Embrace G Wand

August 11th, 2016

Do you know what California Exotics is good at? It’s not really making amazing sex toys; although, you certainly could argue that the company is pretty good at churning them out. Henry Ford would be proud.

No, I think California Exotics is good at some other things, including:

  • Being late to the gate (rechargeable toys and silicone)
  • Designing toys that look premium and charging slightly less for them than those who did it first
  • ..but ultimately disappointing me

The Embrace line pretty much embodies all of these frustrations, and I should know better by now. This isn’t even the first toy I’ve tried from the line!

So you probably wanna know why I tried another one? I guess I’m just a glutton for punishment.

Okay, there’s at least one improvement over the G Wand from the Beloved Wand: it’s rechargeable and doesn’t just use AAA batteries. This should be a win, but if you thought that means it’s any stronger, well, you’re wrong. Probably. I no longer have the Beloved wand in my collection, but I can absolutely confirm that the power output of the G Wand isn’t what I expected because, you guys, there are three fuckin’ motors in here.

There’s one in the bulbous portion of the shaft, one in the neck and one between the clitoral nub and handle. The latter two are definitely smaller and weaker, but I can distinctly feel them in the setting that simply goes through each motor separately. But the overall impression on the steady vibration modes is just bland.

Seriously, though. It’s been a while since I’ve used a toy that just felt so “meh.” It’s odd because it feels stronger and deeper in my hand. The higher setting is noticeably buzzier, but it feels like it should do a decent job once inserted. It doesn’t, though. It may be the way the silicone absorbs the vibrations.

The G wand having a much more drastic curve than the Beloved wand. It reminds me of my Rondo, which I still have somewhere. In fact, I think the curve combined with the handle made it look like it would please me, and that was one of the main draws.

But I haven’t had a ton of success with G-spot wands that share this general shape. I’ve liked some, including the aforementioned Rondo and a toy by Ophoria. You may recall that I didn’t like the Pure Wand or the Comet, however, and many women have found those to be excellent G-spotters. To be fair, the Embrace G Wand is going to be a better tool for G-spot stim if you like those curves; although, there’s more flexibility than the Comet. So you may not be able to get a lot of intense play out of it.

To be fair, the Embrace G Wand is going to be a better tool for G-spot stim if you like those curves; although, there’s more flexibility than the Comet. So you may not be able to get a lot of intense play out of it.

As for the shaft, my favorite part was the rounded head, which I found to work decently for clitoral stimulation. However, the clitoral nub on the base of the shaft didn’t do it for me. In order to get it into the right position, the inner portion of the toy would cause pain. And the three ridges on the clitoral stimulator didn’t do it for me, anyway.

Is there anything I did like? I like the layout of buttons, which were easy to find. A single button switches through the seven settings (and powers the toy on/off), and each has six speeds. The other two turn the intensity up or down. I find it strange that the toy would start on the middle setting, however. It makes me think you’ll have a lot more power than you actually do. Who starts on medium and goes back down, anyway? But I was trying to be kind..

The loop in the handle was just big enough for a single finger, which I foud more useful than a toy whose loop is just shy of fitting two fingers. It feels pretty natural to slip my index finger through the hole and press buttons with my thumb.

It’s waterproof and recharges via USB. It’s not all that loud, so I might recommend it to someone who was looking for a vibrator of this shape but wanted more flexibility than the Comet and similar toys offer.

As for me? I really can’t quite put my finger on why the Embrace G Wand seems so lackluster. It has a less severe curve than toys that I really dislike, and the flexibility means I should at least be able to work with it. Perhaps I need to give it another go ’round before I toss it in the swap drawer. I’m just not looking forward to it.

SheVibe

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The Last Person I Slept With Doesn’t Recognize Me In Public

July 18th, 2016

And this makes me chuckle.

I mean, we saw each other a total of four times, always at night, more than seven months ago. I usually have to do a double take to make sure it’s him, and I apparently don’t recall his voice anymore.

I wasn’t smitten and we certainly weren’t sexually compatible. I soon launched into a month-long flirtation with someone on Tinder. That’s since crashed and burned, and my spring-turned-summer has been busy as evidenced by the lack of posts on this blog. So it’s not like I even have a lot of time to think about it.

But my hometown isn’t so large, and this guy and I play the same games. We see one another here and there, albeit less than I would have expected.

Except.. I see him and he looks right through me. It’s a blessing in so many ways. Perhaps one day I will no longer recognize him!

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5 Things All The Best Sex Shops Have

July 7th, 2016

Y’all know me: a bit opinionated and kind of a shopping snob. I mean, I love shopping, both in person and from the comfort of my couch. But I’ve been spoiled enough by some awesome stores to realize that not every sex shop is a gem, in the rough or otherwise. My local sex stores sadly fall into the subpar category because they fail to meet what I consider pretty basic requirements for any sex store.

I’m talking about..

1. Knowledgeable Staff

If a sex toy store or site doesn’t do everything possible to inform customers about sex toy materials, lube compatibility and anal toy safety, among other subjects, it’s just not a store where I want to shop. And it’s definitely not one I want to recommend to my readers or even friends. Sex should be amazing and toys and accessories can absolutely be part of that, but there’s potential for risk, and customers should be able to ask questions to minimize that risks.

2. Variety

Variety is the spice of life, but it also makes shopping more fun. Now, i wouldn’t expect a boutique store to carry everything, but I would expect to have some options. I don’t think there should be any category that boasts only a single product. How about a couple G-spot vibrators, you know? Not just a single bullet vibe. I also wanna see a few options for premium toys, too.

3. Cleanliness

No one likes seedy sex toy stores in person, but you know what else I don’t like? A site that’s cluttered and hard to navigate. Whether online or in person, stores should be welcoming. I like warm atmospheres and bright colors, not dingy overhead lights. If there’s no other option, many people will still choose the only sex store in the area, but more people see how convenient it is to shop online and avoid those unsavory places every day.

4. Transparency

A certain sex toy site that once worked closely with bloggers, including myself, fell out of popularity and pretty much off the face of the earth when it became apparent how shady all the practices were. Lies and smoke were blown around like you wouldn’t believe, and it left so many of us feeling angry and disenfranchised. I know there’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes that I’m just not aware of, but if a sex store isn’t going to be honest with employees, affiliates and customers, it’s not one that I want to support!

5. Inclusion

Had I written this post a year ago, I’m not sure that I would have included this, but things have changed. A shop that isn’t inclusive to people who aren’t straight and cisgendered is one that’s going to alienate a lot of people who I love. It’s not just good business sense — and it is — it’s the right thing to do!

Were I to add another option, I would definitely say competitive prices. I understand that not every mom-and-pop shop can keep up with the bigger companies, but exorbitant price markup isn’t cool. It’s one of the things I dislike about sex toy parties.

Not everyone knows where to find reputable sex toy stores, especially if you’re from a rural area or living outside the United States. For my non-American readers, I’d like to invite you to check out the following list of sex shops: Sydney sex shopToronto sex shops and London sex shops.

And if you know of a great sex toy store in your area, let me know in the comments! Plus, you can chime in if this post has some glaring omission!

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Decoding Your Kink: Guide to Explore Share and Enjoy Your Wildest Sexual Desires

June 28th, 2016

Sometime last year — I really need to catch up with reviews! — I was presented with an opportunity to review Decoding Your Kink: Guide to Explore Share and Enjoy Your Wildest Sexual Desires by Galen Fous. The entire theme of the book is something that I think is not only helpful but is necessary for those who are discovering their kinky selves, especially people who are struggling with this fact either because of their upbringing or because their relationships don’t have room for kink.

It’s not the first time I’ve reviewed a book about discovering your kinky self, so I was curious how Galen Fous would handle it differently than other authors, especially with his history as a mental health professional.

Very shortly into the book, Galen name drops a survey on his website, and he does this multiple times thereafter. He also links to his Fetlife account, lecture series, personal website, and his professional website. While I commend Galen for actually utilizing hyperlinks in his digital book, the significance of the survey is unclear.

At first, it almost seems as if it will reveal something about the user. It is simply a way got Galen to glean information about sexuality from readers and visitors. Don’t get me wrong. I think this is important, and what better place to encourage users to vocalize than in Galen’s own book?

However, the numerous mentions imply there’s a greater usefulness to the reader. This is especially true in the chapter that discusses personal erotic myths at length. At the end, Galen tells the reader to find their own PEM and directs them to the survey, but it’s never clear how the survey will be helpful in doing so. Fous never says “Imagine the story that is so erotic to you that it never fails to get you off. Imagine the role you play in your fantasies and how power and kink play into it.” Although there is a small section in the survey that asks the reader to consider this, the book itself leaves the reader wondering.

At times, Decoding Your Kink almost seems like a vehicle manufactured entirely as a vehicle to get more responses (and clicks to his site). At best, readers deserve better and it’s mildly annoying. But I can see this turning off a reader enough for them to put down the book.

My second major concern is Fous’ use of the term “fetishsexuality,” which he has coined and introduces as a sexual orientation alongside straight, gay, bisexual, so on and so forth. It rubs me wrong for several reasons. There’s no doubt that living in a society that fails to be sex positive is difficult for any kinkster, myself included, but it does a disservice to those who have fought to marry and have been murdered to simply invent a sexual orientation like this. Furthermore, one can be a kinkster combined with any of those sexual orientations, and many people are fetish-inclined without it being a necessity in the bedroom.

Finally, I think someone who is really struggling with accepting this part of their identity might find this new term to be confusing. Baby steps, you know? Let’s open up their eyes to fetishes and how they can be awesome and positive without adding new definitions that are not (yet) wildly accepted.

But let me sing some praise for Decoding Your Kink. I think it’s important that a mental health professional is sex positive and kink positive. I think it’s important for those with kinks and fetishes to recognize that those sexual interests are not necessarily unhealthy. They can be enjoyed, and they may not be shamed for having those fetishes.

Anyone who encourages kinksters to be honest to themselves is doing important work. Galen goes one further by collecting data and trying to develop a treatment model for those clients who seek help but don’t need their kinks treated as problematic or symptomatic of an issue.

Galen’s own kinks might make the reader feel more comfortable. He speaks honestly about topics such as physical (not sexual) touch with his clients, especially men who might be disconnected with their bodies and who may not experience positive physical interaction other than sex.

I did find the chapter on Erotic Mythos to be interesting and potentially useful, too. A personal erotic myth is essentially a sexual personality, and Galen outlines a few archetypes: King/Queen, Tyrant, Lord, Daddy, daughter, etc. In this section, the reader becomes familiar with stories of a few clients whose “personal erotic myths” followed a specific erotic myth fairly closely. Galen also talks about how important it can be to find a partner whose erotic myth complements our own.

Fous also treads carefully on the subject of bringing up your kinks to your partners, negotiating and potentially finding satisfaction of your fetishes outside of your relationship. Similarly, he explains the difference between D/s and BDSM and the interplay between kink and romance in a way that can help to

Yet all these positives don’t manage to make me forget about the strengths. There are places where Fous lacks clarity and flexibility. As I finished the last page, I felt somewhat let down. I think because the title “Decoding Your Kink” implies a book that will be hands-on and provide the reader a way to deal with their own struggle in regards to sexual identity. But at the end of the day, the words within these pages serve more as a general insight into Fous’ research and work with clients while providing a way for him to glean more data.

Again, I find this all interesting but it’s not what I expected to get from this book. I am mildly annoyed at this fact because I am not in the middle of a struggle myself, but someone who is, someone who picks up this book looking for answers, is unlikely to find them in a clear way that encourages action. For them, I would suggest As Kinky As You Wanna Be instead of Decoding Your Kink: Guide to Explore Share and Enjoy Your Wildest Sexual Desires/

 

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Adriana’s 10 Tips for Anal Sex

June 15th, 2016

In my first year of marriage, I might have had more anal sex than vaginal sex. Perhaps it was because we were still using condoms, and neither of us really liked them. It might have been the taboo, which made it all the more hot. But, if I’m being honest — and I always am with you guys! — I just liked it. Anal let my clit open to stimulate, the tightness felt great and my former husband liked it, too.

With that in mind, I’d like to help others experience positive experiences when it comes to anal sex, so I’ve got 10 pieces of advice that I hope will help you!

1. Talk About It

I don’t just mean talking during anal sex. Of course, you should do that. But you should talk about whether you want to try it at all. Your first foray into anal sex shouldn’t be a surprise, especially as a woman. If you’re a guy reading this and think the “Woops, wrong hole!” method is appropriate, you’re not only wrong but you’re probably not as good of a lover as you think you are.

So stop and talk about it. Do you want to try it? What will make you comfortable? Does any part of it make you cautious? Then, when you are in the moment, give instruction and provide feedback so your partner knows where you are.

2. Prepare

You really don’t need to do a ton to get ready for anal sex or play, but most people feel better after doing some sort of preparation. Make sure you’re not backed up. Folks with IBS or similar conditions are going to have a more difficult time having anal sex spontaneously. I know, I’ve been there. Wipe well. Wet wipes make you feel fresh. A shower takes it one step further. You can try an anal douche with lukewarm water over your toilet, but enemas really aren’t necessary; although, some people like them!

With that said, the potential for poo with anal sex is real but it’s not a big deal. We’re all adults here, right?

3. Start Externally

If pop culture is an indication of how people have anal sex — and I wish it weren’t! — then, a lot of people go straight for penetration. But, uh, I don’t think that’s a great idea. You see, if someone’s never been stimulated in that area before, plunging right in isn’t going to help them relax. Plus, I’m a vocal fan of external stimulation. Some spanking or groping of the ass is great, but manual stimulation around the anus is even better, especially during PIV sex.

4. Use Lube

Personal lubricant is a God-send for vaginal sex, but it’s an absolutely must for anal sex because the anus doesn’t lubricate at all like the vagina. You don’t necessarily need anal lube, but you should use something. A lot of people like silicone-based lube for its slickness. I prefer a medium-thickness water-based lube more often than not. Some people like coconut oil. Find what works for you.

5. Work Your Way Up In Size

You’re down with a little rubbing, and it’s time to penetrate. Great! But don’t rush into a huge toy or penis if you’re unsure. Instead, try a finger, then two. Consider a smaller toy

6. Push Out

As someone who has enjoyed a lot of anal sex, even if it’s been far too long, I cannot tell you how much this rings true. While your body will resist penetration initially, you can relax your sphincter muscles enough for penetration by pushing out a bit. Another piece of advice that’s often touted is to relax your throat, which is supposed to have a mirror effect on your anus. I haven’t noticed this to be true.

7. Go Slower Than Slow

This phrase is usually associated with BDSM. It means to go slower than you think you need to so you won’t overwhelm yourself or your partner. This is especially true for the person doing the penetration. Once your cock or strap-on has made it past that first ring of muscles, stay there for a minute. Let your partner get used to the sensation. Then thrust shallowly before working to the full length of your shaft.

8. Respect Pain

If you’re in pain, your body is telling you that something is wrong. This is the exact reason that anal numbing creams are a terrible idea. So if it hurts, try more foreplay, add lube, take a few deep breaths or even try again another day. Sometimes it takes a few tries to get it right with anal.

9. Make It Romantic

I know a lot of people prefer positions in which you can make eye contact, and positions from behind don’t achieve this. But you can – and should – try anal sex in modified missionary if you like the eye contact or enjoy kissing as part of more romantic sex.

10. Guys Should Try It, Too

Typically, it’s men pressuring their female partners to try anal sex, and I think women can enjoy being penetrated. But it works when you flip the script around and a woman manually stimulates her man or penetrates him with a toy. Because a man’s prostate is located within the rectum, anal sex is the perfect way to explore that part of your sexuality and, no, it doesn’t make you gay.

Of course, you don’t have to try anal sex if you don’t want to. Some people like it, but it’s not for everyone. And if you give it a go but find out it’s not your thing, it’s your right to say “Stop”. If you don’t get it right the first time, don’t fret. It took me several tries to get doggie style to work, and that’s some pretty basic sex stuff!

You might not find yourself having as much anal sex as I did once upon a time, but hopefully you can enjoy it from time to time with these tips.

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Best Bondage Erotica 2015 and She’s on Top

May 23rd, 2016

I had this great introduction for this post worked out. But when I sit down to write it, it completely escaped me. Go figure, eh?

I wanted to explain why this review has taken me so long, which seems to be how most of my posts on this blog start these days. I suppose it all comes down to the fact that I was simply uninspired, not because of me but because this collection is simply uninspiring for me. Perhaps I need more of a D/s angle instead of simply bondage, though there was some of that within these pages. Maybe I prefer specific roles. She’s On Top is the next book in my review queue, and thus far it’s doing a much better job of getting the juices flowing.

And perhaps this was just a slow year for erotic fiction. Maybe I’m too harsh.  Perhaps there was too much variety, and Best Bondage Erotica just missed my niche. I’m not sure. I can’t put my finger on it, but I’m reluctant to call this the “best” the world has to offer. Plenty of other people disagree, as is their right, however. Best Bondage Erotica 2015 has a 4.65 rating on Good Reads.

It’s a fair question to wonder whether I am just burned out on erotic short stories. I’ve reviewed many of these anthologies and have read even more! But as soon as I finished Best Bondage Erotica, I opened up She’s on Top, another anthology edited by Ms. Bussel. Almost immediately, I was pulled in. From the very first, I was curious, aroused and craving more.

It’s been a much quicker read because of how rapt I am, and I find myself reaching for the book even when I do not want to be aroused. I simply want to read the stories. Aside from deliciousness, I love how the overarching theme of female dominance isn’t necessarily done in the most cliche or redundant way. That’s hard to do, and many BDSM manuals and guides would have you believe there are only so many femdom archetypes from which you can pick. She’s on Top absolutely defies that “truth,” and I am glad for it!

But what about Best Bondage Erotica, which will soon be replaced by a new volume? The stories run the gamut from playing with strangers to voyeurism/exhibition to spy games — all with a bondage element, of course. Sometimes the bondage takes center stage es elaborate setups are discussed. At other times, however, it’s more incidental than instrumental. I think that’s one of my critiques. Sure, there is bondage, but I’d rather it be all about bondage with less curiosity about how this story is going to get there. If you like erotica that warms you up first, you might prefer this collection of stories more than I did, however.

Very few of the stories just stuck with me, and as I page through the book to write this review, I don’t remember reading most of them. I do recall and enjoy “Housewarming the Craftsman,” a story in which a man and woman break in their new home in a less-than-traditional-way, and “Tying the Knot,” a tale about a (homosexual!) couple who use bondage to get over those cold feet. “You Shall Not Come” is a solid piece written from the point of view of a visitor of a weekend sex camp. At camp, she participates in a game where she and a stranger try to make the other come first. “Stuck On You” evokes classic wet T-shirt imagery through the use of a soapy, wet sponge; adding bondage brings something new to the old concept.

With so much variety, the reader is bound not to love everything. But bondage is a less cohesive theme than I’d like, which means there are fewer themes that do it for me. Your mileage may vary.

Now, why did I love She’s On Top so much? Certainly, it had to do with when I was reading it. I was in the middle of steamy sext sessions with a guy who would eventually break my heart but who was also comparably kinky. Perfect background! And the stories were perfect to read while my sex drive was in such a heightened state. Thus, reading was frequently broken up but only because there was so much masturbation happening!

It starts off strong with “Suit and Tie,” a story about workplace oral. Stories about housework, crossdressing/cosplay, professional dominatrices and even Victorian England, which turns out to be sexier than I ever would have thought. That particular story, “Victoria’s Hands,” is one that I would recommend. But it’s not the only one. Teresa Roberts writes a haunting-yet-sexy story in which the main character is using BDSM as closure to a relationship.

If there’s a story that I don’t particularly like, there’s only one, “Feeder.” The name points at exactly what you’d expect, and that sort of fetish just isn’t my thing.  But it’s quickly followed by “Penelope the Punisher,” a story that takes place in a fabled domination house, and the cooperation between the women is fantastic. Cooperation is also a sexy theme in “The Queening Chair,” a story that ends the book on a note as high as it begins.

There are a few stories in She’s On Top that pull on my heartstrings while simultaneously making me aroused. They resonate with me in multiple ways. Some of the characters/relationships are well versed in domination. Others fall into it by accident, through experimentation. The types of bondage and kink vary, as do the characters in their race, sexualities, and personalities.

Not only is She’s On Top worth a read; it’s one of the rare collections that I want to read again and perhaps again and again!

You can get both of these books on Amazon, but if you’re looking for more erotica, I highly recommend checking out the erotica section at Good Vibrations, which was kind enough to provide me with these books for review.

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10 Sex Ed Books On My Reading List

May 18th, 2016

A while back, I noticed that Good Vibes seemed to be increasing their book section. Maybe they’ve always had an awesome collection of books, and I’m not just talking about erotica and stuff from Cleis Press, which publishes my favorite sex series. I mean sex education books, studies of human sexuality and instructional books that expand on Our Bodies, Ourselves (also available from Good Vibes.)

Not all of these books are new, but most of them are new to me and a few are new to the site. This list isn’t comprehensive by any means, but it does contain titles I’d like to look into further (I plan on reading most/all of them myself to update this post with my own thoughts and recommendations in the future), and those that

1. Sex Yourself: The Woman’s Guide to Mastering Masturbation and Achieving Powerful Orgasms

I love anything that teaches women about masturbation. Let’s talk about the, literal, ins and outs. Let’s experiment. Let’s draw back the curtain. This book was published by Good Vibes itself, which has me feeling pretty confident in its content!

2. Wide Open

Gracie X writes about being polyamorous in a world that most definitely doesn’t understand or condone it. I most definitely enjoyed another book about the poly lifestyle – My Life on the Swingset. Wide Open might not be instructional, but anecdotal stories about “alternative” lifestyles certainly help people to explore.

3. Girls & Sex

This book discusses how young women of high school and college age deal with the sexual world in which they live. Again, women’s sexuality is so frequently ignored or worse, that I cannot help but feel curious about what’s between these pages.

Drawing on in-depth interviews with over seventy young women and a wide range of psychologists, academics, and experts, renowned journalist Peggy Orenstein goes where most others fear to tread, pulling back the curtain on the hidden truths, hard lessons, and important possibilities of girls’ sex lives in the modern world.

 

What Do Women Want?

What Do Women Want?

4. What Do Women Want?

Daniel Bergner analyses research on a women’s arousal and desire to determine what they really want. I first discovered this around the same time as Come As You Are by Emily Nagasaki, available on Amazon. She was kind enough to reply to me on Twitter about the comparison between the two books, which use the same data but draw different conclusions. I am already a fan of Nagasaki, so I might be biased, but I’d still like to read this book.

5. Playing the Whore

Ever since reading a smart essay on sex work in the most recent Best Sex Writing anthology, I’ve been looking at sex work in a more sex positive way. Playing the Whore sounds like the perfect argument to those who view sex workers as less than human and focus on legislation that hurts them, rather than helping them.

6. Cunt: A Declaration of Independence

I love language, and I love using the word “cunt.” It seems so bold to name a book this, but I’m not sure it should. Author Inga Muscio discusses how the word has changed over time and how we should reclaim it — and our bodies.

7. Designer Relationships: A Guide to Happy Monogamy, Positive Polyamory, and Optimistic Open Relationships

A how-to on romantic and sexual relationships? Why isn’t this something we’re taught from the start?!

8. The Sex & Pleasure book

Another offering from Good vibes, THE Sex & Pleasure Book is written by Carol Queen and Shar Rednour to cover everything related to sex. It’s got a 5-star rating, which only makes me want to read it more.

9. Woman Cancer Sex

The stark cover perfectly complements the stark nature of sex. Few people offer advice to cancer patients in regards to sex and intimacy. Anne Katz does it in these pages. She talks about side effects and potential issues from cancer and treatments, and this is exactly the sort of sex education that’s practical and necessary.

10. She Comes First

My desire for reading this book is pretty selfish. In short, I want to pick it apart page by page and disagree with suggestions about how to please a woman. But maybe I’ll be pleasantly surprised.

There are over 100 books, including erotica and sex ed, that you can buy from Good Vibes. Obviously, it’s more than just a place where I get free sex toys, so add a book to your cart the next time you’re shopping!

This post contains affiliate links. I will earn a commission if you make a purchase after clicking. I was not compensated for this post.

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