[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.

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.

Toxic: Ingredients to Avoid In Your Lube

There are a lot – a LOT – of sexual lubricants available on the market today. Go into any sex shop and you’re likely to see rows upon rows of them. How do you even begin to know which to choose?

An old fashioned corked bottle filled with blue liquid and labelled with a skull and crossbones and the word "poison." For a post on toxic ingredients in lube

A lot of it is down to personal preference, compatibility with your particular body, and dependent upon what toys, condoms etc. you’re going to be using it with. I can’t tell you the perfect lube for you. What I can do, though, is point out some toxic ingredients commonly found in commercial sexual lubricants (as well as toy cleaning solutions, if those are a thing you use) which we would all be well advised to avoid.

1. Sodium Lauryl/Laureth Sulphate

What it is: Sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS) and sodium laureth (ether) sulphate (SLES) are additives found in everything from household cleaning products to cosmetics. They’re what creates that foamy/lathery appearance and also used for their cleaning properties.

Why it’s toxic:
SLS is a skin irritant. SLES is somewhat less irritating (which is why it’s the one you’ll more commonly see in personal care products) but it’s no less toxic. It also cannot be metabolised by the liver. Like many chemicals, these are absorbed into the body from skin application and both can cause damage to the skin, hair follicles, eyes and even the liver. In the body SLS can mimic the function of Oestrogen, possibly contributing to a range of hormonal problems from PMS to lowered fertility to increased risk of breast cancer.

2. Parabens

What they are: Parabens (butylparaben, methylparaben, and propylparaben) are preservatives. They are commonly used to prevent bacteria growth in cosmetics and other products.

Why they’re toxic: Like SLS and SLES, they’re xenoestrogens – meaning they mimic oestrogen in the body. Oestrogen disruption has been linked to breast cancer and other reproductive issues and in a 2004 study, parabens were found in malignant tumours.  What’s more, there’s some evidence that they can be stored in the body and have an accumulative effect over time.

3. Phthalates

What they are: Pthalates are a common ingredient in cosmetics, lubes and many soft plastic or ‘jelly’ sex toys. They’re used to increase flexibility, durability and longevity in plastics. In lube and other cosmetics they can be used as binding agents or softeners.

Why they’re toxic:
Research suggests that prolonged exposure to pthalates can alter the cycles of reproductive hormones with effects including delaying or suppressing ovulation. Studies have also linked them, variously, to asthma, ADHD, breast cancer, diabetes, neurodevelopmental issues and male fertility issues. The International Agency for Research on Cancer classes DEHP, a common phthalate, as a possible carcinogen. Some people have even experienced chemical burns when using products containing pthalates on their genital areas.

4. Glycerin/Glycerol

What it is: A colourless liquid found in all natural plant and animal fats, although it can also be produced synthetically. You’ll find it in lots of lubes because it is a humectant, which just means it attracts moisture to the area where it’s applied. It has a slightly sweet taste so is likely to appear in a lot of flavoured lubes in particular, but it pops up all over the place.

Why it’s toxic:
Sugars and sugar derivatives simply do not belong in your vagina. Glycerin can increase the presence of candida, and this in turn can lead to yeast infections. Best avoided, particularly if you’re prone to them.

5. Parfum/Perfume/Fragrance

What it is: It’s what makes certain products smell nice. Beyond that? We haven’t a clue – under UK law at least, “parfum” or “fragrance” is a catch-all. It could mean any combination of hundreds of different potential ingredients which do not have to be listed separately.

Why it’s toxic: If you don’t know what it is or what it’s actually made up of, then I strongly recommend not putting it in your body.

6. Any numbing agent

What it is: Typically found in lubricants designed for anal sex, ingredients like benzocaine or lidocaine are basically anaesthetic agents. They’re used to partially, or even completely, numb the area they’re applied to.

Why it’s toxic: Do I really need to spell this out? If you need a fucking anaesthetic to have sex, then THIS IS SEX YOU DO NOT WANT TO BE HAVING. These products are sold on the strength of the idea that the receiving partner (particularly a female receiving partner) doesn’t actually want to be penetrated, and that anal sex is inevitably going to be painful and unpleasant.

There may be some discomfort with anal at first – that’s normal and why going slow and using plenty of (body-safe, non-toxic, no-freaky-ingredients) lube is vital IF it’s something both parties are enthusiastically into the idea of doing. (If you’re not: don’t do it. If your partner isn’t: don’t pressure them to do it!) Even more dangerously, pain is your body’s way of signalling that something is wrong. If you can’t feel it, you won’t know if sensitive tissues are being torn. Real damage can be done this way, which at best will be uncomfortable for a few days and at worst can be a serious medical emergency. JUST SAY NO TO A NUMB BUM.

To sum up:

You read the label when choosing foods, right? Please, please do the same when choosing lube, toy cleaner and even condoms (those “delay his climax” condoms, for example? They probably contain numbing agents.)

There are really good, safe, body-friendly products out there made by amazing ethical companies. They’re worth looking for.  Ask for recommendations from those in the know, do your research, and above all READ THE LABEL.

My top pick for lube, always and forever, will be Sliquid.

I started this blog, in part, to realise my passion for informed, honest, transparent and freely available sex education for everyone. If the information here was valuable to you, please consider buying me a virtual coffee or even becoming a sexy patron. Thank you!

 

[Book Review] The Smart Girl’s Guide to Polyamory by Dedeker Winston

★★★★★ – five stars.

The cover of The Smart Girl's Guide to Polyamory - Everything you need to know about open relationships, non monogamy and alternative love by Dedeker Winston.

As a long-time listener of the Multiamory Podcast, I was seriously excited when Dedeker Winston (one third of the hosting team, along with her partner Jase and former partner Emily) announced she was writing a book. She and her co-hosts are funny, wise, insightful and down to Earth on the podcast, so I had high hopes for The Smart Girl’s Guide to Polyamory: Everything You Need to Know About Open Relationships, Non-Monogamy and Alternative Love  – a fresh take on the polyamory advice book, with women and female experience front and centre.

The book is grouped into chapters, which are clustered into four sections: Polyamory 101, Pre Reqs, Mastering Non-Monogamy, and Out of the Classroom, Into the World. I read it cover to cover, but you could just as easily dip in and out, picking and choosing the sections that feel most relevant to you.

Polyamory 101 covers what polyamory is (and what it isn’t,) some of the different forms that ethical non monogamy can take, and an absolutely fascinating chapter on the socio-cultural and anthropological history of non-monogamy. Dedeker also talks us through some of the common objections to polyamory, from family and friends or from society at large, and possible ways to counter them.

Pre-Reqs deals with self-knowledge, really interrogating who you are, what you want and what makes you tick, as well as the skills required to live a happy and healthy non-monomous life (it goes beyond just “communicate,” y’all!)

Mastering Non-Monogamy was the real meat of this book, for me. There’s the expected chapter on jealousy, a whole chapter on sex and the various issues surrounding it, advice on crafting positive and healthy relationship rules/agreements, and more.

Finally, Out of the Classroom, Into the World attemtps to take the theories discussed in previous chapters and apply them in real-world situations. Dedeker discusses poly dating, finding community, coming out of (or choosing to stay in!) the closet and how polyamory can intersect with a range of marginalised identities and liberation movements.

This book is not easy reading at times. Dedeker approaches difficult topics with a light touch and a healthy dose of humour, but there are parts that are unavoidably difficult reading. Though she doesn’t actually use the A-word, she candidly describes behaviour by a former partner that can only be labelled as abusive. It’s not all sunshine and light – she gives us the bad, the scary and the unshiny parts of polyamory as unflinchingly as she gives us the love and the joy. And she challenges us repeatedly to be brave, to be unfalteringly honest with ourselves and our loved ones, to do the hard work required to be stronger and better and more compassionate versions of ourselves.

What sets this book apart from the others I’ve read is that women are centred throughout. Dedeker shares her experience on the unique struggles of a polyamorous, queer, sex-positive woman and tackles those challenges head on, and encourages other women to battle outdated gender stereotypes, sex-negativity, slut shaming, rape culture and the myriad other issues that disproportionately affect women and those read as women in trying to live a non-monogamous life. But despite this female focus, the book is consistently inclusive – it makes no assumptions about age, sexuality, gender identity or relationship style. For this reason, I really think anyone interested in polyamory should read it.

Dedeker is also refreshingly non-judgemental. She shares her experiences and wisdom about what tends to work well and what doesn’t, without preaching her way as the only (or even the best!) way. She seems to intuitively understand that everyone’s experience is different and that different relationship styles will work for people, while offering principles (including self knowledge, strong communication, compassion, honesty, good boundaries) that apply in making just about any style of relationship a success.

In a landscape of non-monogamy where current trends carry a hefty dose of “you have to be a relationship anarchist or you’re DOIN’ IT RONG,” I can’t tell you how refreshing this is. [1]

I really hope this book takes its place alongside The Ethical Slut, More Than Two and Opening Up as polyamorous required reading, because it deserves to. In my view, Dedeker Winston has written quite simply the best guide book on polyamory on the market today.

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[1] I have zero problem with people who practice RA. I do have a problem with anyone – poly, monogamous, RA, swinger, whatever – preaching their way as the only correct way to be.

My Top Five Sexy Products

Hello perverts and gentlequeers! I hope you’re all having a sexy Monday so far. (Is there anything less sexy in general than Monday morning?)

A quick one today, before I head out to work.

There are so many amazing sexy products out there on the market today – SO many. And we all have our own preferences for our own reasons, which is wonderful. Today I wanted to share my current Top Five bedroom aids with you all. (Subject to change, because I’m always discovering new stuff and also my cunt is fickle.)

#1: Doxy Wand
The Doxy is the world’s most powerful wand massager. It’s mains powered and a giant beast of a toy. Mine was the first gift Mr CK ever gave me and remains the best present I have ever received from a lover. It’s the only toy that is more-or-less guaranteed, if it’s held in the sweet spot, to give me a quaking clitoral orgasm in ten minutes or less. (Two minutes or less if I’m really worked up.) Seriously, I could be a sales person for this toy, I don’t even know how many friends and lovers have bought one on my glowing recommendation. (Hey, if anyone from Doxy is reading this and fancies a sponsor partnership, get in touch…)

#2. Sliquid Lube
I’m sure we all know the importance of good lube. I’d been having sex for about 4 years before one of my partners introduced me to the miracle of lubricant (the men I’d been with before then had been very much in the camp of “if you need lube, you’re insulting my masculinity. GET WET WOMAN.”) I’ve tried loads of different lubes over the years but Sliquid is my favourite by far. It’s water-based, all natural, body safe, vegan, unflavoured, unscented, easy to clean up, and there’s even an organic range. Particular shout out for the Sassy Booty Gel, specifically designed for anal sex (and ohhhh so good.)

#3: Rope.
Anyone who knows me will know I looooove rope. I love it for many reasons: the scent (I’m a natural fibres girl and it just smells so beautiful,) the aesthetic, the coarseness or softness against my skin, the safety of being tightly held by my lover’s ropes or the thrill of having them helpless in mine. Most of all, though, I love the versatility. A partner can tie me to the bed for a quick-and-dirty fuck, or they can spend an hour or more doing an intricate tie where the rope itself is the sole purpose of the scene and our underwear doesn’t even come off. Rope can be sensual or painful, loving or cruel,  a means to an end or the end in itself. And whichever of these it is, I just love it. (My rope of choice is 4mm or 5mm poly-jute, but you should seek advice and choose what’s right for you.)

#4: Ben-wa Balls
Now these are interesting. They’re essentially little weighted silicone balls that go inside the vagina and are held there by the vaginal muscles. They’re great for kegel toning (which can lead to a stronger pelvic floor and, in theory, more powerful orgasms,) but that’s not why I love them. For me they’re a dirty thrill, a sexy little secret: I can wear them under my work uniform, under a ballgown at a posh dinner, under my running clothes, and no-one is any the wiser. This is particularly sexy when a Dominant lover has ordered me to go out in them, knowing they’ll keep me worked up and horny the whole time they’re in. Not to mention that I can clench my muscles around them repeatedly and bring myself to a vaginal orgasm in less than a minute. (Mine are the Main Squeeze Double Kegel Balls from Lovehoney, but there are loads of options out there.)

#5. My strap-on.
I love gender-fuckery. I love fucking a guy in the ass. I love fucking a woman’s cunt. I love love love watching a partner’s pleasure when they’re on the receiving end of my cock. Is there any wonder I love strapping it on? Strap-on sex is a great equalizer – anyone can wear the toy and anyone can receive it inside them, regardless of gender or anatomy. It removes assumptions of who will be the fucker and who will be the fuckee based on genital configurations. (Mine is the Beginner’s Unisex Strap-on Harness Kit with 5-inch pegging dildo from Lovehoney, but again there are loads of options and you should shop around to find one that works for you.)

A toybag can tell you as much about a person as a bookshelf. What are YOUR top five?