impression that I want to hear from them. I don’t. I post a lot of selfies and that gives strange men the impression that I am asking for their praise. I’m not. A woman doing her own thing on the Internet is like a woman doing her own thing at a bar: sometimes she wants to chat with strangers, but that “sometimes” is rarely, if ever, and probably not at all.

Read the rest here…

Are you back?

Great.

I’ve often called myself a “Professional Oversharer” with my tongue firmly in cheek. My comfort level with sharing parts of my life that many consider “private” is a huge reason most of you continue to read my work. Starting conversations with the goal of de-stigmatizing sexuality, masturbation, life with mental illness, my evangelical love of sex toys – this fills me with joy. As I am comfortable sharing these things, I’m thrilled to “give permission” to others to also share. Empathy, education and connecting via shared life experience is one of the beautiful things about life online.

However, my social media presence, my writing, the work I do – I am only showing you snippets of who I am. While I strive to be my authentic self across platforms, most of my life continues to be very private. You cannot accurately know the entirety of my personhood from what I post online alone.

This is a sore subject with me as folks have tried to “diagnose” me via my social media. This has happened occasionally over the years but picked up frequency when #OrgasmQuest went viral. “Sex Addict”, “Attention whore”, “Narcissistic Personality Disorder” – just a couple of the diagnosis or labels forced on me by “experts”. It’s infuriating and there really isn’t a way to push back against that.

Then we move into the harassment that Ella highlights in her piece.

I’ve been a woman who has openly written and spoken about her empowered sexuality online since before the term “blog” existed. When I’m writing frequently my twitter mentions are a horror show of unwanted sexual advances. My “Message Requests” folder on Facebook? Scrolling through that is like running a through a gauntlet of dick pics and tales how these dude’s magical dicks will forever cure my anorgasmia. Oh, the endless tales of their magical dicks.

When I had an OkCupid profile that straight folks could see, I’d open my messages to find full-blown erotica written about dudes sexual fantasies about me. Someone once sent me a picture showcasing how he had printed out one of my selfies and jerked off onto my face.

Dudes? DON’T DO THAT. IT’S CREEPY AS FUCK.

No really, Fuck you.

No really, Fuck you.

I no longer reply to unwanted sexual advances, I go straight to blocking. Why? Because back in the day when I would politely decline or state that the advances made me uncomfortable there would be that “wonderful” 180 into insults and threats. 30 seconds ago you wanted to fuck me, now you’re telling me how you hope I get raped or killed. Once that became an obvious pattern, I made the change to swift blocking for my mental health.

The prolonged exposure to these unwanted advances has had other consequences for me.

Last night I had a profoundly sad realization. Once upon a time, I loved to “sext”. Loved erotic messages between myself and my lover(s). They were pleasurable fantasies that built passion between times together. It was a wonderful and treasured part of my sexuality.

That is gone.

Explicit sexual messages in text form, even from people I am deeply sexually attracted to or have an established intimate relationship with, make me wildly uncomfortable. My guard instantly goes up. Instantly defensive. I’ve tried to push through the discomfort with trusted loves but to this point I’ve been unsuccessful.

To be honest, I feel robbed of something special. I feel disappointed when I need to explain this, especially as most of the people I love are long distance. Where such communication would deepen our connection. Anything past playful flirtation and my walls go up. I’m going to keep trying to reclaim my comfort here, but I know that progress will be slow.

What I want folks to understand from this post…

Connecting, sharing, interacting with people across the internet is still something that I love. Something that I want to continue to do for the rest of my days. What I want everyone to understand though is that unless we get to close friends – you don’t actually know me. You may think you do, but my experience has been that the person you think I am is far more a projection of who you want me to be than my actual self.

You see snippets of who I am and those snippets are authentic. These authentic snippets are not the full picture of who I am. There are very, very few people who I can honestly say know me well. As much as I do love to connect via shared experience, very much of myself is private and not for public consumption.

Being an openly sexual person, a pleasure revolutionary, an activist passionate about a wide array of topics about sexuality does not mean I owe you anything. I do not owe you selfies. I do not owe you nudes. I do not owe you the time or mental space to deal with unwanted sexual advances. I do not owe you answers about my life beyond what I share. Allow me to repeat I do not owe you anything.

If you are friendly, respectful, and treat me like a human being in online interactions there is a very high chance that I will respond in kind. There is a very good chance that we’ll form a friendly relationship. I love people. I do not love being treated like an object that exists solely for someone’s sexual fantasy. There are people who do enjoy that, please direct your attention to them and respect my boundaries.

Thank You.

Ahem, @buzzfeed? A quick note about antidepressants…

Buzzfeed has an article that is making the rounds, 16 Things No One Tells You About Taking Antidepressants.

Yay! Awesome! I am honestly thrilled to see more conversation that normalizes and de-stigmatizes taking antidepressants if needed. The piece has a lot of good information that’s shared in a positive and reassuring way. Again, awesome. Thank you.

That being said, let’s chat about “#5. Yes, they might affect your sex drive.”

I do enjoy this graphic

Antidepressants often have sexual side effects..

 No one tells you that sexual side effects can occur while on antidepressants?

*ahem*

If I could please direct you just over a few clicks to your Trashy” Feed. There, I linked it so it’s nice and easy. Scroll down a little over halfway down that page and note “This Woman Is Live-Tweeting Her Struggle To Orgasm On Anti-Depressants.”

Hi! That’s me.

Baby Crista!!

Selfie from right after I posted the first #OrgasmQuest post

A year later, still chillin on the “trashy” feed. Talking about how antidepressants can affect your sex life and ability to orgasm. Talking about how important it can be to prioritize your sex life/sexuality through depression if you are a sexual person. Talking about all the media attention I was getting and the bullshit I was dealing with because I deeply believe my message is vital.

Let me put this out there: Maybe. Just maybe, more people would be talking about the fact that medications can screw up your sex drive and orgasmic ability if they weren’t shamed or mocked for doing it.

Most of the comments on that article are great, and most of the votes are pretty okay. However this article on me/#OrgasmQuest – while marked “Win” – has stayed on the Trashy Feed for a fucking a year. I mean, thanks for the views an all, but seriously – the tag for the trashy feed says “adj. of poor quality …. Ugh, so trashy.” People are trying to tell people about how medications/antidepressants can affect sexuality, sex drive and orgasmic ability. Without being shamed.

Maybe try that.

Just sayin’

Edited to add: Re-reading this post 24 hours later I want to add that my issue/annoyance is not with the author of the piece. As I said at the top, I was/am thrilled to see good information shared in a positive and normative way about depression. I also don’t expect the author to know every article ever on Buzzfeed, especially one that is a year old. My annoyance is with Buzzfeed the site. I’ve seen a few articles that talk about the importance of de-stigmatizing depression/sexuality while a few clicks over I’m being stigmatized for talking about sexuality and depression. Apologies that I didn’t make that more clear at first.

#OrgasmQuest Turns One

#OrgasmQuest turns one & I’m not what to say.

Baby Crista!!

Selfie from right after I posted the first #OrgasmQuest post

A year ago right now I was wiggling in bed celebrating that I’d made due on a promised blog post…

I’d come up with an idea, found sponsors, and followed through with “Crista and her #OrgasmQuest“. Wriggling happily because I’d been disconnected from my community for a while but this was the start of “dipping my toes” back in. Finally I had a “little project” to contribute with again.

Ha. Ha. Ha!

A year later it’s all a blur of my jaw hanging on the floor. Waking up every morning for weeks going “Okay, where I am covered today?” or “What did I do now?”

As time passed hands began to cover my eyes during that first peek at twitter.

It was a wild, wonderful, scary, intense, and above all else – surreal – experience.

A year later I’m surprised and thankful that so many people have stuck with me through the ups and mostly downs.

#Orgasmquest shirt on for the first time!

The first time I put on my @SheVibe #OrgasmQuest superhero shirt

Honestly, at the moment this sex writer is not all that sexy. Newlywed or not. Masturbation moments are few and far between, pain levels are so in the way that intimacy is mostly cuddling and words of affirmation. (As that’s my main love language, this works wonderfully.) Shortly my medications are going to change as I get back to this glorious world of comprehensive health coverage. Mostly I’m biding my time until that happens, see what challenges or lack of challenges there will be once it begins. As #OrgasmQuest turns one, I may be right back to where I was at the start. Thankfully, if I am, it is with the glorious wisdom about my body that gained.

My energy has been focused on enjoying feeling joyful again, reconnecting with the world, and creating positive routines that I can stick with as I keep climbing out of that depressive hole. Nothing that warrants world-wide media coverage, which is a nice change.

There will be reposting of my favorite #OrgasmQuest articles over the next few days on twitter. My life is about to be packed with all the joys and stresses that come with the holidays in a very blended family. (Juggling the schedules of four households is…let’s go with interesting.)

I’m really looking forward to where #OrgasmQuest will take me in year two.

Rumble – A Vibrator For Every Body

Tantus Launches Crowdfunding Campaign for the RUMBLE – A Vibrator For Every Body!

Tantus Rumble Vibe

While enjoying a few quiet moments inside the Bloggers Lounge at Woodhull, Metis took me aside and handed me the prototype of this beauty. A few second of Vibration against my thigh was all I needed to beg for this beauty to be reality as quickly as possible. See, I love wand style vibes. They are the types of vibes that work best for my body, especially since I began to experience anorgasmia. My Magic Wand and Magic Wand Unplugged have been absolute life & orgasm savers as I’ve made my way through #OrgasmQuest.

I do love both of those wands, and the Magic Wand will forever hold a place in my heart because of its history in bringing femme masturbation via Betty Dodson into the social consciousness. That being said, they are imperfect. The size and weight of the wands make them difficult for extended use, cleaning them can be a nightmare, and they are not remotely discrete. Smaller vibes can do the trick for me and many others, but they often have buzzy vibes versus the deeper rumble that works for a wider variety of bodies.

There is also the fact that many, if not most of these wand vibes are marketed with binary gendered language, which erases the ever-increasing number of folks with non-binary genders or dissuades others from trying because “That’s a sex toy for *blank* gender, not for me.” Now, if a vibrator isn’t your thing period – that’s perfectly fine. If you are one of the millions of people who enjoys the pleasure from a strong, deep rumble though – I’m betting this will be the vibrator for you.

From the IndieGoGo Page:

Tantus, Inc. is a small company with a big commitment to sexual health.
For nearly 20 years, Tantus has manufactured the safest, most pleasurable silicone toys possible for a diverse set of needs and body types. Like all of our sexual health products, we believe vibrators should be accessible, user-friendly, and should work for any body. But we couldn’t find a tech savvy vibrator that met our standards.

That’s why we’ve made Rumble, a vibrator to please every body.

Rumble 2

I love crowdfunding across the board, and am thrilled to see my beloved Tantus making this incredible vibrator possible via IndieGoGo. In case you missed the many links above – visit here for more information on Rumble, how to support the campaign, and the excellent incentives they are offering for donations.

When one of these beauties hits my doorstep I’ll give a more in-depth spotlight and let you know if this moves to the front of my vibrator queue. If those 15 seconds against my leg is any indication though, I’m positive that the Rumble will hit my list of sexual accessories that I cannot live without.

Make Rumble a Reality:

You can support Rumble financially from their IndieGoGo page or through shares.

Of course, I vote you share this post cause I like site traffic, but straight from their page is also awesome.

Spread the word far and wide my darlings!

Breaking News & Info For @WoodhullSFA #SFS16!

We’ve Got the Quick and Dirty Facts About #SFS16, August 4-7, 2016!

The Woodhull Sexual Freedom Alliance is thrilled to announce that we’ll be returning to the Alexandria Hilton Mark Center for the 7th annual Sexual Freedom Summit (#SFS16) from August 4-7, 2016. Mark your calendars!

Just to give you a little insight, we’re excited to be returning to the Hilton Mark Center, a hotel intentionally committed to collaborating with our Accessibility Committee and working to ensure that the needs of our attendees are met wherever possible. Plus, they’re okay with us having the word ‘sexual’ in our name. Unfortunately, this is a big deal.

Read The Rest Here

Now that the change of venue and date for #SFS16 has been announced, I can publicly jump for joy. As the press release states; we are thrilled to be staying at our “home” hotel for next year’s amazing Summit. As part of Leadership for the Accessibility Committee, I am beyond thrilled that we will stay at a hotel that shares our goals for inclusion and accessibility for all.

Shortly after the breaking news hit, a number of people reached out about food options at the Hilton Mark Center. We know that having a wide selection of dining options is important to our attendees​. To be clear, our hotel has no problem with ordering in food to be eaten in the lobby or other common spaces. For everyone’s convenience dining options and menus will be available at registration.

The change in venue for #SFS16 highlights our commitment to inclusivity and accessibility. This is a decision we feel that all of our attendees will support; safety and accessibility for everyone who attends. Further questions, comments or suggestions can be sent to our Accessibility Co-Chair, Crista Anne. (You can also comment below or tweet to @Pinkness)

More from the Press Release:

Interested in speaking at the Sexual Freedom Summit? Follow us on Twitter (@WoodhullSFA #SFS16) and Facebook for updates on the call for proposals!

Feeling as sexy and excited as we do, and want to contribute to Woodhull to help make #SFS16 the best it can be? Donate here!

Microblogging: Cosmo Threesome Tips!

24 Threesome Tips From Women Who Have Had Them

1. Communication is more important than anything else you do the whole night. “While I enjoy spontaneous sex, it’s vital that everyone has a similar set of expectations from the sexual encounter. Negotiate safer sex, comfort levels with different sexual acts, and be present with everyone involved as much as possible.” —Crista-Anne, 33

I’m a threesome connoisseur, so I was thrilled to share my tips and experiences with the incomparable Lane Moore & Cosmo.  These are 24 amusing and totally useful tips from some awesome people. Personally, I’m thrilled that they encompass more than just fluff or positions.

The Cosmo that arrives in my mail continues to be mostly painful trash, but Cosmo’s Sex & Relationships online impresses me more and more. Thanks to them for inviting me to chime in!

Microblogging: @metisblack gave me a tool without knowing it

Metis and I had been on a wandering mission to pickup/close down the bloggers lounge, stopped outside the ballroom because I was planning on filming an “I am Woodhull” video. Instead, Nina was there. I’ve met Nina briefly and had lovely chats with her, but this was my first long conversation with one of my idols. Always fantastic. Metis brought up how long we’ve known each other, and then informed Nina that “This woman right here talked over Dr Drew on live TV because she wasn’t done speaking”. Which got me Nina high fives and a long winding conversation about various Sex Related Famous Folks. It was grand and glorious. (While I didn’t experience imposter syndrome at that moment, part of me did want to evil villain laugh about the company I was keeping.)

This morning a blogger friend posted about how Depression Lies and how they were going to keep that in their head all day until it became truth. We exchanged a few IMs checking in on each other, and at one point I empathized by mentioning how loudly depression was lying to me now and how hard it was to talk over that voice.

…But I talked over Dr Drew (without thinking) because I wasn’t done speaking on live TV. That’s louder than the lying depression voice in my head.

Thank you Metis <3

The Light at the End of the Tunnel

It’s almost here. Just over two weeks and we have the custody trial. Whatever the outcome will be, this horrific chapter of life closes. What the next chapter entails? I am not foolish enough to guess. It’s out of my hands, all I can do is what I have done. What we have done. Trying our best. Giving our everything to keeping our world together and stable.

I’ve been quiet here. With the absurdity around me, there has not been time or the mental space to write. My time, precious spoons have been needed elsewhere. Also, I needed the media attention to go down. I do not do what I do to be “famous”, I do this work because it is what I was born to do. World wide media attention was a little too much for this inverted pleasure revolutionary, at least in this period of my life.

What has happened while I was away? We took the kids on vacation to our beloved Brushwood for part of their Sankofa festival. Celebrating the creative spirit. They made new wonderful friends, played in the woods and explored fairy gardens. Val, the kids and I arrived before most of our family there, so the intense setting up of camp – our home for the next two weeks – was mostly on us. He was amazing. Thanks to our glorious GP that we found through Planned Parenthood, the course of medications he’s been on has done wonders. I was hesitant to go on our yearly vacation because I feared that he wasn’t physically up to the task, but he was able to accomplish a wonderful set up for us with a small bit of help of our more able-bodied friends.

I’ve always stood with Planned Parenthood, in my twenties they were the only medical care I had financial access to. Now with the wonderful Doctor we both see there, amazing woman who found an anti-depressant that works for me and who finally took Val’s pain seriously. life is improving. He’s still on sticks or on bad days in a wheelchair, but we’re getting answers. He’s improving with his current treatment plan. Improving across the board, even with the tortuous stress we’ve been under with custody. When we don’t have this horrible weight on our shoulders anymore, I see him getting even better. Having a Doctor who cares is everything.

More recently, we’ve taken a shorter vacation to see the newlyweds – My Mom and her long time Partner just got married. We took the kids to their house to spend time with them, my Sister and her kids, as well as getting to spend time with my almost 93-year-old Grandmother. 7 kids, age 9 and under, was stressful – don’t get me wrong – but it was also wonderful. I cried a great deal over having most of my family together.

Now I prepare for Woodhull, which is another post entirely. Woodhull ends, three days later we have the custody trial and one outcome or another there will be some closure to these months of horrible uncertainty. I see the light at the end of the tunnel and I’m able to breathe again.

We Will Not & Cannot Work for Free Product

Professional Compersion, it’s real and I am having it right now for JoEllen Notte & Elle Chase.

This week I received an email (I’m sure many of my colleagues received it too) from a large, well-known condom company offering me the “opportunity” to “collaborate” with them (you’ll understand all the quotation marks in a minute). I thought “Collaboration? That sounds fun! Do they want my input on a new kind of condom? Maybe they’re looking to bring in sex educators to help spread the safer sex word! Collaboration could mean so many fun things!”

Except it didn’t.
Read the rest of “Won’t Work For Free (Or Condoms)” By JoEllen Notte

Elle Chase also has excellent commentary here “Will (Not) Work for Condoms”

I am a now a professional sex educator and writer, who has worked for free, for many years to gain experience in my field (and still do, on occasion). I now get paid for a career I put a lot of work, time and money into creating. It might not be a lot, but I provide a valuable service to individuals, stores, institutions, websites, and companies who recognize that you actually have to payprofessionals in exchange for the work they do. They understand this because they are professionals who get paid in exchange for the work they do.

Read the rest of “Will (Not) Work for Condoms” by Elle Chase

Writing, like a real job with work and skills and everything

Made by JoEllen Notte, speaking truth

The world has changed with the rise of sex blogging/reviewing/activism online. It’s evolved drastically, the amount of work a writer puts into these marketing campaigns is significant. Free condoms, free product – it doesn’t pay our bills.

I’ve been here since the start in one form or another when it comes to blogging, so I’ve done a fuckton of free work. Most I was happy to do! The difference is now that it takes a great time of work and a lot of skill to run these successfully. Which is why I don’t do *any* on my site.

I highlight items that I find to be exceptional on my site from places that I trust with affiliate links – that do make me some money! (When I can find the time to actually do so) However these marketing campaigns are no longer worth my time. What we’re doing is work and we need to be compensated.

These posts are so grand, I’m so thrilled to see these words that I want to say being put out there. Thank you, both of you.  Professional Compersion: That glorious feeling of seeing your peers rocking it.

#OrgasmQuest Continues With New Challenges…

I have no sex drive.

None.

Stress has completely erased all of my sexual being.

This astounds me. Just as I was getting to a point where I could orgasm reliably, the absurdity began. Desperately want a sex drive, it just simply does not exist. Hell, I finally got my coveted Njoy Eleven and it has yet to be used. Intellectually I desperately want to make time at night to get back to masturbating regularly, however when I get to that time?

Nope.

There is no appeal. I’m too worn out and moving is too much to ask. Even knowing that making the effort would really help, that staying in touch with my sexual self is a vital part of feeling joy in life for me, I continue to sit here. Not out of a depressive way, overall I’m feeling incredibly empowered, but being sexual holds no appeal for me.

I need to fix this. Like everything else that is going on now, the only way out is through. The only way to correct the absurdly long list of things that have gone wrong is to push through them all. Life is one long labor, birthing a new person and a new path.

On the upside, my sexuality is something that isn’t outside of my control. Reclaiming my sex goddess is something that I can fix on my own. I just need to find the will to start. #OrgasmQuest is more important than ever for me. It’s more important than ever for my long-term well-being. I will get back to where I want to be, but not tonight.

Tonight I’m sitting quietly, working on calming my brain so that tomorrow I can wake up and work on getting to where I actually want to be. This post isn’t one of my best, but starting to write out how I am feeling is how I begin to fix myself. I want my orgasm back, again, but now a different battle.

Thank the tap dancing dildo gods I’m a fucking Superhero.