Jul 192012
 

All of my readers know, or should know, that I think vibrators are awesome. Spectacular. A boon to sexual health. Not everybody will agree with me, though. So today when I ran across a post that sounded very anti-vibrator, I’ll admit…my hackles were raised in right quick order.

N of My Dissolute Life allows readers to ask questions for him to advise on. Today’s question was “I can’t orgasm without a vibrator. What should I do?”. My answer is obvious: Embrace it. Bring it in to your partnered sex life. Be happy that you can achieve orgasm whatever way that works for you. As I commented on N’s post, I spent 10 years not having orgasms because I didn’t know any better. It’s not that sex didn’t feel good….no, it felt great. But I couldn’t push over that edge and I was ashamed of it. I didn’t tell my partners. I hid it. That was a disservice to myself AND my partners. But I didn’t really know about sex toys and I had no idea that a vibrator could help me. Today, a vibrator is present in damn near every sexual encounter I have, unless to do so would simply be cumbersome. My husband has no problems with it. He’s very much a part of and responsible for my orgasms during sex. My husband, and any partner I choose to have sex with, is evolved, sensitive, realistic, secure and respectful about my sexuality and my sexual needs.

But N’s “non-kinky” answer was : “The generic one is this: you just need to break your addiction. Plain and simple. STOP masturbating with a vibrator. Sure, you’ll have some period of time when you’re dying to cum, dying to take out your trusty old friend. But you need to use that desperation in service of your elusive manual orgasm. I promise: if you go a month without an orgasm by the vibrator, you’ll be able to have one by hand.” (read his whole post here)

I got so upset at this that I immediately put on my commenting hat and my hands were actually shaking. Yes, I did jump on the “mansplaining” cart perhaps a little too quickly but maybe not. I’m not about to tell any man that the method he uses for orgasm is bad and he should stop it, if he should come to me feeling insecure about it. I will suggest to him ways to incorporate it into partnered sex. But since I lack a penis and prostate, I don’t have any actual experienced knowledge on how the male orgasm works.

I cannot say this enough: Vibrators are not a problem. They are not bad, they are not habit-forming, they are not dangerous, you are not weak and broken if you need one. Personally, I’ve found that my use of vibrators has increased my sensitivity. When I first started,  I needed things that were super strong. As I’ve tried more toys I’ve discovered that it’s about more than just the strength, it’s the depth of the vibrations. I need more than just the external head my clit stimulated. It’s that simple. Since I’ve been using vibrators I have indeed been able to orgasm with just fingers or tongues and yes, I was delighted about this. I’m happy to try again because it leads to a different-feeling orgasms than the vibrators and it’s a novelty to me. It’s the same thing for me as if I tried to bake a loaf of bread and it turned out well. Yay! But I suck at baking so 90% of the time I’m going to purchase pre-made bread and that’s ok. There’s nothing wrong with having someone or something else make my bread.

This isn’t the first time a man will proclaim vibrators to be bad for us, and I’m quite sure it won’t be the last. In fact I’m sure that there are women who are anti-vibrator. (I don’t understand why, though. Why the fuck are so many people so fucking judgmental when it comes to how someone else does something? What do you care if I need a vibrator? It’s not hurting you. Don’t shame me into thinking I’m broken. Live your life and be happy, let me do the same. You don’t personally like or need vibrators? Great! More power (or not) to you! I’m starting to think the hippie compounds of the 1960s had it right. )

Embrace your sexuality. Embrace your kinks, explore whatever avenues you want. But rest assured you are not alone in whatever it is you need and like for your orgasms or arousal.

BE SEX POSITIVE.

 

 

Jul 182012
 

My affiliate/reviewer relationship with Babeland has been….rocky. Years ago when I first started, things were different in many aspects – not just with Babeland’s practices but with reviewing altogether. I will always be grateful to Babeland for providing me with my favorite dildo to date, the Pure Wand, but the time has come to completely and officially part ways.

Many things have changed for sex bloggers since I started 4 years ago. Two of the biggest changes have happened this year. The first is that many advertisers have pulled out, because of the way Google treats links. They pretty much want links inside posts (this may lead to me doing “sponsored posts” more). The second change is that a number of sites have halted their reviewer program. All have said that the change is temporary, but I must admit that none have ever been my favorite places to review for. Goodvibes, MyPleasure and Babeland have all halted temporarily. This isn’t good for me as an affiliate, but as I said I’ve never really reviewed for them consistently to begin with. I had started to rebuild my reviewing relationship with Babeland though…….unfortunately my decision came just as they were laying off people in various internal positions, leading to our reviewer coordinator being severely overworked and then eventually even she was gone. We were all left hanging in the wind, feeling very uncertain as to what the heck was going to happen with Babeland.

So just as I was beginning to forge a relationship beneficial to us both….they yank the program. This was already after a huge change at the Babeland website a few months ago which led to a lot of links being broken. But then Babeland had to go and twist the screws again. All affiliates were notified recently that we had 15 days to sign up for a new affiliate management program called PepperJam and then change all of our links before the end of July. Like we don’t have better things to do. To them, though, affiliates and reviewers are not thought of in the same sentence because it was clear they expected us all to only have a couple links to change. I don’t think it occured to them that some people have been actively reviewing for them for a few years and had tons of links. The response? “Oh, don’t worry about anything older, just go back a few months”.

*blinks*

Sure, no worries for you maybe but what about us? It doesn’t look good to our readers OR Google when there are so many broken links, plus we’d lose out on potential sales.

The nail in the coffin for me though was catching a glimpse of what our new affiliate links would look like.  The old style was simply tacking on a ?kbid=971 to any Babeland link. This allowed for complete transparency and for my readers to know where my links were taking them. Now, however, the links look something like this: http://www.gopjn.com/t/Qj5HQkhFPklIR0VEPkdCSEU?url=http%3A%2F%2F (and that’s just half of it!!!). Upon seeing this my answer was a prompt:


(Click to gif-ify)

Despite the assurances that major retailers use affiliate links like this, I don’t care. I know what *I* would and would not click on and I know that many of my readers would be suspicious, too. We like transparency. We like to be sure that we’re not clicking spammy spam.

The Babeland that I once knew back in 2008/2009 has slowly gone downhill but this year it’s like a snowball. I just can’t support them anymore, and so you will not be seeing links to them anymore and I won’t be listing them as a trusted retailer.

 

ETA: 8/2/2012 – After making everyone scramble to change their links, Babeland announces suddenly yesterday that they’re completely doing away with the review program. There had been a lot of vague talks and foreshadowing that was making us think that the review program would most likely be brought back and, sooner than later. As if the situation didn’t already stink worse than rotten fish served on a bed of unrinsed Miracle Noodles, they couldn’t even admit to affiliates that the review program (which was the only reason many were sticking around) was to be tanked. Because unless you spend lots of time linking to and talking about products without doing reviews, you’re never going to make much from an affiliate program if there is no review program to go hand in hand. I’m betting that everyone who once reviewed for Babeland is most definitely jumping ship at this point.

Rubbing salt in the wounds is that fact that those of us (me included) who signed up with PepperJam before deciding to cut ties are receiving all sorts of spammy, annoying emails many of which have absolutely nothing to do with Babeland. When some have asked to have their PepperJam account deleted the answer is “Sorry, you can’t”.

W. T. F.

 Posted by at 5:45 pm
Jul 162012
 

Whenever I see a product, especially a sex toy, that is marketed as the be-all end-all perfect-for-all product….I get skeptical. And then I aim to prove it wrong. I’m happy to be the one proven wrong, lest this be misunderstood as a mission where I will not accept my own “failure” to spot a crappy product. I think you all know better than that, but I also think there might be a reader or two who won’t understand unless it’s spelled out. As much as I love to tell you about awesome sex toys I also love to tell you which ones to avoid. Update: Fixsation owner tried to leave a “redeeming” comment for the product, shaming me and pretending to be a customer. Professional, eh? Also, links to the Fixsation have been removed – I’m no longer linking to the only store who carried it (EdenFantasys). 

When I first saw the Fixsation I thought “Oh great…another wearable vibe for skinny hetero chicks”. Then I was told that no, no! it comes in various sizes! yay. Unlike the atrocity that was the Venus Penis which had no hope of fitting any woman above a size 12, the Fixsation comes in various sizes. The XXL  claims to fit sizes 18-20. That is as big as it goes, however. My pants are closer to a 20 right now because I carry a lot of my weigh in that ring area right below the belly button – my hips, my ass, my belly. Going by the drawings of the Fixsation, I figured I would not be able to wear this at all. I was mostly right. Anyone larger than me would not have a prayer.

Photo courtesy of EdenFantasys

Fixsation is labeled as a “couple’s vibe and panty”, and that is my first bone to pick. A strip of lace does not a panty make. At best it’s a garter belt. Sort of. I suppose this is a minor gripe in the grand scheme of things to come, though. The Fixsation is “assembly required”. I always appreciate when my rechargeable vibe is already charged up when it arrives at my doorstep, because I’m impatient when it comes to trying out new toys. The vibrator portion of the Fixsation did arrive charged….so at least I was able to immediately tell that that portion was a complete fail for me, but the “panty” portion required assembly. It seems simple enough – there is a silly band of lace and 2 small bra-strap-ish straps that clip on to the lace and eventually run through holes in the vibe to achieve the hands-free feature. Assembly took me 10 minutes and I nearly launched it across the room twice. I had to get out the tweezers to finish the job. Since part of this sex toy is fabric and it will get dirty, you will need to handwash it…which means you will need to take the vibrator off. And then re-assemble it. My tip, if you should purchase this, is to assemble it well before sex otherwise you will be too irritated to even have sex. Once I had both straps threaded through the side holes it was time to put it on. You step into it like a panty…..just be sure you don’t get things tangled up before you step in. Pulling the lace bit up proved my point that this design is just not meant for fat girls. I had to pull it all the way up over my hips to rest at my belly-button-centered waist area and this was a very tight fit. Someone built differently might have better luck letting this rest on the hips. I then had to adjust the vibe so that it was sitting more or less over the area where my clitoris was….somewhere. Here’s where the failure was the greatest. I have very full outer labia and mons. It’s kinda natural given my size but I think I’ve always been like this even when I was thinner. When I spread my legs, I still have to part my labia to access my clit. If that describes you at all, then the Fixsation will not work. You pretty much have to look like this Wikipedia photo, with minimal labia and a prominent clitoris. What happens if you should try to spread your labia around the vibrator so that the vibrator will actually be vibrating your clitoris and not your labia? Pain. Pinching. Pain. Even if you like pain with your sex, this is not the purpose of the sex toy. The sides of the vibrator are a bit sharp-feeling to fleshy flesh since it is made of hard plastic. God forbid you should have pubic hair, because it will get caught up in the sides. This can happen to either one of you, by the way. Imagine a more-painful but less-complicated entanglement similar to braces locking together when kissing. A pubic hair or two yanked out at the root doesn’t exactly keep the mood alive.

Photo courtesy of EdenFantasys

Fixsation is meant for the missionary position sex1 and is advertised solely to hetero couples. I can understand their motive for the audience thing, even though I don’t exactly like it. This toy could work for lesbian couples…perhaps. But to design something just for the missionary position? Fixsation is meant to work with the pressure applied by your partner’s pubic bone. It’s been a long time since I first side-eyed this sex toy but I once ran across something that seriously irked me; I believe it was on the Fixsation website but I cannot find it anymore so I cannot be sure of where I read this but I remember this specifically: It was said that the Fixsation was never intended to be a powerhouse, because the point was to “help” bring her to orgasm at the same time as her partner2. It was purposely designed so that she did not climax from clitoral stimulation alone before her partner. *blinks* I have lots of feelings on that, and none of them are good. Be that as it may, you’ve likely guessed by now that the Fixsation is mediocre at best in the vibrations department. It is pretty buzzy. It has a little more power than the original Lelo Tiani, but not as much as the Tiani 2 or the We-Vibe 3. Speaking of, since this is touted as a “couple’s sex toy”, let’s discuss how it compares to the Lelo Tiani or the We-Vibe, two other hetero-centered PIV sex toys. Both the Tiani and We Vibe work by inserting part of the toy inside the vagina. If your partner is bigger than average or you do not like anything bigger, then you’d want the Tiani over the WeVibe. But the Fixsation proudly proclaims that it is “non-invasive” which could be a plus for some women. There is no remote with the Fixsation, the button is located on the vibrator. You have to press and hold for about 5 seconds to begin vibrations. One of the reasons I prefer the We-Vibe 3 over the We-Vibe 2 is the remote: it’s awkward and not easy to fumble around a slippery vibrator with slick fingers in the middle of sex to change a vibration speed or turn it off. So the boast of “no remotes needed” for the Fixsation is not a plus in my book. Moving along….the Fixsation is indeed quiet. Users who are in need of something quiet will find that in this toy. It is made from body-safe materials (plastic). It is water-resistant but not waterproof: Ok for squirters but not ok to wash along with the “panty”3. It is rechargeable, has various speeds of yawn, is fairly small, travel-friendly and “non-threatening” if you happen to have a male partner who is so insecure as to be intimidated by sex toys. Fixsation would work best for:

  • Those who are a size 14 or under, despite the sizing of the XXL version
  • Women who do not carry much weight in their belly
  • Women whose labia are small and whose clitoris is easily accessed and visible
  • Those who do not require much assistance from vibration to help with climax
  • Those who prefer the missionary position
  • Heterosexual couples, however it could work for same-sex couples if the giving partner’s harness isn’t too bulky
  • Solo use if you truly hate holding two sex toys and fit the above descriptions
  • Those with cropped or shaved pubic hair

Please note that these aren’t “or” statements, they pretty much all go together and you have to fit most of them. I do not. I really, really dislike the Fixsation. In fact, I don’t think I’d ever recommend it. There are many flaws, a lot of which are never mentioned in some other reviews. This is another reason why I wanted to get it – if you’re thinking of dropping $100 on a sex toy, you should be fully informed. I am a bit irked that I paid 2/3 the retail for this sex toy because in a way it feels like a gigantic waste of money, but at least I was able to use EdenPoints to cover the rest of the balance after doing a buy-out assignment. I knew though, when I bought it, that it wouldn’t work for me so it’s not like I was disappointed and didn’t have my own gut instinct as fair warning. I specifically wanted to review this item though for a retailer, and at that, one who doesn’t mind a negative review. If I had had to hold my tongue after experiencing this awful sex toy I’d have been mighty pissed. While I have indeed often wished for a sex toy similar to the Fixsation for use during missionary-position sex, Fixsation falls so short of the mark it’s not even funny. Because we’ve yet to find a sex toy that doesn’t get in the way during sex, he usually gets me off before PIV sex. Our favorite way is his hand plus my We-Vibe Salsa, resulting in an explosive orgasm that he was very much a part of, and it leads to a deliciously sensitive g-spot and therefore extremely pleasurable sex for us. That is what works for us. His cock is too long for me to enjoy rear-entry positions usually, or I’d be using a position pillow like the Liberator Wing, Axis Hitachi, Pulse or BonBon to hold the vibrator in place for me. Since the Fixsation is technically in the strap-on vibrator category while still being a hetero-couple’s vibrator for use during sex, it’s a little difficult to recommend something else. Of course the Lelo Tiani 2 and the We-Vibe 3 are very decent for Hetero-PIV sex, I can understand that they’re not everyone’s cup of tea. They’re not strong enough for me, personally. The Tiani is pretty darn unobtrusive vaginally, while the WeVibe 3 is quite a bit more noticeable. I would not likely recommend anything from the strap-on vibrators section that looks like a butterfly/bee/whatever.  ETA: I’ve already heard some pretty negative things about the inventor, Tiffany York, so as soon as I got the comment below I just knew it was her. She must think I’m pretty damn dumb, she used the same email address that is associated with the Fixsation domain! YES, pretending to be a satisfied customer and getting snotty in your comment will TOTALLY discredit my negative review in the eyes of all who shall pass here and doesn’t look suspicious AT ALL. Yup. Yes indeedy. Sorry Tiff, not born yesterday: fixsationcommentspamtiffanyyork

  1. Ok I think I’ve seen a few other positions named, mostly Tantra type positions and things that, frankly, the average vanilla couple doesn’t do
  2. They use the term “Wegasm” GAG
  3. Truly I cringe and grit my teeth every time I refer to the “”panty”” and I cannot use enough quotes to accurately convey my reluctance in calling it such