Jan 152017
 

Unless you’re new here, you know I’m really picky about remote-controlled vibrators. My perfect RC vibrator will:

  1. Be powerful and rumbly
  2. Have a remote that lets the remote holder know exactly what is going on
  3. Actually work from 2 feet away and across the room
  4. Not be terribly loud, so that it can be used in public

Most fail. Yet I keep on reviewing them because this is a Thing People Want and I really don’t have many great recommendations, but I keep trying. So why are most failing? Am I asking too much? Maybe. Apparently, Bluetooth doesn’t like to work when water is in the way and our bodies are mostly water. So if the antenna isn’t fully outside your body, then the Bluetooth connection will fail. This explains why the We-Vibe always failed for me, since the location of the antenna is always going to be covered by flesh. Used externally, while fully clothed, the Sola Pip worked fine but used internally (as intended) remote use was more spotty. Sometimes it worked amazingly well, 30 feet away, but sometimes it didn’t respond. I have no idea what caused it work well sometimes and not at all other times.

Out of the Box

Dark Lilac purple Sola Pip remote controlled vibrator - egg and remoteFor $93 you get a rechargeable, waterproof, silicone remote-controlled vibrator. There are faux-metal accents on both the bullet and the remote, and the retrieval cord on the bullet is stretchy silicone. The bullet is also a bit too big to comfortably use externally for some, due to its size: 1.6 inches long and about 1.2″-ish at the widest part. The USB charging cable jack plugs into a port in between the silicone retrieval cord1. There’s also a pleather-ish storage bag which actually isn’t awful. The Sola website claims it’s anti-bacterial yet doesn’t go into detail about that. There’s a 5-year warranty; again, good, but given the quality issues I’ve heard about with other Sola toys (like the Wand) I have some doubts that the company will be around that long. Yes, that’s me in the corner, being jaded and cynical. It states on their website in one place that a full charge gets you 1.5 hours, and in another place that a full charge gets you around 1 hour. I let the thing run for 1 hour on level 3 and it was still going by the time my patience ran out and I turned it off.

The Sola Pip Motor

When I read this part in the ad copy, I was intrigued (and suspicious): “The Sola Pip has one of the most powerful motors on the market! Deep rumbly vibrations are all yours with the Sola Pip.” The vibrations do seem rumbly and powerful at first, but as you go up in intensity it brings a little buzz to the party, and then a little more. In-hand it seems more rumbly but when surrounded by flesh the rumbles get dampened and the buzzes come more to the forefront. It’s tolerable and rumbly-ish when I used it externally as a “panty vibe”2 but inserted vaginally I only felt the buzzy underbelly and it felt downright uncomfortable. Like “get this vile beast out of me” levels of uncomfortable. It turns out that buzzy vibes used internally are like nails on a chalkboard for me. It is absolutely nothing like the rumbling power of L’amourose or others.

Honestly, the first level will probably be too intense, clitorally, for a good number of folks. Under best-case scenarios, I was able to easily orgasm from the 2nd of 5 intensity levels. In a fairly quiet room, the noise factor was too much to use it on anything above level 3 intensity, or any pattern, if you’re in public and in a semi-quiet place. Naturally, Sola claims it’s whisper-quiet. Sola also claims that the Pip has the most powerful motor on the market and I feel like they’re wrong. The Jopen Envy Fifteen remote controlled vibe was more powerful and rumbly. Other non-RC vibes are more powerful. I realize I’m focusing on weasel words here and this is why objective reviewers are necessary, but come on. You know I’m gonna call you out on that, Sola.

The Remote

The remote has a central power button – if you press the remote’s power button and then the vibrator’s power button, they sync up but don’t start vibrating. This is good. You can turn the power off on the remote to turn off the vibrations, but don’t need to re-sync the two to get started again. Also good. The remote is small and rechargeable, easy to hide (or lose) and sadly necessary for using the vibrator. If you lose the remote, the bullet won’t work. This is bad; terrible, in fact. But, of course, my biggest bitch is that the remote-holder has no idea what setting the vibrator is on unless they paid strict attention to what they’re doing. And most people won’t remember how many times they’ve pressed the buttons in either direction over the course of some fun times. Asking people to pay attention and count during sexy times is just wrong. Unless that’s your kink – but that is a whole other topic and not for this blog. 

Ehhh…No

Because this is an “egg” and Sola intends for the Pip to be used vaginally, I tried it that way as much as I could stand it. I tried it under the extreme condition of wearing it internally whilst standing up and moving around because yes, some folks will use it this way. I felt more vibrations heading towards my bowels than my g-spot, firstly but secondly and most important? 1.6″ doesn’t seem long but it was apparently too long. Between the vibrations and the moving around, it kept trying to poke its head out of my vag like an over-saturated tampon. Comfy, eh?

So the vibrations aren’t terrible. The Bluetooth isn’t actually abysmal. Why am I not recommending the Sola Pip? The remote and the price, mainly. And yes, I’m being picky. I realize that any lower price point will get you junky toys and prices over $100 require even more justification but I’m not in love with the Sola Pip, period, price notwithstanding. Just because it’s rechargeable and has a powerful3 motor doesn’t mean it’s worth the $93 price tag at Shevibe. It’s just not. Hysterical fact: It’s literally $1 more than the Jimmyjane Form 1 remote-controlled vibe (which also, naturally, claims to be the most powerful wearable vibrator because Jimmyjane) and at least the Form 1’s remote tells the remote-holder what is going on. Granted, I have not tried the Form 1 and I feel pretty sure that the Sola Pip’s motor will be more powerful than the Form 1 because obviously, but I’m just as shocked as you are that I had a good thing to say about a Jimmyjane product. I promise, that won’t last.

 

My thanks to Shevibe for sending me the Sola Pip in exchange for my brutally honest opinion!

  1. At first you won’t believe that’s where you shove the pin, but I promise, it is. And yes, afterward the silicone there does look “pierced” and different, but it’s also still waterproof. I dropped the egg into a large glass of water while it was running and it escaped unharmed
  2. because of my vulva and the way I was sitting to use it like this, there was a decent amount of pressure put on the egg, ergo rumble-dampening
  3. yes it’s powerful but slow down bucko, you’re not winning awards
Dec 122016
 

vibratex mystic rechargeable wandFive years ago I first reviewed the Mystic Wand and the two companion versions – the (old style) Mystic Rechargeable Wand and the Mini Magic Wand. In 2011 I wanted to like rechargeable vibrators more than I did; but the idea of having to pause only to swap out batteries felt more logical to me than a rechargeable which seemed to lose it’s high more quickly and when it was dead, it was dead – for a good 2-4 hours.  I always recommended the original, battery-powered version of the Mystic Wand because I loved the rumble and the power level was enough for me. I have always preferred the Mystic Wand to the Magic Wand, but I am nearly allergic to buzzy vibrations. Then Vibratex discontinued their rechargeable Mystic Wand in June 2014, with promises that they were working on something else. And so, I waited.

And waited.

And here I am, right back where I started, recommending the “old school” battery-powered Mystic Wand over the new Mystic Rechargeable Wand – and it’s not because of the rechargeable factor. In fact, Vibratex designed this to work even while it’s recharging. That may make for some awkward positioning to ensure you’re close enough due to cord restrictions, but if the Mystic Rechargeable Wand is your only vibrator on-hand, you can at least keep going.

Vibrations

With the original versions I detected no discernible difference between the motors when both were fully powered. The (old) Rechargeable lost it’s oomph pretty quickly, though. With the new Mystic Rechargeable Wand again I was searching for a difference in the motor and finally figured it out. They’re probably both the same intensity level but the Mystic Rechargeable Wand feels a little bit more buzzy. The vibrations travel through flesh a little bit less. And it’s just enough for my picky clitoris to notice.  It’s probably a difference that may not even be noticeable to some people but I’m so sensitive to a rumbly motor that I can tell when it slips from an 8 on the Rumble Scale to a 6.5.

I’ve been able to enjoy powerful orgasms from the original Mystic Wand, despite it being a (small) wand-style vibrator and me notoriously loving pinpoint clitoral stimulation. But the orgasms from the Mystic Rechargeable Wand have been a bit lackluster and mild. If you find that you don’t need the extreme power that backs most wand-style vibrators – you just need the broad stimulation- you could be really happy with the Mystic Rechargeable Wand.

Redesigned Body

Vibratex did something with the body redesign, making it look nearly nothing like the original Mystic Wand – and I love it. I love the curved handle. I love how easy it is to hold. There are THREE locations for the buttons! Three! Between the ultra-light design, the curve of the handle and the location of the buttons it is a wand well-suited to those with certain disabilities which may make holding a large, heavy or straight-handled wand more difficult. The location of the buttons also makes it much easier for a partner to use the Mystic Rechargeable Wand on you.  In short, it’s ergonomic and really well-designed. Mostly….

mysticwandbuttons

But the redesign comes with a problem that I can only hope they will fix – because it IS fixable. In order to put two buttons on the back side of the handle, a large portion of the plastic handle is covered in silicone. The silicone buttons are part of the silicone skin. The problem is that the glue holding the silicone skin on to the plastic is cheap. Terrible. After my first cleaning, I thought I rubbed too hard and easily slipped part of the silicone covering off with my thumb in one corner. As I gently peeled it back to see what happened, it kept on separating from the plastic body. You can see in the pictures below what is plastic and what is silicone because I wanted to see how easily it would peel off once a large portion had already started. Even just a small corner peeling back would definitely make cleaning impossible. As it stands now with the level of material separation I have, I’m not sure I should use it. It’s not waterproof, only splashproof, but I fear that the separation will negate even that.

mysticwandpeel

You may wonder why I reviewed this with the defect in the silicone covering. I would have waited if it were just mine but I’ve spoken to a few other folks who had this happen, too. I’m hoping it was a bad first batch, but we’ll see.  When I know that this issue has been resolved, I’ll update this review. Vibratex does have a warranty on this, so I plan to contact Vibratex and see if there’s anything they can do.

I do want to note that the head on the Mystic Rechargeable Wand is the same size head as the Original Mystic Wand, which means that the g-spot attachment will fit. As this is a smaller wand it will not work with Hitachi-compatible attachments.

Recommendation

I can’t recommend the Mystic Rechargeable Wand until I know that the silicone glue problem is fixed. I would recommend it for folks who know they don’t need seriuosly rumby vibrations or super-powered vibrations, or folks who need a smaller, easier to wield broad stimulation vibrator – AFTER Vibratex makes sure that this issue is fixed. Currently, the Mystic Rechargeable Wand is priced at $69.99 at SheVibe, while the battery-powered original Mystic Wand is $49.99.  There’s a lot of competition now in the mid-sized, rechargeable wand-style vibrator category, so Vibratex needs to fix this quality control issue.

 

Thanks to SheVibe for sending this over to me in exchange for my honest review!

Nov 272016
 

Remember when I thought that “Womanizer” was the worst name for a sex toy? “Tracy’s Dog” is worse, and it’s the brand name. It might be the worst brand name I’ve ever heard. Stick with me here; I know you may be wondering if it’s April 1st already but you’ll soon see this isn’t your average sex toy review.

Tracy’s Dog – A Brand I Do Not Trust

You won’t find “Tracy’s Dog” at the retailer I trust most, SheVibe, or other retailers I trust like Come as You Are, Early to Bed, Smitten Kitten, Babeland, and more. Where will you find it? The retailer I trust least – Amazon. Tracy’s Dog has been trying to get me to review their sex toys for ages now. They’ve sent a bunch of emails. I’ve always refused because I won’t review sex toys that come from Amazon and only Amazon because reasons. Some reviewers have tried out the brand, and not everyone hated it. There was a really eyebrow-raising issue with Cara Sutra’s Pleasure Panel reviewers and their “Liquid Silicone” dildos – two people received a “Liquid Silicone” dildo with a “Materials Test” result paper which supposedly came from a testing lab and claims the material is SILICA GEL – links and photos further down. Not silicone, for they are not the same thing. And as I’ve reported before, silica gel is a desiccant – not a sex toy material!

The Tracy’s Dog Flirt Rabbit sells for $13.98 at Amazon, is not made from silicone, and is a nightmare. I bought this stupid thing from Amazon for that piece I wrote illustrating water-clear TPR and cloudy-clear silicone. I also bought this because on the Amazon listing, in amidst all the SEO words, Tracy’s Dog claims it is silicone in the title. The “highlights” bullet list calls it silicone. The fucking packaging calls it silicone. Multiple places throughout the page call it silicone. Finally way down under “Product Description”, it’s called TPR. Most people will not see this, though, and think they’re buying affordable silicone. This. Is. Not. Silicone. This is why I avoid “white label” sex toy brands, and brands that you only see on sites like Amazon, Ebay, AliExpress and Groupon. The “branding” on this piece of junk is literally a fucking sticker. So yeah, be prepared to see this godawful thing from other “brands”, too.

51xasgt4mjl

“Tracy’s Dog® Flirt Rotating Bullet 36-frequency Thrusting Soft Silicone Powerful Rabbit Vibratoir G-spot Stimulation Vibe Clit Masturbation Dildo (Purple)”

*sigh*

  1. It’s not silicone.
  2. What is 36-frequency?
  3. Vibratoir?
  4. Not a Dildo
  5. SUITABLE FOR BAR FLIRTING

AND THEN. Oh because the listing gets better. We’re still up at the top here – just under the image where they bullet-list the highlights and say:

The rabbit vibrator is made of healthy senior silicone, crystal clear,vivid skin touch feeling

What, pray tell, is “healthy senior silicone”? Also, no, not “skin touch” feeling. It feels like goddamn softened plastic. I’ve felt TPR that does feel realistic-ish, but not this!

Realistic big glans,telescopic bead design, 36-frequency vibrating,adjustable power,can auto thrust to you body, direct sexual desire,like a fire burning all your passion

Oh, you’ll feel a fire, alright, after you’ve used it too many times and the itsy bitsies living in the pores give you a yeast infection.

“Rotating, Vibrating, Thrusting, knock the door of your heart.”

  • The design of this product bases on in-depth analysis of the Europe and the United States female’s sexual-mind. Its size and appearance according with human body engineering design can let a female fondle admiringly.
  • Thrusting soft silicone combined with strong power motor creates infinite fun. ..Powerful rotating bullets coupled with the unique flapping wings make you passionate.
  • Built-in the most advanced motor, provide a steady stream of power for the strong speed.

The two long cute antennas and wings vibrating with36 frequency tender massage your body, releasing all of your sexual desire and pleasure. The realistic soft big glans can thrust into your body slowly, conducting you into a wonderful happy world. Under the glans penis, the large raised silica gel points stimulate the right place, making you excited. The 101 pleasure floating-point around the stick, surrounding the passion of thread, give you a good friction.12 adjustable speed,36 frequency and 360 ° rotation can fully satisfy you.

1. For couples: This toy can satisfy curiosity and increase the newness.

2. For solo: No longer lonely with it in the night.

3. For the senior players: It helps you explore new things.

4. For beginner: It provides the instant resource for love.

tracysdogbox tracysdogbox2

Note: Text appearing in dark red is directly from the Amazon listing, and written by the brand. There’s just so much to unpack here, and this is only the fucking Amazon listing. So, it’s right there on the Amazon page, why did I copy it, you’re wondering? In case they change it – plus it’s funny (and sad).”No longer lonely in the night” – now, if we were talking about an actual dog, providing actual companionship, sure. But a vibrator? A vibrator will not ease your lonliness, nor is it meant to. Vibrators are also not there for love. The orgasms you get from a really great sex toy that makes you come harder than you thought possible, the kind of sex toy that makes you want to give them as gifts to everyone you meet – sure, those may produce endorphins that mimic love and if you try to steal my Pure Wand or Kate’s Double Trouble you will be hurt. But love? Ehhh, you’re pushing it.

Sure, we can absolutely chalk a lot of this up to “lost in translation”. After all, the vibrator is made for Asian women. Not kidding.  In amongst all of the typos and bad translation it says on the back of the packaging: “the product Dimensions boby [sic] feature based on Asian design, tailored specifically for Asian women”.  Also on the back of the package is where they say that it is “crystal clear silicone”. Um, no, no it’s not. You want proof beyond this post? It failed the flame test spectacularly.

tracysdogburn tracysdogburn2 tracysdogburn3

Anyway. Since this post is about this particular vibrator, I want to tell you a few things about it.

  1. Yes, it thrusts. Poorly.
  2. Yes, it rotates. However the rotating section of “beads” has sharp points on it and can be felt through the thin material.
  3. The only part that vibrates is the clitoral arm, which is, of course, buzzy and mediocre at best. Not powerful.
  4. It’s shit. Even if it were silicone, it’d be shit. Don’t fucking buy it!

I Won’t Trust a Brand Who Lies

Here’s the thing. Yes, there are products from this brand that are indeed silicone. There are positive reviews for these products from sex toy reviewers. But I will never endorse ANY Tracy’s Dog product, ever, despite it being affordable silicone because they lie. They’ve lied in 16 ways about this rabbit vibe; they’ve lied about those “Liquid Silicone” dildos – even though that 2016-dated product material test affidavit went out with multiple dildos they claim it was a TYPO and sent out another test report from a different lab DATED 2010. SIX FUCKING YEARS AGO.  Below you can see the two test papers that were sent to the reviewer and originally appeared at carasutra.com in this review, used with permission from Cara. At the left is the 2016 report, which doesn’t name any specific sex toy, listing the material as “silica gel”. At the right is the 2010 report, again not naming any specific sex toy. You can see what an actual materials test report looks like from a reliable lab by visiting BadVibes.org. I’ve also sent out an item for testing to a lab and received the same test report styling as BadVibes did. No decent lab would put forth such strange, vague test result papers.

Tracy's Dog material test paper from a lab reads: Sample Name - Sex toy. Sample Material: Silica Gel. Tracy's Dog Materials Test Report from a different lab, offered up as the "real" lab test. No sex toy name is defined, material is "liquid silicone rubber" and the report is dated 2010

Update: A review of the “Tracy’s Dog Double Silicone Thick Dildo” brought yet another atrocity to my attention. As the reviewer states, the company lists it as having a soft TPE exterior and a silicone interior. This just isn’t done. There’s no reason for it, and the silicone (if there is any) is hidden under a layer of porous material. Again, I don’t trust this at all. More lies!

I can’t recommend this company, at all, for any product, full stop. Even the items rated well by other bloggers can be found in similar form from more reputable companies. The brand Tracy’s Dog now live on my Blacklist. If you need an affordable sex toy, check out my list of sex toys under $35.

35under35small

 

ETA: At the suggestion of others I decided to contact Amazon. Their A-to-Z thing wasn’t activated (when looking at orders history, you should see a “help with this order” button or something, and I didn’t) so I ventured into Live Chat. I’m sharing the chat, but I want to point out: the way to get dodgy sellers/brands like Tracy’s Dog off Amazon is for CONSUMERS to file reports the way I’ve done. If enough people who’ve purchased the item report it as misleading ad copy, etc to an Amazon associate, then an investigation may be opened.  There is also a “report incorrect product information” link to click on the page, which can be done by anybody. It took me a little looking to find it, but it’s up at the top, after the item photos, on the right side. 

In my chat with an Amazon associate, once I explained what the situation is and showed them the link to Cara’s review with the shady lab test reports, etc, I was told that the person was filing a claim so that the item page can be taken down for review. I confirmed that I personally didn’t want a replacement, that I wanted to report the brand & seller. The helpful associate let me know she was asking her supervisor for any other steps that can be taken to report the problem. I was told: “I have submitted your claim. You may also leave feedback on the products review page for others to see. Hopefully we will get more claims and that will speed up the priority of the investigation.” and when I asked about others reporting: “Those that have bought it from Amazon should definitely contact us as well because it brings the problem to our attention sooner than the reviews. The reviews are more for customers to have an idea as to what others think.”

 

Nov 202016
 

We-Vibe Sync in various positionsI’ve been reviewing the We-Vibe, Standard Innovations flagship sex toy, since it first came out in 2008. I’ve owned every major design except for We-Vibe 2. I’ve watched the changes they’ve slowly made, brought on by customer (and reviewer) feedback. Yet every time I’ve been disappointed by one prominent thing: The motor. As much as I have wanted to like it, the We-Vibe has never impressed me, not like the Tango. So when Standard Innovations approached me with the Sync I said yes because how can I not? When they promise a powerful motor, finally, I have to try it out. So many folks want the We-Vibe but I’ve never been able to fully recommend it – until I got my hands on the We-Vibe Sync. And the motor isn’t the only reason….those hinges? Damn ingenious. Now, the Sync isn’t perfect so hang on, we’ve got some things to cover.

Finally! More Power!

Now, to be fair, the We-Vibe Sync still isn’t the powerhouse I personally would like it to be – I’d like more power in the g-spot arm. I’ve heard some folks say it has the motor of the Tango, but I’m not convinced. On the lower settings? Sure. The clitoral arm is a lot more powerful than previous models, definitely, and pretty rumbly – except when you get to the upper level then the buzzy starts to take over more. The G-spot arm, though, is still buzzy and weak like it’s always been. It’s an irritating buzz and grating sort of barely-there vibration. In order to even notice it I have to turn the clitoral arm completely off. The sensation makes me want to never do it again. A pap-smear would be just as uncomfortable for me. How weak and buzzy is it? If a single, gentle, non-stinging bee were trapped in my vagina1, that’s about what it might feel like. I can understand the reasoning there – anything too powerful could just be overwhelming and distracting for the penis. Because, let’s not forget, the We-Vibe is a sex toy made specifically for PIV sex. It could be adapted for different types of sex, so long as there’s a vagina involved and it can be used as a solo sex toy for remote-controlled fun. But at its core it remains a… “couples” sex toy. I hate “couples” sex toys and the term so much that it’s painful for me to type it, or say it, without grimacing. Regardless, the “dual motors” thing feels like “well…..sort of” because that g-spot motor is just so barely-there. 

If a Sex Toy and PlayDoh Made a Baby

There’s something else though about the We-Vibe Sync that has me excited – unlike previous models the Sync can be shaped by you. The moveable joints remind me of the Je Joue G-ki, in a way – it requires effort, but it won’t change shapes while in use. These two moveable joints mean that one vibrator is going to fit a larger percentage of vulvas – previously there was only the loose fit (Classic) or the snug fit (such as the 4 Plus). Neither did well for me – the loose shape was too loose, the snug fit of the We-Vibe 4 was so snug and clampy that getting it in place was nearly as tough as getting a pair of Spanx on – but unlike the Spanx, the We-Vibe 4 Plus didn’t want to stay put. But now the configurations are seemingly endless. You can essentially make the “hinge” section very thin and snug, opened up more to resemble the “Classic” fit, opened up even more than that if you want while also angling the hinge in the middle of the g-spot arm to point it more in either direction. In fact the hinges can open up so much that it almost makes it ridiculous.  You may find that you’re worried about breaking the Sync until you master how to make the hinges work. I find that I have to put pressure on and push at the hinge vs just opening it up like a book, and sort of push the hinge back. It’s very difficult to explain in text so hopefully this video will help.  It takes effort and hand strength and dexterity so if you lack these because of any reason – arthritis, disability, etc – this may not be ideal for you.

Other Improvements

Over time We-Vibe products have seen evolutions of charging methods. Their Nova was the first to have a much better magnetic charging spot, and the We-Vibe Sync sports the same – for two reasons. The first is that Lelo, being the assholes they are, bought out somebody’s unused patent for induction charging – which is how We-Vibe Couples vibes have charged ever since they started coming with a cover. You plug the cradle in and set the form inside. No magnets, no plugs. It was a bit finicky and you had to get it just-so. Now that they need to use the magnetic charging, the base is awesome. I don’t have to guess at how the We-Vibe is supposed to set in the cradle, it’s obvious. And that magnet is really strong. I can pick up the We-Vibe Sync while it’s charging and it won’t disconnect!

Connectivity Still Sucks

I’ve had so much trouble using the We-Connect app, no matter what We-Vibe toy I’m using it with but the We-Vibe Sync and 4 Plus are nightmares. The Bluetooth connection drops if I shut my legs; if I’m wearing clothing; if I’m not spread-eagle with the phone near my crotch. Not ideal.  This isn’t good for a public-play toy until this is fixed and it’s not the best for sex, but not terrible.

A lot of other folks have reported trouble with the app crashing, but mine hasn’t been crashing (I’m using Android). 

Will It Fit Your Body? Can I Recommend the We-Vibe Sync?

There’s the rub. Yeah, the hinges means it’ll fit more vulvas. And with a little, or maybe a lot of, trial-and-error you can find that perfect bending of the hinges which means the We-Vibe Sync will stay in place during sex for you. But maybe not. And that’s still going to be the biggest problem I have with a sex toy like this – I cannot predict if it’ll stay in place during PIV sex for you. I can tell you that if the penis you’re having sex with feels borderline-too-big or “just exactly perfect”, the Sync may make it so that your vagina is like an overstuffed suitcase – it’ll be painful and the Sync will move more with your movements because the penis will rub against it even more. I personally cannot wear this during PIV sex, there’s no spare room for it.

So yeah, there are major improvements. I still have some reservations and I don’t love it with all my heart like I do the Tango, Touch, Rave and Nova. I want the clitoral arm vibrations to stay rumbly at their highest power. I want the g-spot arm to be rumbly and not worthless. I want the damn Bluetooth to work on larger bodies and through clothing. BUT! The We-Vibe Sync is definitely more powerful than the Lelo Tiani 3, and will fit a larger range of vulvas. I feel like I can finally tell you to purchase a We-Vibe if you’re dead-set on a “couples sex toy” meant for PIV sex; sadly all this innovation comes with a high price tag, because of course, so it’s $199 at SheVibe.com.

I was provided this item in exchange for my honest review by We-Vibe.

  1. humor me here
Oct 092016
 

Crowned Jewels - Aluminum and Titanium Sex ToysCrowned Jewels as a brand name might not make you think “sex toys” but the surprise is worth it. Gorgeous, well-made aluminum or titanium alloy1 dildos, butt plugs, cock rings and more. Njoy was probably the first brand to really bring amazing metal sex toys to the masses; the Pure Wand is so good that after I tried it very early on in my reviewing career it ended up ruining me for pretty much most other dildos – yes, it was that good for me. The problem with cult classics, though, is that they are often imitated. We’ve seen a number of Njoy knock-offs on the market2 but Crowned Jewels is an ethical company, and is creating their own designs. Yes, it’s possible to create different designs in metal! You don’t have to resort to copycat productions! There’s a lot to love about Crowned Jewels; I’m excited about their current line and excited to see what they’ll come up with next. The possibilities of their own, girthy design combined with the trademark lightness of their aluminum alloy mean that a large dildo could be had without the extreme heft of the Njoy Eleven or the glass Double Trouble.

Crowned Jewels – Titanium Anodized

I wanna talk about the Titanium models first because they’re the most …vexing? Titanium is more hefty than aluminum – to compare, the exact same model in titanium vs aluminum is 4 ounces heavier (9.5 vs 5.5 for the diminutive aluminum). So for folks who like moderate weight, the titanium might be something to consider but really the biggest pull here is that the titanium models can be anodized in some pretty great colors. Unfortunately you’re paying a lot for the privilege of pretty colors – over 100 pounds more! And I have to say that the color isn’t represented well on the website – and this is my sole complaint about the Crowned Jewels products.  Uberkinky is selling Crowned Jewels on AmazonUK, and the photos used there seem to be a closer representation to the actual color. If my packaging hadn’t confirmed Magenta, I would have assumed I had the purple color.

Crowned Jewels Titanium Anodized Color Comparison

Anodizing is neat, and the colors change with your touch; I don’t understand it so I’m hoping to get feedback here on that. You can see a difference in the photo above, where it’s me handling it vs a freshly polished-with-cotton look. And lighting matters, too. Outside on bright, yet overcast, day the color is vivid. Indoors with incandescent lights the color is decidedly more purple than magenta, and quite muted. Now normally I wouldn’t make such a fuss over this color issue because even when the color looks its “worst” it’s still pretty – but if you only see the colors on their website and are specifically paying the high price to get THAT color? You may be disappointed.

Crowned Jewels Magenta Titanium Color Compare

A Luxury Experience

I’ve come across some very lovely sex toy packaging in my time, but none so posh as Crowned Jewels. First, they’re sealed up like a Christmas cracker in black tissue paper, with a logo sticker. Then there is the black tube with the metal lid, sealed with ribbon and a legit wax seal. Crack that open (reluctantly) to find more black tissue paper and a lovely satin drawstring bag, which itself is even a step or two above most included satin bags – it’s black on the outside and silver satin on the inside and feels more like the early Lelo storage pouches – no single layer of thin satin here; no crinkly weird fabric either. Unwrapping is a process and by making it 5 steps it forces you to slow down and appreciate what you’re about to see.

There are brands of sex toys that just scream “perfect gift” and Crowned Jewels is one. Your recipient will be enthralled with the unboxing.

Aluminum vs Stainless Steel

It’s a little harder to compare aluminum vs stainless steel here because the designs of Crowned Jewels are so different from Njoy. But the biggest plus to their aluminum alloy is the weight – or lack of it. The “Classic” (smaller) Shaftsbury barely scoots past the 5.5 ounce mark, while the larger Grande Mayfair is 9 ounces – the Njoy Pure Wand is nearly a full pound heavier than the Grande Mayfair 1 pound 8.5 ounces. The heft of the Pure Wand lends to its amazing qualities yet is also a hindrance for many people with grip issues, arthritis, fibromyalgia, carpal tunnel, and more. I have often been in pain after a rapid-thrusting session with my Pure Wand.

Both metals are great for temperature play; I found that stainless steel was able to retain a little bit more body-warmth from use than the aluminum, but aluminum still warms up wonderfully – and chills down well, too.

Tiny Metal

Crowned Jewels Mayfair and Shaftsbury aluminum, Shaftsbury Titanium, compared to the Njoy Pure Wand for size and shape. Right now Crowned Jewels doesn’t have anything for folks who feel that bigger is better. Many may find even their Grande choices are too small – the largest one that Shevibe is stocking is 1.35″ at the widest spot. The Classics are pretty small, but this could be a good thing for a number of folks! The slick metal barely needs any lubrication for vaginal play. The gentle bloops on the smaller end of the Mayfair or the plain Eros would be great for those who have trouble with girth and friction.

I don’t feel comfortable telling you that the dildos are anal safe. With the Njoy Pure Wand, even if the large bulb isn’t acting as a semi-flared base, the sheer weight of it is likely going to prevent it from being lost to the vacuum properties of most butts. 5.5 ounces is a vast difference to 24.5 ounces and I don’t think you should use these for anal play. Luckily Crowned Jewels has made some fucking gorgeous butt plugs, and they all have a silicone base that is sparkly and looks like a gorgeous granite. And the buttplugs are called “Upminster” which I love.

How Does it Feel, Though?

In use, the Mayfair is definitely comfortable. It’s light enough that I experienced no twinges of pain and no hand cramping. But I cannot help to compare it with the Pure Wand and the shape of the Pure Wand is simply my ideal – from the drastic C curve to the prominent ball which aggressively pings my g-spot. The ball of the Pure Wand also catches on my pubic bone, but that’s okay for me – I’m well-padded there and that’s where my g-spot is. I like really firm pressure on my g-spot. My g-spot doesn’t want to be seduced, it doesn’t want a gentle lover. My g-spot needs it hard & fast, rough and aggressive. For a number of folks the Pure Wand doesn’t work because of this aggressive nature, and catching their pubic bone on a metal dildo is painful. For those folks, I point you to Crowned Jewels. The “classic” sizes are just too small for me, like the Shaftsbury.  I feel like if the Farringdon “C” Curve were made in a larger size, it would be a better match for me.

At first I was super bummed that I couldn’t honestly report the orgasmic properties of the Crowned Jewels dildo. But then I realized that orgasm doesn’t equal endorsement. I’ve wrung orgasms out of highly unpleasant vibrators. I adore the brand; their ethics, their materials, their vision. Despite how badly I’ve love to see an aluminum version of the Pure Wand, I’m delighted to see that they are above producing copycat designs. I see a lot of potential for the future but also a lot of promise for people who are not my vagina-twins.

For those who want a smaller, more gentle metal dildo experience, I cannot recommend Crowned Jewels enough. If you’re in the UK, you can purchase directly from Crowned Jewels and if you’re in the US you can find select models at Shevibe.com.  Crowned Jewels sent me these items in exchange for my honest opinion.

  1. They can’t be JUST aluminum or titanium but their site does specifically say “nickel free” – if you have other metal allergies, please email them first and they’ll happily let you know if their alloy is safe for you
  2. Some, like Pipedream, are made from an easily-noticed lesser grade of metal but others are unknown- that’s the problem with metal, there’s no easy at-home test to understand if you have a body-safe hypo-allergenic metal or if the alloy will contain something irritating or if it will be prone to rusting
Aug 282016
 

Dorr SilkerWhen Shevibe asked me to review something from a new brand, the Dorr Silker was the design that caught my eye the most. I love g-spot vibrators that have a swooping curve, but straight styles never do anything for me.  When I heard that the Silker would be priced under $100, I had to check it out! As you’ll read, there are some cons but a lot of pros and overall I’m a fan of the Silker. There’s a few things giving me pause, though.

 

Reservation for One – The Reasons I’m Torn on the Dorr Silker

You might be asking, as I was, “Who the hell is Dorr? And don’t some of those vibrators look familiar?” Indeed, they do. I’ve seen a few companies making this wand 1. This mini vibrator from NS Novelties is also being manufactured by the company behind Dorr2 – in the brochure that came with my Silker they talk about a mini vibe called the Foxy (shown in the photo below), but the Foxy isn’t on the Dorr website anymore. Instead they’re being sold by NS Novelties as part of their Luxe line. The designs (NS Luxe vs Dorr Foxy) are utterly identical – but are the motors? I’m not sure. Anyways, according to the company info, Dorr is based in Los Angeles but as with 90% of the vibrators on the market, their vibes are manufactured in China because that’s just how it is. The company does offer a warranty, 3 years, which took a little digging for me to find.

Dorr Silker brochure

All of this is really to say that I’m undecided on how I feel about the company/brand as a whole. I haven’t heard of any problems and nothing really strikes me suspicious, but I also don’t feel quite as good about them as I do L’amourose. I think at this point this is more of a gut feeling mixed with caution because they’re new and the designs feel more “white label” 3  than the things L’amourose is doing.

Dorr Silker metal plateThe Silker doesn’t seem to be cheaply made – in fact, unlike that similar wand up above, the decorative plate on the Silker (and all the Dorr products with said plate) is metal. Hard, shiny metal4. This means there’s no metallic paint to chip off. Of course, the metal plate serves no purpose, which means I don’t like it. Without it the Silker would be easier to clean; with it there is now a big groove to collect gunk.

And finally, the charging cable is proprietary which is becoming a new pet peeve of mine. Granted, the L’amourose chargers are proprietary, too. When a company makes a sex toy I can charge with the same cable I use to charge my phone, I’m happy. I hate having to dig up a specific cable just to charge a vibrator and it’s led to me allowing favorite vibes to die and wait weeks for a charge.

Lost in Translation

As I was photographing the “boring bits” (charger, box, brochure) I think I may have stumbled upon one aspect that makes me narrow my eyes and get a little picky. The brochure, and yes I’m going to keep calling it that even though they call it the User Manual, tells me nothing of value. It tells me about their other products. It mentions a warranty, but no specifics. The box itself talks about 6 patterns – I counted 5. The box also talks about a “turbo speed vibration mode”, yet the neither box nor brochure tell me how to access this Turbo Mode. I have tried pushing multiple buttons at once; I have tried pushing and holding the + button. I’ve tried holding the ~ (the button to access patterns). I have tried recanting spells. Nothing I’m doing is working and if me, someone who can usually figure out a vibrator without resorting to the manual, cannot find it….maybe it just doesn’t exist. Maybe the highest vibration setting is what they’re calling Turbo Mode just to have another talking point? When the company emailed me to ask me to review more of their line, they also brought up this Turbo mode and said it can be accessed via pressing and holding the “mode” (the ~ button?) button. No. Nothing happens.

It shouldn’t be this hard to figure out.

Dorr Silker - Back of the Box Dorr Silker charger

But the Good Bits! There are Good Bits!

Dorr Silker vs L'amourose Denia and Prism VOkay so here was the surprising thing: The motor on the Dorr Silker is identical to the L’amourose Prism V, and you know how much I love that vibrator. Identical. Even the patterns are nearly identical – 5 patterns like the Prism V, just in a different order. The noise level is identical, too. The pitch is identical. The buttons are located in the same place on each vibrator, so they’re in a convenient location. But the buttons on the Dorr Silker are a little more obvious – the button surface area is bigger, the “engraved” design into the silicone is a little more obvious under your thumb and here’s a surprising difference – the Dorr Silker buttons take less effort to press. Not too much less – not enough so that it’s too easy to accidentally change a setting or turn it on or off – but enough so that people with arthritis or grip issue would appreciate the Dorr Silker more. Like the Prism, Silker is waterproof.

The differences in design are subtle between the Prism V and the Silker – the swoop on the Prism V is just a little more pronounced, the neck is thinner and the head has less circumference. In fact the head of the Silker is a more closely related to the head on the Rosa in terms of size. The silicone on each vibrator is nearly identical, but I think the Silker has just a bit more drag (not much, barely noticeable) than the Prism V.

Aesthetically, I prefer the Prism V. I like how it can stand up on its own (no, the Silker can’t). I like the design, I like the color offerings better. On days where girth is not my friend I really appreciate the thinner neck on the Prism V and the subtle difference in degree of swoop means that the Prism V just feels a little more intense, a little more swoon-y, on my G-spot. If you want a bit more of a fuller feeling than the Prism V’s measurements but need the rigidity that the Rosa lacks, the Dorr Silker might be the right choice for you. Also? It’s $20 less than the Prism V.  If you favor cost over aesthetics or my gut feeling on a brand, go for the Dorr Silker.

The Dorr Line

I feel confident in telling you that the motor on the Iora (at least the internal arm) would be the same as the Silker, but I’m not ready to give blanket approval to the rest of the line. The blandly-shaped Aura would also probably have the same motor as the Silker, but why the fuck did they extend the metal plate so far up? Now it will be touching genitals and gather even more vag gunk. Their remote-controlled egg might have promise – the remote can also be a standalone vibrator (why?) which means it might tell the remote-holder what the egg-wearer is feeling, which I think is a crucial ingredient in the recipe for a good remote-controlled vibrator.

In the end, there’s a lot of good things to like about the Dorr Silker. A lot. If I didn’t have the Prism V to compare it to, I think I’d like it more. The cons aren’t very bad things. The Silker is like that FWB that is great in bed and great on paper but a few little things are preventing you from making the change to Significant Other. Maybe you can’t quite put your finger on why they make your vag sing but not your heart. Maybe they sometimes say weird shit. Whatever, you’ll keep coming back for the sex. I keep using the Silker, more than is necessary to get a review done and out the dorr5 and I can see myself using it more  – when the Prism V needs to be charged, for example.

 

Shevibe sent me the Dorr Silker in exchange for my very honest review. Curious about this? Read more about my blogger disclosures on sex toy reviews.

  1. The twin Lovehoney wand (whether it’s the 50SOG one I linked above or their Desire wand) has a plastic plate instead of a metal plate and different charging ports, and the motor may be a bit different but visually they’re identical
  2. See what I did there?
  3. What a white label (OEM) brand is: They have a name, they have a business but they don’t want to design sex toys. They want to pick them out of a book and say “okay, we’ll carry that” and then they pick the colors, etc. It’s much like the “store brand” foods at the grocery store – same ingredients from grocery store to store and probably all made at the same plant, but they get the grocery store brand slapped on the label. With white label brands you can find 10 different silicone-covered wand vibrators that all look nearly identical but have different motors. Maybe one brand wanted to go cheaper in the manufacturing and chose the buzzy, weak motor and another brand was willing to pay more for the rumbly, fairly powerful motor (as an example).
  4. Which they say is a “zinc alloy”
  5. Ha. I kill me