7 Ways to Feel Sexy Again

Not every one of these tips will work to help everyone feel sexy. That said, these are some of my favorite ways to start feeling sexy again.

Get in touch with yourself.

Getting in touch with yourself can mean different things to different people.

A bed with pillows sits in a soothing room; there is a hardwood floor with a rug at the end of the bed; light is coming through the sheer white curtains

One important thing for all of us to do is to figure out what sensations we enjoy. This can mean sexually – what touches or smells or sounds turn you on or help get you closer to orgasm? What are some of those things you don’t enjoy? What things would you put on your Yes/No/Maybe sexy times list?

This can also be non-sexually. What is your sense of style like? How about your communication style? Who do you find attractive?

All of these things, sexually or non-sexually, are going to help us build a foundation of self-love for the following steps.

Wear what makes you feel sexy – but is comfortable, too.

This is a common tip for discovering how sexy we are and loving our bodies. The one thing I’ve added here is the comfort factor. I used to love wearing high heels. Now, I just can’t get away with it for more than a day or two a month. When I do go for heels, I make sure to wear a pair that’s supportive and comfortable so I’m able to wear them as safely and as pain-free as possible. That should go for lingerie or anything else – unless, of course, a little bit of pain is sexy to you.

I love lingerie but just can’t wear it often. Many kinds of lingerie are tight, can exacerbate the prevalence of UTIs, and can be itchy. Now, though, I wear a lot of superhero underwear and lace bralettes (from Torrid!). The combination helps satisfy my gender identity (genderqueer) in addition to being comfortable and sexy in a very nerdy way.

a photo of me laying down on my stomach; you only see me from the waist down, with sexy lacy underoos on my bum; the picture is B&W with purple text overlay that says "love your body"

Lingerie or cute underwear can be a really fun way to surprise someone if you’re focused on looking sexy for them. You should always focus on comfort, though, and how you want to feel.

If not wearing something makes you feel desirable, naughty, or attractive, that’s a way to go, too. If you’re able to, sometimes going ‘commando’ or sans underwear can put a pep in your step. Just like with wearing fancy underoos, it’s like a special secret only you know.

Play up your features and show off.

Once you feel sexy and know what styles you like best, show it off! Take some selfies or, if you’re able, do a photo shoot with a pal or other photographer. Hell, you could do a boudoir shoot. I have one planned for mid-July and I’m very excited, despite being at my highest weight, because I know I’m goddamned cute.

A white girl (me!) with a teal shirt; subtle makeup save for red lips and eyeliner

The photo above is of me in 2013 when I was working on finding out what I wanted to look like the next year for my wedding. We ending up going slightly less retro than the above looks, but this was a way I showed off my eyes (with dark eyeliner) and my lips (with bright red lipstick). Now, though, I would aim much more for a faux hawk and neon pink lip gloss.

Styles evolve, and that’s part of why we need to take the time to get in touch with ourselves every so often.

Role play.

Pretend you’re one of your favorite people. If you think Beyonce or Ruby Rose or Vin Diesel are attractive, what would it be like to pretend to be them for a day? Would you carry yourself differently? Dress differently? Value your time and energy more?

Maggie Gyllenhaal playing Lee Holloway; B&W photo; Maggie is in a white shirt with black polka dots and is leaning over a desk with a surprised look on her face

Another way to go about this could be to fantasize about being characters you like. Do you think Lee Holloway from Secretary is hot? What about Magic Mike? How would these people act? What would they wear? How would they see themselves?

Sometimes using characters from movies or even real life people can make us feel even more unsexy if we can’t meet expectations like how they dress or move. If that’s the case, consider using someone from history or a book who might have less of a specific way of dressing up.

Get down, get down!

Dancing can be a wonderful way to feel sexy.

First of all, music is incredibly influential on our emotions. If you play “For Good” from Wicked, for example, I think nearly every person cries. Play “I Wanna Sex You Up” and crying may be the last thing on your mind.

There are many ways to dance. Doing it in a way that’s most comfortable and accessible to you is important. That said, if you’re able to do a striptease – even by yourself – it can heavily influence how you see yourself. I’m bad at buttons so I’m bad at stripteases… but I’m pretty good with moving my butt in some sexy ways.

Stick to whatever is most comfortable and accessible for you.

Speak your truth and set boundaries.

One of the most attractive things about people can how independent they are – especially if we aren’t necessarily able to be as self-sufficient. One way we can work on independence, though, is to speak our truths and set better boundaries for ourselves.

Speaking your truth can mean a lot of things. For me, it’s not holding back when someone close to me says something offensive. I correct them, even if the offensive thing isn’t directed at me or even impacts me directly (i.e., racist comments, etc.). It also includes speaking up against ableism and abuse in general, but especially that I’ve lived through. Not everyone appreciates that I share these things, but the people who matter do.

As far as setting up boundaries, there are a lot of things we can do. Again, only do these things if you are able to and comfortable with them.

A femme (from shoulders up) lies down with a blue towel rolled up under her head and cucumbers on her eyes

Set up times during the day when you don’t answer phone calls, respond to texts and emails, or use social media. In other words, set aside time for you – whether you use that as a time to be productive or to relax and rest.

Pull back from people who take without giving or who treat you poorly. Don’t let societal expectations keep you attached to bigoted or abusive family. When I cut my abusive mother out of my life, I began to feel incredibly independent, worth more, and became more confident.

Make time for you to do things that matter to you, whether that’s making art or being more physically active.

See yourself as you are.

When we’re dealing with chronic illness, pain, disability, and more, it’s easy to see ourselves as a collection of our ICD-10 codes or symptoms. We may see the weight we’ve gained on steroids or other medications, our assistive devices, and the patches we need to get through the day.

Do you see you in all of that?

An African American woman from the shoulders up; she is posing for a photo shoot; she has blonde hair in tight ringlets and is wearing jewelery

It can be really hard to remember who we are under everything we have to do to stay alive.

One fun way to remember you in the midst of pain is to have a photo shoot! You could just take a bunch of selfies, have a pal take a few pics, or even schedule with professional photographers. Hell, do a boudoir shoot if you feel like it! (Note: I totally have a regular photo shoot and a boudoir shoot coming up within the next month. I’m super excited about both!)

Another fun thing is to do something you love with close friends. Sometimes it can be something as simple as going to lunch with an old pal, getting a pedicure, or singing songs at the top of your lungs. Whatever reminds you how your life isn’t just about pain, illness, and disability is a good thing.

It’s your turn! What are some things you do to feel sexy? Tell us in the comments!

Review: Crescendo from Mystery Vibe

Note: I did receive the Crescendo for free, though not in exchange for this review. I’ll be blunt and honest as always.

Today, we’re talking about the Crescendo from Mystery Vibe.

The press around this toy has been impressive, being featured in a number of print and digital magazines or sites. Crescendo was even honored as one of The 10 Best Sex Toys Released in 2016 by Glamour. My big question to answer here is:

How accessible is the Crescendo to us chronically badass and disabled peeps?

First, some background & details:

Crescendo is innovative from an idea perspective. The toy arrives straight (like a space bar) but can be positioned in a number of ways. It is waterproof. There is also an app that you can utilize to control Crescendo’s vibrations.

Because the outer skin of the toy is silicone, it’s important to remember not to utilize oil or silicone-based lubes with it because that’s how damage happens. Water-based is the way to go here.

After opening Crescendo up, I was instantly struck by how snazzy the whole package was. Included with the toy: a wireless charger and a cute little satin carrying pouch. It added to the luxuriousness of the whole thing.

The first time I tried this, I was in a hotel out in Portland. Setting the mood a little bit with some sexy music from Hamilton and a few hot visualizations, I felt pretty in the mood. I decided to forgo using the app the first go-round because I wanted to see how accessible the toy was on its own.

It didn’t really impress me.

It is really difficult to change between modes/speeds while using the toy with hand dexterity issues. The mode-changing buttons were in really awkward spaces, especially if you’re handling Crescendo a lot during use.

Bending the Crescendo was a little iffy, too. I was concerned about breaking it! I didn’t need to be, but still – it hampered the mood a little bit in addition to not being super easy for my cripple hands.

There are some powerful motors in this thing. I attempted to try this out during a fibromyalgia flare. One of the symptoms I get hit with a lot is where sensations that don’t usually hurt actually do (allodynia). That normally doesn’t affect my masturbation habits or toy use, but it did here. The motors of the Crescendo are so powerful that it was uncomfortable. Combine that with how difficult it is to change modes and intensity on the Crescendo itself and there is no way I would be able to use this during a fibro flare.

When I did use the app, I had mixed feelings. It updated my Crescendo which was cool. As a part of that, I was able to access a bunch of new vibrations – ones that I honestly liked better than the heavy hitters preloaded onto the device. It was easier to switch between these and control a bit of the intensity.

wild cats setting on the mystery vibe app

However, the app would keep resetting if my phone screen went dark. This led to it having to sync with Crescendo, which meant turning it off and back on again if I wanted to change modes. Either that, or I was constantly trying to keep my phone ‘awake’ to keep everything in sync. Since I really like variety, this was a turn-off… such a turn-off that I didn’t even cum honestly.

And I usually cum pretty easily.

I thought part of the draw of this would be to have a more hands-free orgasm, but that just wasn’t possible. While the bending component was neat, Crescendo wasn’t able to bend in enough of a way to be completely comfortable and hands-free. Unless I held down this part on my clit, she didn’t get any stimulation at all.

I could see this device being fun for play with partner(s). The idea of someone controlling what my potential sexual pleasure feels like is a major turn-on. It would be incredible for teasing, just not for orgasms.

Final verdict? For now, inaccessible and not worth the money.

Between the operating difficulties, problems with the app, and the $200 price tag… this really isn’t an accessible device. It makes me sad because I feel like there is a lot of potential in this idea. That said, I know Mystery Vibe has done a few iterations of this device so far. My hope is that they can make this a little more accessible by:

  • adjusting the bending technique
  • tweaking the intensity/mode controls on the device
  • improving the app

Ideally, the price would go down, too – but, with these improvements, I might be able to to have a mind-blowing orgasm… in which case, price becomes slightly less important to me. Still, I generally would never spend this much on a sex toy because 1) I’m self-employed, 2) I’m disabled and have a ton of medical bills, and, 3) that’s a lot of money I could spend on other things.

In the future, it’s possible that this will become more accessible and actually give me an orgasm. For now, though, it’s a hard pass.

SYLK: a fun lube AND a contest!

You may have noticed that several of the posts in the last week have been about the wonderful world of lubrication.

There’s a reason for that!

Earlier this year, I was introduced to SYLK.

73338-1

SYLK is an all-natural lubricant made from the vine of the New Zealand kiwi. This ingredient means that SYLK is able to mimic the natural lubrication of the body thanks to polysaccharides. SYLK is made in the US, despite the location of the plant.

Remember some of the icky things we talked about watching out for in lube – parabens, silicones, and scents/flavors/dyes? Of those, SYLK only has glycerin and, even then, natural glycerin from the vine. This means it’s safe to use with just about any condom, dental dam, sex toy, and more!

It’s been being sold in New Zealand and Australia for over 30 years, and in Europe for 20. It’s also sustainable which is pretty badass.

why

After receiving positive and rave reviews on Amazon and elsewhere from people struggling with illness-related sexual issues, the company began to learn more about what we all go through with illnesses and sexuality. Recently, SYLK reached out to a number of people in the chronic illness blogging world across disease types from Lupus Chick to the Sjögren’s Syndrome Foundation and more.

I struggle with vaginal dryness. It’s like my body doesn’t respond to natural turn-ons anymore, like the connection between my emotions and my vagina is non-existent. Therefore, sex isn’t always comfortable for me simply because I don’t always practice what I preach and utilize lube.

Why?

Well, one of the problems that I have with lubes is that they get sticky. It may not always bother me, but definitely always bothers my partner.

It’s not sexy to feel like you fell into a vat of wet cotton candy.

When I got SYLK to try, then, I was excited to see how things went.

Real talk: it was a surreal moment to realize having sex was totally a part of my job, but I digress.

We really enjoyed the consistency of the lubricant and how effective it was. It also was more similar to my body’s own lubrication and didn’t leave the same sticky residue. In fact, any leftover stickies were easily taken care of with a wet washcloth or bathroom wipe.

As I went through the rest of my day, my vagina wasn’t sticky and it also didn’t feel like there was a glob of incompatible goo jammed up there.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Winners will be chosen at random on Halloween by Rafflecopter and then contacted for their information, which will then be shared with our contact at SYLK for shipping. We do have samples of SYLK that will be included in future giveaways so stay tuned if you don’t win this round! Please also note: While I received SYLK for free in order to evaluate it, I received no other compensation for this post.

Lube 101: Types and Things to Think About

Last week, we talked a little bit about the awesomeness that is lube. This week, we’re talking types of lube.

Oil-based

These lubricants can be pretty fun, but also pretty messy. Some kinds you might know are vaseline, mineral/baby/coconut oil, and lotions. Perhaps the biggest pro to these lubes is that they are long lasting and can be really great for people who have extreme genital dryness.

The biggest downsides:

They can break down latex condoms and rubber toys! Make sure to utilize polyurethane condoms with these kinds of lube.

They can also make it easier to get infections. If you have any issues with your immune system, I’d stay away.

You feel pretty sticky or slick afterward.

Silicone-based

These lubes . Some brands you may know include Überlube and Astroglide. One of the biggest perks here? These lubes are waterproof AKA they’re great for water-based sexy activities. These also tend to feel pretty silky, which many people enjoy on their own or with others.

Drawbacks? These stain pretty well and are not compatible with silicone sex toys.

Water-based

Lubes in this category tend to be the easiest to utilize in a variety of situations because they’re compatible with all sex toys and generally can cause less irritation than the two above categories. Brands you may be familiar with here include KY and Liquid Silk. Clean-up is a breeze with these as all you need to do is rinse, unlike the two categories above which need soap to really leave.

The biggest downside? Some can contain glycerin or, if flavored, sugar which can promote yeast infections. These can also dry out pretty quickly, meaning that you may need to add water or a little spit to reactivate the lube.

These can come in liquids, gels, and creams, so don’t think it’s all liquid-only.

Some good things to know

If you have sensitive skin, it may be good to stay away from lubes that contain extras like parabens, glycerin, or various flavorings or scents. Glycerin can also cause an uptick in yeast infections – and can be commonly found in water-based lubes – so make sure to read the label.

Allergies and reactions can happen to just about any lube. It’s always important to know your allergies as well as the allergies of others you may be intimate with in order to be completely safe.

There are also hybrid lubes, combining the above categories. Make sure to read the label.

Your bum does not really have natural lubricant of its own, so ALWAYS use lube with bum fun.

The lubricant that is right for you will depend on the activity, how many people are involved, where this is taking place, allergies/irritations, and what your end result may be. If you are looking for a lube to aid with everyday vaginal dryness, for example, you may want a different lube than if you were involved in sex with a group with an armory of sex toys at their fingertips – which will be different than lube you may want to use for masturbation, mutual or on your own.

Please make sure to join us next week when we will be discussing one of the best lubes out there. You will have a chance to enter to win a bottle!