Lilly

Jul 272014
 

Maybe you’ve noticed, maybe you haven’t, but I haven’t been as active on social media much in the last few weeks. I’ve slowed down a little on the blog posts. The answer is quite simple: I had to get a civilian job. I didn’t want to, but I’m just not making enough from all of this right now.

Luckily, I managed to snag a part-time job where I’m alone basically babysitting an office and the office isn’t very busy. In my two weeks so far, many days I had no customers coming in. So, once I get myself all set up (now that I’m past the training, and am finally left on my own) I should be able to do bloggy stuff while at work. After all, that’s how I started 6 years ago! 6 years ago I was working full-time in a boring government job, and I had plenty of downtime at work to be on social media, writing posts, etc. But the blog was very very different back then–more personal, more sexy. It might prove difficult for me to work on reviews someplace other than my home office.

For the past two weeks, though, I’ve basically sucked at time management. For 3 wonderful years I was able to stay home and have the blog be my full-time job. I had no restraints and restrictions on my time, I had no schedule. Now, though, I’m somewhere else for a firm 4.5 hours a day in the afternoon. By the time I come home at close to 5:30, it’s time for little miss Corrupt Donna Reed to think about putting dinner on the table. If I need to go to any stores, it has to be done in the mornings. So fitting in blog time has not been managed just yet, but I’m workin on it. I specifically took this part-time job so that I could have more time for the blog, because this IS the job of my dreams in many ways. I just wish the pay was better!

I’m notoriously bad at time management, I always have been. I’ve pretty much been the ADD poster child all my life. I don’t have routines, I don’t do schedules…..for better or worse. Now I have to learn, though. I have to learn to use the scheduled Tweet stuff on Hootsuite. I think I need to find a new “tweet old post” plugin and bring that back. I’ll be able to do Reddit stuff from my tablet at work (especially now that I’ve solved the main issue with tablet usage – I’ve found a way to hook up a real mouse, and have an external keyboard), and social media from there. But I really need your best tips on how to manage my non-work time. I’m a pretty low-key person, and some might call me lazy. I don’t “work hard”, I don’t run like the Energizer bunny. But I have to fit everything in now, and try for something that looks like “being productive”…..every day.

So tell me, how do you balance your worlds? How do you make sure you get it all done?

Jul 222014
 

Welcome to HedoVibes, a collection of reviews and giveaways that were posted in the past week or so from around the web. This is a collection of adult product reviews & contests from real reviewers. If you want to be included in the next edition start with the guidelines, then use the submission form.

Want to read more reviews? Check out HedoVibes for a list of the latest reviews and stellar reviewers. You can also follow on twitter for the latest round ups. HedoVibes is also accepting photo submissions for each edition.

CONTESTS

DILDOS

VIBRATORS

ANAL TOYS

RINGS & STROKERS

BONDAGE, IMPACT, & FETISH GEAR

LUBES & CONDOMS

LINGERIE & SHOES

EROTIC BOOKS

MISCELLANEOUS

Jul 202014
 

JimmyjaneForm4The Jimmyjane Form 4  seems to be suffering a case of mistaken identity. Everything it claims to be, it is not. 

I don’t have a good history with the brand; in fact it’s well-known that I will never recommend one of their products. I fondled their Iconic line at a Babeland a few years ago and was extremely underwhelmed. Don’t even get me started on those bumblebee-in-a-can Little Something vibes. I hated the Hello Touch and I wanted to set fire to the Form 3. The Form 6 bored me so much that I never found the fucks to give to review it. I tend to think that everything made by JJ is in the buzzy camp and very overpriced.  Yet I start to doubt my convictions now and then when I read a positive review. I start to think that possibly not all of the Forms are awful and I should give it a shot again. So when Peepshow Toys sent me the Form 4, I tried very hard to pretend it wasn’t a Jimmyjane vibrator. I tried to ignore the ludicrous ad copy. 

All of my efforts failed. I still don’t like the Form 4. Let me count the ways….

Barry White?

I’d like to hand Jimmyjane the Lelo Smart Wand Large and the Minna Limon and the We-Vibe Tango and drill it into their heads that those items are rumbly. Those items could possibly be called the Barry Whites of vibrators. For Form 4 to self-claim the title is presumptuous and just dead wrong.  I tried the water test (which the Form 3 failed spectacularly). In the short video below, I tested (in order of appearance) the Leaf Fresh+, the Lelo Mia 2, the Je Joue Mimi Soft, the We-Vibe Touch and then Tango, finishing and starting the clip with the JimmyJane Form 4. All of the vibrators I tested had more of an impact on the water than that of the Form 4. 

I personally respond best to deep, penetrating vibrations. Lacking that, I require pressure (so that the vibrations travel through flesh a little farther). It took me 35 minutes of play and porn and a lot of pressure to coax out an orgasm with the Form 4. The orgasm was a bit like a failed July 4th firework – You see the trail going up up up into the sky, you hold your breath and wait for the bang and burst but it never happens. It’s just a silent “poof” of nothing with a tiny light sputtering and spiraling to the ground. Plenty of people do not need strong, deep vibrations. I think you already know this about yourself, if this is the case. But if you’ve hated more vibrators than you’ve loved, if manual clitoral stimulation is a frustrating endeavor then let me lead you away from the Jimmyjane Form 4.  There is no “exceptional power”. It is moderate, in everything it does.

Flexible! G-Spot!

Form4FlexOn their site, Jimmyjane has a graphic that is apparently supposed to represent how flexible the Form 4 is. Um, no. “Form 4″ and “Flexible” are in different zipcodes. States, even. With a lot of force pushing the head in one direction and the neck in another, I can get the Form 4 to be very slightly flexible…ish. This claim has to be the most far-fetched of them all on the Form 4.

Listen, my g-spot needs either pressure or fullness or firm strokes. The Jimmyjane Form 4 cannot deliver any of these. And if your g-spot is not located right near your pubic bone, the Form 4 isn’t going to reach. You’ve got maybe 3 inches of insertable space if I’m being generous. This coupled with the straight bowling-pin shape1 does just not make for a g-spot vibrator.  STOP TRYING SO HARD, JIMMYJANE.

More seam than a pair of legs circa 1942

Silicone-covered vibrators have a seam. It’s the nature of the beast. You can’t avoid it. But you CAN make the seam less noticeable. Jimmyjane did not. I don’t consider myself extremely sensitive but even I felt that seam during external use. Most people are more sensitive than I, and would likely be quite bothered by this. For ~ $145, I expect way better.

SO 2010

In my list of gripes, it feels very minor to gripe about the charging cable and the packaging but it irks me enough that I can justify it. It’s 2014, Jimmyjane. Time to slim down the packaging, use less plastic, make the charging unit more travel-friendly. It’s been a few years since I received a rechargeable toy with this giant A/C adapter plug. Many companies have switched to USB for worldwide compatibility and others at least made the adapter smaller.

JJForm4Packaging JJForm4Charger

It’s not all bad….?

You get a moderately powerful slightly buzzy waterproof vibrator that is stuck in between the lands of Clitoral Vibrator and G-Spot Vibrator. It’s longer than most vibes meant for clitoral action, which in my world is a good thing. It’s easy to hold. There is still some vibration sensation that travels throughout the entire vibe, so it’s not like ditching the smaller clitoral vibes for this gets you noticeably less tingly of the fingers. It comes in gray…..

….That’s all I got. I can’t find anything else good about it. I tried.

 Where should you go from here?

Vibrators that are more powerful and rumbly than the Jimmyjane Form 4: Lelo Mona 2; Je Joue Uma; Minna Limon; We-Vibe Tango; We-Vibe Touch; Jopen Envy 3; Je Joue Mimi Soft; Leaf Fresh+. Lelo Mia 2 is a bit more rumbly but about the same intensity and the same can be said for even the Lelo Gigi 2.  If you don’t really need something powerful, I think even the Gigi 2 (and it doesn’t rank super high for me) would be a better choice than the Form 4. More of a handle, better g-spot curve and head, and can be used externally. I’d suggest Je Joue Uma if you want a little more length and intensity/depth of vibration in a style that can be used for g-spot or clitoris. If it’s just clitoral you’re interested in, I’d recommend the We-Vibe Touch for a more pleasing vibration that still retains serious power within an ergonomic, silicone-covered body, or the We-Vibe Tango for the ultimate in deep, rumbling vibrations. Both the Touch and Tango have 4 intensity speeds so you don’t need to choose the super-powered setting if you don’t need it.

Bottom line is that I can recommend a whole host of vibrators that perform better and cost less than the Form 4. I can’t find any reason to ever recommend the Form 4 over anything else.

 

My appreciation to Peepshow Toys for allowing me to satisfy my curiosity, and prove to myself that I just shouldn’t trust Jimmyjane to deliver. After all, this is a company that thinks people are going to pay $40 more for the same vibrator that has 24K gold plated charging contacts – or, better yet, $3,500 for a platinum & diamond 1-speed piece of crap. They seem to have done away with their $4k bouncy house and $35k plane ride, at least. Between their ridiculous pricing, inability to make even one awesome vibrator, and the fact that they’re now owned by Pipedream (a company I wouldn’t trust as far as I could throw them, so it’s a match made in heaven) – this is a brand I simply won’t recommend. 

 

If you like my blog and my reviews...if you think my educational posts are important, if you think I'm doing important work on the toxic sex toys front, consider supporting me on Patreon.com for a few dollars a month

  1. I think it also is shaped like squash, also not sexy or conducive to g-spot play
Jul 162014
 

Vixen Medium Realistic Bent and Vixen Vixskin TexThe Medium Realistic Bent and Vixskin Tex are the same size, length and design – modeled after an average-sized cock with foreskin. The only difference between the two is that one is dual-density Vixskin and comes only in flesh tones, while the other is more firm and comes in colors like black and a gorgeous purple. I’m not a fan of super-realistic dildos, but the realistic design squick can be offset for me with non-realistic color options, hence why I chose the Medium Realistic Bent as my single-density Vixen to try out.

Probably the only real issue I have with these two dildos is the length. It would be a great addition to a harness for thinner build people, but from my experience larger people need a dildo that is a little longer. I carry a lot of weight in my midsection and it can interfere with a harness dildo of this length. For solo play the length also bothers me due to my build and lack of extreme flexibility. I need something that is curved like the Pure Wand, Comet Wand or Nobessence Seduction or a dildo with a longer handle.  Even the Tantus Cush O2 is easier for me to use simply because the overall length is greater; even though I can’t use all of the length for penetration it gives me something to hold on to. The same could be said of the Raptor XL.

Some silicone attracts fur and dust like crazy; the Vixens are some of the worst. Vixskin, for me, is harder to clean and keep clean than even Tantus O2 material. No matter what I tried, I couldn’t always get it totally clean – I kinda resigned myself to the fact that a few stray cat hairs were going to end up in my vagina. But the Vixskin certainly does feel realistic; I almost couldn’t tell the difference under clothing between my husband’s bio cock and a Vixskin dildo.

Some Vixen models have a base that has suction cup abilities, some don’t. Both the Medium Realistic Bent and Vixskin Tex do. It’s not as strong of a suction as the Tantus Suction Cup Attachment, but it holds up pretty well. It also melds two suction-cuppy Vixen dildos together at the base quite well, creating your own custom double-ended dildo, for those flexible enough to use these outside of porn. That’s probably how Vixen got the idea for their Nexus.

These two dildos might be on the short side for me, but they’re not exactly slim at 1.6″ wide. Both required lube for me (which isn’t normal for me) and I felt a bit more drag/resistance with the Tex. I thought that the plushness of Vixskin would make a somewhat-girthy dildo easier to accommodate, but the Vixskin material seemed to provide a bit more resistance for me.  I’m not particularly sensitive to textures and I’m not one who finds that firm dildos of a certain design catch on my pubic bone so honestly after insertion….I couldn’t really tell all that much of a difference between the two. There was a slight difference; Tex felt a little more comfortable, a little more blurred-edges. Medium Bent was a bit more noticeable in use. Given the shorter length, I found that Tex worked well for me as a “stationary” dildo in the double-up cuff of my Aslan harness (which can hold in a plug or dildo for the harness wearer). 

For those who notice texture more and especially those who have problems with chiseled dildo heads catching the pubic bone, I would recommend Tex over the Medium Realistic Bent. For those who want to feel everything, go for the Medium Bent. I found that both provided g-spot sensation for me, really well, without being overly large. The Vixen standard silicone does feel more plush than most Tantus single-density silicone, I noticed. Yet both models had a strong enough core that I could apply the pressure that my g-spot needed, unlike the Raquel.

Both the Medium Realistic Bent and Tex are 5.25″ long and 1.6″ wide. If the width is good but you think more length would be better, I’d recommend Woody (6×1.5) for the same design, Leo for a less pronounced head ridge (7×1.5), Mustang for Vixskin and non-realistic colors (6.5×1.5), or Bandit for a slightly tapered Vixskin design that’s highly realistic (boo, balls) (7×1.7).

 VixenMediumBentandTex

The Vixen Medium Realistic Bent was provided to me by SheVibe and the Vixskin Tex was provided to me by Vixen, both in exchange for my honest review. You can purchase all Vixen items from either SheVibe or directly from Vixen.

 

 

 If you like my blog and my reviews...if you think my educational posts are important, if you think I'm doing important work on the toxic sex toys front, consider supporting me on Patreon.com for a few dollars a month

Jul 112014
 

This got to be a little more complicated than just 5 simple things, but more knowledge is good…right?? Right. I’ve also asked some veterans to weigh in. Epiphora made this great post for sex toy reviewers but I wanted to see if we could narrow it down and make it less about being a newbie and more about “continuing education”. So Tip #4 comes to you from Piph! I want to be clear and say that a lot of these things don’t apply to your average blogger who is just blogging to have an outlet, a writing voice, etc. That type of blogging is no less valid; you’re in it for you and nobody else and that’s awesome. But if you want to be a reviewer and be given things to review from companies, then you need to treat it like a job in some ways. 

1. Know about sex toy material safety and proper care and cleaning. Familiarize yourself with truth vs myth. We’ve dispelled a lot of myths in recent years – like we know now that pure silicone sex toys can be all up in each other’s business with no ill effects. There shall be no melting, no deformities. We once thought this to be true because so many companies tried to pass TPR off as silicone. It’s not, nor is there such a thing as a TPR “blended” with silicone. I, at this very moment, have a drawer full of silicone dildos. I have an over-the-door shoe rack and I have multiple sex toys shoved in each pocket. Nothing bad has happened. Yet I still see people cautioning that you must store each sex toy in its own bag and don’t let them touch. I also still see a lot of people singing the praises of how good a certain dildo feels, despite the fact that it stinks, but hey it feels so good that I’m gonna overlook that little issue with the smell. That’s fine if you want to risk your health and welfare, but at least educate your readers about porosity, toxic toys, and safe sharing at a minimum.

2. Understand what your audience actually needs from a sex toy review. Spend fewer words describing how the toy functions in  extreme detail and fewer words describing the packaging in detail. This isn’t to say you can or should avoid this info all the time, but it’s less important. I’m a reviewer but I’m also a buyer. When I am reading your sex toy reviews, I am going to go straight for the “what does it feel like” section. I want to know if it’s rumbly or buzzy and how powerful it is and what you would compare it to – comparisons often help me decide. If you say it’s slightly less powerful than the Lelo Gigi, that’s a big tell for me. Of course, how you feel about specific toys overall helps me, too. If you feel that the Lelo Gigi is ultra-powerful and rumbly, then your reviews aren’t going to work for me. I’m not saying that your perception of vibration intensity is wrong….I’m saying it doesn’t match my perception. For some people, most vibrators are intensely powerful. For other people (like mahself) there’s a small list of vibrators that are powerful enough / the right kind of powerful. And please…..don’t be afraid to talk about your body. Someone with an exposed clitoris and minimal labia, who is also thin, will have vastly different opinions on some vibrators than I do. There are simply some designs that do not work on vulvas like mine – fleshy outer labia with a very recessed clit.

3.  Write reviews to benefit your readersnot your affiliate account, not the company you’re reviewing for. Your reviews should be for your readers, to help them determine if the sex toy will work for them, and that goes beyond vibrations or girth.  Being overly positive, refusing to write a negative review, trying to find silver linings on shitty toys, proclaiming a weak toy as being “great for beginners“, not discussing serious flaws in design or use…..these all do a great disservice to your audience. They need to trust you and your opinion and THEN they will buy from your links. Worried about not making money from a negative review? Recommend something else similar that you feel is better. IF the flaws aren’t great but the design just didn’t work for you, then try to think of who it WOULD work for.  And, equally as important, don’t censor your reviews just to appease a company. There are many retailers and even manufacturers out there who want good reviewers and a quality, honest company realizes that negative reviews are worthy and a fact of life. Companies that listen to negative reviews and use them to make their products better are few and far between, but they do exist. If I have a company tell me that I need to be more upbeat, more sunshine-y, then we’re not a good fit. If you want me to have a “classy review” devoid of discussing the vibrator’s ability (or not) to make me come? You’re in the wrong place. You’re also What’s Wrong With This Industry.

4. “There is no formula. Your life as a blogger will be a lot less stressful if you banish almost every notion about what a sex toy review blog should be (except, you know, the part about good content). Taking inspiration from other bloggers is fine, but if you spend all your time modelling yourself after them, you’ll never discover what makes you unique, happy, and ultimately, reputable. If I had to put every toy in each of my orifices and then write a 2,000-word screed about it, I would have burned out long ago. But some people are really good at that! I just let them be good at that while I do my own thing.” ~ Epiphora – HeyEpiphora.com

5. Be Professional. This covers everything from your blog to social media. On your blog, your writing is often all that people see. Your writing should be a reflection of you and it should dress to impress. This means clean up the typos, run spell-check and have a basic knowledge of grammar. Their/they’re/there and that sort of thing. If you don’t care enough to do just that amount, then why should I trust your reviews?

The other side of professionalism is knowing how to present yourself on social media. If you want to work with companies, if you want to have advertisers and if you care about making a side income then you need to care about what you say and how you act on social media. Tone down your ego and sense of entitlement – be grateful for every “yes” and humble and respectful of every “no”. You’re not the only game on the block. Therefore, don’t take every rejection so personally. It might be personal but it is more often a decision based on numbers and metrics and their own quotas. Respect that.  I’m sure you’ve heard this job interview tip: “Don’t bash your former boss”. Apply that to this situation as well. There are some grievances and opinions that absolutely need to public knowledge….but not everything. When a company sees you publicly bashing the fact that another company turned you down, they’ll be reluctant to work with you for fear you’ll turn on them publicly as well.

__________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________

I’m merely a fellow reviewer, so I wondered what the advice would look like coming from a company. I asked my favorite “boss”, Sandra of SheVibe, to give me her top 5 tips for reviewers:

In my time with SheVibe I have watched so many sex bloggers blossom, it’s been awesome.  When we first launched the site, we didn’t have a review program. We kind of watched was going on from the sidelines, made sure we understood the nuances – the culture so to speak.  When we felt like we had something to offer we entered the arena, always treating it as a reciprocal relationship where both parties learn and grow.  My advice to newcomers and veterans alike is this:

  1. Know who you’re reaching out to.  You better believe I’m going to know who you are before I agree to you reviewing for us. I check to see what the overall attitude is.  I understand the need to share parts of one’s personal life – it’s important to inject pieces of yourself to connect with your readers, but there’s a fine balance to keep in check.  If you’re constantly airing your dirty laundry, that is a red flag for me.  I will also check old posts to see how or if you’ve grown.  I look at social media also – this is often where people show excessive combativeness or a tendency to “overshare”.  Again, I understand that this might be considered personal space, but if you are treating your blog as a business, then you may want to consider a separate persona for your personal needs.
  2. Presentation is everything, from the initial email you send me to how your website is designed.  If you don’t present well, it is going to be hard for you to build a readership and readers are $$ in the eyes of the retailer. In other words – spelling and grammar matter! Clean up your typos! Check your attitude from ego to temper.
  3. Have a well-rounded world view and don’t try to serve too many masters. By this I mean, have the presence of mind to know that just because something doesn’t work for your body type or is outside of your taste preference doesn’t mean that everyone will have the same experience.  This is a mistake I see a lot of newcomers make and kind of ties in to #4.  By serving too many masters means that if you are reviewing for several companies, it’s likely that none of them are getting your best work.  It also smacks of someone just trying to get as much “free stuff” as possible.  I find that the most successful bloggers tend to connect with a handful of companies they like and respect.  There are some bloggers I will do pretty much anything for – they have shown us loyalty and support and I will absolutely reciprocate.  You can’t develop that kind of relationship if you’re all over the place.
  4. If you are going to speak in absolutes, you should absolutely know what you are talking about. I have come across some instances where a reviewer will say something along the lines of, “trust me, you will hate this….”.  I still see a lot of mis-information about lubricants and materials.  Or I’ll see off base comments about how something is manufactured.  There’s a lot of misconception and lack of understanding.  Very few bloggers really take the time to understand this business soup to nuts.  I get it, it’s a lot to know.  But you can’t speak about things you know nothing about or don’t understand and I would much prefer you ask rather than take the opportunity to leave bad intel in your review just because you liked the way the sentence played out.
  5. If we aren’t able to accept you into our program now, it’s not personal.  Work harder, get better, build your audience, love what you do.  You are scrapping for readership in an ever changing, tough industry. If you are passionate, trust me, it will pay off.

 

Jul 102014
 

I had anywhere from 80-140 people vying for EACH prize in the big 6 year giveaway which is awesome but sad at the same time. Why sad? Because I wish I could pick more than one winner per item. Also: Welcome newbies! Next contest, if you stick around, you won’t be a new visitor anymore and will get bonus Loyalty Points for the next giveaway. How? This past contest, one way I was able to do that was with my Google Plus page. There was a special post on there only visible to those following my page, which is something I’ll do again so if you’re not already following me on there, you should be.  I’ve also decided to do a monthly newsletter like all the cool kids,  and there will be a code published in the newsletter prior to an upcoming giveaway that’ll get you a bunch of bonus entry points.  But you have to be subscribed to get it! Don’t forget to check your spam folder for the “are you sure you really want to sign up for this?” confirmation email that MailChimp sends out before really signing you up.

________________________________________________________________________

Sign up for my monthly newsletter

 

________________________________________________________________________

WINNERS!

We-Vibe Tango, courtesy of We-vibe goes to: Dana N

Tantus OOAK pair #1 goes to: Rachael J

Tantus OOAK pair #2 goes to: Starina J

The RodeoH harness courtesy of Early to Bed & the Tantus OOAK Large silk goes to: Tequila Rose

The Pleasure Purse goes to: Jade P

The Nobessence Fling, courtesy of Burlesque Toy Shop goes to: Stephanie R

Je Joue Mimi Soft, courtesy of SheVibe, goes to: Anna Lea H

The Fucking Sculptures Twocumber goes to Raine D

Crystal Delights Ash Girl Dildo goes to: Myra

 

Congratulations, everyone! These 9 people have been notified by email as well. They have a week to get back to me. If anybody doesn’t, or can’t follow through on paying the shipping for the item if they’re outside the free shipping boundaries, a replacement winner will be chosen and it will be updated here, and announced on social media.

 

What’s Next??

In September I’ll be giving away this Limited Edition trio of Tantus’s new designs – the Slow Drive Long in lime, the Sport Long in teal and the teeny Warm Up in silvery gray. All limited edition colors! Let me know in the comments which method you’d prefer I use for giving out a special code for existing fans & followers: Newsletter; G+; or tied in to Twitter somehow.

 

If you like my blog and my reviews...if you think my educational posts are important, if you think I'm doing important work on the toxic sex toys front, consider supporting me on Patreon.com for a few dollars a month