NSFW: Why We Collect

NSFW: Why We Collect

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

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

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

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


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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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


Congrats on your newfound hobby!

u/Lapras_Lass

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Vibrator Review – Shibari Mini Halo

Vibrator Review – Shibari Mini Halo

Vibrators have really come a long way in the last decade or so. Several factors in the sex toy market and society have converged to put us in a pretty good spot when it comes to the choices and functions of vibrators.

When I was much younger, Amazon was not a thing, online shopping was hardly a thing, and the local porn store was about the only place to get anything resembling a dildo or a vibrator. Emily, like many other young women, resorted to the few household items that would work for such purposes, like the end of a hairbrush. Inside the stores weren’t much better, most vibrators available to us were incorporated as part of insertable toys made of unsafe/toxic materials like ‘jelly’. There were a few wearables but they were tiny low-powered bullet vibrators inserted into more unsafe plastic housings in the shapes of things like dolphins, butterflies, and rabbits. The Hitachi Magic Wand existed but there was a somewhat negative social stigma around it—such as shameful stereotypes indicating that users of such a device used it because they were otherwise unpleasurable.

Fast forward several years and we have open, online, discreet market places full of toys made of body safe materials. Womens’ orgasms are a thing that’s discussed and considered now and the stigma around it is less. In this environment wand style vibrators have made a resurgence.

The Shibari Mini Halo is one of those wands. For those of you who’ve already been in the wand market the Mini Halo may not need much of an introduction, it has thousands of customer reviews on Amazon and several reviews and articles on it already printed. So we’re going to do two things with the review this time. One, I’m going to talk about Emily’s experience with the wand and our experience with it as a couple. Two, I’m going to talk about why to have a vibrator at all and how it fits into your war chest, as this is our first vibrator review.

So let’s go over some basic features. The Mini Halo comes with 20 different speeds and 8 vibration patterns. It’s a cordless water resistant entry-level wand with an entry-level price of just under 30 dollars US on Amazon. I find most of the pictures of the wand don’t really convey the size properly. It’s a lot bigger than it appears in the promotional material at approximately 8 inches. Wand style vibrators are meant to only be used externally so we won’t be assigning a D-score here. You get one button to cycle through intensity levels, and one button to cycle through patterns, both only go in one direction and then cycle back to the beginning, there’s no ‘oops no that one!’ back button. These settings aren’t remembered when the wand is powered off either. Speaking of powering off, the wand requires an extended press of the power button to turn off and it can be sorta clumsy.

These are restrictions and caveats you’d expect on any entry level wand, but how are the vibrations!? You know, the part we really care about. The wand feels pretty powerful to me, and Emily is very satisfied with how the vibrations really seem to penetrate her anatomy. This is definitely on the rumbly side, so it’s comfortable to use for long sessions and isn’t prone to numb your hands or vulva if you’re sensitive to that sort of thing. When Emily uses this as part of couples play I can definitely also feel the vibrations and they’re not weak, so keep that in mind if you plan on using this as a couples toy. I find in those situations that if she uses it straight away it makes for a quick session, but if she waits until we’re both almost already there it makes fireworks happen. The Mini Halo is also water resistant and is regularly Emily’s shower buddy. It also comes in three colors, pink, purple, and black—we got purple. Emily finds that the cyclical selection modes means the best way to handle intensity and pattern is to feel it out and to not change when you find something that’s hitting the spot.

So as far as entry level wands go I’d say the Shibari Mini Halo is well worth its reputation and its price. It’s a great first wand that doesn’t disappoint in the performance department or leave a gaping hole in your wallet. If you’ve never tried a wand style vibrator before you can’t go wrong with the Mini Halo. If you decide later that you need to upgrade features—like phone app integration—or performance there are many options out there, but a beginner may not know enough about their preferences to make those choices right away and the investment is larger. We highly recommend this vibrator to the wand beginner, and to the toy beginner as well.

So what’s the use of these things, as a couple. A lot of you will think that’s self-evident, some of you will wonder why that’s even a question, and the rest of you are nervous about putting a toy into your bedroom to begin with, especially something as purpose built as a vibrator. Well for one thing a vibrator and especially a wand vibrator can stimulate your clitoris in a way that a man just simply physically cannot do. For a lot of men this is actually a source of insecurity so don’t forget to talk to your partner about these sorts of purchases always. If they’re insecure about it you may have to walk them through those feelings.

I think the best way to kinda illustrate that is with some of our more extreme toys like the Chance I got Emily from Bad Dragon. Chance is a toy that resembles a horse both in shape and dimension, the thing is humongous if you order it that way and we did. I get questions about this that essentially boil down to “How can you let your wife use that thing knowing it’s so much larger than you, you can’t compete with that!”. Well that’s kinda the idea and when I tell people that they’re surprised. First of all, competition on a scale as one dimensional as size is wrong-headed to begin with. There’s things I can do both physically and emotionally for Emily that no toy ever could. No toy is ever going to make Emily not want me and given those priors the only thing I’m doing by saying no to any sort of toy is denying Emily at best a harmless experience and at worst a stellar orgasm.

So that’s really the start and end of that line of thought. “I can’t do the things that does”. Yes that’s the point of it, if you could do those things and you could do them on command with life never ever getting in the way no one would buy them. It’s the sexual equivalent of telling your wife you’re not to go to the sushi restaurant because you can’t make sushi as well as they can.

Anyway, hope that clears up some things on the philosophy of toy use and why it is we dedicate a large portion of our content to that. Hope you enjoyed the review!

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

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

Lubricant Review – Bad Dragon Cum Lube

Lubricant Review – Bad Dragon Cum Lube

Our next dildo review is going to be one of our Bad Dragon toys, an Echo to be precise, but before we dove into that I thought it’d be useful to review the lubricant that came with it. When you are customizing a Bad Dragon dildo most models will have the option to add a Cum Tube. If you do so it will ship with an 8oz bottle of Cum Lube too. To put it succinctly, the Cum Tube add-on allows you to have the toy simulate orgasm, which comes with a few practical and aesthetic benefits. To achieve the maximum effect here, a lubricant formula was devised to mimick the color and feel of cum. As I wrote before, about the company in general, this is another one of those for-fetish things that turned out to just be great on its own, no fetish required.

Let’s start with the basics. Cum Lube is a 5-ingredient (4 for the clear variant) water based lubricant that comes in 2oz and 8oz sizes and in original white opaque or clear coloration. Cum Lube is non-toxic and paraben free. The formula is sticky and stringy which gives the lube its namesake. Is it just like cum? No, but it is definitely a decent proxy.

I think the quality of this lubricant that surprised us the most was how much slipperiness Cum Lube retains while gaining the features above, and for that reason it’s actually become a lubricant we use semi-regularly regardless of whether or not we’re using a Bad Dragon toy. That’s one of the reasons we felt it necessary to break this out for its own review.

The stringiness and stickiness comes with a few downsides though. Cum Lube is harder to handle straight out of the bottle—don’t forget to shake well before each use. As you try to apply the lube it tends to want to come out all at once, because it’s so viscous that the lube outside of the bottle starts to drag what’s in the bottle with it, and if you try to back off, a lot will go back into the bottle for the same reason. It takes a little bit of experience but you’ll get used to handling this stuff, I’m just warning you that there’s a small learning curve and you can expect and prepare for a messy time. Actually, one of the best uses for this is to have a messy time.

These trade-offs come with a few very significant upsides however. Cum Lube has staying power that you normally don’t find in water based lubricants. It catches toy textures and stays where you need it the way you might expect out of thick oil based lubes or silicone lubes. While it will eventually dry, the way all water lubricants do, it can be refreshed with a little moisture. We actually tend to keep a glass of water around during sex anyway; both of us get very thirsty after sex and that becomes convenient for us when we need a little H2O to refresh the lubricant during longer sessions. Besides, when used with the accessory it was designed for, you don’t have to stop the fun to re-apply the lubricant. I really can’t say enough about the unexpected thickness and ‘stay-put’ qualities of this lubricant though.

Most of our water based lubricants are reserved for vaginal use because of their tendency to dry quickly and their lack of staying power, but we often lean on Cum Lube for anal play despite being water based. In fact, in this use case the water based qualities are actually a bit of a plus. We used to, and sometimes still, rely on a silicone lubricant like Gun Oil for anal play but we found that lubricants like that have a bit too much staying power and can be hard to clean. So having a water based lubricant suitable for back door fun is great due to the relative ease of cleanup when compared to silicone and oil based lubricants.

I don’t want to down-play the drying out downside though—this is going to be a quality of any water based lubricant. Emily often enjoys anal as a finisher, or a plus one, and Cum Lube lasts long enough for that in our experience. I wouldn’t use Cum Lube for anal as a main or long-haul event unless you were also using it with a toy with a Cum Tube as that allows further application without interrupting the action.

This formulation makes a lot of sense from the perspective of a silicone toy user. Water based lubricants are the safest lubricants to use with silicone toys and the risks of lubricant migrating around and ruining a silicone dildo worth nearly 200 bucks generally meant that if we were breaking out the silicone lube we were keeping the silicone toys in the chest. Cum Lube solves this problem and lets us have all sorts of safe fun with our full warchest. We’ve also found this formula very useful for larger vaginal insertions. Emily has a lot more trouble taking my hand or her larger toys without it, it’s an actual difference maker there.

We find Cum Lube to be aesthetically fun, especially in the opaque white. The keyword there is fun. I actually don’t recommend this lubricant if you’re feeling particularly sensual or romantic about your love making. This is a lubricant for that fun and carefree type of sexual mood. When we are in those moods I like to apply too much when I’m rubbing Emily’s vulva or clitoris. The sticky white shininess and the subtle noises are just a mood enhancer in those situations. When used with a cum tube equipped toy it’s nice to just shoot a load in and watch it flow out, you’d be surprised how far even one ounce goes. It shouldn’t be too much trouble to find examples of this on PornHub and believe you me it’s just as fun and aesthetic in person, just keep some towels handy.

Oh, and did I mention this stuff is also pretty cheap and can be bought in bulk? A single 8oz bottle can be had for seven dollars, and if you opt for the 9-pack you’re looking at a bit over 5 bucks each. Compare that to your normal water based lube prices. I’m not saying stop buying your JO or whatever your favorite water based lube is, those lubes have different thinner formulas that are meant for different types of purpose and play, but all these qualities combined took Cum Lube from a fetish-play-only expectation to a reach-for-first solution in our bedroom.

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

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

Book Review – She Comes First

Book Review – She Comes First

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Dildo Review – The Vamp by Tantus

In the grand scheme of things, and even in the context of the history of the dildo, body safe materials are something of a recent fad that Emily and I hope turns into a trend. This is our effort not only to push that trend along, but to aid in the curation of that space, call out bad or deceptive practices, and promote products and companies we feel good about and have good personal experiences with (As a reminder, we are not paid by anyone for any of this). Tantus Inc. is one such company and we own several of their dildos and plugs. If you’re wondering what this sorta thing is doing in a couples blog, I suggest checking out this post explaining our stance on the issue. Suffice it to say, we both feel strongly about the efficacy of having a diverse range of options for lovemaking.

We had a bit of a discussion on which member of our war chest to review first. We felt we needed to pick a toy that potentially had something to offer the dildo newbie as well as the experienced. We decided on The Vamp.

Despite its marketing origins capitalizing on a certain sparkly vampire craze there’s nothing supernatural about the dimensions of The Vamp. First thing we did for this review was break out the tape measure and confirm the websites listed dimensions. This is a hand poured silicone product and the website gives a tolerance of +/- 5%. Ours however, was right on the nose in the diameter department with the listed specs, a diameter of 1.75 inches at the thickest point of the head and 1.7 inches at the thickest part of the shaft which slowly tapers down after an abrupt reduction in size from the head. This earns The Vamp a D-score of 1.4, which means it’s about 40% girthier than the average human male. You can read more about how we derive D-score and why we use it here.

On length there was a little bit of deviation, all accounted for by a slightly deceptive industry practice. Length vs. Insertable Length. Tantus measures the full length of their toys to give their length number, including the wide backstop base made to make the toy compatible with harness rings and to make it anal safe. This part of the toy isn’t insertable—safely anyway—and takes up a half inch of length. We only measure to this point for what I hope are obvious reasons, and that comes to 6.5 inches. It should be noted however, that the half inch you lose to the base makes for a great place to get a grip. The Vamp is on the longer and girthier side of human, but there’s nothing supernaturally sized about it.

The head is the focus point of this toy. With a slight but definite size advantage over the rest of the toy Emily finds The Vamp excellent for G-spot stimulation and entrance play though there’s no shortage of pleasure in going deep. Just make sure you know your limits and get to know this toy before you go ham because while 6.5 insertable inches is human, that’s more than enough length to hit most cervixes hard on a full powered thrust. In our experience with it, you need a bit of warm up for this toy to feel good on first penetration. The finish is satiny and smooth but you will either have to be naturally quite wet or well lubed for the best comfort. On that note, the star of the show brings its own caveats for enjoyment, the ridge the head makes is great for stimulation but that shape also moves lubricant, natural or otherwise, out of the vagina at a good pace. You’ll need to re-lube a few times during long sessions and those of you who prefer low and slow on thrust speed are at a bit of an advantage with this particular design.

Let’s revisit that finish. The Vamp is finished in a satin smooth matte that glides easily and avoids ‘grabbing’ the skin the way a glossy finish might with silicone material. It’s available in two colors and we went with the ‘purple haze’. You can also get this in a pale cream color. The color swirls a little as the saturation varies slightly and there’s a bit of a subtle shimmer to it. The shaft is lightly but uniquely textured though Emily says they’re a bit too subtle and she doesn’t really perceive them when thrusting. Your mileage may vary. Feel aside, the subtle veining makes for an aesthetically interesting piece.

Tantus silicone toys used to come in only one hard firmness with the notable exception of their old O2 dual density line, which was recently revived after being discontinued. Emily finds the hard firmness makes long or rough sessions with The Vamp intense and can produce a bit of soreness afterwards. Some of you will be going for exactly that experience, some of you would rather avoid that entirely. Earlier this year Tantus mixed up a new silicone formula that they call Super Soft and have been releasing variants of existing toys in that new softer firmness. The Vamp is one of these toys. We haven’t gotten our hands on one yet—frankly unless we get gifted one we probably won’t—but we have silicone toys from other manufacturers that vary in firmness and can say the higher compression of the softer variant will definitely be easier to take and won’t cause as much soreness but you’ll be trading off a little felt texture. Since Emily already finds the shaft texturing too subtle to really enjoy that may not be a trade off at all. A more tangible trade off is that the softer you go on the firmness the more care you have to take in storage and handling to avoid exposure to sharp objects. This should be done with all silicone toys but softer is more vulnerable. We have had zero trouble with our softer toys but it’s something to consider.

One thing we noticed on the website preparing for this review is The Vamp is no longer listed as suction cup compatible and there’s no longer a combo option with a bullet vibrator, which fits in the hole where the suction cup attachment would also go. I’m going to assume that means this feature was removed from The Vamp some time between our purchase and today, but if that’s the case, you aren’t missing out on anything. We found the included vibrator with older models of The Vamp to not be worth using when inserted into the toy, and heaven help you removing it if you didn’t lube the thing first. After less than a few minutes with it, over a year ago when we first bought it, Emily took the bullet out and applied it straight to her clitoris where it was far more effective. The loss of this feature could be considered a positive from that perspective, as the toy is no longer being marketed to accomplish something it does poorly.

As this is our first review on After The Yes, we’d like to point out that if you’ve never owned one before, the texture of the matte finish silicone is unique to the material and is an absolute unequivocal upgrade over materials like rubber or ‘jelly’ in addition to being completely body safe and highly durable.

Speaking of durable. With proper care, silicone toys should last you your entire sexy life. If the words ‘proper care’ evoke images of proprietary cleaners and complex storage requirements fear not, these toys are bleachable, boilable, and can be thrown in the dishwasher. Just keep silicone based lubricants away from this toy, you will ruin it. They are non-porous and will not house bacteria to infect you or cleaning chemicals to burn you once cleaned in the way porous toys can. All of these consideratitons help blunt the price point. Silicone toys are simply more expensive than their porous and potentially toxic competitors. As of this writing The Vamp will cost you 50 bucks American in either the original ‘Flexible’ firmness, which is quite hard, or the new softer firmness. Both variants have a purple color, the softer one ditches the cream option for a copper variant. Emily and I prefer to buy our Tantus toys directly from their website, which frequently has sales, but they have affiliate programs and many of their toys are available from other popular online retailers and we actually got our first one from a local shop. So if shopping local is your preference that may be an option, it couldn’t hurt to ask them to order one for you in any case.

The Vamp seems like a toy that was designed for beginners in larger sized toys but definitely not for beginners to vaginal penetration in general. If you are new to vaginal penetration in general you may want to start out with something a bit smaller. Some people use this toy for anal play and it is certainly safe to do so but that D-Score of 1.4 means a whole lot more in the back door than it does in the front, I don’t recommend newbies to anal penetration start with something this large.

As a quick recap:

  • Length: 7 inches (6.5 Insertable)
  • Diameter: 1.75 Inches (Thickest Part of the Head), 1.7 Inches (Thickest Part of the Shaft)
  • D-Score: 1.4
  • Finish: Matte
  • Firmness: Firm
  • Material: Silicone

In conclusion Emily and I feel we can safely recommend The Vamp to most couples, especially those experienced in vaginal penetration but just starting out in the dildo scene. We have had ours for over a year and it looks just as good as the day we bought it without a hint of wear. We had a good collection of silicone toys prior to picking it up and have purchased many more since. Our Vamp still sees regular use despite the increase in company and we doubt you will get bored with it in the long term if you decide to pick one up.

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.

Book Review – Come As You Are

There are two kinds of easy book reviews, the hard nope and the strong recommendation. This is not one of those reviews. I’m really torn on whether to recommend Come As You Are and spend a lot of text pointing out what I consider flaws, or finding an alternative source with a content more similar to the promising title. I find however, that criticism is easier to accomplish than creative endeavors and thus feel the need to also talk about where this book does well. I took a lot of notes on Come As You Are and they’re a wintry mix of good things and critical ones. There is one note that stuck out and grabbed me on the second reading though.

The main message of this book is supposed to be about feeling normal and loving yourself, and when it focuses on that it’s good.

That’s Come As You Are in a nutshell. Unfortunately, focus seems to be an issue. That’s the tl;dr if you wanna skip the rest of this review. However, if you’re a woman and have ever felt awkward about your own body or felt like you didn’t know as much about yourself as you should—that’s a lot of you if the NYT best seller banner means anything—then you might wanna stick around for a bit.

Let’s get some booky stuff out of the way first, the easier structural things, before we wade into the pool of needful analysis. The prose is sometimes hard to read and feels like a very long reddit post. The text is suffused with isms of the internet and I couldn’t brow beat you for thinking this book was written with large contributions from a Discord group. The author actually tries to discuss ‘the Feels’ in a serious context. This is one of the things that makes the book hard to recommend. I find the read difficult in ways that aren’t related to needing to crack open a dictionary.

There are some fantastic worksheets focused on becoming more familiar with your own sexuality peppered throughout Come As You Are and some of them would even be useful to men. Oh, let’s talk about that. This book is definitely geared towards a female audience. You can tell by the pink cover with the purse on it! Come As You Are spends a lot of time criticizing cultural norms for…a lot, and then turns right around and goes with the brightest most saturated coral pink for its audience and you gotta wonder if that was on purpose or accidentally funny. More about the cover, because I alluded to this in other reviews and there’s one more book in my review pile that suffers from the same issue. Was this book meant to be read in a public place? The cover is so cringe I had a hard time reading it in front of my kids, and I certainly wasn’t going to read it in a coffee shop. That’s one more point for e-readers I guess. I’m going to continue to be a physical paper holdout though. Covers are a pretty minor gripe in the scheme of things, but I have to have fun with things as cringe as this. This is the self-help equivalent of having Fabio on the cover (Your number is next She Comes First). If you want me to take you and this genre seriously you have to show me you take yourself seriously, and putting a purse-vulva on a bright coral pink background ain’t that.

On a more substantial note, there were several times throughout the book where not being the intended audience got in the way of comprehension. Several moments of “Is that what the average woman actually goes through” and “that’s not actually why men do that…at least not this one”. Some things bordered on disbelief but I simply don’t have the female experience to say either way. I was often able to discard those frustrating moments as knowing I wasn’t the intended audience but sometimes it managed to be frustrating as I specifically set out to read this book to assess whether it could help with a frequent problem I’ve encountered over the years. I’ll be talking to my wife, or a friend, and sex will come up and there will be a “how did you not know that about your own body?!” moment. I set out for a book to point those women to and the short descriptions of this book online seemed to tick those boxes, so I picked it up.

As I said before, when it focuses on becoming comfortable with yourself it’s quite good, but it also mixes that with urges to try mindfulness meditation or some really eyebrow raising insistence to accept the health-at-every-size movement. The latter was particularly jarring as the book starts out by insisting it will take a strictly biological look at what is normally viewed culturally. The author insists on using metaphor but she seems to be not so great at it. There’s also some needless injection of politics that may turn some of the demographics that most need this information away from this book.

Reading all of that you may wonder why I am having trouble making a decision on the recommendation. Well that’s simple, the good parts of this book are really good and lack a useful alternative. Understanding the contextualization of sexual stimulus is a thing more people ought to be familiar with, the worksheets contained in the book are really useful, non-concordance is a thing people need to be more aware of, and the basic biology lesson is something I’ve found a lot of women just need and I find it downright tragic they were able to leave high-school without being exposed to it. I currently know of no alternative to get those things in one space that lacks the issues mentioned above. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist, I just am not aware of anything that accomplishes the biological information, actionable exercises, and focus on loving who you are physically and mentally the way Come As You Are does. There were times I also really sympathized with the author. I share her frustration about meeting women who had to learn about their anatomy from pornography, for instance.

So I guess what I’m saying is I recommend it, but with lots of asterisks. I’m going to continue looking for better alternatives to this one, but as things stand today, right now, the positives outweigh the negatives. I was intentionally vague in describing what I find to be problems above. As a reminder if you haven’t read one of my reviews before, I try to keep most of the experience of the book contained in the book, at least as far as the hard content goes—I feel I’m robbing you of individual experience otherwise. However, I felt I had to address some of the content of this book as it was central to the objections that muddy the recommendation. I would have loved to write ‘Fantastic book for women having trouble being comfortable with themselves sexually’ without all the caveats, because that’s a recommendation I’d really love to have in my back pocket when I encounter that friend that say, doesn’t use protection during her period because she ‘can’t get pregnant’ then. In that respect I’m definitely still on the lookout.

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

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

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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