Relieved of Review Duty – And Some Minor Things

Emily and I have been interested in the Satisfyer line of toys for some time, but we hadn’t pulled the trigger on it until just last week. Our impetus for finally making that happen were two fold. Valentine’s day was fast approaching, and we were reminded of their existence by a wonderful review of the Satisfyer Pro Penguin by Ashley Dannielle. I told her we’d just link to her review if we found that our experience sufficiently matched hers and I’m very pleased to say it did. Go check it out, and if you’re interested in the Satisfyer please use her affiliate link and support competent sex toy reviewers. The sex toys tag needs much better content than it currently has, especially in the department of curation. I don’t really have my sights set on monetizing the reviews I’m doing for now or the near future so, no skin off my back, show some love. While you’re there, there’s some excellent erotica to check out too. The penguin is as cute as it is effective.

Bad Dragon recently released a unicorn horn shaped dildo. It looks pretty awesome. The timing of that release amuses me personally for reasons I wish I could share. Nevertheless, I had me a giggle mate. Seriously though, that toy looks fun, and it also looks as if there could be a convergence going on in the silicon toy market. I mentioned before that I thought Tantus was getting pleasantly bolder in their designs with the Magma, and I also wrote an entire post about why Bad Dragon brings value to consumers that don’t share in any fantasy fetish. The unicorn horn dildo—it’s named Mystic—is probably the tamest design I’ve seen from Bad Dragon or if you’d prefer, the most normative. Seems like they’re making an appeal to the broader market, I hope that decision works out for them because it’s a fun lookin’ appeal. I also hope Tantus finds success in their bolder designs and we can all enjoy a really fun middle ground.

Twelve Rules for Life is easily my most popular review and post so far, but not far behind is some original content I wrote for the blog. The readers have spoken, so I’m going to try and bring you more original content, and review books that more people care about in the self-help genre.

Finally, if you sub to this blog or are thinking about it I’d like to hear from you. What content do you want to see more of? What content do you want to see less of? Feedback is always appreciated. Until next time!

Have a comment or a question? Is there a topic you’d like discussed? Let me know through my contact page.

Vibrator Review – Shibari Mini Halo

Vibrator Review – Shibari Mini Halo

Vibrators have really come a long way in the last decade or so. Several factors in the sex toy market and society have converged to put us in a pretty good spot when it comes to the choices and functions of vibrators.

When I was much younger, Amazon was not a thing, online shopping was hardly a thing, and the local porn store was about the only place to get anything resembling a dildo or a vibrator. Emily, like many other young women, resorted to the few household items that would work for such purposes, like the end of a hairbrush. Inside the stores weren’t much better, most vibrators available to us were incorporated as part of insertable toys made of unsafe/toxic materials like ‘jelly’. There were a few wearables but they were tiny low-powered bullet vibrators inserted into more unsafe plastic housings in the shapes of things like dolphins, butterflies, and rabbits. The Hitachi Magic Wand existed but there was a somewhat negative social stigma around it—such as shameful stereotypes indicating that users of such a device used it because they were otherwise unpleasurable.

Fast forward several years and we have open, online, discreet market places full of toys made of body safe materials. Womens’ orgasms are a thing that’s discussed and considered now and the stigma around it is less. In this environment wand style vibrators have made a resurgence.

The Shibari Mini Halo is one of those wands. For those of you who’ve already been in the wand market the Mini Halo may not need much of an introduction, it has thousands of customer reviews on Amazon and several reviews and articles on it already printed. So we’re going to do two things with the review this time. One, I’m going to talk about Emily’s experience with the wand and our experience with it as a couple. Two, I’m going to talk about why to have a vibrator at all and how it fits into your war chest, as this is our first vibrator review.

So let’s go over some basic features. The Mini Halo comes with 20 different speeds and 8 vibration patterns. It’s a cordless water resistant entry-level wand with an entry-level price of just under 30 dollars US on Amazon. I find most of the pictures of the wand don’t really convey the size properly. It’s a lot bigger than it appears in the promotional material at approximately 8 inches. Wand style vibrators are meant to only be used externally so we won’t be assigning a D-score here. You get one button to cycle through intensity levels, and one button to cycle through patterns, both only go in one direction and then cycle back to the beginning, there’s no ‘oops no that one!’ back button. These settings aren’t remembered when the wand is powered off either. Speaking of powering off, the wand requires an extended press of the power button to turn off and it can be sorta clumsy.

These are restrictions and caveats you’d expect on any entry level wand, but how are the vibrations!? You know, the part we really care about. The wand feels pretty powerful to me, and Emily is very satisfied with how the vibrations really seem to penetrate her anatomy. This is definitely on the rumbly side, so it’s comfortable to use for long sessions and isn’t prone to numb your hands or vulva if you’re sensitive to that sort of thing. When Emily uses this as part of couples play I can definitely also feel the vibrations and they’re not weak, so keep that in mind if you plan on using this as a couples toy. I find in those situations that if she uses it straight away it makes for a quick session, but if she waits until we’re both almost already there it makes fireworks happen. The Mini Halo is also water resistant and is regularly Emily’s shower buddy. It also comes in three colors, pink, purple, and black—we got purple. Emily finds that the cyclical selection modes means the best way to handle intensity and pattern is to feel it out and to not change when you find something that’s hitting the spot.

So as far as entry level wands go I’d say the Shibari Mini Halo is well worth its reputation and its price. It’s a great first wand that doesn’t disappoint in the performance department or leave a gaping hole in your wallet. If you’ve never tried a wand style vibrator before you can’t go wrong with the Mini Halo. If you decide later that you need to upgrade features—like phone app integration—or performance there are many options out there, but a beginner may not know enough about their preferences to make those choices right away and the investment is larger. We highly recommend this vibrator to the wand beginner, and to the toy beginner as well.

So what’s the use of these things, as a couple. A lot of you will think that’s self-evident, some of you will wonder why that’s even a question, and the rest of you are nervous about putting a toy into your bedroom to begin with, especially something as purpose built as a vibrator. Well for one thing a vibrator and especially a wand vibrator can stimulate your clitoris in a way that a man just simply physically cannot do. For a lot of men this is actually a source of insecurity so don’t forget to talk to your partner about these sorts of purchases always. If they’re insecure about it you may have to walk them through those feelings.

I think the best way to kinda illustrate that is with some of our more extreme toys like the Chance I got Emily from Bad Dragon. Chance is a toy that resembles a horse both in shape and dimension, the thing is humongous if you order it that way and we did. I get questions about this that essentially boil down to “How can you let your wife use that thing knowing it’s so much larger than you, you can’t compete with that!”. Well that’s kinda the idea and when I tell people that they’re surprised. First of all, competition on a scale as one dimensional as size is wrong-headed to begin with. There’s things I can do both physically and emotionally for Emily that no toy ever could. No toy is ever going to make Emily not want me and given those priors the only thing I’m doing by saying no to any sort of toy is denying Emily at best a harmless experience and at worst a stellar orgasm.

So that’s really the start and end of that line of thought. “I can’t do the things that does”. Yes that’s the point of it, if you could do those things and you could do them on command with life never ever getting in the way no one would buy them. It’s the sexual equivalent of telling your wife you’re not to go to the sushi restaurant because you can’t make sushi as well as they can.

Anyway, hope that clears up some things on the philosophy of toy use and why it is we dedicate a large portion of our content to that. Hope you enjoyed the review!

I am not a paid reviewer. My content comes from me and I was not solicited in any manner for this review. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

Have a comment or a question? Is there a topic you’d like discussed? Let me know through my contact page.

Dildo Review – Bad Dragon Echo

Dildo Review – Bad Dragon Echo

It’s that time again. This time we’re getting into the nitty gritty details of a nice little dildo we purchased from Bad Dragon. Meet the Echo.

The basic design is simple and probably the most ‘human-like’ of their offerings. It features a slightly pointed but still round head, the largest area is approximately midway down the shaft before tapering back down. There’s light texturing throughout and a little more pronounced texturing at the ‘medial ring’, that pronounced ridge a bit over halfway down in the picture. This toy is definitely built for energetic thrusting applications as opposed to something like Crackers or Apollo which seem designed for stay-in-place or slow-entry play.

As I go through this first Bad Dragon review I’m going to be talking about the options we selected and the whys of it because these designs all do things a little differently and that can even change based on the size you pick or the add-ons you select or don’t select. A large Echo with the firmest firmness does a completely different job than a small Echo in medium firmness with a cum tube[pictured].

When we were shopping for this particular toy Emily wanted something she could use either vaginally or anally as a side-kick for double penetration play. That meant it had to be comfortable to use anally. This is why we selected the small option for the size and the medium firmness. Echo doesn’t have very aggressive texturing but it does have texturing and that effect is something Emily didn’t want too loudly in the rear and picking a softer firmness reduces the impact of the texturing. She didn’t want it completely soft for vaginal play either so medium was selected. In addition, the smaller the toy the softer the relative firmness is. A large toy in soft can feel just as firm or firmer than a medium toy in medium firmness, so the medium firmness in the small would have plenty of give to it. The cumtube add-on aside from being just fun all around allows us to apply lubricant without removing the toy, which is a major plus for extended anal sessions. Given the small size of the toy and the fact that it was meant for partner play. Echo doesn’t have a suction cup option but we don’t think it would work that well with this design.

These are the kind of things you should be considering if you ever go down the Bad Dragon route. What are you going to be using it for -exactly-. You can configure for an all rounder but the real strength of these customization options is to get the perfect toy for your use case. But did we get that?

The short answer is yes, this wasn’t our first Bad Dragon toy and we were confident about how our choices would come together in the final package. Just like all my toy reviews I’ve gone and measured the toy I got versus the manufacturer specifications and found them within spec. The Echo we selected does its job perfectly, it’s a great DP partner for Emily, but I should caution you that in our specific configuration choices it’s actually kind of lackluster outside of that use case. That’s okay with us, we targeted our use case and we hit it, we have other toys for other activities, but if you’re just starting out you might want to use a different configuration, so lets talk about the specifics and stats of what we got, versus other configurations. All measurements are in inches. The manufacturer goes out to 3 significant digits, but there’s absolutely no way manufacturing tolerances are that tight and i’m dropping down to 2.

DimensionsSmallMediumLarge
Diameter of Head1.21.41.8
Diameter of Shaft1.71.92.4
D-Score of Head.68.921.5
D-Score of Shaft1.41.72.7
Total Length7.7911
Usable Length5.36.27.7
Base Cost (No tube/fancy colors)$95 USD$125 USD$155 USD
Echo, Cum Lube, and lube syringe

I really do love how the D-score metric more accurately reflects the larger jump from medium to large size. As a quick reminder, D-score reflects the percentage increase or decrease from the area of the median penis. You can clearly see how the middle of the shaft increases in size from the largest part of the head. There are two additional sizes I didn’t include here, mini, and extra large. Echo is clearly designed for thrusting, and we’re already hitting soda can on the thickest part of the large, going much larger could slow that down, and the length on the large is already cervix smashing, which you may be going for. The mini doesn’t penetrate far enough or give enough girth for a pleasant thrusting experience but as a purely anal toy it might work. If I had to recommend a configuration for a general purpose vaginal thruster it’d be a medium or large in firm firmness to bring out the texturing, depending on your experience level and how hard you’d like to be able to bottom out or ‘hit the back’. The large is already longer than the deepest vaginas so if you’re looking for considerably more girth while being able to take the full length of the toy you’d be better served by other models such as Apollo. Suction cups are not available with Echo.

Let’s talk about the cum tube add-on for a minute. When you order any dildo from Bad Dragon with a cum tube you get the applicator syringe and an 8oz bottle of cum lube which I’ve got pictured above, and did a companion review for. This adds a couple of unique play options. For one, just as we mentioned above, you can re-apply lube in anal situations without having to pause the action. If you’re into anal you know the annoyance in trying to get a lube that lasts for the whole session or getting enough lube the first time. The cum tube bypasses both these issues and you’re free to build that anal orgasm on your own schedule. It’s also just strangely satisfying to dump an ounce or two—this is much more than you think!—into Emily as she hits climax and then watching it pour out of her. It does have some cleaning downsides. If you have hard water the tube will yellow slightly over time, and since the end of the toy has an opening you can get all sorts of bodily fluids impacted in there. I recommend ‘priming’ the cumtube, which will create some pressure and keep things from getting too tough to clean. In either case, the cum tube will add both prep and cleanup time to your routine if you employ it, so you need to know that going in.

While we’re highly satisfied with our configuration, even our high-end preferences found the price-point on the small a little much for the amount of dildo you’re getting. I think the price points on the other two sizes shown in the table are fair for what you get—premium but fair.

So what’s the conclusion here? If you’re looking for an excellent thrusting toy and an entry point into the world of Bad Dragon the Echo in medium size and firm firmness is probably your best starting point. Don’t skimp on your color options, silicone toys of this quality might be with you for decades if you take care of them. The other sizes are a bit more niche than I can recommend to a general audience, and especially the small at it’s price point. The Echo also makes a nice entry level toy for cum tube newbs, but is very effective without it. If you’re thinking about a use case like ours—double penetration—I think there are more cost effective options unless you need the cum tube. But we absolutely love the cum tube functionality in this role and wouldn’t go without it, that’s a personal choice.

If you think you might want one of these, but have more questions or concerns, you can leave a comment or contact us via the contact page in the footer. We’ll be happy to answer anything you feel we left out. I also encourage you to check out the Cum Lube review we did in tandem with the Echo review, especially if you are considering getting a toy with a cum tube. Until next time.


I am not a paid reviewer. My content comes from me and I was not solicited in any manner for this review. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

Have a comment or a question? Is there a topic you’d like discussed? Let me know through my contact page.

Lubricant Review – Bad Dragon Cum Lube

Lubricant Review – Bad Dragon Cum Lube

Our next dildo review is going to be one of our Bad Dragon toys, an Echo to be precise, but before we dove into that I thought it’d be useful to review the lubricant that came with it. When you are customizing a Bad Dragon dildo most models will have the option to add a Cum Tube. If you do so it will ship with an 8oz bottle of Cum Lube too. To put it succinctly, the Cum Tube add-on allows you to have the toy simulate orgasm, which comes with a few practical and aesthetic benefits. To achieve the maximum effect here, a lubricant formula was devised to mimick the color and feel of cum. As I wrote before, about the company in general, this is another one of those for-fetish things that turned out to just be great on its own, no fetish required.

Let’s start with the basics. Cum Lube is a 5-ingredient (4 for the clear variant) water based lubricant that comes in 2oz and 8oz sizes and in original white opaque or clear coloration. Cum Lube is non-toxic and paraben free. The formula is sticky and stringy which gives the lube its namesake. Is it just like cum? No, but it is definitely a decent proxy.

I think the quality of this lubricant that surprised us the most was how much slipperiness Cum Lube retains while gaining the features above, and for that reason it’s actually become a lubricant we use semi-regularly regardless of whether or not we’re using a Bad Dragon toy. That’s one of the reasons we felt it necessary to break this out for its own review.

The stringiness and stickiness comes with a few downsides though. Cum Lube is harder to handle straight out of the bottle—don’t forget to shake well before each use. As you try to apply the lube it tends to want to come out all at once, because it’s so viscous that the lube outside of the bottle starts to drag what’s in the bottle with it, and if you try to back off, a lot will go back into the bottle for the same reason. It takes a little bit of experience but you’ll get used to handling this stuff, I’m just warning you that there’s a small learning curve and you can expect and prepare for a messy time. Actually, one of the best uses for this is to have a messy time.

These trade-offs come with a few very significant upsides however. Cum Lube has staying power that you normally don’t find in water based lubricants. It catches toy textures and stays where you need it the way you might expect out of thick oil based lubes or silicone lubes. While it will eventually dry, the way all water lubricants do, it can be refreshed with a little moisture. We actually tend to keep a glass of water around during sex anyway; both of us get very thirsty after sex and that becomes convenient for us when we need a little H2O to refresh the lubricant during longer sessions. Besides, when used with the accessory it was designed for, you don’t have to stop the fun to re-apply the lubricant. I really can’t say enough about the unexpected thickness and ‘stay-put’ qualities of this lubricant though.

Most of our water based lubricants are reserved for vaginal use because of their tendency to dry quickly and their lack of staying power, but we often lean on Cum Lube for anal play despite being water based. In fact, in this use case the water based qualities are actually a bit of a plus. We used to, and sometimes still, rely on a silicone lubricant like Gun Oil for anal play but we found that lubricants like that have a bit too much staying power and can be hard to clean. So having a water based lubricant suitable for back door fun is great due to the relative ease of cleanup when compared to silicone and oil based lubricants.

I don’t want to down-play the drying out downside though—this is going to be a quality of any water based lubricant. Emily often enjoys anal as a finisher, or a plus one, and Cum Lube lasts long enough for that in our experience. I wouldn’t use Cum Lube for anal as a main or long-haul event unless you were also using it with a toy with a Cum Tube as that allows further application without interrupting the action.

This formulation makes a lot of sense from the perspective of a silicone toy user. Water based lubricants are the safest lubricants to use with silicone toys and the risks of lubricant migrating around and ruining a silicone dildo worth nearly 200 bucks generally meant that if we were breaking out the silicone lube we were keeping the silicone toys in the chest. Cum Lube solves this problem and lets us have all sorts of safe fun with our full warchest. We’ve also found this formula very useful for larger vaginal insertions. Emily has a lot more trouble taking my hand or her larger toys without it, it’s an actual difference maker there.

We find Cum Lube to be aesthetically fun, especially in the opaque white. The keyword there is fun. I actually don’t recommend this lubricant if you’re feeling particularly sensual or romantic about your love making. This is a lubricant for that fun and carefree type of sexual mood. When we are in those moods I like to apply too much when I’m rubbing Emily’s vulva or clitoris. The sticky white shininess and the subtle noises are just a mood enhancer in those situations. When used with a cum tube equipped toy it’s nice to just shoot a load in and watch it flow out, you’d be surprised how far even one ounce goes. It shouldn’t be too much trouble to find examples of this on PornHub and believe you me it’s just as fun and aesthetic in person, just keep some towels handy.

Oh, and did I mention this stuff is also pretty cheap and can be bought in bulk? A single 8oz bottle can be had for seven dollars, and if you opt for the 9-pack you’re looking at a bit over 5 bucks each. Compare that to your normal water based lube prices. I’m not saying stop buying your JO or whatever your favorite water based lube is, those lubes have different thinner formulas that are meant for different types of purpose and play, but all these qualities combined took Cum Lube from a fetish-play-only expectation to a reach-for-first solution in our bedroom.

I am not a paid reviewer. My content comes from me and I was not solicited in any manner for this review. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

Have a comment or a question? Is there a topic you’d like discussed? Let me know through my contact page.

The Fetish That Wasn’t – A quick look at Bad Dragon

The Fetish That Wasn’t – A quick look at Bad Dragon

Our warchest has been over ten years in the making, it’s had ups and downs, saw a transition from phthalate and paraben laced jelly toys to 100% body safe materials, and from generic do-it-all toys to targeted purpose items. But the biggest transition of our warchest came when we discovered Bad Dragon (If you missed that warchest post now would be a good time to catch up).

Emily and I love incorporating sex toys into our regular routine. We love the variety and flexibility they offer to our sexuality. Emily likes double penetration, but neither of us accept the idea of a plus one in the sheets, plugs and dildos to the rescue—stuff like that. Sex toys allow us to safely and confidently explore experiences and sensations that normally would come with crossing hard boundaries.

At this point in our warchest make over we had trashed all of our toxic toys and were replacing them with body safe toys, mostly from Tantus. We reviewed one of those toys, the Vamp, earlier this month. By now Emily had discovered that she was something of a size queen, but she also loved very pronounced textures, and nothing we could find fit the bill. Something was missing.

We had a mutual friend that’s really into reptiles. She cares for them, nurses sick ones back to health, and even developed something of a sexual fetish for the reptilian form. One day we were having a conversation about Emily’s unfulfilled needs and our friend started beaming, she drug us to her bedroom where she broke out entire totes full of sex toys, many from Bad Dragon. Reptiles don’t do much for Emily or I, but the size of these things, the textures, the colors! Our friend was kind enough to lend us one that she really couldn’t use, it was a large Spritz—yes a review on that is coming—and she had a bit of a problem with it. Her eyes got big on her purchase order and it just wouldn’t fit, she basically couldn’t use it.

At first Emily was a little uncomfortable with the idea of a used sex toy, but she knew by this point that silicone toys are bleachable and boilable and she decided to give it a shot. It was a kind gift, a Spritz in that configuration was worth a bit over a hundred dollars and we simply weren’t used to making purchases that hefty in the dildo department. So Emily tried it out, and was immediately hooked. Finally a toy that was big enough but soft enough to suit her needs, but it also had some texturing she was a huge fan of. This was the total package.

It wasn’t that long before we were itching for more, and indeed it seems that many people that start down the Bad Dragon path end up with quite a collection of them. We headed to their website and were hit with a pleasant but overwhelming array of options, and this is the point of the title. Bad Dragon seems to serve a fantasy fetish community that we just aren’t a part of, but the textures and sizes and aesthetics are just so unique and fun that they have great appeal outside of the fetish. These toys are becoming very popular on camgirl sites for just that reason. They pop, they’re visually catching, they have optional features that can enhance a performance, great for that visual medium.

As an example at Bad Dragon you can get a ripply Nova that’s shaped in a way to give you that freshly penetrated feeling several times over its length, and you can get it anywhere from 5.75” to 11”, you know, a SubWay foot. Now would you like that in Soft, Medium, or Firm? Would you like it to stick to walls? Would you like the ability to have it shoot a load into you when you orgasm? Cool, now would you like that in the color of your birthstone, or perhaps rainbow vanilla parfait? Maybe a flat black or glow in the dark opalescent is more your speed. Options options options, overwhelming options.

You can think of this as half a warning post and half a ten thousand foot view of a company we love. We’re going to be getting into some of these toys soon in our reviews and they just aren’t going to look like your run of the mill dildos. We both highly encourage you to check them out. We own a Chance, two Apollo in various sizes, a Nova, a Spritz, a Crackers, and an Echo. So if you’re eyeballing either of those and have questions about them, hit us up on our contact page linked in the footer below.


Have a comment or a question? Is there a topic you’d like discussed? Let me know through my contact page.

I am not a paid reviewer. My content comes from me and I was not solicited in any manner for this review. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

Dildo Review – The Vamp by Tantus

In the grand scheme of things, and even in the context of the history of the dildo, body safe materials are something of a recent fad that Emily and I hope turns into a trend. This is our effort not only to push that trend along, but to aid in the curation of that space, call out bad or deceptive practices, and promote products and companies we feel good about and have good personal experiences with (As a reminder, we are not paid by anyone for any of this). Tantus Inc. is one such company and we own several of their dildos and plugs. If you’re wondering what this sorta thing is doing in a couples blog, I suggest checking out this post explaining our stance on the issue. Suffice it to say, we both feel strongly about the efficacy of having a diverse range of options for lovemaking.

We had a bit of a discussion on which member of our war chest to review first. We felt we needed to pick a toy that potentially had something to offer the dildo newbie as well as the experienced. We decided on The Vamp.

Despite its marketing origins capitalizing on a certain sparkly vampire craze there’s nothing supernatural about the dimensions of The Vamp. First thing we did for this review was break out the tape measure and confirm the websites listed dimensions. This is a hand poured silicone product and the website gives a tolerance of +/- 5%. Ours however, was right on the nose in the diameter department with the listed specs, a diameter of 1.75 inches at the thickest point of the head and 1.7 inches at the thickest part of the shaft which slowly tapers down after an abrupt reduction in size from the head. This earns The Vamp a D-score of 1.4, which means it’s about 40% girthier than the average human male. You can read more about how we derive D-score and why we use it here.

On length there was a little bit of deviation, all accounted for by a slightly deceptive industry practice. Length vs. Insertable Length. Tantus measures the full length of their toys to give their length number, including the wide backstop base made to make the toy compatible with harness rings and to make it anal safe. This part of the toy isn’t insertable—safely anyway—and takes up a half inch of length. We only measure to this point for what I hope are obvious reasons, and that comes to 6.5 inches. It should be noted however, that the half inch you lose to the base makes for a great place to get a grip. The Vamp is on the longer and girthier side of human, but there’s nothing supernaturally sized about it.

The head is the focus point of this toy. With a slight but definite size advantage over the rest of the toy Emily finds The Vamp excellent for G-spot stimulation and entrance play though there’s no shortage of pleasure in going deep. Just make sure you know your limits and get to know this toy before you go ham because while 6.5 insertable inches is human, that’s more than enough length to hit most cervixes hard on a full powered thrust. In our experience with it, you need a bit of warm up for this toy to feel good on first penetration. The finish is satiny and smooth but you will either have to be naturally quite wet or well lubed for the best comfort. On that note, the star of the show brings its own caveats for enjoyment, the ridge the head makes is great for stimulation but that shape also moves lubricant, natural or otherwise, out of the vagina at a good pace. You’ll need to re-lube a few times during long sessions and those of you who prefer low and slow on thrust speed are at a bit of an advantage with this particular design.

Let’s revisit that finish. The Vamp is finished in a satin smooth matte that glides easily and avoids ‘grabbing’ the skin the way a glossy finish might with silicone material. It’s available in two colors and we went with the ‘purple haze’. You can also get this in a pale cream color. The color swirls a little as the saturation varies slightly and there’s a bit of a subtle shimmer to it. The shaft is lightly but uniquely textured though Emily says they’re a bit too subtle and she doesn’t really perceive them when thrusting. Your mileage may vary. Feel aside, the subtle veining makes for an aesthetically interesting piece.

Tantus silicone toys used to come in only one hard firmness with the notable exception of their old O2 dual density line, which was recently revived after being discontinued. Emily finds the hard firmness makes long or rough sessions with The Vamp intense and can produce a bit of soreness afterwards. Some of you will be going for exactly that experience, some of you would rather avoid that entirely. Earlier this year Tantus mixed up a new silicone formula that they call Super Soft and have been releasing variants of existing toys in that new softer firmness. The Vamp is one of these toys. We haven’t gotten our hands on one yet—frankly unless we get gifted one we probably won’t—but we have silicone toys from other manufacturers that vary in firmness and can say the higher compression of the softer variant will definitely be easier to take and won’t cause as much soreness but you’ll be trading off a little felt texture. Since Emily already finds the shaft texturing too subtle to really enjoy that may not be a trade off at all. A more tangible trade off is that the softer you go on the firmness the more care you have to take in storage and handling to avoid exposure to sharp objects. This should be done with all silicone toys but softer is more vulnerable. We have had zero trouble with our softer toys but it’s something to consider.

One thing we noticed on the website preparing for this review is The Vamp is no longer listed as suction cup compatible and there’s no longer a combo option with a bullet vibrator, which fits in the hole where the suction cup attachment would also go. I’m going to assume that means this feature was removed from The Vamp some time between our purchase and today, but if that’s the case, you aren’t missing out on anything. We found the included vibrator with older models of The Vamp to not be worth using when inserted into the toy, and heaven help you removing it if you didn’t lube the thing first. After less than a few minutes with it, over a year ago when we first bought it, Emily took the bullet out and applied it straight to her clitoris where it was far more effective. The loss of this feature could be considered a positive from that perspective, as the toy is no longer being marketed to accomplish something it does poorly.

As this is our first review on After The Yes, we’d like to point out that if you’ve never owned one before, the texture of the matte finish silicone is unique to the material and is an absolute unequivocal upgrade over materials like rubber or ‘jelly’ in addition to being completely body safe and highly durable.

Speaking of durable. With proper care, silicone toys should last you your entire sexy life. If the words ‘proper care’ evoke images of proprietary cleaners and complex storage requirements fear not, these toys are bleachable, boilable, and can be thrown in the dishwasher. Just keep silicone based lubricants away from this toy, you will ruin it. They are non-porous and will not house bacteria to infect you or cleaning chemicals to burn you once cleaned in the way porous toys can. All of these consideratitons help blunt the price point. Silicone toys are simply more expensive than their porous and potentially toxic competitors. As of this writing The Vamp will cost you 50 bucks American in either the original ‘Flexible’ firmness, which is quite hard, or the new softer firmness. Both variants have a purple color, the softer one ditches the cream option for a copper variant. Emily and I prefer to buy our Tantus toys directly from their website, which frequently has sales, but they have affiliate programs and many of their toys are available from other popular online retailers and we actually got our first one from a local shop. So if shopping local is your preference that may be an option, it couldn’t hurt to ask them to order one for you in any case.

The Vamp seems like a toy that was designed for beginners in larger sized toys but definitely not for beginners to vaginal penetration in general. If you are new to vaginal penetration in general you may want to start out with something a bit smaller. Some people use this toy for anal play and it is certainly safe to do so but that D-Score of 1.4 means a whole lot more in the back door than it does in the front, I don’t recommend newbies to anal penetration start with something this large.

As a quick recap:

  • Length: 7 inches (6.5 Insertable)
  • Diameter: 1.75 Inches (Thickest Part of the Head), 1.7 Inches (Thickest Part of the Shaft)
  • D-Score: 1.4
  • Finish: Matte
  • Firmness: Firm
  • Material: Silicone

In conclusion Emily and I feel we can safely recommend The Vamp to most couples, especially those experienced in vaginal penetration but just starting out in the dildo scene. We have had ours for over a year and it looks just as good as the day we bought it without a hint of wear. We had a good collection of silicone toys prior to picking it up and have purchased many more since. Our Vamp still sees regular use despite the increase in company and we doubt you will get bored with it in the long term if you decide to pick one up.

Have a comment or a question? Is there a topic you’d like discussed? Let me know through my contact page.

I am not a paid reviewer. My content comes from me and I was not solicited in any manner for this review. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

The Making of A Sex Toy Review: D-Score Explained

Told you we’d be making time for fun now and again. Emily and I are busy working on our first sex toy review, which is mostly already done. In fact, we could probably both independently write the first one from memory and the sum of all of our experiences with it. There’s a catch though.

It may seem like a stuck-on-stupid moment, but while we were going through building a format we thought would be most useful to our readers we ran into a bit of a stumbling block, size. There are plenty of objective ways to describe the size of a toy; the diameter, the length, the areal cross section, or even the displaced volume, but how do you turn that into a subjective recommendation? What exactly is a good size for a beginner? We have no clue, Emily hasn’t been a beginner in some time, we’ve completely lost frame of reference for that experience.

Sure, there are lots of toys that claim they’re good for beginners, take the Tantus Starter for instance, but we’re doing a review here. We’re supposed to be examining those claims. Does great for a beginner also mean bored in a week? At 1 inch diameter and 4.5 insertable length the Starter seems like it could be just that. Problem is, we really don’t know, we can’t wave a magic wand (or a Hitachi Magic Wand for that matter) and make Emily a beginner again, and even then while vaginas have an average size like everything else, they’re also unique. These types of things are things I’d like to be able to tell my readers with confidence; this is good for a beginner, or experienced users only. Things like lubricants are a little easier due to their subjectivity. We can simply say in the case of a water based lubricant if it felt like it dried out too quickly for us, things of that nature, but it’s hard for someone who can hilt a large Apollo to make subjective recommendations about being ‘good for beginners’ in the size department. Getting back to the Starter, it’s easy to say the shape is exactly what a beginner would want, the head is a bit larger than the shaft, the whole thing is smooth and glossy, it’s relatively short (you probably won’t be accidentally slamming your cervix), made from a body safe material, and relatively cheap. The problem really comes in the girth department. Is one inch diameter really good enough, even for a newbie? In other words, are you going to be getting your 30 bucks out of that?

We’re struggling to answer questions like that. One thing we do know is, just the simple diameter of a toy isn’t really something that translates well to gauging size. These aren’t pants, you can’t really try them on in the fitting room, and you definitely can’t return them if you’re dissatisfied. Diameter also doesn’t scale linearly to the felt girth, which we’ll get into soon. We need a way to accurately communicate the difficulty, or lack thereof, of using a toy of a certain size.

For a while I considered taking the volume of the total displacement of a toy, which would give us its absolute volume, but some toys have very large portions that aren’t insertable or meant to be insertable. This includes the flared bases of anal safe toys, harness compatible toys, and things like the gigantic bases of toys meant to literally resemble a horse’s dick. Absolute displacement is out. So then I thought about just measuring the insertable portion and doing a rough approximation of a cylinders volume. This presents trouble for two reasons. Some toys change drastically in thickness like the Crystal Delights Twist and you can always control how much the toy is inserted, making the total volume largely adjustable by the user. The real difficulty comes from roughly 3 factors; the firmness of the toy, the shape of the head, and the area of the cross section of the toy. There’s still the problem of making a useful comparison however.

For very experienced people like Emily, it would be useful to compare the diameter to a standard soda can, but then you’d have to say what kind of soda can—they’re different around even English speaking countries.

Then it clicked, since our target audience are traditional couples, we can take the average areal cross-section—though in functional terms the circumference is just as good they really reflect the same measurement—of the average member and assign a score to how much larger or smaller the area of the toy is than that. For a variety of amusing reasons; diameter, deviation, dick, rhyming with Z, and because this is supposed to be fun, we are going to call this the D-score. We are still going to post the diameter, that’s still useful information, but we will also be posting the D-score. A D-score of 1 means the toy has roughly the same area as your average man (that’s 1.67 square inches for those curious).

Some of the more mathematically inclined out there might be asking, “why don’t you just use diameter then? The area is based on radius in the first place so reporting the listed diameter is as good as listing the area right?”. I get it, and you’re right, those measurements are intrinsically related. However, if you caught that bit, you also likely know that a 50% increase in diameter doesn’t equate to a 50% increase in area, and that’s why listing diameters can be misleading. Let’s go back to the soda can and our new base measurement. The average human has a diameter of 1.46 inches (1.67 square inches) and the standard 12oz can in the united states has a diameter of 2.6 inches (5.3 square inches). If we just eyeball the diameters we might be tempted to think the soda can is 78% larger than your average guy, but the area is just over 3 times as much (3.17x to be exact). It should be obvious which one of those better reflects the felt reality in the difference between the two objects. Thus, we would say the soda can has a D-score of 3.2 (we will be gratuitously rounding here). For those of you curious about the Starter I mentioned earlier, it has a D-score of .5!

I hope that was as fun for you to read as it was for me to write. First toy review will be up soon. In the mean time, have a good one.

Have a comment or a question? Is there a topic you’d like discussed? Let me know through my contact page.