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 affordable sex toys under $35Newly added affordable sex toys – now updated for 2018!

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 start out with affordable sex toys that may be porous, badly made, or single-use. Worse yet, folks may buy one of those kits from the bigger corps like DocJ and CalEx, the kits with porous anal beads and iffy vibrators and lube samples that may give you a yeast infection. Instead of buying a cheap kit take a look at the items below.

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 and affordable sex toys on their budget. 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 affordable sex toys, particularly the vibrators, will rock your world. Especially when it comes to vibrators, you get what you pay for. I tried to avoid picking very many “mild” vibrators but some of these may be louder than you can tolerate. They may not last long. You’re here for a reason, though, and whatever your reason, these 35 affordable 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 affordable 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

I thought that this would be the toughest category of affordable sex toys to flesh out, but things are actually improving! I could not find an affordable dual stimulation (rabbit vibrator) that I could include on this list in good conscience

  1. $9.99 gets you very commendable power and decent rumble in the Blush Gaia Eco. Simple but effective!
  2. Pocket Rockets are usually fairly powerful, one-battery wonders. I once loved one! Try the Water Dancer
  3. While I’m not a fan, overall, of the Satisfyer line I do think the affordable Satisfyer 1 is worth trying to see if you like this style.
  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. I hate the company so hate recommending this and will try to find better.
  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 F10 is not the best shape but the vibrations are decent.
  9. Another little bullet to consider is the VeDo Bam – strong, but it has a few quirks
  10. The Fun Factory Jazzie is very 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. As of Feb 2018 there are almost 70 silicone dildos priced at $35.99 or less making dildos the easiest-to-find in the category of affordable sex toys.

  1. The Colours Pleasure Small provides a realistic design in bold colors, plus a suction cup. Some have complained about the texture and the firmness, though.
  2. I’m cheating here but I’m just gonna show you all these Blush Novelties dildos under $35.99 – 17 of em – including a dual density and some large models.
  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. From trusted maker Funkit comes the NoFrillDo – 3 options at $24.99.
  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 terrible2.
  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 3.
  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 sex toy 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.  Vibrating cock rings are very hit-or-miss and often don’t line up with everybody’s genitals or provide enough vibration. The Tantus Super Soft Vibrating Ring is decent enough. Knowing that the Screaming O Charged Vooom is a decent bullet I think their cock ring version would be fairly powerful.
  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.

BUT WAIT, There’s More!

This 4-cuffs-and-a-blindfold kit isn’t a bad way to dip your toes into BDSM. This $11 paddle is a cute way to find out if you like the more broad sensation play of a paddle whereas this $11 whip is a good entry point to decide if you prefer sharp sensation play.

Need something to put your new little collection in? The Large and Extra Large Sugar Saks are woven with anti-microbial threads and this stylish Liberator toy pouch, with zippers that can be locked together, will keep prying eyes out.

So we’ve learned that there are plenty of 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 affordable 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 CalExotics because my experiences with those brands consistently show their vibrators are very mild and surface-buzzy when they’re lower-priced. 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 sex toys 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.

Affordable Sex Toys Bonus Section! Can you up your budget to $50?

Not all of these are $50, these are items priced between $36 and $50. 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, then you have some great picks for butt toys and dildos.

Create-Your-Own Affordable Sex Toy Intro Kit for around $50 + Shipping:

Vibrators for $50 or less:

Dildos for $50 or less:

Penis Toys for $50 or less:

  • 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. 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
  3. For a little texture you can also consider the Tantus Juice Plug or for something soft and squishier try the Severin Small