Archive of ‘Sex & Toys’ category

Holiday Gift Guide 2014

With all of the ranting I’ve been doing recently, it might be easy to forget that I really, truly, love the sex toy industry. It changed my life! I believe that good toys can have a profound impact on one’s quality of life.

Luckily, the holidays are a great time to find good deals on toys. Below, I’ve gathered up some of the best deals out there, and included some of my suggestions for last minute gifts. If you’ve waited until the last minute, know the Dec 15 is the last standard shipping day that most online shops can still guarantee Christmas delivery. slide_gift-card   SheVibe is always bringing the deals. If you missed their Black Friday/Cyber Monday blow out, have no fear. They almost always have the best prices around anyway. If you click the banner above, you’ll be taken to their homepage (and you’ll be supporting Marvelous-Darling.com). My top gift picks from SheVibe:

  1. Lelo Mona 2 ($129) or Mona Wave ($169): If you haven’t read my review of the Mona 2 yet, go do so, because then you’ll understand why I’m a card-carrying member of the Cult of Mona. The Mona Wave is one of Lelo’s newest releases, and in my opinion, maybe their best toy yet. Mona Wave has the powerful vibrations and perfect shape of the Mona 2, but it’s also capable of a come-hither movement. I’m working on my review, but suffice to say, I adore it. It’s like PIV sex for extraordinarily lazy people.
  2. We-Vibe Touch ($99): The We-Vibe Touch is my favorite small clitoral vibrator. It’s strong, rumbly, reasonably quiet, body-safe, waterproof… It’s everything you could want in a funky little package. Plus, We-Vibe is a great company with a proven track record of listening to their customers and fans. Check out my review here.
  3. Tenga Iroha Mini ($23.99): The Iroha Mini is a nice little vibrator that makes a great gift for anyone who is completely new to the world of toys, and particularly has never used a toy before. I would call its vibrations strong but buzzy. I gave this to a toy novice friend for her bridal shower, and it was a hit. You can check out my full review here.
  4. Any Tantus Plug ($24.99 and up): My personal favorites include the Meteorite and Neo, but I would also recommend the Little FlirtPerfect Plug, Perfect Plug Plus, and Ryder (listed in order of size/experience level).
  5. Fleshlight (~$57): There’s a reason it’s a classic. If someone on your list has a penis, Fleshlight is the crème de la cum. You can buy a few versions of the Fleshlight from SheVibe, including the Classic Pink Lady. I’ve been trying to talk my husband into reviewing one for years, but he’s too shy, so instead I will point you towards Epiphora’s partner’s take.
  6. Tantus Bound ($49): SheVibe and Tantus collaborated to make a beautiful, detailed dildo for the texture obsessed. While Bound is a relatively modest-sized dildo, its texture ensures that it’s far from boring. What do you get the toy lover who has everything? You get them this. (While I don’t have one myself, I can point you towards Property of Potter’s excellent, thorough review.)

  Filthy Dirty is one of my favorite shops, because it has a lovely boutique-y feel. I appreciate that kind of curation when it comes to my number one vice. You can check out my stocking stuffer page right on the Filthy Dirty website (how cool is that?) or keep reading to find out some more of my top picks. You can use the code SANTABABY at checkout for free shipping and 20% off.

  1. JeJoue MiMi Classic ($81 or $64.80 with code): I bought myself the original JeJoue MiMi after a breakup in February 2012, and that’s essentially how this entire phase of my life began. I was immediately hooked on luxury vibrators made of body safe materials. And now here we are. The updated MiMi Classic is the same pebble shape that I love, allowing for either pinpoint or broad vibrations, but its motor was beefed up and the controls were made easier to use. What’s not to love?
  2. Joyful Midnight Glass Wand ($42 or $33.60 with code): Filthy Dirty sent me the Joyful Midnight to review and to inspire a post on glass for their blog. My absolute favorite thing about glass toys is how easily they glide. Even with the amount of texture on this dildo, I found it easy to thrust with, and it provided really lovely G-spot stimulation.
  3. Revel Body Sol ($139 or $111.20 with code): While many were displeased with the original Revel Body, I never received it. Instead, I was sent the Sol, which must be a different animal entirely. I found the Sol’s oscillations to be different from even some of the strongest vibrators I own, and the small, spherical shape fits very comfortably in my hand. For some reason, the OM setting has me orgasming in minutes. You can check out my review here.
  4. Tenga Eggs ($7 to 44 or $5.60 to $35.20 with code): These adorable plastic eggs contain well-designed, disposable masturbators for people with penises. You can choose from a variety of internal textures, each made of a soft, flexible elastomer. One is $7, or you can get a half dozen for $35.20.

What will you be gifting this year?

Pipedream: the Dane Cook of Sex Toys

Oh, Pipedream.

I’ve hated them for quite a while. Between sexist marketing, hideous toys, unsafe materials, blatent misogyny, barf-worthy sex dolls… Wait, where was I going with this? I had to take a break to puke.

In short, Pipedream is everything that’s wrong with the adult industry. They’re one of the big boys, and they’ve been around for a while, which makes them think they’re untouchable. And perhaps, for now, they are. But one day, I hope to watch them burn to the ground. (Figuratively. I am not threatening arson, do not make me lawyer up.) What’s got my goat currently, you ask? If you follow the blog on Facebook, or if you’re a personal friend of mine, you might have seen my post this morning. grosspuke Pipedream has released a blow-up sex doll made to look like Jennifer Lawrence, called “J-Law Hacked”. This in itself is gross enough, because she certainly was not asked to consent to be turned into a fuckdoll. But oh, it gets worse. The box features an actress who bears a striking resemblance to Lawrence, in a Katniss Everdeen costume. For those of you unfamiliar with The Hunger Games, Katniss Everdeen is a 16 year old girl. Another level of gross! Surrounding her are nude photos made to replicate those leaked during “the Fappening”. Do you have your puke bucket ready? Because this is how Pipedream describes their product:

We’re not sure what came faster, news of J-Laws leaked selfies or the thousands of guys waiting for this day to finally come! She did the world a favor when her sexy selfies spread across the internet, and now Hollywood’s honey is getting naked for the money! If hacked cell phone pics weren’t enough to make J-Law our favorite new selfie slut, her brand new blowup doll is proof that this blockbuster babe is ready for primetime penetration! Just add air and this American hustler transforms into America’s hooker right before your eyes! There’s no silver lining to her 3 love holes, but if you add a little lube they feel great wrapping around every inch of your pleasure rod! Her cloud got hacked so you can get jacked!

It’s one thing to post about this. That’s giving Pipedream the attention they want, and I know that. So I want to challenge you to take it a step further. Pipedream has a contact page that anyone can use – you don’t have to be a part of the industry to contact them. Tell them why you’re angry. Tell them why this is unacceptable, and why they won’t be receiving a single red cent from you. Below is the note that I just sent them. If you’d like to copy it, go right ahead.

Unfortunately, there is not a subject line available from your drop-down menu that simply states the disgust I feel for your latest release. I have never purchased a Pipedream product, though I had my eye on your ceramic line. Now I’m very glad that you’ve never received a cent of my money. Being in the industry myself (I also work as a copywriter and product design consultant), I understand that all publicity is good publicity. I understand that your JLAW doll was created to be shared, to stir up trouble. It was created as a joke. But it’s not a joke. Or at least, it’s not a very good joke. Any joke that punches down instead of up is nothing more than a boring nod to the social norms that are already in place. There is nothing subversive about what you’re doing. You are the Dane Cook of sex toys. I’m not going to beg you to take it down. I’m not going to tell you that you’re better than this. You’re not better than this. Pipedream is a steaming pile of shit, and I can only hope that better brands will eventually, one day, drive you into the ground so that you may return to the hell from whence you came. Have a great day, and don’t strain your shoulder from patting yourself on the back for that clever campaign, you rascals.

If you want to link to the product, do so using donotlink.com, a service that allows you to spread a link without adding to the originator’s web stats, or copy from here.

I’m not the only one who’s disgusted. Here are some choice posts from some of my friends on the matter:

Uhhhh, no… Love Candy by Kendra

Lately, I’ve been wanting to find a mid-range clitoral vibrator that I can confidently recommend. Sure, there’s the Mystic Wand. But I wanted to be able to point towards something smaller, something capable of pinpoint stimulation.

The Curve – from the Love Candy by Kendra line – is not going to be that toy. In fact, I would recommend you avoid it, because I’m fairly certain that the faux-leather case it comes with is actually worth more than the vibrator itself.

Curve

I didn’t even re-do my nails to take this photo. That’s how little I respect this vibrator. I didn’t even bust out the DSLR.

Now, the Curve had two points going for it: First, the design. It’s simple, ergonomic, and capable of a few different kinds of stimulation. (Or it would be, if the motor weren’t complete garbage.) It’s shaped sort of similarly to the Nomi Tang Better than Chocolate 2, but a bit bigger. Second, it’s supposedly coated in silicone. (It’s dissimilar to any silicone I’ve encountered, but has no smell and silicone does come in a variety of types.) So, alright, Evolved made a few good choices with this line. But alas, it was not enough.

I don’t mind when a toy takes batteries instead of being rechargeable. Rechargeable batteries add to the cost of the toy, and they’re not always better (see: Rechargeable versus Original Mystic Wand). I bought a fresh pack of Energizer AAA batteries in an effort to ensure that the thing would be receiving maximum power. I turned it on and…

“WHAT? Seriously? This is the best they could do for $40!?”

Even on the highest of its 3 speeds, I was displeased. It’s not a matter of impressing me. To impress me, you have to have an insane motor. Not everyone needs a Hitachi- or a Tango-level motor to get off. But I truly don’t think that these vibrations would be enough unless you’re very, very sensitive. And even then, you can get a toy that’s less expensive and/or one that starts low and builds, so that if you ever do require stronger vibes, they’ll be an option.

The controls are very weird, and I had a heck of a time getting the battery compartment open. As someone who’s been doing this for the better part of 3 years, I expect to be able to figure these things out easily. In use, the cuttons were difficult to press and located in a very weird position: On either side of the removable cap. Also known as where the heel of your hand would be during use. ALSO KNOWN AS NOT WHERE I CAN REACH THEM.

There was absolutely no way that I was getting off with this toy. Sometimes, I can get a disappointing orgasm out of a weak toy. But not today, Satan. Not today. It was an exercise in futility, and I have better things to do than to focus all of my energy on orgasming with a substandard vibrator. At least it’s not $69 and disappointing, I guess?

C-list celebrities, please stop making toy lines. Or rather, having toy lines made for you. Do us all a favor and stick to vodka or low-calorie wines.

For now, if you’re looking for something mid-range, I’m going to keep recommending the Mystic Wand. It’s the best vibrator you can get for around $50, and you can get it from my dears at SheVibe, who sent me the Curve at my request.

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Last Minute Cyber Monday Deals

If you’re anything like me, you waited until Cyber Monday to actually read up on the deals. (To be fair, I have an excuse – I was in Frankfurt.) Luckily, I’m 6-9 hours ahead of most of my readership, so I can still dish ‘em out to you even though the day is almost done here in dark and dismal northern Germany.

First up, my loves at SheVibe have some amazing deals going on!

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For text-only readers: Save 10% off an order of $75 or more with the code TURKEY10. Save 15% off orders of $100 or more with TURKEY15. And save 20% on orders of $125 or more!

Not sure what to get? Luckily, I have some suggestions.

You could get an Njoy Pure Wand for $89.99. A Liberator Fascinator Throe for $80.99. Or maybe you’ve been itching for a Mona 2 ($103) since I started shouting about their glory. Is clitoral stimulation more your style? The We-Vibe Touch is only $89.99. My favorite dildo of all time, the Vixen Creations VixSkin Mustang, is only $89.99 (and you can even get it in Tie-Bright).

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While the Tantus Grab Bag is always a great deal, today it’s even better. They’re offering 40% off all Grab Bag items! What’s different about Grab Bag items? You don’t know what color you’re going to get. It could be limited edition, it could be a mix of two, it could be slightly marbled. If you’re only concerned with the shape and quality, but not too fussed about color, it’s a fantastic way to save on Tantus quality goods. Personally, I like the excitement of the surprise, which is why I ordered my Ryder today.

Additionally, Tantus has Black Friday bundles still available. And, if you sign up for their emails, you’ll be alerted to the flash sales that they’ve scheduled for today.

 

While FilthyDirty doesn’t have a Cyber Monday sale, per say, they do have some sweet deals going on right now. You can get a Comet Wand in Raspberry Pink for $62.30, a savings of 30%! I have a Comet Wand on its way to me, so I’ll report back and we can compare notes. You can check out the rest of their sale section here.

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And last, but not least, is the Cyber Monday sale I’ve been working on personally: KIIROO’s. Check out KIIROO.com/Cyber-Monday for full details, but you can save $50 on any couples set (Pearl/Onyx or Onyx/Onyx) or $20 on any single device.

 

Happy shopping!

Review: Tenga Iroha Mikazuki

When Tenga contacted me about the two new toys in their Iroha line – Mikazuki and Minamo – I was pretty excited. While I enjoyed the Iroha Sakura, I still feel that soft and marshmallowy isn’t quite right for clitoral vibrators, at least for me. On the other hand, I absolutely adore soft insertables.

mikazuki

At first glance, Mikazuki looks well styled, streamlined, and quite simply, designed. It looks it was made by a high end Japanese company, because it was. And, for some, it might look boring. It has a nice, subtle curve, but the shaft is rather thin. For me, that’s what makes it perfect.

When I first started on this sex toy reviewing road, I was a representative for a popular home sex toy party company. The year was 2011, and most of the toys were soft TPR or jelly monstrosities. I bought a dual-action vibe through the company that I adored, until I learned better. But still, the love for squishy insertables plagues me. My Vixen Creations VixSkin Mustang does a great job, and is a fantastic dildo, but it doesn’t vibrate. And all of my insertable vibrators are hard. (I know, I’m not to be pitied. I have a mighty collection, afterall.)

BUT FINALLY. Tenga has delivered unto us a toy which somehow effectively performs as a squishy insertable and a reasonably strong vibrator.

Iroha Mikazuki is 7″ long, and tapers from 1″ to 1.5″ wide. Its buttons are located near the bottom of the device, one small and one larger. The larger button turns Mikazuki on, and increases the speed. The smaller button turns Mikazuki off, and decreases the speed. Like the original three Iroha toys, Mikazuki is coated in dust-repellant silicone with a layer of flexible, soft elastomer underneath. This means that you get all of the benefits of both materials, while still having a fully body-safe toy.

While Mikazuki is billed as flexible, I was slightly confused when I saw some of the marketing materials. There are a few images that show Mikazuki flexed. Before I received my Mikazuki, I assumed that meant that there was a flexible internal spine, or something. Rather, it’s just a flexible shaft, like many softer silicone dildos. It’s nice in-use because it conforms to your body, but it’s not going to give you strong, pin-point G-spot stimulation.

Iroha Mikazuki has 4 modes: low, medium, high, and pulsation. The motor is strong, and while it’s not knock-your-socks-off strong, it’s dependable. It’s completely waterproof, and comes with its own charging case. Its case is beautiful, and as is par for the course with Tenga, very functional as well. Mikazuki is so well styled that I once actually forgot that I left it out on my shelf and had an entire meeting over Skype with it chilling in its case in the background. (Luckily, I work in the industry.)

In use, I love Mikazuki as a warm-up toy. Some of the medications that I take affect my body and my sex drive in unexpected ways. Even when I’m really into the idea of sex, having a small warm-up helps a lot. It just makes everything more comfortable, and therefore hotter. Tenga packed a nice motor into Mikazuki’s slender form, and its gentle but pointed tip is great for G-spot teasing and arousal. For me, this makes Mikazuki a must-have.

Clitorally, Mikazuki feels almost like a soft vibrating finger. It’s great for building up arousal, and is easy to use with a partner. I found Mikazuki to be a very sensual toy. Its form encourages a soft, slow exploration session.

Controversial opinion ahoy: I think Mikazuki is perfect for beginners a certain category of beginners.

Usually, when you run across “beginners” sex toys, you find things like tiny rabbits made of TPR, shitty watch battery bullet vibrators, and “jelly crystal” butt plugs. It’s not pretty, and those are things that NO ONE should be subjected to. In this case, I think it’s accurate to say that the Mikazuki would make a great insertable vibrator for someone who is a beginner to penetration. If a friend came to me who had never had sex, had never experimented with inserting anything but a tampon, and asked me for an insertable vibrator recommendation, this would likely be it. It’s not weak, it’s not buzzy, it’s high-quality.

Now, Mikazuki does cost $110. That’s a lot to plunk down, I know. Would I recommend it to everyone? Nope. For some, it’s simply going to be too small. I believe the Mikazuki is a bit of a niche toy, but it performs very well for what it does. Will I continue to reach for it? Absolutely.

Thank you, Tenga, for providing me with the Mikazuki in exchange for an honest review! You can purchase your own Mikazuki from my friends at SheVibe.

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