Sep 222014
 

Fun Toys G-Vibe creepin' on the neighborsThere are some failtastic sex toys that I keep around simply so I can lug them out in the future and confirm my previous findings. But in the case of the disastrous Split Dildo, I gave it away long ago and never looked back.

Until, apparently, the Fun Toys G-Vibe.

Different company, same exact shape. I had to laugh when I read the “about us” page on Fun Toys’ website, which is the typical origin story of any ~revolutionary~ (not at all) sex toy. It follows the usual formula:

  • Twee intro about huck-a-huck life, slathered with no understanding or knowledge of the sex (toy) industry aside from “I have sex sometimes”
  • A sentence about how the creator gathered limitless expertise on the sex toy industry by… wait for it… VISITING A SINGLE SEX SHOP (serious R&D is serious)
  • Sprinkle on some disdain for the sex toy industry, bemoaning that all toys are horrible, which the creator now knows because he VISITED A SINGLE SEX SHOP
  • Exclaim how innovative! revolutionary! unique! this new toy is, it has NEVER BEEN DONE BEFORE, EVER (nevermind the Split Dildo, Leaf Vitality, or LELO’s entire Insignia line)
  • List the toy’s assets which just happen to be features that many sex toys today have: body-safe materials, rechargeable batteries, cute packaging
  • Toss in some bullshit about WOMEN and what women want because women are obvs all the same
  • Life-changing

That story certainly did not convince me to try the G-Vibe, but then Lorax gave me the idea for this photo of it creeping on the neighbors, at which point I just had to say yes. Other photo ideas included opening a jar with it, putting pressure on the eyelids, and using it as tongs to pick up hot food. Photo options should always be why a reviewer requests a toy, right?

That and masochism. Obviously.

The G-Vibe comes with a white drawstring bag, a USB charging cord, and a manual that is little more than drawings. The prongs are about 3″ insertable and 1″ in diameter each when split, 6″ insertable and 1.35″ in diameter when held together. This toy has 3 buttons (plus, minus, mode) that function exactly like those in the LELO Insignia line. It is not waterproof.

According to the creators, the G-Vibe is so versatile you can use it at least 8 different ways. Sorry, but I’m not going to use it like tweezers on my clit, and the only nipples it would be able to stimulate at the same time would be those of a child. So that leaves me with still too many a few options: insert the whole shebang, use it vaginally and clitorally simultaneously, or use it vaginally and anally simultaneously.

Using it vaginally and anally was the worst mistake of my life and I never want to talk about it ever again. It fucking poked my ass and I was sore for a whole day afterward.

Entirely inserted vaginally, the G-Vibe thankfully feels nowhere near as awful as the Split Dildo. It’s not as rigid, so it’s not as difficult to insert, it doesn’t inflict pain, and it doesn’t feel like it’s pulling my insides out when I remove it.

But it doesn’t feel good. With both prongs inserted, button side up, it is vaguely pointy. It’s supposed to stimulate my G-spot and my perineal sponge (also called the PS-spot by idiots), but doesn’t do either. If I turn it sideways, it’s more comfortable and provides more of a stretching sensation — but the prongs literally open away from my G-spot, which, no. This toy hits exactly zero spots in my vag. A cardinal sin for a toy which claims it will hit so many spots.

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

The prongs are, according to the inventor, supposed to “spread apart once inside the vagina to create a sensation of fullness without actually stretching the labia.” But a lot of the joy of stretching comes from fullness at the vaginal opening and just inside the vagina. Don’t even try to tell me otherwise, dude who seemingly wants to keep his woman’s labia taut.

I’ll give the G-Vibe one thing: used as a dual vibe, with one prong in my vag and the other against my clit, the clitoral portion makes a lot of sense. The length of the upper prong ensures it will hit most clits and also allows me to thrust a bit. But the internal part feels like nothing, and the vibrations are… unfortunate. They feel okay on lower settings, but the higher you go, the more it feels like a bug zapper.

Therefore, I feel no desire to keep the G-Vibe in my vicinity.

There’s a newer version, the G-Vibe Noir, which is waterproof, more expensive, and has a third motor in the least helpful location. Also, it’s limited edition, because companies should always only produce 10,000 units of upgraded versions of their toys. Totally.

There’s a reason the G-Vibe is only available on Amazon.
I’ve heard the Leaf Vitality is good if you want a dual vibe.


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Sep 092014
 

Giveaway: the great Mona summer party!It wouldn’t be enough to call my great Mona summer party giveaway a success. Over 1,000 humans entered via the widget, with even more reblogging, posting in the comments section, and joining the Twitter party, for well over 10,000 individual entries. This giveaway was a whirlwind — and rightfully so.

I asked for the unthinkable: to give away 10 of my favorite vibrator, the LELO Mona 2, open to international readers. Generously, LELO said yes. Then it got better. When the giveaway wrapped, I found myself at an impasse trying to choose just one winner for “best artistic representation of Mona” and two for “best sob stories.” I emailed LELO about my plight, and they floored me by agreeing to five winners for each of those categories.

Yes, a total of seventeen winners.

For the past month, I’ve been very busy packing and hauling boxes into my new house. But when I did have a moment to relax, I thoroughly enjoyed thumbing through the giveaway entries. Thank you all for bringing joy to my stressful times; now it is time to announce all the winners!

If you did not win, I highly suggest you go purchase a Mona 2 (or whatever else) through LELO directly to thank them for their generosity. They donated over $2,300 in product for this giveaway. That’s outrageous.

Best artistic representation of Mona

I learned something important with this giveaway: y’all are willing to go to extreme lengths to win an amazing sex toy.

Three people made physical art that blew me away: Snark IsRequired made MONApoly, Mandi painted a “Dump Him, Buy A Mona” watercolor, and Coryphelle put together a sex toy shadowbox:

Artistic representation winners: MONApoly by Snark IsRequired, watercolor by Mandi, shadowbox by Coryphelle

In MONApoly, jail is “Watch Battery Vibe Cove,” Water Works is the “Sliquid Lube Tap,” the railroads are “Mona Chargin’ Stations,” Luxury Tax is “Coffee Tax,” and Chance is “Truth and Sweet Justice,” named after the two cats in my superhero persona. The game pieces are tiny clay Monas, and there’s a card which reads “Your Mona is charging. Miss a turn until the charge is full.” I AM LIVING FOR THIS GAME.

The Mona is depicted with the elegance it deserves in “Dump Him, Buy A Mona,” a glorious watercolor rendition of my favorite hashtag. Best of all, this art represents Mandi getting her hands dirty after not touching her art supplies for two years. Yes!

It is a true testament to Coryphelle’s skill that each of the toys she sculpted for her shadowbox is immediately recognizable. I mean, look at those wands! Sex toys should always be sculpted out of clay and pinned to corkboard. Way better than butterflies.

THEN, there were the songs. Two of them so good that both had to win. Eva Gantz sang a beautiful rendition of CeeLo’s “Fuck You” and WARNING IT WILL GET STUCK IN YOUR HEAD FOREVER:

I see you all over town in the shops I love
Wish I could fuck you
I guess the change in my pocket wasn’t enough
For me to fuck you
If I was richer, you know I’d get you
You’re on my wishlist
It’s nothing more than a dream
But a wet one it seems
Wish I could fuck you

Ashes, who picked up on the fact that I shamelessly love Eve 6, covered “Inside Out” and re-wrote the lyrics. I have no idea what a “vaginal epiphora” is, but I think I want one.

 

I would swallow my pride, I would buy it online
But the lack of funds would leave me empty inside
Sit here and pout, I don’t wanna go out
Do nothin’ but watch some nuttin’
Want to put my tenders on a Lelo-bender
Swoosh it all around, make a vaginal epiphora
Rendezvous with a Mona 2

I burn, burn like a jelly dildo, chock full of chemicals
I see my vag has gotten burned
A quick shock from a cock is painful
I should’ve bought a Wahl, I want to throw it at the wall
I hear words and clips and phrases
Like “revolutionize
My stomach turns, I roll my eyes

The caliber of art submitted to this giveaway was amazing. It was tremendously difficult to choose just five winners for this category. Here’s some of the other awesome art that was submitted.

Artistic representations of the LELO Mona 2

Art by Kaguya, thelesserunknown, Catarina D, Alyssa Ilene, BlabberBits, and Mr. Will.

Best tweet

My favorite tweets about the giveaway came from @martinskeez. The very best was this one:

So, 140-character master of words, Mona for you!

Best sob stories

This was the hardest bit of all. I asked for you guys to give me a reason you should win a Mona beyond “I like orgasms.” I was not asking for the saddest depths of human despair, but… that’s sort of what I got. I truly wish I could give you all Monas, but here are the five that I chose.

Elle Marie, who was suffering through timed intercourse to prove her infertility to her insurance company. Thankfully, she tells me that she has finally received a fertility services referral, but there is still a long road ahead.

Amanda, whose guide dog got sick — to the tune of an $1,800 operation.

Two brave anonymous folks who are each working to take back their sex lives: one was abducted and tortured for a year, the other is recovering from an abusive relationship. My heart goes out to you both, and I hope the Mona is just a small step in the right direction.

Jim Platt, who recently reconnected with a former flame from 50 years ago after the deaths of both their spouses. Her birthday is in a few months — I think the Mona will make a perfect early birthday present!

Twitter trivia party winner

The Twitter party on August 13th was an enormous success! We used #monaparty and I asked trivia questions culled from LELO’s site, my Mona review, and my back-up Mona post. Folks shared Mona memories and photos of their cats with their Monas.

I thought I was being crafty with my trivia questions, but you guys were ON TOP OF THINGS. So many quick, correct answers. My mind was boggled. Ultimately, when all the names were put into the virtual hat, @Celevon came out on top. And it’s no wonder, considering their technique:

Random winners

Last but not least, five entrants from the giveaway widget were chosen randomly. Those winners are Imogen, HRH Alicia, Emily Panda, Khadeja, and Alyssa!

———

Congratulations to all seventeen winners. May your Monas bring you great happiness!

Now I must begin planning my annual blogiversary giveaway. Oh god. It never ends. Which toys do you want to win in October, peeps?


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Aug 012014
 

Put on your sunhats, make your best lemonade, and fill up the pool, because the time has come for the greatest party of the summer. It involves ORGASMS.

Giveaway: the great LELO Mona 2 vibrator summer party!

This is the party I’ve been wanting to throw ever since I fell in love with the LELO Mona 2 vibrator years ago. I am bringing Mona to the masses and giving away ten of them, thanks to the amazing generosity of LELO. Not only is the Mona 2 the best vibrator on earth, but this giveaway is open to everyone on earth. Yes, my dear international readers! You too!

The Mona 2 is a deceptively simple-looking toy, but it succeeds precisely because it gets everything right: it’s rechargeable, it’s strong and rumbly, it’s waterproof, and its shape is awesome both internally and externally. Perfect for Mona parties and orgies, or just getting yourself off in the most streamlined, glorious way imaginable, it’s a toy I wish everyone owned.

The best thing about the Mona is how versatile it is, so I’ve designed a giveaway with entry methods that will appeal to many different tastes. You can go all-out and try to win with every method imaginable, or focus on just a few. Here’s how the winners will break down:

5 random winners

Right off the top, half the winners will be chosen randomly by a computer based on entries in the widget below (the widget also has a landing page if that’s easier). Entry methods include following me on every social media channel in existence, referring your friends to this giveaway, blogging about the giveaway, subscribing to my newsletter, etc.

1 winner for best artistic representation of Mona

Are you the creative type? Concoct a song, poem, drawing, painting, sculpture, or whatever dedicated to Mona (be inspired by Lunabelle’s Mona made from fondant). According to my friend JoEllen, “if someone doesn’t sing a song to the tune of ‘My Sharona,’ I’m gonna be really mad.”1 You must post a photo or link to your art in the comments section of this post.

2 winners for best sob stories

Better at words than art? Me too. Leave a comment on this post about why you need a Mona and my two favorites will each win one. “Sob story” is a bit misleading — you don’t have to make me cry or grovel at my feet, but maybe a reason besides “I like orgasms” would be good.

1 Twitter trivia party winner

Mark your calendars for Wednesday, August 13th at 4 p.m. Pacific and join me for an hour-long Twitter trivia party (#monaparty). I’ll be asking questions about the Mona and LELO, and those who answer correctly will be entered to win one at the end of the party. (Hint: trivia questions will be culled from LELO’s site, my Mona review, and my back-up Mona post, so study up!)

1 winner for best tweet

If you’ve mastered the art of 140-character cleverness, this is your rodeo. Of course, you can use the giveaway widget and send out the usual stock tweet, but if you get more creative you could win this. You must use the hashtag #monaparty and include a link to the giveaway (http://bit.ly/monaparty).

———

I’m using a different giveaway widget this time (shout-out to Adriana for making me aware of it!), with a couple new options. Let me know if you have any trouble.

Deadline: Monday, August 25th at 11:59 p.m. PST


Giveaway: the great Mona summer party!

  1. This does not mean that if you do this you will automatically win. If, however, you have picked up on my favorite band and use one of their songs to praise the Mona, you have a very good chance. []

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Jul 302014
 

Stone eggThe stone egg of my dreams showed up at work the other day.

I’ve been waiting patiently for it, ogling the eggs with each new shipment. But I knew this egg was the one the moment I laid eyes on it.

Buying a house is not like that. No matter what those delusional (and/or extremely lucky) people say, you will not know a house is “the one” when you see it. You will not be filled with immense, undeniable joy. You will, instead, look around, nod, and say, “yeah, this could work.” Then spend the next week wondering if you’ve made a grave error in submitting an offer — an offer which was accepted.

In the past three months we’ve seen a lot of houses and eaten a lot of donuts, but the neurotic part of me will perhaps never feel like I saw enough to make an educated decision. I’ve seen houses with stairs leading nowhere, suffocatingly small kitchens, terrifying wall art, and more basement “kill rooms” than I can count. But I’ve also seen gorgeous yards, amazing hardwood floors, and adorable kitties. All aspects must be weighed.

I don’t know why this one is the one. It doesn’t have the enormous office I thought I required — just a humble bedroom. But it has a beautiful kitchen, and a completely finished basement, and there’s a big porch overlooking the quiet neighborhood. I’ve spent 7 years listening to cars drive by outside my apartment, and I cannot wait for the sound of silence.

Also, no more skittering about outside to take photos quickly so I don’t offend any of my neighbors’ delicate sensibilities.

I am in a weird state: simultaneously thrilled that I’m going to have an actual office with an actual door, and terrified because this is the biggest sum of cash I will ever spend at once. Also, did you know that hoses cost a lot? Yeah, I might be broke before I can even water my lawn.

So if I’m scarce here for the next month or so, it’s because I’m busy packing, getting rid of everything I own, launching my next giveaway, painting, masturbating, rearranging, preparing for my upcoming online class, and decking out my new office (I still need someone to embroider me something that says “I Think You Hate Sex“).

Turns out, the stone egg isn’t anything special. It’s not a challenge for my vag — it doesn’t want to escape on its own. It’s not as stimulating as the LELO Luna Beads. Gorgeous as it is, it isn’t perfect. Nothing truly is.


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Jul 212014
 

Everyone pause and bask in this moment.

I have found a sex toy crowdfunding campaign that isn’t shitty.

kGoal kegel trainer exerciser sex toy

It’s a squeezable silicone bulb — er, they’re calling it a pillow — that measures the clenching of your pelvic floor muscles, and it’s called the kGoal (get it? Sounds like “kegel”? If you pronounce “kegel” that way?). It charges via USB and wirelessly communicates with an app on your phone, which serves up your exercise history, suggested workouts, and “max squeeze.” I see a community scoreboard coming on.

As added incentive, the kGoal’s motor offers vibrational biofeedback as you do your exercises, while the outer arm is equipped with a status light and second motor. So, you might be able to get off with it. Which would be a great bonus.

I’ll proudly admit that prior to a recent planned orgy, I researched options for kegel strength testing devices in hopes of having an epic kegel-off. But everything seemed really primitive and medicinal — dubious white plastic devices with sketchy pump bulbs — or too difficult to actually acquire, as in the case of the Airbee and Kegel8.

The kGoal, while not exactly the most attractive or ergonomic of sex toys (let’s be real: it looks like a potato with a growth), is at least technologically advanced, body-safe, and rechargeable. Plus, if anyone’s going to utilize squeeze technology, I trust Minna the most, since they’ve already used it in their Ola and Limon.

Still, I have some fears:

  • It could turn out like the vagina-offending Jopen Vanity Vr1 and I’d be so mad.
  • The lack of a smaller neck makes me fear it might be uncomfortable and/or difficult to keep in place.
  • “Splash resistant”? Bitch plz.
  • Nobody has $175, especially when actual kegel exercises are free, and cheap yet effective kegel balls exist.

But, for once, I choose to remain optimistic. As of this writing, people have pledged $222,725 of the original $90,000 goal, which means the kGoal will definitely will become A Thing. But if you contribute even $1, you get to vote on which color the toy should come in. So. LET’S MAKE ORANGE HAPPEN.


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Jul 122014
 

Bouquet of hand drawn sex toysShe greets me at the airport with a bouquet of hand-drawn sex toys. Eleven toys, all of them my favorites, with green pipe cleaner stems. On the romance scale, this may surpass the CD that my boyfriend made for one of our anniversaries which included a Tegan & Sara cover and 5 minutes of our cat purring into a microphone.

- – -

Aerie lives in a swanky condo on the third level. It has sparkling wooden floors, kitchen appliances that beep at you if you don’t do their bidding, and best of all, air conditioning. We make delicious coffee in the morning with a hand grinder and a french press. Her bed is swathed in comfy grey sheets and pillows. I feel like I’m in a hotel, even more so waking up next to a beautiful girl.

- – -

One evening, we have sex until we’re starving, then scarf In-N-Out. Another night, she makes me homemade teppanyaki and I have a breakthrough in how to hold chopsticks. On a particularly glamorous evening, we go to AsiaSF for the dinner show. Gorgeous trans ladies lip sync and dance on the bar. One performer grabs my hand and makes me touch her boob… and her crotch. The bachelorette parties lose their minds.

The bartender asks us whether it’s a special occasion, pressing us on our relationship.

“We’re, uh, friends who have sex with each other?” I fumble. “‘Friends with benefits’ doesn’t sound right.”

- – -

KissThe first time we had sex was at a play party. Neither of us had been to a play party before… or had sex with a woman. I’m not counting the half-assed dry-humping of my youth. I’m talking tongues, fingers, open-air vulvas. Before that night, I’d literally never had sex with anyone except my boyfriend of 9 years. I was that sex blogger.

Was.

Aerie and I got together thanks to Snapchat flirting, crafty play party planner friends, and a mutual love for massages. Everyone else was talking, eating chips, and sporadically hitting each other with floggers. The king-sized hotel bed sat empty, waiting. Aerie and I were sitting next to each other trying to act natural. Well, I was casually using my Mona under my nightgown, so maybe not.

Finally she said, “can I give you a massage?” I could not say yes fast enough.

Massaging turned to kissing turned to naked caressing. She told me she might be getting sick; I consented to possibly catching a cold. Then I went down on her.

I had no clue what I was doing — but I went off instinct, off what I’d seen in porn. I doubt I was super good. I was probably sloppy, unfocused. But I buried myself in her vulva and did whatever seemed right, whatever she wanted me to do.

“Are you sure you haven’t done this before?” she asked.

Somewhere on the other side of the universe, someone was squirting on the pull-out bed.

Aerie went down on me, then I taught her to use the Comet Wand on me. I was overwhelmed by the sensation. There is a swiftness and effortlessness about someone else using an ergonomic G-spot toy on you correctly. I was almost unable to focus on her tongue and then the vibe on my clit. But I did, even in a room full of people, and I came hard.

Then I stood up and put on my Joque harness, with Mustang strapped in. It was meant to be: I brought my Joque but not my Mustang, Aerie brought her Mustang but not her Joque. Queeraschino helped me tighten my harness, because that’s what friends are for.

As Aerie grinded on me in cowgirl with her beautiful boobs wafting above me I thought, okay, I get why guys like this. After that, she came with the We-Vibe Salsa on her clit and my fingers inside her, pressing hard into her G-spot.

When we were finished, the room clapped for us and Queeraschino said, “um, I have something to tell you… I think you’re gay.”

I gulped down all the water on earth, then grabbed my phone and used its last bit of battery life to text my boyfriend: definitely had sex with Aerie. He replied, that’s awesome!!!

- – -

At AsiaSF, the bartender asks what we’re doing afterward. I tell him we’re going to Mr. S Leather, a sex shop. He wants to know if we’re going to get some new toys.

“Probably not,” I say. “We have way too many already. Seriously.”

He is entranced. He tells his co-worker he wants to hang out with us after.

- – -

Kink.com Armory tourAs we walk up the stairs into the Kink.com Armory, a horde of skateboarding stoners asks, “hey, are you guys models?!” When we don’t reply, they yell, “YOU ARE, AREN’T YOU!?”

The tour guide shows us a padded cell, interrogation room, slaughterhouse, kitchen complete with fake food, bathroom, doctor’s office, gym where they film Ultimate Surrender and Naked Kombat, and a “normie” bedroom with a cage built into the staircase. In the hallway we pass several 55-gallon barrels of lube, complete with pumps and spouts.

The most surprising thing is how banal everything is. It’s mostly like a huge warehouse. Even the Upper Floor doesn’t have the sparkling grandeur that I thought it did on film.

Vibrator from the 1930s in the Good Vibes antique vibrator museumWhile in San Francisco, we also visit several sex shops, including Good Vibes Polk with its antique vibrator museum, and the best-named sex shop on the planet, Does Your Mother Know. The biggest takeaway from Good Vibes? Vibratex’s The Girls vibes are just as useless as Penny and Millenia said. The biggest takeaway from Does Your Mother Know? No matter how much of a boss I think my vagina is, visiting a gay dude sex shop can make me feel like a twerp in no time.

Our last stop is Wicked Grounds kink cafe, where we ogle their beautiful artwork and buy mugs. There’s a sign at the register which reads, “would you (or your sub) like your drink in a dog bowl?” I take a picture of it and send it to my mom. She replies with disappointment, where is a pic of YOUR dog bowl drink ???

- – -

I usually spend the fourth of July holed up in my apartment, vaguely listening to the blasts outside. This year, we walk hand-in-hand to a park to see them set off huge fireworks. I wear a sweater I wore in high school whenever I made out with boys in winter. The fireworks are so close that we have to crane our necks to take it all in. She lets me lay my head in her lap.

- – -

“You’re the sweetest,” she murmurs.

“You’re as sweet as a kitten,” I reply in a half-asleep fog. “With a cupcake on its head. A cupcake-shaped growth.”

She laughs.

“A growth that affirms your opinions. And has WiFi.”

I run my hands over her arms, explaining that I am making sure she is in working order. I poke her collarbone. “Checking bone density,” I explain.

Somehow, these weird things are endearing to her.

- – -

Paint ALL the nails!When we drive, we listen to old episodes of Sex Out Loud. Joan Price talks about getting yourself in the mood for sex rather than waiting for it to strike; Nina Hartley talks about having different partners for different things.

Sex with Aerie is so different from the sex I have always known. It is slower, with an inherent understanding that comes from having similar bodies.

Together, we are trying new things. Electricity. Double-ended dildos. Face sitting. New sex toy materials. Oral techniques. (Shout out to Sliquid H2O for being perfect and not tasting like anything.) Clitoral massage techniques. Different harnesses. Mutual masturbation. Whether my Diva Cup will stay in place while I’m being fingered (answer: YES). How quickly I can thrust with her Pure Wand to squirt all over her luxurious Throe.

I love her hipbones. And her labia. I love feeling her G-spot.

And there is still so much to learn.


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Jun 252014
 

The Business of Blogging About Sex with Epiphora and Lauren Marie FlemingEver since I started speaking on panels with other lovely industry peeps, I’ve been energized to spread the gospel of the sex blog further and wider. This September, I will be doing just that in the form of my first ever online class, taught alongside the unsinkable Lauren Marie Fleming.

Lauren is one of the finest people I’ve become friends in recent years. She has a really exceptional brain and enviable drive for what she does. She’s also a big deal: when I was eating a burrito at a food cart pod with her mere days ago, someone came up to us and said, “e-e-excuse me, are you Queerie Bradshaw? Can I get a selfie with you?”

Our class is called “The Business of Blogging About Sex.” It will span four weeks and will tackle everything from adult-friendly hosts to writing solid content and of course, making the money you deserve:

Do you consider your blog a business? Do you want to? This four-week interactive course will take you through the dos and don’ts of running a successful sex blogging business. Long-time, expert sex bloggers Epiphora (HeyEpiphora.com) and Lauren Marie Fleming (QueerieBradshaw.com) will share with you the knowledge they’ve amassed in their 15 years combined experience blogging. They turned their one-time hobbies into profitable online businesses, and you can too.

Each week will focus on a different topic, from website set-up and content creation to monetizing and acquiring readers. This class will address the special issues that come with blogging about risqué topics, including finding your niche within the sex world and maneuvering through the ever-changing terms of service that affect sex writers/workers on the Internet. Learn how to write with conviction and consistent voice, plus how to garner advertisers, implement affiliate links, obtain products for review, and use social media to your advantage.

Each student will receive critical feedback from both Lauren and Epiphora, and weekly assignments will give you concrete takeaways from the class that you can implement right now to boost your business and online presence.

You want to take a class with us because we each have blogging and branding smarts, but we’ve acquired them differently. She has graduated law school, written a sex blog for Curve, attended and spoken at (approximately) a thousand conferences, and launched Frisky Feminist Press. I’ve written nearly 300 sex toy reviews, honed my blogging skills in the HTML and CSS trenches, and built my blog into my main source of income. We are an excellent team: just look at the Google+ hangout we did.

A complete week-by-week breakdown of topics is available on the sign up page, but rest assured you’ll be working hard and soaking up the info like a sponge! Let’s go back to school, pervs!

Sign up now!


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Jun 192014
 

This is not cute. This is not adorable. This is not acceptable.

Teddy Love vibrating teddy bear... kill me now

A teddy bear with a vibrating muzzle? Really? This is condescending, infantilizing, and damaging. This is not how we get over the stigma around sex toys. This product is WHY THERE IS A STIGMA AROUND SEX TOYS.

Completely overlooking logistical issues such as how the fuck do you clean vag juice off it (the muzzle is made of thermoplastic elastomer, which is porous, and the body is covered in FUR), I am deeply offended that these people are expecting me, as a woman, to coo over this. It’s “inspired by every girl’s first fuzzy love,” because all women are the same, right, Todd? We’re all perpetual children… who now want to stick pointy bear tongues inside ourselves.

Marketed differently, this toy would not warrant any rage from me. Plushies, ageplayers, and other kinksters could love this, but the inventors blatantly ignore those markets. I bet they’d be astounded at the existence of those markets. Why cater to a niche when you can use the classic angle that always works: shame. The campaign (because of course they’re trying to crowdfund it) reads, in part:

Teddy Love is a paradigm shifter in the adult toy industry . . . Teddy Love is not intimidating to buy online or in a brick and mortar store. There is no stigma attached to purchasing a Teddy Bear that happens to provide pleasure, unlike bulky and obvious sexual devices, that may be embarrassing to purchase . . . Teddy is so cute and lovable you can cuddle and fall asleep with him after he is done pleasuring you with his powerful 10 speed vibrations.

Yes, stop buying those BULKY, ostentatious sex toys and get yourself an enormous stuffed bear instead!

Like, good luck getting people to crowdfund a vibrator when your target market is deathly afraid of vibrators.

Screenshot from the now-defunct Teddy Love crowdfunding video

Update: The video from the crowdfunding campaign has disappeared, but we can remember it forever with this screenshot and my original run-down of some of the horrifying statements it included. Word for word.

  • “Have you ever seen someone walking through an airport, in a restaurant, or though a place of business with a large adult toy visibly protruding from a handbag or briefcase? Well, our novel and discreet product Teddy Love can be placed anywhere, inconspicuously, without fear or embarrassment.” Or you could just tuck your sex toy into a pouch or bag? No? Your schlong must be hanging out all over the place?
  • “The nose touches the clitoris and the tongue goes into the vagina. The controls are in Teddy’s ears, making him the ultimate listener.” Oh fuck RIGHT off. I don’t need a listener. I want to fuck my own brains out.
  • “Our manufacturer in Hong Kong is Disney certified.” I… I don’t know what this means, and I’m not sure I want to know. Nor do I think Disney wants to know.
  • “Our vision is to have Teddy Love placed in every sexually active adult bedroom in America.”
  • “Join us in this exciting opportunity to liberate women’s sexual expression and freedom.”

This product truly makes every other “discreet” (i.e. “let’s make it look like a household object that women love because all women are the same, right, Todd?) sex toy seem ergonomic as fuck. Teddy Love just can’t compete with vibrating sponges, cell phones, lipstick, cupcakes, mascara, duckscandy barsmake-up brushescompacts, pens, and lint rollers.

And oh my god, this company must have spent thousands on stock images of generic ladies over which they lay slogans such as “A Night Alone? No. A Night With Teddy.” “Guilty Pleasure? Teddy Won’t Tell.” “Hop. Skip. Jump for Joy. Teddy Love. Your New Toy.” And the most confounding: “Beach Bum. Beach Bear.” (Did they have a sale on girl-on-the-beach images?)

They also appear to have bought their Twitter followers — look at all those unhatched eggs.

The fundraising goal is $50,000 (two idiots have pledged so far) and perks include tank tops, tote bags, an ominous “Toys for Better Sex DVD” that I kind of really want to see1, and a $450 Party Pack for “bachelorette parties, wedding parties, or that special girls night out.”

SLUMBER PARTY! LET’S HUMP ALL OUR TEDDY BEARS!

Also:

The bear is suspected to retail at $79.95.

Fuck you.

  1. Will it acknowledge that other sex toys exist? How will it advise me to use them? []

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Jun 172014
 

BS Atelier Wild Stripes silicone dildo (large)Finally, a manufacturer is going balls-to-the-wall with their silicone sex toy designs — and I love how flamboyant and playful they are. Spanish company BS Atelier makes a dildo for everyone: one for vegans and/or those who miss Gateway computer boxes, one for horror fans, another for people who like to splatter paint, and even one for that dude who keeps his socks on during sex.

I chose none of those dildos. I chose the uncategorizable Wild Stripes, which is striped diagonally with black, white, orange, pink, purple, red, and grey. I chose it solely based on how attractive it was. Shape was, honestly, secondary in my mind.

Yet, as much as I prefer things that go in my vagina to be aesthetically pleasing — that’s kinda the door (labia?) policy — it isn’t enough here.

The Wild Stripes dildo comes in a heavy duty plastic bag reminiscent of astronaut ice cream or croutons, complete with tear-off, resealable top. Inside is a tiny folded up manual and a packet of Yes water-based lube. The instrucciones read, in part:

For a greater satisfaction them should be used with watery-based lubricants . . . Silicone is a very resistant material, if kept them in a place without dust and far from objects that could scratch them, the BS dildoes and pluggeds will last many years.

The pluggeds! They can last many years!

Actually, the manual is pretty useful. It even recommends using a condom if going from anal to vaginal penetration — “it is not sufficient to wash them,” it states. Accurate.

But, as adorable as this dildo and its manual are, I feel uncomfortable with the $90 price tag attached. The Wild Stripes just doesn’t deliver in the sensation department, and I’m somewhat wary about its construction.

It seems silly to quibble about the finish on a dildo, but… it looks… scuffed? Like a gym floor? And it has several nicks in the silicone that I didn’t put there. This dildo is not glossy like a Tantus toy. It’s not silky like a Fun Factory toy. It’s not flawless like a LELO toy. The silicone is draggy, and the finish is imperfect. I get the sense that, as a new company, BS still needs to refine the art of dildo-making.

This would be easier to overlook if I liked the way the dildo feels in use, but I don’t. It attempts to go for the flat tip G-spotting shape that I love in the LELO Ella and PicoBong Moka, but it’s a half-assed attempt. The edges are too rounded to do much of anything wondrous for me. It kind of feels like a shapeless blob, especially in comparison to other toys. And the silicone drags at my vaginal opening, requiring more and more lube as I go.

Around the same time that I got the Wild Stripes, I acquired the similarly-shaped Pleasure Works Siren, and it was impossible not to compare the two — and crown the Siren the winner. The Siren is shiny and its shape has more definition, so it glides well and hits my G-spot more readily. It also costs $40 less than the Wild Stripes; it’s just not particularly pretty.

I’d venture to guess most people don’t have $90 to burn on a dildo that looks great on a shelf but only halfway succeeds in its function as a sex toy. The small BS toys aren’t as expensive, though, and for folks who prefer lighter and gentler G-spot stimulation, they can be great. Lorax also likes the Alex style, so not all hope is lost.

But the Wild Stripes is just too imprecise to do anything worthwhile for my vagina. If you want a silicone dildo that feels really awesome and that you can show off to your partner’s parents when they come over for dinner, get a tie-dye Mustang, the Tantus Splash, the Jollies Jollet, or a tri-colored space toy. They’ll be impressed with your quality taste in dildos, and you’ll get immense rather than mediocre pleasure. Win/win.

Thank you, SheVibe!


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