Balancing Light and Dark

You may have noticed this blog has been somewhat lately with the exception of couponing posts.  Much of whats going on in my life I don’t feel totally comfortable sharing publicly, for a variety of reasons.  So while my journal has been filling up rapidly, I haven’t published much at all. Many times I want to, but I also am starting to see the benefit and necessity of keeping parts of my private life a bit more, well, private.

Anyway, the focus of today’s post is a different kind of struggle.  Those of you who’ve been around for a while know that I love teaching about sex.  Although I don’t talk about it extensively on here, it pops up from time to time because it is as integral a part of my character as couponing and cooking and dancing.  Lately though I’ve noticed resistance. You see when I started doing Passion Parties nearly 4 (!) years ago, it was just a way to earn money.  Then I discovered the sex-positive movement and fell in love, learning everything I could about sex and relationships and orgasms, especially as they relate to women.  My first job furthered my obsession by highlighting the huge unmet need that exists in healthcare when it comes to sexual health and, especially, pleasure.  So I came to Hopkins and…all of a sudden nearly everything I’m learning about sex is negative.  Pregnancy is something you are ‘at risk’ for, just like STIs.  Rape and trafficking are running rampant in my backyard, the military, colleges across the nation, and among close friends.  There’s “no money” in sex ed, either at the community level or within healthcare because it doesn’t provide a profit.  Training is often met with resistance and so on. 

This is the background against which my transformation from the sexpert/sex toy lady into sex educator, speaker, and consultant took place.  Suddenly I find myself wanting to qualify statements about pleasure to recognize that some of my clients undoubtedly have experienced the dark sides of sex.  I feel pangs of guilt here and there that I’ve been so focused on the fun and the pleasure and the passion that I did not acknowledge these other aspects.

In other words, I’m struggling to find the balance between ‘sex is fun and great and healing’ and ‘sex causes so much pain and suffering and destruction.’

Along with all of these mixed emotions is another: incredible gratitude.  Because as more and more of my friends disclose their negative experiences to me, my heart at once breaks and fills up – for their suffering, for my safety (luck?), and for their willingness to share.  Its a beautiful moment when you go that deep with someone.  Trusting another to hold your heart and soul with compassion and without judgment is a huge risk.  You make yourself vulnerable in ways that are equal parts terrifying and gratifying.  But sharing that takes relationships to a whole new level, it lets you see and understand and care in all new ways.

This greater awareness, on a personal and academic level has  changed the way I think, write, and talk about sex.  In some ways its a blessing.  In others it has made my work extremely difficult, paralyzing me at times as I struggle to answer the question: on which side do I want to work? 

Of course this question speaks to something larger: what do I even want to do?  I know my strengths–public speaking/teaching/performing, writing, creating content and curricula.  I know the macro-level movement I want to be a part of–decreasing sex negativity and shame.  I know how I want to feel in my work – present, engaged, and influential.  I’m less confident, however, about how I want to apply those strengths and, of course, the practical side of me worries about the sustainability of such strengths.  Which makes me sad given the number of mentors in my life who coach and teach and present and write… 

I’ve started to wonder if maybe my purpose is to balance the light and dark aspects of sex. I’m still exploring exactly what this means for me.  Rather than be paralyzed while trying to ‘figure it out,’ though, I’ve begun to incorporate both sides into my current work, adding qualifying words to my newsletter (e.g. ‘consensual sex’ instead of just ‘sex’), sharing posts related both sexual pleasure and rape culture, healthy relationships and body shaming on my social media pages, and working with survivors and policy-makers. In the meantime, I know there will be more moments like the one that inspired this post, moments when I stare at a blank screen, angry with the world and wondering how I can talk about orgasms when approximately 30 individuals were assaulted in the hour it took me to write and edit this.

To me, being sex positive isn’t about ignoring all the bad shit that comes along with sex.  Instead, its about really acknowledging all of the negative while also recognizing that sex itself is not bad. In fact, sex can still be beautiful despite the way so many use it as a weapon, a tool for violence, manipulation, and control. We so often assign external ‘goodness’ or ‘badness’ to things that we forget most of them are totally neutral and value can vary greatly with context. The brand of sex positivity I want to promote encompasses all of this and more – a true balancing act.  Here’s to hoping I find my way there sooner rather than later.

Yoga/beauty/life,

Kait xo

 

 

 

 

Wednesday Revelations: Into My Greatness

Don’t forget to enter Monday’s giveaway!  I received my new box and let’s just say there is now even more chocolate.  YUM.

Today I’m writing to you from a place of stress + excitement.  Just like pain and pleasure, these emotions are two sides of the same coin.  Wouldn’t you agree?

You see over the past few weeks I’ve started to re-realize my own greatness.  (My Gremlin wants to apologize for coming off as haughty; my Inner Pilot Light wants you to know that it is OK to own your accomplishments).

As some of you may have picked up through here and Facebook, I’ve been going through some dark and stormy places lately.  I’ve been feeling listless and lost, down and out, scared and hopeless.  You see I realized a couple weeks ago that the path I’m currently on…to create a sex-positive culture within the healthcare field…is whoa huge.  I mean…this is my task…I’ve never been more sure of it, but its darn scary to know that I’m embarking on something that hasn’t been done before.

A few weeks ago I totally freaked out…in hindsight I’m realizing it was an upper limit problem.  As in…I got spooked by my own greatness, by knowing that this journey I’m embarking on is huge and it could change the lives of the millions of women who are diagnosed with cancer every year.  I questioned friendships, I hid away in my apartment (perks of living on the outskirts of the city, no?), and I avoided hanging out with people.  This spiraled into all sorts of loneliness and angst…and then I went home for Thanksgiving.

I got grounded and centered just by being around my loved ones.  I came back refreshed and more passionate, more certain, more ready.  And this week I started being excited again…realizing that I have the potential to help millions of cancer survivors and thrivers live more pleasurable lives…that I can make a lasting and impacting difference through a combination of healing + teaching.   I can’t help but smile even as I write this when I think about all the possibility ahead of me.

Yes there will be obstacles…but there will also be triumphs.

I’ve known for some time that I am headed for greatness.   Lissa first opened my eyes to this, and I will never forget her telling me how she has created the amazing life she has essentially from nothing.  Hillary helped me to see beyond the limits of my imagination, she saw the could will-be’s and the bigger picture.  The one where I am leading tele-jams and webinars, doing speaking engagements, and making Passion by Kait something bigger than I ever dreamt of.

And though the growth hasn’t happened at the rate I had hoped, though at times it felt like my business was slipping away from me and it wasn’t worth it, I know that every step I’ve taken, and all those I will take, are moving me in the right direction of my destiny.  Because slowly but surely I’m doing those things I want…this past Saturday I had my first presentation (the Gremlin wants you to know its “just” a co-presentation and my co-presenter created most of it but my Inner Pilot Light is shushing him like a good Italian grandma and is already preparing to shout it from the rooftops and make a feast fit for a queen because wouldn’t you know I contributed significantly and it is my presence and my passion and the empowering impression I leave that brought the opportunity to me and that alone is something to sing about).  Over the January term I will be designing a sex education curriculum for fifth graders and potentially teaching part of the sex ed module for a local high school.

And all I had to do was be myself…send an e-mail or two…and trust in the Universe.  (Ok so that last part isn’t always easy…)

And now all I have to do is keep taking these steps, keep being true to myself, and keep working through the dark & stormy when it comes up.  Because undoubtedly it will…and undoubtedly I will get through it to emerge stronger, wiser, and with opportunities abounding. 

What great things are going on in your life lately?

Yoga/beauty/this crazy life,

Kait xo

2nd Week of Passion – Notes on Being a DIVA

Happy Friday!  I wanted to kick off your weekend (and mine) with a big dose of inspiration.

But first, I want to define the word “DIVA” as we Passion DIVAs use it.  The word diva <–note, all lower-case tends to have a pretty negative connotation.  But within Passion by Kait, its a positive thing.  You want to be a DIVA.  See:

Disciplined
Inspired
Vibrant
Accomplished

🙂

Now that we got that out of the way…I want to share with you some of my favorite quotes from Passion Power 2012.  Some are about passion, some are about business, and all, at the end of the day, are about life.

I hope you are as inspired by these as I was.

On Passion Parties’ Mission, Values, and Purpose

“We know we can talk sex and intimacy without getting nasty.”

“We have always been about loving relationships.”

“We’re passionate, sexy women who help other women find their sexy.”

“A Passion DIVA is a women of influence.”  <– that’s me! 

“We’re the bible belt of the adult industry.  We don’t sell porn and we’re classy not trashy.”

“God and sex aren’t mutually exclusive.”

“[Our parties help]  make relationships stronger, keep couples together, and prevent divorce.”

Business and Sales Lessons

“We create interest in things we enjoy all the time.”

“Don’t forget your enthusiasm!”

“The only person who can turn that box into a business is you.  The only person who can stop [that…] is you.”

“Show products because you love to show them (and you love them).”

“Don’t underestimate the value of your business.”

“You have two ears and one mouth.”

Life Lessons

“Awakening the Passion Diva within is about awakening the empowered women.”

“Monogamy does not have to be monotonous.”  <–‘passionate monogamy’

“When women are happy, loved, and fulfilled […] the world is a better place.”

“When you quit growing[…] it’s over.”

“How you grow is as important as the growth itself.”

“Sexual persuasion is of no relevance.”

“You have the choice to decide not to hold on to the baggage and more and break free.”

“Live a free life.”

These are what being a DIVA is all about.  Embracing your true self, living life to its fullest, and owning and appreciating your value as a human being unlike any other.  This weekend, I challenge you to let your DIVA shine.  Just do it once..for a little bit.  Let her come through, as uncomfortable as it may be, and change the world around you.

You never know what might happen…

Yoga/beauty/passion,

Kait xo

 

2nd Week of Passion: Passion Power 2012

This was scheduled to go up yesterday but I had some tech errors. Therefore, the 2nd Week of Passion will officially continue through next Tuesday. 🙂

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Welcome to another Week of Passion here on y/b/l! This past weekend found me in Piscataway, NJ for Passion Parties’ annual summer conference and I am super excited to share my experiences with you. 🙂

Two years ago when I attended Passion Power, it was my first corporate event. It also was my first real training experience…and it kicked my biz into high gear. Followed by our annual Convention only six months later, Passion Power taught me how far I could go in this business if I wanted it badly enough, worked hard, and believe in myself.

My business and my bank account thanked me. Last year I didn’t make it and though I don’t regret my decision, I did miss the valuable training and visit experience.

This year, going just felt like the right thing to do.Despite transportation snafus, dealing with disappointment, and having my-dress-I-haven’t-fit-into-in-three-years lose its zipper, the weekend was just what I needed.

A time to bond with my Passion Sisters. A time to remember why I joined this business in the first place. A time to reconnect with my passion and remember that through this “job” I truly am changing people’s lives.

I arrived Friday evening after a rather long day of travel and checked into the suite. They had the cutest little towel art and it reminded me of going on cruises when I was younger (fun fact: I met the beau on one of these cruises!).

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It was close to 11 and I hadn’t eaten dinner so I hit up the hotel bar for some edamame, conversation, and the perfectly sweet ending to an otherwise stress-filled day.

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My roommates arrived and we stayed up far too late talking and catching up. It had been several years since I had last seen Amanda so there was a lot I catch up on!

Saturday and Sunday we spent learning from leaders in the company. My favorite session was titled, “Get Out of Your Own Way.” <;–no shock there, right? We also had sessions in selling and follow-up, a mock party presentation, an several panel Q&A sessions. I have a quotes post coming up later in the week but I want to share one with you now.

“Bless and release.”

This was a major theme for the weekend and it was a huge ‘aha’ moment for many of us. How many times do we hold on to something that is no longer serving us, in business AND in life? It’s so easy to stick with what’s comfortable (aka regret, grudges, etc) but sometimes we just need to let it go! The whole weekend was a wonderful reminder of that.

Saturday night was our mini awards night that mimics Convention’s bigger dinners. Despite my wardrobe malfunction and the fact that the hotel hadn’t prepared food for those of us who abstain from flesh and dairy, it was a wonderful evening full of Success Speeches, good conversations.

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The pasta dish the kitchen put together for those of us non-flesh eaters.

The most exciting part was that I got to walk for the first time! I was recognized for my sales achievements (>;$15000) between January and June. Corporate is so good about recognizing our achievements an it’s been a goal of mine to walk the stage for the past two years.

Yes it felt as awesome as I had imagined!

;

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Being silly after walking the stage! 🙂

Sunday afternoon was bittersweet, as the end of a good experience always is. My upline (my sponsor’s sponsor), one of my direct Passion Sisters, and I snapped some fun photos to remember the weekend’s (and our) amazing-ness. 🙂

<;3 these ladies

Check back Friday for a passionate, quote-filled post. Until then…

Yoga/beauty/passion,

Kait xo

Hump Day Inspiration

‘Ancient Journey’ Laura Hollick with Beast sculpture. Photo by Kevin Thom.

Earlier in the week I was catching up on e-mails from the amazing Creative Visionaries whose work I follow closely.  I had just finished completing my last Master Promissary Notes for grad school loans and unknowingly went searching my inbox for guidance, love, and support.

The Universe always gives us what we need right?

First there was Gabby Bernstein’s amazing vlog.

“My suggestion to all of you this week is to pay attention to what it is that you love about your life.  What hobbies you have that you do effortlessly?  Just witness how those effortless actions are supported by the Universe.

This message was particularly striking as I’m in the process of launching new services and products through my business.  <–Thanks Universe.  I needed that reminder!

Then there was my Buddhist quote of the day.  Note the origin of the quote, which seems a bit too coincidental given the nature of my business.  Guess Gabby’s lesson was quickly learned!

“It is crucial to know when it is appropriate to withdraw our attention from things that disturb our mind. However, if the only way we know how to deal with certain objects is to avoid them, there will be a severe limit as to how far our spiritual practice can take us.” ~Lama Thubten Yeshe, Introduction to Tantra

And finally there was my weekly e-mail from Laura Hollick (the inspirational sexpot pictured above).  Usually her e-mails include a short note and a link to a quick but powerful video.  This week?  No video.  So I kept scrolling…right on down to the picture.  And the quote under it:

Take the journey to be who you are born to be.

Just do it.  Throw away the sails.  Follow your heart.  Live your Passion.  Reflect.  Go within.  Feel your pain.  Better yet, feel your joy.  Question.  Examine.  Know it can and does get better.  Don’t settle.  Your dreams are waiting for you to own them.  Go ahead…grab ’em.

I’m right there with you sister…lets take this journey together.  Won’t you join me?

Yoga/beauty/inspiration,

Kait xo

One Week : Newport, RI

Entrance gate to the Breakers Mansion.

Newport, RI is known for many things.  Its famous mansions dazzle, the Cliffwalk leaves you breathless (so I’ve been told), and the International Tennis Hall of Fame ensures plenty of preppy eye candy for all genders and sexual orientations.  Its ritzy, its preppy, its glamorous…and home to one of my besties.

It also is where I lived for most of last week while I played house wife, slept in, drank too much, chatted late into the night, and read enough smut to make up for my lack of smutty reading till this point.  Toss in a hefty dose of yes, this is real life work (read: grad school loan stuff + client cataloging) and I’d say last week was 100% successful!  🙂

Last Monday night I drove up to the beau, spending the night at his apt en route to the Woo en route to Newport.  <–because clearly just going to Newport would have been too easy  I had a perfect Tuesday that started with yoga at my now “old” studio and concluded with my arrival in Newport.  In between I did both a Wegmans (*swoons*) and a Whole Foods run, picked up the clothes I had left at the tailor back in April (whoops!), ate Chipotle (*mouthgasm*), and visited my favorite bird (aka picked up the random stuff I left in my apt…like my razor…and my Christmas tree).

How can you not love that face?

I arrived “in time” for Glee…and by that I mean the bestie and I spent our first hour together catching up and then I missed the first half of the show because I was cooking up some deliciousness. Unless otherwise noted, the following photos are all courtesy of Trina.

Sweet & Sour Tempeh with Steamed Broccolini
(Everyday Happy Herbivore)

For all the tempeh-haters out there (I definitely fall in this category): this is the recipe for you!  Something about the homemade sweet & sour sauce just complements the tempeh so perfectly and cuts its characteristically “nutty” taste.  No overpowering tempeh flavor in this recipe!  Oh, and if you’re wondering why broccolini?  Well WF had it on sale.  Couponing is all about the flexibility people!

Most days I slept until around 10 11 then spent the day catching up on TV, cooking food, reading smut, and doing some work.  Wednesday, however, was a day of discovery.  First up, a killer perfect class at Newport Power Yoga.

Source

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Week of Passion – Final Thoughts

First of all, I just want to say a big giant happy HELLO to all the meals&moves bloggers who are popping over here after reading my guest post.

Secondly, our week of Passion, like all good things, is coming to an end.  😦  We’ve talked Chippendales, Tushies, Orgasms, Passion Pantry Staples, and more!  I’ve had so much fun doing this week and I definitely play on including more posts about Passion here on the blog.  After all, it is part of what brings beauty into my life.  <–yea you see what I did there?!  😉

Before we end, I wanted to share some final, personal thoughts about Passion.  On Wednesday evening I did the first of a series of 12 coaching calls with the ahmazing Hillary Rubin and a few of things came to clarity for me with regards to my Passion.

The thing is, to me Passion isn’t just about sex.  Yes sex is a huge part of it for many people and certainly when we consider its popular use.  But to those of us committed to its cause, Passion is about so so much more.

Its why this was a week of Passion and not a week of sex.  Its why I chose the term “Sensuality” rather than “Sexuality” to describe the type of education and coaching I do in my business.  Its why I’m pursuing an MPH in women’s and reproductive healthy and a PhD in sex therapy.

Passion is about coming into your body and fully experiencing the moment, the joy, and the bliss of using it in whatever way you consciously desire.  You can do this through sex; unfortunately, I’ve learned too many women do not.  <–why I know my skills are needed  You can also do this through dance, yoga, running, singing, painting…really any physical experience where you can 100% just let go and feel the pleasure of life and the moment you’re in course through each and every cell (thank you nitric oxide).

Passion, and its relative sensuality, look different for everyone.  But what they have in common is the resulting feeling of bliss.  One of the activities Hillary and I completed on last night’s call was to determine how I wanted to feel each day and what steps I could take to do so.  I don’t remember which feeling we were going over but at one point I started rhapsodizing about finding your way into “that” yoga pose (yogis and yoginis you totally know what I mean here).  I said something along the lines of the following:

“When you find your way into that pose…that one maybe you’ve been struggling to connect to or just don’t like.  And you are just totally out of your head and into your body and its just pure bliss and joy and there’s no just better feeling because you’re fully connected and engaged and in the moment…except an orgasm.  Yea add that to the list.  It’s just, mmm, the BEST feeling in the world.

That, ladies and gents, is Passion.  And this is mine.  Empowering others through sensuality education & coaching brings endless joy into my life.  Its my way of healing others.  I might not be a doctor (now or ever…we’ll see!) but the changes I can help others invite into their relationships, well those can be just as lifesaving.  Because our physical bodies aren’t just a collection of numbers (weight, height, blood pressure, cholesterol, iron level, etc, etc, etc) but rather highly complex, energetic beings that require so much more than food + water + shelter (sorry Maslow) to live in our optimum state.  We need laughter and love and Passion and something to fight for<–And at the end of the day, aren’t those really all the same things?

You might have absolutely loved the departure from the norm I took this week.  Or it might not have been your cup of tea at all.  Regardless, I hope you felt my pure enthusiasm and joy and, yes, Passion, stream through each and every word.  And if you take nothing else away from this week…if this is the first and last post you ever read here…take this: find your Passion, commit to it, practice it often, and shout it shamelessly from the rooftops.

Its yours to own and no one else’s.  You think my smile would be this big otherwise?

Gratitude/love/passion,

Kait xo

Week of Passion – Giveaway + Guest Post

Today is a super exciting day.  Well…since you asked…my Week of Passion is taking over the interwebs!  Not only am I hosting my first ever giveaway both here and on Facebook but also because the lovely Janetha is featuring my sexy tips as the first post in her new Three Tips Thursday series.  Make sure to head on over to Meals & Moves for more of that sweet goodness.  East-coasters – Janetha is in Utah so her posts tend to come later in our day.  Check back tonight/tomorrow if you can’t find it.

Welcome to the first ever Y/B/L giveaway!  Technically this is a giveaway on my Facebook page but I figured since we’re celebrating Passion here, I’d share the love!

This giveaway is for a Passion Pantry must-have.  It makes play-time (solo or with a partner) both safer and way more fun!  By decreasing friction and heightening sensation, this product lets you feel into your body like never before.  Because it is water-based, it is condom-friendly, non-staining, and easily reactivated.  <–think a little lick…or using a bit of water if you prefer  Because it was created by Passion Parties, its also long-lasting, non-sticky, and sure to bring you pleasure.

Passion Parties RomantaTherapy Revelation Lubricant (sorry for the crappy picture)

Rules of the Giveaway

  1. To enter, simply leave a comment on my Facebook page or here regarding one topic you’d like me to explore in more depth here.  It can be anything, but I’d especially love suggestions about women’s and/or sexual health/issues/etc.
  2. You must “Like” Passion by Kait to be eligible.
  3. Winner will be chosen using a random numbers generator after collapsing all comments into one thread.  #nerd

The giveaway closes next Wednesday, March 28 at 12am EST.  Just to be different from all those giveaways that end at 11:59 pm. 😉

Yoga/beauty/passion,

Kait xo

P.S. Project: Food Budget will be back next week!

Week of Passion – Notes on Wellness

Thanks for all your kind comments on yesterday’s posts.  I was a little hesitant about how you all would feel about my Week of Passion posts since it is a pretty big departure from the norm here at y/b/l so I truly appreciate the encouragement!

In my Convention re-cap post I mentioned how I had the opportunity to train with some amazing individuals.  Since Wednesdays are typically days for revelations, I wanted to share some of the amazing things I learned from these speakers.  I’m going to do a quick intro of each before highlighting my favorite quotes from their presentations.  The common theme: passion.

Dr. Sadie Allison

Source

Dr. Sadie Allison is the author of several sex how-to books including Tickle Your Fancy, Tickle His Pickle, and her latest book, Tickle My Tush which I reviewed yesterday.  She is the founder and CEO of Tickle Kitty Inc which both published her books and her line of lubricants.  She is “America’s Pleasure Coach” and the mission of her work is to help people have more powerful orgasms (Source).  One of the many reasons I love her is her belief that knowledge = power and that our brain is, indeed, our biggest and most powerful sex organ!  Seeing her speak left me beyond starstruck because she is as intelligent, engaging, and sexy as the photo above and her writing implies.

Here are my favorite bits of information that Dr. Allison shared with us during her presentation.  These are not direct quotes because I paraphrased extensively in my notes.  That being said, absolutely all material belongs to Dr. Allison.

  • Every clitoris is different.  <–aka, don’t assume that what worked on the last girl will work on the next!
  • Because the clitoris and penis come from the same tissue, you need to start thinking of one like the other, especially when it comes to touching/licking/caressing each.
  • It is ok to have a conversation with your partnerbefore you get busy to let your partner know, “Hey, I need 20 minutes to warm up…let’s do this and let’s do that.  Not only will it let me relax, everything will feel better for you too!”
  • “Explore new things because that is what keeps Passion alive”…if you don’t like it, it’s ok!  Just be open to trying new things and experimenting to find what you like.
  • The factors which affect male pleasure include the following: lubrication, grip, speed, stroke, angle, warmth, rhythm, and variety.  *whew*
  • “Hands are some of the best toys we have.” <–amen to that!

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Week of Passion – Tickle My Tush Book Review

This post contains explicit information intended only for those 18+.

Speaking of which, this post might make you feel a little uncomfortable.  IMO, all new learning experiences should be. For those of you running towards the ‘x’ as quickly as possible I ask that you give this post a shot and, yourself, a chance to discover something new.   At the end you might still say, “Naw…not for me.”  That is perfectly ok. You might also say, “Hey…I was told wrong.  I need to explore this more.”  Regardless, please keep all comments clean and respectful, recognizing that some readers may find this awkward and even painful…or this might be someone’s favorite topic.  As I say at parties, “We never want to yuck on someone else’s yum.”

Ok so since I slacked yesterday, you are getting two posts from me today!  I need to make up for my long absence, right?!

This afternoon I want to introduce you to one of my idols: Dr. Sadie Allison.  I mentioned her briefly earlier but want to go more in-depth before reviewing her latest how-to sex book, Tickle my Tush: Mild-to-Wild Analplay Adventures for Everybooty.

You can tell why I like her already, right?  We both adore cheesy puns.  *sigh*

Anyway Dr. Allison is the author of several how-to sex books including Tickle His Pickle: Your Hands-on Guide to Penis Pleasuring and Ride ‘Em Cowgirl: Sex Position Secrets for Better Bucking.  One of my favorite aspects of Dr. Allison’s approach to writing about sex is her lightheartedness with sometimes heavy topics (see my point re: cheesy puns above).  She is serious when necessary, such as when discussing sexual safety, but is comfortable enough with the unfortunately-still-taboo topic to laugh at it (and herself).  The information contained in each book is presented in such a way that will make you giggle, sometimes with joy and sometimes uncomfortably.

You have to leave your comfort zone to start living, right?

All her books include cartoon-ish illustrations, a chapter on safe sex (woot!), FAQs, and a guide to any terms that may be unknown or made up (e.g. a-spot for anus).  I’m a huge fan of the two books mentioned above and will likely review them in the future.  For now lets just say that Tickle is the penis bible and Ride ‘Em is the greatest position book ever simply by excluding positions that require you to be double-jointed.

But lets get to the butt of this post…I mean heart.  I swear.  😉

Fun fact: thoes are the great dr’s lips you see.  In fact, her face is on the cover of every book.  Some may find that conceited but hey…she’s an independent publisher with 2million+ books sold so I say she can do what she wants!

Alright…onto the book.  For reals this time!

Dr. Allison does an amazing job of de-stigmatizing the booty.  While most people immediately think of anal sex when they hear the former word, she shows that there are a ton of fun activities you can enjoy sans penetration.  In fact, it takes eight whole chapters to even get to the topic of penetration!  Even then she continues to follow the book’s mild-to-wild theme by showing you the five levels of penetration starting with just one knuckle.  From there we move onto G-spot and prostate massage (huuuge orgasm triggers for her and him, respectively), toys, and positions.  Throughout these chapters, Dr. Allison reminds us that communication is key as is taking it slow and letting the individual being penetrated call all the shots.  Anal play isn’t generally something you jump right into as the tissue back there is not as elastic as that of the vagina and therefore needs a bit more conscious training!

So what’s contained in those first 7 chapters?  Information about sexual safety, hygiene, anatomy, massage, non-penetrative finger play, and oral play.  In that mild-to-wild order.  And throughout these Dr. Allison reminds the reader that you need not go one page further.  She encourages you to, if only to learn, but does not pressure, another feature I greatly appreciate.

Do I think this book is the penultimate guide to anal play?  No.  In fact I expect it is a pretty basic introduction for some.  However, for those who have never experimented, for sex educators without much personal experience and/or knowledge about this aspect of sexuality, for those couples for which anal play is the primary source of sex…this is a fantastic introduction and absolute must-have addition to your library.

Here’s a short guide to the things I loved…and those I didn’t!

Things I Loved

  • The book’s layout (mild-to-wild overall and within each chapter).
  • De-stigmatizing anal adventures.
  • The plentiful photos.
  • The basic info on safety, hygiene, etc. and the fact that it is repeated throughout the book.
  • The no-pressure tone of the writing and encouragement to explore at your own pace and within your comfort zone (kind of).
  • The emphasis on communication and trust between partners.

Things I Wasn’t Crazy About

I didn’t love the fact that much of her writing ties so closely into societal norms about what relationships and sex should look like.

  • The book is written for hetero couples (although she does note that you can interchange any pronouns) with all the pictures featuring a female and male and the conversation about him and her.
  • The vilification of hair down.  Undoubtedly, for some, hair may be a non-issue or even a total turn-on.  I’ve heard or read it all folks…this is my passion and my career!  This information could have been presented in a more neutral, “If you wanna groom here’s how and if not that’s cool too!”
  • Her definition of gender as being based on one’s genitals.  Boo hiss.

Thing I’m on the Fence About

Throughout the book, Dr. Allison uses here own terms (defined early in the book) for anatomical parts.  “A-spot” instead of “anus,” “pleasure tunnel” instead of “rectum,” etc.  I can see how this would be a good thing for those who aren’t comfortable using anatomically-correct terms.  However, part of my goal with my work is to overcome genital shame and a part of that is being able to speak the proper names of our body parts without shame or concern.

Say it with me now…VULVA!

Ok…had to get that out!

All in all…if you have ever wondered about or wanted to know more about analplay, I highly recommend this book.  As my way of saying thank you for your support over the past five months, I’m offering all Y/B/L readers 20% off any of Dr. Allison’s award-winning titles.  All payments will be processed through PayPal for your security and books range from $15-17 through PP.

Click here to see all of Dr. Allison’s titles.
Click here to contact me with your order.

I hope you enjoyed this post and would happily chat with you more about the topic of analplay or any sex-related topic me.  Use the Contact Form at the top of the page to send in questions, etc.  I’m thinking there’s an FAQ post in our future! If you have a super personal question/concern, we can set up a 15-minute one-on-one consultation.

Oh and don’t forget to be a dear and show your support for this post (and me in general) by “Liking” me. 

Yoga/beauty/passion,

Kait xo