My pet peeves with sex toy companies

When it comes to designing and marketing toys, there are certain things that companies do that cause me to roll my eyes and seethe with frustration.  Whether it’s creating toys that aren’t fit for their purpose or perpetuating sexual shame, sometimes sex toy manufacturers really frustrate me.  Here are five things that I wish sex toy companies would stop doing.

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  1. Using the word “Massager” instead of “vibrator”

I’m always puzzled when I see the word “massager” pop up on the packaging of an item that is very clearly a vibrator.  I get that there are a lot of appliances that were intended to be used to relieve sore muscles, which have subsequently become cult-favourite sex toys (Hitatchi Magic Wand, are your ears burning?).  But often dildos and vibrators are sold under the guise of “massagers” that purport to “ease tension” and “reach those tight spots”.  All of this pussy-footing around just seems so silly to me.  That item that looks like a pearly pink phallus that rumbles and buzzes?  I’m gonna use it on my genitals.  It’s a vibrator.  The jig is up and you aren’t fooling anybody.

 

2. Non body-safe materials

There are materials that you aren’t allowed to use in the manufacture of children’s toys that are regularly used to make toys intended to come into contact with the most intimate parts of your body.  Some of these materials are not safe because they are porous and can harbour bacteria that can cause infection.  Some are actually toxic and can cause anything from minor irritation to chemical burns. And yet companies continue to make sex toys from non-body-safe materials because it’s cheap and they look good.  The worst part is that a lot of the “beginner” ranges of toys are made from these materials.  Those cute jelly dildos and small sized butt plugs look colourful and are easy on the wallet, but they can be seriously bad for you.  I wish that more sex toy companies would work harder to make their toys safe to use.

 

3. Anal toys without flared bases

I have lost count of the number of toys I’ve seen that are marketed as being “anal safe” that are actually anything but.  You should never put anything in your backside that doesn’t have a flared base to stop it getting sucked up into your ass.   Even though this is a very well-known rule, companies continue to make toys that are intended for butt play that have no means of retrieving them.  It’s very simple, if you want to sell butt-toys, make ones that aren’t going to disappear inside your consumers.

 

4 Including Anal-eze with butt toys.

While we’re on the subject of butt toys, let’s talk about Anal-eze.  Anal-eze is a numbing lotion that you’re supposed to apply to your asshole before anal play to stop it from hurting.  It’s also the Product Most Likely to Induce a Tantrum from this blogger.  Anal-eze is pointless and plays into so many insecurities people have around anal play.  Firstly, if you’re going to be playing with your anus, you don’t want to numb the area because you’ll miss out on all the pleasure.  Secondly, anal play doesn’t hurt when it’s done properly.  Pain is your body’s way of telling you that you need to slow down, use more lube, relax, try a smaller toy, or change positions.  Pain has a function, and without it you run this risk of doing real damage to yourself.  I think that a lot of people use products like Anal-Eze because they are afraid of anal sex and believe that it’s going to hurt.  And ironically, if you can’t feel your butt, you’re more likely to rush or use something that’s too big and you’re going to be sore when the numbing wears off, which only reinforces that fear that butt sex is painful.

While I get pissed that Anal-Eze even exists, what makes me truly livid is the fact that some manufacturers include it in the packaging with their butt plugs and anal probes. To me, that eliminates the pleasure and power a person might experience from buying an anal toy and replaces it with fear and shame.  Also, it’s just plain unsafe.

 

5. Claiming to mimic “real life” sex acts.

In the last year, there has been a tidal wave of clitoral suction toys that are supposed to feel “just like” oral sex.  But they never do.  They feel great, but the sensation of a machine on your genitals is always going to be different to a real person.  Sex toys aren’t a substitute for a partner.  Sex with toys doesn’t feel like sex with a person. And that’s ok.   I see sex with toys as a different kind of sex to having partnered sex, and I like both for different reasons.  Trying to make a toy that mimics sex with a human being will always leave the consumer disappointed because even if you could perfectly replicate the sensation, you can’t program a toy to be spontaneous or intimate.  I wish that more manufacturers would focus on marketing how great the toy feels, rather than comparing it to sex with a partner.

There are plenty of companies out there that create amazing body-safe toys without cringy marketing or a side-helping of shame with every purchase.  But there are still plenty of stores out there selling toys that commit these five sex toy crimes.  And I wish they’d stop.  Because sex toys are so much fun and the less shame and stigma that surrounds them the better.

 

What are your sex toy pet hates?

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Product review: Glass tentacle wand

I know what you’re thinking: “A glass dildo?  Is she mad? Surely that’s super dangerous!”.  And I understand where you’re coming from because I felt exactly the same way when I first saw a display case of glass insertables.  I mean, glass is cold and rigid, that can’t be comfortable or sexy, right?  And…..what if it breaks inside you?  That’s just a recipe for disaster!

I was extremely hesitant to try a glass toy for all of these reasons.  But then after I got my Pure Aluminum vibrator  and I experienced how incredible a rock-hard toy can be, I started to warm up to the idea of trying a glass wand.  But I was still put off by the possibility of breakage.  The potential for pain, injury and humiliation was just too high for me to even contemplate putting anything glass inside me.  And then I did a bit of research.

As it turns out, there are plenty of high-quality glass toys on the market that aren’t going to break or shatter.  The most reputable toys are made from soda-glass or Pyrex (yep, the same stuff your Nan’s indestructible cookwear is fashioned from).  These materials are heavy and extremely resistant to breakage.  You’d need a massive amount of impact to crack one of these babies.  And if they do break, they tend to snap in two, rather than shattering into a million tiny bits.  And breakage only happens if the toy has been weakened.  So as long as you choose something that’s well-made, and discard it immediately if it shows any cracks or dents, then you can put the worry of breakage out of your mind and have a good sexy time.

Once I’d come around to the idea of trying a glass toy, the only thing to do was choose one.  There are so many great glass dildos out there, with a dizzying array of shapes, sizes and textures to choose from.  But when I spotted this glass tentacle wand at the Black Peach stall at Kinkfest last year, I knew I needed to make it mine.

The features that drew me to this wand were the curve and the texture.  Because glass is such a rigid material, I had high hopes that the textures would be more pronounced and therefore offer more intense sensation.  I also loved the way that the toy curved upwards, and imagined that it would be a great g-spotting dildo.

Initially I was a bit disappointed with the way this toy felt when inserted.  Although the rock-hard material felt interesting, the shape just didn’t work for my body.  I found my g-spot easily with the wand, but I found the tip of the toy too pointed to be pleasurable.  It felt like it was poking at my g-spot which was more painful than anything else.

After a bit of unsatisfactory prodding at my g-spot, I tried flipping the toy around while it was inside me. And that’s when I hit the jackpot.  The underside of the curve has a series of deep ridges, and this texture felt incredible when I stroked it along the front wall of my vagina.  The pressure and bumpiness on my g-spot was perfect, and the rounded handle at the end of the toy gave me loads of control to be able to stroke and massage the way I wanted to.

In the interests of doing a fully comprehensive review, I also tried this toy anally.  I had a feeling that the extreme texture would be too much for my delicate behind, so I truly didn’t expect to enjoy it.  But I am super glad that I gave it a whirl, because this has become one of my favourite butt-toys.  That pointed tip that was too intense for my g-spot made this wand incredibly easy to insert. The toy isn’t super girthy, and it only about as wide as two of my fingers, which is a good size for….not absolute beginners but those who are still learning what their butt likes. The smoothness of the glass means that it doesn’t hog lube in the way that some silicone toys can, which helped it to glide smoothly (which is what you want from anal play, dragging is not sexy).  This dildo allowed me to experience indirect g-spot stimulation through my anus, which I have never done before.  I actually had my first orgasm from butt play with this toy (or ass-gasm, as I like to call it).  Although I don’t have the anatomy to test this theory, I believe this would be a really fun toy for people who want to explore prostate play.

Glass dildos have their pros and cons.  On the plus side they are rock hard, super smooth and can be used with any kind of lube.  They are also really easy to clean and are non-porous which makes them body safe.  The main downside is that they can become unwieldy when your hands are covered in lube (and lube is a necessity when you are playing with such a rigid toy).  To avoid losing your grip, I definitely recommend having a towel nearby to wipe your hands on during play.

As I mentioned, I bought my wand from Black Peach, who sadly no longer have it in stock.  However, DDLG World have an almost identical one in their shop.  If you want a slightly thicker version of this toy, the Icicles 24 is pretty darn close in texture but has a tad more girth.

Have you tried glass toys before?  Would you give them a shot?

Product review: Fun Factory Bootie

Today I’m publishing my first ever anal toy review.  And the toy I’ve chosen to talk about is the Fun Factory Bootie plug.  Although the Bootie wasn’t my first anal plug, it is the most beginner-friendly plug I’ve tried.  And I thought it would be nice to make my first review one that appealed to readers who have never tried butt play, but might be keen to give it a go.

The Bootie is a great first-time plug for so many reasons.  It comes in three different sizes: Small, Medium and Large.  There isn’t a lot of variation between the sizes, so each one is a gentle step up from the last. I purchased the Medium plug because I wanted something a little bit larger than the smallest plug in my collection.  But if you’ve never tried anal play before, then the Small Bootie is non-intimidating and the perfect size.

In addition to the size range, I believe that the shape of the Bootie is great for first timers.  Rather than the traditional teardrop shape that most plugs have, the Bootie is a kind of elongated comma shape.  I personally find that this shape makes insertion smoother and easier.  With teardrop plugs, I have to take an incremental approach to inserting them because they get gradually wider.    Because the tip of the Bootie is the widest part, once I’ve eased that past the back door, my butt kind of just embraces the rest of the plug. When inserting a toy is easy and smooth, it makes the rest of your play session so much more enjoyable.

The texture of this plug makes it super easy to insert and wear too.  The Bootie is made from Fun Factory’s gorgeous velvety silicone.  It’s 100% body safe and non-porous, which is ultra important for anal toys.  A toy that is not body safe can harbour bacteria and cause infections.  Porous toys are a breeding ground for odours, which is the last thing you want from a butt toy.  The Bootie is so smooth and silky to touch, with absolutely no seams or ridges.  While experienced players might like a bit of texture to enhance sensation, for the first-time user the mere fact that you’re wearing a butt plug is usually enough sensation. The Bootie gives you a nice full feeling without any irritation or friction.

Once inserted, the Bootie feels amazing. The curved tip follows the natural arc of your body.  I always insert this toy with the curved end facing forwards, towards my belly button.  This way, the bulge at the tip provides indirect g-spot stimulation.  If you have a prostate, inserting the Bootie in this way will angle it towards your P-spot.  The Bootie is firm, but not rigid.  It has a bit of squish to it, so it applies a good amount of pressure without being too intense.  I can comfortably wear this plug for extended periods without feeling sore.

Another reason that I adore the Bootie is that it’s great for wearing during sex.  The firm-yet-soft texture and the curved shape help to angle my partner’s cock or a dildo towards my g-spot during penetrative play.  This leads to a really full feeling as well as intense stimulation which is often missing during penetrative intercourse.  People with prostates will appreciate the additional stimulation this plug offers when worn during partnered play or during solo sessions.

One of the most vital features of any butt toy is the base.  A toy that is going into your anus needs to have a flared base to ensure that it can be easily retrieved.  The Bootie has one of the most comfortable bases of any anal toy that I’ve tried.  While most butt plugs have a rounded or rectangular base, the Bootie boasts a T-bar base of flexible silicone. When worn, the base nestles snugly between your butt cheeks.  It’s is rigid enough to keep the toy in position, but has enough flex to move with your body when you walk or sit.  For this reason, the Bootie is a great plug for wearing for extended periods.  The base is super comfortable and not obtrusive, but is also strong enough to make sure that your plug doesn’t get sucked into the great beyond.

An important factor for beginner toys is price.  If you’re trying something for the first time, you don’t want to spend a lot of money on a toy that you’re not certain is going to light your fire.  This means that often, beginners will buy cheap, low-quality toys that don’t perform well or aren’t body safe.  The Bootie plugs range in price from about $30 for the Small to $40 for the Large.  This means that they are pretty affordable, in addition to being well-crafted and high-performing.  It’s hard to find great quality toys at such a reasonable price-point, and the Bootie is a fantastic toy that won’t put a dent in your finances.  I got mine from Aphrodite’s Pleasure, which is a fantastic Aussie sex-toy shop.  They have the individual Bootie plugs or all three together in The Bootie Set which is brilliant value for money if you know you’d like the option of multiple sizes.

I love my Bootie and I truly recommend this for first-time anal explorers or more experienced players.  It’s well-made, comfortable and so sleek.  It’s one of my most-loved toys and one that I keep coming back to over and over.

Game of Thrones makes us ask “What is Sex?”

I’m excited by the discussion that is swirling around the sex lives of two of my favourite Game of Thrones characters: Grey Worm and Missandei.  The Season 7 episode Stormborn ignited a conversation around a topic that I think is extremely important to consider: The way that we define “Sex”.

I still haven’t caught up on season 7 of GoT, but I just HAD to check out the love scene between these two characters so that I could join in the discussion. I saw so many posts online that were asking the question “Grey Worm and Missandei hooked up…..but did they have sex?  And if so, how?”

For those who aren’t fans of Game of Thrones, let me shed a little light on this question.  Grey Worm, as a member of The Unsullied, a ruthless slave army, is a eunuch.  From what I can gather from the series and the books it is based on, in his case this means that he has been fully castrated, with the removal of both his penis and testicles.

 

So when the tender love scene between a castrated man and his female lover aired, a lot of people asked how, if he has no penis, could he possibly have sex with her? And this opened a can of worms around the idea of how we define sex.

 

For me, the discussion surrounding the love scene really highlighted how penis-centric our idea of sex is.  When most of us first learn about sex, we are taught that sex = penis in vagina.  But in reality the definition of sex is so much broader than that.  “Sex” can encompass a huge range of activities, including oral sex, anal sex, digital penetration and stimulation and mutual masturbation.  While there’s no denying that these are all elements of sexual play, our culture still largely views them as foreplay, a lead up to the Main Event of penis-in-vagina sex.  I’ve even heard some people refer to penis-in-vagina sex as “real sex” or “full sex”, which kind of gives the impression that those other sexual acts are less important or have a lower status than vaginal penetration with a penis.

And while some viewers were happy to concede that while Grey Worm could easily provide pleasure to his female partner, that without a penis he’d be bereft of any pleasure of his own.  If Grey Worm has no genitals, then surely any sexual play between him and Missandei will be ludicrously one-sided, cried they.

 

Although Game of Thrones has had some truly questionable sex scenes in the past, I loved the way this scene was shot. It was tender, it was erotic and the desire of both parties was palpable.  I thought it was a wonderful illustration of the ways in which sex can be much more broadly defined.  It showed that the important facet of a sexual encounter isn’t the body parts that are involved, but rather the connection between the partners who are participating.

 

If we think of sex as only including penis-in-vagina penetration, we are selling ourselves short of a world of sexual pleasure.  We are excluding the sexual relationships of same-sex couples, intersex individuals and trans folk who do not participate in penetrative sex.  We discount the sexual connections had by heterosexual men who do not experience erections or sensation in the genitals.  And that cuts out a huge percentage of sexually active humans and relationships.  This narrow idea of what sex is does not serve us. It sets us up for a limited sexual experience and shame if our sex lives don’t match that view.  And so I encourage everyone reading this to take a look at how you think about sex and try to widen that view a little if you currently think that “real” sex only looks like a penis in a vagina.

 

So how might Grey Worm and Missandei have had sex?  Well, we know for sure that there was plenty of kissing and touching, and we saw him go down on her.  Knowing what I know about their anatomies, here are a few other activities that they might have enjoyed together:

  • Grey Worm might have used his fingers or hands to stimulate Missandei’s vulva and clitoris, and may even have penetrated her digitally.
  • Both parties have nipples, which might respond to touch and play.
  • Although Grey Worm doesn’t have external genitals, he probably still has a prostate.  This nerve-packed pleasure spot can be accessed through the anus and can produce orgasm internally.
  • Frottage, or the rubbing of the clitoris against a thigh, hip or pubic mound, could be enjoyed by both parties while still maintaining full body contact and giving them the opportunity to kiss and look at one another.
  • Both Missandei and Grey Worm could have indulged in a sensual massage as a way to explore eachother’s bodies and relax their partner.
  • Regardless of their genitals, everyone has a butt.  And the backside is full of nerve endings which are very responsive to touch with fingers, lips, tongues and toys.

This is just a few examples of the ways that these two characters could give and receive sexual pleasure together.  None of these activities involves a penis in a vagina and all of them count as sex in my book.

I am so chuffed that a program as huge as Game of Thrones has shown such a beautiful sex scene and given fans the opportunity to talk about how we define sex. It’s a super important topic and one that I could chat about for ages.  But I wanted to keep this post relatively short to give you a chance to sit with these ideas and think about where you stand on the definition of “sex”.

 

If you’re up for it, I’d love for you to leave a comment telling me how you define sex.  What counts as “sex” in your book?

The performance of pleasure

I recently finished reading The Sex Myth by Rachael Hills.  While the book was fascinating, there was one particular idea that I’m still pondering ages after the final page has been turned.  This was the concept of the Performance of Pleasure.

 

In the book, the author suggests that people, women in particular, feel pressured to perform pleasure.  By that, she means that during sexual activity women feel obliged to act as though they are enjoying themselves, with a series of facial expressions, moans and bodily cues, even if they aren’t truly as turned on as their performance would suggest they are.  This performance is seen as an integral part of sex, and so many women don’t even realise that they are doing it.

 

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This chapter hit me like a punch in the stomach.  When I read those words, I realised how true they were for me, and that I was one of those women who puts on a sensual performance in bed, completely unaware that that’s what I was doing.  I don’t always do it though, there are times when I’m completely caught up in the excitement that I lose myself and the curtain is dropped.  But there have definitely been times when I’ve pretended to be more aroused or excited than I actually am, particularly when engaging with a new partner.  I’m not talking about faking orgasms here.  What I’m talking about is a subtle tweaking of my body language and verbal cues to suggest that sex is having a stronger effect on me than it truly is.  It’s not even a deliberate act, it’s something that I’ve learned to do over time, to encourage my partner and to avoid causing offence.

 

I think back to one of my first sexual experiences with a partner.  I am with my first serious boyfriend in my bedroom.  Nirvana is playing on my stereo and a half hour of kissing and touching has turned to heavy petting.  My boyfriend and I have partially undressed and he is using his fingers to play with my labia.  It’s the first time anyone other than me has touched this part of my body and it feels strange.  Good, but strange.  I’m getting over the self-consciousness of letting another person be this intimate with my body.  I’m anxious about my parents hearing us, and I’m enjoying the new sensations and being close to someone I care this much about.  After a while, it’s time for us to part so that my boyfriend can head home.

 

On the phone that same night, we talked about our experiments from earlier.  My boyfriend asks “Did you enjoy yourself?” and I assured him that I had.  His response confused me “It’s just….it didn’t seem like you were enjoying yourself”.  I asked why he thought that, and he responded that I hadn’t made much noise, and I hadn’t given much of a physical indication that I was feeling pleasure.  After our conversation, I considered this carefully.

 

There was no doubt in my mind that I’d enjoyed his touches.  Although I hadn’t been close to orgasm, it felt lovely and I definitely wanted more.  And it’s true that I had been quiet, but that was partially because I was very aware that my parents were in the house and also….it hadn’t felt good enough for me to make any involuntary noises.  I was worried because I didn’t want my boyfriend to think that I wasn’t having fun.  And I certainly didn’t want to be one of those girls who just “lay there”.  I wanted to make sure that our sex was good.

 

And so the next time we played together, I kept this in mind.  When he touched me I let out a little whimper of pleasure, and saw him smile.  I ran my hands through his hair and used my nails to claw at his skin, as though I was ravenous with desire.  I arched my back and bit my lip.  Even though I was relatively inexperienced, I knew how to act out this pleasure because I’d seen so many films and television shows that portrayed this performance.  I knew which marks to hit, which noises to make to indicate that I was having fun.

 

The important thing to note here is that I genuinely was enjoying myself.  His hands on my body felt good, great even.  But they weren’t making me as turned on as I appeared to be.  But he seemed more satisfied this time that he’d shown me a good time.

 

Over time, these little nuances became a part of my sexual repertoire.  They weren’t even a conscious act, just a few tweaks that I’d throw in to show that I was enjoying myself.  As I said earlier, they were more about encouraging a partner, indicating that something felt good, than actually pretending.  But now that I’m writing about it, it feels dishonest.  It feels wrong and shameful, like faking an orgasm.  And yet, on occasion when I’d drop the act, I had partners ask me if I was enjoying myself, if they were doing the right thing.

 

I got to thinking also about why these responses to sexual touch were expected.  Why my boyfriends (always boyfriends) seemed to believe that a single touch in a particular spot should make me weak and the knees and gasping for breath.  And I think I have the answer.  It’s a vicious cycle really.  When blokes are inexperienced in the sexual realm, their main sources of reference for sex and porn and films that feature sex scenes.  And on the screen, the women who are being pleasured are usually very vocal, and tend to show their pleasure with overt body language.  This is because it’s what looks good, what is entertaining and exciting on the screen.  And when these boys touch a real women for the first time, they expect her to react like that. And if their partner has learned that performing pleasure is an important part of sex, then his expectations are confirmed.  And if she doesn’t…..then he feels like he’s done the wrong thing or his partner hasn’t enjoyed herself.

 

So we’re all cheating ourselves with this cycle of expectation and anxiety.  Women are cheating themselves out of an honest sexual experience and men are cheating themselves out of the opportunity to genuinely enjoy their partner’s pleasure.  I believe that the time has come to be gentle with ourselves and our partners, and drop the act. Be vocal about what you enjoy and get into the habit of telling your partner what you want in bed.  Learn to communicate honestly and openly in your relationships and be genuine in your sexual expression.  It’s not something that can be done easily or quickly, but I think looking at our own behaviour and admitting to ourselves if we are performing pleasure is the first step to a better sex life and more genuine sexual relationships.

How to have great sex

There seems to be an overwhelming insecurity around sexual ability.  So many of us worry about whether we’re actually good in bed, whether we’re capable of pleasing our partners.  This might be the reason that magazine articles or guides that promise to improve sexual prowess and technique are so popular.

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As a woman who loves sex, who spends a fair whack of her time thinking about, reading about, writing about and having sex, I like to think that I’m not too bad in the sack.  I’ve gained enough knowledge over the years to offer some sage advice about what makes for great sex.  And I’d love to share that with you in the form of a few bullet points.  So…..how can you be good, or better, at sex?

  • First and foremost, relax.  We treat sex like a big, serious act that must be perfectly choreographed and executed.  But it isn’t.  Funny noises happen, silly faces get pulled and body parts are flung about in ungainly ways.  Don’t stress about it.  Have fun, laugh at the silly bits and enjoy yourself.
  • Ask for what you want.  There’s this weird idea that our ideal sexual partner will be able to magically divine our deepest desires and automatically know how to touch us in a way that makes our knees weak.  This rarely happens.  Rather than hoping that your partner will touch you how you like to be touched, ask them.
  • Conversely, ask what your partner wants.  Encourage feedback and follow it.  Learn from it.  Respect your partners wishes if they say they don’t want something, and don’t shame them if they say they do want something you aren’t comfortable with.  Just politely decline and do something else.
  • Take a “let’s just see” approach during sex.  Explore with your partner, rather than just doing the one or two techniques that you know work.  See what happens when you lick here, touch here, stroke there.  Try lots of different things and note how they feel.  Not everything will produce and explosive response, but it’s only by trying things out that you find exciting new ways to play.
  • Talk about sex with your partner. Not just while sex is happening, but before, and after.  Don’t make it a difficult or embarrassing topic, just relax and speak openly and honestly.  Communication makes sex so much better, and being able to talk with your partner about takes so much of the worry and shame out of the bedroom.
  • Use lube.  There’s this idea that if you’re doing sex properly, lube is not required, but that is total bullshit.  Lube will only make your sex play better.  Whether you’re on your own or with a partner, use lube.  Whether you’re doing p-in-v, anal, hand jobs, oral or any other kind of sex play, a few drops of good quality lube will take it from feeling pretty good to downright fantastic.
  • And finally….just have fun.  Sex is playful and beautiful and expressive.  It can be raw and vulnerable, or light and joyful.  But in my opinion it should always be fun.

What do you think makes sex great?  What’s the best piece of sex advice you’ve ever been given?

Product review: Jopen Lust L1

I purchased the Jopen L1 during a fit of curiosity.  I’d seen pictures of several Jopen vibrators online and was intrigued by their unique shapes and sleek designs.  When I saw the L1 on sale at Twisted Toys I snapped one up immediately, eager to take it for a spin.

The first thing that caught my eye was the shape of the L1.  I am a huge fan of sex toys with non-traditional shapes.  While phallic dildos and bullet vibes do the job, I love finding a toy with a shape that makes me go “hmmmmm”.  Why is that?  Well, because non-traditional shapes force you to be creative with your play.  When it’s not obvious how a toy is supposed to be used on your body, it encourages curious exploration and experimentation, which leads to excitement and loads of fun.  If your sex sessions are beginning to look a little samey-samey, then I definitely recommend trying a toy like this that breaks the mould and forces you to try new ways to play.

The shape of this toy is also fairly non-intimidating and gender neutral.  It has loads of interesting features that can be used on a range of different body parts.  Those little antennae are perfect for stimulating nipples or for resting on either side of a clitoris.  Use the bottom bulge to stroke breasts, labia or inner thighs.  The curve works amazingly to cradle a set of balls, and you can then angle either the tickling antenna or the rounded end to massage the perineum.  The L1 is such a versatile toy which can be used in so many ways and I adore that about it.  I’m still finding new ways to play, even after months of experimenting with this toy.

Another reason I enjoy this toy so much is that it works just as well for partnered sex as it does with solo play.  The small size makes it ideal for working my clit when I’m having penetrative sex with my partner.  It’s well-established that the majority of women need some kind of clitoral stimulation to orgasm, and very few people with vaginas can come from penetration alone.  A toy like the L1 is a godsend if you struggle to climax from penetrative sex.

When I first took the Jopen L1 out of the box to charge it, I was a little bit bamboozled.  The toy is completely smooth, with no obvious charging port.  It took a careful examination to notice the pin-prick hole which you poke the charger through.  The L1 comes with a USB charging cable, and it takes about two hours to charge fully.  The battery life of this toy is admirable, and I can get about an hour of playtime on the highest setting at about five on the lowest setting.

The utterly smooth design of the L1 is fantastic.  There are no cracks or ridges to trap lube and fluids and it’s completely waterproof.  In addition to this, the toy is made from velvety-soft silicone which feels amazing and is non-porous.  The body of the toy is nice and firm but the antennae are really flexible and won’t poke your privates.

The L1 is controlled by a single button located on the centre of the toy.  It kind of looks like a little nub sticking out of the belly of the  vibrator.  I can’t overstate how thrilled I am with the controls on this toy.  Firstly, I love that it only has a steady vibration and no patterns.  It’s rare that I use the patterns on my vibrating toys, and I much prefer simple, sustained vibration.  This toy gives me exactly what I want in that regard, with no extra settings to get in the way of my sexy fun.

The actual controls on this toy are unique.  To switch the L1 on, you press the button once.  Then, to turn the vibration strength up, you press and hold the button.  If you click the button once, the toy turns off.  This is very different to most single-button vibrators, which require you to click the button multiple times, cycling through every speed and pattern before you can turn it off.  I love that this toy can be turned off in a hurry with just one click.  Admittedly, it took me a while to get used to holding the button down to increase the speed, and there were several moments of frustration when I accidentally switched the motor off instead.  But once I got the hang of it, I came to love this simple no-frills control interface.

In addition to the brilliant control mechanism, the L1 boasts impressive vibration power.  The vibrations from this toy are strong, rumbly and relatively quiet.  Even the lowest setting is beautifully deep and throbbing. An added bonus with this toy is that the entire thing vibrates. This, coupled with the smooth surface means that you can use every inch of the L1 for play.  For me, this only adds to my excitement, because it means that there are so many different shapes and sensations to experiment with.

I’m a sex-blogger in a long-distance relationship, which means that I usually travel with my sex toys. The Jopen L1 might be the best travel vibrator in my collection.  Firstly, it’s small and lightweight, so it doesn’t take up much space in your bag.  It doesn’t look obviously phallic, so if you get your bag checked at the airport, you aren’t going to be red-faced when the security guard spies it.  Finally, it has a travel lock, which is a must for rechargeable toys to ensure that they don’t start buzzing in your bag. Not only is this potentially embarrassing, but it means that you won’t wind up arriving at your destination with a toy that has jiggled it’s batteries flat during your journey.

The Jopen L1 comes in three colours: pink, purple and green.  I chose the lime green because a) it was totally different from anything else in my toybox and b) It kind of reminded me of a little alien.

My final thumbs-up for this vibrator is the price tag.  The Jopen Lust L1 costs around $100, depending on where you buy it from.  This is astonishingly good value for such a high-quality, rechargeable vibrator.

I can’t recommend the Jopen Lust L1 enthusiastically enough.  It’s versatile, body-safe and excellent value. It works for partnered play and solo sessions and is suitable for every body.  It’s inexpensive and encourages creative sexual play.  I think it just might be my favourite vibrator of all time.