The Best and Worst Sex Toys of 2014

Having strong feelings about sex toys is kind of in my job description. I’ve been doing it all year long.

Normally I would write a wrap-up covering only toys that I reviewed this year, like I did for 2013. But I actually didn’t review as many toys this year, and most of the ones I did review, I didn’t like.

So, in lieu of doing a standard best-and-worst-of-the-year list, I’m just going to tell you what I loved and hated most this year, regardless of when I reviewed it or when it came out. Some classics are classic for a reason, y’know?

The best of the best

Best new vibrator: Pickings were slim this year as far as good new vibrators go. My favorite one I personally tried was the Revel Body SOL, though it still has its issues (like making me feel alternately overstimulated and understimulated until, finally, I somehow have an orgasm).

Best old vibrator: My ol’ faithful, the Eroscillator, still sits on my nightstand at all times (except when I’m using it, of course) and is the toy I reach for when I want to get off quickly and easily. Honorable mentions go to the always-satisfying, hella-rumbly We-Vibe Salsa and Tango, though I still hate their finicky charger (surely someone wants to gift me the new version for Christmas?!).

Best new dildo: The Tantus Slow Drive came out on top. I was pleasantly surprised by its G-spotting abilities and I liked that it comes in two different length options. The short purple one holds a place of honor on my desk at the moment.

Best old dildo: The Fleshjack Boys line has been out for years but I only recently fell in love with the magnificent monster of a cock that is the Brent Everett dildo. My review is coming soon; hold tight!

Best anal toy: I had neutral-to-negative feelings about every single anal toy I tried this year. (Dramatic, disappointed sigh.) So this award goes to my Njoy Pure Plug because a) it’s still terrific and b) it cured my constipation in June (in conjunction with some lube with possible laxative qualities).

Best harness: I’m not sure I’ve ever felt sexier than I do while wearing my Aslan Jaguar. Here’s hoping I’ll actually have occasion to use it in 2015!

The worst of the worst

Most painful toy: Oh god. My innards cringe at the memory. This title is jointly awarded to the Lelo Ida, which I compared to having a sharp rock in your vagina, and the Pipedream Metal Worx Luv Plug, which just did not get along with my buttcheeks in the slightest.

Worst marketing: I raged over the nauseatingly gendered marketing of Pink and Gun Oil lubes, and the fact that the “male” version is literally the exact same product but is cheaper. I also went “WTF” along with the whole sex blogosphere when Lelo launched the Pino; here’s Epiphora taking it to task.

Worst sex toy innovation: I love you, Tantus, but the Plunge paddle-dildo hybrid confused me and just did not work.

What sex products did you hate and love this year?

Review: Njoy Pure Plug (Medium)

When it comes to butt plugs, I have a bit of a Goldilocks complex. The Pleasure Plug 1 and Ripple felt too small and slid out too easily. The Ryder and Dipper felt too big and required me to be warmed up before I could insert them. I’ve been searching for a plug that’s somewhere in the middle – large enough to stay in and be noticeable, but small enough to go in without a fuss. And I’ve finally found it in the gleaming, stainless steel, medium Njoy Pure Plug.

I chose the medium size because it measures 1 ¼" in diameter, exactly halfway between my too-small 1" toys and my too-large 1 ½" ones. I think the medium is an okay size for a beginner, especially considering how smooth and dragless steel is. If your ass is really tight and virginal, go for the small, but ambitious beginners should buy the medium right off the bat because they’ll be less likely to outgrow it in a snap.

As with all Njoy products, my Pure Plug arrived in a black wooden box covered by an elegant white slipcover that displays the company name and a silhouetted illustration of the toy inside. The wooden box contains a styrofoam cut-out of the toy, covered in hot pink satin, so that the toy fits perfectly in its allocated spot. Njoy’s packaging looks classy as hell, but it’s actually one of the few things that disappoints me about the brand – the satin is cheap and the styrofoam falls apart if you’re even a little bit rough with it. Sad trombone!

The plug itself is gorgeous, however. It’s made of high-quality stainless steel that won’t tarnish, even if you neglect to clean it for days. The steel is smooth and perfect all the way around (well, mine has a tiny bump on the inside of the handle, but that’s a fluke). It’s heavy for its size, as you’d expect from steel, so it feels totally luxe in the hand and in the butt.

Like glass, steel doesn’t need as much lube as a draggy material like silicone does. I prefer to use only a couple drops of lube (any kind – silicone-based is great for anal play) with my Pure Plug, because if I use too much, it warms up and drips out of me, making me feel like I’ve soiled myself. Not a pleasant experience. In fact, in a pinch, I can actually just spit on this plug and that’ll be enough lubrication to get it to go in, though I don’t recommend this!

Another benefit of steel over silicone is that it doesn’t retain any ass smell, the way silicone has been known to do. A quick wash with soap and water gets this plug very clean and makes it smell as good as new.

Once inserted, it feels fantastic. Weighty enough to be detectable at all times, without feeling like it’s going to slip out. Bulbous enough for me to feel sufficiently filled up, without preventing me from using another toy vaginally if I want to. The steel warms up to my body temperature and eventually gets to a point where it feels like it’s warmer than my body. It’s a very sexy sensation and I often find myself getting turned on while just wearing this plug around the house.

The plug’s handle is flawlessly designed, at least for me. Widthwise, it’s practically flat, so it sits between my cheeks obediently and comfortably – but lengthwise, it’s definitely long enough to assure me that it won’t slip inside. And there’s a finger hole which allows for easy insertion and removal.

I tried this plug during sex and found that it didn’t really work for me, mainly because I’m so small down there that there just isn’t enough room for an intermediate plug and my boyfriend’s cock. The plug kept wanting to turn sideways to make more room for the intrusion. But if you’ve got more space in your trunk, this would probably be a great plug to add to your partnered sexytimes.

So if you want a comfortable, high-quality plug for long-term wear, I can’t recommend the Pure Plug highly enough. Check out the measurements, choose the right size for you, and you won’t be disappointed: this is a wonderful, satisfying plug that’s just as nice to stare at as it is to clench around.