Monthly Archives: February 2017

On Being Cheap

My last post about my toy hoarding tendencies made me think about the pros and cons of cheap vs. expensive toys.  I thought I’d sum up my thoughts on why, even though some of my favorites are super fancy, I am by no means a toy snob.

Cheap Toys – Pro:

1) Price =/= Quality

First off, “cheap” can mean “inexpensive” or it can mean “shoddy crap”. To make it clear, I am not pro-shoddy crap. I am more pointing out that it can be wrong to assume price indicates quality.

There are inexpensive toys out there that are just all-around great, like the Bootie I mention below. It can take some research to find them, but good inexpensive toys are out there.

Also of note is that a lot of expensive “luxury” toys are unfortunately not that great.

2) You have a chance to try out things you’re not sure about.

Sometimes, you are better off experimenting with an inexpensive version of a toy before you pay serious money for the pricier version.

Bootie!  This turned into . . .

My first anal plug was Fun Factory’s Bootie – I had never tried one before but after wearing the Bootie for a while I knew I liked it and wanted to try different sizes and materials. If I’d hated it, I would have been much less upset about tossing out a $20 toy than if I’d gone straight for the $$$$ jeweled metal plug that is now my fanciest one!

. . . this. Which is only part of my collection. No, I don’t have a problem.

 

On the other end of the spectrum is the rabbit. I got a cheap one and it’s just not a design that works for me at all. I could have guessed that, based on my usual habits, but I guess I just had to try one for myself given all the hype. There is no improvement that could be made on this design that would make it something I’d want, so I will never buy another one.

3) Some toys don’t NEED to be expensive.

Often, the “expensive version” HAS to be more expensive and you are better off saving and investing in that. Anything made of silicone, or medical-grade stainless steel, is going to cost more just because of the materials. Other materials, not so much. ABS plastic is a good example of this – it’s considered body-safe but costs way less than silicone. Another good example is nipple clamps. Sure, you COULD get 24 karat gold, but you don’t HAVE to.

ALSO – as I mentioned in my first point, “luxury” toys aren’t always that great. There are toys that are worth spending $100+ on, and there are those that just aren’t. (This is why independent reviewers are so important!)

And now, the CONS:

1) Mystery materials!

Is that really silicone? Will this give me an infection? Or chemical burns? Who knows!

NOPE.

It’s a patina. That means it’s fancy, right?

Sex toys are not regulated at all in the US, and anyone can call anything silicone. I have these scary ben wa balls that have oxidized – they’ve been stored in a plastic box and, well, look at that!  They’ve developed a green spot!  

The same set as the above picture, a little over a year later. NOPE.

Back before I knew better I tried a “jelly” dildo that gave me a chemical burn. Google around and you’ll find this is not an unusual experience!

 

 

So, you may not be getting what the toy claims it is, and you might not be getting a toy you should even use. This is not a problem you can completely solve by price alone, but it’s a starting point! $10 ‘silicone’ dildo on Amazon? NOPE. Don’t buy toys from Amazon, period. *

2)They Die 🙁

This is more a vibrator-specific one, but – confession time! – I have a pile of dead vibrators and it makes me sad. At least one of these probably bit the dust after I left batteries in it for too long, I’ll admit. But that is something you never even have to think about with rechargeables!

Dead toys, RIP

I personally don’t use TPE dildos** but some people like it as a material. No matter how you care for it, TPE does not last long so you have to throw out and replace toys made of it.

3) Bad Design

Again, this is not confined to the under $50 set AT ALL. But as far as sex toy design, well, sometimes it seems like things are designed by aliens who have never seen an actual human body. Everyone’s different, and even weird designs will find their fans. But there’s weird and then there’s just plain bad.

I think brands that really strive to cultivate a curated set of excellent products often spend more time in testing and tweaking their designs – there will never be a toy that works for everyone, but when more work and feedback goes into a toy it shows.

I love hearing about other people’s experience, so if you have a favorite affordable toy – or a story about one to avoid! – let me know in the comments!

 

*And if you are looking for sex toy information in general, Dangerous Lilly’s entire site is a wealth of information and worth reading!

** TPE is porous, which I consider an unsafe material. Some people are okay with this. Again, I suggest reading up on anything you’re going to put inside your body.

True Confession – I am a Toy Horder

I decided recently it would be a great idea to inventory and organize ALL my toys. I did not quite realize what that would entail until I was piling things on the bed and wondering if I’d left things over at someone else’s house*

I’ve amassed quite a collection of toys over the years. In my imagination what this should look like is:

I have a walk-in closet with excellent lighting that is filled to the brim with my collection, all on display in a way that suggests I hired a consultant who usually builds museum exhibits. When I desire a toy, I dramatically fling open the double doors, pause for a moment because I – yes, even I, the mistress of all these riches – am awestruck by the beauty of this room. I then sweep in, my silk robe swirling behind me, and drift from case to case carefully considering the merits of each item. So spoiled for choice am I that I often lose track of time and my partner has to bring in trays of fruit and cheese and a glass of wine to revive me so that I may continue gazing upon my domain.

What it actually means is, well. . . .

Behold! This is but a fraction of the Toy Hoard in all its jumbled glory!

Typing that out, it sounds like I’m so rich and/or spoiled I am practically swimming in sex toys which I turn up my nose at because the color doesn’t go with my décor, or the buttons aren’t exactly in the right place for me. That’s not exactly how those disorderly boxes came about.

I do have a lot of toys I love. So there are quite a few keepers. Of the second-string/reject pile, well. Some were gifts. Some were from when I used to review toys for an online entity I shall not name, and some represent a waste of money.

I had been sort of on the fence myself about cheap toys. So many are inexpensive but great – and some expensive and “high-end” toys are just crap.

I’ll have more to say about this next week. First I need to dig through that pile and organize them – by color, of course. So I can match them to my bedding, lingerie, and wall art. Because I am fancy.

Herr Zone looks on in dismay as he wonders, which of his friends will survive? Who will be honored with a review and googly eyes of his own?

* I did. I definitely did.

Modeling Notes – Christopher B Mooney

I haven’t talked much about modeling on this blog, but in “real life” I will very often work with someone and just love their art so much I tell everyone about them. It’s obvious I should start sharing some of the things I’ve been working on here!

Me, at work (In Christopher’s studio)

Painter Christopher B Mooney’s body of work tends to focus on two subjects: bridges and erotica. This is not the non-sequitur it might seem at first; as he points out in his artist’s statement, both are at their core about connection.*

One of the most interesting things about working with painters is that it can be years before the work you’ve done together is ready. Sometimes I never see the end result. My work with Christopher has been much different in that regard; he’s always given me the reference photos he takes for my own use. The distinctive colored lighting alone makes some of these images look more like paintings themselves, which I love.

His canvases tend to be quite large – often 4’ by 5’ – so seen in person they can be an immersive experience. His erotic work has a tender, intimate feel to it, a casual voyeurism similar to watching a lover when they’re not aware of your gaze.

His use of red and blue studio lighting gives the world he depicts a bright, hyper-reality. The style is realistic, but the contrasting cool and warm tones play with your vision. The entire experience is like being in a peepshow designed by someone with extensive classical arts training.

Christoper and I have worked together twice now. If he ever decides to combine his two main subjects and paint nude women caught in intimate moments with bridges I hope he asks me to participate!  You can see more of Mooney’s erotic paintings here, but I also suggest looking through his other work while you’re browsing!

Passion, oil on canvas Christopher B Mooney

* HTTP://www.christopherbmooneystudios.com/about.html