Friday, August 22, 2014

Submit! To Pleasure

A few months ago when Rachel Kramer Bussel over at Cleis Press asked me if I wanted to review another book for them, I almost literally jumped at the chance. See, right now I'm actually in graduate school, working on getting my Master's of Library and Information Science degree (so that I can be a librarian) and books, are kinda my thing. And even if BDSM (the theme of this collection, as you'll see shortly) isn't my go-to kink, I still wanted to read some hot stories about it, and get a chance to tell you nice folks what I thought! So, without any more ado at all, let's dive into the Big Book of Submission.

The Big Book of Submission is a collection of "69 Kinky Tales", all on the topic of BDSM. But that's pretty much the only thing all of these stories have in common.

  • One story is about a voyeur, watching the couple across the street have some fun with spanking. 
  • Another is about a man who discovers that his new personal trainer has some unique methods for getting results.
  • The Dear Sir is in the form of a letter from a sub to her dom, detailing the fun evening that they had together.
  • And yet another story is all about the artistic use of ropes in a non-traditional photo-shoot.
And that's just a quick sample of all the kinky fun that's to be had between the covers of The Big Book of Submission. I don't want to go as far as to say that there's something for everyone in this book, you probably have to enjoy a good spanking story to really get the most out of the book, but there's enough variety to keep you on your toes, so to speak.

Now what about me? I already told you that BDSM isn't exactly my go-to kink, so did I like the book? Absolutely. While being spanked (and frankly, reading about spanking) doesn't really turn me on, well written erotica does, and this book has that in spades! Ever since I first started to masturbate, my material of choice has always been erotica. While my peers were discovering internet porn, I was consuming erotic fiction at an alarming rate. And I would dabble into everything. Lesbian porn, Gay male porn (still my favorite), stories about BDSM, sex toys, even erotic horror. I could get myself off to a story of almost any genre, as long as it was well written, and these stories hit that mark!

But are the stories hot enough to get me going? Is what you might be asking yourself (or me) right now. Well, for that, I'll have to refer you to my poor husband, who got jumped last night while I was browsing through some of my favorite stories in preparation for this review. When asked for a comment he said:
"Sex with you is always wonderful. I love you. I'm not being helpful, am I?"
Well... no dear, not super helpful. But I love you anyway.

I guess if you want to find out if these 69 stories are hot enough to get you off, you'll just have to pick up a copy and try for yourself! If you like well written erotica of the BDSM variety (that also touches on a lot of other themes, like gender identity and marriage), then you won't be disappointed in The Big Book of Submission. And if all else fails, I'm sure you'll get a laugh out of the piece Story Time in which, as punishment, a sub has to read excerpts from everyone's "favorite" BDSM romance novel to her dom.

If you liked this review, check out all of the other cool reviews on the Big Book of Submission blog tour that's happening right now! You can see their tumblr page here! And of course, go get your own kinky copy on amazon!

Thank you to Rachel Kramer Bussel (the editor of this kinky book) 
for sending me my free copy in exchange for my honest review!
Thank you again Rachel, and thanks to Cleis Press too!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

My Experience with the LayaSpot

A caveat before we begin. This is not a review. This is just a post (maybe a rant) talking about my experiences with a specific toy. Other people might have had a different experience, this is just mine.

This is a post that I've been wanting to write for a very long time, but one that I had actually convinced myself shouldn't be written. Recently however, I listened in to a twitter conversation about the pros and cons of reviewing bad toys, and I decided that this was something I had to write.

A long time ago (back when I was just getting into sex toys), I bought myself the FunFactory LayaSpot. I think it was the second or third toy I had ever bought, and it took me long enough to work up the nerve to actually take the thing up to the register and purchase it.
At the time, I had never even heard of FunFactory, (The only toy company that I was even remotely familiar with was California Exotics who made the set of crappy jelly anal beads I had purchased a few months earlier - a mistake) and didn't know anything about them. All I knew was that the LayaSpot looked like a higher quality of toy than the crap I had been purchasing up until then.
I took it home and was eager to try it out right away. The LayaSpot is a clitoral vibrator that is supposed to fit easily into the palm of your hand  (and therefore be more ergonomic than other clit vibes out on the market), and since at the time I wasn't big on internal vibes, I thought that this would be perfect for me.

The FunFactory LayaSpot, which I inexplicably still have

Unfortunately, I didn't get to find out that night. I took the toy home, put batteries into it (it takes 2 AAs) and turned it on. It felt nice and buzzy, especially in the tip (which was exactly what I had been looking for). I tried it out, and at first, I was pretty pleased. The LayaSpot fit nicely into the palm of my hand, and the tip sat right over my clit, transferring the deep buzzy vibrations nicely. I was really enjoying myself, and just starting to get into things when... it stopped. I assumed that in my pleasure-induced haze, I must have pushed one of the two button controls. I pushed the + button to turn the thing back on, and resumed what I had been doing. But again, as soon as I started getting into things, the toy just turned off.
This time I opened up the battery compartment (still one of the more obnoxious ones I've dealt with) and checked to see if anything was leaking. Since nothing was, this time I made the assumption that the batteries I had supplied it with were perhaps not the freshest.
So I dutifully switched out the batteries and tried again... with the same result. Dead after just a few minutes of use. Frustrated, I shoved the toy back in my toy-drawer and tried to put it out of my mind long enough to finish the task at hand.

Sometime later, I decided to give the LayaSpot another go. And to my surprise, it turned on without any problems! But then, a few minutes later... You guessed it, dead again. At this point I was so annoyed that I boxed it back up and took it back to the store I got it at.
The lady who ran the store was very nice and exchanged it for me, no questions asked. We both assumed that I had just gotten a defective item. It's annoying sure, but it happens from time to time.

I took my new LayaSpot home and ended up having many enjoyable orgasms with it, at least until it too started exhibiting the exact same malfunctions.
After a few days of normal use, it started to randomly die on my during use. It happened over and over and over again. I switched out the batteries almost every time I used it, just so I could try to get a few moments of use out of my only "real" viberator.

But it was no use, the thing was a dud and there was no getting around it. A few months after taking my second LayaSpot home (most of which time it lay forgotten and dead at the bottom of my drawer) the thing died pretty much for good. I had taken it out to give it yet another one last chance, and it wouldn't work at all. I opened up at battery compartment and found that the batteries had leaked everywhere. I cleaned it up the best I could, dumped the batteries and shoved the thing back into my drawer, this time for good.

Like I said at the beginning, this is a post that I've been wanting to write for a long time. At the time, I was just starting to get into the toy-reviewing community and was a member of a web-site with some pretty stringent rules regarding toy reviews. One of which was that "As a matter of policy ***** does not host reviews on defective products." This of course served to deter me from sharing my experience with this toy. In principal, I agree that reviews of defective products don't really help anyone (which is one of the reasons why this isn't a review), but when you have the same bad experience with two separate items, you have to wonder if they were defective, or if something else was going on.

I've since owned several other FunFactory products, including the SmartBalls (which I loved), and don't really understand how I seemed to end up with 2 broken toys in a row. I want to make it clear again that I did not buy straight from the manufacturer, I bought from a 3rd party retail establishment. And I probably could have gone back and exchange my LayaSpot yet again for store credit or something, but at that point I was so annoyed that I didn't want to deal with it.

I'm sorry that this post has been so long, but I wanted to get my thoughts out there and share this experience with you nice folks. Please let me know what you think. And if you have had any similar experiences with the LayaSpot, please, share them!

Friday, January 31, 2014

A "Unique" Opportunity

When she was asked to review a new "unique" condom, the ever resourceful Epiphora recruited the help of 16 "brave" souls, including yours truly, and compiled all of the data into one awesome piece of review.

So what are you waiting for? Go check it out!

So uh, yeah, I'm on Hey Epiphora... not like that's a big deal or anything *dying of joy*.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

69 "O"s In A Row!

Okay, I'll admit that when I first picked up my copy of The Big Book of Orgasms, I went about reading it in entirely the wrong way.
Wrong, you say, how can that be?
Well you see, I'm the kind of person who feels compelled to read a book (any book) from cover to cover, starting at the beginning.

Now you might already see where this is going. Cover to cover is not always the best way to read a collection of different stories. And especially a collection such as this one, which is clearly meant to be browsed through at a leisurely pace.

You see The Big Book of Orgasms is exactly what it sounds like (except for the Big part, the book's actually perfectly compact), it's a collection of 69 short stories all featuring and focusing on the Big O. The stories cover a wide range of topics and situations. There are solos and couples and threesomes; straight, gay, bi, lesbian and everything in between. There's even a story about a girl getting freaky with a guitar amp! The authors are so creative with the different situations that they put their characters into, I have no idea how they all do it, but I admire the heck out of them.

I bet we can all figure out why there are exactly 69 stories in this collection, but one of the advantages of that is that there's something in here for almost everyone. Do you like BDSM? It's in there. An artist masturbating in public as part of a gallery show? It's in there. A gender-swaped couple? It's in there.1 Random elevator hook-ups? They're in there!

Okay, I can tell you're waiting for me to just get to the good part already. Sure, there's variety, I can hear you saying, but is it hot?

Yes, yes it is. Or at least, a large percentage of the stories that I read are hot. Which is exactly as it should be. Like I said, there's something in this collection for almost everyone, thus conversely, there are some things in this collection that are not for everyone. Now, that's not to say that I came across any stories that were in any way offensive or out of line, not at all. But I did come across a few that were, to me at least, meh.

And that's fine! Like I said, not every story in this book is going to do it for every reader out there, that would be impossible. But out of the stories I read, I feel very comfortable saying that about 80% of them really turned me on, and that's a lot!

So in conclusion ladies, gentlemen, and people of all genders, what did I think of The Big Book of Orgasms? I freakin' loved it! This is a book that's going to stay a part of my permanent erotica collection. It's the kind of book that I'm going to (and have been) grab again and again when the mood strikes me. I'll flip around and find something new, or maybe return to a story that I've already read and loved. But whichever it'll be, I know that I'm going to enjoy this book for many orgasms to come!

Want to grab a copy of your own? You can pick up a copy of your own from Amazon.comGoodVibes and many other fine retailers.

Thank you to Rachel Kramer Bussel (the editor of this fine work) 
for sending me my copy in exchange for my honest review! 
Thanks again to Rachel and Cleis Press!

1. In case you're curious, the story in question is "Remote Control" by Logan Zachary, and it's my favorite.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Brand 'Spanking' New Plunge Paddle!

Okay, so a little while ago I was innocently browsing twitter, when I saw this:

I was... intrigued. So I responded thusly:

The next thing I knew, SheVibe was asking me if I wanted a Plunge Paddle of my very own to review! How could I possibly say no? (hint: I couldn't) And before I knew it, I had a Plunge Paddle in my hands to use & review! So, let's get to it, shall we?

The brand-spanking new Tantus Plunge Paddle!

The Plunge Paddle by Tantus is a brand new silicone paddle with one very interesting feature... (can you guess what it is?) *pause for dramatic effect*  you can fuck it! *blank stares* Okay, I'll explain. The handle of the plunge paddle is actually a fully insertable dildo, that you can use just like you would use any other dildo...

The aforementioned tag
As soon as we took it out of the box we were chasing each other around the apartment, smacking each other's asses and laughing like fools. Well actually, that's not quite true. As soon as we took the paddle out of its box we noticed a very odd smell. It wasn't very strong, just sort of unpleasant. I contacted Jenna over at Tantus and was told that the smell was actually coming from the little plastic tag that came attached to the toy. We quickly cut it off and washed the paddle, and then the smell went away fairly soon after that.

Immediately after that, we ran around the apartment smacking each other like crazy people. Okay, so maybe I should mention the fact that I've never actually used a paddle before (I've also never had one used on me before). My husband and I have always been into some very light BDSM (hand-spanking, light rope play etc), but we've never actually invested in any real equipment. Which is why I jumped (quite literally) at the chance to try out an actual real paddle!

One of the very first things I noticed about the paddle is how... wiggly it is! I guess I was expecting something very solid, so I was surprised to see just how much the flat end of the paddle can move. But it makes sense, that mobility provides for a good solid smack! Take a look:

Wiggly, isn't it? (My husband wanted to do a full analysis of its mechanical properties, but he seems to have forgotten everything he learned about wave dynamics...) And like I said, that wiggle translates into a very satisfying smack on whichever body part you choose.1 Personally, I've found that I love being bent over the bed and smacked right on the ass with this bad boy, and luckily my husband seems to love smacking me. There's a nice loud 'thwack!' every time, and it leaves a very pleasant sting behind on my behind.

One of the things that I really love about this paddle is that it works well for people with different levels of spanking experience. If, like me, you're new to BDSM or just simply don't like a lot of pain (also like me), then this paddle will work wonders for you! With a little practice2 you (or your partner) can really control just how hard the paddle is going to come down, making for a wide variety in the sensation level. So conversely, if you're into a little more hard-core level of sensation, you can get there with this paddle.

The dildo end of the Plunge Paddle
But this isn't just an instrument of pain, it's meant to deliver pleasure as well. At least, it's meant to... The handle end of the paddle is a dildo, used for dildo-ing purposes. In theory, I love this feature. In practice uh, not so much. I'm going to be honest here, I've only used the handle part of the toy a few times. And it's not because holding onto the paddle in order to fuck yourself is awkward (though it kind of is), it's because of that hole...

Ugh, that hole...
Do you see it? Right there in the "head" of the dildo-end? It's where the tag was attached when we got the toy, but other than that, I really have no clue as to why there's a big old hole in the end of my dildo. Now, the walls of my vag aren't normally super-sensitive. I mean, I like some nice texture about as much as the next gal, but I'm not usually bothered be seems on toys or anything like that. But this silly little hole... UGH! I can't get over it. Not only can I feel it with every single thrust, it hurts! It's super uncomfortable. The first time I tried it, I had to tell my husband to stop after only a few moments, I just couldn't get myself to enjoy it.

Now I'm fully prepared to admit that this might just be me. You might get the Plunge Paddle and absolutely love getting fucked with it! Good for you, go for it! It's just not for me. Which is a shame, because the shape and length of the dildo end really look wonderful, and I really wish that I could love it as much as I want to. Luckily, the odd hole has zero impact on what an awesome spanking implement this is. So while I can't enjoy this paddle's every intended use, I can still love it for the amazing paddle that it is. Since the entire thing is "Ultra-Premium" silicone, it can of course be boiled to sterilize. As for keeping lint (and/or cat hair) off of it... heh heh, good luck!

If you'd like a Plunge Paddle of your very own, may I recommend SheVibe?

Thank you again to SheVibe, for sending me the Plunge Paddle in exchange for my honest review! Love you guys! :o)

1. For some odd reason, I actually really love being lightly smacked on the back with the paddle. It's like a massage. :o)
2. Practice makes perfect!


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