NSFW Dildo Review – Chance by Bad Dragon

NSFW Dildo Review – Chance by Bad Dragon

Boy has it been too long since we’ve done one of these. Took a hard turn to family/relationship segments and book reviews, and while I certainly missed focusing on those after the rapid fire series of sex toy reviews, it’s long since time to get back to it.

Today we’re looking at Chance (unflared), manufactured by Bad Dragon, in a large size, medium firmness, and equipped with the cum tube accessory. There, that was a mouthful. First we’re going to take an overall look at Chance’s design and aesthetic, and then were going to go over how each of the options selected for ours affects its use, what adjustments to that formula could mean for you, and what preferences this toy gels with.

Overall Design

First lets address the most obvious part of Chance’s design, it’s hung like a horse. I’m not exactly sure what the motive was behind that; I have several plausible ideas but I didn’t reach out and ask so I won’t pontificate. It’s ultimately not important and I’d rather deal with the reality of the design rather than the motives. Chance is one of Bad Dragon’s most prolific and popular models if its prevalence in independently produced pornography or conversations inside the fantasy toy community are in any way representative of the market interest. There are always questions about Chance, what size should I get?, how big is it really?, and so on. When Emily showed interest in one she was afraid I’d not be open to it, she was embarrassed because even though it’s a fantasy genre toy it has roots in reality that she was afraid I’d judge her for.

That confusion isn’t unwarranted, it’s a reasonable thing to be cautious about revealing in my opinion. Now in our case, I thought it was cute that she’d think I’d judge her for that, but it’s definitely not the first thing I’d own up to in a new relationship, that’s for sure. More important fish to fry. Point is, I thought her apprehension was cute, but it was definitely understandable and I don’t want to downplay the apprehensions others reading this might feel about it. On to more design elements!

Chance has a large length to girth ratio and has a large heavy base which lends itself to several types of play. Chance, especially in large size, is a good toy to lower yourself onto from an ergonomic standpoint—there’s not as much squatting involved before you get some reward; you don’t have to completely touch your thighs to your calves to hit your limit either. This removes some of the need to set up on things like chairs, or to hold the toy—which is good because it’s quite heavy—and reduces maneuvering in general. In partner play the high length ratio lets your partner be farther away and take more comfortable postures themselves. I’ve mentioned the performer Keri Berry before in my first list of people I follow, but she has several works that highlight this feature far better than I could describe it—there’s one in particular you can check out here where even the preview video shows a lot of these benefits in action.

Other design features of Chance include the slightly flared out head with bumpy textures—there’s a version of Chance that is specifically flared more (this is something horses actually do), but both versions have a pronounced head feature. The head is one of Emily’s favorite things about Chance. It’s got pop and is aggressive. The flared version is somewhat notorious for being hard to insert, and even the unflared version requires some coaxing and/or working up with another toy to accommodate the blunt head. Between the two pictures you’ve probably noticed the vein texture added to the shaft, along with the ring towards the middle. Though some of you might manage it, don’t look forward to feeling that ring on a large—at least not vaginally—it starts approximately six and a half inches down and that’s deeper than many women can go total. Fortunately, the shaft is plenty textured and that texture is very perceptible.

The Size Factor

We ordered our Chance in large which comes with 12 glorious usable inches. The girth of the head is 7.25 inches in circumference, with the shaft clocking in at 6.75 inches around. This gives head and shaft D-scores of 2.6 and 2.2 respectively. That’s not anywhere close to the very large range but it’s also nothing to sneeze at. However, most toys that get to this length are at least 3.5 D-score somewhere along the length and that makes Chance slender by comparison.

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.

So what in the world are we going to do with all that length? As I mentioned before, at least vaginally, most of that length is going to be sacrificed on the altar of ergonomics and aesthetics as I mentioned above. Anal use is a different story. Though we haven’t worked up to attempting it yet, it’s no secret that Chance is a fan favorite for deep anal exploration for the brave, well beyond the sigmoid. I’ll say this explicitly, this is very advanced use and I can’t recommend trying it to anyone who wasn’t already considering it and very experienced with anal play.

If you want to get to a smaller size in the context of anal play we could see that for sure, we’d definitely have tried a medium by now, but vaginally we think going below large loses much needed girth.

The Firmness

There are a few factors playing into our choice for medium firmness. As slender as it is, Chance has some difficulty holding itself upright even at medium. I couldn’t recommend using soft even on the large, for that reason. However, if you went to firm and were using Chance for anal play, it might not comfortably follow your contours. That said, the firmer you go the more pop you’ll give the head and the more you’ll feel that shaft texture. You’ll also be making insertion easier as you go firmer. We however, think medium is the perfect firmness for a large unflared Chance.

The Cumtube Accessory

I find this accessory to be a mixed bag that largely depends on what toy you’ve paired it with. Sometimes a cumtube can be an excellent addition to play and other times it just gets in the way. We feel like a large Chance benefits greatly from the accessory. As I mentioned before, Chance is a heavy toy that stays where you put it, and although it isn’t suction cup compatible it’s easy to arrange things such that you have one or maybe two hands free to enjoy the accessory with. On smaller toys and without a partner, utilizing a cumtube can require you stop the action in a way that kills the moment. This is entirely avoidable with Chance. Chance is somewhat girthy and also well suited for depth play and the cumtube fulfills an important and practical role in keeping things lubed up without having to break the action up. A cumtube is a solid recommendation for Chance.

Purchasing & Cost

Our Chance was a Black Friday steal at 80 bucks but the normal cost for what’s pictured above is approximately 150. That’s high enough to issue our “bases covered” warning. What’s that mean? Well it means that before you drop that much cash on a toy this niche make sure you have your basic kit essentials covered. Have you found the lube that suits you yet? Do you have a more basic dildo? A strong vibrator? A womanizer perhaps? (We are in that price range after all). We absolutely adore our Chance, but we would not pay full price for one if we didn’t have all our kit needs covered first for sure. We’re passing that practice as a recommendation on down to you.

As for purchasing itself, due to current wait times for customs (dead on the edge of the terms of service limit for the bulk of people discussing such things with each other—4 weeks), we highly encourage you to watch for new pre-made inventory that suits your needs, as it drops 3 times a week. If you follow Bad Dragon’s twitter account you can be notified of drops that way. They’re usually on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday in the afternoon (from an eastern time zone perspective anyway, GMT -4), and there’s always a mad rush to grab them. 12 drops is an awfully long time to go without seeing a suitable Chance in my experience. I will say however that I am generally able to browse drops as they happen. If you cannot you may not have as much luck scoring a popular model in the configuration you want, but you should at least give it a try for a week and see how you fare.

Final Thoughts

We absolutely adore our Chance and it’s one of our favorite toys in our entire collection. While solo thrusting can be a bit awkward and clumsy due to the weight and size of a large Chance, the advantages in other forms of solo play and in couple play outweigh the downsides for us. We can simply reach for a different toy more suited to the one task Chance doesn’t do as well if we want to. While we do have large caveats on a purchase recommendation, which we mentioned just prior to our conclusion, if those aren’t deterrents for you then our recommendation to take a chance on Chance in this configuration is very high.

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.

The Fantasy List

The Fantasy List

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Until next time.

Featured Photo by Jay on Unsplash

Dildo Review – 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

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

Book Review – She Comes First

Book Review – She Comes First

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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