Jan 142015
 

The Girl Next Door (2004)If you ever need proof of what a little shit I was as a teenager, look no further than the 2-star review of The Girl Next Door that I wrote for my high school newspaper when it hit theaters in April 2004. “Just about everything is unrealistic,” I complained, “except maybe how horny everybody is.”

I was 17, and like all 17-year-olds, I wanted to be above the inanity of this movie.

But the inanity is what makes this movie great.

The Girl Next Door 1 is about Matthew (Emile Hirsch), an awkward overachiever, his friends Eli (Chris Marquette) and Klitzy (Paul Dano), and the life lessons they learn and hijinks they pull when they meet his new neighbor, Danielle (Elisha Cuthbert), who used to be — and kind of still is — a pornstar.

Billed and marketed as a teen sex comedy, I find this movie so lovable, quotable, and yes, at times even relatable, that it is one of my favorite movies of all time. And definitely one of my favorite comedies, since I tend to hate most comedies. (It helps that there aren’t any jokes about bodily functions.)

Things I love about this movie: the incredible soundtrack,2 how fucking hot Emile Hirsch is, and the way the movie seems like it’s about to end about three times before it actually does. All of this, and something else that’s hard to articulate. Something nostalgic.

Maybe it’s because Matthew reminds me of myself. It’s senior year, and Matthew finds himself about to graduate with no fond memories. He’s student council president, he’s been accepted to Georgetown, but he never really fit in and doesn’t have anything to write in his I’ll always remember… yearbook blurb. He stares longingly out the window as the jocks skip class, briefly wondering how they do it — then concludes, “because they just don’t care.” I know the feeling: Matthew is burdened by giving a fuck.

Klitzy (Paul Dano) and Eli (Chris Marquette) in The Girl Next Door. Note the Vivid Video hat.

Matthew’s best friends Eli and Klitzy are cornerstones of the movie, providing a plethora of zingers and more utterances of “dude” than Dude, Where’s My Car?. Klitzy (YES, THAT IS HIS NAME, HOW MUCH DO YOU LOVE IT?) is subtle, letting his bowl haircut and mouth twitches do most of the emoting,3 whereas Eli is perpetually watching porn from the ’90s and/or yelling “I JUST WANNA BANG HOT CHICKS.”

Now, it’s entirely implausible that a hottie like Emile Hirsch would be an unpopular wallflower, but I don’t care. I’ll take it. I like it. Because he is wonderful. Listen, I watched a movie in which he wore his dead mother’s coats and stroked a pet chicken. I’ll watch anything with Emile Hirsch in it.

Sadly, IMDB trivia went and ruined his naked body for me. Apparently he was underage at the time of filming The Girl Next Door and used a freaking body double for the naked bits. Whatever. I’ll just go back to masturbating to all of his gay kisses and this face he makes as he furtively jacks off under his desk…

Matthew (Emile Hirsch) furtively masturbating under his desk in The Girl Next Door

Did I mention Elliott Smith’s “Angeles” is playing during this part? I dunno why but this just GETS TO ME. In the groin area.

Danielle, who I hilariously called “a heap of succulent trouble” in my high school review, is easily the weak link in this movie. She’s a caricature of a woman, the stereotypical ~hot bitch xoxox~ who drives a powder blue VW New Beetle and wears Britney Spears pants with ties on front and no back pockets. She also never fucking closes her mouth. Even 500 viewings later, I’m still annoyed by that.

Danielle (Elisha Cuthbert) never closing her mouth in The Girl Next Door

Her personality quirks include sensually taking off her clothes in front of open windows and asking Matthew, “what’s the craziest thing you’ve done lately?”

His reply: “so much nuts stuff, it’s just off the hook, off the walls.”

Matthew (Emile Hirsch) in The Girl Next Door saying he's done "so much nuts stuff, it's just off the hook, off the walls."

Matthew is clueless about how to interact with women. Eli’s advice, of course, doesn’t help: “take her to a hotel room and bang her like a beast. What would JFK do? You know he’d tap that ass.” But even Eli, later given the opportunity to squeeze a pornstar’s boob, sheepishly declines. He’s all talk. A facade. Like teenagers always have.

For about 30 minutes, the movie follows the formula you’d expect: Manic Pixie Dream Girl shows nerdy guy how to REALLY LIVE! They skip shcool, trespass and skinny dip in a someone else’s pool, and make out at a high school party full of jocks — complete with slow motion red cup splooshing into the grass.

All of this comes to a halt when Eli discovers Danielle’s former profession. Of course, he’s all too happy to gleefully break the news to Matthew in the AV room at school. I want to be mad at Matthew for being judgmental (“you’re better than this” is a sentence that is indeed spoken), but he’s so damn earnest — and also, Danielle really doesn’t seem into doing porn anymore.

Enter KELLY.

Kelly (Timothy Olyphant) in The Girl Next Door being fucking terrifying

50% plaid pants, 50% cigars, 100% fucking psychotic, and yet you can’t deny you’d want to be this guy (played flawlessly by Timothy Olyphant). He literally storms into a classroom and silences the teacher by SNAPPING HIS FINGERS AT HIM. He swindles money by sweet-talking the banker about her latest trip to Cabo. He asks for a blowjob from Matthew then laughs and yells “DO I LOOK GAY TO YOU?!”

Kelly (Timothy Olyphant) in The Girl Next Door laughing in a terrifying manner

Kelly is a porn producer who prides himself on coming up with porn plots. “It’s like a gift,” he says. “It’s like I can’t control it.” He’s visiting from LA in an attempt to lure Danielle back into the industry and just generally fuck shit up. And fuck shit up he does.

The movie basically goes apeshit after this, and to continue to apply logic would be a bit of a mistake. We enter a strange world where kids take road trips to the AVN expo, 18-year-olds are somehow allowed into alcohol-serving strip clubs, and a scholarship speech given while high on ecstasy is met with a standing ovation. Obviously, this is where the movie gets really good, and where I can’t tell you much for fear of ruining the fun.

AVN porn expo in The Girl Next Door. This is what they're like, right?!

Matthew (Emile Hirsch) getting a lap dance next to his dad's friend, Peterson, in The Girl Next Door

James Remar, AKA Harry from Dexter, even makes an appearance as a high-rolling, satin-robe-wearing porn exec who won an AVN Award for Chitty Chitty Gang Bang. (His attack parrot chirps “bang me. Cradle the balls.”)

Hugo Posh (James Remar) being majestic in The Girl Next Door

The overall craziness is peppered with little moments of hilarity that kill me every time. An old sex ed video in which the sullen protagonist tells his friends he can’t hang out: “I have a baby now. Because of prom.” Matthew nervously unzipping and zipping his jacket. A bodybuilder named Mule. Kelly and Matthew casually walking by a statue of people fucking.

Kelly (Timothy Olyphant) and Matthew (Emile Hirsch) casually walking by a sex statue in The Girl Next Door

In classic movie style, the stakes are raised, everything spirals out of control, and all hope is lost. I can’t tell you, exactly, how hope is regained, but it happens during prom night and looks a little something like this:

Eli (Chris Marquette) directing porn in The Girl Next Door

When all’s said and done, we’re treated to a glorious final montage set to The Who’s “Baba O’Riley.” No bullshit cliff-hangers here; the movie wraps things up conclusively without seeming contrived. There are small, strange victories for each of the characters. Klitzy’s, especially, always makes me smile.

Klitzy (Paul Dano), Matthew (Emile Hirsch), and Eli (Chris Marquette) in The Girl Next Door

In my review of The Girl Next Door for my school paper, I complained wildly about the movie’s “impractical plot.” Yes, it stretches reality, sometimes too far. But in criticizing all the ways in which the movie doesn’t make sense, I ignored all the tiny truths. Like when Klitzy turns to Eli and solemnly asks, “dude, do you think I’m ugly?” Or when Danielle explains she didn’t reveal her pornstar past to Matthew “because I loved the way you looked at me.”

The Girl Next Door is a movie for people who didn’t fit in with these guys who spent their time “mackin’ all the honeys”:

Dudebro jocks having a laugh in The Girl Next Door

It’s for anyone who wished they could make out with the girl of their dreams in front of jocks, or walk into prom with a gorgeous pornstar on their arm, or have sex in a limo while a sappy song plays.

It’s for people who spent more of their teenage years home alone masturbating than partying.

And that was definitely me.

  1. Not to be confused with the grotesque Jack Ketchum movie or the movie about Stacy Valentine’s rise to adult star fame []
  2. Many of the best songs are not included on the official soundtrack []
  3. Extreme sidenote: you should watch Prisoners to see Paul Dano today continuing to be a badass []
Jan 102015
 

September 2014: Ejaculate all over my leg and soaked through a towel from the njoy Pure WandSo I was interviewed for a piece about female ejaculation/squirting for Fusion recently. The article finally went live, and lo and behold, I’m not mentioned at all because some new bullshit study came out that had to trump everything. Also, they needed to make room for all those animated GIFs.

I’m no scientist and I’m not in the business of picking apart studies, but I will say that its findings contradict several other studies which have previously shown that ejaculate contains zero or low levels of urea and creatinine. Its findings also go against several thousand million1 vagina-owners, including myself, who have reported that the stuff they ejaculate does not look, smell, or taste like pee. Also, WHO FUCKING CARES what the chemical make-up of the ejaculate is?! Are we trying to “prove” it’s pee so we can keep shaming people for doing it? Cool story.

What makes me truly seethe, though, is the way this study (which included a mere 7 test subjects, by the way) has been snatched up by the media and gleefully misreported as SQUIRTING IS PEE. The fear of peeing during sexual activity is widespread, and it’s something sex educators have been trying to eradicate for a very long time. So thanks a lot, media, for this huge step backward.

Missing from many reports of this study, including the article I was interviewed for, is first-hand information from people who actually squirt — not porn stars who fake it or scientists armed with ultrasound machines. Therefore, I have enacted a hashtag, #notpee,2 where I’m encouraging folks to share their experiences of ejaculation. And here, I’m publishing my responses to the interview questions.

[Edit: we made it onto Cosmo, Playboy, The Daily Dot, Dr. Drew, and Mic. Summation of the hoopla can be found here! Nice work, everyone!]

Please comment on this post with your squirting experiences as well, since still, in 2015, researchers and journalists seem hell-bent on misrepresenting and invalidating our experiences of pleasure.

I know female ejaculation is possible, and some women do it a lot — but I am trying to decipher the difference between ejaculation and actual squirting. I have been talking to a lot of porn stars and they say squirting is faked in porn. I was hoping to get your experiences with it, because (what I gather on your website) it happens to you. 

So my question is does it happen like it happens in porn (squirt gun style)? Did you have to train yourself to do this? Did this happen naturally? Is the sensation more akin to peeing the bed as a lot of women say?

When you say “the difference between ejaculation and actual squirting,” I assume you are imagining squirting as only when the ejaculate physically spurts out? I don’t draw that line. I call all of it squirting, because I just like the word, and “female ejaculation” doesn’t work for me since not all people who squirt are female. I would say that most sex educators feel similarly, in that ejaculation and squirting are two words for the same thing.

I have heard that squirting is faked in some porn, and I believe it, because all they have to do is put some water in their vaginas and then forcefully eject it at the perfect moment. If you’re watching really mainstream porn and it looks like an over-the-top stunt, it probably is.

However, not all squirting in porn is fake. Queer porn, which is more authentic, tends to include genuine squirting. Queer porn stars such Jiz Lee and Dylan Ryan squirt quite often in their scenes. If folks want to see real squirting, they should check out queer porn from places like Pink & White and Trouble Films.

March 2010: A huge puddle of squirt on my Liberator Throe... and on the floorSquirting is different for everyone, just like penile ejaculation is different for everyone. Some people experience a dribble, some feel a strong gush, and other people shoot outward with some force, squirt gun style. I have no idea which is the most common, but the squirt gun style is probably the least common as it requires the most bodily control. For some it’s hard to squirt when something is in their vagina, yet something has to be in their vagina to induce squirting — so removal of said object has to be timed exactly right in order to ejaculate. It can be tricky.

Squirting did not come naturally to me. I had read about it online and knew that intense G-spot stimulation could cause it, but I had barely found my G-spot at the time. I was finally able to squirt one night in 2008 when using the LELO Ella and thrusting it insanely quickly — until I had the sensation of needing to pee, and then beyond. I was so impressed with myself!

I recounted the experience in my review of the toy:

I was very, very turned on, which lead me to almost immediately thrust hard with the G-spot end. The flat and wide tip went straight to my G-spot, quickly stirring in me the now-familiar sensation of needing to pee, yet wanting to fuck myself even faster. I sped up. I gripped the thick end, dropped my head back, and fucked myself with the Ella as fast as I could.

I think I could feel it coming, because ejaculation seemed more within reach than usual. My jumbled thoughts drifted to what would happen if I did squirt. It occurred to me that, as I’ve seen in porn, I could potentially squirt quite far in practically any direction, but I could not be bothered with finding a large protective covering for the bed. I was too far gone in the throes of pleasure. The towel under me would have to do.

And right about then, as I was dismissing all thoughts from my mind, a warm sensation washed over my vulva… and I knew. I was about to come. Really come. And I’m not usually loud when I come by myself, but yells of pleasure involuntarily spilled from my lips. I lost all control, and I released. I came, hard and warm, lost in the moment. And best of all, for once, my clit was of no consequence. None. All the orgasmic feelings were concentrated deep in my vagina. I was in awe.

When I regained some semblance of sanity, I looked down and saw only a splattering of come on the inside of my thigh. That’s it? I thought. But then I got up and glanced back at the towel from whence I came, and there it was — a wet spot about nine inches in diameter. And under the towel, a corresponding wet spot on the comforter. And under the comforter, dampness on the sheets.

Being the huge dork that I am, I actually said out loud to myself, “no way.” I picked up the towel; I felt it, I smelled it. I was almost crazy with disbelief and euphoria. I promptly rushed to Twitter and updated in all caps. When my boyfriend came home, I clobbered him with details about the experience. And here I am now, gushing about it again (pun intended!).

After that, it was like I had unlocked a secret talent my body could do. I knew what G-spot stimulation felt like, and what the precipice of squirting felt like. I knew what was required to achieve success — I had to thrust crazily to get that release. I acquired more toys, particularly the njoy Pure Wand, which remains the single greatest toy for squirting that I’ve ever tried. I even found that I can squirt if the stars align and the vibrator on my clit is strong enough, without anything in my vagina.

June 2013: ejaculate on the NobEssence Seduction and on the floorBut I don’t squirt all the time. It’s usually voluntary, planned. It’s also a bit different every time. Sometimes it’s just some extra wetness during my clitoral orgasm. Sometimes it’s a gush, like that first time, which penetrates the towel or Throe beneath me. Sometimes the force of removing the toy causes my squirt to spill onto the floor.

On a few occasions, I have purposefully and vigorously squirted outward or upward. In those cases, I have to go for the gold and thrust with an insertable toy very, very quickly. For instance, I was determined to christen my new office, and so I squirted like a fountain and left a puddle 16″ across. But the most epic squirting moment of my life so far was probably squirting in front of — and onto — my girlfriend. It just kept coming, probably because I was trying to show off, and it was awesome. My girlfriend reported:

After discovering squirting porn and obsessing over it for the past 13 years, experiencing you squirting all over me in person was unbelievably sexy. Did it look or smell like pee? Nope. It was clearly voluntary — you had to work hard to make it happen, which only made it more impressive to watch.

As for the sensation, it’s a build up of pressure, and I can sometimes feel the fluid pushing to the surface, begging to be released. The sensation can feel like needing to pee, since stimulating the G-spot also stimulates the urethra, which sends a signal to the brain that you have to pee, but once I started squirting I no longer associated it with that.

I often find myself holding my breath when I’m about to squirt. The moment of squirting feels overwhelming; I can feel the ejaculate rushing out of me, sometimes splashing my legs or seeping into the towel beneath me. It’s completely different from clitoral stimulation or a clitoral orgasm — not better, just different. It’s more amorphous, with no definite start or end to the orgasmic feeling. If I keep thrusting, I can prolong it — but at some point, my arm gets tired.

Does it feel like peeing the bed? No, because it isn’t. Several studies have shown that the fluid contains very little urine, and in fact contains some markers similar to those found in prostatic fluid (produced by the prostate). Some sex educators say that it’s not actually possible to pee when aroused, and we know this to be true at least for people with penises. So it’s all psychological. If you believe the fluid is pee, it may “feel” like peeing the bed. But it shouldn’t, because it’s not pee.

———

Yep, that’s literally how I ended my email. #NOTPEE.

And so I repeat: comment below with your squirting experiences. Because they are important, relevant, and true. No matter what the latest study or some random dude on Twitter says.

  1. estimate []
  2. Hashtags, of course, are not nuanced, so please remember that this is more about giving the finger to alarmist media outlets than definitively stating what ejaculation consists of. []
Jan 072015
 

Jopen Key Ceres Lace Massager vibratorI believe the texture on this toy is supposed to be swanky, but my friend says it reminds him of a chain-link fence. So that’s a great association… if you’re into prison-inspired sex toys. My thought process basically went “I like texture and I like that color. Give it to me.” In hindsight, I should’ve maybe thought it through more.

This is the Jopen Key Ceres Lace. The others in the Ceres line are the Ceres Original, Ceres G-Spot, and Ceres Rabbit. The entire Key line includes both battery-operated and rechargeable toys, and a few things that don’t vibrate at all (kegel balls, a dildo). Functionally, the Ceres toys aren’t a hell of a lot different than what Evolved and Bswish have been doing for years. The Bgood Deluxe Curve, for instance, looks pretty similar to the Ceres G-Spot — for $25 less.

But Jopen is LUXURY! Or so they think.

The Ceres Lace takes 2 AAs. There’s a thin plastic sheath inside the toy that you have to remove and insert the batteries tightly into. Printed on the sheath: Noise-proof tube. Do not discard. It’s kind of upsetting when you realize all that’s keeping your “luxury” vibrator from buzzing like a household appliance is a thin ribbon of plastic. Like, that’s where your $65 went?

The Ceres Lace has 7 settings, all of which are strongish and buzzy. Since it only has one steady setting, the chances of me using it for clitoral stimulation are 0.000001%. It would get me off, but let’s be real — I’ve got better things to hold against my clitoris. The 6 patterns are what you’d expect: a combination of pulsation and escalation.

The “stainless alloy” button is easy to push theoretically, but in use the angle is a bit wrong. It doesn’t ruin my life, but it can be hard to press in the right spot.

The Ceres Lace would be awesome if made with squishier silicone, or just more silicone, like Fun Factory does with their vibes. As is, it’s so rigid it may as well be plastic. Well, plastic with drag to it. It feels scratchy and not fun at first, as extremely textured toys tend to, but becomes more pleasurable as I become more aroused and keep adding MORE LUBE. When I’m near orgasm I can twist it to and fro and my G-spot likes it, but my G-spot is a crazy bitch who likes everything. Especially close to orgasm.

This toy did spur me to create new texture-related blog categories — bumps, ridges, swirls, and bloops — and it doesn’t really fit into any of them, which is commendable. But most days, the Ceres Lace is too much texture and not enough G-spot stimulation. Its buzzy vibrations, while great for diluting the craziness of the texture, can’t propel it to stardom.

The Ceres Lace is like a movie I’d rate 6 or 7 on IMDB. It’s enjoyable, momentarily, and like Lovelace fulfilled its role of keeping me occupied for its duration, the Ceres Lace does its job of being something that hangs out in my vagina while I get off. It works. But I’d never seek it out again, and I’ll probably forget its name — because I can do without it.

Another issue is that those “cute” little thatches collect every bit of vag crust imaginable. While I dream of hiring someone to clean my sex toys on a regular basis, even the most skilled professional would not be able to eradicate every bit of it. Sad but true: the thought of having to clean the Ceres Lace outweighs any desire I might have to use it. The cleaning is that annoying, and the toy is that unexceptional. I prefer the Splash, Ash Girl, or Star Delight.

You may be an ideal candidate for this vibrator if a) you LOVE extreme textures, b) you love buzzy internal vibrations, c) you don’t desperately need G-spot stimulation, and d) you’re not a whiner and can handle the clean-up involved. I am not the ideal candidate. I only fulfill a), and sometimes b). Never d) — I’ll always be a whiner.

Thanks, SheVibe!

Dec 302014
 

Oh hey, remember 2014? It was the year I was a guest on Sex Out Loud Radio, I taught a sex blogging class, I fell in love with someone new, and I bought a house. This year I coined a new catchphrase, “that’s not where my clit is,” which can be applied to any unsatisfactory experience. I shook my head in disgust at the LELO PinoTeddy Love, and shitty G-spot articles. I hung out with my friends, bid farewell to the makers of fantastical dildos, and said hello to my new sponsors. I conducted several hugely successful giveaways, one of which netted some of the most creative entries I’ve ever seen. I also got back-ups of my favorite vibrator and wouldn’t shut up about it.

Through it all, though, I did what I do best: I put a bunch of new stuff in/around my vagina. Now, I will use my discernment to tell you which toys sucked the most and which toys sucked the least (err, ruled the most) this year.

As in 201320122011, and 2010 (jesus, I’ve been doing this a long time), I’ll first list the best/worst toys, then give out awards such as “Biggest Disappointment” and “When I Use This Toy, My Desire to Throw It Across Room Rises Exponentially With Each Passing Minute.”

Don’t forget to comment with which toys you loved and hated this year!

Best sex toys of 2014

Epiphora's best sex toys of 2014

  1. We-Vibe Pleasure Mate Dusk  Sneaking in at the final hour, this surprising product quickly became a staple in my vagina. No, uh, it became my laziest masturbation tool. It’s meant to go in your butt, but I wear it vaginally at my desk and the vibrator hugs my clit, turning me into a useless blob of arousal and hands-free orgasms.
  2. Jopen Comet II Wand — An expected but nonetheless formidable addition to the list, the Comet II Wand continues right where the original Comet left off and relentlessly targets my G-spot with very little effort on my part. As I wrote, “I literally did not want to go a few seconds without [the Comet] inside of me.”
  3. OhMiBod Lovelife Cuddle — I’m still so excited about the Cuddle. It’s only $69, which is a steal for a rechargeable, and it’s really good. It has the versatility, both in vibrations and shape, that is the hallmark of a well-thought-out sex toy. It’s like my beloved Mona 2 (which I almost added to this list for the third year in a row; please congratulate me on my restraint), but $70 cheaper.
  4. Crystal Delights Ash Girl — The second dildo of the year to blow my mind. I am a texture slut and because of that, this toy is everything. Also, it’s incredibly attractive.
  5. We-Vibe Tango — Best enjoyed as a companion for the Dusk, the We-Vibe Tango is a very mighty toy in its own right. Any company that can pack that level of power into a toy the size of a Nerf dart gets my accolades.
  6. PicoBong Moka and Ako — Although I haven’t reviewed these two battery-operated vibes, they are quite good. Moka is, honestly, better than all its flat tip competition, and Ako is an inexpensive little clitoral vibe that I am now constantly recommending to vibe newbies. Also, it’s shaped like a bean.
  7. OhMiBod Lovelife Adventure — Me, enjoying a triple stimulator? It seemed implausible, and yet the Adventure did it for me. Somehow, it just hit me in the right spots. Unfortunately, it’s last on the list because it’s hard to know if it will hit others in the same spots.

Worst sex toys of 2014

Epiphora's worst sex toys of 2014

  1. Fun Toys G-Vibe — Am I more offended by the idea of this toy, or the actual sensations it produces? Probably the former, but I don’t care — I’m putting it at number one anyway. The world does not need another sex toy in the shape of a Y. This is not the solution to vaginas everywhere, and Fun Toys needs to stop acting like it is. (Also, it’s SO FUCKING BUZZY.)
  2. LELO Hula Beads  Why the Hula Beads exist at all is still a mystery to me. They rotate, and they’re supposedly for on-the-go pleasure or something, but they feel like they are making ice cream in my vagina. I wrote, “I legitimately thought I was inducing my period one time by wearing them.” I shudder just remembering.
  3. LELO Ora 2 — I feel confident saying that nobody is surprised by the failure of the Ora, but that doesn’t make it any less upsetting. A toy claiming to feel like oral sex should, at the very least, offer a variety of unique and pleasurable sensations — not a single lone setting that only feels good when I hold the toy just right. Also, I haven’t been to hell, but I can only assume it consists of perpetually cleaning vag gunk out of the crevasse of the Ora.
  4. OhMiBod Lovelife Discover and Smile — In a strange plot twist, the smaller toys in OhMiBod’s Lovelife line are absolutely worthless. They’re so buzzy it scares me.
  5. OVO L1 Silicone Love Balls  These mostly-forgettable kegel balls would not have made it onto either list, except for the fact that the silver paint on some of them started FLAKING OFF after normal wear and tear. I took a hammer to the silver balls because that’s how much I hate toxic toys.
  6. Unique Condom (not pictured) — I, myself, never actually tried this strange iteration of everyone’s favorite contraceptive (it wouldn’t unroll onto my boyfriend’s penis), but 16 of my amigos did. The reports were lousy, including one particularly apt comparison to a Crunchwrap Supreme. Also, while writing this list I mentioned the Unique Condom to my boyfriend, and he carped, “god, that thing sucked.” It was somehow burned into his memory even though it barely touched his penis and probably ruined only about 3 minutes of his life.

The Ends Justify the Means

(My favorite review of the year.)

The Magic Banana

It was a narrow race, but due to overall content and also that amazing photo (single best use for Bananagrams in my household since I can never beat my crossword-obsessed boyfriend), I’m giving this to the Magic Banana. I was prepared for the sensation of being “gently disemboweled” by this toy, but actually found it to feel oddly mundane.

The Magic Banana did, however, come with a “note on empowerment” and silly manual which I could not resist riffing on:

COMING SOON TO A VAGINA NEAR YOU! TOTAL AND COMPLETE EMPOWERMENT! THE REVOLUTION WOMEN HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR!1 THE REVOLUTION WILL BE VAGINIZED! FEMINISM OVER!

Truth from a friend: “I feel like that’s not how empowerment works… people don’t mail it to you.”

Shrink wrapped in a box patterned like a banana leaf, the Magic Banana is simultaneously hokey and woo-woo. Like, the manual actually has a section entitled “Getting to Know Your Magic Banana.” The creator of this toy is Janeson Rayne, a “yoga educator, veggie chef, fine artist, and mom,” and her face is splashed all over everything, in a way that kinda starts to feel like your mom is watching you masturbate and giving you disturbingly specific G-spot tips.

Also, I’ll never not be proud of using the Magic Banana to remove vaginal clogs.

Honorable mention: The Fun Toys G-Vibe is likely my second best review this year, particularly for its takedown of the creators’ stupid origin story and for lines such as “the only nipples it would be able to stimulate at the same time would be those of a child.”

Otherwise, I consider these my best zingers of the year.

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.

LELO Ora 2 review

If these toys can be disassembled by a drunk girl fumbling around on Skype, I feel like that’s a bad sign.

Tenga Irohas review

People who enjoyed the condom: 25%
People who likened the condom to a plastic bag or saran wrap: 75%
People who used the word “crinkly”: 44%
People who complained that the pull tabs make it hard to apply when drunk: 13%
People who felt that the existence of this condom proved that the universe and/or a deity hates them: 13%

Unique Condom review

I keep thinking this is what it would be like to be fingered by Salad Fingers.

Fun Toys G-Vibe review

I’m like a dude just waiting for the orgasm I’m certain I will get. The orgasm the world owes me. Like I’m wearing a suit, hands behind my head, self-satisfied smirk on my face, while my secretary blows me under the desk.

We-Vibe Dusk Pleasure Mate review

No matter how you use it, THIS TOY DOES NOT AND WILL NOT STIMULATE THE CLITORIS. Get it out of your head right this instant. This is not a rabbit and it does not vibrate. If anyone on earth can get off from the subtle nudging movements of this toy on their clit, I will be floored. I think it’s about as likely as Apophis crashing into earth…

Okay, hold up. I am being informed, as I write this at a coffee shop with my freak of a friend JoEllen, that she can get off with hers by holding it parallel to her body against her clit and letting it rub back and forth. She is acting it out with her hands, and the bougie moms nearby are none the wiser. I still stand by (most of) my tantrum, though. Clitoral stimulation could be a bonus for a few people, but should not be why you buy a Stronic.

Fun Factory Stronic Zwei and Drei review

I can get off with it — on high. I like the size and shape of the tip against my clit. But the vibration strength is just sad, especially compared to my beloved Mona. It’s pitiful, like an anti-choice legislator admitting he’s “never even thought about” why a woman would get an abortion.

LELO Gigi 2 review

—————

Hardest to Wrangle

(My most difficult review to write.)

Fucking Sculptures G-Spoon

I spent a lot of time giving the Fucking Sculptures G-Spoon the benefit of the doubt, feeling puzzled about why I never seemed to like using it. This gorgeous glass dildo should have been a home run, with its enormous size and G-spotting curve. But something about those ridges and the overall weight of the toy, I realized, fucked it up for me. I hated giving a dismal pronouncement about a toy made by such a rad company, but I had to report the vaginal truth.

Honorable mention: In another case of “why oh why don’t I like this,” the BS Atelier Wild Stripes turned out to be far too gentle for me, and I had a hard time articulating any further than that.

—————

I Risked My Life for You; You Are Welcome

(A toy that caused pain, night sweats, disillusionment, etc.)

Fun Toys G-Vibe

Due to its horrifying split shape, the Fun Toys G-Vibe can supposedly be used in a variety of ways. So, of course, I had to try using one prong vaginally and one anally. No. No. No no no no. It hurt. I winced. I endured it longer than I should’ve. My masturbation session was ruined, and I was literally sore the next day.

Unforgivable.

—————

Cats’ Choice

Crystal Delights Ash Girl glass dildo

The Ash Girl from Crystal Delights came with a CAT BED!!!!!!!!!*

*Actually, it’s just a padded storage bag.

—————

Biggest Disappointment

LELO Gigi 2 rechargeable G-spot vibrator

I am forever sighing about the LELO Gigi 2. Touted as a long-awaited improvement over the original Gigi, it almost entirely wasn’t. The best new feature was that the toy is now waterproof, and I say that as a person who never jacks off in the shower or bathtub. It claimed to have 100% more power, but:

I definitely spent 5 minutes of my life with both my Gigis on high, switching quickly between them on my clit, ignoring the porn, and wholly unable to discern if there was a difference.

Finally I called my boyfriend into the room to resurrect the blind vagina clit test. After much back and forth with my eyes closed and my clit on high alert, I tentatively chose a winner. Then I opened my eyes.

I was wrong. I had chosen the old Gigi as the one that was marginally stronger, if at all.

MY CLIT HAS RENDERED ITS VERDICT.

Honorable mention: After the life-changing thrusting toy that was the Fun Factory Stronic Eins, I expected greatness from the Stronic Zwei and Drei. It was not to be. Both have shapes that are not as conducive to movement, and therefore don’t feel nearly as orgasmic.

—————

When I Use This Toy, My Desire to Throw It Across Room Rises Exponentially With Each Passing Minute

Black LELO Ora (original), blue LELO Ora 2

You do not know the pain of being a sex toy reviewer until you have to sit there, legs spread, forever re-positioning a toy against your genitals to try and squeeze an ounce of pleasure from it. It reminded me of my time with the SaSi, which yes, I dug out of storage just to verify that the Ora is about on the same shitty level. Worst of all, when I finally eked out some pleasure from the second generation Ora, it didn’t feel like a success — it felt like a betrayal.

Honorable mention: I couldn’t have an orgasm with the OhMiBod Lovelife Smile or Discover. Not that I physically wouldn’t be able to, but I refused to because the orgasms would have been so bad.

—————

Most Heinous Controls

LELO Hula Beads

Because LELO keeps insisting on this remote-controlled technology, I feel justified in giving this award to the LELO Hula Beads. The remote control is non-intuitive and the entire process convoluted, but what makes it truly the worst is trying to get the two parts to interact properly. Sometimes the toy responds to the remote; sometimes the toy responds several seconds later; sometimes the toy doesn’t respond at all. Rad.

—————

Stupid Sex Toy Trend of the Year

Sex toy crowdfunding Indiegogo nightmares

Crowdfunding.

I never would have thought, when I “launched” the Joy Ride as an April Fool’s joke in 2013, that the crowdfunding of sex toys would become such a pervasive thing. But it has, and now the campaigns range from the astronomically unsuccessful Lovable Undies ($0 raised — good work, team) all the way through the frightfully successful Eva (1,270% funded). Many of them are downright horrifying, as in the case of the HandieTeddy LoveGlov, and Sex Kitten, or just really dumb, as in the case of the Joyboxx.

What I hate most about crowdfunding, more than the grabby-hands begging and yes, even more than the undue press that all the campaigns seem to get, is the sensationalist claims. Eva, for instance, is apparently “the first truly wearable couples’ vibrator,” as if adding truly in there obliterates all protestation. HUM is “the first artificially intelligent vibrator.” MiaMaxx is “the worlds [sic] longest thrusting pleasure toy.”

I’m not wholly opposed to crowdfunding. But there is reason to be wary considering some scam campaigns with products that are physically impossible to actually produce still receive tons of press and money, with no recourse from Indiegogo.

Unless the company has already legitimately manufactured a sex toy, as in the case of Minna’s kGoal, OhMiBod’s blueMotion, or Orgasmatronics’ Ambrosia Vibe, don’t trust it. Because I guarantee you some of these people don’t know how to fucking make what they are peddling.

—————

Manufacturer of the Year

OhMiBod

I have admired OhMiBod for years, ever since they thanked me for calling their first toy “a shoddy piece of crap.” Okay, they didn’t thank me for that specifically, but for my honest critique. They also appreciated my negative review of their kegel balls. And although I don’t like their new blueMotion as a sex toy, the technology that allows you to control it from LITERALLY ANYWHERE is amazing.

2014 was the year OhMiBod finally came out with something that I love, the Lovelife Cuddle. It’s also the year I met Brian and Suki, the company’s creators. Brian, who was in town for literally one night, somehow made time to buy me a drink. A person with such good ideas who genuinely wants to do right in the industry and isn’t hurt by criticism — actually listens to it — is rare. Brian is that person, and OhMiBod is that company.

—————

There you have it! My favorites and least favorites of the past year. What about you? What was the best toy you discovered in 2014? The worst? Your favorite stupid sex toy trend?

Dec 202014
 

We-Vibe Tango Glow (pink) and Dusk (gray-blue) Pleasure Mate CollectionI’m in love. Its name is the We-Vibe Dusk, and I’m using it all wrong.

This toy is supposed to be a vibrating butt plug. It looks like a butt plug. It functions adequately as a butt plug. But something compelled me to put this toy in my vagina, and it was absolutely one of the smartest things I’ve ever done. Like, on par with buying my first mug warmer, or thinking “hm, maybe I’ll start a blog.” Immediately, the Tango vibrator in the base nestled up against my clit, so closely that it seemed there was a chance of bringing myself to orgasm without touching anything. Just sitting there like a blob.

Could I do it?

I gripped the Dusk with my PC muscles, pulling it against my clit even more. I took some deep, shaky, slightly-confused breaths, eyes wandering over my computer screen but not actually reading anything. The rumbly vibrations of the Tango, not even turned up to high, reverberated against my clit. It felt awesome. It didn’t take long.

Afterward, I sat there in awe. It was unreal. And I didn’t have to work for it at all. Like, I rightfully did not deserve that orgasm. Which made it even sweeter.

Before I gush any further, let me clarify everything I’m actually reviewing today, which is not just the Dusk but its companion, the Glow G-spot dildo. They’re sold separately for $50 and $60, but together in the We-Vibe Tango Pleasure Mate Collection ($150), which comes with the glorious Tango vibe that fits in each of their holes. This is a wonderful thing, because We-Vibe has finally realized the true power of the Tango — that it can enhance all manner of other sex toys.

Hilariously enough, I thought for sure I’d prefer the Glow. It has that flat tip shape that many G-spots adore, and it does feel quite nice against mine. But the tip is a bit small, the shaft gets wider in a spot that my vagina doesn’t agree with, and grabbing hold of the base to thrust with the toy is pretty awkward. So using it internally is pleasant, but not as effortless and satisfying as, say, using the LELO Ella or PicoBong Moka.

But the Glow can always be used clitorally — if, for instance, the shape of the Tango alone is too pinpoint for you, or its plastic too harsh against your genitals. The Tango is a ridiculously powerful toy, so its vibrations travel well through the silicone. It’s stronger than the LELO Gigi 2 and rumblier than the PicoBong Moka. The trade-off: it vibrates my hand a lot more than a traditional vibrator, and it’s pretty loud.

BUT CAN WE GET BACK TO THE DUSK, PLZ?

When I use the Dusk vaginally, I position the Tango the same way it’s shown in my photo above, then insert the Dusk so the flat tip of the Tango rests against my clit. That way the sheath for the Tango is angled toward my body rather than away from it, and it really does snuggle right up against my vulva. For less pressure, you could flip the Dusk around. The Tango could also be shifted in the sheath depending on how much you need it to reach upward.

What’s freakish is how terribly normal these hands-free orgasms have now become with the Dusk. I’ve propelled to a new level of lazy masturbation, and you should probably stage an intervention. I sit there at my desk, legs spread, “working” and whimpering like a sad little puppy. I use my PC muscles to pull the Tango even closer against my clit, squeezing and releasing, working myself into a frenzy. (This toy should seriously be marketed as a kegel exerciser because my PC muscles have never been so toned.) The insertable portion doesn’t do a ton for my G-spot, but my clit is in fucking heaven.

I’m like a dude just waiting for the orgasm I’m certain I will get. The orgasm the world owes me. Like I’m wearing a suit, hands behind my head, self-satisfied smirk on my face, while my secretary blows me under the desk.

The Dusk is what every “hands-free” vibe claims to be and never delivers. It’s what the We-Vibe 4 and LELO Hula Beads wish they could be. It’s what the Aneros Evi should have been. When I stand up and walk around, it doesn’t even budge.

We-Vibe Tango Dusk Pleasure Mate chillin' on my dining room tableOne time, I not-so-subtlely put the Dusk out on my dining room table before my girlfriend Aerie arrived. You know, to make a statement. It worked. Aerie tried it vaginally, became horny, and we had sex. The We-Vibe Dusk totally got me laid.

Another time, Aerie wore it while scissoring me, and while it required a lot of adjustment, it was great once positioned correctly. Then, I wore it while wielding Buck in my Joque harness. Not only did it add to my enjoyment of strap-on play, but Aerie could feel the vibrations in the dildo as well.

I even wore the Dusk while writing this review at Aerie’s place, then after I had my obligatory hands-free orgasm I pulled the toy out, raised it to the skies à la The Lion King, and yelled “DUSK!” I don’t know why. It just seemed like the right response. (Also, I’m convinced you could re-write Fleetwood Mac’s “Tusk” to be about jealousy over a partner’s over-zealous relationship with their Dusk.)

I guess I should talk about how it fares in my ass. It’s nice. It’s really comfortable and reminds me a lot of the Fun Factory Bootie, although the Tango makes the base a bit bulky and long. The vibrations do not enhance the experience, though. Even on low, they travel more to my butt cheeks than inside me. It becomes unbearably itchy on high. I prefer it as a non-vibrating plug.

A few details diminish my love for the We-Vibe Dusk, but only slightly.

  • The Tango fits too snugly in its sheath and can be hard to wrest out.
  • It’s kinda difficult to change settings because the controls are at the bottom of the toy.
  • The Tango still only lasts an hour on a charge. Sometimes I end up furtively glancing at the clock trying to calculate how much time I have left before its inevitable death.
  • I have to turn the toy off quickly after orgasm because the intensity becomes overwhelming. So I don’t recommend it for secret office wanking unless you have the freedom to suddenly stick your hand down your pants.
  • It turns me into a unintelligible (you should have seen the way I tried to write the word “dudespread” while wearing it) and sweaty mess. But I guess I can take a shower.

Buying the magic combo of Dusk and Tango separately will set you back $130. The whole collection is $150 and includes the Glow (more of a bonus than a necessity), saving you $40 over buying each component individually.

The We-Vibe Tango Pleasure Mate Collection is an excellent kit for someone wanting to explore G-spot stimulation, anal play, awesome vibrators, and apparently, hands-free orgasms. Just make sure to verbally thank me for each orgasm. I have a copyright on Dusk-induced orgasms, you know.

Get the We-Vibe Pleasure Mate Collection at SheVibe, Babeland, or Lovehoney (international).

Get the Dusk and Glow separately at SheVibe.
Get the Tango at SheVibe, Good Vibes, Early to Bed, Babeland, or Lovehoney (international).

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.

[I originally received this product from SheVibe, but they
have pulled it from their site due to this review. They rule.]

Dec 032014
 

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.

Crystal Delights Ash Girl glass dildoThe 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.

Thank you, Crystal Delights!

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?