Petite Couture Collection™ – ecstasy

March 7th, 2010

Having tried a full sized Couture rabbit by California Exotic, I wasn’t too thrilled to get a petite version to review. It seems to me that if a toy powered by 3 AAs is not powerful enough to get me off, then a smaller, less powerful version is not going to have much luck either. That’s not to say I was going in expecting to fail but I wasn’t expecting it to blow my mind either.

It’s a real shame because the soft silicone of the couture line is a step up from porous materials like jelly and the sleek lines are attractively classy, in my opinion. The texture of the Petite Couture Collection Ecstasy is velvety, with a bit of drag and mostly devoid of any shapes save for a gentle ridge that runs around the head then comes together down the center of the vibe, toward the clit stimulator. There are no seams in the silicone. Because the silicone is soft, it will unfortunately pick up lint. There is some slight variation in the shaft size but overall, the diameter sticks near 1.25″ and there are no difficult angles or bulges to maneuver, making it better suited for beginners than many rabbits. Even if you’re not a beginner, you might opt for a Petite Couture piece because they are smaller in length, too. This one offers 4.75″ insertable inches, a change from the larger rabbits which do not work well with all anatomies.

Like the regular Couture Collection, Ecstasy has a silver, plastic base which continues the sleek look with it’s contemporary lines. There are 3 buttons to control this rabbit vibrator: a master power switch and a button for each function (rotation of the shaft and vibration of the clitoral stimulator). When the power is one, the buttons light up a very bright blue, so bright, in fact, that I used the light for a flashlight in the dark. The functions can operate separately so there are many ways to enjoy this toy.

There are 3 speeds of shaft rotation which I found enough to make me squirt; however, I was unable to successfully stimulate both my G-spot and clit as I had to pull the rabbit out a bit to hit the right spot. I have a shallow G-spot and I believe the thinner shaft of the Petite Couture Collection™ – ecstasy just couldn’t hit the right spots. I think my PC muscles are a bit out of shape, however. The rotation stood up to my clenching on 2 out of the 3 speeds and it just seems like it shouldn’t with such a small power source.

Some might also find the clitoral nub to be a little on the short side because it does not have rabbit ears or what-have-you extending its length – which is only 1″. Generally, I like the idea of this shape better than all the animals because I trend to press the bullet part right against my clit instead of the ears or arms or other body parts. This one does curl up slightly toward the body/clit but the bullet is just not strong or deep enough for me. Even with 3 steady vibration modes and 4 more pulsation and escalating patterns, I was pretty let down. The vibrations are higher pitched than I like and really didn’t reach deep beneath the surface. Even the pulsation was underwhelming and lacked the throbbing sensation which is a requirement in strong vibes. I wound up turning them off pretty quickly when I realized they would not get me off.

In regards to a few technical details, the Ecstasy is pretty quiet and wouldn’t be heard through a closed door. The rotating portion does have a bit of an annoying whine, however. Because of its silicone composition, only water based lubricants should be used. These vibrators are supposed to be waterproof but the battery compartment does not seem to seal tightly so I wouldn’t submerge them during use or washing. Soap and water washing or shower use would probably be fine, however.

While I think the Petite Couture Collection™ – ecstasy might be a good first rabbit or even a first sex toy for some users, I was just really underwhelmed by its performance, which I expected would be the case. It’s a step in the right direction and I do like the idea of more variety in rabbit sizes but I personally need.. dare I dare it.. more power.

CEN_SEXPERT_certified

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Liberator Affiliate Program

March 6th, 2010

Let me preface this review by saying I believe Liberator will be moving to different software for its affiliate program and pay outs are currently frozen. In the near future, this review may no longer be relevant but, in the mean time, feel free to check out AAG’s post about not being paid.

Liberator’s affiliate program is one of the few manufacturer affiliate programs to which I have applied. Part of the reason for this is because no other retailer sells all of Liberator’s products. It is difficult to do so without marking up the prices ridiculously because of shipping costs, which I understand. Of course, Liberator has also been kind enough to allow me to review one of their products.

Liberator’s currently affiliate program can be accessed by a link in the footer of Liberator’s homepage. This page gives a bit of information to potential affiliates, including that earnings are from 10% – 15%. From there you can sign up or sign in, if you are a current affiliate. There is no direct URL which is easy to access (for this page or the affiliate program, period) even though the affiliate control panel mentions LiberatorAffiliates.com. Unfortunately, this domain redirects to Liberator.com and not even the affiliate page. In fact, links from this section redirect to the Liberator home page and the sign up page does not have a field for referrer so it appears that affiliates cannot refer others and earn commissions from their sales. Although I can live without referring others, it certainly is a nice incentive and it doesn’t bode well for a program when the provided links are useless.

That is essentially my biggest bone to pick with the Liberator affiliate program: the links are provided and there are no ways to create links to different landing pages. Not every program has a link creator or a built in affiliate dashboard when browsing the site but I don’t even know if I can add my affiliate code to the end of URLs to bring visitors in on specific product, review or guide pages. It’s not a problem if you want to link to big named products by Liberator or even other manufacturers like Lelo but not even every Liberator product has a link in the affiliate control panel and I like my links to be relevant. Another downfall to this is that I do not know how frequently the links are updated as new products are added. I find that when my options as an affiliate are limited, I am much less likely to use affiliate links at all which doesn’t help me earn commissions or help the company make sales.

There are, however, quite a few banner options including a group of banners featuring Catalina, a blogger (and model?) of some infamy but with whom not everyone would be familiar. Also, her blog seems to be down and since I am not a follower, I do not even know if these banners are still relevant. Most of these banners are located on one page and are not divided by size (although, most of the standard sizes appear to be available) so they are not as easy to browse as they could be. It would be easier to navigate if the banners were further divided by size, even if they were all on the same page; just add internal links. As you can guess, these banners mostly focus on Liberator shapes with some highlighting their lingerie.

Aside from links and banners, basic account info is readily available on the first page, after sign in. This includes sales and commissions. For more in depth information, affiliates can view monthly reports which are broken down by sales and commissions. Users can also edit their account information, contact Liberator and choose to redeem commissions (over $200). All of these options are easy to find but the control panel is definitely on the basic side. It’s okay if you just want the pertinent information at a moment’s notice but definitely lacking compared to other affiliate control panels.

One noticeably lacking feature is that of payment flexibility. The only option I can see is to be paid by check and, I’ll be honest, a $200 check would be awesome but it could take years for me to get to that point. It would be great to have the option to be paid by Paypal and a lower payout as well. Because I have yet to make commissions, I cannot speak in depth about the payment process.

Overall, the Liberator Affiliate program lacks the flexibility and ability to customize in a way that really attracts and keeps affiliates. With programs like these, I am likely to forget I am even an affiliate after I add banners to my site. Instead, I focus my energy on other retailers which offer more alluring features and allow me to link the pages I want to specifically link. The result is that I make more from other affiliate programs simply because it is easier to do so.

In addition to this, Liberator has not done much to really draw attention to the affiliate site on their main page or to make the two mesh (relatively) seamlessly. I don’t mind separate affiliate sites at all but without even on a logo to distinguish it, the Liberator affiliate program is forgettable.

With that said, it will be interesting to see the new Liberator affiliate program when it is operational. I also hope that the folks at Liberator will take the time to inform their affiliates of these changes because there has not been a lot of communication going on thus far. This will definitely be a chance for them to improve their program so that affiliates will actually want to use it.

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A toy a day? No Way!

March 3rd, 2010

Babeland is holding a contest in which they give away one Fun Factory toy every day. All you have to do is become a fan of one of their Facebook pages and send them a message to be entered. Go ahead and tell them Adriana sent you, too!

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Bhold: Bcute Curve

February 28th, 2010

My first free toy was an egg from Bswish and it was surprisingly powerful. While the newer additions to their line up are just as attractive (cute, even!), they do seem to lack the strength which is sad. Plus, my Curve won’t relinquish smells it picked up for only one use which is a little disappointing. Still, for some people, it would be the B’s knees.

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It Ends Now

February 27th, 2010

I don’t know when or even why it happened but I do know that, somewhere along the line, I became power hungry and not even in a power exchange sort of way. I became obsessed with having power even though the drive usually had unwanted results and was detrimental to my relationships. It’s not just romantic relationships about which I speak. It’s grown into such a habit that I find myself looking for ways to control people and situations even if I know it will only send me two steps back. I become so focused on power in the present that I forget what matters in the long run and it is most certainly not that sort of power.

The friend with whom I am currently staying suggested I am building walls to prevent myself from being hurt but I know that is not the case. I am not changing how I act because of the current situation; I am only keeping up the behaviour I have been doing for some time regardless of the fact that it has never helped. If gaining the upper hand didn’t help me then, it certainly won’t help me now.

A family member of mine recently told me that there is no room for power in a relationship; we should simply focus on the fact that we love our partners. It was a simple piece of advice but one I think I needed to hear and still need to hear. The momentary satisfaction I may gain from having power is not nearly comparable to the satisfaction I could gain from learning to relinquish power to preserve my marriage (although, that is far from the only thing I need to do).

I suppose I have come to the conclusion while power is appealing and certainly healthy in some situations, my current situation is simply not one of those.

So, I leave myself with these words of wisdom:

Where love rules, there is no will to power; and where power predominates, there love is lacking. The one is the shadow of the other.

Carl Jung

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I Write Stuff

February 24th, 2010

on EdenCafe. Most recently, I have been writing posts in my “column” – The Hard Way, which discusses how I’ve learned things.. the hard way: The Sensitive Guy, Did You Know I Eloped? and My Exes. I have attempted to share some of my personal experiences, honestly but without being entirely depressing (although my current trials make it difficult). I will be switching things up next week, however. Are you intrigued?

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Kissable ice cream – strawberry

February 24th, 2010

At first, I confused California Fantasies with California Exotics but it’s a lesser known manufacturer which made the Kissable Ice Creme in strawberry which I had a chance to try. This cream is really a multitasker which promises to cool and lubricate while allowing your partner to taste its flavour when he or she goes to town on you. This product does succeed in a lot of ways, I am happy to say and the 2oz squeeze tube is pretty sizeable. It reminds me of a hand cream tube and there is a lot more product than any other sensitizing product I’ve tried.

Let me start by saying that this is not a lubricant. It’s a thicker cream which will quickly rub into the skin and while the taste remains, it has virtually no lubricating properties. It may moisturize but my vagina doesn’t really need that, I don’t think. Plus, the ingredients list contains both alcohol and sugars which can cause irritation for some which leads me to believe that this product would better be labelled as a sensitizing cream than a lubricating one.

The ingredients, as listed on the tube are:

  • de-ionized water
  • caprylic/capric triglyceride
  • octyldodecanol
  • glyceryl stearate
  • PEG 100 stearate
  • Emulsifying Wax
  • polydimethyl siloxane
  • decamethyl cyclopentasiloxane
  • cetyl alcohol
  • tricethanolamine
  • glycerin
  • sodium benzoate
  • diazolidinyl urea
  • potassium sorbate
  • polysorbate 20
  • hydrogenated collagen
  • methylethyl cyclohexyl
  • propanediol
  • flavor
  • carbomer
  • disodium EDTA
  • sodium PCA
  • Sodium Saccharine

It’s a long list and was painful to type up. While some of the ingredients I recognize, I wouldn’t mind if there were simply less and if there were fewer salts and sugars to boot. While cooling products usually contain some sort of menthol as the active ingredient, I am not sure what it is in the Kissable Ice Creme that makes it work.

As a sensitizing cream, Kissable Ice Creme passes with flying colours. It feels cool immediately and grows slightly cooler but not so much that it makes me uncomfortable like other cooling products I’ve used. It doesn’t quite tingle but I can feel the area to which it is applied growing more sensitive. This is a positive attribute when used on the clitoris but I would like to remind you that this product is also intended to be kissable which means your mouth, including lips and tongue, will become extra sensitive, too. Depending on your personal preferences, this may not be a positive thing. I find it a bit interesting but not necessarily distracting. I did not experience any amazingly powerful or easier orgasms while using this cream but my awareness was definitely heightened.

The Kissable Ice Cream is flavoured and scented. It’s definitely sweet and more of the unnatural strawberry “flavour” as opposed to tasting like real strawberries. The taste will grow weaker as it is licked away (although, the thick cream does stay in place well) and it does seem to have a bit of a sugary aftertaste. It’s not horrible but it is a little.. different. Fluids and a person’s natural taste may alter the sensation, of course. The scent is very sweet as well and gives you a good indication of how it will taste.

It does remove cleanly with licking or washing without leaving residue and even when it’s on your fingers, it feels creamy and soft without being greasy. Because it is thick, it stays where you put it and you do not have to worry about it dripping on your linens or carpet but, as it is water based, I do not think it would stain anyway.

In fact, since I bought it to use as a sensitizing cream and not a lubricant, I can’t really say that are a lot of strong negatives about the Kissable Ice Creme from California Fantasies. It does what it says in a noticeable but not overpowering way and I like that it does not smell or taste like mint because I am not a fan. Not everyone will love the taste (although there are also Cola and Colada flavours available) but I found it to be decent in the limited quantities I’d be using for play time anyway. I would like to see an ingredients list which isn’t quite so terrifying but I haven’t experienced any adverse reactions and do not intend to use it internally so I am really pretty satisfied with the Strawberry Kissable Ice Cream.

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