Ask Piph #3

Anonymity, toxic sex toys, splurging on the Pure Wand, and my cleaning regime.

Ask Piph logo, with a sex toy forming the question mark.

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 Aria Vitality Kit 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.