In Which I Compare Lube to Watermelon: Good Clean Love Almost Naked Review

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Man, I really wanted to love this lube. Good Clean Love Almost Naked comes in a bright green, gender neutral bottle, it’s completely body safe, and it smells like heaven. It’s incredibly thick for a water based lube without getting clumpy, and it’s my partner’s lube of choice for anal play.It smells kinda like vanilla, it’s a bit sweet but not overpoweringly sugary. It lasts a wonderfully long time, which is great for pegging. It goes on smooth and stays on thick.

But, oh my lord, is it ever sticky. I hate sticky things of all kinds. I always have to wash up after eating candy, and I will turn down watermelon slices, even though it’s delicious, because I know that it will get all over my chin and annoy me until I can scrub the stickiness off of my face. Almost Naked is one of the stickiest lubes I have ever come into contact with. After using it, I had to get a damp towel and wash off my vulva because it was driving me crazy to have my labia stuck together from the dried lube. It’s not just sticky after it dries, it starts to become sticky as it is drying, so it feels like I’m using syrup instead of lube. Reapplying does not stop the stickiness, it just feels like the syrup has gotten thicker and heavier.

I love the colorful, minimalist packaging. I love the body safety and eco-friendliness. I love how the smell lingers on my fingers for hours after using it. I will happily use it to finger and peg my partner. But the stickiness is this lube’s fatal flaw, and you better keep it the hell away from my genitals.

It is entirely possible that you will not mind the stickiness as much as I do. I am aware that some people are not bothered by getting watermelon juice all over their faces, hands, and shirts, and similarly, many people swear by this lube. It is just not for me.

If stickiness doesn’t bother you, get a tube of this delicious smelling lube at SheVibe. If you’re more like me, I recommend Sliquid Sassy, which you can find here.

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Old Reliable: Sliquid Sassy Review

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To start off, you should know that I am very, very picky about my lube. There are many people who have vaginas that do not require extra lubrication in order to insert things into their vaginas. I am decidedly not one of them. There are also many people who do not have sensitive skin, and whose bodies can handle all of the perfumes and dyes without any kind of reaction, and this is also not me. (Blame the red hair, we have sensitive skin.) Some people may not care much about the scent, taste, texture, consistency, longevity, stickiness, or way their lube feels after it dries, but boy howdy, am I not that kind of person.

Sliquid Sassy is a thick water based lube. It’s vegan, free of glycerine and parabens, pH balanced, and $15 for 4.2 oz. On the bottle, Sliquid calls it a “booty gel” because the thicker formula was designed for anal use, but I also use it vaginally. I really appreciate Sliquid’s commitment to body safety. I originally discovered them after Dangerous Lilly’s post on lube alerted me to the fact that I was using a lube with icky, potentially harmful ingredients. Sliquid’s whole mission is to create lubes that aren’t icky and won’t harm your bits: which sounds like it should be a given, but unfortunately isn’t in the sex industry.

Sliquid Sassy is my go-to lube, and here’s why: It has no taste, whatsoever. I have had some bad experiences with going to give someone oral, only to discover that their genitals tasted like Satan’s armpit due to the lube they had been using. Running to wash your mouth out can really ruin a moment. It also has no smell, which for me is not as great as a good smell, but miles better than a weird or off-putting smell. In use, Sliquid is noticeably thicker than my natural lubrication,. This can make it feel oddly heavy and smother-y on my vulva, but it’s really helpful for silicone toys that create a lot of friction. For anal play, the thickness helps create a thorough coat of lube which cushions the anal walls and makes penetration more comfortable. It also doesn’t get gummy or tacky, like some thick gel lubes can.

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My lube pet peeve is when lubes dry sticky. It’s like, what the hell? Aren’t lubrication and stickiness kind of opposites? I also just hate sticky things, I always have to wash my hands after eating oranges because otherwise they feel sticky. Sliquid Sassy does not become sticky when it dries. It just dries. It’s great. It leaves a slight residue, a bit like after applying lotion, but it’s not very noticeable.

A few complaints: this lube doesn’t last very long. Especially for anal use, I have to reapply often if I don’t want to get internal rugburn. Your mileage may vary, especially if you have a vagina that produces more natural lubrication than mine. However, I wouldn’t recommend this lube for long-term silicone anal plug wear. 45 minutes is about my limit before I need to take my plug out and add more lube. With a metal plug, like my njoy Pure Plug, it’s about an hour. In any kind of public situation where reapplying every hour or more would be inconvenient/impossible, try something longer lasting, like a silicone lube. (Sliquid does make a silicone lube, Silver, and a hybrid lube, Silk, but I haven’t tried either of them.)

I would just like to state that Sliquid’s, female symbol flowers, and tagline “by sensitive women, for sensible women” is unnecessarily gendered. Not everyone with a vagina is a woman, this lube can be used for all sorts of activities that do not involve vaginas, and it’s marketed as an anal lube, anyway. Guess what, Sliquid? Everyone has an anus.

Sliquid is not a particularly fancy lube. It’s not going to taste like strawberries or tingle, and it probably won’t revolutionize your sex life. What it will do is lubricate, and do it well, without any bells or whistles or obnoxious taste or distracting stickiness. It has a humble job, and it does it well. It’s a great all-purpose lube that works for vaginas, butts, and penises, so it’s great if you do a lot of sex acts but only want to drop money on one lube (like me). If that sounds like your kind of lube, then I recommend you grab a bottle.

You can pick Sliquid Sassy up at SheVibe!

I Didn’t Know They Were Called Orgasms

I’m ten, or somewhere around there, and I don’t yet know what the word “sex” means. I don’t know how babies are made, or that penises can go into vaginas, or that touching the parts between your legs can feel good. I watch a movie that shows two adults kissing feverishly, and I don’t know what happens after the camera cuts away. I don’t know any of that, and I can’t sleep. I stay awake all night, confused about the way my body feels, not sure why I want to hump my mattress, but doing it anyway.  I don’t understand and I’m nervous and bewildered and distressed. I feel a release and I don’t know what’s happening to me.

I’m eleven years old and in sixth grade sex ed class. We watch dated movies from the eighties about menstruation and body hair and breasts. We look at diagrams of a uterus and watch an animation of fish having sex. There’s a round table discussion in which my teacher asks us to list reasons why we might not want to have sex, and we dutifully come up with answers about not being ready to get married or have a child. We learn that our male classmates will want to have sex with us, and we learn strategies for saying no to them. No one suggests that we will want to have sex someday. No one mentions that we might want to have sex with each other, instead of or in addition to the boys in the classroom next door.

I’m twelve and I’m in science class at my middle school, and we have a substitute teacher. We’re doing biology, and as our sub reads aloud, she keeps accidentally saying “orgasm” instead of “organism”. I know this is a bad word, because half the room is giggling and making rude remarks about our subsititute. The other half of the room, including me, looks confused and uncomfortable. We don’t understand.

I’m thirteen and curious, and I search the word “horny” on urban dictionary. I find erotica. I learn that a pussy is the box a cock goes in and that reading about people having sex with each other stirs feelings in my bits. I learn about something called the g-spot, that’s inside the vagina, that apparently feels amazing. I watch a show on MTV and hear women describe orgasms as fireworks and explosions and earth-shaking events. I wonder how this magical, incredible thing called an orgasm can be achieved, and if I’ll ever have one.

I’m fourteen and I don’t know why I can’t have an orgasm while he’s fingering me. I wonder if I’m broken, if I’m incapable of having an orgasm. I want fireworks and explosions, but they’re out of reach. I stumble on porn of a woman humping a pillow, and I’m confused. I thought I was the only one who did that. I always have to pee afterward, and I don’t know what that means. I wonder if needing to pee is all it is.

I’m seventeen and I’ve been hiding from this thing called sex for a few years now. I’m taking a psychology class at the college, and for homework, our professor tells us to watch three episodes of Sexplanations on YouTube. I sit on my bed with my laptop, and I end up watching their videos for six hours straight. I learn about polyamory and the Kinsey scale and tips for having sex while living in a dorm room. I learn how to prep an anus for penetration, about various gender identities, and the history of the pro-choice movement. I learn about want/will/won’t lists, and the term “heterosexual”, and asexuality, and female ejaculation, and I’m hungry for it. I want to learn everything. I watch a video about the clitoris, and a video about orgasms, and I stay up half the night absorbing all the knowledge I can find.

I’m eighteen and I have a new partner. I ask him if I can grind off on his leg. I explain, “That’s how I have orgasms, is by humping things.” He nods and says “Okay, great.” I’m a little relieved that he isn’t judging me. I have an orgasm. I know that’s what it’s called when I feel these sensations. I know that I’m having one because I’m stimulating my clitoris. I know that having an orgasm via grinding on something is perfectly healthy. I know, and I understand, and I feel happy, and powerful, and in control.

Be Gentle With Your Butt: Tantus Neo Review

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If it ever seems like I own a lot of Tantus toys, that’s because I do. Lots of times, I’ve gone searching for a toy to suit a specific purpose, and the makers of that toy just happen to be Tantus because they have such a great variety. When I was looking for a plug that would be a step up into intermediate anal play, I found the Tantus Neo. And man, am I glad I did.

The Neo has a maximum diameter of 1.4 inches and an insertable length of 4 inches. When searching for something just a little bit bigger than my 1″ diameter beginner’s plug, I discovered that there are very few options in between 1″ and 1.5″. The njoy Pure Plug in medium (which I am now a proud owner of) is a notable exception, but goodness gracious it’s expensive. I decided to take the plunge and get the Neo after being unable to find anything affordable with a diameter of 1.25″.

I chose the Neo over the more popular Ryder because the Neo has a more gradual taper, where the Ryder is thick along most of its length. Also, the underside curve on the Ryder is much sharper and would probably create a popping sensation when inserted, which I don’t like.

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Tea and butt plugs: my kind of party.

This plug is fairly firm, but the whole thing feels pretty plush, and has a little bit of give to it. The Neo has what Tantus calls a “satin” finish, and it’s the most wonderful texture I’ve ever felt on a silicone toy. It’s smooth, soft, has very little drag, and dust doesn’t stick to it. This is completely different from toys with a glossy finish, which can feel sticky, have a lot of friction when they’re dry, and attract dust and lint like crazy. I wish Tantus made more toys with this texture! (Maybe a dildo someday? Please?)

Turns out, the magic of the Neo is in its shape. The tip is tapered, but not pointy, so it slides in really easily but doesn’t poke my insides. The size increases gradually enough that inserting this plug feels gentle. Somehow, they’ve got the ratio of length to width down so that it’s not too long, the size increase isn’t too sudden, and it’s still big enough to make me feel full. When in use, this plug is really comfortable. The base sits perfectly between my butt cheeks and doesn’t budge, and it’s pretty easy to forget that the base is even there. Because the Neo is completely straight, I don’t get very much pressure on my vagina or g-spot, which makes this plug much less intense than ones with a curve.

Something I dislike about the Neo is that it dries out pretty quickly. Within half an hour, I have to reapply lube or I get the sensation of rugburn inside my anus. This is frustrating because if not for that, this plug would be perfect for long-term wear because it’s so comfortable and stays put really well. The other thing is that if I just put it in and leave it there, sometimes it’s so comfortable that I don’t feel like I’m getting enough stimulation. When that happens, I pull it out a little bit and then push it back in, or take it out and reinsert it a few times. Manipulating the Neo like that feels really awesome. I’ve also used that technique as a way to warm up for anal sex, and it works wonderfully.

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If you’re an absolute beginner, then the Neo is not for you. I recommend trying one of Tantus’ smaller offerings, like the new Little Flirt or the Perfect Plug, both of which have the same excellent satin texture and comfortable base as the Neo. For long-term wear, you might want to try a glass toy, or keep a bottle of lube handy.

If you’re like me and interested in a step up from intro-level plugs like those mentioned above, if you enjoy thrusting and maneuvering your anal toys, or if you want a plug of this size that’s really easy to insert, then I highly recommend the Tantus Neo.

If you want to get yourself a Neo, you can get one directly from Tantus here. And you totally should, because this butt plug is excellent.

You can also find the Tantus Neo at SheVibe.

How the Magic Wand Changed My Life

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For most of my life, orgasms have not come very easily to me. They take time, effort, and energy, three things that I do not always have an abundance of. I like to masturbate in the morning, before I get out of bed, and more than one session has ended in me noticing that I’ll be late if I try to continue and abandoning my orgasm in favor of catching the bus. Also for most of my life, I have gotten off by humping pillows. There have been two instances in my entire life that I have achieved orgasm through rubbing my clit with my fingers, and both of those orgasms were weak and lackluster.

Humping pillows involves broad, indirect stimulation, pressure, and movement. Incidentally, wand-style vibrators also offer broad, indirect stimulation (pressure and movement optional).

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The first time I used my Magic Wand Rechargeable was an absolute experience. After it arrived, I had to wait a few hours for it to charge, and by the time it was ready, I was all hyped up and excited to give it a try. I went from a cold start, not wanting to delay the moment of truth any longer, and there was no porn involved because I wanted to just focus on the sensations. I was fully clothed and I still had to use a blanket to muffle the vibrations because they were so much more intense than anything I’d ever felt before. I also started out with the wand adjacent to my vulva instead of on it, not wanting to shock my bits. I’m not sure how long it took me, but I do know that after I gradually moved the head of the wand onto my clitoris, I had a damn good orgasm. That was a revelation for me: not being incredibly horny or spending a large chunk of time reading smut and getting turned on, and I still had an orgasm. Sound the freaking trumpets!

The head is fairly firm, I can only squish it if I exert a considerable amount of hand strength. The neck part has a little bit of flex to it, but only a few degrees in any direction. I love this because it means I can apply very firm pressure to my vulva.

I still tend to use a barrier with the MWR, because it is very strong. Sometimes I’ll warm up with a few blankets in between the Magic Wand and my crotch, and then gradually remove them as I get more turned on and want more stimulation. I almost always use the first setting. I’ve only ever used the second setting a handful of times, and I never use the third of fourth setting. The lowest setting is the most rumbly, so it feels the best to me.

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The Tantus Echo and Acute for size comparison.

One of the few problems I have with the MWR is that it makes me come too soon. This may not sound like a problem, but it really is. It’s difficult to have a leisurely masturbation session when I have an orgasm two minutes in. It feels really good and I want it to last, but it’s over before I know it. It’s just really strong, there’s no getting around it. On the flipside, there are now often orgasms during my lunch break, which is excellent. My other complaint is that my outer labia often feel uncomfortably numb and tingly after using the Magic Wand, which makes for a grumpy post-orgasm vulva. It should also be noted that the MWR is really large and heavy, which can make it difficult to maneuver, or to hold for long periods of time.

Before the Magic Wand Rechargeable, orgasms were slow to show up, and I couldn’t always have them when I wanted to. The MWR allows me to come within a few minutes without any warmup. It’s great for those days where I know I’ll feel better if I have an orgasm, but I don’t have several hours to work up to one. It may be expensive, but for me, it has more than paid for itself, and it is hands down the best money I have ever spent on a sex toy.

The Magic Wand Rechargeable is $124.95. I got mine at Tantus, where it ships free!

You can also get the Magic Wand Rechargeable at SheVibe, where it also ships free!

 

10 Smutty Fanfics I Love

Explicit fanfiction is near and dear to my heart. I first discovered the erotic side of fanfiction in the Harry Potter fandom, during middle school. Last summer, smut was pivotal to my sexual reawakening and the realization that I was still a sexual being. (Specifically, Remus/Sirius porn.) Fanfiction has also helped me to discover many of my kinks. Reading a description of a very kinky fic and saying “why the hell not, I’ll give this a try” has led to me exploring lots of fetishes in a way that feels safe and controlled. And of course, smut makes excellent masturbation material. Video porn has never really been my jam, so when I want to get off, I often turn to one of these stories.

Note: many of these are very kinky and might trigger you or squick you out. Please check out the tags before reading and take care of yourself.

Here are 10 sexy fanfics you should totally check out!

10. Teeth by SushiOwl (Teen Wolf, D/s, M/M, Peter Hale/Stiles Stilinski): This is an excellent book-length fic in which Peter owns a BDSM club and Stiles is in college. They start being play partners because Stiles wants to explore his subby side, and then they fall in love. There is a bit of plot to this one, and some feelings, but mostly some excellent kinky porn. One of my favorite things about this fic is the explicit negotiation: they go through a kink list, have safewords and actually use them, and discuss things before they do them. It’s all very healthy and consensual and wonderful, and also very hot.

9. Some Water (To Put Out the Blow Torch) by tamlane (Harry Potter, noncon, M/F, Cormac McLaggen/Rose Weasley): So this fic is really dark and twisted. Cormac drugs, kidnaps, and rapes Rose. He doses her drink with a substance that makes her obey him and go along with everything he says. Cormac takes Rose home and forces her to call him Daddy, strip for him, and suck his cock, then he brutally fucks her in the ass while calling her by her mother’s name. The daddy kink here is excellent, including being told to lick a cock like it’s a lollipop. Rose is impossibly obedient, letting Cormac fuck her face and holding positions for improbably long amounts of time. Major warning for rape here.

8. She’s Got The Power In Her Hands by taylorpotato (Teen Wolf, D/s, F/F, F/M, Malia Tate/Kira Yukimura, Scott McCall/Kira Yukimura): Hurray for femslash! Kira is the subbiest sub to ever sub, Scott tries to give her what she want but he’s not quite the hardcore dom she’s looking for, and Malia is a natural domme who is more than happy to fulfill Kira’s fantasies. Here be polyamory, humiliation, public sex, and lots and lots of femdom. It’s so nice to see kinky femslash porn, that is a thing that the world could definitely use more of.

7.to study your body if your heart’s not ready by LilMysterios (Teen Wolf, a/b/o, M/M, Sheriff Stilinski/Stiles Stilinkski): This one is pure delicious filth. It’s set in omega-verse, and Stiles is a child who has just presented as an omega and has to be taken to the doctor for a check-up. The doctor then fingers him, his dad is very turned on, and they talk about Stiles instead of to him while discussing what a good, fertile, obedient omega he is. I love the idea of omegas, they’re natural subs who become inconsolably horny during heat and just want to please their Alphas and get fucked and used. Warnings for underage and parent/child incest.

6. 5 Times Lydia Goes Down on a Lady + 1 Time a Lady Goes Down on Lydia by KuriKuri (Teen Wolf, cunnilingus, F/F, Lydia Martin/all the ladies): More femslash! This one is exactly what it says on the tin. Lydia hooks up with all the ladies, and there is lots of lovely oral sex and cute banter. Definitely the most vanilla fic on this list.

5. Halloween Night by yeaka (Harry Potter, D/s, crossdressing, M/M, James Potter/Remus Lupin/Sirius Black): Remus wears a schoolgirl uniform to the Halloween party, and it turns James and Sirius on. Remus ends up in the middle of a threesome, getting fucked from both ends, not allowed to come until they say so, and being their pretty little bitch. Here be feminization. I love the dirty talk in this one, and I love how happy it makes Remus to be a good bitch.

4.Wrong But You’re So Much Fun by sneksonaplane (Teen Wolf, daddy kink, M/M, Peter Hale/Stiles Stilinski): Stiles runs a porn blog and starts talking to a sexy older man, who turns out to be Peter. This is shameless daddy kink, complete with control of when Stiles masturbates, Stiles wearing a skirt, Stiles being a needy, horny little boy, and Daddy Peter taking care of him. It’s great. Lots of sexting and the phrase “Daddy’s perfect little whore.” I dig the loving humiliation and the taking care of baby boy in a sexual way.

3. Between a Boy and a Girl by all_not_well (Harry Potter, mommy kink, daddy kink, M/M, F/M, Ginny Weasley/Harry Potter/Draco Malfoy): This one is exceptionally kinky. Harry has been cursed so that he is always horny and never gets any relief. Draco is living with Harry and Ginny as their personal sex slave and little girl. Warning for consent issues, Draco is not there of his own free will, and Harry ignores the consent of both Draco and Ginny. My favorite parts of this one are how much Ginny loves being Draco’s Mommy and disciplining her little girl.

2. Baby Boy by SushiOwl (Teen Wolf, daddy kink, M/M, Peter Hale/Stiles Stilinski) Yay, daddy kink! Stiles stumbles on FetLife.com, meets Daddy Dom Peter, and becomes his baby boy. Peter is filthy rich, spoils him rotten, and fucks him silly. Also, Peter is a werewolf and twice his age. This is another long one with a decent amount of plot to tie it all together/ As a sex toy geek, I love that Peter teaches Stiles about lube safety, and buys him Sliquid lube and Tantus dildos (including the Acute!) Stiles discovers that he really likes being a baby boy, and all is fluffy and smutty.

1. Compulsions by run_for_me (Teen Wolf, gangbang, M/M, Stiles/everyone) I love me a good gangbang. Stiles joins the pack, and because he’s the weakest member, he turns into the pack bitch. He becomes submissive towards all the other pack members, and on the full moon, they gangbang him. Lots of dirty talk, humiliation, rough fucking, and knotting. Warning for dubious consent, there is magic involved.

There you have it, my current top ten! I hope y’all enjoy reading them as much as I do.

What are your favorite smut fics? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter!

Inexpensive Abstract Excellence: Crystal G Glass G-spot Wand Review

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The Sinclair Institute Select Crystal G Glass G-Spot Wand was my very first dildo! I had already owned an insertable silicone vibrator, and I wanted to try new materials. I found the Crystal G Wand through this list on Dangerous Lilly of 35 sex toys under $35, which I highly recommend checking out if you’re shopping on a tight budget.

I was initially attracted to the Crystal G Wand because it is inexpensive, I was intrigued by glass as a material, and it is very small.  It’s listed as being 1.25″ in diameter, but the larger, bulbed end is really more like 1″, and the straight end is a little bit less than that, maybe 0.75″ or so. Here’s the thing, though: glass is very firm and completely unyielding. A glass toy is going to feel larger and more intense than a soft silicone toy of the same size. So it might be a good idea to go a little smaller than usual with your first glass toy. When I got this dildo, I was still getting used to  vaginal penetration again, and it was the perfect size for me.

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The Crystal G Wand has been a great warm-up dildo for me. I usually started with the smaller end, then switched to the larger one. The larger end has a bulb, which can create a popping sensation when it is inserted or removed. I am personally not a fan of this type of sensation, but it wasn’t too much of a problem for me because I would just put it in and keep it there until I was done. I don’t use this toy as a warm-up dildo very much any more because my vagina’s capabilities have increased considerably and now I can use the somewhat larger Tantus Acute as my warm-up toy. However, six months ago, the Crystal G Wand was absolutely perfect for me, so it will probably depend on your penetration experience.

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I prefer the smaller end for g-spot stimulation. It has a less drastic curve, but if you push the end that is sticking out of your body down, then you can still get a significant amount of pressure. It turns out that my g-spot likes its stimulation pinpoint. This is really fascinating to me because my clitoris likes very broad stimulation, like Magic Wand broad. With the larger bulbed end, the sensations in my g-spot feel dulled and indirect. With the smaller end, the sensations feel very intense and focused, and I can stimulate only the parts that give me the greatest payoff. The cool thing about this toy, though, is that you do have two ends, so you don’t have to use the smaller end if it turns out you prefer more broad g-spot stimulation.

The etched design feels rough to my fingertips, but isn’t noticeable in use. Which is great, because I think the leaf design is really pretty.

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If you’re worried about the quality of cheap, mass-produced glass, you’re not wrong to be. The more inexpensive toys may not be annealed properly, and may have points of stress that could cause it to break more easily. According to this this post on Dangerous Lilly about the safety of glass sex toys, this one is moderately safe. The glass showed low-to-moderate stress, which means that it is lower quality than the smaller, more expensive companies, but safer than many other mass produced sex toys. From my perspective, I think that it is worth it considering the very low price. You’re simply not going to get the same quality as a top-of-the-line handmade item in a toy this inexpensive, but this is still a good, solid toy.

I highly recommend the Crystal G Wand if you like very small toys or if you like pinpoint g-spot stimulation.  I also recommend it if you’re curious about trying glass but don’t want to drop a lot of money or get a badly made, easily broken piece of crap.

You can buy the Crystal G Wand at SheVibe for $29.99.

 

My Butt Does Not Like Bloops: Tantus Ripple Large Review

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Oh, the Tantus Ripple. Made by the incomparable Tantus, creators of beautiful high-quality silicone toys, the Ripple is often considered a gold standard in anal toys. It’s a probe, a cross between anal beads and a dildo, meant to be thrusted. It is made out of Tantus’s glossy, “flexible” silicone, so it is very bendy but very firm. I can fold it in half, but it takes all of my hand strength to get it to squish at all, which is an ideal composition for anal toys. It also comes in two sizes. The small has a maximum diameter of 1 inch, and the large, which is the one I have, has a maximum diameter of 1.5″. The small one, especially, has been lauded as the best introduction to anal play that anyone could ever have, so I was hoping for great things.

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My experience with this toy was frustrating, to say the least. I got it because I was ready for more intermediate anal play, and I liked that the bloops were graduated. If I wasn’t ready for the biggest one, I didn’t have to use it. But actually inserting the bloops was difficult and uncomfortable. I could get the first two in without any trouble, but the third one resisted going into my anus. It wasn’t the size. I have used other toys that have the same maximum diameter as the Ripple without any trouble. It’s the shape. The bloops are short and fat, nearly spherical, and there’s very little taper to them. Unlike anal toys with a more pointed, tapered tip that gradually increases, the Ripple gets very wide very suddenly.

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Here’s the thing: anal beads, and probes like the Ripple, are designed to create a popping sensation. The sharp, sudden contrast between large and small diameters causes an intense pop. And I don’t like it at all. Anal beads and variations on them are popular for a reason. Many people find that popping sensation pleasurable, and you could be one of them. Personally, my anus finds it too intense and overwhelming, and prefers plugs and dildos without bloops. This is one of those things that you just have to try in order to find out if you like it. I’m glad I did, so now I know to avoid designs like this.

If you’re curious about how bloops might feel, or if an intense popping sensation sounds like your kind of party, the Ripple might be the perfect toy for you. You can pick the Ripple Small  up from Tantus here and the Ripple Large here.

If you prefer your toys to have a more gentle, gradual increase in size, then I highly recommend the Tantus Neo plug, which you can find here.

You can also get the Ripples at SheVibe here, and the Neo here!

On Vaginas As Muscles

About nine months ago, I started having sex again. This was a Very Big Deal to me. A long time ago, I was sexually active. Then I was sexually abused. Then I was in a very happy romantic relationship for a long time in which we did not have sex of any kind. I was essentially cut off from the sexual side of myself for a while. I masturbated, but my masturbation did not occur very often, and was entirely devoid of any vaginal penetration.

When I met my current partner, I was really excited to do the things that I had previously enjoyed years ago. One of those things was penis-in-vagina sex. However, I had a new problem: my vagina protested with pain if it encountered anything larger than a single finger.

I was just about devastated. I was missing the kind of sex I used to have. I was angry with my body for not doing what I wanted it to. I was scared that I would never be able to enjoy vaginal penetration again. Most of all, I was extremely frustrated that I couldn’t have the good feelings that I remembered. I felt broken. I couldn’t understand why I wasn’t able to do the things I used to be able to do. I was thinking “I’ve done this before! I know I can do this! Why won’t my vagina just cooperate with me?”

In the midst of all of this, I discovered sex toys and sex bloggers, and I quickly fell in love with it all. I also found some much-needed sex education. Did you know that the vagina is a muscle? You probably do know what happens when you don’t use your muscles: they atrophy. If you completely stopped walking, just entirely stopped using your legs, the muscles in your legs would shrink and start wasting away. If, after years of not walking, you said “hey, I’m going to walk today,” you wouldn’t be able to. You might try to stand up and then promptly fall on your face.

That is essentially exactly what I did. I stopped exercising my vagina. I wasn’t using that muscle anymore. As a consequence, it became much less strong and flexible, and I was no longer able to use that muscle the way I once had. There was nothing wrong with me. I just had to rebuild my muscle strength. I was able to (slowly) work myself up to larger and larger vaginal penetration, and now, nine months after I started, I can have penis-in-vagina sex without any pain or discomfort, as long as I warm up first.

Our culture has a tendency to glorify penis-in-vagina sex. It does this so much that PIV is sometimes considered the only “real” sex act. One of the consequences of this is that people with vaginas expect they should be able to have penis-in-vagina sex immediately, as soon as they start having sex. After all, that’s what a vagina is for, right? If vaginas are there to be penetrated with a penis, then if mine can’t be, I must be broken. There must be something wrong, it must be my fault, I should be able to have “real” sex.

It’s not true. None of that is true. Vaginas are muscles, they require training. Vaginas are pretty magical and amazing, and you should definitely believe in yours, but nobody is an Olympic athlete or a size queen overnight. If vaginal penetration, with a penis or a sex toy, is not something you’re able to do right now, that’s okay. There are lots of other sex acts you can explore. Take your time and let yourself be where you are now. Chances are, your vagina will be able to meet your size goal eventually.

This post on how to train your vagina by the amazing Lunabelle was incredibly useful to me when I was feeling lost and frustrated. It’s about learning how to expand your vagina’s limits without hurting yourself, and it contains some advice that I have found particularly helpful. This post is Epiphora’s story about going from finding all vaginal penetration painful to becoming a size queen and lover of girthy toys. I found it inspirational, and it gave me hope for my own vagina.

If you are going through this, I want you to know that you’re not alone. I want you to know that you’re not broken. And I want you to know that it’s going to be okay.