Tuesday, September 16, 2014

CatalystCon West 2014: Catalyst Award!

CatalystCon - Sparking Communication in sexuality, activism and acceptance is an amazing conference that happens twice a year: once in Washington, DC and once in Los Angeles. If you attend, you'll never forget it.

The presenters and attendees are sex educators, bloggers, authors, researchers, professors, sex workers, adult entertainment performers, therapists, and anyone else who has a commitment to sharing in the conversation about sexuality education and activism.

You'll meet legends in the field who paved the way to the kind of sexual liberation most of us in the US enjoy today. You may find yourself sitting next to a porn star or an erotica writer who sparked your own sexual awakening. You'll get so much new information and so many diverse points of view that your brain and heart will expand.

CatalystCon feels like my world -- a loving world in which sexuality is celebrated, and all sex-positive viewpoints and consensual behavior are accepted. I attend regularly and I give a presentation (or two) about senior sex each time. Even when I'm the oldest person in the room, I feel warmth, acceptance, and genuine interest in what I have to say.

This time, there was an additional surprise for me: I received the Catalyst Award "for inspiring exceptional conversations in sexuality"! I can't remember what organizer Dee Dennis said about me when I rose to accept the award (I had absolutely no idea in advance!) -- all I remember is looking out at 300 people who were standing, applauding, and smiling at me.

Here is the description of the purpose and mission of this conference from http://catalystcon.com/:

CatalystCon is a conference created to inspire exceptional conversations about sexuality. It is about reaching out and stimulating those who attend to create those important conversations in their own communities, changing how we as a society talk about and treat sexuality. It is about stimulating the activist that is within all of us and sparking transformation in the way our friends, neighbors, children and even politicians discuss one of the most important aspects of humanity. 

This is a conference meant to energize, enlighten and exhilarate. It is a conference where everyone is welcome, everyone is respected, and everyone is encouraged to share their knowledge and experiences. As the struggle continues over issues relating to equal rights, access to health care, and sex education, it is more important than ever to come together and have these important conversations on all areas of sexuality. 

The fundamental principle of CatalystCon is that knowledge is power and sharing that knowledge is the first spark in igniting change.

Do you see why winning the 2014 Catalyst Award feels to me like one of the most important honors ever? See why my smile takes over my entire face?

If you can attend in the future, please do. You'll be changed by it: listening to, learning from, and networking with the most interesting people you'll ever find in one weekend of sharing information and attitudes about sexuality.

I'll write more about what I learned from the presenters in another post, coming soon. The conference really wasn't "all about me," and neither was my enjoyment of it. I just had to share this much right away!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

FeMani Wellness Sexual Health Massage Wand

If you've read my book, Naked at Our Age, or the advice given on this blog, I hope you've noticed the valuable information contributed by Ellen Barnard and Myrtle Wilhite, MD, co-owners of A Woman's Touch. They are brilliant sex educators and compassionate human beings who devote themselves to women's sexual health and pleasure, with a special emphasis on helping women with sexual pain and limitations.

I've recommended A Woman's Touch's Vaginal Renewal Program often, and many of you told me how helpful it has been for you. An attendee at one of my workshops recently emailed me:

I wanted to let you know how much I benefited from your workshop. Using some things that were discussed, the Vaginal Renewal Program you recommended, your books that I purchased (I went straight to chapter 11 -- "When Sex Hurts" --  in Naked at our Age), and some steamy stories from Ageless Erotica, I was able to have penetrative intercourse for the first time in 4-1/2 months. It can only get better from here and hubs is very happy.

Ellen Barnard
I'm including this testimonial here not only because she specifically mentioned AWT's Vaginal Renewal Program, but also because  much of what I know about vaginal pain and self-help solutions I learned from Ellen and Myrtle. I consult and quote them often, and you've benefited from their expertise several times on this blog as well as throughout the pages of Naked at Our Age.

Myrtle Wilhite
Ellen and Myrtle have been working for years on developing the best sexual health internal massage wand for women who have pain and/or limitations with penetration and with medical internal exams due to aging, cancer, or other issues. They (and we) were dissatisfied by the wands -- aka vaginal dilators -- that were available to women with sexual pain, either from doctors or online.

After years of research, they've designed and tested the FeMani Wellness Sexual Health Massage Wand, which has been perfected to their high standards. FeMani Wellness Sexual Health Massage Wand is ready for manufacturing -- but their funds have run out.

That's why I'm appealing to you. These amazing educators have been (and continue to be) generous with their expertise, helping anyone who needs them. Can you be generous to them now? You'll be helping yourself and many other women who will be able to have comfortable, pleasurable sex because of these tools.

If you've been helped by the expertise of Ellen and Myrtle, either through my books or elsewhere, or you just want to help other women, can you assist with a donation of any size?*  Go here to learn more.

* You know I don't use this blog for fund-raising appeals. You may not know that I turn down about one worthy project a week, because I know you come here for senior sex news and views, not to be asked for money. But this project and these people are so special in our world that I had to make an exception.

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Amorino: a twisted sex toy

When I first saw a photo of the Amorino, I was mystified. Why put a twisted rubber band on a vibrator? Bondage is one thing, but on a vibrator?

What an odd sex toy -- I had to try it. Fortunately, the good folks at Good Vibrations were eager to send me one.

I discovered with pleasure that this strange little vibrator can be used in a variety of ways, and  I had  fun experimenting with it.

Let's start with the bare vibrator. Without the band, the medical-grade silicone mini-vibe can be used as a "rabbit"-style vibrator for dual stimulation of the clitoris and vagina.

The insertable length is only 3 inches, and the width is just 1.25 inches. This smaller size suits many of us older women just fine. The surface is smooth, and both tips are soft and a bit flexible, another plus.

So why the yellow band?  I was skeptical at first: Why would anyone want to add a rubber band to a vibrator?

Actually, I discovered, the band adds a strange and quite pleasant sensation, almost like it's "strumming" your vulva. Instead of inserting the shaft fully, just insert it shallowly (or not at all) and let the band play over your clitoris and labia. Pleasant, fun (it's made by Fun Factory, after all), and sexier than you might imagine.

How do you attach the band?

1. You can loop it around the vibrator (there are indentations to keep it from slipping).

2. You can loop it over the top, twist it once, then loop it over the bottom.

3. You can twist it twice.

Experiment and enjoy! In case you're wondering what havoc that twisted band might wreak on pubic hair, I was happy to discover that it did not catch or pull. Your experience may vary.

The Amorino may also be used anally, but only without the band.

Is the Amorino strong enough to bring older women to orgasm? You may not need the intensity I do, in which case the small but mighty Amorino will make you very happy.

For me, it felt good, very good, but it wasn't quite strong enough. I've come to enjoy several of my feels-nice-but-not-quite-strong-enough-to-get-me-there vibrators for a yummy, slow arousal. Then I grab one of my stand-bys (Magic Wand, Eroscillator, or -- my recent find -- Palm Power) for a happy ending.

The  Amorino comes with a USB charger. Once charged, no cords. And it's waterproof!

I wouldn't recommend the Amorino as your first or only vibrator, but if you're a connoisseur of sex toys, as -- ahem! -- many of us are, I think you'll find this an entertaining and pleasurable addition. Or, as some reviewers do (hello, Dangerous Lilly!), you may find it too gimmicky. I'm in the first camp -- I like it. I don't love it, but I like it a lot.

Thank you, Good Vibrations and Fun Factory, for providing me  with the Amorino in exchange for an honest review from a senior perspective.