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
May 082016
 

JimmyJane Intro 4 and 6 with the Form 4 in the backgroundYou know how I feel about JimmyJane so you’re wondering right now why on earth I’m reviewing part of the new JimmyJane Intro line, yes? Well it was suggested by a trusted friend that I check them out, especially because of the price point – which has always been a sticking point with me when it comes to JimmyJane. I just don’t feel that the Form line is worth their price tag. So when JJ came out with these new Intro vibrators I felt that I just had to give them a chance. At $391 for the most expensive version – a battery-powered Form 2 (which they’ve so originally called the Intro 2) – the line is affordable and “simple”. But so many vibrators right at (or under) the $35 mark can have lackluster vibrations or flaws I can’t overlook, so we already know that this will be a tough battle. However with a clean slate – past grievances momentarily forgotten – I ripped the JimmyJane Intro 4 and Intro 6 from their packages and hastily turned them on. I tried brand-new name brand oomphy batteries as well as the nonames included in the box.

Here’s Me Trying to be Objective and Nice

JimmyJane is certainly not the first “luxury” sex toy company to come out with a more affordable line. Lelo did it first with Picobong; with one exception I remained largely unimpressed – Picobong is kinda overpriced and has horribly placed controls and terrible cap-handles. Despite the fact that I hate the design flaws of Picobong, and their price points, the Picobong Moka is stronger than the JimmyJane Intro 4 or 6. Picobong Moka also takes 2 AAA batteries like the JimmyJane Intro 4 and 6 do, so it’s not the batteries holding back such a motor.

The JimmyJane Intro 4 has a weird shape, much like the JimmyJane Form 4 but the Intro 4 is even more weird for my body. It’s straight with an hourglass-like shape that doesn’t do anything for me. The shape of the JimmyJane Intro 6 is much better, and much more universal. So I wanted to like it, honest to Pete I wanted to like it. And in hand the vibrations aren’t BAD. I’ve felt worse. They seem to come pretty close to the Boom Olive and the OVO K2 Rabbit‘s internal arm is a bit more powerful and rumbly.  I was definitely kinda disappointed and underwhelmed when I first turned on the Intro 6 but I’d been expecting more rumbly vibrations. I also wish that both the Intro 4 and Intro 6 were a little longer. However these are waterproof, and able to be submerged a little bit (1 meter).  So if you want a cheap, bathtime vibe and don’t need power, this is a decent option – especially since bathtime is the only time the silicone will be clean.

The cap on the Intro 4 or 6 doesn’t come off easily during use, and the single button is in a good place. I have enough room to rest a finger on the end for added grip and leverage while trusting without turning the vibe on or off.  This is good. Nothing horrid, so far, right? I mean I could totally do without it existing, but this isn’t the hate-filled tear-down I’ve given them numerous times in the past.

This Fucking Silicone Though

OVO is around the same price for battery-powered pieces and their silicone covering is so much better.  Smooth and silky, it doesn’t attract dust, dirt or fur. The same can be said for the Boom line, or Picobong (which is even silkier than the Ovo K2). But Jimmyjane Intro is covered in that grabby-draggy sort of silicone that manages to attract more dust and fur than a Swiffer. Lube is fairly necessary for most people to comfortably use the Intro line.

I love the navy blue and wine colors, but they don’t make up for a silicone that cannot be used without cleaning first. The picture below shows the Picobong Moka and the Intro 4. I’d recently washed off the Intros for their photoshoot but after a mere 15 minutes any dust in the air landed on the Intros and any cat fur on me ran for the Intros like metal shavings to a magnet.

JimmyJaneIntroDUST

Let’s Not Get Too Excited

I’ve been told on good authority that the JimmyJane Intro 1 should be passed over – weaker than the 4 and 6, it’s kinda useless. Having avoided the polarizing Form 2, I didn’t ask for the Intro 2 so I can’t comment on how the Intro 2 compares. Unless you prefer a straight vibrator, I think that the only one in this line that I could half-heartedly recommend is the Intro 6. I think that the Picobong Moka has much nicer vibrations, but it’s also $20 more for no damn good reason. I think that the Ovo F3 has a sorta-similar shape to the Intro 6, same price point, with ever-so-slightly better vibrations, plus nicer feeling/cleaner material. 

We’re all wondering how the vibrations compare to the JimmyJane Forms, right? I’ve hung on to my Form 4 and here’s how it breaks down: the Form 4 has 5 levels of intensity. Level 3 on the Form 4 is equal to high (level 3) on the Intro 4 and 6. Level 4 on the Form 4 is equal to OVO F line. Level 5 on the Form 5 is about the same as the Picobong Moka. If the motor on the Form 4 never went past 3 then I would swear to you that the motors in the Form 4 and Intro 4 and 6 are identical; the vibration “tone” and level of rumbly is identical.

I don’t hate the JimmyJane Intro 6, but I am far from loving it. How hard would it have been to get a motor that is rumbly or just a smidge more powerful? How hard would it have been to use a better silicone? A little extra rumble goes a long way and if JimmyJane really wants me to believe that this motor is the absolute best they could do for a $492 vibrator (bitch, please) then we need to have a chat. It can be done, I know it can be done. I’m sure that the motor on the Blush Nude Impressions isn’t what makes it cost $49, it’s the rechargeable aspect. The motor in the Picobong Moka is proof – it probably doesn’t cost more to include, it’s that Lelo likes to overcharge for everything. I just will not accept that at $49/35 THIS is the best we can do in terms of power and rumble. My Doc Johnson Black Magic Bullet is proof of that to me. It seems that I am destined to dislike the motor in every single JimmyJane item.

I would possibly recommend the Intro 6 as a first vibrator for someone only if they are apprehensive about vibrations in general – if they can already orgasm *fairly* easily from fingers or tongues, then this is perhaps enough. I very much dislike the notion that everybody’s first vibrator needs to be either the overrated Magic Wand (an 11 on the scale) or something mild / tame. Where are the simple, affordable vibrators that have rumbly-ish vibrations which go from mild to spicy? I guess it just depends on your level of affordability, but I won’t stop trying to find something under $40 that is great. I just don’t think the JimmyJane Intro 6, or Intro 4, are good enough. I don’t think that JimmyJane deserves the vast amount of praise and accolades I’ve read lately; this line isn’t groundbreaking. It is not unique. If I could compare it to something, it’s like this Michael Kors bag I got off of a tag sale group on Facebook that is a knockoff – the big logo plate on it is cheesy and clearly not real, especially when you compare it to a real Michael Kors bag. The knockoff is still leather and still a nice bag, don’t get me wrong. The Intro line doesn’t look bad, but it makes the Form line look downright posh.

 

Many thanks to SheVibe for indulging my whims and sending me these vibrators in exchange for my brutally honest review, and especially for not sending me the day-glo pink variety. Also, gratitude to Shevibe for pricing the Intro line at a reasonable amount, rather than following JimmyJane’s grabby-hands prices as listed on their homepage.

  1. Keep in mind I’m quoting the very-reasonable SheVibe prices here – the prices at JJ’s site are an appalling $59 for the Intro 2, $49 for the Intro 6 which is just fucking insulting
  2. The Jimmyjane price because if I’m gonna rant here, I might as well go hard
Feb 232016
 

Fun Factory Jazzie vibratorThe Fun Factory Jazzie is just one of my upcoming reviews this year focused on being more inclusive of budgets; of trying to find something that’s decent and affordable. But sometimes there’s not a lot you can say about a sex toy. I find that I can talk more about a vibrator than a dildo, but when I’m kinda neutral about a sex toy then it’s really hard to write about it. And that’s how it is with the Fun Factory Jazzie: this is going to be a quick review because the vibrator is very “entry-level” and simplistic; which isn’t a bad thing, it’s just a thing, and it’s not my thing.

Who the Fun Factory Jazzie is Best Suited For

This is firmly a vibrator for someone who knows they want moderate (some might even call these gentle) vibrations and a slender insertable. I have felt vibrators that are even more gentle than this, so it’s not something I’d consider completely worthless. Fun Factory calls it powerful, but it’s not. Not the weakest sauce on the block, but on a scale of 1-10 I’d put it firmly at 4, maaaaaybe 4.5. Given the other things I currently have at 5 on my scale, I don’t feel it’s quite a 5. I could personally never orgasm with this, but I knew that going in. I think the vibrations are better suited for external stimulation because what’s there is dampened quite a bit when inserted, while the Jazzie as a whole is nice introduction to vaginal penetration. The silicone has a little bit of give, but not very much. It’s also got a bit of drag so play it safe by making sure you have lube on hand.

The Good

I’ve felt worse vibrations. I know that doesn’t sound like high praise, but it’s the truth. I’ve felt better out of 2 AA’s and I’ve felt worse. The size and shape are really great for someone new to penetration; it’s easy to operate and it’s quiet no matter which way you turn the vibrator. Everyone who has owned a cheap, plastic vibe knows what I’m talking about – you hold it one way and the noise level isn’t too bad but then you angle it a little different and it’s like the vibrating motor head is banging right up against the plastic wall of the vibrator and you’re damn certain everyone can hear the thing.

It’s waterproof, even though it doesn’t look like it would be. The Fun Factory Jazzie is $29.99 – not the cheapest vibrator, but for something covered in slightly squishy silicone, this is decent. This will remain on my 35-under-$35 round-up list.

The Not So Good

There’s only one speed. You’d better love it, because there’s only one. I don’t think it would have created a higher-priced vibrator to include a few more intensity levels – one to build up to and yes, even one a little more powerful. I’ve felt some decently strong vibrations from just 2 AA’s, so I know it’s possible. I don’t like how Fun Factory advertises it as powerful, because that feels a little misleading. There’s definitely a market for moderate vibrations – not everyone is a power queen, so why not just own up to what you are? You’ll make the sales of people who want a moderate or gentle vibrator and not disappoint the ones actually looking for something powerful.

The silicone, like all Fun Factory silicone, is a huge dust & pet fur magnet. In fact if you find yourself in a pinch and need a lint roller for your sweater or your pants, at your ankles, where the cats like to lean, this will work nicely. Just a quick rinse under water cleans the fur for another swipe. If you own a cat or dog or bunny, pretty much anything the sheds a lot, be prepared to eventually get a hair or two inside your vagina unless you limit your usage with this to the shower. For the photos I rinsed it off and carried it to the window I would photograph it near and I swear it attracted fur that was on my shirt.

How it Compares

At home I have the OVO D4 and it seems to be a bit more powerful than the Fun Factory Jazzie, so I think that the slender OVO D1 would be comparable to the D4 and also something affordable to consider. Jazzie is actually more powerful than the Tenga Iroha Minamo, but the Minamo is a bit more slender at the tip and is much more soft, without any drag at all to the silicone. Of course the Minamo is nearly $100 more, because of the premium silicone and the fact that it’s rechargeable. My Picobong Moka is nearly twice as powerful than the Jazzie, but noisier, too. The Zizo would be a little closer to the size of the Jazzie and the same motor as Moka but it’s twice the cost and has an infuriating cap-handle.

Pay Attention to the Cap

At first I thought mine was dead, but it turned out I had the cap on backwards. You *can* put it on backwards; it fits, and it closes. It might be wise to put it on backwards if you wanna toss it in your bag but don’t want to remove the batteries. But it won’t work unless the Fun Factory logo is on the same side as the little (hard to see) Off – On – Open. Yes, it turns on and off just by twisting the cap, like the cheap pocket rockets.

funFactoryJazzieCap

Similarly, you can get the Fun Factory Joupie which is the same motor and concept, just a different style. The pokey looking head would be good for pinpoint clitoral stimulation, I bet.

Thanks to SheVibe for sending the Fun Factory Jazzie to me in exchange for my very honest review!