Banter

Banter

Ramblings, usually about sex toys, sometimes about my gaping vagina, sometimes about sex-related falsehoods perpetuated by the media, sometimes about horrific blowjob advice. Notable subcategories include Disingenuous Assholes and Toybox Reports.

The things we've built

The things we've built

GAY BEACH GIRLFROND FUNTIMES SUPERBLORPS. That’s what our shared calendar said. We planned the trip on a whim: several nights at the coast, in an adorable house we found on Airbnb. A quick drive a couple hours from the city and there we were, on the beach, walking in the surf and holding hands. Squealing when the water rushed against our legs more strongly than anticipated. Aerie had brought some new sand toys, including a hilarious sand drill, so we picked a spot and began erecting a sand city together. Sure, we could’ve stopped after a few Taj Mahals and Leaning Towers of Pisa, but we were too invested. We kept dreaming up new developments for our city, scavenging for . . . read more

How not to design a sex game

How not to design a sex game

Why are sex games so bad? This is an eternal question I ask myself regularly. I have a whole label in my Gmail for sex games, and it’s filled to the hilt with shitty, offensive products I’d never want to play in a million years, often including pleas for me to review them. (People love to say stuff like, “it’s not a sex toy, but it’s KIND OF A SEX TOY!”) Ha. Ha. Hahahaha. Usually I just send the links to my girlfriend so we can ridicule the games in private, but I just got one that perfectly demonstrates everything that’s wrong with terrible sex games. It’s called Foreplay, and while it’s not the worst sex game ever, it manages . . . read more

The clitoris: still the center of my universe

The clitoris: still the center of my universe

Or: why G-spot stimulation is not the pinnacle of pleasure. Hi, my name’s Epiphora, and I almost always need clitoral stimulation to have an orgasm. I thought this was common knowledge, clueless as that may sound. I mean, I write about my genitals on the internet every day of my life — obviously people must know this about me? But something happened the other day that made me realize that may not be true. That perhaps I haven’t been explicit enough about the types of stimulation I like and how, logistically, that plays out in my sex toy testing. Recently, I struck up a friendship with a new sex blogger named Wendy. She messaged me one day seeking advice. “I . . . read more

Layers of hurt

Layers of hurt

CN: sexual assault, consent violation, grey areas, Trump, Aziz. This Christmas, every time I hugged my grandpa, he feigned outrage and yelled “sexual assault!” At my boyfriend’s parents’ house, after dinner and presents and peppermint schnapps, our conversation veered into dangerous waters. Politics. Racism. Sexual harassment. Lies they’ve absorbed from Fox News, parroted back at us with alarming conviction. Beliefs so entrenched and toxic they felt impossible to dismantle; all our attempts seemed woefully inadequate. The topic shifted to the recent wave of sexual assault allegations. You can’t even hug people anymore! they declared. The words collected at the back of my throat, my cheeks flushing hot, desperate for the perfect rebuttal. I sputtered, we’re literally asking people to be cognizant . . . read more

Buzzy vs. rumbly vibrators: SEE & DISCERN the difference!

Buzzy vs. rumbly vibrators: SEE & DISCERN the difference!

“Buzzy” and “rumbly” are words you’re bound to encounter if you spend any time in sex toy circles. These words, popularized by bloggers and educators such as yours truly, refer to the quality (not intensity!) of vibration, with buzzy characterized as a higher-frequency, surface-level vibration and rumbly as a lower-frequency, more robust vibration. I’ve long posited — and, to be honest, stated as fact, because I’m just that presumptuous — the idea that rumblier vibrations are deeper and more penetrating. Well raise your glasses, mofos, because now I have SCIENCE and VIDEO to prove it! Below are some video clips made by Jeff Spitzer, a former aerospace engineer who spent over 30 years designing airplanes, engines, and scads of other . . . read more

A decade of sex blogging

A decade of sex blogging

Cupcake butt plug and Shilo. The cliché is true — it feels like just yesterday and like forever ago. This week marks 10 years since I first published a review of a sex toy on the internet. It was fall 2007, my junior year of college. That summer, I’d moved out of the dorms and into my first apartment. I was 20 years old, almost 21. If you’d asked me what my career was going to be, I would’ve hesitated and posited, “…writer? I hope?” A cautious optimism underneath which lied a practical fear. A fear that I could never make a living with writing, that I’d end up in an office job, probably, and that the only skill I’d spent my . . . read more

Your genitals deserve better: the case against toxic sex toys

Your genitals deserve better: the case against toxic sex toys

There’s a glimmer of recognition that crosses someone’s face when I ask, “have you ever encountered a sex toy that smelled like a new shower curtain?” The widening of the eyes, the slight nod. This is how I introduce the concept of toxic sex toys, and it is almost always met with understanding. That smell, I explain, is off-gassing from chemicals called phthalates, which are used to soften plastics. “Phthalates have been banned in childrens’ toys,” I tell them, “but the sex toy industry is completely unregulated.” It’s been nearly 10 years since I started in this industry, and yet — sadly — this teaching moment remains as effective as ever. It’s usually the point at which the person shares . . . read more

When we lose sex toy companies we love

When we lose sex toy companies we love

“Everything’s temporary if you give it enough time.” —Jewel Last week, I learned that Fucking Sculptures is closing up shop. It seems like just yesterday they popped into existence, delighting me with their jaw-dropping, hand-blown glass dildos and unabashedly straightforward company name. Their G-Spoon was lauded as a serious A-spotter, the beastly Double Trouble revered by size queens. They donated dildos to my giveaways. My girlfriend visited their studio. Now… they’re gone. After four and half years producing gorgeous toys, their website has been reduced to a vague goodbye message, and we’re left to scramble to scoop up the last of their inventory at retail shops. It all seems creepily familiar. As a lifer in the adult industry, I watch companies come and go . . . read more

SheVibe's new site = awesome

SheVibe's new site = awesome

There comes a time in every website’s life when it starts to outgrow itself. It becomes clunky, out-dated, technologically subpar. Building an entirely new site from the ground up is a huge undertaking. But that is just what my favorite sex toy retailer SheVibe has spent the last 2+ years doing, and today we get to reap the rewards in the form of their sparkling new website! This new site is everything I’d hoped for. It feels expansive, fresh, and bright. SheVibe’s signature art (all drawn in-house by the freakishly talented Alex) looks somehow even more amazing than before. Products are shown in a grid format, so you can view more of them at once and spend less time scrolling. Search . . . read more

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