how a face can change when a heart knows fear // tmi tuesday #27

Greetings from not-LA! I’m visiting someone I’m dating this weekend and, since he worked today, I spent the whole day holed up in his room snuggling in his bed and watching cartoons. I’ve eaten Cheez-Its and 2 mini Three Musketeers bars. I’m a real grown-up, guys.

TMI Tuesday this week is a neat series of fun, pretty easy questions.

1. Are there any literary or TV/movie relationships that remind you of one of your real life relationships?

I watch a lot of TV and movies; anyone can tell you that (although, hilarious, not as much as actual real people who like television and movies). And, while I frequently find myself empathizing with characters’ emotions or experiences, I never really looked at a couple and thought, “Yes, that’s us.”

I think it’s because my relationships have been so complicated. Movies and television shows tend to have happy endings for their characters, and that’s never been me. I’ve never really seen my most meaningful relationships – one with someone who was married, the other with someone who is both long distance and poly – reflected in pop culture. It hasn’t given me much to work with, and I’ve been struggling to find the vocabulary from mono-, open, and poly-relationship to guide my relationships.

I assume we’re talking about dating/sex type relationships. I’ve never really noticed if TV/movie relationships are like the ones I have with my family or friends. I will say, however, that now when I watch anything that even remotely gets emotional about being a sibling, or being a parent, I get all watery and sloppy.

2. Would you rather make a
a. phone call
b. text
c. email

Definitely a text. Even though I love phone conversations and talking in person, I’ve gotten used to having text messages be my primary form of communication with people. I can get so many more thoughts out, and I can be quick and discreet. I love sexting, by the way.

Text messages also give me a decent record of what I’ve already said, without having to write a novel of an email about it.

3. What are you wanting more of in your sex life right now?


Sex. Communication. Intimacy. All the things that make sex really good and give me the warm fuzzies inside. Last night we fell asleep cuddling; he was pressed up against me with his head on my breasts and I was holding his head and stroking his hair. It was wonderful and made me deeply happy, but I wish that kind of intimacy was accompanied by the sex and conversation that made our first few months together amazing.

4. If you knew that in one year you would die suddenly, would you change anything about the way you are living right now?

I would get a new job that allowed me to work remotely and/or travel, quit my current one, and spend the last year of my life splitting my time between all the places I’ve always wanted to see and spending time with my family. I would stop worrying about money (except not really, I wouldn’t want all my debts to transfer to my parents since my life insurance wouldn’t cover all of them) and I would stop worrying about making other people happy. I would either dive into my current relationship or I’d let him go, depending on what he was willing to do with me before I died. I would write. I would research. I would finish all my DIY projects and wear a bikini to the beach.

5. Fill in the blank: If you really knew me, you’d know_____.

That I am insecure, and afraid that anyone who loves me will leave me, and anyone who likes me will never love me, and that I am only being played for a fool.

Bonus: If you could change one thing about how you were raised as a child, what would it be?

I would definitely have changed the fact that I grew up knowing virtually nothing about dating. I had no idea how to wear makeup or pick out clothes. As I’ve grown older I’ve grown weary of the games people play in dating, but to be honest I think it’s partially because I don’t know how to play the games or make them work for me. Once I know someone I can be flirty and sexy as much as I can be serious and intellectual, but I tend to be the latter first and then the former.

Image from Romantic Pornography on tumblr.

but fever let me play the game

This week I was reading the Internet (as one does at work) and came across this Buzzfeed article and took the 16 Personalities assessment, and the combination got me thinking. I won’t go into the more practical side of money here (a different post for a different blog I don’t write), but I think we all have money stories about relationships that we wish didn’t exist.

Because I came from a family without money, I always assumed that I would end up with in a fairly equitable relationship. Neither me nor my partner would significantly outearn the other, because I just couldn’t imagine a world in which I knew people that far out of my socio-economic circle. I must have known that most of my friends’ parents’ outearned mine – that I was already outside of my socio-economic circle – but I never thought much of it. I was an optimist, I suppose. My boyfriend at the time did not seem significantly out of my reach, money-wise, and now that we are adults I know this is true.

When I finished college, I realized I had met a lot of rich people – people who went to the Caribbean for spring break, people whose families traveled to Europe every summer, people whose families owned summer homes and personal helicopters rich – but hadn’t really made friends with those students. I’d made friends with the other students on work-study, whose parents lived in modest suburb homes and who wanted to be activists and nurses and teachers. Even the future lawyers I met (and still know) do mostly public interest or government law. I made close friends with zero future doctors. I joked – often – that my brother, who was in computer science, would be supporting me and my parents in our old age. I didn’t date in college; I wished I could date the sons of professors and engineers and lawyers, but they dated the daughters of professors and engineers and doctors.

Post-graduate school was the first time I had to deal with my own money – and my own salary. I’d given up my dreams of becoming a professor to pursue the personal life school had always seemed to preclude me from participating in. I worked contract jobs for a while, earning a significant hourly wage but a low overall wage, and was able to save a little and spend a little, since I was living at home. When I finally took a full-time job, it was a low-paying public service one. In addition to internalizing the belief that I had failed my own potential (whatever that means, of course), I resigned myself to being too poor for many things. Given my salary – and the salaries I could expect – I could never afford a $20,000 wedding, a modest house in a good neighborhood, two college educated children, European vacations with a boyfriend. I couldn’t even afford an apartment with a nice bathtub and air conditioning.

At the time I was seeing someone who seemed to always need more money than he had. It wasn’t that he didn’t spend his money wisely – he was pretty responsible – he just needed all the money he made for necessities. I knew as a single person supporting only myself, I had the luxury of making choices that only affected me. I didn’t have pets, my parents and family didn’t need my help, and if I chose to pay for cable instead of for food that was my prerogative. Suddenly, I became the spender of the couple. When he wanted something nice for himself that he couldn’t afford, I would buy it for him. I bought expensive presents for his birthday and Christmas. I paid for meals when we went out together. I bought us gifts we could enjoy together (nice lingerie) and offered to pay for expenses as small as parking. I never begrudged him this; I knew he didn’t make very much and needed all he had, and I didn’t overspend. I did, however, question his life choices that made it so that he never had his own money. The parts of his life that required his financial attention weren’t parts of his life I could share in, so I was only guessing and empathizing with him.

In Los Angeles, dating is expensive – dating when you spend half your monthly income on rent takes some serious work. When I started dating again, I always split the bill with my date, unless he insisted or was just a gentleman who ordered my drink for me at the bar and paid. It wasn’t that I dated frequently and burned all my money this way; I just never thought to not split the expense. As a woman, of course I ended up coming out behind in the end – buying new dresses, new bras, new shoes, new makeup, new purses, getting my nails done, taking care of my health. But I was securely employed, well-educated, and independent; these were qualities I valued in myself and I needed others to value in me as well.

I haven’t dated “up” yet, despite the fact that I live in Los Angeles. In the words of Friends, I’m not fancy on the inside; it’s hard for me to find myself in situations in which I might meet those people who are higher on the social ladder than I am (it shouldn’t be hard to meet someone higher on the salary ladder than I am; I’m very, very low). I’ve never had a boyfriend that could take care of me. I’m not sure I’ve ever gone out with anyone who could even come close. Would it help? Absolutely. Like many young people, I’m burdened with student loan debt that I religiously pay. I pay my bills and keep a minuscule food budget but try to also enjoy my money and the experiences it can buy. I dream of dating someone who could help me cut expenses in half – food, trips and experiences, gas, rent. I dream of dating someone who could make possible parts of my life I’m not even sure I want – homeownership, namely. And would I let him pay for our dates? Probably.

I’m now dating someone who makes far less than I do (his hourly rate is about half of mine, plus he was briefly unemployed) but at the same time has more than I do. He lives where the cost of living is lower, but he has less expensive tastes than I do (he doesn’t need a theater subscription every year) and is happy someplace I could never really enjoy for long. This time, though, money is a strain. My job is stressful, which means I only enjoy it for the money, which is never enough. We only see each other about once a month; it hasn’t been long enough to see if we will be spending evenly on travel. While in some contexts we try to evenly split the cost of spending time together (he’ll pay for lunch, I’ll pay for the movie tickets; he’ll pick me up from the airport and drive, I’ll pay for the zoo entrance fee), in others I bear the bulk of the cost of us spending time together (we’ll both pay for the plane tickets to get somewhere, but I’ll pay for the hotel room that allows us to be alone together and food) and it makes me feel resentful. Perhaps it’s the fact that I’ve already done this for someone; I’m sure the mounting stress of my job is a contributing factor – the money that allows me to finance our time together is slowly killing me. But the fact of the matter is that I often find myself feeling angry-sad that he isn’t spending equally on us.

I don’t want him to not buy things for himself or enjoy his life without me. And I certainly want him to continue to save towards his own goals and to be comfortable with his financial situation. I dislike, though, the guilt-cycle that inevitably comes out of it: the resentment I feel at my investment not being met, the guilt I feel at being angry because I know he doesn’t make as much as I do, then the renewed resentment because I want to see him next month so I am contemplating buying his plane ticket. Someone joked that I was the “rich boyfriend” – how can that be, when I can barely pay my own rent?!

(Image from Joy of Lingerie on Tumblr. Click on the image to visit!)

bet you didn’t think so i command you to // tmi tuesday #26

I tried! We’ll see if I can make it to next week intact 🙂

TMI Tuesday this week is comprised of actually useful dating-site questions! I’ll answer those first.

1. Who has been the biggest influence in your life?

This is interesting… I’m not 100% sure. Of course my family has been a huge influence on me. My parents are not amazing people with credentials to their name. They were far from perfect parents. They were simply good parents. They made mistakes (at least, I think they were mistakes) and they made what they think are mistakes but that I could not care less about. They tried to teach me about my history and mold me into someone who could be anyone.

Did it always work out the way they intended? No. They encouraged me to not preemptively close any door, but that now means that I am often unable to make quick, painless decisions. I dither. I weigh my options. I wait until the last possible minute to make a decision unless there is a clear right one. At the same time, though, I can see a wide range of options and outcomes for any given situation.

They never pushed me to date, never pushed me to think of myself as pretty or prioritize my looks. They didn’t try to control or manipulate my sexuality and let me make all my decisions about it myself. My mother didn’t teach me how to wear makeup. My father didn’t interrogate me about boys. When my mother caught me over the phone having spent the night in a guy’s dorm room, she didn’t say anything. They virtually never press me about dating. I’m not sure my brother feels he needs to “come out” to them. Now I feel confident without makeup, I don’t feel that I need to share the men in my life with my parents, and I have confidence that comes from the knowledge that I am intelligent, perceptive, opinionated, hardworking, capable, compassionate, and a whole host of other adjectives. On the other hand, I find myself sometimes hurt that I don’t think of myself as beautiful because I have never heard that affirmed by anyone, and it’s difficult for me to take a compliment about my looks seriously. I sometimes assume that my parents assume I will never get married. I lack confidence when I think about dating because I was never taught how. I don’t read romantic/sexual body language or take hints well. I don’t know how to be in a relationship with another person. I am happy to eat alone at a restaurant, but I am sometimes unhappy to come home to an empty apartment. I’m honestly not sure how my parents would react if I told them I wasn’t committed to monogamy.

And they were the ones that really encouraged me to look at myself in the mirror and see who I really was. They were the ones who taught me about being Asian American, being a woman, having a middle-class mindset but a working-class life, being part of a history of activism and alliance and anger. Nothing that has happened to me since I was 17 would have happened without this influence, good and bad.

That being said, I actually I think perhaps the biggest influence at this point in my life has been a series of events, rather than a person. Hindsight has given me a lot of perspective on who I’ve become as a result of being Asian American, female, almost middle class, West coast, and highly educated. It’s especially given me clarity on my years in college.


2. What kinds of things really make you laugh?

I’m an easy date, I have to say. Bad puns make me laugh for real (only sometimes out of pity) because I generally think there’s a cleverness associated with puns. Good news. Adorable baby pictures and stories. Kitten pictures. These Instagram videos. Literally any time the cute boy says something cute or flirty. Funny Buzzfeed lists, especially the one about why you should all want to be Hufflepuffs. Great pictures of Chris Evans’s hair.


3. What’s your favorite place in the entire world?

Hotel beds and deep soaking tubs/jacuzzi tubs. Seriously.

Also London. Love the food, the walkability, the free museums, the abundance of theatre and music, the beauty of the bridges and Big Ben at night. I know I’m romanticizing it, but it was the first place I ever went abroad, and there’s still something quite magical about it to me.


4. Who is your best friend? What do you like about him/her?

My brother and cousin know me best and I talk to them the most. I like that they’re, you know, related to me, so they take me as I am. My brother and I have similar politics but he’s much stronger about his than me. He can also be a good voice of reason. My cousin is female and we have similar interests – television, movies, food, engagement ring shopping. We can literally have entire conversations about tacos, or our favorite meal – pizza, Caesar salad, and cookies. All three of us can quote Pitch Perfect and Friends ad nauseum.

My best friend is someone I grew up with. We’re close in the sense that we have similar life paths, so we can talk about quarter life crises, not having money, having to make tough decisions about where to live, how much we dislike our jobs, investing, getting married, etc. We’re not as close since he moved away to a different state, but I’d like to think we’re still pretty good adult friends. We have real conversations about our lives, politics, social issues, sports, and we can travel together and volunteer for each other’s interests.

In many ways, I think people I identify as partners are also my best friend. They know me in ways I don’t let anyone else know me. Not just sex, of course, but they tend to ask different questions because they didn’t grow up with me and they have a vested interest in certain aspects of my personality. They challenge what I say for clarity, and they want to know what they think about them. They also simply have an intimacy cultivated by constant contact. And, of course, they make me feel incredibly special. The last guy, for example, I talked to nearly every day, so he knew details of my job, my coworkers, my stress levels, my short term concerns, even what I was wearing or what I ate. Now cute boy especially wants to know who I am and how I think. He asks incredibly insightful questions about my personality, my likes and dislikes, my goals, my uncertainties.


5. What’s your biggest goal in life right now?

Get better at having difficult conversations. From asking my manager for help advancing my career to dealing with my building manager to telling someone to butt out of my business to telling a guy I’m not interested in him to telling a guy I want something akin to a traditional relationship, I need to be firm and clear and not let the fear of someone’s reaction affect me.


6. What was your family like growing up?

Different than all my friends’. My parents were self-employed, so I spent a lot of time with my relatives and taking care of my little brother. We lived far away from my parents’ business and where I went to school, so I learned how to live without a kitchen and a bedroom and a desk. I never learned how to ride a bicycle. I learned how to fix a toilet. I knew the value of money but also didn’t have to hoard it and was allowed to use it as I wanted, no matter how silly it seems in retrospect. I couldn’t play sports in my community, so my parents tried to find other ways to get me engaged with my peers. I was a Girl Scout, my brother was a Boy Scout. I didn’t get to go to sleepovers or just walk over to a friend’s. My brother and I spent a lot of time together. We played together and were a team against video games (I don’t mind grinding, and it’s much easier to keep track of stats when you have a second set of eyes dedicated to monitoring health and magic levels). My parents wanted both of us to avoid being pigeon-holed. They made me pursue advanced science and math courses even when I doubted my own abilities. They didn’t really challenge me to consider my own identity until I was in high school, but they made sure I knew about my grandmother’s camp experience when I was still in elementary school.


Bonus: What is one thing about you that would surprise us?

I used to play basketball. (Surprising.) I was terrible at it. (Unsurprising.)


That… was much longer than I’d expected!


Now for the less fun stuff, which I include only for the sake of clarity/context and because it is important and I’m trying to be more honest. When I started this blog – and through most of its existence – I had one partner. He was amazing and I love him, and I could go on and on about him. We were long distance, and we had other issues, which I won’t go into here. Late last year, I suppose we broke up. I say I “suppose” because I didn’t get the dignity of a breakup. Not that there’s anything inherently dignified about a breakup – mine have always been messy and I’ve been on the losing, sobbing end, to be honest – but I think there’s something respectful about telling someone you are no longer committed to them. Instead, I got the silent treatment. He simply stopped responding to my Twitter DMs and text messages and stopped calling me.

We had a brief text message conversation in January, but that’s it.

In some ways I’ve moved on, but I’m still waiting for time to heal all wounds.


Image from Captain Chaos on tumblr.

a backless dress and some beat up sneaks // tmi tuesday #25

It’s been over a year since I last blogged here, and everything is very different. I feel like a totally different person. I have a lot of thoughts and feelings that I’m just now realizing I could post about, but I can’t quite put them all into words right now. I’m going to ease myself back into this by doing TMI Tuesday again.

1. Where you live what is the current season?

Here, in Los Angeles, it’s winter!

2. Do you measure/report the weather temperature in Celsius or Fahrenheit?

Fahrenheit 🙂

3. Describe your ideal day of weather?

Depends on my mood. I particularly love rainy days, cool and overcast with both light and hard rain. That kind of weather just makes me want to curl up on the couch with hot cocoa and cookies and popcorn and a movie. Then I just want to cuddle up with a cute boy in bed and have sex with the windows open and the sound of the rain.

4. When it is cold outside I want to:
a. Run outside naked because it is exhilarating.
b. Bundle up in warm clothes and take a winter walk.
c. Turn the heat up, stay indoors, hibernate until warm weather returns.
d. I do not pay attention to the weather.

None of the above – I want to keep the temperature cool, wear only a robe, and get someone into bed with me to warm me up.

5. Do you go “commando” in cold weather or in winter?

No. Maybe I should? Is there a reason people do this?

6. For 10,000 USD would you rather ride a bike for one mile (1.6 km) in 7 degrees  F/ 14 degrees C weather or jump naked into a freezing cold Alaskan lake in winter?

I suppose I’d rather ride the bike, since I wouldn’t have to be naked, but someone would have to teach me how to ride a bicycle.

7. What is your favorite piece of winter clothing?

Coats! I have several cute ones.

8. Have you ever worn Long Johns aka long underwear or thermal underwear?

I actually think I have. I don’t know why, but I suspect it was when I was much younger and my mother was, for some reason, convinced that I was just going to freeze to death.

Bonus: Do you have more or less sex in the winter months vs. other times of year?

About the same. My sex life is very minimal all year. More on that later.

Image from HarleyyLouisee on tumblr.

i’m getting more open hearted // tmi tuesday #24

Hello everyone! Things have changed a lot since my last post in – OH GODS – MAY, so I’m not around nearly as much as I would like to be. I did hear that WordPress may not be the home I want for my blog, so if anyone has any knowledge or so forth to help me move the blog, I’d be much obliged! The next step for me is to collect all my disposable income that I’ve squirreled away over the past couple of months and buy a new laptop to carry to work and while I’m on the go. I’d like to be more active on Twitter as well again, but for now, work and the ridiculous commute is keeping me pretty busy. After the laptop comes a new apartment!

TMI Tuesday stole the EXACT image I was going to use once I saw the questions! This week is a fun amalgamation of questions sort-of-kind-of related to porn.

1. What sex act have you seen in porn videos/films and have never done but want to do? (Describe act or post a link)


So actually, most of the porn I’ve watched has been for educational purposes. And I mean that literally – I watched it for a class. As a result, I don’t really remember any specific acts that I would want to do. I suppose some more aggressive bondage? Maybe? Believe me, I’ve said my fair share of ridiculous, cheesy, porn-esque lines, so we can cross that off the list.

Maybe just something as simple as making out against a recently shut door, or being picked up, carried, and dumped on a bed to be ravished 😀

I do fantasize about roleplaying, with surprising frequency. I’m not sure I’d be terribly good at it, but I suppose it’d be nice to at least try just to see.
2. A lot of porn is remakes of old ideas. It’s difficult to be creative in porn because it’s all basically about the same thing. Everyone is starved for ideas, and if some new idea is successful, it’s immediately swamped by knock-offs. Do you have an idea for something even a little bit new in porn?


No, I pretty literally do not. I also don’t know that I’ve seen enough porn to know what would be considered “original.” This kind of disappoints me, since I enjoy reading, critiquing, and reviewing some forms of erotica, so it’d be nice to be more well-versed in more traditional forms of pornographic media.
3. Whilst ideally we’d all like to say our partner provides us with the best orgasms, what’s really making you see stars?
a) masturbation
b) sex toys
c) my partner(s)

All of the above (:

4. Have you ever ‘cheated’ on your partner, and did they know/find out? Would you want someone to tell you if your partner was ‘cheating’? Define what you consider ‘cheating’.

I really think these questions should be answered in reverse order. I suppose I would define cheating as engaging in behaviors that were not openly shared out of a sense of guilt or propriety. I don’t think the actions need to be reserved to sexual behaviors, and could include other expressions of intimacy and desire. I also believe the relationship that you are “cheating” on should be established as an exclusive and non-casual one. Now, obviously, fantasizing should not be considered cheating, nor anything that is openly expressed or agreed upon. I think the reasons people are so hurt by what they perceive as “cheating” are related to the security of the relationship. We sense that if our partner cheats on us, we are: not _____ enough for them or unloved. I think behaviors that don’t compromise a relationship are acceptable. In the case of a relationship that is open to compromise – for example, a relationship whose members have found the relationship lacking in some way – the relationship should be ended, for the sake of those involved. I realize that definition is a bit vague, but it is hard to simply define cheating as if there is a single standard against which to compare all situations we might label with “cheating.”

I would want someone to tell me. I’m hardly subtle in my demonstration of interest and devotion to someone – when I like someone, EVERYONE knows. So I think it’d actually be quite frustrating for everyone to know how enamored I was with someone who didn’t deserve my devotion. At the same time, I wouldn’t want to hear it from just some random person. Just because the truth is out there doesn’t mean I’ll be happier knowing it – I can attest to the fact that, in cases of deep love and caring, I would rather prolong the illusion until it literally comes crashing down around me and rips my heart apart. Then I spend months – years, possibly – pining and being sad and crying myself to sleep.

I’ve never cheated on a partner. I’ve literally never had a partner to cheat on.

Bonus: Give us 2-3 erotic paragraphs incorporating the following words in your story(ette): Magnificent, Nero, Licks, Hard, Nipples. (And no, you can’t use them all in one sentence.)

Sorry all – I know you were hoping to read some actual fictional prose from me, but it’s terribly late and I need to get to bed. Maybe next time!

she can’t remember a time when she felt needed // tmi tuesday #23

Happy Tuesday again! Hopefully this week I will have time to go around reading other people’s responses… I knew summer would be busy, just didn’t expect it to start so early! In the meantime, y’all can enjoy my responses to this week’s TMI Tuesday questions.

1. Answer Yes or No:
I Regret My First Kiss – No… It’s not that I regret it, I just don’t really remember it. I didn’t find it memorable or earth-moving or anything. I think at the time it was a big deal and I told myself I would remember it, but I don’t.
I Miss My First Love – No. At least, I don’t think so. When I think about on the first person I loved (like, know deep in my heart I loved, not just dated), I don’t really feel anything. If anything there’s still some lingering resentment. At times I miss the people we used to be and the way we used to be, but that feeling is fleeting. The opposite of love is indifference, after all.
I Married My First Love – No. Thanks for rubbing it in my face that I’m not married and nowhere close. That makes me feel good inside. At least I don’t wish I were married to my first love now.
I Loved Someone That Didn’t Love Me – Yes. And if you answer anything else I will hate you.

2. Do you consider yourself monogamous or polyamorous or some other category which you will explain or define for us now?

Honestly not something I’ve really thought about. I don’t really have any evidence that one is better than the other; the way I always think of it is that I don’t know that polyamory doesn’t work. I used to think that, though logically polyamory made sense, emotionally I was entirely devoted to one person. After a while that sense faded – when you get burned enough times (and in my case it didn’t even take that many times), you stop trusting anyone who shows interest in you. They’ll sleep with your best friend, they’ll tell you you’re not Christian enough, they’ll tell you they’re married, they’ll find someone taller and prettier and skinnier. Why devote yourself so completely to someone who is more likely to hurt you than to protect you? And even when I was emotionally tied to one person, there was never another person to give any attention to – I simply wasn’t interested. Whether I wasn’t interested because I’m inherently monoamorous or because I convinced myself I was or because I just really didn’t find anyone who met my standards because I’m incredibly picky is uncertain, of course, but the point is that I still don’t know that either is better than the other and the way I should live my life.

3. Your partner is in the mood for sex and you are tired – what do you do?
a. Start snoring. There is no way I’m giving it up tonight.
b. Trade. You give me a massage… and we will see…
c. That would never happen!

To be honest, I’d probably perk up at the promise of sex, but I should probably at least try to get as much as I could out of the situation.

4. Does your partner mind if you masturbate, in bed, when they are there?

Depends. I never really went into this with most of my partners, but my last one would not have minded at all.

5. Describe your typical sexual romp:
a. You are playful and tame
b. You have occasionally introduced a few things like outfits and toys
c. You love trying new things and shocking your partner

While it’s true I love trying new things, my partner strongly influences the type of sex we have. Guys tend to want to start out playful and tame – and let’s be honest, so do I until I know them better and trust them more. But unfortunately, most of my partnerships end quite early. Either I don’t enjoy the sex, they don’t enjoy the sex, or I lose interest in them outside of the sex. The only partner I’ve been with long enough to do more than “boring” stuff loved outfits and toys, and I loved sharing with him because I knew he wouldn’t complain or judge me. I’m sure I did a few things that took him by surprise, and most of them he liked, but we also had sort of tried and true methods for having good sex that we were loathe to not do. Why fix something that’s not broken, right?

Bonus: What was your best ever masturbation experience. Why was it the best? Describe.

The best? I’ve never thought about that. I sort of remember really good ones, but I’ve never sat and compared them. All my really good ones involved either phone sex or Internet sex because… well, call it cheating, but it was like guided masturbation. Once it was “awww poor thing you’re so sick here let’s cuddle oh and now you’re thinking about groping me.” One week we called each other early in the morning before work to have wake-up phone sex. A couple of times we had the opposite – just-home-from-work phone sex. I also had some very good hotel room Internet sex that involved sexy voicemails being left while the hotel staff slid my bill under the door of my room. And he’s sent me some very nice pictures and left me some very nice voicemails that I’m always going back to whenever I’m in the mood – one of my favorite things about my iPhone is that I can scroll down and pick out the voicemail message I want to listen to 😀

(This week’s image from sexy-yetclassy on Tumblr. Click the image to visit!)

you like to think that you’re immune to the stuff // tmi tuesday #22

Hello again! Things have been picking up at work lately and I’ve started to have less and less time to sit at the computer. Soon summer will be here and I won’t have any time at all!

This week’s TMI Tuesday questions are about masturbation! Because it’s that time of year again!

1. My favorite place to masturbate is ________ ?

Boring: the bed. It’s just more comfortable than anyplace else. There’s a mattress, and pillows, and sheets, and all my toys are right there…

2. Have you ever masturbated in public? What were the circumstances?

“In public”? Not sure what that means. I did stop in a mall parking lot once while having phone sex. (He knew I was driving, but then as soon as I got off the freeway I was in a mall parking lot with my We-Vibe Tango.) The mall was open, but it wasn’t like people were watching or anything.

3. Do you like mutual masturbation? Why?

Well, yes, because, phone sex. But I also like watching him masturbate. I think it’s sexy, and I like to know what he’s thinking while he’s doing it.

4. When was the last time you masturbated?

This morning! My first time this month! Yay me! It was raining and I used like five different toys.

5. Have you ever masturbated on camera?

No ):

6. Do you like to watch people masturbate?

Yes. Especially partners I feel very close to or really enjoy having sex with.

Bonus: Have you filmed yourself masturbating? Care to share that film via a link?

No ): Although to be fair, it’s not very interesting. I’m sort of low-key and more focused on enjoying the process, rather than being really active or overt.

i’m not falling in love with you // tmi tuesday #21

Happy Tuesday everyone! How are you? I had a lovely spring break trip – nothing sexy, just good food and good fun (and a lot of walking). I came back desperate for a massage and busy with backlogged work. Now that I’m a bit more on top of things, it’s back to memes and chasing hard-to-catch casual sex. You know, the usual.

This week’s TMI Tuesday questions are about something I know all too well… college.

1) Have you ever been sexiled? (To be sexiled is to be denied the use of your room, usually dorm room, because someone is having sex there.)

Nope. I mostly just didn’t care and walked into the room anyway. This really only happened once, and my room was separate so I had a door of my own anyway.

2) Were you ever hit on (propositioned) by a someone in your circle of friends who knew you were in a relationship with someone else?

No ): Funny story about a friend I knew was in a relationship with someone else: I wanted to sleep with him. He wanted to sleep with my best friend. Hilarious, right?

3) Did you ever date someone for sex only, i.e. in hopes of a 1-night stand?

Not so much a one-night stand, but maybe multiple nights… I guess I’m not clear on a definition of “dating.” I’m open to the idea of a mostly physical relationship, but I’ve never really had one. I further suspect that it’s in my nature to care, so I can see that a guy would start to feel weird because I’d start to care about his job, his stress, his family, etc. just out of habit, not because I want to MARRY HIM RIGHT NOW or anything.

4) Were you ever involved in a regrettable sexual incident where alcohol or drugs were involved?

No – I don’t do drugs and I can’t get drunk. I have friends who were in this situation, but I was not involved.

5) Did you ever see a porn movie in an actual movie theater? Did you ever see porn on home movie (8mm) before the age of videotape?

I have a circle of friends who are older than me… and I like to play a game that consists of me proving just how young I am. I always win this game.

I’m not old enough for this question 😛

6) Did you ever discuss the prowess of a sex partner with a friend? Did the friend also have a history with the same person?

I’ve never been friends with anyone who has also slept with someone I slept with. I have discussed my sex life and my partners with friends. I talk about my last partner all the fucking time. Since we broke up, you probably wish I’d stop. I do too, frankly.

Bonus: Many heterosexuals ‘experiment’ in college by having their first same-sex encounter. If you are heterosexual did you have your first same-sex sexual experience in college? Did you like it? What did you do? Are you still hetero-flexible or did you become bisexual?

Never had one of those in college. I did spend a night with a friend talking about all the people – of all genders and sexual orientations – in our class we’d sleep with. I had much higher standards than she did. And actually, many of the people I picked were women. I wasn’t that interested in most of the guys I went to college with. They were either friends, not physically attractive to me, dating someone, gay, too pretentious, or endowed with too much white male privilege for me to handle. I’m also pretty sure they all wanted to sleep with my friends/roommates before me. I’m still flexible on who I’d hook up with, I’ve just never really thought about it.

(Image from Sexographies on Tumblr. Click on the image to go there!)

Review: Velvet Kiss Vol. 1

Velvet Kiss Vol. 1

Title: Velvet Kiss Vol. 1
Author: Chihiro Harumi
Publisher: Project-H Books
List Price: $17.95
Rating: 5/5 – Recommended

The Velvet Kiss series spans 4 volumes, and is in my opinion unique amongst the readily available hentai manga because it, well, has a plot. It’s porn with a plot! Granted, a pretty cliché plot, but a plot nonetheless. The fact that it seems Harumi can carry the plot over 4 volumes is also pretty impressive. Only the first two volumes are available, but they’ve both done a pretty good job upholding overall quality. Shin, a normal salaryman, finds himself incredibly lucky one day… and 80 million yen in debt the next! The only way to keep his collectors from coming after him is by befriending a young woman named Kano. At first he thinks it’s a pretty easy gig, but soon finds out that Kano (and the collectors) has more in store for him than he bargained for.

I’ve read quite a bit of hentai now, and nearly all of Project-H’s releases, and I have to say that Velvet Kiss does the best convincing me to identify with the main character. It’s easy to feel frustration with Kano rise as Shin does, and to be irritated by the conflict between mind and… well, sex-hungry cock. Kano is confusing, as confusing to the reader as she is to Shin, and Harumi does an excellent job making Shin relatable. In part this is because Shin’s emotions have more of a range than in other hentai stories – he’s not focused entirely on having sex with the girl of his dreams. Rather, he’s exhausted at work, hounded by his bosses and their demands for numbers, and enraged by the disrespect of younger wealthy scions. Sex takes place in a context of professional and personal obligations. The mix of distaste and desire is potent, and keeps the story from getting boring or stale.

Kano also makes the sex interesting and hot. While most women in the hentai I’ve read are quite passive, simply enjoying the sex provided by the man, Kano is a very active participant. In fact, in this volume she always initiates. She uses her feet on his crotch under the table at a restaurant. She likes it rough. She uses his tie to tie his hands. (Personally I like being tied up with his tie. But I’ve yet to see a man in hentai be that dominant.) She makes him beg and denies him orgasm. It’s actually quite hot.

Harumi does an excellent job showing, not just telling. By this I also mean that, unlike a lot of other hentai that I’ve read, the focus isn’t just on the guy getting up and then getting his penis into the woman as fast as possible. Rather, there’s a lot of story and visual buildup to the sex. There are plenty of images just of legs, hands, and fingering. And the art is excellent at focusing on faces, conveying the right mix of pleasure and pain that is sex. The only complaint I have is that for a girl who initiates sex all the time, Kano doesn’t seem to enjoy it – she’s never smiling or laughing (in a totally sexy way) during sex. I love sex, and I know that when it’s really good I’m smiling, not just biting back tears.

The censoring can be a bit distracting, since it’s either a cone of light in place of a penis or just empty space. At times, this can make it really weird visually since you’d like to see as much as you can (for maximum stimulation, right?) or because you just aren’t quite sure what is where and what is happening. I can be very detail-oriented about my sex, and I want to know if a penis is in a vagina or not and what is being ejaculated where. And it would be nice to know the women have vaginas. I hear that some of Project-H’s future releases are going to be uncensored, so I’m curious to see if that makes the sex scenes better or weird.

It’s also really obvious that this, somewhat stereotypically, is geared towards a male audience. Many of the panels feature full length visuals of the woman (not always Kano) in the throes of pleasure, but we never get Kano’s view upwards of Shin. As soon as I wrote that I started to think about it, and I admit that while women have breasts (score!) men don’t have much going on. So maybe this is a good thing. But there are still angles at which men can be visually stimulating for a female reader. Instead, I have to settle for knowing that a guy likes watching a woman’s breasts bounce while he pounds her. (Which I’m not against. I fucking love missionary.) And there’s some very nice nipple play.

While Shin is pretty normal looking (not much to fantasize about here, ladies), Kano is absolutely stunning. She’s perfectly shaped and Harumi always draws cute clothes for her. If this were real-life porn, I think it would be more annoying, but when you know they’re fake drawings, it’s a lot easier to just enjoy it. There’s a nice variety of sexual positions too – and given all the other lovely sexy things that the volume gives me, I guess I can’t ask for a lot more variety. The power play could be a lot hotter, but the potential is there and seeps in at the edges. I hope it gets more developed over the rest of the volumes.

Overall, the story is strong enough to carry the volume and probably all the subsequent ones, and that is one of the best aspects of this series. The sex is hot because it’s not just sex, but foreplay and titillation as well. There’s a nice mix of dominance and submission from Kano, and it’s definitely less vanilla than a lot of the other hentai available. The quality storytelling, sex, and art, make this one of my most highly recommended pieces of erotica.

You can purchase Velvet Kiss Vol. 1 from Project-H books here, at the current sale price of $9.95. Additionally, you can purchase it in digital format from eManga for $12.95. At both links you can view (censored) preview images for a better look at Harumi’s gorgeous artwork.

I did not purchase this volume, nor was it provided by the publisher for an impartial review. Review was conducted based on product purchased by a third party.

so be careful who it is you’re talking to // tmi tuesday #20

(I love this image. I wish I could say it was me. But it’s not.)

Hey everyone! Happy Tuesday once again. I skipped a couple weeks of TMI Tuesday; two weeks ago I was actually just offended by the first question about Lent. Why would you assume that I observe Lent? That seemed like a poor assumption and, as I’m incredibly unfond of religion, I was sort of turned off to all the other questions as well. Last week was incredibly crazy and I was not at my best. But that’s a different story for a different time/different blog. This week’s questions are really good though!

1. What made the best sex partner you’ve ever had so good?

A combination of things. I was at a high point of sexual confidence, so I had no problem telling him what I liked and what I wanted. While every guy I’ve been with has wanted to make sure it was good for me (those are their exact words), I hadn’t really figured out what would make it really good until this guy. Second, he was willing to do what I wanted, even though it wasn’t exactly what he wanted/wasn’t really something that worked for him. In other words, he was willing to dominate me because I wanted him to, not because he actually wanted to. He would have much preferred to cuddle me and have very gentle sex, but that’s not really my thing after the first few times. Lastly, we loved each other and I trusted him so that the idea of submitting was safe and hot, rather than anxiety-ridden.

2. What made the worst sex partner you’ve ever had so bad?

All of the opposite things from 1. I did not really like him, did not entirely trust him, and honestly wanted him to just shut up the whole time. Our personalities clashed, and I wasn’t as willing to open up and tell him what I liked. Actually, I told him what I didn’t like – the lights on – and he ignored me. Which I let go. My bad. He was very overbearing and tried too hard to take control. Normally, I like this, but he wasn’t good at it so I lost interest quickly. He also asked me to do things that made me really uncomfortable. As much as I wanted to not judge and explore, it was incredibly unsatisfying sex. I should have asked him to leave the minute he asked me to speak in Japanese to him.

3. Who was the most physically attractive person you ever had sex with?

UHHHH. I don’t have sex with good-looking people. Probably my last partner. I thought he was very handsome in a sort of boy-next-door way. Not so good-looking that I was intimidated, but enough so that I was attracted but comfortable.

4. How was it?

It was always good, and sometimes it was downright amazing. We were long-distance, so we got pretty good at communicating. See almost everything I’ve written about our sex.

5. Who was the least physically attractive person you ever had sex with?

Oh that’s so subjective and I feel so bad ;___; (Do I count? I have sex with myself a lot.) Probably the Friend With Benefits I had while in grad school. He’s adorable, but in an adorable way. Not really in a drop-your-panties kind of way.

6. Why did you do it?

I really needed sex. That sounds incredibly shallow, but true.

7. How was it?

Eh, it was okay. Again, unsatisfying because we weren’t really in a relationship. I told him what I liked, but he wasn’t really into it; he actually admitted most of the time he was “too tired” to do things that would really get me going. So I got like, half-sex.

Bonus: Describe a bad sexual experience you admit was your fault.

The aforementioned bad sex. I admit that it was my fault because I shouldn’t ever have slept with him. That would have made my life a lot easier. He was persistent so I gave in (shut up, I know you’re judging me), and that was a huge mistake.

(Image from theclassypolaroid on Tumblr)