Jun 062016
 

Review Round-up: 4 Affordable Sex Toys to Maybe AvoidIn my never-ending quest to locate affordable sex toys made from body-safe materials that aren’t terrible I often end up finding a lot of crap. The following four affordable sex toys aren’t worthy of a full review but each one has some issues. I really only hate one of these items. The others are just okay, with some flaws in marketing (do these companies understand the vacuum capabilities of the butt??) and odd designs.

Closet Collection Ellie G Ribbed Bendable

This is my first time trying something from the Closet Collection brand and I think it’ll be my last. I don’t know how much SheVibe would have sold this for, but it’s not yet (or ever?) on their site. Other websites seem to be selling it for no less than $60 which is fucking atrocious. I mean really, seriously what-in-the-actual-fuck ridiculous. This is Picobong-level bullshit pricing. Before I looked up the average retail price on the Closet Collection Ellie G I had it pegged at about $35, maaaaybe $40. It’s battery-powered, it has a cheap metallic-coated plastic handle and when you bend it, it just feels cheap inside. It has one button for its 10 functions (only 3 speeds) and is noisy as hell. The vibrations aren’t the buzziest I’ve felt, but they’re not all that powerful or anything I’d ever call rumbly. The gimmick is that it bends in the middle up to a 90-degree angle. Sadly it doesn’t STAY bent like that. As you get it inserted and start to thrust, it begins to straighten out. I also had to screw the cap on just-so so that it would work. Too tight and it wouldn’t even turn on. The ribs feel like they’re scraping my vaginal wall; like maybe I should take it with me to my next pap smear – it’s that scrapey.

EllieGBendable

I’d heard some rumors that the material was a bit suspect – it felt weird, and smelled bad. When I first opened it, it did smell quite “fragrant” but that dissipated in a few days. The silicone is silky and dust-resistant, but there’s no oily residue. After I was sure that I never want to use this piece of crap again, I dissected it and flame-tested it. So it’s silicone; at least it has that going for it.

Sinclair Institute Select Onyx P-Spot Wand

First I have to tell you this: I don’t really feel comfortable telling you that this is anal safe. I mean yeah, the Njoy Pure Wand is anal safe and I think was first designed for prostate massage, but what is the deciding factor on baseless butt toys? Will something with a certain degree of a curve not get sucked up inside the rectum? Does it have to be of a certain length? Do the balls on each end of the Pure Wand acts as stoppers? I just don’t know.

I reviewed this as a G-spot dildo. They already have a G-spot dildo, but the sizes and styles are so similar that I figured it didn’t matter which I chose. The G-Spot version is 6″ in length, supposedly, and 1.25″ width whereas the Onyx P-spot dildo is 5.75″ in length and 1″ wide. I’ve seen reviews of the G-Spot dildo calling it “tiny”; 1.25″ isn’t super tiny in my book, but 6″ is on the shorter end for some people. However with glass there is always a quarter inch leniency in size, it seems because even if they don’t anneal it properly, it’s still “made by hand”.  I feel like the Onxy P-Spot is just too short for prostate play for most people, unless your prostate is located more closely to the anus and you’re pretty flexible. As a G-spot toy it was nice enough – I like that curve and it reminds me of the Pure Wand. But I’d rather it be longer. Bex has the Crystal G-Spot wand and when I visited them last year I did a polariscope test – surprisingly, there were no rainbows. There’s some stress, to be sure, but it’s not awful. And given the under-$35 price range for these, if you are looking for something small and slender then this could be a decent glass option for those with a G-spot. But for prostates? Avoid.

SinclairInstituteCrystalG  SinclairInstituteOnyx

I’m also undecided of the safety of the “etching”. You can definitely feel the etching; whether it’s etching or a decal, I can’t say for sure. I tried to scrape it off, but it wasn’t coming off. I don’t think it’s something that would bother anyone unless they’re sensitive. It’s better than Pipedream but I still have some reservations here.

Cloud 9 Silicone Pro Plug Small

So I wanted a Cloud 9 item just to see if it’s really silicone. They have a dildo that is under $25, for pete’s sake! And a lot of anal toys with that controversial “ring-pull” base. And a “double-sided” plug which is either bizarre or brilliant depending on how you look at it. But anal safe? Eeehhhhhh I don’t know about that!

Oh my god, do not use their anal toys unless you definitely have a finger completely through the ring-pull, up to your third knuckle. The ring-pull is made of silicone. Stretchy silicone. What’s even more bizarre is that because they insisted on having this fucking “cloud” design going, the stretchy silicone ring is fairly thin in one part. Thin enough that when I stretch it, I become concerned and it’s shown signs of wear. But silicone is more hardy than rubber so fingers crossed it’ll be fine. If your fingers aren’t too large, then it won’t be uncomfortable to wear; it could be potentially used with success if it’s on your thumb or finger while manually stimulating someone’s clit. The plug could then go in their butt or vag. It could be something interesting to use on yourself in this manner, possibly? I only have the small plug just because I wanted to flame test, so it did nothing for me but hey, maybe a bigger plug could?

Cloud9Plug1  Cloud9Plug2

Sadly Cloud 9 has a set of silicone beads that could be nice, if they didn’t have that elastic ring pull. Then there’s the vibrating plug which, thanks to the bullet, leaves no room for it to go on your finger like a ring which means….don’t you dare put this in your ass. If it’s not on your finger….goodbye butt toy. The silicone is very silky and dust-resistant, though. So there’s that. And yes, it passed the flame test but wow….so little thought went into anal safety here.

Packer Gear Kisser Silicone 6″ Suction Cup G-Spot Dildo

I think I dislike this one the least. But my god can we cut down on the long-ass names? This new line from CalExotics caught my eye because it’s affordable silicone1. Why is it called “Packer Gear”? Well they do carry a cloth gender-neutral packing harness2 but these black silicone dildos are not what I’d call “packer friendly”.  The base is a firm suction cup. The bottom portion is fairly firm and unyielding. The thinner mid portion has bend and give, naturally, because it’s thinner. But these aren’t dildos to pack with. I don’t see it working out well, at all. The Kisser is actually a nice-feeling dildo, and I like that head (although it’s not very thick) for g-spot play. But packer, it ain’t. I’ve also felt stronger suction cups.

What they ARE though, are affordable silicone suction-cup dildos. My gripe? In the center of the suction cup is circle of silicone. The suction cup on top looks to be all one piece in regards to the dildo portion – there’s nothing that leads me to think that the suction cup and dildo were two separately made pieces. When I bent the suction cup around I heard this crunching sound, like dried glue being dislodged. Then I could see, when the suction cup was flattened a bit, a gap around that circle. Great place to trap fluids. I tried to pry that circle off, and couldn’t.  Then I got more curious so I cut it open. I wasn’t really surprised to see that in order to make such an affordable silicone dildo, they had to stuff it. Except for the plug being able to trap fluids, there’s no way this is going to fall apart on you. You would never get fluids inside to the stuffing, because of how they made the plug portion – the wider part goes into a groove inside the suction cup which is why I couldn’t pry it out until I cut it open.

PackerGear1 PackerGear2 PackerGear3

Some people may have a problem with this. The silicone3 surrounding the stuffing is thick and seamless. Unless you hacked this thing open you would never come into contact with the stuffing and I truly don’t believe the stuffing could ever come in contact with fluids. I don’t have a problem with how this is made, for the most part; just don’t futz around and be rough with the base in a way that’ll dislodge that glue around the edges like I did.  Yes, some folks take issue with the wording in cases like this: “pure silicone”. “But it’s not ‘pure’ silicone, it has stuffing!” Look at it this way: When you see a silicone vibrator marketed as pure silicone, do you say “But it’s not ‘pure’ silicone, there’s electronics and hard plastic inside!” No? When they’re saying it like this, it’s just a marketing thing, and it’s harmless. It’s probably a holdover from the days when they used to claim that a “silicone blend” was a thing.  In this case the stuffing isn’t something that could potentially ruin the dildo and unless you hack it open you’d never know. If this is necessary to produce truly affordable silicone dildos then I don’t have a problem with it, so long as the design is done well.

 

Thanks to SheVibe for sending me these items to try, dissect, burn and bend, in exchange for my unbiased reviews.

  1. Only the black dildos are silicone. They make packies, but they’re TPR
  2. Under $30!
  3. Yep, passed a flame test
Mar 202016
 

Blush Nude Impressions 01 - The "Swiss Army Knife" of Sex ToysI got pretty excited when SheVibe first mentioned the Blush Nude Impressions line to me – they’re something we don’t see much of right now. They’re rechargeable vibrators with a suction cup base, crafted from dust-repellent silky-smooth silicone AND I was told the vibrations don’t suck! AND they’re affordable! I was a little wary of the button placement and odd designs but still held hopes that I would like them. I wanted to like them; primarily because this category is slim pickins – you either have battery-powered options from Pipedream (definitely would rather not support them) that have a wired remote handpack or you have other options that are highly realistic and made from dodgy, porous materials. Between the concept and the bizarre designs, at least we can say Blush isn’t copying anyone out there on this line!

So while I will try my best to steer people towards other brands whenever possible due to Blush’s copycat designs and poor social media attitude, this is one time I’m not going to. If the idea of a multi-purpose vibrator with a suction cup base appeals to you, you need one of these.

Blush Nude Impressions – The Good

When I said multi-purpose, I meant it. This thing is Ridiculous. My Blush Nude Impressions 01 can be an external vibe if you’re in a pinch; a g-spot vibe; a dildo; a prostate vibe; a suction-cup ride-able sex toy; a harness-compatible vibrator; a bath-time vibrator. It’s body-safe and affordable with a good motor. It’s like the Swiss Army Knife of sex toys.

The vibrations have a kick. Have I felt better? Of course. It’s no Prism V, it’s no Rave. But I wouldn’t call the vibrations surface-buzzy, either. They have some reach and I’d put this firmly in the “middle of the road” camp both in terms of strength and buzz vs rumble. It’s going to be enough to satisfy many people. Oddly enough I was able to orgasm from this, when used externally. I think it’s partly because of the weird fin on each side, which meant I was able to target the more sensitive side of my clitoris. I’m not saying it was a great orgasm; but it happened. It wasn’t a strong orgasm, but the fact that I was able to come from the vibrations puts it ahead of plenty of other vibrators. Yes, the motor suffers vibration dampening when the toy is inserted, but it actually just manages to tone down the buzziness. I can still feel the vibrations, and it’s stronger than some other insertables. The vibrations are firmly concentrated to the head; I can barely feel anything as you get closer to the buttons. Yes there are patterns, and there are 5 levels of vibration intensity.

Rechargeable! That’s pretty rare for this type of beast. So rechargeable is a very nice bonus. There’s a slight issue with charging, which I’ll talk about it a minute.

The buttons – at first I thought they were in a bad place for use, but I can’t see where else they could go. They’ll become a cleaning issue because of the indented design, and you’ll want to take special care of them if you’re using anally, or sharing. They’re easy to press, though they do glow brightly in use (and strobe annoyingly while charging). One button is to turn the power on but it doesn’t start the motor – it’s a two-key process. You have to press the power button and then press the function button to cycle through the intensity and pattern settings, and then press the power button to turn off. This can act as a sort of travel lock since it’s less likely that the buttons could be depressed while in your bag in the correct order.

The suction cup is strong because the suction base has quite a bit of flex and give. I can attach this thing to my work desk and gyrate it around like an arcade joystick; it stays put.  It will still be harness-compatible, and anal safe though! A really nice harness-compatible vibrator. Think about that. That’s uncommon!!

The silicone itself has no drag and feels very silky (which means it attracts no fur or dust) but overall the design is firm to a squeeze. There is some bend to the shaft, though, I suspect because the motor is under the silicone skin for the top half and then the bottom half doesn’t have as much hardware inside, allowing the toy to bend a bit. Those who don’t like the rigidity of type silicone-covered vibes might find this to be a little more comfortable.

It’s waterproof, so it’s a great bath and shower toy. And shockingly, there’s a 5-year warranty. I’ve never dealt with Blush Novelties for warranty issues so I don’t know how they are to deal with – i.e. if they give you problems or ignore you completely. But a 5-year warranty is pretty nice for a $50 sex toys.

The Not Great

My first one was DOA…I think. When my second one arrived and charging still didn’t work, I consulted the interwebs and was told that you can’t insert the charging plug the whole way. Which is weird, and surely a flaw in design but the only way you’ll know it’s actually charging is when the power button’s light flashes wildly. If you first plug it in and the light is steady, then it’s not charging. But it’s receiving power, so that’s odd. Both of mine arrived without a charge in them, so it was hard to know if they were okay until I figured out how to charge the thing. Insert the plug fully and then slowly pull it out slightly until you see the power button blinking like it belongs in a rave.

The charge doesn’t really seem to last very long. Blush says “up to” 40 minutes which means only if you’re on the lowest setting. I ran a charge down just by randomly picking it up and turning it on for a couple of minutes here and there over the weeks I owned it, for comparisons. I admit I lost track of how long it took to charge from dead to complete; over an hour, definitely. Probably longer. At least the charging cable is USB, so it’s travel-friendly – you’ll  definitely need to take the cable with you.

While the designs are all butt-safe, they’re also all a little on the short side – nothing is over 6″ insertable. That’s not incredibly short but for some people it’s less than ideal. The vagina is a cul-de-sac so there’s a limit to how much length you’ll really need but the butt is like a dark country road – how far you go depends on you. Just like the g-spot, some people have a prostate that’s located a little bit farther inside, so the shortest model (the 02) may be just a bit shy of ideal at 4.5″ insertable.

Weird As Hell Designs

I have Blush Nude Impressions 01, which has a pronounced head – angled, yet flat which gently tapers to the shaft, and the shaft isn’t round, it’s more oval. And then there are these odd “fins” on each side. They don’t look like much, but you can really feel them pinging your g-spot if you twist the toy while it’s inserted. It’s actually pretty interesting, but not something everyone will like. I’m the queen of “off label uses” with sex toys and I found that the fin on the side allowed me to use this as an external vibe – the fin nestled against the side of my clit, right where I need stimulation.

Blush Nude Impressions 02 is pretty short on insertable length (4.5″) but has these ridges that remind me of what happens to blacktop when a tractor trailer brakes really hard on a hot day. Those who know that their g-spot or prostate really digs ridges will like this one.

Blush Nude Impressions 03 seems longer, it’s 8″ overall, but the subtle “balls” prevent you from getting that much insertable length. This version would be great for anal-play afficianados because the balls prevent you from inserting the buttons, making cleaning just slightly easier. SheVibe takes its measurements from Blush, listing the Nude Impressions 03 at 1.9″ wide right now, but other sites list it as 1.6″ wide. Then there’s the customer review, saying that the head is actually closer to 2.5″, so I don’t know what to think.

Blush Nude Impressions 04 is….it reminds me of a jewelry holder, the kind meant to hold bracelets, or maybe rings and someone put a beaded ring on it. This design is the weirdest and I’m not sure who would love it. I’m also not really a fan of yellow, but I know plenty of people who are.

Blush Nude Impressions 01 - side view of the "fin"

Overall, I approve of these. There’s currently nothing this nice on the market, at this $50 price point. $50 for something that does so much is a really great price.

 

SheVibe sent me this affordable sex toy at no charge in exchange for my honest review. You can get this model or any of the Nude Impressions line at SheVibe and rest assured that a DOA vibe won’t be a big deal with their amazing customer service.

 Posted by at 4:40 pm
Feb 172016
 

Doc Johnson Truskyn Dual-Density SiliconeThe Doc Johnson Truskyn line is their foray into the wonderful world of dual-density silicone. So many people are happy to buy porous/toxic dildos because they are squishy; they feel softer and more realistic than most traditional single-density silicone sex toys on the market. Until very recently, Tantus with their O2 line and Vixen with their VixSkin line were the only traditional sex toy companies making a dual-density realistic-feel dildo. Then, Blush Novelties (*sigh*) came out with their version of dual-density and now Doc Johnson Truskyn.

I’m really excited about the Doc Johnson Truskyn line because: affordability. While I do think that Vixskin is a bit more realistic and Tantus O2 offers people some more visually appealing options like the Cush and Flurry if you’re not into realistics, many people can’t afford to spend $100 or so on a very realistic dual-density dildo. Although, the Tantus Cush and Flurry are priced the same as the most expensive Truskyn at SheVibe.  I had a lot of requests last year to review affordable sex toys, and since my reviews are for my readers I have no reason to stick my nose in the air over trying out some lower-cost toys for you. So not only am I happy that this line exists…I’m happy that I LIKE it!  Not a single dildo in the line is over $69, and some are under $50! The plugs are super affordable, too, they’re all priced at $25.

Squishy Squishy In Your Butt

The Truskyn line offers up some dildos under $50 AND something we’ve never seen before: dual-density butt plugs. Yes, people wondered “will these really be dual density??” and they are. SheVibe sent me two to check out and found myself a stunt butt to help out with this review. I shipped one of them to the lovely Bex to actually use for me1. I was a bit concerned by the base because it’s pretty flexible; but a fellow sex geek who can take impressively large butt toys had no problems with the base and felt it was still very safe. Honestly it’s a delightfully soft and squishy design. While these butt plugs aren’t sex toys for size queens, they’re potentially really great for people who have so far found their standard silicone butt plug to be a little uncomfortable. They’re great for those newer to anal play who really want to ease into it.  Here’s what Bex had to say about the Doc Johnson Truskyn Tru Butt Plug Smooth (can you shorten these names, Doc?):

“The Tru Butt Plug Smooth from Doc Johnson is a unique product for two reasons: it is one of the first dual density butt plugs I have ever seen; and it is a product from Doc Johnson that, well, that I actually sort of like. Dual density butt plugs are the sort of thing that it never occurred to me should exist, but makes absolutely perfect sense once I actually see them. The size and shape of the Tru Butt Plug Smooth is comparable to the Tantus Juice or Ryder but compared to Tantus’ firm silicone, Doc Johnson’sTruskyn silicone feels much more plush and forgiving. In use I don’t necessarily notice the extra softness so much as I am aware of the lack of rigidity I am used to with my other toys. Where those toys can sometimes poke uncomfortably or feel larger than they are, the soft outer layer of the Truskyn Tru Butt Plug flexes comfortably with the body and feels much less obtrusive for long term wear. The base is also very comfortable and unobtrusive.”

Two things that are included in every Truskyn box that I think should just be tossed are a packet of cornstarch and a little bottle of shitty lube. First, the cornstarch. I don’t get it. Yeah, the silicone is a magnet for stuff but no other company like, ever, has been all “here buy our overpriced “dildo powder” and use it to make our dildos less sticky and more starchy”. And the lube, ugh. It has a whole bunch of bad ingredients and then some. Just don’t use it. Pick something nicer, instead. The one nice thing they include is a drawstring pouch for storage. It’s branded and not discreet, but it’s a nice touch nonetheless.

Truskyn Dildos

I’m usually not the sort of person who can wax poetic for 1200 words about a dildo, unless it’s the Pure Wand, or the Seduction. Usually my thoughts on a dildo are down to preferences on its size, concerns about texture or ridges being too much and being unimpressed by bendy dildos.  When you have a dual-density design thinner dildos are more likely to be bendy. You’d need a silicone dildo to be made of pretty firm silicone to not be very bendy.  Why am I so on about “bendy”? Because my g-spot likes pressure and that’s why the Njoy Pure Wand is king in my world. I’ve enjoyed other silicone dildos though when they’re the right width to hit that mark between “filling” and “not painful”, which is a roundabout way of applying g-spot pressure. I’m really liking the designs; some are very realistic, like the one I have, but others not so much. They are using interesting shapes and softly-ridged heads to ping the g-spot/prostate. Even the straight realistic one I have has a lovely prominent head ridge that is much softer than you’d think and feels really nice when thrusting. The head, like all dual-density designs, is all squish and the shaft has a good level of squish on the outside.  I am really not a fan of highly realistic dildos so this isn’t my visual cup of tea but if you are a fan of realistic dildos? This has you covered. There’s luckily a big range of sizes and shapes for the Doc Johnson Truskyn dildos so I think you’ll find something you like; soon Blissfully Orgasmic will have a review up of a few of the non-realistic dildos I also eyed up: The Tru Feel (quite bendy but love that head), the Tru Curve, and the Tru Touch. These are also harness-compatible and anal safe.

Also, the Tru Ride 6″ is the one I have and Doc Johnson lists the width as 1.7″, but I would say its 1.5″. This leads me to question other styles, especially ones that Doc calls “slender” but then lists as 1.7″. 1.7 inches is NOT slender. I’m now questioning the width on every dildo. I’ll update this when I know which measurements are real.

But Is It REALLY Silicone?

Doc Johnson Truskyn Dual-Density Silicone - Cut to show pure siliconeSo when I first announced that I had their dildo in my possession and I was liking it, a lot of Doc Johnson skeptics said “Okay but is it really silicone? Is it really silicone all the way through? We’ve been bamboozled before2.” And I get it, I do. These aren’t super cheap like $25 for a dildo cheap, but they’re affordable and we have seen companies create a filling or a different-material core to cut down on costs. While I’m not really sure these cores/fillings matter so long as the item is constructed well enough that your body will never come into contact with the other material, I was pointed to this mildly troubling review of a Doc Johnson Super Hung Hero dildo on Amazon. I say “mildly troubling” because, come on, it’s fuckin Amazon so that’s probably not a genuine product.  If anybody owns a Super Hung and doesn’t mind cutting it open (and thereby ruining it) for science, let me know.

Anyways, I sacrificed my Truskyn dildo for science. I recorded the cutting, but since it’s so realistic in design I decided not to include that video. I felt a little too Lorena Bobbitt. But: GOOD NEWS! It is indeed silicone through and through. I feel confident that their entire line is truly silicone. I wasn’t really very worried, because the one “flesh tone” piece of dildo in my silicone jar is an older Doc Johnson silicone dildo. I don’t think they make it anymore; it was priced in the $20s and I had my doubts a few years ago, but was pleasantly surprised to find it was silicone all the way through.

And yes, it passed the flame test. Hopefully you can rest easy knowing that this line is exactly what it claims to be: Really nice dual-density silicone at affordable prices.

All in all, I’m a fan! There’s even some textured “strokers” for a much-needed silicone penis toy; although they’re more “taco” than penetratable masturbator, it’s a start. The Truskyn strokers are all squish, there’s no real room there for two densities I think. This feels like a big step in the right direction, and while I will not forgive Doc Johnson for this sil-a-gel bullshit and want it gone yesterday, I’m happy with the direction things are going in. I’m hoping that in a few years they will eradicate the toxic3 and the porous materials (or at least cut way back on the porous materials, with silicone making up the majority) in favor of something that we can all agree on: body-safe non-porous silicone.

Much thanks to SheVibe for sending me these items in exchange for my honest review and not caring in the least that I chopped a dildo! Check out the entire Truskyn line at SheVibe.

  1. Little known fact that will maybe become a post someday: I discovered that, because of my IBS, I can’t do any anal play
  2. I may have inserted bamboozled myself but it’s the overall sentiment
  3. DJ claims their sil-a-gel enhanced PVC is phthalates-free, but there’s something toxic in there; so many people have complained about burning genitals!
Dec 022015
 

CuRious-WandWhile I love all that Njoy does, they haven’t done anything new in years so I’m always open to exploring other quality metal sex toys. A few months ago at SHE NYC I had the chance to talk to the guys of CU in Bed, who make copper alloy sex toys like the CuRious Wand. Why copper? We’ll get to that in a minute. But it’s part of the reason why I’m so torn on recommending it – it’s a trifecta of issues, really: Odor, design and price.  I cannot help but compare it to the Pure Wand, so you’re going to see a lot of heavy comparison going on.

A Handful of Pennies

I’ve found that quality grades of stainless steel don’t have a metallic odor; I own stainless steel sex toys, silverware and a wedding band. None have ever made my hands (or anywhere else) smell of metal. But the CuRious Wand … it has a distinct odor of pennies, without the pretty copper color1. I’m not sure how I didn’t notice this aspect when I was at SHE NYC because I fondled their prototype a LOT. But, the prototype I was fondling also had a mild copper color to it–I don’t know if this made a difference. I don’t see how it could. I was pretty surprised when they sent me one to review for Shevibe and the metal odor hit me pretty strong. Brief fondling left my hands reeking like I’d been holding a handful of wet coins. The odor on my hands doesn’t seem to last very long if I rub my hands on something fabric.

If that sort of smell doesn’t bother you then one of my biggest issues with the dildo will not be a problem for you. We had a collective conversation about this on Twitter, then I did a little poll and it seems that I’m in the majority. But let’s get to the question many vagina-owners had – does it make your vagina, your natural fluids, smell/taste like metal? Yes. I had the CuRious Wand in one hand, leaving the other untainted by copper odors, and used it for a few minutes. The fingers untainted by metal odors that then had my fluids on them smelled different. Very different. Almost like there was a bit of blood in my fluids (which is odd, right? Isn’t the iron in blood what leads to that smell/taste?). When I smelled the combination of my fluids ON the CuRious Wand I actually found the odor really offensive. Like I wouldn’t want to be the person using this on someone else with a vagina because the smell bothered me a lot. Maybe it won’t react with your vaginal fluids like that, maybe it will. I also wasn’t using lube — I personally do not need lube with slick toys like metal and glass and adding lube would just make me too wet. Would a covering of silicone lube or coconut oil help hinder the odor? I tried and found that it did, minimally, but I only used it that way for half a minute. I’m not sure what would happen if that were my entire session. I think that for SOLO USE this might not bother everyone. For coupled use it could be more of a problem. If I simply wash my hands right after I’m done using the CuRious Wand then it’s not going to bother me as much.

A Boring Design

So even though the design is similar (double-ended, curved) yet different (the shapes of the ends, the length) I cannot help but compare the CuRious Wand to the Pure Wand. After all, the Pure Wand IS my favorite dildo of all times. It’s perfect for me. And herein lies the biggest reason why I’m reluctant to recommend it: The CuRious Wand was boring for me. I must have switched back and forth from Pure Wand to CuRious Wand a dozen times and the difference in perceived intensity to my g-spot was obvious. The CuRious Wand was like a 4…5 at best while the Pure Wand was an 8-10.

My vagina was bored. My g-spot wouldn’t wake up. And occasionally it would stroke the vaginal wall that’s shared with the rectum, opposite the g-spot, in a way I found uncomfortable. Also, the CuRious Wand is shorter than the Pure Wand. For ME this matters a lot. The length and curve of the Pure Wand is one of the top reasons it works so well for me. It’s easier to manipulate, easier to reach. And while the CuRious Wand and Pure Wand are pretty close in weight2, the Pure Wand’s weight seems to factor in to one reason it’s working well for me. Another factor: The Pure Wand’s bulb has a definite edge to it. The CuRious Wand does not, really, not in use. That edge on the bulb of the Pure Wand is a big factor in the magic it makes for me. The CuRious Wand just slid around, not really doing anything for my g-spot.  If you hate things with an edge that catch your pubic bone (and if you loved the Lelo Ella) then you might prefer this design. Size-wise, the ends seem to be fairly similar, although differences exist just because of the design. The triangular design of the head means that it’s not 1.5″ wide truly, like the Pure Wand is (and even at the widest, CuRious is still just shy of 1.5″).  The prostate end is very tapered, unlike the distinct ball of the Pure Wand. The curve overall seems to be less pronounced although I don’t possess a maths degree or protractor to figure it out for sure. I’m also unsure about the anal safety of that teeny little flare that happens in the middle. Would the hammerhead style of the bigger end serve as a stopper? What if you preferred the bigger end for your anal play? I can’t say I’d feel comfy calling it anal safe that way.

CuRious-Wand-vs-Pure-Wand

Why Copper? Or: Lilly Bumbles Through the Science

Let’s talk about the metal, why it’s so expensive, and why this is supposed to matter. According to the research they found that copper can kill E. Coli and other bacteria just through contact, whereas other materials could not. This matters if you use it anally (and one end is supposed to be the prostate end). I can’t see why this would matter for vaginal use. The creator has said that it will not kill the good bacteria in the vagina because 1: it only works during contact, not afterwards and 2: if you cover the dildo with lube then there’s no contact at all with the mucus membrane and therefore no bacteria-killing going on. Update: Only DRY copper kills bacteria so if it’s in use, then it’s not going to be killing anything at all. It’s only when the dry item is sitting there after being cleaned3. They cited a lot of stuff to me in an email about how copper IUDs are used all the time in the uterus, and most people don’t react badly to it. I’ve read anecdotal reports online where some people think that their copper IUD caused yeast infection. I couldn’t find evidence to support it or even disprove it. Then again, the copper of the IUD is pure and meant to be “free floating ions” while the CuRious Wand is just a copper alloy. Of course, if you think you have an allergy to copper, don’t buy their products.

Anyway, so, the lube inhibits the bacteria-killing aspect, as does simply having a lot of natural vaginal fluid, according to what they’ve said on Twitter. Seems to me that where we really need the bacteria-killing aspect is for anal play, but anal play requires lube so……? Update: Only DRY copper kills bacteria so if it’s in use, then it’s not going to be killing anything at all. It’s only when the dry item is sitting there after being cleaned.

The magic is supposed to happen after you’ve washed it. Anything that might still be on the Wand will get killed off by the copper. When I tried to talk to the creators about cleaning methods that would, you know, sanitize (isopropyl alcohol, 10% bleach solution soak, boiling) the argument is that you can miss a spot. If there were grooves, ridges and crevices, sure. But on a single-piece tooled, polished metal Wand? Even a plug? I don’t see the need, personally.  This is the part where, regardless of the fact that the design didn’t make my g-spot happy and the metal smell bothers me greatly, I should be feeling that there is an exigent NEED for this product in copper and I’m not convinced yet.

Their videos page uses the tagline “At least you know it’s clean” a lot. Whether it’s someone else picking up your dildo and kissing it4 or a baby playing with it5, the insinuation is the unlike any other sex toy material, “at least you know it’s clean”. Their FAQ page challenges the “body-safe” terminology by saying that “body-safe” merely means it doesn’t leach toxic chemicals. Maybe to come people it does, but not to me. To me, body-safe = non-porous or microporous.

Until the introduction of our antimicrobial copper alloy massagers, “Body safe” had nothing to do with antimicrobial. Currently, all available materials, except our unique copper alloy, will allow bacteria to live and grow on its surface for weeks… E. Coli can survive as long as 16 MONTHS (yes, MONTHS) on standard surfaces such as Stainless Steel and Silicon!

The “silicon” typo is theirs, not mine. Listen, I have never had any doubts about the cleanliness or safety of any silicone, stainless steel, glass, or (properly coated) wood sex toys I use or recommend. Not unless they have deep seams or an abundance of hard-to-clean ridges. I feel that a proper sanitizing clean in between uses of those materials could allow someone to safely use the same toy for vaginal and anal use. CU in Bed disagrees with me. Only their CuRious Wand will provide that safety and cleanliness. Their website copy insists that no other sex toy on the market is as safe as theirs. I can’t get behind such limitations. It really feels like it’s going too far to induce fear about every other single sex toy material out there. After reading over their website, plus the papers I picked up when I spoke to them at SHE, I feel like a key convincing “WHY” is really missing. They quite likely covered it when we were talking at SHE but first of all that was in September, second I was in a fuck ton of pain by that point, third my memory is shit. Anything and everything they would have told me at SHE that could have convinced me of its need to be on the market should be abundantly clear on their website. This dildo at Shevibe is $229. I won’t recommend anything that costs that much unless I love it. Unless I feel that it is so unique that it fills a void. Unless there is substantial evidence, enough to convince a jury of sex bloggers, that the copper aspect is invaluable.

My CuRious Wand came with a small drawstring pouch embedded with copper that will help kill bacteria (but only when the fabric is touching the surface of the toy). I actually think that the bag is worth buying, moreso than the dildo. If you just put your sex toy in the bag and rub it around and store it that way then you could have the benefits of the copper without the expensive dildo. I actually hope that Shevibe continues to carry the bags.

One last bit on the science part – I’ve included a copy of this sheet they included with the informational data I got at SHE (front and back). They are saying on this that even products with Triclosan (that’s the green line on the graph) or Silver (Ag – you’ve seen this in Tenga 3D sleeves) cannot legally claim to be antimicrobial, but copper can.  I’d like to see what Tenga says about this, actually.

Tl;dr – I’m just gonna tell you to buy the Pure Wand at this point.

I’m going to invite the creators to respond to any questions you all may have, or things you want clarified. I just ask that you be respectful and civil, please, with your discussions. I’d like to thank CU In Bed for sending this to me, because I was very curious about it. You can get it at Shevibe if you feel that my issues would not be issues for you. I would also like to hear your thoughts on the copper aspect, especially if you disagree with me on its necessity. 

curious-wand-2

  1. Could I overlook it if the Wand were a pretty copper color? Honestly there’s a chance I could. A chance
  2. The Pure Wand is actually heavier by only 2 ounces
  3. Thanks to Fuga Periculum for finding this
  4. First comes the WTF factor then the overtone of a lil shame that is bugging me
  5. again, what? that fucker is heavy!
Dec 122014
 

We-Vibe Pleasure MateI’ve been in love with the We-Vibe Tango for years now. Well, my first love was technically the Salsa  -that bullet-pointed tip just seemed to work a little better and the color choices were fabulous. I quickly learned that the Salsa/Tango were the same size as the Rocks Off Ro80mm bullet and the Tantus bullet. Swapping out those for the Tango usually led to great success (the Tantus Panty Play was the one time I had disastrous results). 

So you can imagine my glee when I saw that We-Vibe was finally giving Tango it’s very own accessories, the We-Vibe Pleasure Mate collection. I felt a bit like a kid coveting the latest Cabbage Patch Doll accessories (my favorite was the CPD-sized high chair for sitting her alongside me at dinner). I had to collect em all. 

Dusk

When I finally had the We-Vibe Pleasure Mate Dusk in my hands, I was a bit underwhelmed honestly. I was surprised at how small it is – at the widest portion of the bulb it’s 1 inch. I know so many people who already use the Tango in their existing toys, but the Dusk is absolutely for un-butt-initiated. It’s beginner-sized and won’t provide a “full” feeling at all. If it were uberpowerful, it may matter less. But due to the diminutive size of the plug, they couldn’t fit the Tango inside the plug, instead it fits through a sleeve outside the plug which helps give it a anal-safe anchor. What results is a whole lot of vibration outside the butt (and even well into the labia where applicable) and a lightly moderate amount of sensation inside. It’s not the weakest vibrating plug I’ve felt, but it’s not really what I’d call Powered By Tango.

If small size and moderate vibration is your jam, you’ll love the Glow. Some people would find this set-up perfect. Most people I know, though, won’t. Really, not enough vibration transfers up into the plug part.

Glow

Lelo gigi 2 vs We-Vibe Pleasure Mate GlowMany moons ago, Lelo introduced the Ella dildo. And the Gigi vibrator. That angled, flat thumb of a head became iconic and is replicated far and wide for being superior as a g-spot massager in the eyes of most. I certainly think the design is awesome; my first g-spot toy had a tip like a pointy beak. Yikes. So the We-Vibe Pleasure Mate Glow is pretty awesome and pulls double duty as a dildo and a vibrator. We-Vibe has constructed the Glow to still be sturdy even without the Tango inserted. There’s a channel in the Tango-hole (and a hole down inside) so that it’s fairly easy to insert and remove the bullet, but it’s snug enough that it stays put during use. People who have arthritis in their fingers, trouble gripping something firmly and/or lack of hand strength in general will find it difficult to remove the Tango on their own. People with reach issues who need a longer dildo, or a dildo with a handle, will find it a bit difficult to use the Glow since it is a bit short.

The vibrations transmitted are fairly good.  This doesn’t suddenly become a super-powered g-spot vibrator – it’s not possible. There’s a lot of solid silicone for the vibrations to travel through. If you need a super-powered g-spot vibe, then I’ll recommend the L’amourose Rosa or my very favorite, Rosa Rouge. I do think the vibrations transmit better than many Tantus dildos, though and it’s even a bit more powerful than the Lelo Gigi 2 by a hair.  Glow also isn’t very big; the head is about 1″ wide and if inserted more than 3 inches, the shaft widens to 1.25″. 

Woooboy is the Glow PINK. I mean it. It’s bright. It’s even a little garish. If you are offended by pink, you’re out of luck because Glow only comes in pink. If you want to be matchy-matchy, you’ll want the pink Tango. Only the newer pink Tango, please, the older version (a dusty rose) clashes horribly. I can’t abide by clashing colors. 

Who Should Buy This

If you’re a sex toy expert and connoisseur of vibes, a lover of power and a queen of size….you might want to pass. You won’t be excited. However if you’re ready to move past your very first, low-priced sex toys and settle on something quality? Get the whole kit, if you or your partner want to explore anal play. The whole kit even includes a pretty, pearly white Tango – a color you can’t get on its own. A color that doesn’t clash with either the Dusk or Glow. When you buy the Dusk or Glow on their own, a Tango isn’t included. So if you’re new to the Tango too it’s going to cost $139.99 to get both the Glow and a Tango, where the whole set is priced at $149.99. 

Like I said for those ready to move into the world of better sex toys, get the kit. You’re getting the best clitoral vibrator on the market for those who need power1, a very nice g-spot dildo or vibe and a beginners butt plug. All in true body-safe materials from a company with excellent customer support who honors their 1-year warranty.

 

A big thanks to SheVibe for hooking me up with the Pleasure Mate Glow and Dusk for my honest review. 

  1. I do want to note: if your clitoris is sensitive, if you can come fairly easily from fingers and tongues? The Tango might be a bit too much for you
Aug 012014
 

SedeuxFlareI wanted to review the Sportsheets Sedeux Flare Dildo for two reasons:

1. It’s affordable

2. It’s not fleshtone, pink or purple.

Lofty goals, right? Also, it’s really the opposite of many dildos I’ve reviewed in the past – it’s simple and small. I can’t, and shouldn’t, always review only the things that my vagina loves (if I did that, I would have just stopped at the Pure Wand years ago) but the problem with trying to give a review that’s equal parts objective and subjective on a dildo that is a size I would never love…..well, it’s damn difficult. So I’ve been dragging my feet on writing this, because I don’t hate it and yet I don’t personally love it. But I WILL recommend the hell out of it for the many people who want a smaller dildo. This would be awesome for pegging, and great for vaginal penetration for those who don’t like thick dildos.  It’s only 1.25″ at the head, and closer to 1″ in the shaft.

It’s reasonable to say that the color of your Sedeux Flare might vary from piece to piece. The overall color is a brick/slightly orange-y red, with hints of purple-y opalescent glitter swirling about. The glittery-purple-pearl is much less noticeable on mine than the product photos I’ve seen on various sites. In fact many product photos on retail sites show that the pearlescent coloring is both pink/purple and orange.  But regardless, it’s still a color choice that isn’t horribly gendered and isn’t very common. Mine has much less “fire” to the coloring but it’s still a nice addition, nonetheless.

SedeuxFlareandSilkMedium

The dildo I own that is the closest in shape and size to the Flare is the Tantus Silk Medium. The Tantus Silk Medium is listed as 5.25″ long and 1″ wide, while the Sedeux Flare is listed as being 5.75″ long and 1.25″ wide (this measurement comes from the manufacturer; Lovehoney lists it a bit differently for some reason). The slightly angled tip is a bit wider than the shaft; so if you like the Silk Medium but need something a little less straight, the Sedeux Flare would be a perfect choice.

The gentle slope of the head means it should be okay for those sensitive to certain shapes catching their pubic bone, and overall it should be great for those who don’t require girth or extreme pressure on their g-spot. Overall it’s a pretty firm silicone, but the thinner shaft means it has a bit of bend and give while still being firm enough overall to give pressure to the prostate or g-spot. I’ve successfully used Wet Hybrid lube on this, with no detriment to the silicone. You can also pair it with coconut oil if you’re not otherwise using condoms. It can be sanitized in the usual ways.  In short, this is really a very serviceable moderate dildo that’s versatile and comes in a unique color.  So long as you know what you like and need in terms of size, I can’t really find any flaws with the Sportsheets Sedeux Flare. So why don’t I love it? I can’t fully blame it on the width, because the Pure Wand is awesome for me and it’s not what I’d consider a girthy dildo. It’s really down to the length for me. I just simply need something longer – not for insertion, but just for comfortable handling and use with my body type. It’s a great harness dildo, though, and would look smashing paired with a certain Tantus harness.

 

 

Thanks to Lovehoney for sending me the Sedeux Flare in exchange for my honest review! Don’t forget, Lovehoney has a great return policy and UK shoppers can get the Sedeux Flare here