Oct 262012
 

 

Sassy pin-up woman on bike

As a seasoned sex educator, it’s not terribly often that I hear about a sex-positive event of a type that I haven’t attended or at least learned a great deal about from folks in the know.   So when The Garden invited Bike Smut to come to DC, I was delighted to have the opportunity to delve in and add a whole new area of sexuality to my brain.  Not only was it sexy and fun, I believe I created an original sex term for an act I witnessed on the screen: spoking!  I am now a proud Bike Smut fan.  And yes, I will tell you what “spoking” is during this post.

But before we get into spoking, let me tell you about Bike Smut.  I’m pretty sure that I heard about Bike Smut passing through The Tool Shed in Milwaukee, and I heard fantastic things about it.  Bike Smut is dedicated to bike-sexuality, or getting kinky over bicycles, bike riding, biker riders, and/or bike culture in general.  It makes perfect sense when you think about it: bodies in motion; the exhilaration of freedom; the stimulation of one’s senses while riding; the fit and flow of clothing by the rider; the positions of riding, peddling, mounting, and dismounting the bike (ahem… “mounting”); the rhythm of the legs and hips; and of course the way the seat presses provocatively against the rider.  It has a lot of sexy elements!  And if you are attracted to the machinery itself, all the better.

The event offered sexy indie film shorts, historically informative and sassy burlesque, local poetry and music performances, and vending of awesome goodies.  Fun!

Bike Smut introduced me, and probably many of the folks in packed DC audience, to the inherent sexiness of bike-sexuality.  By the end I felt as though it was something I had known all along without realizing it, though never so clearly or explicitly.  And it turns out that bike-sexual culture (or at least the Bike Smut version of it) is pretty clearly queerly, which I adore.  While there wasn’t enough male/male action for my tastes, strapping it on, certain types of gender queerness, and female/female coupling were amply represented.  I would have liked to have seen more clear ethnic diversity, though I won’t even attempt to guess what races were represented because I stink at that.  Bike Smut does say that their show “is made entirely of submissions from people like you…” so perhaps this will improve as more people make and send in their own smut.

Solo sexiness was in abundance, however, especially with folks with cocks.  And humor!  In my world, sex and humor go together like short skirts and chicks on bikes went together in these films.  It was so wonderful to see it incorporated freely.  Finally, I was absolutely thrilled to see women with natural body hair in some films, as well as a full-bodied woman with a slender man and a downright hot couple composed of a fat woman (with excellent, vigorous fingering technique I might add!) and a slender woman.  Yay for body diversity, including within scenes!

And spoking!  Yes, there was spoking!  I’d never seen or thought of the activity before tonight, so I’m absolutely thrilled to add this to my mental encyclopedia.  At one point a person with a flesh cock pressed it against a spinning bike tire (the bike was upside down, and he spun the tire in the air) making his wangle flap against the spokes.  As you can imagine, many audience members cringed, but the guy on screen seemed really into it!  Since we were encouraged to comment, laugh, and cheer I went and ahead and named the activity “spoking” out loud.  I’m gonna go on record and claim that naming here on the blog, too, just to make it official.  If you can use “spoking” in a conversation this week, please do and be sure to tell me about it afterward.

Alrighty – so clearly some of y’all should check out Bike Smut.  Go because you’re hot ‘n bike-sexual.  Go because you support indie art that pushes boundaries with eroticism and humor.  Go because you’re having trouble believing that spoking is what it is, and you want to see it for yourself.  Or go for all of the above.  Whatever the reason, it’s essential that we support sex-positive community building and activities with our presence and our dollars.  If this sounds like an event you might enjoy, check ‘em out when they’re in your area or, better yet, help bring them to your area!

 

Find Bike Smut: bikeporntour.blogspot.combikesmut.tumblr.comtwitter.com/#!/BikeSmutwww.facebook.com/BikePornFilms

Jun 052012
 

Toy: Lyla (sent by Babeland.com)
Type: Remote Bullet Vibe
Power source: Dual (bullet recharges, remote takes 2 AAA)
Intensity: 3 out of 5 (from Babeland.com)
Manufacturer: Lelo
Material: Silicone & ABS Plastic
Price: $139.00
Sizes: 3.15 X 1.3 X 1.3 in.

Oh Lyla. How I wanted to love you. Your gorgeous color, silky silicone and fun remote thingy seduced me. But, alas, you just … well … you just have so many flaws!

Lelo's Lyla is full of promise, but unfortunately not worth your time

Yes, the Lelo Lyla is riddled with flaws but before we get into what Lyla ISN’T, let’s talk about what it IS. Lyla is part of Lelo’s new Sensemotion line of toys. This bullet type toy was designed for both solo and partner play and comes with a remote that controls the main portion of the toy from up to 39 ft away. The remote can be tilted, circled or shaken to change the intensity and pulsations of the toy. The remote also vibrates along with the main potion of the toy so the partner operating the remote knows exactly what they are doing. This is a really neat feature that I was very excited about.

Like most of Lelo’s toys, the bullet has a nice range of vibration intensities, ranging from whisper soft to a medium/strong speed as well as an array of vibration patterns which you can also increase or decrease the intensity of. Also, like all of Lelo’s toys, the Lyla is rechargeable. (well, the bullet is rechargeable … we will talk about the remote in a minute). Add all this to the fantastic feeling silicone and shiny ABS plastic accents and it sounds great, right? Well it is … for about 5 minutes. The 5 minutes from the moment you to open the box and ogle your new toy to when you try to put the batteries in the remote and then struggle to turn the damn thing on.

Lyla’s first major flaw becomes apparent almost as soon as you remove it from the box. The bullet is totally rechargeable, which is great. You just unscrew the small plastic cap, plug it in and let it charge for a few hours. Simple, great, done. The remote, however, is battery operated. Normally this wouldn’t be a problem but the cover on the back of the remote must be removed with a key. Not a house key, not a nickel, not a screw driver but a specially designed plastic slot key that Lelo gives you in the package. Reading the directions, Lelo specifies that you are not to use any coins or tools to open the back cover (presumably because it may ding up the ABS cover or the metallic finish) and that you must turn the cover “a 10 degree turn counter clockwise”. Apparently they measured it. Once you do that, you can kind of dig the cap up off the remote and insert your 2 AAA batteries (which, to Lelo’s credit, they provide for you). To put the cap back on you must turn it “a 10 degree turn clockwise. Insure controller is fastened shut”. Here lies the problem, there is no real way to check that. No click, no dot to line up, nothing. Since the plastic cap is already about a 1/16 of an inch off the silicone base to begin with, it’s hard to tell if you have it back on properly. I took it off and put it back on about 5 times because I was convinced I did something wrong. If you have any sort of vision impairment, it’s going to be doubly hard to line it up and twist it back on and you are going to have to just tug at it to make sure it’s on there all nice and secure. Lovely.

The second major flaw is in how you actually turn this thing on. The remote has 3 modes – “Sensemotion mode 1, Sensemotion mode 2 and manual mode”. Ok, not too hard, right?  Here are Lelo’s instructions, slightly abbreviated. “Establish a wireless connection by pressing the + button on your controller. Press activation button on Lyla for 1 second. For Mode 1 press center button on remote once. For Mode 2, press center button on remote once more. For manual mode press the center button on the remote twice. To turn off vibration in remote during manual mode press and hold center button for 3 seconds.” Right, ok. This is all well and good when reading it. Try changing modes while you are actually using it! It’s difficult. No matter how many times I tried to change modes, it just wouldn’t work. Either I wasn’t pressing the buttons hard enough or I wasn’t pressing them fast enough or maybe I was pushing them too fast. The world may never know. It just isn’t intuitive. I don’t want to have to stop what I am doing with my partner and grab my toy manual so I can change modes (which I actually did … and they weren’t happy. But hey, this is for science!).

Oh, and speaking of stopping what you are doing – that leads to the third major flaw. If your body or your partner’s body ends up covering the toy, the wireless connection to the remote is broken and it stops. Let me repeat that. If you put it between your body and your partner’s body, IT STOPS WORKING! No wonder Lelo designed the remote to be used up to 39 ft away. Your partner needs to be about that far away for the thing to continue to work! And this is in all modes, not just the Sensemotion modes. Seriously? Why on earth would you design a “couples vibrator” that stops vibrating if you get near each other? It makes no sense. Think it will be ok if you are just using it by yourself? Think again. If you have a larger body and any part of that body covers over the toy, it will also stop working. So, as long as you are very thin, are willing to lay completely still and don’t want to get within 10 feet of your partner, this is the toy for you!

I could go on and on with the flaws (dirt can collect between the cap and the toy making cleaning a bother, the remote is really loud when it’s vibrating, etc.) but I am going to stop here. There is honestly no way I can recommend this toy to anyone in good conscience. The idea behind the toy is brilliant and the materials are lovely but the execution is just too flawed to be believed. Lelo really needs to go back to the drawing board with this one.

May 272012
 

Toy: Hold on to Me (sent by Babeland.com)
Type: Kegel Exercisers
Manufacturer: Bedroom Kandi w/ OhMiBod
Material: ABS Plastic & Silicone
Price: $39.00
Sizes: All balls are 1-1/4″ x 1-1/4″ x 1-1/4″
Weights: 1 dot weight: 0.9 oz
2 dots weight: 1.1 oz.
3 dots weight: 1.2 oz.
4 dots weight: 1.4 oz.

Bedroom Kandi's Hold On To Me are a Kegel exerciser set with graduated weights

Bedroom Kandi is a new line of toys designed by Kandi Burruss of Real Housewives and produced by the folks over at OhMiBod. The Hold on to Me is Kandi’s cleverly named addition to the kegel exerciser world. If you are unfamiliar with Kegel exercise balls, they work in two ways. First and foremost, these balls are weighted and, when inserted vaginally, they force the vaginal muscles to contract in order to hold them in, thus working the pelvic floor. Additionally, there are exercises that you can do with the balls, such as trying to expel them or tugging on the silicone cord while clenching down on them, that can increase the effectiveness of the exercise.

There are a few things I really like about this set (and two things I really don’t). First off, this set is smaller than a lot of the kegel balls on the market. These will be a lot more comfortable for folks with a bit of vaginal atrophy or who may just not be comfortable inserting and wearing larger objects vaginally. That being said however, smaller kegel balls can sometimes be harder to hold in if you have particularly weak muscles so test drive this set at home before heading out on your morning jog!

Another great thing about  this set is that it comes with two types of silicone holders – a single ball holder and a double ball holder. This allows you to really vary the weight you want to use and also gives you the option of how many balls you want to insert.

Now, as much as I like the fact that this set comes with 2 silicone holders, there are two major flaws with them as well. First off, the plastic balls have a curved ridge around them that allows them to nestle nicely into the holder. However, the ridge has a wavy design that you must match up in order for the balls to pop in to place. If you don’t line them up right, the silicone overlaps the ball and creates an uncomfortable sensation when you try to insert them. The balls and the holders are very tiny so if you have any vision impairment or dexterity issues, this may become an problem for you. Secondly, the silicone cord on the holders, meant to aid in removing the balls from the body, is very stretchy and seems very flimsy. If you tug on the cord too hard it could snap back and feel unpleasant or it could break. You will still be able to remove the balls but it will be slightly more inconvenient.

Overall I don’t dislike this set. They are easy to clean with soap and water once you remove the balls from their holster, they come in a nice case and they are well weighted. If the above flaws don’t bother you and you are looking for a smaller sized Kegel set that gives you lots of options for changing the weight then this isn’t a bad one to go with.

 

Apr 102012
 

Sometimes, what you really need is a great big dildo.  Maybe you need it to accessorize for your next party, maybe you need a little something masculine for your altar, or maybe that special someone just knows what they like!  No matter what, you’ll be ready to give it to ’em with the Tantus T-Rex and a lot of lube.

  • Toy:  T-Rex (sent by Babeland.com for review)
  • Type: (Very big) Dildo
  • Manufacturer: Tantus
  • Material: Silicone
  • Price: $99
  • SMT rating: N/A
Nowhere near actual size

The Tantus T-Rex lives up to its name

Let’s get the obvious, most important point out of the way first: the T-Rex is big.  This high-quality silicone dildo by Tantus measures 2-1/4″ across and 6-7″ insertable length.  I think that numbers don’t really communicate the massive-feeling girth of this toy, so you’re well-advised to check out the video above so you can see how it looks in relation to other objects, like a hand (I can’t even get mine all the way around it!).
So, other than its hulking presence, what else is there to know about the T-Rex?  Well, it’s by Tantus, and that means it’s high-quality.  It is also quite lovely, and could be considered a functional piece of art.    It’s nicely detailed, with some well-formed ridges, ‘veins,’ and other flourishes, enough to make it semi-realistic, but not enough to make it uncannily so.  Since it’s made from high-quality silicone, it’s easily cleanable (like most Tantus toys)–you can boil it, run it through the dishwasher without soap or bleach, or wash it with antibacterial hand soap.  It’s also fairly heavy, around 1.5-2 pounds.  Since it’s got some attached balls, it’s harness-compatible, but be aware that you’ll need a larger ring than most other harness-compatible dildos, and a stretchy one at that.   It has a nice bit of flexibility, but is still firm enough to be usable for anal play.
Bottom line, make sure you’re really looking for something this large and get a sense for how thick it is.  If you do want a large toy, this is a fantastic one, because it is difficult to find high-quality toys in this size.  If it’s what you’re looking for, you’re very likely to be happy with the T-Rex.  And, hey, even if you don’t know anyone who can take it, you can wear it around to make one hell of a first impression.
Mar 042012
 

There’s something to be said for the simple things in life.  Sure, sometimes we want a toy with lots of attachments or tons of moving parts, but sometimes we want the comfort of something that only does one thing and does it well.  That’s the joy of bullet vibes: these compact little vibrators are easy to use, versatile, and affordable.  If the only experience you’ve had with these small packages of buzzing pleasure is the cheap metal ones that are handed out like candy, however, with the little button that’s hard to push and their lackluster vibrations, you may be a bit underwhelmed.   Good thing Babeland is here with the Obsession, a powered-up bullet vibe that’s entirely waterproof.  So whether you want some buzzy fun in your bed, in the shower, or anywhere else, the Obsession’s there to make sure you’re not left wanting.

  • Toy: Obsession (sent by Babeland.com for review)
  • Type: Bullet vibrator
  • Manufacturer: Babeland
  • Material: ABS Plastic
  • Price: $28
  • SMT rating: 0 (Nice and rumbly vibration)

The Obsession is a Powerful, Waterproof, and Affordable Bullet Toy

The Obsession is a plastic bullet vibrator with a small hand-held control unit.  The bullet, cord, and control unit are all totally waterproof.  It runs on 2 AA batteries (not included).  The bullet is about 2 1/4″ long and 1 1/4″ wide at its widest point; this means it’s slightly larger than the more common metal bullet vibes you tend to see.
While some people may prefer the compactness of a cordless bullet vibe, I tend to find that the ones with a control unit have better control and are more powerful than self-contained bullet vibes.  The Obsession has a nice, rumbly buzz at its higher levels, and has 7 different speed/patterns.  The controls are simple: one button to turn it on/off, the other to scroll through the different settings.  One nice touch is that the toy has function memory–when you turn it off and then on again, it will restart on the same setting it had when it was turned off.  So if you find a particular speed or pattern really hits your spot, you don’t need to scroll through to find it again next time you play.  On its low levels, it is quite quiet, and on the highest setting it has an audible buzz, but not as loud as an electric toothbrush or similar item.  When it’s under the blanket or pressed up against/inside a body, it’s nice and quiet.  The control unit makes it easy to adjust the toy without having to remove it or stop the stimulation, which is nice.  It’s an excellent toy for clitoral stimulation, and since it’s plastic, not silicone, it’s safe for use with silicone lubricant as well as the other usual lubes.  It can also be used vaginally, and tends to nestle nicely against the G-spot for many women.  As with any other toy that can only be really retrieved by the cord, I do not recommend the Obsession for anal use.  While the cord seems nice and strong, an embarrassing emergency room visit can await the unlucky vibe-user who happens to have the cord pull out while trying to retrieve the toy.
You’ll recall that with the Honi, another bullet vibe I reviewed a couple months ago, I was troubled by the places on the toy that were difficult to clean.  Thankfully, the Obsession has no such problems; it’s nice and smooth with no weird crevices for stuff to build up.  And since it’s totally waterproof, it’s particularly easy to wash without having to worry about hurting the battery case.
There’s few negatives about the Obsession.  Other than the aforementioned warning about anal play, the only other real qualm is that if you pass by a setting you like, you have to scroll through all the settings to get back to it, since it only has a single function button.  But this is a trade-off with the simple nature of the toy, and those who want a toy with very few buttons to figure out will likely be happy to do a little extra scrolling in return.
Overall, the Obsession is a high-quality, enjoyable bullet vibe.  It’s affordable, but not of cheap quality, it’s easily cleanable, it’s waterproof, and it has a nice buzz for a toy its size.  If you’re looking for a simple bullet vibe that isn’t a wimpy disposable, the Obsession makes a great choice.
Dec 112011
 

The Honi is a cute, larger-sized bullet vibe, but it’s just not sweet enough to be worth the effort.  It could use a bit more power, unless you’re a light touch, and (in what seems to be a pattern for the Picobong brand and, to a lesser extent, its parent brand, Lelo), it leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to ease of cleaning.

  • Toy: Honi (sent by Babeland.com for review)
  • Type: Bullet vibrator
  • Manufacturer: Picobong
  • Material: Silicone and ABS plastic
  • Price: $34
  • SMT rating: 0
The Picobong Honi lacks the power and ease of cleaning necessary to capture our hearts
The Picobong Honi is a fairly standard bullet vibrator.  It’s made from silicone (for the vibrating end) and ABS plastic (for the screw-cap/battery case end) and, at 3″ long and 1″ wide, is a little larger than the standard bullet vibe.  This larger size is nice, giving bullet vibe users more of a choice in terms of size variety, and is one of the Honi’s strengths.  It also has a nice, solid retrieval cord that makes it easy to remove if it’s being used internally.  Plus, it runs on a single AAA battery rather than expensive and harder to obtain watch batteries like some of its bullet relatives.
The Honi, however, failed to impress on several levels.  First, its vibration felt a bit lackluster, and we would’ve preferred a strong motor.  Those who prefer a lighter vibration, of course, may consider this a  pro instead of a con.  Second, the section where the plastic battery-cap screws onto the body leaves a small ridge that collects lube and body fluids; this section will need special attention during cleaning but this cleaning must be done carefully to avoid getting water in the battery area.  Furthermore, the unscrewing cap portion has hollow areas that require a Q-tip to get clean.  And, as a lesser cleaning complaint, the engraved Picobong lettering can be somewhat annoying to properly scrub out, as well.  On a non-cleaning note, the +/- buttons are hidden in the engraved Picobong logo lettering, which will make them difficult to find for visually-disabled users.  Overall, the Picobong just didn’t seem to have a lot of thought put into its design, particularly for cleaning purposes, and wasn’t powerful enough to be worth using, in our opinion.