Introducing: Kristen Stubbs, Ph.D. and The Toymaker Project

Ok, first off I just have to say that getting to know Kristen Stubbs is a pretty awesome thing.  She’s a Ph.D. in Robotics, writes about her exploits in technology/sexuality, is a toy maker, runs a local-to-Boston toymaker’s meet-up group, and is all around just pretty rad.  And, not going to lie, I LOVE the fact that she’s not a cis-gender male rocking all of these things in the world (much love to those wonderful creatures as well, but variety is really nice).  Her POV on a lot of what she writes encompasses experiences I’ve also has as a Sex Geek of the non-male persuasion.  To her, to more women in the Sex Geekplace, and to keeping adult delight alive!

Ponygasm is a comic by Kaylie McDougal, that Kristen Stubbs loves

Ponygasm is a comic by Kaylie McDougal, that Kristen Stubbs loves

This Wednesday I am introducing Kristen by sending you all along to her blogspot: The Toymaker Project.  Like this blog she jumps from idea to idea as she sees fit, and her voice is a refreshing one to read.  Below I’ve posted (with her permission, some updates, and a spanking new intro), her blog post from June of this year: In Defense of Ponygasm.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

To Breath and Being,
~ Karin

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In Defense Of PonyGasm

Hi! I’m Kristen, a roboticist and maker who’s also a sex-positive activist and entrepreneur, and I’m thrilled to have a piece of my writing featured on ABCsOfKink. Below you’ll find the story of how I discovered PonyGasm, an erotic comic which began as a crowdfunding project mocked on Tumblr and then taken down by IndieGoGo. Thanks to Karin for giving me this opportunity for promoting sex-positivity and having a sense of humor about sex. 🙂

I’m happy to report that the comic’s author, Kaylie McDougal, told me that after all of the initial PonyGasm-bashing she was thinking of giving up writing erotic comics — but after seeing this review she plans to stick with it! I’m definitely looking forward to her next piece.

TLDR:
Downloading a project that supposedly sucked: $5.
Fisting1 yourself for the first time: Priceless.

Since I’m launching my own sex/kink-positive crowdfunding site Passionate Produce, I’ve been doing research on other crowdfunding sites and trying to understand what works and what doesn’t.  I thought a Google search on “kickstarter sucks” would be one way to gauge what people don’t like about Kickstarter, which led me to yourkickstartersucks.tumblr.com.

I’ll agree that a lot of the projects they feature do pretty much suck — they’re poorly planned, or they’re poorly described, or they appear to be scams. That said, a listing for a project called PonyGasm caught my attention.

Ponygasm: An Erotic Comic by Kaylie McDougal

From the artist: “PonyGasm is a trippy, tongue-in-cheek, sex-positive, lady-friendly erotic comic that’s based on a weird dream i had involving giant, anthropomorphic toy pony lovin’ in a public restroom. strange i know, but trust me, it’s good porn!”

Reactions from tumblr readers were mixed (some finding it hilarious, some hoping she would be reported for violating IndieGoGo’s Terms of Service.)

I couldn’t look at the original IndieGoGo page because the link was broken (unsurprisingly, it had been taken down for a Terms of Service violation). I was able to find artist Kaylie McDougal’s deviantArt page and was excited to see the high quality of the art on the sample comic pages she posted. That convinced me to go ahead and buy the story.

The resulting experience? Suffice it to say that while reading PonyGasm, I inserted all five fingers of one hand inside my vagina for the first time. If that’s not a glowing review, I don’t know what is.

Why PonyGasm Is Hot

  • The comic is unabashedly sex-positive. The protagonist has a fun, consensual encounter with a giant vinyl toy pony.
  • The protagonist’s body is realistic. She’s not just a stick with boobs. She has broad hips and fat on her body in the same ways that actual people do.
  • It’s funny! (In case you missed the “giant vinyl toy pony” part.) This comic has a sense of humor, and the artist doesn’t take sex too seriously.
  • There is well-drawn, hot sex.2

PonyGasm reminds me of Phil Foglio’s XXXenophile, which is my all-time favorite erotic comic/graphic novel. Like in XXXenophile, we have a story of happy individuals having fun together, which is just awesome.

How did PonyGasm end up on yourkickstartersucks?

While I think it’s a kind of sad that someone decided to pick on PonyGasm, I’m not surprised.   I can’t comment on how well the original PonyGasm fundraising campaign was designed because the page was taken down–but my guess is that it wasn’t up on yourkickstartersucks because of poor project design.  PonyGasm pushes against a number of cultural norms:

  • PonyGasm is funny, and it doesn’t take sex (or itself) too seriously.
  • PonyGasm is explicitly “lady-friendly,” which is not how I would describe a lot of mainstream porn.
  • PonyGasm involves a horse.  (For those of us who believe good experiences start with enthusiastic consent from everyone involved, a cartoon toy pony who can clearly articulate his preferences is not particularly problematic.)

If you tell me, “I’m not really into absurdist erotic comics” or even “Vinyl toy pony sex squicks me out,” I respect that.  Everyone has different tastes when it comes to pleasure.3

I’d say the folks who dismissed this project out-of-hand missed out on a really fun piece of erotica. IndieGoGo certainly missed out.  PonyGasm reminds me of why it’s so important for my own crowdfunding startup, Passionate Produce, to succeed.  If Ms. McDougal would ever like to crowdfund a new erotic comic, I’d be honored to feature her work on Passionate Produce.

In the meantime, go buy your own copy of PonyGasm! I can’t make any guarantees about how many fingers you will be able to insert into your own orifice(s) as a result of reading this comic–but if you enjoy PonyGasm even half as much as I did, you’re in for a treat.

Update, 6/26/13 10:34pm: Broken links to the etsy store fixed. My bad!

End Notes

  1. Wikipedia has a pretty decent description if you’re not familiar with the term “fisting.”  There’s actually some debate as to how far inside the fingers/hand have to be inserted in order for something to “count” as fisting, which I don’t particularly care to go into here.
  2. In the interest of full disclosure, I have to say that almost anything even vaguely related to sex turns me on.  (I have a few definite turn-offs, and then there are some things that are “meh.”)  Some of the things that have aroused me include:
    • Watching animals mate in nature documentaries.
    • Riding on bumpy roads during family vacations (which is awkward).
    • Watching BDSM porn before I knew BDSM could be consensual (which freaked me out, and turned me on, and then freaked me out because I was getting turned on).
    • Low-quality pornography (because in the end, all my brain cares about is OMG THERE ARE PEOPLE FUCKING).

    Sometimes this is frustrating or confusing — but then there are days like this one where it means I get to discover something Really Cool. 

  3. Within BDSM online communities, this is sometimes phrased as YKINMK, “Your Kink Is Not My Kink”. 

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If you enjoyed this review, go check out more of Kristen’s true sex stories and other endeavors at The Toymaker Project. You can also find her and her startup, PassionateProduce.com, on Twitter as @vortacist and @PassionProduce, respectively. If you’re in the greater Boston area, She leads a meetup group for sex/kink-positive makers called teasecraft, and would love to see you there.  Thanks for reading!

If you like my blog, please check out my Patreon Page and consider supporting me, or just click here: Support the Artist

~Thank you.

Questions, curiosities, or just wanna know more? Email: Karin@ABCsOfKink.com

or fill out this anonymous form:

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