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Feb 18 2011

Our Favorite Anal Lubes

3

by thepleasurechest

Anal sex without lube?! It’s almost too frightening a thought to say out loud, but here at The Pleasure Chest we talk people down from that lubeless ledge on a daily basis. We’re kind of like behind-the-scenes heroes, if you think about it. When it comes to ass play, no amount of lube is too much.

These are a few tips on the lubes we like best for butt sex.

Silicone lube is a fanny-fucking favorite because it coats the ass with its extreme slickness and lasts pretty much until you’re done. The main drawback of this type of lube is the fact that cleanup isn’t as easy and it may stain your sheets, but hey, that’s what mutual showers and all those old towels you refuse to throw away “in case you need them” are for.

One brand that is loved by the boys who come by the store is Gun Oil because it’s ultra-slick and has aloe and vitamin E to soothe the skin. Incidentally, the makers of this brand also make Pink silicone lube, which is the same lovely formula packaged in a top-of-nightstand friendly glass bottle. Use this for a night of hot, passionate anal sex, then smooth over rough knees and elbows and wake up with skin like silk!

The silicone lube everyone can agree on is Pjur Bodyglide. Its ultra-concentrated blend of the highest quality silicone and nothing else means it lasts longer than any of the other silicone lubes out there and is a much better bet in case you want to try it for vaginal sex as well.

Water-based lubes can’t be counted out of the rump race, however. A lot of people prefer to use water-based lube even for anal sex because of the easy cleanup, versatility, and thicker formulas that provide a cushion for the anus.

A long-time love of ours for anal sex is Maximus lube. It is an extremely thick gel formula that stays surprisingly slick and comes in a pump bottle for extra convenience. The one thing we often advise when using this lubricant is to make sure you handle your oral business before you lube up, because the taste is quite bitter.

Sliquid Organics Gel

Sliquid Sassy is a glycerin-free water-based gel lube specifically designed for the booty. We love this one because it can easily be used vaginally or with toys so there’s no need to have ten different lubes on hand. Sliquid Organics Gel is Sassy’s all-natural cousin and works fabulously for those who prefer an organic approach.

A note on oil-based lubes: Look, we know no matter how many times we say there are better alternatives out there, a lot of people are still going to gravitate toward oil. If you must, we like to suggest naturally-derived Stroke 29, whichis not condom-safe, but does feel great and really slick yet non-greasy.Again, we want to remind you that oil-based lubes are not condom-safe with very few exceptions, such as Snake Oil. It may not be conveniently located in the kitchen cabinet, but it sure beats contracting an STI or farting Crisco for a week.

Feb 17 2011

Strap-on, Get Off: Mastering the Art of Harness Play

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by thepleasurechest

Strap-on sex is for everyone. We know that sounds far too awesome to be true, but it totally is. In our stores and online, we sell harnesses and dildos to women who fuck women, men who fuck women, men who fuck men, and women who fuck men. For this reason, there are a multitude of harness styles, materials, and sizes to suit just about everybody. People strap it on for a variety of reasons, some of which are: because it feels good, because playing with power dynamics is sexy, for double penetration, for variety in gender expression, for variety in cock size, shape, and color possibilities, because it looks hot, to have a permanent hard-on, and because watching your partner bob their head up and down on your cock is pretty awesome no matter what sex organs you were born with.

joquePelvic harnesses come in two basic styles, two-strap and thong style. The two-strap style leaves the wearer’s genitals free and frames the ass like a well-hung piece of art, while the thong or g-style can provide more friction and stimulation in the crotch area as well as hold a butt plug in nicely. Users of both styles debate over which provides the most controlled thrust, but personal taste and comfort are the main things to consider. If you think g-strings are the ultimate in sexy, go for it. If you’d rather go commando than ever wear thong underwear, you’ll most likely be more comfortable and confident in a two-strap, and when it comes to strapping it on, confidence is key.

Once you’ve found the style you like, the next thing to consider is material. Most harnesses are constructed of either leather or nylon. The leather used to make harnesses can range from sturdy and hard to buttery soft. Leather harnesses like the Terra Firma Harness are popular because with time they mold to the body like a second skin, and some people find leather to be quite sexy. Nylon harnesses are vegan and usually less expensive, which makes them great for beginners and cow-huggers, but they can sometimes chafe or be uncomfortable. As far as non-leather harnesses go, a major standout is the Spareparts Joque Harness. It is made of soft, breathable nylon and Lycra that fastens with Velcro at the waist, is fully machine washable, ultra-adjustable to fit a variety of sizes, and manages to stay in place even during rough play without snaps, buckles, or d-rings.

When you know you want to get a leather or nylon harness other than the Spareparts, the next thing to consider is what type of fastener you want at the waist. Some people prefer d-rings, as on the O-Ring Harness, which are quick and easy to adjust once the harness is on. Similar to this are plastic backpack strap-style adjusters, found mostly on nylon harnesses. Both of these types can be vulnerable to slippage during the act, but again, they are easy to pull back into place. Still, the most secure waist straps are buckles, because they stay exactly where you want them. Check out the Jaguar Harness if you want to explore this option. Leg straps are adjusted with d-rings or plastic adjusters in most harnesses.

But the pounding (hopefully) heart of a strap-on lies in the center, aka where the dildo goes. All harnesses have this, though in different incarnations. Some are just holes in a back pad (which is the piece of material that covers the pelvis) that you slide an appropriately sized dildo with a base through, with the base resting against your body. These are quick and simple to use, but because the hole is cut into the pad, you are limited to that girth of dildo. The Spareparts harness has an extremely stretchy hole that can accommodate dildos large and small. We like harnesses with a snap-out o-ringbecause you can purchase a variety of ring sizes to fit almost any size dildo. Others, like the Commando Harness,have an o-ringwithout any back pad or a removable back pad. These are great for strappers who like extra friction against their body, for hard packing, or for people with a bio penis because the genital area is completely open. Harnesses with a hole or opening as well as an adjustable o-ring are the best option for using a double dildo.

The Fit

Your harness should fit securely yet comfortably. If your harness is too tight or loose, you’re going to have some trouble pitching at the mound (sorry, couldn’t resist). Many people prefer a harness that sits low on the pelvis, because it is easier to feel and therefore control the action, not to mention the extra rub for the wearer. However, a harness that sits higher on the waist is great for larger bodies, people with restricted movement, or someone with a bio cock. Thong and g-styles have a center strap that nestles between your buns. With a two-strap harness, the bottom two straps go between your legs and around the ass cheeks, like the afore-mentioned picture frame. Some of these have versatile straps that slide to the center for some g-string action, if you want to try it out. Most of the harnesses we carry are adjustable, and some are extremely so.

Sporting a strap-on may feel or look strange or even silly to you at first. Try wearing it around the house before showing off the goods to your partner. Get comfy, let it mold to your shape for a bit, and test your penis space perception by making sharp turns around corners and trying not to bump into the furniture.

Thigh Harnesses and More

There are even different harnesses for people to wear on other body parts! Thigh harnesses are probably the most well known. These are perfect for larger bodies, people with restricted movement, or someone who wants an un-obstructed view of the penetration party. Try the Buckling Thigh Harness for a sexy, sturdy leather option. The Spareparts La Palma Glove is one of our most recent favorites because it’s great for finger fucking when your hands get tired, frees the fingers to do other titillating things, and allows for a nice hard thrust. Face and chest harnesses, which are handy for oral sex with penetration, round out the harness family, for now anyway. Foot harness anyone?

Get to the Cocks, Already!

Harness-compatible dildos come in an insane variety of shapes, sizes, colors, materials, degree of realism, etc. The most basic rule when picking out a cock to strap on is that it must have a flared, flat base. Some have plain bases, some may have flat or 3D balls, and some have a suction cup. Suction cups are cool when you want to get frisky hands-free with the shower wall, but they don’t make the best base inside an o-ring because they can flop around and/or rip fairly easily. Balls are a great addition when it comes to gender expression or fantasy play, but make sure they are flat enough on the back to fit securely and comfortably in your harness. We love the VixSkin Goodfella because it has a flat base completely separate from awesome, lifelike 3D balls.

Color is a personal choice. A lot of people like to keep it realistic and match their dildo with their skin tone, others like realistic skin tones other than their own, and of course there is the ever-popular purple shimmer. The same goes for texture. Veins and a realistic head can look and feel great in any color, from mocha to turquoise. Smooth, silky dildos, like the Tantus Silk range are perfect for those who don’t like a bumpy ride or for anal beginners.

A tip we like to give is that a dildo with a lip, or distinctive ridge at the head, may help serve as a guide for how far you can pull out of the vagina or anus. It will also give extra sensation to your partner’s G-spot or prostate. When it comes to size, be reasonable and respectful of the needs and desires of the person you’ll be fucking. When you get to pick out your own dick, it may be tempting to go for the stretch Escalade, but when you can’t find anywhere to park it, you won’t be feeling so hot anymore. When possible, shop with your partner and have them close their eyes and wrap their hand around the widest insertable portion of the dildo. If the size feels about right for what they’ve had inside them and enjoyed in the past, you’ve got a winner.

If you’re going it solo, we love classic, sexy models likeVixSkin Tex (shorter, g-spot pleasing curve and head), VixSkin Bandit (reasonable girth with longer length for good control), Vixen Mistress (slender with a bit of extra length for control) Fun Factory Magnum. On a tight budget? Basix dildos are made of rubber, which we do not recommend as highly as silicone, since the material is porous, but they are latex-free and phthalate-free. Basix come in a variety of sizes and colors, with some that vibrate, and even double dildos.

Ah, the double dildo! Thankfully, the jelly rubber relics of yore are nearly obsolete thanks to the fine design and marketing of silicone companies Tantus, Fun Factory, and Vixen. Try the Feeldoe if you want to go for the no-harness double dildo thing, but be aware that strong PC muscles are a must. The Share has a much easier to grip “giver” side, but it is also rather large for some. Both of these dildos can be used with a harness as well. Vixen created their Nexus double dildos to be used in a harness. These have great balance between both ends and an awesome angle for mutual pleasure.

A successful harness and dildo combination should make you and your partner feel comfortable, sexy, and bring pleasure. With the right fit, it can become like an extension of one’s body, creating a unique and satisfying sexual experience.

Feb 17 2011

Bend Over Buddy:
Girl on Guy Penetration

1

by thepleasurechest

When you’re ready to talk to your guy about pleasing him anally, the idea could be a tough pitch or he may be face-down-ass-up on your bed before you can finish the sentence, saying he thought you’d never ask. More heterosexual partners than ever are embracing the fact that the anus is an equal-opportunity orifice, and that almost anyone can enjoy anal sex. But, before you start writing the lyrics to a folk song about ass loving, remember that many of us were raised with certain beliefs about butt sex. These myths and half-truths are difficult to dispel, and there are many more of them, but we’ll try and tackle the most common ones.

  1. The ass is dirty. While we wouldn’t recommend a burrito grande washed down with a latte just before doing the deed, in truth anal hygiene is as easy as a little soap and water in the crack. If he’s still worried about cleanliness, tell him to get a little fancy and stick a soapy finger in his anus in the shower. To get even fancier, he can do a simple warm water douche with something like the Clean Stream Enema Bulb. Apart from that, the best tools in your safe sex arsenal will be lube, condoms, gloves, and dental dams for rimming.

    Clean Stream Enema Bulb

    Clean Stream Enema Bulb

  2. Anal sex has to hurt. Like all sexual experiences, when it comes to anal sex, the hurting is optional. There are numbing agents available specifically for anal use, but we tend to steer clear of those, as pain is the body’s way of warning you there may be a potential tearing situation. A relaxed asshole in a situation with someone it trusts and liberal use of a good anal sex lube, such as Pjur Bodyglide or Maximus, can bring its owner into a whole new realm of pleasure. Hello, the prostate = the male g-spot! Communication and lubrication are key when it comes to a pain-free, pleasure-full experience.
  3. It will make you lose total control of your bowels. Oh, this one again. Look, there’s no need to fear. Lube, communication, and relaxation will keep his butt happy for years to come. In fact, stimulation of this area brings white blood cells that can help ward off cancer, and prostate stimulation encourages a healthier sex life. Now, if only there were a way to convince him that wearing old, torn boxers can actually cause certain types of cancer…
  4. Taking it in the ass makes a man gay. We’re not overly fond of sexual pigeon-holing, but let’s keep it simple for some of the fellows out there: A guy having sex with another guy = gay sex. A guy being pounded by his sexy, confident girlfriend = not gay sex.

Tantus Bend Over Beginner Kit

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s talk about equipment. If you bring home a ten-inch dildo, chances are he’ll feel somewhat intimidated. Luckily, there are all sorts of inexpensive harnesses and smaller dildos for couples just starting out to try, as well as more advanced equipment. We recommend silicone dildos in every strap-on scenario, but when it comes to anal sex this is especially important, as silicone is non-porous and will prevent bacteria from spreading. We love the Tantus Bend Over Beginner Kit because it includes a simple, adjustable nylon harness with interchangeable O-rings and the smooth, slender Small Silk Dildo and Medium Silk Dildos. These dildos are also sold separately and are extremely popular for anal beginners, but there is also a large size for more experienced types. We love harnesses with snap-out or adjustable o-rings because they can accommodate different sizes of dildos to suit your taste or comfort level. See our Strap-on tutorial, Harness Guide, and Our Favorite Anal Lubes for more info and specific recommendations.

Now, a little cheat sheet:

Do get comfortable with your cock ahead of time. Try wearing your harness and dildo around the house to get used to the feel of it.

Don’t pound his ass unless he has some experience and asks you to. Let him control the movement by backing into your dildo at first.

Do go slowly and communicate every step of the way.

Don’t forget his other parts; reach around and stroke his cock, play with his balls, pinch his nipples…

Do utilize toys such as buttplugs to prepare his ass for penetration.

Don’t assume doggy style is the only way to have anal sex. Missionary style anal sex with a curved dildo will hit his prostate just right and another position that works great for anal is “spooning.” Check out Tristan Taormino’s The Anal Sex Position Guide for even more ideas.

Do reapply lube as needed. There’s no such thing as too much!

Jan 22 2011

How to Use a Vibe with Your Partner

0

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

BDSM for Beginners

0

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.

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