Another year has come and gone, which means it’s time for the yearly edition of my Favorite Things! For 2016, I decided to split it up into two posts: The first (this one!) will deal with all things sex toy and sexuality. The next will be more of a lifestyle round-up — things I’ve loved this year that aren’t wholly related to sexuality, but that I’m dying to share with you none the less.
Without further ado…
Sponsors of the Year: Sliquid & Holistic Wisdom
Thanks to Sliquid and Holistic Wisdom, I was able to attend this year’s Woodhull Sexual Freedom Summit!
Holistic Wisdom is an online shop with a fantastic, body-safe selection of toys, lubes, and other goodies. One thing I really like about Holistic Wisdom is that they have several informative articles posted about things like toxic sex toys and this super-handy lube guide. They have a special commitment to eco-friendly, cruelty-free products, which is something that more people should consider when purchasing sexy accoutrements. Not sure what to get? What about my Most Used Toy of the Year?
Sliquid, as you may know, is my all-time favorite lube company. I keep no fewer than 4 bottles on the shelf right above my bed. Why 4? I’ve got Sassy, which is a thicker gel and particularly great for days when I’ve taken antihistamines, since they tend to cause more dryness. I’ve got Silk, which is an amazing hybrid, perfect for longer, penetrative sessions. I’ve got Satin, which I actually really love to use as an ultra-light body moisturizer. And finally, Sea, which is perfect for a quickie, since it dries down to nothing and leaves no flaky residue like less high-quality water-based lubes.
Sponsorship is often crucial for bloggers hoping to make it to important events like Woodhull and Eroticon. Between hotel room fees and airfare, the cost can be prohibitive for a lot of folks (myself included). Sponsors can really make or break an event, and I am massively grateful for their help this year.
Manufacturer of the Year: We-Vibe
By far, I feel like We-Vibe had the most amazing year. Their new releases have knocked it out the damn park! Between the incredible, rumbly Rave (pictured); the surprise hit Nova; and the newest iteration of their flagship toy, the We-Vibe Sync… They’ve had a bang-up year. Mostly, I attribute this to two things: Listening to their customers and reviewers, and focusing on a smaller range of products that they really put work into.
If you’re looking at getting a We-Vibe toy for yourself, check out my reviews of the Rave, Touch, Nova, and Sync. Tango is also supremely popular, as it’s currently the strongest bullet on the market, but it’s not my personal favorite because I’m just not really a bullet kinda gal. Your mileage may vary.
Event of the Year: Woodhull Sexual Freedom Summit (#SFS16)
There’s not a lot to say about this incredible event that I haven’t said already. It was just amazing. Getting a chance to put so many faces and voices to names was fantastic. Seeing folks I hadn’t seen in three years or more was epic. I attended some great talks about everything from podcasting to body image to sex & depression. It was a one-of-a-kind experience and such a wonderful opportunity. If you didn’t make it in 2016, I hope to see you there next year.
Most Used Toy of the Year: L’Amourose PRISM V
This one kind of snuck up on me, because even though it received a great review, I didn’t feel absolutely bowled over by it. But the thing is, the L’Amourose PRISM V is a reliable, well-designed, powerful vibrator. It’s just an amazing staple to have in your kit, frankly. It’s replaced the LELO Mona 2 for me, and I feel better recommending it. First of all, the price tag is a lot lower. Second, the company who makes it is a fantastic example of what a luxury toy company can be, and they have great customer service to boot. Pick one up at SheVibe or Holistic Wisdom.
Most Innovative Design of the Year: TIE — We-Vibe Sync and Mystery Vibe Crescendo
The We-Vibe Sync received a surprisingly glowing solo-use review from me, in part because of the time and attention We-Vibe put into redesigning their flagship vibrator. It’s got 2 hinges to make it customizable for just about any vulva, and the external arm’s vibrations have been amped way up. Get your own at SheVibe, Vibrant, or Lovehoney.
While I haven’t yet reviewed the Mystery Vibe Crescendo, this toy has made serious waves, and opinions vary. I received one about a week ago in the mail and was immediately blown away by just how different it was from any other toy I’ve ever seen. It looks kind of like if a slap bracelet and a stingray had a baby. It’s funky. It has a whopping 8 motors. And its app allows you to customize the experience to an almost overwhelming degree. It is, without a doubt, unique.
Favorite Post of the Year: I Quit the Pill
Not only is it my favorite post of the year, but it’s also one of my favorite big changes that I made this year. In February, I quit my birth control pill and never looked back. Even though things aren’t going quite as smoothly as they did for the first few months, I’m still really happy with my decision. You can read more about my hormone-free birth control journey here.
Best New Media of the Year: The Dildorks podcast
Like much of the rest of the world, my 2016 was full of podcasts. I listen to them while exercising, running errands, driving to Hamburg, and sometimes just sat on the sofa in the evening with my husband like we’re listening to old-timey radio shows. When Bex and Kate decided to launch a podcast of their very own, I was pumped, and my enthusiasm has been well-rewarded with hilarious and informative episodes each week. In their own words, The Dildorks is “dorky discourse on sex, dating, and masturbating.” Check ’em out!
Book of the Year: How A Bad Girl Fell in Love by Girl on the Net
I believe my first published reaction to this book was something like, “I laughed. I cried. I jerked off.” All of that is absolutely true and it’s still the best way to sum up the experience. For those uninitiated, Girl on the Net‘s writing is hilarious and powerful, often giving a voice to topics that “polite society” doesn’t make room for. Bonus: For those of you who met GotN at Woodhull, you’ll be able to hear her excellent voice as you read, adding an extra layer of amazing to this already fantastic piece of cliterature.
Kink of the Year: Dads
It’s been a year, friends. Like, it’s been a year. We all know it. 2016 is a dumpster fire. I can predict absolutely nothing anymore. But at least there are hot dads. And while early on in my dad-lust I thought that it was just me, it turns out that could not be more wrong. People fuckin’ love dads right now. From the mainstream success of the word Daddy to my main man Bob Odenkirk finally getting at least some of the attention that he deserves, dads are having a moment, and I am 1,000 percent here for it1. …which I’m sure you’ve noticed if you follow me on Twitter.
New Experience of the Year: Being Tied Up by Mr. BLK
I already gushed about this in one of my Woodhull posts, but let me reiterate here: It was the coolest thing ever. Mr. BLK (pronounced ‘black’) is half of the duo that run Black Pomegranate, a fantastic blog with a special focus on bondage. He’s an experienced rigger with great consent practices, so I felt like I was in good hands from the get-go. He even inspired me to get some of my own rope — I’m using Twisted Monk and will be writing about it soon!
Well, that about sums it up! Thank you for being here through another year of reviews and rambles. It sure has been a year. What are your Top 2016 moments?
- I still don’t want kids, though. ↩