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 262016
 

Womanizer W500I spent months wringing my hands over the Womanizer W100 (the original); I loved it, but it was ugly with a horrible name1 and I couldn’t figure out *why* I loved it. Just going by how the Womanizer Deluxe W500 looks I assumed I would prefer it. And I have to tell you: I’m glad my first Womanizer was the W100 because if my first had been the W500, I’m not sure I would have been so head over heels. Or, maybe I just am mired in comparison-syndrome. I can’t help but compare the two and while you’d think the more expensive version would automatically be better….I’m here to confuse you even more. Sorry! This review also has the disappointed, matter-of-fact tone that I expected to have about the W100. It’s less fun, more functional. For most people, either Womanizer is pricey enough to give pause so the large $$ difference may matter a lot to some folks.

This review is focusing heavily on how the Womanizer Deluxe (W500) and W100 compare because so many people want to know which one they should get. If this review is your first introduction to the poorly-named ugly-yet-truly-innovative sex toy that has shockingly rocked my world, then you need to go check out the review for the W100 first (which has sadly been discontinued). If you’re looking for comparison across multiple models, and the latest versions, see this post:

How the Womanizer Deluxe W500 compares to the Womanizer W100 – The Changes

They pretty much changed everything except how it works.

It has a new shape – It looks less like an ear scope. It’s also fatter and kinda awkward to hold. It’s shorter, which sucks for people like me who need more reach and longer toys.

It has new buttons – And they’re on the back side. In the most awkward spot. With the way I hold the Womanizer W100 my thumb is on the same side as the head and buttons and it’s very easy to switch between the power button and the single, large plastic rhinestone button that changes intensity. This means that holding the Womanizer W500 has the intensity button right around my pinky/ring finger and the power button around my middle finger. Also that power button – it’s now a “genuine Swarovski crystal” but it requires more effort to press it – and the shape of the crystal is pointy. It leaves a dent in my finger and it hurts to press on it.

It includes a slightly larger head – The opening is bigger by about a millimeter or two all the way around, as you can see below.

It’s louder – Yes, you read that right. Despite it being advertised as being more quiet, it’s actually a lot noisier when not fully “sealed” on to your body. Of course this is because it’s more powerful. In the video below both the Womanizer W100 and Womanizer Deluxe W500 are fully charged, too. When it’s “sealed” and pressed fully against you, the noise levels are identical.

There’s no more case – Yes, I mocked the case with the W100. It was Barbie pink. But it held everything quite nicely. The more expensive version, oddly, doesn’t have a case. They just give you an industry-standard satin drawstring bag. That feels like a backslide to me.

It’s more intense – The more intense “air technology” now kinda makes it feel more like vibration (buzzy vibration, at that) and sometimes I actually find it….too intense. Yeah, I’m surprised too. I’d say it’s easily twice as intense as the W100.

Womanizer Heads  Womanizer Heads  Womanizer W500 Seams

Womanizer W500 vs Womanizer W100   Womanizer W500 vs Womanizer W100   Womanizer W500 vs Womanizer W100  - Everything Included

Here’s Where I Surprise You

Everybody is looking at this and assuming it’s better than the Womanizer W100. It must be, right? The Womanizer Deluxe W500 is more powerful, looks better, costs more!! All the hallmarks of “must be better”! I’d read so many reviews of the Womanizer W100 and how intense it was, how quickly most people were able to orgasm with it yet I was still so skeptical of it’s prowess. I wasn’t done in 1 with it, but it was definitely an intense ride. So when I used the Womanizer Deluxe W500 I surprised myself by discovering that I don’t like the higher intensity. I don’t need it.  Suddenly I feel like others who described how it felt like the orgasm with the W100 was ripped from them in seconds, that it was too much too soon. The lower levels on the Womanizer Pro are the same as the Womanizer W100, so if you don’t need the extra intensity you don’t have to use it – it’s just there if you need it. Just like with the W100 I am so torn on how to recommend this to people. I don’t know how to describe who will love the Womanizer and who will hate it. I’m torn on how to tell you which one is better for you. I have always been the poster girl for “needs pinpoint, needs intense power, needs rumble” for a clitoral orgasm. I did not expect to love the Womanizer W100 just as  I did not expect to not need the more intense settings on the Womanizer W500.

If the larger head is a reason to pick the W500, there’s good news: SheVibe will soon be stocking standalone replacement heads of both sizes.

I understand that many people will gravitate towards having the option for more intensity, but is giving up on a comfortable grip, easy-to-press buttons and a nicer case worth having something that looks nicer? Yes the W500 looks nicer; it is less cheesy in many ways. There will be more color options available at SheVibe hopefully soon – I’m not sure why epi24 is holding out on SheVibe with color choices; I’ve asked epi24 directly but as of this post haven’t gotten an answer yet2.

Since I wrote this review, the W100 has been discontinued. The Womanizer Deluxe W500 exists, and now there is the Womanizer PRO40 – which I prefer. You can see the review for the Womanizer PRO40 here, and of course the large Womanizer vs Satisfyer comparison post here.

 

SheVibe is my favorite retailer and I would recommend purchasing from them over others.

 

 

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  1. Still trying to figure out why they named it this…if the company ends up getting back to me, I will let you know the answer!
  2. And will update when they reply
Sep 172015
 

Patchy Paul G5I finally have a Fun Factory vibrator that I can recommend. I’ve been underwhelmed, overstuffed, had pubic hairs ripped out, put to sleep, and bored. I tried out the G4 version of the Patchy Paul and Big Boss and was let down – I’d read about big vibrations with deep rumbles and I expected delivery. We know how much I love big rumbles and lots of power. And they were rumbly, but the large amount of silicone meant that the vibrations had a lot of fighting to do to stay strong and avoid dampening. I was so underwhelmed by my G4 vibrators that I never even reviewed them. So when the Patchy Paul G5 was offered for review I jumped on it, hoping for something to back me up on my overall feelings about the company. 

You see, I’ve always liked Fun Factory, in theory. Their vibes have never worked for me but this pissed me off a lot less than when Lelo vibes didn’t work for me. Fun Factory has always had cool designs, albeit with some high prices (remember the Sinnflut line?). They’ve always been different enough, unique, “fun”, but without boasting lame/non-existent “revolutionary tech” or trying to claim absolutes. With the G5 vibrators you can experience flex and give, unlike the silicone-skin-over-hard plastic like Je Joue, Lelo, and many more. 

Fun Factory also usually has a very draggy silicone – matte finish with a texture that means even I need lube. Fun Factory silicone is a bit of a lube hog, so be sure to stock up – water-based, hybrid or coconut oil is fine. But unlike a lot of companies, Fun Factory doesn’t focus on the gendered colors. Patchy Paul G5 is available in Neon Orange and Green, as well as light Pink. 

Another upgrade to the Patchy Paul G5, and the whole G5 line, is that the controls are just a lot better vs the G4 line and even many other vibrators on the market. They kind of idiot-proofed it. If you try to just hit the + to turn it on, the red Fun button blinks to remind you to start there. This isn’t brand new for Fun Factory; the Stronic Drei and Amorino had it as well.  These are vibes for people who hate to read a manual just to work their vibrator. Unlike the G4 line, now there are two obvious little metal nubs that show where the Click n Charge magnetic charger will go (and the magnets are quite strong). You can’t screw up using this vibrator. You can hand this to anybody, even a total vibe newbie, and they’ll immediately understand how everything works. When you hit the Fun button it starts out in the middle of its vibratory range – there are two lower settings and 3 higher settings. Once you hit the + enough to get into Pattern Land you can cycle through the 6 basic patterns by continually hitting the + button. To leave Pattern Land you have to hit the minus button. Again it’s not super complicated and didn’t ever leave me feeling like I had to turn the vibrator off and back on again just to get myself back to straight vibrations.

FunFactoryG4vsG5

So how does it feel?  The vibration power level is a significant improvement over the G4 line and a huge improvement over less expensive Fun Factory vibrators. The motor seems to be about in the middle so in the G4 line the tip felt bland. In fact the difference in vibration oomph is enough to make me even more disappointed now with the old G4 line. You have no idea how badly this upgrade was needed, for such a pricey vibe. With the Patchy Paul G5 on high you do feel vibrations in your hand, but it’s not overwhelming. When inserted it does suffer from vibration dampening, a good bit more than the Rosa Rouge, but it’s still powerful enough to stimulate the clitoral legs for me. Because the motor is in the middle I am feeling most of the vibration right at the vaginal entrance, since I can’t insert the entire length.  I was able to use the Patchy Paul G5 both as an external vibrator and an internal vibrator – it wasn’t as great as using the L’amourose Rosa this way, though. The vibration dampening I experienced with the first inch or two just from my labia-o-steel was enough that in certain positions I didn’t feel enough oomph to get me to come.  The design is awesome for those who want to work up to using more length and width internally  – the nose is a flexible just-shy-of-1.5″ curved tip which narrows back to 1″ wide and then slowly gets fatter up to about 1.6″ but that’s not until you get close to 5″ insertable. I feel like the max insertable length is more like 6 or 6.5 inches versus what FF claims and I don’t see it getting up to the 1.75″ max width they list, either. 

There’s a good amount of flex for the top 3 inches so if you need solid vibrators that can apply firm pressure to your g-spot, this might not be your thing but if your g-spot, a-spot and/or clitoral legs respond to deep, penetrating, powerful vibrations? Patchy Paul G5 is your jam. It’s an easy-to-use, powerful vibrator that is pretty versatile, too.  Would I recommend it over the L’amourose Rosa, though? Honestly no. However the Rosa is $40 more (while the warming Rosa Rouge is full $100 more than Patchy Paul G5) and I understand that when the price climbs closer to 200 it’s hard to justify. The Patchy Paul G5 doesn’t have reliable all-over vibrations like harder vibrators (such as the Lelo Mona 2 or Je Joue Uma) but it is definitely more powerful than the Mona 2 or Uma and definitely more rumbly. I feel that if you don’t have the fleshy outer labia like I do which can provide a decent amount of vibration dampening (by surrounding the vibe tip with flesh) then you could easily use the Patchy Paul G5 externally and experience deep, powerful vibrations that slightly eclipse even the Rosa. While I would recommend this vibe I still found myself abandoning it during testing for the L’amourose Denia (because my Rosa Rouge was dead).

Patchy Paul G5 isn’t a quiet vibrator. In quiet room you’d be able to hear it from under the covers and probably on the other side of a closed door. It is more noisy than Lelo, L’amourose, Je Joue and even Jopen vibes.  If you need stealth sex toy time you’re going to want to turn on music or buy a white noise machine. I feel like Patchy Paul G5 really could claim the title of “the Barry White of vibrators” – yet they don’t, because Fun Factory isn’t a pretentious asshole company.

 

My thanks to Shevibe for sending me the Fun Factory Patchy Paul G5 in exchange for my honest review.

May 272015
 

Jopen Envy Fifteen Vibrator ReviewI’m reviewing the Jopen Envy Fifteen because I’m on the hunt for a decent remote-controlled vibrator; it’s what people ask for the most, it seems! The thrill of wearing a vibrator in public is a gateway kink for many people; it’s one I can get behind! But sadly when it comes to remote control sex toys the market is lacking. A really great RC vibe needs to nail down these three things:

 *  A remote that allows the remote holder to know what’s going on – what setting the vibrator is one, basically.

 *  A remote connection that stays through clothing, flesh and ideally from across the room. Bonus points if it works through a wall.

 *  A comfortable vibrator shape with decently rumbly, decently powerful vibrations.

Con – Weird Shape

Every Jopen vibe I’ve tried has been very powerful and pretty rumbly so I had high hopes for “rule 3” to be met with the Jopen Envy Fifteen – and we almost had it. Look at the shape of the design. Where would YOU expect the vibrations to be centered? If you’re like me, you expected the vibrations to be in that portion that sticks out a bit – it would be a great design for those (like me) with full labia and a “buried” clitoris. But strangely the vibrations are focused at the other end. So this leaves the protruding part to sit at your vaginal entrance, I guess. The design sucks for me because of my full labia, chubby mons and buried clit. It’s vibrating my labia, right now. 

Jopen Envy FifteenPro and Con – Powerful!

Yes, the vibrations of the Jopen Envy Fifteen are powerful (no, not Tango-powerful, not quite). I didn’t think I could ever say this, but they’re ….. TOO powerful. The first setting is barely anything. I can feel that something is happening with the vibrator, but that’s it. The second setting is still very mild to me; kinda rumbly, but mild – although very sensitive folks will find it to be a great setting. The third setting jumps up to a level that could make moderately sensitive people orgasm. Already the third level is more powerful than some of the more mild vibrators I’ve owned. The fourth setting isn’t noisy, but it can be heard if you’re sitting on a chair and the room is quiet. It’s moderately rumbly and decently powerful. The fifth setting is rumbly in hand but between my labia and under pressure, it’s only moderately rumbly with a hint of buzzy. The fifth setting is pretty powerful. All of the settings can suffer from vibration dampening when surrounded by flesh, but it’s not too bad. I actually was able to orgasm on the fourth setting by wearing it in a way that wouldn’t be discreet in public (half of it sticking out of my labia like a mini cock, the red light blaring away) and putting a lot of pressure on my clitoris.

So it’s probably too powerful for those who are moderately-to-very sensitive IF you don’t want to actually orgasm in public. If you do, you might not last long. For those who are more orgasm-resistant, this might be the panty vibe that gets you off if that’s your aim.

Con – Controls Aren’t Intuitive

I first thought my Jopen Envy Fifteen was broken. You turn it on by pressing and holding the button on the vibrator for 4 or 5 seconds. Nothing will happen, except that the red light will be brightly shining. You then press the middle button on the remote, but a slow, deliberate button push, not a quick click. You’ll want to hold the remote in your hand by the fat end! Be warned – when you turn it on, it starts off at the THIRD setting. Here’s where it gets odd – to decrease the power level, you first have to click the top button (“up”) and THEN click the bottom button (“down”) to get to the first setting. Clicking just the top button will take you to the second setting if that’s all the lower you want to go to start off.

You can then click on the center button for 6 different patterns. You can also use the increase/decrease while in a pattern to change the vibration intensity. The red light on the vibe will blink along with the pattern, also.

Con – It’s a Bitch to Turn Off

Here’s where it gets annoying – the only two ways to turn it off are: 1. Press and hold the button on the vibrator for 3 or 4 seconds 2: Click the middle button on the remote 7 times (if you’re not in patterns) to cycle through all of the patterns to get it to stop vibrating. The red light on the vibrator will remain lit until it’s turned off at the vibrator.

The red light on the remote does sort of let the remote-holder know what’s going on. If the remote’s red light doesn’t light up, it means you’re going in the wrong direction with the buttons or you clicked it too quickly.

Con – Bright Red Light!

The vibrator of the Jopen Envy Fifteen has a very bright, red LED light under the silicone skin. Yes, it can be see through panties. It can be seen through most pants. The button is going to be roughly in the area of the vagina so it’s probably not visible to others if you wear it correctly and you’re standing up but I’m betting there would be situations where the red light would be visible. In a dark place, even more visible.

Pro – Remote and Vibrator are rechargeable

They include a Y-shaped recharging cable that plugs into both the remote and the vibrator, and then the other end is USB. Too many remotes take weird batteries, so this aspect is nice.

Pro – It Might Work Really Well Under a Harness

I can see the design of the Jopen Envy Fifteen working for many people when they’re wearing a strap-on harness. Not me, again, but if your labia is not chubby, if you don’t have a buried clit, this could work well for you to use while wearing a harness.  I can totally see someone buying this for the sole use of wearing it while they’re strapping on. Between the remote and the design, it would be easy to use and pretty comfortable.  Yes despite the fact that the design doesn’t work with my labia, it is overall comfortable.

Pro and Con – The Remote & Connection

Except for the fact that the light on the remote will not light up if you cannot go any higher/lower in vibration intensity, the remote holder doesn’t really know what the wearer is experiencing. If you get distracted you’ll forget where you left them.

The connection stayed put through my clothes, so that’s good. The remote is advertised to work up to 16.5 feet away which is……meh. It’s alright. It’s not going to work through walls and it’s not going to work from across a long room, but it’s decent. The remote is small and easy to hold, though. There’s that.

Final Thoughts

Overall, unless you’re using this during strap-on play OR you have minimal labia/mons and a prominent clit, I don’t think I can recommend the Envy Fifteen. Despite the price being pretty good (under $100), it has flaws that make it frustrating. The vibrations in use aren’t as rumbly as other ENVY/LUST items, and the jump from “tease” to “whoa” is a big jump. I think it’s going to let you down more often than not. Given the really bright red light, I don’t think it’s suitable for play in a low-light setting in public. I’m not loving the design because it rules out anyone with a buried clit. For public play, the remote sucks. For many uses, the remote sucks.

I’m going to keep trying out remote control vibrators to see if I can find one that isn’t awful. I’m losing hope, though. Industry, step up your game!! If someone could come out with a remote like Dorcel’s, with the connectivity and range of the Lelo Sensemotion, and a vibrator with rumbly vibrations in a decent range from teasing to decently powerful with gradual steps in intensity combined with two styles – one suited for innie clits and one suited for outtie clits – we’d be in business. But I have a feeling I’m going to be long gone from this world by the time sex toy companies recognize that not all clits are outties and design toys accordingly. Next in line for this style will be the L’amourose MAE – think it can impress me?

 

Sep 302014
 

Tenga Iroha MinamoTenga asked me to review their new insertable line, the Iroha Minamo and Iroha Mikazuki, the sisters to Tenga Iroha’s original debut trio of “soft touch” clitoral vibes, the Midori, Yuki and Sakura. This is one of those times where a reviewer needs to be objective and look beyond their own preferences. The Iroha Minamo is not something that I personally would be drawn to, but I have had many people ask about a gentle, soft, pliable silicone vibrator. A number of people with vaginas dislike silicone vibrators because too often they’re a hard plastic vibe with a silicone skin over top, and so they choose porous/toxic toys like those made of TPR and jelly because it’s soft enough for them.

Both the Iroha Minamo and Iroha Mikazuki are small and best suited for people who need something slender, something with “give”, something they would describe as “soft and gentle”. The tip has the marshmallow-y plushness that I found myself wishing the Midori had. It’s truly a comfortable vibrator. The vibrations are probably the most intense about an inch and a half back from the tip (at the first “wave” spot). Minamo technically is thicker than Mizaku (review coming Thursday!) but I think it’s only because there’s more plushness – Mikazuki has less squish. These “ocean waves” in the design of the Iroha Minamo are pure squish. There’s squish along the “top” side too, just not quite as much. This is one sex toy that you will want to keep on your desk just to squish and squoosh. 

How is the Minamo so Squishy?

Like the first Iroha vibes, Minamo is covered with a plucky, pliable silicone skin with a polyurethane elastomer underneath. Just like with the Midori, there is an odor (reminds me of latex wall paint) when you first open the packaging, but I left the vibes out for a few days and it mostly dissipated. I don’t have any problems recommending this material combination in terms of safety. Silicone is indeed non-porous, but it’s not impermeable especially to odors. The silicone skin completely covers the elastomer underneath, making this a very body-safe product. I know that the odor can be alarming at first, as we’re told that silicone (vs the cheap, stinky materials like jelly and PVC) is odorless. And it is, on its own. Regardless, the strong smell of the polyurethane elastomer doesn’t last very long at all; it would only bother those absolutely very sensitive to smell. The silicone skin isn’t tight on the vibrator, either, because there’s a weird little joint in the plastic body of the vibe about 2/3 of the way back from the tip which makes the body slightly flexible. I expected it to be flexible like the Je Joue g-ki, I suppose, but it’s not. It’s subtle, and would only really serve to move with your body rather than form a curve that stays put.

The Important Part – Vibrations

It’s a vibrator, so let’s get to the important bit: The vibrations aren’t going to knock your socks off if you need something considerably “more”, but they’re also much better than standard surface-buzzy / weak vibrators. Is it “enough” for me? No. Definitely not as an insertable; borderline as a clitoral vibrator. I would rank it as less powerful than the Lelo Mona 2; maybe about the strength of the original Mona? It’s not rumbly enough for me to compare it to the We-Vibe Tango on any setting. I’d say (from memory) it’s almost as strong as the Eroscillator Plus. The vibrations are definitely noticeable, and will be powerful enough for many folks. 

Is the Iroha Minamo Right for You?

If you could use a little bit of help from a vibrator to get off, you’d like Iroha Minamo. If you’ve never experienced PIV sex or insertable sex toys, you’d do well to start off with Minamo. If you have vaginismus, Minamo is your jam. The tapered size starts out at the tip with an extremely pliable 7/8″ of an inch. At the first “wave” its 1″ wide, then another fraction of an inch, and at the last wave it’s 1 1/8″. The squish, oh the squish. You can apply pressure, but it’s gentle pressure. If your clitoris is sensitive and likes pressure that is easier to control and less likely to bruise? Minamo! It’s a great, versatile vibrator and I’d recommend it for even clitoral use over the little Irohas. It’s because of the design that I love Minamo…..for others, not myself. I’m excited to be able to have something to recommend to those who need something like this.  

Tenga Iroha Minamo

Specs, Deets, and Blahblahblah

The silicone is completely dust/fur repellent. nothing sticks to it. And unlike the first Irohas, the Minamo is waterproof and submersible. The Iroha Minamo is not an anal safe toy, please do not use it as such. The charging process is very discreet, as well. It reminds me a bit of one of the JJ Form 6 iterations. There is a black plastic box, and the USB plug goes on the outside of the box. There is a depression in the box for the vibe to sit and magnetic prongs. I’ve never had a problem yet getting the Minamo to settle into its charging base properly. With a little effort, you can roll up the charging cable and store it inside the black box with the Minamo, for travel. From what I can tell, Minamo is only offered in blue, which is a very pastel blue – my photos aren’t accurate on the color, no matter how hard I tried. I like the Iroha Minamo for what it is, and I hope others do, too. The price is a bit higher than I would like (currently it’s $119.99 at SheVibe) but it is a quality product, and unique.

 

I was give the Minamo in exchange for my honest review, courtesy of Tenga Iroha. You can find the Iroha Minamo at my favorite retailer, SheVibe. 

Aug 292014
 

Fun Factory Stronic DreiBeing disappointed by a high-priced much-hyped sex toy that’s seen many positive reviews is nothing new to me. I’m in the extreme minority when it comes to disliking the PalmPower; I’m not one of the legions who would kill for a Mona 2; and I’m not drooling over Vixskin. Yet I was still surprised when I was drastically disappointed in the Fun Factory Stronic Drei. You see, I was hearing words like “thrusting” and “intense” and reading about people basically in love with this line of vibrators–excuse me, pulsators. But when I really finally paid attention to the “thrusting”, I noticed something: The actual “distance” of the movement is no more than 1/2″ at best, and that’s being generous. Add in friction, resistance, etc….and it’s probably only moving 1/8″ of an inch each direction from “start”, if that makes sense.

When I think of thrusting, it’s more ….. well, just more. More depth, more action, more movement. I’d read a reviewer stating that the Stronic mimicked sex, and also Fun Factory states this. Um, no.  It doesn’t. I don’t think most people have that much fine-tuned control over their bodies to only thrust in quarter-inch movements of the penis/dildo.  If I had sex that was this shallow of thrusting, I’d fall asleep. In fact, I damn near did when I used the Stronic Drei. I’m serious. I was trying to concentrate on what I was feeling from it, so that I could better describe it to you. I had no other stimulation going because I wanted to be sure that my g-spot was responding. And I drifted off a little. It lulled me right to dreamland. Maybe this will be my form of meditation! 

Fun Factory Stronic Drei ProfileThe Stronic Drei faces certain movement challenges that the Stronic Eins (One) and Stronic Zwei (Two) don’t – the super-textured design creates a lot of drag, in addition to the silicone type. It’s not the silky-smooth LIM type silicone that you’ll see covering most silicone vibrators (like Lelo or Je Joue). You’ll absolutely need lube. It’s also not small in the width department – for a short stint, the tip is ~ 1.25″ but then quickly ramps up to 1.6 or 1.7″ wide.  So maybe, just maybe, I’d have better luck with the Eins or Zwei. But the Drei has that “g-spot hook” that I figured would work better for me. My g-spot is pretty close to my vaginal entrance, and it really prefers upward pressure. Thrusting and stroking will get the job done, but only at a certain angle and level of pressure. I’m not able to get pressure when using the Stronic Drei because well, that would kill the movement.  And since my g-spot is so shallow, 2/3 of the Stronic Drei was not inserted. You’d have to have the whole shaft inserted to have a prayer of that “sword hilt” design reaching your clitoris, as Fun Factory suggests is possible. If you can use this as a dual-stimulation sex toy, then your vulva must be magical.  And according to a study (I assume) Fun Factory claims that 87% of women prefer the pulsator. To what? A dildo? A vibrator? I already knew I’d be in the minority but jeez.  I tried to love it; I attempted many of these positions that Fun Factory suggests for best use of the Stronic, but no dice.

The Stronics move by way of a heavy-duty magnet (health warning: don’t use one if you have a Pacemaker) that jiggles forcefully inside the unit. The slower speeds produce more movement, actually.  And since there’s no vibrating motor, the Stronic is extremely quiet. I just couldn’t find any happy-medium that made my g-spot respond to this thing. I’ve gotta be really honest….if I had spent $200 of my hard-earned money on this, I’d be damn pissed at myself for falling for it.  I’m never going to use this. I really can’t find major flaws with the product itself, the design, or the details….it just doesn’t work for me. It locks for travel; it’s waterproof (submersible!); it’s totally different from anything else on the market; it’s made of safe materials, and is rechargeable; it has a warranty. See? All good stuff. And yet….

This is where I’m torn. Should I recommend it? Clearly, many other people love this. There are reviews all over the blogosphere of people who love their Stronic. I feel a bit validated in hating the Drei because Epiphora dislikes the Stronic Zwei and Drei (but really loves her Eins). I sorta feel like I should try the Eins but….I don’t have sex toy retailers/manufacturers throwing toy review offers at me. I have to be picky about what I ask to review. I’m not about to sacrifice the chance to review two other, maybe three other, sex toys just to try out the Eins. You know I like to be able to compare things, but this time I don’t think it’s going to happen. It took me this long to just get my hands on ONE of the Stronics, I can’t imagine the miracle that would need to occur for me to ever try another.  If you’ve identified with my opinions on other toys; if you think we’re built similarly and respond similarly to stimulation; if the recommendations of mine that you’ve heeded have paid off for you? Then don’t get this. Save your cash and thrust your own dildo.

 

Thanks to Fun Factory for giving me the chance to try out a Stronic Drei. You can purchase a Stronic Drei, or any of the Stronic line, directly from them; you can also purchase them from my favorite retailer, SheVibe.

 

If you’ve managed to stumble onto this review without knowing much about the Stronic Drei, or any of the Stronics, you can check out this info pdf from Fun Factory that has all the specs. There’s also a ton of information about each of the Stronics, and their unique attributes, on SheVibe. Just view each item individually to get the full details. I felt that it was more important to tell you about my opinion and experience with this sextoy, than regurgitate the specs and “how it works” info that many people have already posted.