I can’t cover my sex toy activist career/how I came to Dildology in a single blog post, but this is a key moment.
To be perfectly honest, I fell into this. My first job peddling dildos was one I took because the ownership didn’t care about my pink hair or how many smoke breaks I took, and selling sex toys sounded like something I would do. Changing cities, I was looking for the first job I could find and that was it. My promotions at the start, how I became manager of my first store was simply because I showed up mostly on time. Mostly. I was a punk ass twenty something kid, trust me, I wasn’t very punctual.
My training was haphazard at best, for the first few weeks I didn’t know much more than roughly where on the wall the butt plugs were and could sort of tell you that there was a difference between waterbase and silicone lubes. Sort of. What mattered to me, at first, was that I could wear whatever I wanted, listen to whatever music I wanted and my friends could hang out. So I didn’t have an answer for the longest time when customers would ask me about smells. Weeping. Toys reacting when touching each other. Melting. “That’s weird, I don’t think they should do that.” was my answer at first. This is almost ten years ago, before toys were anywhere near this mainstream and were technically illegal in my state. I just trusted that they were safe, I mean, they’re being sold right? There are hundreds of them in the store, and “novelty” or not…We all know how that “cake topper” is going to be used. Of course they are safe. Those attempted returns kept happening. I started to have adverse reactions when battery testing or opening a ton of stock on shipment days. It all started to get to me, but I couldn’t put my finger on it.
Still, they had to be safe.
After a long shift one night, and I remember this clearly, I was randomly surfing about trying to educate myself more on the products. I actually really enjoy retail, and I enjoy being good at my job. Desperately I wanted to be able to give better answers, calm their fears, help them find the best toy for their needs. This is when I found Violet Blue’s Unsafe Sex Products and Toys – Consumer Beware post. As I read it, pieces clicked into place in my brain and I became angry. These toys are fucking toxic and I’m selling them to people. Anger turned into righteous fury as I kept reading. Midway through that post is when I became an activist.
A ton of people have been my heroes, mentors, idols, what have you. Metis Black and Tantus. CATT (Coalition Against Toxic Toys) and The Smitten Kitten. Ducky DooLittle. Carol Queen. I could go on and on, there are so many fantastic people in the sex-positive world. Violet Blue and the unsafe toy post though, that was my lightbulb moment.
I’m still angry, and that anger is a huge part of why Dildology now exists.
A few days ago, Violet Blue posted about Dildology on Tiny Nibbles, and I am only now recovering from the fangirl excitement. Support Dildology: Independent sex toy materials safety evaluation (I’m not going to even try and play it cool here. There was squealing. Dancing. A few jumps for joy. I may have even run circles around the house giggling hysterically. Possibly. Might have happened.)
Since her post, we’ve received all the votes we needed and are now a Featured Project on Offbeatr. 30 days to raise 3k, then we will have the funds to really make some waves. Start making real change. If you are willing and able, please support us here:
As many of you know, once upon a time, Crista Anne got naked on the internet. Let’s see if I can dig up an old picture…
At the dawn of Queer/Alt porn, I was on a few sites. NoFauxxx is the only one still standing that I’m aware of, but the entire naked girl on the net was a glorious experience for me. I explored my sexual power, my queer identity, and as at the time I was literally twice the size I am now – really learned to love my body. Never felt exploited, and always felt in control of how my images were used. Those were some of the most fun days of my life.
I “retired” after a year or two, life was taking me down a different path. No regrets, I just wanted to do something different.
Now, a decade later, I’d like to dip my toes back in. This time as a Woman getting naked on the net. Right now I am madly in love with my body. Madly in love with what motherhood has done, with my weight loss, with my more matured sexual power. Madly in love with rolling around on my bed, covered in rainbows and revelling in myself.
This is what I am offering: Donate to Dildology at $15 – $45 and I’ll send the candid, playful shots that I snap with my pad. $50 and above will get a full set that a beloved friend is going do for me this weekend. When donating, add Crista Incentive in the comments or send me a message [crista at dildology DOT org] and I will send them to you asap.
Now, if you will excuse me, I’m going to go revel in myself.
Before I begin, I am the The Polyamorous Mother Waking Her Baby With Her Orgasm Noises.
That was a week in my sex life. Pretty honest view into how I feel regarding sex, our poly, my sex life with myself. Very honest view into how freaking fed up I’ve been with the kids. Not my best writing ever, but I’m rusty. All in all, I am quite pleased and rather proud.
Have you read it yet? Okay good.
Now I am going to ask you to break the great rule of the internet, if you are a thoughtful person, and ask you to read the comments. Skim them if you have to, goodness knows there are quite a few.
This post is about the comments.
To be honest, so far they are nowhere near as bad as I expected them to be. As of yet I have not received death or rape threats, and as I am openly a woman on the net, the lack of them is sadly – surprising. In writing what I wrote, how I wrote it, I was consciously breaking a number of the sins of writing online as a woman. In the diary, I expressed extreme frustration with Motherhood. Shared that I masturbate for my own pleasure and for stress relief. Off the bat, I openly stated that I have herpes.
I have herpes. Have HPV too. These things happen. You cannot shame me because of my status, because I am not ashamed. Nor, do I, or anyone else, have any reason to be.
I’ve asked my friends and loves not to feed the trolls, but there are a few things I’d like to comment on here.
- The Governess is a Doctor Who reference wrapped in an inside joke. She isn’t our nanny. Though, this idea makes me laugh rather hard.
- I do not feel the need to defend my parenting, as I know that I am a superb parent. This was a sex diary, not a diary of what I do on a daily basis for my children.
- The woman who felt the need to comment about an award for making it through the day without masturbating baffles me. Masturbation is safe, healthy, and a massive stress reliever. If the kids are engrossed in something/napping and I can get myself off privately in the amount of time it takes most people to use the facilities…What’s the problem here? Oh, right. /sigh
The amount of slut shaming in there is awe inspiring. Expected, but still awe inspiring. The assumption that I am a terrible mother who hates her children because I express both frustration with them and a desire for an active and enthusiastic sex life is really bullshit.
What I wish to tell the commenters at the piece in the end though, is thank you. You have refuelled my fire. If I’m upsetting y’all, that means I’m living my life exactly how I want to. The underlying fear and loathing in those comments? That makes me proud. I’ve shed a lot of the bullshit and toxicity of our culture, am living my life freely, openly and honestly.
Now, I want to write another one.
***Yeah, I know. I yadda yadda’d the threesome. Sorry folks, I just don’t write explicitly about my sex life. It doesn’t work for me, makes me feel off. Trust me though, it was awesome***
Commenters were right about one thing, I did vote for Obama. Twice.
I’m going to take Metis’ advice, this is why.
That happened. I found my soulmate. We had a son.
For the record, I loathe that term. It sounds like part of the bullshit fantasy fairytale that little girls especially are fed from birth on that there is some perfect person out there for them and they should “wait” for them. I disavow that whole notion.
However, X. Valentine Orenda is my soulmate. The core of his being, his soul, fits perfectly along side mine.
We had to break the world a number of times to build our own. It was an ugly, brutal, painful process that at many points did not look like it was going to work out. The process had to happen here, in our small world, without any real public display.
In ending my previous marriage, I also had to walk through the intense and very real fear that this site and who I am would mean I lost my daughter to my ex. He and I are on good terms. I have faith that he would not and will not use the fact that I am an open person who exists in sexual spaces against me. That fear won’t go away completely until she is much older though. So, even when things started coming together, I stayed quiet out of that fear.
We’ve made it though our cataclysm, we’ve rebuilt our family and have begun living our life together. I’m not living a life defined by fear anymore.
We’ve made my decade long dream of Dildology a reality.
Of course, our funding site decided, a month after account creation, that we were too “adult” for them.
Eh, a smooth ride today would have been boring. So in the mean time we have a barebones, but soon to be very awesome, Donation page on Dildology.
There is a very emotional post from me coming, at the moment I am chasing two very excited little boys around the house, but for right now – how you can help is :
Even two dollars helps the next test, and the test after that. We’re non-profit, we just want to make the world better. So throw a cup of coffee worth of change our way. You’ll be helping give the world better orgasms.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – May 2, 2013
DILDOLOGY.ORG Debuts, Provides Independent Validation Of Sex Toy Materials
Richmond, VIRGINIA – Dildology.org, an independent non-profit organization created to provide reliable information on sex toy materials, debuts today via dangerouslilly.com. The organization will facilitate lab testing of sex toys to provide validation, to both consumers and the industry at large, that the item is made of the manufacturer-stated materials and publish the results in their wiki.
“In an industry that is largely unregulated, consumers have been relying on the manufacturers to disclose the materials used in any given sex toy,” says blogger Dangerous Lilly, the organization’s marketing director. “But the fact is no governing body requires full disclosure, or even any ounce of truth. We think it’s about time consumers have reliable information on the toys they’re using so intimately with their bodies.”
Budding dildologists have been relying on the popular guerrilla home test for silicone purity known as the “flame test”. Dildology.org launched by publishing the results of their product verification lab test on the JimmyJane product “Hello Touch” which was previously reported as having failed the flame test. The results of the lab test suggest that there is no truly accurate at-home testing method and ongoing lab tests are necessary to keep the checks and balances of the sex toy industry intact.
The organization will work with accredited labs to test the materials. They will choose products for testing by community demand and will rely on monetary donations to fund the purchase and testing of sex toys as well as accepting product donations from third-party retail stores. For more information, visit their website at www.dildology.org.
A bright star formed of fire, passion, frustration, and glitter exploded in March, 2013 and three heroes emerged from the ashes to form Dildology.org: X. Valentine Orenda, Crista Anne and blogger Dangerous Lilly. With lab coats and capes they banded together on a crusade to learn the truth about what is in your sex toys.
For more information, contact us – firstname.lastname@example.org
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(This was originally posted on tumblr.)
When did you learn about self-pleasure? Did your parents talk to you about masturbation?
As my Mom can attest, I’ve always had a hand on my vulva. When I was little, starting at maybe two or three, it was called “my feeling good stuff”. I do not remember a time when I wasn’t connected to my touching my vulva as being pleasurable. My Mom did not shame me regarding my early self love, but it was something just for me so I could only do “my feeling good stuff” in private spaces. It’s the same idea that I am now teaching my children.
When I connected “feeling good stuff” to orgasm/masturbation, I don’t really know. By the time I was 10 or 11 I have a very clear memory of reading one of my Mom’s magazines that contained a story from a woman who was talking about her difficulties talking to her own daughter about masturbation. That her daughter had learned about it somewhere else, talked to Mom about how “gross” it was and how the Mother was at a loss for how to explain that it was pleasurable. That sometimes it helped stress. That masturbation was a good thing and not gross.
My memory of this is so clear I know were I was sitting and I can see the words on the page. (this is astounding, my memory is horrible) What I remember the most though, is thinking to myself “what is wrong with her? That’s a stupid thing to not be able to talk about”.
So really, props to my Mom. She is amazing, and why I am the way I am.
What is your comfort level with talking about it now?
Obviously, I’m very comfortable talking about my sex life with myself. More comfortable than I am talking about my sex life with V. So I want to fill this space with my period of shame.
Culture got me for a while in my teens. What I was taught about sex was very positive, very factual. Every teen goes though a period of not being comfortable talking with their parents, but even then my Mom and I were very close. Even with that astoundingly great start, the negativity that surrounded masturbation, especially for a girl, got me. I was deeply ashamed of my sexuality, my masturbation habits, my attraction to other girls. I also survived sexual violence and had to navigate the intensity of shame that brings.
It’s impossible to completely divorce my survivor status from my sexual life, but what made me feel the most ashamed of my love of self pleasure was the distain expressed by my peers and in the media I consumed. It wasn’t until I started blogging in 2001 that I was able to talk openly about my pursuits of pleasure and work through my shame.
Do you use sex toys?
Yes, Yes, Oh goodness YES. Not every time. If I am masturbating to help fall asleep or for a self-quickie, I use digital manipulation. Since I have been perfecting my masturbation technique for almost my entire life, I can bring myself to orgasm incredibly quickly. Actually, I can now orgasm from working my pubococcygeus muscle (PC/doing kegels) alone.
I was strictly clitoral stimulation until I bought a Tantus Charmer, which gave me my first self created internal/g-spot orgasm. Those were fun and I experimented with *literally* thousands of toys over my career as a sex toy store buyer. Then I got a Njoy Pure Wand, and it changed my orgasmic life. I’d not been able to squirt via masturbation before and I was high on pleasure for hours after the first time I used it. Here is my post about it on PSG.
How is your sexual relationship with yourself?
Grand. Better than it has ever been. Changes in my sexual response after childbirth has been an enjoyable project of experimentation, I’m discovering that I continue to have bigger, better orgasms constantly. My partnered sex life is also better than I ever dreamed it could be. I’m incredibly excited to see how my sex life with myself continues to evolve.
(This was originally posted on tumblr.)
When did you learn about self-pleasure?
I think I was a pretty late bloomer when it comes to getting off—I was about fifteen, which is also roughly when I started reading erotic fanfic. And the first time I had an orgasm was pretty dorky—I decided I was going to try to have one, and fantasised that I was my RP character getting fingered by her boyfriend. Before then I’d touched myself, but decided it was taking too long, so gave up—but this time, I was tapping my clit and just kept going. It felt like an uphill struggle, but then suddenly oh—oh—oh—OH!!!!! And that was my concentration shot for at least the next two weeks. I couldn’t think of anything other than having another one for ages. I’m pretty sure my grades dipped a little. I managed to regain some focus before I did any lasting damage to my GPA, but thinking about sex and fantasising can still keep me from doing any work for hours.
Did your parents talk to you about masturbation? Do you use sex toys?
My parents were open about sex, though I’m quite sure we never talked about masturbation. Even after I’m pretty sure they overheard me, ah, brushing my teeth with my electric toothbrush for a really long time one night… That didn’t work brilliantly, so I didn’t get a vibrator till I went to university and absolutely loved it, even though it was pretty much the cheapest one I could find. A year or so I got my first Fun Factory vibrator, and I’ve got tremendous brand loyalty for them—it lasted me a good four years of vigorous use, and I’ve got another one now. I really really want a magic wand, so I’m planning to buy myself one for my next birthday. I usually use a vibrator on my clit, and sometimes add another for penetration, but I can get off just using my fingers too.
How is your sexual relationship with yourself? What is your comfort level with talking about it now?
I feel like my sexual relationship with myself is pretty fantastic. I masturbate a fair amount (probably about four times a week), sometimes because I really want to and sometimes because it helps me get to sleep, which I feel is a bit cheap of me, because I would still prefer to wank just for pleasure. I’ve done a lot of sexual self-discovery over the past few years, shedding a lot of value judgements about sex that were never really mine, just attitudes I’d taken on from society, and learning to accept my (generally kinky) fantasies as healthy and good for me. And I love talking about it! To the extent that I sometimes worry that people think I’m a one-track record (though I’ve asked and they’ve assured me I’m not, and a couple of people have said they enjoy living vicariously through my stories) and am not sure if I’m going overboard answering these questions—but I am just so much happier being sex-positive and I just want to share these ideas that have made me feel so great about myself. Masturbation is still harder to talk about than sex with other people, though—I guess because it’s quite a private pleasure and is so closely entwined with fantasies. Mechanically I’m happy sharing what gets me off, but because I’m kinky my fantasies can get a bit dark. That leads into a whole other discussion of the difference between fantasising about something and actually wanting it to happen, which I’m happy to explain anonymously on the internet, but I don’t want someone in real life not getting it and walking away with the wrong ideas about me and my feminism.
About PSG/Crista AnneCrista Anne is a Progressive Pleasurist, Executive Director/Foundress of Dildology.org and Sex-Postive Parent with her Partner In Everything - X. Valentine Orenda. She loves sleep, coffee, rainbow hued anything and her beloved Green Bay Packers.
Follow her @Pinkness on twitter.
Support Dildology on Offbeatr
Tag#self love abortion babeland best seller blogging blog posts I didn't write bullet bullshit carol queen Changes clitoris contest Ducky featured g-spot good vibrations Love U masturbation Mcon Metis national masturbation month News orgasm personal porn rabbit random reposts review sale self-pleasure sex-positive sex education sex geek sex shop sex toy bloggers sex toys silicone tantus vain video Violet Blue wanton wednesday waterproof what is this I don't even
- Coming out of Retirement for Dildology
- Poly Mom, NY Mag Sex Diarist, and Reading The Comments
- Rainbow Romp
- This is a sex blog, but this is not a sexy post
- So, perhaps I should address why PSG went dark for two years….
- Donate to Dildology
- DILDOLOGY.ORG Debuts, Provides Independent Validation Of Sex Toy Materials
- I should answer my own questions (tw: passing mention of sexual violence)