a few babysteps at fairvilla shop with ducky doolittle

Recent

A Few Babysteps at Fairvilla (Shop With Ducky DooLittle)

Until last week, I hadn’t set foot in a brick and mortar sex toy shop in at least nine years.My early experiences with Patricia’s in Wichitawere uncomfortable and alienating, and my recent reinvestment in Buster and I’s sex life took roots with online retailers. And I’m an incredibly anxious person (thanks, autism!) so I don’t often go into actual stores anyway.

But when I noticed Ducky DooLittle was going to be hosting an evening of classes at a local Fairvilla’s (aptly named “Shop With Ducky DooLittle”), I knew I had to go. Woodhull and Sex Down South weren’t feasible for me this year, so I missed out on experiencing a tangible collide between my online work and my offline self. This was a good way to take a baby step in that direction, but also get to meet one of my absolute favorite educators and advocates.

I was freaking out, of course. But it wasn’t the store’s fault.

Hilariously, I couldn’t figure out how the fuck to turn the We-Vibe Nova off. While it rattled away undeterred, I frantically skimmed reviews on my phone in search of instructions after the box proved unhelpful. In hindsight, I doubt anyone noticed or cared I had the Nova running for more than a cursory minute, but at the time it was The Worst and Most Embarrassing Thing Ever.

Buster eventually figured it out (a firm press to the center button, as opposed to holding down the plus or minus button like every other toy I’ve ever used) and we giggled in embarrassment as we slunk off to (quietly) talk shit about some toys I have snobby feelings about. Because bullying toy designs under my breath is a guaranteed anxiety soother.

Out of nowhere, a fella stepped over and enthusiastically said, “I know you!”

Now, I don’t work. It took me a good portion of my twenties to realize I’m too autistic for that shit and it was literally killing me. And Buster and I don’t socialize a lot. We have theme park annual passes, and we’ve gone to Pride and comic conventions and a few wrestling shows, but we don’t, like,meetpeople. I know maybe ten people in the state of Florida, and I’m related by blood to half of them.

I almost jumped out of my skin. My brain filled with panic static, so I don’t even remember how the next part of the conversation went, except that we established that the connection was being Twitter mutuals. (As someone with partial prosopagnosia, I am blown away by anyone recognizing someone from less than five selfies, pink hair or not.)

This friendly stranger turned out to be Marco, the artist behindUberrime Handmade Dildos. I had actually been wanting to meet him, so after my initial surprise wore off, the three of us eagerly launched into a conversation that pinballed from topic to topic with only the occasional awkwardness on my part. I was practically socializing like a human!

It was really interesting to hear more about the creative process and working with silicone, which Marco described with patience. His descriptions were easy to understand, but they might have instilled false confidence in me, because now I’m kinda obsessed with the idea of really digging into the craft and making my own dildos one day. (One fixation at a time, Bets. Find your chill.)

We actually hung out for the rest of the event, which was cool! Additionally, Marco floated the idea of my acquiring a few of his works of art, so expect some reviews in the near-ish future…

I’m paraphrasing here, but in the introduction of Ducky’s first class, she asked the crowd, “What do you need to know about your fallopian tubes?” There was Body Jewellery . I wracked my brain for factoids and came up with nothing. “You don’t need to know anything about your fucking fallopian tubes,” she answered herself, and the gathered patrons laughed. This was not a clinical reenactment of the abysmal sex education we got in high school (if there was any to be had at all.)

Ducky taught three classes in total: pleasure and clitoral stimulation, g/p-spot stimulation with a detour on pelvic floor muscles, and pleasuring penises. She was incredibly personable, using stories from her own life to both give context for her lessons and make her classes feel more like intimate chats than lectures. The occasional enthusiastic use of “fuck” further served to lighten the mood, and in combination with her use of gender-inclusive language, Ducky provided both educationanda welcoming atmosphere to absorb the provided knowledge.

To be honest, sitting here writing this I’mstillin awe. Ducky’s sentiments were all so affirming. She said sex is a feeling not an act, but I think learning is a feeling too, and I came away feeling nurtured and affirmed.

This was the first time in my adult life that I participated in sex education outside of the internet, and Ducky made it feel as natural and engaging as one of those wine and painting classes I’m always trying to talk Buster into. Fairvilla’s chill layout certainly helped with the class vibe, but I have a feeling Ducky could have taught us about dicks on a public bus and it would have been just as relaxed.

The illustrations Ducky used in her classes (which she altered herself) were so much more intuitive than any I’ve seen before. In particular, I loved an outline of the vagina from the side with two fingers tucked in towards the g-spot – I don’t think I’ve ever actually seen a visual aid that used a sex act to model proportions, but it clicked perfectly. Ducky’s subsequent describing of the g-spot included information Buster and I hadn’t really grasped before, and we’ve been having sex for a looong time.

Her presentation on the penis was equally enlightening, detailing the additional internal portion penis, which I’ve gotta be honest and say I’d only recently heard of as part of my research into muffing. And while cock rings are old hat tome, there were several people in attendance who viscerally reacted to Ducky’s introduction with open wonder, and seeing their delighted revelation was so much fun. I take my new knowledge for granted too often; this time last year, I didn’t know even a fraction of what I do now. It was a nice reminder to remember and combat the obscurity of pleasure products in our culture.

Like her livestreamedBlush Universitylessons for retailers, Ducky used some of Blush’s products to explain the use of toys to seek out the pleasure possibilities she was describing. It’s a clever way to tie her teaching in with her employer, and Blush Novelties’ toys are both affordable and generally of excellent quality. But she also didn’t center on them, and instead let their inclusion come organically – which to be honest, is more effective advertisement than hamfisting it. I went home and finally ordered thenipple/clit pumpI’ve been eyeing on SheVibe. Happy birthday to me!

Being a touch-adverse autistic mess of anxiety, I am not usually a hugger. But I was very happy to hug Ducky. She joins a very short list (which is basically just Buster andGail Simone.)

Hilariously, I was so nervous during the short conversation after, I searched for something to redirect my chatter towards so I wouldn’t make a fool of myself – and settled on the Noje Mini Wand on Ducky’s table. I began loudly praising it, which was super fool-like to be honest. I’m a mess!

It was great to not only learn, but to witness other people learning too. There were so many animated reactions from the other patrons, it was impossible not to take notice. It was a weirdly healing experience. I grew up with not just sex shame but sexterror, and while I did my best to kick its ass as an especially adventurous teenager, some of that internalized bullshit remains. To not only listen to these conversations but to see their positive impact on others reaffirmed my commitment to education and inspiration – both for myself and for folks like me.

From a blogging standpoint, it was a great baby step into merging my work with my offline self. After classes concluded, I even got to chat with Angelique Luna and John Luna fromLiving a Sex Positive Life, as well as BDSM educatorIgnixia. It was fun to meet people with shared interest in sex/kink positivity, education, and pleasure products. Vibrators for CouplesI’m definitely looking forward to networking and socializing at whatever events I attend next year (hopefully both Sex Down South and Woodhull) and continuing to learn from the smartest and most passionate people in this industry.

This journey has just begun.

bettybutch

This blog is host to reviews, personal essays, sex guides, and the occasional erotica.

I write about things like body safe sex toys, kink, queer and trans experiences, sex on the autism spectrum, fat self-love, porn of various mediums, and mental health.

Email address:

Queer Sex Diaries: A Taste of Submission

This is the first installment of Queer Sex Diaries, a series in which I recount recent sexual escapades with my partner Buster. We both consent to be eroticized by readers in this specific space, so feel free to leave a comment to let me know […]

Getting Married While Being Fat

This month, Buster and I are celebrating our first wedding anniversary. We’ve been together over ten years, but queers have only been able to get married ‘round these parts since mid-2015 and we were too poor to hop right to it when the Supreme Court […]

Surviving Still Hurts

(Trigger Warning: briefly graphic discussion of rape and suicidal ideation, mild mentions of self-harm.) I have insomnia in the summertime. It started towards the end of my teen years, when I began to process the abuse I’d endured at the hands of one of my […]