Thursday, May 21, 2009


SheaFlex70This post is part product review and part public service announcement. Toys for Tarts does not have a vested (affiliate) interest in this product.

I am a 46-year-old woman with a history of fibromyalgia, depression, and insulin resistance. While my health issues are under control (at times, I believe, tenuously so), I still experience joint pain -- especially when I (over) indulge in the activities I like the most: rowdy sex, taekwondo, hiking, etc.

While in the throes of the worst of my pain-obesity-insomnia-depression cycle, I abused NSAIDs. I would put eight 200mg ibuprofen on my nightstand, pop them when the alarm rang in the morning, then hit the snooze for 20 minutes until they enabled me to get out of bed through the pain. Throughout the day, depending on how many times I would have to lift my children, I'd take up to another dozen tablets. I was afraid to carry my son up or down the stairs for fear that my knees would buckle and I'd drop him. Given that I was lugging around an extra 100# on my own frame, another 20-30 in toddler really made a difference. I took enough NSAIDs over a period of 3-4 years to experience "rebound" inflammation, which makes the pain even worse.

I'm rambling. Sorry. My point is that, due to my history/experience, I'm hesitant to take any drugs these days. I have to HURT before I'll resort to a single tablet. I feel the twinges of despair every time I have an ache that lasts longer than a few hours because I know what chronic pain does to my physical and emotional well-being.

So, when my knees and shoulder started bothering me, I tried the common supplement glucosamine chondroitin. Many people swear by it, but it did nothing for me. I chanced upon a new product while searching online for shea butter products -- skin emollients (another of my fetishes).

This product is a supplement for joint health called SheaFlex70. It is only available via the Walgreen's drugstore chain and online order. It is not cheap. But I was just desperate enough to give it a try. With a $10 off coupon**, I got a month's supply for $30.

Can I just say WOW? I noticed an improvement in the general achey-ness after just 3 days of per-label use. Within a month, the stiffness was GONE. I've since cut back to 1/3 of the dose for maintenance, so the $30 bottle now lasts me 90 days. If I have a particularly strenuous workout, I may re-up the dose for a couple days to keep the inflammation at bay.


Here's what the website says...
SheaFlex70’s patented active ingredient, shea triterpenes, is found within the pit of the fruit of the shea tree, Africa’s “Tree of Life.” SheaFlex70 is the only product available with shea triterpenes, considered nature’s most powerful inflammation fighter.* Shea triterpenes have been proven not only to reduce joint-specific inflammation but also to support Type II collagen, the primary element of the 70% of cartilage that provides structure and smoothness to your joints.*
  • SheaFlex70 dramatically helps relieve joint discomfort and joint-specific inflammation.* When you reduce pain and swelling in the joints, you lay the foundation for getting your body back into balance.
  • SheaFlex70 helps safely reduce the breakdown of the joints’ most abundant collagen, Type II collagen.* Collagen makes up 70% of joint cartilage, which keeps the bones in a joint from rubbing together.
If you give it a try, please leave a comment & let me know how it works for you!

Until next time...

peace & passion,

**Use this code when you buy online and save $10: MMSHEAFLEX

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Gold Digger Vibe

Gold Digger VibeMr. Marcus Gold Digger Vibrator

I will say right now that on receiving this vibe to review I had no idea who Mr. Marcus was, or what his association with Doc Johnson is, seeing as how her name is attached to this product as well. A Google search quickly rectified things, as I discovered Mr. Marcus is an adult film actor. I'll hazard a guess that an adult film actor doesn't truly graduate to "porn star" until he or she has a line of sex toys. Normally one would think their private parts are cast with plaster to mass manufacture dildos and sleeves in some Asian factory, but the Gold Digger has the look of a simple vibe, presumably for beginners.

There are two varieties of the Gold Digger (for some reason I can't get Shirley Bassey's singing voice out of my head, so bear with me): a four-inch and a 6.5-inch. I was given the latter, marked on the package as "Big Daddy's Favorite." Whether Big Daddy prefers to use this on himself or others is not specified, but it is definitely not modeled realistically on any part of any daddy. The black surface is all smooth and soft to the touch—not hard plastic but not quite the squishy silicone I'm used to, either. If you recall my review last year of the Grapevine Vibe, you'll know the texture is the same. As for actual gold, there isn't any—the base of the toy is bejeweled with a bit of "bling" which, though it would look pretty while standing the vibe upright on a table or something—doesn't really do much for the toy's performance. Babeland describes this toy as:
Get your bling on—with minimal investment—thanks to the luxe-looking, super affordable Gold Digger vibrator. Classy golden jewels stud the bottom of the waterproof, velvety plastic shell, and gentle vibrations purr through the variable-speed dial, making this diva-pleaser just as handy for the clit as it is for penetration. Please use a condom for insertion to keep your jewels sitting pretty.
  • Size: 6” x 1-1/4”
  • Material: Hard plastic
  • Volume: 2 out of 5
  • Intensity: 2 out of 5
  • Batteries: Two AA
Batteries are not included, and neither are condoms. I will take issue with the volume rating on this toy because when I did turn it on, I thought it was quite loud for it ssize. Compared to the whisper-buzz of the Grapevine, the Gold Digger sounded like it actually was drilling the ground, even at a low speed.

For penetration, the Gold Digger does offer some satisfaction. The curvature seemed to fit well, providing a nice friction when used. Clitoral stimulation took a bit longer than my usual bullet, but the vibrating sensation inside didn't feel uncomfortable or jarring, inside or out. This having a "velvet"-style exterior, it should definitely be cleaned well after use.

Given its size and price ($20), the Gold Digger would make a good first vibrator for sex toy newbs, or a travel toy for anyone who doesn't want to pack the heavier stuff.

~ Leigh Ellwood

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Sliquid Organics Silk

Sliquid Organics Silk"Organic" things intrigue me. I don't quite understand them--or their allure--but I admit a fascination with the concept. I mean, the dictionary defines organic as "characteristic of, pertaining to, or derived from living organisms." That covers a whole lotta territory, especially if one includes carbon composites -- which, in order to contain dimethicone (a common silicone lubricant) one must. So, organic simply means it was made from living or once-living stuff. Well, that's damned near everything on Earth now, isn't it?

But, be that as it may, organic has never been a selling point for me -- simply because it's such slippery word (which one might consider a good selling point for a lube -- but I digress).

This product is thick and creamy, in both texture and appearance. It's not clear, as are most lubes these days. It looks like jizm, really. It doesn't drip like jizm, though. Stays put in a tidy little dollop. And it has no scent

I thought it had a very faint soapy aftertaste. My partner said it reminded him of sunscreen. We're both probably noticing the taste of the aloe, which is a major (#3) ingredient.

As a lubricant, it worked just fine with The Boss. It's non-staining, water-based, and water-soluble, so I didn't have to worry about if or where it went. And, since I tested solo, I didn't have to bother my pretty little head about that pesky aftertaste. I wouldn't reach for this product if oral sex was on the menu, though. It's not baaaaaaaad, mind you. Hell, I've tasted more soap on people who haven't, perhaps, rinsed thoroughly. The action still happens, but there's an unnecessary distraction. Y'know? Why introduce distractions?

If it matters to you, the label says the ingredients are Vegan (yes, with a capital V) and most (but not all) of them have a little asterisks indicating they're "certified organic."

The label also says it's hypoallergenic, which is another one of those slippery words. It means, "No one's allergic to this... unless they are." Anytime you have organic ingredients, there is the potential for allergic reaction. Period.

So, given that most of the product's claims are not all that important to me, I still give it a positive review on form, function, and (lack of) friction. If "organic" and "Vegan" (with a capital V) and "hypoallergenic" are important to you, then you might want to give it a try!

Until next time...

peace & passion,

Here's what Babeland has to say:

Go green (without sacrificing silkiness and staying power) with Sliquid Organics Silk lubricant. This water-based lube contains 12% hypoallergenic silicone for a creamy texture that lasts and lasts, making Sliquid Organics Silk a great choice for delicate, sensitive tissues. The earth- and body-friendly formula also contains organic extracts like soothing aloe vera, healing vitamin E, and invigorating green tea and hibiscus. The texture is similar to the standard Sliquid Silk. As always, Sliquid lubes are glycerin-free and paraben-free. And once you’ve made your way through the bottle, it’s 100% recyclable. Not for use with silicone toys.

  • Size: 4-1/5 ounces, 8-1/2 ounces
  • Formula Base: Water, silicone
  • Ingredients: Purified Water, Plant Cellulose (from Cotton), Aloe Barbadensis*, Natural Tocopherols (Vitamin E), Extracts of Hibiscus*, Flax*, Green Tea* & Sunflower Seed*, Isopropyl Palmitate, Polysorbate 20, Dimethicone, Emollient Ester, Phenoxyethanol (Rose Ether)
*Organic botanical extracts are independently certified by Quality Certification Services in compliance with the USDA National Organic Program.

Friday, May 01, 2009

The Boss

The BossThe Boss was awaiting my return from the Romantic Times BookLovers Convention in Orlando. Great, I thought! A Fun Factory exclusive from Babeland. An orgasmic win-win!

The first thing I noticed was that it was packaged in a Babeland box with ZERO instructions on how to open the battery compartment and insert the AA batteries. Fail. I had to go to the Fun Factory website, find a similar product, and download its PDF user guide in order to figure it out -- because it is NOT obvious. For a high-end ($58) product, that's damned near unforgivable.

I got over that annoyance and moved on to the fun part...

Given its girth, I tested this toy along with Sliquid Organics Silk (reviewed separately).

The Boss I received is black & grey, not the (seemingly) requisite sex-toy-purple. It's a bit longer AND girthier than I gathered from the photos. Perhaps a visual is in order. See how it stacks up to my Hitachi? The Boss is a big pleasure puppy. I've known guys this big, but they're few & far between (and quite often lousy lovers, thinking their impressive equipment is all they need to please a partner). It's heavy, too. The shaft is silicone and somewhat floppy--kinda like an 80% erection. It'll go in without bending, but there's more flexibility there than with a raging boner.

The end cap is rigid with a knob that turns to adjust the strength of the vibration. It's not easy to manipulate when slippery-wet, but it's not likely to be changed unintentionally, either. Even at its highest setting, the vibration is nothing to write home about, but coupled with the aforementioned girthiness, it gets the job done in relatively short order.

As a g-spot toy, I didn't appreciate it. I found that I enjoyed The Boss externally as much as, perhaps more than, inserted. The vibrations, while strongest at the base of the shaft, are well conducted throughout its length. Thus, I was able to stimulate myself from bow to stern without even moving the toy. It wasn't easy to grip this way, especially when lubed, but movement wasn't absolutely necessary to be effective.

Until next time...

peace & passion,

Here's what Babeland has to say:
Let Babeland be The Boss, with our exclusive new Fun Factory vibrator. This is the G-spot vibrator we have always dreamed of letting take control! Finally a realistically-shaped silicone insertable vibrator with a strong, localized internal buzz. We wanted The Boss to be hefty (check), soft silicone (yep), and with a sweet tilt just right for the G-spot (it is!). Add in the shower-friendly splashproof shell and vibrant Fun Factory colors, and you’ve got a toy which will put you in your place and show you who's The Boss, every time! Color may vary. Available only at Babeland!
  • Size: 8-3/4” x 1-3/5”
  • Material: Silicone
  • Volume: 2 out of 5
  • Intensity: 3 out of 5
  • Batteries: Two AA

May is National Masturbation Month!

And kicking it off with a bang is the annual Masturbate-a-thon to benefit the Center for Sex and Culture. (Donations ARE tax deductible, by the way.)

Clipped from the site:

3PM, Saturday, May 2nd

The Center for Sex & Culture
1519 Mission St., San Francisco
(Between S. Van Ness & 11th)

Order Your Voyeur Audience Tickets Now!
Click Here For Details

Support the Masturbate-a-thon
Donate Now


We are still seeking Featured Masturbators this year (who can be pledged ahead of time and followed on the webcast), and we will have Voyeur Seating available as well as Private Public Space (where people can masturbate who do not wish to be seen on the webcast). We hope to see you -- or be seen by you! -- on May 2nd, this year's Live San Francisco Masturbate-a-Thon!

Check out the 2008 Masturbate-a-thon records. Can you beat them at home or at the event?

Attention Competitors
If you plan on challenging the World Record for Time you must be present by 10:30am PST to make the start.

Why Masturbate? Why Masturbate-a-thon?

Despite great strides in sex-positive education, masturbation for many remains a taboo subject.

We believe:

  • Masturbation is the safest sex.
  • More masturbation means more sexual self-awareness.
  • Masturbation with a partner can be educational and hot.