Review: Sportsheets Under-the-Bed Restraints

I am kinky, and I’m lazy.

These qualities do not conflict as often as you might think. I’m a submissive and a bottom, so as much as I love BJs and facesitting, a lot of what I do in bed basically amounts to “lie back and receive sensation.” My boyfriend is a sadistic, toppy, domly dom, so we’re a good match in that way.

But kink, in general, is not always compatible with laziness. There’s often preparation involved. You have to keep your rope detangled, your leathers shiny, your toys sanitized. This type of ritual is part of the fun for many people. But me? I’m lazy. And impatient. If setup’s gonna take more than a few minutes, I’ll probably pass.

That, my friends, is the #1 reason I adore my Sportsheets Under-the-Bed Restraint System. It takes the prep time out of bondage. Your cuffs are ready to go – literally attached to your bed – at all times. It’s fucking genius.

I first discovered these restraints when a Tinder hookup of mine cuffed me into his after a cute drinks date. What followed was probably the best one-night stand I’ve ever had – I normally hate them, but this one was a gem in the dumpster fire that is Tinder. I experienced a triple whammy of uncommonalities for me: I had an orgasm, during a first hookup, during PIV sex, without using a vibrator. Reason being: he was dominant and toppy in all the ways that turn me on the most, and I was strapped to his bed, helpless and immobile and fucking soaking wet. The dude was hot and dommy and fun, and so were those restraints. Unf.

So obviously, when Adam & Eve asked if I’d like to review something for them, these restraints topped my list.

Here’s how they work. Four cuffs (two for wrists, two for ankles) are attached to long straps that you can slide under your mattress. I am neither strong nor handy and I managed to do this myself, without injuring myself or breaking my bed (hurrah). They are then held in place by the weight of the mattress and whoever’s on top of it, so you can struggle pretty hard against them and still feel hopelessly trapped, you lucky, lucky thing.

The straps are highly adjustable, so they fit just fine on my diminutive double-size bed and supposedly on any size bed (though, if you’re tiny like my friend Sarah, the straps might not reach your limbs on a large bed). The first time my boyfriend smirked at me darkly while tightening the straps attached to my wrists, I may have blushed, giggled, and gotten ridiculously wet all at the same time…

The cuffs that come with this set are cheap black nylon ones that fasten with Velcro. They’re fine, especially for kink novices who don’t intend to struggle much, but I replaced my wrist cuffs with ones from Aslan Leather because I find them more visually appealing and also more comfortable for scenes where I’ll be moving around a lot. The single strip of Velcro on the original cuffs can dig into the skin and become irritating if you pull against them hard.

Additionally, the clips to which the cuffs attach cannot be detached from the under-the-bed straps, so if you want to replace the Velcro cuffs with better ones, you’ll need some kind of clip or connector to link the two together. I picked up some purple metal carabiners at a hardware store for about $2 apiece, and those work fine. Would’ve been nice to not have to buy anything extra, though.

The one plus side to keeping the original Velcro cuffs is that they’re super quick to remove, if need be. If someone starts to have a panic attack or a medical emergency and needs to be out of bondage immediately, Velcro’s gonna be the better choice than a leather cuff that takes multiple steps to undo.

That said, once I get a nice pair of leather ankle cuffs with which to replace the other two Velcro ones still strapped to my bed, I’ll be 100% thrilled with this restraint system. It makes bondage soooo easy and quick, eliminating the barrier of laziness that often kept me from doing kink stuff because it felt like “too much work.” Plus there is something so badass about having bondage devices strapped to your bed at all times. That shit makes me feel like the committed lifestyle kinkster I aspire to be, or maybe already am.

 

Thanks to Adam & Eve for supplying me with this product to review, and sponsoring this post! The discount code “GIRLY” will get you 50% off almost any one item – including this restraint system, if you choose to buy it – as well as free shipping on your entire order in the U.S. and Canada. Rad!

The Best and Worst Toys of 2013

It’s that time, folks! Here are my favorite and least favorite toys I reviewed this year (some of which actually launched this year, some of which didn’t)…

Best G-spot dildo: Without a doubt, the Jopen Key Comet Wand. This silicone/glass hybrid launched early in the year and knocked the socks off most sex toy reviewers who tried it, myself included. It produces shockingly intense G-spot sensations and looks gorgeous all the while. (Available at PinkCherry, Sex Toys Canada, and Early to Bed.)

Best glass dildo: The SSA Glass Royal Adventure. Glass toys can be hit-or-miss, because a shitty design can make for a very uncomfortable or even painful toy – but the Royal Adventure suffers from none of these issues. Its corkscrew-like texture massages my vaginal walls and its slightly bulging head feels lovely on my G-spot. (Sadly no longer available; these are similar: Icicles no. 5, Mr. Swirly, Pink Swirled Delight.)

Best realistic dildo: The VixSkin Maverick. I finally got around to trying this one after worrying for months about whether or not my vagina would be able to accommodate it, and I surprised myself with my vaginal proficiency! The Maverick is an ultra-satisfying monster of a dildo, with a G-spot-pleasing mega-sized coronal ridge. It wears well in a harness, too! (Available at Lovehoney.)

Best vibrator: The Lelo Mona 2. I haven’t reviewed this one yet, but it was, without a doubt, the best vibrator of the year. Strong, rumbly, rechargeable, waterproof, quiet, versatile, elegant, and ergonomic. If you can only afford one vibrator, get this one. (Available at PinkCherry, Sex Toys Canada, and Lovehoney.)

Best sex toy innovation: The Fun Factory Stronic Eins. There are no other toys on the market that pulsate like the Stronic line, though I’m sure there will be by this time next year, given the success of these toys. The Stronic Eins is the ultimate in lazy masturbation and is a dream come true for folks who fantasize about PIV sex. And it comes in an obnoxiously bright pink hue. (Available at Sex Toys Canada, Early to Bed and Lovehoney.)

Best kink implement: The Tantus silicone paddles. My favorite is the Wham Bam but you’ll get a rollicking good time out of any one of them. (Available at Tantus, PinkCherry and Lovehoney.)

Worst dildo: Indubitably the Joyful Pleasures Joyful Plant. I requested it knowing I wouldn’t like it, and naturally, I didn’t. I mean, it’s shaped like a tiny eggplant. At least now I have a cool story to tell when people ask me about the weirdest toy I’ve ever reviewed. (No longer available; try the rest of the Joyful Pleasures line at PinkCherry.)

Worst vibrator: It was a bad year for vibrators. Very few high-end (i.e. body-safe and rechargeable or electric) vibes launched, and those that did were mostly shitty. But the ones I hated most out of all the vibes I reviewed this year were the Leaf Spirit and Fun Factory LayaSpot. They were too weak to get me off, and I didn’t like their color schemes much either. (Leaf Spirit available at Sex Toys Canada. Fun Factory LayaSpot available at Sex Toys Canada and Lovehoney.)

Worst butt toy: The Something Forbidden plug. Literally one of the worst toys I have ever reviewed, in terms of safety and design. My butt still fears it. (Available at PinkCherry and Lovehoney.)

Worst sex toy innovation: Another one I haven’t reviewed yet – the Lelo Ida. You’ll have to wait for my full review to come out, but for now, just know that I literally screamed in pain the first time I used it. (Available at PinkCherry and Sex Toys Canada.)

Worst kink implement: The Sportsheets Doggie-Style Strap. I’m sure it would be useful for some folks, but my boyfriend and I got no benefit out of it whatsoever. I might try to work it into a future outfit as a pink cummerbund. (Available at PinkCherry and Sex Toys Canada.)

Aaaand that’s a wrap! I’m going to take a little blogging break until the new year, methinks – and then I’ll be back with more sex toy reviews and sexual musings in 2014!

What were your favorite (and least favorite) toys of the year? What do you hope to see next year?

Review: Sportsheets Doggie Style Strap

At their best, sex toys enhance your sex life (whether solo, partnered, or both) and improve your pleasure. At their worst, they can injure you. And at their most mediocre, they make no discernable changes to your experience. That last option is the best one to describe the Sportsheets Doggie Style Strap.

It’s a pink and black fuzzy strap with rough handles that remind me of the adjusters that hung down from your second-grade backpack. The strap goes around the front of the midsection of whoever’s getting fucked, and then the person doing the fucking takes ahold of the handles and this arrangement is supposed to make doggie-style fucking a whole lot more “comfortable” and “intense.”

As doggie-style is maybe my favorite position, I thought I should at least try a product like this. I’m glad I did, because now I know my boyfriend doesn’t need any extra crap to help him fuck me like a champ.

We switched back and forth several times between using and not using the strap, and I really couldn’t feel a difference at all. He wasn’t able to go deeper, harder, or faster when using it. He also said it was no easier than when he just holds my hips with his hands.

Additionally, maybe because I’ve got big hips, the rough handles rubbed on my sides, which started to feel like carpet burn after a short while.

It’s possible that this strap would have something to offer for people with mobility issues, but for regular able-bodied joes like me and my boyfriend, it gets in the way more than it helps.