Occasionally, one of my articles rouses more discussions than others. That was the case, for example, of the one where I suggested to leverage the power of the Web to buy kinky sex toys at ultra-affordable prices. Although I specified how the reasoning only referred to certain kinds of items, various factions weaponized that post to serve their own interests – so I had been thinking for a while yet to further clear things up.
The opportunity came up yesterday with the simultaneous arrival of two parcels, ideal to return to the subject. How could I not take up such a coincidence?
Let’s start, however, with a recap of the previous episode in case you really don’t want to make the effort of clicking the above link. My position was simple: when you want to buy a “standard” sex toy – meaning a well-established one – you can often happily turn to those hypercheap far East online shops. In most cases the quality will be the very same of the most famous brands. If, on the other hand, you have more peculiar needs you need to tread way more carefully.
How carefully? You just have to examine the contents of those two parcels to understand.
The good – Ohnut penetration management rings
Ohnut rings are the classic simple and smart solution that for some unfathomable reason nobody had seen so far. Calling them a ‘sex toy’ may be somewhat improper, but they surely can help a lot to increase pleasure for many couples with “size” problems. And no, not in the sense you are thinking of.
Fact is, the collective obsession for giant penises notwithstanding, there are lots of people who find overly deep penetrations just annoying – or even too painful to stand them. The reasons range from simple dimensional incompatibility to a large number of medical conditions from endometriosis to the consequences of therapies and operations, or even just the common lowering of the cervix in certain phases of the menstrual cycle.
The rings act like “bumpers” preventing the insertion of the full penis – or of phallic-shaped toys – without reducing pleasure for the penetrating partner. The idea is to use one to four of them docking them one on top of the others, and slide them on the shaft (after any condom) thus controlling the depth of the contect.
They are a very soft material, so the effect feels like a mix between a cuddle and a cockring; counterintuitively, wearing them provides more stimulation – but most importantly the partner doesn’t feel distressed anymore. In case you are wondering: nothing prevents from using them even for other types of intercourse.
Now, even if they are very simple objects, the attention behind the product is clear. You see it in the choice of material (compatible with any lubricant, anallergenic, perfectly supple…), in the clinical trials that allowed to optimize them, in the “Apple-style” packaging featuring lots of little surprises in every detail, and so on.
In fact, mine came via La Valigia Rossa, a company that became famous here in Italy due to the extreme care it puts in their catalog choices and for its very knowledgeable staff. So much so that in their website they explain in detail how the Ohnut rings can help in less self-evident cases like gender reassignment post-operative therapy.
To sum it up: original, well designed, useful, well manufactured, perfectly marketed.
The bad – Chinese urethral dilators
The second parcel was from… someone. Meaning the sender was one of the countless Chinese online “factory outlets” that, in their intention, even did a very nice thing. As awkwardly explained in an email message from several months back, some store manager had found my website pretty interesting, and offered to send in a few BDSM products to review if I had found them to my liking.
Pity that in the meantime the shop has closed down – or more probably changed name and ownership for fiscal reasons, as it often happens – so I couldn’t resume the conversation.
Anyway, the content of two heat-sealed transparent plastic bags were the items in the above photo. No name, description or instructions, no indication of the material used… but it was sufficient to browse the catalogs of dozens of other similar online shops to recognize them as male urethral dilators.
The short one is a bit thicker too, while the long one is bored lengthwise – probably to allow urination even when it is inserted. In fact, these friendly gadgets are meant to be shoved in your peehole to stretch it: someone finds the feeling pleasurable, some others do it to feel pain in a BDSM context. I’m not judging.
In this specific case, these merry little objects are definitely more oriented to the second category of guys since, differently from lots of similar products, they also feature those ominous screws. The stretchers split for most of their length, so turning the screw the two parts open up to 2 centimeters wide. Which, if you are wondering, is much wider than the 5-7 millimeters diameter of the average male urethra.
And this design idea causes some tiny issues.
Tiny issue #1 – If you open too wide, the urinary meatus rips. The issue is not the pain, which I’d never wish on anyone anyway, but the entity of the damage. If it happens you have to rush into surgery, or the penis will remain deformed and forever compromised in its functions. If the bleed doesn’t kill you first, obviously.
Tiny issue #2 – The machining details are questionable at best. As you can see in the picture, the edges of the central split are sharp… and jagged like a file. Consider how fragile the urinary mucosa is, and you’ll see that inserting four saws like those isn’t a very bright idea. But in any case…
Tiny issue #3 – That V-shaped lengthwise split is technically called “guillottine cut”, for a very good reason. Basically, when you take the dilator out you can either close it first and pinch the most delicate flesh between those jagged metal splinters, or keep it open therefore driving the mucosa into the V, where it will be sliced to perfection. A desperate run to the ER is guaranteed in any case.
So, you only need a glance to see how whoever built these gizmos hadn’t even the faintest idea of what they were doing and why. And who cares about those who, in good faith, might buy the item and use it thinking it was safe, instead of suspecting they were holding a lethal weapon in their hands (and elsewhere).
To sum it up: original, but designed by a deranged simian, useless, highly dangerous and irresponsibily marketed.
How to choose exotic sex toys
I hope this quick comparison cleared up what I meant with putting some intelligence in choosing sex-related products.
Seriously: until it’s about a random vibrator or reasonably common items, any seller is as good as the others and you can just choose the most inexpensive even if it is a no-name store. Even if you get a lemon, you aren’t risking any serious consequence.
As soon as more particular products and desires come into play, however… be careful! Prices aren’t the real problem, but the seriousness of the manufacturers and sellers definitely is. Unfortunately, most of them – including relatively famous brands – focuses on revenue only, and sees no difference between dealing bolts, sturgeons or sex toys. To them, customers are just a quick income source and they don’t care for their satisfaction (or even their safety).
Luckily, exceptions do exist however and you just have to look around to find trusted sources that make every effort to offer the very best for our sexual well-being. The trick is, as always, to keep our brain on even when kink is involved.