On weekends and late at night, on network television, there is a magical time. A time filled with the best and the worst programming ever: the infomercial. Whole programme-length commercials trying to solve problems that don’t really exist. From the hilariously-awfully named Nad’s home sugaring product (it was useless, but tasted great! Don’t ask), the Shake Weight (uhhh…), to this weird boob-pillow; infomercials are weirdly satisfying, if confusing, to watch.
While the Pleasure Purse don’t have an infomercial, I almost feel like it could. Ever find yourself wishing you had a discreet way to carry your sex-utensils with you when you travel? Need to hide your dildos from the family? Tired of settling for a bedside or desk drawer, a caboodle, or carry-on luggage? If you answered “yes” to any of those questions, the Pleasure Purse is the solution you’ve been waiting for!
The Pleasure Purse is basically a weekender bag which has been “specially designed” to store your sex utensils. How can you tell it was made for dildos? Well, for one thing, it’s lined with leopard print acetate and comes with a little heart-shaped lock for the zip-pulls. How risque! I remember from working a retail sex shop that for some reason people still think leopard-print satin is the peak of sexiness. I’m not entirely sure why- to me all it does is invoke Married With Children or The Nanny. I suppose the only ones who are going to see the bag lining are my dildos and I, and from the outside it looks like, well, a bag. I didn’t actually have a weekender bag- I’ve mostly just used tote bags or small roll-aboard luggage when taking short trips or teaching. So I figured: What the heck. I’ll try it.
One of the first things I noticed when it arrived was how light the box was. I was confused. Did I get shipped an empty box? Is this a lot smaller than I thought it’d be? Nope- it’s just really light. Light enough that I wondered about the “genuine leather” aspect of the bag. From my experience in the Leather and Bootblack communities, I have a decent handle on leather and leather-like materials. This didn’t feel, smell, or taste right to me. I suspected the bag was made from either bicast leather or bonded leather. I contacted Pleasure Purse who confirmed that the bag was made from bonded leather. “Bonded leather is reconstituted from scraps and the amount of leather will be as high as 90%. It is a choice made not just based on cost of production, but also for the environmental impacts of using products already available. I can not tell you what percent of our material is leather, as that is a bit of a trade secret, but I am satisfied with quality of the material we chose.” — Leah, Pleasure Purse
I’m pretty satisfied with this answer. 100% leather is very heavy and leather as soft and supple as this bag is incredibly expensive. I am a little disappointed that it doesn’t go fully one way or the other, either being a really nice leather bag or being a vegan-friendly option. $119 is probably a bit more than I’d spend on a bag that isn’t fully leather, but I could actually see myself paying that much for a really well done vegan faux leather that passed well. I’m also not a big purse person though, and am just as happy with a tote bag or a second-hand messenger bag, so I might not be their target audience.
The only other real issue I have with the bag is the lining. Not the colour, which like I said before isn’t my thing but also it’s just a lining so who really cares what it looks like? All-black like the rest of my gear would actually be hard to find stuff in, but a light colour would get dirty quickly. In that regard the leopard print makes a weird sort of sense. What I don’t like is that the lining isn’t removable. If a bottle of lube spills, or you chuck your dildos in there pre-wash, there’s really no way to clean it beyond spot-cleaning, which won’t work if you have a puddle of silicone goo at the bottom of your bag. I passed on this concern shortly after receiving the bag and the suggestion was well-received, so maybe there might be a zip-out lining in the future? That would be excellent. The other thing is that the lining is thin acetate, which is a notoriously difficult material to work with and not something you want to be stitching with a large leather needle. Why? Well, acetate has a tendency to shred, especially if you’ve provided a handy perforation line when sewing it into place. After a few teaching trips and visits to the spa, the bottom lining separating the main compartment from the lower pocket pulled away from the seam. Thankfully the Pleasure Purse folks were again really helpful and replaced my bag quickly and without requiring me to ship back the damaged bag.
Overall though? It’s actually a pretty decent bag. One of the first things I tested was if I could fit a Throe into it, which I can with room to spare. This has always been the one awkward bit of taking sex gear with me in tote bags or my childhood suitcase- Throes just don’t fit into many things. I was hoping it would fit into the lower compartment, which it doesn’t, but it makes a great baselayer in the main section. So that was good. What else does it fit? An entire buttsex class, for one. When I first got it, I turned a friend of mine loose on all of my sex utensil bins to see how many would fit. It fits a lot. An awful lot. More than any average human will ever want to take with them. This bag could easily stock an orgy with some room to spare. Large insertables like Bad Dragon cocks and the Tantus Amsterdam are no problem. There are little internal pockets and pouches for your lube or condoms or handcuff keys, and an open-on-top outside pocket perfect for your wallet, phone, keys, and such. There’s also a separate little drawstring pouch made from the lining material which I’ve used for my sandals after a spa day but I suppose you could use it for a particularly gooey item or small easily-lost things. The locking aspect is nice, I suppose- I know it’s a big selling point for this so that’s great if you need it. It’s not really unique, though; I’ve had backpacks and rucksacks with locking zippers since I was in highschool. I wouldn’t recommend using the bag as checked luggage, but the lock is TSA compliant if you had to for some reason.
I’m not sure I really need a special designer-ish bag to carry around my dildos, but I’m weird like that. I’ll talk about DIY treatment for UTI’s in the middle of a Thai restaurant with reckless abandon. I write about dildos and sex in the middle of local cafes and coffeeshops. The most prominent books in my living room are sex books (both modern and antique). I’m glad to have it though. I’m not sure I’ll really be using it for sex utensils most of the time, but it’s proven to be mighty handy. I’m even kinda glad of it not being 100% leather because that makes it a little less likely to go mouldy in the dampness of the PacNW and a little easier to clean. So, the Pleasure Purse? Pretty good. Not a must-have, but if you’re in the market for a weekender bag or know someone who loves sex utensils and bags? Probably a decent gift.
- A phrase which seems to have been dropped from the Pleasure Purse website in favour of just “leather”, but which is still found in the product descriptions on vendor sites. A wise decision to drop this term since in some countries calling leather that isn’t full-grain or top-grade “genuine leather” is actually illegal. [↩]