Lilly

Oct 072014
 

Tenga Iroha MikazukiFor as much as I love the Tenga Iroha Minamo, I’m underwhelmed by the Iroha Mikazuki. The Iroha Minamo arrived first on my doorstep; I was so excited about it and liked it so much that I asked Tenga if I could review both. I wanted to be certain that I could recommend them interchangeably. I’m so glad I did because I am more reluctant to recommend the Mikazuki.

My first Iroha vibe was the Iroha Midori. I had expected a lot more squish and give than I experienced with the Midori and felt a bit let down but it all. The Minamo delivered on that squish, and how. But the Iroha Mikazuki goes back to being barely squishy. The tip is very squishy, like Vixskin heads, and this continues for about the first inch because there’s no plastic body underneath, it’s simply all soft material. But after that first inch it’s just not as soft. However, the Mikazuki is thinner than the Minamo and still could be a decent insertable vibe for those who are very new to penetration or have vaginismus. The slender shape starts out very slim, 0.75″ wide and gradually enlarges to a max width of 1.25″ at about 4.5″ of insertable length, or just below the buttons.

The color is hard to pinpoint, and photograph. The yellow is just a bit more yellow than it appeared onscreen to me. It’s not quite a banana yellow. It’s maybe a tad bit more than butter yellow. It perfectly matches the color of raw sweet bi-color corn on the cob. Yet in certain lighting it’s just….not an appealing yellow. I super appreciate this color deviation, but I foresee a lot of people possibly passing this up because of the less-than-popular color. Tenga is definitely one company totally ignoring the American gendering of colors, though, I’ll give em that. They’re also bucking the marketing standpoint. I’ve been told by more than one company that orange and yellow barely sell in sex toys.

The Iroha Mikazuki is very much like the Minamo in most ways; the charging, the vibration strength, the feel of the silicone skin, it’s waterproof, and flexible-ish. For some reason I thought at first that the Mikazuki would be a little *more* flexible than the Minamo, but it’s not. It’s the same, which is to say….not a whole lot. It’s nowhere NEAR as flexible as the photos from Iroha show on Shevibe

Tenga Iroha Mikazuki vs Minamo

All in all, my relative meh-ness on the Iroha Mikazuki can be attributed directly to the level of squish. If it had just a tiny bit more squish all over, then I would love it a lot more. The way it currently is, though, is underwhelming. I think the slender size and silkiness of the silicone is still great for the newbies, those who’ve not experienced vaginal penetration, those with medical issues and so on…..and of course the tip is very squishy, which could make for a very pleasant and comfortable clitoral/vulva vibrator. But for those who really want the comfort and forgiveness of soft and squish for an insertable vibe? I really need to recommend Minamo, instead. It might be slightly bigger, but that extra tiny amount of girth is all super-soft squish. .

 

I was give the Mikazuki in exchange for my honest review, courtesy of Tenga Iroha. You can find the Iroha Mikazuki at my favorite retailer, SheVibe.

Sep 302014
 

Tenga Iroha MinamoTenga asked me to review their new insertable line, the Iroha Minamo and Iroha Mikazuki, the sisters to Tenga Iroha’s original debut trio of “soft touch” clitoral vibes, the Midori, Yuki and Sakura. This is one of those times where a reviewer needs to be objective and look beyond their own preferences. The Iroha Minamo is not something that I personally would be drawn to, but I have had many people ask about a gentle, soft, pliable silicone vibrator. A number of people with vaginas dislike silicone vibrators because too often they’re a hard plastic vibe with a silicone skin over top, and so they choose porous/toxic toys like those made of TPR and jelly because it’s soft enough for them.

Both the Iroha Minamo and Iroha Mikazuki are small and best suited for people who need something slender, something with “give”, something they would describe as “soft and gentle”. The tip has the marshmallow-y plushness that I found myself wishing the Midori had. It’s truly a comfortable vibrator. The vibrations are probably the most intense about an inch and a half back from the tip (at the first “wave” spot). Minamo technically is thicker than Mizaku (review coming Thursday!) but I think it’s only because there’s more plushness – Mikazuki has less squish. These “ocean waves” in the design of the Iroha Minamo are pure squish. There’s squish along the “top” side too, just not quite as much. This is one sex toy that you will want to keep on your desk just to squish and squoosh. 

How is the Minamo so Squishy?

Like the first Iroha vibes, Minamo is covered with a plucky, pliable silicone skin with a polyurethane elastomer underneath. Just like with the Midori, there is an odor (reminds me of latex wall paint) when you first open the packaging, but I left the vibes out for a few days and it mostly dissipated. I don’t have any problems recommending this material combination in terms of safety. Silicone is indeed non-porous, but it’s not impermeable especially to odors. The silicone skin completely covers the elastomer underneath, making this a very body-safe product. I know that the odor can be alarming at first, as we’re told that silicone (vs the cheap, stinky materials like jelly and PVC) is odorless. And it is, on its own. Regardless, the strong smell of the polyurethane elastomer doesn’t last very long at all; it would only bother those absolutely very sensitive to smell. The silicone skin isn’t tight on the vibrator, either, because there’s a weird little joint in the plastic body of the vibe about 2/3 of the way back from the tip which makes the body slightly flexible. I expected it to be flexible like the Je Joue g-ki, I suppose, but it’s not. It’s subtle, and would only really serve to move with your body rather than form a curve that stays put.

The Important Part – Vibrations

It’s a vibrator, so let’s get to the important bit: The vibrations aren’t going to knock your socks off if you need something considerably “more”, but they’re also much better than standard surface-buzzy / weak vibrators. Is it “enough” for me? No. Definitely not as an insertable; borderline as a clitoral vibrator. I would rank it as less powerful than the Lelo Mona 2; maybe about the strength of the original Mona? It’s not rumbly enough for me to compare it to the We-Vibe Tango on any setting. I’d say (from memory) it’s almost as strong as the Eroscillator Plus. The vibrations are definitely noticeable, and will be powerful enough for many folks. 

Is the Iroha Minamo Right for You?

If you could use a little bit of help from a vibrator to get off, you’d like Iroha Minamo. If you’ve never experienced PIV sex or insertable sex toys, you’d do well to start off with Minamo. If you have vaginismus, Minamo is your jam. The tapered size starts out at the tip with an extremely pliable 7/8″ of an inch. At the first “wave” its 1″ wide, then another fraction of an inch, and at the last wave it’s 1 1/8″. The squish, oh the squish. You can apply pressure, but it’s gentle pressure. If your clitoris is sensitive and likes pressure that is easier to control and less likely to bruise? Minamo! It’s a great, versatile vibrator and I’d recommend it for even clitoral use over the little Irohas. It’s because of the design that I love Minamo…..for others, not myself. I’m excited to be able to have something to recommend to those who need something like this.  

Tenga Iroha Minamo

Specs, Deets, and Blahblahblah

The silicone is completely dust/fur repellent. nothing sticks to it. And unlike the first Irohas, the Minamo is waterproof and submersible. The Iroha Minamo is not an anal safe toy, please do not use it as such. The charging process is very discreet, as well. It reminds me a bit of one of the JJ Form 6 iterations. There is a black plastic box, and the USB plug goes on the outside of the box. There is a depression in the box for the vibe to sit and magnetic prongs. I’ve never had a problem yet getting the Minamo to settle into its charging base properly. With a little effort, you can roll up the charging cable and store it inside the black box with the Minamo, for travel. From what I can tell, Minamo is only offered in blue, which is a very pastel blue – my photos aren’t accurate on the color, no matter how hard I tried. I like the Iroha Minamo for what it is, and I hope others do, too. The price is a bit higher than I would like (currently it’s $119.99 at SheVibe) but it is a quality product, and unique.

 

I was give the Minamo in exchange for my honest review, courtesy of Tenga Iroha. You can find the Iroha Minamo at my favorite retailer, SheVibe. 

Sep 222014
 

It took 6 years for me to be accused of being bought off. Also, I’m officially notorious. Perhaps I should change my handle to Notorious L.I.L?

SheVibe is All That

Some people, even other bloggers, have questioned my love for SheVibe. As one of the biggest mouths in the Toxic Toy “hysteria” scene, I’ve had a few question it because they carry stuff that’s porous. They don’t carry anything that isn’t labeled by the manufacturer as “phthalates-free” so in that regard they ARE a non-toxic shop. As you all know I don’t love porous toys and won’t recommend them for insertables 98% of the time.  Plus I have deep reservations about trusting the phthalates-free claims from certain companies. Hey, they can lie. So while there are items in stock that I personally don’t agree with, it’s better than most shops. More importantly, SheVibe has changed with the times and now they warn customers about porosity. This still doesn’t mean that customers necessarily understand porosity or why it matters, but that’s another story for another day.

So yes, a few have even questioned if I’m being paid to be so loyal to SheVibe, and work with them/recommend them above all other retailers. Not only am I not paid off to be loyal to them, but I make less money in commissions by directing my readers to them. The affiliate commission percentage at SheVibe is a bit less than most other places I’m affiliated with. But there’s really nowhere else I’d rather my readers shop. I’ve come to realize in my 6+ years that the integrity of the company as a whole and the humans running the company is incredibly important. You will never find SheVibe trying to control their affiliates and what they write in their reviews. You will never find SheVibe bad-mouthing their competition just to get ahead in business. They do not want to succeed to the detriment of another company.  They have never, to my knowledge, threatened a reviewer in any way, or screwed over a customer. SheVibe is run by a bunch of people whom I consider to all be Good People. They have a sense of humor (that maybe all don’t agree with) and they have a unique style; they’re not cookie-cutter, they’re not posers, they’re not schmoozers. They listen to their trusted reviewers and value them.  In my 6 years I’ve come across a lot of douchebags and awful people. SheVibe is a goddamn gem. Which is to say nothing of the fact that their stock selection is good, they’ll carry things if requested to do so, their prices are great, their customer service is great, they have sales all the time, they don’t try to hide who the manufacturer is of a toy or change the name of it, and if you’re lucky you might get some box art

Jimmyjane is Clueless

I recently received this awesome note of thanks from an employee at a retail store down south, saying that she and her co-workers often learn more from me than many company reps and they credit me for teaching them about toxic & porous toys – honestly the note was awesome and it made my week…not just for the thank you but for this next part. Apparently, their Jimmyjane rep is not only unprofessional but clueless as well. When the rep tried talking up the Form 4, one of the employees countered back with complaints about the charging dock, the price and…..the seam. At the word “seam” the rep woke up and said “You must have read Dangerous Lilly’s blog. She hates us… I don’t even know why she hates us so much. I think she’s being paid by Lelo to leave us bad reviews.”

I’m both insulted and laughing my ass off. Are you fucking kidding me??? Clearly the rep only reads what I write about JJ and never read this post.  They don’t know why I hate the company? Let’s see. OH OH I KNOW. Hmm everything I said in the beginning of this review which of course she read since that’s the product in question that created the entire exchange. Not to mention the fact that I just cannot respect a company that, in earnest, has tried to sell a $35,000 plane ride or a $4,000 bouncy house (to say nothing of the fact that they think people will pay $40 more for gold-plating on the charging contacts). Jimmyjane is a company for the 1%, and I am not1.  Listen, I’m not about to hate a person because they work for a company who puts out products I don’t like. You do you. JJ isn’t making toxic crap; they’re just overcharging like whoa for stuff that isn’t worth the price tag.  But at least have a better line of defense than that. At least TRY, Jimmyjane Rep. Try to defend your product without being totally fucking classless and making me think you’re a really great fit for that company.

 I’m really just a Mouthy Bitch

Here’s the thing. I am a customer, first and foremost. My reviews here are no different than my reviews and opinions on products anywhere else. I’m opinionated and picky. If I hated that batter dispenser I got from Amazon, you better believe I’m going to leave a negative review when it broke after the 4th use. Welcome to the life, folks – there’s shitty companies everywhere trying to make something cheaper and for more profit, customer happiness (and quality) be damned. It’s true in sex toys as much as kitchenware. 

I’m also not a salesperson. I have affiliate links, yes. It’s my way of getting paid for the work I do. I will occasionally review products when there’s no chance at affiliate commission but by and large the affiliate system is a roundabout way of paying for the long hours put into each review and every educational guide. But either way, I’m not going to give a bad review to a product I won’t get affiliate commission for and I won’t give a glowing review to a product just to earn a sale from you. I was once in your shoes, too, unsure where to spend my money. I’ll never purposely steer you wrong.

Any other rumors you’d like me to clear up? :)

 

  1. To be fair, Lelo is guilty of this crap too, to a degree, with their gold and silver/platinum versions of the Ella and Bob and whatnot….but they didn’t do the bouncy house and plane ride so they’re the lesser of two evils
Sep 202014
 

Earlier this year I ranted on a topic similar to this; many companies have no idea the sort of effort we put into our sex toy reviews. The testing, the photos, the writing, the editing, and even the promoting. For the cheap toys, we’re getting screwed in the conversion if the sex toy is seen as “payment” for the review.  But many of us spend at least half a day’s work time (if we’re comparing this to an hourly full-time job) if not a full day or even MORE than a full work day’s time on our reviews.

So today I saw a post from a blogger, not a sex blogger, talking about fair pay for bloggers. We’re not the only ones doing reviews! During my short time as a food blogger, I was indeed doing some reviewing. Perhaps because I was new, perhaps because that’s how they do it, but I was never sent a retail size product for review. If it was for, say, something that comes 6 per box….I was sent one individual item. I was tempted to review it as “ew yuck, tastes like poo, avoid” and that be that. Compared to the retail value of the sex toys I get? 140 characters for a total review would have been generous.

Regardless, the post is very good and raises some good points. Go read it. I’ll be here. Come back and talk amongst yourselves.

Maybe what I’m doing is fighting for equal pay: equal pay with journalists, critics, columnists.. or just being paid at all. It’s not a perfect proposition, I know that, but something needs to change. My idea has many reasons why it won’t work – but I just feel that it needs to be addressed and we get a conversation going in order to try and start to make a change.

Some points that have already been raised on twitter include integrity of the review/reviewer…..wouldn’t a company only want to pay for a positive review? Would this change how the reviewer talks about the product? Is there a way to get fair pay to bloggers for the hard work of a review without compromising anybody’s integrity? What about a payment to spotlight the review? For some reviewers, they don’t post often so a new post will stay on the homepage awhile. For others, it might scroll by quickly. One option could be that a blogger is paid a special sort of advertising fee for a sidebar banner that leads to the review or the company’s site or extra social media attention to the review maybe. I don’t know. I don’t know how it would work, if it could work, if any company values us enough to do it.

The blogger who wrote this post did a follow-up, and there is one point someone else raised that I found interesting:

Under the heading “Do you get paid for Product Seeding?” her answer was

“…No. Unless you are required to use specific links, post specific verbiage or do specific tasks in relation to the gifting. If you are being sent a product, you are at liberty to post in whatever context on whatever time frame you deem appropriate. If celebrities don’t get paid to wear a pair of jeans, you aren’t either”

Except that….in the sex toy world we are often required to have certain words appear, and appear as links, links that don’t have our affiliate link in them. We’re hounded if we have the product longer than a few months.

Do you agree? Disagree? Retailers and manufacturers, we’d love to hear your thoughts, too. Be anon if you must!

Would you think the blogger is getting fair pay, or would you think they’re less trustworthy?  If you respond on twitter, let’s use their hashtag, shall we? #fairpayforbloggers

Sep 172014
 

I’ve spent the majority of my 6+ years not asking to be nominated; I felt it defeated the purpose (in my mind). That if anybody actually liked my work, they’d nominate it without prompt. I’ve since dropped all stubbornness and “pride” and have no fucks left to give about my previous stick-up-my-ass ways.  I am liberated! Or something.

I’m cantankerous, I’m rough around the edges, I’m not all that universally liked. I’m okay with that! I’m proud of the work I do, and if I raise some hackles then I think it means I’m doing my job right. The private notes I receive keep me going, the thanks and tales of change.  And while I’m not a “sexy” blogger anymore and don’t really fit in now with any of these “sexy” sex blogger lists, there’s a new feature that I think I do fit in with. Rory has decided to highlight “posts of the year” and there’s actually two categories that are very much me: Op-Ed and Educational/review.  Of the pieces I’ve written from these categories this year, I think these are the best ones. If you happen to agree, I’d like to ask for your nomination, here. Of course, if there’s something else I wrote that you think is better than these, by all means, ignore my four below. *I* think these are my best, but what do I know :) 

Wood Sex Toys: An Introduction

Despite being probably one of the oldest materials used to make sex toys, wood is one of the most misunderstood. We hear the “splinters” comments a LOT, you guys. A lot. I tried to debunk the myths and figure out the safety aspect.

A Brief History of Sex Blogging

This started out small, but turned into a rambling history filled in by many people across various platforms (and it also sparked controversy and misunderstandings).

How Porous is Your Sex Toy? Why Does it Matter?

There’s a great big gray area in the world of safe sex toys, the porous-but-not-toxic section. Or the porous-and-they-claim-it’s-not-toxic section. So many don’t understand why porosity matters, or that they should stop using the dildo when little black spots start showing up.

The Posh Life of a Sex Toy Reviewer

Most companies don’t have a clue how much work many of us reviewers put into each review, how many hours. We work a lot harder at this than you may realize. Our work is worth more than you realize. And it is work. It is time consuming.

 

Thanks :) Visit Rori here to nominate your favorite blogger posts.

 Posted by at 5:58 pm
Sep 162014
 

Jopen Lust L10 - A dual stimulator vibrator. Imagine a short, fat dildo that is tapered at both ends, and a large "egg" bullet type of vibrator. The egg is floating above the overstuffed cigar of an internal arm, connected at the "back" end by a thin piece of silicone. It's strong enough of a connection for it to stay floating, but it's wobbly enough that you can move the egg all around, and doesn't provide thrusting stability. The Jopen Lust L10 surely is an odd-shaped dual stimulator. Due to the angle the photos were taken on SheVibe, people were imagining a solo use version of the Lelo Ida. Thankfully, not even Jopen feels the need to incorporate a rotating internal arm. But where the Ida’s clitoral portion is shaped like a large, flat-ish disc, the Jopen Lust L10 has a top shaped like a large egg vibrator. And the shape of the Jopen Lust L10 is just odd enough that I figured it could work for me.

The Good

Due to the way I’m built, I hate vibrators that have a handle that sticks straight out from my vagina, so the Jopen Lust L10 seemed perfectly shaped for me.  The shape  of the fat bullet/egg (the kind with the remote handpack) always worked out for me in the past, so I had high hopes for the entire thing.  I expected to have a largely hands-free experience under the right circumstances, and I expected a lot of clitoral contact.

And I was right. For the most part.

I also suspected that, judging by the motor on the Vanity VR6 and the Envy Three, there was a good chance this thing could produce deep, rumbling and powerful vibrations.

And I was right. I’ve felt things more powerful, but the Jopen Lust L10 is still very good in my book. Best as I can discern, the vibrations are equal to somewhere between 3 and 4 on We-Vibe Touch, and right around a 3 on the We-Vibe Tango. Yet because it’s a dual-stimulation sex toy, the dual motors make up for the little lack of oomph each section has. For me, I can get more mileage out of rumbling, penetrative vibrations and can get away with slightly less intensity.

The price is good, too; well under $100, and even under $75.  For a rechargeable, silicone-covered vibrator! Not too shabby! Not affordable to the masses, but within sight for saving up.

The Meh

I’d really rather if the insertable portion were just a hair shorter. Half an inch, even 3/4 of an inch. But still, the design works for me, despite the fact that I have to use as much of the insertable arm as possible. And of course, since this is a dual-stimulation toy, I cannot promise you it’ll work with your anatomy. Someone with a bit more exposed clitoris / less fleshy outer labia will have a bit better experience, but the shape can still work really well if you’re also built like me. The insertable length is about 4 inches, with a max width of 1.5″ so you need to be able to handle that width and most of that length.

There seems to be an oddity with the dual motors when you’re in the top-most speeds. They….richot. They seem like they’re pulsating super fast, out of sync with each other. It’s kind of weird, and a little distracting at first, but I got over it quickly. Every time I’ve used it, I’ve been able to get it into a position that works for me, and orgasm comes rather easily.  The vibrations don’t actually feel like a pattern, they just appear that way. It’s a bit hard to explain.

The colors…meh. Pink and purple. Some other items in the Lust line come in Green vs Pink or Grey vs Pink so I don’t get why certain designs are only Purple or Pink but…well, I’ll overlook that for now. I’m not thrilled with the buttons. Press one to turn it on, and the other you press and hold to increase the vibrations. If you screw up and hit that button a single tap, you’re taken into Pattern Land which is a no-fly zone for some (me). If you screw up and hit the power button, your motors get cut abruptly. You have to really learn and remember which button does what so that you don’t completely ruin your impending orgasm. A bunch of the Jopen vibrators are like this.

How it Works

You might expect that the entirety bulb/egg portion would lay between your labia and you’d have a lot of “wiggle room” for hitting the clitoris, but only the tip of the egg hits me, and it’s at a downward angle. I had to fiddle and finagle a bit to get just the right point of contact. It worked best for me when I was sitting in my desk chair, or sitting up a bit in bed. This position pushed the internal arm against my g-spot more firmly. I was able to move the egg portion and use it to apply the friction and pressure my clitoris sometimes needs in addition to vibration, if I’m feeling impatient for an orgasm. Since this is so oddly shaped, I’ve laid out the sizes better in the photo below. The max width of the egg portion is 1.25″, and the max width of the internal arm is 1.5″, but you can’t see that width in the black background photo below.

JopenLustL10Measurements1  JopenLustL10Example

It’s really great for someone who likes to apply pressure with the clitoral stimulator part, or rubbing, whilst not having to worry about thrusting the internal part, because the design isn’t really meant for you to be thrusting the internal arm. The “joint” connecting the arm and the egg is very thin and flexible. I like pressure on my g-spot and pressure via girth can often just be enough “extra help” for me. The Jopen Lust L10 gives me that, with the added benefit of deep, penetrating vibrations helping my clitoris from the inside. It’s not quite as easy of an orgasm as the Tango, but its nice. I can work with it, work it to suit me, and build up to a really great orgasm.  I don’t think this is a sex toy that will be a majority pleaser, but if you enjoy masturbating the way I’ve just described, this could really suit you. It’s a weird shape and design, but I think it’s worth giving it a try. “So crazy it just might work” fits well, here. The design is also really great for those like me with short arms and a bigger belly who hate the vibes with handles that stick straight out of the vagina. I’m sure the first person to come up with the crazy idea of mixing chocolate with avocado to create “pudding” was reluctant to share the “good news”, sure that people would laugh and think them insane (and some people don’t see that light, I’m one of them). That’s how I feel here. I know it’s a weird design, but it’s a good weird.

 Although my partner has no desire to try it this way, there’s a decent chance the Jopen Lust L10 could work as a prostate stimulator if you like more length and girth than the average prostate vibrator provides, while the egg portion can be pressed against the perineum. Jopen did confirm that it can be used this way; although most of the items in the Lust line that are meant for anal stimulation come in a “boy” gendered color and a “girl” gendered color. 

 

A big thanks to SheVibe for sending me the Jopen Lust L10 in exchange for my very honest, unbiased, nobody-bribed-me-for-being-nice review.