Oct 092016
 

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

Crowned Jewels – Titanium Anodized

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

Crowned Jewels Titanium Anodized Color Comparison

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

Crowned Jewels Magenta Titanium Color Compare

A Luxury Experience

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

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

Aluminum vs Stainless Steel

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

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

Tiny Metal

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

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

How Does it Feel, Though?

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

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

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

  1. They can’t be JUST aluminum or titanium but their site does specifically say “nickel free” – if you have other metal allergies, please email them first and they’ll happily let you know if their alloy is safe for you
  2. Some, like Pipedream, are made from an easily-noticed lesser grade of metal but others are unknown- that’s the problem with metal, there’s no easy at-home test to understand if you have a body-safe hypo-allergenic metal or if the alloy will contain something irritating or if it will be prone to rusting
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
Feb 172016
 

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

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

Squishy Squishy In Your Butt

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

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

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

Truskyn Dildos

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

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

But Is It REALLY Silicone?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Handful of Pennies

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

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

A Boring Design

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

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

CuRious-Wand-vs-Pure-Wand

Why Copper? Or: Lilly Bumbles Through the Science

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

curious-wand-2

  1. Could I overlook it if the Wand were a pretty copper color? Honestly there’s a chance I could. A chance
  2. The Pure Wand is actually heavier by only 2 ounces
  3. Thanks to Fuga Periculum for finding this
  4. First comes the WTF factor then the overtone of a lil shame that is bugging me
  5. again, what? that fucker is heavy!
Aug 012014
 

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

1. It’s affordable

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

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

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

SedeuxFlareandSilkMedium

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

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

 

 

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

Jul 162014
 

Vixen Medium Realistic Bent and Vixen Vixskin TexThe Medium Realistic Bent and Vixskin Tex are the same size, length and design – modeled after an average-sized cock with foreskin. The only difference between the two is that one is dual-density Vixskin and comes only in flesh tones, while the other is more firm and comes in colors like black and a gorgeous purple. I’m not a fan of super-realistic dildos, but the realistic design squick can be offset for me with non-realistic color options, hence why I chose the Medium Realistic Bent as my single-density Vixen to try out.

Probably the only real issue I have with these two dildos is the length. It would be a great addition to a harness for thinner build people, but from my experience larger people need a dildo that is a little longer. I carry a lot of weight in my midsection and it can interfere with a harness dildo of this length. For solo play the length also bothers me due to my build and lack of extreme flexibility. I need something that is curved like the Pure Wand, Comet Wand or Nobessence Seduction or a dildo with a longer handle.  Even the Tantus Cush O2 is easier for me to use simply because the overall length is greater; even though I can’t use all of the length for penetration it gives me something to hold on to. The same could be said of the Raptor XL.

Some silicone attracts fur and dust like crazy; the Vixens are some of the worst. Vixskin, for me, is harder to clean and keep clean than even Tantus O2 material. No matter what I tried, I couldn’t always get it totally clean – I kinda resigned myself to the fact that a few stray cat hairs were going to end up in my vagina. But the Vixskin certainly does feel realistic; I almost couldn’t tell the difference under clothing between my husband’s bio cock and a Vixskin dildo. I would absolutely agree that Vixskin is the most realistic silicone dildo on the market. The firm core is a little less (just a little) firm than the Tantus O2, while the squish is a little squishier, plus there seems to be more of the squish layer. I think that for people who want to move away from the very porous but realistic Cyberskin style materials, Vixskin is the best route.

Some Vixen models have a base that has suction cup abilities, some don’t. Both the Medium Realistic Bent and Vixskin Tex do. It’s not as strong of a suction as the Tantus Suction Cup Attachment, but it holds up pretty well. It also melds two suction-cuppy Vixen dildos together at the base quite well, creating your own custom double-ended dildo, for those flexible enough to use these outside of porn. That’s probably how Vixen got the idea for their Nexus.

These two dildos might be on the short side for me, but they’re not exactly slim at 1.6″ wide. Both required lube for me (which isn’t normal for me) and I felt a bit more drag/resistance with the Tex. I thought that the plushness of Vixskin would make a somewhat-girthy dildo easier to accommodate, but the Vixskin material seemed to provide a bit more resistance for me.  I’m not particularly sensitive to textures and I’m not one who finds that firm dildos of a certain design catch on my pubic bone so honestly after insertion….I couldn’t really tell all that much of a difference between the two. There was a slight difference; Tex felt a little more comfortable, a little more blurred-edges. Medium Bent was a bit more noticeable in use. Given the shorter length, I found that Tex worked well for me as a “stationary” dildo in the double-up cuff of my Aslan harness (which can hold in a plug or dildo for the harness wearer). 

For those who notice texture more and especially those who have problems with chiseled dildo heads catching the pubic bone, I would recommend Tex over the Medium Realistic Bent. For those who want to feel everything, go for the Medium Bent. I found that both provided g-spot sensation for me, really well, without being overly large. The Vixen standard silicone does feel more plush than most Tantus single-density silicone, I noticed. Yet both models had a strong enough core that I could apply the pressure that my g-spot needed, unlike the Raquel.

Both the Medium Realistic Bent and Tex are 5.25″ long and 1.6″ wide. If the width is good but you think more length would be better, I’d recommend Woody (6×1.5) for the same design, Leo for a less pronounced head ridge (7×1.5), Mustang for Vixskin and non-realistic colors (6.5×1.5), or Bandit for a slightly tapered Vixskin design that’s highly realistic (boo, balls) (7×1.7).

 VixenMediumBentandTex

The Vixen Medium Realistic Bent was provided to me by SheVibe and the Vixskin Tex was provided to me by Vixen, both in exchange for my honest review. You can purchase all Vixen items from either SheVibe or directly from Vixen.