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2014: Year of the Vanilla Revolution?

January 7, 2014

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Image via Flickr | Sponsored Post

The Fifty Shades of Grey movie may not be scheduled for release until February 13, 2015, but according to LELO, the kinky sex revolution is already waning. According to sales figures of LELO toys, tracked across their top 20 leading markets, sales of BDSM accessories such as whips and teasers reached a plateau in the last quarter of 2013, compared with a 50% increase over the same period in 2012. Meanwhile, sales of premium couples massagers and vibrating couples’ rings worn during intercourse have increased by 82%, compared with the same period last year.

This is not your parents’ “vanilla sex,” it should be noted! According to research,¬†58% of global toy owners expected to use premium personal massagers with their partner up until September 2013, compared with 72% in the last 3 months of 2013. In other words, if their buying habits are to be believed, it would seem¬†couples are less concerned with reenacting their Christian Grey and Ana fantasies, and more concerned with intimacy and equal-opportunity pleasure in bed. We’re clearly talking full-fat, homemade, creamy vanilla, here — not your generic supermarket brand.

LELO defines “couples‚Äô sex toy” as “an intimate massager suited specifically to enhance foreplay or intercourse.” This kind of toy typically does not feature “the phallic designs typical of so many sex toys currently on the market.” In other words, it’s not the pink plastic penis that got tossed around the room at the last Bachelorette party you attended.

Examples of couples’ toys include the Ida, LELO‚Äôs newest release, a couples‚Äô massager that is worn by women during lovemaking to increase pleasure for both partners, and the remote-controlled Hula Beads, worn by the woman during foreplay to provide gentle vibrations within the vagina.

More research on trends in sex is due from LELO later this month, when they will release the results of the 2014 LELO Global Sex Survey.

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Happy New Year!

December 30, 2013

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We’re still on holiday, and hope you are too! We’ll be back in full swing on Thursday, January 3rd. In the meantime, don’t forget to make your New Year’s Resolutions with the help of our kinky guide. A great way to help you fulfill those resolutions is to buy our award-winning book 150 Shades of Play: A Beginner’s Guide to Kink. Start 2014 off with a bang!


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We Wish You a Merry Kinkmas!

December 19, 2013

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We hope you’ll get to spend at least part of this week eating too much, drinking too much, and maybe even having post-t(of)urkey comfort sex (assuming you’re not sharing a bedroom with your nerdy eight-year-old cousin at an over-stuffed family reunion). We’ll be taking the week off — except for your weekly horoscopes, which will continue to appear Monday mornings — and returning with fab new posts for 2013 on Wednesday, January 2nd. If you want to make our year — what’s left of it! — then you can buy our award-winning book 150 Shades of Play: A Beginner’s Guide to Kink to keep you company while we’re gone. In the meantime, don’t forget to make your New Year’s Resolutions with the help of our kinky guide. You can count down to the holidays with our 12 Days of Kinkmas. And you can catch up on any holiday posts you might have missed at our Naughty and Nice Issue. Now… get thee to some mistletoe and make out like a teenager!


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Win $600 of LELO Swag… Now That’s Naughty AND Nice

December 12, 2013

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Kimono by LELO; Sponsored Post

This holiday season, LELO wants you to share the gift of pleasure, whether it’s giving your partner a full-body massage or breaking out your favorite toy to share together. And if you need a little help in the bedside accessories department, then here’s your chance. LELO will ask three different questions about how you like to share pleasure, and the best answers will be put to a vote. The winner, announced the week of December 23rd, will receive a LELO toy (anything from their couples’ collection)¬†a kimono, a massage candle, and a book — a booty haul worth more than $600!

The first assignment is to complete the following phrase: My simplest pleasure is….

You can leave your answers for Lelo in the comments section on this page. And watch the LELO News page or like their Facebook page for announcements of the next two questions.

In the meantime, get inspired by browsing Lelo’s collection of couples’ toys, specially designed to be shared, this festive season… and always. Because a sex toy is for life, not just for Christmas!

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10 Things We Didn’t Know About Dr. Ruth

December 2, 2013

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Photo via Dr.Ruth.com

The article in the New York Times‘ Real Estate section this past weekend about Dr. Ruth’s three-bedroom apartment in Washington Heights proved her home to be exactly the sort of kooky, over-cluttered place that we’d expect from an 85-year-old, four-foot-seven woman who talks about sex for a living. But here are ten things we discovered about this kick-ass woman in the tour of her apartment that we weren’t expecting:

  1. Dr. Ruth was born in Germany to Orthodox Jewish parents and was sent to a Swiss orphanage during World War II to escape the Holocaust. Her parents were killed in the Holocaust, and she eventually left the orphanage with just a washcloth and a doll  Рthough she ended up giving the doll to another orphan who was crying.
  2. She now owns two dollhouses because she says they¬†¬†give her the control that she didn’t have when she had to leave her dollhouse in Germany. “Father, mother, babies,¬†everybody is safe,” she says. “And everybody is exactly where I put them.”
  3. She also collects turtles, which she is fond of because,¬†”if it stays in one place, it’s safe. It carries its house on its back. But if that turtle wants to move, it takes a risk. It has to stick its neck out. It¬†could get hurt. That‚Äôs a little bit me. I did stick my neck out talking about sex on radio or television when nobody did that.‚ÄĚ
  4. She also has a collection of miniature oil lamps, more than two thousand years old, featuring sexual positions.
  5. She keeps a bullet in her memorabilia cabinet from her time as a sniper in Israel, before it was Israel. We’ll say that again: Dr. Ruth was a sniper. (We are ¬†not worthy.) She claims she could still “‘put five bullets in the red circle.”
  6. There is currently an Off-Broadway show based on her life, called “Becoming Dr. Ruth.”¬†(And according to the show’s website, Dr. Ruth, who has been married three times, is currently single “and about town every night.”)
  7. She’s hugged Paul McCartney.
  8. She’s hugged Bill Clinton (okay, what decent sex columnist hasn’t?!).
  9. She’s hugged Obama.
  10. She’s currently writing a book¬†called The Scrooge Defect, which theorizes¬†that “people who are uptight about money probably can‚Äôt be good lovers,¬†because they‚Äôre not generous.”

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Happy Thanksgiving Weekend!

November 28, 2013

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photo via flickr

This Thanksgiving, we are giving thanks for the continued trend toward marriage equality,¬†LELO innovation (and sponsorship, and 20% OFF Black Friday sales on their entire catalogue), the miracle that abortions are still legal in this country, Wendy Davis,¬†Jennifer Lawrence, our local farm stands, Batkid and the entire city of San Francisco, women-focused toy stores like Good Vibrations, and all these sexy things. We’ll be taking a break from this site for the rest of the week to appreciate all of the above. In the meantime, but sure to check out our Thanksgiving Issue: Love in the Time of Turkey for everything you¬†need to survive this holiday — except the recipes! We’ll be back to our regular schedule on Monday.



Teen Sex? Planned Parenthood Has an App for That

November 19, 2013

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Actually, make that nine apps. Planned Parenthood knows better than anyone that most teenagers in this country don’t get the sex ed they need. Some schools continue to preach abstinence-only education, despite the fact that research has shown this leads to less safe sex, when the sex finally occurs (and in most cases it doesn’t eventually occur), and others offer a kind of lackluster, outdated program that’s easy for teens to tune out because it seems so irrelevant to their own lives (flour and egg babies are cute and all, but…).

Figuring that teens like (a) mobile apps and (b) learning about sex on their own, with no one present to giggle at how little (or how much) they know, Planned Parenthood designed nine apps for a range of ages: “Awkward or Not?” encourages teens to talk to their parents about dating and sex, complete with a pre-written prompt at the end of the quiz to send directly to their parents… which promises to be both truly mortifying and ultimately incredibly helpful, possibly even life-saving.

Various other apps let teens discover their “love personality”; give them tools to avoid peer pressure and postpone sex until they’re ready; help them set life goals, both short-term and long-term (everything from sex to career); and, finally, give them the tools to approach sex safely, when they’re ready for it. Because, yes, contrary to what the abstinence-only movement would like you to believe, even Planned Parenthood wants teens to wait to have sex. And it gives them real reasons to wait: Because sex feels better, both physically and emotionally, when you’re ready. Because an unwanted pregnancy could impact your short-term and long-term life goals. Because safer sex requires a cooperative, educated partner that you trust.

Sure, we know that teens are bound to roll their eyes at some of this stuff, but that’s what teens do — especially when the subject is sex. But where a parent may give up — out of embarrassment or frustration or ignorance — the app just keeps on going, and nobody but the teen needs to know that he or she is actually paying attention.

Got a teen in your life? You can check out all nine apps here.

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Happy Veterans Day!

November 11, 2013

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photo via Wikipedia: Petty Officer 2nd Class Marissa Gaeta of the USS Oak Hill (LSD-51) shares the traditional “first kiss” with her fianc√©e, Petty Officer 3rd Class Citlalic Snell

We’re taking the day off — your regularly scheduled dose of love, sex, and everything in between will return tomorrow.

In the meantime, take a moment to honor all of the brave men and women who serve this country — and especially, this year, all the gay men and women who serve this country.

Our friend Nathaniel Frank is the author of the book¬†Unfriendly Fire: How the Gay Ban Undermines the Military and Weakens America, and¬†was an expert witness in two Constitutional challenges to ‚Äúdon‚Äôt ask, don‚Äôt tell,‚ÄĚ whose success helped end the policy. You can read more about his book here, and also read an open letter he wrote to the parents of his (gay) best friend.

See you back here tomorrow!



New Spray Helps Men Go Longer (Without Numbing Her)

November 5, 2013

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photo via flickr

Until now, any product on the market that was designed to help a man go longer in bed had the highly unfortunate side effect of numbing his female partner in the process. Who really wants sex to last longer if you can’t feel anything? Enter¬†Promescent, a brand new FDA-approved over-the-counter spray for treating premature ejaculation — or for any guy who wants to last a little longer in bed (the company is hoping for significant recreational use sales). It absorbs so quickly that there is no numbing effect at all for the woman.

Premature ejaculation affects one in three men at some point in their lives –¬†and one study estimated that more than 50,000 men are currently taking anti-depressents to last three to five minutes longer in bed. The buzz is already beginning for this product, and we imagine it’s only a matter of time before we are treated to hilarious, euphemistic television spots featuring gauzy curtains and smiling couples embracing each other post-coitally.

Bring it on, we say! We’d love to see “premature ejaculation” become something that newscasters are forced to discuss on a regular basis — check out this hilarious clip of a CNBC anchor discussing Promescent. She says that Promescent is, “Not for men who can’t get the party started — [deep, brave breath, steeling herself] — but for men who end the party too soon.” Though “erectile dysfunction” pretty much rolls off her tongue at the start of the segment, she interrupts herself midway through talking about P.E.: “Premature… You know, I can’t even say it, they call it P.E.” Say it, lady!

We asked Jeff Abraham, the CEO of Promescent — which is a small start-up that probably ¬†won’t be a small start-up for much longer –¬†a few questions about this new product:¬† Read the rest of this entry »



Happy Federal Holiday!

October 14, 2013

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In honor of Columbus Day, we’re taking the day off and reading¬†Eduardo Galeano’s Memory of Fire. Tune in tomorrow for new horoscopes and other fun stuff.