Saturday, 21 April 2018

Review: Pocket Pulse by Hot Octopuss

One defining characteristic of the sex toy reviews I've done in the past is the fact that I've been reviewing the toys with the specific aim of reviewing the toys - that is to say, doing so in 'test conditions'. A lot of the toys I've tested are quite bulky and the only real way to utilitise them is to lie on your back on your bed and manipulate the toy from above. This isn't how I masturbate - I tend to do so, and have always done, on my computer chair in front of the computer, with soft porn on or erotic fiction (or just using my imagination with the chair for support). 

My oversized belly and flabby thighs (and the fact that my penis is very small when flaccid) are quite restrictive to using something large, like the PULSE, while masturbating, which may be a problem. It's refreshing, then, that the Pocket Pulse is sleek and lightweight, and causes no such problems. I was quite keen to test this one, and even more so when I realised I could incorporate it into my usual masturbation routine. You know, for science.

I charged the Pocket Pulse last night. It takes a few hours - for one hour of full operation - but that's about standard, considering how powerful this thing is (and how small). No problems there (although it took me a few minutes to find where the port for the power line is, considering that everything is black!). This afternoon, I gave it a go, and I also decided - in my infinite wisdom - to follow the instructions to the letter, just to make sure I wasn't missing anything out.

The Pocket Pulse comes with a 'recommendation' - although, from what I've heard, it's more of a necessity - to slip your penis through while still flaccid. I can see why this is - it's a small toy and the hole is designed to fit smugly around your cock while erect; I don't think you could do so with this (like you can with the original PULSE). This I did. It also instructs you to use plenty of lube before doing so. I don't often use lube when I wank - I like the friction and I never really considered it - but I did this too, using a whole sachet of water-based JO before starting.

I also made sure I had my usual weapons equipped - tissues on standby, two favourite sex scenes loaded and ready to play. I even had headphones in, so I could play them on full volume and possibly drown out any sound the Pocket Pulse might have made, which may have distracted me.

I was ready.

The product. Doubles as something you hang your towels on.

The Pocket Pulse, like its bigger predecessor, is a male vibrator with the PulsePlate incorporated - providing oscillations rather than a shuddering buzz. It has a number of intensities you can set it to (the manual claims both five and nine on successive pages; judging by my test I'm going to assume five), and pleasingly for the tech geeks, this variant comes with a remote control that you can use to up or down the setting (although you have to turn it on, or off, at the source).

I started with the lowest setting, lubed up and flaccid while in the toy, porn playing and headphones on. The most difficult thing, initially, was getting hard - I usually stroke my shaft to induce erection, how am I meant to do that when most of it is inaccessible? I managed, after a couple of minutes, to engender a fairly healthy erection through careful manipulation of what there was available (and the porn helped); with a fully erect penis, there was a lot more to play with.

The remote. Sure to please fans of both Plusle and Minun.

At this point, I definitely felt like I could orgasm, but the Pocket Pulse wasn't doing much to help, so I switched things up a bit - I used the remote to cycle through the settings (deciding upon the highest), slid the toy to the tip of my penis so the PulsePlate was pressing against my frenulum, and pressed my penis down against it with my thumb, while gently sliding it back and forth like I would be using my hand (although I had to do this with my left hand, since my right hand was busy holding my cock down).

Pleasant sensation though this was, it wasn't really doing much to help. It felt like a slightly warm tingle (the toy heats up while in use), and although this wasn't unpleasant (and it didn't hurt), it wasn't really doing much for me. I was enjoying myself, but I'm fairly sure this was more due to the strokes of my hand than anything the Pocket Pulse was doing; if I'd removed the toy and just done the same motions with my hand on my foreskin, then it would have been very similar.

Frustratingly, as well, I wasn't getting to orgasm - I was very nearly there, and was on the edge a couple of times. It was like there was a barrier there stopping me from that final push - very annoying!

In the end, predictably, I stopped using it and finished myself off manually. By this time, my hand was numb from holding this buzzing toy for so long, and my penis was both warm and covered with a sticky residue (presumably what's left of the lube after the heat from the Pocket Pulse evaporated it). But I came fairly quickly after that.

So how do I rate this? It's most certainly not a bad product, and I most definitely preferred it over the original PULSE. It didn't make me come, but then that's not really a surprise, is it? If I weigh up the pros and cons, it may help:

The Good:
- Sleek, slender and lightweight design, so can be used while sitting
- Nice little remote for you to fiddle with
- Good box design; good-looking product; makes no pretentions
- Feels good in the hand; feels good on the penis
- Easy to manipulate

The Bad:
- Range of oscillations doesn't really do much for me
- Still quite loud, although quieter than the QUEEN/BEE
- Heats up while in use, drying lube quickly leaving a sticky residue
- Makes your hand go numb
- It's not hands-free, despite what the literature claims - you need to hold it in place

Oh, and I really, really, REALLY dislike the term "guybrator". It's an absolutely appalling pun, and terribly gendered. They appear to have trademarked it, as well... which is even worse!

I genuinely can't give this a totally negative review, though. The original PULSE had its issues (although I know a lot of people loved it) and this - maybe just because of its small size and more specific instructions - genuinely appears to have addressed those concerns. And it certainly looks gorgeous, but then, all of Hot Octopuss' products do.

So it may be worth a try, specifically if you liked any of the previous PULSE products and liked them, if your penis is sensitive enough to respond to the PulsePlate, or you want a small toy to carry in your hand luggage.

I can't get away from the fact that it didn't make me orgasm, though - and that I was so close was incredibly disappointing. For that, I'm sorry. I can't deny that, from my point of view, it didn't work.

 Pocket Pulse Remote by Hot Octopuss, kindly provided by the manufacturers. Find out more from their site, where you can also buy it for £69 (without the remote) or £75 (with it).

Many thanks to Hot Octopuss for not garrotting me with a spoon for using their graphics.

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

List of unusual places ILB has masturbated

This post is entirely Emmeline's fault, inspired solely by this post. With thanks to my dickbrain and its strange capacity for memory.

I have masturbated in some weird places. I would imagine that most of us have, and now that I think about it, a lot of the places I've masturbated have a common theme: they are available, they are private, they have been there when I have been either horny, bored, or (in all honesty) both. Skipping past the more obvious places - in my bed, in my computer chair, in the bathroom, etc. - I've ploughed through the depths of my mental Rolodex and some up with a few of the most bizarre.

01. In a tent.

Yeah, this one shouldn't really come as a surprise. What may come as a surprise is the amount of different tents I've done it in. My one-man all-weather tent (in which I've also had sex); the standard triangular orange Vango; a lightless green army tent that sleeps twelve; a bell tent; a mess tent; and a standing toilet tent, complete with removable chemical toilet. One camp, sexually confused and attracted to one particular young lady with us, I masturbated in the toilet tent about once every day for the week. It was genuinely the only place to do so.

02. In my sleeping bag.

On balance, not the best idea, especially when you consider that you may end up sharing your sleeping bag with the resulting jizz. I've done this a few times, including once on 47's bedroom floor while he was asleep, but I always stoppd short of orgasm, mostly for fear of whatever happened next.

03. In a public toilet in Bournemouth, while waiting to go and collect my girlfriend.

I think I may have written about this, but it bears repeating. I was in Bournemouth with Woodcraft. Rebecca was staying not too far away, in Ringwood, and got a train down to see me for the day. I had made place to leave the beach to go and get her, but was feeling really horny. Intentionally, I left the beach early, walked into the nearest public toilet I could find, and brought myself to orgasm in one of the cubicles while standing up.

04. In my girlfriend's bedroom.

This doesn't seem like a strange place to do so, but the situation was. I was in Oxford. The Seamstress was away for a few days at a conference, and I had nothing to do in London, so I stayed in her bedroom for two days, ostensibly working on an essay I was doing for university (with a pleasant and familiar environment, full of books to read, a desk, two pages of notes and regular cups of tea from her mum, I had a good two days, and completed the essay with relative ease). I had my cranky old laptop with me, not wanting to risk my netbook by carrying it on the Tube; I wanted to masturbate, but didn't have any porn to hand.
My imagination was shot, so I ploughed through my years-old laptop in order to find something to give me a kickstart. I found one picture, and masturbated to that. The instant I finished up, and had cleaned up, the Seamstress' mother came in to offer me another cup of tea. I had a good couple of days.

05. In a hospital.

This is quite recent, actually. Last year, I was an inpatient for a night after complaining of chest pain. Because I have a family history of heart problems (my grandad died of a heart attack), and I have a borderline ECG with slightly high ST elevation, severe chest pain almost invariably lands me in A&E. This was the first time I was admitted, just in order to keep me under observation.
I had Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows with me, so I had something to read; I also asked for a sandwich, because I was feeling hungry. Fortunately for my libido, they had also put me in a private room. I adjusted my bed, lay back with the door closed, and made myself forget all about being in pain.

06. Various toilets in non-public facilities.

Including, but not limited to: a bandroom, while the rest of the band were having their coffee break and only just managing to return to my station before we started playing again; my church after the service, while my grandparents (who usually drive me home) were serving coffee; my cousin's bedroom, while we were housesitting for them and I had my netbook precariously positioned on her bedside table; everywhere I've ever worked (with one exception: one of the places I work now); the showers at the local leisure centre; in a youth hostel; the Adelphi Building at Salford University; Pizza Hut; another Pizza Hut. Possibly also in Chiquito - I forget.

07. In my university's union bar.

I'd only really been at university for about eight hours. Lectures weren't due to start until the following week. The corridor in student hall I was staying in was yet to be full. I had no idea what freshers' week was, thinking it had something do to with sex. I was confused by the tiny size of the room I'd been given and was trying my best to prioritise the space.
In the evening there was a free club night in the union bar. I walked down there, following the steady stream of fellow first-years who were in various states of inebriation. I didn't pull, but of course I was never going to, I was never confident or attractive enough. However, I also realised halfway through the thudding, sweaty mess that I hadn't yet had a wank while being there. I'd only really started doing so about a year or so beforehand, and was looking forward to wanking without having to listen for footsteps... so I ducked into the bathroom and had my first orgasm of living independently while listening to drunk people throw up.

08. In the lounge at my parents' house, absent-mindedly, while drinking tea with my girlfriend and watching 8 out of 10 Cats does Countdown on More 4.

I didn't come.

Sunday, 15 April 2018

Soft Porn Sunday: Kim Dawson & Timothy Stempien

Okay, I'll admit it. I've only ever actually seen this episode once. It was a long time ago, as well, and I'm not even sure I remember the plot correctly.

Great start there. Well done, ILB.

Anyway, there's an episode summary somewhere online, and after a bit of digging, it turns out my memory isn't that sketchy at all. I wasn't aware, however, that this scene is from the first episode of Bedtime Stories - Series 1, Episode 1 - but I do remember once catching about 30 seconds of it while sitting in 47's parents' house. Because that's how I roll.*

(*It was completely by accident.)

Appearance: Bedtime Stories, Series 1: "Strangers" (2000)
Characters: Belle & David

Bedtime Stories, like Passion Cove, et al., has an overarching theme with a specific setting. There's a different main character every episode - usually a female one - looking for sexual satisfaction in a safe environment. Belle (played by Kim Dawson, credited throughout as "Kim Sill", confusingly) is a slightly older lady who owns a... hotel? brothel? big house? It's never quite explained, nor is it explained how she managed to rustle up some random attractive men who appear to really, really, really like cunnilingus. Every single episode has at least one scene which features a lady getting licked to orgasm.

Maybe I should apply.

This episode's female main character is Danielle (Susan Featherly), who is bored with her husband
"Butterfly out in the sun..."
James (Brad Bartram). She goes to stay at Belle's whatever; Belle then introduces her to two men: Jaques (Brad Bartram again), who isn't James in disguise honest guv, and David (Timothy Stempien). They spend an annoyingly long amount of time wearing masks, ostensibly to make it more fun, although the real plot point is to hammer home the fact that Danielle can't identify her husband by his voice and body shape, and needs to see his face in order to correctly know who he is.


Or something. I wasn't paying attention.

Anyway, so Belle has sex with David at one point, and that's what I'm focusing on.

Bedtime Stories' sex scenes are well-shot, but rather formulaic. This one starts off with both Belle and David wearing their masks, which is more of an attempt to make it "unusual", I guess; this doesn't, however, change anything in the first thirty seconds, which is mostly build-up - you know the sort: occasional kisses, disrobing (Kim Dawson's top is off within the first ten), occasional breathy moans which make it sound sexier (presumably), before we get the customary Bedtime Stories cunnilingus at 00:27.

Because this is totally what oral sex looks like.

By which time David has taken his mask off. Unless he's actually using the long nose to penetrate her, which I doubt. For the rest of the scene, the mask has completely vanished. It's not too important, but they completely forgot about it. Mind you, if it was me, I wouldn't put it back on, either. It'd be like having sex with Mr Punch.

The oral sex here takes place with Belle perched on the edge of the bed, legs splayed, and David kneeling on the floor, head between her thighs. This may well be the optimum position, actually; from my experience, that angle allows for greater exploration of the labia, deeper penetration from the tongue, clitoral stimulation and I'm sorry, I've just come. Oh, and your neck hurts less. In any case, Belle is clearly enjoying herself. Kim Dawson is making some noises - loud one - and tipping her head (you can see anything else due to mask-related shenanigans), and the music has done a bit of a crescendo, so clearly she's meant to be having a good time.

At aboit 00:57, she's kicking her legs about randomly, which may be signifying an orgasm, although to me it calls to mind Luigi's jump in Super Mario Bros. 2, which gives you an indication of where my priorities are.

This being Bedtime Stories, the oral sex goes on for a while, and it's only until a minute has passed
Behind The Candelabra
that we get a mix to another shot. Belle is riding David here, although it's an odd variant on the cowgirl position; she is leaning forwards, hanging her boobs over him (presumably so he can look at them and forget that he can't see her fucking face), but it's not quite close enough to be reverse missionary. It's just some weird hybrid of the two. We get this from a couple of angles, actually - there are eve some close-ups of Belle's tits and David making some weird gurning facial expressions - and Kim Dawson lets out some more yelps of pain pleasure, before we mix to yet another shot.


I should mention the music here. Bedtime Stories does a specific line in music. Some of the scenes use one specific electric-guitar-driven tune which I could swear I've heard in more than one scene, even from different producers. Some others use a weird, soft, synthy thing which I think is meant to be romantic. This scene is using... well, kind of both. I don't hear any electric guitars, but there's somebody pratting about with drums in the background and a repeated four-note melody. This comes in at random intervals and is played at different keys, but it's the same thing, essentially. It builds up a little, but doesn't really sync with the scene, although there's a nice bit that's reminiscent of Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest.

God, I notice the stupidest details.

At 01:43, they have switched to the missionary position and David is thrusting away merrily, although Kim still hasn't taken off her mask(!). There's nothing particularly special here - in fact, it's filmed from far away so we can also look at all the pretty décor - but this is probably my favourite part of the scene. It's got the most movement, it looks the most genuine, and it gives Stempien something to do except just lie there and think of money. We even see his face at one point, complete with floppy hair and odd line in his chin.

An absolute highlight, however, is the brief silhouette we see on the wall. It's not easy to screencap,
White shadow.
but we get a shadow of Belle's legs in the air (including shoes - she's still wearing her shoes), bouncing back and forth... the camera then pans across to the sex. It may not add much, but it's a nice touch, and it's a refreshing change from just body on body from different angles!


There isn't anything more to add. There's some more sex, and it's pretty hot. Kim Dawson is amazing, and Timothy Stempien is trying his best. If you're into this sort of thing, it's a good example of a basic lusty sex scene, and it's something that certainly works for me.

The best thing, though, has to be the setting. It's one of the various rooms in Belle's... château?... and the décor is marvellous. The bed itself has a gold headboard; the room is plush and lavishly decorated, with chairs, cushions and pouffes; there are the ubiquitous soft porn candles everywhere (because of course there are, it's soft porn, you have to have a candle); it all gives off a sense of comfort and luxury. It seems like a very nice place to have sex - even if too nice, maybe it's a little sanitary in a way. But this is Bedtime Stories, so yeah, there we go.

David had to go on top so it didn't ruin his hair.

Overall, this is a pretty good scene, and one I'm pleased to have rediscovered. Kim Dawson is beautiful, so it's a bit of a shame she doesn't take off her mask, but she's delivering a stellar performance. I like Timothy Stempien too - I don't recognise him from anywhere else, but he's doing what he can with a rather limited part. And his body has some curves, so there's somewhere for Dawson to put her hands.

Bedtime Stories is clearly aimed at women, which is a shame to make something so gendered, but that just means that it focuses more on female pleasure, which is by no means a bad thing. It makes a change from the phallocentric close-ups of amateur hardcore, or the sci-fi setting of your average Surrender Cinema production. This may not appeal to everyone - I know a lot of people who would prefer something more extreme. But I like this. This is my bag. And, for what it's worth, this scene has made me orgasm more than once.

Slow clap for this one. ILB is almost satisfied.

Friday, 13 April 2018

Frustration

so what do i do with no working internet

i sit and i watch reboot for the umpteenth time, but there isn't the episode i want to watch, but it's on youtube

damn, there is no youtube

i check twitter on my blackberry. i feel my arousal growing. i open vlc media player and activate my external hard drive

i have no idea what to watch

so i open many things. i skip through emmanuelle with the force of a thousand daemons. i pass on co-ed confidential, beach heat miami and fast lane to vegas. i don't know what i want. the only thing i really want is an orgasm

something to do while the internet isn't working

before i go to work this evening

and suddenly i know what i want to watch. i know where it is. i don't have it, but i know where it is

but that's online and i can't get online

so i open vlc media player again, and i spool endlessly through my collection, never stopping, never resting, never deciding

and i begin to phase out. i take hold of my shaft and feel its size and weight resting in my palm. i slide my foreskin up and down. i feel myself pulse. there's porn on the screen, but i have forgotten what it is

and i force an orgasm out. all over my hand, my stomach... dripping down my thighs. on the towel that i'm sitting on. i force myself to have an orgasm, to the point that now, as i write this, i can't remember what it is i was thinking about at the time

and i clean up half-heartedly

i want to go back to bed, but i have work. so i put my trousers on. get my satchel. check my wallet. my blackberry. my keys

i leave a note for my girlfriend

i walk out of the door and melt into the mêlée outside

sitting on the bus and wondering how i'm feeling

through the crowds, buying a snack, sitting down at a desk and turning the computer on

i still don't know what i want

and a small voice in the back of my head says

oh god i'm so sexually frustrated

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

One Year Later

When I found myself in the first year of secondary school - year 7 - having just come out of a fairly easy ride through primary, I suddenly became an outsider. I didn't have many friends: my two best friends at primary (Robinson, and my friend-who-is-a-midwife) had been accepted into the local selective grammar school; the next two had gone on to another, non-selective grammar for boys. In my mixed-sex, mixed-ability comprehensive, my fate had already been decided by the end of the first day: I was an outsider.

I didn't exactly try to make friends, and ended up meeting the ones I did purely by accident. One person I did talk to occasionally (although mostly because we sat next to each other when alphabetised by surname) was always someone I was unsure about, but at least she would talk to me. She ranged from being very sweet to very horrible - I thought at one point that she may have fancied me; she may well have done... but, then again, she wrote a song about me in which she called me "wanker" and suggested I have sex with cats - and I was confused and upset by her seemingly constantly changing attitude towards me.

It wasn't until halfway through my first year that I realised what her aim was. She was friends with a pair of sisters - non-identical twins - in our year. She told me, in no uncertain terms, that both of these girls fancied me, and that I should go out with one of them. At the age of 12, I personally thought of myself as too young to start going out with people, but then I'd also started developing crushes. I wasn't quite having sexual feelings - not yet, anyway - but I was at least heading in that direction.

The reason I was so resistant to the concept of going out with either of these sisters was that I knew nothing about them. The girl in my class (who, later, transferred schools and wrote articles for CosmoGIRL! about how everyone hated her for being a lesbian - which was completely untrue; we hated her massive attitude problem) didn't elaborate or even attempt to introduce me to either of them. Lightsinthesky also had a crush on the taller, prettier one of the pair, and I didn't have the heart to tell him.

Towards the end of year 7 and well into the start of year 8 I found myself - all of a sudden - having intense and actually quite scary (for my 13-year-old self) sexual feelings towards her. I'd started experimenting with sexual fantasies earlier, but usually involving somebody faceless or odd ones involving machinery or dark satanic cannibalism (don't judge me!). I'd never really fixated on one specific person before - and yet here I was, attempting to catch a glimpse of her for the potent erections it was giving me, or lying in bed at night wondering why I couldn't forget her face.

In amongst all this sexual hullabaloo, I'd almost forgotten that a few months ago she had a crush on me, and that I could have asked her out, but didn't. I wouldn't have had the nerve even in year 8, but I'd also convinced myself that if I did, I wouldn't have a chance. She was, after all, tall, blonde, and very pretty. I knew her a little better now - she was a bit flighty and too obsessed with Leonardo DiCaprio - but that didn't diminish any sexual feelings for her I was having. After all, my mum told me I looked like Leonardo DiCaprio (spoiler: I look nothing like him). I put all other thoughts aside and constructed a story in which she stripped for me in the alley behind my house and then made love to me in a handily-placed bush.

A few weeks later and it suddenly occurred to me that I could ask my on-again-off-again lesbian "friend" if said girl was indeed still interested in me. If she said yes, then fine - I'd ask her to ask her out for me, and that might go somewhere; if she said no, then also fine - there were other girls I was interested in by this point, and this was almost entirely sexual, so probably not appropriate anyway. But then that was a no-win situation: someone would overhear, or she would spread it around that I'd asked, and then my secret would be out, and her life would be terrible (mine already was).

I dithered around for a while, wondering what to do - a wonder exacerbated somewhat by Lightsinthesky and his intensifying cry of "oh man, she is so FIT!" every time she passed by. She (and her sister) used to sit with us at lunch, as well, which made it both pleasant and uncomfortable at the same time: I was starting to get to know her a little better, but was still having incredible sexual attraction towards her while Lightsinthesky debated whether or not to write a note saying "I LOVE YOU" and pass it to her.

In tne end - perhaps wisely - I didn't do anything. I didn't say anything, I didn't act on anything, I didn't admit anything to anyone. I told my mum (but not my dad) about the other crush I had - which was more of a thing; this one wasn't sexual at all, it was just a romantic attraction - and basically talked myself out of what I potentially could have had, or could have had a year ago anyway, being any real possibility.

And, of course, I never even asked the girl in question about it herself - nor did I broach the subject with her sister, or my lesbian ex-friend, or anyone else (although I told my Head of Year that Lightsinthesky had a crush on her, although I've no idea why...!). I didn't even tell Einstein or Music Man or Man o' War or anyone else I trusted. It wasn't proper, I told myself. Helpfully, she herself seemed to fade away over the following year, and by the end of year 9, I barely saw her. Across the playground once or twice, perhaps, and taking Games at the same time. But most of the time she just wasn't there.

At the time, I regretted not saying anything back in year 7 or even year 8 when I may have had a chance to go on a date (even at a very young age). By the time I got to year 9, and especially year 10, I most definitely was. Certainly there was nobody else who had ever fancied me (or, if there had been, I'd never picked up any sign). My tenuous link to her - who had now left the school and was writing letters to CosmoGIRL! amounting to "EVERYONE WHO ISN'T A LESBIAN IS A HOMOPHOBE!" - was gone. My sexual feelings had matured, and were now much less vague and arbitrary and unexplained.

*

Halfway through year 11, she turned up to the swimming pool in a one-piece bathing suit while I was doing my weekly swim with the Christian youth group I was part of. I said hello, tucked my raging erection into a pocket of my swimming trunks, and tried to think of something else.

"You look distracted," said one of the guys in the group. "You were looking at that girl a lot."
"Oh, yeah..." I said, vaguely. "She used to fancy me," I added, truthfully.
"She did? Did you go out? She's really good-looking."
"...No," I said. "I... she... do you know what...?"
"..."
"..."
"..."
"...I don't know."

I was still hard when I got home.

Saturday, 7 April 2018

Borrowed Time

You find me writing this post on what is, essentially, the high-wire between the Twin Towers. I'm unsteady, nervous, and at any point, I may drop off. It's a laboured analogy, sure, but it's pretty accurate.

Yesterday morning the internet in our house cut out. It's not the first time it's happened, but I reset the router (which is in my room by virtue of the fact that the only live telephone port is in this room) and waited for a connection. There wasn't one. I tried again. Nothing. Eventually, by some frontend stuff, I managed to establish a local connection to the wireless network, but without a route from there to a more global connection, I couldn't access the internet. I was stuck.

It's amazing how isolated this makes you feel. I genuinely don't use the internet for much. I blog, I tweet, I use IRC and I check my e-mails. That's about it - I'm not a social media fiend, although I do have a Facebook account (but I rarely use it); I don't game online because I'm more of a console gamer; my PC is too old to support most games from Steam and won't run Silverlight so I can't use Netflix; I don't even stream porn because most of my favourite porn is stored on my external HD, on my Discs of Wonder or on actual DVDs. The website I visit most frequently is probably Wikipedia - and after that it's probably my own blog.

Despite all this, it still felt like someone cut my arms off.

I have a data plan on my 'phone, but my 'phone isn't very powerful. It runs a fairly competent Twitter app, which is all I really need, but I couldn't check my e-mails on it. My tablet runs off the Wi-Fi in the house, so obviously it wasn't getting anywhere, and delighting in reminding me of that fact with accompanying noises and flashy lights. Even my 3DS was teasing me with its lack of access, which is very unfair, since all I wanted to do was play Donkey Kong Land 2 on the Virtual Console.

Eventually I caved and called our ISP.

Almos an hour later, with every other option exhausted and still no solid broadband light on our router, I decided to give it a night to rest, fed back to all my housemates and then went to see Blockers at the cinema. There wasn't any internet when I got back, and today I got a call back from my ISP advising me to unscrew the port and line a DSL cable directly into the wall, which I did. Still nothing. I'm beginning to suspect the landlord just didn't pay the BT bill, or something equally arbitrary.

So I'm currently accessing the internet via BT wi-fi with FON, which is sonething I haven't used for two years. I last used it in 2006 to circumvent a firewall, and I still had two day passes, one of which I have now activated. I suddenly felt wonderfully free again, and was able to check my e-mails (nothing new), enter the McDonald's Monopoly competition (no prizes), and open Twitter (nothing to say). I resisted opening Wikipedia, although I probably will later, and I even considered picking up a few projects I let fall by the wayside in the weeks of illness since 'con (from which I have now recovered - I'm back to singing, I'm pleased to report).

But mostly, it was just "...now what do I do?"

And here I am. There will be more posts coming your way - sex stories, Soft Porn Sundays, maybe even a review or two, and many, many more of my disastrous attempts at humour. But, for now, they are all coming courtesy of my local library, Wi-FI hotspots, and temporary passes I bought years ago in order to download porn.

As you were.

Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Review: QUEEN/BEE by Hot Octopuss

It's been a while since I reviewed a sex toy, let alone one by Hot Octopuss - who, as I said in the previous post, I have a complicated relationship with. I think it's a fair assumption that none of the numerous variations of the PULSE will work for me - maybe due to a combination of the size of my cock and its lack of sensitivity, or maybe it's just not my style, who knows? - but this product is different. So very different. I just had to try.

So here we have the Queen Bee, stylised as QUEEN/BEE on the box and in all the promotional
BOX
marketing. It is, essentially, a two-sided vibrator - with a smooth, firm "massage" side and the rumbly, buzzy PulsePlate on the other side (which is meant to be oscillating; it looks like it's bouncing to me, more than anything else). One can use either side on the labia, vaginal opening or clitoris, or (because it is slightly spoon-shaped) you can turn it on its side and put it elsewhere - or pinpoint the clit, if that's your thing.


Preliminaries

Like all Hot Octopuss products, the QB certainly looks pretty. The box is well-designed enough - even though I really could do without the Union Flags, that's a little too Brexit for my liking - and the product itself is designed to look like a sex toy. It couldn't be anything else, and it's not pretending to be - it has a grey/silver colour scheme and couldn't be mistaken for much else (perhaps a microphone?). You could probably also murder someone by hitting them over the head with it, so maybe it'll end up in an edition of Cluedo? at some point.

I charged the QB for a few hours before use, and was a little too excited by the magnetic charging lead - which fits in so snugly it's impossible to misfeed; the magnets automatically align it. It takes more than three hours to charge fully, so this really is a toy that you need to put on, leave the house for a while and return hoping that you're horny enough to use it. Still, it is wireless once charged, so has the portability that other large products - like the Doxy - don't. It's still a big beast, though.

THING

Operations

The instruction manual doesn't say much, so I made some notes while testing. The raw facts are these:

1) Six patterns of vibration, which you can cycle through by pressing one button. They are, in order:
- "Continuous" (one continuous buzz)
- "Regular beats"
- "Fast beats" (as in, shorter and quicker, not Fatboy Slim music)
- "Very fast beats"
- "Beethoven's Fifth" (buzz buzz buzz BUZZ)
- "Heartbeat" (lubb-DUPP, lubb-DUPP)

2) Five levels of intensity, controlled by a plus and minus button. Hold down either button for a couple of seconds and the QB powers off, which threw me a bit, because you can achieve the same effect by holding the power button.

3) Needs to come bundled with earplugs, because this thing is LOUD. It's one of the noisiest sex toys I've ever seen (or, more accurately, heard). The more I think about it, the more I think I - as a millennial who lives in a share house with seven other people - may not be the target audience. I even had to develop a contingency plan (it's a particularly violent toothbrush), in case any housemates heard and came to investigate.

So does it actually hold up?

Well, it certainly works, and that's something.

One thing that was evident during use was that either side of the QB provides a completely different
LOGO
sensation. When trying the "massage" side, my test subject sex princess girlfriend reported that it wasn't doing much for her at all, whether pressed against her lips, vaginal opening or clitoral hood, and was only marginally effective on her clit. The opposite side, with the PulsePlate in it, produced an incredibly concentrated sensation, different on every setting and almost too much on high intensity.


After a few minutes of experimentation, we settled on holding the QB firmly against her clitoral hood, with the control end pointing upwards (so both she and I were holding it - she, the handle; I, the main head of the toy, pushing it gently forwards), the PulsePlate pressing against her clit, the unit set to "continuous" on the lowest speed (which is still, admittedly, fast). She reported back, through moans and heavy breathing, that this was one of the most intense experiences she had had with a toy, and unlike anything else.

Unfortunately, it didn't bring her to orgasm, which she achieved through use of her fingers while I pissed about with the QB making notes.

Following use, her vulva felt incredibly strange, with an odd kind of numbness across her entire lower half. She felt wobbly and uncomfortable, and found it difficult to relax afterwards. There was also a mute kind of "buzz" both through the toy and in her legs (I suppose that's where the 'bee' comes from). As I gather, it wasn't a pleasant sensation, but wasn't altogether horrible - just unique, unusual, and uncomfortable.

As the QB contains the PulsePlate, I also tested it on my penis, rubbing it up and down the shaft while erect. This was slightly tickly, and quite fun, but not an effective wanking method - although each to their own...!

Overall

The QB is a completely unique toy and something different. According to my girlfriend, it is incredibly intense to the point of being too much so on the PulsePlate side, and not enough on the "massage" side. She didn't like any of the patterns apart from "continuous", and although it turned her on, it didn't get her off.

Positive points are:
- Okay design
- Feels good in the hand
- Nice range of patterns and speeds
- Incredibly intense
- Handy murder weapon

Negative points are:
- Unnecessarily gendered name (although 'guybrator' is much, much worse)
- Possibly too intense
- Turns off when buttons are held for too long
- Loudissimo
- Doesn't tell you where to hide the body

But if you are looking for something completely unique, you like very deep, buzzy sensations in your lower half, and you don't mind feeling like you are in the middle of a nest of wasps, then the QB might be what you are looking for. It wasn't quite our cup of tea, but it does work. And if it's your thing, then you may well love it.

QUEEN/BEE by Hot Octopuss, kindly provided by the manufacturers. Find out more from their site, where you can also buy it for £99.

Many thanks to Hot Octopuss for not ripping off my head for using their graphics.

Saturday, 31 March 2018

Ten Things I Got Out Of Eroticon 2018 (The Human Beings Edition)

It's taken me a while to even think about having the spoons to write a post of this magnitude. Unlike last year, when I wrote a huge post of gratitude, this time around I'm trying the 'ten things' listicle trope, for a number of reasons. One - it's easier; two - it's quicker; three - who doesn't love a good listicle?

It's also taken me a few tries to get this one right. My initial attempt resulted in paragraphs that were far too long and had no real point. I realised, after a while, that I was trying to mention too many people in every sentence. It didn't make for a particularly good read, and was becoming more of a link farm than anything else.

But I had a point.

It may be fair to say that the sex blogging community isn't what it used to be; there are faces missing and so many new ones it's difficult to keep up, and there's a vague, slightly élitist undercurrent that is a little too detectable for my liking. This year, for the first time, I could even say there was a presence at 'con that I actively disliked - although the event, as usual, was great - and I just had to choose the people I talked to with a little more care than I'd like to.

I usually talk to everyone...

In any case, whatever's happening, Eroticon is still all about the community for me. The event works because it brings everyone together, and as a result of missing a few sessions, I was even more grateful for the chance I did get to spend with people I love.

So, in no particular order, ten people I loved from Eroticon 2018 are:

01. Rose Monrou
In any event with numerous people attending, I've always felt that it helps to have at least one person that you know you'll be comfortable with. If this person is someone you have known for years - including going on trips, attending events, and even losing at Mario Kart: Double Dash!! to - who is always solidly, dependably present, then that is very much someone to be treasured.
So step forward, Rose - everyone's favourite tall crazy redhead, and from my experience, an excellent person to toast at drinks, have breakfast with... and swap tissues, as we were both very sick.

02. Nick
Yes, it's a community event, but Eroticon is - essentially - a series of talks and workshops, and there were some amazing ones this year (which I'll talk about later...). Having someone volunteer to stand at the door to provide security, advice and keep a general eye on the proceedings without attending any of the talks is positively Herculean.
Nick doesn't get anywhere near as much recognition for what he does, and I'm acknowledging him here for that very reason!

03. Emmeline Peaches
I have vivid memories of meeting Emmeline for the first time (in Camden, oddly enough!). I wasn't sure what to expect, but as it turned out, she was a geek, an animal lover and an excellent conversationalist. The words flowed freely, and I couldn't wait to see her again at Eroticon 2017 - which I did. I have missed her, and it was great fun to see her again during Eroticon 2018, whether exchanging pleasantries over drinks or whispered jokes in the back row of a session. I don't think I spent enough time with her this year, but I meant what I said - she is a good friend to have her around.
I'm a bit annoyed that I missed her session, though...!

04. Jadis (from Tits and Test Tubes)
Jadis' presence was, frankly, a surprise. I've been enjoying her content, but as a fairly nascent blogger - and a student, at that - I wouldn't be imagining her attendance in a million years. Yet here she was, bold as brass, incredibly open about who she was and what she was into, completely unapologetic, bombastic, and adorably excited by the MysteryVibe table (Jadis, if you're reading this, do try the Crescendo if you can - it's an experience!). She was a breath of fresh air, and that's the sort of thing I love.

05. Michael Knight
Livetweeting has been a part of the 'con experience since the very first one in 2012, and if there's one thing that makes it worthwhile, it's the quickfire jokes that ping back and forth as we convene and the trend-shifting #Eroticon hashtag that we can all use as a handy lynchpin.
It helped, then, that there were smooth, scrolling Wallrus screens, broadcasting our messages, pictures and groan-inducing puns for all attendees to see. It worked last year, but it was even better this year... and if the conversation with Michael is anything to go by, that was his idea - so more power to him!
Michael also gave the little speech at the end in thanks to GOTN that almost made me cry. I was, to be frank, expecting it... but I certainly wasn't from Michael. Just goes to show, really.

06. Alex and Aly (from Hot Octopuss)
I have a complicated relationship with Hot Octopuss. I was the first blogger to review the PULSE, and I didn't like it much, which Adam (does your name have to begin with an A to work for Hot Octopuss?) took exception to. But I have no such problem with the people behind the products. I adore Alex and Aly - everything from the way they look to their slightly caustic wordplay... and that fast that, as it turns out, Alex is a brony.
I won a Hot Octopuss product in the raffle this year, but because I'd already offered to review one, they very kindly offered me another toy to make up for that. So this morning the postman dropped off a Queen Bee... and I'm envisioning a very grateful girlfriend at some point very soon...

07. Cressida Downing
I wasn't actually going to attend Cressida's session until Emmeline talked me into it, so I was as surprised as anyone when I actually volunteered to talk about my blog with her to see if there is, in fact, a book in it.
Long story short: as it turns out, there isn't - but there are a couple of books to be made out of my OCD-like addiction to soft porn. So maybe there are a couple of books in the blogger, after all.
It was during this session that I came up with the ides of Jadis doing Naked Science, like Kaori used to do. Hi, Kaori. I miss you.

08. Amy (from Coffee & Kink) and Hannah (of the confessional kind)
While these two are both very talented and worthy in their own right, they are quite similar in my memory, because they both attended my session last year, they both had a new(ish) blog that they wanted to build, and I promised them both that I would follow their blog over the year. And I meant it - so I did.
I was very pleased to see both of them back, and more so when Hannah told me she remembered a compliment I gave her over a year ago! I also got to talk to them a bit on the second day, whereas on the first (and at the drinks on Friday), I barely got a chance to. I was a little afraid, actually, that I wouldn't be allowed to say much to either of them at all. I'm pleased that that wasn't the case. Keep blogging, girls!

09. Charlie Powell (a sex blogger, of sorts)
Because, through the tumultuous sea of snow and ice outside to the pleasing heat of the doors inside, and though my head was foggy with fever and my bladder full to bursting, and I had to leave the fetish.com session because I was choking so much, one thing still holds true: I am, have been, always will be, very appreciative of the existence, intelligence, and tenacity of Charlie Powell.

10. Aaron Burr, sir
Who's the damn fool that shot him.

Monday, 26 March 2018

Halo

Everywhere I'm looking now
I'm surrounded by your embrace
Baby, I can see your halo
You know you're my saving grace


Recovering from an acute illness can be brutal. There have been times, over the past week, where I can't recall ever having felt worse. Of course I probably have, but I can't recall. My head is foggy. Thinking is difficult.

Sleeping, which is always something I've had trouble with, is worse. I've been up every night: sometimes coughing apoplectically, sometimes dashing to the toilet, sometimes choking and having to grab water, or vomiting into the kitchen sink. Waking up is vague - getting up even more so. Today I managed to get dressed in good time, which is a small victory in itself.

I can't even pleasure myself correctly. I tried to construct a scene in my head yesterday. It worked well enough, but fell apart as soon as I realised the music was all wrong. With this desperate, ragged breathing, and severe chest and back pain, sex is also out of the question.

Last night, I straightened the sheets before getting into bed.

It made a world of difference. Rather than just sitting there and pulling the dishevelled heap of duvet over, I made the effort (yes, I know - but there was effort involved, trust me), and straightened everything out. Half the duvet each. Two pillows each. Everything, basically, as it should be. I didn't honestly think, initially, that this would make much of a difference - it was just something to do while tidying - but then I actually got into bed...

...and it was glorious. Effortless in its simplicity. No uncomfortable pillow positions. None of the chilly lack of duvet or the overabundant constriction of too much. No blue screens, or mindless television patter, or distractions. Just the bed, and myself, and her.

I haven't been able to hold her too much in the past week, either. She is, also, unwell; we are both feeling tender. Money and housing worries are pressing down on us, and with the constant flow of our jobs causing occasional absences (and not really aiding our health), it has been difficult. I have missed her warmth. I have missed holding her close. It is simple, but it's the sensation that I miss. I can lie there gasping for air, or regulate my breathing to stop the sound I appear to be making like a cross between a banshee and the Nazgûl. Maybe it's healthier to be up and about. But in the middle of the night, sick or not, all I need is her.

And, for the rest of the night, that was all. I had to get up a few times, but every time, I knew that when I slipped back into bed, it would be full of her warmth. I knew that I had space to relax - rest my tired body even if my brain refused to do so - and that I would be mere inches from her, as well.

Last night I slept in a pool of warmth and love.

I'm not better. But I felt it.

Thursday, 22 March 2018

Croak

I owe you all a blog post, I know.

I have plenty of things to say about Eroticon. I always do. I've even started one of those "ten things..." posts, which will get done - although quite when, I'm not sure - but it will need serious rewrites before I even get close to posting it. I barely ever rewrite anything, so that does mean something.

I've been in something of a daze since the weekend. If you were there, you may have noticed that I had a bit of a cold during 'con (and, indeed, I left the Fetish.com session because I almost choked). I wasn't alone; my good friend Rose had a cold just as bad and, on Saturday morning before the venue opened, we sat in Caffé Nero swapping tips for how to make it through. I'd like to think that, given the circumstances, I did.

Immediately following the closing plenary (during which I won a prize... but I've given the guys from Hot Octopuss the wrong address... which may be a problem...), I dithered about what to do. I wanted to go for a relaxing drink with the remaining delegates, but I'd also promised to attend a musical event that evening.

I chose the musical event, which was - with hindsight - a mistake. I made it about as far as Stockwell before I got completely lost, and ended up panicking for 45 minutes, walking through increasingly heavy snow with no hat, gloves or scarf. By the time I found the pub, I was a changed man. Weak with hunger, desperate for the toilet and shivering all over - not to mention soaked to the skin - I made it to the event with only 30 minutes left. I went on stage, spoke my way through two songs (effectively using up what was left of my voice), and then phased out completely.

How I got home that evening I'll never know. I used to commute to (and from) Waterloo, which is where I ended up, so at least I had a route.

Yesterday morning I had a doctor's appointment (for something completely unrelated), but by this point was too ill to dismiss what I had as a cold. I was disgnosed with bronchitis and put on (vegetarian) amoxicillin. Walking through the snow for an hour had probably led to the inflammation, but to be honest, I'd probably have been susceptible enough anyway.

Standing up hurts. It hurts to breathe; it hurts to talk; it hurts to move. It hurts to write, but it hurts more to not write. I want to. There's so much more I can say. But if I'm going to have to take rest breaks while writing a mere blog post, then maybe that's a sign that I need to slow down. If only a little.

But, for what it's worth, I really enjoyed Eroticon.