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[Toy Review] Mantric Rechargeable Wand Vibrator

I love wands. They’re pretty much my favourite kind of toy. So of course, I jumped at the chance to test out the rechargeable wand from the new Mantric range. It looks a little something like this:

The Mantric magic wand, a black silicone wand style vibrator with an LED panel on the handle.

The Basics

The Mantric wand is on the smaller end for a wand, at only 9.5″ long and with a head circumference of 5.4″. It has 7 modes or patterns of vibration, and each one can work on any of five speed settings. The handle is slightly curved and it has a classic wand head. It is made of black silicone and features an LED light panel on one side of the handle which changes colour depending on which setting you’re on.

The box for the Mantric Wand vibrator - a simple cardboard box with a mandala logo and the word "Mantric" on the front.It is USB rechargeable, fully waterproof, has a travel-lock (because no-one wants their vibe turning on as you go through airport security!) and comes packaged in an minimalistic brown cardboard box – pictured left – with the Mantric branding on the front. (The mantric logo is a classy-looking mandala, then when you look closer you see it’s made of cocks and vulvas. Frankly, I am here for this).

My Experience

I tried this toy for the first time with Mr CK. He was Topping me, and using the toy on my clit while holding my vaginal opening shut with his fingers (because I am into chastity/denial play and this is my jam).

I’ve mentioned before that even though my Doxy is pretty much my favourite thing ever, it doesn’t actually lend itself super well to being used on me by a partner – it’s so intense that it quickly becomes painful if it’s even slightly in the wrong spot, and the head is so big that my partner struggles to see exactly where it’s sitting against my body. A toy with significant enough power to get me off but without the sheer intensity of the big wands is the sweet spot for me… and in that respect at least, this toy delivered.

Unusually, some of the patterns were quite enjoyable! It was still the always-magic constant vibration/high speed combo that tipped me over the edge, but the gentle wave setting and the quick, sharp bursts setting were surprisingly pleasant.

Overall, imperfect but enjoyable and did the job. Read on for the details…

My Ratings (all scores out of 5★)

Price: ★★★★
The Mantric wand retails for £59.99, which puts it squarely into the realm of a mid-range toy. It’s a reasonable price for the quality.

Materials: ★★★★★
It’s almost entirely silicone (apart from the light panel and a slim band where the body joins the head). This makes it non-porous, body-safe and a delight to handle and use.

Appearance: ★★★★
Mr CK and I differed on this one! I like the sleek design and the fact that it’s black – which is refreshingly free of gendered connotations/assumptions. Plus, I think the LED light panel is a really fun, swanky touch. He’s more a functional type than me and thinks the LED panel is gimicky and pointless. The Mantric range toys are all either black or a dark pinkish-purple colour.

Ease of Use: ★★
Plus points: it’s very light, and the ergonomic handle and intelligent button placement makes it easy and intuitive to hold and manipulate during use.

Unfortunately, I do have a few gripes about the user-friendliness: Getting it to turn on is not intuitive. You have to press the middle of the three buttons, which puts it into “standby” mode, then press it again, then pick the setting you want. I’ll be keeping the instructions for this one because, if I don’t use it for a bit, I can see myself forgetting how to switch it on. The second annoyance is that you can only change the setting one way – so if you skip past the one you want, you have to cycle alllll the way back through again.  You can change the speeds up or down, which is a plus, but in terms of changing the pattern it’s up up up only.

Ease of care & cleaning: ★★★★
The Mantric wand is completely waterproof, meaning you can submerge it into warm water for a thorough cleaning. You can also give it a quick clean between uses with a sterile medical wipe – remember to pick body-safe wipes!

There is a seam where the plastic band meets the head and handle,which could trap germs. Take extra care on this area when cleaning. This toy doesn’t come with a storage bag, which I would have liked. Individual storage bags help keep toys clean and dust-free between uses.

Versatility: ★★★★
The Mantric wand has 5 speeds and 7 settings, meaning it’s pretty versatile whatever type of vibration you like. It is pretty much a clitoral toy – you could insert the handle end, as it’s silicone, but I’d be worried about getting fluids and germs in the seam where the light panel joins the main body.  This wand is waterproof, so you could take it into the bath or shower if that’s your jam.

Intensity:
★★★★
More than adequate for the price-point and size! The vibrations are pretty rumbly at the lower levels, and a little buzzier at the higher ones. I’d recommend this vibe to someone who likes a good level of vibration intensity, but sometimes or always wants something less extreme than my favourite power-tool.

Overall Score: Image result for three and a half stars
A basically solid toy with some flaws. I enjoyed using it and will be using it again, though I don’t think it will go into the “reach for it every session” pile. I’d love to see a second edition released. With the user-friendliness issues ironed out, this would move from being a good toy to a great toy.

Buying your Mantric wand, or any toys, from Lovehoney using my affiliate links helps to support me and keep the blog going. Thanks to Lovehoney, who sent me this toy free of charge in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are, and will always be, my own.

How to Be a Good Couple to Threesome With

I’ve had a LOT of threesomes. I love them. Due to my status of more-or-less-constantly-in-a-relationship-since-I-was-a-teenager, I’ve more often – not always, but often – been one of the members of the more established couple, rather than the third person coming in for playtime.

Three Maine Coon cats sitting down in a row and looking at the camera. The middle one is white with a ginger face and the other two are tabbies. For a post about being a good couple to threesome with.

Playing with an existing couple can be really daunting, even if you’re really into them both. like to think that Mr CK and I are a good couple to threesome with. We’ve been told so, anyway! So I thought I’d set down some things that I believe a couple can do in order to treat the third party in their threesome well, and make sure they have a good time.

1. No Pressure

Pressure is a massive libido killer. It’s a really bad idea to go into a threesome or potential threesome with a very rigid idea of how you want it to go. This puts undue pressure on everyone, and especially on the third party, who may feel that they have (or actually have) less negotiating power than the couple.

Don’t rush things. Don’t invite a potential playmate over To Have A Threesome And Anything Else Is A Failure. Spend time getting to know what makes them tick, what they’re into, what they’re hoping to get out of the experience, what kind of ongoing dynamic they’re interested in with the two of you (if any), and how they communicate.

And for fuck’s sake, when things do progress to a sexy place, don’t make it a rush to get around all the “bases” as quickly as possible! Making out, touching, groping, hand stuff, oral sex, kink play… all of these things can be amazing. Yes, intercourse can be on the table, but it doesn’t have to be… and rushing to get there will just result in a bad time for everyone.

2. Have your own house in order first.

Nothing is more awkward than being in the middle of a couple having a fight… except being in bed with a couple having a fight.

Discuss your feelings. Talk about any insecurities or jealousies you have that might come up. Plan for how you’ll handle it if they do come up – in a way that is kind and compassionate to everyone, including the third person. “Well we can just kick her out if one of us gets jealous” is neither a solid plan nor an ethical way to treat a human being.

Don’t attempt to bring anyone else in to your relationship, whether for casual sex or something more, unless your relationship is solid first. Note I said solid, not perfect – perfection does not exist. It is monumentally unfair to bring a third party into a dynamic that is crumbling or dysfunctional. It is even more unfair to expect that this person, or sex with them, will somehow fix your relationship issues.

“Relationship broken, add more people” is a cliche because so many couples try to do it… and it never, ever ends well.

3. Approach sex as a collaboration, not a service from them to you.

If you want to have a threesome with a third party where the focus is really on the two of you in the couple, and their pleasure is less of a priority, consider hiring a sex worker. Your threesome partner, even if the sex is casual, is not a life-size sex toy! They’re a person with their own wants, needs, desires and feelings.

Sex is a collaboration, a dance. Everyone should give and receive pleasure and the goal should be mutual satisfaction for all parties – not just the couple. Your threesome buddy may not be a fully fledged member of your ongoing relationship, but they are a fully fledged member of whatever dynamic the three of you are creating together. Collaborate to have a sexy time. Don’t use them.

4. Consent first, consent last, consent in all things.

Check in early and often. If you’re not absolutely 1000% sure you have consent for something, ASK. “Ruining the mood” is a myth – a good time will never be ruined by checking on consent for something, but it can easily be ruined by overstepping someone’s boundaries.

And of course it should go without saying that no means no, and you should never push someone to do something if they don’t want to.

Mr CK and I received an email from someone we played with recently, thanking us for how good we were at consent and boundaries, and it is honestly one of the best compliments I have ever received.

5. Openly discuss safer sex.

This is absolutely vital. Ideally, this discussion should happen while clothes are still on, long before any sex happens, but it can happen in the moment if necessary. Everyone should disclose their testing status, their safer-sex protocols, the method(s) of birth control they’re using, and any other relevant information – an allergy to latex, for example.

This is as much your responsibility as a couple as it is the third party’s responsibility! 

6. Have things you’re likely to need on hand.

Have a stash of condoms, lube, gloves and dams easily reachable. Think about, and discuss, what toys you’re likely to want and have them easily accessible too (and charged, if applicable)!

7. Have an aftercare plan.

Will your threesome buddy stay over, or would they prefer to go home afterwards? How will they get home safely? If they do stay, would they prefer to sleep with you both or in a separate bed? (I hereby promise that anyone who stays over at ours after sexy time will get pancakes and your favourite hot beverage in the morning. Just, you know, in case it tempts anyone…!)

Make sure there’s time afterwards to cuddle, debrief if necessary, and make sure everyone is okay and has everything they need. Offer, and ask for, reassurance and affection freely as needed. Check in with your sexy friend the next day to make sure all is well with them.

Aaaaand that’s it. Follow these tips and, while I can’t guarantee you’ll have an amazing threesome, you’ll be safe in the knowledge that you’re treating your Special Guest Star with the respect, compassion and consideration they deserve.

Image is from Pixabay. It’s what came up when I searched “three” and it amused me so it stays. If you enjoyed this post, you can buy me a coffee to say thanks or become one of my sexy Patrons, and access some exciting bonus content!

No, You Cannot Get “Addicted” to a Vibrator

Anyone who has read my work for any length of time will know how I feel about the concept of “sex addiction” – in short, that it’s medically meaningless, so broadly applied as to be useless, and the sole criteria to diagnose someone seems to be “has sex more than the diagnoser or in ways that the diagnoser finds personally distasteful.” Read Dr David Ley’s amazing book for more information if this interests you.

Today, though, I want to talk about “sex addiction”‘s equally insidious little sister – “vibrator addiction.”

A close up of cocaine powder and a rolled up £10 note. For a post about being addicted to vibrators.

I have a variation of this conversation at least weekly, either online or occasionally in real life:

Them: “I want a good clitoral vibrator for me/for my female partner.”
Me: “Try the Doxy! It’s great because…” (*sends link*)
Them: “Oh no, that looks like something I/she could get addicted to!”
Me: *facedesks into next week*

I am here to clear up this myth once and for all, and also to have a central resource to point people to so I don’t have to have this argument on a weekly basis. S0:

You cannot get addicted to a vibrator.

Repeat after me: You. Cannot. Get. Addicted. To. A. Vibrator.

The fears here seem to fall broadly into three camps, so I am going to tackle each of them one at a time.

Fear the first: “I’ll break/stretch/loosen/desensitize my vulva if I use toys too much.”

Genitals are fucking cool, y’all. They do not “break” or “wear out” from overuse, and they are remarkable at bouncing back – for fuck’s sake, pushing an entire small human out of a vagina causes it more strain than even the most hardcore of sex toys!

I think this myth is closely associated with the (also false) narrative of a vagina becoming “loose” or “used up” if its owner has too much sex or has sex with too many different people. It fails to neglect the medical reality that the vagina is a muscle and muscles Do Not Work That Way.

You cannot break your vagina. You cannot stretch it out permanently in any kind of significant way. It won’t mold around a toy and become unable to enjoy anything else. It won’t break or become unable to have or enjoy sex in the future. Promise!

There is also no evidence whatsoever that prolonged or repeated usage of vibrators – even really high-powered ones like my beloved Doxy or the famed Hitachi – causes any long-term loss of sensation in the clitoris or vulva. At most, some people report feeling desensitized for a short while after a toy session – especially with buzzier toys – but these effects are really short-lived (typically minutes or hours) and cause no long-term damage or change in sensation whatsoever.

I’ve been using my Doxy for years – probably for ten orgasms a week for two and a half years, on average? – and other vibes long before that, and I still squirm at the slightest flick of my partner’s tongue over my clit. Vibes will not ruin the nerves or the sensation in your bits. I promise.

Tangential but related: I also see a lot of questions along the lines of “I used a toy and now my bits hurt, did I irreparably damage myself?” No, you probably used a toy made from a toxic material, or used a toy made from a material you’re for some reason sensitive to, or didn’t use enough lube, or didn’t warm yourself up enough, or it’s just your body’s response to a new stimulus that it’s not used to. (A bit like your muscles ache the next day if you do a new form of exercise!)

Fear the second: “But what if using a vibrator is the only way I can orgasm?”

I’m going to say something truly radical now.

If using a vibrator is the only or the most reliable way for you to achieve orgasm: USE THE FUCKING VIBRATOR, ENJOY YOUR ORGASMS, AND DON’T WORRY ABOUT IT.

Orgasms are great, and we should all be having as many of them in our lives as we wish to. There are countless ways to reach orgasm – from fucking, manual sex, oral sex, anal play, being punched in the butt (or is that last one just me?) And, of course, via the use of sex toys such as vibrators.

Here’s a secret: all these ways of reaching orgasm are equally wonderful, equally valid and equally real. ALL orgasms are wonderful as long as everyone involved in inducing them is consenting. That’s literally the only criteria.

I encourage everyone who wants to, to experiment with all different kinds of pleasure and see what works for them and what feels good. It’s also worth remembering that these things can, and probably will, change over time. I used to come reliably from clitoral fingering by a partner, but my clit got more sensitive as I got older and now this is a pretty rare feat. Conversely, I never used to have G-spot orgasms, but now I have them quickly, explosively and repeatedly. And my experience with using toys has been that it has broadened my experience of pleasure and the ways in which I am able to come.

However, no form of pleasure or orgasm is inherently any better than any other. Some vulva-owners spend their entire lives chasing the elusive vaginal-only orgasm, but the reality is that somewhere between 50 and 90 percent of vulvas simply don’t work that way. People often become deeply upset because they, or their partner, doesn’t reach orgasm from oral sex – even if they enjoy the sensation and the act itself. I think these beliefs are heavily tied in with the mistaken notion that we should be able to bring our partners to easy and explosive multiple orgasms with nothing but our hands/mouth/dick, and that anything else – whether it’s them masturbating themselves or using a toy or even just enjoying a session where orgasm isn’t necessarily the goal – is somehow lesser.

I am here to tell you that it’s not. If you come easily in fifty different ways, you’re beautiful and valid. If you only come with a vibrator or other toy or in some other super specific way, you’re equally beautiful and valid.

The overwhelming majority of the time, my answer to “Dear Amy, please help, the only way I can reliably orgasm is by doing this thing” is “….then do that thing.”

Fear the third: “Can toys become a replacement for partnered sex?”

The short answer is no. The long answer is this post in response to a worried reader who was afraid his girlfriend’s dildo would replace him.

A lot of people are afraid that they, or their partners, will find the stimulation they get from a toy to be so overwhelmingly amazing that they won’t have any need for partnered sex in the future.

Again, this is not only completely lacking in evidence, I’ve actually found the opposite is more often true. Exploring my sexuality through toys has increased my potential for erotic enjoyment and therefore improved the partnered sex I have. I am not the only person to have reported this kind of experience.

A toy, however much you love it, cannot be a substitute for a partner. Terms like “battery operated boyfriend” or “the perfect lover” to describe toys have a lot to answer for. Until a toy is sentient, there for me, makes me laugh, snuggles me at night, watches Netflix with me, takes me on adventures and brings me coffee, it is NOT a boyfriend/lover/partner – it’s an inanimate object, a tool through which to experience pleasure.

As I said to our friend who was jealous of his girlfriend’s favourite silicone dick:

Partnered sex is about so much more than just “does your body part satisfy my body part?” It’s about connection, about the feel and smell and warmth of a partner close to you, about the thud of body-on-body, about the rhythm and the dance and the responses between two (or more) people. Partnered sex is in-fucking-credible for so many reasons and a toy can’t fully replicate many of them. Pervocracy has a great article on some of the reasons people might love partnered sex.

So no. Your girlfriend isn’t going to dump you or stop having sex with you because she likes her vibrator more, and she’s not going to get so hooked on wanking with it that you never see her. (That stupid scene in Sex & the City also has a lot to answer for here!)

In short: “Vibrator Addiction” is a shaming tactic, and nothing more.

It shames people who struggle to achieve orgasm without a toy, people who don’t orgasm in socially sanctioned ways (i.e. by penetration with a penis,) people who need a lot of stimulation in order to come… and basically just adds to the stigma of vulva-owners masturbating and prioritising their pleasure.

It’s also sexist as fuck. If a cis man masturbates to porn two or three times a day, people will see him as a normal guy with a healthy sex drive. But if a woman or other person with a vulva uses a vibrator most days or every day, she may well face accusations of being addicted.

Addiction is a serious medical problem with causes major issues in the sufferer’s life and the lives of the people around them. No-one, to the best of my knowledge, has ever turned to crime, alienated their family and friends, lost their job or run themselves into debt because their Magic Wand just felt too good and gave them too many orgasms. Minimising the very real pain of addiction and co-opting it as a sex-shaming tactic is incredibly insensitive and harmful to anyone who has suffered from addiction or been affected by having a sufferer close to them.

So let’s stop with the “vibrators are addictive” bullshit and let people have orgasms in the ways that work for them, yes?

Ten Lessons from One Year of Sex Blogging

I started my blog late in the evening on 31 December 2016. Can you believe I’ve been at this game for a whole year already? Time flies when you’re having fun, banging various sexy people, and accumulating a collection of sex toys bigger than you reasonably have storage space for.

A white mug from Girl on the Net with the text "No-One Does Whar You Do Quite Like You." For a post about things I've learned in a year of blogging.

And oh what a year it’s been! This little side project – and the community I’ve met as a result – has changed my life, and changed me, in deep and fundamental ways. I’m a better person, and a better writer, than I was a year ago thanks to this little adventure. I’ve placed in the top 100 sex bloggers, won a Newcomer Award, and been paid for my work. I’ve worked with great companies like Hot Octopuss and Lovehoney. And I’ve met some of the most awesome people I’ve ever had the privilege to know.

So, in the spirit of reflecting on the past year – it is New Year’s Eve, after all! – I wanted to share with you ten lessons I’ve taken away from this first year.

1. I can experience pleasure and orgasm in ways I never imagined.

I hardly ever bought sex toys before I started this little adventure and started getting sent things to review. They’re pretty expensive and my vulva is fussy – it knew what it liked (this baby, mainly) and though I was curious about other toys, I couldn’t quite bring myself to spend upwards of £50-100 on things that may or may not work for me.

Well, I’ve now tried oscillating toys, suction toys, dual-stimulation toys, ride-on toys, great vibrators, terrible vibrators, mediocre vibrators, dildos in interesting materials, and even sex toys shaped like penguins. And if you’ll pardon the pun, FUCK ME it turns out my experience of pleasure is diverse. Not only can I get off in all these different ways, but each gives me a subtly (or sometimes wildly) different variety of orgasm.

Bodies are cool, y’all.

2. Sex writers are the best community.

I cannot overstate the extent to which the sex writing community has changed my life for the better. At events like Eroticon, Lube & a Laptop, and even the recent sex blogger Christmas party, I feel profoundly seen, deeply understood, and radically accepted in a way that I have never quite encountered anywhere else.

This community is so open, so generous with time and support and knowledge and friendship and a helping hand up, that I want to cry with joy every time I think about it. You, reading this? Yes, you. I love you.

3. I have the power to take my ideas and make them real.

This whole “sex blog” thing was just a bit of a side project a year ago; a bit of fun that I thought would keep me busy during a difficult transitional period and maybe entertain a handful of people. Now, though? Now it’s so much more. It’s my genuine passion project AND a source of additional income.

That didn’t happen by accident. That happened because I had an idea and ran with it. It happened because I put in the hours (and hours and hours) at the computer screen, tap-tap-tapping away; because I invested what I could, money-and-time-wise, into things like going to Eroticon; because people like Girl on the Net, Kayla, Molly and Michael, and Sarah generously shared their wisdom and I was smart enough to shut up and listen and learn from them; frankly, because I worked my ass off for it. I still do every day.

You can, too.  You just need an idea, some determination, and the willingness to put in the hard work to see it through.

4. Sometimes, the best way to get what you want is just to ask.

Sending off my first pitch was so scary that I needed to celebrate a little bit having done so. Actually getting it accepted? Well, that was something I’d never imagined! That first time someone believed in my work enough to pay me for it, even a little, was like a shot of pure confidence straight to my anxiety-riddled brain. But I never would have got it if I hadn’t faced down my fears and just asked.

Writing to Hot Octopuss a couple months ago on a whim, going “hey we’ve got some common interests here want to sponsor a post?” felt ridiculous. Presumptuous. Why would a big and successful company want to work with a nobody like me? But they said yes. They liked my idea and they paid me for it and I’ve worked with them again since!

These little victories would never have come my way if I hadn’t bitten the bullet and just asked the damn question.

5. Rejection can tear you down, or it can propel you forward.

Rejection happens in any creative industry. It’s just a fact of life. I’ve been rejected plenty of times, both as a sex writer and in my vanilla writing life. My first novel probably got rejected 30 times before I decided to e-publish. I got rejected from an OxBridge Masters programme at the final interview stage. I’ve spent days, weeks, crafting a perfect contest entry and not placed. I’ve sent pitches off and never heard back.

What I learned this year, though, is how to channel rejection into determination and forward momentum. I’ve honed my pitching style and my approaches. I’ve looked again at a rejected piece with fresh eyes and revamped it. And I’ve taught myself how to view all experience, even rejections, as valuable and as opportunities for growth. All writing experience is good writing experience.

6. Whatever weirdnesses I have, I’m definitely not alone.

Whatever bizarre fetish or kink I might be into, someone else is into it too.

When I think I’m the only person in the world whose body responds to a certain stimulus in a certain way, someone will go “me too!”

When I’m struggling with an emotion or a fear or a trip into the darkest depths of my psyche, sometimes what keeps me going is just knowing that someone else sees me, that they understand what I’m going through, and that they came out the other side – and I will too.

7. I have workaholic tendencies.

Okay, so I had a hunch about this one already, but it’s become apparent to me in the last year just how true it is. When I’m really into something, I am in real danger of becoming completely consumed by it.

In October, writing every single day for my Kink Month challenge was stressful and thrilling in equal measure. Since then, I’ve forced myself to take half a step back to recharge as my day job workload explodes over the festive period, but I still feel twinges of guilt if I go more than three or four days without blogging.

This passion and the way it eats at me until I sit down and do the work is a blessing, in large part, and occasionally a curse too. Sometimes the best thing my loved ones can do for me is give me space to work, and sometimes the best thing they can do is force me to take a break, eat some snacks and watch a terrible movie with them. Often, though, I need to take a good look at how I’m really doing in order to communicate which of these things I need.

8. People HATE being told the truth.

Whether it’s that their jelly dildo is riddled with toxic gunk, that shoving 2lb of marbles up their ass is a really bad idea, or that their favourite toy company hired a known abuser as a spokesperson, people really cannot deal with facts and information if it conflicts with their view of The Way Things Are. What’s more, sometimes these people will come at you with name-calling, personal attacks and even threats of physical violence when you speak the truth.

Block early, block often, my friends.

9. How not to take shit from companies.

I don’t work for other people/companies for free, unless:

1) You’re a charity I really, deeply believe in, OR
2) You’re a personal friend and I’m either doing you a favour or we’re doing some kind of work exchange.

Even so, the number of companies who have approached me wanting me to write for them for nothing – or “for the exposure!!!” – is fast approaching levels of bullshit I never knew existed. Add this to seriously shady requests like “talk up our product but don’t let on to your readers that we sponsored you for this,” and I’m left shaking my head at the audacity of some people. This year, I’ve learned to value my work properly and not accept flattery or “exposure” as forms of currency. I’ve learned to stand up for my worth, to hold firm with my boundaries, to put my foot down, so say “no”.

You love what I do and REALLY REALLY want to bring my voice to your readers? Perfect. I’m flattered. Now pay me.

10. No-one Does What I Do Quite Like Me

I’m just gonna finish off with this gem of wisdom from Girl on the Net, a phrase which adorns the mug (pictured) that I drink my coffee from every morning. Because it’s true.

Happy new year, you beautiful lot. Here’s to 2018.

Image by me.

2017 “Top 5” Roundup

Apart from my 1 Year Anniversary post on New Years’ Eve (which is written and ready to go,) this will probably be my last post of 2017. In that vein, I wanted to end the year with a roundup post of sorts, some Top 5s from the year.

I hope you are all having a wonderful festive season and I can’t wait to keep the conversation about all things sex and kink going with you in 2018.

A fluffy tabby cat playing with a gold bauble handing from a Christmas tree. For a post about Top 5s of 2017.

Top 5 New Sex Toys

#1Doxy Number 3, simply one of the most perfect things to ever have graced my bits.
#2We-Vibe Tango, the only bullet I will ever need.
#3Satisfyer Pro 2 Next Generation, the toy that made me like suction toys.
#4Come Hither Rabbit, the only rabbit vibrator I’ve ever enjoyed.
#5The Ruby Glow, a revelation in ride-on fun.

Top 5 Sex Blogging Inspirations

#1Kayla Lords
#2Girl on the Net
#3Molly Moore
#4Kate Sloan
#5Emmeline Peaches

Top 5 Awesome Events

#1Eroticon 2017, the one that started it all.
#2 – Autumn CM/nf, where I get to be naked and ogle pretty men in suits.
#3Lube & a Laptop, a fun summer social with other sexy writers and creators.
#4 – BiCon 2017, where I got to teach my workshop on “Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Sex Toys” for the first time.
#5 – Sex Blogger Christmas, a super fun (and boozy) event hosted by the wonderful EA and Livvy.

Top 5 Books About Sex

#1Come As You Are by Emily Nagoski
#2How a Bad Girl Fell in Love by Girl on the Net
#3Approaching the Swingularity by Cooper S Beckett
#4Enjoy Sex (How, When and IF You Want To) by Meg-John Barker & Justin Hancock
#5The Myth of Sex Addiction by Dr David Ley

Top 5 Podcasts

#1Loving BDSM, where Kayla and John bring their unique brand of humour, opinions and adorableness to speaking and educating on all aspects of the BDSM lifestyle. #CricketCrew4Lyf
#2The Dildorks, “dorky discourse on sex, dating and masturbating,” with the wonderful Kate Sloan and Bex Caputo.
#3The Guilty Feminist, which makes me cry with laughter and feel better about all the times my life choices don’t fully match my highest feminist ideals.
#4Polyamory Weekly, a very long-standing favourite about all aspects of unconventional love.
#5Life on the Swingset, the swinging and polyamory podcast.

Top 5 Blog Posts

#1The Tyranny of No Rules: In Defense of Polyamorous Heirarchy
#2I’m Looking for Baggage that Goes with Mine
#3“Pretty” is Not My Success – On Being a Swan
#4#SexNotStigma: Using My Sexuality to Manage my Mental Health
#5“Bring the Collar” – The True Story of a D/s Breakup

Top 5 Accomplishments

#1 – Winning the New Voices Award from Molly’s annual list of the best sex bloggers.
#2 – Placing as one of Kinkly’s Top 100 Sex Blogging Superheroes.
#3 – Starting to earn Actual Money from writing about sex.
#4 – Organising Smutathon 2017 and raising £2,000 for Backlash and Rape Crisis.
#5 – Doing #KinkMonth/3o Days of Ds and writing a post every single day for the month of October.

Top 5 Goals for 2018

#1 – Start a PhD programme.
#2 – Cut down to 4 days a week on my day job and make up the additional income from writing.
#3 – Place in the Top 50 of the Kinkly Sex Blogging Superheroes list.
#4 – Have a piece of erotic fiction published, either in an anthology or as a stand-alone.
#5 – Finish my sexy novella set at a BDSM convention.

So there you have it, friends! What were your Top 5s of 2017?

Affiliate links are used within this post. All opinions my own. Image is courtesy of Pixabay.

Sexy Festive Travel Essentials

The main thing I’m looking forward to over Christmas, apart from my mother’s cooking, is spending some quality time with Mr CK and having some hot filthy sex. We’ve both been sick lately – first me, then him, now me-again-but-still-him-a-little-bit-too. Combined with the fact that my day job works me into the ground from early October to late December, and… yeah. Kinky fuckery has been thin on the ground lately!

The bottom of a Christmas tree with presents under it, and a woman's legs in stripey stockings and a Mrs Claus skirt. For a post about sexy travel essentials.

In the spirit of the holidays – a time when lots of us are visiting or being visited by family – and also the fact that Mr and I will be going on an Actual Vacation in January, I thought I’d share some of my favourite sexy travel essentials and tips with you all. These are things that are small enough to throw into an overnight bag or carry-on, easy to use discreetly… and not likely to raise any questions at airport security if that’s a thing you have to contend with.

Sample packs of lube

Lube is an absolute essential to me – I often don’t get wet enough to have intercourse comfortably without it, even when I’m really turned on, plus it’s a great shortcut in those “oh look the family have all gone to the store we have fifteen minutes” moments.

A large bottle is problematic when traveling, though. It’s bulky when you’ve got limited packing space, and frankly I’m always terrified it’s going to leak all over my clothes. Sample size packs are perfect – they’re tiny, light, don’t leak, and you can discreetly dispose of the packet at the end of playtime.

Top recommendation from me is the Sliquid Lube Cube.

Small and discreet vibe

Alas, my Doxy is neither discreet enough for sneaky quiet fucks while staying in the family home, nor likely to get through airport security without raising some serious questions. I still want to be able to use a vibe while traveling, though, so the key is to take something small and not too loud!

I’ll be packing my We Vibe Tango and my Rocks Off Bamboo, for sure. Whatever vibe you’re taking with you, remember to travel-lock it or take the battery out while you’re on the move!

Travel-friendly kink toys

The family home is not the place to crack out (see what I did there?) the 6 foot singletail. Things like floggers or even hand-spanking are probably out, too, if you’re sharing space in close quarters with people who don’t want to hear what you’re up to!

My favourite discretion-and-travel-friendly kink toys include a set of leather cuffs, nipple clamps, and the Evil Stick of Pain.

(Disclaimer: I don’t promise your sub will be quiet when you use the latter on them!)

Some underwear that makes you feel really sexy

When it’s difficult to find the time or privacy to fuck or masturbate, but I want to remind myself that I’m a sexual being, wearing some really sexy underwear under my clothing helps me tap into my sensuality. When no-one else knows it’s there, it’s my private little sexy secret – all for me.

If a lover gets to see it hours later when I peel off my clothing, that’s a bonus. But the point of wearing it is just to feel good in my body.

You know what feels good to wear for you. For me, it’s my favourite knickers. (Link contains my butt.)

A small safer-sex kit

Mr and I are fluid bonded, so our safer sex kit is small, but we usually pack a few things – especially if there’s any chance at all that we’ll have the opportunity to hook up with anyone but each other. Your preferences will inevitably vary, but some condoms, some nitrile gloves and some dams, a pack of sterile wipes (for toy cleaning on the fly) and some alcohol gel are our essentials. Of course, if you’re on any kind of regular birth control, take that with you too!

Tweet me and tell me what your seasonal travel essentials are!

Affiliate links are contained in this post. All opinions my own. Image is from Pixabay, a fab source of legal, royalty-free images.

[Toy Review] The Queen Bee by Hot Octopuss

It’s here! The Marmite of sex toys (probably only Brits will get that reference, sorry everyone else) is in my possession and…

…| am coming down very firmly in the “love” camp.

The Queen Bee by Hot Octopuss, a grey oscillating sex toy that is shaped like a hairbrush.

I’ve been wanting the Queen Bee, from Hot Octopuss (who I love!), ever since I saw the prototype last Eroticon. H.O. listened to their consumers and created a toy for vulvas using the same “PulsePlate” technology as their revolutionary Pulse toys for penis-owners.

In their words: “Unlike conventional sex toys, the Queen Bee uses a ‘piston’-type mechanism in order to generate extremely deep and rumbly oscillations.” Basically, it oscillates rather than vibrates.

Now, I am a lover of broad clitoral stimulation – pinpoint does it for me sometimes, but I have to be careful with this as it can cross into being painful really quickly. Toys with big heads that stimulate the whole clitoris and vulva are really where it’s at for me. There’s a reason the original Doxy is my favourite thing in the world, folks.

My experience with the Queen Bee each time I’ve used it was one of a slow-build orgasm. This isn’t a “get me off in 2 minutes from cold so I can sleep” toy, but more of a “luxurious, long, slow session that ends with an orgasm so explosive my partner can hear it from the other end of the house” toy. I love it. It’s staying in the little pile of toys I reach for regularly.

My Ratings (all scores out of 5★)

Price: ★★★
The Queen Bee retails for £119 from Hot Octopuss directly. This puts it in the higher price bracket but not off the scale for a high-quality toy. Don’t forget you can use my exclusive code, CK10, for 10% off before the end of December!

Materials: ★★★★
The naterial is TPE, which I will admit put me off initially as this tends to be a porous material (though it contains no phthalates or other nasties and is therefore technically non-toxic). However, Hot Octopuss uses medical-grade, non-porous TPE that can be thoroughly sanitised. When I asked my contact about this, they provided a handy info-sheet which is really thorough and reassuring. This transparency, combined with Dangerous Lilly’s endorsement, gives me full confidence to say that this toy is made of a body-safe material.

It doesn’t have quite the gorgeous sensual smoothness of silicone – it’s firm, though less harsh than hard plastic. The material is unfortunately a little grabby, so a spot of water-based lube really enhances the experience. (Then again, when DOESN’T lube make something better?)

Appearance: ★★★★
IT’S NOT PINK, Y’ALL. It doesn’t even come in pink, or in any kind of pastel or “girly” (ugh) shade at all. It’s a dark steely grey and looks a bit like a hairbrush. It’s not a beautiful or even a pretty toy, but weirdly I enjoy this about it.  I like something that’s purple and sparkly as much as the next femme, but the whole look of this toy just screams “I MEAN BUSINESS, I AM NOT HERE TO BE DECORATIVE” and frankly I am here for that.

Ease of Use: ★★★★
Opinions in the blogosphere vary over this one, but I find the Queen Bee reasonably easy and intuitive to use. It was 4 buttons in a line: On/Off, pattern change, speed up and speed down. They’re easy to press and I found it easy to change the setting mid-wank without breaking my flow. What I really liked about using the Queen Bee is that I didn’t have to press it as hard against my vulva as I do with a wand or other vibrator – in fact, the sensation was much stronger and more satisfying when I held it lightly against myself.

Ease of care & cleaning: ★★★
The Queen Bee is fully waterproof, making it easy to clean with hot water for thorough sanitising. You can also clean it with a body-safe alcohol wipe (I buy mine in bulk from medical suppliers.) It does have a HUUUGE seam where the oscillating plate joins the rest of the toy. Fluids and bacteria could easily get trapped here, so be extra thorough around this area when cleaning it. For this reason, I’d hesitate to share it without a barrier in a non fluid-bonded relationship. You could use it through a dam or other barrier, but I’m not sure how much that would impact the feeling of the oscillations.

Versatility: ★★★★
The Queen Bee has six different settings – constant and five different patterns – as well as multiple speed options to choose from. I found even the lower speeds quite rumbly and satisfying, though it did take the top speed to get me off. The Queen Bee is also waterproof, if taking your toys in the bath or shower with you is your thing. It’s advertised as having a “gentle warm up massage” sensation if you use the back (opposite the PulsePlate) but this was too weak to do much of anything for me. Those with less Power Queen tendencies than me may enjoy it, though.

As it looks like a hairbrush, I kind of want to use it as a spanking tool, but I don’t recommend actually trying this as it might damage the oscillating mechanism.

Intensity:
★★★★
It’s difficult to compare the Queen Bee, an oscillating toy, against a conventional vibrator, so I am going to resist doing so. Let’s just say it’s pleasingly rumbly on the lowest settings and pretty intense on the higher ones! Again, it’s definitely a slow-build toy for me, but I thoroughly enjoyed using it.

Overall Score: ★★★★
Definitely won’t do it for everyone. If you like pinpoint stim exclusively, this isn’t the toy for you. But if you like broad, rumbly sensations and are looking for something a bit different to classic vibrations, give the Queen Bee a try!

One final thing of note: MY GOD this thing is loud! Now I don’t really mind about toys being loud, because I live with my intimate partner and have no housemates, kids or family at home. But if you live with other people and need a discreet toy, this is not it.

Thank you to my friends at Hot Octopuss for sending me the Queen Bee in exchange for an honest review. The Queen Bee is available directly from Hot Octopuss, as well as Lovehoney and SheVibe. This post contains affiliate links. Image is property of Hot Octopuss and reproduced here with their permission.

#SinfulSunday Week 347 – Waiting to Be Reddened

Today’s Sinful Sunday theme is RED. I have these gorgeous new knickers and me and Mr CK are off to our favourite femsub/MDom event today, so here’s my arse waiting to be reddened by his hand, flogger, cane or whatever he decides to beat me with today.

My ass is black lacy cage-back knickers.

Click on the lips to see who else is sinning this Sunday.

 

Sinful Sunday

[Wearable Review] Oscuro Black Stretch PVC Catsuit

I have very little body confidence, and I am also a #LazyFemme. Hardly the target demographic for a skin-tight, everything-on-display catsuit! Even so, for some reason, when I saw this baby at the Latex, Leather and Lace opening I just went “oooh, yes, want!” Because they are supremely lovely, and I know how to flutter my eyelashes, the lovely

I slipped out of my jeans and into the catsuit in the swanky new changing room, and I don’t think I have ever gone from “casual, slightly scruffy” to “holy shit I am hot” so quickly in my entire life. It did help, of course, that when I emerged from the changing room, at least three women had to pick their jaws up off the floor at how fabulous this thing makes my tits look. (My boobs are already like a 12/10, not gonna lie, but they get at least 50% more fabulous when encased in skintight PVC.)

A black PVC full body catsuit, modelled by a pretty white woman with blonde hair.With a high collared neck and long sleeves, this suit is made from 4-way stretch PVC, and therefore is super comfy to wear. Zips in strategic places make it easy to loosen or tighten where you like, as well as allowing for essential things like peeing or getting fucked without taking the whole suit off! It comes in sizes from Small (UK 10) to 2XL (UK 18.)

My Ratings (all scores out of 5★)

Price: ★★★★
The Oscuro catsuit retails at £64.99 from Latex, Leather and Lace. It’s definitely not a cheap item, but is a good reasonable option for someone who wants a catsuit but doesn’t want to pay the much higher pricetag for latex or leather.

Appearance: ★★★★★
Mmmmffff. Yessssss. I love how this thing looks, and how I look in it. It’s sexy as hell. I like pairing it with some killer black heeled boots for instant Dominatrix vibes, or with my kitty ears and a tail or more of a submissive kitten look.

Materials: ★★★★
It’s made of 4 way stretch PVC with a lycra backing. This makes it super comfy – it hugs your curves but also allows for relatively free and unrestricted movement. A great option for wearing all night. Though if you’re intending to dance or play or fuck the night away, be warned that it does get Extremely Hot after a while.

Fit: ★★★★
The sizes seem to run fairly true to whatever semblance of “standard sizing” we have for women’s clothing. I wear a 12 and the medium fits me really nicely. It’s a little tight over my 36DD boobs, but just on the edge between “epic cleavage” and “actually so tight it’s uncomfortable”- however, if you have a large bust you might want to try before buying or even consider going a size up. I’m about 5’5″ and have short legs relative to my torso, and the legs on this run quite long. Shorter folks or those with short legs: you’ll probably want to wear heels with this or you’ll be tripping over the ends.

Overall Score: ★★★★
A real winner. I love it! Can’t wait to wear it to the club. (And I’ve promised my friends Jo and Jess that it’ll make an appearance at Eroticon, too!)

Don’t forget: this piece featured in my 2017 holiday gift guide because I loved it so much. Go to my exclusive gift guide page and buy through there  to support me. Don’t forget to use code COFFEEANDKINK10 for 10% off!

Thanks to the lovely folks at Latex, Leather and Lace for giving me this product to review! All views are my own. Links to the product are not affiliate links. If you’d like to support me, please consider buying through the link in the right hand sidebar. Use code COFFEEANDKINK10 at checkout for 10% off.

The image in this post belongs to Latex, Leather and Lace, and I have used it with their permission.