[Toy Review] The Zumio

As a lover of intense clitoral stimulation, I’ve wanted a Zumio ever since I first learned about them. But they’ve always been in the category of toys I would never buy at full price –  they’re expensive and I had no idea if they would actually work for me.

The Zumio, for those who don’t know, is a new type of clitoral stimulator. It looks a bit like a purple electric toothbrush, and has a very thin, plastic rod tip – known as a SpiroTIP – which “whirls around in tiny circles”. It’s designed to mimic the movement of a finger circling the clit, only… more, faster and harder. Observe:

The Zumio, a purple sex toy with a small plastic tip. Shaped a bit like a toothbrush.Anyone who has been reading my work for any length of time knows that I am frequently annoyed by sex toy marketing claims. Zumio created some waves in the blogosphere by claiming that this toy will make a person with a clitoris come in 60 seconds or less. Dangerous Lilly, blogger and reviewer extraordinaire, has covered in detail why this is problematic, so I don’t feel a need to go into it in depth. However, I will admit to really hoping this toy would finally be the answer to getting me off clitorally very quickly… and being disappointed/wondering if I’m “broken” when it inevitably didn’t.

But let’s back up a minute and take a closer look…

The Zumio is made of ABS plastic and silicone. The bit that makes direct contact with the body is plastic. Therefore it’s body safe, non-porous and non-toxic. It also happens to be waterproof, if wanking in the bath or shower is your thing. It’s charged via USB and comes with a little charging stand that makes it remind me even more of a toothbrush.

The user interface is 3 simple buttons – an on/off switch, one to turn the speed up, and one to turn the speed down. There are 8 speed settings in total, and no “patterns” or any of that silliness. (I hate patterns).

The Zumio retails for £134.99. It’s an expensive product, so I recommend buying from a retailer with a solid returns policy in case it doesn’t work for you. (Lovehoney are great in this regard).

My Experience…

The Zumio is about as pinpoint as pinpoint stimulation can get. The tip is also hard. For that reason, I was nervous – direct contact to my clit is often too intense and painful for me. Even so, I dove in and started off on the lowest setting. I quickly discovered that my suspicions were correct. Even on the lowest setting, the hard plastic tip against my clit was intense to the point of painful.

No matter – that problem was solved by putting my knickers back on and using the toy through my panties. I don’t do this with any other toy (except very occasionally the Doxy 3) because I need a lot of stimulation to come. Through the underwear, I found this toy much more enjoyable and that was how I eventually got off with it. If you try it and it’s too intense, try with a layer of clothing between the tip and your clit.

Contrary to what is apparently the more common experience, Zumio is a slow-build toy for me. If I’ve got an hour or more to spend slowly teasing myself, ramping up through the speeds one at a time, and toeing the line between “so intense it’s blissful” and “so intense it’s painful,” the orgasm at the end of it is delicious. But pretty much the only thing that can get me off quickly is wands, so I might not be the person to trust on “quickness of orgasm” factors. All bodies are so different.

Care and Clean-Up

The Zumio comes with a little drawstring storage bag, big enough to fit the toy, docking stand and charging cable, which I appreciated. All sex toys should come with storage bags and so few do. Given how thin the tip is, I’m a bit nervous about it getting broken in storage. Be careful with how you store this toy – you probably don’t want to throw other things on top of it.

Clean-up is a pinch. The Zumio is waterproof, so you can wash it thoroughly with warm soapy water. You can also wipe the tip clean with a body-safe sterile wipe (I get mine in bulk from medical suppliers – much cheaper than toy cleaner).

You can’t use a condom with it, though you could use a barrier like a dam. But the easiest thing to do if you want to share it between partners is just to thoroughly clean the tip between users.

Do I recommend it?

Honestly, I personally loved it less than I was hoping I would. That doesn’t mean I don’t recommend it – I just recommend it to a very specific subset of people.

If you like extremely pinpoint clitoral stimulation, you’ll probably love it. But if you’re into broader stimulation it’s probably not for you. If you have a clit that likes very intense, very direct stimulation, Zumio’s got you covered.

Zumio is a genuinely innovative toy and different to anything else on the market. For that, it is certainly to be commended. So many toy companies claim to be innovative, and so few actually are.

You can buy your Zumio from Lovehoney or SheVibe.

Thanks to the good folks of Zumio for sending me this product in exchange for an honest review. As always, all opinions are entirely my own. Affiliate links appear in this post.

[Toy Review] Lifelike Lover Luxe Silicone Realistic Dildo

First, a note: I am changing how I do reviews in that I am now piloting a system where I DON’T give a star rating. Toy reviews will always rely heavily on subjectivity, as all our bodies are different – but I am now wondering if the star rating system came across as passing an inherent value judgement on a toy, when actually my opinion on any product is by definition subjective. If a toy is objectively bad (body-unsafe, for example, or really horribly made) I probably just won’t bother reviewing it in the first place. In the products I review, I want to focus more on what worked for me, what didn’t, and what might work with others’ unique bodies and preferences.

Now with that out of the way, on to the review!

I’m forever being asked for recommendations of good quality, body-safe dildos at affordable prices. There are many wonderful realistic silicone dildos on the market, but many of them tend to be expensive – Vixen Creations do their wonderful VixSkin dildos, but not everyone can afford to drop £100+ on a toy.

Luckily, Lovehoney have got you covered!

Lifelife Lover is a new range of realistic toys from Lovehoney. It’s important to note that some of them are made of PVC, which I do not endorse as a toy material (it’s porous, for one thing). However, there are 8 silicone options in the range – a 5.5″ and an 8″, each available in four colourways – which I heartily recommend. Silicone is body-safe, hypoallergenic and non-porous. I chose the 8 inch version in purple for this review. (A girl can never have too many purple dicks in her collection). The other colours available are black, Caucasian flesh colour, and bright pink.

Lovehoney Lifelike Lover - a purple realistic suction cup dildo with balls.Details

This dildo is 8″ long from base to tip, with an insertable length of 7″. At the widest point, its circumference is 5″. On the smaller model, you’ve got an insertable length of 5″ and a maximum circumference of 4″.

The Lifelike Lover design really is very… well, lifelike! It resembles a circumcised cock (or an uncut dick with the foreskin rolled back, I guess) with its pronounced head, there are accurate “veins” all down the shaft, and there’s even a meatus (don’t you love that word?) and textured balls.

This 8″ model retails for £32.99, while the 5″ models are £24.99. I cannot overstate this: this is such a good price for a realistic, pure silicone toy of this quality.

The Lifelike Lover Purple Silicone Dildo held in a woman's hand.In Use

This dildo feels absolutely divine to me. The Lifelike Lover dildos have a very slight curve (again, sticking with the realism) and the pronounced head is wonderful for G-spot stimulation. I like to press the head against my G-spot and just wiggle the toy slightly to get the pressure I enjoy. The silicone is soft and pliable, meaning you can angle it just right for your body’s preferences, but firm enough to thrust with satisfactorily.

Being silicone, it warms up quickly with your body heat once inserted. You could also run it under some warm water prior to use to get it nicely warmed up.

All Lifelike Lover silicone dildos have suction cup bases, which makes them ideal for hands-free use – stick it to the edge of the shower, a hard floor, the window if you’re feeling daring, and have fun. I can attest to the strength and quality of the suction cup, as it has just taken be both hands to prise it away from where it had suctioned itself to my desk. When stuck to a surface, it sticks out at the perfect just-above-horizontal angle. It’s also harness-compatible, making it ideal for strap-on play or pegging, and has a large enough base to be anal safe.

Care & Cleaning

The best way to clean pure silicone toys without motors is to boil-sterilise them. Just pop it in a pan of hot water on the stove and boil for about 10 minutes, then dry thoroughly before you put it away. This kills any germs or bacteria, keeping your toy super hygienic and also making it safe for sharing, if that’s something you want to do.

If you’re using it between partners without sterilising in between (or wanting to use it for anal and vaginal play in the same session,) it’s an ideal shape to be condom-compatible. If you’re using the larger size toy, I recommend a larger condom to ensure against breakage – 8″ is bigger than an average bio-cock and regular size condoms are really designed for slightly smaller dicks than this.

For silicone toys, water-based lube is recommended.

So Do I Recommend It?

Yes – very much so. If you’re looking for a realistic style dildo at an affordable price, you can’t go far wrong with these.

Lifelike Lover dildos are currently on a special offer – buy any two, get 30% off.

Thanks to Lovehoney for providing me with the Lifelike Lover Luxe Silicone Dildo 8″ in purple for this review. Affiliate links have been used in this post. All views are, as always, my own. Pictures are property of Lovehoney and cannot be used without express permission.

Antidepressants: My Longest Relationship

As long-time readers of this blog will know, I have depression. Apart from a brief period between 19 and 21 where I struggled along drug-free, I have been on antidepressants for my entire adult life.

A white woman's tattooed lower legs, wearing black high heels and black knickers around her ankles. By Hot Octopuss. For a post on antidepressants and sex.Today, I wanted to share a few true stories about how these drugs, which probably saved my life, have interacted with my sex life with occasionally hilarious, sometimes sad and frequently frustrating results.

That Time I Didn’t Have Sex for 9 Months

A pretty older woman with long flowing hair, wearing a patterned shirt. Sitting at a table with a mug in front of her, smiling into the camera. By Hot Octopuss, for a post on antidepressants and sex.My first go with antidepressants came when I was 18. I was in a horrible corporate job that was basically slowly ripping out my soul. My boyfriend was abusive (though I couldn’t name it as abuse at the time). I was trying to come to terms with my bisexuality. And most of my friends had gone off to university, leaving me isolated and lonely in my hometown. It was a bad time.

I went to see my GP, adamant I didn’t want medication. What did I want? Just someone to talk to, I think. To feel less alone. They told me I wasn’t sick enough for counselling, and sent me away with a prescription for Prozac.

Prozac and Amy, it turns out, are not friends. It took me from depressed to suicidal. It gave me horrible heartburn and killed my appetite such that I lost a stone in a few short weeks. And worst of all, it killed my sex drive. I couldn’t feel anything, I didn’t want anyone touching my body, and I was so sad and exhausted that evenings and weekends were for mindless TV, naps, and the kind of writing that only comes out of me when I’m trying to stay alive,  not for hot passionate sessions or dirty quickies in the kitchen.

During that time, my boyfriend raped me a handful of times, but I didn’t have consensual sex for about 9 months.

That Time I Discovered My Denial Kink

A male/female couple lying on a bed, face down, him on top of her nuzzling her face. By Hot Octopuss for a post about antidepressants and sex.I’ve already written about how I came to be on Citalopram at the age of 21 (be warned if you click the link, it’s not a pleasant story). A few weeks into that saga, my boyfriend (a different boyfriend to the one discussed above, this one even more abusive) and I were having sex. I was rubbing my clit while he finger-fucked me, a surefire way to get me off. And I just… couldn’t get there. It wasn’t happening. My vulva became sore, and then numb, as I kept chasing that elusive orgasm that just. would. not. come.

Loss of orgasm when on antidepressants is, it turns out, extremely common. So why didn’t my GP mention this to me when they gave me the prescription and we discussed possible side effects? Why didn’t the leaflet included with the pills, which I read religiously three times before popping the first one, say a single word about sexual side effects? Probably because our culture doesn’t regard women’s orgasms as important. And certainly not depressed women’s orgasms. So when I asked for help, my doctor essentially said, “trouble with orgasm is the price you pay for not being depressed”. Okay then.

I made it my mission to learn how to orgasm again while on the medication – which, in all other ways, really was helping me! I masturbated until I was too sore to carry on. My partner and I had sex in all kinds of different positions and configurations. Being poor and without access to good toys at the time, I tried with the vibrators I had. But they were too weak to get me anywhere. It took me a month before I finally reached orgasm again, after over an hour with a high-powered vibrator borrowed from my metamour.

During that month, I was pissed off – at myself, at my doctor, at the pills – and frustrated as all hell. But I was also… more turned on than I had ever been in my life. I soon realised that I kind of enjoyed the ache that came from having a really good sex or masturbation session but not reaching orgasm. I liked the submissive feelings I got when my partner came and I didn’t. When he laughed at my frustration during a particularly Dominant moment… woof. And when my orgasm finally reared its elusive head once more, it was the most explosive one I’d ever had.

I was relieved to have the option to orgasm again, of course. But I’d had a taste of something I liked. I started playing with edging and waiting before coming, both in my masturbation and during sex with my partner.

And that, friends, is how citalopram taught me I have an orgasm denial kink.

That Time I Started Coming Off My Medication

A woman's body from behind, wearing jeans and naked on the top half. She has long flowing hair. By Hot Octopuss, for a post about antidepressants and sex.Which brings me to a couple of months ago. Together with my doctor (a new one, who is amazing) I’m working on coming off citalopram. This is because, having been medicated since the age of 21, I don’t actually know what I’m like without it any more. And I want to find out.

The first two weeks on a half dose were hell. I was crying endlessly, arguing with my partner, barely sleeping, and pretty much oscillating between numbness and crushing, unbearable sadness. And, for that period and a little longer while my body adjusted, my sex drive went haywire.

Specifically: I was horny as hell every moment I wasn’t sobbing, but I at the same time I couldn’t bear the thought of anyone touching my genitals, including myself. It was disconcerting and strange to say the least. My body was all “yeah, lets go!” while my brain wasn’t having any of it.

And Now… What Next?

Mercifully, things have calmed down. I’m still on the journey towards coming off the antidepressants, currently on a half dose with a view to cutting down further in the next few weeks. But the effects on my sex life so far have been fascinating.

Firstly, I’m finding I can come more quickly and easily than I used to when I was on the full dose, especially while masturbating. Gentler toys or my fingers can get me off more often and more reliably. I still love my power tool vibrators, of course, but it’s not all about them now. I can have multiple orgasms more quickly, and more often. And I’m enjoying more than ever experimenting with different sensations, and trying out all kinds of new, different and interesting toys.

The Hot Octopuss company logo.

Heads up: this post was sponsored by the wonderful people at Hot Octopuss, who make fantastic and innovative sex toys for both penises and vulvas. Check out their stuff, particularly my personal favourite, the Queen Bee. Images are property of Hot Octopuss and not to be used without their express permission. A banner ad for sex toy company Hot Octopuss, who sponsored a post on sex and mental health

The Big Damn Wands Comparison Post

I’m obsessed with wands.

I love them. I love the size and weight of them, the intense rumble of the vibrations. And I fucking love the way they rip orgasms from by body, sometimes taking me from cold to coming in as little as a couple of minutes.

All seven of the wand vibrators I own lying on my bed on a white sheet.

Whether you use them on a clit, a dick, or on your sore muscles, wands are fucking great.

“But which wand should I buy?” people often ask me. And my answer is… it depends. It depends what you’re looking for. So here I want to look at some of the most popular wands on the market that I’ve tried, and the pros and cons of each to help you make an informed decision.

The One That Started It All: The Magic Wand Original (AKA “Hitachi”)

The Hitachi Magic Wand Original, lying on a blue notebook covered in bi pride stickers.I reviewed this just yesterday! It’s the most famous wand vibrator of all, popularised in the 1960s by the amazing and inimitable Betty Dodson. In use, I found it decent but not world-rocking. Your mileage may vary, of course, and it’s popular for a reason!

Quick facts: Plastic body; PVC head; 2 settings; mains powered.

Pros: The most famous and original wand vibrator; trusted for over 50 years; VERY powerful; mains powered so will never run out of charge.

Cons: Only 2 settings; porous head; very flexible/bendy neck; almost impossible to source legitimately outside of North America; not particularly visually attractive; needs to be plugged in to use.

Get yours: SheVibe or TooTimid. Retail price anywhere between $60 and $120.

The Rechargeable One: Desire Luxury Rechargeable Magic Wand by Lovehoney

Good rechargeable wands are really hard to find. Those in the US and Canada have the Magic Wand Rechargeable at their disposal if they can afford it, but what are the rest of us to do? I’m pleased to say that Lovehoney’s Desire Wand really delivers in this regard.

Quick facts: plastic body; silicone head; mains rechargeable; 20 patterns and 5 levels of intensity.

Pros: completely body-safe; LOTS of settings so extremely customisable; rechargeable – no need for a plug socket; 3 hours running time on a 3 hour charge; travel lock; comes with an attractive faux-leather case; visually beautiful.

Cons: Pretty heavy; less rumbly than some other wands; you can only scroll one way through the pattern settings, so if you skip over the one you like you have to go allllll the way back through; risk of batteries running out mid-wank.

Get yours: Lovehoney UK, Lovehoney EU, Lovehoney Canada. RRP £99.99, currently on sale for £69.99 in the UK.

The Budget Option: Lovehoney Classic Mains Powered Wand

A white female hand holding the Lovehoney Classic Wand, a white wand vibrator decorated with a little red heart.

I initially didn’t expect much from this one, given the cheaper price-tag compared to luxury wands, but I was quite pleasantly surprised! I haven’t actually done a stand-alone review of this one yet but I will. With some caveats (see below) I’m happy to recommend it as a lower budget option for a wand.

Quick facts: Plastic body; rigid PVC-coated head; variable speeds controlled with a sliding wheel; mains powered.

Pros: Affordable; VERY powerful for the price; mains powered so no risk of running out of battery; easy slider control.

Cons: No pattern settings; somewhat porous head (using a condom is recommended); needs to be plugged in to use; one of the louder models.

Get yours: Lovehoney UK, Lovehoney EU, Lovehoney Canada. RRP £49.99.

The Extremely Light One: Pink BOB Allure Wand

The Pink BOB Allure Wand, a pink wand style vibrator.I reviewed this one recently and overall liked it more than I expected to. It’s never going to be a top go-to wand recommendation in general, but some people struggle with the weight of some heavier wands and this is a good bet in that regard.

Quick facts: plastic body; silicone head cover; 20 speed/pattern settings; mains powered.

Pros: Body-safe; extremely light compared to all other models; very versatile with so many settings; mains-powered so no risk of running out of battery; solid level of power for the price.

Cons: EXTREMELY PINK; not the finest quality silicone; gets hot after more than 3o minutes’ use; “Battery Operated Boyfriend” as a brand-name.

Get yours: TooTimid. RRP $69.95.

The ‘Mid Budget, High Quality’ One: Lovehoney Deluxe Extra Powerful Mains Powered Wand

The Lovehoney Deluxe Wand, a black magic wand vibrator decorated with a little grey heart.I JUST tried this one last night and haven’t even reviewed it yet. Bear with me, though – I definitely will! In short I really like it and I’m growing more and more impressed with what Lovehoney are doing with their own-brand luxury toys.

Quick facts: Plastic body; silicone head; 10 speeds and 20 pattern settings; mains powered.

Pros: Body-safe; really good price for a luxury toy; mains-powered, so no risk of running out of charge; dozens of speed/pattern combinations so extremely versatile; sleek and attractive design; impressive level of power.

Cons: Pretty heavy; less rumbly than some other wands; you can only scroll one way through the pattern settings, so if you skip over the one you like you have to go allllll the way back through; needs to be plugged in to use.

Get yours: Lovehoney UK, Lovehoney EU, Lovehoney Canada. RRP £79.99.

The Tiny But Mighty One: Doxy Number 3

A white female upturned hand holding the Doxy Number 3, a small silver wand vibrator with a black head.

Mr CK rolled his eyes at me when I brought this one home. “Surely you don’t need another Doxy?” Yes, friends, I definitely did. This baby is a POWERHOUSE, despite its small size. It’s the only wand I own that can make me come, through underwear, in less than a minute pretty reliably.

Quick facts: Aluminium body; silicone head; multiple graded settings and an escalating pulsation mode.

Pros: Body-safe; RIDICULOUSLY POWERFUL; rumbly vibrations; removable silicone head for easy cleaning; by far the smallest wand with this level of power on the market; mains powered, so no risk of running out of charge; sleek and attractive design; fantastic, ethical company with brilliant customer service.

Cons: Expensive; weighty for its small size, needs to be plugged in to use.

Get Yours: Lovehoney UK, Lovehoney EU, Shevibe. RRP £119.99.

The Most Beautiful One: Doxy Die Cast

The Doxy Die Cast, a deep purple wand vibrator with a large black silicone head.

I don’t actually own one of these! (Any companies or generous readers want to send me a present? 😉 ). But I’ve tried out a friend’s one and it’s pretty divine.

Quick facts: Aluminium and titanium alloy body; silicone head; mains powered; multiple graded settings and an escalating pulsation mode.

Pros: Body-safe; RIDICULOUSLY POWERFUL; rumbly vibrations; mains-powered; the most beautiful wand on the market hands-down; fantastic, ethical company with brilliant customer service.

Cons: The most expensive on this list; only 1 “pattern” setting; very heavy; needs to be plugged in to use.

Get Yours: Lovehoney UK, Lovehoney EU, Lovehoney Canada, Shevibe, The Pleasure Garden. RRP £149.99.

My Favourite One: Doxy Original

The Doxy Original, a purple wand style vibrator with a grey head, held on an upturned palm.What can I say!? I’m a loyal girl. Mr CK gave me one of these for my birthday our first year together, and I’m only about 10% joking when I say that’s when I knew he was a keeper.

Quick facts: Plastic body; non-porous, medical-grade PVC head; mains powered; multiple graded settings and an escalating pulsation mode.

Pros: Body-safe; RIDICULOUSLY POWERFUL; rumbly vibrations; mains-powered, so no worries about it running out of charge; comes in several different colours including purple, pink and white; fantastic, ethical company with brilliant customer service; has come down in price and is now really good value for the quality.

Cons: Only 1 “pattern” setting; needs to be plugged in to use.

Get Yours: Lovehoney UK, Lovehoney EU, Lovehoney Canada, Shevibe, The Pleasure Garden. RRP £89.99.

IN CONCLUSION

No-one except you can say with any certainty what the right wand for you will be… or even if wands are the right toys for you at all. They’re not for everyone. But I hope this post will have given you an insight into the pros and cons of various models I’ve tried, and why I think they’re great (or not so great).

Happy shopping, and you can always email me or hit me up on Twitter for a personalised recommendation!

Affiliate links are used in this post. Shopping with them sends a small kickback my way and helps me keep doing this work. Thanks to TooTimid and Lovehoney for providing me the toys required to do this post. Images are either by me, or property of the featured retailers, and must not be reproduced without express permission.

[Toy Review] Lovehoney “Positive Vibes” Vibrators

I get a *lot* of requests for affordable yet good quality vibrators from folks on a limited budget. Unfortunately, it can be quite hard to find safe toys, strong vibrations and an affordable price-tag for a lot of people. The vast majority of the toys I own I wouldn’t have been able to afford if I hadn’t been given them to review. That’s why I’m so pleased about Lovehoney’s new Positive Vibes range!

Lovehoney's Positive Vibes banner showing 4 colourful vibrators and the words "Positive Vibes - Be Sextraordinary"

Positive Vibes is a range of 4 vibrators. Each one has a different “look,” but otherwise they’re functionally identical, hence reviewing them as a range. I have two – the Rainbow design and the “I only fuck with magic” design.

Two Positive Vibes vibrators lying side by side on my desk.I loved these toys straight away for how fun and quirky they are. Seriously, HOW CUTE is that rainbow pattern? I don’t love the “Vibes Before Guys”personally (I have FEELINGS about anything that compares sex toys to partners, inadvertently or otherwise) – but I can see it as being a potentially empowering slogan for, say, a woman coming to appreciate her singleness or someone just out of a relationship and learning to embrace their own sexuality. All the designs totally appeal to my #SparkleFemme aesthetic (except for “fuck with magic,” which takes me back to my goth days in the best possible way).

A closer look…

Two Positive Vibes vibrators standing side by side on my desk.Positive Vibes come packaged in really cute sleeves with night sky designs on them. As always, Lovehoney send everything in discreet plain brown boxes.

Positive Vibes are made of ABS plastic. Therefore they’re rigid, but also really smooth to the touch. Perfect for people who like harder materials – the advantage of plastic over softer materials like silicone is that it doesn’t dampen vibrations at all. They operate from two ‘C’ batteries (not included) which you insert by twisting off the base. The insertable length is 6.5″ and the circumference is 4.2″ (making a diameter of 1.3″).

The user interface is simple: a single twist mechanism at the base which turns the intensity of vibrations up and down. Being so finely graded means you can easily select the exact level of stimulation that suits you. (Is anyone surprised that for me it was “the highest one”?)

In use…

Okay, the vibrations on these babies was a really pleasant surprise. I usually don’t expect much from cheaper vibes in terms of vibration quality/strength. But as soon as I turned this on in my hand, I was impressed by the strength – and not just the strength, but the rumble, too! The vibrations are deep, penetrating and really satisfying – none of that horrible surface buzz you often get in lower-priced toys.

I don’t like vibrations on my G-spot, so I use these vibrators entirely externally for clitoral stimulation. Your mileage may vary, of course, and they’re safe for internal play if that’s your jam. Please don’t use them for anal play, though, as they don’t have a flared base! For clitoral play, I really enjoyed the gently tapered tip, ideal for pinpoint stimulation. If you like broader stimulation, though, it also feels good with the shaft held flat against the clit and vulva.

Noise-wise, they’re reasonable for the level of power. I doubt you’d hear it through a closed door or a wall unless it was really paper-thin. A pro tip from Lovehoney’s site: when you insert the batteries, leave the plastic sleeve provided in (around the batteries). Taking it out, as I did initially, makes it a lot more rattly and therefore louder.

Care and cleaning…

Positive Vibes are not waterproof, so you can’t submerge them to clean them. (And please don’t try to use them in the bath!) They’re splashproof, though, and ABS is non-porous, making them easy to clean. Wipe carefully with a warm wet cloth and some mild soap, or use a sterile body-safe medical wipe. I buy these from medical suppliers really cheaply. Being non-porous, the toys shouldn’t harbour any bacteria as long as you clean them after each use, but if you’re sharing them and want to be extra careful, they’re the ideal shape to pop a condom over.

Value for money… 

A really good, simple vibrator. Positive Vibes retail at £16.99, though they’re currently on a special offer where you can get two for £20.

So do I recommend it?

Yes, absolutely. If you’re looking for decent rumbly vibrations on a budget, Positive Vibes has got you covered. One of the best toys for this price-point I’ve ever tried.

Image result for four and a half star rating

Ideal for: those on a budget; fans of rumbly vibrations; fans of harder materials; anyone who likes quirky, fun designs on their toys.

My left hand - 3 nails have purple sparkly polish and the ring finger has a blue sky and Rainbow design like on the Positive Vibes toy.[I got my nails done at the Positive Vibes launch party! How cute are these? Thanks to Jessica at Wah Nails, Soho, for the lovely work.]

Thanks to Lovehoney for sending me these toys for review! LH links in this post are affiliate links and if you buy from them, I make a small commission. All opinions are, as ever, my own. All images are taken and owned by me, except the top banner ad which is property of Lovehoney. Images not to be reproduced without permission.

[Toy Review] Magic Wand Original AKA “The Hitachi”

Yep, I finally got my hands on one of these! I’m currently working on a wand vibrators comparison piece and I didn’t feel right in doing this without trying, as it’s so often described, ‘The Cadillac of Vibrators’. Thanks to my contact at TooTimid for hooking me up with this product, which is notoriously hard to come by in the UK.

The Magic Wand Original, previously known as the Hitachi Magic Wand or simply the Hitachi, is the toy that started it all when it comes to wand-style massagers. Originally sold as a ‘personal massager’ for sore muscles, it was Betty Dodson – masturbation connoisseur and vibrator peddler extraordinaire – who popularised the Magic Wand as a tool for masturbation. Since then, there have been countless copycats and imitations, plenty of them terrible and some of them even unsafe. But the Magic Wand still reigns supreme as the most famous and sought-after vibrator of them all.

The Hitachi Magic Wand Original, lying on a blue notebook covered in bi pride stickers.

Okay, enough with the history lesson. Let’s look at the product.

The Magic Wand Original comes packaged in a simple blue and white box with a picture of the product on the outside. This has changed remarkably little from the original packaging of the 1960s, except that the ‘Hitachi’ name has been removed. (The company removed their name from the product in 2013, though continued to manufacture it after persuasion from distributor Vibratex).

The wand is 12 inches long in total and weighs 540g. This puts it on the heavier side which might not be accessible or easily usable for everyone. I didn’t struggle with it in this regard, but I’m able-bodied. If you struggle to hold heavy things or have a condition such as arthritis, you may want to take the weight and size of the thing into account. A good option for those who want to use a powerful wand but struggle to hold or manipulate it is to use a wand mount such as those made by Liberator.

Materials

The body is made of plastic, and the head appears to be PVC, though some retailers list it as TPE. Either way, the material is unlikely to be toxic but is somewhat porous. This means it will harbour bacteria and is impossible to truly 100% clean. What this means, in practice, is that your Magic Wand probably won’t last forever. You will also want to use a barrier if you’re going to be sharing it with a partner. STIs can be transmitted via non-sterilised toys! One option is to buy an attachment or a replacement cap such as the Off With Your Head by Vixen, which are silicone and therefore non-porous and truly body-safe.

Also worth mentioning: if you upgrade to the Magic Wand Rechargeable model, the head is silicone.

I’ll say this, it’s powerful as fuck.

The Magic Wand Original has 3 settings: Off, High, and Holy-Fucking-Shit! Yes, if power is what you want, this toy delivers. There are no patterns and no finely graded settings, so if that’s what you need, avoid. But for pure power, it’s a solid bet.  The vibrations felt rumbly and penetrating. Even the lowest setting will be satisfying to all but the greatest of power queens. (Anyone who has met my clitoris will be entirely unsurprised to know that I whacked it onto the Holy-Fucking-Shit setting and left it there until I’d come three or four times). It’s loud, but most wands are. It’s not distractingly loud, from my perspective, but someone in the next room can easily hear it. So bear this in mind if you’ve got roommates/family/kids and are trying to be discreet.

Despite the power, though, I found myself annoyed by the softness of the head and the flexibility of the neck. When I’m playing with a really powerful toy, I want to be able to push it hard against my vulva and feel the vibrations everywhere.  The bendy neck made it difficult to get the level of purchase I really desired. In this regard, it loses out to the Doxy Number 3 with its rigid silicone head and less flexible neck.

User-friendliness and care

The Magic Wand Original is operated by a simple, one button interface which makes it really easy to use. It has to be plugged into the wall, but the cord is a decent 5ft long, so you can use it even if your bed (or wherever you wank, I make no assumptions!) is a ways away from the nearest socket.

When it comes to care and cleaning, this toy – as I mentioned above – is somewhat porous. It’s also not waterproof, so please don’t submerge it to clean (or try to use it in the bath)! I recommend wiping clean with a body-safe sterile medical wipe, using a condom if you’re sharing it, and considering investing in a silicone cap or attachment like those linked above.

So is it worth the hype/money?

The Magic Wand Original tends to retail for between $80 and $120 depending on the retailer. I’m going to say my verdict is a qualified “worth it”. It IS a reasonable quality and very powerful toy. However, if you’ve got that amount of money to throw at a wand vibe, the Doxy will always be my first recommendation.

My overwhelming impression from the Magic Wand Original is, “I enjoyed it just fine, but I was less blown away than I hoped/expected to be, given the hype”. I’ve given it 3 and a half stars, it would have been a solid 4 if the head was non-porous.

Image result for three and a half stars

Thanks to TooTimid for sending me this toy to review!  All opinions are, and will always be, my own. You can buy your Magic Wand Original from TooTimid. Some of the links in this post are affiliate links and buying from them supports my work. Enjoyed this review? Buy me a coffee to say thanks!

Picture is by me. Do not steal my images.

[Toy Review] Vain Toys Laid Back Dildo

Vain Toys is a new European company – specifically, they’re based in Denmark – whose goal is to produce “unique, fun and funky” sex toys, all of which are also body-safe. I love small companies who hand-make their products and really care about their consumers, so I was delighted when owner Alex reached out and asked to commission a review of the toy of my choice from their collection.

My choice of toy…

Vain only carry 10 toy models currently, 7 dildos and three butt plugs, but they all look so good it was hard to decide. After much deliberation, I chose the Laid Back dildo. Like all Vain toys, it comes in a choice of any one of twenty (20!) colours, and you can also add gold or silver glitter and choose between a suction cup or flat base. I went for deep purple with silver glitter (because of course I did, have you met me!?) and a suction-cup base.

The Vain Laid Back dildo, in purple, sitting on an open notebook with two little purple silicone hearts.It’s absolutely beautiful, as you can see from the picture. The purple is a really vibrant, rich colour which goes perfectly with the silver glitter, and the hand-poured silicone gives a gorgeous swirly effect. I cannot even tell you how happy this toy makes my little #SparkleFemme heart.

My toy arrived within 8 days (impressive, considering that they’re all custom-made to order) and discreetly packaged in a plain box. Inside, I was really impressed with the presentation. The toy came in its own draw-string organza bag – perfect for storage! – and with it were two little silicone hearts (presumably made with the leftovers from the mold) and a little bag of sweeties. Really nice, thoughtful presentation. I have already asked my partner The Artist if they can make one of the little hearts into a necklace for me.

Stits, stats ‘n’ safety stuff

The Laid Back dildo is a sizeable beast. The insertable length is 6.5″ and the diameter at the widest point is about 1.8″, or a 5.5″ circumference. The base is about 3.5″ wide, which makes the toy completely safe for anal play, and the suction cup enables it to stick firmly to any solid surface. It’s made of lovely premium silicone, which is non-toxic and non-porous, and the colours come from “body-safe cosmetic mica made from natural minerals.” In other words, no nasties that can harm your body!

Being pure silicone and without motors or anything, the easiest and most thorough way to clean this toy is to boil-sterilise it. Just pop it in a pan of boiling water on the stove for ~10 minutes, then rinse off and leave to dry. If you do this, it’s completely safe to share this toy with a partner even if you’re not fluid-bonded. If you want to share without sterilising between partners, the shape of this toy is very condom-compatible. Given the size, I recommend using a larger condom to ensure against breakage.

So how did I get on with it in use?

I love the feeling of Vain’s silicone. It’s really soft and squishy and bendable. I found these qualities ideal in use, because the Laid Back is definitely at the large end of the type of dildos I like to use. With a generous slathering of my favourite water-based lube and taking it nice and slowly, I managed to get the whole toy inside me comfortably. If you like very rigid toys, these products might not be for you. But personally, I found the silicone to be exactly the right blend of firmness and flexibility. Matte texture silicone can be a little “grabby” against skin, so lube is highly recommended. (Then again, with me lube is always highly recommended).

The large base made the toy easy to hold and manipulate when I was using it by hand, and I found the suction cup sturdy and reliable for hands-free use.  The base is a little too wide and thick to use comfortably with my harness, so if you’re wanting to use a Vain toy for strap-on play I recommend getting the regular flared base.

The curve is absolutely gorgeous and is mainly what drew me to this toy in the first place. I orgasm really easily from G-spot stimulation, and so I gravitate towards toys that curve in just the right way to hit the sweet spot. In this regard, the Laid Back dildo definitely didn’t disappoint. The shape is what I would describe as semi-realistic – the shaft and head shape somewhat resembles a bio-cock, but the curve of the head is more pronounced than your average factory-installed bits – though, of course, bodies vary tremendously!

The Laid Back dildo retails for €62 (about £55) which is a really reasonable price for a hand-made toy of this calibre. The rest of the range varies from €48 to €70.

Verdict: ★★★★★

Recommended for: folks who like G-spot stimulation, anyone who likes curved toys, fans of semi-realistic designs, people who want their toys bright coloured and glittery, and length/girth combination lovers.

Thanks to Alex and Vain Toys for supplying me with this product and sponsoring a review. All opinions are, and will always be, my own. Please consider buying from small companies like Vain Toys – it’s so important to support independent, ethical companies who prioritise customer happiness and body-safety. Photo is by me. Do not steal my pictures.

If you want to support me in bringing more content and honest product reviews to you, you can buy me a coffee.

[Toy Review] Desire Luxury Rechargeable Magic Wand

Hey everyone! So I’m trying a new way of writing toy reviews. My previous format worked well for a while, but I want to change things up a bit. So let me know how this works for you, ‘kay?

This review isn’t actually the primary purpose I requested this toy. Over the next few weeks, I’m going to be creating a biiiiig guide to all the wand vibes currently on the market that I’ve tried. However, I need to wait for my Original Hitachi to ship from the US, so I’m sitting on it until then. In the meantime, my friends at Lovehoney sent me this one to feature and I couldn’t wait to try it out.

The Lovehoney Desire Wand, a large purple magic wand style vibrator.Desire is Lovehoney’s luxury own-brand toy range. I’ve tried a couple of their products before and am generally a fan. I’m so pleased to have finally got my paws on this particular item, because you all know that I am a big ol’ Wand Queen.

“The design delivers on the luxury promised by the line’s name.”

The Desire Luxury Rechargeable Magic Wand arrived in Lovehoney’s standard discreet packaging (plain brown box). Inside, the toy is presented in an attractive box with the Desire branding and colours – black and purple. I was super impressed to see that this wand comes with its own storage case, a sleek and discreet black zip-up in faux leather and with a little hole through which to stick the charger to plug the toy in. Major points for presentation and for including a case.

The toy itself is hefty – 13.5 inches long and with a fair bit of weight to it. For comparison, it’s lighter than the Doxy Die Cast, but a fair bit heavier than the Original. If weighty toys are difficult for you, you might want to give this one a miss – or invest in a wand mount such as those offered by Liberator.

The Desire Wand is mains-rechargeable with a charging time and constant-use time of about 180 minutes each. Being mains chargeable, it is NOT waterproof, so take care when cleaning it and don’t use it in wet environments like the bathroom.

The design is gorgeous. This toy is in my absolute favourite shade of purple, and decorated with the signature Lovehoney heart logo. The head is lovely, smooth matte silicone, which is body-safe, odorless and silky soft on the skin. The design really does deliver on the luxury promised by the line’s name.

The Desire line of toys are on the pricier end for own-brand products, and this wand is the most expensive of the bunch with a RRP of £99.99. However, based on the ones I’ve tried, it’s also far and away my favourite toy in the range. £100 isn’t an outrageous price for a really good toy and I’m happy to say this is value for money if you can afford it. At time of writing (March 2018) it’s also on a massive half-price sale, so grab one now for an absolute bargain.

Pro tip: wand vibes are designed for clitoral use, but they’re great for dicks too!

The user interface is simple – a “on/speed up” button, a “off/speed down” button, and a “change pattern” button. The Desire Wand boasts a massive 20 different patterns, each of which can be used on 5 different levels of intensity. Those who have read my work for any length of time know I’m not really a fan of patterns. I tried a few of them out, and they were okay… but I much (much!) prefer constant vibrations. If you’re a pattern fan, though, then this might be the wand for you. Annoyingly, you can only scroll one way through the pattern settings. So if you find one you like then click away from it, you need to hit the button another 20 or so times to get back to it.

Safer sex wise, the smooth silicone head is easy to sterilise with a body-safe medical wipe, which is my recommendation for any toy you can’t submerge in water to clean. The wand shape is condom-compatible if you’re using it on multiple partners without sterilising in between.

“Absolutely, far and away, the most powerful rechargeable vibe I have ever used.”

Arguably the most important single factor of any toy for me is its level of power. The power offered by the Desire wand is pretty impressive and, for me, falls about half way along the rumble/buzz spectrum. Less rumbly than I would ideally like, especially on the top setting, but nowhere near buzzy enough to cause me numbness or itching. I came really easily, twice in a row, with this toy on the top setting. It is absolutely, far and away, the most powerful rechargeable vibe I have ever used – for that, I cannot fault it in the least. Go get yours!

Verdict: ★★★★★

Recommended for: power Queens, anyone after a rechargeable alternative to mains-powered wands, pattern lovers.

This post contains affiliate links. Buying toys from Lovehoney or my other affiliates in the right-hand sidebar sends a small commission my way and helps me keep doing this work. All opinions are, and will always be, my own.

Images are property of Lovehoney and used with permission.

[Toy Review] B.O.B. Pink Allure Wand

Anyone who knows me knows that I love wands. I’m pretty much obsessed with them. No other toys hit my sweet spots in quite the same way. So I was pretty excited when TooTimid offered me the Pink BOB Allure Wand vibrator to review.

I’ve got to be completely upfront and state that I hate this manufacturer name with a vengeance. BOB stands for Battery Operated Boyfriend and this just upsets me on a ridiculous number of levels. Say it with me now: toys are not replacements for partners! Sex toys and partners occupy completely different spaces and functions in one’s life!

The Pink BOB Allure Wand, a pink wand style vibrator.That said, how did the Allure Wand actually stack up?

My first impression of the Allure Wand when I took it out of the packaging is that it’s really, really light. Like, ridiculously so for its size. This is a really big plus point and means it might be a manageable wand for those who find the heavier models too cumbersome.

The Allure Wand is mains powered and the cord is a massive 9ft long. It’s about 12″ long and the classic shape first popularised by the legendary Hitachi. It boasts 20 different speeds and pattern settings.

In use, I found it… okay. Less intense than some wands – it certainly doesn’t match my beloved Doxy in power! – but I can get off with it quickly and reliably if I ramp it up to the top setting. The noise level is reasonable – wands are never going to be silent toys, but my partner couldn’t hear it through the floor the way he can with some toys! The vibrations have a nice rumble at the lower speeds. Turned up higher, they get a bit more buzzy, but I didn’t personally find them numbing or uncomfortable. I do have a higher tolerance for buzz than many people, though, so avoid this if you’re really into rumbles.

I did notice the head got a little warm after about 30 minutes of continuous use, so you might want to bear this in mind if you like to use your wands for long periods of time without a break.

I didn’t have to struggle to get off with this one! And for that, it is to be commended.

My Ratings (all scores out of 5★)

Price: ★★★★
The Allure Wand retails for $69.95 at TooTimid, which is about £50. This is a noticeably lower price point than many of the “big name” wands and thus makes it a decent option for those on a budget.

Materials: ★★★
The head is made of silicone, which is body-safe. It’s not the softest or smoothest in the world, but I don’t expect luxury at this price point. I have no significant complaints. The body is ABS plastic.

Appearance: ★★★
You all know how I feel about pink! (Spoiler: I’m kinda sick of it). The Allure Wand is actually slightly less obnoxiously pink in real life than it looks on the pictures. The real colour is slightly darker and less in-your-face. It’s still very pink, though, and I’m not here for that. Other than this, it’s a  classic wand shape.

Ease of Use: ★★★★
Again: this wand is ridiculously light for the size and level of power, which is one of the things I really love about it. It’s mains powered, so needs to be plugged in to use, but the 9ft cord makes this easy – even if your socket is on the other side of the bedroom, it’s got you covered.

It operates on a simple two-button interface. One button turns the toy on and off and changes the pattern, while the other adjusts the speed. It does have that annoying problem of SO MANY toys, wherein you can’t change down a speed or go back to the previous pattern without cycling allllll the way through. Seriously, when are manufacturers going to figure this out?

On the plus side, the buttons are intuitively placed, press easily, and make a nice satisfying “click”. The flexible neck is really annoying to me because I like to be able to press a toy hard against my vulva. But for others it might be a nice touch, as some “give” can enable more precise placement to the right spot.

Ease of care & cleaning: ★★★
The silicone head makes clean-up relatively easy, though I am always a bit wary when it comes to cleaning mains-powered toys as they can’t be submerged in water. It’s best to clean them with a sterile wipe – I like to use the ones you can buy in bulk from a medical supply store. There is a seam around the head which could trap bacteria, so be extra thorough when cleaning that area. For toys like this, I always advise popping a condom over it if you’re going to share with a non fluid-bonded partner.

Versatility: ★★★★★
There are so many settings! I love how you can use any of the patterns with any of the different speed settings, so the combinations are endless. It’s designed for clits, but would work very nicely for dicks too!

Intensity:
★★★★
I was pretty impressed on this score! A lot of cheaper wands are really lacking in the power department. Though it isn’t a match for some of the more high-end wands on the market, it’s got a really good level of power that will keep all but the most power-loving clits happy. I can get off with it reliably.

Overall Score: ★★★
I’m more impressed than I expected to be by this one! I was worried I’d be really disappointed given my high standards for wands and the price point, but I enjoyed using this one and my issues with it are relatively minor.

It didn’t rock my world and it probably won’t last as long as a higher end wand (the last one I had at this price point lasted about two years) but as far as I can tell, it’s a decent choice for a first wand or if you’re on a budget.

Thanks to the folks at TooTimid for commissioning this review! All views are, and will always be, my own. Image is property of TooTimid. 

How Sex Toys Improved My Relationship

Almost unbelievably now, regular use of toys is a pretty new addition to my partnered sex life. It’s less than two years since Mr CK bought me a Doxy (still the love of my life – yes, the man and the toy!) and only about a year since I started buying, and eventually being sent, toys to review. But I can unreservedly say that adding in toys has massively improved my sex life, and my relationships as a whole.

A pink banner ad for The Pleasure Garden. For a post about using sex toys in a relationship.

More to Explore…

Using different kinds of toys means that sex with my partner can be really diverse and interesting, even though I’m fucking the same person many times. Whether it’s a ring that makes his cock vibrate, a toy that sucks on my clit, or a dildo you can cool down or warm up, toys allow for a range of possibilities that simply aren’t physically possible with our factory-installed bits.

“Sex toys for couples” are really popular, and there are some great ones in particular that are designed to be worn during intercourse, if that’s your thing. However, something I’ve learned is that literally anything can be a couple’s toy. A vibrator, a cock-ring, a dildo, a stroker… if you use it with a partner, congratulations, it’s a couple’s toy. It sounds obvious, but this was a revelation for me when I realised there was nothing wrong with reaching for my favourite vibrator during partnered sex.

Continued sexual exploration keeps things exciting, but it also builds physical and emotional intimacy, provides opportunities for vulnerability and openness with your partner, and allows you to see each other’s pleasure and desires in whole new ways.

Reliable Orgasms

My clitoral orgasms have always been somewhat unreliable, and more so for the last six years as I’ve been on antidepressants. Struggling to come from manual, oral or penetrative sex can lead to a really frustrating and stressful experience for all involved. I start putting pressure on myself, which makes the orgasm drift further away, which feeds into the whole vicious cycle!

With toys, though, my orgasm becomes much more reliable. Even when I’m really struggling to get off, the vast majority of the time I can grab a high-powered vibe and get the job done in less than five minutes. More reliable orgasms means more relaxed sex, less pressure for all concerned, and a happier Amy and more satisfying sex and relationship life as a result.

Speaking of less pressure…

Using toys also releases pressure on bodies to perform a certain way. We grow up with a narrative that suggests that sex works in one specific way – you kiss, then you get naked, then you do hand stuff, then she goes down on him, then he maybe goes down on her (but probably not for more than a few seconds), then fucking happens – and that if a dick doesn’t get hard, a pussy doesn’t get wet, or orgasms don’t happen simultaneously, it’s a failure.

Do you need me to tell you that pressure to conform to a really narrow and prescriptive view of sexuality is the opposite of sexy?

One thing I love about using toys is that they free up bodies to do what they’re gonna do with much less worry. A cock isn’t getting hard when you want it to? No worries, grab a dildo instead. If my partner’s bad neck is playing up and he can’t go down on me for an hour or more, he can probably still hold a light bullet vibe in just the way I like. The key for me here is to think of toys as an extension and expansion of what our bodies can do, not a replacement or a poor second choice.

Asking for what you want

I’ve historically been really bad at asking for what I want both in and out of the bedroom. I used to drive past partners crazy because I couldn’t even express a preference in something as simple as where we would go for dinner!

Using sex toys with my partner has helped me to cultivate a greater ability to ask for what I want and clearly advocate for my needs. It’s really hard to be vague when what you mean is “fuck me with that glass dildo until I have to safeword out” or “hold the vibe still against my clit and oh god yes don’t move it a fucking millimetre“. Toys helped teach me that I deserve pleasure and that I deserve to get my needs met. When you make a habit of asking clearly for what you want, your whole life improves, and this goes far beyond sex.

Fun with gender

Toys also bring some really fun opportunities to play with gender, gender roles and power within a relationship. I’m pretty cis and very femme, but that doesn’t mean that occasionally I don’t want to have a cock and fuck my lover with it hard. Toys give me the ability to do this. And for my cock to be purple and sparkly if I want it to be! This means that, despite what cisheteronormativity tells us, sometimes I can be the fucker and he can be the fuck-ee. And this is just one of the ways in which we’ve examined societal gender roles in our relationship and thrown out all the ones that don’t work for us.

Sometimes it’s as simple as being seen and understood

I’ll finish with something simple but true. Whether it’s really seeing and noticing and putting into practice my body’s preferences based on my toy usage, or buying me the perfect toy gift for my birthday, sex toys have helped my partner to see and know me in a deep and profound way.

Tweet me and tell me: how do YOU use toys to enhance intimacy, connection and love in your relationships?  What’s YOUR ultimate couple’s toy, whether it’s marketed that way or not?

Banner ad for The Pleasure GardenThis post was sponsored by the wonderful folks at The Pleasure Garden, an inclusive online retailer committed to body-safety and gender-free marketing. If you buy toys from them with my links, you support a small feminist business AND send a little bit of commission my way to help me keep doing what I’m doing. All views are, as ever, entirely my own. Images are property of The Pleasure Garden and must not be used without express permission.