Lilly

Dec 082013
 

Welcome to the 2013 “Best Sex Toys” list from The Pickiest Sex Toy Reviewer, Ever.  And because I really want to make sure you always get your dose of reality, we have a list of the Worst Sex Toys. If the sex toy is on this list, then I have some Very Strong Feelings about it. Be it good or bad!

This year’s list was a little harder to make; I had to take a hiatus and my reviewing was cut back all around this year. I wrote a mere 22 reviews this year; about 2/3 of those reviews were for products that debuted this year. That’s it! Add in the fact that I truly disliked half of what I did review and I was honestly thinking that I would have a tiny list this year, with no vibrators. Thankfully for all, a few newbies snuck in at the 11th hour.  In order to keep things fresh and up to date, I like to restrict my list to sex toys that hit the market this calendar year. For the “Best” picks, I’ve restricted the items to things that I’ve used and honestly liked a lot.  I don’t want to steer anyone wrong, so I always need to be sure that my recommendations are true.

Best Sex Toys of 2013

 

A01569-PRP-FRESHBest Vibrator: Leaf Fresh+  – I’m surprised at this choice since I wasn’t a fan of the first Leaf line; but with the new Leaf+ line, the power and rumbly upgrades tipped the scales for me.  The Fresh+ shape also means that it’s less susceptible to vibration dampening just from holding it (so many tiny vibes have that problem).  It’s small, but doesn’t give me hand cramps. It’s truly travel-friendly, has a non-aggravating charging method and clocks in under $100 at SheVibe. Sure, it’s now a baffling purple but I’m going to do my best to overlook that fact because I like the vibrations. If power is your thing, stick with the Fresh+. While all the vibes in the purple Leaf+ line are more powerful and more rumbly than their green counterparts, Fresh+ is the tops.

Get the Leaf Fresh+ from SheVibe!

11BA22Honorable Mention: Minna Limon – Limon didn’t make the top choice because it wasn’t perfect for me due to the shape, but the very deep and rumbling vibrations make this vibrator stand out. The air-filled squeezy pockets and ability to record your own perfect pattern are technologies that, while not something I personally need, would be awesome for so many people. It’s marketed as a couples’ toy (even though we’re used to couples’ toys providing simultaneous stimulation to both parties) but is great for solo and couple time. If Limon didn’t possess the vibrations it does, though, it wouldn’t have made my list. More sex toy companies need to utilize these deep vibrations.

You can pick up the Limon in Teal or Pink from Good Vibrations or SheVibe!

fuckingsculptures4Best Dildo: Anything from Fucking Sculptures – I usually don’t like putting something so high ticket on this list, but the glass dildos from Fucking Sculptures blew me away this year. They truly are the most beautiful creations I’ve seen. I was given two to review, I bought one, and I gave away one. All were well-made and gorgeous to look at with unique shapes and stylings. Sometimes the glass is sparkling, sometimes it is metallic; it can be opaque or translucent and the colors are things we don’t normally see in sex toys.

SheVibe is selling them and is selling specific models; they will tell you the exact sizes of the ones they have in stock (which are also on sale until 12-31 while supplies last). You can also purchase directly from Fucking Sculptures; you can tell them some size guidelines that they can follow or just give up control and give only narrow choices. Since each work of art is handmade, each one is slightly different and won’t look like the photos on the site.

raptor-xlHonorable Mention: Tantus RaptorXL – While the RaptorXL was a great dildo for me, I know that a lot of folks won’t be able to handle the size. It’s a firm, silicone dildo with a few stylings on the head that make for great g-spot stimulation despite the shaft being straight. For those who would need something smaller, the Raptor standard delivers all the same bullet points, just not as girthy.  The Raptors are harness-compatible in a bit of a unique way; normally when balls are present it is more difficult to utilize a harness but by moving the ball up, non-harness users still get a “handle” of sorts, but harness users aren’t aggravated. And, the Raptors are available in Tantus Orange! Yay for different colors!

Get the Raptor XL from SheVibe or from Tantus directly!

PaddlesBest Kink Item: Tantus Silicone Paddles – I don’t identify as kinky anymore and frankly these days consider myself to be fairly vanilla. However, the paddles were too good not to award. Do I personally like them? In theory. I can’t stand to receive pain and I’m not in a kink relationship where I can deliver the pain. However, the concept is fucking brilliant and it’s well executed.  For anyone who is actually in to spanking/paddling and can tolerate pain, I highly recommend these. For newbies just starting out? Nope.  The original 4 paddles have various sensations (various levels and types of pain, I should say) and flat handles. The Plunge has a dildo-shaped handle that is more ergonomic and doubles as a teasing dildo. Why silicone? It delivers a sensation unlike rigid paddles, yet is nonporous and can easily be cleaned and sanitized. 

Get the Tantus Paddles from Tantus directly, or Shevibe!

mia2Best I-Missed-It-Last-Year Item: Lelo Mia 2 – Yes, technically, the Lelo Mia 2 debuted in 2012 but I didn’t get to try it until 2013. I never ended up writing the review for it, which is something I really should do. As much as I wanted to like the original Mia back in 2008, it wasn’t quite enough oomph for me. The world of USB rechargeable vibrators was pretty new in 2008; now it’s nothing special. And while these days I tend to dislike a vibrator that has a magnetic cradle and charges only via USB, somehow the Mia 2 can get away with it for me. I guess because it’s small and doesn’t require a flat surface (rarely seen in my work area). While I would still recommend the We-Vibe Tango to the Mia 2, and the Mia 2 has quirks that I don’t like (the removeable cap and the silicone buttons create crevices that are a bit of a bitch to clean), Mia 2 can finally get me off. The motor employs just enough extra intensity and shift from buzzy to more rumbly necessary to please me. If you’re someone who really likes the method of charging, no cables, and the fact that it comes in black? Go for it. You’ll likely enjoy Mia 2.

 Worst Sex Toys of 2013

I don’t even know where to begin! There were so many items that I hated! So many “meh” toys, too, but I’ll try to stick to the ones with no redeeming qualities.

  • FunToys G-Vibe – Wimpy wimpy wimpy. The idea might work, but everything about the toy was so incredibly SUBTLE that it was like a whisper to my vag. Which, let me inform you, doesn’t do anything for me.
  • Lelo Luna Beads Noir – Luna Beads, the original, are my favorite vag balls. But then Lelo had to get roped into the stupid “50 Shades” bullshit and ripped people off. This set, while admittedly more visually appealing to me than the original pastels, feels incomplete and a lot less worth the money with only one set of weighted balls (the heavier weight), and only available in the Mini size. The rattle is more subtle, therefore the effects are more subtle. It’s just not going to be enough for many women, and I don’t feel they’re worth the price.
  • JimmyJane Hello Touch – I didn’t like a single aspect of this. I detested it. The too-tight finger straps, the ugly and limited wrist strap, the aggravating buttons, the disgustingly bland, buzzy vibrations….ugh.  I’m glad it got sent off for testing, never to return. Goodbye Touch! 
  • iGino One - The bizarre shape was painful to hold. The Hello Kitty color scheme, awful. The vibrations? Painful.  This was the only vibrator this year to actually scare my cats. They ran from it if it was turned on in the same room.
  • Lelo Ida - The vibrator that made me finally say I QUIT to Lelo.  Ida (and Tara) has got to be the DUMBEST design I’ve seen this year. 
  • Jopen Envy One and Three – It seemed so promising (despite the launch line of 3 varied length straight “classic” shapes), but failed to deliver. They heated up to a temp that was uncomfortable or arrived deader than a doornail. Multiple times. None of the 4 that I tried ever functioned properly. The vibrations were good, but that uncomfortable overheating and the dumb straight design ruined the decent vibrations.
  • LAST MINUTE ADDITION: Revel Body – I went back and forth on putting this on the list, until I found out (thanks to RB commenting on Epiphora’s review) that the version of the RB that I reviewed for Shevibe may not even be the version Shevibe is actually selling. RB sent me my review products directly from them, rather than from Shevibe’s warehouse stock. Now, no one knows what is up and what version is where. You know what? I’m done. If I’m reviewing a product for a retailer, and then someone buys that product and gets something different, both I and the retailer end up looking bad. That’s what RB has done.  I wasted at least a dozen hours on my review, and parts are not even relevant. Readers? Don’t buy this.

Missed Opportunities of 2013

There were items this year that I really wish I’d gotten a chance to actually try. It doesn’t mean I’m endorsing them, it just means that I optimistically think there’s a chance they could be decent.

~ While I did feel up the Fun Factory Stronic 1 at Catalyst in the spring, I never actually used one. Part of me thinks that it wouldn’t work for me. Fun Factory did try to offer me the Stronic 2, but it was being marketed as a prostate version for men – a very large prostate vibrator. Too large for my guy. I’ve sadly figured out much later that it could possibly be great for the g-spot, too.

~ Last year, I panned the original Crave Duet after listening to Epiphora. They’ve since updated the Duet, and come out with a few other vibes too. I’d like to at least be able to hold them in my hand and figure out if they vibrations are strong enough for me, but Crave doesn’t seem to like me very much. Are they afraid of me & my notorious negative reviews? Maybe I’ll try to find a NYC store that carries them, if I ever make it out there anytime soon.

~ Despite how much I disliked the Jopen Envy One and Three, I wish I’d been able to try out the Envy Five.  It’s supposedly wider (their measurements on the One and Three were WAY off) but has the angled curve that might make it serviceable. And who knows, maybe with the newer models they were able to fix the DOA and overheating issues. Maybe. I’m a glutton for punishment, I know.

 

Tell me what you think! Are you surprised by any of my choices, or absences? 

 Posted by at 10:47 pm
Dec 062013
 

LeafFreshPlusWhen the first Leaf line came out, there were lots of happy people when they saw an entire line of sex toys in GREEN. We don’t get green very often. And I tried one of the line, but was a bit underwhelmed1. I never ended up trying anything else from that line; not for lack of trying, really but I also wasn’t going out of my way to insist on getting one.  When I was informed of the new Leaf+ line, I was intrigued. The press release I received2 actually states that they are using a different, more powerful Power Bullet motor in the Leaf+ line. I really wanted to like a vibrator for once this year, so I went straight to the source and asked Leaf which + model would be the strongest. They told me that they felt that the Leaf Fresh+ was the strongest.  Why? Well, I had to ask.  Sean Marshall of BMS Enterprises, the parent company behind PowerBullet and therefore all vibrators using it, answered my questions: 

The Leaf Fresh+ (and the original Fresh) were the perfect size and dimension to allow us to get the right power we were looking for. With the newest motors, the Fresh+ is even more powerful and still the most powerful in the collection. The other 3 current designs still feel amazing. Life+ would probably be the second most powerful. Vitality+ and Bloom+ feature 2 vibrations each, with each motor offering a slightly different sensation. One is a deep vibration (strong and pulsating), while the other is a little quicker for a more intense vibration.

The Leaf+ line does have one minor downfall in my eyes – it’s purple. I don’t hate purple! I don’t even hate pink. But it’s nice when we’re given a color that doesn’t feel standard. It’s nice to step outside the box. But of course, you can’t have two versions of the same shape in the same color:

We wanted to create something new but something that still had the essence of what Leaf was. Since our plan was (and currently is) to keep Leaf going, we didn’t want to confuse stores and customers by keeping everything the same colour. We chose the purple since we still feel it had an earthy tone to it. We originally began an eggplant purple, which evolved into this colour. It may just seem like another purple, but we had a many meetings and went through a lot of colour options to arrive on something that we all liked and based on feedback, our customers would appreciate as well. It needed an identity of its own and I believe we accomplished that quite well. And hey, leaves change colour, so why not a vibe as well?

But, the Leaf+ line does have improvements! Mainly the improvement lies in the better motor. The button now glows. Is that an improvement? I guess so. It glows and blinks every time you change the mode. There are 2 added pulsating modes….good if you like your vibrator to tease, not great if you want to get off. Each pulse mode has a half-second too long delay where there are no vibrations, and kinda kills the mood for me. The travel lock feature is now easier to use, too, apparently. The old style involved a series of well-timed taps. With the Leaf+, you just have to press and hold for like 5 or 6 seconds. It’s a long hold time compared to other travel locks, but since there is only the one button and you have the option of press and hold to turn it off, there you have it.

Clarification:  To turn it on, and cycle through the settings, you click. Original Leaf line uses the click and hold method to ramp up the vibration intensities. Since the vibe has only one button plus travel lock, they had to change that style. To turn it off you can either press and hold for 3 seconds, or click through the settings (5 settings in total – 3 power levels, 2 patterns).

Quirks

When it comes to most vibrators that have only one control button, in order to turn this off you must press and hold the button OR cycle through all of the settings. In theory, just like the We-Vibe Tango, if you press and hold the button to turn it off when you turn it back on it will be at the same setting you left off at. Unlike the We-Vibe Tango, the Leaf Fresh+ gets a little trigger-happy and quickly jumps to the next setting or two whilst you’re busy holding the button down for it to rapidly turn off. Usually, when I go to turn it back on, it will actually turn on in the mode I intended for it to turn on at, the last one I was using. Usually. It’s not always the case, though.

There are two pattern settings, neither of which I like. Granted, I don’t like 99% of the patterns I encounter in vibrators. I want straight vibration, give it to me. The first pattern quickly escalates through the three intensity levels in a fluid change, and then just as quickly goes back down where it spends a full second (or so it seems) doing nothing. There’s too much time spent in intensity levels other than the highest. The second pattern is a rapid pulsating burst of 4 or 5 pulses which are maybe low or maybe medium, I can’t quite tell which….and then a low hum of nearly nothing for the same amount of time (a full second?). If you like teasing from your vibrator, you might enjoy these.

The Good Stuff

Okay, back to the good points. It’s covered in matte silicone, the kind that does have some drag but resists most dust/fur/lint. Some people might prefer to use lube.  It might pick up some dust and lint but I’ve not had any problems yet (unlike the We-Vibe Touch).  It’s waterproof, easy to clean.  It is relatively quiet; it is noticeably more quiet than the We-Vibe Tango but louder than the Minna Limon. It will arrive in the same Leaf signature box, which is cute and sturdy and the same drawstring burlap-look pouch as before.

I really like the vibrations in this. A lot. Is it strong? Yes. As strong as the We-Vibe Tango? Eh, no, not quite. It is more rumbly than the Lelo Mia 2, and a bit more powerful as well.  I like the vibrations better than the Je Joue Mimi, way better than the original Leaf Spirit3, it’s stronger than the Tenga Iroha and the vibrations are a tiny bit stronger than the Minna Limon. It doesn’t seem to suffer from the dampened vibrations during use nearly as much as the We-Vibe Touch, so in use it ends up bring stronger.

LuxuryClitoralVibrators

I don’t feel that the shape and size is as versatile for me as the We-Vibe Tango4, and I prefer the hard plastic of the Tango, but I like the shape of the Fresh. It works well with my vulva and clitoris, and there is a place to hold it where holding it won’t dampen the motor. It’s comfortable. Dare I say, ergonomic, even?  And since it has travel lock, I’d be a bit more inclined to travel with this over the We-Vibe Tango. The charger is also better to me than the magnetic style. It’s a long, thin jack and you can only screw it up if you don’t push it all the way in. But there will not be the issues of the charger falling off the vibrator, like you have with the magnetic style charger like the We-Vibe Touch/Tango, Je Joue Mimi,. etc.

LeafFreshPlus-ChargingPort

Despite the fact that the Fresh+ doesn’t exceed the We-Vibe Tango for me, I still like it. Would I feel safe in recommending this to others? Sure I would. Will I actually continue to use this? Yes. And it’s safely under $100, so it’s not ridiculously priced. There is no obscenely long warning section in a big user manual. It’s fairly easy for anybody to use and figure out. In short, I approve of the Leaf+ Fresh+ . Plus plus. We’re unsure where the pluses go in the name. 

Shevibe.com provided me with the Leaf Fresh+ to review in exchange for my honest opinion. I really think you’ll like this little vibe, and since Shevibe is my favorite store, I highly recommend that you buy it there, right now!!

  1. And rightfully so, it seems. According to Sean from BMS: “The Spirit in my opinion is a great little vibe for its size, but you’re right in that it isn’t the most powerful one in the collection. Due to how thin and tiny it was, there isn’t a lot of space for rotations.”
  2. Actually it was more like a release given to retailers…I swear to god, my email address is on a damn list somewhere that names me as a retailer. I was quite confused when BMS Enterprises sent me the info. They weren’t actually asking me to review it, but luckily SheVibe let me!
  3. Between Sean’s confirmation that it is stronger, and my memory, that is. My Spirit is dead, as I apparently never bothered to recharge it from it’s initial charge and if you don’t use these rechargeable batteries they drain out and die, never to be resuscitated I guess
  4. But really, what else could be as versatile as the Tango? It does so much
Dec 042013
 

Showing the Minna Limon in a grocery store setting, nestled amongst real lemonsMinna is not a brand new company; they had, all on their own, launched the Minna Ola last year. Ola used a technology never seen before in a vibrator – instead of pushing buttons to control the vibrations, you squeezed an air-filled pad on the handle. It was really aimed at those who like patterns. You could record your pattern creation and it would play it back to you, loop style, until you were done. Since I don’t enjoy patterns, I wasn’t a big fan of the Ola – the primary use and concept was just not a match for me. The vibrations weren’t bad, but in comparison to the Je Joue Uma? Uma blew Ola out of the water. Unimpressed with really any aspect of it, I watched with a wary eye as Minna launched an Indiegogo campaign this spring for their second vibe, the external-only Limon. I’m always, always wary when a company tries to lay claim to the “strongest” award. After all, I know what strong is. I was also wary because the technology behind Minna Limon was identical to Ola – the squeezy-pad. I couldn’t figure out what they really needed to raise money for. With the Revel Body and iGino, they were raising money because those were their first sex toys ever and they were still in R&D phases. Minna included interviews with couples who had reportedly used a prototype, and were gushing.  Yes, Minna went through prototypes to find the perfect lemon shape. Yes, prototyping costs money. But…doesn’t every company prototype?

The Minna Limon is the size of a small lemon.  The name is pronounced like “lee-moan”. Given the fruit-relation, I’d hoped to actually see a yellow vibrator but that would get too kitschy I guess. Instead, they offer the ubiquitous pink and teal. I love the teal. It’s pretty.  

Vibrations and Intensity

Right away, I could tell that Limon was more powerful than Ola. At first I thought that the power level was drastically lower than what they built me up to expect in their Indiegogo campaign, but then I figured it out – my ears were tricking me. The vibrations are a much lower-pitched sound than even the We-Vibe Tango1, and are indeed damn rumbly. We know I like rumbly. I’d absolutely say that the Limon’s vibrations are a bit more rumbly than the Leaf Fresh+; but the overall intensity is a bit less than the We-Vibe Tango. Limon’s vibrations are much more pleasing than the Je Joue Mimi – much deeper and therefore more intense and it is a lot easier to use than the Mimi.  When I was testing out the Ola, I found that those vibrations were weaker than the Je Joue Uma, and found that I could actually orgasm fairly easily using the Uma externally. However, the Minna Limon’s vibrations are much more rumbly and a bit more powerful than the Uma. Compared to the We-Vibe Touch, the intensity is harder to rate – I think that at first the Touch is more powerful, but the slightest pressure against the Touch dampens the vibrations drastically, making the Limon therefore more intense.  Limon can suffer from dampened vibrations due to excessive pressure or being surrounded by flesh with the addition of pressure. I found that due to the way I am built, I couldn’t use Limon whilst seated, but laying down was better. The shape though would be better suited to women with easily accessible clits, “outties”, since the vibrations are concentrated in the nipple-shaped tip.

Pros and Cons – The Bad

Limon has its pros and cons, of course. This isn’t going to be all sunshine and puppy dogs. I’ll get the downsides out of the way first, like ripping off a bandaid. First, I tend to have easily-aggravated carpal tunnel, so I don’t love the stress-ball action especially after a long day of gaming. Second, the Limon glows like a damn nightlight when it’s charging. That part is really one of my biggest issues. A fourth of it blinks brightly while charging if it is low, and then stays lit up when it’s done. Need a bathroom nightlight? You’re in luck. Want or need discretion? Eh. Not gonna happen. 

Also as I mentioned above, the shape of the Limon is not totally perfect for me and my anatomy all of the time. The vibrations concentrate in the tip, and the bulbous overall shape makes digging for a buried clit a bit difficult. It reminds me a bit of the Revel Body using the Nico tip, but unlike the Revel Body the vibrations still translate to pleasurable use. I was still able to easily orgasm when I changed up positions.

Minna Limon Squeeze!

Lastly,  the Minna Limon charges via USB only, and sits on a magnetic cradle. This magnetic cradle is easier to use than most, but you will need a flat surface where it won’t be disturbed. It’s pretty easy these days to locate a USB-to-Wall-Adapter, and wall charging is usually my preferred method, as it would be for most people I think. They really changed the charging style from the Ola. Ola had a teeny magnetic fob that was one of my most hated chargers, but it was a wall charger and not USB, also. The fob was a separate piece, too, which connected via a long jack because they needed to give you something to re-set the air pressure in the squeeze pad in case of air travel. With the Limon, you’re expected to just use a pen or paperclip or something, and that’s fine, it works.  I’m somewhat reluctant to make the charging issues a “con”; because despite their improvements over the Ola’s charging method, I’m still not a fan of USB charging or magnetic chargers and I know I’m not the only one.

Pros and Cons – In the Middle

For those who really just want straight, never-waiver vibrations (like me) you can actually manipulate Limon into doing that, but it isn’t the main purpose of the vibrator2.  So while I do love the vibrations, I feel like I’m under-utilizing this thing. The shape and size of the Limon can be a bit weird, or a bit difficult to use if you cannot grasp things between thumb and fore/middle finger very well. Or, it can be pretty cool. Once you have your pattern set and you switch it to Lock Replay mode, you can still squeeze the sides for grip without changing the vibration. I’ve also lightly squeezed the pillowy sides between my palm and a few fingers after getting it set up for a different grip style. The vibrations are fairly intense, and it causes the Limon to lightly spin around in your hands (or wherever it rests if it’s on straight vibrations) which can be aggravating or comical.

The silicone skin is super silky soft – it won’t attract any lint, but it also has no drag – and it can get a little slippery if your hand is really slick with fluids. 

I’m not really ranking the price as a pro or a con – I don’t really love it when a sex toy costs over $100, and the fact that Minna had a head start with donations from Indiegogo makes me question the $119 price tag. But, the touch-responsive feature is unique, it is valuable and the vibrations are good. I feel that the Limon can please a broader range of people and that makes the price tag a little more tolerable.

Pros and Cons – The Good

As I’ve already mentioned, the vibration type is very, very good. The intensity is also pretty good3.  It’s waterproof, has a nice storage bag, and can be easy to use4. I like that you don’t have to fumble around for buttons, either solo use or partner use. Although my partner has no problems figuring out how to use a vibrator on me, I suppose that not having to worry about buttons too much can be a big plus for many couples.

This really is a quiet vibrator. It could be one of the quietest I’ve ever encountered. The only moments of rattling that I experienced happened when I was holding it during “free play” or “record” mode, squeezing it as much as possible to get the power level up as high as I could and my fingers actually touched the core inside. Once I was able to record the constant high-level vibration and turn it to “lock” mode, it was fine. Even so, the rattling sound was not all that loud. So while they fail on discretion during charging, they win big during use. No one will hear this thing.

Record ModeLock/Replay Mode

I feel the vibrations need one more mention – could they be stronger? Sure. I’d like that. But when you change the vibrations to being so deep and rumbling, I find that extreme power isn’t really needed so much. After all, I have successfully orgasmed from only level 2 of 4 on the We-Vibe Tango; in 99% of my other vibrators it’s unheard of for me to use anything other than max level. The vibrations of the Limon are better than the vast majority of other “luxury” sex toys out there.

Final Thoughts

For me personally, the touch-responsive technology doesn’t really make this a better vibrator to use during couple play time, but that’s just  me. I can see how this aspect would really be great for many couples, though, which is why Minna is niching this as a couple’s vibe. Keep in mind the shape of this and consider your own body; if you have any questions on whether or not the vibrations would work out for you, comment below! Tell me a vibrator or two that does it for you perfectly (or one or two that were awful), and why, and I can better give my opinion for you.

 

You can find the Minna Limon in pink or teal at SHEVIBE – the sex toy shop *I* trust. My affiliate links are included in this review, so if you would like to purchase it, you’ll be helping me keep this site afloat.

  1. And so therefore the vibrations kind of sound like a dying vibrator
  2. To achieve this, turn Limon on by pressing the button once. With one hand, squeeze both sides to achieve the level of steady vibrations that you like. With the other hand, press the power button twice more until you see the “lock” icon light up to the right of the power button light. You don’t want to let go of the sides until you have secured it into lock mode. Limon will now vibrate away until you turn it off
  3. it could be a tad stronger for me; if it were the strength of the We-Vibe Tango then I could overlook the shape issue
  4. You do have to read the manual, though. I couldn’t figure out the difference between the modes at first until I read the manual, then it was all smooth sailing
Nov 222013
 

2013-11-21 09.45.57

The first four silicone paddles were innovative enough, just being made of silicone. But then, Tantus being Tantus, had to go and up the ante. They chose what I assume is their most popular design, the Thwack, and changed the handle. On the original paddles, the handle is similar to the paddle – flat, with edges, but usually a bit thicker than the paddle itself. With the Plunge, the handle now doubles as a teasing dildo.

And, it also just makes for an easier-to-grip handle.

In an effort to please the most people, the dildo handle on the Tantus Plunge Silicone Paddle isn’t fat and girthy. It’s a nice, moderate size that is perfect for many or a teasing warm-up for others. It’s safe to use both vaginally or anally (but never ass to vag, please) and is very easy to sanitize and keep clean. There is a hole in the bulbous head, which serves as a way for stores to hang and display (or you, too, if you like) and does make cleaning up the dildo portion a little more cumbersome. But regardless you can still toss it in boiling water or run it through a sanitize cycle in the dishwasher for a squeaky clean impact play item. Can you feel the hole in the dildo during use? Eh, it depends on how sensitive you are. I actually could slightly feel it if I really paid attention.  The dildo isn’t perfectly round, either, it comes to a bit of a ridge on the back end. This isn’t something I noticed during use of the dildo, though.

The bulbous head is angled and works great for g-spot or prostate play. The dildo handle is pretty firm, too. And the paddle? As I mentioned before, the silicone paddles pack a punch that I’ve never felt before in suede and leather paddles, or even hard materials like plastic and wood. Wham Bam was awfully sting-y, and Thwack/Plunge is too, but it also adds in the smack of a hairbrush or firm palm. I think that the Plunge is awesome as a paddle full stop, even if you never intend to use the dildo portion, just because it makes it easier to hold and therefore wield.

The Plunge is a tool that any paddling/spanking kinkster should have in their arsenal. It’s not for newbies, though. You’ve got to have a higher pain tolerance than me to bear this bite!

 

 2013-11-21 09.46.43 2013-11-21 09.47.08 2013-11-21 09.49.41

(Hurry, it’s still November and right now the paddles, and everything else in the store, are 30% off! Use code THEDIRTY30 at checkout to see your discount!)

 

Tantus sent me the Plunge to check out in exchange for an honest review. Thank you Tantus!

Nov 202013
 
vibrating_harness_group_feature

For a long while now, Tantus has had their signature strap-on harness play kits designed to get you right into the swing of things. The “Bend Over” kits are more aimed at pegging, with the straight, untextured Silk dildos. You could also get the Flame kit or the Curve kit, but what if you already had a harness-compatible dildo that you and your partner were enjoying but just wanted to dip your toes into the waters of wearing a harness? Strap-on harnesses usually come in two varieties: The high-end creations that will fit beautifully and look amazing, but come with a high price tag that frightens away the newbies OR the cheap, low-end harnesses that are sometimes made entirely out of dodgy plastics or harsh, stiff-edge leather that chaffs.

vibrating_harness_group_featureFor an extremely affordable $35.99, however, you can grab a very versatile harness to see if this is your thing. The same harness that they offer in kits, the Vibrating Velvet, is now sold separately. It’s pretty basic – mostly comprised of webbing straps, it fits in a jock-strap-style with two leg loops of strapping that you’ll step in to and a velvet-like plush front pad. While this harness doesn’t aim to fit as large a size range as the Divine Diva, I find that it’s still pretty darn accommodating and will fit up to 60″ “hips” (or wherever you actually wear it).  I had room to spare when I wore it correctly (which would be so that the base of the dildo rests over your clitoris – if you’re overweight, this means you put it under the belly…not on your belly). Not just for those with a clitoris, this basic style can also be worn by those with a penis; if you situate it just a bit above the natural penis, it will allow you to add on for double penetration, or pinch hit.

The vibrating velvety plush front pad can easily be removed when you undo the snaps that hold the o-ring. I personally found that the plush pad was so soft that it didn’t stay in place for me as much as I’d like, so removal for me ended up being the way to go. Then again, the vibrating aspect of it isn’t going to work for me and the way I’m built. The vibrations occur with an included bullet and a pocket sewn into the back of the pad. You can also remove that bullet and put in your own – for more oomph, the We-Vibe Tango would fit beautifully. Vigorous thrusting, though, and pressure at the right spot can push the bullet out of the pocket. A tiny round dot of velcro closure added in would fix this if you really like using the added vibrator.

This basic style can also easily accommodate the Realdo/Feeldo (when you remove the front pad), which I would have loved ages ago when I owned one of those. I never was able to gain kegels of steel enough to keep the Feeldo inside of me properly.

One aspect about this harness that I really love over the Divine Diva is the 4 straps securing the o-ring rather than just 3. 4 straps allows for a more secure hold, and can allow you to more easily use a dildo that has balls. It’s damn difficult to accommodate a dildo with balls in a 3-strap design, but can sometimes be done.

Adjustments are easy enough and once you get the hang of putting it on a few times, it’s pretty simple overall. The ladder-lock style plastic buckles make for easy cinching of the webbing straps to get a tighter fit, and lifting the ladder-lock buckles will get you out of the harness quickly, as well. For someone plus size, it’s overall comfortable enough, but it’s not the absolute best. Then again, to get that level you will have to be prepared to shell out a lot more for something like an Aslan leather harness. But that’s not why you’re buying a basic one, am I right? Everybody needs to start somewhere; you need to be sure that both you and your partner are into, and able to incorporate, strap-on harness play before you shell out the big bucks. Also? I’d hate to take the Aslan harness on vacation and risk having anything happen to it. The Vibrating Velvet Harness would also make a good travel harness.  It’s also fully washable, did I mention that?

Get the Vibrating Velvet Harness on its own to accompany your existing collection, or create your own kit! If you’re reading this during the month of November, you can also grab it all for 30% off with the code THEDIRTY30 at checkout!

 

I was provided this item by Tantus in exchange for an honest review. Thank you Tantus!

Nov 012013
 
rb-store-traveltemp2

Crowd-funding for sex toys never ceases to amaze me. The Revel Body is one such item, but unlike a few other sex toys, at least the Revel Body is being made with very different technology. And for those with finicky clits which demand specific types of powerful vibrations–those who are disappointed with nearly every Lelo vibrator, or most other luxury vibrators–our hopes go up when we hear about something new. How is it new, exactly? Well, I’m not really sure beyond knowing that it involves “sonic” vibrations and magnets1. I’m a geek, sure, but lately I don’t want to put this much effort into knowing how my vibrator works. I just want one that works. If you want to know more, you’ll browse their site. I’m not here to tell you HOW it works, just how it worked for ME.  If I were to explain every aspect of this thing2, we’d be here all damn day3. You can look at photos and read the “about” info on their site.  For a little more, I did a mini video review, too, viewable on the separate review about the extra accessories for the Revel Body.

I think it’s safe to say that I tried harder with this vibrator than any other vibrator in the past. I’m usually pretty decisive pretty fast; even when the vibrator is “meh” and only sort of gets me off. But the Revel Body thoroughly confused me because so many things about it tricked my logical brain into thinking that it should work for me. There was no way it wouldn’t. Many of you know the vibration intensity test tricks – hollow of your cheek, or tip of your nose. Even on my fingertip, certain modes of the Revel Body combined with certain tips seemed more powerful than my much-loved forever-compared We-Vibe Tango. Yet….my clitoris staunchly disagreed.

The Revel Body’s design history feels promising. They truly have worked hard, and aimed to make a revolutionary sex toy, of that much I am certain. And I’ve heard from some women that they love it, it’s amazing, etc. However, I’ve heard from just as many that it was a complete failure for them. This is, however, the case with ALL sex toys. So I kept an open mind, and that’s why I tried so hard to love it. But the basic design of it just is 100% incompatible with my body/vulva type. When I added on the accessory tips, I saw some improvement but ultimately it wasn’t enough for me. This vibrator is absolutely going to work best for women with exposed/”outtie” clits. Women like me will have issues. Women who need/like some rubbing and pressure in addition to their vibrations will not have any luck with the Revel Body, as applying pressure works against the piston motion and applying pressure to the side of certain tips will cause the vibrations to halt completely. This is not easy to achieve with just the original, flat, included tip but it can be an issue if you purchase some of those accessory tips.

InserttipDespite seeing all of the information online, I was still a bit baffled on how the Revel Body actually works – not how the sonic works, but “which part do I apply to my clit? That’s it? That little pink dot??”. In my other review which focuses on the accessory tips and all that you can purchase separately, I have a short video which will give you a better idea of How Things Work if you’re interested.

From what I understand, they chose to use magnets to ensure that the Revel Body has only one moving part, thus apparently giving it a longer life than traditional vibrators. magnetsIf you don’t get any of the accessory tips, it’s less of a big deal, but if you do you’ll have to store them in their own boxes. They shouldn’t touch – the magnetic pull is strong and they’ll cling to each other, making it a bit difficult to pry apart. You’ll want to keep the Revel Body and its tips away from all electronics (as warned by the manufacturer), body piercings and pacemakers. This is a little worrisome for me. Due to the way the vibe works, and the piston core, you could get a pubic hair or three yanked out if everything lines up improperly. They also caution not to use on loose skin…..so would women with long inner labia have cause for concern??  The warnings listed on the site are a bit intimidating4 but the warnings as listed in the manual are downright frightening. I get that they need to list these things for legal reasons, but still.  Again, “travel friendly” is a term thrown about. I disagree. There is also a separate, specific case (for $30) that includes a “baseless” charger which goes back to being like a finicky fob. I’d feel better if this travel case had a magnetic shield in it that would protect the vibrator and the accessory tips from ruining any electronics they might come near.  Sadly, the travel case is yet again an additional cost and is not included.

Another aspect of this vibe that alienates certain users is the changing of the tip. Even if you have only the one tip, you’ll want to remove it for better cleaning, or to try some lube on the piston to make it more quiet in use. To remove the tip, you have to push through the orb using your finger from the back end to push the piston/tip out. It requires some effort, and it’s not for those who have manicured, long fingernails. I broke a nail, and mine are short and stubby.

revel-rangeThis chart and the one to the left baffles me, and so does the settings. There’s a high and low overall power setting. Then there are 10 different levels of sonic whatever. Oddly, “low” is not what you’d expect. It’s not the most powerful, but it moves the piston the most. Levels 3 and 4 deliver the most intense sensations, whilst 9 and 10 are vibrating at such high speeds that you can barely feel anything at all. I tried out all of the tips (a separate post), and none made levels 6-10 do anything for me. I am told though, by the company, that they plan to introduce more tips in the near future – tips that are much softer and will resonate with the upper levels in a much better way. The included tip is a flat, hard disc coated with silky soft silicone (they all are). That chart at first had me sold, but in use there is hardly any different detectible between the high/low “overall” (not high vs low in the 10 settings). Combining 5 different tips with 20 different possible settings would surely seem like I could find something that would work and justify the cost, but I couldn’t.  Perhaps that’s why I became so damn frustrated with this thing – I became an unsatisfied version of Goldilocks. It’s super hard to describe what it feels like in use. A few of the levels, the mid-range, feel more like a traditional vibrator. The upper range, 8-10, is very “buzzy”, high-pitched, etc. It’s barely enough to feel, especially that “highest” setting. On the lowest setting, there’s a lot of piston movement without a lot of power. Levels 3 and 4 deliver the most oomph, but it’s so finicky that I couldn’t orgasm. I don’t have a bathtub, but I have a feeling that this is the vibrator to try if you like masturbation in the tub. I think that on certain levels, combining it with underwater effects would result in something that feels more interesting. This would best be achieved though by using one of the accessory tips.

They say that it is extraordinarily quiet. The upper levels are, but the levels in which the piston moves away from the orb the most can get pretty noisy. You’re supposed to be able to make it silent by applying lube to the piston, but this only worked for a minute for me. The company claims that it has 50% more power than any other “battery powered” vibrator. What type of battery? Do they mean disposable? Obviously not, since they used mostly rechargeable models in their comparisons. If there is more power to the Revel Body Sonic Vibrator than the We-Vibe Tango, then something is getting lost in translation because I simply, absolutely, cannot orgasm from this vibrator. I just can’t.

Revel is still working out the kinks. I had to send mine back, which is surprising at this stage, because the charging was a bit wonky. Like many other higher end, waterproof vibrators, the Revel Body charges magnetically on a cradle. I hate this stuff. It’s slightly less finicky than those with a “fob” but it’s finicky nonetheless. The company is, though, very good with ensuring that your unit is working as it should. If you do have one and you’re having any weird issues at all, contact them. I still am having issues with the charging aspect, though, despite a new unit – sometimes it takes a dozen tries to get the magnetic connection just right so that it charges5. Another complaint about the charging unit – the cord is very short. You’ll have to find a sturdy, flat surface close to an outlet. Not an easy feat, for some.

For a vibrator that will seemingly only work for a small margin of people, I’m hard-pressed to recommend it. The price is high6 and includes only a basic tip for $180 at SheVibe.com. This is a deterrent to most. If you could buyrb-store-traveltemp2 all of the accessory tips currently available for one low price, instead of $80 extra for them all7, I might be slightly more inclined to gamble with a recommendation.  If the $180 price tag included the travel case and both charging options, and if the travel case shielded the magnets from each other and anything outside the case, the $180 might feel more worth it.

Thanks to the lovely Shevibe.com for hooking me up to try this out!

  1. They say that it is “sonic”. That is isn’t just plain ole vibrations. There are magnets involved. They give graphic charts that make you think that yes, indeed, it will be far more powerful than what we’re used to. The videos are intriguing. But of course, all of that is moot unless it actually delivers on the promises made.  Revel has made a lot of comparisons of the RB to other vibes. For example, in this video. Yet….they managed to pick what I consider to be some of the most surface-buzzy/mediocre vibes on the market. Talk about stalking the deck in their favor.  And for one of the examples, the Lelo Lyla 2…..they put the REMOTE in the water. Not the vibe.
  2. Like the packaging
  3. Already half the day. Sorry folks. I tried like hell to cut this down
  4. and to me, don’t add up to being “travel friendly”
  5. In my -literally 9- attempts at making a short video review, in all but the last attempt I would try to show the unit being charged properly. Every time, it had performance anxiety. I was starting to wonder if I had a bad wall socket, but I did not. It’s just that finicky, and I’m surprised that for all the work that has gone into making this vibrator, they couldn’t come up with a better charging system
  6. For very valid reasons, I know; they use top notch materials, great packaging and ground-breaking vibrator technology
  7. They’re currently priced at $20 each which wouldn’t be bad, but how are you to know which tip will be the magic tip for you?