Ask Piph #7

Vulva measuring, better orgasms and sex toy photos, waterproof LELO toys, male reviewers, having sex with a new person, and more!

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

Since rabbits fit everyone so differently, I’m wondering if you could tell me how far your clit is from your vaginal opening?

OKAY, WORLD, I DID IT. In a relaxed non-aroused state, with my legs spread wide while sitting on the floor and awkwardly juggling a mirror, the distance between the very bottom of my vaginal opening (seemed like the clearest end point…) and my clit is between 2″ and 2.25″. Do with that what you will.

My measuring tape needs a bath now.

You say the Mona 2 is fully submersible. Is that even if the tab that plugs the charging port is open? So far I haven’t let mine get near water because I’m like “if this dies my soul dies with it.”

LELO Ina 2 underwater, with the charging port open.

I understand your hesitance, but yes, the Mona 2 is waterproof no matter what the tab is doing! I have let water run directly into the charging port many times, and my Monas are still going strong. The silicone tab is a bit of a relic from old school LELO toys which were not waterproof. Newer LELO toys don’t even have the tab anymore — just the exposed port. LELO has explained how this works on their website:

. . . [the toys] feature vacuum-sealed charging ports, wherein the chamber that their DC plug resides in during charging is completely sealed off from the batteries, circuit boards, processors and motors.

Do you have any techniques that help you to orgasm harder/better? I masturbate just fine but my orgasms seem to be a bit… lackluster.

I’m glad you are trying to cultivate better orgasms! This is a worthwhile endeavor. Obviously people vary a lot, but here are some factors that I feel have contributed to the quality of my orgasms.

  • Good clitoral vibrators. I know, obvious. But I think something that works well for me is having a vibrator with a lot of intensity settings, like the Mona 2. This allows me to start off at a lower setting and steadily increase intensity, so I don’t get numb or bored. An expensive option would be the Eroscillator, which provides deeper stimulation than a traditional vibrator. Or the much cheaper Wahl, which is so strong and rumbly on the second setting that it can really shake the internal portions of the clitoris.
  • Edging. Getting close to orgasm and then backing off can help with the end result.
  • Hot porn. Give your arousal a boost with some different, novel erotic material. I imbibe all kinds of video porn, but sometimes I mix it up with some scandalous fan fiction, filthy audiosspam ads on torrent sites, or, once in a great while, my imagination.
  • Kegel exercise! I like wearing the Luna Beads or We-Vibe Dusk as incentive to do my kegels. The PC muscles are the same muscles that contract during an orgasm, so exercising them is very beneficial.
  • DILDOS, ALWAYS DILDOS. For me, G-spot stimulation adds SO MUCH to the experience of both masturbation and sex. It makes the pleasure more intense, and yes, the orgasms too. I tend to clench a lot on my toys, and so I end up exercising my PC muscles a ton, which in turn enhances my orgasms.

How do you take such gorgeous photos of your toys? The photos I’ve taken are amateur-looking at best. Do you have any tips?

I’m no photography queen like Penny or Artemisia, but I do know one thing: natural light is the best thing you can do for your photography. Artificial light is harder to work with and has a tendency to look shitty. Here are a few “gems” I’ve taken under artificial light, vs. photos I took in natural light.

Natural light doesn’t mean you have to go outside (god forbid!). Just harness the sunlight that streams through your windows and you’ll already be on the right track. (But, if it snows, I do suggest rushing out there to snap some photos.)

I suggest using an actual camera, not your phone, and learn how to adjust ISO and aperture. Both can reduce grain if used properly. Switch to macro mode if you’re very close to an object, and utilize manual focus if your camera has it.

Sex toy photo shoot with the LELO Ora 2 and GorillaPod. And, as always, baby wipes.

Your knees will hate you, but taking about a zillion photos so you can find the single one that’s at the right angle and completely in focus is worth it. Get a tripod of some sort to help you out. Of course, there will still probably be cat hair all over the place, but you can Photoshop that out.

Yes, always edit your photos. Chances are, they are too dark or overly yellow or desaturated. All of this can be fixed with Photoshop or even an online photo editor. Start with levels, then adjust color balance and brightness/contrast. Crop thoughtfully, and use the clone stamp tool if there’s something distracting like a speck of dirt or tuft of cat hair. Force yourself to edit your photos, even if you don’t understand it. With enough practice, you’ll learn.

Have you had experience with [obscure sex toy retailer]? It’s not on your Shit List, and they have an amazing price on the Pure Wand! Is it too good to be true?!

Probably. My Shit List is by no means comprehensive — companies only make it onto the list if they have a track record of bad service and enough people alert me. So, any no-name site is suspicious. Especially if they have low prices. You’re risking a knock-off toy, spam mailings, and even missing packages any time you order from a place like that.

I know it can be hard to justify spending full retail price on a sex toy, but think of it this way: if you purchase from one of the shops I trust, you’re ensured good customer service from good people and I get a percentage of the sale. If you value the work I do, I would appreciate it.

But if you’re determined to purchase from that obscure site, I’d suggest scoping out their “about” page (is it unique? Does it seem copy-pasted?), the company’s social media presence, and the site’s reviews on Reseller Ratings. Make sure the site is secure when you go to check-out, and pay via PayPal if you can — it’s easier to file a claim if something goes wrong.

I am a 24-year-old male who loves reading your reviews! Despite the fact that I have a penis, I love to see your honest reviews of products. Are there any male toy reviewers you trust and recommend?

Awesome bio image for The Big Gay Review, used with permission

That is so cool that you follow me even though you do not have a vagina! (I love that that is a sentence I get to write.) Here are the dude sex toy reviewers I like:

Do you believe a closed serious relationship to be a hindrance to anyone wishing to get into sex blogging? I want to understand if only having sex with one person ever will limit the blogging I hope to do someday.

I spent years feeling like that silly vanilla monogamous straight blogger because I had only had sex with one person in my life — a person with a penis. I’ve always been pansexual, but in 2013 we opened our relationship and last year I started dating a person with a vulva for the first time.

Has this adventure improved my sex life and the way I experience certain toys? Absolutely. There are specific experiences I’d resigned myself to never have — like penetrating someone with a strap-on, or using the Pure Wand or Mr. Man on a partner. Now, I can explore these things. I have a new appreciation for the New York Toy Collective Shilo having seen how much my partner loves being fucked with it. I’m more into realistic dildos seeing the way he sucks on them. I finally understand the full majesty of the Spareparts Joque harness. Also, my partner can give me additional insight into toys I review.

But is it a hindrance to my blogging that I had only had sex with one person, a person with a penis, until last year? Not really, considering my blog is focused on masturbation (the way I want it to be). I’ve never wanted my partnered sex life to drive my posts or my reviews. As long as you have material and are unashamed about what you have to say, your blog can be anything you want it to be.