Review: The Licker

Let’s talk about texture.

My vagina doesn’t like it. Which is a tragedy, believe me, because so many indie sex toy companies are producing such amazing-looking, high-quality dildos right now and—alas—the majority of those dildos seem to be heavily textured [1].

Do I still occasionally buy textured toys out of some slim hope that a) this toy will be different or b) my vagina will spontaneously change its mind? Absolutely. And sometimes, I confess, a toy is simply too pretty and tempting for me to say no. (What can I say? I’m weak.)

This is more or less what happened with the Licker by TheCraftyHedonist.

I have been transparent about my love of monsters and what I affectionately call “monster dicks.” A monster I have a particular love for is Venom [2]. So one evening I was browsing Geeky Sex Toys’ superhero collection and pondering how it was possible to buy multiple Avengers-inspired dildos but nothing based on Venom’s infamous tongue.

Surely, I thought as I turned to Google, surely, some ingenious, crafty, kinky person somewhere has made one.

Lo and behold, someone has!

That person is TheCraftyHedonist, who sells delicious handmade monster and alien dildos on Etsy. Including one inspired by Venom’s tongue, aptly called the Licker.

Ten minutes after discovering their shop, I’d placed an order for the Licker in pink with a marbled black-and-white base.

As is obvious in all the promo photos, the Licker is very textured. So even as I was ordering it, I fully expected that rough stripe of tastebud-like nubs to be too much for my poor vagina.

I was wrong. I was very, very wrong [3]. Not only does the texture on the Licker not irritate my vagina, but it actually feels good.

Even after playing with it several more times and giving the issue further thought, I’m still not sure why it feels good instead of irritating.

The Licker has the two elements that my vagina tends to hate above all else: smaller or what I arbitrarily call “fiddly” texture features and repeated textures. For example, I’ve never used a tentacle dildo that has worked for me [4]. The sensation of the small, “fiddly” suckers rubbing back and forth over the skin at my entrance is an uncomfortable, scraping one, no matter how naturally wet I am or how much lube I add. I also don’t like dildos where the shaft is one pronounced ridge after another. An occasional, strategically placed ridge, yes [5]. Just a line of harsh edges in a row, no. Again, it feels like it’s scraping as I move it, which at first is mildly unpleasant but swiftly becomes outright painful.

In general, I prefer dildos with minimal external stimulation. It feels better to hold a toy motionless inside me or to rotate it in little circles, not to thrust it—and even when I do thrust, my actions are more of a soft nudging or a rocking. I get off on the deeper stretch and the internal stimulation, not on the feeling of the initial penetration itself.

All of this is to say: when I buy a dildo with a pronounced texture, the best I can hope for is that I either don’t feel the texture or it doesn’t detract from my overall experience.

So the fact that I not only can feel the texture of the Licker but enjoy it? Enough that I’m motivated to start honest-to-god fucking myself with it?

As my overuse of italics hopefully conveys, I’m shocked.

Even more shocking is that the stimulation isn’t really that different from the textured toys I hate. It’s still a scraping sensation. That’s truly the best word to describe how the toy feels as it moves in and out of my vagina. Not rubbing, not stroking, not kneading, not even grinding—scraping.

The only difference is that, somehow, the scraping feels good with the Licker.

Upon a more careful, thoughtful comparison between the Licker and my other textured toys, I realized none of my other dildos have a texture quite like this. The tastebud-nubs are small and “fiddly,” yes, but also clustered together and not individually defined. By that last part, I mean it’s a texture in the classic sense; think molding the surface of Play-Doh with a bumpy stamper instead of covering a flattened section of Play-Doh with a bunch of hand-rolled balls.

The result is a more subtle, less imposing texture. Just plain rough instead of jagged or snaggly. With toys that have especially well-pronounced textures, it sometimes feels like something is “catching” on my entrance, leading to chafing. I never get that with the Licker, no matter how wild I let myself go with the thrusting [6].

The Licker has something else going for it in addition to the shockingly pleasurable texture: the shape. Dear god, the shape. I’m going to have to start seeking out silicone toys with the same deep S-wave shape and super-thick base because apparently my cunt can’t get enough.

The shape of the Licker reminds me vaguely of one of my favorite Bad Dragon toys, Bruce’s Portside, which is an older, shark-inspired insertable that BD only made available for a limited time. It has a similar curve and a girth that looks intimidating but slips inside me with the ease of a dream slipping through your fingertips come morning.

I feel the arch of the Licker’s shaft much more strongly than Bruce’s, though. The pressure of it is, in a word, exquisite. If I keep it inside myself after I’ve come, the aftershocks are—no joke—better than the orgasm itself.

You know the pleasure you get when you lick the first taste of your favorite ice cream off a spoon, especially when you haven’t had it in a while? It’s a deep, guttural pleasure, going so far beyond your tastebuds. It satisfies you in the darkest parts of your soul and leaves you momentarily adrift in a sea of your own delight [7]. That’s what the Licker feels like when I leave it inside me post-orgasm.

In fact, I prefer to make myself come as quickly as possible when I’m using it, just so I can lie there afterwards and bask in its weight and shape as I clench around it. After about the third or fourth orgasm, I usually find myself rolling helplessly onto my side and thinking, a little deliriously, that I’m going to lose my mind from this. I have a hard time convincing myself to remove the Licker and be done with my masturbation session. I just want it to keep going on and on and on.

For that reason, it pairs nicely with my most powerful vibrators, like the Magic Wand and my new Zumio X, which can keep me orgasming long after the point that my body would otherwise be throwing in the towel.

The Licker isn’t perfect, although I love it so much that it pains me to acknowledge its flaws. The base, which mimics Venom’s mouthful of razor-sharp teeth, is aesthetically awesome but functionally awkward. Since it’s wider than my hand, I struggle to keep a hold of it when I’m using it on myself, especially if there is lube involved. This also means I have to keep my legs spread wider than I prefer, to accommodate the bulky base, my slippery hand, and my stupidly chubby thighs [8].

I also wish the tongue part of it were a little longer and even girthier at the bottom, and the shade of pink less of a baby pink and more of a watermelon pink. But those are minor quibbles.

Overall, I love the Licker. I love the idea and the execution, I love the orgasms I’ve had with it, and I am so grateful to TheCraftyHedonist for bringing it into my life.

1. Sinnovator, KuduVoodoo, Pleasure Forge, and Strange Bedfellas in particular all post photos on social media that make me bite my bottom lip in tortured longing. Umf. [return]

2. Who’s so pumped for the second movie they’re thinking of trying to confront their intense anxiety about COVID-era public spaces just to see it in theaters?? That’s right, it’s ME!! [return]

3. Thus validating my slim hope and ensuring I will continue to buy textured toys against my better judgment forevermore. 😭 [return]

4. Does that keep me from buying more? Nope! I’m bound and determined to find a tentacle dildo that doesn’t hurt, goddammit. [return]

5. Cush O2, my darling, I am gazing lovingly at you. [return]

6. Only, I should note, when the nubs face the anterior wall of my vagina. When I flip it around and the texture rubs against the posterior wall, it feels good for a few minutes but eventually starts chafing. [return]

7. Am I being overdramatic? Oh yes. Do I care? No. That’s how good the Licker is. I have to reduce myself to flowery writing and melodrama to emphasize just how affected I am by it. Also, I really like ice cream. [return]

8. I am an unfortunate thigh clamper. One of my exes confessed she worried I would break her wrist when she fingered me because I squeeze so hard, and I have given myself many, many leg cramps at the worst possible moment. [return]

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