May 062013
 

This is a post by one of my Spring 2013 interns, Rebecca. Find more posts from her and other current and former interns under the Intern Corner section.Shanna

Botanically Infused Oceanics by Sliquid:  I love this lube, love, love,love. 

Why is this lube absolutely and positively fantastic?  Let’s start with the appearance.  Oceanics comes in a sophisticated little bottle that I feel comfortable leaving out on my dresser.  The label itself is classy and could easily be mistaken for some fancy beauty product.  It does have “Sliquid” written on the front which may give the product away, however, I am not convinced it necessarily does.  Either way, the swanky packaging is a lovely perk that made it easy to leave the bottle out and about in an easily accessible location.  The bottle has a push-to-snap-open cap which is pretty easy to use, even when my fingers are slick.  Although I personally prefer a pump (tremendously convenient) for my lube bottles, the top on this bottle does its job.

When I first got the lube, I put a dab the size of half-a-pea on my finger.  To the touch the lube is so smooth it is almost silky.  Additionally it felt cool, clean, and refreshing to the touch and is quite thin.  A little of this stuff goes a long way, for that little dab covered my entire first finger and thumb thoroughly.

I began rubbing my fingers together and discovered this baby was long lasting, especially for a water based lube.  Even better, the lube never got sticky, stringy, or goopy.  Instead, when the lube had finally soaked into my fingers (as water based lubes do) my fingers felt like they had been well moisturized.

To make this lovely lube lovelier still, I discovered that this lube has no taste.  Zero.  Zilch! You heard me!   I actually continued tasting the lube repeatedly to a point where it was just awkward because I was convinced that I was missing the taste.  It took me longer than I would like to admit to finally realize there isn’t one, or at least none that my taste buds can detect.  If anything, there is a tinge of sweetness but that could very well be my imagination building upon the ever so subtle sweet smell the lube has that makes you ask yourself, am I in the botanic gardens?

When actually using the lube I discovered that all of the finger trial observations remained true.  The same cool, clean, and refreshing feeling I experienced when trying it on my fingers was even more present.  Although water based lubes are known for drying out more quickly than other lubes, I found that I didn’t need to reapply.  Then again, on my lube filled adventure I was not engaging in prolonged sexual activity with a partner, but instead flying solo with my vibrator.   So, although it is long lasting, if you intend to use this lube for extensive partnered fun, you’ll probably have to reapply.  Having to stop the fun to put on more is probably the biggest downside to this lube, but to be expected with water based lubes. {Editor’s note: with water based lube, just add some water to reactivate, instead of adding more lube!}

An upside to water based lubes is that they don’t ruin sex toys or condoms.  So I had no concern that my lube was melting my toy while I was using it, ::whew::, like silicone lube will do to silicone toys.  Another upside to water based lube, and thus this lube, is that it is easy to clean up.  In fact, it requires almost no clean up because most of it was absorbed by the time I was finished.  The rest came off easily with soap and water and there was no mess left on my sheets.  Hallelujah!  Even BETTER, Oceanics has no harmful chemicals!  The lube glycerine and paraben free and certificated organic.  Talk about rad(ical), at least in modern America.

Overall, I dig this lube and recommend it to anyone questing for a quality water based lube.  It is smooth as all get up, has essentially no taste but does have a slight smell of flowers.  A little of this lube goes a long way and lasts for a while.  Plus, at no point did it get stringy or goopy.  Oceanics is condom safe, sex toy safe, and safe for your body for a totally reasonable price.  Boom!  This lube rocks – click here to get your own bottle!

 

Mar 272013
 

Both folks online and those attending my workshops are always asking me for an inclusive list of all of the sex toy and lubricant companies that create body friendly sex toys and lubes. I usually point them over to the Coalition Against Toxic Toys (aka, BadVibes.org), but their list, while excellent, is much shorter than all of the companies out there producing good products. And of course, if you check out my list of Feminist and Sex Positive Toys Stores, you’ll be more likely to find good quality, body safe sex toys and lubes there.

That all being said, I’ve spent the last few weeks putting together the most inclusive list I could of body friendly sex toy companies and body safe lube companies. I’ve asked other sex educators, sexuality retailers, bloggers, etc, and together, we have created this list of companies. Now, they could certainly change their products, and I might not know, so if you have info on them producing toxic toys, just contact me. Also contact me if you know of a body friendly company that is not yet on the list, and I’ll update it. However, please note that I am trying to feature companies that are completely phthalate and other chemical free, so while some larger toys companies DO produce SOME body friendly toys, they are not listed because other toys they make are dangerous for bodies.

And with no further ado, I present to you, my list of Body Friendly Sex Toy and Lube Companies.

Dec 262012
 

A few weeks ago, I was asked by a newish company, Luv My Box, if I’d be interested in reviewing their product. A company that literally delivers monthly boxes of sex toys, etc to your doorstep? Sounds like a dream, and way more exciting than fruit of the month. After checking that they weren’t using toys with jelly and lube with lye (heck, their first box of the month had excellent quality Sliquid in it!), I said to sign me on up for a delivery.

It showed up in a black box, and when I opened it, this is what I saw:

Open Luv My Box

Cute and classy right? Would have liked it a little better if it was actually a doorhanger, but still, a fun concept. Then came the opening of the box itself – why so exciting? Because unlike a fruit of the month schitck, you don’t get to know what you’ll be getting in advance. And the surprise was:

Stuff in Luv My Box

Included were a Screaming O cock ring, Good Head cherry flavored lube, wipes for your genitalia, Frisk Mints, oral sex dice, and Wet Together lube. Not too shabby; each box has a theme of some sort. Clearly, this one was all about the oral.

My biggest issue with this whole concept is that I find sex toys and accessories to be such a personal thing – some people like butt sex while others can’t stand it, some people are allergic to lube with glycerin, others (like me) HATE pink with a firey passion. Moreover, it’s clear that these kits are designed for straight, cisgender folks that fall pretty strongly into the gender binary.  You can see a list of what has been in each box by clicking here. So yes, while December’s box could be used by a cross dressing male who wants a feather boa and Gun Oil to jerk off, it is obviously designed for a straight cis man and straight cis woman, namely one who is pretty feminine and wants to do a strip tease. That’s fine if that is what your relationship looks like, but we actually couldn’t use anything from our box. My partner doesn’t have an attached penis, and I have a glycerin sensitivity, so while the wipes and mints were cool, it was a bit of a let down, for us.

As a grammatical side note, I also *personally* hate when love is spelled “luv,” just like when you is spelled “u” or fantasies is spelled “fantasys.” A pet peeve of mine.

That being said, it is $34,95 a month to sign up for the Luv My Box club, and the items you get add up to being worth more than that. Whether as a gift to someone else, or for your and your lover, if you have no preferences about your sex toy, or fit within the concept of a straight, cisgender, male/female couple, this could be a fun present to shake things up in the bedroom. I’m just hoping that if this takes off, they have a few different boxes you can check to ensure you’re getting things you might actually like/might actually be able to use!

-Shanna

Jun 132011
 

Shanna-

You’re always telling people about lubricant and its importance in sex. I think I know the different between silicone lube and water based lube, but what if I want a tasty lube for oral sex (both blow jobs and eating out), that is also safe for vaginal intercourse? I know some flavored lubes contain sugar. What do I do?

Tentative and Taste Challenged

Hey T n’ T!

Great question. A good deal of cheap flavored lubes contain sugar — it’s my advice to stay far far away from those. Now, there are a lot of pretty decent flavored lubes that are sugar free, but contain glycerin. I always suggest people try to avoid glycerin, as it is derived from glucose, which is a type of sugar — many people have sensitivities to it, and it can cause irritation or yeast infections in some people who use it. However, if you have no issues with glycerin, System Jo makes a whole bunch of flavors (think Watermelon, Strawberry, Raspberry Sorbet, Lemon and Chocolate) ; I like to mix and match them to make new tastes. If you’re looking for a tasty glycerin free lube, Sliquid makes a variety of yummy flavors (like Blue Raspberry, Green Apple, Pink Lemonade, and Cherry Vanilla) and Wet Naturals has a glycerin free, natural Strawberry lube that is actually pretty good.

Otherwise, you can always use one lube for blow jobs, and wipe it off or hop in the shower and switch to another.

Best of luck!

-Shanna

Jun 032011
 

Regardless of how you define sex (from penile-vaginal penetration to flogger, making out to fisting, oral sex to anal sex, you name it!), most people want to have at least good sex. It doesn’t always have to be great, it doesn’t always have to be mind blowing, it doesn’t need to soak the sheets, wake the neighbors, etc. It just has to be good and enjoyable for all of the parties involved. Of course, what “good” sex is up to the beholder.

As anyone who has attended one of my classes can attest, I have three basic rules for good sex. Here they are, nice and simple. Of course, obviously, they won’t apply 100% to every person, every relationship, every sexual situation. However, in my years of teaching, counseling and just talking to folks about sex, I can pretty much state that if you follow these rules, you’ll be having some good sex.

Rule 1:

Communication is key. What I always say is “if you can’t communicate with the person you’re fucking, why are you fucking with them?” Communications doesn’t have to involve talking, and it doesn’t have to be an epic sit around conversation. If you’re hooking up with some one in a bar bathroom, communication can look like:

Person A: Hi, I’m A. I like X, Y and Z, and require latex barrier use.

Person B: Hi, I’m B, and I like P, Q, X And Z, but not Y at all. I’m allergic to latex, but brought nitrile gloves and poly eurethane condoms.

Person A: Cool. Let’s do X and Z then, with your safer sex supplies.

Person B: Awesome. Bend over.

That’s all that is needs to look like in certain situations. In other instances, communication via written word (text, email, letters, dry erase markers on the bathroom mirror, notes left on each others’ windshield, etc) can work incredibly well. During sexual activity, communication shouldn’t end. You can still opt to speak, write, pull hair, move body parts, nudge each other, buck hips, shake heads, give thumbs up, etc. Whatever works for you, your body, your partner(s) and your sexual activity is what works. Don’t feel like you have to be any certain way. However, if you cannot communicate your wants and needs, as well as what feels good, and what doesn’t, you cannot expect to have good sex. Period.

Rule 2:

You GOTTA laugh. Sex and sexual activity and naked (or near naked) bodies are funny and awkward. There are weird noises, and interesting sounds, and people falling off the bed, and fluids getting all over the place, and silly things we say, and projectile dildos, and pets jumping in the fray, and parents-in-law/landlords walking in, and batteries dying, and…the list goes on. If you cannot laugh at this stuff, than what are you doing? Sex can be serious at times, but it ALWAYS should be fun. If you’re not enjoying it, why the heck are you doing it? Plus, laughing adds endorphins to you blood stream (so does orgasms), so then it’ll make sex even more enjoyable!

Rule 3:

Lube is love. Ok, so if you’re making out or getting spanked, this might not always apply. However, if anything (toys, fingers, genitals, cheeks, etc) is touching genitals, there needs to be some lube action. Now, people always argue with me that natural lubricant is the best. For some, sure. On the other hand, penises and anuses NEVER lubricate, so hand jobs, anal stimulation, anal intercourse, etc ALWAYS require lube. Period. Tissue can get torn otherwise. As far as vaginas, some lubricate a little naturally, some a lot, and some not at all. If the vagina owner is on hormonal birth control (pill, patch, ring, implanon, depo, etc), is stressed, is on allergy meds, is on anti-depressants, etc, then those things can limit or erase natural lubrication. Plus, if you’re having a quickie, lubrication might not have enough time to happen, and if you’re having a nice long sex session, the body might need a little extra help.

Oil based lubes, whether Crisco or designed for sex, are great for hand jobs and masturbation of penises. That’s it. Oil shouldn’t go inside the anus or vagina, as it can coat the walls and prevent the self cleaning (and in the vaginal case, the transudation that the vagina needs to stay moist) that happens, sometimes ending up in infection. Also not barrier safe.

Water based lubes are compatible with bodies, toys and barriers, but sometimes dry up faster. If it dries out and gets sticky — DO NOT ADD LUBE. It’ll make it messier. Add water to reactivate the lube, and voila. Some water based lubes contain glycerin and parabans, which some people react to. If you or your partner have a picky vulva, go with glycerin free water based lube.

Silicone lube is the energizer bunny of lube — it keeps going and going and going. It’s great with bodies and barriers, and hard toys (plastic, glass, metal, wood, ceramic, stone, etc). However, it should NOT be used with silicone toys, as it will melt the material and destroy the toy. No good. It’s great for sex in watery areas (like the shower, the rain, the hot tub), as it doesn’t wash away easily.

-Shanna

Nov 202010
 

Fascinations One Day Sale

From 8am MST to Midnight MST, every single item on the Fascinations site (Funlove.com) is 25% off.

What does this mean?

25% off the Njoy Eleven!

25% off all the lube you can use!

25% off educational DVDs!

25% off erotica AND sex ed books!

25% off bath/body gift baskets and the Kama Sutra Collection!

25% off sexy lingerie!

25% off ceiling cat panties!

How can you argue with this? Go forth! Enjoy! And don’t forget upcoming holidays, birthdays, etc — this is the time to stock up! Head on over to Fascinations, November 20th ONLY for the One Day Sale!