Jul 042015

Sex toy temporary tattoos and the lengths we go through to photograph them. Photo by Kate Sinclaire.

Sex toy temporary tattoos and the lengths we go through to photograph them.
Photo by Kate Sinclaire.

7 sex bloggers were standing outside a glass blowing studio. We’d been waiting for an hour and there was no sign of the studio owners, who’d previously agreed to a private glass dildo making session. It was clear that we’d have to reschedule with them, but how? None of us wanted to pick up the phone.

Finally, Girly Juice volunteered to call the studio the next day. The rest of us sighed with relief.

Girly Juice thought it was funny that we kept calling her Girly Juice. But none of us could help it — and I’m sure we inadvertently scared everyone at the grocery store as we yelled “GIRLY JUICE!” down the aisles. She was calculating our purchases as we shopped, which fit her perfectly: she is incredibly organized, productive, and chill.

Girly Juice taking a selfie while the rest of us ignore the existence of the internetGirly Juice is a wee 23 years old, yet she’s more advanced at existing in this world than most of us. Many times, I distressingly whipped my head around wondering if a memorable moment had been tweeted, only to have GJ confirm she’d already done it. She was the only one who had blog posts go up during the trip (“ooh, Girly Juice has a new post!” “I do?”), and she hosted a productivity roundtable that made us all feel Very Professional.

But more than anything else, I treasure Girly Juice’s laugh — it begins small, but quickly escalates into snorts and eyes squeezed shut in ecstasy. Which is exactly what she did when we ran out of mixers and she invented a new drink: Thin Mint creamer mixed with tequila. We were all rightfully terrified, but it actually tasted decent.

Thin Mint Surprise, as she called it, was invented during a boisterous game of Telephone Pictionary. This game was introduced to the group by my love, Aerie. We laughed until our cheeks ached, especially when Aerie’s drawing skills brought to life phrases such as “when LELO creates a new shitty thing” and “two pregnant people watching a farmer who is looking at a painting of a cat with a butt plug.”

Aerie was one of my partners in crime for planning the trip, which we called #dildoholiday after previous sex blogger shindigs. Together we shopped for personalized gifts for each attendee, like locally-made nail polish and coffee that was both “bike powered” and “organically grown by women farmers.” Our conversations in shops included questions such as “does Girly Juice like blue?” and “has Bex ever tweeted about tea?”

Aerie and Reenie in the glass studio. Photo by Penny.I live for Aerie’s smile, like the gleeful grin that came over their face as they worked with glass blower Otto at the studio to craft their own dildo. Like their peals of laughter as we all huddled in the corner of the beach house, desperately holding our arms out for a photo of our sex toy temporary tattoos — our perfectionism thwarted by the pain shooting through our arms.

Then, when the internet died for hours and things became desperate, Reenie did some magic to reset the router and determine the new network name and password.

“Together,” Aerie remarked, “we form one fully functional human.”

Reenie is exactly as cute as you’d expect from her blog. She’s tiny, shy, orders the kids’ pancake because it has grapes for eyes, and brought all of us drawings of our favorite toys doing our favorite summer activities.1

She’s also full of adorable quips. When I asked if the Chinese snacks she brought were sweet or savory she replied, “…none?” When my Pure Wand fell on Penny’s foot, Reenie asked fearfully, “is it still functioning?” When we unveiled the attendee goodie bags and Tantus’ new dildos were peeking out of them, Reenie gasped, “I SEE THAT. I SEE SOMETHING.”

As unexpected and wonderful as Reenie’s quips were, though, there was one I truly didn’t anticipate. In a haze of late-night-early-morning sex, I asked who in the room wanted to finger me. A small, timid voice piped up: “can I?”

Reenie had never fingered anyone before, yet she proceeded to finger me with the endurance and consistency of a goddamn champion. And, like any great sex partner, she wasn’t shy with the lube. I kept thinking of the clerk at the sex shop where we purchased it, who inquired if we were all “group-sexing.” I was delighted to confirm her suspicions.

Penny. Photo by Kate Sinclaire.That was the second time I was fingered into the morning light. The first time was with Penny, the sexy Texan photographer. During the trip she patiently taught me how to take photos and edit them, and she patiently fingered me until her fingers were prunes. Another night, I casually paddled her butt — which was generally understood as “the best butt” — while others played with the Neon Wand and got massages.

Penny is a classy lady — she was the one we pointed to when the waiter asked who wanted to taste the $30 wine we’d picked — but also incredibly down-to-earth, with an insatiable hunger for bacon and pizza (and both at once, if possible). In the arcade of a quaint coastal restaurant, we watched in awe as she won all of us pizza keychains. The locals were confused about why we kept cheering.

But cheering each other on is what we do. When our newly-blown glass dildos came back and several of them were huge, Kate’s achievement of using one was met with applause, and we gasped excitedly as we watched Girly Juice’s filmed documentation of inserting hers. We tried each others’ toys, we shared porn while masturbating, we wiped each others’ lubey fingers.

This was all normal to us. It came naturally.

Bex discovers that two dildos stick together. Photo by Penny.None of it would have happened if not for Bex, the original mastermind behind the event. Tough and vivacious, Bex has an infectious smile and a steadfast attitude that kept us on track the entire time. “What time do we want to get to the strip club?” she asked us the first night. “Let’s work backward from there.”

Several people had never been to a strip club, including Bex. As the dancers performed, I kept watching her face in the mirror behind the stage, head cocked with the most perfect glazed look of awe on her face. When I told her how beautiful she was, she admitted to worrying about wearing the right kind of expression.

In some ways, Bex is still young — in others, not at all. On the drive to the coast, she entertained me with nail-biting stories of sketchy customers at her day job. One time she got held up by an unconvincing criminal and was basically just like, “I don’t believe you.” What a boss.

Everyone has some personality trait I wish I could steal. With Kate, I envy her unwavering body and sex positivity. Sweet, thoughtful, and kind, she’s the only person I know who can use the Mona backwards and be so cute about it that I don’t even care.

Bex, me, and Kate taking photos. Photo by Penny.I also love Kate because she’s unabashedly honest, serving up the truth with a smile in true flight attendant fashion. Before riding my Sybian, she retreated into the bathroom: “going to go make some farts so I don’t fart while I’m on there.” At the liquor store, the clerk mentioned that her daughter-in-law was a flight attendant, and upon hearing the name of the airline Kate quipped, “oh, she must be really hot. That’s the hot airline.”

When not telling people how to fasten their seatbelts, Kate is a photographer of erotic things. Her penchant for putting people at ease, plus her skill with the camera, led to several nude photoshoots and Kate dispensing priceless advice such as “put your hand on your hip and look at me like I said something mean.” She even curated an entire night of queer, subversive porn.

Porn night was when we discovered a creepy angel statue perched above us in the living room. We needed a name for it because I wanted to tweet about its judgmental air, and Kate just spit out “CHERUB OF SHAME.” It was perfect.

Because I’m the worst at Twitter on my phone, my attempt at hashtagging #cherubofshame was accidentally an @ reply, which led us to giggle “what if the Cherub of Shame had a Twitter account?” And so it had to be.

The Cherub of Shame spent most of its time tweeting disapprovingly about us and appearing randomly throughout the house. On the toilet. In the fridge. Outside on the hot tub. One night, on a mission to grab my Hitachi from my room, I ran into the Cherub on the stairs and literally fell onto the floor laughing.

Is there anything better than that?

We didn't even stage this. Photo by Epiphora.Is there anything better than imagining an outside observer’s perspective on our friendship, and how odd it must look to everyone else? Or laughing so hard you can no longer remain standing?

Is there anything better than stumbling into inside jokes about tiny happy circles, moaning into the nightfuckin’ Kelly and how she always spaces itrich girls, allotted “woo”sGaryending tweets with half an ellipsis, and how the rudest part of 50 Shades is when Christian takes a non-consensual bite of Ana’s toast?

Is there anything better than masturbating in the same house as all your friends, at the same time, and tweeting at each other throughout? Watching curated porn with a group of feminists, sans pants because pants are dumb? Trying each others’ hand-blown glass dildos and reporting back on our experiences because, well, who would pass up that opportunity?

Hugs and giggles and fingers against my G-spot and wind in my hair and saying anything I want because I know it’ll be not just accepted, but understood.

Is there anything better than feeling like you belong?

  1. Hitachi sunbathing, a G-Spoon geocaching, an Eroscillator attending Pride, a Mustang grilling hot dogs, a Pure Wand drinking iced coffee, Fuze toys at a photoshoot… []
Jun 172015

It’s still surreal to say. I’m published. My nameEpiphora. On the pages of a book. Followed by my words — about dongs, no less. It’s not something I’ll be showing to my high school journalism teacher at his retirement party next month, but that doesn’t make it less meaningful. In fact, this book is a special sort of validation of my work as a sex writer.

My mom already made me order a copy for her — and sign it.

Best Sex Writing of the Year, Volume 1 was edited by Jon Pressick, whom interviewed me flawlessly for his Sex City Radio show last year. I submitted several pieces for consideration: “The 2 Weeks of My Sex Life I Lost to Zoloft,” “My Vagina is a Black Hole,” “What Should We Call Sex Toys?”, and “A Day in the Life of a Sex Toy Reviewer.” Pressick chose “What Should We Call Sex Toys?” and, thankfully, allowed me to edit the colloquial and irrelevant bits out. Turns out, some stuff you’d write in a blog post sounds really weird when you imagine it in a book.

I still stand by every point I make in my piece, though, about how cutesy terms like “pleasure objects” and sterile ones like “marital aid” should be thrown out in favor of the classic “sex toys.”

I do not believe that, as Shakespeare famously wrote, a sex toy by any other name would feel as good. Call something a “dong” and nobody will want to put that inside themselves.

Here’s a video, which was shown at the book’s Toronto launch party, of me reading my piece as it appears in print. I suggest you watch/listen to it instead of reading my original blog post, because the edited version is more articulate (although Cleis Press did let me keep the phrase “that’s kind-of shitty”) and also I’m cute.

If you ever run into me on the street and happen to be toting a copy of Best Sex Writing of the Year, Volume 1, ask me to sign it. I’d love to be E.L. James in that moment.

Purchase Best Sex Writing of the Year, Volume 1 on Amazon or at She Bop!

Check out reviews of the book on Live and Let LovePeep’s Scoop, Lynsey G, and Horny Geek Girl.

May 262015


—everyone on earth whenever I post a photo of the Magic Wand Rechargeable

Hitachi Magic Wand Rechargeable vibratorYes. Yes, it is. The time has come, my friends. The legendary Hitachi Magic Wand, widely regarded as the most powerful vibrator of all time, now comes in a rechargeable version. It can finally be there for you during power outages. While camping. On your porch. In your treehouse. On your top bunk. Or simply when you’re too damn lazy to get up and plug something in. (Me, all the time.)

The world has been holding its breath, as have I, because there are many ways this new version could have gone terribly wrong. But release that breath. Let it out. Almost everything went right. This one is just as strong as the original — it even has two new lower settings that greatly enhance its possibilities. And there’s one particular aspect that went more right than I could’ve ever imagined.

The Magic Wand Rechargeable runs for 4.5 hours straight. On high.

It couldn’t be, could it? I’d taken notes and tried to count the minutes (which, by the way, is one reason being a sex toy reviewer is sometimes like a cruel masturbatory joke), but the number at the end of it all seemed outrageous. I must’ve gravely miscalculated, I thought. So I charged it completely and started over. I turned the toy on high at 1:30 p.m.

It bit the dust at 5:59 p.m.

You could watch Gone With the Wind and still have half an hour left over with which to watch Natalie Tran’s YouTube channel. You could watch Titanic followed by two episodes of Catfish. You could fly halfway across the country, from Seattle to Austin. You could make crock pot chili. In each of these scenarios, your Magic Wand’s charge would last the entire time.

And if you still needed to get off after that, you could use the toy while it was plugged into the wall.

There is one caveat to this, and it’s the single detail about the Magic Wand Rechargeable that I can’t get behind at all: it shuts off automatically after 20 minutes. Actually, I tested it, and it’s more like 19.5 minutes. This “feature” is supposed to prevent the toy from overheating, and you can immediately turn the toy back on, but… seriously? This is a silly, overprotective gesture that just begs to be defied, like your mother telling you not to open things with your teeth. I do not plan to abide by these new rules, at least until the day my wand overheats and I have to buy a new one.

But I doubt that will happen, because the Magic Wand Rechargeable barely heats up. While the handle on the original Magic Wand becomes distractingly hot after about 20 minutes (and I always take it personally, like, “WHO ARE YOU TO JUDGE ME FOR HOW LONG I’M TAKING TO COME?”), the rechargeable version never meanders past mildly warm — even after I ran it for 4.5 hours straight.

I try to circumvent the 20-minute auto shut off by turning the toy off and back on before it makes the choice for me, but I don’t always remember to do that and it makes me rage every time.

Aside from this, though, many irksome aspects of the original Magic Wand have been improved in this version. The Magic Wand Rechargeable is quieter: a lower-pitched buzz instead of a high-pitched “the fuck is that?” whir. The head is smooth and finally made of silicone. The handle doesn’t vibrate my hand nearly at all. It has lights to indicate which setting you’re on — there are four steady and four patterns — and when it’s on the verge of death1 it blinks red at you, like, “sorry, hoss, get the cord.”

You can use it while plugged in, which deserves mentioning once again because that’s badass, or it takes about 3 hours to charge.

A few things were left unchanged: the cord is only 6 feet long, the toy is not waterproof, and it’s still a vulva hog. I normally hate vulva hogs, but that’s because I use most vibrators with my pants off while trying to also maneuver a dildo in my vagina. That’s not how I tend to use the Magic Wand. I usually use it through my underwear, and sometimes even my pants. It’s too broad for my tastes, so I hold it diagonally to reduce the surface area, targeting the dominant left side of my clit. It has brought me to many a lazy orgasm.

I’m a bit of a sex blogger stereotype when it comes to my love for the Magic Wand, but I will have you know I’ve never sung into it like it was a microphone. I have my limits.

My most favorite thing about the Magic Wand Rechargeable is the addition of the two lower steady intensities. This is what the Magic Wand was missing: vibration settings that adequately ramp up to the two other intensities often dubbed “fuck” and “holy fuck.” I can even use the toy with my underwear off now! The second setting is my vulva’s top pick, but I appreciate knowing the two highest intensities are waiting for me if I need them, if I’m drunk or overstimulated or simply want to speed up the process.

A sweet side effect of these lower settings, too? They make attachments more pleasurable by toning them down. I’ve begun a recent love affair with my Flutter attachment, which on the original Magic Wand flaps so hard and loudly I dare not put it close to my genitals, but now can waft gloriously against my clit. I’ve got my eye on the Nuzzle Tip next.

Oh, and it has four vibration patterns, which as usual are not my thing. The settings are: short-short-long pulses at intensity 3, longish pulses at intensity 3, short pulses at intensity 3, and escalation from low to high that I would like if it didn’t get so goddamn low and stay there for several agonizing seconds. What if I want to come? I don’t want to come during that.

Here’s a chart for the sex toy nerds wanting to know where the different steady intensities of the Magic Wand Rechargeable land in the grand scheme of things. Most intense settings at the top.

For the record, I love every toy mentioned in this list except for the LELO Smart Wand, which can suck my clit. The Magic Wand Rechargeable is cheaper, stronger, fits comfortably in my hand, and doesn’t vibrate the skin off my body.

At $125, the Magic Wand Rechargeable costs two times as much as the original, but it’s not a horrible amount considering gerbil-sized vibes like the LELO Siri 2 and wand-style frenemies like the Doxy are priced similarly. It also comes with a one-year warranty and, uh, can get you off in record time. Let’s not forget that. Because it remains this toy’s biggest asset.

Who should not buy this version? Folks who only ever use the highest speed on their Magic Wands, or those who prefer the old style textured head. Also, people who don’t desire anything stronger or more broad than, say, the LELO Mona 2. But if you’ve always wished your Magic Wand had lower settings, or if you’ve fantasized about snipping its cord like a newborn, or if you’ve hesitated on buying it previously due to the lack of settings… yes. Get.

The Magic Wand Rechargeable is an iteration truly worth of the illustrious Hitachi name. I’m sure Hitachi is very displeased that taking their name off the product didn’t stop people from referring to it as such, but 30 years of perversion can’t be wiped away easily… and probably never will be.

One day the kids will say, “my great great grandmother used to plug in her Hitachi. Can you imagine?”

Get the Magic Wand Rechargeable at Good Vibes, SheVibe,
Early to BedBabeland, and Come As You Are (Canada).

  1. Complete death, not the 20-minute auto shut off. To my dismay. []
May 202015

BlissMe vibrators: Mr. Cowboy, Mr. U.K., Mr. Right, Mr. Badboy, and Mr. C.E.O

Whatever could be so offensive about vibrators that look this boring?

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — BlissMe founder Daniel Mederos says his new sex toy business concept is a bit different from others because the company doesn’t just market a product, it provides a service as well.

“At BlissMe Vibrators we wanted to encompass the idea of infidelity being an option through our vibrators,” Mederos said. “So what we have created is a service where consumers buy our products and we provide them with an e-mail from our list of vibrators since each of our five vibrators have personalities.”

Those personalities include Mr. Right, Mr. CEO, Mr. Badboy, Mr. U.K. and Mr. Cowboy.

Yes, how did earth keep spinning before someone created sex toys named after masculine stereotypes that customers can use to “cheat” on their actual, human partners?

This fucking guy. You just know his condo reeks of cologne and shaving cream. You just know he had this “brilliant” idea one night after knocking back too many Irish Car Bombs with his colleagues, ranting about how women only love CEOs and dudes with accents. (Holy shit, is this the guy from the LELO Pino video?)

If there was a bingo card for douchebags launching sex toy companies, I’d be winning right now. Count how many assumptions this company makes. The first being that the only people who buy vibrators are women. Cis, hetero women. LONELY WOMEN. They love pink, because #women, and they’re incredibly shallow, because #women.

BlissMe "The Mister Collection"

Rather than purchase a sex toy for its shape and how it would actually feel, BlissMe encourages you to pick a toy based on its “Mister” personality. All these guys sound like complete dicks:

Mr. C.E.O is not a man who has time for foreplay, he gets right to business and doesn’t mind asking you to strip for him so he can admire you.

[Mr. Right is] the kind of man who knows you’ve had some times you regret but doesn’t judge you for them, in fact, he never brings them up . . . There’s nothing that turns Mr. Right on more than hearing about your secrets.

Mr. U.K is a man full of funny and creative stories, some that sound too good to be true!

Mr. Badboy is a man who is protective of his woman and loves the fact that you may think he’s a bit mysterious and unpredictable.

[Mr. Cowboy] is widely known as a successful country musician but loves nothing more than to take you for a ride in his truck or getting on a 4-wheeler and going mudding.

He wants to take you mudding. This vibrator wants to take you mudding. Are you not instantly aroused?

Be careful, though, because your choice of “Mister” will impact the number and content of the “monthly juicy e-mails” sent to you. For example, Mr. CEO only sends one, and he has to clear his entire schedule for a day to write it, so YOU BETTER BE THANKFUL.

(Let’s not forget there’s an actual dude behind these emails, likely jacking off with lotion as he pens his masterpieces. I swear, I’m becoming gayer by the second.)

The website boasts that “BlissMe© Vibrators is the world’s leading designer brand for intimate lifestyle products. Launched in 2007, BlissMe© Vibrators is famous for transforming the look, feel and function of how personal massagers are perceived.” Um. The domain was registered a month ago, and literally all their social media accounts were created in the last 2 months. Claiming you’re famous and world-renowned does not make it so. You got drunk and registered a domain. You’re not saving the goddamn world.

AND OH LOOK, that entire statement was plagiarized from LELO.

Because yeah, BlissMe is not transforming how vibrators are perceived. At all. Its designs are undeniably derivative,1 and its marketing relies entirely on tired, bullshit myths. Sex toys are not people. Using them is not cheating. Women do not need heteronormative gimmicks to be wooed into buying things.

I love sex toys precisely because they aren’t people. They don’t have genders and they don’t have agendas. They’re an escape from idiot men and their stupid expectations. If I wanted to be badgered by disingenuous romanticism with absolutely no orgasm to show for it, I’d go to any bar in America. With sex toys, I get what I want, and I do it myself. And there’s no guy in the corner asking me to fucking strip for him first.

  1. To the point that I’m wondering whether these toys even actually exist []
May 012015

Joyful Pleasure glass dildos: Joyful Princess, Midnight Joy, Orgasmic Key Pleasure, Joyful Blue SwirlThese glass dildos from Joyful Pleasure presented me with a few obstacles. See, I have this thing with insertable objects where I feel frustrated if I can’t conquer them. Whether it’s sheer size, extreme heftrepetitive bloops, every imaginable electrostim setting, or simply a bulge just out of reach, I feel the uncontrollable urge to experience all that a toy has to offer.

Combine this with the fact that I’m a texture slut, and you have a recipe for vaginal disaster. When presented with the opportunity to review dildos from Joyful Pleasure, I of course ignored anything smooth and went straight for dildos with bumps, swirls, bloops, and, unbeknownst to me, challenging lengths.

A large part of my reason for trying these dildos was price: they’re all under $45. If your pockets aren’t deep enough to buy something handmade from Crystal Delights or Fucking Sculptures, a cheaper glass toy is a good option. The low cost means they’re mass-produced, so inexpensive glass toys in general can be imperfect and less durable, and none of them come with any type of storage. But they should be body-safe, with the exception of any toy with paint or a decal on it.

Many manufacturers make inexpensive glass dildos, the most well-known being Pipedream (barf), Don WandsSpartacus, and Gläs — but I liked the creativity in the shapes from Joyful Pleasure.

Midnight Joy ($38)

Joyful Pleasure Midnight Joy glass dildoAlthough it’s not the prettiest, the Midnight Joy is the best all-around toy in the batch. It’s a solid dildo with a lot to offer. If these dildos were applying for a job in my vagina, the Midnight Joy would be hired.

The end with the little bumps on the shaft is rad — it has enough texture to satisfy my vaginal walls, plus it’s equipped with a pronounced head. All the things I like! Yet even that sensation was rivaled when I turned the toy upside down, because the slight downward curve of the shaft became an upward one, and my G-spot was like “HELL YES. YES. YES.” It was absurdly good. I definitely squirted.

This would be a good introductory glass dildo for a texture-curious person. Plus, if you happen to hate the bumps, you can flip the Midnight Joy around and get a similar experience minus texture. So there are three unique experiences to be had with this one. It’s a dildo for all seasons!

(Don’t like the color? Extremely similar dildos include the Twistful Pleasure and Fifty Shades of Grey Drive Me Crazy.)

Joyful Princess ($44)

Joyful Pleasure Joyful Princess glass dildoI feel like someone without a cervix designed this.1 Why is the tip so pointy? Why are the bulbs spaced out just enough so as to present difficulty experiencing them? Why is the overall toy so large and long (1.75″ in diameter, 9.25″ long)? These are the questions that preoccupy me.

I close around the pointy tip of the shaft easily, and it feels alright, but after that I feel like theme music plays and my vagina is in a competition. Time is running out. I must conquer the bulbs. More bulbs. Always bulbs. I can think of nothing else. The popping sensation, the thrill when I succeed is great. But it’s not easy — in fact, it’s distracting and leads to me completely tuning out the porn I’m watching. Rude.

Flipping it around isn’t any better. The spacing of the bulbs means texture or girth always sits awkwardly at my vaginal opening.

My notes on the Joyful Princess indicate that at some point, inserting it pointy side first, I was able to ingest the second to last bulb. I was using the toy as my closer, twirling it like a mofo, exerting my pent-up frustration over the masturbation session as a whole. But really? That bulb? I almost don’t believe. Maybe I meant the one before it. Maybe I was incorrect. Or maybe my vagina was particularly hungry that night.

Joyful Blue Swirl ($38)

Joyful Pleasure Joyful Blue Swirl glass dildoEach side of the Joyful Blue Swirl feels pleasant. The swirled end feels sort of mesmerizing and calming, reminiscent of the tactile pleasure I get from running my feet over the tiles in a swimming pool. But it’s too narrow and lacks adequate G-spot stimulation. I prefer the swirls and accompanying G-spotting head of the Don Wands Magnificent.

The other end feels nice, too. My G-spot is a fan of the super bumpy head, and my vagina was relieved to find that the subsequent bloops feel effortless rather than challenging. This is the kind of spacing that makes sense  — by which I mean, minimal.

But this dildo is SO LONG. Fucking 11.25 inches! It’s like a scepter, like something I should be using to cast spells. It’s my second favorite when it comes to sensation, but the length and relative straight form make it difficult to maneuver and manipulate.

Orgasmic Key Pleasure ($37)

Joyful Pleasure Orgasmic Key Pleasure glass dildoWith all the texture and bulbs on this toy, I expected the Orgasmic Key Pleasure to be a kaleidoscope of sensations. It is not. It’s just too straight and uniform. Spinning it doesn’t alter the sensation much, and thrusting is difficult, so I end up just clenching around it. The little red embedded bumps are so buried that my vagina doesn’t even register them.

And again with the unfortunate spacing of the bulbs. If not properly warmed up, as with the Joyful Princess, this toy can feel like an arduous process of conquering each one. Also, what even is that nub at the tip? It’s weird and looks like it’s trying to take my temperature or something.

The looped handle is the most successful part of this toy, but it can feel like shoving a pacifier in my vagina.


Final verdict? I loved the Midnight Joy, but found the Joyful Princess distracting, the Joyful Blue Swirl pleasant but logistically difficult to use, and the Orgasmic Key Pleasure bland.

I’m getting a better sense of my tastes with glass dildos: I like unpredictable textures like those on the Ash Girl, peculiar shapes like the Crystal Twist, and repetitive bumps, like those found on the Star Delight and Rainbow Mega Nubby. I would not have been able to predict how much I enjoyed the Midnight Joy, though, so I’m glad I gave it a shot.

Things I don’t like with glass toys, or any toys, include: uninspired sensations, cumbersome lengths, and feeling like my vagina has unwittingly entered a ’90s Nickelodeon game show. (I don’t know why I always gravitate toward that comparison, but I do.) Vaginal challenges are fine when entered into consensually, but they lose their appeal when foisted upon me by my own neurotic brain.

Find inexpensive glass dildos at SheVibeSexToyFun, Lovehoney (international), and Stockroom.

  1. And named it. []
Apr 212015

As exciting as my vagina is to you people, I know it’s not the be-all-end-all of genitals. There are certain toys that I just can’t accurately review, and one of those is the Doc Johnson Good Head Helping Head, also known as the Bro Sleeve. It’s inexpensive ($12) and favored by some trans guys for its shorter length. I was thrilled when my friend Sid Need volunteered to write about his experience with it.

Bro Sleeve (Doc Johnson Helping Head masturbation sleeve)I originally read about the Bro Sleeve in a review through Early to Bed. They market it as a masturbation sleeve for trans men, although its other purpose (and its original intended purpose) is as a shaft-swaddling short sleeve that leaves the head of the penis exposed during a blowjob.

I can’t say anything in light of how it works for that, but I can say a thing or two about how it worked for me as a trans guy who’s been on T. for a over a year. For those of you who do not know, many of us trans guys on testosterone get quite a bit of growth down there. Sometimes enough where a small masturbation sleeve might work.

If grandma had a masturbation sleeve in her bathroom, that’s how the Bro Sleeve comes a’ smellin’. Perhaps to keep it from feeling sticky, the sleeve is dusted in some sort of grandma-bathroomy smellish powder. The sleeve is made of elastomer (which is body-safe, although porous), but I can’t say for sure what’s in the smell. I had to wash it several times over to dull it out.

Because the sleeve is meant to be so snug for those with penises, the entry hole is pretty small. It also has a bumpy texture inside for extra stimulation that also makes it tighter. I knew from reading the reviews that it works much better for those of us with smaller willies if one side is closed, by securing a rubber band around it or some such thing. So I wrapped a rubber band tightly around one end, put a little lube in the other end, and got down to business.

It felt good, but I was in too much of a scientific state of mind — examining the feeling and how it looked — to really enjoy myself. The sleeve is somewhat see-through, and what I couldn’t wrap my mind around was if I felt really big or really small watching the penetration happen. On one hand, it made my cock feel big because I was I was filling it up. I thought, look at that! My cock fits snugly inside! I’m using a masturbation sleeve… in the traditional sense! On the other hand, I looked small in there. Maybe I’m not used to looking at myself so much in general when I jerk off. I don’t know. All I can say is that these thoughts were a distraction.

Bro Sleeve (Doc Johnson Helping Head masturbation sleeve)I should also clarify that when I say penetration, what I’m really referring to is suction. The internal bumpy texture doesn’t add much, but I was definitely getting some good suction happening when I kept it pushed close to my body. As far as doing an in-and-out motion, it was pretty unsatisfying. I needed the suction for any significant stimulation, which would have been impossible without it tied with the rubber band at the other end.

So, I tried the Bro Sleeve again later, this time focusing on something sexier rather than the analytical crap in my head. It didn’t take me all the way — not straight though anyway — but it was rather pleasant. Maybe it would’ve been nicer if my lil’ cock hadn’t grown so accustomed to vibration. In between using the sleeve I went for my trusty We-Vibe Tango. It’s basically the Cadillac of bullet vibes, and I can drive that baby in right where I want it. I can put it towards the head of my cock without any part of it touching the tip, which for me is usually too sensitive to feel good. So I took the Tango for a little spin and then finished with the sleeve.

All in all, I have to say, after getting over the excitement that I could use a sleeve at all, this one was somewhat unsatisfying and disappointing. I thought I was going to love it because I usually love some impact or suction against my cock. What I realized, though, is that stimulation is almost always when using a strap-on. I can get off with the base of a VixSkin dildo knocking up against me no problem, and even better when there’s a softer base or a little suction, like with the concave base of the newer Tex.

The Bro Sleeve didn’t have the same effect because it was messing with my ID, bro! When I have my cock strapped on, I feel good, I feel turned on, I feel like I got what’s been missing. The stimulation I get from the base is necessary to get me off, but what’s more important is what’s in my head. This sleeve was almost driving home that I was small, unable to put my cock where I really want to put it.

If you don’t think this sleeve will cause any gender dysphoria, it might work great for you. I’ve heard of a lot of other trans guys that dig it. But you need to have had some sort of significant clit/cock growth, or have a very well endowed clit, for this to be effective as a masturbation sleeve. For twelve bucks, it could be worth a shot, bro. Fuckin’ a!

Get the Bro Sleeve at Early to Bed, She Bop, or Come As You Are (Canada).

Apr 152015

Diva Cup silicone menstrual cupThe Diva Cup is the greatest thing I’ve put in my vagina that has not resulted in orgasm.

Whenever I use it, I emerge from the bathroom wanting to spread the gospel of the menstrual cup to anyone within a half mile radius. One time I excitedly gushed to my mom about them in Target.

I don’t care that I’m 10 years behind the times. I don’t care at all. My life is better now, and everything that came before has just faded away.

If you’re new to menstrual cups, here’s the deal: they are silicone (usually) bell-shaped receptacles that sit in the vagina, up against the cervix, to catch menstrual blood. They vary in size, texture, rigidity, stem length, and how much the company relies on traditionally feminine bullshit to sell their product. To insert, you fold the cup and slide it in your vagina, letting it pop open against the cervix to form a seal. When you’re ready to empty it, you break the seal by squeezing the sides of the cup, then carefully extract it from your vagina and dump out the product of your loins.

The only reason I got a Diva Cup instead of frantically researching every other option was because I was able to borrow my friend’s Diva Cup first. She’s the kind of person who once bled so heavily it went down into her socks, so, I was treading on sacred ground. And I loved it. I loved the Diva Cup and immediately ordered one for myself.

I was glad that the first menstrual cup I tried worked well for me, and I didn’t want to jinx it by ordering a different brand. The Diva Cup’s rah-rah girl-power dELiA*s throwback pink-and-flowery-everything mantra is disgusting and I find the founders’ pink jackets deeply offensive, but at least the cup itself is void of gendered assumptions.

It was pretty easy to get the hang of the Diva Cup. I’m lucky, I think — some people have difficulty achieving a seal, struggle with removal, or feel awkwardly jabbed by the cup’s stem. Some need a different cup since the Diva Cup is one of the longer cups on the scene. For me, the learning period was swift and painless. I wore panty liners (and still do when I’m worried), but never had more than a few stray dribbles of blood.

I will admit there are things about my life that make using the Diva Cup exceptionally easy. Like that I work from home and my sink is within tossing distance of my toilet. And that I don’t bleed so much that the cup needs to be emptied more than once a day. And that blood fascinates rather than repels me.

Zealous menstrual cup proponents sometimes insist that cups aren’t messy at all. But the Diva Cup is messy. Dumping it into the toilet, carefully wiping it off with toilet paper, re-inserting it, and wiping excess blood from my fingers and vulva… is messy. Because blood oozing from a vagina is fucking messy. Welcome to reality and earth. Not everything needs to be sanitized for our protection.

Personally, I love the visceral sight of my blood, and I take pleasure in pouring it out in the shower. It’s easy to just toss a used tampon or pad, but the cup invites me to appreciate the sheer amount of gore that my body produces. I’m much more aware of changes in color, consistency, and amount — from the bright red, runny blood to the viscous dark snotty stuff.

Diva Cup silicone menstrual cupEver since I got my birth control implant slut stick, my bleeding has been irregular. The Diva Cup makes it tolerable: I get the telltale cramps, wander to the bathroom to insert my Diva Cup, and promptly forget about it. Hours later I remember to check it, and sure enough, it is ripe with blood.

I routinely forget I’m even on my period when I’m wearing the Diva Cup — that’s how comfortable it is. One time I forgot it was inserted and started using a dildo and it even halfway worked. It didn’t jam into me with pain; it just felt like my vagina ended sooner.

The Diva Cup can be remarkably accommodating. I’ve kept it in while my partner inserted a couple fingers above it. I’ve used it with the small bulb of the Feeldoe More inside of me, although it did leak a little from the movement. I can wear it with the We-Vibe 4 with no issues whatsoever.

I’ve learned to follow my intuition with the Diva Cup, though, because whenever I disregard it, bad things happen. Like that time I hadn’t emptied the cup recently but still thought I could insert the NobEssence Dare in addition. When I pulled out the Dare, I accidentally tipped the cup and blood promptly began dripping into my pajama pants, underwear, and new bathroom rug. A+, me.

Another time, I got cocky and decided to wear my best cutest underwear. Something felt off as I drove to my girlfriend’s place, but I figured I was just cramping. Turns out, the cup was not inserted correctly and I had bled all over my underwear. No matter how much you want to impress your girlfriend, cute underwear is no longer cute when you have to scrub it in the sink pre-fuck.

Even my subconscious knows that the cup can sabotage me if given the chance. I once had a dream I was about to do a porn scene, but true to life, I had to take out my Diva Cup first. Well, of course, it spilled blood all over everything. Subsequently, the porn scene never happened and I got lost in a labyrinthian spa. So. Don’t tempt fate with the Diva Cup. It knows.

The Diva Cup does stain and develop a smell over time, but I soak it overnight in hydrogen peroxide and the next day it’s good as new. I know the company advocates boiling only, but the company also says shit like “yes, you wear the Diva Cup in ‘there,’ in your vagina… but we promise, it is not as scary as it sounds.” Boiling doesn’t do jack shit to quell the color or the smell — hydrogen peroxide does.

If you’re not comfortable removing and placing things in your vagina, which sadly would’ve been me 10 years ago, menstrual cups are not for you. If you can’t handle the sight or smell of blood, they’re not for you. If you’re an extremely busy businessperson with no time for the folly of emptying a cup mid-day in the office bathroom, they might not fit your lifestyle completely.

But if you’re a person who menstruates and have ever felt displeased with the experience of tampons or pads… you need a menstrual cup.

It would hardly be fair for me to proclaim that the Diva Cup is the best menstrual cup out there, or to promise that all vagina-havers would prefer it over other brands. But this thing has legitimately changed my life — and it only cost me $28. The only way the Diva Cup could be better would be if it paid me every month for all the menstrual products I no longer have to buy.

Share your menstrual cup experiences in the comments section!

For more info about menstrual cups, visit this communityblog, channel, and Lorax’s guide.

Apr 092015

Enjoy: bloopers from my April Fool’s Day video review:

I had many ideas for April Fool’s Day this year, but the idea of a sex toy video review was solidified one night when I realized I could craft a video which began well but devolved into a pile of shit. It would start out great, with an awesome theme song and me being my charming1 self. Then there would be strange cuts. Bad lighting. I would say weird shit I wouldn’t normally say. But it would happen slowly, so that for as long as possible, the illusion of sincerity would remain. Then at the end? The same theme song, performed horribly.

Even with this idea, I knew it would be hard to fool you people. I’ve been pulling pranks for five years now, and you expect one from me. So with each step of the arduous process of producing this video review, I took into account whether it would “give away” the joke.

First, I needed a toy. A carefully selected toy. It couldn’t be a toy that readers would immediately know I’m reviewing as a joke — so bad rabbit vibes from Cal Exotics were off the table. I wanted it to be rechargeable, so it would have enough features for me to talk about/butcher. I considered stuff from Jopen’s Envy or Lust lines or maybe mini vibes from Fun Factory… but decided on the Vibratex The Girls Princessa.

Then, I began laying the trail. Placing little clues on social media. This was the first one:

Meanwhile, I started writing the script. I’d lie awake at night thinking of stupid ideas and emailing them groggily to myself:

“Good for nipple stimulation. Kinda like using a weird vibrating flower.”

“Reminds me of that other toy I reviewed from Vibratex… hmm… can’t remember the name of it.”

“Thought I hit record but no. Had perfect take but whatever here we go again.”

At the beginning of March, I went on a trip with Aerie and Lorax, and we spent one night trolling YouTube for the worst sex toy video reviews from which to gather inspiration. It was here that I came up with the idea to show the sex toy in murky reddish water,2 vibrating awkwardly against its own bag, and held much too close to the camera with the ever-present qualifier, “I don’t know if you can see that.”

Ah, the usual sex toy video review shots

When I got back from my trip, a package was waiting for me. It was time for another subtle social media hint, so I took a picture of the contents. The comments only confirmed my choice of toy. “Oh, dear. I dread and eagerly await your review of the Princessa,” someone wrote. “I can’t wait to read your signature snark on the princess vibe from Vibratex,” said another. “It is so buzzy it makes my eye twitch.”

Filming the Vibratex Princessa on my not-at-all-staged charging stationI’d read reviews of the Princessa and felt it in person once before, so I knew it was going to be a disappointment. Still, I was appalled at how utterly useless it was. I assure you, every negative thing that I say in the video is true. I actually did question whether I was having an orgasm with it.

I began filming. It took two days to film b-roll of the toy sitting in various locations throughout my house, and to capture with precision my artfully-arranged charging station. It was time for another clue, so I uploaded this photo.

But it was too much of a give away. Some of you were just too smart. The moment I saw this comment, I hid it:

Comment reads: This just left me thinking, "Oh that's right, April is coming..."

I started to lose hope about actually fooling you. But I soldiered on. I needed my girlfriend’s opinion on the toy to add to my video, so I literally forced them to use it while I laid next to them with a notepad in my hand. They deemed the toy, and the experience, “really upsetting.” When I told them the toy retailed for $75, they yelled, “ARE YOU SHITTING ME?”

I set aside an entire day to film the main footage, a day when my boyfriend would be home to help me wrangle the cats. Script in hand and natural light on my side, I sat in front of my phone for hours filming myself. When the script read  “chug a glass of wine,” I followed its orders — and continued filming. Most of the post-wine parts were improvised.

Video editing in Pinnacle. Oh my god.

Editing the video was an endeavor all its own. I’ve been using Pinnacle since high school, so it’s unfortunately all I know when it comes to video editing. A decade later, the program is as buggy and inexcusable as ever. I’ll give Pinnacle one thing, though — it made my life super easy when it came time to add ridiculous transitions and sound effects.

Bad video effects such as ripple, tint, CD case, and fire

5,000 hours into editing, I talked to my dad on the phone. I thanked him for “blessing” me with the inability to do anything half-assed, including APRIL FOOL’S DAY JOKES. He said, “if you’re going to do something 90%, why not do it all the way?” So. That’s where I get it from.

The music was the final finishing touch, and thank goodness my boyfriend is a musician. For the music bed, I needed a 12-minute opus that sounded wonderful at first but degenerated into chaos, and boy did he deliver. The first inkling of weirdness comes right when I say the toy could be good for nipple stimulation. Truly beautiful. I wanted my theme song to include the phrase “discerning vagina,” which was a challenge — but the song he wrote was a home run. During the credits at the end, we decided on a karaoke version of the song, complete with drunken buffoon slur-singing along.

Finally, it was time to unleash the video for the masses.

The social media response was all I’d hoped for. Some people seemed to understand the video was a joke, while others thought only the toy was.

Facebook responses to my video

The truth is, I don’t plan to do video reviews from here on out. At least not regularly. Now that I have a sweet theme song and title sequence, though, I must admit I’m tempted. But for the moment, I’m taking a deep breath and remembering why I prefer writing. There is SO much that goes into a video, no matter how effortless it seems — actually, the more effortless something seems, the more effort it took. I have a whole new appreciation for Laci Green and Lindsey Doe.

"but where DID you put the pistachios"

So, peeps, did you know the video was a joke? Did it seem legit up until a certain point? How long was the theme song stuck in your head, and how on earth am I ever going to fool you again?

For more sex toy tomfoolery, check out Jewelry N’ Kegels,
the Kensington Wireless USB Presenter, and Fun Factory’s Orgasmia.

  1. questionable []
  2. actually, it was raspberry wine []
Apr 012015

[This toy really is the worst, but this is mostly an April Fool’s joke.]

Vibratex Princessa rechargeable clitoral vibratorIn the past month, I’ve lost the ability to form full sentences. My fingers have forgotten how to type, settling only for clicking and dragging while I hold my breath. My eyes have been replaced with cameras, my legs with tripod attachments.

But it has been worth it. Because now, finally, I can show you my first ever video review.

I’ve dabbled in the video arts over the years, but this is a new level because it involves more than simply painting my nails. Written reviews are not going away — there will just be video reviews sprinkled in every once in a while.

For this video review, I tried the Vibratex Princessa, from The Girls line. BEHOLD THE VIDEO I HAVE CREATED, complete with ridiculously catchy theme song by my boyfriend (it will get stuck in your head), cameos from my girlfriend and cat, and much more!

Vibratex is known for game-changing sex toys such as the Hitachi Magic Wand, Rabbit Habit, and Mystic Wand, but they’d barely released any rechargeable vibrators before unleashing The Girls. The toys in the line are only $75 each — if they were good, I needed to know.

I had no idea how far away from good this toy could veer. The Vibratex Princessa: for people who love pink and hate orgasms.

Big thanks to SheVibe for sending me this toy!