9 Impeccable Indie Impact Implements

As you may have noticed, I love impact toys. I especially love weird impact toys: implements that would make good conversation starters at kink events, and that widen the eyes of tops and bottoms alike. Indie toymakers are often the best companies to look at when you want something unusual. I am lucky enough to own several impact implements from indie artisans; here are some reviews of them…

My leather paddle by Oddo Leather is bright pink and adorable. It’s made from latigo leather and contains two metal rods which give it its structural stability. It’s got that signature delicious leather smell, and comes in a variety of colors.

As a top: The leather handle is grippy enough that it stays securely in my hand even if I get sweaty. There’s a little suede strap I use to hang the paddle for storage but that isn’t long enough for me to stick my wrist through; I’d like to replace it with a longer one so I can have a little more assurance that I won’t accidentally throw the paddle while using it. The edges of the handle are a little rough and sometimes dig into my hand if I’m holding the toy tightly, which I generally am. I like the satisfyingly loud noise this paddle makes when it hits skin. Some particularly hard hits cause the internal metal rods to bend a bit, but it’s easy to bend the paddle back into its original shape.

As a bottom: As you might expect from a leather paddle, this one is pretty stingy. If a blow lands not-exactly-flat against my skin, it can feel thuddier, but not by much. On me, this paddle doesn’t bruise, it just reddens the area. It also doesn’t get above a 5 or 6 on the pain scale, even when a lot of power is put into the hits – so while it might be a good choice for an impact beginner, or for someone who eroticizes the sound of impact moreso than the pain, for me it just leaves me wanting more.

My acrylic layered paddle by Funkit Toys was custom-made to my specifications; a lot of stuff by Funkit is highly customizable like this. I asked for it to be made in blue and green, and for it to have five layers of acrylic; you can order anywhere from two to six layers in your paddle, and the more you get, the thuddier it’ll be. This paddle is also the most affordable option in this post, with its price ranging from $10 (two layers) to $22 (six layers).

As a top: I love how smooth, heavy, and well-constructed this paddle feels in my hand. The top of the handle, where it meets the blade, is made to resemble the analogous part on a chef’s knife, because Funkit Toys’ lead fucksmith Kenton is also a chef – so my index finger fits comfortably in that spot when I hold the paddle, though the way I spank, I usually like a little more momentum and hold the toy further down its handle to allow for that. The paddle’s impact surfaces are glossy, while its edges are matte, making the handle sufficiently grippy without sacrificing the beauty of that shiny finish. I would like this one a bit more if it was shorter and wider, because that’s my preferred shape to hit people with, but as is, it’s still wonderful.

As a bottom: This paddle is so mean! When it lands flat against the skin, it’s got a sharp stingy bite with a little thud to back it up – but when it lands a little off-kilter, or when I’m purposely hit with the side of it, it feels much thuddier, like getting thunked with a big heavy metal pipe. This toy can get up very high on the pain scale, in both stinginess and thuddiness. Depending on how it’s wielded, it can leave broad bruises or more focused stripes. Thuddier hits (especially those from the rounded edge of the paddle) get so deep that they might still ache days later.

My rainbow paddle by Funkit Toys is made of wood and gets its vivid, distinctive colors from spraypaint (with a clear coat on top). Kenton makes wooden paddles in several different shapes and sizes; this one is 16 inches long, and wider than the acrylic paddle but still fairly narrow for a paddle.

As a top: This paddle is made of very light wood, so in use it barely feels like I’m hefting anything at all. However, sometimes this makes it hard for me to gauge exactly how hard I’m hitting. The handle is entirely straight and a bit slippery; I wish it had a wrist strap for added stability. The wood makes a really satisfying smacking noise when it hits.

As a bottom: I get a surface-level sting from this paddle that falls more on the “bad type of pain” side of the spectrum for me, which would make it ideal for a true punishment spanking but also means it’s never gonna be a favorite of mine. I do sort of like it as a warm-up, used fairly lightly, because the broad stingy swats get my skin all tingly and sensitive and ready for more hits – but it gets up into high pain levels really easily and I can’t take much of it after that. It reddens my skin but I have yet to obtain any lasting marks from it, partly because it hurts so much that I always stop before I get to that point.

The Billiard Banger by KinkMachineWorks is such an inventive piece of kink wizardry. It’s a literal billiard ball at the end of a metal and hard plastic rod. Mine is a black 8-ball, which I chose for its #WitchyFemme vibes, but you can get a wide variety of different colors and numbers.

As a top: I love the heaviness of this toy – it’s not so heavy as to be hard to wield, but just heavy enough to feel substantial, well-made, and powerful. My arm does get a little tired if I’m swingin’ away for a good while, though. I thought the smooth metal handle on mine would be difficult to grip (KMW also sells a ribbed-handle version, if that’s a concern of yours too), but it’s got enough grippiness to it that this usually isn’t an issue. Depending on what kind of effect I want to achieve, I can bounce the ball against skin for a series of quick hits, or follow through with my swing for big, strong, thuddy hits.

As a bottom: Getting beat with a billiard ball is a thuddy and penetrating sensation, like getting punched by a tiny fist. On me, it rarely creates bruises, but it leaves sore spots under the skin that I can still feel days later. Having the same spot get hit over and over again is always a super-painful thing for me, but particularly so with this toy; the thuddiness stacks up and creates an almost bone-deep ache that I mostly really like. The toy’s handle and the billiard ball itself both have a naturally cold temperature, so rolling those parts of the toy along my skin between hits can be a soothing and surprising sensation.

The 1″-thick rubber paddle from KinkMachineWorks is a thing to behold: thick, heavy, and intimidating. It reliably gets an “Oh, wow” or a “Yikes!” whenever I show it to a fellow kinkster.

As a top: Most of this paddle’s weight is concentrated in the business end rather than the handle, so it can sometimes feel a little weighty and difficult to aim effectively. The flex of the rubber gives it a nice bounce, so while it’s heavy, my arm doesn’t get especially tired from wielding it. Its heaviness also means you don’t have to put much effort into your swing to get a big, strong hit out of it; however, this also means you have to check in with your spankee more to make sure you’re not overdoing it. The rubber causes my hands to smell like a truckstop after I’m done using this paddle, which I don’t really mind, but I’d prefer if it didn’t.

As a bottom: Wow, ouch, this one hurts a whole goddamn lot. Hits from this paddle’s flat impact surfaces feel thuddy with a topcoat of stinginess, whereas hits from the sides or end of the paddle feel thuddy like a punch. I imagine that this toy could leave some pretty gnarly bruises, but I’ve never been hit with it hard enough to find out, because it gets so painful so easily that I always back off before the point of bruising.

My Lexan paddle from KinkMachineWorks is one of my all-time favorite impact implements. Lexan – also known as polycarbonate – is a type of plastic that’s very hard and durable, making it ideal for paddlin’ with.

As a top: This paddle strikes a good balance between being heavy enough to feel impactful but light enough to be comfortable to wield at all times. I love the shape and size of it: it gives me a lot of surface area with which to smack broad swathes of my bottom’s skin, but can also be aimed effectively and precisely when need be. And dammit, you can’t beat the view of a butt being slightly squished beneath this see-through paddle.

As a bottom: The reason I love this paddle so much is that it – for me – strikes the ideal balance between thuddy and stingy. The stinginess makes it painful enough to send me into subspace relatively quickly, but it’s not all sting, so I don’t get burned out on it too fast. Its thuddiness also enables it to bruise me easily and beautifully. I think if I could only keep one impact toy from my entire collection, this is the one I would choose.

My torquemada from Creative Kink is made of beautiful pink-glazed wood. A “torquemada,” so far as I can tell, is a wood paddle that’s inlaid with metal studs. Woof.

As a top: This paddle is very big: it’s as long as my entire arm from shoulder to wrist, and almost twice as wide as my forearm. While this makes it look extra-menacing, it’s not my favorite to wield; it feels a little clunky and hard to manoeuvre effectively (though that might be less true for a bigger/stronger person than I). In addition to the flat side, the studded side, and the thuddy rounded edges, I can also hit someone (lightly) with that pointy tip at the top; it’s not as sharp as it looks, and it’s sort of like whacking someone with a dull pickaxe. This is a highly versatile toy!

As a bottom: The flat, non-studded side of this paddle feels as stingy as wooden paddles usually do (i.e. very), though its heaviness gives it a little bit of thud that balances it out nicely. It reddens my skin real quick and hurts a whole helluva lot. The studded side is even worse: the studs are rounded, rather than sharp, so they’re probably not gonna break skin or anything, but they do add some extra oomph to the hits, making this one of the most painful products in this post. I also like that the studs feel cold while the rest of the paddle remains room-temperature; it’s a little extra sensory weirdness that adds to the overall effect, and could be an especially fun tease if I was, say, blindfolded and tied up.

I requested the Lexan cane from Creative Kink because I already owned the aforementioned Lexan paddle and knew I liked this material for impact play. It’s so swishy and cute and reminds me of a wand Ollivander would pick out for the kinkiest wizard.

As a top: The handle of this cane is made of a grippy black foam; this toy was clearly designed by actual kinksters who understand the problems faced by impact tops! The Lexan is firm enough to allow for a stern caning, but also has juuust enough flex that I can pull it back with one hand and let it spring forward onto whoever I’m spanking, in an intense but precisely aimable motion. The significant length of this cane gives me the freedom to slice it down on both of my spankee’s buttcheeks, or only one at a time, whichever I want.

As a bottom: To my surprise, I find this cane never hurts thaaat badly, no matter how hard I’m getting hit by it. It’s more thuddy than stingy, but never gets beyond a 5-out-of-10 thud for me. It leaves pleasing red stripes on my skin, and occasional mildly raised welts, but isn’t mean enough to create bruises. While this description might make it sound lacklustre, I actually love getting beat by this cane; the pain is enough to send me into subspace after a little while, without being so bad as to distress me.

The aluminum cane by Creative Kink is a formidable thing; when Suz first felt mine, her eyes went wide and she said, “Oh, this one would be mean!” She is right. It is.

As a top: The weight of this cane makes it feel a little top-heavy in use sometimes, so I can’t always aim as precisely as I would like to. I also wish it made a bit more noise; it’s almost silent as skin absorbs its impact. It has the same grippy foam handle as the aforementioned Lexan cane, so it stays put in my hand when I hold it. I feel a little apprehensive wielding this toy, because it’s so heavy and hard that I feel like I could accidentally injure a partner pretty easily; I’d need to be very careful and focused to feel comfortable using it on someone. But damn, it makes me feel powerful.

As a bottom: Canes are traditionally stingy but this is perhaps the thuddiest one that has ever existed. If I couldn’t see what I was getting hit with, I’d have no way of knowing it was a cane and not a thick metal pipe. I love that it’s naturally cold; that adds some sensory excitement to the thuddiness and can be soothing in between hits. As with many heavy thuddy implements, this one bruises quite effectively, and the bruises are gorgeous stripes. Swoon.

What are your favorite impact toys from independent toymakers? Got any Etsy treasure-troves or local artisans to enthuse about?

You Know What I Like

a collar, a tiara, and a massive steel dildo

What makes me wettest is when you know exactly how to make me wet. Your touch feels even better when you know you’re touching me the exact right way. And I come the hardest when I know you know exactly how to make me come.

I call it a kink, or sometimes a fetish. But kinksters do that: we round up our sexual interests to kinks. In this case, though, it might actually be a fetish… because I can’t think of a time in recent memory when I got off and I wasn’t thinking about someone knowing precisely how to get me off, and doing exactly that.

In the past, I’ve said I have a kink for teaching people how to please me. That isn’t totally right, I see now. It’s not the teaching that gets me hot; teaching can be exhausting, annoying, with an inattentive pupil. No, what I like are the moments when my partner learns what makes me tick – whether because I’ve taught them, or because they figure it out on their own.

My fantasies are devoid of the articulate banter that thrills me in real life. The people in my fantasies (predominantly faceless, predominantly men) mutter short phrases which all signal some version of the same meaning. “You like that, huh?” “Is that your sweet spot, princess? Want daddy to touch it again?” “If I keep fucking you exactly like this, you’re gonna come for me, right?” “I know, baby, you like it just like this.”

My sexual history is lengthy and storied, but when I think back on the moments of laser-sharp hotness that soaked my panties and charmed my brain, they’re all variations on a partner knowing exactly what to do to me. The bossy FWB who made me come with her mouth in under a minute in a locked bathroom, and, knowing my body well enough to know what it was capable of, retorted, “That was too fast; we’re not done,” and kept going. The boyfriend who knew to tease me with long, in-and-out strokes of his dick until I was ready to burst, and then give me the deep, short, consistent thrusts I need to come on his cock. The attentive fuckbuddy who always finds my A-spot in seconds flat, and sometimes asks me, “You like that?” with the mischievous grin of someone who definitely knows I definitely like that. These are all moments I return to in my fantasy life, again and again. Even as my feelings for those actual people have faded, my lust for their knowledge of my body has not.

This kink, I think, is a huge part of why one-night stands hold no appeal for me. Even if those near-strangers cared about my pleasure (which they rarely do), no one can learn my tastes in one hookup alone. There are exciting moments of recognition – a new beau doubling down on sucking my clit when doing so elicits screeches; a hookup discovering how deep I really mean when I keep begging “Deeper, please!” – but what really gets me hot is someone remembering my preferences from an earlier experience. It’s like when your best friend buys you a birthday gift you mentioned wanting months ago – only, you know, with more orgasms involved.

I love being analyzed like a computer, played like a violin, manipulated like a doll. I love watching partners synthesize all their knowledge of my body, like getting me off is a test they’ve been studying for all year. “Lick her clitoral hood in a circular motion while rubbing the deepest part of her front vaginal wall with two fingers, fast but not too fast. Tell her to be a good girl and come for you. Fuck her hard and fast while she’s coming, and don’t stop until you’re told to stop.”

I love the look of accomplishment in a partner’s eyes when they make me come so hard I’m trembling. I love when partners give me orgasms using mostly their intelligence, memory, and astuteness. I love that I’m primarily attracted to nerds, because nerds try to learn everything about each new task they’re faced with, nerds remember the exact geography of past quests, and nerds take immense pride in unlocking achievements and optimizing tasks. I love when the task they’re seeking to optimize is making me come so hard, I can’t form sentences.

I eroticize the inverse of this, too. The gasp a partner emits when I take him extra deep in my mouth. The breathy moans that guide my tongue along his skin. The soft grunts against my lips when I pull his hair or scratch his shoulderblades. The near-immediate release when I drop the exact right piece of dirty-talk into our dialogue. It’s all data, it all makes me feel like a goddamn genius, and it all makes me so unbelievably wet.

I could write a piece on “how to fuck me properly,” but a) that’d be like handing someone a Prima strategy guide alongside the new Pokémon game instead of allowing them the fun of figuring it out themselves, and b) it would really be the same advice I recommend for good conversations. Pay attention to your partner. Remember your past interactions with them and go forth accordingly. Delight them with your thoughtfulness, your attunedness, your attention to detail.

Except, you know, those qualities in good conversations don’t usually make me come so hard I see stars.

Interview: Singer/Songwriter Missy Bauman on Girlhood, Motherhood, & Being Brave

My brother Max, a musician and songwriter, doesn’t often tell me I “have to” check out a particular artist, album, or song. But when he does, he means it.

A few years back, he met a girl named Missy Bauman through mutual friends who were attending music school with her. “You have to come see this girl play,” he told me. And because Max so rarely makes these assertions, I took this one seriously.

I went and saw Missy perform, with her then-collaborator, Rebekah Hawker. I think it was sometime during their song “Supernova” that I really fell in love. Tender and thoughtful lyrics, gorgeously simple melodies, and a girlish solemnity that felt familiar to my far-too-full heart… I immediately wanted to devour Missy’s whole oeuvre.

She has a stunning new EP out, Girlhood, and I sat down with her to chat about the inspirations behind the songs. Here’s our conversation…

Kate Sloan: Heyyy beauty.
Missy Bauman: Hello hello! 🙂
KS: Sssooooo, the EP is beautiful. I love it ❤
MB: Thank you! 🙂 ❤
KS: Max told me I would like “Easier” the best and he was right, it’s soooo pretty. Your melodies are so gorg.
MB: Thanks 🙂 It’s become one of my favourites, too. I recorded it kinda last minute, we weren’t planning on recording it.
KS: So first off, I’m wondering: is this EP “about” something to you? Does it have an overarching theme or message, in your mind?
MB: For sure. Girlhood was supposed to be a full-length album, and it kept being delayed due to financial reasons. By the time I had enough money to print it (back in October), those were the 5 songs that made the cut. But the album was originally supposed to be very very nostalgic, all of the songs being dreamy and looking back with a very deep melancholy towards my late adolescence. The album had a little more cohesion and I think the themes were a little clearer – most of it about the distance between being a kid and being a “woman.”
KS: Innnteresting. I remember hearing you play “Motherhood” for the first time and going, “Wow, ‘I want you to cum in me,’ that’s quite a powerful line!” and it sounds so different in the kind of dark solemn context of that song than it would sound in a different context. Can you tell me a bit about that song and what you were thinking about when you wrote it?
MB: I wrote it before class back in my IMP [Independent Music Production @ Seneca] days. Fox had just shown me a song, “Lucky You,” and I really wanted to write about the dark side of parenthood as well. It also kind of goes hand-in-hand with a relationship I was in at the time, where I wanted so much more out of it than he did. As a kid I always thought that parenthood was a little narcissistic (the whole “he has my eyes,” etc.), but I had become so infatuated with this person that I started to understand. Maybe I didn’t literally want him to become the father of my child, but if he did, I would’ve wanted the kid to have his eyes, his hair, his everything. It was obsessive, and weird, which is why I think the line, though super vulgar and kind of shocking, fits in pretty well with the rest of my nervous ramblings and sexually charged, unrequited feelings. It’s hard catching feelings for someone who explicitly tells you it’s not going to be a holding-hands, Facebook-official thing.
KS: Yeah, I tooootally know that feeling… In the heights of certain romantic obsessions of mine, I’ve had that fantasy of “What if I accidentally got pregnant; what would he do? Would we get married? Which one of us would the kid look more like?” and it’s this dark, obsessive road. And I think, as women, we are conditioned to view that as the fulfillment of a wish we are supposed to have.
MB: Exactly…. It’s like the hyper-extreme version of writing his last name after mine.
KS: Haha yeah. And you feel kinda guilty about it but it’s so satisfying somehow.

KS: Have you written a lot of songs with sexual themes before or was this kind of a departure for you?
MB: “Motherhood” was definitely one of the first (and probably still the most explicit). I revisit sex a lot because I consider myself to be an extremely sexual person, but a lot of the time it shows up more metaphorically. The only other track that says it as bluntly as “Motherhood” is called “Imaginary Boyfriends.” [Author’s note: you can listen to “Imaginary Boyfriends” at the end of this post!]
KS: Do you get nervous performing songs with sexxxy references in them? I remember when I first wrote my song “Good Girl,” which is full of some pretty explicit kink shit, I would make up fake versions of the lyrics for when I felt uncomfortable practicing around my family, or I would kind of mumble those parts of the song… Haha!
MB: I used to freak out a LOT, especially because my dad is my #1 fan and we are both very private people. Every song I wrote before 2015 has an alternative set of lyrics in case he was in the crowd. I’m less worried about that now, partly because I feel more confident in my craft, specifically lyrics (as uncomfortable as it might be)… If I didn’t have to say it in such a straight-up way, I would be singing about something else. That’s the approach I take to it now, anyway.
KS: Haha, that’s amazing. and I’m glad you’re feeling better about it these days! I’m curious, do you have a favorite song on the Girlhood EP?
MB: I think “Her” is my favourite. It was scary to write and still scary to share, but I fell in love with it in a way I haven’t ever felt for my other songs.
KS: Why was it scary to write/share, if you don’t mind me asking? (I mean, I know the lyrics are INNNTENSE, but I would love to know what you meant by that in your own words!)
MB: [My partner] and I had just lost a baby, and I was just in this haze for weeks. It was the middle of the summer and we had an upstairs apartment with no A/C; it was just so muggy and sluggish and I felt so empty and kind of dazed. I wrote it and recorded the EP version sometime that week after we got into a fight and he left to get some air. It was hard because we definitely weren’t planning on having a baby or anything like that, but it still felt like I was very alone and kind of broken. People don’t really talk openly about miscarriages. Like… I don’t even talk about it openly. I feel like I have less of a space in a community of women who were trying to be parents and lost someone they truly loved vs. an unemployed kid who was blissfully unaware of the pregnancy at all.
KS: ❤ I’m so sorry, I didn’t know that had happened.
MB: I’m still getting used to being open about it! My friend Tyler from Said the Whale just put out his story “Miscarriage” and told me that it’s just important to get the discussion going so that women going through it don’t have to feel so broken/alone. It’s way more common than you would think.


KS: So, I know you won a grant recently. Can you tell me about the grant and what you plan to do with it?
MB: Sure! It’s through Ontario Arts Council, and it’s a creation grant for Popular Music. I wrote to them with the concept for my next album. The purpose for the creation grant is to cover your “living costs” – it’s super general and relatively easy to apply for (compared to FACTOR or other federal funding). It’s very competitive. I had an entire class in IMP dedicated to that grant. With the support from the grant, a LOT of stress was relieved from my living costs this summer (we’re going on tour, but I still have to pay OSAP, rent, and my share of water/hydro), and it will let me create my next album without the crazy financial stress I’ve become accustomed to! It could not have come at a better time.
KS: Yaaay! Congrats!
MB: Hehe thank you!! ❤ ❤ ❤
KS: One last question for ya. What music do you find sexy? Any particular songs you like to make out or do Other Activities to?
MB: Oooh, good question!! “Hunger of the Pine” by Alt J. “My Kind of Woman” by Mac DeMarco. “Once I Loved” by Astrud Gilberto. “Riot Van” by the Arctic Monkeys. “Cola” by Lana Del Rey.
KS: Thanks, girl! I’ll add those to my sex playlist right now…

Thanks so much to Missy for her vulnerable and inspirational stories and her beautiful music! You can buy/download her Girlhood EP now on her Bandcamp page. You can also “Like” her on Facebook, follow her on Twitter, and check out her website.

And, bonus: Missy is letting me premier her song “Imaginary Boyfriends” here on my blog! As per usual for her, it’s dark, smart, poignant, and pretty. Have a listen!

Kiss and Make Up: High School, BJs, and the Disappearing Act

Kiss and Make Up is my new series wherein I review makeup according to how it held up in a sexual scenario. I hope you dig it!

making kissy faces with my friend Cadence in 2010I sprung for Duwop’s Lip Venom in the winter of 2010, when I had a new boy to kiss and it seemed desperately important that my lips look good. I’d wear the cinnamon-y gloss layered over MAC Russian Red (as pictured) or just on its own, and it would do its signature magic of irritating my lips into a plumper appearance. I loved it: the sharp spicy taste of it, the telltale tingle, and most of all, those plush pillowy lips it gave me. What an amazing invention.

My boyfriend, however, was less enthused. “What is on your lips?” he whined one day, mid-makeouts. The Lip Venom, he said, was stinging his lips. I apologized and wiped it off, as if this pretty pink gloss was the only obstacle between us and high-quality kisses. Truth be told, he was a distressingly bad kisser (by my tastes, anyway), and I wished he could’ve upped his game as easily and quickly as I upped mine by taking off that painful gloss.


I wore NARS Schiap lipstick the last day of Playground Conference in 2015. It paired well with my blue dress, pink handbag, and pigtails. In fact, my outfit was apparently so good that when I walked into a panel session late, I immediately got a text from my dom fuckbuddy, sitting across the room: “Oh god, you’re wearing thigh-high socks and a short skirt. I’m going to be thinking about eating you out all day.” This is a very good text to get at 11 in the morning.

NARS semi-matte lipsticks smell like clean laundry (so sayeth Sofie, who is correct). They go on satiny-smooth, and usually look good for several hours, even if you’re quaffing coffee like I was that day at Playground. However, put to the makeout test, they cannot hold their own. I discovered this when, later that day, I gave a hotel-room blowjob which morphed into an impromptu threesome – by the end of which, there was absolutely no lipstick left on my face. I smoothed on some peppermint lip balm to soothe the irritation I’d accrued from kissing a scruffy boy all afternoon, and that helped.

In my post-sex debrief with Bex over mac and cheese that night, we talked about how kissing someone who’s wearing lipstick is a lot like going down on someone who’s on their period. It’s messy, and maybe embarrassing, and I can completely understand why you wouldn’t want to do it. But I’ll like you so much better if you do.


me in pigtails and Pink Pong lipstickI fell in love with Bourjois liquid lipstick in Pink Pong at a drugstore and bought it on the spot. It was everything I most want in a lipstick: an eye-gougingly bright cool-toned pink, an opaque formula, a pleasant scent (pink grapefruit?), even a punny shade name.

Unlike many liquid lipsticks, Pink Pong felt comfortable once dry, and didn’t render my lips dry or cracked, even after many hours of wear. However, that dry texture is what allows truly long-haul lipsticks to stay put (and why Make Up For Ever Aqua Rouge comes with a clear gloss you’re supposed to wear on top of it). My new Bourjois treasure passed neither the makeout test nor the blowjob test.

That was the month when I was seeing both a boyfriend and a beloved fuckbuddy, alternating between them like my life was a buffet of good dicks (which, let’s be real, it often is). I wore Pink Pong to boyfriend’s house one afternoon and blew him while he sat on his couch like a king, arms spread wide, head dropping back in quiet pleasure. When we were done, I ducked into the bathroom and saw that there was no lipstick left on my mouth. None whatsoever. There sure was a lot on my hands, though. (Uhh, my BJs are pretty handsy.)

Later that week, I wore Pink Pong to my fuckpal’s place and we made out like teenagers in his cheap, squeaky bed. When he served us a post-canoodlin’ snack of spicy salmon sushi and Magnum ice cream bars (quelle gentleman!), he wiped his mouth on a napkin and the white scrap came away pink. “Aww, Kate, look, your lipstick’s all over my mouth,” he said, with an affection I had never known any boy to feel about my lipstick before. It made me want to kiss him a whole bunch more.


me in Maybelline Rich Ruby lipstickIn the late summer I briefly had a “spanking buddy.” It was a sweet deal. I’d go over to his place, we’d talk about the Adventure Zone and MBMBaM and other fine McElroy products, we’d vape some weed, and then he would spank me. The spankings were excellent: rhythmic, firm, and merciless. He always left both my sets of cheeks blushing.

One such night, I showed up with a full face of makeup, and by the time we said goodnight, there was none left at all. My lipstick of choice for the evening was Maybelline’s Rich Ruby, a creamy, matte, cool-toned red that normally holds up pretty well through food and drink. But it did not hold up through a spanking. Granted, when I get spanked, I typically bury my face in pillows/blankets/couch cushions, and sometimes I cry, and that combination of friction and fluid is not kind to makeup.

“How’s my lipstick looking?” I asked my spanking buddy when I raised my head off his bed, post-beating. He peered at me curiously and said, at last, “It’s not bad… it’s just… not there.” Indeed, it was not. My lipstick was gone.

After I left his place and went home, I got a text from him. “I found your lipstick,” he said. “It’s all over my blanket.” I laughed and apologized, and we said goodnight.


When my FWB came over to our sunny Airbnb in July to shoot BJ porn, I was nervous to the point of pacing and raving. “Hey, shh, it’s gonna be okay,” he told me. “You’re gonna be great.”

He had brought some underwear options, and asked for my help deciding which ones to wear – possibly as a tactic to distract me from my own jangling nerves. We eventually settled on some turquoisey boxer-briefs. “They’re moisture-wicking,” he commented, for no apparent reason, because he is a weirdo.

Just before filming was to begin, I knelt in front of him, my face all done up. On my lips was a combo of ColourPop’s lip pencil in Heart On and Bite’s fruity lipgloss in Bellini. I wasn’t at all confident it would stay on my face, but then, smeary lipstick is a selling point of BJ porn for some people. “I’m gonna kiss your dick through your underwear a bit before I start,” I jabbered nervously at my FWB. “Sorry in advance if I get lipstick all over these beautiful boxer-briefs.”

“It’s okay, they’re moisture-wicking,” he replied, and so there is a moment in the final porn scene where I giggle like a dork, and that is what I am giggling at.

By the time we finished, my face featured almost no lipstick but a euphoric, nervous-no-more kind of smile.

Review: 5 Vibrators Under $30

5 vibrators on a rainbow checked background

When it comes to sex toys, you get what you pay for. There’s a reason my favorite toys range in price from $79 to $299. True, many of these are so pricey that I’d have to save up for them for months if I wasn’t a sex toy reviewer, but they’re so good that they’d be worth it.

That said, not all cheap toys are bad. When people come into the sex shop where I work and want to buy a vibrator without spending an arm and a leg, I always recommend the Turbo Glider and the Orchid G, two low-end vibes that I know are actually pretty decent. My first-ever glass dildo cost me about $25, and made my vagina very happy for years. You don’t have to spend a zillion dollars to get something good; you just have to know what to look for.

I’ve partnered with Peepshow Toys to review five vibrators today, all under $30. I got to choose which ones I wanted to review, and aside from price, I had just two mandatory criteria: all the vibes had to be made of body-safe materials, because nary a phthalate nor a porous toy shall ever touch my bits again, and they all had to be waterproof, because I use toys in the bath fairly often. I picked five that met my standards, put ’em to the test, and was pleasantly surprised by (some of) my findings!

The B Swish Bcute Classic is the cheapest vibrator of all those mentioned in this post, at just $16. It requires one AA battery (not included) and is made of soft, smooth silicone and ABS plastic. The design is pretty classy and luxe-looking for a $16 toy, and I like the emerald-green color. Size-wise, it’s a happy medium between a bullet vibe and a classic insertable “smoothie” vibrator: you could use it internally if you like your penetration on the shorter, thinner side, but I only use mine externally.

Unfortunately, this vibe’s performance befits its low price point. It has the fewest vibration patterns of any vibe mentioned here (only two, plus three steady speeds), and it’s also the weakest and buzziest of these vibrators. Even on the highest speed, my clit barely registers that there’s a vibrator on it. This is exactly the type of vibe I try to steer first-time toy users away from, because if you thought this is what all vibration felt like, I wouldn’t blame you at all for thinking vibrators just aren’t your cup of tea. NEXT.

The Maia Twistty Madison invoked my rage instantly with that extra “T” that looks like a typo, but that’s not the only reason I hate it. First of all, it’s hot pink, which, no: enough already. It’s also got a ripply texture to it. There are definitely people out there who enjoy clitoral texture, or who would use a vibe this small internally, but I’m using it as a clit vibe and prefer those to be untextured. Thirdly, it’s got a showy LED light in the base that lights up brighter when the toy is vibrating more strongly, which is honestly pretty distracting and would be an actual goddamn health risk for people with epilepsy, I’d imagine.

The main issue, though, is the motor. (Well, what do I expect for a vibe that takes one AAA battery?) It’s weak. It’s buzzy. It induces numbness and itchiness in any body part it touches, including my hands as I hold it. It has 7 vibration patterns and most of them are too erratic and strobe-like to actually be pleasurable. Aside from the cute, silky, pink storage bag it comes with, there’s really nothing I like about this vibrator.

The Rocks-Off Bamboo is the last shitty vibrator I will rant about in this post, I promise. I really wanted to like it, because it’s so pretty: rose gold ABS plastic, angular and classy. I like the tilted flat tip (that same feature is one of the reasons I love the Tango), and I like that it’s thin enough to potentially fit between bodies during sex but long enough that I don’t feel like I’m clawing at it with a T-Rex hand.

But once again, the motor is a sticking point. While it’s slightly rumblier than the two vibes above, it’s still way too buzzy to get me off. In addition to its 7 patterns, it has 3 steady speeds, which – get this – you have to scroll through in order from highest to lowest. I fucking hate vibrators that work like this, because I never, ever use my vibrators that way: I always start at a low speed and work my way up, and I think that’s pretty common! So, while the Bamboo is gorgeous for a $21 vibe, I will definitely never use it again.

Okay, now let’s get to the good stuff. The ScreamingO Charged Vooom, despite its silly name, quite impressed me. It’s the rechargeable version of their standard Vooom bullet, and is so damn much better, as rechargeable vibes are wont to be. It’s pink, but it’s a deep, sexy, purply-raspberry pink that I actually like. It charges via USB with a cable that you have to stab through the little silicone hole at the bottom. Its one button cycles through 3 steady speeds (arranged goddamn properly, i.e. from low to high) and 7 patterns. Like the Twistty, the Charged Vooom has a light in its base which brightens and dims depending on the setting you’re on, so I wouldn’t recommend this one to folks with photosensitive epilepsy.

And the motor. HOORAY FOR THIS MOTOR. It’s not Tango-rumbly, but it is pretty rumbly for a $29 vibe. I can actually feel it thrumming against my clit and activating my internal clitoral structures instead of numbing me out. I can get off with this toy, consistently and easily, which is far more than I can say for any other vibe in this post thus far. It’s also the quietest one of the bunch. And because it’s the only one of these vibes that’s a standard bullet size, I’ll be able to use it with toys that have a hole for a bullet, like the Tantus Echo or the We-Vibe Dusk. YAY!

I saved the best for last, y’all. I got an excited email a while ago from a reader who said that the VeDO Bam rivals the Tango, and, well, you know me. I love my Tango. That shit got my attention. Like the Charged Vooom, the Bam costs $29, is rechargeable, and has 3 steady speeds and 7 patterns. But it’s thicker and longer – big enough that I could use it internally but small enough that I probably wouldn’t – and the motor is better.

It’s really kind of remarkable. I want VeDO to send their motor engineer(s) to give talks for other vibrator companies, to explain how you design a great motor for a cheap vibe (or for a vibe at any price point, frankly – even luxury toy companies sometimes fuck this up). It’s a little buzzier than the Tango, but still plenty rumbly and plenty strong. It gives me orgasms easily, quickly, and consistently. For TWENTY-NINE DOLLARS. Damn, VeDO! You done good!

Though the motor rules, the controls interface could be better-designed: you have to cycle through all the modes one by one to get to the one you want, the 3 steady speeds are arranged from high to low (?!), and I wish the patterns’ intensities could be adjusted. But that’s asking a lot for a $29 bullet. Aside from those quibbles, I adore the VeDO Bam; I’ve been using it almost as much as my Tango lately!

What are your favorite cheap vibes?

 

These toys were sent to me by Peepshow Toys in exchange for an honest review.