Weird Sex Toys O The Week: Promoting Bands Through Sex Toys?

The Rammstein Dildo Set was an odd little blip on my radar a few years back – I initially shrugged it off as a shock-value thing, but later learned that the individual dildos were molded from / based on the actual members of the band. Okay, props there – but was neon pink jelly the best medium you could come up with, guys? At least some fans had a healthy sense of humor about it – check out this low budget version of the Rammstein dildo box set, as imagined by a Facebook fan.

Then, today, I happen across a weird news story about another band – this time, a Metal band by the name of Ghost – going the sex toy route for the sake of promotion. Despite being less well-known than Rammstein, they’ve hit it out of the marketing park, as far as I’m concerned.  The Ghost Phallos Mortuus Ritual Box Set may set you back $200, but it comes with a custom metal butt plug and a silicone dildo that’s custom-made to depict the band’s frontman. Hell*, I know some places where you can’t get a plain metal butt plug and silicone dildo for that price, let alone themed as a set. (Betcha dollars to donuts that Divine Interventions had something to do with that dildo!)

*Pun Intended

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Weird Sex Toys O The Week REVIEW: Absolute Naughty Sex Kneepads

It should come as no surprise to those that know me to admit I have a genuine passion for the “unusual” in the adult arena. My foot vagina, despite being laden with phthalates and scaring the bejeesus out of me when I forget I left it in a drawer, remains one of my prized possessions. To that end, when the gent behind AbsoluteNaughty.com asked me if I was interested in reviewing sex kneepads, there wasn’t a moment of hesitation – I volunteered as joint-padded tribute before I was done reading the email.

Absolute Naughty Sex Kneepads

My package of passionate padding.

Okay, well, it looked harmless enough. My first impression was that the sex kneepads seemed very large, but I had virtually no experience with kneepads before in my life – of sex, construction or even sport variety – so I figured this was likely the norm. I trudged off to the bathtub to shave my legs because…well, yeah. I mean, I was going to photograph them and I didn’t want pictorial evidence of how lazy I am with periodic leg shaving. Usually my knees are just an obstacle course that I give half a mind to when I’m shaving. It’s just a nick collector, but this time I was forced to pay attention because that area would potentially be front and center. I noticed a few things:

1.) Knees are weird. They’re like lumpy potatoes.

2.) I now totally understood not only the intrinsic comfort of padding these suckers, but also maybe having the option to conceal them.

3.) I feel like I have big knees. Is that weird? They look like overgrown elbows.

4.) This – this is never going to be an erogenous zone for me.

I patted myself dry and wandered back over to the bed, where I proceeded to examine my new coital knee accessories, which I’d affectionately been dubbing “lingerie kneepads” to my friends on twitter. They arrive in an interesting and surprisingly sturdy (for a free sex toy bag, anyway) mesh drawstring pouch, adorned with an Absolute Naughty label.

Absolute Naughty Sex Kneepads

Front Side of the Kneepads – I got pink lacing, but there is also red lacing and plain black with studs available.

The front is a sort of triple-pieced black pleather type material, laced up like a corset with thick hot pink elastic cord. The back is just plain foam padding/backing. I was concerned that it was just going to tie around the top of the knee and kind of hang there like a tunic, but once I untied the cords I realized that there is a set of ties at both the top and bottom. This bodes well for actually staying on the knee.

Absolute Naughty Sex Kneepads

The top one’s flipped over to show the underside, here.

Again, I was struck by the size of them. I measured them, and my tape showed that they’re approximately 6″ wide to a side. I’m approximately a size 20-22, so my knees weren’t totally out of proportion, but it makes me wonder what they’d look like on a gal that was built a little less broad than I. The stitching was, much like the bag, surprisingly sturdy for an item that a lot of people would probably classify as a novelty.

Absolute Naughty Sex Kneepads

The measurement. Ignore my weird measuring tape, the correct inches are at the top line.

The moment of truth? I tied them on, expecting that the elastic tie cords would cut off my circulation immediately, as the cords were just long enough to make a small bow. Much to my surprise, they didn’t. I don’t know if it’s because Absolute Naughty opted for a flat “satin” type elastic cord rather than a round one, but I was glad to be incorrect about this. They were present in my mind, but not in an annoying or unpleasant way. I took a moment to admire them, now that I was “suited up.”

Absolute Naughty Sex Kneepads

Tah dah!

And then….I stood up. My husband, on the phone with a friend of his, wandered into the bedroom and had to cover the mouthpiece to muffle a bark of laughter. Mind you, I was nude except for the lingerie kneepads, so I’m sure it was a sight to behold. I awkwardly walked over to him, looked down at my knees, and back up to his face before I confessed that I felt like a sexy ninja turtle. Because of their size and the way they tie on, one needs to walk carefully to prevent the top set of tie straps from rolling down the leg, and they end up feeling a little like leg armor as opposed to a sensual accessory while you’re on the move.

That being said, if you plan on posing on the bed or standing alongside it just prior to getting down (pun intended), I could see these being worked into a routine. They do offer the padding they advertise, and the thoughtful use of pleather and flat lacing over metal eyeholes and round lacing mean that you’re not dumping your body weight on painfully bruising hardware. Was I kneeling on a feather pillow? No. But if you’re going knees-to-the-floor, these babies could keep you in the game a little longer.

If you want a gag gift that isn’t festooned with cartoon penises but still gives a nudge-nudge wink-wink, these would be a cute, unusual and potentially very useful present. The pair I received is available with red, black or pink lacing, and a male version with a flat-studded strap is available as well.

All four varieties of sex kneepads can be purchased via AbsoluteNaughty.com for  $30 – $32.00 USD.

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Herbal Hodgepodges and Body Shaming

The myth of “loose” genitals is a cold war threat in the bedroom, constantly lurking behind oversized lovers and appetites, hiding behind that massive dildo or a recently birthed child. To hear the sexual self-image sharks tell it, we’re all one good fuckin’ away from labia that blows out like a cartoon tire – from a vaginal canal that a baseball bat could fly through like a particularly risque magic show.

Uh, yeah. So here’s the thing. We aren’t.

The vagina is elastic for a reason, otherwise we’d all be walking around with gaping holes in our nether regions whenever we added to our family. If anal elasticity were half as fickle as vaginal elasticity is purported to be, we’d be knee-deep in the sort of fine, upstanding marketing these folks engage in. The truth is, when a normally healthy part of our body is not as toned as we like – which is the real underlying issue here – we don’t stroll down to CVS and pick up a pre-filled vial of steroids and shank ourselves in the nearest fleshy plain to remedy it. We diet, we exercise, we zumba our shit back to where we want it. The way I see it, here are no “quick fixes” with tone – there’s two routes to take:

  • Effective: takes at least a little while, even with surgery.
  • Fast: almost inevitably a bad, damaging procedure that on some level puts health and occasionally life at risk.

One place that’s really not a good idea to take the fast route? Your genitals. We consider carefully the people and toys we let temporarily inhabit our naughty bits, so why on earth would we shove a waxy bullet loaded with god-knows-what up in our vaginal canal to “tighten” it? The same reason that we’d shell out for “repinking” kits for our clitoris or alum-laden sprays that desiccate our most sensitive tissues for the supposed pleasure of our partner: Because marketing is a powerful loaded weapon that falls into the wrong hands sometimes. We are effectively “negged” by the companies shilling this crap into believing that our female reproductive array is something less than completely fucking amazing. That really sucks.

I recently had the displeasure of seeing a retweet on Twitter from a company called “Tightenz” that sells aforementioned waxy bullets to women that are plagued, 50’s housewife-style, by the horrors of vaginal loosening.

They summed it up in 240 characters as “The lack of sexual satisfaction is most often caused by a loose vagina. Learn how Tightenz can help.”

Naturally, I tossed my hat in the ring and called them out on their BS, cause hey – malicious marketing has given women enough outer self-image shit to deal with without worrying about the inside too. I hit up the site and discovered, behind a rather poorly-written landing page, that they didn’t seem to have a complete ingredient list anywhere but plenty of room for body-shaming, and, in the same breath as admitting that kegels were helpful, tossed them under the bus because, really, who can stick to an exercise routine? (/sarcasm)

Here are some of the ingredients mentioned:

  • zinc oxide
  • quercus infectoria – “galls are produced by the infection from the insect Cynips gallae tinctoriae. They are used for dyeing.”
  • aletris farinosa – “…contains a possible estrogen mimic”
  • viola tricolor – “V. tricolor extract had anti-inflammatory effect in acute inflammation induced in male Wistar rats.”
  • citrus aurantium – “Bitter orange supplements have been linked to a number of serious side effects and deaths, and consumer groups advocate avoiding medicinal use of the fruit.”

As if this weren’t troubling enough, the company seems intent on insisting it has a magical FDA-approved laboratory – which the FDA website says, very clearly, can’t exist:

Image

This was also trotted out on twitter, in the exchanges I had with the company representative – I cited that the FDA doesn’t approve labs (via the FDA website), they replied that they DID have an FDA approved lab , then claimed the same thing again, then quickly amended to refer to their FDA registered facility, which is a completely different ballgame.

Image

Call me crazy, but I don’t think that a company that doesn’t provide a full ingredient list for an internal product, puts a page rife with poor spelling and foreign turns of phrase up as their public face, and at the least allows themselves to be represented by someone making up certifications that don’t exist should be shaming anyone about anything.

How about you leave my vagina alone and tighten up your product instead, guys?

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Pen to Paper: How to Be a Bitchin’ Blogger

Hello everyone!

I understand there’s a substantial amount of you out there that are newly stumbling out of a certain bad community, and aren’t sure where to go from here. It’s time for a little thing I call the “Princess Bride” moment – figure out what you have. In the movie, they had a cloak, wheelbarrow and a giant – chances are your skills and belongings are different, but no less useful. Let’s take stock for a moment, shall we?

1.) You are no longer constrained. Your rules are the house rules now, so if you feel like calling bullshit on bullshit, have at it! Does that jelly dildo smell like a populated fishtank left in the Arizona sun? Let your readers know, and don’t pull punches. I’m not saying that you need to go out of your way to find fault with things, but in the absence of a required happy-shiny corporate impression, your honesty will become your new currency. Spend it wisely to win over casual readers and give them something to come back for.

2.) Brush up a bit on SEO. Don’t know what SEO is? It stands for Search Engine Optimization, and in a nutshell it means that you write using certain keywords, in certain amounts, to show up earlier/higher up on Google results pages. If you want someone who pops “best waterproof vibrator” into Google to stumble across your page, you would work that phrase into your writing for a blog post or two, about once for every 150 words or so, which would give you a good Google-loved keyword density. Don’t let this trump your natural writing, please! You should know what SEO is and it’s basic concepts, but don’t base your writing on it or you’ll come across as a robot spammer instead of the awesome sexy blogger personality that you are. It’s especially important not to “stuff” keywords, which means that you should always avoid turning out sentences like “The best waterproof vibrators of all the best waterproof vibrators are definitely these, the best waterproof vibrators.” Google notices that and will give you a good smack on the nose with a rolled up newspaper if you do that.

Fun fact: remember all those nice reviews you used to write for the “price” of a toy? That toy likely cost the company nothing or less than 30% of what they were charging. Professional SEO content writers (*cough*me*cough*) make upwards of .10/word for their work, making decent money writing pretty chunks of writing for websites. Think about all the writing work you did on reviews, forums, articles and the like, look at your toy, and do the math. Chances are, you’ve been really undervaluing yourself! I’m not saying that barter doesn’t or shouldn’t work, but if you’re good at writing, don’t sell yourself short!

3.) None of us started as superstars. You’re going to have to build up some content on your site before you can really flirt with any toy sellers or toy makers, because you have to give them something to look at. Consider your blog as your resume – would you hire someone that had a pretty letterhead and blank paper beneath? Roll up your sleeves and make your blog not only look nice, but navigate well – make different categories for sections like reviews and editorials, fill in little things like “about me” pages, fill out your blog roll (the list of links to other blogs) with friends, and get cracking on some content. If you don’t have new toys to review or can’t afford to buy them, dig in your toy box and re-review ones you’ve already covered, but don’t plagiarize (copy) your old reviews. Why? Well, every piece of writing on the web has a sort of “Google virginity” attached to it – once it’s been posted anywhere, Google awards the “credit” to the original poster. This means that copying old work (even your own!) from the community you left will get you a thwap on the nose with that rolled up newspaper.

4.) Get involved. If you don’t have a twitter account, get one! Make yourself a “blogging identity” Facebook as well. Hook these up to automatically broadcast your posts when you make them live, and, if you’re savvy with widgets in WordPress, do the same thing there by putting your twitter feed right on your blog page. Have real, fun conversations with other sex bloggers on Twitter, and be sure to “follow” the accounts of ethical sex toy stores and manufacturers to get the latest info. You’ll find that these conversations make great fodder for posts (avoid spilling secrets or divulging personal info, natch) and can serve as wonderful inspiration. Round out your “brand” by buying a .com, if you like – they only cost about $10 a year from places like GoDaddy, and can be “pointed” to your free blog, allowing your readers to type in YourBlogName.com and get dropped right on your blog.

These are the first baby steps to building a great sex blog, and I’ll be sharing more later on. Need to ask a question? Feel free to hit me up on twitter, where I reside as @ThatToyChick . 🙂

 

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Please Note: I am not responsible for comments, commentators, who links to what here, and what they say about those links – I’m just a humble wordsmith, telling my story. 😉

Five years ago, I answered a Craigslist ad to work for a sex toy company. I had been in insurance, which blew, so this seemed like a really awesome step up.  I’ve always been just a *wee* bit obsessed with sex and sex toys, so hey – might as well go to the source, right?

At first, everything seemed relatively okay. My new bosses were a little chilly and foreign, and dating each other, but hey whatever. The pay was great, it looked laid back, and dildos were strewn about festively: I could live with this. So I started in as an assistant buyer, putting in very long hours for the sake of my budding career, typically staying an hour to two hours longer than required each day for the first few months to find the latest and greatest manufacturers, get old boxes of stuff taken care of, and so on. I wasn’t asked or told to stay without pay, but I wasn’t discouraged either, and the workload steadily increased. I probably racked up hundreds of hours of theoretical overtime in those first few months, but I did so of my own free will – I mention this because I feel like it accurately portrays how dedicated I was to seeing the company succeed, not because I feel like they owed me.

After the honeymoon wore off, things started getting a little less good. I was told I needed an assistant, an underling, and I just chalked it up to how well we were doing and agreed. I came in a few days later and found that my “assistant” had been hired without so much as a word from me, even though I’d been assured I would do the interview and decide on the right candidate. She was young and cared far more about texting on her phone, babydaddy drama and getting her nails done than she did about working. I was frustrated, but I figured mine was not to question why, and all that jazz. Slowly, however, my “assistant” was getting called more and more often to my manager’s office and they were getting super-chummy, bonding over ordering tiny lingerie outfits – more than once I heard disparaging comments about how I could never pick “pretty lingerie” correctly because it didn’t fit my plus sized frame and jeans-and-tee style. Lo and behold, my “assistant” was suddenly using the same title I did and was put in charge of all the lingerie – formerly my manager’s task. This left me with my original workload as well as the product descriptions for the site, another job thrust on me when the copywriter was suddenly fired.

The corporate culture there grew steadily worse. The dating duo of the blowhard, homophobic owner and his snarky girlfriend manager, combined with the “IT” department that consisted of friends and family members from their home country that could barely speak English, left most of the American staff feeling very closed off. I’ll never forget the time I was told, in halting English, not to defrag or run virus scan on sluggish work PCs because “Microsoft was watching” and it was “exactly what they wanted us to do.” The corporate culture, despite being supposedly sex positive, was absolutely terrible to anything beyond heteronormative. I can’t count the number of meetings in which I was quizzed as to what “the gays” wanted – to hear my former boss tell it, homosexual men couldn’t be left alone in a room with anything remotely phallus shaped, because they’d obviously put it in their ass, ha ha. Lesbians were cast as angry and misguided, that same overarching concept of “if they’d just get a good dicking…” – most of the hate speech was restricted to the meetings I had, as they knew it wouldn’t fly with the lesbian community manager they’d just hired. It broke my heart to have to listen to one thing behind closed doors while they sweet talked her causes and smiled and nodded as long as she kept the page hits rolling in through her hard work – work that reflected a very different (and incorrect) corporate culture to the internet.

Meanwhile, relationship issues between the dating duo reached a very uncomfortable pinnacle, with foreign screaming, door slamming, and even object-hurling battles becoming the norm around the office almost daily. Business meetings were downright frosty as they’d glare at each other across the desk and take pot shots at one another’s ideas, forcing employees to take sides and making us all feel like kids in the middle of a divorce. I would have to meekly enter my manager’s office to ask for one of dozens of credit cards to pay off very-overdue invoices from vendors, as this never seemed to be a priority of the company, no matter how well they were or weren’t doing. Frequently, I’d have to return for another as the increasingly-irritated vendor informed me the card was declined. My relationships with my vendors and suppliers started to suffer, and when I brought it up I was waved away with an eyeroll and told to “deal with it”, or to communicate some imagined slight or out of stock item as a reason. I hated this part most of all, because I knew personally how hard smaller vendors struggled to make ends meet and keep things innovative, and I couldn’t get them the money they deserved.

In the customer service office, a small room surrounded by windows, my coworker had made herself a small cubicle to answer customer service calls after more than a few of the screaming fights had become loud enough for curious callers to overhear. Her assistant was suddenly fired one day, leaving her with every customer service issue for the entire site – to the tune of 200-300 emails a day, in addition to calls. I would have to take to the phones if she was sick or had car trouble, and I could barely manage – I had a lot of respect for her and everything she did. A new gent was brought in to replace the assistant, but was additionally given the not-so-enviable job of sorting through returns, as well. I’d come in every day, and god love him he’d greet me cheerfully, one black-latex-gloved hand holding aloft a string of used anal beads. The idea was that these (blegh) used items would be shipped back to the distributor as defects, and would theoretically result in a credit to our account – I always thought the process was dangerous and disgusting, but, as I found out, money ruled all here. The used items were only a handful of feet from the customer service cubicle, which meant that there were occasional issues when the customer service woman brought a toy back to her cubicle to answer a customer question. Both she and her assistant followed common sense precautions, but new and used items were still kept only a yard from each other on a daily basis – thank god they both cared about customer safety, because I shudder to think what less careful employees could have accidentally done. While I was there, I did wash dildos – a certain manufacturer shipped their (new) silicone pieces without bags and in styrofoam peanuts, so I needed to rinse off the bits of foam that static-ed to the shafts. I used unscented antibacterial soap and gloves while doing so, a precaution my manager scoffed and laughed at me over. I bought gift boxes to keep the dildos from getting dirty in the warehouse, and was later told to lie to customers and claim that these boxes were the manufacturer’s packaging because it “sounded better.”

One day, about 6 or 7 months in, we were all called into the office individually. The company wasn’t doing well at all, said my manager, so everyone would have to take a pay cut to keep us afloat – some of us took more of a cut than others, including the overworked customer service woman and a tireless machine of a semi-crazy superhero that ran the entire warehouse. A week later, the warehouse manager was sent out to procure an entire case of champagne for girlfriend manager’s birthday, only a scant few days after the entirely unheralded birthday of the customer service woman. A week after that, the dating duo went for a cozy little weeklong jaunt to the Bahamas, courtesy of the company’s supposedly nonexistent profits. We were paid bi-weekly, and the announcement of the pay cut was given midway through the second week in the cycle. We got our checks that cycle and discovered that the pay cut had been made retroactive to the week before, which is illegal. When I left the company eventually, this fact was brought up to unemployment – the owner fabricated an email, dated the first day of that particular cycle, supposedly telling the entire office about the pay cut. This was a lie, of course, but at the time I did not have the resources to fight over less than a hundred dollars.

I was called stupid often, I was called an idiot, fat, a moron and a handful of other things in the course of my working there, some face-to-face, others in emails and the like. Abuse was “no big deal” because I was young and needed the job, but in retrospect it turns my stomach what I put up with. Conflicting orders from my boss and manager, goals and projects that changed with the wind, and volatile tempers were only the tip of the iceberg. It was a bipolar experience – one day the boss would be a foreign Santa Claus, clapping everyone on the back, handing out toys and being merry – but the next, it was hate-filled mocking and spitting anger that yanked the rug out from under us. No one every knew what to expect when they came into work, and at least half the staff was on anti-anxiety medication. It wasn’t uncommon for us to share a xanax after a particularly bad “temper” day. I was screamed at, at various points, for making coffee and cleaning snow off of everyone’s cars as a kind gesture on my lunch break. I received a particularly sharp lecture about whistling once – apparently it’s a taboo in their foreign country, and I was told that I was single-handedly going to destroy the company’s finances because I was whistling. I can’t make this up.

Towards the end, I began working at home once a week, as the commute was over an hour for me and others had been given the green light to do so. One fateful day, the warehouse manager informed me that several boxes had come in damaged from the carrier – two had been bad enough that UPS had retained them, and the warehouse manager had refused two more, as it was clear at a glance the contents were damaged and unsalable. The vendor that sold these items used a different carrier by default, we had to opt out in order to use our cheaper carrier, which in turn meant that we were responsible for the goods, not the vendor. I called the vendor at the owner’s behest, and was politely re-informed of this fact and told there was nothing they could do, and to contact our carrier. I did so, and was told by our carrier that we could submit a claim and get reimbursed in a few weeks. I told this to the owner, and he acknowledged it and told me to put in the claim.

That day, I was working on descriptions when an IM popped up. It was the owner, and he was spitting mad that we hadn’t gotten the money from the vendor for the damaged items, which had only been discovered maybe 5 or 6 days prior. I reminded him of our conversation and told him I’d put in the claim, and he howled that it wasn’t good enough, that I was in trouble. The owner had gotten it in his head that I had related a different version of the story to our warehouse manager (for what reason, I can only guess) and that I was lying to him – he’d completely forgotten the conversation I’d had with him about the issue only a day or two prior. My time at the company ended with a single fateful statement – that, as payment for my lies, the entire cost of the damaged goods would be deducted from my paycheck – a sum that amounted to slightly over a week’s pay. Something in my brain snapped, my heart found its backbone again, and my loyalty to that wretched company punctured and drained like a spent water balloon. I signed off, citing taking a personal day. I drove to the office that weekend, packed up everything of mine I’d left, and wrote “I QUIT” in large, sharpied letters on a piece of printer paper, laying it on the owner’s keyboard to find on Monday morning. I don’t have an ounce of regret about it, either.

A week later, I was driving to an interview and a distracted garbage truck driver turned my sedan into a compact by way of the trunk, injuring my back in the process. While I was recovering in the hospital, my then-fiance and his father went to the tow yard to empty my belongings, during which his father had a massive heart attack. Hobbling around in a neck brace and crying myself sick with worry over a father figure slowly dying, I was wholly unprepared for the unemployment interview. While I still struggled through it, parked in a garage at the heart hospital, both the boss and manager had managed to weasel their way into the phone hearing, effectively double-teaming my sleep-deprived and pain-filled protests with lie after endless baldfaced lie. I was later ruled against, with the ruling citing that I wasn’t eligible because I had left prior to the actions threatened by my boss, not after – even though he followed through on them. As I waited for a final paycheck that never came, my fiance and I were left abruptly in a strange city with no money for a hotel room near his father. We slept in the car that night, and his father thankfully took a turn for the better the next day.

Upon investigating the issue with my paycheck, calls and emails to my former employers went unanswered, and a whispered conversation with the customer service woman told me they’d all been threatened with firing if anyone talked to me or the government, that I was to be hung up on if I called in. Finally, I involved the Wage and Labor department, who assigned a young woman to be my caseworker. A gruff-sounding gentleman called me from Wage and Labor a few days later, asking me for the address and exact office location of my boss. Apparently, he had been so dismissive and misogynistic to the woman, she’d returned to her boss with the story. He immediately recused her from the case and took it himself, storming into the offices after getting a location from me and securing my pay, in the process firmly informing my former employer that in America, we don’t talk to government officials like that. My boss tried to spew some line about my check having been waiting there for me the whole time – a curious feat, considering that the check I finally received was date-printed after the W&L visit and I was on direct deposit for a year prior.

The rest, as they say, is history. I became the ToyChick and started exploring the sex toy world on my own, and I heard more and more tales of people that had been through experiences similar to mine. I forged wonderful friendships with other escapees, and our network continues to grow and prosper even years later. I relate this tale for the consumption of my readers, carefully stripped of names and identifying information, and leave them to take from it what they will. Any ties I had to the company and their network are long dissolved, and I no longer live quietly for fear of burning bridges. It’s a lovely feeling, that. Consider this my fiddle solo, ala Nero.

 

I am not responsible for comments, who links to what here, and what they say about those links – I’m just a humble wordsmith, telling my story. 😉

 

 

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Checking In

Hello, my much-loved readers. Your ToyChick has been overwhelmed by the “real world,” which is decidedly less sexy than the comfy little spot I’ve carved out here on the web.

My husband ToySir and I have been slogging through a bit of financial hardship and my focus has been on working and freelance writing these days, leaving little time for the sexy escapades that once filled my datebook. We’re finally starting to get back on our feet after a very long handful of months, and now that both of us and the pets are being fed on the regular I’m going to try updating a bit more often. I hope all of you are doing well, and that my Northeastern buddies weren’t totally wrecked by Sandy blowing in.

Thank you for continuing to visit during my hiatus – I’m always humbled and full of gratitude to see this blog snagging 100-hit days when I haven’t updated in awhile. Merci, dear readers.

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Switching it Up

For those that are new to toychickery and don’t know my backstory, in a nutshell I found myself abruptly out of a 7 year relationship/engagement when he left me for another woman three years ago. Three months later, living with my father in SC while I was looking for a new place to live, I met ToySir through the BDSM social site Fetlife. He was a Dom(inant) and I was a listed Switch (someone who is both Dominant and Submissive) but acting sub(missive) so we fit together fantastically. There was rope, floggings, sexyfuntime, a brief child (miscarried 😦 ) and a wedding in the 12 months that followed our first date.

After being housewife for my ex, who had a high-paying job, hooking up with an unemployed partner was a new experience for me. I found myself thrust into the unexpected role of breadwinner, and while I rose to the challenge, I felt really disoriented and out of place. I had longed for a non-vanilla relationship in my last relationship, and here I had one and still didn’t get that “taken care of” feeling that I had hoped for. I was working constantly, it felt like, and resentment didn’t take long to creep in. We’ve been squabbling recently, and my patience is slim because of the dual stresses of a “traditional” job and constant freelancing. I’ve felt simultaneously powerless and responsible for everything at the same time, and my temper has been unpredictable at best for weeks.

My husband is a sweet but stubborn man who is extremely set in his ways and loyal to his worldview, much like I am. He embodies Dominant, lives and breathes it, likes to run everything more than anything. This morning I woke up to his gentle encouragement for me to look at Fetlife – I thought he’d posted something sweet or loving, as we’d had a bad fight yesterday and we’re both big on making up. I clicked to his profile page and I had one of those moments where the rest of the world kind of blurs out and you don’t hear anything going around you.

He listed himself as a switch.

I understand that to people that aren’t in BDSM that this sounds like much ado about nothing. However, this is a really huge “thing” for someone that lives lifestyle, equivalent (in my opinion, anyway) to a Democrat becoming Republican or vice versa. He posted for our friends, fellow Doms and subs, to see, and declared to the community at large that he was switching mantles.  This was honestly as big to me as an engagement, and it was a total surprise. His dominance is something he’s always guarded and used to define himself, so this was a step I couldn’t believe he made. I’m so proud of his courage and humbled by the gift of his willingness to redefine a part of himself with my guidance that I feel like the whole world’s changed.

I’m still kind of processing this new step in our lives, but I can say for sure I’m happy about it. When you think you’ve run all the bases and suddenly realize there’s so many more fields to explore, you can’t help but feel breathless with possibilities.

Thank you for being a part of the experience, dear readers.

 

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New Video Review! Purple Power Pump by Pipedream Products


I was going to do another vibrator review, but being that I have no AAAs currently in the house, I was abruptly halted. Instead, I decided to give a tip of my hat to the fellas with a penis pump review! If you’ve ever been curious about pumps and wanted to see one up close, this is your chance. I demonstrate how a drilled cylinder model works, and give measurements on the Purple Power Pump with my handy dressmaker’s tape.

The Purple Power Penis Pump is $18.95 at the Pipedream Products Company Store. Whoo!

If they’re out of stock, snag this white and black penis pump – identical but for the color,  for $14.95.

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Sex Toys and Perception

A while ago, I noticed a few “daily deals” sites cropping up, dealing in sex toys. As a toy enthusiast and a marketing lover, I was thrilled with the idea – I’m all about Groupon, so why not extend that concept into something I can use for naughty fun time? Sadly, I watched as the industry’s embrace of the act-now-buy model seemed to sputter and evade liftoff.

Now, the quaint notion of the x-of-the-month club is the new black, and if my newest wave of twitter followers is any indication, there are a lot of startups hopping the bandwagon on this one. The idea is this – customer orders a plan from the company, in some cases specifying demographics like partner preferences and fetish-y loves, and then a box o toys gets delivered to them each month.

The issue I have is this – what if you don’t like it? A body is a tricky thing to match up with toys to begin with, and letting a company that likely has little more than a short survey to go on make that decision seems potentially disastrous. “Of the month” clubs aren’t known for being particularly affordable, which makes this possibility all the more concerning. In the interests of full disclosure, I’ve never joined up with one of these programs, but these are the reasons that I likely wouldn’t to begin with.

I have an issue with companies that re-package toys, as well. There’s a certain religious site that removes toys from their packaging and puts them in generic boxes instead, thus avoiding the apparently sinful appearance of cleavage wrapped around that jelly tube you’re preparing to shove your dick into until you cum. It feels disingenuous – if sex toy packaging is really so powerful a tool in old bandylegs’ arsenal, why not add glitter to liquor and call it “magic fuzzy juice” while you’re at it? I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’m pleased that toys are making it into the bedrooms of folks that would otherwise be compelled to avoid them, it’s more annoyance that this particular tactic is necessary in the first place.

In some ways, depending on how bitchy I feel that day in my head, I’m even inclined to believe this sort of behavior is reinforcing the idea that sex toys are bad. I have a fellow blogger bud who tangled with porn and marriage impact in the past, and I know that having it around makes her uncomfortable at best. I wouldn’t deprive her of this option, but I feel that her situation is unique enough that she’s not the one they’re targeting. Sometimes it feels like these companies are cashing in on the (wrongfully!) shameful overtones and furtive shopping of faithful men and ladies that just want to add a little nitrous boost to their sex lives.

What do you think, dear readers? I’m curious if I’m the only one that subscribes to this particular line of thinking.

 

 

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Project Sugarlips: Sweet Release for Him & Her!

Project Sugarlips at ToyChickBlog.com

 

The nice folks at Sweet Release were kind enough to send two bottles my way – Sweet Release for Him and Sweet Release for Her – for my ongoing Sugarlips project. Life has been ridiculously uncooperative for putting these babies into action (finding time to give my husband a BJ shouldn’t be so hard!) but we finally managed to coincide taking them for a long enough period and getting down and dirty to give them a solid trial run.

Some of my main impressions about the pills themselves:

1.) They look unusual, but interesting. Most “enhancement” pills I’ve come across in my time have been solid chunks of something vaguely pastel. These are capsules, clear capsules, that let you see the ingredient mixture inside. Here’s a picture of them in my hand:

Sweet Release Oral Sex Enhancers

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.) When they say take with food or drink, they mean it. This isn’t to say there’s any tummy troubles with the ingredients, but the gelatin used for the capsules melts and gets sticky in the throat, making them uncomfortable to take dry. Lube (har!) your throat with a favorite snack or beverage before you take them or you’ll get that tortilla-chip-sideways swallowing thing going on.

3.) The men’s and women’s versions of Sweet Release look the same, though they do have slightly different ingredients – men’s has apple, for instance, while the women’s has citrus extracts. Both smell pleasantly fruity, and didn’t offend my relatively sensitive nose at all. There’s no aftertaste to speak of either, which is a big plus for me.

So, in practice?

I noticed the effect the most on my husband’s end of things. If you’re expecting your lover to start ejaculating karo syrup, it ain’t gonna happen, but there’s no product out there that can do that. What Sweet Release does, and does pretty effectively, is neutralize the ammonia undertones commonly “tasted” in sexual bodily fluids. He tasted more pleasant – I won’t say sweet, because I feel sweet is a very solid term reserved for things like southern tea and pixi sticks, but definitely different in a positive way. Prior to ejaculation, I didn’t notice any real change, so this project doesn’t make people smell sweeter in my opinion. If you’re having trouble swallowing or getting your partner to swallow, Sweet Release would be a great step in the right direction.

Sweet Release for Her was a bit more difficult to quantify through use. I tend to produce a lot of moisture naturally, so I feel the effect is a lot more diluted for me than it was for him. He’s an oral sex hound to begin with, too, so getting feedback from him was more a series of mouth-full affirmations than it was a studied chat. I got the distinct impression that he noticed the difference, but it wasn’t enough to make him question what I’d changed – so a pleasant little add-on, but nothing earth shattering. Then again, if enthusiasm is any tip-off, he went at it like a man half-starved – thanks, Sweet Release!

Overall, this product is worth a go if you’re looking to improve the taste of ejaculation for him or her. The price is pretty fair, the customer service is great, and the pills look really well put-together.

Sweet Release can be purchased for $14.95 (both his and her versions) at SweetRelease.com. It’s the best oral sex enhancer I’ve tried so far 🙂

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