Sydney Mardi Gras History

Sydney Mardi Gras Parade

I’m really too young to understand but I still acknowledge the history of today. The fresh face, bright eye horny late teens of today’s Annual Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras will understand less than I and, dare I say, will not really acknowledge the history of today. Instead they will see the glitz and glamour, the mostly naked bodies with barely concealed cocks, open asses, exposed tits and barely concealed bikini lines. I was born in the late 80’s and by the time I discovered dicks and asses and had begun to explore my sexuality I had escaped the majority of the legal persecution of homosexuals. Whilst Sydney experiences its Annual Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras we must remember as to the actual history of the Mardi Gras and how the roots of its histories are entwined with protests, support and a determination towards equality.

The Stonewall Riots were a community response against repeated police raids against gay clubs. The police had raided the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich in the early hours, however unlike usual raids This raid did not go to plan. Perhaps it was due to the lateness of the raid, or perhaps the right people had congregated in the right spot at the right time – regardless of the speculation it is clear it did not go to plan. Paddy wagons did not arrive in time to quickly put people who had been arrested in, the people who were permitted to leave out the back door did not dissipate.

When the wagons arrived, it was a culmination of suspected beatings still occurring in the club, and people being forcibly thrown into the back of the wagons that threw the burgeoning crowd into a mob-like frenzy. It was not an organised riot. Reports suggest that the community had simply had enough against the police brutality and violence. Gays, Lesbians, Queers, Dykes and Fags were treated as sub-human. The laws were ridiculous, that women had to wear three pieces of feminine clothing or be labelled as a transgender and be thrown into a prison. The police were receiving pay-offs from the clubs to not have them raided, it was what Fader describes a reclamation as to what the people had lost, the emotions of ‘outrage, anger, sorrow,  and everything combined’. It was 45 minutes of chaos, of violence and of police humiliation. It is speculated that the police were horrified and humiliated that the most marginilised members of the community had fought back. With the police force in larger numbers, and no longer retreating they detained everyone they could, despite the crowd fighting back furiously.

Sydney Mardi Gras Pink Swimmers
Photo: Sydney Mardi Gras

The crowd had formed small dancing lines (Kick lines) and the police responded with night sticks. The crowd sang songs of merriment, mockery and tomfoolery. The Police responded with night sticks. It’s heartbreaking. It’s devastating.  Yes, the crowd reacted against the authorities – but they had spent so long being persecuted, hunted and villifed that they had simply had enough. The next night, the ‘Gay’s’ and their friends came out, they displayed affection on the streets, they rioted, they reclaimed what had been taken from them – openness and the ability to live normal lives. It wasn’t prim and proper and it angered many gay activists who had thought that the sensationalised violence, songs and fires undermined the message that they had wanted. That Queers were no different than the heterosexuals.

The first gay pride march occurred the following year in 1970 and has been growing ever since.  The stonewall Riots are the pivotal defining moment in Queer History. Yet, unlike school, it’s a history that is not taught, not told and not passed on. The queers of today, the young ones (which I still feel I am a part of. Just) have not faced fear, have not faced persecution. They face homophobia, but it’s a different world now.  They/we are, for the most part, supported by the law, supported by the authorities and have an abundance of support networks.

Yes, it needs improvement, yes there’s more work to do. But the fear that our elder Queers faced is not something that we have faced, nor could we possibly understand what they went through in the dark years of the 50s to the 70’s. The stonewall riots are epitomised as the moment that the queers fought back, and immortalised as a symbol for the ongoing struggles that queers face.

The initial Sydney parade occurred on June 24th in 1978 and it was a response to the International Gay Solidarity Celebrations that had been established with the Stonewall Riots in mind. Whilst I understand that Queer Pride has lots of glitz and glamour, I sometimes feel that the ‘spectacle’ overshadows the intention, the history and the struggles that we have faced. It’s a touchy issue and immediately electrifies both sides of the fence. How many of the patrons would know why the Stonewall hotel has been named such? You would hope that they know the histories and the legacy.

Today is a day of celebration, today is a day we celebrate diversity, queerness and continue to fight the world for equality. Today is also a day of sadness as our histories, potentially, slowly disappear.

Review: Palm Power

Palm Power Rechargable

The Palm Power, which is powered by Powerbullet has to be hands down one of the top 5 wands in the world, obviously Harry Potters being at the top of that list. Shaped a lot smaller, yet producing more power then most other wands on the market, the Palm Power has created a lane of it’s own by setting a new standard of where wands should be. Not only are the Palm Power’s Powerful, they are also extremely versatile because Powerbullet has designed them to allow for the head to be interchangeable, meaning that you can swap the simple flat surface head for a head with a rabbit like head for example. I will add images later in the review to show.Okay so first lets distinguish the difference between the two wands and what makes them so great.

Original Palm Power

Now you can never go wrong with the original, and all the great things that the company have packed into this small wand. Lets start with the fact that it’s smaller and more powerful then you’re normal sized and larger wands. The Palm Power is about 4 inches smaller then the Body Wand Original, and it is also a lot thinner then most massagers. Other the the size of the Palm Power, lets talk power.. It can seriously stimulate! The great thing about it is that they have incorporated the same controls as the Swan toys, so that you hold it down to you’re desired level and then let go at the level you want, to stop all you have to do is tap the bottom, to move up to the next level you just hold it down! The Original Palm Power comes with an AC cord and i find this can be the only downfall with this particular product because although the cord is extra long, sometimes it is not long enough. Plus cords generally get in the way making it a struggle to get real pleasure from then unless you are not fussy and don’t mind there being a cord.

 

Palm Power
Sex Toy: Palm Power Original

 

The Palm Power Rechargeable

Now the Palm Power Rechargeable is like the younger brother of the Palm Power, it’s a splitting image except with a few different personality traits. For example, unlike it’s older brother it has a little less power due to it not being connected to an AC, but for it’s benefit this allows the PPR lets call it, to be a lot more agile because it is not connected to a cord. It is fully rechargeable as has up to 2 hours battery!

Now it’s time to the funnest part about both Palm Powers, they come with the possibility to purchase interchangeable heads. Toys are generally simple, one purpose driven, however the Powerbullet has created a wand that is versatile to the extent that it can be used as a general body massager, clitoral stimulator and internal vibrator. Some of the heads below show how that is possible!

Now the traditional bunny ears not only will stimulate both sides of the clitoris, they can also can be used on the nipples, and of course my favourite part.. a male partner. These ears are great for stimulating the shaft during oral stimulation, also the testicles during both oral and intercourse that is if you want to share it.

The triple threat which I call it, allows for sort of a brush feeling given 3 different contacts points for the vibration to hit, the little gap between is fantastic feeling if you have a mentos and whilst the triple threat is on the clitoris, blow the cool air onto it, this will allow for not only a vibration stimulation but the cool air will hit the gaps in-between sending you’re partner into a euphoria.

So onto we have a sort of G-spot finder so we will call it Mr.G. and Mr. G is fantastic for internal stimulation, also it can be used as a rabbit because you still have the possibility to stimulate the clitoris by putting the head of the palm power there whilst the Mr.G is inside.

Secondly we have you’re general rabbit, both great for internal and external stimulation when you don’t have a partner around or you’re partner is feeling lazy!

Now these two are my personal favourite because they are complete opposites. I’ll start with The Pinch (left), this attachment strongly reminds me of the Form 2, however… it is a lot more powerful due to the output of the Palm Power’s motors. The Pinch is fantastic for secluding the clitoris and stimulating it from both sides, its also amazing for running down the back of the spine, plus for those who enjoy their nipples its great for having as a sort of nipple clamp and when a male is about to come, if you place this at the back of the penis head whilst he is coming it provides a whole new level of satisfaction.

Then you have the Shakka, other then it being the international model symbol for peace, the Shakka is fantastic for stimulating the testicles, the neck and shoulder region plus it’s great for an over stimulation of the breasts, especially if you serenade the breasts slowly with it. In my opinion, I can whole heartily say that the Palm Power is in my top 5 vibrators, and number 1 wand just because of it’s power and versatility alone, everything else to me is a bonus.

 

Review: Tokyo Design Maro Kawaii 2

Maro Kawaii 2

Maro Kawaii 2 is a rabbit clitoral massager made by adult company Tokyo Design who situated in Japan. Though, I’m like the biggest snob ever when it comes to branding very rarely stray from Lelo and very very rarely am I impressed by other brands. I just turned down Marc Jacobs earrings for my birthday, I’m firm on brand loyalty. So when the Tokyo Design  Maro Kawaii 2 was delivered to Oh Zone Adult Lifestyle Centre I had assumed it’d be some battery operated jelly junk that was mainly made for novelty purposes. The truth is, I judged it because I wasn’t aware of the brand name or the product design and I found that what I had previously thought was untrue. I am totally in love with this sex toy and adult brand! It would be a shame for any one to over look this brand.

The Tokyo Design Maro Kawaii 2 is a 10cm pure silicone coated clitoral massager in the shape of a crazy looking cartoon bunny, think old school 70s era. The silicone is beautifully textured and designed with the four main bubbles or conjoined marshmallow puffs and ultra soft which are each uniquely textured for enjoyment. The lower bulb is where the single on and off adjustment switch is. The settings button is located inside a gorgeous flower and the charging port at the bottom. Another plus side is this cutie is it is rechargeable. The next section is a ribbed beehive looking area, It will be extremely appealing for those who enjoy varied textures on their straight vibrators. I like the different textures on the  Tokyo Design Maro Kawaii 2 because when your in the heat of the moment you might just need them the most. You can curve the sex toy around in your hand to experiment with how your clitoris reacts to the feelings.

TokyoMade Rabbit Massager
Sex Toy: Tokyo Design Maro Kawaii 2

Finally the section second from the top is where this toy shines the most and identifies itself as a true innovation. Remember Lelo Ora and what a failure the first one was as I received mine as a work “incentive”. Tokyo Design Maro Kawaii 2 has tried to refine this into a straight vibe excellent for internal stimulation but with this feature also great for clitoral stimulation such as the flicking of a tongue! The balls are on both sides because symmetry and they are sort of on a see-saw as the bop up and down inside the silicone encasing which has some raised dots for extra stimulation. The little rose button increases the speed of the balls and even has a function when the vibes and balls take turns to help achieve climax.
The final and upper section is just an egg shaped chunk of silicone which helps to add length and is perfect for massaging the G-spot.

I’m actually really impressed by the Tokyo Design Maro Kawaii 2 clitoral sex toy. It ticks all the boxes for me! for $90 you can get a waterproof rechargeable vibrator. Cheap waterproof rechargeable need I say more?

Tokyo Design Maro Kawaii 2 packaging is of a luxury standard with a sturdy baby pink card board box and foam inlay to keep the marshmallow safe and in place. Two magnets keep the box closed There’s no identifying pictures or anything on the box just Tokyo design on the top.

Lets talk vibration and motor. Egg shape section is where the most vibrations are emitted from not the base which is fantastic! it has 3 speeds and 5 patterns if you cant choose one you like if you hold down the rose you can put it into what I have dubbed  the “sampler mode”” which goes through each mode on  a continual cycle also known as the hands free mode.

As impressed as I am with this brand they are still Japanese and the Japanese are known to be crazy and outlandish with their designs. With further research into this company has blown my socks off I am literally crying. They have vibrating macaroons,  a we-vibe squeal hybrid and clitoral roulette. They also don’t have their own website which is a bit weird.

Tokyo Design Maro Kawaii 2 advantages include:

  • Waterproof
  • Cheap
  • Delight
  • Luxurious feeling
  • Body safe silicone
  • Powerful vibrator
  • Stimulating nub
  • Clitoral Massager

Its loosely translated to be a “cute marshmallow” in English, I mean come on!

 

 

Grief & Relationships

I was reading an article the other day where a man in London lost his wife and daughter in a vehicular accident. It described his pain and how he had dealt with watching his beloved wife pass away in his arms and the last thing that she had said to their son. He was alone by the side of the road and his grief was immeasurable. I can’t imagine the pain he has felt, I can’t imagine what it is like to lose someone like that. Whilst I have had my fair share of break ups i find myself now, in a comfortable relationship position with someone I hope to share my life with.

The thing is that people deal with grief in many different ways. It had me thinking how people deal with the loss of a loved one, either through an accident, a break up, or natural causes. It caused me to consider an issue close to my heart. Several months ago, my grandparents passed away. They had been together over 60 years. Strangely, it wasn’t so much their passing that broke my heart. I had long understood and accepted that death claims us all, but it was the reaction from my grandfather which tore me to shreds.  I had grown up surrounded by their relationship, their ups and downs their utter devotion to each other and all the cute things that they did as a couple.

With age came Alzheimer and dementia, and after being put in a nursing home together it became apparent that they could no longer be safely together with their worsening mental conditions. Every day my grandfather walked to visit his beloved wife, and he’d sit there, read her stories, hold her hand, stroke her cheek, sing to her in his delightful baritone voice, only leaving her when he was forced to by the staff. She in return would stare blankly at him. They’d long ago discussed that she’d be the first to go, and that’s what they both wanted. And as their health deteriorated it became clear that that was the sole thing he held on to. My grandmothers funeral was a small affair and my grandfather had long passed clarity and reality. In the drive from the funeral home back to his home he sat and stared at the funeral announcement struggling to make sense of it. We wheeled him to his room and as i squeezed his hand and said goodbye, clarity suddenly struck and he squeezed it back. Looked at me with tears streaming down his proud face, and simply said ‘My wife is gone’. A few weeks later he passed away. He simply had nothing else to focus on.

Grief in this situation, arguably, had a profound and finalising aspect. For the most part in the study of psychology grief has five stages generally accepted by the majority of the public but not so much in academic and psychology circles. This has been the accepted thinking since 1969 when Psychiatrist Elisabeth Kubler-Ross developed the thinking when studying thoughts of people facing terminal illnesses. It has since transcended into the analysis of other types of negative life changes and stages of loss including:

  1. Denial
  2. Anger
  3. Bargaining
  4. Depression
  5. Acceptance

 

Doctor Pointing at X-Ray
Photo: Brain Scans

 

Kubler-Ross wrote in her last book in 2004 that when she wrote about the five stages of grief;

‘They were never meant to help tuck messy emotions into neat packages.  They are responses to loss that many people have, there there is not a typical response to loss, as there is no typical loss. Our grieving is as individual as our lives’. 

From the man who lost his family in a tragic accident, to my grandparents, to the person breaking up with whom they’d thought was their partner for life, these idea of grief and loss is not only incomparable due to the different contexts, but also to the individuality of the people experiencing them. There are however, no matter the context, ways to deal with both loss and grief.

Firstly, get help and find some support or support network. Whether this be through family and friends, professional help or a support group – it is important that you surround yourself with positive people whom can help you through this difficult time. Try and avoid ignoring the loss and the grief, for the most part it is important to accept that grieving and mourning are an important part of the healing process. Communication is especially important for males and to decrease feelings of isolation and loneliness. For those looking after people grieving, it is important to note that there may be anger and regardless of what they say or how they act, that lashing out can be considered a form of venting. Physical violence, self harm, or harm of any kind should be referred to a medical professional immediately.

You also need to take care of yourself. Which is probably the hardest thing to do. It’s important to keep up a healthy or your regular diet even if you don’t have the energy to do so. A depressive state can be managed easier if you continue with the same diet that you’re used to. A high saturated fat diet, fast food diet, or diet low in vitamins can drastically reduce your energy levels already suffering from a depressive state. It is also important that you get some form of physical exercise whether that be by walking, the gym, or some other form. Early morning exercises are great in pumping the body full of healthy chemicals for the day.  Manage stress by either cutting back at work, sharing the load around the house or calling on friends and family to help with little tasks such as grocery shopping, house cleaning, gardening etc.

Surprisingly, it can sometimes help to keep regular sexual activity such as masturbation. Whilst grief and loss are separate to feelings of depression, sex is a factor in helping with depression. Again, sexual activity floods the body with positive chemicals and can help in managing pain. However, this should probably be discussed with a professional as during grief, mourning and depressive states the body can turn to addictive activities such as drugs, alcohol, sex etc in order to ‘shut out the pain’. It is important to note that whilst this can be helpful it must be practiced in moderation and only as a supplement to all listed above.

 

Review: Sqweel 2

Sqweel 2 Oral Stimulator

You know the world has made advances in technology in the right direction when manufacturers start coming up with sex toys that are oral sex simulators. For example when the womanizer was invented which was a clitoral stimulation that provided different levels of suctions that also had vibrations. The suction and the vibration is the closest sex toy so far to feel similar to a lover sucking rhythmically on your clitoris. The Sqweel 2 is another clitoral sex toy in the ever growing family of adult products within the oral sex stimulation range for woman. The Sqweel 2 is 100% unique and a must have.

The packaging of the Sqweel 2 is suuuuper feminine and rather cute. It is white and pink with the toy itself shown clearly through a thin film of clear plastic. Inside the box is a handy instruction manual which I had to refer to several times. It’s not super obvious at first (this could also be user error hahah) but this toy actually takes 3AAA batteries in order to work. Yay, for instructions. Aside from that little hiccup, it was super easy to get the Sqweel 2 working. The play button starts the wheels spinning, the second button reverses the way they’re turning and you can press the play button again to get it flicking backwards and forwards. To turn it off, all you have to do is hold the play button down.

Once the Sqweel 2 was turned on it was actually kind of cool. The 10 tongues operate at 3 different levels of speeds. If you’re someone who needs pressure or super fast speeds to get off – this toy probably isn’t the toy for you. But if you enjoy a build up of teasing so you can gradually work yourself up to a shuddering explosive orgasm. I can guarantee you will love Sqweel 2. This toy will keep on building you right up to that orgasm and will not have to stop you in the heat of the moment for a quick break to relieve their tongue cramps – he/she will trooper on until you hold down that little play button.

Cleaning is a breeze with the Sqweel 2 as the little front cap slides off if you click the unlock button. The tongues slide off of its reel making it super easy to clean without worrying about damaging the toy, as it isn’t waterproof.

Sqweel 2 Oral Stimulator
Sex Toy: Sqweel 2

 

Sqweel 2 Avantages:

  • Sqweel 2 is an oral sex simulator. It is a first of it’s kind to reproduce of a lover licking your clitoris.
  • It only takes 3 x AAA batteries to operate.
  • The tongue wheel is removable to make for easy cleaning.
  • You can buy other wheel attachments for this toy which means its a couple of sex toys in one.
  • You can change the directions of the tongues in a flicker motion. This would almost feel ‘unpredictable’ making it simulate an oral sex sensation even more. This had been made to stimulate the natural reactions of random. unpredictable oral sex which will help you reach climax.

Sqweel 2 Disadvantages:

  • It isn’t the quietest of toys.
  • It’s size makes it hard to use in conjunction with other toys.
  • It isn’t waterproof.
  • I’ve read online that you need a TONNE of lube handy when using this toy. Not only do you need to individually lube up all 10 of the tongues (because let’s face it, who wants dry tongues slapping their clit one after the other on repeat??), you also have to lube up your clit itself and then reapply after every 5 or so minutes (give or take). If you’re not stingy with your lube/don’t mind having to use a lot of it, you will be fine!
  • You can’t apply much pressure at all as the wheel slows right down… this won’t be an issue for everyone though as some people don’t need pressure.

Overall, I think the concept of the Sqweel 2 is fantastic and would like to see more advanced/luxury versions of it produced in the future. If you’re willing to use a lot of lube and have the time to build your way up to an orgasm, I can 100% guarantee it’ll be worth it. After all, who doesn’t want a wheel of 10 tongues to be there to fulfill your oral sex demands when no one else will?!

 

Chloe is a consultant at the Adult Lifestyle Centre, Kogarah

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