S is for Sadism

This is part 3. of my ABC’s of BDsM series.  In each post, I will break down one letter of the BDsM acronym to delve deeper into what practices and preferences make up the world of BDsM.  This is by no means a definitive discussion of BDsM, but is rather intended to be a primer for interested beginners.

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S is for Sadism

Sadism refers to the practice of deriving pleasure from inflicting pain, discomfort and humiliation upon another person.  In the BDsM context, it often involves a consensual exchange of power in which the Dominant partner inflicts pain upon the submissive partner.  Sadism is a strong feature in many aspects of BDsM play, including:

  • Impact play, such as spanking, caning, whipping or flogging.
  • Wax play, where hot wax is dripped onto the skin of a submissive partner
  • Humiliation play, where the submissive party is required to perform actions that they find degrading, wear clothing that embarrasses them or is subjected to ridicule.
  • Knife play
  • Electro-sex, where a violet wand or tens unit is used to inflict electrical shocks, currents and sensations.
  • Bondage scenes where the submissive partner is restrained in an uncomfortable or unflattering position.
  • Torture scenes, which may include breast torture, cock and ball torture or bastinado (foot torture).
  • Role play scenes that are intended to induce fear in the submissive party.

While a lot of these types of play may seem frightening and worrisome to a person who is unfamiliar with BDsM, the fact is that in practice they are carefully planned and controlled.  Although physical and psychological pain are large components of scenes that involve Sadism, most sexual sadist aren’t bullies or meanies.  There are a number of different reasons that a person may be excited by sexual sadism, for example:

  • Enjoying the physical sensation of wielding the tools of the trade, such as floggers, whips and paddles.
  • Relishing the feeling of control and dominance over another person.
  • Being aroused or excited by the reactions of the submissive partner
  • Performing a service for the submissive, by fulfilling their desires and helping them to face their fears and fantasies.
  • Enjoyment in the planning of a scene or the polishing of skills such as whipping or torture.
  • Fascination in the operation of the body, in seeing how the body responds to certain treatment and pain.
  • Feeling a sense of joy or pleasure at earning the trust of a submissive party.

The topic of Sadism is one that I’ve found elicits strong responses in people who are not familiar with the world and practice of BDsM.  And I can see why.  From the outside, the idea of a person who enjoys hurting others can be very frightening. The image our minds conjures up when we talk about torture and humiliation is that of a villain or a bully. But in the real-life practice of BDsM, this often couldn’t be further from the truth.  Many people who practice sexual sadism are caring, loving individuals.  Some of the sweetest people I’ve ever met have sadistic tendencies in the bedroom.  As with any of the other practices in BDsM, there are a number of special considerations that must be undertaken to ensure that the scene you are partaking in is safe, sane and consensual:

  • Long before any play begins, the parties involved should take the time to have an open and frank discussion about personal limits and set specific guidelines for how the scene should progress.
  • The submissive party should disclose any medical conditions or injuries.
  • Safewords should be employed in situations where sadism play is taking place.  A safeword is a word or phrase that, when uttered, brings the action to a halt.
  • The dominant party should be aware of their own personal skill level and limitations and operate within those boundaries.
  • Before participating in impact play, learn the parts of the body that are safe to hit, and those which must be avoided.
  • Make sure that all equipment used, such as floggers or paddles, needles, sex toys or gags, are clean and in working order.
  • Do your research.  Read books, watch videos and visit blogs that deal with the particular type of play you are interested in.  Practice your skills and hone your knowledge before attempting a new type of play.
  • Build up trust and intimacy slowly.  S&M play requires a huge amount of trust between the parties involved, and this can only be built over time.  I don’t recommend engaging in S&M with someone you don’t know well enough to be sure that you can trust them.
  • Never participate in sexual sadism if you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs.  If your judgement is impaired, you could wind up badly hurting your submissive.
  • Ensure that you have first aid supplies at hand in case something goes wrong.  Bruises, cuts and scrapes do happen sometimes even in the most carefully planned scene.
  • Aftercare is vitally important in scenes that involve pain or humiliation. Both the dominant and submissive parties need time to come down after a scene, tend to their bodies and minds and debrief.

As you can see, sadism isn’t all about torture and trials, it’s about creativity, curiosity, nurturing and fascination. It’s about eliciting a response and exploring our limits and skills. People who identify as sexual sadists aren’t necessarily horrible or cruel, and most are fantastically caring and kind.  As with all aspects of BDsM, there is a level of danger involved in indulging one’s sadistic urges, but with proper planning and care, they can be explored safely and with great success.

 

In my final chapter of The ABC’s of BDsM, I’ll be talking about the flipside of the S&M coin: Masochism.

If you enjoyed this chapter, you may enjoy my previous posts:

Toy review: Slick dildo by Tantus

Can you believe that Masturbation Month is nearly over and I haven’t written a single toy review?  Well luckily the sweet folks at Tantus sent me the Slick Dildo to test and review for you. So in celebration of Masturbation May, let’s get down to it.

The Slick is one of Tantus’ dual density toys.  This means that it’s got a firm inner core and a soft outer layer.  I’ve never tried a dual density toy before so I was rearing to give these a go.  And boy, they do not disappoint! The Slick is like the lovechild of a rock-hard toy and a jelly-soft dildo. It is firm enough to thrust vigorously but soft enough to feel comfortable and sensual.  It’s like the Goldilocks dildo: neither too hard, nor too soft.  It’s just right.

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The Slick comes in two shades: Black and Purple Haze.  I got one of each colour and I adore them both.  I have several purple haze toys from Tantus, including my Silk dildos, and the pearly sheen on the silicone is so pretty.  The black is shiny and dark and looks utterly formidable.  I feel like such a badass when I’m wielding that midnight-hued cock in my harness.  I also adore the fact that this toy doesn’t look like a cock.  Many of Tantus’s dual density toys are realistic-looking dildos.  Which is great if you like realistic toys….but I don’t.  I much prefer toys that look phallic, but not like actual penises.

One of the first things I notice when I put these two toys side-by-side is the difference in sizes.  There is a big leap between the small and the large, and initially I wished that there was a size in between. But once I began playing with the Slick dildos, I realised that each size had it’s distinct advantages.

The small Slick has quickly become my favourite dildo for pegging.  The teardrop-shaped base makes it fit snugly into my harness.  The tapered tip is perfect for gradual, easy insertion and it’s a great size. It’s big enough to provide a good amount of sensation and fullness, but it’s not so massive that it’s intimidating to the person on the receiving end. If your partner has a prostate, the spade-shaped tip and slight curve are great for gentle prostate massage. Because the tip is soft and squishy, it provides a gentle sensation rather than a harsh poke.

When I opened the box and saw the large Slick, I shook my head with disbelief.  I truly didn’t think that this monster dildo would ever fit inside my dainty vagina, let alone feel good while doing so.  I’m on the petite side and I know that my pussy is a tight squeeze. In addition to that, I have a fairly low cervix so I was sure that this dildo would be far too large to be inserted very far.  But, as a dutiful sex geek I was determined to give it a red-hot go.

The Slick Large is the first sex toy to ever make me marvel at what my cunt is capable of.  I know that, in theory, a vagina is able to accommodate a baby, and that there are loads of ladies who love being penetrated by big toys.  But I never expected to be one of them. For years, I was deeply afraid of penetrative play, to the point where I saw a sex therapist. The thought that I would one day be tackling a toy of this magnitude, and loving it, would have been ludicrous to me a decade ago.

The dual density texture definitely helped me to enjoy the feel of this toy.  Even though it’s nice and firm, it has a gentle softness that means it doesn’t feel harsh during play.  The silicone is so smooth, the Slick lives up to it’s name, gliding in and out of your body. The head is nice and squishy, so it never once poked me in the cervix (a horribly un-fun experience that I’ve had with other, more solid, toys).

And that head….can we talk about the head for a second?  The spade-shaped head on this toy is genius. Not only does it make initial penetration easier because it’s tapered, but it is incredible for G-spot play.  If you’re new to G-spotting, I heartily recommend this toy.  The head is so bulbous that it’s nearly impossible to miss your G-spot.  And it’s so soft and malleable that it massages that spot so delightfully, moving with your body and gently compressing with your muscles as you orgasm.

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In addition to looking and feeling great, the Slick is made with gorgeously smooth silicone, which means it’s body safe and easy to clean.

I absolutely love the Slick, and it has quickly become one of my favourite toys in my toybox.  While I’m not yet ready to wear the title of Size Queen, I think the large Slick has at the very least made me feel like a Size Princess.

D is for Discipline

This is part 2. of my ABC’s of BDsM series.  In each post, I will break down one letter of the BDsM acronym to delve deeper into what practices and preferences make up the world of BDsM.  This is by no means a definitive discussion of BDsM, but is rather intended to be a primer for interested beginners.

DSCF8568D is for Discipline

Discipline refers to the use of rules to control behaviour and the consequences that may arise as a result of breaking these rules.  In a BDsM context, discipline usually involves some form of power exchange between a dominant party (the person imposing the rules and doling out punishment) and a submissive party (the person adhering to the restrictions).

 

Discipline appears in the BDsM world in countless ways.  It may be applied to a short-lived scene, or employed over a long period of time by people participating in Dominant/submissive relationships.  The ways in which discipline is carried out varies widely across situations, but some of the more common uses of discipline include:

  • “Punishment” role play scenes between an authority figure and a submissive party such as a teacher and a student.
  • Rules or contracts between partners in long-term relationships to prune bad habits and foster beneficial behaviour.
  • Protocol.  Protocol is a huge topic all of it’s own, but it essentially boils down to codes of conduct for submissives, such as the correct way to sit, stand, kneel, serve drinks and perform other tasks.  It is similar to etiquette and is usually employed either at home or at specific BDsM events.
  • Orgasm control, where a submissive party is only permitted to orgasm with the permission of their dominant.
  • Chastity play, where the submissive party is forbidden to engage in sexual contact with another person or to touch themselves sexually.  This may involve the use of chastity devices.
  • Training as part of pet play, slave training or service submission training.

Discipline overlaps heavily with the other aspects of BDsM, particularly sadism and masochism.  I will talk more about these aspects in future posts.  It is often the case that a sadistic dominant will impose difficult or impossible rules as an excuse to inflict pain or punishment upon their submissive.  Discipline also plays a role in many common bondage scenes, and bondage may be used as a punishment when rules are broken.

Discipline commonly comes into play with couples who have a long term Dominant/submissive relationship or power exchange.  In these types of relationship, the dominant party will set rules and standards of expected behaviour for the submissive.  These rules will sometimes be put in place purely for the pleasure of the dominant, and may include restrictions on how the submissive may dress, how they will address the dominant, where they will sleep and tasks they must perform for the dominant.  Other rules may be set in place to assist the submissive to learn a new skill or break a habit.

Consequences for breaking rules vary from mild to extreme depending on the type of relationship and the desires of the parties involved.  Some common punishments include:

  • Spanking, whipping or flogging
  • bondage or restrictions of movement
  • humiliation
  • being made to sit in a corner
  • writing lines
  • forced orgasm
  • Performing unpleasant chores such as washing the bathroom tiles with a toothbrush
  • An apology.

There is a difference between punishments for play and punishments for behavioural training.  In a play scene, punishments like spankings or bondage are more likely to be used, because these are things that the submissive party will find enjoyable.  In the case where a dominant is training a submissive, punishments are more likely to be unpleasant, because they are intended to be something that the submissive will wish to avoid.

Why do people enjoy discipline?  Well, as I mentioned earlier, discipline fits very neatly with sadism and masochism, two of the other branches of BDsM.  Discipline is a perfect pretext for punishments such as canings and spankings, as well as humiliation play.  Discipline is a wonderful tool for learning and improving the self.  Many people enjoy controlling the behaviour of others or being controlled and following orders.  Some find it freeing to have a set of rules in place, so have someone else make those choices for them and to know that all they have to do it follow the rules.  The desire to please is a strong part of the pull towards discipline, whether that means being proud of your own achievements or earning praise from your master or dominant.

As with any BDsM play or practice, discipline should be carried out in a safe, sane and consensual way.  Some specific considerations include the following:

  • Rules and punishments should always be carefully negotiated. Both parties should discuss the reasons for a rule and any objections should be talked through.
  • Rule sheets and contracts should be reviewed from time to time. I know many people in D/s relationships who have a set date every month to review their rules and discuss what is working, what is not, remove rules that have become obsolete and add new rules.
  • It may be worthwhile giving each new rule a trial period before it becomes a part of your formal rule agreement (if you have one).  This helps to identify any practical issues that may not become immediately obvious.
  • Don’t try to add too many rules at once.  This can become overwhelming and untenable.
  • Punishments should be unpleasant, but they should never injure or traumatize a submissive.
  • Don’t make rules that will negatively impinge upon employment, family commitments or personal health.
  • Communicate.  Often, openly and honestly.

Discipline is a huge topic, and not one that I can cover in a single blog post.  If there are any specific questions you have, please feel free to get in touch with me and I will attempt to answer them in future posts.

Next time, I’ll be delving into the practice of Sadism.

 

If you enjoyed this post, you may like to check out the other posts in this series:

B is for Bondage

This is part 1. of a series of posts I will be writing called The ABC’s of BDsM.  In each post, I will break down one letter of the BDsM acronym to delve deeper into what practices and preferences make up the world of BDsM.  This is by no means a definitive discussion of BDsM, but is rather intended to be a primer for interested beginners.

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B is for Bondage

Bondage refers to the act of  restraining another person.  Bondage may involve restricting a person’s bodily movement, or it can extend to restricting speech and ability to see, through gagging and blindfolding.  Physical bondage is most common, however, bondage may also be psychological, when the dominant partner forbids the submissive partner to move or speak.

There are countless different types of bondage, and the tools of the trade range from the simple to the extreme.  Some common tools for bondage include the following:

  • Rope (which may be used for the Japanese art of shibari)
  • Bondage tape
  • cling film
  • Hand and ankle cuffs
  • Hogties, which force the ankles and wrists to be bound together, either in front of or behind the body.
  • Silk scarves or ties
  • Bondage furniture, such as the St Andrews Cross.
  • Bondage clothing, such as mitts that restrict the use of hands, hobble trousers or corsetry, masks, hoods, binders and straitjackets.
  • Gags, such as ball gags, bit gags, cloth gags, rope gags, o-ring gags and spider gags.
  • Blindfolds
  • Portable points of attachment, such as over-the-door restraints and under-the-bed restraints.
  • Collars
  • Spreader bars

 

There are countless ways to employ bondage techniques.  It could be as simple as the dominant partner blindfolding the submissive so that they can’t see what is going on, or as complex as tying their limbs into a fixed position and suspending them in the air.  Bondage play may employ just one technique, or a multitude of tools and restraints.  As with all types of BDsM, bondage may or may not include a sexual element.  Many bondage enthusiasts enjoy it for it’s own reasons, and do not mix sex with play.  Others use bondage to enhance sexual encounters.  Bondage is often an element in role playing scenes, such as a kidnapping scenario or sexual torture fantasies.

 

So, why are people into bondage?  The reasons why people explore bondage play are as diverse and numbered as the players themselves.  It would be impossible for me to list every reason here.  But there are some reasons that are most common.  For example, a lot of players enjoy the feeling of vulnerability, the idea that they are helpless at at the mercy of their dominant partner.  For some, bondage gives them a sense of safety and security, a feeling of being held tightly.  Others enjoy the beauty of bondage, and see bondage as a way to create a living sculpture or work of art using rope, chains and clothing.  Every person’s reasons for enjoying this practice are complex and varied, as with any type of BDsM play.

As I mentioned earlier, bondage may be extremely simple or devilishly complicated.  But any bondage scene must be carefully planned and discussed between the people who will be playing.  All BDsM play should be safe, sane and consensual.  Here are some important bondage-specific safety concerns to keep in mind:

  • You should choose your equipment with care, making sure that any locks and fasteners are in good working order and that there are no sharp edges that might hurt your submissive.
  • Safety shears should always be kept on hand to release the submissive quickly if the need arises.  It’s always better to ruin your equipment than cause injury to your play partner.
  • Any scene should be preceded with a frank and honest discussion of your wants, needs and limitations.  This includes disclosure of any medical ailments or prior injuries that need to be taken into account when constructing the scene.
  • Both parties should make themselves aware of the signs of distress to look for, and keep bondage sessions short to begin with.
  • The submissive should be released immediately if they experience numbness or tingling in their limbs, or if the restrained limb becomes pale or cold to the touch.
  • Safe words or signals should always be discussed and respected.  If the submissive is gagged, a signal such as holding up three fingers, ringing a bell or dropping an object placed in their hand before play can be used.
  • Don’t underestimate the importance of education and practice in bondage.  Bondage can be very dangerous and as such you shouldn’t rush into something complex that you are not ready for.  Read books on the subject, take classes or attend events where you can learn techniques from more experienced players, watch demonstrations and practice your techniques well before using them on a partner.

As you can see, bondage is an exciting and titillating aspect of BDsM play, which has endless applications and appeal.  It can be simple and basic or intricate and complex.

 

So now we know that B is for Bondage. Next time, I’ll be taking you through the ins and outs of discipline

 

 

 

 

 

 

Toy review: Tantus Rumble

While I love a range of sex toys, I’m definitely a vibrator girl at heart.  There’s something about the steady buzz of a vibe that gets my motor revving in a way that a dildo or a plug never could.  So when Tantus announced earlier this year that they were adding a wand-style vibrator to their line of toys I was chuffed.  The rad folks at Tantus were kind enough to send me the Rumble to test and review.

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The first thing I noticed about the Rumble is how lightweight it is.  Wand vibrators have a reputation for being on the heavy-duty side.  I picked up a Magic Wand at Kink Fest earlier this year and nearly toppled over from the heft of it.  I can imagine my arm wearing out before I was even close to orgasm with one of those monsters!  But the Rumble weighs next to nothing.  It is easily the lightest vibrator in my toybox.  This lightness makes the Rumble ideal for people who have limited mobility in the arms or wrists.

 

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The shape of the head is another thing I love about the Rumble.  While most wands have a rounded shape, the Rumble is flatter on top, almost like a hockey puck.  While I thought this was kind of odd at first, once I began playing I appreciated this shape.  Having a flatter head gives you a lot more options when it comes to sensation.  If you prefer a broader surface area for stimulation, then you can angle the entire top of the head on the area you’re playing with.  With a slight twist, you can use the edge for more pinpointed stimulation. I also like that the head is mounted on a swiveling base.  The base absorbs some of the movement and makes it great for grinding against.  Sometimes when I’m using a vibe for clit stimulation, it can feel like I’m just mashing it against my crotch.  But the Rumble feels more like a massage.  It stays on target and moves with you as you thrust and grind.

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The Rumble has been advertised as ” A vibe for every body”.  It’s meant to be non-exclusive in terms of gender, and it can be used on a range of body types and genitals.  I do think it’s one of the more body-inclusive vibrators that I’ve seen.  It’s not as feminized as a lot of toys on the market, which come in only pink or purple and feature butterfly, floral or heart motifs.  I spent a long time playing with this toy, both alone and with my male partner. I usually use it for clitoral or labial stimulation, but it also feels lovely on nipples.  For folks with penises, it can be nestled snugly behind the balls or run along the penis.  It is light enough to hold against a clit for orgasmic fun during penis-in-vagina sex and it feels great when you buzz the base of an anal plug that’s firmly in place.  It’s also great for solo play with a dildo or on it’s own.

 

In terms of vibration quality, the Rumble lives up to it’s name.  The vibrations are really deep and rumbly.  This toy is relatively quiet, although it does get a bit buzzier on the higher settings.  I’ve read a few reviews that stated that the Rumble is not powerful enough.  Now, the amount of power you want in a vibrator is a very personal thing.  Nobody wants a wimpy little buzz against their clit.  But every body is different and the level of stimulation needed varies hugely across the board.  I’m sure that for some people, the Rumble may not offer the whallop they require.  But for me, it works beautifully.  There are three speed settings and I’ve never gone above “medium” during a play session.  The Rumble is plenty powerful enough for me, and I like quite a lot of stimulation.

 

 photo DSCF1036_zpsjlgt7w36.jpgLet’s take a moment to look at the control panel on this toy.  The controls are very simple and easy to use.  The power key switches the toy on and off.  The + and – keys allow you to turn the intensity up and down and cycle through the different vibration patterns.  I like having the option of moving back and forth through the patterns, rather than having to cycle through the entire range to get back to the one you accidentally skipped.  I am also a fan of the on-off switch, because it means you can quickly flip the toy off if someone knocks on the door, rather than having to hold down a function button for several seconds.  The controls are conveniently placed so that you aren’t likely to accidentally press them during play.

 

The only thing that disappoints me about this toy is that it doesn’t have a travel lock.  Most rechargable toys have a locking function, so they won’t accidentally start buzzing in your bag (causing embarrassment or worse: a flat battery when you reach your destination).  I am in a long distance relationship and I travel often to visit my partner.  Sadly the Rumble has missed out on every single trip, solely because it can’t be locked.

 

The other downside to the Rumble is that it isn’t waterproof.  While I rarely take my toys into the tub or shower, I do like waterproof toys for ease of cleaning.  It’s so much simpler to be able to dunk a toy in the sink rather than carefully wiping it off.  However, the buttery-soft silicone cover on the head of the Rumble slips off, so you can thoroughly clean this part in the sink.  The head is the bit that gets the dirtiest when I use it, so it’s awesome to be able to wash it under running water.  The handle does get a bit grimy but I’ve found a quick wipe with a cloth is enough to get rid of any residue.  The fact that there are no cracks or crevices for dirt to hide on the handle makes this a relatively easy toy to clean.

 

The Rumble is body safe and great quality.  It retails for $129.99 plus shipping, which is pretty average for a wand-style vibrator.  However, you can use the code NESSBOW15 at the checkout to get a bonus 15%  off your order. Tantus also have a few attachments for the Rumble, which are all made of body safe silicone and offer a range of different sensations.

 

The Rumble has quickly become my go-to vibrator for solo play.  I adore the lightweight design and the deep vibrations. The electric blue shade makes it stand out in my collection, and I really don’t own anything else quite like it.  I truly recommend the Rumble for vibe lovers, anyone who is keen to try a wand style vibe and folks with hand and wrist injuries that find traditional vibrators bulky and difficult to maneuver.

Product review: Doc Johnson Wonderland vibrators

This past Valentines Day, I chose to treat myself to some sex toys.  I had been eyeing off the Doc Johnson Wonderland range of vibrators for months, and when Wild Secrets had them on sale, I snapped up The Pleasurepillar and The Mystical Mushroom.  When they arrived I could barely contain my glee.  I ripped into the packaging and was floored with wonder.

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I was so impressed with the packaging of these vibrators.  The level of detail and sturdiness is akin to what you would find wrapped around a luxury vibrator.  Each toy came packaged in a hard box with a slipcover.  When the cover was slid away, it revealed a gorgeous gold-embossed letter W and the word “Wonderland”.  The boxes have a magnetic closure and the toys were safely nestled inside a perfectly-shaped foam case.  These cases are small enough to use as travel cases to stop your toys switching on in your luggage, or simply for storing your vibrators when not in use.

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As if the packaging wasn’t gorgeous enough, the appearance of the toys themselves was breathtaking.  The colours are fantastic, and this line features shades not often seen in the realm of sex toys.  The Mystical Mushroom is a deep royal purple and the Pleasurepillar is a charming turquoise.  The shapes are also unique and exactly what drew me to the toys in the first place.

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The Mystical Mushroom features a rounded nub surrounded by a flared disc to look like a mushroom.  It has a lot of interesting textured grooves. I imagined that the tip would be ideal for pinpointed clitoral stimulation, while the rounded edges could feel wonderful against my labia.  I had a different idea in mind for the Pleasurepillar.  I had hoped that it’s hooked end would make it a great G-spot toy, and I imagined that the bumps and bubbles along the shaft would feel excellent during thrusting.
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My excitement grew as I pulled the toys from their cases.  Each one is made from a buttery soft silicone.  They feel incredibly smooth to the touch and have very little drag.  This silicone is of the kind of quality I’ve only seen on high-end sex toys, and is so impressive on a mid-range vibrator.  Sadly, the packaging, appearance and texture of these toys are not an indication of how well they perform.
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The Wonderland toys are battery operated.  This can often be a stumbling point, as battery operated toys often lack power and you have to worry about having extra batteries on hand during play time.  I’ve had a few battery operated toys that pack a real wallop, but sadly these two vibrators fall flat.  The vibrations are extremely buzzy and don’t feel good against my skin.  During use, they feel more like an annoying itch and tickle than a pleasurable rumble.  Even on the highest setting, I had to really press the toys into my clit to get any real sensation.

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While the shape of the toys has great potential in theory, in practice they really miss the mark. The Pleasurepillar was particularly disappointing in this regard, as it was just too short to hit my G-spot squarely.  And once inserted, the vibrations were even further dampened.  It was also very difficult to manipulate the Pleasurepillar for thrusting, as the toy doesn’t really have enough length to allow for a good grip during internal use.

I was also utterly frustrated with the placement of the power button. It is located right on the end of the toy.  This means that it’s incredibly easy to inadvertently push it during play, switching the vibration patterns and ruining your flow.

The vibration patterns were another source of consternation for me.  Each of these toys features ten vibration patterns and three vibration strengths.  This was a huge drawcard for me, but again it fell over in the execution.  For starters, when the toy is switched on, it starts on the highest vibration pattern.  You then click the single button to cycle down to a medium vibration, then again for a low vibration, and then you cycle through the patterns.  Now, when I use a vibrator, I tend to use it on the lowest setting to get warmed up, then slowly ramp up the intensity as I approach orgasm.  I don’t know anyone who goes in the other direction.  And the vibration patterns are varied and interesting, but the lack of power makes them almost indistinguishable on my clitoris.  As far as my clit is concerned, the patterns are just a bland series of flutters and blips.

As a final insult, these toys are an absolute bitch to clean.  The ridges and bumps on the Mystical Mushroom are just a lodging-place for lube and fluid and require scrubbing to get really clean.  Additionally, these toys are only splashproof and can’t be submerged, which makes cleaning even more frustrating.

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I was so disappointed with the Wonderland toys.  The packaging and appearance were on point, but the performance was sub-par.  I wish that Doc Johnson would make a more powerful version of these toys, maybe with a bigger shaft.  I would love these shapes and that gorgeous silicone in a toy that actually had enough power to make playtime pleasurable, rather than an exercise in sexual frustration.

Why you need multiple sex toys in your collection

For years my sex toy collection consisted of a single vibrator.  It was The Rabbit, the same one that Charlotte becomes addicted to on Sex and the City.  I selected it hastily, because although I was keen at the idea of buying a vibrator, I was mortified to be in a sex shop and frankly intimidated by the selection.  When I tried it out, I was pretty pleased with it’s performance and so it took up permanent residence in my nightstand.  It remained there for four years until the motor burned out.  Heartbroken, I started the search for a replacement.

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My search led me to the Lelo Soraya.  I had known that I wanted another rabbit-style vibrator because I liked that design and knew for sure that it would get me off.  It was familiar, tried-and-true.  I chose the Soraya because it seemed more sophisticated than it’s predecessor.  While I’d been looking for my holy-grail vibrator, I’d seen a vast number of other toys that looked great, that I was keen to try.  But something in my head kept telling me that I only needed one vibrator.

But after a while, curiosity got the better of me.  I bought another new toy for myself.  And then another.  And then many more.  And I’ve come to realise that owning a few different sex toys has a lot of benefits.  Let me tell you why I think a woman needs more than just a single trusty vibrator.

It helps you break sexual patterns

Humans are creatures of habit, and this is very evident in the bedroom.  Once we find a method of masturbating that feels good and brings us to orgasm, we tend to stick to it.  While there’s nothing wrong with knowing how to get yourself off, it can make you a tad lazy in the bedroom.  When you’re just going through the same motions over and over again, you may find yourself getting bored with your sexual routine.  And that boredom can lead to dissatisfaction over time.

If you have just one toy that you use every time you masturbate, over time you’ll learn exactly how to use it to bring yourself to orgasm.  If you have multiple toys, you can be a bit more creative.  You’ll be less likely to get stuck in a sexual rut, and less likely to feel bored and frustrated.  I firmly believe that sex with yourself should be just as varied and creative as partnered sex, and having a range of tools at your disposal will help to encourage you to try new things.

New sensations lead to new pleasures

Just as running through the same routine can become boring with time, it can deprive you of the chance to experience new kinds of pleasure.  The more open you are to trying new things, the more likely you will be to find new things that feel great, and more ways to bring yourself to orgasm.

Having a few different toys in your goody drawer gives you a chance to give more things a shot and find new ways of pleasing yourself.  I suggest getting a range of different toys that do different things.  Maybe a few vibrators with different patterns of vibration, maybe some toys of different materials such as glass or silicone, maybe some anal toys.  If something excites you, it’s worth trying out, just to see if you like it. You may discover a new favourite way to bring yourself joy.

Avoiding sexual numbness

Have you ever heard someone try to discourage sex-toy use by suggesting that it will make your junk numb?  Well, that can actually happen.  While it’s unlikely that you will lose all feeling in your bits, over time using the same sex toy in the same ways can desensitize your erogenous zones.  Having a few different toys in rotation can help avoid this.  Providing a range of different sensations, vibration strengths and patterns keeps your body guessing and avoids overstimulation and numbness.

Having a collection of toys can also help avoid becoming reliant on your toy to orgasm.  As I mentioned earlier, we humans are creatures of habit, and sometimes when we find one way to orgasm, we become dependent on that method and aren’t able to come with a partner, or from different types of stimulation.  Using a variety of toys helps to train your body to be comfortable with different sensations, and breaks you out of your comfort zone, so that you’re less likely to need that one particular toy to have an orgasm.

A toy for every mood

Just like our appetite for food, our sexual appetites can vary.  On one night you might crave ice cream, while on another you might feel more like hot chips with gravy.  One time you might prefer strong, pinpointed vibration, and others you might like something a bit softer, more diffuse.  Having a selection of toys means that you can pick and choose the types of sensation you feel like on any given occasion, rather than having to rely on the same thing all the time.  I found that when I started trying more toys, I felt more confident in indulging myself when I wanted a particular type of play.  I began to learn more about my body, and I felt more consistently satisfied with my sex life.

I truly believe that having a variety of different toys to use is great for your confidence, your body and your personal satisfaction.  I don’t think that anyone should restrict themselves to just one vibrator, when there is a whole world of toys just waiting to be explored.

Do you own more than one toy?  Or do you prefer to stick with one faithful model?