Speaking of high quality feminist sex toy shops, here is another review of a kit that Babeland sent over for me to review.
The kit is The Eco-Sexy Kit and includes a Laya Spot vibrator, a massage candle, matches, Emerita Natural Lube, and 3 Mamba Condoms.
The Laya Spot is an ergonomic, battery-operated, hand-held vibe made by Fun Factory. Fun Factory is a company that sex toy lovers should keep an eye on. They are a German company that makes high quality, innovative, colorful, fun sex toys. The Laya Spot is no exception to this. It comes in lots of different colors; mine is lime green and magenta. It is made out of elastomer which is durable, hypoallergenic, and soft. It is porous so it can't be sterilized but this is not as big of a concern since this toy is only for clitoral stimulation and can easily be wiped down with soap and water.
But enough of the technical details. What you really want to know is how this toy performs. With 8 different speeds and 4 different pulsations almost anyone is bound to find a setting they enjoy. The controls take some getting used to, but after you figure them out (the toy comes with a manual) they are pretty intuitive. And unlike many vibes on the market that shut off when you keep pressing the button to make the vibe go faster, the Laya Spot does not turn off after you've hit the highest speed. As far as intensity goes, the Laya Spot is pretty good for a battery-operated vibe, but if you're used to a plug-in like the Hitachi Magic Wand it will only be good for a warm-up. The Laya Spot is great for partner sex as it is easy to hold and small enough that it won't get in the way. This is a high quality sex toy that would make a great addition to anyone's collection. Or am I the only one who thinks of sex toys as collector's items?
If you have never heard of or tried a massage candle you absolutely must go out and get one. I first started hearing about these little wonders a couple years ago and absolutely love them. If you don't know, massage candles are made out of soy wax which melts at a lower temperature. Light the candle for a few minutes, blow it out, and then pour the melted wax/massage oil onto your partner for a nice warm massage. Because the wax melts at a lower temperature, the wax is not scalding hot like most candle wax. One thing to keep in mind with massage candles is that they will stain your sheets so put an old towel down under your partner before giving them a massage.
Babeland carries these candles in a variety of scents including Chocolate Hazelnut, Mango Vanilla, Mojito Peppermint, Rice Flower, and Jasmine Ginger. I received the Chocolate Hazelnut, which smells really good, although a bit strong for my sensitive nose. The one thing that I did not like about this candle was the taste. I'm not saying you should be able to eat the stuff, but if you want to kiss your partner in the places you massaged earlier it is preferable for it to have either a nice taste or barely any at all. These massage candles taste awful. There are massage candles on the market with a better taste to them. If this doesn't bother you though, these candles are wonderful. Sending matches along with the candle was a nice touch.
The water-based lube that came with the kit was Emerita Natural Lube with Vitamin E. Emerita is a woman-run company based out of Portland, OR which seems to focus mostly on health and wellness products for menopausal women. I don't know about its claim of being natural (at least one of the ingredients cannot be found in nature), but I do know that natural doesn't always mean better. It is paraben-free, which is a preservative that may cause reactions in some women. It does have glycerin which some believe can cause yeast infections for women who are prone to them. Glycerin also leaves a sticky tacky feel after the lube dries up. It has vitamin E in it, which if you like that is fine. I personally think that additives like this are silly and unnecessary, but if you think they make a difference then that's great. This lube is of a medium thickness, which may make it ok for anal play and it is long lasting. It has an odd smell to it and its taste is a little on the sweet side from all the sugar alcohols in it. This wouldn't make it into my top favorite lubes, but I do like supporting woman-run businesses.
The Mamba condoms are, according to Babeland's website, "produced by a well-regarded Swedish non-profit whose testing process is 15 times more stringent than any other condom company in the world!" Sounds promising. I wasn't able to try them, but I have a male friend who will be comparing these condoms to a Babeland condom and his usual Trojans in an upcoming blog.
All in all, a pretty great kit, but what about this "eco-sexy" part Babeland is claiming? What makes these products more socially and environmentally-friendly?
Well, Fun Factory vibes are durable so they should last a long time, meaning that you will be creating less waste by buying fewer vibes. Their packaging is also a lot more environmentally friendly than many sex toy companies that like to wrap their toys in big plastic blister packs. Fun Factory toys are wrapped in a small amount of plastic which consists of pollution-free PET material. They are then housed in cardboard boxes that are sized perfectly for the toys. The packaging even reminds you of how to dispose of batteries in an environmentally-safe way.
Not sure exactly how the massage candle is "eco-sexy," but it is most likely vegan. Although I have not found anything that claims it to be so, so don't quote me on that one.
Emerita is a woman-run company, which we love and they claim that the lube is vegan and not tested on animals.
The condoms are made by a non-profit company with a higher standard of safety than any other company. Keeping the world disease free and doing it all without the goal of making a ton of cash in the process is definitely eco-sexy. Plus the company is in Sweden which is a very liberal and peaceful nation.