Jul 222013
 

In 2007 when I started reviewing sex toys, I knew nothing about them. Oh, I knew that jelly was bad in theory, but I hadn’t yet smelled the rancid, gooey, overpowering scent that characterizes it, or felt the agonizing burning sensation that it can cause (still haven’t — insert sign of the cross here). I figured expensive toys probably had high price tags for a reason, but I was yet to be convinced to spend more than $30 on one. Oh yeah, and I’d had nary a finger in my vagina, so… I really didn’t know anything about anything.

Still, I was like a ravenous cat munching on a plate of wet food. I scoured the catalogs of online sex shops, familiarizing myself with the inventory in a way that, looking back, was merely cursory. I thought I was licking the plate clean, but because I was favoring a low price over any other factor, I was only getting a feel for the shittiest of the shit. Nonetheless, like any newly-obsessed fan, I compiled a wishlist of the sex toys I thought I wanted.

The contents of that list are shocking.

(I really hope you read that sentence in a horror movie trailer voice.)

Here, I present to you, a delightfully self-loathing, nostalgic romp through the darkest corners of my old sex toy wishlist. Perhaps this will serve as a reminder that we all start at the bottom, ignorant and stupid. Or perhaps it can be taken as deep look into my psyche, into what I am intuitively drawn to before silly things like facts and health get in the way.

If so, I fear for my soul.

Soft Skins Plus Hopper

This, my friends, is the first sex toy I ever bought. I’ll give you a sec to recoil in horror; I fully endorse that. I encourage it. It’s the right thing to do.

I don’t recall why I chose this toy. A sleeve that, if used “correctly,” features an upside-down penis? A sleeve with raised hearts on it that look like warts? A sleeve that is surely not body-safe? I have no memory of ever using it with that ridiculous purple sleeve on (good choice, me), so why did I want it instead of a regular silver bullet? I am an enigma even to myself.

Vibesicle

For some reason, the Vibesicle sticks out in my mind as the quintessential thing that I really really thought I wanted before I got a fucking clue. It was one of the first sex toys that caught my attention, because look at that orange and purple one! Even now, I think it’s cute.

The best excuse I can muster is this: the translucent look of jelly — a material that nobody in this world should be subjected to, not even my enemies — transfixed me. It was visually intriguing, like a slab of Jell-o in a fanciful shape.

These days I am incapable of seeing something made of jelly and wanting it despite that. But back then — and somehow I am admitting this in public? — I was willing to overlook potentially burning genitals in favor of a vibrator resembling a popsicle. (I am deeply ashamed.)

Of course, there’s a silicone popsicle dildo now, but it’s dumb and pink and I don’t care anymore.

Crystal Rainbow Butt Plug

Another example of translucent jelly grossness? This butt plug. I liked the look of the colored swirls, which I guess is consistent with my fervor about sex toy colors that continues to this day.

Protip: if a sex toy’s name has the word “crystal” in it but it is not made of glass, it cannot be trusted. And it definitely should not go in your butt.

Lucid Dream #54

I think it’s a rite of passage to lust after something in Doc Johnson’s Lucid Dream line. The colors are so bright, the shapes so whimsical, the name so cute, the jelly so transparent! It’s bound to reel the newbies in.

Me, I wanted the Lucid Dream #54 because it was aqua. Like, I doubt there was any other reason. But instead of getting this vibrator, I got a blog and released my love for aqua here. One should always get a blog instead of a dangerous sex toy. A++ highly recommended.

Bendable Vertebrae vibrators

Meanwhile, California Exotic used to have (…or maybe still has, oh god) this line called Bendable Vertebrae, because that sounds appealing. I wanted the Nubby Swirl because it looked the most like a rave. Have I ever been to a rave or wanted to go to a rave? NOPE.

Beaded Penis Sleeve

And what was I thinking, putting this Beaded Penis Sleeve on my wishlist? At the time I was in love with my bumpy glass dildo, so maybe I wanted a penis to be just like that. But dude, my vagina was thousands of years away from being prepared for something like this.

In the comments section of my wishlist I wrote, “for in the future, when sex doesn’t hurt anymore!” My thinly-veiled despair is almost amusing, now. Almost.

Marco Banderas dildo

For years I hated the idea of realistic dildos, so I still don’t really get why Marco Banderas’ cock was the only one I allowed myself to want. I mean, it’s uncut, and I remember thinking it would provide a unique sensation. But IT’S HUGE; WHAT WAS I THINKING?! DID I EVEN KNOW HOW TO READ PRODUCT SPECS?

Ultra Realistic Cock and Ass

Speaking of weird cocks, I used to think it’d be great to have this huge chunk of expensive CyberSkin lying around the house for whenever I wanted to fuck a disembodied torso. I guess I had visions of a faux threesome. I guess?! I feel like that doesn’t adequately excuse it. Nothing really does. Nothing excuses disembodied torsos.

Mini Anal Tongue

Or this. The Lady Calston Mini Anal Tongue is a disgrace. And I am a disgrace for ever wishing I owned it. Not until scouting pictures for this post did I realize that cluster at the base was LITTLE HEARTS. I am not sure if that makes it better or worse.

One of the driving forces behind my old wishlist was new experiences. Like, apparently, analingus. But considering I still haven’t even asked my boyfriend to lick my butthole, I clearly am not as enamored with the idea as I thought I was.

Like many unfortunate things I did when I started reviewing (such as referring to my vagina as my “pussy”), I added this to my wishlist because I just felt like it was something I should do. Which is never a good reason for anything, much less sex toys that look like demented and diseased human tongues.

Eros Ejaculator

Another thing I thought I wanted for the ~experience~ was the Eros Ejaculator, also by Lady Calston. Yes. It ejaculates. Cool. Cool story, bro. I’ve never had a creampie fetish or anything. I just wanted to round out my collection, you know? Doesn’t everyone’s sex toy collection include an ejaculating vibrator? What? No?

Back Door Rotator

And then, before I’d actually experienced anal stimulation of any kind, I jumped to the conclusion that static plugs weren’t acceptable. Like, how could that feel good?! Therefore I wanted the Back Door Rotator. Now that I’ve experienced similar rotating beads on a rabbit, I can safely say that I do not need my anus to be churned like butter.

Sugar Spoon, Japanese G-Spot Squirmy, Sue Johanson's Royal Surfer

Ah, rabbits. Back when I thought rabbits had a chance at being pleasurable, my top choices were the Sugar SpoonJapanese G-Spot Squirmy, and Sue Johanson’s Royal Surfer. Why these in particular, I don’t really know, except that the Sugar Spoon was swirly and had a scooped head (as if that had some purpose), and it was named the Sugar Spoon, which sounded delightful.

I was getting way ahead of myself, though, because when I did try my first rabbit (a fugly Sue Johanson one), I couldn’t even insert it far enough to feel the clitoral stimulator.

I was getting even more ahead of myself, because I still haven’t found a rabbit I like at all. Really I just distrust all of them.

Elite 7x cock ring

My judgment was so impared that this was my idea of a good cock ring. A fucking gelatinous red bull. I actually bought it, like a tool. It proceeded to bleed all over my other toys’ cords. My boyfriend, I think, has blocked out the experience of using it. He barely looked up from his book of crosswords to state, “it did not do anything well.”

Taffy Ticklers

And for the grand finale, here’s a truly disturbing fact: I used to want Taffy Ticklers. I guess the true horror of these toys can only be experienced. You must live to tell, like a subject on 48 Hours Mystery. And I am here to tell you never to be lured by anything that looks like these. They are prickly, brightly-colored torture. My labia shudder at the memory.

This isn’t even counting sex toys that I actually bought/reviewed, such as Her Perfect Fit (spoiler alert: NO), the Silicone Insatiable G (hint: it’s not actually silicone!), a disposable finger vibe, the Cyber Flicker (what’s not to love about a clitoral toy that requires powdering after use?), and a gaggle of boring-ass plastic vibrators.

This is not to mention entire categories of sex toys that have failed me devastatingly, like strap-on vibrators and everything remote-controlled.

But it wasn’t all bad. I was, at least, quick to acquire my first silicone toy (the Fun Factory Corsar), my first butt plug (the sparkly Vixen Creations Buddy), my first rechargeable toy (the Fun Factory Delight), my first wand-style vibrator (the Hitachioops), my first silicone dildo (the Tantus Goddess), my first vaginal balls (the LELO Luna Beads, still the best) and others that I can feel good about.

Moral of the story: I don’t care if you’re a n00b to sex toys or are easily swayed by translucent jelly — acquire high standards as soon as humanly possible. Don’t waste your time trudging through crap. Don’t spend your hard-earned money on crap. This way you will not have shit toys lying around bleeding all over stuff, stinking up your drawers, and irritating your insides with toxins. You will have solid, dependable, body-safe toys instead, and hopefully, no recollection of a past life in which you longed for a 7-pound disembodied torso.

‘Til next time, take care of yourself… and each other.

  • Navigator

    This makes me feel so much better about the list I made something like six or seven years ago that included a Beyond 2000 plus, a purple jelly “thrusting” rabbit vibe, and if I remember right, a disembodied vibrating mouth. Even more cringe-worthy is the six dollar “fanta flesh” vibrator I actually bought that, I swear to god, ate through the condoms I put on it in a desperate attempt not to die using it. This, I think, is why your blog and others like it are so important – there’s someone out there who’s just as clueless as we were, and hopefully after reading this will never have to remember the jelly rabbit that burned their vagina before they moved on to better things.

  • http://insanehussein.com/ Insane Hussein

    Makes me feel better that the only jelly toys I ever owned were my first two toys ever. Both rabbits. I still have them, for posterity and whatnot.

  • http://secretlysensuousstuff.blogspot.com/ Secretly Sensuous

    I think you’ve just made a lot of people feel better about themselves. “Human” and “superpower” apparently aren’t mutually exclusive. ;)

    Thanks to your blog and a few others, I only owned one jelly item (a $5 afterthought bullet vibe purchase) before wisening up. And even when it comes to safe materials, I’ve realized it’s more important to shell out the $$$ to get one thing that works well for you than to pay the same sum total on several toys that only sorta make it happen.

  • http://www.bedroombondage.co.za/ Noëlle Steegs

    Thank you so much for making me smile AGAIN! The way you write and describe sensations or thoughts is just awesome. I must say, when I scrolled through the list and thought I had seen the worst, there was MORE. And it was EVEN WORSE. Hehe. My first toy was a ‘crystal jelly’ vibrator called the Pathfinder. It has served me well for over six years, and it has been going for hooouuuurs, I tell you. And that for about $25. But now I think about how nasty jelly is.. so I’m glad I don’t have it anymore. Oh, and I couldn’t resist finding out if California Exotic still makes those tentacles.. they DO! And they are THIRTY ONE dollars. I quote: “Powerful soft jelly vibes with vertebrae that flexes in any position.” Oh my..!

  • http://www.bedroombondage.co.za/ Noëlle Steegs

    Ate through the condoms? That is terrible..!

  • Caitlin M.

    I think I am honestly one of the luckiest people currently in existence due to the fact that I learned better before even considering buying a sex toy.

    I’m not sure what it says about me that I completely ignored their existence until I got the job at the store where I work, but I thank the silicone gods almost daily because of this. My coworkers let me know the basic dangers of jelly as part of my product knowledge initiation, and I was soon researching and got well beyond that knowledge- this is about when I found your blog.

    My first sex toy was a Lelo Gigi- my favorite thing to sell for the first six months of my time at the store because of it’s multi-functionality (I have since moved on to bigger and better things, like the We Vibe Tango, Salsa, and Touch. Heck, even the Iroha work better for me).

    I have never bought a jelly toy. Heck, I’ve never bought or used a porous toy. And that is a good fuckin’ feeling. I understand in theory the draw of the translucent jelly toys, and the squish- but they’ve always been too cutesy for me. I now apparently have a completely involuntary stink face when people mention/ask about/buy jelly toys in the store.

    Despite all of this, I have still been interested in body safe toys I now know better than to bother with- “sure, it’s made of good materials, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good toy!” I’ve become a snob to that point. I don’t know whether to be ashamed or proud. I /am/ however proud of the snobbery of my partner, who is a silicone fiend and recently called the Tantus Raptor “boring looking” (he prefers more curve and texture- I told him the size was the point and he turned his nose up. bless him, the size/texture queen of the century).

  • Oddkin

    It’s okay Piph, I understand completely and as such I was laughing throughout the entire post. Like the way you look at yearbook photo’s of boys you used to crush on and how stupid everyone looked back then, it’s a celebration of wisening up!

    As for me, my first sex toy was one of this variety:

    http://www.lovehoney.com/product.cfm?p=4863&reviewpage=1

    Oh the lols. Good thing I moved away from jelly FAST.

  • TJtheMadHatter

    I’m having one of those moments where you raise your hands to the sky, and yell, “I’M NOT ALONE!” Reading this made me feel so much better about my sex toy blunders. I made a lot of those mistakes. Fortunately, I stored the toys in baggies. They didn’t ruin the storage they were in (huge suitcase), but rather destroyed each other in a toxic battle to the death. I feel like such a fool for lusting after them. It feels like a deep, dark secret sometimes.

    *I like to think there are scientists working diligently around the clock somewhere, trying to come up with a super clear silicone to finally kill Jelly, once and for all.

  • Jenna Clark

    Oh my holy heavens – that’s the toy! The Aqua thingy, #54. I had that! I got it as a gift in college, a local sex toy store had donated gifts for the cast party of the Vagina Monologues. That, kids, was my thank you gift for eight weeks of rehearsals.

  • Sangsara

    Thank Epiphora – contacting pinkcherry YET AGAIN to get a refund for my silicone insatiable G

  • http://www.redheadbedhead.com/ The Redhead Bedhead

    I’m with Caitlin in that I knew better before I really started buying but that doesn’t mean I didn’t have my moments of eyeing… For me it was always the really intense rabbits with the pearls that spin around because, you know, my vagina is classy and shit.

    Also, 48 Hours Mystery. Thank you.

  • http://heyepiphora.com/ Epiphora

    Wow, the irony burns.

  • http://heyepiphora.com/ Epiphora

    “it’s more important to shell out the $$$ to get one thing that works well for you than to pay the same sum total on several toys that only sorta make it happen.”

    PREACH.

  • cand86

    Oh God, I feel ya on this one. Mostly because while I’ve been lucky enough to [mostly] spend my money on good toys, I once entered into (and won!) a $1,000 sex toy wishlist contest from SexToy.com- just pick out $1,000 worth of toys you’d like to own, publish, and get entered. I don’t know if I was scared the results were rigged to weed out people with really high-end toys, or I just wanted more quantity over quality, or maybe their selection was a bit lackluster, or I didn’t know any better (probably some combination of all four), but yeah. I still have a whole collection of toys I’ve never even opened- including The Lady Calston Mini Anal Tongue (!). There are a few really nice items, but it’s mainly crud. And for some reason, I can’t seem to part with them, because I mean, I won ‘em. They were free! Yet I also won’t use them, either. So we’re at an impasse. But meanwhile, they are there, constant reminders of my bad taste and naivete.

  • Sugar Doll

    Totally been there. Before leaving EF I looked back at my wishlist, many at that matter, very organized, & I can’t not believe some of the things that were on that list. The first toy that we actually bought, we recieved our first few toys at my bridal shower, well my husband decided to surprise me and purchase the toy and purchased a jelly rabbit style vibe, it was our first rabbit style vibe, and I was lucky that we only used it a few times and I had no reactions from it. We were just starting our journey into sex toys so we as well didnt know to much, once I was informed about all materials and such, lets just say, from then on out, I bought and still buy all the toys.
    On another note I remember the nubby/tickler phase. I had belly rings, I had tongue rings, bracelets, necklaces, earing, yea the whole nine yards. However, I never had sex toys lol, never knew they even existed, since I was a young teen going through the phase, but even when venturing into the sex toy world 2-3 years ago, had no idea.

  • leabee

    so here’s a question/problem, that’s sort of on this subject… say you’re at a friend’s place to feed her cats while she’s away for the weekend. You step into the bedroom so you can perform a headcount of her cats, and see, standing proudly, on the bedstand, a bright red jelly rabbit.

    Now, the subject is not entirely foreign between us, we have swapped toy shops (a pain in the ass proposition when dealing with shipping to Canada), but I still haven’t said anything yet. I’m not gonna knock her choice of a rabbit, maybe she’s got the Goldilocks body that it works for, but that thing was jelly, clear as the eye can see.

    How does one approach this subject? Does one approach this subject, given the context? Can any conversation that starts with, “Yo, I noticed your vibe when I was sitting on your bed to pet your cat?” end well?

  • That Virgin Who Can’t Drive

    I’m so happy that I found this blog as early in my first bloom of sex toy escapades as I did. It’s been indispensable. I’m happy to say I was doing okay beforehand – the worst I can claim is a lube with glycerin and making my first purchases from Edenfallacys – but now I’m on 100% sturdier ground and am pleased to say my wishlist at Shevibe is now filled with products from Leaf, LELO, Sliquid, and Vixen. You keep doing your thing, you dildo-wielding superhero, you.

  • http://heyepiphora.com/ Epiphora

    Ha! Well, if the rabbit was standing proudly and you were supposed to be there feeding the cats, it sounds like she’s not that worried about your reaction. In which case, I would think that “yo, I noticed your vibe” would be fine.

    But if not, what if you emailed her a link to an article about toxic sex toys with an accompanying little white lie such as “Whoa, I never knew about this! I’m going to have to throw some of my toys away and replace them.”

    Link ideas:

    Ever thought about the toxins in your sex toys?

    Yes, Jelly Sex Toys can be Dangerous

    The crusade against phthalates and toxic toys

  • He@Aroused Duo

    Yep; in the dark days before readily accessible, reliable, independent reviews (i.e. resources like Hey Epiphoria) it was so easy to make mistakes when buying toys. Whether you shopped by mail or ventured into the routinely sleazy adult stores, the horrible options outweighed the good ones by easily 10 to 1. Every bad mistake I made like multiple jelly atrocities, weird or contrived shapes, and unworkable mechanisms came from 1) my attraction to the “bright shiny objects” presented under clear plastic packaging and 2) my general ignorance of the actual use of toys.

    My ignorance routinely got the better of me as I would convince myself that the fine purveyors of these wonderful products MUST know something I didn’t. Who was I, a sex toy neophyte, to question the form, function, or composition of a particular toy? Weren’t these things made by companies whose job it was to satisfy their customers’ sexual needs? Weren’t these things designed with the sole purpose of vibrating, or touching, or stimulating just the right places in just the right ways? I’m embarrassed by my naivete and I feel sorry for subjecting my partners to a parade of poor toy choices as we gamely tried to use those pieces of crap. That’s how we learn I suppose, and now with resources like yours, it’s so much easier to confidently make good choices.

    You’re kind of like the Consumer Reports of dildos.

  • Sonny Farnsworth

    I’m so glad that the first toy I ever owned was a GiGi, which I won in a raffle (lord knows 18 year old me could never have afforded to drop $100 on a vibrator) – I think it gave me a built in level of standards, i.e. why would I buy that $20 piece of jelly crap when I have a quality toy already? Also I am a nerd and like to know EVERYTHING about something as soon as I learn it exists, so of course as soon as I owned a LELO I was lost in a k-hole of internet research about toy companies, which helped in making good future decisions.

  • Mandie

    Those taffy ticklers are a genital’s terror! Feels like pressing a porcupine against kitty. She still has nightmares.

  • Heaven

    I have been there before too. As soon as I joined EF I started going thru old toys I had got at Spencers and throwing them out. I did not know anything back then. I just wanted them and wanted ones that were cute. Now I know better and I am passing what I have learned on to other people.

  • Rebecca

    Hey Piph, good rabbit style vibes do exist, ever try the Vibratex ones ? I like their ‘Rosebud’, it’s good!

  • Fromage

    Reading your blog was one of the primary reasons I earned such strict sex toy standards. You were the first sex toy blogger I ever encountered that addressed the problems with jelly toys and non body safe materials in sex toys. I’m glad to say that as a result I have only owned one jelly toy and tossed it away the instant I realized the harm it was causing me.

    Though I must confess that in my early days I had a huge wishlist of silly things that were jelly based. I desperately wanted the dolphin vibrator that was oh-so popular on Adam And Eve. I’m glad I never worked up the effort to actually purchase it now…

  • http://heyepiphora.com/ Epiphora

    I’ve heard that, but I usually just don’t have the patience to try rabbits. I’m more of a masturbation multi-tasker — I prefer using two toys at once.

  • http://heyepiphora.com/ Epiphora

    Dude, man, that is such a regrettable story.

  • http://heyepiphora.com/ Epiphora

    completely involuntary stink face

  • Kezia

    It’s not that easy to buy the first one. With your advices it becomes much more easy to choose. My difficulty is that the one i think it can help me feels something is too expensive for me, the Fun Factory Delight. I made a fundraising in order to hope someday i can try it : https://www.lepotcommun.fr/pot/yEdZCc9a. Thank you for helping girls having knowledge about sextoys.

  • leabee

    Yeah, we’ve talked the subject in a general sense, so it probably wouldn’t be too weird to bring it up that way.

    On that note, I think I do actually have some old jelly stuff kicking around that I need to throw away anyway.

    Thanks for the links, I’ll throw one of them at her!

  • MissX

    I think I will put a link to this post on our store! We still get requests for jelly and many distributors keep trying to convince us to stock cheap toys because of the *HUGE* profit margin they offer as well as their popularity. Thank for you sharing you “dark” past with us!

  • Pingback: My List of Regrettable Sex Toys I’m Trying To Forget

  • s. ursula

    guilty as charged. my second vibrator was a lucid dreams that i bought with my employee discount from my time working at spencer’s. i was also fooled by the false promises of “phthalate-free”. since reading this blog and others, i’ve made the decision to switch to only using body-safe products, and as of yesterday, i’m a proud owner of a LELO Mona 2. i couldn’t be happier with my decision! so much easier to clean too!

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