It's the moment we've all been waiting for... Time to introduce the lucky couple who have agreed to donate a month of blow-jobs in the name of science.
Sperm tester: Sarah (Sarah is a swallower)
Sperm donor: Jason
Sarah and Jason have been a couple of 20 months and say they have oral sex a couple of times a week. They have had oral sex in their bedroom, kitchen, bathroom and lounge, so if you're a houseguest of theirs, it's best to knock before entering any room.
Sarah says they would be great Sperm Testers because "We've dyed his pubic hair, made a cock mould and put Space Dust inside me..."
What better qualifications could you have?
Sperm Testing and Sarah's intimate blow-by-blow online account of the trial will begin here on 12 September.
Sarah will post a diary message every day, with specially detailed posts describing the taste of Jason's natural emissions every time they have oral sex. A control sample will be taken to gauge Jason's natural level of saltiness before the effects of the Sweet Release test product.
When we recruited our sperm tester couple, we asked applicants to tell us about unusual places they had had oral sex - here are just some of the replies...
1 "Kemble airfield (in the fire drill plane)" Admirably precise, thank you. Doing it in parked Cessna would have been *so* degrading.
2 "We are from Czech Republic, does it matter?" Er...
3 "Argyle street in Glasgow on a Saturday night (really busy street)." Isn't it more unusual to go down Argyle Street and not get a quickie?
4 "A quarry." And they say romance is dead.
5 "In the hospital." Nurse, the screens!
6 "On my Nans Sewing basket - 'Sticky Jumper darling?'" !!
7 "On the edge of a cliff on the Guisbrough Hills." Living dangerously.
8 "On the London Eye." Impressive way to spend 40 minutes rotating slowly above the River Thames in a glass bubble.
9 "AT MY FRIENDS BBQ IN THIER LOO." Make sure it's not still pink in the middle.
10 "In the middle of local pub - got us banned." How unreasonable!
The new issue of Scarlet magazine features a glowing five-star review of the Fun Factory Intensity Silicone Rechargeable Vibrator, which has been one of our faves for a while.
"The design is stunningly executed," reads the breathless review. "There are various vibe patterns to tickle your fancy, and they all pack a punch with the consisten vibration rbing on orgasm ni under three minutes. What more could you ask for, other than perhaps a cuddle?"
We couldn't agree more. :-)
The Lovehoney Sperm Testers will be sampling the Sweet Release Oral Sex Supplement.
Taken orally (appropriately enough), it's a dietary supplement designed to alter the scent and taste of your sexual fluids. "Imagine the confidence of being able to enjoy oral sex, knowing that a sweet delicious taste and scent is coming from you," says the product blurb.
Two Sweet Release capsules are taken twice a day for 30 days. And by the end of it, he should be tasting a sweet apples.
Our Sperm Testers will each keep an online diary of how their man's taste changes over the course of a month. Fruity!
Back in June we launched a search for a broad-minded couple who would be prepared to test a product that claimed to change the taste of semen.
We thought we might receive a couple of dozen applicants, so were more than delighted to receive more than 2,500 requests to take part from couples who had had oral sex everywhere from the London Eye to "on my nan's sewing basket." Ewww.
We've chosen three couples to take part. They've been sent their test product (and a couple of helpful other items) and the research will begin in earnest on Monday 11 September.
You can follow the couples' blow-by-blow accounts of the 30-day test on the Sperm Tester blog.
By the end of it, the guys' semen should be tasting of lovely sweet sweet apples. But will it? Let's find out!
No, I'm not imagining Dustin Hoffman strapped to Cupid's Couch while John Gielgud bears down on him with a rotating strap-on (though that would make for a good Marathon Man Director's Cut scene), I'm talking about phthalates in sex toys.
A journalist from the US Clamor Magazine (it's like Glamour but more sticky) got in touch to ask, in a totally unbiased way:
"Some manufacturers keep their consumers in the dark in regards to the potentially harmful chemicals, such as phthalates, found in sex toys. Have you or any representative of your company attempted to research how and where the products from Love Honey Limited are manufactured? If so, what were the results of your findings?"
And, she might have added, "Have you now or ever been a member of the Communist Party?" It had me wanting to take the fifth straight away.
We know that phthalates in sex toys - in any product - is a hot topic. Customers are right to be concerned about what they are doing with and to their bodies, so Lovehoney is on a mission to inform and explain.
That's why at the end of every product description on the Lovehoney site, you'll see an exhaustive (and, dare I say it, anal) list of product dimensions, features, controller type, battery requirements and what the item is made of.
There have been a lot of headline-grabbing media stories about phthalates in sex toys, but when you delve beneath the surface, it's not nearly so scary or so simple.
This report - despite its very small words - is essential reading for anyone who wants to delve behind the headlines. Here's a key passage:
"According to an NIH review done in 2000, the biggest source of exposure to phthalates is food. Food constitutes approximately 85-90 percent of phthalate exposure in adults, mostly through meat and fish. For infants, depending on whether a baby is breast or formula fed, the rate is 44-60 percent from food, with the remaining amount in both groups almost entirely attributed to dust."
Dust, anybody? Dust? DUST?
There is no hard scientific data available at present to show that phthalates in sex toys pose a risk to human health.
But even so, Lovehoney aims to provide balanced information so customers can make an informed buying decision.
If you're concerned, it's sensible to make sure that each time you use a sex toy that you put a condom over the top of it. That way, you can give yourself peace of mind, protect yourself from STIs and still enjoy your favourite sex toy.
And if you're still concerned, buy a sex toy made from silicone, elastomer, glass or metal for ultimate peace of mind.
The media is interested in selling newspapers and magazines with scary stories about evil sex toy companies. "Sex toys perfectly OK to use" is not a headline that you'll see running any time soon.
Another great review from Orgasm Army!
"Remember when you were a kid and those candy necklaces were so "cool" and made the perfect, though sticky, accessory? We used to buy one each with our quarters and wear them to school to snack on during class.
It's been a while since those innocent and carefree “candy necklace days” and now that I am a "grown-up" it's time to put away childish things – or is it?
Enter the candy bra – made from the same little pastel hard candies as those necklaces but now with an entirely new spin. There's nothing 'sweet and innocent' about this string of candy, it's a fun and very sexy piece of lingerie (part of a collection).
I decided to put it on under my clothes the other night to surprise my date..."
See the full Candy Bra review at Orgasm Army.
Buy the Candy Bra at Lovehoney.
Veteran erotic fiction writer Susie Bright has some interesting musings about the recent explosion of sales in erotic fiction and the move to things getting more explicit in erotica too. She's been writing erotic fiction for decades so this Publishers Weekly interview with her is a great overview of what's been changing - and where erotic fiction is going.
Or, if you're not interested in the theory but just want the good stuff, you can browse our groaning shelves in the Erotic Bookshop for the best in erotic fiction.
Sounds too good to be true, right? According to Sky News, Paul Da Costa Greaves has launched the Sexy Bar - retailing at £3.99, the Sexy Bar is packed with cocoa solids and ground chilli. Both ingredients are said to act as an aphrodisiac. And the chilli also boosts the metabolism, which helps burn fat. Sounds like you just have to give it a go - and check out our sexy chocolate gifts as well to treat that special person to a naughty surprise.
A customer (from Spain) writes to thank us for solving a delivery problem, which is good, and adds as an afterthought:
"But.... please stop using Imperial and go Metric asap. From 2009 onwards, using Imperial will be forbidden anyway."
First off, yes, a good idea. We shall provide both Metric and Imperial measurements for dildos and vibrators on Lovehoney, not just because we want to be good Europeans (don't we all? ;-) ), but because even some of our UK customers might be more familiar with centimetres than inches.
And we don't want to be accused by the Metric Association of confusing our customers with all this talk of inches.
Having said that, you know where you stand (or sit) with a 6-incher or an 8-incher - or even a foot-long dong. "Is that a 20.32 centimetre-er in your pocket, or are you just pleased to see me?" doesn't have quite the same ring to it...
But anyway, back to our Spanish friend and his Brussel-ocratic decree that "from 2009 on using Imperial will be forbidden."
He is, of course, mistaken. As the Metric Martyrs know to their cost, it is only when products are sold by weight or measure that it is compulsory to sell in metric units.
2009 just sees a tightening up of exceptions, though we will still be able to drink in pints and halves in our great nation's boozers. Thank the Lord.
Lovehoney doesn't (currently) charge for cock by the inch (though that would be amusing at the cut-me-a-length counter in Homebase), so we're quite correct and perfectly allowed to give dildo and vibrator measurements in inches. Or feet and inches for some of our larger specimens.
If I'm wrong (and part of me dearly hopes I am), I look forward to the day in late 2009 when I appear in one of Her Majesty's Courts and have to defend myself and Lovehoney on a count of selling cock by the inch. Needless to say, we will ask for several thousand other offences to be taken into account.
So, the message to Brussels is clear - hands off our cocking inches.
All of which prompts me to find out exactly how many miles of dildos Lovehoney has ever sold. Pass me the cockulator...