Sex Toys For Weirdly Specific Demographics

Lelo is launching a sex toy for bankers. (I know. I don’t get it either.) When I received the press release, I started thinking… what if other seemingly random demographics also had their own specially-tailored sex toys?

For musicians: A vibrator where each setting creates a sound at a specific pitch. You can use it to help you tune your instrument when you don’t have access to a tuning fork or a digital tuner. You can quiz your lover who claims to have perfect pitch, while distracting them with pleasure. You can even play little songs. There could be vibration patterns that play recognizable tunes, like Old MacDonald Had a Farm and Twinkle Twinkle, Little Star.

For sex bloggers: A vibrator with a built-in voice recorder so you can narrate your experience aloud as you masturbate, to refer back to later when you’re drafting your blog post. “It feels like a tiny jackhammer… The buttons are hard to push… Man, this is taking forever to get me off!”

For people concerned with protecting themselves: A weighty dildo that can double as a weapon in dire times. (Oh, wait, the Njoy Eleven already has that on lockdown.)

For people who get frequent UTIs: A vibrator that can tell if you use it for penetration, and if you do, once you’re done, it loudly yells at you to go and pee and doesn’t stop until you’ve peed. (I don’t know how it would be able to tell, but I’m sure there’s a mechanical engineer out there who could figure this out.)

For procrastinators: A vibrator that will only turn on when you’ve successfully cleared your inbox/submitted your essay/cleaned your room/whatever.

For masochists: A vibrator with two dials: one that controls the vibration strength, and one that controls the speed or intensity of the little mechanical arms that scratch your thighs, dig into your skin or spank your ass. (I am picturing this toy and it looks like a mechanical spider to me. I’m freaked out and intrigued.)

For sadists: A Fleshlight-esque masturbator that makes humanoid noises of varying degrees of desperation and pain, depending on how hard and fast you thrust into it.

For camgirls: A dildo or vibrator fitted with two small cameras – a lighted one that can see inside you as you use the toy on yourself, and one that extends from the base for a wider shot of the action – that wirelessly connect to your computer to livestream your activities.

For balloon fetishists: A dildo that responds to kegel clenching by making progressively louder balloon-popping sounds… which turn you on even more… which leads to more clenching… It’s a delicious cycle.

What would a sex toy specifically for your demographic be like?

Vibrators For People Who Hate Vibrators

This post was inspired by a beautiful, sex-positive friend of mine, who… hates vibrators. She attended one of Betty Dodson’s Bodysex workshops, and of course, since I’m a huge sex toy geek, I asked her what she thought of the vibe Betty provides for workshop attendees (it’s the Mystic Wand, if you were wondering). My friend just shrugged and said, “I don’t like using a vibrator. It feels like having sex with a robot.”

I was slightly flabbergasted, but I shouldn’t have been. There are plenty of people who don’t like vibrators.

However, I think that at least some of those people’s aversion to vibes might be due to a fixable factor. So, with help from some folks on Twitter, I came up with this list of common reasons why someone might not enjoy using a vibrator, and I’ve provided possible solutions for each issue.

Important note: There are people for whom vibrators just don’t work, period. I’m not claiming that everyone can or should love vibrators. If other methods work for you, keep at ‘em and don’t let me rain on your parade! This post is for people who have been dissatisfied with vibrators in the past but are interested in giving them another shot.

Problem #1: Vibrators feel too weak, cause numbness, or make you itchy.

Solution: If you’ve felt this way about a vibrator, it was probably too buzzy, or didn’t have enough power, or both. I can see how this could be a huge deterrent, because it even deterred me! My first few vibrators were cheap and/or battery-powered, which are the types of vibes that tend to be buzziest and weakest, so I just thought vibrations felt only okay and caused fast numbness. Well, they don’t have to!

The opposite of buzzy is rumbly (at least, in vibrator-speak). Rumbly vibrations don’t typically cause the numbness that buzzy vibes can, nor will they make you itch. They also feel stronger because they penetrate deeper into the skin. If you have a clitoris, rumbly vibrations will stimulate the internal portion as well as the part on the surface, and many people find that sensation more pleasurable, myself included.

My all-time favorite rumbly vibrator is the We-Vibe Tango (here’s my review). It’s small, because it’s meant for clitoral stimulation, but what it lacks in size, it makes up for in ridiculously thuddy and yummy vibrations. If you want something you can use for penetration or clit stimulation, try the Lelo Mona 2; it’s not quite as rumbly as the Tango but it’s pretty close, plus it has a gorgeous and effective G-spot curve. If you want to try rumbly (and SUPER STRONG) vibrations on the cheap, seek out a Wahl 2-Speed at your local pharmacy – but keep in mind that it’s the jackhammer of vibrators, so you should probably use some kind of fabric barrier between your body and the toy, at least at first!

Problem #2: Vibrators feel too intense/strong/overwhelming.

Solution: I think the Hitachi Magic Wand is largely to blame for the commonness of this problem. So many people think it’s “the ultimate vibrator” because plenty of experienced vibrator users say that it is – but I am going to take a bold stance and declare that the Hitachi is not a good vibrator for beginners. Husbands, stop buying Hitachis for your vibrator-virgin wives! Please, for the love of all things holy and sexy!!

If you already have a vibrator that feels too strong for you and you don’t want to buy a different one, here are some suggestions. Try putting a fabric barrier between the vibrator and your body, like a folded washcloth or your underwear; this will dampen the sensations. Try starting off with the vibrator on your inner thighs or labia instead of putting it directly on your clit. If it’s a Hitachi, outfit it with an attachment like the G-Spotter, which will muffle and focus the sensations all at once.

If you think your current vibrator is hopelessly over-intense and you want to get another one, here are some you could try. Anything by Lelo will have multiple speeds (usually 10), starting very low and ending reasonably high, so you can control the power of the vibrations with much more precision; I recommend the Mona 2, Mia 2, or Siri. Lelo’s not in everyone’s price range, I know, so if you’re shopping for something cheaper, just make sure that it’s body-safe (probably made of silicone or hard plastic) and has multiple speeds. Something like the Bswish Bcute Classic or Turbo Glider would be great.

Problem #3: Vibrators are too loud, and it distracts you and/or arouses suspicion among your housemates/family.

Solution: You need a quieter vibrator, bro.

The aforementioned We-Vibe Tango and Lelo toys are very quiet. In general, you’re going to want to avoid anything battery-powered or electric; rechargeables are where it’s at.

Alternatively, you could muffle your loud vibrator with a blanket, or put some music on. But you’ve probably already thought of that.

Problem #4: Vibrators are awkward to use or hard to control.

Solution: Okay, first of all, let’s get this out of the way: sex toys are inherently foreign objects, so they will never feel quite as natural and intuitive as your own hands. You can get smoother at using them with practice, but they’re not really an extension of your body so they’re always going to feel more like tools than appendages. If you’re not cool with that, no worries; you don’t have to use sex toys. No one will force you.

But if you want to use a vibrator that’s as uncumbersome and unobtrusive as possible, you’re going to need something that is both ergonomic and super easy to control. I recommend one with easy up-and-down buttons, like the Lelo Siri, or a simple twist dial, like the Shane’s World Sparkle Vibe.

If your issue is that vibrators are hard to hold onto or slip out of your hand at crucial moments, try something with a looped handle, like the Lelo Alia, or a grippy plastic handle, like the Bodywand.

Problem #5: Your partner is threatened by sex toys, or you think they would be.

Solution: My first instinct in this situation is to tell you to “dump the motherfucker already,” but I realize that your partner’s insecurities may not bother you as much as they would bother me, and also that your partner’s insecurities may well be changeable and fixable. You deserve better than someone who wants to limit your pleasure, but I’m not gonna tell you how to live your life.

Insecure partners, especially those who are men, may have issues with realistic (i.e. penis-esque) toys that they would not have with less representational toys. If that’s the case, then of course I suggest getting a toy that looks nothing like a penis. Most Lelo toys look like tech implements from Planet Sophistication. Jimmyjane toys are also very design-y and often look more like coffee table decorations than sex toys, so maybe they’ll be less distressing to your partner than a 9-inch rubber dick.

That said, size can also be an issue for some partners, especially if they have concerns about their own penis size. In that case, I’d recommend something small and unintimidating, like the We-Vibe Tango or a hella basic Pocket Rocket.

If your partner worries that a sex toy will “replace” him or her, you may be able to quell that fear by using the sex toy with them, having them use it on you, or getting a toy like the We-Vibe that is specifically made to be used by couples.

Problem #6: Vibrators feel too impersonal/inhuman, or don’t feel like “the real thing.”

Solution: The obvious solution is to incorporate vibrators as part of “the real thing.” Trust me when I say that the combination of a vibrator and a human partner can be explosively terrific. I hate the narrative of vibrators being some sort of replacement for a partner, because I think they work best when paired together!

If you don’t have a partner at the moment, but still want a “real”-feeling experience, you could try a realistic dildo like the VixSkin Mustang. (I know, it’s not a vibrator, and this is an article about vibrators. But people don’t vibrate, so the most “realistic” toys will be ones that don’t vibrate either!) I am also a fan of the Stronic Eins, which thrusts back and forth – like a real penis, only faster and more consistent.

There are a few cunnilingus simulators on the market. I haven’t found one that I’m really happy with yet, but you might like them. The main ones are the Sqweel 2, Sqweel Go, Je Joue SaSi, and Lelo Ora. Some people (myself included) also say that the back-and-forth oscillation mode on the Jimmyjane Form 2 feels like a flicking tongue. If you choose to buy a toy that’s meant to mimic oral sex, definitely pick up some lube, too – oral lovin’ is nothing without lubrication!

Do you know anyone who hates vibrators? Why do they feel that way? Have you ever overcome your vibrator hatred? How did you do it?

Review: Lelo Luna Beads Noir

Someone please explain vaginal balls to me. I don’t understand.

I mean, I understand the theory behind them. They’re supposed to give you some weight, some resistance, with which to exercise your vagina. It’s supposed to be difficult to hold them inside you, forcing you to use your muscles and make your twat stronger. And some of them are also supposed to give you a fun bouncy sensation that’s sexually pleasurable, I guess as a motivator to exercise your vag more often.

But this is never how vaginal balls work for me. It’s never any effort to keep them inside. They never feel heavy or challenging. They just stay put. Am I an anomaly, with a freakishly tight and strong vagina? Or have vaginal balls, as a category of sex toys, just totally lost the plot of what they are supposed to do?

I don’t know the answers to these questions. Please feel free to answer and explain in the comments if you have any theories. For now, I’m going to talk about the latest I’ve tried in a string of perplexing vag balls: the Lelo Luna Beads Noir.

I was sent these balls last year, after having a chat with a lovely Lelo rep about the effect that the Fifty Shades of Grey phenomenon has had on the sex toy industry. Apparently (and I can’t vouch for this because I could only force myself through the first half of the first book), at some point in the trilogy, Christian Grey gives Ana Steele a set of vaginal balls to use, and it’s sexy, or whatever. So as a result, this type of product saw an uptick in sales, and Lelo decided to jump on the bandwagon and make a black/grey version of their Luna Beads Mini.

I will admit that the whole reason I ended up owning the Luna Beads Noir was that I told the Lelo rep how beautiful I thought they were. The smokey grey, the stark black… I dunno, man; I guess I’m a sucker for black sex toys.

Each ball weighs 37 grams and is 1 ¼" in diameter. So, yeah, these are small, but not so small that I can’t feel them. Lelo recommends this size for women who are under 30 years of age or who haven’t given birth. I don’t know how I feel about that type of recommendation, given how much variation there is among vaginas. Let’s just say, you should find out the diameter of your favorite dildo(s) and compare if you’re undecided about which size Luna Beads to get. (The regular size is 1.4" in diameter, which really isn’t that much bigger.)

Unlike the Luna Beads proper, the Noir version only comes with one set of balls, so you can’t swap them out if you want something heavier.

As I mentioned above, my vagina must be a Chinese finger trap because there is no moment during the usage of these balls when I ever feel like they might fall out. I suppose it might be a challenge to keep them in if I were to slather them in handfuls of lube before use, but like, who wants to do that? (Speaking of lube: you should use the water-based kind with these balls, due to their materials.)

The balls themselves are smooth plastic, and the removable girdle that houses them is slightly grippy silicone. This combination of textures feels sexy in the hand but I can’t really perceive it once they’re in my vagina.

The signature bouncy sensation provided by vaginal balls is just dandy with this set. Minimal movement sets them off, which is a plus as far as I’m concerned. I am always very aware of their presence, and they make me want to move my hips around and run up and down staircases.

The looped retrieval cord on these is one of the best things about them: it’s very sturdy and has no stretch whatsoever. Many a good pair of balls have been ruined by an insubstantial or overly stretchy string. When I want to remove my Luna Beads Noir, I just pull the cord – no finagling or fretting required. These will never get stuck in my vagina.

So, as far as vaginal balls are concerned, the Lelo Luna Beads Noir are some of the best I’ve tried. If you want a pair, and like the dark aesthetic of these ones, you should get them – especially since they’re just $23.20 with the code “LELO” on PinkCherry. For a high-quality, body-safe, comfortable and functional pair of vag balls, you won’t find a much better price than that.

But I still don’t really “get” vaginal balls. Maybe it’s my body. Maybe it’s the way they’re made. I don’t know. They confuse me. Oh well…

Thank you, Lelo!

Review: Lelo Ida

I never knew a toy could make me scream in pain until I tried the Lelo Ida.

I didn’t see it coming, and neither did my boyfriend. So we were both pretty horrified, since pain wasn’t supposed to be on the agenda that night (and vaginal pain isn’t the kind I find hot, anyway).

The Ida is an overhaul of Lelo’s previous couples’ vibes, the Tiani and Noa, meant to be worn inside the vagina alongside the penis during PIV sex. Incase you didn’t know, Lelo got into a legal tussle with We-Vibe when the latter accused the former of stealing their unique toy design, and We-Vibe won, so Lelo had to scrap everything and start from scratch.

I assumed the Ida would be like a poor man’s We-Vibe, and it is, but it’s worse than that: it’s an assault on the genitals. It’s like trying to fit a square peg into my round hole.

I think my major problem with it is that the internal portion is SO BIG. No, it’s not big by dildo standards, but when you try to shove a penis in underneath it, it digs into the vaginal wall and feels appallingly out of place. It reminds me of those occasional awkward moments when my boyfriend’s penis jams my NuvaRing into an odd position and it hurts, except the Ida is so much worse than that, because it’s firm and it’s rotating.

Yep, the internal portion rotates. I thought this would be my favorite feature, because historically I enjoy internal rotation, but actually I can barely feel it. When my boyfriend’s penis is inside me, I can’t tell if the added girth is stopping the rotation entirely or if I just can’t feel the silicone arm’s slow stroking over the wave of pain I’m experiencing. Either way, it doesn’t do a damn thing for me.

The external part of the toy doesn’t cause me pain like the internal part, but it’s still a pretty massive failure. Traditional couples’ vibes have a slim external part, made to tuck neatly between the labia so it can access the clitoris easily and directly. The Ida, instead, has a large round disc, almost as big as my palm. Ain’t no way a disc is fitting in between my labia, so it just sits on the outside of my vulva, the vibrations ever-so-slightly reaching my clit but certainly not enough to induce an orgasm. I would imagine this problem would be even worse for people with thick outer labia.

I had an orgasm from the Ida once – once – and here is what I had to do to make it happen: I had to use it by itself (no penis, no dildo), I had to turn it up to the highest setting so my clit could perceive the vibrations, and when I got close to orgasm, I had to physically press the disc against my clit to give it enough sensation. When the ordeal was over, I felt so drained and disappointed that the orgasm hardly felt worth it. And that was the best session I’ve had with my Ida.

With my partner, no amount of lube and warm-up and patience can make the Ida pleasurable or even comfortable. It just feels like I’m getting stabbed in the vaginal wall. I scream into the pillow and push my boyfriend away. He gets upset and distressed that he has hurt me. And then we give up on the Ida and have sex normally, which still kind of hurts after the Ida’s onslaught on my vagina. This happens every time we use it. I have had enough.

Did I mention that you have to pay $200 for the luxury of getting poked in the vaginal wall with a piece of rotating silicone?

There are other details I could mention in this review – the Ida has a remote, it’s waterproof, it has two high-tech motion-sensitive settings, it’s made of smooth body-safe materials – but really, none of that matters, because I cannot recommend this toy to anyone. I refuse to.

If you want a comfortable couples’ vibe to wear during PIV sex, try the Noa – it’s the only one I’ve ever liked, and it’s half the price of the Ida. If you want to have more control of your experience, try holding a long-handled or small vibe against your clit during PIV: I recommend the Eroscillator, Mia 2, or Tango.

But please, don’t get the Ida. Or if you really want the Ida experience, try putting a sharp rock in your vag next time your partner’s about to penetrate you.

This toy was sent to me for review by Lelo. Dear Lelo: I still love you, even though I hate the Ida.

Sex Toys for Canadians

Sometimes it feels like, when you live outside of the USA, you get the short end of the stick in terms of being able to buy stuff. Imported American products are usually more expensive here in Canadaland, plus you have to pay shipping fees that are sometimes exorbitant. No thank you!

Fortunately, there are some great retailers who provide toys to us northern folk without ridiculously overcharging us or obligating us to pay staggering import duties. Here are some of my faves…

Sex Toys Canada was one of the very first retailers to send me stuff to review, so they hold a special place in my heart. (I’m also the main writer on their blog!) They’re based in Montreal, so if you live in the easterly part of Canada, orders will get to you especially fast.

They’re always having excellent sales and deals; check their homepage for any current discount codes. They also have a sale section that’s full of amazingly cheap stuff.

PinkCherry.ca is another one of my Canadian faves. They’re located in Mississauga (or thereabouts – I’m not actually sure) so if you live in Toronto or the GTA, you’ll get your order very quickly. Mine always arrive within 2 business days, which makes me really happy – (almost) instant gratification!

Check their homepage and/or subscribe to their mailing list for updates on current deals and sales. A word to the wise: they have some of the lowest prices in the biz on Njoy toys; you can get the legendary Pure Wand or my all-time favorite butt plug for lower prices than I’ve seen anywhere else. Put some steel in yo’ holes!

Sensual Intelligence is committed to only stocking toys that are body-safe and eco-friendly. Not many companies have that much integrity so I really respect them for making that choice.

They have many of the high-end, luxury sex toys that would be prohibitively expensive to ship from the U.S., like the Stronic Drei, Form 2, and Jopen Lust.

Fellow Canadians, where do you get your sex toys?