Dec 152014
 

Black LELO Ora (original), blue LELO Ora 2I wish the entirety of this review could just be the word no. Not even repeated for emphasis, not even in all caps. Just a single, lonely, plaintive no.

I am bored by how predictably mediocre the LELO Ora 2 is. When the press release called the Ora “the world’s most sophisticated oral sex simulator,” I didn’t fly into a rage — I just sighed.

Granted, Je Joue is acting like their SaSi — the actual first oral sex toy — never happened. Like they 86’d it and buried it ten miles out of town. Which works for me, because the SaSi sucked. But that doesn’t mean LELO gets to swoop in and snatch the credit.

Also, when you have to push the second generation of a toy within a year of its initial release, maybe re-think your testing process? Everyone on earth could have told you that the rolly ball on the original Ora didn’t protrude enough. I suffered through that toy, and I can confirm: it was like a ladybug crawling gingerly across my clit. It was like oral sex for someone who just arrived on this planet. At any given moment using it, I could not tell you where the rolly ball was. My orgasms were tortured; one time afterward, I instant messaged a friend: “I’m offended by the lack of pleasure I just experienced. It barely qualifies as an orgasm.”

In the draft of my review I wrote, among other burns,

Someone come take it from me, take it away, take it far far away. I don’t want to look at it, remember it, or experience it anymore. It has been a waste of my clit’s time and I want to block it from my memory.

The Ora 2 is an improvement because I can feel the rolly ball now. I can feel the thing that was promised to us initially. This is no real cause for celebration. The original Ora was worse than the Je Joue SaSi (which was released in 2008), and the Ora 2 is about on par with it — better in some ways, worse in others. There are no huge leaps and bounds being made here.

The original LELO Ora being uselessThe shape and size of this toy make no earthly sense to me. I don’t understand the hole in the middle, and never have. The toy itself is enormous (3″ in diameter) and takes up most of my vulva. I consider myself a very good masturbation multi-tasker, yet I still have trouble holding Ora in the right place while thrusting anything in my vag. Those with more buried clits will likely find it impossible to use Ora without manually spreading their labia to make way for it.

And don’t even try using Ora with an internal vibrator; the movement of the rolly ball will be very much diminished.

The Ora 2 has ten settings. Several are ball movement only (either a complete circle or a portion of one), and several are a mixture of movement and pulsation, which leaves only a couple that aren’t completely useless to me. Like, I am offended by the insinuation that a person with a vulva could come on some of these settings. The ball movement, even on the second generation version, is way too gentle. Any orgasm derived from this toy can be attributed almost entirely to the vibration — not the ball.

So, I’m only willing to chase an orgasm on one setting of this toy — full circle with steady vibration. The chances of my orgasm being ruined are high enough without suffering through one of the other modes.

I would be remiss not to admit that I’ve had a few good times with the Ora 2. On The Only Worthwhile Setting, turned up to “turbo” so the rolly ball’s circle is sort of fast, with the toy positioned just right and no attempts at thrusting anything in my vag, it feels good. The rolly ball maneuvers over my clit in a subtle but pleasurable fashion. With the vibration egging me on, I can come pretty easily.

But for $159? Nope. $159 should buy you refinement, and the Ora 2 is not refined. Sure, it’s rechargeable, waterproof, and made with quality silicone, but it’s such an awkward toy to use. Aside from its bumbling size, the buttons face away from me and the charging port is right by the part that I jam up into my vulva. Because that makes sense.

Can we also talk, again, about the Insignia line as a whole? About this silver plastic shit with a crevasse that is just perfect for vag juices? About how I gave up on ever Photoshopping every bit of my vag gunk out of these photos? LELO still uses this “design” for some of their toys! I don’t know why! I’m not so much concerned about seeing residue on my own toys, because I don’t give a fuck, but it becomes a problem when I pull this toy out to show mock in front of my friends and there’s dried gunk in the crevasse and it makes me look like a goddamn amateur.

LELO’s painful fauxnnovations and upsetting choices in recent years are really starting to worry me. Like Lana Del Rey’s latest album, the company seems to have become too moody and self-aware to be good. They know they can make bombastic claims and their reputation for quality will carry sales — whether those toys ultimately deliver or not. Hey, LELO, stop resting on pretty.

At its best, held correctly and on just the right setting and while holding your breath, the LELO Ora 2 is like a pleasant massage chair for your clit. At its worst, it’s a frustrating, expensive, technological nightmare that makes masturbation harder than it needs to be. A few good orgasms when the stars align are not worth $159.

And if you want oral sex, go find yourself an actual human tongue. No, not a severed one… one attached to a human who can actually respond to your needs and wants, apply pressure where it feels good, create unique movements, and oh yeah — suck. Can we all collectively agree that no sex toy is ever going to be able to do all of that?

The only thing Ora 2 has over a real person is that it vibrates, it doesn’t have a mustache, and you can berate it in disgust without offending it.

Get the LELO Ora 2 at LELO, SheVibe, Babeland, GoodVibes,
Come As You Are (Canada), or Lovehoney (international).

Dec 092014
 

OVO L1 Silicone Love BallsMy rollercoaster ride with the OVO L1 Silicone Love Balls began one fateful afternoon in August.

Days before, I’d sweated my ass off cleaning and organizing my garage. But it was not completely The Worst, because I had the LELO Luna Beads in my vag. They jiggled and joggled as I hauled boxes back and forth, reminding me that life was perhaps worth living despite the creeping despair that comes with realizing you own way too much goddamn stuff.

Then, a few days later, I put in the OVO kegel balls, hoping to replicate the experience as I continued packing for my new home. And… I promptly forgot they were in. They were in for many hours, and I was doing strenuous work, yet they did not shiver, they did not stimulate. Several times, I half-assedly considered taking them out, but then went back to whatever I was doing. The only reason I remembered to remove them before I went to bed was because I saw the string dangling out of my vag when I went to pee.

This has not always been my experience. A week ago I wore them all day as I journeyed to the vet, to the recycling center, and to Target, and I did feel them jiggle some of the time. A few days ago, my boyfriend recorded drums while I did the vag ball dance to the beat, and they rolled around in response. I think I can feel the silver balls (which weigh 90 grams) more easily than the blue clear balls (70 grams).

I was starting to feel like maybe I should give the OVO balls an okay review. With a price tag of $17.99, you’d be forgiven for wanting to snatch them up just to try them. But a plot twist was yet to come.

I knew something was amiss when I first took them out of the box and realized they look ABSOLUTELY NOTHING like the digitally-rendered versions of themselves. The silver balls are chintzy, easily scratched, and have visible seams. The white silicone holster seems like an unfinished art project — the retrieval string (which is stupidly stretchy, because of course it is) has jagged edges and a stupid gem tacked onto the end for no apparent reason, all of which irritate my vulva in use.

Chipping silver paint and broken open OVO L1 Silicone Love BallsThen, as I was finishing this review and examining the OVO balls more closely, I noticed that the silver coating was chipping off. A few drags with my thumbnail over the surface and even more started flaking all over my fingers. Um, fuck that shit. Nobody needs a sex toy with gross silver cancer paint — I don’t care how cheap it is.

My vagina is getting tired, y’all. I’ve tried damn near every kegel ball in existence, and few are worthwhile. I couldn’t feel the Hold On To MeLuna Beads Mini, Maia balls, or Toyfriend Trainers. The Key Stella II nudges my cervix too much. The Vanity VR1 promised innovation and did not deliver. Evi is just a rigid blob. The Je Joue Ami set was okay but not at all worth $59. And the OVO balls are really badly constructed at least — harmful at worst.

My advice? Stick to the California Exotic Couture Eclipse for $19.99, made with nothing more than non-porous plastic and pure silicone. The rumbly rolling sensation is very easily felt in that set, similarly to my favorite but more expensive LELO Luna Beads. The Eclipse retrieval string is obnoxiously stretchy, because of course it is, but at least it doesn’t have weird edges and an unnecessary jewel.

And unlike the OVO balls, it won’t shed silver flakes into your vagina.

Dec 032014
 

Get 10% off anything at Crystal Delights with code EPIPHORA!

Crystal Delights Ash Girl glass dildoI have a lot of glass dildos, but I find it disturbingly easy to eschew most of them. When I moved, I re-arranged my life so that my desk only contains the most pertinent of sex toys. One drawer is reserved for glass toys, and guess what’s inside? Three Crystal Delights dildos. Nothing else.

Crystal Delights is best known for their bejeweled and tail-adorned butt plugs, but to me, they are makers of the greatest glass dildos known to man. The Star Delight is a staple in my toybox (used often as a reprieve, or finisher, when other toys fail), and the Crystal Twist is a fabulously weird G-spotting dildo that ranks up there with the best of them.

Therefore, I was not surprised when I loved the Ash Girl.

It’s a modest size, at 6.7″ long, 5.8″ insertable, and 1.4″ in diameter at its widest. It’s delightfully textured, with a slight G-spotting curve and pronounced head. The cherry on top is a unique Light Vitrail Swarovski crystal (a gorgeous conglomeration of pink and yellow) in the base, which serves as an excellent handle.

The Ash Girl comes with a fancy storage bag embroidered with Asian-style dragons and phoenixes, rather than Crystal Delights’ usual black. Just don’t leave the storage bag out on your desk; any nearby cat will find it to be a highly acceptable bed.

The texture on the Ash Girl consists of peculiar-looking raised swirls and curly-Qs, like you might doodle in your notebook in 7th grade. I wasn’t sure how this would feel, and I’m not sure how to describe it. The site’s description calls this dildo “delicately textured,” but I don’t agree. It’s definitely intense — on the verge of abrasive. But I’m weird, and I like that shit.

The Ash Girl is like a glass version of the silicone Jellyfish, about which you may recall me writing:

Usually I have to choose between G-spotting and texture. Texture can be so overwhelming that G-spot stimulation gets drowned out, and vice versa. Not so with the Jellyfish. The Jellyfish has both — and both are overwhelming. In a good way… usually.

Many will find this texture far too abrasive. Like, probably 90% of people with vaginas. I find it abrasive most of the time. But once I get really turned on, when my vagina opens up and I drizzle the lube everywhere, the Jellyfish is amazing. I clench around it and the G-spot stimulation from that is SO GOOD that I come too fast.

The good thing about the Ash Girl is that it isn’t very big. So while the texture is crazy, I don’t have to prepare my vagina in advance for the dildo’s arrival. I can get all of the delicious texture without added girth. And most importantly, there’s a bulbous G-spotting head in the deal, too. SCORE.

The bumpy Star Delight feels gentle in comparison to the Ash Girl. Its rounded bumps are less jarring, and the lack of a curve cuts back somewhat on the G-spot stimulation. The Star Delight, with its straight shaft, is better for spinning. The Ash Girl is better for thrusting, or nudging the head up against my G-spot while I clench around the shaft and relish in the raised swirls.

The Ash Girl is touted as being “harnessable,” but I’m not about to try it. I’m enough of an oaf without having to worry about jabbing my partner with unyielding glass, and I wouldn’t want another person to be in charge of how much this toy moves inside of me. I asked my girlfriend about the “harnessable” claim. The response? “I feel concerned.”

Also, this is one of the most difficult toys to clean that I’ve ever owned. Just when I think I’ve toothbrushed off every bit of dried-up vag gunk, the toy dries and more gunk magically appears. What I’m saying is, I wouldn’t feel comfortable sharing this dildo with anyone I wasn’t fluid-bonded with.

The Ash Girl will never be the most widely enjoyed toy in Crystal Delight’s catalog based solely on how intense its texture is. It’s a very particular toy. At $145, it’s also more spendy than most dildos from Crystal Delights. Before purchasing, ask yourself if you like your vaginal walls to feel vaguely like they’re being scraped. I do, hence why I love it.

Get 10% off anything at Crystal Delights with code EPIPHORA!

Nov 272014
 

GOBBLE GOBBLE, peeps. I’m here to tell you where you can get the best Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals on sex toys I have meticulously tested and can highly recommend. Best part: you can stay in your pajamas!

If you’ve been waiting to buy something I raved about, now is probably the time. Discounts like these don’t happen on such a grand scale at any other time of the year. Some toys will sell out, too, so if there’s something you want, don’t delay.

Black Friday sex toy deals from Epiphora!

So far I have deals from GoodVibes, Lovehoney, LELO, SheVibe, Tantus, Early to Bed, Fleshlight, Babeland, NobEssence, Sliquid, and JT’s Stockroom, plus porn-tastic sales from Crash Pad Series and Courtney Trouble, a web hosting deal from HostGator, business cards from Moo, and the usual from Amazon. I even have some special coupons you won’t find anywhere but here.

I will be continually updating this post as more sales pop up, so use that refresh button!

My favorite deals (toy name links to my review):

GoodVibes

BEST FOR: orders over $100 and LELO products.

Cyber Monday at GoodVibes, 25% off LELO and more!

Cyber Monday at GoodVibes means getting a $15 gift card with any order over $100, and LELO products continue to be on sale at 25% off! My LELO picks are Mona 2, Siri, and Mia 2.

I also suggest you get something from my favorites page, like anything from Vixen (I love Mustang and Buck), an Eroscillator Top 2 Deluxe,, njoy Pure Wand, Fun Factory Stronic Eins, Comet II WandNobEssence Romp, Vibratex Mystic Wand, We-Vibe TangoWe-Vibe Touch, Liberator Throe, and/or Joque.

Lovehoney

BEST FOR: international purchases over $80 or £50, especially of njoy products, Fun Factory Stronics, We-Vibe toys (I love Touch and Tango), and Vixen Creations toys.

25% off orders over $80 at Lovehoney this Black Friday!

My favorite worldwide sex toy shop, Lovehoney, will be giving a steep 25% off as long as you spend over a certain amount of money, among their other sales and special offers. Lovehoney has sites for UK, US, and Australia. I suggest checking out my landing page for my favorites and going from there.

This sale runs from Friday, November 28th to Monday, December 1st.

LELO

BEST FOR: international purchases of LELO products, especially Ella and the Luna Beads.

20% off and free international shipping at LELO with code PIPH20

Get 20% off everything, free shipping (EVEN ON INTERNATIONAL ORDERS!), and free lube with orders over $100 at LELO. Use code PIPH20. This code will take effect Thursday, November 27th and end on Monday, December 1st.

Do you have a clitoris? You need the Mona 2 (here’s why, and here’s another reason why). I also love the Luna Beads (review here), Mia (review here), Ella (first toy I squired with, yo), and Siri (review here).

SheVibe

BEST FOR: those placing an order over $125, especially for the LELO Mona 2 and more unique lines such as NobEssence wooden toys, Eroscillator, Leaf, and more obscure/fancy Liberator stuff, etc.

Black Friday Blowout at SheVibe!

It’s an escalating sale at SheVibe: the more you buy, the more you save! Get 10% off orders over $75 with code TURKEY10, 15% off orders over $100 with code TURKEY15, and 20% off orders over $125 with code TURKEY20. Check out my favorites for what you should get!

Coupon codes are only valid for countries they ship directly to: US, CA, UK, AUS. This sale runs Friday, November 28th through Monday, December 1st at 11:59 pm EST.

 

Free Sliquid lube with $75 purchase at SheVibe with code SLICKPIPH

Black Friday ONLY, you can get a free bottle of Sliquid lube (my favorite!) with purchase of $75 or more (after other discounts, which are compatible). Use code SLICKPIPH for this one, which ends at 11:59 pm EST on Black Friday. Use the code and SheVibe will add a bottle of Sliquid of their choice when they make your package. No need to add to cart!

Tantus

BEST FOR: those wanting specific Tantus toys, really cheap silicone toys, or toys for harness play, BDSM, prostate play.

tantus-cyber-monday-grab-bag

Cyber Monday at Tantus means 40% off already deeply-discounted Grab Bag sex toysThe Ryder ($11!) and Echo ($20!) are the best. Take advantage — this is a RIDICULOUS deal.

Black Friday steals at Tantus and additional 15% off with code EPIPHORA

Tantus always has epic sales, and their sale this year isn’t any different! They have various bundles of toys with deep discounts, and individual toys are also discounted.

Plus, you can use code EPIPHORA to get an additional 15% off already amazing sale prices. As always, free US shipping with orders over $100, and free international shipping with orders over $200.

Note: The full price will show on the product page as well as on each item in the cart until all items necessary for the bundle are present in the cart. After a few moments, the cart refreshes on its own to reflect the discounted price of each item.

Tantus also has specific products discounted. With the additional 15% off from the EPIPHORA code, you can get these:

This sale runs from Friday, November 28th through Monday, December 1st at 11:59 pm PST.

In addition, there will be 24 hour flash sales each day on a specific product. Watch this space and my Twitter account for info.

Early to Bed

BEST FOR: purchases of less expensive items and rare items from my favorites list, such as cute butt plugs, Vixen Creations single-density dildos, and porn DVDs.

15% off at Early to Bed when you purchase one of Epiphora's faves!

I am madly in love with Early to Bed, especially because they worked with me on a special deal just for my readers this year. Buy at least one product from my favorites page and get 15% off your total order with coupon code EPIPHORA15.

Early to Bed is especially great for non-dual-density dildos from Vixen that I love: Woody, Leo, Randy, and Large Real Bent (Claire). Here, you can also get the best deal on the Thinny MinnieHitachi, Cuddle, Moka, and Bootie.

Although this may not be the steepest discount you can get, Early to Bed is one of the greatest little indie sex shops around, so you should support them!

This coupon is valid Thursday, November 27th through Sunday, November 30th.

Fleshlight

BEST FOR: anyone wanting a Fleshlight, especially if you’re interested in Sex in a Can or the Shower Mount

Fleshlight is having a sweet sale Wednesday, November 26th through Tuesday, December 2nd. Here are the deets:

50% off Sex in a Can Fleshlights this Black Friday!

50% off Sex in a Can/Jack’s Soda products! These Fleshlights are great because they are smaller and more compact than traditional ones. Plus, the Jack’s Soda Fleslights come in the most adorable cans ever made.

Had your eye on something else? How about this:

Buy more, get more free gifts at Fleshlight this Black Friday!

Or were you wanting a Fleshlight Girl specifically? Well, boom:

Buy 2 Fleshlight girls, get one free!

Buy 2 Fleshlight Girls and get one free!

NobEssence

BEST FOR: gorgeous wooden toys straight from the source.

25% off with SAVE25 and free shipping on orders over $100

25% off with code SAVE25 and free shipping over $100 through this weekend only! You can’t go wrong with NobEssence, but I really like the awesome Romp and Seduction.

Babeland

BEST FOR: late shoppers on Cyber Monday.

15% off at Babeland Cyber Monday!

15% off everything at Babeland for Cyber Monday! Use code CYBERSAVE.

My fave vibes are the We-Vibe Tango, We-Vibe TouchLELO Mia 2, LELO Mona 2,  Babeland Silver Bullet, Blueberry Buzz, Picobong Ako, Picobong MokaHitachi Magic Wand, and Vibratex Mystic Wand. When it comes to dildos, you can’t go wrong with the njoy Pure WandFun Factory Stronic Eins, and/or pretty much anything from Vixen Creations. For your butt, get a njoy Pure Plug because they are perfection. Top things off with a Joque harness and Liberator Throe.

Sliquid / Ride Lube

BEST FOR: people who just want some lube, goddamnit, without having to buy other junk!

15% off Sliquid and Ride lube this Black Friday and Cyber Monday

15% off all orders at Sliquid and Ride Lube, from Friday through Monday. Sliquid is my favorite lube ever. The best part about this sale is that you can get an additional 10% off with code EPIPHORA, so bottles of my faves H2O and Sassy are just $10!

JT’s Stockroom

BEST FOR: inexpensive glass toys and bondage gear.

Up to 75% off at JT's Stockroom this Black Friday

Save up to 75% off in this sale from JT’s Stockroom, which runs now through Monday, December 1st. The Blue Ribbon Glass Dildo is only $19, the Bent is only $11, and this glass butt plug is $15.

Other much less tame stuff is on sale, too, such as paddles, gags, cuffs, collars, sounding equipment, anal hooks, and more!

Crash Pad Series and Courtney Trouble

BEST FOR: porn mongers!

10% off the first month at Crash Pad Series

Spanning Black Friday through Cyber Monday, Pink & White Productions will offer 10% off the first month of a level 2 membership to its queer porn site CrashPadSeries.com. Based on Shine Louise Houston’s dyke sex cult classic The Crash Pad, CrashPadSeries.com is a one-of-a-kind membership site, and a virtual hotbed of queer sexuality.

Autumn sale at Courtney Trouble's store!

It’s an autumn sale at Courtney Trouble’s store! Get $30 off the Double Trouble glass dildo toy PLUS a free DVD! The code FUCKFRIDAY will also get you 30% off any full length film in the online store (includes DVDs and downloads). You should buy Trans Grrrls. This sale runs through Sunday night.

HostGator

BEST FOR: budding bloggers needing a kick in the pants to start that blog.

55% off hosting at HostGator this Black Friday!

My awesome host, HostGator, is offering 55% off all new hosting plans from Friday, November 28th at 12 pm CST through Monday, December 1st, at 11:59 pm CST. They will also be running ten one-hour sales at a whopping 75% off. I’ll try to announce those on my Twitter account.

Moo Cards

BEST FOR: the best quality business cards in the land.

moo-cards-cyber-monday-2014

I always wait until Cyber Monday to order more business cards at Moo Cards. They did not disappoint this year, with 25% off business cards, stickers, postcards, and more. Super high quality cards that will impress your business associates (haha)!

This sale ends at 11:59 pm on Tuesday, December 2nd.

Amazon

BEST FOR: your non-sex toy purchases, because you love me.

Black Friday deals week at Amazon

If you’re shopping for non-sex-toys at Amazon this weekend, might I gently nudge you into using my affiliate link to do so?

Nov 242014
 

We need to talk about what’s happening with LELO.

For about three years, they’ve mostly been releasing convoluted, overpriced, “innovative” pieces of shit topped off with pretentious marketing. It began in 2011 with Lyla, a remote-controlled egg that only responded when I pointed the remote directly at my vulva. The Smart Wands, in 2012, included “technology” which caused them to fail at inopportune moments. 2013 brought us Ida, easily the most functionally deficient LELO toy I’ve ever tried (that’s putting it mildly), and the useless Hula Beads. This year, we were blessed with Ora, an “oral sex” simulator, which was a waste of my clit’s time.

And now we have this.

LELO Pino... a cock ring "exclusively for bankers"

Your eyes do not deceive. That is a cock ring with a pinstripe-lined box, LELO-branded cufflinks, and a money clip engraved with the phrase “Always Be Closing.” Its tagline is indeed Exclusively for Bankers.

I’m sure you’re having a visceral reaction to me merely stating these objective facts, but allow me to make it a lot worse by quoting the press release and embedding the accompanying promotional video.

According to the company, the PINO “is the first pleasure object ever created to satisfy the hedonistic sexual cravings and excesses exhibited by members of the financial world, with LELO’s promotional video a testament to the role PINO will play in bankers’ lives.”

Steve Thomson, LELO’s head of marketing said, “PINO is the ultimate stimulus package, the most exclusive couples ring in the world and is aimed at the Wolves of Wall Street and Gordon Gekkos of our communities. They’re rarely satisfied and always looking for new limits to push, so PINO is about meeting those demands and adding a new adventurism to their sex lives.”

. . . “Can you think of a more demanding group to design a sex toy for?” Thomson said. “For most of us, sex is one of the most wonderful, pleasurable experiences in our lives. In the male-dominated, testosterone-drenched context of banking, it’s an obsession, and that perhaps explains the demands LELO receives and delivery to financial institutions. Bankers are both proud of their sex lives but also want to make sure they’re doing it right. PINO is kind of an external consultant in that respect, and as a sex-positive, inclusive brand — LELO creating this product 100% serves a demanding group.”

The new PINO is a premium couples’ ring worn by men during sex, with its stretchy silicone ring accommodating and enhancing men of all sizes. Its vibrating motor brings enhanced pleasure for her, “while ensuring the man will always close the deal with his partner,” the company says.

They’re right! The douchebag market was completely untapped before now! The world definitely needed a product catering to pompous rich asswipes! Those dudes were not taking up enough space to begin with; they needed to add more shit to their penises.

In this techno-saturated nightmare, all bankers are animalistic, unhinged, sex-obsessed men who get wasted, act stupid, objectify women, piss away their money, and get in bar fights… but don’t worry, they wake up just fine the next morning to put on their ties and go to their Important jobs.

Screenshots from LELO's promo video for Pino, the cock ring "exclusively for bankers"

Sex positive! Inclusive! I mean, exclusively for bankers, but — somehow inclusive!

When LELO posted this video to their Facebook page, the people told them what they really thought, in potentially the first ever comments section not to disappoint.

Reactions to LELO posting their sexist Pino promo video on Facebook

Whatever happened to the LELO of yore? The LELO that launched toys like the Siri, Ella, and Luna Beads… simple toys with simple aims and great execution? What happened to modest toys like Gigi and effective toys like Mona? What happened to making sex toys that work with actual human anatomy? Or prioritizing the user experience? Or modes that people actually like? Or, god, marketing that doesn’t insult the entire human race?

Let me remind you, LELO, since you seem to have forgotten, about the principle on which your goddamn company was founded.

. . . Leaving their jobs to work on LELO full-time, the trio agreed to base everything on the concept that intimate items designed for women should be designed with women in mind.

Where were women when Pino was conceived? In the constructed reality of Pino, women are just fucktoys that shitty dudes take home after getting wasted. Women are disembodied ankles and bitches who flip men off (but secretly want to fuck them). Women are vessels upon which men project their egos. Women certainly aren’t bankers.

This makes me feel sicker than I did watching that video of people making Girl Scout cookie shots. And that’s saying a lot.

Nov 212014
 

I say this every year, but HOLY FUCK, PEOPLE. You went nuts in my 6-year blogiversary giveaway.

Over 3,600 individual souls entered, 2,200 people reblogged on Tumblr, and I lost count of the number of tweets long ago. Also, 1,900 of you filled out a survey about my blog, which blows my mind. I haven’t had a chance to go through the responses yet, but I’m sure they will be invaluable in my blog’s growth. So thank you!

A lot of you have been asking what the most popular prize packs were. The top three were the Stronic Eins + AkoMagic Wand + Pure Plug, and Ryder + Mona 2 + Lockable Toy Case.

Without further ado, the winners (who have all been contacted)!

Epiphora's 6-year blogiversary giveaway — 37 sex toy prizes!

Thanks to ALL OF YOU who entered. I know it sucks not to win, and to have the odds be so stacked against you, but know that I appreciate you as a reader and I wish I could give you all prizes.

As always, big hugs to the awesome companies who donated: LELOSheVibeLovehoneyTantus, EroscillatorWe-Vibe, Fun FactoryFleshlight, SliquidVixen Creations, OhMiBodCrystal DelightsBabelandNobEssence, njoyEarly to BedGood Vibrations, and Vibratex!

Nov 192014
 

LELO Hula BeadsImagine a cat with its head tilted to the side in puzzlement. That is me whenever I use the LELO Hula Beads… only a lot less cute. It’s a head tilt that turns to a subtle wince that melts into a side eye and ends with a weary sigh.

The confusion begins with the fact that the Hula Beads are not kegel exercisers, I guess, but are still called Beads, just like LELO’s wonderful Luna Beads kegel balls. The Hula Beads are shaped like conjoined orbs, but that’s where the similarity ends.

So what are they? They’re rechargeable, waterproof, remote-controlled thing-a-ma-bobs that you insert vaginally and can wear around. For… pleasure? The smaller tip rotates and the base vibrates. There’s no way to turn the rotation off, so the Hula Beads are always writhing. Writhing within me. Like a cunt worm.

As is always the case these days, the marketing for the Hula Beads attempts to convince you that there are SO! MANY! WAYS! they can be used. Ever adventurous and indebted to you, my friends, I tried every possible way. GOD HELP ME.

  • Big end first, fully inserted: Eh, there is something there and it is vibrating. If I didn’t know, I would not guess that anything was rotating.
  • Small end first, fully inserted: MY CERVIX IS BEING ROTATED.
  • Big end first, half-inserted: It’s okay? I guess? But that’s not where my clit is, FYI, because I feel like that’s what’s implied by the “idea” of wearing them like this. If you want rotation coupled with vibration that’s ACTUALLY on your clit, you want the Ida. (Although really, you don’t want the Ida.)
  • Small end first, half-inserted: This is the only way I could derive any pleasure from the Hula Beads. Of course, it infringed on my ability to sit in my favorite position (with my leg tucked under me) — I basically had to dudespread all over the place. Forget standing up; it would writhe out of my body if I did that. And uh, that’s still not where my clit is.

So the way that most people will use it (small end first, fully inserted) is the least comfortable, and the most pleasurable position hinges on my patience for sitting in a useless puddle at my desk. Why? What is the point of all this? What is life?

I’ll concede one tiny thing. The Dudespread Position™ actually turned me on. But the arousal was caused by the lack of stimulation on my clit, of my body wanting more. Like, if I want to tease myself at my desk while attempting to be productive, I’ll use the We-Vibe 4 or We-Vibe Tango Dusk Pleasure Mate because at least with those toys I can get an orgasm at the end of it.

But most times, wearing the Hula Beads, I don’t want to masturbate — I just kind of want it to stop. They make me acutely aware of the existence of my cervix, so much so that I legitimately thought I was inducing my period one time by wearing them. Seriously, the rotation makes me feel like a human ice cream machine.

I know my vagina isn’t particularly lengthy, but jeez. The toy is only 4 inches long, but once pushed past the pubic bone, that 4 inches becomes too much. It would be a huge gamble for anyone to buy these, as there’s no way of knowing whether one’s vaginal canal is long enough to cradle them without cervix irritation.

Like, a gamble to the tune of $169.

The LELO Hula Beads just don’t make sense. They don’t have a purpose on this earth. I mean, they’re meant to induce pleasure, but instead they just irritate. Physically and psychologically

They’re certainly more noticeable than the Luna Beads and their non-rotating remote-controlled sibling, Lyla, but they’re noticeable in a bad way. They’re not like other things that can hang out in my vagina and make a dull day just a little bit more enjoyable. In fact, if I have any feelings of irritation, the Hula Beads will just force those right to the surface in the form of rage at the weird sensations it is subjecting me to.

And I still find the remote control aspect wonky. Even just a couple feet away, sitting on my desk, the toy sometimes doesn’t respond when I tilt the remote, or responds after several seconds. I’d suggest giving up all semblance of control, because your movements may or may not have any impact on the toy. I tested it for a while with my friends (isn’t that what you do with your friends?) to confirm this, and my patience wore thin. It lasted one hour and 13 minutes. Then it stopped — and I was at peace.

I deserve a luau and a Mai Tai after all this.

Get the LELO Hula Beads at LELO, SheVibe, Babeland, Good Vibes,
Come As You Are (Canada), or Lovehoney (international).

Nov 102014
 

15 things I learned buying a house as a sex bloggerMost of my summer was spent in the throes of buying a house, an experience that was completely new to me. As a person who earns most of their income through nefarious and elusive internet means, as well as a person who masturbates frequently and more peculiarly than most, I had some… unique considerations as a home buyer.

My sex blogging played an interesting role not only in income verification and loan approval, but also in house hunting and logistically moving my 400+ sex toys safely from point A to point B. Here’s what I learned along the way.

  1. Those spreadsheets and ridiculous taxes paid off. For years I’ve been documenting my blog’s affiliate commissions and ad payments in spreadsheets, plus forking over exorbitant amounts of cash in taxes each year as a self-employed person. Finally, I was able to use both as proof of my income, and it meant being able to get a better loan. After every little mobile check deposit was scrutinized, all the money I’ve made in the past two years with this blog was deemed legitimate, and I proved that I am a human capable of making monthly mortgage payments despite sticking things in my vag for a living. It felt good.
  2. Hide nothing from the mortgage people and realtors. My (female, tattooed, hell yes) realtors quickly became accustomed to me talking about where I would put my toys in particular houses, and they understood the importance of finding the right office for me. My mortgage guy chuckled while lamenting that it was hard for him to verify my work because my site was blocked at his office. The whole process would have been a lot more stressful if I was trying to shield the nature of my job from everyone.
  3. Don’t rush, and be firm about what you need, versus what you can compromise on. Although it can be hard, patience is key. There were features I wanted in a house — two bathrooms, a quiet street without neighbors looming from every angle, a finished basement — that I almost gave up on. Because I didn’t, I can now poop in peace, take photos of my sex toys outdoors without neighbors creepin’, and I have a fucking finished basement. In exchange, the house is smaller than I’d hoped for. The trade off was worth it.
  4. Epiphora's uncluttered sex blogging deskDownsize the things that don’t matter; upsize the things that do. I gave away so much junk by setting it on the curb at my old apartment, and although I felt momentarily strange about not trying to sell any of it, it was so nice for it to just disappear. Meanwhile, my office is no longer a corner of the living room but ITS OWN ROOM, and I’ve vowed to keep my desk more minimal now. Spaces feel so much different when they’re not piled high with clutter.
  5. Holy shit, I own a lot of sex toys (and their accoutrements). No joke, I found empty LELO boxes in every room of my apartment. Throes covered in cat hair were everywhere. I discovered a thigh harness that I have no idea how I acquired. Hoisting everything to my car, I remembered that Sybians weigh a lot and Liberator shapes take up a lot of space — but at least they come with carrying handles.
  6. It is a worldwide travesty that we don’t have better ways get rid of adult items. I have so much stuff that probably nobody wants, but I refuse to just throw it away. Well, most of the time. After much scheming about making an epic Instagram video of death for the Rock Box, I ended up unceremoniously placing it in a dumpster. I’m not ashamed. Fuck that thing.
  7. Hiring movers is the best $500 I’ve ever spent, but I’m glad I didn’t trust them with my sex toys. The guys were swift and efficient… but almost disconcertingly so. After signing that waiver, I was not about to let them handle my precious collection. I have many discontinued sex toys that could never be replaced if broken or lost. So I moved the toys in myself prior to the big moving day.
  8. My parents helped, too — which normalized my work even more. A funny moment was when we needed AA batteries for the doorbell. My dad thought for sure I’d have some because of my toys. “Most of my vibrators are rechargeable,” I told him. He exclaimed, “no kidding!”
  9. Epiphora's sex toy closetLet change happen. I had a lot of anxiety over where certain objects would go in the new house, and it was unnecessary. When you move, things will go in different locations, and that will be okay (not just okay — it will be exciting to decide!). My sex toys are mostly in a single closet, now — although I do plan to eventually find a sweet display case — and having them out of my line of sight when I’m at my desk was a good decision.
  10. A room of one’s own is a real thing. I had no idea how much I would relish locking cats out of my office. Or not hearing my boyfriend making dinner right next to me. Or how much I would freak the fuck out over a measly closet. But having an office — with a door! — has been life-changing. I can even lock the door when jacking off. INCREDIBLE.
  11. But maybe get window coverings for the sex blogging office first. I bought blinds for the other rooms, but because I want fun curtains in my office, those windows remained bare. One of my office windows looks out onto a street which leads to an elementary school, so I felt a wee bit uncomfortable opening porn at 3 pm on a weekday without shades. I eventually caved and bought temporary blinds.
  12. Thank gawd for the Hitachi. We did some serious bonding in the weeks and months surrounding the move. Being able to have an orgasm within 5 minutes and without removing one’s pants? Truly a miracle.
  13. The pride I feel for my blog and toy collection as been (momentarily?) replaced by the pride I feel for this home. Being an apartment renter for 7 years, I became very complacent. The place was cramped, people rarely came over, the apartment company didn’t want to fix anything, and it wasn’t truly mine. Having plopped down $50,000 on this house probably helped, but I just want everything to be nice. We painted almost every room before moving in, and one afternoon I found myself on my knees on the floor, scraping dried paint off the hardwoods with a butter knife. I hope this sense of pride lasts.
  14. Moving into a house with street views does not stop me from walking around naked. I blame my mother.
  15. At the end of the day, it’s the little things. It’s moving my sex toys in first. The ability to close the door of my office. Turning my music up at night. Hearing crickets instead of street noise. Sitting quietly on my porch. And, of course, marking my territory once and for all — by squirting all over my office floor.

Toys pictured in first photo (starting at top, moving clockwise-ish):
Fun Factory Tiger, Pipedream Ceramix No. 4, Pleasure Works Maven, Tantus Rocket,
LELO Mona 2, Fun Factory Boosty, LELO Luna Beads, and njoy Pure Wand.

Oct 292014
 

Lovehoney Sqweel Go oral sex toy in a tiny casserole dish“IT’S SO GODDAMN CUTE,” I stammered upon opening the Lovehoney Sqweel Go. I actually cooed over it, like an idiot. I don’t normally care if sex toys are “cute,” but this toy reminded me of a hamster or hedgehog or something. It was actually smaller than I’d imagined, which pretty much never happens.

There was another reason for my excitement as well. It appeared Lovehoney had taken my advice, FINALLY, after YEARS. I wrote about the first Sqweel in 2009:

. . . to really excel as a clitoral stimulator, the Sqweel would need to shrink by 50%, have more power, and not sound like a kid’s mechanical toy.

When little had been fixed in the second generation Sqweel 2 in 2012, I lamented that it never would be:

Just like my Obama-hating cousin, the Sqweel is set in its ways and cannot be persuaded to become smaller, rechargeable, and less of a pube-eater, no matter how many times I post improvement tips on its Facebook wall.

But lo, here it is. The Sqweel Go is literally 1/4 the size of the Sqweel 2; it fits in the palm of your hand and you will want to hug it. It makes the other Sqweels look like the vulva-hogging monsters they definitely are. And it’s USB rechargeable!

The Sqweel Go comes with unmemorable packaging, a USB cord, and a manual — no storage bag. It’s $60, the same price as the Sqweel 2, which isn’t bad at all for a rechargeable toy. It’s listed as “submersible.” Cleaning is kind of a pain because the tongues don’t move when the toy is off, and they can’t be dismantled like in previous generations.

And there is a flaw in the “shrink the Sqweel” plan that I had not anticipated. By shrinking the tongues, the breadth of the stimulation is lessened to an almost upsetting degree. It’s now more of an undulating sensation than a flapping sensation. Girly Juice described it as “like receiving cunnilingus from a pixie,” and I cannot improve upon that description. (I’d rather receive cunnilingus from a manic pixie dream girl, myself.)

Although this wouldn’t be a proper review of an “oral sex” toy without me taking a moment to stress that cunnilingus does not feel like a mechanical wheel of tongues. You have no idea how many times I have said a variation of that sentence in my lifetime.

The noise level has not been improved. According to an app on my boyfriend’s phone, both the Sqweel 2 and Sqweel Go clock in at 66 dB. The mechanical sound remains; perhaps it is inherent in having a wheel that turns. However, the Sqweel 2 is much more high-pitched. It’s no Beatles concert, but it’s not pleasant either.

The Sqweel Go’s motor is also puny, wimpy. The first two steady speeds are too weak, and the three patterns have too many drops in speed and movement to feel good. Only the top steady speed is acceptable as a pleasurable sensation, and the sensation is dampened considerably the closer I press the tongues into my clit. Sqweel Go orgasms are a disappointment, because the stimulation gets me to the orgasm, but the peak is bungled if I involuntarily press the toy into my body at all.

By comparison, the enormous Sqweel 2 feels much more intense, even on its lowest setting, and does not cause unsatisfactory orgasms. I may have to wrangle any dildo I use with it, pressing the dildo awkwardly toward the floor to make room for the bumbling Sqweel, but at least the pleasure is more consistent.

So either way, I’m giving something up. With the Sqweel Go, I’m giving up power. With the Sqweel 2, I’m giving up a sensible size. Choosing between them, though, I’d have to go with the toy that gets me off without incident: the Sqweel 2.

The Sqweel Commandments remain unchanged. Observe them always.

  • Thou shalt not use the Sqweel when not aroused
  • Thou shalt use tons of lube
  • Thou shalt wear headphones
  • Thou shalt let go of any illusion that the Sqweel will feel anything like cunnilingus

Slap me upside the head all you want, Lovehoney, because I deserve it, but I’m going to ask for at least one more generation of this crazy contraption. I’ll let you off the hook on the noise thing, and feel free to make it slightly bigger than a gerbil, but I want more speeds, (much) more power behind the movements, and a return to larger tongues. I’m insatiable. I’m sorry.

Thank you, Lovehoney!

See Epiphora's favorite toys and get 10% off at Lovehoney!

See all my favorite toys at Lovehoney and get 10% off your order!