[Review] Lovehoney Bliss Orgasm Balm

I admit that I am sceptical when it comes to products that aren’t sex toys but claim to boost the chances of orgasm. However, I am also a curious creature and willing to try most things once. So when this little tin of Bliss Orgasm Balm from Lovehoney appeared in my shipment of Masturbation May products, I thought it was high time I gave it a go.

Lovehoney Bliss Orgasm Balm

What is Bliss Orgasm Balm?

Bliss is a topical balm designed to increase sensitivity in the clitoris. It comes in a small heart-shaped tin and is white in colour and has a creamy consistency that melts onto your fingers – similar to a lip balm.

Bliss Orgasm Balm is infused with peppermint, menthol and essential oils. These ingredients stimulate the nerve-endings in the clitoris and encourage blood flow to the area, increasing sensitivity.

Lovehoney Bliss Orgasm Balm

Is it body-safe?

To answer this question, I took a closer look at the ingredients.

  • Argania Spinosa (Argan) Kernel Oil. A natural oil commonly used in cosmetics, make-up and skincare products. It has been shown to have beneficial properties for the skin and is considered safe.
  • Hydrogenated Olive Oil (and) Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil. We all know olive oil has health benefits when used in food, but it is also a common ingredient in skincare and cosmetics. These forms of olive oil were investigated by the Cosmetics Ingredients Review and declared safe.
  • Hydrogenated Jojoba wax. Jojoba oil and jojoba wax were investigated by the International Journal of Toxicology and proven safe for cosmetic use. (Warning: link contains mentions of animal testing.)
  • Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter). An incredibly common ingredient in skincare and cosmetic products. The Cosmetic Ingredients Review investigated shea butter and found it to be safe.
  • Menthol. Menthol is widely used for its distinctive minty fragrane and the cooling sensation it creates on the skin. The FDA has found it to be safe for these purposes and also in food.
  • Tocopherol. Tocopherol is a form of Vitamin E, typically derived from vegetable oils. The Cosmetic Ingredient Review and International Journal of Toxicology concluded that it is safe for topical use.
  • Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Oil. An essential oil derived from the peppermint plant, the Cosmetic Ingredient Review determined that peppermint oil is safe as long as the concentration of the compound pulegone does not exceed 1%.

In conclusion? Every ingredient in this little balm has been declared safe for topical (external) use by experts. Full marks, Lovehoney! Unless you’re allergic or sensitive to any of the ingredients, you can use Bliss Orgasm Balm with confidence.

How do you use it?

You may look at this tiny little tin and think, “is that all you get?” But believe me when I say you only need a little bit to make this stuff effective!

Dab a small amount onto your fingers and massage into your clitoral area. It can be quite intense, so start off cautiously – if you want a more intense sensation or aren’t getting the desired effect, you can always add more.

From there, continue to masturbate or have sex as you normally would.

Remember: Bliss Orgasm Balm is for external use only. Don’t put it inside your vagina or butt.

What does it feel like?

Have you ever used “cooling” or “tingling” lube? It’s a bit like that, only more intense! If you’ve ever put toothpaste on your genital area (which is something I don’t recommend, but a lot of people do) this is a similar sensation – and safer!

The best way I can describe it is as a cool tingly sensation when the balm first goes on. Then, as your body gets used to it, the initial sensation fades but you’re left with a higher than usual level of clitoral sensitivity.

Does it work?

Yes – with caveats.

If you struggle to orgasm, don’t expect Bliss Orgasm Balm to be a cure-all. It isn’t. But it definitely does heighten sensitivity, which can absolutely help when it comes to inducing orgasm. I also suspect it might act as something of a placebo for some people – you expect the balm to help, so you feel more relaxed and less stressed, so having an orgasm is easier.

I absolutely recommend trying a product like this if you find orgasm difficult. But manage your expectations going in, yeah?

If you don’t generally struggle to orgasm but are just looking for some extra sensitivity or a fun way to play with sensations, you might well enjoy using Bliss Orgasm Balm.

Some extra fun ways to play…

As ever, there’s no right way to use sexuality products and you should do whatever works for you. But I found a few fun ways to use Bliss Orgasm Balm that might appeal to some of you.

  • Put some on before you get dressed in the morning to give you a little tingle of arousal as you go about your day.
  • Use it during oral sex and have your partner gently blow on your vulva. This will send cool minty tingles through you!
  • Put some on and then start watching porn or reading erotica and see how long you can wait before you simply have to touch yourself. (Or order your submissive to put some on and then not touch!)
  • Use it to increase clitoral pleasure during penetrative sex. This greatly enhances the chance of orgasm for most vulva owning people!

So do I recommend it?

I rate this product a lot more highly than I expected to! I really liked the tingly sensations, the extra level of sensitivity, and the fun variety it added to my solo playtime. I’m also seeing some great potential in it for kink and power exchange play and I’m looking forward to experimenting more with my partner.

At just £9.99 for a 20g tin (which will last you ages – remember you only need a little bit) it’s a steal. Throw some in your next Lovehoney order!

Thank you to Lovehoney for sharing this product with me in exchange for an honest review. Affiliate links appear in this post. All views are, as always, my own. Pictures property of Lovehoney and reproduced with permission. I’m partnering with Lovehoney throughout May to bring you #MasturbationMay reviews and content!

[Mini Toy Review] Satisfyer Balls Kegel Exercisers

What are kegel balls and what are they used for?

Kegel balls, sometimes called Ben-wa balls or kegel exercisers, are duos or trios of small weighted balls that are inserted into the vagina. Supposedly, they help the person to perform kegel exercises more effectively and with better results. There are also claims that they improve sexual pleasure over time, even making it easier to reach orgasm. But there is little actual scientific evidence for any of this.

My hand holding a set of red Satisfyer kegel balls

What the science says

“The potential benefits of doing Kegel exercises on a regular basis include: greater ease in achieving orgasm, increased intensity of orgasm, increased lubrication, heightened control over sensation during penetration, and protection against urinary incontinence and bladder prolapse.” (Bartlik et al, 2010)

When it comes to the difference between performing kegel exercises with and without balls or similar devices, though, there’s less evidence.

One 2013 study examined the effect of “vaginal spheres” (kegel exercisers) in the treatment of stress urinary incontinence and found a statistically significant difference in the improvement shown by women who used the spheres vs those who performed kegel exercises without.

A different study, however, used “weighted vaginal cones” to treat urinary incontinence, and found that “there was little evidence of difference for a subjective cure between cones and pelvic floor muscle training” (Herbison & Dean, 2013.)

So the short answer is that there is limited evidence on one of the claims commonly made about kegel exercisers, and virtually no evidence one way or the other for any of the other claims. Anecdotally, balls may help by making the user more likely to actually do their exercises, rather than making the exercises more effective by themselves – but this is little more than speculation. The literature simply doesn’t exist yet.

(Can some scientists get on this please?)

So why would I want kegel balls?

I deliberated for ages on whether to categorise this review under “Sex Toys” or “Sexual Health Products,” but eventually decided on the former. Dubiously-evidenced medical claims aside, the purpose of kegel balls is simple: they can feel really good!

Walking or moving around with something inside you can feel amazing if you’re a person who enjoys vaginal penetration. I find that on the occasions I’ve worn kegel balls for any length of time, I tend to be at a constant level of arousal for however long they’re in. Wearing kegel balls can also be fun as part of a power exchange game, if you’re into that. I definitely find it hot when my Dom instructs me to go out with my cunt full.

Basically, treat kegel ball as a sex toy and not as a medical device, and you’re more likely to have fun!

So how do the Satisfyer balls measure up?

The Satisfyer Balls come in sets of three, which get progressively heavier (79g, 114g and 150g.) There are also alternative sets available in lighter weights. Each of the pairs of balls is a different colour (blue, pink and red) and they are made of silky smooth, soft and body-safe silicone.

Official product image of the Satisfyer Kegel Balls

Each of the balls have gentle ridges to them, which provide delicious internal stimulation.

The balls themselves and the joins between them feel well-made and sturdy. However, the “handle” loops are ridiculously thin and flimsy! They stretch when pulled, making them ineffective for helping to remove the balls from the vagina, and though mine have held out so far I don’t see them lasting very long.

With that said, these sets are inexpensive and good value (3 pairs of balls for £21.99/$24.95) so if you’re new to using kegel balls and just want to try, they’re not a bad place to start.

Pro tips for using kegel balls safely and pleasurably

  • Remember to use plenty of good quality, water-based lube.
  • Start slowly – keep the balls in for just 10 or 15 minutes at first. You can build up from there.
  • Give your body a break every few hours at least, never sleep with your kegel balls in, and take them out immediately if you experience any pain.
  • Boil-sterilise your kegel balls between uses.
  • If you like, try keeping your kegel balls in while you use a clitoral vibrator or do anal play. The dual stimulation can be fun!

Have you used kegel balls? Share your experience!

Thanks to Satisfyer for sending me these to review. All views are, as always, my own. Purchasing through the affiliate links in this post helps to support my work.

[Toy Review] We-Vibe Chorus

There are a number of buzzwords and phrases, frequently used to describe sex toys, of which I am highly sceptical. One of these is “for couples”. Another is “hands free”. The We-Vibe Chorus claims to be both of these things. However, my experiences with We-Vibe over the years have been almost universally positive, so with my hopeful-but-ready-to-be-disappointed face firmly in place, I set out to test the new We-Vibe Chorus for you guys.

First impressions

The We-Vibe Chorus in its box

The We-Vibe Chorus comes attractively packaged in a sturdy box. Inside you’ll find the toy and remote, a USB charging cable, and a dock that functions as both travel case and charging station. There’s also a little instruction booklet and a free packet of water-based personal lubricant. (Second ingredient: glycerin. Ughhhhh.)

The We-Vibe Chorus comes in three colours, and mine is “Cosmic Pink.” It is OBNOXIOUSLY pink. (I asked for the purple, but I guess everyone probably asked for the purple. Ah well.) It’s sort of shiny-sparkly

The matte silicone is squishy and soft to the touch.

Shiny new tech! (Or: How is the Chorus different to previous We-Vibe models?)

The Chorus is the latest iteration of We-Vibe’s signature “wearable” vibrators, a line which also includes the Match, Unite and Sync. But how is it different?

The We-Vibe Chorus and remote

The most obvious upgrade, when we compare the Chorus to the Sync (its most recent predecessor,) is the introduction of the squeeze remote. The tighter you squeeze the remote, the more intense the vibration gets – and vice versa! This is a genuinely innovative touch that I haven’t seen anywhere else. You can turn squeeze control on and off with the small button at the top of your remote. When squeeze control is on, you use the +/- buttons to set the base intensity – that is, the lowest setting it will default to if you stop squeezing. We’ll get more into fun ways to play with this in a minute.

There’s also new touch-sense tech, which responds to your movements against the sensor, changing the intensity of the vibrations to match depending on which setting you’ve selected. You can turn touch-sense off through the We-Connect app, if you want to. I had a play with this function but the responsiveness was mixed. Overall, I found it too unpredictable to be pleasurable, and quickly turned it off. If I’m going to use touch-sensitive tech, I want to to actually be reliable. The We-Vibe Wand achieved this much better than the Chorus does.

The WeVibe Chorus and remote on the docking stand

Another significant upgrade to this model is that it is adjustable in two places. Not only can you adjust the distance between the two arms, you can also alter the angle of the internal arm for a more comfortable and stimulating fit. I can’t overestimate how appreciated this is! Bodies come in a wide range of shapes and sizes, and one size will never fit all. I find getting poked in the vaginal walls off-putting and the opposite of erotic, frankly, so being able to adjust the Chorus to actually sit comfortably in my body was a game-changer.

Finally, the Chorus is the first We-Vibe product to use a mix of AnkorLink and Bluetooth technology to connect it to the We-Connect app. The difference here was EXTREMELY noticeable – the connection was much more stable and the responses much more consistent.

In conclusion, the Chorus might superficially resemble We-Vibe’s previous offerings, but you get so much more bang for your buck.

The Chorus is waterproof (though the remote is only splash-proof). I got just shy of 90 minutes of playtime from a full (2 hour) charge.

Not just for couples!

Again, I find the notion of “toys for couples” annoying. Anything can be a couples’ sex toy if you use it with a partner! And many so-called couples’ toys can be used just as well for solo fun. The phrase “toys for couples” has come to be near-synonymous with “toys you use while having penis-in-vagina intercourse”. But lots of couples don’t have sex like that, or only have sex like that sometime… and of course, not all couples are cis-hetero! I vote we change the common terminology to “toys for PIV” instead of “toys for couples”.

Anyway, I digress. The We-Vibe Chorus is a great option if you’re looking for a toy to wear during PIV sex. The slender and adjustable internal arm makes for a comfortable fit regardless of your bodies’ shapes and sizes, and the external arm provides powerful clitoral stimulation – which 70 – 90% (depending on which study you believe) of vulva-owners need to reach orgasm.

But it’s so much more than that! I actually really like this style of toy for solo masturbation. Though I do need to use my hands (see below,) holding it against my body requires almost no strength or energy. It’s easy to use a dildo with it at the same time if I’m after more internal stimulation.

Other fun ways to play

Thanks to its innovative technology and design, this toy has so much potential beyond the obvious “wear during PIV” application.

If you’re into power-exchange games, you could give your partner the remote and have them use the squeeze function or buttons to control when and how you get pleasure. Or the person who is wearing the vibrator could be tied up with the remote in their hand, and their Dominant partner could instruct them on when to squeeze tightly (getting more stimulation) and when to release (getting less).

I really like playing edging games with this toy – squeezing tightly until I’m close to coming, then releasing the control to back off again.

Due to the improved app connection and functionality, this toy is also ideal for long-distance play. Wherever you are in the world, simply hook your toy up to your partner’s phone via the app, and you can give them control of your toy while you sext or exchange smutty pictures.

Not really hands-free

As ever, bodies are different and your mileage may vary. But I do not agree that the We-Vibe Chorus is a hands-free toy. However I adjusted it, I could not get it to stay firmly in place. Every time I moved slightly or changed the intensity of the vibrations, it would shift and move away from my clit. I ended up using one hand to hold it in place and the other hand to operate the remote.

Not a huge problem in the grand scheme of things, but if you’re looking for a truly hands-free experience you’ll want to be aware of this. (Also: if you find a sex toy that is actually, effectively, 100% hands-free, please let me know. This is up there with unicorns on the list of “things I am convinced do not exist.”)

Worth noting: the lovely Phallophile Reviews suggests that wearing tight knickers (such as Spanx) helps this toy stay in place. So that’s something to try!

Power play

Importantly, how does the We-Vibe Chorus stack up in terms of power? Frankly, if I’m going to spend close to £200 on a toy, it’d better knock my socks off, power-wise!

We-Vibe have long been known for using excellent, powerful motors in their toys and the Chorus is no exception. For its small size, it packs a punch. The vibrations are strong, rumbly and – in case this is important to you – surprisingly quiet.

The gentle, lay-on contour of this toy, plus the rumbly vibes, feel fucking phenomenal against my clit.

Final thoughts

If you’re looking for the ultimate “wear during PIV” toy, this is it. I’m seriously impressed with the Chorus! But I also really love this toy for solo play. It’s on the pricier end at £179.99 ($199 US) but you get so many nifty features for your money. I wholeheartedly recommend it.

A gem. We-Vibe have done it yet again.

Thanks to Lovehoney for sending me the Chorus in exchange for an honest review. We-Vibe’s other new release, the Wand, will feature in my Valentine’s Day Gift Guide, coming out tomorrow, so stay tuned for that! Header image is by Lovehoney and used with permission, all other images by me. Affiliate links appear in this post.

[Wearable Review] Lovehoney “Lustre” Quarter Cup Body Harness

Sometimes I get offered items for review and my internal response is “ugh, fine, I guess” if I’m not blown away by something but I think my readers will like it. Other times, I get offered something for review and I take one look and go “I NEED IT.” The Lustre range by Lovehoney was the latter.

Two categories of product that I’m eternally obsessed with are Things That Are Purple and Things That Are Shiny. Lustre is both.

After perusing the collection, I ended up choosing the Quarter Cup Body Harness to try. This is partly, let’s be honest, because I’m lazy and I enjoy one-piece items of clothing for that reason. But it’s also because the Body Harness is the only item in the range not to have full bra cups, and my typical experience with adjustable/one-size lingerie is that my boobs simply don’t fit. Ordering something where they’re meant to spill out seemed like a neat solution to this problem.

Model wearing the Lustre Quarter Cup Body Harness from Lovehoney

Let’s see how I got on, shall we?

TW: mentions of sizeism, please skip if that’s going to be difficult for you.

Initial Impressions

My first impression, when I took my Lustre Body Harness out of the packaging, was that I am simply in love with the colour! The lace is a gorgeous, rich purple and has a lovely, subtle shine to it that catches the light every time you move.

What I’m not so into is the “frayed edge” aesthetic of the lace. I understand what they’re going for here but I think it takes the elegant edge off the range and frankly looks a bit, well, scruffy. Of course, this is a personal preference and others may love it.

Getting into it…

My #LazyFemme tactics came back to bite me, here. One-piece this thing may be, but easy to get into (or out of) it is certainly not! Because everything – the collar, bra, mid-section and suspenders – is all joined together, the Lustre Body Harness is straps and straps and straps galore! It took me a couple of attempts to get into it. I kept being afraid I was going to rip something! I certainly won’t be wearing it on any occasion where getting out of and back into clothing might be an issue, such as a play party. Which is a shame because play parties are the main occasions where I tend to wear lingerie.

Model wearing the Lustre Quarter Cup Body Harness from Lovehoney

A couple of pro tips garnered through trial and error:

  1. Loosen all the adjustable straps first. It’s much easier to get into the garment then tighten them to fit you than trying to struggle into it and adjusting them as you go.
  2. Get into the harness feet-first, rather than trying to pull it over your head. But be careful as you ease it up over your body and into place. You don’t want to damage the delicate lace.

A word of warning: the Lustre Body Harness has build-in suspenders which are not removeable, so you’ll need to get some suitable stockings to wear with it.

Fit

Lingerie manufacturers everywhere, listen to me: I love you but can you all PLEASE STOP making things in “one size?”

This piece ostensibly fits a size 8-16. However, I wear a size 14 and I had most of the straps as extended as they’ll go, and it was still a bit on the small side. There is zero chance this item is going to fit someone who’s a size 16, and it’s really not ideal for anyone who is bigger than maybe a 12.

Instead of endlessly adjustable “one size” items, I’d love to see lingerie manufacturers just making things in a wider range of sizes. There are two plus size pieces in the Lustre range but this, unfortunately, is not one of them.

Once again, I feel that this piece was made with thin bodies in mind and the rest of us are left trying to squeeze ourselves into something which, though it might technically fit (just,) really wasn’t made for us.

Comfort

The lace isn’t exactly soft, but I didn’t find it excessively scratchy or irritating either. The straps are a soft and stretchy material which feels nice against the skin.

The bra cups are the worst thing about this item, comfort-wise. Because they’re rigid and have underwires, they will only work well for a certain sub-section of bodies. They are far too small for my probably E or F cup boobs. (I don’t actually know what size I am but I was a DD a decade ago and they’ve definitely grown since then). The wires cut into my ribcage in a way that was first uncomfortable and then, after a while, became painful.

How did I feel wearing it?

This piece has grown on me over the several times I’ve tried it on. I love a lot of things about it: the way it leaves my back almost completely exposed, the way the middle section emphasises the curve of my waist and stomach, the fetishy look of the lace collar. I definitely feel hot when I look in the mirror wearing this one!

Unfortunately, because of the issues with the fit I don’t see myself wearing it regularly and certainly not for any length of time.

Final thoughts

This one has so much potential! The design and aesthetic is absolutely gorgeous. If you’re a size 12 or smaller, I’m happy to recommend this piece. For those of us like me who are curvier, though, the problems with the fit are too great for me to be able to wholeheartedly recommend it.

The Lustre Quarter Cup Body Harness retails for £39.99 but at time of writing is on sale for £23.99.

Thanks to Lovehoney for sending me this piece in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are, as always, my own. Affiliate links appear in this post. Images are courtesy of Lovehoney and reproduced with permission.

[Toy Review] Womanizer Starlet 2

Before we dive in: did you see I’ve revised my Patreon? There are new reward tiers, better perks, and more ways to get involved! Go check it out and maybe support me – every single dollar really does help.

Despite saying I was going to do substantially fewer product reviews, interesting things to try out keep finding their way to me! Remember when I said I’d been wanting to get my hands on a Womanizer toy for ages and hadn’t had the opportunity? Well, my cup runneth over, so to speak – as I have yet another new Womanizer product to tell you all about!

Suction Toys

I wrote recently about whether or not I think all suction-based clitoral stimulators are basically variations on the same theme. The conclusion I came to was… sort of. The sensation provided by these toys is remarkably consistent across models and even across brands. However, unique design features can really make or break each specific model. Read on to find out whether I thought the Starlet 2 was a hit or a miss.

A little more down-to-Earth…

After the high-end luxury with price tags to match that defines the Womanizer Premium and Duo, the Starlet 2 is a simpler product – more aimed at the everyday consumer, rather than at serious toy enthusiasts with serious money to spare. The Starlet 2 retails at the much more affordable £69.99 (that’s $79.99 to my American friends!) and is an upgrade of the original Starlet model.

It’s a petite toy, only 5 inches in total length, and very light. I have tiny hands and would have preferred the body of the toy to be slightly longer for ease of use, so bear that in mind if you’re a person with big hands. However, for those who find holding larger or heavier toys difficult, the compact nature of this model could be an advantage for you.

The Starlet 2 is USB rechargeable, requiring 30 minutes’ charge for 30 minutes’ playtime. I’m really not impressed with the battery life here. 30 minutes, for me, is often not even long enough to reach orgasm – and the same is true for a lot of people with vulvas. When other toys can do two or three hours on a full charge, this is a major negative in my view.

The Starlet 2 is also fully waterproof, if playing in the bath is your thing. It comes in two colours – a pinkish-orange called “coral”, and a deep blue.

Body-safety, care and cleaning

The Womanizer Starlet 2 sex toy in coral resting on a white sheet

The Womanizer Starlet 2 is made of hard ABS plastic with a silicone nozzle. Like all Womanizer products, this makes it completely body-safe.

The silicone nozzle is removable, so you can remove it and sterilise it in the usual ways – boiling water or a 10% bleach solution. You can also buy replacement nozzles, which are your best bet if you’re going to be sharing the toy with a partner, as it’s not really possible to use a suction toy with a barrier.

Pro tip: swirl a bit of water-based lube around the rim of the nozzle, and put some on your clit too. Lube makes everything better!

Controls & Settings

The Starlet 2 has four possible speeds. This is far fewer than the higher-end models: the Classic has 8 speeds, and the Premium has a massive 12.

The Womanizer Starlet 2 sex toy in coral on a white sheet

Honestly, I think for most people, 4 speeds is probably enough? They’re not as finely graded as they could be, true, but they allow for a steady increase in intensity. But I’m aware I am saying that as someone whose usual play-style with toys is “whack it on the top setting and leave it there.”

The controls are two simple buttons: On/Up and Off/Down. No complaints here – they’re sensibly located in the centre of the main body of the toy, and they’re easy to press. If anything, the Off/Down button could do with being a bit bigger – it’s smaller than the Up button and I see no good reason for this. Overall, though, I’ll give the Starlet 2 points for simple and sensible controls.

So was the Starlet 2 a rising star?

I had high hopes for this toy after my amazing experiences with the Premium and the Lovehoney/Womanizer Pro40. Unfortunately, it just really missed the mark for me in practice.

Due to the shape, and how little the nozzle sticks out from the body of the toy, I found it almost impossible to get the right angle against my body. I tried holding the toy in multiple different ways, but all of them either left a gap between part of the nozzle and my body (thus meaning my clit got much less stimulation) or required contorting my hand/arm in uncomfortable ways. A longer handle and a more pronounced nozzle would go a long way to mitigating this issue.

I also really noticed the relative lack of power at the higher settings, compared to other suction toys.

I tried this toy three times, and was not able to orgasm with it on any occasion.

So do I recommend it?

Unfortunately I don’t. I was hopeful about the Starlet 2, but it didn’t live up to expectations for me at all. It’s not egregiously bad or anything, but I was left unimpressed and I doubt I’ll use it again. I recommend splashing out another £30 if you can and getting the Womanizer/Lovehoney Pro40 instead, which is just so much better.

Thanks to Womanizer for sending me this product in exchange for an honest review. All views are my own and images are by me. Please use the affiliate links within this post if you want to make a purchase; commission helps to keep this site going!

[Wearable Review] Bondage Boutique Rainbow Leather Harness with Collar

Before I tell you about this lovely harness, I feel I should acknowledge that I haven’t blogged since 18th May (and that was a guest post!) and today is 6th July. This is by far the longest blogging break I’ve taken since I started, and I thank you all for bearing with me. I wasn’t sure, for a while, if I was going to come back at all.

My mental health took a serious downturn back in May for a number of reasons, and most of my energy has gone on my recovery. I took some time off work as a result for the first time. I’m not back to 100% yet, but I’m making progress and felt able to start writing again – albeit maybe a little more slowly for a while. With that out of the way, let’s dive in…

[Update 30/01/20: this harness has been discontinued,. I’ve removed the dead links but I’m leaving this post up for reference.]

Happy Pride, friends!

Today is Pride in London. I am, sadly, not there. Aforementioned health issues, plus lack of spoons for travel and huge crowds, means I’ve sat this one out this year. However, in the spirit of celebrating a little bit at home, Pride day felt like the appropriate time to share my review of this rainbow-themed piece with you all.

Whether you’re celebrating in the Capital today or not, I hope you’ve all had a very happy Pride.

Boutique Bondage Gear…

Bondage Boutique is Lovehoney’s in-house range of kink and BDSM gear. With pieces ranging from cuffs to wax play candles, from nipple clamps to rope, they’re a great place to find affordable and entry-level kinky things. In honour of Pride season, they’ve recently added a line of rainbow themed items, one of which I was only too happy to try out!

Rainbows, Leather and Kink: A Few of My Favourite Things

The Bondage Boutique pride rainbow harness laid out on a white sheet

The Bondage Boutique Rainbow and Leather Harness with Collar is a really versatile kinky piece. It’s a unisex design, suitable for any type of body. The aesthetic is fairly androgynous, too, neither particularly femme or particularly masculine. You could totally femme or masc it up depending on what you wore it with!

Perhaps pair it with killer heels and cute stockings… or with some sexy as fuck leather trousers? Or even just throw it on over a t-shirt to add some public-safe queer joy to your Pride ensemble! I love the little rainbow panels, which give an otherwise fairly standard bondage piece a fun and playful edge.

The Bondage Boutique rainbow pride harness laid out on a white sheet

This harness also features two D-rings, one in the front centre of the collar and one in the front centre of the waist band. This means it’s practical for play as well as decorative. You could clip a leash to the collar, use the lower D-ring to tie off a crotch rope, or cuff your submissive’s hands to the harness to restrict their movement.

Materials & Care

This harness is made of real leather. For some this will be a huge advantage, and for others such as vegetarians or vegans it may be a serious downside. I personally love leather (even though I’m a vegetarian – yes, I know, I’m a hypocrite!) The softness, the smell and the undeniable associations of real leather all really do it for me. Leather is also exceptionally durable, and tends to get softer and more supple over time.

An anonymous white female bodied person wearing the Bondage Boutique pride harness and a black sports bra

The small rainbow panels are stitched over the leather. The fastenings are made of metal.

Care for this harness the way you would with any other leather item. Cleaning after every wear isn’t typically necessary, but clean it occasionally with a special product designed for leather – many leather enthusiasts recommend saddle soap. If it needs a bit of extra shine, use a little gentle leather polish plenty of time before you next want to wear it. (Or have your sub do so – a fun service play task, perhaps?) Store your harness unfastened and as flat as you can. Don’t store or transport it with anything that could scratch the leather.

Remember that leather is a porous material and will therefore absorb traces of sweat, your skin’s natural oils, and any other bodily fluids it comes into contact with – including blood and sexual fluids.

Harness Fit

This harness is adjustable in three places for a versatile and customisable fit. The adjustable parts are the collar, the waist belt, and the strap that runs down the centre of the chest.

A close up of the Bondage Boutique pride harness on an anonymous white female bodied person wearing a black sports bra

Lovehoney’s site conveniently lists the measurement ranges, so you can check this piece will fit you before buying. The collar fits a neck circumference of 13.5 – 18 inches, the waist belt ranges from 26 to 34 inches, and the connecting strap can be anything from 5.5 to 10 inches in length.

I currently have a 34 inch waist (UK size 14) and found this harness comfortable on the loosest setting. As a short person, I really appreciated being able to shorten the connecting strap too.

A close up of the collar of the Bondage Boutique rainbow harness on an anonymous white female bodied person in a black sports bra

Unfortunately, this harness does not currently come in a Plus Size version. Please consider making one, Lovehoney pals!

So do I recommend it?

I love this harness! It’s super cute, relatively comfy, and pretty affordable. I’m always recommending Bondage Boutique to kink newbies, but wherever you are on your journey, grab this piece if you want to add a little rainbow sparkle to your kinky life.

The Bondage Boutique Rainbow and Leather Harness with Collar retails for £39.99.

Thanks to Lovehoney for sending me this piece to review. All opinions are my own. Pictures are by me. This review contains affiliate links!

[Toy Review] Satisfyer Yummy Sunshine

I, along with many other sex bloggers, recently received a package of seven (7) sex toys from Satisfyer, who have branched out from suction-based toys and now make vibrators too. After a little deliberation, I kept two: the Power Flower, which I reviewed here, and this one – the Yummy Sunshine.

Bright and cheery…

The Satisfyer Yummy Sunshine vibrator on a white sheet

Long-time readers will be aware of my general aversion to the excessive pinkness of sex toys aimed at people with vulvas. Generally, if there’s a choice between pink and any other colour, I will go for the other colour. One of the reasons I gravitated to the Yummy Sunshine when choosing which Satisfyer toys to keep was the sheer novelty and vibrancy of the BRIGHT yellow colour. Yellow isn’t a colour I particularly love, and this toy honestly makes me think of a banana more than sunshine, but… at least it’s not fucking pink.

Sunshine stats…

The Yummy Sunshine is a fairly large G-spot vibrator. It is 8.75″ in total length, of which 6″ is insertable, and 1.5″ in diameter at the widest insertable point. Given the size, it’s very lightweight.

The Yummy Sunshine vibrator on a black pillow

The Yummy Sunshine has a ribbed shaft and a gentle curve for G-spot stimulation. It also sports what seems to be the Satisfyer vibrator line’s signature ring-handle, which I find comfy and ergonomic to hold. The ring is pretty small, so might be less comfortable for someone with bigger hands.

This toy is USB rechargeable via a magnetic charging pin, and is completely waterproof. It retails for $49.95.

Controls and settings

All Satisfyer’s new vibrators seem to have the same basic control system: a vertical three-button interface, with the on/off button in the centre and the up/down setting change buttons above and below it. It’s a simple and intuitive system to use, and the buttons feel well-placed and easy to press.

The control panel on the Satisfyer Yummy Sunshine vibrator

For some reason, the bottom button is the “up” setting and the top button is the “down” setting, which feels counter-intuitive, so that’s something to be aware of.

Yummy Sunshine has 6 constant vibration speeds and 6 patterns.

Materials & care

The Yummy Sunshine is made of super smooth, super silky silicone. Honestly, the softness and suppleness of the silicone might be the best thing about this product! Silicone is non-porous, non-toxic and free of phthalates or other harmful ingredients, making this toy 100% body-safe.

(I keep promising myself that one day I’ll stop writing this in reviews, since I don’t review unsafe toys… but then I remember that this review might be a reader’s first time visiting this blog, and might even be the first time they’ve ever heard that sex toys can sometimes be unsafe. So long-time readers, if it seems repetitive, I’m sorry – I try to review in such a way that it would make sense to a person who has never owned a sex toy or read a toy review before).

Clean your toy between uses with a body-safe sterile wipe (I get mine in bulk from medical suppliers) or some gentle soap and warm water. To sterilise it more thoroughly, use a 10% bleach solution and then rinse thoroughly (more on cleaning your toys here). If you’re sharing this toy, it’s the ideal shape to use with a condom. As ever, water-based lube is recommended – and you’ll want to use plenty of it for a toy this size.

How does it feel? 

I found this toy enjoyable enough to use, but not perhaps for its intended purpose. I do not like internal vibrations at all – I find them uncomfortable at best, sometimes to the point of painful. My G-spot wants to be stroked, fucked, or left alone – not buzzed, ever.

However, I enjoyed the Yummy Sunshine as a dildo. The gentle ribbed shaft provides lovely stimulation and the curve of the tip is just right to hit my G-spot. The silicone is very soft, and it has a nice flexibility so you can angle it just right.

I also tried it as a clitoral vibrator, which I found fine but not earth-shattering. The vibrations were really neither rumbly enough nor powerful enough for my tastes. I can orgasm with the Yummy Sunshine, but it wouldn’t ever be high up on the list of toys I’d reach for.

The one way in which this toy did really come into its own was when I tried masturbating in a face-down position and grinding on it. The ridges and ripples of the shaft sliding along my vulva felt great.

Do I recommend it?

Overall, I had fun using the Yummy Sunshine, but I was left with the overwhelming impression of a toy that is… just okay. There’s nothing egregiously wrong with it, but it’s nothing to write home about either.

If you’re looking for a mid-price, mid-intensity, ribbed G-spot vibe, this might do the trick for you. But honestly overall I think you can get better toys for your money.

Thanks to Satisfyer for sending me a shipment of toys including the Yummy Sunshine for review. All view are my own. Pics are by me. Affiliate links are used within this post.

[Toy Review] The Godemiche Offbeat

I’ve been sitting on this one for a long damn time, in part because it took us so long to get to actually testing it. But after giving it a second trial run this morning, I am ready to tell you all about the Offbeat, from Godemiche.

It’s no secret that I fucking love Godemiche. This UK-based team run by husband-and-wife duo Adam and Monika have been making gorgeous, hand-poured silicone dildos for a number of years now… and now they’ve branched out into penis toys as well! (And yes, their marketing copy refers to the Offbeat as a “toy for the penis”, not a “toy for men” – hooray! I wish all companies would go this inclusive route).

The Godemiche Offbeat sitting on a red laptop keyboard.

Let’s go OffBeat…

The OffBeat is a tube-shaped silicone masturbator sleeve. Inside it has a simple bobble texture, while the outside has a gentle ripple. Each one has the company name stamped along the rim at the bottom, and the “G” Godemiche logo on the side. Each OffBeat comes in its own little storage tub – it looks like a miniature poster tube. This useful addition makes for easy and hygienic storage.

The Godemiche Offbeat lying on my desk

Sizes and colours and customising, oh my!

OffBeat comes in two sizes: Grande is 5cm in length, and Venti is 10cm in length. (And those who understand will know why these size names made me laugh!) Both sizes are 3cm in diameter. We received the longer Venti version for review. Even this larger size is compact and lightweight. Easy to throw in your bag for a date or a filthy weekend away!

Which size you pick is up to your preferences. If you prefer plenty of concentrated stimulation around the head of your penis, I suggest going for the smaller Grande. Godemiche point out that the Grande is also a great companion to oral sex. Simply tease the head of the penis for a while, then slide the Grande down the shaft and use it to stimulate the base of the penis while giving your partner head, simulating the feeling of a deeper blowjob. The longer Venti, on the other hand, is ideal if you prefer longer strokes and plenty of up-and-down motion. If you’re looking for something that comes closer to simulating penetration, you definitely want to go for the Venti.

The Godemiche Offbeat on a green carpet

One of my favourite things about Godemiche is the sheer variety of colours and styles on offer. Whatever colour toy you want, they can probably make it for you! I have a one-of-a-kind bi pride Ambit that I bought in a charity auction and it’s one of my favourite toys ever. I also bought a gorgeous red Adam in their last sale and I’m lusting HARD after this turquoise glittery Ambit.

The OffBeat currently comes in 6 standard colours, 8 fabulously bright UV colours, and 12 gorgeous pearlescent colours. Ours is pearlescent gold and it’s absolutely beautiful.

A refreshing body-safe offering

Sex toy options for people with penises are often woefully lacking. This is gradually changing as awesome companies like Hot Octopuss, Fun Factory and now Godemiche start offering brilliant cock toys. Unfortunately, most of the strokers on the market are still made of porous and sometimes toxic materials such as jelly, rubber, PVC, TPE/TPR and the notoriously vague “Realistic Feel”.

So of course I am delighted that the OffBeat is made of 100% silicone. This means it is completely body-safe: non-toxic and non-porous.

The Godemiche Offbeat on a purple dildo sticking to some black bathroom wall tiles
Featured Stunt Dildo is the Lovehoney 7 Inch Suction Cup Silicone Dildo

To clean your OffBeat after use, turn it inside out and wash it thoroughly with warm water and gentle soap. Take extra care to ensure that no fluids remain trapped between the bobbles. You can also sterilise your stroker by sticking it in a pan of boiling water for 10 minutes, or running it through the dishwasher in the top rack.

If you want to share the toy with a non fluid-bonded partner, it’s easy to give it a wash between uses or you can just wear a condom, which shouldn’t impede the toy’s performance in any way.

For maximum comfort and pleasure, use a good quality water-based lube. I recommend slathering plenty of lube inside the stroker and also putting some directly on your penis.

So how does it feel?

Now, obviously I don’t have a dick, so I turned to my trusty stunt-cock Mr CK to help me out with this one. His reaction when I lubed up the toy and slid it onto his cock was instantaneous. Apparently the bobbles on the inside of the toy provided a good amount of friction and sensation without needing to grip very hard at all. This may make it a good choice for people who find gripping hard during masturbation difficult, such as those who suffer from pain in their hands. I certainly found it made pleasuring him for a decent length of time easier.

The Godemiche Offbeat on the side of a bath, around a purple dildo

Mr CK also explained that one of the things he likes about this toy is that it is so simple but really makes masturbation feel substantially different from usual. He likened it to the difference between wanking with your dominant vs non-dominant hand, or the difference between masturbating yourself and having someone else do it for you. Basically, if you’re looking to change up your usual masturbation routine, grab yourself one of these!

The gentle ripple shape of the outside of the sleeve means it sits comfortably in the hand, a finger in each dip. We also tried the toy with me pleasuring him with it, and found this was equally true whichever of us was doing the work.

Size-wise, this is a flexible toy. It stretches well and then “hugs” the penis once it’s inside, so would suit a wide variety of penis lengths and girths.

An absolute hit. I think this one is going to live in the “easy access basket” for things we use all the time.

(The Easy Access Basket just needs its own damn post, doesn’t it?)

Do we recommend it?

We really like this toy! It’s simple, highly effective, body-safe, affordable and should suit a wide range of bodies.

OffBeat retails for £25 for the Venti size directly from Godemiche. The smaller Grande size is £20.

Thanks to Godemiche for sending us the OffBeat in exchange for an honest review. All views in this post are our own and images were taken by me. This post contains a couple of affiliate links, which send a small commission my way when you buy from them. Links to Godemiche are non-affiliated.

[Toy Review] Womanizer Duo

Did you know that some of my sex blogging work is funded through my wonderful patrons on Patreon? Joining me there now to get some cool perks. Now on to the review…

I am very, very picky when it comes to dual stimulation toys. (That is, toys that stimulate the clitoris and G-spot at the same time – rabbit vibes are the most classic example). Most of them simply don’t work that well for me. But just occasionally, one will come along that blows my expectations out of the water. Enter Womanizer Duo.

Double the Fun?

The Womanizer Duo in its box

Womanizer are a high-end sex toy brand with high-end prices to match. The absolute cheapest model, the Womanizer Starlet, will set you back £59.99. This model, their most expensive yet, retails for £179.99 (or $219 for my American friends!) Due to cost, I never bought a Womanizer product – I wasn’t willing to drop that kind of money on a toy that I wasn’t sure would work for me. But then Womanizer kindly sent me their new Premium model to review, and I was a total convert. So I jumped at the chance to try the Duo.

The Womanizer Duo is looks a bit like a classic rabbit vibrator, only instead of the rabbit “ears”, the smaller arm sports one of Womanizer’s patented Pleasure Air clitoral simulators.

The Womanizer Duo in its box

At 9 inches in length, this is a pretty hefty toy. However, the insertable length is a more manageable 5″ and the widest part is 1.4″ in diameter. The toy is fully waterproof, and rechargeable via USB. You get around 2 hours play for a 2 hour charge, so not a bad battery life. The Womanizer Duo comes in two colours, black or a lovely dark red they call “bordeaux” (fancy!) Both have a gold coloured accents at the base.

What’s in the box?

I’ll say this for Womanizer, they really go for it with the “luxury” feel to their toys. Even the packaging looks and feels expensive, stylishly designed with an image of billowing black fabric on the box. It kind of reminds me of the kind of packaging you get on high-end perfume!

Inside, you will find:

  • Your toy, of course
  • Two silicone heads for the clitoral stimulator, different sizes to suit different bodies
  • The magnetic charging cable
  • A useful satin storage bag, which is also super cute – it has a little mini flogger on the drawstring and a gold coloured Womanizer charm.
  • An instruction booklet in various languages
Accessories that come with the Womanizer Duo
The Womanizer Duo's storage pouch

Once you’ve taken this all out you’ll realise there’s a LOT of packaging to throw out, but at least it’s all recyclable!

Safety First

The Womanizer Duo is made of smooth silicone, which is super soft and luxurious to the touch as well as being phthalate-free, non-porous and body safe. Yay silicone! It is the greatest sex toy material, bar none, and this is the hill I will die on.

Clean your toy using gentle soap and warm water – as it’s waterproof, you can submerge it. You can also sterilise it more thoroughly with a sterile medical wipe or a 10% bleach solution.

If you’re sharing your toy, you can use a condom over the internal arm. I really, really like that Womanizer include changeable nozzles with their toys – not only does it make clean-up a breeze, it also means you can simply switch nozzles if different people are using the toy in a single session. You can also buy replacement nozzles if you happen to lose one or just think it’d be useful to have spares.

As ever, use a good quality water-based lube. Pro tip: as well as using lube on the internal arm, dab a bit on the nozzle of the clitoral stimulator.

Settings & Functions

A relevant piece of information about me when it comes to my experience with this toy: I do not like internal vibrations. At all. I find them uncomfortable, unpleasant and occasionally even painful. I am willing to concede that there may be an internal vibrator I like, but I haven’t found it yet. This is why I like dual-stim toys that have a thrusting mechanism or a “come hither” motion.

With that said, let’s have a look at the Womanizer Duo’s different settings.

The Womanizer Duo has six buttons in total. The on/off button is located at the base of the toy towards the back, just above the magnetic charging pins. The other five buttons are located on the front of the toy, below the clitoral stimulator. The top middle of these buttons changes the vibration pattern, then there are two pairs of buttons. The top set controls the vibrating internal arm, and the bottom set controls the clitoral stimulator, with “increase” and “decrease” options for each.

I won’t lie, the control mechanism takes a little getting used to, simply because there are six separate buttons and a lot going on. However, the buttons are easy to press and in an intuitive position: I hold the toy in my left hand and use my thumb to press the controls when I use it.

Remember what I said just now about not liking internal vibrations? Well, the saving grace of this product for me is the fact that the internal vibrator and the clitoral stimulator are controlled completely separately! This means the internal arm can fill me up and press against my G-spot (good!) while the clitoral stimulator works its magic, and I don’t have to deal with the unwanted vibrations!

The Womanizer Duo has 12 levels of intensity for each arm, and the internal vibrator has 10 different patterns as well. This means that hundreds of different combinations are possible and you can tailor your experience to exactly what you want.

This toy, like the Womanizer Premium, also has the very cool “smart silence” feature. This means that the toy will only switch on when it close contact with your body. In other words, if someone barges in on you, just lift the toy off your body and…. no sound! It also means there is zero chance of this toy accidentally switching itself on in your luggage.

How did I like it?

It took a bit of experimentation to get this toy to work for me. As I said, the controls are a little complex until you get the hang of it. But once I’d got that sorted and found a setting that worked for me… goddamn, I love this toy!

It is NOT a “get off very quickly then go to sleep” type of toy. This one is definitely a “slow and sensual build up” product. But sometimes that’s exactly what you want. Every single time I’ve used this toy, I’ve had a long, delicious build that has led to an incredible orgasm.

So do I recommend it?

Yes. But…

This toy is, let’s be honest, very expensive. Which is absolutely fine – I’m very pro luxury toys if you can afford the price tag. I wouldn’t suggest the Womanizer Duo as either your first dual stimulation toy or your first suction toy, for one simple reason: dual stim toys don’t work for everyone, and suction toys don’t work for everyone. So try cheaper versions of these types of products before you splash out nearly £200.

Try the Womanizer Starlet for a more affordable introduction to suction toys, and a Happy Rabbit to see if dual-stim toys are your jam.

But if you like suction, and you like dual stim, go for it – this lovely toy is the best of both worlds!

Thanks to Womanizer for providing me with this product to review. All views are, as always, my own. Shopping using my affiliate links helps me to keep doing this work by sending a small commission my way.

[Kink Product Review] Three Mini Reviews: Cuffs, Rope, Paddle

It’s no secret to my readers that I love small, independent, women-owned-and-run businesses, especially when they sell exclusively body-safe adult products. That’s why I am proud to be an affiliate of The Pleasure Garden Shop, a homegrown (pun intended) online feminist sex shop right here in the UK.

I must first apologise for the delay in getting these reviews out – my health (physical and mental) have taken a nosedive since the beginning of the year and Mr CK has been unwell too. As such I am woefully behind on testing and writing about everything! But no matter – we’re here now.

I was really excited when Francesca, owner of The Pleasure Garden (who I interviewed recently!) reached out and suggested a series of mini-reviews of kinky products that might appeal to people looking to explore BDSM for the first time, along with some handy tricks and tips on using them safely. This is the first of such a series – let’s take a look at what was in my very exciting parcel when it arrived…

Bound Noir Slim Wrist Cuffs

People who have seen me getting my sexy on will know that I kink super hard for leather. (Yes, I know, as a vegetarian this makes me a horrible hypocrite – don’t @ me!) Good quality leather also tends to be expensive, which is probably why I don’t own that much of it.

Bound Noir black leather cuffs

So the Bound Noir Slim Wrist Cuffs had me squeeing for joy! Not only are they super stylish, made of soft black leather with gold coloured metal accents, they’re also an absolute steal at £32.99. I’ve seen leather cuff sets go for £100+, but there’s no need to spend that much when these are so good! They come with a removable connecting chain with clips at either end, and each cuff has two D-rings – so lots of ways to fasten your sub to something (or to themselves) should you desire.

Bound Noir black wrist cuffs on anonymous hands

These cuffs feel super luxurious to wear. The leather is really soft and supple, and just gets softer with use as you break them in. I’ve worn them for well over an hour before, including in a session where my wrists were above my head. They remained comfortable the whole time. The gold accents give an elegant feel. The perfect accessory for any sexy outfit!

Bound Noir black wrist cuffs on anonymous female hands

They’re super adjustable. They have 5 notches, and there’s no reason you couldn’t get an extra one put in if you wanted to. (Take them to a professional leather worker, you could ruin them if you try it yourself!) The adjustability means they’ll work on most bodies. I have tiny wrists so I use them on the tightest setting. But I’ve also used them on people with much bigger hands/wrists than me with no problems at all.

Leather Wrist Cuffs Tips & Tricks…

Bound Noir black leather wrist cuffs on anonymous female hands
  • Experiment with different positions. Not everything will be comfy for everyone. Clip your partner’s hands together behind their back, hook their arms around the bedpost, tie their hands to something above their head.
  • Pair with a set of ankle cuffs and a 4-way hogtie for more complete immobilisation.
  • Cuffs should be loose enough that you can slip 1-2 fingers between the cuff and the skin, but tight enough so your partner cannot wiggle free. Experiment with different settings and check regularly. If there is any numbness, tingling or pins and needles in the hands, take the cuffs off IMMEDIATELY.
  • Never, EVER leave a bound person alone.
  • Store your cuffs flat, not fastened – the leather will degrade quicker if you store them closed.

Bound to Please Hemp Bondage Rope

Ask any rope bondage aficionado about their favourite type of rope, and you’ll get wildly different – but equally passionate – answers. We all have our favourites. I’ve always been a jute fan; I love the smell of it, the feel of it and the way it handles. But hemp is also a really popular choice. So I was delighted to try out this hemp bondage rope from Bound To Please.

Hemp rope coiled

This rope comes in 10 metre lengths and 5mm width. I believe this is the most ideal rope thickness for most bondage – any thicker and it starts looking bulkier and less elegant, any thinner and it starts to make ties more painful due to the way thinner ropes cut against the skin. (Not necessarily a bad thing if you like pain, but I don’t suggest tying with anything below 5mm until you’re experienced!) Each length costs £12.99.

“How much rope should I buy?” is always a question beginners ask me. It depends on a number of things, including types of ties and the size of the bottom. If you eventually want to move on to complex ties and suspensions, you’ll need more. If all you want to do is tie your partner to the bed for sex, you can get away with a couple of lengths. As a rough guide, for a TK (Takate Kote or Box Tie, the first formal harness tie most riggers learn) you’ll need 3 lengths and possibly 4 lengths for larger bodies. (If your partner is very petite, you might get away with 2.)

(I should just write a Big Guide to Choosing Rope, shouldn’t I? Okay, coming up…)

Anonymous leg tied in a futomomo with hemp rope

The thing I really love about natural fibre ropes, and especially hemp, is the smell. Hemp rope has this slightly undefinable sweet/woody smell and it’s gorgeous. I love tying in a room full of rope enthusiasts because the mix of natural fibres, bodies and sex in the air is just so intoxicating. Natural fibre ropes also get softer and smoother with use, as they are handled and absorb the natural oils from your skin.

Yes, I LOVE this rope!

Rope Tips & Tricks…

Close up of part of a futomomo in hemp rope on anonymous leg
  • Firstly and most importantly, always – ALWAYS – keep a cutting tool to hand. The safest and best tool is a pair of EMT shears, like this, which you can by for a few quid on Amazon or from a medical supplies store.
  • Suspension looks cool and is great fun, but it is NOT the be-all, end-all. It is also very dangerous if not done properly. Gain proficiency in floor-work before you even think about suspending, and then do it under the tuition of an experienced rigger. Bottoms, this applies to you too – don’t ask someone to suspend you when you’ve never even worn a basic chest harness before.
  • Rope is for everyone! No matter the size of your body or your ability level, you can do rope if you want to. Listen to your body and be prepared to adjust.
  • Get some lessons! Rope bondage is inherently risky, and can be dangerous if not done properly. If you’re really lucky, there might be a rope studio near you. Otherwise, see if there’s a Peer Rope event in your area (these are usually listed on Fetlife) or find a trusted private tutor.
  • Check out some instructional Youtube videos. Ask in your local community or on Fetlife for recommendations, as not all teachers are created equal.
  • Get a book, such as Shibari You Can Use or Showing You the Ropes.
  • Learn about the safe areas of the body to tie. This is a great and thorough guide to bondage safety.
  • Rope can be a scene in itself. “Tie them up and fuck them” is great if that’s your thing, but don’t discount the possibility of rope for the sake of rope. Some of my most amazing scenes have been rope and nothing else.
  • To keep your rope in the best condition, coil it and put it away as soon as you can after a session.
  • This is worth reiterating: NEVER leave a bound person alone!

Bound to Please Silicone Paddle

I’d never used a silicone paddle before, so the Bound To Please Silicone Paddle was an exciting new addition to my impact play collection. It measures 41cm long by 6cm wide and is nice and light to handle. Silicone is super easy to clean and sterilise (just chuck it in boiling water or use a body-safe medical wipe), and as it contains no animal derived materials is suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

BLack silicone paddle

I tested this one out with The Artist. From what I recall, my reaction to it was a string of profanity, followed by tears (because it hurt so fucking much, y’all). Due to the density of the silicone and the slender design, what feels like a relatively light stroke to the Top can deliver a hell of a sting to the bottom.

This thing is fucking vicious.

SIlicone paddle

I absolutely adore this paddle. But I am an experienced bottom and have been doing impact play for well over a decade at this point. Unless you have a high pain tolerance and a very clear idea of your body’s capabilities and limits, I cannot recommend this paddle to a beginner.

A wide leather paddle or a paddle that is padded on one side are great options for a gentler start for complete beginners! If you’re feeling brave enough to try this fucker, it retails for a very affordable £24.99.

Paddle Tips & Tricks…

Black silicone paddle in anoymous hand
  • Start slowly. People can take more impact if you build up gradually rather than just whack them at full force straight away!
  • Remember that the goal isn’t “take as much as you possibly can”. The goal is for both of you to have fun and get something out of the session.
  • Get clear about what kind of scene you want and what impact play means to you. Playing with punishment is hot to some people, and emotionally painful for others. “Teacher spanking a naughty student” roleplay is a VERY different scene to “I’ve had a terrible week and need you to spank me until I cry“, even though both might superficially look similar.
  • Learn the safe areas of the body to hit. Upper back and butt = good. Thighs, chest and genitals = yes if you’re careful. Face, head, joins, spine, lower back and neck = absolutely not.
  • Making your partner count the strokes and/or ask you for them can be super hot. Try phrases like, “Thank you Sir/Miss, may I have another?”

Other recommendations for your beginner kit…

When you’re just starting out in kink, you don’t necessarily want to spend a fortune on kit – especially before you’ve fully worked out what you like! Exactly what you prioritise spending your money on will, of course, depend on your interests. But here’s a few things I think you should consider for your basic all-purpose kink kit…

Thank you to Francesca at The Pleasure Garden for sending me these items to review. Please check out the affiliate links in this post – by buying from The Pleasure Garden, you’ll be supporting a small woman-owned business as well as sending a little commission my way to help me keep doing what I’m doing. All views are, as always, my own.