January – porn star breaks down disabled sex stigma
Kenneth Connin, who is quadriplegic, did a porn film with Davey Wavey’s studio Himeros, to major global publicity. “I want able-bodied people to know that just because someone has a disability, that doesn’t mean they no longer have a sex life,” he told Gay Star News.
Meanwhile, we received a testimonial from a former US Marine dealing with HIV and PTSD, who told us, “PULSE has saved my sanity” – feedback like this absolutely makes our job worthwhile.
February – JETT has landed
We launched our first penis toy with Treble and Bass Technology™ – the mega customisable, highly affordable JETT. Reviews were enthusiastic, and The Big Gay Review asked: “Could this be Hot Octopuss’s finest work to date?”
For Valentine’s Day, we published the first of many beautiful guest posts for 2019 on our blog The Edge, this one from Sam Renke about sex and self worth as a disabled woman.
March – another amazing year at Eroticon
No Hot Octopuss review of the year would be complete without a mention of Eroticon, the conference for sex writers that goes from strength to strength. Held in Camden Town, Eroticon 2019 was the usual mix of fascinating talks and opportunities for mingling with the cream of the sex blogger community from the UK and abroad. Get your 2020 ticket now!
April – the hot priest in Fleabag
You know what we’re talking about. And if you don’t, lucky you! Get watching!
May – Hot Octopuss goes non-binary
After nearly a year of consultations with the amazing people at cliniQ, we launched the new version of the Hot Octopuss website, which allows customers to choose a ‘non-binary’ version, free of gendered language. We also launched a new section informing trans and non-binary customers about ways our products might work for them during and after transition, as well as sections for disabled and older customers.
June – medical treatment approved for women with libido issues
It’s not just men’s sexual fulfilment that’s important – and the medical industry acknowledged this when the FDA in the USA approved a new treatment for ‘hypoactive sexual desire disorder’ in women. While not everyone wants to increase their libido (or wants to treat it medically), for women who are distressed by a sudden loss of desire, it’s good that there are options available.
July – Australian Government acknowledges sexual support needs of disabled people
A disabled woman in Australia went to court to prove she had a right to a funded sex therapist to help with her sexual needs. The tribunal found that her use of a specialised sex therapist – the only way she could achieve sexual release – was “good for her mental wellbeing, her emotional wellbeing and her physical wellbeing” and therefore “a reasonable and necessary support”.
August – inspiring work from Joan Price – a sex film *and* a book on sex after grief
Senior sex educator Joan Price has long been a heroine of ours, and this year she not only released an adult sex ed video with certified sex educator and porn star Jessica Drake all about sex in later life, but she published a much-needed book about rediscovering your sexual life after the death of a loved one. We interviewed her about both here.
September – LGBT sex ed becomes mandatory in UK schools
As the Guardian put it: “At last, a generation of schoolchildren will grow up knowing it’s OK to be LGBT.”
October – despite being banned, we #ShowStigmaTheFinger
We had big plans for the launch of DiGiT, our new finger vibe, but sadly the NYC authorities banned our beautiful, bold ad campaign celebrating a diverse group of women dedicated to tackling sex stigmas. But we refused to back down and launched it anyway, to loads of wonderful support from the online sex positive community.
And *then* (yep, it was a big month and we couldn’t miss any of these out of our review of the year) we won the Most Progressive Company gong at the EAN Erotix Awards!
November – some of our fave sex bloggers in the ‘top blogger’ lists
It was excellent to see some of the talented and passionate sex bloggers we love to follow and work with in the annual ‘top sex blogger’ lists from Kinkly and Molly’s Daily Kiss. We don’t want to miss anyone out, so we’re not going to name anyone, but we strongly recommend checking both lists out!
December – review of the year of awesome guest bloggers
One of the things we’re proudest of in 2019 is the diverse range of guest blogs we’ve featured on The Edge. From Kelly Perks-Bevington discussing being a disabled girl on Tinder, to Sam Evans of Jo Divine on why healthcare professionals should tell their patients to use sex toys; from anonymous posts on how a marriage is affected when one partner transitions, and whether a cock ring can be used successfully with a strap on, to posts about sex and depression, pelvic pain and dysorgasmia – we’re honoured so many talented writers have chosen to work with us. And we’re always looking for more. Check out our rates and what we’re looking for here, and make a resolution to pitch us next year.
Happy New Year, and here’s to an excellent 2020!