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Products for Couples

By Lisa Link




It's really nice to see some bath and body product companies starting to venture out into the realm of more "sensuous" products, designed to be used and enjoyed by couples.

In the past, many of the typical product offerings of this ilk could only be found in places considered to be, ahem, a touch distasteful, even by the most progressive, sex-positive gals (myself included). 

I mean, really, who wants to poke around a dank little store off the interstate for sexy goodies, while some creepy little troll ogles you from behind the counter? Blech, I think not.

Unless your town has a friendly little "erotica" shop (here in Columbus, The Garden, in the Short North, is a wonderful place), many people will probably feel much more comfortable ordering these products via the Internet.

Oh cyber-convenience, how I adore thee!



Rated PG-13


Oh, and I would be remiss if I didn't mention that sexuality is discussed somewhat frankly in the following reviews. Granted, we won't be getting "down and dirty" (we'll keep it PG-13) but for the sake of giving an accurate, thorough description of the products, I will be discussing instructions for use. With that being said, on to the reviews!

The first set of goodies I tried (with the help of my fabulous fiancé ­ Rar rar!) were from the Kama Sutra collection. With their beautiful packaging and refined tastes and textures, these products are definitely some of the classiest, most elegant sexual products available.

The Kama Sutra Company, named after the famous Indian text by Vatsyayana, is over 25 years old and takes a joyful, relaxed approach to intimacy and pleasure. There's nothing intimidating about these products, so even if you've never experimented with these types of items in the bedroom, Kama Sutra will put you at ease with simple, direct products that are truly a pleasure to use. Kama Sutra also uses no animal testing or animal by-products.



Earthly Delights


R. and I went all out, and jumped right in with the Earthly Delights Gift Tin. This lovely collection contains Kama Sutra's Honey Dust, Pleasure Balm, Honey Almond Earthly Delights Gift TinMassage Crème, Original Oil of Love, and Sweet Almond Massage Oil, all in a pretty tin.

At $65 this tin is very reasonably priced for all the wonderful products you get. Want to become a couple's new best friend? Consider this as a gift for anniversaries, wedding showers, engagement parties or any celebration of love.

Even the tin is gorgeous! If you just want to try a couple of products, each is sold separately at a variety of online sources (more about this later).

The first item we "product tested" (and by goddess, this is work you can love!) was the Honey Almond Massage Cream (about $15 for 7oz).

This edible, emollient cream is made with the real thing; honey and almonds combine for a wonderful scent, as well as a sweet, natural taste. This cream is perfect for full body massage because it stays slippery longer than most other lotions, but isn't sticky. It also rinses clean with just water, and leaves a slightly sweet taste on the skin.

The flavor is really lovely, and not the least bit cloying or "off" (or downright yucky) like so many others (for those of you who have tried the "cheap-o" edible products in flavors like Pina Colada or Strawberry Daiquiri, you know exactly what I'm talking about).

Keep in mind that because it does contain oils, this product is not compatible with latex (condoms or other safe-sex products.) So, rinse off your hands if you plan to use any of the aforementioned.



Tried and True


Next on the list was the Oil of Love (about $14 for 4oz). This was Kama Sutra's first offering, and remains one of their most popular. These oils come in seven yummy flavors, including the Original (my favorite ­ a spicy yet delicate cinnamon-spice), Chocolate Mint and Raspberry Kiss.

These oils are fun to play with because not only do they provide a dewy, slippery texture, they heat gently when you blow on them. They aren't sticky, and the flavors really are quite wonderful.

Even better, they are latex-safe, so use them as freely as you wish. Of all the products, this one is my favorite because it is so versatile, as well as just being a lot of fun. If you aren't sure which Kama Sutra product to start with, I'd suggest this one.

Another one of the products that came in the tin was the Pleasure Balm (about $12 for 1.5oz). Now, let me be as delicate as I possibly can be about this description. Pleasure Balm is an unguent designed for the purpose of assisting your male partner in the "art of restraint."

This cooling, minty gel imparts a slight numbing quality, so you and your man can enjoy "just a little bit longer." The gel is edible (and delicious) so it is appealing on a variety of levels, and for a couple of different purposes. Keep in mind that with this product, a little goes a long way, so don't go overboard with it.

One of the most useful products included in the tin was the Sweet Almond Massage Oil (about $12 for 8oz). Because of Tae Kwon Do, I can get some majorly sore muscles.

My beloved is kind enough to indulge me in the most amazing backrubs, so we've put this massage oil to excellent use. The formula is very lightweight, and helps your fingers to glide easily when giving a massage. The sweet almond smell is slightly cherry-like, and very pleasant.

I have also tried the "Pleasure Garden" scent, which smells of Jasmine and other exquisite blooms. Honestly, I've taken a whiff of each of them on a few different occasions, and every one smells fabulous in its own right, so you can feel confident taking a chance with any of them. All in all, this is a wonderful massage oil, but don't limit yourself to just using it as such!

I like to smooth it on damp skin after my shower (which yields incredibly soft and supple skin) or add a little to the tub for a sexy, silkening soak. This product is definitely a latex no-no, so be sure to plan accordingly.


Feather Dusting


Lastly is, perhaps, the most unusual of Kama Sutra's offerings. Honey Dust (about $18 for 8oz) is a honeysuckle-scented powder made from pure honey. How, you ask? I'm assuming that first the moisture is removed by freeze-drying or similar method, and then it is ground to a very soft, finely textured powder.

The feel of this powder is so luxurious and amazing, and honey even acts as a powerful humectant to help keep your skin feeling soft and moist. It is also completely edible, and smells like a field of fresh honeysuckle blossoms.

As if you aren't already tempted enough, Honey Dust even comes with a handmade feather applicator (and a very beautiful, wood-handled one at that) for application, or for any other uses you and your partner can come up with (read between the lines, kids). This is right up there with the Oil of Love as a must-have favorite.

Kama Sutra products really are some of the most luxurious sexual items you can buy. If you've always wanted to try some of these goodies, but felt a little shy about going someplace to buy them, don't hesitate to place an order online, because they really are a ton of fun. These Kama Sutra items will certainly remain a must-have staple in my bedside basket!



Lovey-Dovey


The second group of items I reviewed, the Lovey-Dovey products from Aromaleigh, is perfect for couples who are just starting to introduce sensual products into their relationship. Aromaleigh is just the type of company I like to support: it is woman-owned and uses only all natural ingredients (no SLS, SLES, ALS, DEA, parabens, mineral oil, petroleum by-products, talc, glycols, artificial scent/color, or other synthetics) in its fabulous items for humans and animals (cats and dogs have lots of choices, too)!



Lush, Sexy Scent


The Lovey-Dovey items I tried came from the Romantic Aromatherapy Gift Basket, a lovely tin containing bubble bath/shower gel, massage oil, pulse point perfume and fragrance mist, all for the very reasonable price of $52 (available at Aromaleigh.com).

Lovey-Dovey items are scented with Aromaleigh's own "Aphrodesia" scent blend; a gorgeous mix of essential oils such as rose, jasmine, neroli and black currant seed, as well as rich vanilla, vetiver and cinnamon leaf.

I adore this unusual, sexy scent because it is lush, but not too strong and/or sweet like so many commercial items available.

One important thing to remember is that you should shake these items well before you use them. Natural oils tend to settle when no chemical stabilizers are used, and you might find the fragrance to be a little "off" if you don't re-combine the ingredients.

Each of the items from Aromaleigh is a real pleasure to use. The bubble bath / shower gel provides lots of lather, and won't strip the moisture from your skin. In fact, I was really pleased with how soft my (and my partner's!) skin felt after use.

The massage oil provides a slick surface, but isn't heavy or greasy, thanks to the combination of Organic Safflower, Sesame, Avocado & Jojoba Seed, Rice Bran & Wheat Germ oils.

The fragrance mist is suitable for spritzing the air, bedding (be careful around very light bed linens, though, because it might leave spots!) or even yourself! In fact, I love to spray myself straight out of the bath or shower, when my skin is still warm, so the scent will stay with me all day (or night, as the case may be).

As I said, these products are perfect for the sultry tart-in-training who would like to add a few sexy items to her repertoire, but would like to do so without jumping right to items that may be blush-inducing to some.

And with that, I think this little yarn has just about been spun. As promised, nothing too racy (not now, at least, but 50 years ago? Scandalous!). Personally, I'm all about communication and honesty, and really, that's what these types of products are about.

They're designed to get you and your partner talking and having fun. One of those little reminders that sometimes, despite the numerous distractions of our hectic lives, your unwavering focus should rest upon the joy of intimacy, and the simple, primal pleasure of touch.



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