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Sexual Healing: Sex, Access, & Reachability

Numerous products exist for improving the reach of those with physical limitations, allowing remote contact to eliminate reach limitations, positioning aids to increase accessibility of specific body parts and reduce the strain of holding a position and ergonomically designed toys to provide pleasure without undue strain.

Our first Sexual Healing topic is Mobility. Last week we introduced some of the issues, and this week’s column focuses on remote contact and reach.


People with mobility limitations report that one of the primary challenges they face when attempting to provide themselves or a partner with sexual pleasure was difficulty reaching their own or their partner’s body. In situations where one partner has greater mobility than another some of these difficulties can be compensated for, but even in those situations, movements caused by sexual excitement and orgasm can limit such compensation. Difficulties compound if multiple partners have mobility limits and must rely on special transport devices, prosthetic limbs, and furniture for mobility.

Many people who face mobility challenges rely on electronics and remote controls for everyday purposes including cooking and watching television. Luckily in recent years, sexual products have improved remote control technology of sex toys from barely functional products with short shelf lives that were all controlled on a single radio channel to a variety of high-tech appliances that can be controlled individually via remote control or cell phone blue tooth connection.

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We-vibe 4 Plus  is hands down Sexploratorium’s most highly recommended remote toy for versatile dual action internal and external stimulation that can be used during intercourse and controlled via Bluetooth from anywhere in the world. It is recommended by CSPH for treatment of orgasmic difficulties as well as for prostate and g-spot stimulation, treatment of pelvic pain, gender affirming genital and /or anal stimulation, mobility, accessibility, diabetes and chronic pain and by Sexploratorium for a variety of psychological and physical possiblities including fetish and fantasy scenarios, prostate and anal stimulation and more. The newly released We-Vibe Sync is another viable option for these uses.

Additionally, we have recommended (in addition to We-Vibe 4 Plus)  the remote controlled Sensuelle Point  as well as electromuscle stimulators like the TENS and Mystim controllers with electrodes.

Sexual pleasure products need not have wireless remote controls to extend reach beyond any body’s individual limitations. Other products have been developed using body-safe materials that allow for the extension of reach using handles and adapters, and harnesses that can attach sexual enhancement devices to virtually any inanimate object including household furniture, pillows, and walls.

Harnesses and straps are key ingredients for reaching and accessing places (and parts of people) that cannot always easily be reached with one’s body. Is it any wonder that people whose mobility has been limited find unique uses for such tools?  CSPH recommends the vegan-friendly Sportsheets  Neoprene Thigh Harness in particular as a tool for extending mobility and access. Sexploratorium recommends  experimentation with all velcro, snap, or buckle closure harnesses as attaching adapters for plugging and pleasuring, but specifically Aslan Jaguar harness which can quickly and easily be adjusted and buckled around a chair or a body for solo or partner play.

In terms of penetration- ready harness compatible items that advance mobility, suction cups are an important ingredient. CSPH recommends the Tantus Suction Cup Toy Mount, which can connect non-pourous surfaces (like hard plastic furniture, tile or showers/ baths) to any bullet-powered vibrating dildo . Handles are an additional feature that add reach and convenience to connecting with another body.

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All of these items can extend a persons reach to their own or their partner(s)’s body(ies) for the purpose of creating pleasurable sexual sensation.

Next week’s column will focus on toys that are ergonomically designed specifically for hands-on stimulation.

Attn: Educators and Care-providers: If you would like to present your research as part of this column (in a guest column or cross-post), as a guest presenter to other providers, or in a public workshop through our Passion 101 Classes, please email us.

#SexploratoriumWellness  Join the conversation! What topics, products, problems or solutions would you like to see discussed in this column? What do you think of our mission and format? When you provide suggestions, ideas or feedback here or using the #SexploratoriumWellness  hashtag on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook, you will be automatically entered into a raffle to win one of the products recommended in a specific series topic. Winners for a prior topic  will be announced as we introduce the next topic.



REVIEW: Pete and the Art of Packing

       For those of you who don’t what packing is, it’s fairly simple. Stick something in your pants so it appears as though you have a package. Hence: packing. But, as any drag king or transguy will tell you, the practicality of packing is anything but simple. You have to find something of suitable shape and size, for starters. And of course you want it to be appropriate for what you’re doing. If you’re in a drag show and you’re dancing to a David Bowie number from Labryinth, your package needs to be spectacularly large, and maybe glittery (go back and watch the movie, his junk is practically punching you in the face). If you’re just looking to pass and feel/look more like a bio-guy, something a little less obnoxious is probably what you’re in the market for. In my personal experience, and from the stories of others, almost anything phallic can – and has been – used as a packer. Dildos, vibrators, socks, deodorant, condoms filled with hair gel and wrapped in stockings, and even a banana(that got a little messy towards the end). Packing can be, in a word, daunting.

caramel limpy

A great entry level packer (that retails for less than $20) is the Mr. Limpy

So finally, in the world of sex toys, some designers decided to make some flaccid phallic cyberskin or silicone wiggly bits called packers. They have the shape and size of a real flaccid penis (balls included!); they come in a variety of lengths and colors; and they’re inexpensive and relatively easy to clean and care for.

Note: My personal recommendation for a decent and inexpensive packer is the Mr. Limpy, available at Sexploratorium. For a more top-of-the-line packer, check out Vixskin’s Mr. Right, also available in the store.

Finally, someone heard the cry for a functional packer. We celebrate for only a short while though, before we are confronted with the next problem: How to keep the packer in your pants.

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For years, we packing studs have tried just as many stay-put notions as we’ve tried pseudo-packers. “Double-up on your briefs” is a common occurrence, though some shifting may occur during use. Using your harness isn’t a bad idea either, provided you have one that can sit comfortably under jeans and not look all bulky and distorted. A little fake out harness can be made from some simple elastic from a craft store, but it’s a very DIY project and won’t last long. The real gem here would be a comfortable pair of underwear, just like we normally wear, but with the capability of holding a packer.

 Enter, Pete. My new best friend. The Pete packing underwear come fully equipped to carry all sizes of flaccid packers. The construction is simple, efficient, and comfortable. It works like a charm and looks great. And Pete offers four different styles: boy-brief, trunks, and a jock strap, with or without a front pouch. It’s so simple; it’s a wonder no one had thought of it before.

Essentially, there are four added parts to the typical underwear design. 1) There’s a hole in the front of the undies to put the packer through. The shaft is now elevated in front of the undies, you can easily adjust positioning to your liking, and the balls hang comfortably and naturally behind the shaft. 2) There is a pouch attached to the front (in all but one design) to cradle the packer once it’s through the hole. 3) There are two overlapping flaps behind the hole to protect your skin from the base of the toy. 4) There’s a little elastic strap which can be snapped around the packer for added security.

These four ingenious additions make for a snug and secure fit, both for the wearer and their packer. The material is incredibly comfortable – you’ll wish all your undies were made out of the same Nylon, Spandex, and Jersey cotton combination. It fits beautifully under clothing and looks natural. You can pull them up and down all day and never have to worry about your packer shifting or falling out of place. The undies themselves look like a pair of designer underwear, with a thick elastic waistband and sleek black fabric. You can wear them under other underwear, or by themselves. The pouch has an open-fly design, so one can use STP (Stand-to-Pee) packers with ease and confidence. Basically, Pete is the solution to virtually all of our packing problems.

Another Note: most packers aren’t good to keep against skin for long periods of time. They don’t allow the skin to breathe, thus cause it to sweat, potentially causing break-outs or other unwanted conditions.

I have worn these wonder-undies in several grueling circumstances in the last month, truly putting them to the test. I wore them for over eight hours one evening. They stayed comfortable and felt natural, just like real underwear and a real package. I was able to go about my night and not have to worry about a thing. I have worn them under jeans and slacks, tight and loose, even a pair of sequined leggings (our shows can get a little intense) and they’ve looked great regardless. I have danced my ass off on stage, pranced, leaped, rocked-out, air-guitar’d, ran, sat, stood…and not once did I have an undesired shift. Everything moved with me, and nothing moved against me. In the past, I’ve gotten off stage and had my packer twisted completely around. The balls are by my knee, the head is staring me in the face, and it looks like a hot mess. But the Pete provided 100% security of movement, the confidence of a dynamic appearance, and the comfort of a real pair of underwear. Any way you slice it, this revolutionary packing underwear may just change your life. Or the life of your package.

Basically, my sweet little Kings, T-boys, and anyone else who likes having a bulge: our cries have been heard. Our prayers have been answered. We can pack. Oh buddy, we can pack! 

-Contributed by Jack

Knocking Socks Off: Testicular Cancer Awareness Week

We here at the Sexploratorium News Desk were more than pleasantly amused when the newest of NSFW social media trends crossed our path last week: the Instagram and Twitter hashtag #CockInASock.

Bevies of gents doffed their clothes with naught but a lone sock covering their naughty bits and posed for their own cameras, sending the Internet abuzz and all in the name of testicular cancer awareness!

Check out the photos that started this trend!

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April 1st -7th was Testicular Cancer Awareness Week, yet organizations like the TC Awareness Society are dedicating the entire month to promoting education and consciousness about this disease, which is mostly detected in those between the ages of 15-35.  While the vast majority of these organizations cater to the education of cisgendered men,  all persons who have testicles (including transwomen and gender nonconforming people) should be aware of their risks, and what to look for. Self-examination is the first line of defense against this highly  treatable disease, with survival rates of up to 95% or higher if caught early.

In order to further the cause of Testicular Cancer awareness, Sexploratorium will be donating a percentage of cock ring sales for the month of April to the Testicular Cancer Awareness Foundation. Here’s to knocking those socks off (and knocking cancer out)!




TransJourney: An FTM’s Search for Identity

Chapter 1

Coming Out To Myself–Childhood Reflections

     Admitting to myself that I was transgender – and then realizing I was transsexual – was no easy task. I’ve known for 10+ years that I was attracted to girls, but I could never explain why I was attracted to gay men and why I felt most comfortable in their presence and community. Many women have gay friends. I’ve heard of quite a few that claim to feel like a gay man trapped in a woman’s body without implying they were transgender. Why should I think I was any different?

Some people know their whole lives that they were born with the wrong body. Growing up, I was not blessed with this keen self awareness. I remember being 4, wishing I had a penis and telling my mom that I wished I was a boy. Clearly I was her precious little girl so she set out to make me her protege. She spent my childhood teaching me everything she knew about how to be a girl. Instinctually, I wanted nothing more than to win the approval of my parents, so I ate up her lessons eagerly. Despite her explanations about how to wait patiently to attract men, I couldn’t help but chase the boys. It has always been in my nature to be the pursuer. All I knew was boys liked girls, and I was a girl, so that must be a good thing. From 4 years old up until puberty, I consistently had little boyfriends. This made my mother proud, and it made me happy to be connecting to the boys.

We lived in a small neighborhood surrounded by farmlands so I was never exposed to objections to cultural norms. To be different was to be alone. I always felt very different from everyone else, but I blamed this feeling on having mentally unstable, divorced parents. The pain I carried from that trauma was enough of an explanation for my differences. So I spent A LOT of energy doing my best to fit in. I was always the shy observer. In any new setting, I would watch everyone, decide which behaviors were acceptable/desirable and which were not, and simply act accordingly.  There simply was no room for me to question my gender.

Puberty hit me like a sack of potatoes in the face. Overnight I became exceedingly anxious for no good reason. When I was 12 I cut my hair up to my earlobes, but let it grow out after I kept getting teased. I knew I was different, but I continued to focus all my energy on being as normal as possible – which still fell very short of being acceptable. Somehow the bullies could see through my best efforts. When I was 14 they gave me the nickname GG. It stood for Gay Guy, because I was told I looked like a gay guy when I walked down the street. I was mortified at the time, but perhaps now I should thank them for their insight.

Finally, by high school, there were enough weirdos to be friends with that I no longer felt the need to act “normal.” I started dressing in gothic clothes. When I saw that it was cool, I finally admitted to myself that I was attracted to girls. Being bisexual was considered hot, but I still preferred my rebel boyfriend. The first guy in high school that liked me back turned out to be a closeted transvestite. The whole thing was completely foreign to me, but I quickly realized how much I enjoyed dressing him up in women’s clothes. Sadly, his inability to accept himself resulted in him lashing out with abusive anger. I only stayed with him because I loved his alter ego so much. High school ended, and so did that relationship. College gave me a new lease on life. I gave up my anger and gothic attire in exchange for hippie clothes, peace, and love. I excelled at school and found myself a husband by the time I was 22. Life was falling into place just as it should, or so I thought…

“Ultimately” Complex and Cognizant: A Review of The Ultimate Guide to Sex and Disability

The Ultimate Guide to Sex and Disability!

Unpacking and introducing the multifaceted complexities of sexualities in one book – as The Ultimate Guide to Sex and Disability (published by Cleis Press) sets out to do – is an ambitious undertaking. If I were asked before reading Ultimate  if it were even possible to compose a comprehensive guide to sexuality and disability, my response would have taken a skeptical tone. However, Miriam Kaufman, M.D., Cory Silverberg, and Fran Odette have written an incredible primer on sex and disability that touches on masturbation, oral and anal sex, communication, S/M, sexual health, and even sexual violence relating to disabled bodies. It also addresses sexual education in an accessible, honest, and quite moving style. All three authors of The Ultimate Guide to Sex and Disability come at this project from different positions and collaborate on an effective and additionally affective guide to sexuality and disability.

At one point, I was brought to tears by the way in which they address the reality of healing from, understanding, and interpreting chronic forms of pain through sexual play and performance. Since the book ranges in topics, as reflected in the three authors different positions in fields of sex education, this book covers everything from yoga to anatomy to BDSM to sexual assault. If there is something you have ever had a question about relating to intersections of sexuality, gender, bodies, and disability, this book probably at the very least touches on it, if not goes into depth and examines the topic. The book destabilizes myths surrounding sexualities as well as those surrounding disabilities, and offers sex positive advice, as well as perspectives and exercises for readers at the end of each chapter. Various snippets of personal narratives and experiences representing the chapters are woven and interspersed throughout each one. The resources in chapter 14 are referred to multiple times throughout the book and present a comprehensive guide of contacts, organizations, and various other resources relating to all of the topics they address throughout the book.

I started reading this book on a flight to Oakland a couple weeks ago and was unable to leave off. I would open it up and read on the train, in the park, at a cafe, on break from work, and wherever I happened to wander into. In closing, though an “ultimate” guide to sexuality might sound a little too ambitious for anyone to complete, this book comes as close to achieving it as I can imagine.

Playing Well With Others: A Warm and Welcoming Guide to the Kink, BDSM, and Leather Communities

In Playing Well With Others, Mollena Williams and Lee Harrington articulate a supportive atmosphere representative of minority sexual and fetish communities as places for healing and wellness through sexual expression and interpreting conflicted desires as a means of comprehending different realities. As a part of this marginalization, Harrington and Williams sympathetically call attention to entering these diverse sexual communities with suggestions to listen to others, be well with others, and, most importantly, to play well with others. Both of them are deeply invested in these fetish communities and demonstrate their attraction to and thorough understanding of them.

playing wellHarrington and Williams present practical points to discovering and navigating fetish communities that is as accessible as it is kind, endearing, and personably inviting. The tone throughout the book is supportive, sincere, and consistently comical. Both share some telling moments about experiences they have had while moving through different spaces. Williams has one particularly humorous anecdote about traveling through TSA security in the airport on their way to a kink conference while sporting a slave collar with a suitcase full of dildos, vibrators, whips, and bondage rope. Security takes Williams aside and examines their bag and receives a baffled look as the security person takes a look inside the bag and then a good look at Williams wearing their collar before telling them to move along.

Williams and Harrington situate themselves, their desires (both sexual and non-sexual), and their positions and experiences in fetish communities while giving detailed layouts of what to prepare for financially, packing-wise, and emotionally when heading off to a munch, a kink conference, or a night out at a fetish club. As someone who has read extensively about kink communities, but has not been to many community events, this book resonated strongly with questions that I have had, but have honestly been too shy or embarrassed to ask people who are so deeply devoted and involved in these communities. Luckily, both Williams and Harrington share their deep personal investments and perspectives on fetish communities as a well-mannered “how-to” guide for understanding and navigating these communities.

Regardless of whether you have been involved in kink, fetish, BDSM, or leather communities for years, feel that you have a thorough understanding of diverse desires and bodies, or are just curious, this book openly and accessibly presents perverts in their most honest, whole, and wonderfully engaging fashion.

If you do become an instant fan or are merely curious after this, Mollena Williams will be presenting at Sexploratorium on South 5th Street, right off of South Street this Saturday, December 29 at 5 pm. Come learn what she has to share about submission and bottoming!

Religious Sex: Kink & Christianity

1 Corinthians 13:4 …Love suffers long…

In a world where religion and sexuality are seen as opposing forces, a refreshing voice sings a unique and open truth from the City of Philadelphia. Reverend Beverly Dale, also known as Rev Bev, is the creator of an online video series called Sex is Good whose monthly installment focuses on kinky sexual expression this November (see below)

This Thursday, November 15th, 7pm, Rev Bev will be at Sexploratorium presenting Sexuality and Christianity: Keeping the sexy without losing the faith Advance tickets are on sale now!

This class will be presented just prior to the kickoff of Diabolique Ball weekend, which just happens to be Religion-themed. This year’s ticket proceeds will benefit Philadelphia Search and Rescue as well as One Step Away newspaper.

Rev Bev stopped by Sexploratorium and PASSIONAL Boutique a few weeks ago to borrow items for her newest video.
Check it out below: