Saturday, August 29, 2015

MiMi Soft: Cushy Tip Vibrator

Many of us like strong vibrations, but we don't like a hard toy pressing against our increasingly delicate genitals. A vibrator that presses against the clitoris with a bit of cushioning is just right, and the new MiMi Soft Rechargeable Waterproof Vibrator by Je Joue from Good Vibrations does exactly that.

The vibrator is firm and smooth, ABS plastic covered with a layer of silicone except that the tip is soft and cushy. Thank you, Je Joue. You have to press the tip hard against you to feel the "give" of it, but that's often a natural action anyway as arousal rises. The soft tip makes the MiMi Soft  an improvement over the original MiMi. I liked that one, but this one wins hands down... or hands on.

The MiMi Soft is smooth and tiny enough (3 1/2" long x 2 1/4" wide x 1 1/4" thick) to fit in the palm of your hand. If you're using it with a partner, it fits easily between two bodies without getting in the way. It's completely waterproof for use in the tub or shower, which is a delight.

MiMi Soft has five vibration settings and it's supposed to have six patterns. I don't care about patterns -- I prefer steady and strong -- so I didn't even notice that center button that controls the patterns didn't work on mine. I've read other reviews and never read about that issue, so I'll have to assume that this was just a problem with mine. (If I cared about it, of course Good Vibrations would replace it.)

I complained about the strength it took to press the buttons of the original MiMi, and although this one isn't as difficult, it still needs pressure. When your fingers are lubed up, it's impossible to feel the difference between the "+" and the "-" buttons, so you might have to grab your reading glasses and memorize which side is which so you don't accidentally turn it down when you're trying to turn it up.

Charging is easy with the magnetic charger. Plug it in, charge it for two hours or less, and you're good to go with no cords in your way.

Is it strong enough? You know me -- I like really strong vibrations. This one is not as strong as my favorite vibrators, but it does pack a punch for its size and the vibrations feel really good, less buzzy than most. For those of us who travel, the size is right!

Thank you, Good Vibrations, for sending me the MiMi Soft Rechargeable Waterproof Vibrator in return for an honest review. Right now it comes with a free silky blindfold.

Monday, August 03, 2015

The Right Side of History by Adrian Brooks: book review

I have an unalienable, constitutional and natural right to love whom I may...and with that right neither you nor any law you can frame have any right to interfere...I trust that I am fully understood, for I mean just that. 
-- Victoria Hull, 1871

The Right Side of History: 100 Years of LGBTQI Activism, edited by Adrian Brooks, should be in every bookstore and library and adopted as a textbook in every college-level, American history course.

Adrian Brooks has assembled a formidable body of work that chronicles the events and the people who have worked towards and spoken out for gay liberation and LGBT issues since before Stonewall. Yes, before Stonewall.

I was born in 1943. It hit me hard to realize these injustices were happening during my childhood:

  • In 1948, homosexuality and adultery were criminal, masturbation purportedly caused mental illness, and premarital sex was deemed shameful. But Kinsey showed such “perverted activities” to be prevalent, thereby torpedoing a cozy concept of manhood rigorously reinforced. The nation reeled.
  • In 1950, a Senate subcommittee issued a report, calling homosexuals a threat to national security...Even the appearance of homosexuality—butch women, effeminate men—became grounds for firing and was still a crime to be a gay man or lesbian with myriad sodomy and lewdness laws on the books.
  • In 1953, one of President Eisenhower’s first actions in office was to issue an executive order barring all gays, lesbians, and bisexuals from federal employment. 
  • Cops would walk in slowly like they owned the place, eyeballing everyone, pushing people with nightsticks. If they put you in a paddy wagon, you’d be hauled off to the Tombs (jail). If they put you in a car, they’d take you to some alley or empty parking lot, make you suck their dick, take all your clothes, throw them in the trunk of their car, and tell you to go home naked.
Look at the diversity of topics and the big names in the table of contents:

Part I: Before Stonewall
  • The Divine Discontent of Isadora Duncan by Adrian Brooks 
  • Henry Gerber’s Bridge to the World by Hayden L. Mora 
  • The 1934 Longshoremen’s Strike by Adrian Brooks 
  • The Cradle Will Rock by Eric A. Gordon 
  • Bayard Rustin: Offensive Lineman for Freedom by Patricia Nell Warren
  • The Kinsey Reports by Anahi Russo Garrido
  • Criminals and Subversives: The Mattachine Society and Daughters of Bilitis by Victoria A. Brownworth 
  • The Beats: Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac by Neeli Cherkovski
  • Frank Kameny: Advocate for Freedom by John D’Emilio
  • Josephine Baker’s Dream without Fire or War: An Interview with Jean-Claude Baker by Adrian Brooks
  • April 4, 1968 by Adrian Brooks
  • Ground Zero by Miss Major Griffin-Gracy

Part II: After Stonewall
  • The Revolutionary Joy of Gary Alinder by Paul Gabriel
  • Lesbian Nation: Jill Johnston and the Revolution of Women by Victoria A. Brownworth
  • The Angels of Light: Paris Sites Under the Bourgeois Sea by Adrian Brooks
  • Anita Bryant’s Anti-Gay Crusade by Jeanne Córdova
  • “The Mayor of Castro Street” by Adrian Brooks
  • Interview with Charlotte Bunch: Human Rights and Gender Equality by Anahi Russo Garrido
  • The Enemy Is Me: Becoming a Man inside a Feminist World by Max Wolf Valerio
  • My Battle with the University of California by Merle Woo
  • The Quilt by Julie Rhoad
  • The Red Camaro by Matt Ebert
  • Between the Sexes by Tiger Howard Devore
  • A Hero in Search of a Myth: The Navajo Journey of Jack C. Jackson, Jr. by Max Wolf Valerio
  • Interview with Judy Shepard: Remembering Matthew Shepard by Adrian Brooks
  • Interview: Barney Frank by Brenda Knight and Adrian Brooks
  • Black, Gay, and Muslim by Sultan Shakir
  • Bullying by James Gilliam
  • A Conversation with Evan Wolfson: Freedom to Marry Leader by Angela Dallara
  • Diana Nyad by Rita Mae Brown
  • Our Lives, Our Words: Newspapers, Bookstores, and Gay Liberation by Victoria A. Brownworth
I recognized many of the writers and subjects -- others were new to me, and I'm grateful to know them now. Most of the writers in of The Right Side of History: 100 Years of LGBTQI Activism are of our generation. We grew up not knowing this information. Let's change that now. I hope you'll read this book and purchase another for a friend. I did.

Adrian Brooks (born 1947, 68 at the time of the book release), who curated this book and wrote several of its essays, is a social and political activist, poet, performer and writer who has been working for change since the 1960s.