Lilly

Apr 072017
 

For years I’ve had readers come to me with questions about their sex toys and recurring yeast infections. More than one told me that they went to their doctor for a reaction (after using a porous sex toy) and the doctor would diagnose a yeast infection, usually. But I would still wonder if it was really an infection or rather a chemical burn from toxic materials. While it could be either, I understand a lot more now about the links between porous sex toys, cheap lube, and vaginal health thanks in large part to the education of Sarah Mueller who has done years of research for Smitten Kitten / BadVibes.org.

Misinterpreting Medical Studies?

The lightbulb went off as I was trying to do research on why we’d seen more than one article from lube brands claiming silicone lubes, synthetic oils, and natural oils are bad for vaginas (hint: only one of those actually is a universal vaginal no-no). I found a medical study that talked about finding an increased rate of yeast infections and bacterial vaginosis with folks who were using an “oil lube” but it seemed that the only thing mentioned was baby oil – a synthetic oil. And yes, those folks did have vaginal health problems moreso than folks using other lubes. But that study doesn’t give us the bridge to sweeping false generalizations that anything with any oil in it is bad for all vaginas1.

It did, however, inspire what I think is a really good theory about porous sex toys.  It should be noted: I’m focusing here on porosity and the material composition, not the possibility of toxicity from mystery additives or lingering phthalates usage. Those can cause burning pain, but it’s off-topic for this post.

But first, I have to express a lot of disappointment in the doctors interviewed for articles about lube. One article I found was quoting Mary Jane Minkin, M.D., clinical associate professor of ob-gyn at Yale School of Medicine (big title, you’re inclined to believe her, right?):

Dr. Minkin strongly advises that you keep all oil-based lubes — including vaseline — out of the bedroom. They are difficult to wash out of the vagina, and they’re usually made of glycerin, which is essentially like glucose/sugar. That means it turns your vag into a breeding ground for bad bacteria, putting you at risk for a yeast infection. To make matters worse, oil and latex don’t get along, meaning it could wreck the efficiency of your condom, landing you with an unwanted pregnancy or an STI.

So that’s a really big, sweeping generalization which can scare folks out of actually decent oil-based lubes like Sliquid Oil or natural, plant-based oils, or The Butters. None of those are “made of glycerin”, and glycerin isn’t “essentially a sugar”, it’s a sugar alcohol. So far in the studies Sarah has researched, it hasn’t been specifically connected to yeast infections – however, it’s usually found alongside other crap ingredients and raises osmolality, leaving you more prone to infections.

Synthetic Oils In Sex Toys

Now, we know that the cheaper materials like thermoplastics (TPE, TPR), PVC, rubber, and the trademarked materials that are probably just a formulation of TPR, can re-infect you if you’ve used it whilst in the middle of an infection, as they cannot be sanitized. We know that bacteria can live and stick around in these materials; we know that fungus can grow and bring on molds in the material’s pores. These things have been talked about at length, but this theory of mine isn’t one I’ve heard yet:

If synthetic oils in the vagina can lead to increased infections because they trap and breed bacteria, and many porous sex toys are softened with synthetic oil2, and these sex toys are not chemically stable and can leach out that oil, the end result is quite possibly a synthetic oil in your vagina. People talk a lot about the porous materials breaking down, “sweating”, and feeling greasy. Before they know enough to know what this means, though, many folks still use sex toys like this. I wouldn’t want the liquid in my jar of horrors in my vagina, that’s for sure.

To make matters more sticky, chances are pretty good that if you’re using porous materials, you’re also using lubes that are hyper-osmotic, which can leave your cells dry and sloughing off which leaves you at greater risk for…you guessed it! Infections! 

A Brief Interlude on Osmolality

There is more detail on the types of osmolality at The Big Lube Guide, but the most common situation is when the osmolality is high, i.e. hyper-osmotic. It’s the vampire situation – the lube comes in all charming at first and things seem okay. The lube feels really slippery, which is great! But it’s slippery because it’s drinking the moisture from your cells. When they have no more to give, they are dead and dry. The outer layer of cells will slough off and leave your mucus lining very vulnerable, like standing in a snowstorm without winter gear. STI transmission can increase and at-risk people are at greater risk for infections – this is the same group of people who need to use more lube than the average person.

Not many lubes on the chart over at The Guide are in the ideal range, which is iso-osmotic. And, frankly, not many lubes are listed, period. So how can we take an educated guess on the osmolality? Look at the ingredients.  The top two ingredients to avoid are glycerin(e) and propylene glycol. Both of these greatly increase the osmolality of the lube and both can cause sensitivities (and for some, yeast infections).

Yes, even if the sex toy and its oils aren’t causing the yeast infection, even if the pH isn’t causing the yeast infection, you are still at risk because of these very common ingredients. Are you side-eyeing that lube bottle, yet?

pH and You

The vagina has a pH. Water-based lubes have a pH. When the two don’t match up, you can have three scenarios:

  1. Burning – this means the pH of the lube you’re using is too low
  2. Itching – this means the pH of the lube you’re using is too high
  3. Itching AND Infection – the high pH can cause simple irritation or bring on infection especially if it’s also a hyper-osmotic lube and you’ve got some unwanted guests lounging in there

So if you’re frequently having these issues, it’s time to switch your lube. You may even need to consider that you need a few different lubes, and get to know your cycle and how it affects your pH. Vaginal pH can range from 3.5 – 7 which is a large range – it makes sense that you could do best with a lower and a higher pH lube to best match your body. The easiest way to get this nailed down is by testing your pH with test strips like these. And, while you’re at it, test your water-based lube. If you’ve had the bottle for a while, test it again, as pH can change over time.

The other way to get around this factor is to use pH-neutral lubes like silicone or coconut oil, but this isn’t an option for everyone. Some dislike the feel of silicone and plant-based oils; some rely on latex condoms3. You could also consider a hybrid lube which, due to the normally-low silicone content, wouldn’t harm a silicone sex toy. The addition of silicone makes it potentially pH-neutral, we think. Studies done on hybrid lubes and osmolality or pH were vague or few so we don’t have as much knowledge, but it would be best to avoid the problem-child ingredients regardless.  So far there are only two hybrid lubes I don’t hate: Sliquid Silk (regular or organic) and Good Vibe’s Please Cream.

A really well-rounded starter lube arsenal might look like this:

  • Good Clean Love Almost Naked, a thick lube that comes in at a pH of 4 (buy from Shevibe, Smitten Kitten, or Amazon but check the expiration date)
  • Sliquid Satin, pH of 6 (buy here or here)
  • Sliquid Silk, the hybrid for when you don’t wanna bother with osmolality/pH but don’t want an oil-based lube
  • A pack of pH test strips

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Finally, if you’re looking for more body-friendly lube recommendations, check out the Big Lube Guide. If you need affordable replacements for your porous sex toys check out my 35-under-$35 guide.

Please note: this is a lay-person theory based on research and logic and opinion. I am not a medical professional and I am not saying that this will happen for every person who uses porous sex toys and/or bad lubes. However, if you frequently get urinary tract infections, yeast infections, or bacterial vaginosis and use porous sex toys and/or bad lube consider making the switch to only non-porous sex toys and vag-friendly lubes to see if that clears up your problems. This is not to replace medical treatment or advice from your doctor.

  1. After seeing the similarities between the article from Coconu and Sutil, and then a few Google searches for funsies, I found the original article that Sutil copied / heavily borrowed from – a naturalist “doctor” who misread that study about oil-based lubes and extended it to try and claim that silicone oil is toxic. I’m as baffled as you are as to why a naturalist would declare coconut oil bad for all vaginas, given its antimicrobial properties and long-document usage for clearing up certain vaginal infections, but I digress and leave you with a sharp side-eye
  2. tests show mineral oil in many of these sex toys
  3. and, as we know, latex and oil are not compatible – I don’t know how long you’d have to wait in between using a plant-based oil lube and a latex condom to ensure the oil doesn’t render the condom useless against sperm and STIs
 Posted by at 3:42 pm
Mar 132017
 

When we talk about the many benefits of body-safe silicone for sex toys, we have to talk about how folks can tell the difference between silicone and well, not silicone. There are clues if it’s a translucent material or we can do the flame test, but what if it passes all of that and you still worry? Readers come to me all the time with concerns about a chemical odor despite the material being silicone so hopefully this will lay some fears to rest.

PVC is notorious for having a bad odor right out of the package, due to the plastic softening agents used – phthalates, or not, it seems. Therefore many folks use this odor, or lack of it, to help them determine if something is, or is not, silicone. They believe that a silicone sex toy shouldn’t have any chemical odors and many folks become immediately suspicious of perfectly good silicone sex toys when they open their packaging only to be hit with a chemical scent.

It should also be noted that one way to tell the difference between a really-bad porous material like PVC and a semi-bad porous material like TPR is also odor – generally speaking, TPR/TPE doesn’t have a bad odor. But it could, for many of the reasons listed below. In my personal past experience, the stench of toxic chemicals or cover-up perfumes won’t “air out” in a day or so.  The last time I received a toxic, stinky PVC realistic dildo accidentally for review the smell never abated, never went away. I lasted a week and a half before I took it to the dumpster.

Silicone Does Retain Odors

Because silicone isn’t completely non-porous, it can hang on to odors. We’ve learned this about anal toys (and those odors linger because they’re oil-soluble), but chemical odors that are water-soluble should dissipate a lot easier with a quick wash and some airing out.  The mild soap and water wash (or baby wipes swab, followed up by a “rinse” with a damp cloth for toys not water-resistant) will remove any lingering chemicals – something you should do no matter what with a brand new sex toy – but the most important step is simply letting it air out, free from packaging.

Trapped!

Any of the odor-causing methods below will make the silicone sex toy stink if it still stinks when they package it up. Then, the odors are trapped in the airtight packaging and not releasing until you open it. Items packaged only in cardboard, that are never then shrink-wrapped in plastic, will probably have no-to-low odor because of the cardboard. But if the item is put in a plastic bag and then packaged, or the entire packaging is shrink-wrapped, a chemical odor upon unboxing isn’t something to be immediately concerned about.

The odors can also be trapped, so to speak, from inside the toy, too. Yes, that’s right, the smell is coming from inside the house. Er, toy. How? Why? Well, lubrication of interior parts is one reason, and you can read about that in the next section. Another, manufacturer-specific, reason is the squishy under-layer in Tenga Iroha vibrators. The initial line had a very strong chemical odor that took a long time to dissipate – it reminded me of latex paint. The material under the thin silicone skin was a polyurethane-based squishy foam emitting VOCs. More recent Iroha squishy lines seem to have fixed this. And let’s not forget Lelo’s cringe-worthy scented-on-purpose vibrators – the scent is under the silicone skin, and comes out through the silicone’s pores.

Common Reasons for Silicone Sex Toys Having a Chemical Smell

There are so many factors that can cause a lingering chemical odor. This is actually a lot more common than you may realize. There’s a difference in the curing style and manufacturing process of silicone sex toys between say, the hand-poured RTV platinum-cured silicone that Tantus uses for their dildos and the silicone that goes over vibrators – like HTV (high-temperature vulcanization vs room-temperature).  I’ve read that there can be more curing odors associated with peroxide-cure than platinum-cure, but I don’t know which companies may be using peroxide-cure HTV silicone.

  1. Mold release agent – Basically, PAM for silicone. It’s a lubricant that helps get the sex toy out of the mold. This should get washed off, but cheaper companies may not do a good job of that
  2. Cleaning chemicals – Or, they did get rid of the mold release agent, but didn’t let the product air dry to release the VOCs from the cleaning chemicals
  3. The plastic packaging – if the item is in a plastic molded tray or clamshell, that plastic could be releasing VOCs as well
  4. Glue or dye in the packaging – sometimes instead of a plastic tray, your sex toy is in a foam tray. Maybe it’s dyed a color to match the packaging. Maybe there are multiple layers glued together. Again we have VOCs!
  5. Chemicals released during cure – When talking to numerous vibrator manufacturers they confirmed that during silicone cure a chemical reaction occurs and a strong odor comes with it. It’ll go away with 24-48 hours to air out, and good companies let their products air out before packaging. A cheap company will want to crank production up as much as possible and won’t give their products time to air out.
  6. Lubricants – Not the kind you’ll be using, but the kind used during production. I can’t accurately speculate what any given company would use to lubricate moving parts, but it could be anything from an alcohol-based spray to white lithium grease. If there’s no hard plastic barrier between the greased vibrator guts and the silicone skin of a vibrator, you might be smelling that odor for quite some time. One sex toy that comes to mind is this cheap bendable silicone vibrator – I had one complaint of it smelling so bad that I had to investigate and when I cut it open I noticed a little bit of a machine-shop odor and could tell it was from the lubricant used inside. Since it’s bendable, there was nothing in between the guts and the silicone.

What are VOCs?

Some of you may be wondering – VOC stands for Volatile Organic Compound. When you smell a chemical odor? That’s a VOC. Paint, new shower curtains, sex toys, cleaning products – we can’t escape them. They’re trying to regulate them, but it’s going to be a tough battle. If your new sex toy has a chemical odor, try to let it air out in a non-living-space room *if possible* since many VOCs can cause headaches, or more.

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The bottom line? Fear not! A chemical odor doesn’t indicate anything bad on its own. Much appreciation to Vibratex, L’amourose, Doxy and Funkit for answering my questions in my research for this article.

 Posted by at 12:51 pm
Feb 152017
 

Cadillac of Vibrators. Top of the heap. One to rule them all. Everybody needs one! If you spend enough time on Reddit boards, Buzzfeed or other online mags that talk about sex/sexuality you will soon see posts talking about the “best” sex toy. They give readers no indication of qualifiers, and yet inevitably there will be a dozen proclamations that the Hitachi Magic Wand is THE BEST and SHE WILL LOVE IT and it ALWAYS WORKS and MAKES ME CUM IN A MINUTE. These proclamations and recommendations are also often given in r/sex when someone is asking for a first-timer’s vibrator recommendation.

And I twitch. I used to end up ranting and lecturing on Reddit, but now I avoid the place for my own sanity. Yet I can’t avoid the holiday lists put out by such experts as Buzzfeed, Cosmo and retailers and every damn time they make me mad. Why? We’ll get to that in a minute.

Wherein I Dislike The Wand, Any Wand

I’m not really a wand fan. I used to be; 9 years ago it was the only thing that sometimes could “force” an orgasm out of me. I took a notoriously long time to orgasm and when I’d tried the Magic Wand I had yet to own anything that worked truly well for me. I assumed that I needed sheer power. After all, I thought I’d tried everything else the industry had to offer, it must be an issue with the intensity.

It took me years to figure out that it wasn’t a need for power that was the key, it was a combination of rumbling, penetrating vibrations and pinpoint clitoral stimulation. I have one spot on the right that responds the most to sensations and the more precisely I can target that spot, the better off I am.

Even so, I’ve reviewed many wands because hey, people like them. Many people enjoy them, many people need them and I want to be able to give my thoughts on the quality and buzz vs rumble so that I can accurately give advice. But I don’t like reviewing wands, really, because I know they’re not what I need and it will be even harder to please me. I think most are ugly (but some are beautiful). I think they’re over-rated sometimes. I’ve notoriously hated wands that others have adored. I think that the Magic Wand and similar wands are buzzy, numbing, overkill for many folks and not really the best “first vibrator”. I don’t think they’re bad, and I don’t discredit that, for many folks, they are The Key to Orgasm. And, for others, they’re not the Only Key, but they can be a fun tool to hammer out an orgasm in a minute or two. I’m definitely in neither camp, so I feel obligated to often rally for the Not A Wand Lover camp because if you’re Not A Wand Lover and you read all about these thousands of people who can come in a minute, and you can’t, you might feel broken.

Wherein You Dislike The Womanizer

There’s another sex toy that is leading to fans (and companies) making orgasm guarantee claims: The Womanizer (or Satisfyer). I delayed trying the Womanizer but eventually had to settle my own skepticism. I thought for sure I would be the first review of dissent.  It’s a rare occurrence but I was wrong and the Womanizer ended up working for me, with one caveat: Others talked about coming in under a minute. It took me sometimes as much as 15 minutes, but usually more like 5-10. Regardless, I find that it’s a unique sex toy and if I can use the right model then sometimes I can keep going and have another orgasm in the nearly-immediate future. Are the multiple orgasms that some boast about with the Satisfyer or Womanizer the norm? Probably not. So don’t expect it.

Womanizer, or epi24, literally has an orgasm guarantee. If you buy their overpriced Womanizer Deluxe Pro Super Spectacular W500 and it doesn’t work for you, they’ll give you your money back if you contact them within 30 days. They haven’t put the same guarantee on their Womanizer PRO40, which baffles me, but what are you gonna do.

The Womanizer, or any other sex toy similar to it, is not going to work for everybody. It can’t possibly. Do I know who is more likely to enjoy it? I think so. I think you have to like clitoral stimulation – direct clitoral stimulation – versus broad vulva stimulation and have extreme difficulty with orgasm via manual stimulation. I think there are other factors, but this is one of the only common threads I’ve seen amongst folks who hate the Womanizer and it doesn’t work for them. I was talking to JoEllen after re-reading her piece about how the Womanizer doesn’t work for her, and we had a really hard time putting things into a short “sound bite” but came away from the conversation understanding that there’s no normal, there’s no standard, there’s no best. JoEllen likes wands; in large part, because direct clitoral contact is painful and wands allow for broad areas of the vulva to receive vibration as an indirect method of clitoral stimulation. If that’s you? Ignore what they say about how it’s “touchless” clitoral stimulation because touchless doesn’t matter if you don’t like direct clit stim.  I talked to Sarah who also hates pinpoint vibrators, loves wands, and definitely cannot orgasm without a sex toy. She talks here about how a much-loved small vibrator doesn’t work for her at all, and has told me that the Satisfyer simply doesn’t feel like anything to her. Her body just doesn’t register it.

There’s No Best Sex Toy

Yep, I know, I have a page titled “The Best Sex Toys“. To be honest? SEO is a big reason for it. But I also wanted a place to list out all of the sex toys I personally love mixed with some stand-out sex toys I always recommend in the right circumstances. Not all are perfect for me, but I think they’re all top in their class.

I can’t just recommend a sex toy to someone without knowing a lot about them, and I tend to think it’s a bit reckless to toss out promises that are as hard to keep as a wriggly puppy. When someone1 polls the mob and just says “I need a sex toy recommendation” and people start shouting out names and promises, I can’t handle it. I need to know what body part they want to use it on; what sort of stimulation they’ve liked so far; how difficult it is to orgasm manually; if they’re tried other sex toys; and a few other key questions. Only then will I give a mostly-confident recommendation, with the heavy caveat that if it doesn’t work, they shouldn’t despair.

This need for clarifications and questions and caveats and if-then statements leads to a burning rage when places like Buzzfeed list out “sex toys you can’t live without”, or uncontrollable twitching when someone (anyone) claims that XYZ sex toy will work for everyone. It’s why I can’t give a singular recommendation when a place asks me to tell them my favorite sex toy recommendation for a Valentine’s Day piece. It’s why it took me so long to even write the review for the Womanizer W100 – because I couldn’t figure out why I liked it, or who might agree/disagree with me. I am caught between this high-strung desire to not let you waste money and to assure you you’re not broken and you may not find your Holy Grail sex toys until the 12th try. “Try, try again” and “let’s not waste money here” are kind of at odds with each other, but I subscribe to both.

Works For You? Great!

A lot of folks who go around insisting that their holy grail will be your holy grail sex toy are missing a crucial point: everybody is different. I’m so glad that you found a sex toy that works for you, without fail, and to your desired degree of swiftness. I know the frustration of owning many sex toys yet not having any that work truly well. So in your enthusiasm, there is a bit of blindness. If you love a certain sex toy, try explaining why you love it when you recommend it. Talk a little about your level of sensitivity or ease of orgasm without sex toys. Give an example of something that was absolutely terrible for you, and tell them why.

I’m not trying to take away your well-deserved love of your favorite sex toy. I have them, too. I fucking adore the Tango and Womanizer equally, but I know they’re not the best for those who are more sensitive and it’s a bit much to spend until someone knows for sure that they like pinpoint, intense stimulation.

And finally, maybe most sex toys aren’t your thing, and you don’t see the fuss. You prefer your hand or your lover’s mouth. That’s completely valid, and while it’s foreign to me, no one is superior. Needing a vibrator is absolutely okay, and so is NOT needing one.

Bloggers, Not Magazines

Want to avoid the pitfalls of hearing that something is “the best” without them knowing you at all? Not everybody does, but if you do, if you want to get a recommendation on a great sex toy for YOU, don’t read those listicles from Buzzfeed, Cosmo, or hundreds of other online magazines. Avoid the reviews on such magazine sites, too. You’ve got the best, most experienced, most critical squad to call on when you need answers: reviewers. Don’t be afraid to ask multiple reviewers their opinions, and read enough of their blog to get a good understanding of what works for them. Find someone who seems to be similar to you in needs, likes and dislikes. And if you see those dreaded words “every woman needs one”, run for the hills.

Let’s love it, but let’s stop trying to make “the best sex toy” happen. It’s never gonna happen.

  1. Whether they’re a dude looking for something for their girlfriend, or a person overwhelmed with the choices in general
 Posted by at 12:14 pm
Feb 072017
 

Satisfyer 2 Review

This is my 3rd Satisfyer review in as many days and I feel like the Satisfyer 2’s theme song should be “I Can’t Get No (Satisfaction)”. Due to my love of the Womanizer PRO40, in large part because of the up and down intensity navigation buttons, you would think that I’d be recommending the Satisfyer 2 over the Satisfyer 1 (or any Satisfyer model), right?  However, button placement is equally important to me and if I can’t hold the thing ergonomically/easily and still access the buttons in use, what good are they? This, my dear readers, was my biggest disappointment in the Satisfyer 2. Before I got it in my hands I was excited that least one Satisfyer model was made “right” but then they proved that there’s no prototyping or research done before they pick a strange design. If someone had done research they would have understood how dumb is it to have these buttons alllll the way down at the bottom (head). Oddly, though, I still find the Satisfyer 2 is slightly easier to hold and control than the Womanizer Deluxe W500.

Compared to the Satisfyer 1, the Satisfyer 2 is a few dollars more and also powered by 2 AAA batteries. The batteries, and the pressure-wave function, are where the similarities end. They couldn’t be more different!

Pro/Con List

The Satisfyer 2 has a gender-neutral color scheme that at first, I liked – I admit, I’m a sucker for copper accents. I like rosy, champagne-gold colors. But overall, the more I looked at it, the boxy Satisfyer 2 controlsdesign and color scheme is very 1970s-basement-rec-room. If you squint, it can look like the Nike logo or a straight-stem pipe. As I’ve already bitched about right out of the gate, those damn navigation buttons are down by the head vs farther up the handle. The buttons don’t have a bright, LED glow, so, hey, that’s a plus.

But the Satisfyer 2 is also the loudest of the bunch, by far. The Satisfyer 1, Satisfyer Pro 2 (updated), Satisfyer Pro Penguin and terrible Satisfyer Pro Deluxe all purr like a kitten compared to the clunky Satisfyer 2. Even when the nozzle is completely covered up and sealed, the Satisfyer 2 rattles loudly enough to make you cringe in a quiet house. If discretion during use is important to you, definitely do not go with this model.

Bigger Nozzle

Satisfyer 2 nozzleCompared to the Satisfyer Pro Penguin and Pro Deluxe, this nozzle seems large. Yet compared to the pillow-y style of the Satisfyer Pro 2 or Satisfyer 1, it seems small (and definitely small compared to the Womanizer). When we go by caliper measurements, though, the inside diameter of this nozzle seems to be the biggest of the bunch. You’ll see these numbers in the chart in the Comparison Guide. This larger opening can be good for folks with a larger clitoris OR for folks who want to be sure the nozzle head doesn’t touch the sides of their clitoris. I have nearly no inner labia and a small, buried clitoris; the nozzle on the Satisfyer 2 wasn’t uncomfortable but I did struggle a little to get a good seal. When I did? Whoa, baby.

Luckily I haven’t had issues with this nozzle coming loose easily, like I do with the Satisfyer Pro Penguin or Pro Deluxe.

The Motor

Proof that the batteries don’t matter, the Satisfyer 2’s motor is way more intense than the Satisfyer 1; in fact, it ranks up there with the most intense motor of all models. Only the Satisfyer Pro 2 can compete (under water, the Satisfyer Pro 2 beats the Satisfyer 2 by a lot). Perhaps because the distance from tip of the nozzle to back of the body is bigger than most models, it does feel more “thuddy” and gives stronger “tapping” sensations on the low to medium settings, while still devolving into manic, white noise at the upper-most levels of intensity in true Satisfyer fashion.

When you have a motor this intense it feels even more necessary to have those extra buttons that allow you to navigate the intensity settings in both directions, versus pushing a single button 20 times to get back down to level 2 if you find level 3 is too much for you. Even though the power button sometimes acts up and is non-responsive, the dual navigation buttons respond to an easy touch, which is a plus.

Other Quirks and Thoughts

Satisfyer’s ad copy states that this model “cannot be missing from any toiletry bag”. At 7 inches long, that’s gonna take up a lot of room in a toiletry bag! I’m also not sure what the difference in build quality is between the Satisfyer 2 and 1, but the batteries tend to rattle around in the Satisfyer 2. This may lend a bit to the overall noise level.

I’m disappointed in this version, but I’m also being incredibly picky. If the noise factor and button location doesn’t bother you, and you really feel that you, like me, need the extra plus and minus intensity navigation buttons, this is a begrudging green-light to buy this if you can’t yet afford the superior Womanizer PRO40.  I will forever curse the button placement on the Satisfyer 2 because it coulda been a contender.

If you’d like more detailed comparisons between all Womanizer and Satisfyer models, as well as detailed specs on this and every model, head over to the Womanizer vs Satisfyer Comparison Guide:

Womanizer vs Satisyfer Comparison Guide

tl;dr:  Yay: Dual navigation buttons plus a power button; very intense Meh: Takes 2 AAA, not included; nozzle may be a bit large for some. Nay: Loud as fuck, buttons are terribly placed, body is not ergonomic to hold and is very long.

Better than: Satisfyer Pro Deluxe, Womanizer Deluxe (W500)
Worse than: Womanizer PRO40, Satisfyer 1, Womanizer W100
On Par with: Satisfyer Pro Penguin, Satisyfer Pro 2

 

Thanks to Shevibe for sending me the Satisfyer 2 in exchange for my honest review. There are many retailers you can shop with but I recommend Shevibe over them all; they have the best customer service and overall pricing/selection. They’ve been in business for over 10 years and can be relied upon for discreet shipping!

 

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 Posted by at 7:06 am
Feb 062017
 

Satisfyer 1The cheapest in price, the Satisfyer 1 is battery-powered and simple. The silicone nozzle head is the one that is the most similar to the Satisfyer Pro 2 (and the Womanizer line) – it is large, fits securely over the plastic head guide, and appears to be more comfortable due to its fat shape and curved edges. It actually has one up on the Womanizer line – the edges of the silicone nozzle that are in contact with your vulva are rounded and a bit fat, versus the more defined edge of the Womanizer line. Since both are a medium-firm silicone I find both styles to be equally comfortable.

How picky can a person really be about cheap sex toys? Pretty damn picky, if you’re me. To date, my favorite pressure-air clitoral stimulation sex toy is the Womanizer PRO40 due to its price and features but the affordability of the Satisfyer line of copycats is irresistible to others. For some, they simply cannot make themselves buy a sex toy named “Womanizer”, and I get that.  And maybe you don’t expect a lot from a sex toy priced under $35, but maybe you do. I’m here to assume that you don’t want the flowery prose of marketing copy and instead want to know every flaw (or feature) so that you can make an informed decision.  I’ve tried to read the ad copy and figure out what they mean when they say that “The curved head on this pressure wave vibrator creates never-experienced-before climaxes”, especially when it’s said about every model, each with a different head. I don’t think there’s any logic, to be honest.

While this review is important and thorough, the Womanizer vs Satisfyer Comparison Guide is equally important to help you decide which model to get. Check it out after you’re done here:

Womanizer vs Satisfyer Comparison Guide photo

Picky Concerns

I’m not sure why, but the Satisfyer 1 has a strange, green glow from within during use. In the dark, I could see this green glow escaping through the seams in the plastic body which really concerned me. I mean, sure, it does possibly add to the illusion that you’re using some sort of futuristic/outer space thing on your bits, but if the seams are too wide, then I worry about build quality and longevity. The seams in the body are so cheaply done that when I ran a fingernail in one crease to clean dried lube out of it, I noticed it lifting slightly and could hear the distinct sound of dried glue crackling. Eek! Also glowing is the single control button – bright enough white LED to read by, if you wanted to. You wouldn’t, but you could. At least it’s facing away from you, unlike the brightly glowing button on the Satisyfer Pro Penguin. Fine for solo play, annoying as fuck for partner play if you’re in a semi-dark to dark room. All I’m saying is that the Satisfyer buttons are the brightest in the business.

I don’t like the button placement; it’s way down at the bottom, on the backside of the head which means it’s awkward for me to use. Not everyone will share this opinion and many who are more flexible than me simply won’t care. 

Batteries Not Included

Unlike other pressure-wave sex toys we’ve seen so far the Satisfyer 1 takes 2 AAA batteries and says you’ll get approximately 2 hours of use time out of this. I set mine at medium and got at least 2 hours from my batteries1. Since many folks will be able to orgasm more quickly with this type of sex toy, your use-time per-orgasm is potentially less than many budget vibrators. However, the cost of batteries will add up over time. If buying a big pack of AAA batteries for around $10 (this 24-pack will get you 24 hours of run-time) is more doable for your budget than increasing your sex toy budget by $25 to get to a half-decent rechargeable model, and you don’t mind lower-quality construction and single-button controls, I can’t really complain too much about the Satisfyer 1. You may get more orgasms per battery, though, from the Satisfyer 2.

Engine Room

Let’s talk briefly about the motor. Honestly, I didn’t expect much from a battery-powered pressure-wave sex toy. It’s not that all battery-powered sex toys are weak, but I’ve always retained a healthy dose of skepticism from the start when it comes to this variety of sex toy. The intensity of the Satisfyer 1 is a little more than the Satisfyer Pro Penguin, more than the Womanizer W100, and somewhat weaker than the rest. The upper intensity levels lose their “thuddy” “tapping” sensations more quickly than other Satisfyer models such as the Satisfyer 2 or Pro 2, instead turning buzzy like a vibrator. This may be related to the overall length from the motor to the tip, like I discussed in the review for the Satisfyer Pro Penguin. In the large spreadsheet at the Comparison Guide this measurement is listed as “tip to back”, and the Satisfyer 1 is the 3rd shortest distance, with the shortest going to the Satisfyer Pro Penguin and Pro Deluxe.

Satisfyer 1 has a more-than-reasonable price point at $31 from Shevibe and I feel like we can’t expect too much from something so inexpensive. It’s basic and does what it came to do. Even if it doesn’t last, at this price point you probably can afford to replace it if the warranty is too much of a pain in the ass. Yes, there is a warranty, but I don’t have details beyond the information here.

tl:dr: Yay: Good shape, comfy nozzle, not extremely intense, very affordable Meh: Brightly glowing LED button; not as “thuddy” or intense as other models; takes 2 AAA batteries, not included Nay: Crappy button placement; lacks the superior up/down navigation buttons, build quality probably low

Better than: Satisfyer Pro Deluxe, Womanizer Deluxe Pro (W500), Satisfyer Pro Penguin
Worse than: Womanizer PRO40, Satisyfer Pro 2, Satisfyer 2
On Par with: Womanizer W100

 

Thanks to Shevibe for sending me the Satisfyer 1 in exchange for my honest review. There are many retailers you can shop with but I recommend Shevibe over them all; they have the best customer service and overall pricing/selection. They’ve been in business for over 10 years and can be relied upon for discreet shipping!

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  1. tbh I gave up after 2 hours, that was way past my attention span for babysitting a running device
 Posted by at 7:04 pm
Feb 052017
 

Satisfyer Pro PenguinThe Satisfyer Pro Penguin is cute, I can’t deny it. It could be considered the most “femme” of all the Satisfyer designs, and it’s also the smallest. As I write the reviews on the Satisfyer models, and see others rate the Pro Penguin favorably, I wonder if I’m perhaps being too picky. And then I realize it’s coming from a place of having tried, and loved, a brand that simply did a much better job all around. Try as I might I cannot erase the comparisons from my brain and judge the Pro Penguin on its own merits, or faults. I’m doing my best, though. For a quick n dirty pro/con list and comparison vs other models, scroll down. For an in-depth (maybe too in-depth?) comparison guide complete with detailed specs chart, visit the Womanizer vs Satisfyer Comparison Guide (which will be updated to show the new models no later than 2.7.17)

Womanizer vs Satisfyer Comparison Guide photo

Strange Buttons, Strange Body

The Satisfyer Pro Penguin adds in a useless power button piggybacking on the same silicone button carriage as the intensity button; Satisfyer 1 and Pro Deluxe have a single button, whereas Pro 2 has separate power and intensity buttons and 2 has power as well as two intensity navigation buttons. It makes it hard to figure out where to press with the Pro Penguin when you’re not paying attention. It requires a long, firm button press to turn it off – terrible for when you need to turn the thing off NOW NOW NOW and don’t want to remove it from your vulva while it’s on thereby increasing the noise level. Another small gripe I have is about the body design: all other Satisyfer models, and Womanizer models, have a nozzle head that is basically at a right angle from the handle. With the Satisfyer Pro Penguin, the angle is less severe; meaning that the toy body is angled somewhat more away from your body. At least the power button is on the front side and closer to the end, so it’s not a total game-ruining design. But between the small nozzle head and strange angle I find I have a harder time keeping full contact over my clitoris with the Satisfyer Pro Penguin versus other models that have a big, wide silicone nozzle – the Satisfyer 1, Pro 2, and all Womanizers.

If the motor and nozzle head were more to my liking, I’d recommend the Satisfyer Pro Penguin for folks who prefer to masturbate sitting up; the small body and strange angle actually make it work for those situations. When I’m using the larger items like Womanizer PRO40 or Satisfyer Pro 2 I get the best results if I’m laying down or mostly reclined.

Penguin also has the same, glowing LED button as the Satisfyer 1 and Pro Deluxe, but it doesn’t have that strange, tech-y green glow inside. Maybe you want your sex toys to have that 1980’s glow, I don’t know. There’s also something … interesting to note about the brightly glowing power button on the Penguin – the Penguin is the only model with a button on what I call the “front side” of the body – the side facing your body. If you are a slender person using the Satisfyer Pro Penguin in the dark, well, you may be blinded by the light. Or at least give a really good scare to someone who may walk in on you using the Penguin in the dark, as your face will be lit up from below like you’re telling a scary campfire story about a rogue arm scratching the car roof.

Terrible Nozzle Head

Penguin is small, travel-friendly, and rechargeable but shares a flaw with the Satisfyer Pro Deluxe: a tiny, easy-to-lose and easy-to-displace silicone nozzle head. If you lose the silicone nozzle on these, they will be extremely uncomfortable to use. I know because I tried – well, “tried” indicates I did it on purpose. I didn’t. By the time I slid the Penguin in my pants the silicone nozzle was displaced and I spent 10 minutes wondering why it was so pinchy.  Also: the nozzle opening is square. Why. There’s nothing angular or square about my vulva. Also also: if the nozzle comes off you will need light and two non-slippery hands to get the nozzle back in place. It only fits in correctly one way, like a puzzle piece, but it may take you a few tries to get everything lined up. With the Womanizer heads, or the Satisfyer 1, 2, or Pro 2, it’s a lot easier. I can’t tell you how many times the silicone nozzle head has come off; it’s become my largest gripe about the Pro Penguin.

Satisfyer Pro Penguin and Pro Deluze have very tiny silicone nozzles, shown in the photo each on one of my fingers

Another factor about the short-canal and tiny-nozzle-head thing: you’ll have to clean the inside of the nozzle more often, and it’ll be difficult. When I use the Womanizers, the nozzle head is more than just the external portion. The canal of the nozzle offers protection of the unit meaning I only have had to remove the silicone nozzle and clean that, versus cleaning the entire inside of the thing.

Nozzle head measurements (and measurements of everything else) will be updated in the Womanizer vs Satisfyer Comparison page. (don’t go there yet, though, I’ll update the table & guide in a day or so)

Satisfyer Pro Penguin Motor

So you want to know how it FEELS, right? All of these nuisances during use and whining about design aside, I still have to tell you about the motor. I’ll be honest, I assumed at first that they would all feel the same. And figuring out how they all feel relative to each other is damn difficult – they feel best when you’re aroused, but then you’re aroused and maybe can’t get to test each one before you’re about to orgasm. For me to really get the best idea of how one compares to another I had to quickly swap them out. This means I either leave them all running at once, next to me on the bed, or deal with my clit’s short-term memory. Since having them all running on low at the same time sounded like a herd of idling motorcycles, I had to nix that idea. Anyways…

I’d say the Pro Penguin compares best with the original Womanizer W100 in terms of intensity. The Satisfyer 2 and Pro 2 are much more intense, and the Satisfyer 1 is a little more intense.

I think I may have cracked a code; I think that the smaller/shorter the nozzle head, the less intense the overall sensations will be. The longer, larger heads give you more “tapping” sensations and discernible pulses of pressure-air whereas the smaller and shorter heads have less oomph and waves. And while the motor of the Pro Penguin is similar in intensity to the Womanizer W100, the addition of a few upper intensity levels surpass the much-loved “thumping” and “tapping” and “waves” sensations and just move straight into something that mimics a buzzy vibrator – pretty much like every other Satisfyer model.

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A lot of folks want to know if I’d recommend the much cheaper ($55) Satisfyer Pro Penguin over the Womanizer PRO40 ($99), and I can’t in comparison. It’s cute and small, and many may like it aesthetically over the other Satisfyer models or pretty much any Womanizer. Penguin isn’t the worst you can do, but the flaws I’ve found are deal-breakers for me and I probably won’t ever reach for this one on my own. If I were forced to pick Satisfyers to recommend overall I’d pick the Satisfyer Pro 2 for it’s comfortable head, despite it’s noise and awkward buttons. Then the Satisfyer 2 for the intensity navigation buttons, and finally the Satisfyer 1 for the newbie pick. None of these stack up to the Womanizer PRO40 but as of this writing the PRO40 has been out of stock at nearly every retailer and I’m not sure when it’s coming back.

Stick around, the reviews on Satisfyer products will be coming at you quickly, and then Comparison Guide will also be updated this week!

tl:dr: Yay: Cute, small, rechargeable Meh: Brightly glowing LED button; not as “thuddy” or intense as other models Nay: Crappy button; strange angle of head to body; tiny silicone nozzle that comes loose easily

Better than: Satisfyer Pro Deluxe, Womanizer Deluxe Pro (W500)
Worse than: Womanizer PRO40, Satisyfer Pro 2, Satisfyer 1, Satisfyer 2
On Par with: Womanizer W100

 

Thanks to Shevibe for sending me the Satisfyer Pro Penguin in exchange for my honest review. There are many retailers you can shop with but I recommend Shevibe over them all; they have the best customer service and overall pricing/selection. They’ve been in business for over 10 years and can be relied upon for discreet shipping!

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