Lilly

Jul 102015
 

August 13th-16th 2015 is the Woodhull Sexual Freedom Summit, a sexuality conference that I’ll be attending (and speaking at!!) thanks to the amazing folks at Shevibe. There’s a lot of good stuff packed into this long weekend, like workshops, academies, day-long institutes and more.

The panel I’ll be on is at 10:45am on Friday (whew, not too early!) and I’ll be sharing it with a freaking stellar line-up: Caitlyn Murphy who blogs at Sexational!; Metis Black of Tantus, and Jennifer Pritchett of Smitten Kitten and Badvibes.org. I’m pretty verklempt to be in such company.

Every adult retailer, manufacturer, and sex blogger has been, at some point if not regularly, inundated with questions about topics ranging from surviving and struggling with trauma, relationships, sexual pleasure and health, anatomy, and are asked to troubleshoot issues people are having with allergic reactions to materials and ingredients in sex toys, lube, and other items. Some have risen to this call and centered sex education- sexual pleasure and health- in their businesses. Some have also attempted to rise to this call and spread misinformation in an industry that has many murky areas and lacks research. Those who try to center sex education have also encountered people who would detract them for not being a “respectable” business or topic, or claimed that they’re just providing information in order to upsell people. How do we help people access inclusive sex education as people who are often not equipped with the degrees, certifications, and resources to do so? How do we gain recognition for this work? How do we help others answer this call? This panel’s goal purpose is to answer these questions and more.

This Summit really is going to be a combination of fun and learning. There are a bunch of fun social events that trigger extreme social anxiety in me, as much as I wish they wouldn’t, and a lot of really great topics in the workshops. If you can be in DC (specifically, Alexandria VA) that weekend, you should come learn and have fun with us! A number of bloggers are going – AFemmeCock, Bex, Reenie, Epiphora, Caitlyn, JoEllen, Crista, Joan Price, Lena, Mandi, DeAnn, and…there are likely a few I’m forgetting (please remind me in comments!), and a few that I am unsure if they’re coming (I’ve been so busy with the house thing that I’m a bit out of the loop and brain is just fried lately). The point is, there will be a lot of AWESOME people at the Summit. You’ll get to see the fine folks of Shevibe, of course, and TANTUS will be there. Also listed as speakers? Buck Angel and Nina Hartley! The speaker list is really impressive, honestly.

I’m equally excited for Woodhull and terrified. My social anxiety means that I assume most people don’t/won’t like me, and in an order to be a people-pleaser I sacrifice my own needs and comforts. I’m honestly already stressing about being the “difficult one” when it comes to meals, because of the gluten thing. I don’t want to miss out on social gatherings at meals just because everyone else wants to go to a place where I won’t be able to eat. Nor do I expect people to change what they want, just to suit me.

I hold such high admiration and mini-crushes for so many bloggers and am so excited to spend time in person with all of the bloggers who are going – but the social anxiety and low self-esteem that accompany it rear their ugly heads and threaten to ruin my good time with the negative voices in my head. I will do my level best to remember that normal society expects eye contact during conversation; I will force myself to remember that when my shyness wants me to look at the ground and go quiet, others take that as a snub. Also, spending so much time around beautiful people, some of whom I’ve perved on from afar because they post very hawt photos, makes me nervous because I don’t want to be inadvertently inappropriate.  So here’s the thing if you’re also going to Woodhull: I’m far more likely to be comfortable if I don’t have to approach you first. Don’t mistake my shy and awkward self for disliking you; I’ll become more comfortable in short order. I’m more nervous to meet you than you are to meet me.

 

 

 Posted by at 1:33 pm
Jun 162015
 

 

DangerousLillyAvAs someone born before 1985, I am apparently part of the last generation to know life Before and After the Internet. I remember dial-up and AOL, ISCABBS and the time when we used multiple “web portals” instead of just “Googling it”. The internet was neat but it was still pretty geeky. You were a social loser if all your friends were “on the internet” and it was hard to admit to others if you met your mate through the internet. But it’s fairly normal, now, right? In fact it’s probably weird or quaint to relay a story of meeting a new, serious significant other through completely offline means.

Yes. Pretty much all of my friends live in this “box” on my desk. A few years ago I moved to a new city; a few years after that I moved to a new state. I still have friends from past places I’ve lived but I don’t speak to them much. I have a handful of acquaintances where I live now, but the vast majority of my real friends? I met you through this platform, through blogging, through the internet. And many of you I have ended up meeting in “real life.” Which, btw, do we still say that? I mean this…this IS real life. My life has never felt more real and more meaningful. My friends have never been such a diverse yet equally awesome and amazing group. I have never before had such fabulous people to call friends who teach me things, who broaden my ways of thinking, who make me a better person. I have never before been able to have a “job” that I so thoroughly enjoy, that I feel really matters to some people, before becoming the blogger I am now. A sex toy critic / concierge / consultant.

Some say the internet is evil. I can see the downsides, absolutely. But for me it is fabulous for it brought me you. My friend, who lives in this box. Who I talk to through Twitter and Facebook and IMs and email and Skype and then once in a while I get the privilege of hugging you in person, but maybe not. Without the internet I would never have found my calling in life, my niche; and I would not have met you. I would definitely be living a much more narrow-minded and much less fun life.

One thing that the book author, Harris, says is bad about the internet is:

“When you wake up, you have this gift of a blank brain. You could fill it with anything. But for most of us, we have this kind of panic. Instead of wondering what should I do, we wonder what did I miss. It’s almost like our unconsciousness is a kind of failure and we can’t believe we’ve been offline for eight hours,” he says. “It is habits like this that are insidious, not the internet itself. It is a personal thing.”

The author, while writing his book, took a month off from the internet. And while he didn’t “experience any epiphanies” he did say this:

 “I think what you get is a richer interior light and the ability to see yourself in a critical light, living online. Because if you’re in the middle of something you can never see it properly.”

While I didn’t take a month off, I did have to seriously limit my online time due to moving to a new house. Unlike the last time we moved, which was from rental to rental, I wasn’t frothing at the mouth to get back to my 6-hours-a-day-outside-of-work of precious internet time, doing so in short order. I had a lot more going on (hell, I still do, I am still not at my computer nearly as much as before we bought the house) and this time I went a whole few weeks without spending a lot of time on social media in all of its many facets. And yeah, I did feel left out and I did miss a lot of things going on. But I’ve also enjoyed my break and I’m wading back in much more slowly. The break did give me renewed vision on what things I’m going to keep devoting time to, what has to be cut or cut back on, and who matters to me.

All of this is also to thank the internet for these last 7 years because they’ve been awesome. I’ve changed a lot and my blog certainly has changed a lot 1. Many blog anniversaries I’ve celebrated by hosting a large sex toy giveaway on the blog, but obviously that’s not happening this year. If that’s what you stick around for, well, you’ll find other places to frequent. Go see Piph, she never misses a blogiversary giveaway and she’s a hell of a lot more reliable with such traditions than I. Maybe later this summer or in the fall I’ll host a giveaway, but, I don’t have the time for it. Those things are time sucks, they take a LOT of work.

So yeah. Stick around. I have a lot of important and interesting articles to work on, a few more guides that should be helpful and many more sex toy reviews. I’ll be here for year 8, that’s for certain. To those who are my friend: I adore you. You are extremely important to me. And hopefully I’ll be seeing a bunch of you in 2 months!!

 

The artwork is part of my snazzy new business card that I’ll be bringing to Woodhull, created by the fabulous team at Shevibe, Alex and Keith and Sandra and Thor. I think it’s pretty fucking spectacular, and very much me.

  1. A  fact which someone who has been around awhile decided to point out to me, they apparently miss what my blog used to be (the noodz and smut) and they thought I should know that. Well, fuck them, because I don’t fucking do what I do for them
Jun 082015
 

35 Sex Toys for Under $35One of the perks of being a sex toy reviewer is that often we are handed vibrators and dildos to review that we normally would not be able to afford purchasing on our own. I can assure you that I would never have been able to allocate the funds for the Lelo Smart Wand Large, the L’Amourose Rosa Rouge, and so on. Many others are in the same boat. And so they buy cheap (yet terrible) sex toys because it’s what they can afford. Recently though we’ve started seeing actual, real silicone dildos and silicone-covered vibrators for $50 or less so hope is on the horizon.

But we can’t ignore those with budgets. The folks who might normally just buy a PVC nightmare that will arrive smelling up the room and possibly give them a chemical burn in the worst possible place. I need these folks to know that they deserve safe, quality sex toys on their budget. I have a short list of sex toys under $50 on my Best Sex Toys page, but that’s not really enough. I made myself a mission one day a few months ago; to comb through the Shevibe catalog and find “25 for $25 and under”. But honestly? That was hard to do. So I had to up the ante to $35. If you are in the US and get Shevibe’s cheapest shipping which is $5.95, then you can buy yourself a SAFE, non-porous sex toy for $40 or under, shipped.  Note: When I talk about “body-safe” I don’t merely mean toys that claim to be non-toxic. Body-safe sex toys are non-porous. Porosity has long been an overlooked issue.

I’m not promising that all of the vibrators will rock your world. Especially when it comes to vibrators, you get what you pay for. The vibrators on the list under $25 are going to be loud and possibly have very mild vibrations. They may not last long. If you can spend a little bit more, then I can point you to the Vibratex Mystic Wand, the Jopen Lust L2.5, the Picobong Moka, the Roulette Croupier, the Fun Factory Layaspot. Better quality and the Jopen is even rechargeable. You’re here for a reason, though, and whatever your reason, these 35 sex toys under $35 are all non-porous and range from decent to great 1.

What I also want to show you is that you can find safe, non-porous sex toys under $35 without resorting to the gamble that is buying sex toys from Amazon – a place I really want you to avoid.

Vibrators Under $35

Finding vibrators that I wasn’t certain would be utter crap, under $25, was damn tough. I was able to pick out some items that are actually pretty great once I let myself go past $25.

  1. Change in the line-up. The Berman Center Siena was ranked well in a comment below. At $20, can’t hurt to check it out!
  2. Pocket Rockets are usually fairly powerful, one-battery wonders. I once loved one! Consider the Sportsheets Waterproof one…
  3. …or the Vibratex Titan (just toss out the elastomer add-ons).
  4. The Maia Twistty G-spot sports texture with moderate vibrations. 
  5. Rocks Off makes some longer bullet-style vibes that are simple but decent like the Golden Passion RO-80mm
  6. Can’t forget the butts! The Tantus Perfect Plug Plus!
  7. I’ve got three OVO recommendations for you. Their D2 impressed me well enough in person in vibrations and style.
  8. I’ve had a few readers try and love their F3 insertable…
  9. …and the F8 insertable2. All have a 15-year warranty.
  10. The Fun Factory Jazzie is moderate on vibrations & has one speed, but has a nice shape.
  11. And finally, the Doc Johnson Black Magic Bullet packs a very nice, rumbly punch for the price – the corded style needs extra attention to last you more than a few months and I don’t recommend it for internal use, but it’s a bullet vibe that kept me quite happy for awhile until I found the We-Vibe Tango.

Dildos Under $35

Again, once I upped the price cap from $25 to $35, things became so much easier. I went from struggling to find anything non-porous to recommend, to having more than enough to choose from.

  1. The Colours Pleasure Small provides a realistic design in bold colors, plus a suction cup.
  2. The My Little Heaven has a weird shape but reports say it provides great G-spot stimulation for those who need something slender.
  3. I wanted to include glass on the list, for those who want to try the firmness of the material but I am struggling with this recommendation. I really really hate to promote Pipedream products in part for their sub-par quality and in part for their shitty company ethics. About half of their Icicles line is under $35. It makes me twitchy though to even talk about them. 
  4. For a slender glass dildo with a great g-spot or prostate curve, consider the Sinclair Institute Crystal G Glass Wand.
  5. Another glass option is the Don Wands Cobalt Wand.
  6. For those who want size options and maybe something bigger, consider the silicone So Dildo from Marc Dorcel.
  7. The CalExotics Silicone Basics Long John gives us a realistic option in a limited range of flesh tones.
  8. Another suction-cup dildo option is the Maia D1 – it is silicone but has an inner core made from another material. Under normal circumstances you won’t ever come into contact with it and it shouldn’t affect the silicone3.
  9. I’ve got Tantus items on the list – the Warm Up dildo is great for those new to penetration…
  10. …as is the Silk Small 4.
  11. For those who need a harness, the Fetish Fantasy Stay-Put Harness from Pipedream (ugh) has pros and cons – the snaps allow for bigger o-rings to be added but the harness only fits up to 44″ hips5.
  12. Those who need more room can get the even nicer Sportsheets Plus Size Beginner’s Harness, which fits up to 72″ hips, has a nice back side and has 4 different o-rings.

Butt Plugs Under $35

  1. All butt toys can stimulate the prostate, but some are designed for that specific purpose. The Doc Johnson Mood Naughty 2 …..
  2. …or the LUX LX1 are two decent choices. 
  3. For those who like the sensation of anal beads, try out the Fun Factory Bendybeads…
  4. …or the much smaller, not graduated Pleasure Works Casanova.
  5. There are actually a lot of butt plugs under $35, so I’ve chosen a few that rate well with others and one super-affordable, the CalExotics Coco Licious Plug.
  6. Fan favorites include the Tantus Ryder
  7. …or the Fun Factory Bootie.
  8. The Tantus Neo has a super-comfortable base and plug style, and comes in a silky smooth dust-repellent silicone 6.
  9. Those who need something extra big can consider the Renegade Plug V (Large)

Penis Toys Under $35

There are plenty of cheap masturbation sleeves but the material worries me with most, in terms of toxicity. All affordable sleeves are made from a porous material, but I trust Tenga to not be toxic. Their 3D sleeves aren’t quite under $35 but are still an affordable option vs Fleshlights and the Tenga Flip Holes.

  1. The Tenga Eggs are listed as one-time-use but I think if you rinse it and dry it and don’t wait weeks in between, people have gotten a few uses of them.
  2. The lowest-priced Screaming O rings are a sticky, jelly-like non-toxic material called SEBS that is porous 7, so I wouldn’t hang onto them for many uses. The affordable (silicone) Screaming O PrimO TUX isn’t going to pack a punch, and the batteries may be hard to find, but this would be a good way to discover if vibrating cock rings are something you’d like to delve into more.
  3. Cock rings in general are great because they can increase erection firmness and make orgasm more pleasureable (and delayed a bit); a good place to start for a nice reusable one is the Tantus Super Soft.

So we’ve learned that there are some really great dildo options for $35 and under, a lot of butt toy options for $35 and under, but the vibrator category still makes me sad. There are cheap vibrators, to be sure, but they’re just too crappy to list even if they are made from ABS plastic. I’d like to see more brands come out with sex toys under $35 like vaginal and anal insertables that aren’t either loud enough to wake your roommate or so mild that they won’t please most people; the “mild” vibrations are why I didn’t pick anything by Bswish or Blush because my experiences with those brands consistently show their vibrators are very mild and surface-buzzy. I’d like to see some realistically-styled vibrating dildos in the affordable price range,  because it’s apparently something that sells really well in the porous materials.

I don’t actually think that having silicone dildos/plugs that are only silicone on the exterior are a problem – unless the exterior can split or crack open. While it seemed shady and even a little weird to have a dildo advertised as “100% silicone” actually be stuffed with a foam insert or rubber rod, if this is what it takes to produce affordable items that have non-porous, body-safe materials where it counts? I think I’m okay with it. We’ve only found out about this practice when the items have been sliced/cut open, to my knowledge.

Have you found any sex toys under $35 that were non-porous and decent quality that I didn’t list?

  1. Actually the Tenga Egg is porous, but I had no choice, and it’s non-toxic
  2. Note that the width sizes listed are inaccurate, because OVO doesn’t understand how to measure. Both F3 and F8 are probably around 1.25″ wide at the insertable part
  3. Similar style but much more texture is the Maia D3.
  4. And the Silk Medium, even, is under $35!
  5. A more boxer/underwear style can be had for less than $30, but it fits an even smaller range of people than the Pipedream strappy harness – sad that they couldn’t take this anywhere close to plus sizes. These can be used as packer briefs or dildo harnesses
  6. For a little texture you can also consider the Tantus Juice Plug or for a lot of texture, the Tantus Twist Plug
  7. Although they do also make pure silicone vibrating rings under $25
 Posted by at 2:07 pm
May 312015
 

Rechargeable Hitachi Magic WandDespite what I may say in this review, I am excited about the Rechargeable Magic Wand! But first, a little back-story. I’d used vibrators for a couple of years before I started reviewing. Even the few that worked for me took awhile; longer than I sometimes had patience for. So a whopping 1 month into being an official Sex Toy Reviewer I got my hands on the Hitachi Magic Wand. And, having only tried cheap shit and a few I-feel-like-I-should-adore-this-but-it’s-too-mild Lelos, I was suitably impressed by the old Magic Wand and instructed all to go forth and buy one. Nature of the job though, I kept trying new vibrators. Finally, eventually, I found the We-Vibe Tango. And I realized something: the vibrator best suited for me shouldn’t take 15 minutes if I don’t want it to. Many times the Magic Wand took 15, 20, 25 minutes for two reasons: It’s very broad and I need pinpoint, and it’s kinda buzzy rather than rumbly – on high it feels very itchy to me. Plus, I didn’t like the fact that after longer sessions, I couldn’t feel the pee coming out if I used the bathroom shortly after. My entire vulva was numb.  But heeeyyyy I could sometimes orgasm in a few minutes and it beat the socks off the other vibes I had, so I loved it for awhile.

No lie…..It’s been probably4 years since I used the Magic Wand for anything other than a comparison of vibration strength. It sits in my drawer gathering dust on its menstrual-blood-stained PVC head. Instead, the vibrator I recommend is the We-Vibe Tango, unless someone has anorgasmia or prefers broad stimulation – even then I’ll usually recommend the Doxy for its lower-intensity settings and longer cord. I’ve consistently been one of the very few sex toy reviewers who tries to NOT recommend the Magic Wand and doesn’t think it’s heaven on earth.

Upgrade!

I used to love the fact that the original Magic Wand plugs in – no batteries, no power loss, no wait. But the cord is short and eventually I’ve grown to hate cords. They get in the way, they tether you to the nearest electrical outlet. So the fact that the Rechargeable Magic Wand is, well, rechargeable is a big plus in my book. Not only is it rechargeable but a charge lasts forever1 and you can still use it while it’s plugged in and being recharged – very handy for folks like me who have a bad habit of turning on 8 vibrators to find them all dead.

Another upgrade is that the head is finally SILICONE. Before I knew that the head was a porous material I used it one night when I didn’t realize I was still spotting. I laid it down beside my bed, and went to sleep. The head never again was visually clean. The new head is also now a little more plush than before; in fact it reminds me of the way the Doxy head feels.

Yet another feature I didn’t love about the first Magic Wand was the rocker-switch and how it went low-Off-high. You could flip past “Off” in a split second but sometimes it messed you up. Now, there is a power button plus an intensity button that cycles through 4 levels PLUS a patterns button if you like that sort of thing.

Oh and the overheating. The Original Hitachi Magic Wand got surprisingly hot – all over. I’d heard tales of people who used it for long periods of time, burning through the motor every year or two. The Rechargeable Magic Wand doesn’t overheat, not even after hours of operation. Of course despite fixing this issue, they don’t believe it so they set a fail switch in  – it’ll shut off at 20 minutes of continuous use. You can turn it right back on, though they tell you not to. It’s annoying for the people who can, not only tolerate it for 25 minutes, but need it for 25 minutes. Or more. This shutting off crap is probably the only Con of the new-and-improved Magic Wand.

Rechargeable vs Original Magic Wand

Is It Noisy??

Anything on high, against soft fleshy skin, is gonna get noisy just by nature but the motor is considerably more quiet in the new Rechargeable Magic Wand. Gone is the high-frequency whine that reminded some of a not-so-distant leaf blower, or kitchen appliance. I feel like you’ll be able to use this in most situations without any fear of being heard.

Noise test video is here!

Is It Powerful??

Original Hitachi Magic Wand: Low = 5000 RPM; High = 6000 RPM
Rechargeable Magic Wand: 1 = 2700 RPM; 2 = 3800 RPM; 3 = 5400 RPM; 4 = 6300 RPM

Here’s where things get confusing. If you go by the numbers you would think that Speed 4 on the Rechargeable Magic Wand is more powerful than the Original Hitachi. You would think that Speeds  1 and 2 are less powerful. But when I used it the first two times without knowing the numbers I’d assumed that Speed 2 on the Rechargeable was equal to Low on the Original, and Speed 4 on the Rechargeable was equal to High on the Original. I did a lot of comparison feeling before I ever knew the numbers. But really…..RPMs are fairly useless in my opinion for determining vibration intensity. Did you know that the We-Vibe (at least the 4 regular and 3) on high is 5500 RPM? If we’re gonna use RPM as a measure of intensity then the We-Vibe should be as powerful as the Magic Wand Original on low. But anybody who has felt both knows this simply isn’t true. My favorite vibrator, the We-Vibe Tango, has RPMs that only go up to 4800 on high. And while High on the Tango is pretty damn powerful, it feels so much better because of the lower RPMs.

So my whole point is this: I know what the numbers say but my perception says that the top speeds on both feel the same (and they both feel the same as the Doxy, to me). My perception is that there is only 1 less intense speed, and that is Speed 1. This is still not going to be a vibrator that sensitive people can tolerate without clothing/towel barriers and if that is what you need then I don’t see the point. Buy something less powerful.

Are All the Old Attachments Still Compatible?

Yep. The head is the same. I feel that the attachments work better now because the motor is clearly lower-pitched and a bit more rumbly. One thing I noted, that increased my love for the Smart Wand Large, was that the rumbly nature of the Smart Wand Large was way more compatible with attachments (especially insertables) because the vibrations traveled through the silicone much better. The difference was honestly astounding. I don’t think the Rechargeable Magic Wand beats the Smart Wand Large in terms of making awesome insertable attachments feel more awesome, but it’s an improvement over the original.

Enough stalling, Lilly….What’s the Verdict?

I’ve stalled long enough; I have to say it: I don’t love the Rechargeable Magic Wand. I like it better now, in theory, but I personally still dislike it. It still takes me longer to get off with versus the Tango and for the same reasons – broad head where I need more pinpoint and my vulva went itchy at the 2nd intensity level. I literally had to turn it off over and over to reach down and scratch like I’m Al Bundy. Sexy, eh? But I kept going, determined to orgasm and it was……….meh. It was a fizzle. It was bland, even though I’d turned it up to level 2 just to finish off. It felt like a waste of my time, when these days I can come on level 1 of the Tango on good days. Level 1.  I used to require level 3 or 4 all the time, every time. So….yeah. I’m gonna be that person who still doesn’t love it. Who still insists that it’s itchy. Who says “it’s not about the RPMs it’s about the motor”. I still prefer the Lelo Smart Wand Large because the vibrations are less itchy. I still prefer the Mystic Wand, even!

But this isn’t a bad vibrator for the right person. If I were a person who loved and needed broad stimulation, I would be raving about this thing. If I weren’t so sensitive to itchy-vulva-syndrome then I could overlook the broad head and still be overjoyed by it. I think that nearly everything they upgraded & changed is amazing and all very much-needed upgrades. I still don’t think that the Magic Wand, even the rechargeable, should ever be someone’s first vibrator. But if you’ve tried the Tango and the Mystic Wand and felt that it wasn’t enough….then try the Rechargeable Magic Wand. Sure it’s pricey, and it’s even a shocking double on the cost over the Original. But it is a high-quality vibrator, of this I have no doubt. I would recommend it over anything Bodywand in a heartbeat.

Would I still pick the Doxy? I do pick Doxy over Original because the Doxy’s cord is longer, it’s quieter, and there are many lower level settings that don’t make your vulva numb. But now, suddenly, the Doxy has the inferior head material and the cumbersome cord (unless you want to drop even more cash on the fancy metal version of the Doxy – silicone head but still a cord). So it’s a tough call. If you need to ramp up gradually? Go Doxy. If you want the cordless feature? Pick the Rechargeable Magic Wand. They’re about the same price at Shevibe, so it’s a toss-up in my book. Decide which features matter more to you and choose wisely. Then, decorate the handle with washi tape. Because why the hell not.

 

This review brought to you by the lovely folks at Shevibe who provided me with the Rechargeable Magic Wand in exchange for my no-bullshit all-truth review. How cool are they??

  1. I got about 4 hours out of it
 Posted by at 12:25 pm
May 272015
 

Jopen Envy Fifteen Vibrator ReviewI’m reviewing the Jopen Envy Fifteen because I’m on the hunt for a decent remote-controlled vibrator; it’s what people ask for the most, it seems! The thrill of wearing a vibrator in public is a gateway kink for many people; it’s one I can get behind! But sadly when it comes to remote control sex toys the market is lacking. A really great RC vibe needs to nail down these three things:

 *  A remote that allows the remote holder to know what’s going on – what setting the vibrator is one, basically.

 *  A remote connection that stays through clothing, flesh and ideally from across the room. Bonus points if it works through a wall.

 *  A comfortable vibrator shape with decently rumbly, decently powerful vibrations.

Con – Weird Shape

Every Jopen vibe I’ve tried has been very powerful and pretty rumbly so I had high hopes for “rule 3″ to be met with the Jopen Envy Fifteen – and we almost had it. Look at the shape of the design. Where would YOU expect the vibrations to be centered? If you’re like me, you expected the vibrations to be in that portion that sticks out a bit – it would be a great design for those (like me) with full labia and a “buried” clitoris. But strangely the vibrations are focused at the other end. So this leaves the protruding part to sit at your vaginal entrance, I guess. The design sucks for me because of my full labia, chubby mons and buried clit. It’s vibrating my labia, right now. 

Jopen Envy FifteenPro and Con – Powerful!

Yes, the vibrations of the Jopen Envy Fifteen are powerful (no, not Tango-powerful, not quite). I didn’t think I could ever say this, but they’re ….. TOO powerful. The first setting is barely anything. I can feel that something is happening with the vibrator, but that’s it. The second setting is still very mild to me; kinda rumbly, but mild – although very sensitive folks will find it to be a great setting. The third setting jumps up to a level that could make moderately sensitive people orgasm. Already the third level is more powerful than some of the more mild vibrators I’ve owned. The fourth setting isn’t noisy, but it can be heard if you’re sitting on a chair and the room is quiet. It’s moderately rumbly and decently powerful. The fifth setting is rumbly in hand but between my labia and under pressure, it’s only moderately rumbly with a hint of buzzy. The fifth setting is pretty powerful. All of the settings can suffer from vibration dampening when surrounded by flesh, but it’s not too bad. I actually was able to orgasm on the fourth setting by wearing it in a way that wouldn’t be discreet in public (half of it sticking out of my labia like a mini cock, the red light blaring away) and putting a lot of pressure on my clitoris.

So it’s probably too powerful for those who are moderately-to-very sensitive IF you don’t want to actually orgasm in public. If you do, you might not last long. For those who are more orgasm-resistant, this might be the panty vibe that gets you off if that’s your aim.

Con – Controls Aren’t Intuitive

I first thought my Jopen Envy Fifteen was broken. You turn it on by pressing and holding the button on the vibrator for 4 or 5 seconds. Nothing will happen, except that the red light will be brightly shining. You then press the middle button on the remote, but a slow, deliberate button push, not a quick click. You’ll want to hold the remote in your hand by the fat end! Be warned – when you turn it on, it starts off at the THIRD setting. Here’s where it gets odd – to decrease the power level, you first have to click the top button (“up”) and THEN click the bottom button (“down”) to get to the first setting. Clicking just the top button will take you to the second setting if that’s all the lower you want to go to start off.

You can then click on the center button for 6 different patterns. You can also use the increase/decrease while in a pattern to change the vibration intensity. The red light on the vibe will blink along with the pattern, also.

Con – It’s a Bitch to Turn Off

Here’s where it gets annoying – the only two ways to turn it off are: 1. Press and hold the button on the vibrator for 3 or 4 seconds 2: Click the middle button on the remote 7 times (if you’re not in patterns) to cycle through all of the patterns to get it to stop vibrating. The red light on the vibrator will remain lit until it’s turned off at the vibrator.

The red light on the remote does sort of let the remote-holder know what’s going on. If the remote’s red light doesn’t light up, it means you’re going in the wrong direction with the buttons or you clicked it too quickly.

Con – Bright Red Light!

The vibrator of the Jopen Envy Fifteen has a very bright, red LED light under the silicone skin. Yes, it can be see through panties. It can be seen through most pants. The button is going to be roughly in the area of the vagina so it’s probably not visible to others if you wear it correctly and you’re standing up but I’m betting there would be situations where the red light would be visible. In a dark place, even more visible.

Pro – Remote and Vibrator are rechargeable

They include a Y-shaped recharging cable that plugs into both the remote and the vibrator, and then the other end is USB. Too many remotes take weird batteries, so this aspect is nice.

Pro – It Might Work Really Well Under a Harness

I can see the design of the Jopen Envy Fifteen working for many people when they’re wearing a strap-on harness. Not me, again, but if your labia is not chubby, if you don’t have a buried clit, this could work well for you to use while wearing a harness.  I can totally see someone buying this for the sole use of wearing it while they’re strapping on. Between the remote and the design, it would be easy to use and pretty comfortable.  Yes despite the fact that the design doesn’t work with my labia, it is overall comfortable.

Pro and Con – The Remote & Connection

Except for the fact that the light on the remote will not light up if you cannot go any higher/lower in vibration intensity, the remote holder doesn’t really know what the wearer is experiencing. If you get distracted you’ll forget where you left them.

The connection stayed put through my clothes, so that’s good. The remote is advertised to work up to 16.5 feet away which is……meh. It’s alright. It’s not going to work through walls and it’s not going to work from across a long room, but it’s decent. The remote is small and easy to hold, though. There’s that.

Final Thoughts

Overall, unless you’re using this during strap-on play OR you have minimal labia/mons and a prominent clit, I don’t think I can recommend the Envy Fifteen. Despite the price being pretty good (under $100), it has flaws that make it frustrating. The vibrations in use aren’t as rumbly as other ENVY/LUST items, and the jump from “tease” to “whoa” is a big jump. I think it’s going to let you down more often than not. Given the really bright red light, I don’t think it’s suitable for play in a low-light setting in public. I’m not loving the design because it rules out anyone with a buried clit. For public play, the remote sucks. For many uses, the remote sucks.

I’m going to keep trying out remote control vibrators to see if I can find one that isn’t awful. I’m losing hope, though. Industry, step up your game!! If someone could come out with a remote like Dorcel’s, with the connectivity and range of the Lelo Sensemotion, and a vibrator with rumbly vibrations in a decent range from teasing to decently powerful with gradual steps in intensity combined with two styles – one suited for innie clits and one suited for outtie clits – we’d be in business. But I have a feeling I’m going to be long gone from this world by the time sex toy companies recognize that not all clits are outties and design toys accordingly. Next in line for this style will be the L’amourose MAE – think it can impress me?

 

May 262015
 

Earlier this month I was nominated by Will and Vixenne as having a “Real Neat Blog”, which was super sweet. I am shamefully behind on blogging much of ANYTHING these days. So by the time I’ve gotten around to writing this, nearly everybody that I planned to nominate has probably already been nominated by someone else and has written their post. 

Everybody told me how much “_____” it would be buying/owning a home. You think you know, but you have no idea. We have wayyyyy too much stuff, the house needed quite a bit of work (and still does in many ways) and my schedule got completely thrown out of whack. I started dropping off to sleep before 10pm most nights (hell, sometimes before 9pm) and waking before 6am. Nearly every day before work, I am running errands. I probably have gone to Home Depot 4-5 times a week, every week since the move a month ago. It’s all a bunch of insanity; moving and home-owning is a literal pain. I’m in so much bodily agony it’s ridiculous. 

But I’m seriously content. Happy! I smile for no reason. I look at the kitties as they lay in 45 different positions on the bay window, and know that we did good. I look out at our (very lumpy, needs much work) vast lawn and half-acre of trees and feel at ease. It’s all very….odd. I’m not used to this. I keep wondering when the honeymoon period will end, skeptic that I am. 

So yeah. I’m trying to get back into the habit of being at my computer, blogging, reviewing, being active on Reddit and social media but it’s hard right now. We’re SO busy. I spend so little time at the computer some days which is honestly just a foreign concept to me. Anyways, on to the post. The two people who nomm’ed me had different questions, so I’ll answer the ones I can/that apply. 

1. What was the reason you decided to start blogging? Has that reason changed over time?

I think this is something I’ve talked about before; I started blogging because I was looking desperately for a way to ask a real person a question in real time about a specific sex toy I was considering. I’d already wasted a few hundred dollars on toys that didn’t work for me and I just had a question! In 2008, there weren’t a ton of reviewers. So I found my answer by way of finding a blogger. I decided I wanted to do it too! But back then, there weren’t blogs solely about sex toys, or very few. So I was a sex blogger. I wrote juicy stories and diary entries and took half-nekkid pics to entice readers and get traffic to my reviews. I had a lot of fun and it did me good, for a while. But then I felt the need to be more “serious” and “professional” and stopped wanting to flirt with other bloggers and always be “sexy”. I just wanted to rant about the stupid sex toy industry shit and write reviews and do my research. 

2. If your site had a goal, what would it be? How do you feel you’re doing with that goal, right now? How do you feel you’ve done with that goal over all?

Hmmm. I wanted traffic. Then, I wanted affiliate earnings. Then, I wanted to educate people. I wanted to research and educate and peel back the curtains. I wanted to cause a ruckus and make people think. 

I’m not the top, but I’m doin all right. 

3. How has blogging influenced your life?

The people I’ve met, the friends I’ve made. I see the world differently. I am a better person. I am so much more educated about LGBTQ issues (I grew up quite sheltered, really) and gender issues and all of that. I am more open-minded. I am overjoyed to finally find people who get me, who are similar to me. I’ve traveled, I’ve had experiences that I would never have had. 

And I more sex toys than I know what to do with. 

4. What is your favorite part of blogging?

When I can help someone narrow down their choices in finding them their perfect sex toy. 

5. What website on the entire web, besides your own, do you spend the most time on?

Twitter and Wikipedia, probably. 

6.  Gotta ask one toy question. Name your absolute favorite sex toy. (More than one is fine.)

I normally hate, detest, “choose 1 thing as your favorite forever” questions. I’m awful at it, I cannot choose, I cannot decide. But this? I got this. We-Vibe Tango. It’s no contest. I could give up everything else I own, truly, and be fine with my Tangos. 

7. What is the most important thing about you that you want everyone to know?

I am weird. I can be awkward. You might think I don’t like you, but I probably do. I’m terrible with maintaining contact and friendships in the way most people do it, but I adore and treasure my friends no less. People have said I’m intimidating, I’m scary, I’m not approachable. I’m truly baffled by the wide berth some give me. I’m just a socially-awkward, slightly-extroverted introvert who is shit at small talk but engage me about a topic I like and I’m babbling away. 

My nominations are: 

KaraSutra

Marvelous Darling

Naughty Reenie

JoEllen, the Redhead Bedhead

Sugarcunt

Bex Talks Sex

But yet….these aren’t the only blogs I love. These aren’t the only bloggers I love. Look there in the sidebar, because there’s so many fantastic people writing great stuff. 

 Posted by at 3:09 pm