Keeping Passion Alive

Keeping Passion Alive

I’ve often been described as a very passionate man, whether that comes to my work, my relationships, basically anything I do—provided of course that I care about it. I really care about the quality of Emily’s sex life. I cared about that for my previous partner as well. That sort of passion is something that always came easily for me, and the idea of men could be selfish in the bedroom was something I actually had to be introduced to later as an adult. That was down to my father, and some critical decisions he made in regards to my sexual education. Dad isn’t a particularly open man, at least, he can’t really do that directly, but what he did have was a sexuality section is his library and when I came of age he mentioned that he had books on the subject, and that I was free to read them. It didn’t escape my notice that of the five books he had on the art of sex, four of them were dedicated to a woman’s pleasure and only one to his own. That sort of set the stage for me with regards to expectations of what is meant to happen in the bedroom. In many very old and primitive cultures the inability to please a woman was seen as catastrophic enough to prevent conception itself. As for me, even before I started my reading, I didn’t see the point without making an emotional connection, and I assumed, quite correctly I might add, that the quality of each encounter would be directly related to the emotional purpose of it. I’m setting this scene up not to pat myself on the back or brag, but to give context to my perspective of a plight affecting many marriages. For many, some time after marriage, whether that’s years or immediately, there seems to be some sort of lost magic, and further still many couples defeatedly accept this fate as an expectation long before they tie the knot. What to do about that exactly requires explaining some deeper held meanings of what marriage is, so we’ll be taking the long way round.

Esther Perel calls this problem a lack of desire, the flame going out, and in her view this can only be solved by creating some sort of distance in the relationship. Apparently many people view the flame dying down as a necessary stage of marriage. I think that may have been the most shocking thing about reading Mating In Captivity. I wondered why that was such an accepted presupposition, the thought never even occurred to me that sexual desire would naturally wane over the course of a relationship, hell, I consider that a sign of a relationship that’s starting to fail. If anything, I consider the separation of sexual health from marital health to be an issue all on its own and it’s rare that I see the former fall apart without the latter following suit. Clearly though, there’s a problem with fires going out. I think I could even accept Esther’s position more readily, if I assume that the relationships she’s talking about are built on a foundation of pure Eros, or what we refer to as romantic love and lately even lust. To me, this would be akin to lighting the flame of a relationship, having no fuel available but pine straw. At the very beginning of Mating in Captivity, Esther talks about how there are actually couples that have no trouble keeping that flame alive, but she talks about them like they’re weirdos, and she certainly points out their rarity. Esther makes no further mention of these people, and is quick to point out her material isn’t directed at them. I have to assume this lack of ability to explain the perspective is borne out of the fact that she isn’t one of those weirdos. Well, Emily and I are those weirdos, and perhaps that’s some perspective I can and ought to give.

Perhaps if we kindled relationships with better types of fuel than pine straw we wouldn’t accept it as fate that fires would dwindle and extinguish over time. Have you ever tried to keep a fire going with nothing but kindling? It’s something to give a shot, even to just capture the symbolism with experience. You’ll find yourself expending energy, rushing around in a never ending panic to keep the fire fed. Any interruption, no matter how needful, and the fire dies down if not outright expends its fuel. Plato describes a situation wherein lovers are also friends. In Plato’s view this transforms Eros into something more substantial than romantic lust and keeps the passion of a romantic relationship perpetually fed. Eros and philia are transformed by one another, and feed one another, creating a positive feedback loop that endures time and hardship. This lines up a little more closely with my experience. Not to undermine the importance of Eros however, I find when that flame dies down the marriage soon follows. Perhaps it’s a mistake to view those things as separate. Those fires are one in the same. We do not replace Eros with philia, one modifies the other. We can even find some pointers towards this in biology. When you have sexual relations you release oxytocin. This neurotransmitter is responsible for a lot of things but the two we’re interested in at the moment is pair-bonding and trust. Mothers release a ton of the stuff when they give birth, and when they nurse. In fact, any stimulation of the nipples of women seems to release it. Oxytocin also regulates uterine contractions, it’s what’s in Petocin, and it’s why women close to term are encouraged to have regular sex (as it releases oxytocin and helps move labor along). Oh yeah, did I mention it promotes pair-bonding and trust?

Trust has been fingered as a key predictor of divorce by Dr. John Gottman. In his book What Makes Love Last: How To Build Trust and Avoid Betrayalreviewed here—Dr. Gottman lays out his case and his research, showing that low levels of trust are a highly predictive indicator of a doomed relationship. He also goes over the behaviors outside of sex that build trust and behaviors that erode it. Extremes of either seem to be self-reinforcing. So let’s put that together a bit. Oxytocin is a neurotransmitter released during sex that influences trust and pair-bonding. Low trust is a strongly predictive indicator of relationship failure. Behaviors outside of sex influence trust levels higher or lower. High enough trust begets itself, damaged trust begets mistrust. The idea that a romantic relationship reinforced by a genuine connection outside of its sexuality is stronger than one based purely on Eros is supported by modern scientific literature. Plato figured this out a long time ago. Relationships that merge Eros and philia feed each other sustainably and are the most durable.

If you’ve followed this far, you may be thinking I’m making the argument that the die is cast, that relationships started in the wrong way are doomed to failure and that there’s no helping it. You’re either doing things the way I did or you’re screwed. Nah. What I’m saying is that you have to be more than your spouses provider, or nanny, or babysitter, or any other major marital function you can think of. All of those functions after all are merely temporary, or at the very least, replaceable. Sexual satisfaction is likewise replaceable. A good marriage however, isn’t, it provides a critical function that I think is well summed up by a quote from Dr. Jordan Peterson in one of his recorded lectures. He says on marriage…well actually I was going to put a quote here but he’s damn wordy, but the expressiveness is useful, so I’m just going to leave a clip here.
h

It’s often extolled in the virtuous theater of social media that a friend is someone who will support you but a true friend is someone who will tell you you’re screwing up and it’s your fault. This is a sentiment I agree with but in my experience no matter how much people talk about wanting one, most people can’t handle having a so-called true friend. I don’t think that’s an inherent flaw, I think that’s why we take marriage vows. This is the aged oak that is lit by the kindling of Eros. Oak burns hot, and it burns long, hot enough and long enough that you need not constantly rush about to refuel it the way you have to in a relationship built on pine straw. In this sort of fire, you may actually take a moment to enjoy the light it gives and the warmth it radiates before you have to give it more fuel. You may be in one of those pine straw relationships, and you may believe everything is fine, and hey maybe it is, but don’t be surprised when you find out just how much upkeep you’ve been doing on that fire when something else interrupts you; hardship, children, a new job that requires relocation, longer hours at work. I’ve been through all those things with Emily, and it was never the sex that kept us together, good as it is.

Now, that was the long way round to get to it, but I think all those details are important, because it is for those qualities of my marriage that I do not have to think about keeping our fire stoked—that is something that happens mostly on its own. Yes, there’s some effort involved here and there, the small reminders of physical affection, the occasional date night, and other romantic gestures, but it’s not something we fight with or struggle with. It’s what makes us those weirdos where the flame doesn’t just die on its own unless we create some sort of contrived distance between us or other strategy for tricking ourselves into being sexually attracted to each other again. I never fell into the trap of thinking of my wife as only a mother or only a caregiver or as adopting any other sort of single identity that reduces her sexual or romantic value to me because our relationship is deeper than her utility—which by the way, are the situations Esther Perel deals with in her book. If you want to call that ‘keeping distance’ you go right ahead, I call that proper togetherness. I call that knowing without a doubt, that come praise or criticism, the things Emily says to me and about me are coming from a position of my long term well being.

Hey, maybe that does actually make us weirdos. Maybe you take a look at the words I’ve written and say you couldn’t live your life that way. Totally valid. I can tell you one thing though, I don’t mind being in the position of looking at people who can’t seem to make the time for intimacy, or are in a marriage of utility, and can’t seem to wrap their heads around where all the magic and love has gone, and thinking that they’re the weirdos. I don’t mind that situation being alien to us. If that situation isn’t alien to you, perhaps it’s time to be a weirdo.

Dealing With Sexual Insecurity – A Male Perspective

So I saw a pretty interesting question posted on Twitter the other day by a fellow reviewer. She goes by the Backwoods Bedroom handle on Twitter and she’s definitely worth following, but on to the question itself.


“I just saw a tweet, and it got me thinking. I want to try one of the silicone penis extenders so bad, but don’t know how to broach the subject with my partner. So my question to those of you with a penis, would you be hurt if your partner asked you to try a penis extender?”

This question was issued as part of a poll, which you can reference here if you’re interested. I personally did not feel I could adequately express the potential brier patch of this situation within the limited confines of Twitter, so here we are. While this is a response to the question and its author, it is not a direct one, and I’ve had to consider everyone that may potentially read this. Let’s also keep in mind the kind of space the review community is. Seventeen percent of the respondents indicated they absolutely would not want their partner to approach them with this question, and even in a vacuum that’d be a significant portion. This is sex review Twitter space though, and I’d bet my less developed nut that as you leave that relatively sex positive place that number would climb precipitously. However, for the purposes of this piece, I’m going to deal with that number as is, I just thought that context was needful to establish.

The original question is multi-parted, even if it doesn’t look that way at first glance, and we’ll need to deal with those parts one at the time before we bring them all together for approach. Part one…

I want to try one of the silicone penis extenders so bad,…

Okay, but why? There’s nothing inherently wrong with that statement, or even eventually wrong, but if you don’t know exactly why you want to change things up in the bedroom you may answer a sensitive follow-up question clumsily and that can lead to hurt feelings. I will however go over a red flag answer to this question. If the reason you want to try a penis extender is because you find your partner inadequate, you probably want to stop right there. Why? Well let’s explore the nature of what a penis extender actually is at its core.

Unlike dildos or vibrators or a myriad of other sex toys a penis extender isn’t confined to being an experience add-on, a penis extender changes your partner. Sometimes these changes can be fun and obvious, like say with a french tickler, but in the case of extenders the message is clear, I want you to be longer/girthier/whatever. Adding inhuman textures and features is one thing, and I’ll actually circle back to that point later, but there’s an inherent declaration of inadequacy in using an extender. Let’s turn the tables on this a bit with a hypothetical. What if your partner got you a sex toy and this sex toy was widely known as a she-tightener. Imagine this as a penetrable toy that is designed to be inserted into the vagina, the net effect being you’re vagina being replaced with a different one. Your partner would on some level be telling you that he wanted you to have a different vagina wouldn’t he? As an aside, this is called vagception—because of course there’s a name for this—and it has a small subreddit, because of course it does.


…would you be hurt if your partner asked you to try a penis extender?

Now, I can hear a very reasonable objection here already. What if that’s very different from the message you’re trying to send? Well that’s why we started with the “why?” question, and that’s why in the hypothetical I gave the toy is named she-tightener. Be careful about using the accepted labels for these toys if those labels don’t match your intended use. Penis extender is a name that is likely to be reacted to negatively. Understand that the nature of these toys is an especially sensitive one, you’re asking for their body to change. Be prepared to answer questions like; “Why not a dildo?”, “Am I not adequate?”, “What’s the draw for you?”, and that’s already a relatively calm and cool reaction. Heaven forbid the extender be realistically styled or resemble an ex or some equally potentially emotionally hurtful thing.

You may be wondering why I’m focusing so very hard on the change side of this. You may be reasonably thinking, “Well yes, this is like a dildo, and you’re okay with those right?”. You may be thinking that it’s like a thrusting dildo that is self-guiding and self-powered—probably a good point to make honestly. What’s the big objection here?

Well the big point is your partners feelings, and some insecurities they may or may not have, insecurities you need to be aware of if they do have them. Keep in mind, many men struggle with and fail to disconnect their partners sexual satisfaction with their own sexual performance. That is to say that there are many men out there with the idea that their value in a relationship is highly or entirely sex based, and that they should be sole provider of their partners sexual satisfaction. These tend to be the men that aren’t okay with women having sex toys at all, it would depreciate their value, you may have met some of those before. Ultimately remember, that as toxic as these ideas may seem to you, underlying them is a concern that they’ll lose you—that’s the consequence of losing your worth as a partner. It’s the reasoning borne of inexperience and insecurity, but it’s rooted in the idea that they don’t want to lose you. Most can be gently educated out of this. One the one hand, you have the sexual insecurity creating insecurity about the resilience of the relationship, but that also works the other direction, if your partner isn’t just as convinced as they should be that you aren’t going to leave it can reinforce or even create the sexual insecurity in question.

Reinforcing these ideas is an entire industry revolving around “correcting” penises that are less than magical. Everything from pumps to pills are thrown at the insecurities so predictable and universal they can be targeted for profit. You too can have the magically satisfying porn star penis that you’ve been convinced is the minimum standard via the same, if only you would use this pump or take this pill. There’s a large market targeting female insecurity and falsehoods about tightness or moisture too, and perhaps that may be the singular best thing I can reference to bring this issue into focus. When it comes to sexual insecurity, the targets of that exploitative market indicates we are universally affected. Fortunately, that means you have a valid frame of reference. Now you take the pills, you take the pump, at least those act directly on the body, dangerous as they may be, and the object of pleasure is still his penis. Imagine for a moment the feeling of dejection that would come from such a lazy solution as a sleeve, if not carefully considered and not wanted for the exactly right reason.

More secure men aren’t immune to this either. Security too is a spectrum, and it comes with experience, and is often a journey. Many men have learned that their partners sexual satisfaction belongs to them. They have learned that their partners sex toys can provide sexual experiences both when and where they can’t, and they enjoy the awesome benefits of those feelings of security in their sexuality and their relationship. In the particular case of the penis extender, they are available both at the time and capable of providing the type. The penis extender therefore targets the very last island on the road to sexual security, it targets the place where the last bit of insecurity is most likely to reside. Your partner, as I do for mine, may have a large collection of toys he enjoys you using and enjoys using on you. Have you ever expressed before how none of those things could quite replace him? I’d wager that’s come up. How do you follow that line of reasoning in the case of the penis extender, as you inherently ask his body to change, as you inherently replace the one thing you have been telling him was safe from criticism?


“…how to broach the subject with my partner.”

The answer to all of these rest with you and your partner. Each answer is going to be as unique as your relationship, and I could never give you a blanket answer on how to proceed with this question and how to make this approach. What I can give you, hopefully, is a map of empathy that has all the minefields and treacherous roads clearly marked, and I hope that’s what I’ve done today. I know that the tone of this article so far has been, perhaps negative, and that’s because of the weight of the consequences of getting this wrong. I am in no way suggesting that wanting to use one of these extenders is in any way inherently bad, I just think it wanders into an especially dangerous mine field that may even include fears of being replaced. There are however, perhaps some positive ways to broach this, and there I have a few suggestions.

First and foremost, make sure you’re protecting his sexual value to you. He is sexually valuable to you right? Beyond the specific subject of extenders, this is the most basic and fundamental rule to introducing anything to the bedroom, and it works in both directions, just as applicable to men as women. Make sure he knows that he’s sexually valuable as much as you feel he is. As I mentioned earlier, you have to get to the bare-bones of why you want to introduce this kind of toy. Perhaps it’s just one more tick-box of things you haven’t tried yet. What if you just wanna see what all that fuss is about? Maybe you’ll use it once and maybe you won’t even like it. Make sure he knows that. Maybe you really want the fuck machine experience without the cost, also, maybe he’s a damn good fuck machine—compliment opportunity there. Maybe you could even make that part of play earlier in the day. Tease him with a hearty dinner, your fuck machine needs good quality fuel after all. Maybe he likes when you take charge occasionally, I know I sure as hell do. Sometimes Emily forcefully tells me that I’m her toy tonight, and I enjoy that, not the least of which because she literally has a few grand worth of other options—an example of preserving and protecting my feelings of sexual worth.

I hope that with these examples I’ve given you the start of an empathetic map that will allow you to broach this subject safely and with minimal risk of hurt feelings . Whatever you do, make sure your reasoning is at least as clear as it is honest. Good luck.

The Fantasy List

The Fantasy List

Communicating about sex isn’t always easy. Emily and I come from different backgrounds, had different levels of sexual experience when we met, and we have vastly different communication skills and styles. Given how unique individual lives are, I imagine there are more couples like us than not. Then you have the mind-reader syndrome, where couples that have been together a while start assuming their minds are being read.

“We’ve been together X years you should know this about me by now!”, a common refrain.

Sure, there were things Emily and I learned about each other through osmosis. You are going to learn things about your spouse simply by being with them, but as I like to remind Emily, there was a time before I met her and before she met me. That little fact seems so easy to forget after the years pile on. Not only do you become unable to imagine a future without them, you become unable to imagine anything without them, including your past, and you can forget that there was a life before your spouse.

So at 8 years into the marriage, having known each other for 11, we decided to get down and seriously talk about sex. I was starting to feel a bit caged, not for a lack of some other fancy woman that I imagined existed somewhere but because I didn’t feel free to express all of my sexual desires within’ the marriage. Emily isn’t the greatest at opening up, and I was her first and remain her only sexual partner. She had no prior experience to compare ‘us’ to so everything seemed normal, it was all she had. Not to put all the blame on her, I avoided communicating certain things because I had tastes outside of what I thought she’d consider acceptable. Guilty as charged in the sandbagging department.

I suggested an exercise, where we write down all of our sexual fantasies and preferences (at a 10,000 foot level) where we couldn’t observe each other and then swap sheets at the same time. We were to mark off the ones the relationship was fulfilling, and also mark any we felt were fantasy only as they’d wreck the marriage. My list had 28 items, hers had 8. A few things about this stuck out to me. One, I had suspected that she lacked the sexual vocabulary and experience to really consider her own wants. Due to me being her one and only, everything we did was so normal it escaped her notice. Two, she was absolutely flabbergasted at the number of things I had on my list, and more still at how few of them had check marks.

I remarked to her as I read her sheet. “I thought you were also into….” and she’d respond “That felt so normal I didn’t consider that a preference”. We eventually got her list up to 13 and finally it seemed to describe her, and all of her boxes had check marks. More than half of mine did not. Emily actually shed a tear or two, I encouraged her not to, to no avail. I actually wasn’t all that upset about the check mark count, I had realized long before the exercise that It was my job to communicate these things and I hadn’t done so. Emily however, had misplaced feelings of dereliction of duty, especially in light of the fact that a lot of those empty check boxes struck her as a lot of fun. We went over the list, willing to try, not willing to try, marking them as we went, and much to my astonishment, most of them she was willing to try, even the ones regarding exhibitionism (I thought there was no way in hell).

And the rest was history, so they say. I regret waiting until so far into ours to figure out how to get all my sexual skeletons into the open and out of the closet, even in my own marriage. I’m not advocating a specific method, the one we used is very us, but if it sounds like it would work for you by all means crib it, but I wanted to remind you all today that sexuality is something you need to figure out how to talk about and discuss openly, even if you need a few mental tricks to get you there. How scary is a ‘no’ to something you’re already not doing anyway?

Until next time.

Featured Photo by Jay on Unsplash

Dildo Review – Apollo by Bad Dragon

Dildo Review – Apollo by Bad Dragon

Introducing Apollo:

Our Valentines Day happened to closely coincide with a tax return, so in light of the timing and in light of thoroughly enjoying reviewing our warchest for the blog, we dropped some serious cash on expanding our collection. So before all of our new shinies arrive I’d like to give the old guard a proper send off. No I’m not getting rid of them, but a lot of the things we ordered are new to market and we’d like to review those as soon as they get here. Yes, the blog is getting sexier for a little while. Based on our metrics, y’all really don’t mind that.

Last weekend I laid out in great length why fantasy toys are far more niche than they ought to be, and it seemed only prudent that the star of this particular show would be something that perhaps the readers of this blog may just be able to wrap their head around, well, among other things. I’ve already introduced you to our two Apollos but the star of tonight’s show is going to be our medium sized, medium firmness model. I will compare it directly with its large sized option where I think it makes sense, they both deserve some discussion, but the medium is remarkable for being in a sort of Goldilocks zone. For some people it’s going to be about as big as they can handle, for others, about as small as they can go before it’s not interesting anymore, but truth be told, I think the vast bulk of this audience will have a fantastic time with Apollo, and we’re going to show you why. Quick note, this review is written from a vaginal perspective, we do not use this toy anally and will not be stepping outside our area of expertise here.

Part 1 – Aesthetics:

One of the main draws of that fantasy toy market is the aesthetic, and would you just look at this glittery, sparkly, pink-and-gold-and-seafoam hunk of dildo, all six usable inches.

getting the sparkles to show in photos is difficult
from the back

Usually to get a look this bold you have to get a promotional color (fortunately those seem to happen very frequently), but many options available all year long are beautiful and striking. In fact, the ‘signature’ color of Apollo is quite fetching and is never not available.

example of signature

Now the color and the shape are easy to admire and I for one find Apollo to be very easy on the eyes in general, but something else that lends to its overall appearance is probably leaping out at you too, and that takes us to our next section.

Part 2 – Texture

Apollo is an aggressively textured dildo, and your choice of firmness is going to affect greatly just how rough your experience is. Keep in mind, as the size goes lower the ‘felt’ hardness of any given hardness goes down. Emily notes that our medium sized Apollo, the star of this show, nevertheless has more pronounced textures than our large Apollo. We got our large in soft, and our medium in…well, medium. That small change in firmness, even given the massive size difference, is enough to give the smaller version of the toy more aggressive texturing. Most of the community reports, and we concur, that when in doubt, you can’t go wrong with medium firmness.

Lets start with the head, which Emily describes as convincingly finger-like, though much softer, almost like a gentler more accessible form of fisting, it’s easy to see on close inspection how that feeling is achieved.

along the back-side of the head are some tiny ridges, which Emily only really feels if they are pointed posterior and not anterior.

Your mileage of course, may vary. Both features end in a pair if rings, you can see them just below the ‘fingers’ that make up the head and you will definitely feel those. They drive Emily crazy and she emphasizes their definition.

As you clear the head the tiny ridges turn into large pronounced scales. Emily loves to switch-up how they’re oriented. Posterior facing, they stimulate the perineum, which can subtly contribute to orgasm and also relax the anus. Switch the scales to anterior-facing and you get heavy stimulation of the g-spot. These ridges are no joke, and they sit opposite the only area of the toy that lacks in aggressive texture.

Introducing the knot

Say hello to Apollo’s final challenge, the knot. This bulbous feature not only gives a wave cresting sensation but holds Apollo inside you, making the pull-out an aggressive sensation of it’s own, this effect is aided by going ‘against the grain’ of the scales. If you can overcome the knot you should be able to hilt Apollo—fantasy toy slang for touching the base of the toy—and say you trained this dragon.

Part 3 – Size:

Here’s where things get a little number heavy, because choosing the correct size of Apollo can radically change how the toy functions. First of all let’s sort something out, even in medium size you will want to give Apollo plenty of lube. Only if you’re the type to get extremely wet will you be able to go without, and it will probably diminish the experience anyway. Emily can take a large Apollo to the hilt with enough time, but even she won’t tackle a medium without some lubricant. As a reminder, NEVER EVER USE SILICONE LUBRICANT ON A SILICONE TOY, YOU WILL RUIN IT. We went over Apollo’s exact measurements in a recent post illustrating why we use D-score. It’s the same post I linked earlier in the article. There are some handy tables there that should be quick to find that give the stats. Here they are again for the sake of convenience. Keep in mind, the only place you’ll encounter the shaft measurement is the tiny area between the head and the knot, and below the knot.

MediumLargeCoke Can 12oz
Diameter of Head2.25″3″2.6″
Diameter of Knot2.5″3.25″2.6″
Diameter of Shaft1.75″2.5″2.6″
Total Length7.75″9.75″4.8″
Usable Length6″8″4.8″
D-Score Head2.44.23.2
D-Score Knot353.2

Quick Reminder: D-score is a measurement that essentially gives us the number of median sized dicks to equal the girth of a toy. You can read D-Score more easily as “This is how many dicks this is worth in girth”. So a D-Score of 2.5 would be 2 and a half dicks of girth, to make it simple.

Part 4 – Philosophy of Use:

How close Apollo is to your limits is going to affect how you play with him, and ultimately what size you choose. It should be noted, that there are small, and XL sizes, but since we don’t own either of those we won’t pontificate on them. For some of you I’m sure medium will be near or at the edge of what you can currently take and you’ll have to work to conquer Apollo. You can enjoy the medium the way Emily enjoys the large, as a stretcher toy.

But what is a stretcher toy anyway? It’s not something that’s generally advertised. Most toys are billed as penis replacements and are built around the idea that you’ll be heavily thrusting with them. With large Apollo, Emily has managed to have an orgasm simply from the sense of fullness after conquering the knot. This is what a stretcher toy does.

For others, the medium experience will be much like Emily’s, if not now, at a future date, and after a little bit of warm-up you’ll be able to enjoy Apollo as a girthy, highly textured thrusting toy. Emily doesn’t last very long when using Apollo this way, and you may want to practice edging, though that’s a whole ‘nother blog.

On the note of enjoying medium Apollo as a thrusting toy, at 6 inches usable depth Apollo is squatty enough that he may not hit your cervix if you find that painful, though he might bump it a little. If you have a very sensitive cervix you may want to consider dropping a firmness level to soft. You’d be amazed at just how hard most mainstream toys are, even compared to medium firmness. This squatty but girthy design gives some women options they didn’t have before when it comes to how forceful they can be while thrusting a toy.

Part 5 – Accessories:

Apollo can be equipped with a cumtube and/or a suction cup. The former allows you to apply lube while in use, and also to simulate having the toy cum inside you—a sensation many find uniquely stimulating, and that many more enjoy watching. This is definitely a couples feature if nothing else. The suction cup option is built into the base, and if you’ve ever used suction cups before you might be thinking “oh there’s no way that’s sticking to my wall”. Well, you might be right but I doubt it, the suction cups on Bad-Dragon toys are very strong, in fact, you might want to be more concerned about taking the paint off your wall than the toy slipping off. I’ve seen these toys, when appropriately left alone, remain attached to a wall for weeks.

In our opinion an Apollo without a suction cup is 10 bucks you shouldn’t have saved. The cumtube is a matter of personal preference and if you’re on the fence about it, I’d actually not include it, especially if this is your first round with a fantasy toy. If you do opt for the cumtube—for the record, we find it a ton of fun—you will also get a complimentary 8oz bottle of cumlube which we’ve already reviewed.

Part 6 – Cost and Conclusion:

An Apollo in medium size can be had for between 105-155 U.S. dollars depending on your coloration choices and options. The former is with a ‘free’ color, such as the natural coloration or glow-in-the-dark purple with no accessories and the latter is with the signature coloration and both a suction cup and a cumtube. A middle of the road configuration might be the promotional coloration and a suction cup, which would land you at 130 dollars. Whichever route you go remember that you’re not spending any less than 105+Shipping and I suggest getting what you actually want rather than trying to save 20 bucks on a 150 dollar toy. The cost may be a deterring factor but Emily and I find it quite worth it.

You may want to regularly check the clearance section on Bad Dragon for an Apollo in the configuration you are looking for, you can save a non-trivial amount of money if you strike it lucky and toys from the clearance section do not have to be made before they are shipped, that can get your toy to you weeks or even a month or more faster than ordering made-to-order. Something to consider.

In conclusion, despite the price, we find Apollo to be worth absolutely every penny, we bought two, and the large is even more expensive. Whether you are using Apollo as an orgasmic stretcher or a punishing thruster, we are sure you will not regret owning one, the only thing you may regret, is the wait.

You can customize yours here. https://bad-dragon.com/products/apollo

NSFW: Why We Collect

NSFW: Why We Collect

So we did it, we pulled the trigger on that Mystic from Bad Dragon I told you about here. That brings our Bad Dragon collection to oh, eight, once it arrives. There are a lot of you in my audience that may think that’s a large number, and as far as the median toy collection goes you’re probably right, but we’re talking about Bad Dragon here, and while I’ve touched on it lightly in the past you need to know your first Bad Dragon toy probably won’t be your last. These things are like pringles, I’ve never seen someone buy just one. But why is that?

Emily and I have our own reasons for growing our Bad Dragon collection, but I got real curious about why others were doing the same thing. The community is scattered, but it exists, and whether it’s on the Bad Dragon official forums, or the subreddit, or the many other communities across the internet, a crowd we now feel a part of, one trend blazes brightly—photos of gigantic collections of Bad Dragon and other fantasy dildo manufacturer’s toys. Everyday people like Emily and I dropping several grand on brightly-colored vaguely-phallic hunks of silicone are a staple of these communities. Emily and I are well on our way and our modest collection—sometimes referred to as a family photo—is growing and is pictured below. Update: Banner image has been replaced with a more recent picture.

I decided to ask other members of the community how they felt about it. The following comment from this thread is from u/KittyLordSavior is something I found especially interesting.

Ya know… I actually hated dildos before I was introduced to bad dragon. Traditional dildos that I’ve used were boring, too firm, and made of potentially harmful materials. They never turned me on or made me feel good while using them.


I initially bought my first toy, a small ika, because i love tentacles and I thought it would be hilarious to own. Once it arrived I was blown away by the craftsmanship, quality, and over all aesthetic of the toy. That ika totally hooked me, I enjoyed it so much that I wanted to try every model Bad dragon offered.


The color and accessory options add another layer of depth to collecting for me. Not only do I want one of every model but it also has to be pretty and have a suction cup. For some reason the “hunt”, if you will, for the perfect toy is really satisfying for me. I enjoy browsing their weekly inventory drops and checking out their special promotional color options.


Collecting fantasy themed dicks is a hobby that I greatly enjoy. I’ve started to branch out to other indie toy makers as well, so many cool and unique designs are out there!

u/KittyLordSavior
KittyLordSavior’s Collection, used with permission.

That’s just an amazing statement to me. I know Emily and I grew out of low-end toys because of how unsatisfactory and potentially unsafe they were, but to think they were so bad that someone willing to build this stunning collection thought that they hated dildos as a matter of course! This is a classic example of why I call our love of Bad Dragon toys the “fetish that isn’t”. These toys have a broader, mainstream, I dare say universal appeal that just isn’t being appreciated yet. Also, totally jealous of that table and I love the normalcy that it brings to the photo. You have this giant collection of out-there sex toys sitting on top of one of the most normal of objects.

Let’s break down that not-a-fetish thing. First, let’s get our definitions straight, otherwise we get nowhere. A fetish is “a form of sexual desire in which gratification is linked to an abnormal degree to a particular object, item of clothing, part of the body, etc. ” Emphasis mine. I’m actually pretty on the fence on this. If you limit the scope of this to fantasy dildos, guilty as charged. If these are just sex toys then this is normal enough to be a PornHub category. Statements like LordKittySavior’s and my own experience with them leans me towards the latter interpretation. The bulk of the responses in that thread reinforces the normalcy sentiment. It might be abnormal if they weren’t just superior sex toys in both form and function to mainstream offerings. If they weren’t we could just call this a fantasy fetish and be done with it but mainstream dildos simply provide inferior stimulation—which is why weak vibrators are crammed into most of them—and don’t look near as gorgeous. Photos don’t do them justice either. They aren’t quite Kantian disinterest beautiful, they have a utility after all, but sometimes I just look at some of the things we own just to look at them for a minute. Some of these pieces easily rival some of the pathetic things passed as art in trendy galleries. These items are hand poured, gorgeous, and intrinsically unique—that’s a collection motivator on its own.

I think a lot of us, even inside the community, are reluctant to admit the appeal these have outside their targeted niche group. The subreddit is full of reluctant first time buyers discovering that they’re now hooked and looking for advice in taking the first admittedly confusing steps. Is that abnormal? Emily and I were the same way and went through a period of asking ourselves “are we that odd? are we strange? is this kink?”. Now I don’t even feel like this qualifies as unusual. In fact, yeah, let’s share that story.

Emily and I have a mutual friend of the equine persuasion. That is, she actually cares for, rears, and trains horses. One day she came complaining to us out of the blue that she was really a size queen but there was just nothing at the local sex shops remotely big enough for her that weren’t outright gag gifts, poor quality ones at that. Emily and I lit up. We joked about her love of horses and how exactly it was she came to know she was a size queen, and when she was completely unembarrassed by that joke we showed her Chance, Tyson, and Bumble Hooves on the website—for those of you who don’t know, these are all horse shaped offerings. That’s her nickname now, Bumble Hooves. She wants a Bumble Hooves in large as soon as she has the funds. Emily and I think we’re gonna send her some store credit to get her started. Why store credit? Because gifting someone a custom dildo as a surprise gift is weird; her husband would not be about that. Yep, that’s the part of this story that’s weird to us. Not the group shopping, not the toys themselves, just the general notion that gifting someone a custom sex toy may be crossing some personal boundaries. The fetish that isn’t. By all other measures, we’re a bit conservative. Did I mention “Bumble Hooves” is a devout salt of the earth country catholic girl? This story has echoes of how we got our first Bad Dragon dildo. Abnormal? You be the judge.

u/Lapras_Lass has an enormous and gorgeous collection of her own, over 50 of them! But she reports in the same thread that her reasons for starting were remarkably similar to ours.

Haha, you sound like me and my husband! We definitely have fetishes, but we collect because we love the variety of shapes, textures, sizes, and colors.


My husband and I were once unable to even imagine affording one BD toy. Then our situation changed, our careers took off, and we were able to afford a little luxury. We bought three to start with, and that grew to about 12 in less than a year. Now, we have over 50. (blush)


We do have other hobbies, but they don’t cost much money at all. We like browsing thrift shops for used books; I enjoy birdwatching around the neighborhood; we do play video games, but we’re the type who buys a game and plays it for years. Our entire video game collection can fit on a single small shelf (plus we usually buy used). Collecting and using sex toys is our primary recreational activity, and it’s awesome. We’re now branching out to other toy-makers, and finding some definite new favorites!


Congrats on your newfound hobby!

u/Lapras_Lass

The unique shapes, colors, textures, sizes, craftsmanship, all the primary reasons Emily and I started collecting. Lapras is very busy in the subreddit helping the community out with their questions about the overwhelming variety of options available and also runs a blog where she reviews the items she’s collected. I’m especially a fan of the post for beginners. I highly encourage you to check it out. One of the reasons we started talking about fantasy toys on this blog was because we felt we had experience it would otherwise take a non-trivial amount of money and risk to make a guess on and we felt obligated to start sharing those experiences. I asked Lapras if that’s why she started reviewing hers as well and we share that experience. When it comes to experience though I think it’s very safe to say that Lapras has us beat by a country mile. Check out this collection!

[COLLECTION] Had to Move Down to the Next Shelf
Used with permission from u/Lapras_Lass

As you go through the thread comments you start to notice a theme. Sample size not withstanding there’s overwhelming support for the idea that the thing that really makes these toys attractive are the shapes and aesthetics. A few people also mention the functionality perks—suction cups and cumtubes are wonderful things, those suction cups can manage on slightly textured walls and there’s just nothing like a toy that can creampie you—and a few actually are into the fantasy fetish itself, which, I’d have expected more of if it was primarily the fantasy fetish crowd buying these things. But that’s kinda the point, I don’t think it is primarily that crowd doing the buying—at least not based on the composition of reddit and forum posts. In serving that community Bad Dragon seems to have stumbled on a formula that speaks to a much broader group of people. I think that’s awesome, and I think it’s high time sex toys were pleasure focused rather than focused on being a facsimile for a person. In the latter case, you have a superior option in the person in every way, in the former case the person may still insist on using the toy and without the person the experience is nonetheless unique. Apparently a lot of other people agree.

It’s not just the thread we created to ask the question either—that was just a way to get a few of those responses in one place. You can see this all over the community if you hang out long enough. There are constantly threads about reluctant first time buyers taking the plunge after having looked into it a while, waffling. It seems for every thread showing a very large toy being conquered (size is something these toys are famous for) there’s a thread about someone worried that going bigger than a mini might be too much. Buttressed against the nervous newbies are the people like us that have a few models already but want details to make an informed decision about the next one. They already know what they’re into and what they want out of the toy, but they have questions about whether or not the model they’re looking into actually does that. Many very experienced buyers still get the ‘big eyes’ phenomenon and buy more than they can handle—that was another reason we started using D-score, and it’s another reason collections grow.

People also use these toys to explore preferences they didn’t know they had. Some discover they’re size queens, some discover they certainly are not! Some figure out they really love texture and others really enjoy a smooth ride. Some, Emily being one, discover they can orgasm off of sheer size—no thrusting required, thanks Apollo. Many have purchased several toys in pursuit of the Goldilocks size, we sure did, that alone can start a collection, it’s yet another reason we devised D-score, and it’s one of the reasons fantasy dildos have a vibrant second hand market—though the ability to 100% sanitize a silicone toy is another big reason. There’s so much to learn about yourself, your body, there’s the thrill of the chase for the next great experience, and some sell their previous toys to help them keep chasing, keep hunting, for that perfect toy, with the perfect texture, the perfect size, the perfect shape, the perfect color and pattern, and the perfect pour. The gaming community once made sending people ‘Dragon Dildos’ a meme, and some of these people started with a ‘gag’ gift that turned out to be more pleasurable than a comedy club. It’s why we collect.

If none of that’s your thing, that’s perfectly fine. Not everyone is into spanking or being tied up either (we call that a fetish too even though it seems a plurality of us are into that, I guess 50 Shades sold so well for being too weird eh?). Some people just don’t like toys—though, as mentioned above, that could be due to unfairly poor experiences. Some people can’t get over the animalistic aesthetic. Heck, there are shapes we find to be a turnoff, like the ones that look a little too much like a dog. I personally don’t dig the sheathes either and I’ve never once wanted for a masturbator, much less one that reminded me of a horse. That however, is the point. I’m not saying that all of Bad Dragon, or all of the fantasy dildo scene is for everyone. That certainly isn’t the case with us. What I am saying is that inside the fantasy toy scene, there’s something for everyone (maybe a lot of somethings), and of that I am absolutely sure.

We’ll end on a couple of imgur galleries just for fun, in order: Individual shots of u/lapras_lass’s collection, u/ainaakjama’s collection, and u/a_dirty_account’s collection.

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.

Book Review – She Comes First

Book Review – She Comes First

Last week we went a little outside our normal reading with Marriage, a History, a book that was more academic than our standard self-help fare. Today we veer off the road on the opposite side. She Comes First by Dr. Ian Kerner is definitely a self-help book, but it’s a very practically minded one. The stated goal of She Comes First is to help change cunnilingus from foreplay to ‘coreplay’ and to enhance your tongue game overall. This is definitely a book marketed at the fellas, but honestly girls, some of y’all could benefit from this book too. I’ll get to that in a minute.

Out the gate I identified with the Ian’s past, though I arrived at my situation differently. I developed a bit of a porn habit early in my life and it led to a bit of a PE problem (yes, it can do that). Ian and I both upped our tongue games to compensate, and we both learned to cope with and overcome our PE later. For those of you wondering, PE is premature-ejaculation—being ‘fast’ in other words. For both of us, cunnilingus allowed us to make up for that shortfall, and remained so much more than foreplay even after we’d overcome our issues. The reason for this is simple, when done well many women prefer this to penetration, and research supports that—research Ian shares in the book.

So if I was already doing this, why pick up the book? Well that’s where She Comes First gets really interesting for me. I mentioned in my review of Come As You Are that I was looking for a book I could give the many women in my life who revealed they didn’t know perhaps everything they ought to about their bodies. Yeah, this is the part I just mentioned about it being useful for girls too. See, for about the first 100 pages, She Comes First is so much more than a ‘lick-this, tongue-flick-that’ step-by-step manual, it’s a deep dive anatomy lesson into the entire clitoral complex and how it reacts and functions during the stages of arousal. In fact, I’d say Dr. Kerner does a superior job of laying these functions out in his cunnilingus how-to manual than Dr. Nagoski did in her book aimed towards women to feel good about how they already are (Ironic as her book comes with a glowing endorsement from Dr. Kerner), and that’s why my recommendation for that book was so tepid.

I read these two back-to-back, starting with She Comes First, and while I was reading Come As You Are I thought to myself how I would have preferred a mishmash of these two books than either individually for the purposes described above. Keep in mind, the goal here was to find a book I could feel comfortable recommending to women that had basic questions about their own bodies. There are parts of each of these books that does that job better than the other and I think that’s a shame. That’s not to knock She Comes First, quite the opposite as it’s not meant to be that kind of thing at all, but it is interesting to me how it nailed the anatomy lesson better than Come As You Are did. After those first 100 pages or so it started getting harder to get through the book, as I was no stranger to cunnilingus technique. This is the part of the book where it ties all of the anatomy lesson together so that you understand the reasoning behind the ‘do this, do that’ portion. If you are however new to cunnilingus or feel like sanity checking your technique, this portion of the book should hold your attention. The smoothly flowing prose definitely made it easier to get through for me.

So yeah, let’s talk about that last thing briefly. Ian’s text flows naturally and reads easily; you’ll be turning pages quickly as a result. That makes She Comes First an easier recommendation for people with tight schedules, you’ll get through it pretty quickly, especially if your focus is on that first anatomy part. Oh, speaking of, I can hear some of you saying this from here; “I already know the anatomy of the clitoris”. Alright, so I’m sure you can name 10 of the 18 parts of the clitoral complex. If you still think you’ve got nothing to learn, cheers mate, and I’m happy for you and your wife. To be fair, I think Ian makes a bit of a stretch to hit all 18, but I’m sure most of you are surprised there’s more than 4, and there’s convincingly more than 4.

I’m really going to take the piss out of the cover though, for the same reasons I did that for Come As You Are. I would really like this genre to start taking itself seriously. Emily and I don’t even use its title anymore, we just call it the papaya book. The imagery of the papaya and banana on the cover are about as subtle and cliche as a lead pipe to the face in a TV wrestling match—all it’s missing is Rick Flair saying “Woooo!”. How many of these books are we up to for the “better off with an E-reader” rating for the covers? I think it’s three. For the love of physical book reviewers and consumers everywhere can we get some less cringe, coffee shop friendly covers? Please? Consider me a bitter clinger when it comes to my physical pages.

So do I recommend this book? Without caveat yes. I think most of us have something to learn from it, it’s cheap and a quick read so the opportunity cost of reading it is low, and as for the specific techniques I find they closely mirror my own and in that context I can definitely say they’re effective. I also appreciate the reinforcement of the idea that cunnilingus is not simply a ‘prelude’ to a type of sex that ‘should’ happen. Cunnilingus can just -be- the sex and I’ve always found it awesomely satisfying to bring Emily to orgasm that way.

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.