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Medieval Dead had found a mass grave. The victims of the Black Death in the late 1340s/early 1350s here in the UK.
However, the death of over 60% of the population of Europe meant the liberation of the working populations.
Before they had been tied to a particular master. They lived hand to mouth. Most of what they grew or earned was taken by the lord of the Manor.
When the majority of the workforce died, suddenly there was the freedom to move around. The lord of the next Manor along might be prepared to pay more for labour if he could not find anyone to bring in his harvest. The workers became more itinerant and less dependent.
And then for Who do you think you are, Zoe Wannamaker’s Jewish ancestors came over from what is now the Ukraine to Chicago. 40 million Europeans came to the New World in a very short period of time at the beginning of the 20th century.
They worked for a pittance that meant many took work home in order to be able to earn enough money to eat and pay their rent. If they wanted more money, it was very easy to sack them because there was always someone waiting for a job.
I love the anonymity of online shopping. And when that retail therapy involves sex toys, being on the internet allows me to be much more risque than in my local store where someone might recognise me at the check out or whilst perusing the goods available in the store.
As Ruf has been moving his stuff out of his flat and into mine, I have had to start trying to find a way to combine my two boxes of sex equipment. I already have two large drawers under my bed that are stuffed full. And now I’m having to accommodate another lot. Some things are going to have to be discarded. But, making that decision, reminds me of the fun I had shopping for the implement in the first place.
It takes me back five years to those halcyon days when I was like a bitch in heat and no day was complete without a battery-operated orgasm.
Whilst I did visit my local Ann Summers on a couple of occasions, some women are not brazen enough/comfortable enough with their own sexuality to go to a local store and the majority feel happier shopping online. It can also be a lot more convenient if you want to choose with your partner but you both have busy work lives. Getting out of the office after the stores close means that shopping together for anything has to be done outside of the regular 9-5 opening hours.
As has been shown on this blog on numerous occasions, there are sex toys to suit every size, shape, orifice, desire, fantasy. And the great thing about shopping online is that it is all there in one place. There are no potentially judgemental sales assistants. The only thing holding you back is you.
And, more importantly, when the package arrives with the postman, it is in plain packaging. Unlike when you purchase from Ann Summers and the pink/purple high visibility carrier bag screams to everyone you pass on the High Street that you’ve been up to no good!
Whether you’re a first time buyer or a regular customer, buying online with retailers like Bedroom Kandy can actually be part of the foreplay process. Ruf would see me working my way through the various sections of the online emporia and know that, within a few days, he would be involved in the review process.
It’s hard for them all because they just don’t get it.
That two people can actually have a relatively amicable divorce.
And that it doesn’t require the taking of sides.
When you’ve been part of a family for three decades, you are no longer there purely as an ‘outlaw’. Sometimes your in-laws can actually prefer you to your spouse, their blood relative.
The commonality of children means that you have to try to stay on speaking terms with your other half and their immediate family and often also their friends.
Whatever the causes of the break-up, it is not for friends and family to ‘take sides’ and stand on principles when the injured party who is closest to them has decided not to do so. That just puts a slow poison into what is a relatively pleasant transition.
I am proud of what we have achieved, the ex and I. Our attempts to deal with everything together rather than involving legal representatives and our ability to co-exist at family gatherings as friends rather than having to pussy foot around each other.
Other people don’t understand that the tearing asunder does not have to be acrimonious or unpleasant and their insistence that it should says a lot more about them than it does about us.
We were watching the pilot episode and the first episode of Stephen Moffat’s version of Sherlock Holmes. I’ve tried with the American version – Elementary – but it just does not have the style and panache of this one. Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu are good – but they cannot compare to Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman. You don’t believe them!
Anyway, back to A Study In Pink.
Watson’s phone had an engraving Harry Watson from Clara xxx
The expense of the phone says wife not girlfriend and the model is only six months old. A marriage that is in trouble then because he has just given it away. If she had left him, he would have kept it. Sentimental attachment. But, no, he’s given it away. He wanted rid of it, so he’s left her…
The body of a woman has been found. It looked as if she had committed suicide but Sherlock was quick to give his assessment of her life before this moment.
She’s been married for at least ten years but has had a string of lovers. None of them knew she was married.
Her wedding ring – ten years old at least. The rest of her rings were regularly cleaned – but not her wedding ring. A sign of how she felt about the state of her marriage.
The ring was dirty on the outside but clean on the inside. Clearly she took it off a lot, polishing it clean. She would not do that for just one lover. There would be too many other things to give away her true married state. No, she was a serial adulterer.
Love it! You just wonder what he would be able to deduce about your own marital state just by looking at you!
I went for my annual check-up at the optician recently.
I’ve been short-sighted (myopic) since I was 16 so I’m a long-term wearer of contact lenses and glasses.
Originally, I wore my lenses all the time. I hated my glasses. Contact lenses in those days were bought to last a year or two. They were quite thick and required regular trips back to the optician for ‘descaling’. I even had a very expensive blue-tinted pair at one point. They made my already strikingly blue eyes almost luminous.
Once I had the kids, I didn’t have time to wipe my own bottom, let alone faff around cleaning contact lenses before going to bed. So, unless I was going out somewhere special, I wore my ‘Deirdre Barlow’ big glasses. These came into their own when I had small children who would poke at your eyes. They were better than safety goggles.
Every year I would go for my annual check-up and there were tiny changes to my prescription but, mostly, I just changed glasses when they broke.
Two years ago, the optician asked if I was having trouble with my sight. Was I moving books backwards and forwards trying to get the right distance to be able to read the print properly? To my negative response, he said that it would start happening soon… because of my age.
I determined to ignore the symptoms but, within weeks, he was right. In restaurants, I would find myself holding the menu with my arms outstretched and then pulling it gradually closer until I could see it properly. It was noticeably worse when I wore my contact lenses because I couldn’t look underneath my glasses to facilitate doing close work. Threading a needle was really the clincher.
I was gutted! I had hoped that, having been short-sighted for so long, age-related long-sightedness would kick in and compensate giving me 20/20 vision for my 75th birthday. But, apparently, it doesn’t work that way.
Once we reach our early 40s, the lenses in our eyes begin to lose their elasticity. They become stiffer, reducing their flexibility and, therefore, their ability to allow light rays from near objects to focus on the retina. This means that close objects look blurred, making it harder to read and thread needles. It’s called presbyopia and it will affect almost everyone, regardless of whether they already wear glasses or contact lenses.
So, I have some options.
I can get a new prescription on my current glasses for driving and day wear and then invest in a second pair to use when Im reading. Godammit, I have enough trouble keeping track of the pair I wear all the time. If you knew how many times I’ve gone hunting for them because they blend into the quilt cover on the bed… or because I’ve forgotten that I have left them sitting on top of my head!
I can guarantee that I will not have the right pair of glasses for the job in hand.
I could get some surgery. Normal laser techniques won’t cut it for presbyopia so I would have to replace the current dodgy lens with an artificial implant.
Click to enlarge
Or, I could look at varifocal lenses for my glasses. I immediately thought of those horrible bi-focals with the line in the middle that my grandfather used to wear, but things have moved on a bit since then and varifocals are the marketed as the closest thing that you can get to natural vision.
In contrast to my normal glasses, which have a constant maximum aperture at all focal lengths, varifocals have a maximum aperture that becomes smaller as the focal length increases.
In order to accommodate both distance and close-up work in one lens, they have a gradual change of power from the top to the bottom so that, when you look straight ahead, you’re getting the distance section of the lens and, when you look down, you automatically see through the part that aids reading and needle-threading. For things in between, you will need to experiment by lifting or lowering your head slightly until the focus is correct. I am told that, in time, this adaptation process does become instinctive.
Lens designs vary, with some having wider reading areas, other bigger distance portions and, still more, a thicker central corridor over which the power change is implemented. The wider the corridor, the bigger the area of vision but, on either side of this zone, the lens surface will be distorted, causing a certain amount of soft-focus or blurring. It is also possible to compact the distance and reading parts more closely so that they can be used in smaller frames.
As with all things, it would seem that you get what you pay for so it is better to spend more money on the lenses than on the frames when it comes to varifocals, as these tend to have wider corridors and less edge distortion.
Apparently, although they do require some getting used to, over 90% of people do use them successfully and some are now moving into varifocal contact lenses.
Fortunately, my optician operates a 30 day trial period and, if I really don’t like them, they will make me a standard pair and reimburse the price differential.
The best of this week’s blogs by the bloggers who blog them. Highlighting the top 3 posts as chosen by Sugasm participants. Want in Sugasm #168? Submit a link to your best post of the week using this form. Participants, repost the link list within a week and you’re all set.
Cake: “Come on, you know you need to sort out your accounts if you’re going to live here. I don’t want your debts to be coming to my door! Get them done today and you shall have a sexually related reward!”
Ruf: “Hmmmm, what sort of reward would that be… because I could leave the accounts and just have a wank”
Cake: “Well, you could! But then I would have to poke you… and it would not be joining in in a good way”
Ruf: “Would you have had this type of conversation with your husband?”
Cake: “Well, no. I did his accounts myself. That way I wouldn’t have to have sex with him…”
It was so exciting driving to his house knowing that I was going to be having proper sex again. The anticipation almost beyond bearing. Ok, ok, so last time there were seven hand/blowjobs in one weekend but, although I love to give them, it isn’t quite the same. This time I get to play properly too. You cannot imagine how much I have missed it, missed him… that intimacy… the feeling of being complete that only comes when he is inside me and whispering his love in my ear. The hours have passed so slowly today.
Racing up the M25 and the M1, through the roadworks, willing the miles to go past. Until, finally, where the M1 meets the M6 and there is that big curve to the left, DJ Sammy’s Heaven thumping on the cd, foot down, past the lorries and into the rain. But it doesn’t matter. Nothing matters but getting to him.
Tubthumping up the main road leading to his City, slowing things down for suburbia and the joy of parking. The rain has stopped as I unload the car and ring the doorbell.
That first awkwardness of arrival. It’s been a long drive and I have to transition from someone’s wife and mother into his lover. Finally his arms are around me and our mouths are searching hungrily. Stripping off clothes and into the warm haven of our bed. Touching and aching and melting. Intimate parts laid open to each other’s fingertips. Wanting but waiting for the optimum moment, he tells me about the one time. How he will slide into me one centimetre at a time so I can feel all of him again. I want him. I want him. My clit is soaking under his fingers. Ready, so ready.
And then he is there, sliding into me and it is not as I remember. It is still tight, but it isn’t wet. It’s as if my vagina is afraid of him. Terrified. I want him to persevere, to reassure my innermost part… but it hurts. The pain so reminiscent of that other.
He waits a while and we try again. It is no different.
Silent tears start to fall in the darkness.
The woman who had made love with such reckless abandon looked on in horror as this woman shrivelled and recoiled from him.
Welcome to e[lust]- Your source for sexual intelligence and inspirations of lust from the smartest & sexiest bloggers! Whether you’re looking for hot steamy smut, thought-provoking opinions or expert information, you’re going to find it here. Want to be included in e[lust] #19? Start with the rules, check out the schedule and subscribe to the RSS feed for updates!
~ This Week’s Top Three Posts ~
Off Limits for 30 Days – “You don’t listen very well,” I heard her hiss. “That’s off limits, damn you.” And there was a crack and fiery agony clawed into my back.
The Joy of Sucking Cock – I wonder at times if that is why I am such a “good little cocksucker” as W calls me. When I am deeply into it, I almost enter this place where I am both the sucker and suckee, and it is as though it is MY cock being sucked on.
Ask Lilly: How do I know if a sex toy has phthalates in it? – The studies going around are saying that phthalate exposure can damage all sorts of organs, and can possibly cause cancer. There are a lot of harmful things in our world these days that we can’t avoid – so when we CAN avoid something like toxins in our sex toys, we should.
~ Featured Post (Lilly’s Pick) ~
Portal. Confession #493 – It truly is a spiritual give and take, these sexual relationships I form. I can cross the threshold and see however much of someone that I choose to see, with whomever it is that I am involved with.
See also: Pleasurists #88 and #89 for all your sex toy review needs.
All blogs that have a submission in this edition must re-post this digest from tip-to-toe on their blogs within 7 days. Re-posting the photo is optional and the use of the “read more…” tag is allowable after this point. Thank you, and enjoy! Continue reading e[lust] #18
Amazing programme on the BBC last week concerning World population.
Dr Hans Rosling is a doctor turned statistician. He is incredibly likeable and very funny.
But, more importantly, he has graphics which help you turn understand the truth about world population.
I was completely unaware that, in fact, the average Bangladeshi family now has only 2.2 children.
In countries that had previously been called developing nations, he was able to show how education about contraception has helped to bring family sizes down from an average of 5 children to 2.2
Where once families just kept on having children because the majority would not live beyond five years old, they can now stick at two offspring. Secure in the knowledge that advances in healthcare and sanitation will mean that both are likely to make it to adulthood.
He showed how the world’s population increased dramatically in the last 50 years but also how things will level off in the future. There will only ever be 2 billion children under 15 at any one time. And, as the current population ages and succumbs to the inevitable, the growth will plateau.
More importantly, he showed how wealth plays a major part in the survival of the planet.
With families in the poorest countries earning $1 per day and aspiring to a new pair of shoes and those on $10/day saving for a bicycle, the other end of the scale was $100 per day and the ability to fly off on holiday. But it was those people in the highest wage brackets who consumed the most fossil fuels. It is for us to curb our use so that the aspirants of the poorer countries will be able to behave equally as responsibly when they reach the same earning capacity.