Archive of ‘Sex & Toys’ category

Sexncare Store Spotlight: My Top Picks

Today, I get to do one of my all-time favorite things: Present a carefully curated list of my top picks from a trusted web shop.

Sexncare has a very pretty interface, and it’s clear that they pride themselves on being an accessible source of quality adult products. In their own words, “Sexncare is a community-based, health-conscious, caring, and responsible online store and educational resource.” This is the kind of shop we need more of, all over the world.

So, if I were to curate a Sexncare collection, what would I include?

  1. Laid D.1 Silicone Dildo: I met the creator of Laid at EroFame recently, and besides being absolutely lovely, she was very focused and very specific about her craft. The D.1 is actually slightly asymmetrical, which she designed specifically to stimulate the G-spot when moved gently from side to side. This kind of care is really touching, in my opinion, and speaks volumes of toy quality.
  2. Key by Jopen Comet G Spot Wand: The lore surrounding Comet isn’t quite as strong as that surrounding the famous Pure Wand, but some say Comet is just as stimulating. I haven’t yet gotten my hands and kegels on this baby, but I’m still confident it belongs on the list.
  3. Vibratex Mystic Wand: If you want power and convenience, Mystic Wand is your toy. It takes 4 AA batteries, so it really packs a punch. The head is made of silicone, so unlike the beloved Hitachi Magic Wand, it’s body-safe. It’s a little on the louder side, but it’s still quieter than a mains-powered (outlet plug-in) massager. Plus, it’s just as good on your sore shoulders as it is on your vulva.
  4. Doc Johnson Mood:Naughty Butt Plug: While I’m not often going to point towards Doc Johnson for quality toys (sorry, guys, you use a lot of porous materials), the Mood:Naughty plugs are solid. They’re inexpensive, made of real silicone, and perfectly shaped. They come in sizes small through large, though in my personal opinion, small is a tad too small. The Mood:Naughty Medium was my first enjoyable plug, and if I hadn’t accidentally set it on fire with a culinary blow torch, I would still use and enjoy it today. (Fact: Don’t flame test with a culinary blow torch. It’s too hot. It’ll melt anything.)
  5. Tantus Ryder: I don’t have a Ryder yet, but I’d like for it to be my butt’s next mission. Plenty of bloggers love and swear by Ryder, which is a medium-sized plug made by Tantus out of their beautiful premium silicone. Ryder doesn’t have the heavily tapered tip that many beginner plugs sport, so it’s likely to be better for the anal intermediate.
  6. Sliquid Organics Silk & Good Clean Love lubricants: Sexncare has an awesome lubricant selection, but these are two of my favorites. Both are 100% body- and Earth-friendly, and both can be use with all toys, condoms, and safe sex barriers. Silk is a hybrid lubricant, probably the highest quality on the market. Good Clean Love is tasteless, odorless, and colorless, and it has a great gel texture that makes toy time a little less messy.

Will you be picking anything up from Sexncare?

Sexncare is one of my blog sponsors, and a curated collection post was part of their sponsorship agreement. The entire post, however, was written by me. There are no affiliate links in this post.

 

Sexy Librarian Blog Tour (Erotica)

October has been a whirlwind so far! I, for one, am already exhausted and ready for it to be Halloween. (Actually, scratch that – Daphne and I don’t have costumes yet.)

Ready to take some time to relax and unwind? Escape, and get sexy?

Imagine a library – a very special one with velvet chairs and fine-grained bookshelves, run by a librarian whose only concern is pleasing her patrons. In fact, this sexy librarian will stop at nothing to service her readers. To fulfill her role, she has lovingly collected a vast and varied set of stories guaranteed to satisfy every lust, literary or otherwise.

The Sexy Librarian’s Big Book of Erotica bursts at the binding with amorous archives and bibliophilic bliss. A veritable dictionary of desires, it includes stories by top eroticists Rachel Kramer Bussel, Janine Ashbless, Tamsin Flowers and Salome Wilde, as well as the sexy librarian herself, Rose Caraway. You’ll be amazed at what she has in circulation, just for you. Pull up to the carrel, baby.

I’m giving away a copy of The Sexy Librarians Big Book of Erotica! Thanks to the fine folks at Cleis Press, who publish some of the best erotica around, one of you will receive your very own copy.

 

 

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Revel Body SOL: There’s a first time for everything.

If you’ve been on the sex toy scene for a while, you’ve probably seen some reviews of the original Revel Body (or one of the few versions they put out in quick succession). A few reviewers really loved it, a few more found it to be so-so, and a handful despise it with the very fiber of their being.

Revel_Body_SOL_sonic_vibrator

The original versions of the Revel Body included warnings not to use their product near loose skin or hair. Which is, you know, basically genitals. I’m happy to report that the SOL includes no such warnings – Revel Body heard the criticisms, and did something about them. I’ve used it on my labia when I’ve had hair, and when I haven’t. No issues whatsoever. It’s always been comfortable to use. (As it damn well should be.)

Opinions on Revel Body products are a bit like the great Velveeta versus Kraft mac ‘n cheese debate: It’s polarizing, and things can get heated. (Velveeta, if you were curious, is the one true macaroni and cheese, but Kraft shapes will do.)

The original Revel Body had a single core, and was described by some as being a bit weak. It was more expensive than the SOL, and came with only one tip included (and several others available as an extra purchase). The tips were difficult to change out as well, and the entire toy was a bit more difficult to disassemble for cleaning. All of that has changed with the SOL.

I never received the original Revel Body, so my opinion of the SOL is coming from a place of relative objectivity. Sure, I’d heard mixed reviews of the original, but everyone deserves another chance.

So, where do I stand?

I really fucking like the Revel Body SOL. I think it is strange and awesome.

The SOL made a good first impression by arriving in some very nice packaging, with a beautiful color scheme. The “pink” is really more of a coral, and would make a lovely lipstick. Instead of pitch black, the orb itself is a dark grey, which somehow makes it look more expensive. It has three soft, convex buttons located on the side of the device: Plus, Power, and Minus, in that order. SOL comes with the orb, the piston, a charger, and three included tips (Rose – slightly rounded, Fawn – looks like a brush, and Ever – looks like a target).

Notably missing is a storage bag. Tsk tsk. Keeping all 6 pieces together is a bit of a mission sans-bag (the bag in the photo is from We-Vibe). I have too many toys to be keeping track of every last odd and end. You can purchase a storage bag for some extra cash, but I would personally prefer to pay an extra $5-10 initially for a little satin bag. It doesn’t have to be fancy.

Fresh out the box, I charged up my SOL, and decided to play around. The first thing you need to know about SOL is that it is a sonic vibrator. Its motor oscillates. Therefore, it produces a different kind of vibration from a traditional vibrating motor. This is also why its speeds are different from a traditional vibrator.

SOL’s piston is unique in that it moves back and forth, creating a thudding motion. Each speed is different, so the feeling goes from gentle tapping, to insistent thudding, to a very fast tap-tap-tap-tap-tap. It produces the vibrating sensation through this movement, and for this reason, feels different from a traditional vibrator. It almost defies the rumbly versus buzzy characterization that we reviewers have been relying on for years. It’s… thuddy.

SOL has 6 speeds: The first is slow and weak, and feels like a gentle tapping. Second is slightly faster and stronger, and third is the most intense, with an insistent thud. Four and five are faster but less intense, more like quick but powerful tapping. And then there’s OM, inspired by the Heart Chakra. Reading the manual, I found myself snickering at OM. “OM? Really? Is my clitoris going to do some sun salutations, too? Should I fix it some chia pudding and get it a little yoga matt?”

…Om feels fantastic. It actually ended up being my second favorite speed (after the 5th speed, inexplicably), and produces some mighty strong, long orgasms. Let this be a lesson not to knock what you’ve not yet tried.

One of SOL’s unique selling points is its performance under water. Unfortunately for me, I do not have a bath tub. I’ve heard that the concave end is designed to create suction underwater, which I’m sure feels great. I just haven’t found out yet. (But I promise to update this review when I do.)

Currently, I have a lot of reviews on my plate. What I tend to do during the review process is set aside one to three evenings a week to test. I frequently test multiple toys in one session so that I can compare them to one another, and I always keep an old favorite nearby in case the newbies can’t get the job done. What I found with the SOL was that I was reaching for it when other toys failed to please. Usually, this only happens with the We-Vibe Touch and Lelo Mona 2. Those are my mainstays. But, I guess I’ve found a third!

My favorite way to use SOL is with the Rose tip, on speed 5 or 6. Months ago, I used to think that I preferred direct clitoral stimulation over labia minora stimulation. I was wrong. There is a time and a place for labia stimulation, and it appears to be with the Revel Body SOL. The orb is the perfect size for me to grip comfortably, and it it covers enough area to really make the most of those vibrations. What I found was that initially, broad vulva stimulation was amazing. Then, as my arousal grew, it was easy to get more pinpoint stimulation clitorally by spreading a bit with my other hand. Also, I’m not sure if I’ve articulated this in past reviews, but I find that by gently bouncing a toy up and down, or tapping it against the clit, I can get more stimulation than by just holding it against me. Tricks of the trade?

Now, we have to address the name. I’m guessing SOL was chosen because it has a nice ring to it when you pronounce the full name as “Revel Body Soul”. But when you capitalize all three letters in sol, you get SOL – Shit Outta Luck. Since I truly do believe this is a quality toy, I don’t think that moniker is doing it any favors. Sol would have been a better choice, in my personal opinion.

The biggest drawback of the SOL is the sound it makes. Modes 4-6 make high-pitched buzzing noises, which could irritate some users. Normally, I’m affected by the sounds toys make. In this case, though, I was easily able to get past it once I felt the sensation it produced. I live alone with my partner, and when I still had a roommate, she knew what I did for a living so she never questioned nor was she phased by vibrator sounds (God, do I miss her). But if you live in shared accommodations or you have thin walls, you might want to cover up with some blankets and put on some music before firing up your SOL.

The Revel Body SOL retails for $139. That’s quite an investment. But it’s also very unique – in order the get the kind of broad stimulation that SOL provides, you usually have to look toward wand-style vibrators, which can be cumbersome. Granted, SOL cannot be used internally, so it’s not as multifaceted as a toy like Mona. But all that being said, I would absolutely recommend the SOL if this kind of stimulation is what you’re looking for. It comes with a 2 year warranty.

Thanks so much, Revel Body, for providing me with a SOL to review!

Jopen L17 Review: High Hopes, Bruised Genitals

I was thrilled when SheVibe said they would send me a high end dual-stimulator vibe. For a long time, the dual-stim market was dominated by jelly Rabbits, and these are still the first toys that a lot of laypersons think of when they hear the term “vibrator.” Made famous by Sex and the City, but sadly more toxic than even Carrie’s relationship with Big.

Luckily, higher end companies have begun to climb aboard the Rabbit train with silicone dual stimulators. JeJoue has FiFi, Lelo has Ina and Soraya, and Jopen has a whole host of options. One of these options comes from their Lust line, a step below the pricier Envys. I chose the L17, which looks sort of like a big thumbs up.

JopenL17

It’s pretty common for me to accidentally choose a toy that is a bit big. My eyes are truly bigger than both my vagina and my anus. Often, I grow into these toys, or I’m surprisingly able to fit them in anyway (as was the case with Neo). Not so for the L17.

Admittedly, the L17 isn’t technically big. The shaft is 1.5″ in diameter at its widest point. I have definitely used toys that thick without problems. It’s the shape that makes the L17 completely, totally unpleasant for me.

The bulge in the shaft is made to stimulate your G-spot. Great idea, really and truly. It’s a classic, and I do believe that size is going to be appreciated by someone. But for me, it caught on my pubic bone, felt like it left a bruise, and caused me to have an anxiety attack. And still, I pressed on. I tried to insert the shaft deep enough so that the clitoral stimulator could reach, but it just was not happening. I could not make contact. I thought maybe it was just because the short, round handle made it a little difficult to maneuver, but even with my partner’s help, it just wasn’t going to work.

For now, I’ll stick to using two toys to get the exact right combination of G-spot and clitoral stimulation. (At least I until I find the dual-stim that’s made for me.) Mona 2 and We-Vibe Touch, Vixen Mustang and Lelo Mia 1.5…

Jopen asserts correctly that the toy is virtually seamless. For once, a company seems to actually know what that means. Yes, there is a very thin seam, but you actually cannot feel it at all, and you have to squint to see it. The charging port is one that’s now familiar to many high-end toy users: You push the charger through a tight silicone hole, and the effectively hole closes up when you pull the charger out. This makes the toy waterproof, which is always appreciated when it comes to cleaning. It has 5 functions, including incremental, patterns, and straight vibration; L17 also has various speeds, for both the clitoral arm and the shaft.

I tried to use the L17 as an external vibe next. But dual-stimulators simply aren’t made to be used that way. I’m fond of the dual-motor construction, and the buttons were easy to press. Technically, I believe it’s a well built toy. I just can’t recommend the design for anyone build like me.

This probably won’t work for you if: You prefer thinner toys, you have an unexposed clitoris, you aren’t used to pressure against your pubic bone, you have a hard time gripping small/rounded handles, or you tend to need a warm-up toy for penetration.

This will probably work for you if: You’ve been looking for a dual-stim that focuses on the G-spot, you enjoy thicker toys, your G-spot is more than 3 inches from your clitoris, your clitoris is exposed, you have a good grip, or you have experience with (and enjoy) equally sized dual-stimulators.

I believe that if the L17 were a bit smaller, I would have really liked it. As it is, it just doesn’t work with my anatomy. You can purchase the Lust by Jopen L17 from SheVibe for $75.

shevibe_180_150_vibe

Review: Nomi Tang Better than Chocolate 2

When I was contacted by Nomi Tang about reviewing the Better than Chocolate 2, I was skeptical. (If you read my blog regularly, you’ve noticed that I’m skeptical about a lot of things. I’m a jaded sex toy reviewer.) The original Better than Chocolate had received mixed reviews despite winning a Red Dot Design Award, and after seeing it in person at the shop where I used to work, I wasn’t impressed. When I received my BTC2, my interest was officially piqued.

Nomi Tang Better than Chocolate 2

Physically, the shape is the same. It still kind of looks like a manta ray mixed with a piece of modern art furniture. But BTC2 is considerably smaller than the original Better than Chocolate (and the Music Edition). BTC2 is made of soft, matte silicone; instead of taking AAA batteries, it is now rechargeable. Better than Chocolate and Better than Chocolate 2 are like Matthew Lewis (aka Neville Longbottom): You can see how they got from point A to point B, but the transformation is impressive.

In use, I’m actually wowed by how much I like the BTC2. The Original had mediocre vibrations that tended toward buzzy. This iteration is exactly how I like my vibes – strong, but not jackhammer, and nicely concentrated. While it’s not the absolute quietest vibrator I own, it is quiet enough that I would recommend it to apartment-dwellers, or those living with relatives. If you look closely, you’ll notice that the BTC2 has a visible seam. During use, I didn’t notice this at all.

The trackpad control is one of the main selling points of the BTC2. Honestly, though, I found the controls a little bit difficult to get used to. I think I’m just so reliant on the basic 1 or 2 button interface that most vibrators have that even something that should be intuitive gets a little cloudy for me. BTC2 uses a thin trackpad as its control, with a Nomi Tang logo as one “button”. I say “button” because rather than it being a physical button, it’s a separate touch area that you tap to control. You use the logo button to change modes, and swipe your finger up and down on the trackpad to change speeds. There’s also a dedicated power button located right behind the logo button, off the trackpad. While I found it a little difficult to change modes in use, I really like how the controls are hard to accidentally press. There’s very little chance of accidentally turning it off. My partner found the controls easier to use than I did, and was pretty enthusiastic about them.

For such a small vibe, the battery life is quite decent. I’ve only charged it once, and I’ve used it about 4 or 5 times. The charging port is similar to those on the Lelo Insignia line, in that you poke the charger in and once its pulled back out, it theoretically closes up to be waterproof. Like the original, they claim that the BTC2 is waterproof up to a meter. Because I don’t have a bathtub, I haven’t tested it underwater. But this feature does make it a lot easier to clean, which is something I always appreciate.

My only gripe: While the packaging is beautiful, I wish there was a bag included for travel. You could absolutely travel with the box, which is lined with a nice grey satin, but it takes up considerably more space than just the BTC2 itself. Perhaps I’m spoiled, but I would have preferred a satin bag to satin inside the box.

Overall, I would give the BTC2 a big thumbs up. Two situations in which Better than Chocolate 2 would really shine: Anyone who finds gripping smaller vibrators challenging (ex: arthritis sufferers), and anyone who wants pinpoint stimulation in a more ergonomic form than a traditional bullet vibe.

Better than Chocolate 2 retails for $89. I received mine free of charge from Nomi Tang in exchange for an honest review.

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