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Forbidden Island

Forbidden Island

This award-winning board game comes with a cute winged lion figure and a game tile that looks like a wrinkly, writhing Penis Castle. What more could you possibly need?

Forbidden Island features cooperative gameplay, which means everyone is on the same team playing versus the game board itself: either everyone wins (yay!), or everyone loses together. Now, I know that sounds like a game genre for helicopter parents trying to shield their precious spawn from life’s disappointments. However, if you seek out and play the good co-ops, you will soon be no stranger to complete and utter soul-crushing failure. You will experience devastating defeat when your team only needed one more turn to win. And you will love it, because the good games are challenging, and it will make your next victory feel so much more rewarding.

Within the increasingly popular cooperative games genre, Forbidden Island is one of the several that truly reigns supreme. Designed by Matt Leacock (who also created the renowned co-op board game Pandemic), I’ve found that Forbidden Island tends to be fairly universally enjoyed. This is very much a “gateway game” in my opinion – I frequently pull this one out for introducing people to modern board games, especially if I’m secretly hoping to hook them into my gaming hobby1. It is easy to learn and play, with aesthetically appealing components. Although the rules are simple, there is enough depth and excitement to keep everyone engaged.

Forbidden Island game components

In Forbidden Island, your team is working together to capture four treasures and escape before the island completely sinks. The game board is comprised of 24 double-sided tiles representing different island locations. Each player has a special ability unique to them, and gameplay involves collecting and trading sets of cards, and using the cards to capture treasures. Throughout the game, the island gradually floods and sinks into the water – everyone must work together to slow the flooding process. If your team can acquire all four treasures, obtain a helicopter card, and rendezvous at a specific tile before the island completely sinks, you all win!

The adventure theme is immersive and fits perfectly with the gameplay. As the game progresses, the feeling of imminent doom rapidly intensifies as the board physically disappears – island tiles that sink are removed from the playing area during the game. It’s impossible not to feel the pressure when the island has only a few tiles left, everyone is staring at you with fear in their eyes, and your hand is quivering over the draw pile as you silently pray the dreaded Waters Rise! card won’t come up next.

As the Waters Rise! cards (which are randomly shuffled into the deck) are drawn during play, a series of actions to takes place which increases the game difficulty. There are also four starting difficulty levels you can choose during setup: Novice, Normal, Elite, and Legendary (in case your team is masochistic). Forbidden Island’s replayability is also pretty great, as the game board always changes (island tiles are arranged at random during game setup), making the experience different each time you play.

For a game this fantastic with such high-quality materials, the price is amazing. All cards have a smooth linen finish (like good poker cards), and the island tiles are crafted from sturdy, thick cardboard. Player pawns are painted wood, and the treasures are beautifully-detailed small plastic sculptures. Even the box is nice – the embossed tin container comes with a well-designed insert to hold game components. The rulebook has easy-to-read instructions, clear images, and gameplay examples.

Forbidden Island is the perfect game for luring your unsuspecting friends and loved ones into becoming fellow board game fanatics introducing newbies to the world of modern board gaming, for a fun and inexpensive segue into the cooperative genre, or for a quick-yet-challenging filler between heavier strategy games. This is a pretty much a staple for any board game collection.


Game Overview:

  • Number of players: 2 – 4
  • Best with: 3 or 4 players
  • Playing time: 30 minutes
  • Category: Cooperative, Adventure
  • Expansions: N/A
  • Designer: Matt Leacock
  • Publisher: Gamewright

  1. Which is always. []
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Aerie’s Room: Not just dildos all the time

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If there’s one thing I love just as much as sex toys, it’s board games. No – not Monopoly or Candy Land… I’m talking about the current generation of hobby board games, which generally has more depth, strategy, unique concepts, and interesting game mechanics. Think along the lines of Settlers of Catan.

I have a tendency to obsess over games; I can talk anyone’s ear off about them, and it’s common for me to stay up all night lurking on BoardGameGeek. I take great pride in my ever-growing game collection, which at this point has cost me a small fortune. Playing board games is one of my favorite social activities – not only do I love playing games with my partners, I’ve also hosted and attended countless game nights through various Meetup groups, and have met many of my friends through gaming. Dildos are what I use to play with myself… board games are what I use to play with everyone else!

Lately I’ve been feeling a strong urge to blog about my enduring love for board games, so I’ve decided to broaden the focus of Aerie’s Room a bit. Sex toy reviews will still be a big percentage of my content, but I really want to talk about my other passions, thoughts on certain topics, and life experiences as well.

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Besides upcoming board game reviews, I have a post in the works about my personal struggle with gender identity. I also plan to write more about past sexual experiences, discovering my sexual orientation, exploring polyamorous relationships… and maybe even stories about fighting depression, or growing up as a person of color in a town as diverse as a bag of pistachios.

Aerie’s Room started as a place for me to post my opinion about objects I’ve inserted in my vagina, but I’m excited to expand my blog’s focus and share more of my life and thoughts with the world. So, with that said, my door is open – welcome to more of my room!

 

The Mystery of the Undercover Clitoris

The Mystery of the Undercover Clitoris

The Mystery of the Undercover Clitoris

Want an extremely heterocentric, horrifically gender-stereotypical, infuriating book that advises readers to compliment their partner’s vulva by gently whispering “you have a beautiful flower”? Meet the newest volume from Sadie Allison (self-described as a “leading authority on human sexuality for over a decade”), a pocket-sized sex guide that winds me up into a flaming volcano of bitter exasperation.

The Mystery of the Undercover Clitoris could have been a great little book. The illustrations are nice, the author provides some really useful information and good clitoris-stroking techniques, and she continually stresses the importance of using lube. Even though some of her tips are asinine (such as spelling out “I love you” on someone’s clit with your fingertips), there is some quality information here. However, any shiny gem of potential is slathered in a thick, crusty gravy of misogynistic writing.

Within the first few pages, Sadie Allison explains why she wrote this book with the following:

…I found that many guys were truly willing to learn when I took the time to make discovery fun. That’s when it dawned on me that I had a knack for sexual guiding, without bruising their egos or causing embarrassment.

God forbid we bruise a man’s ego by trying to teach him how to give us pleasure. I’m also incensed by the suggestion that it is the responsibility of women to make learning to pleasure vulvas “fun” – because otherwise no guy gives a shit about touching a clitoris, right?

Behold a horrific sentence that floors me every time:

[In order to orgasm] …a woman’s mind must also be at ease, without worries about kids, deadlines, groceries, or whether she thinks you think she’s overweight.

Women just have so much to worry about – laundry, baby shower gifts, the calorie count of salad dressing, slicing down the patriarchy with a scythe forged from male tears, etc.

Occasionally, the author attempts to awkwardly connect with her target audience by trying to speak “dude” – by using weird sports and Star Wars references1. Far more distressing are her efforts to titillate and arouse the reader, with nauseating, adjective-ridden sentences such as the following:

The Vagina: Welcome to Intercourse Central – the female’s soft, flexible canal designed to embrace your eager, erect penis.

You’ll surely agree how magnificently your erect penis aligns with your lover’s excited vagina.

The vulva includes ALL of a woman’s external genitalia, while the vagina simply defines the canal where you spend your waking hours planning to plunge your penis.

KILL ME.

I’ve realized that at the core of it all, the thing that pisses me off most to the point of pure, unabashed rage is that MANY TIMES throughout the book she promises you – the assumed heterosexual male reader – that if you follow the tips in this book, women will want to have more sex with you.

Let’s just stop for a moment and think about how fucked up that is.

Now, it may be true that often, people who feel like their partner(s) honestly put effort into and care about pleasuring them, are more likely to put effort into and care about pleasuring their partners in return. But in this book, the author is basically repeatedly telling male readers that they should expect (and consequently feel entitled to) more sex from their partners if they follow these clitoris-touching techniques.

Although The Mystery of the Undercover Clitoris is written to sound like it’s instructing the dude on being a better lover, this is not a book about her – it is about him. Rather than creating a real educational guide on how to pleasure a clitoris, the author spends a lot of time cushioning the reader’s ego and assuring him that he will receive pleasure in return. Everything always comes back to how the man will benefit.

Sadie Allison’s promises to men are: 1.) Women will give you more sex, and 2.) People will respect you and be impressed and/or jealous of your sexual prowess. Lest you think I am exaggerating, observe these quotes taken straight from the book:

  • “The more satisfied your partner is, the more sex she’ll want” (pg 34)
  • “You’ll soon find your virtuoso performance will inspire her to return all that pleasure with equal or greater gusto” (pg 2)
  • “Your rewards will come. Again and again. And again.” (pg 79)
  • “Clitoris happens to be the Greek word for “key”. Does that mean it’s the key to your lover’s orgasm? Or the key to you getting more sex? The correct answer is: why can’t it be both?” (pg 16)
  • “If a guy speaks clitoris, the world is his oyster.” (pg 5)
  • “It could be the beginning of an endless, upward spiral of passion, rewarding you in ways you can’t imagine.” (pg 105)
  • “You’ll likely fulfill her desire to climax during intercourse – even simultaneously with you!”2 (pg 76)
  • “The instant you fine-tune your touch to your lover’s clitoral wavelength, you may officially add the title of Sexgod [sic] to your name.” (pg 13)
  • “That’s the passion that comes back to you many times over.” (pg 49)
  • “You might bring her to orgasm with your labial artistry alone – which she will reward you for many times over” (pg 49)
  • “It all comes down to pleasing your woman in the sack, so she’ll truly see you as her Lover with a capital L” (pg 41)
  • “These touching techniques are guaranteed to bring your lover pure sexual ecstasy – while you get full credit, along with her undying passion-in-return” (pg 53)

Don’t do it for her – do it for YOU! Do it because you want to be a Total Stud. The man is king and his woman needs to view him as her Lover with a capital L! If he learns these things he will be a sex god and all women will want him and he can DO ANYTHING. THE WORLD WILL BE HIS OYSTER.

I didn’t remember the last Sadie Allison book I reviewed, Tickle His Pickle: Your Hands-On Guide To Penis Pleasing, being this bad… I recalled actually liking that book. I dug it out to check, and sure enough, despite being very heterocentric, the writing was nowhere near this misogynistic. Is it because according to our culture, women are supposed to want to pleasure their partners better – it just makes them HAPPY and they don’t need anyone to “make it fun” because that’s how women work?

Whatever the reason, this book very much closes out all past and future Sadie Allison books for me forever. I have zero desire to read anything else from her warped, sexist point of view, as any tidbits of useful information she might have to offer are ruined by a tidal wave of horrific writing. Want a real book to teach you how to pleasure someone with a clitoris that isn’t demeaning to women? Look elsewhere – The Mystery of the Undercover Clitoris is not your answer.

This book was sent to me courtesy of the publisher Tickle Kitty Press in exchange for an honest review.

  1. Twice she uses the phrase “Jedi Sexknight”… WHAT THE FUCK DOES THIS EVEN MEAN? []
  2. Really? REALLY? []
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Fucking Sculptures G-Spoon

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I was already an admirer of the beautiful G-Spoon and other glass dildos by Fucking Sculptures, which are all handmade by artisans in California. Then, when my friend Lorax of Sex loaned me their medium-size G-Spoon, I immediately became obsessed. I lusted after G-Spoon; I craved having it inside of me. I gushed about G-Spoon to anyone who would listen. When I wasn’t fucking it, I was thinking about it, or talking about it. I needed to have one of my own – and now, my gorgeous Fucking Sculptures G-Spoon is one of my most prized sex toy possessions.

These glass dildos are handmade by artisans in California, and last year I was invited to visit their small glass studio to watch the whole process of creating these unique sex toys from scratch. Fucking Sculptures are very much one-of-a-kind; although there are several distinct dildo styles, each one is still sculpted completely by hand, and therefore no two will ever be exactly alike.

Lorax’s G-Spoon is a sparkly, deep stormy green, with a subtle mottled pattern and tiny specks of glitter scattered throughout the glass. Appearing dark and murky in regular light, their G-Spoon’s true brilliant, kelp green colors come to life when illuminated, especially with full-spectrum sunlight.

The surface of my G-Spoon has an iridescent mirrory glaze; a muted rainbow effect with highlights of jade green, indigo, and molasses. When sunlight streams through, the glass transforms into a radiant molten honey hue. The beautifully irregular surface of my “gold” color G-spoon is reminiscent of Western-style Raku pottery, an American-modified Japanese technique of firing ceramics that tends to involve a lot of flames.

G-Spoon Yellow #1

Both my and Lorax’s G-Spoon are size “medium” – for me, this is a perfect size and I wouldn’t want it any bigger. The weight of the medium-size G-Spoon is spot on – substantial enough to enjoy the unique heaviness of the thick solid glass, but not so hefty that your arm gets too tired to thrust.

Gradual and beautifully sculpted grooves run from the handle to the head along the top side of the G-Spoon. Glass toys are perfect for temperature play; I love the first few moments after inserting the G-Spoon when the glass is still cold, and I can feel it slowly warming up to my body temperature. Inside me, the glass glides easily in and out, smooth and frictionless.

The G-Spoon features an artfully sculpted curve and rounded head, intended for broad, full-feeling G-spot stimulation. However, although the G-Spoon is perfect for G-spot massage, this toy has the perfect length for inserting further to reach the A-spot – my newest discovery about my own body and the main reason I have become completely obsessed with this dildo.

I discovered this new erogenous zone by accident, when I suddenly realized the incredibly pleasurable spot that was blowing my mind was much deeper within my vagina than my G-spot – I would pull the G-Spoon out after orgasm and notice how the toy had been inside me quite a bit further than I could reach with my fingers curled in the classic G-spotting “come hither” gesture.

The A-spot (also known as the AFE zone, or more erotically the anterior fornix erogenous zone) is located past the G-spot along the front wall of the vagina, at the deepest point just above the cervix. Although I absolutely loathe any direct pressure on my cervix (ever since I got my IUD, any kind of cervix poking is painful), I love the feeling of certain toys massaging my A-spot. G-spot toys with a gentle sloping curve and full-bodied round end work wonderfully, to reach up and just slide past (rather than poke) my cervix. I’ve found that this type of toy also makes it easier to control depth and position to avoid directly hitting my cervix. The Fucking Sculptures G-Spoon could not be any more perfect for this.

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As with any completely handmade item, each individual G-Spoon will vary slightly from one another. Lorax’s G-Spoon is a bit longer than mine (both are medium size) with a slightly more dramatic curve. After trying both, the differences between them really aren’t distinctive enough for me to feel strongly toward one over the other. Not only is every G-Spoon a completely unique and one-of-a-kind piece of glass art, each medium-size one will also feel just as fantastic as these two that I have tried.

There are many reasons I absolutely adore the medium Fucking Sculptures G-Spoon: the stunningly beautiful glass, the unique handmade charm, the smooth curved surface, easy-to-hold handle, and pleasurable weight, not to mention the mind-blowing A-Spot orgasms. Both a work of art and an amazing dildo I constantly crave, this is the type of sex toy everyone deserves.

G-Spoon Yellow #2

This toy was sent to me courtesy of Fucking Sculptures in exchange for an honest and thoughtful review. Also much thanks to fab blogger friend Lorax of Sex for letting me borrow and fall in love with theirs!

OKStupid

OKStupid: Dumb and creepy messages I’ve received on OKCupid

OKStupid

I grew up during the time when the internet was just starting be a normal thing to have in your house. Back then, there was great paranoia about all those strangers on the internet, and dating sites were condemned as being something for a bunch of losers. Now the stigma of online dating has faded substantially, and sites such as OKCupid are thriving. However, there are definitely plenty of creeps on the internet – and lots of them, as I’m reminded every time I log into my OKC account.

All the quotes in this post are taken from messages that guys have sent me, because I don’t receive a constant barrage of messages from women or non-binary people that make me want to set fire to the OKC server room. I may be pansexual, but I’ve considered restricting my profile visibility from “straight” people because I am tired of wading through an avalanche of endless stupid messages from cis men.

So, for your entertainment, I present OKStupid: a collection of some of these inbox gems…

Silver Poop Medal

I like your OKC profile and I like your personalities. I know we will get along well. I wish I can read all your blog about sex toy. I like sex toy. I think we can be good friend also.

I like sex toy too, but you cannot read all my blog about sex toy. Sorry.

Hey there, I hope I don’t sound creepy
But I really really like your profile.
I’m looking for some cool friends and hopefully more but not necessary
And you look like a nice person

If you have to put “I hope I don’t sound creepy” in the very first line of of your message, you should probably close your browser window and go to bed. Also, I can’t help reading this to the tune of “Call Me Maybe“.

Where are some of your favorite bars?

I literally say in the first section of my profile that I just moved to the area and I’d rather play board games than hang out in a bar.

I’m new to the area and hoping I make new friends. You look like someone I would like to get to know. What’s your favorite color?

Alright, this message may not be horrible, but it cracks me up that the first thing he wants to know is my favorite color.

And then, there’s this guy:

OKC Rose Guy

If you’ve got black balloons in your profile photo and you’re holding a rose between your teeth, you’re either far older than my stated age range preference or you’ve got a fedora permanently attached to your scalp.

Golden Poop Award

I like your profile and would be interested in reading your review. I’ve been told that I am great in&out of bed.

Men on OKCupid seem to think I’ll just send them my blog URL if they are creepily suggestive about their sexual skills.

I think we’d get along, but I’m having trouble figuring out why – the only thing that jumps out is that liquid silk is awesome!

First of all: I did not say Liquid Silk (gross), I said Sliquid Silk. Second of all: the only reason you think we’d get along is lube?

After a rigorously brief overview of your profile I wanted to let you know I have already married and divorced you in my mind. Thanks for all the wonderful imaginary memories… you will always have a special place in my heart.
your ex-hubby, Berkeley
P.S. You can keep the dragon and I will keep the house on Mars =)

I was almost intrigued this one, as it’s weird and I like dragons, but it’s also disconcerting (married and divorced…??) and doesn’t mention anything that would point out he actually read my profile. Does he send the same “whimsical” message to all “quirky”-sounding women1 ? One investigative Google search informed me that apparently, this is a common copypasted message. I didn’t reply. Two days later, he wrote:

Was the break up to hard, that you couldn’t bring yourself to respond?

Speaking of disturbing follow-up messages, after receiving a fairly lackluster message from a guy and confirming my disinterest with a quick check on his profile, I ignored it. Five minutes later, he sends me this:

Alright, I’ll admit it. That message sucked. Well it didn’t totally suck, it was just weird enough to prompt a look at my profile but not actually good enough to get an immediate response.

I owe you nothing, creepy-ass dude.

Platinum Poop Trophy

Wow, you are tiny for a white girl, aren’t you? 😀

I can’t figure out how to explain how disgusting this one makes me feel. First of all, I’m multiracial, not a “white girl”. Second of all, my short height doesn’t give you (or anyone else) permission to treat me like a child. And I want to stab that emoticon in the face.

So are you looking for friends or someone to bang? You seem pretty interesting but I am a little confused as to your purpose

My purpose is definitely not serving the sexual needs of creeps like you. Besides, why can’t I be looking for friends and someone to bang? And what exactly is your purpose? Oh wait, I just remembered – I don’t care.

Honorable Mentions

Let’s all raise a glass to the following Men Who Tried:

•  The guy with the username AbsMan[ArbitraryNumber]. His profile picture is –surprise!– a bathroom mirror snapshot of his bare abs.

•  The guy with the username makeucum[ArbitraryNumberThatIncludes69], who told me in typo-filled detail about his cat that likes to masturbate.

•  The guy who started his message with “Good Evening Miss”. Kindly step back into your time machine and return from whence you came.

•  The guy who wrote me a poem about tacos.2 Okay, I’ll admit I was a little impressed by this one.

•  All the people who don’t “get” my profile’s weird humor or strange jokes and want me to explain/clarify.

Sad Kazoo Fanfare

And of course, there’s always the classic, no-fail, casual cool-guy message:

hey

I can tell he spent a lot of time and effort on that one.

 

  1. Sidenote: I identify as genderqueer (and HATE being referred to as a “woman”) but since OKC only provides two gender options, I show up as “F”. []
  2. Crispy shell / Soft white wrap / It doesn’t matter / Because the crap / On the inside is so goddamn good []
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