Monday, March 21, 2011

Rainbow Star Crop

I received a rainbow crop from EdenFantasys. I had been looking for a crop with personality, and when I saw this one, I knew that was it. The rainbow crop is made by Ruff Doggie Styles, which, true to its sassy name, makes a number of products in fun shapes and designs that are designed to hurt (including this one, shaped like a giant hand).

A crop that looks like a magic wand, with a rainbow star to boot? And the potential to leave star-shaped marks on my ass? Sign me up!

The crop is 25 inches in length, with the star measuring up to 4 inches from point to point. It doesn't come with any memorable packaging - just a plastic sleeve - but I got a kick out of the tag attached to the handle. This toy combines my love of fantasy with my love of sex toys!

The handle and star are made of leather, and it's pretty supple. If not the highest quality, it's much nicer than I was expecting. The handle has two thin leather strips that form a wrist strap, and the leather on the star is much thicker, but still has a good amount of flex. (The star itself is flexible, and the star also flexes against the crop itself.)

As others have noted, the length of the handle is made of a gold-colored nylon. I'm not bothered by this at all. I think it's a pretty color, and to me it looks exactly as in the photos. My only concern is that the nylon will start to pill and fray after some use. Also, only one side of the star is rainbow-colored; the other side is black (and made of leather, not suede, as the description states). Again, I'm not bothered by this, but some people might feel shortchanged.

When I received this crop, I noticed that the star was bent upwards a bit towards the rainbow side. This may have just been a result of shipping, but even after use I've noticed that the star hasn't completely flattened out. This affects how you use the crop if you're trying to leave star-shaped marks. It's better to smack your partner with the black side facing up so that the star flattens out when it hits the skin. But, of course, it's not as attractive-looking for the person using the crop. As I was on the receiving end of the crop, it didn't affect me, and as I said, this may have been peculiar to my crop, but I wanted to make note of it. It's still perfectly usable with the rainbow side facing up, though.

For the rainbow crop's first use, my partner trussed me up in a hogtie, wrapped a belt around my neck, and held on with one hand while laying the smackdown with his other hand. The crop smarted against my skin. I winced, cringed, and squirmed helplessly against the pain.


Afterwards, I did not have a single lasting bruise or mark on my ass. My partner was unable to produce star-shaped marks that lasted long enough for me to see afterwards. It looked great from his end while beating me, but I was hoping for some star-shaped bruises as a souvenir. Maybe I was expecting too much.

The smacks from this crop sting, to be sure, and I think it has a place among novice and more experienced users. The crop is lightweight enough that you can go nice and easy on your partner, or you can really make your partner squirm. But no bruises? I cherish those post-sex bruises. It's possible my partner didn't hit me hard enough, but this is a guy who made my ears ring by smacking me across the face and has no problem leaving bruises on my skin with his hand, so I doubt it was for lack of trying.

So yes, I was left feeling a little disappointed that I didn't have anything to show for after using this crop. But overall I'm still very satisfied with it and have continued to use it. I imagine making those star-shaped marks and bruises will require some practice. And I love, love, love the magic wand theme of this crop! It looks great on its own, and I even managed to carry this around in public without receiving any stares. (To be fair, I live in San Francisco.)

Something I considered when picking partners to test this crop with is that some people might feel emasculated or silly to be smacking someone with a rainbow star crop. But that applies to most of these novelty design toys for beating and is a matter of personal preference. The partners I used this with (both male) absolutely loved the design and shape and felt very comfortable handling the crop.

One last thing I noticed, for those of you hoping to leave star-shaped marks: the combination of the size of the star and the curve of a human's body means that there are better and worse places to hit your partner. You want the whole area of the star to make contact with the skin. The top of the buttocks and the back has that potential. I didn't see many other places on my back/ass where the star will make full skin contact.

product picture
Crop by Ruff doggie styles
Material: Leather
This product was provided free of charge to the reviewer.


Friday, March 18, 2011

Bubbles Minivibe

I bought the latest and greatest from Fun Factory's "Click n' Charge" line of vibrators. This line of four vibrators are rechargeable. Not only that, but they recharge with a magnetic charger. I know, it's trendy, but I had to have one. I was between the Bimini Ocean and the Minivibe Bubbles. In other words - clitoral or G-Spot stimulation? Ah, life is hard.

Ultimately, I went with Bubbles because I wanted a nice thick vibrator (it's 1 5/8" diameter, or 5 1/4" circumference) that would hit my G-spot. I had reservations about buying a vibrator that looked like the Michelin Man, but it's a very pale blue, not white, and I convinced myself it looked more like a caterpillar.

Bubbles comes with two packages - one for your vibe, and one for the charger. The package with the vibe includes instructions and a sample of Toyfluid. The charger plugs into your wall like a cell phone charger and has two magnetic points. (Beware, they will cling to your magnetic things!)

The toy itself is small (hence the name "Minivibe") and fits snugly into the palm of my hand. The bubbly parts are made of soft, squishy silicone and have some surprising flex to them. It curves up slightly at the second-to-last bubble. The black plastic base exists solely for charging purposes; the actual controls, a simple plus and minus sign, are on the bottom bubble itself.

Bubbles needs to be charged before first use. Simply let the magnetic points attach to the base of the toy, which you do by matching up the words "Fun" on the charger and toy. There's no open port here, which means it's very easy to knock the charger off. Thankfully, you know it's charging when the word "Fun" lights up on the charger. It charges fully after a couple of hours.

Off to the races! I lubed Bubbles up and settled into bed for a good time. There is no on/off button - Bubbles is turned on and off by pressing the plus and minus signs. To increase the intensity, you can hold the plus sign down, or press it several times. Once you reach maximum intensity, hold down the plus sign again to activate three pulsation patterns. The first two are escalation pulses (one fast, one slow), and the third is short, fast bursts of vibrations.

First thing I noticed: the controls are annoyingly-placed. The toy is short to begin with, and having the controls on the bottom bubble instead of on the black base makes them difficult to use. It's especially slippery when there's lube on the toy. I found myself fumbling around several times, not sure if I was hitting a plus or a minus until after the fact.

The vibrations, however, made me quickly forget my annoyances. WOW. My G-spot was definitely feeling the love. This toy is powerful at its highest setting, and I also like that you can dial it down very, very low. It does the full range. The vibrations at any level feel more like thrumming. It also isn't too loud. You will be able to hear it through bedsheets, but not through a closed door.

The pulsation patterns, though, were what sold it for me. The second pattern in particular almost immediately rocketed me into orgasm. I was shocked. I also enjoyed the first pattern. Third pattern, not so much. It is the pattern equivalent of an inexperienced fellow shoving their fingers in and out of your pussy over and over again. I couldn't get that image out of my head long enough to enjoy pattern #3. But maybe some people will find that appealing.

In using Bubbles, I treated it more like vibrating anal beads for my vagina. The toy is so thick that you can leave it in there and attend to other parts of your body, then slowly pull a few "bubbles" out for the sensation before pushing it back in. I barely had to move Bubbles at all in order to reach orgasm. Having it press deeply against my G-spot while vibrating was enough. I enjoyed three orgasms in a row this way. Bubbles's slight upward curve means it can also be laid across your clit and vagina for dual stimulation, although the vibrations are not as strong towards the tip.

Cleanup is easy with some soap and water. Bubbles is a waterproof toy. I don't know how much of the battery I ran down during my session, but I recharged the vibe anyway, and it fully charged in about half an hour. Bubbles attracts dust and lint like crazy, and it's a shame it doesn't come with a storage bag, but I think the plastic mold packaging it came in will suffice for the time being.

In short: well, despite being a little too short, Bubbles is my new best friend. Bubbles's lack of length doesn't affect its ability to deliver pleasure, it just makes it more difficult to use during play. But it has an uncanny ability to hit my G-spot via thickness and some amazing vibration patterns, and for that I can forgive any other shortcomings (last pun, I swear!).

product picture
G-spot vibrator by Fun Factory
Material: Silicone


Edible Body Paint

I visited A this past weekend in order to, well, have sex with A, but also to attend Carnaval. Austin's Carnaval claims to be one of the biggest outside of Rio de Janeiro, and it lived up to the hype. In anticipation of a night of nakedness, colorful costumes and debauchery, I decided to order some edible body paint. I'm not normally big on gimmicky things like body paint, but I figured Carnaval was a pretty good occasion for it.

Upfront disclaimer: I don't have experience with any other body paint besides this one, but I've seen the chocolate paint and honey dust products out there. If you're looking for a tasty, sensual, one-on-one paint session, without having even tried those products, I can wholeheartedly recommend them over this one. (Unless you hate chocolate and love artificial flavoring.) But if you're looking for a colorful, wild-and-crazy mood enhancer, in or out of the bedroom, this is that type of body paint. Different products for different occasions.

The body paint is officially made by
Pipedream, but you wouldn't know that from the packaging, which is all about being bright and bold. The ingredients are clearly listed on the back: De-ionized Water, Glycerine, Sorbitol Glyceryl, Stearate Stearic Acid, Cetyl Alcohol, Soy Bean Oil, Methylparaben, Triethanolamine, Artificial Flavors, FD&C Yellow #5, FD&C Yellow #6, FD&C #1....yum. Inside are four securely-packed little jars in the following flavors: "Chew Chew" Cherry (pink), "Scrumptious" Strawberry (red), "Gooey" Blueberry (blue), and "Awesome" Apple (green).

The seal around the top of each jar is a pain in the ass to get off; use scissors. The paint has a goopy consistency and is easy to spread. I had been afraid that if I rubbed the paint in too much, it would disappear, but the pigment holds pretty well. My fingers were stained by the end of our painting session, and I needed to scrub to get it off. (However, the paint all washed off my body easily at the end of the night, with no stains.) I would say that the blue is the most pigmented, and the pink is by far the least pigmented. I used the pink color the least because it didn't show up as well on our skin.

The jars are small, but you get surprisingly good use out of them. We had more than enough to cover the areas we wanted, which included spreading large amounts of the paint onto our hands to make handprints. After painting myself and A, I still have about half left over.

Then, out on the town we went! Carnaval was held in a huge convention center indoors. The body paint stood up pretty well to dancing, sweating, and rubbing. It did start to get clumpy as the night went on, but it definitely exceeded my expectations in terms of durability. You can wear this stuff out and expect it to last until everyone is too drunk to care.

Now, for the most important part: the taste!

After dancing for awhile, I grew envious of others' beautiful body paint designs and decided I wanted to get my chest professionally painted. Up til this point, A and I had been the only ones licking the paint off of each other. We both agreed that the taste is a 3/10. Similar to the pigmentation, I thought blueberry (blue) was the tastiest flavor, and cherry (pink) was my least favorite flavor.

To be honest, I just didn't expect much out of the taste, especially because I hate artificial flavoring, so that made me not mind. But at least all the flavors were true to their description. I certainly didn't grimace or gag on any of the paint and had fun licking it off of A. After a LOT of licking while we were painting each other, my mouth started to feel kinda gummy, so I would recommend not getting overly ambitious with covering your lover's entire body and expecting to clean it all off in one session ;)

Now for a bonus: while standing in line to get professionally painted, I mentioned to the couple in front of us that my body paint was edible. They didn't believe me, so I had them lick the handprints on my thighs. The girl giggled and said "It tastes like strawberry!" (See, flavors are true to their description.)

After that, I made it my "thing" for the rest of the night to have people lick the handprints on my thighs. In case you're not familiar with Carnaval, it really is the most hypersexualized event you can imagine. Everyone is getting photographed, kissed and fondled, regardless of age or gender. I don't know how many people licked my thighs - probably around 20. Some of them even got adventurous and licked my pussy, hoping I wouldn't notice. My favorite was an aunt and her nephew (both hot, both of age), who licked my thighs together. What a family bonding experience. And, perhaps unbeknownst to his aunt, the nephew flicked his tongue over my nether regions as he stood back up. (Faces blurred to protect the debaucherous. Note that the paint on my torso in the photo below is professional, not the edible stuff.)

I enjoyed the idea that I was facilitating new and shared experiences for total strangers, and that those experiences were taking place at the most sexual, powerful region of my body. There was a lot of saliva mixing on my thighs (see how gross the strawberry handprint looks in the above photo). Unsanitary? Yes. Fun? Yes.

Anyway, everyone who licked my thighs seemed tickled pink by the novelty and not at all grossed out by the taste. So there you have it. The taste is tolerable. Before Carnaval, I tended to think of edible body paint as something for "behind the doors", but now I definitely recommend it for a public or party setting to boot! Mardi Gras is just around the corner on March 8th....

product picture
Body paint by Pipedream
This product was provided free of charge to the reviewer.


Sinfonia vibrator

I ordered the Sinfonia a few weeks ago and have been enjoying it all month. EdenFantasys lists its manufacturer as Orion, but I'm pretty sure it's made by Close2You, seeing as, well, it says it on the vibrator, plus it matches the musical theme of the Harmonia and the Opus, two of Close2You's other products.

The first thing I noticed about the Sinfonia was its awesome packaging. It comes in a double-drawer box that has the Sinfonia itself nestled in the top drawer, with some really sweet bonuses in the bottom drawer: a silicone cock ring, toy cleaner, instruction manual, 7.5ml bottle of Glissando lube, and a velvet storage pouch. I'm a sucker for extras!

The Sinfonia is a smooth silicone toy with a gentle curve and two buttons at its base that are shaped like a musical note. It's firm but has some give on the tapered side. It does seem to collect a fair amount of dust, but that might also be because it's black and the dust is just more obvious. The storage pouch helps.

The top button is the power button, and the lower one adjusts the vibration speed and type. I like that these buttons are separated so that you don't have to cycle through every setting to turn it on or off. I also like that each button feels different so you don't accidentally switch the Sinfonia off while trying to change the speed (I did that a couple of times before I learned). The grey part screws off to allow for two AAA batteries, and yes, they are included!

The Sinfonia starts out slim and widens to a 5" circumference base. Overall, this is a very sleek and minimalistic toy, which is why I was visually drawn to it in the first place. Although I generally prefer ridges and textures on my vibrators, I do like the non-frilly colors and no-nonsense design.

The other reason I wanted to buy the Sinfonia was for its multispeed patterns. There are eight settings total: the first three are steady vibrations in low-med-high speeds, and the other five are patterns that alternate between pulses and pauses. I actually ended up not enjoying the pulsating patterns as much as I thought I would. They felt somewhat erratic to me and not quite timed to my mood or sexual escalation. However, it's nice to know that they're there if I want to play with them, and the three steady vibration settings were all I needed to have a good time.

I first tried this toy out in a phone sex session
and it brought me three orgasms that night, so that's saying something. It goes as deep as I need it to go, and the vibrations, while not out-of-control, are decently strong (especially considering that it's running on AAA batteries) and felt throughout the whole vibrator. It's also very quiet! Much appreciated when you live with housemates and thin walls. I liked that I could use the tapered side of the Sinfonia for targeted clitoral stimulation. I also tried laying the length of the Sinfonia along my clit, pussy and ass, and that felt really good too. The curve of the vibrator fit exactly against my curves and was long enough to be felt in all three spots at once.

Since then, I've used it a number of other times to masturbate and have more phone sex, all of which have been as orgasmic as the first time. It's not a perfect toy: the Sinfonia is billed as a G-spot vibrator, but it didn't hit mine. And I do prefer having some texture or ridges to my vibrator. However, when this baby is lubed up, the way it slides in so smoothly is such a turn-on, and let's face it, it is a sexy design! My mind isn't totally blown by the Sinfonia, but it will certainly make repeat appearances for some time to come.

product picture
G-spot vibrator by Orion
Material: Silicone


Blueberry Bliss

I got two vibrators in the mail earlier this week, and I'm going to start by reviewing the free one. EdenFantasys has been giving away vibrators with purchases in the New Year, and I snagged the Blueberry Bliss waterproof vibrator, by California Exotics, which sells a whole line of novelty vibrators with cute designs (leopard print? metallic? tattoo?), in addition to other products. Being that it was a free plastic toy, I didn't expect much out of it, and, like a one-night stand, we had a pretty good time together with no strings attached.

The packaging for Blueberry Bliss is as minimal as it gets. It literally came in a plastic sleeve, like something you win at an arcade, including only a slip of paper with a drawing showing how you put the batteries in. Not much excitement in the unwrapping of this toy.

Blueberry Bliss, true to its name, is made of a see-through hard blue (more teal than the blue on the website) plastic with only the slightest hint of a seam along the length of the vibrator, which I like. It's as close to one solid piece as it gets, nothing there to inadvertently scratch you. The curves are subtle and taper to a bulbous point at the end. It takes two AA batteries, not included. The vibrating feature is adjustable and controlled by a dial at the base.

I revved this baby up for some solo fun time. Let's get one thing straight about this toy. The Blueberry Bliss does one thing very well, and that is vibrate. I didn't care about the penetration - it's a slim toy that feels and handles more like a wand. I didn't care about the ridges - again, slim toy, didn't really feel them. But this thing vibrates. I stuck to the lowest setting pretty much the whole time and it was more than enough to bring me to orgasm. The tapered end of the toy is also great to pinpoint the vibrations on a specific spot (say, your clit or inner thighs). Again, this makes me think of it more like a magical handy-dandy wand than a traditional vibrator.

The Blueberry Bliss is a pretty bare-bones toy, in case you haven't gathered that by now, and as such it is also a relatively loud toy. On its lowest setting, it's not very loud, but I felt a little self-conscious turning it all the way up to its highest setting. However, as I've pointed out, the lowest setting was strong enough for me, so the noise factor may not be an issue for you.

Is this something I would've bought on my own? Probably not, but I think it is a powerful toy for the price. For beginners, it's a commitment-free way to ease into vibrators. For more experienced users, it's always nice to have a cheap toy you can take in the shower for some spontaneous throwaway fun. It cleans up easily too, as it's a smooth, hard surface with no nooks and crannies to trip you up.

One last point: by the end of my session I noticed the toy had heated up a fair amount, which I could feel at the base where the batteries were. Not enough for me to be uncomfortable, and I certainly don't think it presents a hazard, but it reminded me not to overwork it for too long.

product picture
Traditional vibrator by California Exotic
Material: Plastic