Jul 122013
 

JopenEnvyOneThree

UPDATED: These Envy vibes have been discontinued. I’ve continued to have problems with Jopen vibrators, so I’m reluctact to recommend other products from their line at this time.

If 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.

Apr 252013
 

iGino One fresh out of the boxFirst let me say that I really do applaud the individuals and small companies who try their hand at making sex toys and improving upon them, who see problems that could be solved and want to genuinely spread to joy of orgasm around via a sex toy made of safe materials. Of course many like to utilize as many advertising jargon words as possible and lay out their proclamations of being THE best sex toy, the be-all end-all, the best thing you’ll ever try, if you’ve tried the rest you’ll be instantly in love with this next new thing yaddayadda. I don’t think that the iGino has quite tipped that scale, but they do claim to be “What Women Want”. Yet despite all of these wonderful entrepreneurs trying to Build a Better Sex Toy, many fail.

That’s kinda where the i-Gino One comes into play. I can appreciate the reasons behind the developers design. It’s based somewhat on the fingertip with vibrations as well as a back-and-forth side-to-side sort of motion. The designer made what she feels is a supreme vibrator for clitoris-bearing people. The design is made to be discreet, slim enough to fit between the bodies during sex, it comes with a cap to prevent it from getting dirty, etc. All good things …….in theory. I do encourage you to please check out the information available on their website and their Indiegogo campaign to get a full picture of the intent of this design and the specs. I couldn’t cover everything, or this review would be over 4000 words.

According to the Indiegogo funding campaign:

  • iGino® integrates technologies and design into people-centric solutions, based on fundamental customer insights and the brand promise of “what women want”.
  • By improving the design, feel and innovation of our pleasure objects with sensual purpose, they stand as the most desirable products for individuals and couples alike.
  • All pleasure objects by iGino® give amazing sensations and complete peace of mind in whatever situations arise. Each product blends craftsmanship, design and innovation to give it distinctive character and style.

iGino for Indiegogo – What Women Want from iGino on Vimeo.

Discreet

iGino One on top of a Samsung Galaxy S3 phone for size comparison iGino One in my hand

The shape and design of it is, I’ll grant you, discreet in that it does not resemble any current vibrator on the market or a penis in any way.  If someone where to happen upon this, their curiosity might make them explore it, wonder what on earth it is. Maybe if the colors were different? Like if this were say…black and grey, or all white maybe it could be mistaken for a tech item.  My husband thought that perhaps it was something for my e-cigs. My friend thought it was a case for candy (yeah I don’t get it either so I don’t ask), or a spare battery for a phone or an e-cig case. So I suppose that my original skepticism over the true “discreet” claim is just me being jaded. Or me having spent 28 years living with a VERY nosy mother who would most likely wonder what it is if she saw it and would try to pry it open. But for once I was able to show my husband and friend a sex toy and they didn’t at first know it was a sex toy until I took the cap off. Watching their puzzled reactions as I quizzed them “What do you think this is?” was kinda fun.

vibraMoove

This is a little harder to describe. Instead of vibrating like you’re used to, the little head there actually moves at a very high speed side to side. The speed is so high though, and the sensation fairly intense, that it doesn’t exactly feel like anything different or special. One odd thing: you can completely bring the motor to a halt with decent pressure on the head. I’m not sure this is a good thing. Logically, if you’re stopping a motor from doing what it’s trying to do, it would sustain damage over time? That’s what my logic says, anyhow. I could be wrong. I don’t think you’ll apply enough pressure during normal use for this to happen, though. Maybe during sex if your partner on top gets too close? I know that pressure can stop it because did happen to me but I’ll explain that in a minute.

SkinTouch Head

SkinTouch Head - Looks like a flower!  iGino One - EVA pieces, showing how the collar piece tore

Here is where I’m baffled by a material choice. The entire body is made of shiny ABS plastic, except for the little light pink bit and the “skintouch head”, they’re made of EVA. From what I can tell, it’s body-safe. It’s foam. The everyday thing that I equate this with are those really lightweight sandals, or floating pool mats, I think even the soft colorful interlocking pieces of floor frequently used for flooring in kids playrooms is the same stuff. So, it’s water-resistant I guess, since it floats. Does that mean it’s non-porous? I asked iGino and they said that it IS porous but reiterated that it is “used in various medical products.”. Which is fine, I don’t believe it has any foul chemicals, there is no scent, etc. I’m just concerned that it is porous and easy to lose/destroy by accident.

Hello_Kitty_Pink_2981The Skintouch Head is kinda silly, really. It weighs nothing, you’ll likely lose it, it gets deformed quite easily and could also very easily be completely ruined. It adds a little bit in the positive during use, but yet not.  It looks like a Lucky Charms marshmallow and feels like one, too. It doesn’t feel “warm and soft”, it doesn’t replicate my fingertip.

This same EVA material that makes up the removable “Skintouch Head” is also present as…some sort of….buffer pad? I don’t understand how it relates to being a critical aspect of function. Is it to prevent lube/fluids from getting inside while allowing the toy to do its movement? If so, it is mediocre at best at doing that job. The nature of the moving-vs-vibrating head means that there will be something exposed, I guess, unless the design were altered. But the fact remains that the manual states that the iGino is not waterproof, nor splashproof, nor should it even be placed under running tap water to clean it. This is a bit troublesome to me.  I am unsure if it has these restrictions just because of the exposed USB charging arm, or if it’s because of the gap between the head and the rest of the thing.

The manual says only to use water or silicone-based lubes; this takes out oil-based lubes from the equation. However, I asked and iGino found out that you could use a natural oil, such as Coconut Oil as a lube and it would be fine.

Hygienic Cap

iGino SkinTouch Head can store inside the cap

The design completes its weird look by having a cap. This is to prevent the massager head from getting dirty. Ok, fine. I guess. It’s plastic. How dirty can it get? Problem is that the Skintouch Head can’t stay on if you want to put the cap on. Now, I was able to figure out that the cap will go on and stay on if I put the Skintouch Head bit up inside the cap, off to the side, but the bare minimum manual doesn’t tell you that. I think you’re meant to maybe keep it separate. Which means you will lose it. It will become a cat toy, or something your dog will eat in one gulp. Something your kid will ruin in 3 minutes flat if they’re young. Something a baby or toddler could choke on, since it does highly resemble a cereal marshmallow. But while the Skintouch Head is stored in the cap, something happens. When you flip the switch from off to on with that in place, nothing happens. No sound, no vibration. It’s because the pressure is preventing it from working. Which could be a good thing, unless that means that the motor is burning up….because if you’re traveling with this, there is no travel-lock feature and the slide button on the side is fairly easy to switch on.

Using the iGino One

This is, obviously, an external vibrator only. I’m going to go ahead and narrow this down even further: this design will best be enjoyed by people with small outer labia, who are not “plus size” and do not have a “fleshy” pubic mound and outer labia or crudely put, a fat cunt. I have a fat cunt because, surprise, I’m fat. My clitoris is not visible when I spread my legs, I need to part my labia for it to be visible. This is therefore a requirement for me to obtain contact between my clitoris and the vibrating portion of this massager. In fact, a lot more of the body of this massager gets in contact with my fluids and skin than I think was meant to. My body and vulva shape are just not meant for this type of sex toy. Simple fact. It’s similar to the Fixsation in that regard. Both products claim to be universal, “every woman” will like them, although iGino is less obnoxiously forceful about that implication.

While the iGino One is “discreet” in appearance, it is not during use. I’d say that it’s nearly as noisy as my electric razor. You would never be able to use this in the bathroom. This could be heard whilst under the covers and from outside the closed-door room. If your house is quiet, it would be heard down the hall, even.  The Magic Wand is more noisy, of course. I tried looking around for another vibrator that would be almost as noisy, and I couldn’t find one. It was so noisy that it woke up the cats who were soundly sleeping 3 rooms away and made them come investigate what the sound was.  Below is a simple sound clip:

And here is a very crude video shot from my cell phone to show you what it looks like during use. At the end I’m manually moving the head back and forth with my fingers without it being turned on just to show that it does indeed move side to side.

There is one, single speed. This speed is NOT for a person with a sensitive clitoris; if you can get off fairly easily with just your fingers? Stay away. If this speed is not enough for you, you’re out of luck. I pretty much never endorse a vibrator that has only one speed. 3 speeds are generally a “must” in all but the most rare circumstances. The feel of the vibration is somewhere in between buzzy and rumbly. It’s hard to classify. It’s also hard to like, but I think that also is down to the fact that the portion of the iGino One that actually vibrates is so goddamn tiny. It is not easy for me to use, at all.

The design is also meant to be slim enough to fit between bodies during sex. When I shared this fact with my girlfriend, she looked at me funny and then looked at the vibrator and then gave me that same, confused look. I asked her if it would work for HER body for it to lay flat against her pubic mound and she agreed that no, it certainly would not touch her clitoris in such a position. She is of slim build, and doesn’t have my “fat cunt problems”.

The charge vs use time on this is also ridiculous. It says that the iGino does not arrive charged, but mine did. I was able to turn it on to an eyebrow-raising speed immediately (my girlfriend’s eyebrows raised, not mine, they’re too jaded). However, the manual states that for a “one time use” you should charge it for 8 hours. I would say that mine has been turned on for no more than a total of 15 minutes and it is not yet showing any signs of decline in the vibration/”moove” intensity. A full charge is achieved in 12 hours, and the vibrator will last for 40 minutes.

12 hours gets you 40 minutes.

12 hours gets you 40 minutes.

Yes, that did bear repeating.

This thing charges via USB, with the cool looking USB port arm that swings out. You can plug that directly into your laptop, or use included extension cable, or plug that extension cable into the included wall socket adapter (you’ll get both voltage types of wall plugs). I can sort of appreciate the cool factor of charging via USB, of plugging this into the side of my laptop (if I had a laptop, which I don’t, I’m a desktop girl who dabbles in tablet) but it’s no longer a feature that tips the deciding scale for me.  It used to be, but like I said…I’m jaded and frankly, all of my USB ports are taken. Yes, even with a hub.

Showing the USB charging arm that swings out from the body

Here’s the thing. I pretty much knew by looking at the design that I wasn’t going to like it, and I was very up front with the designer when asked to review this. She responded with “I can not be sure that our product can meet your personal needs, but we believe that our technology works well and your personal honest review would be much appreciated. ” and I respect that. I really do. So that’s why I’m trying hard not to be snarky or mean, despite the fact that I would not recommend this to anybody. I think that the design, style, vibration type, etc is going to only appeal to and work for a very small portion of the population. I don’t think that it is worth $99 for that reason.  I actually dreaded having to use it for a second time to see if I could reach orgasm1, because I at least owe the review a fair shake at that aspect. But the angular case just isn’t ergonomic and frankly, it’s not a pleasure to use. It’s almost worse than a boring, weak vibrator! This also reminds me of the Fixsation, with how I feel about it.

My recommendations on improvement would first ask that the EVA foam pieces be changed out for something more practical, more sturdy. That little buffer piece? I ripped mine while poking around the vibrator. Good thing they give you a few extras. The massager should also be at least splashproof. If this means concealing that USB port and changing the head, then so be it. Also, the color scheme and design is very much Japanese-cartoonish and overtly femme. When you put the Skintouch Head on the massager, it looks like a flower. Not every clitoris-owning person is feminine or even likes pink. Give this thing at least 2 speeds, an on/off switch that won’t be so easy to activate, and a better charge-to-use ratio. Ditch the “velvet pouch” because it looks just like every other cost-50-cents-to-manufacture “velvet” pouch out there and it attracts dust and fur better than a Swiffer. A plain, cloth pouch (see: Jopen, G-Vibe, Extase) would look better and perform better.

iGino One is still in the process of being funded. If you think you’d like this sex toy and would like to own one and see it hit the market, you should contribute

*Disclaimer: As I mentioned above, I was provided this massager in exchange for an honest review by the iGino company.

  1. I lasted 30 seconds my first attempt, 2 minutes the second attempt and maybe 4 minutes on the 3rd attempt. It’s just not comfortable for me to hold, it’s not comfortable to use, the noise is extremely distracting, and I simply couldn’t stay aroused long enough to even think about orgasm. I think that, in theory, it is powerful enough to bring me to orgasm

Lelo Ina 2 Review

 Reviews, Sex Toys  Comments Off on Lelo Ina 2 Review
Mar 252013
 

Lelo Ina 2

Not usually like me, I’m pretty behind the times on reviewing the Round 2 versions of many revamped Lelo products. Honestly I wanted to review the Ina 2 partially out of sex toy reviewer obligation, partially out of a pipedream that Lelo could produce something to rival my only dual-stim love, the Jopen Vanity VR6 (which was never perfect). So what I’m aiming here with this review is to answer two questions: if you owned and weren’t impressed with the original Ina, should you give the Ina 2 another shot? And, if you’ve not tried Ina at all, is it worth the money and will it have a limited or broad scope of appeal?

While I find that the Ina 2 is most definitely more powerful than the original Ina, it still retains a commonality with the VR6 that I don’t quite understand: on its own, the clitoral arm is pretty unimpressive vibration-wise. However, the internal portion is packed with a nice amount of rumbly power so if the clitoral arm were say, equivalent to the We-Vibe Tango? I might be coming in a minute flat. A quick orgasm is really nice sometimes, and there’s always the ability to turn down the power, right? Well, sort of.  For some reason, there is a great divide in the world of Rabbit Vibes. If you insist on silicone, then you will have fewer bells and whistles. If you want all of the bells and whistles, then you’re stuck with a vibrator made of TPR or Jelly, which may or may not contain phthalates and VOCs but it’ll rotate in 2 directions, have a shaft of pearls under the TPR skin, and allow you to have complete control over the external and internal arm independently; one on, one off, one on and at high power while the other is on at low power, etc. With the silicone rabbits, you’ll be lucky if you can find one that rotates (and is actually 100% pure true silicone). You won’t always be able to have either/or running on the external internal portions, and if you can then it is only going to be one arm is off while the other is on. You can control the vibration settings, but the power levels will affect both the internal and external simultaneously if they’re both on.

As is standard these days in Lelo toys, the Lelo Ina 2 is waterproof and rechargeable. The control pad locks for travel, and the standard accoutrements are included: satin bag, sachet of lube, manual, 1 year warranty, charger.

Ina 1 versus Ina 2

Lelo Ina vs Ina 2 - top view Lelo Ina vs Ina 2 - back side Lelo Ina vs Ina 2 - sideview

So the Ina 2 will let you have either the internal OR the external arm running and change the power settings / patterns, or have both arms running at the same speed and same pattern. The Ina 2 is a claw-shaped rabbit vibrator, meaning it will apply pressure to your clitoris (many rabbits have a more V shape to the design, the clitoral arm extends straight out at an angle from the body, whereas claw shaped curves in). The original Ina applied too much pressure, and that is one of the major changes in the Ina 2.  In fact, a lot of things in general were changed. Let’s review:

  • The clitoral arm is positioned farther away from the g-spot tip on the shaft
  • This allows for more insertion length of the internal shaft – original Ina had about 3.5″ insertable, Ina 2 is closer to 4.5″
  • The clitoral arm is angled slightly more away from the internal shaft, giving a less “clampy” tight feel, less pressure applied to the clitoris
  • The seam between the while plastic handle and the silicone skin seems to be more snug, allowing for less dirt and fluid build-up to stick around after a quick wash
  • The vibration intensity of the internal shaft has been doubled (however, the vibration intensity of the clitoral arm remains the same)
  • The clitoral arm flexes away from the internal shaft more easily, while still applying pressure to the clitoris

One clarification that I want to reiterate, one that I wish I’d known before getting this, is that the vibration intensity is labeled as “100% more power than the original”, yet they fail to differentiate that this only applies to the internal shaft. The clitoral arm’s vibration strength and style is exactly the same. Since I prefer my vibrations to be primarily on the clitoris, I’m disappointed that they did this. However. I will say that the increase in strength in the internal shaft did make a big difference. I wasn’t able to orgasm most times with the original Ina, but I can with Ina 2. The increased vibrations on the internal shaft do a good enough job of stimulating the internal clitoris that I almost don’t mind that they didn’t increase the power overall. Almost.

Another oddity that seems to be more noticeable in Ina 2 is that the two motors can become imbalanced fairly easily. In the position I tend to use it in, there is nearly always this slight ~~~~~~~~ going on. I can’t really describe it in words. The vibration strength doesn’t waiver, just the motors themselves. And if I’m honest, I can’t say I complain about this. It allowed me to just position the Ina 2 into place, keep it in place with my thighs (since the handle is so short, my arms are short and yadda yadda) and get this nice added slight sensation with the vibrations.

Lelo Ina 2 versus Jopen Vanity VR6

Lelo Ina 2 vs Vanity VR6

 How does the Ina 2 compare to my much-loved Vanity VR6? It definitely is not as powerful on the internal arm, however the clitoral arm on the Ina 2 provides the proper amount of pressure for me and hits me in the right spot. The VR6 doesn’t quite, which is odd because when you look at them, visually they are very similar. I think it is because the arm on the Ina 2 is more flexible, allowing it to “open up” more and sit where it should. The VR6 has no patterns; the two buttons control the internal and external portions separately, which the Ina 2 does not do. You can lower the intensity of the internal arm on the VR6 whilst keeping the external arm at high, or whatever you want. On the Ina 2, as mentioned, it’s either both motors are on, or just one is on. The clitoral arm on both Ina 2 and VR6 feel powerful when you hold the vibrator in your hand and lightly touch the clitoral arm; but when pressure is applied, the vibrations dampen drastically on the VR6 and significantly on the Ina 2. Yet the internal arm doesn’t suffer this same fate.  The Ina 2 is less girthy compared to the VR6, in all facets. I appreciate the internal girth of the VR6 over the Ina 2, but like the Ina 2 clitoral arm better than the VR6.

I still prefer the vibrations of the VR6, but the fact that the Ina 2 fits me a bit better means that I’m not working as hard for the orgasm. And while the Ina 2 still isn’t built right for my round body and short arms, the VR6 is even worse with a smaller handle length. Both of these, though, provide definitive pressure on the clitoris. If you do not like that, then you will not like this style of rabbit. Many Lelo users have stated that the design of the clitoral arm and flexibilty is the reason behind them choosing the Soraya over the Ina 2, however the Soraya is much higher priced ($195 vs $144 Ina 2) with serious cosmetic flaws that will occur for most users.  You could consider trying the Picobong Kaya, but the g-spot curve is not as pronounced. The clitoral arm appears to be a little more flexible perhaps than Ina 2, but not by much. The Kaya also seems to have a much longer shaft so if your g-spot is shallow then you’d do better with the Ina 2. Most who have reviewed Kaya vs Ina did so with the original Ina. I would hazard an educated guess that the Ina 2 would be a little more powerful than the Kaya, if the vibrations of the Kaya are similar to the Moka. The Kaya is a lot less expensive ($90), but it is battery powered, not rechargeable like the Ina 2 and Soraya.  Of course, with any rabbit-style vibrator, these are far from one-size-fits-most.

Mar 192013
 

We all were once ignorant about sex toys, because the truths were never talked about. Truth, fact and education is slowly being spread around in the hopes of a revolution. I’m playing the small part that I can, and sharing with you everything I learn. Many fellow bloggers know this now, but a lot of consumers do not so I will say this for the benefit of all: there are no regulations on sex toys. None. You have one method for safety, and that is to buy only toys made by a trusted company. But this whole unregulated thing goes far deeper down the rabbit hole than I realized. I learned so much at the Toxic Toys panel, and this post is about EDUCATION. Is it scary? Yes. Does that mean it should be covered up? No. Never. On this blog, I’m sorta like The South:

“I’m saying this is the South. And we’re proud of our crazy people. We don’t hide them up in the attic. We bring ‘em right down to the living room and show ‘em off. See, Phyllis, no one in the South ever asks if you have crazy people in your family. They just ask what side they’re on.”
— Julia Sugarbaker, “Designing Women”

I’m bringing this crazy, and scary, information out to the front porch, not just the living room, and giving it a cocktail. I’m waving the banner high and I’m asking that you read it, learn it, and make changes to keep yourself and others healthy. Because there are wonderful, safe sex toys out there: Silicone, Glass, Stainless Steel, even hard Plastic. And wood!

The 10% Myth

There is a “fact” that has widely been spread around between reviewers, blogs and social media, like a game of telephone to the point that we don’t even know its origins, that a sex toy need only contain a minimum of 10% in order to garner the use of the word “silicone” on the packaging. During the Toxic Toys panel at Catalyst, Metis and Jennifer of Smitten Kitten confirmed to us that the 10% thing isn’t even true. There is NO regulation, so why would there even be that? But really, regardless, whether there is 10% or 50% silicone, there is still a percentage of that item that is something like elastomer and is therefore porous to some degree; and while it’s not likely, it may even contain phthalates or heavy metals or VOCs. Might. If they can and do lie on the 100% silicone claim, what else are they lying about? Update: there is no “blending” of elastomers and silicone.

Bottom line: A company could have the manufacturing plant in China put “silicone” on the label when it’s far from silicone. Nothing and no one can stop them.

Except…for us. Consumers would have to file class-action lawsuits against a sex toy company who mislabels.  WE CAN START THE CHANGE.

April 8th: Edited to add: In research trying to find out what exactly is the bizarre material that Screaming O calls SEBS I happened upon my old review for their unfortunate Studio Line MakeUp Brush Vibrator, which was my first foray into the world of failed flame tests. On my review at EF, another reviewer noted that while I was panning S.O. for calling it plainly “silicone” when it is not, that she was told it was “SEBS”, I contacted Screaming O and received this response:

screamingOsebs

No, Screaming O, “our government” doesn’t say SHIT about sex toy material listings. You can see, then, how easily this myth got spread around.

Phthalates-Free! Really?

So if there are no regulations on the silicone thing, can they lie about the phthalates-free claim, too? YES. Nothing on that packaging has to hold a grain of truth. NO REGULATION. I asked because my Sex Nerd Spidey Senses went up a year or so ago when I was doing some work for a new sex toy retail site and saw that a lot of cheap, crap jelly, PVC, UR3, and Cyberskin sex toys made by the big companies all of a sudden were labeled as phthalates-free – simply because this had become the big buzz word that consumers were responding to. It is not the only toxic element that can be present, but it is the one getting all of the attention because phthalates are banned from children’s toys, dog chew toys, etc.

The Brand Thinks it is Silicone

It’s simply a fact of the industry that the vast majority of the sex toys are being made by a third-party plant in China because this is where it is the most affordable to do so. This is mostly true for vibrators, anything containing electronics, moving parts, etc. So the brands/companies go to China and find a plant and they agree on a material and formulation, etc. They can tell China that “Hey I do want this to actually be 100% silicone.”. The big companies are going for price point – a low one- so unless there is someone in the plant regulating and watching over the plant, that plant may not make the sex toy out of the exact same materials the subsequent times after buyer approval isn’t happening.

Phthalates are Not the Worst Thing Out There

Pigmentation can be an issue. The Danish did their big study on sex toys (Tantus Inc. kept a PDF of the study so that you can read it yourself). They took 16 random sex toys and analyzed them. Metis summed it up here:

In 2006 the Dutch EPA did a study where they randomly chose 16 adult toys from a store. Out of those 16 tested 3 had arsenic, 6 had antimony, 12 had lead and 7 had cadmium. Cadmium is a heavy metal. Every time you expose yourself to those toys your cadmium level increases. One of the cadmium toys had levels so high that the EU would have required a radioactive sticker on the product had it known this had been imported into the continent. So what was it? The radioactive sex toy was a Chinese made Slimline vibrator made of safe ABS. The issue wasn’t what the toy was made of but what it was pigmented with. This toy was yellow and cadmium was its pigment.

Should you avoid ALL yellow sex toys? I don’t know the answer. Cadmium is also used as a plastic softener, so it’s not necessarily tied to the color yellow. I also want to point out though that this big test was done in 2005. The sex toy industry has come a very long way in the last 8 years. I would be especially interested to see the same testing done again, now. 

So Now What

NOW how do we, as consumers, protect our bodies?

1. Call the Dildologists. After the writing of this post, a new organization as been formed to serve as an industry watchdog, who will raise money and independently acquire material validation from accredited labs through funding.

2. I can point you again to the flame test; while the test is not 100% utterly accurate and you can see different results for different types of silicone, I feel that it can serve as a pretty close litmus 90% of the time. You can perform this on a tiny little section near the handle, near a part that doesn’t touch your body and the results will be quick and obvious. If there is a different method that will be more reliable, I’ll tell you.

3. Here’s a weird test recommended by Ducky Doolittle, also part of the Toxic Toys panel: Lick it. Your lips are very sensitive. If your lips tingle, go numb, etc? Do not use that toy. Your mucus membranes absorb things so quickly, both the good and the bad. A mindframe of “It’s just a sex toy that I only use occasionally, and I just really prefer jelly!! But I don’t use it much, and it doesn’t burn me, so I’m fine!” is not going to keep you safe. A lot of bad things in cheap sex toys won’t give you a clear cut reaction, but can indeed slowly cause damage to your body that you don’t even know about until it’s too late and no one will be able to pinpoint it.

4. Educate yourself, and others. After the writing of this post, I created a landing page for all things about sex toy material safety. Read it. Share stuff from it whenever you can. The more people we can educate, the better. Get them to throw out their shitty toys and pledge to only purchase safe materials from reputable companies.

I think you might be reading this and freaking out. I don’t want you to stop using sex toys. Just be careful on which manufacturers you buy from – on this page I have listed out the brands that I’ve researched and found to be reputable. That isn’t to say that each one makes only non-porous toys but I believe that, as an example, Evolved, is  trustworthy that their porous TPR toys are still non-toxic. If this changes, I’ll let you know. If you get a sex toy that has an odor? Ask the manufacturer/brand. Call them out on it (Consider the packaging, sometimes a smell can be from the packaging – if so, the smell will dissipate after separating it from the packaging for a few days).  Also keep an eye on the Coalition Against Toxic Toys for their recommendations and to Dildology as they begin to build their catalog of results.

This isn’t the end, the information here isn’t finite. Things are changing, education is being passed around, and reporting will continue to happen. I will keep writing. I want you all to do your research and keep writing. Take off your blogger hat sometimes and put on your journalist hat. YOU CAN DO IT! We can be the revolution, we can be the change.

 

Mar 092013
 

Newsflash: Sometimes, I’m lazy.

Really lazy.

Sometimes? I get cranky AND lazy.

I know, you’re shocked. I seem like such a sweet, brilliant, put-together person, right?

When you’ve stopped laughing at that last one, continue on. You asshats.

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

Sometimes I buy sex toys and then never review them. Lazy, right? I know. Usually I just bought them for my own damn curiosity. Like the OhMiBod Freestyle W. Quick review: Meh. and a little Yawn. Compared to other higher-cost sex toys, it’s awfully noisy, sometimes sounding just like a blender on low speed. The shape and such isn’t bad I guess. The silicone is weird – not quite matte, not glossy, a little texture to it, but not as much texture and drag as say…Fun Factory. The vibrations are firmly in the moderate camp and lean more towards buzzy.

I got the Touche Ice (small) free with an order and I picked it for non-sexual reasons: I have tendonitis in my elbow and one thing that I’m supposed to do when it gets really inflamed is massage the problem area with ice. I figured “hey, why not get it? it’ll at least hold the ice for me, and maybe add in a little massaging vibrations”; I was half right. It has this little knob the sticks down into the ice so the ice will stay in place until it melts down more than halfway. The portion that holds the water and molds the ice actually is silicone, it passed the flame test. But the vibrations? I’m sorry, what vibrations? There’s this tiny little bullet that may, on its own, do something for someone but when it is shoved firmly in the handle? The vibrations don’t even travel to the knob, much less the ice. Oh well. It’s useless for adding vibrations but great for those with injuries. I don’t think I’d pay full price for it, though.

I’m not sure if I’ll write up a full review on the Tantus Panty Play, or not. I’ve recommended it because a few others I know thought it was decent, and because of the three similar styles available Tantus is the company I trust the most but I have to admit that I hate it. I can see how it would work for some women. Your anatomy has to be just right for this one. My mons and labia are too full due to my weight (I think) and so the ridge that is meant to rest down in between the labia just doesn’t reach my clit. The thing is way too long, too, for me. When I inserted the Salsa I was expecting that it would simply take it from meh to amazing….but instead it vibrated the crap out of the “tail” portion of it, the part that extends back past the vaginal opening, and turned it into something…annoying.

Speaking of the Salsa….it’s out of stock again, but according to the site it’ll be back in stock around March 14th. There is currently a site-wide sale going on that lasts through the 15th so if their estimations are correct, you may be able to nab a Salsa for $59!

OH HEY. One more thing. Did you know that I’ve secured a beautiful Fucking Sculptures dildo to give away during my 5 year blog anniversary giveaway extravaganza in June? Well now you know. It’s preeeeetttyyyy. A mottled white and silver, curved, bloopy design that was originally called Bedpost but I believe is now Pussywillow. Oh it’s lovely. But you shouldn’t have to wait until then! SheVibe.com is giving away the Fucking Sculpture dildo OF YOUR CHOICE. Click that banner below to enter. It’s really easy, the entries include Twitter, Facebook, G+ and Pinterest options.

FScontest