Darling Nikki is Rebellious Magazine’s resident sex toy reviewer. While she writes her reviews from the perspective of a cisgender woman, she wants to remind her readers that any sex toy can be for any body!
I’m sitting in my living room under a blanket as the snow continues to fall outside my window. It’s wintertime in Chicago, which means it’s so cold that if you go outside, your face hurts. Snuggles are good for warming up, but even still, frigid temperatures can make it difficult to relax if you want to do more than just snuggle.
Part of the reason I’m so easily chilled is that I’m on beta-blockers for regular, debilitating migraines. While they’ve helped significantly, a side-effect of this type of medication can be cold extremities. Not only is it sometimes difficult for me to warm up in my own house, but my partner and I frequent a semi-public play space where we don’t have any control over the temperature. Being cold has made it difficult for me to get lost in a scene or focus on anything other than my goosebumps (not the good kind). Swinging a flogger or paddle creates wind that makes it nearly impossible for my skin to warm up during impact play, which can result in a lower pain tolerance than usual.
There are plenty of reasons why someone might have trouble staying warm: thyroid problems, being underweight, anemia, even anxiety (as a result of “fight or flight,” blood flow will be directed toward the core organs, leaving extremities cold).
I noticed that heated products were starting to make their way to the sex toy industry and it got me thinking. Is this heated element just another added luxury to an already-expensive toy that many “regular” folx might not be able to afford anyway? Or is it a legitimately useful addition that, while a little more costly, is worth it if you’re someone who has a hard time keeping warm on even the more mild autumn nights?
So, grateful for the perfect timing weather-wise, I got a little collection of heated products together and started testing them out.
Doc Johnson’s iVibe Select iWand
A small (10 in.) wand with a warming head, you can use the vibrator and warming elements separately or simultaneously. It warms up fairly quickly and gets very warm — so warm that when I told my partner to feel it, he touched the head and said it was so warm he wanted to snuggle my crotch. The vibrations are a little too surface-level/buzzy for me and don’t produce amazing orgasms, though I do enjoy climaxing against such a warm head. At $99, the price isn’t bad, as it’s a pretty solid toy overall.
There are currently three products in French company L’amourose’s Rouge line, which is a collection of heated toys. I was lucky enough to try the Rosa and Denia Rouges, which are very similar shape-wise, but the Denia is rabbit-style with an extra arm for clitoral stimulation. Both of these toys have two motors that provide deep, rumbly vibrations. The Denia is good for hands-free fun, but the Rosa Rouge is one of my new go-to toys as it’s just as nice for external stimulation as it is for internal (and it’s SO TOASTY). I also love the way the base fits in my hand. These are some of the most luxurious of toys, but if you enjoy g-spot stimulation, want to add a little heat to your play, and want to treat yourself, you may love these as much as I do. The Rosa and Denia Rouges retail for about $195 and $225 respectively, while their non-warming counterparts go for $50-60 less.
I really wanted to love this rabbit-style vibe. Not only is it silky smooth to the touch and its curves aesthetically pleasing, but it actually fits my anatomy fairly well. The clitoral arm reaches and stimulates my clitoris while the rest of it fits comfortably inside. Despite this, though, Xena hasn’t gotten me off. I wouldn’t dismiss it, though, if rabbit-vibes typically do it for you, as it’s a body-safe, rechargeable, waterproof, and warming toy for only $75. The warming element didn’t keep me toasty like others I tried, but it’s still a nice touch. Not quite as strong as L’amourose’s motors, but still quite rumbly. I think this one really depends on anatomy.
It looks like an inconspicuous clutch bag at first glance, but it’s actually a toy warmer. The vegan leather exterior has top, bottom, and side flaps, which open to reveal a warming element that basically looks like a heating pad. It warms toys of different materials in about 15-30 minutes, depending on the material (and it auto-shuts off in an hour). Does it sound dramatic to say that WARM™ changed my life? I pulled a silicone g-spot vibrator out of it and put it between my legs and felt the warmth radiating from it. It felt even more amazing as I slipped it inside and relaxed in exactly the same way I do when I slip into a hot bath. But my favorite way to use WARM™? Heating my wooden paddle! Wood is cold, and couple that with the aforementioned airflow caused by a swinging paddle. When I’m cold and say, cuffed to a St. Andrew’s Cross, feeling the warm wood glide over my skin before the strike of the paddle feels divine, and it really does warm me up. At $149, WARM™ is an investment, but it’s a new toy-bag staple for me. I am eagerly anticipating Warm, Inc.’s next product release, TOUCH™.
Some sexy extras
Earthly Body Edible Massage Candle Threesome: After the candle burns for a while, blow out the flame, drip the hot wax, and massage in. Make sure you have some Bubblicious nearby because just the smell of the strawberry, cherry, and watermelon candles will make you crave that sugary goodness! Lube: Sliquid Sizzle has menthol, so you’ll apply this lube to a cooling sensation, which will warm with friction. System JO’s Agape Warming Lubricant is glycerin and paraben free and safe for use with silicone toys. Also warms with friction. Heated blanket: One of my toy-bag MUST HAVES is my electric blanket. Find a size and color right for you! It’s perfect on cold nights, but especially useful for public play after scenes when the body’s temperature tends to naturally drop.
Columnist’s full disclosure: I wouldn’t be able to provide quite as many reviews without the occasional generosity of manufacturers and, sometimes, online retailers whose missions I can get behind [insert obligatory sex joke here]. However, my reviews are always honest and unbiased.
This month’s column wouldn’t have been possible without the incredible generosity of a few wonderful toy companies and online retailers. Many thanks to SheVibe for the opportunity to try the Doc Johnson wand; Warm, Inc. for WARM™, L’amourose for the Denia Rouge; Chicago’s own Early to Bed for Xena; and Peepshow Toys for the L’amourose Rosa Rouge, massage candles, and warming lubes.