Update to this post: My partner now uses they/them pronouns.
I love to cook, a fact that I trace back to watching an appalling amount of Good Eats on Food Network in my teens. Good Eats was, if you aren’t familiar, a goofy, Bill Nye the Science Guy approach to home cooking, hosted by Alton Brown. It explored a lot of recipes, techniques and tips, as well as the history and science of various foods and other things that intrigued my young, nerdy self. One of Alton Brown’s core tenants of cooking was a hatred of unitaskers—that is, gimmicky gadgets meant to perform a single task in the kitchen. I will admit that I own an electric egg cooker, which is probably not Alton-approved, but I do appreciate the general philosophy. Why clutter up your house with single-use gadgets when you can find something to accomplish the same task, along with several others?
For the most part, this philosophy does not extend to my sex toy collection. My favorite vibrators are bullets, and therefore don’t function especially well internally. And my favorite vag dildos rarely make good butt toys, and vice-versa. This is the way of things, and for the most part, I’ve accepted it.
I recently went to a nearby sex toy store. It wasn’t one of the lovely and progressive superhero sex shops like Minneapolis’s Smitten Kitten or Seattle’s Babeland. It’s the kind that’s mostly shelves of mainstream straight-white-cis porn, with cake pans in the shape of penises and a substantial selection of toxic sex toys. Shops like this are far more common than the thoughtful, feminist, queer-friendly spaces that I’d prefer, especially in certain parts of the country—there are no really good feminist, material-conscious sex shops, to my knowledge, in the Deep South where I live. But hidden amid the questionable offerings, there’s usually a selection of safe toys, and we walked away with a bagful of kink implements and a few other purchases. And even the sparsest of questionable sex shops will almost always have some toys from Pipedream.
Now, let me say this now: Pipedream is not a good company. Most of their toys are made of horrible material, their vibrator motors are crap, and they genuinely don’t care about their customers, or about human decency. But I have a weakness for glass toys—I like the sensation as well as the fact that they’re beautiful and sort of new age-y looking—and I often have a strict budget. The fact is, their Icicles line is one of the cheapest options for glass. (Sadly, even here you need to be cautious. Steer clear of their ring-style butt plugs, as there are stories of them breaking. There are also stories of some of their tinted glass toys losing color when boiling, which suggests an unsafe paint, but none of the Icicles I’ve owned have ever shown this; you may want to boil any new acquisitions to be sure, though, or just stick with perfectly clear glass.)
Icicles No. 8 is a simple, small glass wand, without any especially thin spots that might break easily. Through the glass, there’s a swirling blue design that is, to be quite honest, beautiful. The glass itself is faintly iridescent. The majority of the toy’s shape is just a gently rippling shaft with a gentle, rounded taper on one end, and a large bulb on the other. And it’s that bulb that turns this dildo into a true multi-functional toy, rather than a mere unitasker.
What was most obvious to me is that the bulb keeps the toy anal-safe. Any anal toy needs to have a flared or wide base, because your butt can suck things in and just…keep going. The bulb is large enough to be helpful in this regard. The shaft is pretty small, and with the small taper and smooth surface, this is actually a spectacular butt toy. Having recently leveled up in anal abilities thanks to the Neo Elite, I found this a really nice, easy anal insertable, and not only did the bulb keep me safe by preventing slippage, but it was really nice to hold onto.
Obviously, most toys that can go in one’s ass can also go in one’s vagina (although not in that order, unless you really enjoy infections. Always sanitize toys after butt use, before going anywhere else). Holding onto the glass ball and inserting the rest vaginally was, predictably, not a thrilling experience for me (although to someone new to insertion or who prefers very small girth, it might be excellent). But the true genius of the No. 8 requires a simple trick: flip that baby around.
The vagina has a definite end (either a cervix or, if one lacks a cervix due to surgery, a vaginal cuff) and therefore there is no need for a flared base. Which means that the Icicles No. 8 magically transforms into a spectacular G-spot toy.
I’ve complained before that most of my smaller dildos do nothing for my G-spot. One is spectacularly textured, which makes up for it, and the other is used more frequently for butt stuff, where the G-spot doesn’t matter. And while I have some bigger toys that are super G-spot friendly, some days I want something smaller.
Well, here it fucking is. The bulb end of the No. 8 targets my G-spot like a sci fi weapon from an 80s Tom Selleck robot movie. The rest of it is small and smooth enough that there is no texture or anything else to distract me, no substantial girth to contend with. It’s not even long enough to hit my cervix on the days my cervix is riding low. Paired with an excellent vibrator, the first time I tried it out my eyes actually crossed because the stimulation was so delightfully intense.
When I’m done using it, I can of course wash it in soap and water, and to sanitize I can either use a bleach solution, a disinfectant wipe, or boil it. Glass is handy like that.
The Icicle No. 8 isn’t perfect, and it’s not a toy I’m going to reach for every single time I masturbate. And given the fact that it’s Pipedream and therefore not annealed, it may very well break if I drop it during cleaning. Also, this should go without saying, but the wonderful glass bulb can’t be used to the same effect on a prostate, since that would eliminate the flared base. Something with a curve is probably going to be better for prostate stimulation anyway.
I would like to note that, as always, no toy is perfect for everyone. My partner didn’t enjoy the No. 8 anally—she found it too unyielding and prefers softer material. And due to medical issues she can’t use toys vaginally at the moment, and isn’t able to give opinions on its G-spot magic.
And, of course, you may prefer not to support Pipedream at all! There are other inexpensive glass options these days that may suit you just as well or better.
The Bottom Line
Pipedream still sucks, but dammit, the Icicles No. 8 is a true multitasker that would make Alton Brown proud, if he branched out from cooking and moved on to sex toys. It’s both an excellent anal probe, and a spectacular G-spot toy. If you want to try out glass for the first time, if you don’t have room for a lot of sex toys but want multiple sensations, or if you happen to be at a shitty store with a shitty selection and still want to buy something, you could do a lot worse. If it doesn’t work for you in any capacity, you’re only out about $30, and at least you have a pretty addition to your collection.
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