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Review: Monarch Noir Nipple Clamps

When UberKinky approached me about reviewing, I had my hesitations. I’m not exactly the kinkiest of people. I love sex toys, obviously, but it doesn’t get too much more interesting than that. But after speaking with their affiliate and review director, I decided to give it a shot since there are a wide range of products available on their website. For my first review, I chose the Monarch Noir Nipple Clamps.

Monarch Noir Nipple Clamps

Big mistake.

You see, these clamps are called Monarch because this style of clamp is called a butterfly clamp. Sounds nice, but in reality, they exert a lot more pressure on your nipples than the softer alligator clamps. (This is so backwards. Everything I learned about context clues is useless here.)

Generally, I’m not a huge fan of nipple play. To get a little dark for a second, it reminds me of some abuse that I dealt with as a teen. But I’ve wanted to pierce my nipples for a few years now, so I thought clamps might be a nice introduction to nipple pain. I was both right and wrong. Introduction? Yes. Nice? Not so much. It turns out I really do not enjoy the type of stimulation that these provide.

However, that’s not to say I think they’re a bad addition to your sex life. They’re inexpensive, so you can explore a sensation that might be new to you without committing to a hefty price tag. I’m not an expert on clamps, but they appear to be nicely made. The design is straightforward, sexy, and easy to use. If you have a pair or two of tweezer or alligator style clamps that you enjoy and you’re looking for something a little more powerful, I would definitely recommend these.

You can also read more about how to use nipple clamps here. I love that UberKinky includes informative articles in their shop! As far as I’m concerned, education is a must for kink.

Thanks so much, UberKinky!

You Know You’re a Sex Blogger When…

  • Your family and friends are not surprised to hear things like, “I got the most amazing new toy. You should totally get one.” Further more, they will begin to respond with, “Another one? Why do you need all of these?”
  • You will find that it is not a matter of need. It’s want, it’s joy. It’s a matter of amassing a collection and honing your skills. It’s the search for the holy grail. It’s our duty to praise the truly great achievements in toy engineering and warn consumers against the epic failures.
  • If you have a clitoris, you may find that it is far pickier than you ever imagined. You may learn that your clit is a righty or a lefty. (I’m a righty, Piph is a lefty, and the fact that I know that off the top of my head does sort of creep me out.)
  • The word “buzzy” will start to make you wince and scowl. You will form a very strong opinion on what constitutes buzzy and whether or not buzzy is ever good. Buzzy buzzy buzzy.
  • You may start to find it impossible to travel with fewer than 2 or 3 toys. Because you have to test this one, you need this one for something in particular, and this other one, well, you obviously need a good backup. Oh, hell, just hand me another suitcase.
  • A quarter of your conversations will start with the other person saying, “I have a weird question for you…” The question is almost never weird.

What about you?

The Magic Banana: Good, But Define “Magic”

Please tell me I’m not the only one who thought of Gob Bluth upon hearing the name of this new-ish kegel exerciser?

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I like the idea of the Magic Banana. It took years to develop, and it’s touted as a sexual exploration tool, which I think is an apt label for most sex toys. It’s billed as both a kegel exerciser and a g-spot stimulator. It’s evident that a lot of work went into making this toy, and it was actually designed by a woman (with a vagina).

Before testing the Magic Banana, I read the box and read through the manual. Nothing in the manual was surprising to me, but I think it contained great info for a kegel or g-spot newbie. It was very body-positive, and not chock-full of the typical heteronormative language that we see a lot of in mass-market sex toy manufacture. Seriously, bravo, Janeson Rayne! Unfortunately, I could not find the material listed anywhere on or inside of the package. (According to SheVibe, it’s made of completely body-safe FDA approved plastic, and judging by the lack of smell and totally smooth, non-sticky texture, I believe that.)

The loop is rather large, but it’s also quite flexible. As instructed, I washed the Magic Banana before use with some mild dish soap. There’s a curve to the Magic Banana’s loop, and the instructions say to use with the curve pointed up if you’re laying on your back or sitting up. You simply squeeze the two sides of the loop together and insert, with or without a water-based lubricant. I went without in order to see what the texture felt like without a barrier. It glided very smoothly, and the slight curve did lightly stimulate my g-spot. However, when I tried to flex, I couldn’t feel anything. I slipped a finger in to confirm: There was no flexing effect on the Magic Banana. I guess I’ve been faithfully doing my kegels to the point where they just kind of clamp around the Magic Banana and hold it together no matter what. Unfortunately, this makes it a completely null kegel exerciser for me.

When it comes to g-spot exploration, I actually really like the Magic Banana. (Note that I say exploration and not significant stimulation.) Because the curved tip of the loop is small, it really helped me to pinpoint where my g-spot is, something I’ve had trouble doing in the past. It felt nice in use, but I wouldn’t describe it as intense. Because the loop is so flexible, I couldn’t get the right amount of pressure to really get my g-spot going. I built up some serious arousal, but I had to reach for my Mia 2 to get the job done.

When it came time to clean the Magic Banana again, it was easy as pie. The smoothness of the loop makes for a quick clean, as opposed to toys with crevices or lots of texture. I was, however, mildly disappointed to realize I couldn’t blow bubbles with it.

I think I’ll continue to use the Magic Banana to hone my g-spot exploration, but as for kegel exercise, it just doesn’t do the trick.

Thank you, SheVibe!

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Philly is Sexational!

Over the weekend, because my partner was going to an academic conference, I had the awesome opportunity to visit Caitlin from Sex-ational! My prior experiences in Philly had been nice, but spent entirely with an ex boyfriend, so it was fun to reclaim the city a little bit. Until the last 12 hours, it was a fantastic trip – but I’ll get to that later.

We met up for dinner on Friday night and went to an amazing restaurant called Vedge. I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it much, but my partner is a vegetarian, and I try to go along with his lifestyle as much as possible. Anyway, if you have the chance to go to Vedge, do it. It’s actually a vegan restaurant, which I didn’t realize until I read the website again. Some people might call that a good thing, but I like vegans, so I’ll just say that it makes it a little bit of an easier to sell to the meat & potatoes crowd. The atmosphere was very trendy, and they served some of the richest, most succulent food I’ve ever had. It’s more of a tapas experience than an individual entrees kind of meal, so I recommend sharing it with friends of similar tastes. (You may also find yourself ordering a pizza 3 hours later. Don’t judge.) They also have a deliciously spicy and unfiltered house made ginger beer, which combines with Snap liquor very nicely. Unfortunately, we inhaled the food before I could take any photos.

After dinner, we went to Kink, which is an awesome newer sex-positive shop focusing on – you guessed it – kink. They were having a rope suspension demo that night, which was awesome to watch. We also got to chat with one of the owner’s friends, and I pointed her in the direction of the Tantus Splish after we bemoaned the dearth of interesting small dildos.

The following day, Caitlin and I met up for some thrifting and window shopping. I scored a soft, well-worn Philly roller derby t-shirt and a pair of Paper Denim & Cloth cut offs for $9 total, so you can start being jealous now if you weren’t already. For some refreshment, we had Thai Iced Coffee at Rocket Cat Cafe, which was super cozy, vegan-friendly, and out of my league with its cool factor.

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Our last stops were to visit some of the local adult stores, as toy reviewers do. I don’t have any pictures of this part of the tour because that’s generally frowned upon for consumer privacy reasons. We ogled lingerie, squeezed dual-density dildos, and showed one of the shop managers the BS Is Nice toy we were carrying around with us. All in a day’s work.

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At the end of the day on Saturday, we settled in at Casa de Sex-ational with some wine, cheese, and Tantus dildos. I brought the Raptor along to compare to her new Duke, and then we decided that we couldn’t let the moment go uncaptured.


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I’m Back and All Kinds of Married!

I’m so sorry for my extended absence! I still have two toy reviews and one book review to write/publish, but I thought a wedding recap would be in slightly higher demand. ;)

Our wedding was on Saturday August 10th, which also happens to be my parents’ anniversary. It was outside, and we were so lucky to have beautiful weather! I believe it was 75 and partly sunny all day. (Thanks, Pittsburgh!)

The Quaker-style ceremony was beautiful, and I pretty much cried the entire time. I also totally forgot that I even had a bouquet. Dmitri only sort of botched the ring bearer job, and Daphne barked only once – during a lull in the time meant for sharing. About 50% of the guests responded with “Amen!” when Steve’s sister closed the ceremony with the words of Ru Paul.

We’re waiting for the official wedding and engagement photos, but as soon as I have them, I’ll be making a pro-photo post with all kinds of beautiful images. I’m really lucky to have a good friend from high school who grew into a talented photographer! For now, I’ll be relying on my friends’ and family’s Instagram snaps.

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I’ve been friends with these girls for around 15 years. As you can see, they’re very supportive.

The dress was from Modcloth, and underneath, I wore the same corset that my mother wore on her wedding day. Unfortunately, this meant that I couldn’t breathe. Which led to me changing into my reception apparel after almost choking on homemade sangria.
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After my introvert ass had enough of all the (lovely) people milling around, my ~husband~ and I left for our wedding night surprise at around 10pm. It. Was. INCREDIBLE. My mum – with the help of one of my best friends from elementary school – booked us a suite at the Fairmont hotel, where we celebrated like either kings or rap stars. I mean, we drank champagne in the shower. One entire wall was a window. And everything was chocolate.

My good friend Alicia (third from the right in photo #1), who’s made a few appearances on this blog, was the mastermind behind the suite’s – ah hem – creative decorating that night.

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And the next morning, after saying goodbye to my new in-laws, we left for Canada. I’d never been outside the country before, so we took off for Toronto, where we’d made reservations via Air B ‘n B.

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One of my absolute favorite highlights of the trip include our first dinner in Toronto, at the Grand Electric. If you’re ever in the Parkdale neighborhood, GO. Their tacos are incredible! The drink prices are high, but from what I saw, about what you’d expect in TO. (In Pittsburgh, if you tried to charge me $8 for a standard lager, I’d take your head off.)

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The next day, we did some window shopping, met the lovely folks at Good for Her, and did some more mulling about. It was a good day, but by far, my favorite day of our trip was Tuesday, when we went to the beach Centre Island…

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Then headed to Come As You Are, where I pretty much wanted to move in and befriend all the staff. I told Steve while we were there, a good sex shop is like my personal spiritual home. Like I can walk in, exhale, and ahhhh… Relaxation and rejuvenation. And dildos. Lots of dildos. And, as I got very excited about and squealed with one of the proprietors, MAPLE FLAVORED CONDOMS! (Which sadly didn’t have that much maple flavor but did smell yummy.)

We’re back in Pittsburgh for now, husband and wife. One week from today, though, we’re heading to Philly, where I’ll be meeting the lovely Caitlin of Sexational!

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