Review: Nobessence Romp

There aren’t many sex toys that make me feel like writing love letters, so I figure that, if one does, I should ride the inspiration. That said, here is an open letter to the Romp. Creepy? Cheesy? You decide:

Dear Romp,

I just want to let you know that I’m completely and utterly in love, and I don’t ever want you to leave. I heard so many good things about you before we met; that you were a real catch. Sure, I thought at first, but maybe you wouldn’t be right for me… I abandoned that train of thought when I first saw you, and my cunt instantly flooded because of how good you looked. I was enraptured by your glossy sheen and exquisite Cocobolo wood. Even your presentation in a padded box was pleasing to me.

I wanted you in my ass right away. It’s a good thing I had experienced smaller plugs and anal play before, because I didn’t have the patience for much warm-up. This is when I figured out the benefits of your unique – and, I admit, what I found initially odd – shape. Your handle fit my fingers perfectly, and I could easily tilt and turn you to the degree that pleased me most, once you were inside me.

When you first slid in, your tip went in easily, and I had some trouble with the bulge, but when you were finally in? You were the perfect fit for my ass. You didn’t just fill me: it felt like every dip and curve hugged my ass at just the right spot, like you were meant to be there. Your narrow handle settled comfortably between my cheeks, and I could sit down and walk around with no discomfort. Your tip pressed tantalizingly against my vagina – sometimes against my g-spot – so that every motion with you in felt like foreplay.

So, alright – your hard exterior was a little difficult to swallow at first, and you’re quite the expensive date – but I’m so glad I gave you a chance, because everything about you delights me. You don’t just fill me up, like many other plugs can do; it’s like you were made to inhabit me.

Love,

Wilhelmina

I can’t wait to try more Nobessence toys.

Cleaning instructions: Unlike silicone toys, which can be boiled or dish-washed, since the Romp is made of wood with a varnish finish, you should clean it with 10% bleach solution instead, to sterilize it (before sharing).

Review: Crystal Delights Plug

The Crystal Delights plugs aren’t just anal plugs… they are, in all respects, jewelry for your butt. No, it’s not like vajazzling where you superglue crystals to yourself, or whatever. The Crystal Delights plug is a glass, bulb-shaped plug with a Swarovski crystal in the base. It’s absolutely beautiful, and was also my first glass toy, so I’m really excited to talk about it.

The plugs come with several different colored crystals to choose from, and in two sizes – short and long, referring to the length of the neck. The company that stocks and produces the plug actually created the short version after Britni reviewed & criticized the length of the original plug. If that’s not great service, I don’t know what is!

Since I’m a small person, I picked out the small version. I couldn’t decide between any one color, so I ended up getting the Aurora Borealis, which has hues of topaz and turquoise among its multiple colors.

The plug is on the small side, but the hardness of the glass makes it more substantial than the size might suggest. However, I found it comfortable enough to wear. The short neck fit perfectly, and was very snug.

I cannot get over how gorgeous and glittery it is. The first time I put it in, I snapped a picture and sent it to L immediately. (No, I’m not going to post it.) He really liked how it looked.

The toy also comes with a nice velvet and leather padded case that closes securely with two elastic straps.

The only complaint I have about the plug is that it isn’t suitable to wear under your clothes, or if you’re going to be sitting down for a long period of time. The base is fairly thick and bulky, so felt a little awkward under my jeans. I also couldn’t sit comfortably. It was better when I sat on something soft, like a padded chair or a sofa, but hard surfaces were completely out of the question. When I wore it underneath panties and a miniskirt, then sat down on a wooden chair, I could hear the glass clunking against the surface.

However, I don’t think that should deter anyone from getting the plug. This plug is meant to be flaunted, not hidden away under clothing! Let your partner(s) appreciate it, or use it during sex. Wearing this plug made me want to walk around the apartment naked (unfortunately I still had roommates at the time, so I didn’t indulge). If you want a plug for long-term wear, there are plenty of other, more affordable options on the market.

A lot of care seems to have been put into this product. Each piece is hand-made, and since it’s made of glass, it’s completely non-porous and body-safe. You can sterilize it by wiping it down with 10% bleach solution or rubbing alcohol. (I hesitate to suggest boiling for 5 minutes since I don’t know how the crystal is secured in the base, and I don’t know what effect boiling might have on that. I’d be reluctant to put it on the top shelf of the dishwasher due to potential damage of the crystal, also.)

Next time you have to buy a significant other a gift, you won’t have to pick between a fancy sex toy or jewelry… you can get the best of both worlds.

You can buy your own short AB plug here.

Thanks, Crystal Delights!

Review: Midori’s Expert Guide to Sensual Bondage

If you’re interested in trying bondage for the first time, but have trouble even tying a square knot correctly (like me), you’d be relieved to know that you don’t have to become a Master Rope Rigger to do bondage. Midori’s Expert Guide to Sensual Bondage, from Babeland.com, is a wonderfully put-together introduction to simple and sexy bondage.

The people behind the DVD are stellar. It’s directed by Tristan Taormino, so you already know it’s going to be pretty sweet, and it’s written and hosted by Midori: internationally acclaimed sexpert, author, performer, and workshop instructor.

Introduction

Midori has a very calm & elegant demeanor; at times her voice or gestures seem contrived, but then she’s used to working live, not on camera. She goes over some basic dos and don’ts: like communication, safe-words and other safety issues, and why people might find bondage hot. Some tips I’d already encountered in any BDSM beginner’s book or workshop, but others are very specific and useful, and I probably wouldn’t have thought of them myself. Examples: where on the body is ok to bind, and bondage tools you don’t have to spend a fortune on, like stockings, bathrobe sashes, scarves, and belts. (Why didn’t think of that?) She also goes over the typical leather cuffs and handcuffs.

The Lesson

Next up is a demo/lesson, featuring Adrianna Nicole and Mark Davis. Midori is present to instruct them, with Adrianna and Mark throwing in the occasional question. Midori begins with some tips on how to best set up the bedroom; using bungee cords and the Under the Bed restraint system as attachment points, and scarves and leather cuffs to demonstrate the actual bondage. They run through a bunch of different positions and combinations: with the scarves, they tie Adrianna’s hands together, tie her wrists to her ankles, create a “sex-sling” with three scarves, and lots of other fun things. They also do a good job of showing how four cuffs and a couple of metal snaps can result in lots of different positions.

I’ve been very interested in learning more about bondage, and I’ve perused a few books and attended a rope bondage workshop once. I found hands-on experience to be the most helpful, but written instructions and even pictures to be woefully inadequate. I guess I’m just a very visual learner. So actually seeing Mark and Midori move Adrianna into different positions was very helpful to me.

After this scene, Midori departs in order to let the porn ensue. Her voice narrates the two sex scenes, giving useful little tips, but you also have the option of a narration-less version in the “special features” section.

Adrianna & Mark

I’m not really a fan of either of these actors. I find Mark Davis kind of boring, and I really want to love Adrianna Nicole because she performs so well, but I just don’t find her that attractive, and like before, I found her grunty/wheezy sex noises annoying. However, together the two had a very hot, playful dynamic and they were clearly very familiar with each other – I wondered if they had been a couple at one point. At the very least they must have performed together before.

Anyway, this scene is pretty hot, but also doubles up as a great instructional scene. It incorporates as many positions and different kinds of restraints as it can: the Under the Bed restraints & leather cuffs, a sex sling set, and leather bondage belts.

This scene contains a bunch of things I absolutely love:

– LOTS OF PUSSY EATING. Shots of Mark flickering his tongue over Adrianna’s clit, getting her pussy all wet and swollen and pink? I find blowjob scenes really boring, but I love watching women getting eaten out. Why don’t they have eating-out in every porn scene?! My world has been changed forever.

– Mark simultaneously fingering Adrianna’s pussy and ass while she’s face-down-ass-up, and then briefly rimming her. Oh yes.

– Mark coming all over Adrianna’s pussy.

Madison Young & Danny Wylde

OH MY GOD. This is possibly the best scene I have ever seen. I want to watch it over and over again. I love it. Hell, I would have sex with it if I could.

Where do I even begin? Okay, first off, both of these performers are so hot that I almost came from simply watching them make out. With all their clothes on and everything. (Madison Young was wearting the best cat-eye glasses.) Danny pushes Madison around and she responds in kind (“It’s your pussy, Sir!”), but he also constantly checks in with her and sometimes narrates what he’s doing; which is both arousing and an example of good communication. This isn’t a straight-up maledom/femsub scene; they switch in the middle, with Danny blindfolded and Madison teasing him.

This scene doesn’t show off as much bondage versatility. At one point the scene devolves into more of a D/s scene, with no bondage happening at all. However, you do get to see a doorjamb restraint set in action, a cuff used as makeshift cock bondage, some creative use of neck-ties, and a scarf turned into a harness which holds a Hitachi against Madison’s clit.

I think it’s time for another list:

– Madison’s enthusiastic blowjob-giving. Seriously. I said that I usually think blowjobs are boring; she was sointo it that I couldn’t be bored.

– Madison sitting on Danny’s face.

– Danny spanking & playing with Madison’s ass while she’s restrained, and demanding that she stick it out further.

– Madison’s SCREAMING ORGASM. SRSLY

My one complaint about this DVD? No femdom. The instructional scene is completely maledom/femsub. Sure, Madison tops Danny for a little bit, but it still looked like she was servicing him.

When I first got interested in domination, I naively assumed that femdom/malesub was just as common as… any other configuration, but sadly the DVDs I’ve watched so far have lead me to believe that it isn’t. Either that, or femdom/malesub just isn’t represented as much in more “mainstream” porn titles like this one, which is also disappointing.

In any case, if you’re a bondage expert you might not find this DVD very useful… but if you have even a smidgen of interest in BDSM/bondage, you’ll probably enjoy it.

Review: Lovemoiselle Cecile

The Lovemoiselle Cecile from TabuToys falls short as a vibrator, and yet I wanted to marry it after the first time I used it, and it has been my go-to toy for about a month. Cecile is a luxury toy in every sense of the word – it isn’t meant for a quick-and-dirty wank break, it’s meant to be enjoyed. Preferably with aromatic candles and mood music.

Cecile is made of ceramic – a material I’ve never tried before and was very excited about – and is aesthetically beautiful. I admire the minimalist, elegant design – white, with two small flower motifs. The vibe tapers out to the battery compartment, getting gradually wider, so it looks quite like a flower itself.

It comes in an equally elegant box, with an information booklet and a velvet storage pouch. I don’t use the pouch, because it isn’t padded, so I’m paranoid that it won’t be enough to protect Cecile from cracking or breaking. The box, however, is a perfect storage unit. It’s pretty small and comes with a foam “mould” that Cecile rests in, preventing it from being jostled around. The booklet provided me with useful info about the toy, ceramic as a sex toy material, and how to take care of it. The same info can be found on Lovemoiselle’s website.

Ceramic, as a sex toy material, is excellent. Unlike silicone, it’s hard and unyielding, but much lighter than steel. It can be heated up and cooled down. It’s also non-porous, and can be sterilized with 10% bleach solution or alcohol. You can’t boil it or put it in the dishwasher, though, because of the electrical components. Well, you could probably just dip the shaft into a pot of boiling water, I suppose.

I had my own preconceptions about ceramic. I expected Cecile to be fragile, which didn’t turn out to be the case. Cecile definitely feels very solid, and I have no qualms about putting it inside me and thrusting away. However, be careful not to drop Cecile, and don’t abruptly expose it to drastically different temperatures.

What’s nice about Cecile is that it doubles up as a dildo as well as a vibrator. I first tried it out as a dildo. Cecile felt pleasantly cool (thanks, cold Northern winter) sliding into me, but warmed up quickly to my body temperature. As I thrust Cecile in and out of me, it felt like this… smoothness inside me, not an object. And, god, is Cecile smooth. Compared to silicone, it’s hard and sleek, and only needs a dab of lube in order to be used comfortably. Cecile also has light ridges, which make the sensation of the Cecile that much better.

I’ve never really understood the point of straight-shafted toys. I mean, the G-spot exists, shouldn’t every toy be made to pinpoint it? I’d prefer Cecile to be more curved than it is, but by angling the toy, or my hips, I was able to hit my G-spot pretty easily. Also, in other reviews I’ve read, some bloggers have complained that the toy being wider at the base was uncomfortable. But since I can’t even get that much of the toy inside me in the first place (typically when I use toys I only fit about 5 inches of them inside me) I didn’t have that problem.

Cecile as a dildo was amazing. I really can’t articulate why, but it feels so good that I want to use it on myself over and over again.

Now, as a vibrator, Cecile doesn’t perform quite as well.

The toy takes two AAA batteries (not included), and the battery compartment twists off very easily. (After experiences with annoying, fiddly compartments, I’ve come to appreciate ones that actually work.) The vibrations are controlled by a single button on the base – press it to turn it on, then keep pressing to cycle through the modes, and press it for a few seconds to turn it off. I appreciated that I didn’t have to cycle through all of the settings to turn it off, which you have to do with some vibrators. I don’t grasp the base in order to thrust, I use the tapered end of the ceramic to do that, but if you prefer to hold onto the base, you might have some trouble with pressing the button by accident.

Cecile has five different vibration settings:

– constant – low intensity
– constant – high intensity
– pulsations – high intensity
– pulsations – low – medium – high – [pause] – high – high – high
– pulsations – high intensity – long – short – short – short – short – long

For some reason I expected Cecile to rattle really loudly because it was made of ceramic. Don’t ask me why I expected that; most vibes are made of plastic, which is a hard material, and those don’t rattle. Cecile is a little on the loud side, though, to the extent that I’m a little worried about my neighbor hearing me use it. Thin walls.

I tried Cecile both on my clit and inside me. The vibrations weren’t strong enough for my clit. And coming from me, this says a lot. Compared to other sex bloggers I know, I don’t need very strong vibrations to get off. I’m able to get off from a Lelo vibe on a medium setting, when many sex bloggers complain about even the highest setting being too weak. Internally, Cecile didn’t do it for me. Vibrations on my internal walls don’t really do much, and I couldn’t maneuver Cecile to vibrate well against my G-spot. The last two of Cecile’s settings just confused my vagina. They’re too complicated.

I adore Cecile. Thrusting it in and out of me, with Mia on my clit, makes for one luxurious orgasm indeed. However, as a vibrator it doesn’t quite cut it.

Specs:

– Type: Traditional vibrator
– Length: 8″
– Diameter: 1.5″
– Material: Ceramic
– Vibrations: 2 speeds + 3 pulsation patterns
– Other features: slightly ridged
– Powered by: 2 AAA batteries
– Color: White with lavender accents
– Price @ TabuToys.com: $97

4 out of 5 hearts.

Review: Bend-Over Beginner Kit

As you well know, I’m quite the strap-on aficionado, so I was really interested in trying out the Bend Over Beginner kit. It comes with (almost) everything you need for strap-on sex, and the pieces are quality, too:

– Sportsheets Vibrating Velvet Harness
– Tantus Silk SmallD
– Tantus Silk Medium
– 2 O-rings of differing sizes

The only possible addition, or improvement, I could suggest, would be to include a good anal sex book, or DVD. And maybe a small bottle of water-based lube. Still, this is a pretty comprehensive collection of items to have if, as the name of the product suggests, you’re a strap-on sex beginner.

I’m going to go through the parts of the kit one by one. Also, since the name of this product is the “Bend Over” kit, and the dildos are on the smaller side, I’m assuming this product is intended for anal sex, though I’m sure you could use it vaginally as well:

Tantus Silk Small

Upon looking at this dildo, I knew it wasn’t going to do much for me. In both my pussy and my ass, it just felt like a finger. I don’t really see the point in spending money on a Silk Small when using my own fingers would have a similar effect. The one male partner I tried this with wasn’t impressed, and said he could take more, even though I was one of the first people he’d tried anal play with.

On the plus side? The Silk Small is perfect for people who haven’t had much anal experience, but crave the intimacy and intensity of being fucked by a strapped-on partner as opposed to being fingered. I could have seen myself using this on the Optimist, who loved having his butt played with, but was already overwhelmed even when I was only using two of my fingers on him. The Silk Small is, obviously, harness-compatible, is longer than my fingers and has a nice curve, so is probably perfect for seeking out a G-spot/prostate.

Tantus Silk Medium

The Silk Medium was more satisfactory. As it’s thicker, I liked it in my ass a lot better, and actually liked using it in my pussy quite a bit, which was surprising due to it’s small size. Again, the curve was key.

Overall, these two dildos are probably an excellent choice for someone with little to no experience with anal play. The dildos are smooth, simple, uncomplicated, and small. When I first experimented with anal sex, I was very interested and excited, but also pretty nervous. I don’t see either of these dildos being intimidating to someone who might be a little nervous and insecure about trying something new.

To sterilize the Silks, you can wash them with 10% bleach solution, put them in the top shelf of the dishwasher with no soap, or boil them for at least 5 minutes. Also, silicone toys are not compatible with silicone lubes.

Here are the Silks next to my go-to anal dildo, the Tantus Acute:

Sportsheets Vibrating Velvet Harness

The harness, like the dildos, is also very straightforward and easy to use. It has double-straps (that go under your butt as opposed to being worn like underwear) made of nylon, and remind me of backpack straps. You also adjust them the same way you would backpack straps. Very easy. You can also wash the entire thing by throwing it in the laundry. The first harness I ever owned was the Aslan Jaguar, and while it’s gorgeous, I wasn’t quite sure how to take care of the leather. The Velvet Harness is definitely lower maintenance.

In addition to being easy to use, the harness is pretty versatile. It has a pocket where you can insert a bullet vibe (I opted to insert the Lelo Mia, which fit pretty well, except for the base protruding out of it). You can swap out different sized O-rings with four snap closures on the front of the harness. The harness can also fit people whose hips are up to 50″. If you’re a smaller person, like me, and don’t like the straps trailing behind you, you can always trim them and use a lighter to melt the edges and prevent them from fraying.

Personally, I don’t really like the harness that much because it’s a little bulky, and doesn’t fit my body as seamlessly as the other harnesses I own. Ideally, when I wear a harness, I want to feel like it #1 isn’t there, or #2 is an extension of my body. I don’t feel like that when I wear the Velvet harness; this harness feels like I’m strapping on a piece of material, that is sitting conspicuously on top of my cunt, and acting as the base for a dildo. I also don’t feel very connected to my cock anymore, since the triangular piece of velvety material is quite thick. Finally, I don’t find the fuzzy material particularly sensual. I got the purple set, but I think the kit also comes in black. I would’ve liked that color better than the bright purple, too.

So that’s the Bend Over Beginner kit. I ended up giving all the pieces of this kit away, since none of them really worked for me. However, I’m glad this kit exists and I see it being a good purchase for someone who’s just beginning to explore the awesome spectrum of anal play.

Review: Bend Over Boyfriend

I was looking forward to reviewing Carol Queen’s Bend Over Boyfriend DVD from Babeland.com both because of my interest in strap-on sex, and because I’ve been interested in seeing more of Carol Queen‘s work.

Bend Over Boyfriend is a part instructional, part erotic DVD that was released in 1998. (A follow-up DVD was released after, with more focus on the erotic.) It was a bestseller when it first came out, during a time period where (I’m under the impression that) not many resources related to sexuality were readily available. Carol and her partner Dr. Robert Morgan spend 30 minutes talking about why people find pegging sexy and how to do it right, and then spend the next 30 minutes giving us a live demo. Interspersed with Carol and Robert’s material is footage of two couples, first sitting attentively and watching their own copies of BOB, then trying out the techniques themselves.

Carol and Robert clearly know their stuff. First, they each talk about why a person would find pegging hot, and what they would potentially take away from the experience. Then they delve further into some of its mechanics (which are applicable to couples of any gender combination, but are aimed at opposite sex couples here):

– Common myths about anal sex

– Communication with your partner and why its important

– The prostate gland and how to play with it

– Cleanliness and safety

– Foreplay and prepping (for both the pegger and the… peggee?)

– Choosing lubes, butt toys (plugs, etc), dildoes and harnesses

I know most of the material already, since I’ve come across it in other writings about anal sex and BDSM, but they go into amazing detail, and I really appreciate that. Their presentation, though, leaves much to be desired. The video quality isn’t very good, and at times the camera isn’t even in focus (!!!). (The video was independently produced, which might have something to do with it.) Carol and Robert don’t really do anything except look directly into the camera and talk. I felt like I was watching a sex-ed video, or was being lectured at by two professors, not unlike those at my college classes:

carolandrobert

Carol attempts to change things up interspersing their dialogue with scenes of the couples watching the video, interacting with each other, and prepping each other for sex. This doesn’t really help break the monotony, and actually ends up being distracting. I mean, first off, there are a few idiosyncracies from the 90s that I couldn’t not notice:

Wha?
Wha?

And then there’s the weird pink or green tint that randomly appears:

pink

Not to mention this babe dressed in nothing but a doctor’s coat who pops up every now and then to feed us cheesy one-liners like “A finger a day keeps the doctor away! *WINK*”:

???
???

And, finally, it’s just plain distracting to watch people flirt, lick and get fingered, when I’m trying to listen and pay attention to whether I can use oil-based lube with a silicone dildo or not.

Besides those little snatches of erotic scenes, the action doesn’t really start until halfway through the DVD. Rapt attention is paid to safe sex in all of the scenes – no one is rimmed, fingered, or fucked without latex gloves, condoms, or cling film (did they not have dental dams back then?). Again, all the scenes are all interspersed with each other. I really would have preferred watching them one by one.

Anyway, first Carol straps on and fucks Robert while he’s bent over. It was an interesting scene for me to watch, because Carol and Robert are quite a bit older than me, and when I’m watching porn I don’t usually look for people in their age group. The scene didn’t make me feel uncomfortable or anything, it was just… interesting. Carol and Robert have wonderful chemistry and obviously get very into the scene. Carol makes sure to keep checking how Robert is doing, and Robert assents breathlessly at things he enjoys. They both reach explosive orgasms at the end. It’s very authentic, and their passion made me smile.

carolandrobertfucking

And then the two couples, who I creatively dub Couple #1 and Couple #2. I don’t think any of them are very experienced with acting in porn. The little dialogue they have sounds contrived, and the sex scenes are awkward at times. But there’s something charming about how they aren’t pornstars. Since this DVD is aimed at the average Joe, and its message is that anal sex isn’t just some crazy thing you see in porn – that anyone can do it – it’s kind of appropriate that the actors don’t look like they just walked off of a centerfold. That said, I am as superficial as the next person, and certain things about the actors did get in the way of my enjoyment of the scenes.

I wasn’t a big fan of Couple #1. I didn’t find either of them particularly attractive, and Guy #1 just plain annoyed me. He looks bored the entire time, whether he’s watching the video, or watching his girlfriend get naked and try on a strap-on, even when he gets fucked hard up the ass. The height of his excitement is when he says: “oh. Oh yeah.” Girl #1 is cute and giggly and a little awkward – quite endearing – but Guy #1′s lack of emotion basically ruined the scene for me. I can’t even remember much about it now, except that they switch positions a few times, and Guy #1 tells Girl #1 what he wants her to do.

Bored…
Bored…

Slightly less bored
Slightly less bored

On the other hand, I really liked Couple #2. Girl #2 is butchyfemmeish and curvy and tasty, and I found Guy #2 so attractive. I think it was the combination of his long hair, slim body, nice ass and air of ambiguous sexual orientation mixed with a healthy dash of expressive sexuality that did it. He’s easily the most natural out of the four. He moans and asks for more, and at one point gets on top of Girl #2, grinding himself down on her strap-on and flinging his hair back in rapture. He also plays more with Girl #2′s strap on, rubbing against it and giving her a blowjob (yum). They also seem more engaged with each other than couple #1: they look at each other, smile at each other, and seem to be enjoying themselves a great deal. Girl #2 kind of loses interest as the scene wears on, but Guy #2 more than makes up for it. Eventually, Guy #2 comes all over Girl #2′s tits.

couple2b

couple2c

I really would have liked to see the girls orgasm or get more obvious pleasure out of it, especially since Carol made sure to accentuate that women can get pleasure from pegging as well as the men.

Pegging is already sold on me, so I wouldn’t recommend using this DVD as a way to try and convince your lover(s) to try it out with you. Carol and Robert delve very thoroughly into all aspects of anal sex with little or no fluffing. Some would say they’re a little bit too thorough. (Did you know anal sex is actually good for hemorrhoids because it increases the blood flow in the rectal area? Or that vegetable shortenings can be used as lube, but smell really bad if you leave a stain?) If you and your partner(s) already want to try it, or if you just want to educate yourself, then go for it.

Personally, I’m happy that I watched it, but would prefer to find something more current. Maybe another one of Tristan Taormino‘s guides, for instance.

Specs:
– Type: Instructional / porn
– Length: 60 minutes
– Release date: 1998
– Directed by: Carol Queen
– Featuring: Carol Queen and Robert Morgan
– Price @ Babeland.com: $34.95

Three hearts out of five.

Review: bswish bcurious

Throughout my sex toy reviewing career, I have only ever reviewed two clitoral vibrators – both of them Lelo toys. This is somewhat surprising, considering that I get off from clitoral stimulation more often than anything else. I suppose my dildo obsession simply overpowers my love of clitoral stimulation. Anyway, when I saw that the bswish bcurious was being offered for review, my interest was piqued. It was a perfect chance to try out a clitoral vibe from a new company.

I was drawn to the bcurious’s design – the black and pink color scheme and curved shape – and that it’s rechargeable. Besides the Lelo toys and Fun Factory’s click-n-charge line (which is relatively new), I’m hard pressed to name other rechargeable clitoral vibes, and I definitely prefer recharging over using batteries.

My feelings about the bcurious are lukewarm. In many ways, it’s an excellent toy, but there are a couple of things that bug me about it and prevent me from giving it a stellar rating. Firstly, the positive: its shape doesn’t just look snazzy, it feels completely intuitive in my hand. It fits in my palm, my index finger curls over the top and my thumb rests on the controls. It’s not evident from the picture, but a dip runs along the back of the toy that my finger rests in very comfortably. Plus, can we get a cheer for pinpoint stimulation? This is the only clit toy I currently own that is both pinpoint and ergonomic. The Lelo Siri and Layaspot are round and blunt. The Lelo Mia is pointed, but rod-shaped. The Lelo Lily is just a little too small to fit well in my hand. I can see myself reaching frequently for the bcurious for its shape alone.

The bcurious is made of black matte plastic and has pink silicone accents. The charging port is at the side of the toy and is sealed with a tab-like thing similar to what you find in cell phones and digital cameras. The toy is marketed as waterproof and, while I haven’t tried it underwater, the seal and lack of perceivable gaps in the toy make me feel fairly confident about it.

As for the vibrations, there are seven different options: low, medium, high, escalation, pulse, fast pulse, and short-short-short-long pulse. The low is great for warm-up, but I usually switch to medium before long. And here’s the first problem: apparently 3 vibration levels is just not enough for me. I can usually make do with the low and medium settings alone, but sometimes the low is just a little too low and the medium is just a little too high. If there was a mid-point between the two, that would be perfect. As for the patterns, I generally don’t use them much, but I do like the pulse settings alright. Noise-wise, the bcurious emits a buzzing sound that you could probably hear across a room, but not through a wall.

The controls consist of two buttons at the toy’s base: one button turns the toy on, and the other starts the vibrations and cycles through the different settings. The buttons are at the perfect place for my thumb, and depress in a very satisfying pressy-button way. There’s no way to “lock” the controls, but I wouldn’t be worried about traveling with this toy since you need to press both buttons to turn it on. I actually put the bcurious in my checked luggage on a number of flights and long bus rides with no problems. My second issue with the toy, though, concerns the controls: you can press the button to progress to the next setting, but to get to the one before, you have to cycle through them all. Or you can turn the toy off, then on again, to start at the beginning. I find this irritating because I sometimes want to go from the medium to the low setting, and can’t.

The bcurious comes with a manual, a storage pouch, and a charging cord. The pouch is made of what feels like the same material that sweatpants are made of, has a drawstring top, and a tiny tab on the side with the name of the company, but it’s barely noticeable. The charging cord can be plugged into a USB port (!), or into an adapter and then into a regular outlet. Charge it for 2 hours to get 2 hours of play. The control buttons in the base blink blue when the toy is charging, and glow continuously once it’s done.

So there you go. I can’t call this toy a favorite, but I definitely like it and wouldn’t hesitate for a moment to recommend it to anyone else.

Review: Laid D.1

When Babeland offered the Laid D.1 for review, I was intrigued because I’d never heard of the company “Laid” before. It’s a relatively new company1 based in Norway, and its sleek designs looked promising. I have to admit, I was mostly drawn in because it’s based in Europe, and I really like the two European sex toy companies that I know of2.

The D.1 is a mid-sized, silicone dildo that’s marketed as a G-spotter; its pièce de résistance is its asymmetrical head that’s provides both a rounded surface and a pointed surface to stimulate your G-spot. You can supposedly switch between them with a gentle twist. Also, it’s bright blue! Seriously, more manufacturers need to move away from purple and pink, and incorporate bright, candy-colors into their product lines.

Unfortunately, its revolutionary design doesn’t work all that well in practice. It was quite unintuitive for me to use, and it took me a while to find my G-spot with it, although I did manage after a while. I couldn’t feel much of a difference between the two surfaces; except I could tell when the pointy side wasn’t on my G-spot because I could feel it poking my vaginal walls. I tried the “handle” end, as well, but it was too pointy for me to find pleasurable. Since the surface is so smooth, also, if I get lube on the handle or on my hand, things get slippery very quickly, which makes maneuvering the dildo difficult.

During my lengthy toy reviewing stint, I’ve found designs that really work for me; and maybe I’m just being inflexible, but now that I know what works, I’m loath to deviate much from it. For G-spotting, I like the wide, flattened head of the Lelo Gigi or Lelo Ella, and the large, ball-like head of the Pure Wand or Ophoria No. 3. The blunt-head style took a bit of maneuvering at first, but felt amazing once I got the hang of it, and the ball-head style honed in on my G-spot almost instantly. Both of these styles were more effective than the D.1. And when I’m not using a dildo to stimulate my G-spot, I prefer toys that are heavily textured (e.g. the Tantus Echo), while the D.1 is perfectly smooth.

However? I am terribly enamored with the Laid D.1 Stone, which is made of – get this – Black Norwegian Moonstone, or Blue Pearl Larvikite. It’s absolutely gorgeous. Damn, I should have tried to review this one instead. Okay, it’s exactly the same shape as the silicone one, but maybe the material would improve upon it somehow?

Anyway, to sterilize the Laid D.1, you can wash it with 10% bleach solution, put it in the top shelf of the dishwasher with no soap, or boil it for at least 5 minutes. Also, silicone toys are not compatible with silicone lubes.

I guess I just know what I like, and the Laid D.1 isn’t it. It is a well-made dildo, though, and perhaps it will suit your needs better than mine.

  1. It introduced its first products in 2010. [↩]
  2. Lelo is Swedish, and Fun Factory is German. [↩]

Kinklab Wartenberg Pinwheel Review

The Kinklab Wartenberg Pinwheel from SexToy.com is a classic BDSM toy. It may look a little bit like a pizza-cutter (actually that’s what J called it when he first saw it), but Wartenberg wheels were originally used to test neurological responses. It fell into disuse because of hygiene issues. Its medical-related background and appearance is part of its appeal to me; as is the lovely sensations it produces. Running it lightly over the skin results in a tickling or slight pricking sensation; if you exert heavy enough pressure, you can break the skin.

First try

I tried it out with J. I got naked, and he gently ran the sharp tips over my back and arms, while I squirmed and giggled. Being naked while he was clothed, and having the steel points coasting all over me, was quite an enjoyable sensory experience. It’s hard to describe. It felt like tickling, but very intense tickling concentrated on a very small area of skin. Then he moved on to my breasts and nipples, which definitely started to turn me on.

I teasingly ran the wheel over his arms a few times. He thought it was interesting; probably would get a bit overwhelming after a while, which was true for me. After about 15-20 minutes of tickling and poking, I had had enough.

Cleaning

I attempted some research on how to clean the wheel if you break a person’s skin and then want to use it on someone else. Obviously, that can be dangerous since you’re getting blood on the implement. Google yielded no results; I got the most responses from Twitter:

  • – soak it in a 10% bleach solution for 1-2 minutes
  • – boil it
  • – wipe it down with “medical wipes”
  • – sterilize it in an autoclave (can be found in tattoo parlors and used for a nominal fee); if any other method is used, wait at least 21 days before using on someone else

The best response I found was actually a comment by Mina made on Panthera Pardus’ review of the same product:

I would sterilize it the same way doctors sterilize a lot of things. Go to the drug/grocery store and get yourself a bottle of betadine (or any brand of povidone iodine) It’s a general antibacterial sterilizer most commonly used to prep people for surgery. Put a little in a container and add water. You’ll want it to be a “tea” color. Put the wheel inside and let it soak for at least 10 min. The dry.  Just note that the povidone iodine will eventually stain the container after continual use. Make sure to rinse your hands after using it, but if you are trying to be completely sterile I would suggest wearing gloves while handling the wheel during the sterilizing process or washing your hands with the povidone iodine as well. May I also suggest using hot water.

Material it’s made out of

I’ve yet to determine if this wheel is made of surgical-grade, non-porous steel, which is the only safe material that would be share-able. Couldn’t find any information on Kinklab’s website.

The wheel also comes with a nice leather sheath that snaps shut.

Overall thoughts

I really don’t have much to say about this product; it either works for you or it doesn’t, and I don’t see much opportunity, or NEED, for variation of any sort on its basic shape and appearance.

I really like Wartenberg Pinwheels. I’m glad that I own one.

Specs:

  • – Type: BDSM/Medical fetish toy
  • Length: 7″
  • Material: Steel
  • Price @ Sextoy.com: $14.85

 

Four out of five hearts!

Other kink type products you may be interested in:

Love Botz Auto Banger Sex Machine

Midori’s Expert Guide to Sensual Bondage

Bend-Over Beginner Kit

Review: Just in Case Condom Compact II

CNVJIC-A400BLKTa-da! This is my first review for SexToy.com, and it’s a condom storage case.

The Just in Case Condom Compact II is designed to look like a powder compact. (There’s a version I that’s a lot shinier and girlier and comes in lots of different colors, but I preferred the sleek, sophisticated black of version II :) )

There are a lot of other types of condom cases out there (French envelopes, condom cubes…) which you can either carry with you when you’re out and about (you know, if you in into someone you absolutely have to fuck in that restaurant bathroom, or if you go home with someone… it’s good to be prepared!) or set unobtrusively on your nightstand. Portable condom cases don’t just save you the embarrassment of having condoms dicovered by friends who rudely rifle through your bag, they protect the condoms from items you might be carrying with you that have sharp edges, guarding against potential holes, as well as not exposing them to your body heat, like they would be if you stashed them in your wallet/pockets.

As a condom case, the Just in Case compact works fine. It holds two condoms, and easily snaps open and shut. I also very much like how it’s designed – out of glossy plastic with a simple logo. It also comes with two complimentary Lifestyles condoms.

What the Just in Case has that other condom cases might not is an added layer of discretion, since it’s designed to look like a compact. I decided to see how well it held up to one of my younger sister’s actual powder compacts:

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Exhibit A! As you can see, the Just in Case compact is pretty much exactly the same size and shape as a regular compact. The manufacturers have even thought about details like sticking a production label on the back in the same spot. There’s even a tiny little hole in the back, just like a regular compact (also check out the reflection of my wonderfully classy Winnie-the-Pooh comforter):

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Functionally, I’m not quite sure what purpose the hole serves. It definitely isn’t big enough to allow poking (unless you carry pins with you…).

When you open the compact up, here’s what you see:

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There’s even a mirror inside! However, clearly the Just in Case doesn’t have any powder in it, so anyone curious enough to actually open it would be puzzled as to why you were carrying around an empty compact. Granted, making it an actual powder compact would be costly not to mention inconvenient to use, but adding a powder-poof would be a possible improvement.

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…And the secret is revealed! If you pull up the “floor”of the compact, there are the condoms. The floor is pretty tamper-proof: when you snap the compact open, it opens to the mirror part, and there’s another catch holding the floor in place, so you need to actually open that compartment to get to it. I.E. if you’re not looking for it, you won’t realize it’s there. Just be careful to close the two lids separately, because if you close them both at the same time, the floor doesn’t snap back into place.

So far, I’ve carried it around with me pretty constantly, and I also use it as a hand mirror when I touch up my hair/lipgloss/eye makeup, and nobody I’ve been with has made a comment about it.

In conclusion, the only things that might give the Just in Case compact away are: the emptiness, and the fact that it feels significantly lighter than a regular compact.

All in all, though, I think it serves its purpose pretty damn well, so it get’s

5/5 stars :)