Lilly

Jan 162015
 

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

I think this might be the first time that a sex toy company has both tested AND publicly admitted that their material hasn’t been what they advertised it to be. I was able to snag an interview with Anne Hodder and get some answers. I do now feel better about TSO overall as a company. I still don’t love the porous cock rings 2 but now that I know they weren’t purposely lying and now that I know the material is absolutely non-toxic, I think the rings are fine for a first-timer to try out the world of cock rings. I’d rather you choose from their pure silicone line, but hey, budgets n’ all that.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What This Means

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

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

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

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

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

  1. That may be a bit of an understatement
  2. While these are external-only items, the porous material can still come into contact with mucus membranes of the vulva and the chance for STI transmission can still occur; this is my opinion and perhaps not the opinion of TSO
 Posted by at 4:45 pm
Jan 152015
 

Update: This post has been edited with information I’ve been given that completely changes the narrative; information that hadn’t been made as public as their lab tests. It changes the story from one of me being angry, to me feeling like the industry is actually, slowly, getting better and getting somewhere. Update at the bottom. 

 

For a long while now I’ve been a big critic of The Screaming O brand for one big reason:

They lied about their materials.

This misrepresentation of material content has continued to perpetuate firstly the myth that there is such a thing as a TPR/Elastomer/Silicone “blend” and secondly it perpetuates the myth that silicone will melt and degrade or that silicone can look crystal clear.

I’ve put their basic rings to a flame test before and they created such immediate, hot flames that I had to pour water over them to die down – a simple wave in the air wasn’t enough. Consistently, Screaming O has claimed that the material of their cheapie rings is “SEBS silicone“. The SEBS part confuses retailers, so they’ll just omit that and call it silicone. I’d strongly suspected prior to a flame test that these cheap rings are not silicone because they are so soft, so stretchy and crystal clear. This has not been a hallmark of pure silicone. Flame test revealed no grey and material destruction that was like it liquified in the heat.

ScreamingOburnt

A few months ago there was a dust-up on Twitter between Screaming O and some bloggers and part of this stemmed from a few of us talking about sex toys that are labeled silicone when they clearly are not. Of course, Screaming O came up and made this bold bullshit call:

Tweet that says:  "@sex_ational @dangerouslilly @RaavynnDigitaL Our products that are silicone are labeled and the ones that are not, are not. #wedontfakeit"

Product packaging, and the website, has always listed these as “SEBS Silicone”, and the language I’ve taken issue with is “silicone”

ScreamingOSEBS5

 

TO BE CLEAR: My problem with Screaming O is that they’ve been misrepresenting their material for ages. I do recognize that some of their products are silicone, like  their Primo line. They look completely different. They look like they could actually be silicone, unlike their cheap jelly products.  So you can imagine how rankled I got with their tweet claiming they don’t lie. The products have been sent out for  independent lab tests:

“I think we can finally put to rest the critics with our data that shows our products are what we say they are,” Hodder said.

Polymer Solutions Incorporated, a material analysis laboratory in Virginia, conducted tests on the Screaming O Original Ring, made from clear SEBS (styrene-ethylene/butylene-styrene), and the PrimO Apex, which is purple silicone. Since there are no standardized tests in place for pleasure products, the lab conducted tests that fall under the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, which covers baby products and other children’s items.

The tests proved that the PrimO Apex is made from silicone, that the Screaming O Original Ring is made from SEBS.

Let me clarify: “made from clear SEBS (styrene-ethylene/butylene-styrene)” FULL STOP. That’s  it. That’s all. No silicone.

 

UPDATE: I have been informed that Screaming O DOES plan to update their information to reflect the lack of silicone in the SEBS products. So, my apologies for my anger this morning, Screaming O. The information that they “get it” and are making changes wasn’t included in that press release, and I think that’s the most important information of all. Hopefully all retailer sites will be told to update their product listings, and stop calling them silicone and confusing people. I want to thank the warriors behind the scenes who prompted this re-evaluation on their wording, geting the test done, and making the changes. I’m under the impression that the site will be updated soon, and slowly product packaging will change.

I was so upset at what appeared to be a compete “they don’t get it” moment because I was going by the press release information, that I didn’t take the time to ask before I got angry and ranted. I need to do that more, and now I feel like an asshole!

 

 

 Posted by at 10:35 am
Jan 112015
 

A few weeks ago I received a lovely note that reminds me why I do what I do, why I’ll never back down and shut up and why I keep on researching and thinking, testing and theorizing, why I geek out about sex toy materials.

This may sound silly, but I wanted to thank you for all the information you share on your blog and on /r/sextoys. My husband asked for a BBD (big black dildo) for Christmas. I knew from previously buying plugs that we needed a good quality silicone, but was nervous about getting something online that I couldn’t really gauge the size of. So, I went to the local toy shop and asked for help picking out a silicone dildo. The lady there confidently directed me to Doc Johnson, ensuring me that Sil-a-gel was even better than pure silicone and that of course it would be fine with the coconut oil we use for lube. :/

A few days later, I found /r/sextoys and your blog. I’m so glad I did before I gave my husband that gift and we used the Doc Johnson! I tossed that stinky pvc thing and went shopping. Because money is tight, I settled on the Tantus Vamp grab bag, knowing I couldn’t pick the color. Well, it showed up today (just in time for the holiday!) and it’s perfect! The size is great. There’s no smell. Best of all, it’s black with just a hint of purple sparkle in the right light!

So, thank you. You’ve made one woman very safe and very happy this Christmas! …and I’m sure I’ll have a very happy husband when I give him his gift tonight!

And with this note, I’m both happy and pissed. Why pissed? Because for every one of us, in this army fighting against unsafe sex toy materials, there are 5, 10, 15 other retail sex shop employees spouting off bullshit like “sil-a-gel is better than silicone and it’s fine with coconut oil for lube”. A: it’s porous AND whatever sil-a-gel is has been known to cause skin reactions in some people and 2: using coconut oil on a PVC toy would destroy it super quick, because like attracts like and oil will cause the toy to melt like these. So this shop employee bluffed and lied their asses off at the expense of the buyer’s health and wallet (I say wallet because sure it’s cheaper to buy that POS Doc dildo but they would have had to replace it after one time using coconut oil on it).

It’s a fact that you’re not going to get the safe sex toy education in your average store, yet it still pisses me off; just like it pisses me off when people leave their shopping cart in the parking space rather than walking 9 feet to the cart corral. I can’t help it.

There’s only one answer here: We can’t stop. We need to keep educating other people, all the time. We need to educate to the point where our readers are then going to their local shops and educating the employees. We need to find a way to educate without judging and without scaring them away from all sex toys or thinking we’re trying to “upsell”. I’m not trying to force everyone to buy expensive silicone toys; if they know the dangers and choose to use a PVC stinker, that’s them. Yes the porous stuff is gross and the toxic ones have bad chemicals but not everybody believes it’s a problem for their body. They’ve had no reactions and no problems thus far and they’re not going to change. Okay, fine. But so far for every one of them I’ve encountered, I’ve educated at least 5 more who happily want to use only body-safe, non-porous sex toys. And I feel like I have to stress one thing here: even though many sex toy companies are going the phthalates-free route (even if we don’t believe them, some really did achieve this) not all companies are doing this; not all are non-toxic as advertised. And we can’t overlook the potential harm and pitfalls of porous sex toy materials. It’s a real problem.

Affordable, even cheap, silicone sex toys are coming on the market all the time. Reviewers need to look at these and try them out; flame test and look under the hood. Because the day when we have the ability to recommend more than a few under-$40 sex toys made from safe, non-porous materials is the day we can start winning the war. They choose the porous crap often because it’s cheaper. When companies see how well the silicone is selling and when (dare I dream?) the silicone outsells the cyberskin, the PVC, the rubber, the jelly – then they’ll change their tack and their product line-up.

I’m interested in hearing from sex toy shop workers who have managed to educate a customer without scaring them off; and those of you who have been educated. What has been the best tactic?

 Posted by at 8:35 pm
Jan 082015
 

Crave Vesper NecklaceI’m well aware that big vibrations can come in small packages but I have been looking at the Crave Vesper with quite a bit of skepticism since their crowd-funding campaign. Vesper is thin and long and the catch is that it’s “wearable”; meant to be worn as a necklace so that you can always have your vibrator secretly with you. Oh and it’s powerful, naturally. I’d read a few reviews of other Crave products that had wimpy vibrations so you can understand my hesitation. 

Let’s Talk Power

My favorite vibrator, the We-Vibe Tango, is extremely powerful. The vibrations are rumbly and gorgeous. The low setting is also still pretty damn powerful, and I don’t tend to recommend the Tango for people who can quite easily orgasm clitorally from fingers, because it may be too powerful. To give you some comparisons, I’ve pulled out a number of bullet vibes from my collection. Lelo Mia 2 can actually get me off half of the time, on high, because the vibrations are fairly rumbly. But Mia 2 on high is equal to Tango on low. The Vesper is about equal to the Mia 2 on medium-high like…level 8 of 10? Mia 2 has a lot of power increments, but Mia 2 is a bit more rumbly than the Vesper – just a hair. Vesper is slightly more powerful than the Tantus 1-speed bullet. But of course, the Vesper is much more pinpoint than any of these. And therein lies the magic. And by magic I mean “wtf is happening, I shouldn’t be able to come from this”. Companies keep calling their vibrators "powerful" - You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Yeah. Me, the one with the clit-o-steel who has been unable to orgasm with the Form 4, Revel Body, We-vibe 4, Leaf Spirit, and most rabbit styles. Me who prefers the Tango to the Magic Wand. Well, now I know why. My clitoris, which is a righty btw, responds just fine to some pressure and localized vibrations to the magic spot there on the right side. Many vibrators can’t get to that exact location because they’re too big or the vibrations don’t travel well enough to reach that spot. My clitoris isn’t on Main Street, it’s in a gazebo on the town green surrounded by land with only one sidewalk leading to it and it can’t hear you from the road unless you’re loud . You’ve got to be able to walk right up to it or have the power to yell from the road. The Vesper can walk right up to it. The Tango stepped onto the sidewalk but it has a bullhorn, so it doesn’t need to be up close. The Rosa Rouge is fine from the road. (i think we’re done with this weird metaphor, yeah? too much?)

I’m about as shocked as you are, trust me. 

This isn’t to say, though, that it’s a powerful orgasm. It’s not. Not all orgasms are satisfying. At least the orgasms from the Vesper are not painful. And the orgasms aren’t consistent, like with the Tango. I think one factor is something I discovered before – my clitoris responds well to the right amount of added warmth. It draws in more bloodflow and makes everybody happy. Vesper, as you’ll see from the stupid sticker right on the vibrator, is meant to gently warm-up during use. I think it’s likely less intentional and more natural by-product of such a slender housing combined with the heat-retention of stainless steel. But whatevs. It’s a nice bonus. 

It’s a bullet! No, it’s a nail!

Vesper resembles a sniper bullet. Or a sleek, modern-art version of a nail (pull one over on your Christian family, perhaps?). Or a sleek, modern-art version of Joan’s necklace from Madmen (which is supposed to be a pencil? pen?). You can get away with claiming it to be any of these things, really. Plenty of people are making a knock-off of this necklace that Joan wears on Madmen, and quite a few really resemble the Crave Vesper. But there’s one thing that Joan knew, that Crave doesn’t: A 26″ chain isn’t long enough to make wearing a 3.8″ long slender pendant feasible if you have a rack like I do. Either the pendant rests on top of my shirt and sticks out at odd angles, or it falls between my boobs and gets trapped in the vice grip of my cleavage. God forbid this should happen when my head is bent forward, otherwise it’s like wearing a damn noose and I can’t lift my head up until I free the Vesper from it’s boobie-jail. I could just buy myself a 30″ chain but why should I have to pay this boob tax? I wish Vesper gave the option of a longer chain with purchase. We can’t all be thin with wide-set B-cup boobs that gracefully hover around the Vesper, making it all look effortless and sexy.

Crave Vesper  - showing the power button. If you wear it correctly it lays against you, not facing outward.  Crave Vesper - trying to peel off the stupid notice sticker that assures you the Vesper is meant to warm up during use I'm not a B cup.  showing the Crave Vesper resting atop my cleavage, sticking out at a weird angle. The chain needs to be a lot longer.

So I’m at a loss though on what to do with it.  I wanted to put it on my keychain but the stupid power button prevented that. You would think that having an outtie power button, smart design would say that you either have travel-lock or require the button to be depressed for a second or two before it turns on. That’s not the case at all so it gets turned on easily if I have it on my keyring. Stupid. More stupid is that you do have to press and hold a second to turn it off. When it turns back on, it’s at the setting you left it. Except that the act of pressing to hold actually changes it to the next setting up. So if I was using it on high (duh) when I turn it off and then back it, it’s on the pulse setting, not high. Every damn time I turn on the Vesper I have to cycle through the settings to get back to the one I really wanted to be on: High.

I tried to be trendy (forgetting that I’m actually NOT) and attempted to layer the Vesper with other pendants for a “fun” trendy look. It’s a thing now, right? I don’t know. My husband didn’t like the look of the layering OR the Vesper. My 74 year old co-worker who thinks tattoos and piercings are gross (who is also racist and classist and everything elseist) gave me this “what the hell are you wearing” look and then actually said “what the hell is around your neck?? FLASHLIGHTS???” Yeah, Norma. Flashlights. It’s what the kids are doing these days. *sigh*

Everything Else

It IS easy to clean, but it’s only splashproof. Another annoying feature is that you’re not supposed to let the battery get drained and then not recharge it for awhile. This apparently will permanently kill the battery. I’m not the best with remember to recharge vibrators I don’t use consistently. I don’t see myself constantly keeping the Vesper fully charged, especially since charging requires a specialty cable which I will inevitably lose.  I was able to get about approximately 45 minutes actual use time but this included a lot of turning off and on, before it died on me.  And in case you didn’t see the specs at Shevibe, it’s 3.8″ long, as thin as your average pencil and weighs 20 grams. The chain is said to be stainless steel as well (both nickle-free) but I don’t see the chain lasting unless you’re very gentle on your jewelry. The lobster clasp is dubious.

OH! Weird bonus usage: I’m not sure about you iPhone peeps but the Vesper works as a stylus on my HTC Android phone. 

Bottom line: I don’t hate it. It’s interesting. I don’t think it’s right for most power queens, though. As a necklace, it’s very modern and I don’t feel it would be obvious. If you’re well-endowed like me, you might want to put it on your own, longer necklace chain. I think that the price isn’t too bad for the silver (stainless steel – $69) or the rose gold tipped ($79), but the $149 for the 24K gold plated is a bit too luxurious for the vibration intensity (or lack thereof) it puts out. You would have to be certain it is powerful enough for you and that you like the looks of it as a necklace. This isn’t something I can see wearing all the time or even often, but I might learn to like it more. 

 

Much thanks to my lovely Shevibe for sending me one to review! 

 

Jan 052015
 

The Bubble Love and Dilly sitting on the edge of a bath tubIf you have a clitoris, chances are fairly decent you figured out years ago that your bathtub faucet is pretty awesome (lucky people had the detachable showerhead). The tub faucet never did anything for me, but the jet spray on the showerhead sure did 1. The force of the water was a pretty decent substitution for me for powerful vibrations.  Last year while visiting someone with a bathtub with built-in jets, I was able to maneuver myself in front of a jet well enough to reach orgasm – but it was not comfortable and I think I pulled a groin muscle. I’m too old and fat for these antics. So in a situation where a detachable showerhead isn’t an option, Bubble Love could save you.

One of my first thoughts on the Bubble Love was “Why not just buy a detachable showerhead that has a jet spray option? You’ll save $140″. Well, valid point. A showerhead’s jet spray can’t be adjusted in terms of “intensity” unless you get a super fancy one with more than 3 settings and the jet spray on a shower head doesn’t feel like the faucet you may know and love.  BUT if you fill up your bathtub and the hose on the showerhead is long enough, you could use the jet spray under water much like using the Bubble Love and adjust “intensity” by positioning it farther from your vulva. The Bubble Love can be adjusted too, by either using the dial on top or moving the unit so that it is closer to you or farther away. Bubble Love does say in their marketing that a mere hose-driven showerhead will not be nearly as pleasurable as the Bubble Love but I’d have to disagree a bit.

I’m finding myself really torn on the Bubble Love and a lot of it comes down to price – because when a sex toy costs over $60 many people have trouble justifying it. When it costs over $150, most people have trouble justifying it. It has to be awesome, it has to really be worth the price tag. So that’s the big question for me – is Bubble Love good enough to plonk down $179? I would say yes IF you can say yes to most of these:

1. You only have a bathtub with no chance for a shower head. This is self-explanatory. I kinda feel like the showerhead (be it alone or put under the water with you) is just about as good, for a fraction of the cost.

2. You’ve tried some vibrators and just don’t like how they feel compared to being under the running water of your bathtub’s faucet. I’ve had more than one person come to me, asking for a sex toy that feels more like their bathtub faucet and I thought that this could be something special that I could recommend.  And Bubble Love is pretty powerful if you have it close enough to you (but then, so is the jet spray on a shower head). But when vibrators like the Tango, the Rosa, Je Joue Uma, and now even the beloved-by-most-except-for-me Lelo Mona 2 are waterproof and submersible AND cost less (well, except for the Rosa but goddamn is that thing worth the price tag, both versions) AND can be used in or out of the water? You have a lot of bathtime options.

3. You take frequent baths and keep your tub immaculately clean. Of course, being a frequent bath-taker means you’re getting your money’s worth. But also, your bathtub needs to be super clean. No lingering chemicals, no ring around tub. In fact if you’re taking a bath to get clean, I might even go so far as to say that you should leave Bubble Love until you’re taking a bath just to soak and relax. It might seem obvious but Bubble Love is taking the water in your tub and shooting it at your vulva at a fairly high pressure. If the water isn’t clean this could lead to infections or itching. 

4. You don’t have reach issues or disabilities that would make holding it in place difficult (similarly, you are not a plus-sized person with a teeny tub). I had thought that the Bubble Love could be hands-free once positioned properly, great for people with disabilities or reach issue but it’s not. It is certainly advertised as being hands-free. Sure there’s a peg with a suction cup but that suction cup doesn’t work  – by their nature if you pull on the suction cup at an angle you can break the seal. The back end of the Bubble Love is heavy enough that it leans back and despite the suction cup peg being on a ball joint, it still releases the suction. So despite being advertised that way, it was never hands-free for me. Maybe I’m being unrealistic but for the infrequent times I take a bath, I’m trying to relax. The buoyancy of the water makes my joints feel better, the warm water makes me sleepy, etc. I want a lazy masturbation experience, too. I don’t want to hold the damn thing.  Also? I’m a larger person. The average older tub is not big enough for me to have much space between my knees let alone allow me to spread my legs easily and due to the way I’m built, this is kinda necessary for a session with the Bubble Love. In order to even use this for review I had to wait until I was staying somewhere with a larger-than-average tub. Even then, disaster ensued (you can see why in the video, and read more in the Dilly section).

5. You don’t need utter discretion. It’s a little noisy. The sound of the motor running isn’t Magic Wand noisy but people will wonder what you’re doing in there. Bathrooms notoriously amplify sound, anyways. In addition to the sound of the motor itself, there’s the port where the Bubble Love sucks in air (I call it the blowhole because the whole thing looks like the Twitter Fail Whale) with a schlurping loud sound if you get water in that port during use 2. Many of the better vibrators will be quite a bit less noisy.  Noise aside, there’s the unit. It doesn’t look like a sex toy, that’s for sure. But you will need to drain the water from it and leave it out to dry, and then find a place to store it. It’s larger than your average vibrator.  I’m not about to leave it sitting out all the time. I don’t have a space for it.

I wanted to love the Bubble Love.  But out of the 5 points listed above I only have #5 going for me and that’s not enough to justify it for myself. I can recommend and appreciate a great sex toy even if it’s not my cup of tea so it’s not a matter of being too subjective in this case.  The stream of water definitely is powerful, so it has that going for it, which is something. You won’t find a $40 tub attachment with this powerful of a jet stream, but you can with a showerhead. If the Bubble Love were priced a lot lower – closer to $100? – I might be less critical overall.  But since it IS powerful and it is rechargeable, I don’t doubt that it is priced where it needs to be. It is a quality machine and a product that works mostly as advertised (…except for that hands-free bit which I was never able to replicate).  My problem with the Bubble Love isn’t really with the Bubble Love itself, it’s simply the fact that it’s really only going to be compatible for a small margin of people. Since I wasn’t one of those people, it did color my view BUT I am notoriously a very picky sex toy reviewer who finds, notices and cares about certain faults where most others do not. I really don’t want to crap on the company and I definitely don’t feel that this sex toy should be passed up by everyone – but it will take a certain alignment of stars for the Bubble Love to be the match for you.

I also can’t ignore this wording on their site: “Every woman who has used Bubble Love achieved orgasms and did it faster than with the typical vibrator.” Did I achieve orgasm? Yes. Faster than my Tango or Rosa Rouge? No. Would I continually choose the Bubble Love over my favorite vibrators? Absolutely not. Between the assertions that the Bubble Love is hands-free and the promises that it is better than a vibrator and that “all women” loved it, I’m actually feeling like a failure here for having issues with it and NOT loving it.

Dilly, inserted and supported, everything looks fine. Dilly, inserted and somewhat not supported, you can see it flops downward, and it wobbles in the water.

Optional “Dilly” Attachment

Dilly. No. Just, no. First, it’s an extra $40. Second, it is attached like a really loose tooth via ball joint. Remember that? When you had a loose tooth and it was hanging on by a thread, you could waggle it and turn it and still it stayed there? That’s what the Dilly was like for me, except that it came loose far more easily than a tooth. I had the coordination  of a drunk baby trying to insert it into my vagina while holding the Bubble Love’s handle AND the Dilly AND keeping myself from slipping down the tub and etc – it was almost comical and almost a tragic accident. Picture this: I’m in a tub that, when sitting, my feet don’t touch the other end. This means my ass slips down a bit until my toes can touch. So I’ve got one leg partially resting on the tub edge leaving me with one foot to keep myself above water. I’m trying to get the Dilly inserted and it’s not working. Suddenly, the Dilly detaches from the Bubble Love and clunks loudly on the tub bottom. I lose my grasp on the Bubble Love’s handle. Like a deflating balloon, the Bubble Love is now scooting around the tub haphazardly by itself at an alarming rate (just like in the video below). I get sprayed in the face. There’s water everywhere. My foot slips from the tub and I start to slide down into the water all because I’m trying to sit up and reach forward for the manic Bubble Love twirling around and shut it off. At this point I’m pissed and most certainly NOT relaxed and I fling the Dilly across the bathroom.

 

UPDATE: I don’t know how I didn’t see this yesterday. I’d noticed a few black scuff marks on the Bubble Love, and I don’t know how they got there. But today as I was putting it away I notice faint yellow discolorations. I don’t know how it’s happened, but I can only caution you to store it inside a white storage bag and be very careful with it. During the filming of the video below something also happened and I noticed that the two halves of the plastic had separated a bit. I was able to snap them back together, but I still need to caution care when handling and storing. 

2015-01-06 11

Anyways. Since it was that difficult to get the Dilly inserted once, I cannot imagine thrusting with it. If you really want the feeling of fullness, then get yourself a Tantus Ryder Grab Bag for something more hands-free, or just use your favorite dildo. Having the dildo attached to the Bubble Love was not a bonus for me. It was simply more trouble than it was worth. 

I do want to thank Bubble Love for sending me one to check out. If you think this could be the thing you’re looking for, I recommend buying it from SheVibe.

 

  1. For those curious, this is the showerhead I have; one of the settings forces all the water out of a concentrated center which makes it pretty powerful
  2. I’d recommend using the float and hose at all times in order to prevent this
Dec 312014
 

LeloMona2If you at all frequent the world of sex toy review blogs (or even Reddit) you’d probably think that the Lelo Mona 2 is one of the three Holy Grail sex toys (the other two being the We-Vibe Tango and the Njoy Pure Wand). So you may be able to understand why I feel like the black sheep (oh wait, I am!) for not loving the Lelo Mona 2. I ask that you hear me out before you light the torches and brandish the pitchforks. I like it well enough; it’s okay. But I don’t long for it. In fact, I don’t ever use it….unless I’m writing a review.

“How can you not love the Mona 2?!?”

Since my body requires a ton of vibration strength for it to matter to my g-spot, the vibrations of the Mona 2 don’t quite cut it for me as an internal vibe. It’s good, don’t get me wrong, and it’s fairly strong, but I need something more…. more than most people. I need the serious rumbles, like those found in the L’amourose Rosa Rouge.  The vibrations of the Lelo Mona 2 are good enough to help stimulate my internal clitoris but not enough to really wake up my g-spot. It’s pretty good as an external vibe if you don’t like pinpoint vibrations, and want something with a handle, but it’s still not going to be my top recommendation. I actually can’t think of a situation where I’ve chosen the Mona over the We-Vibe Tango for external stimulation – I guess I prefer something more pinpoint (like the Tango). I find that using a vibe like the Lelo Mona 2 as an external stimulator during partnered PIV sex is a little less awkward because it gets my hand out of the way a bit, versus using the Tango, but the effort required for me to come using the Mona 2’s more broad stimulation isn’t worth the saved hassle.  Plus, after trying vibes like the Je Joue Uma, the half-plastic half-silicone design of the Mona 2 combined with the buttons makes clean-up a bit more of a hassle than I feel up for most times. Yes, I’m lazy. The Uma is totally encased in a silicone skin, and the buttons on the end are just a bit easier for me to access. 

Better than, Worse than

If we’re comparing Lelo to Lelo, I’d definitely pick the Mona 2 over the Gigi 2 any day.  Lelo Mona 2 provides the fullness I need with a longer overall design that I also really need. The vibrations of the Mona 2 are definitely stronger and better than the Gigi 2. While I do love everything about the L’amourose Rosa Rouge much more than the Lelo Mona 2, for those who need a lot of firm pressure on their g-spot, I’d recommend the Mona 2 (or Uma) over the Rosa Rouge. But if you want something easier to hold and with more powerful vibrations, I’d recommend the Rosa (or heated version, Rouge) any day. There is an increased cost there, of course. Je Joue’s Uma is about $20 less than Mona 2 and I feel the vibrations are just a bit more rumbly. 

Like most higher-end sex toys, Mona 2 is rechargeable, waterproof, has varied levels of vibration intensity and has a few pulsating settings. I’m never a fan of patterns, so I stick with the straight vibrations. There’s a warranty but experiences from fellow readers have shown that there’s a few issues with the Lelo customer claims department.  Unlike most newer rechargeable sex toys, though, the Lelo Mona 2 isn’t USB-rechargeable. This means you’ll have to purchase from a store in the country you live in, to ensure your charger is the right voltage and prongs and whatnot for you.  The silicone is a silky-smooth skin overtop a hard plastic vibrator, so there’s no give and no squish. If you need something softer and thinner, try the Tenga Iroha Minamo.

Want it?

As with all Lelo creations, Mona 2 is a bit pricey. As of this writing, SheVibe.com sells it for $129.99. Every now and then you’ll be able to catch a Lelo sale or just an overall site sale to save a bit. So far, I’ve received fewer complaints about the Mona 2 failing than other Lelo items, but I’m skeptical overall on their brand. Of course, now that I’ve taken so long to write this review the Mona Wave is out. So now the big question will be  Mona 2 or Mona Wave? Stay tuned….a review on the Wave is coming shortly. 

 

All purchase links here go to Shevibe, the best retailer on earth. If, however, you’re in the UK you can grab it from LovehoneyUK.  And Canadians, check out Come As You Are