Black Friday and Cyber Monday Sales!

Gather ’round!  It’s sex toy shopping time!  Many of my favorite shops are holding Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales.  Check them out!

Shevibe

slide_black-friday-2014Shevibe is one of my favorite stores for their variety, prices, and customer service.  Get 10% off orders of $75 or more with code TURKEY10, 15% off orders $100 or more with code TURKEY15, and 20% off orders of $125 or more with code TURKEY20.  Valid through 12/1/14.


Tantus

tantusblackfridayTantus makes amazing, high quality toys, and are a big voice for quality materials and education.  Their sale runs through 12/1, and you can save quite a substantial amount on both sets and individual toys.  Don’t like the ones that you see?  Check out their Grab Bag.  If you aren’t picky about color, you can get some amazing, high-quality toys at a deep discount.


Good Vibrations

gvblackfridayGood Vibrations is another fantastic shop that offers a large variety of toys and accessories, and have a focus on education.  Get 25% off with code FF254U through 11/30/14.


Sensual Intelligence

sibuttonSensual Intelligence is a Canada based shop that prides themselves on carrying safe and eco-friendly toys.  Use code SEXYBLK to get 10% off orders until 12/1/14.

LELO LUNA Smart Bead Review

~I received this item for free in exchange for an honest review.~Lelo Smart Bead review

I love testing Kegel exercisers.  After spending several weeks working on the Kegel Project, and then revisiting it periodically, I’ve learned how incredibly important, not to mention easy, it is to work on the Kegel muscles.  When a company comes out with a new Kegel ball, bead, or exerciser, my ears perk up.

I was so excited to try the LUNA Smart Bead, but I ended up having mixed feelings about it.  Like most brand new toys, it has good and not so good points.

A little bit about it: The Smart Bead is a silicone interactive Kegel exerciser that runs on one AAA battery.  It’s small, being only about 3.25″ long, plus a retrieval chord, and is supposedly waterproof when the battery compartment is closed.

Use is simple.  Turn on the Smart Bead and insert it vaginally, using a little water based lube if necessary.  Three quick pulses will alert you that the workout is about to be begin.  After that, every time it vibrates, the user squeezes their Kegel muscles for as long as the vibration continues, then rests until it vibrates again.  The workout is complete when it vibrates in quick succession three more times.  The next time you turn it on, the light will blink between 1 and 5 times, showing you your progress (1 if you are fairly weak, 5 if you are pretty strong, and anywhere in between).

If you press and hold the Smart Bead’s power button, it will turn on the vibration and it can then be used as a vibrator.

What I loved: The Smart Bead is different.  It really is.  Most Kegel beads work sort of passively, as in you squeeze your muscles fairly consistently to keep the beads in place as you move around.  The Smart Bead is meant to be used while you are holding still, and it tells you when to squeeze instead.  This is good for people that feel they need more guidance in their routine.

My favorite thing about the LELO Smart Bead is that it measures improvement in Kegel strength.  The sensors track how hard you are squeezing and adjusts for the next workout.  It even remembers how your routine is going when you change batteries.

Will it work?  Yes.  The Smart Bead does, in fact, cause the user to work their Kegel muscles in a beneficial way, alerting the user when to squeeze and for how long.

smartbead2What I didn’t: There’s a couple of things I want to address here.  The first is the waterproofness.  When the Smart Bead is closed, it’s supposed to be water proof, but after washing and opening it, I find there’s a little bit of suds between the top and bottom sections, but none have gotten into the battery compartment where it would cause damage.

I tried to use the Smart Beads as a vibrator, but no.  Seriously, no.  The vibrations are on the weaker side, maybe a low 3 on a scale of 5, and are too buzzy for me to really find them any kind of pleasurable.

Final thought: I have mixed feelings over the LELO Smart Bead.  It’s not particularly terrible, but it’s certainly not earth shattering.  It sells for $109, and for what it is I’m not totally convinced it’s worth the asking price.  In order for me to think it’s worth the price, I would have to say I’d want to see in a rechargeable version with a stronger motor.  It’s a good try.  It really is.  But I’m thinking it really needs a little tweak here and there before I can fully endorse it.  It’s just not quite there yet.

~I received this item for free in exchange for an honest review.~

Traz Rhino Penis Extension

~I received this item for free in exchange for an honest review.~

“A company is sending me a set of penis extenders to review,” I said to Husband in the car, as casually as if I was telling him we are out of eggs.

He chuckled.  “You keep experimenting on me.”

“For science!” I said.

We both felt that penis extenders weren’t exactly going to be our thing.  A penis extender sounds kind of cheesy and silly, but these ones weren’t some kind of jelly horror that you find in most sex toy stores.  These seemed rather unique, and certainly worth a try before we gave them a pass.  I have to say that we were actually pretty impressed!

Rhino Extensions with their sizing cores

A little bit about it: The Traz Rhino Penis Extensions are made of silicone and have 3 parts: the sleeve, the inner sizing core, and a tiny plug.  Use is fairly simple.  Place some water-based lubricant on the sizing core and slip it all the way in at the end of the extender.  After that, place a little more lube on the inside of the extension sleeve or on the penis, and slide the penis all the way until it hits the core.  The core can be trimmed if necessary.  Pop the little plug into the top, creating a seal and keeping the sleeve from slipping off.  The Rhino can also be used the same way to enhance a dildo.

The Rhino comes in three different girths: Rhino Sleek (5.5″ in circumference), Rhino Genesis (a little over 6 1/4″ in circumference), and the Rhino Stampede (6 1/2 in circumference).  Each one is 8 inches long and can be trimmed down to a smaller size if they feel too long.

What we loved: Let’s start with the fact that the Rhinos, all of them, stay on exactly how they are supposed to.  I wasn’t sure how well the plug would seal it in order to keep the Rhino from sliding off, but it worked perfectly.  Regardless of speed or depth thrusting, it stayed on Husband and never had to be readjusted.

There are ribs inside all three extensions, with the ribs of the Sleek and Genesis being close together, and the Stampede being fairly far apart.  I would think the difference in rib spacing would be a big deal, and it probably is to some, but Husband told me they all feel equally good during sex, but for a surprising reason.  I would have thought that what’s going on inside the sleeve is that the ribs are sliding up and down the penis shaft, even if only a little.  Husband corrected me by saying that the sleeve isn’t sliding along the penis, but instead, gently pulling the skin back and forth (he is circumcised, so this is surprising).  It seems like that would hurt, but he tells me that because of the suction, it won’t slide any further, and that the gentle tugging does feel quite good and is enough sensation to orgasm from.

Interior of the Rhinos

Interior of the Rhinos

“But could you take the plug out of the end so it loses suction and make it a masturbater?” I asked.  He gave it a try and reported back that yes, you most certainly can.

So to recap for him, the Rhinos are wonderful because they stay on, provide sensation on the penis during use, and can double as a masturbater.

Now on to me.  Of course, I’ve mentioned before that I like larger toys, and the Traz Rhinos, all of them, are no exception.  I wish I could say that one of them felt better to me than the others, but I can’t.  They all felt great.  That being said, those that have previous problems with girthy toys will want to read the sizes carefully before choosing.

The Rhinos each provide the same kind of sensation of the girthier toys on the market, but with the added bonus of being able to use Husband’s specific sexual rhythm, which I’ve never been able to imitate with a toy.  It’s still having sex with him, but at the same time adding some delightful variety.  The Rhinos allow him to go wider and deeper, while still providing stimulation for him.

What I didn’t: None of the Rhinos hit my G-spot.  Like, at all.  Not even kind of.  Not even close.  Don’t get me wrong, they feel good, but they aren’t exactly orgasmic for me since they don’t have enough of a curve or enough of a defined head to hit my G-spot with really any amount of pressure or force to make a difference.  Although each of the Rhinos have a head at the end of the shaft, the head isn’t nearly as defined as on a standard dildo.  It feels as though it might as well be a straight shaft.

The only other thing Husband would add is that if you are a girthier than average guy, the Rhino may be a bit too tight on you.

Final thought: Each Rhino will run you about $50-80, depending on the size.  I’m going to say the Rhinos are worth it with the following reservations: it may be uncomfortable for men with very girthy penises, and there’s not enough of a curve or head to stimulate my G-spot.  But, if you just happen to have a love of larger, body-safe toys that you can easily use as part of a couple or solo, the Rhinos are certainly worth a look.

Want one (or several) of your own?  You can drop by the Traz Rhino site.  Use the code HAY for 10% off!

LELO SIRI Review

~I received this item for free in exchange for an honest review.~lelo siri

I have such a love of clitoral vibes.  I’ve always found them more useful than vaginal vibes for their compact size, making them perfect for either solo or partner play.  The newest love in my collection is the LELO SIRI.

A little bit about it: The SIRI is a multi-speed, multi-pattern, palm-sized rechargeable external/clitoral vibrator, measuring just over 4 inches long.  It’s made from a combination of plastic and buttery silicone, with the silicone being the portion that comes in contact with your bits.  Although it is splash-proof, it is not waterproof.  It’s operated with a simple four button interface that can be locked for travel.  Have I mentioned lately how much I like travel locks?  Love them.

What I loved: Of course I love the size, and I love the silicone, and I love that it’s rechargeable.  Those things are pretty standard for a high-end vibrator.  However, there are some lovely things that make the SIRI stand out a little bit.

Let’s start with the power.  Of course you will generally not get Magic Wand strength from a rechargeable toy (although LELO’s Mona 2 came pretty close), but the best compact vibes still need to be equipped with decent motors.  The SIRI is no exception.  If a Magic Wand is a 5 in vibration strength, the SIRI is a solid low to mid 4.  That number is right where I like it to be.  It’s not holy-crap-get-it-off-I’m-going-numb strong, but it does still have some impressive strength.  The vibrations are strong and rumbly, penetrating deeply, without a hint of the buzziness that is so common with cheaper vibrators.  To be perfectly clear, I am a bit of a power queen.  My clitoris is very picky and I do need strong vibrations in order to orgasm (one of the reasons I got into toys in the first place).  The SIRI does not disappoint.

The SIRI’s silicone surface has a convex shape to it, forming what could almost be called a ridge.  I was worried that, since it felt so obvious to my fingers, it may end up hurting my clitoris or turn away form the right spots.  Instead, it sits nicely and makes perfect contact, providing sensations that are somewhere between broad and pinpoint stimulation. When I tried using it with Husband in the cowgirl position, I was pleasantly surprised both with how well it stayed in place without my hands holding it, and how fast I came from a combination of the vibrations and the rubbing of the ridge.

lelo siriWhat I didn’t: The main issue I had is the fact that it’s not waterproof.  These days, almost all high-end toys are waterproof, and I expected SIRI to be.  It’s not.  It is splashproof, so you can clean it, but you have to be very careful.

Final thought: The cost of the SIRI is $99, and totally worth it.  It comes with a 1-year warranty, so if something happens, you can replace it.  Since it can be used both as a couple’s toy and a solo toy, stays in place well, and is strong, it will be one that I keep very handy in my toy box.

~I received this item for free in exchange for an honest review.~

Tantus Thwak Paddle

~I received this item for free in exchange for an honest review.~Tantus Thwak paddle

Husband and I are fairly new to any sort of impact play.  I’ve often said we’re try anything once (or twice, or three times…) kind of people when it comes to sex, and impact play is no exception.  We’ve tried many items with me as the receiver.  Using his hand on me ends up hurting him.  Belts and strops are hard for him to control and the tips often end up wrapping around my hip and ow, and not the fun kind of ow.  We tried cane, and although it’s fun, it’s also just a bit too intense for my preference.

I’d seen different kinds of paddles running around, but they weren’t our thing.  Some were just corny, while the sight of some made me feel kind of icky, such as paddles that leave the words “bitch” or “slut” imprinted on the skin.  It’s awesome if you like that (hey, no judgment), but they are words that are kind of triggering for me, and I’m not even sure why.  I’ve actually stopped in the middle of sex when Husband playfully called me a bitch.  Yeah…no.  Pick another word.  Any other word.

But, as usual, I digress.

I noticed that Tantus started manufacturing black silicone paddles.  Elegant, simple, easy.  No hot pink fur.  No sparkles.  Uncomplicated, luxurious silicone.  If there was ever a paddle we thought would be worth our time, it would be a Tantus one.  In this case, specifically the Thwak Paddle.

A little bit about it: The Thwak paddle is made of a velvety flexible silicone.  It’s compact, being only just under 12″ long from end to end (6.5″ if you don’t include the handle), with the impact part of the paddle being a little under 3.5″ across.  The handle is relatively stiff, while the rest is highly flexible.

What he loved as the giver: The paddle’s flexibility makes it so it can be wielded very effectively in a very small space, unlike a standard solid paddle.  You don’t need room to wind up if you want a more intense sensation, and because no really big wind up is necessary, it’s easy on the arms and the wrist.  The compact size also makes it very easy to aim with much greater accuracy.

What I loved as the receiver: The Thwak is my new favorite impact toy.  There is something about the sensation that I absolutely love.  It’s not super stingy like a cane, but not purely thuddy like a cupped hand.  It’s a perfect blend of the two.  It delivers both a mild sting and a deep thud, and since it is so very easy for him to control the intensity of the swing, he can also easily control the intensity of the sensation.

What we didn’t: There wasn’t really anything we didn’t like.

Final thought: The Thwak Paddle sells for just over $47, and worth every little bit.  Easy to aim, easy to control the intensity, ergonomic enough the operator doesn’t tire easily, and provides that amazing sensation combination.  The Thwak is pretty much perfect.

~I received this item for free in exchange for an honest review.~

Follow-Up Friday: Pleasure Purse

~I originally received this item for free in exchange for an honest review.~Pleasure Purse

Once upon a time, I was looking for decent toy storage away from prying eyes.  Most toy storage I found was lowish quality, ridiculously priced, and most horrible for sex bloggers such as myself, were far, far, far too small.

When I received the Pleasure Purse and started snapping pictures for Twitter and such, I received a flood of messages that basically said the same thing: “Is it big enough?  It looks big.  How much does it hold?”  And if you remember from the original post, it held a whopping 33 items.  More than impressive.

Pleasure PurseHow I felt about it then: I was thrilled with the size of the Pleasure Purse, and loved the plain black leather outside that in no way screamed, “I’m a sex bag!”  I gleefully filled it and emptied it and filled it just to see exactly how much it could hold, how heavy it would be before I could barely lift it.  I loved being able to just put it down and leave it there without having to throw it under the bed or hide it in the bottom of the closet.  And it’s the perfect size for overnight trips!  How awesome is that?

How I feel about it now: Obviously, the size hasn’t changed.  I haven’t shrunk it or anything (shrunk dresses that I hadn’t even worn yet?  Yes.  Shrunk pieces of luggage?  No…yet).  I currently use the Pleasure Purse to hold my rather large menagerie of Tantus toys, and with tons of room to spare.

What I wanted to talk about is the quality of the Pleasure Purse.  I’ve had other reviewers warn me that they had other toy storage chests and bags from other companies that seemed very solid at first, but fell apart within a few weeks.  I’m happy to say that this is not the case.  I’m downright abusive to this bag.  I lug it on overnight trips, let others borrow it, shove it under the bed when it’s in the way.  It’s been stepped on, tripped over, kicked across the ancient terrazzo floor.  There is not a mark on it.  No stitching coming undone, no scuffs, no rips.  It looks the exact same as when I received it 7 months ago.  This is one solid bag.

Revised final thought: I’m still in Love with the Pleasure Purse, and still recommend it to others for those needing larger toy storage solutions.  At $120, it’s most certainly worth it.

In which I do toy sex ed for a group of people

pp3Friends of ours were celebrating their 20th anniversary by having a 3-day-long getaway with some of their closest friends, Husband and I included.  The hosting couple knew that I’m a little shy, and to my surprise, had already told many of the other people coming that I’m a sex blogger.  They had come up with a cunning plan: since the other people in attendance were the curious and adventurous types, the hosting couple asked me to bring a bag of toys and do a little adult sex ed.  Sure, no problem.  I would later find out that their ulterior motive was to get me talking in a group setting by dangling a subject that I’m passionate about in front of me.  They already knew that nothing gets me out of my shell faster than talking about sex and sex ed.

The day before and the day of our departure, there were sex toys charging all over the house.  [The kids weren’t home, of course.]  I packed, unpacked, and repacked my sex toy bag several times, trying to figure out what would be the best ones to take to people that may not have even owned a sex toy before, or, more likely, had only owned jelly toys and inexpensive bullet vibes.  I ended up taking a few examples of everything.

On the evening of the first day, the hosting couple sat me down on the couch in the living room of the biggest hotel suite I’ve ever seen, handed me my bag of toys, and sat down on cushions on the floor with all of the other guests.  Fourteen excited faces looked back at me.  I knew a few of the people, but most were new to me.  Either way, it felt like story time in a very strange kindergarten class.

The last time I had given a presentation to a group was for my speech class in college, which had the same number of people I was looking at now.  I remember my nervousness and horror, stumbling over my words years ago.  But now I sat in front of a group, half of which were in their pajamas, with a huge bag of sex toys sitting next to me, and I had never felt more comfortable.  It all seemed so very normal.

I gave the general talk that many sex bloggers and good sex ed people do when they talk about toys: stay away from jelly and other porous materials, stay away from lubes with glycerine if you are prone to yeast infections, it’s not a good idea to use silicone lube with silicone toys, if you are going to do anal play then use a toy with a base, here’s a list of safe toy materials and companies you’ll want to use…you know, the usual.

Then the nitty gritty.  I talked about why certain toys are better for g-spotting than others, why many of the dildos (in this case, particularly Tantus dildos) have such a wide base, and why for some toys (*cough* We-Vibe 4) the position of your G-spot and clitoris matter.  Then of course there was some pleasure anatomy discussion, because, well.  It’s important.

As I finished discussing each toy, I handed them around.  There were oohs, ahhs, the occasional awkward giggle, and questions that I was more than happy to answer.  In the end it was a great success, and I was surprised at just how comfortable I was doing it.

Weeks have gone by, and I still occasionally get texts from those that were in attendance about toys and sex ed in general.  In fact, I just introduced one of them to female condoms a few days ago.  A few friends have joked that I missed my calling as a sex educator.  Hm.  Maybe I’ll do just that eventually.

Tantus Vamp Review

~I received this item for free in exchange for an honest review.~Tantus Vamp

Lately I’ve come to really appreciate the simplicity of what a slight change in shape can do.  A very small change from toy to toy, even toys that look remarkably similar, can feel worlds apart.  What I’m saying here is that I had grown tired of dildos that were anything short of revolutionary.  Most of them are roughly the same size and shape, phallic, and made for in and out motion.  They had all seemed the same, and frankly, I was a little tired of reviewing them.  And then I started to notice, really notice, the little things that made each one special and unique, what small features puts one above the other.

When I took the Vamp out of the package, I was not impressed.  It seemed like just another dildo.  But after I used it?  Wow.  Wow.  I’m in love with the Vamp.

A little bit about it: The Tantus Vamp is a silicone dildo roughly 8 inches long (about 6.5 insertable) and 5 inches around (5.5 around the head).  Washable, bleachable, boilable, dishwasher safe, and all those other good things that we’ve come to expect from Tantus.

What I loved: The Vamp is a wonderful blend between the rigidity I need for proper G-spot stimulation and the slight flexibility that makes it easy to manipulate and comfortable.  But that’s not even the best part.  Like other dildos I’ve noticed lately, what makes the Vamp ever so special and why it has earned a place in my favorite toys is the shape of the head.  Specifically, the sharp contrast between the head and the shaft.

Most dildos can rub my G-spot, and do it well.  The Vamp, though, does something unique.  That little valley between the head and the shaft doesn’t just rub my G-spot, it catches on it, giving it a slight tug, making some of the best, and easiest, G-spot orgasms I’ve ever had.

Tantus Vamp

This spot riiiiiiight here…

What I didn’t: Um…nope.  Nothing.  Loved every little bit of it.

Final thought: The Vamp is very reasonably priced at about $48, or when it’s available in the Grab Bag section, it’s a mere $22.50!  That’s less than a lot of crappy jelly dildos!  Tantus quality is pretty top notch, and their toys will last for years with proper care.  The price is totally worth it.

~I received this item for free in exchange for an honest review.~

Revel Body SOL Review

~I received this item for free in exchange for an honest review.~

Clitoral vibrators are probably my favorite kind of sex toy to date.  I mean, I love sex toys in general, but clitoral vibes are by far the most used in my arsenal.  So of course when Revel Body offered for me to review their new vibrator, I wasn’t going to say no.

revel1

A little bit about it: The Revel Body SOL (not to be confused with the original Revel Body) is a waterproof, rechargeable, clitoral vibrator that comes with 3 interchangeable heads.  It doesn’t so much just vibrate like most vibes, but instead has a removable center piston that pumps in and out.  It has six settings, and a simple 3 button operation: On/Off, power up, and power down.

What I loved: I’ll say this for the Revel Body, it is very different.  The round shape fits in my hands comfortably, and the pumping sensation instead of a normal vibration really does feel quite good against my clitoris.  The interchangeable heads allows me to customize the sensation.  Unfortunately, my love of the design doesn’t overshadow some pretty big problems I had with it.

revel2What I didn’t: Although the first three settings are pleasurable and the third setting is strongish, the last three of the 6, including their touted “OM” setting, don’t seem to affect me.  When I use these settings I can’t even feel anything on my clitoris.  Nothing.  Even though the company makes it clear that it’s actually the first 3 settings that are the strongest, I would think their OM setting would at least do something for me, since it’s such a huge selling point.  I tried using the OM setting elsewhere on my body, since the Revel Body SOL is also supposed to be good for body massages, but it just tickles.  I simply don’t understand this setting.

Now let’s talk about power.  The third setting is admittedly strong…ish… but not quite strong enough for me.  I am the first one to stand up and say my clitoris is not particularly sensitive, but the We-Vibe Touch and Tango as well as the Je Joue MiMi can bring me to orgasm without much of an issue.  The Revel Body SOL, however, gets me close, and that’s it.  Agonizingly close.  Frustratingly close.  Angeringly close.  And that’s it.  I found that I was getting so irritated by being so close and not being able to orgasm that I was reaching for other toys.  It never pushes me over the edge to orgasm, and that’s where I simply give up on this vibrator.

Final thought: The Revel Body SOL is a nice try at a revolutionary vibrator.  For those with clitorises more sensitive than mine, it may very well work for you.  For those of you that need a little more power to get to orgasm, you’ll probably want to pass this one up.

~I received this item for free in exchange for an honest review.~

m4s0n501

Tantus Raptor XL Review

~I received this item for free in exchange for an honest review.~tantus raptor xl

Something about the Tantus Raptor has always appealed to me, but have never been able to figure out exactly why.  Maybe it’s the fact it comes in two sizes (regular and XL).  Maybe it’s the colors.  Mostly, though, I think it’s the shape.  There’s something really visually appealing about the shape of the head and testicles that don’t look like they’ve been sheared off at the base, like most ball-having toys are.  Honestly, I’ve always found that sheared look pretty creepy.  There’s none of that here.  But as usual, I digress.

A little bit about it:  The Raptor XL is a silicone dildo that is larger than most standard dildos at 5 3/8 inches in circumference and an insertable length of just under 6 inches, with a total length of just under 10 inches.  It comes orange, purple and black.

What I loved: First, like most Tantus toys, it’s 100% silicone.  If you haven’t picked up on it, I have a love of silicone toys.  I especially love that they are easy to clean, non porous, and can be easily sterilized.  In this case, you can bleach it, boil it, or stick it in the dishwasher.

I typically don’t like vaginal toys with a straight shaft.  They usually don’t do a whole lot for my G-spot unless I try to get creative with the angle of entry, but that sort of thing ends up tiring me out pretty fast and killing any enjoyment.  That’s not the case here.  The Raptor, although not curved, comes away at a slight angle from the base, and has a rather bulbous, tear drop-shaped head with a definite boundary between the shaft and head.  These two things together make it great for G-spotting and I was very surprised at how easily I was able to orgasm with it.raptorxl2The shaft and testicles are a silky textured silicone (some people call it “buttery”), and it feels great in my fingers.  The head is a glossy silicone, which adds to the difference in sensation between the shaft and head.

What I didn’t: The head has some drag to it, so some water-based lubricant is advisable.

Final thought:  The Raptor XL retails for just under $96, but it will last a very long time with proper care.  In my opinion, totally worth it, especially if you like larger toys.  If you don’t, give this one a pass.

~I received this item for free in exchange for an honest review.~