[Kink Product Review] Lovehoney Take Control Bondage Kit

I often groan at the idea – and the reality – of sex toy kits. Too often, they’re lots of cheap and bad quality things shoved together in a pretty box and sold for a premium. If pressed for an opinion, I’ll nearly always tell my readers to forego a kit and spend a bit more on just one or two quality items. However, I try to keep an open mind, and occasionally something surprises me. The Take Control Bondage Kit from Lovehoney pleasantly surprised me.

Through the eyes of a beginner…

I’m practically a kinky veteran at this point. I’ve been practicing BDSM for about a decade and have accrued a sizeable collection of toys – expensive leather floggers, my fabulous vegan leather collar, the gorgeous hand-made whip I gave Mr CK last Christmas, our electro-play kit, and more. So beginner kits are not something I would ever normally buy for myself. Therefore, I am trying to step back in time ten years or so and view this kit through the eyes of someone who is just starting out in their kinky explorations.

Inviting and Fun Packaging…

The Take Control Bondage Kit comes in one simple box, with all the products clearly displayed on the front so you know exactly what to expect. The packaging is bright and fun, which I suspect is a deliberate choice to make it non-intimidating to the new and nervous.

There’s a LOT of information on the box, too. I really like the way that there’s a brief description on how to use each item on the back, and also that they pay attention to safety and consent! The box reminds you to use safewords, never leave a bound person alone, and have a non-verbal safe signal if someone is gagged. In this regard, I’m really impressed. It’s pretty 101 stuff, but safety/consent 101 is exactly the information that the target market for this kit needs. A+ for that.

The unboxing…

I wasn’t delighted with the way the box was packed – everything was just sort of piled in, each item wrapped in a cellophane wrapper. It would have been nicer to have an inner tray with slots for everything. Some little storage bags for the items would also be a welcome addition. Assuming you don’t want to throw everything back in the box when you’re done playing, it’s not an ideal storage solution.

With that said, I was immediately pretty impressed with what was inside. Some (many) beginner BDSM kits are filled with things that are dubiously even safe, let alone of good quality.

Let’s take a look at what’s inside, shall we? Just for fun, I’ve included a fun tip or an idea to try with each item.

1: Blindfold

This blindfold is super comfy. It’s nice and thick and padded, and I couldn’t see a thing when it was on. The band is stretchy, too, so it should fit most people comfortably.

Pro kink tip: blindfold your partner and stroke different things across their body – a silk scarf, a piece of velvet, the tails of your flogger – and make them guess what each item is.

2. Nipple suckers

I really liked these! They’re a great gentle introduction to nipple play, and perfect if you want some sensation but without the pain of clamps or clothes pegs. I have pretty small nipples on fairly large breasts, and I found these stayed in place very nicely once I’d suctioned them onto my chest.

If you flick or hit them too hard, they will fly off, but they can withstand some gentle playing and wiggling.

Pro kink tip: tell your partner to fetch you something from another room with these on. They’ll have to move carefully… they’ll be spanked if one falls off!

3. Ball gag

Full disclosure: I hate ball gags. I fucking hate them. They make my jaw hurt, they make my face contort into an expression that no-one could possibly find attractive, they make me drool, and I can’t kiss my partner when I’m wearing one. I. Hate. Them.

With that said, this is a good one if you like that sort of thing. The holes make it breathable, and being silicone it’s non-porous which makes it hygienic. The holes do make it somewhat of a pain to clean, so take extra care when you’re cleaning it. Warm water and gentle soap is the best way to go here.

I also like how adjustable this gag is. With 9 buckle holes, it will fit most people comfortably.

Pro kink tip: make your submissive try to repeat words back to you (try phrases like “I’m a dirty little slut”) while gagged.

4. Flogger

This is a stingy little bastard! Don’t let the small size fool you, it can pack a wallop. The falls are made of thin rubber, which delivers a vicious sting when you put some force behind it. If pain isn’t your thing, you can drag it sensually across the skin for a gentle tickle. I would have liked the handle to have a bit more width and weight to it.

Pro kink tip: Try – gently – flogging the vulva or penis if your partner is up for it. Remember to clean your flogger thoroughly afterwards.

5. Wrist and ankle cuffs

These were the weakest part of the kit by far, for me. They’re quite thin and made of nylon, with no padding, which means they chafe if you put any pressure on them at all. They’re fine for exploring the feeling of being restrained, but if you’re into rough play and would be wanting to pull against them, they’re not a good option for that.

Try restraint with these, by all means, to see if you like it. But then ditch them and get some proper cuffs. And I hope it goes without saying that you should never, EVER suspend from wrist or ankle cuffs. These are not designed to take any real weight.

Pro kink tip: Restrain your partner then make them watch you masturbate in front of them.

6. Under-bed restraints

These are great, except for the tiny detail that they don’t fit on our bed! We have a Super King bed (which is the best thing ever, seriously. I always tell Mr CK that my relationship with him and the bed is polyamorous in itself.) Turns out these restraints fit up to King Size. So they’ll be fine for the vast majority of people, but if you have a ridiculous bed like us, they may not fit.

That said, they’re still a great addition to the kit. They’re strong, durable, and easy to set up… and tuck out of sight when you’re done, if you want to. The little clips mean you can easily add different cuffs to them, so when you ditch the rubbish cuffs in this set and get some better ones, you can still use them with this restraint system.

Pro kink tip: when your partner is restrained, run a cube of ice along their body… or drip candle wax onto their skin (read up on how to do wax play safely first, of course!)

7. Silicone suction-cup dildo

Do my eyes deceive me, or… no, it’s actually a body-safe dildo in a BDSM kit! With an insertable length of 6 inches and a diameter of 1.5″, it’s perfect for vaginal play. It’s possibly a bit ambitious for first-time anal sex or pegging, but most people could easily work up to it with a bit of time and warm-up.

The slight curve makes this dildo feel delicious for G-spot or prostate stimulation, and the silicone is super soft and silky. The suction cup is also a nice addition and makes this toy more versatile.

It’s even got a convenient hollow in the base where you can slip the bullet vibe that comes with this kit to turn your dildo into a G-spot vibrator!

Remember to use water-based lube with your silicone dildo for the best experience.

Pro kink tip: tease your lover’s entrance with just the tip of the dildo. If they want it inside, they have to thrust on to it!

8. Strap-on harness

This is actually the same harness that I bought as part of a pegging kit a few years ago. I’ve used it many, many times to top for both vaginal and anal penetration, and it’s still my favourite harness. It’s comfortable, the dildo stays in place well during thrusting, and the rings are interchangeable so you can use it with any dildo with a flared base.

Pro kink tip: If you have a vulva, put on a wearable vibrator before you put on your harness, so that you get some clitoral pleasure while you fuck your partner.

9. Wired bullet vibrator

This was the biggest surprise in the kit for me. I was fully expecting it to be awful. While it’s not the strongest vibrator in the world, it’s not a bad little bullet for the size. I was able to orgasm with it quickly and easily. It has a number of patterns as well as steady vibration speeds.

I didn’t love the wire element, but you cannot expect to get a wireless bullet for this price-point. It’s long enough for one partner to comfortably have control of the remote while the other holds the vibrator against their genitals.

Pro kink tip: switch it off just when your lover is on the edge of orgasm. Make them beg for release.

Other things to note

  • The bullet takes 2x AAA batteries, not included.
  • There is no real leather in this kit, making it entirely vegan-friendly.

Overall Verdict: do I recommend it?

On the whole, a very solid kit for the price. I wouldn’t recommend it to folks more experienced in kink and BDSM, but for those of you who are new and looking to explore different sensations and types of power-play, this kit is a great starting point.

The Take Control kit retails for £79.99 ($109.99 US) which is a reasonable price for the quality and variety. As you get more into your kink and discover what you like, I’d encourage you to drop more money on single items if you can – a quality, handcrafted whip or flogger will last you a lifetime, perhaps, or some really high quality natural fibre rope? But to get you started? Look no further.

Thanks to Lovehoney for sending me the Take Control Bondage Kit in exchange for an honest review. If you choose to purchase this or anything else from Lovehoney, please buy through my affiliate links – it supports the blog at no extra cost to you!

 

[Toy Review] Blush Novelties Exposed Nocturnal Lipstick Bullet Vibrator

It feels a bit sacrilegious to say this, but I think I’ve found a bullet vibrator I like more than the hallowed We-Vibe Tango. And it’s an unassuming little thing from Blush Novelties that retails at the shockingly reasonable price of $32 (about £24 for my Brit readers). Meet the Exposed Nocturnal “lipstick bullet,” sent to me by Peepshow Toys, excellent purveyors of body-safe toys for all budgets.

Details and Dimensions

The Exposed Nocturnal lipstick buillet vibratorThe Exposed Nocturnal bullet is 4″ long in total and has a dimension of 0.9″. It’s shaped, as the advertising copy implies, like a lipstick – a cylindrical body leading to a gently tapered tip with one flat edge. I really like this shape for clitoral vibrators, because it gives you so many options. You can use the tip, the flat edge or the whole shaft, depending on how pinpoint you like your vibrations.

The Exposed Nocturnal is waterproof, submersible, and USB-rechargeable. It comes in four colour-ways, three of which can be described as variations on “pink,” and the fourth (called “Sugar Plum”) is purple. The colours are sort of shimmery in quality, which is really attractive.

Functionality & Interface

The Exposed Nocturnal lipstick bullet vibrator.The Exposed Nocturnal bullet has a simple two-button user interface built into the base (which is also where the magnetic charging points are). You hold down the + button to switch on, use the + and – buttons to navigate the various settings, and hold down the – button to switch off.

This is one of the areas where this toy really comes out ahead of the Tango, as well as most of the lower priced toys on the market – you can cycle either way through the settings! Gone up a notch and decided it’s too intense? No worries, you can skip straight back down again without cycling all the way through.

My only real complaint, and it’s a minor one, is that the buttons and markings on them are so small that it can be hard to see which is which in low light. I would also have liked a travel lock, but you can’t have everything.

Body-Safe and Easy to Clean

The Exposed Nocturnal bullet is made of body-safe ABS plastic, which is non-porous and non-toxic. I really enjoy hard plastic as a toy material, because it’s so firm that it doesn’t dampen down the strength of the vibrations at all.

This toy is also a breeze to clean. Use a body-safe medical wipe, or some gentle soap and warm water – it’s fully submersible! Oil-, silicone- or water-based lubes are all fine with ABS plastic toys.

For extra protection if you’re sharing your toys, pop a condom over it or clean it thoroughly between users.

In Use: Power for Days!

Power is always the crunch point for me, when it comes to whether I like a toy or not. Basically, I want power and lots of it! And ohhhh boy, did the Exposed Nocturnal bullet deliver in this area.

It has 10 settings: five constant speeds and five patterns. Mr CK was stunned when I switched this toy on to show him its power, then said “and that’s the LOWEST setting!” It’s got less pure rumble than the Tango, but no less power. (If the Tango is a 9 on a 1-10 scale of rumbliness, this toy is about a 7.5). Starting out at a low rumble and building up to what I can only describe as a tiny power tool, make no mistake: this baby is extremely powerful. I can come reliably, in only a few minutes, with this toy on the lowest setting – which is practically unheard of for me.

I should mention that it’s a little on the louder side. The volume isn’t unreasonable for the level of power, but it’s not a good choice if you need near-silent. (It does, however, pass the “can Mr CK hear Amy wanking from downstairs when she’s in the bedroom with the door closed?” test. He could not).

In conclusion: the best bullet I’ve ever tried.

And I do not say this lightly! This toy is in-fucking-credible for the price. If you need power but you’re on a limited budget, or if you’re looking for a discreet little vibe to take on your travels with you, look no further.

Let me say it again: This. Toy. Is. $32. Next time anyone tells you that you can’t get a body-safe product without shelling out hundreds, point them to this post.

Thanks to Peepshow for sending me the Blush Novelties Exposed Nocturnal lipstick bullet to review. It will feature next month in a piece on the best body-safe vibrators under $40. Links in this post are affiliate links and if you use them, I will make a small commission. As ever, all opinions my own, and please don’t steal my photos!

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.

[Toy Review] We-Vibe Tango Bullet Vibrator

Hi, I’m Amy and I’m addicted to sex toys.

Mr CK and I found ourselves in a sex shop over the weekend, thanks to going to our local Peer Rope session (see my latest Sinful Sunday pic for evidence of our adventures there.) I was browsing some toys and found the Leaf Fresh on special, which I was considering getting. I asked the lovely sales woman how powerful it was, and she pretty much dragged me to the other end of the store, going, “if you want power you NEED the Tango!”

Friends, she was right.

The We-Vibe Tango, a small blue bullet vibrator. For a review post.The We-Vibe Tango, a small blue bullet vibrator, boxed. For a review post.

Meet this tiny powerhouse of joy

The Tango by We-Vibe is known for being the strongest bullet vibrator currently on the market anywhere. It’s small, only 3.5 inches in length and about 0.75 inches in diameter. It’s a standard bullet shape with a small flattened edge at the top leading to a point. This is great if you like really pinpoint stimulation. It is USB rechargeable, waterproof and operates on a single-button interface which takes you through 8 settings. It comes attractively packaged (see above pic) like all We-Vibe products, and comes complete with a cute little satin drawstring storage bag.

My first toy was a bullet vibe, but I haven’t really gone near bullets in years, apart from that ill-fated testing of a crappy freebie. They’re typically just not strong enough to do anything for me. I get frustrated and yearn for something bigger and more powerful. Well, I am pleased to report that the Tango is the delightful exception.

I came home very tired and late but determined to have a wank before bed, and it gave me a fabulous orgasm in under 10 minutes – a feat rarely achieved. The best thing? How rumbly the vibrations are. None of the horrible buzz you get with so many smaller toys. It’s not the quietest, but the volume isn’t at all bad when compared to the strength.

My Ratings (all scores out of 5★)

Price: ★★★★
This toy retails on Lovehoney for £54.99. It’s definitely at the top of the price range for a bullet vibe, but I think it’s worth it. It’s just so superior in quality to the overwhelming majority of superficially-similar toys on the market. It also comes with a one-year warranty, so there’s no worries of it breaking after three uses!

Materials: ★★★★★
It’s made of hard ABS plastic, which is body-safe, non-porous and free from phthalates. This won’t be everyone’s cup of tea. I don’t recommend it if you prefer softer toys, for example, as this is very rigid. What I really like about it is that the hard plastic doesn’t dampen down the vibrations At All. (If you prefer your vibrations to be somewhat calmed by a layer of silicone, the Touch is a great option!)

Appearance: ★★★★
It’s cute and tiny, which makes it non-threatening to people who are put off by huge or bulky toys. My lovely affiliates Lovehoney only carry it in pink, but it also comes in blue – which is what I went for, being generally anti-pink. Blue is a slightly less common sex toy colour, which I appreciate.

Ease of Use: ★★★★
Being so small, it’s really light and fit neatly into my tiny hand. The button on the base is easy to press. This single button cycles through the settings as well as being the on/off switch.

It does have the slight annoyance of only being able to cycle through settings one way (i.e. if you change up, you can’t change back down again without going through all of them first). But also it has the super cool feature of a memory function, meaning that whatever setting it’s on when you turn it off, it will restart to that same setting. This is great for me as I pretty much only use it on one mode. The only real issue – and this is common to all bullet vibes – is that the vibrations travel through the whole toy, meaning my hand gets vibrated as much as my cunt during use.

Ease of care & cleaning: ★★★★★
The Tango can be easily cleaned between uses with a sterile wipe, and is waterproof so you can use hot water for a more thorough cleaning. It could be popped inside a condom or used with another barrier without much impact on the quality of vibrations, if you’re sharing it in a non-fluid-bonded relationship.

Versatility: ★★★★
The Tango has 8 different settings – 4 constant speeds and 4 patterns – so whatever form you like your vibrations to take, there will be a setting for you. It’s waterproof, so if you want some bathtime fun, that’s an option too.

It’s advertised as “for solo play,” which it’s definitely great for, but it also works really well with a partner – for me, a strong vibrator on my clitoris during penetrative sex with a penis-owning person is a sure way to get me off, and the Tango is perfect for this as it’s so small (much as I love my Doxy, it’s a bit hefty for this purpose!) The Tango is definitely only a clitoral toy – it’s too small for internal vaginal use (and no flared base, so please please please don’t use it anally!)

Intensity:
★★★★★
Yes yes yes yes. Power queens everywhere, rejoice! This is the bullet toy we’ve been waiting for! The vibrations are strong, rumbly and delicious. The level of power is seriously impressive for something so small. And, again, the hard plastic material doesn’t dampen the intensity at all.

Overall Score: ★★★★★
I now understand why so many people rave about this toy. It’s going to be my go-to vibe for when I’m traveling, want some clit stimulation while fucking, or simply can’t be arsed to use something as big and heavy as my Doxy. I cannot overstate how much I freaking love this toy. Go get yourself one and don’t forget to use code COFFKINK10 at checkout for 10% off.

Note: I bought this toy for myself and did not receive anything in exchange for this review. This post does contain affiliate links and if you buy through one, I make a small commission. This does not in any way affect my views on the product which are, and will always be, my own. Links within this post are to Lovehoney. You can also support me by buying from The Pleasure Garden or SheVibe.