Apr 302017
 

Sensevibe Warm with charging caseThe SenseVibe Warm had a strange advantage right out of the gate: You all know how picky I am, but did you know that there’s one thing that can pique my interest despite all jaded misgivings? 

Cool storage.

Yeah, I know, I know. But I like cases, pouches, bags and totes. I’ve been suckered into buying makeup I don’t need because it’s a kit and comes with cool storage. I’ve fallen for this marketing trick in the past with sex toys; I’d gleefully gone after the long-deceased Topco Vida line because it came with a pocketed pouch AND a mini zippered train-case-style bag only to be massively disappointed in the quality of, well, everything about the set. I even felt swayed a little by the Barbie pink Womanizer case because it was handy and functional and had pockets. Pockets make everything better, yes?? YES.

Casing the Joint

The SenseMax SenseVibe charges through a closed case for discretion – plug the case in (thankfully using standard micro-USB) and then lay the vibe inside the case and shut the lid. If I had to find a complaint about the case it would be that the magnets holding the lid shut aren’t strong enough to use this as a travel carrying case. If it gets turned upside down or jostled in your bag the vibrator will just fall out. For stationary purposes, though, it’s a good case. The vibe nestles in there perfectly, yet is easy to pluck out.

The SenseVibe Warm and open charging case

Since you’re buying a vibrator, though, and not a storage case, I hate to tell you this (spoiler alert): the case is the best attribute of the SenseVibe for me. I wanted to like this vibrator; even though I was pretty certain it wouldn’t fit my anatomy, I still could have loved it for people who aren’t me. Alas.

Shopping in the Petite Department

The SenseVibe is designed and marketed as a dual-stimulation G-spot & clitoral vibrator. Since vulvas come in various configurations there are definitely some folks out there whose clitoris is close enough to their vaginal opening for this design to possibly work. You have to know this about yourself to know if this is gonna work for you, and the Sensevibe’s clitoral nub is definitely way too short for me. Combine the shortness with a lack of flex in any way in the clitoral nub AND the fact that the nub aims away from the clitoris and it feels like it’s going to work only for a specific portion of the population – those with a clitoris close to the vaginal opening who also don’t need super-rumbly powerful vibrations externally. I was able to angle the vibe to get close-ish to my clitoris and provide the pressure I need but then the internal arm was pressing against the rear vaginal wall and away from my g-spot. Not good.

Comparing the SenseVibe to the L'amourose Denia

If you like the idea of a base that doesn’t put the buttons 2 inches away from your body but feel that the base of the L’amourose Rosa/Denia may be too chunky and cumbersome, then the design of the SenseVibe would be right up your alley if everything else lines up. There’s not much to hold on to with the Sensevibe, but it’s within easier reach. If I angled the Sensevibe so that it makes contact with my g-spot, making the clitoral nub far enough away from my body to allow for a smaller clitoral vibe to also be used, I could use this as a g-spot vibrator. I’m all for using sex toys outside of the prescribed use but only if it does the job as well as or better than other things that are otherwise designed for the job. I feel like there are better g-spot-specific vibrators on the market that won’t get in the way of whatever clitoral vibe you want to use.

Sizewise the shaft is a bit petite – larger than the Prism V, smaller than Rosa or Denia yet it lacks that obscene curve or pronounced head that my g-spot likes best. For me, it’s the very definition of “meh”. Tepid. Neither offensive or awesome.

Captain Crunch

There’s a good amount of flex at the base of the internal shaft, much like the L’amourose Rosa or Denia. It can flex in any direction. Even though I really like rigid things up against my g-spot (which makes me prefer the L’amorouse Prism V over my first love, the Rosa Rouge, for g-spot stimulation), I really like flex action for dual-stimulation vibrators to ensure a wider range of fit. However…there’s a disconcerting crinkle-y crunch-y sound when I flex the SenseVibe – and I’m certain I’m not purposely over-flexing it. It concerns me for longevity reasons, primarily. I’m worried about what exactly is causing this sound and will repeated flexings cause a wire to dislodge or break or something? I don’t know. It does have a one-year warranty, though this is a seemingly new company.

You Push the Button, We do the Rest1

The travel lock on the buttons is nice, and a feature that is shared by L’amourose; there are no seams and it is 100% silicone on the exterior, so it is waterproof.

The center button only changes modes2 but there is no “rapid off” feature – you just press the minus button until the vibrations work their way down the scale to nothing. Note: According to the minimalist user manual that is literally part of the box, you should be able to press and hold either the minus or center button to get it to turn off, but this has yet to work out for me. Similar to the L’amourose Rosa Rouge, though, you CAN press and hold the center button to allow the internal shaft to warm up before you start using it.

Speaking of buttons; since they control the motor I’m gonna say that this is the best section to briefly compare and contrast the vibrations. The internal shaft is damn near as rumbly as the L’amourose Denia or Rouge motor – a hair less intense overall (but still quite powerful). It feels more rumbly than That Brand I Won’t Recommend. Like many dual-motor vibrators, there can be dissonance when both motors are running, leaving you with this weird semi-pulsating feel that can be distracting to some. Because the vibrations in the clitoral nub aren’t very strong I don’t feel much vibration in my hand when holding it.  There is one faintly glittering star in this cloudy sky: The vibrators of the clitoral nub aren’t buzzy and numbing. They may not be nearly enough for me but they’re not awful.

It Coulda Been a Contender

I admittedly have a hard time reviewing sex toys completely of their own merit and not comparing them to what I currently own. Would I be this nitpicky if I hadn’t tried the L’amourose line, or the We-Vibe Nova? Price is playing a factor here, too, because the SenseVibe starts at $129 for the “Classic” version. Many folks can only afford a couple sex toys of this cost in their lifetime.

While I know that many people feel that the dual-stimulation, or “rabbit”, vibe is the Holy Grail because it’s two sex toys in one, I hate them because each one is fairly unlikely to hit all your spots unless you have created 3D life-size cast of your vulva AND vagina and know for sure that the measurements will line up for you. So I’m really confused about SenseMax’s decision to only make a dual-stimulation vibe AND for it to have such a short clitoral stimulation section which cannot be adjusted in any way for better fit. I really enjoy the powerful, rumbling vibrations of the internal shaft and I like the button placement over the L’amourose Rosa or Denia. But these two things, plus the charging case, aren’t enough for me to love this vibrator. I can love a vibrator with some flaws, and this is not a bad vibrator but it doesn’t make me want to write poetry about it.

Comparing the SenseVibe to the L'amourose Rosa and Denia

So far SheVibe only carries one item from SenseMax, the SenseVibe (Classic or Warm). I went to the SenseMax website to find out more about their products and it seems the brand is heavily leaning towards virtual reality stuff with their masturbator, wristband (???) and VR goggles. There is an app, Sense Lovers, but it is strangely not in the Google Play app store. The company explains that “unfortunately due to the nature of the content on the app we are not able to be listed in either app store. We sincerely hope Apple and Google will soon reconsider their attitudes towards adult entertainment.” And I’m confused. There are apps for We-Vibe, Ohmibod, and more. Exactly how is the Sense Lovers App so different that not even Google Play store will allow it? I wasn’t willing to find out because I’m not a fan of installing apps outside of the app store, which is what is required here. I also don’t like using apps with my sex toys, so it’s no loss to me on this one. 

In the end, I don’t feel like I can recommend the SenseVibe Warm to most people. Sure, the SenseVibe Warm is much more reasonably priced ($149) than the L’amourose Rouge Denia ($209) BUT the L’amourose Denia has a design I can enjoy with rumbling motors on both shafts and I feel it’s likely to fit a larger percentage of folks. Since the warming feature is only present on the internal arm of the SenseVibe Warm I feel like if you’re considering this design you should just opt for the less expensive SenseVibe Classic, priced at $129. The heat isn’t enough to really feel when it’s in your vag – it didn’t earn the slang term “hot box” for nothing-  but the heat on the shaft is lovely when used externally. Again, though, it’s not comfy or logical to use it that way. SenseMax could definitely be on the map for rumbling, powerful vibrators if only they could improve and expand their designs.

Also: No, I don’t know why it’s called the SenseVibe. There is no “sensing” of anything here. There’s no AI, no VR, it’s just a vibrator and I’m really confused.

 

Many thanks to SheVibe for sending me this in exchange for my very honest review. I feel like the brand is on the cusp of perhaps branching out into something really cool, so keep an eye on SenseMax.

 

Save

Save

  1. Quote attributed to George Eastman
  2. You can have both motors on, or just internal or just external, and then the rest of the settings employ various patterns which I’ve naturally skipped
Jan 152017
 

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

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

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

Out of the Box

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

The Sola Pip Motor

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

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

The Remote

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

Ehhh…No

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

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

 

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

  1. At first you won’t believe that’s where you shove the pin, but I promise, it is. And yes, afterward the silicone there does look “pierced” and different, but it’s also still waterproof. I dropped the egg into a large glass of water while it was running and it escaped unharmed
  2. because of my vulva and the way I was sitting to use it like this, there was a decent amount of pressure put on the egg, ergo rumble-dampening
  3. yes it’s powerful but slow down bucko, you’re not winning awards
Nov 272016
 

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

Tracy’s Dog – A Brand I Do Not Trust

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

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

51xasgt4mjl

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

*sigh*

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

tracysdogbox tracysdogbox2

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

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

tracysdogburn tracysdogburn2 tracysdogburn3

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

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

I Won’t Trust a Brand Who Lies

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

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

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

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

35under35small

 

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

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

 

Nov 202016
 

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

Finally! More Power!

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

If a Sex Toy and PlayDoh Made a Baby

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

Other Improvements

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

Connectivity Still Sucks

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

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

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

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

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

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

  1. humor me here
Aug 282016
 

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

 

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

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

Dorr Silker brochure

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

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

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

Lost in Translation

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

It shouldn’t be this hard to figure out.

Dorr Silker - Back of the Box Dorr Silker charger

But the Good Bits! There are Good Bits!

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

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

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

The Dorr Line

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

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

 

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

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