Products We Won’t Review

by Jeff Booth


Most of the items on the shelf of your average sex boutique are going to provide you with some pleasure or at least something useful. However, among all the great products on the shelf, there are going to be ones that you will want to avoid entirely. There are entire categories of products that we will not review. Some because they are bad products, some because they are outright fraudulent.


Edible Panties 
Not that many years ago, almost all of the so called edible adult products were horrendous. Fortunately, that has changed for the better. There are some really tasty items out there now, including the flavored lubes from Wet and ID, the great Kama Sutra products, and a number of others. These are usually something you apply to the body and lick off. If they are going anywhere near the vagina, though, you want to make sure they are sugar free, as sugar plus vagina equals yeast infection.

The one edible product we have yet to find a tasty version of are the edible panties. They usually don’t look much like panties, they look silly on if you can get them on, and they do not taste good. One box noted that “the more you lick them, the better they taste.”  That’s because eventually you lick through far enough and get down to what really tastes good. Sure, maybe someone out there has made a tasty pair of panties, but even then we don’t find the concept appealing.

The packaging typically does not show what they
look like or the face you make when you try them


Instant Erection Cream
Viagra can take up to an hour to work, so instant erection cream sounds like a pretty great idea. The actual instructions that come with it tell you to rub for 25 strokes and it takes 30 minutes. Now maybe their definition of instant is different from mine, but that sounds like an erection delaying cream to me. Other than FDA regulated drugs, there is no known cream that can bring about an instant erection (or even a 30 minute one, for that matter).

Instant, if 30 minutes is your idea of instant


Vibrating Mouths
These are the lower half of a face, cut off just above the nose, and the idea is that you put your penis in the mouth and it vibrates. Sure, this might be Hannibal Lechter’s idea of a good time, but for the rest of us? I’ve heard guys saying they were looking for a nice piece of ass, but I have never heard anyone say they were looking for a nice piece of face. These are just bizarrely spooky. 

Realistic down to the pierced tongue
except there is no neck or head


Spanish Fly
The original Spanish Fly was made from a beetle that was ground up, and caused vaginal itching that might make her want to scratch but certainly would not make sex pleasurable. It also had this rather unfortunate side effect of causing death. The numerous items advertised as Spanish Fly or variations thereof avoid that side effect, as well as any effect at all. Amusingly, most of them say so right on the package. One of our favorite catalog descriptions: “contains a well known and potent placebo”.  Another mentions that the product is for historical entertainment purposes only. Another is marketed as a powerful “pseudo” Spanish Fly liquid. There are other equally useless items, like Hardon Pills (made from a “simulative” extract), Ginseng (a “simulacrum” powder),  and Stay Harder Pills (Secret Ingredients formulated to aid sexual fantasy). The fantasy is that these are anything more than sugar pills. 

Spurious, placebo and sugar pill- right on the label


Pocket Pussies
We don’t really have an objection to the vaginas molded after porn stars. The good ones are almost a work of art. The company that did it right is Fleshlight, with their vagina in a fake flashlight concept.  There are some really bad ones out there, though, that if shown to someone young and impressionable and represented as a vagina, might frighten them off of the real thing for life. They have a thick ring of hair so unrealistic one imagines that the designer created it from a quick description, having never actually seen one himself. Inside there are little nubs, making it look like the maw of some alien creature that will devour and swallow your most precious dangling possession. I am not going to ask one of our testers to put their penis in something like the thing pictured below.

Vagina or menacing alien?


Love Dolls 
I’ve never been personally intimate with a love doll, but I imagine it would be like having sex with an odd smelling cartoon character. They look good on the box cover, but inside you’ll find a very different story.  The majority we have seen are poorly made and very unrealistic looking, and it amazes us that these have been a long time staple of the adult industry. Most have mitten-like hands, toeless feet, breasts that are simple bumps with painted on nipples, and a remarkably short life span. Recent technology has improved things some, with moldings of actual body parts of porn stars, but they are still stuck on an unrealistic leaky inflatable body. 

If ultimate realism is your goal, and you have an extra five grand kicking around, then there is always the Real Doll, a remarkable simulation of a woman with realistic skin and features. One of their dolls starred in a major motion picture- Lars and the Real Girl. It stars Ryan Gosling and is actually quite charming. You can find it frequently on the streaming movie services. I would take the Real Doll manufacturer’s current claims of developing AI for their Real Dolls with a grain of salt, though.

Not everyone shares our dislike of love dolls, though. In fact, there is an entire site devoted to their enthusiastic appreciation at the Love Doll Fetish Homepage. It contains more information on the subject than you could ever imagine. 

A Love Doll with a distinctive and
protruding strawberry scented vagina


Numbing Creams 
Designed to prolong a man’s erection and prevent premature ejaculation, what is the point in having sex if you can’t really feel it?  This would give a man less control in the long run. Sex is supposed to feel good, and an item that is designed to make you feel less seems to be contrary to the whole point. There are much better solutions to premature ejaculation, such as the squeeze technique (squeezing at the base of the penis will prevent you from coming). Also in this category are the numbing creams for anal sex like Anal Eze. This is an especially bad idea with anal sex. If something hurts that much, maybe you should stop.

Anal numbing cream, in cherry and strawberry flavors


Novelty Condoms 
There are times when you just have to use a condom. Would you use one if you did not have to, if it served no purpose? Welcome to the world of novelty condoms. They glow in the dark, they are packaged to look like a lollipop, they are flavored and edible, they have a ruler printed on them, they come in novelty shapes from having extra nubs and ticklers to looking like Santa Claus, and they come in amusingly labeled packages. Unless the package states that it is FDA approved and effective in the prevention of disease and birth control, though, the condom does nothing beyond look amusing, and we won’t consider it for review. The use of the term “novelty condom” is synonymous with “condom protection roulette”.  You actually can get an FDA approved glow in the dark condom, and the first one to be approved was the Knight Light, made by the Global Protection Corp. Now if other companies would get their acts together and not put out what looks like a usable condom that isn’t, we’d all be a lot better off.

A condom on a stick that really is for suckers


Herbal Viagra

There have been cases where herbal Viagra actually did give men erections. That was because the active ingredient in Viagra, sildenafil citrate, was also in the herbal Viagra. Yes, it was very illegal, and the FDA shut them down. They do not shut companies down simply for selling an herbal supplement that does nothing, though. Herbal supplements are one of the least regulated products on the market. They do not have to work as claimed as long as there is a tiny disclaimer on the bottle that the claims have not been verified by the FDA. They are seldom tested to determine they even have the ingredients claimed on the bottle. These products depend on the placebo effect. For most people, their erection issues are psychological, and believing these products work might help. If you have real physical problems, though, probably not so much.


As real as you believe it to be

Herbal Penis Enlargers

No, they don’t work. No matter what euphemisms they use to make it sound like your penis is going to get bigger, it is not going to happen. I know, Ron Jeremy endorses one, and who could believe that Ron Jeremy would steer you wrong (other than people who have actually met him). In fact, there simply is no easy way to make your penis larger. Yes, penis pumps might give you a little extra plumpness, but the effect is very temporary, and their real effectiveness is in helping men who have difficulty achieving erections.

In the more famous cases where the feds have gone after major advertisers of herbal penis enlargers, it was when they were running a major scam beyond just selling fake drugs. The most famous case was with Enzyte, with their Smilin’ Bob character, in commercials that vaguely implied the product would give you a better erection and a bigger penis. Many of their still not in jail competitors do the same thing. Why not make two false claims instead of just one? In 2008, Steven Warshak, the owner of the company that made Enzyte, was found guilty of 93 counts of conspiracy, fraud, and money laundering. The man who coined the meaningless term “natural male enhancement” went to prison. None of those charges were for selling a fake drug that did not work. That is perfectly legal for herbal supplements.

The typical racket for these companies is to offer a free sample, which signs you up for a new shipment every month billed to your credit card, and it is almost impossible to cancel. Enzyte had a brilliant way to keep people from cancelling. You had to submit to them a notarized document that said that your penis was still small. Warshak was sentenced to 25 years, but because he reportedly stole less than $400 million (not counting what he made for legally selling a fake product), his sentence was reduced to 10 years, and he could be out in much less than that.

Amazingly, Enzyte is still on the market and the company is still in business under different ownership, and customers continue to complain about improper billing under the new management. Enzyte is a product that has no scientific basis, and requires the placebo effect where you think it might be working a little because you desperately want to believe it is working. There is little disincentive not to make fake male enhancement drugs.


Scam, scam, scam


Breast Enlarging Creams and Pills

The best way to use breast enlarging creams is to have your partner rub them on. At least that way you’ll get a little pleasure out of the purchase, because you certainly won’t get larger breasts. Some sellers of these products suggest that the creams should be used in conjunction with their breast enlarging pills, and a year’s supply will only set you back $600. That actually is not such a great deal, since there are no creams or pills that will enlarge your breasts.


No bigger breasts, just a smaller wallet


Pheromones are a real thing. There is a developing science on the power of human produced scents and sexual attraction. Type in pheromones on Amazon and you’ll get over 5,000 hits.  How many of those are legitimate? In theory, it is possible that some are. It is much more probable that none of them are. That is because the science is not definitive, and we do not know the exact components of the scents that could lead to sexual attraction, nor how they work.  There are tons of claims on the Internet that sound convincing, but search a little deeper into more legitimate research and you’ll find that actual hard science is difficult to find.

The interesting thing is that the pheromone products on Amazon are highly rated, many with five stars. Sure, the ratings could be padded, but there is another reason why people believe that pheromones work. Wearing them makes people behave differently. They might be more outgoing, or exhibit greater confidence. It seems like something is happening, but it actually works like the fake drugs Kirk gives Mudd’s women.

A search on PubMed found this from April 2015: “As humans are mammals, it is possible, perhaps even probable, that we have pheromones. However, there is no robust bioassay-led evidence for the widely published claims that four steroid molecules are human pheromones: androstenone, androstenol, androstadienone and estratetraenol. In the absence of sound reasons to test the molecules, positive results in studies need to be treated with skepticism as these are highly likely to be false positives. Common problems include small sample sizes, an overestimate of effect size (as no effect can be expected), positive publication bias and lack of replication.”- from the abstract of The Search for Human Pheromones by  Tristram D. Wyatt  in the Proceedings of the Royal Society Biological Sciences.


A real thing but probably not a real product


UPDATE: Jeff Booth discusses copulins, a claimed sex pheromone, during the November 21st Sex Science Saturday segment of the Jeff Booth Show


Toxic Toys

Over the last few years, there has been growing concern about the materials used to manufacture sex toys. After all, you are putting these materials inside your body. As with nutritional supplements, there are few regulations and virtually no oversight. Sex toys are sold as novelty items with no enforceable claims for their actual use.

This is a topic we cover in some detail in the free ebook, The CenterSEE Guide to Adult Toys. Click on this link to learn how you can download your free copy.




Photo Credits: Feature image by Jeff Booth. Product shots from the respective manufacturers.