Want cheap, high-quality silicone sex toys? Tantus Grab Bag to the rescue!

 Dildo, Reviews, Sex Toys, Websites  Comments Off on Want cheap, high-quality silicone sex toys? Tantus Grab Bag to the rescue!
Sep 192013
 

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One moan I get a lot from people who just don’t get it, is that silicone is too expensive for them. I give all of my myriad of selling points, I explain it clearly, but frequently it just comes down to “I am a poor [insert term here] and I just can’t swing $50+ on a singular sex toy that I may or may not like”. I hear you, I do. I dealt with the same feelings back before I started reviewing sex toys. Hell, I even feel it now sometimes.

But Tantus has done something awesome.  They’re doing something good for the environment and something good for you. But for those wondering how the Grab Bag section works and why and whatnot (I can’t be the only knowledge geek here!) I asked Ms Jenna to walk us through it:

So the deal on the grab bag toys is this: when we switch from one color to another in the machines, it takes a little while to get all the old color out and the new color fully running through the system. We were, at one point, simply discarding the silicone. But as you well know, silicone is expensive and it seemed like a lot of waste. Someone (and I can’t remember who, to be honest) came up with the idea that what if while the colors were switching we poured a few toys each time & sold them at a discount on the website? That way, the silicone doesn’t go to waste and customers who are looking for a deal and don’t really care about the color can get a new toy at a great price.

 I actually learned over the weekend that this isn’t a new idea – the Dum Dums lollipop people do the same thing with their “Mystery Flavor” lollipops. (Thanks, Food Network!) So there’s precedent, obviously. I like to think of the Grab Bag stuff as the Mystery Flavor of Tantus.

Any color that we currently have in production, therefore, can show up in a Grab Bag item. Some of them are very pretty, purely by accident, and some I am less thrilled about. It’s very much luck of the draw. We do try to pull out anything that looks really hideous, and most of the time people are happy when they get their toy. 

tl:dr – Super high-quality, affordable silicone sex toys, available in some of their most popular styles, wonderful for people who do not care about color.

You might very well get an awesome color. You might get a color that leaves a lot to be desired. But what do you want? You can’t have them both. If you care that much about color, then you pay full/sale price and get the exact thing you want. You lose all right to be disappointed by the color if you go the Grab Bag route. Me, personally, I’d be happy with the grab bag way of life. And I am. I got sent a random selection of Grab Bag items, not meant to impress or scare me, but something that is representative what they would give to any ole person who orders.  Am I less than crazy about the tan-colored Ryder? Yeah. Would it prevent my ass from enjoying it? Nope.

When you compare the prices, you just can’t beat this. Shown below is an Echo Vibrator, a Vamp dildo, a Ripple Small plug and a Ryder plug.  Grab Bag price = $90.96. Retail price = $183.96. So that’s, on average, saving you 50% at least.

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The Ripple is black, and the Ryder is a tan color. Vamp is shown in a really festive red color, and Echo is ….I swear it’s subtly two-toned. It could be my eyes playing tricks, but it looks like the purple haze up top is just a hair lighter than at the bottom.

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If you’re hoping, or even expecting, to get nothing but pretty colors? To get something in blue? It may not happen. As Jenna said, it’s just random. It changes all the time. You have to be very ZEN about the whole experience. It’s your choice, though. Save money and get affordable silicone sex toys or get particular colors and pay more.  They may in the future add more styles to the Grab Bag options. You won’t see O2 styles, because of how they have to be made. But I think that the current selection of styles really does cover a lot. You’ve got a moderately-sized dildo on a stick, a vibrating dildo with a lot of texture, a decently girthy dildo (Vamp), a toy for true anal beginners (the Ripple Small), a great little beginners prostate toy, and still two more butt toys including the ever-popular Ryder, the Leisure which is great for pegging or those who don’t like girth and texture, or the Silk Large which is a step up from the Leisure.

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*If you’re buying Tantus, you’re helping to keep my site alive. I don’t get much in affiliate money anymore since ditching EF, so your support is exponentially appreciated if you choose to shop through my links. If you do choose to buy from my links, it might be best to clear out the cached cookies for Tantus. Thanks much!

Sep 122013
 

The other day I picked up my experimental Jar of Manky Sex Toy Bits and was surprised to finally see a discernible pool of liquid in the jar. I had been watching it for awhile ever since I made the jar back at the end of May, but the trickles and dribbles of liquid weren’t photogenic. I just had to share this with everyone. But first, let me start off with the back story.

In 2011 TruePleasures sent me a box of crappy sex toys. On purpose! I wanted to have demos of the bad shit to make my point when I would showcase the good stuff in a sex toy education workshop. The box of crap had been in her house for a year or so, and then it sat in my un-air-conditioned attic for a year or so before I got it out to take photos to share with Dildology. There’s a large, purple tentacle-shaped monstrosity that has the bubbly-champagne-looking base – it was supposed to be silicone but turned out to be more like PVC, the company admitted their oops, they weren’t trying to put one over on her. It’s the stinkiest. Reeks of “shower curtain” smell, something that indicates a high chance of phthalates.  The rest of the sex toys were made of the mystery-material “TPR”, jelly, etc.

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Then after I was done taking photos of the whole toys, I decided to make a Jar of Horrors, just to see what would happen when there was no paper to soak things up. I cut up some of the worst looking offenders in the bunch, including the purple tip of the PVC stinker, and put as many in there as the jar would fit. That’s right, the jar was filled to the brim when I first did this.

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I’ve ranted about toxic sex toys for so long. I’ve explained the dangers of jelly sex toys. Yet I still hear from people who don’t know or don’t get it or just don’t think it’s “all that bad”. Tell me, how can you look at these images and still want to put sex toys made of materials that break down over time and possibly contain dangerous chemicals inside your body? How is this safe?

I didn’t subject the jar to heat or sunlight. It was in my office all summer, my airconditioned office. Cheap sex toys have the potential to be harmful to your health. If your sex toy stinks, if it feels oily or sticky or slimy? Get rid of it. Switch to silicone – which, by the way, will never break down over time like this. Want proof? Below is a photo from Jenna who works at Tantus, a reputable maker of pure silicone sex toys. The dildos in the photo below have been in the drawer for many months, with no disfigurement, no “melting”, no leaching of oils, no damage whatsoever. So when you hear that you cannot store your silicone sex toys like this, touching? Bullshit. That’s a holdover from when most “silicone” sex toys were not, in fact, pure silicone. No oils or mystery substance has leaked to the bottom of her drawer, either.

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UPDATE: NOV 13th: I noticed some significant changes recently, and have decided to update the photos. I’ll do so occasionally to show the continued decline of material. I tried to angle the jar so that the comparison could be made as accurately as possible. For each of the two photos below, the photo on the left is the one shown above, taken in September and the one on the right was taken in November, just about exactly 2 months later.

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 Posted by at 11:53 am
Sep 032013
 

I usually don’t do this – “this” being editing a post to completely change it OR essentially reviewing a sex toy that I’ve not even tried.  But, I’ve read a review on the Lelo Ida from someone I trust and it confirmed every single suspicion I had. When you’ve owned hundreds of sex toys and been reviewing for over 5 years, you get to be a pretty damn good judge of a sex toy before you have even seen it in person.

Lelo asked me to write this post originally to hype up their newest WTFail, the Ida. I had to write this post, and talk about a sex toy I knew very little about, in order to be allowed to even review it. Then, I was told to “be patient”, that my review order was being put on the back burner so that they could fulfill retailer orders1.  And then I never heard back. And then….then I read Piph’s review.

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And I thought about it all for a little while. I thought about Lelo in general. My frustrations. My issues. My disappointments. I decided I had to determine if I wanted to remain a “VIP Reviewer” for Lelo, and keep on doing this. I had to decide if I even wanted to review this Ida for myself. I could still decide, you see, because they still hadn’t yet sent it to me (meanwhile Piph’s had hers for like, a month). 

My answer came in short order. Actually, it came to me about 2 minutes after I finished reading Piph’s review.

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Lelo Ida is being launched in response to the ruling that the Lelo Tiani cannot be sold in the US or Canada; it looks like the ITC once and for all ruled in favor of Standard Innovations and their We-Vibe.  The Tiani 2 was pretty popular, judging by the vast traffic I’d get from searches about it. But Lelo took it pretty hard. They had seen the success of the We-Vibe, and felt jealous. They felt that they HAD to have a “worn while lovemaking” hetero-focused vibe, too.  Unable to release this concept from their robotic-claw grasp, they put on their crazy-hats and came up with Ida.

Debuting in late September, IDA is the most revolutionary couples’ massager, and unlike anything available on the market! Designed to be worn when making love, IDA stands as the only couples’ massagers that combines powerful vibrations and thrilling rotations within – providing the most stimulating sensations for both partners!

Since they were unable to utilise the U-shape because it belonged to We-Vibe, they made it look like a bathroom wall hook. Here’s a link to Lelo’s video, showing how it works.  The flat portion is what rests on the clitoris. As I’ve explained before, this design will not work on a fair portion of the world’s clitoris-bearing people. The arm, then, rotates. All the time. It never stops. Unless, of course, resistance stops it. Like a penis that is average sized, or bigger. Then guess what happens? The outer disc portion “rotates”, since the motor has to DO something otherwise it’ll burn up and die. From all I’ve read, the vibrations are largely worthless and the sound of the rotating arm is likened to a dentist drill.

A DENTIST DRILL SOUND DURING SEX.

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So, let’s see. Either the penetrator feels an object bumping and shoving his dick while it’s in a vagina, or nothing happens because the vagina isn’t as cavernous as some men, and Lelo, think it is. The disc design could be nice for those women with an “exposed” clitoris and less prominent outer labia/mons, as the other person’s pubic mound will, in the missionary position, provide pressure. Some people need that pressure on the clit.  Ok, I’ll give them that. But they’re still leaving out a huge portion of the population.

Oh, and you also have the option of Tara–Ida’s less fancy sister. Same design, same stupid concept, just sans SenseMotion remote. Awesome. Make it even more awkward to use. But oh, Lelo Tara comes in a pretty Midnight Blue–a color Lelo has previously considered a “boy” color; we’d only seen it on their older cock-ring, Bo and the “male” version of the Liv, Billy.

If Lelo had come up with this design as a solo toy, I might not have had such a visceral reaction. I might have looked at it and said “Okay, it won’t work for people built like me, but it has some potential”. Instead, me, my husband, my girl friend, and other friends have all had the same reaction:

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Further Reading:

  1. Before retailers could back out after reading a bunch of negative reviews? Maybe? Who knows