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Slingers Party   by Greta Christina

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Reviewer Greta Christina has worked in and around the sex industry for over a decade writing about it, editing books about it, and living it. She edited Paying For It, a collection of articles by all kinds of sex workers: dommes, escorts, peep show girls, T-girls. Her novella called Bending is out in Susie Bright's book Three Kinds of Asking For It (published by Simon & Schuster and can be found at amazon.com). In response to overwhelming member requests for reviews of sex toys, sexy films, and other sex whatnots, Ms. Christina brings her girl-about-sex wisdom twice monthly to AdultFriendFinder. You can check out Ms. Christina on her web site, gretachristina.com.

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Sex Sling, $35.00
Super Sex Sling, $68.00
Available at Extreme Restraints, http://www.extremerestraints.com/

This toy has one purpose, and one purpose only.

And it's a very specific purpose. Unlike, say, a vibrator or a dildo, with their specific but still quite versatile purposes of "vibrate" or "penetrate," this toy has an exact, rather narrow, not-at-all-versatile purpose.

The purpose of the Sex Sling is to help you keep your legs spread and your feet in the air, for pretty much as long as you want to.

Now normally, I'm not a big fan of sex toys with very specific functions. I feel that my budget is too tight, and my apartment too small, to be stocking up on buttplug/nipple-clamp/ball-gag combos, or vibrators that tickle the upper left side of your clitoris to the rhythm of the "Hallelujah Chorus."

But boy howdy, do I like this toy. And the narrowness of its function doesn't bother me at all. After all, while a vibrator that tickles the upper left of your clit to the "Hallelujah Chorus" may be a very silly purchase for most people, it makes perfect sense if you know that's what you like. And if, like me, you know that you like being on your back with your feet in the air and your legs spread as wide as they'll go, then this is a toy you're going to like a lot.

Here's how the Sex Sling works. It's very simple, actually. It's a very long strap, with adjustable fake-fur ankle cuffs on both ends, plastic tension-lock adjusto-things for adjusting the length, and a padded thing in the middle. You put the cuffs around your ankles and the padded thing behind your neck; you tighten up the straps; and voila! Your feet are high in the air, held there by the tension of the strap. (Look at the pictures if this still doesn't make sense.)

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And you can stay there for a long time.

A very, very long time.

I don't just love this toy. I feel like it was tailor-made for me. I love being spread open wide, with my pussy and my clit as naked and exposed as I can get them. It feels so filthy, so purely sexual. It makes me feel like I am my cunt, like the entirety of my consciousness is focused between my legs. It can make me feel delightfully helpless and submissive, like my clit is being forced out into the open to endure any depravity that might come. But it can also make me feel pampered and luxurious, like my clit is the center of the universe and nothing is more important than giving it what it wants. And when all the cylinders are firing together and everything lines up right, it can make me feel all these things at once. When I'm on my back, I feel like I can never get my legs spread wide enough.

But I'm also not a gymnast. I'm a fairly ordinary person -- in reasonably good shape, gym twice a week and all that, and with a fair amount of strength and flexibility, but certainly no athlete. And without the help of this contraption, I can't keep my legs up and out for more than a few minutes at a time.

With the help of this contraption, though, I'm finally free from the tyranny of my leg muscles. I don't have to save the whole "feet in the air and knees by your ears" experience for those special few minutes when I want it the most. I can keep my legs up and out for just about as long as I want to.

And boy, do I want to.

Despite its outward appearance, the Sex Sling isn't a bondage toy. With a little imagination, it could certainly be used as one -- you could tether the leg straps to hooks on either side of the bed, just to give one example. But when you use it as is without any adaptation, you actually have quite a bit of maneuverability when you're strapped into the thing. Your legs are hoisted into the air, but you can move them side to side with a fair amount of freedom: you can close them if you want to (although why you'd want to is beyond me), and you can open them as wide as you're comfortable with. The straps help you spread yourself wider, and they help you hold yourself wide apart for longer, but they don't force you to.

You can also shorten the straps up and slip them back down again, both to adjust to your height -- the toy is designed to fit folks in a variety of heights, from under 5' to over 6' -- and to suit your mood at the moment. If you want to pull your legs up super-high in a moment of passion, you can; if you need to relax back down and give your thigh muscles a break, you can do that, too. (I do have a small caveat on this point, which I'll get to in a bit.) And if your legs or neck start to get sore, you can easily slip the neck pad out from under you, and give both your neck and your legs a break.

Oh, and speaking of people over 6 feet tall: Guys, the Sex Sling isn't just for your girlfriends. You can use it, too. When you strap yourself into it, it leaves your cock and balls nice and exposed for oral sex (or genital torture, if that's where you like to go), just like it does for the women and their pussies. And if you like prostate massages or getting fucked in the ass with a strap-on, the Sex Sling makes it a lot easier to do that and stay face-to-face. (This is nice for women who like it in the ass as well.)

This next bit may seem obvious, but it's very important, so I'm going to mention it anyway. The Sex Sling puts quite a bit of pressure on the back of your neck -- that's how it works. And the tighter you pull the straps, the more intense that pressure gets. Therefore, if you're prone to any kind of neck or back problems, this toy is probably not for you. Even if you don't have neck problems, you may find that your neck is the limiting factor, the "just about" in the "you can keep your legs up and apart for just about as long you want" equation. I was able to stay in the Sex Sling for quite a while, but my neck did eventually get sore, and it gave out before either my legs or my pussy.

Now, depending on how your bedroom is set up, you might be able to string the Sex Sling through your headboard or bedframe (there's a customer comment on the Extreme Restraints website suggesting that you do exactly that). But if your bed isn't set up to make that work, you might just have to get a regular full-on sling if you want your legs in the air without the pain in the neck.

You may have noticed that there are two different versions of the Sex Sling -- regular, and Super. You may have even noticed that the Super is almost twice as expensive as the regular. And you may be wondering, "What makes the Super so gosh-darned super? What's the big honkin' difference?"

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The biggest difference (apart from price, that is) is the neck pad. On the regular Sex Sling, the neck pad is quite basic: just a flat rectangular fake-fur pad that sits behind your neck. But the Super Sex Sling has one of those fat half-circle neck-cushion things, like the kind people use to sleep on airplanes. It spreads the pressure over a wider area, so your neck doesn't get as sore, and it's a whole lot more comfortable generally.

This cushion isn't the 100% advantage it might appear to be. It does make the Super quite a bit bigger than the regular, making it harder to stash in a nightstand, much less a suitcase. And the smaller neck pad of the regular Sex Sling means you can slip the strap under your shoulders if it's getting too hard on your neck -- something you can't really do with the Super. The cushion still makes the Super a much better toy, but it's not a slam-dunk.

The other big difference -- and this one is a slam-dunk -- is that the Super model is a whole lot easier to adjust. With the regular Sex Sling, I found that while it was very easy to pull the straps up tighter and hoist my legs up higher, it was rather more difficult to loosen them up again. The adjusto-buckle thingies were down by the ankle cuffs, and they were kind of fiddly besides. So if I'd spread myself super-wide in a fit of passion, and now wanted to give my thighs a break from the intense stretch, I'd have to actually stop the action for a moment while I mucked around with the adjusto-bobbles.

But with the Super Sex Sling, the adjusto-guys are right there by my head, on either side of the neck cushion. And they seem to be more solidly built as well. So I can let my legs back down easily, as easily as I can yank them up. And this makes me feel a whole lot more relaxed about yanking in the first place. With the Super Sex Sling, I feel completely comfortable pulling my legs as high and as wide as they'll go -- because I know I can bring them down in a second if I need to.

There are a couple other differences between the two models -- the cuffs and the cushion of the Super seem to be made of a softer, more velvety material, for one -- but the adjustment doohickeys and the cushions are the real deal-breakers.

Of course, the price difference isn't just a technicality. If you're on a budget and you're on the fence about this toy, the regular is a completely reasonable choice. It's a perfectly wonderful toy, and if it turns out you don't like it, it's not so expensive that you'll feel like a fool. But if the Sex Sling sounds like a wet dream come true to you, if you've been reading this review with one hand reaching for the credit card and the other shoved down your pants, then I'd lean towards getting the Super if you can comfortably afford it.


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