2018 was a mind-fuck of a year for me—the highs and lows were on a new level. I went through big personal changes that could’ve ended this blog: a breaking point, a divorce, a move, and a lot of confusion about where I was going in life.
Besides that, there was the American political climate (let’s not even go there) and the chaos of adult-content censorship across social media (Twitter shadowbans, Instagram account suspension and hashtag banning,1 and of course the Tumblr no-porn debacle this December2).
But amidst all the turmoil, I had a hell of a lot of fun: I got to know weird new people and formed deep bonds; I attended a sexual freedom summit and met toy reviewers I’d admired for years; I briefly tried my hand at being non-monogamous;3 and of course I wrote about sex toys—A LOT.
So, in the end, I say, “Screw it” to all the nonsense that’s gone on this year. Instead, I’m going to celebrate: the awesomeness of the sex-positive people I work with on a daily basis, and the orgasmic goodness of the new toys I’ve discovered this year.
- 1 TOP FIVE SEX TOYS OF 2018
- 2 BEST NEW-TO-ME CLASSICS
- 3 BIGGEST FAILS
- 4 BEST REVIEW LINES & SOCIAL MEDIA CRAZINESS
- 5 BEST OF 2018 SEX TOY GIVEAWAY
- 6 A HUGE THANK-YOU
TOP FIVE SEX TOYS OF 2018
Fun Factory Stronic G & Stronic Real
I love the thrust! I may have declared the Stronic Real the “best piece of engineering I’ve ever put in my vagina,” because the quality kicks ass and ooooh, the motion. The Fun Factory Stronic pulsators use a magnetic weight system to jiggle back and forth, so fast, really massaging as they go. Even better, for me the Stronic G is totally hands-free, and the Real is most of the time.
This year I tested out all three members of Fun Factory’s Pulsator II series of lighter-weight jiggling machines: the Stronic G, Stronic Real, and Stronic Surf. Each shape has its advantages (comparison here), and I’m all about the phallic things, so I’m a particular fan of the Stronic Real. But the Stronic G is off the hook too!
Honorable mention goes to the Velvet Thruster thrusting dildos. Their longer stroke length makes them feel more like penetrative sex than the Stronics, and their motors are the best of any true thrusting dildo out there.4 But the Velvet Thrusters also have a couple downsides—like the noise level. All in all, I have to say the Stronics are a bit more user-friendly.
Uberrime Splendid Dual-Density Dildo
The Uberrime Splendid is simply the best new G-spotting dildo on the market—if you want your toy to feel more lifelike (rather than rock solid). It’s a G-spot dildo on a mission. The shape is perfection, the two-layered firmness is spot-on: soft but not oh-so-squishy. And I hear it’s great for prostate stimulation too!
Honorable mention goes to the Uberrime Helios. I actually use my Helios more than my Splendid because I love the big fucking head (and its huge ridge), plus the 9-spiral texture that rubs against my vulva as I thrust. Because of its size, its flexibility, and all that texture, though, Helios is more of a niche toy compared to the Splendid. But, by the dildo gods, the silicone marbling is gorgeous!
Blush Novelties Avant Soft Silicone Collection
And that’s not all—the silicone is pleasantly soft too, making them so much more usable for me! Before I got my Avant D5, I assumed it would bore me to tears. But I guess you just never know, because in a strange twist of fate, it (and its cuter twin, the Avant D6) turned out to be one of my favorites of all time.
Blush Ruse Jammy
But wait, there’s more Blush! I love Blush Novelties so much for making truly budget-friendly, body-safe silicone toys that also feel great. I had to throw this dildo into the round-up because, you know, it wouldn’t be Phallophile Reviews without a super-realistic silicone dick in the mix.
And it’s not just the price, but the sensation: Blush’s platinum silicone has a lovely satiny feel, a fascinating contrast with Jammy’s abundance of skin texture and veins. I’m really enjoying Jammy suction-cupped to the wall, especially when I want extra G-spot stim, because its solid upward curve is delightful.
Lovehoney Desire Luxury Weighted Curved Dildo
Lovehoney’s Desire Luxury Weighted Curved Silicone Dildo takes a tried-and-true G-spotting shape and adds something new: weight inside, instead of just plain silicone. The toy’s name might be boring AF, but the flat head, plus the added heft, make this dildo feel sensational when I’m massaging my G-spot with it.
And—this may sound shocking, but—I generally find it more usable than the Njoy Pure Wand, more thrustable, which actually means I get off more easily. The Pure Wand is a G-spot and prostate champion, but sometimes…you have to learn to deal with its weight. If you don’t need so much pressure, I highly recommend the Desire Luxury Weighted Curved Dildo as a Pure Wand alternative.
Want to enter to win any of these 5 toys (or a SheVibe gift card!) right now? Jump to the giveaway widget here.
BEST NEW-TO-ME CLASSICS
Dorr Silker G-Spot Vibrator
This is a G-spot vibe that I, someone who once that internal vibes just didn’t work for me, enjoy the hell out of. The power is rumbly, with just a tinge of buzz, and it’s strong. But not so strong that I’m overwhelmed by the first level! (Which has totally happened to me before.)
And most of all, I love the broadness of the Dorr Silker’s head. It curves forward and has just the right amount of point at the end. The handle is super-easy to hold, and of course, like any good G-spot vibe, the Silker can double as a clit vibe too (especially if you don’t like super-pinpoint stimulation).
Njoy Pure Plug
The Njoy Pure Plug is the only butt plug that really matters to me now. I wondered what the big deal was before I got one, why everyone and their friend recommended it, and then I felt the weight in my ass. That large bulb (even in the size small that I own!) is so much pressure, which my butt loves.
Best of all, the Pure Plug’s neck is thin so my sphincters don’t feel too stretched when I’m wearing it for a few hours (some people like that stretching sensation—but I don’t really), and I get a kick out of how the loop base rubs against my ass cheeks when I walk.
NS Novelties Luxe Collection Bullet Vibrators
I own my fair share of bullets vibes now—especially after completing a comparative ranking of affordable ones earlier this year—and the NS Luxe Electra is hands-down my personal favorite. It’s not the strongest motor on the market—I’d say that that honor goes to the Exposed Nocturnal Bullet, followed by the Nu Sensuelle Point Plus and the BMS Essential Bullet, for sheer power; and to the We-Vibe Tango for sheer rumbliness.
But lucky for my sometimes-too-sensitive clit, the NS Luxe Electra is rumbly without being a kick in the pants. That’s why I very often recommend the NS Luxe Collection Vibes to anyone who’s asking what bullet to get, especially if they’re new to vibrators or they know they’re looking for something that’s good but not The Most Powerful Vibe Ever.™
I’ve seen too many truly forgettable toys this year to even bother considering their mediocrity. The toys I’m gonna talk about here are in a totally different category: they’ve failed me on an EPIC LEVEL.
Pipedream Fantasy for Her Love Thrust-Her
When I saw that there was a body-safe silicone-coated thrusting dildo going for under $100—$89.99 at SheVibe currently—I was jazzed. I hoped that it would be the answer to the problem that many folks have: wanting a quality thrusting toy but not wanting to blow $200 on something they might not love.
But nah, in this case you really do get what you pay for. The Pipedream Fantasy for Her Love Thrust-Her (also, that name, ack!) has a severely limited number of thrusting speeds and has bad torque (I’ve stopped the thrusting by clenching too hard right before I’m about to come), and the smell out of the box was slightly alarming.
I can still see why someone would want to buy this toy (thrusting and vibration, plus remote control and suction cup!), but…eh. I expect more.
And speaking of epic fails, this other Pipedream toy looks even better!:
YIKES, I just discovered this Pipedream toy that’s supposedly “great for insertion” and “mimicking oral sex” and I’m befuddled.
Maybe I could just eliminate my urethra (SO unnecessary) & reposition my vag farther up and outward—then it’ll be great, right?! ???? pic.twitter.com/9HSKH4Du36
— Felicity (@PhallophileRev) December 6, 2018
This toy is literally named “Major Dick,” so I don’t know what I was expecting… Actually, I do: mediocrity, rather than sheer awfulness. Instead, the camo dong is not only cheesy (I like cheesy, btw), but just feels godawfully cheap in the worst sense of the word.
I can explain my biggest issue with this toy in one word: the seam.
I suggest going elsewhere for your camo sex toy needs, unless you just wanna use this thing as a desk ornament. *shrug*
Fun Factory Volta
First, a disclaimer: I think this is a well-made toy. Good motor, interesting concept, high-quality materials. But. BUT. I hate the flippy-tipped motion with all the disgust I have for manufacturers’ claims that a sex toy is “better than the real thing!!!”6
I want to get off on the Volta…but it never happens. In a futile effort to finally orgasm, I turn up the speed, only to find that the Volta’s sharp, fluttering motion makes my clit even more enraged on the higher levels. It just doesn’t give me the steady, under-the-clit pressure I need. Other folks love the Volta (and the Zumio too, just looking at that thing frightens me)—that’s totally valid. But mine remains sadly unused in a bag in the unloved-toy suitcase.
BEST REVIEW LINES & SOCIAL MEDIA CRAZINESS
This year I published 45 reviews (covering 57 different toys) and photographed a buttload of sex toys in interesting positions for social media purposes. Here are some highlights!
But the Infinite Thrusting Sex Machine’s first speed is already moving at about a stroke per second. “Warm-up??? What’s that?” I find myself imagining a sentient version of this thruster saying.
As you progress through the vibration strengths…the sound moves from “dentist’s drill” all the way to “my neighbor has just started a leafblower twenty feet from my bedroom window.”
But as for Blush’s second use suggestion, “working at your desk,” sure, I gave that a go. And I would definitely recommend it if you’re looking to spice up some boring footnotes. (Academic writing has rarely been so compelling.)
I shuffle into the kitchen with the Stronic G still pulsating away; I stand at the counter, my thighs closed around the pulsator as I munch on chocolate chip cookies and drink coffee. (I’m living my best life here!)
—Stronic Real review, on hands-free toying
This is my life as a writer, condensed: I aim for “fun” and “sexy,” and instead I end up reading serious speculation about whether there’s a fifth dimension.
—That thing I wrote on mental orgasms (and other weirdness)
Really, I imagine using any of the Velvet Thrusters as being like having sex with an android—who gives you steady, constant, unwavering thrusts.
So G-spot orgasms are great, G-spot orgasms are wonderful, G-spot orgasms are my god. (You think I’m joking, don’t you? )
I swear to the dildo deities that there are twelve distinct versions of what I call the “jackhammer” (a fast alternation between on-off-on-off that grates on my nerves). Let’s just say that I don’t like the patterns, because yeah, I hate them.
I thought maybe I’d discovered a new mythical creature, a vibrator with multiple patterns I could enjoy.
But, I mean, I could always wear it as some sort of threatening-looking (but Barbie-pink) ring on my index finger if I was so inclined.
—Nu Sensuelle Point Plus review, on the studded silicone attachment
Clearly, I couldn’t let this suction-cupped goodness go to waste…I ran through my list of possible suction cup dildo positions, trying to decide how to make this work. I ended up thinking that maybe I should revisit my dislike for both the “dildo-on-chair” and “ass-against-the-wall” options.
Best Social Media
It turns out that you can do a lot of fun non-sex things too when you have a growing dildo, vibrator, and butt plug army!
STUFF ‘EM IN YOUR SHORTS
For everyone who liked my sex-toys-in-shorts pic last month!
I couldn’t resist seeing how many big toys I could stuff inside this elastic waistband ???? My Tantus Steam Hunk got buried and was trying to escape out the bottom! pic.twitter.com/acO2z7BzdL
— Felicity (@PhallophileRev) June 1, 2018
FILL A SUITCASE WITH ‘EM
OK, now that I’ve sorted out my sex toy collection, I am ready to move! Priorities, you know ???? pic.twitter.com/82ajW2ag3W
— Felicity (@PhallophileRev) July 15, 2018
STICK ‘EM TO YOUR CHEST
STAGE YOUR HOUSE, PRE-SALE
LINE ‘EM UP DOWN YOUR LEGS
It’s like I have a lot of options or something! pic.twitter.com/5tZq8TW48l
— Felicity (@PhallophileRev) June 24, 2018
GET OVER YOUR NERVOUSNESS & LOOK HOT IN A HARNESS
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Since @uberrimedildos Helios’ base is very flared (plus the head is so large), this toy may be difficult to fit into harnesses with O-rings meant for average-sized dildos. But, with a little wiggling, the excellent SpareParts Joque harness’ ring will stretch to fit this toy. I like wearing them together just so I can look at the dildo! Full review link in bio, or go to Phal.reviews/Helios. #siliconedildo #sextoys #sextoytester #harness #spareparts #joque #pegging
PUT ‘EM IN A SHELF & SPIN IT ‘ROUND
Behold, the spinning dildo shelf! ???? pic.twitter.com/anYyxgeZHn
— Felicity (@PhallophileRev) August 29, 2018
BEST OF 2018 SEX TOY GIVEAWAY
Note: The top-5 toys giveaway is now over! Thanks to everyone who participated!
After all the shit that went down this past year, I think we all deserve a break—and what could be more relaxing than a free sex toy?
So I bring you what I almost decided to call the “Fuck 2018 Giveaway”: all my top 5 favorites described above, plus a $100 SheVibe gift card in case your tastes don’t align with mine! Here’s the roundup of prizes, most open internationally (minus the Blush dils, which are US & Canada only) to entrants 18 years and older:
- 1 Fun Factory Stronic pulsator from the Pulsator II series, $199 value: You choose either the Stronic G, Stronic Real, or Stronic Surf (comparison here). Name your color, and Peepshow Toys will do their utmost to get that color in your preferred model. Open internationally.
- $100 SheVibe gift card. Hell, yeah! SheVibe has a massive selection and the site is a treat to browse through, so if you can’t find something you like here, I don’t know what to tell you. SheVibe will ship to the US and 24 countries internationally (listed here), including Canada, the UK, Australia, New Zealand, and much of Europe.
- 1 Uberrime Splendid dual-density dildo, $72 value: Available in a pink to pearlescent white fade, seen here! Uberrime will ship internationally.
- 1 Lovehoney Desire Luxury Weighted Curved G-Spot Dildo, $60 value: It only comes in purple! Open to entrants located anywhere Lovehoney ships internationally (see full country list in the “show shipping for” drop-down menu on this page if you’re unsure).
- 1 Blush Avant striped silicone dildo, $30–53 value: Sure, I have a favorite Avant dildo, the D5/D6, but I wanted my winner to be able to choose the shape that worked for them. Your choices are the Avant D1, Avant D3, Avant D6, Avant P1 (rainbow!), and Avant P3, shown below.7 US and Canada residents only for this one.
- 1 Blush Novelties Ruse Jammy suction cup dildo, $33 value: In purple! I love this large, realistic dong. Also open to US and Canada residents only.
Other Terms & Conditions
All giveaway entrants and winners must be 18 years of age. Giveaway begins December 27, 2018, and ends at 11:59 Pacific time January 13, 2019. Entries from giveaway-only Twitter accounts will be disqualified. Non-US winners are responsible for any duties and customs fees (but not for the international shipping cost itself).
A HUGE THANK-YOU
You, my readers, keep this site running. If you’re here, you’re some combination of horny and discerning—both great qualities in my book. Your support makes it possible for me to spend the time it takes to write thoughtful, detailed reviews and guides. My best wishes to you for the New Year: Keep being chill, sexy people and kicking butt!
And without my awesome affiliates—see all of them here—my sex toy knowledge would be so much more limited. An extra special thanks goes to Peepshow Toys and to SheVibe for donating the bigger-dollar-value items to the giveaway and for offering me so many high-quality sex toys for review.
Blush Novelties has become a huge supporter of my site this year; check out all the affordable, safe Blush toys I’ve reviewed, and none of them has sucked! (Well, I mean, there was that one butt plug that I couldn’t make work for my body, but close enough. ☺)
Finally, my thanks to the sex toy giant that is Lovehoney for being willing to throw in a Desire dildo at short notice!
- For example, #sextoy and #sextoys no longer exist, which is ridiculous.
- A big “fuck you” to Apple too for that one—and to FOSTA/SESTA for making platforms and providers scared about liability issues. Plus I don’t even want to consider Facebook, which has long been against even remotely sex-related content.
- In case you’re wondering, so far I suck at it!
- I consider Stronics to be “pulsators” rather than thrusting dildos. Their movement absolutely does not feel like PIV sex—that statement is a hill I will die on.
- With two exceptions, both Blush: the Real Nude Sumo here is currently on clearance for $21.99—down from its original price of $49. Or, the Temptasia Elvira is only $24—but I will swear up and down that its diameter is a bit under 1.9″, plus it has 2.5″ inches less insertable length than Jammy.
- No, no, it’s really not, because sex toys don’t mimic human contact (much less speak), nor are there any toys on the market that legit feel like flesh and blood if your bits are at all sensitive.
- The winner will be able to choose which after I email them saying they’ve won; no need to enter this info in the giveaway widget.