Mar 032018

Definition:: what is a body-safe sex toy?Toxic. Non-porous. Body-safe. Skin-safe. Non-toxic. These are all terms you will see used to define sex toy materials. Toxic, non-toxic, and non-porous are all pretty self-explanatory terms but we’ll go over them here. The term that seems up for debate is body-safe, so today I’m going to give you various answers on what a body-safe sex toy is.

But, let’s start by talking about the other, more easily defined terms, before we define a body-safe sex toy.

Toxic Sex Toys

The topic of toxic toys is one this blog is familiar with; I have a whole page dedicated to the ins and outs. When you get down to the nitty-gritty of language, though, you may wonder if “toxic” is accurate. Toxic, by definition, means “containing poisonous substances” or “containing or being poisonous material especially when capable of causing serious injury or death

While there are no cases of a sex toy material killing someone we do know that some sex toys contain phthalates, a chemical that can do bad things to the body. The occurance of phthalates in sex toys is sharply declining, thankfully, as evidenced by recent lab tests. One or two uses won’t likely hurt you, and sex toys are not the only place to find phthalates but they’re a thing you can control and avoid.

We’ve also seen the presence of heavy metals, like Cadmium which is dangerous, but this is rare. We may see irritants, such as chlorine, which may cause a burn or rash on your skin. But the chances of a sex toy truly being “toxic” to the point of serious illness? We don’t know. After all, no one is subjecting mice to a Basix dildo and observing them.

The lab tests on sex toys have largely been performed on the more well-known brands but the market is flooding, unchecked, on sites like Groupon, Amazon, Ebay and AliExpress. Brands come and go and they are usually not the focus of testing. These are the brands I am most skeptical of; they are white label brands usually (another definition post to come on that) and their manufacturing isn’t watched with a careful eye like the more major brands.

Because the sex toy industry is much less regulated the chemicals in sex toy materials are not monitored by any governing body. Packaging can say whatever the company wants it to say with no regard for the truth. As consumers become more savvy and bloggers educate more, I feel we’re seeing fewer companies lie on packaging but it certainly still happens.

There are a few things we know to be true, though: You’ll never find phthalates in silicone or hard materials. Due to the nature of the material you don’t find phthalates in TPR/TPE but you may in latex rubber or PVC. PVC/Vinyl can contain high levels of chlorine, while TPR/TPE has been shown to be free of harmful and irritating chemicals. Visually, it can be hard to tell the difference between a TPR and PVC – your nose may know, but all soft sex toy materials (even silicone) can have a bad chemical odor due to manufacturing chemicals not being removed before the toy is sealed up in packaging.

Non-Toxic Definition

Non-toxic is a definition I use for materials that are porous but are either very unlikely to contain harmful or irritating chemicals or the company claims they are free from harmful or irritating chemicals. TPR/TPE and various trademarked “flesh” like materials will fall in this category – such as masturbators like Fleshlight and Tenga. PVC that claims to be phthalates-free could begrudingly go in this category if we’re feeling charitable or have repeatedly seen that the brand never fails on lab tests. 

Unfortunately, as noted above, it can often be hard to tell the difference between PVC and TPR/TPE. Both can be jelly-like and clear, or completely opaque. I am more wary of this difficulty telling the difference when you’re relying on white-label brands direct from the Chinese manufacturing plant than of major name brands carried at most retailers.

Non-toxic, porous sex toy materials may not ever harm your body in the ways a toxic toy can – they are unlikely to cause a rash or chemical burn, for example. They will, over time, become a happy home to bacteria and yeast because these materials can only be cleaned on the surface – the same can be said for toxic toys because they are also porous. Their pores will always freely feed bacterial colonies and encourage them to thrive. The material is not chemically stable and will break down over time. It will happen slowly if left on its own: it’ll sweat an oily substance, lose it’s coloring, or take on coloring from anal use or simply the place it’s being stored. It will happen rapidly if stored in a place that gets hotter than body temperature or if two porous toys are stored touching each other.

Non-toxic, porous sex toys can also potentially cause vaginal infections in some people.

Skin-Safe Definition

I’ve only seen this term used by a few retailers, namely Lovehoney (and anybody setting up their site who copies Lovehoney). My best guess is they use this term as a nicer way of describing materials that are porous yet claim to be non-toxic.

Why “Skin safe” and not body-safe or, more accurately, non-toxic? Perhaps even they recognize that “body-safe” is a higher level of quality yet they still want to give you a false sense of security. Given all the issues that can happen with porous materials I would never call them “skin safe”.  PVC without phthalates is non-toxic but could burn your skin from chlorine…that doesn’t sound “safe”.

Body-Safe Sex Toy Definitions

Like “skin safe”, some retailers and manufacturers use “body safe” as a blanket term for anything that is merely non-toxic. The issues with porous sex toys, like repeated vaginal infections, won’t happen for everyone. If you replace the porous material after 4-6 months and take very good care of it1 then you may never have to worry about shoving a bacterial colony of squigglies in your body. These exceptions, maybes and loopholes mean that, to some, TPR/TPE and similarly named products (elastomer, for example) are “body-safe”.

I don’t consider microbial stowayas “body-safe” but, unless you’re a microbiologist, you won’t know the bacteria and yeast there. They could be. I’ve heard of people giving themselves repeated yeast infections because of the microbes in the toy; I’ve heard of people feeling like they’ve had food poisioning after using a porous sex toy anally.

While many retailers will push you towards sex toy cleaners for the porous materials, I don’t recommend it. The chemicals from the cleaner could potentially stick around in the pores. Do we know this to be 100% fact? No. Again, a lack of specific medical studies but enough people who know more about

To most bloggers, educators, and retailers, though, a body-safe sex toy is something that is both non-toxic and non-porous.

The Exceptions to Body-Safe Sex Toy Materials

Taken a step further a body-safe sex toy means being certain that the metal alloys in metal toys are considered surgical-grade or marine-grade, like njoy’s 316 grade stainless steel or Crowned Jewels’ body-safe aluminum and titanium. Good stainless steel shouldn’t be highly magnetic. It also means that the glass has not been painted and non-toxic pigments in frit are the only pigments used. It means that the wood has been sealed with food-grade sealant (or medical-grade) that will not wash away. It means that only non-toxic food-grade pigments are used in ABS plastic or silicone.

The tricky part, then, is knowing the answers to those exceptions for every brand you buy. You can get to a safe and trusting place by only buying from brands endorsed by sex toy reviewers, sold by trustworthy retailers also endorsed by sex toy reviewers. I am always very wary of recommending unknown brands of metal sex toys especially if the brands are only found on sites like Amazon, AliExpress, and so on; I can also tell you that you are very unlikely to get a body-safe metal butt plug for under $25 – especially the jeweled kind.

I’ve given you the tools to know more about the safety of your glass sex toys but there are no easy, fool-proof home tests yet for metal. Wood sex toys are usually easier because, for the most part, manufacturers/crafters know what they’re putting on the wood as a sealant and are up front about this. This article talks about the sealants you should avoid. You can try your hand at flame-testing to determine if something is silicone or not – not all PVC and TPR looks like “jelly” so at first glance you may be unable to tell visually.


A body-safe sex toy doesn’t have to be expensive, either. Buy from a trusted retailer – not Amazon, AliExpress, Groupon, Ebay – and you can find many options to fit your budget. You can’t find many body-safe sex toys under $10, for example, but you can find hundreds under $35. I want you to have the best, safest experience possible and that starts by knowing your materials, the risks, and how to shop.



  1. clean it immediately before and after use with a mild soap, let it air-dry 100% before storing it in a dark environment, storing it by itself in unbleached cotton bags/wrapping
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
Jun 072017

Maybe I’m off my game. Maybe I’m too optimistic, but I really wanted the HIKY to be good. I thought that it could combine the sensations of the Womanizer with the appeal of a traditional vibrator so that folks could always find something to like about it. I scoffed at the terms “suction” and “vacuum” because I’ve seen those terms used to describe the Womanizer or Satisfyer and have been told they’re inaccurate for those items (and have never felt either applied, personally, either). I didn’t expect to end up screaming, terrified and fearing literal bloodshed.

Yes, I truly mean literally, unlike half of the people on social media these days.

Update before we get much farther: I couldn’t find any other reviews, at first, of this sex toy so the owners of SheVibe were going to test it for themselves to see if the clit-trap issue was unique to me or a true flaw with the toy. That’s above-and-beyond, folks. But then a Danish reviewer commented on my IG post and said she had the same thing happen to her! Google translate is awful so I’m not sure if it happened to her because the battery also died out during use, or what, but one other report of this problem was enough for SheVibe to pull it from their site. They don’t fuck around with their customers safety, and that’s one reason I love them so.

HIKY is the second time I’ve tried a true clitoral suction toy; the first being the not-a-sex-toy Fiera Arouser. HIKY and Fiera are such opposites – Fiera was so mild you weren’t sure anything was happening, while HIKY can’t be ignored. At first, HIKY was delivering unpleasant suck-and-release pulses. The suction didn’t feel arousing and the release was reminiscent of when someone uses their thumb and forefinger to flick you – sharp and painful. I started blindly fiddling with the out-of-sight buttons and eventually turned on the vibrating portion of the clitoral head. Also, I tried to get a better seal, I think? I’m not entirely sure – I wasn’t paying strict attention to what I was doing because this was just a quick trial run and I was curious. But then we moved from suck-and-release to straight suction and things got dicey.

The motor died out and quit during the suction action, and suddenly the HIKY was stuck to my genitals like a mechanical lamprey.  I tried to rock the HIKY to one side to release the painful suction; nothing happened but a feeling of intense pulling on my clitoris. I tried to gently push down on my vulva, using my fingers, near the vacuum hole to release pressure. Nothing happened. The pain increased. I couldn’t tell if the suction was increasing despite the motor being off or if my panic and pain just made it seem that way. I had flashes of That Scene where someone sticks their tongue against a frozen metal pole. The pain of trying to pry the HIKY off of my clitoris was intense and frightening – I truly thought I was going to cause actual damage to myself. The two minutes my clit was in this Chinese fingertrap of a sex toy felt like an hour. My husband was outside mowing the lawn; I thought I was going to have to waddle to the back door with the HIKY dangling from my vulva like a rotted dick and somehow get his attention to come help me. Luckily, I managed to remove it myself.

Silly me for doing a quick test before errands! The car ride was pretty uncomfortable for another half hour or so. I’d been wondering if the name was pronounced “hike-y” or “hickey” and now my days of wondering are gone – pretty sure I landed myself an uncomfortable suction bruising.

Unlike many sex toys on the market over $75, the HIKY has no exaggerrated set of warnings for use. I don’t know if the unit is defective, if I fucked up, or the whole shebang should be wiped from existence because nobody fucking prototype-tested this abomination. I have a feeling that the suck-and-release stopped releasing as the battery started dying on me suddenly – and it died in the suction part of the cycle, leaving me literally stuck. The vacuum suction of the HIKY should ideally have a release valve for situations like mine, yet it doesn’t. Every other vacuum suction pump on the market, even the cheapest CalExotics model, has a release valve.

Because maybe this hasn’t deterred you; maybe you enjoy having your clitoris hoovered into oblivion or maybe you feel certain I was Doing It Wrong and you’ll perfect it – so I do need to tell you about the other features the HIKY has (or, doesn’t have).

Soft, silicone mouth

I have a small clitoral head and not a lot of hood exposed, combined with fat outer labia and minimal inner labia. Due to the width of the suction side (2ish inches) and how flat it is I had to spread my outer labia to a point of discomfort plus smush everything down like an unruly cowlick. They talk about the “mouth” almost like it’s a Fleshlight mouth, but don’t get your hopes up. It’s “soft” in the way powdery, smooth skin is “soft”, not plush squishy soft.

Internal vibrator

They promised strong vibrations and failed to deliver. I’m not exactly surprised because pretty much every vibrator company promises riduclously strong vibrations and only a few brands have lived up to their promises. I like a g-spot vibrator to have a larger head than the body but the HIKY is shaped very much like an antique carved horn. They don’t give you much room to work with if you want to insert it and still have access to the buttons. The width goes from 1″-2″ but you’ll never get to 2″ if you stop short of the buttons. Holding it this way is also incredibly uncomfortable and even with the buttons outside of the vagina, they’re hard to reach.

Pinpoint external vibrator

Please, stop, you’re embarassing yourself. The carved-horn design should in theory mean that the insertable end also works well as a more pinpoint, external vibrator except that the vibrations are, again, underwhelming. It’s not reason enough to buy this sex toy. It’s them trying to squeeze out as many jobs as possible, like a really bad infomercial – because we all know it’s not worth it to have single-job tools that do their job well, ho no. The world needs more mediocre does-everything-but-wash-your-clothes tools, right?

The "mouth" of the HIKY

I’m at the point in my sex toy reviewing career where, to be honest, I often don’t even have to use a vibrator multiple times to get a really good understanding of it and know my opinion. But I do it anyways because our bodies are different day-to-day and maybe mine was having a cranky day. But this time I won’t be using the HIKY again. Nope. It’s possible that what happened to me was a one-off and that my clitoris will never again be stuck but the trauma of that event was intense and I cannot bring myself to test this again for you – I can definitely say that I disliked it even before it tried to swallow part of my genitals and I feel very certain with my assertion that you shouldn’t buy this.  If you want air pulses, get a Womanizer. If you want a vibrator, get a vibrator – L’amourose Prism V is awesome for both external and internal use. If you want to explore clit pumps, get something silicone like this. Do NOT get this one from CalExotics (also called the Clitopatra elsewhere), reports say it’s also dangerous. Just don’t buy the HIKY. Given my experience SheVibe removed this from their site, because they don’t like to stock sex toys that can harm you (for obvious reasons). If you’re coming to this review and considering purchasing it elsewhere, well….I just can’t give you my blessing. There are a lot of sex toys on the market that I’d recommend before the HIKY which I like about as much as I liked the Rockbox Finger.


Thanks to SheVibe for giving me the HIKY in exchange for this review whose purpose will serve to warn and protect and also ensure that my top 10 worst sex toys list next year will have worthy entries.


Jan 052015

The Bubble Love and Dilly sitting on the edge of a bath tubIf you have a clitoris, chances are fairly decent you figured out years ago that your bathtub faucet is pretty awesome (lucky people had the detachable showerhead). The tub faucet never did anything for me, but the jet spray on the showerhead sure did 1. The force of the water was a pretty decent substitution for me for powerful vibrations.  Last year while visiting someone with a bathtub with built-in jets, I was able to maneuver myself in front of a jet well enough to reach orgasm – but it was not comfortable and I think I pulled a groin muscle. I’m too old and fat for these antics. So in a situation where a detachable showerhead isn’t an option, Bubble Love could save you.

One of my first thoughts on the Bubble Love was “Why not just buy a detachable showerhead that has a jet spray option? You’ll save $140”. Well, valid point. A showerhead’s jet spray can’t be adjusted in terms of “intensity” unless you get a super fancy one with more than 3 settings and the jet spray on a shower head doesn’t feel like the faucet you may know and love.  BUT if you fill up your bathtub and the hose on the showerhead is long enough, you could use the jet spray under water much like using the Bubble Love and adjust “intensity” by positioning it farther from your vulva. The Bubble Love can be adjusted too, by either using the dial on top or moving the unit so that it is closer to you or farther away. Bubble Love does say in their marketing that a mere hose-driven showerhead will not be nearly as pleasurable as the Bubble Love but I’d have to disagree a bit.

I’m finding myself really torn on the Bubble Love and a lot of it comes down to price – because when a sex toy costs over $60 many people have trouble justifying it. When it costs $150, most people have trouble justifying it. It has to be awesome, it has to really be worth the price tag. So that’s the big question for me – is Bubble Love good enough to plonk down $149? I would say yes IF you can say yes to most of these:

1. You only have a bathtub with no chance for a shower head. This is self-explanatory. I kinda feel like the showerhead (be it alone or put under the water with you) is just about as good, for a fraction of the cost.

2. You’ve tried some vibrators and just don’t like how they feel compared to being under the running water of your bathtub’s faucet. I’ve had more than one person come to me, asking for a sex toy that feels more like their bathtub faucet and I thought that this could be something special that I could recommend.  And Bubble Love is pretty powerful if you have it close enough to you (but then, so is the jet spray on a shower head). But when vibrators like the Tango, the Rosa, Je Joue Uma, and now even the beloved-by-most-except-for-me Lelo Mona 2 are waterproof and submersible AND cost less (well, except for the Rosa but goddamn is that thing worth the price tag, both versions) AND can be used in or out of the water? You have a lot of bathtime options.

3. You take frequent baths and keep your tub immaculately clean. Of course, being a frequent bath-taker means you’re getting your money’s worth. But also, your bathtub needs to be super clean. No lingering chemicals, no ring around tub. In fact if you’re taking a bath to get clean, I might even go so far as to say that you should leave Bubble Love until you’re taking a bath just to soak and relax. It might seem obvious but Bubble Love is taking the water in your tub and shooting it at your vulva at a fairly high pressure. If the water isn’t clean this could lead to infections or itching. 

4. You don’t have reach issues or disabilities that would make holding it in place difficult (similarly, you are not a plus-sized person with a teeny tub). I had thought that the Bubble Love could be hands-free once positioned properly, great for people with disabilities or reach issue but it’s not. It is certainly advertised as being hands-free. Sure there’s a peg with a suction cup but that suction cup doesn’t work  – by their nature if you pull on the suction cup at an angle you can break the seal. The back end of the Bubble Love is heavy enough that it leans back and despite the suction cup peg being on a ball joint, it still releases the suction. So despite being advertised that way, it was never hands-free for me. Maybe I’m being unrealistic but for the infrequent times I take a bath, I’m trying to relax. The buoyancy of the water makes my joints feel better, the warm water makes me sleepy, etc. I want a lazy masturbation experience, too. I don’t want to hold the damn thing.  Also? I’m a larger person. The average older tub is not big enough for me to have much space between my knees let alone allow me to spread my legs easily and due to the way I’m built, this is kinda necessary for a session with the Bubble Love. In order to even use this for review I had to wait until I was staying somewhere with a larger-than-average tub. Even then, disaster ensued (you can see why in the video, and read more in the Dilly section).

5. You don’t need utter discretion. It’s a little noisy. The sound of the motor running isn’t Magic Wand noisy but people will wonder what you’re doing in there. Bathrooms notoriously amplify sound, anyways. In addition to the sound of the motor itself, there’s the port where the Bubble Love sucks in air (I call it the blowhole because the whole thing looks like the Twitter Fail Whale) with a schlurping loud sound if you get water in that port during use 2. Many of the better vibrators will be quite a bit less noisy.  Noise aside, there’s the unit. It doesn’t look like a sex toy, that’s for sure. But you will need to drain the water from it and leave it out to dry, and then find a place to store it. It’s larger than your average vibrator.  I’m not about to leave it sitting out all the time. I don’t have a space for it.

I wanted to love the Bubble Love.  But out of the 5 points listed above I only have #5 going for me and that’s not enough to justify it for myself. I can recommend and appreciate a great sex toy even if it’s not my cup of tea so it’s not a matter of being too subjective in this case.  The stream of water definitely is powerful, so it has that going for it, which is something. You won’t find a $40 tub attachment with this powerful of a jet stream, but you can with a showerhead. If the Bubble Love were priced a lot lower – closer to $100? – I might be less critical overall.  But since it IS powerful and it is rechargeable, I don’t doubt that it is priced where it needs to be. It is a quality machine and a product that works mostly as advertised (…except for that hands-free bit which I was never able to replicate).  My problem with the Bubble Love isn’t really with the Bubble Love itself, it’s simply the fact that it’s really only going to be compatible for a small margin of people. Since I wasn’t one of those people, it did color my view BUT I am notoriously a very picky sex toy reviewer who finds, notices and cares about certain faults where most others do not. I really don’t want to crap on the company and I definitely don’t feel that this sex toy should be passed up by everyone – but it will take a certain alignment of stars for the Bubble Love to be the match for you.

I also can’t ignore this wording on their site: “Every woman who has used Bubble Love achieved orgasms and did it faster than with the typical vibrator.” Did I achieve orgasm? Yes. Faster than my Tango or Rosa Rouge? No. Would I continually choose the Bubble Love over my favorite vibrators? Absolutely not. Between the assertions that the Bubble Love is hands-free and the promises that it is better than a vibrator and that “all women” loved it, I’m actually feeling like a failure here for having issues with it and NOT loving it.

Dilly, inserted and supported, everything looks fine. Dilly, inserted and somewhat not supported, you can see it flops downward, and it wobbles in the water.

Optional “Dilly” Attachment

Dilly. No. Just, no. First, it’s an extra $40. Second, it is attached like a really loose tooth via ball joint. Remember that? When you had a loose tooth and it was hanging on by a thread, you could waggle it and turn it and still it stayed there? That’s what the Dilly was like for me, except that it came loose far more easily than a tooth. I had the coordination  of a drunk baby trying to insert it into my vagina while holding the Bubble Love’s handle AND the Dilly AND keeping myself from slipping down the tub and etc – it was almost comical and almost a tragic accident. Picture this: I’m in a tub that, when sitting, my feet don’t touch the other end. This means my ass slips down a bit until my toes can touch. So I’ve got one leg partially resting on the tub edge leaving me with one foot to keep myself above water. I’m trying to get the Dilly inserted and it’s not working. Suddenly, the Dilly detaches from the Bubble Love and clunks loudly on the tub bottom. I lose my grasp on the Bubble Love’s handle. Like a deflating balloon, the Bubble Love is now scooting around the tub haphazardly by itself at an alarming rate (just like in the video below). I get sprayed in the face. There’s water everywhere. My foot slips from the tub and I start to slide down into the water all because I’m trying to sit up and reach forward for the manic Bubble Love twirling around and shut it off. At this point I’m pissed and most certainly NOT relaxed and I fling the Dilly across the bathroom.


UPDATE: I don’t know how I didn’t see this yesterday. I’d noticed a few black scuff marks on the Bubble Love, and I don’t know how they got there. But today as I was putting it away I notice faint yellow discolorations. I don’t know how it’s happened, but I can only caution you to store it inside a white storage bag and be very careful with it. During the filming of the video below something also happened and I noticed that the two halves of the plastic had separated a bit. I was able to snap them back together, but I still need to caution care when handling and storing. 

2015-01-06 11

Anyways. Since it was that difficult to get the Dilly inserted once, I cannot imagine thrusting with it. If you really want the feeling of fullness, then get yourself a Tantus Ryder Grab Bag for something more hands-free, or just use your favorite dildo. Having the dildo attached to the Bubble Love was not a bonus for me. It was simply more trouble than it was worth. 

I do want to thank Bubble Love for sending me one to check out. If you think this could be the thing you’re looking for, I recommend buying it from SheVibe.


  1. For those curious, this is the showerhead I have; one of the settings forces all the water out of a concentrated center which makes it pretty powerful
  2. I’d recommend using the float and hose at all times in order to prevent this
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. 

Aug 062014

PalmPower Wand MassagerAfter reading a number of glowing reviews, some even saying that the PalmPower is their new favorite vibrator, I broke down and tried it. I’m not really a fan anymore of being tied down by a cord, so I had ignored this thing for awhile. PalmPower Wand Massager is made by BMS Factory, makers of that “PowerBullet” you keep seeing in Jopen, Leaf, and other vibes. I had been interested in trying out this design for some time now, back when CalEx was making it. Yes, from everything I can see, the PalmPower is the same thing as the CalExotics Couture Inspire just in a better color scheme, thankfully1according to BMS a few years ago, the only thing as powerful as the Vanity VR6. Since I loved the VR6 (internal arm only, though) I assumed the PalmPower / Couture Inspire would have the same deep, rumbling vibrations.

I was mislead.

Yeah, PalmPower Wand Massager is super strong. And it, at times, has deep, rumbling vibrations. But something is getting lost in translation here, and I can’t put my finger on it. It does feel rumbly on the lower levels, but only on the sides of the cap. The top of the cap has drastically less vibrations on the low-to-mid settings. On high, it’s all a blur. On high, the PalmPower Wand Massager feels identical to the Magic Wand –  just a smaller head.

But the problem with the more pleasing vibrations in the lower range being more rumbly and lovely on the sides, is that now you can feel that cap’s edge since you’re using the sides of the head. If I were to call it a “seam”, it would be the most obvious seam in sex toy history. I found it quite irritating in use. I could feel it, pinching and making me itchy. I kept trying to press it harder against my vulva, trying all levels of power in an attempt to orgasm, but it was so much more difficult than it needed to be. This could be because of the way I’m built, and maybe not everyone is irritated by this. But I am.

And then when I removed it from between my labia, the silicone cap came off.

*sigh* I suddenly have labia of steel?

To make matters worse, it’s tricky to get the cap lined up just so so that it fits on there properly.  I can understand, I suppose, why they made the design this way. It allows for other caps to be put on. They have a set for body parts and a set for genitals. The body parts set did nothing for me, but I don’t really use a wand massager for my hands. So I tried out the caps for dual stimulation with much hope. I figured that this would allow me to harness the power for good, er, I mean, concentrate the power where I wanted it. That didn’t happen. The part that sticks out, sticks out from the top of the vibrating head…..remember me saying I felt a lot less vibration at the low-to-mid range on top? Yeah. In order to then get decent vibrations traveling through the attachment, I had to crank up the power. And it was no longer the rumbly power I was trying so hard to nail down. Neither attachment worked out for me. It was close, but not quite right enough for me to orgasm without fighting for it.

PalmPower Wand Massager Cap PalmPower Wand Massager Cap
PalmPower Wand Massager Attachments

Another aspect of the PalmPower that I dislike  is the single button. You have to press and hold to increase the power. It can be easy to screw this up mid-use and then it turns off on you altogether because you just clicked the button once. I accidentally turned it off a lot during use. The ramp-up to full speed also seems to go on forever. It’s the vibrator version of the longest pee. I clocked it at 8 seconds. Paltry in the grand scheme of things, but annoying mid-use if you want to jump straight to full power. And, while the PalmPower is easy to hold, a good amount of vibrations do travel down throughout the handle.

PalmPower Wand Massager Compared to Hitachi Magic Wand and Vibratex Mystic WandAnd yes, despite the diminutive size of the PalmPower Wand Massager, it plugs in to the wall. They do give you a long cord, longer than the Magic Wand. The cord, oddly, isn’t permanently attached. It plugs in via jack to the bottom, which – from reading Amazon reviews  – is pretty confusing to many people who went on to complain about their “defective” unit not holding a charge.  I can’t find these reviews anymore, of course, since it was Amazon and they were being sold by shady sellers, so the listings with reviews are now gone but there were many reviews that complained about the cap popping off, the motor overheating, and other issues with the Couture Inspire. I don’t know which wand came first, or why there are two. I asked BMS, but never heard back, so my review has to go live with questions dangling like a participle.


You must be thinking to yourself by this point “Jeezus Lill, is there anything you like about this or are you just the pickiest twat on the East Coast?” So I’ll tell you yes, there are things I like. I like that half of the head, and the attachments, are silicone. It’s a nice silicone, with not much drag and it doesn’t attract a lot of lint and fur. I actually do like the smaller size; easier to take with you than the Magic Wand, and gets in the way less if you like to use it during sex. It’s certainly quieter than the Magic Wand. The price isn’t awful. At $69.99 on SheVibe, it’s a bit more than the Magic Wand but still much more reasonable than the Doxy Massager. If they would just make the plain head a permanent “cap” and make it the entire head silicone, with the attachments fitting over that – like every other damn wand is made – it would improve the whole thing greatly. For what it is, it’s pretty decent. It’s not in my top 5 or even 10 because the flaws are too flawed for me to love it. If you adore the Magic Wand’s vibrations but hate the short cord or the large size? This is your vibe. So many other people love it, so I must be the only odd person out who focuses on flaws. That’s the only thing that makes sense here. I just want a high-powered, rumbly vibrator that doesn’t have glaring flaws that stand in my way of enjoyment. Is that too much to ask? Oh, wait……



I was given the PalmPower Wand Massager and its accessories in exchange for an honest review thanks to BMS Factories. I recommend purchasing the PalmPower at my favorite retailer, SheVibe.

  1. Inspire was only available in pastel hues of pink and purple. While the PalmPower still has pink, it’s a much better pink to me, the magenta color as an accent to the dark grey