Feb 262011
 

DocJohnsonBlackMagicBulletThis is possibly the easiest sex toy review I’ll ever write.

Why?

Because I’ve basically already reviewed this toy before. Not one to step too far out on a limb, Doc Johnson changed the coating and gave it a new name. Voila, another product for their massive category!

Despite the differences in the size as listed in the descriptive reviews for each of these two bullets, both the bullet and the handpack are exactly the same size and shape. If I had to find a difference, the cord on the Doc Johnson Black Magic Bullet is 1/2″ shorter. Otherwise, they are both plastic bullets with 4 settings and they light up the same. The Harmony Bullet is shiny, slippery plastic while the Black Magic Bullet is “velvet cote” plastic. They both take 2 AAA batteries and the bullet motors are almost identical.

Almost.

But you know what, I cannot tell you that it’s definitely a difference between the two over all. Perhaps just between my two. If you gave me two Harmony bullets I might notice the same difference. The Black Magic Bullet, when it’s just buzzing away untethered in the palm of your hand, sounds a bit louder. When the bullet is grasped for use, however, they both seem the same. Not near-silent but under your comforter it’s pretty quiet.

There’s one major difference: The price. For some reason the Black Magic Bullet, as of this writing, is a full $6 cheaper than the Harmony Bullet.

When I first reviewed the Harmony bullet I didn’t feel that it was the most powerful bullet I’d owned. While both of these do nail it perfectly on the vibration pitch for me (lower, rumbly) I think I was too quick to judge. There has been only one other bullet that was more powerful AND cheaper, but it hasn’t been in stock for a long time and I don’t think it ever will be again (the Vital Bullet). Both of these Doc Johnson bullets have something that the cheaper “silver bullet” handpacks don’t – 4 discernible vibration intensity levels. And because of the rumbly pitch of the vibrations I have actually been able to orgasm on the 2nd setting (and once on the first!!) when I was extremely aroused and had had it tucked against my clit for awhile watching porn or reading porn or something.

If I were forced to choose just one to recommend I’d pick the Black Magic, and not only because it’s cheaper. I quite like the velvet-cote that’s on both the bullet and handpack. It seems to look cleaner after use for some reason and I personally just think that the black velvety look is more visually appealing. Either way you go, though, I truly do highly recommend either the Doc Johnson Black Magic or the Harmony (but make sure to get the Harmony in black).

 

The Fine Print:

  • Not to be used anally
  • If you use it vaginally, please put the bullet in a condom for easier retrieval to extend the life of the cord
  • Follow cleaning instructions for plastic
Feb 242011
 

I’m really looking forward to my upcoming long weekend in D.C. to attend MOMENTUM, a sexuality conference bringing together many types of talks and speakers and topics relating to sex, sex work, feminism, and new social media. From the site:

With nearly 50 presenters, among them Megan Andelloux, Jenny Block, Susie Bright, Dr. Lynn Comella, Twanna A. Hines, Dr. Carol Queen, Tristan Taormino, Dr. Shira Tarrant, and Jamye Waxman, and 34 sessions covering a wide range of viewpoints on sexuality, MOMENTUM’s jam-packed program has something of interest to everyone.

A lot of fellow bloggers and twitter friends are going and hopefully even more that I know can go! The creators of the conference, Tied Up Events, is having a contest this week to win two tickets AND goodies! Check out all the wonderful sessions they’re having and you’ll know that it’s going to be great and informative. I hope to see some of you there!

What’s better than attending a conference that brings together notable sexuality experts such as educator, activist & icon, Susie Bright, author and feminist pornographer, Tristan Taormino, author & FoxNews sex columnist, Jenny Block, professor and author, Dr. Shira Tarrant, speaker and coach, Reid Mihalko, Good Vibes staff sexologist, Dr. Carol Queen, founder and director of the The Center for Sexual Pleasure and Health, Megan Andelloux and… (I could do on and on but you can read about all of these amazing people on MOMENTUM’s presenters page)? Attending it for FREE, that’s what!

Since at MOMENTUM we’ll be encouraging you to think, to talk and to act, we’re going to encourage you to start doing just that by giving away two tickets to MOMENTUM. All you have to do to have a chance to win is write a post, by Saturday, February 26th at midnight EST, about why you’re attending MOMENTUM, which session you’re most looking forward to and why (see the Session Details page to read all about them). Then, leave us a comment with your link on this post and also tweet the link to @momentumcon. That’s it! On Monday, February 28th, we’ll announce two winners who will each get one free admission to MOMENTUM, a gift basket from Wet (you can pick it up at the con) and a $50 gift card from our premier sponsor, Fascinations.

Don’t fret if you’ve already purchased your ticket, if the winner(s) already is a ticket holder(s), we’ll refund you the purchase price.

 Posted by at 4:39 pm
Feb 232011
 

About a month ago one of my ex-coworkers that I’m still friends with asked me to come along with her to her friend’s sex toy party. This friend, N, is one of very few that knows a little bit about my open relationship status but knows nothing about my blogging life. At first my text response was a simple “thanks, but no” and she pressed, insisting it’s just fun. When I said that I think most of the stuff is either unsafe/cheap crap and/or drastically overpriced and that I’d have a hard time keeping my mouth shut, she asked how many I’d been to. In her own ways N is a little bit more liberal than most of my coworker friends but still isn’t to my level of acceptance. Still, I took a deep breath and admitted that I review sex toys for a website. She laughed, seemed surprised but not freaked out, and said she wanted to hear some details some time. We’ve talked/gotten together once since, and she didn’t bring it up so I haven’t either.

A post today by Crista.Ann got me talking about why I love reviewing toys: to help people buy a better sex toy. I lamented that there’s no quality sex toy shops around either here or CT and that I’d never do one of the sex toy parties for the reasons I refused to attend N’s friend’s party.

Then I started thinking.

Do I have to be a true and certified sex educator to have sex toy education parties in my own home?

If I could … how the hell would I get people to come? I mean seriously, how the fuck do you market that?

I have a DREAM….that one day…I’ll have a houseful of open-minded sex-toy-virgins for me to help. Picture it:

I’d have on display a whole bunch of toys and talk about the ones I have. I’d talk about phthalates and why it’s bad and how to look out for it. I’d show off my Nobessence and Njoy so that they can see the joy of these materials. Ooohh ooo! I could do handouts of the posts I’ve written about phthalates and vibrators!! They could look at the toys I have in person. I’d also have all of our computers (yeah, 2 geeks, we have a lot) set up in the party area for the women to be able to browse online retailers. I can teach them how to look for reviews, and how to navigate the sites, and which sites are good. And when they want to buy, if for any reason they are fearful of having it sent to their house, I can be the delivery site where they pick it up from like Girl Scout Cookies. !!!!

But how the FUCK would I get people there. Where and how would I advertise this? It’s not like I could post up fliers in grocery stores.

I’m feeling terribly excited by the idea but already very daunted by the details of making it come together. I wish. I dream. I hope. Maybe someday.

 Posted by at 1:47 pm
Feb 222011
 

There are a lot of ways that bloggers can be unethical. Mind you, ethics don’t always equal human kindness/respect for others. You can be a snarky, grumpy shit-stirrer but still be ethical. You can be sweet as pie on the outside and be unethical.

Ethics in Sex Toy Reviewing

One aspect pertaining to sex bloggers, particularly those who review sex toys, has been taken care of for us by the Feds. I’m quite certain that we were not their target “audience” but it is good to know when someone has been given something in exchange for a review. Notice I just said “a review”. The fine print always claims “an honest review” but I have known bloggers who admitted to giving sugar-coated reviews just because they somehow felt obligated one way or another to not say something unkind about the product. I’ve also heard of the occasional supplier of sex toys to reviewers who specifically asks that, if you don’t like the toy, you don’t post a negative review of it.

Luckily I’ve never worked with that company, or any company that might ask that. My prompt and concise answer would be “Um, no. Would you like your item back?” I feel strongly that as a sex toy reviewer, it’s my duty to consumers (which I once was) to provide a very honest review. If I didn’t like it, I’m going to say so. Notice I don’t say that I feel it’s my duty to rip to shreds a company or a toy. I only do that if something is particularly awful on 9 levels and is my last straw with a manufacturer. I’m sure to get some argument here, saying that our “duty” is to help out the company that provided us with the toy. To which I say “If I was told to give an honest review, then I owe nothing but my honest opinion. The company is still getting it’s SEO links and that’s probably what they care more about.”

Ethics and Begging

Often times the sex blogger community can feel like family. We have our mushy moments, our bickering, the black sheeps, the golden child, the elders, the babies and basically all the nuances of a big family. So when one of our own is in trouble, sometimes we can feel compelled to help. Or, more accurately, occasionally the bloggers feel compelled to ask. And that’s something I can’t get behind. At one time I did. I’ve both flat-out donated a little to a blogger in need and donated to another’s fundraiser for themselves. Both times I’ve regretted it eventually, after learning things about the person (and the money) that made me feel like a fool for thinking the best of people.

Call me jaded but  – your life problems are not my concern. I might genuinely feel for someone and wish them the best, hope that they find a way to get the money and get out of the trouble they’re in but I can’t help but think that it’s a little bit egotistical to ask for big sums of money from your peers and readers to aid in a situation that you ultimately created. Disagree? Tell me why. Go for it.

An unobtrusive Paypal donate button? Go for it. Reminding readers that buying their sex toys from your links gives you a commission? Fine. They’re buying something for themselves and not paying you money directly or paying more for an item just to give you money. If those methods fail then surely there is a more ethical (or less slimy) way to get the money you need. No?

Ethics and Spam

There’s two sides of this and two guilty sites that I want to call out as examples. It’s few and far between, but it’s still unethical and just plain wrong.

Long ago and far away, Bondage Radio had a really funny article on their site. In order to comment, you were forced to register. So I registered and since they were forum-based at the time, it was a forum registration. At first, my emails from them were unobtrusive. Scant. And then something changed. I was getting slammed with new post digests and updates if they sneezed. THEN they added a sex toy store front. And suddenly, the email spam was beyond slammed and into true spam territory. Worse? They came from a “no-reply” email account and there is NEVER an unsubscribe link. Not on one single email. I somehow got through to the sex toy store owners (not BR) and they fixed the spam for that. But it still hasn’t stopped BR from emailing me. I’ve tried their admin email. I’ve tried the site. I’ve gone into the settings for my account in the forum and unchecked everything but that’s all related to forum posts and messages, not their blog posts. I’ve emailed quite literally every. single. person. that I can find and have begged and threatened to be removed. I mark it as Spam in Gmail and yet it still gets through half the time because it’s sent directly to me! I can’t even begin to fully convey how pissed off and frustrated I am by BR.

Another, much more mild, occurrence came from a blogger who’s site is something called Edith’s Diary or whatnot. All of a sudden I started to get these emails to my blog address that are basically a newsletter from her about her newest post. Every time she posted. I figured at first that it was because of e[lust]. She’d submitted one time and was included but then played dumb and stopped responding to my emails when I tried explaining that she was obligated to re-post the digest. When I continued to get her emails, I wrote her back and told her to stop and that I never signed up to get these and it was unethical of her. No surprise, I never heard back but at least the emails stopped.

There’s lots of ways to get readers. So many ways. Ethical ways. These above blogs are not going about it in an ethical way.

Ethics and Information

Freedom of speech. There’s no law out there saying that you have to write true shit. The internet is full of bullshit artists, trumped up claims, and outright lies. How many times has Adam Sandler died now? But I’m not talking about the rest of the internet, I’m talking about blogging and sex blogging. For the first time ever I had to turn to my jury and confirm my gut feeling that a “site” (I feel dirty even calling it something official) that submitted articles to e[lust] just didn’t belong. I’ve turned places down before for being blatant commercial sites, but this wasn’t blatant. On the surface it appears like many other multi-other blogs, or blogs that fashion their theme to look like a magazine style. But underneath the skin, when you read the articles, you see the grime. These couple of sites were refused because of their content and that’s something I’ve never done before.

I don’t dare call myself a sex educator because I don’t have a degree or formal training. But I’d like to think I contribute to sex positive education occasionally, as do a number of other bloggers who participate in e[lust]. And this site, and their articles filled with tips, tricks and “education” felt….hinky. Poor grammar, disjointed paragraphs, a little Cosmo Flair and some info touted as “the right way” that I knew flat-out wasn’t.Is it unethical for them to write and post these articles? What do you think?

Was I unethical in not including them? I don’t judge based on content as a general rule. If you have a piece of erotica I find shitty or an Op-Ed piece I find revolting, or a boring PR-ish post that I find stupid I’m not going to leave it out of e[lust]. That’s not how it works. But I guess there always can be special circumstances and I’d like to strive for e[lust] being a little bit higher class than Sugasm sometimes was in later months.


Speak your mind! Have you encountered unethical blogging/bloggers? Do you disagree with my opinions above?

 Posted by at 8:18 pm
Feb 202011
 

I haven’t blogged in a while, not entirely intentionally. I keep meaning to finish up the Erogenous Zones series, but this whole moving/trying to find a place to move to shit has ALL of me stuck in limbo. We’re in that horrible time frame of knowing the move is coming, and looking for places and maybe even finding places to live….but the move is still enough weeks away that we probably won’t be considered for any of the places we like because, understandably, the landlords don’t want to go any longer without rent than absolutely necessary. Ugh. I hate this wait.

Anyways.

There’s two ways to know that your blog is slowly drowning:

  1. You can’t even find a decent enough piece to include in a digest that you’re the fuckin editor of, so anything goes, but there’s nothing worth even an excerpt
  2. Past readers come back to tell you that you’ve been “mildly unpleasant” to read as of late.

Now, I’ve been instructed not to get “defensive” about her statement. In a way, I am, and yet I’m not. My blog has changed, and to some people who don’t care about my dating/sex exploits it’s for the better. To those who came here for the sexy stuff, my blog kinda sucks lately. My fucking sex life, both off an on, is in the same lull as my blog. The same lull as ME. I try…. I truly try….to write erotica but the ability to put together a finished piece keeps eluding me. The fantasies pop into my head and my disjointed brain strings it into a scene but I can’t put it to paper.

Back to what I was saying. The comment. On the one hand it is my blog and I don’t have to write or take pictures for anyone (side note: yesterday I get an email. great pics, can you send me some more? And you know, I truly wish I could ask and get an honest no-holds-barred response as to WHY exactly him and other men like him think that it’s going to work out in their favor to ask that of a blogger, especially me) but yet I can also say I, too, miss the way my blog once was. “If you don’t like it, don’t read it” applies. But yet I don’t necessarily want to throw in the towel on the blog and I do realize that my entire “niche”/angle has left completely as of late. The commenter, who oddly chose to not use her normal commenting nickname, commented not JUST to tell me that I’ve been crap lately but to commend me on not asking for a hand-out and lament that many sex blogs have lost the “sexy” angle. Eh, she’s got a point. I noticed the other day how an old favorite has turned from hot stories of truth and fiction and insightful commentary to one big PR advertisement of where they’ll be next week for speaking engagements. But would I ever have the audacity to tell said blogger that I miss the days of yore and yawn at her updates? Fuck no. Not my place. The “anonymous” commenter could have easily gotten her final point across without really needing to tell me that I’ve been mildly unpleasant, no?

Then again, I’d prefer some honesty over blind ass-kissing.


In other news, I re-joined Okcupid with the location of my new state and guesstimate of my new city. I’m not exactly on it to find casual sex, but more of a friend angle. I wouldn’t turn down a sexy date if I found someone that made it through my rigorous gauntlet, though. But oh how I’d forgotten the blog-fodder that Okcupid can bring. It’s comforting, in a way, to know that men can be idiots no matter the city/state. The lack of actual reading of my profile, the complete ignorance of  my statements/requirements/”wishlist”.

I’m having this weird time trying to mention in my profile that I’m a sex blogger, that I review sex toys and am involved in sex-politics in some ways because of the blog – but that I’m not looking to introduce the Okcupid people to my blog. I’m not looking for readers, this isn’t a sly way to show you sexy pics. I’m not trying to taunt you with a secret…..but I have to mention it all. It’s become a big part of who I am and what occupies my time. And if someone is the type who doesn’t understand blogging or isn’t on Twitter; if they shy away from sex toys; if they think open communication about sex and wants and needs is weird; if  they’re basically not cool with any of it then it needs to be determined immediately. So it’s there in my profile for them to see and go… “oh, yeah, not my type” or vice versa. I’ve already had a brief talk with a like-minded woman who I can see getting together with on a friend-basis to discuss open relationships and dating women and the like. Those are the kind of friends I want to make in the new city. I absolutely hate that I was never able to tell any of my “work friends” anything about this side of my life. If I had to tell them I was going to NYC I could never tell them why. Even if I could tell them in a way that wouldn’t give away the sex blogger thing they’re all VERY conservative and some are borderline homophobic and intolerant.

Being able to meet up with and talk to fellow bloggers has been my only respite, but it’s never often enough. To be able to speak in person, say the words in conversation, is so….freeing. I can’t quite explain it. I just hope to find new friends that can accept and even embrace this part of my life without them having to be bloggers as well.

 Posted by at 11:58 pm
Feb 102011
 

In 3 months, a new life for me begins. In 3 months we’ll be moving a few states away. In 3 months I will no longer have to drag my ass every day into an office job that is stifling, boring and irritating. In fact, we’re not even sure what I’ll be doing for work and we’re not 100% worried. Due to husband taking classes for the last number of years I’ve been the main breadwinner – going to jobs that either wrung me out mentally or bored me to death. Now he’ll be the one working and I’ll be…..a housewife? Nah that doesn’t sound right. (I hate cleaning and I suck at it)

But my online earnings will become even more important, especially in the next few months. I’ll need every penny to go towards the move and our life there, instead of it just being my “fun fund”. I’m fretting about advertisers, I’m crossing my fingers that lovely readers and stumblers-upon will end up buying sex toys from my affiliate links. *hint hint* What I will NOT do is ask outright for a donation from my readers as if I deserve your money just for being mildly entertaining or informative. My life struggles are not your problem.

With the husband set to pull in enough money so that I have more freedom I’m finding myself wondering what to do about this freedom. I’ve wished for the online jobs working with sex toy companies since I started but was always unable to do so because of my fulltime job and the fact that I was the provider of health insurance. Last year a site I really loved went up for sale, The Fat Girl’s Guide to Living, and I wanted to buy it so badly. I knew that I could mine their advertising potential and make it earn money whilst keeping up with the wonderful articles that I and others had found so helpful. Sadly I could neither afford it back then in either time or money; even more sadly the owner is just letting the site sit stagnant with no new posts. I had really hoped that the creators of the site wouldn’t let that happen but I guess they succumbed to the lure of getting more money from the sale rather than keeping their pride and once-joy going.

Another change that might happen is that I might show myself a little bit more on here. This week’s Wanton Wednesday, while being small and a little blurry and high contrast, showed a lot of me. Or at least more than I was accustomed to showing. I’d done my best to stay anonymous and most of that was due to my job because:

A: I did a LOT of blogging while at work. Twittering. IMing. Cybering.

2: A lot of things that I used to blog about were done at work; photos, the raunchy conversations, the masturbating at my desk.

Given who I worked for (wow, I’m already using past tense. I still work there for another 3 months!) I could have easily gotten fired. Well, I guess that I could have gotten fired no matter who I worked for, those are not the marks of a model employee. Now that that need for cover is gone, will I be “out” totally? No. You’ll still know me as Lilly. While I don’t have a ton of family that I think would ever stumble across me on the internet randomly, using my real name would help them if they ever googled me.

I don’t know what my future holds, but I’m pretty damn sure it’s brightening up real quick. I think this move affords me the freedom to be more ME both online and in reality. Let’s face it….a rote job that makes me stabby and bored is a soul-sucker.


I will ask one thing though of my fellow bloggers: For the month of May I need a trusted soul to take over e[lust] as that’s when I’ll be moving. It’s reallllly difficult for me to hand control and trust over to someone else, but I don’t want to put e[lust] on another hiatus. Whomever takes over needs to have the time to devote to it daily during the active period; paying attention to details, checking to make sure the entries are all coming in ok, wrangling up volunteers, etc. It’s not an easy job in some ways but maybe for someone not ADD it is, lol.

 Posted by at 10:27 am