Aug 282016
 

Dorr SilkerWhen Shevibe asked me to review something from a new brand, the Dorr Silker was the design that caught my eye the most. I love g-spot vibrators that have a swooping curve, but straight styles never do anything for me.  When I heard that the Silker would be priced under $100, I had to check it out! As you’ll read, there are some cons but a lot of pros and overall I’m a fan of the Silker. There’s a few things giving me pause, though.

 

Reservation for One – The Reasons I’m Torn on the Dorr Silker

You might be asking, as I was, “Who the hell is Dorr? And don’t some of those vibrators look familiar?” Indeed, they do. I’ve seen a few companies making this wand 1. This mini vibrator from NS Novelties is also being manufactured by the company behind Dorr2 – in the brochure that came with my Silker they talk about a mini vibe called the Foxy (shown in the photo below), but the Foxy isn’t on the Dorr website anymore. Instead they’re being sold by NS Novelties as part of their Luxe line. The designs (NS Luxe vs Dorr Foxy) are utterly identical – but are the motors? I’m not sure. Anyways, according to the company info, Dorr is based in Los Angeles but as with 90% of the vibrators on the market, their vibes are manufactured in China because that’s just how it is. The company does offer a warranty, 3 years, which took a little digging for me to find.

Dorr Silker brochure

All of this is really to say that I’m undecided on how I feel about the company/brand as a whole. I haven’t heard of any problems and nothing really strikes me suspicious, but I also don’t feel quite as good about them as I do L’amourose. I think at this point this is more of a gut feeling mixed with caution because they’re new and the designs feel more “white label” 3  than the things L’amourose is doing.

Dorr Silker metal plateThe Silker doesn’t seem to be cheaply made – in fact, unlike that similar wand up above, the decorative plate on the Silker (and all the Dorr products with said plate) is metal. Hard, shiny metal4. This means there’s no metallic paint to chip off. Of course, the metal plate serves no purpose, which means I don’t like it. Without it the Silker would be easier to clean; with it there is now a big groove to collect gunk.

And finally, the charging cable is proprietary which is becoming a new pet peeve of mine. Granted, the L’amourose chargers are proprietary, too. When a company makes a sex toy I can charge with the same cable I use to charge my phone, I’m happy. I hate having to dig up a specific cable just to charge a vibrator and it’s led to me allowing favorite vibes to die and wait weeks for a charge.

Lost in Translation

As I was photographing the “boring bits” (charger, box, brochure) I think I may have stumbled upon one aspect that makes me narrow my eyes and get a little picky. The brochure, and yes I’m going to keep calling it that even though they call it the User Manual, tells me nothing of value. It tells me about their other products. It mentions a warranty, but no specifics. The box itself talks about 6 patterns – I counted 5. The box also talks about a “turbo speed vibration mode”, yet the neither box nor brochure tell me how to access this Turbo Mode. I have tried pushing multiple buttons at once; I have tried pushing and holding the + button. I’ve tried holding the ~ (the button to access patterns). I have tried recanting spells. Nothing I’m doing is working and if me, someone who can usually figure out a vibrator without resorting to the manual, cannot find it….maybe it just doesn’t exist. Maybe the highest vibration setting is what they’re calling Turbo Mode just to have another talking point? When the company emailed me to ask me to review more of their line, they also brought up this Turbo mode and said it can be accessed via pressing and holding the “mode” (the ~ button?) button. No. Nothing happens.

It shouldn’t be this hard to figure out.

Dorr Silker - Back of the Box Dorr Silker charger

But the Good Bits! There are Good Bits!

Dorr Silker vs L'amourose Denia and Prism VOkay so here was the surprising thing: The motor on the Dorr Silker is identical to the L’amourose Prism V, and you know how much I love that vibrator. Identical. Even the patterns are nearly identical – 5 patterns like the Prism V, just in a different order. The noise level is identical, too. The pitch is identical. The buttons are located in the same place on each vibrator, so they’re in a convenient location. But the buttons on the Dorr Silker are a little more obvious – the button surface area is bigger, the “engraved” design into the silicone is a little more obvious under your thumb and here’s a surprising difference – the Dorr Silker buttons take less effort to press. Not too much less – not enough so that it’s too easy to accidentally change a setting or turn it on or off – but enough so that people with arthritis or grip issue would appreciate the Dorr Silker more. Like the Prism, Silker is waterproof.

The differences in design are subtle between the Prism V and the Silker – the swoop on the Prism V is just a little more pronounced, the neck is thinner and the head has less circumference. In fact the head of the Silker is a more closely related to the head on the Rosa in terms of size. The silicone on each vibrator is nearly identical, but I think the Silker has just a bit more drag (not much, barely noticeable) than the Prism V.

Aesthetically, I prefer the Prism V. I like how it can stand up on its own (no, the Silker can’t). I like the design, I like the color offerings better. On days where girth is not my friend I really appreciate the thinner neck on the Prism V and the subtle difference in degree of swoop means that the Prism V just feels a little more intense, a little more swoon-y, on my G-spot. If you want a bit more of a fuller feeling than the Prism V’s measurements but need the rigidity that the Rosa lacks, the Dorr Silker might be the right choice for you. Also? It’s $20 less than the Prism V.  If you favor cost over aesthetics or my gut feeling on a brand, go for the Dorr Silker.

The Dorr Line

I feel confident in telling you that the motor on the Iora (at least the internal arm) would be the same as the Silker, but I’m not ready to give blanket approval to the rest of the line. The blandly-shaped Aura would also probably have the same motor as the Silker, but why the fuck did they extend the metal plate so far up? Now it will be touching genitals and gather even more vag gunk. Their remote-controlled egg might have promise – the remote can also be a standalone vibrator (why?) which means it might tell the remote-holder what the egg-wearer is feeling, which I think is a crucial ingredient in the recipe for a good remote-controlled vibrator.

In the end, there’s a lot of good things to like about the Dorr Silker. A lot. If I didn’t have the Prism V to compare it to, I think I’d like it more. The cons aren’t very bad things. The Silker is like that FWB that is great in bed and great on paper but a few little things are preventing you from making the change to Significant Other. Maybe you can’t quite put your finger on why they make your vag sing but not your heart. Maybe they sometimes say weird shit. Whatever, you’ll keep coming back for the sex. I keep using the Silker, more than is necessary to get a review done and out the dorr5 and I can see myself using it more  – when the Prism V needs to be charged, for example.

 

Shevibe sent me the Dorr Silker in exchange for my very honest review. Curious about this? Read more about my blogger disclosures on sex toy reviews.

  1. The twin Lovehoney wand (whether it’s the 50SOG one I linked above or their Desire wand) has a plastic plate instead of a metal plate and different charging ports, and the motor may be a bit different but visually they’re identical
  2. See what I did there?
  3. What a white label (OEM) brand is: They have a name, they have a business but they don’t want to design sex toys. They want to pick them out of a book and say “okay, we’ll carry that” and then they pick the colors, etc. It’s much like the “store brand” foods at the grocery store – same ingredients from grocery store to store and probably all made at the same plant, but they get the grocery store brand slapped on the label. With white label brands you can find 10 different silicone-covered wand vibrators that all look nearly identical but have different motors. Maybe one brand wanted to go cheaper in the manufacturing and chose the buzzy, weak motor and another brand was willing to pay more for the rumbly, fairly powerful motor (as an example).
  4. Which they say is a “zinc alloy”
  5. Ha. I kill me
Aug 212016
 

Tenga Iroha Kushi vibratorThe Tenga Iroha Kushi is many things. Cute. Pinpoint. Soft. Plush. Rumbly. Powerful. Is it any wonder that I immediately fell in love with the Iroha Kushi and simultaneously cursed myself for having given away, years ago, my Iroha Midori? The Midori wasn’t for me; it wasn’t very rumbly and I didn’t feel it was powerful enough, nor was the squishy bits in the right place for me (or a necessary feature for me). But now I wish I had it for comparion sake because I felt so blown away by the power and rumble of the the Tenga Iroha Kushi – shocked, in fact! My contact at Tenga confirmed though that the Iroha+ line improved upon the originals with a waterproof design and a better, more powerful motor.

When you first look at the Iroha+ line, the Kushi, Yoru and Tori all have a very Japanese aesthetic, and look nothing like you’d imagine a vibrator looking but also leave you really unsure on where the motor might lie. And that’s a really important thing to know when you have vibrators that seem to have a heavy lean towards how they look vs how they may work. But unlike some brands that go for an artistic look and fail in execution I’m so far really impressed with the Tenga Iroha+ line; I’ve only tried the Kushi and Yoru but read many glowing reviews on the adorable red bird, the Tori (and now I want a Tori to round out my collection).

Ruffles Has Ridges

I was really worried about the ridges on the  Tenga Iroha Kushi, if I’m honest. I thought they’d be a deal breaker. I knew that the Iroha line has a unique silicone skin that feels like literally nothing else on the market, and that the ridges would still be pliable, but I dislike ridge texture on my sex toys and really hate anything that makes my sex toys harder to clean. Let’s face it, I’m pretty lazy. I don’t want to need more than my sex toy wipes or a quick rinse under the faucet to clean up a toy. But given the way I used the Kushi I didn’t get a lot of fluids into the deeper portion of the ridges so while clean-up was sometimes more effort than I wanted it to be, it wasn’t horrible. I think that they could have achieved the same visual appeal without such pronounced ridges. The way I use the Kushi meant that I never felt the ridges. Although I guess that when I use it whilst holding it (versus my other more lazy method described further down) the ridges did make it easier to grip, so there’s that….

Tenga Iroha Kushi is Smooshy. Squishy!

A lot of people dislike using hard vibrators, and even most small silicone vibrators are hard – they just have a silicone skin over a hard plastic body. So the entire Tenga Iroha line has really been something amazing for many folks who need to try a little tenderness. But the Tenga Iroha Kushi, and really all of the Iroha+ line, have been the first to impress me with squish AND power.

Imagine you have a soft, new piece of posterputty. Maybe Plah-doh. That’s what squeezing the tip of the Iroha Kushi is like. It’s pliable, soft, and moves with you when you use the tip to rub around the clitoris. There’s squish at the top of the “dome”, where the ridges are the most intense. There’s squish around the edges at the bottom, on what I’ll call the “front” portion, which is closer to the tiny tip. But it’s not a big vibrating marshmallow and can you press in with fingers and feel the hard inner bits. I haven’t been able to discern this when my vulva and clitoris are in contact with the vibrator. I could apply pressure and didn’t feel like the softness impeded anything or dampened the vibrations. BIG PLUS.

Impressive Vibrations

One test for me is whether or not I can nestle a vibrator in between my outer labia whilst sitting at my computer (my usual time and place for masturbation) and still love it. This positioning often dampens the vibrations of lesser species because of all the flesh surrounding the sex toy. With the Tenga Iroha Kushi I can situate it so that the tip is against my most sensitive spot and the rest of the body is hitting the area around my clitoris – so it’s kind of a combination of pinpoint with slightly-broad stimulation? And it works so fabulously well. The vibrations are not the most rumbly out there and I do detect a nuance of buzz at the upper levels but it’s not enough to bother me (and I feel like I have my buzzdar pretty well honed by now). However I still am gonna classify the Iroha+ line as rumbly and a great improvement over all other Iroha products. Good job, Tenga! It’s also super quiet – in the video above I turned it on during the last few moments and it’s pretty hard to hear the motor.

The motor really seems to be focused in the tip, and I didn’t get as much intense power if I tried using the ridged broad top of the Kushi as I did when I used the tip – but it’s still a nice amount of power there. And because the tip is so pinpoint, the vibrations feel more concentrated and for my clitoris this was a big win – I could target that one little spot on the right and orgasms were effortless and fairly intense. Another thing I love: with the motor so close to that tip, I don’t feel much vibration at the back end where I hold it, so it won’t make your fingers itchy with extended use.

Easy Charging and Storage

Tenga Iroha Kushi Terrarium ClocheLike with all of the soft Iroha line, the charger is part of the storage box – magnetic, easy and foolproof. The very sturdy thick plastic box has a clear top and a black bottom which I really wish I could paint a shade of blue or something. I feel like you could stick a few beachy things inside the storage case and make like it’s a little ….. well…. beach terrarium except without living things? As you can see from a photo I shot months ago, the Kushi blends in well with seashore themed things and when I posted the photo on Twitter a lot of people didn’t know where the vibrator was. So yeah I felt compelled to terrarium it up here.

I should note that at this point in the review I was looking for a word that better described a decorative display of little things under a glass dome, and someone suggested terrarium and I’m like no that’s really about plants and stuff right? and then I lost two hours on Etsy looking at the adorbs terrariums out there and imagined filling my house with them because maybe those I can’t kill? I’m fawning over these terrariums with miniature landscapes, these more modern air plant terrariums, and more. Someone rescue me.  Or make me a deep forest terrarium that I can insert this into and I’ll be happy.

BACK TO THE REVIEW Y’ALL.

Please note: the black portion of the case is the charging base and it can be charged with the lid on. Contrary to the vague descriptions the manufacturer makes in their copy, the charging base does need to be plugged in, it’s not like it’s got a battery in it that you can charge up like an external phone power pack or something. But man, wouldn’t that be really cool if it did?!?!

Here’s the long and short of it: I really love the Tenga Iroha Kushi. It’s not Tango powerful, but it’s still enough for me. It’s nice to hold, it’s adorable to look at and therefore super discreet. It’s waterproof so cleaning is easy. I’m digging the vibrations, the placement of the motor and how easy it is to use. I’d say the only thing I don’t love is the price: $129 currently at SheVibe.com. But it’s a quality product from a reputable company and I really feel good about telling you to buy this.

Tenga sent me this amazing lil vibrator in exchange for my very honest review. You can purchase the Tenga Iroha Kushi from my favorite retailer, Shevibe.com. I’ll be reviewing the more oddly-shaped Yoru soon, but will tell you now I don’t love it nearly as much as I love the Kushi.

 

 Posted by at 12:05 pm
Aug 142016
 

So I get a fair amount of people coming to me in fear, in panic and mostly in pain because they used a lower-quality sex toy made from a dubious material or a material that contains a supposedly “helpful” additive (hey, lookin at you Sil-a-gel) and they want to have their fears alleviated but also, you know, not be in pain. I’ve read the fear in emails from people terrified they have caused themselves some sort of permanent damage; or they went to their doctor who probably frowned and loosely diagnosed them (if they have a vagina) with BV or maybe a yeast infection. Maybe these people told their doctor about their sex toy. Maybe they themselves didn’t know that the sex toy could be the cause of their vaginal burning until they read my old post about jelly dildos or my newer post about Sil-a-gel. Regardless, they’re in pain and scared and want to be neither. Or, maybe, they used a lube with a nasty chemical in it that they have now reacted horribly to. I’ve read about mild chemical burns from shitty lubes, too.

I’m not a doctor. I’m not a medical professional of any kind. I did vet these solutions with a midwife, but you may want to check with your own doctor first. When you speak to your doctor, be honest about what is causing the problem, be it sex toy or lube. At the very least you’ll be educating your doctor because many of them don’t know that this is happening. Ask them for treatment advise for a chemical irritation/burn.

If You’re Pretty Sure The Burning Pain is From Your Sex Toy

And you are certain it is not made from silicone (and I mean CERTAIN), glass, or hard plastic – we then must assume there is some chemical in the softened plastic/vinyl (PVC is the usual culprit, possibly rubber, maybe some mystery material) that is causing this and that said material has probably begun to leach oils and break down. You may experience lingering pain and burning because the bad chemical is attached to an oil and you’re not getting the oil off your genitals. So first, let’s get those oils away from your sensitive mucous membranes.

Plain water douche OR milk douche (not skim milk) – The plain water may help, but the proteins and fats in the milk may be better. You know how when you eat something WAY too spicy from peppers and cold milk eases your pain? Same concept. This should be avoided if you’re allergic to cow’s milk. I do not know if non-dairy milks will help here – as Lorax explained their reasoning to this suggestion it was based on the proteins and fats in the milk.  You can expect to need to do this a few times over the first few days. You can also just buy a quart of organic cream and add it to water and do a sitz bath. Try both tepid water and cool water for this, see which gives you more relief. If your water is treated or hard water you may want to consider using filtered water or distilled water for this. You can get a sitz bath for your toilet at any pharmacy, they look like this.

While you (probably) don’t have a yeast infection, you might consider a vinegar douche as described here. It may help get rid of the oils, and it will also kinda reset your pH which will be helpful if part or all of the problem is that you used a lube with a pH much lower than your own.

Yogurt Everywhere – but first, the warning: You must use plain, unsweetened, unflavored organic yogurt. Anything else is bad. It would be best if it has live, active cultures. If you think that most of the burning is external then just generously frost your vulva with cold yogurt and lay there in awkward positions in the bathroom while it works some magic. If you think that some of the burning is also interior then get a plastic tampon applicator (unscented, please), toss the tampon, and fill up the applicator with yogurt. You could also use a needle-less syringe or a very clean turkey baster.

A note: While I most often hear about burning vaginas and vulvas, this could happen to the rectum/anus as well I believe. I don’t see why these things wouldn’t work for the butt – just get an enema kit from your pharmacy.

These methods will soothe & cool the inflamed tissue and remove the oils. Now what? Your flesh is still sore and inflamed so you need to keep babying it.

Methods to Soothe Inflamed Genitals

In between rinsing and sitz-ing to make sure you removed the chemical that is burning your vagina or vulva, you need to calm down the inflammation and help yourself heal. Since vaginal burning isn’t limited to sex toys, if you have vaginal burning and it’s not a sex toy or infection, look at your lube. If the pain lasts only while you’re using the lube and for a little while after, it could either be a pH imbalance or a bad ingredient. Read about that here, and get yourself some pH strips to test you AND the lube. Most likely if you’re reacting badly to a crappy lube, there’s no oil involved – unless it’s one of those warming/cooling lubes, then YMMV. If the following methods don’t give you relief, go up and try the yogurt or milk tricks.

Get an old fashioned menstrual pad (not the dry-top-layer kind, the cheap kind) or even just some clean fabric / fabric pads. Soak it in chamomile tea and then refrigerate the whole thing a bit. You want it cold. Let the chamomile tea + the chill of it all calm down the inflammation. Repeat as necessary.

For external use only, a midwife also suggested hydro-cortisone cream if things are really bad.

If you have access to it, a CBD or THC infused coconut oil salve will really help speed up healing. If you’re in Canada look for Cannalife products, especially the salve.

Ice – but please use a barrier like a thin washcloth so that you don’t burn your skin from the ice. I bet anything your local grocery store (where you’re already headed for yogurt, chamomile and pads or tampons) has an ice cube tray like this in their drinks aisle. The long, round slender shape can lay nicely between your labia. It can slip into a condom1 (giving you a little protection from the cold and tied off so that you don’t soak the bed) and then be inserted vaginally (hey, smear it with yogurt for a double-attack – yogurt as lube and soother). Smitten Kitten sells a thing meant just for the genitals but you probably don’t want to wait on the shipping.

You’re probably a bit drier than normal right now so consider moisturizing with organic, unrefined coconut oil (unless you’re allergic). Other natural oils can help, too, like grapeseed. It seems that most people that will react badly to oils around their vulva react to refined oils (like Vaseline). Keep in mind that oils destroy latex and polyisoprene, so if you insist on having sex, use polyurethane condoms.

Wear loose, soft underthings and avoid sex and masturbation until you’re fully healed.

Please let us know in the comments if anything else has worked for you!

This post is brought to you by a blogger roundtable on-the-fly had in the Tantus Blogger Lounge at Woodhull’s Sexual Freedom Summit 2016 (where SheVibe was my sponsor). Many suggestions from the incredibly smart Lorax of Sex, with ideas also from Taylor and Caitlin. I thank you smart folks, and my readers will thank you. As we all tossed around ideas I started frantically entering them into a notes-taking-app on my phone; my phone which kept auto-correcting “douche” to “douchecanoe” and I had to just let that go, knowing I would understand the notes no less in a week or two.

 

  1. you should probably go with the unlubed kind just to be safe
 Posted by at 8:22 pm