Hi, my name is Catherine, and I love great sex toys! If you are a follower of my blog, you are probably thinking to yourself "big whoop, we ALREADY know that!"
Well I am here to tell you that dildos come in all shapes, sizes, and are made from a variety of materials. Goldfrau is a wonderful designer toy that is made from ceramic. Yes friends, you read that right. A ceramic dildo! Unlike the piece of crap ceramic pieces I attempted to make in my high school art class, this is some high class ceramic art.
When you first feel the Goldfrau you might notice the weight. It is wonderfully smooth and durable. The smoothness can be attributed to it's waterproof glaze, and believe it or not, the walls vary between 3 and 4 mm thick. It is also quite beautiful, but it does somewhat resemble a mortar and pestle you might find in a kitchen.
The Goldfrau shaft is beautifully glazed and quite straight. Even with out a curved shaft, this sex toy provides a wonderful and steady pressure that is perfect for g spot stimulation. The only part of the toy that isn't glazed appears on the end of the shaft. It has a bit of a ball-like structure, and I am assuming the lack of glazing means it is intended to be the handle.
I love the Goldfrau because it is non-porous and hence very easy to clean and keep sanitized. I also love how sleek, smooth, and substantial this toy feels when using it. Add a few drops of your favorite lubrication, and you have yourself a very good time!
Since it is made of ceramic, the Goldfrau is a eco or green sex toy! Yes my lovelies, this little beauty is earth friendly. It is also incredibly durable, and I have a feeling this toy will be around for decades.
Goldfrau is an Australian company, and the dildo is offered in 2 sizes (7 7/8" x 1 1/4" & 8 3/4" x 1 3/8"). One nice perk is that your new friend comes packaged in a lovely leather storage bag. Make no mistake, this is a luxury/couture sex toy! How do I know? The prices run approximately $220 to $240.
I would like to sincerely thank Wicked Tickles for providing me with the wonderful Goldfrau dildo for free. It truly is a wonderful, beautiful, and luxurious dildo. I highly recommend it and give it a 4 finger rating!
**Please note that the Goldfrau ceramic dildo is not appropriate for anal use since it does not have a base. This is particularly funny to me since it kinda resembles an anal probe. **
Catherine Toyooka is the founder of Catherine Coaches and is a blogger (d'uh!), sexuality speaker, educator, dating & sex coach, and a sex & relationships contributor for the examiner.com. Catherine also specializes in reviewing couture/luxury sex toys. Please contact her to arrange your free 20 minute phone consultation.
So you may have noticed that my blogging has decreased a bit over the past several weeks. It's not that I've been extraordinarily busy or sick. It is because I've been dealing with a huge betrayal from a former friend. Yes folks, betrayal, just like my former friend, is a real bitch!
What makes my particular case so difficult is that this friend was also providing a vital service for my emerging business. People always say you should never do business with friends, and I have to say that I have learned my lesson the hard way. After all, who better TO give my business to then a friend, right?
What I have come to learn is that I paid a hefty price for my poor business decision. Essentially, I paid this person well over $1500, gave them numerous time allowances when work wasn't completed on time, and completed a job I paid THEM to do only to find out that I was royally screwed in the end. How screwed you ask? Well, let me put it this way, I feel like I was anally penetrated (and paid for it!) without the benefit of lubrication. Yes, this is quite the visual, but it is seriously how I feel.
Of course hindsight is 20/20, and I was well aware of the numerous cracks in the working relationship. Keep in mind that not only were we engaged in a professional relationship where I was the client, but we had also been friends for many years.
What weirds me out the most is how someone who was supposed to be helping me and my business could end up acting like such a childish and unprofessional prick. It's as if this person's snarky comments became more frequent as my business became more visible and successful.
A few of the comments I remember are:
"I can't believe you have more twitter followers and fans on your facebook page then I do!"
"I used to be the darling of the bunch, and now it's you, and I don't like that!"
Clearly, this person has A LOT to learn about how to treat your friends and a bigger lesson to learn about how to treat your existing clients!
In fact, it was only after I decided to end our professional relationship that this person turned around and made the sole decision to place our friendship "on hold". Omg, seriously, who does that? It sounds like a 5 year old throwing a tantrum. It is so incredibly NOT cool, that after separating from them on a professional basis, I had zero desire to continue the personal relationship.
This is what I know about the situation:
The entire experience hasn't been all bad, though. I have learned that I have many more friends and allies then I thought. Sadly, I have also learned that this person has had difficult professional relationships with others. On one hand, I feel better knowing it is not just me that was screwed (since it feels so, so personal), but I also feel like I really want to warn others of this person's poor business practices.
In the end, I know that I am much more stronger for going through this. I know some of my friends are eager to see me move forward from my obvious bitterness. However, I think I needed to sit with the emotions for awhile.
I'm not gonna lie to you though, it feels damn good to vent like this!
Betrayal, like my former friend, is a bitch, and I bet they think this blog is about them!
Let me start by saying that I LOVE presenting sexuality workshops! It's true, I love it. I get a kick out of creating a safe and non-judgmental environment where people can come together and learn new things in a supportive place. Even though the vast majority of my workshops are related to sex and sexuality, I do a fair bit of work that includes everything from learning how to flirt effectively to learning how you can improve your body image. A huge part of what I do is to help others access their inner confidence. You might really be surprised at how big an issue this is for many people. Think men have it better then women? Au contraire, mon amie! The majority of my clients who seek out my dating and sex assistance are men. That's right, about 75% of my clients are men. Surprised? I sure was! So what is it that I know for sure? Here are a few insights that I hope you enjoy. **We all know people who spill the beans the first time you meet them. For the love of all that is good, don't tell people you are a loser! Ok, ok, I know you don't actually say, "hey, I'm a loser!", but guess what? If you are one of those chatty cathy's who tells your first date the specific problems you had with your previous boyfriend, husband, wife, or girlfriend, then, in essence, you are giving that new person a license to treat you as poorly as your previous relationship. Make sense? So how do I put this all together? The basic underlying theme I have been talking about here is confidence. This is one of the areas where you can "fake it till you make it". Confident people don't try to blend into the woodwork and they have a tendency to walk down the center of the aisle or walkway. Look for it....people who lack confidence tend to walk as closely to the wall or furniture as possible. Confident people also chose to enter/exit a building using the center most doors. People who lack confidence tend to use the door closest to the wall. Seriously, I couldn't even begin to make this stuff up! So there you have it friends! A few things that I absolutely, positively know for sure :) At the very least it should make for some fun people watching!
Let me start by saying that I LOVE presenting sexuality workshops! It's true, I love it. I get a kick out of creating a safe and non-judgmental environment where people can come together and learn new things in a supportive place.
Even though the vast majority of my workshops are related to sex and sexuality, I do a fair bit of work that includes everything from learning how to flirt effectively to learning how you can improve your body image.
A huge part of what I do is to help others access their inner confidence.
You might really be surprised at how big an issue this is for many people. Think men have it better then women? Au contraire, mon amie! The majority of my clients who seek out my dating and sex assistance are men. That's right, about 75% of my clients are men. Surprised? I sure was!
So what is it that I know for sure? Here are a few insights that I hope you enjoy.
**We all know people who spill the beans the first time you meet them. For the love of all that is good, don't tell people you are a loser! Ok, ok, I know you don't actually say, "hey, I'm a loser!", but guess what? If you are one of those chatty cathy's who tells your first date the specific problems you had with your previous boyfriend, husband, wife, or girlfriend, then, in essence, you are giving that new person a license to treat you as poorly as your previous relationship. Make sense?
So how do I put this all together? The basic underlying theme I have been talking about here is confidence. This is one of the areas where you can "fake it till you make it".
Confident people don't try to blend into the woodwork and they have a tendency to walk down the center of the aisle or walkway. Look for it....people who lack confidence tend to walk as closely to the wall or furniture as possible.
Confident people also chose to enter/exit a building using the center most doors. People who lack confidence tend to use the door closest to the wall. Seriously, I couldn't even begin to make this stuff up!
So there you have it friends! A few things that I absolutely, positively know for sure :) At the very least it should make for some fun people watching!
It's true that I love to flirt! I was so excited when I was approached to present my Power Flirting: How to flirt with anyone, anytime, anyplace workshop for a group of Asian gay men (gay-sians) at API Wellness in San Francisco.
First thing first, my homo-loving friends! Say it with me, "Flirting is NOT the same as cruising!" Flirting is really something of an art form. Flirting is something we were born to do, so don't get down on yourself if you feel like you happen to fancy yourself something of a huge pile of "flirting don't"
Think of it this way, when we were born, we flirted with everyone. We smiled exubertently to practically everyone we came in contact with. It is one of the reasons babies can be so irresistibly cute! So if you happen to be bad at flirting, just remind yourself that you are brushing up a skill you already possess.
Just so we are all on the same page here, flirting is using a combination of verbal and nonverbal communication to express interest in someone else. Cruising, on the other hand, is a wildly popular behavior in gay culture where your main purpose is to engage in some kind of sexual activity with the other person.
Some gay men don't think they are very good at cruising either and that's where glory holes can come in handy. **Ok, ok I am mostly poking fun here :)**
The concept of flirting can be particularly difficult for those who identify as something other then heterosexual. One main reason is that gay culture tends to be hyper-sexualized. Gay men can be masters at picking up other men and engaging in sexual play, but many are hard pressed when it comes to identifying men who have been coupled long term.
There are some major barriers when it comes to gay flirting and a few off the top of my head are: men who have just come out of the closet and may not be as secure as other men who have been out and proud for years, men who are too self-conscience to risk approaching another man, and men who don't know what they would do if they found another man flirting with them.
Well, having solid self esteem helps. People love confidence in others and gay men are no different then heteros when it comes to this. Notice that I said solid self esteem, and not the self esteem that comes with someone who is high on crystal methamphetamine! **Again, I am mostly kidding here too, but it is something that came up time and time again as I spent 5 1/2 years working with HIV positive youth in San Francisco**
Everyone wants a partner who has a good sense of humor, is able to laugh at them self, and someone who is approachable. Being able to laugh at yourself is one of the most refreshing traits in another person. Sure it is fun to make fun of others sometimes, but being able to draw the line between funny and outright bitchiness is key.
Gay flirting superstars also know they possess both good communication and social skills. Part of having good communication skills means you are a good, active listener. Successful flirts have to be able to shut the hell up once in a while and let the other person or persons they are with take center stage.
Having the ability to read, send out, and interpret body language and nonverbal communication is hugely important if you want to be a successful flirt. Part of being a great flirt means you only flirt with people who are available! Got that hot stuff? Learn to read body language so that you only put out energy to other people who are interested.
Superstar flirts are assertive enough to approach hotties, will not get bitchy or feel defeated if their attempts are rejected, and know how to exert good, healthy boundaries.
Finally, gay flirting superstars tend to be honest, authentic, and know that life isn't all about them. Lying, being disingenuous, and being the center of attention works if you happen to be a Hollywood star. For the rest of us mere mortals, this type of diva-ish behavior is a huge deal breaker.
I know, I know, after reading this blog you might be thinking to yourself "I don't know Catherine, this sounds like a lot of work!" Just remember that learning how to flirt effectively can assist you in almost every other aspect of your life. It is also a wonderful thing to be able to recognize (both in yourself and in others) the difference between flirting behavior and cruising behavior.
Happy fabulous flirting, men!
Catherine is also the organizer of a monthly meetup.com group called "Flirting, Dating, and Sex, Oh My!", and we are scheduled to meet next on 5/19/10.
Please contact her to arrange your FREE 20 minute phone consultation
High rates of unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections are reported.
When a writer I know contacted me to be interviewed about this topic, I totally jumped at the chance. Afterall, spending over 5 years providing front level services for HIV positive youth between 18 and 26 made me more then qualified to talk about the subject.
The following article was posted today in the Health section of the LA Times. To my very pleasant surprise, it was also picked up by the Chicago Tribune. Jessica Pauline Ogilvie wrote the piece and may be contacted by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Over the last few decades, the period between the time when young adults leave their parents' house and when they settle down to start families has grown substantially. In 1970, 21% of 25-year-olds were unmarried; by 2005, the percentage had jumped to 60%.
Marked by self-discovery and exploration, this phase of life has been dubbed the "odyssey years" by some. And along with determining their career and life goals, many unmarried adults in their 20s are also trying to figure out how to manage their sex lives.
According to a poll published earlier this year by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, 86% of unmarried people ages 18 to 29 are sexually active. And though it may not be surprising that 87% of the same group reported that they are not ready to have kids — including 88% of women and 86% of men — their actions don't always line up with their intentions.
Among the group polled by the National Campaign, nearly half of those who are in a sexual relationship either don't use contraception at all or use it inconsistently, and almost 20% of all respondents predict that they'll have unprotected sex within the next three months.
The result? Seven in 10 pregnancies in the 18-to-29 age group are unintended, and men and women in their 20s have among the highest rates of sexually transmitted infections of any age group, including chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis.
"Teens get a lot of attention around childbearing and pregnancy," says Heather Boonstra, senior public policy associate at the Guttmacher Institute, a New York and Washington, D.C.-based research organization that focuses on sexual and reproductive health. "But the age group that has the most trouble, and the highest rates of unintended pregnancy and abortion, are those in their early 20s."
Lack of access to healthcare is part of the problem, says Boonstra, who authored "The Challenge in Helping Young Adults Better Manage Their Reproductive Lives," a report published in the Guttmacher Policy Review in 2009.
People in their 20s "are the group most likely not to have health insurance today," she says. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, approximately 27% of people ages 18 to 34 were uninsured in 2008, the highest of any age group. Without such coverage, contraception can cost anywhere from $10 to $70 per month for hormonal birth control such as the pill or the NuvaRing (that's excluding the cost of a doctor's visit to obtain such a prescription), and more than $700 up front for longer-term birth control such as an intrauterine device (IUD).
But most experts agree that young adults' difficulty in managing their reproductive health is significantly affected by factors that run much deeper than access to care.
To begin with, the National Campaign discovered a considerable discrepancy among those ages 18 to 29 between perceived understanding and actual understanding of how to prevent pregnancy. Of those polled, 90% reported that they know everything they need to know to avoid pregnancy, yet nearly 80% of men and 30% of women in the same group said that they know "little or nothing" about the birth control pill. And 24% of all respondents believe that wearing two condoms provides double protection, when in fact it increases the chance of breakage.
And though they grew up in the era of "Sex and the City" and Internet porn, talking with partners about safe sex is just as difficult for people in this age group as for any other.
Catherine Toyooka, a Silicon Valley-based sex educator and founder of Catherine Coaches, a dating and sexuality education company, sees this difficulty firsthand. "They want to do the right thing," she says of the young people who take her classes, "but it's not really the easiest thing to talk about. They don't have the skills."
Adds Boonstra, "It takes a certain practice or finesse to be comfortable talking with your partner about sex and the use of contraception or condoms."
Many young adults also have deep-rooted — and occasionally conflicting — feelings about becoming parents. Though they may not be ready for children at this point, many want kids someday, and 32% of those polled by the National Campaign said they'd be "very pleased" or "a little pleased" to find out that they or their partner were pregnant.
The percentage of men who reported that they would be pleased in the event of an unintended pregnancy was more than twice that of women.
But whatever the reasons behind it, no amount of magical thinking will negate the fact that ambivalence about safe sex can — and does — have lasting consequences.
Many common sexually transmitted infections can lead to serious health problems. Chlamydia, if left untreated, can cause infertility, and late-stage syphilis can be fatal.
When pregnancies are unplanned, the expectant mother is less likely to receive preconception care, which includes weaning off medications that might be harmful during pregnancy; managing maternal diseases such as diabetes and hypothyroidism, which can cause birth defects; and screening for sexually transmitted infections and HIV/AIDS.
And though a great deal of funding and resources has been put toward preventing teen pregnancy, in large part so that young women finish high school, Sarah Brown, chief executive of the National Campaign, emphasizes the fact that most employers now look for at least some college as well. Since many young people start and stop college several times before receiving a degree, an unintended pregnancy could disrupt what's become a necessary level of education.
"The reality is that if you want to have a reasonably good job with any hope of stability, it requires two or even four years of additional education after high school," Brown says.
To help young adults manage their sexual health, experts are now looking into ways to reach them with information that they will pay attention to.
Most agree that learning about safe sex starts well before the 20s. To that end, the federal government approved a $114.5-million teen pregnancy prevention initiative in December that will fund programs and research designed to reduce teen pregnancy and risky sexual behavior. The recently passed healthcare reform bill includes language that earmarks even more federal dollars for sex education.
For those who are out of — or well beyond — high school, the National Campaign is developing an interactive website and accompanying mobile application called Bedsider. The site will provide up-to-date information about sexual health, finding a healthcare provider and text-message reminders about safety geared toward people ages 18 to 29. The site's launch is planned for early 2011.
In addition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which have taken note of the unique concerns of the twentysomething age group, partnered with several groups to launch a campaign last month called Get Yourself Tested, aimed at encouraging testing for sexually transmitted infections as well as open communication with partners and healthcare providers about the issue.
But as this complicated decade of life continues to evolve and as new norms are created, only time will tell what works, what doesn't and what the future of young adulthood looks like.
"The reality is that childbearing and sex has unquestionably changed," said Brown, "and I'm not sure that we are all entirely certain what the new structure is."