Posts Tagged ‘babeland’

Review: Double Agent Dildo

April 27, 2012  |  reviews  |  1 Comment

I kind of hate the word “dildo.” But I didn’t let that stop me from checking this one out, after I heard that it’s extra-flexible—flexible enough for packing and playing, maybe?

 

From the description:

Available exclusively at Babeland, the Double Agent is ready to go anywhere, anytime. Made of premium-grade silicone and harness ready, this flexible dildo is designed with a firm base and silicone core that runs up a third of the shaft. The realistic phallus delivers a feeling of fullness during penetration and is flexible enough to bend into truly twisted and unexpected positions. The Double Agent is designed for both packing and strap-on sex. Available in one color, more colors coming soon.

See that part about how it’s “designed for both packing and strap-on sex”? Intriguing, I thought! But in practice, it has the same problems as both the Goodfella by Vixen and the VIP Supersoft by Tantus, which is that when it is bent to one side or the other, which is required in order for it to be pack-able, the base of it really digs into my pubic bone because of the pressure.

It’s a good size, though, and great materials, decent shape I think. The Double Agent would be great for putting on before a play party when I know I’m not going to be wearing it (in my zipped-up pants) all night, but I wouldn’t put it on to go to dinner and dancing and be ready by the time I got home after the date. For that, I go back to the Silky, which still is my go-to cock for packing.

The Double Agent was sent to me from Babeland for review. Pick up other sex toys from Babeland, still my favorite feminist, queer, friendly, educational neighborhood sex shop.

Review: RodeoH Harness

October 17, 2011  |  reviews  |  5 Comments

It seems like such a good idea, right? A cute pair of briefs with a hole in the middle to double as a harness? So of course I had to try out the new RodeoH.

I suspected they would not be tight enough to fuck with, that I wouldn’t have enough control—but I’m glad to report that’s not true, I didn’t have any trouble. Perhaps after a bunch of times in the washing machine the fabric will stretch a bit (probably worth it to avoid the dryer, to keep the elastic tight, note to self), but for now, it’s great. I am annoyed, however, that they aren’t really brief-cut, they are more like girl-cut undies that look like boy briefs, which, considering I haven’t worn women’s underwear in nearly ten years, feels really weird on my ass. I think I ended up with size L, so possibly if I had an XL pair they would cover a bit more, but that would probably sacrifice the tension and the tightness. Babeland recommends going down a size if you’re between sizes, since having them extra tight is part of what makes ‘em work well.

Babeland’s write-up also says “just imagine how close you’ll feel to your partner with only a thin layer of fabric between you,” and I gotta say, I didn’t love that feeling—I much prefer a harness. It felt like I was still wearing underwear, which just doesn’t quite feel like sex. But maybe that’ll just take some getting used to.

Unlike leather or rubber or vinyl, the briefs really absorb liquid! They are easier to wash than other harnesses, so that’s not a big deal, but I really noticed how much lube and spit and come was absorbed.

They seemed to work just fine for the giving part and, according to Kristen, for receiving, but I missed the stimulation on my clit that my one-strap harness provides. It’s hard (if not impossible) for me to get off without some stimulation on my clit, and this harness provides absolutely none—though I suppose it provides easier access to my clit from underneath it than some other harnesses, if that’s what you want. Me, I would prefer the harness do the stimulating so I can actually fuck and get off simultaneously.

It might be a great harness to use something like the we-vibe underneath. I haven’t tried that yet, but I have a shiny new we-vibe (thanks, Babeland) waiting for me to try it out, so that might be a great combination. More on that later, when I have a full report.

Because of it’s design, there’s no way to change the placement of the cock, either, so I can’t bring it lower in order for the base to hit my clit, which I also like, and which helps with stimulation. The O-ring on the harness is not very stretchy, and is built in, so it won’t work with cocks that are particularly big, like my favorite, the Maverick. It’ll still work with others, like my favorite packing cock Silky, but I often want something bigger than that, so it won’t replace my other harnesses anytime soon.

Not sure it’s a harness I’d go to on a regular basis (we’ll see), but I can see wearing it out so I would be ready to slip a cock into it without disrobing once I got home. And I’m glad there’s some new ideas and technology happening in the strap-on world. Worth trying, for sure.

RodeoH has a current contest to win a pair of these new briefs, as well as other prizes. Check it out.



The RodeoH was sent to me from Babeland for review. Pick up other sex toys from Babeland, still my favorite feminist, queer, friendly, educational neighborhood sex shop.

Winner! Double Panel Compression Shirt

August 9, 2011  |  journal entries  |  5 Comments

Thanks to Random.org, the random winner of the double panel compression shirt is … Barrett!

Ice cream sounds like a great idea for this heat wave.

I had a couple of questions about the compression shirt in the comments & via Twitter, so I’ll try to answer ‘em here. Seems like that review was kind of vague (sorry about that)—to be honest, I’m not an expert in compression shirts, so I might not be the best person to answer these. This is my first experience with one and I haven’t been wearing it much this summer, so that’s about all I know. But I’ll do my best to answer these with what I know!

This looks like something my butch partner would really like in her size. What I can’t figure out is, if you purchase this in your size and you are someone with large breasts — does this cover the breasts completely or does the shirt still show the top of your breasts? Either way, I’m sure it’s fine under a button down—but I’ve been searching for something that covers the butch rack completely (cause cleavage isn’t what she’s going for).

Basically, it covers your breasts completely. If you have larger breasts (like I do) it does give you a little bit of cleavage at the top, because in order to flatten it has to spread ‘em out as much as possible. It is definitely fine under a button down. I’m not sure I would wear it by itself, but it is very easy to wear under a tank top or tee shirt and won’t give you cleavage.

I got a question about the compression shirt. Should I buy one in my size or a size smaller??—@C_Rod224 on Twitter

I bought a size M because that’s the size of men’s tee shirt I wear, but it did NOT fit. The XL is still quite small and for a minute, I thought maybe it wasn’t going to be big enough to fit, but it does—it’s just a challenge to get on and off. So I would try one size larger.

I’m not an expert at this, though—other folks who have binders: do you generally buy your same tee shirt size, a size larger, a size smaller? What’s the rule for this?

One more question … I wanted to buy her the frog bra you had mentioned before and apparently it’s been discontinued… Do you or any of your readers know of a place that still sells them or of something with a different name that achieves the same effect? thank you thank you!

Yeah, it’s discontinued. From my understanding, it’s pretty good if you’re a C-D cup, but it’s not great if you’re bigger than that. I’ve tried a LOT of athletic bras, aka binders, and the best thing that I’ve found that works for me is my favorite, the Enell bra. I’ve got about four of these now, and while the elastic does wear down, when they are fresh, for me, they are nearly as effective as the compression shirt.

Anybody else out there have opinions about bras/binders that work well for larger-breasted folks?

The double panel compression shirt was sent to me from Babeland for review. Pick up other sex toys from Babeland, still my favorite feminist, queer, friendly, educational neighborhood sex shop.

Review & Giveaway: Double Panel Compression Shirt

August 5, 2011  |  reviews  |  48 Comments

I’ve been putting off this review because just about as soon as I received this double panel compression shirt, New York City started that little heat wave called SUMMER, and I have barely worn it since. In fact, while I’ve been working at home the last few days I’ve been topless, and when the time comes to go out in an actual shirt I can barely stand the fabric of a tank top on my skin, so there’s NO WAY I would wear this right now.

But I would gladly wear it, in general. I didn’t connect that it’d be 60-80 degrees while I was just visiting the Pacific Northwest, or I would’ve definitely brought it on that trip. There were a few times I wished I had.

I bought a compression shirt a few years back, the same brand—which seems from my knowledge to be the most famous and common brand—and while I thought I was getting the right size, I could not get it on. It did not fit.

So it is still basically brand new, in a box, where it’s been since I got it.

Would you like to have it? It’s size M, black. Leave a comment about one fun thing you’ve done this summer (or something else, just leave a comment) and I’ll pick one comment at random and mail it to you—if you’re in the US I’ll pay postage, if you’re outside of the US you pay postage. I’ll pick a winner on Tuesday, August 9.

This new one, though, I ordered a bit too large, in size XL, and it fits.

It helps tremendously with button down shirts and vests and flattening out my torso in general. I find it hard to breathe in, just a little, which is also why it’s been hard to wear in the last few months, because I’ve been thinking about and witnessing lots of things related to breathing and breath. I have to be a bit strategic about wearing it; I wouldn’t want to put it on for a hike or even a day when I was doing a whole lot of walking around New York City. I can definitely tell when I eat a large meal while wearing it, too.

I am pretty large chested—usually I wear a 34DD, though lately it’s been a 36DD—so I didn’t know if I could wear one of these at all. Glad to discover that it turns out, I can.

And you can bet I’ll be wearing it frequently once it cools down a bit more.

The double panel compression shirt was sent to me from Babeland for review. Pick up other sex toys from Babeland, still my favorite feminist, queer, friendly, educational neighborhood sex shop.

When “Gender Expression” Means “Masculine”

June 9, 2011  |  essays  |  6 Comments

So you’ve heard about Babeland’s new “Gender Expression” category, which I for one thing is awesome. But I want to call your attention to a couple comments on that post, because I think it’s important, and it crossed my mind as well:

Perry wrote:

Not to be rubbish, but shouldn’t it be called “female-assigned or potentially mtf-post-op-folks-i-suppose expression” instead?

And Krista from Babeland responded:

It is our intention to make this category a place to find products for expressing any and all gender possibilities. We welcome suggestions of other products that you think might fall into this category. I hope that helps. Feel free to contact us with any other questions.

To which perry replied:

thanks for your comment, Krista. I don’t really have any suggestions per se, I’ve just been noticing that often when female-assigned queers talk about “genderqueer” and “transgender” they often seem to be talking about female-assigned folks who express a certain masculinity via clothes, hair, and yes, toys. I rarely meet male-assigned folks id’ing as genderqueer. 20-30 something college educated white female assigned people who have sex with the same seem to be “the” face of trans/gender and genderqueer movements in a way (if you look at profiles on genderfork and on lots of tumblrs you’ll see what i mean), and i think it’s important to make other identities visible. Thanks for selling great stuff babeland, this is not a dig at you.

And I really see perry’s point here. I don’t really mean to drag Babeland into this, because really this is just something to point to indicative of a larger issue, and, well, I like to link to the gender expression category, which is why I’m using this conversation as an example.

Thanks, by the way, to perry and to Krista for this conversation. I don’t have a lot to add, but I want to highlight this issue because I’ve thought about it frequently myself, and I’m interested what we can do about it. I guess this is the part where I ask for your opinions on the subject. Thoughts?

I do want to say, in Babeland’s defense and in defense of many other sex toy stores which have “gender expression” type of categories, that I think there are just a lot fewer sex products for trans men and masculine of center folks than there are for trans women. Maybe I’m wrong about that and I just don’t know as much about it—correct me if I’m wrong—but my understanding is that a lot of the products for (feminine) trans women are things found in traditional feminine departments, like bras and lingerie. I suppose there could be binding underwear or stuffed bras? I don’t know much about those products, and I certainly don’t see a lot of that—hey Babeland, maybe you should look into those.

I have met some men who identify as genderqueer, though not many. I’ve often mused about this subject, mostly in terms of the myriad words we have for masculine of center identities, and how frequently it seems that people who identify as genderqueer or androgynous are people who were assigned female at birth, who would not express traditionally feminine markers like make-up and dresses—folks who “express a certain masculinity via clothes, hair, and yes, toys,” as perry put it.

I think there might be some misandry in that, to be honest. Or, at the very least, some feminist and queer skepticism about masculinity and maleness in general. And probably some internalized misogyny, as a commenter pointed out.

Let me state for the record that I think people should identify however they feel most comfortable, and I’m not trying to change that, for anybody. But I have noticed it as a trend and I’m curious how we, as people who are doing work on expanding gender categories, can support the widening of these identities, and to continue to build movements that include ALL gender identities and expressions, and not just masculine of center queer folks assigned female at birth.

So, what other products should Babeland add to their gender expression category that are not aimed at masculine of center folks? Any ideas for what they can add to their category?

Babeland’s New Gender Expression Category

May 18, 2011  |  reviews  |  3 Comments

Babeland has launched a Gender Expression category! Which includes products for packing, dildos for strapping on, harnesses, accessories like chest binders and stand-to-pee devices, and more.

I’ve got a couple of these products lined up to review, including the clit pump and the new Tantus Realdoe, and hopefully a STP (stand to pee) review roundup … and maybe a few others. I’m excited this is being offered and I look forward to the rest of the new things that get added to this category!

Review: Princess Peepshow Panties

March 22, 2011  |  reviews  |  5 Comments

Babeland sent on these for Kristen to try out, the Princess Peepshow Panties. Remember the Foxy Bombshell Panties from last fall? We liked those enough that she was game to try another pair by the same company.

And here she is wearing them.

They are super cute. I love the pink bow on the back and the high ass—the description says, “black lace curves to reveal the tantalizing bottoms of your butt cheeks.” They are “crotchless” panties, which, aside from there being very few other least-sexy words, it’s kind of strange. Instead of having just one strip of fabric between the legs, it’s got two, that kind of overlap each other and that can part in the middle to be opened. Instead of it being easier to fuck her that way, it’s kind of harder, since where as most panties you can just pull the center part to the side, this one has TWO center parts that have to be pulled aside.

Still, I dig the lace and it fits quite well, despite it being “one size” (though there are actually two, small or large). The black lace and pink bows and high-cut back of it are great, I think we’ll just end up kind of ignoring that whole “crotchless” feature.

UPDATE: Apparently, these are on backward in the photo. They do have another little tiny pink bow, but it makes so much more sense to me that the little bow would go in the front and the big bow would go in the back … but as soon as we can, I’m going to get her to try it on the other way, and maybe they won’t quite be that ass-less. Then again, maybe they are basically reversible.

The Princess Peepshow Panties were sent to me from Babeland for review. Pick up other sex toys from Babeland, still my favorite feminist, queer, friendly, educational neighborhood sex shop.

Review: Belladonna’s Strapped Dykes (DVD)

March 21, 2011  |  reviews  |  4 Comments


I’ve had a copy of the 2-DVD set Belladonna’s Strapped Dykes for months, and still haven’t managed to finish it. That’s because it is damn hot. I keep getting distracted! Two whole discs of fucking? How can I last that long?

Clearly I need a new strategy. I’d like to get an external monitor for my laptop (someday) so I can watch porn while I work, but then again that might be too distracting.

This set features (pretty famous) porn star Belladonna, who has quite the empire of her own, though I don’t really follow the mainstream porn world so I know very little about her. Turns out she’s quite good at queer sex, and she brings along well-known queer porn favorites Jiz Lee & Syd Blakovich to help out in this film.

Also stars April Flores (who we are watching in Wednesday night’s porn party!), Bobbi Starr, and Sinn Sage. Aside from April, I’m not familiar with any of those porn actresses but they are quite fun to watch.

It’s clear everybody here is having a really good time. The fucking is dirty and real, with great noises from all involved—clearly they are enjoying it all. Especially worth checking out are Jiz Lee’s opening scene with Belladonna, which includes some very impressive throat fucking and finger (um, fist) sucking, and Syd Blakovich’s scene with Bobbi Starr which opens the second disc. In fact, the whole second disc features scenes with Syd, so if you’re a fan of her work—and hey why wouldn’t you be? She’s hot and talented and inspiring to watch as a porn performer—I especially recommend this for you.

Glad it’s in my library.

Belladonna’s Strapped Dykes DVD was sent to me from Babeland for review. Pick up other sex toys from Babeland, still my favorite feminist, queer, friendly, educational neighborhood sex shop.

Cock Confidence: Pack & Play

February 8, 2011  |  reviews  |  5 Comments

See also: My Packing Cocks 101 on Sugarbutch

Speaking of pack & play cocks: There just aren’t very many available right now.

The technology that enables cis men’s penises to soften and get hard (which is flesh & blood) is quite difficult to reproduce. You’d think we had better tricks for it, Batman-style tricks like how his cape gets taut to enable him to fly hang-glide. But as far as I know, we really don’t.

Maybe there are things available for thousands of dollars that I don’t know about? But there’s a reason I don’t know about them—that is really not accessible to me. And probably not to most other gender exploring queers, either.

So the problem is, either good soft packing cocks are too soft to play with, or good solid fucking cocks are too hard and big to pack with (and end up giving you a tent pole in the pants rather than a modest bulge).

Here are a few that you can actually do both—pack and play—because they are bendable enough and still hard enough.

Also, before I get to the cocks, here’s an important packing tip: Unless you’re going for the big bulge in the pants—which hey that can be fun, but most of us want it to be more subtle than that—make sure you wear loose, even baggy pants or skirts while packing. Your tightest jeans, though hot, will absolutely show off what you’re packing. Try loosening the harness just enough to tuck the cock under one of the straps, and wear tight undies to keep it in place.

So what’s available out there for packing and playing?

Tantus VIP SuperSoft

VIP SuperSoft by Tantus

The VIP SuperSoft by Tantus, Inc. is the newest pack & play cock that I’ve seen, and it works quite well in my opinion (and experience). I’ve heard that a few toy shops aren’t carrying them because it’s too obvious and not packable enough, and well, yes, it does create quite the bulge in your pants. But if you know how to wear that well, or if you don’t care if it’s obvious, this is a good option. Since it’s silicone, it’s fully sterilizable (top shelf of the dishwasher with no soap, boil it for 5 minutes, or a 10% bleach solution).

What makes this special: The curve is great for g-spot play, and the “SuperSoft” silicone material specific to Tantus is great. Love the shape for both stimulation of the wearer and the receiver.

Drawbacks: It is kind of floppy. Not great for the heavy pound-pound kind of fucking, it will slip out pretty easily, so make sure to stay in communication with each other if (when) it does. It’s not widely available (yet … perhaps it will be, eventually).

Specifications:
6.5″ (5.5″ insertable) long by 1.7″ in diameter
Silicone (sterilizable)
Made by Tantus, Inc
Available in vanilla, caramel, and chocolate colors
Cost: $60
My review on Sugarbutch
Buy it directly from Tantus, Inc.

Goodfella by Vixen

The Goodfella by Vixen Creations is part of their Vixskin line, which is my favorite material for cocks. It’s soft and touchable silicone, so it is fully sterilizable (top shelf of the dishwasher with no soap, boil it for 5 minutes, or a 10% bleach solution), yet it still has a strong inner core that makes it hard enough to fuck with.

What makes this special: The balls go in front of the O-ring! That is quite unique and awesome. Watch the video on how to back it into a harness, since you can’t put it in from behind like most cocks.

Drawbacks: It is slim and pretty short, especially when you take into account that it is really only insertable up to the balls. Pretty good size for ass play and blow jobs, but for folks who like anything sizeable, this one is going to be pretty small.

Because the balls sit outside of the O-ring, it’s pretty hard to pack comfortably. In order to pack it, the cock part needs to be bent under the harness strap to hold it back, which can make the base pinch your sensitive flesh.

Unfortunately, it is also very expensive. But it comes with a lifetime guarantee from Vixen, which means if it gets damaged, if your dog finds it and chews it up, you can replace it easily. Whoops, sorry—I’m wrong here, let me clarify. Or rather, let me quote you what Kitty from Vixen emailed me: “The Goodfella is one of the only products not covered by warranty (another is the Mr. Right) This is mentioned on the commercial packaging. It simply cannot take being bent back-and-forth on a daily basis as the Vixskin is rather delicate. Our warranty actually mentions NOT being able to return things since your pet ate them.”

You can read the full warranty statement, which says: “Vixen Creations, Inc. wants you to be completely satisfied with your silicone dildo, plug or attachment, which is why we offer an unbeatable lifetime replacement guarantee on damaged items. Please note that damage resulting from misuse of our products is not covered by this policy. For example, “My dog or cat ate it,” “I forgot it was on the stove,” “I bit it,” “My girlfriend left me and took the dildo,” do not qualify for product replacement.”

(Thanks for the clarification!)

Specifications:
7″ (5.5″ insertable) long by 1.5″ in diameter
Silicone (sterilizable)
Made by Vixen Creations
Available in vanilla, caramel, or chocolate colors
Cost: $100-120
My review on Sugarbutch
Buy it at Babeland, Eden Fantasys, The Stockroom, or directly from Vixen Creations.

Silky Pack & Play Cock

Silky aka Mr Bendy

The Silky by Vibratex is the first usable pack and play cock I ever found, and I love it. It’s my favorite of these three.

What makes this special: The internal spine means it is flexible enough to completely bend sideways (or down) for packing, but perk right up when it’s time to fuck. Great size, not too big or small, excellent for blow jobs and for fucking. This one is my favorite.

Drawbacks: Not silicone. The elastomer material is phthalate free, but it is not sterilizable. It’s easy to clean with soap & warm water, but do not boil it, and always use a condom since it cannot be sterilized.

Because it has an internal spine, which is bendable, it will probably break. Mine has—in fact, I’ve gone through probably eight or so of these, about one per year. The spine has never broken through the elastomer plastic, and it has never hurt anyone, and in fact I’ve never heard someone say that theirs has broken the skin, either (though many people who I know who have used this have broken the spine at some point). That’s just what happens when you bend a bit of plastic at the same place over and over—it weakens the plastic, and eventually breaks. But like I said, mine lasted about a year, and if I had not packed it in the exact same position every time it might have lasted longer. After breaking two, I decided it was worth it to keep investing in a new one every year or so, that I just had to look at the $40 cost as a temporary investment that would last me a finite amount of time, not forever.

Some folks have said that they keep using theirs, even after the spine breaks, and this works too—it’s just not quite as perky or bendable as it used to be. From my experience, after it breaks it is not dangerous, and the spine part probably wouldn’t poke through the plastic to harm your delicate parts.

Specifications:
7″ (6″ insertable) long by 1 5/8″ in diameter
Elastomer (Phthalates free, Hypo-allergenic, latex free)
Made by Vibratex
Available in pink, purple, blue, and black (the pink and blue seem to be the most commonly available)
Cost: $40-50
My review on Sugarbutch
Buy it at Babeland, Eden Fantasys, The Stockroom, or Good Vibrations.

So, am I missing any particular cocks that you think I should try out, or include here? Have you heard of others that work for packing and playing? Have you used any of these? What did you think? Any other recommendations?

Extra Sexy Valentine’s Day

February 7, 2011  |  reviews  |  1 Comment

So Babeland did this sweet Valentine’s Day gift guide, and it got me thinking about what sexy toys and gifts I would highly, highly recommend, above all others, for you to pick up for your sweetheart (and, uh, yourself) for this Valentine’s Day.

I’ve been reviewing products for more than two years, and these are some of my personal favorites. The queer porn is especially good as a Valentine’s Day gift I think … plus, if you get a year-long membership, or even a month-long, that will be an ongoing present, one you can enjoy together and that might help take your sex life to a new level. It’s much easier to point to some sex act or product on screen and say, “So what do you think of that?” in order to open up conversation than it is to say, “Hey, I want to try …”

Hope you find something you like, and that the day is fun, regardless of how you celebrate.

You can also check out more of my favorite toys over at Good Vibrations, where they have various celebrity picks.

So let’s hear it: what are you getting your sweetheart, or yourself, this year? How, if at all, are you celebrating? What are your very favorite toys that I might have left off this list?