Sex Toy Review: Satisfyer Pro Deluxe!

Just two quick disclaimers because this isn’t my typical post: First off this isn’t sponsored, obviously.  Secondly, I have never had a healthy sex-life until coming to the realization that I am gay.  After that sexual revolution, I have added “De-stigmatization of women’s sexuality” to my long list of feminist goals.  I firmly believe it is important to take care of your sexual needs and explore what you like on your own so you can have realistic expectations in the bedroom with a partner.  So, as the title explains, I’m going to be writing my own review of this new toy, as well as the response my partner had to it, to give two different views.

I am a CIS-gay female, and my partner is a straight transgender (female-to-male) person. And this is our new sex toy: Satisfyer Pro Deluxe.

For me, I have been very limited in my sex-toy knowledge, in fact, before I came out and began exploring my desires, I only had a very basic vibrator that was for penetration (which I now realize I’m incapable of orgasming with penetration only).  Eventually I progressed to Rabbits, bullets, and most recently wands, which have been my preference.  When I saw reviews on this clitoral stimulator, I was definitely  intrigued and had to purchase one, but I have to put out the disclaimer, this toy is not for beginners!

When I first used it, I ignorantly cranked it up to the highest power (11 different speeds) and immediately attempted to place it directly on myself.  This resulted in me orgasming without even having time to get into the mood, in approximately 30 seconds.  So later in the evening, I decided to try my toy out again, and I placed it appropriately, and started working up to higher powers.  My response is WOW! This toy is very intense, even for me, who tends to need high levels of stimulation.  It is definitely a completely different type of stimulation than I am used to, and I’m 100% sold on this new toy, it was worth every penny and has left me planning for each next use!  This toy is even aware of its power, stating in the owner’s manual, not to use on one area for more than 15 minutes.  That is definitely preparing for some quick orgasms!

My partner, who is FTM and pre-op, but on testosterone for several years, has a slightly different genital situation and often struggles with finding sex toys that are useful for him.  Typically, Feminine sex toys don’t work as well for him due to there being extra body, and Male sex toys don’t accommodate him well.  Thankfully, Buck Angel, an FTM trans adult film star, recently came out with a toy specifically for this population that resembled a Male sex toy. Here’s hoping Mr.Angel sees this toy and corners the market!

Anyway, I was interested to see if this toy would work for him, due to the size differences, and was pleasantly surprised to find out that it worked just as perfectly for him as it did for me.  He reported, that while normal vibrators and sex toys tend to create a lot of movement of his parts and need re-adjusted constantly throughout sex, he found that the suction and the hole in this toy completely freed him from this issue.  Much like my own experience, his initial attempt at using this toy resulted in a very quick and vigorous orgasm, almost implying you can’t even mentally prepare yourself for what you are about to experience! The second attempt at using it gave him the most vigorous orgasm he has had with a toy.

To summarize, we both had an amazing experience and are in LOVE with our new toy.  This toy is perfect for women and just as amazing for Transmen! I would recommend this to anyone looking for a new and amazing toy in their collection!

-QT

 

When did you know you were gay?

A short answer would be: probably around age 23.

But, I’m not here for any short answers, and short answers definitely lead to more questions.  This post isn’t a short answer, and it isn’t a coming out story either.  (Although maybe someday I will be comfortable enough to spew that story for all the internet to see?)  Actually, this story has nothing to do with coming out, it is just about my own reflection of all the missed signs of gayness in my own life, that were probably intentionally missed (to protect my self from my environment of judgemental family members).

So to start as far back as I can remember, it has always been a running joke that I am only attracted to boys with “baby-faces,” which was adorable to say, but as I got older, seems pretty creepy and I’m able to reason with the fact that I only liked girl faces, or the androgynous look (which I would obviously still agree with!).  My room was lined, only with pictures of Jonathan Taylor Thomas, like every other young girl in America.  However, I had a hidden “Girl’s Life” Magazine, which was just a cute pre-teen magazine that talked about puberty so parents didn’t have to.  In this girl’s life magazine I had the most gorgeous picture of Christina Miliano (and I’m still not sure who she is) that I reassured myself I just wanted to look like her over and over again.  I’ve attached this picture for everyone’s enjoyment:

christina_milian_08

A few years later, I was absolutely in love with a girl on my softball team, that I assured myself I just really really really wanted to be her friend. I remember trying so hard to get her attention, and I even downloaded a song she used to sing all the time and listen to it on repeat.

Then came puberty and the awkward masturbating to the thought of my girl friends who were having sex and talking about it, but never the thought of me having sex, but me being the guys who got to have sex with them.  As well as weird encounters where my girlfriends would make out, but I never engaged with them because “I’m not like that,” but at one point I asked if I could film it? It is very entertaining to think how I could miss these types of signs.

But the most interesting avoidance of being gay in high school, had to be the girl on the opposing basketball team, that I can still remember the name of, that I convinced myself was so attractive because she HAD to be a relative of Jonathan Taylor Thomas and I really wanted to be around her so bad, you know, so I could get to meet him.  I used to get so excited for the games against that particular team, and would creepishly watch her the entire time, hoping she would notice me.

I think the final signs leading up to the acceptance of being gay were just a series of girls who were my type, which I describe as petite androgynous people, who I became very close with and reminded myself that I just wanted to be friends with them so bad, but would have cuddle parties and spend my entire day trying to plan how I could see them more often.  Now they are some of my best friends and laugh at my painful crushes on them.

I hid these things very well, in my mind. Surrounded with the idea of feminism and taking on women’s rights movements, which was obviously why I loved women, right? I also have to admit, my best line of denial was telling everyone I knew that I could “never be gay because vaginas scare me.” Oh, how embarrassing that I thought that line could help to keep my closet door shut.  But eventually, when I did come out, to my self and others, all these stories (along with many more, I’m sure), came out in my mind and stood out as things that protected me for the necessary time, but could have helped me find myself, and happiness at a much younger age.

Hope you enjoyed this weird post of embarrassing humor and denial!

-QT

Lets talk about Pride!!

First off, Happy Pride Month!

This has been a very moving and exciting month for me in my own journey as an LGBT individual who works within the community.  I am proud to say that I was able to attend my first pride two weekends ago and really enjoyed the experience.  I have been “out” on a small scale for a few years now, but due to some harsh and difficult family dynamics (which I’ve talked about several times on this blog) I was never comfortable enough to be out at pride.  Thankfully, due to a lot of intrapersonal work, as well as some healthy boundary setting, I decided this was going to be my year to finally go experience pride for myself.

All-in-all it was an amazing experience and I got to enjoy fun and festivities, get burnt and dehydrated, as well as run into some of my LGBT+ clients on the streets.  Due to a busy work schedule, my partner and I were only able to attend one day, which happened to be the day of the parade, and one of the hottest days of pride.  When we got there we were able to enjoy the booths and meet other pride-goers, as well as catch up with some friends.

The booths were very interesting to me, and I was glad to see such diversity among the sellers.  There were LGBT+ shirts, food, supporters, churches, and even animal rescue leagues, which resulted in spending way to much time playing with a beautiful kitten that was up for adoption.  We had a lot of fun meeting the people who had booths and getting information (some that would be great for my office!) and learning more about what the community has to offer LGBT+ people in need.  My personal favorite experience of the day was meeting our community’s PFLAG table.  When we arrived at the table, there were two LGBT+ mothers working the booth.  As we introduced ourselves, one of the mothers stood up and said “Can I give you a hug?” and the other one joined her.  This was particularly moving to me, being that I have struggled deeply with the lack of support from my own mother and the damaged relationship we have due to my sexuality and her ignorance.  To me, this was the most important connection I could have found and it came from two loving and accepting mothers who don’t know me or my story.  Honestly, that moment made my first pride and I will remember it forever.

The parade was amazing, I loved seeing all of the rainbows and people, like me, or supporting me, in one area.  This was such a great experience in terms of feeling surrounded and not alone, which is hard to do when u come from a rural conservative area.  I believe this parade was important, specifically this year, due to the declining political climate and fear that a lot of people within the community are experiencing following the election.  I actually enjoyed seeing large corporate sponsors involved in the parade, like walmart, to see that there are big named allies that are willing to put their brand on something that may not be taken positively but others within the country.

I was also able to see my close friend and his drag-king group perform on one of the main stages at pride, which was a deeply moving experience to see someone who has been to pride many times and in the community for over a decade, be able to experience some firsts, as I was, but on a much larger scale.  I was impressed by my community and the joy that was shared by many.  However, I have to note that, while it was a positive experience, I couldn’t help but notice there was a significant amount of feminine teenage girls, dressed in things that identified them as “allies” (like buttons or shirts, or even introduced themselves that way) roaming in herds following gay men.  I’m not sure if this is a thing that always occurs but I felt very uncomfortable about the teeny-bopper atmosphere and almost felt as though an invasion was happening because this was just some big event happening in the city that they could go party at.

As a whole, the experience was very moving and I was very proud and excited to be involved in my first pride ever.  I am excited to go back every year, and maybe even travel to some bigger cities to experience other prides to broaden my own community.  Community is so important when you come out as LGBT+ because a lot of times you lose the generic community of a family of origin and are lucky enough to be able to manufacture your own community.

-QT

Transgender Gynecology

Although this may seem like a terrifying topic, especially to all the female-to-male people of the world, but that doesn’t mean regular appointments are not painfully necessary to anyone having specific body parts.  The problems that are faced, such as cervical  cancer, and irregular paps are not only limited to women but have been experienced in trans men as well.

Something I have heard from several trans men is: “I don’t get penetrated or get a period, why would I need that checked?” Well there is more to gynecological exams than just sexually transmitted infections.  In fact, Buck Angel experienced something called “Vaginal atrophy” and had to undergo an emergency hysterectomy due to long-term testosterone use.  Although this is not something that will happen to everyone, it proves that there needs to be regular check-ups, even without getting a period.  Buck’s post about his experience can be found Here.

This week, I had the experience of going to my partner’s second gynecology exam in his life.  Unfortunately the first exam had not gone well, and caused him to experience significant dysphoria, without getting much of a sample.  In fact, articles online suggest that it is very common for FTM clients to experience inadequate pap exams.  We had the luxury of going to an agency that has a lot of experience in working with transgender clients, which really really improves the experience.  There are many affirming places out there, so make sure if you are looking for somewhere to schedule your exam, you look online for your area.  My partner also expressed that it is beneficial for him to go to a general health office instead of a specific gynecology office to help avoid judgment and dysphoria.

In my opinion, the experience was as positive as it could be, only minimal tears and irritability, but much less screaming and kicking than the previous attempt. The doctor was very professional and got an A+ from my partner.

My tips from the experience include:
1. Go somewhere trans-friendly
2. Try to find someone with experience with trans exams
3. Bring a friend or significant other (you may not want to drive, in our experience there was a lot of dizziness and light-headedness after the exam)
4. Be kind to yourself! Affirmations are important, at least you are trying!
5. If you go to counseling regularly, it may help to have an appointment scheduled the following day to process the experience or any feelings you may be dealing with.
6. Make sure to schedule yearly exams!! YOU CAN DO THIS!

As a final note, I recommend to all my FTM clients to be aware of their insurances and if transgender surgeries and treatments are covered.  If bottom surgery is something you may consider, it is a great idea to have this done prior to having your name/gender marker changed, because unfortunately some insurances just haven’t been progressive enough to recognize or cover hysterectomies for men.

Sorry this post is a little different, but I wanted to make a quick statement of the importance of genital health!

-QT

Invisible Letters of LGBT and Queer Spaces

So, I wrote a post to Tagg nation (who I’m going to continue harassing because they inspire me so much with their fabulous conversations!) that vaguely expressed some feelings about, what I call, the Invisible letters of LGBT.  Since I only briefly touched on it, I decided to flesh out the initial twitter post and explain my experiences a little more.

First off, I use the term “invisible letters” to describe the people within the LGBT community who can typically pass in our hetero-normative society.  This includes a fair amount of our trans/gender non-conforming community, bisexual community, femme lesbians, as well as masculine gay men.  I obviously can’t speak for the whole community’s experience but I will be speaking as a femme-presenting lesbian, who has dated people within the trans community.  Although at times, it is very fortunate to be able to pass as hetero-normative because of being able to avoid a lot of bullying and hate-crimes within daily life, it is very painful to be rejected and not seen within your own community.

When I was early in my coming out process, I happened to be dating a man who was transgender, although he was still very active in the lesbian community because he noted he will always identify “more with lesbians than straight men.”  Unfortunately for me, as I came out I became ostracized by family and friends and was really struggling for a place to fit in.  I felt safe and accepted within queer spaces, however, when I was with my boyfriend, we were assumed to be straight and it felt like when I desperately needed a space to accept me I didn’t have place to belong.  I remember often saying “I wish you didn’t pass so well,” which seems pretty insensitive now, but he had to agree because he only wanted to use queer spaces, because the bathroom situation is much more accepting.)  We realized the best way to handle this was to throw him in transgender clothes for PRIDE so we were less invisible.

Another issue I experienced, was being in a queer space  as a femme woman, with another femme woman.  There was another femme woman who approached us at this club and engaged in dancing with us, which was fine, but asked if we were together.  When we said we were just friends, the woman began sexually harassing us.  It was very frustrating because she physically pulled at our shirts and tried to expose (and kiss) our chests), when we moved away from her advances her response was to get very irritated and say “oh you aren’t interested but you are here?”  It was such an awful experience, and I can’t imagine making the assumption (as someone within the gay community), that everyone who is also there is trying to sleep with me! That is such a straight view of gay people!

The final experience I want to touch on is allies within queer spaces.  I know for me, prior to coming out of the closet, going to queer events as an ally was the only way to be there without prematurely outing myself (to people I’ve already noted ended up being very un-accepting!).  Also, in my experience, a lot of LGBT individuals are strangely active “allies” before they are LGBT, and to me, that is okay, because everyone comes out at their own time and pace and should be respected.

Just to clarify, I’m not above the stigma, and I have my own trouble judging people I assume are straight in our spaces, but I also realize what it is like to be on the other side of that (so I typically just roll my eyes out of sight so I don’t make anyone feel rejected).  So to summarize, be nice to people who appear to be “straight” because I’d rather have a few straight people in our spaces that make people who are already rejected in most other spaces, feel rejected on accident because they pass too well.

-QT

Reading and Self-Reflection

Since I have been currently experiencing some pretty significant points in my life and development and while I’m dealing with acknowledging my own character flaws and points that could use some growth, I’ve begun reading “The Gift of Imperfection” by Brené Brown.

There is nothing more satisfying than stripping off the security blanket and doing some deep work on why I’m driving myself insane, as well as my family, my partner, and my therapist. However, as I’ve said to many of my own clients “it’s gotta get worse before it gets better, and I’m definitely experiencing some of the worse part.

Although I’m not uncovering anything too painful, I have been able to adjust to issues within myself and fear of people I want in my life getting joy from anyone but me (if I provide them with joy they can’t leave me!). I’m talking out my vulnerabilities and even though I’m not quite ready to move forward and make changes, I’m definitely in the awareness stage.

It feels good to trigger growth but is also very exhausting. I’ve noticed that in the past 5 nights I’ve been having very vivid “stress dreams.” I’m going to call them that because they aren’t quite nightmares and they aren’t scary, just stressful. One example is failing a class and trying so hard to make up the work I missed before the semester was over, another was trying to get my partner to come downstairs to help me but being unable to communicate what I needed, and last night was having coffee spilled on my shirt without a change of clothes and no ride to where I was working.

These are all control issues, which has always been my biggest problem. It makes sense that as I’m working diligently to unpack my issues of control they mask my fear of being let down, or hurt, or not good enough, that my brain is flooding me with crazy control dreams.

I also feel exhausted. Using my sleep tracker I’ve noted that where I typically have very short bursts of REM sleep, I’ve been having longer periods of REM sleep which is probably when the dreams are occurring (I rarely sleep deeply enough to recall any dreams). I feel physically tired from the lack of sleep but also mentally drained from the work I’m doing on myself while maintaining a caseload at work.

Unfortunately there is no convenient time for working on yourself, as a counselor I was seeing told me “if you want an excuse it will never be a good time because you can always find something that will get in the way.”

-QT

Dating in Graduate School

So this isn’t going to be my typical post, but I feel like it is something I need to work through verbally for myself.  This isn’t about family or acceptance, but about relationships within  the queer community, as well as within higher education, specifically my experience.

So, when I was in graduate school, I began dating my current partner, who was also in my masters program.  It was a great experience because we both had a lot to do, but were able to work through things and be busy together.  Of course, it came with it’s struggles, being that I had not come out in my program so we dealt with a lot of secretiveness dealing with the ominous “closet.”  After graduating, I went off to the work force and have been practicing for several years while my partner finished their master’s program.  Now, they have begun their doctoral program, while I’m working and this is our first experience that is kind of separate in nature.

So, while this program is going on, there are a few things that lead up to issues within our relationships.  One of these things has been the difference in schedule. For anyone who has been in graduate school, you are well aware that typically there is a “best time” to do work, and that time is around midnight-4am, where you comically binge homework.  However, as someone who is working in mental health and definitely needs sleep in order to function, I’m normally well asleep at this time.

So our schedules typically look a little like this:
Me: Work 9am-7pm, sleep 11pm-8am
My partner: Class 4pm-9pm, Homework 9:30pm-4am, sleep 4am-12pm

As you can see, there isn’t any available time to spend, especially when we are living in different households.  We have tried many things, such as making a communal Google Calendar so we can work some “us time” in, having the weekend (evenings, because he still works an odd job on weekend hours), as time for us to spend together, and having several, several, several, arguments about the situation.  There has been very minimal resolution to this issue, so any suggestions would be helpful, especially if you have been in a similar situation.

It has been a long experience, and there are at least 4 more years of this to go.  We are both well aware that this is going to be challenging, as my partner’s professor said “you are going to be married to your doctorate program.”  I am putting it out in the universe that I’m going to attempt to be more supportive and accepting when I don’t get the attention I desire and more appreciative of the time I do have.

Thanks for listening!

-QT