Labor Day Sales

September 1st, 2014

It’s a rainy Labor Day. Not so good for grillin’ out. Just fine for staying inside and playing, whether you’re alone or not. Perhaps shopping. Lucky thing I’ve compiled this handy list of Labor Day Sales.

I’ll add a couple more sales over the course of the day, so keep your eyes open!

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Fetish Fantasy Gold Ben-Wa Balls

August 18th, 2014

As I sit here writing this, I am awaiting one heavy, golden ball to reintroduce itself to gravity and make its way down my vaginal canal so I can finish this review and go to sleep.

I am not afraid that this ball is lost forever. I have a cervix. I know that there is an end to my vagina. I am not worried. I am simply annoyed. Other people might be worried, however. They may not understand how the the female anatomy works or, perhaps.

In my case, I struggled to push the small ben wa balls past my pubic bone, pinching myself with my fingernails as I did. Yes, this isn’t the type of item I would review at this stage in my life, but the folks at Pipedream sent me a pair to try, so I had to give them a fair shake.. roll?

At the end of this whole experience, I sit here with one ball nestled against my cervix, right where my short fingers can’t reach them. Perhaps someone else could, but I have to wait for gravity. This brings up one of the issues of classic ben wa balls: usability. Without a retrieval cord, it can be difficult to remove them, and I’m sure the variances in female anatomy make this more true for some women.

But let’s head back to the begining, the point during which I was inflicting pain upon myself in the name of a review. These ben wall balls are much smaller than any of those that most people really like. I’m talking about the Luna Beads or Smartballs. I like the K-balls, all of which are 4 or so times larger. Most of them also have some sort of texture or ridges, which helps keep them inserted in addition to the size.

With a sleek exterior, it was hard enough to get the ben wa balls inserted to stay in place. They kept wanting to slip back down past my pubic bone, which had me walking like a penguin. Not so great for daily use. I recall one of my first set of ben wa balls, which were similarly sized and white like pearls. They stayed in the first third of my vagina and kept irritating my urethra.

I opted to forego standing and returned to jerking off and pausing for a few kegel exercises. On my back, I could barely feel the balls inserted, and that must have been when they rolled back toward my cervix, where one still sits.

Since I can’t feel them, it doesn’t remind me to do kegels, and I’m not convinced that simply having them in is going to improve my muscles; although, I was more than impressed when my finger was inserted to push them into place and I clenched my PC muscles. Of course, the size of large balls makes them easier to feel, and most manufacturers argue that internal balls, which are probably like these ben wa balls, keep your muscles working passively.

I wanted to see if the ben wa balls made any difference during orgasm. They seemed to enhance them a bit, but orgasm always feels better with something or someone inserted.

These ben was balls are simply listed as “made of metal,” and they have the weight of them. The product description lists them at 2 ounces, with a diameter of .75 inches. They’re actually more like 1/2″ in diameter.

The gold ones, which I received, don’t seem to be available from every retailer. You can but them at my affiliate store here. At just $12, they’re cheaper than the alternatives, but they lack a storage option. This seems to be something pretty necessary for an item that can literally roll away. They come in a box with a plastic insert that would work for storage but is far from ideal.

And I guess that’s how I feel about these as a whole.

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And the law.. wins..?

August 16th, 2014

Last year, my city began cracking down on prostitution, child porn and other “related” offenses. In the mainstream media, these sort of things get lumped together. As a person who is capable of critical thinking, I have to wonder if this should be the case.

This focus on sex crimes meant a change of some laws, including newly-proposed fines for people caught providing sex for money or soliciting sex workers.  Public humiliation in the form of releasing names and photos has also been named as one of the police department’s strategies to fix sex “crimes.”

Intellectually, I understand why the police want to shame people into obeying laws, but I just cannot put my full support behind illegalization of sex work. And I don’t think a person’s name or reputation needs be thrown under the bus for soliciting a sex worker when there are far more serious crimes — crimes that actually hurt people — to be investigating and trying.

In a recent newspaper article, the author discussed a man recently arrested. He had been a school teacher. Before his name had even been made public, he resigned. His career was over, of course. But I can’t help but feel like this is an extreme that a person shouldn’t have to take. After all, he will be fined without having to serve any jail time. Either it’s serious enough for jail time or it’s not — and their names don’t need to be made public.

Perhaps I come at this from a personal point of view. When this effort began last year, the police conducted an online sting. They posed as sex workers and even children/teenagers online to lure people out. Several people did proposition minors and went to meet with them. I have nothing wrong with this sort of sting. One of the men who simply arranged to meet an of-age sex worker. Upon arriving, he was instead met by the police who ushered him to the police station where he stayed overnight because it was a late Friday.

This man was a good friend’s ex/on-again off-again/it’s complicated friends with benefits. Today, he’s been dead for almost a year. He took his life because no only did the police release his name, but a bang-up job by the local media splashed his name among those who solicited a minor for sex. This was not the case, but reports weren’t amended until after his passing.

Despite the fact that the media and police are immediately releasing names without fact checking, this is obviously still enough of  a problem that the police are performing major stings almost a year later. Humiliation isn’t a deterrent for people, even if they are otherwise upstanding citizens. According to the police, the type of people who are soliciting sex workers are from all walks of life. These are people who are willing to pay for sex. Nothing more or less.

As a woman, I can think of many worse ways to pay bills. I would rather live in a place where my rights as a human being are protected if I am a sex worker, rather than my name slandered and rights ignored simply because of my line of work. But I don’t live in a place like that because the world is still so far from that. =/

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Lip Products for Softer Skin and Better Oral

August 14th, 2014

The lovely folks at Good Vibes were kind enough to send over a tin of Smooch Me Lip Lube with my last order. This it not the first time I’ve been able to try a product like that if you recall my review of Babegloss, a liquid lip gloss and lube intended to make your lips softer, tastier and wetter. Babeland has since discontinued the product, which is a shame. I like the taste and the design. I only wish I had used it more. I still have plenty left!

Good Vibe’s take as such a product is a little more, dare I say, generic? It comes in a tin like any homemade lip gloss. Now, this isn’t a deal-breaker, but I do prefer a container that allows me to apply without getting my fingers dirty. So, I sort of just wind up sticking my lips in the tin. It’s weird, I know. Maybe I’m just being lazy.

Anyway, this gloss/lube is available in several flavors, including mint and cinnamon. I got Cherry Vanilla. It’s probably the only scent I would come to close to liking — and I do like it.  The gloss is flavored as well as scented; although it’s more artificial flavor than anything else. I wouldn’t expect much more from a product like this. The flavor can help during oral, but Smooch Me is white so it’s not making your pout look anything other than shiny.

The texture also aids in this as an oral tool. It’s softer than many lip balms in a tin, so it definitely feels more like lube. However, it’s still got the slightly-waxy balm feel. Perhaps a little less so given how how soft it is. I really like the texture and find myself reaching for it simply to moisturize my lips. But the softness makes it easier to reapply if you’re actually using it as lube and need a little more.

The final product I’d like to discuss is PinkCherry’s lip balm. You can buy it because you love the company or maybe you’ll just throw it in your cart because you’re angling for free shipping. PinkCherry’s lip balm comes in a standard-sized tin. It looks a lot like the option from Good Vibes — but smaller. It’s white, so it’s not going to tint your lips. And, yes, it’s cherry scented. Although, it’s even more artificial than the other products I’ve discussed, and there’s a weird after taste that I don’t particularly like. This balm is scented but not flavored.

While Smooch Me is soft and easy to apply, PinkCherry’s lip balm simply isn’t. It’s hard. You either have to dig into the pot with a nail or give it a pretty fierce rub to get it to melt a little. PinkCherry definitely missed the mark here, and I think this simply makes the lip balm seem pretty cheap. I mean, at only $1, it’s not going to change the world, but it’s not doing the brand any favors. Smooch Me costs seven times as much, but you get more of a better product.

To be quite frank, PinkCherry’s balm will probably go into the garbage. Or maybe I’ll do some “science” experiments with a lighter. Because who doesn’t love open flames?!

If you’re looking for a lip product that’s as versatile as these things can be, Smooch Me is your best option. However, you might simply want to opp for flavored lube, instead.

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Fun Factory Flora

August 10th, 2014

A couple years ago, fun Factory released a line or two or smaller toys. These included Bubbles and the Mini line, of which  I reviewed the Ocean. They all boasted the fine craftsmanship of Fun Factory in addition to the company’s bright colors, which we all know and love.

The company has come out with a new bunch of products after the Stronic Eins, and they use the same control setup. I think Fun Factory simply wanted to created some small vibes that use the same control panel type. The company does it periodically. I’ve seen a number of button setups for Fun Factory toys.  Remember when FF toys used that unique dial? Yeaaa. They’ve come a long way since then. The original Paul and Paulina wasn’t any better, either.

For a while, the company was creating toys with three buttons. Two were the typically to control the toy while the last worked as a boost, one of the things Fun Factory is known for. However, buttons on the Big Boss and Yooo were much harder to push than they should have been, especially when you have to press two at a time. Fun Factory’s Flora uses the same 3-button setup, but they’re smooth — almost beveled looking — and much easier to push. The control panel no longer lights up when you touch it, which I liked but seemed not to work consistently.

However, a two-button setup would’ve been fine. The third button, which features the Fun Factory logo, simply acts as a master power switch. If you touch one of the other buttons while the toy is off, the third one lights up to let you know to press it. Kind of useless. I also think the + and – buttons should be switched so the – button is toward the bottom of the toy.  In fact, they’re printed upside down. The thought is that you’ll look down and it will be right-side-up, but I can’t even see toys because of my short arms, and most toys use the other arrangement.

Flora starts at the last setting you had it on. There are a number of steady vibrating levels. The lowest is the deepest, and the highest definitely tickles my hand uncomfortably. Fun Factory has put better motors in other toys. If you keep pressing the + button, it changes modes.

  • Up and down escalation
  • Fast up/down escalation
  • Faster escalation
  • Fast pulsation
  • Low vibe/Fast pulse
  • Varied pulsation

The modes are different, which makes them interesting especially the last setting. The last one is especially different, but the escalation is redundant.

It seems a little loud — louder than the Siri, for example — for the power output.

Like the Stronic, this one uses a two-contact magnetic charger. The contact points are at the end of the base, which is rounded. I find this to be awkward. If the Flora is sitting on a table, it is tricky to line up the magnet and cable, which will have to bend to stay in position. This makes it waterproof, but I don’t personally require this.

My pink Flora reminds me an awful lot of the Fun Factory Curve. It collects lint, attracts hungry cats and needs a little bit of lube to feel slick.

My biggest peeve with this vibe might simply be that I’m not sure what it’s intended for. With just four inches to insert and a diameter of just over 1 inch, it feels far too small inserted. But it doesn’t need to be this size or generally phallic for external stimulation. I can’t tell if Flora is a stupidly giant pocket rocket or a tiny g-spot vibe. It did neither thing well for me. I do think the ridged design is fun and would be great if this were larger.

At $90, I can name a number of rechargeable internal and clitoral vibes that would be a better deal. The Laya Spot is a better option if you don’t need rechargeable or super strength. We Vibe’s Tango is a much better clitoral vibe. The Lovelife Cuddle is a better g-spot vibe that costs less than $70, too.

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Two Steps Back

August 6th, 2014

I find it difficult to be the person I want to be when it comes to love. While I can be a good worker, friend, sister, daughter, advice giver and supporter, the person I am when it comes to love is less than. Less than what? Less than the person I want to be, I guess.

When I was with my ex-husband, reason and logic went out the window as we ushered in screaming, choking, door slamming, running out of the house, throwing our rings at each other as we threatened divorce fights. It got better, it did. Had we stayed together, I am sure we would have eventually gotten to a healthy place. I really do believe that. But in the middle of things, the intensity of the emotion I felt overtook the reasonable part of me.

I like to think that I’ve progressed since my divorce. Even my interactions with my friends are better. I feel less frustrated, stuck, drowning and angry as a whole. That certainly contributes or will contribute to a healthier relationship.

But I guess there is still progress to be made when it comes to not letting my feelings take me over. I don’t want to be one of those people who becomes wholly consumed by whatever relationship or feelings they’re currently experiencing. And yet I do. I hate it, but I do it.

It’s so easy to think about the person you want. And it’s okay when you know they’re thinking of you, when you talk frequently. But I find myself feeling utterly dejected when I develop feelings for someone and they don’t return them, or we can’t speak. I know how much love works like a drug. It’s an addiction — albeit, a lesser one. I realize that speaking to the bartender is akin to a hit, that it gives me a high. And a lack of communication sends me spiraling downward similarly to anyone who isn’t able to get their next hit.

I hate it. I see what’s happening. I know I should do better, but nothing I try to do or think rationally seems to combat it.

Right now? It’s kind of unbearable. I haven’t seen the bartender in 2 months. It’s the longest we’ve gone this year. While things were sweet and awesome, he’s become distant. Logically, he’s busy and flighty. Paranoid-ly, he’s avoiding me or somehow hates me. And not talking to him makes it more difficult not to see him.

Bleh.

I hate talking about this. I hate how I sound whiny. I hate how it’s the same thing every freakin’ time. I know people don’t want to hear about it and, worst of all, I recognize that this misery is because I won’t walk away. So I fully feel as though I have no right to feel any of these things.

But perhaps what is scarier is that this situation — as awkward and painful as it may sometimes be — has reawakened in me the desire to be something other than single the rest of my life. That desire is so strong that it scares me sometimes, and it feels like it directly competes with how I need to think to be happy. Because at the end of the day, there is no guarantee of love or relationships, and I cannot survive simply by convincing myself that those things are somehow achievable. This cannot be my only tenet of faith.

But boy does my heart want it to be.

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HedoVibes Round Up #52

July 28th, 2014

U09WUIfPhoto courtesy of Celaya Smash

Welcome to HedoVibes, a collection of reviews and giveaways that were posted in the past week or so from around the web. This is a collection of adult product reviews & contests from real reviewers. If you want to be included in the next edition start with the guidelines, then use the submission form.

Want to read more reviews? Check out HedoVibes for a list of the latest reviews and stellar reviewers. You can also follow on twitter for the latest round ups. HedoVibes is also accepting photo submissions for each edition.

CONTESTS

DILDOS

VIBRATORS

ANAL TOYS

RINGS & STROKERS

BONDAGE, IMPACT, & FETISH GEAR

EROTIC BOOKS

MISCELLANEOUS

hedo150

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5 Weird Dildos I Totally Want to Try

July 25th, 2014

Yea, okay. Weird is a subjective term, especially when you’ve purchased a tentacle dildo for a friend as a Christmas gift, and you’ve use multiple glass dildos that look like undersea creatures.

1. Cthulhu

Necronomicox makes the “Myths” dildo, which is everyone’s favorite creature from a horror story. This one’s made of silicone while many strange dildos I’d try are made of questionable latex. His tentacle tail is super adorable. You can get customize the dildo in one, two or three colors. Buy it for $125.

The Xeno art dildo from the same company is creepy and looks like it would feel amazing.

2.  The Dragon’s Tongue

Dragon's Tongue from Bad Dragon

Dragon’s Tongue from Bad Dragon

Bad Dragon is well know ’round these parts even though I haven’t had a chance to use any of their toys. The dragon’s tongue caught my eye because of the colors and shape. It just seems like it would give me a good time. The exclusive colors for these toys are The company lets you build your own from 4 sizes and 5 different firmnesses. Plus, you can get a fucking art print of the dragon whose dick this is when you order.

This.is.awesome.

Runners up from Bad Dragon include The Tailstretcher and their tentacle with glow-in-the-dark suckers.

3. Avatar

I didn’t like this movie, but I’d put Alien Dildos’ Avatar dildo inside me. The design is relatively human-esque with interesting texture along the shaft, a large contoured head and balls that I could without but won’t hate on because it’s a freakin’ avatar dildo. Props on the bright blue, right?

I also love the Phallus, which I’d order in metallic purple. Alien Dildos makers all of their toys with either Vac-U-lock or suction cup bases.

In fact, I love all of their designs, but most of them are too big for me.

4. Ghost

Whipsider Rubber works is one of those companies that specialized in awesome toys. This company made the tentacle dildo I bought for a friend. Sadly, I’ve never owned any of their toys myself. Despite the name, dildos like the Ghost are made of silicone. Sold in two colors — tombstone and red velvet, they’re after my own heart — this dildo glows in the dark to depict the ribs and claw hands of a creature that I would hate to see on TV but would fuck for hours.

Runner up: the Jellyfish. Gradient colors. A bulbous “head.” Super texture.

5. Cyborg

Fleshlight was definitely trying to turn heads, for better or worse, with its Freaks lineup. There are matching dildos and masturbators. The details on the deep purple Cyborg dildo are enough to make H.R. Geiger jealous.  It’s the cheapest on this list by far at under $60.

Fleshlight Freaks Cyborg

Fleshlight Freaks Cyborg

The company obviously thought of Avatar when it came to the Alien dildo, which is a marbled blue and wider than it is thick. I actually really want to put it in my mouth.

Honestly, there are some weirder toys, but the ones I want to use please both my sense of aesthetics and sensibility. Dog dick dildos? No thank you. That Obama dildo? It’s soon going to be dated and isn’t very pretty to begin with. Zombie dildos just gross me the fuck out. You cannot screw a zombie. Its dick will fall off, okay? Okay.

So what strange dildos do you have your eye on?

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Finding My Place In All This (Re: Not So Alone)

July 20th, 2014

I have many thoughts in my head, including a fun post I want to write about weird dildos, but took took an unexpected turn on Twitter when I posted this:

Several dozen replies, some new follows, a couple LOLs and one cuddle pile/cuddlePUDDLE (get the Liberator throe!) later, I feel reconnected with many bloggers. In fact, I think I got some perspective. Despite having done this thing for 6 years (help my celebrate by entering to win awesome sex toy prizes!), I sometimes feel like I am so not part of the in-crowd. I haven’t managed to become close friends with some of the more “popular” or “successful” bloggers.

And maybe that’s okay.

There are some people who have turned this into their job. I don’t think I ever wanted to do that. At least, not through sex toy reviewing. My interest in sex and society and relationships tends toward the psychological rather than the analytic but I haven’t yet applied to Widener, tehehe.

Anyway, other people have gone down the “this is the job” fork in the road. I am a little jealous of them. It never even occurred to me. And that’s awesome. For them. It’s not enough for me Of Sex and Love always needs to remain a place where I am comfortable being personal. That was much of the point when I wrote it, and I didn’t feel like I could openly discuss sex toys and my sex life with my ex-husband, who was in the military, on my other personal blog (Blog count 1).

And even though that relationship is no longer, it certainly won’t be my last romantic or sexual encounter, as you’ve no doubt continued to read here on my blog. For the most part, reviews have dominated this space, but it’s coincidental, not on purpose. It’s how it happens. At some point, I may very well stop writing reviews and focus on my personal sex life if need be.

It will serve a wonderful purpose.

But it also serves the purpose of dividing between myself and some of sex toy reviewers, who are less “sex bloggers.” And that’s okay. For them. Starting a large blog (#3 if you’re counting!) that continues to be a time-intensive labor of love leaves less time for writing.. and socializing. It’s why I go days without looking at Twitter and my Facebook page is often pathetic. I apologize. There are just not enough minutes in the day. Priorities are assigned. This blog is not usually in the top 5 when I have family, friends, work, my other blogs and sex (let’s be honest: sex takes precedence over most of those things) to tend to.

Maybe I mention these things too often. Maybe it sounds like an excuse, but I do it because it’s a reminder. Not all of us sex bloggers/toy reviewers look alike. We don’t have the same priorities. We don’t approach things from the same place.

There are NO one-size-fits-all rules when it comes to blogging about sex and toys.

If you look at this crazy thing with that narrow-minded view, you’re not just missing the point, you’re missing out on the opportunity. And maybe you’re part of the problem. I can admit that I often build invisible walls around myself, but I’m writing this in an effort to knock them down. But if you think there’s only one way to do this, you’re alienating others and misrepresenting the community, which is as varied as my sex toy collection. (Okay, probably more so!)

I don’t want to be part of that. I don’t want to be at the top of a popularity ladder just to avoid the spit from others. Okay? Okay!

I do want to feel like I’m surrounded by friends no matter where I may be in terms of numbers, popularity of success. So thanks to TTC, Dizzygirl, Juliettia, Ima Godiva and Reenie for being the type of people to reply to a message like that I posted on Twitter. And I’d love to welcome new people to the fold. Introduce yourselves. Butt in on Twitter. Comment on blog posts. It’s how everyone started whether we remember it or not!

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6 Year Blog Anniversary Giveaway (Multiple Prizes)

July 17th, 2014

Perhaps it is fitting than for the six years I’ve been writing Of Sex and Love, I will be able to celebrate with six prizes to six different winners. It was unintentional. And I may throw in some Babeland gift cards, too. And I may get a few more sponsors before I finally post this, so it’s not that I can’t count, you guys.

So, this is my way of saying thank you. For visiting. Commenting. Emailing. Following through broken domains and weird Tumblr situations. For sticking it out even when I wasn’t sure that I wanted to. Thank you for listening to me even when I didn’t know how to write a review or how to explain female ejaculation or how bad “silicone composites” were.

A lot can change in 6 years. A lot has changed. And it’s interesting because I’m not entirely sure that I’ve changed anything in the world. Not as Adriana. But the lessons of sex positivity and feminism that this corner of the blogosphere has imparted on me are something that I take with me as my “real” self.  I’m known as the resident “sexpert” and militant feminist. I didn’t see at least one of those things coming.

And I certainly wouldn’t take it back.

No, I’m here to give to you guys for making this all possible. The prizes are pretty awesome, if I do say so myself!

Special thank you to Lelo, Lovehoney, Pipedream, SheVibe, Cleis Press and Good Vibes for providing them!

Awesome giveaway prizes!

Awesome giveaway prizes!

I want to reward as many people as possible, and to this end I’ve decided to use Gleam. The multiple widgets will make the page load slower than usual. Please wait for them to load!

You can enter for multiple toys but you can only win one. If I pull your name for a giveaway, you cannot win another, but you can feel free to enter for more than one and show support for each of the sponsors.

You can come back every day to do things like tweet, and you can do this for each prize.

Remember that each prize has different shipping restrictions, which I’ve programmed into the widgets.

Good luck!

$50 SheVibe GC

$50 SheVibe Gift Card

Lelo Ora
Lelo Ora

Minna Limon

Minna Limon

Icicles #52/Ceramix #4
Icicles No. 52 and Ceramix #4

 

Bettie Page Spanking Paddle

Bettie Page Picture Perfect Spanking Paddle
The Big Book of Submission The Big Book of Submission

Crystal Delights Glass Plug
Crystal Delights Plug

Fetish Fantasy Bed Bindings Under Bed Restraints Kit

Fetish Fantasy Bed Bindings Under Bed Restraints Kit

Giveaway ends August 17th except for the Crystal Delights plug and Under the Bed Restraints, which will end August 21st.

I received no compensation for this post. I am not responsible for prize shipping.

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