Oprah Winfrey is an incredible force in our world – a real catalyst for positive change in so many domains. In recent years, through various collaborations, we’ve seen her tackle the topic of sexual health in a way that is totally approachable and straight forward.
We are beyond thrilled that Oprah and her team responded to our product with such enthusiasm–and thankful that, through their feature, the Magic Banana® will reach the hearts, minds and bodies of many.
If you’ve just found us, welcome! With the Magic Banana® as your tour guide, you have a key that will help you unlock untold pleasure possibilities, while gaining greater self-awareness and developing inner strength, exploring happiness within!
This is the very first feedback I received, many years ago now, from a woman who was outside of my own circle of friends and family. What an absolute THRILL it was to receive this early outside affirmation, with the writer so succinctly ‘nailing’ what I already knew!
My adult daughter was with me at the post office when I picked up the mail. After reading the note aloud, we both jumped up and down–in one eloquent note, this woman had confirmed years of research and development!
(an excerpt from Janeson Rayne’s daily writing practice)
Easy does it. At ease. With ease.
Sukha / Sthira, the principles of Ease and Steadiness, applied in Hatha Yoga. Steadiness without ease misses the mark, as does ease without steadiness. Together they form yet another yin / yang dichotomy to be observed and practised during asana and, also, in life.
The principles of Ease and Steadiness can apply to any situation. Finding yourself in trouble being where you’re being? Trade your SOS in for the S&S of Sukha/Sthira – and Ease and Steadiness prevail.
Ease keeps the breath–inspiration–flowing steady in the body, helping us feel a stronger sense of connection between body and mind. With conscious breath, we invite any activity that might otherwise live and whirl in the cerebral cortex forever to move on down into the heart centre – to integrate into and with the life centre, where the lungs move in and out with every inhalation and exhalation. Steadiness reminds us to breathe, while keeping a posture that is rooted, grounded, steady as well as dynamic, living, being.
We ‘make’ yoga, as the elder Hindu man in the Sari Palace on Gerrard St. East told me last week – and I found this to be an interesting perspective. In the west we often claim to DO yoga, however in reality it really does us. When we make the postures and breathe into the shape – cat, dog, table, eagle, headstand, plough – all of these shapes we enter into, aiming to do so with ease and steadiness, breathing deeply, looking for grace to prevail ~ mostly on our way out. Bringing the foot out of tree posture with grace is a wonderful example of ease and steadiness in motion.
The S & S of yoga, the S & S of life. Is it EASY, you ask, to embody Sukha and Sthira, to be easeful and steady?
Begin by noticing: do you hold your breathe, clench your teeth, tighten your shoulders, screw up your face on a regular basis without realizing it?
The point is, to begin. You’ll find your own answers, and among them you’ll find that while this practice is not always easy, it is always Simple–and the best part is, you can start wherever you are, right now, and come back to it over and over again, whenever you choose.
Breathe … Flow … Come Back to Center.
Take a moment to appreciate that you *are* in a body ~ wherever else you happen to be in the world right now!
The innocent-looking Magic Banana® is all that and then some!
I’ve been asked many times why I decided to name my product the Magic Banana®. Would you be surprised if I told you that I wasn’t thinking of anything phallic when I chose the name?
I’d been wondering about a name and one day, while I was holding the product in both hands, I was looking at the profile view and seeing the natural curve–it looked just like a banana. My first conscious thought had more to do with performance than looks, though, and the word associated was “Magic!”
“PURE MAGIC! That’s what this is – a Magic Banana!”
People often smile or laugh when they hear the name, and tell me it’s the best name ever. Once in a while, though, I hear that people are not enjoying the name so much – for some reason they don’t focus on the natural joy and whimsy in it – rather, it seems, they associate the banana-the-fruit with a phallic connotation.
What do you think? Do you like the name, or not? Why? Do you own a Magic Banana® – are you a friend of the Magic Banana®? If so, now that you have experience with your Magic Banana® – not that we’re considering changing the name, I’m just curious – what would YOU name it?
Just because it’s that time of the month, doesn’t mean the Magic Banana® needs to stay in the bed-side drawer. In fact, it might be a better time than ever to break out your favorite yellow and black exploration companion.
As Dr. Laura Berman says on her blog – “sex while you are menstruating can help ease the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome, or PMS. Many women say that orgasms can ease their cramps and the orgasmic contractions of the uterus offer a soothing internal massage. Also, orgasms release endorphins, natural painkillers and mood enhancers, which can help soothe the cramps, headaches, mild depression, and irritability sometimes associated with periods. Many women enjoy sex more when they are menstruating because of increased feelings of fullness in the pelvic and genital areas, which offer a head start on arousal.”
One great alternative during menstruation is to use the Magic Banana® in shower, to eleviate any concerns over mess. Using the shower head to apply a relaxing steam of water outside, while massaging yourself inside with the loop of the Magic Banana® can be a fantastic combination to relieve the tension of cramps.
Beyond self-pleasuring, the Magic Banana® is a great tool for foreplay any day – but during your period, when you and your partner might be less excited by the idea of oral sex, the Magic Banana® can be a great way to warm up together. I love an intense snogging session accompanied by a little Magic Banana® – whether it is controlled by me or by my partner.
I feel that I need to be thorough in mentioning that it is quite likely that the Magic Banana® will emerge accompanied by some menstrual ‘stuff’. Nothing unusual of course – the typical body stuff that you find on a pad or tampon mid-period. The Magic Banana® is a bit of a scoop ultimately – so it’s really handy at grabbing any loose material in there. It’s also not unusual for some stray tampon fluff and the like to be harvested when using the Magic Banana® – which can only be a good thing, I reckon.
Any other discoveries, tips or tricks that you’ve found while using the Magic Banana® on (or close to the time of) your period?
The Magic Banana® has a funny name. No doubt about it. It can be pretty hilarious to introduce it to a partner who is not yet familiar with it. HI-LARIOUS I tell you.
I recently introduced the Magic Banana® to a new partner and he took the hilarity to a new extreme. On learning of its name and my affection for the product (I shared that I use it everyday), he suggested that we have a Magic Banana® ‘show’ the next time he came ’round. He described how he planned to bring a big “GO TEAM BANANA!” sign, some yellow pom-poms and wear a big sports-fan-style foam banana on his head (no cheese-heads here evidently). The thought of all that was a little embarrassing, even though I knew he was joking. At the same time however, I was nervous that he didn’t quite get how much the Magic Banana® was going to enhance our time together.
When I showed it to him – he said “It doesn’t look much like a banana. Well, it’s yellow with a black handle, I guess – and it curves like a banana too. Hmmm.” I put it away for experimentation another day.
After our next date, he was going down on me for the first time. Such a gorgeous thing – feeling like the recipient of someone’s full attention. After a little while, I realized I was having trouble relaxing and being present to the sensations. My mind was racing and it was affecting my body. Then I had an idea…
“Do you mind if we add the banana to the mix?”, I asked. “Go for it,” he said. I pulled the Magic Banana® from my night stand and slipped it in, already nicely lubricated from his attention. I showed him the way I like to use it – pushing it slowly in and pulling it slowly out – and twisting it every so often to create a rippling effect inside.
I handed over the reigns and noticed that my body had already relaxed. He continued going down on me and followed my lead in moving the Magic Banana® the way I had shown him. My body fully engaged with both the Magic Banana® and his mouth – and together they brought me to a stunning orgasm.
Lying on our backs on the bed holding hands afterwards, he said “That was beautiful – you coming like that. That sure is some Magic Banana®”. Indeed it is. It can start out silly sometimes – which can be a disarming ice-breaker ultimately – but it sure gets very sexy, very quickly.
If you’re reading this from Canada, chances are you’ve seen ‘JP’ and her ‘bright light’ innovative product, the Magic Banana®, on the hit CBC TV series Dragons’ Den. They ‘starred’ on the very first episode–Season One, Episode One–and also in two other episodes during the 2006 inaugural season. Here are a few thoughts from Janeson, on her experience –
“When I first heard that Producers for this new CBC show were travelling across Canada looking for inventors, and that auditions were being held where I live in June of 2006, I was looking for a way to throw an anchor out to the future–six months earlier, an unusual winter flood I’d been involved with had left me with frost-bitten feet and I was having trouble moving forward. I knew that the way we’d been manufacturing the product was not sustainable.
The first six years had been busy and, even if not yet monetarily, the investment was paying off in many ways – about five thousand people at that point, both women and men, had experienced and benefitted from ‘the fruits’ of the Magic Banana® and word was starting to spread like wild-fire. I needed help to invest in and produce tooling and innovative packaging so we could manufacture in a sustainable way and start distributing the product, making it available to people everywhere.
The decision to go to the audition was made when a vision came to me while I was meditating in the tub, after having heard about the opportunity in the morning–the complete pitch delivered in its entirety!
It was a pitch to get on the show – not a pitch to get the dough – another pitch would be needed for that, I thought, but I felt certain that it, too, would arrive with ease if it was meant to be.
Rewind to the day of the taping: Just before a wee ‘dusting’ of ‘make-up’ backstage, it’s revealed that they want me to pitch the same way I had at the audition. The other pitch – the one for the money – is rusty but about as ready as it can be at this point* – and I think: ok, here we go – ‘game on!’
A Production Assistant ushers me over to an area and points towards where I am to walk, along a darkened catwalk and down some stairs into ‘the Den’. My senses were heightened from an experience of ‘Ultra Reality’ – a family tragedy* – in the Canadian Arctic that I’d just returned from two days earlier and, having been given virtually no ‘heads-up’ at all, here in this darkened daylight environment, I really had no idea what to expect.
Looking back, I think we were all equally stunned by how it all went down–and my projections were way off. However, an interesting experience it definitely was–and an experience that continues in some ways to this day. The show appears to be enjoying never-ending re-run status–I’m amazed at how often people tell me ‘I just saw you on Dragons’ Den!’ – and I still get communication, mostly from women who have seen the show and ‘totally get’ and think the product is brilliant.
Of the communication I receive, two thoughts prevail: ‘Great idea – they missed out on this one, big time!’ and ‘I was stunned to see a bunch of grown men revert back to being 12 year old boys right before my eyes on national television!’
Fast forward to 2008. I ended up finding other ‘Dragons’ who became my design and manufacturing partners, and we spent nearly 4 years in R&D before finally bringing our beautifully re-engineered and freshly branded product to market in March of 2012. It’s been an incredible journey so far, and Dragons’ Den has been and continues to be an interesting part of it.”
Did you enjoy the show? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
*One week after hearing back from DD Producers saying I’d been chosen to come to Toronto to pitch my idea to the Dragons during the taping of the show in early August, I was preparing my financial projections* when I got the call: my twenty-six-year-old cousin had been killed in a rappelling incident on Mount Thor. CBC News Story
So my new girlfriend is a big fan of the Magic Banana®. We’re just getting to know each other and are both emerging from fairly long periods of, shall we say … solo sex lives. And as I’m learning to make her happy, I’ve asked a few questions about how she makes herself happy. I’ve found that can be a good way to a woman’s heart, and it takes some of the mystery out of the equation for me. I don’t find it humbling that she knows how to have fun without me; I find it exciting. And if I can enhance for her an experience that she already likes, I figure she’ll find it easier to work me into her sex life better. It’s like paying respect to and learning from what’s already there, so that I can add to it as we progress.
So … she told me about this thing. The “Magic Banana®.” I figured it was just some kind of vibrator that was shaped like a banana – sounded fun and festive, but not that out of the usual range. But then she told me it actually goes inside and works the Kegels.
Fine, I thought. I’m all for it WHATEVER it is.
So then I just kept asking for a show. I was half-kidding, since I know a woman’s toy is special to her and it’s not necessarily something they let their partner see at all right away, let alone see them use for its intended purposes.
But sure enough, not too many nights later we were getting amorous and she pulled away from a kiss and said “want to see the banana?” I said “Sure, I’d love to.” I’m a bit of a connaisseur when it comes to women’s pleasure, so I honestly was eager to see.
But what she brought out genuinely surprised me. It looked like a very small jump-rope fused into a single handle. It was cute, and … sure, it evoked a banana somewhat. But … it was almost like a scooper of some kind, or a kitchen whisk. It was surprisingly non-solid. A loop with a handle, that’s what it was.
So sure enough, we commenced to kissing again, and … well. Well, well, well.
She inserted the thing and we kissed and she moved it around and then she asked ME to hold the handle, and … oh my. I could tell it was hitting her insides all over, and giving even pressure all over the sides. The design is so strikingly simple and original and utterly sexy going in and working around in there. I felt like I was admiring a masterwork of understated design and helping a gorgeous woman get off at the same time. She really, really got into it and …
I was SO happy. It was like I’d been let into this little world of hers, like she’d trusted me enough to introduce me to a good friend.
I’m not kidding. I was charmed.
Take it from me, fellas. When it comes to a woman’s pleasure and the Magic Banana®, let your dance partner take the lead for a bit. She can hear the music. Once you’re in the ballroom with her, you’ll work out all kinds of steps. In no time, you’ll see how much this little toy is everybody’s friend.
Hell, get her one for her birthday. For your birthday. For the weekend. Whatever. Just get her one.
There are so many products on the market that have been designed for women by men – and so very many of them seem to involve a vibrating aspect. I won’t knock the brief, near-instant gratification that can come from a vibration of the right speed and intensity in the right moment – the showerhead has always been a favorite of mine. I had a girlfriend at college who would go home for a quick vibrational pick-me-up between classes – 10 minutes and she was back out into the world again, reinvigorated and ready to go.
However, over the years, my thinking has evolved around the time I spend with myself and my own body. I have become an explorer – my own Christine Columbus. Like the explorers of old, I have learned to take my time over this important daily (yes, daily) journey.
I had the pleasure of being one of Janeson’s early Magic Banana® testers, trying out multiple designs based on her ingenious loop concept. Over the past 14 years of using it, I have realized how much my sex life changes when I have more or less Magic Banana® time in combination with more or less vibrator-based stimulation. Long story short, I find the more time I spend with the Magic Banana®, the better and more intense my orgasms get during partner sex. I also come more easily.
I have a theory on this one – my theory is that it’s possible to get “buzzed out” from using all of these high-speed electrically driven vibrators. By contrast, The Magic Banana® works with my own rhythms and movements – it seems to reward me for ‘getting involved’. My body moves naturally like I am making love with my partner – it tenses and relaxes like the ebb and flow of two bodies coming together and apart.
I’ve heard Janeson remark before that “the Magic Banana® doesn’t do you. Rather, you do the Magic Banana®”. I couldn’t agree more. I get to set the pace. I get to apply as little or as much resistance, depth or even twist as I want. Along with this, the Magic Banana® is silent, so it’s easier for me to focus (and not worry about being overheard in the adjacent room). Privacy is a glorious thing.
For me, it’s the difference between sailing and riding a noisy jet-ski. Exploring with the Magic Banana® makes me the navigator of my own sailboat – exploring happiness within, as Janeson says.
Inner strength is not always about ‘toning’ or ‘tightening’ – rather inner strength is sometimes about ‘letting go.’
The yogic way is to pay attention in the moment, to be present, and to become aware.
Maybe you need to become more familiar with yourself before you’ll know whether ‘letting go’ or ‘toning and strengthening’ is what you’re looking for?
Every pelvic floor is different and, just like the rest of your body, is like a dynamic living snapshot of what has come before. Positive sexual experiences, negative sexual experiences, child-birth, toxic shame, general anxiety – there are many reasons women hold tension in their pelvic floor. And tension held – even if you’re unaware of it – can create a hyper-tonic state, like you’re holding on for dear life.
Sometimes it takes a while to unravel patterns that have become habitual. Even things like learning to breathe, rather than hold your breath, when attempting to do something that involves concentration. Have you ever noticed your breath, and how it changes? Once you start paying attention you’ll realize that the breath is very closely linked with your mental state.
Give your self the gift of quality time alone, and take some time to explore. Listen to any messages your body gives you, and honour them. I recently read Lissa Rankin’s excellent book Sex, Orgasm and Coochies (her other book What’s Up Down There? is also excellent and highly recommended) and found a suggestion she had given one of her patients who was experiencing some difficulty ‘down there.’ Lissa had the woman enter into a dialogue with her lady bits and to journal about her findings. The results were nothing short of profound.
Working in conjunction with your breath, The Magic Banana® can help you become more aware and more present with yourself. This is why we say Explore Happiness Within.