Apr 292016
 

Fiera Arouser for HerArouser, “pre-hancer”, “before-play” whatever you want to call the Nuelle Fiera Arouser for Her – Don’t call it a sex toy

That’s the first thing I learned about the Fiera Arouser. From their uncomfortable presence at SHE NYC1 to their interactions with review bloggers who genuinely wanted to work with the company. So despite me writing about my issues lately with mental health and low libido I wasn’t sure how I’d be received by them when I contacted them to review the Fiera. So far I’ve only seen some questionable (at best) magazine “reviews” and I knew that it needed some input from a professional sex toy critic because at the end of the day, it’s still a sex toy. I know that the word “toy” cheapens it and “sex toy” (according to Nuelle) means that people will expect it to deliver an orgasm, but that’s what things are called in this industry. It’s a catch-all term, it’s generic. Is it something you use to make your sex life better? Then it’s going to be called a sex toy in some way or another. A cock ring doesn’t necessarily give you an orgasm, but they’re a “sex toy”, right? 

So despite my initial skepticism I started to have high hopes for the Fiera Arouser for Her. I wanted my sex life back! I wanted to WANT sex again! But I had to wonder….was I really their target audience? Nuelle seems to be firmly entrenched in their demographic being post-menopausal cis women in hetero relationships who have lost their sex drive2. I had pointed out in my conversations with them that plenty of younger people have low libido problems, too, due to mental health / brain chemistry imbalances or even the mental health drugs they’re being treated with. Often people who fall into either of those camps are much less sensitive and require more effort to orgasm. So again I had to wonder what the Nuelle Fiera could do for those of us who fit that bill. Since it’s not meant to make you orgasm – it’s meant to make you aroused -could it still be a beneficial tool? 

In the website/manual, Nuelle states that it’s going to take you 3-4 attempts to really get the hang of using the Fiera Arouser for Her – figuring out placement, which of the two included SofSense heads are right for you, etc. But they do stress that once properly positioned it should work for you within 5-15 minutes of use. It says right on their site that a study was done that showed that after using Fiera for 4 weeks many saw increases in arousal, etc. Yet when I asked for more SofSense rings to continue my trial and be as thorough as possible in my review, I was smoothly and subtly denied3. I’ve never had a sex toy testing session cut short like this.

Because I may be the only sex toy reviewer to write about the Nuelle Fiera Arouser for Her I wanted to be certain I’d answer every question that people had about it. You can read the answers to the most-asked questions below but I also recommend the video because you’ll learn more about the Fiera, how it works, what it does and get a closer look at this mystifying SofSense ring.

This review is so lengthy because I wanted to cover everything, yet at the same time I still feel very unhelpful. I’m just one person. I checked out the reviews on the Fiera website and, to their credit, it appears they have not removed the negative reviews. There are a lot of “reviews” and it clearly doesn’t work for everyone – it seems to be rated well by most, though. But it seems that they have so many reviews because they gave a lot of units away for free with this House Party thing. Many of the reviews noted that they received theirs for free this way. Now that Nuelle is also selling the Fiera Arouser on Amazon, it seems that some people who also posted a review on the Nuelle site are posting the same review on Amazon.

What You Should Know

The Nuelle Fiera is, first and foremost, not going to give you an orgasm. They do say (on the site and in the manual) that in their studies some people preferred to leave the Fiera on and “wear” it during sex and feel that they were able to have a clitoral orgasm with its aid. The Fiera also uses true suction, as you’ve seen in the video. It’s strong enough to leave marks on my skin (hand, cheek) but I’ve not consistently seen my clitoris become engorged like I would expect from something with suction. And really, that’s the primary way it’s supposed to work as far as I understand it – to bring in blood flow. Aroused genitals have a rush of blood flow so if you work backwards then the theory is you’ll be aroused from extra, encouraged blood flow. Fiera is not intended to be used like a vibrator (Fiera feels subtle and is meant to encourage blood flow and create interest). Because Fiera utilizes gentle suction and stimulation, it does not feel like a vibrator and you are not meant to achieve an orgasm while using it.

They talk a lot about “figuring out” which SofSense ring is right for you, without ever telling you what the differences are. They will only say that most women prefer the “clear” ring. It turns out that one is deeper than the other. I’d say that if you have minimal labia / more exposed clitoris, you’ll want the clear ring. If you have large labia, a chubby vulva and/or a buried clitoris, you may need the white ring. What if neither work? How will you know if it’s a case of the Fiera not working for you, or the ring not working for you? I don’t have an answer. I wish I did. For all I know my problems with the Fiera could be that the white ring is not deep enough. Perhaps they did not prototype test their rings on overweight women?

 

How the Fiera Arouser Feels In Use

I can never feel the suction on my vulva/clitoris. Ever. And if I don’t turn up the vibrations, then I’m not really feeling anything and it’s not doing anything. I can lay there for 15 minutes on a very low vibration, relying on the “suction” to bring in bloodflow but it’s just really suctioning to my labia. I don’t feel that my clitoris is in on that action, certainly not like when I apply it to the fleshy pad under my thumb on the palm of my hand. Then I feel suction, and can see the lines on my skin where it’s clear suction was happening. I do not feel confident that that is happening with the plush, wavy landscape of my vulva. When I’ve experimented and finally really felt something GOOD it’s been the vibration. On the almost-high setting you can use the patterns and there’s one that hits the three vibrating lumps in succession so that it feels a bit like something is touching your clitoris in circles around it. That felt nice. But the setting that feels the nicest to me is the very high vibration setting – it’s a rapid pulse of all three vibrating nubs (the patterns aren’t accessible here) and it feels …. thuddy in the most gentle way that thuddy could feel. It is not buzzy, I wouldn’t maybe go so far as to say it’s rumbly but it’s NICE. I like it. If I then grab the body of the Fiera and, taking care, press down a little more to get more clitoral contact and move it around ever-so-slightly I almost feel like, given some time and some porn, I could come. Almost. That will never happen though because it is on this setting that they’ve installed a fail-safe; a clit-block, if you will. It will overheat and abruptly shut off and refuse to work for 5-10 minutes by which time you’ve moved on to something else – since the Fiera is not designed to give an orgasm, I suppose this makes sense…somehow. But this brings me right back around to this – if what I’m primarily feeling is the vibrations, then why won’t a standard vibrator work just fine?

Don’t get me wrong though – this isn’t strong, this isn’t going to make you orgasm if you need vibrators to orgasm. There’s a chance this could make you orgasm if you’re particularly sensitive, if you come easily, and you like pinpoint stimulation. If your genitals require a lot of sensation/time/effort to orgasm from anorgasmia or lack of sensitivity from meds or that’s just how your body is wired, you won’t find that the Fiera Arouser is helpful for building arousal through stimulation because you simply won’t feel very much.  Nuelle has said that some women in their studies continued to “wear” the Fiera Arouser past the “pre-game” session and through PIV sex4. I think that the ability to do that will depend greatly on how you both position yourselves to fuck, how large his penis is and how much space there is between your clitoris and your vaginal opening. I apparently have less space because the edge of the SofSense ring was very very close to my vaginal opening and even taking care with dildo thrusting I knocked into the Fiera and knocked it off course. 

Where the Fiera Arouser for Her Goes wrong

It shuts off after 10 minutes on high – yes, you read that right. They recommend anywhere from 5-15 minutes of use “pre-game”. But what if you need MORE? More time, more vibration? You won’t get it if you need more vibration. When put on the highest vibration setting the Fiera Arouser for Her will overheat and shut off. You will need to turn it off and leave it off for 5 minutes, effectively killing the “mood”. This is in competition for the dumbest thing about the Fiera. Why even have a high setting if it’s going to shut off and not allow you to turn it back on for 5 minutes?? This feels like a way to control the usage of Fiera to forcibly keep it in the category they want it to be; a way to get away from the “icky” connotations of the term “sex toy”. Either don’t have that setting, or fix the overheating -> shutoff situation.

The SofSense Rings need to be constantly replaced – Nuelle tried many versions of the ring and the one that worked best unfortunately has such delicate silicone that they say it’s only good for 2-3 uses. Or 3-5. I’m not sure. The manual says 2-3, the website says 3-5. I don’t know if they’re being very conservative or I was extra careful but I know I got more like 8 uses out of each head.The reason is because the silicone is so delicate and there will be micro-tears occurring (where? I don’t know) that will compromise the ability to suction and stay put on your genitals. I can confirm that that starts to happen. I know that I got way more than 5 uses out of each ring before finally my preferred ring stopped working quite as well.  Here’s the biggest problem, h/t to Thor for pointing this out to me – Nuelle is a newer company. They, for now, make just one thing: the Fiera. What happens when they go out of business? The product that is actually working for you is now a hunk of junk because you can’t buy any more rings. This might lead some people to just buy up 100 rings to stockpile like Elaine and her sponges. “Is tonight Ring-worthy?” will be a thing people will wonder. They will start to carve hashmarks in their nightstand to keep track of how many times their rings have been used and every 5th hash gets a new ring. It will spawn Lords of the Rings joke in the more geeky of couples.

In the manual they insist you cannot share the device or rings with another person. What if both you and your partner have vulvas and wanted to share? Well. I don’t know what to tell you. I don’t know why they say this. Is it because the silicone in the middle of the ring is nearly condom-thin? At first I worried that they say this because it’s not really silicone but it passed my flame test5.

It’s $250 and for now is only available buying directly from Nuelle‘s website or Amazon for $260 because they don’t want sex toy retailers carrying it because it’s “not a sex toy”. For $250 you get a small fabric pouch and 1 each of 2 styles of SofSense rings6. Available separately is a hard-sided case that will do a much better job of holding your extra heads safely + all the accouterments, and the case reminds me a lot of the Womanizer case which was, by the way, included with the Womanizer W100. Nuelle is selling the case for $15 – for fucks sake just make it standard! And for that matter, they should either include 2 of each Sofsense ring OR a voucher for a completely free first refill kit of rings. Each pack of 3 rings will run you $20 including shipping which is astounding – however if you buy more at a time, you’ll save because the shipping remains $5. This means that if you like the Fiera Arouser and use it often enough to go through 3 rings a month, let’s say, you’re going to invest at least $200 a year in rings if you buy them two 3-packs at a time.

Sometimes they have a $50 off coupon for the unit itself, sometimes $25 off, but a great many people are going to balk at even $200 for something that may or may not work, that you may or may not end up having to abandon due to inability to buy more SofSense heads, etc etc.

How does the Nuelle Fiera Arouser compare to the Womanizer? 

The Nuelle Fiera Arouser for Her and the epi24 Womanizer W100 (or W500) are nothing alike. The only similarity is that they both work on the clitoris. I think it’s the “suction” aspect that is making people form this connection between the two but they couldn’t be any less alike. I’ve maintained that the Womanizer isn’t using true suction – it’s pulses of air and it can form a slight suction seal when it’s properly placed on the clitoris, but that’s about it. The Womanizer also doesn’t really vibrate in the traditional sense – the air pulses may mimic vibration but I’ve never felt vibration that could be accounted for from any other source. If there were a motor for vibrations I’d have felt it on the nose of the Womanizer but you don’t.  Also the Womanizer focuses rather pin-pointedly on the clitoris and the Womanizer is guaranteed to make you orgasm or your money back. When it works for you it usually works well and will give you a strong orgasm. For some people the build-up to orgasm with the Womanizer is very quick; for others it is slow and that slow climb is either boring and bland or (for me) a really nice, arousing build-up that feels quite a bit like oral sex.

Are there better methods for increasing arousal?

While the Nuelle Fiera Arouser can provide suction that most other sex toys cannot7 I do believe that a “regular sex toy” may provide similar benefits. But I don’t have trials and studies to back me up, like Nuelle does.

Suction is not the only thing that can increase blood flow: “stimulating” arousal balms 8 and cannabis treatments work for some people. These balms and topicals are probably the best place to start, since they are the cheapest. 

You know what else also increases blood flow? Heat. I’ve used the Rosa Rouge for that exact purpose in the past with success by applying the length of the Rosa along my vulva. Of course the Rosa Rouge may be even pricier than the Nuelle Fiera (but at least with the Rosa Rouge you’ll have a super-powered vibrator that can help you orgasm if you have sensitivity problems or other reasons for finding manual orgasms difficult). The also-expensive Afterglow Vibe supposedly uses infrared light which can (in addition to claiming to produce stronger orgasms) build arousal. A much more affordable option is the old-school Berman Aphrodite wand which has an infrared panel on it that warms and can be held to the genitals (I’m unsure though of how warm it really gets).  Moderately priced is the umpteen-in-one Wahl Heated Massager.

If you’re looking for a vibrator to wake things up just by using it on low I’d recommend going with one that at least starts off gentle but definitely has rumbling vibrations – surface-buzzy vibes can just numb and irritate. The Crave Vesper, We-Vibe Touch, Je Joue Mimi Soft or even Eroscillator are some that I’d recommend in addition to the Rosa Rouge. A cheap option is the Doc Johnson Black Magic Bullet – if this works for you, then invest in a nicer vibrator. For a softer vibration intensity and softer vibrator overall, consider the Tenga Iroha Yuki, or maybe the Tori for a version with some more intensity.

DOES Physical Arousal Create Desire? Is the Fiera Arouser a “cure” for low libido?

In my experiences, no. But I think that that was because the Fiera didn’t really create physical arousal for me except for one time. I stress “physical” arousal because it did not lead to desire for sex. In the past, for me, things that have more consistently created desire were things that stimulated my BRAIN – erotic images and graphic gifs on Tumblr, or erotic short stories. If I care enough to try out the Fiera for purposes of increasing my overall libido then I should care enough to try out other methods that are less costly, first. I should browse my Tumblr dashboard, but not masturbate for a quick fix – I should transfer that over to my partner when possible. Due to my low libido I’ve often used sex toys in recent months out of duty and not desire – a good toy and some good Tumblr porn can get me to orgasm even though I started off feeling absolutely nothing sexual; meaning I didn’t reach for the vibrator because I was aroused, I just used it for the review purposes. Arousal and the desire to keep using the toy through to orgasm has definitely happened though, even with the shitty toys that won’t ever bring me to orgasm. I simply reach for another sex toy.

Are people with low libido due to mental illness or mental health drugs different from women with arousal issues due to hormonal changes from menopause? I wish I had the answer. I’d like to see someone with the experience of a sex toy reviewer review the Fiera from Nuelle’s stated target demographic – menopausal women aged 40-65. Why do I make the distinction of it being someone with experience in sex toys? Because those who have reviewed dozen and hundreds of sex toys tend to learn their body and genitals a bit better than a good portion of the population – especially when you consider that some people in this age group may not have ever really masturbated.

Further reading on the subject of arousal, desire and more: Emily Nagoski who wrote Come As You Are.

I’d also like to point out that this general concept isn’t actually as new and unique as I thought. Mandy pointed out that this sounds quite similar to something called the NuGyn Eros. Mary Roach interviewed some people, asking the same basic question I’m asking – what’s so special about the suction? The device? Couldn’t someone just masturbate and achieve the same end which is increased blood flow? Couldn’t someone just get the stimulation from their vibrator? Experts surmised that perhaps one could but there hadn’t been any studies done on that. You can get the Eros but you need a prescription.

My Personal Trial Period With the Fiera Arouser for Her

For 9 days I played with the Fiera Arouser, before losing interest in continuing use. I tried it with little vibration; I tried it on the almost-highest setting. I tried it for 10 minutes, 15 minutes, 20 minutes. One day in the first 9 days I used it on high (and that’s when it overheated and shut off) and that was the day I felt the most aroused9.  I took a break for a week and then, with renewed insistence on giving this thing the very most fairest of shakes, I went back to using it. Out of the times I have tried it (maybe 13 times total on my vulva) only about 3 times led to clitoral engorgement and some increase in vaginal fluids. Of those 3 times only one time led to a slight increase in arousal – otherwise there was a big brain/body disconnect and frankly I started to wonder if I was broken.  There is one thing I did in my trials that I am betting the company will use to say that my testing was inaccurate: I did not schedule sex with my husband and then use the Fiera right before sex. I used the Fiera to get me in the mood for sex and if I was in the mood then I would have said “Honey, let’s fuck”.  It didn’t work out that way for me.  But maybe it could have. Maybe using the Fiera is a different thing altogether for situations like mine, where my low libido is due to mental health issues. Maybe it requires more patience, more days of using it and it not working and just being okay with that. Maybe. But I’ll never know, because my trial period was heavily limited because the rings wore out.

Here’s the thing: I like sex toys. I’m not adverse to having them feature prominently in my sex life. My husband isn’t adverse, either. Our sex has gotten so much better for us both ever since we brought good toys into the equation. I see absolutely no reason for me to use the Fiera instead of a vibrator on a setting that won’t make me come just yet, used during “foreplay” until I decide I want an orgasm. Is my way of doing things the right way for everybody? Of course not. But a great clitoral orgasm pre-PIV-sex is just the ticket for me, and us. It ramps up my arousal and it makes my body produce a ton of natural lubrication plus it wakes up my g-spot to the point where I’m in near-constant ecstasy during penetrative sex. It takes the pressure off him to “give me” an orgasm (since we’ve already established that I’m not an easy-comer and have issues with sensitivity) and it also takes pressure off of him to last longer during PIV sex. I’m not trying to orgasm during penetration so then the penetration is all about making my g-spot continue to feel good and making him feel good and orgasm if he can. And if things are so good for him that PIV sex only lasts a few minutes….that’s fine! We’ve both already reached a mutually agreeable and wonderful conclusion to our fun!

 

 

I was provided the Nuelle Fiera Arouser for Her at no charge in exchange for my honest review. I wanted to try it out because of my long-term issues with low libido due to brain chemistry / depression. Links contained within are affiliate links. 

 

 

 

  1. Where they actually said out loud that they didn’t belong there because their product wasn’t a sex toy
  2. Their website mentions “relationship fatigue” and talks about “sex after the baby” but in discussions with them they are saying that their biggest target is ages 45-65. Also, please note that for this review I will be using the term “woman” and being less gender-inclusive than I normally am. This is probably a product that really is meant for cis women. If you are a trans man and your clitoris is larger, then I don’t think this will fit. The Nuelle Fiera site is very focused on using the term “woman” to refer to someone who has a vulva and for the sake of continuity and understanding who most of the readers of this review will be, I’m just going to use “woman” when I need to
  3. By that point I’d outright said that I wanted to be sure that it’s not a case of it not working for me on the given days I tried it and really wanted to see if the 4-week trial could do something for me, but was told: “The purpose of our testing was not to claim that repeated use leads to better results (or that you have to use it for a specified period of time in order to feel the results). Once you get the hang of using the product, you should feel the results immediately. It often takes women a few tries to get proper placement and the sense of what level of intensity and which pattern they prefer, but the results are immediate. It’s the physical arousal that creates the desire.”
  4. And that those women feel that the Fiera was then instrumental in their orgasm
  5. I had to be super careful – the silicone is very soft and very thin, I would have had the entire thing go up in flames easily if I let it go but that would be normal since the silicone is so delicate and thin. NOT a sign of it not being silicone. The telltale grey ash was present after smoldering.
  6. Only one of them will really work for you – the difference is the depth. I needed the white ring which has more depth because of my chubby vulva and tiny clitoris
  7. I have yet to find a silicone clitoris/vulva pump, or really a clitoris pump that walks the line between hard-core serious suction with glass tubes and cheesy, tacky likely-not-to-work hand pumps in glittery purple TPR by the various Big 5 companies
  8.  It’s pretty evenly split between people who try the toxic ones that contain irritating ingredients and experience a bad, burning sensation, people who try it and like it, and people for whom it does absolutely nothing. I have found two items which Smitten Kitten carries that may work and do not contain toxic ingredients (but DO contain natural ingredients that some people may find irritating) – ON Natural Arousal Balm and Southern Butter Enhance Stimulating Butter.
  9. However, this wasn’t an arousal that led to my brain wanting sex – it simply led to my genitals having the equivalent experience of my mouth being allowed a small taste of a sugary treat and wanting more more more. I just wanted an orgasm. I didn’t want the “hassle” of sex. So I grabbed a vibrator
 Posted by at 11:16 am
  • A few months ago when I was on Zoloft the only way I could get aroused would be to just start having sex. The thing that turns me on the most is pleasuring my partner so we would start with bjs or butt stuff for him and then progress to PIV or whatever. Even then sometimes I couldn’t orgasm or just didn’t feel like putting in all the work for it. A lot of the time it felt like just distracting myself into sex and took lots of dirty talk or swapping nudes, and sometimes it really did feel like work. Even still some days I just don’t feel like working towards my own pleasure and only contribute to my partner’s orgasm. I’m still content and happy to do so, but not exactly turned on. I think this product underestimates the need for mental stimulation and rather just tries skipping to the physical stimulation. Because like you said wouldn’t you just use a vibrator or something? Maybe this is for people embarrassed to buy a vibrator? I dunno.

  • They have insisted to me that forcibly creating a physical arousal will lead to mental desire, yet it has not for me and clearly doesn’t for everyone. I guess I just don’t know what “scientific” fact/aspect they’re missing to get their data results to be more accurate. If they would willingly say that their product isn’t meant for someone with libido issues due to a brain chemistry imbalance and/or taking psychiatric drugs, then I could be a little more on-board with it.

  • Yeah, I have such beef with the “forcibly creating physical arousal” stuff – it leaves out so much- and the forcing oneself to have sex because that will make you want to have sex thing (that an alarming amount of people promote) makes me violent. That said, I have been curious about pumps/suction less for creating mental arousal, as it were and more as an option for people whose genitals have gone non-responsive while on medications.

  • The whole idea of the toy upsets me. Women who struggle with libido deserve so much better than this. Even in best case scenario this thing can’t accomplish anything that a good sex toy can. Nothing wrong with using responsive desire to make sex more frequent. What I find problematic is giving something that will take away partner’s input in the “before play” but can’t be used to get off on it’s own when it could have been made to do that. Taking back the libido that dissipated because one doesn’t have raging hormones of a 20-30 yo is about exploration and inspiration. This toy seems to de-prioritize female pleasure and sexual agency, when pleasure is the key thing to focus on when one wants to upgrade their sex life. It’s so sanitized when the answer is to get “dirty”, to re-examine limits and forget about what “should/shouldn’t” turn one on.

    I think this toy will reinforce women’s insecurities about taking too long to get “in the mood”, ready for penetration (aka “normal sex”, urgh). It will also distract form real solutions, that can require a lot of heavy emotional lifting, ’cause it’s easier to slap it on your vulva than re-examine your whole view of sexuality.

    Fiera is trying to be as non-threatening as it can be. This is the opposite of what is helpful which is radical exploration and full acceptance of the unusual and culturally shunned.

    I’m trying to find folks who will benefit from Fiera but the only group that comes up are diabetic women (and women with similar neural problem that limits sensitivity while leaving desire alone). I think other people who have the desire and sensitivity stolen by antidepressants will react just as you – with the desire to get off alone if anything. But if somebody has a neurological problem then they usually need the big guns and they need them all the way to orgasm. Hence a wand or a Tango, depending on preference, is the answer.

    What people need now is:
    – more sex ed for adults so they can adapt to how their sex life changes with age
    – medicine to combat the effects of antidepressants on desire and orgasm
    – maybe a pill that will influence the balance between sexual excitation/inhibition systems. But then again we have pot and extazy, which for some people works that way.

  • I’m sorry for igniting such hatred! I was just sharing what personally works for me. I wouldn’t use the words “forcing myself to have sex”. I know that sex will improve my mood (even if short-term) so I use what works best for me to get there. I didn’t mean to promote it; I was just sharing thoughts. May I ask why it is so bad? Sorry if this is ignorant. I’m still figuring out my own internal arguments relating sex and depression.

  • These are issues that are felt about the Fiera, not thoughts based just on your comment. You may not use the term “forcing myself to have sex” but I think it kinda fits, and fits for many people. There’s no hatred or violence here directed at you. It’s directed at the ideas behind this product.

  • Ah okay. Thanks! Apologies for my sensitivity.

  • Yes, definitely not hatred and definitely not critique of what works for you! I should have been clearer. I’ve written a bunch about the culturally pervasive notion that the best way for *everyone* to deal with depression/antidepressant-related loss of libido is to “just do it!” and how I find it super-problematic. The Fiera and the marketing around it took my mind to that immediately. I kind of forgot that not everyone has Lilly’s level of familiarity with me and thus not everyone would be able to see where I was going there. Sorry if I freaked you out- I’m always fully supportive of whatever works for everyone and happy when folks find it!

  • No worries! I’d love to read more about this. Could you share some of your favorite or most informative pieces of writing on this topic?

  • At the risk of coming of like a raging egomaniac, here’s something I wrote about the topic a while back: http://www.redheadbedhead.com/sex-youre-depressed-dont-just/

  • Sara Testarossa

    Thank you for taking such care in testing this “not-a-sex-toy” and for the comprehensive writeup. I know you always take your work seriously but it really shines here, in a piece that address serious topics. I think it’s so important that people have been writing about sex and mental illness and what has and has not worked for them (you, JoEllen, and LoraxOfSex come to mind but I’m pretty sure I’ve read more). So, thanks for writing about how this product did not work for you in what’s technically an off label usage (since you’re not in their incredibly narrow target market *rolls eyes*)

    I also appreciate you giving alternative ideas that work for you or may work for others. Thank you for continuing to be an awesome voice and incredibly helpful.

    The last bit on clitoral orgasm pre-PIV sex resonates with me so much. It took me a long time to realize that about my body but both me and my partner are glad I did.

    I’m grateful that my own depression is pretty well managed and my main med doesn’t seem to have “sexual side effects” as warnings usually call them. I’m almost off one that’s known for having negative effects on sex lives, but it’s a slow wean if I don’t want to experience awful withdrawal. I still have a low libido but the mental stimulation you reference (mainly erotica) helps when I’m alone. My favorite erotica podcast has one of the taglines as something like “the most sensitive erogenous zone is the imagination” and though that may not be true for everyone, it is for me and many people I’ve I interacted with socially and in sex ed settings. Bypassing the mental like the Fiera does is, I think, doing some people a disservice.

    Also, my libido is actually helped by the fact that my partner, despite having a high libido never pressures or even initiates. That makes me feel comfortable and safe, and wanting to be close to him, which makes me more likely to be interested in sex. We’ve found it works best for us for me to initiate and therefore bypass potential feelings of guilt on my part and rejection on his part if he asks and I’m not up for it. Other people find other ways that work for them but this does for us. It’s just a stark contrast from a former partner with whom I’d have a cycle of not being up for sex, her being hurt/upset, me feeling pressured and getting even more turned off, etc.

    That was a lot of rambling personal stuff but who knows, someone might get something out of it. Whatever the case hope it’s ok I sometimes babble like this in the comments.

  • Thanks! And absolutely ok to leave rambling comments. Never know what can help someone else!

  • Sara Testarossa

    Good, that’s how I figure it. I just tend to be verbose :)

  • Thank you! Something I love about your writing is I always read things that I’ve felt but haven’t been able to put into words.

    “Something ironic about depression is that it makes you very self-focused, you think about your own needs all the time- but it also often makes you feel powerless to fulfill those needs.”

    I always feel guilty about my selfishness, but somehow reading this makes me feel better. Anyway, Thank you for your clarification and writing! Apologies once again for an over-reaction.

  • Tzipora

    Sooo many issues with this. Beyond the mental health stuff, g-d forbid we ever market anything (though props to Tantus for mentioning it a bit in their Rumble promos) to people with physical disabilities. The only thing worse than talking about psychiatric drugs and how they mess with arousal and orgasm ability is to ever ever ever acknowledge that people with physical disabilities actually have sex and want sex too. Drives me flipping crazy. And honestly there’s a huuuuuge market out there in terms of physical and chronic diseases and heck I also wish more sick people talked about sex as well so meh, it’s a dual issue.

    Second, so if I’m understanding this right, you don’t like spread your outer labia to apply this? I’m so confused by how it’s supposed to much then (then again, spreading sounds uncomfortable as well, especially looking at the size of that head) but speaking of the size of the head it also seems rather small if it is intended to be worn over the outer labia. I’m so confused. My weight has been everywhere between very obese to underweight and either way I’ve got plump outer labia. I really don’t so much think that’s a weight specific issue honestly. After all, for most people there seems to be like a line where the belly fat stops so I don’t know. Not like I’m distinctly measuring or checking if I’m losing or gaining weight in my vulva. Lol.

    But I’m very confused by that because I’ve seen this around and I guess I figured it went around the clit maybe more like the Womanizer (which I sooo need to finally bite the bullet and buy.). And uh, why spend $250 on this thing when you can buy a $20 pussy pump instead? I bet it works better. But I’m also curious, I mean pumping/suction is kind of a niche or fetish interest but from all I’ve been discussed and read people seem to be more into for the appearance change. Seems more hit or miss from an arousal standpoint. But i could be wrong. That would certainly be a group of people to ask about this stuff though.

    I also wonder if expectations are just too high. I mean eh I masturbate a lot for the fuck of it if I’m bored or anxious or annoyed or pissed off. I’m not straight up aroused all that often either. Sometimes just doing it helps. And that’s an energy and motivation thing. If you don’t have the motivation or energy to just try and have sex or to try and work with your partner at finding what might work better, how do you have the motivation to spend 15 minutes a day with this thing on? And then there’s the five thousand things about how much of arousal is mental. Sure you can have sex and probably ven orgasm (sure takes me a lot longer but not impossible) if you’re not mentally aroused but it’s not as good or enjoyable. Makes me wonder how much is more a placebo effect or just actually following through and having sex regardless? I think too many people are ignorant of how much desire and arousal, especially for women, is mental. I don’t see how this is the answer. Honestly, I spend a lot of time on the sex advice subreddits at Reddit as well as the lesbian one and I recommend the book “Come As You Are” all the darn time for exactly this reason.

    Maybe the Fiera can help in addition to that, in addition to women and their partners working on the other aspects of arousal. For sure id assume if it works at all it would work best woth that, right? But from all I gather that isn’t anything the company recommends or even discussed, right? If they’re going to insist this is more medical device or aid than sex toy then why not? I mean it’s like recommending exercise with dietary supplements or therapy with antidepressants. People always want a quick fix but I don’t think life works that way.

    Why blow $250 for something to stick on your vulva for 15 minutes… sounds more like a money making exploitation of women’s struggles. :(

  • No, you do spread the labia. This needs to be under the labia. I didn’t have too much of a problem with that and didn’t find it too big for that.

  • AceDenise

    My biggest problem (one of them anyway) with the Fiera is that they tell you up front not to expect an orgasm, yet the device and refills are so expensive. I could use any vibrator on earth to build arousal (even the shitty ones) and sensation if I wanted nothing more. That and I got a subtle sex-shaming whiff from all their copy about “leaving” the orgasm part “to you and your partner”. Like, how dare you try to have an orgasm WITHOUT your partner? That’s the MAN’S job (and because all women are automatically hetero, right?). You can’t have an orgasm before the PIV, you shameless hussy! And all the horrible penile-centric terms like “pre-game”, “before-play”, etc. I could go on but I’ll stop now because my rage level is rising.

  • FieryRed

    1. Yes, that Berman Aphrodite wand vibrator does heat up really well. I posted a review of it on the SheVibe page about a month ago. :)

    2. WOW, I really dislike their insistence that the product isn’t a sex toy. It comes across like they look down on sex toys as not being valid tools for couples (or individuals) to use as part of a healthy sex life.

    3. If they’re going to create a product with a disposable part, they should at minimum give consumers enough info on the differences between the options so they can choose the one most likely to be right for them beforehand and receive two of the best-fitting part, rather than one that will work for them and one that won’t. Ugh.

  • FieryRed

    Yeah, that “pre-game” shit pisses me off too. Not only is it a fucking sports reference, it implies that anything that isn’t penetrative intercourse isn’t REAL sex.

    Fuck. That.

  • AceDenise

    I too am very uncomfortable with their insistence on it not being a “sex toy”, they are just reinforcing sexual shame and that sex toys are icky, dirty, embarrassing, or whatever else they think they are. There is nothing shameful about wanting or needing to use a sex toy whether you are alone or in a realtionship. And maybe it’s me, but it seems like they are at least fostering the awful misconception that a sex toy might “replace” a partner and therefore sex toys are “bad”, and thus are distancing themselves from the “dirty” sex toy industry. This is one of the poisonous attitudes we are trying to fight. Shame on you, Nuelle.

  • anatolysdream The PerfumeBaby

    They gotta be kidding. 1. There are so many limits to this device I think they will be out of business unless they change product, marketing and customer model 2. For that price they should go for FDA approval as a medical devicen make it better and charge more. 3. Physical arousal almost always starts in my mind, 4. All I could think of when I saw the photo was oxygen mask or COPD device. 5. Guess after age 65 you’re SOL. I could go on.