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 152013
 

Fucking Sculptures – Small Green G-Spoon

Fucking Sculptures - Small Green G-Spoon Glass Dildo

I’d be willing to bet that at least a few hundred people suddenly fell in love with Fucking Sculptures after my first review, of their Large Gold G-Spoon. And with good reason; these are probably some of the most artistic dildos we’ve seen!

But for those who were intimidated by the heft and size of the Large, take heart: they do make small and medium sizes. Of course, much like in the clothing industry, small isn’t always small and medium isn’t always medium. I have looked at the specs for some of the medium sized pieces up at SheVibe and I was surprised to see measurements that still seemed to be more on the “large” end of the scale. SheVibe was wondering if they should carry any of the Small sizes, and generously sent me one to review for them.

Fucking Sculptures - Small Green G-Spoon Glass Dildo

I won’t keep you in suspense: Yes, SheVibe, please carry the Small sizes! The Small Green G-Spoon, shown here, is actually quite a good size for many people. Not too big, not too small, it feels like the Goldilocks of Glass Dildos. My Small is just a hair under 1.5″ wide from side to side, but it’s more like 6/8″ from top to back; if I wrap the measuring tape around the fattest part, it’s just under 4″. It’s about 8-9″ in length, depending on how you measure. With a straight ruler it’s closer to 8″; if you use a flexible tape and do tip-to-tip it’s 9″. When you see a measurement on SheVibe.com, it means that they have measured the piece you’re buying. They take an average between the two length measurements and use the widest part for the width.

As I said before, handblown glass dildos all will vary in size, color and shape from one to the next. Some brands more than others. I’ve seen Crystal Delights glass toys in person and while there is the expected bit of variance, they do stay in their projected range fairly well. So even though the dildos from Fucking Sculptures will vary, the benefit to purchasing them from SheVibe is that (for now, anyways) the photo you see on the site is the exact piece you will be getting. When you’re dealing with artistic pieces like this, I don’t begrudge them the variances but I do wholeheartedly feel that it would only help matters to list each piece individually (like you would see on Etsy). There are design differences, along with the obvious size differences, between my two G-Spoons and also between these and the ones shown on the Fucking Sculptures site and on SheVibe.com. If I were torn between, say, the red and the gold colors but I could choose between the exact red and gold dildos in this image below (the middle ones) then seeing the shape of the gold one would make my choice easier.

5 Different G-Spoons ~ The top 2 are on SheVibe, the middle two are on FuckingSculptures and the bottom 2 are mine

Where my Large has a very rounded and bulbous end to it, my Small is much more “tongue” shaped and flattened. The Large does have some grooves running down it, but the Small has grooves and then some….indented “holes” (which aren’t holes but appear to be at first) that actually don’t make sense. And they do make cleaning a bit difficult, to be honest. This could just be a design quirk that is purely unique to mine and it will never be encountered again, I won’t know, but this is the only thing that could pass as a “complaint” from me on these beautiful glass dildos. While the Large was able to broadly target my g-spot and offer a full feeling with the girth, the Small allows a little more targeted g-spot pressure without quite as much girth. And, of course, the Small weighs a lot less (my Small is 12 ounces and my Large is 23.5 ounces) . I had first requested the Large from Fucking Sculptures because I prefer my dildos to be long in the handle, but even the small G-Spoon has quite enough length for comfort of use. You’ll of course find different lengths on the various designs. This Green G-Spoon has a little bit more of what I called a “Dairy Queen” curl than the Gold G-Spoon, in fact it’s enough to make this green dildo look a bit more like a vegetable! I found though that it does have a practical purpose: it gives my fingers something to press against for better grip on the handle. Overall I just really like this style and I enjoyed using both sizes. The Green glass is a little bit more consistent with what it looks like in various lighting, whereas the Gold (because it is so metallic) could look like steel in some lights or rich amber in others. The Green also has sparkles – not glitter, I’m sure, but in certain good lighting it’s easier to see than in others. I managed to capture it in the evening setting sun the best. Both colors are really pretty so it’s just down to personal preference; since green isn’t really a color I prefer usually, the Gold is much more my speed. For the many who adore green? You’ll love this. It was hard to capture the exact color and quite honestly in most light I could mistake this for a zucchini at quick glance!

Fucking Sculptures - Green Small G-spoon vs Gold Large G-spoon Fucking Sculptures - Green Small G-spoon vs Gold Large G-spoon

So if you’re more Type A than B, I would suggest looking at SheVibe.com for purchasing these beautiful works of art. It takes a lot of work on their part to photograph every single different Fucking Sculptures dildo that they put up on their site, but if I knew for 100% certain that the dildo in the photo was the exact dildo I was receiving, it would make me more likely to take the plunge. What do you guys think?

Fucking Sculptures - Small Green G-Spoon Glass Dildo

Fucking Sculptures - Small Green G-Spoon Glass Dildo

Fucking Sculptures - Small Green G-Spoon Glass Dildo

Feb 022013
 

In the blink of an eye suddenly the sex toy world was treated to what is possibly a line of the most gorgeous glass dildos – Ever. They are hand blown by a little company out in California who named their line “Fucking Sculptures” and have possibly the best tag line ever: “where sex meets art, then fucks itself.”  From their site: 

Fucking Sculptures are individually made pieces of fine, fucking art. Each piece is hand-sculpted, unique and perfect in its own way; crafted with intentionality and mindfulness to invite pleasure through all the senses. Fucking Sculptures are contrastingly playful and heavy, genderless and gendered, beautiful and crude.

I do have a tiny bit of a control issue when it comes to products like glass dildos because they are usually hand blown – whether it’s done by an artisan or in a factory, there has to be an expected fluctuation in size, shape and color. In the past, all of the glass dildos I’ve reviewed were lackluster. They all were pretty enough, and decent enough, but never truly amazing to look at.  The designs and methods of coloring them were all the same: an internal “flower” or stripe coiling through it or just some sort of something in the center. They were all mostly clear glass with some embellishments. They were also all usually made from borosilicate or Pyrex glass. Crystal Delights is an exception to the lackluster; their products are beautiful, too, but they are not quite the pieces of art that is Fucking Sculptures.

Fucking Sculptures dildos are indeed art. Truly, no two will ever be alike. So while this may cause a little concern for those feel like they need a certain size, you are quite welcome to contact the company and tell them exactly what you need. If you see a style and color that you like but are concerned about the size, Maria from Fucking Sculptures assured me that they’ll find you one that matches your needs as closely as possible. When I was looking at the G-Spoon, I knew I wanted a longer handle. This meant that I would get the Large size. I didn’t fully realize that that would also translate to girth. While the “average” G-Spoon is 1.5″, mine is a little wider. It’s hard to measure though because it’s more oval shaped than round. You’ll also notice that my design is slightly different than the photos on the site. While that little curly tip there at the small end means that mine can’t lay “upright” on it’s own like the ones on the site do, it ended up meaning that I had a very unique double-ended dildo. I’ve used both ends now and loved it. That little curly tip gave me very precise g-spot pressure; in fact I got a little too carried away after my first orgasm and kinda bruised my g-spot for the rest of the night. Oops. At first I thought that the width at the larger end would be too big for me, but it was not. The spoon sort of shape combined with the oval/tongue shaped shaft lent an interesting sensation to the mix….and it also made for some noisy self-fucking for some reason. Perhaps I was aerating my vagina. 

The color of my Sculpture is also a lot different than the photos on the site, and I’m actually ok with that.  I accepted the fact that these are basically art pieces and I was open to the experience. The “gold” color as shown on the site for the G-Spoon looks more amber and seems to show hints of other colors. The Gold that I have is very metallic for most of the dildo. If you are near a light source you can see that the glass is more amber colored all the way through but it seems almost “dipped” in this metallic gold. It’s very cool, and really changes a lot depending on the lighting in the room. When I first showed my husband the room was very dim (we’re cave-dwelling geeks and prefer low lighting at night, very low lighting) and he thought it was actually another Njoy stainless steel toy, the metallic looked more silver because there was no light to refract and pull in colors. You’ll see below in a few photos where I managed to capture a variety of different looks. I don’t know if you’ll see quite as much variety from daylight to indoor lighting in their non-metallic colors but I’m betting you will see some differences. 

Fucking Sculptures has chosen to use soda-lime glass as opposed to borosilicate glass (Pyrex is one brand of that type). Maria says: 

Soda lime glass is old school. It’s also the most common type of glass in use today, but most people are not particularly aware of this. Traditional “glass blowers”  that do all of their work by hand typically use soda lime glass. Basically the only difference between the two types is that soda lime glass is slightly more temperature sensitive. You can compare it to a pint glass. If you were to pour boiling water into a pint glass, it might crack. Same with your Fucking Sculpture. That’s why we try to take particular care to inform people to gradually warm or cool their pieces and not to go suddenly from one temperature extreme to another.

Maria has quite the enviable job. You see, Lee is her life partner and business partner and he is the glass blower. They collaborate on designs and then she gets to go test them! I would love to be able to watch Lee make these, hopefully someday they will have a video up of him making one of the Sculptures. There’s really not a lot else I can say about my particular dildo since your particular Fucking Sculptures won’t look *just* like mine, so I’ll let the photos do the rest of the talking.

FuckingSculptures-001

FuckingSculptures-003

FuckingSculptures-009

FuckingSculptures-004

FuckingSculptures-012

FuckingSculptures-002

FuckingSculptures-011

 

Quite honestly the entire line just eclipses any other glass dildo that I’ve ever lusted after. It makes the designs of Icicles from Pipedreams and even Steele Malone look…..pedestrian. Meh. But these? These are just amazing. Currently these are available from the Fucking Sculptures online store, or you can see them in person if you live near Berkeley, California (I think). She-Vibe.com will also carry some of their pieces. 

 

Thank you Maria and Lee of Fucking Sculptures for providing me with this beautiful piece of fucking art to review! 

Jan 282013
 

ETA: The Comet G is actually growing on me a little. But now they have out a VIBRATING version which I’ve got high hopes for.

Jopen Key Comet Wand

There are glass dildos and silicone dildos, but never have I seen a silicone-covered glass dildo. The Jopen Key Comet G is pretty unique in that aspect. It is a decidedly g-spot dildo and therefore….I (and others) cannot help but compare it to the Njoy Pure Wand. There is no shortage of g-spot targeting sex toys but it seems that the Pure Wand is king of the heap for most reviewers. So when I was told that the Key Comet Wand was just about as good as (or for some, better than) the Pure Wand I had to try it.

My one and only complaint about the Pure Wand is the weight. I’m no spry young thing and I have a disorder that affects muscle strength. It doesn’t take much for my hand and/or wrist to be bothered by the Pure Wand if I’m going at it too long; of course the upside is that orgasms come fast and furious with the Pure Wand. The Key Comet Wand is quite a bit lighter weight than the Pure Wand, but still retains some heft thanks to the glass core. It’s a nice balance.

However, the thing (one of the things) I love best about the Pure Wand is that it is made of stainless steel and I never, ever ever need lube. No matter what. It glides with ease and there is no trouble with insertion. The Key Comet Wand though is covered in a matte silicone that is silky smooth to the touch but has quite a bit of drag during insertion. I actually had to get out my old lube bottle to use the Comet. For once my own wetness wasn’t enough. I’m not a person who normally uses lube; therefore I don’t keep it handy and I’m pretty lazy. The fact that I have to drag it out is a bit of an irk for me.

keycometwandDue to the drag and need for lube, at first I thought that the Comet Wand was bigger than the Pure Wand. The bulbous end of the Comet Wand is the same size as the large end of the Pure Wand (a ball with a max width of 1.5″), but the shaft of the Comet is a little bit wider. This is neither good nor bad but it’s not a huge size. The shaft isn’t the point, anyways, when you’re targeting your g-spot. This isn’t a toy for those who simply want girth.

Let’s Talk About Materials – Silicone AND Glass in One

The unique part about the Key Comet Wand is the combination of two well-loved non-porous materials: glass and silicone. The handle portion is all solid glass and feels very substantial. Jopen says that the Comet is made from durable glass dipped in body-safe silicone. The “dipped in” leads you to believe that it’s mostly glass. I got curious though. I pressed the bulbous tip against the corner of my desk and I was able (although I had to use a lot of pressure) to press in farther than I expected to and farther than I can on the silicone-covered portion of the shaft. I was also able to grab the bulbous head in my hand and move it slightly. My guess is that the glass doesn’t go all the way down and into the bulbed tip.  There are very subtle raised ridges in the design that don’t add anything you can feel, just something visual; the ridges start at the glass handle and appear to continue on down seamlessly through the silicone “dipped” portion.  I have to admit, the geek in me kinda wants to ruin this dildo and take a box cutter to the silicone to determine just how much glass is in the body. I won’t, but I’m really damn tempted.

Of course I must also note that cleaning this dildo isn’t quite as simple as you might think, based on the materials. Normally any dildo made of metal, glass or true silicone can be boiled (carefully) to sanitize. They’re non-porous so technically it doesn’t take much to sanitize but the Comet G cannot be boiled, cannot be put in the dishwasher top rack, etc. It needs to be simply washed in soap and water (a 10% bleach solution if you need it for sharing, a rinse after that please) because of the combination of materials but mostly that Key emblem glued into the handle.

If this g-spot dildo were made entirely of glass, it would turn off the many people who still think that glass sex toys will just shatter inside their Hulk-like vagina. If it were made entirely of silicone, it would lack the balanced weight and heft and firmness. The silicone also gives peace of mind to the glass paranoids and protects from chipping the internal portion. I can also appreciate that they finished the silicone with something similar to Lelo’s Silicone Soft Touch, leaving behind a matte-finish silky feel silicone that doesn’t attract lint, dust or fur. Jopen will tell you to only use water-based lube because of the silicone component, but as I’ve mentioned before, not all silicone lubes (nor silicone sex toys) are created equal. Some will be just fine when combining. I’ve successfully used Wet’s Synergy hybrid lube and their Platinum all-silicone lube on all of my high end dildos and vibrators and never had a problem. I tried it on the Comet and it was just fine. How do you know? Apply a small dab to a portion near the handle or base, depending on the toy. Within a minute, if the two are not compatible, the lube will become gummy. If left on, the silicone of the toy will become sticky and weird, too. This has not yet happened to me with Wet lubes; Metis also recommended Sliquid and Pjur as silicone lubes compatible with Tantus’s Platinum silicone.

The Boring Deets – Colors, Packaging, etc

Comet G comes in 3 terribly predictable colors: a candy-grapey-purple, an old-school-eraser-pink, and a turquoise-y-blue that some might call “robin’s egg” blue. The glass handle is a pastel matching version of the silicone. The glass handle has a sort-of ball end with a bit of a curve to mirror the g-spot bulb; embedded in one side of the curved end is the Jopen Key logo that appears to be actual metal (an alloy mix) rather than Lelo’s “metal” accents which are just metallic-painted plastic. The box is black and whatever color your dildo is; you could use it for storage but it’s not a subtle and sturdy box like many luxury makers go for. You slide off the top portion of the box to reveal a book-style box inside; the Comet G Wand is nestled in foam which has a ribbon tab to lift up where the storage bag and manual is found. The storage bag is made from the same material that We-Vibe uses – a kinda stiff, crinkly water-resistant fabric that feels cheap (unlike the satin that most luxury toy makers use). The storage bag isn’t padded. All in all, I’m not impressed by the packaging or storage bag.

Size Matters

As for size, at first comparison the Comet G and the Pure Wand look really damn similar. When it comes to curved dildos like this though there are two ways to measure, just like there are two ways to measure the distance between two addresses: “As the crow flies” or following the roads. As the crow flies, the two are about the same at 8 inches. But the true tip-to-tip tells another story and shows how much more curved the Pure Wand is: The Comet G is about 9.5 inches where the Pure Wand is a little over 11 inches. The widest width on both is that large bulbed end, at 1.5 inches. But where the Pure Wand is a true double-sided dildo offering you two differently sized ends to use, the Comet G Wand is only usable one way.

cometvspureNow the tip-to-tip length may not seem important at first, but I found after my second use that it does matter to me. As I’ve said in the past I have short arms and a fat buddha belly and the C-curve plus the length of the Pure Wand is about the most ergonomic and easy to use design for me, hands down. The Comet G is mostly C-shaped, but that bulb on the handle tips back in an weird subtle S-shape. The handle tip also is more “fiddlehead fern” than true bulb and I found that it was a lot harder to keep a good grip on it than the Pure Wand. I found myself really need that extra inch and a half and the easier-to-grip bulb of the Pure Wand. While I was indeed able to finally get good g-spot stimulation and orgasm better than most other dildos, the clumsy grip means that I will still reach for the Pure Wand despite it’s heft. Speaking of weight, the Comet G is 9.5 ounces where the Pure Wand is 1 pound 8.75 ounces – nearly a pound heavier.

Final Answer?

I can’t totally discount the Comet G Wand, but I also can’t say that I’d ever recommend it over the Njoy Pure Wand unless you absolutely need something under 1 pound in weight due to arthritis, injuries or muscular disorders – however on the flip side, the handle is a bit more difficult to keep under grasp but I think a creative person could come up with an add-on to the handle to make it larger and easier to grip. Sure, the Comet G is priced a little lower than the Pure Wand (on EF, $90 for the Comet G, $108 for the Pure Wand) so I wouldn’t recommend the Key Comet G Wand as a more affordable alternative to the Pure Wand. There are lots of g-spot options out there, and not everyone likes or needs the firm pressure that I do.

Apr 292012
 

There are two sex toy materials that seem to scare the uninitiated: Glass and wood1. It is ironic considering that the material you should be the most scared of is the one 50% of customers purchase willingly and gleefully. But glass is strong, non-porous, is not made with chemicals and is compatible with every type of lube.

The World of Glass Sex Toys

The glass we use is Borosilicate glass (often known as the trade name “Pyrex”). A 1-inch rod of Pyrex glass requires more than 3000 pounds of pressure to snap in half and has a crush strength of over 8 tons. Our glass pieces, after being formed initially,  are put back into the kiln and “annealed” (heated) almost back to melting point. This gives each piece its final smoothness and brings the glass back to its full strength because all the parts have been completely fused together into a single solid work of art.  This adds hours of extra time to the process and is one of the first places that will be scrimped on with the much less expensive glass products.  Knowing where the glass comes from is really important to help you understand that every piece you receive is a unique handmade piece of art crafted lovingly just for you!

Shellie, owner of Crystal Delights glass dildos and plugs

Not all glass sex toys are created equal, however. I’ve certainly been disappointed in quality issues with glass dildos I’ve received (the most obvious being the ugly one) – mainly because despite the “hand-blown” buzz word, the toys were mass-produced and failed to look like the photos provided. When you buy a glass sex toy you absolutely must be prepared to receive something that is not a perfect replica down to the millimeter of the photos and specs on the retail site you’re purchasing from. But yet too much of an anomaly leads to surprises of the bad kind, disappointments, and sometimes leaves you with a sex toy you have no desire to use. I’ve owned glass dildos from Pipedreams, Joyful Pleasures, Dream Toys and SSA Glass. Joyful Pleasures was probably the best out of those but it still was a let down due to the size difference from their stats to what I actually received. The SSA Glass dildos were all huge disappointments in all aspects: quality, design and consistency. But then again the saying “you get what you pay for” is true; SSA Glass is cheap and it shows. The cheaper glass sex toys still won’t break during sexual use but they might chip more easily. They certainly won’t have the artistic beauty and careful construction like truly hand-made glass toys will.

One thing that all of the above sex toy manufacturers have in common is that their glass dildos are produced in a large plant in China. This isn’t necessarily a death sentence but it depends on how involved the manufacturer is in their quality control – I’ve dealt with companies who manufacture in China and they turn out quality products that are consistent. But what if you knew that your sex toy was made locally by a skilled artisan and that it passed through only a few hands before arriving on your doorstep?

Crystal Delights – Small Manufacturer of High-Quality Glass Sex Toys

Crystal Delights Twist dildos and anal plugs Crystal Delights display case - glass dildos, glass plugs, a bunny tail and more One of the many unique Crystal Delights "vintage" series, made from antique buttons, medallions, etc. This one is mine!!

I have talked with Shellie, the owner, a few times about sex toy businesses and her glass sex toys. Talking to her always reinforces why we should make the effort to choose small sex toy companies over the Founding 5. Shellie designs the toys, inspects them and packages them up for shipment herself. You’ll never receive a plug or dildo or paddle that she hasn’t personally looked over to make sure it meets her standards. She uses just one local glass blower who is very adept at creating consistently high quality items. While you still see minor differences in size because there is no mold to fill, you can also do something with Shellie that you can’t do with larger companies: Talk to her. I know, it’s a novel idea! But let’s say that you’re eying up her small glass butt plug and you’re still really new to anal plugs. You might feel a little nervous about the size and wish that it was a little smaller. All you have to do is email Shellie and tell her that you’d like a plug that runs a little under the normal specs. If you’d like to go even further you can contact her to make a custom piece!

I have my own glass plug2 courtesy of Shellie and I’ve seen all of her stuff in person a few times. The vintage plugs, the Swarovski crystal plugs and dildos, the glass paddles, the tail plugs – it is all, without a doubt, the most stunning and sparkly glass sex toy collection I’ve ever seen. Not one piece looked weird or wonky. In fact, I don’t think I’ve even read a bad review on her stuff.

A pile of Crystal Delights glass butt plugs sparkling in the sun - taken in the vendor room at MomentumCon 2012

Image courtesy of Crystal Delights

I asked Shellie a few questions because I’m a Sex Toy Geek!

How do you come up with your designs?

The basic design is the easy part!  You can get inspiration from almost anything, it can be the color, the shape, the attachment (crystal, medallion, tail) or even a customer request, can I have this but bend it this way or add a bump here, shorter, longer, you get the point.  But that really is the beauty of glass, it is very adaptable!

Do you do a lot of testing and revamping the designs before you list them?

That is a difficult question, sometimes things just come together and its fast and perfect right off the bat, but other times it takes months to get it just right, there is testing here before it goes out to my “product testers” and then feedback from them before it is ready to launch.  What I think is a brilliant idea sometimes isn’t!

What sort of “quality control” things do you do that a large manufacturer overseas wouldn’t do?

This is one of the things that I love about glass manufacturing, I touch and look at every piece of glass that goes out the door to a customer. And I am the second line that has done that, because the glass blower has already looked at it as well.  We want to be able to take those extra steps to make sure we are giving you the best possible product for your money.  We know that you have many choices and we want you to be glad you picked us for your business.   I try to be available as much as possible via social media, email, even phone to help with anything that might come up, we want you to know we take customer service, and our products seriously.

Can you work with people to create a custom design or size?

We can and do!  I have several custom pieces out there already and I often contact people when I get a special tail, or medallion in that I think they would love.  Again that is part of what is special about handmade glass from a small company; I like to know my customers and what they want and ,if there is any way possible, get it to them.  That isn’t a possibility from the big box manufacturers importing from China.

Glass Sex Toy Pros, Cons and Myths

  • Pro: Glass is non-porous and free of any chemicals that might be harmful
  • Pro: Glass is compatible with any type of lube
  • Pro: Glass is easy to clean (depending on the design, of course as some more elaborate designs can require more than just a rinse to get in the crevices) and can be sterilized in boiling water or the top rack of your dishwasher. Check with the manufacturer, though, before subjecting it to high heat.
  • Myth: Glass sex toys will break during use – I don’t know what people think when they think of glass sex toys but the truth is that they’re made out of a very sturdy and solid glass (borosilicate) that is resistant to cracks and damage. This isn’t like your grandmother’s antique glassware or anything. 98% of glass sex toys are solid, not hollow3.
  • Myth: Glass sex toys will cut/injure you – Unless you managed to chip it, that’s simply impossible. Before you use your glass sex toys you should always inspect them for damage. While they are difficult to damage with normal use, it’s still possible to accidentally drop it on the wrong surface at the wrong angle and incur damage. 
  • Pro: Glass is a natural and reusable material. Have a glass toy that chipped? Safely smash it up to bits and use it in a mosaic somewhere; otherwise try to locate a recycler who takes this type of glass (Just ask if they recycle Pyrex-type glass).
  • Con: Glass is very sensitive to temperature – great for temperature play if you do it correctly (warm or cool water only) but you must be careful! You know what happens when you stick out your tongue and lick a frozen lamp pole, right? Yeah. Don’t ever freeze your sex toys for sadistic play. Don’t dunk them in boiling water for cleaning without donning silicone oven mitts or having another safe method of retrieval.
  • Con: One chip and you’re done for. Yes, it can chip. It’s not something that happens easily and I’m not saying that you should only use glass sex toys in a padded room but do be careful. When you’re boiling it for cleaning, have a tea towel in the pot to protect surfaces and only do one sex toy at a time. Dishwashers are fine. I’d caution clumsy people against using a glass dildo if you’re in a room full of concrete or ceramic surfaces (in case you drop it).
  • Pro: You won’t need as much lube for a clear glass (i.e. non-frosted) sex toy
  • Pro: Can double as art! I’ve seen some stunning pieces that could easily sit in a china cabinet. Of course you should only do this if you’re prepared for the “Ohhh that’s pretty…..what is it?” question.

 

Steele Malone Glass "Dilettos"/Dildos

Image Courtesy of Steele Malone, manufacturers of artistic glass dilettos

Just like with any other sex toy, you should be mindful of which glass sex toy manufacturers you entrust. Not all glass toys are made from damage-resistant heat-resistant borosilicate and not all borosilicate glass toys are annealed for extra strength! This is why I personally  recommend Crystal Delights and other small manufacturers like Simply Blown and Steele Malone who all use glass-blowers and keep things simple and local4. I’ve also seen some very unique glass sex toys on Etsy which are made by glass artisans and can range from the mundane been-there-done-that to beautiful, original works of art.

Do you have any more questions on glass sex toys? Ask and I will get the answers!

Already familiar with the joys and beauty of glass? Tell me in comments what your most favorite pieces are!

  1. If I had a dollar for every time I saw a comment about Nobessence or Hans wooden dildos saying something along the lines of “I’d be scared of splinters!!” I’d be a somewhat rich woman. Still annoyed as hell, but at least rich and annoyed
  2. It’s fucking gorgeous, I love so many of her vintage ones but this one spoke to me, you can see it here
  3. Actually I’ve only seen one hollow glass dildo and it was made by Don Wands. It was hollow because they painted the design on the inside. This left a small hole in the dildo where the miniscule brush went in and during use small amounts of body fluid and lube would get in. During cleaning, water would get in. It also resulted in a dildo that left a lot of people feeling nervous about its strength
  4. I’ve never seen or tried out a Simply Blown or Steele Malone dildo, though, they’re not common at online stores and they’re too pricey for me to buy!
Feb 252012
 

Joyful Pleasures Curved Joy Flower Glass Dildo

I’ve owned a few glass dildos in my time; my first one was a bit of a let-down, as it wasn’t as heavy as I thought it would be. My second one was even more of a let-down, since it looked nothing like the original photos on the seller’s site and the new design left a lot to be desired. Then I received recently the Curved Joy Flower from MyPleasure for review. Made by a company called Joyful Pleasure, it is a handmade glass dildo yet still mass-produced.

The upside to handmade glass dildos:

They’re a lot like snowflakes – no two will ever be exactly identical

The downside to handmade glass dildos:

The variances can sometimes vary wildly from the manufacturer’s listed specs. This can mean size or color or decorative work.

The Curved Joy Flower is a solid, and pleasantly hefty, shatter-proof glass dildo. [Check out the properties and proper care of glass dildos] The pretty flower that is inside the double bulb end is quite beautiful to look at – I love the 3D design of it. All in all, the design and color of this are pretty close to the photos I’ve seen on MyPleasure and the manufacturer’s website. What was different, however, was the size. Luckily for you, the retail sites accurately portray the sizing of this: which is a max width of 1.5″. That size is only at the bulged portion of the tulip-shaped single end. Is there anything really wrong with 1.5″? No. But when you visit the manufacturer site and go by their measurements (less conscientious retailers will likely use the manufacturer’s measurements without doing any research themselves) they claim that the dildo is 1.75″ wide. A quarter of an inch in width translates to a lot more noticeable girth than you might imagine. For some, especially when you’re dealing with solid materials like glass, 1.75″ wide is going to be too big. I had been hoping for the larger size and so I was a little bit disappointed.

It was pointed out to me that this is what you get with handmade glass sex toys – diversity. Since there is no mold, they can’t be identical. But when you’re expecting 1.75″ wide and you get 1.5″ wide…..well, that’s a let-down. And if you were expecting 1.5″ wide and got 1.75″ wide? That would be an unpleasant surprise for most. After I received this glass dildo for review, I purchased two on my own (which I’ll review in the future) from another company and found the same problems: The sizes were different than the specs. Both were smaller than what was listed. Why is this happening so much? Is it because (and I hate to sound like I’m all “down with China”, because I’m not entirely) they are handmade yet still mass-produced in China? Would we get more consistency in the sizing and quality from a smaller company like Crystal Delights?

Well anyways. Moving on to the dildo itself. It’s pretty, it’s nicely hefty but not overly so, and has a dual-ended thing going on so that you can choose the style that suits you best. The gentle curve on the shaft is generally good for g-spot stimulation; using the stacked-bulb end for thrusting would add extra stimulation for your g-spot. Overall there’s nothing really “wrong” with this dildo (other than the sizing issue). For me personally it doesn’t trump the g-spot prowess of the Pure Wand but at half the price this is nothing to scoff at. The Curved Joy Flower that I received has an orange-ish red spiral in the shaft and the tapered bulb, and a teal-with-yellow flower in the bulb. Women who don’t like a lot of bumpy texture would enjoy this glass dildo, but women who don’t like things catching on their pubic bone might encounter issues with this if they also prefer slimmer dildos. I had no problems with it.

My only real complaint is that while the packaging for it is pretty it isn’t meant for storage and they don’t include a padded pouch, or a pouch of any kind. Storing your glass dildos in a protective cloth pouch is absolutely essential to maintaining a safe, chip-free sex toy. The packaging is a nicely designed cardboard box and the glass dildo is in a plastic mold. Throw away the plastic part and the box is quite a bit bigger than the dildo so that’s why I say it’s not ideal for storage since it’s a pretty big box.

Joyful Pleasures Curved Joy Flower Glass Dildo vs Njoy Pure Wand Stainless Steel Dildo  Joyful Pleasures Curved Joy Flower - Close-up of the glass flower   Joyful Pleasures Curved Joy Flower Glass Dildo - One end has a tapered, tulip-shaped bulb and the other has two stacked bulbs

 

Product received in exchange for an honest review.