Toy Preview: The Fifty Shades of Grey Official Pleasure Collection from Lovehoney

This year it’s been almost impossible to escape the Fifty Shades of Grey phenomena, so why not submit entirely and treat yourselves to the official range, available exclusively from Lovehoney? With cold winter nights drawing in close, the Fifty Shades line is the perfect excuse to stay in and generate your own kind of heat. Be sure to pre-order, as we’re told stock is limited and there’s no doubt that all the toys are going to prove very popular.

There’s also the chance to win the ultimate in Fifty Shades memorabilia: a presentation-framed Twitchy Palm Spanking Paddle, signed by E L James herself (below). What more could a burgeoning Dom or Sub want? Indeed, it’s Christmas come early at Lovehoney, and we already know what’s going on our fantasy present list – and who!

Pre-order your Fifty Shades of Grey toys from Lovehoney and enter their E L James Signed Spanking Paddle competition here

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Print Clash Fash

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Since I’ve never been very good at wearing black, and in the name of eclectic fashion, here I’ve teamed my French Maid Dress by J.W. Anderson for Topshop with bright pink floral tights from Primark. They make my legs look like economy sausages, but hey, they go with my pink hair (which I’ve styled into a fake mohican to counter the austere tailored dress and the smart cut of the coat).

Speaking of which, my snakeskin print trenchcoat is by Helene Berman by way of House Of Fraser, and my heels are Block Pumps by United Nude because my addiction for this shoe brand knows no bounds – other than never buying a pair at full price as they have great sales (don’t worry, you can thank me later).

So go on, clash that fash: out with the old and in with the bold!

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J.W. Anderson for Topshop

If you like to take your bedroom fantasy into your everyday wear, you could do worse than take a page out of designer J.W. Anderson’s book. His gorgeous French Maid Dress, above, brings to mind Maggie Gyllenhaal in Secretary: the high-necked restrictive frontage is supremely sexy (especially when coupled with the promise of such suggestive buttons) while the naivety of the white Pilgrim collar and cuffs are prudish and forbidding – and thus tantalisingly thrilling. This is an outfit you could easily wear to work, feeling trussed up and constrained but looking business-like and focussed, whilst a whole other world of sexual expression lies simmering just under the surface, waiting to be unbound…

Yes, young Brit fashion hotshot J.W. Anderson launched his eponymous collection for Topshop today, and true to form his clothing is classic in inspiration, but fashion-forward in its creation. Eminently wearable white shirts and Breton striped jumpers rub against quilted silk paisley skirts and trousers in Anderson’s trademark tartan – even tortoise print jeans and zebra striped iPad cases have a place here.

As the designer himself said: “[The J.W. Anderson girl] lives in the clothing, it’s not too pristine. They’re all over the place, these girls. They might boil over but they don’t – they hold it in.” It’s unsurprising then that his mix-and-match spirit has been so embraced by the fashion world – and by a far broader audience to boot: by 8am this morning many of Anderson’s Topshop items had already sold out in the more popular sizes.

As Jonathan William Anderson himself states: “You can make it whatever you want: I want my clothes to live and interact with other garments.” High fashion just went High Street, and in a most invigorating way…

J.W. Anderson Official Website

J.W. Anderson at Topshop

This piece was originally posted on Cliterati


Krazy for Katrantzou

I am genuinely beyond stoked that I managed to get my hands on a Mary Katrantzou Balloon Dress from her Topshop collection.

This dress is mine, all mine: MINE, I tell you. Yes: mine!

Just look at this work of art: it’s something other-wordly, of true beauty and colour, something seen in magazines or V&A exhibitions, not an item a mere mortal like myself in the suburbzzz could ever possibly hope to own.

So: how did I get my sticky paws on such a special dress? There were two contributing factors:

1) My credit card (obviously).

Impractical Items Of Great Beauty Unjustifiable In Their Expense, henceforth known as IIOGBUITE (catchy, don’t you think?!) are the stuff of which credit cards are made. They are certainly not bought on a money per use basis, so one will never see a healthy return on them.

However, like all IIOGBUITEs, this dress will bring its owner unexplicable joy and pleasure just from the sight of it, through the monthly repayments and up to the point of baliff visits and all-too predictable property repossessions.

2) The fact that the day the Mary Katrantzou collection went on sale at Topshop my daughters woke me up at 5.30am.

This should not have made a difference. After all, one would assume that any selling of such stupendously fashion-forward gear would begin at a normal shop-opening time on the appointed day. Say 9 or 10am. But no, the night before this collection went on sale I googled its Topshop online store start time, but to no avail. 

Not mine – all mine – at all 😦

As I lay in bed at 6am being jumped on by small people, I thought I’d just check for news on the store’s website on my iPhone. And lo and behold, would you Adam and Eve it (that’s cockney rhyming slang for ‘believe’, for all you non-Brits out there), not only was Mary Katrantzou’s clothing line on sale online, but the jersey dress I’d also been wanting was already sold out. ALREADY?!

 This I could not believe. WHEN DID THIS DAMN SALE START? And WHY DIDN’T ANYONE TELL ME?! I’m guessing (and am happy to be corrected – please feel free), that it started on midnight on said day, and not at a more reasonable time of 9 or 10am! Anyway, I was annoyed, as not only was the jersey dress £100 more affordable, it was also infinitely more wearable (thereby negating the IIOGBUITE issue above, but with equal joy imparted). 

 The Large was, well, too large, whilst the Medium was slightly tight (which means I can’t wear my M&S Two Sizes Bigger Bra underneath it, although it is nice to know my natural boobs are good for something!), but all in all the Medium was a better fit. After all, it is called a Balloon Dress, so the boned balloon shaped skirt does nicely cover my ample bum whilst making my ‘I’ve had two-kids’ tum look tiny in comparison.  And it’s beautiful. Did I mention that? Truly beautiful. I had no idea that in real life this dress would move me so much. The prints are so vivid they almost glow, and the shape is just something else: if you could buy it in every size, there is no body shape it couldn’t flatter. No wonder it’s been so popular with celebrities – it takes the heat off their chest size and the tightness of their buns! OK, so it’s a cliched IIOGBUITE, but it is worth every penny because it’s a work of art in itself, and I am happy every time I see it hanging on my husband’s clothes rail (my rail’s fit-to-bursting, natch!). The only thing left to consider is what shoes to wear with it. Hmm… I can feel a whole new blog coming on…! September 2012 update – Unfortunately, due to financial reasons I’m now having to sell this dress. It’s in a Medium size, has been worn once, and is in perfect condition. So if you’re interested in buying this piece of fashion history, please contact me below.


Glamourpussy

When I saw this Glamour box-set of seven – yes seven! – varied sex toys, I was really impressed, and thought my luck was in! There was a plain silver vibrator with additional G-Spot stimulator sheath, a dildo, love egg, love balls, anal beads and a cock ring. There was also a sachet of lube and the all-important batteries, a necessary inclusion to any electric toy package – after all, there’s nothing more frustrating than a pack of sex toys without the means to make them work! The selection looked well thought out, and the presentation was great: silver, glittery, and great fun. It was slightly hen-party tacky, but that was also part of the appeal – I like a sex toy that doesn’t take itself too seriously, so seven sex toys has got to be seven times as much fun, right?!

Glamour Pur Collection

The Glamour Pur Collection

Sometimes with a big collection of toys you can imagine a female partner feeling over-awed or swamped by the sheer size of the dildos/ bum toys/ etc, and she might like to veto one or two of the items before trying them with her male partner, but that wasn’t the case with this range. Personally I felt more than comfortable trying all the toys out with my husband – the selection wasn’t too intimidating, and it was a good box-set to explore together straight-off the bat.

The vibrator was your standard 3-speed vibe that’s probably been the same since 1970s, which was disappointing, as you’d hope vibrators have evolved since then – which they certainly have! Maybe here it was a case of ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’. The vibrator wasn’t loud, but then it wasn’t particularly effective either!

The G-Spot stimulator sheath which slipped over the vibrator was a disappointment: imagine putting a condom on and it only coming three-quarters of the way down your partner’s penis! Not a good look. And not particularly sexy on a vibrator either.

The same went for the dildo, which size-wise came way shy of my (admittedly unusually well-hung) husband’s cock. But in that respect – in its favour – it wasn’t a threatening size, and I do appreciate that not everyone’s a ‘size queen’ like me! Not only did it lack in girth, but it was too short to comfortably hold manually inside you vaginally. It needed to be a good couple of inches longer so that you could hold it in your hand and still feel it was secure inside you – and get some good leverage to use it against your G-spot. It might be better used as an anal toy for someone who’s moving up to a larger size butt-plug, but not quite ready for real anal sex yet. That said: it didn’t have that all-important butt-plug base to stop it from being sucked up by your sphincter, so maybe it wouldn’t actually be appropriate for bum-play after all…

The Love Egg was cute and space-age silver, with four speeds, and the buzz on high speed was really impressive! It would have been better clad in nitrile or some such similar phthalate-free plastic-y type-material, as the join/ seam running around the Love Egg was, well, unseemly, and not very hygienic either! Before using a specially-designed hygiene spray, I like to give my sex toys a good wash first, but I was uncomfortable using water on this toy for fear that the join would let water into the engine. Moreover, the vibrations kept cutting out during use, and in fact the love egg finally stopped working altogether – a real disappointment!

It seemed to be a design fault due to how the wire (connecting the Love Egg to the battery/ control pack) was positioned as it came out of the Egg. When we moved position it seemed to work again. From personal experience this isn’t an unusual fault for a Love Egg, but that doesn’t make it OK – especially if you’re using something brand new for the very first time! And that wasn’t the only issue: the battery/ control pack itself was also faulty, and despite us rejigging the brand-new batteries every now and again to make sure that there wasn’t a loose connection, the battery/ control pack wouldn’t let us adjust speed unless it felt like it! It seemed to jam somewhere inside: a real disappointment that neither the egg itself nor the battery/ control pack it was attached to worked properly. Nul points, mes amis!

The Love Balls were a good weight, attractive and silver, but similar to the Love Egg it was lacking a hygienic cover, and again the toy would have been better encased in nitrile or something similar so that the seam/ join was completely covered and waterproof, so easier to clean, and more smooth-looking. Still, the Love Balls did the job, and would be good for any mum who needs to give her pelvic floor muscles a workout, or for any woman to wear at work, for example, to make her day pass a bit more pleasurably!

The anal beads were standard plastic anal beads, but with a fun, glittery silver finish which looked great. My husband had a secret solo go without me, and was a very happy man. Personally I would have included a butt plug instead of anal beads, but then I guess the Love Egg and dildo were supposed to cover that angle – literally!

The cock ring was cute and non-threatening for men, but whether you could get a guy to actually wear one, I couldn’t say: he might have liked the anal beads, but my husband took one look at this cock ring and laughed out loud. Maybe it wasn’t manly enough – it was glittery and silver, after all! It was however nice and flexible/ stretchy, and as it’s two-tiered (so it sits quite deep on the shaft), it might be handy to use it to stop your man’s cock from penetrating you too deeply during sex.

The sachet of Lube was a useful inclusion – it would have been a helpful introduction for lube novices to see how much difference Lube can make, and I thought it was a nice touch to include it in the toy assortment. What was missing, however, were image-based instructions for those who aren’t sure what goes where – this assortment of toys came with no practical instructions whatsoever, and I’m sure not everyone is equally clued-up in mutual sexual and self-pleasure as me and ‘im!

This is a great collection of toys to use with a partner: you don’t have to go it alone here, get your man involved! In my opinion, its unique selling point is that that there are items here for both men and women to enjoy alone or together. And everyone knows it’s always better to share…

A version of this text appeared on the Sex Toy Testers Website

Whilst writing this text I listened to the following on Spotify:

Roots Manuva – 4everevolution (Kinda poppy, but with deep enough basslines to hook you right in, and top lyrics to accompany them – as always)

Brett Anderson – Black Rainbows (This reminded me not just of Suede, obviously, but also something else that has momentarily escaped me. I’ll be back to correct this sometime soon when I get the thought back!)


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