Indigo Tries the Blush Avant P5 Plug!

7 out of 10
Pairs nicely with a nice red ale. It’s robust and got great color. Sometimes, it’s a bit strong going down, but it feels mostly good.
This plug was sent to me by Blush in exchange for a fair and honest review. You can purchase it from my friends at Betty’s Toybox or my friends at Shevibe! At the time of this publishing, it retails for about $30 (US). 
The Blush Avant P5 sits in a plastic case that has cardboard edges. It is colored the same as the Gender Fluid pride flag. From Tip to base, the colors are peach, white, purple, black and blue. It is quite large. Next to the package sit two pins. One is a They pronoun pin. The other says
I got to hang out with the folx from Blush again this year at Woodhull. I’ve always been a fan of Ducky and her work, so I was extra excited to see her at Woodhull and request some review toys from her. I was feeling especially enthusiastic about butt stuff that week, so I requested two plugs (but you’ll have to wait for the second review to find out what the other one is). Since it was Woodhull, and that is where I feel really accepted for my gender, I picked out the Avant P5. The P5 is a plug that is poured in the colors of the Gender-fluid flag.
I understand the craftsmanship that happens with those types of pours, and as a result, I am really impressed with the quality of this plug, especially given the low price. The colors are bold and crisp, with the lines blurring only the exact amount they should. There are no seams visible. Overall, it gives this plug a very clean and professional look that I absolutely love.
I will admit that when I looked at the plugs, I only looked at their colors, to choose which flag I wanted to fly. I didn’t pay attention to the names of the plugs themselves. However, when I looked up the Pride Line to make sure I got the specifications right, I found the names of all the pride plugs. I’m less than enthusiastic about them, honestly. There are some which are fine, like the Genderfluid one being called “Fluid,” and the Non-Binary plug, which is called “Beyond.” However, the Lesbian one is called “Beauty” and the Transgender one is called “True Blue.” It may sound silly, but I feel like taking large groups such as Lesbian and Transgender, and then pairing them down to beauty and true blue respectively feels weird. Are trans folx true blue because they are all sad? Are they all obsessed with the color blue? Why? Did I miss a memo? And what about the lesbians who aren’t obsessed wit beauty? What if that word doesn’t apply to a butch lesbian? And why on earth would beauty be the most important word associate with lesbians? These names are largely unnecessary, honestly. It’s not quite enough to put me off the toy line completely, but it does feel a bit forced.
The Blush Avant P5 sits on a shelf with a They pronoun pin and a pin that says It took me a week or two after receiving this plug to actually use it. This wasn’t due to lack of excitement or anything. I just hadn’t done much butt stuff for three months, and this plug isn’t small. It’s got 4.25″ of insertion, with a 1.5″ diameter. As a result, when I came back to butt stuff, it did take a little bit of warm up before I could use this plug. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it for beginners. If you’re looking to step up your butt game, however, this is a great step up to the 1.5″ level. It’s easy to insert and smooth all the way down. It also has a safe base, which feels really good once inserted.
However, there are also downsides to this plug for me. Somehow, my butt just prefers smaller necks. I like size internally, but the neck on this plug is just too wide. I couldn’t manage to get it comfortable for any length of time. When I played with it inserted, it just fell out because the different between the neck and the plug itself was not big enough. There was no hope for me to wear it long-term. When I sat down, it just did not work with my cheeks and I kept slouching to try and get comfortable. That said, it’s rare that I find a plug which does work long term for me. So if your cheeks are easier to please, this could be a great plug for you.
This plug delivered exactly what I hoped. It was a hefty size, with gorgeous colors. It’s not too expensive, but it feels well-made. I don’t know if I’ll use it that often, because I prefer my plugs with narrow necks, but I am glad that I own it. I will gladly display this for all my lovers to see.
This plug was sent to me by Blush in exchange for a fair and honest review. You can purchase it from my friends at Betty’s Toybox or my friends at Shevibe! At the time of this publishing, it retails for about $30 (US). 

Indigo Explores: BDSM in a Therapy Context

So I recently saw another blogger discussing BDSM and how it helps them to process some of their previous trauma. This is something that I knew was possible because I have a similar experience. When I do a scene, I feel whole for a little while after. I feel more prepared for the world and I am excited for what’s next. In fact, I might say that I feel much the same as I do after a good therapy session. Imagine that!
Since engaging in BDSM regularly, and embracing that part of my personality, I have found that I know myself, and my interests that much better. In psychology terms, I have a stronger sense of self. This has spreading ramifications for my life, which is completely expected. A sense of self is usually tied to a sense of fulfillment, purpose and happiness. Sense of self is the static idea of personality and values, as well as self-esteem and a sense of person-hood. It’s basically our own self-image and concept of who we are.
Thanks to BDSM, I know how to negotiate what I want and how to get it. Additionally, because I have done this before, I’m less afraid to ask for what I want. Some things that I thought would never happen have come to be just because I could ask for them. Why did this happen? Well, with a stronger sense of self, I have a better idea of what I need to function. With a better idea of what I want, I know how to articulate it, which gives me the ability. Once I have that skill set, I’m only missing the strength and courage to ask.
However, BDSM also helps me gain strength and courage. Why does that happen? Well, I’ve tested myself through BDSM. Within scenes, I have allowed myself to become vulnerable. I take pain and sadness and I turn it into power and strength. I so regularly amaze myself that my courage has grown, which allows me to voice concerns, and ask for resources or help.
Now, these are all things that may seem to come already installed for some people. They don’t feel guilty every time they ask for their needs to be met and they don’t cry when talking to authority figures. However, I have a history of emotional and verbal abuse from my family, which has taken all those things and made them questionable and weakened. That trauma took away my voice and replaced it with guilt and the deafening shrill of self-abuse and self-hate. BDSM doesn’t completely remove that, and I would never claim that it could. But it does turn down the volume. When I complete a successful scene, I still harbor some self-hate and guilt and fear. But I can work through it and achieve amazing things. It doesn’t cure me, but it heals me in some ways.
Which brings me to something else I wanted to discuss. When Kirsten of Chronic Sex described this feeling around BDSM and mentioned therapy, someone else had Opinions on this. Now, I will not direct any links to this other person. But she is a blogger who talks extensively about men’s rights and being a pro domme in the past. Many of her posts are kink-negative. I have chosen to use that wording for a reason. Her posts usually start with a disclaimer that these are her experiences and she’s not judging anyone. She talks about being shamed for not participating in BDSM like it’s a systemic problem (the opposite is true). She discusses how BDSM is abusive in nature. Additionally, she did come into someone’s mentions saying that it was dangerous to call BDSM therapeutic or healing. After having read some tweets and posts, I am pretty convinced that this human would feel more comfortable if no one participated in kink ever again. So I’m here to present some counter arguments.
So let’s talk about some therapies right now. Because what am I? Oh that’s right! I’m a Psychology student and this is literally my field of study!
So let’s outline Exposure Therapy. This is a therapy that is usually applied to phobias of all types. It involves exposing someone to their phobia. If they experience their phobia and survive, they are likely to reroute the pathways in their brains and be less afraid. This can be done slowly such as asking a patient to think about a dog, and then visualize a dog. Then they may look out a window and see a dog. This would lead up to actually touching and being friends with a dog. In this way, their brain will slowly acclimate to dogs and be less afraid of them. Or it can happen fast, such as seeing a patient and then immediately jumping to the touching a dog stage.
So imagine that you’re a victim of childhood abuse. You experienced being yelled at or hit for much of the time. Now, with BDSM, you negotiate a scene that feels good. It involves impact play and insults. You experience these things at the hand of a caring dominant. You experience your childhood all over again and stop the scene. It immediately ends and the dominant checks on you. It takes a minute to come back into your body and the person who was hitting you is now respecting you and caring for you. All of this under your control and with your consent. The pathways in your brain start to feel safer when someone yells at you because you know you’re more in control. Even in work situations, you realize you’re an adult now and can take action, unlike when you were a child. Exposure therapy has worked directly with your trauma and has helped.
Let’s talk about Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. This is a therapy that usually involved a therapist intervention directly. It is a practice wherein the patient has a negative thought and they must learn first to recognize their negative thoughts. Once the patient recognizes negative thoughts, they begin to replace those with positive or at least neutral true thoughts. It’s common for people who have completed CBT to randomly say positive things. If you ever see me shake my head and mutter “no, I love myself,” then you have seen my CBT at work. I have replaced most of my negative thoughts with this set of actions.
Now, as a dominant, you begin to hit a sub. You feel some guilt because it feels good for you to inflict pain on a sub. But their moans affirm what you know on the surface: they want this as much as you do. So you continue and every time you question yourself, you check in with them. You are now more aware of your surroundings, how you affect them. Every time you question yourself, you check in with your surrounding group and now you find yourself not saying “I’m mean.” Instead you’re saying “I’m fulfilling a need for someone and being aware of the world around me.”
My personal favorite is Dialectical Behavioral Therapy. This is an extension of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and they often work in tandem. It focuses on the idea that much of our conflict comes from opposing ideas in ourselves. For example: “I want to go out and meet new people” is in direct conflict with “I am afraid of social situations where I don’t know everyone.” However, both of these are true and valid feelings. DBT seeks to insert the word “And” into our conflicts. You can want to meet people and be afraid of them. By acknowledging that, you have an easier time making decisions, and coinciding narratives.
So let’s imagine this. You’re in the middle of a scene. Your dominant has completely misjudged and pushed you too far. You safeword out of the scene and begin the process of reconciling and aftercare. The dominant is scared to have pushed you and is meeting your care needs with extra love now. Suddenly you realize that your dominant is a good human and someone who makes mistakes. You begin to see the different layers in them, and others in the world who have wronged you. You are now one step closer to achieving a resolution to your inner conflicts, because you have learned the power of “And.”
Play therapy is another favorite of mine. This is primarily geared towards kids. It encourages them to explore their feelings and reenact life events. The hope is that they will begin to visualize what they wanted to happen, or possibly reveal what went wrong. From there, they can find closure or explanation and be better prepared for life ahead. It can also be used as a tool to help create an exposure environment.
As a Daddy dom, you take care of a Little. They are small and cute. You purchase them gifts and care for them. You ensure they always have a good time in your presence and they trust you implicitly. As you look on them, you think of the hamster you lost as a kid because you couldn’t take care of it. You were five and didn’t know better. It’s haunted you since then and you doubt your ability to take care of anything ever again. Even your work sometimes suffers. However, since taking on this Little, you have gained some closure. You can’t fix the past but you can take care of another person and meet needs. After awhile, you’re more confident and you take on more responsibility. Thanks to this role-play, you have grown and improved your quality of life.
Here’s the bottom line: if you are doing kink right, you are gaining positive things from it. It might be cathartic, or healing. You gain closure. You challenge yourself sometimes, and win. Here is the shocking part: even if it’s just fun for you, then you are doing it right. If you are performing BDSM of some kind and it hurts you, you’re allowed to stop and that’s okay. No one should shame you for that, and if they do, that is abusive. But if you find BDSM good, fun, therapeutic, or a combination, that is great. Because all we can do in this world is find coping mechanisms and muddle through. Perhaps eventually, we will be “cured,” but what does that mean? In psychology, cured is usually short hand for “chronically coping with something very well.”
Sometimes BDSM is bad, and you have to leave it. Not everyone has the same experiences as you. And that is what is important here: people should be allowed to do kink when it is good for them. Get out of their mentions and find something good for you instead of berating them.

Indigo Tries the Spareparts Tomboi!

9 out of 10
Pairs nicely with a Dark and Stormy. It’s deep and refined, like a good pair of mens underwear. But it’s also a little fruity with a nice pop.
This toy was sent to me by my good friends at Betty’s Toybox in exchange for a fair and honest review. You can purchase it here in Red or here in Black. At the time of this post, they run for about $90 (USD). 
The Spareparts Tomboi box is sitting on a wooden floor with a yellow wall behind it. The box is black and has a picture of a masculine-leaning person on it.
I thoroughly enjoy dicks, and what I enjoy also as much as dicks in me is dicks on me. I previously owned only one harness, which I really enjoyed using with a partner. It had almost everything I wanted in a harness, including plus-sized options, except it was incredibly gendered as femme. Sometimes, I don’t want to be femme. In reality, I’m more likely to feel masc when I want to pack or use a strap on. With my harness being so gendered, I would sometimes put it on and feel immediately uncomfortable. To aid this gap in my toys, I requested the Tomboi Harness, created by Spareparts. The kind folx over at Betty’s Toybox sent this, along with the Pierre to help my review queue while I was out of state during the summer.
The Tomboi runs about $90 (US) at time of posting. This is quite a large investment for many people, which I am not ignoring here. If cost is an issue, there are a few other brands that are worth looking at, including the Sportsheets Divine Diva, which I have reviewed. However, for those who aren’t plus-sized, I would recommend looking through this list for something appropriately sized. I have no reviews of these, but others may.
However, the price is the one major downfall of the Tomboi. When I opened the package, I was immediately won over by the fabric of this harness. It comes packaged in a carrying pouch of the same material the harness is made from. It feels slippery, smooth and still durable. It doesn’t feel out of place when I run my hands over it. Though I don’t run into much nylon underwear, I don’t expect that this harness would not be all that eye-catching or unusual to find in someone’s underwear drawer. I requested the red option because I love how the details of the waistband and the seams make it feel like just another pair of underwear that I’m putting on.
The Spareparts Tomboi is unfolded and laying on a clean wooden floor while the carrying bag lays beside it. The bag is propped up so that you can see the SpareParts logo. The bag is all read nylon. The Tomboi itself is mostly red with a black waistband and black trim. It's shaped roughly like typical men's underwear.
As a harness, the design of the Tomboi is perfect. It has two fabric pieces in the lining of the cod piece that overlap just enough to securely hold a toy in place, but open enough that it’s easy to remove the toy. In the front of the underwear itself is a ring that is completely hidden within the fabric, so the transition from underwear into harness feels discreet and seamless. This works perfectly with how my dysphoria manifests. This toy doesn’t trigger it because it just feels like another part of the underwear. It makes it easy to forget the dick in place is silicone and not factory-installed.
The ring is stretchy enough to fit dildos from 1.25 inches up to 2.25 inches, which allows for the most common dildo sizes to work with the harness. Additionally, since the holding fabric is in two pieces, it’s possible to part them and use this harness with a two-sided dildo. I will admit that getting a two sided dildo inserted into myself, at the same time as pulling up tight underwear was a bit of a challenge. I would not recommend trying it out without making sure you’re stretched properly. And I mean that for your vagina AND your legs. That was some exercise.
The SpareParts box is open to reveal the front of the Tomboi. It's wrapped with tissue paper. The focus of the photo is the o-ring, which is about an inch in diameter in the center of the Tomboi.This harness feels really secure in use. Though I haven’t fucked anyone with it, I did masturbate with it. The experience felt comfortable and not forced with this harness. To top it off, I could fit many different dildos in there, so I could follow my feelings on which dildo to use. This means that when I want my regular dildo (the one that is my dick), I can use it, or I can substitute a different one by my partners’ request.
In short, I’m a huge fan of this harness. When I used this harness to pack, everything stayed in place all day. When I use it for play (on my own), it was comfortable and natural to wear. Based on how I tested it during a solo session, I am sure that it will be a huge part of my partnered scenes, and I’m excited to use this harness more.
This toy was sent to me by my good friends at Betty’s Toybox in exchange for a fair and honest review. You can purchase it here in Red or here in Black. At the time of this post, they run for about $90 (USD).