Vibrator Review – Vibease

Vibrator Review – Vibease

Introduction

Communications technology sure has some interesting consequences for the couple dynamic. When I was a teen I ended up in a long distance relationship utilizing dial-up internet access. It certainly wasn’t my smartest move, but it was possible, and that was new and exciting. I’m sure there must have been a little of that buzz when the telephone was invented, or telegraphs, or reliable mail service. Each of these things in turn increasing the frequency, affordability, and options for connecting with distant people. From scorching love letters, lusty phone calls that last too long, or hot and heavy webcam sessions, long distance communication has been used to start and maintain passionate relationships—and honestly after recalling all these things, sexting seems pretty darn lazy.

Today we are pleased to bring you a review concerning the latest development in long distance love making, network controllable vibrators. Vibease kindly provided us with their signature product for this review, no strings attached. From this point forward, we will be using Vibease for the product and company name interchangeably—due to Vibease doing the same on their website and the box it ships in only saying “Smart Massager” after the Vibease logo. It’s pretty awesome that we were able to get one this way, because I’m not sure we’d be reviewing or owning anything in this category otherwise. Why? Too many unknowns at a price point that demands certainty. I dunno about you but I don’t frequently drop a Benjamin+ on a ‘maybe’. Long time readers may recall we were in the same situation with fantasy themed sex toys, and that our first was a loaner. To that end, we’re splitting this review into two major sections. First, we’re going to do a short synopsis of our experience with Vibease and list out the groups we think would and wouldn’t benefit the most. Second, we’re going to do a deep dive into the product for both your benefit and some fine grained feedback for Vibease. One final note before we get started, if you’re reading this during the initial publishing Vibease is running a 25% off labor day sale with the LABORDAY19 check out code. That’s a considerable chunk of change in real dollars at this price point.

Primary Synopsis

Our experience with the Vibease was positive in a few ways. Most importantly Vibease gives us new ways to play as a couple, point of fact we think the remote control feature is the biggest strength of the product. As you read on, remember that bottom line, Vibease is an excellent way to bridge a distance gap of any size. As always, use case is going to greatly effect whether we recommend the product or not, so I’m going to list the groups of people I think will get the most bang for their buck out of Vibease.

  • Established couples with busy schedules
  • Any couple in which at least one partner does a lot of traveling
  • Any couple comfortable with public play
  • Couples with mismatched work shifts

There’s also a list of people I think could get a lot out of the Vibease with some caveats, and should read the full review and do their own investigating.

  • Women offering Kik or GFEs or other remote play services
  • Women that are into audio erotica
  • Women that live in places where winter traps them indoors for long periods of time (or get cold enough where they get out less)

As with any toy, there’s just some things Vibease isn’t the right solution for. Despite the marketing, we don’t think the solo experience measures up to other options available to you at this price point, or even significantly below this price point. Again, we think the strengths of Vibease really shine in you+1 scenarios and a lot of the design trade-offs are tilted towards that use. We’ll get into the specifics of that in the long section. For now, here’s a list of use cases we think aren’t well serviced at this time.

  • A couple in which either partner spends a significant amount of time in a cellular dead zone
  • Anyone that owns a phone that typically has bluetooth connection problems
  • Women with plenty of access to private alone time looking for a pure solo play vibrator that will get the job done on its own
  • People who frequently misplace chargers and have a tough time keeping their devices charged—this is meant as sort of a humorous gimme

Finally, the Vibease is made from body safe materials. I almost forgot to mention that as we don’t review toys that aren’t, but I’ve been careful to mention these things so far. The packaging is also nice and it comes with a drawstring pouch to aid with portability and storage. Now lets get into the nitty gritty and have some fun.

Deep Dive Review

Alright, for me this is going to be the fun part. As a note, all testing was done for the android version of the app. Since this is our first remote play toy Emily and I took a lot of time and effort going over the features of the Vibease, finding out what worked for us and what didn’t, and the first thing we need to get out of the way is expectations. The Vibease is an external wearable, and it’s sized and weighted as such. These things can only get so small and vibrators in particular become less effective as they’re shrunk down. This is why we have a bit of a problem with the ‘solo’ toy claim from Vibease. Perhaps partnered with other toys, and certainly not “ultimate”. In Emily’s case the Vibease lacks the power to send her over the edge, it can get her there, but she can’t seem to crest that hill. Adding both a vaginal and anal plug setup didn’t change that. You know what though? That’s completely fine. It’s about expectations. As people experienced with sex toys in general, and with vibrators too, we knew going in that we were going to use this thing to tease, edge, and embarrass, rather than leaning on it the way we would a larger wand vibrator, or even a comparably sized bullet vibe that doesn’t have to worry about also fitting in the wireless circuitry, and the Vibease excels at the tease, edge, and embarrass bit. We think Vibease may want to consider these facts in their marketing and make sure they’re not mismatching customer expectations and design limitations and strengths.

On that note, Emily and I just aren’t fans of narrated erotica in audio form. That’s one of Vibease’s big ticket selling points. The Vibease comes with some pre-programmed scripts that syncs vibrations carefully to audio. While this is mostly done in the form of narrated erotica, some of the free samples include background soundscapes of nature, such as the beach, or a thunderstorm. Emily actually enjoyed those more than the narrated erotica. Of course, everyone’s mileage is going to vary on this one, you know whether or not you already like audio erotica novels and I’m even willing to go out on the limb that the Esthesia—Vibease’s dual stimulation, G-spot and clitoris, insertable vibrator is a better fit for this use case by default. So far, synced audio is a walled garden experience, which we think is a bit of wasted potential. At the end of the day this is just a programmed routine timed to synced audio. There are other exciting potential applications for this! Please open this up to the creator landscape if you can. I could see a collaboration with companies that specialize in porn for women too, such as sssh.com. I could imagine creative people spicing up their workouts if they had the tools to sync their own audio.

Oh, speaking of workouts, back to the wearable size issue with vibrators. Maybe you’re a flirty show off, and maybe it would turn you on, but I imagine most people using this in public will be doing so with the idea that it’s clandestine. We think the size of the Vibease is basically perfect, but that doesn’t make it magic and this is going to print through your yoga pants. Denim booty shorts are fine though. It’s less about the coverage and more about the material. A long shirt or dress or skirt should fix that problem, it’s just something to keep in mind. If you’re already struggling to hide panty lines, you’re probably printing with the Vibease. I think for some of you that could be a thrilling turn on though and in other situations that could be mitigated just by what you’re doing. Like, I know we mentioned not liking the erotica much but if you wanna take this thing on a jog you’re probably going to be moving too much for the printing to matter and throw on some audioscaping while you’re at it? Could be fun. That’s not something we did mind you, that’s just a thing I could see being done effectively. The extra elasticity strength provided by some good workout pants would definitely hold the Vibease in place for a run.

Let’s talk about the app for a minute, and maybe a few more minutes, because the app is absolutely central and critical to the function of the Vibease. You need to create an account with Vibease to get started, which threw me for a loop for a few seconds before I considered the partner play requirements. I do think you should be able to access basic quick play and “turn the toy on” functions without signing up or signing in though, and we’ll get to the reasons why in a minute. Back to the sign up process, it was easy and straight forward. Emily and I both guffawed at the prospect of ‘signing in with Facebook’ though. I don’t care how skillfully that lizard man pretends to drink water like a human, I don’t trust Zuckerberg or his company anywhere near vibrator data. I appreciate Vibease being mindful of our connected world, but I’ll just give them an email address the old fashioned way thanks, and that’s just what we did. I don’t trust google much either with data privacy, but I trust them more than Facebook not to sell the fact that we have a Vibease or who-I-use-it-with data.

After the simple registration process you’re presented with some simple categories of use. The first is the Vibease Market where they have all their paid audio erotica options. It has a trending and new section to help you sort that out. The next section is where you access your purchased/free audio to use with the Vibease. In the bottom-right corner of this section is the Vibease icon, through which you access ‘quick play’. In our opinion this should be a more prominent option, perhaps with its own menu. We understand why they put it here—this technically is what allows you to vibrate to any audio source—but this is the only place you can access unguided solo operation of the device. We feel that warrants a more prominent placement in the UI. The third section is where you access and control your partner play experience. Behold, the best part of the whole Vibease experience. From here you can connect to other app users—hence the need to sign up—and send invites to the app through basically any app on your phone that allows you to input text, everything from Discord to the WordPress app. Once you are connected you can start a ‘chat’ with the user which lets you text, send audio or images, and of course send requests to control the vibrator functions. Using the three dots menu, you may also set up a user as a ‘trusted partner’. A trusted partner’s requests to control your device are automatically approved, the critical function for ultra stealth public play. We also appreciate the thought that went into deciding that outside of opt-in trusted partners, every control request must be manually approved by the device wearer. Good job here Vibease.

Inside of the chat area there are three nice options for remote control play. The first gives you a dynamic touch screen interface with two axis. One controls the speed of the device and the other controls the power of the device. Sliding your finger to the top right puts the device at maximum speed and power, the bottom right is low speed high power, the bottom left is low speed low power, and the upper left is high speed low power. You may freely slide your finger to any combination in between. This mode requires the most attention and intimate knowledge from the partner and long term partners are going to make the best use of this control section. The next control section is a pattern graph that lets you set the power and rhythm of the device in a repeating loop, I used this section a lot, as once it’s set you can do other things like continue to flirt in voice or chat, send pictures, etc. In the next section are some preconfigured vibration patterns to select from. I found ‘flick’ to be especially compatible with Emily. These patterns, like in the second option, will repeat until they are changed. On that note, a word about section one—the Vibease will fill communication gaps for you by simply continuing your last selection so if you put your finger all the way to the top right of the graph and let go it will stay on maximum power until it’s told to not be there. If you disconnect completely it will maintain whatever its last command was whether that’s a repeating pattern or a strength you chose in control option one.

In the next section you set-up and pair your device with your phone. Once again Vibease shows consideration to privacy here. The pairing process must be started with the device OFF. That alone prevents a ton of known hi-jacking methods. Good job Vibease. Remember those presets I was talking about in control option 3 in the paragraph above? Well in this section you can alter and save these presets. If you find any of the presets to be useless, congratulations you now have a custom pattern slot, go nuts! I know I’ve talked a lot about shortfalls in the app, but you can really see how much effort was put into the user experience. Even where we disagree with how that experience goes, you can’t say they didn’t consider it. This section too is a real highlight of the software. You may also play patterns from here so it also functions as a sort of secondary solo play mode, though it’s not as completely off the tracks as the one we pointed out before.

Finally, you get your standard three dots menu, from which you can change your profile settings, your privacy settings, check your app version, send invites to friends/partners, request support, rate the app, and explicitly log out. It’s a well rounded and well thought out options menu.

We also want to communicate to everyone how much quality of data connection matters for using the Vibease. It’s story time. We have three children, and we planned an entire date around using the Vibease. We get full on dates about once a month, they are rare and fun events and represented the perfect time to take the Vibease features for a spin. So guess what happened? Our local cell phone network decided to take a colossal shit that day. Emily and I were on separate networks and they were both affected. We fiddled with the Vibease for an hour with no luck, generating things like java null reference errors in the app and all sorts of things that would make a less tech savvy user blame the software or the device. But I also noticed that Discord wasn’t working either, for either of us. SMS was working, but that was about it. Insidiously, the cellular networks were presenting us with data bars, but they would rapidly ping pong from 5 to 1, good signal to terrible. Anything that relied on our Data connection was totally fucked, for hours. Ultimately, at an hour in to our 5 hour monthly date, we decided to salvage what we had left and ignore the device. Total, fucking, bummer. Again, this wasn’t the fault of Vibease, I’m just pointing out some inherent pitfalls that come with chaining things to a cellphone. Any of you that have had a day of PokemonGO ruined because a cell tower decided to take a dump knows exactly the kind of frustration I’m talking about. EX raids anyone? As soon as we got back home on a network that didn’t suck ass—we were mall crawling that day, we got on the public wifi at the mall and it offered zero relief as it was the first Saturday that students were back and the network was saturated to uselessness—the app worked flawlessly. No more silly Java null reference errors when trying to update my profile. This is a problem that could erroneously present itself as a problem with the device or the software, and I will renew my pleading to Vibease to have more ‘offline’ function options. Remember, you have to be signed in to even use the manual operation options.

As I mentioned above, this could be a useful device if you are a sex worker that offers GFE services or other remote play services. The privacy settings are there and it’s easy to completely control who can pester you with control requests. Again, on the privacy front, Vibease gets top marks from us. The only snag I can really see has to do with the paragraph above. There’s a lot that can go wrong with cell phone leashing, most notably, the cellular network itself, and it only takes that being shoddy on one end to ruin the connection. It’s amusing to say outright, but the weakest link in the Vibease model is the cellular towers themselves. Aside from that though, I say go for it, or at the very least consider it. If remote play services aren’t part of your hustle(thank you Tawney for the jargon), don’t worry about it.

Things to know about Bluetooth before you dive in. It’s really easy to disrupt a Bluetooth signal. Maximum range with direct line of sight is something about 10 meters, but Bluetooth signals are disrupted by a lot of things, and particularly human flesh. You can intentionally disconnect the Vibease by aggressively crossing your legs. Sorry, that’s the tech. So here are some pointers to keep connected. Keep your phone as close to the vibrator as you can within reason. Thicker clothes will disrupt the signal more. Crossed legs or putting your thighs real close together will really do a number on the signal. Keep other sources of wireless signals away, especially other Bluetooth. That’s pretty much it.

So what do we have here when we really get down to brass tacks? I think what we have is an excellent way for couples to connect over distance and to tantalize and tease each other to increase desire and stay connected. When it comes to a toy like this, the software is really what’s going to make or break it. As a standalone vibrator external wearables have too many size constraints to measure up to other options. The connectivity and the software that provides that connectivity is what makes these toys worthwhile. That’s why we spent so much time going over the ways the software could improve. As the Vibease exists now, it’s already an excellent edition to a couple’s warchest—that must be stressed, it is already good. We however, see a lot of room for the Vibease to get even better, and we hope it does.

Once again. I’d like to thank Vibease for providing us the opportunity to review a toy in this class.

Don’t Stop Dating

Your road through marriage can come with a lot of new identities: parent, spouse, Home Depot junkies, just to name a few. You’ll run a household together, manage finances together, become your own handymen and landscapers (even if you delegate those jobs you’ll have to have instructions and vision), raise children, reprimand teachers and other care givers when they step out of line, deal with in-laws, and handle end of life care for your parents.

You may not think, doing all of these things and dealing with the punches life throws at you, that you have the time or bandwidth to tend to the tasks that brought you together in the first place. You may vanish as regulars to your favorite bar or restaurant, your friends may see less of you, you may see less of each other. Some of this is bound to happen, you just aren’t getting out for dates as much when you’re say, sleep training an infant. But I implore you not to let ‘phases’ become new norms.

When there is a genuine need to put the nights out on the back burner, do so, you have a family to take care of, but don’t give up on dating forever. Love is not something that you achieve and then put in a trophy case, it requires constant reinforcement and reaffirmation and I find a lot of couples discard dating as soon as they tie the knot. They seem to think of dating as this courtship phase that has a hard end when they get married, they don’t recognize their dates as the series of love and trust deepening behaviors that got them to the marriage finish line in the first place. On that note, the act of marriage isn’t the finish line at all, it’s the starting line.

I think you could be reasonably confused about that. Society certainly is. Young couples overwhelmingly choose cohabitation over marriage as their preferred lifestyle. According to a study by Sharon Sassler at Cornell University, this largely comes from a fear of divorce. Sassler has further found that a good portion of these people are primarily worried over the emotional turmoil from the split.

So let’s simplify that thinking for a little bit just so when can put it in perspective and consider the implications. A significant group of young people, are living together for as long as they can, and having and raising children, instead of getting ‘married’ in order to avoid the psychological pain of splitting up. I am left wondering what the word marriage must mean to these couples. It wasn’t that long ago, from a historical perspective, that living together this way made you married, and I don’t mean de facto married, I don’t mean as good as married, I mean married married. Hell, there are still 15 states in the United States, 16 if you include D.C., that recognize some form of common law marriage. A lot of these have caveats but there are a few that don’t including Alabama, Colorado, D.C., Iowa, Kansas, Montana, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, and Utah.

Whatever causes this line of thinking, it’s clear there’s at least one thing going on. Marriage has become some sort of magical divider that separates us from our pre and post dating state, but having children does not. Sure, there’s not having to go through divorce, but the moment you split there’s going to be a custody fight and child support to pay. You’re not ‘getting away clean’ here, and you may end up just as in court as you would have been in a divorce. The evidence is clear, many of us are convinced that our entire emotional state regarding our relationship should change on our wedding day.

That’s rubbish.

Emphasizing your new identities as spouses and parents to the exclusion of your old identities as a romantic dating couple can cause you to become entirely consumed by these identities, and that often leads to long term unhappiness in your marriage. A wife consumed by her identity as a mother may have trouble with mustering the raw feelings of desire she needs for sex. A father consumed in his role as a provider may have trouble prioritizing the emotional needs of the rest of his family and ironically fail in that exact role. Either parent, consumed by their roles as such, my absorb themselves in their children to such a degree that their partner may feel unappreciated and unloved. Balance of our myriad identities matters. Maybe I could spend a lot more words trying to convince you of that, but I think Esther Perel does a much better job and I don’t wish to duplicate her research or experience. Just go read Mating In Captivity if you’re skeptical, then get back to me.

For the rest of us, remember that continuing your courtship behaviors helps you balance your new identities with your old ones. Emily and I recently had our tenth anniversary and we spent it doing something I think you may find interesting.

Emily and I dumped our kids off with relatives, and generally when we do that it’s so we can have some of the kinkier sex that would be too noisy and require too much assurances it wouldn’t be interrupted than we can manage when they’re in the house. That day however, we had a different goal in mind. We were going to just have a good old fashioned mall crawl. We arrived when the doors opened, and were immediately hit in the face with the smells of Cinnabon. We hadn’t had breakfast yet and Emily exclaimed something to the effect of, “that would be good”. Emphasis on the would. I chuckled a bit and corrected her. That’s going to be good.

Emily realized at that moment, it finally hit her after about an hour and a half, that she was free to act without children, that she could be a little selfish, that she could enjoy herself, she didn’t have to buy extra cinnamon rolls or share one with sugar craving piranhas, that, for the moment, for this day, we were just the 2 of us again. She got so happy she nearly cried, and we spent the next five hours or so going through makeup, clothes, video games, candles, and whatever the hell we felt like doing.

I explained the day to a coworker, 11 years married and he exclaimed, “Yeah, we spent our tenth pretty much the same way, we had a Home Depot date and spent most the day casually building the kitchen island we have now and it was fantastic”.

We certainly have dates more frequently than just our anniversary date, but we don’t get to do these things as often as I’d like, granted, perhaps should. We could strive to do our date nights a little more, tone it down on the sex and up on the sushi bar. I understand the concept of having superior obligations too, like bills and house maintenance, but take it from me, take it from my co-worker, it’s worth it. Don’t stop dating.

How to Stop Bad Arguments Before They Start

You’re engaged, or married, or getting there, and you’re madly in love with each other; there’s only one problem, you’re fighting a lot. Rows are a part of every relationship. Living together with any other human being is bound to create some tension eventually. For some of us that’s a little more frequent than we’d like, and I think we’d all like to have less of them even if they are rare. Fortunately, there are concrete things you can do to change things for the better. For maximum effect, you and your partner need to both commit to less fighting, but there are things you can do unilaterally that should lower the amount of bad arguments you have.

Dispel The Housework Myth

Housework can be an insidious source of stress. While for most people these are small annoyances in isolation, undone housework has a habit of reminding you that it’s not done until it’s taken care of. You see the annoyance all the time and anything annoying becomes infuriating with enough time. As such, the division of housework can end up being one of the bigger flash points in a relationship. There are several dynamics at work that can make resolving the problem of housework troublesome.

The largest hurdle I keep encountering with early couples and even some old ones is the expectation that their spouse won’t be like their old room mates when it comes to cleaning up and helping out. You may have the idea that finally you have someone to share these chores with, that you won’t be the only one in the house that cares about how the house looks. Perhaps the script is flipped, perhaps you were the one that never cared about cleanliness and you’re looking forward to not being pestered about it. This is a dangerous fight causing myth. I have some shocking news for you, take out the relationship and guess what, you’re just room mates. Being in love with each other doesn’t fundamentally change the logistics of keeping a home. If you are the clean one, the one that always cared more than everyone else about the state of the living space, you will more than likely be that person inside your relationship, putting more value in the state of your home than your spouse. If you are the messy one, tired of being pestered about things that don’t matter to you, you usually won’t find that escape inside a relationship.

I find dispensing with this expectation alone can take a lot of stress off your mind. Expecting something out of your relationship that isn’t coming is a sure road to explosive arguing. Your spouse can likely improve in cleaning up after themselves, or maybe it’s you that needs to improve. Conversely, you may need to be the one to learn to let go a little or your spouse might be. Fundamentally neither of you are going to change here, don’t expect your significant other to fundamentally change either. Clean people tend to stay that way, and messy people also tend to stay their way. I’m not saying give up on a clean house, but you may have to dispense with the idea of equitable division of house labor. Ask for something in return for this however, this should be a negotiation. There are things other than housework that can help take the load off, bargain for those. You’re probably tired of hearing this, like a played out meme, but communication is key. Communicate that the state of the house upsets you, or that the pestering upsets you, and go from there and do it before it boils over.

When it comes to housework there’s another myth I keep running across that also seems to disappoint people and turn housework into a point of friction. There’s often an expectation, an anticipated joy, that there will be less housework to do if there’s someone to share it with. If you think about this critically for even a moment you can see the problem with this selfish equation. Yes, there is another person in the house to help keep things tidy. There’s also another person in the house, they come with their own messes. You’ll be doing well if the amount of things that need doing stays static per capita. Often this expectation also accompanies moving from rental to home living. Few people accurately correctly account for the sheer increase in things to do once they’re responsible for cleaning their own roof and mowing their own lawn and making other home repairs and improvements. Even if this burden is handled largely financially—you pay people to do it—it’s still more on the pile. Dispel this myth as well, the housework load isn’t going down with another person in your life.

Re-draw Your Defensive Perimeter

This one is tricky, but potentially the most rewarding. When we get angry we tend to lash out. For many, and especially new couples, our partner is located in the ‘outward’ area. In other words, they are in the area we deem to be outside ourselves and are available for attack and blame. You can stop a lot of arguments by taking your partner out of this area. Putting someone, anyone, inside your ‘in’ area can be difficult and requires a tremendous amount of built up trust.

I like to imagine trust as the income of a relationship. As you build trust, save it, invest it, and help it grow, you stop living from paycheck-to-paycheck in your relationship. If you outspend your trust income for long enough you end up homeless. So how do you build trust and what does it mean to spend it? I’ll use Emily as an example.

Emily is a homemaker, she takes care of our three children and keeps up the house while I tackle the easier task of making some money(That could be and probably will be its own post). Emily frequently arranges her day so that she finishes her errands and arrives home just as I get home from work. There’s a couple ways to interpret this behavior depending on your level of trust.

  • Emily wants to make sure she doesn’t miss her limited time with me and has a hard cutoff time on her errands, which would otherwise run into the evening, to do so.
  • Emily wants to make sure her car is in the driveway when I get home so it looks like she’s been home working all day.
  • Emily is trying to hide how much time she spends away from the home because she’s doing something she’s not supposed to.
  • Emily is poorly hiding an affair.

Believe it or not, Emily is spending a tiny amount of the trust bank every time I notice this behavior, usually when I get home a little early from work and she’s not there. It’s not being spent because I distrust her, it’s being spent because a positive reaction depends on how much trust exists. It should be noted that the truth of the situation doesn’t matter. The amount of trust I have in Emily determines whether or not I believe her answer in the first place. In other words, if Emily and I maintained a negative balance in the trust account our relationship could suffer over an innocent pattern of behavior. The converse is also true, a high trust nest egg could aid her in hiding a tryst. The former is why it is so rationally difficult to build trust in a person. Trust changes the truth and that can leave us vulnerable to manipulation and other terrible things. You can overcome this obstacle by considering the decisions you’ve already made—this is your life partner. You are already vulnerable to your partner financially and emotionally. Your partner will be helping you raise your children and form their ideas about you. Your partner will or does have demands about your living conditions; how the house is constructed, diet, and so on. You’ve already agreed to spend your lives with each other despite whatever quirks or requirements these areas have attached to them. If there is anyone in the world where having low trust is going to do more harm than good, it’s your partner.

So how do we build trust and fill that piggy bank? Well there’s some good news here, especially for the busy types. I find it’s the little behaviors that help the most in keeping the trust account topped off. Buy her chocolate for no reason, tell him you appreciate his contributions to the home, kiss, engage in playful touch, practice speaking the compliments that you think, and when you eventually do get in an argument…

Target the problem instead of the person!

Practice this. Fundamentally what you want to achieve here is diminishing the importance of assigning blame. When an argument comes up, remember that no amount of yelling is going to get the kitchen floor cleaner or put the toilet seat down. When you’re partner is packing their bags and walking out the door are you going to be saying to yourself, “at least I know it wasn’t my hair clogging the drain!”? Once you get to the point that you are focusing on the problem see if the ‘problem’ suddenly sounds silly. There might be something else making you angry and making you notice small things more—bringing work stress home is a frequent cause. Let your partner know if you ever realize this, let them know that you’re stressed and noticing small irritants more. Ironically, I find that a lot of these arguments start up over small things as an excuse to get the attention the angry partner feels they’re entitled to and not getting. Try to figure out if there’s something you can do, together, to get you in a better mood. If there’s a real problem, address it. Your partner is going to be more useful in helping you solve the problem than as a dejected emotional antagonist of your own making.

Over time, these behaviors will take your partner from someone outside of your defenses—a valid target—to someone helping you shoot from the walls. The frequency and intensity of your arguments will drop, and you’ll both be happier. The high trust environment you start creating will reinforce itself too. Taking the pressure off of your partner just a little will give them the emotional space to start reciprocating these changes, and they often will do so without prompting. You got together because you enjoyed each others company remember? Frequent arguments are often a cycle that appears later on, and cycles have this funny little property of being breakable by one participant.

Share A Calendar

This is another one of those communication things. I find it annoying how much the word communication is thrown around as if it were it’s own self-contained set of actions and recommendations. So here’s something specific that goes under that heading. Double booking days off is immensely irritating. A fight often ensues over which double booked event is more important, or which was made the longest ago, or who forgot what, or who only mentioned it while you were busy and distracted, and so on.

Do something with that smart device of yours other than being your bosses annoying leash to you. Create a calendar for the family. Check it before you commit to doing anything. Like all new habits you’re going to stumble on this one a few times before you get into the groove of using it, but commit to not double booking your free time today. Will you be watching the super bowl? Put it on the calendar, let your spouse know it’s on the calendar, and you’re not entertaining the in-laws unless they show up with foam fingers, appetizers, and a party mentality. On that note, if your guy is a football guy, don’t do something as seemingly passive aggressive as scheduling a visit from your parents during the super bowl, yeeesh. If you find you’re often oblivious to those things the calendar will help. If you aren’t doing this already please start today, just trust me on this.

Make Time For Dates

I find that making time for dates most frequently vanishes after having children and I’ll be writing this section from that point of view, but some couples struggle with this shortly after moving in together. In either case, do not sacrifice all of your alone time with your partner. In an earlier piece I mentioned building a circle of friends you could rely on to take on temporary burdens. Rely on your support networks to handle the excuse you’re always throwing out, you know the one, “I’d take you out if only I didn’t have responsibility X”. By the way, that’s just an excuse. I don’t know what hurdle you think is blocking off your time for entire months—once a month dates is what I’d shoot for at minimum—but it’s likely not actually consuming every single day for an entire month. Don’t write angry letters if you’re one of the few that are busy for entire months, I get it—working on an oil rig for instance—but those gigs generally also come with a week or more of downtime, make room for your partner.

For those of you who haven’t been on a date in a while, try to keep it simple. Emily and I struggled with this for a while after our second child and on our first date out in months we’d realized we’d forgotten what it even felt like. Something as simple as sitting down together at a chain restaurant can feel surreal in those circumstances so don’t clutter up or needlessly complicate the itinerary. Take a hike—literally—or one of my favorites, only plan the amount of time you will be gone and drive around town stopping literally anywhere that catches your fancy. Practice being free. Go to that knick-knack shop you used to love but just drive by now, revisit that old make-out spot, dive into that dive you’ve been meaning to try.

Catching a movie needs its own little section. I typically don’t recommend this if you’re only getting about a date a month and can’t get about 5 or more hours on your free-time clock. Counting logistics this is usually a 2.5 hour gamble you’re committing to. If you are going to go to a movie be clear about the circumstances under which you’ll walk out and practice that option with prejudice. Have a back-up plan. Emily and I will go mall crawling in the event of a disappointing film. Having a back-up plan pits the movie against alternatives and helps you recognize when it’s failing to be entertaining enough. Forget walking out on only the ‘bad’ movies, I walk out on the ones that aren’t strictly good or better. Those are precious hours! You may like movies a lot more than I do—that’s very likely actually—but most films these days, well…I get more enjoyment out of treating Emily to a Cinnabon in the mall food court.

So what’s any of this have to do with arguments? I’d say if you’re asking that question you’re definitely missing out on too many date nights, schedule more. A good night out can raise your mood above the petty squabbling threshold for days or even weeks. It’s a good time to connect and remind yourselves that you’re a couple and that you’re in this thing together in a context that’s positive, as opposed to the we’re-in-this-together that comes with dealing with a sick infant.

There are more ways to prevent bad arguments for sure, but I find these general behaviors to be the most generally applicable to the other couples I talk to. There’s a lot of devil in the details of other relationships, and some experiences are more universal. So whether you’re the one having argument problems, or you’re a couple that’s just afraid of ending up that way, or you know a couple that could use some help, I hope you’ve found this post useful. Remember as always, there’s a time for self help and a time for professional advice. Don’t use my blog as a substitute when professional help is called for.

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

Build A Sexy Warchest

A What Now?

The warchest is a bit of inside jargon between Emily and I; it’s a term we came up with to describe the sum total of our “adult” item collection without having to constantly distinguish whether or not we were talking about toys, lubes, oils, or whatever. Lacking a term for our collection made conversations wordy and meandering. Simply put a warchest is whatever you use to enhance your sex lives as a couple represented as a collection. The size and variety of your warchest is personal and arbitrary. Your warchest could be as simple as a single go-to lubricant or it could more closely resemble ours—a varied collection of lubricants, oils, dildos, vibrators, restraints, clothes, candles, incense, and body fragrances—or anything between those two, or in excess of it. The point is, make it yours.

Do We Really Need That?

Need is a strong word but I highly encourage it. I dare you to have less fun with a carefully considered and stocked warchest. Let’s start with something simple, lubricant. Basic female fact, women experience sexual non-concordance far more often than men do. To put that in English, not everyone gets physically aroused with 100% lockstep to their mental arousal state, but women—for whatever reason—seem to experience less body-brain agreement than men. There are several reasons for this, some are biological in nature. Everything from cycle phase to pregnancy to childbirth, anything that effects hormone levels really, can cause vaginal dryness. So can just being sick or having a nutrient imbalance. There’s no sense in trying to force the body to agree with the brain in these circumstances and finding a good lubricant to keep on hand can just make that a non-issue. Suppose you and your SO like back-door fun too, obviously you need a lubricant for that as well. But front and back door lubricants have different needs, now you may need two lubes—we’ll go into specifics farther down. Now what if you wanted one just for fun; something a little slippy-slidey-messy like Bad Dragon’s infamous cumlube? Our example warchest has three items now and we haven’t even left the lubricant department. It’s funny how a little consideration for use case and a few “I want”s can balloon a warchest. Something as simple as keeping condoms around is a warchest too. Don’t box yourself into the fantastic when considering the term.

Couple Talk.

There are a few things that need to get done when planning out any warchest. Primarily, you need to be communicating with your partner openly and honestly. Some of these items can have negative impacts on self-esteem or make your partner uncomfortable. Let’s revisit the lube. What if you showed up at home with all these lubes from the example above in hand without communicating? Your partner may not know about sexual non-concordance. Some women think needing lube is a failing of their womanhood. Some men think it’s their fault if their woman isn’t wet and could take the purchase as an insult too. These issues need to be talked through if they exist and you’ll only know if you ask.

Anecdote time. I spent some time in my late teens working inside a meat packing/processing room in a super market. We always felt pretty isolated from the customers and talked about whatever. The work was hard, cold, and stressful. I’ve seen people lose bits to band saws. Environments like that tend to put more topics on the table than most settings. Sex came up a lot. We were talking about dildos one day and several of the fellas sounded off their opinions. I hadn’t really formed any yet, I wasn’t in a stable sexual relationship with anyone at the time, but I did pay attention to the answers. One answer that particularly struck me was, “toys are fine as long as they’re not bigger than me”. I found later that was a really common sentiment. A lot of guys think all there is to satisfaction is physical dimension, that an artificial object of sufficient endowment could literally replace the need for them. Yes, that’s insecurity, and it says a lot about what they base the relationship on, but it’s also a thing that’s real and an emotion you may need to be aware of. Some men just don’t know that despite hyperbolic reviews on product pages, many women find toys of any efficacy a poor substitute for the real thing. Education can be an issue too. There are a significant number of men and women that don’t really understand vaginal elasticity and think large toys or even above average toys will make someone ‘loose’. It’s good not to assume what your partner does or doesn’t know about sexuality. If you’re already communicating and in tune with each others wants and desires great! We will also be reviewing some books on sexuality soon. On that note, I don’t recommend warchest building with younger unestablished couples. Warchests have the potential to be significant investments and a pain point in a breakup.

We focus mostly on couples seeking or improving long-term committed relationships here however, so from this point on in this blog I’m going to assume that’s you, especially if you’ve gotten this far. We’ve covered the whats and the whys, so let’s dive into the hows.

Safety First.

If you’re new to the warchest market it may surprise you to learn that there are downright dangerous things being sold as safe. Dildos, plugs, and insert-able vibrators in particular are in a bad spot right now. Many of the most popular materials on the market right now—read: cheapest—are made of unstable plastics that break down and leech chemicals into the body. In addition these bargain bin toys are also porous and will collect chemicals, body fluids, bacteria, and all sorts of other nasties over time. I could write quite a bit about the specifics of this but I think it’s more useful to say what is safe.

When it comes to insert-able toys high-quality silicone based toys are top on the list of body-safe materials. Silicone can be cured to have varied textures and hardness to suit individual tastes and can hold a variety of interesting shapes. They’re non-porous, do not break down over time, and are easy to clean. Most are even dishwasher safe if that’s your thing. Properly cared for, a quality silicone based toy can last you decades. There are however counterfeits and ne’er-do-wells in this market, just like any other. Emily and I have two go-to providers for these types of toys. We go to Tantus for more conventional shapes and sizes for dildos and we also prefer them for plugs. We don’t find the ‘bullet’ solution to vibration that Tantus uses to be sufficient for our needs however and we have found a favorite in the Shibari Mini Halo wand. We also have quite the adventurous side and really recommend taking a trip to Bad Dragon if you ever find insert-able toys are starting to get routine. There are certainly other quality reputable manufacturers in this market but these are the ones we have personal experience with. However, I find Dangerous Lily to be a curator of integrity and you can’t go wrong with her. I’m not as strict in my preferences as she is when it comes to external toys but her highly informational deep dives into safe lubricants and toys are indispensable all the same. Seriously check her out.

Glass and metal are also alternatives to silicone and we do own quite a few glass toys. Quality glass toys are expensive however, but that didn’t stop us from falling in love with this unusual twisted piece. I don’t have any recommended manufacturers for metal toys unfortunately.

As for lubricants, look for top shelf brand names and check for ‘paraben free’ lubricants. That’s not the only irritant, that’ll vary person to person, but several manufacturers have started adding ‘natural’ lubes to their line-ups to address these issues. Sliquid offers a wide range of lubricants and is one of my go-to suppliers. When we’re looking to go for the rear we lean on Gun Oil. While the site says it’s ‘for men’ it’s really just specialized in anal friendly lubes. They’ve started a women’s section and while I’m not sure about the toys there the Pink lineup of lubes is quite a selection. I mentioned earlier that there are different lubes to get different jobs done. I’d recommend Dangerous Lily’s lubricant guide if you find all the options dizzying. On a quick note, I’ve recommended silicone toys here. DO NOT use silicone lubricants on silicone toys, you will RUIN them. Always be sure to read manufacturers recommendations and warnings.

That should cover the safety section. Let’s get to the fun stuff.

Oh The Options.

So we’ve covered the whats and whys. We’ve covered issues of safety and I’ve thrown more links at you already than I can shake a stick at. It’s time for some fun stuff.

Mood Setters – Don’t forget these essential parts of your warchest. Properly fragranced candles can double as mood lighting and olfactory pleasers. The brain is the biggest and best pleasure organ in the body, don’t neglect it. Use mood setters to clear away the thoughts that inhibit, well, the mood. This can be smells, the lighting, background noise or music, even which room you’re in. Just about everyone knows about the most ubiquitous mood setter, lingerie. Mood setters can make all the difference.

Lubricants – we already went over these a good bit in the safety section, and for good reason. Anything that goes in someone’s body needs to be thoroughly vetted. Just remember that there are a few basic types. Water based lubricants are easy to clean and typically don’t stain. They’re meant to augment natural lubricant and if they start to dry out can be ‘refreshed’ by a little water or natural moisture. Water based lubes are also condom and toy safe in the vast majority of cases, worry not with water. Thicker oil and silicone based lubricants and gels are better for anal play. The anus and rectum don’t naturally lubricate and lubes that aren’t absorbed by the body and ‘stay put’ better are preferable for this use case, they are harder to clean however and may stain.

Dildos – Are you a size queen or a texture fiend? Do you even know yet? Start with the basics and figure out what it is you like. Do you like girth, smoothness, ridges? This varies person to person. Only one way to find out! While a majority of women actually prefer external stimulation for getting off, women like Emily have a hard time making the magic happen without feeling full. If that’s you this is your stop.

Plugs – These are another item that benefit a lot from the qualities of silicone. Metal makes a large appearance here too as some people like their plugs to have a lot of weight. As for whether or not plugs are for you that seems to be one of the more individual tastes. Emily doesn’t really care for them even though she likes a good anal thrusting. Some people, men and women alike, seem to just do much better with some presence there in the same way Emily has a much easier time if there’s something inserted vaginally. Just like with dildos, if you’re curious and inexperienced with these chase things in ‘starter’ size. That’s where the similarities to dildos stop though, don’t treat these that way. For the best experience you need to be well lubricated, and very relaxed. Many women find it useful to get off once or come very close to it prior to anal play. Remember those mood setters.

Vibrators – As I just mentioned above, most women actually prefer getting off on clitoral stimulation and vibrators are designed to achieve that. When I say designed, I mean it, vibrators were originally invented as a medical device to relieve ‘tension’ in under-served wives. Until recently, vibrators haven’t really changed much since they were invented: Stick an electric unbalanced oscillator to a power source and feel the thump. Recently however there’s a new type of vibrator that uses puffs of air. We haven’t had the chance to try one of these yet but most of the reviews are very positive. If a more traditional vibrator is for you, check the reviews. Some are buzzy, some are rumbly, based on the type of motor used. That’ll be a personal preference.

Massage Oils – I could stick this under mood setters but I think massage oils deserve their own special mention. Unless specifically stated these are for external use only, which is a good thing. This lets massage oils be suffused with things that warm, or chill, or tingle, or smell good, or a combination. It’s a real good way to arouse the brain while you arouse the body. If you need to cheap out here, you totally can. Baby oil has a reputation as being a cheap but wonderful go-to here, especially if like me, you have a baby and buy the stuff in large quantities anyway, no one bats an eye!

Restraints – Rope, cuffs, whatever, these items are for couples that are into power play. You likely already know if this is you, but if you’re curious try it out. Besides, knowing how to tie a good quick release knot is a practical skill outside the bedroom too. There are safety concerns with this too. Ropes that are too tight are a bad thing. Check this page out to get started.

Other Considerations.

For long term couples, especially those with children, there are several logistical things to consider when building your own warchest.

  • How and where will the items be cleaned/maintained?
  • Do you need batteries and if so how many?
  • How much physical space can you dedicate to these items and where will they be stored?
  • What are you willing to spend?
  • How obvious are they? (Noise, smell, etc.)
  • How much prep time is involved?
  • How frequently will they be used?

And that’s about it! As this blog goes on we will be reviewing some of these items specifically and in detail, so stay tuned for those. At this point we aren’t taking requests, we’ve got quite a collection to work through first. I hope this has been a practically useful and informational post.


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.