Holiday Gift Guide 2017

It’s that time of year, folks! Whatever you’re celebrating this winter, it’s likely you’ll have cause to give gifts to your loved one(s.) For your romantic or sexual partners (or friends with whom you have that kind of relationship) why not give them a sexy gift they’ll really love?

And, of course, don’t forget that YOU are someone you love! Whether you’re partnered this festive season or not, why not treat yourself to something special too?

To give you plenty of time to get your sexy shopping in, here’s my specially curated gift guide for 2017.

A couple of quick notes:

1: I have deliberately avoided gendered language in this post. I talk about vulva-owners and penis-owners because people of all genders can have all kinds of genitals and too many of us feel alienated by aggressively gendered toy marketing.

2: Links here are affiliate links unless otherwise stated. If you buy from an affiliate using my links, I will make a small commission which helps me to keep doing this work. As always, I only partner with companies I trust and I promise to NEVER recommend an unsafe product, or one I’m uncertain as to the safety of.

DISCOUNT JUST FOR ‘COFFEE & KINK’ READERS! Get 15% off EVERY gift guide item available at Lovehoney when you use the links in this post. Prices listed here DO NOT include the discount.

Top Picks: Vibrators
The Doxy Original, a purple wand style vibrator with a grey head, held on an upturned palm.

 

The Queen of vibrators and one of my favourite things in the whole world, the super-powerful Doxy Massager will always be top of my list. My Doxy is the only toy that always lives next to my bed, and it remains the best gift a lover has ever given me. £89.99 from Lovehoney.

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

 

 

If you love the Doxy, there’s also the newer, smaller-but-heavier Die Cast version,  with a beautiful aluminium and titanium body and body-safe silicone head. £149.99 from Lovehoney.

 

 

The We-Vibe Tango, a small blue bullet vibrator. For a review post.
Small but mighty, the We-Vibe Tango was one of my favourite discoveries this year. Discreet, small, easy to use and POWERFUL AS ALL FUCK, this one’s a sure winner for the power queens out there – and anyone who likes their vibes portable. Unlike many pocket-sized vibes, it’s also really rumbly. Check out my review. £54.99 from Lovehoney.

The Rocks Off Bamboo, a small lipstick shaped rose gold vibrator.

For those on a budget, the Bamboo vibrator by Rocks Off is my favourite low-priced vibe discovery this year. Body-safe, pretty, quiet and powerful-ish, this is a really solid little toy for the price. £16.99 on Lovehoney.

Top Picks: Dildos

The Idee du Desir Orchid 1001 Nights dildo for a review post. Pictured with an orchid flower.
The Idee du Desir Orchid 1001 Nights dildo is a really beautiful luxury wooden dildo that I completely fell in love with this year. With its subtle gold shimmer, it’s the height of classiness, and those gentle ridges feel divine. €90 from Idee du Desir (not an affilitate)


A line of Effulgence Ambit silicone dildos in a range of shimmery colours.I discovered Godemiche this year at Eroticon and I am in love with their beautiful, unique silicone toys – each one is hand poured and they come in all kinds of beautiful colours. The Effulgence Ambit range, pictured, is my favourite because GLITTER. £35-47 from Godemiche (not an affiliate.)

The Tantus Vamp Super Soft, a midnight purple dildo with a realistic head and flared base.

Tantus make beautiful silicone dildos that feel absolutely divine. My favourite is the Vamp Super Soft (in midnight purple, obviously!) With a flared base, it’s perfect for vaginal or anal use and can even be paired with your favourite harness for the ultimate strap-on experience. $69.99 from Tantus Inc.

 

A curved glass g-spot dildo from Lovehoney

 

Glass dildos have long been a love of mine. I like to insert them and then juuuust barely wiggle them against my G-spot. They’re so rigid that even this slight movement provides a world of blissful sensation. Try the curved sensual G-spot glass dildo from Lovehoney, £24.99.

Something A Bit Different

The Zumio, a purple sex toy with a small plastic tip. Shaped a bit like a toothbrush.
There’s been a lot of buzz (sorry) about the Zumio this year. I hate the claim that it is guaranteed to give any woman an orgasm in 60 seconds or less because BODIES DO NOT ALL WORK THAT WAY, but the product itself is genuinely innovative and has received overwhelmingly positive reviews. For lovers of direct, pinpoint clitoral stimulation, this is the one. £134.99 from Lovehoney.

 

The Eroscillator, a purple sex toy that looks a bit like a toothbrush. Pictured with 6 attachments.I was lucky enough to try the Eroscillator as a friend’s place recently. (Yes, I have excellent friends.) Despite looking like what Kate Sloan describes as a “steampunk toothbrush” (yes) it’s amaaaazing. Because it oscillates rather than vibrates, it somewhat mimics the sensation of fingering, only faster. It also comes with six (count them!) attachments. Perfect for lovers of the kind of clit stim that brings you to a deliciously slow-build orgasm. £199.99 from Lovehoney.

 

I just got my paws on this cutie for a review and it’s brilliant! The straps hold it against the vulva for hands-free use and it’s operated with remote control, making it super ergonomic to use solo AND suitable for delicious partnered play. Try wearing it and giving your lover the remote to take control of! It has 8 patterns and 12 speeds. £74.99 from Lovehoney.

 

The Satisfyer Pro Penguin Next Generation, a suction based sex toy that looks like a little penguin wearing a pink bow-tie. For a review post.

Suction based toys are all the rage right now and my favourite is the Satisfyer Pro Penguin Next Generation, which I reviewed recently. Don’t let the cuteness put you off – aside from literally looking like a little penguin in a bow tie (because obviously!), this baby gives me orgasms so powerful my partner can hear them from the other end of the house. £69.99 from Lovehoney.

Favourites for Couples

The We-Vibe sync, a wearable purple C-shaped vibrator. Pictured with the remote control and a mobile phone.

We-Vibe created the original wearable vibrator for couples, and the Sync is the newer and improved version of their classic. Worn during intercourse, the internal piece stimulates the penis and G-spot, while the outer arm stimulates the clitoris. It’s remote controlled, so no worries if you want to adjust the speed while you’re wearing it, and the app functions make your experience super customisable. £159.99 from Lovehoney.

 

A black strap on aet with silicone dildo and another smaller dildo pictured to the side. From Lovehoney. I love strap-on play, especially pegging (where a vulva-owner penetrates a penis-owner anally with a strap-on.) This set is great value. I love it because the harness is really adjustable to fit a wide range of bodies, and you can use it with any dildo with a decent base. I like using the 5 inch slimline dildo it comes with for pegging, and swapping out for the bigger size or my Tantus if fucking another person with a vagina. £44.99 from Lovehoney.

 

The Feeldoe, a purple double ended v-shaped vibrating dildo.

The Feeldoe has become a classic for good reason. The shorter end is inserted into the vagina of the giving partner, and they use the longer end to fuck the receiving partner. Somewhat more advanced than a basic strap on, but with the huge added bonus of direct internal stimulation for the fucker. Plus, it’s made from lovely body-safe silicone and even has an inbuilt vibrating bullet. From $124.99 from Tantus.

 

Top Picks for Dicks

Note: this section is somewhat out of my area of expertise. These recommendations come from extensive reading of reviews and help from some of the wonderful dick-owners in my life!

 

I can’t have a section on toys for dicks without mentioning Fleshlight, the original and best-selling masturbator. Flight by Fleshlight comes highly recommended. One reader commented that he likes that it’s less obviously anatomical looking than some penis toys. £44.99 from Lovehoney.

The Pulse III Solo, a black three-quarter sleeve style toy for penises.

 

I adore Hot Octopuss. Their toys are so innovative and their #SexNotStigma campaign is brilliant. (Check out the sponsored post I wrote for them a little while ago!) Their Pulse III uses oscillating Pulse Plate technology, which is – get this – medically proven to bring about ejaculation. The Solo is designed for – unsurprisingly – solo use, while the Duo boasts a vibrating underside to stimulate a vulva during partnered play. £79.99 (Solo) or £99.99 (Duo) from Hot Octopuss, with 10% off when you use this link and code CK10.

The Tenga Black Flip Hole, a black male masturbation sleeve with buttons on the side, held in a female hand.

 

The Tenga Flip Hole masturbator boasts “multiple asymmetrical textures and buttons that enable you to manually tailor pressure anywhere along your shaft.” This is a far cry from “just stick your dick in and fuck it” penis toys, and allows for an amazing range of different sensations. Bonus: it pops open for easy and thorough cleaning. £69.99 from Lovehoney.

The Tantus C-Sling, a red silicone cock ring with a contoured tongue.

Cock rings are brilliant! They restrict flow of blood from the erect penis, giving a stronger erection and keeping the dick harder for longer. The C-Sling from Tantus works in basically the same way, with the added bonus of the contoured tip which gently stimulates the perineum during play. $34.64 from Tantus.

 

Anal Fun

The We-Vibe Ditto, a purple silicone butt plug. Pictured with the remote control and a mobile phone.

The We-Vibe Ditto is We-Vibe’s first and long-awaited anal toy. It’s relatively small – the insertable length is only about 3 inches – and uses We-Vibe’s signature powerful vibrations. It’s remote- or app-controlled and has 10 different vibration modes. The Ditto is even waterproof if you want to get your sexy on in the shower. £109.99 from Lovehoney.

 

A glass butt plug from Lovehoney.

 

Did I mention I LOVE glass toys? Well, that goes for anal toys too. Mr CK bought me this beauty from Lovehoney for my birthday and it is one of the most perfect plugs to ever go up my butt. £19.99 from Lovehoney.

 

The Rocks Off Naughty Boy, a curved reverse C-shape black prostate vibrator.

 

I love Rocks Off! Their Naughty Boy is a slimline vibrating prostate stimulator with a gentle curve to perfectly hit those sweet spots. It has 7 different functions and is powered by a removable RO80 bullet. £49.99 from Lovehoney.

 

The Aneros MGX, a white curved prostate stimulator with a curly base.

 

This one comes to the list courtesy of my friend, fellow blogger and sometimes co-creator Exhibit A, who describes it as “the other love of [my] life!” (One assumes the first love is his awesome wife Livvy!) The Aneros MGX is a plastic (body-safe!) prostate massager works with the sphincter muscles for hands-free fun, and stimulates both the prostate and perineum. £39.99 from Lovehoney.

 

Let’s Get Kinky

If you’re into impact play, how about treating yourselves to the most beautiful floggers you’ll ever own? Kabunza is a small business, headed up by designer, maker and teacher Aemilia Hawk. Not an affiliate, I just love them forever. Every creation is unique and you can even custom-order. Various prices.

A pair of silver "Clover" nipple clamps held in a female hand.

 

I’m a big fan of nipple clamps, and clover clamps are my favourites of all! They are quite pinchy and tighten when you pull on them. Not recommended for beginners to nipple play! This is the set we have, from Bondage Boutique. They’re so affordable and have lasted us two years and are still going strong. Remember… they hurt more coming off! £8.99 from Lovehoney.

A coil of violet dyed hemp rope from Twisted Monk

 

Bondage enthusiasts understand the sensual and aesthetic appeal of beautiful rope. If you love natural fibres in beautiful colours, get your hands on some of Twisted Monk’s hand-dyed hemp. The violet, pictured, is my favourite. Not an affiliate. $35.99 for 30ft from Twisted Monk.

 

Luxurious Lingerie & Foxy Fetishwear

 

The Lovehoney Moonlight Wine Crotchless Basque, a deep red one piece of lingerie, modelled by a pretty white woman with dark wavy hair.I The Lovehoney Moonlight plunge babydoll, made of red wine satin and black lace. Modelled by a pretty dark haired woman.am completely in love with Lovehoney’s brand new Moonlight range. The black lace and red-wine satin oozes sophistication. My favourite pieces, pictured, are the plunge babydoll set and the crotchless body. Perfect for cosy winter nights in with your lover. I’ve just received a review piece (look out for that!) and it makes me feel like a total babe. Every piece comes in plus sizes, too, so everybody can look and feel gorgeous. £34.99 from Lovehoney. My favourites are included in the offer, or you can check out the whole range and take advantage of 25% off when you buy any two pieces.

 

A black PVC full body catsuit, modelled by a pretty white woman with blonde hair.

 

My new favourite is this sexy catsuit from Latex, Leather & Lace. I tried one on in their new store and it was love at first meow! (Watch out for my full review, coming soon). Pair with some sexy black boots (like those below, perhaps?) and you’ll be “feline” gorgeous all night long. £64.99 from Latex, Leather & Lace.

 

 

A black leather overbust corset modelled by a dark haired white woman running her hand through her hair.

 

I adore real leather. The feel, the warmth, the smell… oh god, the smell. Mmmff. That’s why I am lusting HARD after this Lady Anne corset by Allure Leather, and I’m sure you will be, too. £160.99 from Latex, Leather & Lace.

 

 

Pleaser 1020 black high heeled lace up boots
I hate most things about winter. What I do love, though, is that it’s BOOTS SEASON! I can’t even remotely walk in heels without breaking myself, but I do enjoy wearing them to feel sexy once in a while. This winter I’m lusting after these Pleaser beauties. The high-heel wearer in your life is bound to love them too! £70.95 from Latex, Leather & Lace.

 

 

All pictures in this post are property of the respective retailers and are reproduced here with their permission.

My First Sex Toys

This was supposed to be a quick one, written on Sunday while waiting for Mr CK to get ready for our favourite twice-yearly kink event. But it ended up getting long, then I ended up getting busy, so here it is several days late.

Thought it would be fun to share with you the first five sex toys I ever owned, what I think of them with the knowledge I have now… and what I might recommend instead.

Toy #1: Tracey Cox Supersex Bullet Vibrator

At 18 and having just moved into my own place with a boyfriend, I rushed to buy my first Actual Sex Toy, to replace the trusty electric toothbruth I’d been using until that point. Having very little money and no clue what to buy, I went for a cheap and cheerful bullet vibe. At the time, it was fine. I wasn’t quite the power queen I am today, and the toy was small enough that it didn’t threaten my boyfriend’s fragile masculinity.

Would I recommend it? Meh. I wouldn’t say “don’t go anywhere near”. It’s cheap, was pretty reliable (lasted damn near five years before it finally died as I recall,) and being made of hard plastic it’s body safe and easy to clean. But it’s also single-speed and the vibes were kinda buzzy and weak. But as a first toy, to establish that vibrating sensations were something I enjoyed, well… meet my gateway drug.

Buy this instead: We-Vibe Tango (reviewed by me here) or Lovehoney Desire Luxury Bullet are both highly recommended, very popular and body-safe bullet vibes. The Tango is slightly stronger and rumblier. The Desire is softer if hard plastic feels too harsh for your sensitive areas. Choose according to your preferences.

Toy #2: Some vile jelly monstrosity from Ann Summers

Emboldened by my new-found sexual bravery, or so I thought (LOL, 19 year old Amy was adorable) I dragged my boyfriend into Ann Summers on my 19th birthday trip to London to buy myself a new toy. Too intimidated to ask for help, I ended up with a purple jelly-rubber toy with pathetically weak vibrations. I don’t think I used it more than 3 times. I can’t find the exact model on their site any more, but this isn’t a million miles away.

Would I recommend it? FUCK NO. Please don’t buy anything made of jelly rubber, it’s toxic and porous and really, really bad for your body. Actually, I suggest you just don’t shop at Ann Summers at all. A lot of their products suck and they cater for a really narrow, cishet, male-gaze-centric version of female sexuality. Try Lovehoney, Sh! or your local independent, women-owned sex shop instead.

Buy this instead: If you’re after an affordable, simple G-spot stimulator, the Lovehoney 7 Inch curved silicone dildo is well-priced and body safe (it also comes in a shorter 5.5 inch version.) If you can afford to spend a bit more, anything by Tantus is wonderful, beautifully made and safe for your body – look out for my personal favourite, the Vamp Super Soft in midnight purple.

Toy #3: Icicles No.5 Sapphire Spiral Glass Dildo

This was an impulse buy at the BBB – they were just so pretty I couldn’t resist, and I’d never tried a glass toy before. On first use I wasn’t sure I liked it – glass is colder and more rigid than anything I’d previously used. Once I’d got used to the sensation, though, I found that using it very gently (think “insert and just barely wiggle it,” no hard thrusting here) gave me the most glorious G-spot orgasms. Alas this particular toy met its end when a clumsy photographer dropped it (he did have the decency to pay me for it!) but I’ve been in love with glass toys ever since.

Would I recommend it? I recommend glass dildos heartily. HOWEVER…

…Note, added on 22/1o/2017: Icicles are owned by Pipedream, who I have come to learn are kinda fucking terrible. If you don’t want to support them (and I urge you to think seriously before you do,) Lovehoney’s own brand glass toys are at least equal in quality and value.

Toy #4: Doc Johnson Junior Veined Double Ended Dildo

I won this one in a raffle at a Simply Pleasure open evening event. It amused me more than anything, and at 22 I was still bashful enough to shove it in my bag with a blush and hope I didn’t have an accident on my cycle home. I tried it exactly once with my girlfriend, before it went to languish, forgotten, at the bottom of a box until I threw it out some three years later.

Would I recommend it? No. It smelled weird (think “new car” meets “latex” only more chemically). The texture was sticky and gross, sure signs of a questionable and potentially toxic material. It’s described on the website as “body safe” but Doc Johnson products have been found in lab tests to contain phthalates, and their “sil-a-gel” additive seems to be entirely their own invention and AT BEST does nothing. In other words, this toy – and many of Doc Johnson’s other products – are mainly PVC and therefore porous as fuck and toxic.

Buy this instead: The Lovehoney Double Up Silicone Mini Double Penetration Dildo is great for use either with a partner or alone for vaginal/anal double penetration, and I will always recommend the Feeldoe for that “strapless strap on” experience.

Toy #5: Off-Brand “Magic Wand” Knockoff

This thing was my first wand vibrator. It’s a cheap (-ish – I think mine still ran £50, though it probably wasn’t really worth even half that) and poor knock-off of the original Hitachi magic wand. Unfortunately, it’s incorrectly labelled as “Hitachi” in at least 50% of the places I could find it online. It gave me some good orgasms for a few months but ultimately, got less and less powerful with each use until it completely gave up and died after perhaps 6-9 months.

Would I recommend it? Absolutely not. Being a knock-off, there’s no information available on the material, meaning it almost certainly isn’t body-safe. (It may not even be properly safe electrically, come to that.) The quality is shocking and it barely lasted a quarter of the time you’d expect a toy of this price point to last.

Buy this instead: The Hitachi Magic Wand Rechargeable, or my all-time favourite, the Doxy Massager.

This post was not sponsored. It does contain affiliate links and if you buy from one of them, I may make a small commission. This will never affect my views on the products, which are and will always be my own.

Don’t forget to use code COFFKINK10 at Lovehoney to receive 10% off the entire store.

Ask Amy #2: “First Visit to a Sex Shop”

I love today’s question because I remember being in this reader’s position not all that many years ago. Sex shops can feel intimidating when you’ve never been in one before. We’ve all been the nervous first-timer at some point.

A selection of my sex toy collection. For a post about visiting a sex shop for the first time“How do I behave at a sex shop!?”

“Hi Amy,
Hope you don’t think this is a stupid question! I’m a 35 year old mother of one living in London. I’m recently single after coming out of a 12 year marriage. My ex husband was super vanilla but now that I’m on my own I want to try using sex toys. I’ve heard that it’s much better to go to a shop rather than buy online so that you can see and feel the toys before choosing one, but my secret is I’ve never been in a sex shop before! I don’t know what to expect or how to behave. Can I ask questions? Will the staff think it’s really weird that I’m a mum in my mid 30s who hasn’t ever used a vibrator before? Any advice would be really helpful.”
– Nervous Newbie

Hey Nervous! What a great question. It’s not at all weird. Loads of people have never been to a sex shop and are nervous at the idea. Firstly, congratulations on deciding you want to explore your sexuality more after finding yourself single. That’s a great gift you can give yourself which will improve both your solo sex life and any partnered sex you might have in the future.

Visiting a sex shop really doesn’t need to be scary. Promise! There’s just a few things you need to know to make your visit as smooth and – yes – enjoyable as possible.

First, research and pick a reputable store. As you’re in London, I can’t recommend better than the utterly wonderful Sh! Women’s Store. There’s also Coco De Mer, which is a real treat to visit but extremely high-end – basically the Prada of sex shops, with price tags to match. Any woman-owned and run, independent sex shop is likely to be better than a mainstream chain store. It’s honestly worth traveling to get to a really good store and there are a few in the major cities throughout the country. (If you must go to a chain store, Simply Pleasure isn’t bad but sadly they sell a lot of toxic and porous toys in amongst the good stuff, so do your research first.)

What you’ll find at a good store is a friendly, welcoming and non-judgemental environment. The staff typically choose to work in these shops because they’re sex positive and passionate about sexual pleasure and health. I’ve never met a sex shop worker for whom it was “just a retail gig.” I absolutely promise you the staff won’t think you’re weird for having never bought toys before, so feel free to say “I’m new to toys and looking for something to start with.”

So, ask questions! Ask for advice! (Not “what’s your favourite?” which is not only invasive but also a redundant question as all bodies are different. Think more along the lines of, “what’s a good anal toy for a beginner?” “I like strong vibrations with variable patterns, what do you recommend?” “I’m looking for an insertable toy that’s not too rigid.”)

On that note: think about what you might like to get before you go in. Are you more interested in vaginal penetration, clitoral stimulation, or a mix? What about anal? Think about what you want to experiment with, what your body likes and doesn’t like, and – very important – how much you want to spend. If you can afford it, it’s worth spending a bit more to get a really good toy that’s well-made, body safe and from a reputable manufacturer.

Please read up on materials and get something that’s body-safe and non porous. Dangerous Lilly has a tonne of valuable advice on safe toys. It’s okay not to know exactly what you’re looking for (that’s partly why you ask for advice!) but having at least a general knowledge of how your pleasure works is a good starting point. (I think I need to do a whole post on picking out your first sex toy.)

Don’t be afraid to pick things up and play with them (in your hand, not your pants, obviously!) The vast majority of shops will have a sample of each toy out of the box so you can feel it, test the vibrations for strength, see how you like the materials against your skin etc. Play as much as you like. Take your time. A good retailer won’t hurry you.

As far as any other etiquette, it’s all super obvious. Don’t hit on the staff – they probably love the job but they’re also at work and no-one wants to field unwanted come-ons at work. Don’t ask the staff personal questions about their own sex life or toy use. Keep your clothes on. Don’t test anything out on your genitals. Don’t be weird or judgy about toys or sex acts that aren’t your thing. (Think, for example, “I don’t think what would do it for me,” rather than “ewwww, why would anyone do that?”) Honestly, it’s no more complicated than being respectful, polite and behaving in ways that are generally acceptable in a public space, albeit one where it’s totally okay – encouraged! – to have frank conversations about sexuality.

One final pro tip: if you’re nervous, try going at a time when it’s likely to be quieter. Mornings are typically quieter than afternoons/evenings, and weekdays are quieter than weekends. This way the staff are likely to have more time to devote to you and you won’t feel so self-conscious examining the toys in front of other shoppers.

Good luck and please check back for an upcoming post on some more specifics of choosing your first toy!

Dear readers! If you’d like me to answer your question, get in touch and I’ll tackle your issue on the blog – completely anonymously of course.

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The image featured in this post was taken by me and I own the copyright. It must not be copied or reproduced without express permission.

Ask Amy #1: “I’m Jealous of Her Dildo!”

This is my first of what I hope will be a regular reader advice column. If you have questions, get in touch! I will strip away all identifying details, and I will never post your name unless you say it’s okay.

A close up of a bright green eye. For a post about being jealous of a girlfriend's dildo

“I’m jealous of my girlfriend’s sex toys!”

Q: Dear Amy,
I’m a 26 year old straight guy and have been with my girlfriend for a year. I love her very much, we communicate well and the sex is great. The only problem is that she likes to use sex toys, specifically dildos, when she masturbates. She also wants to incorporate them into our sex life together. I have a pretty average sized penis – about 6″ long when erect and average girth. The toys my girlfriend favours are all way bigger than me! How can my very average dick satisfy her when she likes such huge things inside her?

I’m scared that her dildo is going to replace me and she won’t want to have sex with me any more, or that she’ll leave me for a guy who’s bigger than I am! It seems so stupid to be jealous of a lump of silicone but I’m finding myself avoiding sex because I’m so insecure about my penis and my ability to please my girlfriend. She’s noticed and thinks I’m rejecting her, that I don’t love her or fancy her any more. Nothing could be further from the truth. Please help!
– Insecure

Oh, my dear ‘Insecure.’ I have so many feelings on this question.

First, I want to commend you for not suggesting that your girlfriend shouldn’t masturbate, shouldn’t use toys, or should switch to toys that don’t make you insecure. This, I’m sure you know, would not be an acceptable response to your feelings. I’m really glad you’re not going down this route. So good for you.

Look, sex toys are great! Loads of people use them and it’s very normal. It doesn’t reflect at all upon how we feel about our partners. My favourite toy in the whole world is the Doxy wand, but that doesn’t mean I wish my partner’s dick vibrated! (I mean, for real that would be fucking cool, but in no way in the world do I find him lacking because his body is different to my toys.)

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. Maybe read it with your girlfriend and have a conversation with her?

Speaking of conversations, if you haven’t voiced your fears to your girlfriend, please do so immediately. Try some variation of this: “Sweetie, this is quite hard for me to say but I want to raise something I’ve been struggling with. The reason I’ve been avoiding sex lately is because I have some insecurities around my body and particularly my penis. I’ve found myself worrying that I can’t satisfy you because the toys you use are bigger than me. I’m not saying you shouldn’t use them, but it would be helpful for me if you could reassure me that I do please you in bed and that I’m not in danger of being replaced.”

Hopefully, if your girlfriend loves you, she will respond with compassion. Then you can have a conversation that will help you on your way to feeling more comfortable. If your relationship is as good and healthy as you say, I can almost guarantee that your partner loves all of you exactly as you are, including your penis. (Which is fine, by the way. Genitals come in all shapes and sizes and colours and they’re all beautiful and perfect exactly as they are.)

However, reassurance can come from your girlfriend but working on your insecurities is your job and has to come from within. Becoming secure is hard and it really is a process, not a destination – we all have days where we feel really great about ourselves and days when we feel horrible. That’s normal. Techniques you could try include journalling, talking to a therapist, and – don’t underestimate the value of this – mindfulness and learning how to just sit with your feelings when they come up, knowing that they are lying to you and they will pass.

It can also be helpful to step outside the immediacy of the emotion and look at what reality is telling you. Like this: “My fear is telling me that my girlfriend is bored of having sex with me and I don’t satisfy her. However, she frequently instigates sex/usually has an orgasm when we play/tells me she loves fucking me. Therefore, the actual evidence suggests that she loves and desires me as I am. My fear is lying to me.” Repeat as often as necessary. I once spent an hour car journey literally reciting a list of mantras aloud to myself in order to calm a rising panic attack fueled by insecurity. It works.

Lastly, whether you want to incorporate toys into your sex life with your girlfriend is up to you. If you’re uncomfortable with it, that’s your prerogative. However, I’d like to challenge you to at least consider trying it. If you don’t want to fuck her with a giant dildo to start with, how about something like a vibrator? An anal plug? A suction toy like a Satisfyer or Womanizer? Or even a dildo that feels very different to a bio-cock, such as one made of glass or stainless steel?

Toys are not replacements for the things you can do with your body. They are tools to enable you both to feel a wider range of sensations and to give each other pleasure in different and exciting ways. And don’t forget there are also toys that can be used by a penis-owner. Try a Fleshlight, masturbation sleeve, a prostate toy, or even using a vibrator on your penis. I really recommend trying some, as you might be surprised and find wonderful new ways to experience pleasure yourself.

Talk to your girlfriend and keep that communication going. There really is no substitute.

If you liked this answer and want to see more, please consider supporting me on Patreon or buying me a virtual coffee. It really does help keep the blog going and keeps me supplied with motivation coffee and sex toys. Again, email me your question and you might appear in a future ‘Ask Amy’ column.  

The image featured in this post was offered for use via Creative Commons Licensing.

[Toy Review] Idee du Desir Orchid 1001 Nights Wooden Dildo

I love luxury toys. Like, really really love them. Stainless steel, glass, beautiful high-grade silicone… bring it on. What I hadn’t tried until now, though, was a wooden toy. So when I had the chance to buy this lovely piece from Idee du Desir from the lovely Brunette Reviews I obviously jumped at the chance.The Idee du Desir Orchid 1001 Nights dildo for a review post. Pictured with an orchid flower.
Unreservedly, I loved the 1001 Nights dildo. It looks and feels gorgeous. For my body at least, the curve is just right to hit my g-spot and get me the fuck off. I come really easily from good g-spot stimulation, but straight toys don’t always quite do the job. This, though? It’s wonderful. I smeared it with a little water-based lube and it slid in beautifully with no friction at all. I came three times in two minutes.

My ratings (all scores out of 5★)

Price: ★★★★
This is not a cheap toy. At €90 (about £78 at time of writing) it’s definitely at the higher end for a dildo. However, it’s so beautifully made and feels so lovely that I’m going to say it’s definitely worth the price if you can afford to splash out a bit.

Appearance: ★★★★★
Just look at it. It’s beautiful! Available in 3 different woods – walnut, birch or maple – each 1001 Nights dildo is finished with a gold powder which offers a subtle shimmer. This toy is the height of classy.

Feel: ★★★★★
The surface is perfectly smooth with no imperfections and the ridges on the head are the ideal depth – defined enough to feel but not bumpy enough to be painful when inserted. The curve is just right for G-spot pressure. The wood has the pleasing rigidity of glass or steel without the coldness that can accompany them. It delivers lovely pressure to my g-spot and is not too girthy (just under 4cm at the widest point,) which was ideal for me as I find a lot of girth combined with rigidity to be painful – if you’re a length person, this toy is perfect for you. If girth is important to you, it might not be for you.

Ease of Use: ★★★★
The 1001 Nights dildo is lovely to hold and extremely light – looking at it, you’d expect it to be heavy, but the whole thing weighs around 80g. This was a real perk for me but may be a downside for you if you prefer a heftier weight to your toys. The handle at the end makes it lovely and easy to hold, though I found it easier to wrap my hand around the handle rather than put my fingers through the holes as was presumably intended. To be fair, I do have freaky-small hands and someone with bigger hands would probably find it more convenient to stick their fingers in the holes. Mr CK has average hands and can hold it comfortably this way.

Care, Cleaning & Body Safety: ★★★★
I’m just going to take a moment here to bust some myths – n0, you cannot get a splinter from a properly-made wooden sex toy, and no, they’re not necessarily porous. They’re sanded down to within an inch of their life and then varnished. Idee du Desir use several layers of a hypoallergenic, food-grade varnish, making the toys totally body safe. Wooden toys are safe to use with any kind of non-toxic lubricant (I always recommend water-based.)

The 1001 Nights dildo can be washed with soap and water or a medical-grade sterile wipe. It’s a good shape to use with a condom so you can safely share it in a non-fluid bonded situation. The place this toy does fall down on safety is by having the company name inscribed upon the base. This makes it far too easy for lube or body-fluids to get into the inscribing, which is a nightmare to clean and really difficult to be sure it’s totally sanitised.

Overall score: ★★★★
Overall, the 1001 Nights dildo is an attractive, safe and pleasurable toy which was a joy to use. If you like slimline dildos, super light toys, rigidity or intense g-spot pressure combined with easy thrusting, this is for you. Again, if you want lots of girth or something with more weight, maybe skip it. Based on this item, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Idee du Desir items to anyone with a g-spot.

This post was the first of my Smutathon 2017 posts.