Review – The Butters Fuck You Pay Me perfume rollerball (no. 21)

A couple of weeks ago I finally caved and placed an order at The Butters, a small brand that’s been on my radar for a little while now. I snagged myself a jar of The Butters signature lube, which I’ve been dying to try out (turns out I love it, so watch out for that review), the honey & calendula oil scar care balm, a lip balm, and a rollerball of Fuck You Pay Me, which I picked up purely for the name and the fact that it costs seven dollars for ~10ml, which is mindblowingly inexpensive even for indie/home studio perfumers. Fun fact: this blog was nearly about perfume instead of sex toys, but as always, my pussy won out.

Fuck You Pay Me is so sweet it’s almost cloying. I’m thinking about eating a stack of dense, soft pancakes drenched in honey and butter, orange blossoms floating outside the window on an uncomfortably hot day at a gas station slash diner somewhere in Jesus country. There’s lily of the valley in there, but it’s not powdery, not talc-like or dusty, it’s fresh sprigs nestled into a bouquet of white roses and heavy, waxy jasmine. It’s a bowl of overripe fruit, sticky and pulpy, honey with the comb in, the orange blossom note almost creamy and kulfi-like thanks to the shea butter and vanilla. Not sexy like “you wanna fuck me? pity” but sexy like “you’re going to fuck me, but not until I’m done messing with you”.

Longevity’s exceptional, as you’d expect from an oil – I can roll this on at midday and wake up with it the next morning, and the sillage borders on excessive, nuking everything in its wake with a wave of syrupy citrusy vanilla that’s amplified by heat. This hasn’t made it into my regular rotation but it’s something I’ll be keeping for humid summer days – it’s too bright, linear and heavy otherwise, comically unsuitable for Britain’s perma-grey skies. A delicate English country garden cologne this ain’t, and caution should be exercised when applying it: too much and you’re liable to induce headaches everywhere you go.

The problem I’m having recommending this one is entirely my own fault – I think it’s lovely, but I also think that comparisons are important, and I can’t compare it to anything for reference purely because I don’t usually even consider scents like this. I like smoky black tea, slutty alcoholic vanillas, eau de fag end, and dry Catholic cardamom-incense-ginger. Medicinal herbals on especially scalding days. I’m decidedly not a flirty, friendly, straight up sensual florals person, but this nails the 1% of the time that I want to feel that way, all bare cocoa-buttered legs and no underwear and big smiles. The softer jasmine and orange blossom notes in the drydown sort of remind me a fraction of Serge Lutens Fleurs d’Oranger, but not really – this is less refined, miles sweeter and infinitely dirtier.

If you want to smell like an especially filthy summertime fantasy, you can purchase Fuck You Pay Me from The Butters for $7.

How not to be a sex blogger

alexcurve

If there were a retrospective award for Worst Sex Toy Reviewer 2016, I would win it hands down. Like, how do any of you even remember who I am? I barely remember who I am! I don’t post for months at a time, I fall asleep mid-review, I am haunted by the ghosts of vibrators I lost and never covered, and I can’t write intros to save my life. SO. I’m giving you all my top five tips on how not to be a sex toy reviewer, because I want you to learn from my mistakes and do better. I might be incapable, but I know that the hundreds of aspiring dildo critics out there aren’t, and you all have the potential to create great, sticky things.

1. DON’T BE CONSISTENT (I’M BUSY)

I am BAD at this whole being timely thing. I’ve barely posted at all for a good year and a half, mainly because I was sick as a dog, but also because I was busy! Really busy! Really busy doing really important things, like working 65 hour weeks in order to, y’know, live, but also things like seeing how much coke it takes to fell a 55 year old city property developer and spending three days doing nothing but watching conspiracy documentaries and ignoring the growing pile of brand new sex toys that desperately needed reviewing three+ weeks ago.

It takes me approximately one and a bit space nazi documentaries to bang out a mediocre review, and sometimes – 85% of the time – slightly sub-par content is better than no content. Doesn’t matter how clever, funny, charming or modest I am if I’m not actually producing anything to showcase that or fulfilling my half of the contract. Most companies’ll understand that you have a life outside of dildo blogging, and it’s absolutely fine to have a hobby and treat it as such, but it’s not fair to take on things you know you can’t handle or string some poor marketing intern along on a never-ending trail of “oh I’ve just been busy, it’ll be up by next week”. Not being consistent has also made me nigh-on unsponsorable, which leads me to my next point –

2. CONTACTS? WHAT CONTACTS?

I respond to maybe 1 email in 10 and make only minimal effort to retain relationships with companies I’ve already worked with, let alone reaching out and attempting to forge bonds with new ones. I’m shit at twitter. I am not particularly friendly or open, and this is fine for me until I need something, like, for example, a small amount of some delicious hard cash to get myself to Woodhull in order to hobnob with a few of the finest faces in sex toy blogging and go to IHOP. This has quickly become next to impossible because a) where’s your written work? and b) er, who are you? Oh, right, you’re the one we emailed four times about a sponsored post three months ago and you studiously ignored all our emails. We’ll pass. Moral of the story: don’t be me.

3. LIVE LIKE A FILTH-WIZARD

If you’re a burgeoning dildo blogger, I beseech thee – please get yourself a nice new notebook or a wall calendar and one of those nifty multi-drawer setups from Ikea, or a couple of stackable crates, or one of those over-the-door shoe racks, because all the toys you’re going to accumulate are quickly going to spiral out of control and you won’t be able to keep track. I used to have a couple of vintage suitcases to keep them in, all pretty and organised, and then I moved and now I have 6 feet of sex toy soup living under my bed. Where’s my Doxy Don? My Lelo Siri? My Vixskin Raquel? Fuck knows mate, best to just rummage through with your eyes shut and go by touch.

4. WAIT, WHO ARE YOU?

I don’t have a niche, unless taking pictures of vibrators against 70s deadstock and being snotty is a niche in itself. This is something I’m comfortable with – I’m not particularly eager to bring in elements of my irl interests due to privacy concerns, but being memorable in one way or another is usually only ever a good thing in such a rapidly expanding blogosphere. Having said that, don’t try too hard to think something up immediately because it’ll usually come to you fairly naturally as you continue to blog and find out what makes you tick in more detailed terms.

5. BE AN ENTITLED LITTLE SHIT

Right, so – I’m frosty, I’m lazy, I’ve a poor work ethic, I’m forgettable, my ego’s the size of a hot air balloon and I don’t care to bond with my community, but am I entitled? Nah. Nope. Nobody owes me sex toys just because I make it my business to write about them, and they probably don’t owe you sex toys either, unless you already paid for them or signed a contract.

I will tell you a story: once upon a time, I ran a little online shop where I sold vintage and collectables, and stuff I produced myself, zines and stickers and prints. And it was good, and I was happy – I still needed my day job, but it just about paid for my nails and lashes and weed. And every so often I’d wake up and I’d check my emails and I’d have piles of messages from sub-par lifestyle bloggers who’d demand that I send them something from my shop so they could “showcase” it on their blog or insta or whatever in return for “brand exposure”. I don’t run that shop anymore – not because I got bored of fending off aspiring influencers, because I moved and my circumstances changed, but christ on rollerskates did sifting through those messages get draining quickly. Maria of Fucking Sculptures also wrote a little bit about how this feels for a shop owner and how to request product in regards to sex toy reviewing, and it’s a good and useful read.

Obviously reaching out to an industry heavyweight like We-Vibe or Lelo is significantly different to targeting small-time etsy store owners and/or artists with day jobs, but my point is – don’t be fucking rude. Be polite. Be professional. Don’t get stroppy if they don’t want to send you product for whatever reason. Don’t use the squirty emoji, or the aubergine, or the abysmal tongue out winky face. And please don’t copy & paste a generic product request email and forget to customise it – although a remarkable amount of companies still seem to struggle with this one, so I wouldn’t worry too much.

Review – Eroscillator 2 Top Deluxe

eroscillator3

The eroscillator isn’t just ugly; it looks downright suspect. It looks something you’d find advertised in the very back of a gentleman’s mag from 1973, or a baffling electric face massager seen on QVC at 3am. It’s aged badly, coming onto the market in 1996 and not changing all that much since then, and the heinous satin-finish purple they slapped onto it at some point in the last two or three years (it was previously copper) takes me back to 2004 in all the wrong ways. It reminds me of so many eras and so many things, none of them good.

And yet. AND YET. Since buying the eroscillator I’ve had next to no need for any of my other, infinitely prettier vibrators. Even my hitachi’s getting lonely. It might be ugly as sin, but the eroscillator has one job and one job only, and that’s getting me off. And it does it bloody well.

The eroscillator’s main selling point is the fact that it doesn’t merely vibrate – this hideous bastard oscillates, and it does so silently. It also backed by Dr Ruth, who I had to google, and it comes with a bunch of different attachments, nearly all of which are entirely irrelevant – the delightfully plush marshmallow/soft tip is the only one that truly matters, but I’ll allow the gentle golden spoon when I fancy a change. I ask you: who brainstormed the idea of an attachment that comes with sharp, bristly hair protruding from either side and deemed it saleable? I swear to god.

For something that plugs in to a wall and measures almost the length of my forearm, the eroscillator is surprisingly manageable; it’s not particularly heavy even with an attachment, and the push-up 1-2-3 speed slider is so much more practical than fiddling with stupid tiny buttons. The neck between the body and the attachments also means that juggling an internal toy with it isn’t the rage-inducing palaver it usually is – the neck gives you more breathing room, so to speak.

Truthfully, the eroscillator doesn’t feel that much different to traditional vibrators. I realise this is a confusing post to slog through with many tangents and changes in direction, but listen: I remember having read so much about how life-changing and unique the vibrations – sorry, oscillations – felt that when mine turned up I initially wondered if it was faulty and rotated through every single attachment to see how they all felt individually. It’s best described as a purr, not buzzy, not shallow, and with the marshmallow tip on it feels almost massage-like, but the vibrations themselves aren’t what I expected – they do feel different, but not by much.

What IS different, though, is the fact that the orgasms I have with the eroscillator are just so, so much better. Like, eyes in the back of my head, goosebumps, bloody half moons in the palm of my hand, speaking in tongues, back risen off the bed, bright pink flush every. Single. Time. I’m frightened to use it with someone else because I think I might boot them in the face. Plus I don’t go numb nearly as easily, which is nice because less recovery time = more orgasms.

Is it worth it? Uuuunnnnhhhh. Yes. It pains me to say it because it’s SO EXPENSIVE, and if it were rechargeable I’d say no because rechargeables will inevitably die some day and sooner if you leave them uncharged for too long, but plug-ins maintain an illusion of invincibility. Speaking of plug ins: if you’re in the uk you’ll have to buy an adaptor as it comes with either a us or eu plug as default, which is frankly pathetic on eroscillator’s part. You’ll sell your product to uk vendors but won’t manufacture one with a uk plug? C’mon.

The eroscillator’s really, really ugly. It also has a website that reminds me of a women’s health clinic, and I hate that it doesn’t come with a uk plug as standard, and the price makes me sick in my mouth a little bit. But it consistently delivers on the orgasm front in a way that no other vibrator I own does. I don’t give a rat’s arsehole that it’s as antiquated looking as it is – I can’t see shit with my eyes rolled all the way back, anyway.

I bought the eroscillator myself from Lovehoney.

Where to buy – Lovehoney (UK/intl) / Shevibe (US/intl)

Mini reviews – Tantus Gary O2 & Nobessence Romp

gary/TANTUS GARY O2
dimensions – 7 inches long x 4.70 inches in circumference

Despite having had this thing in my possession for what, a year? I still don’t have much to say about the Gary; not because it’s bad or mediocre or anything, not at all! It’s a good dildo, and it gets the job done, and that’s that. It’s hyper-realistic, with impressively defined folds and even a delicate little urethra etched into the soft, dual density silicone, and the base is wide enough that I feel happy recommending it for anal.

The Gary’s not a dildo I use on myself all that often. It’s longer than I usually go for, and not particularly g-spotty: when I fuck myself, the goal’s (usually) to get off as quickly as possible, and realistic dildos like this one just aren’t what I typically reach for. For strapping on, though, it’s near perfect – it doesn’t droop, the extra length makes it better for positions like reverse cowgirl or spooning, and the blunted tip and texture just feel better, somehow – building up and up and up, a sensation I don’t get when I do it myself.

While it’s not reallllly fair to compare them, I like the Gary almost as much as I like my beloved Pack & Play 02. I say ‘almost’ because the additional length, blunted tip and texture make it harder to handle and a more involved, rougher self fuck – it’s not as blissfully mallow-like and easy as the Pack n Play. But y’know – despite being sleepy and slothlike and a creature of habit, I don’t always want easy.

Where to buy – Tantus | Shevibe (best for intl. folks)

noromp/NOBESSENCE ROMP
dimensions – 3 and a half inches long (insertable) x 4.70 inches around at the widest point

I bought the Nobessence Romp with my own cash after realising that no retailer on earth was going to send me, a lowly hobbyist with minimal SEO reach and a backlog longer than my arm, something this expensive and this…rarified? to review. This is what people mean when they talk about certain sex toys being ‘investment pieces’ or whatever; it’s a well designed, beautifully crafted piece that’s gonna last you foooorreeeverrrrrr (unless your pet finds it and chews it up, I suppose).

The Nobessence Romp’s shape is sleek and smooth and curved and comfortable. It’s not something I need to work at inserting or something that needs significant warm up (I hate warming up for toys, fyi, it’s suuuuch a waste of time) – a thicker lube and clever fingers and it’s there, pressing against my insides. This, in my opinion, is exactly what a good buttplug should feel like; not invasive, but conforming and fitting perfectly to my body. When I walk or stretch or bend over with it in, everything’s enhanced. Heightened. It is EXCELLENT. It even works as a vag plug too, but not quite as well as my Papillon – I think it’s because it’s less bulbous, so the pressure against my g-spot’s reduced.

While I’d like it even more if it were a bit thicker, the Romp’s now something I regularly reach for. It’s a fucking good toy and I’m kind of amazed that I went so long – me, a buttplug advocate – without one. Sometimes with expensive toys I feel a twinge of regret (all the shit I could’ve bought with that, gnawing guilt in the back of my head) but with this one? Nah. Not a chance in hell.

Where to buy – Shevibe | Good Vibes | Nobessence

Y2K made me gay

Sometimes you fall deep into a nostalgia-fuelled youtube hole and you’re watching Sugababes – Hole In The Head at 3am which you had totally forgotten about for literally like eight years and you’re all ‘wow god I thought Keisha was so hot when I was like, twelve’ and you get an idea for a blog post and you finish the whole thing in like two hours and you can’t think of a real intro so, dear reader, you get this atrocity fired into your inbox AT SPEED. Enjoy! Formative music videos! Yay!

screen-shot-2016-11-06-at-01-39-38

/GARBAGE – BLEED LIKE ME
This is first on the list because I’ve kissed SO MANY GIRLS to this song. So many! I was thirteen when this came out and fully embroiled in hormonal hell and it made me want to kiss Shirley Manson a lot, but this was obviously unobtainable and I settled for kissing a girl in my ballet class instead. While thinking about Shirley Manson. Nothing’s changed, really.

screen-shot-2016-11-06-at-01-30-36/JEM – THEY
Commonly known as the ‘space stripping video’, this is sort of like a mildly sensual Alien if Alien didn’t have any aliens in it and there weren’t any other crew members and Ripley awoke from cryosleep with one thing on her mind: nude interpretive dance. In anti-gravity. Jem also looks quite a lot like Ellen Page, which is nice.

screen-shot-2016-11-06-at-01-01-58/PLACEBO – PURE MORNING
Remember Placebo? Remember Brian Molko circa 1999, arguably the pinnacle of androgynous human perfection? Despite being born a couple years too late to fully immerse myself in embarrassing Placebo fandom, this video perfectly facilitated my journey to becoming a snarling, sexually frustrated, half-starved baby queer and I apologise to everyone who had to deal with me during that time. Fuck you, Molko.

princess/PRINCESS SUPERSTAR – PERFECT

ONE TWO THREE FOUR LEMME HEAR YOU SCREAM IF YOU WANT SOME MORE
This absolute masterpiece of a music video spawned my desire to wear false eyelashes under even the most strenuous of circumstances, which may or may not include doing rhythm gymnastics in front of someone who looks like a Ken doll in all his aggressively desexualised plastic glory. The doll-faced cutie in the bikini comes comes first in the trophy ceremony at the end, but they’re all partly responsible for turning me into the lascivious lady lover I am today. You’re all no. 1 in my heart, girls.

amychair/AMY STUDT – UNDER THE THUMB

Previously known for the acutely cringy Misfit, Amy Studt came back with the forgettable Under The Thumb and promptly ignited a morally inexcusable stockholm syndrome kink I didn’t realise I had until later. Amy’s wretched boyfriend’s tied up (flimsily) to a chair in a cute little cottage where she lovingly feeds him breakfast, washes his hair for him and occasionally engages in this weird half-kiss half-headbutt thing where the boyfriend looks like he’s about to give himself whiplash. She lets him go in the end. Beats me.

callonme/ERIC PRYDZ – CALL ON ME
It took every inch of willpower in my body to not include this abomination in this list and I failed because honestly, how can you not? This video epitomises nearly every dated beauty standard of the early 00’s – pneumatic tits, garage door eyeshadow and a fake tan the exact colour of a digestive biscuit, and it single-handedly propelled acres of porno panic from The News Of The World et al. I’ve never actually found this remotely sexy, but I’m including it because I have a real thing for ultra high cut 80s leotards and I’m sure it’s at least a little bit to blame. Mmm, sweaty swamp crotch.

1 2 3 4 5 15