Aug 092010

I received a Formspring question that really made me think. I’m going to do my best to give my opinions, my advice, and then open the floor to my readers for their input.

Lilly, how do I go about telling my husband that I would like a lesbian experience? He already has issues trusting me. How can I explain to him that I just find women sexy but don’t want an actual relationship with one?

My initial response: Oy vey.

She really could have inserted anything at all after “telling my husband that….” because the biggest issue here is TRUST. Now, I don’t know why he has issuing trusting her. He could be jealous, insecure; she could have cheated in the past. The why isn’t important. It’s that the lack of trust even exists.

To the asker:

The first issue to be addressed here is just the need to talk to the husband. Get to the root of the trust issues. If you can’t, if he can’t trust you…..then you have way bigger problems in the marriage than I am qualified to advise on. Make an appointment to see a marriage counselor.

If his trust issues have no basis, if he is merely insecure about outside sex, my gut response is to direct you to Tristan Taormino’s famous book: Opening Up. It isn’t just for polyamorous relationships, it’s for all levels of opening up, even just “monogamy with benefits”. Both of you need to read this book.

Talk. Talk and talk and more talks. Tell him why you want these experiences. The base line for all of this talk is honesty. Lie about nothing, omit nothing. And if the two of you talking alone is not helping I need to refer back to a counselor. Specifically, a relationship counselor that is knowledgeable and open-minded about open relationships of all types. Tristan has a list on the site, The Open List, where licensed professionals submitted their contact info.

Readers: Have you been in this, or similar, situations? Do you just have some (helpful, non-combative) advice? Speak up in comments!

Jul 122010

Another Formspring question here!

When looking for a new toy how do you know if it does or does not have pthalates? asked by mydnitebyte

First, a definition from Wikipedia: Phthalates, or phthalate esters, are esters of phthalic acid and are mainly used as plasticizers (substances added to plastics to increase their flexibility, transparency, durability, and longevity).1

The sex toy review community and sex-positive toy shops are all buzzing about phthalates and how bad they are for you. Phthalates are found in many plastic items that have been chemically softened. The studies going around are saying that phthalate exposure can damage all sorts of organs, and can possibly cause cancer. There are a lot of harmful things in our world these days that we can’t avoid – so when we CAN avoid something like toxins in our sex toys, we should. Not to mention, toys that contain phthalates are also porous and can harbor bacteria if not cleaned properly; they also cannot be sterilized for 100% safety against transmission of STD’s.

 So how DO you know if a sex toy has phthalates in it?

You don’t. The better question would be: How do I make sure I don’t buy a sex toy with phthalates in it? I previously had a list up of various major sex toy retailers and what it looks like on their site if a sex toy is phthalates free. But, since the industry is not at all regulated and sex toy manufacturers can lie, we can’t really trust them. Avoid materials such as:

  • Jelly
  • Rubber (even “Skin safe” rubber)
  • PVC
  • Vinyl
  • Cyberskin
  • UR3
  • “Mystery Meat” – the retailer or manufacturer uses a weird trademarked name for their ultra-realistic sex toy – there are some exceptions for this one, but you won’t know til you see the material in person.

Stick with materials that are known to be safe. This includes:

a. 100% pure medical-grade silicone
b. Hard plastic/acrylic
c. Glass, metal, wood, ceramic, and other natural materials
Grey area: Elastomer, TPE, TPR – these are phthalates free, but are still porous.

Can condoms keep you safe from phthalates?

Researchers/scientists haven’t come to a conclusive yes/no result yet, but they say it depends on numerous condom factors such as:

a. The thickness of the latex.
b. The integrity of the condom.
c. Additives in latex condoms could also influence whether phthalates pass through. For example Nonoxynol-9, which used to be used as a spermicide in condoms, could actually increase the risk of phthalate exposure (Nonoxynol-9 is no longer commonly used on condoms or personal lubricants though).
d. The personal lubricant in pre-lubricated condoms could (but doesn’t necessarily) facilitate the leaching phthalates out of a sex toy.2

There is also a chance that the oils used to soften these toys could cause a condom to break down, making it utterly useless to protect you.



1 – Definition of phthalates from Wikipedia
2 – Phthalates and condoms fom

Jan 292010

I’d say about once a week I am asked by my readers to recommend sex toys. Men, women, couples…..specific queries or newbie general “I just want a sex toy” questions, I get them all.

And you know what? I genuinely like doing it. Unless of course the asker gets too personal and creepy – I’m basically your sales associate….not your sex surrogate. Overall though most are nice and respectful requests. I don’t just rattle off a few typical suggestions, though. I gather the data about the person/couple using the items and I  go digging. I love doing this for people, because I like helping and sharing what I’ve learned, but it’s not a quick process so it’s really nice when they go buy the products I recommended via my affiliate links.

Today’s Ask Lilly segment is a recommendation list for a couple who have never used toys before.

The Details:

She: doesn’t orgasm clitorally very well from fingers or tongue and (much like I used to be) tends to have her hubby go for g-spot play during sex. Is probably curious about vibrators for both area

He: is also looking for a toy to initiate himself with. What good is finding your prostate if you don’t have the right tools to make it happy?

They: are looking for items that can be used together, or for just her on her own. Willing to try a few things out in the first go and spend a little more for better products, but without buying only luxury items. They are trying to increase her pleasure level overall and get away from the frustration they both feel when she doesn’t orgasm.


G-Spot Recommendations:

Normally I recommend my beloved Pure Wand to everyone, but if you’ve never owned any toys, I think you should learn the new adventures of you + sex toys with something a little more forgiving than metal. I also find that the Pure Wand is more about solo play than him using it on her.

1. Lelo Ella – I never tried this one because I already loved my Pure Wand, plus I had already figured out that I need the shape of the Pure Wand to work with my arms & body. But Ella is rated very highly by many of my peers.

2. Lelo Mona – I recommended this as a G-spot vibe if they’d like to give vibrations a go. It’s not overly powerful like putting a Gee Whizzard hat on the Hitachi, and the vibrator will be a nice addition to play.

3. G-Spot Glass Dildo – The curve and the unforgiving glass can be just what some women need for g-spot pressure, without dropping the money for the Njoy Pure Wand just yet.


Clitoral Recommendations:

It’s hard to tell if her preference for g-spot play and inability to have a clit orgasm is because she needs a level of clit stim that fingers and tongues can’t provide, or she’s so overly-sensitive that their attempts are sensory-overload for her. Either way, I’m going for the lower-pitched vibrators because they’re more universally liked. Unless it’s known that she does indeed have a clit o’steel like me, I’m not going to recommend the powerhouse vibes like Hitachi or Climax Twist or Acuvibe.

1. Fun Factory Layaspot – This is in case she can’t handle the more powerful vibrations. It has the right pitch and many levels of vibration intensity. It can be intense enough, it’s gotten *me* off, but it’s a diffused sort of vibration, rather than the pinpoint that a bullet can be.

2. Doc Johnson Harmony Bullet – I think that this bullet has the right mixture of being nice to look at, fairly well made, and powerful at the right vibration pitch level. Also the Doc Johnson Black Magic Bullet – same motor, same design, different price.


Prostate Recommendations:

Prostate toys can be used solo or in couple play. Masturbation, blow jobs, even sex – having something in your butt pressing on your prostate will make your toes curl and your whole body sing.

1. Lelo Bob – it’s very simple and basic in it’s design. Non-threatening, good for beginners

2. Nexus Neo – really want to make a good go at prostate stimulation heaven? I’ll be properly reviewing this one soon, husband has been liking it! But it wasn’t his first, so the girth was good for him. Prostate toys with this weird blobby shape are on the right track – just like the vagina, the butt isn’t a straight canal. The Nexus Neo works with the natural contractions in anal muscles to massage the p-spot. It can be used for beginners to just enhance cock-centric orgasms, or by advanced players with time on their hands who can have p-spot only orgasms.