Apr 302017
 

Sensevibe Warm with charging caseThe SenseVibe Warm had a strange advantage right out of the gate: You all know how picky I am, but did you know that there’s one thing that can pique my interest despite all jaded misgivings? 

Cool storage.

Yeah, I know, I know. But I like cases, pouches, bags and totes. I’ve been suckered into buying makeup I don’t need because it’s a kit and comes with cool storage. I’ve fallen for this marketing trick in the past with sex toys; I’d gleefully gone after the long-deceased Topco Vida line because it came with a pocketed pouch AND a mini zippered train-case-style bag only to be massively disappointed in the quality of, well, everything about the set. I even felt swayed a little by the Barbie pink Womanizer case because it was handy and functional and had pockets. Pockets make everything better, yes?? YES.

Casing the Joint

The SenseMax SenseVibe charges through a closed case for discretion – plug the case in (thankfully using standard micro-USB) and then lay the vibe inside the case and shut the lid. If I had to find a complaint about the case it would be that the magnets holding the lid shut aren’t strong enough to use this as a travel carrying case. If it gets turned upside down or jostled in your bag the vibrator will just fall out. For stationary purposes, though, it’s a good case. The vibe nestles in there perfectly, yet is easy to pluck out.

The SenseVibe Warm and open charging case

Since you’re buying a vibrator, though, and not a storage case, I hate to tell you this (spoiler alert): the case is the best attribute of the SenseVibe for me. I wanted to like this vibrator; even though I was pretty certain it wouldn’t fit my anatomy, I still could have loved it for people who aren’t me. Alas.

Shopping in the Petite Department

The SenseVibe is designed and marketed as a dual-stimulation G-spot & clitoral vibrator. Since vulvas come in various configurations there are definitely some folks out there whose clitoris is close enough to their vaginal opening for this design to possibly work. You have to know this about yourself to know if this is gonna work for you, and the Sensevibe’s clitoral nub is definitely way too short for me. Combine the shortness with a lack of flex in any way in the clitoral nub AND the fact that the nub aims away from the clitoris and it feels like it’s going to work only for a specific portion of the population – those with a clitoris close to the vaginal opening who also don’t need super-rumbly powerful vibrations externally. I was able to angle the vibe to get close-ish to my clitoris and provide the pressure I need but then the internal arm was pressing against the rear vaginal wall and away from my g-spot. Not good.

Comparing the SenseVibe to the L'amourose Denia

If you like the idea of a base that doesn’t put the buttons 2 inches away from your body but feel that the base of the L’amourose Rosa/Denia may be too chunky and cumbersome, then the design of the SenseVibe would be right up your alley if everything else lines up. There’s not much to hold on to with the Sensevibe, but it’s within easier reach. If I angled the Sensevibe so that it makes contact with my g-spot, making the clitoral nub far enough away from my body to allow for a smaller clitoral vibe to also be used, I could use this as a g-spot vibrator. I’m all for using sex toys outside of the prescribed use but only if it does the job as well as or better than other things that are otherwise designed for the job. I feel like there are better g-spot-specific vibrators on the market that won’t get in the way of whatever clitoral vibe you want to use.

Sizewise the shaft is a bit petite – larger than the Prism V, smaller than Rosa or Denia yet it lacks that obscene curve or pronounced head that my g-spot likes best. For me, it’s the very definition of “meh”. Tepid. Neither offensive or awesome.

Captain Crunch

There’s a good amount of flex at the base of the internal shaft, much like the L’amourose Rosa or Denia. It can flex in any direction. Even though I really like rigid things up against my g-spot (which makes me prefer the L’amorouse Prism V over my first love, the Rosa Rouge, for g-spot stimulation), I really like flex action for dual-stimulation vibrators to ensure a wider range of fit. However…there’s a disconcerting crinkle-y crunch-y sound when I flex the SenseVibe – and I’m certain I’m not purposely over-flexing it. It concerns me for longevity reasons, primarily. I’m worried about what exactly is causing this sound and will repeated flexings cause a wire to dislodge or break or something? I don’t know. It does have a one-year warranty, though this is a seemingly new company.

You Push the Button, We do the Rest1

The travel lock on the buttons is nice, and a feature that is shared by L’amourose; there are no seams and it is 100% silicone on the exterior, so it is waterproof.

The center button only changes modes2 but there is no “rapid off” feature – you just press the minus button until the vibrations work their way down the scale to nothing. Note: According to the minimalist user manual that is literally part of the box, you should be able to press and hold either the minus or center button to get it to turn off, but this has yet to work out for me. Similar to the L’amourose Rosa Rouge, though, you CAN press and hold the center button to allow the internal shaft to warm up before you start using it.

Speaking of buttons; since they control the motor I’m gonna say that this is the best section to briefly compare and contrast the vibrations. The internal shaft is damn near as rumbly as the L’amourose Denia or Rouge motor – a hair less intense overall (but still quite powerful). It feels more rumbly than That Brand I Won’t Recommend. Like many dual-motor vibrators, there can be dissonance when both motors are running, leaving you with this weird semi-pulsating feel that can be distracting to some. Because the vibrations in the clitoral nub aren’t very strong I don’t feel much vibration in my hand when holding it.  There is one faintly glittering star in this cloudy sky: The vibrators of the clitoral nub aren’t buzzy and numbing. They may not be nearly enough for me but they’re not awful.

It Coulda Been a Contender

I admittedly have a hard time reviewing sex toys completely of their own merit and not comparing them to what I currently own. Would I be this nitpicky if I hadn’t tried the L’amourose line, or the We-Vibe Nova? Price is playing a factor here, too, because the SenseVibe starts at $129 for the “Classic” version. Many folks can only afford a couple sex toys of this cost in their lifetime.

While I know that many people feel that the dual-stimulation, or “rabbit”, vibe is the Holy Grail because it’s two sex toys in one, I hate them because each one is fairly unlikely to hit all your spots unless you have created 3D life-size cast of your vulva AND vagina and know for sure that the measurements will line up for you. So I’m really confused about SenseMax’s decision to only make a dual-stimulation vibe AND for it to have such a short clitoral stimulation section which cannot be adjusted in any way for better fit. I really enjoy the powerful, rumbling vibrations of the internal shaft and I like the button placement over the L’amourose Rosa or Denia. But these two things, plus the charging case, aren’t enough for me to love this vibrator. I can love a vibrator with some flaws, and this is not a bad vibrator but it doesn’t make me want to write poetry about it.

Comparing the SenseVibe to the L'amourose Rosa and Denia

So far SheVibe only carries one item from SenseMax, the SenseVibe (Classic or Warm). I went to the SenseMax website to find out more about their products and it seems the brand is heavily leaning towards virtual reality stuff with their masturbator, wristband (???) and VR goggles. There is an app, Sense Lovers, but it is strangely not in the Google Play app store. The company explains that “unfortunately due to the nature of the content on the app we are not able to be listed in either app store. We sincerely hope Apple and Google will soon reconsider their attitudes towards adult entertainment.” And I’m confused. There are apps for We-Vibe, Ohmibod, and more. Exactly how is the Sense Lovers App so different that not even Google Play store will allow it? I wasn’t willing to find out because I’m not a fan of installing apps outside of the app store, which is what is required here. I also don’t like using apps with my sex toys, so it’s no loss to me on this one. 

In the end, I don’t feel like I can recommend the SenseVibe Warm to most people. Sure, the SenseVibe Warm is much more reasonably priced ($149) than the L’amourose Rouge Denia ($209) BUT the L’amourose Denia has a design I can enjoy with rumbling motors on both shafts and I feel it’s likely to fit a larger percentage of folks. Since the warming feature is only present on the internal arm of the SenseVibe Warm I feel like if you’re considering this design you should just opt for the less expensive SenseVibe Classic, priced at $129. The heat isn’t enough to really feel when it’s in your vag – it didn’t earn the slang term “hot box” for nothing-  but the heat on the shaft is lovely when used externally. Again, though, it’s not comfy or logical to use it that way. SenseMax could definitely be on the map for rumbling, powerful vibrators if only they could improve and expand their designs.

Also: No, I don’t know why it’s called the SenseVibe. There is no “sensing” of anything here. There’s no AI, no VR, it’s just a vibrator and I’m really confused.

 

Many thanks to SheVibe for sending me this in exchange for my very honest review. I feel like the brand is on the cusp of perhaps branching out into something really cool, so keep an eye on SenseMax.

 

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  1. Quote attributed to George Eastman
  2. You can have both motors on, or just internal or just external, and then the rest of the settings employ various patterns which I’ve naturally skipped
Sep 172015
 

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

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

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

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

FunFactoryG4vsG5

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

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

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

 

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

Oct 072013
 

splitdildofuntoysgvibeMonths ago I reviewed the G-Vibe, a split vibrator that reminded folks of the aptly named (both for the obvious, and for how divided the fan base was) Split Dildo. I had read a number of reviews that stated that the Split Dildo was actually painful to use, so I was surprised by how boring and subtle the Funtoys G-Vibe was to use. Recently a Split Dildo became available on ToySwap and I grabbed it up for no other purpose than this comparison review. Dedicated, I am.

While the Split Dildo is noticeably fatter than the G-Vibe, the biggest different is in the pliability of the silicone and the pressure  aspect – by that I mean the amount of pressure it takes to keep the closed ears split and therefore the amount of pressure they will exert as they try to fall back into their natural state. It took me awhile to figure out how best to show you the difference. What I did with the scale is try to exert enough pressure on one half of the split to make it “straighten”, like you would do if it was inside of you. While the Split Dildo is fatter, and therefore heavier (it weighs slightly more than the G-Vibe which is longer and has a motor), the difference in grams required to achieve the same result is drastic enough to matter.

It almost seems like Funtoys directly modeled the G-Vibe from the Split Dildo. I say that only because the angle and length of the split seems to be identical. Just the Split is much fatter. Split is also the type of silicone that easily hangs on to dirt, lint, fur etc. It doesn’t glide easily along dry skin like the G-Vibe does….it is more like the “treated” silicone that Lelo uses, applying a finish that makes it silky smooth with no drag. The Split Dildo does have some drag, and would require lube by most. The thing that is the most infuriating about the Split Dildo is the lack of a handled base. This is not friendly for people with mobility/flexibility issues, and not “fat friendly”, either.

splitdildofuntoysgvibe2splitdildofuntoysgvibe3


I just learned that the infuriating creator of the Split Dildo thinks that only “women who have birthed a child” can like the Split, that the rest of us poor souls have too-tight vaginas. Reading this on Epiphora’s site pissed me off so bad.  Here’s the funny thing. When the Split dildo was actually, finally, properly in place, I wasn’t writhing in pain. In fact, the pressure on my g-spot felt good BUT the pressure against the rectal wall was not good. It was not good at all.  I felt like I was in a race for orgasm and pooping. The orgasm wasn’t due to the Split Dildo; it was helping, as does any toy that puts pressure on my g-spot, but this was not a fun time. At all.

Trying to get the Split Dildo in was harder than trying to get a pair of Spanx on. I prefer thicker dildos, so the problem wasn’t the girth.  It was that I couldn’t hold the tips together /and/ slide the Split in, tampon-like, so there was a moment where the Split felt like it was tearing my perineum because it wasn’t fully inside of me. It was scary, and terribly painful. Screamingly painful.  Overall, I’d only recommend the Split Dildo for those using it with a partner or those who are flexible enough to keep the tips together until it is completely inserted. Actually, I’d go back to just recommending using it with a partner. Because mild thrusting is necessary to get any sort of rubbing on the g-spot, and if you manage to let the Split get too far outside of you, you’re in danger of serious pain coming your way.

So if you owned the Split Dildo and hated it, you should not run in fear of the G-Vibe. That’s not to say that I’d recommend it….I still won’t. I just am saying that the G-Vibe won’t cause pain the way the Split Dildo did for some. If you owned the Split Dildo and loved it? You will be vastly underwhelmed by the G-Vibe. The vibrations are piddly enough that they do not make up for the lack of pressure exerted on the G-Spot and Perineal Sponge.

Actually, I’m just going to recommend against either toy. If we’re gonna go with analogies, think back to Goldilocks and the Three Bears. The Split is Too Hot, the G-Vibe is Too Cold. There is no “just right” middle option. Since I received the Split dildo through my own network, I’m not sure where to tell you to buy it, should I have managed to not fully dissuade you. No one really wants to stock this thing, so I guess you’d have to buy it from the manufacturer.

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.

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
May 072012
 

Spirit Vibe, by Leaf - Powered by PowerBullet, the Leaf Spirit is a diminuative, luxury silicone sex toyEntirely too long ago I received the Spirit vibe from Leaf to review. I sometimes wonder why it takes me so long to write certain reviews while others seem to write themselves, and I realized why: When I don’t love or hate a toy, I find it hard to know what to say. And that’s the problem here; I don’t love or hate the Spirit.

Spirit is tiny; smaller than I expected. For some reason I expected it to be more along the lines of the Layaspot in size, but it’s actually a little smaller than the Je Joue MiMi and definitely smaller than the We Vibe Touch. Which means that for some people it could easily get misplaced. Of course that bright, spring-green color would make it more difficult to lose it.

Green Squared

The entire Leaf vibes line is touted as being “green”; not just green in color (as it’s the only color option available) but environmentally-speaking a “good idea”. The thought is that silicone rechargeable vibrators are more “green” since there are no disposable batteries. Of course, one argument is that disposable batteries can be recycled or simply tossed in the garbage with no serious effects to the landfills  while very few people would ever recycle the rechargeable portion of a vibrator (mainly because you’d have to recycle the whole toy and there aren’t a lot of sex toy recycling places out there, plus it’s a bitch to get the battery out of the toy). Another way that Leaf is pushing the green aspect is in their packaging, which gets met with some argument as well. The box is all recycled cardboard; it’s heavy and sturdy cardboard though, with a magnetic closure so it would be great for storage. It’s not a 100% discreet storage option but yet it doesn’t use the words “sex toy” or “vibrator” anywhere on the box. Instead it says “Natural Pleasure“. The included storage pouch looks like hemp but is probably just cotton canvas. The only plastic to be found was the plastic bags used to contain the vibe and the charger. I think that overall there is a step in the right direction for being more environmentally conscious and not just for being a silicone sex toy.

Spirit Vibe, by Leaf - Powered by PowerBullet, the Leaf Spirit is a diminuative, luxury silicone sex toy. Leaf endeavors to package their sex toys with as much recycled material as possible. Spirit Vibe, by Leaf - Powered by PowerBullet, the Leaf Spirit is a diminuative, luxury silicone sex toy. Leaf endeavors to package their sex toys with as much recycled material as possible.

Powered by PowerBullet

The reason I was so interested in the Leaf line was because the motor is “Powered by PowerBullet”; The Jopen Vanity line is also made with PowerBullet motors and since I adore my VR6 so, so very much I had high hopes for Leaf Spirit. After I did some research, though, I found out that only one other vibrator (not something made by a US-distributed company) powered by PowerBullet is as strong and rumbly as the VR6. Ah well. This isn’t to say that the Leaf Spirit is weak; it’s not. It’s really got quite a punch. In fact I’d easily compare it to the Je Joue Mimi. I’d say that the We Vibe Touch is perhaps a bit more powerful (there is one caveat to all three of these, which I’ll get to in a minute) but the We Vibe Tango & Salsa are more powerful than any of the aforementioned three vibes. The reason for this is because the Spirit, MiMi and Touch all have what is, to me, a fatal flaw: as soon as pressure is applied to the vibrator or it is surrounded by flesh (hello, fleshy labia) the vibrations greatly decrease. They go from deep and rumbly and powerful to almost surface-buzzy and moderate. It’s a huge let-down. This could be happening with the Spirit because it is so small. Perhaps a larger model would fare better because there would be more space to hold it (holding it firmly is also “pressure” in terms of muting the vibrations). But if I had to quantify the difference, I would say that the Leaf Spirit is 3 times more powerful when you’re just barely holding it compared to if you have a good grip on it and/or are applying pressure (you’d likely require a good grip on it if you get it slick with lube or body fluids).

Left to Right: Je Joue Mimi, Leaf Spirit and We Vibe Touch. Three luxury, silicone vibrators with the same flaw

I’m also a little disappointed that when it’s not in use the Spirit doesn’t hold a charge very well. It has an impressive Run Time vs Recharge Time ratio: 2.6 hours of run time for only 2 hours of recharge time (according to the company). Many rechargeable sex toys require more charge time than you’ll get in play time.

The markings on the Leaf Spirit vibrator are all required by law to be there. Unfortunately, they take up a lot of space on the sex toy!

Like all luxury sex toys, the Leaf line is covered in pure medical-grade silicone and is very body safe. It’s waterproof, great for travel and the curved shape of the Spirit would work well laying against your pubic mound during penetrative sex.  Due to the small size of Spirit, the whole toy vibrates but the motor is located in the tip. There is a seam in the silicone skin but only the most sensitive people would feel it. Spirit has only one button so it’s easy to use, yet if you want to go down a step in power you have to cycle through and turn it off, first. I’m not a huge fan of that. I also think that the vibe itself would be more aesthetically pleasing without the abundance of required markings on the top, but they are sadly required to be there by law. They do blend in and might even add just a hint of texture for holding on to it. The silicone skin covering the hard plastic toy is the silky soft type and so it’s not a huge dust-magnet like We Vibe silicone can be.

Final thoughts

Would I recommend this? Eh. It depends. If you don’t like pressure with your vibes, or you don’t require a very powerful vibe and you adore the smallness and the green-ness, then yes. Otherwise? I’d probably recommend something else for the money. Cute only goes so far in my book.

 

Click here to read about the properties of silicone sex toys and care & cleaning  |  This toy was provided in exchange for an honest review