The Reason Many Men are Intimidated by Sex Toys

The Reason Many Men are Intimidated by Sex Toys

Today we’re doing a little audio. Neither of us can seem to get the whole looking at the camera thing down. We recently happened upon a video by Tawney Seren regarding some comments she was getting from men intimidated by sex toys. This is a long one, so we recommend enjoying this while working on something else, going for a hike, or a long commute.

This is the video we were responding to.

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.

Keeping Passion Alive

Keeping Passion Alive

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

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

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

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

If you’ve followed this far, you may be thinking I’m making the argument that the die is cast, that relationships started in the wrong way are doomed to failure and that there’s no helping it. You’re either doing things the way I did or you’re screwed. Nah. What I’m saying is that you have to be more than your spouses provider, or nanny, or babysitter, or any other major marital function you can think of. All of those functions after all are merely temporary, or at the very least, replaceable. Sexual satisfaction is likewise replaceable. A good marriage however, isn’t, it provides a critical function that I think is well summed up by a quote from Dr. Jordan Peterson in one of his recorded lectures. He says on marriage…well actually I was going to put a quote here but he’s damn wordy, but the expressiveness is useful, so I’m just going to leave a clip here.
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It’s often extolled in the virtuous theater of social media that a friend is someone who will support you but a true friend is someone who will tell you you’re screwing up and it’s your fault. This is a sentiment I agree with but in my experience no matter how much people talk about wanting one, most people can’t handle having a so-called true friend. I don’t think that’s an inherent flaw, I think that’s why we take marriage vows. This is the aged oak that is lit by the kindling of Eros. Oak burns hot, and it burns long, hot enough and long enough that you need not constantly rush about to refuel it the way you have to in a relationship built on pine straw. In this sort of fire, you may actually take a moment to enjoy the light it gives and the warmth it radiates before you have to give it more fuel. You may be in one of those pine straw relationships, and you may believe everything is fine, and hey maybe it is, but don’t be surprised when you find out just how much upkeep you’ve been doing on that fire when something else interrupts you; hardship, children, a new job that requires relocation, longer hours at work. I’ve been through all those things with Emily, and it was never the sex that kept us together, good as it is.

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

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

Dealing With Sexual Insecurity – A Male Perspective

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Dildo Review – Hookah by Tantus

Today’s review is singularly and easily the most work I’ve had to put into any review to date. I’ve noticed that when I’m on the fence about something the urge to do the deep dive gets very strong. When something is obviously bad or obviously good there’s a lot less work to do in parsing where something falls short and where personal preference is or isn’t asserting itself. But we go a bit further than that today, our little journey is going to take us straight into the heart of the manufacturing process, cross a bridge of changing preferences, and coin the term soft-spoiled.

I was mulling over my older and newer reviews a week back and thinking I might want to return to the format I used for the Apollo review, but after I started to write this one I realized that the format of each individual review was going to vary by what I needed to say about it. This one is going to be more of an essay. For those of you who need a tl;dr version, the Hookah we purchased is a rough ride due to the combination of shape and hardness, but on the balance Emily enjoys it. There are big caveats though, including the fact that your Hookah may be substantially softer and squishier than ours. Before we really get started with that in earnest though, have some pretty pictures of Hookah. It’s mirin’ time.

All hand poured silicone toys are going to have some variance in them, and the Hookah is no exception, but the variance in the Hookah’s hardness was so substantial that Tantus made some changes to the manufacturing process as a result of our investigation. Kudos to Tantus for taking feedback seriously enough to do that in the first place, but now it’s time to start our story in earnest.

When Tantus released their Magma model it stuck out to me as a lot bolder of a design than I was accustomed to seeing from them. Up to that point Tantus was the manufacturer that offered body safe silicone design in mainstream shapes, to us anyway. That’s not really a criticism per se, that approach was effective in securing a lot of our business as we transitioned out of potentially toxic toys—shout out to Dangerous Lilly—to body safe toys, but Emily quickly desired something more than a proximal penis out of her toys and we both got sucked head-long into the world of fantasy dildos. For a while, we didn’t buy from Tantus anymore, and the reasons why are very important. Tantus’ toys did not get worse, they are as good as ever, the company didn’t do something bad to us, our experiences had been great. Heck, we own an O2 from the original discontinued run. We were changing and leaving their target demographic. I saw the Magma and was excited. Was Tantus moving in our direction? We went to their website and saw it even came in two sizes and two colors. Surely, we thought to ourselves, this is Tantus dipping their toe into the unusual designs side of the market, Steamhunk not withstanding. We read the dimensions on Magma, too small for Emily in either size really, but we started keeping a very close eye on what Tantus was doing and had very positive feelings about this direction.

Then the Hookah dropped. This was even more obviously targeted at the fantasy crowd, or perhaps people leaning that way. We think that’s great either way and I in particular am critical of the human penis replacement design philosophy for dildos and much prefer a designed for pleasure approach. That could and perhaps should be its own blog post. It was enough that we committed to give it a try. It was cast in the new ‘super soft’ formula and that appealed to us too. We checked out the dimensions and they were definitely enough for Emily. We placed an order fairly quickly.

It wasn’t long before our Hookah arrived. We chose blue, we had more than enough pink toys and Emily deliberately wanted more blue in her collection. It doesn’t seem to matter how many of these toys we get, sometimes we misjudge the size. Hookah was significantly bigger than we anticipated, but what we anticipated was at the low end of Emily’s tastes, so we were quite happy about this particular misjudgment. On close inspection of the toy we found some beads of silicone in the grooves that form the ‘swirly’ look for Hookah. I must say we were a little disappointed by this. Yes these are hand made toys, we get that imperfections happen, but this seemed like a lot of them and for a simple detail. We own a lot of toys with much finer and more detailed features in softer silicone that are absolutely flawless. Something with that mold? I dunno, but it was a bit of a hype killer. The finish was nice and satiny, similar to the Vamp, also from Tantus, and we prefer this finish to the glossier one found on a lot of our Tantus toys. Emily wasted no time giving it a go, and that was the first time we noticed something was off.

Almost immediately Emily was complaining about how rough of a ride Hookah was. I found this very strange as Emily typically gets the firmer options from our favorite fantasy toy makers, enjoys glass toys, and enjoys toys much bigger than Hookah. Emily had to stop using it and didn’t find it pleasurable. I reminded Emily that she may still be sore from having ridden her firm Nova from the night before. Nova dwarfs Hookah and always leaves Emily sore for a few days, and she begrudgingly agreed to try it again later—yeah she was that convinced it was a no go. Nova by the way, is purportedly in Shore 8A hardness. That purportedly bit is going to get some attention later. Hookah felt firmer than that. This struck me as odd. “Super soft compared to what?” I asked myself.

My curiosity could not wait until Emily had recovered, I went and purchased a deurometer to test the hardness of our toys. It was something I felt I needed for the blog anyway but it was one of those eventually kind of things, at least up until that point. My curiosity demanded I get to the bottom of this. I had recently been educating myself on the finer details of silicone firmness ratings at Felicity’s blog. She has a lovely comprehensive guide to toy firmness on her website that I encourage you to check out. I immediately went to town on everything measured on the A scale in our collection. I wasn’t getting the numbers I thought I would, our 8A firm toys from Bad Dragon for instance were measuring at ~3A, and our Shore 5A toys from the same manufacturer weren’t even registering on the scale. I tested on other manufacturers toys. Tantus’ older—and I do mean old, like Echo w/handle and the version of Vamp with the bullet hole old—models were measuring between ~30 and ~40 where I expected them to. A Shore 10A tentacle from Pleasure Forge was registering about where it should, between 7A and 10A depending on where I poked it. I could never get the Shore 5A tentacle from Goblin to register either. The ‘bases’ of any of these toys seemed to be a place where the reading would be lower. Hookah was consistently getting between 10A and 14A, 10 being the lowest measurement at the base. This lined up with hand feel and experience, for us ‘Super Soft’ super wasn’t.

I had to sit back and stew on the numerical facts, Emily’s period had arrived and while that’s not a problem for me it tends to make her feel very unsexy and she typically doesn’t engage in any pleasurable activity while that’s happening, especially on heavier days. So here I was spinning my wheels about this ‘super soft’ branding while waiting for that to be over. I could see labeling it as that from the standpoint of comparing it to the 30A and 40A toys they have for sure. We however, review from a fantasy toy enthusiast perspective and when we hear ‘super soft’ we’re thinking 3A tops, maybe 00-50 or 00-30. It was jarring for us, and I was starting to wonder exactly who it was Tantus was marketing to, because it didn’t feel like it was us. I also considered mass market appeal and the details that go with. I don’t actually consider 00-30 and 00-50 hard enough for mass market, not because they aren’t enjoyable, but because it takes enthusiast level care to keep those things around. Silicone that soft is prone to nicks and cuts from almost anything, especially finger nails. I can just see the support tickets now from launching a mass market toy in that firmness. In fact, that original O2 we have? We retired it. We keep it around for memories sake and because we think that maybe one day we’ll try to repair it, but it has scratches and nicks and lacerations in the soft outer layer that appeared not only from finger nails and things like that, but just by being stretched repeatedly during thrusting. That’s where the largest tear came from actually, located just beneath the coronal ridge. I also ruminated on the idea that Emily used to enjoy those 30A and 40A toys. Even on our own blog the Vamp gets a glowing review. So why was 10A-14A suddenly a problem? Why could Emily still enjoy glass toys and not this one? Well, I think that’s two things. One, Hookah has much more aggressive features than those toys, and two, Emily has gotten very used to the much softer firmnesses of fantasy toys. I remarked to her that her vagina had become soft-spoiled. We had a giggle over that one.

Close-up of imperfections in swirls

I’m happy we kept the old retired O2 around though. I like that we can still include our old O2 in pictures like this.

Eventually we got to a place where we could try Hookah again. Soreness from Nova was indeed a factor, and Emily managed to bring herself to orgasm with Hookah this time and even engage in some DP play. Hooray! Emily noted that Hookah was still on the very edge of too firm for her and that while the ride was worth it, it was still rough. It should be noted at this time though, that for those of you who like ‘knot’ play Hookah is essentially a series of knots. Neither of us feel comfortable calling those features merely ridges.

I sat down to prepare our review, but something didn’t feel right. My investigative curiosity was not satisfied. Something felt off to me. Surely, this wasn’t what ‘super soft’ was meant to be. As luck would have it, a brief engagement with Felicity regarding her Magma review revealed that Tantus had intended Hookah to be a ~8.5A experience. I inquired further as Shore 8.5A is a firmness I think this toy would absolutely shine in. We got into a brief chat about deurometer technique and it seemed I was doing everything right. We talked about Bad Dragon firmness and yep, we both got low readings from their toys, wasn’t just me. What did seem to be just me however was how hard Hookah was. I reached out to Tantus for comment informing them that I’d be delaying my review slightly to give them a chance to respond to my inquiry about the seemingly abberant hardness of our Hookah. I was about to go ahead with the review, having not heard from them in six days when I got a curious but short response in my email from Tantus support.


 Thank you for alerting us to this issue. After much digging we found a procedural issue in production that ended up making the toys inconsistent. This has now been addressed and the shore hardness of the Super Soft is now consistently soft. Quality Control is also empowered and encouraged to stop the line if they find any more inconsistencies.


Again, your voice really matters, and we are very grateful for your input.

Well okay then. My gut instincts win again. Seriously I always get into trouble any time I ignore those. However, without any offer to send us a toy in the intended verified firmness, we can only review what we have. I imagine there are also still plenty of Hookahs made with the old process sitting in the channel, which means if you buy one today, by Tantus’ own admission, the firmness you’re getting could vary significantly which kinda makes the Hookah hard to review in the first place.

So what’s the bottom line here? Well we think we’ve hit a situation where our personal tastes and acclimation to softer toys are already pre-disposing our experience to be worse with Hookah than yours might be. I think the combination of 10A+ firmness in our Hookah and the aggressive features of the design make for a rougher experience than intended. Even in the intended ~8.5A of the Hookah I think that might be the case. As I stated earlier, Emily still enjoys her glass toys, like her Twist from Crystal Delights, she loves her girthy Nova even if it leaves her a bit sore later. It’s not even necessarily that Hookah’s girth is the issue, it’s the changes in girth that are resulting in this experience. Some of you though, some of you really enjoy a rough ride, especially you knot enthusiasts, and if that’s you, hoh boy I think you’ll have fun with Hookah. We have to be a little more careful about when and how we use it than we were expecting. Hookah by the way, even with the production flaws I was talking about earlier, is a beautifully crafted toy and sits with the rest of our collection not looking a bit out of place. On that note, that confirms to us that Hookah is an attempt to market towards the fantasy crowd and in that capacity I have some advice for Tantus, don’t call anything 5A or higher super soft if it is indeed those people you are trying to make into satisfied customers, our crowd looks at Shore 8A with skepticism about comfort.

I’d like to reiterate at this juncture that our second go round with Hookah did provide a significant degree of pleasure and we did end up enjoying it on the whole. It won’t however be enjoying reach-for-first status with that degree of firmness. Hookah also comes with some classic Tantus staple features, like harness compatibility and that same flared base makes Hookah anal safe. We don’t think we’ll be trying Hookah that way though. If you go to Hookah’s product page here, they also have a very well done sizing chart that describes every single knot on this the toy. Very handy indeed as we generally don’t bother with anything but ballpark measurements on shapes this irregular. You can get Hookah in two colors, as we mentioned before we chose Rockabilly Blue, but it also comes in Punk Rock Pink and both models have a high degree of sparkle to them.

I think the hardest thing about this review has been that Hookah is neither a recommend or a don’t recommend. It comes with a pile of caveats that essentially boil down to the idea that you’ll have to use your past experience as a guide for whether or not you’ll enjoy Hookah. With that comes the only concrete recommendation we can make. Hookah is not a toy I’d recommend to newbies. I think the strongest recommendation we can give for the toy are to people who are really into knotting and people who crave a rough ride now and again. If you’ve made it this far, thank you for reading and sticking with us to the end. I hope you’ve found this useful. Until next time!

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.

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
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