Lovehoney Sex Toy Advent Calendar Door #7: Beaded Stroker

We’ve come to the end of the first week of my adventure into Lovehoney’s “Best Sex of Your Life” sex toy advent calendar. This set of 24 sex toys and sex-related surprises is aimed primarily at couples who are newer to sex toys, and assumes one penis owner and one vulva owner, though many of the items are usable by anyone.

So what do we have closing out week 1?

Door #7: Beaded Stroker

Beaded stroker in Lovehoney sex toy advent calendar

Today’s product is a beaded stroker for people with penises. Here’s a quick rundown of the details:

  • Material: “Soft plastic”, which I think means some kind of TPE or TPR.
  • Colour: Semi-translucent black.
  • Body safe? Dubious. Lovehoney claims this material does not contain phthalates, but it is definitely porous. I’m less leery about porous materials for external-only toys such as strokers, but it’s less than ideal. It probably won’t hurt you but it won’t stay hygienic for very long so don’t expect it to last forever.
  • Power: N/A
  • Waterproof: Yes, submersible.
  • Size: 5″ in total length, very stretchy.
  • Lube compatible: I suggest you only use water-based lube with this one.
  • Cleaning: Gentle soap and warm water. The porous material means this one will never get 100% clean, so don’t sterilise it and expect to replace it after a few uses.

This stroker contains two rows of small metal beads designed to stimulate the shaft of the penis as you masturbate (or give your partner a hand job). These offer a different and interesting sensation from a regular stroker or a toy-free wank session. Its non-anatomical design

Don’t be fooled by the Beaded Stroker’s small opening – it’s very stretchy and flexible and will accommodate dicks of most sizes. Here it is around the large and girthy Godemiche Adam to illustrate my point:

You’ll definitely need to use plenty of lube regardless of your size. This material is quite grabby when it’s not properly lubricated, and that can cause the wrong kind of friction. If you’ve got a foreskin, be especially careful, as using a stroker without sufficient lube can cause it to pull back too far (ouch).

Speaking from the giver’s perspective, using a stroker can ease pressure on your wrist and make it easier to jerk your partner off for longer without discomfort. Win-win!

This toy seems to be a variation on Lovehoney’s BASICS Beaded Stroker, which retails for £12.99. It’s perfectly fine as an introduction to masturbators for individuals and couples who are newer to sex toys. If you enjoy using it, though, I really suggest that you invest in a silicone stroker. This will last far longer as well as being safer and more hygienic.

Grab your Best Sex of Your Life sex toy advent calendar from Lovehoney for £120 and get 10% off your entire purchase (of this or anything else) by using my code “coffkink10” at checkout. Don’t forget that these calendars are limited in number, so get yours before they sell out.

Thanks to Lovehoney for sending us the Best Sex of Your Life couples’ sex toy advent calendar to review. All views are our own. Affiliate links appear in this post and shopping through them helps to keep the site going!

Lovehoney Sex Toy Advent Calendar Door #5: Slimline Silicone Butt Plug

We’re already on day five of my quest to review Lovehoney’s “Best Sex of Your Life” sex toy advent calendar day by day! There have been a couple of hits and a couple of misses so far, so it’s a mixed bag. Despite the annoyingly gendered marketing, many of the items in this set are suitable for folks of any gender and with any body parts.

Let’s open up Door #5, shall we?

Door #5: Slimline Silicone Butt Plug

Today’s surprise is a slimline silicone butt plug. Let’s start with some quick basic details:

  • Material: Silicone.
  • Colour: Black.
  • Body safe? Yes – silicone is body-safe and non-porous. This also means it’s safe to share this plug with a partner as long as you sterilise it properly between uses.
  • Power: N/A
  • Waterproof: Yes, submersible.
  • Size: 4.5″ in total length, 1.3″ in diameter at widest point.
  • Lube compatible: Yes, water-based and oil-based.
  • Cleaning: Boiling or a 10% bleach solution.

The gently tapered design and slim neck make this plug easy to insert and comfortable to wear, and the silicone is soft and high quality. It is middling-firm to the touch, with some flex towards the tip and plenty of flex in the neck.

The cool thing about this butt plug is that it features a sling style base, allowing you to use it in conjuction with the bullet vibrator from day 1. You’ll need to push quite firmly to get the vibe into the sleeve, but once it’s in it stays put securely. It will also pair with any slim bullet vibe you have in your collection.

Black silicone butt plug with red bullet vibrator

The silicone transmits vibrations very effectively on all settings, allowing you to experiment with a range of anal play sensations. Whether you use the plug on its own or with the vibe, don’t forget to use tonnes of lube. I recommend a thick water-based lube designed for anal play, such as Sliquid Sassy.

Lovehoney bullet vibrator and black silicone vibrating butt plug

This is a great butt plug for beginners or toybag staple for more experienced folks. Use it by itself for anal exploration, or leave it in while you do other things such as hand sex, oral sex, or penetrative play.

Yes, Door #5 is a winner!

The Best Sex of Your Life advent calendar retails for £120 at Lovehoney. Get 10% off this or any purchase on the site by using my code “coffkink10” at checkout. These calendars are limited edition, so don’t wait to get yours.

Thanks to Lovehoney for sending us the Best Sex of Your Life couples’ sex toy advent calendar to review. All views are our own. Affiliate links appear in this post and shopping through them helps to keep the site going!

Lovehoney Sex Toy Advent Calendar Door #3: Starry Eyed Blindfold

Over the course of 24 days, Mr CK and I are reviewing Lovehoney’s “Best Sex of Your Life” sex toy advent calendar for couples. Each window offers a sex toy or other treat designed to enhance your sex life with your partner.

This set is aimed at a pairing of one penis owner and one vulva owner (sort out the gendered language, Lovehoney, please!) But many of the items are unisex and can be enjoyed by people with all sorts of bodies.

Let’s sneak a peek behind Door #3…

Door #3: Starry Eyed Blindfold

Sex toy advent calendar for couples door 3 with blindfold description

Behind Door #3 is a red blindfold with little star and Lovehoney heart insignia embellishments. It’s a limited edition variation on the Lovehoney Oh! Blindfold, which has an RRP of £5.99. The aesthetic is cute and a little festive (which makes sense, given this set is a Christmas release).

Starry Eyed Bondage Blindfold from Lovehoney

The Starry Eyed Blindfold is satin on the outside and some sort of soft, fuzzy material on the inside, and has black elastic straps to hold it in place. It feels soft, plushy, and comfortable to wear. The fabric is pretty cheap and already starting to pull at the edges and some of the stitching is coming loose after a trial run, though, so I don’t expect it to last all that long.

Satin BDSM blindfold fabric stitching coming undone

Blindfolds are a staple of kinky play for many people. This is for a couple of reasons. First, some believe that blocking out one sense heightens the others. Second, not knowing what your partner is going to do next adds an extra layer of excitement and anticipation if you’re playing with power in some way.

This blindfold isn’t really quite big enough to block vision completely. However I position it, I can see out of the top or bottom at least a little bit. It also lets quite a lot of light in. If you want complete sensory deprivation, you’ll be disappointed (try a Mindfold or similar for that!)

But this whole set is really for beginners, so I’m trying to approach it through that lens. If you’re brand new to playing with any kind of BDSM, this blindfold is a fine low-intensity starting point to see if you enjoy sensory deprivation and want to explore it further. Want to kick things up a notch? Try adding earplugs or combining your blindfold with light bondage.

Bondage blindfold from Lovehoney

I don’t think this blindfold is going to be a bedroom staple for me. However, it does double nicely as a sleep mask, so that’s something.

Thanks to Lovehoney for sending us the Best Sex of Your Life couples’ sex toy advent calendar to review. All views are our own. Affiliate links appear in this post and shopping through them helps to keep the site going!

Lovehoney Sex Toy Advent Calendar Door #2: Adjustable Cock Ring

In case you missed yesterday’s post, I just received the Lovehoney “Best Sex of Your Life” sex toy advent calendar for couples. Each of its 24 windows contains a sex toy or other product to enhance your sex life. It’s aimed at pairings made up of a penis owner and vulva owner, but many of the items are unisex.

Mr CK and I are opening one door per day over 24 days and trying out what we find. Today is Day 2, so let’s take a look…

Door #2: Adjustable Cock Ring

Sex toy advent calendar for couples day 2

Today’s surprise is an adjustable silicone cock ring. Let’s start with some basic details.

  • Material: Silicone with an ABS plastic slider
  • Colour: Red
  • Body safe? Yes – silicone is body-safe and non-porous.
  • Power: N/A
  • Waterproof: Yes, submersible.
  • Size: 5.5″ in total length.
  • Lube compatible: Yes, water-based and oil-based.
  • Cleaning: Gentle soap and warm water, boiling, or a 10% bleach solution.
Adjustable cock ring from Lovehoney adult advent calendar for couples

A quick primer for beginners: the purpose of a cock ring is to restrict blood flow out of an erect penis. Some people report that cock rings help them to keep an erection for longer, make their penis feel harder, and provide extra pleasure for the wearer by increasing sensitivity. Some people believe they also help with erectile dysfunction, though research on this is spotty.

Cock rings sometimes come with vibrations and all kinds of fun additional features, but this one is as straightforward as it gets. Just slide it on and you’re good to go.

The beauty of this simple cock ring is that it’s completely adjustable and will fit all penis sizes. Simply press the easy-to-use button on the slider, and tug on the loop end to loosen or the tail ends to tighten. It’s also stretchy, so you can put it on before you’re fully hard and it will stretch to comfortably accommodate your erection.

Woman adjusting the Lovehoney cock ring from the Best Sex of Your Life advent calendar

The silicone is comfortable enough to wear once it’s in place, but is quite “grabby” on the skin as you slide it on. Apply water-based lube to the ring and/or to your penis before you put it on.

If you’ve never worn a cock ring before, experiment with different placements. Try it around the base of your penis in front of the balls, or behind the balls for an extra squeeze. Different people have different preferences, so see what feels best for you. Using this adjustable cock ring should not hurt. If you feel pain, readjust or stop.

Godemiche Adam glitter dildo with adjustable cock ring
Feat. Godemiche Adam dildo in Effulgence Blood Red

If you’ve never used a cock ring before, then this one is a great place to start. You can start off with a looser fit and experiment to see which placing and what level of tightness feels best. Simple but effective, plus durable and long-lasting. Similar rings retail on Lovehoney for around £9.99.

The Best Sex of Your Life advent calendar is available from Lovehoney for £120. Get 10% off this or any other purchase at Lovehoney by using my code “coffkink10” at checkout. These calendars are limited edition, so grab yours while they’re available!

Thanks to Lovehoney for sending us the Best Sex of Your Life couples’ sex toy advent calendar to review. All views are our own. Affiliate links appear in this post and shopping through them helps to keep the site going!

[Impact Toy Review] Sportsheets Vegan Saffron Layer Paddle

(I hope it goes without saying that what follows is a personal stance only, and I cast absolutely no judgement on people who make different choices – ethics are complex, personal, and multi-faceted, and we should all trust one another to make the best decisions for ourselves and our circumstances.)

I’ve mentioned before that I have complicated feelings about leather as a material. I love the look, the feel, the smell… but it also poses an ethical dilemma. I don’t eat meat and have recently been changing aspects of my diet to move closer to veganism, and for a long time I’ve only purchased vegan and cruelty-free cosmetics. So if I don’t eat animals, is it ethical to wear or use products made from them?

Even though leather is a meat industry byproduct (kind of, it’s actually more complex than that), I still worry that buying it supports that industry – even indirectly. The process of leather tanning is also environmentally problematic… though so are many leather alternatives made from polyurethane and similar plastic-based materials.

There are no easy answers to any of this, and I don’t have a hard and fast personal stance on leather for myself yet. I’m leaning towards continuing to love and use what I already own, but not buying any more new items. But that could change.

I share all this to provide a little context to my interest in faux-leather, leather-alternative, and vegan-friendly kink gear. Like this Saffron Layer Paddle from Sportsheets that I’m reviewing today, courtesy of my new friends at Self&More – a woman-owned, gender-inclusive and body-positive sex shop.

Sportsheets Saffron Layer Paddle

The Saffron Layer Paddle comes from Sportsheets’ Saffron range of vegan faux-leather kink products in black and red. It features three layered straps which are coated in fuzzy suede-like material (also vegan) on one side. The stitching is strong and holds up under use.

Vegan paddle from Sportsheets - Saffron Layer Paddle

The paddle is black and red, which are pretty much the quintessential “kink colours”. The outward facing surfaces are red, and the front side of the handle features a polka dot design.

The Saffron Layer Paddle features a loop handle which you can wrap around your wrist while you’re wielding the paddle, or use to hang it for convenient storage. A small tag bears the Sportsheets insignia.

Saffron Layer Paddle vegan BDSM toy

This paddle is 12.2″ long from tip to tip, and 2″ across. It’s super light, which makes it comfortable to hold and easy to wield. I don’t really top very often but on the rare occasions I do, I like toys that I can use until my bottom has had enough (as opposed to when my weak arms give out!)

Its Bark is Worse than Its Bite…

This probably isn’t a paddle for serious pain players, as the impact it delivers is on the gentler side. Pro tip: if you hit with the longest layer impacting the body first, you get a more impressive sting. The impact is pretty surface-level. Since the paddle is so light, you’re unlikely to get any significant thud out of it.

Vegan leather BDSM paddle from Sportsheets Saffron faux leather range

This is one of those paddles that sounds worse than it is. Thanks to the three layers smacking together, it provides a loud and satisfying THWACK even without putting much force behind it. If you’re looking for something that sounds impressive without needing to actually hit very hard, layered paddles are the way to go!

Safety Considerations

Paddles are one of the safest impact toys you can play with (floggers are slightly more dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing, and whips are yikes-just-don’t-go-there-without-expert-tuition!) You’re really unlikely to do any damage with a light paddle like this one, so you can play without worrying – even if you’re a complete beginner.

Just remember the golden rules: never hit the joints, spine, lower back and kidney area, head, or face. Aim for fleshy and padded areas like the butt, thighs, and shoulder blades.

Verdict

This is a well-made and reliable basic piece that will serve you well and last a long time if you take care of it. If you’re new to kink or prefer playing on the lighter side and are looking for a vegan-friendly paddle, this is a solid buy.

The Sportsheets Saffron Layer Paddle retails for £24. You can also get 10% off any order at Self&More using my code:

Thanks to Self&More for sending me this product to review. All views, as always, are my own. Shopping using my affiliate links makes me a small commission at no extra cost to you.

[Toy Review] Lovehoney Ignite Finger Vibrator

Last week, I gushed about how impressed I was with the basic, affordable Ignite Bullet Vibrator from Lovehoney’s new line. Today I’m bringing you another one from the Ignite range – a line of simple, no-frills toys that all retail for £29.99. Read on to learn what I thought of the Ignite Finger Vibrator.

Finger on the pulse…

The Lovehoney Ignite Finger Vibrator is a tiny little toy, barely 3 inches in length. You wear it on your finger like a ring. It’s shaped like a teardrop, and tapers to a soft point.

The Lovehoney Ignite Finger Vibrator on my hand

The Ignite Finger Vibrator is fully waterproof, USB rechargeable, and has a travel lock. It also comes with a little drawstring storage bag. On the surface at least, impressive features for a £29.99 toy.

It’s made of the same body-safe, phthalate-free silicone as everything in the range. Too many manufacturers compromise on safety when making entry-level toys – which, needless to say, I am NOT here for. So it’s nice to see companies normalizing body-safe materials as a minimum standard even for their basic ranges.

As ever, a good quality water-based lube will enhance your experience!

Usability

Because this toy is so tiny and light, it could work well for people who find it difficult to manipulate larger or heavier toys. And because it’s worn on the finger, you don’t even have to hold it in place. The small size makes it easy to fit between bodies for clitoral stimulation during penetrative sex, if that’s your jam.

The Ignite Finger Vibrator is definitely made for people with small hands! I have smaller than average hands, and it’s very snug on my index, middle and ring fingers. People with larger hands or thicker fingers will likely find this toy either uncomfortable or just impossible to use.

The Lovehoney Ignite Finger Vibrator

The button placement is also weird. It’s a single-button interface, and the button is on the base of the toy. This means that whichever finger you wear it on, you have to curl your thumb under at an awkward angle to change the setting or turn the toy on and off. It would have made much more sense to place the button on the front of the toy, where the charging port and Lovehoney insignia are.

Power & patterns

The Ignite Finger Vibrator features the same 20 settings (3 constant speeds and 17 patterns) as the rest of the products in the range. I personally think 20 settings is a bit excessive, especially for a toy with a one-button interface (hello endless scrolling to find the one you like!) But I can forgive it because these are entry-level toys, and having lots of settings to try is a good way to find out what you like.

The Lovehoney Ignite Finger Vibrator

The Ignite Finger Vibrator is… not a powerful toy. I’m not sure if it uses a different motor to the bullet (possible, as it’s a noticeably smaller toy) or if the problem is with motor placement. Either way, the Ignite Finger Vibrator’s vibrations are weak and buzzy to the point of numbing.

Some people enjoy gentler vibrations, and if that’s you then you might find this toy perfectly adequate for your needs. But if you’re looking for strong or rumbly vibrations, pass this one by.

Final thoughts: do I recommend it?

I thought I’d have more good things to say about this toy after I was so impressed with the bullet from the same range. Unfortunately, it was really quite disappointing.

Sadly, I can’t really recommend this toy. Its vibrations are too weak and buzzy, and I had to reach for a different toy mid-masturbation to finish the job. Couple that with the awkward button placement and

Even if you’re on a restricted budget or looking for a basic product, there are better toys you can get for your money.

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

[Toy Review] Lovehoney Ignite Bullet Vibrator

“Dear Amy, where can I get a decent first sex toy that won’t break the bank?” I get a variation of this question in my inbox at least once every few weeks, and it’s a great question. Decent toys can be expensive. If you’re on a budget, or don’t want to spend a lot of money until you know what you like, choosing the right product can be minefield.

Enter Lovehoney’s new Ignite range, a line of six different sex toys for beginners and those on a budget. They all retail at a very affordable £29.99 each. Today we’ll take a closer look at the Lovehoney Ignite Bullet Vibrator.

Let’s take a closer look…

The Lovehoney Ignite Bullet Vibrator in my hand

The Ignite Bullet Vibrator is 3.5 inch long external vibrator in the classic “bullet” shape. It’s USB rechargeable (cable included,) and two hours of charge gives you around 100 minutes of run time. It is also fully waterproof. It has a travel-lock feature and even comes with a little drawstring storage bag. Not bad for a £30 toy!

I must admit that the first thing I noticed about this toy is that it is SHOCKINGLY pink. Like, absurdly pink. I would like to declare a moratorium on new sex toys being made in this colour, because there are already too many.

On the plus side, though, the Ignite Bullet Vibrator is coated entirely in smooth silicone, which is completely body-safe. Being waterproof, it is easy to clean with warm water and gentle soap. For a more thorough clean, use a body-safe medical wipe or a 10% bleach solution.

I bang on about this all the time, but for the benefit of the beginners: lube makes everything better! Body-safe water-based lube pairs beautifully with silicone sex toys.

Power and patterns

This toy has TWENTY different settings – 3 constant speeds and 17 patterns. As someone who generally doesn’t care for patterns and just wants constant vibrations, I found this a bit overkill. However, reminding myself that this is a toy aimed primarily at the entry-level market, the sheer number of settings mean it’s a great way to experiment and learn what kind of vibrations you enjoy.

The Lovehoney Ignite Desire Bullet

With one notable exception, the Lovehoney Ignite Bullet has the best vibrations I’ve ever found in a toy of this price-point. It’s packing some real power and doesn’t have that horrible numbing effect that some weaker vibes do.

I can get off quickly, easily and reliably with this toy. I like using the gently tapered end for more pinpoint stimulation, but you can also use it side on if broader vibrations work better for you. Because it’s so small and light, it’s ideal for fitting between bodies to provide clitoral stimulation during penetrative sex.

The volume level is about what you’d expect for the power. It’s not silent, but you’re not going to have the neighbours complaining either.

User interface

The Lovehoney Ignite Bullet really couldn’t be simpler! It operates on a single button user interface. The button is large, intuitively located on the base of the toy, and easy to press.

I always prefer up/down button options, especially when a toy has as many patterns as this one does. Scrolling all the way through if you miss the one you want is kinda infuriating.

Finally, an entry level toy that doesn’t suck!

Okay, not all entry level toys suck, obviously. But frankly, a huge majority of them do, and I always find it so disappointing. Beginners need good toys! People on a budget need good toys! So I’m really pleased with what Lovehoney have done with this one.

It’s simple, free from gimmicks, body-safe, and does what it says on the tin. Plus the power level is actually surprisingly decent.

So do I recommend it?

Yes, I’m happy to recommend the Ignite Bullet Vibrator as a good entry-level or budget-friendly clitoral vibrator. I’ll definitely be adding it to my list of recommendations for people who are exploring toys for the first time.

Next weekend I’ll be bringing you another product from this range, so watch this space!

Thanks to Lovehoney for sending me this product to review! All views, as always, are my own. I’ve used affiliate links in this post.

[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.