Jan 282018
 

Zumio Classic Review - Zumio shown on top of multi-colored papers with craft scissors and a paint markerI don’t think I’ve ever held a sex toy as awkwardly as I hold the Zumio. It doesn’t endear me to the strange, purple antenna. Every single time I’ve used the Zumio I curse the button location. They had so much room to work with, but instead one button is nearly inaccessible to me. And so, this review begins on an ominous note. I’ll warn you right now: while many other reviewers really enjoyed the Zumio I’ve found too many quirks and problems to be able to recommend it. I’ve had my Zumio since November. Like the original Womanizer I didn’t want to like it, but suspected I would. Unlike the Womanizer I found I was different from most folks who’ve reviewed it. I consider myself to have a very hearty and stoic clitoris but even mine cowered in fear of the sometimes-painful Zumio.

Don’t Tell Me What To Do, Zumio

Many sex toys that I like end up being pretty versatile – you can use a lot of G-spot vibrators externally with great success, many clitoral vibes are great for perineum, penis, testicle, external anal stim, labia stim, etc. I’d say that the only sex toy I really love that is limited in use is the Womanizer and all other varitions/knock-offs. I’ve been told that it can work great applied to the frenulum on the penis but haven’t had my partner agree. But the Zumio – right out of the gate they’re telling you how it’s supposed to be held and then damn near giving you a paint-by-numbers diagram of how to use it, and what spots to hit in which order. There are literal instructions on how to achieve this supposed (not guaranteed) 60-second orgasm that the Zumio was invented to provide.

It wasn’t until I really poked around the website that I realized why it’s so awkward for me to hold and use the Zumio – I’ve been holding it “wrong”. They’re holding it like a paintbrush and I’m still holding it like, well, a vibrator. With the buttons facing me and the body perpendicular to my vulva. So I tried to hold it their way and it was worse – the power button is the most obvious to my fingers so I kept accidentally turning it off because I just couldn’t remember that the other buttons are that damn far down the body, so close to the tip.

Folks who are flatter in chest and tummy and can easily see what they’re doing, folks without reach issues and “short arms” will find this less awkward. Folks with less pubic mound padding and less labia may not have a problem accessing the top-most1 button but the top-heavy feel of it in your hands, the overwhelming feeling that you’re not about to buzz your way to orgasm but paint your clitoris, may deter you like it’s deterring me. Those with wrist/hand pain/arthritis may also find that holding the Zumio is painful.

I also want to address another aspect of Zumio’s prescriptive stance: their early marketing “studies” and ridiculous “proof” of the ultra-quick orgasm that is supposedly the hallmark of the Zumio. Early on they kept throwing around these comparisons and percentages that, frankly, are a terrible way to market. You end up alienating people for whom your product doesn’t work. You may make people feel broken. I repeatedly called them out on this and pressed for more details; it was then we found out that this study they’ve been touting like it’s a religious tome was based on a mere SIXTY FOUR SUBJECTS. That’s it. 64. They claimed a wide range of participants but they eventually stopped using these numbers and claims. It also took them awhile to “gather the responses” to give me more data. Can you feel my side-eye from there? I haven’t seen them trot these percentages out in awhile and can’t find them on their site anymore. Hmmm…

But Lilly, Don’t You Love Pinpoint Stimulation?

I agreed to review the Zumio because it’s supposed to be the be-all end-all pinpoint sex toy2 and we all know how much I love pinpoint vibrators. Except Zumio isn’t really a vibrator, technically speaking, it oscillates3. And despite the company’s ridiculous claims and promises of a quick orgasm, I had problems and found that, perhaps, there was such a thing as too pinpoint for me. Quelle surprise!  Sometimes I was able to orgasm in a few minutes  – but I can with the Womanizer, too. Sometimes I wasn’t.

Every other pinpoint vibrator I’ve tried and liked was pinpoint, yes, but they also provided just enough extra surface area to stimulate more than the exact spot they were honing in on, not to mention stimulating the internal clitoris legs to some degree. Not the Zumio. For once I had trouble finding my spot, that one spot on the right side of my clit, because the tip of the Zumio is so precise and rigid that I simply don’t feel much pleasure until X marks the spot. It was a frustrating game of pin-the-tail-on-the-clitoris. Zumio acknowledges this on their site, buried in the FAQ. If you look at the question “Is Zumio as strong as a vibrator?” you’ll see that they say no, it is not. “Vibrators shake everything that touches them including the clitoral region, hand and arm and even the entire body. Your body is full of nerve endings. All of them pick up these energy pulses in some form and can be overwhelming signals to your brain. It’s like a sledge hammer to drive a tack!”

Your entire body? Really?

It is a big pet peeve of mine when a sex toy manufacturer puts so much emphasis on putting down other, similar products. You don’t need to be like “Vibrators? PAH. THEY SUCK. TRY ZUMIO” to get sales.

The Zumio claims to replicate the feeling of your finger circling your clitoris – which couldn’t be farther from the truth. It feels exactly like what it is – a vibrating plastic tip. It’s intense. It feels a lot like if you took the vibrator motor – the kind with the off-balance head that wobbles around – and applied it directly to your clitoris. I would know, I did that once with my first sex toy.

I’m also usually a person who needs pressure – whether it’s applying pressure to my clitoris or needing a vibrator that won’t be diminished under the “pressure” of my surrounding labia. When I apply a very light amount of pressure, the sensations change and feel less intense and almost more rumbly, if that’s possible. But when I apply a little bit more pressure the Tip stops moving completely although the motor is still going. A number of times during use as I tried to find the right combination of my spot and Zumio placement and intensity I would apply enough pressure for it to stop moving. 

A Strange Orgasm

I can orgasm, but not in 60 seconds, on the lowest setting of the Zumio if I’m aroused or watching something erotic on Tumblr. The resulting orgasm is mild and feels like nothing within seconds. It takes awhile, anywhere from 10-20 minutes.The Zumio is too intense, too direct, for me to continue to use it for additional orgasms like I can with the Womanizer, so if I want another orgasm – because the first one was disappointing – I have to wait a little bit.

I can increase the speed on the Zumio – I can only go to 3 or 4 because any higher than that and it’s even more sensitive to whatever pressure I am trying not to apply – and the resulting orgasm is stronger but afterwards I still don’t feel like anything happened, if that makes sense. At level 3, the Zumio did force an orgasm but it was an empty orgasm. It left me as quickly as it started and I don’t feel it bodily – it’s like the orgasm and its aftershocks are strictly located in my clitoris and I just don’t feel it anywhere else.

Every time I’ve used the Zumio I looked longingly at my Womanizer Pro40 and wanted to abandon ship for it, but “I must continue on. For science.”

A Few SpiroTIP Warnings

FYI, the following is not mentioned in the manual. I’d assumed that the Tip was purely ABS plastic, through and through. But one weekend I was carrying the Zumio in my handbag. When I finally removed it I panicked because the Tip was bent at almost a 75-degree angle. I thought I ruined it completely. It seems that the top half of the tip is bendable wire covered in a plastic of some type? After I accidentally bent it once it was easy to accidentally bend it again, and now the purple plastic in the spot is lighter, showing signs of stress. The moment there’s a break in that covering, the Zumio won’t be safe for use anymore4.

Zumio only gives you a standard-issue drawstring pouch for storage so I feel like this damage to the Tip could happen to anyone, whether they’re carrying it in their pocket, their handbag, their suitcase or even if it’s just in a jumbled nightstand drawer.

This second problem happened as I was preparing to take a photo of the tip to show the damage to the plastic. As I was cleaning my Zumio I noted that a not-inconsiderable amount of dried lube/fluid had congregated in the space between the base of the plastic-covered tip and the silicone of the body. I gently ran my fingernail along the seam, like you do. This caused the plastic portion of the Tip to pop out of the body. I was able to eventually work the tip back into place, as the silicone covering is flexible around the joint of the tip, but the damage was done. My Zumio is now completely dead. The tip is covering a metal rod which feeds into the motor – the metal rod isn’t fixed into place so when it was lifted up along with the plastic SpiroTip I couldn’t get it back into place again so that it works.

Close-up image of the broken Zumio - the plastic tip slightly separated from the body, with a lighter purple spot in the center of the tip, indicitative of where it bent

And this part leads me to concerns about their Limited Warranty…

Notes on the Zumio Limited Warranty

The warranty only covers any defects in material or workmanship under normal use during the warranty period of 1 year after the date of purchase. Is my accident with the bent SpiroTip considered a defect? I spoke with a rep from Zumio who said that no, it’s not considered a defect5 and probably wouldn’t be covered under warranty. Yet they do not warn about this and give you no way to to prevent it happening during travel. I haven’t bothered to ask if my second, and fatal, break would be covered under warranty – I doubt it. At this point, I have serious concerns about the build quality and their warranty.

I would also like to note that despite their constant claims of a 60-second orgasm on their site and social media there is no “satisfaction guarantee” and if this product doesn’t give you the 60-second orgasm they talk so much about don’t expect to get your money back. You wouldn’t expect that with any other sex toy, I know, but this feels like a weird juxtiposition to me.

It’s also noted that, according to the manufacturer, the average life span of the Zumio is about 2 years, which may vary with usage patterns. I suppose this might mean that if you apply a little pressure and if you really love it and use it a lot, it probably won’t last you two years. While the Zumio is 10 times more intense than the Eroscillator, to me, the Eroscillator has a much better track record for longevity even though their warranty period is the same.

An Exceedingly Long Charge Time

It’s not noted on their website but it is noted on the SheVibe page that charge time is “16 hours, from low battery to full battery” and this charge time gets you up to 4 hours of use, but as little as 75 minutes of use if you apply pressure and use it on a higher intensity setting a lot. Since applying pressure dampens the action considerably, you probably will have to increase the intensity, like I did. I can tell you I got nowhere near 4 hours of use on a full charge. I never ran a stop-watch while I was using it but if your use time on a full charge is under an hour then you have a defective unit. You can absolutely just pop it in the charging stand and charge for say, an hour or two, and then use the Zumio again. You don’t always have to fully charge it.

If you’re lucky enough that the Zumio works quickly for you then even just 75 minutes of total use time would equal a lot of orgasms, right? Except that I don’t know how normal non-use battery drainage works here. It’s not a lithium battery, it’s NiMH 350mAh. I’ve had plenty of sex toys lose their charge during dormant periods of use and I don’t claim to know if it’s related to a certain battery type.

Should You Buy The Zumio?

Obviously, I’m not a fan. I don’t hate the Zumio and it’s not the worst thing ever but it’s certainly not what I would expect from an “award winning” sex toy. If I do my best to get over my hatred of their prescribed useage and empty promises full of marketing lingo that makes me stabby, my opinion still slants towards “maybe give this a pass”. The button placement is a major issue for me and while the sensation it provides is certainly unique it’s also only going to be perfectly right for a small portion of people. I can’t just say “if you know you like pinpoint vibrations” because that’s me and I didn’t love it. The Zumio Classic is currently $140 – a lot of money to spend on such a finicky sex toy. Given my problems with the build quality and the extremely restrictive warranty I’m reluctant to recommend purchase. I can’t recommend the Eroscillator instead simply because the Eroscillator isn’t nearly as intense so it’s still apples and oranges. I’d pick the Tango but I’ve been told that for some folks it’s not pinpoint enough. The Womanizer feels nothing like the Zumio but, for me, is much more satisfying and provides a true build-up in intensity from light to “whoa nelly”.

The company has already created a slightly different model, the Zumio Caress, which will be out in a few months. I’ve attached a guide sheet that the company provided me with and it shows that the Caress has a shorter tip made out of softer material (I don’t know what it is) and that it is less intense than the Zumio Classic. The overall design is still the same and with a shorter tip I would have even more difficulty accessing the buttons, making this even more awkward to hold and frustrating to use. I think that I could appreciate the Tip redesign but it needs a body overhaul.

 

My thanks to Shevibe for providing me with the Zumio in exchange for my honest review! You can get the Zumio at Shevibe here.

  1. lowest? depends on orientation – regardless, I mean the “increase” button
  2. according to the manufacturer, of course
  3. but not nearly as effectively as the Eroscillator
  4. Why? Because the cracks in the plastic will harbor bacteria and potentially scratch/abrade/irritate the delicate tissue of the labia and clitoris
  5. In fact, they expressed surprise at what happened and said that it would take “considerable force” to bend the tip – I disagree
Feb 252015
 

JimmyjaneHelloTouchX

Special Note: If you are truly considering purchasing the Hello Touch X and do not have much knowledge on safe e-stim use, please read the Safety section that is in purple text. Jimmyjane does not include a decent safety guideline in their manual.

It’s well-known if you read my reviews and posts that I hate Jimmyjane products and they don’t like me much either. So why do I keep reviewing them? For one, I feel that negative reviews are just as important as positive reviews and two….I hated the original Hello Touch so much that I just had to see if they listened to any complaints and made a better product with the Hello Touch X. The product, as a concept, is good.

While none of the Jimmyjane vibes I’ve tried worked for me, they’ve all had positive reviews by other people. And when I read their reviews, I could bring myself to understand why they would recommend a toy that I eviscerated: it worked really well for them. When a sex toy works really well for you, you can overlook high costs and imperfect designs. But the original Hello Touch….well, I couldn’t find a single redeeming quality to it. I don’t think I would be able to understand how anyone could love it. The flaws were so abundant and glaring. One thing I wanted to find out with the Jimmyjane Hello Touch X is if they managed to fix any of the terrible flaws from the original Hello Touch.  The control pack on the original Hello Touch was awful; buttons so hard to press, it hurt my wrist. The control pack on the Hello Touch X is much improved. The arm band for the original Hello Touch was flimsy material, with blank circles overtop the buttons. You had no idea what was what. Hello Touch X armband is now neoprene with velcro closure, will fit many wrists, and has labeled button decals. The pod straps on the original Hello Touch were notoriously tight, to the point of having cold, hurting fingertips. The pod straps on the Hello Touch X are better. They’ll still be a bit too snug for those with very thick fingers though. I still think they should be including an extra set of larger pod straps. But hey! That would logical!  The original Hello Touch also requires a ridiculous AAAA battery which is damn near impossible to find. The Hello Touch X is thankfully USB rechargeable.

Now, what about the vibrations? They still suck. I don’t think they’re any different. They may be enough for very sensitive people, though. When the pods are dangling there, they seem to buzz away but in use the vibrations are greatly dampened. With the original Hello Touch, Jimmyjane claimed there was “3 times the vibration in 1/3 the size” but it was never clear what they were comparing it to. Now the Hello Touch X is advertised as 5 times the power in 1/3 the size, yet the vibration strength has not increased.  When you make comparison claims with no direct comparison, you start to sound like you’re selling snake oil. I really cannot stress this enough: These are NOT “powerful” vibrations. These are probably more powerful than the Fukoku Glove, but when compared to most external vibrators it isn’t powerful.

So while the Hello Touch X does have some very necessary improvements on the original…it seems the original Hello Touch is still just as shitty as ever. Unless I’m informed otherwise, I see no evidence that the original Hello Touch has received the improvements to the control pack, pod straps or arm band, which really just sucks.

The Hello Touch X is not for people with grip issues or finger strength issues. The 2 sets of pods use a micro-UBS cable that requires a very firm push (more than you think is necessary) to be properly seated. And you shouldn’t press on the end with your thumb, or you may end up bending and breaking the wires over time – you need to grasp it by the sides to push. The same goes for removing the plug – don’t tug by the wire. Slick, lubed fingers will have a hard time grasping the tiny portion of the plug to remove it.  The problem is this seemingly useless little ring around the plug on the pods. It adds a snugness that isn’t necessary. You might think that you would only need to push in the plug until that ringed collar is flush with the port but you’d be wrong.

JimmyjaneHelloTouchXfinger1 JimmyjaneHelloTouchXfinger2 JimmyjaneHelloTouchXPlug

The Electrostim In Use

I did a few-month stint at physical therapy before for tennis elbow, and every session started out with the TENS unit. They would turn it up to something mild and quickly I’d get used to it, and I’d turn it up as high as I could manage. It never made me wince, it never felt like truly painful. The Jimmyjane Hello Touch X feels like a hot needle prick, a rubberband snap, just plain OW. I don’t like the sensation. I tried it on my arm and leg (they suggest you do not start out on the genitals), and it was frightening – it fucking hurt and it made me terrified to try it on my labia. Maybe my intolerance to this is due to the fibromyalgia; I don’t really know. From talking to other people who are more “expert” at e-stim than I, it seems that the tiny tiny e-stim surface area of the Hello Touch X is going to produce the more painful zaps versus the pads that come with traditional e-stim sets or the large areas found on insertable e-stim vibrators. But try it, I did. And the e-stim sensation was stronger and more “normal” when used on my labia, probably because of the natural lubrication already there. And on the first setting it felt okay. Nothing that would do anything for me, orgasm-wise, but it lacked the sharp sting. It seemed to be stronger than I expected the first setting to be, and I was right – setting 2 produced a sharp zap that elicited a loud “SONOFABITCH!” and that sucker was turned off and pants yanked back up faster than you can say Chipotle Burritos Are Awesome. Never. Again. I tried it once for the sake of this review and I have no desire to ever use these e-stim pods again.  And there are 8 more levels of intensity above that!! Nooooope. Nope.

Half the time when using the e-stim pods, I felt nothing. I cycled through the settings, I clicked the power button continuously…..nothing. Sometimes I would click the power buttons and go from feeling nothing to suddenly OW. Sometimes it was OW right off the bat at seemingly the first setting. So, it’s wonky at best.  You’ll never know what setting you’re on or if it’s even working. The light that turns on for charging doesn’t do anything during use. You’ll have no idea if it’s broken or needs to be charged. For $149, couldn’t they at least do that?

SAFETY!

Jimmyjane Hello Touch X User Manual Guide showing suggested spots for use including: ear, neck, nipple, genitals, knee, ribcage? waist? upper arm, and thighI’m disappointed but not surprised with the fact that Jimmyjane seems to have half-assed the e-stim use and especially the safety aspect. Sure, they warn you not to use if you have a pacemaker, if you’re pregnant or if you have a metal IUD/piercings. But one of the photos on the box specifically shows one person wearing the e-stim pods, poised to deliver a zap to their partners shoulder blades. Other manufacturers of e-stim products take their warnings more seriously, for example estim.com, which warns against ANY use above the waist. They advise you on lubes to use and to avoid for your best e-stim experience. A manufacturer of e-stim devices, Mystim, also has a lot of safety and use information on their site. A good rule to follow that simplifies things: Never let the current flow through head, heart or throat.

Jimmyjane does not include the full manual with the actual product, you need to go online to get it. In the manual they have an illustration showing suggested points on the body. They do not elaborate on safe practices, like making sure the flow of electricity doesn’t cross the meridian. A good example of this would be that you should be okay to use both pods on the same shoulder (both pods at once, never one single pod) but it would be very dangerous to place one pod on each side of the spine. They do say that it “won’t work” if you only use one pod (it does), but they fail to explain that – especially for above the waist use – using only one pod could be dangerous. Again, there is mention in the “suggested use” section that one should place the pods on the body first and THEN turn on the power, but they don’t tell you why and they don’t explain this at all. One suggested place to use it appears to be the ear; another on the neck(!). It makes no sense AND seems highly dangerous.

Special thanks to the r/BDSMcommunity people who took the time to explain this stuff to me. You can read their responses for more in-depth safety talk.

Before you use the e-stim pods, please do your own research on safe e-stim use beyond what I’ve found here. It is crucial. If used incorrectly it actually can interfere with the heart. The safety of this should be taken much more seriously by Jimmyjane, but it’s not. Until they can be more responsible with their suggestions and more informative, I cannot recommend the Hello Touch X to anyone who has zero experience with TENS units or other e-stim products.

 

Overall there have been improvements, but I’d rather see these improvements carry over to the original Hello Touch. Unless you already know that you really really love e-stim, I think the Jimmyjane Hello Touch X is not going to be the intro to e-stim for the masses. I think that the vibrations are crappy in use. The glaring flaws of the original have been fixed, so I don’t hate it and I would recommend it for people who want an e-stim device with the capabilities that come with having the shocking bits attached to your fingers. If you want e-stim that produces more semi-painful zaps than muscle contractions, then you might like this. But if you’ve never tried e-stim before? Run away. Buy another, more reputable brand. Do your research. Attend a class on it, if that’s available to you.

 

Thanks to Shevibe for providing me with the Jimmyjane Hello Touch X in exchange for my honest review!

Oct 072013
 

splitdildofuntoysgvibeMonths ago I reviewed the G-Vibe, a split vibrator that reminded folks of the aptly named (both for the obvious, and for how divided the fan base was) Split Dildo. I had read a number of reviews that stated that the Split Dildo was actually painful to use, so I was surprised by how boring and subtle the Funtoys G-Vibe was to use. Recently a Split Dildo became available on ToySwap and I grabbed it up for no other purpose than this comparison review. Dedicated, I am.

While the Split Dildo is noticeably fatter than the G-Vibe, the biggest different is in the pliability of the silicone and the pressure  aspect – by that I mean the amount of pressure it takes to keep the closed ears split and therefore the amount of pressure they will exert as they try to fall back into their natural state. It took me awhile to figure out how best to show you the difference. What I did with the scale is try to exert enough pressure on one half of the split to make it “straighten”, like you would do if it was inside of you. While the Split Dildo is fatter, and therefore heavier (it weighs slightly more than the G-Vibe which is longer and has a motor), the difference in grams required to achieve the same result is drastic enough to matter.

It almost seems like Funtoys directly modeled the G-Vibe from the Split Dildo. I say that only because the angle and length of the split seems to be identical. Just the Split is much fatter. Split is also the type of silicone that easily hangs on to dirt, lint, fur etc. It doesn’t glide easily along dry skin like the G-Vibe does….it is more like the “treated” silicone that Lelo uses, applying a finish that makes it silky smooth with no drag. The Split Dildo does have some drag, and would require lube by most. The thing that is the most infuriating about the Split Dildo is the lack of a handled base. This is not friendly for people with mobility/flexibility issues, and not “fat friendly”, either.

splitdildofuntoysgvibe2splitdildofuntoysgvibe3


I just learned that the infuriating creator of the Split Dildo thinks that only “women who have birthed a child” can like the Split, that the rest of us poor souls have too-tight vaginas. Reading this on Epiphora’s site pissed me off so bad.  Here’s the funny thing. When the Split dildo was actually, finally, properly in place, I wasn’t writhing in pain. In fact, the pressure on my g-spot felt good BUT the pressure against the rectal wall was not good. It was not good at all.  I felt like I was in a race for orgasm and pooping. The orgasm wasn’t due to the Split Dildo; it was helping, as does any toy that puts pressure on my g-spot, but this was not a fun time. At all.

Trying to get the Split Dildo in was harder than trying to get a pair of Spanx on. I prefer thicker dildos, so the problem wasn’t the girth.  It was that I couldn’t hold the tips together /and/ slide the Split in, tampon-like, so there was a moment where the Split felt like it was tearing my perineum because it wasn’t fully inside of me. It was scary, and terribly painful. Screamingly painful.  Overall, I’d only recommend the Split Dildo for those using it with a partner or those who are flexible enough to keep the tips together until it is completely inserted. Actually, I’d go back to just recommending using it with a partner. Because mild thrusting is necessary to get any sort of rubbing on the g-spot, and if you manage to let the Split get too far outside of you, you’re in danger of serious pain coming your way.

So if you owned the Split Dildo and hated it, you should not run in fear of the G-Vibe. That’s not to say that I’d recommend it….I still won’t. I just am saying that the G-Vibe won’t cause pain the way the Split Dildo did for some. If you owned the Split Dildo and loved it? You will be vastly underwhelmed by the G-Vibe. The vibrations are piddly enough that they do not make up for the lack of pressure exerted on the G-Spot and Perineal Sponge.

Actually, I’m just going to recommend against either toy. If we’re gonna go with analogies, think back to Goldilocks and the Three Bears. The Split is Too Hot, the G-Vibe is Too Cold. There is no “just right” middle option. Since I received the Split dildo through my own network, I’m not sure where to tell you to buy it, should I have managed to not fully dissuade you. No one really wants to stock this thing, so I guess you’d have to buy it from the manufacturer.

Feb 242013
 

 

 JimmyJane Hello Touch

In general, I seem to have the reviewer’s equivalent to a trained drug dog’s nose when it comes to spotting outrageous marketing claims on sex toys. JimmyJane has a knack for turning out highly modern, yet obscenely priced luxury sex toys, many of which have fatal flaws in the design or have lackluster vibrations. I can still recall my visit to Babeland Seattle as the Day The Wool Fell Off My Eyes, as I turned on item after item from JimmyJane and cringed. Their Iconic Collection, as an example, is merely a bunch of overpriced, white-only reproductions of common, mass-marketed (and cheap) sex toys like the pocket rocket, vibrating bath ducky, slimline straight plastic vibe, etc. That line is 100% “mutton dressed as lamb”. Or then there is the mind-boggling one-speed-buzzy-wonder (and by wonder I mean “someone actually buys these??”) that is the Little Chroma/Steel, etc. I’ve owned the Form 3 and Form 6, but frankly couldn’t be arsed to even review the Form 6. I hated it, not quite as much as I hated the Form 3, but not enough to be bothered to review it.

So when I saw what appeared to be another “Iconic” attempt from JJ, I agreed to review it if only to prove that it’s not worth the money. Yes, I know. That’s awfully jaded. But you don’t get to where I am in reviewing without being able to smell the shit past the air freshener. I owe no one anything but the honest, hardcore truth in this review (one reason why I adore SheVibe).

JJ was promoting this sucker hard, and sent out press releases touting how “innovative” it is. Sure, they’re made a lot of changes but innovative it is not. There have been similar vibes, mainly by Fukuoko. Sure, visually this thing is an improvement on the glove. I’ve heard mixed reviews on the power of the glove, some say that the Hello Touch is more powerful than the Fukuoku glove. But “three times the power”? Of what?

I think it’ll be easier if I break everything down. Step by step down the road to the corner of OhGodWhy Lane and You’reKiddingMeRight Blvd.

Packaging and Copy

 The packaging is actually pretty damn minimal. In fact, likely the most minimal I’ve seen from a luxury sex toy company. I’m actually not complaining about this, though. Fancier packaging leads to a higher priced item, and ain’t nobody got time for that shit. But you see…when things like these are said….I tend to call bullshit:

JimmyJaneLie2 JimmyJaneLie3

JimmyJaneLie1

 

I get it. They need to say things that will sell. It’s like the whole advertised-burger-vs-reality-burger thing that I’ve mentioned before, except this has to do with performance rather than visual aspects.

 

JimmyJaneLie4

But these? Please, don’t listen to these people. None of them actually tried the thing, I’d bet my last month’s commission on that. So these words are why I write this review. Because people deserve to know the truth, and that truth isn’t sparkly or pretty.

But the thing I take the most issue with is this, and it will be explained further down:

JimmyJaneLie5

Product Design (Flaws)

Prior to the Hello Touch, Fukuoku was the only company to make something like this. I seem to recall that there was a product just like the Hello Touch, except 3 fingerpads instead of just two. The Glove has 5 vibrating pads, but the downside is that it looks and feels like a damn ski glove. It’s not sexy, which I think is why JJ went to such lengths to create the Hello Touch with such a minimalistic, low profile.

Fingerpads: You can, in theory, put the fingerpads on any finger or your thumb, if it’ll fit.  I do not have particularly large or fat fingers, although thin women will have smaller fingers than I. But these pads are uncomfortably tight. There is no pain, but they do stop bloodflow. After 4 minutes of wearing them, my fingertips were cold and starting to hurt. If someone with big, burly hands were to try this? Well, they can’t even get it on. A friend attempted to try these on for me; his hands were big with thick fingers – he couldn’t even tolerate it for half a second, it was so tight.  You can see below what it’s doing to my fingers. Also below I just wanted to show you what I mean by “big, burly hands”. My awesome friend and his lady sent me this requested pic to show what I mean. If your hands look like his? Forget it. You’ll have no hope of wearing these fingerpads. Hell if you’re even close to his finger size, you’ll have no prayer. 

 BIG MANLY MAN HANDS! His, I mean, on the bottom. Her average-sized hand is on top.
JimmyJaneHelloTouch4  JimmyJaneHelloTouch5.

Also, the fingerpads CAN be removed from the vibrating pods and you should do so for more thorough cleaning. When everything is lubed up and has been in use, the lube can get inside these pads, in between the vibrating pod and the pliable material, making it quite easy for the pod to slip out. It is not, however, easy for the to slip back in. If you don’t get it just right before you shove it in, you’ll be trying for a few minutes. Sometimes I was able to get it right away, sometimes not.

Vibrations: I’m just not sure what JimmyJane thinks the Hello Touch is 3 times more powerful than. When you first turn it on, if the pads aren’t on your fingers yet, you might think it has a bit of a kick. But of course when a vibrator is held firmly near it’s motor, the vibrations will always dampen to some degree. That’s what happens when you put the pads on your fingers, especially since these things are so damn tight. But while the vibrations in this thing are not ever going to be enough to even tease me, they might be enough for those who don’t really need much in the way of vibrations for a clitoral orgasm. I wouldn’t at all classify the vibrations as deep, or rumbly, or thuddy. They are just shy of being surface-buzzy, so I have felt more buzzy vibrators (a perfect example is the Extase Liberte – the Hello Touch is actually just a smidge more oomph-y than the Liberte and definitely not buzzy in comparison to it). My very first reaction to the vibrations was “wow, this is utter crap” but I’ve shown this to a few sex toy noobs and am, uncharacteristically, amending my initial judgment …..slightly.

However, I don’t think that the vibrations would be enough to be felt internally, on the g-spot, nor would they really do a whole lot for a penis if you can manage to adjust your handjob so that the fingerpads touch flesh. Should you try to turn the fingerpads around so that they are on the top side of your finger and hope for just proxy vibrations coursing through your fingertip, you will be disappointed. I also don’t feel that the vibrations would really be enough to aid in body massage, at all. They’re about as effective as blowing on skin.  I have actually read a couple of reviews that indicate that the vibrations on this can be considered “powerful” and I am left shaking my head. I know that everybody likes something different but if you truly feel that the Hello Touch is powerful in use, then that is a good indication to me that I can’t read any of your other reviews because our idea of “powerful” is at opposite ends of the scale. On a scale of 1 to 4, as SheVibe rates things, I would rank the intensity of this absolutely no higher than a 2. If halfsies were allowed, I’d go firmly with 1.5. The beloved We-Vibe Salsa (Tango) blows this out of the water on its LOW setting. RO-80mm bullets are also much more powerful than Hello Touch. Even the Lelo Mia 2 on a Lowish-Medium setting (there are at least 10 discernible power settings) is more intense than the Hello Touch.

Power Pack: Moving on to the power pack, we find even more flaws. The most obvious being that the buttons take a good amount of pressure to turn off and on. If you have any sort of disability or weakness to your fingers, please don’t bother with this. I personally had to press really hard and dig my fingernail in, especially to turn it off, and that action therefore jammed the power pack into my wrist which also hurt like hell. In fact, sometimes I actually had to yank the thing off my wrist and use two hands to press hard enough to turn it off. When you take out the battery holder, you can see on it the buttons that turn it on and off. These line up with plastic dots glued to the silicone(?) button pad. When the battery pack is out of the case, the buttons are easy to push, so it’s merely just yet another design flaw. Also, in order to replace the batteries, there is a cap on the end that you must pry off. I have found that this is impossible to do without good, strong fingernails.

JJHelloTouchBatteryCompartment

The grey wristband that holds the power pack is unbelievably confusing at first. If you don’t use this thing often, you’ll at first forget which button turns it on and which turns it off, because JimmyJane wanted to be so modern and minimalistic that there is no indication which is which. To up the confusion factor, they have imprinted three circles on the wristband. The top and bottom circles correspond to the buttons on the power pack, but that middle circle has no purpose except to annoy and confuse you. Actually when I looked inside (the inset bottom-right photo above) I could see that there were 3 raised buttons there on the inside of the power pack sleeve, yet as seen on the inset bottom-left photo, there is nothing in the middle for it to depress. The non-adjustable wrist band holds the power pack. The wrist band fit me mostly fine, but had to stay closer to my hand; on my girlfriend who is skinny, the wristband was too big and so the pack just flopped around. Could you sew the wrist band and make it fit a smaller wrist? Sure, but then it may not fit your partner.  Another design flaw, although minor in comparison, is that the wire that runs from the pads to the powerpack is a lot longer than in the photos on the JJ site. I have a lot of extra length and that would just end up getting in the way and getting caught on things during use.

JimmyJaneHelloTouch6.

And yes, there is only one speed, and no patterns. Adding insult to injury, the power pack takes AAAA batteries. No, this is not a typo. I actually thought it was a typo when I read Joan Price’s review because I had never even heard of AAAA batteries. The only thing that I’ve seen that these are used in are those portable blood glucose monitors. The average price for a 2-pack is around $3.50 from what I’ve seen, and the power pack runs on 2 of these. They do include 2, thankfully. But a AAA battery isn’t really all that much bigger, I don’t understand why they couldn’t add on a few millimeters and allow the use of a more common battery. If you’re feeling adventurous though, you can rip open a 9-volt battery and steal the AAAA’s from there.

Included: Alright so we’ve determined that the box and such is minimal and definitely not good to be reused for storage. They do give you two of the required AAAA batteries. They also give you a pouch. I think. Did they perhaps forget to put a snap on mine? Because honestly, this makes no damn sense. It only snaps on one corner and it really doesn’t take much jostling around inside a bag to open up. I had mine in a section of my handbag and sure enough after a day or so I pulled out just the pouch. The manual is very minimal and is basically a series of drawings.

JimmyJaneHelloTouch2

Anal Play?? OH HELL NO

Yes. JimmyJane actually recommends the Hello Touch for anal/prostate stimulation. I am utterly dumbfounded and frankly, upset at this. NO. ABSOLUTELY NOT. NO. This is NOT safe. If for any reason you are dead set on doing this, then please use a fingercot to cover the pads and hold them on.

You see, each vibration pod is removable from the finger pad/strap. They are not one solid unit. This design does allow for easier cleaning, but it makes it not very safe for anal play. Once you are using this internally and rubbing around, lubrication (natural or from a bottle) will start to get in between the plastic vibration pod and the finger pad harness. With pressure applied, especially the sort of pressure that the rectum can provide, there is a chance that the finger strap harness thingie will slide off the vibration pod and stay in your butt. If the straps are not super tight on your finger, then the pressure combined with lube could make the whole thing slide off your finger, remaining inside. This isn’t a problem vaginally but could be anally; vaginally you could use your fingers to go retrieve it while anally you would likely end up tugging it by the cord. This could damage the vibration pod, or again separate the vibration pod from the silicone finger strap and leave that part inside the rectum.

BAD,  JIMMYJANE. BAD.

 

Pros:

  • Visually, it is an improvement over the Fukuoko gloves
  • Very small all around
  • The vibrations are not so surface-buzzy that they have no hope of getting someone off
  • Might be decent for a scalp massage, but you’ll certainly make a mess of their hair, possibly yank some out

Cons:

  • Retail is about $65 for this, I feel it’s too much since it isn’t even silicone
  • Vibrations won’t be enough for most people
  • The buttons on the powerpack are obscenely hard to push
  • The powerpack wrist band is not adjustable, and will not fit very thick arms or thin arms
  • The finger straps are only comfortable on the smallest of feminine fingers
  • Requires an expensive and more-obscure-than-watch-batteries battery, AAAA size
  • Cords are mostly minimal but can still snag and get in the way
  • Vibrating pods require patience and dexterity to put back into the silicone fingerpad strap things
  • Useless even as a body massage companion, the vibrations are just not enough to add to the experience
  • You will need a travel pouch, as the silicone material will attract dust/powder/fur/hair, but the included pouch is fairly useless

So, NO Gizmodo, this is NOT the “best sex toy ever invented”, not by a long shot.

Unfortunately, this style of vibrator just cannot seem to be perfected yet. It’s kinda like the remote control bullet or panties. These types of sex toys are nearly always very expensive, fairly weak in vibrations, aren’t going to fit the majority of the population and simply don’t deliver on their pie-in-the-sky promises. These actually are “novelty” items. So I have nothing else to recommend to you instead of this, if the idea is something you like. I think that JimmyJane should knock it the fuck off with ridiculous shit like the “Jet Set” and the damn Bouncy House, because their collective brain cells are needed to produce something decent in the sex toy world (which this isn’t).

 

The Hello Touch was provided to me by SheVibe in exchange for an honest review.

 

Jan 312013
 

funtoysgvibe

A few years ago a new concept in dildos arrived, called the Split Dildo. The reaction was as split as the sex toy itself. I’ve read polarizing reviews of both adoration and contempt, so when I was asked to review the Funtoys G-Vibe I figured I would land firmly in love or hate. I was a little nervous at first. I expected a lion, however, and got a kitten. 

I’ve never tried the Split Dildo but it seemed that the dildo was not modest in girth, and according to Kara Sutra required quite a bit of pressure to keep the “ears” together and was something you definitely felt. Unfortunately, the G-Vibe is….boring. It looks like a nice luxury vibe; in fact the stylings look a lot like the first Lelo Insignia line. The silicone is even the same as Lelo, with a matte silky finish to it. The buttons are nearly identical to the Lelo Insignia line and the vibrations even remind me of early Lelo and the Insignia Isla – very surface-buzzy and moderate at best. More bark than bite, actually – sure it’s “quiet” but it’s not “nearly silent”, yet even so the noise is more intense than the vibrations. There are two motors, one in each tip. At high speed the vibrations may fool you into thinking that they have potential, if you barely touch the thing, but any pressure at all gives you faux-vibrations. I’ve experienced this before in toys: the Extase Liberte, the original Lelo Tiani, and the Picobong Honi to name a few. It has the sort of vibrations that force you to try the patterns hoping, in vain, that the rapid-fire changing of the motor will give you something that maybe feels like a little more oomph. And in fact the final pattern does. Those staccato every-3-seconds bursts of just enough more intensity end up frustrating you more than anything.  It tells you that the motor might have had the potential to ekk into the realm of rumbly but stopped 2 miles from the border.  Funtoys describes the G-Vibe as having “six modes with changeable intensity from light tremors to intense vibration”. The “intense vibration” part of that statement couldn’t be more wrong. 

Fun Toys G-Vibe - The looped handle makes it easy to hold and the control buttons are well placed. The charging port is shown closed (Top) and open (Bottom)

The “intuitive controls” are just fairly average. An increase button, a function mode button to change between patterns, and a decrease button. Standard. The buttons are in a good place on the handle, maybe that’s what they mean? There is no button-lock feature, either, like Lelo and a few others. Also take note of the fact that the G-Vibe is merely water resistant. This confuses me greatly. The charging port cover is a silicone plug in the hole – a similar design to Lelo and many other makers of luxury vibrators. Hell, the Lelo Tor II has a completely open charging cover and it’s labeled as waterproof! Be that as it may, I’m not one to doubt what a manufacturer says. But if they want to get into the luxury sex toy game, then they need to make it waterproof. It’s one of those features that people who don’t masturbate in the shower/bath (like me) don’t care about but it doesn’t take away from what we DO like; and there are plenty of people out there who do really enjoy their playtime in the water. Speaking of the charging port, you should initially charge the G-Vibe for 8 hours. It’s said that you will get 4 hours on a single charge, but I would imagine that for at least 2 of those 4 hours the vibrations will be greatly decreased from the pittance they already are. 

The ears might look intimidating, especially if you use both of them internally, but they are very very pliable  and soft. In fact, I’m almost willing to say they’re just too wimpy.  The design is flexible and Funtoys thinks that you Fun Toys G-Vibe - Showing how flexible the "ears" are. It takes very little effort to keep them togethercan use this design for lots of various methods of stimulation. But the fact is, the vibrations are not enough and the split portion doesn’t do what it should – which according to their site, it should “create a sensation of fullness without stretching the vaginal entrance” and “Simultaneous stimulation of 2 spots:  G-spot and the opposite side of the vagina” – which, in case you were wondering, the “opposite side of the vagina” spot1 has a real name: perineal sponge. But since the ears are so pliable and the split requires very little pressure to stay closed, I don’t really feel what the company  advertises. Perhaps it was because I wasn’t aroused enough for the PS-Spot to want any attention but the bit of vibrations that I felt on the posterior vaginal wall just made me feel a little like I had to poop. My g-spot requires a decent amount of pressure OR an intense level of thuddy vibrations, neither of which the G-Vibe could ever come close to offering. 

With my skepticism firmly intact I tried to use this as a dual-stimulator in the traditional sense. While the upward-facing ear did actually touch my clitoris, the vibrations, lack of pressure and slim profile meant that I felt very little externally or internally. I decided to go about trying the other suggested uses Funtoys came up with.Sure, it feels slightly different from a straight dildo of the same width, but I don’t feel any sense of fullness nor do I feel enough pressure on either the G-spot or Perineal Sponge to register as anything special in my brain. Despite this, it doesn’t mean that it’s easy to insert. You still have to hold the ears together at the tippy top, you cannot just jam Squidward here into your hole and hope for the best. This maneuvering means, for me, awkward and uncomfortable positioning contortions.  In fact it was damn near impossible for me to insert this. I had to contort and reach to basically shove my fingertips, along with the tips of the vibe, up inside of me to get it started.

gvibeuse1
Drawn images are property of Funtoys.info
grumpycatno

No? Well how about…..

gvibeuse2
Drawn images are property of Funtoys.info
grumpycatno

First of all, my nipples don’t meet up like that. Second, when you try to hold it like oversized chopsticks or the JimmyJane Form 2, something curious happens. It sounds like the same “fatal flaw” that was described by many Form 2 owners – when pressure is applied disproportionately to the two ears OR applied mostly equally and the toy is held handle facing the sky, the vibrators in the ears get kicked out of cycle and almost form their own bizarre pattern. It’s no longer a steady vibration. 

Ok then.

Moving along.

 The G-Vibe comes in 3 colors – if you don’t like pink or purple though, you’re out of luck. The packaging is indeed very lovely to look at, even if it’s not very discreet for storage. When you open up the box the vibe sits in a foam-like cutout – the glue that is used in this bit (my best guess anyway, is glue) has a subtle but offensive odor to me. I can smell it on the vibe despite washing, and I can smell it on the included storage bag. The bag is drawstring and made of white nylon, it feels quite nice. It does have the Funtoys logo, “ft”, which is discreet.  The included charger is USB-only. I enjoy the *option* of USB, but I don’t want it to be the only way. Luckily I have a couple USB-to-wall-plug thingies and that works too. 

 At the end of the day, I just couldn’t get into this sex toy nor would I recommend it. The vibrations would have to be more like the We-Vibe Tango or hell even the Je Joue MiMi for me to even consider recommending it.  Perhaps with truly thuddy-rumbly vibrations that have more power, the stimulation of the G-spot and PS-spot could be felt but as it stands now it was nothing to write home about.  While a few people did seem to enjoy the intense pressure from that Split Dildo, the G-Vibe takes caution to the extreme and instead leaves you wanting something more from the split internal portion. 

  1. Until I did my research on split sex toys, I had no idea about this arousal spot. OF COURSE it must be added to the litany of Alphabet Spots. Most often it is referred to as the PS-Spot.  Sadly in their drawings, Funtoys just lists it as “P” to which I first thought “um….we don’t have a P-spot”.
Aug 182012
 

Yesterday, and for the hundredth time, someone on Liberator’s Twitter feed acted like a complete asshole.

Being a seasoned social media watcher, I knew that these offensive and idiotic tweets would eventually disappear so I screen-capped them. And heyyyyy, lookie there….they’re now gone! But thanks to posterity, not forgotten.

Lest we think that the asshattery is limited to whatever dumbass Liberator decided to entrust with the Twitter password this week, it’s also going on at Facebook in spades. SPADES I TELL YOU.

First up, we have this one. I shared it, I commented my disgust in their negative attitude and nothing has happened. Yet.

But then when I shared the following photo from their FB stream with my outraged comments, and then others did the same? Well now suddenly the photo in question is gone. And since it was a share, when Liberator deletes it, it gets deleted from all streams. But this is the photo:

Of course it had many likes, and many “high five bro” type comments. I didn’t see anybody on Liberator’s initial posting saying anything bad about it. Which is kinda my point….do we really need a sex toy retailer perpetuating this kind of sex negative attitude??

Due to their bait-and-swtich-esque treatment of Epiphora and previous acts of douchebaggery on Twitter, I’d already lost interest in them as a company. Now? I’m done. No, really. I will find other sex support position pillow companies to recommend, because I am D-O-N-E. Just like I won’t support Chik-Fil-A because their profits get donated to anti-gay-and-lesbian organizations intent on making the lives of gays and lesbians even more unsafe and even more difficult, I will not support a company who spouts off immature, sex-negative, queer-negative shit like a drunk 18 year old frat boy.

This isn’t the first company to lose my support. RubyGlass21 was probably the first company I’d ever seen behave like a child on Twitter. They first started off by tossing out thinly-veiled digs to Crystal Delights. Then they would, unprompted, start spouting off even more lies and bullshit about Crystal Delights via email to the few bloggers who tread carefully and agreed to review. Slanderous shit. Then they’d apologize for puking their drama-llama bullshit all over Twitter in some text-language that is worse than the average 13-year-old. I couldn’t even fucking understand what they were saying on Twitter. It was embarrassing for them.

They started this shit way back in May.

This was after I’d said to them “Honestly, I don’t even know what you’re trying to say because your tweets make no sense grammatically.”

  June…and they still don’t get it

Later on in June…they’ve still not STFU.

I wondered if perhaps English was a distant second language to this person, but I don’t think it is. I love the response that tweets are not term papers, that I should lighten up. Hey, I’m not asking for  tweets that would pass muster by an English professor. I’m asking for something that is: Professional, Readable, Courteous, Intelligent. Whoever this MJ person is, possesses none of those qualities. And frankly RubyGlass21 could be producing the most awesome glass dildos ever, and because of their behavior on Twitter and in email to other reviewers, I will never, ever recommend them. The height of professionalism and maturity? Crystal Delights, for holding their tongue and not engaging in a pointless Twitter fight with these idiots.

YOUR BEHAVIOR ON TWITTER AND FACEBOOK WILL DIRECTLY IMPACT YOUR COMPANY.

It is that simple. If companies cannot comprehend this, then frankly they deserve whatever backlash they get. It’s common sense. But apparently, neither Liberator or RubyGlass21 have any common sense.