Want cheap, high-quality silicone sex toys? Tantus Grab Bag to the rescue!

 Dildo, Reviews, Sex Toys, Websites  Comments Off on Want cheap, high-quality silicone sex toys? Tantus Grab Bag to the rescue!
Sep 192013


One moan I get a lot from people who just don’t get it, is that silicone is too expensive for them. I give all of my myriad of selling points, I explain it clearly, but frequently it just comes down to “I am a poor [insert term here] and I just can’t swing $50+ on a singular sex toy that I may or may not like”. I hear you, I do. I dealt with the same feelings back before I started reviewing sex toys. Hell, I even feel it now sometimes.

But Tantus has done something awesome.  They’re doing something good for the environment and something good for you. But for those wondering how the Grab Bag section works and why and whatnot (I can’t be the only knowledge geek here!) I asked Ms Jenna to walk us through it:

So the deal on the grab bag toys is this: when we switch from one color to another in the machines, it takes a little while to get all the old color out and the new color fully running through the system. We were, at one point, simply discarding the silicone. But as you well know, silicone is expensive and it seemed like a lot of waste. Someone (and I can’t remember who, to be honest) came up with the idea that what if while the colors were switching we poured a few toys each time & sold them at a discount on the website? That way, the silicone doesn’t go to waste and customers who are looking for a deal and don’t really care about the color can get a new toy at a great price.

 I actually learned over the weekend that this isn’t a new idea – the Dum Dums lollipop people do the same thing with their “Mystery Flavor” lollipops. (Thanks, Food Network!) So there’s precedent, obviously. I like to think of the Grab Bag stuff as the Mystery Flavor of Tantus.

Any color that we currently have in production, therefore, can show up in a Grab Bag item. Some of them are very pretty, purely by accident, and some I am less thrilled about. It’s very much luck of the draw. We do try to pull out anything that looks really hideous, and most of the time people are happy when they get their toy. 

tl:dr – Super high-quality, affordable silicone sex toys, available in some of their most popular styles, wonderful for people who do not care about color.

You might very well get an awesome color. You might get a color that leaves a lot to be desired. But what do you want? You can’t have them both. If you care that much about color, then you pay full/sale price and get the exact thing you want. You lose all right to be disappointed by the color if you go the Grab Bag route. Me, personally, I’d be happy with the grab bag way of life. And I am. I got sent a random selection of Grab Bag items, not meant to impress or scare me, but something that is representative what they would give to any ole person who orders.  Am I less than crazy about the tan-colored Ryder? Yeah. Would it prevent my ass from enjoying it? Nope.

When you compare the prices, you just can’t beat this. Shown below is an Echo Vibrator, a Vamp dildo, a Ripple Small plug and a Ryder plug.  Grab Bag price = $90.96. Retail price = $183.96. So that’s, on average, saving you 50% at least.


The Ripple is black, and the Ryder is a tan color. Vamp is shown in a really festive red color, and Echo is ….I swear it’s subtly two-toned. It could be my eyes playing tricks, but it looks like the purple haze up top is just a hair lighter than at the bottom.


If you’re hoping, or even expecting, to get nothing but pretty colors? To get something in blue? It may not happen. As Jenna said, it’s just random. It changes all the time. You have to be very ZEN about the whole experience. It’s your choice, though. Save money and get affordable silicone sex toys or get particular colors and pay more.  They may in the future add more styles to the Grab Bag options. You won’t see O2 styles, because of how they have to be made. But I think that the current selection of styles really does cover a lot. You’ve got a moderately-sized dildo on a stick, a vibrating dildo with a lot of texture, a decently girthy dildo (Vamp), a toy for true anal beginners (the Ripple Small), a great little beginners prostate toy, and still two more butt toys including the ever-popular Ryder, the Leisure which is great for pegging or those who don’t like girth and texture, or the Silk Large which is a step up from the Leisure.



*If you’re buying Tantus, you’re helping to keep my site alive. I don’t get much in affiliate money anymore since ditching EF, so your support is exponentially appreciated if you choose to shop through my links. If you do choose to buy from my links, it might be best to clear out the cached cookies for Tantus. Thanks much!

Aug 042013

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

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

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


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

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

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

TantusRaptorXLAslan1 TantusRaptorXLAslan2

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


Looking for something……

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

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

…more realistic, and girthy? Consider the Vixen Lonestar

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


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

Jul 192013

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

MidoriCharger MidoriInBox

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It matters.

It really, fucking matters, to me.

I….HAVE….THE POWER!!! Or not.

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

JopenVR6vsEnvy3 JopenEnvyvsWeVibeTangoLeloMia

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

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

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

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

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

The Envy Line Has More Issues Than…..

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

JopenEnvyHeatDamage JopenEnvytemp box

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

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

Other Details

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

Expanded Envy Line

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

Final Verdict

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


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



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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

May 202013

BS is Nice - Rainbow G-Spot DildoBS Is Nice”  is a newer silicone company making hand-poured 100% pure silicone products in Madrid. SheVibe.com has started to carry some of their products and graciously sent me one to try out.

BS has a lot of interesting color schemes and designs; some (not on the SheVibe site) are a little less fun and are just single or dual colors. Others are much more interesting. There’s a cow print, one that looks like a sports sock, crazy asymmetrical stripes and zebra stripes. You can see roughly what it’ll look like on the site, but since it’s hand-poured they’re not all going to be exact. The rainbow levels on mine are not quite as uniform as the one photographed for SheVibe, but they’re unique. I’ve seen photos from BS on Facebook where the rainbow levels were more uniform and more thick, going a little farther up. I’d say that the only thing I would improve about the designs where it encompasses the base, is to bring that design farther up from the base just a bit, maybe a half-inch or so more than mine show? When I put my Rainbow G-Spot in my Aslan Leather Harness, most of the colors were hidden, and it didn’t quite fit right in this particular Aslan style. If you want the BS dildos for use in a harness, I’d suggest that they will look best and work better with harnesses that are more minimalistic, or at least don’t have you pushing the dildo through fabric or leather.  The Aslan Commando harness would be better, as would the Sportsheets ones since the dildo only goes through the o-ring, not the fabric. This might fit RodeoH or Spartparts styles, it’s not oddly small or wide, but you’ll cover up most of the design by using those types of harnesses. 

BS Rainbow G-Spot shown in the Aslan Jaguar/Minx Harness BS Rainbow G-Spot - The Rainbow Base BS Rainbow G-Spot in the Aslan Cherry Minx(Jaguar) Harness

The G-Spot style is the only BS dildo style that SheVibe currently carries, but I happen to think it’s a pretty good choice. I’m not usually a fan of perfectly straight dildos (unless the girth is the factor) and this heavily curved design combined with a slightly-flat more snub-nose tip (reminiscent a bit of the Lelo Ella, shown below to compare) will be great for g-spots and even prostates. I happen to have the Medium size, which looks like it’ll give you an extra inch in length over the small, and a little bit more girth. Honestly the girth is hard to measure. The shaft seems to be 1.3 inches wide and the head juts out a little to be more like 1.4, 1.45 inches wide, but the base widens a little bit on a slope, making it sit less flush against a harness o-ring than I’d like. SheVibe does a pretty good job of measuring the items they list, especially when there are multiple sizes available. For size/shape comparison below, I’ve shown the BS alongside the Tantus O2 Cush in blue, and a black Tantus P-Spot dildo.

Showing the tip of the Lelo Ella vs the BS G-Spot Tantus O2 vs BS G-Spot vs Tantus P-Spot

The G-Spot design is just flexible enough for me to be able to straighten it out fully, so for those that really like and almost require a firm curve and specific pressures/angles for g-spot or prostate stimulation might not love this line. The silicone isn’t quite as squishy as the Tantus O2 outer layer, but is quite a bit softer and more flexible than very firm Tantus pieces. BS silicone is about on par with Vamp silicone in firmness. For those that like some give and dislike rock-solid materials, you’ll really like the BS silicone. It does of course gather up fur/dust/link like crazy.

I actually really like the BS packaging design. It’s minimal, yet reusable. It comes in a clear, plastic pouch but it is a very thick mil of plastic, more like heavy plastic sheeting than the bags that a Tantus dildo might come in. And yes, I said reusable. It comes to you like a food item – you tear off the sealed portion of plastic up top and then it has a “Ziploc” style closure for the bag. It’s not discreet since it’s see-through, but it’s great for people who don’t have a lot of storage space options and want to put the dildo in something to keep it clean in between uses.

BS Rainbow G-Spot in Package BS Is Nice Packaging Text

Since it’s pure silicone, you’ll probably need to use lube with this, the silicone dildos usually tend to naturally create a little more resistance (unless they’re super glossy in finish). I’d suggest a water-based lube, pure natural coconut oil, or you can try to spot-test your favorite silicone or hybrid lube on the base. If it gets gummy/tacky in a minute, scrape it off right away. If there’s no change, leave it there an hour and see if there’s any further change (like the lube gets absorbed). To clean these, you can pretty much do anything. Soap and water for most situations, dishwasher, boiling water, or 10% bleach solution if you’re going to use it both anally and vaginally (although never in the same session, please) or share it.

SheVibe.com is becoming known for showcasing the smaller companies, and I think that BS Is Nice offers a few really great choices that are unique. I have a feeling that this rainbow-and-black color scheme will be a big seller. Thank you, Shevibe!!