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!

Is That a Vibrator in Your Pants or Are You Just Happy to See Me?

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For my last sex toy review of 2015, I’ve decided to tackle that age old question “yo, why are your pants buzzing?” and review the Jimmyjane Form 1: a wearable, remote control vibrator designed to be worn inside your underwear.

I don’t know about you guys, but I’ve always been a bit skeptical of those vibrating panty sets that you often come across in sex toy stores. Either the panties look sketchy, the vibrator looks cheap or both. However, when I found out that Jimmyjane had come out with their own version – a vibrator that can be worn inside the underwear of your choice (*BYOP – bring your own panties?) I was intrigued. One of my favourite vibrators – the Form 2 – is made by Jimmyjane. I also like their massage candles. Lucky for me, my friends at Lovehoney hooked me up (thanks guys!)

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So, what exactly do we have here? The Jimmyjane Form 1 is a small, clitoral vibrator made of 100% body-safe silicone that is designed to sit inside your underwear (or as the Brits over at Lovehoney say, “knickers.”) It includes 10 different vibration modes, 5 different intensity levels and a small remote control that works remotely from 32 ft away (given that you’re in direct line of sight).

The Jimmyjane Form 1 is intended as a couple’s toy. You slip it into your knickers, hand them the controls and let the fun begin.

Here’s a few things this toy has going for it –

Quality materials & a remote that actually works.

Or, rather I should say, “a remote that Simone can actually figure out.” I’ve had bad luck with remote control sex toys in the past. Either the remotes don’t work or they’re too finicky, so I just give up and don’t bother using them. I’m happy to report that this isn’t the case with the Form 1 remote. I was able to figure it out right away and it worked great. Jimmyjane is known for it’s high quality toys and this one is no exception.

You can use this in the underwear of your choice. Alone or with someone else.

Although this is marketed as a couple’s toy, you can also use it solo. Why not? If you feel like stuffing a vibrator down your pants (even if you’re the only one around to enjoy it), go for it. I won’t judge you. Even better, with the Form 1 you’re not restricted to the (potentially) crappy underwear that comes with the toy. You can use your own. It’s *BYOP baby!

It’s relatively compact.

I don’t know if it’s “the world’s slimmest vibrator” like the makers say it is, but it is on the slim side. It’s about a centimetre thick and the length of a lipstick.

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Now here’s a few things that could be better –

The vibrations. 

I was expecting the toe-curling, super strong vibrations of the Form 2, but I found this one fell a little bit short. The vibrations are quite strong on the highest setting, but a bit buzzy. When placed inside my panties, the vibrations felt good (even more so when I walked around, versus stayed seated or standing) but they weren’t enough to really get me off. Outside of my underwear, I was able to get off if I applied a bit of pressure to the toy. My verdict: unless you’re extremely sensitive, this toy is more of a fun appetizer than a main course.

The bend-ability.

The vibrator bends in the middle so you can shape it to your form, however doesn’t stay bent. I’m not sure what’s up with that.

The tiny wetsuit. 

We can’t talk about the Form 1 without mentioning it’s “Stay in Place Panty Sleeve” aka the thing that looks like a tiny wetsuit. Made of neoprene, this little case is meant to keep the toy in place. When I first saw it, I was like, “Aw, how cute! It comes with it’s own little outfit! But, why?!” Good question. Although adorable, there’s a few issues with the “panty sleeve” (does anyone else find that name kind of creepy?)

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1. It’s unnecessary. The vibrator is made of body safe silicone and has a nice grip. I feel like the neoprene sleeve actually gives it less grip.

2. It mutes the vibrations. The neoprene sleeve lessens the feeling of the vibrations while (oddly enough) doing nothing to mute the sound. No, thanks.

3. Laundry issues. Instead of just cleaning the silicone vibe with toy cleaner, if you use the sleeve you  have to put it through the wash after each use. Washing Joe the Intern‘s clothes is enough for me. I don’t need more tiny laundry to do.

(With that said, the neoprene sleeve makes an excellent carrying case. It’s great for when you want to pop the toy in your purse or overnight bag. You just don’t need to use it for it’s intended use.)

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The sound.

The people at Jimmyjane claim that this toy offers “silent vibrations.” LIES! This toy is actually quite loud. In fact, when I turned it on for the first time I actually scared my cat. I feel like this kind of defeats the purpose of it being “discreet.” Even stuffed down your pants, you can hear it. If you were going to wear this in public, you’d have to go somewhere that’s already loud to begin with. A sports bar on Superbowl Sunday? Union Station at Rush Hour? A Rammstein concert? Somewhere with a lot of screaming? Your guess is as good as mine.

The bulge. 

Of all the drawbacks, this is the one that weirded me out the most. This might not be an issue for everyone, but in order to get the vibrator to hit the right spot, I had to place it in a way that created a visible pants bulge in my skinny jeans. Not exactly the look I was going for. I guess for some of us this is  a “skirts only” toy or a “just don’t stuff this down your pants” toy.

The verdict.

After quite a bit of experimentation, the Form 1 just re-confirmed what I’ve always thought about “knicker vibrators” – they’re kind of awkward. The Form 1 isn’t the worst couples toy I’ve ever tried (ahem, I think the Embrace wins this title) but it’s not the best either.

If you’re looking to treat yourself to something sexy that you and your partner can both enjoy, I’d suggest you forgo the remote control vibrating panties all together, and instead invest in one clitoral vibe that works really, really well like the Jimmyjane Form 2, the We-Vibe Touch or the Crave Duet (all of which are awesome sex toys).

Thank you to Lovehoney for this review. I received this toy free of charge in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own because that’s how I roll. 

We Tried It | A Vibrator That Looks Like a Giant Robot Finger

Hey, remember when I said I had a really fun sex toy review up my sleeve? Well, my friends, this one is a doozy.

It all starts on a rainy, stormy night sometime last winter. I was at home, enjoying some solo Netflix and Chill time, when I stumbled across the show Frisky Business. A few hours later, I’d watched the entire first season. In case you haven’t seen it, the reality show provides a fly on the wall look at everything that goes on at Lovehoney headquarters. I’ve been working with Lovehoney for a few years now, so while I’m not usually a fan of reality tv (unless, we’re talking about the TV masterpiece that is Gigolos), it was pretty cool seeing on-screen some of the people I’ve interacted with over the years (hi Caz!)

So, anyway. There’s this great scene where the team is trying to come up with ideas for sex toys and someone suggests attaching a slim dildo onto an electric turkey carving knife. The result is a protype for a vibrator that mimics a giant thrusting finger (you can watch the teaser scene here.) Flash forward a few months and BAM! the ROCKBOX Finger Thrusting Vibrator is born.

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A vibrator that was inspired by an electric turkey carving knife (hey, my grandma has one of those knives!) sounds like either the best or the worst idea ever (but most likely the latter.) Naturally, I was curious. At the beginning of the summer I finally got my hands on my very ROCKBOX Finger Thrusting Vibrator and I’m now ready to share my findings.

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Let’s start by discussing what we have here. The ROCKBOX Finger Thrusting Vibrator is a finger shaped, silicone vibrator that vibrates and “thrusts”  (similar to Fun Factory Stronic Eins, which I reviewed earlier in the year.) The toy is described as “With a strong, thrusting finger that is perfectly shaped to stimulate the G-spot, it’s the ideal sex toy for adventurous women who are curious about the phenomenon of squirting.”

With 5.5 inches of insertable length and 3 thrusting speeds, the Fun Factory Stronic Eins promises to “kick-start your journey to an explosive G-spot orgasm.” Are you intrigued? BECAUSE, I’M INTRIGUED. 51899-06

Now that I have had a chance to ahem, satisfy my curiosity, I will say this: I was right about my initial assessment. The Rockbox Thrusting Finger is both the best thing and the worst thing all at the same time. Let me explain.

Here’s what it has going for it –

  • Power. This toy is powerful AF. It feels like something that belongs in a hardware store, not your bedroom. I actually jumped a little when I turned it on for the first time! Don’t believe me? Watch this video. But, as someone who is perpetually  disappointed with lacklustre & weak-ass toys, the sheer power of Rockbox Thrusting Finger is a huge selling feature. Once you figure out how to use the toy (I’ll get to that in a minute) it feels like you’re getting the fingering of lifetime by the (neon pink) hands of Thor (or equivalent superhero.)  I mean, check out the video…

  • G-spot stimulation. Hits the right spot. Enough said.
  • Fun, cheeky, power tool inspired packaging. You’re either going to love the simple hardware store inspired packaging of this toy or you’re not. I personally think it’s kind of hilarious. The packaging isn’t anything luxurious, however it suits the experience of the toy (see above.) 

Here’s what’s needs improving –

  • Awkward battery situation. I’m usually not a fan of battery operated toys. With that said, I wouldn’t mind the fact that the Rockbox Thrusting Finger is battery operated if the batteries weren’t so difficult to insert/remove. Batteries are inserted in the top of the toy, however getting the top unscrewed is nearly impossible. I had to use a pair of pliers. That’s taking this whole hardware store theme just a little too far…

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  • It has quite a bit of “drag.” I’m not even sure if drag is the right word. High school physics was never my strong point. Basically, here’s the problem: this is a mechanical toy. It thrusts. While this feels awesome, if you press the toy too hard against the walls of your vagina, the friction will cause it to either slow down or temporarily stop altogether. In order to get the most out of this toy, you have to hold it lightly and not bear down on it too much. This isn’t the worst thing ever – it just takes a bit of practice and getting used to. Now that I’ve figured out how to make this toy work for me, it’s great.
  • IT’S LOUD AF. Oh my god, I cannot stress how loud this toy is. I’ve been reviewing sex toys for almost five years and this is by far the loudest toy I have ever encountered. It’s noisy in a way that will have your neighbours wondering why you’re using a chainsaw in your bedroom.

So, while the negative aspects make the Rockbox Thrusting Finger less than ideal (ugh, the batteries!), the sheer power and feel of the toy still outweigh the “cons” – at least for me.

While I’m certain that the Fun Factory Stronic Eins is a much higher quality of toy (rechargeable! German designed! Doesn’t require pliers!), the Rockbox Thrusting Finger is the one I find myself reaching for whenever I’m craving a toy that thrusts and pulsates. The Rockbox Thrusting Finger has more raw power. Plus, I find that the thinner, more finger-like shape of the Rockbox is easier to maneuver and better at actually reaching my g-spot.

I like to think of the two toys like this:

If the Fun Factory Stronic Eins and the Rockbox Thrusting Finger were sitting at a bar together, the Stronic would be the suave European guy  (handsome! good job! nice apartment!) confidently nursing a pricey Scotch. On the other end of the bar you have the Rockbox, drinking a Smirnoff Ice and yelling at the TV. You’ll flirt with the sexy European, but at the end of the night you’ll go home with Mr. Smirnoff Ice. Sure, he’s not as refined and you’re not certain whether his mullet is ironic or not, but gosh darn it, this dude has a way with his hands.

Yes, this is exactly the kind of situation we’re dealing with here, my friends.

So, while this toy isn’t perfect, I did have a lot of fun with it. The Rockbox isn’t as good quality as something like the Fun Factory Stronic Eins – but, the price reflects this. At $49.99, the Rockbox Thrusting Finger is an affordable option for anyone who is looking to try something new and different without breaking the bank. (this is compared to the Stronic’s nearly $200 price tag.)

What do you guys think?

Free delivery on all orders over $40

This toy was provided to me free of charge by the awesome people at Lovehoney. All opinions are my own because that’s how I roll. 

Zestra: Like Giving Your Sex Life a Shot of Espresso

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If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you might assume that when it comes to sex, I’m always ready to rock and roll, all the time, at the drop of a hat. In reality, this couldn’t be further from the truth. I don’t always blog in real time, so a lot of the sexual experiences I’ve written about on here didn’t occur simultaneously or serially, but rather were spaced out over large periods of time. Also, like many people, my sex drive ebbs and flows throughout the month.

My sexual persona lives primarily in my head. I love sex, however if I’m feeling stressed or anxious, sometimes I need a bit of help getting in the zone. More often than not, this involves something as simple as slowing down long enough so that my partner and I can really connect. This is why I’m always slightly skeptical of products that are designed to “increase desire.”

Unless there’s a pill that can pour me a glass of wine, run me a bubble bath, and/or read me Pablo Neruda, I don’t have much faith that it will work for me (however, if anyone is interested in developing that Pablo Neruda whispering pill, let’s talk.)

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Now, enter Zestra – a topically applied medication, approved by Health Canada for women suffering from a decrease in sexual interest and desire.

As the makers of Zestra explain, 43% of women from 18 to 59 encounter a sexual problem of desire or arousal at one point in their life. In other words, it’s not just you. If you feel this way, it’s completely normal.

These symptoms may happen in various moments of life, therefore Zestra is ideal for women:

• going through different stages of menopause
• taking oral contraceptives
• taking anti-depressants
• after giving birth
• with medical conditions affecting sexual feeling
• that have a desire to heighten their sexual experiences

When the company reached out to me to see if I’d be interested in trying Zestra I was curious, albeit slightly hesitant. When it comes to chemicals, I don’t like to put anything extra into my system that doesn’t need to be there. However, after I read that Zestra is completely hormone-free and made of natural oils, I was intrigued.

I take a regular medication for my anxiety disorder. Although I don’t feel like the brain drugs have had a negative impact on my libido, I was curious to see if it would make any difference and/or heighten my sexual experiences (as suggested.) You never know until you try, right?

It’s now a few weeks later. I’ve tried Zestra and am ready to share my experiences.

So, what exactly is Zestra?

Good question! Zestra is a unique, patented and hormone-free formula is composed of active ingredients extracted from 4 plants recognized to increased blood flow and local sensitivity (Borage, Evening Primrose, du Huo and Forskohlii).  These ingredients are introduced into Zestra in the form of medicinal oils.

How does it work?

Zestra’s active ingredients increase blood flow and nerve conduction, to safely and effectively enhance female sexual pleasure, sensation, sensitivity and overall sexual satisfaction.

Yeah, but what it is?!

I was expecting Zestra to be either a cream or a gel, so I was surprised when I opened the package and discovered it’s actually an oil. Zestra comes in a tear packet similar to a lube sampler. One package = one application. The package I received included three packets/applications. FYI, a little goes a long way. Don’t do what I do and squirt the whole package into your hand – you probably won’t need all of it.

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Another happy surprise: Zestra smells really good. Like fruit and plants, but not in a gross, artificial, jolly-rancher way. The noticeably nice scent definitely added to the experience.

How do you use this magical oil?*

(*Disclaimer: Zestra is not really magic. It just feels that way.)

Easy. You apply it topically to your outer labia and clitoris. It’s meant to be used externally, so don’t insert any of the product into your vagina. Leave it on for five minutes before you have sex. Within a few minutes you should start to feel it working.

Omg, what does it feel like?!

As I mentioned above, I didn’t really have any expectations for my Zestra experience, however this stuff feels really freaking amazing. A minute or so after I applied it, I could feel a nice tingly sensation, like a mix of hot and cold. Although I tend to avoid sex products that advertise a “tingling sensation” because they usually lead to irritation and burning, I didn’t have any unpleasant sensations associated with Zestra. By the five minute mark, it definitely felt like there was more blood in that area. It felt good, really, really good.

When my boyfriend asked me to describe the sensation, I told him that it felt like I had given my vagina and clit a nice, steaming hot shot of espresso. 

After applying the solution I noticed that any touch or stimulation felt noticeably more intense. The happy-in-my-pants feelings brought on by Zestra lasted for about an hour, after which they tapered off.

That’s awesome, but is there anything I should be aware of?

Yes. Zestra shouldn’t be used by women who are pregnant or nursing (because it hasn’t been tested in these populations.)

Secondly, because it’s oil based, Zestra can’t be used with latex condoms (oil based products break down latex condoms.) However, Zestra is safe to use with POLYURETHANE condoms, as they are specially designed for use with oil-based products. If you’re looking for a condom that’s made of polyurethane, Trojan Supra Bareskin is one option.

Sidebar: When I told a group of friends that I was going to be reviewing Zestra, the ones who were most interested in the product were the recent Moms in the group. Go figure. After all, it’s totally normal to experience a decrease in sexual desire after giving birth and/or while you’re breastfeeding.

So, while I understand the reasoning behind both of these precautions, I hope that the makers of Zestra will consider developing a similar product that is compatible for both latex condom users and women who are pregnant/breastfeeding. My experience with Zestra was really positive and I think the more people who are able to also benefit from it, the better.

At the end of the day, I can’t say how this product would work for someone else – I can only share my experiences, which were positive. However, I could definitely see Zestra being very helpful to anyone hoping to give their sex life a jolt. Like I mentioned above, it’s like a really good shot of espresso…in your pants.

Has anyone else tried Zestra or something similar?

This post was brought to you by Zestra. I received free samples of the product in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own because that’s how I roll. Thanks for supporting the brands that support this blog.

 

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