Chaunte Lowe Conquered Four Olympics. Now She’s Training for Tokyo Through Breast Cancer.

If anyone knows grit, it’s Chaunte Lowe. The 37-year-old high jumper has competed in four Olympics through three pregnancies. She brought home a bronze medal in 2008 and still holds the American record for the women’s high jump (both indoor and outdoor). And now she’s training for a mind-boggling fifth Olympic appearance—while facing a breast cancer diagnosis, chemotherapy and a mastectomy. So yeah, she’s no quitter.

Lowe found a “rice-sized” lump in her breast in 2018 but a doctor initially wrote it off. Lowe was exceptionally healthy and young—not the typical profile of a breast cancer patient. But as an Olympic athlete, she was also exceptionally in tune with her body. “There was something internally tugging at me telling me, ‘No. Pay attention to me,’” she says. Eleven months later, she went back for another scan—the lump had tripled in size.

In 2019 Lowe was diagnosed with triple negative invasive ductal carcinoma, an aggressive form of breast cancer that disproportionately affects Black women. “I felt like I needed to say goodbye to my kids. Everything that I hadn’t done with them as a mom, everything I hadn’t done with my husband as a wife, flashed before my eyes so quickly and I just instantly felt a ton of regret,” Lowe says. “That’s the thing that caused me to say no. Uhuh. We have to fight.”

She made plans for a mastectomy, and several months of chemotherapy. And then a comeback. By the time she finished chemo, she’d have about six months to get healthy and in Olympic shape for the Olympic trials ahead of the originally planned Tokyo 2020 Games. It was a gargantuan thing to ask of her mind and her body, but she’d had plenty of practice with that. “The biggest obstacle that I’ve ever faced, which helped prepare me for that, was being a year out from the Olympics—not one, not two, but three, times—and finding out that I was expecting a child. The timing could not have been more imperfect,” Lowe says. Each time, she had a choice: “lay on the ground and cry about it or come up with a plan to figure out how we can get this done,” she says, “and figure out what I needed to do to not only become a mother that’s going to grow a human, but to also become an elite athlete that’s going to be prepared to compete at the Olympic stage.”

Each time her process was the same: Write a vision. Make a plan. Sacrifice for the plan. Execute the plan. Cancer treatment was no different. “I knew that this process worked—it worked to make four Olympic teams, it worked to break the American record, it worked to win a world championship, it worked to win an Olympic medal,” says Lowe, who is now a partner of the American Cancer Society and Stand Up to Cancer.

Her vision, once the reality of the diagnosis had set it, was immediately clear: Survive—and then make it to Tokyo, as much for the chance to compete again as for the platform to talk about the importance of early detection. “If I could at least raise the question, ‘Should I be talking to my doctor about this to get screened?’ then maybe I could help save lives,” she says.

So she trained through chemo, and then through the uncertainty of the pandemic, her chemotherapy-ravaged immune system further complicating her ability to workout during the earliest days of the virus. “There was no way to even order equipment because everything was so backordered when everyone was trying to furnish their home gyms. I heard about athletes jumping over fences at midnight and taking equipment back to their house just to train,” she says. “It was chaos. But there was also a sense of relief that we could prioritize our health.”

Lowe is currently cancer-free. “I’m very hopeful and optimistic that the early detection really played a huge part,” she says. In the early days of the pandemic, she was afraid to go to the doctor, the risk of exposing herself too terrifying. “More than one-third of people in the U.S. have missed a routine cancer screening due to COVID-19. But I realized these appointments are important—they are checkpoints for your progress to make sure you’re on track for your goal of being cancer-free,” she says. Lowe’s survived, and now the second part of her vision—a fifth Olympics—is well within reach.

Macaela MacKenzie is a senior editor at Glamour. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter. 

Victoria’s Secret Says Goodbye to Its Angels

Victoria’s Secret is swapping fantasy for reality. The lingerie brand recently announced an initiative designed to shape the future of the brand through a new platform, The VS Collective. Put another way: The company is swapping its often-criticized VS Angels for more inclusive partners who better represent the modern-day women.

“These extraordinary partners, with their unique backgrounds, interests and passions will collaborate with us to create revolutionary product collections, compelling and inspiring content, new internal associate programs and rally support for causes vital to women,” the company shared in an Instagram post announcing the collective.

The founding members include soccer player and gender equity activist Megan Rapinoe, skier and soon-to-be Olympian Eileen Gu, actor Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Girl Gaze founder Amanda de Cadenet, and models Adut Akech Bior, Valentina Sampaio, and Paloma Elsesser. 

The diverse group of women is meant to lead the company’s pivot from its historically narrow definition of sexy. “It’s a group of women inspiring change and positivity,” a source tells Page Six about the rebrand. “It’s another step they’re taking towards transforming the brand. The entire industry thought Victoria Secret was done,” an insider said.

Another added, “[The Collective] is completely cause-driven…The idea is to create this community of outsiders looking in. It’s a new generation for the brand that is more about inclusivity. And they [Victoria’s Secret] needed it if they wanted to stay afloat. The brand was stuck in an era that never evolved. It’s a different world now.” 

Victoria’s Secret has faced backlash for sexual harassment amid a misogynistic corporate culture that focused entirely on the male gaze. “When the world was changing, we were too slow to respond,” Martin Waters, the chief executive of the brand, has said. “We needed to stop being about what men want and to be about what women want.” 

Priyanka Chopra, Megan Rapinoe, and More Are the New Faces of Victoria’s Secret

Victoria’s Secret is swapping fantasy for reality. The lingerie brand recently announced an initiative designed to shape the future of the brand through a new platform, The VS Collective. Put another way: The company is swapping its often-criticized VS Angels for more inclusive partners who better represent the modern-day women.

“These extraordinary partners, with their unique backgrounds, interests and passions will collaborate with us to create revolutionary product collections, compelling and inspiring content, new internal associate programs and rally support for causes vital to women,” the company shared in an Instagram post announcing the collective.

The founding members include soccer player and gender equity activist Megan Rapinoe, skier and soon-to-be Olympian Eileen Gu, actor Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Girl Gaze founder Amanda de Cadenet, and models Adut Akech Bior, Valentina Sampaio, and Paloma Elsesser. 

The diverse group of women is meant to lead the company’s pivot from its historically narrow definition of sexy. “It’s a group of women inspiring change and positivity,” a source tells Page Six about the rebrand. “It’s another step they’re taking towards transforming the brand. The entire industry thought Victoria Secret was done,” an insider said.

Another added, “[The Collective] is completely cause-driven…The idea is to create this community of outsiders looking in. It’s a new generation for the brand that is more about inclusivity. And they [Victoria’s Secret] needed it if they wanted to stay afloat. The brand was stuck in an era that never evolved. It’s a different world now.” 

Victoria’s Secret has faced backlash for sexual harassment amid a misogynistic corporate culture that focused entirely on the male gaze. “When the world was changing, we were too slow to respond,” Martin Waters, the chief executive of the brand, has said. “We needed to stop being about what men want and to be about what women want.” 

Gwyneth Paltrow Says Ex-Husband Chris Martin Is Now ‘Like My Brother’

Chris Martin came up in Gwyneth Paltrow’s latest interview, and let’s just say the pair are on very good terms. 

“I mean, it’s funny. He was over here yesterday. And [Apple] came through and she’s like, you know, she’s taller than me now. We just, like, looked at each other. We were like, ‘How did this go by so quickly?’” she said on the premiere episode of “Shop TODAY with Jill Martin” on June 17. “He’s like my brother. You know, he’s my family.”

How often have you heard someone refer to their ex as a brother? Well, Paltrow and Martin, who share two children, have always been unconventional. The pair famously popularized the term “conscious uncoupling” in 2014 before officially divorcing in 2016.

“I love him,” she continued, per Today. “And I’m so grateful to him for giving me these kids. It worked out well…You know, it really did, I have to say.”

This interview lines up with statements made by Gwyneth Paltrow in recent months. During an April appearance on Anna Faris’s podcast, Unqualified, Paltrow said she “never would have wanted” to break things off with her former husband.

Paltrow said her split with Martin led to a healthy relationship with her current husband, writer-producer Brad Falchuk. “I had learned more about myself through that process than I could have imagined,” she said. “And because I focused on accountability, I was then able to find the most amazing man and build something that I’ve never had before.”

Paltrow and Falchuk could also be considered unconventional. Before the pandemic, the actor shared that she and her husband don’t share a home full-time. Instead, she told Sunday Times in 2019 that he stays with her four nights a week; the rest of the week he spends at his own place. 

“All my married friends say that the way we live sounds ideal,” she said at the time.


Regé-Jean Page Says Watching Himself in Bridgerton Sex Scenes Was ‘Overwhelming’

Bridgerton may have been known for its…steamier moments, but there was at least one person who struggled to watch those parts: the Duke of Hastings himself, Regé-Jean Page.

Page spoke about how it felt “overwhelming” to watch his sex scenes with his scene partner Phoebe Dynevor, who played Daphne Bridgerton. “No one was sufficiently prepared. I wasn’t sufficiently prepared, and I was there,” Page said at The Hollywood Reporter’s latest actor roundtable. “I think people were grateful for the intensity of the romantic aspects of Bridgerton; I’m not sure how grateful I was to watch it for myself. It was overwhelming. But I think people were looking to be overwhelmed.”

He continued, “My family doesn’t want to be overwhelmed by my backside, specifically, too often, but they’ll take it on this occasion because everyone seems to be terribly happy.”

In fact, Page might even argue people were so focussed on his “backside,” they remembered an iconic line incorrectly. During a new interview with Variety, the actor pointed out that he never actually said the line “I burn for you,” which was spoofed on Saturday Night Live. “I do not say, ‘I burn for you,’ it’s not my line!” Page said, adding, “Everyone clearly was feeling very burned for, which I’ll take as a compliment.” 

Unfortunately for many fans, Regé-Jean Page will not appear in the second season of Bridgerton. Dynevor recently revealed how the series will deal with the absence of the broody, spoon-licking royal. “I think he’ll definitely be referred to a lot. I think we’ll see the baby,” Dynevor told The Wrap in June. “And we’ll just focus more on her relationship with the Bridgerton family.”

“It’s definitely different,” she said of filming without her former costar. “And I’ve said it before, but I think the fans who have read the books and know the books are aware that every season will focus on a different sibling’s journey. And it might be a little bit more of a—not shock, but like a surprise for the fans that love Daphne and Simon’s story so much. But I think that’s honestly the joy of the show in the long-term, getting to see these different love stories play out.”


TWICE Just Surprised Fans By Watching Their Best Song Covers on YouTube

I bet you wouldn’t be surprised to hear that K-pop girl group TWICE inspires a lot of fan covers. With over 10 million subscribers on YouTube, 18 million Instagram followers, and 8 million fans on Twitter, it’s safe to say they’ve got a pretty big reach.

So Glamour wasn’t going to miss out on the chance to have Jeongyeon, Jihyo, Dahyun, Chaeyoung, Sana, Tzuyu, Momo, Mina, and Nayeon sit down and watch some of their most avid fans take on their biggest hits, including an all-saxophone rendition of “Yes or Yes.” You know the ONCE fandom got this on lock. 

In the latest installment of You Sang My Song, the women of TWICE marveled at covers of “Heart Shaker,” “Feel Special,” “Cry For Me,” “I Can’t Stop Me,” and more. Check it out, below:

The Best Nipple Covers & Pasties to Solve Your Summer Outfit Dilemmas

Of all the things you could possibly want (or need) these days, the best nipple covers might not rank high on your wish list. But hot summer days call for clothes with the least amount of fabric (hi, linen dresses), and while going braless can be truly freeing, not everyone may feel comfortable with nipples peeking out—or a potential nip slip. 

Thanks to the endless possibilities of the internet, we found a ton of smart, affordable solutions that make it possible to wear pretty much anything these days. So if you need some guidance, keep scrolling for a handy checklist of the best bra alternatives to stock up on. From adhesive bras to silicone nipple covers and reusable pasties, each one can solve a number of tricky top and dress situations—and are all easy to put on and remove. Temps are only getting hotter, so shop the 14 best nipple covers to wear with all your skin-baring summer looks

The adhesive bra

What it’s good for: Backless or super-low-cut dresses and tops.

It’s easy to wear your comfiest bra (or nothing at all) when you’re at home in sweats, but those one-shoulder numbers and backless dresses require a little extra forethought. Sometimes you can get away with just a strapless bra, but if you want shape and definition without a war against gravity, adhesive styles are the way to go. 

Celebrity stylist Anita Patrickson told Glamour she prefers the NuBra (shown below) over a traditional strapless style since it’s so much better at staying hidden. (This invisible bra comes in sizes A to E, and has a wide range of nude colors compared with some other brands on the market.) The proper way to put it on? “Bend over, stick one cup toward the outside of your breast, put the other one on your other breast, and clip them together,” Patrickson says. “It’ll help give you some cleavage and is the best way I’ve found to put it on.”

Free People Go Bare Backless Strapless Bra

$38

Free People

NuBra Basic Feather Lite Bra

$35

Shopbop

Fashion Forms U-Plunge Self-Adhesive Backless Strapless Bra

$40

Net-a-Porter

Intimissimi Silvia One-Piece Microfibre Push-Up Bra

$29

Intimissimi

If you have a fuller bust, consider brands like Fashion Forms and Nordstrom Lingerie that make adhesive bras up to G cups. The options below stick well to your side and provide lift underneath clothes with low necklines and open backs. 

Nordstrom Lingerie Voluptuous Backless Strapless Underwire Bra

$42$17

Nordstrom

Fashion Forms Voluptuous U Plunge Backless Strapless Bra (DD–G)

The silicone nipple covers

What they’re good for: Thin or semisheer fabrics, plunging necklines, and swimwear.

Self-adhesive nipple covers (or silicone pasties) are especially great to wear when it’s hot out because they’re lightweight and practically invisible. These options are typically circular in shape, stretching beyond the nipple to cover the entire areola, and most brands offer them in a range of skin tones. You can even get them in a waterproof style to wear underneath your bikinis and one-piece swimsuits

Nudwear Daisies Waterproof Nipple Covers

$22

Shopbop

Nippies Skin Ultimate Adhesive Nipplecovers Pasties & Travel Case

Hollywood Fashion Secrets Silicone Cover-Ups

House of Cb Silicone Reusable Nipple Covers

$15

House of Cb

Fashion Forms Women’s Reusable Full Figure Gel Petals

Muqu Women’s Silicone Pasties

Because of their thickness, nipple concealers tend to do a better job than mesh bralettes or sports bras at masking erect nipples. Plus, the majority of adhesive silicone covers are made from medical-grade or hypoallergenic silicone, so if you plan on adding them to your daily rotation, they should be kinder on your skin. 

The pasties

What they’re good for: Sheer fabrics, V-necks, and loose-fitting tops and T-shirts.

Similar to reusable nipple covers, pasties offer subtle coverage when wearing sheer clothing, summer whites, and basic white tank tops. They function much like stickers and are usually flatter than reusable silicone nipple covers—but be aware: They may pucker if not applied flush to your boobs. 

Pasties are often reusable, if not washable, and like the nipple covers above, most of the time you need only a touch of mild soap and water to reactivate the adhesive on the back.

Commando Nipple Concealer Adhesives

$12

Bare Necessities

Bristols 6 Cross Nippies

$13

Nordstrom

Fashion Forms Silicone Breast Petals

Skims Solutionwear Pasties

$12

Nordstrom

Breast petals (pasties shaped like flowers) are a popular option, but ICYMI, pasties come in a kaleidoscope of playful designs (hearts, stars, or crosses) and fabrics (lace, satin, and sequins) that are great for everyday wear or special occasions. We know, we know—sequined nipple covers don’t exactly scream comfy (or safe for work), but most have latex-free or hypoallergenic silicone adhesive backings, meaning even the rhinestone ones won’t irritate or chafe after wearing them for hours on end. (P.S. Some come with test patches too so you can spot-try the product on a less sensitive part of your skin beforehand.)

Bristols 6 Pretty in Pink Nippies Covers

$15

Shopbop

Savage x Fenty Rhinestone Studded Heart Pasties

$16$6

Savage x Fenty

Where to Buy the Best Sex Toys Online

If you’ve noticed there are more places to buy sex toys online than ever before, you’re definitely onto something. While brick and mortar sex toy shops have existed for a long time (odds are, you’ve been in one either out of curiosity or necessity), the sex toy e-commerce market has recently skyrocketed, partially thanks to the convenience of online shopping, as well as the 2020 pandemic propelling sales.

Even celebrities like Dakota Johnson and Cara Delevingne are entering the sex toy space, the former investing in sexual wellness brand Maude and the latter serving as creative advisor and co-owner of sex tech company Lora DiCarlo. Where there’s demand, there’s money, and where there’s money, the possibilities for pleasure are endless.

But enough business talk: Let’s dive into all the online sex toy retailers that make it possible to find your dream wand, rabbit vibrator, or butt plug in just a few clicks. Since online sex toy retailers make toy shopping so accessible, it’s easier than ever to experiment with different products and brands, taking our orgasms to levels we’d never even imagined.

However, it’s easy to feel decision fatigue when you’re presented with so many options for buying sex toys online. You start to feel like you opened the Cheesecake Factory menu and finding what you really want becomes a difficult task in and of itself. There are the OGs of the sex toy shop world, like Good Vibrations and Adam & Eve. There are a bevvy of trendy direct-to-consumer brands like Unbound, Dame, and Maude. You’ve got your luxury toy brands like Lelo that you may mistake for modern art. And as a shock to literally no one, Amazon also wants a piece of the pie, and offers a variety of toys to choose from (with two-day Prime shipping!).

So, where to start? Behold: The ultimate list of the best sex toy brands you should totally bookmark.


Good Vibes was founded by sex educator Joani Blank back in 1977, with its first store located in San Francisco. It was the first time a sex toy shop put sex education and women’s pleasure front and center (in a large, scalable way), and the brand’s mission was to empower folks to freely embrace their sexuality. It was also one of the first shops to prioritize body-safe materials like silicone in its toys. Good Vibrations is still considered one of the most trustworthy sex toy retailers, with a bevy of toys to choose from, at all different price points.

We-Vibe Tango X Vibrator

$80

Good Vibrations

Happy Rabbit Realistic Slim Vibrator

$80

Good Vibrations

Pleasure Works Candy Heart Dildo

$70

Good Vibrations

Eden Tulip

$45

Good Vibrations

If Babeland’s shopping experience seems awfully familiar, it’s because it was acquired by Good Vibes in 2017. Based in Seattle, Babeland’s mission to empower women to explore their sexuality aligned with Good Viibes’ messaging and goals, so the merger made sense. Similar to Good Vibes, Babeland refuses to sell subpar toys, remains vigilant about materials, and carries a huge selection of toys all in one place.

We-Vibe Sync Chorus

$200

Babeland

Ella Neo Vibrator

$110

Babeland

Naughty Bits Screw It Vibrator

$28

Babeland

BlueMotion Nex 3 Couples Ring

$115

Babeland

From bullet vibrators to handcuffs, Ella Paradis’ selection runs the gamut of pleasure. What makes Ella Paradis stand out is their pricing, since the retailer frequently runs sales and discounts on their most popular products like the Satisfyer or Lora DiCarlo’s famed Ose dual stimulator. They even offer their own sex toy line, Better Love, which lets customers try premium products at accessible prices.

FemmeFunn Ultra Bullet

$147$59

Ella Paradis

Better Love Butterfly Clitoral Stimulator

$198$59

Ella Paradis

Better Love Booty Pop

$118$35

Ella Paradis

Better Love G-Spot Hero Vibrator

$180$54

Ella Paradis

Unlike most retailers which generally don’t allow returns (understandably), Lovehoney lets customers return a toy within 60 days. Plus, their customer service is notoriously amazing, with experts available to help choose which products are right for you, or to just solve any shipping issues if they happen to come up. You can depend on Lovehoney to carry all the classics like the Magic Wand vibrator and Fifty Shade of Grey line, as well as an in-house Lovehoney line of toys. The retailer also features deals of the day, with toys up to 50% off, as well as a 20% off student discount.

Lovehoney Magic Wand Plus Extra Powerful Plug-In Vibrator

$120

Lovehoney

Lovehoney Fifty Shades of Grey Greedy Girl G-Spot Rabbit Vibrator

$100

Lovehoney

We-Vibe x Lovehoney Remote Control Clitoral and G-Spot Vibrator

$120

Lovehoney

Lovehoney Dream Rabbit Rechargeable Silicone Thrusting Rabbit Vibrator

$85

Lovehoney

Luxury and award-winning sex toy retailer Lelo is where you want to go if you’re ready to invest in a well-designed, high-tech, and powerful toy that, yes, costs a pretty penny (luckily, Lelo has sales from time to time). The Swedish-based shop is a more curated experience, with their Soraya and Smart Wand being two of the brand’s best-sellers. With luxury products comes a luxury shopping experience: Along with every single toy, Lelo provides illustrated instructions on how to use each toy if you’re in need of some pointers.

Lelo Soraya Wave

$249$199

Lelo

Lelo Smart Wand 2

Lelo Ora 3

Lelo Enigma

We-Vibe is another luxury toy brand which specializes in products designed for partnered sex and playtime (although they do sell toys for solo sex, too). Founded by Canadian couple Bruce and Melody Murison, what makes We-Vibe special is their We-Connect app, which pairs with all of their toys. The app gives people the ability to control their toys wirelessly with their phone, and from afar. If you’re looking for a vibrator to use with a long-distance partner, We-Vibe gives you the opportunity to connect, even if you’re states or countries away from each other.

We-Vibe Chorus

$199

We-Vibe

We-Vibe Touch

$99$79

We-Vibe

We-Vibe Jive

$119

We-Vibe

We-Vibe Rave

$119

We-Vibe

Come for the fun graphics, stay for the orgasm-making toys. Founded by sexologist Alexandra Fine and Janet Lieberman, an engineer, Dame Products’s ultimate mission is to close the pleasure gap by creating accessible and inclusive sex toys, as well as spreading the word about sexual wellness. If you follow the brand on Instagram, then you probably already know they regularly post sex positive illustrations and mantras like this definition of what “sexuality” means. Their bestselling toy is the Eva, a hands-free clitoral vibrator you can use solo or with a partner. Brownie points for convenience and cute design.

Unbound started as a small sex tech startup in a NYC apartment and has grown into one of the most popular modern sexual wellness retailers. Founder Polly Rodriguez founded the company because she believed female sexuality was underserved by the sex toy industry. And it’s true: 10 years ago (probably five years ago, even), when people went searching for sex toys, they often found that the products were designed for male pleasure and solely hetero sex in mind. A lot of dildos on the market were super phallic and vein-y, and the only purpose of a vibrator was packaged as a way to offer foreplay before penetrative sex. Not anymore. Brands like Unbound give folks fun and brightly designed toys that created for pleasure, whether you’re having partnered sex, enjoy masturbating on your own, or both.

Unbound Puff

$46

Unbound

Unbound Ollie

$74

Unbound

Unbound Bean

$28

Unbound

Unbound Romp

$24

Unbound

Maude (which counts Dakota Johnson as an investor) is in the business of intimacy. Their two sole sex toys are the bullet vibrator simply called Vibe, and their palm-sized mini vibe called Drop. While these products are loved for their sleek design and efficacy, Maude customers tend to come back for mood-setters, like their popular burn candle, which you can light and enjoy, and then pour directly on to your partner’s skin for a warm and sensual massage (since the wax is made with jojoba oil, it isn’t able to get super hot). Maude was founded by former Everlane employee Éva Goicochea, who wanted to counterbalance some of the raunchy, porn-influenced imagery associated with sex toys. If you visited their website, you might not even dawn on you that they sell sex toys, since Maude purposely avoids explicit content so that their customers don’t feel intimidated. The branding is also totally gender and age-inclusive.

Maude Vibe

Maude Drop

Maude Burn No. 1

Maude Oil No. 0

When you think of a traditional brick-and-mortar “sex toy shop” you might think first of Adam & Eve, one of the most popular sex toy retailers in the world. It was founded by Dr. Timothy Black and and Phil Harvey in 1970, and began as a small shop in North Carolina selling condoms and lube. As its business model expanded (pivoting to mail-order catalogs), Adam & Eve’s business model eventually grew to include an online e-tailer version selling everything from a clitoral vibrator to Ben Wa balls to lingerie, and even its own sex toy line. The retailer carries a wide selection of toys and brands, and, to our delight, has a 100% satisfaction guaranteed policy. Meaning, if you don’t like it, you can totally return it.

Adam & Eve Intimate Curves Rechargeable Wand

$70

Adam & Eve

Adam & Eve Silicone G-Gasm Rabbit

$60

Adam & Eve

Adam & Eve Feathered Nipple Clamps

$10

Adam & Eve

Adam & Eve Pink Gem Anal Plug

$13

Adam & Eve

At first glance, you might mistake Sweet Vibes’ online experience as a candy shop. Bubble gum pinks and baby blues initially mask that this is, indeed, an online sex toy store, and their Instagram page is coated in just as much sugar. Their clitoral suction toy is called Girl’s Best Friend, while their dual vibrator is cheekily called tuLips. The playful branding is part of the company’s goal to market sex toys as being integral to one’s self-care routine. You’ll also notice Sweet Vibes’ pricing is extremely reasonable (all toys fall under $50). Their explanation? “…It doesn’t actually cost an arm and a leg to create a great vibrator using quality materials,” and the brand follows up by stating they forgo expenses like influencer photoshoots so they don’t have to pass the cost onto customers.

Sweet Vibes Girl’s Best Friend

$50

Sweet Vibes

Sweet Vibe Tulips

$45

Sweet Vibes

Sweet Vibes Charmed a Wand

$45

Sweet Vibes

Sweet Vibes The Perfect Match

$40

Sweet Vibes

Womanizer specializes in clit suction vibrators and (as we noted last year) sales for the brand’s vibrators, in particular, skyrocketed during quarantine, with the brand’s parent company WOW Tech Group reporting a 200% increase in sales YoY between 2019 and 2020. With dating and hooking up off the table for many people during the pandemic, naturally masturbation was a safer alternative. Folks heard through the grapevine that the Womanizer felt like oral sex for people with vulvas, and it instantly became one of the most sought-after toys of last year.

Womanizer Premium

$199

Womanizer

Womanizer Liberty by Lily Allen

$99

Womanizer

Womanizer InsideOut

$199$149

Womanizer

Womanizer Duo

$219

Womanizer

These days, you can order just about anything on Amazon—and get two-day free shipping with a Prime membership—so the convenience is hard to deny. You can stock up on household goods like toilet paper and shampoo and add a vibrator to the same cart, without barely lifting a finger. Amazon carries a huge assortment of popular toys, but it’s important to pay close attention to the retailer, since it’s possible to buy a counterfeit product from a non-official third-party retailer. And though cheaper automatically equal bad, we always recommend doing a thorough read-through of the product reviews.

Oliver James Rechargeable Personal Wand Massager

Paloqueth G Spot Rabbit Vibrator Adult Sex Toys with Bunny Ears

Phanxy Store Rechargeable Clitoral & G-Spot Vibrator

Utimi Nipple Clamps

Yes, the marketplace where you buy your personalized jewelry and hand-knit scarves also sells sex toys. A large portion of the toy selection is handmade or sold by smaller companies, so it’s definitely up to the customer to do their research and ensure the toys are made with body-safe materials. You’ll find some gems, though, like the cult-favorite Rose Sucking Vibrator by Adorime, and this high-quality leather flogger.

Rose Sex Toy Vibrator

BlissBDSM Flogger

Duori Rechargeable Personal Wand Massager

Alora Clit Vibrator for Women

Lora DiCarlo, which was founded by Lora Haddock DiCarlo, blew up in popularity after their innovative sex toys were presented with an innovationa award in robots at tech show CES and then quickly rescinded. The Consumer Technology Association explained that the award had been a “mistake” and that sex tech was prohibited at the show. After some warranted backlash, the CTA re-awarded DiCarlo with the award it initially won, and agreed to allowing some sex tech companies to participated in CES. All that is to say: DiCarlo is one of the recent pioneers in normalizing sex tech and tools for pleasure, and the brand Lora DiCarlo is one of the hottest sex toy companies on the market (it’s even backed by Cara Delevingne). The toys that initially placed them on the map (and stirred up some major drama in the tech world) were the Onda, an innovative G-spot vibe, and the Baci, a clit suction toy that uses airflow technology to simulate oral sex.

Lora DiCarlo Onda

$180$153

Lora DiCarlo

Lora DiCarlo Baci

$160$136

Lora DiCarlo

Lora DiCarlo Osé 2

$290$246

Lora DiCarlo

Lora DiCarlo Tilt

$140$119

Lora DiCarlo

Organic Love, founded by erotic educator Taylor Sparks, carries a wide array of eco-friendly and artisanal sex toys and goods, like We-Vibe toys and vegan condoms. It even offers erotic seminars from Sparks, and erotic-themed getaways and cruises. Organic Loven is different from other sex toy retailers in that it focuses on the experiential just as much as it focuses on the products. For those who want to learn more about their sexuality, or the act of sex, Organic Loven also sells a variety of sex positive literature

We-Vibe Nova 2.0

$149

Organic Loven

Le Wand Chrome Grand Bullet

$100

Organic Loven

Hot Octopuss DiGit

$69

Organic Loven

Ohnut

$65

Organic Loven

Alice Derock founded Wet for Her in 2009 after experiencing disappointment with the lack of inclusivity offered by popular sex toy retailers. Derock, who identifies as a lesbian, wanted to see more toys that weren’t just geared toward hetero couples (think vein-y, penis-shaped dildos), so she created Wet for Her. The first toys were created with queer women in mind (like the Two Finger Extender, which was modeled after the stroking, “come hither” motion of two fingers massaging the G-spot and clit). Wet for Her primarily sells dildos and harnesses, but they do also offer a bunch of bullet and finger vibrators, along with a nice selection of lubes.

Wet for Her Rockher Mini Scissoring Vibrator

$90$72

Wet for Her

Wet For Her Finger Vibrator

$56$45

Wet For Her

Wet for Her Sex Toy Two Fingers Extender

$40$32

Wet for Her

Wet for Her Pride Strap-On Dildo Suction Cup

$40$32

Wet for Her

Helix Piercings Are Going to Be Everywhere This Summer

You’ve probably seen a helix piercing around. Whether you’re looking for a dainty or bold statement, they’re always perched toward the top of the ear and an easy way to switch up your look. And like the lobe, they’re on their way to becoming a classic. 

Maybe you’ve been thinking about getting a helix piercing for a while to complete your earscape. Maybe this is the first you’re hearing of it, and you want to know what’s so hot about this placement. Either way, we’ve got you covered. Read on to learn what, exactly, a helix is and whether or not piercing it is actually more painful than the rest of the ear. Most important, you’ll learn about essential aftercare from the team at Studs, the millennial’s go-to jewelry brand and piercing studio. Find out everything you need to know about helix piercings, below. 

What is a helix piercing?

You may seen some piercings placed in slightly different locations along the ear and wonder if they all qualify as the helix. The answer is: yes. “A helix piercing is any piercing along the upper and outside cartilage ridge of the ear,” says Studs piercer Shannon Freed. “Anatomically, the helix describes the area of the ear.” However there are names for those different placements. A flat helix lays on the flat part of the inside of your ear, while a forward helix is on the cartilage closest to your face. A snakebite piercing on the helix is when you have two piercings along the ear close to each other.

So whether you’re piercing the top end or somewhere just above the midpoint of your ear—if it’s middle, then it’s a “midi”—you’re still apart of the helix-adorned club.

Do helix piercings hurt? 

Let’s get real about helix piercing pain. Does it actually hurt more than the lobe? “Pain tolerance varies, but generally, your helix will hurt more than your lobes as it is less fleshy,” says Freed. Cartilage tissue is thicker, which can require more force to pierce through resulting in a bit more pain. But the pain is temporary, and your beautiful new piercing is forever. 

How long does a helix piercing take to heal?

“Healing is subjective and is dependent on factors such as your overall health, sleep and stress levels, and your aftercare regimen,” says Freed. Makes sense, as our bodies react and recover from physical stressors at different rates. But if you’re looking for an average estimate, Freed says at least two months. “The initial healing time for a helix piercing is two to four months. For the piercing to be fully healed, it takes six to nine months. Healing timelines will vary based on your specific piercing and your body, but you’ll know your ear is healed once any discharge, swelling, redness, flaking, or soreness stops.”

What about aftercare?

As your new helix piercing heals it should feel less painful. Proper aftercare is key to making sure your new ear piece not only looks great but feels that way too. Freed’s recommendation is to try keeping your hands off of the fresh piercing as much as possible. “Don’t touch or twist,” Freed says. “And spray saline front and back no more than twice a day. You’ll also want to be careful of snags and sleeping on the piercing, as this disrupts the healing process.”

When you are cleaning, it’s important to stick to saline solution. The salt helps to pull out excess discharge while increasing blood circulation. You’ll want to avoid rubbing alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, or ointments as they can dry out and further irritate your piercing which will extending the total healing time.  

What should I do about infected helix piercings?

“Some people confuse irritation with infection! While some irritation is common, with the right aftercare, there shouldn’t be much infection,” says Freed. “It’s totally normal to experience slight bleeding, ‘crusties’ (dead skin cells), swelling, tenderness, itching, bruising, or soreness. These symptoms will typically only last a few weeks.” But if you experience any symptoms outside of these, Freed recommends checking in with your doctor.

What’s the average cost?

If you’re ready to take the plunge on a helix piercing, plan to spend around $30 on the piercing itself plus the cost of jewelry. Because you’ll want to pick from precious metals like solid gold or titanium, budget at least another $30 for the pretty stuff. If you’re in need of a little inspiration for your new ear bling, scroll on.

Seeing Stars

A classic helix piercing gets a twist with this starbust stud and connecting chain. The final look: a celestial arrangement you’ll dream about. 

In Full Bloom

If you prefer a stud over a hoop but want something a little more eye-catching, a flower earring like this lotus one is the perfect balance. 

A Royal Affair

This colorful snakebite piercing is elegant with a little edge. Dress it up or down depending on your mood.

Miiriya Is Amazon Meets Etsy for Black-Owned Businesses

Shopping from Black-owned businesses just got a lot easier, thanks to the app Miiriya. While we understand the convenience of Amazon and the popularity of Etsy, those retail sites don’t let potential customers purchase exclusively from Black-owned brands. Enter: Miiriya, which gives these companies a platform to sell their fashion, beauty, and lifestyle products in an easily accessible way for consumers.

The name Miiriya is a word from the African language of Bambara/Dioula, which is founder Lamine Loco’s native language. It means “thoughts” and “ideas” or “philosophers” and “thinkers.” The app lets vendors sign up without transaction or listing fees. The vendors receive 100 percent of their earnings; so when you shop, the money is going straight to these small businesses.

“My goal for the site in the community is to run this website in a socialistic way, like Wikipedia and PBS,” Loco writes on the website. “There absolutely no fees for vendors, and all money made from the site will be seeped back into solving different issues in our community. In the future, I plan to have optional donations where the public and vendors can participate, and this website will be used to fund issues we always have to beg to be solved. I plan to put things like community fridges in front of businesses and houses, where people who are hungry in the community can just open them and not have to go without food.”

Loco continues, “I also plan to use any funds to fund the community’s healthcare, education, and more. I want to run this in a different way than other businesses, where the main goal is to make sure no one is left behind. I want to reach a point where if we see someone on the street who is struggling/homeless, we take them off the street, and better their lives. I’d like us to reach a point where we’d fund ourselves so we don’t have to rely and beg outside sources that continuously give us crumbs over the span of decades. Please let someone know this app exists.”