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.
I love music festivals. The mental, head-banging, devil horn bearing metal fests are sometimes a little too much to handle, but it's all good fun. Despite there being tons of sexy rockers at music festivals, I have always followed my personal rule of abstaining from sex when at a festival.
Exchanging phone numbers, saliva and sexy chat is fine in my book, but I won't go any further than that when spending three days on a muddy campsite. Well, I might make an exception for Slash…
The reason why I become a bit of a prude at festivals is down to one thing: personal hygiene. I mean, would you go down on someone after they'd been camping for two-days straight with only piss-strewn portaloos and grimy showers (if they're lucky) to hand? Not only do you run the risk of getting your hands, or tongue, around something stomach churning when getting in on with a random festival fuck buddy, but you also let your sex health guard drop a lot more easily.
Dental dams and condoms seem like the last items on the camping checklist for many people (including many of my friends), even though they should be one of the first if you're sexually active and single. Especially after I tell you about my mate's rather unsavoury experience at last year's V Festival…
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…
Every wondered exactly how a pussy pump works and what it can do for you? You're about to find out…
"As soon as I saw this little beauty, I knew I needed to try it for myself. The day it arrived, I cleared my schedule, got comfy on the couch with my new toy, and got to pumpin’ and playin’.
My "Pucker Up Vibe" pump is purple (unlike the photo) and comes with a bulb that you pump by hand to create suction inside the cup. It also has a safety release valve (which is very handy and located near the cup) and an enclosed vibrating bullet, activated using a wired, multi speed remote – giving you something to do with your freshly sensitized vagina…"
See the full Doc Johnson Pucker Up Vibrating Clitoral Pump review at Orgasm Army.
Buy the Doc Johnson Pucker Up Vibrating Clitoral Pump at Lovehoney.
Sex toys in a supermarket - whatever will they think of next?
"We bought this months ago in the supermarket for a giggle, and opened it up 30 mns ago. Is it enough to say that I'm now online to recommend it?
OMG. We took it out of the packet, figured out how to turn it on and off (slightly difficult turning it on the first time- persevere). We had foreplay, whispering about it, then he put it on… went "ooooh", and slid up me…"
See the full Durex Play Vibrations Love Ring review at Orgasm Army.
Buy the Durex Play Vibrations Love Ring at Lovehoney.
Hello sex kittens, I have something very interesting to tell you about: I'm going to launch my own talk show called Bad Kitty's Dirty Talk Show. ;-)
Before I get carried away, I must say that it's not going to be a talk show in the traditional sense. It won't be broadcast on TV or Sky (not just yet, anyway ;-), nor will you hear it on the radio. But you will be able to access it right here on the blog.
You won't actually see me interviewing people, because that would blow my secret guise, but you will be able to read each and every interview I run with loads of different sexperts. I'll be interviewing the coolest, most fanciable, most talented and most orgasm-inducing people connected with the sex industry. I'm talking about porn stars, erotic writers, sex toy makers and loads more!
The Lovehoney blog is dead, long live the Lovehoney Blog. Or at least my reincarnation of the Lovehoney Blog.
The new Lovehoney Blog will keep you informed of the latest special offers on sex toys and lingerie at Lovehoney, and of reviews of products from the Orgasm Army Web site, and of random sex news and happenings culled from across the Web.
This Lovehoney Blog is now mine. Me? Richard Longhurst, one of the founders of Lovehoney, former editor of .net magazine (but don't hold that against me), father (of 2), divorcee, golfer and Morrissey lookalike (if I wasn't quite so tubby).
And what am I going to do with this blog? I'm going to talk about sex toys, Lovehoney, e-commerce (or 'online shopping' to give it its proper name), the adult industry in the UK (how we'll laugh!), customer service (Ikea - comin' atya!) and anything else that tickles (or, heinously, fails to tickle) my fancy.
And, of course, I'll talk about anything you want to, too.
My first problem: how to get this damn blog to update properly. Back soon.