Category Archives: That’s The Spot goings on

Updated about how the business is going, or special announcements

Rhiannon is moving into Education and we need YOU!

Hello hello hello!

How are you all? Long time no see, I know, I know.

That’s The Spot and myself have been through some changes.

I set this business up almost 3 years ago because I was a complete nerd about sex toys and want to show people how cool they were! As the business has evolved, my nerdiness has moved towards the educational and advice side. Although I love selling sex toys, I love educating and empowering people even more, I have therefore made a decision to give the keys to the eCommerce side of the business to somebody I know well who is even geekier than me about sex toys!

I am focussing on other projects now, and the main one is all about sex education. In order to make this new project run as well as it can do, I have set up a Patreon account where I am going to ask people to pledge just $1 a month to get access to my educational material. It won’t just be that, I will be sharing a helluva lot of gold on there, and I want to develop a support network full of my biggest fans, who will become my VIPs and get very special treatment and help change the face of sex education in the UK.

If you’re intrigued and want to know more, visit my page and learn more. I reckon I’m worth $1 a month!

Yes – it is in dollars. Patreon is American and right now, only accepts $ as payments. I am British, so will get a lot of British pledges. I hope that paying in dollars doesn’t put you off. I have started gaining Patrons and just be aware that some of my British supporters have had a couple of problems, but please persist, and I believe that the third time is a charm! Failing that, feel free to make a one of donation in sterling via Paypal to rhiannon@thatsthespot.co.uk

After I post this, I am going to start removing more of the education-style posts from this blog and put them on the Patreon account for my paying patrons, and will continue to post educational content only to Patreon. You can still expect posts on here about events and spotlights on toys too, so don’t leave, but if you want to read my educational stuff and want to get to know me a bit more, send me a $1 a month and it’s all yours!!!

I will still be involved with That’s The Spot, but have now handed the reigns over, which you will learn more about in the coming months!

I look forward to receiving some of you to my Patreon page. This is going to be an exciting journey and you are going to be a part of it!

Rhi xxx

Give the Human Library a go at Cardiff Library

Hi all!

Next week is the second Human Library event in Cardiff and I managed to make enough of an impression at the pilot that they have invited me back!

The Human Library is a great concept. It is where people become human books, and other people can come along and ‘read’ the book, which, on this occasion, means to chat with a person about the specialist knowledge they have. There is a great line up of various ‘books’ for the event next Saturday, the 18th of February.

Some other titles include:

Supporting loved ones with dementia

Social Model for disability

Female Genital Mutilation

Who am I – life as an adopted person.

There are loads more, and you can book yourself in for a 30 minute conversation with any of the books, which you can find hereIt is taking place from 11-4.30 and you can ‘read’ as many ‘books’ as you want to. Each slot lasts for 30 minutes, and it is free! I would recommend booking in advance if there are books you definitely want to read. There may be space on the day for some books but it can’t be guaranteed. It all depends on who is savvy enough to sign up!

So if you live in or around Cardiff and fancy hearing some interesting life stories, meeting some interesting people or educating yourself on something new, all for free, this will be the place to be.

For those who enjoy reading my blog but haven’t yet had the chance to meet me, this could be the opportunity for you! I will be there from 11-3 and will bring some toys for people to have a look at if they want, but this more an opportunity to chat rather than check out some sex toys!

You can read all about it on their Facebook Page or their website and remember to book yourself a place!

For now, have a lovely week.

 

Rhiannon

My episode on Pillow Play, which I can give you for half price!

Last year I wrote a review of Pillow Play for Diva Magazine, when I was their Sex/Life writer. It was in the print magazine so you’d need to order a back-order, otherwise, here is my online article I wrote that linked in with the review.

Pillow Play is an app designed to encourage intimacy between partners, regardless of gender or sexuality. I know though –  the word ‘app’ and ‘intimacy’ don’t seem to go together, do they! I’ll tell ya what, though, in this instance, they definitely do! I will leave you to read the details on the actual website but here are the basics:

The app consists of a series of audio scripts that direct an exchange between you and your partner that promotes intimacy. All you need to do is press play, then you can focus on you and your partner. So yes it’s an app, but the app’s service is given over audio, so you don’t have to go back to the app at all whilst you are following the directions given to you both.

The thing I find most fabulous about it, is that it doesn’t involve any genital touching, which is BRILLIANT. It’s up to you what you want to do after the episode has finished, but what Pillow Play does is encourage thoughtful foreplay, or more importantly, different ways of reaching that feeling of intimacy with each other, and that lovely yummy squishy feeling of closeness.

The app shows you many different ways of getting intimate, there is a different theme to each episode, so there is something for everybody. What it does is inspire you, and also helps you both give up control. It allows you to not have to think. It might sound weird, but surrendering yourself to a state of non-thinking is a powerful and rewarding act, and it also increases the focus on each other and yourselves.

I thoroughly recommended this app to the readers of Diva, and after that, I ended up building a relationship with the founder of the creator of Pillow Play, Darren, and I ended up writing my own episode for them!

If I were to pinpoint my area of expertise, it would be physical pleasure with sex toys. The episode written by me is therefore focused on introducing a bullet vibrator into the bedroom, and how to use it without touching the genitals.

I would love for you lot to listen to it and see what you think. It is a great way to break that barrier that many couples have of bringing a toy into the bedroom, and it is a reassuring episode to show you that sex toys aren’t the scary things that some people think they might be. The episode is called ‘Toy Tease’.

And guess what, I because I am one of the authors, I get to give you a DISCOUNT!

When the app is purchased, the buyer gets themselves all 30 of the episodes from Pillow Play, , only for $99 (although it is British made, there are justified reasons why it is in only dollars rather than British pounds) – so with 30 episodes, it’s only $3.30 per episode, or £2.65. This is already a great deal. As the two of you are using it, you can even go as far to say that it is £1.32 (and a half) each.

BUT! What I can do is HALVE the price and offer it to you for $49 only, which is only £1.30 per episode (75p each!). BRRILLLIANT! And how timely for Valentine’s day!

I should ‘warn’ you though, as it charges in dollars, it will ask you to pay some tax, too

(In the interest of transparency, I want to let you know that I am an affiliate of Pillow Play, so I will get a percentage of the amount you spend. So it would be great if you can make sure that you click on the links on this post to make sure that I do get a cut of it. After all, if you read my blog regularly, you have been getting a lot of good information for free already 😉 and on top of that, no payment swapped hands in the writing of this episode)

I was recommending this app way before I got involved with it, so for $49, which is only £39, I reckon you should go for it. I look forward to hearing your feedback on the app!

Rhi xx

 

Polycystic Ovaries and how to deal with them

I attended a conference yesterday (Saturday the 15th) and it was a conference for women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. I was diagnosed with having this condition when I was 15. I got it checked again when I was 23 (the diagnosis when I was 15 was based on that fact that the ultrasound scan couldn’t find my ovaries, which was a sign that my ovaries were small and poorly!)

Having had a sharp increase in anxiety and weight gain over the last year, I thought it was time to think a bit more about the impact that PCOS was having on me, and what I could do to ‘make it better’

The conference was jam-packed full of speakers who had the perfect specialities for women like us. I learned one big myth, which was that there are no cysts involved! As a result of this, they are working on a name change. It also hit home when they spoke about our risks of getting type 2 diabetes and that being overweight accelerated this process. Oh, the other thing that helped me was that I need to make peace with the fact that I can’t expect loads of weight loss, but should still strive to be as fit and healthy as I can, even if it means having to shop in Evans for the rest of my life! (I kid. I’m not my mum and I am quite butch nowadays!)

I am going to stop myself from sharing with you all of the information I learned, because this post will go on forever! What I am going to say is that the speakers were of such a high calibre, and my goodness, we got a lot for the price we paid for the conference – £45 for 7 different talks, and we were fed really well too! My wife came with me and we were welcomed so warmly, and I must say, I felt like I was with ‘my people’ (if it was a conference for queer women with PCOS it would have been the ultimate ‘my people’!) By chatting with different women there, I was quick to see the various frustrations that come with having PCOS – whether it is hair loss, hirutism, difficulty in losing weight, anxiety and depression, acne, irregular periods and the added worry of the fact that us women are insulin resistant, which can increase the likelihood of us getting type 2 diabetes (3-fold) and cardiovascular diseases. With these discussions came a bit of relief in knowing that there is a reason my body is like this and also that I wasn’t alone. The bigger picture was that this was affecting everybody’s self-esteem.

The charity that holds this conference annually is called Verity. This is the only charity that focuses on PCOS, and I am grateful for this. I got to see the AGM in action, which was actually really informative and helpful! When it came to money, they shared with us the annual income of various charities and showed us what their income was in comparison. My goodness, I tell you, these women do so much for the world of PCOS in their spare time with so little money – all on a voluntary basis!

The reason I am writing this blog is to raise awareness of Verity and the work they do for PCOS that nobody else does. I am signing up to be a member in the next few days, which is only £15 for the year, and this includes getting money off your ticket to the conference (this year it was £10) and access to various information booklets, as well as a digital magazine. They also have a members area, which I think would be great for me, now that I am exploring this aspect of my life a bit more.

So. For those who have PCOS (oh, I also learned that some of us just have PCO without it being a syndrome) or those who know women with PCOS, please consider a donation or joining. They really don’t ask for much money, considering the benefits, and the hard work that they do for their members. If you could see how much money the big well-known charities make, you may see that it would be worth sending a fiver over to Verity instead every now and again!

There was a general consensus that PCOS isn’t taken too seriously by the medical professions, yet it affects 1 in 5 women in the UK. I remember the second time I was diagnosed – the Dr was so vague and nonchalant about it. I didn’t feel like I was being taken seriously.

Even if you donated a pound, it would help (that whole thing of ‘if everybody did a little’!) Please share this blog to raise awareness. I know that there are so many different charities out there and it is difficult to give money to them all. I get that. This is my agenda and if you think that it is anybody else’s agenda, let them know about it!

With love,

Rhiannon xx

L Fest 2016 – Where you there? Part 4

Now we’re on Sunday!

Because our darling puppy Ollie charmed almost everybody at the festival, we were encouraged to enter the dog show at 10.30am, so we did! It turns out that a 3 month old puppy can’t do much to win the affections of a dog show judge. He couldn’t do any tricks (although by now he can) and he didn’t even win the ‘dog the judge would like to take home’ (although most of the people around us would have chosen Ollie!) so now we know what happens in the competition, we’re ready for next year! (‘Stage Moms’)

We missed a ‘Positive Mindset’ session, for that, which was a pity – good way to start the day off, great programming! My friend Caitlin who was also in charge of L Fest Social Media went to it and love it,

We decided to try a bit of Line Dancing after this, which was in the Dance Room in the Grandstand. Lara A King was hosting it – she was everywhere this weekend, performing, compering and speaking, I swear that she had one of those time changing necklace things that Hermione off Harry Potter had. Lara did make it clear that she was not a Line Dancing Instructor, so we had to bear that in mind. It was all over the place, though, and we left early!

We missed the beginning of another thing – ‘Effective Communication (How to communicate with Deaf People)’ but realised that we are quite good at that because of the line of work my wife works in, as well as my part time job a little bit, so we weren’t too gutted about that. I believe that it helped out the mutual friends a couple of yurts down from us who go to a knitting group in their local town and have a friend there who is hard of hearing.

We finally managed to catch some sketch comedy – Toots and Leigh. I know Kerry Leigh as a comedian and the host of Laughing Cows  (Back in my ‘stand up comedy days’ I performed alongside her a few times) This was fun but it was evident that it was new material. The Green Tent was a great place to test it out though and everybody had a fun time watching it :-)

We actually got around to having a proper look at all the stalls this afternoon too. Oh, the weather was lush, maybe a bit too lush actually, I got a little bit red!
There were some great stalls about though. There was the fabulous Kinky Monkey who make all kinda things outta leather – I sell their strap on harnesses.
There were some great clothing stalls too. I am currently at my fattest I’ve ever been, so didn’t have confidence that I would fit into anything. I loved Gender Free World – a website I had actually been on a week previous. They design clothes, especially shirts for all shapes and sizes, which is great for women who want to wear shirts. It was great that I got to try some shirts on to find out my size. It turns out that I need to lose some weight to fit into their bigger size though. The owner wasn’t there but the person who served me was so lovely and despite the shirt not fitting, she made me feel lovely and told me I was beautiful the way I was! She also said that she would feedback to the owner about making bigger sizes. It motivated me that bit more to get back to healthy eating! There was another one that sold their own designs on general t-shirts and caps. Unfortunately I have forgotten what they were called but it was sailor based. Not my kind of thing but I saw some people looking great in their clothing.

The Slamsisters were there – they are THE place to get lesbian-focussed greeting cards from, and coasters and mugs and tops and bags and pants! They may still have some calendars left too which are selling for £3 rather than £7.95.

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Honeypot gifts were there too selling handmade jewellery and their gorgeous rainbow corsages and buttonholes too. I swear I took a couple of pics of them but I can’t find any on my phone. Here is Ollie modelling one of their gifts though!20160716_123955

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One more stall I want to tell you about is FOCX – they make unisex boxers. I haven’t worn boxers for ages because of my womanly hips but now I’ve come out of my femme phase and am getting butcher again, I had a look around here. The owner was there, Emma Airey. She designs them, so it was great to be able to chat with her! I was concerned about whether they would fit me and she was confident that they would, and they did! I am a size 24 at the mo but the size 22s fit! They’re made of good stretchy material and have a proper gusset too. The biggest size was a 24 so I am very happy with this! They were quite expensive for a pair of pants (£19.99) but I can see why – very good quality, handmade (by Beryl!) and definitely worth it. They had a nice deal going on too.

Being a lesbian business owner, I really enjoyed exploring the different stalls and chatting with other lesbian business owners. It’s a good little club to be a part of! It is important to support your lesbian-owned businesses when you can.

Our next activity was ‘Signed, Sealed Delivered’ which was learning how to sign along to a song with Stacey Stockwell, who was signing all of the performances that weekend. This was a fab experience and my god, Stacey is so cool and funny and made both me and my wife a bit weak at the knees! (actually I said something to her to that affect and embarrassed myself a bit) We learned to sign along to ‘Don’t Stop Believing’. For some reason, the sound system was unable to broadcast the lyrics, just the melody. It didn’t take away from the session at all, though, and I found it a bit poginant that we couldnt ‘hear’ the words. I am happy to say that I still remember how sign to the song, and Stacey has left an impression on me. She and her business owner own Beans Training which is disability awareness training. She gave us a great discount for the online BSL training too, which we are going to take them up on.

After that we popped Ollie back into the yurt for a bit and listened to Heather Peace from afar. We made it back to the big top before she’d finished so got to see her live for a bit.

My favourite part of the festival was the Laughing Cows comedy night – what a way to end the weekend! I can see why they programme it for when they do. Kerry Leigh was compering and was on top form! The comics on the stage that evening were Debra Jane Appleby, Allyson June Smith with Jen Brister headlining. They all had me in STITCHES! Bloody amazing, each and every one of them! If any of these fabulous comics are performing in your locality, you need to see them. My god I love women and I love comedy! Debra and Allyson weren’t queer identified but this didn’t matter in the slightest. No thing was made of it and we enjoyed them for the funny women they were. Jen did a bit of a poll of the age of the audience and asked who was born in the 90’s, 80’s, 70’s, 60’s and 50’s and there were some decent ‘yays’ for most of them! If I remember correctly, there was even a solo yay from somebody born in the 40’s! This just goes to show the different kind of women this festival attracts – all ages and all backgrounds!

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Kerry Leigh Compering

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Debra Jane Appleby was first on

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Allyson Smith was second on

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Jen Brister talking about being a new mum

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This was such a weekend and I implore anybody who has been uhming and ahhing about going to L Fest, you really need to go! You won’t regret it! If you don’t like camping, book a hotel room nearby. There really is something for everybody. One of my favourite things was the fact that when we sat down somewhere, we could strike up a conversation with absolutely anybody, and that is special.

Well done Cindy Edwards and her L Fest Crew for a fabulous weekend, and for booking me in to talk about sex!

L Fest 2016 – were you there? Part 3

The start of Saturday was fab. Apart from the queues at the shower delaying the beginning of the day, we got off to a good start.

We started in the Big Top/Main Stage at 10.30am to do an African Drumming workshop. We both love drumming and don’t do it enough! That was loads of fun!

The rest of the morning was a bit annoying. I introduced myself to the Stage Manager of the Arts Stage ahead of my 2.30pm talk. Because I was using a powerpoint presentation, they needed me back at 12.30pm to make sure that it was all working. Because of this, the morning ended up finishing a bit bitty. We popped over to the new Waitrose in Uttoxeter (not because we’re made of money, it’s because we couldn’t find Asda!) to pick up a few things we had forgotten to bring. Amateurs! We then went back to do the tech check, made some lunch, then I needed to get ready (put some decent clothes and make up on!)

The talk was fun. It is a mixture of education and fun facts and is something I now hope to develop further and possibly turn into a one woman show. I had a decent audience. I love to be on stage and talk publicly, so this wasn’t a problem. I was nervous, though, because I haven’t talked at such length all in one go about lady bits. I have written a lot about it and have done short talks on it, but this was longer. The projector screen wasn’t ideal. It was quite small and was hidden a bit by a lectern thingy which couldn’t be moved. As it was daylight, the images themselves were a bit faint, so I learned from that and next time there will be handouts! Having a background in stand up comedy, I realised later that my comedian muscle memory had come back, and I thought that it hadn’t gone too well because I didn’t ‘get many laughs’….I wasn’t after laughs! I was there to educate! Considering it was an educational laugh, I did get quite a few laughs actually,  in the right places!

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It was such a pleasure for some women to approach me afterwards and ask a few more questions and also give me food for thought. There were some trans women at the talk who also told me that they learned a lot, so this was very special to be able to do that.

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After the talk, we had an early tea and chatted with a few people/friends then we got ready for the sex toy soiree. At my sex toy soirees, I have toys available to buy whilst I am there, so we had half an hour in-between the last act and us to set everything up, including a couple of tables to show some products off on. Thank god for the wife, otherwise I never would have been able to do it on my own!

The soiree was a lot of fun. It is something I do regularly, but usually in the front room of my customers’, so this was the biggest crowd I have ‘performed’ a soiree to! There’s something special about doing a soiree for a queer female audience. ‘my people’! I had a couple of people volunteer themselves to model some strap-ons for me too! I usually pass the toys around for people to look at but there were too many people for this. Unfortunately I lost one little toy that day, which is a pity, but a hazard of the job I spose.

The soiree went on for longer than the hour it was scheduled for, but luckily I was the last one there for the night in the Green Tent, so I went on a bit longer. Mind you, it was a whistlestop tour of the toys! We were near the main tent and we heard Saffron from Republica singing so that was fun! There were lots of questions afterwards (I love questions!) and some people had some fun to have in their tent that evening!

After that, we packed back up and got ready for the evening. We had some of those gin and tonic cans and I drank three of those quite quickly (Wifey finished her first one by that point. and seemed hellbent on getting drunk that night) I had a warm beer from the car, yum, and we could hear the main tent from where we were, so we heard Amy Winehouse perform. Well, an impersonator who did a bloody great job! It’s a pity we didn’t get there to see her but it was good that we heard her at least.

Eva Iglesias was on the stage when we got there. Wifey loved it! I thought she was good but the crowd were going wild for her! Eva has been on allll the shows and has got far on them – X Factor, Britain’s got Talent and The Voice! Her time on stage was fun and you could tell that she was absolutely loving it, in a good way! She seemed quite humbled by it all :-)

The Amy Winehouse impersonator was Vicky Jackson, and she came back on after Eva again as P!nk – OH YEAH!! She was brilliant and it really felt like P!nk was there. It was awesome! Something else quite funny was that at one point, as P!nk she said ‘Did you all enjoy Amy Winehouse? You wanna know something weird – that was me! Weird huh!’ ‘lol’

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I’ve just popped on her website and she also does Katy Perry, Jessie J and Lady Gaga. What a talent!…. and I’ve just spent 20 minutes watching her stuff on YouTube! She has done some vocals for Duplex – A Drum & Bass DJ/DJ’s? I’m in heaven! <stop obsessing, stop obsessing>

Ironically, we were knackered after that and bumped into a couple of friends and after that we went to sleep. Boring. But knackered. We didn’t drink anymore because the drinks cost a lot of money. I think I had a half hour of tipsiness then it went away!

I’ll tell you how Sunday went in my next post.

L Fest 2016 – were you there? Part 2

So yes! We got to Uttoxeter early Friday evening – much later than we thought, but that’s what comes of living with my wife and me not communicating my thoughts properly!

The first event (the welcome talk from Cindy!) didn’t start until 8.30pm anyway, so we didn’t miss out on anything. I get terrible FOMO.

L Fest had released an app this year with the timetable of everything that was going on over the weekend, a map, their twitter timeline, a list of performers/talks/workshops in alphabetical order, and you had the chance to tick the bits you wanted to go to, then the ‘My L Fest’ bit would show you your timetable based on what you had ticked. You could also create some L Fest ‘postcards’ with pics that you had taken and any pics you took on your camera that weekend would be automatically put in your timeline on the ‘My L Fest’ bit! It was a very nifty piece of tech. I believe it was the first time they have presented an app and it was very cool. My main bugbear was that they did the timetable by day and then by venue. It would have been nice to have just seen a list of events in order of time. If it was 3pm and you wanted to see what was going on, you would need to click into each venue to see what was on, and I found this a bit confusing and time consuming. I am sure that they are aware of this feedback though, and I hope that maybe they can work towards changing that for next year. To be fair, they did also provide printed out timetables from the Saturday. All in all, though, it was a great app and allowed all of the artists, including me, to promote themselves with a biog and links to their twitter account and website. Very helpful.

Here is an example of a postcard:

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When you create one, you can share it, but it only shares it as a link. I think it would be nice to be able to download the pic :-) I have shared a screenshot. You can keep generating a new one until you have one that you like.

Actually, the first event was at 7pm and it was the solos meet up – a fabulous service to provide. L Fest is really good at making single attendees feel included, and provide them with an opportunity to meet other solos as soon as possible on the Friday, which then helps them settle in for the rest of the weekend and make new friends (or more!)

So, here is a list of the venues:

Main Stage
Green Stage Tent/Truck
Arts Stage
L Fest Dance
Creative Arena
Kids Area
Cinema
The Retreat
Fire Pit

Funnily enough, the main stage is where all the big acts took place, like Saffron from Republica, Heather Peace, a lot of music acts throughout the day and the comedy night at the end of the weekend.

The Green Stage/Truck was a bit more cabaret stylee (to be used in the lightest sense of the word) with more music and some comedy. The truck and stage were different venues but basically, it was more about the weather. If it was sunny, the act could perform outside on the Truck Stage. If it was raining, they could perform inside the tent. It was mostly down to the artist to choose between the two. They also had a silent disco every night!

The Arts Stage is where a lot of talks/workshops were held and some spoken word events. The more ‘educational’ and calm part of the festival!

L Fest Dance…guess what…a lot of dance happened there! This was a big room based in the Grandstand of the racecourse. During the day it was various dance classes and at night it was DJ stylee.

The Creative Arena is cool. Its a whole circle of different tents, some of them offer little art workshops. My wife made a dreamcatcher last year but didn’t get the chance to do anything this year. There are also a few stalls about but it’s a big area, this bit.

Kids Area – L Fest  are family inclusive too and make sure that there are some activities for children too. This tended to take place within the Creative Arena.

The cinema showed some fab queer and female-based films all weekend, and was in another part of the grandstand. I really wanted to watch a couple of things but the timings didn’t work this time for me, unfortunately.

The Retreat was in a building next to the grandstand and this is where you could get some beauty treatments or some massage. We intended to go in there and treat ourselves but we didn’t get around to it!

The Fire Pit was based in the campsite and was a place to hang out and wind down. We went there on our first night and it was lovely and chilled and a lovely person gave us each a massive marshmallow and a skewer each to toast it – thank you! It was quite quiet when we went there, but that was nice. The fire itself was modest. Maybe the word ‘pit’ made it sound more epic, but it was still lovely!

On our first night we just did a lot of wandering around and sitting down! We attended the welcome talk, we checked out the eating area. There were some great eaty places. The crepe van was ‘very lesbian’, she did some great crepe fillings which I’m sure a lot of the festival goers would have really appreciated! We had one with Biscoff spread, banana and cinammon – YUM! (My wife invented the combo!) There was also a fish finger sandwich van, a veggie food only van, some freshly cooked thai food, and there was more. It definitely wasn’t like the usual food vans at a festival. They were all small companies and seemed to be mostly lesbian/queer owned too. Nice one!

After popping our heads in to various bits and bobs and finishing our marshmallow at the fire pit, we went to sleep. We didn’t drink or party. I suppose for me, I had an important day ahead of me and my wife was being lovely and supportive!

 

L Fest 2016 – were you there? Part 1

Who here remembers my blog post that I wrote about L Fest last year? I visited it for a day and loved it! I wrote a post advising all LBQ women and their friends to go, and if you didn’t, I am going to write up how it went this year. I went there for the whole weekend with my wife and it was a mixture of business and pleasure this time.

The main reason we went last year was to see whether I wanted to trade there. The problem was that there were so many fun things going on that I didn’t want to be tied to a stall all weekend but it was the perfect place for me to bring my business to! As I am trying to move my business model away from retail and more into public speaking and education, Cindy – the organiser – agreed that I could have a couple of speaking gigs instead. Perfect!

I was to do ‘Sex Geek Natter with Rhiannon Kemp-Davies’ at 2.30pm on the Saturday in the Arts Stage and have a good ol’ queer sex toy soiree later on at 6pm in the Green Tent.

In our 5 years together, my wife and I have never been camping together. We have both done it a lot in the past, but we agreed that as we didn’t have any camping equipment, we were going to try out ‘glamping’ and we hired a Green Yurt. This was something that we splashed out on. As I am a small owner  of a new-ish business, I haven’t yet made enough money for me to take out of the business yet, so my budget has been terribly tight for 2 years. I couldn’t quite afford a European weekend getaway so we agreed to camp in luxury with a yurt instead. This was our summer holiday! Our review of the yurt was that it wasn’t as good as what we hoped for. Yes, we had our own power supply, yes we had a lockable door and yes, we could stand up in the tent! We also paid for Green Yurts to provide bedding and air mattresses. It ended up being quite a difficult tent to sleep in. We opted for 2 single air mattresses instead of a double because of our size! There was barely any room for us to move around, and trying to navigate a tent whilst rolling around on 2 air beds wasn’t fun! We got ourselves a puppy maybe a month prior to coming and brought him with us (important to socialise the pup at an early age!) and there was just about enough room for his small crate. There was also a big flappy thing at the top of the tent, which was part of the structure and kept the tent from blowing it away, but it made a lot of noise when it was windy, so as it is Uttoxeter Racecourse, we had the flapping pretty much constantly. We made do, though, and didn’t complain about it. We got on with our weekend, but we left at 11.30pm on the final night so that we could get home and sleep in our normal beds. The Green Yurt guys were lovely, but the price they charged (£490) wasn’t appropriate in our opinions. They used solar power energy, though, which we liked! There were different sizes – we were in the smallest one. We could have upgraded and got a slightly bigger one with proper camping beds. There were also bell tents, but goodness knows how much thy were. We are already chatting with some friends who are more serious about coming next year and whether sharing a big bell tent would be cost effective. There is no doubt that we are going to want to come every year but need to figure out if we should invest in some camping equipment (although the car was jam packed because of the stock I brought) or pay for a dog friendly B&B in Uttoxeter…or share a big bell tent with friends! Can you hire a winnebago?!

What was good about being on the campsite, though, was the sense of community and camaraderie. All those who had forked out for a yurt or a bell tent were in one part of the racecourse and because of another part being waterlogged, everyone else who was camping had to move up a field, so our little yurt community must have looked like right jammy bastards! There are 2 sets of showers placed in the racecourse, I think there were 5 showers in each set. On the first morning, one of the sets had broken, so the queues were a bit sickening, BUT at least there was at least one set of showers to go to still! Obviously most of us wanted to shower at around the same time so there will always be queues, but it is a chance to chat with people, which adds to that sense of community. We got on with all of our yurt neighbours a lot, and funnily enough, 2 doors down, was another couple from Cardiff who we had met a couple of times before because we have a couple of mutual friends!

Oh, something I want to add is that when you buy your ticket for the weekend, camping is included. We obviously paid extra for the yurt. A LOT extra!

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Ooh, I tell you what is also nice. Almost every person there loves dogs! We noticed how many dogs there were last year so were looking forward to being one of those with a dog! Our yurt neighbours all loved him and kept him entertained and covered in love, and it took us ages to walk to anywhere because so many people wanted to stop and say hello to him! It was very flattering and it was lovely to see him get so much attention…but my gosh it was difficult to get anywhere on time! There was one girl who screamed in his face because she found him that adorable! They also have Doggy Day Care, which is a fab service to have as part of the ticket price. Sometimes we would leave Ollie in the tent in his crate for a bit to chill, sometimes he would be with us and sometimes he was in doggy day care. Many people we met said that we should take him to the dog show on Sunday morning too – he is very cute! Here is a pic of him at my talk!

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Ok, so this post is a bit more of a preamble, but a good way to communicate the feel of the festival and also give you an idea of the yurts! The second post will be about the rest of our first day and what L Fest has to offer.

A new Cafe Bookshop is in town!

I wanted to share with you an exciting addition to the Cardiff scene, and it comes in the form of a bookshop-come-cafe bar!

If you are in Cardiff Bay, you will now find Octavo’s Book Cafe and Wine Bar on West Bute Street.

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It is owned by the publishers Octavo, who have offices above the cafe. They are providing a space in which you can browse the books that they publish and buy some food, cake, an alcoholic or non-alcoholic drink then you can sit down and chill out in the book area or their cafe area.

What has excited me most about it is that they have a section of erotica writing, hoorahhh!

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Octavo is a division of Accent Press, and by coincidence, they have also recently merged with Onion Custard Publishing, who published the I AM WOMAN book that I wrote a chapter for! (you can buy that here)

So although Octavo is a new company, Accent Press has 14 years in the industry along with Onion Custard. What makes this company really special to me, is that Xcite books is a part of Accent Press, which is an erotica publisher that has won multiple awards for the work they have done. They display their books proudly (although not in a way that people would find offensive!) in the shop and make no judgement of the people who buy them – like me, they believe that sex should be talked about more, and without shame.

The bookshop provides books for everybody. The erotica fiction is only one part of the huge array of books they have, which includes some great Cardiff-based books and lovely greetings cards. They also have a children’s book section along with a little tent for them to play in!

It was their grand opening yesterday. I got there at 4.30pm and they were recovering from the busy-ness of the day. They had a reading by Katie Fforde who was their writer in residence for the day, and they were absolutely packed, what a successful day!

I was able to have a chat with the Event Co-Ordinator, Emily (they are planning on having a lot of events at the venue with various authors, speakers and musicians, which sound great)  and we now have something in the diary for a talk by myself, I can’t wait to share the details with you!

Hazel Cushion was there too, the founder and Managing Director of Accent Press, working behind the bar with the other workers. I met her a couple of years ago (pretty much to the day, weirdly!) to chat more about the Xcite end of the company. She is such a fabulous woman – so down to earth and so good at juggling the various aspects of the company and it’s divisions.

I want to encourage you all to pop in there when you are next in the Bay, like their Facebook page and check out the events they are organising. I have a feeling that they are going to have something for everyone. Whether you are a bookworm, a wine conoisseur, a coffee fan, have children, or like the sound of gourmet chips, you should pop in.

Here are some more pics I took:

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My first post that has nothing to do with sex..

It’s about rugby!

There’s a new women’s rugby team in Cardiff that I have just joined and we are still recruiting! This is an opportunity to literally represent your country too! Not only is this my first post that doesn’t have anything to do with sex but I am going to switch languages in a second which makes it my first post in Welsh! We are a Welsh speaking team which is why writing about it in Welsh only makes sense.

Reit! Mae’r tim wedi cael ei sefydlu achos mae’r Golden Oldie’s Rugby Festival yn cymryd le yng Nghaerdydd eleni, felly mae’n rheswm dda iawn i unrhyw un sydd wastad wedi eisiau trio chwarae rygbi neu wedi chwarae rygbi yn gorffennol a sydd eisiau ail-ddechrau.

Chwaraeais i i fy nhim prifysgol dros 10 mlynedd yn ol. Wnes i drio chwarae nol fan hyn yng Nghaerdydd ond roedd y tim gyntaf ymunais a yn 2005 bach yn rhy ‘hawdd’ wedyn yr un nesaf ymunais a yn 2011 yn rhy annodd! Felly ymunais a’r tim ‘ma 2 wythnos yn ol ar ol glywed am y tim ar Facebook oddi wrth ffrind fy ngwraig.

Rydyn  ni yn ddigon lwcus i gael Caryl James i hyfforddi ni – 29 caps mae hi wedi chwarae i Gymru a dwi’n caru’r ffordd mae hi’n hyfforddi, mae’n teimlo fel mae’r tim yn barod wedi dysgu lot oddi wrthi, a dim ond 4 sesiwn sy’ wedi bod hyd yn hyn. Mae ganddyn ni lot o botential a mae Caryl yn blydi lyfli!

Felly, fe fyddech chi’n cael croeso cynnes a chofiwch – os nad ydych erioed wedi chwarae o flaen, paid a phoeni! Dwi’n eitha ‘unfit’ ond dwi dal yn mynd. Os hoffech chi ddod i’r ymarfer nesaf, cysylltwch a fi a byddai’n hapus i gwrdd a chi a wedyn cyflwyno ti i’r tim.

Mae’r ymarfer pob nos Fercher o 6.30ish tan 7.30ish a falle diod ar ol o bryd i bryd. Mae’n ddigwydd yng Nghaeau Llandaf yn agos i Gerddi Sofia. Parciwch lan ger Cafe Castan.

Mae’r twrnament o’r 21in i’r 28in o Awst – bydden ni’n chwarae Dydd Llun, Mercher a Gwener! Hwn yw’r quote o wefan y twrnament sy’n swmio lan ysbryd y twrnament:

“Golden Oldies Rugby is your opportunity to show all those skills you acquired in younger days while still enjoying your favourite sport. This is not uncompromising competition but rather the means of cementing friendships and enjoying the company of some of life’s most unforgettable characters on and off the field.”

Cymdeithas!!

rygbi