Category Archives: Reviews

Reviews of toys, other shows, or anything else

Wonderful Piece about us by Tavish Forsyth

Hey Players!

 

Just got sent this wonderful piece written about our November show by local writer and actor Tavish Forsyth.  Have a read:

Re-Printed here with permission

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Creative Alliance Talks Sex

By Tavish Forsyth

Last night Creative Alliance engaged in 4-Play. This is the part where I’d usually say,“get your head out the gutter,” but you’re probably not too far off. For over a year, Creative Alliance has hosted a monthly, comedic, sex-education show called 4-Play, previously hosted by the Theatre Project. Produced by two local improvisers, Ti Coleman and Prescott Gaylord and the owner of Sugar in Hamden Jacq Jones, 4-Play is a show for an adult audience who wants to learn more about sexuality and intellectually engage in today’s sexual renaissance, amidst laughter and refreshments. Each show Prescott and adult business owner Jacq Jones are joined by two guest panelists, a local comedian and a sex expert.

Last night’s guests included Jessica Henkin, producer of the Stoop Storytelling Series and Ashley Manta, host of the podcast Carnal Copia. In the first half of the show, the panel discusses the month’s topic. After intermission an artist opens the second half of the show. In the past those artists have been burlesque dancers, erotic storytellers and musicians. This month a local improv troupe performed a short set which used information gleaned from the panelists’ discussion as inspiration for their comedic scenes. A night of 4-Play concludes with a Q&A. Past months’ topics included gender non-conformity, polyamory, and orgasm. This month’s topic: butt stuff.

The show began with a brief introduction from producer Ti  Coleman. “Loosen your butts,” Ti told the audience, and keep an open mind. Ti, who admitted he wasn’t crazy about the idea of a butt-themed show, prefaced the night by saying he was humbled by all the research, misinformation, and joy surrounding anal play. Of course butt stuff isn’t for everyone, but it is widely appreciated by people of all genders and orientations. When Prescott took the stage to introduce the panelists he joked, “We waited a year to do this show because we weren’t sure if people would come.” Despite the production team’s trepidation, the small theatre located in Creative Alliance’s Patterson center was nearly full.

The panel’s witty banter in the first half of the show addressed numerous subjects including toys, terminology, stigmas and myths. Myth: anal sex is the only kind of backdoor pleasure. Myth: it’s supposed to hurt. Myth: numbing ointment is a good idea.

Some of the more colorful vocabulary included terms like pegging and milking, words which I will let you look up on Urban Dictionary right now. Welcome back. Interesting and bizarre, huh?! Remember, “It does not make you gay, if you’re a straight guy!” says Jacq Jones.

Some of the more entertaining moments of the discussion used  rhyme and metaphor to address taboo subjects. “Once it’s brown, put it down,” cracked Jessica Henkin, a huge source of comedic relief, in response to a question about whether it was safe to “play in the front yard” after “playing out back.” “Without a base, not a trace,” said Ashley Manta in regards to the importance of adult toys with flared bottoms. The panel reinforced Ashley’s statement by

comparing the vagina to a culdesac and the butt to a highway. A long, curvy, mountainous highway. The panel gave special focus to health and safety. They encouraged participants to be patient, prepared and listen to what their bodies, or their partner’s body, might be telling them. They recommended using non-porous sex toys, condoms, dental dams and disavowed popular sugar-derived lubricants such as KY and Astroglide, citing their tendency to dehydrate, wear away cells and possibly increase the risk of infections. The panel’s favorite lubricants included Sliquid, Uberlube, silicone-based lubricant, and coconut oil. They added that oil-based lubricants should not be used with latex.

After intermission, Lekker, a resident team from the Baltimore Improv Group, performed a hilarious set. Scenes featured a landscaper who was only taking care of the “backyard,” but wanted to “reach around” to the front; a British noble who wished to try a new mechanical apparatus on an unwitting friend; and a telethon to bring over-priced, x-rated toys to low-income, inner city neighborhoods. The show concluded by giving the audience a chance to ask their questions, many of which revolved around preparation, which apparently is paramount for this particular aspect of sex. The panel suggested high-fiber diets, body hygiene, practice and perhaps an enema 2-3 hours before partaking, provided the enema is not medicated with a laxative.

What were the takeaways? In brief: butt stuff is fun, varied and nuanced, but it’s not for everyone. That being said, sex is ubiquitous. If you like sex, I highly recommend you keep 4-Play on your radar by subscribing to their facebook page or by visiting  Creativealliance.org. The next 4-Play show is on December 9, just in time for the holidays, and the theme is toys. Ho! Ho!

Review! – Tenga Deep Throat Cup

 

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For this toy – I actually acted totally alone.  I may have given a member of the clitoris brigade the option to try this on me – but I was indeed encouraged to use it on myself.  Good – alone time.  With a masturbator.  For science.

The Tenga Deep Throat Cup is masturbation sleeve for penises , that comes pre-lubed, has a “hole cap” to keep the lube inside (I imagine), and has an air hole at the top.  The purpose of the air hole is to let air escape while inserting, then when covered with your finger – gives a suction feel to the toy.

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Unwrapping

The toy comes shrink wrapped like it belongs in the food isle.  Not an inherent problem, just a little cognitive dissonance when you are about to penetrate something, and it seems a bit like a Pringles can.  There is a small sticker at the top that covers the air hole – and the sticker itself has instructions for “more suction” and “less suction” that are pretty clear.  This air hole is one of the better features of the toy.

Pre-Lube?

OK – more on this later, but everything about this toy being ‘disposable’ gets me a little bit soft.  I personally didn’t like the idea of this being pre-lubricated.  I don’t know what kind of lube is in there, and I don’t want someone in a sleeve factory lubing my toy for me.  I’m sure that turns someone on, but not me.

The Sponge Thing

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OK – what the hell is this in there for?  I imagine this spongy white thing holds the pre-lube during shipping, but I didn’t see any instructions to find this and take it out.  And….  And…..  It is really uncomfortable!  I thought this toy was really poorly designed until I figured out this thing was in there and I needed to remove it.  Do yourself a favor and find the sponge thing – and take it out first.

It actually feels good

Coming clean here – this is my first sleeve.  I know I know, why did it take me so long? I don’t know, but the truth is this is the first thing i have used in this toy category.  Indeed I am going to get more and use more based on this experience.  It is nice.  If feels – soft and squashy and pleasant.  What more do you need?

The Zombie Problem

Like many toys – the problem is that the thing it is trying to emulate (the inside of a vagina) is warm, and toys generally are at room temperature, not body temperature.  So – it feels like fucking a zombie (I imagine).  Now, Tenga has these helpful warming strips that are intended to be put in warm water – inserted into the Deep Throat Cup – and instantly turn the zombie vagina into live vagina temperature.  I did not use one, but I do like the thought of the warmer toy.  It might be a bit of a drag to do all that preparation, but worth it if you want that warm feel I think.

Disposable Toys?

The Tenga Deep Throat Cup is marketed as a disposable toy.  I was told it could have “maybe 10 uses.”  I guess that is if you don’t finish inside the toy (porn star style?) or you figure out how to clean it with a bottle brush or something.  I used it 4 times and that felt enough to me.  But seriously – do we want disposable toys?  I don’t need my wanker to get a couple of uses then go into a landfill.  I also want more thought and manufacturing effort to go into my toy that goes around something I care about.  And then -there is the issue that it ‘feels’ cheap.  The harder plastic shell is well shaped to hold it (good design!) but it is still disposable plastic; and it feels like you are holding disposable plastic.

-Planned follow up-

None, but I do plan on investing in another sleeve of some kind.  One that is more durable and cleanable.  I will say – this was a very good test – and a great gateway into the world of sleeves.

 

Product manufacturer is here

I got mine in Baltimore from Sugar

Review #2 JimmyJane Form 2

 

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OK, first of all, I do not have my own clitoris — for which, by all accounts, this toy was designed.  I do, however, have nice sensitive bits that this vibrator works just fine on.  I also called in the clitoris brigade on this one.  That is, I both used JimmyJane’s Form 2 on a clitoris, and talked to people who have their own clit about the toy.  All accounts and observations point to an awesome rating.  Seriously, everyone loves this thing, including me.

The Form 2 is a waterproof, rechargable, silicone vibrator with two distinct fingers that have powerful vibration — powerful for this palm-sized vibrator, anyway. And look how adorable!  It looks like something you’d find in your Easter basket:

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Using on myself

I have used vibrators on myself before, so this is not new.  I like vibration on various parts of my penis and the environs.  This toy was especially good because it can vibrate more of the circumference with those two fingers.  I could also lay the Form 2 down a bit and get a good amount of myself to vibrate the way I like. And then of course I could vibrate in and around other parts that feel good.  So — gold star for people with penises.

Now to the clit brigade

My co-tester — a member of the aforementioned clit brigade — used the Form 2, and I asked her to give me three words to describe the experience.  She said the vibrator was “direct, efficient, and cute.”  What I saw in front of me was a woman who was happy, breathless, and quickly satisfied. And she ran out to purchase a Form 2 the very next day.

I really shouldn’t just say “clit” either; this particular woman used the toy in a variety of ways — inserted, on either side of the clitoral hood, and directly on the clitoris.  She seemed to find all of these positions  very pleasurable, though this seemed to be a matter of personal preference — her favorite method was to use the Form 2 on her clitoris until she orgasmed and then to insert it into her vagina while she came.

All reviews were extremely positive.  The Form 2 is:

  1. Cute as a hot pink baby bunny.
  2. Very powerful for a small toy.
  3. Versatile in how and where it can be used.
  4. Paired with a wonderful charger and has a long lasting charge.

Things that could be improved:

  1. One member of the clit brigade wanted a better grip on the larger part.  It kept slipping.  Maybe some grips or ridges?
  2. The buttons might could be bigger.

-Planned follow up-

Neither I, nor any co-tester has used it under water, which is apparently one of its features – waterproof and all.  We plan to, and we’ll let you know how it goes.

 

Product manufacturer is here

I got mine in Baltimore from Sugar

First 4-Play Review – Wonderland White Wabbit C-Ring

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This is going to be a little less like a review and a little more like a cross between an experiment and self discovery, since it is the first cock ring I have every tried.  I started the experiment thinking that maybe there were cock-ring people and not-cock-ring people, but I kept an open mind, grabbed an open bottle of lube, took my pants off,  and saddled up.  Like many things, I think the key here is that there are many fine uses for this thing, and it gets better with practice.

OK – first thing I really appreciate is that Wonderland does a good job of presentation.  The box is just, well nice, kind of cute and well designed visually.

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I did not try this with a partner, and thank god because I started out like a high school kid trying to open their first bra with clasps in the front.  The first time I tried – I basically failed.  I could not get the damn thing on.  I watched some YouTube videos to get some guidance and gave up; had to go back to Sugar for some personal guidance, because I was trying to get the thing over my erect penis and scrotum all at once, and it was not happening.    Here was the problem: some cock rings are intended to be put at the bottom of the shaft.  I could do that with this device – but it was loose.   The White Wabbit (WW) is not intended for this.  It went on fine, but served no purpose as it hung loosely around my shaft base.  Other rings (like this one) are intended to be put on under the scrotum – which, in my experience, cannot be done erect.  Trust me – I tried and tried. What was I doing wrong?

Sugar did not think this was nearly as funny as I did when I explained Ever professional, they told me I was going to have to don the WW while flaccid then get sprung.  My trusty YouTube helpers had been talking about the other kind of ring.  This thing is supposed to work like this:

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So, I felt like an idiot for a while – but saddled back up, while starting to wonder: why does one wear a cock ring anyway?

What I was told by friends, toy store professionals, and the internet:

  1. Some people have longer orgasms with one of these on (I’m in, let’s do it)
  2. It can make an erection last longer (I didn’t really see how, but I was game to try).  Apparently blood goes in through the middle and out along the surface.  My experiment bore this out, by the way.
  3. The WW has an awesome vibrator inserted into the base that can vibrate a clitoris during penetration, or just generally vibrate. (I’m in, let’s do it)
  4. Some people also like the presentation.  (Maybe this is an acquired visual taste.  It looked to me like I was wearing a charm bracelet on my member with an adorable bunny charm.)

What I learned after several attempts, and several successful uses (all by myself):

  1. I did not have a longer orgasm per se, but I did have longer ejaculation. (Yeah – similar.  Plenty is written about the distinction elsewhere, and while I don’t usually notice a difference between the two, the WW made it clear that orgasm and ejaculation can be very distinct.)
  2. Indeed – my erection stayed after my ejaculation.  (Hey, sorry about saying ‘ejaculation’ so many times – but there was indeed an ejaculation, so you are going to have to get used to the word –ejaculation).  I don’t know exactly the duration of the post-ejaculation erection – but quite a while.  I do believe I could have made use of it with a partner if said partner wanted me to make use of it.  The thing was, I didn’t personally feel like I wanted to make use of it myself, so I ceased operation. And kind of wanted to take the Wonderland Wabbit off my wonderland bio-bits.
  3. The vibrator on the ring feels just amazing. I will bring in the clitoris brigade at some point to test how it works as a back-flow preventer and clit stimulator at the same time, but for now let me say that the thing cupped my bio-bits and vibrated. Yes, please.

-imagine time passing-

OK – I was informed today that if you turn the Wonderland Wabbit around, you could stimulate your anus during use.  I have no idea why I didn’t think of this myself in the first place.  Remembering puberty, I think I could MacGyver something pleasurable out of anything in my room, but here was a use staring me right in the butt and I missed it.

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Well – I tried it.  Of course I did.

It definitely is pleasurable.  The Wonderland does not weach far enough for wimming me wiv the wabbit ears – but it feels good just the same on my perineum.

 

Product manufacturer is here

I got mine in Baltimore from Sugar