Feb 242013
 

 

 JimmyJane Hello Touch

In general, I seem to have the reviewer’s equivalent to a trained drug dog’s nose when it comes to spotting outrageous marketing claims on sex toys. JimmyJane has a knack for turning out highly modern, yet obscenely priced luxury sex toys, many of which have fatal flaws in the design or have lackluster vibrations. I can still recall my visit to Babeland Seattle as the Day The Wool Fell Off My Eyes, as I turned on item after item from JimmyJane and cringed. Their Iconic Collection, as an example, is merely a bunch of overpriced, white-only reproductions of common, mass-marketed (and cheap) sex toys like the pocket rocket, vibrating bath ducky, slimline straight plastic vibe, etc. That line is 100% “mutton dressed as lamb”. Or then there is the mind-boggling one-speed-buzzy-wonder (and by wonder I mean “someone actually buys these??”) that is the Little Chroma/Steel, etc. I’ve owned the Form 3 and Form 6, but frankly couldn’t be arsed to even review the Form 6. I hated it, not quite as much as I hated the Form 3, but not enough to be bothered to review it.

So when I saw what appeared to be another “Iconic” attempt from JJ, I agreed to review it if only to prove that it’s not worth the money. Yes, I know. That’s awfully jaded. But you don’t get to where I am in reviewing without being able to smell the shit past the air freshener. I owe no one anything but the honest, hardcore truth in this review (one reason why I adore SheVibe).

JJ was promoting this sucker hard, and sent out press releases touting how “innovative” it is. Sure, they’re made a lot of changes but innovative it is not. There have been similar vibes, mainly by Fukuoko. Sure, visually this thing is an improvement on the glove. I’ve heard mixed reviews on the power of the glove, some say that the Hello Touch is more powerful than the Fukuoku glove. But “three times the power”? Of what?

I think it’ll be easier if I break everything down. Step by step down the road to the corner of OhGodWhy Lane and You’reKiddingMeRight Blvd.

Packaging and Copy

 The packaging is actually pretty damn minimal. In fact, likely the most minimal I’ve seen from a luxury sex toy company. I’m actually not complaining about this, though. Fancier packaging leads to a higher priced item, and ain’t nobody got time for that shit. But you see…when things like these are said….I tend to call bullshit:

JimmyJaneLie2 JimmyJaneLie3

JimmyJaneLie1

 

I get it. They need to say things that will sell. It’s like the whole advertised-burger-vs-reality-burger thing that I’ve mentioned before, except this has to do with performance rather than visual aspects.

 

JimmyJaneLie4

But these? Please, don’t listen to these people. None of them actually tried the thing, I’d bet my last month’s commission on that. So these words are why I write this review. Because people deserve to know the truth, and that truth isn’t sparkly or pretty.

But the thing I take the most issue with is this, and it will be explained further down:

JimmyJaneLie5

Product Design (Flaws)

Prior to the Hello Touch, Fukuoku was the only company to make something like this. I seem to recall that there was a product just like the Hello Touch, except 3 fingerpads instead of just two. The Glove has 5 vibrating pads, but the downside is that it looks and feels like a damn ski glove. It’s not sexy, which I think is why JJ went to such lengths to create the Hello Touch with such a minimalistic, low profile.

Fingerpads: You can, in theory, put the fingerpads on any finger or your thumb, if it’ll fit.  I do not have particularly large or fat fingers, although thin women will have smaller fingers than I. But these pads are uncomfortably tight. There is no pain, but they do stop bloodflow. After 4 minutes of wearing them, my fingertips were cold and starting to hurt. If someone with big, burly hands were to try this? Well, they can’t even get it on. A friend attempted to try these on for me; his hands were big with thick fingers – he couldn’t even tolerate it for half a second, it was so tight.  You can see below what it’s doing to my fingers. Also below I just wanted to show you what I mean by “big, burly hands”. My awesome friend and his lady sent me this requested pic to show what I mean. If your hands look like his? Forget it. You’ll have no hope of wearing these fingerpads. Hell if you’re even close to his finger size, you’ll have no prayer. 

 BIG MANLY MAN HANDS! His, I mean, on the bottom. Her average-sized hand is on top.
JimmyJaneHelloTouch4  JimmyJaneHelloTouch5.

Also, the fingerpads CAN be removed from the vibrating pods and you should do so for more thorough cleaning. When everything is lubed up and has been in use, the lube can get inside these pads, in between the vibrating pod and the pliable material, making it quite easy for the pod to slip out. It is not, however, easy for the to slip back in. If you don’t get it just right before you shove it in, you’ll be trying for a few minutes. Sometimes I was able to get it right away, sometimes not.

Vibrations: I’m just not sure what JimmyJane thinks the Hello Touch is 3 times more powerful than. When you first turn it on, if the pads aren’t on your fingers yet, you might think it has a bit of a kick. But of course when a vibrator is held firmly near it’s motor, the vibrations will always dampen to some degree. That’s what happens when you put the pads on your fingers, especially since these things are so damn tight. But while the vibrations in this thing are not ever going to be enough to even tease me, they might be enough for those who don’t really need much in the way of vibrations for a clitoral orgasm. I wouldn’t at all classify the vibrations as deep, or rumbly, or thuddy. They are just shy of being surface-buzzy, so I have felt more buzzy vibrators (a perfect example is the Extase Liberte – the Hello Touch is actually just a smidge more oomph-y than the Liberte and definitely not buzzy in comparison to it). My very first reaction to the vibrations was “wow, this is utter crap” but I’ve shown this to a few sex toy noobs and am, uncharacteristically, amending my initial judgment …..slightly.

However, I don’t think that the vibrations would be enough to be felt internally, on the g-spot, nor would they really do a whole lot for a penis if you can manage to adjust your handjob so that the fingerpads touch flesh. Should you try to turn the fingerpads around so that they are on the top side of your finger and hope for just proxy vibrations coursing through your fingertip, you will be disappointed. I also don’t feel that the vibrations would really be enough to aid in body massage, at all. They’re about as effective as blowing on skin.  I have actually read a couple of reviews that indicate that the vibrations on this can be considered “powerful” and I am left shaking my head. I know that everybody likes something different but if you truly feel that the Hello Touch is powerful in use, then that is a good indication to me that I can’t read any of your other reviews because our idea of “powerful” is at opposite ends of the scale. On a scale of 1 to 4, as SheVibe rates things, I would rank the intensity of this absolutely no higher than a 2. If halfsies were allowed, I’d go firmly with 1.5. The beloved We-Vibe Salsa (Tango) blows this out of the water on its LOW setting. RO-80mm bullets are also much more powerful than Hello Touch. Even the Lelo Mia 2 on a Lowish-Medium setting (there are at least 10 discernible power settings) is more intense than the Hello Touch.

Power Pack: Moving on to the power pack, we find even more flaws. The most obvious being that the buttons take a good amount of pressure to turn off and on. If you have any sort of disability or weakness to your fingers, please don’t bother with this. I personally had to press really hard and dig my fingernail in, especially to turn it off, and that action therefore jammed the power pack into my wrist which also hurt like hell. In fact, sometimes I actually had to yank the thing off my wrist and use two hands to press hard enough to turn it off. When you take out the battery holder, you can see on it the buttons that turn it on and off. These line up with plastic dots glued to the silicone(?) button pad. When the battery pack is out of the case, the buttons are easy to push, so it’s merely just yet another design flaw. Also, in order to replace the batteries, there is a cap on the end that you must pry off. I have found that this is impossible to do without good, strong fingernails.

JJHelloTouchBatteryCompartment

The grey wristband that holds the power pack is unbelievably confusing at first. If you don’t use this thing often, you’ll at first forget which button turns it on and which turns it off, because JimmyJane wanted to be so modern and minimalistic that there is no indication which is which. To up the confusion factor, they have imprinted three circles on the wristband. The top and bottom circles correspond to the buttons on the power pack, but that middle circle has no purpose except to annoy and confuse you. Actually when I looked inside (the inset bottom-right photo above) I could see that there were 3 raised buttons there on the inside of the power pack sleeve, yet as seen on the inset bottom-left photo, there is nothing in the middle for it to depress. The non-adjustable wrist band holds the power pack. The wrist band fit me mostly fine, but had to stay closer to my hand; on my girlfriend who is skinny, the wristband was too big and so the pack just flopped around. Could you sew the wrist band and make it fit a smaller wrist? Sure, but then it may not fit your partner.  Another design flaw, although minor in comparison, is that the wire that runs from the pads to the powerpack is a lot longer than in the photos on the JJ site. I have a lot of extra length and that would just end up getting in the way and getting caught on things during use.

JimmyJaneHelloTouch6.

And yes, there is only one speed, and no patterns. Adding insult to injury, the power pack takes AAAA batteries. No, this is not a typo. I actually thought it was a typo when I read Joan Price’s review because I had never even heard of AAAA batteries. The only thing that I’ve seen that these are used in are those portable blood glucose monitors. The average price for a 2-pack is around $3.50 from what I’ve seen, and the power pack runs on 2 of these. They do include 2, thankfully. But a AAA battery isn’t really all that much bigger, I don’t understand why they couldn’t add on a few millimeters and allow the use of a more common battery. If you’re feeling adventurous though, you can rip open a 9-volt battery and steal the AAAA’s from there.

Included: Alright so we’ve determined that the box and such is minimal and definitely not good to be reused for storage. They do give you two of the required AAAA batteries. They also give you a pouch. I think. Did they perhaps forget to put a snap on mine? Because honestly, this makes no damn sense. It only snaps on one corner and it really doesn’t take much jostling around inside a bag to open up. I had mine in a section of my handbag and sure enough after a day or so I pulled out just the pouch. The manual is very minimal and is basically a series of drawings.

JimmyJaneHelloTouch2

Anal Play?? OH HELL NO

Yes. JimmyJane actually recommends the Hello Touch for anal/prostate stimulation. I am utterly dumbfounded and frankly, upset at this. NO. ABSOLUTELY NOT. NO. This is NOT safe. If for any reason you are dead set on doing this, then please use a fingercot to cover the pads and hold them on.

You see, each vibration pod is removable from the finger pad/strap. They are not one solid unit. This design does allow for easier cleaning, but it makes it not very safe for anal play. Once you are using this internally and rubbing around, lubrication (natural or from a bottle) will start to get in between the plastic vibration pod and the finger pad harness. With pressure applied, especially the sort of pressure that the rectum can provide, there is a chance that the finger strap harness thingie will slide off the vibration pod and stay in your butt. If the straps are not super tight on your finger, then the pressure combined with lube could make the whole thing slide off your finger, remaining inside. This isn’t a problem vaginally but could be anally; vaginally you could use your fingers to go retrieve it while anally you would likely end up tugging it by the cord. This could damage the vibration pod, or again separate the vibration pod from the silicone finger strap and leave that part inside the rectum.

BAD,  JIMMYJANE. BAD.

 

Pros:

  • Visually, it is an improvement over the Fukuoko gloves
  • Very small all around
  • The vibrations are not so surface-buzzy that they have no hope of getting someone off
  • Might be decent for a scalp massage, but you’ll certainly make a mess of their hair, possibly yank some out

Cons:

  • Retail is about $65 for this, I feel it’s too much since it isn’t even silicone
  • Vibrations won’t be enough for most people
  • The buttons on the powerpack are obscenely hard to push
  • The powerpack wrist band is not adjustable, and will not fit very thick arms or thin arms
  • The finger straps are only comfortable on the smallest of feminine fingers
  • Requires an expensive and more-obscure-than-watch-batteries battery, AAAA size
  • Cords are mostly minimal but can still snag and get in the way
  • Vibrating pods require patience and dexterity to put back into the silicone fingerpad strap things
  • Useless even as a body massage companion, the vibrations are just not enough to add to the experience
  • You will need a travel pouch, as the silicone material will attract dust/powder/fur/hair, but the included pouch is fairly useless

So, NO Gizmodo, this is NOT the “best sex toy ever invented”, not by a long shot.

Unfortunately, this style of vibrator just cannot seem to be perfected yet. It’s kinda like the remote control bullet or panties. These types of sex toys are nearly always very expensive, fairly weak in vibrations, aren’t going to fit the majority of the population and simply don’t deliver on their pie-in-the-sky promises. These actually are “novelty” items. So I have nothing else to recommend to you instead of this, if the idea is something you like. I think that JimmyJane should knock it the fuck off with ridiculous shit like the “Jet Set” and the damn Bouncy House, because their collective brain cells are needed to produce something decent in the sex toy world (which this isn’t).

 

The Hello Touch was provided to me by SheVibe in exchange for an honest review.

 

e[lust] #43

 e[lust]  Comments Off on e[lust] #43
Feb 192013
 

Welcome to e[lust] – The only place where the smartest and hottest sex bloggers are featured under one roof every month. Whether you’re looking for sex journalism, erotic writing, relationship advice or kinky discussions it’ll be here at e[lust]. Want to be included in e[lust] #44? Start with the newly updated rules, come back March 1st to submit something and subscribe to the RSS feed for updates!

P.S. Thank you for your patience while we find our way around here at e[lust] if we have made any mistakes (and surely we have) we will do our best to get it right the next time around.

~ This Month’s Top Three Posts ~

misconceptions of dating polyamorous women

Compromise in D/s relationships

Writing Challenge – The Journey

~ Featured Posts (Molly’s Picks) ~

To shave or not to shave?

Of Human and Whore

  Continue reading »

 Posted by at 11:59 pm
Feb 172013
 

Car Alarms Are AnnoyingYou’d be hard pressed to find an online giveaway these days that doesn’t have the “Tweet about this contest” as an entry method. Same for “liking” a Facebook page. While the Facebook page “likes” are a bit less intrusive to the would-be winner’s social media circle, a Tweet is going to show up on the dashboard of everyone who follows them. And since some people just enter every contest they can, these Tweets are just so abundant that we’ve begun to, I think, tune them out like a car alarm. Remember those? Now they’re just annoying; you hear a car alarm go off and instead of thinking “Oh noes someone is trying to steal a car”, you think “That fucktard just set off their own alarm again I’mma kill that bastard you stupidhead would you just TURN IT OFF!!!”. Or something like that.

While there are people outside of the realm of sex toy giveaways who also will create a “contest only” Twitter account, I think it’s probably more prevalent for our little niche. Unless the person’s Twitter is safe from the prying eyes of friends and family, or they simply come from much more modern stock than I, they will want to create a secret account for entering sex-related giveaways. And then, since their Twitter account contains no valuable content to generate followers, their contest entry is the equivalent of standing in the middle of the woods and talking to the squirrels. Yet we reward them with multiple entries.

During my last giveaway I encountered a large number of these pseudo Twitter accounts, but also more pseudo Facebook profiles than I’d seen in the past. And like I said, to a degree, I get it. I happen to have a blog-me Facebook account and a vanilla-me Facebook account because I wouldn’t want to follow and like sex-blog/sex-toy related things on my vanilla account. It’s not something I need or want my family to see. But while I have followers on Facebook, these pesudo accounts that people use for contests usually do not have many, or any, friends/followers. So again, it’s a middle of the woods entry and we reward for it.

I suppose though that I’m more old school than I should be. While I agree and recognize that giveaways are a great tool to build brand recognition for both myself and the company sponsoring my giveaway, I keep wanting to go beyond that. I want the people to do something deserving of the more expensive prizes. I think I’m alone in this mindset, though. I encountered a giveaway earlier this week for a Vitamix blender – those fuckers start at something like $400. But did the giver-awayer require that I write a thesis paper? Nope. Did they even give a blog post as an entry method? Nope. They know that their audience isn’t other bloggers. All of the entries are nothing more than liking pages on Facebook, following Twitter accounts and a Tweet. Then again….this sort of social media “advertising” works for mainstreamers. People can easily “like” the Facebook page about food or recipes or whatnot, and it doesn’t matter one iota about friends and family, plus they’ll likely have a few friends/family who will also enter the contest and so it spreads, like wildfire.

But we are unique. We are stigmatized, in many ways. We are the dirty little secret. I get it. I do. My family knows nothing of my blog work, the blog-related trips I’ve made in the past to NYC for Calendar parties, to DC for conferences.

So, what to do? Do I need to just suck it up and play the game of social media as if I were giving away a blender and stop caring that most of the Twitter entries fall on deaf ears or half of the Facebook entries are seen by no one? As I was reading some articles about contests and giveaways, they stressed one fact that we already figured out on our own: people are lazy. They won’t want to do anything complicated. If your entry methods are complicated in nature or complicated to report, you won’t have many entries. I can remember once, long ago, Epiphora was giving away something pricey like a Pure Wand maybe(?) and contest entries had to be something creative and effort was required. I recall that she didn’t get many entries.

Past entry methods that netted me permanent traffic increases included things like having people submit a post to Reddit, Stumbleupon, Digg etc…but not many people did those. Any idea why? It’s pretty darn simple, given the Shareaholic plugin I have below that allows for easy sharing to those places. In recent contests I’ve allowed not only the daily contest tweet, but the opportunity to share via Twitter a past post of mine. Again, some people do it, many don’t. It’s still relatively easy.  I’ve had entry methods where I have people subscribe to my RSS feed (can’t track that) or subscribe to email notifications of my posts – but those can be throwaway entries too, as I’ve had people subscribe to my updates and then after the contest they unsubscribe. They don’t want their inbox cluttered with notifications on posts about sex toy reviews. No, that isn’t true for everyone that enters using those methods but it will be true for a decent percentage.

So I’m running out of ideas for “worthy” entries, most effective entry methods, etc. For my 5 year blog anniversary in June, I’ve decided to have 5 different giveaways. Some of the prizes are from smaller, niche/luxury companies like Fucking Sculptures and Nobessence. These companies need traffic, referrals and to just in general create buzz and keep it going. We need to help keep companies like them in business by fostering their growth.

What contest entry methods are you willing to do to win a sex toy?

What entry methods have you seen that you won’t or can’t ever do?

Should I just give up and stick to the status quo?

 

Edit: I’ve been doing a lot of research and I know that some don’t enter contests that use an app (like my last giveaway) that will ask you to link your FB account and you “allow” it to access your information; it’ll sometimes even say “post on your behalf” which causes panic. First, by using FB privacy controls you can control who see that stuff and what stuff the app can see. Usually apps can’t see things unless they’re visible to “public”. But I found this which is interesting:

Facebook has it own set of Promotional Guidelines.  All sweepstakes or contest promos that run on a brand’s or company’s Facebook page must run within a 3rd party application. This means that you cannot just use the Facebook wall to collect data on the person or use the page or “Like” button as a means to determine winners.   So when you use a Facebook application the user must “Allow” the application access to the user’s personal profile and other data. Many people are still not comfortable with this and don’t understand what data the marketer will be getting and what they will be doing with it. Facebook users should adjust their privacy settings so that they are not sharing their information with “Everyone”. Most apps will only have access to what a user makes public to “Everyone”.

Wow. We’ve been doing this all wrong. 

Apparently, whether or not to allow Canada residents to enter is NOT dependant on whether the sponsor will ship there: In Canada the winner can not be chosen by luck, but rather some element of skill must be involved. And if you do wish to open your giveaway to residents of Canada, you must go one step further and either exclude Quebec or add in the various additional rules that province requires. Quebec is very strict and requires bonding and registration for sweepstakes along with all communications to be produced in both English and French-Canadian. This is why you will see many U.S. based promotions excluding Quebec from eligibility.

 Posted by at 12:40 pm
Feb 152013
 

Fucking Sculptures – Small Green G-Spoon

Fucking Sculptures - Small Green G-Spoon Glass Dildo

I’d be willing to bet that at least a few hundred people suddenly fell in love with Fucking Sculptures after my first review, of their Large Gold G-Spoon. And with good reason; these are probably some of the most artistic dildos we’ve seen!

But for those who were intimidated by the heft and size of the Large, take heart: they do make small and medium sizes. Of course, much like in the clothing industry, small isn’t always small and medium isn’t always medium. I have looked at the specs for some of the medium sized pieces up at SheVibe and I was surprised to see measurements that still seemed to be more on the “large” end of the scale. SheVibe was wondering if they should carry any of the Small sizes, and generously sent me one to review for them.

Fucking Sculptures - Small Green G-Spoon Glass Dildo

I won’t keep you in suspense: Yes, SheVibe, please carry the Small sizes! The Small Green G-Spoon, shown here, is actually quite a good size for many people. Not too big, not too small, it feels like the Goldilocks of Glass Dildos. My Small is just a hair under 1.5″ wide from side to side, but it’s more like 6/8″ from top to back; if I wrap the measuring tape around the fattest part, it’s just under 4″. It’s about 8-9″ in length, depending on how you measure. With a straight ruler it’s closer to 8″; if you use a flexible tape and do tip-to-tip it’s 9″. When you see a measurement on SheVibe.com, it means that they have measured the piece you’re buying. They take an average between the two length measurements and use the widest part for the width.

As I said before, handblown glass dildos all will vary in size, color and shape from one to the next. Some brands more than others. I’ve seen Crystal Delights glass toys in person and while there is the expected bit of variance, they do stay in their projected range fairly well. So even though the dildos from Fucking Sculptures will vary, the benefit to purchasing them from SheVibe is that (for now, anyways) the photo you see on the site is the exact piece you will be getting. When you’re dealing with artistic pieces like this, I don’t begrudge them the variances but I do wholeheartedly feel that it would only help matters to list each piece individually (like you would see on Etsy). There are design differences, along with the obvious size differences, between my two G-Spoons and also between these and the ones shown on the Fucking Sculptures site and on SheVibe.com. If I were torn between, say, the red and the gold colors but I could choose between the exact red and gold dildos in this image below (the middle ones) then seeing the shape of the gold one would make my choice easier.

5 Different G-Spoons ~ The top 2 are on SheVibe, the middle two are on FuckingSculptures and the bottom 2 are mine

Where my Large has a very rounded and bulbous end to it, my Small is much more “tongue” shaped and flattened. The Large does have some grooves running down it, but the Small has grooves and then some….indented “holes” (which aren’t holes but appear to be at first) that actually don’t make sense. And they do make cleaning a bit difficult, to be honest. This could just be a design quirk that is purely unique to mine and it will never be encountered again, I won’t know, but this is the only thing that could pass as a “complaint” from me on these beautiful glass dildos. While the Large was able to broadly target my g-spot and offer a full feeling with the girth, the Small allows a little more targeted g-spot pressure without quite as much girth. And, of course, the Small weighs a lot less (my Small is 12 ounces and my Large is 23.5 ounces) . I had first requested the Large from Fucking Sculptures because I prefer my dildos to be long in the handle, but even the small G-Spoon has quite enough length for comfort of use. You’ll of course find different lengths on the various designs. This Green G-Spoon has a little bit more of what I called a “Dairy Queen” curl than the Gold G-Spoon, in fact it’s enough to make this green dildo look a bit more like a vegetable! I found though that it does have a practical purpose: it gives my fingers something to press against for better grip on the handle. Overall I just really like this style and I enjoyed using both sizes. The Green glass is a little bit more consistent with what it looks like in various lighting, whereas the Gold (because it is so metallic) could look like steel in some lights or rich amber in others. The Green also has sparkles – not glitter, I’m sure, but in certain good lighting it’s easier to see than in others. I managed to capture it in the evening setting sun the best. Both colors are really pretty so it’s just down to personal preference; since green isn’t really a color I prefer usually, the Gold is much more my speed. For the many who adore green? You’ll love this. It was hard to capture the exact color and quite honestly in most light I could mistake this for a zucchini at quick glance!

Fucking Sculptures - Green Small G-spoon vs Gold Large G-spoon Fucking Sculptures - Green Small G-spoon vs Gold Large G-spoon

So if you’re more Type A than B, I would suggest looking at SheVibe.com for purchasing these beautiful works of art. It takes a lot of work on their part to photograph every single different Fucking Sculptures dildo that they put up on their site, but if I knew for 100% certain that the dildo in the photo was the exact dildo I was receiving, it would make me more likely to take the plunge. What do you guys think?

Fucking Sculptures - Small Green G-Spoon Glass Dildo

Fucking Sculptures - Small Green G-Spoon Glass Dildo

Fucking Sculptures - Small Green G-Spoon Glass Dildo

Feb 102013
 

copyrightThis isn’t the first time I’ve written about scrapers, and I’m sure most of you have heard about this happening. I’m going to do my best to help you figure out what to do and how to fix it the next time you see your fellow bloggers tweeting about yet another site who has stolen blogger content.

Usually what happens is that an unscrupulous site will use a “scraper” program which copies the content of your RSS feed word for word, link for link, and automatically posts it on their site. Sometimes they will not do anything at all to your post; it goes up on their site, links photos and all. The (slight) upside to this is that if anybody is reading this site, they’ll click on the links and eventually get back to your site. But that’s really not enough of an upside. They are using your post as free content to pad their site for SEO purposes which will in turn net them more advertising.

Sometimes they will put your post up and the post title will link directly back to your page, not to the post on their site. These assholes believe that that is “attribution” and they’re in the clear. No. I recently had to deal with such a jackhole who is still following my blog. Despite my comments on his site to remove my copyrighted shit, and his eloquent email that I quoted on Twitter, and despite me reporting him to HostGator and his posts being removed, he still is trying to add me to places like GooglePlus. FYI: RSS feeds do not at all give someone like him permission to use your content. Their blog/site is not a feed reader; a feed reader is the only thing allowed to publish an RSS feed like he had done. They will also try to call this “re-blogging” and it is not. See: Ethical Blogging Practices

Sometimes they will remove your photos (or if there were none, add their own) and replace them with porn-y pics. Sometimes they’ll take it a step further and replace any links in your post to links that they choose, or they’ll add in extra links for keyword farming. This is what ScandalShack.com did to Mina and many other bloggers back in 2011.

ZOMG But It’s Duplicate Content and Google Will HATE Me!

When they talk about “duplicate content” they’re usually referring to it happening from within your own site. Like you search for a review on the Lelo Mona and it shows up on Google once due to it being a recent post and the title is in your sidebar, a second time under the category “Reviews”, a third time under the tag “vibrators”, a fourth time under the tag “Lelo” and so on. But when it comes to “duplicate content” due to being scraped, 9 times out of 10, Google knows that your post showed up first and is the real post. You won’t be penalized for it.

Says Google:
Before diving in, I’d like to briefly touch on a concern webmasters often voice: in most cases a webmaster has no influence on third parties that scrape and redistribute content without the webmaster’s consent. We realize that this is not the fault of the affected webmaster, which in turn means that identical content showing up on several sites in itself is not inherently regarded as a violation of our webmaster guidelines. This simply leads to further processes with the intent of determining the original source of the content—something Google is quite good at, as in most cases the original content can be correctly identified, resulting in no negative effects for the site that originated the content.

But that’s not why I care – I worked hard on my damn content and I don’t allow others to use it and indirectly profit from it or claim it as their own. I own the copyright. Even if I didn’t have copyright notices out the yingyang here, it’s an unspoken thing, this whole “blog” copyright business. I created the content, I own it. Just like anything on the internet. Creator Owns All.

The Hostess With the Mostest

The entity that will be following the laws of DMCA is the host of the site. Not the domain registrar. Sometimes, though, figuring out who is hosting it isn’t that easy if you don’t know what you’re doing. The tried-and-true method is to use a site called who.is. But what happens? I’m going to use the site who most recently scraped me and I stupidly tried to engage with the site owner (it never, ever works…trust me), the one I mentioned above.

What you'll see when you do a Who.is on a domain

So who.is talks about a lot of stuff there, and what do you see first? GoDaddy. Nope, that’s not the host. That’s the registrar – who they bought the domain from. Many places don’t use the same company for both hosting and domain registration. The word “host” is never used here, but it’s hiding down there in the “nameserver”. Hostgator. Ok, that’s easy, they’re a major hosting company.  Whatever it says in nameserver, basically, just type that in as a site and it usually will take you to a hosting company.

What you'll see when you use Whoishostingthis.comBut in searching for a better way to locate a host, I found another site: Whoishostingthis.com. Supposedly this site will tell you exactly who is hosting the site, in plain English. Except…maybe not. For the site above, it claims WebsiteWelcome is the host. Typing in that as a site comes up with a text-only page that tells you to email abuse@websitewelcome for any copyright complaints. Weird, right? So I did a little Google-fu and find that WebsiteWelcome is indeed related to Hostgator. They are a private reseller label or something. But I had already contacted HostGator and they responded appropriately, meaning they are the  host. If a company is not the host, they will respond and tell you that they’re not. Half the time they’ll tell you who IS.

Let’s try another. Don’t ask me why but as I sat there trying to think up a random, porn-y site address the first thing that popped into my head was midgetporn. So that’s what I went with. Who.is says that the nameserver is he.net. Typing that in takes me to a site that appears to maybe be a little out of date, Hurricane Electric hosting. They don’t have anything obvious up for copyright claims/DMCA takedowns; it takes a lot of digging. They don’t list a contact for that in their contacts list; I had to go locate their Terms of Service under the Legal page to locate their copyright claims email.

But what if I had gone to Whoishostingthis.com? Hmm. They tell me that the (likely a reseller) is “V Entertainment”. Just like above with the WebsiteWelcome company, typing in ventertainment.com gives me not much – but it does give a contact form for “issues with any of our member  sites”.

Hosting Reseller: The problem with using Whoishostingthis.com is that they’re listing the reseller. Many times the reseller IS the site owner, or is just as shady as the site owner. You need to go to the nameserver for maximum effect.

Private Nameservers: You might come across a private nameserver, which would look like ns1.midgetporn.com. A realistic case: I looked up another popular type of spammy site, the work from home arena. Literally, I who.is’d workfromhome.com. Bingo! Their nameserver? name-server.com. Go there and you’ll see a basic holding page which just contains more spammy advertising links to related things. So what about the who.is on name-server.com? It’s more of a circlejerk, but you’ll see the same registrar as the workfromhome – ENOM. Given all that, I would start with the registrar if workfromhome.com was scraping or stealing my content. I would hope that they could point me in the right direction.

I Have No Fucking Idea Nameservers: Twice I’ve dealt with sites where the nameserver wasn’t easy to pin to a host. Once it was Moniker Services for the registrar but monikerdns.net for the NS and I don’t even know how I found their host. I’m sorry. I’m hoping someone else will be able to shed light in comments.

NOW WHAT?

Ironically, you don’t want to push the host to take down their whole site. Why? As a rep from a hosting company once told me, if they take down the site, the site could potentially be back up online in as little as 10 minutes with the person going to an “unscrupulous” “Russian or Chinese” host. And then, apparently, you’re screwed? But if they just take down the page(s) in question, eventually the site owner will stop targeting you, usually fairly quickly.

Also, you can’t report content theft unless you are the owner of the content being stolen. So if you find something of Violet Blue’s, you can’t tell the host to remove it. You don’t own the original, she does. They only want to hear from you.

Many places will have a form online for you to fill out. Some have nothing but an email address. In that case, fill out a standard DMCA form letter and send it to them. With Hostgator, I had to fax them. Who faxes in this century?? Apparently HG does. I wasn’t about to trot off to Staples so I found one of those free, online fax services that will send it for free if you agree to embed advertising. You’re not the one receiving the fax so it doesn’t matter. Hostgator sent me a canned response within minutes of receiving the fax. When the requisite 48 hours for the site owner to Do The Right Thing has passed and they have not, in fact, done the right thing, HostGator emails you to tell you that they’ve forcibly removed the content and you’re done. If your content is on a blogspot blog, that’s the easiest DMCA you’ll ever do, since there is a link in the nav bar above all Blogspot blogs that allows you to report content theft/spam/etc.

Below is a list of some hosting companies and how to contact them, borrowed from PlagiarismToday.com. The post containing links to various sites and hosts is horribly outdated, written years ago, and is missing a few hosts (like HostGator) but there are so many hosting companies that they cannot all be listed. I’ll list whichever ones anybody comments with and update this part.

Blog Networks

Blogger/Blogspot = Google
DeadJournal (see last item) (email)
LiveJournal (email)
Typepad (email)
WordPress.com (email)
Yahoo! 360 (email)

Domain Hosts

BlueHost (See: Abuse department) (email)
DirectNIC (See: 20.s) (email)
Dreamhost (email)
Enom.com (email)
Godaddy
(email)
HostGator
iPowerWeb (email)
MediaTemple (email)
Midphase (email)
Network Solution (See: Copyright Complaints) (email)
Rackspace (See: Copyright Infringement Notice) (email)
Register.com (email)
Surpass Hosting (mail)
Westhost (email)
WildWestDomains
(email)
Verio (email)
XO (email)
Yahoo Web Hosting (email)
YellowFiber (email)

How To Stop a Predator

You can’t prevent RSS scraping. There used to be a WordPress plugin called nomoreframe, but it works no more. The bots found a different way. So basically you just need to add in things to your RSS that mention copyright, link back to your blog, etc. These things, though, will only help you out if they are scraping your RSS feed. If they are taking the long way around which involves copying your text content and replacing links with ads and adding in porn photos, then there likely isn’t a whole lot you can do to prevent it. You can only hope that they leave in at least one link.

Why? If you have enabled ping/trackbacks on your posts then you will get notified by WordPress or Blogger when something links to you. For awhile there I was turning off pingbacks because of things like Pleasurists and e[lust], I don’t like to see those things clogging up the comments section. I suspect some people leave them as a way to show that their post was well-liked, a vanity thing, but as a reader and blog owner I find they just add visual clutter. So I have the trackbacks on again but I don’t ever publish them. If it weren’t for the trackback I wouldn’t have known that the illustrious B T Phillips was stealing my content.

©Feed: “Extends the feed! A report of copyright, a digital fingerprint and the IP of the feed reader can be added. In addition, some search engines are scanned for the digital fingerprint in order to find possible content theft. The feed can be also be supplemented with comments and topic-relevant contributions.” This is the primary plugin that I recommend. You can add links back to your page, a copyright notice, and the digital fingerprint will help you find sources of scraping (but it will also show allowed sources, like feed readers).

 

If you have dealt with a host that isn’t listed, please comment and let us know. I’ll add it in. If you use any other methods for prevention, control or hunting people down, tell us your best methods.

Feb 052013
 

I’ve been acquainted with Aneros as a company for almost 10 years now; long ago hubs and I got him one of their first Aneros prostate plugs. It was great and all, with a couple flaws and a big learning curve. A few years ago I found the Nexus Neo for him and he hasn’t gone back to his Aneros since. But suffice to say I’ve known about Aneros and the ground-breaking work they have done.

At last year’s Momentum Conference, Aneros gave out postcards allowing attendees to get their hands on the first run of their new product for vagina-owners, the Evi. I was curious so I asked for one and received it a few months later. When I opened my package I was a little skeptical at the froofy large, red lace drawstring bag that the whole entire box fit into. It was pretty, though, if you like that sort of thing. The modern and sleek boxed opened to show this oddly shaped, bright-red thing – Evi. Instructions and platitudes were included. The shape looked 47 kinds of wrong to me to achieve what they promised, but I tried it anyways.

Where My Vagina Says “What the Fuck?”

The bulbous portion of the toy and the neck will go in your vagina. Yes, it seems to be pointing *away* from the g-spot. The handle bar looking bit rests in between your labia and should come in contact with the clitoris for many women. The handle bar portion isn’t “T” shaped, it won’t be tickling your ass (even if you would like it to). The handle bar portion combined with the weight and the angle made me constantly feel like the thing was about to fall out of me as I walked around. It wasn’t painful, but it was uncomfortable. Sitting with the Evi in me felt uncomfortable/painful and frankly I have a lot more padding than some women – if I can feel the seat of my chair pressing up on the Evi in an awful way, I can only imagine what that would be like for someone 70 pounds lighter than me with a much smaller ass and thighs. I didn’t last very long before I yanked it out and tossed it in a drawer.

A month or three later, Aneros sent me an email asking me to fill out a survey on how I liked it. They asked if I’d tried it standing, sitting, laying down, etc and I was soon growing as bored of the survey as I had the Evi. But I gave them the benefit of the doubt and I paused whilst filling out the survey to actually go try everything Lelo Luna Beads vs Aneros Evi vs Luna Beads Noirthey suggested. I sat. I wiggled my hips. I humped the air1. I laid down and thought of England (what? I know a lot of hot English bloggers), I laid down and thought of Brad Pitt, thought better of it and thought of Angelina Jolie instead. I laid on the bed and thrust my hips up in the air like a convoluted yoga move2. I concentrated on doing my kegels properly, just to make sure. I could feel the external portion nudging somewhere in the vicinity of my clitoris but my g-spot was left totally out of the party unless I grabbed Evi by the handle and forced it to speak to my g-spot like a proper young lady. Er, wait.

And then…..

I felt it coming but I couldn’t stop it in time…

I sneezed. While sitting in a chair with the Evi inside of me. AND IT REALLY FUCKING HURT3.

So if you get nothing else out of my review, please listen to me: Do not ever sneeze with the Aneros Evi inside of you. If you feel a sneeze coming on, no matter what you’re doing you shove your hand down your pants and get that hunk of silicone out of there. STAT.

Moving on.

Here is where I become confused and therefore in turn confuse you. Evi is advertised with phrases like “designed to comfortably and effectively ‘hit the spot’ without the need for vibration.” and “With correct insertion, Evi will alternately stimulate the G-spot and the clitoris with a simple Kegel exercise.” so…is it a Kegel exerciser, or a sex toy? Both? “Mind-blowing orgasms”? I’m side-eyeing you real hard, Evi.

For me, it’s neither. The front curve doesn’t stimulate my g-spot, even with the most enthusiastic kegel crunch. The handle does not even come close to stimulating my clitoris. I don’t require a jackhammer vibrator to orgasm, but I do greatly prefer vibration so that the internal portion of my clit can be stimulated. I have, a few times, been able to orgasm from manual clitoral stimulation. This is not even in the ballpark of a finger. Ok, so a slow-building orgasm is never going to happen for me with this. But couldn’t I just use it as a unique kegel exerciser, and maybe get a little aroused at the same time?

Nope4.

Sex Geek Time

Unlike the Luna Beads which are passive kegel exercisers, the Evi is active. Look, I can forget I’m cooking something on the stove until I hear it sizzling two rooms away or smell it burning. Despite the fact that the Evi isn’t subtle, I still forget to actively do something while wearing it. I think I’m preoccupied by how uncomfortable it all feels. or, ya know, SQUIRREL. After doing some more digging, I may have discovered one reason why it feels so godawful uncomfortable to me:

*put on Sex Geek T-Shirt*

The drawing on the left shows an artists rendering of where Evi sits in the vagina. It shows a compressed rectum and a very definitive position of where a G-spot "should" be
Forgive the size, you’ll want to click it to view it a little bigger

First thing I noticed was a very compressed rectal canal on the left. The second thing I noticed would explain why Evi isn’t really hitting my g-spot – that tiny curved portion of the Evi that is near the g-spot area has very little surface area to actually contact the g-spot – and since there is no one set location of the g-spot (hence my drawing edited to show where the g-spot could be), if yours doesn’t fall in the exact place that Aneros thinks it will, it’s not going to work for you very well. My g-spot happens to be a lot closer to my vaginal entrance than Aneros’ drawing shows.

Specs

Aneros Evi is about 5ish inches long, although it’s really hard to determine length in something as oddly shaped as this. It only weighs a couple ounces. It is hard plastic covered in a red silicone skin. Most of the Aneros for Men are just hard plastic. If that might cut down on the price, I’d be all for it – with a Velvet PU coat, ABS plastic can feel almost just like the silicone skin. It’s a matte finish silicone, the kind with the “silicone soft touch” added in like Lelo, Je Joue, etc5. It is all one solid piece so if you really felt the need to, you could add it to your dishwasher on the Sex Toy Cycle6, but I don’t think you should boil this. I’m not really sure, since it’s not 100% solid silicone. Anyways, it’s non-porous and would be easy to sanitize. Other than the odd red lace bag that encased the box I received, they do not include a pouch for the Evi to store it in. The box is nice but it’s not meant for discreet storage. It retails at about $70, and that right there is one part of my two-fold main reason why I won’t be recommending this.

Bottom Line

Despite the fact that Aneros tries to specifically claim that Evi will fit ALL women7, Evi is not an every-woman sex toy. Hell, nothing is, this I know. And I Aneros Evi Advertising Copy ~ Really? ALL women?know that sex toy makers need to write up amazing copy to sell their wares; nearly8 everybody who makes something does this. But my experience of the Evi vs their shiny, promising copywriting feels quite a bit like advertised burgers vs reality burgers. First of all, I don’t often have the time for an Aneros Experience. I don’t have hours to lay in bed, contracting my muscles, waiting for the 2:00 Orgasm Train to roll in. I just don’t have that kind of patience, frankly. In the pursuit of sex toys I have indeed spent up to an hour trying in vain to reach orgasm – the resulting orgasm was not 10 times better because of the wait. Aneros Evi is quite a lot like a rabbit vibrator – as a woman you could try out 20 rabbit vibes and if you’re lucky, one of them will hit all your spots in the just-right area with the just-right amount of vibration to create your own personal Nirvana. And due to the (in my opinion) grossly inflated price, I’m going to stand by my recommendation of the original Lelo Luna Beads set for killer kegels. They’re very much “set and forget” as they passively go about toning your kegels while you go about your day. I know damn well they work, because I once wore a set of the heavier beads for half a work day; the next morning I woke up with PC muscles that were sore like ab muscles get sore when you do too many crunches.

I’m trying to think up a good explanation for the type of person Evi would work for as advertised, and I really can’t. Not because I think that Evi isn’t right for anybody; but because it was such a complete and utter fail for me personally. After my third and final time (about 4 hours before writing this) of trying very hard to feel even 1/10th of the love that some people on my Twitter feed profess for Evi, as I pulled the Evi from my vagina I swear it said “thank you” to me and I apologized for putting it through that again. I promised to not do it anymore and it mostly forgave me; some weird unnamed spot in there is still quite tender as I write this.

One final tip if you decide to purchase: Evi, like anything Aneros makes, has a learning curve. You’re not going to achieve tantric orgasmic bliss the first time out (if ever). Be prepared to give it a few tries. Carve out some quiet, alone time. But please, please don’t lay there doing kegels like a bunny on meth for an hour just to reach orgasm or I promise you, you’ll be in pain the next day and do you really want to tell your boss what happened or explain to coworkers in 2 days why you’re still walking funny?

  1. And felt down right ridiculous, like perhaps they put this suggestion in as a joke to make you feel like an asshole after doing it
  2. Again with the ridiculous measures, does anybody get off from that???
  3. And I also piddled a little bit. Yeah I know, I need to work on my kegels
  4. God I was SO TEMPTED to put in Grumpy Cat here but I just did that in the G-Vibe review and thought it would be a bit much
  5. This meant that I was able to use silicone lube on it – again despite the Party Line clucking to not mix the two, if you mix smart and right it can work out just fine. I tried Wet’s plain silicone lube and their hybrid, both worked just fine and didn’t damage the silicone skin on the Evi
  6. And by that I mean top rack, no suds, “sanitize” setting
  7. The fact that they try to claim that one item will fit ALL women very much irks me because it can’t possibly be true – g-spots are not all in the same location, vulvas and clitoris..es? are not all identical…you just can’t make one thing, especially something that is so oddly shaped, and claim that it will indeed fit every person with a vagina
  8. I almost just said “everybody” but then I thought about Tantus who doesn’t try to claim that any of their toys will give you earth-shattering orgasms for everyone, they’re very realistic folks