Book Review – Open Bobs BB volume 1

Book Review – Open Bobs BB volume 1

Over the course of this blog we’ve reviewed a bunch of indie-made dildos and I’ve reviewed a fair few books. Today I’m reviewing my first indie-published book, Open Bobs BB volume 1. There were some small challenges in reviewing Open Bobs BB—I’ll just call this OBBB from here on out—that I think are useful to go over. I was asking questions that didn’t have obvious answers, as I typically review from the point of view of the self-help genre with questions like, Who is this book for? What use is it? What’s the value proposition? We’ll be covering answers to those questions where they’re appropriate, but OBBB isn’t strictly, nor is it billed as, a self-help item, it’s a collection item which happens to contain some self-help segments.

Let’s start straight away with one of the most obvious things in need of an answer, what does that title mean? Funny enough, you won’t find that answer in the book, I think there’s an assumption that anyone reading the book will be familiar enough with the blog already to know. Well, I hope that changes, because I think more people should own a copy, but we’ll get to that later. So the short of it is, “Open Bobs BB?” was the first message performer/sex worker/author/more Tawney Seren received when she started working in the sex industry. You can learn more here. I do wish OBBB mentioned that in the introduction though.

From there we work our way through a curated selection of works from the Open Bobs BB blog itself. The formatting of this book really shines here, credit to Harper the Fox. The text is easy on the eyes, the breaks feel natural, and the design lends a sense of flow to the reading, which is very nice to see in a collection type book. As I alluded to earlier, the content itself runs quite a wide gamut of topics. There’s serious practical advice for removing cum stains but also interviews with mothers about their sex lives and body image and how they’ve coped after children, a topic that really hits home here and that I’ve written on at length. There’s windows into the lives of sex-workers and fetish practitioners. It’s not really possible to convey the range of topics here without kinda spoiling the contents in their entirety, so I won’t, let’s just say I found the change of pace from piece to piece enjoyable but formatted in a way so it wasn’t jarring. My favorite bit was the interview with the moms though, for the record.

So, there’s a good question some of you may be asking right now and it’s one that deserves an answer. Why would I buy a book that contains a collection of blog posts I can go read for free? Glad you asked, because while there are some answers to that question that are easy, there’s one I came up with that I found pretty surprising, and all of them fit into a general theme of the benefits of a physical item, though a digital version is available. One of the easy answers is as a show of support that gets you something a little more concrete than a thank you. I also have a thing for physical media, always have, I’m biased towards it, but that’s because of things like the next reason. This is a great book for what I normally consider to be a book graveyard, the coffee table, but this time we’re using it to start conversations instead of to sit unused. My self-help books really don’t accomplish this well. Many people avoid the self-help section of book stores specifically because being seen there means, to many people, that there must be some large flaw with them or something wrong with them, and maybe that’s true, but it’s a tough thing to admit in public for anyone. Draping that on your coffee table comes with similar concerns over the message you’re trying to send. Why would I keep She Comes First on my coffee table? What message would I be sending? Not too keen on telling my guests that I might just have an oral edge over them.

But let’s say I’m really high in openness and really need to be explicitly told borders early in a relationship of any kind. Let’s also say for a moment that people who have low openness are really terrible at communicating things like that. If I leave OBBB on the table, odd title and all, with that cover—getting to that soon—I’d find that to be a more subtle and at their own pace way of getting to know someone’s limits. It’s a world apart from sending them a direct link to the blog via text or something, that would be me shoving the conversation on them, but when you enter my house it would be hard to object to seeing the material there, this is my space. So yes, I’ve finally figured out a use for the coffee table as something other than a place where unwanted magazines go to die. Thanks OBBB.

So about that cover. Despite it’s usefulness in the prior scenario I have to give it the same minor ding I give the rest of the books I review that have the “I will never read this is a coffee shop” cover. I should call this the e-reader award honestly. Damn me and my need for physical items that cover sex but that I’d also like to read in public, or at least away from my utterly lovable but very distracting family.

Let’s get into another use for putting this sort of thing into a collection piece and the value that can bring. Another artifact of doing a lot of book reviews on sensitive topics, and being as in the IT biz as I am, is that a lot of this stuff is not safe to link to or from work. Networks are increasingly monitored and even if you’re on a personal device you may be on monitored wi-fi. Your workplace, if it isn’t already, is getting increasingly invasive into your browser habits for reasons both good and bad. Passing someone a physical book removes these considerations.

I’ve spent a lot of time so far weighing on the pros and cons of physical versus electronic media, where that could have been it’s own post, and maybe it will be, but in light of what this product is, it seemed the right and necessary time for that topic to be covered. Also, this book is a short and quick read if you’re going to be doing it cover to cover style. I managed it with child distractions in about 2 hours, 137 pages.

So would I recommend Open Bobs BB volume 1? Absolutely, but excepting rare cases, my recommendations always come with a few caveats in the form of “if you are looking for X”. Let’s start with a recap of the stats. OBBB is a collected works style book with a great format, layout, a short length that lends it to casual reading or busy lifestyles without much opportunity cost for your time, and is inexpensive. Aside from my specific boundary probing scenario above, this book also serves the purposes of anyone who is even passingly curious about the lives of online sex workers, fetish practitioners, or people who are just curious about sexuality and the forms it takes in general—that’d be me. This is also the time to get some disclosures down. I normally have some boilerplate for these reviews, as I’m typically never tied in any way towards the source of the content. The ties here are really loose, but need disclosing. I have had some of—one actually, as of this writing—my content featured on the Open Bobs BB website and intend to submit more. I purchased this book to read out of my own volition and curiosity and Tawney was blindsided by the news that I’d be reviewing it. So there you go.

If you’d like to pick up Open Bobs BB volume 1 you can get a physical copy like I did—the most recommended option—but you can also pick up the digital version, both are available here.

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.

Dildo Review(s) – Merfolk XL and Chaos Beast by Pleasure Forge

Dildo Review(s) – Merfolk XL and Chaos Beast by Pleasure Forge

We get a double header today with two lovely items from Pleasure Forge. The Illithid we reviewed a bit over a week ago came in the same order with these two and we figured it was high time to finish reviewing that order as it was a month old. Also I really wanted an excuse to post this picture I took of them for funsies when they arrived in order to pay homage to the D&D roots of these toys. Chaos Beast is first up, followed by Merfolk XL.

From Left to Right – Illithid, Merfolk XL, and Chaos Beast

Chaos Beast

Introducing the Chaos Beast. This is a tentacle class toy with a twist—literally. Ours came in Miami Heat, a swirly marble of black, purple, orange, and pink (We updated the Illithid review to correct the reference to this color, Illithid was in Miami Vice). Topping this hot quadruple marble is a mica sparkle and UV reactivity. Firmness is Shore 10A which is normally what we’d consider approaching uncomfortable firm but the Chaos Beast doesn’t feel that way. This is largely owed to the wild dimensions of the toy and I suspect it would have a harder time keeping its shape if you went softer. It’s definitely a firmer silicone than we’re used to but we can tell if this were a normally phallic shaped toy we’d feel that a lot harder than we do. The Chaos Beast tends to twist, bend, and give rather than resist.

How do I even begin to describe the physical appearance of this toy? You should click through that gallery to help you follow along. The shaft of this tentacle is a sinewy double helix. Filling the void of the helix is more fleshy goodness, smooth on the front, suckers on the back. As you go down the shaft the texture on the double helix itself goes from smooth to this sorta micro-ridged printer texture. The joint of the shaft and base is adorned by…..something. Is that hair, is that tentacles, is that fire, is that hair-tentacle-fire? It’s chaos, that’s what it is. I will note that ours had some very minor casting imperfections towards the base. These are tiny, purely cosmetic, and you’ll find imperfections like these fairly routinely in hand-poured silicone toys, however, we will be pointing these out wherever we see them. Topping off the already chaotic features of this tentacle is a, head? A sucker? A sucker-head? Okay, it’s a sucker head, with…teeth? The backside of the head is adorned with 3 nicely sized ridges, but that other side, there’s a lot going on there. Honestly, I expected to find casting imperfections here if anywhere, but on our Chaos Beast there are none on this crazy, tooth filled…what are those bumps anyway? Our sucker-head mouth is apparently full of clitorises. We’ll be getting to those in more detail soon.

So with all that going on how exactly are you supposed to use this thing? Emily put the Chaos Beast through its paces and some of the answers surprised us. Let’s start with that head. You can feel all of that texture internally, the ridges, the sucker-mouth-bumps, all of it. What surprised Emily about the head though was how great it was as an external stimulator. Her clitoris loved all those little sometimes also clit looking bumps rubbed all over it. The shaft is roughly the same story, surprisingly good for external use and feels-like-it-looks when used internally.

We’re not going to bother with our typical D-score table for this beasty. The shape is too irregular for that to really mean anything here and the girth is not the main star of this attraction, nor is the overall length, and most of you should be able to fit this comfortably. Even the measurements themselves are tricky, sure 6.7 inches is actually decently long but the Chaos Beast bends, folds, twists, and gives, and I think those of you with shallower vaginas might be surprised how much deeper you can take Chaos beast than the measurements would suggest, but for the sake of completeness here’s a quick rundown of the basic numbers:

Length: Overall 8.7in / Usable 6.7in
Circumference: Max 6.3in / Min 3.9in
Diameter: Max 1.97in / Min 1.0in

Like most toys in this size class, Emily found Chaos Beast very comfortable for dual penetration play. One warning though, we don’t consider the base flared/obstructed enough to be anal safe and we did not attempt to use Chaos Beast that way. Illithid, myself, or Goblin’s Tentacle played back door partner to Chaos Beast in our trials and the results were pleasant.

We picked up our Chaos Beast for 50 bucks before shipping, another steal from Pleasure Forge. We would be remiss not to include that the aesthetic took a small amount of time to get over. Chaos Beast certainly lives up to its name and there was a, albeit brief, moment of what do we even do with this? We can see some people, even fantasy inclined people, being put off by that, but fortunately this isn’t going to be a huge surprise, you should be able to work out whether you’re going to like how it looks simply through the pictures provided above. For everyone else Chaos Beast promises an intriguing, versatile, and unique set of sensations with premium colorations in an entry level price tag—entry level in the context of fantasy silicone toys anyway.

For those of you building out an existing collection the Chaos Beast is a strong and easy recommendation. Newbies to toys in general would be taking a bit of a gamble with unknown preferences in our opinion but we thoroughly enjoyed the sensations. We think there are better basics and first-buys though if that’s you. For those of you experienced with toys but perhaps just looking to dip your toes into the fantasy market, buy with confidence.

Merfolk XL

Alright size queens and size-aspirational onlookers, this next one is for you. Welcome to Merfolk XL in Shore 00-30, the gentlest fisting warm-up this side of a game table. Let’s take a moment to just gaze and take him all in; you’ll be spending at least as much time getting him in you.

Also lets talk about this King Cake coloration. We typically avoid green as a component color in our toys and we really don’t get the whole carnival thing, but here it just worked and we had to have it. I usually save the size chart stuff for later, but the whole point of the Merfolk XL—there are other sizes available if you’re not into the whole stretch thing by the way—is the size.

Merfolk XLCircumferenceDiameterD-Score
Minimum Girth7.5″2.22.27
Maximum Girth9.1″2.954.1

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.

Size queens should know this already, but for the sake of completeness we’re going to remind you that under no circumstances should a toy with these dimensions be deployed without copious amounts of lubricant handy and you should have a warm up toy, or two.

One thing we really like about Merfolk XL is the length and the top loaded max diameter. Merfolk XL measures just over 10 inches long with 8.7 of those inches usable, enough to satisfy the depth play needs of anyone vaginally. Emily isn’t even remotely in a place where we’d consider reviewing this for anal play and the shape isn’t technically anal safe anyway, just as an aside. In other toys with dimensions close to these, we’ve had issues hitting the max length of Emily’s vagina before we ran out of max girth—our large Spritz was in this boat and so is our large unflared Chance—but the Merfolk XL delivers that punch upfront in the large bulbous head. This is where the Shore 00-30 firmness(is that even an appropriate word to use when referring to something this soft?) really stretches its legs and shines. This stretch won’t leave you sore as the 00-30 squishes and accommodates.

There is minor gentle but noticeable texturing on Merfolk XL as you can see in the pictures, but this thing seems designed to scale up without becoming uncomfortable and it definitely accomplishes that. On that note, we know a few owners of the smaller sizes and they just adore the overall shape of this toy as well and we’re considering getting a ‘normal’ large for this reason. The lack of aggressive textures may also be responsible for the fact that our Merfolk XL is flawless, completely free of any perceptible imperfections cosmetic or otherwise. Winning.

As I alluded to before, the Merfolk XL has been our best fisting prep toy that we’ve ever owned. That was curious to me as we own toys that have a larger maximum D-score like our large Apollo. Also for the record, as these things vary a bit, my fist(duck-billed) is 10.5 inches around. I’m not sure if that is large or small on the scale but there it is, and that’s what Merfolk XL excels in prepping Emily to take. We think that has to do with the 00-30 silicone not leaving things sore before we start. Whatever the reason, as subjective as it may be, Merfolk XL just does this job better for us than anything else in our warchest.

Silicone toys in sizes like this typically come with hefty price tags to match, and Merfolk XL is no exception. However, Pleasure Forge delivers excellent value in this area again. At 100 bucks even before shipping, this is a lot of silicone for your money. The size queens reading this probably raised an eyebrow or two at that, there are much smaller toys that hit triple digits, much less hit it even. That price tag however, is still three digits and puts Merfolk XL way outside of beginner territory, though I’d argue the size already did that. But lets put aside paragraphs of who this toy isn’t for, because Merfolk XL is targeting a specific group of people—size queens—and y’all won’t be disappointed with Merfolk XL.

That wraps up our purchases from Pleasure Forge, and boy do they live up to their name, providing consistent value, beautiful toys, excellent craftsmanship, and stellar customer service. Whether you’re a size queen, fantasy newbie, or looking to expand an existing collection, you can’t go wrong with Pleasure Forge. We are truly impressed. We hope to bring you more reviews of their inventory in the future.

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.

Card Night

Card Night

photo by: Sophie Elvis

Ah card night, we’re both still recovering from it. Once every few weekends or so we invite a couple of our friends over for adult fun and drinks. Usually the evening gets started early, the children are awake, and we start with something innocent like talking about bread baking, sculpting clay, various other hobbies, work, life in general. Sometimes we even perform these hobbies rather than talk about them—the most popular of which being the baking and the macarons in particular. After the kids shuffle to bed our friends break out their massive, complete, Cards Against Humanity collection, drinks are made, and we get down to it. This time we bit off more than we could chew, both celebrating St. Patrick’s day a little too hard and a little too early. But hey, it’s on a Sunday and I don’t get hangovers off, especially this upcoming week. It is crunch time.

So what’s the point of bringing all this up, why am I telling you all this? Well, for many of you this may be a familiar scene and for others not so much. The real point here is to highlight one of the ways we squeeze in some much needed adult time for a stay-at-home mother of three, who doesn’t get any days off unless I take some PTO. Today we’re switch hitting as we wait for the medicine to take the edge off our severe headaches and try to help each other stave off being overwhelmed by the boundless energy of our children. Emily doesn’t get a whole lot of time to have honest adult conversations with other adults. Her world is children, talking to children, teaching children, changing diapers, all that stuff. It’s such a relief and release for her to talk about something other than Mario, Mega Man, Legos, My Little Pony, family-portraits-as-spiders, mud cakes, an on it goes. Some of these things are genuinely cute, like the aforementioned way that our daughter draws us as a family of spiders, but engaging adult conversation they are not.

Emily likes talking about investment, property, dreams of a blueberry apiary, the coffee shop she’d like to start in the future, her quilting, her baking, her massive fantasy sex toy collection, all the things that help remind her that she exists beyond the identity of her motherhood. It’s not a situation that comes every day, as much as we’d like that to be the case. There’s other adult things that come first like the bills, scheduling contractors for that hurricane Michael damage that still isn’t quite done being fixed, tax returns, keeping tabs on the school, a bath, and those other random little adult emergencies that just never seem to stop. Staying on top of things.

That’s not to say I don’t get my fair share of the hectic household but I have this little trick see. I get to go to work. I get my fill of adults and adulting five days a week for between nine and ten hours. I help around the house whenever I can and with whatever I can—actually if I do it too much Emily gets a bit annoyed with me—but it doesn’t really bring Emily the adult interactions and the friend time she craves.

Card night is how we get a big dose of that adult time. Emily gets to stretch her legs and go beyond her motherhood. She gets to talk dirty, win at things, give me what’s coming to me, give as much as she gets, and just let loose for a little bit. During our normal day-to-day, Emily will sometimes exclaim, “I need an adult!”. On card night Emily gets to say, “I am an adult.”

Do you have a spouse that is starved for adult time? Are you that spouse? What is it that you do to get your time with friends and get time away from child duty?

Dildo Review – Illithid by Pleasure Forge

Dildo Review – Illithid by Pleasure Forge

Another review another indie manufacturer. Today we’re looking at the Illithid by PleasureForge. Pleasure Forge is based in Jacksonville, Florida and has its roots in a love for popular tabletop games. As such a lot of their designs are named after and inspired by high-fantasy monsters and the Illithid is no exception. Those critters are known for sucking your brains out through your nose and given Emily’s mental state after a session with one of these, we’d have to say the name is apt.

Fitting with a pattern you might be used to by now, the Illithid can be ordered in many colors, sizes, and firmnesses, so we need to disclose the configuration of ours. Our Illithid is a ‘Medium’ sized option in Shore 00-50 firmness in the ‘Miami Vice’ coloration and is UV reactive. I’ll let the pictures do the talking for a bit.

For overall design there are some intriguing things going on with the Illithid. It starts with a rather pointed and slightly curved head, rapidly widening down onto a girthy shaft with v-shaped ridges on the underside. Squiggling down from the head and also up from the base is a tentacle texturing. It should be mentioned, as this is a turn off for some, that the base size is accomplished with the ‘balls’ look, even if that is accented by some heavy tentacle shapes. The next design choice is going to be featured throughout the entire review as it has heavy impact on Emily’s enjoyment of Illithid, the head only has a coronal ridge on one side, and that’s the opposite side of the v-shaped ridges. To put it another way, the coronal ridge follows the side of the shaft that is smooth and the easy tentacle texturing follows the side of the shaft that is ridged.

When Emily inserts coronal ridge facing down, the ridge massages the posterior vaginal wall and hits some very pleasant spots while doing so, but while that’s going on the v-ridges are facing upward, engaging her G-spot with a texture more intense than the size of the ridges would suggest on their own. As an aside, she was quite perplexed by how much she could feel those ridges, we have toys that are far more aggressively textured that don’t deliver the same results. When she flips Illithid over she gets the coronal ridge action on her g-spot, or deep, or uses it for entrance play, wherever she really wants it, but the ridges shave shifted to her anterior wall and they do a delightful number on her perineum which she adores. So far in our indie manufacturer adventure we are 3/3 for toys that are beginner to intermediate friendly that have interesting enough designs to please our size queen—if any other size queens are paying attention, don’t you worry, our XL Merfolk(also from Pleasure Forge)and Large Leviathan(from Dread The Empire) reviews are coming soon.

On that note it’s time to talk about size. The Illithid in medium size is a squatty boy, with an appreciable girth that is packed into a short-ish 5.1 usable inches with 7.1 inches overall length. As for the girth, chart time!

IllithidCircumferenceDiameterD-Score
Minimum Girth5.1″1.4″0.92
Maximum Girth7.1″2.2″2.3

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.

We would put these measurements into the beginner to intermediate territory for girth. Due to the softness of 00-50 silicone however we’re going to lean more towards the side of beginner, but remember that Illithid doesn’t disappoint our size queen. She’s done DP play with Illithid but solo is -equally- as pleasurable for her, that’s important. You can really squeeze silicone like this in and the stretch isn’t going to be rough. On that note, we are happy to announce, and Emily especially, that anal play is becoming more and more comfortable for Emily and we were able to test Illithid for that use case. Emily’s favorite part of anal play so far is entrance sensation and the ridges on the Illithid gave her an experience that was downright pleasurable, something that was rare for her but is becoming less so. This was such a fluke that we repeated the experience twice on separate days to make sure. Confidence with the Illithid experience also gave her the moxie to tackle those Sylph ridges we mentioned in our last review and we’ve updated it with that experience as well. For either use case, we recommend generous lubricant. The texture on Illithid is slightly grabby and you’d have to be very worked up vaginally before we could recommend diving in un-lubed. Anally you may have to push a little harder than you’re accustomed to due to the squish factor of 00-50 silicone, but the head shape turns what could have been a chore into a ‘just a little harder’ adjustment.

This is our first review of an item from Pleasure Forge, and once again we can report that ordering was easy, shipping was excellent. In fact, we have something to mention about shipping in a sec, it’s related to the inventory management. Inventory comes in waves known as ‘drops’, a term that will be familiar to fantasy dildo enthusiasts. Custom orders do not happen often and have very limited slots. If it’s not available in their Etsy store you’ll have to wait for it to become available. That includes getting things in the size you want or the firmness you want. I will mention though, it is very rare I see a pour I don’t want. Pour is a term used to describe the sum total of the craftsmanship from the colors used to the pattern generated by the literal pouring action of filling the mold, but it is what it is, what you see is what you get. So when we caught a very lovely drop one particular evening, we got a little HIT THE BUTTON crazy, and our 3 items ended up in two orders. Without hesitation, Pleasure Forge refunded us one of our shipping charges and merged the orders. I was so happy for this, it happened just as I was typing an e-mail asking if it could be done. We recommend following their Twitter or favoriting their Etsy store to get notifications of fresh inventory.

I can hear some of you now. 3 items from a company you never dealt with before?! Aren’t these expensive?! Yes and no. Pleasure Forge came highly recommended to us by members of the fantasy community that we trust, more importantly, the mediums are a steal. Our Illithid was only 55 dollars before shipping and taxes, that’s only a Jackson from hitting a price we’d consider budget territory in a size that’s friendly to beginners. In other words, there’s absolutely nothing stopping us from recommending the Illithid as a fantasy toy newbie’s first buy or a collectors next craving. While it pleases our size queen though, you won’t find this toy satisfying if that’s the specific experience you are craving. With gentle texturing that more than gets the job done, a pleasant soft firmness that doesn’t impede insertion, managable dimensions that don’t shrink to disappointing, a pleasing head, and incredible pours, the medium Illithid in 00-50 is an easy buy recommendation for anyone that doesn’t already have one.

Dildo Review – Sylph by HodgePodgeEntourage

Dildo Review – Sylph by HodgePodgeEntourage

We’re continuing our march through the indie sex toy market with a design by HodgePodgeEntourage(HPE for short) named Sylph. Sylph is definitely one of the more unique designs out there, but the same could be said for all of HPE’s lineup—seriously get a load of their Scylla.

Today though, we’re just talking about Sylph. First, let’s go over the configuration we chose for the review. Sylph can be had in multiple configurations, such as having a different size or firmness. Our Sylph is a “medium” size in 00-30 firmness. Our Sylph glows in the dark(GITD from here on) and is UV reactive. There are gold sparkles throughout. They’re hard to capture on camera, but I had a lovely opportunity to use some natural sunlight today and that really seems to bring them out. You can somewhat make out the fine repeating pattern of what looks to be at least a partially 3d printed manufacturing for the master/mold in person. Don’t fret however, it’s so fine it doesn’t show up in the pictures and doesn’t effect the smooth feel of the Sylph, but it is worth noting about the finish.

[We felt the need to update this section to reiterate that the ‘printer texture’ can hardly be seen and is definitely not felt. The finish is glassy smooth.]

We’re super happy with the coloration on ours and though we couldn’t get to it for the review, we’re eager to see how/if the UV and GITD features play in our bedroom. UV play is something I’ll probably be doing a standalone post about anyway.

So let’s get to the interesting design of the Sylph. As you can see there are multiple frilled ridges starting just below the tip of the head. The ridges become less pronounced as you go down the shaft of the toy ending in a slight mid-shaft bulge before slightly tapering down to the large base. Despite being cast in 00-30, which is super squishy and soft, this design stands under its own weight which allows for either riding or thrusting. Thrusting is easy to do thanks to that large base I just mentioned, it’s very easy to get a good grip on the non-insertable portion of the toy. Emily and I particularly like this design for entry play. Emily notes that the frilled ridges are easy to feel when they penetrate but aren’t sharp or uncomfortable. She can feel the frills on the ridges and she loves to take Sylph all the way out to re-penetrate when she’s playing with it so she can feel that again. A pleasant secondary effect of this design is that the frills carry lubricant in with them.

Sylph is versatile however, and you shouldn’t undersell the mid-shaft bulge. Sylph is great for shallow and deep penetration, something most toys can’t switch-hit on. On that note, Emily loves how flesh-like the 00-30 firmness feels inside her. Despite being an aggressively textured toy it is not a rough one. Beginners and experienced texture lovers alike will enjoy how Sylph delivers aggressive texturing while being gentle enough to prevent soreness. Sylph in medium is also gentle on size, girth queens may want to look elsewhere. This is another feature we’d consider beginner friendly. Below I have our standard chart of measurements and D-Score.

SylphD-Score
Head Diameter1″0.5
First Ridge Diameter
1.75″1.4
Middle Bulge Diameter2.25″2.4
Bottom of Shaft Diameter2″1.9
Usable Length7″n/a

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.

Now on to the really subjective stuff. As my frequent readers may know by now, Emily is a texture fiend and a size queen. We generally only get toys in this size with the intention that they are going to be used for double penetration duty or with a clitoral stimulator or vibrator. So far Sylph has made a very comfortable partner for double penetration. We’ve tried Sylph simultaneously with me vaginally and also with Sylph vaginally while I took the rear, both experiences were pleasant and rewarding. If you’re into the experience of double vaginal penetration Sylph is a very comfortable and stimulating partner. It felt really good and there weren’t any hard bends or uncomfortable features to deal with during that part of our testing. The large base is something to work around but it wasn’t too difficult.

We have not tried Sylph anally but due to the size and squish of our Sylph Emily has put on her definitely-willing-to-attempt list, which is a small and exclusive list indeed. While that’s not much to go on it’s worth noting. We will be updating this review when that happens.

[That Update is Now] 00-30 firmness comes to the rescue for Emily’s anal experience with Sylph. She noted that if the head shape was more blunt she probably would have had a hard time squishing it in there, but the ride was pleasant and pleasurable. She’s not quite experienced enough to go very deep with anal play but she got all the ridges in and then some and entrance sensation is her favorite part of the experience. She’s eager to see what those ridges and frills feel like deeper. Had the ridges been significantly more firm—such as 10A—we’re pretty sure it would have been uncomfortable for her.[End Update]

There’s only one thing really keeping me from recommending this toy to newbies and that’s the price tag. We definitely got our money’s worth from Sylph in this size but we knew exactly what we wanted already and why. Beginners by nature are still exploring their likes and dislikes, and the 90 dollar price tag—before shipping—on the medium, while feature rich, is a bit steep for that sort of discovery process. Don’t get me wrong, it would be hard to find a hand poured platinum silicone toy with a 3 color marble with a split color base, body-safe gold mica shimmer, GITD and UV reactive, for any less but the price is what it is and that puts this item outside of beginner price point territory for us.

We however, are not beginners, and we absolutely adore the Sylph. We’ll probably pick up another in larger size for times when anal isn’t on the menu, but not before we give the interesting Scylla a try. Oh, and since this is our first review for an HPE toy we should mention that the entire purchasing and shipping process was pleasant and done in a timely fashion. We had our ready made Sylph inside of a week of purchase, add some time for customs.

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

Saving On Groceries – Thrift Traps

Saving On Groceries – Thrift Traps

Now this is something I’ve been meaning to talk about for a while, I just had a hard time finding the right impetus to motivate me to actually put it to keyboard. The blog has been a lot of sexy times lately, which mirrors the home front, and I figured what better way to break that up than with some good old fashioned grocery shopping.

Grocery shopping never seems to get easier does it? You add more mouths to feed, more tastes to cater to, your own changing diet and cravings, and then you have the food budget to consider. You coupon cut, you get a membership at the wholesale store and for some reason that food bill just never seems to go down. Well, I can help you with that, because you’re playing the wrong game. Saving money on groceries isn’t about math, it’s about mindset. Like many of us I spent some of my early working days in a grocery store. Unlike many of us, I stayed there long after I should have moved on; I paid attention and I learned some industry tricks. Here are some traps you may be falling into.

Ad-Chasing:

I’m going to use an absurd but true example from my own childhood to illustrate why this is wrong. Coupons do this in a directly targeted way that we’ll get into later.

One day my mother came home with 10 packages of 48 count creme cookies. We all stared at her like she was weird. We wondered how we were going to even eat all those. We hardly ever ate cookies at all and when we did they were baked in the home. They were generic too. Some sort of ultra sweet shortbread with cookie creme in the middle. Oreo’s are like crack, the originals. I don’t care much for the double stuffed or other versions where the proportions are thrown out of whack, personal taste I know. Point is, we wouldn’t have been wondering what to do if she came home with those. But these, we didn’t eat these, we couldn’t even remember the last time they were in the house. Dad got annoyed, and rightfully so, we weren’t doing well financially, we never were.

“How much did those cost?” He questioned.

Mom didn’t answer the question, she responded by indicating how much money she had saved. For her part, she genuinely thought that made it all better. She was too busy doing the math on only one side of the equation.

You do not save money by buying things you don’t normally buy just because they are on sale. It is a trap I have seen thousands of customers fall into. It’s a trap my wife falls into with some regularity. It’s an effective trick I helped pull on thousands of people. The deals are often not even that good. It’s not like when the store did a loss-leader on chicken breasts or something. That’s something most people already spend money on and we’re going to get to that in a minute. This is when we stick impulse buys in front of your face at like 10%-15% off and you happily oblige. People who never buy soda will buy that soda. People who haven’t had cheese-its in 2 years will buy those cheese-its. Oh yeah, it’s usually junk food too.

Anytime you see something like that and you are tempted I want you to stop and recite this to yourself.

“Milk never goes on sale”

You know why it never goes on sale? Because you need it, it expires quickly, and you use it. You never have to discount milk because people never stop buying it and they don’t need to be reminded of its existence. Ditto for eggs. In other words, it doesn’t go on sale because people never need to be tricked into buying it. You know what does go on sale? Cheese.

Ads are constructed around this principle. They’re designed to get you to buy things you normally don’t because they’re on sale. Does it matter if you got that steak for 2 bucks off per pound when it still costs 5 dollars per pound more than the chicken you normally get? You didn’t save money, you spent it. Always watch the money going out, because nothing is coming in when you hit the register.

Buying in Bulk:

This one is going to be short and easy because it’s a psychological thing and you can all relate to it. Buying in bulk only increases your consumption. You may save money per item but your consumption of those items will increase. Anyone who has ever frivolously spent a tax return—that’s you right?—acknowledges this effect. The more you have the more you use. It’s a well known and well understood psychological trick and grocery stores have been using it for decades. You’re paying membership fees on top of that, which creates a pressure for you to shop. There are people who actually benefit from these arrangements, they were the target audience when these stores actually first opened. Small business owners that already go through enough of the things they buy in bulk that their membership works in their favor.

YOU on the other hand are pressuring yourself to go to the bulk store more to get more ‘mileage’ out of your membership card and at the end of the day, you are spending more money. Watch where the money is going, and stop overvaluing where it isn’t.

One more example of this effect. When you make a giant pot of spaghetti, or make a large pork roast, do you eat less or more than you typically eat in one setting. When you hit the buffet do you eat less or more? This effect doesn’t just apply to bulk shopping membership stores, it applies to the decisions about the meals we cook. It even rears its head when you decide to make meatloaf instead of burger patties (can you guess which one goes farther?).

Membership Rewards Programs:

Don’t, just don’t. I’m not going to spend a whole lot of time on this one, just avoid stores that do this. This is like the Ad-Chasing problem above except 10x more coercive because you categorically WON’T save any money on anything unless you participate in said Ad-Chasing. By the way, everything in the store is marked up to compensate.

Coupon cutting does the same exact thing. Membership rewards programs are just a newer form of it that also makes you a free data point for a gigantic database on buyers trends that the store keeps. You are not only not really saving any money, you are directly telling a giant database how best to exploit you. It was rare, but more frequent than it should be, that a customer would find out they were pregnant because their buying pattern matched pregnancy enough that they started getting baby coupons in the mail. Yikes!

Not Actually Having a Food Budget:

Last but certainly not least on the list. The food budget itself. Money is fungible, spent with plastic, and it’s easy to lose track of what we spent where. If you do not have a food budget, not actually sitting down and figuring out the difference between what you think you should be spending on food, what you should be spending on food, and what you are spending on food is costing you money, I guarantee it.

There’s a lot of busy, fancy apps that promise to help us with this, ignore them. I want you to pick a number for your food budget, take that money out of your bank or an ATM, physically take an envelope and write food on it with some sharpie, and I want you to put that money in the envelope. That is your food budget. When it runs out, it runs out. Your plastic isn’t allowed to save you. I guarantee your costs will come down. Oh, and takeout counts, that comes from the envelope too.

Okay Smarty Pants What do I do?

Here’s the number one knockout way to avoid falling prey to ad gimmicks and psychological tricks—the more insidious of which are outside the scope of this article, this is just an article about the ones you can do something about. It’s also the number one way to stay in your budget.

Okay, ready?

Make a meal plan, and stick to it.

I want you to take all the time you use ad-browsing and I want you to instead use that time to plan your meals, down to the portions. This is going to do two things that short circuit all of these gimmicks, and you may even find it easier to take some weight off as a pleasant side effect.

Thing number one, you are going to control what you buy. You can make it by the month or by the week, I recommend by the week. If one of your meals happens to go on sale, sweet, you’ve actually saved money, congratulations. If the ad-break happens before that particular meals day you can swap days that week, have taco Thursday instead of taco Tuesday, but your ad-chasing days are over, that is also going to save you money, you’re welcome.

Thing number two, you are also going to control how much you buy. You are going to stop making giant pots of rice that you go through too quickly when you only needed 6 ounces of cooked rice. You’re going to do the same thing with potatoes, noodles, and anything else we can be tempted to throw into a giant pot that could feed us 4x over but will only feed us twice. You’re also going to stop buying too many boxes of mac and cheese and then eating too much of that because it’s so damn tasty, comforting, and easy. I know I know, guilty as charged. Your food bill will actually come down for once.

Here’s the last hurdle though, and this is less of a hurdle and more of a conscious choice you need to make, and it’s one of the reasons food bills never seem to come down. When we save money in the food budget we tend to re-appropriate it immediately to food reward. This is when we buy ourselves steaks or seafood or whatever your reward food is. The fancy cheese, the more expensive bottle of wine (that’s food right?), or even some takeout we normally don’t have. These rewards can be psychologically comforting and rewarding and you need to make the conscious decision on whether shrinking your food budget is worth going without them. If not, here’s another challenge, implement the changes above to have more reward steak. Now that’s a motivator if I’ve ever heard one.

Dildo Review – Tentacle by Goblin Dildo Emporium.

Dildo Review – Tentacle by Goblin Dildo Emporium.

This toy has been in almost every way a pleasant surprise. For those of you who need a tl;dr just go buy this thing you have absolutely nothing to lose. As always, the details are a little more nuanced than that, but this is going to be a pretty glowing review. There was a downside but it is so incredibly minor that Emily didn’t see it—I kept it from her on purpose to see if she’d notice for the review, and I just asked her. Without further ado I give you the Tentacle—small size.

Part 1 – Aesthetics:

Tentacles are no stranger to the fantasy toy community, but they can be pretty polarizing. Some people just are completely turned off by the look of it, while others are really turned on. A lot of us just wanna know how those suckers feel. Goblin’s version of the tentacle comes with the standard suckers but he also adds scaled ridge texture to the backside which I think is a nice touch. Our ‘ready to ship’ model came is a very pleasant pink. There were some slight perfections on the scale side. This is the thing that was so subtle that Emily simply didn’t notice. They’re very very tiny depressed lines in the texture that if I had to compare with anything, would be stretch marks. Again, Emily didn’t even notice these and I don’t think the camera picked them up either.

[On third inspection this texturing appears to be intentional]

They’re included in the review for the sake of completeness. On the flip side, the sucker detailing is superb and there were zero imperfections on the sucker side. The finish is nice as well. I have a toy from another indie manufacturer where you can see 3d printer patterning on the final product. I find nothing remotely resembling that here. There’s not much else to say about the aesthetics for this one. We didn’t get custom colors or sparkles for ours (more on that later). Great job Goblin.

Part 2 – Texture:

Texture is a big selling point of tentacles, mostly for the side with the suckers on. The idea of the suckers sparked curiosity and a little bit of apprehension in Emily when we first started looking into them, and she is by all rights a texture fiend. Would the suckers be too hard? Would the perpendicular angles be too rough? The answer for both of those would be no. I asked Emily to describe how the suckers felt.

They’re very noticeable. It’s not really something I can describe. I can say they felt exactly how I thought they would after watching all that hentai.

-Emily on suckers

Sufficiently aroused, Emily did not need to use lubricant when using this toy vaginally, but we’d both recommend it if you’re using the tentacle to warm up, which it does a great job at. Emily also found the texture comfortable anally, which was something of a shock to both of us and warrants its own section in this review. The 00-50 firmness of the silicone compliments the textures perfectly. It stands firmly on its own but comes with plenty of compressible squish.

To wrap up this section, the texture is noticeable but comfortable and pleasant. This is no Nova and it’s not going to leave you raw or sore after use, which is only a bummer if that’s what you were going for. Another clear win in our book for this tentacle. We would call it beginner friendly even.

Part 3 – Size:

We picked up our tentacle in small. Don’t let that moniker fool you though, ‘small’ in the fantasy toy world is often ‘standard’ and sometimes even ‘large’ in the mainstream sex toy market. The small tentacle measurements are below.

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.

Usable LengthDiameter of TipLargest Diameter
Tentacle6.6″0.9″2.1″
D-ScoresN/A0.42.2

Here you can really see the control the tapered size gives you in managing the girth. The tip starts at a downright petite D-score of 0.4, that’s less than half a median penis. This is straight up beginner friendly. As you move down the tentacle it widens to a D-Score of 2.2, that’s a pretty nice range! A little note on the ‘tip’ measurement, it’s take a small way down. The actual tip is pointed to aid insertion and I’d call it pinky sized. It’s pretty useless to measure the toy there though.

As I’ve mentioned before, Emily is something of a size queen, but the small tentacle gets girthy enough and has the requisite texture to push her buttons satisfactorily when used vaginally. It won’t be winning any A-spot awards but it’s not designed for that, not at this size anyway. On the flip size, Emily is an anal novice, and she found the starting diameter downright pleasant and very workable. This is only the second toy we own to get that praise, which includes our 3 plugs, and the first one she’s comfortable using as a starter.

Part 4 – The Anal Thing:

Perhaps the most surprising thing about this toy for us are the anal applications. But to talk about that we’ll have to talk a little bit about Emily’s body and her brain. When it comes to anal stimulation Emily has very sensitive brakes as Dr. Nagoski would put it. Emily has to be very aroused (or a bit drunk) to want anal stimulation, but when she wants it she really wants it. Small difficulties in the warm-up and prep process for anal play however, will knock her right out of the mood. She’s sensitive to hard firmness and finds it uncomfortable at best. High firmness is, as near as I can tell, usually regarded as a positive for anal experience. Most plugs are very firm, even the silicone ones, the rest are glass or metal—speaking in a body-safe context of course. So Emily’s anal tastes are counter-market and very sensitive to disruption.

So we were both very surprised by the fact that she had a great time with the tentacle anally. She can’t quite hilt it yet, and experienced anal users may find that a bit adorable in a ‘look at the beginner’ kind of way, but that’s exactly the point. We want to stress this toys potential use to people who may have had an interest in anal play but found the same roadblocks Emily did. Another surprise is that Emily wants to work on hilting the tentacle. She’s never enjoyed any toy enough anally to think about its future sustained use.

Part 5 – Usage:

So lets wrap this all together. For us the small Tentacle is a wonderful multi-purpose foreplay-to-coreplay toy whether enjoyed vaginally or anally. It is the first toy in our entire warchest to earn that distinction. Our small Echo from Bad Dragon in medium firmness is another toy she finds comfortable anally but it just doesn’t get the job done vaginally.

Emily also enjoys the small tentacle in a double penetration role for our smaller-to-medium vaginal toys, or as a partner for me to fill whichever area I’m not occupying. On that note, I can somewhat feel the texture of the tentacle through the posterior vaginal wall when the tentacle is used in that role and it’s an intense sensation.

I’ve already mentioned that the tentacle is a good warm-up toy, and that it’s good for core play as well, but we’ve also found it satisfying as a cool down toy too. Our last session involved Emily riding a Large Nova in Firm from Bad Dragon and after and orgasm or two with that she switched to the tentacle and had a great time with it. The shaft of the Nova has a D-Score of 3 by the way, and the harder firmness is intentionally punishing.

Part 6 – Cost, Conclusion, and Manufacturer Rating:

We actually picked up the small Tentacle on a lark. We were talking in reddit about having apprehensions about getting some tentacle styled toys from a competitor, and we were noting the slower taper and worrying about running out of vaginal length before getting to a satisfying girth. Another redditor mentioned the quicker taper on the Goblin toy and the quick shipping from Goblin Dildo Emporium. So we took to the Etsy shop not really expecting to buy anything. Then we saw the small Tentacle on discount for 25 dollars. That’s an absolute steal in the silicone fantasy dildo market and we had a very impulsive “what have we got to lose” buy moment. We were worried that for the price, surely we’d be getting something lower quality. Those were unfounded fears. The finish on this toy is very professional, easily as good as the finish on Bad Dragon toys, which is one of their strongest points in our opinion. The shipping was stupid fast, just as the other user mentioned. Our experience with Goblin Dildo Emporium has been nothing but good. We will probably be getting another larger tentacle in the future for vaginal use and we are going to customize that one.

In conclusion, this is another one of those fantasy toys that has broad appeal and strikes gold in its simple and effective design. Unless the aesthetic of the tentacle turns you off outright, we can recommend the small Tentacle as a nothing-to-lose everything-to-gain staple addition to any warchest and at this price, or even the normal price, we’re issuing a hard buy on this item. It’s making me reconsider adding ‘editor awards’ to my review format—if I had to make one up on the spot, it’d be the “warchest staple”. As much as we enjoy our other toys, and how well they fit us, they all come with lots of caveats when recommending them to others. We love this but….(Emily is a size queen, Emily loves aggressive textures, It’s stupid expensive, etc). The small Tentacle doesn’t suffer from these reservations. Go get one. Get it now (there’s a sale on).

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

Dildo Review – 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