Putting Myself Out There: Five Sex Goals for 2018

I’m crap at mapping out goals for myself. I also don’t like to make resolutions. What if I don’t follow through? My brain will then proceed to tell me what a failure I am.

So why the hell am I writing this post? Because 2018 is the year when I’m going to turn over a new leaf. Even if I don’t accomplish any of these goals, I’m not going to beat myself up about it. And hey, maybe putting that statement out on the Internet will make me stick to that promise.

Attend Woodhull in August

I have been following a lot of awesome sex bloggers for a while now. And every year, a bunch of them congregate at the Woodhull Sexual Freedom Summit, a conference about sexual freedom, gender, and human rights (like the tagline says). I’ve read the Twitter feeds, I’ve read the blog posts wrapping up the conference. This year, some how, some way, I’m going to go. I think it’s important to add another disabled voice to the conversation. I want to meet these amazing people whose words I’ve been devouring.

Also, it just looks like a lot of fun!

Get Better at Dating

I am so bbad at dating. I never send the first message on dating apps, even if I think the person is super cute. For a long time, I’ve claimed it’s because I’m shy. I’m beginning to realize that shyness is only the tip of the iceberg.

I think I harbor a lot of internalized ableism. I have actually had the thought, “What’s the point of sending this person a message? No one wants to deal with my blindness.” And I know that’s not necessarily true. Sure, people are scared of people with disabilities. Most people have never met a blind person before, or if they have, it was someone who was gradually losing their site, or an older family member. I’ve been blind for almost my entire life. I live alone. I get around independently. Sure, I might have to spend some time proving my capabilities to potential partners, and that can be frustrating.

But that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t try. And if they don’t want to get to know me solely because I’m blind? Fuck ’em, as my mom would say.

Date more Women/Femmes/Nonbinary Folx

I identify as pansexual. However, all of my relationships and most of my sexual experiences have been with cis men. I want to change that this year. I don’t really have much more to say about this goal, but I’m gonna make it happen somehow.

Explore my Kinks More Thoroughly

I know I’m into impact play. I know I’m into contrasting sensations, bondage, and topping from the bottom. I want to find a partner who’s somewhat more experienced than me, someone who will help me explore and gently take me out of my comfort zone. My local kink scene leaves much to be desired, so this goal might be harder to accomplish. But I’m going to give it a whack. (Yes, I did just make that awful pun.)

Acquire some Girthier Toys

Currently, the largest toy I own is the Tantus Cush O2, which clocks in at a diameter of 1.75 inches. And it feels really good. I want to explore my size queen side this year (with proper warm-up, of course).

I think that’s enough to be getting on with. Even if I don’t accomplish any of these goals, I am definitely going to make a concerted effort to work on all of them.

What about you? Do you have any sex goals for 2018?

Review: Tantus Echo

The Tantus Echo, a medium-sized ridged purple dildo with a flared base

An alternative title for this post could be “Why I’m Reconsidering this Whole Guide Dog Thing”.

The Tantus Echo does amazing things for my G-spot. Or, well, it did. But let’s start at the beginning.

First, I’ll tell you the good. The Tantus Echo is made of pure silicone, so it’s totally safe for your body. This also means that it’s super easy to clean and sterilize, which is important if you plan on sharing toys with someone. It has a diameter of 1.5 inches, so it’s not too big and not too small. There’s a slot in the base for a vibrating bullet, so if internal vibrations are your jam, you’re all set. The toy even comes with a 3-speed battery-operated bullet. Nice touch, Tantus. The base is flared, so the Echo is anal-safe, too.

The Echo is a mildly textured dildo. The ridges that run along the shaft remind me of waves. Like sound waves. Hence the name “Echo”. Ah, Tantus, you’re so clever. Anyway, these waves rub against my G-spot with amazing results. The feeling isn’t forceful or abrupt like you’d get with a firmer or more targeted toy ( Pure Wand , I’m lookin’ at you). It’s subtle, and the orgasms kind of sneak up on me. This is not a bad thing at all.

There are a few meh things about this toy. The included bullet is very buzzy. I tried it on my clit, and promptly burst out laughing. I need deeper, more rumbly vibrations to get off. When inserted into the Echo, the vibrations can hardly be felt. This isn’t a huge deal for me. If I want internal vibrations, I just swap out the included bullet for my trusty We-Vibe Salsa (the dearly departed cousin of the Tango ).

Secondly, this toy is a lint, dust and fur magnet. Again, not a big deal for me. I own other Tantus toys, and this didn’t surprise me at all. A quick rinse under water before use does the trick.

Now for the bad. The very, very bad. This is not Tantus’s fault at all. It’s mine. And my dingbat yellow Labrador’s.

One day, after jerking off with the Echo, I was flopped on my bed in a post-orgasmic haze. Suddenly, I was struck by a wave of hunger. Post-cardio carb-craving? Who knows? Anyway, I put the Echo on my nightstand, intending to run downstairs for a quick snack, then to come back up and clean the toys I’d used. My dog was in her crate with the door open, happily chomping on a bone.

A while later, I came back upstairs and went to the nightstand. No Echo. My Salsa was there where I’d left it, but no sign of the Echo. I crawled around on the floor searching for it. I swept my hands in circles. I swept them in a grid pattern. I employed every nonvisual technique I know to look for this goddamn toy. I even got stuck under the bed looking for it.

I texted a sighted friend. “I think [dog] ate my dildo.” I’m sure he cracked up at this point. “Do you want me to come help you look after work?” he texted back. “Um, yes, please.”

Later that night, he showed up and scoured my bedroom. “I don’t see it.” “Great. Uh, will you drive me to the emergency vet if it comes to that?” “Sure.” He went home.

I crawled around some more, bound and determined to find this thing. And then I found it.

The Echo? Nope. A teeny piece of silicone. And then another. And another.

“She definitely ate it. Finding tiny shreds of silicone,” I texted. “Oh god.”

I spent a sleepless night waiting for my dog to implode. You see, she had had an intestinal blockage before thanks to eating a rogue corncob. That incident required emergency surgery. I was not ready for that to happen again.

Luckily, this story has a happy ending. Ish. The next morning, when I took her out for her walk… Well, let’s just say that anyone walking by must still be wondering what the hell I feed my dog. Remember, my Echo was purple. This happened several more times throughout the day.

On the plus side, dog is totally fine. She probably hasn’t learned her lesson. I have, though. Never leave sex toys on the nightstand again.

Get the Echo directly from Tantus. I’ll be replacing mine as soon as possible.

Moving When Your a Blind Sex Bloggger

Here’s the thing when you’re blind. People can poke into your business when you’re not necessarily aware of what they’re doing. I pride myself on being a super aware blind person. I know where you are in my house. I know what cabinet, drawer, and canister you looked into, and I’ll call you on that shit. Why are you looking into someone’s cabinet without asking? Not cool!

When I’m moving, that all goes out the window. As soon as I start to pack things up, as soon as furniture moves, I’m disoriented.

When I’m moving to a new place (dorm, apartment, house, hole in the wall… it doesn’t matter), I depend on other people to help me move. And everyone puts boxes where they think they should go. Which, don’t get me wrong, I appreciate. I love that people want to help me get into a better living situation. But let me tell you, my sex toys do not belong in my downstairs bathroom.

I moved recently, and yeah, the bag of sex toys somehow ended up in my downstairs bathroom. Luckily, I figured it out before my sweet old landlord saw the bag and went exploring, but that’s besides the point.

If you’re disabled and moving, most people assume that you have nothing to hide. Pfft, everything’s fair game; why would a disabled person have any sensitive stuff to move? Medical equipment? Meh, throw it in the bathroom box. sticky tactile markers for appliances? Meh,  wherever! (If someone knows where my sticky dots are, please let me know. I’d like to label my oven sometime this century.)

But just like everyone else, disabled people have stuff that they don’t necessarily want random-people-with-muscles-who-are-schlepping–stuff-across-town to see. I have a suitcase full of sex toys and kink stuff, and I don’t need anyone besides my partners poking through that.

My biggest tip? Disguise! I don’t have a huge collection right now, so it was easily disguised in a few Vera Bradley bags. I told people helping me move that they were bags of bags. People like the phrase “bags of bags”, so they chuckled and went on with loading stuff into their cars.

And if you can, be open with the people closest to you. My mother has a part-time job near me,  and my sister sometimes visits me when she’s home from college. They both know I’m a sex blogger. I’m pretty sure neither of them would be shocked to see a vibrator on the nightstand. (although my sister was a bit shocked when she saw my under-the-bed restraint system. Ah well, you can’t please everyone.)

I’ve been in my new place for almost a month now. Almost everything is unpacked, and I’m finally starting to feel settled. THe move has caused my depression and anxiety to spike, but that seems to be getting better, too. I’m writing again. I’m feeling vaguely sexy again. I haven’t felt this way in over a month.

One thing’s for certain: I’m not moving again for a long, long time.

(Oh, and I did finally locate my tactile markers. Dinner at my place?)

How Did I Get Here?

I wasn’t always blind. I was a healthy baby until I was a few months old. In pictures, my eyes didn’t look right. Rather than the typical red-eye reflex, my pupils appeared like cat’s eyes with a white ring around them. Whenever I was in direct sunlight, I’d cry and cover my eyes. My parents took me to several doctors, and after lots of tests, I was diagnosed with retinoblastoma, a rare childhood cancer. My eyes were removed because of the advanced state of the tumors, and I’ve worn prosthetic eyes since just before my first birthday.

Words have always been important to me. For obvious reasons, picture books didn’t do much for me. I wanted more complex stories, even as a toddler. My busy working mother read to me every night, and when she couldn’t, she’d put a book on tape in my cassette player while she tucked me into bed. When I started to learn Braille at around three, a whole new world was unlocked. I didn’t have to wait for people to read to me. I could do it myself!

I wanted to tell stories. I had to tell them. You could usually find me clacking away on my Perkins brailler, page after page of thick paper piling up next to me. When I got an accessible computer, I wrote even more. I completed NaNoWriMo twice in high school. I was all set to study journalism and write.

Then I got depressed. And the words stopped. For approximately 12 years.

The depression had lots of causes. My older sister died suddenly and unexpectedly. I went to college in a big city far from home and was very lonely. And my brain chemistry is just a mess.

For years, people have been telling me to write. “You have so much to say! Your stories are so funny, and you have such an interesting perspective on the world.” Depression Brain was like, “Ha, that’s rich. You have nothing of value to say.” But over the past few years, I’ve realized a few things. Firstly, depression lies. Secondly, I am good at writing about one thing; my own experiences. Maybe I can’t write fiction like I once did. But I can tell my own stories and make them relatable. People were right. I do have an interesting perspective on the world, and why shouldn’t I share it?

I’ve always been a pretty sexual person. My mom wasn’t great at talking to me about sex. Instead, she ordered me a book from The National Library Service for the Blind and let the book tell me about it.

I still remember the day that book arrived in the mail. It was on one cassette, and my fingers trembled as I undid the latches on the case. I plugged in my headphones (no one could hear me listening to a book about sex!), crawled into my canopy bed, and started to listen. I explored my own anatomy and was blown away. So that’s why it felt so good when I touched myself there. I had a clitoris!

When I moved out of my mother’s house, I bought my first sex toy. It was a jelly rabbit monstrosity. Present me cringes at the thought that I put that thing in my vagina several times a week. But I didn’t know any better. I didn’t have access to information about sex toys, and even though I was living in Boston, close to an amazing sex toy store, I didn’t feel comfortable asking friends to go with me.

I didn’t date until I got to college, but that was mostly because I grew up in the middle of nowhere and no one wanted to date the smart blind girl that they’d all known since kindergarten. But also, people are afraid to date people with disabilities. I have gotten so many messages on OKCupid over the years that amount to, “You seem awesome, but I can’t date you because your blind.” This used to make me sad, and depression would rear it’s ugly head and tell me how worthless I was. But as time has gone on, the “I could never date a blind person” messages just piss me off. If I can show that I’m a real live sexual being through my writing, and even if I only convince one person that disabled people can and do have sex, then that’s what I’ll do.

I face so many barriers every day. That isn’t meant to sound whiney or to evoke pity. It’s just the reality of living with a disability. From inaccessible websites to being treated like a child by the public, every day is an adventure. When it comes to sex and sexuality, my goal is to break down those barriers. I want toy manufacturers to consider that teeny printouts of their manuals aren’t suitable for all their customers. I want sexual education materials to be readable by everyone. I want health care providers to acknowledge that disabled people have just as much right to sexual healthcare as able-bodied folks.

If I stay silent, no one learns anything. If I share my experiences and my stories, then I can change the world, even if it’s only a small change. I’ve let anxiety and depression and internalized ableism take my words away from me for long enough. I’ve stayed silent long enough.