I’m A Straight Guy Who Is Gay Curious!

Am I a top or a bottom?

Question submitted online

Look, I’ll start this off by saying I’m a straight male and I have a girlfriend. But I really wanna know stuff about gay sex. I’ve asked my friends who’s the top and the bottom cos I’m trying to wrap my head around the whole idea you know, but they kind of just laugh the question off and move on. What’s the deal?”

Answer

I would like to thank you for your question. In answering your question I’d like to point out some of the hesitation as to why people may or may not answer such questions. Outside of the gay community, and even within the gay community – there are numerous stereotypes of bottoms and tops that are harmful to queer identifying people. The idea that there must be a woman and a man within queer relationships doesn’t quite paint a full picture of the relationship and it can be reductive to the idea of two consensual loving and mutually supportive partners. Let’s begin by breaking down the idea of anal sex. Gay men that engage in anal play (remembering that there are significant portions of gay men that do not like anal play and prefer oral stimulation and mutual masturbation) are typically delegated to a dominant and submissive role that allegedly aligns with their sexual role. For example, a man that loves cock up his ass is generally considered to be submissive. This is incorrect. A dominant or submissive personality is in no way related to their sexual preferences within the bedroom.

What's the difference between top and bottom sex
Image: Top and bottom sex

Part of this stigma lies within the perception of the act of intercourse itself and then by comparing that to PiV sex (Penis in Vagina). The penis is an active participant in sex, with the vagina being the receptive participant. The dick penetrates the vagina for pleasure with the dick (masculinity) being active and the vagina (femineity) being passive. Through this understanding of sex, many people automatically assume that one that is penetrated is feminine and that they’re submissive, because it directly relates to their understanding of what they’ve been brought up with when it comes to traditional heterosexual relationships, and sexual intercourse. Thus the idea of labelling one as a top or bottom automatically translates to the idea that there is a male and female within a gay relationship. This is inaccurate, as the fact is, simply put, that there are two (fe)males within a relationship who provide each other with mutual love, support and understanding. As with any relationship this support ebbs and flows based on whatever is going on within their lives, and social power naturally shifts between them over time.

Whilst there are certainly individuals out there who refuse to bottom, or who refuse to top – much of that ideal is surrounded by the idea of shame, embarrassment, or even guilt. Bottoms have traditionally been seen as sub-par within their own community, and to people that identify as heterosexual/heteroflexible. Bottoms take it up the ass, they are often depicted as feminine individuals, men who want to be women, or even considered to be subservient. Combine this with the idea of homophobia and the common insults hurled at gay men and you’ll begin to see why the idea of taking it up the ass might be considered to be negative. There’s shame, there’s hurt, there’s guilt and there’s often embarrassment with taking on a label – which is why many men will only reveal their preferences to someone that they’re in a relationship with, or who they intend to fuck.

Such ideals of restricting a queer couple to a top or bottom role are incorrect and is generally based within a culturally, social sexist understanding of heterosexual relationships – a male and a female in a relationship is usually generalised as the male being dominant and the female being submissive. Any deviation from that is often cast within a negative light. ‘Oh you’re pussy whipped’, ‘She’s the man of the relationship’. Such phrases and utterances directly relate to, and rely on, the perceived differences between a male and a female where the insult is relies on the direct comparison to that of the opposite sex.

Bottoms, or people with a preference to bottoming are simply people who enjoy anal pleasure. They can have submissive personalities, they can be dominant, they can be masculine, they can be feminine and they can be everything and everyone in between. The fact is that the stimulation of the prostate is one of the most sensational kinds of orgasms that a male can experience, and some men are even completely capable of experiencing an orgasm and ejaculation through prostate stimulation without even touching their own dick. As we begin to approach sex with the idea of pleasure in mind, many straight identifying men are slowly realising that anal sex isn’t gay sex (Remember to always practice safe sex and use a condom). The stimulation of the prostate by their girlfriends, their wives, or their fuck buddy doesn’t make them gay. In order to break down this dichotomy it is important to rethink traditional values associated with heterosexual relationships and to refocus on a sex positive idea that any normal relationship will naturally ebb and flow with power between individuals as they traverse through life.

In conclusion

To answer your question would be complex, as well as reductive and could be perceived, by some couples, as an insulting question despite it clearly being driven by curiosity. However let’s flip that around and ask the following question. If they turned around and asked you whether your girlfriend takes charge in the bedroom, whether she ties you up and absolutely dominates you – would you be willing to answer this as their curious eyes bore into your soul? If the answer is no, then it might be attributed to the perception of losing some of your masculinity, and therefore you might consciously or unconsciously feel that the perception of your identity might change. Whilst it’s absolutely essential to talk about sex, talk about how we do it, and talk about gender in the bedroom – sometimes with questions like this as to the specific roles of men within the bedroom, it might be best to simply remain curious.

If there’s anything else that I can assist you with, or you have any questions pertaining to gay sex, anything contained within this article, please do not hesitate to ask as I’d be more than happy to clarify.

Hope this helps!

Stephen is a cis-gendered gay male who spends far too much time with his two cats and eating tim tams. A self-identified sex-positive advocate he cares deeply about gender equality, disabilities, sexual education and social issues. Opinionated and bold he isn’t afraid to speak his mind and say what others won’t. With a yearning for knowledge and experience in all things relating to sex, he is a prolific writer that has developed the content for a myriad of informative Sexual Health and Wellness websites.

Stephen’s articles and writings tends to focus on social issues, sexual education, queer issues and all things fetish and absurd. He comes qualified with the completion of a double Bachelor degree in Social Sciences and literature, and a Masters in Education.

My Best Satisfyer Is A Womanizer Premium!

Use a Womanizer Premium for pleasure

Today, I was lucky enough to be able to check out the newest Womanizer that will soon be available worldwide. I know I haven’t used one yet and that they are not even available yet but I was so impressed by it that I had to talk about! I already own the Pro40 and the W500 so I’m already a massive Womanizer fan. Just read my Womanizer InsideOut review.

If you don’t know much about Womanizer, they’re an adult toy brand that works with Pleasure Air Technology which makes their products unique than the rest. Pleasure Air Technology is a mixture of suction and vibration that can be felt without even any contact. To put it simply, it feels like your clit is being sucked on with some subtle vibrations and it feels pretty damn great!

Now, before I talk about the Womanizer Premium I want to help make the decision easier for the people who are tossing up between Womanizer, Satisfyer and LELO. I have used all three brands and the only one I’ve never had a single complaint about is Womanizer. Satisfyer is good, it gets the job done but it is insanely loud. LELO frustrates the absolute sh*% out of me, it never feels like it’s sitting correctly and it just doesn’t do it for me at all. Womanizer is definitely the winner in my eyes, it’s not super loud, sits nicely, easy to control and SO MUCH STRONGER!

Sex toy Womanizer Premium
Image: Womanizer Premium

Womanizer Premium

Let’s just talk about how sexy and luxurious it looks for a quick second! When it comes to lingerie I love looking at a girl dressed in either red, black or white. I think they are hot colours, they just scream sex appeal to me just like these toys do. The Womanizer Premium is coated in a high-grade silicone for that soft touch with a gold or silver strip of ABS depending on what colour you purchase. It is slim which makes it really easy to hold and easy to use the control buttons all with the same hand.

Just like all the other Womanizer products this one also comes with an extra silicone head attachment, in a different size because this company understands and respects that all woman don’t have the same shaped vaginas.

I don’t know about the rest of the world but I hate patterns!!! I find them distracting and I’ve never been able to find one that I can even slightly stand. Womanizer is all about speed and no patterns which I think is fantastic. Premium comes with 12 different speeds to choose from and a plus and minus button for easy control!

Womanizer Premium in white
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Charging

My favorite thing about the two Womanizer products I already own is that I can have multiple play sessions with them before needing to charge them up again. Not even exaggerating I’ve had them for a fair few months now and only one has gone flat and that was after 5+ times of me using the toy.

They have changed the way the charging works with the premium, instead of having a plugin charger it is now magnetic. Which I find a lot less stressful with products when it comes to cleaning and playing with them under water. There are 3 lights that indicate how much charge is left in your toy, all 3 lights will blink whilst charging and then all 3 will stay on when completely charged.

New features

There are 2 new awesome features that Womanizer now has to offer with the Premium. I’ll start with my favorite one that absolutely blew me away as it is the one thing that stresses me out every time I use any sex toy. Now, for me, a person who lives at home with parents, I am constantly worried that someone is going to hear my toys vibrating! Let’s be honest, companies can work on silent motors all they like, but they can’t silence the paranoid voice in my head telling me “someone can definitely hear what you’re doing right now….”

When I’m constantly thinking about that I can’t concentrate on my orgasm and it becomes super frustrating. Every time I use a toy my finger is always hovering over the power button so that as soon as I finish I can turn it straight off. Well! Womanizer has now got that sorted for you with their smart silence feature. So as soon as the toy is taken off the clitoris it turns off automatically!!! THANK YOU, WOMANIZER!!!

The other new feature is called autopilot, to activate this feature press the button with the squiggly line. Autopilot basically plays around with the speeds for you, increasing and decreasing every 20 seconds or so. This feature is great if you like unexpected orgasms or if you like to build it up for a more intense finish with the feeling of realistic and lifelike oral sex.

Waterproof

As always, Womanizer Premium is 100% waterproof for your shower and bath time fun!

Warranty

Womanizer offers a 2-year manufacturing warranty.

Have fun and stay safe ❤

Love from Elliana

Author: Elliana is a consultant from Oh Zone Adult Lifestyle Centres

Jennifer works marketing at Adultsmart an online sex toy shop. She has a non-judgemental approach to sex, sex toys and sexuality. Her favorite saying is if it feels good and right and is not illegal then why not!

VIP Interview With Shiri Zinn Owner And Sex Toy Designer

Shiri Zinn product designer

Shiri Zinn is a high end designer who creates luxury sex toys and vibrators. The artistic creations are all made with the thought to challenge preconceived prejudice notions of sexuality and to place on display with glamour and luxury in mind, encouraging men and women to explore, play and discover a new world of sexuality.

Shiri Zinn’s designs are made with some of the highest quality materials that are available including Swarovski crystals, crystal glass made in England, quartz, diamante, sterling silver, marabou feather tails and more. Some of Shiri’s creations are handmade like the sex toys made with solid glass with etched designs. In her designs you will be able to find vibrating ice-creams and cupcakes that look delicious enough to eat but they are built to send you into a world of pleasurable bliss which really goes to show that a person’s choice of ice-cream can allude to their sexual personality.

One amazing aspect about her creations, is that some of her carefully created designs are made in limited quantities like the Limited Edition Couture Collection. This means that if you buy one of Shiri’s specialised pieces, you may just be one of the select few people in the world to own one. Each piece is stamped with a limited edition number and engraved with the artist’s signature.

Tell me about yourself

Owner, designer and manufacturer. I have 3 design degrees; 2 from the top fashion school in the world Central Saint Martins with an MA in Jewellery.

Shiri Zinn a sex toy designer
Image: Shiri Zinn Bandages (Photo by Shiri Zinn)

What inspires you?

Nobody inspires me. I inspire myself! I am a pioneer type designer. I am inspired by nature, beautiful things and originality.

Why do you look at yourself as an artist more than a marketed brand?

I don’t market my brand as I have always got free press and something one calls publicity rather than pushing people to buy aggressively – or at all in fact. Celebrities have always found me without my help. When a designer is first in the world to do something new and different this occurs organically!

Why did you choose sex as a subject for your design?

Because they were so badly designed with no finesse when I pioneered the idea of designer sex toys in 1997.

Is sexuality fashionable?

When designed in the creative and high end manner then yes it can be and is portrayed and depicted in those arenas as such, and also as ART.

How would people include art within their sexuality?

Good question! They would include interesting arty pieces to bring a bit more variety, beauty, seduction and in fact more kink into their love lives, if they so choose, and it’s great for women who like lovely things in the area of seduction too… every little bit helps! Whatever people choose as long as they are true to themselves and know they really do have CHOICE and it’s not just “same old, same old” that exists out there! They have imaginative pleasure options and need not just be discreet options either, because the kind/s of sex they may like may indeed be classy and INDESCREET!

What does food symbolise in art?

Not all my work is food related only 2 of my many pieces. However both those pieces are naughty sugar pieces. Why? From an artist / designer who does not even eat sugar?! lol. The answer is simple and it’s about FUN! We need to lighten up in the area of seduction and sometimes the cutest, most seductive looking treats can actually cause loads of laughter and intrigue psychologically in the bedroom…

Ice-cream vibrator
Image: i-Scream Vibrator (Photo by Sugextions)
Ice cream vibrator
Image: Shiri Zinn i-Scream Vibrator (Photo by Shiri Zinn)
Ice-cream sex toy
Image: Shiri Zinn i-Scream Vibrator (Photo by Shiri Zinn)

How do people describe the experience of masturbating with ice-creams and cupcakes?

You get an entire range of reactions…. all hysterical! Makes the world a lighter, brighter place! The i-Scream in particular packs a PUNCH!

Can art be a fetish?

For sure! And food IS FETISH.

What does it feel like to create something beautiful?

What a charming question! It’s what makes me tick. I actually don’t believe one should buy anything unless one finds it beautiful. To create things for the sensual pleasures of touch and sight are an awesome experience. It gives so much pleasure just knowing I have thought about every curve, bend, diamante, reflection or detail of craftsmanship in a piece of mine. To design luxury leaves one feeling privileged! I shall leave “mundane design” to the birds. I certainly can’t design anything mundane, non-aspirational or non-controversial, lol!

Tell me about your product range and what new product ranges will we be looking forward to from Shiri Zinn?

My product range is completely varied. My ranges all look very different so if that confuses my brand so be it as I am a very dynamic designer and design based on inspiration it’s not “prescribed” or “set”. My straps are among the most luxury items in the world for their genre and all handmade with matching ceramic dildos adorned with real 8 carat gold leaf fired motifs.

Detailed strap-on harness
Image: Shiri Zinn Pink Strap-On Harness (Photo by Shiri Zinn)
Pink strap-on dildo
Image: Shiri Zinn Pink Strap-On Dildo (Photo by Shiri Zinn)

My glass is extremely luxurious and not like other glass generally in the Industry its far heavier when held measure for measure so it has a very weighty feel and each piece is completely unique no 2 are ever the same as they don’t come out of a mould! Some glass and crystal items are Limited Editions bought by A-listers and fine art collectors. They are very usable and create amazing G-Spot orgasms; while others are far more affordable luxury adorned with real Swarovski crystals. They all come in precious, beautiful boxes whatever price level of glass is chosen!

Glass dildo in amber
Image: Shiri Zinn Amber Swarovski Glass Dildo (Photo by Shiri Zinn)
Rose quartz dildo
Image: Shiri Zinn Ltd. Edition Rose Quartz Crystal Dildo (Photo by Shiri Zinn)

I also have a stunning new BDSM range that can be seen on the new website soon. It’s top secret right now and promises to pack a punch and to be more eccentric and visually stimulating than any other of my collections to date so watch this space as it’s breathtakingly functional!

Whip in green
Image: Shiri Zinn Ltd. Edition Turquoise Snakeskin Whip with Blue Zircon Stone (Photo by Shiri Zinn)

Finally there are 3 beautiful designer vibrators: The i-Scream is USB operational with 1 year warrantee, very powerful and stunning to behold, complete with retro wire display stand and vintage Jazz playing music box. There is also the fancy Minx Designer Vibrator that possibly comes in the most luxurious packaging for any diva! It’s also extremely powerful and comes with a plush, luxury, marabou feather tail adorned with real Swarovski crystals on its silver section. This is owned by several A-listers too! And of course, the silicone burlesque/retro styled Cupcake Vibe that is offered in The cutest baking tin. This pop art functional piece comes with batteries included and can be discreetly placed on your kitchen shelf. It has sold in the masses to Australia and still gets amazing press from Cosmo to Elle worldwide!

Creative Shiri Zinn designer logo

Sexpert is our resident full time sex blogger. Having successfully owned and managed a number of blogs relating to women’s lifestyle, she easily blended into her role as chief blogger of the Adultsmart Blog. She is in a long term relationship with her boyfriend. She also runs Good Girl Guide, a sexual lifestyle blog.

Sperm Stoppers Are Cumming For You!

Cum stopping

A sperm stopper is a type of penis plug with a glans ring. It is the most famous popularly used penis plug around the world. The plug makes you feel really horny during insertion. The glans ring helps me get a stiffer penis and it also makes it look awesome. This stainless steel stopper is designed to make your experience with urethral sex toys a great deal of fun. It is suitable both for novices and more experienced people. This stopper on the top, blocks the top of the urethra and it stops the stream of sperm going through. The act of stopping sperm encourages the wearer to masturbate for longer. It makes for some new and remarkable sensations that you will want to experience without a doubt!

A sperm stopper is often designed with a glans ring. The glans ring goes around the penis’s head to secure the plug in place. The feeling of the glans ring on gives extra excitement to the wearer. Attached to the glans ring is the sperm stopper. Most sperm stoppers are made of 316LVM surgical steel, which means it is surgical grade, body-safe and tough.

Sperm stopper
Image: Glans Ring & Cum Stopper

This sex toy is often worn for the way it looks as a piece of body jewellery. A lot of people love to wear it for that reason alone as sometimes their is a sparkly gem on top. The best thing about it is that you don’t need to have a pierced penis to wear the sperm stopper. Keep in mind, sex toys for men like glans rings and cock rings are lovely to wear but they also are worn for enhancing and upgrading sexual experiences.

Alright, we should begin off by dispersing some myths

This is NOT a chastity device, it can bring a man to climax and it won’t stop you ejaculating. At any rate, the sperm stopper is a mix of two items in one. It’s a cock ring that connects to a “sperm stopper”, which is a little stainless steel metal sphere on the end of a steel tube. Other than the plug, it is luxuriously made from tough surgical steel.

Sperm stopper
Buy Now | Sperm and cum stoppers

How I use my sperm stopper

Slipping on the sex toy is simple, yet I’d suggest testing it out a little. It’s made so the glans/cock ring rests with the pivot against the frenulum (the sweet spot on the underside of the penis). It’s almost effortless to slip on when semi-hard. If you are excessively flaccid it may tumble off, if you are excessively erect then it may hurt.

When placing the penis plug at first place it gradually onto the urethra. I personally don’t have to use lubricant as I generate a lot of ‘pre-cum’ but I do understand that the majority of men need medical grade personal lubricant. In case you’re uncertain, use lube! On a side note, in case you’re putting this on an uncircumcised penis (like mine), then you may need to draw the foreskin back first. It’s not vital, yet for me it feels better.

Once set up, the sensations are stunning. I initially attempted this with my lover and when I slipped the plug on, every touch of hers was exceptional. Touching the head of my penis when I’m wearing it feels interesting (in a pleasurable manner) and stroking the shaft made my head grow which in turn increased the sensations. The blended stimulation made my eyes roll back into my head. After playing for some time, when I was building a climax, it felt distinctive, yet in a pleasing manner. I was extremely conscious of the metal ball on top of my urethra, however the mix of that and the glans ring appeared to heighten everything that was felt. I use it all the time now, all alone and with my lover, and both experiences feel amazing. My first time using a penis plug of this nature was very enjoyable.

Are there any drawbacks?

Not by any means, despite the fact that on the off chance that you or your lover are excessively energetic then it may fall off. Consequently, I’d be careful about penetrative sex with it on. I haven’t attempted it and wouldn’t suggest it. Other than that, it’s incredible. It’s a finely crafted and body safe sex toy that’s simple to clean and great fun to use.

What I will say is that using this has made me want to try out other types of adult toys that are similar and comparable nature. I now need to attempt a few more glans rings (one specifically that focuses on stimulating the frenulum) and I additionally need to attempt doing some urethral sounding as I’ve heard that being stroked whilst using a sound is like nothing else I’ve ever experienced before. In the event that you’ve never attempted this sort of masturbation before, a sperm stopper is a decent place to begin.

Anna has been writing original erotic works for quite some time and specializes in Asian fantasies. When you have a few minutes and want to relax by reading some FREE original hard core adult stories you are welcome at the adultsmart blog.

VIP Interview Oh Joy Sex Toy – Erika And Matt!

Ohjoysextoy.com is the most popular sex blog site on the web.  Erika and Matt the curators and owners cover everything relating to sexuality in a unique and cutting edge style leaving no stone unturned whether it be on a sex toy review, sexual position or sexual education.  They address them all in a comic format that is both educational and fun.  A new post is published each Tuesday and with the help of other guests have created a site that is outside the norm.  Sex positive and not afraid to take a stand on issues they believe in they are pioneers of the modern day blog.

I have to start with the standard question – how did it all start? There are a heap of adult blogs, and sex education sites out there, how did you both come up with something so unique, fun and accessible?

Matt: Sex education has always been really important to us both. But it wasn’t until Erika decided to make a little how-to sex comic zine for conventions did we think of doing it ourselves on a bigger scale.

After a while, that idea grew larger, and eventually when Erika was in between projects, she set out to write a sex education book. It ended up being HUGE in its range and because of the sheer size, she stalled out on it. Not wanting it to go to waste, the project changed and morphed into a webcomic. Something we could work on each week, and would give us opportunity to for other things – like sex toy reviews!

Its worked out really well.

 

VIP Interview ohjoysex blog
Oh Joy Sex Toy Interview

What’s normally involved in the process from writing the script, to the finished artwork?

Matt: Not included everything else we do like the books and guest artists, our weekly pipeline looks something like this:

– Matt makes the 1st draft on a script

– Erika cleans it up or re-writes it

– Erika takes cleaned up the script, lays it out

– Erika goes straight to pencils then inks

– Matt goes in, cleans up and colors.

Erika:  I’ve always been utterly fascinated with sex. It started out as abject fear, as my mom was trying to “protect” me through scare tactics. When I began to learn there was more to sex than the worst aspects of it, that it could be this positive, joyful thing, I basically became obsessed with learning more and more and trying out different things for myself. Like Matt said, I’m making the comics that I needed when I was younger. I’m trying to provide people with the material I wish had existed decades ago.

 

What’s the story, thought, or experience that drives you both to doing this?

Matt: Erika was brought up with very poor sex education, and has set out to make something that she would have wanted to read when she was younger. I just love making comics, and think the world of sex is amazing.

 

Sex education is a continual and fluid learning process as we grow and develop in our lives – what’s the most important thing that you’ve both personally learned through this work?

Matt:  To stay open minded and sex positive, even in the face of the opposite. It’s shocking to see so many educators put their own artificial lines in the sand when it comes to different issues, or approach subjects with a decidedly negative point of view. I think the most important thing as a creator and human, is to stay positive, friendly and open.

Erika:  Same as Matt, this job has really stretched my empathy muscles to stay open minded when presented with sexual practices and desires that are super Not My Jam— and I feel like that’s been a real benefit, honestly. It’s stretched out into a lot of aspects of how I think about complicated issues, to look for the shades of grey in situations that people may default to painting as black or white. Basically, my motto is it’s ok as long as it’s safe, sane, and consensual— which  is a phrase coined by Dan Savage.

Your favourite comfort food is. . . ?

Matt:  Right now, nothing beats a good bowl of Pho.

Erika: Sliced cherries in plain greek yogurt with granola. I’m a fool for cherries in anything, and then the textures of the yogurt and granola is suuuuper pleasing to my mouth.

In her 24 hour Comic Series 2017, Erika makes note of one day being strong enough to do a comic on being Bipolar – What’s something else that you’d like to explore that you haven’t already?

Matt:  I know Erika has a lot of autobio storys in her, about her childhood, and rough years. It’s not really sex-education friendly, and more of a biography. I know she would love to explore that at some point, but it doesn’t really jive with what we’re doing at the moment.

Personally, we’ve got a few sexy fiction storys that would be fun to comic out. But that stuff doesn’t exactly sell well, and will probably just stay as a pet project.

Erika:  I have so many autobiographical stories I want to share, from serious subjects to some of the absolutely absurd situations I’ve gotten myself into. Oh, and I’d love to do a comic about our immigration experience of getting Matt into the US and becoming a citizen. And I want to embroider a comic!!! I want to do a three or four panel comic that’s entirely embroidered. I just have to figure out what the subject will be.

 

On the topic of strength – running a blog is hard work. Both of you are often open, honest, vulnerable and incredibly raw with what’s going on both physically and mentally in your lives – what’s one of the hardest things that you’ve endured in this line of work and how did overcome it?

Matt:  We suffer from burn out pretty often! The pace is a bit hard and fast, and after 5 year’s on the project we’re both a little thin. We try our best now-a-days to hire a lot of guest artists, to give us more time in between comics, but even that process can be exhausting! There’s no real answer here for you: making a living from comics, and sex education is hard, it involves graft and sacrifice.

Erika:  I had a nervous breakdown over the intense backlash to one of the comics we ran. It’s the closest I’ve come to being hospitalized for a mental breakdown, and in hindsight I probably should have been. A year later I still feel like I’m recovering from it. I don’t know that I’ve overcome it, but the way I’ve learned to survive the scrutiny and condemnation I receive is to have a really strong friend group and turn to them for guidance and support, and generally not let myself be so accessible to the public at large. It’s such a contrast to the work we do: Our comics are all about being open and friendly and communicative, and in real life I’ve had to close myself off from the general public to protect myself from the casual judgements, vitriol, violence, and death threats that are sent my way. Ah well, it’s a livin’!

 

Running a blog full time is really hard work. I really want to emphasize that point. Between the weekly comics, the annual book, guest appearances, shows and maintaining your own health– how do you both fit it all in?

Matt:  It’s a constant battle, and balancing act of all of that. We’re lucky that we’re two people and have a passion for the subject!

 

How would you best describe the approach you use to the way you review sex toys?

Matt:  We always try to find the positives. Even if a toy is terrible, it might still be perfect for someone out there, and so we try our best to acknowledge that.

Hitting the right tone is the next big thing. We want each comic to feel like a conversation between friends: I often tell our guest artists that it’s gotta feel like they are sitting down with a pal at a coffeeshop, to talk about the toy or subject. Coffeeshop Erika.

It’s not enough to just say what’s goods and bad about a sex toy. We want to engage with a reader, have fun with them, and make them excited for the world of sex through our excitement.

 

You’re one of the most respected and popular male/female sex toy reviewers in the world – when it comes to male/female sex toys and pleasure where are toys hitting the mark, and where are they missing it?

Matt:  Gosh – thank you for that =D

Its odd, I keep feeling like imaginations have run a bit dry in the sex toy industry. That the best sex toy designs have been made, and that the new things are just iterations on said designs. Companies are running around trying to make subtle differences, but nothing all that new. That being said, I’ve been seeing a real push for better PR, marketing and a market trending for the $100+ toy’s, which is encouraging. We deserve fancy toys for our sex lives!

It’s been really exciting seeing Fun Factory expand into menstrual cups. And The We Vibe’s Nova actually seemed like an innovative new (good) idea, so the industry still surprising and delighting me!

Personally I see the future in more hand crafted story lines for sex toys. I think there’s a lot of room and excitement for a toy that comes with a history of its sourced components and the people who worked on it. People are excited to have sex and own a sex toy now-a-days. Lets help them be PROUD of their specific sex toy too.

Your goal seems to be providing sex education in a fun and exciting way. If there was one thing about sex that you’d want your readers to understand, what would it be?

Matt:  That sex is an interesting and fascinating part of being human – even if it’s not your jam, it’s a huge deep well and something that should be celebrated.

Erika:  Sex is so much more than two bodies smushing their genitals together. Sex overlaps with so many subjects; science, art, trauma, philosophy, fantasy, legislation, taboos, sociology, representation, attraction, communication, psychology, identity, community, cultural customs, consumerism, capitalism… There is SO MUCH to explore and it’s all so fascinating.

 

What advice would you give to anyone wanting to start out their own adult or sexual education blog?

Matt:  Look for a unique angle, expand your skills set past just writing: it’s not enough to JUST be a blogger any more. Make sure to have at least a years of income saved up before diving in (and/or do it part time initially), and keep in mind that you need a HEALTHY dose of luck (which might never come), to ‘make it’.

On a personal note: stay away from being negative. The world is so toxic right now, don’t fall for it. Instead be a beacon of positivity. Show the world how you want it to look with your work.

 

What do you feel is your greatest achievement?

Matt:  5 years without missing an update, and the emails we get from people who say they’ve been touched by our work.

Erika:   Creating work that I’m incredibly proud of with the most important person to me. I love being a creative team with Matt. I mean, don’t get me wrong, it’s not always a walk in the park! But I know for a fact that I have done some of my best work with him on this series. And knowing that our work has actually helped people just blows my mind. People tell me that they’ve gotten contraceptive devices IMPLANTED INSIDE THEM because of our comics, they’ve gotten diagnosed with conditions because they recognized the symptoms we explained and went to their doctors about them, we’ve even had more than one person tell us that reading our comics inspired some folks to go off and enroll in graduate school so they could go into the medical field for sex. Like. Holy shit. That is serious, life changing stuff. And they got the seed of inspiration from something we created for a comic? Wow.

 

Any final words to people looking for sex education?

Matt:  Planned Parenthood and Scarleteen are SO GOOD. Check them out. Alternatively, we’ll be making more and more sex ed on Oh Joy Sex Toy. And our next book Drawn To Sex, The Basics will be out in bookstores at the end of the year.

Erika:  Adding on to Matt’s suggestion: DONATE TO SCARLETEEN AND PLANNED PARENTHOOD IF YOU CAN! They survive on the funds they raise from the public, especially Scarleteen, and what they provide for free to the public is so, so invaluable. I feel like Oh Joy Sex Toy is the appetizer to whet your appetite before the sex education meal, and the main course that really fills you up with more knowledge than you can fit in your mouth all at once is Scarleteen and Planned Parenthood. …Sorry, that analogy got a little weird. What can I say? I love them!

 

We are extremely grateful for Matt and Erika’s Interview.  Learn more about Erika Moen and Matthew Nolan at their websites.

Stephen is a cis-gendered gay male who spends far too much time with his two cats and eating tim tams. A self-identified sex-positive advocate he cares deeply about gender equality, disabilities, sexual education and social issues. Opinionated and bold he isn’t afraid to speak his mind and say what others won’t. With a yearning for knowledge and experience in all things relating to sex, he is a prolific writer that has developed the content for a myriad of informative Sexual Health and Wellness websites.

Stephen’s articles and writings tends to focus on social issues, sexual education, queer issues and all things fetish and absurd. He comes qualified with the completion of a double Bachelor degree in Social Sciences and literature, and a Masters in Education.