The Moaning Yoni was a show I was prepared to hate. While I’m all about demystifying women’s bodies, health, and sexuality in fiction and non-fiction, I find the idea of a show devoted entirely to a single body part repugnant. I was however, pleasantly surprised when I finally got to see it.

The show is the brainchild of Joylyn Secunda, an actor, dancer, and singer from Vancouver, who created the piece out of a desire to create a solo show that expressed something personal.

“At the time I had just came out as asexual and was thinking a lot about how I fit into society as an ace, female-bodied person. I began to explore different characters and developed the show through a lot of experimentation and play.”

The show follows the heroine Zoë through a journey of self-discovery during a “Yoni Healing Circle”, a sort of yoga class devoted to honoring and nourishing “sacred feminine organs”.

Secunda, clad in red harem pants and a matching long-sleeved crop top, plays almost all the characters in the play, including Crystal, the class instructor, Zoe – the show’s protagonist, Zoe’s “Yoni”, Zoë’s promiscuous college friends, and the men she’s dated. The only character she doesn’t play is a male voiceover done by voiceover performer Adam Bergquist, who clearly represents the condescending patriarchal voice of ‘reason’.

At the beginning of the class, the Crystal hands the students a magic elixir and asks them to apply a small amount to their vulvas. The effect causes Zoe’s yoni to talk, resulting in the first pleasant surprise of the show.

The Yoni in question is portrayed by Secunda as a Yenta: a shrill, nagging, opinionated old Jewish lady. I grew up with women like this, so while I appreciated the portrayal and found it hilarious, those unfamiliar with Jewish culture and Yiddish expressions might not understand all the words expressed by the Yoni in her anguish and irritation with Zoë.

The struggle between Zoë and her Yoni was fun to watch, as it even included a dance with a giant tampon.

The show is unfortunately not without its flaws. Secunda sings a few songs in the show that go on far too long without contributing to the story. The ice cream song about sex with frat boys and the multilingual song praising mother earth were repetitive and could easily have been cut in half without sacrificing the play’s message of self-love.

Where The Moaning Yoni really shines, however, is in its merciless attack on all the things a woman navigating her health and sexuality has to deal with. Everything from sexual assault, to online dating, peer pressure, to bad kissers, to toxic masculinity, to oral sex, to snake oil peddlers selling dangerous vaginal insertion devices – the latter clearly a dig at Gwyneth Paltrow and Goop, to pubic grooming is mercilessly lampooned by Secunda during the show.

There are parts of the show that are triggering so sexual assault survivors might be a little uncomfortable, but it’s still worth watching. Secunda is incredibly talented, with her supremely expressive face and body carrying much of show. If Jim Carrey is the male rubberface, Secunda might just be the female equivalent.

Secunda hopes that audiences walk away thinking about the nuances of their own genders and sexuality and the affect it has on their relationships. Some men might have reservations about seeing the show as she pulls no punches in her descriptions of negative heterosexual male behavior. When I asked her about it, she said the show is as much for men as it is for women. Her message to potential male viewers is that:

“Toxic masculinity hurts men just as much as it hurts women and non-binary people. I hope by watching Zoë’s journey in the play, you might have a better understanding of an experience that is different than your own. It’s a really fun comedy for anyone, no matter your age, gender, sexuality, or culture.”

The Moaning Yoni is a piece with a lot of potential, and if anyone is wondering whether Joylyn Secunda can carry a whole show, the answer is yes. She just needs to do a little trimming.

I love boobs. All sizes, shapes, colors, big nipples, little dime nipples, hairy boobs, round boobs, perky or saggy, squished in a bra, on my face, or naked in the sun, I love boobs.

It is strange to me how a part of the body is so obsessed over as these bags of fun are. They are mother’s milk, sacred life giving pillows, warmth, comfort, safety, and love.

I share my boobs for a living, I promote their loveliness and love the unique breasts I am privileged enough to see on a regular basis. I touch my boobs in my shirt often. I haven’t worn a bra in over a year, and the only one who has ever called me out on my nips showing is my own mother.

Boobs are so hypersexualized and that often times a woman’s “worth” is placed on what her breasts look like. I want to compile every kind of human’s thoughts on their own boobs/chest and how society fetishizes them in general.

It is important to think about how others view their own bodies and strive for things that some of us take for granted- trans woman, women with implants, a non binary human who binds their breasts, and a transman who had top surgery. It must be an incredible feeling to have your body finally match the gender of your soul.

My grandmother had one breast, she was a cancer survivor. She told me the story of how she went in for a routine check up and then that day was under the knife, she was so confused and scared. My grandfather didn’t know how significant this was. It was in the 1980s.

No woman should ever have to feel so scared. I have seen burlesque dancers with one breast proudly swinging their tassel. It means they survived, they are proud of their body no matter what people say.

Dahlia Dubois- Stripper, Artist, Badass…

On being a stripper with natural breasts:

“I feel like it really depends on what area you’re working in and what type of club you’re at. Like if you were working at the Hustler club it would be almost expected that you would have some form of breast augmentation. But as far as my experience here, it’s really a 50-50 crapshoot. I’ve only ever had one customer tell me my breasts were too small and that was as I was giving him a lap dance so clearly I must’ve not been that bad hahahaha Although I feel like I do want to get augmentation done but not to an excessively large level. Because I do feel like that would increase my profits.”



Colleen Dunphy- Writer, Burlesque Dancer , Model…

“I had my breast reduction 11 years ago and I know without a doubt that if I hadn’t done it I’d never be doing the things I do today. I would have never become a half marathon runner, I’d never have done nude modeling and I definitely wouldn’t perform burlesque.

My breasts made me very uncomfortable with my body, and especially the attention I got. I still get some of that now because I am still a DDD, but it’s not like it was before.

Getting the reduction took a huge weight off my shoulders, literately and figuratively. I had some body dysphoria right after my surgery, because it was such a big change so quickly. I lost 4lbs from each side. But eventually I was able to become comfortable in my skin.

I have some mental sensitivity with the scarring when I am first with a new partner, because I had someone have a really negative reaction right after my surgery, but that was the only one. I am actually working on getting the worst ones tattooed over now.

I still have some nerve damage, where it doesn’t feel the same as it does in areas above or below. But I actually have more nipple sensation now than I did before surgery.

I’ve been told I won’t be able to breast feed, and that was something I willingly gave up. Even through everything I’ve never had any regrets about my decision and I know without a doubt I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

I welcome anyone that wants to talk about it, or is interested in having one. I wish I’d had more people to talk to before I had mine. But it was before the major rise of social media and I just didn’t know where to go for that.”

Janna Willoughby-Lohr – Mother, Poet, Rapper.. 

“My view of the world as a woman as it pertains to my body has changed dramatically throughout my life…from a pre-teen girl when I didn’t even have enough boobs to hold my training bra down, just begging the great beyond to gift me with some curves…to a supple 20-something with cleavage for days who could (and did) rock any low-cut top I could find and often found myself admiring my own boobs in the mirror…to a 30-something nursing mother with 34G breasts that are no longer the same as they were, trying desperately to find a bra that actually fits and longing for the days where I could get away with low cut tops.

I used to want to be wanted for my body, before I knew better. Now that I’m a mom, I see how many ways the world blames women for being too sexual…or not being sexual enough…all at the same time.

I am proud to be a woman, and I’m proud of my boobs that have been able to feed my child for almost two years and even though I sacrificed my amazing cleavage to do so, I still love my body. As Baz Luhrmann says, ‘Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Don’t be afraid of it, or what other people think of it. It is the greatest instrument you’ll ever own.”


* This post was submitted by an anonymous 15 year old writer.

This summer, I came down from Canada to California to see my aunt, uncle and cousin for the third year in a row. Over the past three summers, I’ve babysat my cousin both in their house and outside in public.

I get looks from tons of people, just passersby, average people. Although the looks I’ve been getting aren’t average. These are dirty, nasty; terrible looks.

It took me until now to realize what they were for. A teenager walking with a child. People are so quick to assume that it’s mine. That I’m a teenage mom.

This never occurred to me as I had no idea that of the stereo types faced by teenage moms. I looked the topic up on twitter and as I refreshed my newsfeed, I read tons and tons of people talking down on teenage moms. I don’t understand why it’s so wrong but its peoples own opinions, I guess.

I was walking back to their house and I was thinking: what if this baby was really mine, if she wasn’t my cousin, what if she were my daughter? I wondered if the looks would affect me more than they do now.

In fact, at the moment they hardly make me turn my head because not only am I used to it, I also know that they’re for the wrong reason. I’m saying this from the prospective of a teenager with their baby cousin in public; what I’m curious of is what it would be like from the prospective of a teenage parent. I’d assume that it’s painful to know that people are so against what you think is right.


Being the summer of 2013, the gay rights movement is all over the news. The state of California has now made it legal, there are marriages going on and more and more people are supporting people’s personal choices for their sexuality.

If someone were to down talk gay rights or being homosexual in any way, there would be someone there to act back, to tell them they’re wrong. But there’s not really anybody there to stand up for any teenage parent who’s chosen to keep their child.

While having a child is an option or a choice and homosexuals are born that way, having children at a young age can be fate as well.

My point in all this is there’s nobody to stand up for the teenage parents and as wrong as it may sound to you; I support them. It was their choice to accept the life change that they encountered by having a child at a young age and not yours.

People need to stop being judgemental and accept. Things happen. Remember; Live and Let Live.

female gaze

Before we discuss why the lady gaze is not only important, but fundamental in retaliating against the patriarchy, I’d like to introduce you to Globe and Mail columnist Ian Brown, the 58-year old self-proclaimed “girl-watcher” with a penchant for young cyclists in nude hose. Sure, society makes him feel like he should be ashamed for staring at a woman young enough to be his daughter, but he rationalizes it because he just can’t help himself. And why should he? The heterosexual male gaze is magnetically drawn to beautiful young women like bees to honey.

At one point in his article, Brown recalls a conversation with a male friend who is similarly drawn to scoping out the stunners he spots on the street.

“We could stop looking,” Brown points out.

“Would that help anything?” his friend replies.

“That’s not an answer. Could you stop looking?”

“You’d have to pretty much turn out the lights.”

So if we recipients of the stares and leers are to believe what Brown says is true, that men not only can’t but shouldn’t stop looking at women, then why not turn the tables around?

Ok, maybe not him.


Details that catch my attention: curly-haired bed head, worn-in band t-shirts, fitted dark denim that shows just a hint of bulge, sneakers with neon laces, bad boy grins, bubble butts, slightly tattered second-hand jackets, guyliner. I’ve always wanted to go up to a fresh faced lad sporting oversized earphones on the metro, grab his cord and swap personal soundtracks with my own for a stop or two. The romantic in me hopes that we’d be grooving to the same Andrew Bird violin loop which would make us, like, soul mates or something.

But then I look down and notice his shoes don’t match. He’s got on one plain black canvas sneaker and one dark brown leather loafer. Does this mean he’s got his mind on more important things, or that he’s simply too stoned to have more than 5 seconds of short-term memory? I bet he’s the kind of partner who would be too lazy to take the dog for a walk but complain later when scrubbing piss out of the carpet, or the kind who would forget the baby at the park, running off to catch the ice cream truck.

At least there’s another piece of man candy around here somewhere. Aha, that stylish looking ginger with put-together vintage prep look and the perfect accessories is probably gay, but there’s no stealing an envious glance at his outfit, right?

Every man I consult on the subject of the lady gaze says the exact same thing: I’d love it if more women openly checked me out, especially if they’re hot.

That’s right, you think you know what you want until you get it.


It goes without saying that our society is a superficial one preoccupied with physical beauty. This type of environment breeds two different sorts of people: those who are flattered by being scoped out by strangers, and those who are creeped out or even downright disgusted by it. Often, the circumstances of the ogling affect the reaction: how am I feeling about myself today? Am I attracted to the person behind the smoldering gaze? Is the length of look lingering past complimentary and into obsessive territory?

Traditionally, men do more of the looking and women do more of the looking away, though women are catching up. A 2009 survey reported in the Guardian found that men spend almost twice as much time checking out strangers, at 45 minute a day, compared with 20 minutes on average for women. While I can think of countless times I made eye flirtations with a striking stranger, I can also recall as many if not more occasions where the man was pervy and I felt a bit violated. And those were only the ones I caught in the act!

It seems there may even be some scientific basis for this unbalance. Men have about six times as much testosterone coursing their veins as women do, the hormone that is linked to the libido. It may also have an effect on the impulse-control region of the brain, leading to the so-called feeling of not being able to stop yourself from stealing that second glance. I sure hate seeing him go but I do like watching him leave.

In the end, this whole argument leaves me conflicted: I would never want to live in a world where it was considered politically incorrect to look at someone cute for a few seconds longer than the average person, but where do you draw the line? I’d like to think that if men like Ian Brown really knew what it was like to put yourself out there and be evaluated and scrutinized to the extent women are, then they would definitely consider an attitude adjustment in that department. What do you think? Are you a looker?

Picture credits: The Telegraph, The Globe & Mail

Two male friends want to spice things up in the bedroom by wife swapping, and decide to go away for the weekend with their wives. They check into a log cabin and after a nice meal the two couples pair off and head to the bedrooms. After an intense night of wild sex, the two friends meet in the kitchen the next morning.

“That was awesome,” says the first guy. “We must do that again!”
“Yeah,” says the second. “I wonder how the girls got on!”

Breaking news from the scientific community: male bisexuality is no longer a joke! Yes, it does exist, at least according to a team of researchers from Northwestern University.  Really, there are men out there who are turned on by men and women?! I’m more shocked by the fact that they needed a scientific study to prove this. I mean, Freud knew this and wrote about it almost a century ago.

The new study  from the same university refutes their previous findings from six years ago when they declared that “men who identified themselves as bisexual were in fact exclusively aroused by either one sex or the other.”  And in three quarters of the cases from back then, bisexuals were four times more turned on by men, reinforcing the stereotype that bisexual men are actually closeted homosexuals in denial. Naturally, this conclusion outraged bisexuals of both sexes, since attempting to use science to negate human emotions, particularly sexual arousal, is downright insulting.

For the new study, the research team narrowed the search criteria for participants. They recruited from online venues that catered specifically to bisexuals, and required participants to have had at least two sexual experiences with members of each sex, and to have been in a romantic relationship of at least three months with a person of each sex.

It's not gay when it's in a three-way

To mirror the first study, they subjects watched erotic videos depicting male and female same-sex intimacy. The first time around, it was one or the other that tickled the subject’s fancy. This time, the subjects were aroused by both sets of videos, physically and in subjective reporting. This indicates that there are bisexual men out there who exhibit a distinctive pattern of sexual arousal, one that is mirrored in female bisexuals.

At least this time around, the research team thought to include footage of a man having sex with another man and a woman at the same time… and then patted themselves on the back when the bisexuals were aroused by it.

The major flaw in these types of scientific studies comes in the lack of accurate method of measuring arousal. In these particular studies, the subjects wore genital sensors that monitored their erectile responses. These utterly clinical conditions make me shudder.

Furthermore, there’s more to being turned on than just what’s going on in your genitals. As psychology professor at the University of Utah, Dr. Lisa Diamond observes, “Simply interpreting results about sexual arousal is complicated, because monitoring genital response to erotic images in a laboratory setting cannot replicate an actual human interaction.”


Photo credit- William Duke(


It seems that every month we’re celebrating some cause or raising awareness about another, be it black history, AIDS or gay pride. But arguably the most fun month of them all is the month of May, a time to get acquainted with what gets you off… that’s right, happy National Masturbation Month everybody!

While masturbation has been unable to shake all of the social stigmas that plagued it in the past, at least it’s acknowledged and generally accepted by the majority of mainstream society. After all, it’s an everyday practice for 40% of American males and 22% of females, and for the curious first-timers or those looking to learn new skills, there’s a wealth of resources on the subject, both in print and online.   Personally, I’m quite glad we’ve gotten past the notion that it causes moral defects and results in hairy palms and blindness.

As historian Thomas Laqueur remarked in Solitary Sex: A Culture History Of Masturbation:

“For the first time in history, masturbation was embraced as a mode of liberation, a claim to autonomy, to pleasure for its own sake, an escape from the socially prescribed path toward normal adulthood. It went from being the deviant sexuality of the wrong kind of social order to being the foundational sexuality of new sorts of imagined communities.”

But just under two decades ago, US Surgeon General Dr. Joycelyn Elders was fired for merely suggesting that teaching masturbation in schools could prevent young people from engaging in intercourse or other riskier forms of sexual expression.

This prompted the owners of one of the originators of the woman-owned, sex positive brand of shops, San Francisco’s Good Vibrations, to launch a month-long awareness campaign about the benefits of masturbation, and how it is just another component of a healthy and happy sex life. After all, isn’t it easy for your lover to pleasure you when you know exactly what you like, how you like to be touched and where?   Plus, it’s a safe and fun way to relieve tension and could have other health benefits like reducing the risk prostate cancer in men and cervical infections for women.

To be honest, I was planning on masturbating every day just to celebrate, but I’ve fallen a little behind as of late. I mean, I could try to catch up, but with a full time job and a part time party habit, I can’t really squeeze in missing twelve-or-so sessions let alone one or two.   Maybe if I were Ana Catarian Bezerra, a 36-year old Brazilian woman who is legally allowed to masturbate and watch porn at work.

The woman suffers from a chemical imbalance in her brain that causes a bad case of hyper-sexuality and severe anxiety, best relieved by compulsively getting herself off. At its worst, she would masturbate up to 47 times a day. Now on what was described as a cocktail of tranquilizers, she’s down to a mere 18 times a day.   If we could all be so lucky…

Even with all the information out there, I think it’s as important as ever that we stop and take a moment (or an entire month) to recognize the positive effects of masturbation. Creating a dialogue about the subject helps to further debunk its taboos. This is especially important for women, who historically and culturally speaking have a more complicated relationship with the act of self-love. While you’d be pretty hard pressed to find a man out there who wasn’t intimately familiar with his own penis, women aren’t really as encouraged to explore themselves in such a manner. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that women experience their sexual peak later in life, perhaps it was because I’ve learned a few tricks from my lovers, and perhaps it was the magnificent vibrator I wisely invested in… all I know is, I get better and better at pleasing myself with each passing year.

Here are some fun statistics compiled by Pleated Jeans about masturbation   for you to ponder.   Then, I advise you to get off the computer and get yourself off!

This year, I’ve got a novel idea for all the singles or those swimming in murky, non-committal waters, whose stomach turns a little when they think of spending another Valentine’s Day without a date – try doing yourself for a change. And I’m not talking about dropping a Thundercats reference amongst a group of teenagers only to have them stare back at you blankly.

I mean, treat yourself like every night’s a first (or second, or even third) date. You know how you want your place to look when you’ve got a date coming over – no toast crusts lingering on old plates, no piles of dirty socks heaped beside the bed, no ring crusted in the toilet bowl. Instead of being on your best behaviour just for a date, try doing it for yourself.

Okay, so maybe you already do that, some of us have differing standards when it comes to cleanliness. You can also try taking yourself out for dinner. Can you remember the last time you took the time for yourself to eat a nice meal? Wear a fabulous outfit, bring a book or magazine, and order dessert. A woman eating alone in a restaurant projects a certain degree of mystique that is irresistible to certain men.

I’m sure it goes without saying that the topic of masturbation would eventually arise when exploring the concept of dating yourself. Ladies, as if you need an excuse to invest in a new pleasure object, but why not treat yourself to a sex toy this Valentine’s Day?

For some who are entering into this foray for the first time, it can be an intimidating or daunting task. In a perfect world, you could enter into the ultimate pleasure dome and try all the toys for yourself before picking the one that tickles your fancy the best, but we can’t always get what we want.

One solution is to head to your friendly neighbourhood sex shop for some advice. In this case, try the video series by Phuong from Joy Toyz entitled, a practical guide to sex toys 101. With her first instalment, she sets the dildo vs. vibrator debate straight, with future instalments to come on choosing the best vibrator, toy care, prostate stimulation and more. Go register for the video series now.

It has often been said that it’s when you stop looking for love that it’ll find you. Here’s an idea I recently heard from a friend that can help with that process. Make a list of 3-5 qualities you’re looking for in a partner. Maybe you’re looking for someone caring and compassionate, someone independent and feisty, or someone courageous and witty.

Instead of hopelessly searching for someone that matches your description, work on developing those qualities within yourself. I know it sounds almost childishly simple, but by instilling yourself with the qualities you’re looking for in a partner, you’ll naturally attract people with those same qualities.

Finally, Valentine’s Day focuses so much on romantic love, particularly of the heterosexual variety. From what I’ve gathered from this year’s crop of cliché-ridden articles and TV shows, women want to receive roses and heart-shaped boxes of chocolates from men. Couples out there, you could do so much better than that.

If your girlfriend is the kind of girl who goes giddy for flowers, this would be a good opportunity to show that off. And it goes both ways too. I once bought a boy a flower for Valentine’s Day and impressed the pants right off him. At any rate, I hope you know your partner well enough by this point that finding a little heart-tickling gift that makes them feel special shouldn’t be that hard. Go beyond the ordinary this year, and the rewards could be extraordinary!

And why should we only celebrate romantic love on Valentine’s Day? Take it as an opportunity to reflect on all the love in your life. I have an amazing family and many wonderful friends that I love very dearly, so why not relish the opportunity to tell them. I think I saw cartoon-branded Valentines at the Dollarama!

Photo 1 courtesy of the wonderfully talented artist Lee Price –

Photo 2 courtesy of

Photo 3 courtesy of

On Saturday afternoon, I headed down to Place Bonaventure for the Everything to do with Sex convention much like a virgin rolling in the sheets for that first time- how big will it be? Will it live up to my expectations?? Five hours later, I was tied to a bamboo ladder while my lover ravaged me with my newly acquired ‘pleasure object’, Ina.

And how was your weekend??

While the Everything to do with Sex convention did live up to most of my expectations, perhaps my expectations were set a tad high. Seriously though, I think the French title for this event captures its overall spirit much more closely “Salon de l’Amour et de la Seduction”. In anticipation of far-out technological advances or a glimpse into the perviest corners of the minds of pornographers, I filled the aforementioned bingo cards with the scandalous and the ridiculous. Think Star Wars sex toys, pube stencil, and granny-tranny porn.

There were quite a few booths that weren’t even directly connected with sex, but rather the game of seduction and the allure of arousal, including teeth whitening, oysters, and that bottomless whisk head massager thingy that’s apparently called an “orgasmatron”.

I discovered that neon paper and sexually explicit text go a long way to catch people’s attention. We thought, why should we be alone in our scavenger hunt, and handed out copies of the cards so other people could play along. Best reaction “this is genius!”

Both local and visiting vendors displayed a wide array of stimulation products. On the (in retrospect, very sage) advice of the lovely representative from, I invested in what she deemed “the Prada of vibrators” from the Swedish company Lelo and a *cough* little glassware from Dreamtoys Glassworks line. A full review of these products to cum in a few weeks time, oh patient readers…

Local shops Joy Toyz and Priape were well represented Joy Toyz gave excellent demos and information courtesy of the fabulous staff and Ms. Velma Candyass. Velma is giving a striptease burlesque class starting Wednesday Jan 26th. To sign up, please visit their website. And Priape offered up a wide array of toys and leather not to mention the largest faux cock I’ve ever had the pleasure of feasting my eyes upon.

While nothing I saw really surprised me, I did experience one shock, or rather a series of small ones, courtesy of a device known as a violet wand. In this case, it was orange, but in any case, the holder of said wand is able to deliver tiny, tantalizing electric shocks to anywhere they so desire on their partner. I know what I’ll be asking Santa for next Christmas!

All in all, it was a highly informative and entertaining afternoon outing. And in case you’re keeping score, the ones I did manage to tick off my JIZZ card were Ben-Wa balls, hot pink ball gag, Kama Sutra and hand-blown glass dildo, though I accepted Pyrex…

Photos By: Chris Zacchia