Oct 202011
 

After our session proposal was accepted I had this big feeling of “oh FUCK why did I do that???” Because I have the worst stage fright / inability to do public speaking / inability to behave normally in social situations.

And then today…..today they released the names of the rest of the presenters. You go take a look through that and then come back here, eventually.

Back now?

WTF AM I GONNA DO?

Do you see those people??? They’re famous. Or they have letters after their name. Or both. I don’t even know yet what the sessions are going to be, much less the session schedule to know what we’re up against in our time slot, but about halfway through the list three things went through my mind:

  1. I hope I can get somebody else to video record the sessions I wanted to see that will be going on at the same time as ours, so that I don’t miss anything good
  2. The audience for our session will likely be small
  3. Thank god for #2. Any more than 15 people and I’ll likely ask a few to strip to their underwear because I wouldn’t be able to imagine them in their underwear and do a presentation at the same time, my ADD doesn’t allow for such multitasking.

The session AAG and I are doing isn’t intellectual or provocative in the way that most of the others will be. Our session is going to be very slideshow-heavy and I’ll probably make up a something or other to hand out digital session guides with links to all the helpful places we’ll talk about. Our session is “Blogging 202: Take Your Site to the Next Level”. I’ll talk more about it when they officially release all the sessions.

If you think you want to go, you should start saving up now. I remember reading the tweets last year of all the people who regretted not going and I think that it’s going to be an even more impressive and wonderful event this year. Last year they limited the attendees to 250 people….this year it’s 400 people. Wow that’s a lot of people. This year their early bird ticket price will end on January 2nd and I have a feeling that most of the tickets will sell by then. It’s not cheap, but it’s very much worth it – so save up. Buy a few less sex toys or something, lol. REGISTER HERE.

My next step is figuring out how to get there. Can my body handle a nearly 350-mile drive? On major highways that are sure to be subject to traffic delays? Fly…..ehhhh, not so crazy about that idea. Not at all. I could take Amtrak….

Drive – cost of gas, toll on my body at 7 hours of driving, $12/day parking – but I don’t have to worry about lugging around heavy suitcases, which would require to be checked @ airport or lifted higher than I can manage on trains and rails
Plane – not going to find a ticket for less than $300, plus requires a layover in Philly, and then get to the hotel. And deal with TSA. And flying fat.
Train – will take less time than driving, at 5 hours, is affordable at $50 each way. It’ll land me at Union Station which will require 2 MTA rails to get to the hotel. Can I do that without getting lost? Must get a ride to the train station at home both days.

Oct 162011
 

Fucking. AWESOME. I can’t wait for this movie to come out.

From the lovely Wikipedia:

Female hysteria was a once-common medical diagnosis, made exclusively in women, which is today no longer recognized by modern medical authorities as a medical disorder. Its diagnosis and treatment were routine for many hundreds of years in Western Europe. Hysteria was widely discussed in the medical literature of the 19th century. Women considered to be suffering from it exhibited a wide array of symptoms including faintness, nervousness, insomnia, fluid retention, heaviness in abdomen, muscle spasm, shortness of breath, irritability, loss of appetite for food or sex, and “a tendency to cause trouble”.

Since ancient times women considered to be suffering from hysteria would sometimes undergo “pelvic massage” — manual stimulation of the genitals by the doctor until the patient experienced “hysterical paroxysm” (orgasm).

 *grins* A “tendency to cause trouble”. I like that one the best. Oh, yes, sexual frustration and unattended horniness can indeed lead to trouble-causing. So I heard about this from my little Alexa toolbar, an article on the movie that is more about well….

“‘I lend my friends sex toys': Maggie Gyllenhaal inundated with vibrators after signing up to film about history of the device” Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2040426/Maggie-Gyllenhaal-inundated-vibrators-signing-sex-toy-film-Hysteria.html#ixzz1ZTBwNpbf

 From the article:

Maggie said: ‘By the time I finished the movie I’d been sent 15 vibrators by different people in London with vibrator stores. It was a pleasant surprise.’

‘So I have this incredible collection, and I actually use one or two of them.

‘I lend them to my friends, and they’ll take them for six months at a time.’

Comments were quickly closed on the article but you can all guess what people were saying. “Ewwww that’s so gross, lending??? She wants them back???” *sigh* STFU and get laid. Or vibrated. People have no fucking clue, do they.

Lending of vibrators aside, I wonder what the reaction is going to be to this movie. Of course when it comes to sex-related issues there’s always the public reaction and the private reaction. Like when a poll study shows that only 10% of people admit to using XYZ or doing XYZ during sex/masturbation but we know damn well better that it’s more like 60%. People are just too ashamed to admit it.

Best line from the trailer clip: “Do you think it’ll catch on?”  “I’ve no idea, but imagine if everyone had one!!” Imagine, indeed. I feel the same way about the Pure Wand.

 Posted by at 4:59 pm
Oct 092011
 

Sexforums.com contacted me last month to see if I’d be willing to do a review for Lelo’s newest addition (the Lelo Tiani) to coincide with their giveaway. Having already reviewed the Lelo Isla, their first line of “ultra premium” Insignia sex toys (and been one of the few people who couldn’t find much good to say about it) I was skeptical. But I was terribly curious about this SenseMotion thing and dying to see if a company like Lelo could be the one to pull off a remote controlled vibrator that actually worked. Believe me, I really wanted the Lelo Tiani to work out despite my jaded skepticism.

  Lelo Tiani includes

Between vibrating panties and wireless remote control vibrators there’s already plenty on the market that mainly don’t work very well. Whether the complaint is that they lack power/intensity, or the wireless remote’s connection to the vibe is wonky at best and doesn’t live up to the range distance claims, or that the remote is so simple the wielder has no idea if the toy is buzzing away for the other person and at what level – they’re all largely a waste of money and are all pretty expensive. This wireless stuff is pricey business.

Click here to read the rest of this review

Continue reading »

Oct 072011
 

As I sit here in yesterday’s clothes and a forehead wrinkle that would make most upper class women instinctively reach out to rub it smooth and tell me the wonders of Botox, darling, I’m really happy that I have a job where I can sit here at home and do a little work and then do a little of this or that and put in my time in snippets. It works around my doctor visits and my grocery shopping and my trips to see/help my mother1. Some days it leads me to sex toys and sex toy manufacturers that absolutely disgust me; some days it simply leads me to companies that merely annoy me because of their cheesy crap and half-ass site; other days I’m shown the better side and see that there is good in the sex toy world.

I will start out addressing the small companies, the niche companies who are ultimately good eggs with products ranging from pretty decent to admirable. I write this post not to just let off some steam but with the smallest glimmer of hope that maybe…….just maybe….some of these words will land on the right computer screen and be taken to heart. Maybe one change will happen.

Dear Small Company;

You are trying hard. You are fighting the good fight, perhaps. You are making your items out of body-safe materials and you are not trying to pass off a wolf in sheep’s clothing as an innocent lamb2. But your online presence is really fucking important. Your website is super fucking important. As a customer I want photos and I want details. Lots and lots of details. I want to know the every dimension and exactly how it works. I don’t want some artistic/”French”/mysterious website that is more about the visual than the information. I can see your item or your kit and yet I have no fucking idea what exactly it is? I’m not going to buy it. As a person working for a reseller I want high quality photos of every item and every color and even more details than I’d want as a customer. Why do you make our jobs hard, when all we want to do is sell your product? How can we underlings write up your great products so that Consumer Joe Schmoe who doesn’t know jelly from silicone can see that they’re better and that they should buy your item instead of some dodgy crap from the Walmart-equivalents3 of sex toy manufacturing?

Update your site. Make it easy to browse and easy to read. Sure, go for your artistic merit but don’t let it take over the main goal: Showcasing your worthy sex toy product and telling us why it’s worth twice the money for what looks like the same thing from the Big Guys. Don’t skimp on the information about you and the toy. At all.

Dear Middle-but-good Company;

You’ve managed to become a name. A brand that people trust. You use silicone and I trust you that it’s actually and honestly 100% medical grade silicone. Now I will fully admit to not knowing a damn thing about how your stuff is manufactured and why your dildos cost as much as my monthly cable-slash-phone bill4 so I don’t feel that I can whine about them being so pricey. But it is really hard to sell your product to those people who haven’t learned their lesson yet or just are too cheap to care – all they see is $55/$75 for a sex toy when hey there’s one over there for $19.95! Some of those people will eventually learn; maybe after their doctor explains that the burning redness is from that dildo, or maybe after a storage mishap and their dildo melts.

Dear Luxury Sex Toy Manufacturers;

Despite being a toy snob, I’m not really a fan of you on the whole. Sometimes I am, like with Njoy but then they kinda fall into the small-niche moreso than luxury. But Njoy at least lives up to their price tag. You luxury guys….eh. You’re all about the bells and whistles and the super pretty packaging. A vibrator that you can customize to your preferred shape or rotation is impressive on paper but when I actually go to use it and find that all your promises are as useless as a fake Hallmark card? I’m gonna be harsh and pissed that I spent (or theoretically spent if given it for review) upwards of $100 on your sex toy, thinking that for sure YOU got me and finally…something good.

To you I have two things to say: Let your products speak for themselves – and save the buyers money by cutting back on that fancy ass packaging and the brooch5 and the extras. Second, for fucks sake gimme a better vibrator motor! If the cheap shit companies can use a motor that produces vibrations that go beyond tickling the surface of my skin so can you. The women and men who are buying your toys are not delicate fucking flowers. Put a decent motor in there that produces a vibration to be proud of, dammit, and then the controls for multiple speeds will make everyone happy – from the delicate flowers to the tough cookies. I do not like or support Doc Johnson on the whole (as an example) but unfortunately they make a couple bullet vibrators that are perfect – motor-wise. Zini, Lelo, Je Joue, JimmyJane, Nomi Tang, and others who create different/fun/new/pretty/innovative sex toys: I’d be backing you if your motors weren’t as limp as a wet noodle 9 times out of 10.

Dear Big Boys who’ve been around since the internet was invented and then some;

I’mma go ahead and name names right here – I’ve said this all before, it will come as no shock and I am not shy in voicing my disgust. CalExotics. Pipedreams. You guys make a lot of shitty products, some downright offensive products, and some eh products. I don’t trust you, I don’t like you. But you’re a big company and you’re everywhere. You have the Walmart angle. All of a sudden your previously labeled “jelly” toy is now suddenly body-safe non-porous TPR? Nope. Don’t believe you. Especially when it still fucking stinks to high heaven. Your perpetuation of disgusting gender stereotypes and bad ideas that you sell with copy that would make your own mother blush and you justify it by saying that it’s flying off the shelves so it’s what guys want6 and by golly you gotta give the people what they WANT! Fuck that. Have some fucking integrity. Topco, Doc Johnson – you might have some (minor) redeeming qualities/products but overall you’re crap. You, too, are contributing to the unsafe materials and shoddy mechanics and the bottom line is that you don’t care. You are a politician.

I can’t say anything to the powers that be in your companies. You will never EVER change. All I can hope for is that somehow those of us who know better are able to drown out your voice with the voices of the people who care and who are trying to produce something with integrity rather than make a buck.

Dear Resellers/Retail Stores who are determined to carry every product made;

I get it. You’re in this to make money. You’re one of a million other sites and the competition is stiff. But really, do you have to lower your standards and put flowery copy writing on utter shit and sell the items that might actually cause cancer, or at the very least are a colossal waste of the consumers money? Adam & Eve was the first site I bought a sex toy from. But when those first two sex toys quickly showed their ugly underbelly I lost faith in them as a whole. And I never shopped there again. You can make money AND have integrity. It requires a little more hard work, though. The internet isn’t the land of the quick, easy buck anymore.

I’ve been reviewing sex toys for 3 years. I’ve reviewed more than some people, but far fewer than others (which is probably because after the first year I was reluctant to review something that I just knew I wouldn’t like and it’s hard to review item after item that leaves you jaded and I’m not easy to please – but I’m not impossible either. I just refuse to sugarcoat a half-ass product). I’ve seen a lot. I’ve grown to know that I don’t have to put a positive, happy spin on every review I do even if the product wasn’t my thing or is overpriced. Would it help pad my bank account, as an affiliate? Sure it would. But that isn’t the reason I started reviewing toys and I’m going to be blunt. If that means I am the only person on the web saying that the latest high-tech Lelo toy is a sopping wet disappointment? So fucking be it. I’m not trying to be mean, I’m trying to be real and save other people like me the money.

It’s heartbreaking to see the little companies die. Jollies LLC made some great sex toys and they were really innovative without trying too hard (Zini, Je Joue, etc). Their products were at once simple yet unique yet just what we needed at the quality we wanted. But they went the way of the little corner bookstore after a Barnes and Noble moved in two blocks down. And it’s sad.

Signed,

Jaded but Hopeful (in a cheerful Comic Sans font)

 

(If you are a “recipient” of one of these letters, for once I will allow companies to comment on a post. I generally don’t because they’re usually just trying to get a free link but if you are genuine in your response then I’ll post it. But don’t be offended if I remove the link to your company’s site and please….use your real name in the comment name field, and not the name of your company)

  1. Despite of course the fact that I can’t/don’t feel comfortable telling her exactly what I am doing and who for because I really don’t want to have that conversation and she’s a very suspicious woman of all things internet
  2. I’m looking at you, CalExotics, publicly proclaiming that ALL of your TPR and PVC and “Cyberskin” and other squiffy hybrids are all free of phthalates and are totally body safe. For trying to say even that all your TPR is non-porous when I’d bet it isn’t because you’re too cheap and only in this to make money
  3. I would consider this to be large companies who produce thousands of various items at low cost, mark them up 300%, don’t care what materials they’re using, mass-produce with shoddy quality control and are around because they were they first and they simply have the most stuff at places like Rt 15 Adult Book Store. Companies like California Exotic Novelties, Doc Johnson, Topco, Pipedream, BMS Enterprises, and Nasstoys.
  4. and no, I don’t have Vonage
  5. Yeah I’m talkin to you, Lelo, with that Insignia line that looks really fancy but is actually just plastic and mediocre vibrations
  6. Yes, I’m talking to you, Pipedreams, with your “cum dumpster” copy on overpriced body parts
Oct 012011
 

A few weeks ago I got this question in my Formspring inbox and only now got around to answering it. All I know is what the person asked me, which was:

My vibrator has a lingering rubbery smell to it, how can I get rid of that? What should I wash it with?

Here’s my plain and simple answer:

THROW IT OUT.

The smell is coming from any number of things, and any one of those things has the potential to act like a toxic substance to the delicate mucus membranes of your genitalia. It could be that the toy is jelly and even if the packaging says “no phthalates” that doesn’t mean there aren’t a number of other irritating chemicals that are leaching out. True Pleasures once wrote about her worrisome time as a CalExotics Sexpert and the dodgy toys (and responses) she’d receive from them1. She received items that were claimed to be TPR (CalExotics actually claims on their Product Information sheet on their site that their TPR & TPE is non-porous. I call bullshit and do not believe them one bit. Most TPR’s are porous; after all they’re the cheaper version of the material and CalExotics isn’t famed for their expensive toys) but smelled so badly they gave her a headache. Response? Oops, we think you managed to get a rare manufacturing error and it’s actually PVC. Oh we’re so distressed about this, we’re as upset as you, we paid for TPR! (I’m paraphrasing here). Again she received other TPR material toys that had funny, lingering odors. The ole “oh let it air out a day” response didn’t fly, as the smell was still there. She got one email that said the smell might be from an accelerant that helps release the toy from it’s production mold; then he say no, it was the glue, it didn’t cure long enough2. But all the while she is assured that these culprits are all non-toxic, phthalates-free, etc.

Every time True Pleasures would get a dodgy toy, her respondents (even Al Bloom) claimed to have gone out to the warehouse, opened up other toys like the one she had (even cutting them open, as she did) to see if others of the same toy had the same problem as hers. Of course, they were all ok. She just happened to get the one oddball. Also, they went out and ruined a case of toys? I’m sure their profit margin is high enough that it’s a drop in the bucket butt again I call bullshit.

Back to the issue at hand. We don’t even know what brand the toy is that the person is asking about.

A well-made toy shouldn’t have any lingering odors. A slight odor when you first open up the packaging – ok, I’ll consent to that. But it should not linger on the toy for very long if it is truly just part of the cleaning process or something to do with the packaging. Your supposed TPR toy could actually be PVC, or jelly/rubber. Who the hell knows. It’s not like there’s any real regulations out there. They can say what they want. Or it could be TPR, but what you’re smelling is indeed another chemical or glue or whatever. They say it’s non-toxic. Really? Show me the MSDS sheet then on all the materials and I’ll decide for myself.

THROW IT THE FUCK OUT. please.

Or you could attempt to contact the manufacturer and tell them your problem, be told it’s a one-off and maybe they’ll send you a new one that doesn’t stink. Maybe. Small chance the reseller will let you return it, depends on who you bought it from. But the bottom line is that you don’t actually know what’s causing the smell (unless of course it IS a jelly toy and I wasn’t told that the rubber-like smell is actually coming from a fucking rubber toy) and you don’t know what it might do to your body. You could use it once with no immediate repercussions and sometime down the line after a few more uses have this strange thing goin on down there and not know what’s up.

Buy from reputable manufacturers.
Buy hard plastic, pure silicone, glass, ceramic, metal, wood, and TPR only from trust-worthy manufacturers3.
If your sex toy stinks, there’s a decent chance that the stink is a warning: HEED THAT WARNING. THROW IT OUT.

If you actually do insist on using the damn thing, please use a toy cover or a condom on it. (use larger condoms for girthier toys, and if you have latex allergies shell out for the newer non-latex condoms).

Here’s another “test”: Would you put it in your mouth with that smell? Would you gag from the smell and taste? If yes, then why the hell put it in your vagina or ass?? There’s a million other sex toys out there that are not unsafe. Go buy one of those.

  1. Yes I’ve linked to it before, but I’m going to link to it again, because in my eyes it really shows that you just can’t trust CalExotics and the more of their shitty stuff I see, the more I want to steer people away from the company as a whole
  2. Dodgy overseas manufacturing that they just blindly trust to be doing things the right way
  3. Trust-worthy manufacturers are not synonymous with well-known manufacturers. I would consider many small companies trust worthy and would consider many big name untrustworthy like CalExotics, definitely Doc Johnson and Pipedreams, Topco is iffy, Hustler ehh
Sep 302011
 

I’ll keep you my dirty little secret,
Don’t tell anyone or you’ll be just another regret.
~All American Rejects “Dirty Little Secret”

For some people, being or having a “dirty little secret” is erotic in and of itself. I might have considered myself one of those people in the past, but no longer. It’s taken being someone else’s secret for a few years to make me realize that it’s a sucky place to be. When the irony adds to injury, that there’s no reason for me to be a secret anymore because we’re now just friends, it stings a little more. And so, in my search on OkCupid for local friends, I’ve discounted married men who are not in an open/poly marriage. I specifically state that in my profile, yet of course they’re the type who won’t read a profile in full. Or worse, they’re the type who see that I don’t want what they’re offering and their ego says “Yeah but I’m different” and they contact me anyways.

I had one such debate recently with someone. Typical married-man profile: Not much information, no photo and in an introductory email he says he lives in city A when he listed city B on his profile. Usually I just tell these men to go to Ashley Madison instead, they’ll have better luck finding a mistress. The most recent guy insisted he just wanted a good friend. Nothing more. Except….I would still be a secret. It’s really hard to have a friend and be a friend when there’s secrets like that involved. For a number of years I knew that if my close friend should fall ill or worse, I wouldn’t know about it. No one in his life knew about me. I couldn’t text or call him whenever I wanted, no matter what. There were rules and restrictions. There still are. I explained this briefly to OKC guy and it was after the 3rd exchange that it sunk in my head that he wasn’t listening; was he even reading what I wrote? Or had he become such a master at evasion and redirection that he could be mistaken for a politician or lawyer?

“Sometimes it’s easier/better to keep things under a cover” In response to me saying I was not interested in being anyone’s secret, and I would only date/friend married men in open & honest relationships.

“I am sincerely lacking one aspect of a relationship, and you will get in return a Safe, Sane and smart companion. I don’t have anything else going, and no plans either, just one open and understanding friend.” Just one friend?

Again I reiterated that I’ve already been down this road and it doesn’t lead to a very fair or equal friendship and I wasn’t interested in doing it again. “I completely understand your stand, and there’s no force on my part. All I can do is try to tell you how “I” am. If nothing else worked out, I “was” pretty sure you’d be VERY much fun to plainly hang out with as a person. If you think this is about fairness, may be I was wrong.”

I know, you can’t fix stupid, but wow. So I’m no longer fun because I don’t want a secretive friendship? Nice.  I’m now ignoring all his messages because he can’t seem to get the hint. Something else he’s said three times in only 6 messages is that he won’t “force” himself on me/anyone, yet he keeps messaging me. The language he uses, the deflection and weasel words, all spell trouble. At least I’m smarter now.

 Posted by at 2:17 pm