2015 Summer Product Round-up: Winners & Losers

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The summer of 2015 has been a busy one, product wise. I’ve had lots of awesome things come across my desk…and also some (good intentioned) but not so awesome ones. To keep you guys up to speed, I thought I’d share with you some of the winners, losers and ones to watch.

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1. Sutil Lube

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First up on the docket is Sutil fine botanical lubricant. Some of you have heard me wax poetic about how much I love Hathor Aphrodisia’s line of eco-friendly products. Their Lubricant Pure is my favourite lube (going on 4+ years!) and their Sensual Love Lotion smells absolutely amazing. Enter Sutil: their new line of botanical lubricant.

Although I’ll always be loyal to my Lubricant Pure, I wasn’t surprised to discover Sutil totally rocks as well. Unlike the Lubricant Pure which has a thicker, rich texture; Sutil is lighter and has the feeling of silicone lube – making it perfect for those of us who like the feeling of silicone but prefer a lube that is water based. Did I mention that Sutil is made with eco-certified ingredients, is paragon & glycerine free and comes in a biodegradable tube? Oh, and Mellta – one of the co-owners of Hathor – also sent over a re-up of the Sensual Love lotion because she’s a peach like that. Both of these lines are total winners.

2. L’amourose Paramour partner pleasure set –

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Have you heard of L’Amourose? Neither had I until a few months ago. L’Amourose is a new luxury sex toy line that creates gorgeous, ergonomic toys. My friend Sarah of Marvelous Darling describes their Rosa vibe as “if Aston Martin made vibrators.” In addition, their Denia vibrator has risen into the ranks of my top 5 must-have toys (omg, it’s so, so, good. Review coming soon!) So, naturally I was curious to check out their Paramour couples set which consists of a vibrating egg that can be inserted into various apparatuses: a cock-ring, an insertable bead & a we-vibe-like thing that can be worn during sex.

Although I absolutely love the idea of a 3 in 1 product and The Secret Agent had a rollicking good time testing this set out, I found that the vibrations of the egg just weren’t quite strong enough to really blow my mind. Also, while using it as a cock-ring felt good, the egg was so heavy that it caused the whole ring to slip to the side, which proved frustrating. So as much as this set was fun to experiment with, I just don’t think it’s worth it’s hefty $240 price tag (at least until they update it with a lighter, more powerful vibrating egg.) That Denia vibe though….well, you’re just have to wait for the review.

3. Koitus Kit

FullSizeRender-2 copyDespite the fact that Koitus Kit sounds like something out of the Kardashian Empire, I think this product is a really great idea. Determined to make safe sex & after-sex cleanup supplies conveniently available in one package, Koitus Kit was born. Remember when I wrote about my Big Girl Sleepover Survival Kit? These handy little packets include two condoms, a toothbrush, a wet wipe and a dry wipe all wrapped up in a package that could easily fit in a clutch – making it the perfect companion for your next one night stand.

My only suggestion would be that they also include a small package of lube, as it not only makes sex feel better it also helps prevent condom breakage. Also while I’d prefer that they included a condom brand other than Lifestyles (you know I love me some strawberry Glyde condoms) – it’s still better to have some condoms than no condoms. Oh, how I could have used some of these kits in college…

4. The Slaphappy

Last on the chopping block is the Slaphappy. Where to start with this one? If you weren’t able to watch the video, the Slaphappy is a super bendy vibrator that can be used 5 different ways – one of which is as a spanking tool. All of this would be fine & dandy if the vibrations on this toy were actually strong enough to get me off. I couldn’t get off one way – let alone five ways – with the slaphappy. Also it says that it’s insertable and can be used on your g-spot?! This toy is flat, rectangular and quite wide. Picture it. That’s like literally trying to fit a square peg into a circular hole. Nope. Don’t even want to attempt that. While I love the idea behind this toy, these design flaws lead me to believe that it’s creator doesn’t have a very good sense of female anatomy. Let’s review: Rounded, phallic shaped objects + vagina = yes. Square objects + vagina = no.

While I give these guys props for attempting to make a versatile toy that everyone enjoys, I’m just not that happy with the Slaphappy – except as a spanking tool. It actually works pretty good for that.

Tried anything new & noteworthy this summer? Share in the comments!

We Tried It | Pole Dance Fitness at Brass Vixens

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I’ve been dying to try a pole fitness class for a couple of years now. I have a friend who is a pole fitness enthusiast & she’s in amazing shape. Also, the classes look like a lot of fun! So, when Brass Vixens in Toronto invited me to come try one of their classes for free I was tickled pink. Brass Vixens is one of  Toronto’s leading destinations for poledancing, aerialfitness, twerk, burlesque & all things awesome. The problem? I no longer live in Toronto. So, I decided to send my friend Vendredi Mounsey to check out one of their classes and report back. So, for those of you who are curious, here’s what it’s like to attend your first pole fitness class!

Maybe you’re like I was – you’ve heard of pole fitness, and you find it intriguing, but you have no idea what to expect out of a “pole dance” class. When Brass Vixens invited me to pay a visit to one of their three downtown Toronto studios, I was a little skeptical at first as I’m not the greatest dancer. I definitely do not have moves like Jagger. In fact when I do dance I often get asked if I’m in pain… as it most certainly looks as if I am. Nevertheless, I wasn’t going to be deterred by my lack of dance skills…and so this week off I went to Brass Vixens’ Yonge St. studio.

I took Pole Beginner 1 with instructor Lady Kori – a great class for beginners where expert dance skills aren’t required. The warm up playlist started with “Get that Dirt Off Your Shoulders” by Jay-Z and “Drunken Love” from Beyoncé – and I knew this was going to be a different kind of fitness class. I am used to warm ups that consist of high intensity cardio to upbeat music; not gyrating to slow jams. The dynamic routine included squats and flexibility stretches from yoga and Pilates to get our muscles and core warmed before hitting the pole. We were told that we would be learning four basic pole moves which are critical to building a routine: how to work the pole, the flamingo, ballerina and the fan spin/windmill.

Working the pole I found to be relatively easy. I did learn, however, that there is a lot more to it than just walking around in circles (who knew?!). Maintaining proper form (which includes keeping your body at a 90 degree angle from the pole) is crucial as it’s the foundation for all basic moves It’s also a killer tri and bicep workout – no wonder exotic dancers all have amazing guns! The small class size and basic moves (which were admittedly much more difficult than I had anticipated) left me feeling sexy and sore, and challenged muscle groups I would have never expected were going to be used.

All moves really honed in on upper body and core strength in a way that is much different from simply lifting weights and doing crunches. And because the moves got progressively harder, it was a bonus to have the class move at a relatively slow place. This allowed time for Lady Kori to focus on teaching us proper mechanics: breaking down each move and ensuring everyone was doing the moves properly. She even demonstrated modifications to meet differentiating skill levels and fitness levels. Even though it was my very first class, I felt like I got the help I needed to keep up, and to really enjoy myself.

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One quick word of warning to the pole dance virgins: pole fitness isn’t for the shy or bashful. If sultry moves like hip gyration and twerking make you feel more self-conscious than empowered, this may not be the best fitness option for you. That being said, I’d still suggest giving it a try at least once – a good attitude and a sense of humour will see you through any uneasy moments. I’ll admit I had to laugh a couple of times when I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror looking rather awkward. My classmates, though, didn’t seem to notice and everyone I met was friendly and inclusive, and more than happy to help me out when I couldn’t get the flamingo quite right.

In summary – you don’t have to be an exotic dancer to take a pole fitness class. Whether you’re looking to try a new fitness routine, or maybe you’re trying to make sexy time with your partner more fun – all you need is an open mind and a willingness to try. And although I haven’t mastered any of the moves as of yet (despite Kori’s patient coaching), I still had a ton of fun, and left feeling confident, sexy and sweaty. Would I go back? Absolutely! And with all of my girlfriends in tow.

About Vendredi – 

VendrediI wrote and illustrated my first book at the age of eight for a writing assignment for Mrs. Trevor, my Grade 3 teacher. Since then, my artistry has sadly not improved, but my storytelling ability has. After completing my diploma in Public Relations from Durham College and a degree in International Studies from Glendon College at York University, I now work as a Marketing Specialist by day and juggle several part time jobs and freelance writing gigs at night.

A country girl to the core, I reside in a rural community just outside of downtown Toronto with my family. When I’m not busy writing, I can be found backpacking, camping or travelling around the globe while listening to 90s dance music and drinking Heineken.

To contact Vendredi please email vendredi.mounsey@gmail.com

About Brass Vixens

Curious about trying a class for yourself? Visit one of Brass Vixens’ three locations in Toronto, follow them on Twitter and Instagram, and like them on Facebook.

We Tried it | Désirables Porcelain Dildo & Massage Stones

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One of the best perks of writing this blog is discovering new products that I might not have heard of otherwise. From the utterly terrifying (the iRide and this thing) to the beautiful & luxurious (a gold plated vibrator necklace & dildos made of glass); it’s always cool to get an insiders first look at new products!

The porcelain intimate pleasure products from Désirables definitely fall in the beautiful and luxurious camp.

Désirables are designed by women and made in Montreal, Canada. To quote their website, “As industrial designers, but especially as women, we wanted to create stylish toys that matched our vision of sexuality.  That’s why we offer products that are respectful, functional and esthetically pleasing.” (A female owned, Canadian company that’s ultra stylish to boot? Yes, please!)

They’ve accomplished their vision by creating a line of body safe pleasure products that are made entirely of porcelain. Yes, porcelain – the same stuff used to make china, figurines & your Aunt Ethel’s treasured tea set.

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As an introduction, the lovely people at Désirables sent me the Dalia Explorer and the Adori Porcelain Massager Set to try. Before I opened the box I took a photo because I absolutely loved the chic and minimal packaging.

(FYI, for non-Canadians, all of our product labels here include both English and French, with English usually listed first. However, since Désirables is from Montreal, the French is first which is a treat to see. Explorateur Feminin just sounds sexy. I’m a total nerd for details like this!)

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First up is the Dalia Explorer, a double ended porcelain Dildo. As you can see, it’s beautifully packaged in a red satin lined box and comes with a chic carrying case, authenticity card and instruction manual. I absolutely love how chic and luxurious the packaging is. The raw silk bag is a nice change from the usual black velvet ones that usually come with most high-end sex toys.

I’m sure you’re wondering, “why make sex toys out of porcelain?!” Well, not only is the porcelain smooth and soft to the touch, it also comes with several practical advantages as a toy material: it’s highly durable, easy to clean, hypoallergenic, compatible with both water based and silicone lubricants and it’s free of nasty toxic chemicals like pthalates.

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With that said, similar to the first time I used a glass toy, I was still a bit nervous about putting something that’s porcelain inside me. However, I’m glad that I gave Dalia a try.

Dalia is very similar in shape and user experience to one of my favourite toys, the Lelo Ella dildo. It’s almost exactly the same length and has a similar pointed, rounded tip that is perfect for g-spot stimulation. Unlike some of my other dildos which are quite large, the Dalia hits all the right spots without being intimidating. FYI, the Dalia “explorer” is a dildo which means it doesn’t vibrate. You can use it on it’s own for solo play, in conjunction with a clitoral vibrator or with a partner. Expert suggestion: try sliding it in and out while your partner goes down on you.  The end result is good, very, very good. 

After you’re finished playing, the Dalia cleans off easily with soap, water or toy spray.

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Next up are the Adori Porcelain Stone Massagers – a set of three different ceramic massage stones designed to target different muscles and apply different pressures.

I’m not going to lie- when I first laid eyes on the Adori set, I had absolutely no idea how I was supposed to use them.

I remember showing them to The Secret Agent and saying something like, “Huh. They look like a collection of miniature Beluga penises.”

“How do they work?” he asked.

“I don’t know? Maybe you’re supposed to use them as anal probes?” I replied.

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Show & Tell | The View Special Edition Fantasy Box

viewBoxSlider_IANI’ve tried a bunch of different adult subscription boxes over the past three years and Fantasy Box is still by far, the best one I’ve come across. (You can read my original review of Fantasy Box here.) Not only is their packaging gorgeous and well designed, their boxes are expertly curated and feature full size products & lingerie (gimme!) I also really like how they help guide you through your Fantasy Box experience through fun, sexy prompts that help encourage communication with your partner.

So, when I found out that Fantasy Box had created a exclusive, gift box in honour of Valentine’s Day for the show The View, naturally my curiosity was peaked. The View Platinum Spa Box features a collection of sweetly scented products, a gorgeous lingerie set, candles and other goodies to help transform your home into a romantic spa retreat. (watch the clip from The View here!) Thanks to the lovely people at Fantasy Box who kindly sent me my own View Box to enjoy, I’m excited to show you what’s inside.

IMG_0098Created with a romantic evening in mind, The View Box is available in three different options based on the colour of lingerie that’s included: Sweetness (blue), Romance (red) and Decadence (black) Although my inner goth tends to gravitate towards black lingerie, I fell in love with the gorgeous periwinkle coloured negligee featured in the “Sweetness” option. It’s super pretty. How could I not?!

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In true Fantasy Box style, when you open your box you’ll be greeted by a set of glossy, instruction cards that are designed to help guide you through your spa fantasy.

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The Crave Vesper: Luxury Vibrator & Jewelry in One

On Saturday night I went to a party and wore a vibrator as jewelry – but I’ll get to that in a second.

Those of you who have been reading this for awhile are probably aware of two of my obsessions: gorgeously designed luxury sex toys and equally gorgeous fashion accessories. The Vesper Necklace from Crave combines both of these loves into one stunning product.

If the name Crave sounds familiar, it’s because they are the brainchildren behind one of my favourite sex toys ever, the very sexy and spy-worthy Crave Duet, which I frequently refer to as “The James Bond of Sex Toys.” The San Francisco based company is known for it’s sleek, well-designed, sophisticated toys, so when they kindly offered to send me my very own Vesper Necklace to review, I immediately jumped at the chance.

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The Vesper Necklace has everything that I’d expect from a Crave toy. It’s ultra-sleek, stunning and utterly unique with sexy, discreet features that make you feel like you’re living in a spy movie (because what’s more sexy and daring than wearing a secret pleasure device?)

The Vesper Necklace is a luxury vibrator that also doubles as a piece of jewelry. Made of smooth, stainless steel, the Vesper is fully body-safe and features a curved tip designed for precise clitoral stimulation – in public, in private or anywhere in between. It’s fully rechargeable by USB and comes in silver, gold and rose-gold. The top of the vibrator is elegantly engraved with the Crave logo and comes with an attached chain.

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3034063-slide-s-vibe-09The Crave Vesper is ultra discrete, and looks more like a piece of chic jewelry than a sex toy. In true spy-like fashion, to charge the device you simply have to unscrew the cap, insert the USB cord and plug it into your computer. Super easy, right?

vibrador-vesper-by-crave-catalogodiseno-10I wear a mix of silver and gold, so I ordered the Vesper in rose gold, because I loved the two-toned look. I’m not quite sure what else to say, except that the Vesper is just as stunning in person as it is in the photos – perhaps more so, because it’s mine…ALL MINE!

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