While I love all that Njoy does, they haven’t done anything new in years so I’m always open to exploring other quality metal sex toys. A few months ago at SHE NYC I had the chance to talk to the guys of CU in Bed, who make copper alloy sex toys like the CuRious Wand. Why copper? We’ll get to that in a minute. But it’s part of the reason why I’m so torn on recommending it – it’s a trifecta of issues, really: Odor, design and price. I cannot help but compare it to the Pure Wand, so you’re going to see a lot of heavy comparison going on.
A Handful of Pennies
I’ve found that quality grades of stainless steel don’t have a metallic odor; I own stainless steel sex toys, silverware and a wedding band. None have ever made my hands (or anywhere else) smell of metal. But the CuRious Wand … it has a distinct odor of pennies, without the pretty copper color. I’m not sure how I didn’t notice this aspect when I was at SHE NYC because I fondled their prototype a LOT. But, the prototype I was fondling also had a mild copper color to it–I don’t know if this made a difference. I don’t see how it could. I was pretty surprised when they sent me one to review for Shevibe and the metal odor hit me pretty strong. Brief fondling left my hands reeking like I’d been holding a handful of wet coins. The odor on my hands doesn’t seem to last very long if I rub my hands on something fabric.
If that sort of smell doesn’t bother you then one of my biggest issues with the dildo will not be a problem for you. We had a collective conversation about this on Twitter, then I did a little poll and it seems that I’m in the majority. But let’s get to the question many vagina-owners had – does it make your vagina, your natural fluids, smell/taste like metal? Yes. I had the CuRious Wand in one hand, leaving the other untainted by copper odors, and used it for a few minutes. The fingers untainted by metal odors that then had my fluids on them smelled different. Very different. Almost like there was a bit of blood in my fluids (which is odd, right? Isn’t the iron in blood what leads to that smell/taste?). When I smelled the combination of my fluids ON the CuRious Wand I actually found the odor really offensive. Like I wouldn’t want to be the person using this on someone else with a vagina because the smell bothered me a lot. Maybe it won’t react with your vaginal fluids like that, maybe it will. I also wasn’t using lube — I personally do not need lube with slick toys like metal and glass and adding lube would just make me too wet. Would a covering of silicone lube or coconut oil help hinder the odor? I tried and found that it did, minimally, but I only used it that way for half a minute. I’m not sure what would happen if that were my entire session. I think that for SOLO USE this might not bother everyone. For coupled use it could be more of a problem. If I simply wash my hands right after I’m done using the CuRious Wand then it’s not going to bother me as much.
A Boring Design
So even though the design is similar (double-ended, curved) yet different (the shapes of the ends, the length) I cannot help but compare the CuRious Wand to the Pure Wand. After all, the Pure Wand IS my favorite dildo of all times. It’s perfect for me. And herein lies the biggest reason why I’m reluctant to recommend it: The CuRious Wand was boring for me. I must have switched back and forth from Pure Wand to CuRious Wand a dozen times and the difference in perceived intensity to my g-spot was obvious. The CuRious Wand was like a 4…5 at best while the Pure Wand was an 8-10.
My vagina was bored. My g-spot wouldn’t wake up. And occasionally it would stroke the vaginal wall that’s shared with the rectum, opposite the g-spot, in a way I found uncomfortable. Also, the CuRious Wand is shorter than the Pure Wand. For ME this matters a lot. The length and curve of the Pure Wand is one of the top reasons it works so well for me. It’s easier to manipulate, easier to reach. And while the CuRious Wand and Pure Wand are pretty close in weight, the Pure Wand’s weight seems to factor in to one reason it’s working well for me. Another factor: The Pure Wand’s bulb has a definite edge to it. The CuRious Wand does not, really, not in use. That edge on the bulb of the Pure Wand is a big factor in the magic it makes for me. The CuRious Wand just slid around, not really doing anything for my g-spot. If you hate things with an edge that catch your pubic bone (and if you loved the Lelo Ella) then you might prefer this design. Size-wise, the ends seem to be fairly similar, although differences exist just because of the design. The triangular design of the head means that it’s not 1.5″ wide truly, like the Pure Wand is (and even at the widest, CuRious is still just shy of 1.5″). The prostate end is very tapered, unlike the distinct ball of the Pure Wand. The curve overall seems to be less pronounced although I don’t possess a maths degree or protractor to figure it out for sure. I’m also unsure about the anal safety of that teeny little flare that happens in the middle. Would the hammerhead style of the bigger end serve as a stopper? What if you preferred the bigger end for your anal play? I can’t say I’d feel comfy calling it anal safe that way.
Why Copper? Or: Lilly Bumbles Through the Science
Let’s talk about the metal, why it’s so expensive, and why this is supposed to matter. According to the research they found that copper can kill E. Coli and other bacteria just through contact, whereas other materials could not. This matters if you use it anally (and one end is supposed to be the prostate end). I can’t see why this would matter for vaginal use. The creator has said that it will not kill the good bacteria in the vagina because 1: it only works during contact, not afterwards and 2: if you cover the dildo with lube then there’s no contact at all with the mucus membrane and therefore no bacteria-killing going on. Update: Only DRY copper kills bacteria so if it’s in use, then it’s not going to be killing anything at all. It’s only when the dry item is sitting there after being cleaned. They cited a lot of stuff to me in an email about how copper IUDs are used all the time in the uterus, and most people don’t react badly to it. I’ve read anecdotal reports online where some people think that their copper IUD caused yeast infection. I couldn’t find evidence to support it or even disprove it. Then again, the copper of the IUD is pure and meant to be “free floating ions” while the CuRious Wand is just a copper alloy. Of course, if you think you have an allergy to copper, don’t buy their products.
Anyway, so, the lube inhibits the bacteria-killing aspect, as does simply having a lot of natural vaginal fluid, according to what they’ve said on Twitter. Seems to me that where we really need the bacteria-killing aspect is for anal play, but anal play requires lube so……? Update: Only DRY copper kills bacteria so if it’s in use, then it’s not going to be killing anything at all. It’s only when the dry item is sitting there after being cleaned.
The magic is supposed to happen after you’ve washed it. Anything that might still be on the Wand will get killed off by the copper. When I tried to talk to the creators about cleaning methods that would, you know, sanitize (isopropyl alcohol, 10% bleach solution soak, boiling) the argument is that you can miss a spot. If there were grooves, ridges and crevices, sure. But on a single-piece tooled, polished metal Wand? Even a plug? I don’t see the need, personally. This is the part where, regardless of the fact that the design didn’t make my g-spot happy and the metal smell bothers me greatly, I should be feeling that there is an exigent NEED for this product in copper and I’m not convinced yet.
Their videos page uses the tagline “At least you know it’s clean” a lot. Whether it’s someone else picking up your dildo and kissing it or a baby playing with it, the insinuation is the unlike any other sex toy material, “at least you know it’s clean”. Their FAQ page challenges the “body-safe” terminology by saying that “body-safe” merely means it doesn’t leach toxic chemicals. Maybe to come people it does, but not to me. To me, body-safe = non-porous or microporous.
Until the introduction of our antimicrobial copper alloy massagers, “Body safe” had nothing to do with antimicrobial. Currently, all available materials, except our unique copper alloy, will allow bacteria to live and grow on its surface for weeks… E. Coli can survive as long as 16 MONTHS (yes, MONTHS) on standard surfaces such as Stainless Steel and Silicon!
The “silicon” typo is theirs, not mine. Listen, I have never had any doubts about the cleanliness or safety of any silicone, stainless steel, glass, or (properly coated) wood sex toys I use or recommend. Not unless they have deep seams or an abundance of hard-to-clean ridges. I feel that a proper sanitizing clean in between uses of those materials could allow someone to safely use the same toy for vaginal and anal use. CU in Bed disagrees with me. Only their CuRious Wand will provide that safety and cleanliness. Their website copy insists that no other sex toy on the market is as safe as theirs. I can’t get behind such limitations. It really feels like it’s going too far to induce fear about every other single sex toy material out there. After reading over their website, plus the papers I picked up when I spoke to them at SHE, I feel like a key convincing “WHY” is really missing. They quite likely covered it when we were talking at SHE but first of all that was in September, second I was in a fuck ton of pain by that point, third my memory is shit. Anything and everything they would have told me at SHE that could have convinced me of its need to be on the market should be abundantly clear on their website. This dildo at Shevibe is $229. I won’t recommend anything that costs that much unless I love it. Unless I feel that it is so unique that it fills a void. Unless there is substantial evidence, enough to convince a jury of sex bloggers, that the copper aspect is invaluable.
My CuRious Wand came with a small drawstring pouch embedded with copper that will help kill bacteria (but only when the fabric is touching the surface of the toy). I actually think that the bag is worth buying, moreso than the dildo. If you just put your sex toy in the bag and rub it around and store it that way then you could have the benefits of the copper without the expensive dildo. I actually hope that Shevibe continues to carry the bags.
One last bit on the science part – I’ve included a copy of this sheet they included with the informational data I got at SHE (front and back). They are saying on this that even products with Triclosan (that’s the green line on the graph) or Silver (Ag – you’ve seen this in Tenga 3D sleeves) cannot legally claim to be antimicrobial, but copper can. I’d like to see what Tenga says about this, actually.
Tl;dr – I’m just gonna tell you to buy the Pure Wand at this point.
I’m going to invite the creators to respond to any questions you all may have, or things you want clarified. I just ask that you be respectful and civil, please, with your discussions. I’d like to thank CU In Bed for sending this to me, because I was very curious about it. You can get it at Shevibe if you feel that my issues would not be issues for you. I would also like to hear your thoughts on the copper aspect, especially if you disagree with me on its necessity.