Company Spotlight: Fucking Sculptures

Fucking Sculptures: Polishing the G-Spoon

Fucking Sculptures began one year ago, when Lee Miltier and Maria crafted several dildos in Lee’s glass studio in Berkeley, California, and gave them as gifts to friends. When their dildos were accepted into the store for the 2012 Seattle Erotic Art Festival and began to make sales, Lee and Maria decided to turn their idea into a full business, and the Fucking Sculptures website officially launched last December.

At the invitation of Lee and Maria, my friend (and amazing photographer) Jeremy and I visited the glass studio and watched as these unique dildos were forged by hand. Lee has been working with glass for over twenty years, and his studio is a wonderful artist space; housing walls, shelves and tables crowded with all kinds of tools and colorful creations. Every now and then, an Amtrak train thunders past the windows. This particular morning was overcast and chilly, but the studio remained cozy and warm from the multiple fiery glass ovens.

Fucking Sculptures: Finished G-Spoon

Fucking Sculptures are made from soda-lime glass sourced from Utah. Soda-lime glass is very common and has been used for centuries to create windows and bottles. Glass sex toys are generally made from either soda-lime or borosilicate glass, both of which are very body safe, nonporous, and easy to clean and sanitize. The main difference between the two glass types is that soda-lime glass is slightly more temperature-sensitive. Soda-lime glass can still be boiled or frozen, but care must be taken to ensure any temperature change is done gradually.

Fucking Sculptures: Shaping the Corkscrew

Each glass toy starts out completely clear. Once a fresh blob of honey-like molten glass is formed into a slightly elongated shape, the blob is then rolled in a powdery substance that colors the glass. After several layers of color, the dildo is shaped with various metal tools: pinching motions for the Pussywillow, dragging motions for the G-Spoon, and twisting motions for the Corkscrew. Throughout the sculpting process, the dildo is rhythmically thrust in and out of a 2100°F vagina-shaped oven (which, to my delight, is apparently called a glory hole) to reheat and soften the glass in between shaping the dildo with tools.

Once the shaping is finished, the oven temperature is turned up even higher to provide a quick blast of extreme heat, which fire polishes the glass and alters the color of the surface. White glass turns a shiny dark chrome, and translucent amber glass turns a dark opaque hue. Each and every dildo is treated as an individual work of art. Surface bubbles are clipped off, and even tiny blemishes are carefully removed and smoothed over. The sculptures are created at a speed of about four per hour.

Fucking Sculptures: Creating the Pussywillow

Fucking Sculptures come in five basic styles: the Corkscrew (the most popular style), the G-Spoon (the second most popular), the Pussywillow, the Hooded Nun, and the Two-Cumber. Occasionally, a few unique dildo shapes will make their way into the collection, to provide variety at trade shows and festivals. The two artists plan on eventually adding more styles to their line of glass toys, including anal plugs. Custom orders are also welcome; apart from dildos, Lee’s studio deals almost exclusively in custom orders for lighting and other glasswork.

I asked Maria if there had ever been any total flops when it came to creating designs. She laughed and mentioned some have ended up far too large in size. Maria also recalled spending an entire day making dildos with a pronounced ribbed texture, only to discover that the ribbing, though pretty, was extremely uncomfortable to actually use. These flops are the toys she uses to test for strength and safety: she has intentionally dropped dildos on the floor, banged them together like caveman clubs, boiled them in water for hours, and left them in the freezer for days. So far, after all this extreme abuse, only one toy has broken at an obvious weak point. These glass dildos are very strong, and definitely will not break with normal use.

Fucking Sculptures: Shaping the Pussywillow

Maria and Lee strive to make Fucking Sculptures an eco-friendly business. Glass in itself is a naturally sustainable material, and their glass is sourced from Utah to cut down on shipping distance. Reusable bits of clear glass are melted and reused, while extra bits of colored glass are sent to be recycled. Packaging is kept to a minimum: instead of packed into wasteful boxes, the sculptures are wrapped in reusable storage bags created from upcycled fabric.

You can find these beautiful artistic dildos for sale at SheVibe.com. Check out my review for my beloved medium G-Spoon (I am obsessed), and view all the photos Jeremy took during our visit on his Flickr page.

All photos copyright 2013 Geartooth Productions.

Company Spotlight: ONE Condoms

ONE Condoms Mixed Pleasures

ONE Condoms is an innovative company on a mission to “make condoms as socially acceptable as toothpaste and safer sex as second nature as wearing a seatbelt.” I love to see safer sex product companies taking an active role toward social change. ONE is definitely taking some great strides toward this goal, with fun packaging, new ways of promoting their product, and donations to nonprofit organizations.

Global Protection Corp, which manufactures ONE condoms, is a well-established company of safer sex products founded in 1987. Global Protection Corp’s innovations include the first glow-in-the-dark condoms, the first customized condom packaging, and the first store focused specifically on selling condoms.

ONE condoms come packaged in uniquely round wrappers. There are over 200 different wrapper designs with all kinds of images, including lightning bolts, clovers, cats, apples, Tetris, and fortune cookies. There is even a “Pride Mix” with gay themed wrappers, and an “Urban Mix” themed around ethnic diversity. Some of the artwork is crowdsourced: ONE invites everyone to submit their own wrapper designs, and vote on favorites. I love the huge variety of fun and interesting designs, which I think is a great step toward changing the stigma around condoms, and encouraging sexually active youth to practice safer sex.

Varieties of ONE condoms include:

ONE Condoms Mix

Nearly all multi-packs of ONE also come with a round aluminum travel tin, which holds up to four condoms for taking them on-the-go.

The social aspect of ONE isn’t limited to the wrapper designs: ONE has a “Street Team” program, through which fans can complete tasks such as “Participate in our Facebook discussions” to earn free products. They also have an online Safer Sex Oath, where anyone can sign the pledge to educate and protect themselves and to speak out about safer sex and STIs. ONE also collaborates with a number of music artists, offering them free products to be distributed at their shows.

ONE Condoms also donates 5% of each sale to support mobile HIV testing, counseling and drug treatment in remote African communities. In 2009, worldwide sales of ONE condoms funded over 450 testing clinics, 45,000 HIV tests, and provided treatment for 4,500 HIV+ people in Africa.

From their super cool packaging and assortment of varieties, to their sex-positive mission and socially conscious donations, I have become a big fan of ONE Condoms. I always keep a couple travel tins loaded in my bag, for both personal use, and for handing out condoms to anyone who might want one. On a recent gleeful shopping spree, I ordered a pack of every single kind of ONE, so keep watch as I’ll eventually be adding reviews of specific varieties.

Tantus Little Secret Spoon

Tantus Little Secret Spoon

One of the five toys in the Tantus Little Secret line of mini vibes, the Little Secret Spoon‘s sleeve consists of high quality silicone in a brilliant, shimmery orange hue. The surface is smooth and glossy, with far less drag compared to many silicone toys. Although the Spoon is marketed for G-spot stimulation, its mini size makes it difficult to position well and hang onto while inserted into the vagina; also, I doubt everyone’s G-spot would be in reach of this toy. Instead, I find this shape incredibly pleasing on my clitoris.

When warmed to the body and slippery with lube, the broad shape of the Spoon’s tip feels reminiscent of a gentle, wet tongue. Good oral sex gets me off like nothing else, and it is easy to glide this toy over and around the vulva and clit to tease and caress in a very similar way. I’ve rapidly developed a bit of an obsession with the sleeve’s amazing ability to simulate oral.

The included bullet vibe, however, drives me insane. I find it baffling that the bullet only has one speed setting for the price. I tend to enjoy moderate power levels, and the one speed happens to be pretty decent for me. It definitely won’t, however, be strong enough for many, especially when slightly muffled inside the sleeve. The bullet is usually pretty quiet and hard to hear under a blanket, but I’ve found that holding it in certain ways results in unpleasantly loud rattling noises. Also, the button is often difficult to trigger on and off (even more so with a lubed up finger), and it is frustratingly difficult to remove or insert the bullet into the sleeve.

I really wish Tantus would sell the Little Secret sleeves separately from the bullet vibes. I’d love to collect and try out all five sleeves, but the price is much too high for this… also, I really have no desire to end up with five of these miserable one-speed bullets.

Despite my rage at the bullet, I’m still madly in love with the Spoon’s sleeve, which secured my endless devotion once combined with the We-Vibe Salsa. The Salsa’s size and shape is nearly a mirror image of the Tantus bullet, and fits neatly into the sleeve, providing a far more enjoyable rumbly sensation with a range of speeds and patterns. As the Salsa has now been discontinued, however, I’ve seen other reviewers note that the sleeve also fits on the We-Vibe Tango: a toy nearly identical to the Salsa except for color choice and a slight difference in the shape of the tip.

Pairing the Little Secret Spoon‘s sleeve with the Salsa/Tango has quickly become a favorite choice, for both clit-only masturbation sessions, as well as combining with another toy for dual vaginal and clitoral stimulation. It gets me off every time with orgasms that are absolutely glorious.

Pleasure Works Please Cream

Pleasure Works Please Cream

Researching ingredients in body products is not something I enjoy. The more I read, the more horrified I become, until I eventually reach the conclusion that nothing in the world is safe for you and humanity is UTTERLY DOOMED.

Then again, I am also the type to look up “cough” on WebMD, and determine from the results that clearly, I have the bubonic plague.

I find it unfortunate that Please Cream includes a couple questionable ingredients, especially since the company is trying to pass this off as a natural product. Please Cream is from the Pleasure Works line of lube, which also includes Please Liquid and Please Gel. All three are water based lubricants, but Please Cream also includes silicone. The amount of silicone added is small, however, and the company states it is safe to use with silicone toys. I have used Please Cream on several different brands of silicone toys, including Fun Factory, LELO, and Tantus, and haven’t had any issues so far.

This lube feels very silky, smooth, and moisturizing, and is a slightly translucent, creamy white color. It doesn’t become sticky with use, which is a common complaint with some water based lubricants. The cream, which is slightly thicker than a typical (non-gel) water based lube, also lasts quite a long time before needing reapplication. There is a faint sweet taste to this otherwise flavorless lube. The package design is appealing, and the smaller size could pass for a little bottle of hand lotion if not observed too closely.

Pleasure Works claims their Please Lubricants are made from “natural ingredients”, which is mostly true for the Liquid and Gel versions. The Cream version, however, includes a larger number of synthetic ingredients, such as isopropyl palmitate and polysorbate-20 (which are also found in the Sliquid Silk and Sliquid Organics Silk water/silicone blends).

Ingredients: Water, Sorbitol, Isopropyl Palmitate, Dimethicone (aka Silicone), Glyceryl Stearate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Ceteareth 20, Polysorbate-20, Cellulose Gum, Sclerotium Gum, Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid, Sodium Benzoate, Disodium EDTA

The good news is this lube is, as advertised, free of glycerin and parabens. While doing ingredient research, I was unpleasantly surprised to discover that sorbitol is a sugar alcohol very similar to glycerin. Ingredients with numbers in their names appear to be a potential red flag as well. One thing to keep in mind is that terms such as “natural” and “all-natural” are not regulated by the US FDA for food or body products, so it’s often best to make it a habit to scrutinize ingredient lists. For anyone in search of a lubricant that comes as close as possible to being genuinely all-natural, I’d recommend trying the Please Liquid or Gel, or something from the Sliquid line.

Despite my anxiety over ingredients, I usually seek out a compromise between natural and sanity when it comes to products that I put onto or inside my body. This keeps me from obsessing over buying only shampoo that is crafted using 100% pure mountain snowdrops from the highest untouched peaks of the Himalayas. However, mainly due to the sorbitol, Please Cream is no longer my favorite lube, and I am now a big fan of Sliquid Silk.

Sportsheets Under The Bed Restraint System

Sportsheets Under The Bed Restraint System

“Do you want to tie me down…?”

I’ve learned that when Dradyn asks me this, with his face lit up in a playful grin, he’s actually begging me to strap him into these restraints and have my way with him.

Despite looking a little intimidating out of the box as an unwieldy mass of nylon straps, the Under The Bed Restraint System is simple to figure out. I managed to wrestle the thing into place under my mattress without much difficulty. My mattress sits freely on a platform bed frame, so I was worried the straps might slip around, but these stay in place without a problem. If you’re not completely lazy like me (or need to be discreet) and want to hide the cuffs away when not in use, they easily tuck under the mattress, leaving no trace of their existence. Dradyn and I use these often enough that I usually just shove them next to the bed frame afterward (I’m classy like that).

The cuffs are very soft to the touch; the fabric feels like a mix between faux fur and felt. I can’t imagine more comfortable restraints than these. They are secured to wrists and ankles with a long velcro strip, which makes quick work of either tying down or releasing your partner, and also allows for adjustment to achieve the perfect fit.

The sewing and velcro are strong, and aren’t showing any signs of strain after plenty of use. These will fit well on almost any wrist or ankle: Dradyn’s a big guy who doesn’t even really fit on my bed, and I’m tiny with wrists like twigs. Allowing for 1.5″ of velcro overlap to close, the max cuff circumference is 13.5″, as the cuffs measure 15″ long. Nothing (cuffs, straps, or boyfriend) slips out of place during play, even when only binding the wrists. To be honest, the only downside I can think of is that the sound of velcro ripping apart isn’t exactly what I’d call “erotic.”

This system is perfect for bed frames that don’t have any legs, posts, or other features suitable for tying someone spread-eagle. The nylon straps are easy to shorten or lengthen to meet your specific needs, and are adjustable to fit any size mattress. Another advantage is portability: it doesn’t require very much space to pack for travel, and is easy to install and remove.

If you’re in search of a solution for light bondage play that is easy to use, comfortable, and discreet, I can’t recommend the Under The Bed Restraint System enough. It rocks!