Posts Tagged ‘sextoy.com’

Review: X-Harness

January 31, 2011  |  reviews  |  1 Comment

The first time I tried on a chest harness was at a leather festival. I put it on over my tank top and quickly admired myself in the mirror looking like a gay boy leather daddy top, which is really my only association with those x chest harnesses. As much as it seems like they would be worn by bottoms, and used for restraint, it seems like they are more commonly associated with the tops doing the restraining.

Maybe that’s just me, and I’ve somehow superimposed my own biases on the whatever images I’ve picked up along the way.

I was planning to use this x harness in a photo shoot, but that has yet to happen. I still think it might, someday, and I think these harnesses look particularly bad ass, so it could be a useful prop. I have a particular vision of how I want to be posed when I have this photo taken, but what I visualize and what turns out to be the best shot aren’t always the same, so who knows what’ll happen when I actually get around to capturing some images. That’s partly why I’ve had this harness for such a long time but still haven’t written it up—I thought I’d post a photo, since how much is there to really say about this type of object?

Really I’m not sure what kind of uses this harness has aside from as a prop in a photo. Or maybe as a fetish outfit to a play party, if I remembered it and dressed up ahead of time. I haven’t taken it out during sex, well, ever, and I’m not sure I would. But I still like having it in my toy box, and hopefully I’ll come up with some good uses for it aside from just to look pretty. Any ideas?

The X-Harness was sent to me to review from sextoy.com. Pick up the x-harness or other bondage toys from sextoy.com, or your local queer feminist sex-positive independent shop.

Chains and Containment in “Black Snake Moan”

October 26, 2010  |  reviews  |  4 Comments

A few weeks ago, when one of my oldest and dearest and favorite-est friends, BB, was in town visiting, Kristen and BB and I had a night at home and sat down to watch a film. Having recently discovered the joys of both Paperback Swap and Swap A DVD, I have some DVDs that I haven’t seen in quite a long time, if ever.

Black Snake Moan was one of them, and we decided to put it on.

I saw it once before, as had Kristen, and I remembered liking it. But putting it on, I was nervous. What if it wasn’t feminist enough? What if they thought it was exploitive and weird? What if I thought it was exploitive and weird?

It sure doesn’t seem like a feminist, conscious film on the surface—it seems fucked up, about gender, race, and sexuality. Why would I want to see that? Why would I like that? But it’s more complex than it seems.

Here’s the basic premise: Rae (Christina Ricci) has an extreme sexual appetite. Rae’s boyfriend, Ronnie (Justin Timberlake) is off to the army and while they usually keep each other sane and balanced, she is losing her control and getting in dangerous situations, such as getting completely intoxicated, half-naked, and then beat up by a guy she occasionally sleeps with. Lazarus (Samuel L. Jackson), whose wife just left him for his younger brother, finds Rae unconscious on the road near his house and brings her inside, attempting to nurse her back to health. She, though, has all sorts of night terrors, which cause her to run around and scream—while pretty much still unconscious—so he chains her to the radiator. But when she comes to, two days later, he doesn’t unchain her, but decides she’s not healed yet.

I know, I know: I want to start yelling, NON CONSENSUAL! You can’t do that! But the thing is … she’s out of her mind, a little bit. I know it sounds like shaming a woman because she likes sex, but frankly I don’t think that’s what’s behind this. It isn’t that she likes sex too much, it’s that she is destroying herself through her pursuit of sex, which is clearly depicted as compulsive, and absolutely not something she is choosing from an empowered place.

Ricci is bone-thin in a very unattractive way, she looks so strange sometimes, so unlike her for this role. I wanted her to come over so Kristen could feed her baked goods and get a little bit of that glow back. But she plays the role amazingly—I even read a critique that said it was the highlight of her acting career. And Jackson is genius! I love the scenes where he’s playing the guitar and singing, the blues just dripping off of him. Healing music, no doubt.

All through the re-watch I kept thinking, why is this okay? Why is this not totally fucked up? Because it seems like it should be, on the surface—but it’s not, and I love this film. Maybe it’s because it’s so well written? Or well acted? Or well crafted, in general? I could go on and on about the layers of this film and the dozens of ways you could interpret the character’s actions (the Christian angle; the sex is bad angle; the men as savior angle), but really what I want to do is encourage you to see it for yourself, if you like to think critically about consent, feminism, character, and kink.

And oh yes, it is kinky. All the stuff with the chains, well …

I love the way she becomes attached to that chain. There is a part, after she regains consciousness but before she’s healed, where she consents to stay. Where she kind of doesn’t want him to take the chains off. And another part (in that photo, above) where she comforts herself with the weight and restriction of the chains, in part to get through her own triggers, and to break the automatic reactions in which she’s been stuck.

I would argue that hits on exactly what she needs: containment. Not in a repression kind of way, no, but in the tantric sense, that she is all energy and river and no riverbank. (Interesting, though, how she is able to be that container for Ronnie, as stated from the very beginning of the film when he says she saved him, onto the last scene.)

Plenty more happens in the plot after that: Lazarus teaches her things about life and living, she confronts some demons (including her mother), we get some abstract insight into the things that have been haunting her, and she seems to come to a stronger, more capable place. Personal growth, healing from trauma, and breaking through her own samskara: makings of a good film, if you ask me.

And, the chains …

Well, Kristen liked the chains. She has a thing for metal, more than I do I think (I’m more of a leather guy myself—not that I’m opposed to chains). I had, I remembered, received Metal Wrist and Ankle Cuffs from Sextoy.com that I’d never reviewed, nor had we, in fact, ever even used them.

I thought it might be time to break those out.

Yeah, so that was a good idea.

That image is from Griffin Leather & Metal, not the actual cuffs that came in my set. Mine are not nearly as gorgeous as these, but that’s basically how they’re set up. And the photo on the box that mine came in is pretty awful, it is something that would have steered me clear of buying it.

But in fact, it’s very much worth having around.

They’re relatively cheap, but they’re sturdy, and they don’t feel like they’re going to break (unlike some of the other bondage toys I’ve occasionally reviewed). The chains could be a little shorter, especially the chain connecting the wrist cuffs to the ankle cuffs, but that also might be because Kristen is kind of short, so perhaps with someone a bit taller they would be the perfect size.

The product description reports:

Nickel plated heavy duty locking wrist and ankle cuffs. Includes 4 keys. Wrist size up to 7 inches and ankle size up to 10 inches. The chain connecting wrists is 3.5 inches and the chain connecting ankles is 17 inches. The chain connecting ankles and wrists is 16 inches.

Those dimensions don’t seem quite right (longer connection between the feet than from the feet to the hands?), but that’s what the website claims.

And I’d like to tell you all about what we did when we played with them, but the truth is, I can’t remember the details. I don’t know how it started exactly, I don’t know how it ended. I don’t remember how I put them on her, but I do remember holding on to the chain, choking up on it so she couldn’t move. I remember telling her to get up and walk to the other side of the bed so she could look in the mirror. I remember watching her touch herself for a while, while I watched. And I may have snapped a few photos.

You know, maybe.

The Metal Wrist and Ankle Cuffs were sent to me for review from Sextoy.com. Pick up the Metal Wrist and Ankle Cuffs or other bondage toys from sextoy.com, or your local queer feminist sex-positive independent shop.

I’m still thinking about this film sometimes, even now, two or three weeks later, and looking forward to watching it again.

I’m not going to write a blow-by-blow account of the film and all the complex, phenomenal moments (like, “You’ll have to ask the chef.” “Paprika.” And everything about the characters of Miss Angie and Ronnie both), or an elaborate argument on why it might border on offending my feminist sensibilities, but doesn’t actually. I’ve enjoyed the extensive conversations I’ve been having with Kristen about the film since we saw it, and I’m looking forward to seeing it again.

Have you seen it? What did you think?

If you haven’t, perhaps you’d like to watch the trailer for the film, and see if it’s something you’d try out. I was skeptical, but it is much more than what it seems. Read More

Review: Under Bed Restraints

January 25, 2010  |  reviews  |  5 Comments

canadian pharmacy cialis” />These Under Bed Restraints are easy—easy to install, easy to use, easy to implement into all sorts of sex play, easy to like. I suspected (from the packaging, mostly) that they would be cheesy, low quality, or not strong enough, but they are not. They’re not leather, and they don’t have metal buckles that make that delicious clanging sound against themselves, but the nylon and velcro buckles are nonetheless simple and strong.

I picked these up because Kristen doesn’t have a headboard at her place, and thought it might be fun to keep these on her bed. I was very right, it IS fun, and they went way beyond my expectations. It feels like I have even more permission to throw her around, tie her down, or rough her up when I know these are on the bed already and so easily accessible.

I did not think I would like these as much as I do (I guess I am snobby about bondage, I like the “real” stuff, the shibari rope and the heavy leather and metal cuffs), but now they are probably one of the top toys I recommend most, especially to folks who are interested in exploring more bondage.

Do I need to explain how it works? It is kind of a capitol I shape, with the cross-bars, where the long vertical strap goes under your mattress and on top of the boxspring, and the two horizontal straps have cuffs at either end, and stick out. (If you only had a mattress and no boxspring I think it would still work.) It can also be made into an upside down capitol T to put the bottom’s hands together above her head at the head of the bed. I like having Kristen’s legs tied, but to let her still use her hands—I like to feel her grasp at my shoulders, and sometimes I like to watch her get herself off.

Affordable ($45), easy, sturdy—these get my highest recommendation. Definitely a must in my toy box.

The Under Bed Restraints were sent to me to review from sextoy.com. Pick up the Under Bed Restraints or other bondage toys from sextoy.com, or your local queer feminist sex-positive independent shop.

Crab Tie (Review: Red Bondage Rope)

December 24, 2009  |  reviews  |  4 Comments


Kristen, tied with the crab tie from Chanta Rose’s book Bondage for Sex.

The red bondage rope was sent to me to review from sextoy.com. Pick up your own red bondage rope or other bondage toys from sextoy.com, or your local queer feminist sex-positive independent shop.

Review: The Big Cock

November 12, 2009  |  reviews  |  4 Comments

I don’t know if this sucker has another name. I’ve just been calling it The Big Cock. Because, well:

bigcock bigcock2

You see, when you write about sex on the Internets, sometimes people send you things. And I came home to this big ol’ box one day about a month ago and um. omg. #sixteeninchcockfail.

Yes, that’s what I said. SIXTEEN INCHES. and 2.5″ in girth.

I kind of thought I could do (ridiculous, campy) a photo shoot with this thing, before it arrived, but when I saw it? No. No way.

I like a big ol’ thick cock as much as the next cockcentric guy, but the size is just ridiculous. It can’t possibly be usable! Plus, it’s a bad material, smells like that awful plastic. So then the question was, of course, what the heck do I DO with it?

So, of course, I asked the Hive Mind, aka Twitter. (Read chronologically from the bottom up.)

bigcock_tw2

And what do you know! Sending The Big Cock to Courtney Trouble and seeing it possibly make its debut in a porn film seemed like a PERFECT thing to do with it! I wouldn’t get to use it, or be photographed with it, but I think I can easily give up that dream. I don’t think it made its way all the way to California in time for her October 9th shoot (that Jiz Lee mentioned), but perhaps it’ll be in something else. It’s WAY more likely to get used sitting around her place than it is sitting around mine.

So, bye-bye, Big Cock. I hope you find a good new home.

Thanks to sextoy.com for sending me The Big Cock to review. Buy other bondage and kink sex toys through sextoy.com.

Kristen & A Spreader Bar

July 27, 2009  |  reviews  |  8 Comments

spreader bar

Kristen, featured here with the spreader bar, Liberator Throe, leather ankle cuffs, and Spartacus leather paddle. You can’t see it in the photo, but her hands are tied together and to my headboard.

Though I know photographs are worth a thousand words, I have one thing to add about the spreader bar: because it does not have attached cuffs, you need hooks (shown here with carabiners) and cuffs (or rope) of your own in order to secure a person to the bar adequately. This also means that she’s not exactly held in place, there is a lot of room for her to move around and does not hold her securely in place. If I bought another spreader bar (which I might, I really do love the immobilization) I would purchase one with cuffs included, so there wasn’t as much wiggle room for the person being tied down.

But certainly that doesn’t mean that it’s not beautiful to feel her strain against the force of being spread open.

Buy the spreader bar and other bondage and kink sex toys through sextoy.com.

Hogtied.

May 28, 2009  |  dirty stories, reviews  |  7 Comments

cnvax-b-hogKristen sits on the edge of the bed. I kneel, take her calves in my hands, shackle the ankle cuffs on her one at a time, then rise and hold out my hand for her wrists.

I love this part. A tiny moment of patience and waiting as I’m not sure if she really will give me her hands, or if I’ll have to take them. After one breath too long, she looks up at me, brings her hands together, and pushes them forward.

“One at a time,” I say, and wrap black rope around one, then the other. Four points of tension, four points of restriction, four points of restraint. She’s ready. I can see it in her eyes, that impulse to struggle, to strain against the edges of what is possible.

I pull her by the dangling rope back onto the bed. Push her down, push her legs open, hold her there, then turn her over.

I love that meditative bell-like sound of metal on metal that belts, cuffs, and leather straps with D rings made into hogties make.

She knows what I’m going to do. I’m nervous, haven’t used this before. I use clips to get the cuffs connected to the hogtie, tie the rope directly. She’s on her stomach. It makes an x over her back that is beautiful, seems like a natural object to put onto her body, contoured to her curves like jewelry. There’s more room in the tie than I expected. I thought her limbs would be pulled taut, but in reality she can move around quite a bit, though at some cost. She gets her hands under her shoulders to lift herself up, can pull her knees under her to get her ass in the air.

(I like that.)

I let her try out the restriction, the limitations. She’s not tied to anything, only to herself, and she’s small, so there’s quite a bit she can do.

After a minute I catch her by the hair. “You’re starting to squirm.” I say, low in her ear.

She breathes out, a tiny voice. “Uh huh.”

I’m still mostly clothed, but my cock is out, hard, stiff from my fly. I kneel behind her, push on her shoulderblades so she’s facedown on the bed again, and tease her pussy with the head of it. “Waiting to get fucked?”

“Yes,” she says in a small voice.

“What?”

“Yes.” Louder.

“Yes what?”

“Yes, I’m waiting to get fucked. Fuck me, please, please, put your cock in me, baby, ohhh … ” and I do, of course I do, when she asks so pretty like that.

I leave her hogtied for a while, taking her as I want her, telling her to put her ass in the air for me, get up on your knees, head down, face still shoved into the blankets of the bed as I pound her, biting her shoulders, slide in and out, she’s so wet, slamming into her hard, from behind, from above, until we both collapse, my mouth at her ear, at her cheek, at her neck.

Later, I untie her hands and leave her legs bound. Then unhook her ankles and hold her, weave our bodies together, faces nearly touching on the pillow.

Thanks to a particular sex toy store for providing the hogtie, one of their many bondage items. Kristen thanks you, too.