The Best & Worst Sex Toys Of 2017

I have reviewed a couple of hundred products on this blog over the past two years and over a hundred of them were in the previous twelve months alone. That is a large number of reviews to have written and yet, I still feel like I’m ambling around in the dark sometimes. I started to feel like I’d found my feet in the last months of 2017 and although there are still things I’d like to change and adjust, I feel like I’m on the right path at last. After I’d spent lots of time on the admin side of things, I decided to take some time to reflect on the posts I’d done over the last year, the products I’d tried and tested and the companies I’ve been lucky enough to work with. I came up with a list of my best and worst sex toys from 2017 and I’m going to kickstart that list off with vibrators.

Best & Worst Sex Toys of 2017!

The best vibrator I tried in 2017 has to be the Zumio Clitoral Stimulator. Yes, it looks unusual, takes forever to charge and doesn’t like it when pressure is applied but I can’t deny the way my body responds to it. I’m a lover of direct contact so the small surface area of the Zumio is perfect for me. The strong sensations resonate through hot spots on and below the surface of my clitoris and bring me to climax within minutes. It’s earned a place inside my bedside table and regular rotation schedule alongside a couple of other new favourites.

Second place goes to So Divine’s Let’s Go Crazy, a heated vibrator that gave me hope that there’s a perfect rabbit out there for every vulva. It fits my anatomy perfectly, has a huge variety of settings and heats up to a temperature that my body definitely agrees with. I never thought I’d be raving about a rabbit this much, but I’m a big fan of this one. Last but not least, third place goes to the Satisfyer Pro Penguin Next Generation. Whilst it’s not technically a vibrator, it has to be said that clitoral stimulators like this one have taken over the sex toy scene of late. This was one of my favourite models and I’m eager to see if anything else can top it in 2018.

As for worst vibrators, I’d have to go with the Vive Ombra. I tried the Minu from the same brand in late 2016 and I felt the same way about that product. I also have the Cleo which I’m yet to review, but I think it’s obvious how that review is going down. All of these vibrators have underpowered, buzzy vibrations that are uncomfortable to hold against bare skin and although I could orgasm with the Ombra if I waited long enough, those testing sessions were the most boring I’ve had in a long time. Life is short, I don’t have time for half-assed, underwhelming orgasms.

Favourite Dildos of 2017

Tantus are my must have brand for all things insertable and they released some of their most popular dildos in a new formula of silicone in 2017. I’ve only tried one of them to date but it turned out to be the best dildo I tested all year. The Super Soft Vamp is wonderful for g-spot stimulation, filling vaginal stimulation and anal penetration. I couldn’t use the original Vamp for backdoor sessions as it was simply too firm but this new soft version is comfortable enough for me to manage and achieve fantastic orgasms.

I don’t know if awarding a toy a place on this list that wasn’t released in 2017 is fair, but one of the most enjoyable dildos that I tried this year was an older model from the Pipedream Icicles range. The #24 is beautiful to look at, ideal for anyone with a tentacle fantasy and glorious for fans of texture. It has been one of my most-used insertables over the past several months and I think it will continue to be a firm favourite. Third place is awarded to another toy from the brilliance of Tantus and that is the Uncut #2. Realistic dildos are not usually my thing but the thought of a toy with foreskin intrigued me. It was better than I had anticipated and now I have a toy that’s resembles my partners shape when he’s not around, which I just love. I hope to try the #1 in 2018 and see if that ticks as many boxes.

It’s extremely difficult for me to pick a worst dildo for last year as I didn’t try that many. Last year seemed to consist of vibrators for the most part. I think I only reviewed around ten dildos, most of those from Tantus. My mission for 2018 is to try more insertable toys of all shapes and sizes to see what is out there that I have been missing out on or luckily avoiding. Got any suggestions for me? Let me know in the comments or send over an email.

Favourite Plugs of 2017

In 2016 I forgot all about anal products. I was so focused on bondage and dildos that butt plugs and beads got completely overlooked. I made sure that changed in 2017 and anal toys quickly became one of my favourite categories to write reviews for. There was no contest for which toy would be awarded first place in this round. It had to be B-Vibe’s Rimming Plug 2. I was blown away by the strength this beauty had. The rimming sensations felt out of this world and it’s simply one of the most unusual feelings I’ve ever encountered with a sex toy, in all the right ways. The Trio Plug from the same brand is also pretty fantastic and I can’t wait to see more from them in 2018.

There were so many wonderful products that I could have placed at number two but in the end I decided to award it to We-Vibe’s Ditto. Shape wise, this was new to me. I hadn’t tried anything in my butt shaped like this before but it was surprisingly comfortable and secure. It can be worn for hours without any problems and the dimensions make it ideal for newcomers. The remote control allows a partner to be involved and the power was as expected from this wonderful company. It doubles as a clitoral toy too, which makes it even better. Third place goes to another So Divine product – the Sweet Sensation. A classic teardrop shaped plug with a sparkly crystal for extra aesthetic credit and princess play. I spent 2017 recommending this plug to everyone who asked about beginners anal products and now they’ve introduced two new sizes for those at more advanced levels.

The worst anal product was without a doubt the Swiss Navy Silicone Anal Lubricant that I tested for the Pleasure Panel back in April. Lots of the other reviewers reached the same conclusion as me. This  lubricant had a confusing consistency, not what I’d usually associate with a silicone-based product, and it just was not thick enough for comfortable anal sex. It contains clove which is supposed to be a mild numbing agent. Whilst I didn’t feel any loss of sensation, I gained an odour to my nostrils that was repulsive. This is one lube that I wouldn’t recommend to anyone. It may even be worse than Durex.

Before we conclude this round-up and get on with 2018, I want to award one company with the title of retailer of the year. This company was one of the rare few that had no ethical problems, social media screw-ups, offensive outbursts or customer service complaints and I believe they deserve to be credited for that. Peepshow Toys are a great company that stock only body-safe products, post helpful guides and articles from sex-positive people and genuinely care about their customers. I worked with them on several product reviews last year and have nothing but good things to say about my experiences with them so far. Please support them by visiting their store and following them on social media!

What were your best and worst sex toys of 2017? Let me know in the comments below!

Review: Icicles No 37 Textured Glass Butt Plug

I own several butt plugs now and most of them could be classed as small and beginner like, so I decided it was time to branch out. I saw the intermediate sized Icicles No 37 pop up on Lovehoney and knew it would the perfect plug to up my game with. It’s made from my favourite material, has some glorious looking texture and is a touch longer than the other plugs I have. All of these factors made this plug stand out to me and although I’m not crazy about Pipedream, the brand behind Icicles, affordable glass can be hard to find and I like to review sexy things at a variety of price points.

Icicles No 37 Glass Butt PlugIt arrived in the simplistic packaging that is typical of the Icicles range. It’s rather classy considering the manufacturer and I’m pretty happy with it. The front of the box shows off an image of the product and pulls open to reveal the plug behind a window of plastic. Inside, the Icicles No 37 is protected by a layer of foam casing. It’s somewhat disappointing that Pipedream don’t include storage bags with this range as glass needs to be secured safely to avoid chips and the boxes are too bulky.

The box also gives some care instructions inside/on the back, but there’s some questionable areas of text. I have to strongly disagree with their suggestions for changing the temperature as they list the microwave and freezer as options. Nope. Please don’t do either of those things. Microwaves can create heat spots and freezers could lead to potential awkward and painful sticking of the anus to the product. Neither of those would be fun. Stick to safe methods such as the fridge or placing it in a bowl of water that’s at your desired temperature. I personally like to chill mine for twenty minutes or so.

One bonus of glass as a material is that it can be used with any type of lubricant as there are no concerns about material degradation. I like to use silicone based as these tend to be slicker. Glass is non-toxic, non-porous, odourless, hypoallergenic and completely body safe. You can even place it in the dishwasher for a thorough clean. This is particularly important if more than one person intends to use the plug and should be done before changing hands (or anuses). I use soap and water for everyday cleaning, but will run it through the dishwasher once a month for a more in-depth clean. I also use an old toothbrush to remove any fluids harboring around the nodules.

Having heard one or two horror stories about butt plugs with not-so-sturdy finger loops, the very first thing I did was give this one a test run. I’m pleased to report that this one feels very secure and safe to use. I twisted, pulled and tugged to the harshest of my abilities and there were no signs of trauma to the glass or loosening of the finger loop. The rest of the No 37 seemed sufficiently well made too as there were no imperfections whatsoever. Sometimes this happens with hand-blown glass massagers, but not this one. It’s basically perfect aesthetically.

Icicles No 37 Glass Butt PlugAfter slathering the bulb and neck with lube, I carefully inserted the plug. It went in without much resistance and felt comfortable throughout because of the tapered tip. I have taken toys like the Tantus Flurry in my butt previously and have had anal sex with my larger than average partner, so the dimensions were fine for me. I wouldn’t recommend it to somebody who has no anal experience though. It’s still a fairly small plug but it’s bigger than the beginners plugs on the market. It has an insertable length of four inches and a girth of four and a half inches.

One thing that I discovered about this plug quite early on was the lack of difference between the circumference of the bulb and circumference of the neck. There’s not much change at all which means that this butt plug is capable of slipping out on occasion. It has happened to me twice thus far and both times were during penetrative sex. As a result, I don’t feel that I can recommend this as a plug that can be worn during vigorous sex unless you have a spare hand to hold onto the base. That might be a bit of a mood killer and frustration though. In our experience, the Icicles No 37 is better suited to slower love-making and solo sessions.

Icicles No 37 Glass Butt PlugI thought it was great for masturbation sessions and this is where it shined for me. I found that thrusting in and out, regardless of pace, allowed me to make the most of those delicious raised nodules. I can really feel and appreciate this texture when I maneuver the plug and it feels divine. It’s not what I’d call extreme, but it’s not subtle either. It has an ideal amount of intensity for its size and it feels wonderful. If you’ve ever tried the Lovehoney Nubby and liked it, this plug would be a great choice for you as the texture is similar.

Another fun method for solo play was gentle rotation. I’d hold onto the loop and gently twist the plug in circular motions. Lovehoney mentioned this in their product description and it worked well for me, although I don’t know if I’d describe it as feeling like oral like they did. It was pleasurable for me though. If I wore the plug without any sort of movement then the texture wasn’t very noticeable. It could only be truly felt during insertion and removal. I wanted more than that. Playing with the No 37 allows the texture to become prevalent again and included in the build-up to orgasm. If I combine thrusting or rotation with a clit vibe then I can get off quite easily.

Overall, I think the Icicles No 37 is a good quality, inexpensive plug that’s ideal for intermediate anal players. If the bulb has been a little wider then I think it would have stayed in easier during sex, but this isn’t a major problem as there are workarounds. Holding onto the base, restricting use to slower sex or holding it back for masturbation/solo sessions are all viable options. I personally like option three best and have found it most successful. I’d be happy to recommend this plug to people who like relatively intense texture, temperature play and medium-sized butt plugs.

You can purchase the Icicles No 37 Textured Glass Butt Plug (£29.99) from Lovehoney.

We received this product free of charge in return for our honest review. This is no way changes our opinion on the item. All views are our own and based on our experiences. Some affiliate links have been used within this post. 

Review: Icicles #24

I’ll start this review by stating that I’m not a big fan of Pipedream for ethical reasons, problematic marketing and the amount of toxic/porous products they produce, but affordable glass options seem to be quite hard to come by outside of this line. It’s stocked by most of the big retailers and is often people’s introduction to glass, so I have made an exception for this particular product and the number 8 I reviewed previously. It’s the line I would recommend if there’s nothing else available in your area, but I’d advise trying to source other options first. Regardless of how I feel about them as a company, I have to admit that the variety in the Icicles range is pretty good. It has a toy for every mood, occasion and level of experience, with the number 24 being suitable for intermediate players who enjoy texture.

Icicles 24It arrived in simplistic packaging and It’s pretty classy considering. The front of the box shows off an image of the product and actually pulls open to reveal it behind a window of plastic, display case style. Upon opening the box, I found the 24 protected within a layer of foam casing. I find it a little disappointing that this range doesn’t include storage bags, especially since the prices have been put up. I’ve got cheaper dildos from Lovehoney that included bags, so it’s a bit of a letdown that these don’t.

The box features some care instructions inside, but I strongly disagree with a section of them that advocates using microwaves and freezers to change the temperature. I would strongly advise against doing this. Microwaves can create heat spots and freezers could cause that tongue stuck to a metal pole scenario we’ve all seen in movies, but with your nether regions, which I’m sure would not be pleasant. Please stick to safe methods such as the fridge or a bowl of warm/cold water to change temperatures.

Icicles 24When I held the number 24 for the first time, I was mesmerised. I would describe this toy as being incredibly pretty, despite the colour. I know I complain about the overuse of pink all the time in this industry but I’m a huge fan of coloured glass and don’t mind pink so much when it’s combined with this material. It’s more of a soft baby pink too, which makes a change from all the generic Barbie shades that seem to dominate the market.

As for the shape and texture, it’s a style I seem to be drawn to a lot over the past few months. I don’t know if I have a secret love for Hentai that even I don’t know about yet or whether it’s just a great combination, but I find these toys so enjoyable to look at and experiment with. This particular tentacle is hand-crafted and I couldn’t find any flaws with its gorgeous design or ribbed finish. It’s pretty good quality and I think it will last a long time with proper care.

So, how do you give it proper care? Well, you can use it with any type of lubricant that you wish as there are no worries of material degradation here and then place it in the top rack of the dishwasher after use for a thorough clean. I would definitely recommend this option if you’re switching between orifices or partners (or both!) or you use this on a regular basis. I use soap and water (with an old toothbrush to remove any harbouring fluids from the nodules) for every day cleans and opt for the dishwasher option once or month or so for a more in-depth wash.

Icicles 24

It has four and a half inches of girth, which is manageable for most people, but keep in mind that glass toys tend to feel larger than they are due to the firmness of material and this also has tons of texture to contend with. As for the length it has six inches in total with four and a half inches being insertable. This might not sound like it has much to offer, but this is more than enough length to hit the g-spot. The remaining length makes up the curved finger loop at the base which makes movement feel effortless, calm and controlled.

If asked how it feels, I’d answer “delightful.” The nodules are more pronounced than those on most of my other glass pieces so I tend to use this toy quite slowly, with a good coating of Slick Lubricant. The pronounced bumps can actually be a little painful if I’m aimlessly thrusting as fast as possible, so slow back and forth/rocking motions seem to work best. Not only does this feel more comfortable, but it also allows me to really sit back and enjoy the texture.

During the first few movements it feels as though the tapered tip is gently caressing my g-spot, but the pressure quickly begins to build up as the added stimulation of the texture massaging my vaginal walls and leaning up against my entrance becomes more prevalent. I find this to be a lethal combination and it almost always ensures a successful, intense climax. It’s even better if I add a clitoral vibrator into the mix.

Icicles 24

Overall, I think this is probably the best of the two dildos I tried from the Icicles range. Its gorgeous s-shape and easy to use handle make it really easy for me to find the right spots to hit and the firm, noduled texture pretty much does the rest. It has been a great toy for me to use on lazy masturbation days, providing there’s enough lube on hand, and I’d definitely recommend it to fans of texture.

You can purchase the Icicles 24 (£56.99) from Lovehoney. Affiliate links have been used in this post.

Review: Fetish Fantasy Singapore Stinger Paddle III 

I have become a huge fan of wooden spanking implements, so when I noticed this Fetish Fantasy Singapore Stinger III Paddle at Lovehoney for less than £10, I had to add one to my basket.

Fetish Fantasy Singapore Stinger PaddleIt arrived quickly and discreetly as expected, but I noticed there was no outer packaging with this item. It simply had a Fetish Fantasy tag attached to it and that was all. I think a plastic pouch would have been better as it attracted some dust on its travels. I would have loved to have seen a safety guide included as I think the inexpensive price tag will attract beginners who might not know about spanking dangers, but let’s be honest, it’s made by Pipedream and safety isn’t their priority.

I ordered this paddle shortly after purchasing the Dominix Bamboo Paddle, partly because the options for wooden implements are limited and partly because it’s quite similar, so I knew I’d probably get on with it. I also knew not to assume that it wouldn’t be capable of causing pain if used harshly enough. The Singapore Stinger is very rigid, but it feels somewhat fragile so I do worry that this will break/snap with aggressive regular use. I haven’t encountered any issues so far (few months of use), but time will tell if this is true or not. It’s also quite lightweight and thinner than I expected it to be, but don’t let this fool you because it is capable of pain in the wrong (or right, if that’s what you like) hands.

It isn’t the highest quality paddle that we have, by a long shot, but the surface is smooth and decent enough. The edges aren’t as decent as they feel rough and unfinished in places, but it’s something I can look past as the surface is the only part making contact with my body. It’s comfortable and easy to hold due to the handle and handy wrist loop, both of which are wide enough for my partner to use comfortably.

I’m really enjoying harsher spankings in recent month and have yet to be disappointed by wood, as it provides a much more intense experience than many other materials. It’s definitely the one to go for if you’re looking to progress from faux leather/satin/dual sided paddles. It’s not quite as harsh as silicone, but it still feels pretty brutal and can be quite painful if swung hard enough. I think wooden paddles sound extremely threatening and intimidating in use as they make an amazing, loud slapping sound even when the taps are gentle. This of course goes along with the rough, sharp sting that it provides upon meeting the skin.

Fetish Fantasy Singapore Stinger Paddle 2Due to the wideness of this paddle (4 inches), the sensations it provides cover a broader area of impact, meaning spanks are not as direct, pin-pointed and intense as they would be from a ruler made from the same material. It’s still harsh enough that it’s capable of doing some damage though. From my experience with the Singapore Stinger, it leaves temporary red marks, but no bruising or long-lasting impressions. It leaves marks that can be felt for the rest of the evening, but isn’t very memorable the next day.

We use this paddle after some gentle warm-up with something softer like the Tease by Lovehoney Paddle as this gets all the blood rushing to the surface before we introduce the stinger. Gentle taps from the stinger are what I’d describe as suitable for beginners and not harsh enough for my tastes anymore, which was somewhat disappointing, but at the same time, this tells me this product could be used by someone new to spanking, providing they know their limits and what wooden implements are capable of. Harsher slaps are much more my thing and they feel fantastic from this paddle, particularly stingy on the backs of my thighs.

Overall, I like the sensations and impact of the Fetish Fantasy Advanced Singapore Stinger, but it’s not the harshest tool in the kit. It’s cheap and cheerful, so a great introductory wooden implement, but invest in something better if you decide wood is something you want to experiment more with.

You can purchase the Fetish Fantasy Singapore Stinger III Paddle (£9.99) from Lovehoney. Affiliate links have been used in this post.