[Toy Review] Blush Impressions N1

I’m a big fan of Blush products. Not only do they make fun pride themed dildos and an excellent mini wand, they also make my favourite bullet vibe ever. For that reason, I was super excited to receive the Impressions N1 vibrating dildo to review.

First Impressions of the N1

(See what I did there?)

The Impressions N1 by Blush Novelties is a curvy vibrating dildo. Made of smooth and body-safe silicone in sleek black, it is 6.75″ in length 5.75″ insertable) and 1.5″ in diameter at the widest point.

Impressions N1 black silicone G-spot dildo

The N1 features a suction cup base and is USB rechargeable via the included magnetic cable. It’s also waterproof.

My Impressions N1 came packaged in a clear box that shows off the toy. I don’t love the amount of single-use plastic the packaging uses, but I do like that it allows the buyer to see the exact shape and size of the product.

Impressions N1 dildo by Blush Novelties black silicone vibrator

By the way: Blush products come with a 5 year warranty if you’re in the US or Canada. Sadly not for those of us in the UK.

A Multi-Purpose Toy

The Impressions N1 can be used in several ways: as a simple dildo, as a vibrator (internal or external), or with a harness for strap on play. Thanks to the flared base, it’s safe for anal as well as vaginal use.

As always, I recommend using water-based lube with your silicone toys for the best experience.

Shape and Design

The N1 has a gently curved design and a head with pronounced ridges. There is a seam in the silicone down the middle, but it’s subtle enough that it doesn’t really get in the way of the experience. Otherwise, the silicone is velvety smooth!

Impressions N1 black silicone strap-on dildo

The prominent head and ridges feel amazing against my G-spot. I absolutely love the shape and shaft design of the N1! It’s pretty flexible, particularly at the narrowest part of the shaft, for ease of insertion and manipulation. I’m a fan of smaller and moderate size dildos (large ones tend to hurt, or at least require a tonne of warm-up) and this one is the ideal length and width for my preferences.

By the way: the ridges and tapered tip feel wonderful against the clit, if external play is more your jam.

The suction cup is also seriously impressive. As I’m typing, it’s stuck to the wall next to me and it isn’t going anywhere! So if you want to stick it to the floor/wall/mirror/tub/ceiling (hey, I’m sure there are people who are into that!) for hands-free play, you can.

How are the Vibrations?

The Impressions N1 boasts 10 total vibration settings: 5 speeds and 5 patterns. If there’s one thing I love about Blush it’s that they use seriously good motors in their toys. The N1’s vibration settings

The vibrations are controlled via the simple two button interface located at the bottom of the shaft. The top button switches the toy on and off, while the bottom button scrolls through the patterns (no option to scroll through settings both ways, unfortunately.) My only complaint, and it is a small one, is that the buttons have fairly deep ridges that could harbour bacteria and are quite hard to clean.

Vibrator buttons on the Impressions N1 by Blush Novelties

The N1 is reasonably quiet for the level of power it offers. It passes the “can I hear it through a closed bedroom door?” test with flying colours.

Final Thoughts and Verdict

The Impressions N1 is an excellent, versatile toy. I’m happy to recommend it as a brilliant all-rounder. A well-designed shape, powerful motor, anal-safe and harness compatible, and

Get yours from The Pleasure Garden for £45.00.

Thanks to The Pleasure Garden for sending me the Impressions N1 in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are, as always, my own. If you use the affiliate links within this post, I’ll make a small commission at no extra cost to you.

[Toy Review] Je Joue Rabbit Bullet

This is (maybe) (probably) going to be my last toy review of 2020. Given the endless hellscape this year has been, it seemed fitting to end with something I can say good things about! To that end, I’m partnering with my friends at The Pleasure Garden – the UK’s inclusive online sex shop – to bring you a review of the Je Joue Rabbit Bullet vibrator.

Let’s hop to it!

Je Joue Rabbit Bullet: First Impressions

The Je Joue Rabbit Bullet is a small bullet vibrator, 5 inches in length and with two fluttering rabbit ears (which make up about 1.5 inches of the total length). It’s also super lightweight.

Je Joue Rabbit Bullet powerful clitoral vibrator

This toy is made of body-safe silicone in an attractive deep purple whivh is seamless and pleasantly tactile. The body of the toy is rigid, while the ears are bendy and flexible.

My Je Joue toy came attractively packaged in a stylish pink and black box. It reminds me of the kind of packaging you’d get high-end makeup or perfume in.

Packaging for the Je Joue Rabbit Bullet clitoral vibrator

The Je Joue Rabbit Bullet is completely waterproof and USB rechargeable. Charging is via a hidden port in the base, behind a silicone flap. I got in impressive 90 minutes of use out of a 1-hour charge.

Bonus: all Je Joue toys come with a 1-year manufacturer’s warranty.

User Interface

So far, so good. But how did it fare in use?

The Je Joue Rabbit Bullet operates on a 3-button interface. The top + button turns the power up, the bottom – button turns the power down, and the central button switches between patterns. To turn the toy on and off, simply hold the + or – button (respectively) down for 2 seconds.

Je Joue Rabbit Bullet rabbit vibrator

The buttons are pretty small, so bear that in mind if fiddly buttons are tricky for you. They’re easy to press and raised so you can feel for them with your fingers without needing to look.

The Je Joue Rabbit Bullet offers five different speeds and five patterns. You can only scroll through the patterns one way, but the +/- intensity controls are a BIG advantage.

Two Toys in One

What I like the most about the Je Joue Rabbit Bullet is that it’s sort of two toys in one. What do I mean by that? Well, you can get very different sensations by using the rigid body of the toy versus using the ears.

I like how the ears feel, but they’re definitely a warm-up sensation for me. Thanks to the shape, they dampen the insensity of the vibrations a lot. When I’m ready to orgasm, I also like to be able to push a toy against my vulva to get a decent amount of pressure, which is almost impossible with these soft, flexy ears.

If you find direct clitoral stimulation too intense, you can position the Rabbit Bullet so that the ears sit either site of your clitoral hood, hugging it and providing indirect pleasure. The ears are great for teasing not just clits, but also labia, nipples, penises, and even assholes (exterior only – this toy is not safe to insert anally as it doesn’t have a flared base.)

The main body of the bullet can pack a pretty good punch. The vibrations are powerful and rumbly and, as the toy is small and rigid, they’re not dampened by a thick layer of silicone.

I found the best way to use this toy was to start by using the ears for a warm-up tease, then switch to using the body of the bullet when I was craving more intensity. I really appreciate the ability to ramp it up gradually without needing to switch to a different toy.

For those of you who care about such things, the Je Joue Rabbit Bullet is impressively quiet for the level of power it offers. I’m pleased to report it passes the “can it be heard though a closed door?” test with flying colours (it cannot.)

Final Thoughts

My experience with Je Joue is that they make consistently great toys. The Rabbit Bullet is simple, gimmick-free, and effective. Whether you’re looking for a toy to provide a range of sensations, or just exploring and aren’t sure what you like, it’s a solid buy.

The Je Joue Rabbit Bullet retails for £44.99 from The Pleasure Garden.

The Pleasure Garden banner for a review of the Je Joue Rabbit Bullet

Thanks to The Pleasure Garden for sending me this product to review. All opinions are, as always, mine. Affiliate links appear within this post. Shopping through them or buying me a coffee are great ways to keep supporting my work.

6 Important Things to Consider When You Choose Your First Sex Toy

If there’s one question I wish people would stop asking me, it’s “what’s the best sex toy?” I understand the reasoning behind this question, of course. When someone’s trying to choose their first sex toy, the options can be overwhelming.

Problem is, it’s the wrong question. Because the best sex toy for me won’t be the best toy for you!

To that end, here’s a quick guide to some of the important factors you should consider when you go toy shopping.

Choosing Your First Sex Toy

Buying a sex toy for the first time can be thrilling and nervewracking in equal measure. If you’ve never bought one before, how do you know if you’ll like something or not?

Unfortunately, there are no foolproof ways. But asking yourself these questions will help.

What kind of stimulation do you like?

Even if you’ve never used a toy before, you might have some idea of what kinds of stimulation you enjoy during partnered or solo sex.

Do you like intense clitoral stimulation? If so, a wand might do it for you. Do you like your sensations very pinpoint, very broad, or somewhere in between? Do you like deep penetration or shallow? Are you into length, girth, or both? And so on.

Use what you already know about your body to guide your choice.

What body part(s) do you want to use it on?

Most toys are designed with specific body parts in mind, but many can also be repurposed and used in different ways. Still, knowing which part(s) you’d like to stimulate will help you make a good choice.

Are you looking for internal (vaginal) stimulation, clitoral, or both? At the same time or separately? Do you want something to use on your penis? How do you feel about anal play? And so on.

If you’re not sure, choose a versatile toy. Many vibrators can be used both internally and externally. Dildos with a flared base are anal-safe as well as vaginal-safe.

What kind of play will it be used for?

I think you all know by now how I feel about the concept of “sex toys for couples”. (There’s no such thing! Anything is a couples’ toy if you use it with your partner!)

However, the kind of play you’ll use your toys for will have some bearing on what you choose. I absolutely love my wands. But I rarely use them during penetrative sex, because they’re just so hefty and it’s hard to fit them between bodies. If I want clitoral stimulation during vaginal or anal sex, I’m more likely to reach for my favourite bullet.

You might choose something different if you’re after a toy for solo play versus something to use with your partner. Again, you might not – but bear this in mind.

A selection of drawings of sex toys, for a post on choosing your first sex toy
Original artwork for Coffee & Kink by Charlotte Willcox

Where and when will you be using it?

Do you have children or roommates at home who you’re worried about disturbing? Does your house have thin walls? Discretion matters a great deal to some people, and not at all to others. Consider your living situation and privacy needs when you select a toy.

Do you like to masturbate in the bath or shower? If so, choose a waterproof toy. Will you be wanting to take your toy with you when you travel? In that case, something smaller or portable is a good bet. Do you regularly play in places like sex clubs where there might not be easy access to a power outlet? If so, rechargeable or battery powered is probably better than mains-powered.

What’s your budget?

This is the first question I ask people when they ask me for a sex toy recommendation, because toys vary wildly in price.

Fortunately, you can get good quality toys on a budget. So don’t let anyone tell you that you have to settle for unsafe crap if you can’t afford to drop three figures on a sex toy! This is simply not true and there are loads of manufacturers making awesome products that won’t break the bank.

Have a maximum budget, or at least a range, in mind before you go shopping.

Do aesthetics matter to you?

Some people have strong aesthetic preferences for their toys. For example, some are super turned on by a hyper-realistic dildo, while others find it offputting. Some like their toys in bright, vibrant colours. Some hate pink. Cuteness is appealing to some and cringy to others. And so on.

Do you have strong feelings on how you’d like your toy to look? You might not, and that’s okay! But if you do, pay attention to what you feel drawn to.

What next?

It’s literally impossible to recommend someone a sex toy without knowing quite a lot about their needs and preferences. The best advice I can give you is to do your research, read reviews, and get to know your body.

Then experiment and have fun!

Badge for Sex Ed September

This post is part of my Sex Ed September series, where I’ll be sharing educational content all month long. Post contains affiliate links. All views, as always, are my own. If you find my work valuable, buying me a coffee help keeps the lights on at C&K HQ.

[Toy Review] Noje Magic Wand

The Noje Magic Wand was sent to me by Francesca at The Pleasure Garden, a wonderful feminist sex-shop with an inclusive, safety-first ethos.

The Noje Magic Wand mint green vibrator on a white sheet

So pretty!

Can we just take a second to acknowledge how pretty this colour is? In an endless sea of the same colours again and again, toys that do something surprising and different aesthetically are a big hit. I love this green, which I can’t decide if it’s mint or turquoise.

Important Bits & Bobs

The Noje Magic Wand vibrator is a teeny-tiny little thing. It is just 13cm in length, and fits completely in my (also very small) hand. It looks like a very miniature version of the classic wand vibrator shape, only with a curved handle. Weighing in at just 67g, the Noje is a great choice if heavier toys are difficult for you.

The Noje Magic Wand mint green vibrator in a womans hand

The body of the toy is ABS plastic and it has a silicone cap which fits over the head. This makes it 100% body-safe, non-porous and phthalate-free, so you can play safely. The silicone cap pops off and back on easily, so you can wash it thoroughly or even boil-sterilise if you wish. Water-based lube is safest and makes everything more fun!

The Noje Magic Wand is rechargeable via a magnetic cable (included,) and is fully waterproof. The Noje is brought to us by Blush Novelties, who make a bunch of other awesome products including my favourite bullet vibrator of all time. It retails for a very reasonable £39.99.

Packs a Punch!

Don’t let the small size fool you – this baby has some serious power behind it.

The Noje Magic Wand mint green vibrator on a black and white sheet

Blush consistently use incredibly good motors in their toys. (Again: that $32 bullet vibe!) The Noje Magic Wand is no exception. It has ten settings in total, five constant vibration speeds and five patterns. The lower levels start out with a deep rumble, building up to some impressive power at the higher speeds.

Of course, as this toy is so small you don’t get quite the same level of broad stimulation that you’d get with a full-size wand. However, if you’re after something a little less pinpoint than a bullet but still good and powerful, the Noje Magic Wand delivers.

Flexible Neck

I’m torn on the flexible neck design of this toy. On the one hand, it’s great because it means you can angle the toy precisely and get it exactly where you want it. The downside, though, is that many of us – me included – like to press a toy hard against our vulva, and the flex here makes it hard to do so.

It’s not really a concrete good or bad – it’s just a thing to be aware of. You know best whether it is likely to be a plus or minus for you.

Simple Interface

The Noje Magic Wand operates on a one-button interface, which sits in the base of the toy. You hold the button down to switch the toy on, press it to cycle through the patterns and speeds, and hold it down again to switch the toy off.

The Noje Magic Wand mint green vibrator in a womans hand

You may know that I’m not a huge fan of a one-button interface. I prefer to be able to scroll back through settings, rather than having to cycle all the way back through to go back to one I liked or dial it down a notch.

The button itself is in a sensible place, large enough to press easily, and makes a satisfying click.

Other Things of Note

The battery life of this toy is decent. I got about 90 minutes of play out of a full charge (which took around 2 hours.)

Noise-wise, the Noje Magic Wand is very quiet for the amount of power you get. On full power, I cannot hear it from outside my (closed) bedroom door. If a full-size wand is too noisy for your needs (perhaps you live with roommates or have kids asleep in the next room) this is a great choice.

One thing I did notice about this toy is that it tends to get very warm. The head started getting noticably hot after about ten minutes of continuous use. It wasn’t hot enough to hurt me or anything, and the toy continued functioning just fine, but I do worry about what consistent high level use might be doing to the motor if it heats up that quickly.

Overall: do I recommend it?

The Noje Magic Wand is a real winner! It packs a lot of power into a small, discreet and super-cute package. Yet another brilliant addition to Blush’s already very strong line-up.

Thank you to The Pleasure Garden for sending me the Noje Magic Wand in exchange for an honest review. Affiliate links appear in this post. As always, all opinions and experiences are my own!

[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.

The Kinky Love Languages: Acts of Service

(This week’s “midweek” post is late, sorry about that.) This is the last post in my “five love languages for kink” series. Today we’re talking acts of service! I deliberately left this one until last because it is, arguably, the one that most obviously lends itself to a BDSM context.

The acts of service love language can best be summed up as “actions speak louder than words.” The key for people who subscribe to this love language is doing things for each other in order to show love, caring, consideration and commitment.

How to love a submissive whose love language is acts of service

“Hold on a minute, Amy!” you’re saying. “The submissive performs service for the Dominant, not the other way around!”

Which, yes, that’s certainly the way it looks – and in many dynamics, that’s how it plays out. But “service” doesn’t have to mean subservience. Acts of service, in a love language sense, means doing things for the other person that make them feel loved.

The Five Love Languages site suggests things like doing the dishes, collecting their mail, and getting up in the middle of the night for childcare duties. But how do you perform acts of service for your partner as a Dominant without it undermining your dynamic?

Acts of service are, fundamentally, about taking care of each other. And I believe that as a Dominant, one of your primary and most important roles is to take care of your submissive. Exactly what “care” means in this context is, of course, open to interpretation and will depend upon your dynamic. A Daddy Dom will care for their submissive in a different way to a sadist, a pet player, or an Owner in an Owner/property dynamic.

So, yes, making your submissive dinner might be considered an act of service. You can do this out of love and to show care… and even Dominance. Making a meal might mean you’re making sure that they get proper nourishment, because they’re your most cherished possession and you like to take care of your things. Similarly, taking a chore off their hands when they’re exhausted, running an errand to save them time on a busy day, or picking up medication for them can all be acts of service that show them they’re loved… and also that you’re taking good care of your favourite toy.

Acts of service from a Dominant can also facilitate the possibility for kinky fuckery. An exhausted submissive who doesn’t have the energy to play because they’re busy running both your lives is no fun at all. Offering acts of service, as well as making your submissive feel loved, can also free up time, physical energy and mental space… which can be used to do all your favourite filthy things together.

And don’t forget that a relationship is a partnership! You might have negotiated an unequal power imbalance but you both still exist in the real world, and in that world you need to be equal human beings with responsibilities that you take on together. And shouldering your share of the load – and sometimes extra in order to support your partner – is sexy (and Dominant) as hell.

How to love a Dominant whose love language is acts of service

I mean, this is the easiest one of the entire series to write! Service is very often a part of a D/s relationship, in the sense of the submissive performing acts of service to the Dominant.

Of course, exactly what this looks like for you will depend on your dynamic. In one of my past relationships, one of the ways I showed service was by cooking for my partner (who hated cooking but loved good food.) At other times, making someone’s tea or coffee has been an act of service. Right now I’m not in a 24/7 D/s relationship but I perform small acts of service for my partners when I can, whether it’s making them food or going to the store for something they need.

Ask your Dominant, if they haven’t already told you, what specific shows of service work best for them. Perhaps you always make their drink in the morning, iron their favourite shirt or polish their boots before you go out, or have dinner on the table when they get back from work. The keys here are routine and flexibility. Routine can help build a dynamic and a submissive headspace, as well as showing consistency and reliability. But flexibility is essential when circumstances, people and needs inevitably change – which they will.

Acts of service can also relate directly to your kinky play. Cleaning the sex toys after a session, coiling your Dominant’s rope in the way they like, or making the effort to have their favourite brand of lube before they come over all totally count as acts of service. Not to mention that sexual service – performing a sex act for the Dom’s pleasure – can be hot as fuck.

Years ago, a (*tongue firmly in cheek*) Terribly Twue Subby Sub I knew lectured me: “submission isn’t cups of tea and blowjobs, you know!” And I was like… maybe not to you? And that’s fine? But I’m a service-oriented sexual submissive and actually those things ARE a big part of it to me.

Service, like submission and Dominance and kink and sex and relationships, is what you want it to be.

Additional tips that are good for anyone

The two big keys to successfully pulling off acts of service are:

  1. Doing it without being asked, at least sometimes.
  2. Going above and beyond the usual call of duty.

Of course, no-one expects you to be a mindreader and know exactly what your partner wants without them asking. But presumably you know them at least reasonably well, yes? So use that knowledge to find little ways to perform service for them without being prompted. Run to the store when you’ve run out of milk before they get up and make their morning coffee, put a hot water bottle in bed for them on a cold night, or make them lunch before a long work day. The significance here isn’t in grand gestures, but in finding little everyday ways to show consideration and love.

“Above and beyond” just means that doing the expected roughly-50% of general life duties (household chores, childcare, life admin) isn’t enough by itself (though it is important!) You need to go a step beyond that, at least sometimes. The quickest way to make your partner feel unloved and resentful, if their love language is acts of service, is to do the bare minimum you can get away with.

How can your partner show they love you via acts of service?

FYI: this post contains affiliate links.

[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.

[Toy Review] Rocks Off Chaiamo

I have a major soft spot for Rocks Off. I encountered them at my first Eroticon, where I met the wonderful Tabitha Rayne and bought her brilliant creation, the Ruby Glow (the first toy I ever reviewed!) One of the main things I love about this company is that they create body-safe toys at really accessible, entry-level prices. Their stuff is even available in my local Sainsburys, which is just brilliant.

So I was thrilled when Tabitha offered me RO’s latest creation to review. Enter the Chaiamo!

Chaiamo Vital Details…

The black Rocks Off Chaimo vibrator.

The Chaiamo is a straight vibrator with a gently tapered tip – the classic “lipstick” shape. (Though without the ridiculous “let’s try to actually disguise it as a lipstick” gimmick, thank Goddess).

It is a little over 6″ long in total, with 5″ being insertable. At the widest point, the width is 1.25″. The Chaiamo is fully waterproof and USB rechargeable. The advertising copy says it gives around 3 hours’ use for a single charge, but mine was definitely more than that – probably closer to 4 hours in total, over several uses.

This toy comes in three colour-ways and, praise be, NONE OF THEM ARE PINK. It comes in classic black, a stylish deep burgundy, and a pretty turquoise. Good on RO for bucking the “make everything pink” trend. Chaiamo currently retails for $44.99 at Peepshow Toys and $39.99 at Shevibe. UK readers can pick one up for £39.99 at Lovehoney.

Materials, safety and cleaning

The Chaiamo’s main body is made of soft silicone, with metallic accent at the base. This means, of course, that it is phthalate-free, non-porous and totally body safe.

The black Rocks Off Chaiamo vibrator in a woman's hand.

As the Chaiamo is waterproof, you can clean it using warm water and a gentle soap, or use a body-safe medical wipe or 10% bleach solution to sterilise it more thoroughly. Remember not to boil-wash toys with motors!

The Chaiamo’s shape is ideal for using with a condom if you’re sharing with a non fluid-bonded partner. As ever, a good quality water-based lube is recommended.

Settings & Controls

The Chaiamo runs on a very simple one-button interface. The button (which sports the cute Rocks Off logo) is large and intuitively located on the base of the toy. It is easy and responsive to press. To turn the toy on or off, you simply hold down the button for 2 seconds.

The black Rocks Off Chaimo vibrator

The problem with one-button interfaces is that you cannot go back a step if you accidentally skip the setting you want – you have to scroll all the way back through. It’s an annoyance and the reason I generally prefer toys with +/- buttons, but it won’t ruin an otherwise good product for me.

The Chaiamo has ten settings in total: three constant speeds and seven patterns. I, along with (it seems) most of the sex blogging world, can honestly take or leave patterns. I occasionally enjoy playing around with them, especially if I’m doing a teasing or edging session, but if I just want to come then constant vibrations are where it’s at. Toy manufacturers, please consider this a plug for toys with more constant speeds and fewer patterns!

So how did it actually fare in use?

I’ve sometimes found Rocks Off toys, fab though they are, to not be quite powerful enough for my preferences. I love my Bamboo, but I tend to reach for it as a warm-up toy or when I am feeling especially sensitive.

So to say I was pleasantly surprised by the Chaiamo’s power was an understatement. At its higher speeds, this baby really packs a punch! I don’t know if RO have changed their motors generally or just used a different one in this slightly higher price-point toy, but good lord. And not only is it strong, but it’s rumbly, too. None of that horrible numbness you get from more buzzy toys. I am able to orgasm quickly and reliably with the Chaiamo, again and again. It’s been added to my easy-access basket of the toys I like best and use most often.

The gentle taper of the Chaiamo’s tip was great for me: I like a certain level of direct clit stimulation but not too pinpoint. (Remember the famed Zumio which I didn’t particularly like?) Be aware that if you like very pinpoint stimulation, this toy probably won’t be a good fit for you. But for my preferences, it was brilliant! Sometimes, it works really well for me by just pressing its length against my vulva and clit.

The Chaiamo is also a versatile toy, in that it can be just as easily used as an insertable as for clitoral play. I don’t like internal vibrations at all, so I didn’t use it in this way, but my friend Isabelle Lauren describes her experience very positively in her review.

Do I recommend it? 

If you’re looking for a powerful and versatile clit/G-spot toy at an affordable price, look no further! A great offering from one of my favourite companies. I can’t wait to see what they come out with next.

Thank you to Tabitha Rayne and Rocks Off for gifting me the Chaiamo in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are, as always, my own. Shopping via the affiliate links in this post helps me make a small commission and keep doing what I’m doing.

Interview: Francesca from The Pleasure Garden

You all surely know by now that I absolutely love feminist, inclusive sex shops? That’s why I was so pleased to partner with The Pleasure Garden, a UK based online company selling only body-safe pleasure products. I’ve reviewed products for them (and have more in the pipeline!) and I’m in their affiliate programme (so, full disclosure, if you make a purchase through one of my links I make a small commission.) Today I’m really pleased to introduce you to Francesca, the brains behind and owner of The Pleasure Garden.

Amy x

A banner for The Pleasure Garden shop for an interview with Francesca

Tell us a little bit about you and the work you do? 

My name is Francesca (she/her) and I own and operate The Pleasure Garden – a UK based inclusive sex shop. Its been up and running for about a year now and it has been an exciting ride so far!
 
At the moment it’s a one man band, so I do almost everything on the site including fulfilling orders, copywriting, social media and managing the website. It can be a lot! I love to work with talented specialists, who make some amazing contributions to things like design and providing expert knowledge, when I get the chance!


What made you want to start an online sex shop?

For a long time I had been interested in starting my own business but I never found the right idea or inspiration. Then I started to read the fabulous Oh Joy Sex Toy which in turn introduced my to a load of other sex blogs as well as the world of ethical feminist sex toy retail. I felt that I had spotted a gap in the UK market for this type of shop.
 
At this point I wasn’t sure if I wanted to continue in my current career. When I discussed my options with a friend they told me that I just lit up when I started talking about the shop and nothing else seemed to inspire that kind of passion! So I worked for a year to build the site, identify the products I wanted to stock and do all the other things that you need to do to start a business (talk to me about business bank accounts. I dare you!) I did all this while working full time before taking the plunge and pressing go with the shop.
 
The long term plan is to open a bricks and mortar store as well (or maybe a few!) so keep your eyes peeled for future developments!
 


How would you describe the ethos and values of The Pleasure Garden?

The number one priority of The Pleasure Garden is to be inclusive. For me this touches on being inclusive of all gender identities and sexualities, but in particular relates to disability. In the UK approximately 1 in 11 people have some form of disability. Yet disabled people are consistently excluded from almost everything to do with sex. In emphasising inclusivity I hope to provide a space which is as accessible as possible and provides the expertise to help anyone find a sex toy that will work for them. This is as opposed to making something specialist – which in the end just others and separates people.
 
The core values of the business are also centred around pleasure – it is right there in the name! I think so many people seek out sex toys because they are struggling to find pleasure in an act which society says should knock your socks off every time, whilst also being a source of shame and embarrassment. I want to provide people with opportunities to explore pleasure. This underpins everything – from my choice of products and my stance on stocking only body safe toys, to customer service and promoting the work of excellent sex educators.
 


What was/is the most challenging thing about setting up your shop or running it? 

Oh, where to start! Before I started the shop I had never worked in retail, run a business or designed a website. So I had a very steep learning curve. It has been an amazing experience and I am adding skills every day. But it is definitely a process and sometimes it can get overwhelming. It is frustrating when I can’t seem to get the vision of something I have in my head to work in reality because I just don’t have the right set of skills. I am getting better at knowing when to call on outside help! Striking the right balance between the social mission of the business and the actual business part is also a challenge. There are so many things I want to do – but it also needs to keep the lights on!
 


What about the most rewarding thing? 

Getting to spend every day doing something that I love is pretty awesome! I really enjoy being challenged and learning new things, so launching a sex shop has been a blast. I learn about new things all the time – from the impact of diabetes on erectile dysfunction and how silicone dildos are made, to the ins and outs of Google analytics and financial software.
 


What’s the best selling toy in your shop? Why do you think that is? 

One of the most popular products I sell is actually the SpareParts Joque Harness. It is a really high quality harness which is pretty beloved by a lot of reviewers, but there aren’t a huge number of places stocking it in the UK. So I jumped at the chance to get it in the shop and it has deservedly done really well.


What’s something that people always misunderstand about your work? 

That is a tricky question! I actually think I am super lucky. I’m surrounded by a lot or really awesome friends and family members who really get what I am trying to do (including my mum, who has on occasion been pulled in to package and post things for me when I have been in a bind!) I think the one slightly annoying thing is the repeated asking of, “So have you tried out everything you sell?” I know people are just trying to be funny, but it gets old!


Who inspires you personally and professionally? 

Professionally I tend to draw inspiration from anyone who has the bottle to take a risk and start something for themselves. It is a lot of hard work, and knowing that other people have made it work gives me hope! There are also some amazing people who are doing epic work in the world of disability and sexuality, such as Tuppy Owens who founded the Outsiders Club, and Gill Leno, a sex educator who works with young people with learning disabilities.


Who’s your favourite sex educator and why? 

There are loads of amazing sex educators out there that I really admire but probably the two at the top are –
 
Erika Moen and Matt Nolan who create Oh Joy Sex Toy. OJST was my first intro to sex blogging and it really opened my eyes. I absolutely love they way they include a massive range of body types including disabilities, different genders and different sexualities in the comics.
 
Also, Emily Nagoski – I think Come As You Are should be handed to everyone at age 18! Her work is exceptional, empathetic and engaging.


What’s something you used to believe – about sex, sex toys or relationships – that you don’t believe any more? 

What a great question! I used to believe that I may never find sex satisfying and that that was okay. When my first sexual experiences really didn’t match up with the messages I had from the media and (what amounted to) sex education at school, I just thought that maybe sex would just not be that great for me. It took some time learning about myself, a few sex toys and finding how to communicate (seriously, everyone should read Come as You Are) to find as much pleasure in sex and intimacy as I do now.


And just for fun because it is “Coffee and Kink” – do you like coffee? How do you take it?

Hah! I don’t drink coffee… or tea… or hot chocolate. The only hot beverage I enjoy is a hot Ribena (at it has to be brand name – no ASDA own brand rubbish!)
 
Thanks so much to Francesca for taking the time to speak to us. Check out The Pleasure Garden – we need to be supporting women-owned, feminist businesses! Banner image is property of The Pleasure Garden and used with permission. 

Ask Amy #8 – “When a Man Can’t Reach Climax”

It’s been a while since we had an Ask Amy column, hasn’t it!? Remember you can always send me your questions using any of the usual ways to get in touch.

I replied to today’s lovely reader privately, but he kindly gave me permission to reproduce his question for the column as I suspect there are lots of people who could benefit from this advice. He asks:

Any ideas for a guy who can’t reach climax? I experience a loss of sensation due to my ongoing illness and the medication I have to take. Sometimes using a high-powered vibrator like my wife’s Doxy helps, but only occasionally. I still enjoy sex and try not to worry too much about orgasm, but you can understand this is very frustrating. Sometimes I just don’t want to bother. There’s so much information out there about premature ejaculation, but not much about loss of sensation or inability to climax for men.

This is such a great question, and one that is so rarely talked about. As you correctly identified, there’s tonnes of information for cis guys who orgasm too quickly, but very little for those who struggle to get there in the timeframe they’d like… or at all.

First, I’m going to give you the obvious but necessary advice. Try, if possible, to relax and not stress about it. For a lot of people, making climax the express goal of sex or masturbation stresses them out so much that it makes it even MORE difficult to get there. And remember, you can still have loads of sexy fun without orgasm and even without a hard penis.

Secondly, if you haven’t already, please talk to your doctor. I don’t know what medication you’re on, but anorgasmia and difficulty orgasming is a hugely common and problematic side effect of many medications, including common antidepressants such as SSRIs. (Ask me how I know!) Sadly, many medical professionals don’t take sexual side effects seriously. But sex is an important part of life for many people, doctors need to take these side effects seriously. There may not be another medical solution, depending on the specifics and what your condition is. But it’s an avenue worth exploring if you haven’t already.

Third, I’m going to make a couple of toy suggestions for you. You mentioned using the Doxy wand can sometimes bring you to orgasm. How are you using it? If you’re just pressing it against your cock, that’s awesome for a lot of men but you might also wish to try using an attachment. My partner absolutely loves the Hummer. The advantage of an attachment like this is that it transmits the vibrations all over the penis, rather than concentrating them in the one spot where the toy is sitting.

I also highly recommend you check out the Pulse III by Hot Octopuss. Unlike the Doxy, this “guybrator” is actually not a vibrator at all. It uses PulsePlate technology, an oscillating mechanism based on proven medical research. It’s the same medical technology that is used to help men with spinal cord injuries to ejaculate. It can be used on either a flaccid or erect penis. Tests have shown that it can induce climax even while the penis is flaccid! Of course, no toy is perfect for everyone, but given that this one was based on devices designed for those with little or no sensation, I think there’s a very real possibility it will be a great option for you.

Hot Octopuss have kindly offered a limited time discount code for Coffee & Kink readers. Use code PULSE15 at checkout between now and 18th October to get 15% off the Pulse Solo or Duo.

This sounds like a really frustrating situation for you. I really hope some of this advice is helpful. I also really hope that seeking further medical advice specifically around the sexual side effects of your medication gives you some answers.

Today’s advice column is kindly supported by Hot Octopuss. Using any of the affiliate links in this post to purchase toys sends a small commission my way and helps support my writing and sex education work.