Review: KinkLab Pink Bound Leather Leash

Content note: there are boobs in this post!

One thing I love about kink is that there’s always more to explore. I’ve worn my fair share of collars, cuffs, and other restraints – but until Stockroom sent me this KinkLab product, I’d never tried a leash.

“Do you have Leash Feelings?” my then-partner asked when I excitedly announced Stockroom was sending me a leash. I could understand his surprise: this wasn’t something I’d ever mentioned, in sexts or dirty talk or idle kink banter. But as with many kink accoutrements, I could see how it might be fun with the right partner, and I was eager to test that hypothesis.

Unlike some other pervs I know, I don’t particularly feel drawn to animal roleplay. I don’t relish the thought of being commanded to crawl on all fours or being kept in a cage (though that might have something to do with my chronic hip and knee pain). My closest thing to a pet-play dalliance is a fondness for being called names like “kitten,” “bunny,” and “bug.” But pet-play isn’t the only use for a leash in a kink scene.

You can attach a leash to someone’s collar or chest harness and use it to pull them in for a kiss, or to pull them closer to your body while they give you head. You can tug the leash to guide them along if they’re blindfolded or otherwise unable to see where they’re going. You can attach the leash to their strap-on harness and pull on it to gain some control over the pace at which they’re fucking you. You can use the leash as an unmistakeable symbol of ownership while out together at a kink event. You can clip the leash to the chain between a pair of nipple clamps and pull on it from a distance – to keep your partner at attention while you casually read a book and ignore them, for example. You can use sharp tugs on a leash to keep a partner on task while they perform service duties like bootblacking, erotic shaving, foot worship or rimming. You can put it on them and simply hold it, to establish and mutually bask in a delicious sense of trust and consensual power exchange. There are so many options.

This KinkLab pink leather leash is simple and well-made. It’s 0.75″ wide, 29″ long, and has a spring hook on one end and a wrist loop on the other. There is nothing fancy about it, but a leash doesn’t need to be fancy.

My one complaint about this product is that the leather sheds a little: my friend ended up with pink linty bits on her red velvet dress after the photoshoot we did for this review. But other than that, it’s pretty standard, and does what it says on the tin. You can even coordinate it with other pink KinkLab items for a matchy-matchy bondage ensemble. Cute!

I’m between kink partnerships at the moment, so I haven’t had a chance to try out this leash in an actual kink scene. But I’m determined that one day I will – and it’ll be hot as fuuuck.

Thanks to Taylor J Mace for taking all the photos in this post, and to my friend A. for being my co-model/faux-domme! Thanks also to Stockroom for sending me this product to review.

An Ode to Fucking Sculptures (and What to Buy Instead)

Beloved artisanal glass dildo company Fucking Sculptures has opted to shut down, after years of cranking out unspeakable beauty. This announcement makes me even more proud and protective of the Fucking Sculptures I own, which I already consider so precious I won’t even fly with them lest they get lost in transit.

For those who still dream of fucking a Fucking Sculpture, I’ve compiled some suggestions for other dildos that might live up to their hype, at least sensation-wise. Read on for dildo dupes…

The G-Spoon was my first Fucking Sculpture, and is still, to this day, one of the best A-spotters I’ve ever owned. Mine is on the cusp between medium and large, so it’s big enough to feel impactful but small enough that its weight doesn’t bother me; long enough to reach my A-spot but not so wide as to bump my cervix; curved enough for G-spot stimulation but not so much it can’t get all up into deeper spots. Really, the only thing I don’t like about it is, I wish there was more extra length I could use as a handle. I could thrust a lot faster and harder if more than an inch of the toy stuck out of me when fully inserted.

What to try instead:
• The stainless steel Njoy Fun Wand is about the same length as my G-Spoon, but slimmer. It can hit my G-spot and A-spot with equal aplomb, but in a slightly more pinpointed way than the G-Spoon. The steel feels just as heavy and firm as Fucking Sculptures’ glass does. Like the G-Spoon, the Fun Wand leaves me with almost no handle if I insert it all the way, but it does indeed hit the spots I want it to. Plus that bloopy end feels great in a butt.
• I haven’t tried the Fifty Shades Darker Deliciously Deep steel dildo or the Crowned Jewels Shaftsbury, but they’re both of comparable dimensions to my G-Spoon and have the gentle curve I’ve come to associate with good A-spot toys.
• This Spartacus glass G-spot dildo, is, again, of similar dimensions to my G-Spoon and has the straight shaft + curved tip I’ve often found effective for A-spot stimulation. The looped handle would make it easy to thrust with, too.
• I’ve found the Icicles #53 effective for deep stimulation, though it’s a bit girthier than the G-Spoon at 1.5″, so if you have a cervix that’s particularly low and/or sensitive to pain, I wouldn’t recommend it for that purpose.
• A vibrating option, incase you’re into that: the Jopen Vanity VR9 is long, gently curved, and offers two differently-sized ends for exploring your various internal spots.

I consider the Pussywillow relatively unremarkable compared to my other two Fucking Sculptures, sensation-wise, though it’s still beautiful. Mine is a medium-sized, triple-blooped, softly curved dildo that stimulates my G-spot gently with one end and can nudge my A-spot with the other.

What to try instead:
• The Fifty Shades of Grey Drive Me Crazy glass dildo has gentle bloops of about the same diameter as my Pussywillow. It’ll rub your G-spot, but not nearly as intensely as something like, say, the Pure Wand.
• The Icicles #18 has one straight, mildly textured end, and one end that’s much more curved and textured. Like the Pussywillow, it’ll allow you to explore a few different internal spots and sensations.
• The Icicles #8 is straight (though still bloopy), so if you know you like your G-spot stimulation gentle as fuck, you’ll dig this one more than a curved toy.
• For more intense G-spot sensation but with similar texture, try the Sinclair Institute Crystal G. That long handle should make it easier to thrust with.

The Double Trouble is my priciest and most prized Fucking Sculpture, by far. I use it solo and with partners, and it always satisfies. Its deal is that it somehow manages to be alarmingly girthy (6″ around the smaller end, 6.5″ around the larger) while also hitting my A-spot amazingly. (I wish I had an X-ray machine so I could see exactly how it accomplishes this, because it’s a mystery to me.) I don’t use it much these days because my vag isn’t as enthused about girth as it used to be, but when I really want to feel filled up and deeply fucked, I can’t imagine a toy I’d prefer over the Dub Trubz.

What to try instead:
• The other major contender in the “big, heavy, firm, double-ended, gently S-shaped dildo” category is the Njoy Eleven, another favorite of mine. I find it much more G-spot-centric than my Double Trouble, since I can’t get the Eleven’s big end deep enough inside me to rub my A-spot firmly, though it does graze it a little if I push it as deep as it’ll comfortably go. If you crave Fucking Sculptures for their beauty, durability, and “wow” factor, the Eleven will tick all those boxes for you too.
• If you want something shaped like the Eleven but less expensive, less heavy, and less huge, try the Dorcel So: it’s essentially a smaller, silicone Eleven clone. Its more minuscule girth makes it likelier to be able to hit your A-spot, if that’s what you’re after.
• The Dorr Silker vibrator isn’t as thick as the Double Trouble, but its insertable end is shaped very similarly to my favorite end of the DT, so I think it might feel comparable. Plus it vibrates, if you want it to!
• The Lumberjill Knob is a girthy-as-fuck double-ended dildo like the Dub Trubz, so it’ll fill you up real good, though I can’t personally attest to its A-spotting abilities.
• I’m intrigued by two silicone potential contenders, the Maia Riley and Doc Johnson Beauty. Both are long enough to hit your A-spot (probably), girthy enough to feel filling through the shaft (1.6″ and 1.9″, respectively), and have the tapered and slightly curved tip that tends to work well for A-spots. And they’re both under $35, so if you’re not up for a big investment, these are relatively safe bets.
• There’s sadly not a lot of girthy glass out there, but try the relatively inexpensive Spartacus Blown Medium (1.5″ diameter) or Blown Large (1.75″) if that’s what you’re cravin’. The Medium has a slight curve, while the Large is totally straight, so if width isn’t a dealbreaker, I’d lean toward the Medium for spot-targeting purposes.

This post was sponsored by the good folks at SheVibe. As always, all writing and opinions are my own.

Review: Doxy Die Cast

When Doxy gifted me a Die Cast, I heard proverbial angels singing from heaven. Because I knew orgasms aplenty were on my horizon.

See, if one thing is true about Doxy wands, it’s that they are strong. I’m not the ideal person to be reviewing Doxy wands, in fact, because I’m so sensitive I barely use the power for which they’re famous. My Die Cast is the only toy in my regular rotation that I always wish had a lower speed. I turn it on and think, “This can’t possibly be where we’re starting. This is a higher speed than most of my vibes end at.”

But don’t get me wrong: it gives me orgasms nonetheless. Lots and lots of ’em.

The Die Cast is an updated version of the original Doxy Wand. While it’s hard to find fault with a strong, rumbly wand vibe, I have a couple quibbles with my original Doxy: the buttons sometimes get stuck and skip speeds, and the squishy PVC head makes the vibrations feel somewhat buried. Both these issues are fixed in the Die Cast, so I use it far more and enjoy it more when I do.

The Die Cast’s head is silicone, so it’s non-porous and easier to clean. It also transmits vibrations better than the PVC did, so it feels even stronger than the original wand. The head is “double-weighted,” too – a technology that is supposed to make the Die Cast’s vibrations feel rumblier. When I use the original Doxy, I only go up to the second speed; with the Die Cast, I literally only ever use the first one. (I know, right?!)

This is, if anything, my one major complaint about the Die Cast: I wish it had some lower speeds. While using it, I’ve often had the thought, “This thing is like the belt sander of sex toys.” True, I can hold it on my outer labia so it only stimulates my clit indirectly, or use it through clothes, or employ other techniques I’ve developed for dealing with overzealous wand vibes, but I would rather not have to do all that. If it’s been a few days since I’ve used a vibrator, often the Die Cast will feel alarmingly, almost uncomfortably strong, prompting me to grab a weaker vibe to use as a warm-up until I’m ready for more.

The Die Cast’s body is made of a titanium/aluminum alloy. It feels super sexy and sensual – and I love the glittery texture of my red one! – but it makes this wand heavier than the original. I only tend to notice this when I’ve been using it for a while or when my chronic joint pain is flaring up. If you have strength or mobility issues, you’ll want to go with a lighter wand.

Like many powerful vibrators, the Die Cast is lovely for forced-orgasm play. At my request, a partner cuffed me into my under-the-bed restraints and then held the head of the Die Cast in his palm, pressing it against my clit while he pushed two fingers inside me and muttered filthy shit in my ear. After I came so hard I practically ascended to heaven, my beau grinned and said, “Are you glad you asked me to do that?” and yeah, I really, really was. However, like I’ve said, the Die Cast is somewhat heavy, so it’s not as well-suited to forced-orgasm scenes as something lighter like the Magic Wand Rechargeable.

The MWR also has the benefit of being cordless, while the Doxy wands are corded. This doesn’t bother me when I have the space and forethought to leave my wand plugged in, but if it’s a choice between standing up to plug in an unplugged wand and just grabbing my MWR, usually my lazy ass will go for the MWR.

Noise-wise, the Die Cast is comparable to most other electric vibes of this power level: definitely audible if you’re in the room with it, but probably undetectable through walls and doors.

On the whole, I’ve still been reaching for my beloved Tango and MWR more often than the Die Cast, because I like their wider variety of gentler speeds and that they’re lighter and easier to hold than this big heavy behemoth. But if you need power, and want it to come in an absolutely stunning package, I can’t recommend the Doxy Die Cast highly enough. It’s gorgeous, well-made, and does the fucking trick.

 

Thanks very much to Doxy for supplying me with this wand to review! You can buy the Die Cast at Peepshow ($200 USD), SheVibe ($190 USD), or Come As You Are ($236 CAD/~$190 USD).

Review: Stockroom Neon Angel Bust Harness

 

Content warning: this post has boobs in it!

I’ve been increasingly interested in leather chest harnesses over the past year or so. The more I learned about them, the more I wanted one. While I’m a frivolous femme and definitely appreciate aesthetic trappings for their visual appeal, what really made me want a chest harness was when I found out they have practical kink applications as well. When you’re strapped into a chest harness, it’s that much easier for a partner to pull you toward them, throw you around, and get you exactly where they want you. Excuse me; I’ll be in my bunk.

So I was excited when Stockroom offered me some products to review and I saw that they carry (among sooo many other things) a hot pink leather chest harness. SIGN ME UP.

The Neon Angel bust harness is made of pink leather with nickel-plated hardware. It isn’t as buttery-soft as my Aslan Leather products, but I expect it’ll soften up the more that I wear it (that’s one of my favorite things about leather!).

It fastens in two places: behind your neck, like a collar, and on your back, like a bra. As a femmey, submissive person with boobs, I love how simultaneously feminine, small, curvaceous and helpless it makes me feel to be cinched and squeezed in those two places. It’s the mild throat constriction of a collar combined with the very slight boob-lifting of a wireless bralette, and the effect is super cute.

The T-strap connecting the collar to the underbust is adjustable, to allow for different torso lengths. You can also detach the two parts of the harness using this strap, if you want to wear the collar and underbust portions separately, though they each look a little lonely and incomplete without the other!

The collar portion can fit necks ranging in circumference from about 10″ to 13″. The underbust portion, meanwhile, can get as small as 24″ and as large as 35″. Unfortunately, this means it probably won’t fit most plus-size folks. My dress size is 12, I usually wear large-size shirts, and I have a 33″ underbust, so it fits me comfortably with a few holes to spare – but a size-14 friend tried this on and couldn’t get the underbust part fastened comfortably. There’s only about an inch of extra space at the end of the leather strap to add extra holes if you wanted to.

As a fashion item, I find this harness surprisingly versatile! I’ve worn it over dresses, as pictured, and also over crop tops, T-shirts, and lingerie. However, it works just as well when I wear it while otherwise naked, or while just wearing panties. It has a submissive babygirl aesthetic that I adore, and which is obviously pretty on-brand for me! In addition to the pink color, you can also snap up this harness in bright yellow or black – and the black version is even available in vegan PVC if you’d rather not buy leather.

Worn naked, the leather is slightly chafey against my skin if I’m moving around a lot, but not moreso than other leather items I might wear during sex, like cuffs or a collar. My past experiences with leather tell me this chafeyness will lessen up over time, too, as the material softens and starts conforming to my shape.

One of my favorite things about this harness is those big 1.5″ D-rings on the front – one by my throat, one right between my boobs. As with any D-ring, you can use these to attach the harness to rope, cuffs, a leash, or other bondage accessories to create elaborate predicaments if you so desire. For example, I once had a partner attach two carabiners from my under-the-bed restraints to the D-ring on a collar I was wearing, effectively chaining me to the bed so I couldn’t move. There are lots of fun things you can do with these D-rings!

One of their best and simplest uses, however, is as a handle for pulling and manipulating the person wearing the harness. As you can see from these photos, if you’ve got a partner wearing this harness, you can grab ’em by a D-ring to pull them in for a kiss – or to throw them around as part of various other kinky activities. I love, for example, being tugged around by a chest harness when I’m blindfolded; it adds to my feeling of being helpless and needing my dominant partner’s guidance for everything.

Overall I’m delighted to own this harness! I’ve found it unexpectedly versatile, both for fashion purposes and for kink purposes. I think it’ll get a lot more wear in the future!

All photos in this post were taken by Taylor J Mace. Thanks to Taylor, and also to my lovely co-model in some of these shots, A.! Thanks also to Stockroom for sending me this product to review. Check out their wide selection of body harnesses!

Guest Review: Venus for Men

Note from Kate: In over 5 years of writing this blog, I’ve never published anything from guest writers, because, frankly, I wanted this to be my space and I have super high standards. However, a friend of mine recently bought himself a Venus for Men and wanted to contribute a review, and since I know he’s a funny writer, I was excited to publish it here. Enjoy!


I’ve been looking for the perfect penis-centered toy for a long time. At age 12, I cut open a rubber ice pack, shoved it between couch cushions, and fucked the shit out of it. It may have been the most sensual seventeen seconds of my life. By age 18, I’d put my dick in dozens of household objects; it’s a miracle that I never ended up in the emergency room! As I got older, I kept searching for better toys. I tried all manner of low-quality Doc Johnson toys, pussy sleeves, the disappointing Autoblow, the classic-but-underwhelming Fleshlight, and even the futuristic Soloflesh. I got a Cobra Libre last year, and it was fun now and then, but I had always been jealous about the wealth of toys available to the vulva’d among us.

It always seemed that one small consolation of our bustling patriarchy was the plethora of techno-marvels available to your average AFAB (assigned female at birth) person. The Rabbit, the Hitachi Magic Wand, the Satisfyer, the Eroscillator, the Sybian, and every conceivable shape, size, and feel of dildos and insertables. It makes sense; the very notion of “the female orgasm” has been considered elusive or unimportant throughout history, whereas your average penis-haver can experience orgasm seemingly by accident. Of course there would be more options made with women in mind.

But anyway, back to me. A man.

I would watch porn where women seemed to be deliriously possessed by the power of their sex toys, and I had so rarely felt that way. I watched a man attach a dildo to a power tool and fuck his partner at a speed that would be humanly impossible. I wanted to experience something like that! But the more toys I bought, the more I felt like the ones made for my anatomy would never hold a candle to their vulva-targeted rivals.

There was, however, one shining star in this (ahem) Milky Way… one last hope, however far-off and improbable: The Venus For Men. In a world of cheap and disappointing dick toys, the Venus For Men – which, when I first heard about it, was called “The Venus 2000” – unabashedly touted itself as the best of the best. Sure, there were always RealDolls, but even if you shell out the money and have somewhere to hide the lifeless body in between uses, you still have to expend the energy to physically fuck a RealDoll. That’s not a penis’s equivalent to an Eroscillator, it’s an Ab Roller with boobs.

Let’s talk for a second about what the Venus For Men is and what it does. In practical terms, it’s a black box that sucks and blows. That’s all it does, it’s a box containing an actuator which simply sucks and blows. You connect the box via air hose to a cylindrical plastic dick chamber with a skin-like liner inside of it. Another hose connects to an air controller, and you operate the Venus’s speed and stroke length with wired remote control units. The unique feature of the Venus is that it changes the pressure in between the liner and the cylinder, so the user’s penis is sucked in and out of the liner, which in turns slides the perfectly form-fitting dick cylinder over the penis like some kind of magical, prehensile orifice. And, once properly positioned and calibrated, it will cling to your dick regardless of what position you’re in. It’s a sex robot without the creepy facial expressions. A subby vacuum cleaner with a hungry mouth. The pinnacle of space-age wiener tech.

And, since it’s the cream(ing) of the crop, it’s also quite expensive. The Venus retails for $956 USD, and that’s without optional attachments. Maybe some billionaires can drop that on a whim, but I’ve resigned myself to paying off student loans and keeping a tight leash on my credit card.

At least that was the case, until the money came in.

I made a good business move once that led to a huge financial windfall this year. So I paid off my loans and decided to celebrate my debt-free status by allocating a few thousand dollars as “fun money.” One lonely night, I rediscovered the Venus For Men website. This formerly unattainable item was now well within my budget. When would I get another chance like this? And, hey, they even had a 45-day money-back guarantee (though they discourage you from sending back a used dick cylinder). What did I have to lose?

By the way: One unique element of ordering a Venus is the five – FIVE – measurements you’re required to take of your penis. But after years of lackluster “one size fits all” sex toys, I went along with it. Even the inseam.

Finally, the day arrived. I carefully opened the box, took out the pieces, and I found the setup pretty simple. Within five minutes, I was lubing up the dick cylinder (officially called “the receiver”) and taking her for a spin. And WHOA wowee wow wow what a short and intense ride that first orgasm was. The way I remember it is basically like this:

0:01 Whoa, it’s really pulling my dick in there.
0:04 Wow, that feels amazing. I can see why it’s so expensive!
0:11 I wonder how fast this thing can go…
0:15 Holy shit that was amazing.

It was like a sexy wizard said “Here, let me give you a kickass BJ” and then, after a few seconds, got bored and just cast an instant-orgasm spell on me. I clocked the max speed of the Venus at around 5 strokes per second, and by “stroke” I mean a complete in-and-out suck-and-fuck of your dick. Even if blowjobs were an Olympic event, I don’t think the most performance-enhanced athlete could achieve speeds anywhere near what this baby can do. This was the deep-throat version of one of those power tool dildos. Finally, instead of wishing I had an organ as magical as a clitoris, I was ecstatic to have a dick just so I could stick it into this thing. I had found the equivalent of the magic I’d seen in so many vulva toys.

The Venus’s 12-page operating manual states, “At climax, you may ejaculate inside the receiver. We suggest it be washed before anything dries.”

Before anything dries? So the part where I usually feel sleepy and glowy now comes with the anxiety of a ticking clock?

And the cleaning process is not a simple rinse. You have to pull the pieces apart and clean them individually. You have to use a large-bristled brush that comes with the kit. You’re also encouraged to store the receiver in a dark area because excess light causes the liner to deteriorate – another ticking clock! It was annoying. I have to walk through a hallway to get from my bedroom to the bathroom, and I don’t particularly want to explain to my roommates why I’m carrying a miniature toilet brush and a fleshy beaker of cock chowder. But, then again, I blew a thousand dollars on this thing. This is the Lamborghini of sex toys, and if you get jizz in your Lamborghini, you’d better clean it before it dries. So I cleaned it. The hole that connects the cylinder to the hose needs to be plugged before each cleaning, but its cover is very annoying to get off and on, so I ended up just plugging the hole with my thumb when I cleaned it (also anxiety-causing).

The Venus brought me to orgasm six times on that first day. I would use it, clean it, dry it, remember it existed, and use it again. This may be more a matter of my addictive personality than the efficacy of the product, but I couldn’t get enough of it. Suddenly, this feeling that I had only experienced with another person was now mine to feel in a magically self-centered and entirely on-demand way.

It was past my bedtime when I finally climaxed the sixth time (basically ejaculating an invisible poof of glitter at that point). My legs shook as I shambled over to the light switch and got into bed. I laid down, still blissing out, looking forward to a sound sleep. But just as my eyelids began to droop, I realized, “Oh fuck. I have to fucking clean this thing.”

Back on with the lights. Back on with the clothes. Grabbed the now-veteran cleaning brush and the dick cylinder, skulked down the hallway like some kind of sex toy burglar, spent a few minutes cleaning it, and set the pieces to dry in a part of my room that would be hidden from light. What a production! When I jerk off before bed, I typically do a quick cleanup with whatever undies or socks are lying around and just let the sleepy feeling float me off to dreamland. Not so with the Venus. Clean it, or risk whatever happens if you don’t (it’s so expensive, I was afraid to find out)!

Another drawback is that it’s a bit loud, especially at high speeds. At max speed, it’s about as loud as a squeaky mattress with a pair of giant rabbits mating on it. Its slower speeds are quieter, but part of the fun is feeling how fast it goes. Sure, there are plenty of popular sex toys that are loud (Hitachi, anyone?) but this particular sound is mechanical and repetitive. What would my roommates even think they were listening to? Often, I would get nervous that they might walk by my bedroom door while I was using it, and the thought of it took me out of the moment.

After a few weeks of using the Venus, I started dating a new woman. I actually thought she might be “the one.” My Venus use went from daily to rarely. Sure, the sensations are more optimized than sex, but the chemistry and intimacy of sex were much more enticing than the prospect of sitting, bored, while Robocock dutifully did its job.

A few weeks into the new relationship, I realized I only had a few days left if I wanted to return the Venus. I considered it. “Maybe I could find something more constructive to do with the money,” I thought. “Maybe I’ll be with my new girlfriend forever and I won’t need this thing.” Wrong. I decided to keep it, and I’m not sure why. But it came in handy, because New GF and I broke up after a month or so. Just like in the beginning, the Venus was amazingly precise. Once again, I had that “hooooly shit” feeling when its suction drew my penis inside of it. I learned to customize the placement of the liner to make it even more intense. I could once again have as many orgasms as I felt like over the course of a horny day. In its way, after my relationship ended, the Venus was a pretty great rebound.

So, would I recommend that you buy a Venus For Men? It depends upon your priorities. It’s a damn good blowjob anytime you want and you can control various aspects of it in realtime, allowing you to literally DJ your BJ. But it’s loud, high-maintenance, and costs a thousand dollars.

That said, you don’t have to use it alone! Imagine making out with your partner while the Venus sucks you off and they use a toy on themselves? Hot, right? Or imagine if your partner was too tired for sex and your consolation prize was an immaculate suckoff. Not too shabby! And it can also function as a penis pump and a unique nipple stimulator.

Is it ethical to spend this much on a sex toy when there are starving children in the world? That’s for you to decide.

All I know is this: In 2001, I bought my first disappointing sex toy, and ever since then, I’ve wished there were a penis toy to rival the most legendary vulva toys. Sixteen years and about a thousand dollars later, I finally found it.