Smile Makers* : A Very Secret Diary

smile_makers_vibrators_sex_toys_frenchman_fireman_adult

 

Who are Smile Makers?

Smile Makers are a range of stylish vibrators, sold exclusively at Superdrug (RRP £29.99). As a brand, they believe that physical wellbeing, including sexual pleasure, is important for women’s overall health. Promoting the idea that conversations about masturbation shouldn’t be taboo, they hope that by making their products accessible and discreet, women will feel more confident and even empowered about the idea of self-pleasure.

 

smile_makers_vibrators_sex_toys_frenchman_fireman_adult_clitoral_stimulator

 

What are the products?

The Smile Makers range includes two external personal massagers (The Frenchman and The Fireman) and two internal vibrators (The Tennis Coach and The Millionaire). All four are 100% phthalates free and made of silicone approved by the US FDA. They are also fully waterproof and only 40db, so this adds to how discreet they are!

 

smile_makers_personal_massagers_sex_toys_masturbation

What are they like?

I have a close friend who agreed to anonymously contribute to this piece. She is a single woman in her twenties who has tried vibrators before. She kept a diary whilst trying out the Smile Makers products and we chatted about it over a cuppa! Her feedback on the two is as follows…

smile_makers_vibrators_sex_toys_frenchman_fireman_adult

smile_makers_vibrators_sex_toys_fireman_adult_clitoral_stimulator

“The Fireman has what I would call a ‘lily-like’ appearance. It has 5 settings – 4 are basic vibration at different intensities and then the 5th is pulsing. 1 & 2 are basically the same so I’d recommend those for ‘warming up’ as they’re just enough to peak your interest. The third setting is brilliant and I finished on four – with an orgasm! Because of the shape, I used the silicone tip to get that little bit more but the bumpy bit, when rested on your clitoris was good for prolonging sensations. 

I also tried this in the shower, standing with my leg up like a flamingo at one point! They aren’t lying, it is fully waterproof because it still worked afterwards unlike some products I’ve tried before. It isn’t the strongest vibe I’ve ever tried but I can imagine if you’ve not used one before, this would be more than satisfactory. 

My non-shower test I worked through all the settings, sat with my heels to my bum. The more exposed and available your vagina is when using these the better. I don’t think you could have a sneaky wank under the table with them. The bumpy bit I found better to rest on my clit and then I sort of moved it around using some wrist action. Another orgasm here.”

 

smile_makers_vibrators_sex_toys_frenchman_fireman_adult

smile_makers_vibrators_sex_toys_frenchman_adult_clitoral_stimulator

“I have to be honest and say that I didn’t like the Frenchman, or as I affectionately named it, the shoehorn. The shape was annoying because when you look at it, the ‘cup’ area that I thought didn’t cup how I expected it to… I ended up using the reverse side of the lip. When that’s away from you, it moves loads but when you apply it, there’s not a lot of movement so I had to do a lot of hand work. Trying this in the shower, I gave up on squatting, putting my leg up didn’t work and after 25 minutes with no orgasm I gave up, pretty frustrated!

The Frenchman is also fully waterproof but a bit louder than The Fireman. It has the same 5 settings but I felt like 1 was nothing. The 2nd one was like the first on the Fireman. I found that 3 was best – it felt suddenly stronger! I found that I needed setting 3 or 4 here in order to ‘get anywhere’.

The shape causes problems when standing so I’d recommend using whilst in a deep squat if you can, or in a ‘lotus-legged’ position with everything open. This makes it a lot easier to stimulate. With this one I couldn’t figure out how to prolong sensation or use the ‘dip’ bit properly.I was determined to try The Frenchman again though!

This time I was in the standard ‘missionary’ position, on my back with my legs spread. I couldn’t figure out a solid technique with the pulse setting so I spent 20 minutes trying different angles, wrist actions and positions. I really wanted to judge its performance on its own so I tried to let it do its thing but I just couldn’t get it to the position I wanted to. This might be my error? Perhaps Smile Makers could include some instructions or suggestions for techniques? Still no orgasm unfortunately.”

 

Who should try Smile Makers?

Anyone could try Smile Makers, whether you’re an experienced toy-user or vi-curious and wanting to try something different. I’d also like to point out that not all women have vaginas/clitorises and not everyone with those bits is a woman. Basically, the products are designed to fit those body parts so if you’re comfortable trying those then I say go for it!

 

Do you own anything from Smile Makers?
Do you follow another great sex-positive brand?

Let me know and leave me links in the comments below.

 

* This post is a collaboration with Smile Makers.

For more information, see my disclaimers.

 

Jenna
X

Keep up to date with my latest posts on:
| Bloglovin’ | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Google+ |

If you liked this post, you should check out:
collab: Ending Toxic Relationships – Lucie and I talk about removing toxic people and putting yourself first
the empowerment playlists – music to make you feel strong and powerful!
“You Can’t Be A Feminist If…” – things I’ve been told I do that ‘aren’t feminist’…
You Just Keep Doing Other People – a 21st-century sex-positive rant from Cami  

 

Being ‘bossy’ vs being ‘the Boss’

I’ve wanted to write about this for a long time because it’s something that we spoke about at the She Who Dares Wins conference back in October and its been playing on my mind ever since.

I personally have been called bossy in my life. Granted, it was when I was a little girl and I had big ideas and wanted everyone to cooperate in making them happen but nonetheless the word still stuck. Bossy is a pejorative term. It’s a word that means you’re overstepping the mark and maybe you’re forcing people to do things that they don’t want to do.

Its something usually said to children, right?

Wrong.

Back in 2014, research by Nic Subtirelu (Ph.D. in applied linguistics at Georgia State University) showed that ‘bossy’ is used 1.5x more frequently on Google for women and girls than it is for men and boys. This isn’t just an age thing, this is a gender thing.

Around that time, a campaign to #banbossy was started and it was backed by several big names including Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, Beyoncé and even former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice! The idea was that girls who are called ‘bossy’ tend to then shy away from speaking up in class or leading team projects.

If I think about it, the word definitely had an influence on my eagerness to take charge when I was younger. In my experience, girls that got called bossy were labelled ‘opinionated’ too, meaning they spoke when they ‘weren’t supposed to’ about things that ‘weren’t their business’. So I never took heed of that warning and I still speak my mind now but I definitely worry about not being heard or that people won’t take me seriously. We already know that social media can be a pretty difficult place when you’re growing up and trying to find your passion in life. But we also know that there are some incredible women leading projects and speaking out about a whole range of things now too.

So what makes a woman ‘the Boss’? I don’t necessarily think it’s people calling her it. I think its demanding respect for what you’re doing and it’s other people taking note that you and your work matters. Regardless of whether you’re fifteen or fifty, being ‘the Boss’ shouldn’t be about gender, it should be about taking charge. That doesn’t mean you’ve got to dominate or oppress anybody, that just means that you shouldn’t be discouraged if people are uncomfortable with your authority in that role.

 

IMG_0197she_who_dares_wins_conference_workshop_women_in_business_bournemouth_UK_matt_desmier_melissa_jun_rowley_humanise_inc

IMG_0197she_who_dares_wins_conference_workshop_women_in_business_bournemouth_UK_matt_desmier_tamara_sword_infltr_app_TRMandC_consultancy

At She Who Dares Wins, I asked two great women Melissa Rowley and Tamara Sword what they thought the difference was between being ‘bossy’ and being ‘the Boss’ and they told me how they think women are socially penalised in business for asking for more (raises, promotions, leadership etc).  They advised women not to be discouraged from this and said that being ‘the Boss’ is about negotiation and leadership skills that will fight the institutional bias. I was truly inspired by this idea, that the power lies in me to change that!

In every workplace and following every hobby, there’s always going to be people who feel the need to comment on how you do something or ask why you’re doing it. While criticism and reflection can be a good thing, if someone’s just uncomfortable with you taking charge or calling the shots then I think a crucial part of being ‘the Boss’ is not letting that commentary hold you back.

What would you say to a little girl who’s just been called bossy for trying to organise her school project or giving a speech about equality? She could be the next Malala Yousafzai, Stefanie Mainey or Nina Tandon. I think I’d tell her that she’s The Boss and that no-one can stop her from achieving her dreams.

What do you think, is ‘bossy’ a discriminatory term?
What makes someone ‘the Boss’?

 

Let me know and leave me links in the comments below.
Jenna
X

Keep up to date with my latest posts on:
| Bloglovin’ | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Google+ |

If you liked this post, you should check out:

Feminist Wishlist – some cute items to help you destroy the patriarchy!
“You Can’t Be A Feminist If…” – genuine advice from a self-identified feminist about what it means nowadays….
the empowerment playlist series – music to make you feel strong and beautiful

 

 

 

Feminist Wishlist

A fellow blogger babe Rhiân did one of these a while back on her blog and I’ve been wanting to make my own but wasn’t quite sure if it would interest people. Having put a poll out on Twitter in the New Year asking what content you guys wanted, feminism had a majority vote (alongside mental health and self care stuff). I’ve now got a posting schedule that reflects the results of that poll but you can always leave me comments with what content you want to see more of and I’ll see what I can do!

These are a few picks from my fave sites that would be perfect for any feminist.

 

Feminist Wishlist (1)

1 |’Try To Love Yourself As Much As You Love Beyoncé’ tee by Liana Spiro on RedBubble

I do love Beyoncé and I should love myself more so this is a personal must-have! The design is so cute and pretty.

2| ‘You are Lisa Simpson’ pillow by Expo on Studio6

This is from Mr Bergstrom’s note to Lisa in the episode ‘Lisa’s Substitute’. It is supposed to remind Lisa that if she ever feels alone or not good enough, she is all she needs. Such a positive message and Lisa is a feminist icon of TV.

3| ‘I Think Your Sexist Jokes Are Boring’ tote bag from Feminist Apparel

This tote bag is not only practical but has a point! I have said this to so many people in my life.

4| ‘Not Your Bae’ pin from Punky Pins

I love Punky Pins and will be placing my first order soon to decorate a blazer of mine. There are so many cute designs but this one was my feminist fave.

5| Color Her : Mix n’ Match Coloring Book by Iris Glaser & Katrin Leblond from Amazon

A coloring book filled with women of all shapes, ethnicities and ages. Accurate representation and you have free reign with what beautiful colours you use – yay!

6| ‘She Needed A Hero So That’s What She Became’ mug from MiniGeekBoutiqueUK on Etsy

This isn’t necessary only for feminists. This is a sweet gift for any strong woman or girl in your life as a reminder that she has overcome so much.

7| ‘Feminist Killjoy’ glitter banners from UnicornParadeShop on Etsy

These are adorable but I don’t have anywhere to put them in my house at the moment. Perhaps an office when we move? Plenty of cute banners in this Etsy store.

 

Do you want/own anything from this list?

Do you own any other feminist items?

 

Let me know and leave me links/pictures in the comments below!

Jenna
x

Note: The above images are not my property.

Keep up to date with my latest posts on:
| Bloglovin’ | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Google+ |

If you liked this post, you should check out:
the empowerment playlists seriesmusic to make you feel strong!
“You Can’t Be A Feminist If…”
– I bite back to those who tried to define my feminism
why selfies are inherently feminist – how selfies can help us to cultivate our self love

the empowerment playlists: volume three

I hadn’t forgotten about these bad boys, I promise!

My empowerment playlists are all about music to get you through and to remind you of your strength and beauty when you need it most.

I do take to Twitter and Facebook asking for contributions to these so feel free to drop me a message, whatever the genre of your favourite song. You’ll see, there’s quite a mix in there and I add to them whenever I find new music that fits.

Volume One of these playlists was about moving on after a relationship breaks down, and that’s tough.

Volume Two told us about girl power, sticking up for ourselves and one another.

empowerment_playlist_notebook_pen_music

This playlist is called ‘If You Can’t Love Yourself…’ and it’s here to remind you that despite what people might say or how you might feel sometimes, you are beautiful and worthwhile.  It’s telling us to be kind to ourselves, to love ourselves and our imperfections and not to base our self worth on what other people think.

Have you found a new favourite track?

What music empowers you to feel self love?

In a month or so’s time I’ll be creating a playlist about women’s sexuality (self love, but a bit ruder?) so if you have any suggestions for tracks, let me know and leave me links in the comments below!

Jenna

x

Keep up to date with my latest posts on:
| Bloglovin’ | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Google+

If you liked this post, you should check out:

“you can’t be a feminist if…” – I quash rumours about what modern feminists can and can’t do.
why selfies are inherently feminist – viva  your self-love
or
you just keep doing other people: guest post  – a NSFW sex-positive rant from Cami

“You Can’t Be A Feminist If…”

jenna_princess_parasox_lilac_hair_patriarchy_feminism

Hi guys!

Your friendly neighbourhood queer feminist here, ready to spill some tea on some common misconceptions about what being a feminist in 2016 actually means. Although there are many sub-sets of feminism, I’ll be discussing genuine advice I’ve been given with regards to my beliefs and my behaviour and boy is it something!

 

Please note that this piece is for entertainment purposes and so should be taken with a pinch of salt!

 

#1. “You can’t be a feminist if you wear make-up.”

me_jenna_princess_parasox_lilac_hair

So some people believe that makeup is a tool that amplifies ‘beauty ideals’ and that by wearing makeup, you are not only compliant with but promoting a patriarchal standard of beauty. I say that this is bullshit. Make-up is a way in which many people choose to express their creativity. The colours, shades, shapes and techniques can be considered an art form and many choose to study these and/or take makeup as a profession. Make-up (like many things) is not solely a ‘woman’s product’ – people of all genders can enjoy makeup and when this assumption is made, you are ignoring a rich, queer history of drag artists and gender-fluidity.

My makeup makes me feel confident and powerful, ready to take on the world. It is a choice I make for myself that emphasises what I consider to be my best assets and it allows me to be artistic in ways that I can’t normally. If you don’t wear makeup then that’s cool but don’t tell me that I shouldn’t wear mine!

 

#2. “You can’t be a feminist if you’re in a relationship with a cis man.”

me_jenna_josh_couple_beard

This one is ridiculous. Not only does it further encourage the myth that feminism = misandry but it automatically assumes that you couldn’t love a man simply based on his gender. See something wrong there?

I’m a pansexual woman and it just so happens that the person I’ve chosen to be in a relationship with is a cisgender man. He is also a great LGBTQIAP+ ally who is interested in and educated about intersectional feminism and this is part of why we get on so well. On a personal level, he is respectful, kind and listens to my experiences so to tell me that I’m not feminist for being with him makes no sense.

Don’t tar every man with an ‘anti-equality’ brush, it’s hypocritical.

 

#3. “You can’t be a feminist if you shave/epilate your body hair.”

shaving_razor_body_hair

So the idea of being pro-bodily autonomy is that your body and what you choose do with it is your own. It means that you believe in bodily integrity – that people’s bodies should not be violated in any way by others because of said autonomy. I know that some feminists believe that removing body hair is another patriarchal beauty ideal and I’ve spoken to many who don’t epilate for that reason. I respect that choice completely and I believe that if you want to be fluffy, you should be proud of it!

I personally feel more comfortable with less body hair, especially as I occasionally suffer from hyperhydrosis. The more body hair I have, the more the sweat clings to my body and despite deodorant, it can be quite smelly. It’s easier to stay fresh the less hair I have and when anyone tells me otherwise, I remind them that its my damn body.

 

#4. “You can’t be a feminist if you care about men’s rights.”

boys_bullied_weak_feminism

boys_bullied_weak_feminism

Part of a comic by Rasenth on tumblr.

 

My definition of feminist is close to that used by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie in We Should All Be Feminists:

feminist: a person who believes in the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes.

I however would change ‘the sexes’ to ‘genders’ as I don’t believe that all inequalities are from within in the gender binary. In fact, I don’t believe in the gender binary at all!

To acknowledge men’s rights in your feminism isn’t to deprioritise women’s rights, as long as you  give each their own context and don’t derail the conversation. There are plenty of men who suffer as a result of the kyriarchy, be it because of racism, transphobia, homophobia or poverty. The archaic gender roles that put pressure on men and boys to exert power, exploit those more vulnerable,to be big and to use force ….they’re damaging and dangerous instructions. It is important to speak about these issues if feminism is to achieve true equality but not necessarily to shove them into the same conversation as womens issues.

 

#5. “You can’t be a feminist if you support sex work.”

sex_dictionary_type_text

Image from qnotes.

This one tends to divide a lot of people so I’m just going to explain why I personally have sex-positive attitudes.

It is incredibly important to promote safe sexual practice. Not just in terms of sexual health but for personal wellbeing and education about consent. Not discussing these topics keeps them taboo and could make it harder for someone who has experienced sexual abuse or violence to speak out about their experiences.

While I do not support a huge portion of the sex industry that globally exploits and traffics women and abuses and violates performers, I am in support of sex workers and pornography and believe firmly in regulation and protection of the related professions. This goes back to the bodily integrity/ bodily autonomy thing because I think that  if someone has chosen sex work despite having alternatives and they are kept safe during their work then you don’t have the right to tell them that they shouldn’t be doing it.

In an interview in Elle magazine camgirl and filmmaker Ashley Vex spoke about making about safe, consensual porn with her studio Four Chambers go and check it out!

 

I appreciate comments, links and questions on this post but any hateful or discriminatory speech will not be approved.
Discussion and debate are welcomed provided it is structured, respectful and does not target individuals.

 

Have you ever been told “you’re not a feminist”?
What does your feminism look like?

 

Jenna
X

 

Keep up to date with my latest posts on:
| Bloglovin’ | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Google+

 

If you liked this post, you should check out:

queer bloggers network Jess, Zoe and I are starting a network for bloggers with LGBTQIAP+ identities!
empowerment playlistsMusic to make you feel like you can conquer anything…
my queerness erased
– A personal account of pansexual erasure.
why selfies are inherently feminist – I talk about Lindsay Bottos’ art project about self love and selfies.

interview: life rolls on documentary with Poppy Jeffery

So if you didn’t already know, I am a bit of a fan of roller derby.

Josh is training to skate with the Dorset Knobs and his sister Lisa skates for Dorset Roller Girls. Unfortunately I can’t skate for them due to previous physical injury but I love going to watch bouts or popping one on on Youtube – it’s so exciting! I decided to interview DRG a while back for the other bit of the internet that I write on, bournemouthnews.info  and everyone was so kind and helpful. I now get on really well with a few of the skaters.

A friend of mine and fellow journalist Poppy Jeffery recently approached me as she is making a documentary about transformation through roller derby. She said that she wanted my opinions as a self-identified feminist and fellow media type and so I was more than happy to answer her questions!

Please excuse the unflattering angle where I look like I have several chins but here is the interview:

If you want to follow more from Poppy’s Life Rolls On Documentary, you can do so on the blog, the Twitter account or subscribe to the Youtube account. There’s going to be some great stories from amazing skaters, whose lives have changed through this awesome and empowering alternative sport so keep watching!

Do you like roller derby?

Do you skate or do another ‘alternative’ sport?

Let me know and leave me links in the comments below!

Jenna

X

Keep up to date with my latest posts on:
| Bloglovin’ | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Google+

If you liked this post, you should check out:

workout fuel from trek protein bars* // satay chicken skewers with florette salad* – yummy recipes that are good for your body before and after exercise!

why selfies are inherently feminist – one woman’s project about online abuse and the self-love found in it

the empowerment playlists: volume two

This is the second post in a series of playlists packed with music that empowers and inspires. I do take to Twitter and Facebook asking for contributions to these so feel free to drop me a message, whatever the genre of your favourite song.

Volume Two is called ‘I’ve Got The Power’ and it’s about independent, powerful women sticking up for themselves and one another. These are songs that stir up the courage in us to face whatever challenges lie ahead.

 

Have you found a new favourite track?

What music empowers you to feel independent?

 

In a couple of weeks’ time I’ll be creating a playlist about self-love specifically so if you have any suggestions for tracks, let me know and leave me links in the comments below!

Jenna

x

 

Keep up to date with my latest posts on:
| Bloglovin’ | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Google+

If you liked this post, you should check out:

 the empowerment playlists: volume one – all about relationships ending
why selfies are inherently feminist – viva  your self-love
or
you just keep doing other people: guest post  – a NSFW sex-positive rant from Cami