How to Bring Sex Toys Into the Bedroom Without It Being the Most Awkward

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A sex educator’s four top tips.

By Gigi Engle

You have your trusty vibrator, the one that always gets the job done when on the self-love train. Have you considered introducing your favorite toy to your partner? For most women, external clitoral stimulation is needed in order to have an orgasm, and that’s not always a given during sex. Sex toys are designed to bridge the gap between what we get from sex and what we want from sex but aren’t getting. They are the helping hand you need. (In addition to, you know, your hand.) It seems like they would the natural addition to your sex life.

But it can be hard to introduce sex toys into the bedroom for the first time. You’re not the only one nervous about taking your sex toys across the border from Solotown to the Land of Let’s Get It On.

Sex toys are in many ways the final bedroom taboo. As a sex educator and coach, I can personally attest that people are still intimidated by them, however much we tout the dogma of the sacred vibrator.

If you (or your partner) is a little (or a lot) nervous about getting started with sex toys, try these four tips I use with concerned and curious clients. You’ll get there! It just takes some empathy, communication, and a lot of encouragement.

1. Tbh, this might be a super awkward thing to discuss, so prepare yourself for the awkwardness.

Real talk: Your partner may be really threatened or offended when you bring up using vibrators in the bedroom. There is some deep-rooted insecurity around sex toys that, while outdated and unfortunate, still exists. It’s like if you want to bring a vibrator into the bedroom, somehow you’re telling your partner they aren’t good enough. Not true!

Don’t focus on yourself and your sexual needs exclusively. This can potentially alienate your partner and put them on the defensive. Make the conversation about both of you. Approach the topic with empathy and be prepared to deal with a contentious reaction

Have an open an honest conversation about why this is something that turns you on. Tell your partner that it’s new, a little kinky, and fun. It’s something for the two of you to try together in order to expand your sexual repertoire.

Remember, vibrators aren’t only good for you and you alone. They offer immense pleasure when applied to the tip of the penis, the perineum, and the ball sack. If your partner has a vulva and hasn’t used a vibrator before, sex toys will blow their mind, too!

2. Offer to go shopping together, but be ready to go alone.

You may have a sprawling collection of sex toys (good for you!) or not, but if your partner is feeling peevish about using a sex toy, it is best to buy something new. There can be all sorts of loaded feelings about a toy that has been used before, especially with other partners.

You want this to be for both of you, something special that you can share. Offer to bring your partner along to the store or to shop online with you. It might relax them to see that there are so many options for sex toys, as well as not-at-all scary places to shop for them. For a fabulous customer experience, choose Babeland, Unbound, Pleasure Chest, Wildflower or Good Vibrations. These places have sprawling online shops for your convenience.

Be prepared to get shot down on the shopping trip. It might just be too much. And that’s OK! Trying sex toys for the first time can be a bit scary. If you are on your own, embrace the experience. Choose something that you and your partner will love. Speaking of which …

3. Don’t pick some enormous, phallic monster dildo.

The last thing you want to bring home to a nervous partner is some scary, veiny, Rabbit vibrator with a million spinning beads and a realistic penis-head. Nope. This will not go well. Nothing says, “I’m replacing your dick with this vibrator” or “I need a penis over your vulva to be happy” like bringing home a vibrator that is shaped like a larger-than-life penis.

Choose something non-threatening to start. You want to keep it playful and exciting, not terrifying.

Go for inspiring curiosity, not anxiety. When in doubt, choose a sex toy that doesn’t even look like a sex toy. The more quiet the toy, the better. You want something in a non-fleshy color that is more “cute” than it is explicitly sexual. I love to recommend Bender from Unbound and the Form II from JimmyJane. Bender looks like Gumby and the Form II looks like a bunny. What could be scary about that?

For those especially squeamish around sex toys, Fin from Dame Products is the ultimate toy for beginners. It literally turns your hand into a vibrator, giving you one less thing to think about during playtime. You place the little vibrator between your fingers, and put the strap over them. It doesn’t move and it won’t fall off.

4. Focus on pleasurable exploration.

Got the gear? Great. When you bring the sex toy into bed, keep the play about you and your partner. Verbal encouragement (read: dirty talk) will be your best friend. Tell your partner how good they are making you feel and how turned on you are.

You want the toy to be a part of the experience, not the entire focus of the experience. Be sure to remind your partner how sexy they are and how much you love their penis/vulva/body.

If possible, don’t mention the toy. You can guide your partner’s hand to your hot spots, or simply use the toy on yourself. They want to make you feel good. If they see how much you’re enjoying yourself, they will likely be open to including sex toys as part of the regular routine.

Complete Article HERE!

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This is how you should be cleaning your sex toys

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If you own them, you should know how to clean sex toys. But don’t be so sure that soapy, hot water soak is rinsing away all the nasty bacteria and germs you left behind – especially if your toy(s) have a lot of grooves and crevices. So how do you clean your sex toys, ya know, the right way? Don’t worry, I’m about to spell it out for ya.

But before I get to that, first things first. If you’re looking to not only sanitize your vibes and dildos but keep them in pristine condition as well, then you’ll need to know what they’re made of. Knowledge of the materials used in your favorite toys and whether they’re porous or nonporous is not only imperative for your own health, but for the longevity of your device as well.

Why we need to regularly clean our sex toys

For safety’s sake, here’s a rundown of suggested sex toy materials. Anything else, quite frankly, not only makes for super low-quality toys, but toxic ones too.

  • Silicone
  • Glass
  • ABS hard plastic
  • Metal
  • Wood and stone

So what do you do with your jelly dick(s)? I suggest throwing them out, as not even a condom can provide adequate protection from the harsh chemicals (like phthalates) it’s loaded with. That being said, I’m also not one for policing what people do with their bodies, so if you find yourself too attached to the gadget to toss it, using it won’t kill you.

That said, not everybody knows that sex toys can encourage bacteria growth which leads to infections, and even transmit certain STIs – regardless of whether they’re made of something porous or not.

P.S. if you’re in the habit of sharing porous sex toys (or the squishy toys that are usually designed with an elastomer, TPR/TPE, PVC, jelly, rubber, vinyl or Cyberskin) you should be doing so with a condom. Since they’re porous, they’re nearly impossible to completely disinfect. Which means if your toy has been exposed to harmful bacteria, there’s still a risk that you could become infected even after you scrubbed it down.

How to clean sex toys the right way

Step 1: Sanitizing

Woo-hoo, we made it to the good stuff! As I mentioned earlier in the piece, you can use a mild soap and hot water to clean most silicone, glass, stainless steel and wood accessories. But just dousing it in your choice of mild, fragrance-free soap and running it under water isn’t going to wash away bacteria, dust, lube or any other miscellaneous residues. The trick is to really lather up the soap before rinsing it off with hot water.

Our recommendations: 365 Everyday Value fragrance-free hand soap ($4.99 via Amazon) and Clearly Natural Essentials Unscented ($12.20 via Amazon) 

If your toy is designed with something super durable (like pyrex, silicone, stainless steel, or stone) you can just throw it in a pot with some boiling water and let it do its thing in there for a few minutes. This is probably your best bet at achieving a deep-clean, so if you’re sharing toys with a partner (or a few) this is my top recommended method to disinfect them.

I already know what you’re thinking: “Does this mean I can wash my sex toys in the dishwasher?” The quick answer: some yes, others no. Remember that scene from Broad City when Abby put her neighbor’s strap-on in the dishwasher and destroyed it? Well, that idea isn’t as far-fetched as you’d like it to be. Refer to the care instructions that came with your toy regarding heat and water temperature. But if you do choose to use the dishwasher, don’t load it with dish soap!

Additionally, it’s really important to note that not all sex gizmos can be immersed in water. Motorized devices (like ones with batteries or an attached cord) and other non-waterproof toys can never be submerged, ever. So save yourself the heartbreak of unintentionally slaying a cherished friend, and keep these toys out of the water while you clean them. You can do this by grabbing a clean, damp washcloth, soaping it up and wiping down the toy. Or you could just invest in one of the many sprays or cleaning wipes designed for this very situation.

Our recommendations:  HoneyDew’s Antibacterial toy cleaner ($8.95 via Amazon) LELO Antibacterial Cleaning Spray ($9.90 via LELO).

Looking to clean just acc-sexories like leather whips, leashes, and paddles? Easy! Just wipe ’em down with a 70% isopropyl alcohol solution and they’ll be as clean as the day you got them.

Step 2: Drying

Exactly like after you bathe yourself, your butt plugs and disembodied coochies need a clean towel to dry off with. And we emphasize the clean part because damp, used towels are a breeding ground for gross bacteria. And while leaving your toys out to air dry is ok for some, it’s detrimental for others. Why? Well, when left damp, hard to reach spaces, nooks, and crannies all serve as a welcome mat for rather unwelcome bacteria. Meaning all the cleaning you just did will be overcome with mold and mildew if not dried completely.

Our recommendations: BONDRE Microfiber face towels ($9.99, Amazon) 

Step 3: Storing

This step may surprise you – hell, you’re probably surprised it’s even a step. But as it turns out, storing your vibrator loose in your bedside drawer isn’t the greatest idea. Think about it: how often do you get in there and scrub that drawer? Probably never. So instead of just letting that bad boy freestyle in your nightstand, you can either keep it in its original packaging or get it its own robe.

Our recommendations: Blush Novelties Antibacterial Toy Bag ($8.99+, Amazon) and the lockable toy box by BMS ($26, Amazon) 

How often you should be washing your sex toys

And finally, the question we should all know the answer to: “How often do my dildos need to be sanitized?” Ideally, before AND after each use. But we know just how spur of the moment passion can be, so if you only wash your toys after you use them, you’ll probably live to see another orgasm.

Complete Article HERE!

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Are You Ready for a Sex Toy Revolution?

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By Hallie Lieberman & Maxine Lynn

For 16 years, purveyors of dildos and vibrators have seen their dreams crushed by lawsuits owing to a 2002 patent that covers the fundamental technology behind computer-controlled sex toys. The transgression? Launching their products after the patent went into effect.

Patents have long encouraged creativity by protecting ideas and research from theft and supporting those who spend years developing genuinely novel technologies and designs. Sex too inspires creativity — from positions and styles to external devices — to enhance the experience or to avoid pregnancy. The so-called teledildonics patent, however, has been leaving brilliant inventors frustrated, and all that is about to end. On Aug. 17, the patent will expire, freeing innovative firms to unleash new toys to the market.

Originally obtained by Warren Sandvick and two others in 2002, the patent has twice changed hands. Tzu Technologies, the patent’s current holder, has repeatedly sued or threatened to sue firms that have created technologies ranging from open-source vibrators to remote hand-held devices. Many companies, unable to negotiate license terms (i.e., permission to use the tech covered by the patent), withdrew their plans under financial pressure. Tzu Technologies’ lawyers did not respond to requests for comment.

But with the patent expiring later this month, teledildonics innovators are preparing to bounce back. Soon, London-based MysteryVibe will release an internet-enabled men’s vibrator that doubles as a partner toy. Virtual-reality companies are developing new devices and games as the VR porn space increases in popularity. FookVR is creating a headset that connects vibrating penis sleeves with vibrators and also syncs to the movements of avatars on a screen. And Intimuse, a California-based startup, has developed haptic technologies that re-create the sensation of touch with devices that simulate a penis or a vagina. For years, the company has been designing around the teledildonics patent, says John McCoy, CEO of Intimuse. But not anymore.

These companies also no longer need to worry about the risks two Georgia Tech students faced when, in 2015, they created the Mod, an open-source vibrator that could sync with a partner’s heartbeat, be controlled by a banana or operated with a nipple piercing. Threatened with a lawsuit by Tzu, the students held back their plans. Fresh technologies won’t find themselves mired in courtroom battles that even established companies haven’t been able to avoid. In 2017, for example, Lelo, a Swedish-based company, was sued for its remote-controlled vibrator — as was Hong Kong–based SayberX for its masturbation sleeve.

“Tzu Technologies had a chilling effect on the industry,” says Kyle Machulis, who consulted with Comingle, the company that made the Mod.

The term “teledildonics” was coined 28 years ago by futurist Howard Rheingold to describe sex toys remotely controlled via computer. Today’s teledildonics come in different forms, such as a dildo controlled by an app or a sleeve-style device and a vibrator with the movements of one transmitted to the other — when the vibrator penetrates the vagina, the sleeve automatically squeezes the penis in response.

Patents typically allow creators of a unique and useful invention to protect it for 20 years. It’s a “give-and-take” deal — to encourage people to spend time and resources on the invention of new technologies, the government grants exclusive use to the inventor for a period of time via a patent. But because Tzu and the previous patent owners have had these powers while never manufacturing a sex toy themselves, they’re referred to as “patent trolls” by critics.

One way around the patent was for companies to license it from Tzu, as Dutch firm Kiiroo did, according to news reports. Some have carved out whole new portfolios of patents and patent applications — 67 in all for Intimuse — by working around Tzu’s patent. But that’s arduous and not everyone can afford it.

For small companies, the threat of an “international lawsuit looming over you” is debilitating, the creators of the Mod wrote on their website in February 2016. The costs of defending oneself could be more than a million dollars, they suggested. There was an era when grad students were designing sex toys, and Tzu Technologies put a halt to it, says Machulis, who has created his own open-source sex toy programming software and is a teledildonics blogger.

At least one company successfully fought a lawsuit from Tzu. Kickstarter, the mainstream crowdfunding platform, was sued in 2015 for hosting a crowdfund campaign for a teledildonic device. Kickstarter resisted, and the patent owner quickly capitulated. Many other lawsuits have been settled without the disclosure of terms.

Though most experts view patents as vital to protecting creativity, the expiration of the teledildonics patent may actually spark innovation within the sex toy industry, says David Parisi, an associate professor of emerging media at the College of Charleston. With the patent behind them, “they should be able to devote more resources” to designing innovative devices, he says, “free from the stress and financial drain of defending against overly broad claims of infringement.”

That won’t solve the myriad other challenges the industry continues to face. Just this past May, sex toy–maker and retailer Unbound had to battle New York City’s MTA to be allowed to advertise its products in the subway, even though erectile dysfunction products were already plastered throughout the city’s subway trains. Parisi says the “ongoing stigmatization” of sex tech leaves him suspicious that “we’re on the cusp of some great mainstreaming of teledildonics.” And Machulis worries that other sex-tech patents could replace the challenges the teledildonics patent posed for innovators.

Whether or not Machulis and Parisi are right, the teledildonics patent’s expiration signals a new beginning. Machulis is planning a party to celebrate, and he won’t be alone — the race will once again be on to create the best possible orgasmic experience.

Complete Article HERE!

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“The Most Comfortable Harness I’ve Ever Used!”

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Hey sex fans!

It’s Product Review Friday again. And today we have yet another swell product from our good friends at The Perfect Fit Brand!

You have been keeping up with all our reviews of the amazing products coming from the award-winning Perfect Fit Brand haven’t you? If not, you’re totally missing out. To find all our reviews, here’s what you do; use the search function in the header of DrDickSexToyReviews.com, type in The Perfect Fit Brand, and PRESTO!

And here to tell you all about this new product I’m pleased to welcome the newest member of the Dr Dick Review Crew, Billy. I’ll have him introduce himself as well as give you the low-down on what he has in his hot little hands.

Zoro Knight 6.0 Clear —— $89.95

Billy
[H]ey everyone! My name is Billy. I am a forty-something bi trans man living and loving here in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. As far as I know, I’m the only transperson on the Dr Dick Review Crew. So I’m so glad I have this opportunity to tell you about this remarkable new strap-on, the Zoro Knight 6.0 Clear, from The Perfect Fit Brand.

Let me say from the get-go; this is the most comfortable harness I’ve ever used!

I’m a little embarrassed to say it, but I haven’t updated my harness in 8 years. My old harness with its thin leather straps, which took way to much time to adjust and never really felt all that great to wear, is completely obsolete. The Zoro Knight, on the other hand, is state of the art. It is easy to get on and off, which makes a big difference when you’re trying to stay in a sexy moment.

Before I go on with my review, I’d like to show you around the Zoro Knight because its design is nothing short of revolutionary. The Perfect Fit Brand calls their design a system because there are actually two elements to the Zoro Knight and its companion strap-ons. (I’ll get to the companions in a minute.) The two elements are: 1) The elasticized waistband, which you simply pull on, like a jockstrap. There are no additional adjustments required. 2) The molded baseplate with the dong is all one piece. It is designed with the curves of your body in mind and fits snugly against your pelvis.

The baseplate is made of ultra soft premium silicone. And when it is in place you’ll immediately know why the Zoro Knight is so innovative. The baseplate is designed to transfer the impact of your thrusting to your pelvis instead right on your genitals. Anyone who has used a traditional strap-on will realize how much sense that makes. No more banging against your delicate parts. OUCH!

The baseplate and dong that I have is clear, but it also comes in black and purple…different sized dongs too. The dong is hollow, which makes it lighter, stronger, and more comfortable. You can even use a bullet vibe inside the dong for added sensations. And because the molded baseplate and dong are all one piece, you never need to guide the dong with your hands. That sounds like a small thing, but it ain’t. Once you’ve tried the Zoro Knight, you’ll never go back to an awkward, floppy, uncomfortable O-ring type strap-on.

The baseplate also features a hole below the dong. If you have a penis and have an erection you can use it for double penetration. If ya don’t have a penis, this hole provides good access to your clit, vulva, vagina, or whatever name you give your private bits. The point is the Zoro Knight gives you or your partner access to your genitals, while the dong is stiff for penetration.

I said I’d mention the Zoro companions. There are three types of Zoros — the Zoro, the Zoro Knight, and the Armour Knight. Waistbands are available in several sizes — Small: 28-30”, Medium: 31- 33”, Large: 34-36”, and XL: 37-39”. And the dongs range in size from 5.5” up to 7”. You can see the array HERE!

Since the Zoro Knight is basically a clothing item, you simply toss the waistband into the wash, when you’re done. The silicone baseplate cleans up easily with mild soap and warm water. Or you can wipe it down with a lint-free towel moistened with peroxide, rubbing alcohol or a 10% bleach solution to sanitize for sharing. And, of course, you’re going to share this, right? This keeps everything hygienic and sanitary. No more trying to keep a leather harness clean.

Make sure you use only a water-based lubricant with the Zoro Knight . I suppose some of the newer silicone-hybrid lubes might work too, but I would be careful and do a test patch first. You wouldn’t want to mar the beautiful silicone skin.

The packaging is attractive, but minimal. A simple cardboard box surrounds a formed clear plastic container that holds the waistband and the baseplate.

I haven’t yet browsed all the dong options, but I’d be interested in adding one with a little more detail work. I also, as I mentioned above, got the clear version of the baseplate and dong, which I imagine would be very hot for most folks.

Full Review HERE!

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Ring-A-Ding-Ding

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Hey sex fans!

It’s Product Review Friday once again. This week we welcome back an old friend. The good people at We-Vibe have been part of this review effort since 2008 when we reviewed our first product of their line. Since then we’ve happily reviewed several of their others.

To keep track of all our reviews of the amazing products coming from We-Vibe, use the search function in the sidebar of DrDickSexToyReviews.com, type in We-Vibe, and PRESTO!

Back with us today is one of the newest members of the Dr Dick Review Crew, Trevor, who will introduce us to today’s product.

The Verge Vibrating Ring, Slate —— $88.70

Trevor
Hello again! Just in case you didn’t read my first review, my name is Trevor.  I’m 32 years old. I’m originally from the UK, Manchester to be precise, but have been in the US since I was 13. I live with my da. My mom passed away three years ago. I am dating this great gal. Shelia is her name. We’ve been together for just over a year.

My new toy is the Verge Vibrating Ring by We-Vibe. It’s an amazing new cockring.

If you are unfamiliar with what a cockring (penis ring) is or what it is used for, let me turn your attention to a swell tutorial that Dr Dick put together called, Cockring Crash Course.

The Verge Vibrating Ring is worn around your cock and balls. The ring feature adds a bit of blood flow restriction for fuller, longer lasting erections. The vibration feature, which hits you smack-dab on your perineum, produces mind-blowing orgasms.

You can use the Verge Vibrating Ring alone, like when you’re having a little wank, or with a partner, like when you’re having a little shag. Either way, it’s brilliant!

Sometimes I need a wee bit more stimulation to get off than what I can produce with my hand. For example, I’ve recently discovered all the pleasures that come from stimulating my prostate while I wank. For the longest time my butthole was off limits because I thought that was too gay for a straight bloke like me. I know how stupid that way of thinking is now, but for the longest time I just wouldn’t allow myself the permission to even investigate the other pleasure zones on my body.

My girl, Shelia, helped me over come that. One day we were having sex and she had this little lipstick vibe with her. http://www.drdicksextoyreviews.com/2014/05/09/we-vibe-tango/ She started to use it on her clit while I was inside her. At first, I was pretty upset by this. I thought I wasn’t doing my job pleasuring her enough with my cock. I even started to get soft. I was just about to pull out when Shelia, guessing what was going on with me, took the little vibe and placed it on that patch of skin between my balls and butthole, my perineum. I immediately jumped to attention. I had never felt anything like that before. But I was also scared. It was getting way too close to my hole for comfort.

I was torn between the intense pleasure and the fear of the gay thing. What a dolt!

Shelia later told me about all the nerve endings in my pelvis can be the source of great pleasure and that some guys are orgasmic by just stimulating their prostate. To tell the truth, I wasn’t all that sure what or where my prostate was. All I knew was that if it was inside my butt; I wasn’t going there. But I figured stimulating my perineum was OK because it was not technically IN my butt.

To make a long story short, I was using a vibrator on my perineum one day when I, all of a sudden, let the vibe wander to my hole. The sensations were AMAZING! It was only a little while later that I threw caution to the wind and tentatively started to insert the vibe in my butthole. Within minutes I discovered my prostate, which is as sensitive and pleasure producing as my cock if not more so. And guess what? I didn’t turn gay!

Crazy story, right? I’ll bet there are a lotta guys out there who think the way that I used to. Hopefully, reading this will straighten them out…no pun intended.

OK, so I mentioned that if you wear the Verge Vibrating Ring with the pointy part down you get perineum stimulation, right? Well get this, if you wear the Verge with the pointy part up, like when you’re having sex with your partner, the Verge Vibrating Ring delivers the vibration to your partner’s clit.

The Verge Vibrating Ring delivers vibrations that are deep and rumbly, not the little buzzy kind that you get from some vibes. It’s also amazingly quiet.

And while we’re talking about the vibrations, you should know that there are 10 vibration modes built into the Verge Vibrating Ring. But that’s just the beginning. There’s a smartphone app that you get through the We-Vibe website. http://we-vibe.com/app With the app you can connect and control a bunch of We Vibe products, not just the Verge. So when Shelia and I both have our We Vibe vibrator we can share control of each other’s pleasure at the same time. It’s totally wild.

The Verge Vibrating Ring is covered in velvety, latex-free, nonporous, phthalate-free, and hypoallergenic, body-safe silicone. And because it is fully waterproof and made of silicone it’s a breeze to clean. I toss it into the skink with mild soap and warm water, rub it down a bit, and then let it air dry. Or you can just wipe it down with a lint-free towel moistened with peroxide, rubbing alcohol or a 10% bleach solution.

The Verge Vibrating Ring is rechargeable via a USB connected port. It takes about 90 minutes to fully charge and a full charge will last for up to two hours of play.

If you’re going to be using lube on or around the Verge Vibrating Ring, be sure to use only water-based lube. A silicone based lube would mar the beautiful finish of the toy.

I love everything about the Verge Vibrating Ring. I love that it is made of body-safe silicone and that it’s 100% waterproof. I love that the vibrations are massive but it’s still really quiet. I love that it is rechargeable. And I love that Shelia and I can play with our toys and each other even if we’re not actually together.

Full Review HERE!

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The best sex toy you didn’t know you needed

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Hey sex fans!

It’s Product Review Friday comin’ at ya again.

In previous weeks we welcomed several new manufacturers to our effort. (If ya missed any of our recent reviews you can see them HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE.) All these new manufacturers are Europeans. Today, we welcome back an award-winning company, including the unprecedented two placements on the coveted Dr Dick’s Sex Toy Reviews Best Adult Products List, 2012 and 2013. It is proudly an American company. And these folks are good friends to all of us here at Dr Dick Sex Advice. Join me in welcoming back The Perfect Fit Brand!

To keep track of all our reviews of the amazing products coming from The Perfect Fit Brand, use the search function in the sidebar of DrDickSexToyReviews.com, type in The Perfect Fit Brand, and PRESTO!

I am equally pleased to welcome back the very popular Dr Dick Review Crew duo, Glenn & Hank who have returned to our review effort. They are here to tell us about their new find.

Bull Bag Buzz —— $49.95

Glenn & Hank
Hank: “HEY SEX FREAKS! We’re back…after a nearly four-year absence. Where does the time go?”
Glenn: “I was one of the people who pleaded with Dr Dick to keep the reviews coming, just before he closed it down in 2014. I considered myself one of the founding members of the Dr Dick Review Crew and I didn’t want it to end. I did my first review in October on 2007. I know that some of the other members got burnt out, and I confess, this reviewing gig can be a bitch sometimes, but I thought we were doing a great service to those who read this blog.”
Hank: “I joined the Dr Dick Review Crew in August 2008. Glenn and I had the pleasure of introducing you to many remarkable products, including The Best Product or Toy for Men back in 2012 — The Fat Boy Cock Sheath another great product from The Perfect Fit Brand.”
Glenn: “When Dr Dick announced that he was gonna revive this review effort I told him that Hank and I would gladly return. But I made one stipulation. ‘You had better give us first dibs on any new products from The Perfect Fit Brand.’”
Hank: “You can say that again! The Perfect Fit Brand consistently cranks out the world’s most innovative toys for men. Each year they outdo themselves and they have the awards, from over the globe, to prove it. If you’ve got a cock and balls and/or an asshole, and you don’t have at least a couple of their products, I can assure you that you are missing out on a ton of fun.”
Glenn: “So what is this Bull Bag Buzz thing, you might be asking yourself. Well guys, I’ll tell ya. It’s probably the best sex toy you didn’t know you needed. It’s a stretchy encasement that fits around your nut sack. It cradles your balls a bit. It stretches your sack a bit. And the fuckin’ thing vibrates! It is made of The Perfect Fit Brand’s proprietary material, called SilaSkin, which is a blend of silicone and TPR (thermoplastic rubber). It is unbelievably stretchy and irresistibly soft and it is phthalate-free. Bull Bag Buzz comes in two colors, black and clear.”


Hank: “Yep, the Bull Bag Buzz is stretchy, shape-enhancing, and body-hugging. If you ask me, nothing says macho like a big set of swingin’ balls between a guy’s legs. And yet, most of us guys pay our balls little mind. We stroke our dick and feed our ass, sure. But what about our nuts? I think it’s a fuckin’ shame that we often ignore this source of pleasure and even some pain. Check out what Dr Dick has to say about it HERE!”
Glenn: “Hank is lucky because he’s got obscenely huge nuts. When we go to play parties, he loves nothing more than to swagger around like some stallion. I, on the other hand, wasn’t nearly as blessed, but I never take my cajones for granted. I always try to incorporate them into my pleasuring – stretching and tugging.”
Hank: “That’s right! If ya haven’t tried a little CBT, you’re missing out. It hurts sooo good!
Glenn: “I think we just got off topic there for a bit. But actually, it’s all very pertinent. Bull Bag Buzz could be part of any guy’s attempt to include his balls into his sexual repertoire. You can use it alone or with a partner. You slip it over your nut sack, turn on the 3-Speed power bullet located on the bottom and get ready for intense vibration that travels throughout the whole product. It’s unlike anything you’ve ever felt before. Using it alone, like while you’re strokin’ your dick, keeps your nut sack engaged in your pleasuring. You’ll be amazed at the added pleasure. Using it with a partner is equally awesome. I’m a bottom, so when Hank mounts me with the Bull Bag Buzz on his nuts, I get the added sensation of his huge nuts slammin’ into me. The vibrations only heighten the pleasure.”


Hank: “So I was lookin’ on the internet for some information about Bull Bag Buzz before we started to play with it ourselves. I found a video of the founder and CEO of The Perfect Fit Brand, Steve Callow talking about his newest creation. I’m gonna include it here.”


Glenn: “I fuckin’ want to see Steve Callow model the Bull Bag Buzz, not just talk about it. He is one HOT daddy.”
Hank: “Now, now, behave yourself. You can be such a pervert. The Bull Bag Buzz is safe with all water-based lubes. Clean up is super easy because the SilaSkin material is nonporous and so stretchy you can actually turn the blasted thing inside out. And once thoroughly dry the Bull Bag Buzz isn’t the least bit sticky or tacky. We both give this product an A+ rating.”
Glenn: “The Bull Bag Buzz also works for giving your package that extra-large bulge under your favorite pair of jeans.

Full Review HERE!

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A Stylish Vibe For Beginners

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Hey sex fans!

It’s Product Review Friday once again. And, like the last three weeks, you can see them HERE and HERE and HERE, we welcome a new manufacturer to our review effort. This week it’s another German company, OVO Lifestyle Toys.

I’m delighted to welcome back to this review effort one of the founding members of the Dr Dick Review Crew, Joy and her oh so charming wife, Dixie.

F12 Vibrator Fuchsia —— $52.69

Joy & Dixie
Joy: “We’re BACK!”
Dixie: “And we’re back as married ladies. In the near three years that has passed since our last reviews, we got hitched. Joy got down on one knee, no easy task for her, and proposed. After I said, yes, I had to help her to her feet.”
Joy: “So, OK, I’m a romantic at heart, I’m just not built for all the more traditional romantic gestures.”
Dixie: “To tell the truth, not much really changed in our lives after the wedding, but we scored some kick-ass wedding gifts. Joy got some power tools, of course, and I got a load of stuff for the kitchen. We even got a couple of sex toys. All our dyke friends know how much we loves our sex toys.”
Joy: “And ya know what’s better than sex toys? Getting sex toys for free in exchange for doing reviews here on Dr Dick Sex Advice and Dr Dick Sex Toy Reviews.”
Dixie: “Which brings us to why we are here today. We’re here to tell you about the F12 Vibrator Fuchsia from OVO Lifestyle Toys. Here it is in all its handsomeness.”
Joy: “Or, here SHE is in all her beauty.”
Dixie: “You say tomato, I say tomahto.”
Joy: “I want to start our introduction with the packaging, if that’s alright with you. F12 Vibrator Fuchsia comes in a nice gift package. But my first thought was…are you kidding me with the name? Fuchsia if fine; it is, after all, the color of the thing. But F12?? You gotta be kidding me. Someone is falling down in the creative department, if you ask me.”
Dixie: “I second that. But, you’re right the box is nice.”
Joy: “The packaging consists of a white embossed slip-sleeve featuring a full-sized image of F12 Vibrator Fuchsia. The outer sleeve tells you just about everything you need to know about the vibe inside. It has four programs, three speeds, a contoured texture, it’s waterproof, it’s battery operated, and it comes with a 15-year warranty. Under the slip-sleeve is the pearl grey box that claps shut with magnets. Inside that there’s a black and clear plastic clamshell insert sorta deal that holds the vibe in place. It’s attractive without being ostentatious. There’s also a OVO product catalog and ‘quick start guide’ included.”
Dixie: The F12 Vibrator Fuchsia vibe is covered in a luscious, high-quality, latex-free, nonporous, phthalate-free, and hypoallergenic silicone. Silicone is our material of choice for insertables. But don’t forget you must always use a water-based lube with a silicone toy like the F12. A silicone-based lube would mar the finish. The F12 comes in just this one color, as far as I know, but it has some nice gold detailing.”

Joy: “Like I just said the F12 has four vibrating programs and three speeds. The vibrations are the buzzy kind not the rumbling kind. The two-button control panel is easy to handle and operate. There’s an on/off button under the silicone skin. The “+ and -” button accelerates the speed through its five settings. And it is remarkably quiet.”
Dixie: “The F12 is about nine inches long. The insertable portion is about six inches long. It’s a pretty traditional shape for an insertable, but the contours are nice.”
Joy: “I can’t help but thinking how retro the F12 is. I mean it’s battery operated for god’s sake. I can’t even remember the last toy we reviewed that was battery operated.”
Dixie: “But it’s waterproof, so there’s that. And come to think of it, there are probably lots of women, particularly older women, who may not have the capacity or the know-how to use a USB recharger.”
Joy: “I hear ya. That is actually a really good point. And the fact that F12 is waterproof makes it perfect for bath time. And who doesn’t like to get off in the bath?”
Dixie: “Because it is made of silicone and its fully waterproof it’s so easy to clean. Mild soap and warm water does just fine for everyday cleaning. But you can also wipe it down with a lint-free towel moistened with peroxide, rubbing alcohol or a 10% bleach solution to sanitize for sharing. And it should be shared!”
Joy: “The packaging states that the F12 is ‘curved for added g-spot pleasure’. I know that g-spot pleasuring is a real buzz word (you should pardon the pun) in vibes these days, but I’m gonna challenge OVO on this claim. I think there’s not nearly enough curve to the F12 to make it an effective g-spot vibe.”
Dixie: “I totally agree with Joy. At the same time, one size or one shape does not fit all! Each of our bodies is different; what will work for me, won’t work for Joy and visa versa. There are so many variables — insertable length, curve of the shaft, and on and on.”
Joy: “Exactly! I have another quarrel with the promotional materials of F12. The claim the F12 is ‘earth-shatteringly powerful’. I beg to differ! While the F12 has many nice features; take it from me, it is most assuredly not ‘earth-shatteringly powerful’. The F12 doesn’t really have enough oomph to get me off. But then again, I am not the intended audience for the F12. I’m thinking the F12 is geared toward a woman, or a couple new to sex toys.”
Dixie: “And I can’t recommend the F12 for butt play either. There isn’t a flared base on it to make it safe for anal play. So all you guys and gals out there experimenting with anal sex, you’ll have to look elsewhere for a pleasure product.”
Joy: “Let’s recap, shall we? F12 is body-safe, healthy, waterproof, moderately powerful, and super quiet.”
Dixie: “When we were working on this review we searched the net for info about the F12. One of the things we discovered is that there is a wide price range for this product. We saw it for as little as $35 and as expensive as $50. I don’t know what accounts for that disparity, but I encourage you to shop around if you plan to buy.”

Full Review HERE!

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It’s Surprisingly Hard to Ban Toxic Sex Toys

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But Here’s How to Protect Yourself

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[T]hese days, most of us will carefully check ingredients lists for gluten and trans fats, demand that our water bottles be made without BPA, and seek out paraben-free, body-safe cosmetics. But the average person can’t tell you what a toxic sex toy is—or even that they exist. Unfortunately, in the unregulated sex toy industry, plenty of sex toys are potentially rife with products that can hurt you (and not even in the fun, kinky way).

Perhaps the most well-known offender in terms of toy toxicity is a group of chemicals known as phthalates, a plasticizer that can be blended with other substances to make them softer and more flexible. A spotlight’s been shone on phthalates in recent years, as publications like Bustle and Bitch, and feminist-oriented sex shops like Good Vibes and Babeland have spoken out against them.

So why all the hullabaloo? It turns out that phthalates may have side effects when they come into contact with your body that could potentially be terrible for you—and aren’t disclosed by most sex toy manufacturers. According to Amanda Morgan, D.H.S., a faculty member at the School of Community Health Sciences at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, who wrote her master’s thesis on harmful sex toy materials, phthalates are known endocrine disruptors that can cause health problems. “[Phthalates] mess with your hormones; they can cause birth defects, or other things related to liver or kidney functioning,” Morgan told me, referencing studies that have linked phthalates to irregular fetal development, early-onset puberty, and lower sperm counts, among other issues. “They can really mess you up because they pretend to be your hormones, and so your body’s hormonal cycle gets knocked out of whack from exposure to these things.”

When you hear horror stories about sex toys, though, it’s not necessarily phthalates that are to blame. One of the most common anecdotal complaints about toxic toys is that they cause skin irritation: “I first thought [it] was a yeast infection or BV, because of extreme itching and burning on my inner labia,” reports one reader who wrote in to sex toy review blog Dangerous Lilly. “My ass suddenly felt like it was on fire. A burning sensation spread throughout my butt,” recalled sex educator Tristan Taormino about a questionable dildo she used. One Playboy story described a dildo that caused a woman “such severe pain that she could barely speak.”

I asked Emily S. Barrett, Ph.D., a professor at the Rutgers University School of Public Health who has done extensive research on the prenatal effects of endocrine disruptors like phthalates, whether these reported burning sensations fit with her understanding of the chemicals. She told me she hasn’t seen evidence that phthalates irritate the skin in this way, and that they tend to “act on a much more subtle level most of the time.”

So what is causing these health problems? According to Amanda Morgan, phthalates aren’t the only sketchy ingredient still getting into our sex toys. As part of her thesis research, Morgan tested 32 sex toys to determine their chemical makeup. What she found was pretty scary: The toys she tested typically contained 30 to 35 percent chlorine. She said PVC, a material commonly used to make inexpensive sex toys, always contains chlorine (hence the chemical name “polyvinyl chloride”). Even scarier, in 2006, BadVibes.org—an organization that, full disclosure, is linked to pro-toy-safety sex shop The Smitten Kitten—ran lab tests on four popular sex toys. They found that two of them were made of PVC and contained “very high levels of phthalate plasticizer.”

“We use chlorine to kill bacteria in things,” Morgan said. “If you are being exposed to this high level of chlorine, especially in a sensitive membrane area [like the vagina or rectum], we could definitely chalk that up to causing irritation, burning, or messing up the environment by exposing it to something that is, as we know, a sterilization product.” So with the short-term burning effects of chlorine and the long-term endocrine effects of phthalates, PVC is, Morgan said, “definitely one of the worst sex toy materials we’ve seen.”

Now, you might be thinking, “OK, great to know! I’ll just buy only safe toys from now on!” Well, it’s not so simple. Since the sex toy industry is unregulated, it doesn’t fall under the current purview of the Food and Drug Administration. According to FDA press officer Angela Stark, that’s because the agency “does not regulate devices meant purely for sexual pleasure. It does, however, regulate genital devices that have a medical purpose such as vibrators intended for therapeutic use to treat sexual dysfunction or to supplement Kegel exercises.” Of course, the vast majority of sex toys don’t fall under this “health aid” umbrella.

The responsibility of regulating sex toys could potentially fall to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, but Morgan told me the understaffed CPSC is already in charge of regulating over 15,000 types of products—not to mention the products themselves. The complex issue of sex toy regulation would be a big ask on top of all that.

Add to all of this the fact that the current Congress likely wouldn’t rush to make a bold, sex-positive statement by mandating sex toy safety, and there are plenty of reasons your sex toy might not meet body-safe standards. “Our government doesn’t generally like to talk about people pleasuring themselves,” Morgan pointed out.

Beyond that, though, Morgan adds that regulating the sex toy industry might not even be the best solution to getting rid of toxic toys anyway. “If something is federally regulated, that means that the federal government—depending on where they are in their political leanings at that time—could potentially make it illegal to have these products, by saying they are ‘dangerous’ and then regulating them out of existence,” she reasoned. “You get certain types of people in power, and they may not believe in sexual health, wellness, [or] self-pleasuring. It might go against their core values, and therefore they [might] use their political agenda and the federal regulation system to regulate these products out of people’s hands.”

It’s a conclusion that Zach Biesanz, a legal assistant in the office of New York’s Attorney General, came to in his 2007 paper in the journal Law & Inequality: “Special regulation of the sex toy industry would be unreasonably burdensome from a regulatory standpoint,” he wrote. “Only banning these toxins outright will suffice to protect consumers from phthalates’ harmful and even lethal effects.”

In the meantime, how do you tell if a toy is safe? Sex toy experts like Morgan, Smitten Kitten founder Jennifer Pritchett, and seasoned sex toy reviewer Epiphora all recommend buying toys made of phthalate-free, body-safe materials like pure silicone, stainless steel, glass, and hard plastic. Still, it’s difficult to know what’s what in an industry that mislabels its products so frequently. “Sniff your sex toy,” said Morgan. “That’s the easiest thing you can do. If you smell these products and they don’t smell like anything, then it most likely is a stable chemical compound like silicone.” Phthalates and PVC, however, smell “like chemicals,” according to Morgan, “like a new shower curtain,” according to Epiphora, and “like a headache,” according to Pritchett. The sex toy smell test might sound a little weird, but it’s a pretty good first line of defense.<

Morgan also recommends buying toys made by “companies that take a lot of pride in making good-quality, body-safe toys,” citing Tantus and Jimmyjane as examples. Other companies that proudly declare their products body-safe include We-Vibe, Fun Factory, Vixen Creations, and Funkit Toys.

And when in doubt, find a reviewer you can trust. Sex toy review blogs abound on the internet —Epiphora, Dangerous Lilly, and Formidable Femme, to name just a few—and while you’d be wise to take claims about sex toys with a grain of salt in this unregulated industry, sometimes the preponderance of good or bad reviews about a particular company or toy can suggest conclusions about its safety (or lack thereof).

Most important, though, demand body-safe sex toys by buying only from companies you can trust. “Consumers vote with their pocketbook,” said Tantus founder Metis Black. “Support the businesses that make safe toys a priority, that use their resources to educate, that take a stand and advocate for consumers.” She added that while pure silicone toys are expensive now—especially in comparison to PVC toys, which can often be under $30 a pop versus $100+ for silicone—more consumer demand for body-safe toys will create a larger supply at lower prices, as bigger companies with more resources start making nontoxic toys in larger quantities. That’s just sex toy economics.

Bloggers, consumers, and ethical toymakers alike all dream of a future in which no sex toys will burn your junk, give you infections, or cause long-term bodily harm. It seems reasonable enough. And if we keep fighting for it, maybe one day it’ll be reality.

Complete Article HERE!

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A Crescendo of High-Tech

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Hey sex fans!

It’s Product Review Friday once again. And, like last week, we welcome a new manufacturer to our review effort. This week it’s another amazing British company, Mystery Vibe.  (Holy Cow, what’s going on in the UK that is making it the new center for innovative adult products? Whatever it is, everyone here at Dr Dick Sex Advice and Dr Dick Sex Toy Reviews is stoked about it.)

I’m also delighted to welcome back two of our veteran reviewers for this special assignment, Kevin & Gina.

Crescendo —— $179.00

Kevin & Gina
Gina: “Well, this feels pretty familiar, but a little odd too. I can’t believe we are back on the Dr Dick Review Crew. How did that happen? I thought we swore off these reviews years ago.”
Kevin: “To quote Michael Corleone: ‘Just when I thought I was out; they keep pulling me back in.’ But you have to admit, we did miss this mess a little bit, didn’t we?”
Gina: “I guess so. No, that’s not true. I really missed it. I didn’t miss reviewing the same old stuff over and over again. That was boring as shit! But I think we both missed reviewing products that, one could immediately see, have been designed and manufactured by creative people thinking outside the box. In fact, we both said that we would rather review those products, even if those products didn’t quite hit the mark, than review something less creative and innovative.”
Kevin: “So true! I have so much more respect for people who try something different and unique, even if it fails; than I do for people cranking out more of the same old same old.”
Gina: “So when Dr Dick asked us if we would ever consider coming back to the Review Crew he was smart enough to wave something irresistible in front of us.
Kevin: “To paraphrase Michael Corleone: ‘He made us an offer we couldn’t refuse.’”
Gina: “So here we are back in the bosom of the Review Crew after a nearly three year absence so we can bring you something really remarkable. Check out Crescendo from Mystery Vibe. They say it’s the world’s first body-adapting vibrator. I guess we’ll just have to see about that.

Kevin: “To quote Michael Corleone again: ‘I respect those that tell me the truth, no matter how hard that is.’”
Gina: “Is that all you’re gonna do today? I mean I love your Al Pacino, but this is just too nutty.”
Kevin: “To quote Michael Corleone: ‘Never let anyone know what you are thinking.’ OK, OK, I think I got that out of my system for now. Before Gina tells you about the vibe itself I want to comment on the packaging. Crescendo come in a sleek, sophisticated, and elegant gift box. Gold embossed black slipcover covers a beautiful textured box, also in black and gold. Inside the box you will find a black quilted storage bag secured with a tasteful black embossed ribbon, a USB cord, the charging stand or dock, and the striking Crescendo itself. All the packaging is recyclable. If first impressions are important, this packaging certainly got our attention.”

Gina: “As stylish as the packaging is, that’s only the beginning. Here are some of the highlights of the Crescendo itself. First, it’s 9 inches in length and has a maximum diameter of 1.75 inches. Second, it’s bendable; there are three joints that enable you to shape it so that you can use it in different ways. Both women and men will be able to enjoy this vibe alone or with a partner. There are an astonishing number of vibration patterns programmed into the toy when you first take it out of the package, 12 to be precise. There are also 16 power levels for each pattern. You can increase/decrease one step at a time or use the jump function to leap to the highest or lowest settings instantly. Crescendo saves the last pattern you were using so that when you resume your pleasuring it’s right where you left it. And get this, it has six different motors; can you believe that? Four motors in the middle of the toy and two higher intensity motors at either end of the toy.”
Kevin: “I want to say a bit more about Crescendo’s bendability because this is what makes it so damned innovative. It can be easily shaped and positioned into several shapes making it ideal for a whole range of pleasuring. When Gina is using it as an insertable, she curves the tip towards the front wall of her vagina to get amazing g-spot sensations. She can also fold it into a U-shape so that she can get both internal and external pleasure. It’s even wearable. We use it in an S-shape for mind-blowing oral sex. When it’s my turn, I bend it around my dick. I can use it as a stroker or as a cradle. Don’t forget your balls and taint (perineum). You can sit on it with the tip curled up to pleasure your butthole, which is totally awesome. The only thing you can’t do is use the Crescendo as an anal dildo. It doesn’t have a secure flared base that would prevent the toy from slipping up your ass. Oh, and don’t try to bend it side-to-side either.”

Gina: “Charging the Crescendo is so easy. You simply place it onto the USB charging stand or dock. However, you need to place it just right (luckily, directions are included in the package). Once you’ve found the sweet spot the light on the vibe will start to blink indicating it’s charging. A full charge takes about an about 1 hour. When Crescendo is ready to go the blinking stops and the light remains solid. We got about two hours of non-stop play at full intensity on a single charge. All the buttons are lighted too for your convenience.”
Kevin: “The Crescendo is covered is covered in a velvety, latex-free, nonporous, phthalate-free, and hypoallergenic silicone. And because it is waterproof and made of silicone it’s a breeze to clean. Submerge it into the skink with mild soap and warm water and scrub it down a bit. Then let it air dry. Or you can just wipe it down with a lint-free towel moistened with peroxide, rubbing alcohol or a 10% bleach solution to sanitize it for sharing. And because Crescendo is also 100% waterproof, it’s the ideal toy for bath or shower.”

Gina: “Make sure you use only a water-based lubricant with Crescendo. I suppose some of the newer silicone-hybrid lubes might work too, but I would be careful and do a test patch first. You wouldn’t want to mar the beautiful silicone skin. Oh, and get this: there is a one year warranty from the date of purchase, as long as you have register your toy on Mystery Vibe website.”
Kevin: “Besides all of this good stuff there’s even an app for Crescendo. This will surely make all of our techie friends squeal with delight. I mean this is the height of high-tech sex toys. Go to your app store, download the Crescendo app, and follow the prompts. We discovered that the app wanted to update Crescendo’s firmware first. Once that was done we had access to dozens of pre-programed vibration patterns and we can customize our own patterns too.”
Gina: “I want to make another comment about Crescendo’s shape-shifting capacity. Bend it to suit your need or position and it stays in shape during play, even with vigorous activity.”

Kevin: “I found the buttons a little difficult to manage, my fingers are just too big. The buttons can also get pretty slippery when Crescendo is all lubed up, so there’s that.”
Gina: “Here’s something interesting. I was showing the Crescendo to an older friend of mine because I know how much she likes her vibrators. She is nearly sixty-nine, but very spry. I only mention her age because I think Crescendo might be a little too technically advanced for seniors. So, as I was going on and on about how great Crescendo is; showing her how it bends, even showing her the app, she got a dismayed look on her face and said, ‘It’s very beautiful and I can see why you like it so much, but it’s just way too complicated for me.”
Kevin: “I hope our toys don’t get so technically advanced that we leave older folks behind. That would be a real shame.”
Gina: “I also want to comment on the vibrations. Despite the zillions of patterns and speeds, the vibrations are more of the buzzy type rather than the deep rumble type that some women crave. I know each person has her own preferences along this line and no one vibe will be perfect for every one, so I thought I would mention that for those who might have a preference. ”

Kevin: “Gina and I liked just about everything about Crescendo. I was sold on the innovative design, it being rechargeable, and waterproof.”

Full Review HERE!

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The Guybrator Cometh!

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Dr Dick Sex Toy Reviews Is BACK!

Hey sex fans!

I got some fantastic news for you.

After a hiatus of nearly three years, I am reviving Dr Dick Sex Toy Reviews.

There have been lots of changes in the adult product marketplace over the intervening years and there have been lots of changes here at Dr Dick Sex Advice too.

When our last review appeared in December 2014 the Dr Dick Review Crew and I were plum tuckered out after more than seven years of grueling product testing. We all decided that it was high time to throw in the towel. Despite having the opportunity to sample some of the world’s best adult products we needed a break. Frankly, I thought for sure that when we ended our review run it was the end of it…for good. Well, like they always say, never say never.

Over the years, I’d hear from my loyal readership; they’d tell me that they missed our fun, informative, snarky, and sometimes irreverent reviews. My readers would ask about members of the Dr Dick Review Crew. “What ever happened to Jack & Karen, Glenn & Hank, Joy and Dixie and the others? And when are they gong to return?” I would answer the best I could, but I would always say, “It’s not likely that we’ll revive our product reviews, but I’m delighted to know that our thoughts and comments were meaningful and helped folks make wise buying decisions.”

The intervening years also brought several new potential reviewers. “Hey Dr Dick, If ever you revive your sex toy reviews, I want to volunteer to be on your crew.”

New and innovative products were coming to the marketplace and manufacturers would often reach out to me with offers to send me samples. Again, would thank them for their interest, but declined their offers.

The long and short of it is, I kinda missed the hurly-burley of it all too. There’s nothing like getting a new product delivered to your door, a product that holds out the promise of fun and pleasure.

So, we’re officially back!

We have some new Review Crew members, a hot load of very interesting products, and an eagerness to share it all with you.

Our inaugural product is something very special and here to tell you all about it is a new Dr Dick Review Crew Member, Trevor. I’ll let him introduce himself and what he has in his hot little hands.

Pulse III Duo —— $149.00

Trevor
[H]ey all! I’m Trevor. I’m 32 years old. I’m originally from the UK, Manchester to be precise, but have been in the US since I was 13. I live with my da. My mom passed away three years ago. I am involved with this great gal. Shelia is her name. We’ve been together for just over a year.

I absolutely LOVE sex! I’ve been interested in sex for as long as I can remember. Get this, my da caught me wankin’ away like the little pervert I was when I was just eleven. Embarrassing, huh? Actually it was OK. I think he was as embarrassed as me. Anyhow, after that we’ve been able to talk about sex, which, I think, has been good for both of us. Especially now since my mom’s gone. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Right now, I want to introduce you to the Pulse III Duo. It’s the world’s first Guybrator. It says so right on the classy super-shiny outer box. And this lovely comes from the good people at Hot Octopuss out of London…the one in England. GO Great Britain!!

Inside the box you’ll find a drawstring storage pouch, which has the Hot Octopuss logo on it, a magnetic/USB charging lead and an instruction manual. Then there’s a formed cardboard insert that holds the Pulse III Duo and a round remote control. All the packaging is recyclable. That’s the first item on the Dr Dick Review Crew’ checklist for a GREEN product.

Now let’s take a quick look at the Pulse III Duo itself. It’s basically a palm-sized hammock for your dick. It has these two flexible wings that surround your cock and you can use it with either a limp dick or a stiffy. It’s covered in this beautiful 100% silicone skin and it’s also 100% waterproof. By the way, the Pulse III Duo is the second generation Pulse. There’s also a Pulse II and a Pulse III Solo.

There are buttons on either side of the Pulse III Duo, one for power and vibrating patterns on the left side, and two (+/-) buttons to control intensity on the right side. The Pulse III Duo’s remote activates and controls the independent external vibrator for clitoral stimulation when you use it as a couple. So it’s actually two vibrators in one.

After giving the Pulse III Duo a charge for four hours using the magnetic USB charger, it was ready to go. I used it alone first. I started with my limp dick. I placed it in the hammock with my frenulum, the underside of my cockhead, on the sweet spot of the guybrator, and switched it on. The pulsing piston-like osculation action got me rock hard in moments. This thing is fantastic! I cycled through the 6 stimulation modes and adjusted the intensity with each mode. I couldn’t believe the sensations. I nearly blew my wad in the first few minutes.

Just when I thought I had experienced the full range of sensations I happened upon the “Turbo” button. You just press and hold the (+) button for a moment and it will take your vibrations straight to warp speed. DAMN!! This took me over the top in a matter of a couple minutes. Now, just so you know, I wasn’t actually stroking myself; I was just holding the Pulse III Duo on my dick.

The next time out I decided to add some lube. As with all silicone toys, use only water based lube. A silicone based lube would mar the beautiful finish of the toy. This time I gripped the Pulse III Duo around my dick, folding the wings slightly to embrace my cock. It felt so good I almost forgot to add the vibration. I edged my self for about 20 minutes this way. No mean task, because the pleasure was so intense I had to release my cock several times just to avoid cumming too soon.

The third solo use was in the shower. I love to wank in the shower. And because the Pulse III Duo is waterproof it’s the ideal shower or bath buddy.

I can see where the Pulse III Duo would make a great tool for some guy trying to gain control over his ejaculation response. If you cum too quickly and you want to lean how to last longer, this toy could help train you to do that.

After nearly exhausting myself with solo play I decided to put the Pulse III Duo away till I had the opportunity to show it to and play with it with my gal, Shelia. Luckily, Shelia loves sex toys, particularly the ones that vibrate. In fact, she is the one that originally turned me on to sex toys.

One evening we got a little buzz on with some killer Chardonnay. I whipped out the Pulse III Duo and handed it to her. I didn’t tell her anything about it; I wanted to see if she could figure it out. She handled it a bit and said, “this is a guy’s toy, right?” “Well, it sure can be.” I responded. I told her about my solo play and how I nearly knocked myself out with the powerful orgasms I had with it.

She thought that was all fine and good, but said, “I thought you said this was a toy for couples.” “It IS!!” I responded. That’s when I handed her the remote and showed her how she could adjust the completely independent vibrations on the bottom of Pulse III Duo to stimulate herself while my cock was being stimulated in the hammock.

In no time we were out of our clothes and messin’ around. I put the Pulse III Duo around my dick and positioned the base of the thing on Shelia’s pussy. We were kissing passionately, she was using the remote to cycle through the vibrations, and, within minutes, we both came. Breathless, Sheila simply said, “Wow!”

This is the most fun we’ve had without actually fucking.

One thing to note; the Pulse III Duo is kinda loud, at least comparatively speaking. Shelia and I didn’t care, but you might.

If, for some reason you and your partner, guy or gal, don’t feel up to the old in and out of penetrative sex, this is the toy for you.

As I already mentioned, the Pulse III Duo is covered in velvety, latex-free, nonporous, phthalate-free, and hypoallergenic silicone. And because it is waterproof and made of silicone it’s a breeze to clean. Toss it into the skink with mild soap and warm water, scrub it down a bit, and let it air dry. Or you can just wipe it down with a lint-free towel moistened with peroxide, rubbing alcohol or a 10% bleach solution to sanitize for sharing.

I mentioned my da at the beginning of this review, right? He’s in his mid 60’s and has been having some problems with blood pressure. He confided in me some months ago that his blood pressure meds are robbing him of his erections. I felt so bad for him because I can get a boner at the drop of a hat. Once I saw what the Pulse III Duo could do with my flaccid dick I offered to share it with him.

I said, “Look what I got.” “What the hell is that?” He responded. I explained how the thing worked the best I could then showed him the Hot Octopuss website and some of the Pulse III Duo videos on YouTube. I said, “Ya know, you don’t even have to be hard to get enough pleasure to cum.”

I said, “I’m gonna just leave this here. Take it for a spin if ya like.”

He did and absolutely loved it. He went out the very next day and bought one for himself.

Speaking of which, you can purchase the Pulse III Duo through the Hot Octopuss website, or just about any high-end adult products store online will carry it too.

Full Review HERE!

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Should sex toys be prescribed by doctors?

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Talk about good vibrations

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[T]hey are far more likely to be found in your bedside drawer than your local surgery, but sex toys can bring more than just benefits in the bedroom; they could boost your health too.

So should GPs stop being shy and recommend pleasure products? Samantha Evans, former nurse and co-founder of ‘luxury sex toy and vibrator shop’ Jo Divine certainly believes so. Challenging stuffy attitudes could change people’s lives for the better.

“I have encountered several doctors including GPs and gynaecologists who will not recommend sex toys because of their own personal views and embarrassment about sex. However, once healthcare professionals learn about sex toys and sexual lubricants and see what products can really help, they often change their mind.”

Samantha says increasingly doctors are seeing vibrators as the way forward for helping people overcome intimate health issues.

In 2015, she was asked to put together a sexual product brochure for the NHS at the request of Kent-based gynaecologist Mr Alex Slack. The document contains suitable sex toys, lubricants and pelvic floor exercisers that can help with a range of gynaecological problems.

But sex toys can also be beneficial for many other illnesses too, Samantha reveals.

“Often people feel their body is being hijacked by their illness such as cancer and being able to enjoy sexual pleasure is something they can take back control of, beyond popping a pill. Using a sex toy is much more fun and has far fewer side effects than medication!”

Here are just some of the reasons it’s worth exploring your local sex shop (or browsing online) to benefit your health:

1. Great sex is good for you

One area sex toys can help with is simply making sex more enjoyable, helping couples discover what turns them on.

“Having great sex can promote health and wellbeing by improving your mood and physically making you feel good. Using a sex toy can spice up a flagging sex life and bring a bit of fun into your life. A sex toy will make you feel great as well as promoting your circulation and the release of the “feel good factors” during an orgasm.”

2. Sex toys can rejuvenate vaginas

Some of the most uncomfortable symptoms of the menopause are gynaecological. Declining levels of the hormone oestrogen can lead to vaginal tightness, dryness and atrophy. This can lead to painful sex and decreased sex drive.

But vibrators can alieve these symptoms (by improving the tone and elasticity of vaginal walls and improving sexual sensation) and also promote vaginal lubrication.

Sex toys can also be useful following gynaecological surgery or even after childbirth to keep the vaginal tissue flexible, preventing it from becoming too tight and also promoting to blood flow to the area to speed up healing, says Samantha.

3. Sex toys help men too

Men can benefit from toys too, says Samantha. She says men who use them are less likely to be burdened with erectile dysfunction, difficulty orgasming and low sex drive.

“They are also more likely to be aware of their sexual health, making them more likely to notice any abnormalities and seek medical advice,” she points out.

Male products can help men overcome erectile dysfunction, following prostate surgery or treatment, diabetes, heart disease, spinal cord injury and neurological conditions by promoting the blood flow into the erectile tissues and stimulating the nerves to help the man have an erection without them having to take Viagra.

4. Sex isn’t just about penetration

There’s a reason sexperts stress the importance of foreplay. Most women just cannot orgasm through penetration alone no matter how turned on they are. Stimulating the clitoris can be the key to satisfying climaxes and sex toys can make that easier. Vibrators can be really useful for vulval pain conditions such as vulvodynia where penetration can be tricky to achieve.

“By becoming aware of how her body feels through intimate massage and exploration using a vibrator and lubricant and relaxation techniques, a woman who has vulvodynia can become more relaxed and comfortable with her body and her symptoms may lessen. It also allows intimate sex play when penetration is not possible,” says Samantha.

5. Vibrators can be better than medical dilators for vaginismus

Vaginismus, a condition in which a woman’s vaginal muscles tense up involuntarily, when penetration is attempted is generally treated using medical dilators of increasing sizes to allow the patient to begin with the thinnest dilator and slowly progress to the next size. But not all women get on with these, reveals Samantha.

Women’s health physiotherapist Michelle Lyons, says she often tries to get her sexual health patients to use a vibrator instead of a standard dilator.

“They (hopefully) already associate the vibrator with pleasure, which can be a significant help with their recovery from vaginismus/dyspareunia. We know from the research that low frequency vibrations can be sedative for the pelvic floor muscles, whereas higher frequencies are more stimulating. After all, the goal of my sexual rehab clients is to return to sexual pleasure, not just to ‘tolerate’ the presence of something in their vagina!”

Samantha Evans’ sex toy starter pack

1. YES organic lubricant

“One of the best sexual lubricants around being pH balanced and free from glycerin, glycols and parabens, all of which are vaginal irritants and have no place in the vagina, often found in many commercial sexual lubricants and even some on prescription.”

2. A bullet style vibrator

“This a good first step into the world of sex toys as these are very small but powerful so offer vibratory stimulation for solo or couples play, especially if you are someone who struggles to orgasm through penetrative sex.”

3. A skin safe slim vibrator

“A slim vibrator can allow you to enjoy comfortable penetration as well as being used for clitoral stimulation too. Great for using during foreplay or when penetration is uncomfortable.”

Complete Article HERE!

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8 Steps for Choosing a Strap-On Harness for Men

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By Mistress Kay

Strap-on fun isn’t just for women. Men can have fun, too. Use these 8 steps to choose the best strap-on harness for your needs.

Deuce02

Did you know that even if you have a penis that you can still wear a strap-on harness? Yes, manufacturers make strap-on harnesses for the male-bodied as well as the female-bodied. While males can definitely wear strap-on harnesses designed for women, some find that the pressure it places on the penis and testicles to be uncomfortable. Strap-on harnesses for male bodies are designed with a penis in mind, providing much better comfort.

Strap-ons for people who have a penis can be used for a variety of play times. Some people like to use them as an alternative to penetrative sex (or in kinky contexts, as a “punishment” where the wearer doesn’t get to be directly involved in stimulation). Other people like to strap them on to continue the penetrative action after the penis has gotten soft (due to orgasm or other reasons). Yet others like to explore the idea of double penetration.

Complete Article HERE!

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Bullshitness of Rabbit Vibrators

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By Emily Nagoski

I promised myself to do a post about the bullshitness of rabbit vibrators, so here it is.

To begin with, what I mean by a rabbit is a dual vibrator – most commonly a vibrator with a large shaft for penetration and a bullet for external, clitoral stimulation. It gets called a rabbit because one particular brand has molded the jelly sheath over the bullet to have little bunny ears. There are also dolphins and thumbs and lots of other things. It’s cute.

350__1_ivibe-rabbit-vibrator-grape.jpgSo wherein lies the bullshit? Well it’s not that they’re not effective – but anything with an off-center motor that you can put between your legs can be effective; I know someone whose engineer boyfriend built a vibrator out of an ibuprophen bottle, and pubescent girls worldwide discovered the glories of a vibrating Harry Potter broomstick.

Instead, the bullshit lies in the rabbit’s position in culture.

First of all, the rabbit became famous as a result of a Sex in the City episode where one of the characters gets “addicted” to it.

The episode was basically a commercial. It was a product placement of the crassest, most cynical kind.

So the first reason the rabbit is bullshit is that its popularity is the result of a television commercial, not as a result of its ability to get women off.

Which brings me to reason number two that the rabbit is bullshit.

LILY 2
LILY 2

Had LELO offered SitC more money than the rabbit did to promote the Lily, this would be a different post because the Lily is a small, beautiful, powerful, rechargeable, nearly silent clitoral vibrator with infinitely adjustable speed and I will forever sing its praises to the heavens. Even its shape, to me, has a grace and elegance that echoes the flexing of a woman’s body at orgasm.

But if you walk into a sex toy store and you see the Lily on a shelf, and then you see the rabbit in its foot-long glory, which will you think is better? The rabbit with its size, its many functions, and its cultural import, is surely the more impressive there on the shelf. And if you haven’t looked too closely at cultural myths about women’s sexuality, you might think that it’s a better design for meeting a women’s orgasmic needs.

But it’s not. It’s designed to meet CULTURAL EXPECTATIONS around a woman’s needs.

It’s a big, colorful, rotating, oscillating SHAFT… with a bullet vibe attached. What does that say? It says that what a woman really needs and wants is a giant dick that does fucking magic tricks, and maybe some clitoral stimulation too.

That’s the second bullshitness about rabbits. It tells women what they need is a cock. It feeds wrongheaded cultural expectations around women’s sexuality, rather than nourishing women’s sexuality as it truly is.

001

When most women see even just a traditional slimline vibrator, they assume that they’re using the shaft for penetration. And mainstream porn certainly represents women’s masturbation as a largely penetration-oriented activity. The rabbit is part of this cultural discourse, this myth; the SitC character can only be satisfied by a giant, buzzing, candy-colored cock.

In fact more than 90% of women masturbate with NO VAGINAL PENETRATION. (The Hite Report: A Nationwide Study of Female Sexuality.)

The third, related, bullshitness: it tells women what they need is a cock, thus failing to tell women that really the vast majority of them would be better served with a clit-centric toy; the cultural phenomenon of the rabbit makes people think otherwise.

we-vibe-flexible-dual-action-vibrator.jpg
We-Vibe II

If you really want a dual vibrator designed genuinely to meet a woman’s orgasmic needs, have a look at the We-Vibe II, whose proportions accurately reflect where and how stimulation is effective for most (not all, of course) women.

I’ll move toward a conclusion here, though there’s lots more to say. This is hardly a comprehensive analysis of the rabbit in particular or sex toys in general. I just want to register a tiny squeak of frustrated rage that popular culture is failing us so very, very badly by repeating the myths that make women feel broken, subordinate, and conflicted.

If men are learning about sex from porn – and my college health ed colleagues recently did a survey that suggests that 1 in 4 college men thinks porn accurately portrays how sex works – then, I think, women learn about sex from the popular culture,  things like SitC. I believe that cultural representations of sexuality have a responsibility to participate in a healthy, factual, and feminist construction of women’s sexuality. Promoting something like the rabbit, with its phallocentric implications, does everyone on the planet a disservice.

If SitC were written by sex educators, the toy would more likely have been, for example, the Cadillac of vibrators, the Hitachi Magic Wand) – it’s big, it’s loud, it plugs into the wall, and it does the job.

But instead it was written by writers who don’t necessarily know anything about sex outside the mainstream nonsense, and so the mainstream nonsense is recapitulated.

Complete Article HERE!

For more on this timely topic look HERE!

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Gags & Nipple Clamps 101

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Lookin’ to spice up your Valentine? When roses and chocolates just ain’t gonna cut it…

Nipple clamps

Gripper Nipple Suckers by Atomic Jock
Gripper Nipple Suckers by Atomic Jock

First up are the infamous nipple clips or clamps. They are a favorite in sensation play. Whether it’s sucking, pinching, prodding, or pulling the nipples, clamps are meant to flirt with the painful side of pleasure. Don’t let the discomfort angle scare you off . Nipple clips can be perfectly harmless, especially for beginners, when used correctly.

Also, remember, both genders have nipples, so this needn’t be for women only. When picking out a tit torture product, you can test the strength on your finger or even better, the flesh of your arm, which is fairly sensitive. A good rule of thumb is that if it hurts your finger, your nipple is not going to be happy. Definitely work up to a stronger clamp if that’s your goal.

3-Speed Vibrating Nipple Clamps
3-Speed Vibrating Nipple Clamps

For beginners, I suggest a sucking type of clamp like Gripper Nipple Suckers by Atomic Jock to stimulate your nipples to full attention. They are easy to use (simply squeeze and let go on the nipple). If you are up for something a bit more edgy, try the 3-Speed Vibrating Nipple Clamps.

They vibrate wirelessly (which can help intensify the pressure in a good way), are waterproof, and, best of all, fully adjustable for whichever kind of level you are at. Pairing some trusty nipple clamps with restraints (and heck, throw in a blindfold!) will work superbly as torture play. Tease, tease, and tease your partner some more with the exquisite pressure of nipple clamps. They will definitely bring out your naughtier side.

Blind folds

Institutional Fleece Lined Blindfold
Institutional Fleece Lined Blindfold

Next, is the realm of sensory deprivation.

It may sound like an insignificant and simple item, but a blindfold can make a world of difference. Covering your or your lover’s eyes creates a vulnerability that can be quite thrilling.

If you don’t know when or where the next caress, pat, or lick will go you can be sure that this will create a whole new level of sensual tension. Plus, with a good quality blind fold impeding your sight, other sensations will take charge with a vengeance.

Try covering your lovers eyes while whispering something suggestive into his/her ear. Or, even better, both strip to the buff, make sure the blind is secure, and surprise them by ravishing different parts of their body, or rubbing parts of yours all over them. Especially paired with your favorite restraint, blindfolds can be a surprisingly new way to spice up your sex life.

Most any cloth material will work as a makeshift blindfold, but I suggest something like the Institutional Fleece Lined Blindfold as a starter product. It’s soft, dark, and molds to your face making each wear comfy with all the sexy benefits of sensory deprivation.

Restraints

Cotton Bondage RopeRestraints also heighten sexual tension. Whether it’s the cool metal of handcuffs (please, make sure you have the key!), the flexibility of rope, or the simplicity of scarves and ties, whatever you use to restrain your lover will provide a whole new dimension to sex play.

But first things first, some safety tips.

Have an exit: Make sure you both are comfortable with untying the knot or unlocking the cuff. Have a pair of scissors near to hand just in case.

Too tight is not right: This is a biggie: watch how tightly you knot the material or cuff. Cutting off circulation will get unsexy in a hurry. So if you or your partner feels any numbness, pain, or strain in their tied limb, speak up so the restraint can be adjusted. Having a mutual safe word as well as trying a few practice knots on yourself so you can be up to par and ready for the real session.

Once you’re a-OK with ropes, cuffs, or whatever you’re using, get ready to tease your partner KinkLab BedSpread Under Bed Bondage Strapsuntil they beg for more! For beginners, I would suggest using either Cotton Bondage Rope or the KinkLab BedSpread Under Bed Bondage Straps. Both are very user friendly (the bed bindings doesn’t even need a post or headboard!) and will ease you into your bondage fantasies.

Once you or your partner is successfully restrained, tease your way up and down their body, varying the pressure and consistency of your touch, pats or (even better) licks. Incorporate other sensations  (cold or hot, silky or rough, etc.) or other toys. Even your most steadfast vibrator can turn into a whole new experience once you’re no longer in control.

Gags

Tantus Beginner Ball GagThough there is very real potential for drool with this torture device, I say go for it! You will also be depriving your partner of speech. When they can’t tell you what they want, you must rely on moans, groans, and body language. The gag can be a major prop in role playing too.

Try some rougher play, with restraints and even a blindfold. The gag is meant to be power play, so maybe a game of sex slave for the afternoon with your lover on hands and knees with the ball gag and nothing else. Or the classic break-in situation, with a burglar restraining and gagging the unsuspecting victim before ravaging their body. It’s completely up to you.

As for products, try the Silicone Ball Gag w/ Garment Leather Strap to see if you like the feel. Those looking for more might consider stepping up to the Tantus Beginner Ball Gag. Just make sure you maintain proper hygiene in safely washing these toys, since they are going in your mouth. Many are silicone, rubber, latex, or metal, so easily washable, or even bleachable.Silicone Ball Gag w: Garment Leather Strap

Simply insert the gag into your/your partner’s mouth, adjust the strap, and there you go. Some more complicated gags have different parts, metal bits, or can be adjusted in multiple fashions. Also, since a safe word will be harder understand, be sensitive to each others body language, as it will indicate what they’re feeling. Overall, make sure you’re comfortable with the gag and then unleash your wilder fantasies.

My final tip is to keep your experimentation playful. Have a sense of humor about the whole blasted thing. If this play becomes a chore or a bore, shut it down and go back to your former alleged life.

Good luck

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How the penis disappeared from the sex toy

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jimmyjane-form-2-01

by Hannah Smothers

You’ve seen what a penis looks like. Sure, there are variables that make each one a little different—the world is beautiful that way—but, generally speaking, they all fit a certain mold.

As the male sexual organ, the penis was designed to transport sperm from one body into another. As an added feature, the penis can also summon orgasm in a female partner during this process. But we know this isn’t always the case. While a healthy male organ works pretty well for its intended reproductive purpose, there are some design flaws in terms of maximizing female pleasure.

LILY 2So what if you could redesign the penis, make it a little bit better? Which pieces would you change, and which would you keep? Erasing the need for reproductive functionality, would you scrap the whole thing and start from scratch? In the end, would this magic device—capable of bringing women waves of pleasure—even resemble the penis in its current human form?

Welcome to the world of modern-day vibrators, a place largely devoid of the original pleasure device.

As sex toys have become increasingly sleek and modern—taking cues from the minimalistic designs of like Apple and Ikea—one clear trend has emerged: They no longer look like human penises. In fact, they no longer look human at all—which, according to designers, entrepreneurs, and sex therapists alike, is a very good thing.

Kitschy and grotesque

The first time the American public saw a non-human organ used to stimulate sexual arousal was in the early porn films of the 1920s. Over the previous few decades, small home appliances marketed under the guise of medical necessity (to cure the female ailment of “hysteria“) had become commonplace—kind of like how we now see “personal massagers” advertised in Brookstone. But in the new black-and-white pornos of the ’20s, audiences saw these appliances used for very non-medical purposes.

zini-deux-293x300And once the public was confronted with the idea that these devices could be used strictly for pleasure, the products disappeared from women’s magazines and reputable store shelves.

Vibrators made a second coming about 30 years later, during the sexual revolution of the 1960s. But even though Americans were talking about sexuality more openly than ever before, we still weren’t totally cool with the idea of incorporating these objects in our sex lives. In response, early industry leaders made them as outlandish as possible: Rotating glitter-dicks, two shafts emerging from one testicle-shaped base, rubber duckies that secretly vibrated. We displaced the awkwardness of using machines as sexual aids by turning these aids into novelty objects, or toys.

But there was a big problem with this approach. Since the products were advertised as “novelties,” not health aids, they were held to lower standards than medical devices and other things we put inside our bodies. The cheap toys were unsafe, ugly, and ineffective. And not at all sexy.

“I don’t think anyone has ever said, ‘I want a vibrator that looks like a bunny rabbit and a penis all smashed together,’” Ti Chang, the female co-founder of sex toy and jewelry design company Crave, told me. “I think the sex toy industry has really had a lot of male voices—it’s been men designing products for women, so it tends to be very male anatomy centric. Like, ‘Oh, it’s sex, she wants a big cock, so we’ll just make lots of different colors of cocks, and to make this really silly, we’ll put a little rabbit on it.’”

Companies like Doc Johnson—a leading novelty company for decades, notorious for its line of Zini DonutRealistic Cocks—offer a good example of the “she wants a big cock” mentality that dominated the industry during the late-20th century. Robert Rheaume, the president of high-end sex toy company JimmyJane, charmingly described these hyper-realistic dildos as the kind of severed penis you’d get if “there was an Orc from Lord of the Rings walking around, and they cut his penis off.”

He also argued, by nature of them being just so grotesque, they’re not very sex-positive. He put it to me this way: “Let’s say you and I are well into our sexual relationship, and I pull out this giant, Doc Johnson, 15-inch cock,” Rheaume said. “You might be like, WOAH, where’s that going? Get out of my apartment right now, I’m leaving—call me a taxi, call an Uber. It’s just intimidating and scary for some people.”

Kitschy, intimidating, grotesque—all are terms you could use to describe the sex toy market up until the early 2000s. The poor designs, cheap rubbers and plastics, and incredibly dick-centric domain of products presented itself as an untapped valley of junk, just waiting for a messiah. This is what Ethan Imboden, the founder of JimmyJane, realized upon walking into an Adult Novelty Manufacturers Expo a little more than a decade ago.

“As soon as I saw past the fact that in front of me happened to be two penises fused together at the base, I realized that I was looking at the only category of consumer product that had yet to be touched by design,” Imboden said in his 2012 Atlantic profile. Coming from an industrial design background, and lacking the desire to manufacture what he saw as landfill products, he left his job designing everyday consumer products to launch JimmyJane—a sex toy company that would put safety, design, and sex-positivity first. Around this time, a small, luxury intimate toy company in Sweden called LELO started doing the exact same thing.

post-phalic 01The kitschy sex toy industry was primed for a big change, and companies like JimmyJane and LELO were ready to usher it in.

Disrupting the dick

Skeuomorphism is a concept in technological design that describes our tendency to retain tactile aspects of the physical world as we move more of our lives onto screens. At Apple, for example, skeuomorphic design was thought to ease the transition from the real to the virtual. Turning a page on your Mac or iPhone would closely resemble turning a page in a real notebook, paper sounds included. If you can recreate the physical aspects of a very familiar, tactile world in the flat, virtual reality of an operating system, designers have long believed, maybe more people will feel comfortable using the product.

In sex toy design, this has translated into manufacturing dismembered penises and inventing crevices meant to resemble human vaginas and mouths. But why—if women and couples are looking for something more than their own, very real human parts—would they want a plastic knock-off of those same parts in bed? Just as some people argue that retaining archaic, physical traits of notepads on our iPhones is unnecessary, companies like JimmyJane and LELO saw retaining the original design of human organs as unnecessary and outdated.

Of course, there will probably always be a market for straight-up dildos—which are different from vibrators—and which, by nature of their intended internal purpose, must resemble a human penis. But female-oriented vibrators allow more room for innovation.

With this in mind, JimmyJane and LELO’s emphasis on design, coupled with major tech advances of the early 2000s, allowed these pioneering sex companies to essentially reinvent the penis. “Technology drives the industry—it’s tech, tech, tech,” Patti Britton, a clinical sexologist in southern California, told me. “Everyone’s going for the faster, the most options for control, as well as these really unusual and really sophisticated designs.”post-phalic 02

Those sophisticated designs are now pretty commonplace, and they look nothing like human parts. The design shift comes as a result of technological advances, yes, but also reflects a pretty significant ideological shift. Vaginal penetration, as we now know, isn’t necessarily the key to female orgasm, and penises aren’t naturally shaped to stimulate the elusive G-spot. Skeuomorphism started disappearing from the industry, and the dick was reinvented—and ultimately displaced.

Luxury investments

When sex toys start looking less like severed organs, it gets easier for consumers to take them seriously. And when consumers start to take them seriously, it opens up room for a luxury class of sex toys—something that LELO and JimmyJane, especially, have capitalized on. Most of LELO’s products start at more than $120, though the company also boasts a 24-karat gold plated vibrator for $15,000. As Steve Thomson, LELO’s global marketing manager, told me, creating toys that last a lifetime, like a nice espresso maker or television, is “a way of challenging assumptions about the sex toy market as a whole.”

“There’s always going to be a place for novelty goods and phallic-shaped items,” Thomson said. “But I don’t believe that’s the future of sex toys in any way. People are moving away from the assumption that it’s purely a substitute for a partner.”

post-phalic 03To Thomson, as well as industry leaders at JimmyJane, Crave, and the numerous other companies that have joined the modern sex toy craze, the future of sex toys is in making objects that fit easily into a consumer’s everyday life. That’s why, as technology improves, we see things like app-controlled panty vibes and vibrators equipped with memory that will store your favorite sexual patterns.

Along with loosening cultural values around discussing sex—almost everyone I interviewed cited the Fifty Shades of Grey franchise as a major breakthrough—the shift in toy design has transformed the industry from a $1.3 billion a year industry to a $15 billion a year industry in revenue alone. “If it’s okay for the modern mom to have dialogue about Fifty Shades of Grey, sexuality and masturbation, I think it gives us complete permission to have these conversations and to make these products available,” Rheaume said.

He’s not wrong. Research shows that not only are more women using toys, they’re owning up to using more toys. Consumers are literally taking their orgasms into their own hands, and they’re commonly paying upwards of $150 to do so. Is it worth it to buy a vibrator that costs a bit more than something you might find at your neighborhood adult novelty shop if it means it’ll last longer and isn’t toxic to your body? Absolutely.

But not everyone can afford it, and while some products come with a money-back, orgasm guarantee—they don’t always work as advertised. Has design for the sake of being beautiful, and innovation for the sake of being advanced, displaced the actual functionality of the vibrator?

That’s what was bothering Janet Lieberman, a mechanical engineering grad from MIT and enthusiastic sex toy user. Facing repeated disappointment in the toys she bought, Lieberman realized she was in a unique position to utilize her expertise to make things better. The technology was good, but she saw it going in the wrong direction. There was a sort of machismo attitude slipping into products designed for women—who cares if your device can track your orgasms, give you Bluetooth feedback, and looks like modern art if it doesnt work?

Now, as co-founder and lead engineer for the New York-based sex toy company Dame, she’s ushering in the newest wave—and quite likely the future—of sex toy design.

Women come first

One of the big problems with the sex toy industry is how male-driven and controlled it’s been throughout most of its history. Sure, the men at LELO and JimmyJane have women’s desires in mind—both Thomson and Rheaume told me about the extensive research measures their companies take when designing new products. JimmyJane, for example, relied on data about average labia size from the renowned Kinsey Institute when creating its new Form 5 vibrator, which is designed to simultaneously stimulate a woman’s labia and clitoris.

And to make sure the products hitting the market are truly effective, the leading companies also rely on demo communities—women who test new prototypes and provide detailed feedback. But, as Lieberman argues, there’s a difference between running a product by a demo audience and having a woman—the target consumer of the product—involved each step of the way.

And so, it’s becoming increasingly common to see women-run sex toy companies, or to see women involved in the design and engineering process, according to industry insiders. “If they’re products for women, you kind of want women everywhere in the process so they’re making the right priorities,” Lieberman told me.

A female designer and engineer, for example, might know right off the bat whether something is going to work. It’s not that men don’t take all the important components into consideration—after all, some of these products are used mutually between partners—it’s just that women are more likely to understand the various nuances in their own anatomies, and take those into consideration in the engineering process.

While enabling sex toys to track activity and communicate long distance via the internet—both features on the newest models—is cool, Lieberman and Crave’s Chang both stressed a personal mission to deliver what sex toys have long promised: really fantastic orgasms.

“Having an orgasm is like a birth right, you should have it!” Chang said, in a sentiment famously voiced by Nicki Minaj and, more recently, Amy Schumer. In her process at Crave—which steers clear of trying to mimic anything anatomical—function always comes first.

Lieberman and her business partner, Alex Fine, took a similar approach when building Dame’s first product, a couple’s vibe called Eva. “I wouldn’t say that one of our primary goals in designing this was that we wanted it to be beautiful,” Lieberman said of the device, which resembles a futuristic beetle. “We wanted it to be accessible, but we put function ahead of form.”

They also wanted to make sure the cost wasn’t prohibitive—a sex toy that’s too expensive can actually detract from sex, she argues. Eva sells for $105, a price-point Lieberman attributes mainly to the device’s high-quality silicone and the rigorous research and design process that went into it. Lieberman likens the Eva to a pair of really good headphones: You can hear the music, it sounds incredible, but you aren’t super aware of the fact that there are two small speakers in your ears.

Lieberman acknowledges that before sex toy designers could think about getting back to the core purpose of the industry, consumers needed to be introduced to beautiful, high-end luxury products. But the next wave of sex toys will likely follow her function-over-form philosophy—and encourage an even bigger audience to come.<

So, are we moving toward a world where penises, and human sex organs, are obsolete? Of course not. We’re just moving toward one where we can do better than what the average human body has to offer. As Patti Britton, a certifiable expert in all things sex, put it, there will always be an element of humanity that can’t be captured by even the most elaborate of sex toys.

“We’re still human beings—we’re skin and bone and flesh and energy,” Britton told me. “So far we really haven’t matched that one in the lab, we may one day. But I think, overall, humans will want to be with humans. That’s how we’re wired.”

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