Jun 102016

simplehuman Sensor Pump automatic LUBE dispenser with the njoy Pure Wand

The simplehuman Sensor Pump squirting lube onto the njoy Pure Wand.

Many a time, I stared at it longingly in the aisles of Bed, Bath, & Beyond. Among the as-seen-on-TV contraptions and glistening stainless steel bathroom accessories it beckoned, goading me to use it for nefarious purposes. I’d never spend $40 on an automatic soap dispenser, but in my household, the simplehuman Sensor Pump has a much more life-sustaining function: dispensing lube.


That’s the sound it makes. An adorable mechanical blip, and my god — it’s a glorious thing. The first time I used it, I couldn’t stop myself. Lube was flowing like water, like wine. It was one-handed. It was instantaneous. My left hand was still firmly grasping the dildo in my vagina, while my right reached out to retrieve a touch of lube to apply to my clit.

What a goddamn miracle. What a fucking world.

The dispenser I bought and subsequently perverted is by simplehuman, manufacturers of fancy household accouterments such as motion-activated trash cans, app-controlled make-up mirrors, and adjustable shower caddies. Positive reviews (which, by the way, become a lot funnier if you imagine them being written about lube rather than soap) and brand name recognition led me to choose it above others — that and its transparent reservoir, which some other automatic dispensers don’t have.

The innocuously-named Sensor Pump has a 2-year warranty, runs on four AAs1 and operates like many sex toys do: holding the plus button for three seconds turns it on, minus turns it off. The buttons also increase and decrease the volume of lube the thing releases, from a dime-sized dollop to a seemingly never-ending glob.

Pouring Sliquid H2O lube into the simplehuman Sensor Pump automatic dispenserThe non-removable reservoir can hold an entire 8.5-ounce bottle of Sliquid H2O like a champ, which is awesome but also means it’s kind of a big device — not terribly inconspicuous. It comes with its own complimentary bag of soap, comparable in thickness to the more viscous Sliquid Sassy which several people have successfully used with it, so I figure it’s compatible with many lube consistencies.2

This thing has revolutionized my sex life, both solo and partnered. In the dark, my girlfriend and I giggle each time the dispenser emits its quick little bzzzt. We seamlessly transport lube from our palms to our genitals. We spurt it on toys and carry them with our hands cupped underneath as if to catch crumbs. Lube is more integrated into the experience of sex, less of an interruption… it’s simply easier.

Plus it makes you feel like an advanced-level sex-haver, like a masturbating boss, like a dork who might use the term “life hack.” Apparently my boyfriend has furtively swiped my dispenser a few times and used it with his Fleshlight, which I did not know until I was writing this. Nobody can resist the lube dispenser! It’s jolly good fun for the whole family!

THE KING REIGNS. simplehuman Sensor Pump automatic soap dispenser with lube in it.But protip: instruct your partners on how to use it beyond “press the right hand button.” Once my girlfriend held the button too long, causing it to ejaculate so much lube onto the Mystic Wand they had to wipe the excess off, and I proclaimed for the first time in my life, “so there is such a thing as too much lube.”

That’s a downside, for sure: using the button to manually dispense causes a high volume of lube to gush out. This isn’t a huge problem, but I have to do it fairly often with toys the dispenser doesn’t like.

Over time, I began to suspect my lube dispenser was racist. I discovered it wouldn’t dispense onto black toys, like my Siri, Laid D.1, Elise, or MiMi. It wouldn’t respond to the chocolate-colored Tantus Uncut. Even the greyish blue Form 4 was too dark for it.3 But then I realized it didn’t work on anything clear either, like the Jollet or transparent glass.

With a little internet sleuthing I figured out why:

. . . the soap dispenser uses near-infrared technology, which sends out invisible light from an infrared LED bulb for hands to reflect the light back to a sensor. The reason the soap doesn’t just foam out all day is because the hand acts to, more or less, bounce back the light and close the circuit. If the reflective object absorbs that light instead, then the sensor will never trigger because not enough light gets to it.

So, while this technology does mean YOU CAN ACTIVATE THE DISPENSER WITH A TV REMOTE, it’s not perfect. It discriminates against certain toys. Sometimes it clogs and I have to rub the little silicone nozzle between my fingers to clear it. Sometimes it takes a sec to suck the lube into its innards, causing me to pull back the toy just in time to see the dispenser bzzzt a puddle of lube onto my desk.

Inevitably, you’re gonna waste lube. Not because the dispenser is too sensitive — at first I worried sudden movements would trigger it, but they don’t — but simply because mistakes are made. Lube will drip off nightstands and soak through paper towels and slide off the edges of your sex toys. You will, if you’re me, find yourself applying the 5-second rule to lube, using a dildo to sop up the mess.4

simplehuman Sensor Pump squirting lube on the NobEssence SeductionBut I won’t cry over spilled lube, because this product has turned me into a lazy bastard and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I think I reached peak white whine status the day I scoffed because the lube dispenser wasn’t responding to my toy and I had to physically pick up my back-up pump bottle to squirt lube on it. Wahhhh.

An automatic lube dispenser is not the kind of thing laypeople probably need. It’s a borderline unnecessary product, emblematic of American culture’s obsession with efficiency and desire to streamline every part of our lives, but that could be said about many things. People buy special contraptions so they don’t have to slice their own butter. Selfie sticks are not a basic human need. I guess I could sit up to drink water, but by god when given the choice not to, I take it. That’s the benefit of living in the 21st century, and I am proud to automate the transference of lube to my genitals.

Lube itself still takes the #1 spot as the most essential tool in my sexual arsenal, and “putting on the new Tegan & Sara album” is still my best (okay, only) seduction technique, but this dispenser is a definite runner-up. For intrepid sex toy users, crafty camgirls, folks who want to impress their Tinder dates with their dedication to the swift and copious distribution of lube, or anyone who wants to bring a touch of gadgetry to the bedroom — it fucking rocks.

  1. There’s a rechargeable version, but it’s more expensive and not as attractive. Besides, my dispenser is still chugging along on the original set of batteries after nearly 2 years. I don’t keep it on constantly, though. []
  2. I wouldn’t go as far as Almost Naked, myself — it’s one of the thickest water-based lubes out there — but you could try? []
  3. The purple of the Form 5 and Touch, and the blue of the Mona Wave, were okay. []
  4. I recommend a tiny lube-catching platter, if you can find one. Maybe at Target? []

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May 212016

Review: Siri 2 FINALLY. Fucking finally.

I’ve been waiting years for LELO to upgrade their humble little clit vibe, Siri. While they were off dilly-dallying with weird oral sex simulators and pretentious cock rings, I was over here drumming my fingernails on my desk, condescendingly clicking my tongue, wondering if the almost-great Siri would ever get an upgrade.

The sex toy landscape was different when I reviewed the original Siri back in 2010. Pickings were slim when it came to rechargeable clitoral vibrators, and I was less jaded. I liked the cute, egg-shaped Siri. It wasn’t terribly strong, but it was rumbly, and it was enough. “Is it the clit vibe to end all clit vibes?” I wrote. “Not quite[. . . read more]

May 102016

Buzzy vs. rumbly: the most important aspect of a vibrator

The Lovehoney Flash (left) is a buzzy vibrator. The Doxy Skittle (right) is rumbly.

Perusing the sex toy exhibitor booths at AVN, turning on and off strange vibrators from no-name companies, one word kept flittering into my mind: buzzy.

Ugh, too buzzy. What a shame. The design is cool, but it’s so fucking buzzy. Nope.

I even met an avid reader of my blog who works for an up-and-coming sex toy manufacturer. Their flagship vibrator intrigued me with its peculiar manta ray flaps and vibrant shade of turquoise silicone. But I turned it on and could not hide my disgust. “It needs a better motor,” I sighed.

“Oh, I know,” she said. “I knew you’d hate it.”

A sex toy could do literally everything else right — ergonomic shape, [. . . read more]

May 022016

Review: Bubble Love I am one of many who grew up getting my orgasms from the bathtub faucet. Legs spread, back against the bottom of the tub, water pouring delightfully over my clit, I’d lay there with my mind split between thrilling newfound pleasure and neurotic calculation of how long I could run the bath before it seemed suspicious. I almost certainly ran up my parents’ water bill from roughly 2000 to 2002. (Sorry, guys. At 14 I was too stupid to even know water bills existed.)

But I later graduated to circling a Sharpie over my clit through my underwear, and after that, vibrators.[. . . read more]

Apr 232016

Yep, I actually put tiny dildos in my vagina

Time to come clean: my review of the tiny dildos was an April Fool’s joke. I think most of you knew that, except maybe that one whiny dude in the comments section:

(Always and forever, these are my favorite types of comments to get on my April Fool’s jokes.)

First I have to credit my mom, who helped me come up with the concept. Way back in January, I got snowed in at my parents’ house, which obviously meant naked mother/daughter hot tubbing. Somehow we hit upon the topic of tiny dildos, and I realized “reviewing” them would make a perfect April Fool’s Day joke. She heartily endorsed it, and moments after toweling off,[. . . read more]

Apr 092016

Review: Hole Punch Toys

Get free U.S. shipping at Hole Punch Toys with code EPIPHORA.

There’s a little operation in Saint Paul, Minnesota, making the world a better place. Quietly, without fanfare, they’re making hand-poured silicone sex toys in fantastical shapes. Carrot and radish butt plugs. Popsicle dildos. Ice cream anal toys. Rocket ship strap-ons. And I didn’t even know they existed back when I got an email from them with the subject line Do Your Worst.


The owner of Hole Punch Toys, Colin, was emailing to ask that I review something of theirs. “You will absolutely tear it apart, I am sure,” he wrote. “However, I think it would be excellent fodder for your wit.”

His certainty was alarming. How could I hate an ice cream shaped[. . . read more]

Apr 012016

Review: Tiny Dildos

[This post is an April Fool’s Day joke. However, because I am
very dedicated to my jokes, I actually did do all these things.]

Perhaps “tiny” is condescending. “Diminutive”? “Miniature”? “Wee”? I don’t want to be flippant or rude, but it’s an objective fact that these dildos are roughly 1/60th the size of their, shall I say, phallotypical counterparts. This is not going to be girth mania. Lowing your expectations for pleasure might be a good idea. Rewiring your brain, wiping all data about previously-experienced insertables: encouraged.

Over the years I’ve amassed quite the collection of tiny silicone dildos from TantusBad DragonFun Factory, and Vamp. They accumulate in my[. . . read more]

Mar 222016

Sex toy news: squirting dildos and flapping tongues for your dick

Welcome to “sex toy news,” a new feature culled from my email newsletter, Epiphora’s Snark Digest. My thoughts here are brief, so you can learn the news on the street and get on your way.

Share your initial impressions and speculations in the comments section!

Vixen has released a peculiar dildo called the VixenAire Mustang. It inflates when you apply pressure to the base. I love my Mustang, but the VixenAire only inflates near the base of the toy, which I find weird???

For ages, I’ve hoped a company aside from Bad Dragon would invent a silicone squirting dildo. It has become so with the Pop!

A SQWEEL[. . . read more]

Mar 142016

Ask Piph #8

Want to ask me a question? Email me at hey.epiphora [at] gmail [dot] com, or ask here.

I’ve been on the search for a gold silicone dildo for a while and I can’t seem to find one. I just wanna pretend I’m getting plowed by Apollo, is that so much to ask?
Oh, they are hard to come by! I’m only aware of two that come pre-made: the special edition gold Vixen Leo which is sold only at Babeland (I liiiike the Leo), and the Godemiche Adam.

Otherwise, Vamp makes custom designs, including glittery toys, and there are dildo-makers on Etsy who could probably mix you the gold of your dreams.
What would you say were the biggest eureka moments you had on[. . . read more]