When I was contacted about reviewing 50 Shades of Kink, I anticipated that I would blow through it quickly and have the review up just as fast. Wrong! My apologies, Clies Press.
If you’re looking for an introduction to kink without the fluffy handcuffs and the Cosmo spin, this is a great guide to pick up. It’s like an antidote for 50 Shades of
Bullshit Abuse Grey.
This book covers a lot of practical concepts, from what BDSM is, to what kinds of play can be incorporated, to safety. I fucking love that safety is one of the first topics that’s covered, and is one that comes up over and over again each chapter. Safety encompasses consent, compassion, sub care, setting boundaries… Everything that’s totally ignored in the mainstream disaster from which the book borrows its title phrasing.
In chapters 6 through 10, you’ll learn the basics about some of the most popular kinks like bondage and sensation play. Taormino doesn’t just give you suggestions and allow you to run wild. Instead, the reader is given ideas, and all of the important information necessary to execute them safely. Did you know that a misplaced cane can cause kidney damage? Yeah, this is serious stuff.
Now, this book is an introduction. As such, it’s pretty short, and it doesn’t cover any one particular topic in depth. I’m sure you can find whole books just focusing on Dom/sub, pet play, D/s lifestyle, etc. This book is meant to be one of your first forays into kink. Read more. Read lots. Read often.
Personally, I didn’t find this book to be particularly useful in my bedroom. But as a sex educator, it’s really important for me to have a general grasp of many different sexual preferences, kinks, and pleasures. I’ll be honest with you: My sex life is not as crazy as one might think. (It’s good, but nobody’s writing controversial erotica about it, y’know?)
You can pick up your own copy in both Kindle and Paperback editions on Amazon.com, or through Clies Press directly.
Sex 101 is a new app, developed by the folks at The Sex Trend, that utilizes RSS feeds to aggregate sex blogs and deliver them right to your phone or tablet. It’s full of information from well-respected sex bloggers and sex educators.
Why an app? Personally, I think that’s important because sexual health information isn’t the kind of thing you want to take risks with. It’s important to have resources that are trustworthy, well-informed, and easy to access. That’s why this app is a huge step forward, not only for bloggers who are getting their content out there (credited and consensual), but for consumers too. And, if you’re looking for info on the go, it’s a hell of a lot easier than sifting through pages and pages of questionable Google results.
Currently, it’s available for free on both iOS and Android platforms. Soon, you’ll be able to find my content there, as well as some of my favorite bloggers like Cara Sutra.
If you’re a longtime reader, you might know how fond I am of the original We-Vibe Touch. When I first encountered the Touch, while working in an adult store, I was impressed by the motor but anticipated that the shape would be impractical. I thought it was weird, frankly.
Oh, how little I knew then. What a baby sex toy enthusiast I was.
Somewhat recently, We-Vibe revamped both of their clitoral vibrators, known as Touch and Tango. I remember hearing the first whisperings of change and being both excited and skeptical. “How could they make it better?” I wondered. Well, they did.
The most obvious change to Touch is its new coating of satiny matte silicone. In short, it’s glorious. I actually took it out of the box and rubbed it against my cheek. (Sidebar: The new packaging is so much less frustrating than the old polygon-style boxes.)
The second most obvious improvement is the charging mechanism. It’s still magnetic, so the Touch is still waterproof, but it’s now much easier to see that the Touch is connected to the charger, and to ensure that it won’t accidentally become disconnected. They’ve also replaced the wall outlet with a USB cable, which is awesome for those of us who travel internationally (or just don’t have very many wall sockets).
Once you’ve turned the new Touch on, you’ll notice how much they improved the button. Since the Touch operates on a single button system, how well that one button works is extremely important. The original Touch had a very firm button that was a little difficult to push, especially in use. WeVibe has totally fixed that problem with the new Touch’s button. It’s the same size and shape, but it makes a discernible ‘click’ when you’ve pressed it, and feels both easy to push and sturdy. I never thought I would feel so passionately about a button, but here we are.
In use, it’s just as dependable as the original Touch. I find it extremely easy to have an orgasm with the Touch, which is nice when you want something guaranteed to leave you speechless. Personally, I love the gently pointed tip. You might prefer the little clitoral nook. That’s the beauty of the Touch: It’s versatile. Also, it’s small, it holds a charge very well, and its button isn’t likely to be pressed in transit, so it’s one of the main vibes that I reach for whenever I travel (and I’m traveling a lot these days). It might look kind of like a potato, or a tongue, or a potato-tongue, but it’s impeccably designed.
Of course, I had to see how the new model compared to the old one. Both have 8 vibration modes: low, medium, higher, highest, and four patterns including a “wave” and a “cha-cha.” I’m not much for patterns, but if you are, I think you’ll find something to suit you here. Turning them both on, I was surprised: While the motor is the same, the old Touch actually felt stronger in the first vibration mode. I think it has something to do with how the old silicone felt like it grabbed at your skin a little bit. By mode 3, though, the vibrations themselves were not distinguishable.
“But wait, how could they improve it without making it stronger?”
The original We-Vibe Touch was already extremely strong. Its motor was the same one that WeVibe put in the Salsa and Tango, arguably the strongest bullet vibes on the market. In order to make it any stronger, they would probably have to make it either larger or more expensive (or both). That would have been totally unnecessary, in my opinion. Instead, they focused on the externals, and they did a bang-up job of it.
As with all We-Vibe products, the Touch comes with a one year warranty and an awesome customer support team. (Seriously, the folks at We-Vibe are top notch.)
New Touch has absolutely earned its place on my list of Holy Grails, right next to Mona 2 and the VixSkin Mustang. Thank you, We-Vibe!
You can get your own Touch at one of my favorite retailers, SheVibe and LoveHoney.
As you’ve no doubt noticed, crowdfunding campaigns have exploded in the last couple of years. I’ve seen some pretty ridiculous ones, honestly. But this? This is absolutely necessary, and I want to see them get every. single. cent.
Burlesque Toy Shop is an independent retailer focused on bringing only quality toys to consumer’s bedrooms. Everything they stock is body safe, and they pay attention to build quality too. Do you know how rare that is? It’s really fucking rare, you guys.
Right now, Burlesque is raising money to open a brick and mortar shop in Philadelphia. They’re planning to host on-site sex education classes, and staff their boutique with full-time, gloriously knowledgeable staff. Do you know how hard it is to find a full time job at an adult store? Do you know how impossible it is to find a body safe adult store, one that cares about its staff and clientele? It’s an amazing vision and would be a huge asset to the community. I hope you’re as excited about it as I am!
Some of the perks for donating include original erotic poetry, a pasty and g-string set, my holy grail vibe (the Lelo Mona 2), and even a boudoir photo shoot. Plus, there’s the perk of knowing that you’re helping to install an amazing community resource. So, go donate!
The first time I tried the Jopen Key Stella II kegel ball set, I was not pleased. Not at all. They hurt going in and they pressed uncomfortably against my vaginal walls (especially against my urethra). The first time I tried to take them out, it hurt so badly that I actually feared using them again. However, this has all changed.
The Jopen Stella II comes with a set of 3 plastic and silicone weighted balls and one silicone holster. As you can see, it does indeed come in a color that isn’t pink or purple. Let us all rejoice. Two of the balls weigh 40 grams, and one weighs 30. I would honestly have preferred 4 balls, two 30s and two 40s, but overall, it’s not much of a problem.
It’s clear that Jopen took a leaf out of LELO’s book here, because the balls each have a smaller, weighted ball inside them. This means that when you move, or if you simply shake the balls in your hand, you can feel the internal weighted balls move about. This design allows for greater stimulation of the kegel and pelvic floor muscles. Jopen did make a great call by making the entire holster silicone. This means the whole set is completely sterilizable.
I really like the silicone that Jopen used on these. It’s silky, smooth, and the holster seems very sturdy. The smoothness of the silicone definitely helps when you’re trying to get the balls into the holster. Speaking of which, I would say the ease of holster use is about 7/10. As you can see, there are grooves on the balls themselves to indicate how they should be placed in the holster. Mine were slightly off kilter no matter how much I adjusted them, but that didn’t affect them in use. I do think, though, that if you have poor eyesight, you might have a hard time with these.
So what was the problem the first time around? The size. At 1.5″ in diameter, they’re definitely not big by most standards, but the shape of them makes them difficult for me to just simply insert without warmup. Because I like to use kegel balls as a warmup themselves, I find it a bit annoying to have to warmup for my warmup. But you will be the best judge of what you can easily fit into your vagina.
Once inserted, they are definitely noticeable. The first time I used them, I hated them. They pressed way too much on my urethra, and I actually experienced some pain. So, I waited a month before trying them again. This time, I emptied my bladder first, then went to insert the Stella II (with 30g and 40g weights). I could immediately feel them, but this time, there was no pain. They were pressing against my G-spot, and the internal weighted balls were rolling around with every step I took.
Despite the nice feeling of the weights rumbling about, I wasn’t wild about just sitting at my desk with these in. The way that they pressed against my G-spot made me feel oddly uncomfortable doing everyday tasks. I considered just taking them out, but dammit, I have a commitment to you people. So instead, I got out the Mona 2.
So what’s the redeeming factor for Stella II? Masturbating. While I sometimes will use one of my beloved vibrators clitorally while using a dildo, I usually just go for clitoral stimulation. It takes two hands to completely control a dildo & vibe setup, and it can be a little distracting for me personally. But with the Stella II set, I just popped them in they stayed put. When I reached orgasm (Mona 2 always delivers), the resulting sensation of my muscles clenching around the kegel balls was awesome. It definitely prolonged my orgasm, and I wondered whether or not I was going to experience the unicorn that is squirting. (I didn’t. Better luck next time.)
All in all, I would say that for me, personally, my Luna Beads Mini are much more my speed for daily wear and sexual warmup. But I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the Jopen Key Stella II set, and if you’re looking for a quality set of kegel balls (and aren’t afraid of them being a little big), definitely check them out. Personal use: 3/5 stars.
Thank you, SheVibe!