Holiday Shopping with Babeland

November 25th, 2013

Babeland has officially released multiple gift guides for shopping for your loved ones this year. I figure I didn’t need to write my own. Epiphora already has one, and plenty of retailers do, too. Anyway, a guide would appear something like my “Best of” lists, and I’ll be writing one of those in a few short weeks. But I do have thoughts on some of the gift guides are that are out, so here’s my informal critique.

Tenga Flip by Babeland

Tenga Flip by Babeland

Top Ten Sexy Gifts for Him

This list includes masturbators, cock rings, anal toys  and a few kits. I’d  recommend the Tenga Flip for individual users and the Mio cock ring for couples. I’m not really a huge fan of kits because they all usually contain something that I really won’t use. Of course, a nice bottle of lube is ideal for anyone on your list. Babeland carries Ride Rub Stroke Oil intended specifically for jerking off.

Top Ten Gifts for Her

This list is almost entirely made up of vibrators with the exceptions of  the Under the Bed Restraints, which I do love! To be honest, I don’t really like anything else on the list. The Minna Ola was frustrating, the Form 2 sucked and the Pikobong toys are a joke. I do have high hopes for the We-Vibe 4 but haven’t had a chance to try it yet. So here’s my recommendations instead:

We Vibe Touch

We Vibe Touch

  1. Stronic Eins for unique pulsating sensation
  2. Siri for clitoral stimulation
  3. JimmyJane Form 6 G3 for strong vibes and versatility
  4. We Vibe Tango  or Touch for strong external vibes in a portable package
  5. Babeland’s Orchid  G for something that won’t break the bank or someone who isn’t sure what they want yet

Also, the list is sorely lacking in dildos. I love the look of the Babeland Mustang and the Candy dildos. You can also pick up the Leo with include bullet vibe.

Stocking Stuffers

If you’re running low on funds or just want to top of someone’s stocking this holiday season, Babeland also has a list of stocking stuffers under $30. This list includes Tenga eggs, which are perfect for masturbating on the run, and all sorts of Babelube.  I’m a particular fan of Babeland’s massage products, so check out the bars on the list. There’s even a mini riding crop for just a little (tehe) bondage fun.

I would personally add the Sliquid lube cube to the list. Why not toss in a condom sampler?

Kits

Although I said I don’t like kits, some of the pricier ones are an all right deal. There’s an entire page of kits. My recommendations are for the Start Kit that includes the Orchard G and a bullet vibe, Bootie + Sliquid kit, Mystic Wand + G-spot attachment, Jaguar Harness + Leo dildo, Power to the Pink (which has lube and a Siri) and maybe the Sweetheart Kink.

Right now Babeland is doing 30% off best sellers, so take a look. They’re also holding a contest for newsletter subscribers. You can win a $600 shopping spree when you sign up.

 

What’s on your Christmas list this year?

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Sliquid Lube Cube

March 27th, 2012

It’s about time I got down to writing this review. I’ve had the lube cube for long enough. Sadly, I haven’t had great opportunities to try all of it but I really like the idea. You see, this sampler set includes pairs of several of Sliquid’s lube, including Sliquid H20, Sliquid Sassy (for anal), green apple, blue raspberry, cherry vanilla flavored lubes and Sliquid silver (silicone). Each comes in a square foil package that features a different color. H2O is blue, for example, apple is green so on and so forth. The packets fit perfectly into this little cardboard box. Generally, I dislike packages inside packages, but this just works so well. Plus, it makes sense.

The box itself is also cute. Mine has a purple to blue gradient that I love. There’s also a white flower on the front. It’s super classy, y’know, for lube. The box itself is only a little over 1″ thick, so it would fit in my purse perfectly. I actually like this as a portable lube sample. I mean, if I forgot it at someone’s house, I’d be less upset than if I forgot a whole bottle of lube. Not that I’m getting any of have any need for portable lube. Whatever. It could happen.

I’ve tried the water-based lube mostly. It’s a bit thin for toy play IMO. It also seems to get a bit sticky. I’ve heard good things about Sliquid so I was a bit disappointed. Sassy is a thicker water-based formula that’s compatible with all toy types. I’m pretty sure it’s geared for anal sex, but I like gel lubes for masturbation with toys. As you would expect, the silicone-based lube is slicker and thin. It’s good for PIV sex but not great with silicone toys. Especially not VixSkin ones. Le sigh.

The flavored lubes are pretty tasty, especially the cherry vanilla. The mix of two very common flavors produces something more exciting. I would definitely buy a bottle of this. The blue raspberry tastes a little powdery to me. It’s not my favorite, even though I usually enjoy that as a flavor. The green apple is sweet and a little artificial but good nonetheless. All of the flavored lubes are clear and water-based. They contain not sugar, so I’d think you could use it for penetration, if you performed oral beforehand and there was some lube leftover.

I’ve purchased flavored lubes in the past and not only was it syrupy tasting, but it was incredibly sticky. This does make for a stickier hand job; however, it’s not as sticky as I expected and slicker than I expected. You’ll want to wash your hands of course, but it wasn’t unbearable like my past experience. Oddly enough, the flavored lube seemed to develop something of a film when I used it to stroke. This looked.. weird, but it didn’t impede the function of the lube.

As is the case, packets are always too much or too little. The inclusion of pairs means you get a much better experience with these products, which I like. I actually don’t use a lot of lube so the packets are more than enough for my tastes. Even after sampling every flavor, I still have a bunch left to use. As your box winds down, you can easily grab a few packets and toss them in your bag. I’d maybe keep them in a baggie, because there’s a pre-cut notch that makes for easy opening and could potentially lead to tearing.

I don’t usually give a flying eff about lube but the Sliquid lube cube manages to be impressive. Plus, $2 of the purchase price goes to immigration equality so that’s awesome.

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Simply Blown G-Glass Dildo

October 10th, 2011

I drooled over Simply Blown’s products when I first saw them. I delighted whenBabeland started carrying them and pretty much squeeled when they sent me one for review. I could have cried when I saw they were no longer carrying them and while Babeland didn’t require me to write a review, I wanted to because these are awesome products.

The thing that draws the eye is that Simply Blown somehow fills their glass pieces with a bright color, like red or blue, and there’s a layer of clear glass around this. It’s breath-taking and, let me tell you, even more amazing in person.

I received a red G-Glass dildo and if the piece itself is a work of art, the box is understated. It’s a simply grey box with a formed foam insert that highlights the sex toy inside and nothing else. Not surprisingly, my piece was heavy. Heavier than any rabbit or the Pure Wand. Heavy enough that I will never use it for extended periods of time lest my arms fall off.

But I won’t have to because the weight and the gentle curve of a Simply Blown glass dildo are perfect for hitting the G-spot, for applying pressure in just the right way and getting the job done in no time. In fact, I was squirting before I even had time to try both sides. I’m pretty sure the wider end is intended more for insertion but the smaller end is usable, too, especially if you’re not quite ready for the 1.59” diameter. This toy is already heading toward larger status but the rigid glass definitely makes it feel huge. The girth stays about the same for most of the length. The smaller end is actually just about as wide, with no tapering, but it does slim down to about 1.27” about 1” into the toy.

The dildo I have measures around 7.5” from tip to tip. Unfortunately, Simply Blown doesn’t provide any storage options and I find boxes to be bulky so I’ll probably adjust my toys so I can steal a padded bag from something else.

Like all things glass, take care when washing and storing. Dropping could break the toy, your floor or a toe. Ouch! Go easy with lube because it’s already so slick and, if you’d like, apply warm or cool water for temperature play but go slowly so avoid burning yourself or stressing the glass.

I can’t find the G-glass dildo for sale anywhere but the Simply Blown website but you can purchase the similar and adorable Lover Dildo and the sleek Siamese dildo on SexToy.com

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Maximus

September 2nd, 2011

Maximus

Maximus
$1 to $16 from Babeland

Maximus is a water-based lube that has long been touted by fans of anal sex because it’s thick and more or less stays where you put it. Although I can’t even remember the last time when I ventured into anal territory, I enjoy thick lubes that stay where I put them because I’m a toy fiend. There’s nothing worse than lubing up a toy, only to have it drip all over your hands, or erotica book, or partner or floor or bed (see my point?) on its way to your target destination. So I like my lubes a little thicker.

Yet, in the past, I’ve used lubes that were so thick that they not only stayed exactly where I put them but they felt solid and thus lacked in any lubricating goodness whatsoever. This is not the case with Maximus which is a thin, gel-like lube. It’s definitely not a liquid but it does move, eventually. If you hold a toy upright, the lube will slow obey the forces of gravity. But not so much that I wind up up covered in it, which I enjoy. It’s actually thinner than I would expect and the opening in the bottle is a little thicker so it came out faster than I was ready for. I’ve got it down now.

Texture-wise, Maximus is pretty silky and it just keeps going and going. I generally test between my fingers when I write a review so I can give you an idea how long it takes for a lube to dry up and whether it gets stick as it does. My fingers are starting to become sore from rubbing together and they’re still silky, although not as slick, and not sticky at all.

Because this is a water-based lube, it’ll wash right away with water. This is bad in showers but good when it comes to washing off your body or toys after play time. I didn’t taste it but it has no recognizable smell. It’s completely safe for internal play and with your silicone toys as well.

In summary: Maximus might be the best water-based lube I’ve ever use. Kthnxbai.

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Gotta Have It

August 10th, 2011

There’s nothing like a long book that you don’t really like. I guess I could sum up my experience with “Gotta Have It” in those words and leave it but I’ll try to explain exactly why this book didn’t catch my fancy. I mean, there’s a cat on the cover so that should count for something, right?

Gotta Have It” promises to offer 69 stories of sudden sex and while the sex may be sudden, it’s not all sudden fiction. That is, some of them are just a little longer than I like and we all know how I don’t like erotica that lasts longer than I do. And, honestly, I think the sheer number of stories is not working in this book’s favor. It appears bulky, especially because it’s shorter and squatter than any other erotica book I own. It’s ten times as big as Five Minute Erotica! Maybe I wouldn’t have noticed so much if I weren’t reviewing it but I felt the deadline pressing against me and was just trying to finish all the stories, one by one, and they kept blending together. By the time I finished the book, I couldn’t remember anything about the first stories–there was just too much data to try to recall in one place. This would have been much better off as two volumes.

But it’s more than that because I found myself paging through and passing by more stories than I read. A lot of them just didn’t pull me in from the start and I couldn’t get into them by continuing on. I don’t like to waste my time so I skipped ahead. The problem is that the focus of these stories appears to be the writing rather than the sex or sexuality. They’re all spectacularly written and interesting as literature but not as erotica. It’s almost as though the sex is an afterthought in some of them.

There’s well written stories with a wide variety of subjects. The themes in this book include golden showers, sex with strangers, voyeurism, phone sex, gender play, online dating and Godzilla. Yes, Godzilla. In fact, Salome Wilde’s “Too Wondrous To Measure” is a fantastic tale about the giant reptile that I remember simply because it was weird. Call me old-fashioned but I just don’t get turned on by the guy. There’s a mixture of gay, lesbian, bisexual and straight couplings but there’s a lot of monogamous sex that I just didn’t find particularly thrilling in “Gotta Have It.”

One of my favorite stories actually details the make-up sex of a married couple. Daniel Burnell’s “Ties That Bind” was interesting when I first read it. Yet, it’s not something that is so interesting or different that I remember it once the book leaves my hands. The same can be said for “Lucky Number Fifty-One” which follows a man who gets the chance to have sex with his favorite porn star and is able to impress her.

At the end of the day (or page or book), “Gotta Have It” Is simply not the best erotica collection I’ve read. It’s better than, say, X, because I like stories short but I have four or so anthologies on my nightstand that I found to be much more interesting. I don’t know if it’s the sole reason but I seem to really enjoy collections that Alison Tyler have edited and this one was edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel. I’d recommend Five Minute Erotica if you want a short and sexy story. Some of those have left some pretty vivid memories in my mind.

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Babeland Tote

August 4th, 2011

I have a lot of tote bags and, to be honest, I don’t use them much. I did when I lived in San Antonio and walked to Wal-mar. The ones with especially long handles I could sling over my shoulders. These days, I use paper bags for recycling so the totes tend to stay in storage. But that won’t be the case with my Babeland Tote if only because that cats won’t let it.

The flash on the store images make this appear to be shiny, like vinyl. The tote is made from your typical, weavy tote fabric on all sides. The front features the Babeland logo in pink and the bottom is sewn rectangularly. There’s also a piece of plastic that sits in the bottom of the bag to fill out the shape. I love this because sometimes things with corners can wear away at the bottom of the bag, causing it to give out eventually.

The bag measures roughly 13.5″ high, 12.5″ wide, 8.25″ deep and has 20″. That’s standard size, which I like. It’d be great if the site included measurements because sometimes retailers pass of mini-totes as normal sized and that bothers me.

I haven’t actually gotten around to using the bag, not because I don’t like it, but because the cats have commandeered it. It must smell great because they keep knocking it off the dresser, rolling around in it, chasing it across the floor and pummeling it. My cats might commit suicide if they lose it. The other day I woke up and Phantom was sitting in it so I promptly picked it up to show the roommate. That said, the Babeland tote holds cats quite well.

At $1.50, it’s in the range of the bags you can buy at the grocery store and, if you had some leftover money on a gift card, I’d definitely pick one up.

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Babeland Massage Oil

July 8th, 2011

Once upon I time I received a Babeland Massage Cube for review. It happened to be summer and so it arrived a melted mess. A melted mess that smelled amazing. Except, the only place where the scent was labeled was on a sticker that I promptly threw away or fed to the cats or something and so I was in agony, not knowing what scent it was that I liked so well. But Babeland, they’re on the ball. Despite going through several program managers, they knew that shit and offered to send me a bottle of their Babeland Body Massage Oil in the same scent: lavender vanilla. Seriously, pretty awesome.

So the bottle arrived and I was all excited to smell it but couldn’t get any to come out. Turns out, Babeland uses a clear plastic seal that’s pretty hard to see. I know because I checked and couldn’t even see it. It wasn’t until I touched with my finger that I realized it was there. This is not life or death. It’s actually kind of amusing for sort of frustrating for all of five seconds.

After those five seconds my nose was busy sniffing the massage oil to see if it smelled as I remembered it. It didn’t, not exactly. As I recall, the massage bar was a lot sweeter because the vanilla was stronger. It’s the opposite with the massage oil: the vanilla takes a backseat. Interestingly enough, there is a noticeable citrus-like scent. I’m not a big fan of citrus scents. The overall impression is sometimes medicinal. It could just be my nose but I have a pure lavender massage oil from System Jo that also smells like a medicinal citrus.

One thing I’ve come to notice is that Babeland’s lavender vanilla massage oil smells different in the bottle, in the air and on my skin. This is frequently the case with scented products and I wish it were a bit more consistent. The result is that I like the massage oil a bit less than I like the bar itself. I dug out the bar from the drawer it’s been hiding in for months? years? and, sadly, it barely has a scent at all. I kept it in its box which is hardly airtight so I’m not entirely surprised.

The oil, which lists just three ingredients: sweet almond oil, vitamin E and fragrance, has a slight off-white shade. It comes out of the bottle in a super controlled amount, thanks to the push-top cap. It’s a bit runny; Kama Sutra’s Oil of Love is thicker, if I recall correctly. It feels great rubbing into my skin as a moisturizer, which is what I wind up doing with all my pretty smelling things. It leaves my skin with a pretty sheen and enables my hand to glide easily over different body parts. I feel like I’m using a lot but my bottle barely seems to be used so I’m probably just over-estimating on my part.

You may feel like washing your hands after using Babeland’s Body Massage Oil. They’ll feel a little greasy and opening tight jars may be difficult but it feels lighter than the System Jo Massage Oil. It’s not quite as slippery which I expect means I’ll wind up using more of the Babeland Massage Oil for long or intense massages but I like that it doesn’t feel as residue-y after usage. It’s a toss up, really, depending on your needs and preferences.

Babeland’s massage oil comes in a giant 5.25 fluid ounce bottle, as compared to the tiny bottles I have from other companies and even other Babeland products. I figure it will just about last forever. I could probably give away all of my other massage products and just keep this one. I won’t, though.

You can pick up your own bottle for $15 which makes it the most wallet-friendly massage oil option that Babeland even carries.

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