This post contains links which are Not Safe for Work (NSFW), so if that’s a problem, don’t click on anything. Those links which are NSFW are marked as such.
A friend of Sarah’s told her about something amusing, and so she and I checked it out. Specifically, the Liberator, wedge/ramp combo (link NSFW) – I admit to having been tremendously skeptical at first glance, because the website is extraordinarily cheesy, and also because the idea of sex furniture struck me as somewhere between absurd and extremely kinky. Also, the name “liberator” seemed a bit pretentious – like it should have something to do with toppling a dictatorship or something – but we investigated, and eventually decided to go ahead and buy this last year.
I am happy to report that my initial skepticism has been dispelled.
It turns out that the wedge/ramp combo (link SFW) is the most popular of their shapes. The simple machines (link SFW) mentioned in the title are specifically the inclined plane (i.e. the ramp) and the wedge (which can be thought of as two joined inclined planes) – in physics, a simple machine is something which serves to change the direction of force; in this usage, they serve primarily as a platform or support rather than directly as a tool.
The basic construction of the shapes is a stiff but pliable foam, similar to the construction of physical therapy shapes, and it is covered with a felt-y washable fabric. The fabric is designed to have a high coefficient of friction, meaning that the shape will tend to stay in one place rather than sliding laterally under force. This is far superior to a typical pillow, which will tend to slide around on sheets or a blanket or what have you. Further, the elevation of either the wedge (small) or the ramp (larger) is much higher than what you would get with even several pillows – these do not compress very much under weight (more like a mattress than like a pillow), so they can open up lots of intimate possibilities which may have been closed off due to joint fatigue, muscle issues, or the like.
Because of the felted fabric, the wedge and inclined plane will “stick” together, allowing the users to decide precisely where they want them. Obviously these can be adjusted for individual heights, and that’s an absolute necessity: the distance from the point of the wedge to the edge of the ramp needs to be about the length of the torso of the person lying face up on it, and most couples (including us) have torsos of significantly different lengths. Further, the person lying on it can be face up or down, and the comfortable length will vary tremendously.
So far, I’ve mentioned good things about it; there are a couple of downsides as well. First, the shapes come with relatively form-fitting dustcover-style cases, but the covers fit pretty tightly, and it can take some doing to get them zipped up. Second, because they are not compressible, unless you have a humongous bed, you’ll probably want to put them somewhere else when you are sleeping, and that means that you need to have a place to store them, which also means that using them requires a little planning. Finally, because they’re so much higher than pillows, they generally don’t fit under covers, and it’s easy to get cold – the easy solution to that is to have an extra (washable) blanket hanging around.
So all in all, I’d give the liberator shapes a strongly positive recommendation – they have oodles and oodles of other shapes which might be good as well, and they also sell actual furniture (although that could make having company a little weird).