[Toy Review] Pocket Pulse Remote by Hot Octopuss

The Pocket Pulse has been looking at us guilt-inducingly from the nightstand for the last week or so. Amidst our sexy times, there just never seemed like a good time to try it. So I was delighted when Mr CK let me know that he’d tried it during a wank session while I was at work, enabling me to finally write this review.

A banner ad for sex toy company Hot Octopuss, who sponsored a post on sex and mental healthThis is my first stab at reviewing a toy designed for people with penises, so please bear with me. This review is the result of a lot of talking with my partner about his experience as well as my own observations from the time we tested the toy together.

One thing I love about Hot Octopuss is their dedication to smashing sexual stigma. They do this with their #SexNotStigma campaign. They do it when they use their blog to talk about sex and mental health (which I’ve written for them about on three separate occasions). And they do it by creating genuinely new and revolutionary toys for people with penises, at a time when the notion of penis-owners – and particularly cis men – using toys is still often regarded with suspicion.

But how did the Pocket Pulse shape up?

Let’s take a closer look…

First, I want to give a major shout-out to HO’s marketing and packaging. Their toys always come in these gorgeous, black-and-gold boxes and they use such a brilliant range of gorgeous people of all different genders, ages, abilities, races and body-types. It’s just sexy and swanky as hell and I adore the whole aesthetic of this brand.

The Pocket Pulse is a smaller, more compact (3.5 x 2.5 inch) answer to the hugely popular but quite bulky Pulse III. It doesn’t only differ in side, though. Where the original Pulse III uses oscillating motion with HO’s patented PulsePlate technology, the Pocket Pulse houses more straightforward vibrating motors. It is essentially a vibrating stroker which fits around the penis via a somewhat-flexible ring. Like so:

The Pocket Pulse remote, a grey and black stroker toy for penis owners, with its remote.It can be operated either by the + and – buttons on the main body of the toy, or through the remote control. This remote makes it easier to change settings mid-wank with your free hand without interrupting your flow, and it also adds possibilities for interesting D/s and power exchange games! Try putting it on and then giving your partner control of the remote…

Given the flexibility of the band, the Pocket Pulse will fit a wide range of penis sizes. You can even use it from flaccid, which is really cool! Mr CK is on the larger side and said he found it fairly comfortable and not pinchy or overly tight, though he did acknowledge that on the next go he’d use lube with it. Anyone who reads me regularly will know that I always advocate lube! (Water-based, glycerin-and-paraben-free, please). Anyone with a much thicker than average penis might want to approach with caution, though – girth being much more relevant than length with this toy.

Safety, Care and Cleaning…

The Pocket Pulse is made of silicone and ABS plastic, making it completely body-safe (another point in favour of Hot Octopuss is that I feel 100% confident in recommending all of their products as safe).

It’s also waterproof, which not only means you can use it in the bath or shower, but also makes it a breeze to clean. I recommend a sterile wipe for a quick clean and warm water with a very gentle soap for a more thorough wash. Mr CK did point out that the raised buttons could present an issue in terms of harboring bacteria, so do take extra care cleaning those areas.

So how did he find it?

I was disappointed here, because I wanted so much to rave about this product and tell you it revolutionised my partner’s masturbation. Unfortunately, though, his overall impression was “underwhelming”.

Some direct quotes:

“It felt nice, but I don’t think it made my wank or my orgasm any better than just using my hand would have been with just my hand”.

“Not turned off by it, but no particular desire to use it again”.

“I didn’t really feel anything until it was on the top setting”. (So, uh, my partner might be as much of a power-queen as I am…)

Essentially, his impression was that he found it (at worst) much more of a hindrance than a help when it came to getting off, and (at best) okay-but-meh. And, it’s worth noting, this is a man who definitely enjoys vibrations on his penis! A wand on his cock can get him off more quickly than anything else at times.

I don’t want anyone to read this as us saying the Pocket Pulse is a bad toy. It’s not! It’s high quality and genuinely innovative. But all toys will not work for all bodies, and this toy didn’t work for this body in this circumstance. Which is unfortunate, as we both really wanted to love it, but it’s just the way it goes sometimes.

“I can see it’s a well-made product that will probably work for loads of people. But my body didn’t care for it”. – Mr CK

In conclusion

Even though this one didn’t rock our world, I’m still happy to recommend Hot Octopuss products in general.

I’d suggest giving the Pocket Pulse a go if you enjoy vibration sensations on your penis but find a wand too intense, or if you’re looking for a toy you can use from flaccid.

The Pocket Pulse Remote retails for £75 from Hot Octopuss directly. If you use my affiliate links to buy anything from them, I will make a small commission. You can also buy the non-remote version from Lovehoney, and US/Canada readers can buy either version from Peepshow Toys or Shevibe.

Image property of Hot Octopuss and used with 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] 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] Satisfyer Pro Plus Vibration

Spoiler: in my eyes (and cunt) at least, this toy is pretty dang close to perfection.

Hello darlings! It’s time for another installment of “Amy puts things on her junk and then writes about it,” AKA a sex toy review.

After a rocky start with the original Pro 2, I’m now a big fan of Satisfyer’s products. I wasn’t sure they could top what they’ve already done with the newest line, but I was ready to be surprised… and surprised I was. You may remember their G Spot Rabbit, which I reviewed recently. Well, now it’s time for the next new offering: the Satisfyer Pro Plus Vibration.#

The Satisfyer Pro Plus Vibration, a white banana shaped sex toy with rose-gold accents.

The Pro Plus Vibration boasts the Satisfyer suction wave stimulation we know and love… but with this iteration, they’ve added vibrations into the mix. And ohhhhh godddddd, y’all. I love it. I love it so much.

Before I gush too much, let’s take a closer look…

The Pro Plus Vibration is a curved toy, shaped a bit like a banana and about 6 inches long. It has 11 suction intensity settings as well as 10 vibration settings (3 constant speeds and 7 patterns). These are controlled independently with two separate buttons.

It works by creating a kind of vacuum around the clitoris with a silicone nozzle, and stimulating it via rapid pulses of air. The difference with this version is that the nozzle also vibrates.

The Pro Plus Vibration is fully waterproof and uses a magnetic USB charger.  It is unfortunately a little loud, but my partner said he couldn’t hear it from the next room when the door was closed.

Okay. Can I gush now?

The first thing to note is that this latest offering from Satisfyer brought me to orgasm much quicker than any of their previous lines. Yes, the vibration really does make that much difference.

I don’t think my clit has ever been quite so happy in my life, except possibly the first time I introduced it to the Doxy. I came so hard I’m pretty sure I woke the neighbours.

My Ratings (all scores out of 5★)

Price: ★★★★
The Pro Plus Vibration retails for £79.99 at full price, which is in line with the rest of Satisfyer’s range. Despite the slightly higher price point, they’re great value for money and come with a 10-year manufacturer’s warranty for peace of mind.

Materials: ★★★★★
The whole toy is coated in smooth, silky silicone, which is both body-safe and lovely to the touch. The accents are plastic.

Appearance: ★★★★★
I love the white-with-rose-gold-accents aesthetic of the new Satisfyer line. They’re minimalistic and classy, as well as standing out by virtue of being so unusual. This one REALLY reminds me of a medical device, even more than the last one did, which… yeah, I have some Kink Feelings about that.

Ease of Use: ★★★★
The “banana” shape is really ergonomic and fit neatly into my (tiny) hand. The buttons are super easy to press and the controls intuitive – you control the pressure waves with the main up/down button, and the vibrations with a separate smaller button. My only complaint here is that you can only cycle one way through the vibration settings. This isn’t a huge problem for me as I’m a “put it on high and leave it there” kind of girl, but it’s something to be aware of.

Ease of care & cleaning: ★★★★
The Pro Plus Vibration is silicone and waterproof, so you can wipe it down with a sterile wipe (I recommend buying from medical suppliers) or submerge it in water to clean it thoroughly. The silicone nozzle tip also detaches from the part with the motor, so you could boil this piece separately to sterilise it completely.

Previous Satisfyer lines such as the Pro 2 have included spare nozzles, and I do wish they also put these in with the newer products. Being able to swap out nozzles would be a real plus in the safer sex department.  As with all suction toys, it’s not really possible to use them with a barrier.

Versatility: ★★★★★
The Pro Plus Vibration has 10 different vibration settings and 11 suction settings, which you can control independently of each other. It’s also waterproof, in case using toys in the bath is your jam.

Intensity:
★★★★★
Full disclosure: if this toy was only a vibrator, I might give it 3 stars for intensity. The vibrations alone aren’t super strong and are a little on the buzzy side on the higher settings. But the vibration is secondary to the suction stimulation, and is just the right level of intensity to be a nice add-on without distracting from the main event. The suction itself is the most intense I’ve yet experienced on any Satisfyer toy, and made my clit very happy indeed.

Overall Score: ★★★★★
Despite some very small flaws, I’m giving this toy five out of five because it just gave me one of the best damn orgasms I’ve had in a really long time.

Thanks to the folks at Satisfyer for sending me their new products in exchange for an honest review! Please support me by buying yours from Lovehoney or SheVibe with one of the affiliate links in this post. Image is property of Satisfyer and reproduced with permission.

How to Buy Your Lover a Sex Toy for Valentine’s Day

I kind of love Valentine’s Day. I know it’s a manufactured commercial holiday, but at its heart it is a celebration of love – and I am in favour of there being more love and expressions of love in the world.

Two red roses and three boxes wrapped in white gift paper. For a post about buying sex toys for Valentine's Day.

Flowers and chocolates might be more traditional, but I think that a sex toy they’ll really love is a super romantic gift for Valentine’s Day. Sex is a massive part of many loving romantic relationships, and we could all use more pleasure in our lives. Giving your partner the ideal sex toy is a great way to make them feel seen and loved and to show that you’re invested in their sexual fulfillment.

There is one huge, enormous caveats to this, namely:

ONLY DO THIS FOR ESTABLISHED SEXUAL PARTNERS. Don’t buy your office crush or that cutie who makes your coffee a sex toy. That’s creepy.

So how do you ensure your sexy gift lands right? Here’s some tips…

Most importantly, take note of their preferences, desires and fantasies.

Is your partner a girth lover? Do they really need intense clitoral stimulation to get off? Are they all about their cock, or super into anal play? Do they love dual stimulation, or do they prefer to focus on a single sensation at a time? You need to know these basic things about your lover’s body before you can successfully buy them a toy.

Aesthetic preferences matter here, too. For some people, something pink might go down brilliantly. Others hate the colour and want nothing to do with it. Case in point: I was already MEGA impressed when Mr CK bought me a Doxy for my birthday the first year we were together. The fact that it was purple, my favourite colour, just emphasised that he’d really been paying attention to my likes.

This stuff isn’t hard to pick up. You just need to be paying attention.

That’s THEIR preferences!

In order for this to be successful, you need to buy your partner a toy you think THEY will really love – which might not be the same thing as buying one that you really want to watch them use. There’s no use buying them a massive dildo if they’re all about clitoral stimulation, for example. However much you fantasise about watching them fuck themselves silly, the thing is just going to gather dust in a drawer if it doesn’t turn them on.

If you’re not sure: ask.

You can ask this overtly, if you want – “babe, I’d love to buy you a fabulous sex toy for Valentine’s Day. How does that sound? Anything you’ve particularly got your eye on?” But if you want it to be a surprise, you’ll have to do some subtler sleuthing. As part of a more general conversation about fantasies, desires and new things to try (you are having these conversations, right??) you can ask them if there’s any particular activities or toys they’d super love to try. If you ever visit sex shops together (do this, it’s a fab date activity) or browse products online together, see what they gravitate towards.

If you’re STILL not sure, let them choose!

Loads of stores, both brick-and-mortar and online, now offer gift vouchers to be redeemed on sexy purchases. Why not buy them a voucher for your local feminist sex shop and go together, or a Lovehoney voucher and spend a fun date evening browsing and choosing something together?

Pro tip: skip “gift bundles.”

Bundles of several toys together are tempting because they come with several items and seem really well priced. Unfortunately, they tend to be cheap because they tend to suck. It’s much better to buy one really good quality toy from a reputable retailer and with a decent warranty. “Gift bundles” are often full of jelly, phthalate-ridden crap with terrible motors that will break in five minutes. Give them a miss.

Need some inspiration? A few of my favourites to start you off…

My friends at Lovehoney have kindly offered a discount code on a few of my favourite items, including the Doxy Original in purple, the new and fabulous Doxy Number Three, the We-Vibe Tango, the Tantus Vamp Super Soft (in purple, of course!) and the Desire Butterfly hands-free vibrator. Check them out here and get 15% off!

Have a great Valentine’s Day. May you all be blessed with love and, if applicable, orgasms aplenty.

Affiliate links are contained in this post. Buying from my affiliates supports me and helps keep the blog going. All opinions my own, as always! Image courtesy of Pixabay. 

[Toy Review] Mantric Rechargeable Wand Vibrator

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

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

The Basics

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

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

My Experience

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

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

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

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

My Ratings (all scores out of 5★)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

No, You Cannot Get “Addicted” to a Vibrator

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

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

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

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

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

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

You cannot get addicted to a vibrator.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I’m going to say something truly radical now.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2017 “Top 5” Roundup

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

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

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

Top 5 New Sex Toys

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

Top 5 Sex Blogging Inspirations

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

Top 5 Awesome Events

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

Top 5 Books About Sex

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

Top 5 Podcasts

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

Top 5 Blog Posts

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

Top 5 Accomplishments

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

Top 5 Goals for 2018

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

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

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

Sexy Festive Travel Essentials

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

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

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

Sample packs of lube

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

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

Top recommendation from me is the Sliquid Lube Cube.

Small and discreet vibe

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

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

Travel-friendly kink toys

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

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

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

Some underwear that makes you feel really sexy

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

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

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

A small safer-sex kit

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

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

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

[Toy Review] Lovehoney Desire Butterfly Hands-Free Vibrator

I love anything a bit unusual and different when it comes to sex toys. That’s why, when my friends over at Lovehoney offered me the product of my choice from the new Desire range to test and report on, I was immediately drawn to this one.

Facts ‘n’ Figures

The Butterfly is part of the new Lovehoney Desire range of luxury toys. I tested the clitoral pebble vibe a few months ago from the same range. The Butterfly is a wearable vibe which rests against the vulva and is held in place with a strap around each leg and one around the hips.

The underside of the Lovehoney Desire Butterfly, a purple vibe which is flat escept for a small raised ridge where the head of the Butterfly would be. Black elastic straps are attached.

It’s a smallish vibe, 4.2 inches in length. The underside (pictured right) is flat and smooth except for a bump of around 1 inch which sits against the clitoris. The harness is super adjustable, with a maximum width of 40 inches around the hips. I have wide hips and I found it very comfortable to wear.

The storage cases for Lovehoney's Desire products. A black square zip up case with the Lovehoney heart logo.

It’s remote-controlled. The vibe itself is rechargeable via USB, and the remote control takes one watch-style battery, which should last ages. All Desire toys come in their own stylish black case (pictured right) which is perfect for storage and travel. The Butterfly even features a travel lock, so no worries about it accidentally turning on in your bag!

 

My Experience

It took me a bit of experimentation to get the Butterfly to sit correctly against my body. I had to adjust the straps a few times to figure out the best placing for them so that the lovely ridge rested against my clit. After a few minutes and some very attractive wiggling in and out of bits of elastic, I found a position that worked and settled down with some smut for a nice wank.

The Butterfly has 8 patterns and 12 speeds, but I just wacked it up to “constant vibration, highest speed,” because that’s how my bits roll. I also realised, not for the first time, that entirely hands-free stimulation, while nice, very rarely makes me come. I prefer to have the toy I’m using pressed somewhat firmly against my vulva so I can grind against it. So I ended up pushing it against my body with one hand. This wasn’t really a problem for me, and wouldn’t be necessary for someone who doesn’t need such firm pressure in order to get off.

I found the Butterfly’s vibrations impressively strong for its size. Not strong enough to get me off in record time in the way a wand can, but thoroughly enjoyable for a nice slow wank! It took me about 40 minutes to go from “cold” to “orgasm” with the Butterfly. This would be a long time for some people but is quite normal for me if I’m not worked up before I start, especially with a toy I’ve never used before.

In conclusion: I really enjoyed this toy.

My Ratings (all scores out of 5★)

Price: ★★★★
The Butterfly retails on Lovehoney for £74.99, which puts it at the higher end of the Desire toys’ price-range. It won’t be in everyone’s budget for this reason. However, the difference in quality from lower-priced toys, including Lovehoney’s own budget range, is noticeable. These toys look and feel luxurious. Overall, worth the price.

Materials: ★★★★★
The entire body of the Butterfly – AND the remote – are silky soft silicone. Silicone is my favourite because it’s non-porous, phthalate-free and completely body-safe. I recommend water-based lube with silicone toys (and just in general because it’s gentler on your body.)

Appearance: ★★★★★
It’s super cute and actually looks like a little butterfly! It also, if I do say so myself, looks really pretty when it’s on. It’s the same purple as the whole Desire range, which is a lovely colour and provides a really nice, classy look.

Ease of Use: ★★★
This one definitely took some practice. The interface is simple – you switch on the toy with a single button on the body, and then use the remote control to cycle through the settings. There are three buttons – speed up, speed down, and change pattern. It’s the positioning that can be a struggle at first. I suggest taking your time to experiment, try different positions for your body and the toy, and be prepared to adjust the straps a few times to make it work for you.

A quick note for anyone who, like me, has a natural bush: the straps do have a tendency to trap stray pubes if you’re not careful! Watch out for this if you don’t want a non-consensual wax job courtesy of your sex toy.

Ease of care & cleaning: ★★★★★
Being pure silicone, the Butterfly can be cleaned with a sterile wipe (try the kind from medical suppliers, but make sure they’re body safe)! It’s waterproof, so you can submerge it fully in water to clean it thoroughly. The straps come off easily so they can stay dry when you wash the toy. Not condom compatible. You could use a barrier like a dental dam, if you want to share and are cautious about infection transmission.

Versatility: ★★★★
The Butterfly has 8 pattern settings and 12 speeds, so whatever you’re into, there will be a setting for you. It’s great for solo play, but could also enhance pleasure during intercourse. I’m already planning to wear it next time Mr CK bends me over the bed and fucks me from behind! Another way to use it with a partner would be to give your lover the remote and let them control the toy. It is waterproof, but I’m not sure I would bother using it in water as it seems like the straps would be a pain to dry.

Intensity:
★★★★
Not at all bad for the size. I would have preferred them a touch stronger and rumblier, personally. But they were more than adequate to bring me to orgasm.

Overall Score: ★★★★
A really nice little toy. I’d recommend it to folks who like gentler clitoral stimulation, and to anyone looking for something they can enjoy solo and with a partner. It’s also a great choice for anyone who needs a hands-free or low-energy toy for pain or mobility reasons.

Go get yourself one, and don’t forget to use code COFFKINK10 at checkout for 10% off!

Thank you to my affiliates at Lovehoney, who sent me this toy in exchange for an honest review. If you use one of my links to buy, I may make a small commission. This does not in any way affect my views which are, and will always be, my own.

The images featured in this post are property of Lovehoney and are reproduced here with their kind permission.