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Vitality by Leaf

Vitality —— $104.63

Gina & Kevin
Gina: “After we read Jada’s review of Bloom, Kevin and I hoped we’d have an opportunity to review one the Leaf line of vibes.”
Kevin: “Gina and I are all about GREENING our sex life. We are trying to avoid anything that isn’t healthy for us or our planet. That’s why we were so excited when we got the Vitality to review. The Leaf line is as about as GREEN as green can be.”
Gina: “I suppose some might consider Vitality a rabbit-type vibe, and in a way they’d be right. But there’s nothing traditional about its design. It is a double-headed, dual-motored vibe that resembles a new shoot of a plant in spring. It’s even the same color of spring. Vitality is a unisex vibe that can be use by either women or men. You can use it vaginally for G-spot stimulation and/or anally for prostate massage. But my favorite is as a clit vibe!”
Kevin: “I couldn’t get over the versatility of the Vitality. But that’s just the beginning. The Vitality is made from medical grade silicone, which means it’s nonporous, nontoxic, hypoallergenic, as well as latex and phthalate-free. It is odorless and tasteless too. It is smooth and silky with a matte finish. We found that we needed a few drops of lube when using the Vitality because there can be a bit of a drag without. Of course, you can only use a water-based lube with this beauty. A silicone-based lube will mar the beautiful finish of the Vitality.”
Gina: “The Vitality is also rechargeable. It takes approximately 2 hours to fully charge. The charging port is on the opposite side of the bulbous base from the control buttons. There is a light under the port that indicates it is being charged. Speaking of the controls, there is one control button for each of the ears of the vibe. The buttons lights up when you activate them and you can operate each motor independently. There are only vibration settings. No pulsing patterns. To turn the vibrations on you simply press the button and hold it down until you get to your desired level of intensity. To turn it off you only have to hit the button once.”
Kevin: “The Vitality is super quite. Which really surprised me, because it’s powerful little vibe. But my favorite feature of the Vitality is it’s waterproof. I can bugger myself in the bath and/or shower. And because of it diminutive size, it has a total length of 5.5” and an insertable length of 3.25”, as well as it’s flexibility, it makes it an ideal toy for guys just learning to stimulate their prostate. One of the ears can be inserted, while the other massages his taint (perineum).”
Gina: “The waterproof feature makes the Vitality not only a joy to use in the bath or shower, as Kevin just said, but makes it so easy to clean. Mild soap and warm water does just fine, but you can also wipe it down with a lint-free towel moistened with peroxide, rubbing alcohol. The Vitality is too good not to share, and sharing is no problem because it can be sanitized using a 10% bleach solution. And just to prove to ourselves that the Vitality can stand up to a good sanitizing; we even swished it around in a pot of boiling water for a couple of minutes and put it through the gentle cycle of the dishwasher.”
Kevin: “Now a word about Leaf ’s signature packaging. Everything is biodegradable. The cardboard box is made of recycled paper. The look and feel is all GREEN. The box is fastened with a magnetically closing flap. Lift the flap, to open. Inside the box you will see a black packet, which contains the instruction manual presented in several languages. Below the user’s manual is a drawstring canvas bag containing the Vitality. The bag is thick and durable, excellent for storing and safe-keeping. Under the canvas bag is the unit’s recharger. Every aspect of the presentation proclaims that the designers and developers were serious about the environment. If only more adult companies were as environmentally conscious.”
Gina: “While we most often use the Vitality for our solo play, it is also outstanding for partnered play, particularly in the bath. And when it is inserted, it’s hands-free fun.”
Kevin: “We both think that you simply can’t beat the Vitality. Except maybe by one of the other fantastic designs from the Leaf collection.”
Gina: “And for those of you out there thinking to yourself; my, the Vitality is kind of pricy. All I have to say to you is THINK ABOUT IT! This vibe all quality, it will last. And rechargeable means no extra expense for batteries. Besides we’ve seen “luxury” toys out there that are more expensive than the Vitality with fewer of the high-end features of the Vitality. Finally, we think we all should be supporting and encouraging companies who are helping us GREEN our sex life. The Leaf line is on this cutting edge. Supporting them will help change the whole industry.”

Bloom by Leaf

Bloom —— $103.86

Jada
My husband and I went away for a long overdue romantic get away. It just so happened that it coincided with our Spring Break here at Dr Dick’s Sex Advice so we didn’t miss anything back home. We decided we needed a little fun in the sun so we headed south to warmer, dryer climes.

We packed light; because we decided we would do nothing more than lay around in the sun, read, eat, drink and make love. There were droves of collage-aged kids in the area and they were whooping it up with wild abandon. Ahhh youth! But you know what? I think my husband, Bob, and I, old fogies that we are, at least comparatively speaking, had more fun than all the college kids.

One of the reason we had so much fun is I remembered to packed the Bloom I got from Dr Dick. This amazing vibe is one of the Leaf collection. It is a 100% medical-grade silicone vibrator with multiple speed settings. It is beautifully crafted, waterproof, flexible, sharable, rechargeable and as about as GREEN as a sex toy can get.

The Bloom is aptly named, because it looks like bud on a stem. I’ve never seen a more interesting or functional design. There are two motors in the Bloom, one in the bud and one in the bulbous base. The bud, or head of the toy, is rounded, but with a slight point. This design allows for precise clitoral stimulation. The thin area of the stem, or neck of the toy, is flexible, allowing you to position both ends of the toy however you’d like. The dual motors provide equally powerful vibrations no matter which side you are using.

The controls are super easy to use. The Bloom can be used in so many ways, internally, externally, alone and with a partner. The non-threatening design — Bob does not welcome phallic looking vibes in our partnered play — makes the Bloom a natural for when we play together.

Bob loves using the Bloom on me. I love using it on him. And because of its flexibility, we both love to use it while we have intercourse. Both ends are insertable. Bob isn’t into prostate massage, but for those who are, the Bloom would make a very nice beginner butt plug. Of course, because the controller is in the base, one would have to set the vibration speed before inserting.

The silicone is velvety to the touch and easy to grip. Use only a water-based lube with beautiful vibe. A silicone-based lube will surely mar the finish.

The Bloom is a modest 6.75″ long. The bud, at its widest, has a 4.25” circumference. Its lightweight too, weighing in at just about one pound. There are two buttons on the control panel, each button controls a separate motor. Each button lights up when it is in operation and the lights will flash until you reach the highest setting. Each of the motors can be controlled individually as well as at the same time. The Bloom is super quiet too.

The Bloom contains a rechargeable Lithium-Polymer battery. A full charge gives you about an hour’s worth of vibration, on the highest speed. The recharger is basically a cord that plugs directly into an outlet. This is perfect for traveling.

The silicone skin makes for easy clean up. Warm water and mild soap will do for general clean up. However, if you plan to share this toy, and it should be shared, I recommend sanitizing it by wiping it down with a lint-free towel moistened with peroxide, rubbing alcohol or a 10% bleach solution too.

I think you can see that I am sold on the Bloom, but I would be remiss if I didn’t tell you about the beautiful presentation. Everything about the packaging is biodegradable. The cardboard box Bloom comes in is made of recycled paper. The look and feel is all GREEN. The box is fastened with a magnetically closing flap. Lift the flap, to open. Inside the box you will see a black packet, which contains the instruction manual presented in several languages. Below the user’s manual is a drawstring canvas bag containing the Bloom. The bag is thick and durable, excellent for storing this toy and keeping it safe. Under the canvas bag is the unit’s recharger. You can tell from every aspect of the presentation that the designers and developers were serious about the environment. Kudos to them!

Finally, I know that many people would balk at paying $140 for a sex toy. But I think if you do the math, you will find that a high-quality silicone toy like this will last and last. And because it’s rechargeable there are no batteries to be replaced. Over the life of a toy like this, replacement batteries alone would cost far more than the Bloom does new. In my estimation, this marvelous toy is worth every cent.

REVIEW — Time on Two Crosses: The Collected Writings of Bayard Rustin

In celebration of black history month.

The proof that one believes is in action. — Bayard Rustin

The proof that one believes is in action. — Bayard Rustin

The best way to destroy a culture is to deny, suppress, or appropriate that people’s history. A culture without its art, without its myths, without its heroes will soon wither and die. For millennia indigenous peoples all over the world have suffered this kind of cultural rape at the hands of more powerful invaders. In America, slavery and segregation did its worst for African culture. And, in a rather different way, homophobia robbed LGBT people of their sense of self.

Do you know who Bayard Rustin is? I’m gonna guess not. That’s no surprise really, because his life exemplifies the impact that both segregation and homophobia has had on our culture. Despite being pivotal to in the struggle for civil and sexual rights for well over 50 years, he is all but forgotten now. His memory has been whitewashed, if not totally wiped out, and our culture is the poorer because of it. But thanks to Time On Two Crosses this American patriot is reinstated to his rightful place in the American pantheon.

Time On Two Crosses showcases the extraordinary career of this black, gay civil rights pioneer. The book combines classic texts ranging in topic from Gandhi’s impact on African Americans, white supremacists in congress, the antiwar movement, and the assassination of Malcolm X, with never-before published selections on the call for gay rights, Louis Farrakhan, affirmative action, AIDS, and women’s rights.Time on Two Crosses

Bayard Rustin was a key civil rights strategist and humanitarian whose staunch advocacy of nonviolent resistance shaped the course of social protests from the 1950’s through the close of the twentieth century. And he was also openly gay at a time when that simply didn’t happen, especially among people of color.

Perhaps because of his unique position at the crux of the struggle for civil rights and sexual rights, Rustin insisted on the interconnectedness of all human rights and justice movements. He focuses not only on overturning racism and prejudice but also the systemic causes of injustice and disparity in the US and around the world. And his message on many issues is as relevant today as it was in his lifetime. He writes of himself:

“I am Bayard Rustin, Chairman of the Randolph Institute and Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, which is composed of over 150 national groups dedicated to human rights for all. As one who has been active in the struggle to extend democracy to all Americans for over fifty years I am opposed to any attempt to amend the recently enacted law banning discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

I have been arrested twenty-four times in the struggle for civil and human rights. My first arrest was in 1928 merely for distributing leaflets on behalf of Al Smith’s candidacy for President in a climate of anti-Catholic hysteria. Since that time I have fought against religious intolerance, political harassment, and racism both here and abroad. I have fought against untouchability in India, against tribalism in Africa, and have sought to ensure that refugees coming to our shores are not subject to the same types of bigotry and intolerance from which they fled. As a member of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council I have fought anti-Semitism not only in the United States but around the world.”

But Rustin’s sexual openness and his controversial political positions came at a great personal cost. He wound up behind bars for practicing his nonviolent Quaker faith (from 1944 to 1946 in a Pennsylvania prison for conscientiously objecting to serving in World War II) and for practicing homosexuality (60 days in a California jail for “sex perversion” in 1953). And his many achievements — like pioneering one of the first Freedom Rides, refusing to give up his seat on a segregated bus in 1942, more than a dozen years before Rosa Parks did, and helping found the Southern Christian Leadership Coalition to support the efforts of a then young, largely unknown minister named Martin Luther King Jr. — often were tainted under the threat of exposure for his unpopular behavior and criminal convictions.

Bayard Rustin introduced Martin Luther King, Jr. to the precepts of nonviolence during the Montgomery Bus Boycott, thereby launching the birth of the Civil Rights Movement in 1955. When that movement needed a man who could get things done, even his detractors acknowledged he was the best organizer in the country. He was the man who was able to turn out 200,000 people on the Capitol Mall in an orderly fashion when no one else had ever done such a thing. He singlehandedly created the blueprint for the modern American mass political rally. The 1963 March on Washington was the pinnacle of his notoriety.

cover of LIFEFew African Americans engaged in as broad a protest agenda as did Rustin; fewer still enjoyed his breadth of influence in virtually every political sector, working with world leaders like Kwame Nkrumah, President Lyndon Johnson, and Golda Meir. Yet, for all his influence and all his tireless efforts, Rustin remained an outsider in black civil rights circles because they refused to accept his homosexuality, which remained a point of contention among black church leaders, a controversy that sometimes even embroiled Dr. King himself.

The very people who he was fighting for shunned him. He was indeed the proverbial prophet “not without honor, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house”. (Mark 6:4)

For example, in 1960, Rustin and MLK were preparing to lead a protest of African Americans outside the Democratic National Convention. This would have deeply embarrassed the leading elected black politician of the day, Rep. Adam Clayton Powell. Powell threatened to spread a rumor that Rustin was having a sexual relationship with King. King canceled the protest, and Rustin resigned from the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, an organization he helped found. Bayard Rustin felt that his homosexuality, which he never tried to hide, put him in a unique position, a minority within a minority, as it were.

That year was not the first time Rustin was forced to negotiate how much sex could be a part of his life. After his 1953 arrest, in which he’d been picked up with two men in the back seat of a car in Pasadena, California, he wrote, “Sex must be sublimated if I am to live in this world longer.”

Though marginalized by the Civil Rights movement he helped found he was not embittered by the experience. Yet, when one lives in a society in which they’re constantly being told that they’re less than or that they’re not as good as, because of being black, or a Jew, or gay, or anything else deemed less than, a certain amount of the negation is bound to get internalized. That can’t be helped.

Despite it all, Rustin remained upbeat. In 1986, just a year before he died, Rustin gave a speech at the University of Pennsylvania in which he exhorted gay people to “recognize that we cannot fight for the rights of gays unless we are ready to fight for a new mood in the United States, unless we are ready to fight for a radicalization of this society.”

Veering into the economics of poverty, Rustin said, “You will not feed people à la the philosophy of the Reagan administration. Imagine a society that takes lunches from school children. Do you really think it’s possible for gays to get civil rights in that kind of society?”

His thoughtful writing ennobles us all. Rustin never fails to come down on the proper side of a moral or ethical question, no matter whom it may offend or support. He was willing to stand up for people — even though they had mistreated him — if it was a matter of principle.

Rustin’s legacy doesn’t live in the past, but in the present and future of America. His work linking sexual, racial, and economic rights was not only forward-thinking in 1963, but it is also forward-thinking today.

“We need, in every community, a group of angelic troublemakers,” Rustin said in one of his most famous quotes.

Time On Two Crosses is the first comprehensive collection of Bayard Rustin’s writings ever published, comprising forty-eight essays, speeches, and interviews, many of which were never widely available. From the birth of nonviolent direct action to the rise of Black Power, Rustin’s writings function as a road map for the meandering course of the black protest movement over the past century.

As a gay man, I found Bayard Rustin’s writing fascinating and uplifting. They give an unvarnished look into the civil rights movement through the ‘50s and ‘60s, and also a view into the heart and mind of one of the most remarkable men of our time. The book also includes twenty-five photos from the Rustin estate and a foreword by Barack Obama, and an afterword by Barney Frank.

Bayard Rustin is a true hero for the ages. And Time On Two Crosses is a marvelous and edifying read.

HUA by Zini

Zini Hua —— $150.00

Joy & Dixie
Joy: “Last week we introduced you to Dixie’s vibe, the Zook. Today is my turn and this is the Hua.”
Dixie: “You will also remember from last week that we told you that these two vibes are virtually twins in concept—stylized rabbit vibes; the only differences between the two are the contours of the pleasure points and the stiffness of the clit stimulating leaf.”zini hua
Joy: “The Hua is a slimmer version of the Zook, but to be frank, neither one is the least bit intimidating. The Hua has more texture to its insertable shaft then does its sister vibe, but, like its sister, it is sculpted to look like a bamboo shoot. The clit stimulator is reminiscent of a bamboo leaf, but, in this instance, it has considerably less give than does the same appendage on the Zook.”
Dixie: “This vibe, like its sister, is covered in a luscious, high-quality, latex-free, nonporous, phthalate-free, and hypoallergenic silicone. Silicone is our material of choice for insertables. But don’t forget you must always use a water-based lube with a silicone toy the Hua. A silicone-based lube would mar the finish. The Hua comes in four different colors, Joy’s is a scrumptious violet, and the handle is glossy black.”product_hua_02
Joy: “The Hua, again like her sister, has two motors, which deliver five speeds and fifteen vibrating functions. The vibrations are the buzzy kind not the rumbling kind. The three-button control panel that is easy to handle and operate. The “+” button turns on the vibe and accelerates the speed through its five settings. The “-” button decelerates the speed and turns off the vibe. The round button between the other two rotates through the pulsation modes. Every press of the button makes the Hua flash a different color. And it is remarkably quiet.”
Dixie: “The vibe is about eight inches long. The insertable portion is about three and a half inches long. The clitoral leaf is about an inch long.”
Joy: “I’d like to return controller and vibrating functions for a bit if I may. The Hua, like the Zook, will alert you to how much charge is left in the battery, which is pretty cool. Press and hold the round button for two seconds, the vibrator will blink an LED color. The color of the LED corresponds to how much battery life your vibrator has left. I already mentioned that as you rotate through the vibration patterns the light in the controller changes color. All you have to do is remember the color associated with your favorite vibration pattern and you can go to it in a jiffy.”
Dixie: “Two other features make this vibe very appealing; it’s waterproof and rechargeable. The Hua comes with a USB recharging cable. It takes a couple of hours to fully charge the unit and you get several hours of pleasuring on a charge. Another thoughtful feature is the travel lock.”
Joy: “The recharge port seals with a watertight plug, but you have to be sure that the plug is set good and tight before submerging it in the bath or when cleaning.”
Dixie: “The fact that Hua is made of silicone and its fully waterproof makes it so easy to clean. Mild soap and warm water does just fine for everyday cleaning. But you can also wipe it down with a lint-free towel moistened with peroxide, rubbing alcohol or a 10% bleach solution to sanitize for sharing. And it should be shared!”zini-hua
Joy: “Like we said in last week’s review, the Zini packaging is exceptionally nice. Their vibes come in a distinguished looking black gift box and all the components are recyclable. Open the box and find the Hua in a plastic bubble. Under it you will find the recharge cable, owner’s manual, and an chic drawstring storage pouch.”
Dixie: “Last week Joy made a point of saying that stylized rabbit vibes, despite looking similar to one another are not all the same. I want to reinforce that thought again this week. One size or one shape does not fit all! Each of our bodies is different; what will work for me, won’t work for Joy and visa versa. There are so many variables — insertable length, curve of the shaft, length of the clit appendage, and on and on.”
Joy: “Exactly! While I really like everything about the Hua, it doesn’t really have enough oomph to get me off. But then again, I am not the intended audience for the Hua. I’m thinking it’s geared toward a woman, or a couple new to sex toys.”
Dixie: “And like last week, we want you to know that the Hua is just as handy and pleasurable in your butt. So all you folks out there experimenting with anal sex, we bet you will enjoy it too.”
Joy: “Let’s recap, shall we? Hua is body-safe, healthy, GREEN, rechargeable, waterproof, moderately powerful, and super quiet. The sad thing is, it’s not available anywhere in North America that we know of.”
Dixie: “I know! We can’t get over the fact that, for the most part, the wonderful Zini line is unavailable here in the US. I hope that changes soon.”
Joy & Dixie “On behalf of all the members of the Dr Dick Review Crew we want to wish all of you happy holidays and the best in the New Year.”

ZOOK by Zini

Zini Zook —— $150.00

Joy & Dixie
Dixie: “So the reason that Joy and I are up two weeks in a row is that we have two very similar vibes to tell you about. They are both Zini vibes. They are virtually twins in concept—stylized rabbit vibes; the only difference between the two is contours of the pleasure points. If this seems a little vague at the moment, don’t worry, we’ll clear it up for you.”zook 01
Joy: “The two vibes in question are the Zook, today’s review, and the Hua, which we will tell you about next week.”
Dixie: “The Zook is a pleasure to look at and handle. Its sculptured, relatively slim shaft is vaguely reminiscent of a bamboo shoot and the clit stimulator is reminiscent of a bamboo leaf. The vibe is covered in a luscious, high-quality, latex-free, nonporous, phthalate-free, and hypoallergenic silicone. You will want to use a fine water-based lube with the Zook, of course. Because you know that using a silicone-based lube with a silicone toy is a no-no, right? It will mar the finish. The Zook comes in three different colors, mine is dark wine.”
Joy: “The Zook employs two motors, which deliver five speeds and fifteen vibrating functions. The vibrations are the buzzy kind not the rumbling kind. And, like so many of the other Zini products the Dr Dick Review Crew has reviewed, it features a three-button control panel that is easy to use and understand. The “+” button turns on the vibe and accelerates the speed through its five settings. The “-” button decelerates the speed and turns off the vibe. The round button between the other two rotates through the pulsation modes. Every press of the button makes the Zook flash a different color. And it is remarkably quiet.”product_zook_04
Dixie: “I noticed while using the Zook that the vibrations are equally strong in the handle as it is in the insertable end. This may be a problem for some women, particularly older women have very sensitive hands.”
Joy: “Yes, it wasn’t a problem for me either, but you make a good point.”
Dixie: “The two other features that make this vibe so special are it is waterproof and rechargeable. This delights me no end. Another recent Zini review revealed that one of their other high-end vibes, the Roae, wasn’t waterproof and so it didn’t get as praise worthy a review as our review.”
Joy: “The Zook comes with a USB recharging cable. It takes a couple of hours to fully charge the unit and you get several hours of pleasuring on a charge. Another thoughtful feature is the travel lock. No surprises when you travel with this beauty.”
Dixie: “The fact that Zook is made of silicone and its fully waterproof makes it so easy to clean. Mild soap and warm water does just fine for everyday cleaning. But you can also wipe it down with a lint-free towel moistened with peroxide, rubbing alcohol or a 10% bleach solution to sanitize for sharing. And it should be shared!”
Joy: “Each of our colleagues on the Dr Dick Review Crew, who have had the good fortune to review one of the Zini products, has called attention to the esthetically pleasing packaging. Dixie and I concur; it’s really very nice and ready for gift giving. Heck, it even comes with a very elegant drawstring storage pouch.”
Dixie: “I want to call attention to the recharge port, which is sealed with a watertight plug. Take care to ensure that the plug is set good and tight before submerging it in the bath…YUM!…or when cleaning.”product_zook_01
Joy: “Zook is the more girthy of the two vibes. The Hua, which will be reviewed next week, is sleeker. Zook’s leaf-shaped clitoral stimulator is more flexible than its sister, the Hua. This flexibility has its advantages and disadvantages. It’s soft to the touch, and if your clit is super sensitive, that might work for you. But if you’re used bearing down with some pressure on your clit, then this may be frustrating. I know I say this every time we review one of these stylized rabbit vibes, but it bears repeating. The one size or one shape fits all concept is a fiction. But then again, maybe that’s why there are so many styles and shapes out there. The trick is for each of us it to find precisely the right one that will pleasure us. And there are so many variables — insertable length, curve of the shaft, length of the clit vibe, and on and on.”
Dixie: “We wholehearted recommend the Zook, particularly for a woman new to vaginal and clitoral stimulation. We also want to let you know that the Zook is just as handy and pleasurable in your butt. So all you guys out there experimenting with anal sex, you will enjoy it too.”
Joy: “Let’s recap, shall we? Zook is body-safe, healthy, GREEN, rechargeable, waterproof, moderately powerful, and super quiet. The sad thing is, it’s not available anywhere in North America that we know of.”
Dixie: “I know! We can’t get over the fact that, for the most part, the wonderful Zini line is unavailable here in the US. I hope that changes soon.”

Best Adult Products List For 2012

For those of you who missed my Final Podcast of 2012 — Podcast #357, posted last Wednesday, 12/19/12, it’s time to announce this year’s Best Adult Products List For 2012.

We have five categories this year — The Best Product or Toy for Men; The Best Product or Toy for Women; The Best Product or Toy for Couples; The Best Kinky Product or Toy; and The Best Lube or Lotion.

We reviewed some amazing adult products and sex toys this year in all five categories. So coming up with the very best in each category was a bit of a challenge. But despite the difficulty we completed our list and here are members of the Dr Dick Review Crew to reveal the winners.

Jada with The Best Product or Toy for WomenBloom.

Leaf-Bloom-Hand

Mick & Chuck with The Best Lube or LotionCumShotLube.

cum-Shot-Lube-clean

Jack & Karen with The Best Product or Toy for CouplesWE VIBE 3.

we-vibe-3-couples-450x470

  • We have a tie for The Best Kinky Product or Toy for 2012, and curiously enough, they both come from the same company, the wonderful folks at Spareparts.

Carlos with the Deuce Male Harness.

Deuce02

Christa with the Joque Harness.

spareparts Joque

Glenn and Hank with The Best Product or Toy for MenFat Boy Cock Extender.

Fat Boy03