Oct 302013
 

Even if I had been around enough the latter half of this year to know that this list was being curated, I still wouldn’t have “participated” in asking people to nominate me. I don’t like doing it, I’m the sort of person who doesn’t like spotlights. I detest asking for anything (oftentimes to my downfall). And also I feel that if I don’t ask, I won’t get let down in life. I suppose that attitude carries over to this stuff, too.  I never win popularity contests, because despite the fact that I bend over backwards for those I like and care about, I have a curmudgeonly (I say realistic) outlook to life in general. I also have Bitchy Resting Face. Point is, I’m hard to like. I get that. I’m not really okay with it, but….I suppose it’s a litmus test. The ones that stick around me despite the fact that I’m not always an upbeat, bubbly girl, shine that much brighter in my eyes. 

So when I was told I was #2 on this list, I was shocked. I was shocked that I was even nominated, especially since I’ve not been around much since July. But when someone then pointed me to the person who (most loudly) nominated me, I became all teary. Jack is reader of mine for ages and picks my brain at least once a month.  So Jack, I said it privately but I had to say it here, too: Thank you. I don’t do those things for points and recognition but it’s nice when it happens. It’s nice not to be forgotten, and it’s lovely to be recognized for all these things by someone:

 dawww

I also have to agree with him on his other noms, especially Kara Sutra. That woman works 10 times harder than half the bloggers I know; have you seen all her videos?!?  She’s been blogging for ages and has done way more to educate the public than I.  She should have been #2 instead of me, but I don’t make the lists ;) I can’t imagine ranking people I know personally, so I’m glad it was done by a “third party” like site.

There were a few other peeps who nominated me; I didn’t read most of the comments. If you did nominate me thank for you not forgetting about me. My ghostly form isn’t wholly transparent just yet, haha. But anyways,  here’s the list. Since this is the last time I’ll likely ever be on such a list,  I want to share the links for everyone else to enjoy. Give them all a visit, k?

Kinkly.com’s Top 100 Sex Blogging Superheroes of 2013

1. Heyepiphora.com (@Epiphora)
This sex toy reviewer has a mind-blowing sex toy collection, a “very discerning vagina” and an aversion to all things pink. She’s also got the words to keep you on her site for days.
2. Dangerouslilly.com (@Dangerouslilly)
This sharp-tongued sex geek and sex toy reviewer won our hearts with her big mouth – and crusade against crappy, unsafe sex toy materials.
3. Mollysdailykiss.com (@Mollysdailykiss)
Molly’s eclectic mix of erotic photography, body pride and erotic revelation is as unique as it is refreshing. She’s also a speaker, a submissive and the creator of Sinful Sunday.
4. Redheadbedhead.com (@Bedheadtweeting)
This redhead writer and sex educator has a mane that’s as fierce as her writing and a growing list of superhero sex-positive sex shops across the country. What’s not to love?
5. SmutForSmarties.com (@LadyCheeky)
On Smut for Smarties, Lady Cheeky does sex positive, body positive and feminist just right with a mix of interviews, reviews and thoughtful editorial.
6. Sunnymegatron.com (@SunnyMegatron)
This blogger’s a world-class sex educator, super-honest sex blogger and a superhero to sex positive people everywhere.
7. Kinkandpoly.com (@piecesofjade)
Formerly Pieces of Jade, this site bills itself as kinky, poly, lusty and wordy. It’s also hot and lovely to read. Check out Kink of the Week!
8. Queeriebradshaw.com (@QueerieBradshaw)
Author Lauren Marie Fleming’s site features personal stories about sex, sexuality, gender and gender identity – sensitive, funny, smart … exquisite!
9. Agoodwomansdirtymind.com (@GoodDirtyWoman)
Real sex for real people by a woman “who could be any woman,” this site is mysterious, erotic and oh-so-sexy.
10. Karasutrareviews.com (@Kara_Sutra)
Kara Sutra is a sex toy reviewer and supporter of sex bloggers. She’s also been spreading the sex-positive word via video in her Sex Ed 102 video series (everything you should have learned but didn’t!).
11. Carasutra.co.uk (@TheCaraSutra)
12. PeggingParadise.com (@Ruby_Ryder)
13. Perverticallyvirtuous.com (@VirtuousPervert)
14. Sex-in-words.blogspot.ca (@SexInWords)
15. LoraxofSex.com (@LoraxOfSex)
16. Ohjoysextoy.com (@ErikaMoen)
17. Walkerthornton.com (@WalkerThornton)
18. Ashleymanta.com (@ashleymanta)
19. Thestdproject.com (@TheSTDProject)
20. CharlieGlickman.com (@charlieglickman)
21. Inbedwithmarriedwomen.com (@Jill_Hamilton)
22. Themamasutra.net (@TheMamaSutra)
23. Tinynibbles.com (@violetblue)
24. Sex-ational.com (@sex_ational)
25. Thebeautifulkind.com (@TBK365)
26. Sexed102.com (@Kara_Sutra)
27. Offgothepanties.com (@offgothepanties)
28. Charlienox.com (@CharlieNox)
29. Tobeaslut.com (@tobeaslut)
30. Mydissolutelife.com (@nlikes)
31. Geekynymph.com (@GeekyNymph)
32. Vaginaantics.com (@Heather_Cole1) and (@Nikki_Blue1)
33. Fuckblogging.com (@fuckblogging)
34. Girlyjuice.net (@Girly_Juice)
35. Dumbdomme.com (@DumbDomme)
36. Domme-chronicles.com (@Ferns__)
37. Curvaceousdee.com (@CurvaceousDee)
38. Thesindoll.com (@TheSinDoll)
39. Grittywoman.co.uk (@GrittyWoman)
40. Masculinesubmission.wordpress.com (@TomioBlack)
41. Propertyofpotter.com (@pottersproperty)
42. Mrwillshouseofthrills.com (@MrWills_HoT)
43. Rebelsnotes.com (@RebelsNotes)
44. Theprattlingsofseverin.wordpress.com (@SaintSeverin)
45. Silverdropstoybox.com (@silverdropUK)
46. Betterthanieverexpected.blogspot.ca (@JoanPrice)
47. Puckerup.com (@TristanTaormino)
48. Kinketc.com (@LoriandHubby)
49. Alyssaroyse.com (@alyssaroyse)
50. Clitical.com (@CliticalJenne)
51. Wholesexlife.com (@WholeSexLife)
52. Learn.condomdepot.com (@condomdepot)
53. Toptobottomnyc.com (@Top2Bottom)
54. Ruffledsheets.com (@ruffledsheets)
55. Lifeontheswingset.com (@swingsetlife)
56. Thedirtynormal.com (@enagoski)\
57. Girlonthenet.com (@girlonthenet)
58. Sexylittleideas.com (@joejohnstun)
59. Blog.grandopening.com (@KimAirs)
60. Naughty-corner.com (@Josephine_KK)
61. Nakedallthetime.com (@nakedjill)
62. Thoughtsofagrowingsub.com (@subreiskyem)
63. Eroticwriter.wordpress.com (@_Monocle_) and (@Ximena_Writes_)
64. Beanfiddler.com (@beanfiddlers)
65. Symonekittynelson.com (@TheSymoneShow)
66. Mysexprofessor.com (@mysexprofessor)
67. Filledandfooled.wordpress.com (@CurvyMilfy)
68. Mollena.com (@Mollena)
69. Lehmiller.com (@JustinLehmiller)
70. Blog.catherinecoaches.com (@Catcoaches)
71. Beingblacksilk.com (@BeingBlacksilk)
72. Suggestivetongue.com (@Suggestive)
73. Aslutsmemoir.com (@iSlut_)
74. Adissolutelifemeans.com (@adissolutelife)
75. Wqebelle.blogspot.ca (@wqbelle)
76. Sextoysofa.co.uk (@SexToySofa)
77. Naughtyreenie.com (@NaughtyReenie)
78. Beckandherkinks.com (@beck42069)
79. Sexgeek.wordpress.com (@sexgeekAZ)
80. Sexualitysanctuary.com (@sangsaraB)
81. Houseofhellkat.com (@Hellkat83)
82. Kinky-world.net (@mistress_kay)
83. Slutist.com (@slutist)
84. Emandlo.com (@emandlo)
85. Darkside-journey.blogspot.ca (@padmeamidala)
86. Jolynnraymond.com (@JolynnRaymond)
87. Lifeofalovergirl.wordpress.com (@lovergirlslife)
88. Hesnaked.com (@Hesnaked)
89. Nymphetaminekiss.com (@NymphetamineKis)
90. Sexandtheshameless.wordpress.com
91. Sexandthestate.com (@CathyReisenwitz)
92. Creativenoodling.wordpress.com (@CreativeNoodlin)
93. Metanotherfrog.com (@metanotherfrog)
94. Bedroombondage.co.za/blog/ (@bedroombondage)
95. Midnightboudoir.org (@MidnightBlondi)
96. Huntingforsex.blogspot.ca
97. Malflic.com (@MalflicMagazine)
98. Barenakedlady.wordpress.com (@JillyBoyd)
99. Underhishand.com
100. Amyjogoddard.com (@amyjogoddard)

 Posted by at 10:54 am
Oct 192013
 

sex-toy-for-couple-playI’ve seen the Heeldo bopping around the industry for a few years, and was always curious. I finally got a chance to review one to see if it would work out like I thought it would.

Yes.

And no.

Many would probably laugh at the concept, and I do laugh at the thought of donning the Heeldo to be used on someone else (gives new meaning to the eloquent term “cunt-punt”), but for masturbation it could be really great for some people.

I, as you know, have troubles with thrusting a straight dildo. But I do so love my Tantus dildos and while their bases usually do a decent job of acting like a suction cup, I don’t have any surfaces in my house that are suction-cup friendly. So I thought that the Heeldo would be my ticket to improved self-fucking.

Sadly, it was not meant to be for me. You really just cannot have bad knees in order to use this for very long (or for some, at all). You cannot have flexibility issues. And you should be on speaking terms with sex-toy-for-masturbation-3(1)squats on a thrice-weekly basis. Great for a fit person with no joint problems though. This would be awesome for people who like thrusting motions with a dildo against their prostate whilst leaving both hands free for penis love. This would be great for anybody for anal play, really, along with vaginal. But really, the more flexible you are, the more use you’ll get out of the Heeldo.  It’s comfortable enough to wear and use, you just have to consider your own limitations, if you have them.  It’s primarily made of neoprene with webbing straps and plastic buckles.

At first I didn’t understand, or identify with, their decision to make a fetish cam girl model their spokesperson, but I get it now. It’s a great tool. Hands-free self-fucking and provides a great visual for their clients with a foot fetish.  One aspect of their marketing is something I just don’t understand – they are firmly entrenched in the gender binary and hetero slant. So much so that their suggestion to use this as a “couples” tool is specific to only “straight” couples. Their idea is that she should use the Heeldo on herself whilst giving him a blowjob.   They could have just left the orientation out of the mix and been more neutral. Why couldn’t a gay couple enjoy this in the same manner? They could. Or a lesbian couple? I’m sure they might like it, too. Take that oral sex idea and remove gender altogether because it’ll work out no matter the configuration. They could have subtly been inclusive, instead of being exclusive.  Under the graphic where they advertise it’s use for prostate play, they do mention gay couples, as more of an afterthought.  When you click on that image and you get to the page talking about using Heeldo for prostate play, they seem to be more inclusive but yet….why feel the need to go this route? “Heeldo for men transcends sexual preferences!  It is the first strap on harness for both gay and straight men.” Oh so, only the Heeldo for Men transcends sexual preferences? *sigh* 

Heeldo comes in some pretty typical colors: Black, Red, Bubblegum Pink and Leopard-print. Industry standard, really, and no imagination.  The sizing is odd, too.  “Women’s” is for US Women’s shoe sizes 4-8. That’s it. The “Men’s” option is for US Men’s shoe sizes 8-12. There’s no really good way of being able to tell that a person who wears US Women’s shoe size 9 should get the “Men’s” version, sadly. If you happen to be female-identified and have a larger foot size, and let’s say you really like pink, you’re out of luck.  According to the site: “Heeldo for Her fits women’s foot 4 – 8 and is available in the black, pink, red, and leopard colors.  Heeldo for Him fits men’s foot size 8 – 12 and is available in both black and red.”

Dear Heeldo:  tone down the extreme gender binary / hetero slant. If they would just change the marketing and language to be more inclusive of the gender & sexuality spectrum, and less rigid, I suspect that more doors could open for them.  Can’t they just have sizing that disregards gender on their packaging and list a size chart describing what size feet it’ll fit, and offer all sizes in all colors?

Overall – it does the job it intends to do. It offers something of an alternative to relying to suction-cup dildos. It’s not going to be a tool that every body can successfully use, but it is definitely interesting.  Issues with gender, colors, and sizing aside, it’s still an interesting product. I would recommend it, I just would feel better about recommending it if some things were changed.

 heeldo

 

I was provided with a Heeldo from the company in exchange for an honest review.

Oct 132013
 

There is always a proverbial straw that breaks the camel’s back; This straw is named Ida. However, the ludicrous bullshit that stems from Lelo continues, and worsens, through the years. Every year I make sure to update this post.

 iquit

In 2008 when I first started reviewing sex toys, I got to review a couple of Lelo toys pretty early on in my career. Back then, “luxury” vibes were not as prevalent and seemed so….posh. So fancy. So very, very different from the garish, neon dreams of CalExotics and Doc Johnson, at 5-10 times the price. And with a price tag like that, surely they’re better, right?? So I felt let down when I didn’t love my first Lelo toys. They weren’t quite powerful enough for me. But I thought it was my fault. I was the problem, not Lelo. They were trying so hard, you see.  And so, I kept making excuses–trying to be objective, and state that just because it wasn’t perfect for me, Ms. Picky Clit-o-Steel, didn’t mean they weren’t great sex toys. After all, I was reading so many other glowing reviews.

I’ve become more jaded as the years pass, this is true. I’ve seen a lot of luxury sex toys come and go. And the opinions I tried to mold into objective statements years ago have lost their luster; they have chipped away like the metallic paint on their Insignia line.  I am left with nothing but unapologetic (harsh?) truths. I have replaced my old “trying to hard to be objective” with a tempered balance of honesty and realism. 

Let’s run this down, shall we? Abridged version, go:

  • Elise – Great size, and a promising two motors that sorta work for me, but the placement of that second motor was a bit odd.
  • Mia – Geek-appeal, the first USB rechargeable vibe I’d ever seen, but the vibrations were poor and buzzy. I was bummed.
  • Bo cock ring – Neat; for 2008, it was inventive – rechargeable, posh, etc. Vibrations were meh. It wasn’t silicone.
  • Gigi – Better than the bird-beak tips most toy makers thought felt nice on a g-spot, but unfortunate button placement combined with a too-short length and mediocre vibrations made for sad bedfellows
  • Luna Beads – They actually worked, and remain to be the most intelligent kegel ball system out there
  • Isla – They decided to put design over function. The metallic paint on the plastic portion chips off terribly after 6 months to a year of use. At first, Lelo wouldn’t replace them under warranty. Paint chipping off inside my vag seems to be a defect, you know?? Piss poor vibrations and a worthless shape.
  • Mona – Good shape, good length, vibrations seemed to be an improvement from all other models but could be more.
  • Tor II cock ring – No longer “inventive”, they now make it out of silicone but it’s less stretchy. Too tight for above-average. Better vibrations, though.
  • Tiani – Tiani 1st Ed was shit. Sense Motion failed, but then they fixed it. Vibrations were so weak it was pathetic. Internal arm offered nothing.
  • Tiani 2nd Ed – Internal arm slightly better, still meh. Vibrations improved, but not Wow. Better for couple’s play (but not sex) than the We-Vibe 3.
  • Luna Beads Noir – Total WTF. Better colors,  but the whole reason I liked the Luna Beads is negated. There’s no going up in weights gradually, since you only get 2 beads of the higher weight.
  • Luna Beads Mini – Also, total WTF fail. The ball is same size as regular Luna Beads, so it doesn’t provide as much sensation in use. They didn’t work at all.
  • Smart Wand  Medium – Again, the technology failed. SenseTouch was a bomb. Medium was a nice size but the vibrations were infuriatingly bland.
  • Smart Wand Large – Technology still shit, but vibrations knocked my socks off. Caveat: Works best with an attachment meant for the Hitachi Magic Wand. Doesn’t hold a charge in between uses very well; others have reported quality issues w the motor
  • Ina 2 – Better than the Original Ina in design and vibrations,  but somehow still not quite enough to be great for me.
  • Mia 2 – Still has design issues, unfortunate button placement/difficult to clean, but vibrations greatly improved. I still prefer my We-Vibe Tango, though.
  • Mona 2 –  Improved vibrations, still not enough for power queens like me and not on par with Smart Wand Large, but great shape and size.
  • Gigi 2 – Better vibrations (still less than Mona 1), but it’s not enough for me.
  • Ida – Saw Piph’s review, said NOPE. I’m done. A rotating internal arm, a flat disc that vibrates. My husband’s penis is thicker than average, and my body type won’t work at all with a flat disc. Did they even test this with human genitals?
  • At this point, I have to stop listing each sex toy failure out in this bulleted fashion and simply tell  you to keep on reading. I’ll talk about the ridiculous products every year as they come out, with an update for each year. Lelo has become a sideshow circus event.

 

Decline in Quality

I’ve heard rumors from trusted industry people that the quality of Lelo sex toys has drastically dropped over the years. More and more people are returning under warranty.  If you were around in ’08, you’d have seen the gradual, subtle decline in packaging to cut back on costs. They cut back on costs of packaging and clearly cut back on costs for materials and workmanship, yet their sex toys keep the ridiculously high price tags. And then, this summer, they raise their wholesale prices. What does that mean for the consumer? Not a lot. You’ll probably not really see much change. The stores won’t want to raise prices, because they need to stay competitive, both with each other and the Lelo direct sale site. It just means that the retailers now make a good bit less from a Lelo toy.

Inconsistent Customer Service

A lot of readers come to me with problems with their Lelo toys, and tell me that they tried to contact Lelo for a warranty exchange, but were ignored or told they couldn’t be helped. I would, each time, take it to social media and get their issues fixed that way. But I shouldn’t have to do that.  In my post about Lelo’s metallic paint flaking off, I had readers contacting me who were reading the warranty info and thinking their issues were not covered under warranty. Lelo said that they would honor a warranty replacement; however I did have to mediate between customers and Lelo a few times, when Lelo would just flat-out ignore customer service emails and warranty repair requests.

Since I’ve been working with Lelo, I’ve gone through more “handlers” than I can count. Turnover is normal in these businesses, but this is excessive. In the beginning, the info they would provide to me would be correct and helpful. In the past year, it’s been frustrating and wrong, often.  The saga of the Luna Beads cleaning method was the worst of them all. I looked like an ass, but at least I was able to get Lelo to send them new Luna Beads.

Anti-Plus-Size

In addition to their overpriced vibrators, Lelo also has a small line of way overpriced lingerie. A $400 robe, anyone? They won’t make plus-size options. They just won’t. Their XL is a US 12.  If you really want a pair of their overpriced PJ pants, you’ll have to pick the “Men’s” version, because the men can have pants that fit up to a 46″ waist.  The men’s robes also go up to XXL. In the land of Lelo, it’s ok to be a husky man, but they only want to cater to thinner femmes.  This trend is not unique to Lelo. Not at all. It’s just simply another nail in the coffin.

*New* Patent Trolling

Sarah picked up on this gem while I was on hiatus due to moving house. When Lelo created the Tiani they were violating a patent held by Standard Innovations, makers of the We-Vibe. Standard Innovations sued and eventually won the rights in the US – Lelo cannot sell the Tiani here anymore. So in 2015 Lelo decided to become a patent troll – they bought a patent for “inductive charging” as it relates to “personal massagers”. What’s inductive charging? In short, exactly how the We-Vibe is charged – it simply sits on the cradle, no magnets are involved. Lelo doesn’t make any vibrators that charge this way. They could have, since they created their stupid Wave vibrators after they bought the patent, but they didn’t. Why? That wasn’t their purpose. They didn’t invent this type of charging, that’s for sure. They sought out the original 3rd-party patent owner and bought it from them.

On April 28th, XBIZ reported, “The final decision has cleared the path for LELO to seek monetary compensation from Standard Innovation Corp., as well as all distributors and retailers that sell infringing items.” Standard Innovations fully believes that “LELO’s claims are baseless” and will absolutely continue to fight this drawn-out legal battle which will continue into 2016. The charges were initially filed in 2013, but this wasn’t reported on until April of 2015, as far as I know. Do you know what happens during a multi-year legal battle? A lot of dollars are paid in legal fees. Dollars that could be spent in R&D, developing a new, awesome product (well, if you’re Standard Innovations. If you’re LELO, dollars that could be spent creating the next overpriced gimmick). Between the legal fees of both lawsuits, it’s no wonder the products from both companies are pricey!

As Sarah pointed out, this not only will hurt Standard Innovations (makers of the best goddamn clitoral vibrator on the freaking planet) but retailers AND future innovators and manufacturers – since no one can use inductive charging now without paying Lelo. Of course, Lelo would have to go after them legally and it seems like they’re only interested in attempting to harm Standard Innovations in retaliation.  So they’re patent trolls, give no fucks about creating a sex toy that steals someone else’s designs, and have the maturity of your average 9-year-old playground bully.

Wherein I am an Island

You’ll continue to see amazingly positive reviews everywhere about Lelo, but mixed in with a healthy amount of negative reviews. I’m not saying they’re wrong, those positive reviews. The vibrations are strong enough for some women. But these days, there are other options for sex toys made from safe materials that come with a warranty. Options with better workmanship and better vibration, or a lower price point.  Nobody is perfect and no one sex toy/sex toy manufacturer will be perfect for every person. I’m just saying that I personally am done. I can’t fully support Lelo anymore. I can’t keep agreeing to try more and more Lelo toys, only to be let down time and again. I can’t get more and more jaded, as I read their copy (which frankly feels like outright lies many times) that promises “intense” vibration or “intense” g-spot stimulation, when it’s truly mediocre at best. Intense. Lelo, you keep using that word, but I do not think it means what you think it means. I KNOW INTENSE. You have missed that mark by a lot, in all cases but one or two.

I’ve been brewing with these thoughts now for months. However I’d managed to still hang on to a little shred of hope…..a hope that was flat out obliterated when I finally heard the full dirt on the Lelo Ida. And for the first time ever, I “reviewed” a sex toy without owning it (perhaps it should be called a commentary OpEd post instead of review) because it was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I retracted my agreement to review it for Lelo and suddenly in a matter of minutes, a decision I’d been wibbling and wobbling on for ages was made in a snap.  Why couldn’t I just keep on reviewing for them, and take the “free” toys? Because I die a little each time, lately. Writing that review for the Gigi 2 was not easy, because I was so fucking over it already. Usually I relish the opportunity to go all OH HELL NO in a review against a bad toy, and I would have with Ida, but frankly the thought just fucking exhausted me. Ain’t nobody, especially me, got time for that shit. I’ve cut back; I want to still largely enjoy what I do, not have the life sucked out of me.

Bottom line: Lelo isn’t worth the price.  They’re not worth the hassle of dealing with their promised warranty that they try to wiggle out of. They’re not retailer-friendly. They’re extraordinarily hetero-centric (and they do such a bad job at it, too).  If you own a Lelo toy, and you are having problems, of ANY kind, contact them for a warranty replacement. If they ignore your email, take it public– to Facebook and Twitter. They don’t like the bad press, so they’ll help you. I’ll still recommend the Luna Beads, the Mona 2, and maybe even the Mia 2 but with warnings, caveats and presenting other options.

2014: Even Worse than 2013

I didn’t think that Lelo could sink lower than the Ida. It was a dumb fucking idea all around.  Then they came out with the Ora, something that claimed to simulate oral sex. It clearly failed because less than 12 months later we have Ora 2. They’ve introduced two more “Beads” that are for the vagina and are largely gimmicks – the Hula, which just rotate oddly and the Smart Bead which you have to squeeze and may not even work as intended for everyone. Naturally. They’ve come out with a $3000 set of Luna Beads, in gold, because hey why the fuck not, right? And then…..then they come out with the Pino cock ring which was marketed exclusively for “bankers”. Only men can be bankers in Lelo’s world. This cock ring comes with a money clip and cuff links, both Lelo branded. Naturally.

2015: The Circus Continues

So far in 2015 we have the Mona and Ina Wave – I’m seeing a few positive reviews but more negative reviews. It’s nowhere near as “intense” and “mind-blowing” as they tried to claim it would be. I fucking hated the Mona Wave with a passion.

The Great Price Hike: It was announced towards the end of 2015 that all Lelo items would see a price hike, some items by as much as $30 or $40. They haven’t raised the quality; they’ve also made life more difficult for their retailers by raising the wholesale price while keeping the prices on their site the same. A number of retailers have complained about shitty treatment by Lelo reps.

24K Gold Plating: Yeah, because that’s just what we need. They took the Lelo Tiani 3 and did 24K goldplating on the remote and the metal band on the vibrator; because the price is so high, they gave a “relationship warranty” of sorts. If you break up within a year of purchasing it, they would replace it with another Lelo item. Except that the retail price of the Tiani 24K is $399 (at first they offered it at 50% off). To add insult to injury: The 24K edition doesn’t even feel any better than the regular Tiani 3. I tried it but couldn’t give enough fucks to write about it.

Scented Vibrators: Because it wasn’t enough to simply increase the intensity of the motor in the Lelo Lily, a flagship vibrator, they had to add a gimmick: Scent. some reported the odors were offensive, many were skeptical, many were uninterested, a few liked it. JUST MAKE A FUCKING VIBRATOR, LELO.

2016: The Year of the Penis

Because “male lingerie” is needed, apparently, in the form of a dry-clean-only silk “penis tuxedo”. It wasn’t a joke, although we sure thought so. In what turned out to be really poor timing, Lelo gave us a sneak peek at their next project for 2016: A condom. They told us about this shortly before April Fool’s Day so a number of people naturally assumed it was a joke – both due to timing and Lelo’s reputation. Sadly it’s not a joke, although it sort of is. They unveiled a latex condom with a honeycomb structure, are doing crowd-funding for it and, wait for it….

They named Charlie Sheen their spokesperson. A man who has beaten numerous women and who lied about his HIV status to women he fucked (without condoms).  Sarah summed up my feelings on this matter perfectly, so go read her post. But then, I just couldn’t help it after I heard about what Lelo employees actually think of most reviewers, so I wrote a rage-y rant-y post about how Lelo doesn’t give a flying fuck about everyone pissed off about the Hex condom and also a rant about the Hex condom in general.

Publicity is publicity to them – negative doesn’t matter. They referred to sex bloggers and educators who were rightfully questioning their decisions as ‘whiney SJWs’. Our opinions mean zero to them – and in fact, the more we tweet, the more they can say they’re the hottest topics of conversation.

They feel they are too big to fall, too trenched in the industry to lose out. The more attention, the better even if it’s folks throwing out their Lelo toys in mass droves and swearing off never working with them again.

It’s like they know their products are just like 6 others on the market and won’t stand out on their own merit, so they resort to trickery in marketing and “innovative” or “revolutionary” technologies that barely even work.  Lelo went from being first to the party to the late, drunk, rich frat boy that nobody invited. Is it going too far to now say they’re the Charlie Sheen of the sex toy industry?

 

Lelo Gigi 2

 Internal Vibrator, Reviews, Sex Toys  Comments Off on Lelo Gigi 2
Oct 082013
 

Lelo Gigi 2 in Gray

The Lelo Gigi has been around for a long while now, since something like 2004 or 5.  But while a bunch of newer Lelo vibrators were getting their makeovers, the originals were left alone, until now. Gigi and Liv have recently been revamped with the power boost that, clearly, customers were asking for.

Unlike the Mona and Ina, there is no difference in the design of the Gigi 2 vs the original. The only three differences are –  the power has been increased; it is now fully waterproof;  and it comes in an entirely new color – a nice, neutral, pale gray. I really, really like the gray. I hope that it shows up in future designs.

Lelo Gigi 2 vs Mona 2One aspect of the Gigi that I wish had been changed is the control button “wheel”. I used to think that it was elegant and refined. At first, I didn’t like the changes to the buttons when they came out with the Mona and Ina. But now that I’ve grown accustomed to the buttons of those, the old-style wheel on the Gigi 2, Elise 2, and Liv 2 is a little bit wonky. You may not ever notice it; it’s all in how you hold it and how your thumb or finger hits the buttons. Too often I found myself apparently hitting the wheel in the middle of two directions first, rather than hitting a direction head-on. This lead to nothing happening. In fact, I thought my Lelo Gigi 2 was defective at first, but it’s not.

Gigi 2 is, and always has been, one of the more petite Lelo toys. It is shorter in overall length, shorter in insertable length, and less girthy.  Not that the Mona 21 is really girthy, but it has some substance to it. But Gigi 2 has that flat head which I’ve always preferred in design over the Mona for external use. Sadly, though, the power boost that the Gigi received, while it certainly appears to be double the power that it once was, wasn’t enough to bring it up on par with Mona 2/Ina 2 levels. Mona 2 is noticeably more powerful than the Gigi 2.  I was able to, eventually, orgasm with the Gigi 2 being used externally but it was not nearly powerful enough for me to use internally. I like the shape, but for internal use of that shape I’d rather use the Picobong Moka as it has just a bit more girth and the necessary added length that I need. Plus, I feel that the Moka’s side-positioned buttons are in a better location than the control wheel of the Gigi.

Vibrations. The folks at Toolshed thought that the original Gigi’s vibrations were about on par with the Picobong Moka. Yet I mentioned that the Moka seemed to be about equal to the original Mona in vibrations (I didn’t have the original Gigi anymore). What’s weird, then, is that the Gigi 2 is barely stronger than my Moka.  There is a much bigger difference in vibrations between Gigi 2 and Mona 2.

Picobong Mola, Lelo Gigi 2, Lelo Mona 2When I first opened the box, Gigi 2 was of course already charged up. I ramped up the power to the highest level – as you do – and immediately thought “Wait, is that it?”. I was expecting it to be more like Mona 2. I thought “Maybe it wasn’t fully charged?” and so I charged it, and tried again. Same let down.  But I did what I tend to do now to get a fresh perspective other than my jaded been-at-this-5-years view – I handed it to a friend who is very new to sex toys. With no preface I brought out both the Mona 2 and Gigi 2. They turned on the Gigi 2 and were impressed  – until we then turned on the Mona 2 and their response was “Yeahhhhh that’s more like it!!”. I’ve corrupted them, you see. Those battery-pack bullets are the gateway drug of sex toys and was the perfect choice to start them out with. And even as a newbie, they felt that the buttons on Mona were a lot more intuitive and easy as compared to the singular rocker-wheel of the Gigi 2.

So as with all of the newer Lelo toys, Gigi 2 is fully waterproof. As always, it is rechargeable, the buttons lock for travel, there is an included satin drawstring pouch, and the 1 year Lelo warranty.  While the upgrade was needed, I wish it had been a bit “more”. It took me forever to write this review because I’m so “meh” about the Gigi 2. It’s….nice. It’s nothing special, to me. I don’t hate it, but I don’t love it. I will never use it; I have vibrators I greatly prefer. I can see how many people do love the shape and style of it, and I’ll recommend it to certain people, but it’s just not AMAZING.

Who would love the Gigi 2:

  • Those who prefer smaller, less-girthy insertables
  • Those who don’t need powerhouse vibrators
  • Those who are fine with shorter insertable vibrators

  You can get the Lelo Gigi 2 directly from Lelo, or from your favorite retailer such as Shevibe.com!

 

I was provided a Gigi 2 from Lelo in exchange for an honest review.

  1. Despite giving away a Mona 2, I’ve managed to not yet get around to actually reviewing the Mona 2. I do like it fairly well, and would recommend it, obviously
Oct 072013
 

splitdildofuntoysgvibeMonths ago I reviewed the G-Vibe, a split vibrator that reminded folks of the aptly named (both for the obvious, and for how divided the fan base was) Split Dildo. I had read a number of reviews that stated that the Split Dildo was actually painful to use, so I was surprised by how boring and subtle the Funtoys G-Vibe was to use. Recently a Split Dildo became available on ToySwap and I grabbed it up for no other purpose than this comparison review. Dedicated, I am.

While the Split Dildo is noticeably fatter than the G-Vibe, the biggest different is in the pliability of the silicone and the pressure  aspect – by that I mean the amount of pressure it takes to keep the closed ears split and therefore the amount of pressure they will exert as they try to fall back into their natural state. It took me awhile to figure out how best to show you the difference. What I did with the scale is try to exert enough pressure on one half of the split to make it “straighten”, like you would do if it was inside of you. While the Split Dildo is fatter, and therefore heavier (it weighs slightly more than the G-Vibe which is longer and has a motor), the difference in grams required to achieve the same result is drastic enough to matter.

It almost seems like Funtoys directly modeled the G-Vibe from the Split Dildo. I say that only because the angle and length of the split seems to be identical. Just the Split is much fatter. Split is also the type of silicone that easily hangs on to dirt, lint, fur etc. It doesn’t glide easily along dry skin like the G-Vibe does….it is more like the “treated” silicone that Lelo uses, applying a finish that makes it silky smooth with no drag. The Split Dildo does have some drag, and would require lube by most. The thing that is the most infuriating about the Split Dildo is the lack of a handled base. This is not friendly for people with mobility/flexibility issues, and not “fat friendly”, either.

splitdildofuntoysgvibe2splitdildofuntoysgvibe3


I just learned that the infuriating creator of the Split Dildo thinks that only “women who have birthed a child” can like the Split, that the rest of us poor souls have too-tight vaginas. Reading this on Epiphora’s site pissed me off so bad.  Here’s the funny thing. When the Split dildo was actually, finally, properly in place, I wasn’t writhing in pain. In fact, the pressure on my g-spot felt good BUT the pressure against the rectal wall was not good. It was not good at all.  I felt like I was in a race for orgasm and pooping. The orgasm wasn’t due to the Split Dildo; it was helping, as does any toy that puts pressure on my g-spot, but this was not a fun time. At all.

Trying to get the Split Dildo in was harder than trying to get a pair of Spanx on. I prefer thicker dildos, so the problem wasn’t the girth.  It was that I couldn’t hold the tips together /and/ slide the Split in, tampon-like, so there was a moment where the Split felt like it was tearing my perineum because it wasn’t fully inside of me. It was scary, and terribly painful. Screamingly painful.  Overall, I’d only recommend the Split Dildo for those using it with a partner or those who are flexible enough to keep the tips together until it is completely inserted. Actually, I’d go back to just recommending using it with a partner. Because mild thrusting is necessary to get any sort of rubbing on the g-spot, and if you manage to let the Split get too far outside of you, you’re in danger of serious pain coming your way.

So if you owned the Split Dildo and hated it, you should not run in fear of the G-Vibe. That’s not to say that I’d recommend it….I still won’t. I just am saying that the G-Vibe won’t cause pain the way the Split Dildo did for some. If you owned the Split Dildo and loved it? You will be vastly underwhelmed by the G-Vibe. The vibrations are piddly enough that they do not make up for the lack of pressure exerted on the G-Spot and Perineal Sponge.

Actually, I’m just going to recommend against either toy. If we’re gonna go with analogies, think back to Goldilocks and the Three Bears. The Split is Too Hot, the G-Vibe is Too Cold. There is no “just right” middle option. Since I received the Split dildo through my own network, I’m not sure where to tell you to buy it, should I have managed to not fully dissuade you. No one really wants to stock this thing, so I guess you’d have to buy it from the manufacturer.

Oct 042013
 

As a “plus sized”/fat lady, I have some unique needs when it comes to sex toys that my thinner peers don’t experience.  Often times I think that some of these issues/unique needs are very much ignored by the sex toy industry. It’s bad enough that when I walk into any given women’s clothing store, 75-90% of the clothes are for “straight” sizes whilst the plus size women’s clothing is shoved off in a tiny corner. Despite the fact that a whopping percentage of the American population is actually overweight, the 16+ sizing is hard to come by.

This is a very honest and personal post, holding nothing back. If you’re not cool with fat people talkin bout their fat, I suggest you move on. There will be NSFW photos hidden behind links, but this is your warning that those photos will, indeed, be very NSFW. This is a post to get conversations started and to get honesty and body acceptance out there – as well as to serve as explanations in how body size relates to sex toy use. Disrespectful/rude/mean comments simply will not be tolerated, and will be deleted. Another point I want to be clear on: the issues I list are not true for all plus-size people, and some issues might be true for bodies that are not traditionally considered to be plus-sized. You could have really thick/fat outer labia and pubic mound without being very much overweight.

So before we begin, a little visual aide is needed for some of you. Now, as I’ve already warned but will warn again: the graphics behind the links (don’t worry, files are on my site, it won’t redirect anywhere) are explicit. Porn. Legs spread. Most of my readers won’t need that warning, but who knows where some of y’all will be coming from.  All photos grabbed from Google Image, and copyright is unknown. I’ll remove them if need be.

Examples of thinner people with easily exposed clits: OneTwo

Examples of heavier people with plump labia/mound/etc and hidden clits:  OneTwo Three

Fat Labia

People come in all shapes and sizes. And the same is true for overweight people. Some may gain in their ass and thighs with a relatively flat stomach and thin face. Some may grow giant boobs and have a curvy bubble butt. Some may look pregnant. The clothing/fashion industry does a hideous job of portraying the fact that people don’t all gain weight the same way, but that’s a rant I had long ago and isn’t today’s topic. I mostly blame porn for the seeming misconception that when legs are spread, the clitoris is visible and easily accessible. A situation where a flat, broad vibrator would work just fine. But that isn’t the case for people with body fat, usually. 

For me, in order to get to my clit, I must spread my outer labia (I have no inner labia to speak of) to varying degrees. This is not unique to weight or body size. For a vibrator that is not slender, I would have to spread my labia pretty wide to get good clitoral contact. Vibrators that are easily dampened when surrounded by flesh also require this spreading. It was the case for vibrators such as the We-Vibe Touch, the Eroscillator, the Jimmy Jane Form 3. Is it that big of a deal to just spread em? Depends. After awhile, it starts to hurt. Especially if my nails aren’t trimmed way down. I’ve actually sustained tiny cuts from nail edges pressing into my labia for too long. Also, that means that clitoral vibration is a two-handed job. Forget using that other hand for anything else.

Examples of vibrators that have flat-out not worked for me because of my “plus size labia” include the Fixsation, iGino One, Tantus Panty Play, [redacted, reviewing it soon], Better Than Chocolate, JimmyJane Form 3 and nearly every vibrating cock ring on the market. Scratch that, make it /all/ vibrating cock rings.  The wearable vibrating panty sort of things would also never work on me, as they are flat and lay outside the labia. Dual-stim vibes aren’t ideal, unless there is no thrusting going on, as the clitoral arm would need to consistently part my labia (or I do it myself).  The early We-Vibes didn’t work for me because of the button placement; it was buried in my labia. When they added the remote to the We-Vibe 3, it took away my major issues with it.

Here’s an example that might spell things out better for you: When I’m using the We-Vibe or the Lelo Tiani, my outer labia completely envelopes the clitoral arm portion. Back in the day when I would use my corded silver bullet vibe in situations where I was clothed, my labia would completely hug and nearly cover the egg shaped vibrators. They would hold it in perfect position until I became too aroused and wet. My preferred method of masturbation using the We-Vibe Tango/Salsa is sitting up, reading/watching porn, with the vibrator nestled firmly in between my outer labial underneath panties. It stays in place perfectly, the clitoral hood doesn’t need to be pulled back because the vibrations are so deep they reach the internal clitoris, and I’m using more of the length of the Salsa than just the tip and it’s just an all-around happy time. 

Other things that mystify me: being able to orgasm from –  humping pillows/anything, tribbing, and wearing the dildo in a strap-on. For those thinner people with more immediate/easy access to the clit, all of those are very possible.  Just never will happen for me.

Reach Problems Due to Body Size

In addition to having the more round “apple” shape, I also have short arms. This currently means that anything I use for internal stimulation needs to be longer. It’s why the Pure Wand is so perfect for me. Internal vibrators, and dildos, that stick straight out of the vagina are sticking straight out the wrong damn way for me. I can’t use them easily. I have put on more weight now than 7 years ago, when I could use a traditional rabbit vibrator with only minor reachability issues. When it comes to sex toys like the Split Dildo or the G-Vibe by Fun Toys, having something that requires me to be squeezing the tips together during insertion is just an all around disaster.

I don’t know how often others of size have similar problems in this area. I don’t know if this issue is more or less prevalent than the fat labia issues. It’s a good thing that I don’t enjoy anal play because that, too, could be a bit of a reach problem. All of my weight seems to settle in the middle, front or back, much to my dismay. I know I’m not the only one like this, though, and it is what it is.

Traditional porn is fine, but it needs to come with an anti-reality warning. In reality, men don’t thrust from a 45-degree angle with one hand on their hip. In reality, clits aren’t out and proud for all people, there is body fat and cellulite, various levels of flexibility or lack thereof, and vaginal-only stimulation doesn’t usually lead to screaming orgasm in 3 minutes or less. I really feel like sex toy makers are using the size 2-6 body model for figuring out if their sex toy is going to work in theory. I say theory because most companies don’t actually test their prototypes on a real human body.  One sex toy that I thought could work great for me, due to the shape and length, was the J-Pop dildo by G-Spot Lollipop. As utterly ridiculous as I found their whole concept, the fact that the handle came back up towards the pubic mound felt like a positive aspect. Until Epiphora mentioned that the J curve really was a J curve, and not a more open lazy-C curve like the Pure Wand, and that even on her (of average body size and no fat belly to speak of) the handle was uncomfortably close to her mound and belly. It seems like the J-Pop was only tested, if at all, on a very thin person.

Someone recently came to me wanting my input on a sex toy design that they had, and I had to tell them flat out that their prized design would be considered an absolute failure for me personally due both to a similar shape/curve as the J-Pop and a design that required minimal labia and an easily accessible clit.

So, What’s the Point Here, Lilly? Are You Just Whining?

Nope. I have many reasons for writing this. First is that I want something to link to, to explain WHY a certain sex toy didn’t work for me if this is the reason, because I get damn tired of typing out the whole thing review after review. I cannot tell you how many of my reviews have a paragraph dedicated to why it was awesome for me and my Buddha-meets-T-Rex body or why it’s just Not For Fat Chicks.  I may even be going back through reviews and linking to this, and maybe even creating a “fat person friendly/not” tag. 

Another reason is to see what others like me experience. How our experiences are the same, and how they are different.  I’d like us all to really talk about it, and get the dialog started so that it’s out there. Talk about it on your own blog, comment here, hell even comment here anonymously – just get it out. Explain it. I want, someday, for the more conscientious sex toy makers to keep this in mind. To know that with certain designs, they are alienating an entire sector of their audience.  Could there, someday, even be an entire line of sex toys for the plus size person? Toys made for all of these issues in mind? Toys that would embrace those with limited flexibility for /all/ reasons? We can hope.  I want to hear from all genders, too, on all types of sex toys and the issues you have with them.  Tell us about specific toys that were bad or specific ones that were great.

When I first started reviewing, I knew that I wasn’t alone in what I liked and needed, and that others out there surely needed the info I had. I knew that there had to be others with clits of steel, who desperately needed to know just how strong that vibe was and what was your idea of strong when you said it “blew your mind”? But I’m also taking on the role of adviser for others with body size concerns, an aspect that is just not able to be pigeon-holed into a descriptive rating scale like noise and intensity.

 

TO BE CLEAR: My reviews, my opinions, are NOT strictly from the viewpoint of a larger person. I’ve been doing this review thing for 6 years now and I think my opinions and critiques of a sex toy are pretty damn worthwhile and valuable to various people of all sizes. But I also choose to mention when a sex toy might not be 100% compatible with my body type – this doesn’t mean all  of them, just some of them. A body type that is similar to many others’, and not classified as “sideshow freak”.  Vulvas, genitals, bodies…they’re different, yet similar. Should you choose to devalue me for my size, there are plenty of other “acceptable” reviewers over there in the sidebar. Just like there are other people out there the same size as me, there are lots of people with similar g-spot needs as me, similar clitoral needs, similar vulva shape. You think I’m a minority for this? Look around, honey.