5 reasons not to dismiss brick and mortar stores

I admit, I love shopping on-line. The ease of it, the privacy, and almost unlimited choice in items! However, I still love checking out a well-equipped brick and mortar store. There are things that you simply can’t get unless you get off your butt and do some off-line browsing. That holds true for sex toys and intimate apparel.


1. imagined inches are always shorter

When I got my first vibe I was shocked at the size. I ordered it on-line and even tough the dimensions were listed just above the „buy now” button, I was still completely unprepared. In hindsight it was a pretty standard sized rabbit, but for me – a teen new to vaginal penetration – it still was way too big (and toxic). If I visited a sex shop beforehand I would know to look for „small” and „petite” if I decided to order on-line. Or, intimidated , I would have left the store with a non-penetrative toy. Both options would be a lot more pleasurable than forcing my body to like that I got instead of getting what I liked.

That was 10 years ago, now on-line shops have videos or even scaled photos of their wares. Nevertheless, I still recommend that toy newbies visit an off-line store just to see how 7” length and 1.5” girth looks like.

2. some things just have to be felt

Right now every toy that has a motor is billed as super-powerful and earth-shaking, while very few actually are. A lot of the vibrators just aren’t that well developed when it comes to motors. Some are just plain weak, some have the power but utilize it in a clit-numbingly buzzing ways. There is just no way to tell. Neither the look, nor the price can tell us what’s inside. Only feeling the toy in our hand, listening to the timbre of the vibrations, can we get the most of the bang for our money.

Not only electronics are better chosen in person. The finish of the toy – whether a dildo or a clit vibe, can differ widely. Is the silicone powdery or rough – that can’t be decided from just looking at the photos. Is it squishy or firm? How firm, exactly? Does the handle fit comfortably in our hand or is it awkward? Are the buttons easy to operate or do they need to be pressed really hard?

3. partnered trips are the bomb

On-line shopping is just fine when we know exactly what we want – with the help of a few reviews we can usually land a really good product. But what if what we want most is inspiration? What if we don’t know what we lack but “we’ll know it when we see it”? Then a trip to a sex shop is in order. Even better idea is taking our SO with us – who knows what we are going to find out about our turn ons?! We might surprise each other and ourselves.

4. no shipping

On-line shopping has one major drawback – shipping. Not only does it add costs and waiting time but sometimes boxes can come banged up, or worse – our item is dead on arrival. Thankfully discretion is a standard these days. No one is going to send out a package that screams “sex toy”. However, I was shocked to find out that in the US it is standard practice to leave packages unattended on porches! And what about nosy family? By bringing the item home in our shopping bag we can avoid all of those problems and make sure that our toy is ready to be used right away.

5. classes!

Unfortunately my town is too small to have adult sex ed classes, but a lot of quality sex shops in larger cities have them. Some of them are free, some require a small speaker fee. The topics range from vanilla to advanced BDSM. Not only are those classes given by knowledgeable speakers but there is usually an Q&A section that gives us an opportunity to get advice tailored to our circumstances and difficulties – something we can’t get from a book.

There are a lot of good sex shops out there, not just in the US (for those, check out RedheadBedhead’s blog!). Big cities such as Toronto, Sydney or London have tens of them – click on the links to check out the best ones! Those lists include not only regular, mostly vanilla establishments, but also specialty fetish stores. Some of them, like Sh! have their own toy lines.

3 sex toy legends I’m dying to try

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Magic Wand Original

Magic Wand Original

Magic Wand Original

This behemoth of a massager is the first toy I ever wanted to try. It all started way before it was legal for me to watch porn, before I realized that I might not be straight, before I even experimented with penetration. I was discovering my body, reading everything I could on sex, masturbation and orgasms. That’s how I’ve stumbled upon Betty Dodson’s site (the old version). WOW. The teen me was so impressed. In a matter of days I used Kaaza Lite to download pirated copies of all of her masturbation and orgasm coaching videos I could find. I was fascinated. I vividly remember how the women lost control, trembled, shook and finally trashed under the power of The Hitachi.

I’ve grown up in a culture where sexual pleasure was the domain of men. Men were both the subjects and the objects in the erotic narratives I consumed. The portrayal of women and their sexuality didn’t speak to me so I’ve switched to a strict slash fan fiction diet. Probably that’s why no matter how much I’ve read on the great sexual potential of women it didn’t ring true. Until I’ve seen those videos. Then I got it. Loud (with headphones) and clear.

If I lived in the US Magic Wand would have been my first sex toy. As it happened, living in Poland, in the beginning of the new millennium, long before the Silicone Revolution and on a very limited budget of a high schooler who doesn’t get regular pocket money, I choose another staple. A jelly rabbit. And I liked it. I liked it a lot. It made my orgasms more intense and got me comfortable with penetration. But later it came about that it was a double agent working with yeast and other hostile agents to cause mayhem and overthrow the established lactobacillus cultures in the down under.

Since this time I’ve tried 3 wand-style massagers, 2 of them corded. I’ve liked them, but to a degree. The power is good, but nothing earth-shattering. The durability is very poor. As much as I love tease and denial, it stops being fun when it’s provided not by your hot girlfriend but by a temperamental toy. From reading comparison reviews of what I have and The Wand I know that it’s not my clit. It’s them. I’m done with the imitations. I want the real thing. NOW.

Recently I came very close to fulfilling that dream. I was contacted by the lovely people from Maxi Wand. They are an authorized distributor of the Magic Wand Original – it’s their job to make sure you get the good stuff and not an under-powered, shorting out or overheating fake. I got very excited! I could almost feel the brutal, demanding thud of the Wand on my genitals. I fantasized about those tease and denial sessions with my girlfriend where the only thing I can utter is a shaky “May I please come, Miss?”. When I got my period I popped the pills massaging my tummy and whispering “Soon, soon.”1 Unfortunately, them being an official distributor meant that they have to obey the rules. That means no wands in Europe. I’ve heard of many people using the wand with the 230V adapter and not one person getting shocked. But them’s the rules. Eh, I’ll get mine sometime.

Meanwhile there is also a UK version of the Wand. It’s called UK Wand and retails for £79.95, UK shipping included. As I’m updating this, there is £20 limited time discount, so hurry up ;) Just like the Original it has 2 speeds but the creators also added 8 patterns. That’s why the standard switch is replaced by a two button (next and on/off) control. It can be ordered through the official UK Wand website.

The Eroscillator

Eroscillator in purple as opposed to the traditional copper.

Eroscillator in purple as opposed to the traditional copper.

Eroscillator is a big, industrial looking, mains-powered clit toy just like the Magic Wand. However that’s where the similarities end. Where the Wand is broad the Eroscillator is pin-point. Where one is powerful the other is subtle and made for prolonged stimulation. The unique and patented oscillating motion was inspired by the oh so common sexual misuse of electric toothbrushes.

The main reason I want it is that unlike other vibrators it doesn’t cause a temporary clitoral numbness associated with other powerful vibrators. My libido tends to fluctuate a lot, mainly around my menstrual cycle. I either want to play all the time or I couldn’t be bothered for more than a 5 minute quickie orgasm to help me sleep. During those binges I spend a lot of the time masturbating with strong clitoral vibrators, which takes a toll on my clit. When I initiate sex with my girlfriend, I’m much less likely to come from her mouth alone if a short couple of hours ago I was using my Comfort Massager. It still feels great, and if I add anal and vaginal penetration or switch to a vibe I can get where I want. But it makes me wonder how would it be if my response was heightened instead of dampened, without having to give up my solo orgasms and without switching to my fingers (and losing about 80% of the pleasure).

Plus, from the type of stimulation my girlfriend enjoys, where a single finger on the clitoris can only be surpassed by the We-Vibe bullets, I think the Eroscillator would be great for her too. And it would put an end to the “Why is the Tango not charged?” ongoing argument. 2

The Pure Wand

Pure Wand by N-Joy

Pure Wand by N-Joy

While the previous toys were all about the external, this one is a g-spotting power tool. And unlike the two above, it’s beautiful. The slick, shiny stainless steel promises an effortless glide while the sharp curve taunts with punishingly intense stimulation. It’s touted as the best and most effective squirting tool. I want it.

So far I’ve found out that penetration-wise I prefer glass to shiny silicone to matte one. The less drag the better, at least when it comes to how easily and quickly I can get into the swing of things. I still love the Fun Factory Bouncer and the Stronic Zwei, but that’s also because their curves are gentle, so even hard thrusting with the former rocks but doesn’t jar. However for a very long time my favourite dildo was the Amethyst g-spotter. I loved the focus, the intensity… until it became too little. I got comfortable with penetration and now it’s only good for the first orgasm. After that it doesn’t feel substantial or extreme enough.


Of course those three are not the only toys I dream of trying. Vixen Creations tempts me with the tales of the softness of their VixSkin double layer silicone. Bad Dragon arouses me with their exotic designs that would go so well with the porn I’m recently enjoying. Mathew Healy makes me crave his unique and magnificent glass artistry. Ah, what a wonderful, yet painful time to be a sex toy aficionado.

Please note that while this post was sponsored by Maxiwand, all the contained opinions and endorsements are mine.

  1. Only orgasms from big massagers chase my cramps away as effectively as (but far more promptly then) Ibuprofen.
  2. While the battery life of the Tango is much improved, we are still a pair of lazy pants who always forget to put things in order after we finish using them. Just ask my tablet when was the last time it ate. I don’t know how our chinchillas stay so chubby.

„Is it a pneumatic hammer in your pocket?” We-vibe Tango Vibe review

It used to be that bullet vibes inevitably meant buzzy vibrations and an itchy clit. The N or watch batters ran out at the most inopportune moments and were notoriously hard to replace. Luckily it is no longer always the case. At first we got LELO Mia with USB charging and pleasant, moderately intense vibrations (perfectly sufficient for most, but certainly not for clits of steel). Then came Salsa and Tango from Standard Innovations (We-vibe). They also had inbuilt rechargeable batteries but they proved to be crazy powerful. No wonder reviewers went crazy over them.

Salsa (now discontinued) and Tango look just like ordinary hard plastic bullets with one button control. But as it really is one just needs to press that button to see why they are anything but ordinary and totally worth the investment. The strength of the vibrations is just unprecedented.

Once upon a time…

A couple of years back I managed to get my hands on the Salsa and it instantly became Caramel’s go to clitoral stimulator dethroning even a previous favourite – her fingers. Every other vibe got labelled as “to itchy” or “to numbing”. Only Salsa’s vibrations were deep and rumbly enough to satisfy her. That’s why when I realized that I was offered a second generation Tango and not similarly named rabbit from Fun Factory I jumped on the opportunity.
Standard Innovations is famous for paying attention to their customers. They offer very few products, often opting for improving on a previous idea instead of releasing something new and half-baked. This made our hopes for the Tango even higher. It was set to either take over Salsa’s spot or be labelled as a failure.

Tango 2.0

The TL;DR on the second gen Tango is “even more awesome”. It has all the pros of the first generation: deep vibrations, elegant look and versatility (fits standard bullet holes e.g. in Tantus, Rocks Off and Fuze toys) and two less faults. The battery has better staying power and the charging no longer makes me angry.
Our Salsa worked for 20-30 minutes on a charge, after that it refused to start even though it still had some juice left. With the Tango we had to put off starting this review till we managed to completely drain the Tango (we charged it once between getting it and starting writing this, but as we are slow reviewers, we can confirm that our opinion still stands after quite a few charging cycles). Granted, we usually only use this toy for a few minutes at the time, the orgasms are too intense to keep going, it’s still an impressive feat. Salsa had a bad rep for refusing to work even when it had a lot of juice – every time I wanted to bring the intensity down I risked not being able to turn it on. Tango can be turned on even when it’s close to being completely drained. It’ll just turn off during. Luckily there is a blinking light that warns about low battery. It starts early enough that we are able to hurry up and finish before it turns off.

Both the new and the old charger have two parts: the cable and the magnetic charging port. Older version is mains powered, newer connects to an USB port (either in your PC or in your wall adapter). That’s neat since the small port is all you need to take on top of your USB charger that you’ll be taking anyway for your phone or tablet if you want to travel with your Tango.

Furthermore the new charging magnets are way stronger. Charging Salsa was frustrating because it liked to disconnect. Tango doesn’t have this problem. Once it’s connected it stays that way until I purposefully detach it.

Bullet on steroids

I really like the Tango, however, years ago, when I got the Salsa I wasn’t so enthusiastic. I yearned for a 0.25 speed setting. Those intense, rumbly vibrations combined with one button control were too much too soon for my clit. There isn’t much that could be done about the controls – a second button on the base would be too hard to click and would cause more confusion. Moving the controls to the side would only make the toy less versatile. Remote control technology is still to unreliable for me to want a remote controlled toy. As it is Tango’s lowest speed is “Oh, f*ck, that sh*t’s strong!” and I use tricks I got from Betty Dodson to deal with it. Yes, you read that right – I treat a lipstick sized vibe as I would a legendary mains-powered wand.

That’s Tango for you: 0 to 60 in a second, and then twice as much if you’re in for the ride. What’s high for a lot of vibes here get’s labelled as low – it reminds me of Bad Dragon size charts.

However if I keep to a few ground rules: stay away from my clit till it’s ready, use my underwear as a buffer at first, the Tango rewards me with quick and insanely powerful orgasms. And, unlike my massager it won’t leave my clit numb and itchy. Are those $80 orgasms? Yes, they are. Compared to lots of other similarly priced toys Tango really stands out.

I’m planning in investing in silicone sleeves for my Tango. The vibrations will spread around a bit, calm down a bit. There is no risk of them getting too weak since I very rarely venture past lever two. With the sleeve I will finally be able to enjoy the patterns – 3 pulses and a rollercoaster – as they use the full speed.

Who needs a Tango?

I don’t know whether I would recommend it to somebody with no vibrating experience. On one hand it’s a cool toy, on the other I needed time and patience to start enjoying Salsa. My girlfriend took right to it even tough previously she preferred to use her finger. LELO Mia is certainly weaker but it has a larger scale of vibrations.

If you crave the power but not in a such pin-point way, check out We-vibe Touch or LELO Siri. The vibrations are a tad weaker because of the silicone skin, but still deep and satisfying.

But if you want something strong and pinpoint, if you’ve found vibrators to be numbing and causing itching, do yourself a favour and buy the Tango. It really gives unique sensations.
And if you’ve got a beloved dildo, plug, cockring or harness with a bullet hole, all the more reason to buy the Tango. It will super-charge those like nothing else. Forget the watch batteries. It is 2015.

HedoVibes Round Up #83

IMG_1830-e1426568879198-470x260Photo courtesy of I, Kinkster

Welcome to HedoVibes, a collection of reviews and giveaways that were posted in the past week or so from around the web. This is a collection of adult product reviews & contests from real reviewers. If you want to be included in the next edition start with the guidelines, then use the submission form.

Want to read more reviews? Check out HedoVibes for a list of the latest reviews and stellar reviewers. You can also follow on twitter for the latest round ups. HedoVibes is also accepting photo submissions for each edition.











Bounce, baby… – Fun Factory Bouncer Review

While almost every adult toymaker has tried to be “innovative”, few have truly made it. Looking at some of the products I (and many other reviewers) am wondering if they were tested on living people before they went on the market. It takes a lot more than an interesting idea and catchy marketing to make a good toy. It doesn’t mean, however that “new” has to mean “half-baked”. There are companies that can force their R&D teams to work on prototypes until they come up with a product that will not only sell but bring loyal customers to the brand.
For me Fun Factory counts as one of those companies. Yes, not all of their “innovations” work (tiny cervices on an anal toy – seriously?!), but you have to remember that they started the European wave of the Silicone Revolution TM by giving us colourful, powerful and safe alternatives to Chinese Jelly To The People regime. They gave us the pulsators. They came up with a new strapless strap-on so that we don’t have to ship one from overseas. That’s why me and my girlfriend love unboxing their stuff – it’s always exciting.

I have to admit, that browsing the Internet, I gave myself some wrong ideas about the thing we were going to get this time. I saw a toy called Bouncer that seemed to move on its own and (like kid watching an ad for a boat going in circles in the bathtub) totally disregarded all the blurbs about a mix of pleasure balls and a dildo. I usually don’t like reading too much about a toy before I have a chance to get my own opinion (in case it sucks – and I will dread testing from the get-go). So the fact that Bouncer is hand-powered surprised me. I thought it would shake on its own like the Stronics. Well, I thought wrong.


Since the beginning it was hard for me to keep my hands off this toy. And I don’t mean it only in the sense of using it – every occasion to fondle it was a good one. Shaking it like a shake weight, bending it, squeezing – I love torturing new toys like that and this dildo got more than its fair share. The silicone is matte and silky-smooth (lint alert: medium) – the finish reminds me again of the Stronics. However, after some blind testing I had to admit that my fingertips cannot differentiate between the Stronic Zwei, Share Vibe and the Bouncer. I still stand by my opinion that Share’s a bit more scratchy/abrasive and lube hungry in use.

The Bouncer looks good – just as good as in Fun Factory’s photos. Mine is deep, but not dark, red, just like the tulips that I see sold this spring. My photos don’t do it justice, so use them only for size reference. There is a slight seam but it can only be seen, not felt, even by fingers. It’s a high quality product.

All the above is nice, but it’s not the most important aspect of the toy. Let’s get to the “How does it feel like?” part. Well, it feels really good when used vaginally. It reminds me the most of the gentle rocking of my Stronic Zwei (and they both sound pretty much alike). I don’t find it comparable to using Kegel balls. Irregular, once in a while tapping is very different than rhythmic, almost regular rocking I get when I get into the swing of things with my Bouncer. The three balls in this dildo are going crazy, beating against the spheres they were put into, adding to the sensations caused by the bubbly shape of the toy.

The length, firmness and placement of the internal spheres make this dildo very easy to use and to use it hard and fast. The base fits well in my hand although it could be a bit smaller. I haven’t experienced any hand cramping or other unpleasantness aside from my arms going a bit rubbery mid-way to orgasm using this toy.

I’ve tried to decipher how much of my excitement is caused by the sound of the internal balls alone but my experiments with ear plugs didn’t give me much insight. I suspect some of what I perceive as touch is in fact sound, but at the end I’ll say: if it feels good I won’t discriminate based on why it does. I don’t own a similarly shaped but bead-less toy for a comparison to ascertain how much sensation those 3 beads actually add but my guess is quite a lot.

Despite loving heavy thrusting the Bouncer into my vagina I can’t say I like it as an anal toy. The most important reason is the size and the shape. Going from zero to 4 cm in such a short time is too much for my butt most of the time, even with good prep. Even when I manage to get it in I can’t thrust it hard and fast enough to get the effect that I like so much vaginally. I don’t think this problem is universal. People with much less wimpy butts, who know they will be able to enjoy hard thrusting with this behemoth will like this toy. I will keep to my Stronic Zwei. It’s just as thick, but not right off the bat and the movement is sooo much gentler.

Coming back to the ad, I see that Fun Factory has in the end made one unsupported claim. The base of the dildo is smooth, just as they say, but it is by no means a suction cup. Even with a very smooth surface it remains upright only for a while and one wrong move is enough to unstick it. The Bouncer doesn’t suck, even when it’s supposed to. Once can say that grounding the Bouncer would take away its magical shaking powers but it doesn’t change the fact that a good suction cup makes a toy more universal. Making the base a bit concave wouldn’t take away anything from the toy, but it would have opened up some new possibilities.

TL;DR Bouncer is a very nice dildo. Easy to use, interesting shape, quality materials and manufacture and that little something that no other has. It’s become my vaginal default and it will stay like that for some time.

The only thing that keeps me from shouting “Go get a Bouncer, people!” is the price. 90 EUR is not unusual for a high end toy, provided it’s electronic. Bouncer is hand-powered. I don’t have enough know-how to estimate how much it takes to sink those 3 balls into the silicone but I would hazard a guess that it’s way less than putting in a vibrating engine and battery. So the price is steep and I think it will remain that way until other companies copy the idea.

So if after reading this you are looking at the Bouncer with lust in your eyes, I recommend you buy it. If you like intense, fast and hard thrusting this will be worth the splurge. If you are intrigued by the sensations I’m describing but suspect your body won’t keep up, go buy a piggy bank and start saving for the Stronic of your choice. And if, like my lovely partner, you are not into the whole big and hard business, go with a glass g-spotter. There’s no reason to get upset over what your body likes – each to their own. Also: the Bouncer is not beginner-friendly – it’s too expensive, too big and too exceptional for it.

Don’t spring this on me – Fun Factory Spring (clitoral vibe) Review

Bargain hunting on the Internet has become one of the most popular ways of wasting time and money. While others browse clothes, shoes or books, I prefer looking for good deals on sex toys. I check out auctions on a certain website and stores whose proprietors don’t really know what they are selling (more chances you can find silicone priced similarly to jelly-shit) 1 .

From time to time I buy something – sometimes for quarter the normal price, sometimes for half and other full (but for items I couldn’t get otherwise in Poland). The results are very different: from toys that we joke we’ll fight for custody of in case we split2 to… oh well… Fun Factory Spring.

Maybe I shouldn’t be so harsh. After all this toy is not evil incarnate. It’s not like it’s LELO Ida which deserves it’s own horror movie as a homage (or even a full season of American Horror Story). I can point out Spring’s strong points without having to think about it or exaggerate. A toy without those features (almost) wouldn’t be able to make my favorite list. But… Let’s start from the top.

100_2470Fun Factory Spring is a rather short and girthy vibe covered with pistachio or raspberry-colored silicone sleeve. Because of it’s brand you don’t have to worry about safety of the materials – it’s just what it says on the package – pure, medical grade silicone body and non-toxic hard plastic base. The sleeve covering the motor is quite soft and gives way when squeezed firmly with fingers but not then in use. The finish is matte, without grain. In my experience it has far less drag than Fun Factory’s Flash or Calla but more than LELO Ella. A drop or two of lube go a long way with this one.

Fun Factory SringThe tip and the shaft of the vibe is decorated with four randomly placed convex flowers. While the three down the shaft aren’t very prominent and I don’t feel them much, the one near the end stands out more and saves this toy from getting Disappointment of the Year award. Why? I’ll get to that in a bit.

Spring is powered by a long-lasting inbuilt rechargeable battery. To charge it up you need Fun Factory’s universal magnetic Click’n’Cacharge charger (recently they introduced a USB version). Older versions of the charger tend to be finicky, but newer (with the sticker – just like on the photo below) don’t disconnect just because someone dared to jostle them a bit. When the toy is fully charged, charger’s light changes to constant (old version) or turns off (new version). To get on the good side of environmentally conscious and those who lack free space Fun Factory often sells it’s vibes without the charger in case somebody already bought one with a previous toy purchase.

Fun Factory Click and charge new charger

Spring is easy to control with two buttons:

“+” – long press to turn it on, smoothly increase speed and then to access the first of three patterns; short press to go one level up in speeds or patterns.

“-” – long press to turn it off; short press to decrease speed or change from patterns to constant vibration.

There is no way to lock the toy to protect it from accidentally turning on while at the same time keeping it uncharged hurts the capacity of the inbuilt battery. Fortunately the buttons are designed quite well and I haven’t had any problems with them.

So far so good. You might think Spring is a quite decent vibrator: safe materials, nice look with no seams or defects, long-lasting rechargeable battery… Good B grade, maybe even B+ is I add that it’s not too noisy (can’t be heard from a closed door, comparable to other FF products). Oh, if it wasn’t for the vibrations! According to Fun Factory they are strong and deep. Maybe they are strong. But deep? More like deeply buried. As it is I grab my Spring, press “+” twice, feel the power buzzing in my hand, put in on my clit…. and fall asleep with boredom. Pressing it harder doesn’t help. Going to one of the three pulsing modes only makes it worse. Only thing that helps is rubbing the texture near the tip against my clitoris. The nub in the center of the flower helps to focus and direct just a bit of the vibrations. Then, flexing my thigh muscles as hard as I can, thinking most perverted thoughts I can imagine I can squeeze one, weak and totally unenjoyable orgasm.

I thought that since it’s so bad at external stimulation, internally it could do better. After all the irregular shape with a bit of a curve could theoretically be good for my G-spot. No such luck – the length of the toy together with the shape of the base make it so I can either insert it or grip it well. No room for both, even with my preference for shallow vaginal penetration. Once natural juices or lube are added to the mix there is no way I can thrust with this toy.

To sum it all up I’m really glad Spring was just an auction win. For the price it normally costs I expect to get more that I do from a cheap plastic “classic” vibe. In this case I got less.

Fun Factory Spring has become a tool of punishment for us. We get to use it on ourselves when we forget to charge anything better or buy AAs. Although it’s not quite fair since I get the brunt of it – Caramel prefers her fingers.

Caramel’s input:

It’s true – I don’t know how they achieved it but it’s one of the few toys that simply irritate me. When I put it on my clit I feel only light buzzing. I can make it feel better by rubbing the texture but why bother since I get more and easier with just my fingers? Then I don’t have to deal with itching numbness that Spring brings. It’s only good for irritating and tormenting. I really don’t need much clit stimulation to come. Just a tiny bit enough! But with Spring I need to rub the texture on my clit very fast or the vibrations will numb me before I have a chance to come. I blame this on too thick silicone skin and the fact that it doesn’t stick to the insides of the toy. It dampens the vibrations and decreases their depth. One day I will get mad enough to skin it and we’ll find out if this is what causes the problem.


  1. Caramel: Wild is banned from buying new things till she deals with the backlog.
  2. Caramel: Speak for yourself – I’m not joking.

My short love affair with Mia – offsite review link

LELO Mia in pink pluged into an USB port

Twice during my career as a sex toy reviewer I managed to win a toy not knowing I was entering a contest. Funny since when I deliberately participate in giveaways I never have such luck. First time I won was caused by a allconsuming surge of love and awe for

Mathew Healy‘s glass dildos and plugs. Since I was broke at the time only way I could express myself (and I had to or I would burst) was to write an article. I’ve sent it to a Polish portal Seksualność Kobiet (Women’s Sexuality) and found out they were having a writing contest. That’s how I won LELO Mia.

Since then I’ve reviewed Mia twice, but still don’t think I’ve done it justice.

IMPORTANT: currently you can encounter three versions of LELO Mia. The first version (let’s call it 1A) is weak and prone to crashes. The second one (1B) is stronger and doesn’t crash – this is the one I reviewed. Version 2 came out recently and according to Epiphora is about as strong as 1B but is also waterproof and has a few additional patterns. If those two improvements aren’t important for you and you find a really good sale on 1B I say grab it! What you don’t want is someone saddling you with 1A. How to tell which one is which? By looking inside the cap and at the USB port:

  • 1A cap has no grooves inside, USB port is surrounded by silicone
  • 1B cap has grooves inside, USB port is surrounded by silicone
  • 2 cap has no grooves inside, USB port is surrounded by plastic painted shiny silver.

Got it? On to the review of LELO Mia the awesome clit vibe.

(Translation of this review will appear soon on the website)

Better safe than sore – overview of sex toy materials

When shopping for a sex toy people usually take into consideration price, size shape and overall look. Not everybody wonders what that toy is made of and whether the material is safe to use. In this post we’ll try to shed some light on this matter.

2014-03-24 14.52.12

Let’s start with the most important thing that we need to warn you about: phthalates.

Have you ever felt uncomfortable burning sensation while using a sex toy? Many women who experience that tends to blame their body – they think they have an infection or that they rushed the penetration. I know I did. However, if this burning sensation occurs while using the toy or afterwards it might be caused by phthalates. What exactly are phthalates? They are substances that are added to hard PCV to soften it. The problem is that this mixture is not a stable one. Phthalates start leeching from the toy making it smell bad, covering it in an oily film that irritates and dries out skin. What makes matters worse is that doctors aren’t aware of the toxic toys problem and therefore can’t properly diagnose irritation caused by phthalates.

How can we avoid unhygienic and unsafe toys?

We need to chose wisely, picking toys made of safe materials. Below you will find a list of most frequently used sex toy materials.

Rubbers, jellies, etc.

Most of the toys are simply made of rubber. Some kinds of rubber are safer than others. The best way to tell the difference is to smell the toy. It shouldn’t have much of a smell. If you feel a rubbery smell that means that the toy is most probably unsafe. Better safe than sore. The problem is that in brick and mortar sex shops toys are displayed in packages so we have to ask to check them. Moreover, toys are left in an airy room lose the smell. Other troubling signs are: changes in color (e.g. yellowing) and shape, leeching paints on other toys, being covered in an oily film, appearance of bubbles of gas. Those toys are a hazard not only to your genitals but also to everything they stay in contact with. They can decompose in a drawer or a bag, covering it and everything in it with toxic, stinky goo.


Thermoplastic rubber and thermoplastic elastomer are examples of non-toxic rubber (as long as the toy is really made of them and not only labeled as such on the packaging – a common practice). It can be cleaned with soap and water or sprayed with a toy cleaner. However, because toys made of rubber are porous, even branded toy cleaner won’t be able to remove all microorganisms. Using more effective methods of killing bacteria and viruses is either impossible (like boiling) or inadvisable (like alcohol or bleach solutions). Therefore if you plan to share between partners or orifices cover them with a condom. This is especially important if you plan to use the item anally as well as vaginally – a condom will always be safer than a thorough washing. Only water-based lubes are compatible with those toys.


Latex is most often associated with condoms and snug fetish clothing. Sometimes it is also used to make dildos, vibrators or plugs. It’s porous and therefore hard to sanitize. It is best cleaned with toy cleaners and lubricated with water-based lubes. Because frequent exposure to latex increases the risk of developing latex allergy that worsens over time, we recommend using latex-free alternatives whenever possible, especially if you already started developing a sensitivity.


Medical grade elastomer is another kind of rubber but this time non-porous and easy to clean. Despite it’s advantages there aren’t many toys made of it. Manufacturers we trust that use it are: Sin Five, Naomi Tang and Fun Factory (only in their Laya Spot and first model of Smartballs). As above soap and water or toy cleaner for cleaning and water-based lube for reducing friction.


Under this category we placed toys made of branded materials such as Cyberskin as well as those cast with whatever was left in the factory. We can’t be more specific since full composition of those toys is not publicly known. Some of them were tested and pronounced phthalates-free but the vast majority wasn’t, so we have no way of knowing. But what is known, is that even high-priced branded materials as Cyberskin are porous and prone to mechanical damage. If you want realism it’s safer to pick dual layer silicone dildos, particularly those made by Vixen Creations (their silicone blend is called VixSkin).

The problem lies with toys for penises called sleeves or strokers. High end ones are made of Cyberskin or TPR because this material is very soft and comfortable. Silicone sleeves are rare. Although the risk of acquiring an infection by putting the penis into a toy is less than when putting a toy in the vagina, keeping sleeves clean is still important. They should be rinsed right after use, before body fluids dry up on them. Some of the toys can’t handle even gentle soap so it’s important to read care instructions from the manual. CAUTION! Use only water-based lubricants with skin-like materials.


Silicone is a non-porous material that can be sanitized with alcohol or bleach and boiled. However, going to such extremes is most often unnecessary as for our intents and purposes it’s non-porous. Simple mechanical cleaning with soap and water is all you’ll need, unless you plan to use the toy vaginally after putting it in the ass and wish to be extra safe. If it doesn’t have a motor, boil it (just don’t let the water boil out or the toy will get burned!). Dishonest manufacturers sell toys made of cheaper materials as 100 % silicone. Some of those products can’t withstand boiling. It’s for us to decide whether we want to use a toy that probably isn’t silicone and therefore has pores that may harbor bacteria or to risk boiling. True silicone won’t be harmed by boiling. As it happens toys made of pure silicone are very durable and unless we throw them into flames or leave them in the mercy of our pets they will serve us as long as we want, all the while looking and working just as good as they did when we purchased them.
We can use water or oil-based lubes with silicone toys. Silicone-based lubes should be avoided in this case since they can damage the toy making it gummy. If we really want to use a silicone-base lube we can do a spot-test on the base of the toy. A few of quality silicone lubricants are fine to use with silicone toys.
It is worth remembering that sometimes condoms come pre-lubricated with silicone-based lubes. So if we want to use one we should either buy the ones without lube or those where the lube is marked as water-based.

The best course of action is to buy from trusted manufacturers. This gives us certainty that what we get is 100 % medical grade silicone. At the end of this post we compiled a list of manufacturers we trust.

Flame test

Flame test is quite popular with reviewers. It’s results can be hard to interpret, especially to those with limited experience as there are no clear-cut guides. It consists of putting a flaming match or lighter to the silicone. If the toy isn’t silicone it can melt. If it’s silicone it can burn, leaving a layer of light gray ash and soot that can be easily removed. The material damage to silicone toys is minimal unless we let them burn for too long.

(We plan on flame-testing a few of our toys and putting the video here)

That’s all for the soft materials, but we have a few others that are safe and fun:

Metal, Glass and Ceramic

All of the above are non-porous and can be cleaned well with soap and water. If we let body fluids get dry on them a bit of dish soap goes a long way. All three can be sanitized with alcohol and covered in all kinds of lubricants. However not all glass and metal toys are created equal. For example, beloved by reviewers, dildos and plugs by N-Joy are practically indestructible as they are made of high quality stainless steel. I wouldn’t say the same of their knock-offs despite the fact that they look just as good in official photos. Ceramic toys shouldn’t be boiled, metal and some kinds of glass can be, but we can’t see a reason to do so apart from piece of mind.

Glass toys!? Really?

Yes, really. Some people can be surprised but glass toys are a thing. Borosilicate glass that is used for high quality glass toys is very durable. It’s the same glass that is used by Pyrex brand for their cookware. But even if we buy lower quality glass there is no reason to fear that the toy would break during use. More care is required during washing since that’s when it’s easier to scratch the surface with rings or drop the soapy toy.

It is safer to store glass toys in separate padded pouches since they keep toys from taking a chip off each other. We should also be careful with extreme temperature differences, especially if the toy isn’t made of borosilicate glass. Instruction manuals usually warn against putting toys in the freezer or microwave.


Quality and safety of a wooden toy is determined by the finish that has been applied. Wooden toys made by top companies like Nobessence have long-lasting, body-safe and non-porous finish. However most of the wooden toys are made by small companies that only cover them in a few layers of washable waxes that leave them porous. Best way to determine whether the toy will keep it’s shine (and stay microbiologically safe) is to check what kind of sealant the company uses by visiting their website. Specific are instructions are usually provided with the toy.

Hard plastic

Hard plastic is another safe material (unless it’s been covered with a toxic finish or paint). Pores in it are small enough not to encourage bacterial growth. However, plastic toys are often covered with polyurethane (substance used to make non-latex condoms) to get satiny, matte finish. Those toys are marked with “PU coated”, “love cote”, “velvet cote” etc . As this material is easily stained we have our doubts whether it is non-porous. We recommend covering with a condom when sharing between orifices or non-fluid-bonded partners.

Plastic can be sanitized with alcohol or toy cleaners. It can’t be boiled as it will become brittle. We can use all kinds of lubes with it unless it’s covered with PU – then it’s best to stick to water-based.

Another problem with plastic toys is that they are sometimes covered in a layer of paint that chips off during use. If you don’t want flecks of probably not tested paint in your genitals better steer clear of vibes that look like they are made of metal but are actually plastic.

Leather and its imitations

We included those because of BDSM gear and harnesses they are used for. Both are impossible to disinfect so they are best suited for fluid-bonded partners. Other solution is to assign toys to people who are likely to leave their body fluids on them – e.g. a whip to the person who gets hit with it or a harness to the party who wears it.

Trusted companies

Below you’ll find a list of companies that don’t lie when they claim that their product is 100% silicone.

Happy Valley
Standard Innovations/We-Vibe
New York Toy Collective
Bad Dragon
Marc Dorcel,
Nomi Tang
Vibe therapy
Vixen Creations
Fun Factory,
BS is Nice
rocks off
Je Joue
Evolved Novelties
Minna Life
Mae B

Ignorance is not feminist

I was meant to write about butt plugs. Instead I got my hands on Inga Muscio’s Cunt. So you get a pre-review rant.

There is nothing that turns me off feminist, sex-positive works like anti-science, irrational and ignorant statements. I just can’t stomach the woo-woo shit. It’s harmful and it’s insulting. Every time someone puts down “western” medicine as man-made they imply that critical thinking is something beyond a woman’s brain.

I can’t stand the naivety of people who promote Big Supplement and Big Quack while throwing stones at Big Pharma. I despair at women who poo-poo highly effective and safe methods of contraception and fail to mention that the alternatives they propose are only suitable to people for whom unplanned pregnancy wouldn’t be a problem. I feel sick whenever somebody praises the wonders of menstrual extraction or herbal abortions. If they were so wonderful then why fight for abortions in clinics? And I absolutely abhor the “birth is so medicalized” crowd.

I’ll grant you that the woo-woo is seductive in its simplicity. You just have to close your eyes and wish and it’s gonna be all right. It’s comforting. But the comfort it brings is just an illusion. I have once fallen for the homebirth agenda. I’ve watched the Orgasmic Birth and the Business of Being Born. I’ve seen how lay midwifes use the anti-patriarchal sentiments to sell the fantasy of female empowerment through natural and unmedicated birth. But the bubble bursts when you look at perinatal mortality rates (that homebirth midwifes are always very reluctant to release).

Medicine, when practiced properly, is based on evidence of efficacy. It is based on knowing the pros the cons and weighing them against each other. One of the reasons why woo-woo wins over people is that it doesn’t require knowledge. It doesn’t require critical thinking. It’s easier to “listen to your body” than analyse results and methodology of a clinical trial. It’s easier to invent a “wholistic approach” than to spend 5+ years studying how organs in the human body really interact and how to properly diagnose an illness based on it’s symptoms.

That’s all for now – I plan on posting a review of the book in the beginning of 2014. Till then please keep a level head and don’t let seductively easy ideas fool you.

Keep an open mind – but not so open that your brain falls out

most often attributed to Richard Feynman