Some of you will have seen that I was featured in an online edition of a magazine last week - which was lovely, speaking about all things 'kinky' and sex related. I just wanted to put up the full unedited version of all my answers to the questions I was sent for the article. I noticed that the (has to be done) heavy editing resulted in my constant mantra of all things safe, consensual and non judgmental being left out in order to what I can only image was to fit into short, snappy answers and also to make it sound more user friendly.
You might also note that a lot of what I'm talking about below is now already done or my opinions might have changed as when I was contacted in February the piece was to be originally published in their printed magazine for May, but unfortunately for some reason that was never done as my many photos weren't just right. Now, enjoy!
How and when did your blog start?
I started my blog on the 30th of December 2012 as a pre new years resolution to myself. I was living with my partner at the time, out of work and down in the dumps. I follow so many blogs, there like a religion to me! Reading them everyday and getting to add a comment made me feel like part of something special. I don't have any friends who like make up and beauty, so starting up my own blog was an outlet for me where I could rant about something I found really great and not get blank stares in return. Or god forbid, a round of shhing in the pub while the lads watch a match!
Sex and beauty is an unusual combo – what made you decide to cover both?
As the saying goes, a little of what you like never hurts. I'm a massive beauty lover and have a house coming down with my latest buys and offers from Boots. I can't pass up a new lotion or potion, not when its sitting there begging to go home with me. But then I've also a big interest in sex and no one else in Ireland seemed to be blogging about it, so I decided to change that. I like pushing boundaries and informing people of things they might not have otherwise known if they hadn't clicked onto my blog. I've learned loads more by blogging about sex too.
What was the appeal of writing about sex, in particular?
Sex was never something that got talked about at home when I was younger. I had to figure out what was what myself, along with the occasional poorly taught sex ed classes in school. Now that I'm older and wiser, sex has turned into something I love talking about and I wish I had found a sex blog that talked openly and frankly about sex when I was younger. For so many its a taboo subject and in 2015 I don't think thats ok. Men and women alike have contacted me to say they hadn't known about certain topics until they read it on my blog and that saddens me. When theres answers at the click of a button, why not encourage the conversation as much as I can and help to get others asking questions, wanting to learn more about sex, sexuality, toys and all that they entail.
What is the most enjoyable aspect of blogging for you?
Every time I sit down to write a post I panic for a good 10 minutes about how I will write it. What kind of layout will I do, if I should redo my photos for the third time that day or if I should give it all up and run from the internet forever. Then I take a quick glance at whatever I'm talking about that day and suddenly the post is written as if I'd just chatted about it to a friend. When you have genuine excitement for loving and wanting to share your thoughts about a product or topic, then it just flows. Oh, the utter satisfaction!
How often do you blog?
How long is a piece of string? I try to blog as often as I can, but some days it just doesn't happen for one reason or another. At the moment I'm trying hard to blog every single Sunday for my #SexualSunday posts that are dedicated to any and all things about sex. If they aren't posted or published late, people message me to ask where they are, which is both a pressure and absolutely lovely all in one! Other then that, I try to have at least three other posts during the week or more if I can mange.
Do you have one must-have beauty product?
Asking me that is like asking me to choose between my two cats, I could never do it! If I had to answer that in a desert island way, I would say Benefit They're Real mascara, Collections pen eyeliner, Seventeens Phwoarr concealer and a Sleek eye shadow. Don't get me started on hair or skin care, we would be needing a bigger island.
Do you get freebies? If so, whats the best freebie you have ever gotten?
I'm extremely lucky to receive samples to try out from time to time. And to be perfectly honest, each time I get something its always the new 'best freebie'. I get high end products, but then I also get more affordable brands and they all get me giddy with excitement of trying something new out and then to be able to share my thoughts about them to everyone else who might read my blog.
Why do you think more people in Ireland don't write (or even talk!) about sex?
Ireland seems to be very behind the times when it comes to anything sex related. Theres a certain feeling that your just not to talk about it because your a good Catholic girl/boy and the fear of your mammy finding out would only lead to the wooden spoon. What would the neighbours think. I'm delighted to see younger generations talk more openly about sex, but the older generations seem to be finding it hard to accept that its ok to talk about it now.
Whats the most interesting thing you have learnt while sex blogging? Has anything surprised you?
The one thing that has surprised me is the amount of hate I have gotten from people who might be very religious. They seem to come across my blog and feel the need to write to me or comment, telling me that I am polluting minds or not being Christian enough. I never publish negative or hateful comments to my blog and always delete the emails, but none the less it baffles me that there are still mind sets like that. And that they take the time to write to me!
Is it an area you would like to expand on your blog?
I'd love to write more and do more sex blogging, but for now I am going to shops in Dublin on my own time. Trying to get interviews from sex shop owners or staff isn't as easy as I had hoped when I started my #SexualSunday slot. I also spend a lot of time nosing around sex toy shops comparing prices and product stock, so one post a week is all I can manage for the time being.
You review sex shops, whats next?
Reviewing sex shops is my new project for 2015, although I blogged a lot about sex acts and did reviews of lovely toys I was kindly sent before this. I really like all aspects of sex and I have plans of trying speed dating and kink nights in Dublin some time in the future. I think it would be something fun to write about and give readers a few giggles or more information.
Do you think its only a matter of time before more people start writing about sex?
I would really love to see more Irish people writing about sex, so I hope so! I've noticed a new trend of talking about dating experiences, things that happen on Tinder and bloggers giving their own dating advice. A few years ago it was taboo to talk about online dating, but now its perfectly acceptable to say you met your other half on a dating site. I hope dating and relationship advice is soon pushed a little further and sex will be talked of more.
How do people respond when you tell them you are a sex blogger? Did you tell your family and friends – and if so, what do they think?!
Its not something that I shout from the roof tops, but then not many people do when it comes to hobbies. I write about sex because I enjoy it and learn just as much along the way as I'm sure some of my readers do. But when I do mention that I blog about sex, its always the same reaction, shock and surprise. A lot of people get the wrong idea before I set them straight. They think that sex blogging means a tell all in depth account of my sexual encounters, instead of a continuous open conversation about different topics of safe sex, consent and reviews.
As for my friends, they were never shocked about me beginning to write about sex. If you knew me for ten minutes you would know that I love pushing out those awkward taboo topics and making others feel comfortable to talk about whatever they like. After all, we all have sex, were all here because of it (sorry for the mental image!) so why not talk about it like we talk about the weather?
My family I'm sure have copped on by now that its not just make up I blog about as I was interviewed on a programme late last year about dating and sex. They all saw it, even the neighbours!
What do you think is the biggest taboo in the world of sex?
Anything to do with men enjoying anal sex. There is still a huge misconception that if a man enjoys anal sex of any kind, then he must be gay. It frustrates me that we shame others out of enjoying sexual experiences for fear of the judgment and repercussions. The same can be said for all things under the kink/BDSM umbrella. 50 Shades of Grey has definitely made some things more acceptable such as light bondage, blindfolding and a Dominate/submissive relationship. But there are a lot more 'hardcore' things such as the wearing of gimp masks, ball gags and medical play that are big taboos as people don't understand them or dismiss them as weird.
Where do you stand on porn – fine in moderation, or is it a total no-no for you?
There is nothing wrong with porn at all, I always encourage partners to watch it if they wish without the fear of judgment. It can lead to really interesting conversations and suggestions! As long as it is consensual for all involved to be there preforming sexual acts and to be filmed while doing so, porn is great.
Do you think it has a negative effect on society?
I think viewing porn is fine when it is in moderation and people understand that porn is made like any other film. People have a lot of make up on, some might be over exaggerating the act or making sounds for effect. They can be given instruction on how to place themselves and how to portray their role. Porn acts can't and wont be the same in real life, for the most part. Real life sex is sometimes awkward, funny or just all over the place and thats ok! Its when people have an expectation from watching porn that can't become a reality that it starts becoming negative.
What annoys you about the sex culture in Ireland?
The fact that its still considered taboo to talk about sex, or that people don't have a mature out look on it. I was walking out of a sex shop the other day in Temple Bar when a group of adult men started whistling and shouting about a woman being in a sex shop, asking if I had bought a dildo. They soon were silenced when I walked over to them and said that I had indeed bought a dildo and would advice them all to do the same. If you shamed someone for walking out of Penneys with a bag, you would be laughed at. Why should it be any different walking out of a sex shop?
Do you think Irish people need to be more open?
In short, yes. I think we are slowly getting there, but theres a very long way to go. The more we start having these conversations and opening it up to others to join in and give their opinions or questions, the better. Thats what I try to do every time I write a #SexualSunday post. Its always my most read of the week and although a lot of people wont openly comment on my blog, I get emails and messages from people telling me how much they enjoy and learn from them. Its wonderful to know that my tiny blog is making a difference to even one person.
Do you think its important to be adventurous in the bedroom?
I don't think its mandatory, but I always encourage it. If you are happy having a normal 'quiet' sex life, then more power to you. But sometimes its fun to explore a little bit and see what you like and what your partner likes. It can help a relationship become closer, or even just help you have a better understanding of yourself and what your sexual preferences are.
Best sex shop you have visited?
Now thats a hard one. I've been into lots of different shops and they all have amazing qualities about them. If your looking for friendly staff in a 'women friendly' environment, then Miss Fantasia (South William St) is great. If your looking for a fountain of knowledge and supplies of medical play items, Good Vibrations (Capel St) is your shop. All things bondage, masks and amazing smelling leather can be found in Basic Instincts (Temple Bar). There are a few bad apples, but the majority or sex shops in Dublin have something special about them.
If you could give three tips to Irish women about their sex lives, what would they be?
(1) Masturbate. If you don't know what you like and how you like it, how will any partners know where to begin.
(2) If your not a fan of talking during sex, then sit down and have a conversation about what you like and how you like it. What are things that aren't ok to do and ask the same things to your partner. Once you know each others preferences, its so much easier and more enjoyable to have great sex.
(3) If your partner judges things you like or wont listen to you when your not comfortable or want to stop, they they are not worthy of you or your time. Listening, acceptance and consent should be number one. But if they are being ignored then theres no foundation for any type of relationship, be it long term or a one night stand. Go to bed alone and repeat (1)!
Were going sex toy shopping but we can only buy three – what would you recommend?
1. My number one sex toy of 2014 was my Doxy massage wand. If you have bits, then this needs to be in your life. Its non penetrative and has lots of vibrating speeds with a really long cord. You can use it to stimulate the clit and nipples, but its also great for men who want to feel something new on their penis or balls. Endless possibilities!
2. Kegal balls that are made of silicone. These are inserted inside you to help strengthen your pelvic muscles and can be worn all day. I think they are great fun to use and it can be really sexy to mention casually to your partner that you have something inside you. Teasing is the best
3. A cock ring. You will obviously need a male partner for this one, but this will make him super hard, last longer and you can buy ones that vibrate too so both of you are getting extra pleasure.