Lilly

Jun 162014
 

Welcome to HedoVibes, a collection of reviews and giveaways that were posted in the past week or so from around the web. This is a collection of adult product reviews & contests from real reviewers. If you want to be included in the next edition start with the guidelines, then use the submission form.

Want to read more reviews? Check out HedoVibes for a list of the latest reviews and stellar reviewers. You can also follow on twitter for the latest round ups. HedoVibes is also accepting photo submissions for each edition.

CONTESTS
DILDOS
VIBRATORS
ANAL TOYS
RINGS & STROKERS
BONDAGE, IMPACT, & FETISH GEAR
STRAP-ONS/HARNESSES
LUBES & CONDOMS
LINGERIE & SHOES
EROTIC BOOKS
STORAGE
MISCELLANEOUS
 Posted by at 3:17 pm
Jun 152014
 

You know I only give away products I love from companies I love, and this year is no exception. Every prize this year is a Big Fucking Deal. As well it should be! 6 Fucking Years! Alright let’s get to it, because there’s a lot of ground to cover. Also, I’d like you to pay attention to the artwork. In the collage below, the logos and items are hand-drawn and colored by Caitlyn M. who did this at my begging (the middle crap, the hodgepodge of colors, that’s alllll me so please don’t judge her work by that middle bit). This is absolutely beautiful work. You’ll be able to see larger versions of each over on my Tumblr as the week goes on.

The Guidelines

First, everything here is open to ANYONE living anywhere. The trade-off is that if you’re outside US  (some will be covered for Canada, though) you’ll need to pitch in for the International shipping. Some companies are willing to split the cost with you, and others are gonna send it to me where I’ll need you to cover all of it. I can’t see total international shipping exceeding $35 but if you need a more exact amount, please email me (dangerouslilly @ Gmail.com). Paypal will be required.

Second, this year I’m not asking you to pick just one item to win. You can enter to win as many as you want BUT you can only win one. Doing all of the “Lilly-centric” entries (like the stuff for G+, my social media accounts, etc) will let you rack up overall entries. You’ll tell  me which prizes you really want by doing the entries for them. Please, no cheating, okay? I verify all the entries.  Winners will be drawn for prizes in the order they’re listed in the Rafflecopter Widget. So if you enter to win the Mimi Soft and the Fling and the Pleasure Purse, and your name gets drawn when I’m picking for the Fling, that’s the one you’ll get. It would be too difficult to have you tell me which one you REALLY want the most.

 Lilly6Collage

The Prizes

Je Joue Mimi Soft – I had to round things out with a vibrator, and I felt like this one hasn’t been hitting the giveaway circuit as hard as some of my other new loves from this past year. I really like Mimi Soft, I think you will too. The Je Joue Mimi Soft is coming to you from the wonderful SheVibe. Your choice of color. Winner pays shipping outside of US & Canada.

We-Vibe Tango – I couldn’t have a giveaway without including my all-time favorite vibrator. Generously provided by We-Vibe! Your choice of color. Winner pays shipping outside of US & Canada.

Tantus One of a Kind Vamp and Echo Handle – You’ll be getting the exact dildos shown here. How cool are they??? This Vamp is what I call “watermelon tourmaline” coloring. Lime green on the bottom, moderate hot pink on top. Echo Handle has pinks, purples and black. Winner pays shipping outside of US (being shipped by me). Generously provided by Tantus, naturally.

Tantus One of a Kind Pro-Touch and Silk Large – Again, you’re getting these exact items. Protouch is a mix of hot pink and blue, while Silk is hot pink and orange. Winner pays shipping outside of US (being shipped by me). Generously provided by Tantus, naturally. 

Nobessence Fling – I talked up the Nobessence dildos so much in my Wood Sex Toys 101 post, that I couldn’t deprive you of trying to own one. I love Fling – great for g-spot, travel friendly and beautiful. Fling is being provided by Burlesque Toy Shop, who has generously offered to cover the first $20 of shipping outside of the US.

Pleasure Purse – I loved my Pleasure Purse so much that I asked Leah if we could include one here. I’m so happy she agreed! Outside of the US & Canada, winner will pay shipping. Leah will send it to me because it’s cheaper to send International from the US than Canada. Go figure.

Ash Girl Harness-Compatible Glass DildoCrystal Delights is providing this beauty. The crystal is basically a rainbow(!), the dildo is mildly textured and it has a harness-compatible base. It has a max width of around 1.4″, and is about 6.7″ long overall. It will come to you in a gorgeous, padded pouch for safekeeping. Outside of US, Shellie will pay half your shipping (she says it usually runs $30-40 tops).

Two-cumber Glass Dildo – More glass! This one is courtesy of Fucking Sculptures. You’ll get the exact one pictured here – it’s a shiny black with these very subtle blackish leopard-like spots. I can’t really describe it, but it’s gorgeous. The fat end is a max width of 1.75″. Winner pays shipping outside the US (being shipped by me).

RodeoH Harness of Your Choice PLUS OOAK Tantus Silk LargeEarly To Bed is an awesome sex-pos shop based in Chicago and they tell me that the RodeoH’s are the hottest ticket right now in harnesses. I’ve seen them in person, and they’re well-made.  Early To Bed will provide you with your choice of RodeoH harness (two are masculine, one is femme) and you’ll also get the remaining Tantus OOAK – a Silk Large which is a beautiful swirl of cream and silvery-gray seen hereCurrently open to US only.

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 Posted by at 9:00 pm
Jun 142014
 

6 fuckin years, you guys. And what a difference a year makes.

Last year I thought I was going to eventually quit, due to personal stuff. I had to at least back off, and sometimes wasn’t around social media for a week. I had a number of posts/reviews in drafts so that my site didn’t see large maws of downtime, but I was still fairly far-removed from my norm for a few months. Despite this, I somehow made Kinkly.com’s Sex Blogging Superhero List at #2 which is about the best I can ever hope for as long as Epiphora is around! Luckily things cleared up by November/December and I was more fully back in the game. Although I did manage to unveil my Melted Jar of Sex Toys last year, and have kept tabs on it. Lelo finally came out with the most ridiculous vibrator ever, and I finally decided to cut ties with them. Enough was enough. Things were dark for month at the beginning of the year but a few conversations with friends renewed my purpose and I realized that even though this blog is so very different from the blog I started 6 years ago, I still have a lot left to say and do. I had a long-overdue layout revamp in February. I’ve been doing more consulting. And a lot more reviewing! I finally tackled the “WOOD sex toys?!? But won’t you get SPLINTERS?!?” thing. I spent awhile digging around to create a Brief History of Sex Blogging – I’m happy with the post, although some have overlooked my reminders that it is “brief” and not “all-inclusive”.

In the last few months I’ve also been spending a lot of time at the Sextoys subreddit, as one of the mods. I’m flexing my sex toy recommendation muscles every day and finding out that yanno….I’m actually good at this. I love doing this. I’m not bad at reviewing, I think I do pretty good work in the fight against toxic toys and educating people about them. I want “this” to be real life. I want to stop viewing this as a hobby and start treating it as the job that it is. Between the sex toy testing and writing reviews, and writing educational posts guides, and helping people and being present on social media…. I’m here a lot. Putting in full time hours every week is making a difference for the quality of my site. But good intentions and lots of furious typing don’t magically turn into the income I need to stay afloat.

Enter Patreon. I have so many readers who send me emails to tell me how much my reviews help them, how they’ve been able to educate their friends about toxic toys. If even some of those readers would pledge to be a patron of my blog at just $1 per post, I would have the financial cushion to know that I can keep the status quo. I will be giving Patreon a few months to see what can be accomplished. If it doesn’t pan out, I will need to go back to the civilian sector which will mean a decline in posts and the time I have in general for this blog and everything that goes with it. I don’t want things to turn out that way, though. I feel that this job, this blog, is super important. The Toxic Toys page and my other plans to help each one, teach one might begin to turn the tide for the industry someday. I have more topics to research and write about and so much more left to do. I just need YOUR help.  I really need your support. I do what I do for you. With the support of Patrons, I would finally be able to attend a conference again. For now, that’s out of the picture. But conferences, and other smaller training seminars, will help me find ways to reach more people to teach them about toxic sex toys. Some of my best toxic toy posts have come out of conversations/sessions at past conferences.

SEX TOYS. Oh, the sex toys. They’re piling up! And I’ve reviewed some doozies this year, like the Revel Body and that shitty cupcake. My love was renewed for the We-Vibe Tango, and the flames were fanned for the We-Vibe Touch. Oh and the Tantus Grab Bag was introduced! Fucking brilliant idea, Tantus. Minna managed to win me over finally; I hadn’t been super impressed with the Ola but the Limon? Nice job on the rumblies. Je Joue managed to win me over a little more, too, with the Mimi Soft which made me realize that the buttons on my original Mimi and my Uma are both defective.  I’ve started digging in to the wands again, and haven’t been super impressed overall. I finally have a few realistic Vixskin dildos to test out, which is nice. And hey, can’t forget about that Pleasure Purse, one of my favorite products that doesn’t vibrate. 

ETA: I wrote this paragraph elsewhere and fucking forgot to add it here! Jesus. Anyway. This “business”, this industry….it’s fickle. But I’ve learned that what WE all do is important. Do you know that every day, we’re changing at least one person’s mind and educating them on toxic toys? We’re all helping people make better, safer choices with their sex toys. It’s important. And it’s also important that we all keep our individuality. Keep your voice, your tone. Write what you want, how you want. The last thing this industry really needs is cookie-cutter bloggers saying the same mediocre stuff. Have opinions. Voice opinions. Don’t be afraid to be a “cyberbully in the name of public safety, ha. Changes are slowly being made for the better, and it’s because we have integrity and only back the good guys. Keep backing the good guys, ok? It matters.

Also….Some of you have talked me off the proverbial ledge in this past year. Some of you are the reason why I’m still doing this. You’ve reassured me, you’ve been a sounding board, you’ve encouraged me and I needed it. Thanks.

SO I AM STILL HERE. And I don’t think I’m goin anywhere, folks. Hope you don’t mind. Got any questions for this old lady? Curious about what’s changed, what’s stayed the same, etc? The floor is yours, ask me anything.

 

If you like my blog and my reviews...if you think my educational posts are important, if you think I'm doing important work on the toxic sex toys front, consider supporting me on Patreon.com for a few dollars a month

 Posted by at 3:43 pm
Jun 122014
 

Shibari Halo WandDespite the fact that I detail a number of downfalls with the Shibari Halo Wand, I actually do like it. Then again, the Magic Wand, Bodywand and a few others yet to get a review are all “too much” for me. Yes, I require powerful vibrations but it’s about nuances and subtleties. It’s about the difference between 2 Buck Chuck and 2011 Robert Mondavi Fumé Blanc. Or the difference between a locally-made cheese and store-brand block of mild cheddar. Basically: I don’t need to vibrated into oblivion. I need my vibrations to work smarter, not harder.

What I Like

I really like the silicone skin that covers the head and neck – very much like the Smart Wand design (just more plastic); I find that the ridges that you see on most of these wands make for really difficult cleaning, even on the Mystic Wands. It also appears that the seam between plastic and silicone is not as pronounced as most Lelo vibes, also a boon to cleaning. The silicone on the Halo Wand is nearly the same feel as the silicone skin on Lelo vibrators, with perhaps just a tiny bit more drag but it’s barely noticeable to most. So of course, it doesn’t collect fur & lint.

The vibrations of the Shibari Halo Wand feel a lot like the Mystic Wand; I’d pretty much call them identical. This doesn’t make this the most super-powered wand vibrator around, but it’s still very strong.  Low on the Halo Wand is equal to power level 2 of 3 on the Mystic Wand; High on the Halo Wand is equal to level 3 of 3 on the Mystic Wand.

Not Travel Friendly

You can see that the buttons on the Shibari Halo Wand protrude out a bit, making them easy to to activateThe biggest con is that the power button lacks any sort of travel compatibility. In fact, storage may even be difficult depending on how you store things – a jostle of another item might turn it on. With many vibes, you have to press and HOLD the power button for a second or three, but the Shibari Halo wand just jumps to life with the lightest touch. I think it’s because the button protrudes out from the body, rather than being flush or recessed slightly. It was turned on before I even divested it of its packaging, since the power button is right in the middle of the body, right where I would instinctively reach to hold it to pick it up. I’ve managed to accidentally turn this thing on more times than I intentionally turned it on.  You can see in the photo here that the button, especially the power button, sticks out from the body.

“10X Multi-Speed”

The Shibari Halo Wand has a power button and one function button. There are only two real vibration intensity settings – low and high. The other 8 settings are patterns. If you manage to hit the function button during use and land yourself in the land of pulsating patterns, you’ll have to then turn it off to get back to the steady power settings if that’s where you prefer to be. The information on the Shibari site claims that this is a “10 speed” vibrator. I don’t consider patterns to be a “speed”. If you are a person who really likes patterns? You’ve got 8 to choose from. I detest patterns, so I ignore them.

Size and Compatibility

Size comparison of the (from bottom up) Hitachi Magic Wand, Vibratex Mystic Wand, Shibari Halo Wand, Lelo Smart Wand LargeIt’s about the same length overall as the Magic Wand original, but a fraction of the weight – 8.75 ounces for the Shibari Halo Wand versus 21 ounces for the Magic Wand. The head, sadly, is not the same size as the Magic Wand or even the Mystic Wand. If you want to use attachments, you’ll have to make a huge sacrifice – one that I don’t agree with: go PVC.  I genuinely do not comprehend why they would make the Halo Wand with safe materials, but then make the attachments out of PVC. I don’t own the attachments, so I cannot make any educated guesses about possible phthalates content, but PVC is not a chemically stable material – it is porous, and it will break down in time. Of all my nitpicking of the Halo Wand, this is my biggest grudge. I really do not recommend buying PVC attachments. Should the company decide to change this to the only material I will endorse – silicone – I will update you.

Given that the vibrations feel just like the Mystic Wand, I find myself wishing that the body was closer to Mystic Wand size, too. I feel that the Mystic Wand is just a bit more friendly in terms of storage and travel, being that size. Since the Shibari Halo Wand feels so lightweight, I’d bet they have room to shrink. The Halo Wand is actually the same exact weight as the Mystic Wand (with 4 batteries in it).

Charging

The Shibari Halo Wand is USB rechargeable, which is becoming more common these days, as it is universal. You can easily purchase a USB-Wall adapter at any store for a few dollars, but the Shibari Halo wand comes with a wall plug, too. The port is in the middle of the body, in the silicone. It appears as if there is no port at first, but there is a cross-hatch cut in the material to allow the plug in. This makes the hole effectively seal up, allowing the Halo Wand to be 100% waterproof.

 _________________________________________________________

All in all, Shibari Halo Wand is a very decent moderately-strong wand vibrator. I’d like to see changes made to the design, ideally. It’s currently offered in pink, purple and black, and I’d like to see a black-handled version available. With the demise of the Rechargeable Mystic Wand, the Halo Wand could take over it’s spot if some changes could be made – primarily making it more travel-friendly by adjusting the body size and the functionality of the power button, and also making those attachments in true body-safe silicone. 

You can get the Shibari Halo Wand from their site or buy it from my favorite sex toy shop, SheVibe (available there very soon, I’ll update this when they have it listed). Honestly I’m going to advise you to wait until it’s available at SheVibe because the Shibari site is not at all user-friendly, nor is ordering from them.

One weird thing: While I was looking to see if any retailers still might have a rechargeable Mystic Wand, I noticed something – yet another case of “hey, this is the same sex toy…”. I don’t know which came first, but there’s an identical copy of this (but only available in pink so boo to them) known as the “Elevate” wand sold by some company I’ve never heard of.

 

The Halo Wand was provided to me by the manufacturer, Shibari, in exchange for an honest review.

 Posted by at 7:25 pm
Jun 112014
 

 mysticwandheadstoneAs some of you may have suspected, but feared it wasn’t true, I can confirm that we’ve lost another good sex toy. I admit, the loss doesn’t hit me quite as hard as the loss of the We-Vibe Salsa, but nonetheless I’m sad to say an official goodbye to the Rechargeable Mystic Wand.

So, what happened? Well, Vibratex was working on improvements and redesign, but apparently they weren’t happy enough with the changes. It took so long that by the time they received their most recent prototype they decided to abandon the project, as they felt there were other wand vibrators currently on the market that were better. They didn’t want to release something that wasn’t the best.

We too are sadden by the termination of the project, as I mentioned it was a difficult decision, but one that had to be made – delivering quality products is important to Vibratex – we always want to consider the consumer when it comes to our products and felt it best not to put out something we weren’t happy with just for the sake of selling toys – it’s not who we are.

While I would normally choose the battery-powered version of the Mystic Wand (I need to get used to calling it THE Mystic Wand now, I guess) I know that plenty of readers preferred the rechargeable option. However, do not despair! Vibratex is working on something new to replace it, something rechargeable, but that is all the information I have. I don’t know when it’ll be unveiled, I don’t even know if it will be a wand massager. We’ll have to wait! If you own a Rechargeable version, give it a hug or something. If you’ve wanted one, you’re out of luck. The decision is final, no amount of tears or petitions will bring it back, and it seems that no retailer is selling off old stock.

 

 Posted by at 2:35 pm
Jun 102014
 

Often, people complain that water-based lubes don’t last long enough. They dry up fast or get sticky or just aren’t cutting it for anal lube. Silicone lube solves all of those problems, but not all silicone lube is perfectly compatible with all silicone sex toys.  Plus, silicone lube is not at all natural, whereas coconut oil is. While coconut oil is not the perfect solution for all people, I think it’s pretty great and needs to be considered.

Coconut Oil and Condoms

Coconut oil also doesn’t seem to be compatible with latex condoms. Oil lubes in general are a no-no to mix with latex condoms. I’ve read casual at-home studies from fellow sex geeks that showed that other oils degraded a latex condom very quickly, while the coconut oil took longer to do so but it still did weaken the latex. Coconut oil will also degrade polyisoprene condoms. If you want to use it, then you need to stick with polyurethane condoms – Trojan Supra is so far the only one I can find on US sites. The internal/”female” condom FC2 is made of nitrile which is compatible with coconut oil. This also means that nitrile gloves are compatible with coconut oil.

The Benefits of Coconut Oil as Lube

Coconut oil has unique properties that could be a benefit for use as a sexual lubricant: anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and excellent at moisturizing. It’s recommended for treating / preventing yeast infections — those who get yeast infections easily should absolutely consider switching to coconut oil. It’s often recommended for vaginal dryness, too. I’ve used it successfully for vaginal lubrication and have never experienced any issues with pores clogging, etc.

It works well as an anal lubricant, too. The delicate tissue of the anus can be susceptible to tiny micro-tears if you try to go too quickly to a large item, and/or there isn’t enough lube but if the skin is well-moisturized it is more elastic (which was how a nurse explained it to me).  And oil-based lubes can keep things lubricated for a lot longer than water-based lubes. They do absorb into the skin, so reapplication may be needed during anal sex – just keep tabs on the situation (but you should anyways, no matter what type of lube you use).

It’s not just for sex! Coconut oil makes an excellent massage oil. You can easily transition from massaging the body to massaging the genitals to sex all using the same product.  I really like using coconut oil as a massage oil in part because coconut oil is solid at room temperature – but will quickly liquefy on skin as it warms up. Too often in the past I’d end up with oil drips on bedsheets when someone was poring massage oil from the bottle to the body – this doesn’t happen when using coconut oil. Since it’s an oil it still can leave an oil stain on your sheets but it comes out fairly easily in the wash.

Coconut Oil and Sex Toys

Coconut oil is perfect with silicone sex toys, glass, metal, ceramic, etc. It is not compatible with the low grade sex toy materials – the ones I don’t think you should be using anyway: TPR, TPE, jelly, rubber, latex, vinyl, PVC, and so on. These are all porous and some are potentially toxic. Remember: if the material in question in crystal clear, then it is not silicone, no matter what the manufacturer/retailer says.

I’ve actually heard anecdotally that covering a silicone sex toy in coconut oil (make sure some of the oil goes in your butt, too, of course) can prevent the silicone from retaining odors as is common with anal play for most people. Silicone is considered non-porous but it still can retain odors (just try freezing coffee ice cubes in your silicone ice cube tray and you’ll see what I mean….*sigh*), yet a few people have told me that the oil seemed to act as a barrier. These people have been exclusively using coconut oil as their lube of choice with a few butt plugs and so far they aren’t retaining any discernible butt odors.

The Downsides

Many vagina owners might be confused about coconut oil as lube for sex because traditionally we’re told that “oil” and “pores” aren’t friendly. From what I’ve read, it can clog pores on people who are very susceptible to such things. One a scale of one to four with four being “highly comedogenic” coconut oil ranks about a two. Give it a shot as a skin moisturizer on yourself first, to see how you react.

There is also a faint odor…..of coconuts. Most people don’t find it offensive; many people enjoy it. If it does have an offensive odor, consider that it could be rancid.  Rancid coconut oil is yellow in color when it turns to liquid; the solid oil is no longer smooth, it’s lumpy; and it has a bitter taste/smell. The taste and smell of coconut oil should be unoffensive to all but the most sensitive people. In order to prevent contamination of the oil, you shouldn’t scoop it from the main jar with your finger. It would be best to spoon out a little into a smaller container to keep bedside. Otherwise, you’ve got people wondering what a 54-oz vat of coconut oil is doing on your bedside table. Or you’re running naked to the kitchen to scoop from the jar.

Which Coconut Oil to Buy

Coconut Oil jar from Costco! This ends up being something like 30 cents an ounce. Very affordable! You’ll want to look for food-grade oil that is listed as organic and extra-virgin/virgin (which is unrefined). Organic is important, as you don’t want to absorb any pesticides/toxins through your skin from treated coconuts. Unrefined is the best way to go. You will see some brands that offer both types – for cooking it seems that refined is best for frying. Refined coconut oil is also called “RBD” – refined, bleached, deodorized.  YUM RIGHT?

Don’t think that you need to spend a lot on coconut oil. I’ve seen a 54-oz container of organic, extra-virgin coconut oil for around $16 in Costco. That’s about half a gallon — more than enough to keep you lubed up for a year AND learn to incorporate it into your cooking and baking for the health benefits. The fact alone that there exists a valid “101 uses for coconut oil” article or 10 should assure you that this stuff won’t go to waste unless you’re extremely sensitive to the faint smell of coconut. Buy a small jar first to make sure you love the stuff.

 Posted by at 8:53 am