Sep 132012

Have a question for me? Email me at hey.epiphora [at] gmail [dot] com, or ask here.

Your boyfriend seems to be pretty comfortable with your reviewing. I’m curious about your choice to remain anonymous since you seem to be well received. Sorry if this is too personal or involves family dynamics. LOVE your blog.

Thank you, friend! Yes, my boyfriend is totally fine with my blog and my insane obsession with sex toys. My parents and some of my family also know, although they don’t have the URL or anything. I’ve been super anonymous since the start, and I’ve kept it that way just in case I ended up getting a “mainstream” job. I definitely feel less protective of my anonymity than I did when I started out, though.

My boyfriend dumped me last week. Should I use this moment to justify splurging on the Pure Wand?

You should use any moment ever to justify splurging on a Pure Wand.

So, most people who review toys know how bad jelly products and the like are, but when do you think these things will be phased out completely for body-safe materials?

Not for a while. Possibly a long while. Considering the lack of regulation in the sex toy industry, I doubt there will ever be an industry-wide ban on phthalates like there has been with kids’ toys. It will be forever until an academic study proves the harmful nature of phthalates in sex toys specifically, if ever.

It’s really a matter of how the big companies (California Exotic, Topco, Doc Johnson, Pipedream) handle the changing attitudes toward jelly. They are slowly starting to embrace pure silicone, and I think they’re realizing the importance of marketing non-porous toys in this day and age, but I still believe it will be quite a while before all the jelly and phthalates are phased out. Perhaps I won’t even live to see it. Depressing.

How do you clean your toys? (Soap? Sex toy spray? What kind? Do you dry them off with something, or let them air dry?)

I go the cheap route: dish soap and water. I froth them under the kitchen sink, scrub with an old toothbrush in the nooks and crannies, rinse, and set them on a paper towel to dry. Sometimes I dry them immediately with a paper towel if I need to put them away right then. I don’t really believe in sex toy cleaning spray; regular soap works just as well, in my experience, and I think sex toys require scrubbing and rinsing to truly get clean.

I’m buying a vibrator for the first time. I’m trying to decide between the LELO Lily or LELO Siri. Any help?

Get the Siri (or Siri 2). There is only one instance in which I’d recommend the Lily over the Siri: if you want the toy to be tiny tiny. Otherwise, the Siri is superior in every way. Here’s what I said in my Siri review:

I did a test against Lily and Nea at a local shop, and Siri out-performs them for sure. Siri is stronger, doesn’t have that obnoxious high-pitched whine to it, and is bigger — which I see as a plus, since Nea and Lily are so freaking tiny and potentially slippery.

All LELO toys start out at a very low vibration strength, so don’t worry if you need something gentle. You might also consider the Mia, which is pretty great and not as expensive. I’d recommend the Mia over the Lily as well.

How the hell do I choose sex toys when I can’t afford to just buy and try?! I have NO IDEA what I like, what I want, what different textures feel like, what different materials feel like, if I prefer vibes to G-spot, vice versa or both, if I even know what G-spot masturbation FEELS like, big, small, soft, hard… help me Obi Dong Kenobi! You’re my only hope.

This is a conundrum, I agree! It is definitely hard to know what you like until you have tried multiple things. My first thought is that you should buy a toy that is versatile. Something that can function as both a G-spot vibe and a clitoral vibe, something like the LELO Mona. That way you can try it many ways: as a non-vibrating G-spotter, as a vibrating G-spotter, and as a clitoral toy. Hopefully you’d like at least one of those ways!

You’ll also need to figure out what kind of shape you like clitorally. Something small or something more broad? Or are both good? One option would be a hummer type vibe, which has two sides, one pinpoint and one more diffuse. You could also get a vibe that comes with a bunch of attachments, like the Mood Flirty, Cal Exotics Silhouette S22, or Revitalize Massage Kit. You may find that you actually like different shapes depending on mood. I usually like more pinpoint clitoral stimulation, but I also love my Mystic Wand, which is broad.

In terms of dildos, maybe something double-ended with different sensations like the LELO Ella or G-Spotter? Also, I only know of one person who didn’t love the Pure Wand. (I just like to throw the Pure Wand out there at all times.)

Unfortunately, the best you can do in terms of experiencing different materials and textures is to feel them with your hands at a real life sex toy shop. If you can go to one, write down which items intrigue you, then come home and look them up online. Figure out which ones get good reviews, find a good deal, and go from there. You’re going to have to spend a little money, but with research, you hopefully won’t waste it.

  • Great Q&A! I agree that it’s depressing that we may never see the day when jelly sex toys are extinct. I know one reason stores still carry them is because they still sell since they’re cheaper and many people still don’t know better…so I like to think sex bloggers are slowly waging the war against them.

  • Adriana

    I wouldn’t recommend the Mona for clitoral stim. Too hard. The Big Boss is awesome for it, though.

  • I don’t have a problem with hardness… I do like Siri, after all. The softness of the Big Boss is awesome, but I think its vibrations are too buried! Plus, IT’S HUGE and hard to insert. Not a beginner toy in the least.

  • The Mona was my first big sex toy purchase, and I couldn’t have been happier with it, honestly. It’s not the strongest vibe or the best one. But it is versatile and helped me to discover what I liked in a toy.

  • Clearly I win at life. I can now correctly recommend toys I’ve never even used!

  • Apparently you know two of us folk who don’t dig the pure wand. Not to say that it isn’t an AMAZING toy for those it works for (which seems to be most people). I’d probably toss out a suggestion for the LELO Gigi as well, for a potential starter toy if someone is looking in that price-range. It’s got good versatility, the variation ability of the Mona, but is a little smaller and less pointy. Still has the possibility of more pinpoint stim as well as broad stim, and a good g-spot pressure option as well. Just throwin’ that out there.

  • I mentioned Mona over Gigi because Gigi’s shape is a little… intense internally, especially to n00bs. But yes, Gigi is a good option if a person can handle the hooked shape.

  • Laura

    For anyone in the Rhode Island/Pawtucket area, the Center for Sexual Pleasure and Health has a ton of sex toys you can look at/test on your nose/ask the staff about. They don’t actually sell anything, so it was chill to just look at stuff.

  • Dude that is AWESOME.

  • nuala macmoragh

    Field trip!

  • WildOrchid

    If you say Gigi I say Moka – Dangerous Lily reviewed it and it looks like it’s cheaper but still awesome for those who dig that shape.

  • I try to refrain from recommending the Eroscillator and Pure Wand to everyone, especially people who are wary of spending money on sex toys, but it is SO HARD knowing how awesome they are. Glad to hear that you think they are worth it!

  • I love the Q & A! I recommended the new Mia to a newbie recently since that is what I wish my first purchase would have been.(I am more of a clitoral gal, g-spot doesn’t always do it for me) I don’t have the Pure Wand…I am ashamed to say, but if it comes so highly recommended I guess it will be my next purchase. Thanks!

  • nuala macmoragh

    I’m not sure why you’d “try to refrain” from recommending those 2 toys to everyone unless you’re worried about sounding like some kind of pervy evangelist.

    Most of us aren’t rich, and it’s formidable to lay down a sizeable chunk of change on something that may not ring your bell. I’ve thrown out a good number of cheap toys that were made of nasty toxic materials. I’ve wasted a lot of money on less expensive toys (<$50) that seemed like they'd work, but that ended up being a whole lot of "meh." I've left batteries in such toys only to find them, months later, ruined by corrosion. Sex toys require some care (cleaning, charging, storage) and if they are mediocre, it's natural that they should suffer such neglect.
    A couple years ago, I saved up for an Eroscillator. It took a week or two before I started to realize the magical, exciting things it could do to my vagina.. My love for the Pure Wand was pretty much instantaneous but continues to grow. Before the Pure Wand, I thought that the G-spot was myth that other women invented to make me feel like I was missing something. Here is proof that ignorance is not bliss.
    Review blogs like this one have been really helpful to me while researching toys. That these toys were "worth it" is an understatement. They changed my entire sexual experience.

  • I just mean I don’t want to scare people away by making them think they have to plop down $250-300 on their first sex toy purchase. Obvs, the Eroscillator and Pure Wand are two of the greatest sex toys in existence, but without knowing what someone likes, I don’t like to jump right to those.

    Some people need something cute like Mia, rather than something ugly like the Eroscillator, to warm up to vibrators. Some people need a smaller, less threatening dildo rather than the Pure Wand. And most people, I think, cannot be convinced of the importance of spending money on sex toys right off the bat. They need to, like you said, read some reviews and soak up the knowledge.
    Nonetheless, I am thrilled about your experiences with both. They are definitely worth the money, no doubt about that.

  • Nuala MacMoragh

    *brandishes her Pure Wand!*
    Hey, don’t be calling my snookie wookums “ugly!” :p

  • Hahahaha. I know. I don’t think it’s ugly either. BUT SO MANY PEOPLE DO.

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  • Kat

    Hi there! I realize that this is an old conversation, but I can relate so much that I simply cannot resist commenting. I turned 18 a few months ago, and a light went off in my head, saying “Hey, I’m old enough to buy sex toys legally.” Like both of you ladies, I had no experience to begin with, and I made my first silly cheap purchases, thinking over again and again whether I could afford a $20-30 vibrator with the insane import taxes in my country. Needless to say, I regret most if not all of the choices, and I’m glad I found Epiphora’s blog before I went further down that lane. After reading about every review here I, too, concluded that the Eroscillator and Magic Wand would be the best purchases, among others. $350 is a hefty price for someone who is jobless and still in high school, but I am confident that this would be a good investment. The cheap or free toys greatly improved my sex life (or, lack of) and my confidence and functionality in my relationship, and my gut tells me that this is something that would be better done sooner than later. (Besides, I don’t have to worry about food or bills! Yet!) I would never had known or dared to take such a gamble if I hadn’t trusted your word, and the wisdow of your heroic vagina, Epiphora. I’m done with the cute pink mini-vibes that stop working after a few uses. I’m ready for the big guns. 😀

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