First I was going to do a Christmas gift guide. And then I was going to do a best of list. And then I was going to combine them, and then I said ‘fuck it, no’, and I got a few emails last month (and the month before and before that, all year really), people asking about decent toys that aren’t the price of the ones I usually review. And that made me feel kind of sad, honestly – I haven’t reviewed much that’s been on the cheaper side this year and that’s not what I’m about, so think of this as an apology all packaged up in festive wrapping paper. A sexy, shiny apology.
Anyway. That’s how this post was born. 10 gifts from £2.90 to £28.99, sexy things that do actually work while still being (relatively) affordable and hopefully able to fit a variety of bodies and preferences. Merry xxxmas!
1/ Lovehoney Silencer bullet –£24.99 at Lovehoney / currently £20 until midnight Saturday the 13th
I’m gonna use the phrase everyone hates – ‘ideal for beginners’. Sorry. This one ticks allll the boxes though – affordable and frequently on offer, it has a travel lock (!!!), it’s usb rechargeable, it’s not going to fall apart in your hands, and the vibrations are pretty decent to boot…
While it’s definitely not my favourite bullet, I’m super happy the Lovehoney Silencer exists; the vibrations are on the soft and rumbly side as opposed to the high pitched, buzzy vibrations their older rechargeables produced, and I’d call it a budget-friendly alternative to the Lelo Mia. Not for people who need seriously powerful vibrations to get off, but fantastic if you’re in the market for a high quality, inexpensive bullet.
2/ Lovehoney curved silicone dildo with suction cup – £19.99 at Lovehoney
Lovehoney have recently stepped their game up regarding their own-brand line of toys, and this dildo is by far my favourite thing to come out of it – I’m so happy guys!! I would’ve looooved to have something like this around as a broke baby queer; it’s made from butter smooth silicone with just a little bit of flex, a perky curve, a suction cup base, and a bullet compartment, and for £7 more you can upgrade and get the version that comes with a harness if that’s your thing. Oh, and the Tango fits snugly in the bullet hole. There is literally nothing wrong with this dildo, I swear.
3/ Lelo Ella – £25 at Simply Pleasure
I had a crush on a girl called Ella once. She had a cloud of curly hair, a loud witchy cackle and I kind of hated myself for being as smitten as I was with her long, skinny fingers and killer eyebrows that looked like they’d been drawn on with an architect’s scale. Unlike the real-life version though, the Lelo Ella has never caused me any emotional distress – just sweet, sweet g-spot lovin’.
Bonus points for fancy packaging, too – while I’m very much enamoured with the other gifts on this list, the Ella actually looks like it was made for giving with its sleek black box and storage bag. Shoutout to Lelo’s packaging designer for making things look more expensive than they actually are!
4/ Fun Factory Jam – £17.95 at Simply Pleasure
Very much aimed at first-timers, this squishy, textured little vibrator is everything I wanted the iroha mini to be – something slightly different to your standard plastic bullet while still being body-safe, travel friendly and under twenty quid.
Coming in a neon coral or navy blue and measuring 5 inches long, the Fun Factory Jam’s a chunky little bullet with the potential to be used as a small insertable vibe – textuuuuure! – and while the vibrations are a standard one speed aa-battery growl, the plush silicone sets it apart from other vibes in the same price range. I definitely underestimated this lil cutie.
5/ Tantus Slow Drive – £28.95 at sextoysuk
The Slow Drive legit makes me happy to look at. It’s so cute! Look at it! Sadly the colour pictured above isn’t available anymore, but you can get yourself five inches of happy dildo goodness in glossy black instead. Just think of it as a very chirpy goth.
The Slow Drive is slightly different from standard dildos in that it has a teardrop-shaped base that makes keeping it the right way up much, much easier, and it works exceptionally well for harness stuff – slow, shallow strokes. It’s a good little all-rounder is the Slow Drive, especially if you like your toys on the petite size.
6/ Heart of glass/Crystal heart/Sailor Moon glass dildo – £28.99 at Lovehoney
I have a special fondness for this dildo; it was my second ever glass one, my first ever review and it’s the most adorable sex toy I own. Ideal for someone who likes sickly-sweet cute shit, glitter, magical girls and pastel bondage gear, it’s on the slim side with some subtle texture, good for both butt and vag stuff, comes with a funny little storage stand and won’t break the bank. Get an iroha sakura and blush loveheart plug to complete the Holy Trinity of twisted cute!
7/ Custom cuffs from oldgrumbler – £11 – ?
It might be a little late to order these if you want them in time for Christmas, but still worth keeping in mind if you’ve got a fusspot to buy for. Oldgrumbler makes and sells a variety of beautiful leather goods – collars, cuffs, and impact play tools – in his etsy shop, and after ordering a custom pair of cuffs from him in summer I’m already planning out my next order.
The wrist cuffs pictured above came to a grand total of £21 (including shipping from Latvia to the UK) and they’re absolutely fucking perfect. The only thing I would say is I think they’re unlined by default, so ask him about lining options if you think that’ll be too harsh on your skin, and if you’re sensitive to smoke smells I’d give them a miss. These two points are positives for me, but I’m aware not everyone else is as keen.
8/ A river of lube from Luckybloke – £2.90 (one sample and shipping) – ?
I know lube doesn’t seem like the most touching Christmas gift in the world, but hear me out on this one – first of all, I think a hand-selected bumper pack of lube is pretty romantic, like, hey babe, I know you’re sensitive to glycerin so I got us all of these to try out? And if you like trying new kinds of lube and/or condoms but can’t afford to spend £££ on new bottles that you might not even like, you need to go to Lucky bloke and load up on samples. They stock tons of stuff you can’t get over here in the UK, plus they ship for free overseas if you spend over $24 (it’s $2.99 if not).
They’ve kind of changed my life. All I have to do now is hope and pray that they start selling those lubes in the bear bottles.
9/ Christmas pudding nipple pasties – £5.99 at Lovehoney
I’m not going to try and convince you to buy these because I really don’t understand why anyone wouldn’t want campy, sequinned, sparkly Christmas pudding-themed nips this festive season. Are you familiar with the concept of fun? Have you had your humour chip installed yet?
10/ Crashpad Series Membership – $22, $32 0r $37 per 30 days
It should come as no surprise that I’m recommending Crash Pad – I end all my reviews of their glorious porn with a plea for anyone reading to go and buy themselves a membership, and for good reason – they make excellent porn, plus they’re really patient with how slow I am with my reviews. Sorry guys. They’re constantly redefining boundaries (very evident in their new film Put the Needle on the Record – go watch it) and in general just being really cool and exciting and all kinds of hot at the same time. What more could you ask for?
I also feel kind of mean for not including them in the cover image – I didn’t have anything physical to include! I am filled with regret for not pasting in a tiny Shine Louise Houston at the bottom of the picture.
And finally, in the hopes of preventing you guys from surviving on brown rice/cup-a-soups until the end of January thanks to this wonderful consumerist holiday and all the subsequent blasted gift guides like this one, here’s a couple of offers from Lovehoney to help sweeten the deal.