The VibeReview Winter Sale

There’s a really good sex toy sale going on at VibeReview in honor of the always-entertaining U.S. economy. Almost everything on the site is 10-35% off, with the majority of discounts in the 20-25% range. This is honestly a great time to pick something up if you’ve had a new toy on your mind.

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Sex Toys and Adult Toys: The Bad List

So busy discussing what sex toys and adult toys are good that some of us forget to make lists of those vibrators, dildos, and other sex toys we should avoid. This is a financial thing, a performance thing, and a general dislike thing. Yes, it is a thing, the wrench in myism.

Here are the top ten toys that made my Shameful Sex Toys List:

Starting from the best of the worst …

10. Vibro-Pod

Preface: Yes, I know some of you love the Dickens out of this vibrating egg sex toy. So for some of you: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times …” We all have different preferences, but the harder I tried to find something positive to say about the Vibro-Pod, the more I came to dislike this sex toy. I love my iPod as much as I love a wonderful sex toy. Why not merge the two industries for a little fun – some music to aid my masturbation. Yeah, right. If it only worked out that way.
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Two Sexy Announcements

Life is one evolving series of announcements. In keeping with the spirit of life, and hoping to keep you in tune with the latest sex-related news, I have some interesting news to share with you.

1. VibeReview, as was announced in the previous post, has several articles and reviews featured on DivineCaroline. Much like Digg and other social networking sites, DivineCaroline relies heavily on reader votes to place articles and reviews in advantageous situations for additional exposure. Put simply: The more readers hit the “I Liked It” avatar at the bottom of articles, the more exposure the article will receive.

Since many of you are VibeReview affiliates and/or reviewers, your support would be appreciated. Though your altruistic nature might be hibernating at the moment, you might also consider that each of you will benefit either directly or, more likely, indirectly by helping to promote these articles. After all, VibeReview enjoys sharing its success with affiliates and reviewers – and in a lot of different ways that may or may not go unnoticed.

Here are the articles currently on the site:

Beginner’s Sex Toy Guide
Introduction Guide to the G-Spot
Pearl Thunder Review

Please take 5-10 minutes to check out DivineCaroline and vote for all VibeReview’s content. The more popular these articles are, the more aggressive VibeReview can be with making decisions about future writers, reviewers, and so much more. We have plans, big plans for the future.

Additionally, if any of you use StumbleUpon, please take a minute to add VibeReview to your favorites page and write a 1-2 sentence review of the site. Every little bit helps.

2. Please check out and support The New York City Sex Bloggers 2009 Calendar Project. Some of the industry’s best writers and most recognized names are participating in the project, which is an extension of Sex Work 101, created by the everywhere-all-the-time, talented Audacia Ray. This exciting project aims to do away with the stigma associated with sex work while simultaneously promoting rights for sex workers.

Here is a breakdown of how you can support the project:

We’d like to offer everyone, readers and fellow bloggers, the opportunity to join in the fun and excitement, as well as promote your own blog if you have one. That means for $30 you can buy a day in our calendar and personalize it. If you’re a blogger you can have your blog url on your day, or if you’re a reader, any personal message – you can wish us luck or send a greeting to your favorite blogger or celebrate your birthday or anniversary – up to 80 characters will be printed on your day. That $30 includes one pre-ordered calendar (shipping is extra) with all funds in excess of our expenses going directly to Sex Work Awareness. You can purchase as many additional days as you like depending upon availability for $10 each. Since this is a 2009 calendar, we are on an extremely tight schedule and can only sell days through October 1st, 2008. We hope you will consider this a fun and creative way to promote your blog or just as a way to share in the pleasure and excitement this project has been bringing us in our effort to make our community and world a better, more sex-positive place to live.

So, yes. Please support this worthy cause by purchasing a calendar, writing a short post about the project and/or spreading the word to your sexy friends.

Thanks to all!

-Heather

DivineCaroline: Networking and Socializing for Women

Anyone else visit iVillage.com frequently? I used to spend hours and hours reading the pro-woman content posted on iVillage. However, in the last two or three months I realized that I was spending more and more time, trying to find an article or editorial bit that appealed to me. I don’t have enough time in my life trudge through a bunch of frogs to find the prince (or princess!).

Task. Journey. Search.

To find a new source of information. To find a community of female writers, professionals, sexual enthusiasts, intelligence, class, and maturity …

The Holy Grail of Pro-Woman Content: DivineCaroline
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My Favorite Sex Toy Right Now

I haven’t posted my own sex toy review in close to a year!  I spend all my time communicating with people about sex toys that I am usually burnt out when it comes to writing reviews.  Of course, I test out nearly all the sex toys (vibrators, dildos, vibrating love rings, lubes, etc.) that are brand new, but wrting a review has been close to impossible with my other duties.  Rather than spend a lot of time talking about one sex toy, I am going to write a quick post about my favorite adult toys.  I don’t reveal my favorites often enough because I am interested in reading and hearing about what other people like.

Currently my favorite sex toy:

Gigi

It goes without saying that Lelo has created the next generation of quality sex toys, but the Gigi is my sexy solution after a stressful day or night. A lot of women focus on its remarkable ability to gently yet firmly stimulate the G-spot, which is absolutely true; but the Gigi can also be used for clit and labia stimulation. I love the massage sensations created by its pulsating, vibrating head that has a flat-to-round surface, perfect for moving in circles on my clit and labia.

It only takes a minute or so for me to have a clitoral orgasm with the Gigi leading the way. For whatever reason, I have this masturbation routine where I try to have a clit orgasm before messing with any penetration. I don’t know if my vagina is tighter than most, but I have to be really aroused (usually after having a clit orgasm) before I can enjoy deep penetration. The Gigi does have kind of an awkward shape that creates a strange sensation when first inserted, but once those vibrations kick in and tickle my fleshly insides, I orgasm so hard I feel like a balloon ready to pop.

This is a good sex toy for couples, too. My fella knows how to get me going with the Gigi. I am one of those ladies who needs a lot of foreplay before sex, and I’ve found that my orgasms are much stronger during sex when my guy teases me with the Gigi before we get down to business. The Miracle Massager is another good one for couples foreplay. But nothing could replace my lovely Gigi vibrator.

I plan on pointing out what toys I dislike in future posts. Maybe I can help someone avoid buying a dud sex toy. And, from time to time, I will post other favorite sex toy posts.

‘Obama For President’ Discount

The political calendar is full of boring retorts that have nothing to do with changing the country for the better. To liven up the situation, VibeReview decided to launch its new ‘Obama For President” Coupon this afternoon. If you want to save a few bucks during these trying economic times and you want to show some love for Obama, this is the right coupon for you.

Obama For President Coupon

You can use the 10% coupon over and over and over until election day. Not a bad deal at all.

And apparently some Diggs are being thrown around:

Obama and Vibrators

The majority of the country went with “Wanted Dead or Alive” during the last election. Why not go with sex toys for equality. Sure, it’s not the catchiest idea in the world, but at least everyone is so busy pleasing him or herself (or each other) that we can’t cause too many problems. Staying busy, getting busy, and having fun – that’s the key.

Sex Toys and Texas

I’m not going to spend a whole lot of time discussing the ongoing battle between Texas politicians and religious groups versus sex toys, adult toy retailers, and people who enjoy a good buzz or two. Why does it matter what another person or couples do in the privacy of their home? If both individuals are consenting adults, the government shouldn’t have a say in his or her or their affairs. Apparently and thankfully, the law has spoken in agreement, since sex toys are now legal in Texas.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, though, seems determined to push his luck. Will he pursue this “cause” to the highest level? Seems Texas is finished with this debate and unless the Supreme Court wants to waste its precious time on plastic gizmos that give men and women pleasure, Texas might as well view itself as the Sex Toy State, with Alabama lagging behind.

Mind you, the State of Texas now taxes topless bars to fund state services. Yes, purchasing a sex toy for private pleasures is obscene, wrong, and immoral – but we’ll tax the hell out of “titty” bars because state funds are running low! The hypocrisy is sickening. While I would never dream of being a topless dancer or owning that type of bar, I am fine with women and/or men choosing erotic dancing as their profession. If you want to dance for money and it works for you, who am I to tell you what is right or wrong? It might not be right for me, but that doesn’t mean it’s not right for you.

My point is simple: the State of Texas wants to ride the back of a largely “public” sex-related industry, taxing it to replenish dwindling state funds, while at the very same moment ban a sex-related industry that focuses on providing women and men and couples with sex toys for their own “private” use. I assure you that a tax – oh, yes – a tax on sex toys is coming, as soon as Greg Abbott decides how far he wants to push this issue.

We live in a country where health insurance and pharmaceuticals are afterthoughts for many people, because they simply cannot afford to take care of basic health concerns.

A place where education of all forms, especially for K-12, is falling behind our competitors in the global economy. (Texas education is, without a doubt, lacking substance and performance.)

A land where some man with a holy roller agenda can tell a woman what she should or should not do with her own body.

A fairy tale creation where imaginary heroes and leaders can wage illegal wars through manipulating the public into agreement, with devilish lies and schemes.

A wonderful place of freedom where politicians believe it’s alright for employers to discriminate against people of differing sexual orientations and gender issues.

But you can bet your ass if they can’t eradicate what they view as “immoral” or “obscene”, they’ll tax the living hell out of it. Unless it is a corporate golf buddy promising campaign contributions and future vacation hot spots. (Just don’t go hunting with Dick Cheney – he’s a bad shot.)

How is it that alcohol companies, tobacco companies, pharmaceutical companies, real estate and banking industries – yes, that they can cause whatever damage they want, to whomever they wish, without suffering extreme consequences? All made more insane by the fact that jerk offs like Greg Abbott waste state funds and taxes on attempting to ban sex toys! As if the State of Texas doesn’t have enough problems to deal with: drugs, violent crimes, hate crimes, death penalty, murder, rape, gangs, teenage pregnancy, poverty, poor educational infrastructure … all the important issues.

/Rant Over

Sex Toy Theft, Criminals, and Fallen Angels

Consider the following Henry Morgan quote:

A kleptomaniac is a person who helps himself because he can’t help himself.

Sex toy thievery. Take the above quote and apply it to out of control sex toy fetishes. Want an example of someone sexing out beyond their means? Screw it, I’ll give you two recent examples of individuals who recently stole sex toys in the most bizarre of circumstances, in the strangest ways.

I can’t remember sex toy theft being a major issue in the past, but with adult toys becoming mainstream sexual enhancement devices, I guess we will witness a revival of peculiar sex toy incidences.

The first story:

Man Pleads Guilty to Sex Toys Theft

Daniel Edward Ray broke into three sex toy stores in Springfield, Illinois, back on January 24, 2008. He pleaded ‘no contest’ to the charges. His sentence hearing is scheduled for September, 2008. He used a baseball bat to bash in the windows of one sex toy shop and then, in all his brilliance, decided to use his car as battering ram for the other two stores. Dude was straight desperate to get his hands on some sex toys, and not just a few – but a lot of sex toys.

His ex-girlfriend ratted him out to the cops, explaining that Daniel Edward Ray had a little something-something for sex stuff. [Who doesn’t? But that doesn’t mean the craziest of pervs are going to smash their car into the front doors and windows of the local sex shop.] The “sex toy bandit”, as the local press referred to him, was captured on surveillance cameras during his moment of passion, and left behind traces of blood and – get this – fingernails. At first he denied the allegations but certainly came around when the police showed him the evidence.

He blames his methamphetamine addiction as the root of his troubles. Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t. Or maybe the dude just has a thing for stealing strange shit. He was on parole for burglary at the time of sex toys theft, so he’s looking at hardcore jail time – which means, like, six months in jail.

The second story:

Pastor Succumbs to Psalm 69 Sexual Urges, Breaks Into Home, and Steals Woman’s Sex Toy and Lube

On July 25, 2008, a South Carolina pastor, Scott Murray, broke into a woman’s home, raided her panty drawer, and stole one bottle of lube and an unidentified sex toy.  Felony burglary and larceny charges have been filed.  Repressed sexuality comes out in the strangest ways, yes?  Bizarre. Funny enough, this guy was part of the OUTREACH program.

He stole a used sex toy, which reminds of the Used Sex Toy Listing on Craigslist that came out a few years back. Only this pastor was for real, whereas the listing was a complete hoax. I know some wild ass people and none of them would ever consider stealing a used sex toy, especially if it means breaking into someone’s home to get it. Why are the religious freaks the ones who are involved in more sexual scandals than anyone else? Repressed sexuality, I guess. All that pent up sexual energy screws with normal brain function.

Shocked! Armageddon is here! Pastor surprises congregation with sex toy fetish:

A Wake to Remember

This is a true story, I promise.  A strange anecdote to follow.  It’s so socially awkward and silly that I am inclined to convince you of its authenticity.  I almost feel like what happened was a fictitious event that I created in my head.  Like one of those days when imagination replaces boredom and goes into bewildering territories, where insecurities – the deepest rooted fears – mingle with idealized events, creating imaginary challenges that one can overcome without ever taking any action.  Anyway – check this story out:

Is there anyone else who has an appreciation of funerals for old people?  Just say, “Yes, of course!  I can’t think of a more lively event!”  You liar.  I am the only person, as far as I can tell, who has this peculiar fondness of old people’s funerals.  There’s something special about celebrating an old person’s life, because he or she actually lived through so much – starting with diapers and eventually, as the cycle goes, ending up in diapers. “Gross!” you might respond.  Yeah, I agree a return to diapers is life’s version of ego-demolition; but this notion of coming full circle is a remarkable feat, one that deserves recognition and celebratory gestures.

So, yes: I get all emotional and introspective and focused at these old-timers events, and I cannot handle a lot of person-to-person communication.  Dagnabbit, please don’t bother me with superficial commentary at an old person’s funeral – I am likely to bite your head off, kick you in the crotch, and while you lay on the ground grimacing in pain, my authoritative fingers incessantly waves.  Hint: Not right now, fella.  I should be more courteous to my fellow mourners, I know it.  Then I realize that the funeral isn’t about me, but is dedicated the old man or woman that can truly boast of MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!  I MADE IT, FUCKERS!  Lordy Be, I need to get with the program.

All of this, a serious digression that’s probably left you scratching your head.  I’m not done yet, stick with me, keep reading – this damn story is coming … NOW!

My great-great aunt died a month ago.  I hadn’t seen my mother in several months, so we figured the funeral would be a great excuse to meet up in Dallas, Texas, where I am originally from.  Our motives, pure – we also wanted to pay respect to this amazing lady that I didn’t know very well.  Any relative with a “great-great” distinction is usually too old, or too far removed from my life, for me to know with any real significance.  I spent, probably, a total of 3-4 days (an aggressive hourly total) with Great-Great Aunt Ellen – and that’s it, like in my entire life.  But like I said earlier, I enjoy funerals for old people.  I was game, ready for the momentous occasion, and hell-bent on catching some glimpse of self-truth in all of this.

Finally.  Time for the wake, which was done with an old school twist – at my great-great aunt’s last place of comfort, her lovely house in the Forest Hills neighborhood near White Rock Lake, in East Dallas.  (If you have sinus problems, stay far away from this area.  You were warned!)  The problem with at-home wakes is that all the family members are packed into fairly small areas, so it’s tough to avoid boring conversations with your second generation cousin, who was recently released from the city jail – having served his “time” for intentionally pissing on his boss, who was having a long conversation with corporate about said cousin’s petulant behavior in the work environment.

Yes, this is absolutely a true story.  I keep pinching myself, praying I imagined the whole thing.  But – it gets worse.  Not understanding the concept of personal boundaries, Steve, my second generation cousin, tells me the story in its entirety – how he was “pissed off” at his boss for cutting his hours at the local pet shop store.  So he pissed on his boss, the only appropriate measure he could think of.  It didn’t help that his mind, soiled by two nights of chemically-inspired fun, wasn’t exactly ticking with the rest of the clocks on the wall, but this guy – wow, he seemed convinced that justice was served, bringing new literal interpretation to the idea of “It’s better to get pissed off than pissed on.” He got two weeks of jail time when the district attorney office viewed the pissing match as a type of bodily assault.

About the time that Steve started describing his cell mates, my mother inched toward the living room.  We hadn’t arrived together, so this was the first time I saw her at the wake.  I quickly interrupted Steve, waving at my mother – the code signal for Get! Your! Ass! Over! Here! – while at the same time validating poor Steve, confirming that I related to his perilous fight against The Man.  Unfortunately, my mother remembered Steve from his earlier years, I guess, when he had curly red hair and a habit of grabbing, scratching his ass without concern for his surroundings.  My mother, I tell you.  She mentioned this in front of Steve while I was standing there, and the poor guy, having been through enough recently, smiled and started waving at someone across the room.  He knows the drill: escape!

“Did I say something upsetting, Heather?”

“No, mother.  You only embarrassed the hell out of guy with an already declining self-esteem.  The Man’s got him down, but I suspect after all of this, he’ll include The Woman on his life’s list of resentments.  Other than that, I think he appreciated the ‘scratching ass’ comment.”

“Everyone, dear – and I mean, everyone – has those quirky habits as a child.  Maybe not <i>that</i> habit, but certainly one that’s similar.  In fact, you used to massage your putty when you were four or five.  There’s noth –”

“Wait a damn minute, Mom.  Not here, not now, not ever.  Imagine if someone heard you!  My God.  Seriously.  Why?”

“I see, I see.  Miss Sex Toy Reviewer seems to be ashamed of her early childhood sexual exploits.  You do realize that all children explore genitalia, trying to see what those ‘things’ are down there? You of all people – the sex toy expert – should know how natural it is.  So Steve grabbed and scratched his ass during the same phase of development.  All natural.  Your children will do the same thing.”

Fuck sakes.  At this point, I might wave at Steve to come back and tell me about his baby’s mama or his collection of fingernails, hidden in a tin can buried in the backyard. (Oh, and if you haven’t figured it out yet, the “putty” my crazy mother mentioned – well, that’s my kitty-kitty.  My mother hates the word “vagina”, so she made up this strange word to replace it.)

“Fine.  I get it.  By the way, you haven’t told anyone that I review sex toys, right?  I asked you to keep that a secret, so if you did … I am going to be super-bitchy pissed at you.”

“I may have told a few people, but no one of importance.  I think it’s funny, and there’s nothing wrong with it – so what does it matter?  Most women play with some kind of sex toy.  Hell, my first vibrator was the nifty massager shower nozzle in my bathroom.  Younger people always assume that parents don’t have a sex life.

“I am going to puke.  Thanks for that.  Too much information, mother.  And you sure are flaunting this information rather loudly, don’t you think – as if this is the usual conversation held at a WAKE!”

My mother blankly stared at me, as if she could see beyond my response.  That’s what happens when your mother is a well-known shrink.  Analyze, analyze.  I could tell she was convinced that I was being too dramatic and my response must be symptomatic of something deeper, dirtier – like a real secret. Body language, which my mother has mastered,  is more effective than verbal communication.

“Clock out, Mom.  Off the job training, unnecessary.”

She ignored the comment, turning her head and walking into the room of all rooms, the one with the casket.  Right as a person’s foot crossed the invisible line separating the living room from my great-great aunts bedroom, the collective disposition changed – in dramatic ways, too.  The loud squawkers, incessant talkers suddenly listened to an internal voice that screamed, “Shut the hell up.  For a minute at least, to pay respects.”  A rhythmic shuffling of feet, echoed in the room.  Mixed in with some deep breaths.

My mother was directly in front of me, starting to lean over the casket when Steve bumped his way to the front, and then, unbelievably asked me:

“I hear that you are some kind of sex worker.  Or that you do something with sex toys.  I’d like to talk to you about my girlfriend before you leave.  Please, don’t leave until we’ve talked.  This is really, really fucking import – ”

“Steve.  Look, right now is not the appropriate moment to discuss my profession, habits – really anything unrelated to the funeral.  Maybe you could emai – ”

“I understand.  There’s no reason to be embarrassed.  No one cares what you do for a living, not in a bad way.  I could use your expertise, in the worst way possible – I mean, good way.  Whatever, you know what I mean.”

“Are you sure we are related, Steve O?  Because if we are, my genetic composition is seriously tainted.  Fuck, fine.  We can talk AFTER! the wake and funeral.”

It seems that my mother, who had sipped three too many drinks before attending the wake, told my Aunt Jackie about my sex toy reviews.  Screwed.  Cooked.  Done.  My Aunt Jackie is our family’s very own Perez Hilton.  Mouth always moving, sometimes exposing morning’s breakfast, with sprays of excited spit traveling from the speaker’s mouth to the listener’s unwelcoming eyes – Yes, that’s my sweet Aunt Jackie releasing the caged gossip queen.

Wrong person to reveal that kind of information.  Before I knew it, even Steve, the social outcast, had the 911 on some of my personal activities.  Wonder-fucking-ful.  And it didn’t help that Steve made no effort to conceal his opportunistic agenda.  My poor great-great Aunt that I barely knew.  I blame my mother, Aunt Jackie and Steve – plus the rest of those busy-bodied family members, who were – I swear – looking at me differently than they had when I first arrived at the house.  Or was I being paranoid?  Not sure, but that’s how I felt.

What did Steve ask me?  I wouldn’t know.  After the funeral I booked it out there.  I didn’t say a word to anyone.  I called an old high school friend, explained the situation, and told her to pick me up at the stop sign.  I left my rental car for my mother to drive.  (She arrived at the funeral with … You guessed it!  My Aunt Jackie.)

Somehow I felt guilty because of these jerk offs running their collective mouths at the wrong time.  I felt kinda dirty inside – not because I do review sex toys, but because I related to yesterday’s biological waste.  Am I being too judgmental?

Free shit.

I just got back from LA where I was at another of those cheesy trade shows for VibeReview.  Overall, it was successful as far as these things go, but the one item relevant to your interest is this: We have finally managed to get deals set up with toy manufacturers to get significantly larger quantities of sample items.  This makes a whole new range of stuff possible.  I’m thinking everything from contests to full-on sex toy parties.  Last year we sponsored Camp Beaverton for Wayward Girls at Burning Man, but I’m thinking we might be able to do something even bigger now.  Stay tuned, and if you have any ideas write them on a small sheet of paper, fold in half, and deposit in the box below.