Oct 072014

Tenga Iroha MikazukiFor as much as I love the Tenga Iroha Minamo, I’m underwhelmed by the Iroha Mikazuki. The Iroha Minamo arrived first on my doorstep; I was so excited about it and liked it so much that I asked Tenga if I could review both. I wanted to be certain that I could recommend them interchangeably. I’m so glad I did because I am more reluctant to recommend the Mikazuki.

My first Iroha vibe was the Iroha Midori. I had expected a lot more squish and give than I experienced with the Midori and felt a bit let down but it all. The Minamo delivered on that squish, and how. But the Iroha Mikazuki goes back to being barely squishy. The tip is very squishy, like Vixskin heads, and this continues for about the first inch because there’s no plastic body underneath, it’s simply all soft material. But after that first inch it’s just not as soft. However, the Mikazuki is thinner than the Minamo and still could be a decent insertable vibe for those who are very new to penetration or have vaginismus. The slender shape starts out very slim, 0.75″ wide and gradually enlarges to a max width of 1.25″ at about 4.5″ of insertable length, or just below the buttons.

The color is hard to pinpoint, and photograph. The yellow is just a bit more yellow than it appeared onscreen to me. It’s not quite a banana yellow. It’s maybe a tad bit more than butter yellow. It perfectly matches the color of raw sweet bi-color corn on the cob. Yet in certain lighting it’s just….not an appealing yellow. I super appreciate this color deviation, but I foresee a lot of people possibly passing this up because of the less-than-popular color. Tenga is definitely one company totally ignoring the American gendering of colors, though, I’ll give em that. They’re also bucking the marketing standpoint. I’ve been told by more than one company that orange and yellow barely sell in sex toys.

The Iroha Mikazuki is very much like the Minamo in most ways; the charging, the vibration strength, the feel of the silicone skin, it’s waterproof, and flexible-ish. For some reason I thought at first that the Mikazuki would be a little *more* flexible than the Minamo, but it’s not. It’s the same, which is to say….not a whole lot. It’s nowhere NEAR as flexible as the photos from Iroha show on Shevibe

Tenga Iroha Mikazuki vs Minamo

All in all, my relative meh-ness on the Iroha Mikazuki can be attributed directly to the level of squish. If it had just a tiny bit more squish all over, then I would love it a lot more. The way it currently is, though, is underwhelming. I think the slender size and silkiness of the silicone is still great for the newbies, those who’ve not experienced vaginal penetration, those with medical issues and so on…..and of course the tip is very squishy, which could make for a very pleasant and comfortable clitoral/vulva vibrator. But for those who really want the comfort and forgiveness of soft and squish for an insertable vibe? I really need to recommend Minamo, instead. It might be slightly bigger, but that extra tiny amount of girth is all super-soft squish. .


I was give the Mikazuki in exchange for my honest review, courtesy of Tenga Iroha. You can find the Iroha Mikazuki at my favorite retailer, SheVibe.

Sep 302014

Tenga Iroha MinamoTenga asked me to review their new insertable line, the Iroha Minamo and Iroha Mikazuki, the sisters to Tenga Iroha’s original debut trio of “soft touch” clitoral vibes, the Midori, Yuki and Sakura. This is one of those times where a reviewer needs to be objective and look beyond their own preferences. The Iroha Minamo is not something that I personally would be drawn to, but I have had many people ask about a gentle, soft, pliable silicone vibrator. A number of people with vaginas dislike silicone vibrators because too often they’re a hard plastic vibe with a silicone skin over top, and so they choose porous/toxic toys like those made of TPR and jelly because it’s soft enough for them.

Both the Iroha Minamo and Iroha Mikazuki are small and best suited for people who need something slender, something with “give”, something they would describe as “soft and gentle”. The tip has the marshmallow-y plushness that I found myself wishing the Midori had. It’s truly a comfortable vibrator. The vibrations are probably the most intense about an inch and a half back from the tip (at the first “wave” spot). Minamo technically is thicker than Mizaku (review coming Thursday!) but I think it’s only because there’s more plushness – Mikazuki has less squish. These “ocean waves” in the design of the Iroha Minamo are pure squish. There’s squish along the “top” side too, just not quite as much. This is one sex toy that you will want to keep on your desk just to squish and squoosh. 

How is the Minamo so Squishy?

Like the first Iroha vibes, Minamo is covered with a plucky, pliable silicone skin with a polyurethane elastomer underneath. Just like with the Midori, there is an odor (reminds me of latex wall paint) when you first open the packaging, but I left the vibes out for a few days and it mostly dissipated. I don’t have any problems recommending this material combination in terms of safety. Silicone is indeed non-porous, but it’s not impermeable especially to odors. The silicone skin completely covers the elastomer underneath, making this a very body-safe product. I know that the odor can be alarming at first, as we’re told that silicone (vs the cheap, stinky materials like jelly and PVC) is odorless. And it is, on its own. Regardless, the strong smell of the polyurethane elastomer doesn’t last very long at all; it would only bother those absolutely very sensitive to smell. The silicone skin isn’t tight on the vibrator, either, because there’s a weird little joint in the plastic body of the vibe about 2/3 of the way back from the tip which makes the body slightly flexible. I expected it to be flexible like the Je Joue g-ki, I suppose, but it’s not. It’s subtle, and would only really serve to move with your body rather than form a curve that stays put.

The Important Part – Vibrations

It’s a vibrator, so let’s get to the important bit: The vibrations aren’t going to knock your socks off if you need something considerably “more”, but they’re also much better than standard surface-buzzy / weak vibrators. Is it “enough” for me? No. Definitely not as an insertable; borderline as a clitoral vibrator. I would rank it as less powerful than the Lelo Mona 2; maybe about the strength of the original Mona? It’s not rumbly enough for me to compare it to the We-Vibe Tango on any setting. I’d say (from memory) it’s almost as strong as the Eroscillator Plus. The vibrations are definitely noticeable, and will be powerful enough for many folks. 

Is the Iroha Minamo Right for You?

If you could use a little bit of help from a vibrator to get off, you’d like Iroha Minamo. If you’ve never experienced PIV sex or insertable sex toys, you’d do well to start off with Minamo. If you have vaginismus, Minamo is your jam. The tapered size starts out at the tip with an extremely pliable 7/8″ of an inch. At the first “wave” its 1″ wide, then another fraction of an inch, and at the last wave it’s 1 1/8″. The squish, oh the squish. You can apply pressure, but it’s gentle pressure. If your clitoris is sensitive and likes pressure that is easier to control and less likely to bruise? Minamo! It’s a great, versatile vibrator and I’d recommend it for even clitoral use over the little Irohas. It’s because of the design that I love Minamo…..for others, not myself. I’m excited to be able to have something to recommend to those who need something like this.  

Tenga Iroha Minamo

Specs, Deets, and Blahblahblah

The silicone is completely dust/fur repellent. nothing sticks to it. And unlike the first Irohas, the Minamo is waterproof and submersible. The Iroha Minamo is not an anal safe toy, please do not use it as such. The charging process is very discreet, as well. It reminds me a bit of one of the JJ Form 6 iterations. There is a black plastic box, and the USB plug goes on the outside of the box. There is a depression in the box for the vibe to sit and magnetic prongs. I’ve never had a problem yet getting the Minamo to settle into its charging base properly. With a little effort, you can roll up the charging cable and store it inside the black box with the Minamo, for travel. From what I can tell, Minamo is only offered in blue, which is a very pastel blue – my photos aren’t accurate on the color, no matter how hard I tried. I like the Iroha Minamo for what it is, and I hope others do, too. The price is a bit higher than I would like (currently it’s $119.99 at SheVibe) but it is a quality product, and unique.


I was give the Minamo in exchange for my honest review, courtesy of Tenga Iroha. You can find the Iroha Minamo at my favorite retailer, SheVibe. 

Aug 122014

“TPR-Silicone”? Silicone blends? NOPE. Not possible.

For quite some time, we used to believe that there was some bizarre “10% rule” where a manufacturer only had to create a sex toy that contained 10% silicone in order to actually call it silicone for marketing. When I learned that there are no regulations, I learned that the “rule” was a myth and companies could be lying about the material. They could use any material, and claim it to be any material. There is nothing stopping them from out and out lying. And then the lies get spread further because the retailers usually have no option but to parrot the information given to them by the manufacturer.

When I first started reviewing in 2008, we (the consumers) thought that silicone blends and “TPR Silicone” was a thing. The manufacturers called it that, the retailers (of course) called it that. In fact, many retailers still do! A google search of that term shows that it’s still being used on many sites. I don’t know, can’t know, which retailer was the first to explain the various materials – Edenfantasys, for all its downfalls, did a service in providing their material safety rating scale which helped educate a number of people about jelly, cyberskin, etc. The material safety was ranked on a scale from 1 to 10. In order to give credit where credit is due, the material safety scale was created by Shanna Katz and someone who went by “Delilah Douglas” on EF.  Sadly though, they still list TPR Silicone as a material. Many new sites model after their material list, and the myth/misinformation perpetuates. Given the drastic decline of Edenfantasys, I highly doubt that there’s anyone there who would care enough to change their information.

How to Tell TPR from Silicone

Ever since I started burning sex toys, I’ve noticed certain traits. For one, jelly and TPR can be completely clear, crystal clear, but silicone can not be. Silicone can be clear, but it is a somewhat “cloudy” clear. TPR and jelly has also a certain feel that you’ll never get from silicone, and an elasticity you’ll not get from silicone. So if something is crystal clear and can stretch to fit around your ankle? That cock ring is not silicone.


Most often, when I find a sex toy still being advertised as “TPR Silicone” on a retail site, a look at the manufacturer’s site shows that they’re merely calling it TPR. It’s hard to say who is to blame for the inaccurate listings…..did the manufacturer wise up and the retail store hasn’t made changes to the listing? Or is the retail store trying to fool you? Information changes, so what we used to believe as fact is no longer, and when this old, incorrect information still persists, the myths persist.  Sites like this are not out to purposely misinform, but I hope that the information given will be changed as more is learned about these materials and the truth. Information changes, so what we used to believe as fact is no longer, and when this old, incorrect information still persists, the myths persist. 

The Confirmation – TPR Cannot be Blended

I have a few industry friends I can turn to for further investigation when I get one of my hunches, and this was no exception. I can’t name names nor say anything about my “informant” but they work with materials and and have worked for a few large sex toy manufacturing companies. They confirmed for me that it is not possible to blend TPR/TPE with silicone. They’re different materials, and simply cannot be “blended” to create one material type.  They said that one could, technically, layer the TPR and silicone, so that the silicone layer is what is seen by the consumer, but it’s a stretch and it’s very expensive to do so – therefore that negates the whole reason for it. This person reiterated what I’ve suspected, which is that “a lot came from [earlier in the industry] when silicone started to become popular and some were trying to pass it off by saying TPR/TPE silicone”.

Once Again I Lash Out at Screaming O for their “SEBS Silicone” Claims

I decided to dig deeper because of the material naming discrepancies that I still sometimes see; one culprit as mentioned above is Screaming O. I’ve burned their cock rings that they claim are made of a “material” called SEBS, which they claim stands for “silicone elastomer blend”. Not only can you not even blend silicone with a thermoplastic elastomer, but everywhere else in the chemistry world, SEBS stands for styrene-ethylene/butylene-styrene.  The Screaming O cock rings are extremely stretchy and soft. They’re probably over 80% plasticizers (likely mineral oil). When lit, they burn like Indiana Jones’ torch – hot, bright and resistant to extinguishing from a gust of air. The Screaming O rings were the only thing I’ve burned that I couldn’t extinguish by blowing out, I had to toss them under running water. Silicone doesn’t behave like that. And of course, after being burned, the Screaming O rings left no ash — the hallmark of silicone — just a look of melted plastic.  I can’t tell if the material Screaming O is using truly is this SEBS stuff or if they’re just using that acronym as a made-up term for their made-up material. I’d have to raise funds to get a ring sent to the lab like I did with the Hello Touch to find out for sure. I’m skeptical of their material, though, highly skeptical. Styrene is a chemical that many are side-eyeing pretty hard, and aren’t sure how toxic it could be.  If we’re gonna continue to get all technical and science-y, Screaming O (and other sex toy companies too, like Vibratex) use the term “Elastomer” as a material name, when it’s actually a material type. I’d be willing to bet that when most companies are describing their item as being made of Elastomer, it’s really TPE – thermoplastic elastomer. Wikipedia says it’s “also called” thermoplastic rubber (TPR) so I am not yet sure if there is a chemical difference between TPR and TPE, if they’re the same thing, etc. There are different types of TPEs, but I don’t know if all of those types could be used in the sex toy application. We’ve seen these mystery materials come in a variety of shore strengths, too. The softer they are, the more porous they are, and the more likely they are to break down. There’s a big different in how the TPR like these items behaves vs the TPR of say the Eroscillator. I’ve yet to hear that someone’s Eroscillator attachment melted or started to break down, or got “greasy”. Those attachments have much less softening content, though, too. I’ve tried to contact Eroscillator about the material, but they won’t respond.

The term TPR Silicone is very misleading and very incorrect; people hear “silicone” and think that it’s safe, and non-porous. I’d like to see retailers eradicate the language, and I can only hope that when they’re contacted, they will change the terminology.  If you see a site selling items listed as “TPR Silicone”, please consider contacting them to change the wording.


Disclaimer: I am explaining things in the best way I know how. I’m dealing here in many “facts” that I can’t promise are all 100% accurate – we lack the ability to be super scientific about this. I don’t have a chemist by my side, I don’t have a lab. I’m sharing with you what I think, what I’ve been told, what I am inferring from my own test results thus far, and what my reason and logic is filling in. The information here may change as we learn more–this post is evidence that as the years go by in the sex toy industry, things are changing and past truths are becoming myths.


Aug 012014

SedeuxFlareI wanted to review the Sportsheets Sedeux Flare Dildo for two reasons:

1. It’s affordable

2. It’s not fleshtone, pink or purple.

Lofty goals, right? Also, it’s really the opposite of many dildos I’ve reviewed in the past – it’s simple and small. I can’t, and shouldn’t, always review only the things that my vagina loves (if I did that, I would have just stopped at the Pure Wand years ago) but the problem with trying to give a review that’s equal parts objective and subjective on a dildo that is a size I would never love…..well, it’s damn difficult. So I’ve been dragging my feet on writing this, because I don’t hate it and yet I don’t personally love it. But I WILL recommend the hell out of it for the many people who want a smaller dildo. This would be awesome for pegging, and great for vaginal penetration for those who don’t like thick dildos.  It’s only 1.25″ at the head, and closer to 1″ in the shaft.

It’s reasonable to say that the color of your Sedeux Flare might vary from piece to piece. The overall color is a brick/slightly orange-y red, with hints of purple-y opalescent glitter swirling about. The glittery-purple-pearl is much less noticeable on mine than the product photos I’ve seen on various sites. In fact many product photos on retail sites show that the pearlescent coloring is both pink/purple and orange.  But regardless, it’s still a color choice that isn’t horribly gendered and isn’t very common. Mine has much less “fire” to the coloring but it’s still a nice addition, nonetheless.


The dildo I own that is the closest in shape and size to the Flare is the Tantus Silk Medium. The Tantus Silk Medium is listed as 5.25″ long and 1″ wide, while the Sedeux Flare is listed as being 5.75″ long and 1.25″ wide (this measurement comes from the manufacturer; Lovehoney lists it a bit differently for some reason). The slightly angled tip is a bit wider than the shaft; so if you like the Silk Medium but need something a little less straight, the Sedeux Flare would be a perfect choice.

The gentle slope of the head means it should be okay for those sensitive to certain shapes catching their pubic bone, and overall it should be great for those who don’t require girth or extreme pressure on their g-spot. Overall it’s a pretty firm silicone, but the thinner shaft means it has a bit of bend and give while still being firm enough overall to give pressure to the prostate or g-spot. I’ve successfully used Wet Hybrid lube on this, with no detriment to the silicone. You can also pair it with coconut oil if you’re not otherwise using condoms. It can be sanitized in the usual ways.  In short, this is really a very serviceable moderate dildo that’s versatile and comes in a unique color.  So long as you know what you like and need in terms of size, I can’t really find any flaws with the Sportsheets Sedeux Flare. So why don’t I love it? I can’t fully blame it on the width, because the Pure Wand is awesome for me and it’s not what I’d consider a girthy dildo. It’s really down to the length for me. I just simply need something longer – not for insertion, but just for comfortable handling and use with my body type. It’s a great harness dildo, though, and would look smashing paired with a certain Tantus harness.



Thanks to Lovehoney for sending me the Sedeux Flare in exchange for my honest review! Don’t forget, Lovehoney has a great return policy and UK shoppers can get the Sedeux Flare here

Apr 122014

TantusAnacondaDespite the fact that more than two years ago I offered up one in a giveaway, and despite the fact that it’s on my “best” list I never managed to do a proper review on the Tantus Anaconda dildo. Because it’s a dildo and doesn’t “do” much, it gets a Quickie Review.

What makes the Tantus Anaconda so special? The handle. Often, we use the harness base or the balls (if the dildo has either of these) as a handle, but with the Anaconda (and the Echo Handle, and the Goddess Handle) you have 4″ of nothing but HANDLE! I don’t have tiny hands, so the length of the handle is perfect for met. There’s 3 subtle ridges, too, to be extra sure you’ve got a good grip plus the handle has a textured finish to also aid in grip. Finally, to be sure it’s anal-safe, the handle flares out to a bit of a base. Why would you want or need a handle? If you have issues with reach due to mobility, body size, etc. It would also make a great dildo for camming, since your hand can be further away from the body. It also makes a great snow gauge but not if you’re expecting more than a foot.

The silicone of the Anaconda is quite different from most silicone dildos. In fact, according to the silicone shore strength list that Lorax put together, the silicone of the Tantus Handled dildos is the most firm in the business. There really isn’t any give to it. The silicone for these had to be more firm, so that the handle could withstand thrusting and not bend under pressure. The Anaconda has a polished smooth head, while the rest of the shaft is mildly textured. It reminds me a bit of Fun Factory silicone, but not quite as much drag. The ridge on the realistically-shaped head provides just enough of a “zing” to the g-spot without being overwhelming. 

Anaconda is not excessively wide but the firmness of the dildo makes it feel a bit bigger than its 1.75″ width. If the girth worries you, but you like the idea of the handle, you might consider the Echo Handle. It has a bunch of soft ridges and is 1.5″ wide.  If the plentiful ridges of Echo concern you, consider the Goddess Handle. It’s also 1.5″ wide, but has only a few, subtle bloops. Goddess and Echo handle have the shiny/smooth silicone along the entire shaft.

I really love the handles, I think the idea is genius. My personal favorite in the line is the Anaconda because I prefer girth over ridges and bloops and texture.

The Tantus Anaconda comes in a beautiful, slightly pearled “strawberry” pink, purple, or black. Echo handle and Goddess handle come only in pink and purple, but you can also get the Echo Handle from the Tantus Grab Bag for a seriously good deal. You can also get these from Shevibe (where, for the remainder of April, they’re included in the 15% off sale)! 

Tantus Anaconda next to an average-sized dildo, the Tantus O2 Cush

Tantus Anaconda next to an average-sized dildo, the Tantus O2 Cush


Feb 252014

Fun Factory Amorino - small and soft, with a shaft shorter than the length of my open handFirst, let me admit that I skim over things often, and can miss a detail the first time around. When I was looking at the Fun Factory Amorino, I kept wondering how it would work, having that band on it while being inside the vagina. I wondered even further when I got the thing in my hands. It wasn’t until I pulled out what passes for a Fun Factory manual that I saw the warning: “Do not leave the band on during vaginal or anal insertion!” Ok anal insertion, absolutely I understand that. But then I’m not the sort to use a “rabbit” styled vibe anally.  So if you’re not supposed to leave the band on for insertion…….?

There were bizarre diagrams of it, but none made sense. According to the FF website: “The gently taut silicone stimulation band is placed between the softly rounded tip and the side bud for clitoral arousal. It externally stimulates the Venus mound and the vaginal lips – this little detail ensures levels of excitement of a special kind.”  Like, a very special Blossom episode, kind of special? Special how, exactly?

And still I said to myself, “I don’t fucking GET it”.

Seemingly unrelated factoid: Threading is an ancient hair removal method. “In threading, a thin (cotton or polyester) thread is doubled, then twisted. It is then rolled over areas of unwanted hair, plucking the hair at the follicle level. Unlike tweezing, where single hairs are pulled out one at a time, threading can remove short lines of hair.”

I think I know what threading feels like, now, and I do not like it. Not one bit. I attempted to clumsily utilize a design (rabbit) meant to be inserted vaginally as a external-only labia massager, because they told me to. With the band. IT DIDN’T GO WELL. AT ALL. In fact, I’m never going to use that yellow band again. NEVER NEVER NEVER. I would really love to talk to the person who thought it was a good idea. I have a drawer in my sex toy dresser that has a picture of Grumpy Cat pasted on the front. The yellow band is going in the Grumpy Cat drawer. I experienced the most discomfort using it in the crossed position. I didn’t think this shit up on my own, the box told me to try it. Rather, the best position for the band is off, and sitting far away.

The Fun Factory Amorino suggests these two positions for the band.....an open circle around the tip and clitoral arm, or crossing the band in the middle. Fun Factory Amorino - This position of the silicone band (open circle) was the least painful on pubic hair, and made more sense..... Fun Factory Amorino - This position of the silicone band (crossed in the middle) was awful, and yanked out a few pubic hairs Fun Factory Amorino - The best position for the silicone band....off, and sitting far away

Amorino marks my 5th Fun Factory vibrator, I think. I’ve had the Ellove, the now-defunct Babeland-only Boss Lady, the G4 Patchy Paul and G4 Big Boss. Since all are marketed as internal vibrators, I wasn’t blown away. I personally need a very strong and rumbly vibrator for my g-spot to even show up for the party. Not even with the G4’s could deliver. There was just too much pliable silicone for those rumbly vibrations to get through to still remain powerful. But I wouldn’t call them weak, either. Just….not what I expected/was hoping for. And while I hadn’t really expected to be blown away by the Fun Factory Amorino since it is a “mini” vibe, this line from their site had me wondering: “new, powerful, long-lasting motor”.  Amorino certainly *sounds* powerful, but the bark is worse than the bite. In use, the vibrations are terribly surface-buzzy and I just don’t have time for that. If the vibrations in the Amorino had been satisfactory, I would be able to recommend this to be used sans yellow band. None of the other mini vibes that are recently launched have a clitoral arm that looks to be in a decent enough position. 

This is a dual stimulator that doesn’t have a ton of bells and whistles; you can’t separately control the internal and external portions and nothing rotates/churns/strokes. Some people don’t want the bells and whistles, they just want the luxury of being able to kill two birds with one stone so for those, this type of “rabbit” vibe might be sufficient. The silicone is decent (it’s not the worst offender in attracting dust and fur, but it’s no Lelo, either), there are no animal faces, and the lack of bells and whistles means that it is pretty easy to operate. Fun Factory Amorino is waterproof, as most Fun Factory vibes are. You can turn it off in a flash, the buttons lock for travel, and it comes in this garish, neon pink but also a color they call “petrol”, oddly, which just seems to be a shade of teal that I quite like. The charging is probably the best version of magnetic charging that I’ve come across. It looks like the metal dots are barely touching, but no matter what position I laid the vibe in for charging, the magnets kept their connection and it kept on charging. This is the first Fun Factory item I’ve had with this new Click n Charge, and I have to say I like it. A lot.

Fun Factory Amorino - Showing the magnetic Click and Charge feature. The contacts appear to be barely touching, but no matter how you lay the vibrator, it stays connected and charging.

The vibrations are meant for those who don’t like/don’t need deeply-felt rumbling sensations….or who don’t really need much vibration, period. I need them, and I need them to be strong and deep, but I do recognize that not everyone does. However….I really really dislike the vibrations on this thing and find a hard time imagining it being good enough for most. There doesn’t seem to be a motor in the clitoral arm, nor does the motor in the shaft go much past the midway point, so that also tells you that this isn’t for vibration enthusiasts. The silicone has a decent amount of give to it – it’s nothing like jelly, but it’s softer than the Jopen Vanity/Picobong/Lelo dual stimulators. Operation begins by pressing and holding the “Fun” button for a pause, and then there’s only a plus a minus. Easy operation, sure, but it’s also easy to flip past the highest power level and get into the patterns. Annoying.

Basically…..the band is a gimmick, as many of us reviewers likely assumed. I do not feel it adds anything positive to the vibrator. It doesn’t achieve anything special. It’s something that will, instead, irritate you or get eaten by your dog/cat and later freak you out.  If you have a really thick head of hair, maybe it could be a hair tie1.



(and thanks to Shevibe.com for supplying the Fun Factory Amorino and wanting my typical Lilly impression on this)

  1. I attempted for a moment to be “witty” and think up a few other hysterical “uses” for it, but I’m bored already with this thing