Feb 042013
 

About 3 or 4 months ago I was looking up something on the We-Vibe website and I noticed that while some of the icon links to the Salsa/Tango still existed, you couldn’t see the Salsa on their page anymore. Just the Tango. I had my suspicions that this meant they were discontinuing my beloved Salsa. I reached out to them first on Twitter for confirmation, and didn’t get a response. After about a week, I tried Facebook, I posted my question on their page. No response. I let it go for another month or so and decided to try asking again. Yet again, both inquiries on Facebook and Twitter were just flat-out ignored. What is the point of having social media accounts if you ignore people? Last week then I decided to contact them directly, and sent an email via the site.

Hello. I have tried numerous times to reach out to your company on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook. All 4 times I’ve been ignored. I see on your site here that you do not show photos of the Salsa anymore, you just talk about the Tango. Since the shape of the Salsa is the one I recommend slightly more (it is versatile in replacing anything that uses an RO-80mm bullet, for example), I am wondering if you have discontinued it and if so, why. The colors are great!! Many users are not feminine and appreciated the gender-neutral color scheme.  I’m a sex toy reviewer/blogger and  I’m probably one of your loudest supporters of the Salsa & Tango. I recommend them to nearly every person who contacts me for sex toy help; I tell retailers who want to work with me to carry them, and I compare every other clit vibe (and sometimes even internal vibes) to the Salsa & Tango. They’ve quickly become my only vibrator needed and Holy Grail. Suffice to say, I’m quite disheartened that my simple questions about product discontinuance are consistently ignored on social media. I’d like to properly alert my readers to purchase Salsa wherever they see it if my assumptions are correct. Can you please respond and let me know?? Thanks Lilly

Their response was quite….lackluster.

Dear Lilly, Thank you for contacting We-Vibe Customer Care. We have consolidated our product line and as such the Salsa is no longer in production, though it is still widely available in many retail stores. The Tango and the Salsa are virtually identical with the only discernible difference being the shape and the colour. The Tango proved more popular than the Salsa, though the decision to stop producing the Salsa was not based on gender preferences but rather on sales. Best Regards,  Customer Care

*blinks* No apologies for the lack of response time and again on social media sites, not even a “Thanks for recommending our product, glad you like it” half-hearted attempt at giving a shit. Call me naive but I’m surprised. Hell I’ve had a more personal and heartfelt response from Doc Johnson. I think Tantus is likely a bigger company than We-Vibe but Tantus goes out of their way for superb customer service. I’ll still continue to recommend the Tango, although it will be with a tiny bit less enthusiasm than the Salsa (even though, yes, they are virtually identical, the only difference being color and tip shape). However I will recommend the Tango only because I love the vibrations, not because I love the company.  I’m so damn sick of “girly” shades of blue, pink and purple – the red, black and white of the Salsa were such a welcome change.  So buy up the Salsa when you see it if you think you prefer the color and/or tip shape. RIP, Salsa. On that note, I’d love love love to giveaway a Salsa or two to my readers as a proper send-off for my most-loved vibrator ever. If anyone would be interested in sponsoring such a thing, please contact me ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Update:  Standard Innovations Marketing has contacted me and apologized for the lack of response on social media sites and has said that they will be improving their online presence drastically. I really do hope so; in this age, social media is huge and it’s often the place where many people go to first for customer service.  Unfortunately our collective sadness over this discontinuance can’t stop the ‘wheels of progress’, we can’t save it like a petition for a TV show. SI said: “With regards to the Salsa, we too are sad to see it go, but as our brand evolves we needed to make space in our line up for future products. We also appreciate your feedback with regards to colour. This is something we will seriously consider when developing new products.” So I do hope that they continue to expand into more gender-neutral colors. In regards to the Salsa, I will be sent a whole case to give away as I see fit! I’m still sad that I won’t be able to recommend it to all my lovely readers BUT I’m thrilled that at least a few more people will be able to own one. I just need to figure out how best to go about doing it. I’d really like to see the Salsas end up with people who are like me, who have been searching and searching for a clitoral vibrator that has the power and depth we need. I’ve reviewed or owned over 100 vibrators and the Salsa/Tango wins, hands-down, above everything that I’ve tried.

Feb 022013
 

In the blink of an eye suddenly the sex toy world was treated to what is possibly a line of the most gorgeous glass dildos – Ever. They are hand blown by a little company out in California who named their line “Fucking Sculptures” and have possibly the best tag line ever: “where sex meets art, then fucks itself.”  From their site: 

Fucking Sculptures are individually made pieces of fine, fucking art. Each piece is hand-sculpted, unique and perfect in its own way; crafted with intentionality and mindfulness to invite pleasure through all the senses. Fucking Sculptures are contrastingly playful and heavy, genderless and gendered, beautiful and crude.

I do have a tiny bit of a control issue when it comes to products like glass dildos because they are usually hand blown – whether it’s done by an artisan or in a factory, there has to be an expected fluctuation in size, shape and color. In the past, all of the glass dildos I’ve reviewed were lackluster. They all were pretty enough, and decent enough, but never truly amazing to look at.  The designs and methods of coloring them were all the same: an internal “flower” or stripe coiling through it or just some sort of something in the center. They were all mostly clear glass with some embellishments. They were also all usually made from borosilicate or Pyrex glass. Crystal Delights is an exception to the lackluster; their products are beautiful, too, but they are not quite the pieces of art that is Fucking Sculptures.

Fucking Sculptures dildos are indeed art. Truly, no two will ever be alike. So while this may cause a little concern for those feel like they need a certain size, you are quite welcome to contact the company and tell them exactly what you need. If you see a style and color that you like but are concerned about the size, Maria from Fucking Sculptures assured me that they’ll find you one that matches your needs as closely as possible. When I was looking at the G-Spoon, I knew I wanted a longer handle. This meant that I would get the Large size. I didn’t fully realize that that would also translate to girth. While the “average” G-Spoon is 1.5″, mine is a little wider. It’s hard to measure though because it’s more oval shaped than round. You’ll also notice that my design is slightly different than the photos on the site. While that little curly tip there at the small end means that mine can’t lay “upright” on it’s own like the ones on the site do, it ended up meaning that I had a very unique double-ended dildo. I’ve used both ends now and loved it. That little curly tip gave me very precise g-spot pressure; in fact I got a little too carried away after my first orgasm and kinda bruised my g-spot for the rest of the night. Oops. At first I thought that the width at the larger end would be too big for me, but it was not. The spoon sort of shape combined with the oval/tongue shaped shaft lent an interesting sensation to the mix….and it also made for some noisy self-fucking for some reason. Perhaps I was aerating my vagina. 

The color of my Sculpture is also a lot different than the photos on the site, and I’m actually ok with that.  I accepted the fact that these are basically art pieces and I was open to the experience. The “gold” color as shown on the site for the G-Spoon looks more amber and seems to show hints of other colors. The Gold that I have is very metallic for most of the dildo. If you are near a light source you can see that the glass is more amber colored all the way through but it seems almost “dipped” in this metallic gold. It’s very cool, and really changes a lot depending on the lighting in the room. When I first showed my husband the room was very dim (we’re cave-dwelling geeks and prefer low lighting at night, very low lighting) and he thought it was actually another Njoy stainless steel toy, the metallic looked more silver because there was no light to refract and pull in colors. You’ll see below in a few photos where I managed to capture a variety of different looks. I don’t know if you’ll see quite as much variety from daylight to indoor lighting in their non-metallic colors but I’m betting you will see some differences. 

Fucking Sculptures has chosen to use soda-lime glass as opposed to borosilicate glass (Pyrex is one brand of that type). Maria says: 

Soda lime glass is old school. It’s also the most common type of glass in use today, but most people are not particularly aware of this. Traditional “glass blowers”  that do all of their work by hand typically use soda lime glass. Basically the only difference between the two types is that soda lime glass is slightly more temperature sensitive. You can compare it to a pint glass. If you were to pour boiling water into a pint glass, it might crack. Same with your Fucking Sculpture. That’s why we try to take particular care to inform people to gradually warm or cool their pieces and not to go suddenly from one temperature extreme to another.

Maria has quite the enviable job. You see, Lee is her life partner and business partner and he is the glass blower. They collaborate on designs and then she gets to go test them! I would love to be able to watch Lee make these, hopefully someday they will have a video up of him making one of the Sculptures. There’s really not a lot else I can say about my particular dildo since your particular Fucking Sculptures won’t look *just* like mine, so I’ll let the photos do the rest of the talking.

FuckingSculptures-001

FuckingSculptures-003

FuckingSculptures-009

FuckingSculptures-004

FuckingSculptures-012

FuckingSculptures-002

FuckingSculptures-011

 

Quite honestly the entire line just eclipses any other glass dildo that I’ve ever lusted after. It makes the designs of Icicles from Pipedreams and even Steele Malone look…..pedestrian. Meh. But these? These are just amazing. Currently these are available from the Fucking Sculptures online store, or you can see them in person if you live near Berkeley, California (I think). She-Vibe.com will also carry some of their pieces. 

 

Thank you Maria and Lee of Fucking Sculptures for providing me with this beautiful piece of fucking art to review! 

Jan 312013
 

funtoysgvibe

A few years ago a new concept in dildos arrived, called the Split Dildo. The reaction was as split as the sex toy itself. I’ve read polarizing reviews of both adoration and contempt, so when I was asked to review the Funtoys G-Vibe I figured I would land firmly in love or hate. I was a little nervous at first. I expected a lion, however, and got a kitten. 

I’ve never tried the Split Dildo but it seemed that the dildo was not modest in girth, and according to Kara Sutra required quite a bit of pressure to keep the “ears” together and was something you definitely felt. Unfortunately, the G-Vibe is….boring. It looks like a nice luxury vibe; in fact the stylings look a lot like the first Lelo Insignia line. The silicone is even the same as Lelo, with a matte silky finish to it. The buttons are nearly identical to the Lelo Insignia line and the vibrations even remind me of early Lelo and the Insignia Isla – very surface-buzzy and moderate at best. More bark than bite, actually – sure it’s “quiet” but it’s not “nearly silent”, yet even so the noise is more intense than the vibrations. There are two motors, one in each tip. At high speed the vibrations may fool you into thinking that they have potential, if you barely touch the thing, but any pressure at all gives you faux-vibrations. I’ve experienced this before in toys: the Extase Liberte, the original Lelo Tiani, and the Picobong Honi to name a few. It has the sort of vibrations that force you to try the patterns hoping, in vain, that the rapid-fire changing of the motor will give you something that maybe feels like a little more oomph. And in fact the final pattern does. Those staccato every-3-seconds bursts of just enough more intensity end up frustrating you more than anything.  It tells you that the motor might have had the potential to ekk into the realm of rumbly but stopped 2 miles from the border.  Funtoys describes the G-Vibe as having “six modes with changeable intensity from light tremors to intense vibration”. The “intense vibration” part of that statement couldn’t be more wrong. 

Fun Toys G-Vibe - The looped handle makes it easy to hold and the control buttons are well placed. The charging port is shown closed (Top) and open (Bottom)

The “intuitive controls” are just fairly average. An increase button, a function mode button to change between patterns, and a decrease button. Standard. The buttons are in a good place on the handle, maybe that’s what they mean? There is no button-lock feature, either, like Lelo and a few others. Also take note of the fact that the G-Vibe is merely water resistant. This confuses me greatly. The charging port cover is a silicone plug in the hole – a similar design to Lelo and many other makers of luxury vibrators. Hell, the Lelo Tor II has a completely open charging cover and it’s labeled as waterproof! Be that as it may, I’m not one to doubt what a manufacturer says. But if they want to get into the luxury sex toy game, then they need to make it waterproof. It’s one of those features that people who don’t masturbate in the shower/bath (like me) don’t care about but it doesn’t take away from what we DO like; and there are plenty of people out there who do really enjoy their playtime in the water. Speaking of the charging port, you should initially charge the G-Vibe for 8 hours. It’s said that you will get 4 hours on a single charge, but I would imagine that for at least 2 of those 4 hours the vibrations will be greatly decreased from the pittance they already are. 

The ears might look intimidating, especially if you use both of them internally, but they are very very pliable  and soft. In fact, I’m almost willing to say they’re just too wimpy.  The design is flexible and Funtoys thinks that you Fun Toys G-Vibe - Showing how flexible the "ears" are. It takes very little effort to keep them togethercan use this design for lots of various methods of stimulation. But the fact is, the vibrations are not enough and the split portion doesn’t do what it should – which according to their site, it should “create a sensation of fullness without stretching the vaginal entrance” and “Simultaneous stimulation of 2 spots:  G-spot and the opposite side of the vagina” – which, in case you were wondering, the “opposite side of the vagina” spot1 has a real name: perineal sponge. But since the ears are so pliable and the split requires very little pressure to stay closed, I don’t really feel what the company  advertises. Perhaps it was because I wasn’t aroused enough for the PS-Spot to want any attention but the bit of vibrations that I felt on the posterior vaginal wall just made me feel a little like I had to poop. My g-spot requires a decent amount of pressure OR an intense level of thuddy vibrations, neither of which the G-Vibe could ever come close to offering. 

With my skepticism firmly intact I tried to use this as a dual-stimulator in the traditional sense. While the upward-facing ear did actually touch my clitoris, the vibrations, lack of pressure and slim profile meant that I felt very little externally or internally. I decided to go about trying the other suggested uses Funtoys came up with.Sure, it feels slightly different from a straight dildo of the same width, but I don’t feel any sense of fullness nor do I feel enough pressure on either the G-spot or Perineal Sponge to register as anything special in my brain. Despite this, it doesn’t mean that it’s easy to insert. You still have to hold the ears together at the tippy top, you cannot just jam Squidward here into your hole and hope for the best. This maneuvering means, for me, awkward and uncomfortable positioning contortions.  In fact it was damn near impossible for me to insert this. I had to contort and reach to basically shove my fingertips, along with the tips of the vibe, up inside of me to get it started.

gvibeuse1
Drawn images are property of Funtoys.info
grumpycatno

No? Well how about…..

gvibeuse2
Drawn images are property of Funtoys.info
grumpycatno

First of all, my nipples don’t meet up like that. Second, when you try to hold it like oversized chopsticks or the JimmyJane Form 2, something curious happens. It sounds like the same “fatal flaw” that was described by many Form 2 owners – when pressure is applied disproportionately to the two ears OR applied mostly equally and the toy is held handle facing the sky, the vibrators in the ears get kicked out of cycle and almost form their own bizarre pattern. It’s no longer a steady vibration. 

Ok then.

Moving along.

 The G-Vibe comes in 3 colors – if you don’t like pink or purple though, you’re out of luck. The packaging is indeed very lovely to look at, even if it’s not very discreet for storage. When you open up the box the vibe sits in a foam-like cutout – the glue that is used in this bit (my best guess anyway, is glue) has a subtle but offensive odor to me. I can smell it on the vibe despite washing, and I can smell it on the included storage bag. The bag is drawstring and made of white nylon, it feels quite nice. It does have the Funtoys logo, “ft”, which is discreet.  The included charger is USB-only. I enjoy the *option* of USB, but I don’t want it to be the only way. Luckily I have a couple USB-to-wall-plug thingies and that works too. 

 At the end of the day, I just couldn’t get into this sex toy nor would I recommend it. The vibrations would have to be more like the We-Vibe Tango or hell even the Je Joue MiMi for me to even consider recommending it.  Perhaps with truly thuddy-rumbly vibrations that have more power, the stimulation of the G-spot and PS-spot could be felt but as it stands now it was nothing to write home about.  While a few people did seem to enjoy the intense pressure from that Split Dildo, the G-Vibe takes caution to the extreme and instead leaves you wanting something more from the split internal portion. 

  1. Until I did my research on split sex toys, I had no idea about this arousal spot. OF COURSE it must be added to the litany of Alphabet Spots. Most often it is referred to as the PS-Spot.  Sadly in their drawings, Funtoys just lists it as “P” to which I first thought “um….we don’t have a P-spot”.
Jan 282013
 

ETA: The Comet G is actually growing on me a little. But now they have out a VIBRATING version which I’ve got high hopes for.

Jopen Key Comet Wand

There are glass dildos and silicone dildos, but never have I seen a silicone-covered glass dildo. The Jopen Key Comet G is pretty unique in that aspect. It is a decidedly g-spot dildo and therefore….I (and others) cannot help but compare it to the Njoy Pure Wand. There is no shortage of g-spot targeting sex toys but it seems that the Pure Wand is king of the heap for most reviewers. So when I was told that the Key Comet Wand was just about as good as (or for some, better than) the Pure Wand I had to try it.

My one and only complaint about the Pure Wand is the weight. I’m no spry young thing and I have a disorder that affects muscle strength. It doesn’t take much for my hand and/or wrist to be bothered by the Pure Wand if I’m going at it too long; of course the upside is that orgasms come fast and furious with the Pure Wand. The Key Comet Wand is quite a bit lighter weight than the Pure Wand, but still retains some heft thanks to the glass core. It’s a nice balance.

However, the thing (one of the things) I love best about the Pure Wand is that it is made of stainless steel and I never, ever ever need lube. No matter what. It glides with ease and there is no trouble with insertion. The Key Comet Wand though is covered in a matte silicone that is silky smooth to the touch but has quite a bit of drag during insertion. I actually had to get out my old lube bottle to use the Comet. For once my own wetness wasn’t enough. I’m not a person who normally uses lube; therefore I don’t keep it handy and I’m pretty lazy. The fact that I have to drag it out is a bit of an irk for me.

keycometwandDue to the drag and need for lube, at first I thought that the Comet Wand was bigger than the Pure Wand. The bulbous end of the Comet Wand is the same size as the large end of the Pure Wand (a ball with a max width of 1.5″), but the shaft of the Comet is a little bit wider. This is neither good nor bad but it’s not a huge size. The shaft isn’t the point, anyways, when you’re targeting your g-spot. This isn’t a toy for those who simply want girth.

Let’s Talk About Materials – Silicone AND Glass in One

The unique part about the Key Comet Wand is the combination of two well-loved non-porous materials: glass and silicone. The handle portion is all solid glass and feels very substantial. Jopen says that the Comet is made from durable glass dipped in body-safe silicone. The “dipped in” leads you to believe that it’s mostly glass. I got curious though. I pressed the bulbous tip against the corner of my desk and I was able (although I had to use a lot of pressure) to press in farther than I expected to and farther than I can on the silicone-covered portion of the shaft. I was also able to grab the bulbous head in my hand and move it slightly. My guess is that the glass doesn’t go all the way down and into the bulbed tip.  There are very subtle raised ridges in the design that don’t add anything you can feel, just something visual; the ridges start at the glass handle and appear to continue on down seamlessly through the silicone “dipped” portion.  I have to admit, the geek in me kinda wants to ruin this dildo and take a box cutter to the silicone to determine just how much glass is in the body. I won’t, but I’m really damn tempted.

Of course I must also note that cleaning this dildo isn’t quite as simple as you might think, based on the materials. Normally any dildo made of metal, glass or true silicone can be boiled (carefully) to sanitize. They’re non-porous so technically it doesn’t take much to sanitize but the Comet G cannot be boiled, cannot be put in the dishwasher top rack, etc. It needs to be simply washed in soap and water (a 10% bleach solution if you need it for sharing, a rinse after that please) because of the combination of materials but mostly that Key emblem glued into the handle.

If this g-spot dildo were made entirely of glass, it would turn off the many people who still think that glass sex toys will just shatter inside their Hulk-like vagina. If it were made entirely of silicone, it would lack the balanced weight and heft and firmness. The silicone also gives peace of mind to the glass paranoids and protects from chipping the internal portion. I can also appreciate that they finished the silicone with something similar to Lelo’s Silicone Soft Touch, leaving behind a matte-finish silky feel silicone that doesn’t attract lint, dust or fur. Jopen will tell you to only use water-based lube because of the silicone component, but as I’ve mentioned before, not all silicone lubes (nor silicone sex toys) are created equal. Some will be just fine when combining. I’ve successfully used Wet’s Synergy hybrid lube and their Platinum all-silicone lube on all of my high end dildos and vibrators and never had a problem. I tried it on the Comet and it was just fine. How do you know? Apply a small dab to a portion near the handle or base, depending on the toy. Within a minute, if the two are not compatible, the lube will become gummy. If left on, the silicone of the toy will become sticky and weird, too. This has not yet happened to me with Wet lubes; Metis also recommended Sliquid and Pjur as silicone lubes compatible with Tantus’s Platinum silicone.

The Boring Deets – Colors, Packaging, etc

Comet G comes in 3 terribly predictable colors: a candy-grapey-purple, an old-school-eraser-pink, and a turquoise-y-blue that some might call “robin’s egg” blue. The glass handle is a pastel matching version of the silicone. The glass handle has a sort-of ball end with a bit of a curve to mirror the g-spot bulb; embedded in one side of the curved end is the Jopen Key logo that appears to be actual metal (an alloy mix) rather than Lelo’s “metal” accents which are just metallic-painted plastic. The box is black and whatever color your dildo is; you could use it for storage but it’s not a subtle and sturdy box like many luxury makers go for. You slide off the top portion of the box to reveal a book-style box inside; the Comet G Wand is nestled in foam which has a ribbon tab to lift up where the storage bag and manual is found. The storage bag is made from the same material that We-Vibe uses – a kinda stiff, crinkly water-resistant fabric that feels cheap (unlike the satin that most luxury toy makers use). The storage bag isn’t padded. All in all, I’m not impressed by the packaging or storage bag.

Size Matters

As for size, at first comparison the Comet G and the Pure Wand look really damn similar. When it comes to curved dildos like this though there are two ways to measure, just like there are two ways to measure the distance between two addresses: “As the crow flies” or following the roads. As the crow flies, the two are about the same at 8 inches. But the true tip-to-tip tells another story and shows how much more curved the Pure Wand is: The Comet G is about 9.5 inches where the Pure Wand is a little over 11 inches. The widest width on both is that large bulbed end, at 1.5 inches. But where the Pure Wand is a true double-sided dildo offering you two differently sized ends to use, the Comet G Wand is only usable one way.

cometvspureNow the tip-to-tip length may not seem important at first, but I found after my second use that it does matter to me. As I’ve said in the past I have short arms and a fat buddha belly and the C-curve plus the length of the Pure Wand is about the most ergonomic and easy to use design for me, hands down. The Comet G is mostly C-shaped, but that bulb on the handle tips back in an weird subtle S-shape. The handle tip also is more “fiddlehead fern” than true bulb and I found that it was a lot harder to keep a good grip on it than the Pure Wand. I found myself really need that extra inch and a half and the easier-to-grip bulb of the Pure Wand. While I was indeed able to finally get good g-spot stimulation and orgasm better than most other dildos, the clumsy grip means that I will still reach for the Pure Wand despite it’s heft. Speaking of weight, the Comet G is 9.5 ounces where the Pure Wand is 1 pound 8.75 ounces – nearly a pound heavier.

Final Answer?

I can’t totally discount the Comet G Wand, but I also can’t say that I’d ever recommend it over the Njoy Pure Wand unless you absolutely need something under 1 pound in weight due to arthritis, injuries or muscular disorders – however on the flip side, the handle is a bit more difficult to keep under grasp but I think a creative person could come up with an add-on to the handle to make it larger and easier to grip. Sure, the Comet G is priced a little lower than the Pure Wand (on EF, $90 for the Comet G, $108 for the Pure Wand) so I wouldn’t recommend the Key Comet G Wand as a more affordable alternative to the Pure Wand. There are lots of g-spot options out there, and not everyone likes or needs the firm pressure that I do.

Jan 232013
 

LELO Luna Beads NoirAs someone who vastly prefers grey & black to pastel shades, you would think I would love the Luna Beads Noir. After all, one of the very few aspects that I didn’t love about the Luna Beads from the very beginning was the color scheme – kinda practical/clinical/boring. And I admit I do indeed love the look of the Luna Beads Noir. But the thing is, vag balls are not a fashion accessory. Nobody is going to see them. I don’t wear them on my wrist, or loop them around a lanyard. So the only thing that I can think of as to why Lelo produced these, is to capitalized a little more on the Fifty Shades crap. And yes, that is a factor in the production of the Noir beads. I didn’t feel that the Minis were anything to do with the Fifty Shades crap, because I had read numerous reviews in the past where some women stated that the Original Luna Beads were a bit too big to be comfortable for them. But the overpriced singular pair of Luna Noir in their graphite color scheme? Totally Fifty Shades. I even asked Lelo about that aspect and this was the response:

Fifty Shades did have some influence on the creation of Luna Beads Noir, since we had feedback from consumers to make a more sensual version of the world’s best selling sexual wellness product that is more focused on intense foreplay sensations. Luna Beads Noir are smaller for easier insertion and extraction and are a heavier weight compared to our classic version for stronger, more pleasurable sensations.

However, to me, Luna Beads Noir set is a bit of a head scratcher. They come only in one size – the mini size – and just one weight! The heavier weight. If you’ve never used a kegel bead set I wouldn’t recommend jumping right to using the full set of these. I did that once after going a long time without using any kegel exercisers and I actually had sore, overworked PC muscles the next day, akin to overworked abs after doing way more crunches on the first day back to the gym than you really should have attempted. You could use just one bead at first; I would only recommend using one bead though if your kegels are toned, you consider yourself to have a tighter vagina, and truly do not prefer dildos above 1.25″. Otherwise?

You might very well find yourself doing….whatever it is you do whilst wearing fancy Luna Beads…and out of your pant leg rolls your singular Luna Bead.

 Ahem.

Anyways. Since I’ve noted that these are the same size as the Minis that I recently reviewed (and did not like) I also wanted to note that Lelo fixed the problem that I and a few others reviewers had with the initial run of the Luna Minis – the inner weighted ball is back to how it should be, covered in rubber to muffle the rattling sound. But just as with the Minis, the issue is that the weighted ball is too large to produce any real noticeable sensations for me. The less room the weighted ball has to move around, the less you’ll feel it. So to me, not only does it fail as a kegel exerciser (which doesn’t seem to be the intended use if I read Lelo’s answer) but it fails as an “intense foreplay” toy. It was really hard to capture this because of how dark the Noir beads plastic is, but you can see pretty well in the photo below how much more “wiggle room” that weighted ball has in the Original set on the left. I couldn’t show this with my set of the Minis because my weighted balls appeared to be a bit smaller due to the lack of a rubberized coating.

lunabeads

The materials are the same, the care instructions are the same as all other Luna Bead sets.

Luna Beads Original vs Luna Beads Noir

Given the price factor I don’t really feel like these are worth the money. I do like the look better; hell I’m the girl who wanted a new Acuvibe because it came in black and to replace my Devine Play Chest because it was out in a black-on-black (instead of my pink-on-black). If Lelo had made the Noir set as simply another color option to the Originals and Minis and kept the whole system the same I’d tell you that it’s just a color preference. But the Original and Mini set both have the graduated 4-ball weight set that I’ve always loved so much, priced at $42.99 (the not-on-sale price at EF). So when I saw that the Noir set, which only included 2 balls, was $35.99 I felt even more reluctant to recommend them. I’ve always preferred the Luna Beads to any other kegel system out there but the Noir set, as it stands, is another story altogether.

Lelo Luna Beads, Noir set feature 1 set of two 37-gram plastic beads held together in a silicone cradleThe Lelo Luna Mini Beads feature a set of two 28-gram and two 37-gram beads is made with FDA-approved and phthalate-free ABS/ silicone.The Original Luna Beads Kegel Exerciser Balls. Two pairs of variably weighted balls and silicone cradle for pelvic exercise

Dec 232012
 

I thought that this recent question deserved to be highlighted more:

I want to buy my girlfriend an anal plug/toy. She’s new to anal; she tried the finger and now I believe she wants to pass to another level… I just want to give her a toy and let her experiment a little bit. Now, I am new also in the toy buying and I need your advice. Can you recommend something for beginners? I am aware about the materials but I still don’t know what to choose. I believe she needs something soft, something with a “natural feel”. Any advice will be appreciated.

My response1:

A plug is something you wear around for hours or you can also just use it for the occasion, while just a simple toy is used as-is. The most comfortable plugs have a definitive difference between the neck and the body, with a decent base. The neck is what sits at the sphincter level; the sphincter prefers to be closed so a plug that will feel the most natural and least like she’s about to poop will have a thin neck.

I would also caution against looking for something super-soft and cushy/squishy simply because you need something with a bit of “backbone” to be able to penetrate the ass. That first sphincter muscle, especially, can be quite stubborn for beginners on letting anything inside the ass. Biologically speaking, it’s not natural. Your rectum and sphincter are built for exit-only; when the sphincter is open, it wants to close. And when things come out it is much easier than putting something in. That’s not to say that anal play is bad or dangerous; not at all if done right. I’m just pointing out that it’s not the biological function de facto which is why things may seem a little tricky at first.

If she’s taken nothing other than a single finger, I would highly suggest that no matter what else you get, you get her a warm-up dildo or two. Preferably two. The Tantus Silks are the absolute best. I have them both and in my opinion you cannot just jump to the medium if you’re brand new to anal.  I was steered towards the Silk Small as a warm-up and introductory toy to my Crystal Delights plug; despite the fact that I chose their smaller plug, it was still a little too big for me to just jump right to. The Silk Small was amazing. Only after sufficient play with the Silk Small would I graduate up to the Silk Medium. Even after numerous play sessions, to get used to the “weird feeling”, I would still start off each time with the Silk Small as a warm-up before moving on to the Silk Medium.  These are smooth, plain and great for getting the anus and sphincter used to having something there. Other small, silicone options include plugs like the Tantus Little Flirt which if you get from their “Grab Bag” section, is under $20. The same can be said for the Ripple Small from Grab Bag. Tantus Meteorite is slightly bigger than the Little Flirt, but the fun colors demand a higher price tag.  Tantus Warm Up dildo is a newer design, and is another small 1″ option. This would actually be great for prostate play introduction. If you’re looking for something a bit more realistic in design, consider the Vixen Small Bent. They make one in standard Vixen silicone, and then the Spur is the soft, Vixskin option. That will give you a little cushion and comfort.

Plugs that receive rave reviews from everyone are the Njoy Pure Plugs. I know that stainless steel can seem intimidating to a first-timer, which is why warm-up toys are imperative. The Pure Plug Medium though has a max diameter of 1.25″ and a nice, long thin neck. It’s built for comfort and to wear around for hours and hours. The steel might be cold at first, but you can warm it up in a bowl of *semi-warm* (not hot) tap water if you want.

If you’re already ready to move past the 1″ and under set, the Fun Factory Bootie is highly recommended for something under $50. The Tantus Ryder is also a good pick.

Make sure you use plenty of lube! Thicker gel-like lubes work best for anal play. While many companies will tell you that you should avoid silicone-based lubes with silicone toys, the higher quality silicone of Tantus can tolerate certain higher-quality silicone-based lubes. Hybrid lubes are great as they have a small amount of silicone so they don’t interact, but Tantus have recommended brands like Sliquid as having high compatibility even if it’s just straight silicone lube. As always though, you have to do lube research – too low of a pH for lube for the butt can lead to a stinging sensation which is not good! Use the Lube Guide to find a lube that is a good pH and devoid of irritating chemicals.

Random Important Anal Play Information:

  • Please AVOID anal numbing  / desensitizing creams, gels and sprays. I can understand that newbies will be nervous about it feeling weird or hurting, but the anus is very special – if you do not use enough lube and you use a toy that is too big, too soon, you can create tiny tears in the skin called fissures. This is bad because then you are at a high risk for getting fecal matter into the open skin; you’re also at a higher risk for transmitting diseases of all types through broken skin.
  • When you’re using fingers, it’s really best to put on a nitrile glove. This is a safety trick for both the receiver (fingernails!!) and the giver (broken skin? fecal matter under the fingernail?)
  • Never, ever ever ever share anything between the ass and the mouth or the ass and the vagina. Never. Ever. Have I made my point clear? Ignore what they do in porn. Those butts have been cleaned out better than your average endoscopy requires, and there is no fecal matter that might transfer. You or your partner could become very sick if you don’t heed this warning. This also applies to sex toys. The only toys that should ever be used in both holes are non-porous ones that can be properly sanitized  – silicone, glass, metal. And you absolutely must sanitize in between orifices.
  • There will sometimes be a little poop. It’s a fact of life, it’s going to happen. Just have warm, wet washclothes or baby wipes right near by.  If your partner cannot handle this, then you need to rethink anal play with them. Consider buying black sex toys, too, as they won’t show fecal matter like a pastel pink dildo would.
  • Anal play, when done right, can be very pleasurable – for women and men. Men have the added bonus of a prostate to enjoy, but that’s for another guide. Many women have experienced g-spot stimulation via anal play (the wall inside between the vagina and rectum is very thin).
  1. My response is directed to the asker, who has a female partner. However, my information is the same for all genders – I just am focusing on the butt, not the prostate this time