Lilly

May 052015
 

After my recent review of an atrocious Lovehoney product, the Rockbox Finger, quite a few people exclaimed “Oh! That was the pumpkin-knife design!” so I knew I had to watch the short series on Netflix. While I watched I took notes of my reactions to various things. All episodes have one or two situations they’re dealing with but heavily pad the footage by showing the customer service gals on the phone or checking in with the returns department. 

Frisky Business, Episode 1: 

Well, it’s 3 minutes into the first episode and I’ve already spied more porous sex toys than I ever care to see for a lifetime. Sadface! Seeing the Sqweel in “action” for the first time; it looks fucking terrifying. A warp-speed wheel of slapping little tongues? How does that simulate actual oral sex?

We’re introduced to the returns department! Wow. “Upwards of 200 products are returned every day”. We’re shown the things people are returning. Roy seems like he’d be awesome to work with. 

This is interesting – If a box of toys comes in and it’s ripped (the packaging? the shipping box? they’re not clear) then the contents get gathered up and the staff gets to take home whatever they want. Rejects from the staff box that have hung around a few weeks get taken to a local charity shop. As they are saying this, the camera pans to a bunch of pocket pussies. That would be a damn interesting thrift store. 

HERE IT IS! THE FINGER! Oh my god. They weren’t kidding. The inventor basically stuck a Wet For Her brand Two Finger Extender Sleeve on a pumpkin carving blade. Lovehoney Owner Neal is shown numerous times taking it around to female employees to get their opinion. Somehow, the prototype seems to be less noisy than the real version. Many ladies say that it seems like they’re on the right track, with some changes. Some say that it’s a bit much at first; Neal tells them confidently that “it’ll be adjustable so you can start slowly”. I guess that bit of logic was trashed!

Next they show former Lelo founder Eric Kalen looking at the design, and it’s a second, more refined prototype. Every valid suggestion that the ladies in the office give is shot down for design reasons. At this point, the button isn’t on the very end like the final design, but close to it. One gal shows how she would hold it and says that the button would do better if it were closer to the insertable part, but Eric shows that there’s 4 batteries and clearly, no room for a well-thought-out button placement. Several people, even Neal, raise the point about the extreme noise being a negative to which Eric replies that it’s “part of the experience”. Shade is thrown, side-eyes are flying. It really seems that the final product is so much worse than even the prototypes.

Nobody discussed the pinching factor on camera, and it almost seems like it’s less of an issue with the prototypes. The battery cap on the prototypes is different, and seems to be easy to use. So with all the talk about “yes, we’ll change that” and whatnot, I can actually see why people would pre-order this atrocity after seeing the show. It is absolutely shameful that the final product made it out the door as it is. 

Frisky Business, Episode 2:

We see a lot of Annabelle Knight, their product video review personality, in this episode. There’s a part where she’s showing off half a dozen or so low-quality, porous dildos. They’re prepping to do demonstration videos for them. Annabelle says that she normally does video for the luxury toys but is branching out. The look of despair tinged with what I imagine to be disgust and resignation, as she looks at the small pile of disgusting dildos really tells me all I need to know. I like her. 

Also in this episode they are choosing the winner of the latest Design competition. During the final round-table meeting, we are introduced to Eric Kalen again and Tracey Cox a “sexpert” who has her own line of sex toys via Lovehoney. During the description of a toy that is meant for the g-spot she is explaining what it’s meant to do, to the camera, and then says “IF the g-spot even exists”. 

*sigh*

Frisky Business, Episode 3:

Nothing special to note, really. A trade show, some Betty Page stuff. More customer service and returns dept peeks which is clearly how every episode will go.  I’m wondering how I’ll get through all 6 episodes. My desire to watch is flagging.

Frisk Business, Episode 4:

We get to see them setting up Lovehoney Australia. In order to see how they should market, I guess, there have been polls on what each region of Australia likes. Results for Brisbane – Anal Ease. Anal Ease?!?! REALLY???? Nooooo please no! Australia, just say no to Anal Ease!!

Frisky Business, Episode 5:

Coco de Mer – I somehow had no idea the two were related! Coco de Mer is their “upscale” boutique shop in the heart of London, looks like. They only carry the luxury toys; they definitely carry all of the overpriced Lelo Special Edition toys. Here one of the shop runners is showing Shiri Zinn glass dildos and talking about temperature play – they suggest putting it in the microwave. Um……no. Absolutely not. For one, that’s dangerous to the user and for two, these Shiri Zinn dildos are the silly ones with rhinestones and metal glued to them. She may have also recommended the freezer for the cold aspect, I’m not sure. I was too horrified by the microwave comment to pay attention anymore.

And another “high end” spin-off of Lovehoney is their Blue Bella home parties – basically they sell lingerie for skinny white women. No lie, there is not a single POC in their photographs. They claim to carry sizes up to 26, but when you click on 26 or 24 or even 22 you get a big ole “there’s nothing here” page. Erm. Absolutely no real plus-size options. You might find a few things that would fit US Size 16, but it’s primarily just a couple of pairs of panties.  

Frisky Business, Episode 6:

My interest is really at the bottom rung about now, since each episode has been very padded with returns department moments and customer service department moments. Every close-up shot they show in the warehouse is a cheap, porous item. Most of the returns are cheap, porous items. I’m just so sick of seeing cheap, porous toys!!! Ugh. They are talking about how they have to rename very crude products like Pipedreams “Fuck Me Silly”; well, here’s a thought: don’t fucking list this shit? They claimed to have come about as a company specifically “friendly to women” yet they carry sexist/racist products like this Pipedream line.

New Trend discussed: “Sex toys for men are on the rise”. Ha. Punny.

Final Thoughts?

Despite the fact that the episodes started to bore me after awhile, I enjoyed the behind the scenes look, overall. It reminds me that I could never actually work in a warehouse like Lovehoney because I wouldn’t be able to tolerate seeing all the manky, porous sex toys in droves. And overall, the people there mostly seem damn cool – they seem like people I’d like to work with and know. Besides seeing the tons of porous, gross toys the other thing that concerned me is their famed 1-year return policy – I’m not keen on the specifics of their return program. Unless I missed it, they never explain what their criteria are for deciding if something was used or not.  I saw many items trashed, but also a few were determined “unused” and put back on the stock shelves. I would feel better knowing the exact criteria used because honestly, if I clean something well and the packaging isn’t tamper-proof I think it could look new & unused. 

 Posted by at 2:17 pm
Mar 222015
 

Showing a jar of toxic sex toys on the left with a lot of clear liquid in the jar and a jar of silicone sex toys on the right with no liquid and no damageThe first official lab test of sex toys happened in 2006, with results confirming that toxic sex toys were a big problem. But the industry has come so far since then. While there are still many stores that stock a lot of gross, crappy sex toys, the overall percentage of porous materials in sex toys is on the decline. Beyond that, it seems like phthalates are on the decline, as well, in porous toys. But does this make them any more safe? Can the major companies be trusted? And really, what proof do we have that the cheap sex toys are safe?

In The Beginning…

Back in 2006, Badvibes.org, headed up by toxic-toy pioneer Jennifer Pritchett of The Smitten Kitten, had a whole bunch of sex toys tested at a lab. They did a material analysis, looking to find out if something called silicone was really silicone, and to see what level of phthalates were found. The results were staggering – high measures of phthalates. In the years since, savvy consumers simply tried to avoid the porous materials by sticking with silicone but until recently we had many shady companies using the word “silicone” when the product was actually made of a thermoplastic elastomer, rubber or PVC. So another pioneer, Metis Black, came up with the flame test. It took a long while to really understand the nuances of the flame test and how any given material would react. We thought that pure silicone could never burn up and disintegrate but found out that when the sample is thin and is a softer, stretchier silicone burning and material destruction can and will happen. I found that out when I decided to get the Jimmyjane Hello Touch tested at the same lab that Badvibes.org used.

Recently Lab-Tested Sex Toys

Then, Dildology tested a Doc Johnson dildo labeled as “phthalates-free PVC with added Sil-a-gel” to see what was up. True to PVC nature, the dildo had an awful odor. Lab results came back which indicated that phthalates were present. This test was run July 2013. In September of 2014, Badvibes.org again sent out a large batch of sex toys to the same lab for testing; including the infamous James Deen PVC dildo. The lab results on the James Deen dildo showed a compound that ends in -phthalate when Dildology had it tested, but the Badvibes test came back with a different percentage of compounds and a plasticizer called “sebacic acid dibutyl ether“. In addition, every single other item that Badvibes had tested September 2014 came back showing zero phthalates. Despite a chemical found that has phthalate in the name1 , what was found is a non-phthalate plastic softener. The only bit of “bad” found in the tests from September 2014 was a Pipedream product called “Silicone Lil’ Pearl Pleasure Sleeve” that wasn’t silicone at all, of course, but a compound that looks like it’s similar to what the Screaming O rings are made of and seems to be considered non-toxic.

Since we know that the industry is not regulated and that manufacturers can lie on their product packaging (or, in the case of Screaming O, have a years-long miscommunication from the material supplier result in years and millions of packages incorrectly labeling the product as a type of silicone, an error that was not of malicious intent), we’ve been very reluctant to trust. Just because the 2014 Badvibes test showed no phthalates doesn’t mean they’ve been eradicated. One item they didn’t test that I would love to get tested is anything from the Pipedream Basix collection, but alas I have no spare money to do more testing. Further, there’s something else I want to point out – this supposed Sil-a-gel additive that Doc Johnson uses in their porous PVC items which is supposed to basically be an antimicrobial? I see no evidence of anything other than PVC and plasticizer in both lab tests of the James Deen dildo. Maybe it’s something that wouldn’t show up in the FTIR test the lab ran? I don’t know. Many people who own a Doc Johnson product advertised as containing Sil-a-gel experienced burning, itching and redness of the genitals and report a very strong shower-curtain-perfumey smell.

Not Enough Studies

Here’s the thing – there are chemicals and materials in play that we don’t know much about. We don’t really know how they’ll affect us when used as a sex toy. Some people report that for the minimal time a sex toy is inside your body, there’s no way that phthalates, if present, are going to cause damage to your endocrine system. Hell some people believe that phthalates aren’t harmful to us at all! I don’t know of any studies done on people who used phthalates-ridden sex toys for years. If someone did get sick, get cancer, etc…..what are the chances that that illness could even be traced back to their sex toy use? Some people might say that because we do not know, we should not worry. I say that because we do not know we should err on the side of caution – stick to pure, safe, chemically-stable non-porous materials like silicone, glass, medical-grade metals, properly coated wood and properly glazed ceramic as well as hard ABS plastics.

Is PVC Toxic?

It’s commonly said in our industry that PVC without phthalates isn’t toxic. This isn’t what everyone believes2. A recent study of Dollar Store items showed a lot of toxic chemicals in their stuff, and I felt that the study hit home for our industry – just because a person cannot afford the current cost of most non-porous sex toys, doesn’t mean they should be saddled with the unhealthy chemicals. So when the people who buy, for example, a Doc Johnson PVC dildo with added Sil-a-gel experience itching and burning and redness….are they reacting to the toxins in PVC that are NOT phthalates? Or are they reacting to whatever this Sil-a-gel stuff is, if it exists?

It’s Still Porous

I also say that even if the material in question is non-toxic (like most TPR/TPE type elastomers) it is still porous, and that is still a major concern. Porous sex toys can never be sanitized much less sterilized; they should never be shared between non-fluid-bonded partners; and you should never use the same porous toy both vaginally and anally. The porous sex toys can hang on to bacteria, mildew and other fungi, cleaning chemicals that you thought you rinsed off, and so on. Since the materials are not chemically stable, as they break down they will feed these microorganisms back to your body. I have read many comments on places like Amazon where people bought what is claimed to be a TPR, non-toxic sex toy and experienced the burning and itching that is associated with phthalates. Could they be mislabeling the material? Sure. Could the porous material be hanging on to the chemicals used in the manufacturing process like mold release agents? Sure. It could be anything.  In this age of all the “phthalate-free” claims, I get plenty of feedback from people who’ve experienced long term chemical burn problems.

Will a Condom Protect You?

The party line has been “cover it with a condom” but how did the collective we arrive at that? Just because condoms can prevent pregnancy and STIs doesn’t mean they can be put on a chemically-laden bacteria-infected porous dildo and keep you safe. But let’s think about this logically for a minute – the jar of melted sex toys that I have, and the recent Smitten Kitten jar both displayed oils seeping out of the materials. From what I know of the materials in my own jar, only one item was PVC with probable phthalate content. The rest were a TPR material, as best as I can guess. And there’s a lot of oil in that jar! And guess what doesn’t play nice with oil? Latex condoms. There have been no tests run to see if the latex will break down enough for the irritating chemicals, bacteria or fungus to get through. If I could do this test myself, I would. I don’t know who to contact to run such a test. There is one possibility and that is using nitrile condoms (like the FC2 Female Condom) or polyurethane condoms (like Japanese import Okamoto or Trojan Supra) but have you seen the prices on these? Also, they’re not going to cover the entire toy (leaving nothing exposed is the best protection) PLUS they’re probably not big enough for the extra-large specialty toys that are cost-prohibitive when made in silicone.  If you’re going this route, or any route with a porous material, I recommend replacing it after 4-6 months (4 months for anal use, to be safe). This estimate is not scientific, but based on my own prior uses with toys and watching how long it took for them to change color, get oily, etc.

Will the Industry Change?

I understand budgets. I understand that by the time you save up for a $30 sex toy, something else will have happened to your $30 that is more important than a sex toy and you’re back to the original $15 you could spare which means buying a PVC or Jelly toy. I understand it; I wish I had a better fix for you. If a polyurethane condom is something you have access to and can purchase in small doses per use, and if it’ll cover your toy completely, then go that route. I cannot stress enough that this isn’t ideal. I don’t want to tell you that you’re not worthy of masturbation and enhancing partnered sex. This just means we need to see a change in the industry. The more silicone purchases that are made, the more companies will understand the need and make changes.

I think that the change has already started, just by looking at percentages of stock. Let’s look at Lovehoney UK, as an example. For dildos, they have 299. 100 of them are made from a safe, non-porous material – silicone, glass or metal. That’s 1/3. It’s okay, but I’d like to see it at 2/3 or more. For vibrators, they stock 391. Looks like roughly 215 of them are a safe, non-porous material – silicone or hard plastic. That’s a little over half which is good but again I’d like to see that number a lot higher. Here’s one more example – sextoy.com, a US-based site that I do not recommend to my readers, currently lists close to 2000 dildos on their site. A little over 1200 of them are made from a porous, potentially toxic material – this leaves only 800 non-porous options. I think that the companies that make many hundreds of sex toys could make their silicone sex toys even cheaper if they manufactured more. The bigger the bulk order is for material, the more their cost goes down, right? That’s my thought, anyways. There needs to be a large selection of truly safe AND very affordable sex toys.  It is beginning to happen – we’re seeing under-$30 pure silicone dildos (in small doses) from companies who previously only produced toxic, porous junk.

This post references research I’ve done and is my personal opinion. In the end, you make up your own mind but I’m going to give you the tools to be as well-informed as possible. I would ideally like to see my readers ditch the porous materials (except for penetrable toys, that’s largely unavoidable) but I also know that there are gaps in the industry. I do feel that a porous, “non-toxic” material has the potential to be harmful, depending on what is living in the pores. I know that lower-end mass production companies might have heavy metals in their pigments, something that is ignored but still a toxicity problem. I know that we have no idea about the effect of these phthalate-replacements on our bodies when used in a sex toy. I know that VOC’s are a problem, and it is present in the cheap materials that have a strong odor. We still have a long way to go. To see a change we need to continue to educate and be vocal and encourage readers and customers to “vote with their money” by buying the silicone options when ever possible. Shop at reputable retailers like the ones listed here, and choose wisely. If you’re ever uncertain, ask me!

  1. Dioctyl terephthalate
  2. Said in the article “One PVC shower curtain can release as many as 108 volatile organic chemicals into the air.”
 Posted by at 12:34 pm
Mar 092015
 

Lovehoney Rockbox FingerNo matter how anybody felt about it in use, all reviews about the original Lovehoney Rockbox said the same thing: it was horrifyingly loud. Lovehoney didn’t take that as a negative, apparently, when they created the Rockbox Finger which is shaped like a lazily-crooked giant’s finger which “thrusts”. Thrusting toys somehow had new life breathed into them in the last year or so. The Lovehoney Rockbox Finger is like the Fun Factory Stronic on bath salts – manic, loud, offensive, dangerous and erratic. It is really the polar opposite of the Stronic line. If you thought the Lelo Mona Wave was loud, you ain’t heard nothin yet. I couldn’t tolerate the electric razor sound of the iGino; it made my cats run away. iGino is the sound of a babbling brook compared to the Lovehoney Rockbox Finger. Yes, it’s that bad. It’s louder than the Magic Wand, it’s louder than the Doxy Massager

 

A video posted by Lilly (@dangerouslilly) on

Somehow…..SOMEHOW…..the very first time I turned it on, the thing decided to act possessed. It would not turn off. The vibrations would randomly slow down, speed up, appear to be doing the cha-cha and then rattle furiously while I kept clicking that button as if my life depended on it. While the husband looked on with mounting irritation and the cats were cowering under the end table, I frantically pulled out the manual which claims that you should press and hold the button to turn it off. NOTHING WORKED. I was exiled to another room; I had to go to the bedroom and shut the door. I was cackling at the absurdity but genuinely concerned because it wouldn’t turn off1.  Finally, finally, the 47th click turned it off. The relief I felt at that moment was immense. Since then, it’s mostly been okay in function. Except for the fact that, despite the video and instructions from another review, the battery cap will. not. budge. So I have to make my assessments and do everything I need to do before the batteries inside die a merciful death. .

It’s not often that I find a sex toy with zero redeeming qualities – even when something doesn’t work for me, I can (usually) see how it would work out well for someone else. There was the gag gift, the magnetic horror, this old worthless Extase vibe, and of course those cheap rabbits. And now, the Lovehoney Rockbox Finger.

Lovehoney Rockbox Finger - I PinchWhile the Stronic uses something akin to the Shake Weight to do its thrusting, the Lovehoney Rockbox Finger just moves back and forth. I’ve seen something like this long ago, but at least it was covered in a rubber shell to bridge the literal gap – the pinchy gap. It pinches. Like a crab. It will pinch your finger, your inner thigh, your labia, etc. Whatever skin it is near, it will pinch if you fuck up ONCE. I can assure you that for someone not into pain, the third pinch was the final straw for me. Oh and for all the maniacal “thrusting”? It doesn’t even work. Even just touching my labia, when I tried to use it clitorally, the slightest resistance made it stop because I was holding the handle. If the motion has nowhere to transfer to, it stops. If you hold the handle lightly enough while it’s inserted, then the handle is bobbing away ferociously outside your vag, with some weird rattling vibrations going on inside. It’s flat-out ridiculous. No price is worth it but I’m offended that Lovehoney charges over $40 for it. I’m also offended that of the 14 on-site reviews, you only see the good reviews at first glance. The rest are all warnings and rants, but miraculously there’s just enough to make the front page look positive. What a coincidence! 

Shevibe was considering carrying this atrocity because they’d had a few customers ask for it. They had their doubts, so they sent it to me to get a second opinion. Not only do I think Shevibe shouldn’t stock this, I don’t think Lovehoney should be selling it. This shouldn’t be on the market. IT’S JUST THAT BAD. DO. NOT. BUY. IT. While the price is exponentially higher, many people love the Fun Factory Stronic – consider that one if you want something that thrusts for you. If you want an enlightening experience, thrust your own dildo

  1. There is a very hysterical 2-minute video that starts from the time I’ve exiled to the bedroom, but I’m not sure I can share it because of anonymity reasons
Feb 252015
 

JimmyjaneHelloTouchX

Special Note: If you are truly considering purchasing the Hello Touch X and do not have much knowledge on safe e-stim use, please read the Safety section that is in purple text. Jimmyjane does not include a decent safety guideline in their manual.

It’s well-known if you read my reviews and posts that I hate Jimmyjane products and they don’t like me much either. So why do I keep reviewing them? For one, I feel that negative reviews are just as important as positive reviews and two….I hated the original Hello Touch so much that I just had to see if they listened to any complaints and made a better product with the Hello Touch X. The product, as a concept, is good.

While none of the Jimmyjane vibes I’ve tried worked for me, they’ve all had positive reviews by other people. And when I read their reviews, I could bring myself to understand why they would recommend a toy that I eviscerated: it worked really well for them. When a sex toy works really well for you, you can overlook high costs and imperfect designs. But the original Hello Touch….well, I couldn’t find a single redeeming quality to it. I don’t think I would be able to understand how anyone could love it. The flaws were so abundant and glaring. One thing I wanted to find out with the Jimmyjane Hello Touch X is if they managed to fix any of the terrible flaws from the original Hello Touch.  The control pack on the original Hello Touch was awful; buttons so hard to press, it hurt my wrist. The control pack on the Hello Touch X is much improved. The arm band for the original Hello Touch was flimsy material, with blank circles overtop the buttons. You had no idea what was what. Hello Touch X armband is now neoprene with velcro closure, will fit many wrists, and has labeled button decals. The pod straps on the original Hello Touch were notoriously tight, to the point of having cold, hurting fingertips. The pod straps on the Hello Touch X are better. They’ll still be a bit too snug for those with very thick fingers though. I still think they should be including an extra set of larger pod straps. But hey! That would logical!  The original Hello Touch also requires a ridiculous AAAA battery which is damn near impossible to find. The Hello Touch X is thankfully USB rechargeable.

Now, what about the vibrations? They still suck. I don’t think they’re any different. They may be enough for very sensitive people, though. When the pods are dangling there, they seem to buzz away but in use the vibrations are greatly dampened. With the original Hello Touch, Jimmyjane claimed there was “3 times the vibration in 1/3 the size” but it was never clear what they were comparing it to. Now the Hello Touch X is advertised as 5 times the power in 1/3 the size, yet the vibration strength has not increased.  When you make comparison claims with no direct comparison, you start to sound like you’re selling snake oil. I really cannot stress this enough: These are NOT “powerful” vibrations. These are probably more powerful than the Fukoku Glove, but when compared to most external vibrators it isn’t powerful.

So while the Hello Touch X does have some very necessary improvements on the original…it seems the original Hello Touch is still just as shitty as ever. Unless I’m informed otherwise, I see no evidence that the original Hello Touch has received the improvements to the control pack, pod straps or arm band, which really just sucks.

The Hello Touch X is not for people with grip issues or finger strength issues. The 2 sets of pods use a micro-UBS cable that requires a very firm push (more than you think is necessary) to be properly seated. And you shouldn’t press on the end with your thumb, or you may end up bending and breaking the wires over time – you need to grasp it by the sides to push. The same goes for removing the plug – don’t tug by the wire. Slick, lubed fingers will have a hard time grasping the tiny portion of the plug to remove it.  The problem is this seemingly useless little ring around the plug on the pods. It adds a snugness that isn’t necessary. You might think that you would only need to push in the plug until that ringed collar is flush with the port but you’d be wrong.

JimmyjaneHelloTouchXfinger1 JimmyjaneHelloTouchXfinger2 JimmyjaneHelloTouchXPlug

The Electrostim In Use

I did a few-month stint at physical therapy before for tennis elbow, and every session started out with the TENS unit. They would turn it up to something mild and quickly I’d get used to it, and I’d turn it up as high as I could manage. It never made me wince, it never felt like truly painful. The Jimmyjane Hello Touch X feels like a hot needle prick, a rubberband snap, just plain OW. I don’t like the sensation. I tried it on my arm and leg (they suggest you do not start out on the genitals), and it was frightening – it fucking hurt and it made me terrified to try it on my labia. Maybe my intolerance to this is due to the fibromyalgia; I don’t really know. From talking to other people who are more “expert” at e-stim than I, it seems that the tiny tiny e-stim surface area of the Hello Touch X is going to produce the more painful zaps versus the pads that come with traditional e-stim sets or the large areas found on insertable e-stim vibrators. But try it, I did. And the e-stim sensation was stronger and more “normal” when used on my labia, probably because of the natural lubrication already there. And on the first setting it felt okay. Nothing that would do anything for me, orgasm-wise, but it lacked the sharp sting. It seemed to be stronger than I expected the first setting to be, and I was right – setting 2 produced a sharp zap that elicited a loud “SONOFABITCH!” and that sucker was turned off and pants yanked back up faster than you can say Chipotle Burritos Are Awesome. Never. Again. I tried it once for the sake of this review and I have no desire to ever use these e-stim pods again.  And there are 8 more levels of intensity above that!! Nooooope. Nope.

Half the time when using the e-stim pods, I felt nothing. I cycled through the settings, I clicked the power button continuously…..nothing. Sometimes I would click the power buttons and go from feeling nothing to suddenly OW. Sometimes it was OW right off the bat at seemingly the first setting. So, it’s wonky at best.  You’ll never know what setting you’re on or if it’s even working. The light that turns on for charging doesn’t do anything during use. You’ll have no idea if it’s broken or needs to be charged. For $149, couldn’t they at least do that?

SAFETY!

Jimmyjane Hello Touch X User Manual Guide showing suggested spots for use including: ear, neck, nipple, genitals, knee, ribcage? waist? upper arm, and thighI’m disappointed but not surprised with the fact that Jimmyjane seems to have half-assed the e-stim use and especially the safety aspect. Sure, they warn you not to use if you have a pacemaker, if you’re pregnant or if you have a metal IUD/piercings. But one of the photos on the box specifically shows one person wearing the e-stim pods, poised to deliver a zap to their partners shoulder blades. Other manufacturers of e-stim products take their warnings more seriously, for example estim.com, which warns against ANY use above the waist. They advise you on lubes to use and to avoid for your best e-stim experience. A manufacturer of e-stim devices, Mystim, also has a lot of safety and use information on their site. A good rule to follow that simplifies things: Never let the current flow through head, heart or throat.

Jimmyjane does not include the full manual with the actual product, you need to go online to get it. In the manual they have an illustration showing suggested points on the body. They do not elaborate on safe practices, like making sure the flow of electricity doesn’t cross the meridian. A good example of this would be that you should be okay to use both pods on the same shoulder (both pods at once, never one single pod) but it would be very dangerous to place one pod on each side of the spine. They do say that it “won’t work” if you only use one pod (it does), but they fail to explain that – especially for above the waist use – using only one pod could be dangerous. Again, there is mention in the “suggested use” section that one should place the pods on the body first and THEN turn on the power, but they don’t tell you why and they don’t explain this at all. One suggested place to use it appears to be the ear; another on the neck(!). It makes no sense AND seems highly dangerous.

Special thanks to the r/BDSMcommunity people who took the time to explain this stuff to me. You can read their responses for more in-depth safety talk.

Before you use the e-stim pods, please do your own research on safe e-stim use beyond what I’ve found here. It is crucial. If used incorrectly it actually can interfere with the heart. The safety of this should be taken much more seriously by Jimmyjane, but it’s not. Until they can be more responsible with their suggestions and more informative, I cannot recommend the Hello Touch X to anyone who has zero experience with TENS units or other e-stim products.

 

Overall there have been improvements, but I’d rather see these improvements carry over to the original Hello Touch. Unless you already know that you really really love e-stim, I think the Jimmyjane Hello Touch X is not going to be the intro to e-stim for the masses. I think that the vibrations are crappy in use. The glaring flaws of the original have been fixed, so I don’t hate it and I would recommend it for people who want an e-stim device with the capabilities that come with having the shocking bits attached to your fingers. If you want e-stim that produces more semi-painful zaps than muscle contractions, then you might like this. But if you’ve never tried e-stim before? Run away. Buy another, more reputable brand. Do your research. Attend a class on it, if that’s available to you.

 

Thanks to Shevibe for providing me with the Jimmyjane Hello Touch X in exchange for my honest review!

Feb 172015
 

I started a bit of a rant on Twitter but I really had to go beyond 140 characters. I’ve seen a lot of great sex toy shops and a lot of crap sex toy shops and often it has nothing to do with their selection – it’s how they list their selection. Shops that insist on gendering their wares are honestly baffling to me. I wonder though, do they have any idea that they’re alienating a large portion of the sex toy buying crowd?

When I come across a store that immediately makes me choose between “For Him”, “For Her” and “For Couples” I am frozen. I don’t quite know where to turn. All I am looking for is a damn dildo, why are you making me choose between only two genders??? Why are you making me choose a gender at all?? EVERYBODY loves dildos! Butts love dildos. Vaginas love dildos. Ok, maybe not EVERYBODY as in every person, but any gender or any sexuality can love a dildo. When you gender the choices right off the bat, what are saying to people who don’t fit your cookie-cutter heteronormative structure? What are you saying to that dude who likes to use dildos, for example?

Yes, there are sex toys that are fairly specific to a certain body part, like pussy pumps or penis pumps or cock rings. So why can’t the sex toys be listed this way?

  • Vibrators
  • Dildos
  • Anal Toys
    • Prostate toys
  • BDSM
    • Impact
    • Restraints
  • Pumps
  • Penis Toys (is there a better more “friendly” / less clinical way to word this without going into gender i.e. “male toys”?)

There’s more to list out, of course, but you get my point. ANY sex toy can be “for couples” if you use your imagination, really. Stop trying to put me in a box! I may be a ciswoman married to a cisman but even I am troubled by these shops.

And somewhat off-tangent but still applicable: Unless you’re a specialty/fetish store, stop equating toys with sexuality. A lesbian is going to want the same sex toys as a hetero, csigender woman, for the most part. Sure someone who identifies as a lesbian might want a harness and dildo set but….so might a hetero ciswoman and her cismale partner. A person with a prostate who enjoys butt play is just that – a person who enjoys butt play. It doesn’t make them gay. Or straight. Or a man, even. I like vegetables, but I’m not a vegetarian. You follow?

Expand your view and be less restrictive. You won’t offend anybody this way. Okay? I realize it’s going to break your page structure but I’m more likely to browse your store or refer someone to it.

 Posted by at 8:00 pm
Feb 152015
 

packingupEverybody told me, “Buying a house is really stressful” but like the other awful club I’m part of, there’s the First-Time-Buying-a-House Club and you can’t be in it til you’re in it and other people can sympathize but they won’t understand. I DID NOT UNDERSTAND. NOW I DO. I’ve employed a few options for stress relief in the last month, and will continue to use those options liberally over the next 30 days. I’ve had more chest-pain-inducing panic attacks in the last couple weeks than my entire life. While things are not going horribly (our credit is shockingly good), there are the normal bumps; but I’m prone to expecting the worst lately. I’ve had two or so straight years of being disappointed in various life things, planning and expecting only to have hopes crushed at the last minute. From simple things like a day trip sightseeing to missing out on a concert (and the money spent on tickets) due to a root canal the same day. I keep expecting this to all blow up spectacularly in our faces.

But yet, I’m packing as best as I can1, because even though I’m glass-half-empty, the hope can’t be crushed.

For the first time in our lives, we’ll have a place that’s really our own. If want to add on, if we want to knock down a wall, or build something or paint something? Totally can do it. It’s both extremely exciting and very overwhelming. There’s a lot we’re going to need; curtains and kitchen cabinet organizers and bathroom storage and a shed and and and….etc.  I’m getting lost in Pinterest, falling in love with design and DIY ideas that are probably beyond our limited capabilities.

The brand new stove and dishwasher are still covered in their blue sticky protective stuff, which was a let down because I could really have gotten behind blue metallic appliances. To compensate, I’ll use blue elsewhere in the kitchen – I’m torn between the color of Le Creuset Marseille and Caribbean. Not that I can afford Le Creuset, beyond a salt or butter crock. No matter, I guess, we’ll be living damn frugal for at least the next year or three I suspect. I’m going to have to learn how to repurpose and reimagine cheap things I can find in yard sales to create an office for myself. I’ll have a good-sized closet in my tiny office room and I’ll be able to use at least half of it for sex toys. I’ve been contemplating this rotating dildo organizer, and this over-the-top chest of drawers. I’ll finally be able to construct a storage and organization option to suit my needs. A desk that is more functional yet resistant to clutter (that one may be a miracle) is my first task.

I wanted to give an update, because that last post was made on January 22nd and I really didn’t want to see that post up there front and center anymore. I have some sex toys to review, but I’m mired in packing and stress. I’m hoping to get a few out in the next couple weeks. I REALLY want to tell you about the new Jimmyjane Hello Touch X and show you the Rockbox Finger vibe.

Responses to emails and chats may be delayed; presence on social media might be slim. So please have patience. And buy through my affiliate links2! Because we’re going to be really, really broke for quite awhile….

  1. which isn’t really very well at all, I suck at this
  2. conveniently all located at the top of my sidebar
 Posted by at 2:37 pm