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Finding and trying new sexual wellness products is now easier (and more casual) than ever before. Gone are the days of awkwardly roaming the seemingly endless drug store condom aisle, or standing doe-eyed in the red light room at Ricky’s (RIP). Whether you feel a bit sheepish about shopping for certain items in person, or simply just don’t know where the f*ck to begin when you find yourself in an adult toy store, the recent boom of DTC sex products makes it incredibly easy, comfortable, and fun to play around and figure out what works for you.
Our names are Tatiana and Jordan, editors here at The Quality Edit and experts in TMI. We also happen to be college friends, so we’ve been yapping about our vaginas to one another for the better part of our twenties. It was about time we got it in writing for all of you. Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve tried products from a variety of different brands – from long-time Instagram faves like Maude, Unbound Babes, Dame, Moon Juice, and Love Wellness, to promising newbies like Champ. Originally, we imagined writing one long piece that touched on all of the DTC companies changing the way we approach sex, body image, and self-lovin’. One 3-hour phone call about just vibrators later, we realized we had a lot to say. So, we’ll be gabbing about a different sex wellness category each month. First thing’s first: toys.
JW: You and I have both talked a lot about vibrators, and how we’re both kind of new to them. I think it’s funny that we’ve both been masturbating forever, but I feel like we’re both really behind on the trend of actually enjoying it?
TE: Exactly, I remember you once talking about how masturbation was strictly utilitarian for you.ﾠ
JW: It started as something I did when I was stressed or tired, you know? And I think out of habit I just never really strayed from that. It was just part of my bedtime routine.
TE: I totally agree. Until probably just this year honestly, I would feel like a teenage boy every time I masturbated, like it was literally to “rub one out.” And I would get it done in truly five seconds, just with my hand.
JW: What changed for you? Or when was the first time you got a vibrator?
Fin by Dame, $85
TE: Pretty late honestly, because I just had it down pact with the hand. I just knew exactly how to get myself off. The first vibrator I ever got was Dame’s Fin vibrator. I had been seeing Dame here and there and was so obsessed with how discrete it looked; I was new to the whole thing and didn’t feel totally ready to just stick a dildo up there. I got it right after college when I started being long distance with my boyfriend at the time, and it just felt like a thing I was supposed to do. I didn’t even masturbate any more than I did when I was single, I just had this idea that without my boyfriend I needed something else to help me out.
JW: I totally feel that. I only bought my first one because it felt like, well, I’m this age, I guess this is something I should have by now.
TE: Yes! And honestly, I was kind of disappointed! It literally never worked for me, which was so surprising because I have so many friends who RAVE about Dame and vibrators in general. I was just like, WHAT is this, I use it for five seconds and then I immediately feel like my entire clit is numb.
JW: Okay YES same, direct-to-clit stimulation is way too intense for me!
JW: My first vibrator was the Ollie from Unbound Babes, and even on the lowest speed I could only use it for like, one second at a time.
TE: Okay glad I’m not alone in that. Anyway, I bought that vibrator and never used it and just stuck to the tried and true hand.
JW: The tried and true hand. Write that on my gravestone… There are so many variables that make your clit more or less sensitive, you know what I mean? It's such a sensitive area. If you're tense at all then any sort of contact would totally feel painful, especially if you just rush into it. You can't just decide to masturbate then immediately put a thing straight on your clit and expect it to feel good. Which is exactly what I do, and I didn’t fully realize it until we started this project. I’ve been treating masturbation like melatonin, like, ok let me just do this real quick so I can pass out. Totally not thoughtful or relaxed. Now I’m trying to remind myself that I need to like, foreplay myself, you know?
TE: That’s such a good point, and something I’m feeling very new to as well.
Our Favorite for Foreplay
Drop by Maude, $45
TE: One of the toys that actually got me thinking that way was the Maude Drop vibrator. It’s presented as an “all-body massager,” and even just seeing that description made me be like, oh right, this doesn’t have to go directly on my vagina immediately. There are other parts of my body that feel good. It felt really nice and new to try it on other sensitive areas like nipples, inner elbows, or even just up and down my legs. And it totally wouldn’t have occurred to me at first to do that.
JW: Woah, love that honestly…
TE: I know, it’s very exciting. Probably a fun one to try with a partner? But wait, before we stray too far from Dame, I have to talk about Aer.
JW: Here we go…
Aer by Dame, $95
TE: I had a pandemic break up, as you know, and at some point I was like, okay something’s gotta give. I simply cannot survive another day without a good orgasm. And again, as you know—getting head is like my creme de la creme. So I got some ad for the Aer, and it’s tagline was basically like “REPLICATES THE FEELING OF ORAL.” So I obviously immediately add to cart, and Jordan….I’m not exaggerating when I say the little lavender beauty changed my life.
JW: Yep, that thing is a godsend. It’s actually the first clit-centered toy I’ve wanted to use on a regular basis.
JW: But honestly, the way you feel about the Aer is the way I feel about Pogo! The kind of product where you almost can’t believe you didn’t find it sooner. And in this case, it’s a dildo, so I’m extra surprised I didn’t try one sooner.
TE: Yep, the fact that we both only just discovered the beauty of a dildo is beyond me. Still laughing at that shower pic. Though in your defense, you had tried one before with Rose [fake name, we don’t kiss and tell], but never for cute solo time.
JW: True, yes. But honestly, doing it alone is what really changed the game for me. Back to the theme of learning to take the same time with myself that I would with others. And I love this one because you can suction it anywhere so it can really replicate different sex positions. I wish you had it when you were in your pandemic dry spell honestly.
TE: Okay, dry spell feels harsh but yes, same…
JW: Sorry, sorry. Not a dry spell. You were being a good citizen! Staying home! Social distancing!
TE: Yes, thank you.
For Our Penis-Having Friends
TE: Okay, speaking of dicks… even though neither of us were able to test this ourselves, I think it’s so important to talk about... The pussy pocket we got from Cake!
JW: THE PUSSY POCKET.
TE: Cake came up with a much better (and more inclusive) name for it, the So-low Stroker. They’re so good at product naming. I am so into this thing! Like look at this, it has one side that perfectly resembles an asshole and another side that perfectly resembles a vagina. Genius.
JW: So genius. As someone who has been in a long-term open relationship with a man, I’ve realized that much of the novelty or experimentation in our sex lives comes from the experiences we have with new [or additional ;)] people. We’ve been together for so long that we forget that we can also try new sh*t. I also feel like penis-centric toys are under utilized in more hetero contexts. That’s what I really appreciated about Cake, it’s so straightforward about encouraging the playful aspects of sex.
TE: I so agree. Their packaging and branding is so fun and bright and colorful, they really are emulating this idea that sex is supposed to be fun and experimental and about trying new things.
JW: Right, whereas a brand like Maude is a lot more about the subtle sexiness in everyday things. Chic and kind of French. Both great in their own rights, but really distinct—I think that’s what I’ve noticed most throughout this process, is the wide array of sex brands out there that really offer different things, not just in product but in vibe and approach to sex, too.
TE: Totally. A little something for everyone…
Alright folks, that’s it for this month. We’ll see you in July for a little something we consider to be the biggest unsung hero of sex and masturbation: lube. Snag your favorite toy beforehand, and we’ll see you there.