The Bedroom Kandi line’s Hold On To Me is a kegel exerciser set that is similar in execution to the Lelo Luna Beads. There are a lot of differences between the two products but a lot of similarities, namely, the ability to gradually increase the weight of the beads as your muscles get stronger. Both products feature 4 ABS plastic spheres/balls/beads, the ability to use one or two at a time, and a silicone “holster” for when you want to use two at a time. Since I do a lot of comparisons in my reviews it’s only natural that I’ll be doing a lot of comparing in this one to the Lelo Luna Beads because it is a product that has been around for years and so many are familiar with them. The Hold On To Me spheres are a lot more femme-y and girly looking whereas the Luna Beads look more plain. This is a type of product though that, for me, design is a far distant second to function.
While the Luna Beads are only 2 different weights (the pink beads are 28 grams each and the blue beads are 37 grams each) the Hold On To Me set contains 1 bead each of 4 different weights. All beads look identical, but there is gold paint on the outside to differentiate between them, like dots on dice. The bead weights are: 25 grams, 30 grams, 35 grams, 40 grams. A big different between the HOTM and Luna beads is the size. Luna Beads are 36mm while HOTM beads are only 30mm. 6mm might not seem like a lot but it matters. Users of the Luna Bead system who found that the beads were a little too big for comfort might enjoy the smaller size of the Bedroom Kandi Hold On To Me set. The holster for the HOTM beads is also more diminutive and a lot more flexible – this can be a good thing or bad. I personally found that this floppiness made the 2-bead set harder to insert than the more sturdy Luna Beads. Also, for the Luna Beads the retrieval cord appears to simply be cotton string but it is a nylon coated string. It doesn’t absorb fluids or stain, and it is attached to the bead itself. For the HOTM set, the retrieval cord is part of the holster – and it is very stretchy. In fact, it stretches out to double the original length. This is bad. You do not want stretch on a removal cord. Why?
It’s like a rubberband. Literally. The sleekness of the material combined with the small size and stretch is a recipe for disaster when met with slippery fingers. And your fingers will be slippery because in most women the use of kegel beads increases their natural vaginal lubrication. I had an issue with this and it resulted in a rubberband-like painful snap to my labia. Yes, you’re all cringing and crossing your legs right now as well you should be. I’m not the only reviewer who had this problem, Sada K did as well.
Another problem with the design is this “dot” system for designating the weights. The paint is on the outside of the plastic spheres, not the inside. And it does indeed rub off. I used my double set twice and washed them 4 times. You can see below that the gold painted dots are completely gone and the BK logo has faded considerably. Where did this paint go? What is it made of?? I don’t know, and it concerns me. Sada had this same problem as well.
The spheres look quite a bit different in the online photos than in person. Online they appear to be mostly magenta but in reality it is a clear ABS plastic sphere with a magenta colored weight inside that rattles around. When reading about how the Lelo Luna Beads work, they specifically state that you don’t have to do anything, that it is basically a passive exerciser. As the weights “vibrate” (they don’t really, it just sorta feels that way) and rattle around inside the plastic outer ball, that whole motion is tapping your kegel muscles, making them contract slightly without intervention. I can confirm that is true because one time I just stepped right up to using both of the blue Luna Beads for a few hours (stupid) and the next day my kegel muscles were sore. Like “too many sit-ups” sore. Except, ya know, not my abs. Some people don’t like that obvious rattling feeling of the Luna Beads; those people would perhaps appreciate the Hold On To Me spheres better. The plastic sphere is smaller but the size of the weight appears to be the same so you don’t get that somewhat-pronounced rattle that the Luna Beads produce, the HOTM is more subtle. So subtle that for me it didn’t really do anything. I tried the 2 lighter weight beads at first and then the next day the 2 heavier ones and I never felt the “whoa too much” soreness.
However, the manual never claims that the spheres will work that way. The manual actually tells you to do active kegel exercises while wearing the beads. Which, to me, defeats the purpose. Other kegel exercisers that you are meant to work against are larger, more solid, somewhat like a dildo. You clench around it, and well….I don’t know how they work exactly, I’ll be honest. But I know that you don’t insert them up inside the vaginal canal completely, like you do with balls/beads/spheres. So judging from the manual, the whole thing seems very pointless. I did do kegel exercises while wearing these and couldn’t discern that they were helping me in that way. And it’s not like you have to walk around all clenched up lest they fall out.
Speaking of the manual and instruction, I ran across some very troubling information in the exercises section. OhMiBod/Bedroom Kandi was actually recommending that if you’re unsure how to clench the PC muscles, you repeatedly stop and re-start the flow of urine while on the toilet. Repeatedly. As an exercise, not as a “training” guide to familiarize yourself with how and where and what to clench. That is not healthy! I can remember hearing from Ducky Doolittle (whom I consider to be the kegel master, she knows more than the average doctor) that it is problematic because it can cause infection and it can also bring about “overactive” bladder, which is the opposite of what you want! I immediately emailed BK via OMB about this, and heard back from Brian, founder of OhMiBod. According to him there was only a small run produced and many of these went to reviewers and such so a change in the manual is possible; he said they would change that part, I hope they do.
Finally, my biggest problem with the HOTM product is the material. It is stated that the black holster is silicone. I questioned Brian on this after I performed a flame test (which failed spectacularly) and he has held fast to the statement that the material is silicone, food-grade. I questioned if it might be a blend and he claimed that he consulted the lab paperwork to find that it was not a blend. He also tried the flame test himself and says that he did not have the results that I did. I don’t have proof of this, but he came off as a fairly honest individual. However, I took the item in question with me to MomentumCon knowing that there would be retailers and manufacturers present. I showed my holster to them and no one hesitated to say that it didn’t appear to be pure silicone. You can see the destruction of material in the photos below, but a video and more in-depth post
will be published very shortly is up explaining the flame test and showing various results. The behavior of the HOTM “silicone” material matched exactly that of the Screaming O Studio Line Vibrating Makeup Brush, which I know now to be a “silicone elastomer blend” product.
All in all, I’m not a fan of this product and I can’t recommend it. Silly name aside, the material safety issues and ineffectiveness of the weighted balls leaves me cold. The color scheme is pretty (to me, but then I love black and magenta). The box and packaging is nice and reminiscent (at first) to a cross between Njoy and Lelo. Except that it’s not. When you first open the container you see the spheres all nestled in a cloud of black satin. This is achieved by a cardboard riser with holes in it that are just barely big enough for the spheres to lay partially in but not fall through. They’re held in place firmly, though. Too firmly. In fact I had trouble pulling the ones in holsters out (that damn stretchy cord) so I had to remove the whole thing and push them out from underneath. After that the magic was lost and I tossed that part. However if you’re willing to forgive it, it would make for a decent travel case – albeit large – because they wouldn’t rattle. They do include though a satin drawstring pouch for travel.
I really think that the idea of gradually increasing the weights is ingenious and so I’ll continue to recommend the Lelo Luna beads instead.Read More
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“She was asking for it, dressed like that”
It’s a common “rape apologist” statement. The women who are raped are blamed because they dared to present themselves as a sexual being. I think that sex bloggers get a little bit of this mentality from male readers. I present my sexual thoughts or even sexual photos. Once upon a time on this blog I even asked for HNT suggestions for new sexy photos. I don’t do that anymore for various reasons. In fact I’m not all that provocative or sexual, period, on this blog. That is a topic though for another post.
My irritation1 lies with the readers who “in fun” take what I give and then demand more. In the vein of “it never hurts to ask” they claim they’re being flirtatious or really just paying me a compliment. If I wanted suggestions, I would ask for them. If I wanted to post more (quantity) photos here, then I would. If I wanted to post more revealing photos here, then I would. But the key here is that it’s whatever I want to do. If you don’t like it, if you don’t find it to be “enough”….then please, seek out what you want elsewhere. There are no shortage (thank god) of sexy sex bloggers who are more revealing, more flirtatious, more interactive than I. I’ve been at this 4 years now and perhaps this is a sign to wrap things up but nonetheless I’ll thank you to keep your assumptive asshattery to yourself.
What prompted this mini rant, you ask? Not just yet another guy2 who thinks it’s ok to ask for more (even when it should be plainly obvious that I have never / not for 3 years posted anything like it) but the utter cheek of a fellow blogger, a fellow female sex blogger (I presume, given her response, I haven’t a clue what her site is) who then takes my response to the guy and makes assumptions about HER. I don’t even know this chick. I didn’t make a derogatory comment about others who might post such photos, I didn’t say “ew gross no”. I said nothing but “I don’t do that”.
My response would have been similar if someone had commented and asked “Hey that’s great, but you really should review breakfast cereal more!” to which I’d say “Um, have you read my blog, does it look like I review breakfast cereal??” Would I be slamming those who review breakfast cereal? Fuck no. Nor am I slamming the women who do post porn with their reviews.
I might have happily acquiesced if he’d caught me circa late 2008 and had bothered to correspond with me and develop a rapport. Might have. But other than a few other irritatingly “cute” comments on Facebook, I don’t know this guy. He’s the equivalent to a stranger spying me wearing a low-cut top and asking, with an arrogant grin, for me to just show off the rest of my tits why don’t I. Ms. Buttinsky there is the equivalent to a stranger in proximity saying “hey, I’m a stripper, I take offense to your offense at baring your tits, what’s wrong with that, I do it all the time you bitch!”. Anyways, I’m getting off track here.
The bottom line is that now I not only have to deal with the “ugh, not this shit again” of unwanted and disrespectful demands for more of me, but I can’t even tell someone off on my own goddamned space of the internet without someone not at all involved thinking she has any damn right to assume and be offended at a perceived slight.
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Subtitled: When you’re right, you’re right or I should listen to my gut more
Once long ago in Babeland I fondled a few JimmyJane vibrators and was summarily unimpressed. I read a litany of mixed reviews from the entire spectrum of “LOVE IT” to “DIE IN A FIRE” and had figured out that JimmyJane’s Form line was largely overpriced “luxury” crap.
I was right. At least I got that goin for me.
I had an opportunity to grab the Form 6 and Form 3 from Red over at ToySwap (along with the now-defunct Cone vibrator and a Metal Worx “steel” dildo) and even though I knew I was probably going to hate them I JUST HAD TO. The things I do for you guys.
JIMMYJANE Form 3
In case you’ve been living under a rock, the innovative design of the Form 3 is supposed to combine your finger with the vibrator for “enhanced touch”1. Except…it really doesn’t. The motor is in the body of the vibrator, which is the lower half. Then the silicone forms a scoop that is just a silicone extension, sort of like a Rabbit Vibrator on steroids. The material vibrates but the portion where the motor resides isn’t what you press to your clit. You can put this “lip” or tongue or whatever sideways between your labia for a meh amount of vibration. But the design’s intention is for you to push your finger in the center there. The silicone in this section is a membrane and it feels like pushing in on a balloon. The problem is that as soon as you do this….and you touch your silicone finger to your body….the vibrations are practically nil. It’s a pretty simple theory as to why the vibrations are not being transmitted: it’s a piece of silicone material being vibrated by a distanced motor and as soon as you apply enough pressure, the vibrations nearly stop transmitting through the material altogether. To push through the membrane and have your finger-via-silicone touching your clit or your partner’s clit requires a lot of pressure. If you have any strength issues with your hand, any physical disabilities, etc you will probably not be able to use this. Arthritis? Carpal Tunnel? Tennis Elbow? FORGET IT.
So you turn the Form 3 on and you’re thinking “Hey…this seems pretty powerful!” and then you lightly touch the thicker sides of the scoop/lip/tongue and they’re “ok” but then you add a little more pressure and 60% of vibrations have left the building. You then awkwardly push your index finger through the silicone and suddenly 90% of the vibrations have left the building. I found myself grinding the rigid body of the Form 3 against my clit just to feel something. Except that it’s surface-buzzy for the most part. Definitely not deep or rumbly like the We Vibe Touch. The controls on it though are easier to use than those on the Form 6. Press “+” to turn it on and go through the 5 levels of vibrations; press “-” to turn it down or off, there is no “quick off” though. The bottom with the “~” symbol controls the pulsation type functions.
Even more frustrating is trying to charge the goddamn thing. It sits there, easy and cute in it’s charging base. The contacts must touch and they must touch just so. It’s more difficult to align than your average rechargeable computer mouse. Since it’s not magnetic it doesn’t snap into place and since the vibrator has a rounded body and the metal contact isn’t flat either you have an irritating game of the Weebles: JimmyJane Edition. Form 3 will blink at you like it’s laughing as you set it in the cradle and it falls over a little or slips down like drunken college kid trying to sit upright. After 15 tries and a few minutes you finally have the thing sitting just so and the charging light remains steady – forever. You won’t know by looking at it when it’s fully charged. No no, you have to pick it up and look at it for the blink pattern 2 and if you pulled it off too soon there we go again with the goddamn Weeble shit.
For all of the innovations packed into this little thing and the hefty price tag ($140-150) it is quite possibly a bigger rip-off than any Lelo toy when you rack up all the fails. If I wanted to sugar-coat it I could say that “it’s a great tease!” or “great for foreplay!” but you know what? I don’t come to vibrator-land looking for a fuckin tease. My fingers already have that job. Foreplay? Tongues are the VP. The job of my vibrator is to get me from any state of arousal to orgasm. Vibrators are my CEO, President and Head Bitch of the Orgasms Department. I am not willing to pay $145 for TEASING. I get that for free.
Who will like this: Anybody who enjoys buying luxury sex toys and requires barely any vibration added to pressure and massage of the clitoris for orgasm; if you require no pressure with your vibrator and like vibrations on the side of clit
Try this instead: We Vibe Touch – same size, rechargeable, luxury, much better vibrations OR Leaf Spirit if you don’t require strong & rumbly vibrations – moderate power, luxury, rechargeable, half the size of the Touch or Form 3, very unobtrusive.
This is enough venom and fire for one post, so the Form 6 will be talked about separately. OH HOW WE WILL TALK.
- JimmyJane actually says: “Because your fingertips direct the vibration through a thin surface, your partner feels your touch, not a hard plastic device. Touch, stroke or tease your partner exactly how you typically would with your fingers (with new superpowers, of course)” ↩
- 1 blink means it’s less than 1/3 charged, 2 blinks is 2/3rds charged, 3 blinks is fully charged and 4 blinks means you’re too tired and seeing shit that isn’t there ↩
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Sexforums.com contacted me last month to see if I’d be willing to do a review for Lelo’s newest addition (the Lelo Tiani) to coincide with their giveaway. Having already reviewed the Lelo Isla, their first line of “ultra premium” Insignia sex toys (and been one of the few people who couldn’t find much good to say about it) I was skeptical. But I was terribly curious about this SenseMotion thing and dying to see if a company like Lelo could be the one to pull off a remote controlled vibrator that actually worked. Believe me, I really wanted the Lelo Tiani to work out despite my jaded skepticism.
Between vibrating panties and wireless remote control vibrators there’s already plenty on the market that mainly don’t work very well. Whether the complaint is that they lack power/intensity, or the wireless remote’s connection to the vibe is wonky at best and doesn’t live up to the range distance claims, or that the remote is so simple the wielder has no idea if the toy is buzzing away for the other person and at what level – they’re all largely a waste of money and are all pretty expensive. This wireless stuff is pricey business.Read More
As I sit here in yesterday’s clothes and a forehead wrinkle that would make most upper class women instinctively reach out to rub it smooth and tell me the wonders of Botox, darling, I’m really happy that I have a job where I can sit here at home and do a little work and then do a little of this or that and put in my time in snippets. It works around my doctor visits and my grocery shopping and my trips to see/help my mother1. Some days it leads me to sex toys and sex toy manufacturers that absolutely disgust me; some days it simply leads me to companies that merely annoy me because of their cheesy crap and half-ass site; other days I’m shown the better side and see that there is good in the sex toy world.
I will start out addressing the small companies, the niche companies who are ultimately good eggs with products ranging from pretty decent to admirable. I write this post not to just let off some steam but with the smallest glimmer of hope that maybe…….just maybe….some of these words will land on the right computer screen and be taken to heart. Maybe one change will happen.
Dear Small Company;
You are trying hard. You are fighting the good fight, perhaps. You are making your items out of body-safe materials and you are not trying to pass off a wolf in sheep’s clothing as an innocent lamb2. But your online presence is really fucking important. Your website is super fucking important. As a customer I want photos and I want details. Lots and lots of details. I want to know the every dimension and exactly how it works. I don’t want some artistic/”French”/mysterious website that is more about the visual than the information. I can see your item or your kit and yet I have no fucking idea what exactly it is? I’m not going to buy it. As a person working for a reseller I want high quality photos of every item and every color and even more details than I’d want as a customer. Why do you make our jobs hard, when all we want to do is sell your product? How can we underlings write up your great products so that Consumer Joe Schmoe who doesn’t know jelly from silicone can see that they’re better and that they should buy your item instead of some dodgy crap from the Walmart-equivalents3 of sex toy manufacturing?
Update your site. Make it easy to browse and easy to read. Sure, go for your artistic merit but don’t let it take over the main goal: Showcasing your worthy sex toy product and telling us why it’s worth twice the money for what looks like the same thing from the Big Guys. Don’t skimp on the information about you and the toy. At all.
Dear Middle-but-good Company;
You’ve managed to become a name. A brand that people trust. You use silicone and I trust you that it’s actually and honestly 100% medical grade silicone. Now I will fully admit to not knowing a damn thing about how your stuff is manufactured and why your dildos cost as much as my monthly cable-slash-phone bill4 so I don’t feel that I can whine about them being so pricey. But it is really hard to sell your product to those people who haven’t learned their lesson yet or just are too cheap to care – all they see is $55/$75 for a sex toy when hey there’s one over there for $19.95! Some of those people will eventually learn; maybe after their doctor explains that the burning redness is from that dildo, or maybe after a storage mishap and their dildo melts.
Dear Luxury Sex Toy Manufacturers;
Despite being a toy snob, I’m not really a fan of you on the whole. Sometimes I am, like with Njoy but then they kinda fall into the small-niche moreso than luxury. But Njoy at least lives up to their price tag. You luxury guys….eh. You’re all about the bells and whistles and the super pretty packaging. A vibrator that you can customize to your preferred shape or rotation is impressive on paper but when I actually go to use it and find that all your promises are as useless as a fake Hallmark card? I’m gonna be harsh and pissed that I spent (or theoretically spent if given it for review) upwards of $100 on your sex toy, thinking that for sure YOU got me and finally…something good.
To you I have two things to say: Let your products speak for themselves – and save the buyers money by cutting back on that fancy ass packaging and the brooch5 and the extras. Second, for fucks sake gimme a better vibrator motor! If the cheap shit companies can use a motor that produces vibrations that go beyond tickling the surface of my skin so can you. The women and men who are buying your toys are not delicate fucking flowers. Put a decent motor in there that produces a vibration to be proud of, dammit, and then the controls for multiple speeds will make everyone happy – from the delicate flowers to the tough cookies. I do not like or support Doc Johnson on the whole (as an example) but unfortunately they make a couple bullet vibrators that are perfect – motor-wise. Zini, Lelo, Je Joue, JimmyJane, Nomi Tang, and others who create different/fun/new/pretty/innovative sex toys: I’d be backing you if your motors weren’t as limp as a wet noodle 9 times out of 10.
Dear Big Boys who’ve been around since the internet was invented and then some;
I’mma go ahead and name names right here – I’ve said this all before, it will come as no shock and I am not shy in voicing my disgust. CalExotics. Pipedreams. You guys make a lot of shitty products, some downright offensive products, and some eh products. I don’t trust you, I don’t like you. But you’re a big company and you’re everywhere. You have the Walmart angle. All of a sudden your previously labeled “jelly” toy is now suddenly body-safe non-porous TPR? Nope. Don’t believe you. Especially when it still fucking stinks to high heaven. Your perpetuation of disgusting gender stereotypes and bad ideas that you sell with copy that would make your own mother blush and you justify it by saying that it’s flying off the shelves so it’s what guys want6 and by golly you gotta give the people what they WANT! Fuck that. Have some fucking integrity. Topco, Doc Johnson – you might have some (minor) redeeming qualities/products but overall you’re crap. You, too, are contributing to the unsafe materials and shoddy mechanics and the bottom line is that you don’t care. You are a politician.
I can’t say anything to the powers that be in your companies. You will never EVER change. All I can hope for is that somehow those of us who know better are able to drown out your voice with the voices of the people who care and who are trying to produce something with integrity rather than make a buck.
Dear Resellers/Retail Stores who are determined to carry every product made;
I get it. You’re in this to make money. You’re one of a million other sites and the competition is stiff. But really, do you have to lower your standards and put flowery copy writing on utter shit and sell the items that might actually cause cancer, or at the very least are a colossal waste of the consumers money? Adam & Eve was the first site I bought a sex toy from. But when those first two sex toys quickly showed their ugly underbelly I lost faith in them as a whole. And I never shopped there again. You can make money AND have integrity. It requires a little more hard work, though. The internet isn’t the land of the quick, easy buck anymore.
I’ve been reviewing sex toys for 3 years. I’ve reviewed more than some people, but far fewer than others (which is probably because after the first year I was reluctant to review something that I just knew I wouldn’t like and it’s hard to review item after item that leaves you jaded and I’m not easy to please – but I’m not impossible either. I just refuse to sugarcoat a half-ass product). I’ve seen a lot. I’ve grown to know that I don’t have to put a positive, happy spin on every review I do even if the product wasn’t my thing or is overpriced. Would it help pad my bank account, as an affiliate? Sure it would. But that isn’t the reason I started reviewing toys and I’m going to be blunt. If that means I am the only person on the web saying that the latest high-tech Lelo toy is a sopping wet disappointment? So fucking be it. I’m not trying to be mean, I’m trying to be real and save other people like me the money.
It’s heartbreaking to see the little companies die. Jollies LLC made some great sex toys and they were really innovative without trying too hard (Zini, Je Joue, etc). Their products were at once simple yet unique yet just what we needed at the quality we wanted. But they went the way of the little corner bookstore after a Barnes and Noble moved in two blocks down. And it’s sad.
Jaded but Hopeful (in a cheerful Comic Sans font)
(If you are a “recipient” of one of these letters, for once I will allow companies to comment on a post. I generally don’t because they’re usually just trying to get a free link but if you are genuine in your response then I’ll post it. But don’t be offended if I remove the link to your company’s site and please….use your real name in the comment name field, and not the name of your company)
- Despite of course the fact that I can’t/don’t feel comfortable telling her exactly what I am doing and who for because I really don’t want to have that conversation and she’s a very suspicious woman of all things internet ↩
- I’m looking at you, CalExotics, publicly proclaiming that ALL of your TPR and PVC and “Cyberskin” and other squiffy hybrids are all free of phthalates and are totally body safe. For trying to say even that all your TPR is non-porous when I’d bet it isn’t because you’re too cheap and only in this to make money ↩
- I would consider this to be large companies who produce thousands of various items at low cost, mark them up 300%, don’t care what materials they’re using, mass-produce with shoddy quality control and are around because they were they first and they simply have the most stuff at places like Rt 15 Adult Book Store. Companies like California Exotic Novelties, Doc Johnson, Topco, Pipedream, BMS Enterprises, and Nasstoys. ↩
- and no, I don’t have Vonage ↩
- Yeah I’m talkin to you, Lelo, with that Insignia line that looks really fancy but is actually just plastic and mediocre vibrations ↩
- Yes, I’m talking to you, Pipedreams, with your “cum dumpster” copy on overpriced body parts ↩