Dec 042013
 

Showing the Minna Limon in a grocery store setting, nestled amongst real lemonsMinna is not a brand new company; they had, all on their own, launched the Minna Ola last year. Ola used a technology never seen before in a vibrator – instead of pushing buttons to control the vibrations, you squeezed an air-filled pad on the handle. It was really aimed at those who like patterns. You could record your pattern creation and it would play it back to you, loop style, until you were done. Since I don’t enjoy patterns, I wasn’t a big fan of the Ola – the primary use and concept was just not a match for me. The vibrations weren’t bad, but in comparison to the Je Joue Uma? Uma blew Ola out of the water. Unimpressed with really any aspect of it, I watched with a wary eye as Minna launched an Indiegogo campaign this spring for their second vibe, the external-only Limon. I’m always, always wary when a company tries to lay claim to the “strongest” award. After all, I know what strong is. I was also wary because the technology behind Minna Limon was identical to Ola – the squeezy-pad. I couldn’t figure out what they really needed to raise money for. With the Revel Body and iGino, they were raising money because those were their first sex toys ever and they were still in R&D phases. Minna included interviews with couples who had reportedly used a prototype, and were gushing.  Yes, Minna went through prototypes to find the perfect lemon shape. Yes, prototyping costs money. But…doesn’t every company prototype?

The Minna Limon is the size of a small lemon.  The name is pronounced like “lee-moan”. Given the fruit-relation, I’d hoped to actually see a yellow vibrator but that would get too kitschy I guess. Instead, they offer the ubiquitous pink and teal. I love the teal. It’s pretty.  

Vibrations and Intensity

Right away, I could tell that Limon was more powerful than Ola. At first I thought that the power level was drastically lower than what they built me up to expect in their Indiegogo campaign, but then I figured it out – my ears were tricking me. The vibrations are a much lower-pitched sound than even the We-Vibe Tango1, and are indeed damn rumbly. We know I like rumbly. I’d absolutely say that the Limon’s vibrations are a bit more rumbly than the Leaf Fresh+; but the overall intensity is a bit less than the We-Vibe Tango. Limon’s vibrations are much more pleasing than the Je Joue Mimi – much deeper and therefore more intense and it is a lot easier to use than the Mimi.  When I was testing out the Ola, I found that those vibrations were weaker than the Je Joue Uma, and found that I could actually orgasm fairly easily using the Uma externally. However, the Minna Limon’s vibrations are much more rumbly and a bit more powerful than the Uma. Compared to the We-Vibe Touch, the intensity is harder to rate – I think that at first the Touch is more powerful, but the slightest pressure against the Touch dampens the vibrations drastically, making the Limon therefore more intense.  Limon can suffer from dampened vibrations due to excessive pressure or being surrounded by flesh with the addition of pressure. I found that due to the way I am built, I couldn’t use Limon whilst seated, but laying down was better. The shape though would be better suited to women with easily accessible clits, “outties”, since the vibrations are concentrated in the nipple-shaped tip.

Pros and Cons – The Bad

Limon has its pros and cons, of course. This isn’t going to be all sunshine and puppy dogs. I’ll get the downsides out of the way first, like ripping off a bandaid. First, I tend to have easily-aggravated carpal tunnel, so I don’t love the stress-ball action especially after a long day of gaming. Second, the Limon glows like a damn nightlight when it’s charging. That part is really one of my biggest issues. A fourth of it blinks brightly while charging if it is low, and then stays lit up when it’s done. Need a bathroom nightlight? You’re in luck. Want or need discretion? Eh. Not gonna happen. 

Also as I mentioned above, the shape of the Limon is not totally perfect for me and my anatomy all of the time. The vibrations concentrate in the tip, and the bulbous overall shape makes digging for a buried clit a bit difficult. It reminds me a bit of the Revel Body using the Nico tip, but unlike the Revel Body the vibrations still translate to pleasurable use. I was still able to easily orgasm when I changed up positions.

Minna Limon Squeeze!

Lastly,  the Minna Limon charges via USB only, and sits on a magnetic cradle. This magnetic cradle is easier to use than most, but you will need a flat surface where it won’t be disturbed. It’s pretty easy these days to locate a USB-to-Wall-Adapter, and wall charging is usually my preferred method, as it would be for most people I think. They really changed the charging style from the Ola. Ola had a teeny magnetic fob that was one of my most hated chargers, but it was a wall charger and not USB, also. The fob was a separate piece, too, which connected via a long jack because they needed to give you something to re-set the air pressure in the squeeze pad in case of air travel. With the Limon, you’re expected to just use a pen or paperclip or something, and that’s fine, it works.  I’m somewhat reluctant to make the charging issues a “con”; because despite their improvements over the Ola’s charging method, I’m still not a fan of USB charging or magnetic chargers and I know I’m not the only one.

Pros and Cons – In the Middle

For those who really just want straight, never-waiver vibrations (like me) you can actually manipulate Limon into doing that, but it isn’t the main purpose of the vibrator2.  So while I do love the vibrations, I feel like I’m under-utilizing this thing. The shape and size of the Limon can be a bit weird, or a bit difficult to use if you cannot grasp things between thumb and fore/middle finger very well. Or, it can be pretty cool. Once you have your pattern set and you switch it to Lock Replay mode, you can still squeeze the sides for grip without changing the vibration. I’ve also lightly squeezed the pillowy sides between my palm and a few fingers after getting it set up for a different grip style. The vibrations are fairly intense, and it causes the Limon to lightly spin around in your hands (or wherever it rests if it’s on straight vibrations) which can be aggravating or comical.

The silicone skin is super silky soft – it won’t attract any lint, but it also has no drag – and it can get a little slippery if your hand is really slick with fluids. 

I’m not really ranking the price as a pro or a con – I don’t really love it when a sex toy costs over $100, and the fact that Minna had a head start with donations from Indiegogo makes me question the $119 price tag. But, the touch-responsive feature is unique, it is valuable and the vibrations are good. I feel that the Limon can please a broader range of people and that makes the price tag a little more tolerable.

Pros and Cons – The Good

As I’ve already mentioned, the vibration type is very, very good. The intensity is also pretty good3.  It’s waterproof, has a nice storage bag, and can be easy to use4. I like that you don’t have to fumble around for buttons, either solo use or partner use. Although my partner has no problems figuring out how to use a vibrator on me, I suppose that not having to worry about buttons too much can be a big plus for many couples.

This really is a quiet vibrator. It could be one of the quietest I’ve ever encountered. The only moments of rattling that I experienced happened when I was holding it during “free play” or “record” mode, squeezing it as much as possible to get the power level up as high as I could and my fingers actually touched the core inside. Once I was able to record the constant high-level vibration and turn it to “lock” mode, it was fine. Even so, the rattling sound was not all that loud. So while they fail on discretion during charging, they win big during use. No one will hear this thing.

Record ModeLock/Replay Mode

I feel the vibrations need one more mention – could they be stronger? Sure. I’d like that. But when you change the vibrations to being so deep and rumbling, I find that extreme power isn’t really needed so much. After all, I have successfully orgasmed from only level 2 of 4 on the We-Vibe Tango; in 99% of my other vibrators it’s unheard of for me to use anything other than max level. The vibrations of the Limon are better than the vast majority of other “luxury” sex toys out there.

Final Thoughts

For me personally, the touch-responsive technology doesn’t really make this a better vibrator to use during couple play time, but that’s just  me. I can see how this aspect would really be great for many couples, though, which is why Minna is niching this as a couple’s vibe. Keep in mind the shape of this and consider your own body; if you have any questions on whether or not the vibrations would work out for you, comment below! Tell me a vibrator or two that does it for you perfectly (or one or two that were awful), and why, and I can better give my opinion for you.

 

You can find the Minna Limon in pink or teal at SHEVIBE – the sex toy shop *I* trust. My affiliate links are included in this review, so if you would like to purchase it, you’ll be helping me keep this site afloat.

  1. And so therefore the vibrations kind of sound like a dying vibrator
  2. To achieve this, turn Limon on by pressing the button once. With one hand, squeeze both sides to achieve the level of steady vibrations that you like. With the other hand, press the power button twice more until you see the “lock” icon light up to the right of the power button light. You don’t want to let go of the sides until you have secured it into lock mode. Limon will now vibrate away until you turn it off
  3. it could be a tad stronger for me; if it were the strength of the We-Vibe Tango then I could overlook the shape issue
  4. You do have to read the manual, though. I couldn’t figure out the difference between the modes at first until I read the manual, then it was all smooth sailing

Lelo Gigi 2

 Internal Vibrator, Reviews, Sex Toys  Comments Off on Lelo Gigi 2
Oct 082013
 

Lelo Gigi 2 in Gray

The Lelo Gigi has been around for a long while now, since something like 2004 or 5.  But while a bunch of newer Lelo vibrators were getting their makeovers, the originals were left alone, until now. Gigi and Liv have recently been revamped with the power boost that, clearly, customers were asking for.

Unlike the Mona and Ina, there is no difference in the design of the Gigi 2 vs the original. The only three differences are –  the power has been increased; it is now fully waterproof;  and it comes in an entirely new color – a nice, neutral, pale gray. I really, really like the gray. I hope that it shows up in future designs.

Lelo Gigi 2 vs Mona 2One aspect of the Gigi that I wish had been changed is the control button “wheel”. I used to think that it was elegant and refined. At first, I didn’t like the changes to the buttons when they came out with the Mona and Ina. But now that I’ve grown accustomed to the buttons of those, the old-style wheel on the Gigi 2, Elise 2, and Liv 2 is a little bit wonky. You may not ever notice it; it’s all in how you hold it and how your thumb or finger hits the buttons. Too often I found myself apparently hitting the wheel in the middle of two directions first, rather than hitting a direction head-on. This lead to nothing happening. In fact, I thought my Lelo Gigi 2 was defective at first, but it’s not.

Gigi 2 is, and always has been, one of the more petite Lelo toys. It is shorter in overall length, shorter in insertable length, and less girthy.  Not that the Mona 21 is really girthy, but it has some substance to it. But Gigi 2 has that flat head which I’ve always preferred in design over the Mona for external use. Sadly, though, the power boost that the Gigi received, while it certainly appears to be double the power that it once was, wasn’t enough to bring it up on par with Mona 2/Ina 2 levels. Mona 2 is noticeably more powerful than the Gigi 2.  I was able to, eventually, orgasm with the Gigi 2 being used externally but it was not nearly powerful enough for me to use internally. I like the shape, but for internal use of that shape I’d rather use the Picobong Moka as it has just a bit more girth and the necessary added length that I need. Plus, I feel that the Moka’s side-positioned buttons are in a better location than the control wheel of the Gigi.

Vibrations. The folks at Toolshed thought that the original Gigi’s vibrations were about on par with the Picobong Moka. Yet I mentioned that the Moka seemed to be about equal to the original Mona in vibrations (I didn’t have the original Gigi anymore). What’s weird, then, is that the Gigi 2 is barely stronger than my Moka.  There is a much bigger difference in vibrations between Gigi 2 and Mona 2.

Picobong Mola, Lelo Gigi 2, Lelo Mona 2When I first opened the box, Gigi 2 was of course already charged up. I ramped up the power to the highest level – as you do – and immediately thought “Wait, is that it?”. I was expecting it to be more like Mona 2. I thought “Maybe it wasn’t fully charged?” and so I charged it, and tried again. Same let down.  But I did what I tend to do now to get a fresh perspective other than my jaded been-at-this-5-years view – I handed it to a friend who is very new to sex toys. With no preface I brought out both the Mona 2 and Gigi 2. They turned on the Gigi 2 and were impressed  – until we then turned on the Mona 2 and their response was “Yeahhhhh that’s more like it!!”. I’ve corrupted them, you see. Those battery-pack bullets are the gateway drug of sex toys and was the perfect choice to start them out with. And even as a newbie, they felt that the buttons on Mona were a lot more intuitive and easy as compared to the singular rocker-wheel of the Gigi 2.

So as with all of the newer Lelo toys, Gigi 2 is fully waterproof. As always, it is rechargeable, the buttons lock for travel, there is an included satin drawstring pouch, and the 1 year Lelo warranty.  While the upgrade was needed, I wish it had been a bit “more”. It took me forever to write this review because I’m so “meh” about the Gigi 2. It’s….nice. It’s nothing special, to me. I don’t hate it, but I don’t love it. I will never use it; I have vibrators I greatly prefer. I can see how many people do love the shape and style of it, and I’ll recommend it to certain people, but it’s just not AMAZING.

Who would love the Gigi 2:

  • Those who prefer smaller, less-girthy insertables
  • Those who don’t need powerhouse vibrators
  • Those who are fine with shorter insertable vibrators

  You can get the Lelo Gigi 2 directly from Lelo, or from your favorite retailer such as Shevibe.com!

 

I was provided a Gigi 2 from Lelo in exchange for an honest review.

  1. Despite giving away a Mona 2, I’ve managed to not yet get around to actually reviewing the Mona 2. I do like it fairly well, and would recommend it, obviously
Aug 042013
 

raptor-xlI wouldn’t say that the Tantus Raptor XL is the absolute largest dildo I’ve owned (the Vamp Greta and Njoy Eleven win that title) yet somehow, at first, the Raptor XL still managed to look and feel as intimidating as those afore-mentioned 2″ dildos. The Raptor XL is 1.75″ wide, and made from a pretty damn firm silicone. The “what sets it apart” factor is the design of the base & balls – which isn’t something I personally care about since I won’t be using this in a harness, just on myself. But of course, the question remains… is it awesome to use?

I’d have to give a hearty “Absolutely!” on that one.

I’ve discovered over the years that I, personally, prefer my dildos to be pretty damn firm. That’s just how I like it. If you’ve already determined that that’s not how YOU like it, then you won’t love the RaptorXL (or even the Raptor) like I do. If that’s the case, please let me point you to some lovely Tantus O2 products or even Vixen Vixskin items. That being said, for those who enjoy a firm material, the Raptor XL is quite lovely if you can handle the size. It’s not dwarfing-a-Coke-can like many Bad Dragon dildos but it holds its own in the larger sized category. When it comes to vaginas, a firm 1.75″ is usually quite tolerable for size queens, but requiring a little warm-up for many.  You can sort of see in the photo below the difference in firmness; I’m comparing the ridged head of a Tantus O2 dildo in black to the purple, firm Raptor XL by pressing in on the material with my finger. 

MaxvsRaptorSquish

The pronounced ridge on the RaptorXL looks perhaps intimidating to some, wonderful to others. Tantus constructed this ridge to be something you will feel, but it is not sharp and ouchy. It’s enough that it can be felt at the entrance and definitely felt on the g-spot, but the chiseled edges ease you around it, it’s not a sudden occurrence. It’s just, simply, really well done. I LIKE IT A LOT. It turns what would be, for me, a ho-hum straight dildo into something way more interesting.

The head is a shiny, polished and more slick texture while the rest of the body has a very slight texture to it. 95% of you will want/need to use lube with it. There’s a little drag to it, but nothing excessive.  I also wouldn’t say that the base performs very well as a suction cup alternative, but I wasn’t expecting it to, either. The design is, of course, phallic but it’s not super-realistic – there’s no foreskin wrinkles, not much to speak of for raised veins, the balls are high and tight. Since I’m not one to care for a super-realistic approach, this design meets in the middle, in between “looks nothing like a human penis” and “makes me feel like Lorena Bobbitt”.

Also interesting is this newer take on balls. Tantus has kept them, to aid in the “realistic fantasy” aspect, but positioned them so that it’s easier to use this dildo in a harness. The balls will sit outside the harness. I personally think that “realistic” shouldn’t apply when the dildo comes in midnight purple and Tantus Orange, but that’s just me. The Raptor XL is a hefty sucker, so you’re going to need a well-made, well-fitting harness, preferably one with 4 straps securing the o-ring rather than 3.  The harness needs to fit you securely and snugly, because the weight of larger, heavier dildos will try to pull it away from your body a bit. Shown below is the difference in a harness between two Tantus dildos that have balls. There are a few problems with both, and I’m thinking that it’s also due to the harness I have. While I fucking adore the Aslan Leather Cherry Minx harness, I’ve found that a 4-strap base is much more practical and secure for larger, heavy dildos. Also, the fat, leather o-ring straps take up too much precious room. To use the Raptor XL in a harness, you’ll have to first make sure that the o-ring is rubber and not metal, as you’ll have to stretch it and angle it to slip over the base – I suggest you pick the 2″ o-ring rather than the 1.75″. I’m also not sure that using the heavy RaptorXL in a “shorts style” harness like RodeoH or even Spare Parts brand would work. 

TantusRaptorXLAslan1 TantusRaptorXLAslan2

So if you like firm, girthy dildos that aren’t too over-the-top and not overflowing with texture, I think you’ll love the Tantus Raptor XL. It’s great for vaginas and butts, is super easy to keep clean and sanitary and could be used in a short-notice dildo-duel. En garde!

 

Looking for something……

…bigger, that is still harness-compatible? Look at the Tantus T-Rex

…smaller, but similar to the Raptor XL? Skip to the original Tantus Raptor

…more realistic, and girthy? Consider the Vixen Lonestar

…less realistic, and maybe a little softer? Definitely the Tantus O2 Cush

 

Thanks to Shevibe for providing me this Tantus item in exchange for my honest review (and for tolerating my lateness on this)

Jul 192013
 

tumblr_mdw5to4Dbp1rl4iulo1_500For those into all things Japanese, the correlation between the Japanese rice ball treat Mochi and the Tenga Iroha line is not lost. The names of the three vibrators, yuki and sakura mostly, are used in describing kinds of mochi too (as well as being words for other things). Traditionally, daifuku mochi comes in white, pale pink, or pale green just like the Iroha vibes. Professionally-made mochi tends to have a perfectly soft-looking, unblemished exterior, especially mochi ice cream. The Iroha vibes were described minimally at first, with a photo showing their powdery-soft looking seamless finish and boasting a bizarre plushness factor. Cue delighted squeals of interest.

MATERIAL  Naturally, sex toy reviewers go nuts for anything new and different. We hope for something awesome and want to tell the world all about this grand new sex toy that we love. I’m no different, and really wanted to try one; mainly because I’d purchased a few Tenga items for my husband over the years, all met with varying degrees of success. Tenga’s material,SquishMidori be it the white material they used for the 3D models or the clear material used for the Flipholes, felt unique and weird and neat and awesome. It wasn’t silicone, but it wasn’t toxic, either. The Iroha vibes are covered in a skin of silicone, underneath which is a layer of squishy something (actually it’s “polyurethane elastomer, so says Zoe Hanis who grilled her Iroha rep – it also fully explains the odor), underneath that is the hard plastic of the vibrator. On the underside is a hard plastic disk with two metal buttons.  The silicone skin can be “plucked” at, it’s not glued to the squishy underlayer so I keep playing with it (in ways not intended). It reminds me of the skin formed on cooked pudding, oddly enough. The skin is also a silicone type that is cured differently than we’re accustomed to – the shiny, lint & fur attracting silicone wouldn’t work here, so Tenga is using a silky, powdery sort of matte-finish silicone. Combine the pliant aspect of the skin with the silky matte finish, and the plushy layer under it, and the whole vibrator feels very soft and pillowy at first. You don’t have to press in very much though before you can feel the hard inner portion – oddly, it’s more plush in the body than the tip.

IrohaMidori

It’s pretty cute, right? Odd, yet discreet I suppose. Although if anyone were to see it they would want to touch it and pick it up.

IT STINKS  Now, granted, my Midori sat in a delivery truck probably for 7 hours on a day where it was 96 degrees ambient temp (so likely well above 115 in the truck) but when I opened the package and took out my Midori vibe I was hit with a very strong odor that smelled exactly like latex wall paint. That was troubling – and nauseating and headache-inducing1. Especially when someone else tells me that theirs arrived stinky back in February, and Iroha claimed to have addressed the issue. The smell has faded so that it’s barely noticeable now to me unless I sniff it close up, but I do notice that it will pick up my natural scent after use, until I wash it clean.  Since the manufacturers admitted that the odor is due to the polyurethane-elastomer layer, unless they change that material, I don’t understand how they could have “addressed the issue” as they told GrittyWoman.

SHAPE  Midori seemed to be the most practical, to me. Sakura, with the weird, Pacman-esque pincher bit doesn’t seem like it would really work for me personally. The Yuki, claiming that a portion is insertable, doesn’t seem big enough to be worth anything when you insert the tiny portion, unless you’re doing anal stimulation. Midori has somewhat pinpoint vibrations in the smaller head. However due to the material, the vibrations are muffled and spread out a little bit more. Those with very plump, fleshy labia and a smaller clitoris, or those who like firm pressure, aren’t going to get much from any of the Tenga Iroha vibes, I think. They’re more for those who want a vibrator that is not as buzzy, but who don’t like pressure and don’t like hard materials. The only way that I might possibly change my mind on the practicality of the shapes would be if Yuki actually had more intense power than Midori but so far I’ve not seen any evidence of that. 

VIBRATIONS  There are 3 speeds and 1 pattern; 2 buttons, + and -. +, when held, turns it on. You can then use either + or – to circle through the settings. Hold the – to turn it off. The buttons are thankfully easy to use, but the button panel is indented just enough that combined with the locations of the buttons you won’t find yourself changing it without meaning to. On the highest speed, I’d say that the power level is fairly equal to the We-Vibe Salsa/Tango on level 2 of 4. The vibrations would be considered rumbly by most, certainly not the dreaded surface-buzzy, but the vibrations lack the oomph needed to really wow me. You’ll get a little bit more strength by pressing the tip of Midori against your skin firmly, to bypass the squish layer, but doesn’t that defeat the presumed-purpose of the vibrator being soft & pillowy to begin with? One thing I will note is that pressing on the vibrator or holding it firmly does absolutely nothing to dampen the vibrations, which is good. The Je Joue Mimi suffered terribly from that affliction, as well as the We-Vibe Touch and, to some slight degree the We-Vibe Salsa & Tango, too.  Since the entire vibe is so small, you’re bound to feel the vibrations in your fingers and hand as you hold it.

CHARGING & STORAGE  The Iroha vibes charge magnetically, by sitting on the black charging platform. This is probably the only magnetic-charging system thing that I’ve not hated. All other sex toys that use this method have a little “fob” that pops off so easily, held on by the weakest of magnetic force fields. You can plug it in USB to your computer, or use the included wall adaptor and plug that into the wall. There is a white LED light on the front of the base that glows while it is charging and shuts off when it is done. The charging base will double as storage; a clear acrylic lid is included – however, this isn’t the most discreet of storage options.  You could then put the charging base & cover back inside the box it came in, too, that would make it more discreet. I was able to fit (but it required finagling) the charging cable inside the acrylic box but could not fit the wall charger. For me when it comes to storage, I prefer to be able to keep everything all together.

MidoriCharger MidoriInBox

CAUTION  First, the Iroha vibes are not waterproof. This doesn’t affect cleaning because the vibes are “splash-proof”, so you can hold it under running water long enough to clean it. You cannot, however, use the toy in the bath or shower. The overall design is seamless, except that the plastic disc surrounding the buttons creates a seam where dirt and fluids could easily get trapped. I have seen many vibrators where the silicone skin goes over the buttons, allowing for a more seamless, waterproof design. Not sure why Tenga didn’t go that route. Another area of caution goes back to how the vibe is made – a plush elastomer material under a silicone skin. While the silicone skin is likely tough, I’d have to wonder how easily it could get punctured. A silicone skin that is firmly against a hard underlayer wouldn’t have this issue, but I could see how a sharp object might get pressed against this in storage and possibly puncture the skin.

~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Pros: Interesting material construction, small and discreet, unique, 2 charging options
Cons: Odor, not waterproof, only moderately powerful, could be hard to clean thoroughly
Who would love it: Those who like form over perfect-function; those who do not require strong vibrations; those who do not like hard materials; those who need something a little easier to grip than a tiny2 or oddly-shaped vibrator3. If you’re intrigued, also do consider the Yuki – while I cannot fathom using it internally, externally it could be great for delivering pinpoint vibrations. Also, cute Xmas gift?
Who should avoid it: Those who need stronger vibrations; those who do not like vibrators that vibrate your hand too much; those looking for the most bang for their buck – at $90 it is a little overpriced for what it offers. Instead, go for the We-Vibe Tango.

All in all, it just didn’t wow me…..but I’m notoriously hard to please. If you saw this thing in person you would no doubt want to pick it up and then you would quite likely spend a while just petting it and squishing it. Everything about it, from the charging base that doubles as storage to the material, shape and color is pretty damn unique and overall I’m satisfied with the quality. Some will be awfully tempted to Pokemon it up and “collect them all”. However, I expect a vibrator to really knock my socks off in all categories to warrant a price tag of $90, so that’s why I’m lukewarm on this. I think that the shapes are just not perfect enough for me, and the vibrations are not quite strong enough for me. I do think, though, that many who don’t require the power of the We-Vibe Tango will quite like this adorable little vibe. If I loved the vibrations, then I can see it being worth the price tag.

UPDATE: I wanted to show you that not everyone agrees with me. In fact, here’s the opinion of one reviewer who prefers the Midori to her Salsa!  Navigator sums it up really well as to why it works for them, and this might help you figure out that even though it didn’t work for me, it might work for you:

I read a review a while back that described the orgasm this toy brings about as “comfortable”, and I think that’s a pretty accurate adjective. This is a comfortable toy, rather than an intense toy like the Hitachi or the Wahl, or an insistent toy like the Salsa or the Eroscillator. (You know, the toys that take your attention away from whatever else you might have going on and insist you focus on them.) It makes me feel downright sweet. I’m twitterpated over a sex toy.

But the best thing, my friends, is the squishiness between the silicone skin and the motor underneath. I thought initially this would dampen the vibrations, especially if the motor was in the body of the toy, so I’d be fruitlessly pressing it against my skin wondering where the vibrations were. Thing is, I press vibrators against my clit like a fiend anyway, but the squish prevents me from having a case of Bruised Clit the next morning (I’m looking askance at my Mia and Salsa as I type this). That, and the motor is located very solidly in the little nub at the tip of the Midori, so they’re nice and focused.

Thanks to Shevibe.com for sending me this to review!

  1. that usually signals VOCs for me but I am notoriously sensitive to those
  2. Some people find that the slender We-Vibe Tango is just too small, that it gives hand cramps if held too long
  3. The i-Gino One is a perfect example of that
Jul 122013
 

JopenEnvyOneThreeIf you know that I love my powerful vibrators, then you know that only a few vibrators have been powerful enough internally to knock my socks off. One of those happens to be the Jopen VR6 – it’s not tops as a dual-stimulator because the clitoral arm doesn’t hit me perfect nor is the clitoral arm powerful enough for me, but the internal power makes up for it. So I waited impatiently for the Jopen Envy line to come out, since Jopen was calling it the most powerful, rechargeable vibrator in the world1. I had my doubts, of course, because hello it’s me and I’m jaded now but I tried to have hope.

Unlike the entire rest of the Vanity VR line, the VR6 is the only one with the deep, rumbly powerful vibrations I love.  While the entire line of Vanity and Envy is “Powered by Powerbullet“, it used to be outright stated on that Powerbullet site that the VR6 was the most powerful of all, along with 1 other vibe.  So the mere thought that I could get a regular ole non-rabbit vibe with the power that made my toes curl sent me into fits while waiting on the release.

I was slightly disappointed when I saw that the initial Jopen Envy line was merely 3 differently sized, boring straight vibrators. But hope sprang eternal because it may not matter if the power is enough!

It matters.

It really, fucking matters, to me.

I….HAVE….THE POWER!!! Or not.

First, while I can’t speak for the Two, I can tell you that the One is a major disappointment. It arrived fully charged but I hoped that it wasn’t, so I plugged it in to charge more. I turned it to the top speed and actually said out loud “That’s it?!?”. You see I’d already become acquainted with the power that is Three – and it is fairly impressive. SheVibe sent me the Envy One and I snagged Three with points from…somewhere else. The One that Shevibe sent arrived dead on arrival, my first ever. I used the Three a few times while waiting on the DOA issue to get sorted out. When I finally received a working One direct from Jopen, the difference in vibration power and depth compared to the Three was enormous. I fully expected all three vibrators to have the same motor.  The Jopen Envy One has nothing on the We-Vibe Tango.  The Envy One suffers greatly from “dampened vibrations”2 when it meets with any resistance, resistance being “surrounded by flesh” and not even just pressure. I could lightly wrap part of my hand around the Envy One and the vibrations would immediately dampen by at least half, in both intensity and depth. When nestled in between my labia, I could barely feel anything. That is NOT the marker of the “most powerful rechargeable vibrator in the world”. I would say that if you do not touch the Envy One, if you just barely hold it in your fingertips up at the top by the controls, then the top level of vibrations is about as powerful as level 3 (of 4) on the We-Vibe Salsa. It’s rumbly, but not quite as rumbly as the Tango (or Salsa, RIP).

JopenVR6vsEnvy3 JopenEnvyvsWeVibeTangoLeloMia

While the Envy Three is actually just about as powerful as the internal arm on my Vanity VR6, it still manages to fall short. First as an internal vibrator, it is hella boring to me. I know that not all people like the curved design, so not all will agree with me. One reason why I loved the VR6 so much was that it combined a bit of girth with a wonderful curve and perfect vibrations. The VR6 measured at 1.6″ at the widest, while the Envy Three is barely 1.1″, despite all literature claiming it to be 1.5″. I thought that perhaps it would still make an excellent external vibe, but somehow it doesn’t. Somehow, these vibrations that feel so powerful in my hand have been unable to get me off as well as the We-Vibe Tango. I think that part of the issue is that the motor on the Three overheats and while the heat isn’t painful, it’s distracting.  It is indeed rumbly and deep, and suffers less from “dampened vibrations” compared to the One.

I didn’t bother to try the Two, since I figured that most people would go for One or Three. Envy Two is the same width as Envy One, but a little longer. Also according to literature, the Envy One is supposed to measure in at 1.25″ wide; mine is not even quite an inch, it’s more like 0.9″. It’s still a lot bigger than the We-Vibe Tango, though.

A note on the sizing: A rep from Jopen told me “As far as the width on the product, I’m not sure where you are measuring but I was told the product width is measured from the base of the unit, the widest part ,since the product tappers down toward the tip.”  I measured in the center of the vibe. Not the tip, not the flare.

I replied: “As for the measurement…….for an insertable product it is standard to measure at the widest *insertable* point. Since the flare doesn’t start until close to the base, that would mean that a woman would have to fully insert the vibrator like a tampon to realize that proclaimed width – With the Envy Two or Three, that would be a bit impossible not to mention highly unlikely. There is a large difference in interest between a straight vibrator that is 1.1″ wide and 1.5″ wide. I still really feel like these measurements are misleading.”

I’m still confused on that one. So basically…..none of the width measurements are to be trusted from them if you want something logical.

The Envy Line Has More Issues Than…..

As I mentioned, I received the Three and the One from two different places. My Three was getting quite hot, and a rep from Jopen confirmed that that was not normal. My logic says that a motor that gets very hot is a motor that would burn out in a much shorter time than normal. And then my One arrived dead. When I plugged it in, thinking that it wasn’t charged, the charging light blinked rapidly. It never did work. Again, Jopen told me to submit it for a warranty return. So I was instructed at first to register my vibes with their warranty program and proceed with doing a warranty return3. I held off on that, since the site said that a return would be sent out a few weeks after receiving my defective unit, and I really wanted to be able to directly compare the Three and the One; Shevibe.com was sending me a brand new Envy One so that the review could get underway. Then I received my second Envy One from Shevibe4….and it was DOA, too! At this point I went back to Jopen and updated them, and they wanted to send me a replacement One and Three from their warehouse, without waiting on me to first return the defectives5. They arrived just fine, but I must point out that the packaging direct from Jopen is not at ALL discreet. I’m lucky that it didn’t matter to me, but it very well could matter to others. Is this how it would arrive if you did a warranty replacement? I’m not sure. Anyways, with a brand new (and tested by Jopen before it was sent to me) One and Three, I proceeded to get on the review finally. Disappointment on the power of One aside, I kept at it. And I found that the overheating issue was not solved. This time both the One and the Three were overheating at right around 15 minutes of use. While the temp gun did show temps in excess of the 109 shown below, I didn’t catch an in-focus photo of the temp gun and just didn’t feel like letting it get to that point again.

JopenEnvyHeatDamage JopenEnvytemp box

One other issue that I’m not certain is a true issue, but is weird nonetheless, is something that happened during a flame test. I didn’t really suspect that these were anything other than pure silicone, but I wanted to run the test anyways. I’m glad I did! In the spot where I applied flame, I had no signs of it being anything other than flame-resistant silicone, however the coloring looks….bleached. Literally, like my hair-dying shirt. The pink turned to a pale orange. I ran to my VR6 and tried it, and had similar results. What does this mean? No fucking idea. But I’m going to mention it nonetheless.

From the Jopen rep: “We have our quality control department looking into all issues regarding the batteries and now the motors heating up.”

Other Details

They’re waterproof. They come with a USB charger (If you have a Vanity? Same charging jack, just USB instead of wall). If you want wall charging you’ll have to snag a USB-to-Wall adapter from another toy, though. They’re mostly seamless, and really easy to clean. Only two buttons which are also encased in silicone. Like the Vanity vibes, to increase the power you have to press and hold the button. It’ll blink while you’re increasing and will stay steady once you’ve hit the top speed (it stays steady when you’ve settled on a speed, too). You can only increase, not decrease. The”State-of-the-art memory chip resumes last function used” feature is nice, but it only applies to the function i.e. pattern, not the vibration level. There are 7 “functions” (patterns), but once you’re on the Function side, you have to shut the vibrator off to get back to just straight vibrations….and then do the ramp-up to your preferred speed all over again – this took me a bit to figure out, as it’s not spelled out exactly and I got very frustrated.  They do lock for travel, though.  The silicone is mostly dust/lint-proof, but not entirely. It is a very slightly textured matte finish, it’s not quite as powdery soft as the Jopen Key line.  It completely charges in about 3 hours, but you’ll only get 45 minutes on the highest setting. Just like the Vanity line, the Envy line is only one color. At least the Vanity line was a nice purple that I didn’t hate, but the Envy line is this bizarre, dusty-rose-purplish color. If I put the Intensity, VR6 and Envy all next to each other, the colors all coordinate well. If you like the whole monochromatic thing. And pink. Purple. Pinple. Purnk. Whatever.

Expanded Envy Line

I’m not sure why they came out with only the “classic” straight styles first, but now I’ve seen on the site that there are more6. A few more tailored to g-spot, and two rabbits. I don’t understand the rabbits….isn’t that what the Vanity VR line is for?? Regardless of my feeling that the power of the Three would best work out for me in a more g-spotting style, I’m not about to recommend or try them.

Final Verdict

Avoid these. The price is astronomical and the “powerful” claim is a letdown, most especially with the One. If you were looking for a bigger, better We-Vibe Tango, forget about it.  The Envy line is still, at it’s heart, a hard plastic vibe covered in a silicone skin. I’ll take my hard plastic vibe that is unhindered by silicone any day, thanks, if it means more power. I just cannot at all recommend the Envy One through Three and I would suggest that you avoid the entire line due to all of the problems. With a price range (Shevibe.com pricing) of $109-$118, I expected a hell of lot more bang for that kind of buck.  With the problems I have had in mind, Shevibe is currently not even selling the Envy One or Three until they can see that the problems are ironed out; but you can still get the Two if you insist. 

 

ETA: The Jopen Envy line did expand, and they did go beyond the straight vibes. The Envy Four and Five look to be a bit more g-spot compatible, while the Six and Seven are, oddly enough, rabbit vibes. Isn’t that what the Vanity line is for??

 

 

  1. According to their press release
  2. Similar to the Je Joue Mia, the Leaf Spirit and the We-Vibe Touch
  3. There is also a fee associated with the warranty return; they were going to wave it for me since both of my vibrators were immediately defective but be forewarned
  4. Shevibe.com is very good about this; rather than having you deal with the manufacturer for a DOA or immediately defective vibe, they’ll handle the exchange. I find that preferable to dealing with the warranty process at Jopen
  5. Which was nice; I had informed them that I owed reviews on these and that I felt time was of the essence, plus they felt bad that I’d had the bad luck to get 3 bad vibes in a row
  6. These are due out in August
Jul 062013
 

VixskinRaquelFor a long time, I wasn’t interested in dildos. After all, it was in 2008 that I found the Pure Wand and everything after that felt so boring. But as soon as I learned the great brands of the silicone world, Tantus and Vixen, I kept my eye on them. Vixen is consistently the more expensive of the two US-based silicone dildomongers, and they also seem to favor the realistic designs which are not my cup of tea. They’ve always had a couple, though, that were in non-realistic colors and slightly less realistic shapes. After giving up hope on trying a Randy, I kept my eye on the others. Finally I decided on the Raquel, but I knew I wouldn’t personally like it. Yet I still got it.

What? I just really wanted to own a Vixen dildo, to be able to have this brand and their super-awesome VixSkin style in my hands so that I could be a better informed adviser. I r srs dildo adviser. It was on sale so that I could finally afford to get it for myself.

I’ve always liked the Tantus O2 line for their squishy outer layer of silicone. But people always told me that it’s not nearly as squishy as the VixSkin, so I had to find out for myself. They were right. I can’t speak for the other designs but the Raquel has this pillow-y, marshmallow-y bulbous head that would be really great for people who have tried a super firm dildo for anal play but hated the firmness or for people who just really want something softer that won’t ram and bruise their cervix. The Raquel is also a dildo for those who don’t like girth. The pillow-y outer layer isn’t just at the head, as you’ll see in this Vine clip:


However…squishing this thing can get addictive. One factor that I wanted to test was the realism of Vixskin vs Tantus O2…and Vixskin wins. I put the two dildos underneath fabric next to my husband’s bio cock and the Vixskin Raquel felt the most similar. I can only imagine that their more realistic designs would come even closer to the mark, if that’s your thing. Here’s the Vixskin Raquel vs the Tantus O2 Cush:


The Raquel also has an amazing suction cup. Standing up on a flat surface it is surprisingly strong. On a window….not so strong. Of course, the window in question was likely dirty and is 100 years old and probably not perfectly flat.

 VixskinRaquel2

It’s pink. It only comes in pink. Some people will hate this. But it’s a super pretty pink…! The white base is opalescent and so is the pink. I couldn’t really capture that very well in photos. It’s swirly, with depth to the color and is just so very pretty. I’m really not a high-femme girly girl swooning over everything frilly and pink, but the color is damn nice.

VixskinRaquelBase

Overall, I personally like elements of this dildo but it’s not my cup of tea due to the size (width). The length is awesome, but I require either a decent girth or a very firm and definite g-spot curve (like the Pure Wand or the Tantus Raptor XL). As you could see in one of the above video clips, since the Vixen Raquel is a thinner dildo it’s also quite a bit more flexible in the shaft. This lack of resistance or whatnot would possibly make it a bit difficult to use as a suction-cup dildo solo.  I’d still highly recommend this, though, for anal play beginners or those who don’t like girthy dildos poking their cervix. In addition to being anal play safe, it could go in a harness. The base isn’t perfect for this and might creative some bizarre suctioning-to-your-vulva action. Who knows. But  the fact remains that it has a base.  It’s also the type of silicone that is hard to keep clean from dust, fur, etc so be sure to keep wipes on hand for when you want to use this toy.