Friday, March 24, 2017
Authors Posts by Alison Barber

Alison Barber

11 POSTS 0 COMMENTS

To Spit Or Swallow?

I was in the nail salon, gazing at a turned off television flanked by fake flowers, when the age-old question, “Do you spit or swallow?” eeked into my brain. “Spit or swallow” is the harshly limited ultimatum posed to teenagers, and most of us haven’t heard it since high school. Back then, I’m pretty sure I knew girls who answered both ways. Not being on the receiving end of fellatio, I took little note of who said what or why.

While one hand soaked and the other’s nails were filed, I wondered, “does anyone really spit?” Do women actually take ejaculate into their mouths and then spit it out because they object to swallowing? Is there a reason for objecting to swallowing other than disliking the taste? Doesn’t everyone know that tastebuds are on the tongue and not in the stomach?

While my polish was applied, I determined that no, no one spits. At least not anyone out of high school, and probably not even teenagers, given the extent of information and entertainment on the internet. That might have been that (I’m good at deciding things and singularly declaring them to be true) if the subject hadn’t come up later that night.

Our spit vs. swallow conversation derived from the topic of sexual education and the darnedest things kids say. A friend’s pre-teen had recently learned that oral sex is a thing, and wondered why people do it.

“So, but, do kids actually still talk about ‘spit or swallow’?” I interjected. Does ANYONE spit? I mean, for reasons other than being stimulated by the visual of spitting and then maybe licking it back up?”

I got a few blank looks and the familiar comment, “You’re on the other far side of the spectrum.”

Someone suggested I conduct I survey. We all admitted that, coming from Taboo’s social media followers, the results would be extremely biased. Then I did it anyway.

Here’s what my seven question, extremely biased “Let’s Talk About Head” survey taught me:

60% of women really enjoy giving head. 30% dig it when they’re in the mood, and 10% will do it to please their partners. Conversely, a whopping 90% of men love performing oral sex and only one responded that he didn’t enjoy it at all.

When it comes to climax, 75% of women and 84% of men want to do it in their partners’ mouths.

When I asked how women feel about their partner climaxing in their mouths, 58% said it turns them on. 33% responded “It’s nice, I guess.” 7% refuse it.

Contrarily, 88% of my male respondents are turned on by receiving orgasm orally! High fives!

 Finally, do women spit or swallow?

My super-scientifically sound survey determines that 79% of women swallow.

7% spit because they don’t don’t enjoy swallowing, 5% spit because they find it erotic, and 9% never let ejaculate touch their lips. Those who find spitting erotic were some of the first to respond, so I’m pretty sure they’re my employees, but I stand by the authenticity of my results.

So, okay, a few of you do spit. Color me the teensiest bit wrong and the slightest bit confused. However, I like it when sexual practices surprise me. It means folks are keeping it fresh, which is one of the first rules of good sex.

Another is being true to yourself. While pushing personal boundaries is often stimulating, no one should feel pressured to participate in what makes them uncomfortable.

You do you, but I’ll leave you with a healthful facts about semen:

  • Is a natural anti-depressant
  • Contains anti-anxiety hormones
  • Encourages better sleep through melatonin
  • Improves memory and brain function
  • Contains zinc, an antioxidant that slows aging

Cheers.

Casual Intimacy

Here are a few things that make me happy:

  • Sunshine
  • Chocolate
  • Cold Beer
  • Good Sex
  • The Golden Girls

Because I enjoy happiness, I spend a lot of time outside. I eat a small piece of chocolate every night after my kids go to bed. There’s always beer in my fridge, and I own every episode of The Golden Girls.

Also because I enjoy happiness, I pursue good sex. Because the best sex involves another person, attaining it can be more complicated than a trip to the grocery store or stepping into my backyard.

For me, the search for good sex extends beyond pleasurable genitalia, impressive stamina, and even a pretty face. Beauty and technique matter, but not as much as a person’s ability to inspire me or make me smile. Sex toys have come a long way–if a firm, sizable cock was all I required, I’d have run off with Alan long ago.

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The necessity of a great personality is a somewhat regrettable complication. Tindr, that abomination, unites a bazillion people each day. It strips folks down to a few favorable pictures and a brief, self-imposed synopsis. Matches are easy and uncomplicated. If somethings goes wrong, swipe left (or is it right?) and it’s onto the next.

Causal sex becomes less casual when personalities get involved, but without personality, what fun is sex? Physical release is intense, amazing, healthy, and necessary, but I don’t know that I’d call it fun. Fun is eye contact pulling you towards a first kiss. Fun is a full body spark emanating from a bare knee. Fun is exchanging breath while laughing.

Fun is intimacy. Intimacy is arousing. Is it also inherently non-casual?

If I have sex with you, I like you. I might like you like I like sunshine, gaining from you a warmth that fills me and sends me straight to sleep. I might enjoy you like I enjoy classic TV, relaxing fully when we’re together and delighting in your good humor. I might close my eyes and savor you like you like a Hershey’s Kiss.

Whichever form it takes, like differs from love. Likewise, a desire to have sex with someone only sometimes coincides with wanting to form a committed relationship. There’s an obvious, glowing overlap in the Venn Diagram of sex and attachment, but there are singular spaces, and they don’t all represent anonymous sex.

I seek happiness, and I know what it is. It’s coconut yogurt with chocolate chips. It’s sunny cheeks. It’s cheap beer in a baby pool. It’s a flower the day before its death.

And it’s the sweat behind his neck. It’s the arch of my back. It’s frantic fingers and shuddering thighs. However intense and however intimate, sex can also just be happiness.

When we’re truthful with ourselves and with our partners, we’re granted the freedom to enjoy what we enjoy. When coyness morphs into game playing, we only limit ourselves. Too often, we restrict pleasure out of fear or perceived obligation. I’m not suggesting irresponsibility or hedonism. Contrarily, I’m casting a vote for honesty.

The best sex is shared between people who understand each other’s relevant needs. If you’re forming a relationship, you may want to discuss future goals. If you’re embarking on a one night stand, find out how he likes his dick sucked. And if what you want falls somewhere in between, say what’s honest, do what’s true, seek pleasure and harm no one.

Nothing could be more simple, or more casual.

More Toys For Masturbation Month

As National Masturbation Month winds down, you might be tempted to touch yourself less.

Don’t stop.

You might think now is a good time to submit to hibernation with just one toy.

More.

Do you really need to get completely naked?

Yes…

Touch yourself totally?

Yes…

Treat yourself to something new?

YES!

I had such fun celebrating masturbation at last weekend’s Taboo Brunch, I thought I’d detail some of my talk here. If you skipped the brunch, you missed out on exclusive content such as biased poll results, accidental puns, and me waving uncut dildos in the air. I’ll give you a peek at my main point, though:

You not only deserve masturbation, you deserve GOOD masturbation.

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I often refer to masturbation as “self love.” Partly, I call it that because they don’t let me say “rub one out” on the radio. But also, touching yourself can and should be an expression of love. Your body is beautiful. It deserves to be caressed. And you deserve to caress it.

You also deserve to know it. Too often, we avoid looking at our naked bodies. We don’t want to see our flaws, and we definitely don’t want to know what’s hiding in the spots we can’t see. But we can’t love what we don’t know, and loving ourselves inspires the positivity and confidence that makes it easy to be loved by others.

So turn on the lights. Get completely naked. Look in a mirror. Straddle a mirror. Then start touching yourself.

Start slowly. Start with your hand. Run your fingers up your arm, along your collar bone, between your breasts. We lead busy lives, frequently out of our own skin. We’re online, on social media, on to the next thing. Be present in your body. You have access to so much sensation without gels and toys. Awaken that, first.

And then, bring in gels and toys. Because you deserve it.

Got a favorite? Good. But regardless of your relationship status, no one wins with toy monogamy. Employ your favorite frequently, but don’t forget that there are other toys in the box.

And if your favorite is a clitoral blaster that quickly knocks your orgasms out, congratulations. You’ve succeeded in masturbation, or at least crossed the finish line. But, while orgasms themselves pack a ton of health benefits (heart health, lowered risk of diabetes, better sleep, kegel strength, relaxation, I could go on and on) you haven’t really given your body the attention it deserves.

With our partners, we put in work. We aim to keep things fresh and exciting. Because we desire our lovers, we relish touching their skin and being touched by their hands. Because we care for them, we want them to feel fantastic.

By ourselves, we often assume the most physically comfortable position, yank our pants down, and reach for whatever toy is easily accessible and fully charged.

My Taboo Toy Reviews have enabled me to “date” a ton of toys. We’ve shared dinners and movie nights and I’ve given some of them names. It’s probably my solo use of couples toys, however, that has really impressed upon me the equality of sex with a partner and sex with oneself. I’m not suggesting you handcuff yourself to your bed, but I’m not suggesting you don’t.

Discounting a toy or practice as a “couples thing” unnecessarily limits the fun you can have by yourself. Before I received my first anal toy for review, it never would have dawned on me to invite anal stimulation into masturbation. Uncomfortable at first but eventually rewarding, “butt stuff” is like slaving over a stove all day for a delicious ten minute meal. I’m a lot more apt to do it if I’ve got someone to share it with.

But if I don’t, do I deserve that meal less? Is it any less satisfying?

Your strides are limited inside your own comfort zone. Switch toys, rooms, positions. Suction a dildo to the edge of your tub and ride it. Suction it to your shower and back it on up. Not super into nipple stuff? Pinch your nipples anyway. Lick them if you can. Suck your toes. Smack your ass.

Love yourself.

Love yourself as fully as you love your partners, and then invite them to love you that way, too.

Toy Review: LANA 3 in 1 By Intimate Melody

I’m a lady who likes choices. My belief that variety is the spice of life might be why I have three deep drawers stuffed with sex toys, plus a few boxes of overflow in my closet. (It’s either that, or that I’m a masturbation maniac. It’s probably both.)

Interchangeability is one of the reasons I loved the first Intimate Melody toy I reviewed, the Lava 3 in 1. When I was offered a go at her sister, the LANA 3 in 1, I could hardly say no.

Unlike the penetrating Lava, Lana’s three attachments are primarily designed for external stimulation. Unlike Lava, Lana doesn’t have a heating element. Also, Lana is powered by two AAA batteries. (Lava is rechargeable.) Basically, Lana is Lava’s attractive, easy younger sister. You might not be inclined to take her out for a $60 steak, but you’re happy to keep the vodka shooters coming all night long.

lana Intimate Melodies 2And why not? She’s cute! Her vibrating base is sleek and her three attachments are brightly colored and silky smooth. They’re varying shapes and hues are visually appealing and she’s oh-so-nice to touch.

She’s equally nice to take to bed. Lana features seven modes of vibration and pulsation. The first two are straight vibration and vary from each other very little. The other modes pulsate and rumble.

Each attachment fits easily and securely into its base and the vibration is relatively quiet. I have no complaints about this toy.

What I do have is a teensy bit of confusion. Maybe I’m going soft (getting old? settling down?!) but I don’t quite know why one would NEED three attachments. The two smaller ones are virtually the same size. One is ribbed and one is not, but unless you’re stroking your clit with its full length, the difference is barely perceptible. I tried to mix things up by using the longer one for penetration, but it predictably did nothing for me. Essentially you’re paying for three toys when you really only need one.

Except you’re not REALLY paying for three toys, because at $40, Lana is competitively priced with other quiet, powerful, silicone single bullets. So while I may find the options enclosed excessive, you’re got nothing to lose by taking home all three.

And hey, maybe you have three partners you play with separately! Three attachments would come in handy then. Thank goodness… I’m not too soft/old/settled down to have thought of that.

“The Rock” by Nalone – Toy Review

Inviting a new line of toys into my stores and, inevitably, my bed, is exciting. It’s akin to acquiring a new partner or tasting a unfamiliar cheese. Unfortunately, too much of a good thing can be hazardous, confusing, and lead to obesity. Therefore, I’m careful when choosing new vendors.

To get my attention, a solicitor’s outreach must be personal, professional, and provide immediate evidence of a full and outstanding product line. Or, if said solicitor is George from Femme Funn, it could just be “We make those adorable and affordable toys with faces.”

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To be fair, that’s not what George said. His email was personal and professional, but he basically had me at hello because I’d already picked up his Funn Buddies. These four little guys flew from our shelves as soon as they landed, and I was eager to get my hands on my own. George told me he had new toys to show and I invited him to my office, with a heavy hint that a Funn Buddy would make a welcome hostess gift.

George’s suitcase of vibrating Funn was impressive. After I’d taken note of several toys to introduce to Taboo, I wondered if he’d remembered my request for a Funn Buddy for review. “Oh yeah,” he said, “I’ve got one of each for you, and a few other things as well.” And that’s about the time I fell in love with George.

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(not George)

A Funn Buddy would no doubt have been my first review from the bounty George left behind, except I’ve been having so much fun playing with them in my office (not like THAT, you guys) that I keep neglecting to bring them home. So I’ll temporarily shut up about their beautiful, blissful faces and introduce you to their just as exciting friend, The Rock massager.

There are a few reasons it could be called The Rock. The subtle diamond texture of its shaft is equally reminiscent of an intricately cut diamond and this guy:

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It’s every bit as intense as this guy:

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I’m still trying to block out this guy:

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The Rock is one of two wand style massagers George left in my capable hands. It’s essentially Nalone’s starter wand, but don’t suspect for a second that it’s elementary. Nalone, by the way, is a mash up of the words “never alone.” I like my vibrators just as I enjoy my cheese (alone,) but I appreciate the sentiment.

The Rock is silicone, rechargeable, and features seven levels of vibration and pulsation. It’s relatively compact and velvety, with a nicely sized head atop a super bendy neck. Levels one through three are steady vibration, of course, and four through seven feature pulsation.

I honestly only forced myself beyond level one for the sake of science. On low, its vibrations are that of an impending avalanche a couple of miles away. Oh wait… “The Rock!”

Level two is the speed I’d prefer after two glasses of wine and a relatively recent orgasm. Level three might be too much for me, ever. Pulsation, which is never my thing, is maddening with this toy. Its vibration is so intense that its immediate absence is torture.

So how does The Rock’s performance compare to that of its peers?

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It’s pretty close in price to the Bodywand Rechargeable and the Bodywand Aqua Mini, and it features the best of both. Like the Aqua Mini, its size is convenient. Like the full size rechargeable, its rumbling power leaves one wanting for nothing.

For its size and shape, I also compared it to the Jimmy Jane Iconic Wand Petite. This is the only battery powered toy of the bunch, and its price is about half. It’s plastic instead of silicone and not as powerful as the others. I love my Iconic Wand Petite, and he’s perfect for the price, but he’s not in the same league.

Personally, I think you should collect all four. And all four Funn Buddies and the other Nalone Wand I was gifted, Taboo Toy Review to come. But if you’re choosing just one, the Rock is a solid choice. The size is right, the rumble is right, and the dry-skinned superhero is kind of cute, too.

Tobias

The Rock is available at Taboo or email alison@taboorva.com to place an order. Shop other wand style massagers here!

Intimate Melody Lava – Toy Review

When the good folks at Sexpert.com asked if I’d be interested in reviewing a rechargeable, heating, three-in-one toy, I didn’t wait to hear what it was before screaming, “yes!” (Insert your own cheesy, sexy joke about screaming “yes” here.)

Rechargeable toys are quickly becoming the norm, but my appreciation for them has far from waned. Heating toys are popping up more and more frequently, but there’s not yet a bounty available. Speaking to three-in-one, bigger might not necessarily be better, but more always is.

Intimate Melodies 1I’d not heard of Intimate Melody before their toy landed on my front porch. The company was founded in 2012 and, according their website’s brand story, they believe life is better “with a sexy twist” and value exploration and interpretation. Agreed, Intimate Melody. Agreed.

I received the Lava, which is comprised of one rechargeable base that is shared between two shafts and a bullet. The attachments snap into the base with an easy twist.

The shafts are roughly the same size (about 5.5 inches insertable) and both feature a slight curve. The pink stick has a more tapered head a a little more texture, but otherwise they’re very similar. Both are made of medical grade silicone. The bullet looks like your standard silver bullet.

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It should also be noted that this toy comes with a carrying storage pouch, a user manual, and a bookmark. A BOOKMARK. I don’t know why it comes with a bookmark, but I love it. Maybe if you have to stop before you orgasm you’ll easily be able to pick up where you left off? I feel smarter already.

intimate melodies 3Since the motor is in the base, all three attachments are privy to the same seven modes of stimulation. The top bottom turns the toy on and allows you to cycle forward through the patterns. The middle button lets you back up. The bottom button activates the heating mode.

When I first turned Lava, on I was a little bit surprised at the noise. She’s not loud by most standards, but she’s certainly going to attract more attention than Lelo, Bodywand, or Sensuelle.

Lava is powerful. I enjoyed switching from smooth purple to saucy pink. It awaked memories of my first time with Rafael and Rashad! The bullet is especially intense, but in a buzzy, surface way. I wouldn’t invest in this toy for the bullet alone. Lava is for ladies who like mixing it up.

And for ladies who enjoy new innovation. The heating feature was fun, though not as intense as I’d hoped. The website claims it “quickly” heats up to body temperature, but after two minutes the warmth was still very subtle. The more heated my own body became, the less I noticed any additional heat from Lava.

The verdict? Lava is a cool toy that lives up to its cool concept. What it lacks in luxury, it makes up for in power and versatility. I’d have liked more differentiation between its stick attachments, a silicone covered bullet, and a little less noise, but it was fun and left me grinning.

Best Sex Toys For Valentine’s Day!

We should all be experiencing mind-blowing sex, or at the very least, a tender massage every day. Let’s face it, though, unless you’re an unemployed newlywed, that’s just not happening. For couples, Valentine’s Day is a happy excuse to slow down and come together. For singles, it’s the perfect opportunity to celebrate self-love.

In the weeks and days leading up to Valentine’s Day, Taboo sees a lot of new faces. We get asked for gift advice more than any other time of year. It’s fantastic, and my inclination to be overly enthusiastic and provide too many options.

Allow me, here, to narrow down my selections. I present to you my top picks in four categories: Romantic, Sensual, Naughty, and Just for You.

Romantic

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I talk about it every year, but I can’t express how much I love this rose. The Vibrating Rose by Evolved Novelties is a powerful, silicone bud atop a bendable shaft. It features multiple speeds, is waterproof, and can be used internally or externally. Best of all, it’s a ROSE. Instead of eventually wilting, it provides countless climaxes. AND it’s affordable! Get yours here!

Sensual

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Be Romanced Gift Sets from Dona include bubble bath, massage oil, body topping, linen spray, rose petals, and a tea light. So, everything you need, except for a vibrating rose and a bottle of champagne. Available in three scents, this kit is truly the total package for pampering someone you love, and the prelude for a long, sensual evening. Get yours here!

Naughty

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Put your message where it counts with a candy heart butt plug! Six color, size, and message combinations make expressing yourself a breeze! Whether you dare your date by giving one as a gift, or surprise him by wearing it, a candy heart butt plug guarantees a fun and adventurous Valentine’s Night! Get yours here!

Just For You

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For me, this category was the hardest because I own a crazy number of toys that I consider special and irreplaceable. I just might make us all breakfast in bed this Valentine’s Day. My ultimate choice for celebrating self-love is one of my longtime favorites, the Lelo Siri. A powerful, quiet, rechargeable clitoral stimulator with an unbeatable shape, I cannot think of a single woman who wouldn’t fall in love with this toy. Also, it comes in pink and red, so it’s festive. Get yours here!

If you’re single this year, don’t ignore or hate on the holiday, but instead show yourself some love! Pamper yourself all day. If you’re local, start with our Taboo Brunch. Follow it up with a massage and then take yourself to dinner, or order in. Finish your evening with a bubble bath and a toy… and maybe a box of chocolates!
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Lelo Gigi 2 – Toy Review by Alison Barber

I’ve always been attracted to the Lelo Gigi. While not the biggest or craziest in the Lelo family, she has a nice curve and a wide, flat head that makes me think if given the chance, she’d share a best friends necklace with my g-spot. Over the years, other Lelos have stepped ahead of and distracted me from her, but when my friends at the world’s leading high-end sex toy manufacturer asked what I might like to try, the Gigi 2 was the first toy to come to mind.

Gigi arrived with the Mona Wave, as well as lubricant, toy cleaner, a tote bag, a blank book, and a thank you note. So now not only might my toy and my spot share a BFF necklace, but I’m probably going to buy them for the whole staff.

Lelo Gigi 2 review Alison BarberThe Gigi 2 is, you guessed it, the new and improved version of the original Gigi. The size and shape are the same, but this model features an even softer silicone and a 100% power increase. Also, like all newer Lelos, it’s completely waterproof. Its packaging claims that its eight different vibration patterns will “lead you on a waltz into ecstasy” which I totally want to poke fun at, but knowing Lelo, it’s probably true.

Gigi is, of course, rechargeable, so toss those batteries aside. One full charge earns you two hours of pleasure. It comes with a storage pouch and lubricant sample as well as instruction manual and one year warranty card.

Lelo Gigi 2 Review - Alison Barber 2If you’re at all familiar with Lelo, you probably won’t need the instruction manual. Like most of their non-remote control vibes, its base features four buttons–a plus and minus to increase and decrease intensity and an up and down to cycle through its modes of vibration and pulsation. To you at home and to everyone who has ever come to me with a vibrating Lelo tester in you hand and a helpless shrug, you turn the toy off by holding down the minus button.

A thing that I like is that no matter which mode you’re in, if you turn the toy off and turn it back on, it restarts on level one, which is steady vibration–always my favorite. If you continue to hit the “up” button on level eight, it will stay on level eight, freeing you from the possibility of getting lost in an endless loop of patterns. If you want to rediscover your favorite, you only need to count no higher than eight, which most of us can do up until the very brink of orgasm.

Now that you have the cold (not really) hard (kind of) facts about the Gigi 2, I present to you my thoughts, in order, once the two of us began:

  • It’s quiet. I appreciate that.
  • Isn’t it funny that I’m basically conducting a science experiment and am totally not turned on right now?
  • This is definitely an awesome g-spot shape, but it’s a little small for me. This is good for women who aren’t all that into penetration, but I think the Mona is more my speed.
  • Holy shit, am I about to climax without clitoral stimulation?

Because, my friends, I was close to climaxing without clitoral stimulation, which is basically a thing that never happens. This demure little g-spot vibe that I was so close to dismissing as “nice but not for me,” snuck up and pulled some Njoy Pure Wand level shit. There really is something magical about that wide, flat head that caught my eye so long ago. While one of my favorites, the aforementioned Mona, is more bulbous, Gigi offers more surface for pressure and the result is undeniable. It frankly doesn’t matter that her shaft is petite. She will easily find your spot, intensely vibrate against it, and when you recover, you’ll go shopping for those best friends necklaces.

If you’re wondering, I did not climax without clitoral stimulation. I was close, but my Jimmy Jane Form 5 was closer. I still don’t doubt that with the help of my Bare Bondage Wrist Cuffs, I could have done it. If clitoral stimulation is your thing, you’ll be pleased to know that Gigi’s broad head also makes her perfect for that.

Gigi covers some of my favorite bases and, as I expected she would, has become a staple in my collection. Like Sirimy Pure Wand, and extra sharp cheddar, we were meant to be.

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The Taboo Holiday Gift Guide

Happy holidays! Are you pulling your hair out yet? We all want to give the perfect gift. No one wants a repeat of last year’s six pack of soap that’s still sitting in queue in her bathroom or the generic gift card that makes it look like you didn’t actually agonize over a great idea. Even worse are the go-to gimmicks, the singing fish or Santa Snuggie you purchased in bulk during a holiday meltdown so severe a pet rock would have felt innovative.

This time of year every industry is claiming their product is the best–a sure fire shortcut to a warm smile, a big hug, and a boat load of holiday cheer. I’ve got nothing negative to say about peddlers of jewelry, candles, toolboxes, or TVs, but I’m pretty sure sex has all those guys beat.

Personally, I think of Taboo as one stop holiday shopping. A gift card for your buddy, a toy for your GOOD buddy, bath salts for your mom, a Taboo Girls Calendar for your dad, and of course something intimate for the special person in your life. But, if you think your mom would prefer a blender, I trust you. You know her better than I do.

If you are considering shopping Taboo this holiday season, I’ve prepared a little guide to help you navigate through our endless product and ensure your gift is sweet, clever, sexy, and fun. Without further ado, I present the best of the best for this special season.

Glass Candy Canes

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I know, they’ve been around for a few years now, but seriously, these things have me tickled pink. They’re glass dildos, if you didn’t catch that, so they retain temperature, are ultra-hygienic, etc., etc., etc. But also they look like candy canes! Really pretty candy canes! If your tree is sturdy enough, you could store it hanging from a branch. You could also suck on it, which would be great for a laugh as well as super hot. These things have seriously found the sweet spot, hitting the mark for both novelty entertainment and sexual satisfaction.

Holiday Scented Massage Candles

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Dipping into the pleasantly warm wax of a slow burning soy candle and massaging it onto your partner’s back, belly, thighs, and boobs is a thing you should be doing every Saturday. Unfortunately, most of us require a holiday as a reminder to indulge and winter is the very best time. Earthly Body can perfect your experience with their trio of holiday scents. Single 6.8 oz candles are available, or try all three in a cute and convenient gift bag!

Crazy Girl Arousal Oils

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With names like Make Merry Nipple ArousalSanta’s Helper Clitoral Arousal, and Kandi His Kane Oral Sex Gel, these guys practically jump into stockings on their own. They’re sure to win a warm smile, and the aforementioned hug and holiday cheer. But also, they work. Crazy Girl’s mint arousal gel is one of my year-round favorites. With tingle and great taste, these oils honestly make it as good to give as it is to receive.

Coupon Books

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You know what’s basically as flexible as a Visa gift card but way more fun? A packet of IOUs for things like mid-day quickies, hot head, and getting tied to the bed with Christmas lights. I can’t think of a single stocking stuffer more desirable than an offer of on-call intimacy. Of course, the real value lies in the fun ways you’ll connect in the coming year. That is, if your partner can resist redeeming them all in one night.

Coochy Creme Midnight Snowflake

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For the first time, America’s favorite intimate shave cream has a seasonal scent. It’s called midnight snowflake, which brings to my mind the girl next door donning a little bedroom leather and instigating a highly satisfying and sensual degree of kink, all with zero razor burn. It’s got me as excited as a Gingerbread latte. Even if you don’t share my excessive enthusiasm, it’s a fun and functional gift for the conscientious lady on your list.

Holiday Lingerie

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Whether you go for full on Sexy Santa role play, you’re wrapping yourself in a bow, or you just want something fun and festive to heat up the holiday, Taboo’s got you (just barely) covered. Let her know she still turns you on with a pretty lace babydoll, spice things up with red crotchless panties, or put together a complete look with a corset, hosiery and shoes. We have the hottest holiday styles and the Taboo Girls are here to help you out!

We-Vibe 4+

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Since its inception, We-Vibe has been the number one couple’s vibrator. Its flexible U-shape simultaneously offers g-spot and clitoral stimulation. It’s designed to be worn during intercourse. Its latest version works with an app that allows your parter to control the vibration from anywhere in the world. You can create custom vibration patterns and manipulate the intensity with a touch of the screen. The We-Vibe 4+ not only represents the future of sex toys, it’s an orgasmic experience you can truly share.

Topping our list is the 2016 Taboo Girls Calendar. It’s a great way to support your local ladies (all Taboo employees!) and we believe this is our best calendar yet! Taboo gift cards are available in any amount and are perfect for lovers, friends, co-workers, and office parties alike. Happy Holidays! We can’t wait to see you soon!

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Exxxotica NJ Is The Best Place To Get Up Close & Personal With Adult Stars

I picked up Michelle at 9:30AM on Friday. I had forgotten toothpaste, she had forgotten pants, and both of us had forgotten that November in New Jersey is typically not tank top season. But between us we had seven granola bars, and we were feeling fine.

Most of all, we were excited to be driving. Since the hub of the adult industry is indisputably west coast, our business trips usually involve early morning flights, travel size Coochy Cream, and predatory cab drivers. We were also excited because Exxxotica isn’t truly a business trip. While we were honestly there for Taboo (and I have the corporate credit card charges to prove it) Exxxotica is less about what’s hot in the industry now and more about WHO’S hot. At AVN, seminars coach us on management and advances in retail technology. Exxxotica seminars (had we attended any) would have given us tips on “breaking into the biz” and what it’s like to BE Ron Jeremy.

We pulled into town after dark, making it feel like we’d been driving for much longer than we had. Still, we wasted no time learning the ABC laws of land and gaining directions to a liquor store and a list of restaurants. Our first stop was Somebody’s Discount Liquors, which, in addition to alcoholic beverages, thoughtfully sells candy and Cheerios. Our next stop was Exxxotica.

The venue was the New Jersey Convention and Exposition Center, a big box seemingly more suited for housing stolen tractor trailers than porn stars, but the topless young lady casually swinging at the entrance told us we were in the right place. We collected our press passes (thank you, Inked Angels) and after a quick interview with Demon Seed Radio, began exploring the floor.

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The place was banging. Fans swarmed, gawking the most at the girls wearing the least. Endless rows of booths slashed through the big box. A seminar (“50 Shades of Curious”) was tucked away to one side. On the main stage, some lucky spectator was about to win a hedonism vacation. The largest area was claimed by leading bondage gear manufacturer, Stockroom. From wheels to cages to a beat up couch, Stockroom’s space featured multiple opportunities for being bound, strapped, and photographed. Tablets with photo timers faced most stations and I heard one patron wonder where those photos ended up. On one rack, a suspended woman was being stimulated with a wand and one of the players appealed to the crowd either, “please, no photos” or “take more photos,” I’m not sure which.

It didn’t matter, because we had other places to be. Stockroom’s Kinky Kabaret featuring Joanna Angel and Skin Diamond was due to start in minutes, and I was sure that if we didn’t hurry to the stage we’d be stuck yards away, jumping up and down to catch glimpses of two of the most talented and popular ladies in porn.

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I needn’t have worried. The show was shockingly ill-attended. It took the smallest amount of muscling to earn my spot against the stage. For her part, Joanna pulled a fan from the crowd and dominated him using very same Joanna Angel Power Play Pack Stockroom recently sent me to review. Her act culminated in a topless Joanna riding the lucky dude around the stage like a pony. Michelle and I burst into applause. Very few other spectators showed such enthusiasm. We shot each other concerned glances.

“They realize that was Joanna Angel, right?” my eyes asked Michelle’s.

“I mean, they must?” her expression quizzed back.

Skin Diamond headlined wearing a latex kitty teddy and mask. Glass milk bottles, a cat dish, and small pool had been set up for her, and after she strutted the stage, she wiggled and removed her tail. Next year, I suggest Exxxotica add “How to make removing a butt plug sexy as hell hosted by Skin Diamond” to their seminar roster. I would totally attend. After slipping the plug back in, she stripped, doused herself in milk, and generally put on a Class A act. Skin is a sincere beauty and super-talented chick. And when she was done, the applause was weak.

My eyes told Michelle’s, “This is crazy.”

Michelle’s eyes told mine, “Yeah, it is.”

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On the way out, we saw Stoya wearing long sleeves and being largely ignored. We introduced ourselves, paid her sincere compliments, and asked somewhat timidly for a photo. “…if you’re doing that,” I believe is how my request trailed off. “Of course!” she smiled. We posed for a picture and walked away straight up dumbfounded.

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At the sports bar where we landed for dinner after being horrified by the first sports bar to which we were directed, we finally figured it out. Exxxotica in Edison, New Jersey is attended by people who don’t know porn. They travel from not too far away to go to a thing that is fun, and different, and at which they might see boobs. They recognize flesh above their favorite stars. Exxxotica is a porn playground, and they’ve come to play. Unlike at AVN, porn nerds are the minority.

Our dinner was interrupted by a couple of guys who liked our tattoos and really liked that we were in town for Exxxotica, which they, five miles from the convention center, hadn’t heard was taking place. We politely dismissed them but then one wandered back, suggesting that if I ever found myself in need of a male porn star I might give him a call.

Friday’s official after party was hosted by Skin. Entertainment was provided by New Jersey’s worst cover band. We floated between it and the hotel bar, where perfectly nice men who definitely did not produce porn bought us shots and claimed to produce porn. It doesn’t sound like a good time, but it was.

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On Saturday, we further explored Edison. Google produced a list of the city’s top attractions, which induced India Sajawat & Puja Hut and Cypress Brewery. One set of Mala beads, a growler, and a pint glass later, we found ourselves back at the Convention Center.

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Stars were not in short supply, but again, those wearing the least signed the most autographs. We lunched next to Katie Morgan, a super-sweet star I first met a decade ago, and bumped into the unequaled Nina Hartley. Mr. Marcus’s booth, which had sat empty the evening before, was now bustling. After introducing myself and putting my arm around him for a photo, I put my other arm around him. Then I pressed most of my body against him. Then, for my own good, Michelle put the camera down.

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We’d timed our day to catch Evan Stone‘s “Who Wants to do Porn?” stage show, which of course didn’t disappoint. In his early days, Evan was a long-haired heartthrob whose photo hung in my kitchen with a dedication forged by a friend. He’s since evolved into a captivating personality who devotes equal commitment to shaking his penis and serious porn acting. He’s a professional entertainer and he has my utmost respect, especially when he’s grinding on me.

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Once we’d had our fill of hugging on porn stars for fun, we headed back to our hotel to hug on porn stars for business. I’m proud to be the toy reviewer and a news contributor for InkedAngels.com. Saturday evening’s Inked Awards recognized the achievements of tattooed women in the adult industry. As one of the judges, last month I cast my votes, and on Saturday I slipped on my silver sequin shorts, and happily performed meet and greet duties.

Draven Star hosted the ceremony and was joined on stage by Trophy Girls Catherine Tayler and Cali Carter and up and coming Starlet Callie Nicole. Romi Rain and Lexington Steele earned performers of the year and Joanna Angel and Janine Lindemulder were inducted into the Inked Angels Hall of Fame. Joanna and her boyfriend and oft co-star Small Hands, along with Burning Angel Nikki Hearts, attended the show. At its conclusion, I made out with Joanna a little. You know, for work.

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Saturday night played out similarly to Friday. The after party was awful, but we had a blast. Stoya cooly sipped whisky in sweat pants and fur coat. I managed to press myself against Mr. Marcus one last time. And in the morning, we put on our sunglasses, bid adieu to Edison, NJ, and let Siri misdirect us to Starbucks.

“What you should write,” Michelle suggested when I mentioned I’d be documenting our trip, “is that if you love porn stars, and want to get close to porn stars, you should attend Exxxotica in New Jersey. Because no one else there understands what they’re seeing.” While it’s clear that Exxxotica rightly rocked the socks off of Edison, she’s right. And while it’s depressing to see stellar acts go unappreciated, damned if I didn’t have a great time sitting front and center, making the acquaintance of ladies like Skin Diamond, and begrudgingly being successful at my job.

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Also, boobs.

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