Lilly

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 making me choose between only two genders??? Why are 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 can[1. which isn’t really very well at all, I suck at this], 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 links[1. conveniently all located at the top of my sidebar]! Because we’re going to be really, really broke for quite awhile….

 Posted by at 2:37 pm
Jan 222015
 

Note that says: "You're never alone, okay? Someone somewhere cares about you and wants you to be alright. Even if it's just a random person you met on the internet. You are loved. Don't forget that."I need to preface this post. You won’t learn anything from this. I have no answers, no treatment plan, no quest. I have uncertainties and questions.  It isn’t an eloquent post. If you need a visual, I am huddled under a hoodie unable to make eye contact, I’m fidgety and exhausted. I’m skimming in some parts because I don’t have enough introspection to be able to elaborate. This is raw and uncomfortable and it’s not a pretty post. Like I told Reenie when I got her opinion on this post, this is a glimpse of me in therapy (and a clue as to why I don’t DO therapy). I’m all over the place, I skip details, yet I repeat. I’m saying all of this the best I can. This isn’t for fame or notoriety, because let’s face it, I’d like to think I normally write better than this. But if I take the time to polish it, it will never get published. Take it or leave it. 

For the last year or 18 months, I’ve mentally been on a downward, slow spiral. Stress and unknown other factors have made me subtly feel less awesome. It’s been so subtle that I’ve only recently thought “hmmm, maybe this is depression?”.  I want to write about this because it’s high time. My friend JoEllen has been writing about it for awhile now; plus there’s Crista’s world-famous OrgasmQuest. My angle is a bit different though. 

 The Vibrators

Despite the fact that it’s my job to use sex toys, I feel some internal guilt about having an orgasm by myself when it’s not “for work”, since I’m getting off by myself and not bringing my husband into it for something that could benefit us both. Even though intellectually I know that masturbation is healthy and there are tons of reasons that partners in very healthy relationships with great sex lives would masturbate. I know this. I still feel guilty sometimes though. Yet my orgasms, the ones from masturbation, aren’t really for pleasure. I don’t take my time and luxuriate in sensual self-play; there are no candles, no erotica, etc. Everything’s usually done in 10 minutes or less and often my pants don’t even come off. Most of the time I’m using my Tango (lately the L’amourose Rosa Rouge is helpful if a climax is being particularly stubborn) and I flip over to Tumblr for some audio and visual stimulation, enough to help with an orgasm. And then I’m done. Close out Tumblr, no more porn, no residual sexy feelings or thoughts; it’s like flipping a switch on and off. When I start masturbating through to finish, I’m not aroused. I’m not horny. So why the fuck am I masturbating, you might ask?

 For something to do. To maybe help myself sleep. To relieve some anxiety. To maybe not feel melancholy for a little while. Maybe it’ll wake me up. The reasons are varied but 99% of the time my libido is not in the deck of cards that contains my reasons. Sometimes an orgasm is not much different than brushing my teeth, as an activity.  It feels good but it’s not really registering, there’s a brain-body disconnect. 

The Sex

I’ll be honest, most of the time lately I have no sex drive. Luckily (an ironic sort of luck) my husband was going through his own lack of sex drive and issues, so while we both still love each other deeply the lack of sex bothered us only on a more cerebral level. A “shouldn’t we be bothered by this?” kind of bothered. A “it’s been HOW long??? Wow…that’s bad…we really should have sex this weekend” (and then we wouldn’t) kind of bothered. I think this past year we’ve both felt a bit of a strain due to the physical disconnect, but we both know that it’ll come back and we’re happy together regardless. But for two people who love each other dearly and still find each other attractive….the frequency of the sexing is frighteningly low. I don’t know yet how to fix it. 

The Depression

So I may, or may not, be clinically depressed [1. But I absolutely do have ADD-Inattentive type and fibromyalgia, and I’m not really on anything for either and both of those, left untreated, can cause depression] and I’m not being treated for it, nor am I seeing anyone. I’m not on any medication that is hampering my ability to orgasm, like Crista is dealing with on her #orgasmquest. I’ve had such awful experiences in the past 16 years with mental health drugs that I’m reluctant to go down this path again. The hazing period of newer drugs is intolerable sometimes. So I’m not actively seeking help. But I’m not happy, like overall – I mean, duh, right? And I have these weird “quirks” that I never had when I was younger – primarily, the ability to cry at the drop of a hat. Reading a book/watching a TV show where someone else cries? I cry. Happy cry, sad cry, the tears are just always there right under the surface. I also have a really hard time sticking with something I like – you know the whole typical depression question of “do you find yourself no longer getting pleasure from hobbies you previously enjoyed” thing. It’s, quite frankly, amazing that I’ve kept up with this blog for so long. I have definitely had feelings of “why the fuck am I still doing this” over the last 2 years. I tend to let my insecurities and the need to feel accepted and liked by my peers rule too much over me. When I start feeling like my peers don’t give a flying fuck about me/my writing/reviews, I consider throwing in the towel. But then I get thank you notes from my readers, the people I actually write the reviews for, and my brain returns to normal and I stop being such a pain in the ass. Needing validation is a sign of weakness for me because of past, unhealthy  experiences. 

I don’t know what I’m going to do. The thought of finding a psychiatrist/psychologist that doesn’t annoy the crap out of me feels too daunting. But I think I owe it to my husband to try and get my sex drive back. I’d say I owe it to myself, too, but my brain is like “pffft don’t care” so that thought doesn’t even occur to me. And yes, a tiny part of me feels like a fraud of a “sex blogger” for having no libido and reviewing sex toys. Thank goodness I dropped the whole “sexy” sex blogger thing years ago or I’d be feeling double the pressure. 

I guess all this rambling is to say that there is no normal, we need to talk more about sex & depression and masturbation & depression and depression in general, and I’m just as nutty as the next squirrel. I expected that writing this would be like therapy, but you know what? I feel twitchy. I feel like I’m in a therapy session with the therapist staring me down and after 10 minutes asking a “how do you feeeeeeel about that” question and my only response is “I dunno”. Oh hey….it IS just like therapy. Ha.

So uh……yeah. I think I need that orgasm right about now.

 

Links to help:  ADAA page on Depression  –  1-800-273-TALK  – NAMI

 Posted by at 10:59 am
Jan 192015
 

LeloMonaWaveThe Lelo Mona Wave takes the Mona and adds motion, meant to do the g-spot stroking for you. For me, sex toys don’t replace a human. They’re a great accompaniment. I love using them by myself and with a partner. But just as a penis or finger or tongue could never vibrate and nearly never achieve the orgasms (for me) that a good vibrator can, a sex toy can never feel like oral sex or the thrusting of a penis or the stroking, much-lauded “come-hither” motion of a finger or two. Yet sex toy companies, Lelo included, keep trying to create sex toys that seem to be aiming for replacement rather than harmony[1. and worse, they often try to claim they’re the first. Didn’t they claim to be ground-breaking with the Ora, when the Je Joue Sasi was the first? And there ARE rotating, g-spot-curved rabbits, but they rotate around. This just literally mimics the motion of you crooking your finger to “come here”]. They are also creating sex toys that promise way more than they can deliver, in my opinion. 

Right on the box, Lelo proclaims: “The orgasm to end all orgasms[1. WTF does this even MEAN??]” and “The world’s first g-spot massager that rises and plunges within[2. I can’t make this shit up. Rises? Plunges?] like the natural caress of a lover’s fingers”. That’s really putting the pressure on. 

PROS: Let’s start off on a good note, eh?

  • The entire thing is finally covered in silicone. There’s still a seam between the white and color, of course, but it’s not as bad as before. Plus now the buttons are covered in silicone which also makes things much easier on cleaning.
  • There’s an instant-on instant-off button. Rather than pressing the power-up button to turn on and pressing the power-down to turn off[ 1. Which honestly has led to more dead Lelos for me than any other brand, simply because the lowest vibration setting is SO low you might think it’s off when it’s not], you now simply press the center of the control panel
  • Awesome colors that are not so gender-binary focused. Black! Cobalt Blue! 
  • The Wave can be slowed down or turned off, or the vibrations can be turned off
  • Think outside the box – people whose fingers fatigue easily could consider using it clitorally for extra help

In addition to this instant-on button, Lelo Mona Wave will also remember what setting you were on when you last left off, if that appeals to you. Also, while I’ve never had a problem with ABS plastic as a material, combining it like Lelo has done for so many years can simply result in issues with cleaning, like around the crevices and cracks. I don’t feel that the lack of raised buttons makes life any harder, either. 

Lelo Mona Wave (in blue) handle and buttons vs. Lelo Mona 2. The Mona 2's buttons are clearly individual buttons, whereas the Mona Wave is markings on the silicone skin with only a fingertip-sized dimple in the center Showing the difference in the curve of the body of the Lelo Mona Wave (blue) vs Mona 2 if you turn off the motor that waggles it when it is at its most flexed.  It does give a more dramatic curve at the neck from the Mona 2.

CONS: Well, we had to get here eventually, you just didn’t think it would be so soon……

  • Vibrations are not as rumbly or as strong as Mona
  • Motion transfers – a good, pelvic-floor clench means the handle moves, not the head
  • So many patterns. It’s like IKEA, you can get lost in the patterns and you can’t even turn it off to start fresh at the beginning.
  • That noise, though. 
  • Meh.
  • That price, though.
  • Need firm pressure? Forgetaboutit. 

I was seriously bummed to find that in order to accommodate the Wave feature, they dumbed down the vibrations. They are not as rumbly as the Mona 2 and they are not as powerful. In fact, the Lelo Mona Wave’s vibrations are less than the freaking original Mona which I tested on whatever charge it had left after sitting around from the last time I had to check vibration strengths which was a few weeks ago. I even asked my husband’s opinion, so that I wasn’t unintentionally biased, and he definitely thought the “blue one” was less powerful. Doing the cheek test[1. Some people do the nose test, but with the more powerful vibrators it just makes me sneeze. So I open my mouth wide and touch vibrators to the hollow of my cheek and gauge how far on my face I can feel vibrations as a way to compare vibrators against each other when the power difference is less noticeable], the vibrations of the original Mona seem to be more far-reaching on my face than the Mona Wave. In the video clip below, you can see how the Mona 2 (in red) simply sounds lower-pitched in the glass, and splashes some of the water out. The Mona Wave doesn’t create a splash. Literally. It’s a big let-down for me. Mona 2 was never enough for me for g-spot vibrations, not like the L’amourose Rosa Rouge is, but with a little patience it could get me off clitorally. 

 

A video posted by Lilly (@dangerouslilly) on

So let’s go back to physics class – when you’re holding it firmly by the handle and there’s nothing impeding the movement of the head, sure, the head wiggles. But as soon as there’s resistance introduced, the movement has to go somewhere, so it goes to the handle. This isn’t to say that it’s a dead fish once inserted, but there is less movement. In the video clip below you hear and see how fast the top speed of the wiggle is, and then the slower speed, and finally see how much less it moves when there’s resistance.  Yes, you can run the Mona Wave with just the arm moving and no vibrations, the arm moving slower with wave-pulsing vibrations, vibrations with no arm movement, or arm movement with a big variety of pulsating patterns. The + and – keys only control the vibration intensity. To change everything else you must cycle through with the up and down arrow keys. To get back to the default setting of high arm movements and straight vibrations, just click the hell out of the down arrow until everything seems to be back where you started from.

 

A video posted by Lilly (@dangerouslilly) on

I like a lot of pressure on my g-spot, and it’s why I adore the firmness of the Njoy Pure Wand so much. Aimless, passionless stroking is not going to impress my g-spot, I need pressure. That doesn’t really happen with the Mona Wave for me. In fact, I felt no “zing” of “yeah, that’s the spot!!” like I can even by simply inserting a girthy dildo to provide passive pressure. Yeah, I can feel the movement but it’s not earth-shattering, there’re no fireworks.  I normally (except for the Pure Wand) don’t get a ton of enjoyment out of just g-spot stimulation alone. But g-spot stim will greatly help along a clitoral/blended orgasm – making it happen faster and be much more intense. So when I tried the Mona Wave along with other toys, I didn’t get that speed-up effect nor did it make my orgasm more intense, nor did it draw out the length of the orgasm. 

So, the noise. I’ve had louder vibrators, certainly. The Magic Wand is louder. But as you can hear in the video, that movement is coupled with this odd, robotic sound. I envision those old RC toys with legs that walked, like the puppies or robots. It can be a little….off-putting, to some people. It doesn’t bother me per se but if you need a quiet vibe, this isn’t it. The high-pitched sound of the moving arm can be heard more easily than the low-pitched rumble of the Mona 2, for example. 

Forget g-spots for a minute. Can the Mona Wave work as a clitoral vibrator + massager? Meh. I’m unimpressed frankly, and that’s mostly because it’s a lack of decent vibrations. Under good circumstances the Mona 2 can get me off clitorally but the Mona Wave? Nope. And if movement + pressure is going to work for me, it needs to be directed to that certain spot on the right side of my clitoral hood. The Mona Wave is too wide to do anything pinpoint. But what about prostates? ehhhh. Is the design of the Mona considered borderline anal safe, since it does get thinner in the neck and then flares out in the handle? I guess? I don’t think the Lelo Mona Wave is going to make waves for prostates, either. Again, there’s a lot of resistance and so the movements will be dulled. 

In the end, I’m going to give the Lelo Mona Wave a pass because it is not AWESOME and I don’t even think it’s better than the Mona 2. I’d simply rather do it my own damn self. Much like the Fun Factory Stronic Drei, which moved even less, I’m clearly not the target audience for these tech-fancy moving sex toys. And with a price tag of $169 for the Lelo Mona Wave (and $189 for the Lelo Ina Wave which I suspect would fail even more for me) it’s just not enough AWESOME for the price. If it had the same level of vibrations as the Mona 2 and were priced lower I’d say why not, go for it but it’s $40 more. 

 

A big thank you to SHEVIBE for being amazing and sending me a Lelo Mona Wave to review! 

 

Jan 162015
 

Since 2005, The Screaming O has been telling us that their products like Ringo, The Big O, The Screaming O Plus (the clear material products) were “SEBS Silicone”. After I delved into my material research, discussions with industry professionals, and flame testing, I felt pretty damn certain that there was never any silicone in these products. When an AVN article came out on January 14th talking about how The Screaming O decided to run lab tests AND quoted Anne Hodder of Hodder Media Inc, their Public Relations Spokesperson, as saying “I think we can finally put to rest the critics with our data that shows our products are what we say they are,” I got kinda angry at first [1. That may be a bit of an understatement] because well….no. The tests revealed that the SEBS products are just SEBS….not the SEBS Silicone they’ve been called all along. And because there was no talk in the article about The Screaming O recognizing the material disparity publicly and stating that changes will be made to reflect that, something felt off. It felt like “they still don’t get it”. But as soon as I was told that actually, yeah, they DO get it, I wanted to see if I could get more information. Yes, I think a few have doubted that even their silicone was truly silicone, and those tests DO prove that they are. But the biggest problem is that continuing to have these listed as silicone has caused confusion to people who are trying to seek out only non-porous materials, and it damages trust in the industry as a whole. 

I think this might be the first time that a sex toy company has both tested AND publicly admitted that their material hasn’t been what they advertised it to be. I was able to snag an interview with Anne Hodder and get some answers. I do now feel better about TSO overall as a company. I still don’t love the porous cock rings [1. While these are external-only items, the porous material can still come into contact with mucus membranes of the vulva and the chance for STI transmission can still occur; this is my opinion and perhaps not the opinion of TSO] but now that I know they weren’t purposely lying and now that I know the material is absolutely non-toxic, I think the rings are fine for a first-timer to try out the world of cock rings. I’d rather you choose from their pure silicone line, but hey, budgets n’ all that.

I’m printing Anne’s answers as she gave them to me. So this will be long, but you can skip around if you wish. 

1. When a company goes on for so many years saying that it’s a blend (and recently I was told by an expert that blends aren’t possible) we lose complete trust in them. What can be said to help us regain our trust in your brand about the “SEBS Silicone” issue? Is TSO also admitting that these products are porous (and that for true body-safe products that will last, go for the premium silicone versions)? Is TSO officially saying that yes, the SEBS products were all mislabeled in the past?

Labeling our products as SEBS Silicone was not an intentional manipulation or plan to deceive the public; it was an error that dates possibly back to the company’s 2005 inception and was carried throughout our marketing until we made the official decision to have our materials tested. And with the lab results in hand, we are now in the process of revising our marketing, packaging, websites and more to reflect the correct information: our stretchy products are made of pure non-toxic, body-safe SEBS.

SEBS, as is any material that is not platinum silicone, stainless steel, or coated wood or stone, is slightly porous – but “porous” does not mean “unsafe” or “toxic” when it comes to external-use toys. As with any sex toy, keeping Screaming O products in tip top shape simply requires cleaning after every use and safe storage: keep in a cool, dry place away from dust/dirt and any other outside contaminants.

We choose to manufacture much of our product line out of pure SEBS in order to provide quality alternatives for men, women and couples who cannot afford (or do not want) to drop $60+ on a rechargeable cock ring or $90+ clitoral vibe. And that demographic deserves body-safe materials and quality construction, which is why we are committed to confirming the composition of our materials with independent lab testing.

Also, it’s important to note that our SEBS is NOT to be confused with jelly, the material commonly found in floppy dildos that often smell like melted shower curtains – and not something you’d want anywhere near your body.

2. What can you tell us about the Twitter conversations back in November, most of which are referenced here? That exchange really soured a lot of bloggers on the company in general.

That exchange was unfortunate. To put it simply, we had an outside contractor handling basic social media duties (daily posting, mostly) who responded to the online argument without conferring with the marketing team first. Her responses were argumentative, uninformed and unprofessional and did not accurately represent the thoughts and feelings of The Screaming O.

We immediately went into damage control as soon as we were made aware of the situation. We reached out to all involved and offered “offline” discussion to try to set the record straight, and The Screaming O is no longer using this contractor’s services.

Customer service is our No. 1 priority – whether it’s with our retailers or our fans – and we work hard to establish and maintain candid communication with anyone who reaches out to us, regardless of whether it’s with a compliment or criticism.

3. The article that came out on Jan 14th talked about the test results without acknowledging that TSO recognizes the disparity between the results (SEBS vs SEBS silicone) and plans to take action on that. What can you tell us about this action?

We are now in the process of revising all copy on our websites, packaging and marketing materials to correctly represent our SEBS products, now that we have hard lab data to clear up the confusion. We also encourage retailers and customers to adjust their own marketing copy to ensure that their descriptions accurately represent our products to the shopping public, something that we’re communicating through internal newsletter and email communication.

What This Means

Something that I learned a few years ago from Metis Black of Tantus is that basically you have the material supplier and (for most companies) the manufacturing plant (usually in China) acquires the material. The creating company can SAY they want XYZ and the supplier can say “yeah sure…it’s XYZ *winkwink* and the creating company who is putting their name on the product is truly none the wiser (unless they went the extra mile and randomly had toys sent off to a third-party lab to be tested). So the company (in this case, The Screaming O) geniunely believes that their product is this “silicone elastomer blend” and sticks to that. I do believe that we’ve seen other, larger companies in the past who may have known that their “TPR Silicone” product had no silicone, but they labeled it that way for sales because they could. Companies like that simply quietly changed the wording on their site and product packaging, but never did so out of concern for their customers. 

Some might be skeptical about a company really not knowing that their material isn’t what they’re told it to be; but it rings true to the infamous (in industry circles) story of Metis challenging a vendor friend at a trade show some years back who insisted his product was silicone, and she used the flame test to show that it wasn’t. 

I’m hoping that TSO is able to reach most retailers and have them change the wording on their sites, and begin to lift this confusion of “blends” being a thing and myths that “silicone melts when it touches other silicone“. 

I’ve been told that the lab test results and information will be available online and I’ll update with a link here when they are. 

What are your thoughts? Does this change how you view The Screaming O and their products? 

 Posted by at 4:45 pm