Ask Piph #8

Body-safe ball gags, lube worries, blogging breakthrough moments, gold dildos, and period blood!

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

I’ve been on the search for a gold silicone dildo for a while and I can’t seem to find one. I just wanna pretend I’m getting plowed by Apollo, is that so much to ask?

Oh, they are hard to come by! I’m only aware of two that come pre-made: the special edition gold Vixen Leo which is sold only at Babeland (I liiiike the Leo), and the Godemiche Adam.

Otherwise, Vamp makes custom designs, including glittery toys, and there are dildo-makers on Etsy who could probably mix you the gold of your dreams.

What would you say were the biggest eureka moments you had on your way to becoming a professional blogger?

This "SPEAKER" badge made me feel very legit

Overall, it’s been less big breakthrough moments and more of a gradual “oh shit, I could do this… this could be my job,” but it was pretty surreal when someone first paid me to place an advertisement. It was a hideous pink widgetized ad, but still! I didn’t realize that could happen!

A few years later I divided my yearly income by 12 and saw that I was making enough money from the blog to pay for rent and food each month. That was a powerful realization that really motivated me to keep blogging.

From there, it was time to tell my parents about my work, and I continue to be astounded by their unflinching support and lack of embarrassment about everything. I started attending and speaking at conferences, which made me feel more important and more confident. Plus, I met other bloggers! We’ve become close friends and one even became my partner. Having friends who understand you makes a weird job like sex blogging a lot less lonely.

Oh, and I was published, which was a lifelong dream of mine.

My approach to reviewing has evolved, too. One big thing I realized was that I can’t take any toys for review if I feel indifferent about them. Every time I’ve caved and taken something I wasn’t inordinately excited about, it made for a mediocre review. I’ve learned to put more time and thought into my reviews themselves, making sure they’re well-written and interesting rather than just fulfilling my obligation to write something. I’d like to think my blog is better for it!

Do you know where to get body-safe ball gags? Most of the ones I find online are made out of an unspecified rubber, which has me concerned.

Ball gags from Aslan, Tantus, and Gorge Ohwell (Cheeseburger)

Yeah, ew, no rubber in the mouth. Luckily, there are some excellent 100% silicone (flavorless!) options from AslanTantus, and GoodVibes. If you want something sillier, there’s the apple from SelfDelve. (Sadly, the Cheeseburger from Gorge Ohwell is no longer available.)

Pipedream makes a ball gag that is supposedly silicone, but who can trust those motherfuckers? They make a GLASS BALL GAG, after all. My teeth hurt just looking at it.

Oh boy. Amazon reviews are not the ones you want to trust when it comes to sex products. I looked it up, and while 68% of people gave the lube 5 stars, some were displeased. It appears there are two arguments going on:

Amazon review of Sliquid H2O lube, complaining it dries out "no matter if you use as vaginal lube or for manual stimulation of your man"
  1. It dries up, even for ~manual stimulation of your man~. Well, yeah. It’s water-based lube and it’s glycerin- and paraben-free. That’s just how it goes. If you want a longer-lasting lube you want either silicone1 or oil-based lube,2 or a hybrid like Sliquid Silk. But glycerin is an ingredient that gives other lubes their “glide,” hence people being mad that Sliquid doesn’t last as long as shittier ones like KY. Personally this does not bother me — I’d rather have body-safe ingredients — so I just add more lube when I need it and go about my business. (You can also add water to re-hydrate the lube.)
  2. It causes irritation. Sliquid H2O only has four ingredients besides water (same with Sliquid Sassy, the thicker version). It is one of the simplest water-based lubes on the market. However, it does have citric acid in it (a preservative they use instead of parabens) and sometimes, people have a reaction to that ingredient. With almost every lube on earth you’re going to find people whose bodies didn’t like it, but the likelihood of someone having a reaction to Sliquid H2O is pretty low.

If you want to be safe you could get some lube samples instead. A lot of shops sell sample packs, and Sliquid even makes their own Lube Cube samplers.

I’m wondering whether all toys are period appropriate. Can some stain? Is there a way to clean them that will get the stain out? Are there any toys you prefer or avoid when on your period?

My menstrual bloody hand holding the LELO Mona 2, with glass dildo in background

My cervix is more sensitive when I’m on my period, so I tend to gravitate toward softer insertable toys like the Mustang, if I use dildos at all. Usually I have a menstrual cup in and am too lazy to remove it, so I end up only using a clitoral vibe. I prefer strong ones that can reverberate through several layers (including pads and pantyliners), like the Magic Wand, Wahl, and Doxy. If I do decide to take off my pants, I make sure to put a Liberator Throw down first.

It’s my personal belief that consumers should insist upon non-porous sex toys, and period blood is one of the many reasons for that. Remember when I railed against the porous foam-like material used in the iGino?

So god forbid you use the iGino while on your period — the foam will be ruined. Sorry, woman, better go hide away in a cave somewhere until the world is ready for your repulsive self. I feel pretty strongly that if a sex toy cannot handle my uterine lining, it is not “what women want.” . . . I’m a modern woman, and I expect to be able to heavily soil my sex toys and then scrub them sparkling clean afterward.

Since almost all of my toys are non-porous, my period doesn’t really limit which toys I can use. With no pores, there can be no staining. If you stick to 100% silicone, glass, stainless steel, hard plastic, or sealed wood, your only concern will be whether you have to scrub harder because you let the blood dry up on the toys. But it will come off with simple soap and water, and it will leave nothing behind.

The only exception would be when the toy has crevasses that are impossible to clean (I use these fantastic Japanese point brushes to dig in crevasses), or parts that are made of other staining materials (such as the fabric string on the LELO Luna Beads — mine is perpetually off-white because I dared wear them while bleeding one time).

Sex toys made of porous materials such as jelly, rubber, and elastomer are the ones that can stain. Not always, as I found with this PVC dildo, but it is definitely possible. Porous materials can hold onto bacteria, colors, and smells, which is why I avoid them like the plague. If you stain a porous material, you can try soaking the toy in a 10% bleach, 90% water solution and then rinsing it thoroughly, but there are no guarantees. Mostly, you should replace that toy with something higher quality, or use it only with a condom.

  1. Not compatible with most silicone toys
  2. Not compatible with latex