Central St Martin’s alumnus Shiri Zinn is renowned for her high-end sex toys, using her natural artistic aptitude and practical design skills to develop products of great beauty which are surprisingly functional. Her red leather strap-on harness and red ceramic dildo are a case in point: enticing to the eye and irresistible to the touch they command attention with their luxe look and feel.
Take the harness: as soon as it’s removed from its packaging the smell of high-quality leather hits you like some sort of pheromonal aphrodisiac, whilst its buttery nappa softness demands to be stroked and caressed. If I’m sounding overly poetic, it’s because for many people smell and touch are just as important an aspect of sexual allure as the remaining senses, so just getting this harness out in the first place could be construed as some kind of sensual foreplay!
If you’re more of a visual person happily there’s much to feast your eyes on here too, as the glamorous red and gold patterned satin triangle at the back of the harness is decorated with a cornucopia of glass beads, clustered in a shape to make the rear of this high-end item just as beautiful as its impressive frontage.
The dildo itself is similarly stunning: in a gorgeous deep red colour, it’s made of glazed ceramic (which lends itself very well to heat play), silken to the touch and decorated in gold leaf. Yes, really: nine carat gold. Because of its manufacturing material, in a funny way this dildo actually feels more forgiving than many of the softer silicone strap-ons we’ve tried: naturally smooth and shiny, the ceramic warms to the recipient’s body heat so speedily that with a simple application of lube you’re up and away.
The dildo is also perfectly streamline, shaped to suit both vaginal and anal insertion it has a flared base and a beautifully tapered tip, which bends upwards slightly to hit either G-spot or prostate depending on usage. Of course you do need to avoid dropping the dildo onto a tiled surface, but if you’re careful it’s certainly robust enough to be able to be both hard-wearing and very long-lasting.
This harness is easily the best we’ve tried, since it’s luxuriously soft but tough with it, fits every other brand of dildo we own (see? Told you Shiri had the practical side covered!), and is also the most beautiful – yet comfortable – we’ve come across. You could easily wear the harness out to a fetish club or private party, or even detach the dildo-securing O-ring area altogether, and with a bit of inventiveness tie the remaining silken beaded area at the front or side to wear as an ornamental belt. Indeed, this method could also be employed to add an O-ring of another size if you have a favourite dildo measures differently from the two inches diameter Shiri’s O offers.
In addition to the red series Cliterati tested, there’s also a pink version of the harness and dildo, and a leather-fringed set in baby blue. The range may seem to err on the costly side, but because this exquisite harness can be used with most dildos on the market, and Shiri’s elegantly shaped ceramic item is suited for lady play as well as F-M pegging, it’s an endlessly versatile combination.
These are also products of truly exceptional quality, genuinely worthy of exceptional expense. Besides: what price art? Breathtaking (literally).
As much as I would love to be completely impartial with regards to this item, I have a soft spot for Rianne S products before I’ve even tried them. This is because they just scream quality and taste, from the toys themselves right through the imagery, design, packaging and beyond – even their customer care is fantastic.
I reviewed Rianne’s Matryoshka last year which quickly became a firm favourite of mine: it’s innovative, extremely easy on the eye, and it also goes like a demon. So when it came to trying her Forbidden Fruit sex toy – well, not only had I never seen anything like it (the glamour!) – but I loved the concept and couldn’t wait to see if it would actually deliver.
As you open the beautiful purple box and pull the contents out, you’ll discover that like the Matryoshka, Rianne’s apple comes with a charger base complete with classy lid, which means you can charge and store your toy in plain view and it’ll just look like a pretty opaque purple plastic display case. And since the Forbidden Fruit is more of an all-body massager than a simple sex toy, and is therefore designed for use with massage oil, it’s made of a tough plastic silicone rather than the softer silicone you might expect (which could easily be degraded with the use of the wrong oil). This means that the five different intensities and seven vibratory patterns of the apple seem louder than they might as they’re less muffled by the casing, but thankfully the toy still errs on the quieter side.
Happily too, the settings are changed by moving the apple stalk around, and as a great fan of witty design I was very impressed by such a cute user interface. Indeed, when it came to handling the Forbidden Fruit, we found the vibrations impressive for all over body-massage, and also very effective for scratching that particularly naughty itch – result!
So if you’re looking for an all-round sex toy which not only looks beautiful but makes you and your partner feel beautiful too, then Rianne’s Forbidden Fruit is for you. It’s a fantastic present for any discerning sex toy collector. Temptation is within your grasp: just one bite and you’ll be hooked…
At first glance the MiMi by Je Joue looks like a small decorative pebble of the kind you’d see in someone’s home, stacked in a vase or artfully scattered and displayed on a tray on the mantelpiece. That is until you pick the MiMi up, and discover that it’s not made of stone or fibreglass but is actually an oval vibrator covered in the softest silicone. This makes it the most stroke-able, silky toy to touch: cupping it in your palm is a delight even when it’s switched off, and then when it’s turned on…let’s just say you will be too.
This is because the MiMi packs a pretty powerful punch for such a small stone-shaped sex toy: its five power levels work across each of the six different pulse patterns, and navigation between each is happily intuitive. It’s not too weak in its highest setting, nor too loud either. In fact, the only drawback I could find was that one of the settings – although absolutely fine used at the higher end of the scale – clicked slightly at the lowest intensity, which made me think the mechanics inside were about to break (they didn’t). Instead I think that must be just how that particular vibration pattern was intended.
How to use the Mimi? It’s clearly designed for clitoral stimulation, but given its shape it also lends itself perfectly to being a couple’s toy, either for the nipples or the perineum. As always with Je Joue products, the box the MiMi comes in is cute and classy, making it great gift material. The MiMi’s also perfect to take on a trip if you’re packing light, and you’ll get even more out of it if you bung a bottle of water-based lube (such as Yes) in your washbag too. Coming as the MiMi does in four different shades: lilac, black, fuchsia and purple, there’s one for everyone. Yes, that means you too!
A cupcake made of the softest silicone, this palm-sized party piece is foreplay perfection. The vibrations are strong, and it looks so goddamn tasty that by mere association you’ll want to tuck into your partner before you’ve even pressed the Cupcake’s base and turned it on.
Yes, I’ve written about this fantastic foreplay tool before – to me it’s the epitome of cheeky sexy chic. Indeed, if this cake had a dating profile its personality would read ‘Sexy and fun; GSOH’, which we’d all know would translate into it being a great lover. Naughty but nice.
Wondering what sexy treat to get your lover for Christmas? Well luckily for you (and for me!) I’ve spent much of this year in pursuit of the perfect sex toy, and many testing hours later I’ve come up with my 2012 Top 12. You can thank me later.
For sheer beauty and exquisite ‘objet’-ness, these handmade dildos remain unsurpassed. If your lover has generic sex toys aplenty, then this will complete their collection nicely.
They also have a bespoke service where you can design your own wooden dildo, from length and girth to shape and ridges. Mine is modelled on my husband Roger: my dream double-team!
Mona 2 by Lelo
My all-time favourite vibrator the Lelo Mona just got dumped for a younger model: welcome the Mona 2.
Ticking both G-spot and clit stim boxes, it may be expensive but with vibrations that strong (I – wait for it – had to turn it…down!) it’s worth every goddamn penny. And you can quote me on that.
From packaging to performance, it really is the perfect gift. ‘Nuff said.
The Mona 2 is available from Lelo for £84
A thrusting dildo rather than a vibrator, this is the future of vaginal masturbation, and for good reason it’s the hottest sex toy on the market right now. Best for internal rather than external play, the Stronic is like nothing you’ve ever tried before. It takes a moment or two to get used to using a pulsating product, but once you’re there we guarantee you won’t be going back – just don’t forget to buy a Fun Factory charger too if you haven’t already got one. Fucking fantastic.
To the untrained eye the Pillow Foreplay is a completely crazy idea: in layman’s terms it’s an adjustable inflatable pillow with a hole in which you stick your favourite vibrator.
You then ride the pillow-vibe combo like a cowgirl, or even clasp it missionary style above you if you prefer. It’s so simple it works like a dream, also proving popular with male partners due to the visual aspect. Plus it can be used during sex as a handy prop for the more athletic positions.
The Pillow Foreplay has to be tried to be believed, and luckily there are three different versions for girls, guys and gays alike. I’m now a believer – especially as they also do a bespoke service meaning you can have it in latex, leather or even with BDSM-friendly D rings should you so require. Highly recommended.
With phenomenal packaging this really is a truly gorgeous gift: our jaws literally dropped when we saw The Matryoshka’s box – and that was before we’d even opened it!
As its Russian Doll namesake suggests, The Matryoshka is beautifully feminine in shape, and has its own presentation case (pictured) which you can use to conceal it as it charges (although you will need to buy a European plug converter separately).
Not only is it genuinely gorgeous and unique, but it works a treat: surprisingly powerful, it’s the ideal clit stim toy. We were so impressed we had to test it again, and again and again…
Rianne’s Forbidden Fruit apple vibrator is also said to be outstanding, but we’ve yet to test it ourselves.
Leaf make the most gorgeous green eco toys we’ve ever seen at Cliterati HQ. I’ve tried the fresh and flexible Bloom and was amazed not only at how powerful its separate vibrations were at both ends, but impressed at the unique design which allows you to reach your required intensity simply by keeping the button pressed until you get there (rather than flicking through the vibrations level by level).
Presented in a Fairtrade-style tea box with a cute canvas storage pouch, this phthalate-free silicone toy is an absolute beauty. Clever and cool, it brings a whole new meaning to the term tea-bagging!
This little lady is a true delight: a vibrator that looks like a silicone cupcake – complete with cheeky cherry – and feels like the best foreplay toy you could ever hope to own.
At a perfectly reasonable £35 it’s utterly seductive – especially with lashings of lube – and the icing on the cake is a retro baking tin. Well, actually the icing on the cake is the icing on the cake, and then the icing on the cake of the icing on the cake is the tin, metaphorically speaking.
Anyway, if you’re still with me, the Cupcake Vibrator is an appetising addition to the sex toy table, and like most delicious treats is even better to share. Bon appétit!
If Pony Play’s been on your to-do list for some time but you’re not sure where to start, then I’ve put together this tempting taster trio to get you geared up for the horsey highway to heaven.
First up is the Leather Harness: this version’s no-frills and functional so perfect for beginners. However, you’ll need to buy your own presentation box for it as it comes in a plain plastic bag – not very sexy!
Secondly we have the Glass Vibrations Pony Tail Glass Butt Plug. There are several versions of this on the market, including plastic plugs, but this looked the best quality and least synthetic hair for the price, and it certainly felt fantastic when worn: an extremely erotic experience to say the least. A surprisingly lovely item in itself.
Finally we tried the handblown Icicles Glass Cat-O-Nine-Tails Flogger, which not only has sexy suede strings but also doubles up as a rather classy glass dildo: a sensuous toy with a welcome sting in its tail.
Just ensure in advance that your partner’s up to experimenting in this area, and with Lovehoney’s superfast delivery you’ll be saddled up in no time.
For prostate stimulation and general anal play, this is our preferred pegging dildo set. The adjustable harness fits like a dream, the pegging dildo is the perfect size – not too big or too small – and if you’re female you can even buy the additional Capsula dildo to insert inside yourself as you pleasure your partner.
Yes, finally it’s your turn to give as good as you get – especially if you purchase one of Vibrator Kingdom’s bespoke storage boxes to go with it. What would you want written on yours?
If you know a woman who likes a good spanking then she’ll love this: a latex skirt with the rear removed for easy arse access.
11) SPUNK Lube
A new addition to the bedroom, this ground-breaking lube that looks exactly like spunk comes in three different kinds: Silicone for longer sex sessions or shower play; Hybrid for use with silicone toys; and Pink, just for the fuck of it.
If you or your man have a fetish for bukkake, cream pies or threesome MMF fantasies, then this Spunk Lube is for you. Plus it’s a genuinely great product, and we can’t help thinking that as well as the Spunk Lube trio selection we’d like luscious Spunk Lube CEO Jeff in our stockings for Christmas too please, Santa!
Visit Spunk Lube US (with international deliveries aplenty)
I’m not going to pretend this is the most glamorous of gifts, but it may just turn out to be one of the most common-sense presents.
Yes, I realise common sense isn’t sexy, but when you learn that a vinyl sheet is ideal if you’re a squirter, into sploshing, water sports, getting oiled up or even just for fucking during a period, this is an unbeatable present as far as practicality is concerned. And that, my friend, is sexy.
Various Vinyl sheets are available from Lovehoney
OK, I lied – there’s one more, and a very lucky number it is too:
13) Antibacterial Toy Cleaning Spray by Lelo
Essential for any sex toy enthusiast: does what it says on the tin. You need this in your life!
Antibacterial Toy Cleaning Spray is available from Lelo for £6.90
Having followed designer Shiri Zinn’s career in unpredictable yet highly desirable and utterly fabulous sex toys for some years, it came as no surprise when Zinn’s latest creation was unveiled and proved to be just as enchanting and exquisite as her previous forays into sexy fun.
What did come as a surprise was that the item looked like a cupcake, complete with spotty paper cup, pink icing and a cutsie cherry on top – we certainly didn’t see that one coming! Thankfully though, as expected, the Cupcake Vibrator is a stylish design comprising Zinn’s refreshingly inventive ideas with a keen attention to detail – which it has in appetizing abundance.
Crafted from the softest silicone, the surface of the Cupcake is silky-smooth and scrumptiously supple, to the extent that it actually feels like it yields ever-so-slightly to the touch. It vibrates in five different modes and is surprisingly versatile in use, delivering sensations spread over a wide area due to its gently undulating icing top, whilst the tantalising tip of the cherry delivers a more teasingly focussed touch. This makes the Cupcake Vibrator just the companion for foreplay fun and frolics, and since you can’t help but be charmed by its goddamn cuteness you’ll be picnicking on your partner in no time! In true Shiri style, the packaging is as important as the product itself, and so the Cupcake comes in a charming retro 1950s baking tin complete with all-essential AAA batteries.
The Cupcake really is delectably breathtaking in both its design and originality, making it the perfect gift for classy birthdays and the most tasteful of hen nights. It’s also an attractive, unthreatening sex toy ideal for couples’ foreplay. So much so, that I’m giving one as a wedding present this weekend. In fact, I’m going to be ordering a whole mouth-watering batch from the Shiri Zinn bakery for Christmas, as the Cupcake Vibrator is so enticing I’m sure even the most ungracious of recipients couldn’t help but be captivated.
So indulge yourself this season and head to bed with Shiri Zinn’s delicious Cupcake Vibrator, where you’ll be burning calories even as you enjoy its decadence: proof that you can have your cake and eat it. Combine with YESforLOV’s silicone-free lube for the ultimate in luxurious pleasure.