tulip blog

Use it or Not?
Written by Jillian Byrne
October 17, 2011

As the holidays approach and we have our attention turned to the economy, I think this is a good time to not only look at international spending habits, but also our own right here at home. A friend of mine recently posted on her facebook page that buying from local businesses would help turn the tables on an otherwise lopsided economical system. I couldn’t agree more. Buying from local merchants not only strengthens the local economy but I would argue that the face-to-face interaction you get from knowing your neighbors creates a feeling of being home and building a community.


Before moving to Chicago from San Francisco a little over two years ago, I managed a small independent coffee shop. I had worked in the business of coffee-making and coffee-bossing for a few years and was working for a large corporate coffee roasting company (who shall remain nameless). I had decided to leave my comfortable job for a tiny mom and pop shop that I had been into a few times and loved. I loved the neighborhood. I loved the coffee. I even kind of liked the way the barista said, “well if you’d open your eyes, you’d see it’s right behind you,” when I asked where the cream was my first time in the shop. Ouch.


It still sounds silly when I consider it, but that employment shift changed my life. My priorities shifted. I finished school and I got to know my neighbors. I learned the names of my customer’s kids and the owner of the shop became like a second Dad to me. We weren’t shooting for perfection because we knew that the humanness in dealing with each other’s quirks, mistakes, and affinities was more interesting than the data analysis that goes on behind multi-million dollar corporations.


“What does this have to do with sex toys,” you ask? I can relate anything to sex—just ask my housemate. But what I am attempting to say here is the impact of shopping locally goes further than the cash-register. And this season some of the changes we are looking for can be achieved through a multitude of tactics. Some of them being by shopping at your local bookstores, hardware stores and, yes, sex toy stores.

Not for the faint of heart, or hand: Vaginal Fisting
Written by Lee Bonde
September 8, 2011

Not for the faint of heart, or hand: Vaginal Fisting

 Vaginal Fisting (“fist-fucking, or “handballing”) specifically refers to the delicate and sensuous art of vaginal penetration, encompassing the entirety of a human hand and wrist (while synthetic toys are available to achieve the same goal, it’s more scrumptious to use one with a pulse).

 Why a fist?

Although penises, dildos, and vibrators provide particular and stimulating sensations, the unique contours and shape of the human hand is unparalleled. Throughout the course of the day our hands serve a multitude of purposes and transform into many types of tools—why not a genital?

 It’s sexy, intimate, and romantic!

 What do I need?

  • Tulip recommends the following for a successful fisting session:
      • To Set the Scene
    • Two or more consenting and communicating partners (everyone’s got to be into it, right?)
    • Creating an atmosphere: arousal is essential for a successful fisting session. Start with ample amounts of foreplay to set the mood.
      • Try:
        • Tulip organic massage candles (relax your muscles, in a sexy sort of way)
        • Lelo feather teasers (for the tantric touch)
        • Kama Sutra Lover’s Body Paint (decadent deliciousness)
      • Play Time
    • Well-groomed hands (important for fister—prevents any cuts, abrasions, or infections, avoid any nail polish, even clear)
    • Latex gloves (play it safe!)
      • Tulip is always stocked with heavy-duty latex gloves of varying sizes, perfect for the petite or the full-fisted alike.
    • LUBE, LUBE, LUBE, LUBE (even when you’re oozing and dripping wet, add some more)
      • Water-based, paraben and glycerin free lubes are best. Textures and consistencies will vary based on personal preference, but choose something thick and long lasting. A pump never hurt either, especially when you’ve only got one available hand.
        • Try:
          • Liquid Silk, Sliquid Organics Natural Gel, or Slippery Stuff Gel

o Optional: Some folks like pairing a hearty fist with a sweet and delicate vibe for extra stimulation.

o Try:

§  Lelo Siri (Rechargeable, petite, and discreet)

§ Fun Factory Layaspot (Water-resistant and ergonomically designed to be hands-free)

                  § Jimmy Jane Form 3 (Rechargeable, water-resistant, tongue-shaped, but better!!)

For more information on vaginal fisting, see A Hand in the Bush: The Fine Art of Vaginal Fisting by Deborah Addington. A fierce, fiery, and straight-forward queer lady with tips, advice, and techniques for the aspiring fister/fistee!

Sex Date and Toy
Written by Jillian Byrne
December 17, 2010

Sexy Date and A Toy:


Go Get a drink in a hotel bar.


Sure the economy is rough and you love dive bars. I completely understand, but when’s the last time you and your honey treated yourselves to a swanky cocktail at a swanky hotel? You don’t have to be staying there to enjoy the bar. And if you think about it, you really do get what you pay for. Here are the following suggestions with their sexy toy pairing: 


Hotel Bar: The Drake 140 E. Walton Place

Drink: Extra Dirty Gin Martini

Toy Pairing: The Rabbit Pearl

Why: you are a classicist and you are always attracted to the original. You are adventurous but still enjoy quality and style.


Hotel Bar The Atwood Café in the Hotel Burnham 1 W. Washington Street

Drink: Atwood Old Fashioned

Toy Pairing: The We Vibe II

Why: Because you love re-invention. The hotel Burnham (formally the Reliance Building) was built in 1894 but has been restored as a world class hotel. The We Vibe II takes couples sex to a new level with each of you enjoying the vibration and it’s waterproof. Okay, so you may want to get a room.


Hotel Bar: The Palmer House 17 E. Monroe Street

Drink: Sazerac

Toy Pairing: A Stainless Steel Jeweled Anal Plug

Why: Well, because you are made of diamonds of course! Potter Palmer the Palmer House’s original proprietor, had dreams of building a luxurious hotel. Upon receiving news that he was terminally ill, he went ahead and built it—and then proceeded to live many more years! This steel plug carries with it some weight and is a truly beautiful object capable of putting you in complete ecstasy.

Santa Baby
Written by Jillian Byrne
December 17, 2010

Santa Baby, “Stuff this Stocking!”


10 Stocking Stuffers that Won’t Break the Bank


P-Style- Ladies, pee standing up in style! $ 15

Sugar sak- keeps your toys dust and germ-free when they’re not being used $13

Innervibe vibrating finger-vibe- fits in your purse! $10

Innervibe vibrating cockring- great for cockring first-timers $10

Jimmy Jane Iconic Smoothie vibe- A new take on a classic $20

Dirty Boyz Boner Bar- Soap on a rope is back! And this time in a lovely “package” $10

Vibrating Bullet- These battery-operated vibes really pack a punch $10- $15

Tenga Deep Throat Cup- Great for partner play $15

Coochy Shave Crčme 8oz- So smooooooth $13

Kama Sutra Oil of Love- In a lovely tin $16

Tulip at Chances Dances
Written by Jiilian Notarnicola
November 22, 2010

Sometimes we at Tulip Toy Gallery get the opportunity to collaborate with community organizations that benefit vital programs here in Chicago. Last Monday, November 15th, we had a great time sponsoring Chances Dances, a monthly dance party put on by Chances Dances at The Subterranean in Wicker Park—just up the street from our newest store. Chances is a group whose goal it is to bring together the factionalized LGBTIQ communities--and boy do they have fun doing it! We raffled off two gift baskets raising over two-hundred dollars for Howard Brown, a local organization whose mission it is to promote the well-being of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered persons through the provision of healthcare and wellness programs. Chances always welcomes people from all gender expressions and brings the good energy in with featured Djs and a local feel. On this particular Monday night, the dance floor was packed. Thank you Chances and Thank you to all the folks who came out to support Howard Brown!

Community service never felt so good.

3 Good Books Hidden on Our Bookshelf and Why They Are Good
Written by jillian Hade
October 28, 2010

3 Good Books Hidden on Our Bookshelf and Why They Are Good


Girl Meets Girl by Diana Cage


Why: Because I could’ve used this when I was a baby dyke!


It will help those budding lesbians out there to: come out, find their inner player, navigate internet dating, make stuffed acorn squash, communicate clearly, not drive a u-haul to the second date, become a master of “sexting”, outfit their toy-chest and not chase their girlfriend down the street wearing nothing but boxer shorts as she drives away angry. Ok, that last part is personal, but I think had I been reading this book, I probably would have been less inclined to put on such a half-naked crazy-person show for the neighbors.


Urban Aboriginals by Geoff Mains


Why: Because it’s fascinating and sexy to think about this stuff.


In an interview when this book was published in 1984 Mains questioned, “If we look at such things as pain/pleasure as human capacity and not sickness, then we have to start asking what happens when society represses certain capacities?”

This book courses through the origins of leathersexuality and many quite beautiful personal accounts.



Sex Disasters and How to Survive Them by Charles Moser and Janet W. Hardy


Why: Because let’s face it, sometimes it doesn’t go like you planned.


Have you ever wondered what to do if you bit your partner during sex a little too hard and now they are bleeding? or the police showed up at your door during a particular rambunctious sex session? Or the hickey you got last night isn’t going away anytime soon and your partner is going to kill you? Or your cat just ate a condom? Well, the answers are all spelled out for you here in this hilarious book, and even if you think you are the supreme lover who can handle any situation--like me for example, it’s always amusing to imagine other people’s misfortune in the sack.

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1. Talula:  The anatomical superstar!

2. P-Style:  Pee standing up in style.

3. Elvis:  By Vamp: Anatomical superstar with balls!

4. Bella Packy: 100% platinum-silicone packy!

5. Lelo Elise: Sculptural simplicity and tactile.
6.  We-Vibe Hands free, strap free and wireless.
7. Vamp Silicone Carina:  Largest 100% Silicone dildo you can buy!