Sex blogger of the month

Sex Blogger of the Month: Sarah Brynn Holliday of Formidable Femme

Published: NOVEMBER 3, 2016 | Updated: FEBRUARY 2, 2022
This blogger bills herself as a queer femme lady and feminist activist. Her blog delivers a unique combination of feisty personal essays and sex toy reviews.

Each and every month, we highlight a new sex blogger on This month, we've given the space to Sarah Brynn Holliday of Formidable Femme. This blogger bills herself as a queer femme lady and feminist activist, and her blog provides a unique combination of feisty personal essays and sex toy reviews. We hope you'll check it out! Here are Formidable Femme's answers to Kinkly's 10 questions.


Kinkly: Give us three words that describe your blog.

Formidable Femme: Bold, feminist and justice-focused.

Kinkly: What inspired you to start the blog?


FF: My undergraduate senior thesis in college, actually! I was writing about how to craft a revolutionary model of sex education in the United States and found sex bloggers through my research. A big chunk of my thesis focused on non-traditional methods of pleasure-based sex education, and sex blogs and other online resources like Scarleteen took center stage in my vision for radical sex education. (You can find part of that thesis here!) I loved the blogs I read so much that I decided to start my own.

Kinkly: What’s behind the name?

FF: After I decided to create my blog, I sat down for what I thought was going to be a lengthy brainstorming session to figure out what my name would be. I wanted my name to describe who I am at my core. My femme identity is central to who I am, so I started thinking of alliterative adjectives to go with “femme”, and “formidable” flew right to the top of the list! I am a powerful, queer, femme woman, and Formidable Femme instantly felt like a perfect fit.


Kinkly: Who’s your target reader?

FF: Anyone who is interested in reading about how sexuality intersects with queerness, feminism, trauma, and depression. This is how I describe my writing, and it encapsulates everything on my blog. If you’re interested in reading about why companies should adopt a feminist business model, why advocating for body-safe sex toys is social justice, why trauma survivors absolutely deserve to be centered in sex education spaces, and/or why gendered sex toys need to go, then Formidable Femme is for you!

People looking for certain sex toy recommendations are also part of my target audience. Even though I’ve moved away from reviewing sex toys for the most part, I do keep up with my #WandQueen series, where I’ve been reviewing one wand vibrator per month since March 2016. I love wands and would sing their praises from every rooftop if given the chance. Wands helped me figure out what kind of stimulation works for me, which revolutionized the way I experience pleasure and understand my body. I hope to help my readers find the perfect wand for them, too.


Kinkly: What’s unique about your blog?

FF: I center feminism and social justice in everything I write. I like to say that my brand is “aggressive feminism”, and I aim to disrupt oppressive power structures in all of my work. I want my readers to know that I will advocate for them and fight for a world where we all have a seat at the sexual freedom table. (I also want to recognize that lots of other bloggers are feminist activists! That just happens to be the main focus of my work.)

I’m also known in the blogging world for my #SpookyFemme aesthetic. I wear all black clothing and dark lipstick everyday, and I let my femme queerness take center stage. My aesthetic is empowering, severe, bold and badass, and I would be remiss if I left it out of this interview!


Kinkly: What is the topic you find yourself covering most often and why?

FF: Ethical, equitable, feminist business practice within the sex toy industry. Frankly, I cover this topic so often because there are issues everywhere: from LELO hiring known abuser Charlie Sheen to online shops using fat discrimination as a marketing “tactic” to sex toy categories divided by sexual orientation and gender on retailers’ websites. Many companies claim to be feminist and progressive, but there needs to be action to back up those labels.

I push businesses to be better because I care about this industry. Ideally, everyone involved in this industry has a deep investment in sexual freedom. Advocating for pleasure and normalizing sex toys is sexual freedom work - and with that work comes great responsibility. Like feminism, sexual freedom work must be intersectional, or else it’s not really sexual freedom: it is imperative for companies to center marginalized people in their work, but too often they end up replicating structural inequities instead. I believe this industry can do better - we all deserve to be represented when it comes to our own pleasure.


Kinkly: What was your most popular post ever? Why do you think it drew so many readers?

FF: My most popular post is “I’m a Survivor, and I Will Never Support LELO Again”, which I wrote as a response to LELO announcing Charlie Sheen, an abuser, as their new condom spokesperson. I think this essay drew so many readers for the same reason that it was so monumental for me: it marked a shift in my writing. For the first time, I boldly and unapologetically called out a company that had harmed me and countless other consumers. This was also the first time I wrote explicitly about my history of trauma and my experience as a survivor. Survivors are too often an afterthought, even in “progressive” sexuality-focused spaces, and I wanted fellow survivors to know I will always fight for them and fight back against companies who push us to the shadows.

Now, I almost exclusively write personal essays, which are focused on how sexuality intersects with feminism, queerness, depression and trauma. I continue to call out companies when needed, and advocate for the sex toy industry to adopt more ethical, equitable practices. I still love sex toys and do write the occasional review, but the work I’m doing now feels like home.

Kinkly: What’s the best thing about writing a sex blog?

FF: The best thing about being a sex blogger is the loving, supportive and beautiful community I’ve found myself in. I find it hard to put into words just what the Blogsquad means to me: my friendships with fellow bloggers are some of the deepest and most meaningful friendships I have ever had. Going to Woodhull’s Sexual Freedom Summit this August and meeting everyone in person for the first time was an incredible experience I’ll never forget. I felt like I was with family - and I was. With the BlogSquad, I feel like I’m part of something bigger than me, something bigger than all of us - we are mighty, and we are making change in this industry.

Kinkly: What’s the worst thing about it?

FF: Right now, the worst thing about being a sex blogger is not being able to do this work full-time. (And I say right now because I would love for that to change in the future!) Juggling Formidable Femme, my full-time job, and my extracurricular activities like choir and organizations I serve on the boards of can get pretty difficult at times. I deeply dislike having to hide my blog from some areas of my life - while a lot of folks in my close inner circle know that I’m a sex blogger, I’m not fully out because I do need to carefully balance so many parts of my life. I would love to live in a world where talking about sex isn’t shameful or stigmatized.

Kinkly: OK, now for the good stuff: Give us your best tip for great sex.

FF: This may be a cliche answer, but it can’t be said enough: communication, especially asking for what you want and knowing that it is OK to say no to something if you don’t like doing it. This may seem like common sense - of course it’s OK to say no to what we don't like - but women and femmes are taught that it’s not OK to ask for what we want and it’s not OK to say no to things that are expected of us.

Spending time figuring out what I actually desire rather than what patriarchy tells me I should desire was transformative for me, and my sex life improved exponentially when I realized I didn’t have to do something just because it was expected of me. I’d highly recommend working through some desire mapping and yes/no/maybe lists for anyone who also struggles with this!

Kinkly Staff

Sex is a bit like a secret society; everyone's doing it, it's just that no one talks about it. Kinkly's mission is to start that conversation, answer your questions and help you discover new and exciting things about sex, love and your body. We guarantee it'll be illuminating, enlightening, fun ... and a little kinky. And that's OK with us.No innuendos, no judgments and no apologies, just fearless, straight-up talk about sex.

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