Lilly

Sep 222014
 

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

SheVibe is All That

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

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

Jimmyjane is Clueless

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

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

 I’m really just a Mouthy Bitch

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

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

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

 

  1. To be fair, Lelo is guilty of this crap too, to a degree, with their gold and silver/platinum versions of the Ella and Bob and whatnot….but they didn’t do the bouncy house and plane ride so they’re the lesser of two evils
 Posted by at 4:21 pm
Sep 202014
 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 Posted by at 10:15 am
Sep 172014
 

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

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

Wood Sex Toys: An Introduction

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

A Brief History of Sex Blogging

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

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

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

The Posh Life of a Sex Toy Reviewer

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

 

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

 Posted by at 5:58 pm
Sep 162014
 

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

The Good

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

And I was right. For the most part.

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

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

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

The Meh

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

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

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

How it Works

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

JopenLustL10Measurements1  JopenLustL10Example

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

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

 

A big thanks to SheVibe for sending me the Jopen Lust L10 in exchange for my very honest, unbiased, nobody-bribed-me-for-being-nice review.
Sep 102014
 

VixskinRaquel2Like the rabbit vibrator, suction cup dildos are (for me) a great idea in theory but terrible in execution. I’m no spring chicken anymore and I have the knees of a person twice my age. I can’t deny though that plenty of people love these things. One reason why I have trouble with suction cup dildos is the lack of a compatible surface. The surface has to be completely flat and perfectly smooth, no imperfections that would break the suction seal. Bathroom tiles can sometimes work, but they need to be at least 1/2″ bigger than the base on each side to have a chance at working. Mirrors and windows work, of course. Painted walls though, normally do not. Before you get it in your head that the suction cup is for you, make sure you have a surface that’ll work with it. I see a lot of people buying the porous / possibly-toxic versions way, way too often so I’m providing a list of all known safe versions. There’s a surprisingly larger selection than I expected!

Early2Bed carries a few that I’m not yet seeing in many places. Max, Fairy, and Astral. Max is realistic-looking but small while Fairy and Astral (Maia brand) are completely non-realistic.

 Of course with Tantus, there’s the silicone suction cup attachment, which works with their vibrating dildos.

Happy Valley vibrating dildos (Perk, Hottie and Little Hottie) might work with the Tantus suction cup attachment. When I contacted them, they responded with:

All of our dildos are designed with ergonomics and harness compatibility in mind. As the bases are shaped to conform to the natural curves of the body, this does not readily lend itself to suction cup styles. Whilst the Tantus attachment would definitely fit into the vibe hole for both Fuze and Happy Valley toys, I doubt that it would either be comfortable or function to its full potential, due to the different design criteria of ourselves and Tantus.

Pipedream Fetish Fantasy Elite line has a number of silicone dildos & silicone vibrating dildos with suction cup bases but you know they’re not a company I trust. The price is pretty low for the dildos but I’m just in general unconvinced of their overall quality. I’ve not flame-tested anything from them; until I can get my hands on one to flame test and dissect, I’m reluctant to really recommend them but there they are. There’s such a big line that I can’t really ignore them, and they do offer the vibrating aspect which isn’t common for this list.  I’ve never received any reports that they are not silicone, but they are “hollow” with a foam core. The silicone covering the foam core is thick and I can’t see it really becoming a problem.  Silicone is strong and I can’t see it ripping or anything. But, it is false advertising on Pipedream’s part, reporting these as “100%” medical grade silicone. I don’t believe it to be medical grade; why would they cut costs by adding the foam core and then use a more expensive grade of silicone? It’s probably food-grade which is no less pure or safe. Regardless, that’s a bit of false advertising that is slimy, but not surprising to me given Pipedream’s basic reputation.

 The Colours line, from NS Novelties, has 2 sizes of suction cup dildos in 2 colors.  The overall styling is realistic, but the colors aren’t (charcoal black and hot pink).

Vixen dildos sometimes have a naturally occurring suction cup base. I contacted Vixen to get the complete current line-up:

Vixskin: Tex, Raquel, Randy, Maverick

Original Formula: All with the exception of vibe versions, or anything with testicles (Johnny). i.e. All of the Realistic Bents, Randy, Leo, Mistress, and Woody.

Malesation dildos also have a suction cup base, but I’m not sure yet who is carrying this line, it seems pretty new. New York Toy Collective is unknown; I reached out to them, but received no response. If they respond and they have something, I’ll update here. Pleasureworks doesn’t currently have a consistent concave base on their dildos. If you know of any other brands that have a suction-cup base, either by design or as a by-product of a concave base, let me know!

 

 Posted by at 11:49 am
Sep 022014
 

OVO K2 Rabbit VibratorI’ve been eyeing up the OVO brand for a little while now. Silicone sex toys for less? Could it be true? Could they actually be decent? So far, the only reviews I have seen were for their cock rings which were panned pretty hard. But I didn’t worry, cock rings are usually never the highlight of most manufacturer’s product lines. So my first subject is the OVO K2 Rabbit Vibrator. It’s priced UNDER $50 at SheVibe, which is super good for a rabbit. OVO K2 would have blown the competition away if included in my previous round-up of under-$50 rabbits a few months back.

What I dislike: The weird joint where the insertable arm joins the rest of the body, right above the clitoral arm. It makes cleaning a tad bit more irksome than I’d like but it’s a minor seam when compared to the Lelo Insignia line or really, any Lelo. And the clitoral arm could use a tiny bit more power. If you are concerned about this then I suggest the Picobong Kaya. The OVO K2’s power balance has the internal arm a bit stronger than the clitoral arm and the Kaya is reversed. That said, the clitoral arm does have more oomph than say the Fun Factory Amorino or any of those crappy CalExotics cheap rabbits.

What I like: It has a substantial handle to it, and good button placement. There are patterns, but they don’t go crazy with them. The silicone of the usable portion is LIM type, matte-finish and mostly repels dust and fur. It’s similar to the silicone from Picobong and Je Joue. The handle and even battery cap are also covered in silicone, instead of the hard plastic that Picobong and Lelo favor.  It’s even “showerproof” – so take it in the shower, just don’t try to submerge it in bathwater.  Was the vibration level enough for me? No. I require a lot more than this on my clitoris. But unlike other vibes, I feel okay recommending this to people who need less than I do. It’s definitely not surface-buzzy; the clitoral arm is just on the precipice of truly rumbly – it needs just a touch more power. It’s still better than many, though. This is one of those times where I know that just because it didn’t work for me, doesn’t mean it’s a bad toy. I actually like it well enough that I look forward to reviewing more things from OVO.

The OVO K2 is a bit on the short side for the insertable portion, and definitely not girthy. 1.2″ at the widest is the best my aging eyes can discern. There’s just barely 4 inches from the shaft’s tip to the clitoral arm joint, but the clitoral arm extends a whopping 2.75″. The shaft doesn’t have too much of a curve for the g-spot, but the shorter length should help for g-spot placement for many people with a shallow g-spot, located up in the front of the vagina. The clitoral arm is super flexible. It’s about the most flexible one I’ve come across, I think. The Lelo Ina 2 and Jopen Vanity VR6 are definitely kind of “clampy” and can press down hard on the clitoris. If you need “less”, then this is for you.

Top to bottom: Jopen Vanity VR6, Picobong Kaya, OVO K2, Lelo Ina 2  - shown for size and shape comparison. Ina 2 has a more girthy internal arm with a more drastic curve, same as the VR6. Kaya is longer than them all. OVO is clearly the thinnest.

Basically, this is a very decent dual-stimulation vibrator with a really great price tag. Currently it’s $43 at SheVibe. Picobong needs to take note because OVO’s pricing is way more on the mark. There is a shocking 15-year warranty, but you may have to send it to Germany for warranty replacement – I’m waiting to hear back from OVO for confirmation on this, and how it would work. The vibrations are moderate, and won’t work for someone who needs more help than average at reaching orgasm. If you really feel that you definitely don’t need strong vibrations and don’t want a thick shaft, the OVO K2 could work out great for you.  If you think you need a bit more contact on the g-spot and clitoris, the OVO K1 might be the better choice. From what I can tell, it’s still the same smaller width and shorter insertable portion, but there is a different design that is shaped more like the Ina 2 or Vanity VR6. I think I’d end up liking the shape of the K1 just a bit more; hopefully I’ll report back on that one!

 

Thanks to SheVibe for sending me the OVO K2 in exchange for my honest review! SheVibe is my favorite retailer, and an awesome company.