Aug 172017
 

4 Crave Vibrators for Comparison: Crave Flex, Crave Vesper, Crave Bullet and Crave Solo vibratorsAs I was working on my review of the Crave Bullet and contemplating the reviews of the Crave Solo and Crave Flex I realized I was going to spend a lot of time comparing them to each other in addition to comparing them to other compact vibrators – so why not just do a big comparison post? Before I continue, I want to get one thing settled – Crave isn’t a “first vibrator” brand. While I don’t think that everybody’s first vibrator should be mildly intense and extremely cheap, I also think that you need the experience of other vibrators to understand vibration type and intensity before spending money on something like a Crave vibrator. You have to know what your clitoris needs, and a good number of folks haven’t figured that out before trying a few vibrators.

Crave Vibrator Basics

There are a few things that should ring true for you to determine if a Crave vibrator is right for you:

  1. You like pinpoint clitoral stimulation
  2. You know you don’t need a powerhouse, rumbling motor like the We-Vibe Tango
  3. You probably can orgasm from a finger or tongue – eventually, or fairly easily. The more sensitive you are, the more powerful these will seem, of course.
  4. You like the “classic” fashion glam of their designs and don’t mind spending a little more – Crave vibrators range from $59 to $149.

Crave Vesper

Crave Vesper - showing the power button. If you wear it correctly it lays against you, not facing outward.The Crave Vesper has gained fame for being an actually decent piece of jewelry-meets-sex-toy kitsch that is even worn and raved about by celebs. I fell in love with the Vesper because it’s so very pinpoint and the vibrations were pretty decent. The Vesper taught me something about my clitoris – the more pinpoint, the better, and the less vibration I’ll need. Because while my first love will always be the rumbling and intense We-Vibe Tango, the Vesper is about half as intense yet still works – my orgasms won’t be as intense as they are from the Tango or the Womanizer, but they’re satisfying. It’s not weak, it’s not really buzzy and many who are more sensitive than I will call it “powerful”. 

I also love that it heats up – I swear that added heat really does make a difference for me. It brings in a little more blood flow and may be why the Crave Flex just isn’t quite my jam.

The added bonus of the Vesper being really pretty jewelry helps justify the price, in my eyes.  It ranges from $69 to $149 depending on the metal – if you like silver jewelry you’re in luck with the $69 version but if you’re stictly in love with gold you’ll be spending $149.

Crave Flex

Navy blue Crave Flex showing with the attached silicone cap off to see the charging plugSo the motor in the Crave Flex is the same as – or pretty damn close to – the Vesper but the silicone vs metal makes it feel a bit different in use. It took a lot of concentrating to see that it’s really similar, but I feel pretty safe saying it is. And I feel pretty safe comparing these motors to the Crave Bullet, as well. The difference all comes down to material, shape and execution.

The Crave Flex appealed to me aethestically – the navy blue and gold, the slender design – it’s pretty classy. In some ways it felt a little better than the Vesper because the silicone makes it feel just a slight hair more rumbly. But the Vesper’s heated siren song calls to my clit, too. In the end both the Flex and Vesper are about equally good at getting me off – not a super powerful orgasm but it does the job. For folks wanting to get into pinpoint vibrators that are not the intensity of the Tango, I’d definitely recommend this. I don’t have a lot to say about the Flex because there’s not much to find fault with. Sure, the charging cap is a little bothersome – I worry about getting fluids on the plug when the cap comes off because of the way I’ve held it. 

To prefer the Flex you’d have to know that you don’t want a rigid vibrator material (hated hard plastic bullets? You wouldn’t like the Vesper) and that you don’t need powerhouse intensity. It’s not squishy like Tenga Iroha vibes but the 1/2″ or so on the tip doesn’t have rigid plastic underneath and can flex. Flex. Accurately named, at least! Fear not, it comes in more colors like Black and Bright Pink.

Crave Bullet

Crave Bullet Vibe Stainless Steel with Silicone Cap off to the sideAs a clitoral vibe I’m unhappy with the Crave Bullet – this one is the worst execution of the motor that lives in the Flex and Vesper. The Bullet is really meant for folks who need to upgrade their watch-battery mini bullet that lives inside certain sex toys in situations where the superior We-Vibe Tango is too long. The vibrations of the Bullet are enough to give a significant power boost to small sex toys but it still disappoints in full-size or larger dildos. 

Despite the Bullet not being wearable, Crave decided to give it the same treatment as the Vesper – increased prices for different metals. $59 for the standard steel isn’t terrible but $99 for the gold-plated is too much to pay (for most). I’d recommend the Vesper or Flex over the bullet if you just need a pinpoint clitoral vibrator that isn’t intense. If you want to know which toys the Crave Bullet fits into or want a more in-depth review about the issues I had with it, check out the full review.

Crave Solo

Disassembled Crave Solo showing silicone covered vibrating portion and the function buttons on the bottomThe Crave Solo is more powerful than the Bullet, Flex or Vesper but it’s also more buzzy – and noisier. Crave’s marketing says:

“Nothing ruins a sexy moment like a loud buzz. The Solo is significantly more quiet than any other vibrator, enabling a wider range of possibilities for when and where you’ll use it.”

I definitely disagree. So many rechargeable clitoral vibrators on the market are really quiet and a good number are more quiet than the Crave Solo in use. If I hold mine in a certain direction something starts to rattle, contributing to it being the most noisy Crave vibrator I own. Will yours sound that way? Is mine a victim of poor quality control? Who knows.

The Crave Solo is significantly more expensive than the others, also – but it comes with it’s own leather case! Yay! Eh, not so fast. The case offers no function but is a case so it’s better than a cheap bag so why am I wasting words on it? Because it irks me, to be honest. Here we have a luxury vibrator that talks about a leather case, brags about it almost, so when I actually wrinkle my nose at the cheapness of the “leather case” I can’t not mention it. It’s made from either the finest shaving of true leather or bonded leather. The inside is lined with a very crinkly vinyl-like water-resistant material and because this still isn’t thick enough to be substantial, there’s cardboard in between the two materials so that the pouch holds a shape. The sides are open at the top and bottom, and the zipper is cheap. Given the overall price it just feels….insulting. I think I’m probably the only reviewer to complain about the case, ha. What can I say? When the price tag is $140, I’m going to be picky about everything.

Crave Solo isn’t the buzziest thing I’ve had the displeasure to review but it is just buzzy enough that I can’t get off with it. If we’re on a scale of 1 to 10 where 2 is the Dame Eva and 10 is the Tango, I’d say it’s about a 4? 3.5? Whereas the Flex and Vesper I’d put at like… 5.5ish. Maybe the Vesper is 5 and Flex is 5.5. Anyway, my point being: I just can’t come with the Crave Solo. It may have more power than the Flex but the lack of any discernible rumble is just killing me. It’s not pleasant to use and I’d recommend this Crave vibrator the least out of the models I own. 

And while I understand the need for the controls being where they are (the butt of the metal portion) the buttons leave a lot to be desired. It’s a clear silicone with a tiny circle and plus and minus that are incredibly difficult to see. The Crave Solo is definitely more substantial and larger than the Flex, Bullet and Vesper, by far. I was surprised at the size of it, actually.  The feel of it in hand, because of all the metal, is impressive and weighty without being “too”. The silicone-covered portion is as rigid as the metal handle.  It’s a pretty penny, $139 at Shevibe, and I really feel like there are better options on the market for most people. I’d rather recommend the We-Vibe Tango, We-Vibe Touch, Je Joue Mimi or even the Jopen Lust L2.5 to have something with more power and rumble.

Also: RTFM. I thought my Crave Solo was defective because it wasn’t charging when I plugged it into my USB hub. I gently disassembled the packaging and read the directions. After you plug it in you have to press the power button to begin charging the Crave Solo. This does not apply to any other Crave vibrator except the Crave Duet.

Crave Duet and Wink

The Crave Duet is the original Crave; there’s also a smaller all-silicone Crave Duet Flex. While I enjoy pinpoint vibrations I don’t enjoy that rabbit-ear clit-hugging style – plus I read too much about the Crave Duet having a lot of vibration dissonance (the motors doing a “wobbling” thing that mimics a pattern but in a bad way).  I think you’d have to really enjoy the rabbit ears on a stereotypical rabbit vibe to like the Duet.  The Duet is pretty pricey at $149 from Shevibe and is the more powerful of the two. The Duet Flex is less expensive, smaller and will have the same motor as the Flex. Check out Lunabelle’s review of the Duet Flex – I think if you’re going to go for one of the Duets, aim for the Flex. More affordable and easier to use.

The Wink is petite and pinpoint but reports say it’s fairly buzzy and mild so it immediately got nixed from my list. Sarah complained about the fact that it doesn’t even have a button – you have to twist the base like a cheap pocket rocket – and the fact that it’s powered by a single AAA battery. It’s $69 for a battery-powered single-speed vibrator which is just not worth anybody’s time.

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My personal tastes aside I will tell you that every Crave vibrator I own is really well made (except for that stupid leather case and the weird rattle in my Solo). There are no seams that stick out; the metal is body-safe and trustworthy. The silicone is silky and not a dust magnet. Their packaging is minimalist, creating as little waste as possible and is probably recyclable. There is a warranty on everything. Again, I may not like everything about all of their vibes but I have a lot of respect for how their products are made. I’d love to petition them for a motor that is closer to the Tango but beyond that? Kudos to Crave.

 

Most of these Crave vibrators were provided to me by SheVibe in exchange for my honest review; I purchased the Flex on my own. Check out the whole Crave line at SheVibe!

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Jul 032017
 

Dame Fin, the finger vibrator from Dame ProductsBefore I talk about the Dame Fin, I need to talk about the company, Dame Products. This first section, while not being about the Fin per se, will still help give you some insight to what the hell is going on with Dame Products and help you determine if you should try the Dame Fin – or, even, bother supporting their next venture. Dame Products, the trendy, crowd-funding darlings du jour of the vibrator world, have funded and created their second sex toy aimed at hetero couples want an unobtrusive vibrator to use during PIV sex – the Fin.  Even though I really hated their marketing video for the Fin in their Kickstarter campaign, I began to have hopes that this time they could be better than their atrocious Eva.

This is some of the text from their Kickstarter page. Wouldn’t you, too, be lulled into a trusting sense of goodwill and hope? As a jaded reviewer I found myself saying “YES! THIS!”.

One of the main tradeoffs we identified was dexterity vs. power. If the product isn’t powerful enough, it isn’t worth using; if you can’t maintain dexterity, your movements don’t feel intuitive. Fin’s shape and placement between the fingers prevented the motor from interfering with testers’ natural movements.

We always test with women and couples from all different ages and backgrounds. If it doesn’t bring additional value to the sex lives of real people, we don’t put it on the market.

Vibrators worn on the hand have the potential to be great toys for first-time users, sex toy pros, couples or individuals. However, the market didn’t have a standout finger vibrator that balanced quality and ease of use with a reasonable price.

I thought about this market they speak of, the market of finger vibrators. They’re not wrong in saying that the finger vibrators on the market now are terrible – options include the weak-ass Jopen Key Aries or the pretentious and badly made Jimmyjane Hello Touch – that much I’ll give them. But moments before I was about to publish a different version of this review I read an interview with one of the Dame Products founders over at the NY Times and it changed my mindset. I went from forgiving, hopeful and respectful to “Wow, y’all didn’t do your research and this explains a lot“.  The interview starts off with this (emphasis my own): 

As a product designer, Janet Lieberman often finds flaws in everyday tech devices. This was particularly true when it came to vibrators, which she would spend hours shopping for on Amazon.

“I had always bought cheap vibrators and my bedside drawer was a graveyard for them,” said Ms. Lieberman, 31, who lives in Brooklyn and studied mechanical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “You could replace the batteries but they still would stop working.”

After splurging on a pricey vibrator for a boyfriend’s birthday that also quickly died, she had an aha moment. “I realized there was a need for well-engineered sex toys,” she said. “There’s no real trusted brand and that’s what we’re setting out to be.”

Bone of Contention Number One: If you’re basing your entire opinion of the sex toy market from your experience shopping at Amazon? And mostly battery-powered vibrators, at that? You don’t know enough to make vibrators.

Bone of Contention Number Two: “There’s no real trusted brand” is the biggest line of bullshit I’ve heard in awhile. There are so many trusted brands who do actual good work in creating sex toys that work, and work well, and work for many. Brands that have been around for years. Ms. Lieberman just took a shit all over brands like We-Vibe, Je Joue, Vibratex, Doxy, Tenga, Tantus and even Swan/Jopen. I can’t trust a brand I can’t respect and I can’t respect a brand that tries to elevate itself by throwing everybody else under the bus.

Dame took the nearly $600,000 folks gave them during their Indiegogo campaign for the Eva and made a weak vibrator that failed to deliver on most of their heavy promises for many folks. Yet because people believe the hype and like the promises Dame Products make, Dame must have thought they were still on the right track. They used the nearly $400,000 folks gave them on Kickstarter and, after many prototypes and changes, could only come up with THIS. And THIS? This is not worthy of the $75 price tag. It is not worthy of the heavy promises they once again dished out. But I don’t think I should have expected much to begin with from a company that keeps erroneously, astonishingly, and with the unearned confidence of your average white cis man, making claims about the being first this1 and first that2, most of which is absolutely false.

What I Like About the Dame Fin

I was feeling generous when I wrote the other version of the review. I tried to tone down my salt. While there’s a lot about the Dame Fin, and Dame Products, that angers me there are some aspects of the Fin that I like. The two colors are interesting choices: Jade green and Coral orange which is more Dreamsicle orange than Coral. They’re not gendered colors but from what I’ve learned from seasonsed sex toy manufacturers, they’re not popular colors, either. Also lacking in gender: Most of the language on their Kickstarter campaign. Really happy to see that because this Kickstarter garnered a lot of attention and it showed a lot of muggles something about gender and language.

The underside of the Dame Fin The Dame Fin with the finger holster in place

I also don’t mind the shape of it. One side has a nipple for more pinpoint precision while the other side has a somewhat squishy bit that feels okay.  It is easy to hold and it will be fairly unobtrusive during PIV – something that is really important to a lot of people – so they did pretty well with the design in that aspect. Changing the power levels one-handed though is damn tricky without removing one finger from the sides of the body or swapping fingers. 

Holding the Fin between the tips of your fingers does work a lot better for me as a “finger vibrator” than something like the JimmyJane Hello Touch; it lets me use the same finger motion I’d normally use for manual stimulation. The finger holster helps to keep it between your fingers without fully relying on maintaining a strong finger grip, although it’s removeability feature means it can dislodge easily from the power button it hugs.

This is where I stop being polite, and start getting real. Cue the we’ve-heard-a-noise-in-the-basement-and-we’re-both-goin-down music.

The Dame Fin Is Noisy as Fuck

This is just insulting. This project was crowdfunded to Timbuktu and back; they received nearly $400,000 in pledges, far exceeding their original goal. So I cannot find it in me to understand, and be okay with, the cheap-sounding cringe-worthy rattle.  Lest you think I am exagerrating I recorded this video and can assure you it sounds worse in person. The other vibrator to compare it with is the Crave Flex which is a bit more powerful in use.

 

A post shared by Lilly Delvaux (@lillydelvaux) on

And yes, I wondered if mine was defective but then Grace told me hers sounds exactly the same. Sad trombone. It’s noisy when I’m holding it in various positions and then gets noisier still when you apply any pressure to the softer side of the Fin’s body. You cannot predict which way to hold it to lessen the rattle. It’s like a fun game! Wait, no. I don’t like that game. The bottom line here: A $75 vibrator shouldn’t fucking sound like this. Hell, a $49 vibrator shouldn’t sound like this.

But Is It Powerful?

Dame Fin has three power levels and blessedly no patterns. I mean, holy fuck, can you imagine the noise level on PATTERNS? You’d end up wondering if somebody snuck up behind you with a maracca. The first level is very mild yet rumbling; my hope (still intact by this point) grew because it feels like the beginnings of rumble – nay, the whisper of rumble. The second level kicks it up just slightly while remaining rumbly; my hope continued to grow. Could it be? Could it be rumbly? I had visions of the Fin reaching the first level of the Tango in terms of rumble and intensity. And then, folks, I reached the 3rd and final level. My face fell. My hopes were incinerated. A song was immediately stuck in my head; “Didn’t we almost have it allll my friend?”. Indeed. We almost had it all. The third level of the Fin, you see, suddenly changes. You can still feel an undercurrent of rumble so it’s almost like there’s a second motor in there and this second motor is like a ghost of girlfriends past – I’m reminded of the Eva. I could swear that they just put the Eva motor in there. It doesn’t make sense, it doesn’t seem possible yet I’m at a loss for another way that I could be feeling both buzz and rumble like this.

I know that powerful is subjective. And the Fin is definitely more powerful than the Eva.  I’ve felt worse, many times over. I have no doubt that some of you will find that the Dame Fin is powerful enough for you. And you know what? It’s technically powerful enough for me – I say technically because I did orgasm. That one honestly shocked me. But it apparently lives in the gazebo with the Vesper – between the natural movements of my finger doing the rubbing motion plus the pinpoint precision I was able to weild, a surprise orgasm snuck up on me. I didn’t enjoy using it; it was kinda awkward and physically uncomfortable because of my reach issues.

In trying to find something small and similar in power, I looked at Crave brand. The Crave Vesper is just a bit more powerful; nay, more rumbly. The vibrations I think are deeper and that makes it seem more powerful in comparison than it probably is. The Crave Flex feels a notch or two more powerful in hand. Fin isn’t quite the surface-buzzy bullshit that we saw in the Eva but if the best I can say is “Meh, I’ve felt worse”? I can say it’s not bad but it cannot be called “powerful” – just maybe “powerful enough”.

Dame Fin vs Jopen Key Aries

When asked about how this compares to the similar Jopen Key Aries I decided to pick up an Aries and try it out. Both have a t-shaped finger wedge for resting between two fingers, both are small, etc. The Key Aries is powered by 1 AAA, the body is a little bigger and the button is at the front/back depending I guess on how you hold it. The t-shaped grip is soft, pliable silicone. Compared to the Jopen Key Aries, Dame Fin is a goddamn gem. That’s how bad the Aries is. The surface-buzzy vibrations aren’t worth $15, much less $25. The squidgy silicone finger gripper doesn’t give as much support, and overall it’s less ergonomic. Hey, it’s quiet though.

Dame Fin Needs Work

At this point I’m fed up with Dame Products and I realize this is going to be an unpopular opinion3. I’m not sure why I expect better vibrations simply because both of their crowdfunded projects have been excessively backed, but I do. If the vibrations were better – not utterly useless on the first level and deeper/more intense on the third level – it would raise my opinion.

I keep wibbly-wobbling on which fault is more glaring – the noise or the intensity so we’ll call it a draw. I could deal with the fumbling to change the setting if those two factors improved. I’ll only recommend the Dame Fin if they fix this terrible noise and if you, dear reader, are dead set on the design and don’t need powerful vibrations. Then, and only then, can I be okay with this.

Until that happens I’m gonna point you to the Tango, the Touch, the Flex, or the Jopen Lust L2.5. Or I’ll extol the virtues of repurposing a g-spot vibrator into a PIV-sex clitoral vibrator because the handle keeps your hand farther from the pubic bone and recommend the L’amourose Prism V, the Minamo for something less bone-shaking, or hell even this ultra-affordable egg-on-a-stick.

Thanks to SheVibe for providing me with the Dame Fin in exchange for my honest review.

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  1. Eva is the “first hands-free strap-free” vibrator for PIV sex. Nope, that’s the We-Vibe
  2. I’ve seen interviews where they talk about being the first by-women-for-women company, and nope. Definitely not
  3. I have heard from a number of industry folks who’ve met the duo that they’re lovely and nice, they have ideals and morals we’re not quite yet used to seeing, etc
Jun 202017
 

Womanizer Plus SizeThe Womanizer Plus Size information was up on the Womanizer website for months before I could get my hands on it, but I was excited – a sex toy designed for plus size people?? Could it be?? When I noted last month that the Womanizer Plus Size marketing campaign seemed to be a bit light on “plus size” people a rep for Womanizer made it sound like they weren’t interested in this being something specifically for plus size people1 and in fact the “name is wrong on the site” (i.e. they’re changing a product name after the fact, again) and it’s just going to be called the Womanizer Plus – actually, it’s been styled as Plus (+) which is utter horseshit for SEO. The “Size” is referring to the literal size of the product – it’s longer. I’m pissed about a lot of this, but I’ve already ranted about it.

So yeah – I waited with excited anticipation for months, sure that this would be my favorite Womanizer model. My excitement was dampened a lot when I found out the price would be the same as their high-priced Deluxe / W500 model$219 at SheVibe. Yes I love the Womanizer tech, but, that price is fucking ridiculous.

Womanizer Plus Size Design

I love the longer handle of the Womanizer Plus. LOVE. LOVE. It’s almost perfect. It brings the buttons within easier reach  – most of them.  The buttons you’ll use the most often, the increase and decrease intensity buttons, those are up at the tip of the handle and within easy reach. But if you’ve read my other reviews you’ll remember that Womanizer has had a feature I’ve used extensively – the ability to hit the power button once to quickly bring the intensity back down to the lowest level which allows me to leave the Womanizer in place during orgasm – and even continue using it for a second orgasm without stopping. With the Womanizer Plus Size this feature is mostly useless for me because the power button is placed all the way down at the head – practically out of reach for me. It’s the dumbest design and damn near ruins it.

Womanizer Plus Size vs Womanizer Pro40 vs Womanizer Deluxe W500

Womanizer Plus Motor and Intensity

12 Levels! I worried about this at first – the upper levels are already so incredibly intense!! But instead they’ve added more levels at the lower end. I thought that I was having an off day because I needed to quickly  increase the intensity a lot more levels than I usually can tolerate!

I can’t figure out what the difference could be chalked up to but the sensations feel different. All other Womanizer models that came before it – PRO40, W100, W500/Deluxe – have lower levels that feel gloriously “thuddy” – it’s like a ghost tapping your clitoris2. You could feel each puff of air and it was amazing. But the Womanizer Plus Size feels lighter, less intense and maybe slightly…buzzy? It’s not as annoying as the Satisfyer motor but the change means it takes me longer to get off with the Womanizer Plus Size than with the Womanizer Pro40. I actually prefer the motor on the Pro40.

I still like the Womanizer Plus Size motor over the Satisfyer motor, though. I think that folks who may worry that the intensity could be too much for them should consider this model over other models.

What Else?

The Womanizer Plus Size does come with an additional head, the larger size, like most models do. It also includes a simple drawstring storage pouch. It’s USB-rechargeable but requires a less common charging cable – unlike other versions which are micro-USB ports. This means I have to keep track of another cable.

Looks-wise it’s a more “elegant” design but the overall construction doesn’t feel like a $200+ sex toy – the seams between the plastic pieces, for example. The fact that there’s no travel-lock – or even just low-level accidental-turn-on barriers like requiring a longer press of the power button – also irritates me for the price.

The Good News: That 30-day money-back guarantee that Womanizer has had since the early days does apply to the Womanizer Plus Size – and of course there is a warranty.

Womanizer Plus Size vs Womanizer Pro40Despite how much I love the added length of the Womanizer Plus Size handle I still have to choose the Womanizer Pro40 as my favorite model. I wasn’t expecting that. If the power button on the Plus Size were not down at the head, maybe I’d feel different but I have to go with overall comfort and ergonomics and that makes me lean to the Pro40. Combine that with the better motor and Pro40 having a more manageable retail price, and the choice seems obvious to me. The difference between the two motors is minor, but enough – you’ll only know this if you have them to compare, of course. If you have been waiting for a more accessible (in use if not price) version of the Womanizer and don’t care about the placement of the power button like I do, the Plus could be the one for you. If you can’t bring yourself to spend that kind of dough, however, catch the Womanizer Pro40 when it’s in stock at SheVibe – it seems to be so popular that they’re frequently waiting on new stock! Even with the recent price hike from $99 to $129, the Womanizer Pro40 is much more reasonably priced.

 

Thanks to SheVibe for sending me the Womanizer Plus Size in exchange for my honest review!

Wondering how the Womanizer Plus Size compares to the other “pressure wave” sex toys and other Womanizer models? Check out the Womanizer vs Satisfyer Comparison Guide.

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  1. He claims that their marketing uses “all shapes and sizes” when in fact they do not – there are literally only 2 images of very slightly plus-size folks in ANY of their marketing, and those people appear on the page for the Plus Size. They also seem to use exclusively white folks, as far as I can tell. If I’m being generous I may assume there’s a Latinx in there or two
  2. No, I have never had a ghost tap my clitoris. I’m not sure where I pulled this extremely strange analogy from but I’m sticking to it for reasons I also cannot explain
Jun 112017
 

Crave Bullet Vibe Stainless Steel with Silicone Cap off to the sideSome sex toys are multi-purpose, and others are good for just one thing – the Crave Bullet is a very decent bullet if you’re buying it to replace the short, watch-battery cheap bullets that come with things like cock rings, dildos, etc. But if you’re looking for an external, rechargeable vibrator? You can do better.

The Good

Crave is pushing for this bullet like a bad infomercial: why spend money on all these batteries when you can have just one rechargeable Crave Bullet? I imagine the infomercial would feature folks fumbling with stacking and dropping in the button-sized batteries, or spinning the battery racks at the store looking in vain for the type they need.

Is it better than watch-battery bullets? Yep. It is definitely a decent upgrade in both power and rumble. This isn’t to say it’s a powerhouse, just that it is better than what they’re comparing it to.

Not only is the Crave Bullet made from quality steel, but it’s waterproof, rechargeable and more rumbly and powerful than the bullets it aims to replace. It’s not vastly overpriced if you get the simple silver-tone vs the strange duo-tone or gold-plated version. I can get behind this for a bullet replacement when it’s priced at $59, but not at $99. It is really well-made, though. I’m impressed.

The inset button means that this Bullet won’t get accidentally turned on whether it’s floating in your bag or you’re trying to push the bullet inside the cavity of a vibrating butt plug. Smart!

The Bad

The motor isn’t perfect for me even though it is probably identical to the Vesper motor. What worked about the Vesper, for me, was the slender, super-pinpoint nature and warm heat function. When you put the same motor in the less-pinpoint Bullet it feels a bit “less” to me, and I have to work harder to get off with it.  I’m sure you’re wondering:  why is the motor “bad”? Isn’t it just bad for me, Lilly, but maybe it’s great for you, dear reader? Very good question, I’m so glad you asked!

While the Crave Bullet is a really decent upgrade in strength from the cheap watch-battery bullets it still doesn’t have the oomph to travel through a lot of silicone. I put it inside a Tantus vibrating dildo and was instantly underwhelmed with the vibrations traveling through the silicone dildo. If you’re using this is in something much smaller like a cock ring or prostate massager / butt plug? It’s an upgrade you can feel. I put also put this in the Tantus Prostate Play and, while it’s still a lot less powerful and rumbly than some rechargeable, vibrating items on the market, it was an upgrade over the included bullet from Tantus.

You sensed a “but”, right? Here’s the “but”:  Yes it’s an upgrade but there’s already an upgrade on the market which is loads better – the Tango. Unfortunately, I cannot help comparing all rechargeable bullets to my ultimate love, the We-Vibe Tango. Tango performs really well when replacing a bullet in another sex toy, and should be your choice if the sex toy takes the longer Tantus bullets or the Rocks Off RO-80mm bullet.  Why? Well, you ideally want a bullet that fills the whole cavity in the sex toy, for maximum performance and maximum vibration transference. The Screaming O Vooom, pictured below in pink, I think is also meant to replace these little bullets but it’s just a little bit too chunky to fit in the cavity of most sex toys. That said, the Screaming O Vooom is considerably more powerful and rumbly than the Crave Bullet – Still no Tango, but hey.

L to R: Tantus 1 Speed, Crave, Screaming O Vooom, Tango, Tantus 3 Speed (RO-80mm)

L to R: Tantus 1 Speed, Crave, Screaming O Vooom, Tango, Tantus 3 Speed (RO-80mm)

The Strange

The Crave Bullet comes with a silicone half-sleeve. They recommend donning this sleeve when you use it externally; for the texture improvement, supposedly. Yet a “feature” of the Crave Bullet is that it heats up. A heated vibrator can help wake up a sleepy clitoris, but only if the silicone sleeve is left off. Otherwise, you won’t feel the heat much.

You would expect the entire bottom portion, especially the tip, to vibrate evenly, right? I would. But the Crave Bullet has stronger vibrations along the sides than the flat tip. If you look at this design and see yourself applying the flat tip to yourself, you’ll want to look elsewhere. If you think you’d like to use the edge of the tip, probably still look elsewhere – unless of course you don’t need a ton of power. If you prefer mild-to-moderate vibrators, this motor will be just fine for you.

Which Sex Toys are Compatible?

I wanted to find out at least a partial list of sex toys that take a similarly sized bullet. According to customer support at Crave:

“The Crave bullet is designed to fit products that accept a standard size plastic bullet which is generally less than 65mm in length. We do not have a specific product list of items that fit Crave bullet since the plastic bullet is a common size. If a product will accept a standard plastic bullet it will fit the Crave bullet.”

After speaking with SheVibe and Tantus, though, I have a better idea with specific suggestions. Vamp Silicone dildos do occasionally come as a vibrating dildo, and they use the smaller bullets. SheVibe currently doesn’t have any in stock, but may in the future. Vixen Creations is the same; one current example is the Leo or Mistress. Fuze seems to be compatible as well. You’ll also run into this bullet size in vibrating cock rings, but for this kind of money you’d be better off just upgrading to a rechargeable cock ring.

 

Thanks to SheVibe for sending me the Crave Bullet in exchange for my honest, if picky, review.

 

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Jun 072017
 

Maybe I’m off my game. Maybe I’m too optimistic, but I really wanted the HIKY to be good. I thought that it could combine the sensations of the Womanizer with the appeal of a traditional vibrator so that folks could always find something to like about it. I scoffed at the terms “suction” and “vacuum” because I’ve seen those terms used to describe the Womanizer or Satisfyer and have been told they’re inaccurate for those items (and have never felt either applied, personally, either). I didn’t expect to end up screaming, terrified and fearing literal bloodshed.

Yes, I truly mean literally, unlike half of the people on social media these days.

Update before we get much farther: I couldn’t find any other reviews, at first, of this sex toy so the owners of SheVibe were going to test it for themselves to see if the clit-trap issue was unique to me or a true flaw with the toy. That’s above-and-beyond, folks. But then a Danish reviewer commented on my IG post and said she had the same thing happen to her! Google translate is awful so I’m not sure if it happened to her because the battery also died out during use, or what, but one other report of this problem was enough for SheVibe to pull it from their site. They don’t fuck around with their customers safety, and that’s one reason I love them so.

HIKY is the second time I’ve tried a true clitoral suction toy; the first being the not-a-sex-toy Fiera Arouser. HIKY and Fiera are such opposites – Fiera was so mild you weren’t sure anything was happening, while HIKY can’t be ignored. At first, HIKY was delivering unpleasant suck-and-release pulses. The suction didn’t feel arousing and the release was reminiscent of when someone uses their thumb and forefinger to flick you – sharp and painful. I started blindly fiddling with the out-of-sight buttons and eventually turned on the vibrating portion of the clitoral head. Also, I tried to get a better seal, I think? I’m not entirely sure – I wasn’t paying strict attention to what I was doing because this was just a quick trial run and I was curious. But then we moved from suck-and-release to straight suction and things got dicey.

The motor died out and quit during the suction action, and suddenly the HIKY was stuck to my genitals like a mechanical lamprey.  I tried to rock the HIKY to one side to release the painful suction; nothing happened but a feeling of intense pulling on my clitoris. I tried to gently push down on my vulva, using my fingers, near the vacuum hole to release pressure. Nothing happened. The pain increased. I couldn’t tell if the suction was increasing despite the motor being off or if my panic and pain just made it seem that way. I had flashes of That Scene where someone sticks their tongue against a frozen metal pole. The pain of trying to pry the HIKY off of my clitoris was intense and frightening – I truly thought I was going to cause actual damage to myself. The two minutes my clit was in this Chinese fingertrap of a sex toy felt like an hour. My husband was outside mowing the lawn; I thought I was going to have to waddle to the back door with the HIKY dangling from my vulva like a rotted dick and somehow get his attention to come help me. Luckily, I managed to remove it myself.

Silly me for doing a quick test before errands! The car ride was pretty uncomfortable for another half hour or so. I’d been wondering if the name was pronounced “hike-y” or “hickey” and now my days of wondering are gone – pretty sure I landed myself an uncomfortable suction bruising.

Unlike many sex toys on the market over $75, the HIKY has no exaggerrated set of warnings for use. I don’t know if the unit is defective, if I fucked up, or the whole shebang should be wiped from existence because nobody fucking prototype-tested this abomination. I have a feeling that the suck-and-release stopped releasing as the battery started dying on me suddenly – and it died in the suction part of the cycle, leaving me literally stuck. The vacuum suction of the HIKY should ideally have a release valve for situations like mine, yet it doesn’t. Every other vacuum suction pump on the market, even the cheapest CalExotics model, has a release valve.

Because maybe this hasn’t deterred you; maybe you enjoy having your clitoris hoovered into oblivion or maybe you feel certain I was Doing It Wrong and you’ll perfect it – so I do need to tell you about the other features the HIKY has (or, doesn’t have).

Soft, silicone mouth

I have a small clitoral head and not a lot of hood exposed, combined with fat outer labia and minimal inner labia. Due to the width of the suction side (2ish inches) and how flat it is I had to spread my outer labia to a point of discomfort plus smush everything down like an unruly cowlick. They talk about the “mouth” almost like it’s a Fleshlight mouth, but don’t get your hopes up. It’s “soft” in the way powdery, smooth skin is “soft”, not plush squishy soft.

Internal vibrator

They promised strong vibrations and failed to deliver. I’m not exactly surprised because pretty much every vibrator company promises riduclously strong vibrations and only a few brands have lived up to their promises. I like a g-spot vibrator to have a larger head than the body but the HIKY is shaped very much like an antique carved horn. They don’t give you much room to work with if you want to insert it and still have access to the buttons. The width goes from 1″-2″ but you’ll never get to 2″ if you stop short of the buttons. Holding it this way is also incredibly uncomfortable and even with the buttons outside of the vagina, they’re hard to reach.

Pinpoint external vibrator

Please, stop, you’re embarassing yourself. The carved-horn design should in theory mean that the insertable end also works well as a more pinpoint, external vibrator except that the vibrations are, again, underwhelming. It’s not reason enough to buy this sex toy. It’s them trying to squeeze out as many jobs as possible, like a really bad infomercial – because we all know it’s not worth it to have single-job tools that do their job well, ho no. The world needs more mediocre does-everything-but-wash-your-clothes tools, right?

The "mouth" of the HIKY

I’m at the point in my sex toy reviewing career where, to be honest, I often don’t even have to use a vibrator multiple times to get a really good understanding of it and know my opinion. But I do it anyways because our bodies are different day-to-day and maybe mine was having a cranky day. But this time I won’t be using the HIKY again. Nope. It’s possible that what happened to me was a one-off and that my clitoris will never again be stuck but the trauma of that event was intense and I cannot bring myself to test this again for you – I can definitely say that I disliked it even before it tried to swallow part of my genitals and I feel very certain with my assertion that you shouldn’t buy this.  If you want air pulses, get a Womanizer. If you want a vibrator, get a vibrator – L’amourose Prism V is awesome for both external and internal use. If you want to explore clit pumps, get something silicone like this. Do NOT get this one from CalExotics (also called the Clitopatra elsewhere), reports say it’s also dangerous. Just don’t buy the HIKY. Given my experience SheVibe removed this from their site, because they don’t like to stock sex toys that can harm you (for obvious reasons). If you’re coming to this review and considering purchasing it elsewhere, well….I just can’t give you my blessing. There are a lot of sex toys on the market that I’d recommend before the HIKY which I like about as much as I liked the Rockbox Finger.

 

Thanks to SheVibe for giving me the HIKY in exchange for this review whose purpose will serve to warn and protect and also ensure that my top 10 worst sex toys list next year will have worthy entries.

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Feb 072017
 

Satisfyer 2 Review

This is my 3rd Satisfyer review in as many days and I feel like the Satisfyer 2’s theme song should be “I Can’t Get No (Satisfaction)”. Due to my love of the Womanizer PRO40, in large part because of the up and down intensity navigation buttons, you would think that I’d be recommending the Satisfyer 2 over the Satisfyer 1 (or any Satisfyer model), right?  However, button placement is equally important to me and if I can’t hold the thing ergonomically/easily and still access the buttons in use, what good are they? This, my dear readers, was my biggest disappointment in the Satisfyer 2. Before I got it in my hands I was excited that least one Satisfyer model was made “right” but then they proved that there’s no prototyping or research done before they pick a strange design. If someone had done research they would have understood how dumb is it to have these buttons alllll the way down at the bottom (head). Oddly, though, I still find the Satisfyer 2 is slightly easier to hold and control than the Womanizer Deluxe W500.

Compared to the Satisfyer 1, the Satisfyer 2 is a few dollars more and also powered by 2 AAA batteries. The batteries, and the pressure-wave function, are where the similarities end. They couldn’t be more different!

Pro/Con List

The Satisfyer 2 has a gender-neutral color scheme that at first, I liked – I admit, I’m a sucker for copper accents. I like rosy, champagne-gold colors. But overall, the more I looked at it, the boxy Satisfyer 2 controlsdesign and color scheme is very 1970s-basement-rec-room. If you squint, it can look like the Nike logo or a straight-stem pipe. As I’ve already bitched about right out of the gate, those damn navigation buttons are down by the head vs farther up the handle. The buttons don’t have a bright, LED glow, so, hey, that’s a plus.

But the Satisfyer 2 is also the loudest of the bunch, by far. The Satisfyer 1, Satisfyer Pro 2 (updated), Satisfyer Pro Penguin and terrible Satisfyer Pro Deluxe all purr like a kitten compared to the clunky Satisfyer 2. Even when the nozzle is completely covered up and sealed, the Satisfyer 2 rattles loudly enough to make you cringe in a quiet house. If discretion during use is important to you, definitely do not go with this model.

Bigger Nozzle

Satisfyer 2 nozzleCompared to the Satisfyer Pro Penguin and Pro Deluxe, this nozzle seems large. Yet compared to the pillow-y style of the Satisfyer Pro 2 or Satisfyer 1, it seems small (and definitely small compared to the Womanizer). When we go by caliper measurements, though, the inside diameter of this nozzle seems to be the biggest of the bunch. You’ll see these numbers in the chart in the Comparison Guide. This larger opening can be good for folks with a larger clitoris OR for folks who want to be sure the nozzle head doesn’t touch the sides of their clitoris. I have nearly no inner labia and a small, buried clitoris; the nozzle on the Satisfyer 2 wasn’t uncomfortable but I did struggle a little to get a good seal. When I did? Whoa, baby.

Luckily I haven’t had issues with this nozzle coming loose easily, like I do with the Satisfyer Pro Penguin or Pro Deluxe.

The Motor

Proof that the batteries don’t matter, the Satisfyer 2’s motor is way more intense than the Satisfyer 1; in fact, it ranks up there with the most intense motor of all models. Only the Satisfyer Pro 2 can compete (under water, the Satisfyer Pro 2 beats the Satisfyer 2 by a lot). Perhaps because the distance from tip of the nozzle to back of the body is bigger than most models, it does feel more “thuddy” and gives stronger “tapping” sensations on the low to medium settings, while still devolving into manic, white noise at the upper-most levels of intensity in true Satisfyer fashion.

When you have a motor this intense it feels even more necessary to have those extra buttons that allow you to navigate the intensity settings in both directions, versus pushing a single button 20 times to get back down to level 2 if you find level 3 is too much for you. Even though the power button sometimes acts up and is non-responsive, the dual navigation buttons respond to an easy touch, which is a plus.

Other Quirks and Thoughts

Satisfyer’s ad copy states that this model “cannot be missing from any toiletry bag”. At 7 inches long, that’s gonna take up a lot of room in a toiletry bag! I’m also not sure what the difference in build quality is between the Satisfyer 2 and 1, but the batteries tend to rattle around in the Satisfyer 2. This may lend a bit to the overall noise level.

I’m disappointed in this version, but I’m also being incredibly picky. If the noise factor and button location doesn’t bother you, and you really feel that you, like me, need the extra plus and minus intensity navigation buttons, this is a begrudging green-light to buy this if you can’t yet afford the superior Womanizer PRO40.  I will forever curse the button placement on the Satisfyer 2 because it coulda been a contender.

If you’d like more detailed comparisons between all Womanizer and Satisfyer models, as well as detailed specs on this and every model, head over to the Womanizer vs Satisfyer Comparison Guide:

Womanizer vs Satisyfer Comparison Guide

tl;dr:  Yay: Dual navigation buttons plus a power button; very intense Meh: Takes 2 AAA, not included; nozzle may be a bit large for some. Nay: Loud as fuck, buttons are terribly placed, body is not ergonomic to hold and is very long.

Better than: Satisfyer Pro Deluxe, Womanizer Deluxe (W500)
Worse than: Womanizer PRO40, Satisfyer 1, Womanizer W100
On Par with: Satisfyer Pro Penguin, Satisyfer Pro 2

 

Thanks to Shevibe for sending me the Satisfyer 2 in exchange for my honest review. There are many retailers you can shop with but I recommend Shevibe over them all; they have the best customer service and overall pricing/selection. They’ve been in business for over 10 years and can be relied upon for discreet shipping!

 

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 Posted by at 7:06 am