My quest to find the perfect sex toy subscription service continues, and the latest one to come under my scrutiny is offered by a new UK based company called Spice Box. I took a great interest in this company, because their marketing told me that they were offering something different, and I’m always prepared to believe that until I’ve seen the product for myself and found those claims to be proven right or wrong.
Their concept is this:
In each box they place collectable ‘Spice Cards’ that give you tips on how to get the heat going during the day while you and your partner take care of all things mundane, a set of ‘Recipe Cards’ which give offer a scenario to carry out at the close of the day, and a selection of carefully selected products, so that you have what you need to carry out their suggestions.
While I do like this idea in theory, I’m not 100% sure it’s for me. I’ll explain that in a bit, after I’ve given you the low down of what you can expect to find in your Spice Box.
I was sent the Starter Kit, which at the time of delivery cost £99.99. It’s since been reduced to £84.99. This box is exactly what it claims to be; a starter box. It’s a one off purchase, which I guess could be looked upon as a taster box, something to give you an idea of what to expect if you were to sign up for a subscription. If you did choose to do so, your options would be a standard monthly subscription for £39.00, or a deluxe monthly subscription for £84.99. If you opt for the standard sub-box, you get a reduction on the starter kit, but that offer isn’t available with the deluxe sub-box.
Inside my starter kit, I found the following:
- Shunga Erotic Massage Oil – Sparkling Strawberry Wine 250ml (8 fl oz)
It’s no secret that I’m a full on Shunga groupie, so I was made up to find a huge bottle of their glorious massage oil in my Spice Box! I’ll be honest and tell you now that it’s my favourite item in the box.
The strawberry scent isn’t the eye watering artificial type. I mean, if you shove your nose in the top of the bottle you might get a bit of a surprise, but once it’s gliding over the skin it’s very subtle.
Some massage oils can be very sticky on the skin, but this one isn’t. It slips and slides perfectly, and turns up the heat on any intimate massage. I really do love it, and I’ll definitely be needing more of it soon.
- Earthly Bodies 3-in-1 Massage Candle – Vanilla 113g (4 oz)
The very first massage candle I ever used was an Earthly Bodies Grape one, and I’ve used the vanilla one before too. The scent they give of is super strong, and after around 20 minutes of burn time, there’s enough for a generously slippery massage. This particular size gives us around 5 massages, give or take.
It comes with a cute little spoon, but the Fella prefers to pour it on. I love the way it feels when the warm melted wax hits my skin. It’s comforting and sensual, which is just what a partner massage should be. Or how it should begin, anyway.
The hot oil doesn’t turn sticky or waxy on the skin, and it absorbs nicely, leaving me feeling soft and smooth rather than tacky. It’s also a lickable oil, but we can’t really taste much, other than an artificial sweetness, to be honest. That doesn’t stop our mouths going where they want to go, though!
- Lovingjoy Slide Lubricant 50ml
This lube was a complete new one on me, I’ve never even heard of it before. I knew there would be some form of lube included in the Spice Box, but I’d hoped it would be something like Sliquid. I dunno, maybe that’s because I’ve been spoiled by the other subscription boxes, all of which have had Sliquid in them, when they’ve had lube at all.
Slide is paraben free, but does contain glycerine. When I squirted a bit in my mouth, I admit that I pulled a face not a million miles away from the one I pull when I slam a shot of tequila. It’s sooooo sweet I can’t even begin to tell you. That would be fine if it was a flavoured lube, but it isn’t, it’s just basic water-based, so that super sweet tang makes me unhappy.
That said, it’s actually pretty good lube! I like using it for fingers only masturbation, and it’s great to use with toys, especially metal and glass. It’s pretty thick, initially, so it’s good for anal, but it needs a few applications as it turns quite runny once it heats up. It’s quite long lasting when used for PIV sex though, and it doesn’t turn overly sticky when it dries, so I’m happy.
- Fetish Fantasy Series Metal Handcuffs
Basic handcuffs are a staple in most bondage boxes, and these ones are about as basic as you can get. They’re made from lightweight, silver metal, and come with two keys. There’s a safety catch feature in easy reach of the detainee’s thumbs, so there’s nothing for anyone new to restraint to worry about.
I really wish I could say that they’re great quality, but they’re not. The Fella jumped me while I was in the middle of writing this review, and slapped the cuffs on. We played, I struggled, and I buckled the place where the chain joins the cuff on one side.
They’re fine for role playing, or for light bondage, but if you’re gonna put up a fight you need something a lot sturdier. In all fairness, though, the Recipe Cards provided by Spice Box don’t suggest using your cuffs for impromptu games of cops and robbers, so I guess they’re fine for what the peeps at Spice Box had in mind.
- Sex & Mischief Faux Leather Flogger
Another staple of the bondage box, is the flogger. This one isn’t all that intimidating, but I really like being flogged, so I think it’s great. It’s made from faux leather, and has a nicely wrapped, 6 inch handle with a palm loop that has an internal circumference of 8 inches. The falls are 14 inches in length, each one of them 1.5cm in width, and there are 12 of them in total. The piece is finished by two silver metal studs, and looks the prettier for it.
It’s very light, and the impact it offers is very tame. Surface stings are the most you’re gonna get out of it, so it’s perfectly suited to those taking a step up from the most basic of basic soft rope floggers. Like I said, it’s faux leather (made from vinyl and nylon), so is vegan friendly too.
- Sex & Mischief Satin Black Blindfold
Blindfolds: very simple, yet very effective. This is one of those padded ones with the two elastic straps that wrap around the back of the head. It doesn’t feel like the lovely, silky satin I’ve come to know, and that’s because it’s made from polyester and not silk. Satin is the name of the weave used to make the fabric, not the materials used, so this feels cheap and, dare I say it, unpleasant, on the face.
It does obscure my vision, but I can still see out from under the bottom edge, as it doesn’t mould to the contours of my nose. That means it lets in some light too, so it’s not a great choice for full sight deprivation.
- Sex & Mischief Black Feather Tickler
This is another uncomplicated piece of kit that belongs in all light bondage toy boxes. At 12 inches in total length, 4 inches of that being plumage and the rest of it plastic handle, this is a quite a bit bigger than the usual mini ticklers I’ve had in subscription boxes, and that’s purely because of the length of the handle.
The bottom of that handle is wrapped in rubber to aid with grip, and the marabou feathers are lovely and soft. I like to play with this one on my own, and that’s because of said handle. It’s long enough for me to tickle away at my shoulders and the top of my back, without being so long that it causes me manoeuvring issues. I can hold it in the tips of my fingers, and because it’s so light, I can whaff away to my heart’s content. It’s cute, compact, and I like that!
- Screaming O Ring-O Cock Rings Pack of 3
I gave these the evil eye when I saw them lying there in my box, looking all arrogant and toxic. The packaging says that the Ring-O Cock Rings are made from SEBS SILICONE, of which there is no such thing. There is silicone, obviously, and there is SEBS (which a friend told me is Styrene Ethylene Butylene Styrene), but they aren’t the same, or a mix of the two. There is no silicone in these rings, and as I won’t use jellies or rubbers or TPEs or what have you, I won’t make the Fella do it either, especially when his cock’s destination is somewhere inside of me.
I’ve bitched on about the other sub-box reviews I’ve done, cos none of them had anything in them that were for use by the bepenised, but even though those peeps have been included here, I’d have been much happier if the cock rings had been silicone. Even just a single, medium sized ring would have been better than three that I can’t bring myself to actually use.
- Leg Avenue Diamond Net Tights ¹
I’ll hold my hands up now and say, I’m a big gal, and I’ve heard so many poisonous things being said about my appearance that I’ve developed quite a thick skin. Things do get me down sometimes, though, nothing more so than feeling like an orca in the bedroom.
When I pulled these Leg Avenue Diamond Pantyhose out of my Spice Box, I did a sad little sigh. They’re far too small for me, and that made me feel bad. I really did feel unattractive, because I couldn’t get the full use out of everything in the box, cos I’m just too big.
I think this kind of thing would be best left up to the customer to select and buy themselves, as there’s no such thing as one size fits all, and what’s worse about these tights is that they only go up to 160lb, so that means anyone over that is gonna be disappointed.
- California Exotics Slim Teardrop Bullet
When I saw this in my box, I was disappointed. Some might think that it’s because I’m a seasoned sex toy user and reviewer, and that if I was just starting out I’d be delighted with it, but that’s not the case. One of my earliest toys was very similar, and I was as disillusioned then as I am now.
The Teardrop Bullet is a wired love egg, powered by two AAA batteries that live in the transparent, smoky plastic control unit. It’s operated by a scroll wheel, and the vibes are super weak. Anyone who’s read any of my other reviews will probably have noticed that the Fella is fond of weaker vibes, but not in this instance. He made me turn it off and get out a ‘proper bullet’ with vibes he could feel.
I’ve tried it internally on its own, then with a dildo to see if wedging it against my G-Spot worked, but it didn’t, and my clitoris doesn’t respond to it at all. I even tried getting myself to the point of orgasm with another bullet first before trying again (just a basic one – no We-Vibe Tango action this time) but no joy.
I’ll freely admit that if I’d just spent £85 on a box of toys to have what would usually be the focus piece (the actual orgasm producing sex toy) turn out to be a £2.39, cheaply made love egg, I’d have cried into my coffee.
- You & Me Card Game
This is a cute little game, and both the Fella and I had a giggle while playing it. Some of those giggles were because of what we were doing, and some were because the cards use terms like “your lover’s member”. Reading or hearing the word ‘member’ in a sexual context gets me every time, and I can’t help but laugh.
But it was fun, if a little gendered. It’s basically a game of forfeits, and each forfeit lasts as long as it takes for the egg timer to run down, which is around 1 minute. I have to say that, even though it’s really tame, it was kinda hot, cos having the Fella massaging oil into my butt cheeks, or sucking my nipples, or stroking my clit through my knickers then stopping after a mere 60 seconds is tantamount to torture. We like torture.
- Card wallet containing 4 Spice Cards
- Box of laminated Recipe Cards
- 4 Pack Philips AAA Longlife Batteries
So, those are my opinions on the purchasable products included in the Spice Box. On top of those, you have the Spice Cards and Recipe Cards too. I don’t want to go into detail about them, because I don’t want to spoil anything for buyers, but I will tell you that, as much as I liked the idea, I don’t think it’s for me.
The Spice Cards are fun, with their little suggestions of things to do during the day to keep your partner thinking about you, but to be brutally honest, they aren’t anything you can’t buy a box of in any 3 for £10 deal in any sex shop, anywhere on earth.
I’d expected them to be a bit different, seeing as though they make up part of the whole concept behind Spice Box, but they’re just not. They could be useful for rekindling a flagging relationship, I guess, as they remind lovers to focus on one another, even when life gets too hectic to even take a breath, but I’m not sure people in that situation will be surfing the web to source sexy subscriptions.
The Recipe Cards are the part of this set that I don’t really get on with. I’m aware that they’re just suggestions on how to use the products in the Spice Box, but it kinda feels like fucking by numbers to me. I’d actually hate to think that the Fella had read a step by step guide on what he was gonna do to me, it would feel unnatural and forced. I think this kind of thing has the potential to take the spontaneity out of vanilla sex (which the cards largely are), and that’s not what Spice Box are trying to achieve.
So I’ve talked about the recipes and the ingredients, so all that’s left to talk about now is the cost. Is the Spice Box Starter Kit worth its new £84.00 + P&P price tag?
I’m gonna be a diplomatic chicken here, and say that’s totally subjective. I’ve worked out the price of the purchasable contents to be around £76 from a couple of different stores, including postage and packaging. Then you have the Spice Cards and their snazzy little case, the recipe cards, and the box too, which is a hefty thing, let me tell you!
Those added extras are unique in the sense that no other sub-box company seems to be doing the same thing, but they’re not unique in terms of existence. The products in the box mostly feel like novelties to me, and the quality of them (less the Shunga oil & Earthly Bodies candle) feels pretty low. I’d have been much happier to find a smaller number of higher quality toys in my Spice Box. I’d take quality over quantity any day.
But like I said above somewhere, this is the opinion of a woman who has been reviewing sex toys for more than two years, and who has been with her partner for 18 years. A couple new to each other and new to using sex toys together might well think this is the selection of their dreams, and that’s why I chose the word ‘subjective’.
The Spice Box wasn’t for us, but it may well be for you, and bear in mind that this is only the starter kit. I have no idea what the lovely Madison from Spice Box will put in the monthly subscription boxes, so even if this kit isn’t for you, she might well have something up her sleeve that will delight you. I’ll certainly be keeping an eye out for new Spice Box reviews, to see what direction this service takes!
The Spice Box Starter Kit was sent to me by Spice Box in exchange for an honest review. This in no way influences my opinions, which are now, and will forever be, my own. No affiliate links have been used in this post.
¹ After this review went live, I received an email from Spice Box apologising for the tights being the wrong size, and offering me a replacement pair. If you’re buying a box of your own, you will be given the opportunity to select your size at time of purchase. As my box was a review item, that was accidentally overlooked.