Apr 032012
 

I mean “aftermath” in the best possible way, but yet my brain is a freaking mess. “Overstimulated” is the best way to describe my current state. I go from leading a fairly boring life to a jam-packed weekend full of sex geek fun, feminist conversations, sex-positive atmospheres and 50-some hours with “my people”. It’s funny to me how different Mcon 2012 was from Mcon 2011 – a lot of the same people were present (but yet a lot of new faces) and a lot of similar sessions/discussions but my experience was very different. This year I co-presented a session on Blogging (the only session not to focus on anything sex-related, I think), I found slightly fewer sessions that interested me and/or applied to me personally, I hung out with different people.  Last year I think I really only spoke with 1 of the vendors but this year many hours of conversation was had whether it was in the vendors rooms or over drinks in the hotel bar. It was enlightening, empowering and validating. I think I have a better idea of what road I’m going to be taking now that my time in the sex bloggosphere has hit a multi-path fork in the road.

I will continue to remain “Lilly” and mostly anonymous. I will not be telling my family anything, unless it gets to a point where I simply have no choice. It’s not easy lying about my whereabouts but it’s been done so far. All that matters is that my husband is incredibly supportive of me and loves what I’m doing, loves that I care. That’s really all I need. He had a supremely shitty work week and was just depressed and exhausted; I felt guilty, a bit, for having fun at Mcon when I felt the pull to be a supportive partner to him but he wouldn’t let me go there. He insisted numerous times that I deserved this fun weekend and that I needed it, that he was proud of me and wanted me to soak it all up. And I did.

I was still my same socially awkward self, but less so. I started up more conversations. I put myself into conversations. Yes, I panicked when I realized that the “oh hey meet us at the bar for drinks” turned into “Oh, we’re sharing a table with Dr. Carol Queen, Dr. Joycelyn Elders, Lynn Comella and Metis Black” but hey, I didn’t speak. I let the grown-ups talk while I sat on the edges in awe with the lovely Jenna of Tantus. Crista (my amazing partner in crime for the weekend, and roommate) and I hung out with Ducky Doolittle, Jenna and Metis; had conversations and intelligent discourse on the ethics and practices of the sex toy industry. It was a dream. I got enough hugs from friends to last me weeks. I felt pretty in my big Victorian skirt. Nobessence is no longer an entity, a luxury company – I know them now to be a spectacularly amazing couple leading a fairly normal but wonderfully sex-positive life committed to making excellent sex toys. I’m trying so hard to keep all the memories and words said in all these amazing conversations fresh in my memory but my cursed brain is leaking out things. I hate that. I wish I could have just been wired all weekend, recording everything like a spy. For my own personal use, of course, nothing else!

You all know I’ve never thought much of the Big 5 companies of the sex toy industry, but I know think even less of them if possible. While I can’t repeat some of what was said, suffice to say you should just take my word for it. Support the smaller companies whenever possible, you’ll never regret it. But I also learned that I’m wrong sometimes and while I still say JimmyJane is overpriced, Jacq from Sugar in Baltimore told me things that changed my opinion a bit. I finally held a fully-charged Form 2 in my hands and noticed it only once had that wonky motor issue other reviewers had mentioned but I also noticed that it was perhaps a little more powerful than I expected and it certainly surpassed the (still hate it) Form 3.

I think I’d like to consider the possibility of hanging up my shingle as an official consultant. Now to narrow down who I can help and what I can do and how to go about making this a reality. But there are a number of smaller sex toy companies/manufacturers/adult industry people that need a better SEO presence and need more information on social media but don’t know how to get it. I think I have something to offer. I have the experience of being on both sides of the coin.

I can only hope and pray that there will be a Momentum 2013 because we all need more – more instruction, more discussion, more debates, more affirmations – and we’re not done learning. If you are reading this and read my posts about last year’s event and say “I wish I could have gone”, here is my advice to you: Do whatever you have to do to start saving up now and get yourself there next year. You have no idea how it will change you. It changes you. It’s amazing. Thank you, everyone, for making this weekend the best weekend I’ll have all year, hands down.

Jan 242012
 

A good look around and you’ll notice that I hold nothing back when I dislike a sex toy. I’ve seen a few bloggers in my time who disagree with this; they try to find nice things to say OR simply won’t review at all if they hate it.  We all know certain companies get their knickers in a twist over negative reviews. But I have so many reasons why I think negative reviews are incredibly important.

When I first started buying sex toys I was buying them from a couple of sites who I don’t think let a negative customer review go live. It was nothing but moderate-to-glowing. And then when I’d buy the toy with high expectations, only to be grandly disappointed, I’d be pissed. I’ve come across this phenomenon more and more. When I had 3 really bad experiences in a row with Shari’s Berries I finally went to the site and wrote out long, informative (complete with photos) comments on the items. Those comments never got published. Instead, the only comments and ratings are all glowingly positive. Bullshit.

I’ve seen arguments for the anti-negative-review people along the lines of “just because it didn’t work for me doesn’t mean it can’t work for someone else” and I will agree to that. But when you sugar coat things in a way that would make a cupcake jealous you’re only helping out the company. You are not helping the people for whom you presumably write the reviews: the clueless mobs who are absolutely overwhelmed with all the choices1. I was one of those people. Many of us were. So please, place yourself in the shoes of the old, sex-toy-noob you and think “How would I feel if I had spent $125 of my own money on this toy after reading this wishy washy review only to find that there are faults galore?” Your opinion is valid. Your opinion matters. I want to hear your opinion in all of its bluntly honest glory before I drop the money on, well, anything really. Your review that details out just the facts, because you couldn’t like it enough to praise it, isn’t telling me anything.

There are degrees of negativity in reviews of any kind. I’ve read them all myself, not just in sex toys but in computer parts and accessories, clothing, you name it. You can always tell when someone is just pissed off at a defective item (or they didn’t read before buying) vs it’s an actual problem that should concern you before you buy. My utterly scathing reviews of items such as the Lelo Tiani or the JimmyJane Form 3 are not scathing because they didn’t work with my body. They are scathing because I’m pissed. You want me to pay WHAT for a toy that doesn’t even do what you claim it will, or do it WELL? Just like I won’t let you buy a damn jelly toy, I won’t encourage you to spend the equivalent to a week’s worth of groceries on a sex toy that feels like another brick in the wall. The Lelo Isla – is it pretty? Sure. It’s pretty. Does my vagina care about pretty? Does pretty give me an orgasm? Nope. Nor should “pretty” also equal “to get the bitch clean you’ll need 20 minutes of your life, a toothbrush, and the edge of an old credit card”.  I think that I do a pretty good job of noting that my extreme dislike of the vibrations or the size or the design didn’t work for me personally and that they could work for someone else. And I feel that I can still note that and give a negative review. Because if I were the one looking at reviews to figure out what 1 sex toy out of 100 I should drop $100 on, I want the truth. Does your truth equal my truth? Not always. Not frequently, even. But if I can see that you as a reviewer have the full spectrum of reviews from “ZOMG LOVE” to “DIE IN A FIRE” with plenty in between then I trust you. And I’ll work my way through your writing and reviews to figure out if we like the same thing and whether or not I would agree with your assessment of “Wow, this baby is STRONG!”.

So let’s say that you are someone who doesn’t like to write really critical, negative reviews. Why? Who are you helping?

Are you afraid that the company you review for will get upset and not give you anything else to review? If so, fuck them. They’re unethical.

Are you not brave enough to be a dissenting voice? Stand up. Be heard.

Do you think that you won’t make any affiliate sales? Then you care more about the money than anything else and that’s sad. Here’s how to commission-perk a negative, shredding review: Suggest two or three other alternatives that you think are better.

The truth, even if it’s the awful truth, isn’t mean. Oh, sure, you can be. But for the love of orgasms, tell me the fuckin truth! Is it wimpy and mediocre and nothing special and not really worth $139? Tell me. I will have $139 worth of greater respect for you.When you hide your negative review from seeing the light of day you are doing yourself a disservice but mostly you are doing every other potential buyer a disservice. Shame on you. You KNEW it was a piece of shit and you didn’t tell me?? I’d like my money back, please, from your pocket. Yes, that’s how much it pisses me off.

Hi, I’m Lilly, and I write nothing but no-holds-barred honest sex toy reviews. I call a spade a spade, and name it out for being crap no matter if it’s $39 crap or $139 crap. Crap is crap and you shouldn’t have to buy it. You, the person who is searching Google for reviews and information on sex toys in general, on dildos for beginners, on Fleshlight vs Tenga, on the We Vibe 2 vs the We Vibe 3….. YOU ARE THE PERSON I REVIEW FOR. Nobody else.

okay maybe my clitoris a little bit.

 

  1. not at all dissimilar to the experience you get when you’re sick and you’re standing in the cold remedy aisle looking at 60 products that are all somehow nearly identical but totally different and you just want to sit down and cry. No? Just me?
Dec 282011
 

L'amourose MAE+ on the left, Marc Dorcel Secret Remote Control Vibe up top, and the We-Vibe 4 Plus on the right

SPECIAL NOTE: While this post was originally written in 2011, it has been heavily updated over the years. So if you’re here in 2016, rest assured that everything here is still relevant. When a new remote-controlled toy comes out and I have had the opportunity to review it / feel it and can talk about it here, I do so. The recommendations here are not out-dated.

Remote control vibrators have an appeal that is special and can be something really awesome & kinky for certain folks (public sex toy play is very fun). I get a ton of people asking for recommendations on a really good model; you’ll see plenty of cheapies and definitely plenty that cost well over $100 so how are you to know which is worth the time and money? Hopefully I can help steer you on the right path and save you money and disappointment. Let me assure you, there’s more disappointment in this niche of sex toys than anything else. WHY is it so damn hard for a company to come out with a really awesome remote control vibrator? Honestly I’ve yet to come across one that meets the Remote Controlled Vibrator Holy Trinity.

First, you have to determine where you want most of the vibration (vaginal/g-spot, clitoral, or anal) and then determine if you actually want to be able to orgasm in public or you’re just looking for a tease. Just looking for a tease? You’re in luck because that’s about all many of these are capable of unless you’re very sensitive and find it easy to orgasm. So to me, a really good remote controlled sex toy has these three features nailed down – aka the Remote Controlled Vibrator Holy Trinity:

1. A remote that allows the remote-holder to know what the toy-wearer is feeling – they need to know when it’s on, when it’s off, what level of vibration it’s on, etc.

2. A remote that works from across the room, or 20 feet away while the person is in any position and wearing clothes – I’ve had a few that work fine if I’m spread-eagle and naked but since many people want this for public play…..that doesn’t work.

3. A design that fits and vibrations that feel good – why the fuck is this so hard? Who is designing these? Klingons?

What the Hell is Happening Here

Let’s talk about the first one. A common complaint with many wireless remote controlled vibrators is that the remote control holder doesn’t have a damn clue what’s going on. They push a button and that’s it. Lelo, as you all know, set out to majorly change that and give the person holding the remote a much more active role in the process with their Sensemotion technology. The Club Vibe 2.OH from OhMiBod has a remote that kinda fixes that…except that it lights up, the remote is huge and it’s not at all discreet. The Club Vibe (both original and 2.Oh) is buzzy and weak, it looks uncomfortable and the 2.Oh has a button you must push on the vibrator to start it up and it lights up, too. I hope you don’t wear this in public with clothing that would show the lit up button through it! The Marc Dorcel Secret Vibe (the secret being that achingly boring vibrations) has been the only vibe I’ve come across in the under-$100 category that had a decent remote – small, unobtrusive, didn’t light up or vibrate but it had an LCD panel that told me what was going on.

One last problem – most of these don’t tell the controller if the connection to the vibrator has been lost.

Many of these wireless remote controlled vibrators take batteries – weird batteries, lots of batteries and go through them at a rapid pace, so that’s another thing to keep in mine.

Bluetooth and Smartphone Apps

Newer versions are starting to use Bluetooth and can be controlled with an app which is really great in theory but so far isn’t working out. I couldn’t get the We-Vibe 4 Plus to reliably keep the Bluetooth connection, and I’m not alone in this problem.  I haven’t tried the blueMotion Nex 1 but the design requires panties (like the Club Vibe 2.OH design) and also won’t work for people with full labia and buried clits. Looking at the Google Play Store, both apps for We-Vibe and Ohmibod only rate about a 3.5 out of 5, with a lot of complaints that things just aren’t working the way they should. Another line of vibes with a Smartphone app is the new Je Joue Nuo and Duo – but the app is currently only available for the iPhone. WTF! In an age where plenty of people are using something other than an iPhone (like me!) this is a pretty dumb move. I won’t even review these until they make an app for Android.

A Remote That Works

So far, the Lelo Sensemotion line has the only remote I’ve experienced that kept a connection through flesh, clothing and across a room. It even worked from another room for me. I liked the Tiani design best; I don’t feel confident that the Tiani 3 has better vibrations than the Tiani 2, plus that boxy clitoral part may or may not be better. It is available in Canada and perhaps for less given the dollar conversion.

Just because a vibe has an app, doesn’t mean it’ll work – see also: We-Vibe 4 Plus review. I couldn’t even insert the We-Vibe the way it was meant to be inserted; as soon as I did it would drop the connection. Many other remote control vibrators are the same way, and the remote only works if I’m naked and legs-spread. Fail. The updated We-Vibe Sync isn’t much better for connectivity.

But What About the Vibrations!

So what if the Lelo Lyla 2 has a remote that lets the remote-holder know what’s going on and works through clothing, flesh and even a wall? If you’re looking for anything beyond a tease or you need more power, then you’re not going to love the Lyla 2. But if the tease factor is it? Go for it. The style is meant to be worn vaginally but that would be a total waste on me – so a snug pair of panties will keep it in place clitorally for most people well enough.

The We-Vibe 4 Plus’s vibrations were utterly boring to me, but sensitive folks might be more excited.  The vibrations from the L’amourose line are pretty powerful, but the designs work best for people who don’t need pinpoint stimulation and whose clitoris is more exposed.  The Marc Dorcel Secret Vibe was atrocious, so so piddly.

Remote Control Vibrators to avoid:
  • Anything by Bnaughty – the vibrations are piss poor and the remote is crap on the cheaper one, and doesn’t work through clothing on the pricier one.
  • Anything by CalExotics –  Whether it’s a gimmicky panty vibe or horrible butterfly, Dr Berman branded or their overpriced Embrace line, the quality is bottom of the barrel. Do not waste your money.  The vibrations are going to be surface-buzzy and weak, the unit will break easily and the remote will not work as advertised.
  • Anything from Pipedream and their Fetish Fantasy line, for the same reasons as I list for avoiding CalExotics.
  • I’ve heard more negative reviews than positive about the gimmicky Lelo Hula Beads and of course, avoid that damn Lelo Ida
  • Due to my own experiences and those of readers, I can’t recommend the We-Vibe 4 Plus – issues with connectivity and the vibrations? Yawn.
  • As mentioned above, the Marc Dorcel Secret Vibe or the anal version, Genius Secret Vibe – too weak and buzzy
  • Anything under $50. So far, not a damn one under $50 has been worth 5 cents.
  • Jopen Envy 15 – I had high hopes, but the vibration placement is stupid, the vibrating portion glows red and the remote is fucking dumb. BUT the motor is super powerful. It’s the most powerful of those listed. My reasons for hating it are complicated and some might be body-related and wouldn’t bother you as much. I recommend reading the review if you’re looking for something under $100.
Remote Control Vibrators to consider:
  • Lelo Lyla 2 – the vibrations aren’t super-powered but it’s the one in the line that might work for you. I would find a way to use it externally with a pair of snug panties, personally. Quiet, and the remote (which vibrates normally) can be turned to stealth mode. 
  • Consider the Lelo Tiani 2 or 3. Again, it’s not powerful in vibrations, but they’re a little better than the We-Vibe, plus I liked the fit of the Tiani 2 better than the We-vibe. Quiet, and the remote (which vibrates normally) can be turned to stealth mode.
  • L’amourose’s line is decent, preferably the Mae or Lana – the bullet is very powerful and the remote is a little weird to use at first, plus it’s big. Also, the remote-holder doesn’t fully know what remote-wearer is feeling. If it had a functioning smartphone app, it would be pretty great. Apparently this wasn’t selling well and the first run remotes didn’t work at all, so most stores have discontinued it.
  • Je Joue Nuo or Dua – I’ve heard good things about the vibrations. The pen style remote is wonky, but for iPhone users the app seems to work pretty well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Black plastic bullet with control pack with velvety texture. Plastic vibrator kit that includes: a traditional vibrator, a pocket rocket, a bullet and controller and a 1 oz. water-based lubricant. Harmony Powerful waterproof bullet with two speeds

 

Oct 072011
 

As I sit here in yesterday’s clothes and a forehead wrinkle that would make most upper class women instinctively reach out to rub it smooth and tell me the wonders of Botox, darling, I’m really happy that I have a job where I can sit here at home and do a little work and then do a little of this or that and put in my time in snippets. It works around my doctor visits and my grocery shopping and my trips to see/help my mother1. Some days it leads me to sex toys and sex toy manufacturers that absolutely disgust me; some days it simply leads me to companies that merely annoy me because of their cheesy crap and half-ass site; other days I’m shown the better side and see that there is good in the sex toy world.

I will start out addressing the small companies, the niche companies who are ultimately good eggs with products ranging from pretty decent to admirable. I write this post not to just let off some steam but with the smallest glimmer of hope that maybe…….just maybe….some of these words will land on the right computer screen and be taken to heart. Maybe one change will happen.

Dear Small Company;

You are trying hard. You are fighting the good fight, perhaps. You are making your items out of body-safe materials and you are not trying to pass off a wolf in sheep’s clothing as an innocent lamb2. But your online presence is really fucking important. Your website is super fucking important. As a customer I want photos and I want details. Lots and lots of details. I want to know the every dimension and exactly how it works. I don’t want some artistic/”French”/mysterious website that is more about the visual than the information. I can see your item or your kit and yet I have no fucking idea what exactly it is? I’m not going to buy it. As a person working for a reseller I want high quality photos of every item and every color and even more details than I’d want as a customer. Why do you make our jobs hard, when all we want to do is sell your product? How can we underlings write up your great products so that Consumer Joe Schmoe who doesn’t know jelly from silicone can see that they’re better and that they should buy your item instead of some dodgy crap from the Walmart-equivalents3 of sex toy manufacturing?

Update your site. Make it easy to browse and easy to read. Sure, go for your artistic merit but don’t let it take over the main goal: Showcasing your worthy sex toy product and telling us why it’s worth twice the money for what looks like the same thing from the Big Guys. Don’t skimp on the information about you and the toy. At all.

Dear Middle-but-good Company;

You’ve managed to become a name. A brand that people trust. You use silicone and I trust you that it’s actually and honestly 100% medical grade silicone. Now I will fully admit to not knowing a damn thing about how your stuff is manufactured and why your dildos cost as much as my monthly cable-slash-phone bill4 so I don’t feel that I can whine about them being so pricey. But it is really hard to sell your product to those people who haven’t learned their lesson yet or just are too cheap to care – all they see is $55/$75 for a sex toy when hey there’s one over there for $19.95! Some of those people will eventually learn; maybe after their doctor explains that the burning redness is from that dildo, or maybe after a storage mishap and their dildo melts.

Dear Luxury Sex Toy Manufacturers;

Despite being a toy snob, I’m not really a fan of you on the whole. Sometimes I am, like with Njoy but then they kinda fall into the small-niche moreso than luxury. But Njoy at least lives up to their price tag. You luxury guys….eh. You’re all about the bells and whistles and the super pretty packaging. A vibrator that you can customize to your preferred shape or rotation is impressive on paper but when I actually go to use it and find that all your promises are as useless as a fake Hallmark card? I’m gonna be harsh and pissed that I spent (or theoretically spent if given it for review) upwards of $100 on your sex toy, thinking that for sure YOU got me and finally…something good.

To you I have two things to say: Let your products speak for themselves – and save the buyers money by cutting back on that fancy ass packaging and the brooch5 and the extras. Second, for fucks sake gimme a better vibrator motor! If the cheap shit companies can use a motor that produces vibrations that go beyond tickling the surface of my skin so can you. The women and men who are buying your toys are not delicate fucking flowers. Put a decent motor in there that produces a vibration to be proud of, dammit, and then the controls for multiple speeds will make everyone happy – from the delicate flowers to the tough cookies. I do not like or support Doc Johnson on the whole (as an example) but unfortunately they make a couple bullet vibrators that are perfect – motor-wise. Zini, Lelo, Je Joue, JimmyJane, Nomi Tang, and others who create different/fun/new/pretty/innovative sex toys: I’d be backing you if your motors weren’t as limp as a wet noodle 9 times out of 10.

Dear Big Boys who’ve been around since the internet was invented and then some;

I’mma go ahead and name names right here – I’ve said this all before, it will come as no shock and I am not shy in voicing my disgust. CalExotics. Pipedreams. You guys make a lot of shitty products, some downright offensive products, and some eh products. I don’t trust you, I don’t like you. But you’re a big company and you’re everywhere. You have the Walmart angle. All of a sudden your previously labeled “jelly” toy is now suddenly body-safe non-porous TPR? Nope. Don’t believe you. Especially when it still fucking stinks to high heaven. Your perpetuation of disgusting gender stereotypes and bad ideas that you sell with copy that would make your own mother blush and you justify it by saying that it’s flying off the shelves so it’s what guys want6 and by golly you gotta give the people what they WANT! Fuck that. Have some fucking integrity. Topco, Doc Johnson – you might have some (minor) redeeming qualities/products but overall you’re crap. You, too, are contributing to the unsafe materials and shoddy mechanics and the bottom line is that you don’t care. You are a politician.

I can’t say anything to the powers that be in your companies. You will never EVER change. All I can hope for is that somehow those of us who know better are able to drown out your voice with the voices of the people who care and who are trying to produce something with integrity rather than make a buck.

Dear Resellers/Retail Stores who are determined to carry every product made;

I get it. You’re in this to make money. You’re one of a million other sites and the competition is stiff. But really, do you have to lower your standards and put flowery copy writing on utter shit and sell the items that might actually cause cancer, or at the very least are a colossal waste of the consumers money? Adam & Eve was the first site I bought a sex toy from. But when those first two sex toys quickly showed their ugly underbelly I lost faith in them as a whole. And I never shopped there again. You can make money AND have integrity. It requires a little more hard work, though. The internet isn’t the land of the quick, easy buck anymore.

I’ve been reviewing sex toys for 3 years. I’ve reviewed more than some people, but far fewer than others (which is probably because after the first year I was reluctant to review something that I just knew I wouldn’t like and it’s hard to review item after item that leaves you jaded and I’m not easy to please – but I’m not impossible either. I just refuse to sugarcoat a half-ass product). I’ve seen a lot. I’ve grown to know that I don’t have to put a positive, happy spin on every review I do even if the product wasn’t my thing or is overpriced. Would it help pad my bank account, as an affiliate? Sure it would. But that isn’t the reason I started reviewing toys and I’m going to be blunt. If that means I am the only person on the web saying that the latest high-tech Lelo toy is a sopping wet disappointment? So fucking be it. I’m not trying to be mean, I’m trying to be real and save other people like me the money.

It’s heartbreaking to see the little companies die. Jollies LLC made some great sex toys and they were really innovative without trying too hard (Zini, Je Joue, etc). Their products were at once simple yet unique yet just what we needed at the quality we wanted. But they went the way of the little corner bookstore after a Barnes and Noble moved in two blocks down. And it’s sad.

Signed,

Jaded but Hopeful (in a cheerful Comic Sans font)

 

(If you are a “recipient” of one of these letters, for once I will allow companies to comment on a post. I generally don’t because they’re usually just trying to get a free link but if you are genuine in your response then I’ll post it. But don’t be offended if I remove the link to your company’s site and please….use your real name in the comment name field, and not the name of your company)

  1. Despite of course the fact that I can’t/don’t feel comfortable telling her exactly what I am doing and who for because I really don’t want to have that conversation and she’s a very suspicious woman of all things internet
  2. I’m looking at you, CalExotics, publicly proclaiming that ALL of your TPR and PVC and “Cyberskin” and other squiffy hybrids are all free of phthalates and are totally body safe. For trying to say even that all your TPR is non-porous when I’d bet it isn’t because you’re too cheap and only in this to make money
  3. I would consider this to be large companies who produce thousands of various items at low cost, mark them up 300%, don’t care what materials they’re using, mass-produce with shoddy quality control and are around because they were they first and they simply have the most stuff at places like Rt 15 Adult Book Store. Companies like California Exotic Novelties, Doc Johnson, Topco, Pipedream, BMS Enterprises, and Nasstoys.
  4. and no, I don’t have Vonage
  5. Yeah I’m talkin to you, Lelo, with that Insignia line that looks really fancy but is actually just plastic and mediocre vibrations
  6. Yes, I’m talking to you, Pipedreams, with your “cum dumpster” copy on overpriced body parts
Jul 112011
 


Thanks to Teagan for the Coalition name ;)

I read something somewhere recently, an innocuous little joke-in-poor-taste, where the author (a reviewer, no less) made a comment likening the ownership of “too many” sex toys to needing to find a partner. That because they happened to own a lot of sex toys it meant they were in even more desperate need of a sex partner – Not you, dear reader, just that person (to be clear). But then again….maybe somebody read that and thought “Oh god…I have a lot of sex toys TOO! Oh no, I’m a sad, miserable person and need to find a partner, stat!”1

I am a reviewer. I own a LOT of toys (mostly because I’m a reviewer, otherwise I wouldn’t because I’m not rich). I like my variety. Some I keep but aren’t my taste anymore. Even before I was a reviewer I had a lot (relatively speaking; it was a lot to me back then, a normal amount to me now) of toys, because I was muddling my way through purchases trying to find ones that worked for me and my body. I was never embarrassed about the quantity. In fact, I have always been proud of my collection. It’s like having a big book collection – different styles for different needs, different moods, etc. Some for a solo quickie, some for a drawn-out tease, some for g-spot, some for …..you get my point. Some are just for me, some are better for use with my partner.

But never would I equate my use-frequency or quantity of sex toys to a need for having or not having human partnered sex2. There’s no fucking shame in owning your sexuality, in taking control of your own damn orgasm. Can you PREFER human contact and partnered sex to sex toys? Sure. You can prefer whatever the fuck you want. But don’t insinuate to me that owning a lot of sex toys is somehow bad or shameful.

Do I think you, my reader, are to be pitied because you do NOT own a lot of sex toys? Only if you desire to own a lot. If you have a few ones that really do it for you and that’s that, fucking awesome. If you orgasm easily and do not need them…..I am highly jealous but still, fucking awesome for you. If you want a large collection or just can’t find the right one for you then yeah, I pity you, because the right to bear orgasms is in the fucking constitution3, damn it.

Did I make a mountain out of a proverbial molehill here in my little rant? Possibly. But there ARE people who are ashamed of sex toys4 and they don’t need that shame added to and there are men who feel threatened by sex toys and women who let their men feel threatened by the toy – they hide it instead of teaching him how it can be a wonderful addition to their time together and not a replacement.

 

Sit down, have a cup of coffee and let it all out. Yell at me. Agree with me. Ask me for help in expanding your own collection. I love to help give orgasms *grin* and by that I mean helping you shop, you silly perv.

  1. maybe I’m just grumpy today but it felt a little sex-negative to me *shrugs*
  2. That comes out wrong. I’m not referring to an equine sex partner or other animal, egads. Just…not battery operated or inflatable is all
  3. whut? I read “life, liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” as pursuit of MY happiness which includes orgasms and sexual release
  4. to people other than their parents, I totally get that, I don’t want my mom or family members knowing about my jerk-off accessories or even that I do jerk off just….because…

Ask Lilly: Holiday Sex Toy Gift Buying Guide

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Dec 102010
 

I get a good number of people who contact me for advice on buying a sex toy as a gift for their partner as a surprise. This really isn’t an easy feat unless you and your partner have already owned multiple toys and you know what they like.

Consider the Size

If you’ve never used toys, the judge by the size of your cock of your fingers. And keep in mind that hard materials like plastic, ceramic, glass, wood and metal can seem a little bigger than they are just because there is no give to the material. If you’re new to toys, don’t go overboard with the girth. If you’ve had a few and want to take things up a notch then do so but with caution.

Consider Sensitivity

Hopefully you and your partner are open and communicating, honest about orgasms and how things feel. Unless you already own vibrators that you know are not powerful enough, always choose ones with more than 2 speeds.

Consider the Price and Quality

Sex Toy Snob Warning: For the love of Pete, don’t buy a questionable brand (like CalExotics, for example) as a gift! But on the other hand, don’t drop a huge amount unless you’re pretty certain they’re going to love it. Reviews, reviews, reviews. Read them! Hunt them down! And don’t always go by the 1-liner blurbs directly on the sites because you never know who really left that comment. Before you weigh the prices and think about going for a cheaper jelly toy, read about phthalates and the possible side effects.

Things to avoid

Specifically, I’d advise against things like the We-Vibe, the Sqweel (or however it’s spelled, the one that’s rotating tongues, ick), anything that looks like a human tongue, and new-to-the-scene companies that seem too good to be true (like the Zini Roae). As tempting as they are, avoid wireless remote controlled bullets/panties, as they are fraught with glitches problems and a serious case of the unimpressives.

 

Glass Dildos Make Great Gifts

Why? Because they appeal visually, and unless you’re an advanced toy user/owner, it’s something new and exciting. You get to experiment with temperature play and different sensations. They can be so artistic sometimes that you’d feel comfortable leaving it out and they are therefore non-threatening to a novice.  They’re pricey, but my favorite currently is the Fucking Sculptures brand, you can find them at SheVibe. Unless you know your partner is a size queen, stick with the Small versions!

Buy a Vibrator that is Multipurpose

And I don’t mean a “rabbit” style. By this I mean get one that doesn’t require you to have your anatomy laid out a certain exact way for it to work, get a vibrator with varying speeds, and one that can be used internally or externally. Stick with silicone and reliable brands (to see more about this, see my post on How to Buy Sex Toys Online). Here’s a few of my recommendations:

The Climax Twist Vibrator

I love this vibrator, it’s probably my favorite rechargeable vibrator. It’s like a massager, but it bends to a 90 degree angle and has two working ends. (review here).

 

 

Harmony Bullet Vibrator from EdenFantasys

I love this bullet because it can get me off at any speed due to the type of vibrations – deep and rumbly and lovely. Buy it in black, the issue I talked about it my review with it glowing was only true of the white one (I now own the black).

 

 

 

LELO Mona2 Vibe

With the Mona 2, they increased the vibration strength to appeal to a greater pool of people. It’s not a power tool, but will satisfy most just fine. Great for internal or external.

 

 

Want to Wow them? Can you splurge? NJOY.

I don’t care if you get an anal plug, the Pure Wand, the Eleven or the Fun Wand just invest in Njoy. DO IT. You’ll love it. I promise.

Need more?

Read up on how to choose a dildo for beginners and get some recommendations on those. And anything in the Men’s Toys category are ones I’d recommend for a guy in addition to a Tenga Egg as a stocking stuffer.