Hold the Schmaltz: a V-Day Guide for Badass Ladies

My name is Simone and I’m a single woman that loves Valentine’s Day. I’m not even sorry about it. Without a partner to attend to, the pressure is off and I sit back, relax and enjoy this special time of year when everything magically colour coordinates with my blog layout.

I’m probably going to spend February 14th curled up in bed eating chocolate and watching Showtime’s The Affair (such. a. good. show.) while toasting to my single status. With that said, when the ladies at Unbound reached out to me about curating another Skinny Dip store on their site, I had to say yes. I love their selection of sexy products for bad-ass babes. Whether you love Valentine’s Day or hate it, are partnered or single, here’s some things that are sure to make life just a little bit more fun.

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1. Sex Position Colouring Book. Playtime for couples? Uh, I’d totally colour this bad boy solo – preferably with a glass of champagne in hand.

2. Twiggy Venus Symbol Earrings.  I’ve been in love with these gorgeous 18K gold plated earrings for a couple of months now. They’re the perfect accessory for surviving the Trumpocalypse. The earrings are part of the Unbound Collection – a modern jewelry collection that transforms into sexual accessories, inspired by Liz Taylor/Cleopatra, Amelia Earhart & Twiggy (and yes, it’s as fabulous as it sounds!)

3. We-Vibe Tango. As I’ve mentioned many times before, this is one of my favourite vibrators. Sure, it’s small and kind of looks like a lipstick, but it packs a lot of punch. I couldn’t not include it on the list.

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4.  Couples Adventure Kit. Want to enjoy 14 days of great sex with your partner? This couples adventure kit takes out the guess work, challenging you & your partner to enjoy a bunch of different sexy surprises for two weeks straight. It includes vibrators, lube, a film from Erika Lust and more! If I had a partner, I’d totally give this a try.

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5. Emojibator. My friend Jean brought this to my attention & I’ve been obsessed with it ever since. I have no idea whether it’s actually a good vibrator but the laugh factor makes it worthy of this list. If I was going to buy my single girlfriend a gag gift, it would probably be this.

6. Male Tears Flask. My friend Melissa and I have long joked that we want to get matching engraved flasks, but this is good too. I’ll be drinking out of this flask on Valentine’s Day as a binge on Showtime.

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7. Galentine’s Day Box.  Remember that gorgeous vibrator necklace that I wrote about a few years ago? That’s in here along with everything else you need for a sexy night out on the town as a single lady.

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8. Pretty undies! This is probably the most stereotypical Valentine’s Day gift idea, but what’s different is that these items are actually comfortable. No tightly bound corsets here, folks (but if you’re into that – that’s cool too!) The Provence Robe is a soft and forgiving robe that also comes in plus sizes. The Naughtie Hotpant by Cosabella is a high quality pair of open crotch boys shorts that are ridiculously comfy (who thought this was possible?) Same goes for this ultra-soft Peekaboo Bralette by Hanky Panky. FYI, I purchased my first Cosabella and Hanky Panky pieces over the holidays and it’s been a revelation in comfort and quality.
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9. Love is Art Kit. Even if you think you’ve tried everything in the bedroom, you probably haven’t tried this. Each kit includes everything you need to produce an intimate work of art using nothing more than canvas, paint …and your bodies. I’ll leave it up to you what you’ll say when houseguests compliment your taste in modern art.

To make the dreary month of February a little more bearable, Unbound is offering readers 15% off anything in the store (excluding subscriptions) when you use the code SIMONEVDAY15 until the end of February.

How will you be spending February 14th?

Confessions of a Semi-Retired Sex Blogger

When I was a tween I couldn’t imagine a time when I wouldn’t be completely obsessed with Madonna. In my teens and early twenties I never thought I’d outgrow collecting CDs. In my later twenties, I yearned to own all of my favourite TV series on DVD.  Now that I’m a 30-something, I listen to most of my music digitally or on vinyl, stream the majority of my media and my interest in Madonna has long since waned. If I’ve learned anything, it’s that change is the one constant in life.

This is all to say that when I started blogging about sex toys in 2010, I couldn’t picture a point in the future where I wouldn’t find receiving free sex toys and writing about them on the internet to be anything less than thrilling (#LIVINGTHEDREAM), but eventually that changed too.

Sometime in 2015 I started to experience major Sex Blogger Burnout (SBB?).

I’ll always be forever grateful for the thoughtful companies that provided products for me to review and the opportunity to explore my sexuality in the process, somewhere along the line reviewing sex toys stopped being fun and instead felt more like an overwhelming, stressful, obligation. I never really bounced back from the burnout and don’t foresee that happening, ever. Hence, the title of “semi-retired” and the steady drop off of adult product reviews. To quote my friend Casey who kindly made today’s blog graphic, “I’ve got 99 problems and somehow they’ve all got something to do with blogging.”

So, how does one end up with a serious case of sex blogger burnout? It starts with a cluster of First World Problems and ends with you wanting to throw a garbage bag of used dildos into the ocean, Dexter style. Let me explain:

Backlog is a bitch.

Nothing kills creativity like a waist-high pile of sex toys that you don’t want to write about. When my burnout reached a crescendo in 2015, I caught myself having thoughts like, “If I schedule a couple of masturbation sessions on X day and write 3.2 reviews per day, then I might be able to get through the pile by X date. But if we’re being real, I’d rather lay by the pool and read a book.” When masturbation starts to feel like a chore, what’s the point?

Welcome to Cardboard Box Mountain. It’s scarier than Space Mountain, but much less fun.

You guys, until recently this is what my garage looked like. Adult products are often excessively over-packaged – something that never sat well with me from an environmental standpoint. As my desire to write reviews began to dissipate, so did my desire to dismantle the boxes. So, I just left them. Forever. As I courted a spot on the next season of Hoarders.

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The storage issues are real.

This is the cabinet where I house 95% of my toys. It’s now getting very, very full and I am completely running out of storage space for new sex toys.

Also, as we’ve seen with the iRide (below), some of the toys don’t even fit in the cabinet (or anywhere really). This makes Joe the Intern stressed AF.

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I don’t know what to do with the toys I don’t use.

Two of those cabinet drawers are full of toys that are by definition duds. Bad vibrations. Bad design. Just “meh.” I want to dispose of them ethically, but where? My neighborhood hosts a plastic & electronics recycling event every month and while I generally lack shame in most areas of my life, I’m not exactly dying to run into my neighbours while wielding giant bags full of used dildos.

Not every toy can get a Viking Funeral like the iRide or a military send-off like this dildo.

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My charger situation has become my own private hell.

I used to meticulously organize all the chargers for my rechargeable toys, but now I just stuff them in a drawer and hope for the best. The “best” is a tangle of electrical cords reminiscent of a scene from the movie The Hurt Locker.

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There’s only so many things I can say.

I feel like I’m in the blogging equivalent of the Portlandia sketch where the Pitchfork employees declare, “that’s it! We’ve said everything there is to say about music!” There’s only so many things I can say about a vibrator, so it’s time to move on.

I’m kind of over talking about my vagina on the internet.

While I’m still down to periodically review products that I think are really cool like The Womanizer and showcase badass companies like Unbound, lately I’ve been craving more privacy. What originally felt liberating now feels kind of uncomfortable – even if I’m not talking about my own body. Can I list off the top male sex machines? Sure. But, do I still want to have these kinds of conversations in an uber public forum? Not really. I’ve realized that I can still show my vulnerability and connect with people through my writing without discussing my genitals.

Other people do it better.

I’m Ok admitting this. There are lots of other awesome, bad-ass female sex bloggers, who are amazing at what they do. For example, my friend Marvelous Darling manages to seamlessly combine writing about sex toys, beauty products & mental health, while Hey Epiphora is the Queen of writing snarky, hilarious, well-informed sex toy reviews. I also love anything that JoEllen Notte and Elle Chase write. Internet, you’re in good hands.

It no longer feels authentic.

This is the biggest one for me. Cardboard box mountains and Viking burials aside, writing about sex toys all the time just doesn’t feel like me anymore. While I have no qualms sharing products that I think are legitimately interesting & am always available to answer questions via email, I’d rather spend my time writing about dating, modern romance and the things I am passionate about like music and the art I’m into and my on-going obsession with California.

I have one more sex toy review scheduled (a toy that’s been on my bucket list for awhile!) and then we’ll see what happens!

 

Review of The Womanizer: Great Sex Toy, Terrible Name

Hey, remember when I wrote about dildos all the time? If you’ve been reading for a while, you may have noticed that there’s been a steady drop off of sex toy reviews over the past year. That’s because (following a bout of sex blogger burnout – it’s a thing, really) I made a promise to myself that I’d only review products that are really unique/amazing and/or totally absurd. Well friends, I have a toy that meets all three criteria. Meet the Womanizer W500: an amazing clitoral stimulator that just happens to have the worst name ever. The lovely folks over at Lovehoney sent me one for review and I’m actually super excited to share my findings with you.

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Before I get started on the review, let’s take a moment to address the obvious:

  • The name is bad. Really, really bad. When I hear the word “womanizer” I think of some middle-aged white man who enjoys stepping out on his wife/girlfriend with Becky from accounting and Rhonda from marketing, while also furiously swiping on Tinder during bathroom breaks. We’ve all met this guy – maybe we’ve even been groped by him in the copy room – he’s a total dick and doesn’t deserve to have an orgasm machine named after him.
  • The design is a weird mix of Jersey Shore meets Golden Girls. There’s skulls. There’s leopard print. There’s lace. Any of these options look like they could be found in the nightstands of Snooki or Blanche (I like the think Rose favours the rose motif like I do. It’s weirdly feminine in a “I’m a 50+ year old from South Florida” so, just my style.) Each Womanizer comes encrusted with a Swarovski crystal – something I never needed or wanted from a vibrator and still don’t.

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Ridiculous name and packaging aside, there’s a lot to love about the Womanizer. First of all, to quote Wayne’s World, “it certainly does suck.” Yes, the Womanizer uses suction – not just vibrations – to get you off. The Womanizer sucks and flutters your clitoris resulting in very quick, very powerful orgasms.

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The Womanizer fits in your hand is made of 100% body safe materials with a silicone head that you can remove & clean after play. Press the crystal button to turn on/off and use the controls below to cycle through the different intensity settings. It’s also rechargeable – always a plus.

Already in it’s second iteration, the Womanizer has developed cult like popularity. Oh Joy Sex Toy’s Erica Moen describes it, as a “tiny clit blowjob machine” and says “it forces your clit to get a raging erection without the usual arousal lead up, it’s the closest I’ve ever empathized with having a spontaneous teenage boner.” (awesome image below via Oh Joy Sex Toy.) 056c026d-1c66-4d42-9fae-a8e96df290c5-1020x8541

And she’s right. This toy feels like nothing else I’ve ever tried. Because of this, it also takes a bit of getting used to. Unlike other clitoral stimulators, you have to place the head so that it surrounds your clitoris. I found this toy worked best for me while I was laying on my back, but you might have to play around a bit until you find exactly the right position (FYI, Elle Chase and Sunny Megatron did an awesome video review where they address this exact issue. It’s a must-watch if you’re considering this toy.)

Once you get used to it though, whoa. This toy delivers.

Even on the lowest setting, this toy is able to make me orgasm in about 30 seconds.

In fact, if you’re looking for a lengthly build up to your orgasm, don’t look to this toy. The Womanizer is more of a wham, bam, thank you ma’am kind of deal – at least it was for me. And boy, is it delightful.

The end verdict: I love the Womanizer. I’ve found myself reaching for it often over the past six months and it’s since become one of my go-to toys. The quality is excellent and it feels fucking fantastic.

However, here’s a few things to consider:

  • If you don’t like a lot of direct clitoral stimulation, this might not be the best toy for you. If you think this might be an issue, I would suggest reading Jo Ellen’s post about her experience with the Womanizer. I personally enjoy direct clitoral stimulation and usually crank my toys to their highest settings, but I actually prefer the Womanizer on it’s lower to mid-range settings. I find the higher settings are just too intense for me.
  • It’s not the quietest of toys. It doesn’t sound like a chainsaw, but it’s also not whisper quiet.

Would I recommend this toy? Definitely. After trying a heck of a lot of toys over the past 6 years, the Womanizer really does offer a unique experience. As long as you like the idea of having your clit directly stimulated, enjoy quick, powerful orgasms & are willing to play around with the positioning of the toy, I think you’ll love this one two.

My first review of 2017: two enthusiastic thumbs up!

Sexy Valentine's Lingerie

Thank you to Lovehoney & Womanizer for providing this toy for review. I received the product free of charge in exchange for my honest opinion. All views are my own because that’s how I roll. 

Your Top Sex Toy Questions Answered

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Even though I haven’t been actively reviewing sex toys over the past few months, I still get tons of questions sent to me on a regular basis. I love, love, love receiving emails from readers. I’ve spent the past several years writing about sex toys online, so if I can use some of my self-acquired knowledge to help people, that’s pretty awesome.  With that said, it seems like a lot of you are wondering about the same kinds of things. So, I thought I’d take the opportunity to address some of the most common questions I get on the blog. I have the feeling this will be a recurring feature.

What’s a good first vibrator?

I get tons of emails from people who have either never purchased a sex toy or are looking to replace an old vibrator that has kicked the bucket and/or was never very good in the first place.

When it comes to vibrators, there’s toys that can be used externally (for clitoral stimulation) or internally. There are also toys that offer both (usually referred to as rabbit vibrators or dual stimulation vibrators.)

If you’re not sure where to begin, I always recommend people start with a small, versatile clitoral vibrator. The toy I usually suggest as a good starting point is the WeVibe Touch. It’s one of my favourite sex toys and is a great option for beginners and/or anyone who is looking for an all around good clitoral vibrator.

What I love about the We-Vibe Touch: It’s super compact, rechargeable (no batteries needed) and has a good range of sensations – from super gentle to quite powerful. It’s also great to use with your partner(s) because it’s small & has a neutral, non-intimidating appearance (although, I always joke that the original red hued version reminds me of a clown’s tongue.) Plus, it feels awesome. You can read my original review here.

Should I get the Lelo Soraya or the Lelo Ina Wave?!

I know, I know. I’ve waxed poetic about both of these dual stimulation toys, so it’s understandable that people are curious about which one I really like best. The truth is, I don’t really have a favourite. They’re both awesome and I love them for different reasons.

Rabbit style (dual stimulation) toys are not one size fits all. As I’ve learned through lots of trial and error, not every rabbit toy is going to line up to your anatomy.

Personally, I really like the Lelo Soraya because it’s a decent length and the bulbous head seems to reach my g-spot perfectly. On the other hand, I love the Lelo Ina Wave because it has finger like motions that massage your g-spot (similar to how a real life partner would stimulate you with their fingers.) If you enjoy this kind of stimulation, you’re probably going to dig this toy.

When comparing these two, it all comes down to shape and pressure. The Lelo Ina is very curved both in the shaft and the clitoral stimulator. The clitoral stimulation is intense and very pinpointed. If you don’t like a lot of pressure on your clit, you might find this toy to be a bit much – especially if you’re a beginner. So, when choosing between the two, I’d probably go with the Soraya because it has a flexible clitoral stimulator – meaning that you can bend it & hold it in place to better shape to your body.

How does the Lelo Ella work?

A few years ago, I wrote a review of the Lelo Ella aka “Super Dildo” for EdenFantasys and I’m still getting questions about this  toy.

What you need to know is that the Lelo Ella is a dildo, not a vibrator. Not sure what the difference is? This article on the difference between dildos and vibrators can help. The TLDR version: vibrators vibrate; whereas dildos don’t.

Simply put, the Lelo Ella works like…well, a penis. It’s meant to rub against your g-spot and stimulate the other nerve endings located inside the vagina. Instead of holding it in one place like you would with a vibrator, you move/thrust it yourself. So, it stimulates using friction instead of vibration. If you want to kick things things up a notch, you can always use a small bullet vibe on your clit while you have the toy inserted. This might take a bit of practice at first, but I guarantee it’s worth it once you get the hang of it. Read the original review of the Lelo Ella – it’s also great for partner play!

Do you have a question that you’d like to see answered on Skinny Dip? Drop me a line. I’d love to hear from you!

Giveaway | WIN the Lovehoney Desire Wand Vibrator

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You didn’t think I’d let Valentine’s weekend go by without an awesome giveaway, did you?!

To make your February just a little bit more pleasurable, I’ve teamed up with Lovehoney for a chance to win a gorgeous, luxury wand vibrator from their new Desire collection. This new line of high-end silicone toys was inspired by years of customer feedback and designed with one goal in mind: “ultimate sexual happiness.” I haven’t tried any of the toys yet, but they look really great: streamlined, ergonomic and made of medical grade silicone. So far the customer reviews have been off. the. charts (in a good way!)

What I have up for grabs: The Lovehoney Desire Luxury USB Rechargeable Wand Vibrator (worth $99).


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Here’s how Lovehoney describes the toy:

“Silken silicone envelops the Desire Wand’s undulating handle and curved head for unrivalled sensuality and stimulation. The wand’s 8 patterns of waves and pulses and 12 levels of adjustable intensity ensures sublime satisfaction is yours for the taking.

The contours of your wand have been lovingly crafted to align with your natural curves for unbridled exhilaration, while whisper-quiet yet powerful vibrations ensure discretion when required. Elevate pleasure by coating the head of your wand with water-based lubricant before use.

Keep your Desire Wand Vibrator to yourself for blissful solo arousal, or hand it to your partner to add a thrilling new dimension to foreplay.” 

It comes with:

  • 8 modes of vibration, each with 12 custom speeds of intensity
  • USB rechargeable for worldwide use and eco-friendly play
  • Fully charge for 120 minutes for 60 minutes of play
  • Fully waterproof for use in the bath or shower
  • A luxurious storage case, in which the toy can be charged discreetly

Uh, yes please?

If you need some visual encouragement, here’s a little video about the Desire Wand.

To enter the giveaway, all you need to do is Subscribe to my newsletter & leave a comment letting me know you’ve done so. 

FYI, if you’re not already subscribed to my newsletter, it’s a lot of fun! Once or twice a month I’ll send you a  message with updates on my book, special events & exclusive discount codes.

Get an extra entry every time you tweet about the giveaway. Ie:

Hey @by_simone! I want to #WIN the Desire Wand Vibrator from @Lovehoney_com http://wp.me/p1Yilp-27U

I will choose a winner Friday, February 19th, 2016.

Happy Valentine’s Day…may the odds be in your favour! xo

Thanks again to Lovehoney for facilitating this review. 

Get 25% off 25 Lovehoney Favorites!

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