One of the great things about being a sex toy reviewer is when out of the blue, a company mails you one of their products to check out.
Better still when what they send is uniquely designed, well-made, thoroughly exciting, and even becomes a favorite.
Case in point the Coco Penis Vibrator from The Secret Solutions. In all fairness, I'd never heard of either, but that's not especially surprising considering the large and getting larger number of manufacturers and retailers emerging in the sex tech industry.
Though I'll definitely be keeping an eye on this company, as my time with their Coco Penis Vibrator was, to be polite about it, a blast-and-a-half, so I can't wait to see what they come up with next.
Referencing all those other pleasure devices I've reviewed, it's starting to feel like there's this unspoken contest among their makers to make each new model bigger, heavier, and smarter than the last.
In my more whimsical moments, I giggle at the thought that eventually, UPS will need a forklift to deliver the end result of this bigger, heavier, and smarter sex tech arms race.
Don't get me wrong, I'm an avowed technofetishist. Often to where I'm not certain what's turning me on more, the vibrator, massager, stroker, stimulator, etc., or I'm actually excited by it looking and operating as it traveled back in time from the not too distant future.
The trouble is, while this level of technological sophistication scratches my particular science fiction kink itch, the reality is sex tech companies often don't need to make their products smart.
Or big or heavy, for that matter.
This is why the Coco Penis Vibrator was such a welcome sight as here's a toy that's minimal yet powerful, light but not fragile, and, its cherry on top, with nary a Bluetooth or manufacturer, supported app to be found.
Basically, it's a cock ring equipped with its titular vibrating motor. A type of toy I'm quite experienced with, having used them for close to twenty years. So I can attest to their effectiveness in achieving and prolonging erections, reducing sensitivity (thus fantastic for delaying orgasm), and many other penile benefits.
But what separates the Coco Penis Vibrator from others of its type is its ability to somehow balance remarkable compactness with delivering a range of excitingly potent vibrations.
Seriously, look at the thing. Can you imagine that a toy this size, its hardware a smidge over two inches long, three-quarters high, and one inch deep, could deliver three power levels and seven unique pre-set vibration patterns--as well as 100% waterproof, remarkably quiet, and both comfortable and extraordinarily arousing to use?
Well, it is. Plus, you can use it in two different ways. The first is with one of its loops around the shaft of the penis, with the other around the testicles, ideal for those who like their balls pulled or tugged.
Or, if that isn't something you enjoy, you can bypass them completely by placing the Coco around the shaft and only the shaft.
Another point in the Coco's favor is its silicone outer covering, unlike so many of the other cock rings I own, doesn't have a fondness for tearing out pubes.
I don't know how they did it. Still, as someone extremely tired of beginning or ending, not to mention during personal pleasure time with the non-consensual plucking of pubic hair, I wish cock ring manufacturers everywhere would use the same silicone formula.
Operating the Coco is done with a single button; a press and hold turns it on or off; quick taps increasing or its intensity and then rotate through its pre-installed vibration patterns.
Two more of my sex toy pet peeves are magnetic charging cables, as most of the time they don't work, and bafflingly bad design decisions when it comes to their built-in controls.
Yet again, the Coco comes through when other manufacturers continue to let me down. Take its charging cable, for instance. When I unboxed it, my first thought was to sigh and think, "Crud, here's another one that probably won't stay attached," only to discover that Coco's magnets are refreshingly potent.
Sure, it'll come loose if you put it in a high-traffic area, but it'd take a lot of jostling until it does. To give you an idea of how strong its magnets are and how light the Coco is, I could charge it even when it was dangling at the end of its cable.
For its controls, that single button truly feels like it's the right size in the right place, where I never had to fumble with it or have to dedicate valuable masturbation time trying to remember where it was.
If pushed, I'd have to say the only thing I'd like to change about the Coco is its packaging, though hardly enough to alter my overall opinion of it. It's that it's the absolute minimum, with nary an extra to behold.
Though after thinking more about it, it kind of fits with the Coco's design aesthetic as a simple, efficient, and notably potent vibrating cock ring. So I humbly withdraw my single criticism.
For penis owners or those who love them, I cannot recommend the Coco Penis Vibrator enough. The (ahem) testament to which is that rather than join the dozens and dozens of sex toys I've reviewed in my hall closet, it's receiving the highest honor I can bestow upon it.
That is to reside in my bedside table drawer, where I can get my horny little hands on it whenever I want.
In Ovid’s Metamorphoses, Pygmalion was so passionately enamored of a statue he’d made that Aphrodite herself brought it to life so they might, with me clumsily mixing Greek mythology with European folklore, “live happily ever after.”
730,000 or so days later, it’s becoming increasingly obvious that soon we won’t need a Goddess’s intervention to give life to the lifeless, grant a distinctive “humanness” to our own versions of Pygmalion’s sculpture.
BJ Formento took all these photographs and handled the lighting, while Richeille Formento acted as stylist and art director, for their "Rubber Soul'' exhibition—one of many Formento + Formento has shown all over Europe and the United States.
Sensual? Assuredly. Provocative? Definitely. Alluring? Without a doubt. Beautiful? Absolutely.
But there’s something else about these images: a striking uniqueness made all the more poignant because we may not be able to immediately identify it.
Because while these models are sensual, provocative, alluring, beautiful, they’re also completely artificial.
Even after tipping my hand with that reference to Pygmalion, I doubt you or anyone else would recognize the people in these photographs as sex dolls: a glowing testament to Formento + Formento’s photographic skills and SexDolls.com’s commitment to providing their customers with ultra-realistic playthings.
Though asked to write about them and Formento + Formento’s images featuring their merchandise, I’d nevertheless be enthusiastically praising SexDolls.com.
For one thing, opposed to other companies that appear to be forever trapped behind the Great Porn Wall, forever mistakenly believing the only way to reach their audience is to make themselves look as cheap and/or sleazy as possible, SexDolls.com is refreshingly elegant and enticingly refined.
The same is true for how they categorize their products, offering them by manufacturer, with or without mechanical movements or artificial intelligence, and then onto hair color, skin tone, body shape, and so on.
I particularly like how SexDolls.com takes the time … er, rather space on their website to explain important points like TPE versus silicone—in how the first feels more lifelike while the second looks it—as well as providing a brief history of sex dolls with an emphasis on some of the industry’s more crucial turning points.
Great range of products? Undoubtedly. Commitment to quality? Unquestionably. Provides their customers with useful information? Surely.
But there’s something else about SexDolls.com, that they’re remarkably conscientious and caring regarding why people would want to buy their products, made extra-exceptional because they put it right out there.
They certainly didn’t have to go this extra mile, evidenced by those other sex doll companies, you know, the ones hemmed in by that Great Porn Wall I mentioned that put the least amount of thought into who’s actually purchasing their merchandise or why.
SexDolls.com, however, does--and then some.
Like how people struggling with “Social Phobia, Sexual Inexperience and Physical Disabilities” might enjoy an artificial playmate, writing: "Anyone from an average, everyday person to someone with a silicone doll fetish can benefit from connecting with a sex doll. It allows people with social phobias, disabilities, and trouble connecting with other people to explore a sexual relationship they may not otherwise have."
Then, right after, that monogamous partners or anyone in a long-distance relationship also may find emotionally and sexually happiness with their dolls. Followed by how couples might use one to “—fulfill fantasies involving twosomes or orgies, without any emotional complications.”
It seems like it was only yesterday when sex dolls were nothing but a joke—and a bad one at that. Sold along with dribble glasses and whoopie cushions to embarrass friends or as a lazy way for unimaginative filmmakers to identify a character as a (gasp) pervert.
Now, in the awesomely futuristic-sounding year of 2022, we have plastic playmates practically indistinguishable from the real thing. Or, after gazing once more at Formento + Formento’s photography once, it’d be more accurate to drop that no longer accurate “practically.”
In conjunction with hyperrealism, we’re also beginning to understand that just as Pygmalion adored his sculpture, people can and do feel passionately about their artificial companions.
Something both Formento + Formento, through their hauntingly sensual imagery and SexDolls.com’s, with their obvious customer appreciation and support, not only acknowledges but actively celebrates.
Hopefully, we’ll continue to move towards an age of sexual and social enlightenment, when everyone will be sexually informed, responsible, and conscientious. Then, from there, giving us a world where we can do whatever with whoever—as long as it is consensual, of course.
With Formento + Formento and SexDolls.com doing what they can to get us, thereby reminding us “whatever with whoever” is respecting everyone’s needs and desires.
Especially people who, like Pygmalion, have found unconditional love as well as joyful lust in the arms of someone who was not born … but made.
With a new year comes long sought after reinvention, beginning with my true pronouns - and here’s a little piece on why I’m asking people to use they/them:
Me, Myself, and Them
Who am I?
It's a question most of us have asked ourselves. Probably ever since our earliest ancestors looked down at their hairy toes or into their similarly hairy reflection in a pond and pondered whose toes or face they belonged to.
And it's something I've struggled with my entire life.
If, like me, you're a member of a certain generation (ahem, boomers) or older, you were probably taught there's an unshakable taxonomy framing everything from your role in society to whether you're a woman or a man.
And also, like myself, some felt isolated, condemned to relentlessly search for ourselves and where we belong.
For a while, I thought I'd managed to narrow myself down to where at least some aspect of my personality could fit in.
But even the most persistent of these self-definitions—that I am a writer--no longer feels adequate.
Admittedly, storytelling is so ingrained in my consciousness I see conversations as lines of dialogue, and I subconsciously live-edit my dreams to make them more story-like.
Still, a writer is what and not who I am.
And though I also used to comfortably tick the boxes labeling myself as straight and CIS-gendered, more and more often, they feel like a lie I kept telling myself.
I explored this confusion in my "Keeping Score" Queer Majority article, where I wrote of rejecting masculinity at a very young age and how it made me feel like Schrödinger's feline suspended in a quantum limbo neither masculine nor feminine.
My sexuality used to be in a similar state of flux. My opposite gender attractions providing a shallow illusion of commonality while I felt lost and alone for secretly desiring female-identified zaftig people..
Time, thankfully, changes things, and as grey hairs have replaced black, I've grown more open-minded about who I'm emotionally and physically attracted to.
Accepting my demisexuality played a significant role in this, giving me the confidence to express my love and desire for people I care about and who care about me–whatever their gender expression.
In another essay, I discussed my affinity for the queer community ("Queer Like Me") for how it strives to embrace the entirety of the sex/gender spectrum and how the new, open-ended definition of queer seeks to further expand on this wonderfully welcoming spirit.
However, even if my respectful request to identify myself as queer were enthusiastically received and because I'm too terrified of losing the only community I care about to push the issue, I actually don't believe my answer to "who I am?" lies there–at least not all of it.
I'm not sure how or where I first heard of it, but at some point or other, I came across the idea that none of us is a single, solitary personality.
In my case, there's the self you're reading right now while lurking in the wings, ready to take center stage when needed is the me you hear in my fiction, the one who teaches classes, croons to my cat, emerges when talking with friends, giggles with playmates, is the neglected child desperately searching for a loving family, the person I want to be, or…
No wonder it's been impossible to say who I am.
Realizing this, coupled with intense reflection and bucket loads of self-kindness, it's finally possible to emerge from those decades of doubt and loneliness as they/them.
I'm… well, we're hardly unique in this. As the growing use of individually chosen pronouns has demonstrated, people have begun examining themselves and from there deciding for themselves who they truly are.
Some may question this, and, no, we're not talking about your average, run-of-the-mill shallow-minded bigots clutching their pearls that this freedom to self-define is somehow a threat to … whatever.
We're frankly referring to those fretting that pronouns could be another way to follow the herd or as a status symbol: gender expression as a shallow flavor-of-the-moment rather than as the result of earnest soul-searching.
And, you know what, they're right. There are people out there desperately wanting to do what everyone else is doing--or show off how enlightened they are.
Just as [Insert name of any ancient philosopher or spiritual leader here] 's students followed them because someone said it was the cool thing to do.
In the present or the past, this doesn't mean everyone acted this way. As with any social change, there's going to be a degree of uncertainty—and right along with it, people who can't cope with what it represents or the opportunities it might provide.
For the first time, what isn't uncertain is that the western world is showing signs of moving towards a new level of social consciousness, where we have the option to reject arbitrary, outside-imposed identifications if we want to.
And we have gender and trans activists, the queer community, all their allies and supporters to thank for it.
Because it's their strength in standing up for the right to self-define that's challenging those thousands of years of oppression, changing a society that's trapped generations of people inside tiny boxes—while ostracizing those who didn't fit into them.
Bravery that now allows us to say who we are for the first time in our lives: a community of individual personalities.
We are they/them, and all of us–from the person writing this to the one crying with admiration and love–have the extraordinary, brave, and admirable queer community to thank for it.
Here’s a fun opportunity to hear absolutely incredible vocal renditions of some of my erotic stories courtesy of the amazing Nobilis Reed!
Compliments of his Erotica Podcast, have a listen to these three tales of speculative sexuality, often read by Reed himself on YouTube, or if you prefer you can enjoy them on his podcast site.
“Koi No Yokan” a multisexual tale of two super-intelligent quantum systems, read by Nobilis Reed
“Kintsugi” a BDSM-flavored bisexual social science fiction story, read by Nobilis Reed
Bell House Invitation” a look at collective consciousness and passionate sexuality, read by Michael Robbins.
I’m grateful to all the sites I write for, but there’s one I want to draw particular attention to as it’s a pleasure and a sincere honor to be able to contribute to Queer Majority.
So please take a moment to read their exceptional articles, more than a few I know will touch you deeply, and do what you can to support a site that bravely addresses “--the nuances, contradictions, and tensions inherent in society’s diverse conceptions of community.”
And, if you like, take a look at my own humble contributions:
I’m so blessed to be able to count the amazing Dr. Lori Beth Bisbey as a friend. Not only has she had me as a guest on her Erotic Library Podcast but she’s also done a great job reading many of my stories!
Not only that but also interviewed my best buddy, and my co-host on the Licking Non-Vanilla Podcast, Ralph Greco. Jr, as well!
And here’s Ralph having fun with Dr. Lori:
I’m very excited to spread the word that the awesome Nobilis Reed has read “Koi No Yokan,” another of my brand new erotic science fiction stories for his podcast.
If you’re curious about about happens when a pair of artificial intelligences develop feelings for one another—and how it changes the word--click here.
It’s not easy to say when, exactly, Hirronata Autonomous Suborbital Manufacturing Platform #8, located at the furthest-most point on the Main Equatorial Celestron Tether, fell in love with Tlachtga, the level 9 (on the Klein Autonomous Intelligence Index) system managing the Nous Colony of Wingspread in the region that had, some 50 years previously, been commonly known as Anchorage, Alaska, fell in love.
The flirting between the two had started innocently enough: a shifting digit or two in a Product Shipping Assembly Order, a certain amount of what could almost be called sashaying in a parachute-delivered cargo drop, that, in time, led to what could have been called clearer signals: at least, that is, to a pair of ultra-high-level quantum computational systems.
Hirronata Autonomous Suborbital Manufacturing Platform #8, for instance, slipped into its burst-transmitted catalog update which was dismissed by the few humans who still bothered to pay attention to such things, a repeated item listing of a Waveform Integrated Network Kernel (“Wink Wink”).
Tlachtga, in response, “accidentally”--which is what any resident of the Colony would have chalked it up if they’d even noticed it occurring--caused a one second, 2-degree, temperature increase in one of the largest of the geometrically roofed environs it oversaw: a pinkish-hued, and very evident, blush clearly visible to anything in orbit, in particular anything that might happen to be at the end of the Main Equatorial Celestron Tether.
I'm already a HUGE fan of the wonderful Dr Amy Marsh - for too many reasons to even begin to name - but extra-so for zir lovely kindness in chatting with me about my writing and more on Love's Outer Limits (where I'm honored to be zir co-host).. Check it out here.
I’m GIDDY and BEYOND that my brand-new queer/cyberpunk/BDSM erotic short story, "Kintsugi" is NOW up for all to enjoy on the amazing Nobilis Erotica Podcast- read by the man himself (who does a SUPERB job!).
I had such a wonderful time teaching my special two-part Erotica Writing Class (and hope everyone had as much a good time as I did!) I’ve seriously caught the virtual teaching bug!
So much so that in July I’ll be teaching not one, but TWO educational and/or fun classes - hope to see you there!
Here’s the info on both:
Desiring Tomorrow: How To Have Futuristic Sex …
July 12, 2020
Time: 1:00PM - 2:55PM (PST)
Click here to get tickets
Now, more than ever, we need to stay optimistic … and an exciting way to do just that is to bring the erotic pleasures of tomorrow into the present!
In this entertaining class, renowned sexual futurist M.Christian will discuss everything from Internet-enabled sextech devices to virtual reality adult entertainment by focusing on not just how much of this could become part of tomorrow’s sexual activities but that you can also give most it a whirl right now!
Participants will learn about:
Creative Sex Play: Boosting Your Erotic Imagination
July 21, 2020
Time: 6:00PM - 8:55PM (PST)
Click here to get tickets
Even the most experienced sexual adventurer may run short of ... shall we say 'inspiration'?
In this wild and playfully provocative seminar, participants will not just learn all kinds of spanking-new sexual techniques and erotic wonderlands to get turned on by, but how to do their kinky explorations safely: physically as well as emotionally!
In addition, participants will be shown how to strengthen their overall imagination muscles: giving them important mental tools they can use to spice up their bedroom antics even further, as well as being of great benefit to many other aspects of their lives!