May 122012
 

It’s a bit of a long story regarding how I came to be reviewing the Lelo Luna Beads for a second time, but basically I lost the bead holster of my original set of Luna Beads that I reviewed way back in 2008 and I just happened to put them on my Wishlist. I put them on the wishlist more as a personal reminder that I wanted to replace them but I ended up getting them to review, along with the updated version of the Lelo Mia. By now I’m sure you’ve read tons of reviews on the Luna Beads so I’m going to start out this review with a few facts and dispelling of myths; things you’ve probably not read much about.

1. The “retrieval leash” on the Luna Beads has come under fire by many reviewers who don’t understand the overall design. It kind of looks like a tampon string, sure. But it’s not exactly absorbent. It’s made of nylon and is a very hygienic material. More importantly, this material is compatible with the way the Luna Beads are made which leads me to point #2…..

2. Luna Beads are not held together with glue. They are sealed together with an ultra-sonic welding technology, and the nylon cord was one of the only materials compatible with this technique. This method of securing the two halves of the outer ABS plastic balls leads me to point #3….

3. You can boil the Luna Beads for easy cleaning and sanitizing. YES. You can BOIL the Luna Beads.The beads, the holder, everything. Toss it all in and have some Luna soup. **Please note that you should not boil the beads for longer than 5 minutes. You should not place them in a metal pot directly; either place a silicone colander inside the pot OR place the beads in a bowl and pour boiling water over them. If the beads touch the bottom of the pot, there is a chance they could deform, as the pot bottom is hotter than boiling water**

Luna Beads – Why the Nylon Cord?

I talked to Lelo and found out that they spent years working on the design of the Luna Beads and that they were delayed the most with the retrieval leash. They tried many things but finally settled on nylon. The combination of the material and the way Lelo Luna Beads are made means that it’s going to take a LOT of force to break these or have that nylon retrieval leash come apart from the bead. You’ll probably never need to use that kind of force to remove them from your vagina. Some people have almost vilified this retrieval cord in their reviews, saying that it ruins the material safety issues but really….who are you going to be sharing these with?? These are meant to be a Kegel/PC muscle exerciser (not a sex toy) and they were never intended to be used anally. I recently reviewed one of the only other sets of Kegel balls that come in a varied-size set similar to the Lune Bead system, the Bedroom Kandi Hold On To Me, and at first it seemed like they were trying to improve upon the Lelo design. With the HOTM beads, the retrieval leash is part of the bead holster (which means you need 2 holsters…1 for using a single bead and 1 for using the double bead set). AND it’s incredibly stretchy, turning it into a rubber-band weapon dangling from your vagina, just waiting for slippery fingers to let go so that it can snap your bits like the 4th grade bully who sat behind you. The Luna Beads nylon cord is not stretchy at all, and it is a loop design, making it easy to grasp and pull out.

The Lelo Luna Beads retrieval cord is embedded in the plastic, part of the ultra-sonic welding that keeps the two halves of the Luna Bead together. This means that the nylon cord won't break or pull out.

Body-Safe Materials

The Beads themselves are made from ABS plastic1, which is a body-safe material free of phthalates, latex or other bad softening agents.  ABS plastic is non-porous. The bead weights are color-coded (pink beads are 28 grams each, blue beads are 37 grams), rather than a stupid painted-on design which rubs off after the second use. The plastic beads have actually changed slightly since I first got mine in 2008. I had noticed that more recent product photos showed that the beads were a little more “fancy” looking than mine – mine were pink and blue, sure, but had a very slight yellowish cast to the color and the plastic was slightly frosted. The newer beads have a truer pink and blue hue (more noticeable to me with the pink) and the plastic is more clear. All in all it’s a slight design change but it makes the beads look a bit less clinical. They are not, however, as shiny and color-saturated as some of the product photos floating around retailer sites.

Lelo Luna Beads - Lelo has slightly changed their plastic used for the Luna Beads, resulting in a better color

The bead holster is easier to use than the Bedroom Kandi set; the silicone is matte finish with a slight texture and isn’t very stretchy at all – just stretchy and soft enough to slide the beads in. If lined up just so, the holster will completely cover the hatch-like markings where the bead halves are welded together. Of course for use purposes it’s not exactly necessary, especially for the bead without the retrieval leash. And yes, the holster IS silicone; it passed the silicone flame test. Babeland has listed that the girdle/bead holder is medical-grade silicone but the Lelo site says “FDA approved” and I’ve been told by them that all of their silicone is food-grade. Food-grade silicone isn’t any less body-safe than medical-grade for sex toy purposes.

Cleaning (and boiling) the Luna Beads

I’d never heard before that you could boil the Luna Beads for a better clean. I think I’d just assumed that they would fall apart. Well, they won’t, because glue is not used. And water will not get inside. With my first set of Luna Beads, I did not clean the retrieval leash very well and it ended up yellowing slightly. I talked to Lelo about this and was told that a simple wash with your favorite anti-bacterial toy cleaner followed by a quick 5-minute boil would ensure that there is no staining and every part of the design will be sanitized. Just remove the beads from the holster to ensure that everything gets cleaned.
ETA Oct 17 2012: A reader contact me to tell me that she boiled her Luna beads, and they became disfigured. Lelo is replacing them for her, and it was emphasized that you should not boil these for any longer than 5 minutes. I think that I was told before about a 5-minute boil but it was not emphasized that it should not be any longer than 5 minutes at max. I was also told this time that when boiling, do so in a large pot….where there is enough water so that the Luna Beads don’t touch the pot or each other.

Pleasure? Beads?

Lelo calls these “Pleasure Beads“. When I first experimented with sex toys and saw those cheap, metal “Ben Wa” balls in the sex toy catalog I wasn’t sure exactly how to use them but I’d heard they were for sex. I couldn’t imagine having sex with some balls stuffed in my vagina! Let me assure you that the Luna Beads are not meant for use during sex. They’re not even really meant to give you an orgasm. What they are meant to do though is strengthen the Kegel/PC muscles (without any effort on your part) and in turn that will give you stronger orgasms and more pleasurable PIV sex. It will also contribute to a healthier bladder and fewer accidents when you sneeze (if you’re young enough that you don’t know what I mean by that last statement, then STFU and I hate you).

Believe me, these work, and you don’t even have to do anything. I know because once, after being away from the Luna Beads for too long, I thought I’d just go ahead and step right on up to  2 blue balls at once. Not only did I skip ahead a few steps but I probably wore them for a few hours longer than I should have. The next day my PC muscles were sore – just like any other muscle would be if I exercised too much. I can never remember to do active Kegel exercises, so these things are great for me.

I’ve heard from some women that they can feel them moving easily, some cannot feel them, and some are bothered by the movement. It’s actually not so much the large Luna Bead moving around inside of you, but the smaller weighted bead rattling around and pinging off the sides of the plastic ball. Whenever the weighted bead taps your vaginal wall, your PC muscles automatically contract just a tiny bit. The muscle contraction is not something I’ve ever felt. But this is how they work those muscles without requiring you to clench and release yourself. Over the course of a few hours you’ll have achieved the same level of Kegel exercise as if you’d done 4 or 5 “sets” of active exercises throughout the day. These only work if you’re mobile, however, not if you’re sedentary. It’s best to insert them before you go for a walk, run errands, or anything slightly active. The more active you are, the more these weighted beads will rattle around inside the plastic shell and the more your muscles will be tapped.

A lot of women find that wearing the Luna Beads will increase vaginal secretion (during use) and the mere presence of something subtly moving can increase natural arousal. But, please, don’t call these a “sex toy”.

Some reviews I’ve read have claimed that these are “noisy”. Rest assured, there is no discernible noise whatsoever to anyone other than you. You are simply “hearing”/feeling an internal activity. To you it seems noticeable but it definitely is not to anyone else. The metal Ben Wa balls I once owned had a bizarre musical tinkling sound whenever they moved. Lelo Luna Beads have a rubber-coated weight which is virtually silent when they’re in your body.

And the Winner is…

I’ve owned and worn exactly once a set of Fun Factory Smart Balls which did absolutely nothing for me – I hated the size, the design, and the inability to change out the weights. As I already mentioned, the Bedroom Kandi Hold on to Me balls had visual appeal but lacked in common sense or material safety. Another set of sort-of progressive weighted kegel beads is the Je Joue Ami set; I’ve not tried them but Epiphora has and I agree with her assessment: Bizarre design and what is UP with this stretchy retrieval cord again??

  1. Babeland says that the beads are made from a blend of Polycarbonate and ABS plastic, but the Lelo site simply says ABS plastic
Apr 052012
 

The Bedroom Kandi line’s Hold On To Me is a kegel exerciser set that is similar in execution to the Lelo Luna Beads. There are a lot of differences between the two products but a lot of similarities, namely, the ability to gradually increase the weight of the beads as your muscles get stronger. Both products feature 4 ABS plastic spheres/balls/beads, the ability to use one or two at a time, and a silicone “holster” for when you want to use two at a time. Since I do a lot of comparisons in my reviews it’s only natural that I’ll be doing a lot of comparing in this one to the Lelo Luna Beads because it is a product that has been around for years and so many are familiar with them. The Hold On To Me spheres are a lot more femme-y and girly looking whereas the Luna Beads look more plain. This is a type of product though that, for me, design is a far distant second to function.

 

While the Luna Beads are only 2 different weights (the pink beads are 28 grams each and the blue beads are 37 grams each) the Hold On To Me set contains 1 bead each of 4 different weights. All beads look identical, but there is gold paint on the outside to differentiate between them, like dots on dice. The bead weights are: 25 grams, 30 grams, 35 grams, 40 grams. A big different between the HOTM and Luna beads is the size. Luna Beads are 36mm while HOTM beads are only 30mm. 6mm might not seem like a lot but it matters. Users of the Luna Bead system who found that the beads were a little too big for comfort might enjoy the smaller size of the Bedroom Kandi Hold On To Me set. The holster for the HOTM beads is also more diminutive and a lot more flexible – this can be a good thing or bad. I personally found that this floppiness made the 2-bead set harder to insert than the more sturdy Luna Beads. Also, for the Luna Beads the retrieval cord appears to simply be cotton string but it is a nylon coated string. It doesn’t absorb fluids or stain, and it is attached to the bead itself. For the HOTM set, the retrieval cord is part of the holster – and it is very stretchy. In fact, it stretches out to double the original length. This is bad. You do not want stretch on a removal cord. Why?

It’s like a rubberband. Literally. The sleekness of the material combined with the small size and stretch is a recipe for disaster when met with slippery fingers. And your fingers will be slippery because in most women the use of kegel beads increases their natural vaginal lubrication. I had an issue with this and it resulted in a rubberband-like painful snap to my labia. Yes, you’re all cringing and crossing your legs right now as well you should be. I’m not the only reviewer who had this problem, Sada K did as well.

Another problem with the design is this “dot” system for designating the weights. The paint is on the outside of the plastic spheres, not the inside. And it does indeed rub off. I used my double set twice and washed them 4 times. You can see below that the gold painted dots are completely gone and the BK logo has faded considerably. Where did this paint go? What is it made of?? I don’t know, and it concerns me. Sada had this same problem as well.

The spheres look quite a bit different in the online photos than in person. Online they appear to be mostly magenta but in reality it is a clear ABS plastic sphere with a magenta colored weight inside that rattles around. When reading about how the Lelo Luna Beads work, they specifically state that you don’t have to do anything, that it is basically a passive exerciser. As the weights “vibrate” (they don’t really, it just sorta feels that way) and rattle around inside the plastic outer ball, that whole motion is tapping your kegel muscles, making them contract slightly without intervention. I can confirm that is true because one time I just stepped right up to using both of the blue Luna Beads for a few hours (stupid) and the next day my kegel muscles were sore. Like “too many sit-ups” sore. Except, ya know, not my abs. Some people don’t like that obvious rattling feeling of the Luna Beads; those people would perhaps appreciate the Hold On To Me spheres better. The plastic sphere is smaller but the size of the weight appears to be the same so you don’t get that somewhat-pronounced rattle that the Luna Beads produce, the HOTM is more subtle. So subtle that for me it didn’t really do anything. I tried the 2 lighter weight beads at first and then the next day the 2 heavier ones and I never felt the “whoa too much” soreness.

However, the manual never claims that the spheres will work that way. The manual actually tells you to do active kegel exercises while wearing the beads. Which, to me, defeats the purpose. Other kegel exercisers that you are meant to work against are larger, more solid, somewhat like a dildo. You clench around it, and well….I don’t know how they work exactly, I’ll be honest. But I know that you don’t insert them up inside the vaginal canal completely, like you do with balls/beads/spheres. So judging from the manual, the whole thing seems very pointless. I did do kegel exercises while wearing these and couldn’t discern that they were helping me in that way. And it’s not like you have to walk around all clenched up lest they fall out.

Speaking of the manual and instruction, I ran across some very troubling information in the exercises section. OhMiBod/Bedroom Kandi was actually recommending that if you’re unsure how to clench the PC muscles, you repeatedly stop and re-start the flow of urine while on the toilet. Repeatedly. As an exercise, not as a “training” guide to familiarize yourself with how and where and what to clench. That is not healthy! I can remember hearing from Ducky Doolittle (whom I consider to be the kegel master, she knows more than the average doctor) that it is problematic because it can cause infection and it can also bring about “overactive” bladder, which is the opposite of what you want! I immediately emailed BK via OMB about this, and heard back from Brian, founder of OhMiBod. According to him there was only a small run produced and many of these went to reviewers and such so a change in the manual is possible; he said they would change that part, I hope they do.

Finally, my biggest problem with the HOTM product is the material. It is stated that the black holster is silicone. I questioned Brian on this after I performed a flame test (which failed spectacularly) and he has held fast to the statement that the material is silicone, food-grade. I questioned if it might be a blend and he claimed that he consulted the lab paperwork to find that it was not a blend. He also tried the flame test himself and says that he did not have the results that I did. I don’t have proof of this, but he came off as a fairly honest individual. However, I took the item in question with me to MomentumCon knowing that there would be retailers and manufacturers present. I showed my holster to them and no one hesitated to say that it didn’t appear to be pure silicone. You can see the destruction of material in the photos below, but a video and more in-depth post will be published very shortly is up explaining the flame test and showing various results.

UPDATE: As we go along, we learn more about the various types of silicone. We’ve learned that these results actually ARE in line with how certain silicones behave. I now do believe that the material is, in fact, pure silicone.

All in all, I’m not a fan of this product and I can’t recommend it. Silly name aside, the material safety issues and ineffectiveness of the weighted balls leaves me cold. The color scheme is pretty (to me, but then I love black and magenta). The box and packaging is nice and reminiscent (at first) to a cross between Njoy and Lelo. Except that it’s not. When you first open the container you see the spheres all nestled in a cloud of black satin. This is achieved by a cardboard riser with holes in it that are just barely big enough for the spheres to lay partially in but not fall through. They’re held in place firmly, though. Too firmly. In fact I had trouble pulling the ones in holsters out (that damn stretchy cord) so I had to remove the whole thing and push them out from underneath. After that the magic was lost and I tossed that part. However if you’re willing to forgive it, it would make for a decent travel case – albeit large – because they wouldn’t rattle. They do include though a satin drawstring pouch for travel.

I really think that the idea of gradually increasing the weights is ingenious and so I’ll continue to recommend the Lelo Luna beads instead. 

Review: “Divine Diva” Plus Size Strap-on Harness by Sportsheets

 Adult Products, Sex Toys  Comments Off on Review: “Divine Diva” Plus Size Strap-on Harness by Sportsheets
Sep 232011
 

When it comes to choosing a strap-on harness for yourself, especially when purchasing adult toys online where you can’t feel the material, “confusing” doesn’t even begin to cover it. Confusion is compounded if you’re larger than a size 16/18 (US sizing there). Many harnesses give a waist measurement and a leg opening measurement but they forget one crucial thing about women of all sizes: we don’t all have flat stomachs. Your body shape and where you carry your weight factors heavily into choosing a harness AND how it will fit on your1 body2

My very first experience with a strap-on harness also coincided with my first pegging experience and my first real BDSM experience as being the top. Let’s just say that there was much failure in all aspects – the least of which was that I did not fit into the harness and I was too embarrassed to tell the (thankfully blindfolded) guy this. Not to mention that it was difficult to get the thing on.

There are two main styles for strap-on harnesses: G-string and Jock. Both have waist straps; g-string covers you much like a pair of panties and goes up the crack of your ass. Jock style has leg straps that connect from the bottom of the dildo base section and run up to the waist strap in the back, and those straps hug your thigh crease. Jock style allows for complete access to the wearer’s genitals but for some it can be a little bit more confusing to get into at first. The Diva Harness by Sportsheets is supposedly made with larger women in mind – not just that it expands to a very big size (up to 84″ waist) but they claim that the wider waist straps are plus-size friendly, and the fact that the waist strap adjustment “ladder locks” (think backpack strap adjustors) are at the back and protected with a layer of padding in between them and your skin means more comfort as well. The thinner leg straps also are meant to well….sink into your curves better and not chafe/gouge as opposed to thicker straps(? I don’t know how wide vs thin straps fare, never tried anything else). The front pad is completely soft and plush and so it bends with you (unlike “latigo leather” harnesses which are generally stiff).

At first when I tried it on, the padded section sat more on my stomach than where I’d want it to sit – which would be right over my pubic mound. The second time I tried it on I was able to adjust it and put that padded section underneath my belly so that the base of the dildo would mostly be pressing against the top of my vulva and my clitoris might receive some pressure (for those women with less prominent outer labia and more prominent clits, you’ll receive even more stimulation from a harness if the dildo base hits you there).

There is a downside to this harness being able to fit such a wide range of women – it could be made to fit smaller women, as well – and that is the excess straps. Ideally when you have a harness it is yours and yours alone – so trimming the nylon webbing straps so that you don’t have 2 feet of them dangling down is an option. Except that if you trim them too much the webbing might very well come out of the plastic ladder locks when you loosen everything when it’s time for the harness to be removed. You could somehow tuck the excess webbing strap back into the leg and waist bands of the harness but that cuts down on comfort a lot. Dangling straps get in the way and do not look sexy; you will not at all look like the model on the box if you leave the excess straps dangling, lol. Then again, the model on the box isn’t what I’d ever call “plus-size”; it’s like looking at buying a size 20 dress when it’s modeled by a size 4.

While this harness does come with 3 various-sized rubber o-rings to fit many dildo sizes, the straps that hold the o-ring in place have one issue: there’s only three of them. Ideally there would be four points – 10 and 2 and 8 and 4 if we’re looking at a clock. With this one the third strap goes straight down to 6 o’clock. Why does this matter? Well, four straps are always going to be more sturdy than three if you are using a larger/heavier dildo. And if you happen to use dildos that are more “realistic” and have balls, you won’t be able to use those with a 3-strap o-ring base. This Beginner Harness has the 4 straps, the ability for the padded section to be removed (for use with a Feeldoe or more skin contact, etc but is only moderately plus-sized, fitting “up to 60″  which means it may or may not work for you if you’re right at that 60” line or a few inches below, depending on how you wear it)

This isn’t the prettiest harness out there. It’s not bad-ass masculine leather with shiny studs, it’s not pretty leather with laces, there is no femme-y corset style adjustment in the back – It’s plain, it’s androgynous and it’s styled for moderate comfort.

Enough about the specs and looks: How does it perform?

I will admit that I wasn’t able to use this on a willing warm body. Instead I employed my husband’s now-neglected Fleshlight. I don’t actually own many silicone dildos with bases that are harness-compatible so I first used the Tantus Silk Medium (with the Fleshlight) and then out of curiosity I tried out the Greta that I reviewed long ago. With a 1″ diameter, the Silk Medium had some wiggle room left in the smallest rubber o-ring. It seemed to fare alright, though. At the same time I used one of my trusty corded bullet vibes – if I were the wearer I’d want something buzzing on my clit, personally – just to see what would happen with thrusting and base contact. Even with my very full outer labia to help keep it in place, the fact that the base of the dildo still hit just above my clit meant that the bullet was pushed down from the top and kept sliding out of perfect position. The solution in my eyes would be to cut a slit in the outer fabric of the plush base, the side that rests against you, and fashion a snug pocket for your bullet to sit in. Hem/stitch the cut edges I guess so that the fabric doesn’t tear or degrade when you wash the harness (yes, it can be washed). Now mind you, I didn’t try this out yet but I think I will. Please think hard before altering a $50 harness of your own :)

So what about the nylon webbing, did it cut into me? Yeah, most notably the leg straps. Did I have them too tight? Maybe. Since they attach to the front piece at the very bottom pulling the leg straps pulls the front piece down more. I thought I needed more stability, but the straps were then so low (or far back depending on how you look at it) that it would have been a little bit cumbersome for someone else to use a toy inside me. Also, because the leg straps were snug in the standing position it meant that in a wide-spread fucking stance the straps dug in something fierce. I still had red marks an hour afterwards. 

When I tried the harness with the Greta I’d wanted to see how it would hold up to a large, heavy dildo. That one is 2″ (2.25″ at the head) and the rubber o-rings do have some stretch so I was able to get the o-ring on but it wasn’t easy. Keep in mind then you also have to get the straps for the o-ring in between the ring and the dildo. Again, not easy. The weight of Greta pulled down on the soft front piece, especially at the very top. It probably wouldn’t work very well in use but I can’t say that for certain. 

The o-ring snaps can be cumbersome, so it’s best to switch the dildos when you’re not wearing the harness (or have your partner attempt to do it for you). If you have anything other than a flat belly it’s probably just too frustrating to do while wearing it yourself. As you can see below, the snap is underneath, not on top. The bit of nylon webbing that you can grab to pull the snap is very small – slippery fingers or a difficult snap will make things frustrating. The bottom snap on mine was very hard to open up for some reason.

The harness might look confusing at first when it’s laid out but it’s simpler than it looks. Your legs go in between the front pad and the thin leg straps. Pull on the straps (don’t angle the strap out, pull straight from the ladder lock) to snug it up a bit. Then position the leg straps so that they rest in the crease where thigh meets hips and ass. You might want to alternately snug up the waist straps and the leg straps to gradually get it into position. Grab the waist straps and pull them from your hip line straight out in front of you. To release the straps for taking it off or readjusting, take the outer “lip” of the plastic ladder lock and pull it away from your body. That allows the strapping’s tension to ease up so it can be pulled through the ladder locks, which is quite quick and easy actually.

It’s not a bad harness – it’s great for plus-size beginners who don’t have access to real stores where they can feel and maybe even try on over clothing. It’s affordable without being cheaply made or horribly uncomfortable. If you are in the market for a harness and would like to know anything else about this one, feel free to email me with questions. I know how difficult it is to read a review and have any idea if it’s going to work with your size or body shape.

 

 

     

Update: 2013: I’d still agree that for plus-size women, this is a decent, affordable harness. However, if you’ve purchased this and are now sure that you’d like to continue down the harness path but want something more comfortable I would suggest that you upgrade to Aslan Leather harnesses. Every single discomfort aspect that I experienced with this Divine Diva disappeared with the Aslan harness. I own the Cherry Minx; Minx styling has a corseted backpad to allow it to expand even further. I actually didn’t need that aspect if I was positioning the base to be resting on my pubic mound. I would have if I wanted the straps to be around my actual waist (meaning base would be on my tummy). But the leather that Aslan uses is “garment leather” and it’s the softest leather around. The harness is just so damn comfortable.  I realize that the price difference between Aslan and Sportsheets is huge, but if it’s something you plan to use (with one partner, not shared between multiples) on a very regular basis then I would highly recommend that you invest in it.

  1. Are you heavy but without tummy rolls like this woman? You might still appreciate the plushness of the front piece but you could also possibly tolerate a harness with a more firm leather portion which adds stability overall
  2. Do you carry a lot of weight in your middle, with tummy rolls like this woman or this woman? (NSFW links) Then you’ll want a harness with a plushy padded front like the Diva Harness so that it doesn’t irritate the tummy fat the might hang over the edge.
Nov 212010
 

I received the entire line of the new Durex Love-Box condom kits from Smile.ly (free to review), and 14 readers can have a box of their choice too, courtesy of me! These are cute 2.5″x2.5″ hinged color-screen-printed tins that contain 3 Durex condoms (you can buy them here or check out Durex’s site). There are two different lines – the more feminine tins all contain condoms that are super-thin (Feeling line); the masculine designs contain condoms that have strategically placed ribs and raised dots (Pleasure line). It seems that they put the condoms that do the most for the guy in the femme designs, and the condoms that do the most for the woman in the masculine designs.

Want one for yourself? I’ll be happy to personally send you one! Choose from the ones below, and comment with your top 2 favorite designs and tell me why you want one. Simple! All I ask is this:

  1. US and Canada readers only, please, since I’m shipping this.
  2. If you are chosen, I want you to email me with your thoughts on it. Just a few sentences is all that’s needed, and I’ll publish them all here.

I’ll email you to get your address if you’re chosen – I’ll take comments on this until next Sunday the 28th and then get them sent out.

Feeling Line:


Pleasure Line:


 Posted by at 4:53 pm
Aug 082010
 

Fast Girls: erotica for women; edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel


Main Entry: 1fast
Pronunciation: \ˈfast\
Function: adjective
Etymology: Middle English, from Old English fæst; akin to Old High German festi firm, Old Norse fastr, Armenian hast
Date: before 12th century

1 a : firmly fixed <roots fast in the ground> b : tightly shut <the drawers were fast> c : adhering firmly d : not easily freed : stuck <a ball fast in the mouth of the cannon> e : stable <movable items were made fast to the deck>
2 : firmly loyal <became fast friends>
3 a : characterized by quick motion, operation, or effect: (1) : moving or able to move rapidly : swift (2) : taking a comparatively short time (3) : imparting quickness of motion <a fast bowler> (4) : accomplished quickly (5) : agile of mind; especially : quick to learn <a class for fast students> b : conducive to rapidity of play or action c (1) of a timepiece or weighing device : indicating in advance of what is correct (2) :d : contributing to a shortening of exposure time <fast film> e : acquired with unusually little effort and often by shady or dishonest methods <had a keen eye for a fast buck — R. A. Keith>
4 a : securely attached <a rope fast to the wharf> b : tenacious <a fast hold on her purse>
5 a archaic : sound asleep b of sleep : not easily disturbed
6 : not fading or changing color readily
7 a : wild <a pretty fast crowd> b : sexually promiscuous
8 : resistant to change (as from destructive action or fading) <fast dyes> —often used in combination <sunfast> <acid-fast bacteria>


Given these definitions of the word “fast”, the various nuances of the word, you’ll get a better idea of how each story in the book ties into the theme. Sure, they’re all based loosely on definition #7, or better put: sexually hungry. But they all also employ carefully woven definitions in other ways.

In “Five-Minute Porn Star” by Jacqueline Applebee, the boyfriend of the female lead is a whirling dervish, an ADD-timebomb who suffered an injury that has slowed him down considerably. To soothe his frazzled nerves at being so constrained by crutches, his girlfriend sets a 5-minute timer to act like a porn-star for him partially as punishment partially as a challenge due to his “To Do” list entry of sex with her and a time-frame of 5 minutes for the act. In “Chasing Danger” by Kristina Wright, the leading woman is a cop pursuing a high-speed chase. In “Speed Bumps” by Tenille Brown, our girl is addicted to the life of motorcycles, and the fast-paced danger and unpredictability that her and her partner enjoy surrounding the motorcycle lifestyle – she doesn’t want to change that lifestyle but her partner does.

Quickie orgasms abound in stories like “Panther” by Suzanne V. Slate, where a woman gets aroused by a panther statue in a museum and ends up having an orgasm right then and there. Or “Communal” by Saskia Walker (this is one of my 2 most favorite stories) where a voyeur listening in to shower sex in a coed dorm bathroom has a quick orgasm in tune with the couple’s; our little voyeur also quickly agrees to let in her own voyeur to the shower stall with her. I love this story for many reasons….the whole voyeur/exhibitionistic aspect of the coed dorm showers has long been in my fantasies, but the story flipflops quickly from the main character being a voyeur, to an unknowing exhibitionist; from solo sex to coupled sex with a stranger to group sex with the couple she had been spying on; and it’s all fully believable.


One thing that always confuses me about erotica books is the premise that some are “erotica for women”. What exactly IS “erotica for women”? Would I not like erotica for men? Perhaps it is because the main character in each story is a woman and so we can more easily relate? I always have felt that my brain and my sexual impulses leaned a little more towards masculine but I found myself thoroughly enjoying many of these stories and recognizing elements of my own fantasies in the stories.

There are a high number of really great pieces in this book. Some I found, personally, to be a little tepid but this is why I love anthology short-story erotica books: there’s a huge variety and you’re bound to enjoy at least some if not most of the stories in the books. Most are not super-short and give you time to get invested in the character and immersed in the scene the writer is painting. To read more about all of the authors, keep tabs on the book’s wordpress site – which will soon have author interviews, excerpts and more.

Book Review: The Best of Best American Erotica 2008

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Jun 132010
 

There’s really four types of erotica books, when you get down to it.

The first is kind of what many us grew up mocking….the Romance Novel that was really just word-porn disguised by a sappy plot and trite nicknames for body parts. Think Fabio on the cover, sort of books.

The second kind is still a full-length novel but it’s more artistic in its prose. The thinking man’s erotica, I suppose. A real story, real believable emotions and situations. If you find flowing hair and ripped bodices in these it is only because the novel is a period piece.

The third kind is a bit like the first, but in a short story anthology form. Of course, it only resembles the first in that there’s a lot of sex. A lot of raunchy sex. Which inspires you to either fuck yourself or fuck your closest most willing partner. The books that Rachel Kramer Bussel and Allison Tyler edit are mostly like these.It’s like a sex toy for your mind.

The fourth is a bit like the third, but in short story anthology form. Thinking man’s erotica. Stuff that leaves your brain wondering and your hormones maybe wanting more, there’s a bit of a buzz (or maybe a lot if it particularly resonated with you) in your underwear. There’s perhaps outright sex, perhaps just sexual innuendo and talk. It inspires you to fill in the blanks, to lower the book unconsciously and let your mind wander.

The Best of Best American Erotica 2008 is the fourth kind of erotica book.

That’s not to say it’s bad, by any means. Some of the stories you’ve read and don’t fully realize until it’s over that it was, indeed, erotic. Arousing. Twisted, maybe. Some of the stories actually made me feel almost like I shouldn’t be aroused. The first 3 stories, for example. The first is about a brother and sister, twins. They’re closer than your average set of siblings. Way closer. The second story is about two addicts; the female ends up cruelly using the male. Ruining his life, and then leaving in laughter. The third story is about a couple with sexual issues, and a therapist who goes too far and then gets caught in their fucked up trap. There’s sex in these stories, no doubt. But it’s kinda like the stuff of fetishes. So many of these stories end up having a twist that surprises you. Just when you think it’s a lesbian story….maybe not.  One thing these stories all do have in common is scene and character development. You get background, foreshadowing, you know their wall color.

The book is the 15th anniversary of The Best American Erotica series, edited by Susie Bright. The stories were picked from the 14 prior BAE editions; at the end of each story the author writes a few paragraphs about the piece – where they were in life when they wrote it, how they feel about it now, what inspired them, etc. You don’t normally get that kind of insight from anthologies. At the end of the book, in addition to the anthology-standard author’s bio section of those who appeared in the book is a list of every person who was published in the BAE series (just names) and then a guide to the most influential erotica editors, sex zines, etc. Susie contributes a story to the book, as well as her editor intro to the book which talks about her journey of editing the series, and as well as her thoughts on the pieces included.

What this book is: Erotic writing, that sometimes is barely erotic and sometimes is teeming with it in a slightly disguised way. This is literature. This is something for book lovers and erotica lovers and writers.

What this book is not: Something to read to get your motor running. This is not a fluffer book. This is not a book that you get 3 stories in and have to either fuck or jerk off. Some of the stories will indeed affect you that way, some will not.


Thanks to Edenfantasys for sending me this (way too long ago) for review. I’m glad to have it in my treasury and highly recommend it.

If this book is your style, you’ll also enjoy Best of Best Women’s Erotica, I also own this one.
For more of the raunchy style, in addition to the RKB and Allison Tyler compilations linked above, I also highly recommend Frenzy: 60 stories of Sudden Sex (short, and the point stories)