[Cosmetics Review] Eye of Love After Dark & One Love Pheromone Perfumes

A year ago, I’d never heard of pheromone perfumes. Now, suddenly, they seem to be absolutely everywhere. The hashtag #pheromoneperfume has been used over 33,000 times on TikTok and 57,000 times on Instagram at the time of writing this post. In my last Eye of Love review, I tried out the Red Diamond and Black Diamond scents. This week, I also received the Eye of Love After Dark and One Love pheromone perfumes to try out.

What is Pheromone Perfume?

Pheromones are chemical substances that some animals secrete in bodily fluids (such as sweat and urine) and which play a role in attracting a mate. Some believe that much the same is true for humans though, as we’ll cover in the next section, this is far from conclusive.

The thinking behind pheromone perfume, then, is that by applying synthetic pheromones to our bodies we can become more attractive to members of the gender(s) we’re attracted to. Eye of Love has created a range of scents based on this premise, including these two from the company’s Classic Collection.

All Eye of Love pheromone perfumes are certified vegan and cruelty-free.

Does Pheromone Perfume Actually Work?

Anecdotally, a lot of fans seem to believe that pheromone perfumes work. Service staff report getting better tips, single people say they’ve been hit on more often while wearing the perfume, and some users simply describe a sense of people being unusually nice to them.

But why is that?

The science for pheromone perfumes having a direct impact on attraction just isn’t there. But even more than that, there’s actually still uncertainty about whether or not humans even have pheromones (or, if we do, if they have any impact on attracting a partner in the same way they do for some animals.)

In my last Eye of Love review, I delved into some of the relevant science relating to pheromone perfumes. I recommend having a read, because it’s interesting stuff – I certainly learned a lot in writing it!

In short, spraying some perfume on isn’t going to make you irresistible to members of your preferred gender(s.) But that doesn’t mean the perfume is useless. Here are a few things that might happen:

  • If you believe in the effects of the perfume, you might carry yourself with more confidence. This means you’ll project the open, flirtatious vibe of a person who knows they’re desirable and wants to be approached. In other words, it’s a simple placebo effect in action.
  • Wearing a scent that makes you feel sexy can, likewise, help you project sexiness outwardly.
  • Scent can be incredibly erotic, so wearing a nice perfume can itself increase people’s attraction to you.
  • Other ingredients in the perfumes might be having a positive impact on your mood. For example, some plant compounds and essential oils are associated with calmness and relaxation. This can make you come across as more open, welcoming, and approachable.
  • Confirmation bias. In other words, you expect to be more attractive wearing the perfume, so you notice attention from others more than you normally would (even if the actual type or amount of attention you’re receiving hasn’t changed.)

In other words, go in with realistic expectations.

Did Pheromone Perfumes Work for Me?

Personally, I don’t believe pheromone perfumes are going to help me meet the woman of my dreams (which is probably good because right now I’m so not ready that I wouldn’t know what to do even if she fell right in my lap, but that’s neither here nor there.)

What I do believe in, though, is using cosmetics – including perfumes – to feel more like myself, evoke the kind of mood I want to project, and boost my confidence. I find scent powerful, and I do feel myself walking a little taller and smiling a little more when I know my makeup looks good and I smell nice.

There’s even something a little bit magical in spraying on something from a bottle labelled “attract her.” The perfume probably won’t, in itself, attract her (whoever she is)… but maybe, when the time is right, I can?

Eye of Love “After Dark”

Eye of Love After Dark and One Love pheromone perfumes in boxes

With all of that said, let’s look at the two fragrances Eye of Love sent me. Eye of Love After Dark is described by the company as:

Sharp. Sexy. Bold. Want your evening to end with more than just a kiss? After Dark is the perfect scent to accompany you on a nighttime tryst or bring the passion back to life with your partner.

Eye of Love

After Dark is definitely the sexier of these two fragrances. It contains top notes of galbanum oil, lily and grapefruit, middle notes of white chocolate and jasmine, and base notes of costus root, ambergris, and vanilla. The florals don’t come out as strongly as they do in some fragrances, and the overall effect is quite sultry. It calls to mind the kind of kiss you share at the end of an amazing date, the kind of kiss that you just know is leading to a lot more.

This perfume feels quite androgynous to me, which isn’t always my personal vibe. However, I actually like this one more the longer I wear it. The initial sharpness wears down, leaving a warm fragrance with just a hint of underlying sweetness.

Eye of Love “One Love”

Eye of Love After Dark and One Love pheromone perfumes

Eye of Love describes One Love as “refined femininity at its peak”. It contains top notes of orange, middle notes of jasmine, rose and lily, and base notes of musk, ambergris and vanilla. For me, the vanilla comes through the most strongly when I first apply the perfume. Over the next few hours as it settles onto my skin, it mellows and the rose and lily take centre stage.

One Love is a light, floral, and summery scent. It’s a fragrance I’d spritz on for a picnic date with a cutie in the park or to sit outside and drink cocktails on a sunny patio (the latter being exactly what I did with a friend the first time I wore this fragrance!) It evokes long warm evenings, long fruity drinks, and smelling the flowers on the nighttime breeze as we walk home.

This one is ultra femme and pleasingly easy to wear. It also lasts well, with a distinctive scent still detectable on my skin many hours after applying it.

Where to Buy

You can buy Eye of Love After Dark and One Love pheromone perfumes directly from the company. They each retail at £20 for a 10ml travel size tube and £44 for a full size (50ml) glass bottle.

Thanks to Eye of Love for sending me these products to try. All views and experiences are, as always, my own. Affiliate links appear in this post.

Five Ways I’m Trying to Increase Sustainability in My Femme Style

My identity and presentation as a femme is tremendously important to me. Femme is not just a way of dressing, but a way of sharing who I am with the world. It’s an inherently queer identity and my femme style is a way of living in and embodying my queerness every day.

However, like many of us in recent years, I’ve also been thinking more about my impact on the planet and ways to increase sustainability in my life. So let’s talk about five ways I’m trying to express my femme joy in a more sustainable way.

Acknowledgement and disclaimer: Before I dive in, I want to acknowledge that to a certain extent many sustainability practices (including those I have listed here) require privileges that many people do not have access to, including money and time. It is also not ultimately possible for individuals to save the planet – this must come from corporations and governments. This list is not a prescription or a set of instructions, and you know best what is possible for your life. This is simply what works for me. I’m also far from perfect and frequently fail to live up to the high standards I set for myself. No ethical consumption under capitalism, etc.

Breaking Up with Fast Fashion

Fast fashion – brands that churn out massive quantities of ultra-cheap, throwaway clothing – is a huge contributor to damaging the planet. It also exploits workers and harms animals. For all these reasons, whenever I have a reasonable choice, I’m determined to no longer buy new items from fast fashion brands.

If you buy fast fashion because it is accessible to you, in terms of pricing or available sizes, please don’t feel bad even for a second. That’s not what this section is about. What I’m talking about here is the companies and culture that encourage unnecessary impulse buys, large “hauls” of things that will be worn once or twice (or never worn), and fashions that change overnight.

Buying (and Selling/Donating) Second Hand

I love getting new clothes and shoes, but I actually very rarely buy anything apart from underwear brand new any more. My town has a large number of charity and second-hand shops, and I often find nice pieces at bargain prices there. I also spend far too much time browsing the Vinted app and watch-listing things, a small fraction of which I’ll eventually buy. My favourite recent finds include a fabulous leather jacket and some Lucy & Yak rainbow dungarees.

I just had a major clear-out of clothes I no longer wear. I’m going to sell on a few bits, and the rest I’ll either pass on to friends or donate to charity. That way, they’re not either languishing in the back of my wardrobe or creating more waste, and can instead be worn and enjoyed by someone else.

Of course, second-hand clothing isn’t totally without its issues (delivery emissions when you buy or sell online being the obvious one), but it’s one way to reduce clothing waste and reduce purchases of new items.

Buying More Versatile Styles

I love clothes, shoes, and accessories I can wear multiple ways. For that reason, I’ve started looking for more versatile items when I shop. One of my favourite dresses at the moment is a simple one that I can dress down with leggings and a cardigan, make playful with fun tights and stompy boots, or dress way up with a petticoat, a waist belt and heels for a night out.

For me, part of the fun of femme style is creating different looks by mixing and matching the same items in different ways.

I also recently got this gorgeous green multiway dress from IDENTITY LINGERIE, a “slow fashion” brand that follows zero-waste practices. It’s wearable in so many different ways that it feels a bit like a new dress every time I put it on. The multiway bridesmaid dress trend has been popular for bridal parties for some time, but I think they’re a great choice for anyone looking to get more mileage out of one garment.

Buying Recycled and Upcycled Materials

Materials is a really complicated one when it comes to clothing, and there are no easy answers here. It’s also very, very hard to totally avoid unsustainable manmade fibres such as polyester, nylon, and viscose. Some natural materials, such as cotton and bamboo, also present issues. The more sustainable alternatives can be expensive and hard to find, not to mention the confusion of wading through the muddy and often conflicting information out there.

One thing I’ve started trying to do, though, is look for more recycled and upcycled materials. This is a great way to support the “rescue” of materials that would otherwise end up in landfill.

For example, I recently reviewed a range of polyurethane (PU) leather accessories. PU is, in itself, pretty terrible environmentally. However, that particular brand uses entirely from recycled materials that would otherwise have created waste. I’ve also tried some gorgeous eco-friendly lingerie pieces over the years, some of which are amongst the most worn in my collection.

Switching to Eco-Friendly Bathing & Beauty Products

Glitter is, of course, a staple of my personal femme style. But the wrong glitter products can also be hugely harmful to the environment. For that reason, you will only ever find eco-friendly biodegradable glitter in my makeup bag.

I’ve tried to switch to more eco-friendly bathing and beauty products recently, too, including shampoo bars, mineral sunscreen, and products made without palm oil. This is in addition to my policy of not buying anything that was tested on animals.

What are your favourite eco-friendly and sustainable femme essentials, friends?

[Cosmetics Review] Bijoux Indiscrets Aphrodisia Body Mist

I recently reviewed the Bijoux Indiscrets Aphrodisia Orgasm Enhancer and loved it. So today I’m looking at another product from this range: the Aphrodisia Body Mist.

Aphrodisia Body Mist

Aphrodisia is Bijoux Indiscrets’ new range of scented products which includes the orgasm enhancer and this body mist as well as a massage oil, a 2-in-1 massage and intimate gel, and a massage candle.

My Body Mist arrived beautifully presented in black and gold packaging decorated with flower motifs, matching the floral notes in the fragrange. The Body Mist comes in a gorgeous black spherical glass bottle with an old-fashioned fabric bulb to spray it on. The presentation is top-notch and luxurious, especially considering the very reasonable price-point.

Bijoux Indiscrets Aphrodisia Body Mist - black spherical perfume bottle with old fashioned bulb squeezer

Like all Bijoux Indiscrets products, Aphrodisia Body Mist is vegan and cruelty-free. The formula is also alcohol-free.

Scent & Mood

Aphrodisia is a floral scent consisting of rose, ylang ylang, and jasmine as the primary notes. It’s very floral and feminine, elegant yet still light and wearable.

The thing I like the most about fragrances is the stories, moods, and images they can invoke. When I spritz on a new scent, I like to close my eyes for a second and ask myself, who am I when I’m wearing this perfume? Where does it transport me to in my mind?

The story that the Aphrodisia scent tells me is one of fanciness imbued with sensuality. It makes me think of attending a black tie event wearing a ballgown, but with a little something extra… perhaps I’m wearing the tiniest, laciest underwear imaginable. Perhaps I’ve snuck on a body harness under my dress. Or perhaps I’m simply subtly making eyes at my lover across the room to let her know I’m already thinking about her ripping the dress off me when we get home.

The scent of the Aphrodisia Body Mist is strong and distinctive when you first apply it – you really only need a spray or two. It mellows out over the hours as you wear it, but I’ve never found that I needed to reapply it. This means the 100ml bottle will last you ages.

Verdict

Aphrodisia Body Mist retails for €35 ($40 or £31.) I love this perfume, and I can’t believe how well-priced it is! No matter what I’m doing or where I’m going (or not going), it’s a lovely scent I can spray on when I want just a little extra fanciness in my day.

Thanks to Bijoux Indiscrets for sending me the Aphrodisia Body Mist to try. All views are, as always, my own. Affiliate links appear in this post.

[Cosmetics Review] Eye of Love Pheromone Perfume

Scent is powerful. It can evoke feelings, stir memories, and play a major role in the sensory experience of arousal and sex. That’s probably why pheromone perfume is having a big moment right now. There are 33.5k posts carrying the #pheromoneperfume tag on TikTok and 57.5k posts on Instagram at the time of writing. So when I got offered some Eye of Love pheromone perfume products to try out, I couldn’t wait to delve into what this viral craze is all about.

What Are Eye of Love Pheromone Perfumes?

Eye of Love Pheromone Perfume in Black Diamond (left) and Red Diamond

To understand what pheromone perfumes are, we first have to understand what pheromones are.

In short:

Officially named in 1959, pheromones are chemical substances that are secreted outside of the body in fluids like urine and sweat. Essentially, pheromones are a hidden form of communication. They send signals from one individual to another of the same species. This triggers a response in the individual receiving those signals, such as a hormonal change or specific behavior.

– Healthline

Interestingly, there is still a gap in scientific understanding when it comes to exactly how, or even if, pheromones work in humans. According to one paper from 2013 published in Facts, Views and Vision in ObGyn, “Many examples exist in animals but their role in humans remains uncertain since adults have no functioning vomeronasal organ, which processes pheromone signals in animals.” Deb Levine, MA and Stephanie Watson, writing for WebMD, say, “It’s not clear how the [pheromone] process works in humans. We do have VNO organs, but they’re small and may be too poorly developed to process pheromones like the VNO organs in animals can. More likely, we process these signals through our olfactory system.”

Pheromone perfumes, then, operate on the assumption that – like animals – humans use pheromones to increase their sexual attractiveness to potential mates. These fragrances contain synthetic versions of the substances that are commonly called human pheromones. The idea, then, is simple. Wear them and people will be more attracted to you.

Eye of Love pheromone perfumes utilise two key compounds that have been deemed to be human pheromones or to have a pheromone-like effect in humans: estratetraenol and androstenol.

All Eye of Love pheromone perfumes are vegan and cruelty-free. They smell yummy, as we’ll discuss more a bit later. But do they actually work?

Do Pheromone Perfumes Really Work?

Eye of Love’s pheromone perfume can supposedly help you “be more attractive. Be more social. Be more successful.” It’s a lofty claim.

There’s a lot we don’t understand about how attraction works. And, as we established in the section above, there’s also a lot we also don’t understand about how (or if) pheromones work in humans. So whether or not these perfumes “work” in any scientific sense isn’t really provable right now.

And look, I’m inherently somewhat cynical. As a general rule, I don’t believe in things for which I cannot see meaningful evidence.

Anecdotally, pheromone perfumes do seem to have a positive impact for many people. You’ll hear stories about service staff doubling their tips when they wear pheromone perfume, people getting asked out at the shops, and people suddenly having way more sex with their long term partners when they start using these products.

Is that down to the perfume, though? Honestly, until there’s more robust scientific backing behind the pheromone phenomenon, I’m going to assume it’s a placebo affect. If you believe something is going to make you more attractive, you’ll act like a person who believes themselves to be attractive. This, in itself, can be highly desirable and can draw people to you in a way that might make you think “wow, it’s the pheromones!”

Let’s not forget the fact that simply smelling nice can be a turn-on to many people, too. When I see a woman I find attractive, smelling a nice perfume on her as she walks by can make her even sexier.

Shawn Talbott, PhD, quoted in a piece by Charlotte Hilton Anderson, MS, for The Healthy, also points out that “We know that plant compounds, like lavender and chamomile, can be used to reduce stress and enhance relaxation. So if stress is interfering with mood and suppressing libido, then we can use ‘plant pheromones’ to reduce stress. And if you’re less stressed then maybe your sex drive increases a bit.” In other words, the perfume might be having an impact but possibly not in the way you think.

What I’m really saying is, if you’re going to try pheromone perfumes, go in with realistic expectations. You’re not going to just spritz this stuff on and instantly become irresistible to everyone of your preferred gender(s) who lays eyes on you. (That’s fairytale love potion silliness and even if it was real, it would be highly ethically questionable!)

What you might find, though, is that you find a little more confidence. A little more of your own, internal and unique brand of sexiness. And that can be just as magical, if not more so.

Eye of Love Matchmaker Collection

The Eye of Love pheromone perfume Matchmaker Collection consists of two scents: Black Diamond and Red Diamond. Red Diamond is marketed more towards straight women and other people looking to attract men, while Black Diamond is marketed towards straight men and other people looking to attract women. (There are LGBTQ+ versions of each also available – mine both say “Attract Her” – though I’m unclear on whether there’s any actual difference in the product! I assume they contain different pheromones according to the genders of the people you’re trying to attract.)

Ultimately, though, both scents (like all scents!) are gender-neutral and for whoever feels good wearing them.

Eye of Love “Black Diamond”

Eye of Love Pheromone Perfume in Black Diamond

Eye of Love describes Black Diamond as “a bold blend of cedar, blackcurrant, and lemon. Undertones of oak, white amber, and musk.” I’m kinda wary of describing scents using gendered language, but this one feels decidedly masculine to me.

When I first put it on, the cedar is the main thing I can smell. I actually like this one more when I’ve been wearing it for a couple of hours and it’s had time to mellow out on my skin. At that point, the fruity scents start to come out a little more.

Black Diamond is definitely sexy. This one calls to mind dark corners in atmospheric cocktail bars, leaning over to kiss a soft butch girl whose lips taste of whiskey. It calls to mind the black leather and dark wood of the swankiest BDSM dungeons I’ve been to, of the tug of restraints around my wrists and the slap – slap – slap of a flogger across my back.

Ultimately, I think I enjoy this perfume best on someone else rather than on myself. Black Diamond is a lovely scent, I just don’t think it’s my scent.

Eye of Love “Red Diamond”

Eye of Love Pheromone Perfume in Red Diamond

Eye of Love describes Red Diamond as “a sensual blend of jasmine, grapefruit, and amber with a touch of citrus.” There are also middle notes of lily and blackcurrent and base notes of musk and vanilla. It feels femme and flirty, and calls to mind the way that summer sunshine always makes me want to fuck.

This one feels far more at home on my skin. I like the way it softens over the hours I’m wearing it, leaving me feeling like I’m wearing a bouquet of fruit and flowers.

Red Diamond is sexy, too, but in a very different way to its counterpart. If Black Diamond is kissing in a dark corner of a cocktail bar, then Red Diamond is flirting at a wholesome coffee shop while thinking about alllllll the terribly non-wholesome things I would like to consensually do to the pretty femme across the table.

This one smells good enough that I’ll seriously consider buying more when my sample bottle runs out.

How Did I Feel Wearing Them?

I tried Eye of Love pheromone perfume at an… interesting time. I’m not dating at the moment, mostly because I’m still recovering from the most brutal breakup of my entire life. So opportunities for trying them out in traditionally “sexy” contexts were few.

However, I did manage to find a few chances to try them out. For example, I wore Black Diamond to a kink play party with Mr C&K and Red Diamond to a munch. I’ve also been wearing them around the house to see if they can help to lift my mood amidst my endless fog of post-breakup depression, even if just for a moment.

Who doesn’t feel more confident with a sprizt of a scent that makes them feel most like themselves? Confidence is the sexiest thing of all to many people, and it’s something I have been sorely lacking in the last couple of months.

This perfume didn’t help me find the next great love of my life. But it did help me to briefly remember what it feels like to see myself as sexy, attractive, and desirable. And right now that’s something.

Where to Buy

You can get each Eye of Love Pheromone Perfume from the Matchmaker range individually (£24 for 10ml in a tube or £44 for 30ml in a gorgeous glass diamond-shaped bottle), or a set of both (£41 for two 10ml tubes) directly from the company’s shop.

Thanks to Eye of Love for sending me these products to try. All views are, as always, my own. Affiliate links appear within these posts.

[Lube, Cosmetics & Massage Products Review] Bijoux Indiscrets Bubblegum Play Kit

One of the fun things about being both a femme and a sex blogger at this time of year is seeing all the sweet, cutesy, pink-and-hearts-and-flowers themed products that companies are putting out for Valentine’s Day. Bijoux Indiscrets were kind enough to send me this year’s Valentine’s offering from their range: the Bubblegum Play Kit.

Bijoux Indiscrets Bubblegum Play Kit

The Bubblegum Play Kit contains three products: a warming massage oil, a full-body massage gel that doubles as a water-based lube, and a lipgloss. Each one is scented and flavoured like bubblegum. All three products, like everything in Bijoux’s range, are vegan.

Bijoux Indiscrets bubblegum play kit

The kit came packaged in a cute pink box with a heart on the front, much like the packaging you might get on a gift set of cosmetics or bath products. The overall effect, like the products themselves, is sweet to the point of saccharine. But how did the contents stack up? Let’s take a closer look at each item.

Warming Massage Oil

Bijoux Indiscrets bubblegum massage oil

This isn’t really an oil in the true sense of the word. As far as I can tell, it doesn’t actually contain any oil at all. It’s really a water-based gel that warms as you massage it in. Still, we’ll call it “massage oil” to distinguish it from the other massage product in this kit.

For me, it takes about a minute to feel the massage oil warming on my skin. You’ll get a more intense warming sensation if you blow gently on it.

I found that it didn’t really blend or get fully absorbed into the skin the way some massage oils do. Instead, it tends to linger on the surface. This can be a good thing, as a little bit goes a long way and there’s no need to keep reapplying it. However, it can also be a problem if you don’t enjoy the feeling of having oil or gel lingering on your skin.

This is by far the nicest tasting of the three products. It’s very, very, very sweet, so you’ll want to know that going on. That sweetness is likely due to its first ingredient: glycerin. Due to the glycerin, I found that my hands and skin felt quite sticky after using it and I wanted to wash it off.

Stickiness aside, though, this is a fine massage gel and the sweet bubblegum taste and pink aesthetic gives it a fun and playful vibe.

You can buy this gel separately for €22. It’s also available in caramel & sea salt and strawberry & honey flavours.

Full Body Massage Gel/Lube

Bijoux Indiscrets bubblegum massage gel/lube

According to Bijoux Indiscrets, this water-based massage gel can double up as an intimate lubricant. It has quite a long list of ingredients, so you’ll want to review it carefully to make sure there’s nothing you’re sensitive to.

I can’t see anything alarming in the ingredients, but I’m also not enough of an expert to declare them all definitely fine. At the very least this gel/lube contains no glycerin or parabens, though it does contain “Aroma” (artificial fragrance/flavour) which is not very specific and can include any number of things.

I do quite like the feeling of this one. It’s somewhere between a thick liquid and a thin gel, and it spreads across the skin nicely and lasts well. However, unlike the massage oil, this gel tastes really unpleasant to me. Instead of sweetness, it’s got a horrible chemical-y taste. I’m quite sensitive to artificial sweeteners and I can really, really taste them in this.

I probably won’t finish this one, honestly. I’m “meh” on flavoured lubes to begin with and this isn’t a nice tasting one.

Oral Pleasure Lip Gloss

Bijoux Indiscrets bubblegum lipgloss

This lip gloss is more subtly flavoured than the other two products in the set, but still has a distinctive bubblegum flavour. It’s not quite as sweet as the massage oil (which is probably a good thing for a product that goes directly on your mouth!)

After you apply it, you start getting a tingling sensation thanks to the peppermint oil it contains. I think, based on the name, the idea is that you put it on and then perform oral sex with it. I haven’t had the opportunity to try that but I did try putting a bit on my vulva, just to see what the effect would be. It gave a kinda pleasurable tingly, warming feeling a bit like a warming lube or menthol pleasure balm. So that effect might translate if you used it during oral?

The warming and tingling is really noticeable on my lips, to the point that it becomes uncomfortable if I use too much. You really only need a little bit of this one.

This lipgloss lasts well and gives a nice glossy shine. It’s a little sticky, which wasn’t a problem once it was on but made applying it with my fingers annoying. A brush or wand would be better than the pump top bottle.

Verdict

I generally liked two out of the three products in this kit and will definitely finish them. However, at €60 it’s pretty pricey for what it is. For that reason I don’t think I’d buy it again.

If you have a femme in your life who really likes pink things and bubblegum, though, it could be a cute and sensual Valentine’s Day gift.

Thanks to Bijoux Indiscrets for sending me this product to review! All views are, as always, my own. Affiliate links appear in this post.

[Kink Product Review] Liebe Seele Fairy Collection

Something that often bugs me about kink and BDSM is the way that the aesthetic is, broadly speaking, so damn similar everywhere you look. There’s nothing wrong with black leather cuffs or PVC catsuits or red and black suede impact toys, of course, but it does all get a bit samey after a while. That’s why I’m so drawn to kink products that offer something a little bit different, such as the Liebe Seele Fairy collection.

For a femme such as myself, I don’t always want my BDSM vibe to be dark and serious. Sometimes I want it to be pretty, pastel, and fun! That’s what these items represent.

Liebe Seele Fairy Collection

Liebe Seele is a Japanese brand selling quality leather BDSM gear, sex toys, fetishwear, and more. Fun fact: “Liebe Seele” translates to “dear soul.”

Their “Fairy” collection is a range of 5 products: wrist cuffs, ankle cuffs, blindfold, collar and leash, and ball gag. Each item is available in either pink and white or green and white. I received the blindfold and ankle cuffs in green, and the collar/leash and wrist cuffs in pink (no ball gag because I don’t use them.)

All of the products are handcrafted in real leather, and some have gold or bronze-coloured metal accents such as buckles and fastenings

General First Impressions

My Liebe Seele products arrived beautifully packaged. Each item comes in a sturdy box and is sealed with an inner wrap and branded sticker. The presentation gets absolute top marks. I will say there’s quite a lot of unnecessary single-use plastic, though, so I would like to see that go.

Liebe Seele leather handcuffs for BDSM in their box

Liebe Seele bondage gear inner packaging

At first glance, the leather looks and feels of high quality. It’s lovely and soft, and has that beautiful unique leather smell.

Let’s look at each of the items in turn.

Liebe Seele Blindfold

A blindfold is one of the first basic BDSM items I recommend people get when they’re building a toybag. These versatile toys can be great for sensory deprivation, for getting into a headspace and switching your mind off, or for playing out all kinds of fantasies.

Liebe Seele green leather blindfold for BDSM

The Liebe Seele fairy blindfold has 9 holes, making it highly adjustable and wearable by just about anyone. It’s comfortable to wear, particularly after a couple of uses once the leather is starting to wear in. I particularly love getting a nose full of leather smell – a highly erotic scent to me, because I might be a vegetarian but I am also a giant hypocrite – when I’m wearing it.

It comes with a branded drawstring storage bag.

If I have a criticism of this blindfold, it’s that the actual mask part is slightly too small. When it’s on, it still lets a good amount of light in. Making it just half an inch wider over each eye would likely solve this problem.

The Liebe Seele Fairy Blindfold retails for £24/$28.95.

Liebe Seele Wrist Cuffs

The Liebe Seele wrist cuffs have five holes to fit different wrist sizes. I have fairly small wrists and I find them most comfortable on the fourth setting (i.e. the second tightest.)

Liebe Seele leather handcuffs for BDSM

These cuffs are so, so comfy to wear! The leather is soft and supple immediately, and only gets more so as you wear it in. They feel sturdy and secure, but also sensual and sexy. Each cuff has a small D-ring and they come with a separate double-ended clip chain, allowing you to fasten the wearer’s hands together if you want to.

No notes. A near perfect set of handcuffs for BDSM.

The Liebe Seele Fairy Wrist Cuffs retail for £47/$57.95.

Liebe Seele Ankle Cuffs

Like the wrist cuffs, the Liebe Seele ankle cuffs come with a D-ring on each cuff and a detachable double-ended clip chain. You can clip the ankles together… or combine them with the wrist cuffs for a basic hogtie position. (Read up on how to do this safely before you start!)

Liebe Seele green leather ankle cuffs for BDSM

Again, the cuffs are ultra soft and beautifully made. They feel sturdy enough for harder play, in that I can pull against them without worrying that they’re going to break!

They have 7 hole settings for different sizing, and I personally find the middle one the most comfortable.

The Liebe Seele Fairy Ankle Cuffs retail for £49/$59.95.

Liebe Seele Collar and Leash

Collars are hugely personal and can mean many different things. Whether you’re choosing one that you’ll just wear in a scene for fun, or one that you’ll wear as a symbol of a committed D/s relationship, it’s important to choose one[*] that feels like “you.” While I’m not sure the Liebe Seele Collar is really me, it is objectively an absolutely gorgeous piece even so.

Liebe Seele pink leather collar for BDSM, BDSM collar and leash

This collar has 9 different sizing settings. Collars shouldn’t be fastened too tight – as a rule of thumb, you should be able to slide two fingers between the collar and the neck with minimal difficulty. Its 3 D-rings offer a variety of play and restraint options (as with anything involving the neck, do your research and be VERY careful. Never do anything that may restrict the wearer’s breathing.) The accompanying leash is completely detachable, so you can use them either separately or together.

It’s comfortable to wear and soft enough that I could happily wear it all evening for a party or scene.

The Liebe Seele Collar and Leash Set retails for £46/$55.95.

[*] Or several. I think I own about 10 collars at this point that I wear in various contexts and with varying degrees of regularity.

Verdict

Gorgeous! I’m obsessed. The Liebe Seele Fairy collection pieces are such fantastic quality and, if properly cared for, will last for many years. They’re functional as well as aesthetically beautiful.

These pieces are also super affordable for the quality. You can get the full set (everything I’ve reviewed here plus the gag) for under $250/£200, or you can mix and match to get the pieces you want in your choice of colour.

Thanks to Liebe Seele for sending me these items to review. Affiliate links appear in this post. All views are, as always, mine.

Five Fabulously Femme Things I Wore to Eroticon 2023

I’m now home after my trip to London for Eroticon 2023, my fourth Eroticon overall and the first one back since before the pandemic. I’ve returned brimming over with ideas, inspiration, and gratitude for these amazing people (the #eroticommunity?) and this magical space where we can all come together.

There are lots of things I want to say and do post-Eroticon, and there will be more content coming in the next few days. But one of the most joyous things about this weekend was getting to femme it up to the max and wear some things that make me feel gloriously myself.

I’ve been wanting to write more about femme things and femme identity for a while, so this seems like a good place to start. Here’s the story behind five things I wore to this year’s Eroticon.

The Bat Dress

Rule the Night bat dress by Heartless

Mr C&K found this dress for me in our local branch of Blue Banana and I immediately knew I needed to own it. Between the bats (insert “batting for both” joke here) and the multi-coloured pink/purple/blue tie-dye, it just feels like a supremely bisexual garment to me. It got its first outing at BiCon 2022 and it always makes me happy to wear it.

Plus it has pockets. Yay pockets.

Dress is “Rule the Night” by Heartless.

Sapphic Pride Necklace

Sapphic pride necklace by The Gay Glass Stall

I recently wrote about feeling increasingly connected with the term “sapphic” to describe my sexuality. It feels like a joyful way to claim and centre my attraction to women and to intentionally remove the male gaze from my queerness.

I found this gorgeous glass sapphic pride necklace at the BBB just last month, and I’ve worn it most days since. I almost never see this particular flag on merchandise, so it’s lovely to own and wear a little bit of sapphic pride.

Necklace is by The Gay Glass Stall.

Rainbow Ears

Fluffy rainbow cat ears, Pride cat ears

Being a pseudonymous blogger, I wear one of the “no photos” lanyards at Eroticon. However, I was amused to see that one of my ears had made it into the corner of this photo by Calandra Balfour.

I wore cat ears at my very first Eroticon, where I thought that they might help me to feel less shy and maybe act as a conversation starter. What I did not expect was that they’d become a sort of calling-card that I’d be known and remembered for years later. This fluffy rainbow set seemed the only appropriate choice for an Eroticon taking place during Pride month!

Rainbow cat ears were from Ice Nine.

Face Glitter

Glitter makeup pots

I just really like glitter, okay? After trying on lots of different ways to describe my aesthetic and presentation goals, I eventually settled on #sparklefemme. This involves leaning into the more glittery and over-the-top elements of the femme aesthetic in a way that feels quite deliberately queer. Getting to be outwardly sparkly during Eroticon helped me to feel more inwardly sparkly, too.

I particularly enjoyed getting to make other people glittery at the evening socials, including my flatmate for the weekend Violet, Exhibit A and Livvy as well as their daughter M, and Girl on the Net. And for anyone who might be reasonably concerned about the environmental impact, don’t worry – biodegradable glitter only here!

Face glitter set came from Etsy. That particular brand no longer seems to be available but there are lots of similar alternatives.

Sparkly Turquoise Shoes

Sparkly turquoise Irregular Choice shoes

I absolutely adore these shoes. They “go” with pretty much nothing, and yet I will happily wear them with almost anything. I got so many compliments on them over the weekend and it made me happy to wear them.

I have a chronic pain condition in my feet which means that wearing heels for any length of time is difficult for me and can leave me in pain for days. Sadly, this can mean that a lot of fabulous shoes are off limits. So finding sparkly, glittery, gorgeous footwear in FLATS is always an exciting things.

Sparkly shoes are a long-discontinued style from Irregular Choice’s “Bed of Roses” line that I picked up for £8 on Vinted.

Eroticon 2023 might be over, but you can read everyone’s post-event content over at the linkup and check out the official hashtag if you want to learn more about the event and what happened there.

Naming My Sexuality: What is Sapphic?

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about the words I use to describe my sexuality.

I have identified as bisexual since I was 17, and known I had attractions to folks of more than one gender since much earlier than that. I later realised that I could also consider myself pansexual, since I’m pretty sure I have the capacity to be attracted to people of any and all genders (and none.)

Even so, I’ve always liked the term “bisexual”, and continue to identify with it for a number of reasons:

  1. It feels extremely important to claim a label that is so often dismissed as “not really queer” or “queer lite”, despite being the third letter in LGBTQ+.
  2. It’s an easy shorthand that most people outside of the LGBTQ+ community have at least some understanding of.
  3. Claiming an expansive definition of bisexuality (“attraction to two or more genders”) is important in pushing back against the false narrative that bisexuals only fancy cis people or that bisexuality is a trans-exclusionary sexuality.

Even so, taken on its own, I haven’t found this term entirely satisfactory and I’ve played around with a few different ones. And the term I keep finding myself drawn to again and again is “sapphic.”

So What is Sapphic, Exactly?

Sapphic is a term “relating to sexual attraction or activity between women” (Oxford Languages.) As a sexual orientation or identity, the LGBTQIA+ Wiki defines sapphic as referring “to a woman or woman-aligned person of any sexual orientation who is attracted to other women and/or women-aligned individuals.”

Fun fact: the term “sapphic” derives from the name of Sappho, an Archaic Greek poet who lived circa 630-570 BCE and whose work described erotic desire and romantic love between women. The word “lesbian” comes from Lesbos, the island where Sappho lived.

Why Identify as Sapphic?

As I said, I’ve played around with a lot of labels over the years and particularly over the last few months. Though I’m definitely somewhere on the bi spectrum, I’m also definitely not a Kinsey 3. I’m probably somewhere between a 4 and a 5 – that is, much more frequently attracted to people with similar gender identities and presentations to mine (i.e. women, femmes, and women-aligned folks) than to those with very different identities and presentations (i.e. men, male-aligned, and masc-of-centre folks.)

In truth, if I told you ten people I fancy right now, at least nine of them would be women, femmes, or women-aligned. The men I love, fancy, hook up with, and date are wonderful… but they’re also the exceptions rather than the rule.

Sapphic is an umbrella term. It can encompass people who identify as lesbian, bisexual, pansexual, queer, and in various other ways. What I love the most about this particular label is that it doesn’t necessarily mean exclusive attraction to women (in the way that the term “lesbian” does). It does, however, centre that attraction.

As a woman and as a femme, most of the world would conceive my sexuality primarily in relation to men. Specifically, the assumption is that I will be exclusively or primarily attracted to them and that, even when I am not, my interest in other women will be performed in a way that centres men. In fact, one of the most common biphobic tropes is that bi+ women’s sexuality primarily exists for the titillation and enjoyment of men. (See “can I watch?” and “that’s hot” and “so if you’re bi, can we have a threesome?”)

I’m assumed to be “straight really” or just dabbling in queerness for funsies because my nesting partner happens to be male. I recently told a man who was trying to pick me up that I was “wayyyyyy towards the gay end of bisexual” and somehow, all he gleaned from that revelation was “so I still have a chance?” (Reader, he did not.) Even – perhaps especially – when you’re loudly and proudly queer, heteronormativity can seem very very pervasive sometimes.

So yes. I think “sapphic bisexual” is the most succinct and accurate way to sum up my sexuality right now.

Choosing a term to describe my sexuality that specifically places my love for and attraction to women at its heart feels like a small act of reclamation and celebration for my queerness. Every time I think about referring to myself in this way it makes me smile. I think that means I am on the right lines.

So what is sapphic? Right now for me at least, it’s pride and it’s joy and it’s queer as fuck.

Why Is Everyone So Obsessed with Rose Toys?

Chances are, if you’re familiar with the sex toy industry or have spent any time in sex positive spaces online in the last couple of years, you’ll have come across rose toys. Perhaps you’ve seen a company advertising them, an influencer gushing about them on social media, or a friend has told you about how much they love theirs. 

But what exactly are rose sex toys, where did they come from, and just why are they so popular? 

It Began on TikTok

I don’t really use or understand TikTok, mostly because I am over 30 and get overwhelmed easily. Therefore, I only became aware of this particular viral sensation when it spread out onto other platforms such as Twitter. I kept seeing people talking about this “rose toy for women”, so obviously I had to check it out and see what all the fuss was about. 

The rose sex toys craze seemingly began sometime in early 2021. In one viral TikTok clip dated 4 May 2021, which has over 631,000 likes at the time of writing, user @_queenk_95 claims to have reached orgasm in 30 seconds with her rose adult toy. Her enthusiastic commenters agree. “WARNING USE AT UR OWN RISK YOULL NEVER BE THE SAME” [sic] one commenter claims. “My legs shot out like one of those little goats that get paralyzed when they’re scared,” says another. 

Image: OOTYEMO

Needless to say, this and similar videos had users rushing to try the toy in their droves. The TikTok rose toy trend is probably one of the biggest pop culture moments in sex toys since an infamous scene from a Sex & the City episode led to many stores selling out of rabbit vibrators in the late 1990s. 

“Rose Toys” Aren’t Just One Thing 

The original “rose toy” that took TikTok by storm seems to have been a rose-shaped clitoral suction stimulator from Amazon. However, even a quick search for “rose sex toy” brings up over 1000 results on Amazon’s US site alone, so I think it’s safe to assume that not everyone who posted about the “rose” was referring to the exact same model. 

I also really don’t recommend buying sex toys from Amazon. In a broadly unregulated industry, the chances of getting a mislabeled knock-off product (which may not even be safe) are too high.

Fortunately, there are now numerous reputable sex toy retailers selling rose sex toys, and they come in many different variations. The majority of rose toys are still based around clitoral suction, but they vary in exact shape and design, size, level of power, settings, controls, and so on. There are also versions with protruding tongues designed to simulate oral sex, versions with G-spot vibrators attached, remote control versions, and more. 

In other words, the world of rose sex toys is now a vast one thanks to their explosion in popularity. So if they appeal to you, you’ve got a good chance of finding one you like.

Sex Toys That Don’t Look Like Sex Toys 

For as long as there’s been a sex toy industry, there has been a market for toys that do not immediately look like what they are. From the classic lipstick and rubber duck vibrators, through to modern toys that look like little penguins and the glass, ceramic, or steel constructions that look like works of art, there’s a sex toy to meet every preference. 

Image: OOTYEMO

There are probably a few reasons behind this. Many people, unfortunately, still feel embarrassed about using toys (sex toy usage has become far less taboo in recent years but many people still aren’t comfortable with having a toy out in the open). Discreet toys are also easier to pop in your bag—or take through airport security—without worrying about someone seeing them. Then, of course, there’s the sheer aesthetic value of some toys. 

The famous rose toys are no different. They don’t immediately scream “VIBRATOR” to the uninitiated, and one of the most endearing things about them is that they’re really, really pretty. As a femme, I really love pretty things and flowers, so an attractive sex toy that looks cute on my nightstand is an instant win. It’s easy to see why their aesthetic alone has helped rose flower toys grow in popularity. 

A Cute Gift 

Opinions on whether you should give sex toys as gifts differ. There are situations where you definitely shouldn’t (workplace Secret Santa, yes I have seen this happen) and situations where it’s maybe okay (a very close friend with whom you have that kind of open and frank relationship.) In the context of an existing sexual relationship where you know the other person’s body and preferences reasonably well, though, I’m all for it! 

A rose toy could be a great gift for the flower-loving femme in your life. It’s an imaginative and sexy twist on a traditional gift, and will bring pleasure that lasts a lot longer. 

The Obvious: They Feel Amazing 

Having tried a number of rose toys at this point, I’ve had somewhat mixed but overwhelmingly positive to very positive experiences with them. As they’re primarily based on clitoral suction, rose toys deliver focused clitoral stimulation via pulses of air, which offers intense pleasure without any of the numbing effect you can get from poor-quality buzzy vibrators. 

Everyone’s experience is different, of course, but many users say that clitoral suction toys such as rose toys help them to orgasm more quickly, more reliably, and more intensely than any other type of stimulation. 

Today’s post was sponsored by the good folks at OOTYEMO, an online sex shop offering numerous different iterations of the rose toy as well as many other products. All writing and views are, as always, my own. 

[Accessories Review] Tyes By Tara Vixen Tyecuffs

[Update 10/05/24: this product has been discontinued. I have removed dead links but left the post up for reference.]

Tyes By Tara is a small, woman-founded and award-winning brand based in the US, and their entire collection is a dream for a kinky femme like myself. Elegant and eyecatching pieces that are by turns playful and sensual? Hell yes!

A Touch of Luxury

Vixen Tyecuffs soft bondage handcuffs

My Tyes By Tara items came discreetly packaged in a plain box. Inside, they were beautifully wrapped in tissue paper and tied with ribbon. The parcel included not just my cuffs, but also a card with care instructions, a kind note from my contact at the company, and even a bonus free tyelet!

The customer care and attention to detail is excellent and much appreciated. The luxurious packaging and presentation got me even more excited to try out the products.

Vixen Tyecuffs: Bondage with a Femme Focus

I was spoiled for choice when it came to what to try. But, being the #Sparklefemme that I am, I had to settle on the sparkly Vixen Tyecuffs. These wide cuffs are made from sparkly rhinestone mesh and finished with satin ribbon ties.

Rhinestone handcuffs for BDSM

The Vixen Tyecuffs are available in both black and white.

I can’t tell you how much I love these cuffs! They’re just absolutely gorgeous, even prettier than they look on the website. I love the way the rhinestones catch the light when I move.

Woman with hands tied up in bondage cuffs

There are some items that make me feel happy and confident just by wearing them, and these cuffs fall into that category. They speak to two aspects of my identity that are hugely important to me: my femme-ness and my submissiveness.

The Vixen Tyecuffs are comfortable, too. They’re light enough that I can put them on and then wear them for hours. They don’t irritate my skin or make my wrists sweaty. When we can finally go to sex clubs again (fuck you Covid) they’ll make a sleek and sexy addition to my outfits.

Fit and Functionality

My Vixen Tyecuffs came with very very long ribbons. Even with the cuffs tied, they still dragged on the floor when I was standing! Fortunately, the very long ribbons mean the cuffs will fit literally anyone, no matter your wrist size (they also work just as well on ankles!)

Vixen Tyecuffs rhinestone BDSM handcuffs

Just pop the cuffs on, work out how long you need the ribbons and how long you want the tails to be, then trim them to size. Don’t forget to allow extra length if you’re going to tie them to anything!

The Vixen Tyecuffs are strong and sturdily made. Despite their delicate appearance, they don’t feel as though they are flimsy or liable to break in the course of normal use.

Ribbon handcuffs for kink and BDSM

With that said, these are definitely cuffs that are for decoration and light bondage. You could certainly get tied to the bed or get your hands tied behind your back with the Vixen Tyecuffs. But they’re not designed to bear a lot of weight, so don’t use them for kinky activities where you’re putting weight on your wrists. And maybe switch out for more traditional cuffs if you’re doing a harder struggling-against-your-bonds scene!

Bonus Tyelet

I also received a bonus Tye-of-the-Month in the form of the Trainwreck Tyelet (since discontinued.) This is a lovely little bracelet that is made of soft, stretchy elastic and features a cute black satin bow. It’s like wearing a little bow tie on my wrist!

Tyelet bow tie bracelet

The aesthetic is subtle enough to wear in public without raising eyebrows, but kinky enough to make me smile mischievously every time I look at it.

It’s actually very slightly too big for me, as I have teeny-tiny wrists, but it doesn’t need to fit snugly and still looks super cute.

Verdict & Discount Code

Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous. Absolutely love them!

The Vixen Tyecuffs retail for a great value $25 (that’s around £21.)

If you’re looking for a sweet and sexy treat for yourself or the femme in your life, take a look at the collection. I’m sure you’ll find something you love.

Thanks to Tyes By Tara for sending me the Vixen Tyecuffs and the Trainwreck Tyelet to try. All views are mine.