Miranda Does Los Angeles

Y’all know all about my penchant for porn shops, so when I went to Los Angeles to visit my high school BFF we went sex toy shopping. We did other stuff too – great restaurants, Venice Beach, the Burbank farmers market, non-sex shopping in The Grove – but sex toy shopping was high on our must-list. After all, this friend and I bought each other black lace garter belts for our eighteenth birthdays. We felt so wicked!

I consulted Eden Bradley, another LA native/erotic romance author/BDSM practitioner/helpful person to see where we should go to get the most bang for our time. Here’s what she said: “I have two recommendations. First is The Pleasure Chest in West Hollywood. Amazing selection, especially if you want to see the kink supplies, but also an excellent selection of vibrators, lube, etc. The second is the Hustler store in Hollywood, where I’ve done a lot of In the Flesh readings. They also have a nice li’l cafe with yummy baked goodies and a really nice book selection. Both places are clean, have nice folks working there. Oh-and the Hustler store has an awesome selection of stripper shoes. :)”

Sounded good to me.

I love to go to sex shops with people who don’t usually frequent them. I’m afraid I’ve reached a point where I’ve tried a bunch of things and haves drawers full of inventive accoutrements. I don’t really NEED another vibrator when my favorite works so well. (Although I was rather smitten with a bumpy on one end, swirly on the other glass dildo…) But I can say to a friend, “Oh, I love this! Try this! Ever used one of these before?” Shop with me if you don’t want to go home empty handed! I am shameless about soliciting opinions from salespeople too. I’ve made more than one impulse purchase because it came highly recommended by a sex shop girl. In fact, the Come Again series was born in a sex shop in Toronto. My BFF walked out of The Pleasure Chest with the biggest bag they had. She let me hold it for this photo.

For the girls and the girls and the boys and the boys!

I will admit I bought a toy simply because it was called “Bottoms Up” and it looked well-made. I also couldn’t resist the sweetest-looking pink thong whip, although I have since discovered it isn’t as sweet as it looks…

My friend got the Lelo Ina vibrator, which is why they gave her the big bag. Worth every penny, she says. Reviewed in O Magazine, even. She sure can pick ’em! Her bag was crammed full of other stuff, too. I made her buy a single-use, sure to be a winner cock ring in honor of SoloPlay. She also bought a lube called Sliquid. She’s got sensitive parts, so if you do too, this might be the lube for you! It’s organic!

Another favorite moment from the trip – my henna tattoo. I covet tattoos, although I don’t have one myself yet. I’m old enough not to regret it, so it’s only a matter of time. What to get? Where to put it? When I know, I’m totally getting ink.

And a tan!

It was a marvelous trip – with unique souvenirs. My husband was really happy to see me, and my friend’s husband thinks I am a very good influence. I bet both of them will be willing to let us swan off to a swanky hotel for a weekend again in the future…

Almost the entire length of the continental US separates me from this friend of my heart. We met when we were fifteen, more than half our lives ago. She has been through every heartbreak with me. She was my first reader, the first one to believe I would publish my stories. We’ve stayed close despite the distance, the children, the husbands and our other great friends. I cried on the Flyaway bus to the airport. Before this visit, the last time I stood in her house was a decade ago. It won’t be another decade before we get the chance to spend unhurried time together. Life is too short. We will find time, make money, prioritize. Taking time away from my everyday reality brought things into focus for me and I want to keep that clarity now that I’m back home. So far, so good…

How about you? Is there something big that you are denying yourself that will bring clarity, value or positivity to your life? A trip with a friend, like me? Another degree? A job change? A baby? Can you make it happen? How?

Porn Shop Girls Need Love Too

Sparkle! Bling!

Sparkle! Bling!

I love being a grown up! Why do I love being mature this week? Because I visited my favorite porn shop. There was a time (lo, so many years ago) that I would skulk in the door, return the salesgirl’s greeting with a mumble, be too embarrassed to give the vibrators anything but a cursory inspection, not try on any lingerie, and maybe even leave without buying something.

That was NOT what happened this week! (Or the last time I took a friend corset shopping. Or the time before that I took another friend on a sex toy shopping spree…)

This time I swanned in the door with my frequent flyer punch card in hand. I gave the salesgirl a big smile and a greeting. Then I headed into the lingerie room to find something sexy and sparkly to wear to a party. I wasn’t exactly sure what I was looking for, but I figured I’d know it when I saw it. I did.

I also wanted boots. Because they were on sale, people. On sale! As looked for my size, I received several texts from my husband encouraging me to buy a toy, too. Twist my arm, horn dog. Then I perused the hosiery shelves and chatted with the salesgirl about whether I needed black thigh-high fishnet stockings to complete my outfit. She said no – too many horizontal lines. The boots would make a line, the stockings would make a line… you get the picture. She also gave me some other excellent advice: the heels on the boots make good handles.



After accessorizing my sparkly party outfit, I did check out the vibrator section (couldn’t resist), but it was pretty picked over. I asked, “You’re not phasing out the toys are you? That would be tragic.” She said, “Oh, no, we just can’t keep them on the shelves!”

Then (even though I needed one more visit to cash in my frequent flyer card) she gave me a couple bucks off, just for being so nice to her. Porn shop girls need love, too. I bet they get used to getting ignored by folks too embarrassed to own up to liking kinky sex. Clearly, there are a lot of us if the toys are flying off the shelves!

That’s why I made Come Again, the porn shop in my Come Again series, a very welcoming place. The salesgirls give great advice, the atmosphere is inviting and some of the toys are similar to what you can find at my favorite porn shop. I hope my stories make you want to get your kinky groove on, and if that groove starts at YOUR local porn shop – all the better. Don’t forget to say “hi” to the salesperson!

An Homage To My Favorite Sex Toy

Congratulations to Cathy! She made a new “friend” on The Forbidden Bookshelf last week. I can only imagine her delight when her shiny blue vibrating egg appears at her door! I’m sad I forgot to order the batteries (not included) to arrive with it, but I warned her. She’ll have a few days to procure them herself.

For those of you cursing in disappointment, here is the consolation prize. You can buy a friend of your own! And I think you should. In my opinion, every woman should have one of these bad boys. As much as I would love to be a 24/7 sexpot, always juicy and ready to go, I just don’t roll that way. Reading an erotic romance is my favorite way to get in the mood, but unfortunately sometimes even that doesn’t do the trick.

Now, some of you already know my husband is nearly perfect. He cooks, he cleans, and he’s more fun than a barrel of monkeys. In fact, he just whipped up a chicken pesto pasta dish for me, then took off out into the rain to gas up my van. He’s also good-looking enough that his poker girlfriend has him programmed into her cell phone as “Baldwin.” His only flaw is that he’s hot for me every minute of the day, and that’s not really a flaw, is it? I’d be crushed if he wasn’t attracted to me. Crushed! Desolate! But…

What’s a girl to do when her husband really, truly, honestly deserves to get his cock’s heart’s desire, but she’s too tired, distracted or cranky to get in the mood and the book she’s reading isn’t doing it for her? She says, “Honey, I want to have sex with you but I’m going to need a jump start from my friend.”

Buzzzzzzzzzzzzz! Spank bank! Endorphins all around! Happy husband!

Everyone wins.

It’s good to have a friend! And before you ask, I’ll introduce you to my friend but I won’t share my husband. Maybe. 😉