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January 2011

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Jan 28 2011

The winners of our Tantus Toy Giveaway

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by thepleasurechest

We’ve finally picked our winners in this week’s Tantus giveaway. With over 50 entries, the lucky, randomly-selected winner was Chad from New York. Chad appears to be a fan of our Turn On or Buzz Off feature as his reference-laden paen to the Tantus Echo demonstrates:

Defo the Echo! Last year we’ve saw a variety of monster sex toys. Zombie dildo (bleck) “Uh..your condom fell off. Wait..What do you mean you weren’t wearing a condom?” *shudders* Sparkly vamp dildo (rolls eyes), The Ghatan (I prefer to eat my calamari, not sit on it) & a mean, green, vibrating monster that munches your meat (say that 10 times fast). Only fitting that we’d kick off 2011 w the cock of an angel (Pharzuph, you’ve really done it now), cause I’m guessing it feels like heaven! ;)

Well, Chad, you’ll have to let us know just how heavenly it is. Congratulations and thanks for being a loyal reader of this here blog!

Chad wasn’t the only fan of the Echo. The vast majority of our readers– 25 of you– also asked for the Echo. The Charmer was a distant second.

Our favorite entry came in the form of a poem, courtesy of Michael from Bellflower, CA. Here’s his ode to the Tantus Buzz:

I’m interested in the Buzz
I’m interested becuzz
I’m new at this thing anal
And I’m not being banal.
I need some stretching in case
I get lucky.
The Pleasure Chest offer
Seems perfectly ducky.
If I have unearned luck
I will think of you whenever I —-
Your name will ring out with orgiastic pleasure
With clenching releasing in waves without measure.
So send me your Buzz as soon as you can.
I’m getting so tired of using my hand.

Speaking of “hands,” let’s give Michael a big hand for this creative entry. We’ll be sending him  a $20 Pleasure Chest gift card to reward his literary efforts. Thanks to all who participated, and please keep an eye on this blog for more cool contests.

Jan 28 2011

L’Intimate. Turn On or Buzz Off?

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by thepleasurechest

Voter turnout was very low in last week’s poll on the Obama Condom. With 100% of precincts reporting, we can now confirm that the Obama Condom will not be taking an oath of orifice.

Even though our fragile democracy has vetoed the Presidential prophylactic, we note that the British monarchy has its own version. Check out “Crown Jewels” brand condoms created to honor the upcoming nuptials of Prince Williams. Our suggested slogan: “For when you want to get royally fucked!”

This week’s contestant on Turn On or Buzz Off is classier than our usual fare. It’s a product designed for those discrete souls who want to keep their sex toys hidden from prying eyes. Say bonjour to L’Intimate, (a play on the words “lint” and “intimate”), a functional lint roller, with a secret compartment in the handle for storing a vibrator. It’s basically a stashcan for your vibe!

Or, in the words of its manufacturer, Miss Chivus:

L’Intimate is a dual-functioning product that elevates the level of class and discretion for women looking to maintain pleasure in their personal lives. Our goal is to provide a functional compromise between natural sexuality and sophistication.

There’s even a helpful diagram showing you how to open the secret compartment and remove your vibrator (which is included). Miss Chivus promises that L’Intimate is “the first in a soon to be revolutionary line of ‘disguised’ adult products.” There’s definitely a demand for covert sex toys. There are already sex toys disguised as lipstick, a sponge, a USB thumb drive and even a bicycle grip.

For those with nosy houseguests (the kind who open drawers and look under beds), L’Intimate might be a dream come true. As a fringe benefit, you might get a special thrill when an unsuspecting visitor runs the roller along their coat or evening gown. Or, on the other hand, will you have neurotic visions of the guest unlocking the secret compartment and discovering your naughty secret?

We have irrational fears of our own. Around our house, the lint roller is the primary weapon in the war against cat hair– the natural enemy of sticky sex toys. Do we really want our vibrator riding shotgun inside a lint magnet?

Let us know what you think. L’Intimate. Turn On or Buzz Off?

Jan 27 2011

Scenes from a workshop

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by thepleasurechest

Our Sex Specialist Jenae

We had a friendly crowd for the Strap On, Get Off workshop last night in Chicago. The seats were filled with folks yearning to learn the ins and outs of dildo harnesses, strap-on sex and more. Here are a few photos of last night’s lesson.

The La Palma Glove

Visual aids

Wanna come?

Check out the schedule for our upcoming workshops here. They’re always free, and lots of fun.

Jan 27 2011

Meet Carlos!

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by thepleasurechest

Carlos the greeter

If you’re in New York, be sure to stop by our store today, and meet our new temporary seasonal worker. His name is Carlos. His turn-ons are watersports and corn cob pipes. His turn-offs include snowballing and hot wax.

Carlos melts our heart

Carlos is our new store greeter. Mention “Carlos the Snowman” at the register in our NY store, and get 10% off your purchase, today only. (And yes, he’s getting a nose job with his first paycheck.)

Jan 24 2011

Have a Tantus on Us!

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by thepleasurechest

As many sex toy connoisseurs know, Tantus makes some of the best dildos in the world. Each toy is handmade in the USA from body-safe, 100% ultra-premium platinum silicone. They can be boiled, bleached, even thrown in your dishwasher. Best of all, Tantus products come in all different shapes, sizes and colors.

This week, we’re giving away a Tantus dildo to one lucky reader of this blog. And, to make things more interesting, we’re going to let you choose which one you want. Here are the 6 toys to choose from.

Buzz

Charmer

Echo

Pro Touch

Ripple

Silk

Simply post a comment on our blog (right here!) telling us which Tantus toy tickles your fancy. Then tell us why. If there is a particular color or size you like best, testify! On Friday, January 28th at Noon PST, we’ll pick one entry at random.You don’t need to use your real name, but please include a valid email address so that we can contact you.

We’ll also award a $20 Pleasure Chest gift card to the best, funniest, or most original answer. So, be creative!

Finally, if you follow us on Twitter (LA, NY, Chicago), retweet the contest announcement and we’ll enter you twice! Be sure to post a link to the RT in your contest entry on the blog, to be counted!

Good luck!

Jan 22 2011

How to Use a Vibe with Your Partner

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by thepleasurechest

Using a vibrator with your partner for the first time can be intimidating, that’s for sure, but building that kind of intimacy is totally rewarding. Your reward can be not only more orgasms, but also a sense of fun and openness to please one another sexually. There are all kinds of vibes that are especially great to use with a partner, whether they’re designed in a way that makes them physically accommodating during intercourse or specifically to offer stimulation for both partners.

Here are some common questions and concerns that may come up when you’re looking to add a buzz to the bedroom (or somewhere more scandalous, if you want):

What will my partner think of me if I grab desperately for the Hitachi Magic Wand under my bed 20 minutes into a vigorous round of thrusting?

We’re not gonna lie, this could be startling for your lover, partly because they might think you’re about to attack them with a baseball bat, but mostly because the best time to talk about sex toys is generally before you start having sex. A surprising number of people are unfamiliar with the idea of using vibrators during partner sex, and also the fact that most female bodies do need some form of clitoral vibration to orgasm. Well before the deed begins, it helps to sit your partner down and let them in on this information, along with some personal encouragement and motivation like “I love how you fuck me and I want to come extra hard for you” or “Later, I can show you how good this feels on your balls while I suck you off.” After all, even the most secure among us hates to feel left out of the action.

Speaking of vibrators the size of sports equipment, are there any vibes you might recommend for couples just starting out with toys or that are specifically designed for partner use?

We happen to know plenty of couples who use and really enjoy the strongest, loudest, most unwieldy vibes around, but we do have recommendations for those just starting out, and there are more and more vibes being made that are designed specifically for partner sex. In general, you’re probably going to want something that’s on the quiet side and fits nicely between two bodies, like Jimmyjane’s Little Chroma. Vibrating cock rings, like the Vibratex Duet are very popular with couples because they provide hands-free stimulation to one partner’s clit or perineum while trapping blood in the penis of the wearer for an erection that can be harder and stronger. We-Vibe has created a revolutionary dual-stimulation vibrator that can actually be worn during sex! One end of the totally waterproof, rechargeable silicone vibe hugs the clit while the other goes inside the vagina, resting on the g-spot and allowing enough room for a partner to penetrate and feel the vibrations at the same time!

This is all so new and overwhelming, it makes me want to lie down… and try it! Any tips and tricks?

For some folks, the ultimate foreplay is the element of surprise and/or control. Those types tend to enjoy vibrating panties like Berman Center Astrea or other wearable remote control vibes. One partner wears a tiny vibrator tucked between the labia or under the balls while the other controls the vibrations from afar. A finger vibe like the PicoBong Ipo or a simple vibrating cockring fits around fingers without too much bulk or fuss and makes for a great reach-around during doggie style sex. Vibrating cockrings worn around the penis or dildo offer the most clit stimulation in the “cowgirl” position. It’s like turning your partner into a giant rabbit vibe with hands (don’t tell them that though)! We love the Laya Spot by Fun Factory because it’s quiet, splash proof, and its ergonomic shape feels wonderful in the hand and on the clit. Use it to cup his balls during a blow-job for extra stimulation and many thanks.

So this is what they mean by sharing is caring…

Wait! You may have learned in kindergarten that sharing your toys is always the polite thing to do, but with adult toys there are a few important guidelines. Rule number one is never, ever use a toy in the butt then use it in or around the vagina unless it has a fresh condom or is a non-porous toy that has been properly cleaned. Non-porous toys are those made of silicone, non-porous hard plastic, metal, or glass. They are safe to share with a condom or having been properly cleaned. Porous toys are made of several materials, the most popular being porous hard plastic, elastomer, vinyl, jelly rubber, and cyberskin. A toy made of porous materials should never be used anally without a condom unless it is to remain an anal toy for the rest of its days. Two partners who are STI tested and fluid bonded may share porous toys, but we still recommend condom use in the case of jelly rubber and cyberskin, due to high porosity and potentially harmful plastic softeners.

Jan 22 2011

Pussy Fitness

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by thepleasurechest

Before you get excited picturing a vulva riding a stationary bike, that’s not exactly what we have in mind.

What “Pussy Fitness” refers to is exercising the PC muscle, or pubococcygeal muscle, sometimes called “Kegel exercises” or simply “Kegels”. This muscle, found in both sexes, runs from the pubic bone to the tailbone, cradling the internal sexual organs. Having a well-toned PC muscle can be beneficial for men as also, is it controls urinary and ejaculatory function, but in this article we’re going to focus on the vag. Women with well-toned PC muscles can have stronger orgasms, better bladder control later in life and during pregnancy, and an easier time during natural childbirth.

The great news, once you locate it, is that the PC muscle is easy to exercise. There’s no set-aside time or equipment required, though there are many products that can enhance your workout.

To find your PC muscle you can imagine you are holding your urine stream or actually try to stop it while on the toilet. Another technique is to insert a finger inside your vagina and squeeze the surrounding muscles. You should feel your vagina tighten and pelvic floor move upward then back down to the starting position when you relax.

Caution: Don’t make a habit of starting and stopping your urine stream. Doing Kegels with a full bladder or while emptying your bladder can actually weaken the muscles and can also lead to incomplete emptying of the bladder, which increases risk of a urinary tract infection.

Now for the workout! Feel free to make a Kegel mix on your iPod. We recommend something mid-tempo or relaxing. This is more like pussy yoga than aerobics (that comes later when you’re getting your sex on). Make sure you empty your bladder completely, then sit or lie down and:

1.      Contract your pelvic floor muscles.

2.      Hold the contraction for three seconds then relax for three seconds.

3.      Repeat 5-10 times, increasing reps as it becomes easier to do.

4.      Adding more seconds to your contract/relax routine will help you strengthen over time. Try to work up to keeping the muscles contracted for 10 seconds at a time, relaxing for 10 seconds between contractions.

5.      Don’t hold your breath. Relax and breathe, coordinating your breathing with your exercises.

6.      Focus on isolating and tightening only your pelvic floor muscles.

7.      Toys work great as a resistance tool and to maintain awareness and focus on these muscles. You can think of the Pure Wand like a barbell, using muscles to lift and lower first the light end and eventually the heavier end. Lube up some exercise balls on a string, like Fun Factory Smartballs or Lelo Luna Beads, insert them into your vagina, and gently pull on the string, squeeze to keep the balls in place, then relax and repeat. You can even get an exercise ball kit, like the Ami Vaginal Exerciser Set, which comes with three balls of increasing weight, letting you work up to the heaviest.

The bonus with exercise balls is that they can be worn discreetly as you go about your day, squeezing your PC muscle as you blog, ride your bike, or go to work, and there’s a smaller ball inside the outer ball that rumbles around pleasantly as you move. Awesome, right? Now all you need is some of those shoes that allegedly give you a workout just by wearing them and you can totally cancel your gym membership. Just kidding.

Jan 22 2011

BDSM for Beginners

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by thepleasurechest

You’ve probably seen some form of BDSM depicted on television, in movies, or even snuck into an otherwise “vanilla” porno film. Maybe it made you curious, maybe it turned you on, or maybe it turned your partner on and now you sleep with one eye open, afraid that some night you’ll wake up to get a glass of water and find yourself tied to the bed. Well fear not, adventurous friend, for BDSM is all about mutual consent and negotiated boundaries. There’s a whole lot to learn, and we carry several books and DVDs to help you along on your journey, but this is quick guide to get you started.

We hear a lot of questions from people about BDSM. Here are some common ones:

“Wait, what is BDSM again?”

BDSM is the commonly used catchall term for bondage, discipline, submission, dominance, sadism, and masochism. It can include role-playing with dominant and submissive roles, restraints, sensation play (exploring with ice cubes or hot wax, or deprivation with gags or blindfolds), impact play (such as spanking or flogging), and much more.

“Doesn’t all this hurt? Why would anyone like pain?”

The idea that BDSM is all about pain is incorrect, although most agree that certain things that would be painful in a street fight, like someone scraping their nails across your skin, can feel great and be totally hot in the right context. For many BDSM players, the pleasure is not only in the sensation, but the connection and intimacy between partners in a situation where communication and trust is of the utmost importance. The power dynamics involved in BDSM, whether you are playing master and submissive or calculus teacher and failing football star eager to get the grade, can be extremely erotic.

“Okay, so maybe I like it when my partner blindfolds me and tickles my feet no matter how much I try to wiggle away, but what if I REALLY want them to stop?”

In the BDSM world, players make up a safe word to let their play partner know when they need to stop or slow down. Words like “stop” or “ouch” don’t work well as safe words because, especially in the midst of intense power play or discipline, they can seem like part of the action. It’s important, for that reason, to pick a very specific safe word that you and your partner will remember easily. It can be as simple as “yellow” for slow down and “red” for stop, or you can get more creative, as long as it stands out.

“I’m really liking the sound of this. Uh oh, does that mean I’m a freaky sexual deviant?”

No way! The thing to remember is that the motto for the BDSM community is Safe, Sane, and Consensual. Sometimes, especially as depicted in the mainstream media, scenes of BDSM can seem intimidating at best and downright abusive at worst. This is not the case at all because, in real life, people involved in BDSM acts have discussed their boundaries, desires, and safe words ahead of time. They discourage or ban use of drugs or alcohol during play or playing with an unclear mind.

Keep in mind that enjoying BDSM doesn’t mean you have to give up your job at Pottery Barn and move into a dungeon. Some people are “lifestyle players” within their relationships or daily lives, but many choose to only bust out the ball gag late at night or bring out the suspension hooks on the weekends or simply add a little spice to their regular sex lives with a blindfold and ice cubes. You can incorporate as much or as little BDSM into your life as you want. It’s all about what turns you and your partner on.

“Wow, thanks! I totally feel so much better! Should I go out and get a leather face mask, bullwhip, and spreader bar right now???”

Enthusiasm noted and appreciated, but no. When beginning to explore BDSM, it’s best to start out slowly, not only for safety’s sake, but for your wallet as well, until you know a little more about what you like and how to use more advanced implements. Since communication is so important in the practice of BDSM, the first place to start, of course, is by talking with your partner. If you need some guidance, use the Yes/No/Maybe List, one of our favorite tools to get people talking about sex, desires, and boundaries. Depending on your comfort level you can try role-playing and begin to play with power dynamics.

Reading books like The New Bottoming Book and The New Topping Book, or SM 101, and watching instructional or erotic BDSM DVDs like the classic fetish extravaganza Fashionistas can help you learn new tricks and figure out what kinds of things tickle (or slap) your fancy the most. Speaking of a sexy slap session, spanking is a great place to start exploring. Use your hand at first so you have optimal control of the impact and stroke. Focus on fleshy parts like the ass and thighs, and eventually you can try something like a crop or slapper.

“Is there any other gear you’d recommend for beginners?”

As far as restraints go, we highly recommend using cuffs made of neoprene or leather that buckle at the wrist or ankle. You can attach them together using a piece of chain, rope, or an Under the Bed Restraints kit. Traditional handcuffs or silk scarves can tighten suddenly and cause pain and loss of circulation. We also love guiding absolute beginners to the Pleasure Tape because it is safe and versatile. The vinyl tape sticks to itself but not your skin, so it’s sturdy but easy to remove. You can practice using it to bind hands, feet, as a gag or blindfold, even for total mummification without the fear of cutting off circulation or ripping off anything important when it’s removed. A light flogger, pinwheel, or adjustable nipple clamps are a great for exploring sensation play.

The most important thing to remember (aside from your safe word) is that communication and trust are key elements to enjoyable BDSM play, and any sex, really. It’s okay to experiment and have fun, just as it’s okay to have a deep spiritual experience. Our bodies and their varied responses to stimuli are what make sexual encounters so exciting and pleasurable.

Jan 21 2011

Obama Condoms. Turn On or Buzz Off?

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by thepleasurechest

Don’t have a cow, but it looks like our readers actually wanna see The Simpsons porn parody. In last week’s poll, 55% of voters got sprung for Springfield smut, while the remaining 45% simply wanted Homer to keep it in his pants. We’re sure the movie got a boost from its creator Lee Roy Myers who tweeted the poll to his followers. Mr. Myers’ politicking is fine by us, and the people have most definitely spoken. That’s democracy. D’oh! You can expect to see The Simpsons porn parody in our DVD section in the near future.

Speaking of democracy, this week’s contestant on Turn On of Buzz Off is the Obama Condom. That’s right, cause nothing quite sets the mood for sexytime like a heated political argument.

Consisting of a Crown condom wrapped in a cardboard sleeve, the Obama Condom comes in three different designs, each bearing its own slogan:

“Hope is a Not a Form of Protection.”

“The Ultimate Stimulus Package.”

“Use With Good Judgment.”

We hope the condoms aren’t quite as stale as the jokes. Obama Condoms are made by a company called Practice Safe Policy, which, to be fair, also makes condoms poking fun at Sarah Palin and John McCain. When it comes to adult products inspired by President Obama, these condoms are relatively tame. A company called Head O State already makes an Obama dildo, while in China, you can get an Obama love doll.

Even though products like this are common, we suspect that some of you won’t be voting for the Obama Condom. If you saw a lover whip one of these out, would you stage a filibuster? Whether you lean left in the bedroom or are simply bipartisan curious, it’s time to go the polls. The Obama Condom. Turn On or Buzz Off?

Jan 20 2011

After Hours with the Club Vibe

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by thepleasurechest

Jenae, our intrepid Sex Specialist, popped the Club Vibe in her pants and hit the dance floor. Here’s the buzz.

I might be a club-goer. I might be that girl who happens to be at every party you thought you couldn’t get on the list for. My friends call me Lesbian Google, because I can find any good club night within a 15 mile radius.

Yup. I’m that girl. The girl who is always ready for a club night and a good time. The Club Vibe is “Pleasure Remixed” and I got a chance to remix some pleasure one night at a Chicago hotspot. The club I chose is open till 4am and known for attracting local oddities so I knew I wouldn’t look out of place with a wire sticking out of my pants. Yes, the Club Vibe is wired from bullet to remote. So it’s not a discreet as some might like.

The remote is actually a little receiver that picks up ambient noise from whatever space you’re in. If you are wearing the receiver box like a pager, be aware your clothes will be creating most of the shuffle noise you are “receiving” in your pants. I decided to go for the gusto and not care if anyone saw the wire poking out of my dress. I stealthily inserted the little bullet into the panty gusset and turned it on.  In the bathroom the club vibe picked up on the bass right away. There was a steady “boom boom boom” that got me really excited to join in on the fun!

I walked outside and got a HUGE jolt. The Club Vibe definitely picks up on all the noise around you and does not have discernible taste. Once it hears the nightlife, it’s got to boogie and that boogie will burn your clit off!  My advice? Steer clear of the clubs with this vibe but definitely take it out to any smaller bar with a nice back beat and lots of strangers conversing. You will definitely not be bored with the background chatter!

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