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Guest Review: Fun Factory LAYAspot (Kachwa)


Fun Factory LAYAspot purchased by Kachwa

Hello, lover!

Seriously, if I could, I would walk around all day with this little beauty vibrating away in my underwear. People may start to wonder why my crotch is buzzing, but what they don’t know can’t hurt ‘em! Before I dedicate a shrine to the LAYAspot, let me go over why it is so awesome.

Fun Factory’s packaging is gorgeous. There are two flaps at the back(?) of the box that close together with magnets. The picture on the box just depicts the LAYAspot and Fun Factory’s tagline: ‘love yourself!’. The other side of the box just showcases the vibrator. No tacky, ridiculous rubbish here. Fun Factory is all class, baby (and magnets).

With the LAYAspot you get a little booklet in a ton of different languages and a small sachet of lube. I received Fun Factory’s Bodyfluid, which is their silicone-based lubricant, but others have received Toyfluid, their water-based lubricant.

Rest assured though, either silicone or water-based lube will do fine. The LAYAspot is made mostly from Elastomed, which I believe is similar in properties to silicone, but can be used with silicone lubricant. However, elastomed can not be sterillised, so either use this solo, with a condom, or with partners that you are fluid-bonded with.

It is also partially plastic. The battery cap, an area near the buttons and the middle portion of the bottom of the vibrator are the only parts in plastic. This middle portion is the one that comes into contact with or close to your clit, but it is not hard and uncomfortable.

The elastomed portions of mine smell kind of weird. I’ve washed it many times and I swear it came out of the package smelling like this. Its not offensive or really pungent, but its sort of play-doh like. I think that mine’s just an anomaly though.

The LAYAspot takes two AAA batteries, and can fit rechargeable AAAs. Its power is enough to get most people off, but not enough for the power queens or those with clits of steel. It is rather quiet and can not be heard through a closed door at its highest vibration.

There are 8 steadily increasing vibration patterns and 3 pulsation patterns. To get to the pulsation patterns just keep pressing the + button until the highest steady vibration is reached and press the + once more. To get back to the steady vibrations, just press – and you’ll go back to the highest steady vibration. The buttons sometimes have to be pressed quite hard though.

Its vibrations are more the deep and rumbly type, and not really buzzy at all. This can either be a plus or a con depending on what vibrations you prefer.

The LAYAspot has no O ring to keep it waterproof but I don’t believe it to be entirely splashproof either. When I first washed it (under the sink) very carefully, I still found water inside the battery cap. It wasn’t a lot, but I’d keep this vibe away from water just in case. To clean it I would recommend a damp cloth, wipes or water if you’re not as clumsy as I am and won’t get it into the battery cap. Do not boil the LAYAspot or run it through the dishwasher, no matter how titillating that may look.

This toy is very ergonomic in design and can be held easily in different ways to get the type of stimulation you prefer. For those of you that get off with pressure (high-five!) the LAYAspot is your sex toy. The plastic portion that comes into contact with the clit is a little concaved so it would be rather difficult to hurt your clit even with massive amounts of pressure. It can stimulate both the labia and the clitoris at the same time, so its good times all round!

The orgasms I get from the LAYAspot are ok, but they’re not amazing. The LAYAspot is like my ol’ reliable vibe. I know I will get off while using it, and my body can be very picky. If you already own luxury vibes or the Hitachi Magic Wand the LAYAspot probably won’t blow you away. Nonetheless, this is my favourite vibrator because I can get off with just it alone. And I love that.

The Naked Truth

Aesthetics: ★★★★☆

Intensity: ★★★☆☆

Volume: ★★★☆☆

Ease of Cleaning: ★★½☆☆

Functionality: ★★★★☆

Overall: ★★★★☆

Of course it can also be used in case of zombie Teddys...
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Nina Hartley’s Advanced Guide to Anal Sex for Men and Women

Joseph

Nina Hartley’s Advanced Guide to Anal Sex for Men and Women had some valuable information and some hot anal sex. It also had some obnoxious imperfections.

It opens with Nina Hartley and Kylie Ireland sitting behind a table loaded with various sex toys and discussing safe and pleasurable techniques for anal sex. They candidly discuss everything from how to feel better about anal hygiene to how to properly clean sex toys once they have been in your ass.

After the lead in discussion, the film transitioned to the demonstration section. Nina Hartley does a scene with Christian that I thought was very hot. They talk to one another, they take turns playing with one another’s ass, and they made each other cum. Nina Hartley has a very real and very loud orgasm with Christian is fucking her ass and she is using a vibrator on her clit. She screams, she convulses, and she laughs. It is everything an orgasm should be and it is exquisite.

Hartley continues the education through most of this scene, stopping to briefly discuss technique and safety. It can be somewhat tedious at times, but it is nice that she is trying to stay true to the educational aspect of the program.

We then move on to a scene with Adrianna Nicole and Evan Stone that is really just a sex scene. There is no instruction and there is no anal play with Evan Stone. It seems somewhat as though Nina Hartley wanted to make an educational video but Adam & Eve Pictures told her that to do so, she must include a regular porn scene. It felt out of place. There was anal sex in it, but it was the same kind of anal sex you can see in almost any porn.

The obnoxious imperfections that I mentioned earlier are a couple of little things and one big thing. The little things are noises in the background and a boom mic being visible briefly. I know, I know…that’s nit picky cause this is porn, right? Well, I think that I a lot of the problem with the porn industry. Noises in the background would not get by on even lowest quality network television show. Just because you are cramming a pink rod up someone’s ass doesn’t mean it is ok accept mediocrity.

Standards, people, standards.

The big thing is that even though this is called Nina Hartley’s Advanced Guide to Anal Sex for Men and Women, there is no male on male anal sex in the film. That’s almost a deal breaker for me. For a guide to anal sex for MEN, there should be some homosexual male interaction. It seems like it should be obvious.

Despite that, it is definitely worth a view or two.

Mimi

“There will be unsuccessful attempts along the way. You need to show compassion for yourself and your partner to get through them.” – Nina Hartley

Nina Hartley’s Advanced Guide to Anal Sex for Men and Women offers a lot of practical advice very quickly, such as what to look for in a sex toy and possibilities for use of a sex toy in addition to anal sex, and if an award was given to the best sex positive cheerleader, it would totally be Nina Hartley. I’ve never been so cheerfully encouraged to stick my tongue in someone’s ass before. She brings a lot of humanity to porn that I think is too often lacking. For example, at one point in the introduction scene with her and Kylie Ireland, friend and “co-host”, Nina Hartley mentions that warming up for anal sex is a process and that when people jump right into it in pornographic films, we’re not seeing all the previous activities leading up to that point. The film and the fantasy are separate from real life scenarios.

Casual, playful humor carries on through to Nina Hartley’s “demonstration” with Christian, which was, by the way, really hot. Some of the commentary Nina Hartley made during the scene was a little tedious (I can SEE what you’re doing there, you know), but overall, I found her comments, giggling, and smiling to be really charming. The environment was sexy, Nina Hartley was sexy, Christian was sexy, and they even managed to make the Hitachi Magic Wand look kind of sexy.

Most importantly (to me), the scene appeared to be very equal in regards to the performer’s individual pleasure, and knowing how much these beautiful people were into it made the scene especially arousing.  As Nina Hartley points out later to Kylie Ireland, it’s admirable for a man to communicate his desires in regard to receiving anal play because of all the homophobic pressures placed upon our men. There was quite a lot of discussion – visually supplemented by exposed breasts and lingerie – about confronting the taboos of anal sex.

My only complaints about the film are basically the same as those that Joseph already made, so I won’t repeat them in my own review. However, I will mention that the last scene between Adrianna Nicole and Evan Stone could be improved if their dialogue was more clearly audible since dirty talk was obviously a big component of the scene and might have made it special, but mostly I found their interaction annoyingly familiar and thus forgettable.

Also, no condoms? Anywhere? I realize that this is a debated issue in porn and often remains up to personal preference, but in an educational film about sex, especially anal sex, it seems really remiss to leave it out of discussion and out of “instructional” scenes.

As an aside, I have looked at some old photographs of Nina Hartley and in my opinion she now looks better than ever.

a typical evening

We are quick learners.

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Champion

Mimi

When we first received Shine Louise Houston’s Champion in the mail, we debated on whether or not it was actually porn because there is not one single finger going into anyone’s vagina anywhere on the cover. We hadn’t seen any of Houston’s films yet and joked in our ignorance, “Perhaps she’s trying to make a real movie and it will be the most painful display of acting ever seen.” Such movies are watched only with whiskey.

Naturally, we put it off for the right time and meanwhile we watched Houston’s older film, Superfreak, which made it crystal clear to us that Houston is someone to take seriously. Serious in the respectable sense, not in the sit in the dark alone and listen to Sarah McLachlan sense. There is an excellent balance of playfulness and hardcore eroticism in Houston’s work. It’s refreshing, really.

Champion is full of talented, sexy, charming performers such as Syd Blakovich (she has a great website), Jiz Lee, Javier, DallasMadison Young and Dylan Ryan. Syd Blakovich plays Jessie Eaton, a cold son of a bitch making her way into women’s professional Mixed Martial Arts, as well into the pants of various individuals. It backfires when her old nemesis, Bobby Malone (Javier), punishes Jessie for having sex with Bobby’s girl through blackmail. While Jessie is trying to decide what to do about it, she is also dealing with her sexual attraction to Violet Vahn (Dallas), her opponent in and out of the ring. Of course, this being porn, they end up fucking.  One can’t let hairy pussy go to waste.

There was not one single scene in Champion that I didn’t like, and any complaint I could muster up would be really minor. Not even worth mentioning. Houston has a great deal of talent to begin with, but it’s obvious comparing Champion to her older work that a lot of the awkwardness has been refined. In between loving Jiz Lee’s beautiful face in ecstasy and watching Dylan Ryan squirt, I spent a fair amount of time during the film admiring the camera angles or the naturalness of the lighting.

It’s true that this film is more like a “real” movie than your standard fair porno, but it didn’t ever leave me feeling bored or miserably hoping that the acting scene would end soon so the sex can commence. While Jessie is at the gym or watching a recorded fight in preparation for her match, there’s another sex scene going on simultaneously.  A working visual balance is created that carries through a sophisticated level of eroticism.

Champion is sophisticated because it acknowledges complexity within gender and sex, yet maintains a sense of humor and humanity. It’s not glamorized bullshit, it’s just fucking hot. Period.

Joseph

Mimi already covered almost everything that I had in mind to say about this film. It was well made, the stars were hot and the chemistry was real. As if that wasn’t enough, there was enough of a plot to give you some investment with the characters that you are watching have hardcore sex.

For me personally, the connection is what made every scene (except for Madison Young’s) go from hot to stellar. Even though the connection with the characters is somewhat cursory, it is very real and I think  Houston understands that giving that sort of depth will make us hot in our minds as well as our dirty bits.

The superb camera work and lighting choices even prevented Young from ruining the scene that she was in. While all of the other actors seemed to have real chemistry with one another and looked like they were genuinely enjoying themselves, Young is not convincing. It is almost like she watched some mainstream porn and then decided to take those traits into the queer porn world. Fake noises and all. I apologize, I know my problem with Young must be getting old by now. Maybe if I hadn’t watched Bride of Sin first, I wouldn’t loathe seeing her so much. She is hot, I’ll give her that.

I’m glad that Houston makes cameos in her films. I liked seeing her as the ghost of Rick James in Superfreak and she appears in Champion as the world’s most meek reporter. It is always nice to put a face with a piece of work and her perpetual small roles almost strike me as a signature. I look forward to watching The Crash Pad and seeing how she will put herself in that series.

I am really happy with the gender role blurring, power dynamic swapping, queer porn we have been watching. Because of the expert way that Houston handles these films,  I would be very interested to see what  Houston  would do with a hetero-oriented film. She does such masterful work playing with and setting up masculine dynamics within her queer films, I would love to see how she handles directing biological males. Perhaps one day…

Mimi says please with her fists

She said “chocolate?” -I said “No.”- She said POW!

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Inflatable Tilt Master

Inflatable Tilt Master

Inflatable Tilt Master provided for review by Tabu Toys.

Joseph

This product is stupid. And ridiculous. And it almost killed me and Mimi. I almost died while trying to blow the damn thing up and Mimi had a little mishap the first time she tried to sit on it. Actually, that was pretty funny. Don’t take my word for it, watch the video.*

The Inflatable Tilt Master is part of Pipedream’s Fetish Fantasy Series. So far, my favorite part of the Fetish Fantasy Series is that every single part of the series seems to come with a free cheap mask. That means that either they don’t think that anyone will buy more than one of the series or that they subscribe to the philosophy that you can never have too many cheap blindfolds. I believe the former is more realistic.

This particular installation of the series is a large inflatable Pac-Man with handles on the side. The idea is that this will make getting it on easier because of the rocking motion. In our experience, it makes getting it on significantly more difficult because of its supreme instability. It is hard to sit on this thing comfortably, much less have sex on it.

We tried several positions on it (we tried to mimic the positions on the box) and could not get into a good rhythm in any of them. I suppose there is the possibility that we suck at making sex positions work, but I can think of a several occasions that would cast doubt on that idea.

Unlike the Pleasure Pad, this wasn’t even good in theory. It just should not be.

I sincerely hope that all of Pipe Dream’s sex toys are as silly and poorly thought out as the two that we have had the chance to review. While the product testing can be less…exciting to review than it is with some of the other products we get it is certainly more fun with a lot more giggling involved. Now, you may say that giggling has no place in sex-toy review. That would be because you’re a big wrong-head.

These products (the horrible ones) are a huge part of what makes our job fun.

Mimi

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m clumsy, goofy, and prone to ridiculousness. So although it’s entirely fair to consider that maybe the Inflatable Tilt Master caused me to tilt, tip, fall over, flip, and flail simply because of my own character “flaws”, it’s much more likely that objects such as the Inflatable Tilt Master only make matters worse.  Why? Well, Joseph fell over and had difficulty getting up, too. I just didn’t manage to grab a camera in time. And Joseph is not nearly as clumsy as me.

Even with Joseph’s guiding presence, sex was totally lacking in any wow moments of any kind. There’s no leverage at all. We ended up laughing (and frustrated), tossing the Inflatable Tilt Master aside and getting down and dirty the ol’ fashioned way. Much better.  The warm up was nice – and funny, certainly – but we’ll move onto the real sex. Thanks.

Aside from the technical complications that come up from attempting to have sex on top of a black slightly elongated beach ball with a slice cut out of it, there’s also the strange fake crushed velvet texture of the Inflatable Tilt Master that I am not convinced can be cleaned effectively or conveniently.

Instead of continuing to beat the horse, especially since I am opposed to beating horses in the first place, I’m going to quit now and get to the point – the Inflatable Tilt Master is in no way helpful to your sexual exploits. Ever. Unless you’re into fighting each other with inflatable objects, and really, if that’s what you’re into then go to K-Mart during their end of summer sale and buy a big, plastic shark or a turtle or something. That would be more impressive.

The Naked Truth

Convenience: ★★★☆☆

Usefulness: ☆☆☆☆☆

Aesthetic appeal: ★☆☆☆☆

Ease of cleaning: ★☆☆☆☆

Overall: ★½☆☆☆

We're going for a theme!

The box doesn’t make getting up easier, let me tell you.

* The video we are referring to does not seem to be working on Vimeo or YouTube, so we think there might be something wrong with the file itself. We’ll keep trying to work something out, but if we cannot manage it within a reasonable amount of time, then there will simply be no video. Sad, I know. Thanks for your patience.  – MGMT

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Flexi Felix

Joseph

The cute, 100% silicone caterpillar toy is by far the most comfortable thing that I have ever inserted into my anus. Granted, it is the only thing I have ever inserted into my anus but after having a look at some of the other toys on the market, I know the Flexi Felix made the process much easier than it could have been.

I had an understandable amount of anxiety about crossing that puckered line. There are all kinds of things for a heterosexual male in American society to worry about when considering anal play that is anything other than straight male on female. Stigmas abound. Our society does not encourage sexual acts that put men in an exposed or subordinate position. Men’s sexuality is about power and control. This message is constantly reinforced in both direct and indirect ways. I think that may be part of America’s problem with male homosexuality.

Ok, I’m done ranting about our society’s fucked up standards about sex. Perhaps one day we’ll make a whole post about it but for now, back to the Felix.

The Flexi Felix is a 12” (10” insertable length) set of anal beads manufactured by Fun Factory. It is 100% silky soft silicone and has a head with a smirking caterpillar face at its base. It is cute but not cutesy. It is by far the most approachable thing designed to go in one’s ass that I have ever seen.

Insertion was easy and comfortable with the exception of the stem in between the beads being a little too thin to get a good grip on. Fully inserted it is unobtrusive…almost to a fault. I couldn’t really feel it, which seems to defeat the purpose. It would, however make it easy to wear in all day which I could see as having some “I’m so naughty” appeal.

Removal during orgasm was not an altogether pleasant experience for me, but I don’t blame the product for that. I blame my inexperience with anal play. It is still a strange and kind of uncomfortable feeling and that prevents me from fully enjoying it.

Cleaning the Felix is really simple. Just drop it in a pot of boiling water for 10 to 15 minutes and you’re good to go.

As a genuine beginner, I cannot give this product a better endorsement. It is easy, approachable, and it has a good attitude!

"I practice yoga to center my spirit."

Would you be smirking if you had Felix’s job?

Mimi

The Flexi Felix is my first anal bead type toy and with its 3/4″ to 1″ diameter beads, it’s very approachable for first-timers. Even if you’re entirely new to anal play, the Flexi Felix is as friendly to your ass as it looks. And it does look friendly, doesn’t it? Such a cute specimen of anal love. Offered in bright pink, light blue, and black silicone, the updated stylishness of the Flexi Felix adds to its approachability and ease of use. You just know when you’re holding it in your hands that this isn’t just another sketchy looking “string” of beads that you have to entrust to your tender and questionable anal orifice. Oh no. This is better, much better.

The silicone is incredibly smooth and relatively easy to insert, given how flexible it is (they don’t call it “Flexi” for nothin’), so you can play alone or with a partner without much – if any – discomfort or bent over frustration. Really. I had the whole strand in, tucked the caterpillar head under my panties, zipped up my shorts, washed my hands, and came back out into the living room within just a few minutes. You won’t even need to pause your movie, or worry about your tea getting cold.

Left in for a few hours, Flexi Felix feels pretty good. It creates a whole other meaning in my mind to the phrase, “dirty little secret”. And I am certainly a girl who likes her secrets. However, it is the experience of this reviewer that the Flexi Felix is hands down at its absolute best when pulled out during orgasm. This toy is perfect when you want a little extra OMFG without a whole lot of effort, time, or lube.

As you can imagine, this “easy as cake” quality can become rather… boring. Don’t get me wrong. I appreciate “easy” when I come across it, which is why I still enjoy the Flexi Felix and will happily let it occupy a space in my toy box. Still, I will always favor a more versatile toy over a one hit wonder. It’s just my nature. If you function similarly, you might want to shop around a bit. (I know that Babeland in particular offers some other anal toys that are challenging/fun/practical.)

And to top it all off, the Flexi Felix is that, since it is silicone, you can disinfect it by boiling it for 10-15 minutes, putting it in the top rack of your dishwasher, or with soap and water. (I prefer boiling.) Remember to use a water-based lubricant with this toy. It will last you a long time if you take care of it.

Rewarded for his efforts

Unwinding after a long day of putting up with other people’s shit.

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Hitachi Magic Wand

Hitachi Magic Wand

Mimi

King of Vibrators

The Hitachi Magic Wand (referred to from now on as Hitachi) is not, I repeat, not an attractive sex toy. It looks like something you find in a box under your grandma’s bed after she has died, mildly discolored and thinly covered with dust, leaving you to ask yourself a million times, “Did I touch it?” It’s big (head is 2-1/2” diameter), long (12”), has a cord, and the coloration is reminiscent of terms like “gynecologist” and “PTA”.

You get the point. No offence moms out there who love having orgasms and going to PTA meetings, but I think we can agree those two subjects don’t exactly go hand-in-hand at the same time.

If my ex-boyfriend hadn’t purchased it for me as a gift a little over two years ago, I probably would not have ever experienced this vibrator. Although it’s cheaper than a lot of other electric vibrators on the market at $54, it’s just not as sleek and sexy and would therefore be passed up. It’s not the toy you want to brag to your girlfriends about. It’s not the toy you want to whip out of the drawer and use with your new boyfriend.

All of that said, I love my Hitachi.

2 powerful speeds

Yes, it’s intense. It only has two settings – high and higher. For some women, this might be a real problem because it can be painful or distracting. Just like any other sex toy, you have to figure out how to make it work for you. I don’t ever use the Hitachi directly on my clit but rather above it or below it, and I rarely ever use the higher setting. (Or the Desperation setting, as I affectionately think of it.) I still have really intense orgasms, especially with a g-spot stimulating dildo like my Fun Wand.

(Together, it’s Magic Fun. Get it?)

At first the cord is really a turn off, but unless you’re ridiculously clumsy and/or lacking a sense of humor, the cord is never going to be a significant concern. When your other vibrator’s batteries are dead and you somehow managed to forget to buy more, your trusty plug-in Hitachi will be there. (True story. It happened to me.) Also, as I mentioned before, I’ve had this vibrator for over two years. Two years of frequent use, of my writhing and twisting and squeezing. R-e-l-i-a-b-l-e.

So how is it with a friend? Well, Joseph laughed quite a lot when he first saw my Hitachi, but jokes were quickly put aside once the relatively loud buzz of the Hitachi started, corresponding with moans and my thighs crushing the hand he naively entrusted to my nether regions. I’ve been crushing him ever since… so to speak.

It seems like the Hitachi is a vibrator that women either swear their life by or they can’t imagine why everyone else is so in love with it. I’ve heard both stories, I’m sticking to mine. I love it and when it someday dies on me, to hell with groceries for a couple weeks, my Hitachi will be replaced.

Joseph

When I saw the Hitachi Magic Wand in her toy chest for the first time I though “Holy fuck! How does she fit that inside of her and why does she want to continue having sex with humans if she likes that size?” How silly I was.

That was before I had any experience with sex toys. Obviously I was not familiar with the concept of a vibrator that does not go inside. Quickly I became well acquainted with the Hitachi and it’s proper usage.

It is my understanding that it is too powerful for most to use directly on the clitoris, it is much better suited for proximity stimulation. Placed above or below the clit, this thing vibrates a woman’s whole pelvis and sends Mimi screaming to heaven within a few minutes. Sturdy, wired, powerful, and ugly as hell, the Hitachi Magic Wand is the shotgun of vibrators. Just get close and it will do its job.

Most popular massager

A sign of a great product is when you cannot think of life without it. The Hitachi has become of those products for us. It is more than just an accessory to Mimi. It is a regular part of her sex life. The intensity of the orgasms that she has while using the Hitachi are unparalleled (watch the video) and she requires the kind of stimulation that it provides in order to reach them.

From my perspective, it is an awesome part of our sex lives. It is approachable (since I got over my misconceptions) because of how ludicrous it looks and sounds, it does not require me to buy more batteries every few months, and most importantly, it makes it relatively easy for me to help her have earth (and eardrum) shattering orgasms. I just lend a finger (or two) to her G-spot and enjoy the show.

I’ve heard that female sex toys threaten some men. That’s just stupid. Sex toys are a way for people to find out specifically what they like and how they like it. Some things that sex toys do are physically impossible for a human to do. For example, I could never, ever stimulate a clitoris as quickly or as intensely as the Hitachi Magic Wand. It is just not possible. I know that some guys have a “I have to make her cum” complex, but mine is closer to a “she has to enjoy the experience” complex. Sometimes, for her to fully enjoy the experience (or cum, if you must) she needs stimulation at a rate that I cannot achieve, so I reach for the Hitachi. It is a tool, a means to an end, and it is bad ass at what it does.

It is portable… just like Zack Morris’s cell phone

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Fetish Pleasure Pad

Joseph

The Fetish Pleasure Pad is another sex toy that is technically a good idea but fails in application. Let me describe it as simply as I can. It is a soft pad with four straps and a hole in the middle. It seems like it would be frustrating to use any other dildos than the ones included because the bases would need to be of a specific size to fit through the hole. Of course, when I say “use” I mean strap said dildo wielding pad to a chair, bench, motorcycle, or whatever kind of sturdy object that you can and have fun.

Pipedream (the manufacturer) is kind enough to include two dongs (the term they use), lube and toy cleaner sample, and a blindfold in the box with the pleasure pad. The dongs are made of latex rubber and stink like you would not believe. Imagine having a condom inside your olfactory glands and then you may begin to understand. Aside from reeking, one of  the dongs is neon blue and “realistic”. The other is smaller, slimmer, and black. Both of them have very effective suction cups and will hang from a wall for days. I know that bit of information is not directly useful but I felt it was worth mentioning.

The lube is very thin but did not dry up too quickly during intercourse and seemed to work pretty well for Mimi on the dongs. We haven’t yet used the toy cleaner, so I can’t speak to how well it works.

I can’t imagine what the purpose of including a blindfold with this product could possibly be. In fact, it seems a little dangerous to me. You strap the pad to a chair, put the blindfold on, and then sexily stub your toe. Awesome.

As far as the product in use…it did not look like Mimi enjoyed it a great deal, but I’ll let her tell you about that.

Ze Wet Stuff

It is someone’s job to design the labels of these. Think about that.

Mimi

The Shower Smoothy Dong and the Lifelike Dong that came with the Please Pad butchered any fantasy I had about this toy being sexually satisfying. It’s not because the Lifelike Dong is blue or that they’re both floppy rubber, although the material itself helped. They killed it because they smell like offensively cheap floral soap mixed with latex. Can you imagine wanting to put that inside your body?

And I don’t mean a faint smell that you only notice if you press your nose against the toy. Our bathroom, where the toys currently live, smells like those Dongs. It’s a hell of a time to run out of incense, let me tell you.

The pad itself is easy to install and clean, especially if you have a standing shower or if you’re so accustomed to washing items by hand that you could do it in your sleep. If you don’t have space to let it dry out conveniently (and discreetly), that may be reason enough not to purchase this item. There would be no mistaking what this is on a clothes line.

The suction cups, although amusing to childish hooligans like us (see photo of Dong stuck to bathroom mirror), are actually practical – they help keep the Dongs in place while you’re using them. If you can get into the Pleasure Pad, you definitely don’t want it moving on you.

Due to this simplistic design approach, I can see why someone might really enjoy the Pleasure Pad. Sure, when I was a little girl, I used to love straddling the arm of chairs, then rocking back and forth. I get the idea. But I still didn’t like this toy. Aside from having to surpass a psychological hurdle against putting a foul smelling object inside my body, the Pleasure Pad mostly felt awkward and inefficient.

We joked almost the whole time, first about the totally arbitrary “free” black eye mask, then about the positions I had to assume just for the Lifelike Dong to hit my g-spot. The Lifelike Dong is not really firm enough, and that combined with humping a wooden stool/piano bench/chair (i.e., something hard) equates to fairly high percentage of frustration. The Shower Smoothy Dong felt a little more than decent in my butt…

I guess that’s representative of my whole point, though. The Pleasure Pad is remarkably, amazingly okay. At best. Really it just made me want to attack Joseph and get it done proper. So the Pleasure Pad did create a memorable experience between myself and my fiancé, but not in the way intended.

PleasurePadMonster

It is hard to come up with picture ideas for every product, ok? Get off our back!

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Make me a Sandwich HNT

9-24-09

The lovely Mimi pretending to read  When Sex Goes to School: Warring Views on Sex-and Sex Education-Since the Sixties by Kristin Luker. I’m the one actually reading it.  She doesn’t really read books anyway. She cheat-reads. A paragraph here, a page there…it is chaos.

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Tristan Taormino’s “Opening Up”

Mimi

My romantic relationship with Him actually began as an open relationship because neither one of us was ready to give up our casual, sexual relationships with other people, plus for a few months I lived about a thousand miles away. As friends we had already established trust through a mutual commitment to self-awareness and communication, so it made acknowledging our independent sexual exploits easier to cope with.

We are currently (happily) monogamous, but seeing as how it’s unlikely I’ll wake up one day no longer desiring vagina, we’ll probably negotiate terms for nonmonogamy in the future. I have never really believed that I could be monogamous without lying or cheating, which is unacceptable to me, but I think it’s working for me right now because despite being in a “normal” relationship, we still think about it on very individualistic terms. For example, I do not believe that I can fulfill all of his needs all of the time, nor do we believe we possess each other by virtue of our love.

In sum, we are predisposed to favor a lifestyle that follows self-created standards instead of societal standards. I was really looking forward to reading “Opening Up” by Tristan Taormino.

This book reads similar to a sociological study yet with more frequent use of humor, personal insight, and bias. It’s also much more approachable, which is important considering the nature of the subject. There are moments when Taormino’s obvious preference for nonmonogamy becomes like propaganda to join a special club. (All the cool kids are doing it.) One can overlook these moments, though, because they’re minor in comparison to Taormino’s commitment to helping people live as authentically to themselves as possible.

If you are even a little experienced with nonmonogamy, parts of this book may seem monotonous to you; however, I recommend reading this book in its entirety because Taormino slips in things that are good to remember. In relationships we have a habit of forgetting ourselves and/or the values that made the relationships so great in the first place. It’s good to be reminded of things like this:

“When you don’t honor your feelings and instincts, when you don’t verbalize what you want and need, when you keep silent so you don’t rock the boat, it’s only a matter of time before you feel bad. “

After reading this book, you may find that it can help reinforce/redirect your monogamous relationship because the necessities of nonmonogamy apply to other styles. Communication, personal boundaries, self-awareness, trust – these are all aspects of a healthy partnership.

Aside from the clarity and examples Taormino offers, I really enjoy the practicality she employs, which makes her message truly penetrative. Continually I thought to myself, ‘Yes, that makes sense’. It makes sense to not make promises about the rest of our lives because we don’t know what’s going to happen. It makes sense to embrace other people you love instead of lying about it to yourself and your partner, where it will breed resentment and mistrust. It makes sense to challenge your fears and insecurities by forcing them to the surface.

“Opening Up” is not just about fucking multiple people. This book is about re-thinking what history and culture has brought us, then make a decision for yourself. Are you monogamous because you consciously choose to be or because everyone in your family is monogamous? Would you be happier if you could pursue your interest in the same sex? Can you be the submissive that your primary partner wants? Do you believe that the current family structure is really the best for raising children? These are the kind of questions you’ll ask yourself (and perhaps your partner) while reading this book and probably long after your done. It’s an excellent beginning to an exciting, interesting, and totally relevant subject.

Joseph

Opening Up is a must read for anyone considering an open relationship for the first time and must skim for those with previous open experience.

The book is very well written and approached from a holistic and qualitative perspective. This gives much of the book an academic feel that can be tricky. You (or at least I did) have to keep reminding yourself “This book is not the result of an extensive sociological study. This book is one woman’s opinion.” Taormino’s opinion is that open relationships are vastly superior to traditional monogamous relationships and that comes through quite clearly in the book. Some aspects are quite heavy handed. Which is fine for a book that is one woman’s opinion, you just have to keep reminding yourself. There is no et al here, it is just Taormino and her personally edited interviews.

Aside from sometimes having a deceivingly decisive feel about it, it is a great book for beginners. It outlines the history of open relationships, the different types and styles (and acknowledges that there is limit to what can be done), some of the problems that are more common in open relationships, and best practices for making relationships work. On that last item, I left out the word open because most of the things that Taormino reccomends for making an open relationship work are really things that are needed to make any relationship work: honesty, respect, time management, consideration of your partner(s) feelings, etc.

Each chapter is smattered with excerpts from interviews that Taormino conducted while researching the book. This gives a healthy “real people” feeling to the book and often puts Taormino’s points in the words of real people living the lifestyle.

Taormino also includes the legal considerations of being in an open relationship as well as different approaches to raising children, coming out to loved ones, living in peace in this society and safer sex practices. The holistic way that the subject is approached in this book is what makes it fantastic and indispensable. Open relationships are a LIFE choice and not just about getting to fuck other people while keeping someone to watch TV on the couch with and Taormino portrays that wonderfully.

As someone with a little experience with open relations and a lot of experience with interpersonal relations, I did find parts of the book to be tedious and painfully simple. But I am not who the book is written for. For someone that is approaching open relationships for the first time, it is gold.

Do more mommies and daddies mean more birthday presents?