Jun 162015
 

 

DangerousLillyAvAs someone born before 1985, I am apparently part of the last generation to know life Before and After the Internet. I remember dial-up and AOL, ISCABBS and the time when we used multiple “web portals” instead of just “Googling it”. The internet was neat but it was still pretty geeky. You were a social loser if all your friends were “on the internet” and it was hard to admit to others if you met your mate through the internet. But it’s fairly normal, now, right? In fact it’s probably weird or quaint to relay a story of meeting a new, serious significant other through completely offline means.

Yes. Pretty much all of my friends live in this “box” on my desk. A few years ago I moved to a new city; a few years after that I moved to a new state. I still have friends from past places I’ve lived but I don’t speak to them much. I have a handful of acquaintances where I live now, but the vast majority of my real friends? I met you through this platform, through blogging, through the internet. And many of you I have ended up meeting in “real life.” Which, btw, do we still say that? I mean this…this IS real life. My life has never felt more real and more meaningful. My friends have never been such a diverse yet equally awesome and amazing group. I have never before had such fabulous people to call friends who teach me things, who broaden my ways of thinking, who make me a better person. I have never before been able to have a “job” that I so thoroughly enjoy, that I feel really matters to some people, before becoming the blogger I am now. A sex toy critic / concierge / consultant.

Some say the internet is evil. I can see the downsides, absolutely. But for me it is fabulous for it brought me you. My friend, who lives in this box. Who I talk to through Twitter and Facebook and IMs and email and Skype and then once in a while I get the privilege of hugging you in person, but maybe not. Without the internet I would never have found my calling in life, my niche; and I would not have met you. I would definitely be living a much more narrow-minded and much less fun life.

One thing that the book author, Harris, says is bad about the internet is:

“When you wake up, you have this gift of a blank brain. You could fill it with anything. But for most of us, we have this kind of panic. Instead of wondering what should I do, we wonder what did I miss. It’s almost like our unconsciousness is a kind of failure and we can’t believe we’ve been offline for eight hours,” he says. “It is habits like this that are insidious, not the internet itself. It is a personal thing.”

The author, while writing his book, took a month off from the internet. And while he didn’t “experience any epiphanies” he did say this:

 “I think what you get is a richer interior light and the ability to see yourself in a critical light, living online. Because if you’re in the middle of something you can never see it properly.”

While I didn’t take a month off, I did have to seriously limit my online time due to moving to a new house. Unlike the last time we moved, which was from rental to rental, I wasn’t frothing at the mouth to get back to my 6-hours-a-day-outside-of-work of precious internet time, doing so in short order. I had a lot more going on (hell, I still do, I am still not at my computer nearly as much as before we bought the house) and this time I went a whole few weeks without spending a lot of time on social media in all of its many facets. And yeah, I did feel left out and I did miss a lot of things going on. But I’ve also enjoyed my break and I’m wading back in much more slowly. The break did give me renewed vision on what things I’m going to keep devoting time to, what has to be cut or cut back on, and who matters to me.

All of this is also to thank the internet for these last 7 years because they’ve been awesome. I’ve changed a lot and my blog certainly has changed a lot 1. Many blog anniversaries I’ve celebrated by hosting a large sex toy giveaway on the blog, but obviously that’s not happening this year. If that’s what you stick around for, well, you’ll find other places to frequent. Go see Piph, she never misses a blogiversary giveaway and she’s a hell of a lot more reliable with such traditions than I. Maybe later this summer or in the fall I’ll host a giveaway, but, I don’t have the time for it. Those things are time sucks, they take a LOT of work.

So yeah. Stick around. I have a lot of important and interesting articles to work on, a few more guides that should be helpful and many more sex toy reviews. I’ll be here for year 8, that’s for certain. To those who are my friend: I adore you. You are extremely important to me. And hopefully I’ll be seeing a bunch of you in 2 months!!

 

The artwork is part of my snazzy new business card that I’ll be bringing to Woodhull, created by the fabulous team at Shevibe, Alex and Keith and Sandra and Thor. I think it’s pretty fucking spectacular, and very much me.

  1. A  fact which someone who has been around awhile decided to point out to me, they apparently miss what my blog used to be (the noodz and smut) and they thought I should know that. Well, fuck them, because I don’t fucking do what I do for them
Jun 082015
 

35 Sex Toys for Under $35 Cloud 9 One of the perks of being a sex toy reviewer is that often we are handed vibrators and dildos to review that we normally would not be able to afford purchasing on our own. I can assure you that I would never have been able to allocate the funds for the Lelo Smart Wand Large, the L’Amourose Rosa Rouge, and so on. Many others are in the same boat. And so they buy cheap (yet terrible) sex toys because it’s what they can afford. Recently though we’ve started seeing actual, real silicone dildos and silicone-covered vibrators for $50 or less so hope is on the horizon.

But we can’t ignore those with budgets. The folks who might normally just buy a PVC nightmare that will arrive smelling up the room and possibly give them a chemical burn in the worst possible place. I need these folks to know that they deserve safe, quality sex toys on their budget. I have a short list of sex toys under $50 on my Best Sex Toys page, but that’s not really enough. I made myself a mission one day a few months ago; to comb through the Shevibe catalog and find “25 for $25 and under”. But honestly? That was hard to do. So I had to up the ante to $35. If you are in the US and get Shevibe’s cheapest shipping which is $5.95, then you can buy yourself a SAFE, non-porous sex toy for $40 or under, shipped.  Note: When I talk about “body-safe” I don’t merely mean toys that claim to be non-toxic. Body-safe sex toys are non-porous. Porosity has long been an overlooked issue.

I’m not promising that all of the vibrators will rock your world. Especially when it comes to vibrators, you get what you pay for. The vibrators on the list under $25 are going to be loud and possibly have very mild vibrations. They may not last long. If you can spend a little bit more, then I can point you to the Vibratex Mystic Wand, the Jopen Lust L2.5, the Picobong Moka, the Roulette Croupier, the Fun Factory Layaspot. Better quality and the Jopen is even rechargeable. You’re here for a reason, though, and whatever your reason, these 35 sex toys under $35 are all non-porous and range from decent to great 1.

What I also want to show you is that you can find safe, non-porous sex toys under $35 without resorting to the gamble that is buying sex toys from Amazon – a place I really want you to avoid.

Vibrators Under $35

Finding vibrators that I wasn’t certain would be utter crap, under $25, was damn tough. I was able to pick out some items that are actually pretty great once I let myself go past $25.

  1. Change in the line-up. The Berman Center Siena was ranked well in a comment below. At $20, can’t hurt to check it out!
  2. Pocket Rockets are usually fairly powerful, one-battery wonders. I once loved one! Try the Water Dancer
  3. …or the Doc Johnson White Nights
  4. The hard plastic Cloud 9 G-spot vibe is noisy, as to be expected, but reports say the vibrations are more rumbly!
  5. Screaming O’s Charged Vooom is impressively strong and more rumbly than buzzy.
  6. I read a few good reviews for the Aria Hue G and hope to try it, soon
  7. I’ve got two OVO recommendations for you. Their D2 impressed me well enough in person in vibrations and style, it’s best for external play.
  8. The OVO E3 is actually $39, but it’s rechargeable and I’m impressed with the motor. Catch it on sale for a good deal!
  9. Another little bullet I’ve read great things about is the VeDo Bam
  10. The Fun Factory Jazzie is moderate on vibrations & has one speed, but has a nice shape.
  11. And finally, the Doc Johnson Black Magic Bullet packs a very nice, rumbly punch for the price – the corded style needs extra attention to last you more than a few months and I don’t recommend it for internal use, but it’s a bullet vibe that kept me quite happy for awhile until I found the We-Vibe Tango.

Dildos Under $35

Again, once I upped the price cap from $25 to $35, things became so much easier. I went from struggling to find anything non-porous to recommend, to having more than enough to choose from.

  1. The Colours Pleasure Small provides a realistic design in bold colors, plus a suction cup.
  2. The My Little Heaven has a weird shape but reports say it provides great G-spot stimulation for those who need something slender.
  3. I wanted to include glass on the list, for those who want to try the firmness of the material but I am struggling with this recommendation. I really really hate to promote Pipedream products in part for their sub-par quality and in part for their shitty company ethics. About half of their Icicles line is under $35. It makes me twitchy though to even talk about them. 
  4. For a slender glass dildo with a great g-spot or prostate curve, consider the Sinclair Institute Crystal G Glass Wand.
  5. Another glass option is the Crystal Heart of Glass dildo which didn’t totally fail the annealing test.
  6. For those who want size options and maybe something bigger, consider the silicone So Dildo from Marc Dorcel.
  7. The Cloud 9 brand has some silicone suction-cup dildos in various skin tones, all under $35.
  8. Another suction-cup dildo option is the Maia Riley – it is silicone but has an inner core made from another material. Under normal circumstances you won’t ever come into contact with it and it shouldn’t affect the silicone. It should be noted that I don’t recommend anything other than the dildos for this company2.
  9. I’ve got Tantus items on the list – the Starter dildo is great for those new to penetration…
  10. …as is the Silk Small
  11. For those who need a harness, the CalExotics Princess Low Profile fits up to 53″, so that’s not terrible3.
  12. Those who need more room can get the even nicer Sportsheets Plus Size Beginner’s Harness, which fits up to 72″ hips, has a nice back side and has 4 different o-rings.

Butt Plugs Under $35

  1. All butt toys can stimulate the prostate, but some are designed for that specific purpose. The Doc Johnson Mood Naughty 2 …..
  2. …or the LUX LX1 are two decent choices. 
  3. For those who like the sensation of anal beads, try out the Fun Factory Bendybeads…
  4. …or the much smaller, not graduated Pleasure Works Casanova.
  5. There are actually a lot of butt plugs under $35, so I’ve chosen a few that rate well with others and one super-affordable, the CalExotics Coco Licious Plug.
  6. Fan favorites include the Tantus Ryder
  7. …or the Fun Factory Bootie.
  8. The Tantus Neo has a super-comfortable base and plug style, and comes in a silky smooth dust-repellent silicone 4.
  9. Those who need something extra big can consider the Plump Plug.

Penis Toys Under $35

There are plenty of cheap masturbation sleeves but the material worries me with most, in terms of toxicity. All affordable sleeves are made from a porous material, but I trust Tenga to not be toxic. Their 3D sleeves aren’t quite under $35 but are still an affordable option vs Fleshlights and the Tenga Flip Holes.

  1. The Tenga Eggs are listed as one-time-use but I think if you rinse it and dry it and don’t wait weeks in between, people have gotten a few uses of them.
  2. The lowest-priced Screaming O rings are a sticky, jelly-like non-toxic material called SEBS that is porous 5, so I wouldn’t hang onto them for many uses. The affordable (silicone) Screaming O PrimO TUX isn’t going to pack a punch, and the batteries may be hard to find, but this would be a good way to discover if vibrating cock rings are something you’d like to delve into more.
  3. Cock rings in general are great because they can increase erection firmness and make orgasm more pleasureable (and delayed a bit); a good place to start for a nice reusable one is the Tantus Super Soft.

So we’ve learned that there are some really great dildo options for $35 and under, a lot of butt toy options for $35 and under, but the vibrator category still makes me sad. There are cheap vibrators, to be sure, but they’re just too crappy to list even if they are made from ABS plastic. I’d like to see more brands come out with sex toys under $35 like vaginal and anal insertables that aren’t either loud enough to wake your roommate or so mild that they won’t please most people; the “mild” vibrations are why I didn’t pick anything by Bswish or Blush because my experiences with those brands consistently show their vibrators are very mild and surface-buzzy. I’d like to see some realistically-styled vibrating dildos in the affordable price range,  because it’s apparently something that sells really well in the porous materials.

I don’t actually think that having silicone dildos/plugs that are only silicone on the exterior are a problem – unless the exterior can split or crack open. While it seemed shady and even a little weird to have a dildo advertised as “100% silicone” actually be stuffed with a foam insert or rubber rod, if this is what it takes to produce affordable items that have non-porous, body-safe materials where it counts? I think I’m okay with it. We’ve only found out about this practice when the items have been sliced/cut open, to my knowledge.

BONUS SECTION! Can you up your budget to $50?

While I’ve mentioned some under-$50 options above, I have more I want to highlight.  I also want to highlight the Tantus Grab Bag section. While their shipping prices aren’t super awesome (I think the lowest is $12/13, which eats up a lot of the $35 budget) if you can get your budget to $50 AND grab a sale PLUS use my Tantus coupon code LILLY to take 15% off, then you have some great picks for butt toys and dildos.

Vibrators:

Dildos:

Penis Toys:

  • The Tenga 3D sleeves don’t have a hard shell casing but feel great! The material is infused with Silver for antimicrobial properties which helps it’s porous stature.

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  1. Actually the Tenga Egg is porous, but I had no choice, and it’s non-toxic
  2. Similar style but much more texture is the Maia Kendall.
  3. A more boxer/underwear style can be had for less than $30, but it fits an even smaller range of people than the Pipedream strappy harness – sad that they couldn’t take this anywhere close to plus sizes. These can be used as packer briefs or dildo harnesses
  4. For a little texture you can also consider the Tantus Juice Plug or for something soft and squishier try the Severin Small
  5. Although they do also make pure silicone vibrating rings under $25
 Posted by at 2:07 pm