Saturday, December 7, 2013

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Whipspider Rubberworks Tentacle Review

~I received this item at a discount.~

Some time ago, I remember whispering excitedly to a friend that I found a toy shaped like a tentacle, and I was going to buy it.  When she asked me why, I told her that even though I don't exactly have a love of tentacles (some people do), the toy was way too unique to pass up.  Penis shaped toys?  Got 'em.  Toys that can double as art pieces?  Check.  Toys with colors so vibrant they should come with a hazmat warning?  You betcha.  Tentacle shaped toys?  No!  That I didn't have.  And with the Whipspider Rubberworks Tentacle being blue and green (two of my favorite sex toy colors), how could I pass it up?

A little bit about it: Although the name of the company contains the word "rubberworks," their toys are actually silicone.  The Tentacle is a shimmery, multi-tone blue on one side, with seafoam-colored textured suckers on the other.

The circumference starts small at the tip and wider as you get to the base.  At the tip it is about 3.25" in circumference, while at the base it's around 9.25".

What I loved:  The Tentacle is fantastic for G-spotting.  The tip has a dramatic curve that hits juuuust right, which is a huge plus for me since I've run into several toys that don't have enough of a curve to provide the right stimulation without contorting into weird positions. It's firm enough to provide solid G-spot stimulation for me, but it's slightly squishy and flexible, so it's comfortable, too!

And the suckers!  Oh, the suckers!  I've had textured toys before.  Some textures I couldn't even feel, some were great against my G-spot, but the suckers on the Tentacle are far different, and much more pronounced.  They feel rough and bumpy in use, which for me is nice.  I like textures.   If you don't like textures, that's going to be a huge drawback for you.

The final thing I love is the fun shape!  I mean, it's a tentacle.  I've found so many toys that look unique and fun, but only come in jelly or rubber, neither of which are completely body safe.  But this is silicone!  And did I mention that the sucker side of the Tentacle glows in the dark?  Because it glows in the dark.

What I didn't:  Even though I love the texture of the suckers, it feels a little odd that they run up the side instead of along the inner or outer curve.  That means I feel it only on the left side of my vagina, as opposed to the top or all around, which is what most toys have.

The only other issue is cleaning.  Those suckers can sometimes be difficult to get fully clean and occasionally need a going over with a toothbrush for that reason.  Personally, I keep a toothbrush that I only use on toys.

Final thought:  The Tentacle retails for about $80 and will likely last many years with proper care.  It's a wonderful and worthwhile addition for those that like girth, G-spot curves, unique shapes and extreme textures.  If that's you, you'll want to have this one in your collection.  However, if you do not like larger toys or textures, you'll want to skip it.

Finally, I'd like to note that there have been rumors between bloggers and shops--and just rumors, mind you--that Whipspider may be going or have gone on hiatus.  Having no idea what's rumor and what's true, I've contacted Whipspider directly on the matter and am currently waiting for a reply.  I will update if/when I receive a response.  In the meantime, if this sounds like a toy you'd like, it would probably be prudent to go ahead and buy, just in case.

~I received this item at a discount.~

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Lunapads Review

Delux Kit via Lunapads.com
Warning: I'm about to talk about periods and reusable menstrual products.  If that makes you uncomfortable, don't read on.

I've been going back and forth, trying to decide if any menstrual product reviews would fit on my blog, as it's mostly about sexuality, marriage, and sex toy reviews.  But as another blogger pointed out, the reproductive system is an important part of sexuality.  So, I'm going with it.

Let me start by giving you a bit of background on me.  I have insanely heavy periods.  Like, crazy holy-crap-how-have-I-not-bled-to-death kinds of periods.  It got even worse after I had my IUD put in. Yes, I've consulted the doctors and they pretty much agree that there's nothing wrong with me.  I just am.  A super pissed off uterus is evidently my lot in life.  Now, think of how many pads and tampons I went through every period.

When I heard of reusable pads, my first thought was eww.  But then I thought, hey, I did cloth diapers with my kids.  How is this worse?  Then I thought, hmm.  And finally, worth a shot.  I didn't have anything to lose by trying washable pads, and I had heard somewhere that some people have a reaction to the chemicals in disposable pads that make their periods worse.  Mind you, that's just anecdotal and I have no idea if there was any truth to it, but at this point I was willing to try anything.  Enter my discovery of Lunapads.

Pad and liner via Lunapads.com
A little bit about them:  Lunapads are reusable, washable cloth pads.  They are cotton with a PUL interior to prevent leakage.  They're easy to use and attach by using a snap button on the wings, securing them to your underwear.  The female side of the snap is on one wing, the male side on the other, and when you wrap them around the back of your underwear, they snap together and hold the pad in place.

There are two ric-rac straps on each pad.  That's the zig-zag ribbon looking strap for you non-sewers.  The ric-rac straps are used to hold extra liners, or "inserts" in place.  Having a heavier day?  You can stack more than one insert together on the same pad.

Please note: Lunapads also sells panty liners, which are all-in-one pieces that you don't use inserts with, and underwear designed for periods.  

You may be wondering how they get washed.  Honestly, I just give them a quick hand wash before throwing them in the washing machine.  Never had a problem.

What I loved: Lunapads are ridiculously easy to use.  Unlike other cloth pads that are all one piece, those clever inserts that Lunapads has allow you to just change the insert if you don't bleed through.  That is all sorts of handy and means less laundry.  When I tried other cloth pads that were all one piece (all the padding was inside the pad) they were difficult to wash and took forever to dry.

I was really worried about the ick factor with using washable pads, but I have to say that it's really not that bad.  After one cycle, using washables seemed perfectly normal.  I know a lot of people think it's going to be some sort of horror show, but really, it's not.  It's no more horrifying than pre-treating your shirt after you spilled coffee.

Now, on to how well they work.  After a couple of times through the wash, the pads are very absorbent and very comfortable.  The fact that the inserts can be stacked for heavier days, making them fully customizable, is just brilliant.  I'm not sure that I've ever, in the many years I've used them, had a leak-through.  No sticky, plasticy discomfort that you get with disposable pads, either.  No disintegration in your underoos.  Have you ever had a disposable pad suddenly disintegrate in your undies for no apparent reason?  Not awesome.

Can I talk about the smell for a second?  We all know that periods have a certain amount of smell.  That's why disposables have the perfumes and whatnot.  But, after I made the switch to cloth, the smell pretty much disappeared.

What I didn't: You know what?  There wasn't really anything I didn't love.

Final thought: I'm in love with Lunapads.  They are so simple to use, and come in a variety of colors, patterns, sizes, and absorbencies.  They're so much more comfortable than disposables, better for the environment, and did I mention they save money?  They save money.  They may look expensive, but think about how much the average person spends on pads and tampons each year.

I was hoping that my period would magically lighten up when I made the switch, like some people claim theirs did.  Honestly, it did lighten up, but just a tiny bit.  However, most of my very worst period symptoms vanished or greatly improved.  I had less severe cramps and I felt like I could actually move around on my period, which I had struggled with for years.  Does that mean I am one of those mythical people that was having a reaction to disposables and didn't know it?  Maybe.  Not being a doctor or scientist, I can't say for sure, but I suspect my body did not like the disposables.

After a few cycles, I decided to pair Lunapads with a Mooncup (UK, not US.  They're different companies).   It's been exactly what I needed.  The Mooncup catches most of the flow, and the Lunapads do the rest.  On lighter days (and note, my light days are medium days for everyone else), I just use one or the other.  I can now leave the house, do chores, and carry things on my heavy days.  I wasn't able to do that before.

It's been over six years since I first started using Lunapads, and am just now thinking that I should maybe purchase a replacement set, as mine are starting to show some wear.  In all this time, the only issue I've had is one snap on one of the pads wore out.  In six years, that's it.  They certainly hold up well.

If you are wondering whether reusable menstrual products are right for you, I highly recommend giving Lunapads a try.  Still need a reason to try?  Lunapads will send you your own sample pantyliner for just the cost of shipping.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Tantus Echo Review

My love of Tantus products continues.

During the last sale, I discovered the have a Grab Bag section.  Same fun toys, but with unique, one-off colors and a lower price.  I knew I wanted the Echo, and since I didn't particularly care what color it was, I went with the Grab Bag instead of the standard Midnight Purple and Pearl White.  I'm so very glad I did.  I received this gorgeous color, which I think is black.  Or, it may be a very, very, very dark purple.  Either way, I don't have any other toy this color.  And if you look closely, it's got teeny, tiny little sparkles.  It is gorgeous.

And did I mention it came with stickers?  Stickers, ya'll.

Echo next to B-Bomb and stickers


A little bit about it: The Echo is a textured dildo made of silicone.  It has an insertable length of 6.5 inches (total length of about 7.5 inches), with a circumference of roughly 5 inches at its widest point.  It's covered in wave-like ridges along one side with a smooth underside.  At the base there is a hole where you can place the included bullet vibrator or use your own, like the Salsa.

What I loved:  Let me say the obvious.  The ridges are amazing.  They hit my G-spot with every move.  With my muscles relaxed, I can barely feel the ridges, but can definitely tell it's not a smooth toy.  It's like a gentle vaginal massage against my G-spot.  When I tighten my muscles, I can feel every single ridge as it bumps past my ring of muscles.  Unlike most G-spot toys where only the head of the toy hits the G-spot, this one hits it with every ridge.

Now about that bullet hole.  Most toys with bullet holes create a suction on the bullet vibe so that it's hard to remove, even with lubricant. [Side note: always use lubricant when placing a bullet vibe in a bullet hole.  It will be much easier to remove.]  This is even a problem with some other Tantus toys.  The Echo, however, has an extra ring of ridges on the inside of hole, helping to greatly reduce the suction problem.


What I didn't:  I'm not crazy about the bullet vibe that came with it.  It's buzzy and one speed.  But...meh.  I never really intended to use it with a bullet anyway, and if I want to use a bullet vibe with it, I'll use my Salsa.  But, to be thorough, I tried it with the bullet it came with.  It was tingly, pleasant even, but hardly orgasmic.  I'm not too disappointed, though, since I just wanted it as a dildo, not a vibrator.

Final thought:  I love the Echo.  It's large enough to be satisfying without being so large that it takes lots of effort to use it.  And the ridges...oh, the ridges!  It's like my G-spot getting bumped every time I move it an inch.  Worth the price?  Oh, yes.  Yes, it is.

Want your own?  Choose your color or snag one from the Grab Bag.  Have mobility or reaching problems?  Tantus also sells an Echo with a handle, but it does not vibrate..

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Bedroom Misadventures Episode 8

Sometimes I wonder where time went.  It seems like it was just last week I was grabbing my backpack, scrambling for a lost notebook, and sprinting across campus to a class I was late for.  Again.  But really, that was years ago.

Husband and I have not quite hit middle age yet, but we're already having the not-as-young-as-we-used-to-be feelings.  He's losing his hair and I'm starting to see the first faint line of wrinkles around my eyes.  It's not much, and I know those older than us will be rolling their eyes, but it's enough to know we are changing.  Our we-can-do-it-all teens and twenties are behind us.

After an evening of fun that lasted perhaps a little longer than usual, Husband started complaining about his back.  He had arched it at some point, further than he should have, and for a day or two needed help putting his socks on.  He couldn't bend far enough to reach his feet.

He was sore for several days after.  In fact, he's still sore.  At one point, he was trying to get up from lying on the couch and announced that he felt like a turtle.  Because I'm a good wife and a nice person, I've been massaging his back and helping out when he needs help, but inside I was laughing.  Hard.

And then I woke up this morning with a sore shoulder and pain running down my ribs.  It had to do with me supporting my weight awkwardly during sex.  All of the sudden it's not so funny.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

When Sex Advice Get Silly. Or Just Wrong.

I've made it no secret that I'm not a huge fan of Cosmo's sex and relationship tips.  I mostly find them absolutely ridiculous.  I mean, there have been whole articles written on just how bad their tips are.  I should assume he's cheating if he's whistling?  Oh, really?  Gee.  And here I thought it was more sane to just assume he had a good day.  Give him a bit of a man-parts massage when I know he's had a terrible day?  Yeah, in our house that would end with him saying, "Did I not just tell you how horrible my day has been?  Not interested.Lower your voice when talking to him on the phone?  OK, I'm not sure if they mean volume or if they want you to drop suddenly into bass, but either way he'd most likely say, "What?  What?  I can't understand what you're saying.  Do you have a cold?"  And let's not forget that one fellatio book that I hated with a fiery passion also happened to be written by a woman that also writes for Cosmo.

A few days ago I ran into a Cosmo article that someone had tweeted about.  I had a few spare minutes, so I thought why not.  I've been trying to find the link again so you can see the article for yourself, but I can't seem to find it.  I honestly don't even remember what the whole point of the article was, but I do remember the part that sent me into a full rage and made me forget about everything else the author was saying.  She said men find it hot when a woman gags and gets teary eyed during oral sex.

Not a few men.

Not some men.

Not some men, sometimes.

Not even most men, sometimes.

Just men.  Men find it hot.

First off, I hate generalizations like this.  So of course, I was more than skeptical, so I asked Husband if he thought that was hot.  It seemed to me that it's more of a porn act, and as we all know, porn is not real life.

"Do you think it's hot if a woman gags?" I asked.

"What, you mean like in porn?"

"No, in general."

"No."

"Not ever?" I pressed.  I wanted a full, honest answer.

"Not ever.  If you gagged, I would think something is wrong."

I'm kind of with him on this.  I mean, I kind of imagine I would end up looking like I had the flu.  Not sexy.

Now, don't get me wrong.  Some women do enjoy gagging.  Some men enjoy seeing it.  But generalizations in sexual advice can be downright dangerous.  There should have at least been a "some" in there.  It would be easy to change it to, say, "Some men find it hot, so if you're into it, it may be worth discussing."

I did a little bit of casual research on the subject to see what I could turn up.  Do you know what I found?  Get ready for a shock: It was a mixed bag.  Some liked it, some didn't.  Oh, that wasn't shocking and was kind of obvious?  Yes.  Yes, it was.  So what's with the generalization?  Good question.

I now picture a young woman thinking she has to gag to please her partner because she's sure men find it hot.  Cosmo said so.  Like she would be doing it wrong if she didn't, no matter if she didn't want to.  And that makes me very sad.  Or, a man thinking that he should find it hot, even if he doesn't.  Also, very sad.

So what's a couple to do?  You could start by, oh, I don't know...talking to each other?  And probably not rely on magazines like this for sex advice.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Bedroom Misadventures: Episode 7

So, the fact of the matter is that I'm a sex and marriage blogger.  I read, do research, test products, etc., etc.  I suppose this means that sometimes I think about sex toys more than the average person.  I guess.  Just the other day, I said this on Twitter:
See, that's where my mind goes when it's idle.  Better sex toy storage.  I mean, my stuff is all hidden away from the kids and all, but geez, it would be nice to have it all in one spot.  But as usual, I digress.

A large portion of this blog is reviewing.  I mean, if you are going to drop significant money on a toy, I want it to be a toy you are going to love, not a $100 regret or a $20 safety hazard.  And because I do so much reviewing and window shopping, sex toys are never very far from my mind.  Sometimes, that's distracting.  Yesterday, it was very, very distracting.

I had an appointment for a teeth cleaning, and I swear the hygienist must have been a relative of Sweeny Todd.  Lots of pain from this routine cleaning.  My mouth hurt for hours.  But again, not the point.  I was sitting in the waiting room, just looking around, being bored, and thinking about how little interest I had in People and Redbook, when I saw it.  On the front desk was a large glass statue.  It looked very much like a giant one of these:


Thanks to Beck (NSFW and often contains nudity) for lending me the visual aid pic.


Do you know what that is?  If you've not really a bedroom adventurer or frequent sex toy shopper like some people, you may not know what you're looking at.  I'll tell you.  That is a butt plug.  It does exactly what it sounds like it does.

And my dentist had a giant one sitting on her desk.

I mean, of course it wasn't actually a butt plug.  It was just a large, glass statue that was hilariously shaped like a giant butt plug.  So, I'm staring at the floor, thinking about just how inappropriate it would be if I started laughing.  I'm sure pretty darn inappropriate.  So, there I was, eyes on the floor and pretending that my dentist did not, in fact, have a giant glass butt plug on her desk.

Update: When I told my husband this story, he started laughing and said, "When I was there last week, I thought the same thing!"  So...it's not just me, then?

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Rare Assembly Bondage Bow Review


~I received this item for free as a prize from a mini-contest run by Rare Assembly.~

Not too long ago, the American Psychiatric Association decided that just because someone has a kinky streak, that doesn't make them mentally ill.  That's great news for bedroom adventurers everywhere.  How many have tried at least a little bondage?  Tough question, and it seems it depends on which study and/or survey you are looking at They mostly seem to hover between 30 and 50% of the population, with some as low as 2% and some as high as 75%.  The only thing I've found studies agree on is that the number of people that at least try light BDSM (like blindfolds or toy handcuffs) is on the rise.  But why the huge variety in survey and study outcomes?  I suspect it has to do with perception.  What one person considers kinky, another considers perfectly vanilla.

So let's say a person that has always been vanilla wants to do a little experimenting.  Looking around at BDSM shops online can be a frightening experience for someone just looking for a set of silk scarves, fuzzy handcuffs, or pretty blindfold.  What to do if you want to see if a little adventure is your thing without the in-your-face aspect?  Enter the Bondage Bow.

A little bit about it: The Bondage Bow (large) is a long band of rubber latex that comes wrapped as a...wait for it...bow.  It's about 75" long and just shy of 1.25" wide.  There are perforations down the middle that slide onto a large metal tack in the package, holding it in a bow shape.  Once unraveled, it lays flat.  It's extremely stretchy and made for exactly what it sounds like: bondage.  Or, as the company says in it's slogan, "Unwind this bow and tie somebody up."

What I loved: The best thing about the Bondage Bow is the aesthetics of it.  The bow shape is sweet and non-threatening.  A lovely, springy bow seems far less scary for a beginner than a coil of rope.  It's pretty without being cutesy, and the colors they offer seem to be changing.  I own it in black, but they currently they offer it in cherry red and honey gold.

Because of the tack that is used to hold the bow in shape when it's in the package, the Bondage Bow has perforations in the center all the way down the length.  I was worried that this would cause the bow to easily rip apart, but it didn't, even when I tugged on it width wise to purposely try to get it to rip.

There's a certain simplicity to the Bondage Bow.  It's not incredibly long, so there is only so much you can do with it.  OK, really, it's for tying wrists or ankles, but if you are brand new to the idea of bondage, that's probably all you're going to be doing, anyway.  So, it's pretty, simple, and pretty much a bit of kinky for those that don't necessarily consider themselves kinky.

What I didn't: My biggest complaint is that it is uncomfortable.  Really, really uncomfortable.  I know other reviewers have raved about how comfy it is, but that's not how I found it.  I even experimented by tying my ankles while doing some computer work, but only got about ten minutes in before the heat of it became unbearable and I had to take it off.  During sex, it's fun but only for a very short amount of time because of the same issues.  I mean, it's latex rubber.  It doesn't breathe.  My skin felt funny for an hour afterward as a result, and no, I don't have an allergy.

If you are interested in experimenting with being restrained in a manner that you can't escape, this is not your toy.  The stretchiness of the material makes it very, very easy to escape from.  When I tied it as tight as I felt was safe, I was able to escape in 3 seconds.  I timed it.  When I tied it slightly tighter than I would think is safe (with NO intention to stay that way and done in a safe and easily undone manner), I couldn't escape, but it pulled my skin and tiny hairs.  Ow.  The fact that you would have to tie it tighter than safe to make it "real" bondage is a big no-no for anyone looking to be actually restrained.  The Bondage Bow, it seems, is for looks only.  There's nothing wrong with that if that's what you are looking for, as long as you know the limits of your material.

Finally, the material sticks to itself.  It's nice to have the friction to help restrain, but it makes tying decent knots almost impossible.

Final thought:  The Bondage Bow retails for £18, or $25-30 (depending on the shop) which is not a bad asking price.  I've seen much worse toys go for much more money, but it's up to you to decide if it's worth it.  It is lovely and non-threatening, making it a nice introductory piece for vanilla people looking to experiment.  Like I said, it's a bit of kinkiness for people that don't consider themselves kinky.  However, any buyer needs to understand that the Bondage Bow is mostly for looks and the accompanying psychological affect.  It is not great for anything but brief wear, due to the fact that it doesn't breathe and can get uncomfortable on the skin.

So, is it worth it?  That depends on why you want it.  If you are just looking for an introductory toy, this is nice to have.  If you are interested in restraint that actually restrains, this is not for you.

~I received this item for free as a prize from a mini-contest run by Rare Assembly.~

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Painless Fellatio Position

Little Deeper Cushion
Husband and I have a varied and healthy sex life.  That includes fellatio.  I don't have any philosophical problems with it, since we believe in variety and Husband greatly enjoys it, but I've always had a physical issue.  Although I've had a bit of jaw pain every now and then, it was fleeting and vanished in a few moments.  However, no matter what position I was in, I ended up with nasty muscle pain in my neck and shoulders.  I could go for about 10 or 15 minutes before the tense pain showed up.  If it was a day where he was taking 20 or 30 minutes, I had two options: push through or stop.  If I pushed through, I'd be sore.  If I stopped, we'd both be disappointed, although Husband always says I'm free to stop if I need to (and sometimes I do).

We've experimented with different positions.  Laying between his legs, both on our sides, him standing with me kneeling, him sitting and me laying, him sitting and me kneeling, me sitting with him standing...the list goes on.  Then I started reading some better sex books, and even some that were all about fellatio.  My technique improved, but no matter what, the neck and shoulder pain came.

And then...and then...I found it.  The position.  A position that I can stay in for a half hour or 45 minutes with no pain and no lasting soreness.  Not only do I not get sore, but we're able to look at and touch each other without anything in the way.

This magic position involves Husband slumping on the couch, with his upper back against the back of the couch, his butt forward, feet on the floor, knees wide.  Meanwhile, I'm sitting on my Little Deeper Cushion with my rear on the higher part, and my legs folded on the lower part.  The cushion is very, very important.  Not a pillow, not a towel, but specifically the Little Deeper Cushion.  It holds me in the perfect position with little to no stress on my arms, shoulders, and neck.  Now I'm much happier and more willing, which makes him happier, too.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Tantus Splash Review

~I received this item at a discount in exchange for an honest review.~

Tantus has always been on my sex blogging radar.  Most bloggers sing in praise of their high-quality, silicone products.  One day, I wondered how many of their products I already owned.  Five?  Ten?  I checked my toy box and was shocked.  One.  Just one.  Just the Ace that I bought long ago, when I first started exploring toys.  I owned one product from one of the most reputable, sex-positive, customer friendly, quality companies.  How did I let this happen?  This must be fixed!  I set my sights on the Splash.

A little bit about it:  The Splash is a textured, silicone dildo that is O-ring compatible.  It starts with a wide, pearly white head about 5.5" around (by my measurements) that tapers down in size until it reaches the purple base, totaling about 7.5" long.  It's covered with texture that changes as it goes down.  Near the top, there is a series of mild ridges, followed by smooth, raised drip designs.  Past the drips where the color changes from white to purple, the texture also changes from smooth to slightly rough, almost grainy.  I know "grainy" doesn't sound like a very pleasant texture, but it's the closest word I can come up with to describe it.  It's not an uncomfortable texture, just different from the super smooth drips.

What I loved:  The Splash is one of those toys that's both simple and elegant.  The smooth drips are just present enough to be felt, but not so much texture that I find it overwhelming.  It's almost a massage kind of feeling that stimulates all over, instead of just one specific spot.  The drips are kind of like elevator music: it's pleasant, but not the main event.

The ridges near the head, meanwhile, command a little more attention, but still not so much that they are uncomfortable.  The ridges aren't very deep, but combined with the gentle curve of the shaft they are simply amazing for G-spot stimulation.  The ridges drag across my G-spot, but in a good way.

The firmness is just right.  I'm one of the many people that need firm pressure on my G-spot to get any sort of sensation out of it.  The Splash is firm enough to deliver, but at the same time, the silicone has a little bit of give so it's not completely unforgiving.

The size is wonderful.  The head, shaft girth and shaft length are large enough to be filling, but not so huge that it's unwieldy or challenging.  Please note that I do tend to like larger toys, so my "not huge" may not be your "not huge."  However, I will say that if I had to classify it, I would say that the Splash is a toy on the larger side of medium.  For me, that makes it a great go-to dildo when I want great stimulation but don't want something so big that it takes a warm-up.

What I didn't like:  I don't really have something to say here, but if I were pressed, I guess I would say that it would be nice if it came in other colors.  Purple/white mix is the only option at the time of this review.

Final thought:  Worth it.  The Splash runs about $75, which I know sounds like a lot for a toy that doesn't even vibrate.  I thought so, too, at first, but I was quickly won over.  The size, shape, texture, all of it is just perfect.  I don't have to say this toy is good for ____, but not good for _____.  It's filling but not overly so, has great texture but not to the point that it's irritating, great for G-spotting, and is firm enough to allow pressure with just a bit of pleasant give.  It's easy to clean, body safe, will last a really, really long time, and is just fantastic.  It's easy to buy a curved dildo from another company for less, but I guarantee that it won't compare to safety or quality.

~I received this item at a discount in exchange for an honest review.~

Saturday, October 5, 2013

And Then I Got a Piercing Part 3

Looking for Part 1 or Part 2?

You'd think that once I had the actual piercing done, there'd be nothing more to say.  Maybe I'd have to deal with some infection later on or something.  But really, all you have to do is take a look at my Bedroom Misadventures to know that things tend to go wrong around me.  Seriously, yesterday I was stepping into my flip flops and fell backwards over a nightstand and into a wall.  Not only that, I am a chronic, obsessive worrier.

So I was lounging with Husband on the bed, exhausted, spent, and enjoying the attention of my hot, redhead husband that suddenly couldn't keep his hands off me.  He asked me about how I thought the piercings look.  I glanced down at them, and was suddenly horrified.

"They aren't straight!" I gasped.

"What?  They look fine."

"No, they don't.  LOOK.  This one is crooked.  It angles this way.  And look, this one angles that way. They both go diagonally inward, like a V.  And look at the left one.  It looks like she got way too far onto my actual nipple."  I was starting to panic that my body may reject the piercings and/or I'd have to have them redone.

He laughed a little at me, but had to admit they did sort of angle inwards, and one did look like the hole was a little far out.

*Sigh.*  This is about to get a little embarrassing, but I'd be remiss if I didn't tell you the whole truth of the matter.  There was nothing wrong with the piercings.  They looked a little odd because, well, skin moves.  And nipples are sometimes erect, sometimes not, and depending on how the skin is laying will affect how the piercing looks.  Later on in the day, they looked like they were angled the complete opposite way.  And the one piercing that looked like it was out too far?  It moved back into it's proper place.

Of course, I still had to get through the day.  Husband kept his promise and took over the more heavy/dirty/sweaty chores from me.  In addition, he did listen to me complain.  A lot.  But something else happened, too.  He kept sneaking glances at me.  Slyly, trying to hide it.  I'd never seen him do that.  I finally told him that he's allowed to look at me, and is welcome to look if he wanted to.  Since then he has occasionally asked me, just at random times, to see the piercings, and I, enjoying his reaction, occasionally offer to show him.  And, the sex has been amazing.  I'm not saying that to brag or be crass, but it's an important part of the story.  I had new, heightened sensitivity (and novelty, and oooh, shiny...) and he had a new visual stimulant.  Doesn't take a genius to figure out how those go together.

But I'm getting a little off topic.  Anyway, in the late afternoon of that first day, I took a shower.  I heard a small sound.  Just the tiniest plink.  So quiet that at first it didn't even register that I heard it.  I was rinsing off, turned around to face the water, and then I saw it.  A teeny, tiny metallic something on the floor of the tub.  For a second, I didn't make the connection.  I looked down at my new piercings.  One of them was missing the ball on the end.  The drain holes on the tub are really big.  Then it all clicked.  I rushed to grab the ball before it was lost forever down the drain and screamed for Husband.

"What, what is it?" he said.

"The ball came off!" I said, completely panicked.

"Oh.  Well, put it back on," he replied, completely calm.

Put it back on.  Sometimes, I'm an idiot.  But my fingers were wet so I had to have him do it.  From that point onward, every time I do the routine thrice daily washing of the piercings, I give the balls a little tighten to ensure this doesn't happen again.

By the end of the first day, I was already feeling better.  Most of the soreness had gone except when I bumped them or cleaned them.  When I did clean them, they became sore again for a little while.  Otherwise, after the first few hours after the piercing, I felt better.

Until bedtime.

I happen to be a stomach sleeper, and the piercings were most certainly in the way.  I spent a fitful night trying to stay in sleeping positions that just don't feel natural to me.  Even when I was asleep, I was vaguely aware of the piercings.  When I rolled over onto my stomach at one point, I woke up minutes later with both a physical and mental agitation.  I slept on and off throughout the night, and when I woke up in the morning, I felt over my shirt for my piercings to make sure the balls had not fallen off again.  I felt nothing.  Panicked, I rushed to the bathroom, flipped on the light, and pulled my shirt open.  Both piercings still there, just pressed against my skin.

A day later, day 3, one of the piercings started aching.  Did I mention I tend to jump to the worst case scenario?  What if my body is rejecting the piercing?  What if I have an infection?  What if I'm getting an abscess?  What if I'm allergic to the metal?  What if this somehow kills me?

See where my mind goes?  Can you imagine what goes on in my head sometimes?  It's exhausting.

The next night, I slept a little better, but still woke up on and off and was plagued by worst case scenario nightmares.  When I felt like I was finally in a deep sleep, Husband snuggled up against me.  It was morning.

"I'm awake!" he whispered.  "I've been awake for a while."

I looked over at him.  "Great.  I'm not."

"Oh," he said.  He felt a little bad.  He really thought I was awake when he, you know, woke me up from a dead sleep.  "You can go back to sleep."

"No, I can't."

"Why?"

"Because I'm already awake and talking to you."

In his defense, under normal circumstances, I would have woken up long before.  As it was, I felt unsteady on my feet but the time for sleep had passed.  I got up, threw on some clothes, and looked at myself in the bathroom mirror.  I noticed my hair was doing a Bride of Frankenstein thing.  I tried to fix it a bit, but gave up.

Husband came in behind me.  "You look tired," he noted.  Boy, was the guy asking for a smack.

The next night I had more nightmares.  I dreamed something had gone wrong and I was trying to call the piercer to see if it was normal or what to do.  I looked at her card, but only found the number of the shop (which in the dream I couldn't call for some reason).  Woke up again, panicked, and again thought my piercings were gone.  Pulled my shirt up and felt for them.  Oh, good, they're still there.  Oh, crap, I just put dirty hands all over my fresh piercings.

I'm tired.  I'm very, very tired.  Mostly because I can't get comfortable at night, and that is definitely affecting my mindset.  Sometimes I think that I am one hot momma, but other times I wonder what in the name of all things I was thinking by agreeing to this.  I'm still working out my feelings on it.  At the moment, I don't love it, I don't hate it, although during different times of day I do both those things.  Perhaps I'll end up loving them.  Perhaps in a few weeks I'll get tired of them and take them out.  I'm not sure yet.

Part 4 to come, but later, after some healing time and when I decide if I like it.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

And Then I Got a Piercing Part 2

Miss Part 1?  Find it here.

The morning that would become that morning, I took the kids to school, ate breakfast, chatted with Husband.  Then we went to run some errands together, since he didn't have work that day.  I decided that since we were going out, and the piercing studio would be open soon, we might as well swing by and have a look.

"Just a look," I said.  "I'm not committing to anything other than going there and looking."

"Sure," he said.  But he knew.  Oh, he knew.  An agreement to a trip out there was as good as a yes from me.  He was right, but I wasn't going to say it.

We finished our shopping, although I was having great waves of nausea.  That's my anxiety kicking in.  I knew I wanted to go and at least look, mentally I knew this was my choice and I was making it, but my heart and stomach seemed to have missed the memo and thought I was about to be eaten by a rather large and possibly rabid bear.  Still, I made it through the store, Husband by my side, took a quick pit stop at home, and drove out to the piercing studio.  It's a good thing that it's such a highly regarded place, since it also happens to be the only one anywhere near us.  But, I had done my research and almost everyone had only good things to say.  And I had only really committed to looking.  At least, that's the only thing I had committed to out loud.

We arrived just after they opened.  It was a long rectangular building typical of the older buildings in our area, but had been nicely kept up.  The paint on the outside wasn't very old and the exterior walls were decorated with unique artwork.  There were no windows facing their parking lot, and I assumed it was for the privacy of their patrons.

When we stepped in, I was pleasantly surprised by the atmosphere.  Neat, clean, well-lit.  Posh leather seats in one of their waiting areas, and sleek, modern raised tables and chairs in another, with more leather furniture lining the walls of the second.

A thin, friendly man with short hair and tattoos on his arms asked Husband and I what he could do for us.  At that last moment, my resolve wavered even though I had been sure just seconds before.  I forced out the words, "Thought about having my nipples pierced."

The smiling man didn't flinch, but he did tell us that even though he is one of the piercers and is capable, he prefers not to do female "genitalia."  And of course, being a sex blogger, I immediately corrected him in my head. Nipples are not genitals, I thought.  Going grammar/sex blogger police on him in my head made me feel a little less nervous, which was great, since I had been bouncing between nauseous, generally anxious, and feeling like I may pass out.  I silently tried to remind myself of all the reasons I decided to give this a shot.  The smile I gave the man was the smile I give when I'm very nervous and extremely uncomfortable.

"Our female piercer is running late," the man said.  "I'll call her."  He returned a few seconds later to say she would be there in 10 minutes.  "And worst case scenario, I'll be able to help you," the man finished.  I was really, really hoping that the other piercer would show up soon, not because I cared that the other was a man, but because the man clearly wasn't comfortable with it.  I don't want a nervous person coming at me with a needle.

Husband and I wandered around the shop for a bit, browsed the jewelry, joked about the hipster mustache taped over a poster of an impossibly hot model.  Finally, the female piercer arrived.  She was small, maybe in her mid-twenties, with long hair and multiple ear piercings.  She introduced herself and apologized that she had been held up.  She laughed and smiled and called me hon.  She seemed totally at ease with my request.  I liked her immediately.

"Come on back to the room, and we'll see what kind of jewelry you can do," she said, leading us back to an enclosed interior room, and shut the door behind us.  She gestured toward what I assume would be called a piercing table, which looks kind of like a doctor's exam table, and told me to sit and face her.

"Let me see your nipples so I know what size we need," she said.  It didn't even occur to me to be self conscious.  After two kids and a herd of medical staff gazing at my bits, this did not seem like an odd request.  I undid my bra, pulled my shirt up, and sat as she pulled closed, sterile packages of jewelry from little plastic drawers, and held them up to me.

"You can do these, or these, but honestly, it's been my experience that for your nipples, you are going to want these."  She held up a package with a pair of curved bars that had little balls on the end.  They weren't perfectly straight, but neither was it a deep curve like horseshoes.  Just a slight curve.

"They're a little long," she went on, "but you want that for the healing time.  After they heal, you can change them out for something shorter."

She cleaned both nipple and areola, made a mark with a a dark colored liquid on the end of a toothpick as guides for the needles, and held up a mirror for me to check the placement.

"You're going to feel just the clamps now," she said, picking up a metal pair from her tray.  She latched it onto my nipple.  "You can close your eyes or look away, or whatever you feel comfortable with."  She was short, so I looked up over her head at the wall.

I felt the cold, mildly irritating pinch of the clamps, then the small prick, almost an itchiness, as she lined up the needle with the holes, followed by a sharp, deep pain as she pushed the needle through.  I gripped the table, breathing deep, trying to keep my body from curling forward.

"You're done, you're done, you're done," she said.  By the time I felt the intensity of the pain, the needle was already through.  She left the needle in and cleaned up some blood.

She said something about people thinking blood is gross, but it not being any worse than your period.  I had been nervously babbling all the way through, just talk, talk, talk.  I blurted out, "My period is so heavy I have to use a silicone cup."  Then I realized that her point had nothing to do with periods.  "But...I guess you didn't need to know that.  Sorry, I'm just so nervous."

She laughed and said I was doing fine.

She clamped my other nipple and positioned the needle.  Again, slight itchiness as the point touched my skin, followed by a wave of pain.  Although the second one didn't really hurt more, my body reacted a little more violently.  When I felt the sharp pain, I did curl forward.  My back rounded and my ankles crossed and tucked under the table, both out of pain and so I didn't kick her.  She told me later, though, that she has been kicked in the past.  But just like the first time, by the time I felt the most of the pain, it was over.

"You're done, you're done, you're done," she said again.  She inserted the curved bars into the ends of the needles and pulled them through.  That didn't hurt so much as was uncomfortable.  She screwed the balls onto the ends, and set to work cleaning one of my nipples that was still bleeding.  She assured me that there is often one that bleeds quite a bit.  She had me hop of the table and take a look in the full length mirror.  At this point I was just so glad it was over I didn't care how they looked.  I remember looking at myself in the mirror, but not really registering what I was seeing.  I wasn't sure yet if I was glad I did it.

I was still bleeding a little, so she gave me some gauze to tuck into my bra, all the while she was praising me and telling me how good I did.  She tried to clean me up a little more, I got redressed, and we headed out of the room and to the front to get my aftercare instructions and pay.  Steel jewelry, the actual piercing, plus H2Ocean aftercare spray and tip: $120.

I only vaguely remember leaving.  I was distracted by a constant, deep pain in my breasts.  It hurt to even breathe, but not in an unbearable way.  More like a really, really annoying way.  I happen to carry ibuprofen in my purse and took a couple as we made a few more stops.  We picked up a few more shelf camis and a movie that I love.  Then we grabbed lunch.  We almost never eat fast food, but snagged some burgers and fries on our way.

When we got home, we ate and I just collapsed into my favorite chair.  I was exhausted.  The stress suddenly shed and I felt that all I wanted was sleep.  I looked at the clock.  Thirty minutes until I had to put on my good mommy hat, pick up the kids from school, and help with homework.  No nap for me.

Part 3 still to come.

And Then I Got A Piercing Part 1

I've made no secret about the kind of person I am.  By sex blogger standards, I'm pretty conservative.  It's part of what makes me, me.  I'm fairly traditional in most regards.  I bake, sew, do laundry, and care for kids.  I volunteer.  I even consider myself religious (hold your gasps, please, I've said that before).  I have no tattoos, don't wear large jewelry, and the only piercings I had were one in each earlobe.  It's not that I care if you have tattoos, wear large jewelry, and have 20 piercings.  Other people's bodies are their own and I don't judge.  It's just that those things aren't really me.

I don't really like change.  I agonize over each haircut.  I thought I was taking a walk on the wild side when I painted my toenails red.  I think you're getting a picture here.  And then Husband asked if I'd consider getting my nipples pierced.  What?  Nipples pierced?  No.  No.  Not ever.

And then I started to think about it.  Why not?  Was I afraid of the pain?  Please.  I gave birth without meds.  Surely a piercing couldn't compare.  I started to do research on the matter and found that some claim a piercing made nipples more sensitive (in a good way), there were lots of options, and many people say that piercings don't hurt as much as they originally thought.  Some people claimed that nipple piercing was getting more and more popular among moms looking to spice things up and regain lost nipple sensitivity.  On top of that, Husband got that devious, mischievous look in his eye when we discussed it.  I love that look.  At first I said yes.  And then reality hit me.  Healing time can be up to a year, sometimes more.  Pretty significant risk of infection.  Piercing care would be just one more thing for me to do, and I changed my mind.  Husband was disappointed, but he made it clear that he wouldn't attempt to force me to do anything with my body.

But the thought was planted.  I spent a few days doing research, planning, and thinking.  Some days I thought, yes, I'm going to do it.  Other times, I decided no, it's not worth it.  But what if, what if...

I started leaning towards yes again.  My brain tends to jump to worst case scenario and after some thought I realized that many of my fears about it were kind of outlandish.  And I would get so much out of the piercings, mostly a private celebration of sexuality.  None of my real life (physically present) friends or family would know unless I told them.  It's such personal thing, a way to decorate myself, and the fact that Husband finds it hot is just gravy.  And, since the healing time is so long, if in a few weeks I decide I didn't like the piercings, I could just take them out and let the holes close.

Then it turned out that Husband had a few days off while the kids were in school.  It almost never happens.  Since I most certainly wanted him to be with me, it was a now or never situation.

We came to an understanding.  Since we both wanted it, we needed to come to an agreement of what a piercing like that meant, as far as responsibility goes.

  1. I would go to the piercing place and look.  Even though our local studio is very highly thought of, if I didn't like what I see or didn't trust the piercer, we walk out.
  2. For a while, any sexual activity or position that would put pressure on my breasts is off the table.
  3. Until I'm mostly healed and can handle it, sweaty chores like mowing the lawn (which I had been doing for the most part) are his job.  This may sound like I do more than my fair share around the house, but he does dinner almost every night, as he's better at it.  Me doing the lawn was a happy trade-off.
  4. Caring for our veggie garden, which requires a lot of bending over to water and weed, will be his job until I can do so comfortably.
  5. I get to have new, comfy shelf camis to help me through healing time.
  6. He will listen to me complain about any and all pain with good humor.
  7. He will go with me to get pierced.
  8. Should I get an infection bad enough that requires a doctor visit, he has to go with me.
  9. If, in a few weeks, I decide I don't like it for any reason, I can take it out, no questions asked.
  10. Because of my anxiety, there was a good chance that IF I decided yes, it would be spontaneous and it had to be my idea. (Pre-planning increases my anxiety.  More time to think = more time to worry.)
  11. I will be taking a few days off of heavier, in depth housework until I can do so comfortably.

These are the terms that we agreed on, but I thought that I still wouldn't do it when it came down to it.  I mean, as fun as having a private piercing sounded, I couldn't imagine willingly allowing someone to push a needle through my skin.  And then, all of the sudden, I said it:  "Well, let's go and check the place out.  It doesn't hurt to look, right?"

"Riiiiiight," Husband replied, with that look on his face.  The devious one.  The one where he's about to get what he wants and is barely containing his excitement.

Part 2 still to come.

Monday, September 30, 2013

The Adventurous Couple's Guide to Sex Toys 2nd Edition Review 


~I received this item for free in exchange for an honest review.~

Every now and then a friend will come to me for advice.  "Is this the kind of toy I want?  What about this material?  What do you think of this shop?"  I always answer as best and honestly as I can, although often my answer is "Walk away from that right now."  This is mostly because the toys that appeal to people new to sex toys are not only shiny and colorful and cheap, but also tend to be poor quality and potentially dangerous.  Add that to the fact that manufacturers and shops aren't always totally honest and the world of sex toys can seem to be a rather treacherous field to navigate.  That's where Violet Blue's The Adventurous Couple's Guide to Sex Toys comes in.


A little bit about it:
If you've never heard of Violet Blue, you should know she is a renown sex educator, author, and editor.  I'm a fan of her writing and own several of her books.  In The Adventurous Couple's Guide to Sex Toys, she takes on the confusing maze of sex shopping and breaks down the different types of toys, what each toy is used for, different materials, and even how to avoid getting ripped off.

I need to point out that I am reviewing the 2nd edition of this guide.  Both editions were published by Cleis Press.

What I loved:
I knew I was going to love this book when right off she breaks down the difference between "novelties" and toys properly designed for sex, pleasure, and safety.  This is such an important distinction, and one that is easily overlooked by newbies.  After all, if you didn't know any better, why would you buy a $150 silicone rabbit vibrator, when you can purchase a $30 jelly one?  Because one is a novelty, one is a sex toy, and it is vitally important for shoppers to know the difference, which she goes into detail about.

There is, of course, a breakdown of different toy types, materials, and cleaning basics.  There is more than enough information to help a newbie choose their first (or next) toy.  But of course, this is a book aimed not only at individual shoppers, but couples as well.  Bringing up the idea of sex toys, especially if a couple doesn't have very frank conversations, can be tough.  Don't worry.  Ms. Blue has it covered with some handy tips for opening up the conversation.

But let's say a couple is feeling truly adventurous and wants to go beyond the simplicity of adding a vibe to intercourse.  If that's the case, get ready, because after the basics, you'll find sections on kinky toys, strap-ons, sex machines, sex furniture, and even "teledildonic" toys!

If you know what you want, but don't know where to get it, she's got you covered there, too.  Not only does she give a list of reputable dealers both at the end of the book and peppered throughout the chapters, but she also gives tips and warnings to help you find a decent shop and what to watch out for.

What I didn't:
I have very few complaints about the book, but there were just a few things that I felt may be outdated. For one, she mentions that most books do not talk about prostate play, or gloss over it quickly.  That seemed odd to me, so I pulled out all the books I had that mentioned male pleasure, and all contained pretty significant information on prostate stimulation, even the books that I thought were terrible in other regards.  However, it's possible that I just happen to have books that are good with that particular piece of information.

She also mentions plug-ins and rechargeable toys as being not that common, but it seems to me, as a consumer, that they are becoming more prevalent and sought after.  But then again, if you compare the number of rechargeable toys to the vast number of battery toys, I imagine rechargeables are rare by comparison.

Final thought:
The Adventurous Couple's Guide to Sex Toys is definitely worth a buy.  For those just starting their sex toy experience, or for those that are already acquainted with toys but are looking for something different, this guide is full of information.  It contains more in depth information than any other toy guide I've yet read.  For those that may consider themselves sex toy experts, there probably isn't new information for you, but it is an extremely handy reference guide to have in your library.

If you'd like your own copy of The Adventurous Couple's Guide to Sex Toys, you can buy it here from Cleis Press.

~I received this item for free in exchange for an honest review.~

Friday, September 20, 2013

Follow-Up Friday: LELO Mona 2

~I originally received this item at a discount in exchange for an honest review.~

How I felt about it then:
I was floored by the sheer awesomeness that is the Mona 2 when I first reviewed it back in June.  The vibrations nearly rival a Magic Wand, and although it's not particularly girthy, the shape combined with the vibrations make it so I don't even notice the lack of girth.  For me, that's really saying something.  I've had other toys that fall flat with me because they simply aren't big enough.  And can we say G-spot stimulation?  My G-spot has never, ever responded to vibrations before, and has never responded in the same way with any toy since.  In short, I loved the thing.  I wasn't expecting to love it, and in fact wouldn't have bought it if other reviewers hadn't sworn up and down that it's incredible.

How I feel about it now:
Nothing has changed.  I still love the Mona 2.  In fact, it's the only toy I took traveling with me over the summer.  And why not?  Rechargeable, waterproof, has a travel lock, strong, and very, very quiet.  It's the perfect travel toy.  I still love it and have had no problems with it dying on me, battery life issues, or any other malfunctions.

Revised Final Thought:
I had said that if you buy only one toy this year, you should seriously consider the Mona 2.  I stand by that.  It works for both clitoral and G-spot stimulation, and most important, it does both well.

~I originally received this item at a discount in exchange for an honest review.~

Sunday, September 15, 2013

So, having sex every day is news?

It seems that about every 6 months to a year a blogger makes big news by doing one thing: pledging to have sex every day for a certain amount of time.  People go nuts over these stories.  Now, if you've been paying attention, you know that I personally feel that having an active sex life is really important in relationship health, but not being a sex therapist or educator, I can't really say anything with any authority.  All I can say is that Husband and I are super cranky if we go without sex too long, and are generally happy people if we are going at it often.  Friends of ours that are having...marital problems is too strong a term.  Let's say they are easily irritated with each other.  We've noticed those friends often have a very infrequent or nearly non-existent sex life.  But which came first?  Is not having sex leading to irritability, or is irritability leading to not having sex?  Or are they completely unrelated?  I have no idea and wouldn't even venture a guess.  All we know is a good roll in the hay (or lack of it) affects us (Husband and me).

Once upon a time, we tried the whole sex for a year thing, really just so we could say that we did it.  We quit because we have sex almost every day anyway, sometimes twice a day, but knowing we had to felt too much like work and not enough like joy.  And then we got to wondering, for the sake of the experiment, what counts as sex.  Vaginal intercourse?  Oral sex?  Any sort of penetration?  Does one or more of us have to orgasm for it to count?  We sort of figured that since we have sex almost every day anyway, this experiment wasn't worth the frustration it was giving us.

All of this brings me back around to my main point.  Since we have sex almost daily, I'm always surprised when I see yet another blogger in the news pledging to have sex every day for a month, year, or other period of time.  After the latest one (which I admit was actually partially about body image, so there was a whole new dimension to the experiment that I fully applaud), I looked at Husband and asked him point blank why this is news (the sex every day part.  Not the body image part).  Doesn't every healthy married couple have lots and lots of sex?  Barring emotional or health concerns, of course.  I mean, aren't we the picture of average?

"It's news because not everyone is us.  We're not average," Husband said.

I always forget this.  Always.  Our frequency just feels so natural and comforting that I never remember that we're the exception.  A friend I confided in even told me once that Husband and I simply have too much sex.  Another friend told me I must be the best wife ever for giving my husband sex that often (I had to correct her and told her that we both have high sex drives.  I'm not sacrificing.  We're both giving and receiving).  And yet, I always forget these conversations that indicate that we're not average.  According to the Kinsey Institute, our age group generally has sex an average of once a week to a few times a month, and the youngest married couples (18-24) average about 2-3 times per week.  But with so many sexless marriages running around (an estimated 15-20%), I figured the average among happy, sexual fulfilling marriages must be higher.  It must be that 5-6 times per week (sometimes as much as 14) that Husband and I have, right?  RIGHT???

I made a quick and dirty informal poll of both my mom friends and my sex blogging friends, all happily married, all in relationships that are by no means sexless.  I expected to see at least 4-5 times per week, probably more.  Maybe as much as 7+.  I expected to see that answer from just about everyone.

That's not what I saw.

The average among my friends of a wide variety of ages was still (drum roll please) 1-3 times per week, with only a couple of exceptions.  I'm trying to wrap my brain around this.  Maybe we are odd after all. And somehow, I don't care that we're the oddballs.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Look! I'm still here!

It's been a crazy couple of weeks.  The freezer malfunctioned and dumped water everywhere.  The AC decided to stop working...a few times.  The washing machine literally ripped itself apart for no apparent reason.  When all that was fixed, all of us picked up a little virus making it's way around the kids' school.  And then various medical check-ups, appointments, school conferences and volunteer "opportunities" (the kind where a pen is thrust into your hand and you are told what you will be doing, period) on top of all that is enough to make anyone say, "What's a vibrator again?"

*Sigh.*

The good news is things are settling out now.  It's time to get back reviewing and blogging.  I've got some lovely posts coming up, so stay tuned.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Follow-Up Friday: Njoy Eleven

~I received this item at a discount in exchange for an honest review.~

How I felt about it then:
My Njoy Eleven came at the beginning of June.  I remember my barely contained excitement when I was finally able to order it, being shocked and delighted at just how big it really is when it arrived, and then the sad meh feelings that followed use.  It was supposed to be the perfect vaginal toy for me, but I found it to be just fine.  Not rock-your-world awesome, but not crushingly disappointing, either.  It was decent if I was particularly in the mood for it, but mostly it just sat in it's beautiful bag.  My main complaint was that even though it is curved for G-spot stimulation, the curve and shape weren't quite right to do anything more than occasionally brush past my G-spot.  Like many women, I need a bit more of direct pressure/rubbing on my G-spot than just flirting with it.  In short, it was just OK, but for such a very pricey toy, I expect better than just OK.

How I feel about it now:
A few days ago, Husband offered to operate the Eleven for me.  It had been a while since we used a vaginal toy in our intimate time, so I said yes even though I wasn't crazy about the Eleven.  As soon as he started using it on me, everything changed.  The Eleven jumped from meh to wow!  When I'm using it just by myself it's almost impossible for me to be able to hold it at the right angle, and even if I get there, I can't hold it for long.  The Eleven becomes too heavy and awkward.  However, when Husband used it on me at a different angle (that I wasn't able to achieve alone), my G-spot received much more stimulation.  The downside is that since the Eleven has no give to it, whatever partner is handling the toy has to be careful not to insert it too far or too roughly to avoid some very painful sensations.

Revised Final Thought:
When using the Eleven alone, it's still just meh.  With a (careful) partner, the angle can be controlled better and provides much better stimulation.  For me, it's still mildly disappointing since I can't get reliable stimulation unless Husband is controlling it, and that's only going to be occasionally.  For the most part, it just takes up space by my toy box.

~I received this item at a discount in exchange for an honest review.~

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Kegel Project: The Final Report

The Kegel Project is officially over!  What you want to know is whether the participants improved and by how much.  The following is an individualized explanation of the improvements from each volunteer.  At the end of this post is a quick list of all the improvements reported.

K (That's me)
On the first day of this project, I could barely squeeze and hold for 5 seconds. I really struggled to get there, but by the end of the first week, I was able to squeeze and hold for 30 seconds comfortably. By the end of the second week, I was able to get to 40 seconds. In the third week I started my period and discovered my MoonCupUK stayed in place so much better than before and I no longer had any urinary leakage during hard sneezes. At the end of fourth week, I was able to squeeze and hold for 2 min 20 seconds before I, quite frankly, got bored and stopped timing. That's quite a far cry from the short 5 seconds that I was able to do in the beginning.

Stronger muscles has led to changes in the bedroom. Husband can feel my muscles tensing so much more now and I can achieve vaginal orgasms easier than before (although there was no change in clitoral orgasms). And—get this—I now have mini-orgasms (minigasms?) from just squeezing my PC muscles. Talk about a bonus!

Princess Consuela Banana-Hammock
By Day 3 of the first week, Princess CBH was having less accidental urinary leakage during workouts. That's only three days in. By the end of the second week, she was having even less accidental leakage with less effort and felt that she could squeeze her muscles “closer.”

Since starting the project, she has much less urine leakage when sneezing, coughing, and exercising. Although she still has to remember to squeeze her muscles when she has to do any of those things, she doesn't have to work as hard at it.

Princess CBH would like to add that during the project, she started a diet and exercise regimen and lost 10lbs by the time the experiment was over.  It's unclear whether the exercise and weight loss affected her Kegel strength, but for thoroughness let's include it.

Sassy
At the beginning of the first week, Sassy could only squeeze and hold her PC muscles for 3-5 seconds, sometimes even just 1-2 seconds. During the second week, she'd try to squeeze and hold for 5 seconds, but when she relaxed her muscles, she found that her muscles had already released. By the end of the third week, she was able to hold for 10 seconds, but the hold weakened over the seconds. The third week was also when she discovered that working the PC muscles during intercourse gave pleasant sensations, where there was no difference in sensations before the project. By the end of the fourth week, she was able to hold fully for 10 seconds.

Ivana Meisterkegel
When Ivana started, she was only able to squeeze and hold for 3 seconds, but by the end of the first week, she had jumped up to 5 seconds. Halfway through the second week, her muscles were feeling tighter and her hold time jumped to 7, which then jumped to 15 by the end of the fourth week. She reports that her muscles feel much firmer during intercourse and she feels like it's easier to pull the muscles up “higher.”

Vixenish Kitty
Vixenish had what the other volunteers called “PC muscles of steel.” In the first week, she was already able to squeeze and hold for over a minute, when the other volunteers could only make it to a few seconds. Even though she was starting from a place where other volunteers were hoping to eventually be, she still showed fantastic improvements from that first week.

During the second week, Vixenish and her husband experimented with her muscles by seeing if she could use her muscles to keep him from pulling out during sex. Her husband reports that he could definitely feel the muscles. In the third week she tried to do her Kegel exercises during sex which in turn gave her husband pleasurable sensations. The third week is also when she found that she could use her exercise trampoline with no leakage for the first time. She did another muscle test and found she could now squeeze and hold for 2.5 minutes. That's more than double the time from the first week!

Vixenish reports that she was surprised at how fast improvements came with what felt to her to be little effort. She had thought that doing your PC exercises was like working out 5 times a week. We're all supposed to do it, but...[insert the excuses we all have here.] Kegel exercises, though, were quick, easy, and simple to work into a schedule.

Pepper
Pepper was another volunteer that was starting from a place of strength in comparison to some of the other participants. She started out being able to squeeze and hold for a full minute, and in the second week she tried to squeeze during sex and discovered it produced strong orgasms. By the end of the fourth week, she no longer experienced urine leakage when sneezing and her DivaCup stayed in place better during her period.

Elasta O'Kegel
In the first week, Elasta could only hold for 3-4 seconds. By the third week she was able to squeeze for 5-6 seconds.  During that week, she tried to Kegel during intercourse, but didn't notice a difference. By week four, she was up to 7-8 seconds. Like Vixenish, she was also surprised at how fast improvements came.

Honey Ryder
Honey's results were a little different than the other volunteers. She was able to squeeze 2-5 seconds at a time during the first week and stayed at that level all four weeks. She was never able to squeeze any longer and got even weaker during her period week.

Sounds pretty bleak, right? Well, it's not. Honey did show improvements, they just didn't manifest as longer squeeze times. She reports that she's had a weak pelvic floor all her life, and working her muscles produced a really strange sensation. If you remember what it felt like when you started doing your Kegels (or if you haven't started, try it now), you know what sensation she's talking about. She felt this sensation for almost all of the project, but by the end, that strange, uncomfortable sensation vanished because she is, in fact, getting stronger. In addition, she feels she can lift her pelvic floor “higher.”

Final thoughts:
I'm amazed at the improvements everyone has shown.  Every single person showed improvements from that first week.  In addition, I've compiled a list of every improvement reported at least once:
  • Being able to squeeze muscles longer and harder
  • Being able to squeeze "higher"
  • Being able to squeeze "closer"
  • New, pleasurable sensations for the female participant during intercourse
  • New, pleasurable sensations for the male partner during intercourse
  • Easier orgasms
  • Better orgasms
  • Reduced or eliminated urinary incontinence during exercise
  • Reduced or eliminated urinary incontinence when sneezing or coughing
  • Reduced feeling of weakness in the PC muscles
  • Menstrual cups fitting better
If you haven't started a Kegel regimen, this list and the above explanations should give you a reason to start.  Better sensations and orgasms?  Reduced, eliminated, or prevented urinary incontinence issues?  Better fitting menstrual cups?  Ridiculously easy to fit into your schedule???  You have no reason not to start.  Put an alert on your phone.  Add it to your calender.  Leave a note on your bathroom mirror.  Whatever it takes to remember to do your Kegels!

The Kegel Project Week 4 Update

Here is the final update of the Kegel Project!  4 weeks of Kegeling, and every person showed some sort of improvement.  Some volunteers are leaps and bounds from where they started, and some only showed slight improvement.

The following is the routines followed this week.  Tonight or tomorrow, I'll be posting a solid look at the improvements each person made.  Why not now, you ask?  Because it would be a really long post.  And now, the Week 4 routines!

K (That's me)
Day 21-24: Squeezing on and off throughout the day.
Day 25: Wore Ami 2 for 3 hours while running errands.
Day 26-27: Squeeze on and off throughout the day.
Day 28: Squeeze and hold for as long as I can; 2min 20sec.

Princess Banana-Hammock
Day 22-28: Busy schedule; intermittent Kegels.

Sassy
Day 22: 100 pulses.
Day 23: 20 squeeze and holds.
Day 24: 100 pulses.
Day 25: 50 pulses and 10 squeeze and holds for 5 seconds.
Day 26: Skip.
Day 27: 100 pulses and 5 squeeze and holds.
Day 28:100 pulses, 20 squeeze and holds for 5 seconds. Notes: can now hold for 10 seconds.

Ivana Meisterkegel
Day 22: 5 sets of 10, holding for 10 seconds each.
Day 23: 4 sets of 10 squeeze and holds, holding for 12 seconds. Notes: She's very excited about the vast improvement from the beginning!
Day 24: 4 sets of 10 holding for 12 seconds.
Day 25: 4 sets of 10 holding for 10 seconds. Notes: Period showed up and felt weak.
Day 26: 4 sets of 10 holding for 12 seconds.
Day 27: 5 sets of 10 holding for 12 seconds.
Day 28: 5 sets of 10 holding for 15 seconds. Notes: not as much urine leakage; feels like muscles are firmer during intercourse and feels like it is easier to pull the muscles up higher.

Vixenish Kitty
Day 22: Miss.
Day 23: 50 pulses.
Day 24: 50 pulses.
Day 25: 50 pulses.
Day 26: Miss.
Day 27: 50 pulses.
Day 28: 100 pulses.

Pepper
Day 22: 50 pulses.
Day 23: 50 pulses.
Day 24: 10 sets of pulses throughout the day.
Day 25: 10 sets of pulses throughout the day.
Day 26: Miss
Day 27: Miss. Notes: DivaCup stayed in better during period.
Day 28: 10 pulses.

Elasta O'Kegel
Day 22: 10 squeeze and holds for 7 seven seconds each, rest, then 4 squeeze and holds for 10 seconds each.
Day 23: Tried to Kegel with a partially full bladder; unsuccessful.
Day 24: 8 squeezes for 7 seconds, 2 squeezes for 6 seconds.
Day 25: 10 squeezes for 10 seconds each.
Day 26: Miss.
Day 27: Miss.
Day 28: 10 squeezes for 7-8 seconds each.

Honey Ryder
Day 22: Miss
Day 23: Miss
Day 24: 20 slow squeezes, 5 two second squeezes. Notes: still feel weak.
Day 25: 10 slow squeezes, 10 squeeze and holds for 2 seconds. Notes: Period ended and felt stronger.
Day 26: Miss
Day 27: Long squeezes, pulses, and elevators for about 5 minutes. Notes: After period ended, felt stronger. Couldn't hold it for longer, but felt like she could lift it higher.
Day 28: Repeated Day 27.

Stay tuned for later when I'll take an in depth look at the improvements!



Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The Kegel Project Week 3 Update

On Monday, we ended Week 3 and began Week 4, which will be our final week.  This is an update after Week 3.

Good news so far!  Everyone at this point is showing some sort of improvement, whether it be less urinary leakage, better sex, or just being able to squeeze their muscles for longer periods of time.  The bad news is there were a lot of missed Kegel sessions this week from many participants (myself included) due to health concerns, stress, and really just life getting in the way.  Shall we see how this week went?

K (that's me)

Day 15: Miss
Day 16: Squeeze on and off throughout the day.
Day 17-21: Period; squeezing intermittently on and off.
Notes: I use a MoonCupUK during my periods, but I also have menorrhagia (in short, really heavy periods that are kind of nightmarish), and always end up leaking around and past the cup, although the cup catches most of it. Without the cup, during certain times in my cycle I would not be able to leave the house. Since I started working my PC muscles more often, there is much less leakage around the cup and it seems to fit better.

Princess Banana-Hammock
On vacation all week; intermittent Kegel exercises during nursing sessions (Princess BH is a nursing mother).

Sassy
Day 15: Miss
Day 16: Miss
Day 17: Miss
Day 18: 50 pulses and 10 squeeze and holds.
Day 19: 50 pulses and 10 squeeze and holds.
Day 20: 100 pulses
Day 21: 50 pulses, 10 squeeze and holds.
Notes: Improvements! Can now hold for 10 seconds, although hold weakens as it goes. Tried to Kegel during intercourse and found it gave pleasant sensations, where before it didn't feel any different.

Ivanna Meisterkegel
Intermittent Kegels all week.

Vixenish Kitty
Day 15:10 squeezes. Notes: Kegaled while having intercourse; husband approves.
Day 16: Kegel exercises during intercourse.
Day 17: 5 to 10 slow pulses. Notes: Was able to use exercise trampoline with no leakage for the first time!
Day 18: Wore Je Joue Ami 3 for 3 hours.
Day 19: Miss
Day 20: 50 Squeeze and holds
Day 21: Muscle check- can now hold it for over 2.5 minutes!
Pepper
Miss all week.

Elasta O'Kegel
Day 15:10 squeezes of 5-6 seconds each.
Day 16: Miss
Day 17: 10 squeezes for 10 seconds, 2 “elevator” attempts (went so-so).
Day 18: Miss
Day 19: Tried to Kegel during intercourse; no differences noticed.
Day 20: Miss
Day 21: Miss

Honey Ryder
Day 15: 20 slow (2 second) squeezes.
Misses for the rest of the week due to trouble with muscles during period.

Stay tuned for next week when there will be the final update and in depth notes on improvements from day 1!