Monday, March 29, 2010

ViboKit: Build your own rabbit

[10/18/12 update: I learned that this product has been discontinued (sorry!), but I thought you'd get a kick out of this review anyway, so I didn't remove it. Enjoy!]

 I love the idea of a "rabbit" vibrator that operates vaginally and clitorally at the same time. But if you're like me, getting a vibrator designed for dual-action is hit or miss. If it hits the g-spot right, it misses the clitoris altogether. If it hits the clitoris just right, the vaginal action is all wrong. We're all built differently. Wouldn't it nice if you could build your own "rabbit" to your own dimensions?

With the ViboKit Upgrade Kit from Babeland, you can! This genius idea consists of a bullet (small, compact vibrator) in a rubbery home attached to a stretchable ring that fits around your dildo of choice. So you take the innie that works best for you, attach this outie, and voila -- you have a rabbit vibrator that fits you. So cool!

That's the idea of the Upgrade Kit, and it mostly works.

This isn't in the instruction sheet -- oh wait, there is no instruction sheet, just a diagram on the side of the box -- but before use, you have to remove the bullet from its snug home (just twist and pull a bit), open it, and remove the little paper over the watch batteries that is keeping it from vibrating in the UPS truck during shipping. The first time, I got a faulty bullet which wouldn't turn on, whatever I did, and then when I left it alone for a while, it turned itself on and wouldn't turn off. It just skittered around the room on its own. I had to unscrew it it to make it stop.

The sign of a great sex toy retailer is its customer service. The moment I reported the problem to Babeland, a new one was on its way to me. The new one works perfectly -- it turns on when I press the button, stays on if I hold it down for a few seconds, and turns off the moment I press it again. So that first one was indeed defective and a fluke. I include this not to embarrass Babeland or ViboKit, but to assure you that the retailers I recommend stand behind their products 100%.

The kit has more than the bullet attachment, though that's the whole reason I wanted it. It also has a nubby ring to put around your dildo for more sensation, and a suction cup (!) so you can attach the whole business to the bathtub or to a wall (I suppose) for hands-free operation for a photo op or to delight a partner. ("Honey, open the door verrrry slowly!")

I didn't trust the suction cup -- I didn't want it to come loose and break either the mood or my toys. So I tested it attaching my newly created rabbit to the shower wall with my hands ready underneath. It stayed on the wall. I turned on the bullet -- it stayed on the wall. I turned on the dildo also -- it stayed on the wall! I truly expected that it would shake loose and fall, and I would scoff at the whole idea -- but it actually stuck. Hmmm! I have no wish to make love to the shower wall, so now all I need is some reason that I'd want to stick it to the wall.

"Forget the shower wall!" I hear you shout. "How did your homemade rabbit work?" It worked fine for what it was -- a bullet attached to a favorite vibrator. It was easily adjustable and stayed where I wanted it. But the bullet itself just isn't strong enough for me. It might be for you, though.

Thank you, Babeland, for helping me build my own rabbit. And at only $28 for the whole kit (as long as you already have a favorite dildo), how can you go wrong?

See all Joan Price's vibrator reviews here.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Enchanted by Petite Couture Enchanted

I love my Petite Couture Enchanted. It's a vibrator dildo (I hate that word, but that's what it is) with a smile inducing shape and texture. It's waterproof, bumpy for increased sensation, and curved with a bubbly bloop on the end for easy insertion and angling.

I liked handling it even before its designated use: The medical grade Japanese silicone is silky smooth to the touch. It feels firm unless you squeeze it, revealing that it's delightfully squishy and even bendable.

The shape is great for arthritic wrists because once inserted, it settles into your contours and you just have to touch it to keep it in place, no need for any wrist contortions. If you prefer, you can use it externally, bending it to rest atop your vulvar curve. It has several intensity gradations and styles of vibration, including escalating and pulsating. The more intense settings are quiet yet strong -- not strong enough for over-the-top clitoral stimulation, perhaps, but for arousal and penetration, just dandy.

I like that the Petite Couture Enchanted is "petite": 1-1/4 inches in diameter, 4-3/4 inches insertable length, and it doesn't feel hard. We older women who need to adjust our toys to our more fragile and sometimes snugger insides will welcome the smaller size and squishiness.

The controls are easy: one controls on-off, and the other chooses your flight pattern, and they're simple to reach and use. I've been frustrated by a few sex toys recently that you can't turn off without cycling down through several vibrational patterns, so I appreciate the easy controls.

For maximum pleasure, you'll likely want to use another clitoral stimulator at the same time you use this toy for penetration. Be sure to avoid silicone lubricants with a silicone toy.

Thank you,, for providing the Petite Couture Enchanted, a delightful toy. It immediately became one of my favorites!

See all Joan Price's vibrator reviews here.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

"You honor me when you do your work" -- Robert to Joan

As much as I enjoy and believe in my work, it's often hard to concentrate on writing my book with Robert gone. After more than a year and half, I still can't breathe in and out without missing him mightily. He is always in my thoughts and in my heart.

Almost right up to the end of his life, Robert actively supported my dream of this book. “You’ve got to keep doing your work,” he told me earnestly, knowing he would not live to read it. During the last weeks that we were able to walk in the park together, we discussed this book—what would be in it, how it would expand on topics brought up in Better Than I Ever Expected, what new topics it would need.

I would read him excerpts from emails and interviews that were coming in, and he would listen compassionately. Sometimes he would sit down in my study and start talking, and I would scramble to type what he said.

I hadn’t yet come up with a good title for the new book, and Robert left me little penciled notes with ideas on used envelopes and sales receipts (he never started a new piece of paper when an old one would do). We brainstormed together incessantly. It wasn't until a few months after he died that Naked at Our Age suddenly struck me as just the right title.

Although my beloved Robert died before this book could be written, it will be as much his as mine. “You honor me when you do your work,” I hear his voice telling me.

So, Robert, my angel, this book will be for you, in your honor, with memories of our great love.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Men: ED? See MD -- it can save your life

Erectile dysfunction can be a cardiovascular health alarm going off, finds a German study reported in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.  ED should take you to the doctor's office and a cardiovascular workup, never ignored. It can be the first sign of atherosclerosis, which can show up in the penis several years before the onset of cardiovascular disease, because arteries in the penis are smaller.

According to an article by Thomas H. Maugh II in the LA Times,

Dr. Michael Bohm, a cardiologist at Germany's Saarland University, and his colleagues studied 1,519 men from 13 countries who were involved in a study of two drugs to treat cardiovascular disease. The men were also queried about their ED at the beginning of the study, two years into it and at the end at five years. A full 55% of the men had ED at the beginning of the trial, nearly double the normal incidence of about 30% in the population at large.

The team reported that, in the five years of follow-up, men with ED were 1.9 times as likely to die from heart disease, twice as likely to have a heart attack, 1.2 times as likely to be hospitalized for heart failure and 1.1 times more likely to have a stroke. The risks increased with the severity of the ED.

This study is one more of many that point to the need not only to consult a doctor about ED but also to make sure a cardiovascular workup follows.
In writing Naked at Our Age, I hear from many men with ED who are justifiably concerned and exploring medical diagnoses and solutions. But I also hear--often from women whose spouses have developed ED--about men who will not go to a doctor, will not discuss it with their wives, and often withdraw from sex and intimacy altogether. Others may ask their doctor for Viagra or Cialis without ever investigating the cause of the ED. sex educator Corey Silverberg brings up another part of the problem -- doctors aren't trained to talk about sex,and it's hard to get a useful conversation going about it. True, Corey, but our lives may depend how hard we try.

Don't ignore ED and don't just treat the symptoms with drugs-- find out what's going on. Please.

I invite your comments.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Mini-tongue? I don't think so!

What a great idea -- a sex toy that replicates a tongue. The Mini-Tongue looks a little like a giant tongue, pink, squishy, a little nubby -- and I suppose a tongue could move like it moves. But there the resemblance ends.

The problem is that it's really weak. It has three speeds, but the "low" is barely there, "medium" is "low" (a little wiggling), and "high" is "medium" (light flicking). Pressing the tongue harder made it slow down rather than intensify.

OK, real tongues are soft and gentle, and that's great. but this isn't a real tongue -- it's a vibrator. Since it's not attached to a loving face -- no lips to kiss, no eyes to gaze into mine -- then it should do what a vibrator does well: vibrate.  

The Mini-Tongue has an optional bullet attachment in case you like some insertion. That's a good thing -- the bullet is much stronger than the tongue. In fact, with the bullet inserted, that was all I felt.

Usually, if I try a sex toy that doesn't work for me, I look for ways it might work for others. Maybe, in the case of a particular rabbit, the dimensions are wrong for me, but might be dandy for someone else. Or maybe a vibrator just isn't strong enough for me, but most women don't need the launching power I do.

But I can't find anything good to say about the Mini-Tongue, except that this sorry attempt at replicating a tongue makes me laugh. I'm sorry, but I can't recommend it unless you're looking for a way to entertain a party. For example, if you stand it up on a hard surface and turn it on, it walks around in a circle. Now that's fun!

Thank you, TabuToys adult toys, for providing the Mini-Tongue for me to sample. It just doesn't suit my taste, so to speak. But TabuToys is a cool site for sex toys, so I hope my readers will explore other toys there.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Satisfying Senior Sex for Women, Too!

Older people, especially healthy ones, and especially men, are enjoying sex, finds a study published in the British Medical Journal, March 9, 2010. Ellen Barnard, MSSW -- sex educator extraordinaire and co-owner of A Woman's Touch sexuality resource center -- explains why women have been left behind and what they can do about it.

Satisfying Senior Sex for Women, Too!
by Ellen Barnard, MSSW

Older women stop having and enjoying sex sooner in their lives than men do, a study in the British Medical Journal found. That’s because the medical community has no idea how to help women maintain their sexual health and pleasure after menopause without the use of potentially dangerous hormones. Women don’t have any “little blue pill” to make things work better when their bodies have given up.

But the truth is, there are simple answers:

1. Live a “Good Sex Lifestyle” which includes daily exercise, a healthy diet full of fruits, veggies, nuts, whole grains and healthy fats and free of white sugars and flours, low-to-moderate alcohol intake, and daily doses of chocolate, Omega-3 oils and lots of Vitamin D. Healthy women enjoy good sex much longer than those in poor health.

2. At menopause and later, care for your vagina. Moisturize her daily or more with a good moisturizing lubricant (no glycerin), and massage her inner walls two to four times per week for five to ten minutes, with either a well-made vibrator or a partner’s fingers or penis. For more details, see our Vaginal Renewal™ program.

3. Have at least one orgasm per week, with yourself or a partner, it doesn’t matter. Keep those nerves functioning properly and remind them what pleasure feels like. If it’s hard to have orgasms, use a vibrator. Men use tools all the time, why shouldn’t you?

4. Get enough sleep, keep your stress under control, and keep a positive outlook. Your body will thank you for it, and your mind will be able to think sexy thoughts without distraction.

5. Think sexy thoughts, often. Fantasize, reminisce, create erotic stories in your head (or on paper), talk about sex, plan for sex, and make it a priority. Nurture your sex life, and it will love you back for many years to come.

- Ellen Barnard, MSSW is a sex educator and co-owner of A Woman's Touch Sexuality Resource Center, which offers education and products to support healthy sexuality for everyone, with a focus on older adults and those living with cancer. She can be found at

I think Ellen's information is vital, and I hope you'll pass this link to your friends, colleagues, lovers, wives, and mothers. If more mid-life and older-age women knew these self-help strategies for enhancing their sexuality, there would be more satisfied smiles on their faces! -- Joan Price

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

“Endless foreplay and multiple orgasms”- she's 58, he's 68, ED no barrier

Better Than I Ever Expected: Straight Talk About Sex After Sixty While Better Than I Ever Expected: Straight Talk About Sex After Sixty celebrated the joys of senior sexuality, my new book, Naked at Our Age (coming Spring 2011 from Seal Press) concentrates on the other part -- the physical setbacks and emotional challenges of sex and intimate relationships in later life. I have more than a hundred personal stories and a bevy of amazing experts answering questions and addressing concerns.

As I work on this book, the stories keep coming. This one, from Evonne, age 58, struck me as so inspiring and joyful amid all the problems I'm addressing that I had to share it with you right away. It shows that erectile dysfunction doesn't have to be a barrier to a passionate and immensely satisfying sex life. Evonne's joy makes me happy, and I hope it does that for you, too.

My fiance (age sixty-eight) and I are in an incredible, sensual, passionate relationship. We met about a year ago. Sparks flew immediately, and we jumped full force into each other emotionally. I must say, I was quite surprised, as I didn't know I could be that passionate again, and neither did he.

He was widowed, and I was divorced after a long-term marriage where I was rather bored with sex with my ex. My new lover aroused me in ways I never felt before. Neither one of us had had many sexual experiences and were not "world wise," but what came naturally - whew! What a ride.

My lover has had prostate cancer, and so we didn't expect much sexually. He is not able to sustain an erection. But--what the man can do with his hands! Wow. He is able to give me "inside" orgasms as well as out. All I can say is endless foreplay and multiple orgasms. I just roll with it and we play for at least an hour.

I pleasure him daily also. At first it was a little weird to kiss and caress him while he was not erect. But I got over it, and he gets so much pleasure out of it and I enjoy doing it for him.

We both are enjoying being truly desired and wanted. I am slightly overweight and always felt uncomfortable about my body with my ex-husband. But, my new lover tells me often how much he loves every inch of me. What a gift to my self-esteem he has been!

We both enjoy cuddling and this is a great source of comfort and intimacy for us. We are both in shock over the pleasure this sexual relationship gives us. Of course, we are in love and I truly believe that we could only reach this level of connection and intimacy in a spiritual committed relationship. We are getting married in June.

We sleep in the nude, which I love also. We believe this greatly enhances our activity as we are always open and available to each other’s touch and arousal usually follows. We plan to cuddle and snuggle--we call it “huggle”--for many years to come!

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Bonershaker/ Ladyshaker: a vibrating pleasure machine!

I love my job reviewing sex toys. What I don't get in paychecks (and no, I don't get paychecks for this!), I get in pleasure and, often, laughter. When a male pal asked me, "Won't you run out of toys to test? How many different ways can they make a vibrator?" Oh, naive friend, read on.

The Bonershaker/Ladyshaker* is in a class all by itself. This isn't a sex toy -- it's a sex machine. It's big, heavy, and loud. You can dial it up to the strongest vibrations you can tolerate. And it's amazing.

The same machine is for women and men -- you just change an attachment to make it Bonershaker or Ladyshaker, so if you're a M-F couple, you just have to purchase it once and switch attchments to suit you.

You've heard me complain that many vibrators just aren't strong enough for those of us who need more stimulation at our age. This one delivers. The Ladyshaker attachment curves over the vulva and shakes, shimmies, rattles and rolls until you reach your peak. If you have arthritic wrists, you'll want to nestle it firmly in your lap rather than holding on the whole time (I discovered) -- but be careful it's settled where it can't skitter away, with your hand close enough the handle to grab it if needed.

"Your demo dick is here!" my invited guest announced. You don't think I'd review this machine from the female perspective only, do you? In fact, one of the attractions of this machine is the intensity for men. If you have undependable erections or have trouble reaching orgasm, the Bonershaker might become your new best friend.

My guest, a male friend who doesn't back down from any kind of sexual adventure, even those with inanimate objects, was happy to test the Bonershaker and offer his comments. "This could get you a pretty solid hard-on for preparing for a partner," he observed. "If stimulation continues long enough, orgasm is inevitable." He found it easiest to use seated so that he could rest the machine on his thigh. He liked a mid-level intensity. "With daily use," he concluded, "I'd condition myself like Pavlov's dog, and just the sound would get me started!"

The videos just give you a glimmer of the Bonershaker/Ladyshaker's possibility.

The Boner/Ladyshaker is made in England and costs UK£ 129.99 ($197). If you want to use it in the U.S., you'll need a step up converter. The converter seems to create a slight reduction in power. I know this because the manufacturer recommends using the lower settings over clothing -- the video shows the happy guy wearing jeans. But I used the higher settings over fabric that was much thinner than denim, and it was just right.

Thank you, Bondara Sex Toys, for the opportunity to review this product!

*Update 2/1/11: Oh, no! The  Bonershaker/ Ladyshaker has been discontinued, the nice folks at Bondara tell me. How sad. Enjoy this review anyway. Maybe I should rent out my Bonershaker/ Ladyshaker by the half-hour? Not that it would take a half hour....

Thursday, March 04, 2010

The Rock Chick doesn't... at least for me

[10/18/12 update: I learned that the Rock Chick has been discontinued (good idea!), but i thought you'd get a kick out of this review anyway, so I didn't remove it. Enjoy!]

The Rock Chick sounded like a great idea -- a flexible dual-action vibrator, one end inserting for vaginal stimulation, the other, nubby end resting on the clitoris. A "bullet" vibe keeps everything moving. I was excited when Babeland offered me one for review.

And then I tried to use it.

I must be shaped and sized very strangely, because if the vaginal stimulator end was inserted, the other end was nowhere near my clitoris. Not even close.  Although it's somewhat flexible -- the ends can come closer or farther apart, like a pair of tongs -- if I forced the outie to rest where I wanted it, the innie went too deep and jabbed me painfully.

I tried several positions, trying to follow the instructions to "rock" back and forth between clitoral and vaginal stimulation, but it either missed or hurt.

Being inventive, I figured out that the innie half was actually a very good, lively g-spotter if I used the outie half as a handle only. It was a comfortable handle, in fact, even for my typing wrist. I called a different clitoral stimulator up for duty: my Hitachi Magic Wand. The combination was marvelous. But isn't that a waste of a supposed dual action vibrator, to just use half of it?

Other reviewers have different experiences, and I don't want you to assume that yours would be the same as mine, and Babeland generously displays them all, positive and negative. I love that about Babeland -- they want the customer to know as much as possible, even if the reviews turn you away.
Sorry, Babeland, as much as I appreciate the opportunity to try it, the Rock Chick just doesn't rock for me.