I’m just going to come right out and say it: The holiday season is decidedly unsexy. We’re all stuffing our faces with delicious, fatty foods; covering up our winter weight with ugly Christmas sweaters when we go to hang out with Grandma; and trying not to make asses of ourselves at office holiday parties where we all inevitably drink too much.

All in all, it can be hard to get in the mood in December.

To counterbalance the unsexiness of the holidays, I’ve put together this guide of eight fun, sex-positive gifts to bring a little heat into the cold winter months ahead.

Warning: You probably don’t want to put any of these under the family Christmas tree.

The “Turn Me On” Pouch From Sustain Condoms

turn me on pouch with kindle

Sustain Condoms is an amazing company out of my hometown of Burlington, Vermont, that makes fair-trade, vegan condoms that aren’t packed with nasty chemicals like most mainstream brands. Headed by Jeffrey Hollender (one of the founders of the natural cleaning products company Seventh Generation) and his daughter, Meika, Sustain is committed to opening up the conversation around safe sex and how it effects sustainability, justice, and equity.

While the condoms themselves are a great gift for any of your eco-conscious sex-positive friends or lovers, what I really want to talk about is the Turn Me On Pouch. This sturdy organic cotton canvas pouch has a beautiful teal lining and sturdy but decorative gold zipper and, best of all, the words “turn me on” emblazoned on the front. It’s a cheeky little accessory that makes me smile every time I look at it.

The Turn Me On Pouch is just the right size for storing make up, pencils, condoms, or – as I fortuitously discovered – a Kindle Paperwhite.

For an extra boost, grab their holiday gift set, which includes the Turn Me On Pouch and three boxes of sustainable condoms.

The Vesper from Crave


Crave is a sophisticated sex toy company that focuses on both your pleasure and creating beautiful toys that you’re more likely to display on the mantel than hide in the bedside drawer and the Vesper – a vibrator/necklace that resembles those vintage pen necklaces similar to the ones Joan Harris wears in Mad Men – is their pièce de résistance.

Choose from silver, silver with a rose gold top, or a gold for a striking statement piece that will show off your lover or friend’s sex positivity to those in the know while appearing to be just a really pretty necklace to everyone else.

Combining simple elegance with a serious vibe, the Vesper is perfect for the sex-positive fashionista or subtle exhibitionist in your life.

Erika Moen’s Oh Joy Sex Toy Book


Erika Moen is one of my heroes. I wrote about her site, Oh Joy Sex Toy when she first started and watching her popularity grow has been almost as fun as reading her sexy, fun, informative comics.

Enlisting the help of her diverse (fictional) team of “masturbateers,” Erika releases a comic every week that either reviews a sex toy, explains a sex act (her comic on female masturbation had me simultaneously laughing out loud and also a little turned on), provides some much-needed sex education, or even interviews people who work in the sex industry. A sense of pure enjoyment that’s different from any other sex toy review or sex education tool pervades all of her work – it really is a joy to read.

The Oh Joy Sex Toy Volume One includes 268 pages of Erika’s comics, compiled in one big book. The book has been so popular, however, that Erika can’t guarantee that those of you who celebrate Christmas will get it by the 25th.

I say buy it anyway and surprise someone with a post-holidays present. It’s a great gift for the silly sex lovers in your life or even someone with kids who may want to “leave it out” for their curious, sex education-needing teens to “discover.”

Ambrosia Vibe by Orgasmatronics

ambrosia vibe

I haven’t personally tried the Ambrosia Vibe but, boy, do I want to. Claiming to be the world’s first bionic strap-on, the Ambrosia transfers any motion taken on it (think licking, fucking, stroking) into vibrations that the wearer feels. Instead of memorizing patterns like other toys do, each sexual experience is unique with the Ambrosia Vibe.

It can also be hacked to play with other toys to create a sex robot. I’m not even joking.

That alone was enough to pique my interest but what really seals the deal for me is the team at Orgasmatronics, the company that makes the Ambrosia. Headed by a physicist who calls himself Dr. Xtreme, they just seem like an awesome group of sex-positive, queer-friendly weirdo dorks who are focusing their mental prowess on helping the world get off. Basically I want them all to by my best friends but I’ll settle for telling everyone to buy their sex toys for their lovers and friends who are interested in exploring different types of penetration.

Oh, also, if you order before December 22, you’ll get $50 off.

Sex Culture Revolutionary by Polly Superstar

pollsy superstar

I don’t usually read non-fiction but I couldn’t put down Polly Superstar’s memoir. Written with a painful honesty, Sex Culture Revolutionary chronicles Polly’s mission to get us all to open up about sex and stop being so scared of it. The books starts with a teen Polly in BDSM clubs in ‘90s London and culminates in her now world-famous sex parties known as Kinky Salon, giving reads a glimpse into subcultures that most of us have never seen in real life.

Get an insider’s view into San Francisco’s famous sex club, Mission Control, and read along as Polly struggles through everything from the death of her father to rising rents in San Francisco pushing Mission Control out of its home to figuring out what it means when you’re bored of sex parties. By the end of the book, you’ll feel like you’ve known Polly for years – which is exactly what I told her when I interviewed her in September.

Forget 50 Shades of Grey. Sex Culture Revolutionary is a riveting read for any kinkster interested in learning more about the history of the scene through the eyes of one extraordinary woman.

Subscription to the Magnum Savage Lovecast

Screen Shot 2014-12-10 at 1.42.46 PM

If you’re not listening to the Savage Lovecast yet, please stop what you’re doing and go subscribe right now. Dan Savage is the world’s leading Agony Aunt dishing out sex-positive, queer-friendly sex and relationship advice. While he’s probably most famous for his nationally syndicated Savage Love column, Dan’s Lovecast has been gaining in popularity and is now a must-listen for thousands of people every Tuesday morning.

The Lovecast comes in two sizes: regular and Magnum. The regular one is free and for some, it’s enough. For all those size queens in you life, however, the Magnum version is a great gift to put under the virtual Christmas tree. Costing only $5 for one month, $19.99 for a six, or $35.99 for the year, the Magnum version of the Lovecast includes not only sex and relationship advice but also interviews with sex researchers and activists who are making moves in the sex-positive scene. It’s a must-have for anyone interested in moving our culture away from its sex-negative, Puritanical roots.



This is more of a stocking stuffer than a full-blown gift, but it’s a fun one. Flirtmojis are the first emojis that are all about doin’ it, with a focus on opening up the conversation around safe sex and sexual interests.

Start using the free ones now and spend $0.99 for each additional packet of 15 Flirtmoji. It’s a great way to say “thinking of you” to your favorite sexting partner without dropping massive amounts of dough.

PULSE from Octopuss

pulse by octopuss

Because I don’t have a penis, I turned to my friend Billy Procida, host of the sex-positive podcast The Manwhore Podcast, for a recommendation for gifts for penis-havers. Billy immediately came back with the PULSE, an oscillating stimulator for men from the company Octopuss.

Basically a sheath that provides concentrated vibes on the frenulum (that little spot under the hood of the penis, kind of like a clit for dudes), Billy says that the PULSE is “the only toy for a guy that vibrates that you don’t have to put in your ass.”

Billy recommends the PULSE for anyone interested in having a stroke-free orgasm, which is something I’d actually never heard of until talking to him about this toy. If that’s something you think your penis-having lover or friend would be interested in exploring, Billy can’t recommend it enough.

Bonus: Use the code Whore20 and get 20% off, courtesy of Mr. Procida.

And that’s it!

Whether you’re searching for something to expand your mind or expand certain (ahem) other organs, I hope this list helped you find something for all of the sex-positive kinksters, fashionistas, and dorks in your life. The holidays aren’t sexy on their own but that doesn’t mean you can’t give the gift of sex-positivity in the form of one of these awesome presents.

I mean, really, is there even one you wouldn’t want yourself? Didn’t think so.


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Emma McGowan writes about technology and, on hotter days, sex and tech. She’s an expert on dating and hook-up apps, the latest in sex toy technology, and how rapidly changing technologies affect our rapidly changing social mores. Check out her full professional profile at http://emmamcgowan.me/ or read more sex/tech writing on http://kinkandcode.com/. You can follow her (and pitch story ideas!) on Twitter @MissEmmaMcG.



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