Lilly

Feb 242014
 

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

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

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 Posted by at 10:46 am
Feb 192014
 

A very dirty We-Vibe 3; the shiny silicone attracts dust and fur in minutes. Wouldn't a sex toy wipe be great right about now?If you’re a fan of silicone sex toys (and if you’re a reader of this site, you’d better be!) you know that many toys, especially the plugs and dildos, attract lint/dust/fur better than your average Swiffer cloth. If you are a cat owner then you will find that you’ve got cat furs on your clean toy within minutes. A reader of mine was asking for advice on which of the existing sex toy wipes would be safe enough to use on the toy without rinsing it off before use. They were in a shared living situation where a trip to the bathroom in the middle of foreplay wasn’t a possibility. Since I wasn’t a fan of some ingredients in commercial wipes, plus they are awfully expensive, I did a little brainstorming.

A family member used to make their own baby wipes and I remember doing this for a number of baby shower gifts. It’s pretty simple, and cheap. We would buy these round Rubbermaid plastic containers (they no longer make these, but I’ve found a good alternative) that perfectly fit half a roll of paper towels (you cut the roll in half with a knife). Since it was for baby use, we would get two containers so that an entire roll of paper towels would be made up at once. For sex toy cleaning use I’m sure you could get away with just making up half a roll at a time. But the baby wipe recipes used baby oil (mineral oil) and baby shampoo – these aren’t products that I would want in my vagina. From all the research I’ve done for natural lubes, coconut oil comes up time and again as a great product with many health uses and is generally very well tolerated by most people when used as a lube. Notice I say most. Coconut oil doesn’t tend to clog up pores like the commercial oil-based sexual lubes, for most people. Very sensitive people might have an issue, but in the recipe here you’re using so little that you should be okay; still test it out on yourself. When thinking about it I also wanted something that would provide a bit of extra antiseptic quality, so that it could be used as a cleaning wipe after sex/masturbation. Many people in shared living situations also can’t just hop up and take their dirty sex toys to the nearest sink for a washing. Research showed that a bit of tea tree oil would work well, and has been used and recommended as a treatment for vaginitis in a diluted solution. The solution I’ve read about for a vaginitis rinse was 1 teaspoon of tea tree oil to 2 cups of water. I’ve been sticking with that and have not personally had any issues. Since this isn’t being used as a rinse, but a sex toy wipe, not much will get on the genitals.

When making:

(1) 1/2 roll (2) 1/2 rolls
1 cup Water 2 cups Water
1/2 Teaspoon high quality Tea Tree oil
1 Teaspoon high quality Tea Tree oil
1/2-1 Tablespoon organic virgin coconut oil 1-2 Tablespoon organic virgin coconut oil

I use hot water from my bottled water dispenser, which melts down the coconut oil (it really only needs to be above 77 degrees to melt the coconut oil). I shake it up really well in a smaller, lidded container so that it’s as dispersed in the water as it can be, and then quickly pour it over the cut roll in the plastic container. Put on the lid and let it sit for a bit, then turn the container over. Let it sit a few minutes more, and then open it and remove that cardboard core.  Then just continue to pull from the middle of the roll. I use the higher quality paper towels because they don’t disintegrate. Make sure when you pick out your plastic container that it’s big enough around and tall enough to fit the half a roll. There’s a number of options out there for containers at Target or Wal-Mart or similar places.  Creative types can come up with decorative options for making this container as discreet as you need it to be!

 

**Disclaimers** 

  • You need to make sure that coconut oil and tea tree oil in this very diluted solution is tolerable to your body. It should be tolerable to all but the most sensitive, but please test it out first. I’m not a doctor or a nurse, this is just something I personally use.
  • I do not recommend this for latex condom users. While the oil is very much diluted, there could possibly still be enough to break down a latex condom. I don’t recommend that you take the risk.
  • Coconut oil has been safe for me to use on every silicone toy I own, and was recommended as a natural lube option by Tantus folks. I know that mineral oil should never be used on the cheaper, porous materials like TPR, Elastomer, etc since they are already softened with mineral oil and that would speed the material breakdown. I assume that any oil could do so, because most will tell you not to use an oil-based lube with these toys.  This solution is safe for glass and stainless steel, but I would contact the manufacturer of your wooden dildo just to be certain. 
 Posted by at 4:31 pm
Feb 192014
 

BWE14Quite some years ago, before e-books, I got my first taste of what someone else’s really hot sex looked like through the erotica compilations available at my local Barnes & Noble. Best Women’s Erotica was one of the three short-story collections that I cut my teeth on. As with them all, some years are better than others. But make no mistake, it was always really good writing.

While the cover art of BWE’14 eludes me (and I did manage to find a few grammar errors that jumped out at me) I can absolutely say that these stories were superb. More than a few left me disappointed when they ended; I wanted to keep reading more of that tale. Excellent stories and character development, no doubt. It’s been awhile since I’ve read a BWE, but 2014 really seems to overall be aiming at a cisgendered hetero female audience. There are 2 stories where the women in question are lesbian, but at least one of them brings in a cismale to the party. I found myself wanting more lesbian erotica, but that’s just me. There was plenty of kink; nothing super extreme though (unless you count cake-sitting as an extreme thing–it’s absolutely not my thing, yet still that story was so well-written, I read it anyways and enjoyed it for what it was). Actually, this collection would be a great one to hand someone who cut their erotica teeth on that damnable 50 Shades stuff. Similar sort of scenarios but with way, way better writing.  Violet Blue curated the collection, and did a wonderful job choosing the best of the best. While there is a decent amount of varying degrees of D/s, it’s not all about submissive women. Violet Blue demands that the stories that make up this collection feature lots of really hot sex with great stories, and she delivers. You won’t find anything “artistically subtle” in these pages, the stories are meant to arouse and excite. 

From the back of the book:

The Most Daring Erotica of the Year

From sparks between strangers to the knowing caresses of long-time lovers, Best Women’s Erotica 2014 delivers risky, romantic stories for your reading pleasure.

This year’s extraordinary collection is a glorious celebration of the finest and friskiest female erotic fiction today. In Valerie Alexander’s “Monsoon Season,” a gorgeous hunk begs to be groomed as a sub by his hard-to-get lover. A new couple with just the right toy discovers each other’s true desires after a few dates in the playful “Revealing” by Ruby Ryder. Laura Antoniou’s masterful “Blame Spartacus” explores how strong men will serve an even stronger woman, and beg for it. Artfully curated by Oprah’s porn pundit Violet Blue, these stories evoke the sensations of falling in lust and the electrifying thrills of sexual passion.

Cleis Press sent me BWE2014 to talk about here and also will be sending one to a lucky (US-only) winner, in paperback! Entry methods are pretty simple, for once. I know you’re accustomed to weird and complicated giveaways from me, but for this little book I thought I’d cut you all a break. The rules are pretty basic: If I can’t verify your entry, it will get deleted. If you don’t live in the US, you can’t win. I’ll put you in touch with my contact at Cleis Press, so no need to be handing over your personal info to me directly.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Jan 222014
 

MimiA few years ago I tried out the Je Joue Mimi because a lot of people raved about it. I remember being okay with the vibrations, but not in love. The shape wasn’t perfect for me, but my biggest complaint was the buttons. They were very hard to press. The buttons alone made me never use that vibrator. Then Mimi got a revamp. They added a third button, just for the patterns. On my original, you’d press and hold the + button to turn it on, then press for each jump up in speed, and if you went too far you’d go in to the patterns. Since there was a minus button, you could back out of the patterns easily enough. With the revamp, that bit of irritation was taken away. If you want to ignore the patterns, you can do so easily.  I always wondered if my original Mimi was somehow defective. My buttons seemed very hard to press but also I didn’t seem to rate the motor quite as powerful and rumbly as other reviewers did. I finally got my chance to find out with the new Je Joue Mimi Soft.

This has, of course, the revamped buttons but it doesn’t seem to be all that much stronger than the original. I do think that my original was defective, because there is a tiny bit of a difference — the Mimi Soft feels just a hair more intense. I’m told that Je Joue thinks this is because the vibrations travel better through the soft tip, something I’ve not really found to be true. I’ve found that the more material there is for the vibrations to travel through, the less you feel said vibrations. I personally think that due to the slight bit of extra cushioning from the layer of softer material under the silicone skin, the vibrations on the Mimi Soft do not suffer as much from the Vibration Dampening Syndrome like the original Mimi did.  The buttons on my Soft, I’m happy to report, are pretty easy to use but you’ll find that in any Mimi you buy these days.

So what’s the big deal here? Is it really soft, plushy and squishy?

Not as much as I was expecting, and not as much as the promo photos had me thinking. Maybe not enough to make a huge difference for some. At first, in a blind test, I thought I couldn’t tell the difference during use…..until I applied some pressure. The Je Joue Mimi Soft felt just different enough that, for those who like some pressure on the clit but hate rock-hard vibes, this is their vibrator. I think that the distinction between the two should have been even more pronounced. I would have liked to see a more marshmallow-plush tip, like Vixen’s Vixskin (like on the Raquel), but the silicone skin is pretty tough and thick. If you’re imagining something like the Tenga Iroha vibes, it’s nothing like that. The soft tip is pretty much where most people would want it, just on the tip. I think they could have extended it all the way around. They’re really on to something, here. Covering a hard plastic vibrator in a non-plush silicone skin is confusing. Adding a little layer of squish would be enough to up the comfort factor but not interfere greatly with vibrations traveling through material.

 JeJoueMimis  JeJoueMimis2

Specs, Packaging, Etc

The soft tip does make Mimi Soft just a teeny bit bigger, but it’s nothing to really write home about. The charging style is the same as regular Mimi, a magnetic fob which I don’t love but will tolerate. The box design has gotten cheaper, if you care about that. I remember being impressed with the original Je Joue boxes, hinged lids that tied shut with a ribbon. The outer box is okay, but the inserts to lay it out all nice for presentation are flimsy and won’t last long.  That’s not a big deal, though, I usually rip them apart anyways.

As I dug through the box looking for the ubiquitous soft drawstring pouch that seems to come with just about every silicone sex toy, I thought I found it. Something black, silky……nice material, I thought. Until I went further. It was like a magician’s trick, where they pull the hankie out of their sleeve and it keeps coming and coming, in various shades? Well, it was like that, minus the rainbow. “What the FUCK?” I thought, until I realized that it was maybe supposed to be some sort of blindfold. I checked out the description on Shevibe’s site, since Je Joue’s site has not yet acknowledged the Mimi Soft, and sure enough, it’s a blindfold.

*insert confused and slightly irritated face here*

I can’t really put into words why I find the inclusion of a blindfold at the expense of a nice storage pouch so irritating, but I do. I fully support sex toys being used by partners together, but I equally support solo sex toy use. Both are healthy and should happen. So why include a half-ass blindfold? Actually, no. A crappy blindfold. A men’s necktie would do better. The material is super thin and bunches up easily, feels awkward in use and plain old doesn’t work. It’s a waste of material that would be better spent as a storage bag. If someone actually wants a blindfold, they’ll buy a proper one; if they’re curious then there are plenty of things that people already have around the house to use as a makeshift blindfold that would be better than this thing.

Verdict

Of course, We-Vibe’s Tango is the most powerful of all of these, but the Mimi Soft and the Leaf Fresh+ seem to almost be neck and neck with vibrations yet the Fresh+ wins by a nose as the shape works a little better and there’s less vibration dampening. Of course, the Fresh+ is louder than the Mimi Soft, too. Minna Limon though is more rumbly and deeper-reaching, yet the shape means it doesn’t work quite as well for me as the shape of the Fresh+ or Mimi despite it seeming to be a little more powerful. Lelo’s Mia 2 ranks in just a little less powerful than the Mimi Soft, while still being powerful enough to work for me. A similar idea in design, the Tenga Iroha Midori is much less powerful and even less user-friendly in terms of shape. The Lovelife Smile ranks at the bottom in terms of vibration power.

Crappy, out-of-place blindfold aside, I actually really do like the new Je Joue Mimi Soft. It’s not my tippy top favorite, but I’d rank it in my top 10 clitoral vibes I think. It’s just about $10 dollars more than the regular Mimi, which is around $88 currently.

 

 

Jan 152014
 

OhMiBod, known for it’s music-enhanced vibrators, now has a bit less high-tech line called Lovelife. Inspired by the founding couple’s lengthy relationship1, everything in the line is moderately-priced and sized. The Adventure, the triple-stim, is about as adventurous as the line gets (so it’s aptly named). I was offered the chance to review the entire Ohmibod Lovelife line, but these days I tend to be more picky and prefer to review things that are either A: Popular & new B: Might actually work for me C: Seems too good to be true.

 The entire Ohmibod Lovelife collection

I’ve got the Cuddle and the Smile. The Flex kegel exercisers didn’t appeal because of the design and the silicone string – I’d already determined from the Bedroom Kandi line that I dislike stretchy silicone “strings”.  The Share cock ring was out because vibrating cock rings are useless for my body. The Discover seemed too small for me; Dream is just too straight and boring. Adventure seems to be the most promising of them all, if you like triple-stimulation. I don’t. But, Adventure has three motors, one for each stimulation point. If the clit and anus stim motors are the same as the Smile, though, that wouldn’t be ideal in my opinion.

As you can see, yes, the entire OhMiBod Lovelife line is very femme, right down to the packaging. Pink overwhelms you, a bit like Shelby’s wedding in Steel Magnolias. The box is nice, though, for storage–if you need discretion, this would offer it as there is no logo or words on the inner box. Pink is Suki’s favorite color and it’s awfully expensive, according to Brian, to start off a new line when you’re not a big company and offer a number of color choices2. I’ve suggested something like a turquoise-y teal or an emerald green; Brian’s confirmation of color trends wasn’t exactly surprising, but interesting info for a sex nerd like me3.  So all of that being said, I’m not gonna jump on them totally for everything being so uber-femme. I’ll wait to reserve that for when they come out with more colors. I’d really like to see more gender-neutral stuff, but the focus on literal hearts and flowers is hard-wired in. The control dial on the vibes is heart-shaped and the clitoral nub on the Smile is heart-shaped, for starters. It appears that the boxes for each are slightly different in their design, but they’re all still mostly very femme.

Ohmibod Lovelife Cuddle Smile LovelifeBoxes CuddleCompare

While I thought Smile would be the one I’d prefer out of them all, it let me down. Smile’s vibrations are decidedly more surface-buzzy and don’t work for me at all – moderate in power, it is less powerful than the Lelo Mia 2, maybe even less powerful than the We-Vibe 3 by a hair. The heart-shaped nubbin was a bit smaller than I expected it to be. I thought that the style would work out for how I’m built, but the nub would have to be a tiny bit bigger to be a true match. For women with a more exposed clitoris, though, this style will work well if you don’t need powerful vibrations and like pinpoint stimulation. It is VERY pinpoint.

Cuddle‘s vibrations range deeper with some decent power, probably just a hair more intense than the Lelo Gigi 2, but the exact same type of vibrations. It’s not enough intensity to actually work for me as intended, a g-spot vibrator, but that’s also in part to the entire thing being too short for me to comfortably use as well as a relatively thin shaft (1.25″ at the max, but it gets pretty narrow as it gets closer to the handle).  Cuddle seems to compare easily to the Lelo Gigi 2 in terms of general size. If you like the idea of the Gigi but hate that pronounced flat-head tip that can catch on the pubic bone for some, you might enjoy Cuddle. The minor ridge on the shaft could be enough for the more sensitive folk for g-spot stimulation.

As for the rest of the specs, I prefer the jack-style charging to the magnetic versions, but this charging style means that the Lovelife line isn’t waterproof, just splash-proof.  The only charging cable you get is USB, so AC-preferrers need to have a USB-AC wall plug on hand. On all units, the pink portion is silicone – the silky, matte finish that you expect on higher end vibrators. The plastic is ABS with a silky PU coat making it feel just like the silicone. At first I had issues with working the rocker-button style control pad but quickly figured out my issue (hint: RTFM. Always.). The control pad is similar to older-style Lelo designs (like the Gigi/2) but is much, much easier to use. You do have to click for each setting, rather than click-hold-ramp.

I do like that most of the line is under $75, and nothing is over $100. They seem to be about the same quality as Lelo, but significantly less expensive. Actually, given the quality declines seen in Lelo in recent years, they are probably built better than Lelo.  While the pieces I’ve tried didn’t thrill me, they don’t offend me either. The pink-femme scheme isn’t enough to make me pan the set, and I do think there are plenty of people out there who could enjoy these toys. In my eyes these rank better than the iPod-styled vibes and the Bedroom Kandi line. Thanks to Goodvibes for hooking me up, and Brian for answering questions and giving me some great info4.

 

  1. Brian, co-founder of OhMiBod, says: “We started out with pink simply because its Suki’s favorite color.  Since the line was inspired by our “lengthy” relationship (26 years now) it made sense for us to do something that resonated with her. The names we picked from the cornerstones of our relationship – things important to us.”
  2. Brian says: “our plan is to branch out into more colors as quickly as possible.  It’s really costly, especially for a tiny company like ours, to afford to do everything at once – but its definitely on the product roadmap for 2014. We’re not sure what color(s) we’ll go with but would welcome any suggestions from you – if you feel like chiming in. We’re currently in the process of collecting color preferences from people like yourself.”
  3. Brian says: “We had a bunch of colors initially in our Naughtibod range which we sold in all the markets (both our web and resellers) – and by a long shot Pink and Purple were the favorite choices followed by Black and Blue. We killed orange and yellow because the numbers were too low to support.”
  4. He was pretty gracious, despite the fact that I turned them down on their offer to send me the full line, because I knew most of them wouldn’t work out for me
Dec 162013
 

It’s been a long time since a sex toy brought forth sheer, bubbling rage. The Shiri Zinn Cupcake Vibrator clearly came from the Sex Toy Gates of Hell. I’m here to banish it.

Everything angers me. The censorship of reviews for this tripe. The price tag. The arrogance of the creator. The vibrations – they are faux-powerful. It sounds rumbly and powerful, but it’s just loud. Even the cutesy, girly-girl femme kitschy look angers me. Why? This is what it reminds me of:

 Cartoon Cupcake

ShiriZinnCupcakeThe Cupcake Vibrator really is “life size”, the same size as your average cupcake. It is bizarrely packed in a polka-dotted red tin. Perhaps baked goods like a cupcake coming in a tin is a British thing? I don’t get it1. The leaflet enclosed, though, is nearly as horrifying as the vibrator itself. I read “5 speeds!” and then I think to myself that Shiri Zinn keeps using that word but I do not think it means what she thinks it means. There are two SPEEDS. Low and then high. Then there are three patterns. These make up five settings. Not speeds. There is no explanation to clear up the confusion on just how this stupid cupcake should be applied to your genitals. There are warnings about material care and lube. And then she gets (even more) ridiculous. She tells you not to use rechargeable batteries 2 but then she tells you that you should use the exact, bizarre brand of batteries she included. Which you can conveniently buy on her website. Forget Duracell, forget the super-charged Energizers, folks. Off-brand PKCELL is apparently where it’s at for power. What the actual fuck.

This is the perfect vibrator for people who:
A: can come by having someone blow on their clitoris
B: are into Littles play
C: are into sploshing play

 
The Good:

  • It’s made of silicone, although it does have a slight odor
  • *crickets*

The Bad:

  • Weak vibrations, which are the strongest in the “wrapper” section, meaning your hand will feel more than your clitoris
  • Loud. Cheap/rattly loud, like I would expect from a $15 vibrator
  • The cherry on top receives none of the vibrations, the complete opposite of any logic where this “vibrator” is concerned
  • The cherry is made of shiny silicone, and it does have a lot of drag3. Please do not apply it to your clit without a half-cup of lube present
  • The frosting is the lid, and it easily twists open – it could twist open in mid-use as you try in vain to feel something, anything
  • Least ergonomic “sex toy” ever, worse than the iGino One
  • Damn near incapable of providing most people with an orgasm
  • $45-50 is the average retail price, which is about $40 too much. Fuck you for charging that much.
  • Gives “adult novelties” a bad name
  • It’s not waterproof, it’s not even splashproof.
  • Which means – good fucking luck cleaning the ridges of the cupcake “liner” should you get desperate for something resembling vibration

Shirizinncupcakeopen shirizinncupcakebatteries

I at first said that this vibrator is the biggest joke that I’ve ever seen in my reviewing career, but on second thought it’s about on-par with things such as the Screaming O Studio Line Vibrating Makeup Brush (I’m sure I could easily lump the rest of that line, too).   The discretion factor is really pumped up hard with vibrators like these, and the Cupcake Vibrator is no exception. From the Liberator.com site:

Whether you’re looking for the perfect bachelorette gift or a treat for yourself, purchasing a “personal massager” can be embarrassing. Not to mention the idea of TSA finding one in your luggage, or your roommate digging the porn packaging out of the trash. Never fear, Cupcake by Shiri Zinn is the discreet, female vibrator that can still delivery a real treat. With 3 different pulsations and 2 speeds, this cute little vibrator provides the perfect calorie free treat. Small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, Cupcake measures 3 x 3 x 2.4″

*gag* Fuck you, Liberator.

From Vibrators.com: ( who, by the way, I now absolutely distrust)

The Cupcake Vibrator is a powerful vibrator disguised as a delicious treat. This luxury vibrator is perfect for intense clitoral stimulation.

No. Just….no. That’s a flat-out lie.

The Shiri Zinn Cupcake Vibrator could not bring me to orgasm. It couldn’t even bring me within a mile of an orgasm. I have determined that it is nothing more than an overpriced gag gift.

Again – is this a cosmic fucking joke? Nope. There are a few interviews with Shiri Zinn on Youtube, and she fully thinks that this is the best thing, like, ever.  I fully think that this is batshit insane, and I would never, ever recommend that anybody buy the Cupcake Vibrator. If you’d like to throw money away on a sex toy that doesn’t look like a sex toy for a gag gift, you’ll surely find something under $20. If you really want a functioning sex toy that doesn’t look like a sex toy for reals, there are many valid options out there – the Lelo Mia 2 isn’t bad. Options that will actually bring you to orgasm and not sound like an electric razor are out there, folks.  I would say that 90/95% of the vibrators I’ve reviewed are more powerful than the Cupcake, and I’ve reviewed some paltry vibrators.  Even the Jimmy Jane Hello Touch and Form 3 had more vibration power than this.

Please, do not waste your money on this cupcake-shaped vibrator. Avoid it. This vibrator actually offends me. Scratch that. The entire brand of Shiri Zinn offends me4.

 

downloadI acquired the Cupcake Vibrator on my own from an undisclosed source. My opinions are my own, and I tell nothing but the absolute truth – the truth being I absolutely detest this sex toy. Please be aware that there are reviews on the interwebs that have been edited and censored by the maker of the vibrator, in order to put the vibrator in the best light, as well as assure that “classy” reviews are the only thing written (p.s. orgasms are apparently not classy). I acquired this Cupcake so that I could finally bring you the truth. The following other reviewers have words to say about the Shiri Zinn Cupcake Vibrator, words which are also 100% truth, should you want an opinion that is perhaps less filled with hatred than my own:

 

  1. Then again I don’t “get” anything about this from concept to actualization, so at least she’s consistent. She has that going for her
  2. which is true, they really do lack the power oomph that vibrators need, and if you used a rechargeable battery on this thing it would likely have the gumption of a single honey bee trapped inside
  3. Someone asked me, as I was ranting about it, “is there drag?” Oh yes, it fucking drags like a righteous queen. Except in this case, it’s unpleasant.
  4. Tell me how much logic was involved in making a ceramic dildo for their strap-on harness? A motherfucking vibrator with a long feather-boa tail because a true lady has no bodily fluids or lube RIGHT? And the Shiri Zinn glass dildos?!?? I DIE. DIE. WHAT. WHY. Bezel-set crystals GLUED on to the top half of a glass dildo. Yeah, I bet that feels really great to hold on to. And how would you even clean that?? These sex toys remind me of the designers who make stuff for high-fashion catwalk shows. You know, the outfits that would never, ever fly in the real world and that no person would ever wear. They’re art. That’s what her overpriced glass dildos are. Art. Not a sex toy. Some companies manage to blend the two seamlessly, but not Shiri Zinn.  She’s taken the whole entire fucking point of a glass sex toy, and ruined it – no easy cleaning, no sanitizing, no temperature play.