Before I even write anything about CatalystCon, I’m writing this post because I feel that this information is too important to wait.
We all were once ignorant about sex toys, because the truths were never talked about. Truth, fact and education is slowly being spread around in the hopes of a revolution. I’m playing the small part that I can, and sharing with you everything I learn. Many fellow bloggers know this now, but a lot of consumers do not so I will say this for the benefit of all: there are no regulations on sex toys. None. You have one method for safety, and that is to buy only toys made by a trusted company. But this whole unregulated thing goes far deeper down the rabbit hole than I realized. I learned so much at the Toxic Toys panel, and this post is about EDUCATION. Is it scary? Yes. Does that mean it should be covered up? No. Never. On this blog, I’m sorta like The South:
“I’m saying this is the South. And we’re proud of our crazy people. We don’t hide them up in the attic. We bring ‘em right down to the living room and show ‘em off. See, Phyllis, no one in the South ever asks if you have crazy people in your family. They just ask what side they’re on.”
— Julia Sugarbaker, “Designing Women”
I’m bringing this crazy, and scary, information out to the front porch, not just the living room, and giving it a cocktail. I’m waving the banner high and I’m asking that you read it, learn it, and make changes to keep yourself and others healthy. Because there are wonderful, safe sex toys out there: Silicone, Glass, Stainless Steel, even hard Plastic. And wood!
The 10% Myth
There is a “fact” that has widely been spread around between reviewers, blogs and social media, like a game of telephone to the point that we don’t even know its origins, that a sex toy need only contain a minimum of 10% in order to garner the use of the word “silicone” on the packaging. During the Toxic Toys panel at Catalyst, Metis and Jennifer of Smitten Kitten confirmed to us that the 10% thing isn’t even true. There is NO regulation, so why would there even be that? But really, regardless, whether there is 10% or 50% silicone, there is still a percentage of that item that is something like elastomer and is therefore porous to some degree; and while it’s not likely, it may even contain phthalates or heavy metals or VOCs. Might. If they can and do lie on the 100% silicone claim, what else are they lying about?
Bottom line: A company could have the manufacturing plant in China put “silicone” on the label when it’s far from silicone. Nothing and no one can stop them.
Except…for us. Consumers would have to file class-action lawsuits against a sex toy company who mislabels. WE CAN START THE CHANGE.
April 8th: Edited to add: In research trying to find out what exactly is the bizarre material that Screaming O calls SEBS I happened upon my old review for their unfortunate Studio Line MakeUp Brush Vibrator, which was my first foray into the world of failed flame tests. On my review at EF, another reviewer noted that while I was panning S.O. for calling it plainly “silicone” when it is not, that she was told it was “SEBS”, I contacted Screaming O and received this response:
No, Screaming O, “our government” doesn’t say SHIT about sex toy material listings. You can see, then, how easily this myth got spread around.
So if there are no regulations on the silicone thing, can they lie about the phthalates-free claim, too? YES. Nothing on that packaging has to hold a grain of truth. NO REGULATION. I asked because my Sex Nerd Spidey Senses went up a year or so ago when I was doing some work for a new sex toy retail site and saw that a lot of cheap, crap jelly, PVC, UR3, and Cyberskin sex toys made by the big companies all of a sudden were labeled as phthalates-free – simply because this had become the big buzz word that consumers were responding to. It is not the only toxic element that can be present, but it is the one getting all of the attention because phthalates are banned from children’s toys, dog chew toys, etc.
The Brand Thinks it is Silicone
It’s simply a fact of the industry that the vast majority of the sex toys are being made by a third-party plant in China because this is where it is the most affordable to do so. This is mostly true for vibrators, anything containing electronics, moving parts, etc. So the brands/companies go to China and find a plant and they agree on a material and formulation, etc. They can tell China that “Hey I do want this to actually be 100% silicone.”. The big companies are going for price point – a low one- so unless there is someone in the plant regulating and watching over the plant, that plant may not make the sex toy out of the exact same materials the subsequent times after buyer approval isn’t happening.
Phthalates are Not the Worst Thing Out There
Pigmentation can be an issue. The Danish did their big study on sex toys (Tantus Inc. kept a PDF of the study so that you can read it yourself). They took 16 random sex toys and analyzed them. Metis summed it up here:
In 2006 the Dutch EPA did a study where they randomly chose 16 adult toys from a store. Out of those 16 tested 3 had arsenic, 6 had antimony, 12 had lead and 7 had cadmium. Cadmium is a heavy metal. Every time you expose yourself to those toys your cadmium level increases. One of the cadmium toys had levels so high that the EU would have required a radioactive sticker on the product had it known this had been imported into the continent. So what was it? The radioactive sex toy was a Chinese made Slimline vibrator made of safe ABS. The issue wasn’t what the toy was made of but what it was pigmented with. This toy was yellow and cadmium was its pigment.
Should you avoid ALL yellow sex toys? I don’t know the answer. Cadmium is also used as a plastic softener, so it’s not necessarily tied to the color yellow. I also want to point out though that this big test was done in 2005. The sex toy industry has come a very long way in the last 8 years. I would be especially interested to see the same testing done again, now.
So Now What
NOW how do we, as consumers, protect our bodies?
1. Call the Dildologists. After the writing of this post, a new organization as been formed to serve as an industry watchdog, who will raise money and independently acquire material validation from accredited labs through funding.
2. I can point you again to the flame test; however, this test is not 100% accurate. You can perform this on a tiny little section near the handle, near a part that doesn’t touch your body and the results will be quick and obvious. If there is a different method that will be more reliable, I’ll tell you. At Dildology, we’re also currently working on “Kitchen Tests” that you can perform on materials using items that you may have in your house; when we formulate the tests we will pass the information on to you.
3. Here’s a weird test recommended by Ducky Doolittle, also part of the Toxic Toys panel: Lick it. Your lips are very sensitive. If your lips tingle, go numb, etc? Do not use that toy. Your mucus membranes absorb things so quickly, both the good and the bad. A mindframe of “It’s just a sex toy that I only use occasionally, and I just really prefer jelly!! But I don’t use it much, and it doesn’t burn me, so I’m fine!” is not going to keep you safe. A lot of bad things in cheap sex toys won’t give you a clear cut reaction, but can indeed slowly cause damage to your body that you don’t even know about until it’s too late and no one will be able to pinpoint it.
I think you might be reading this and freaking out. I don’t want you to stop using sex toys. Just be careful on which manufacturers you buy from – in this post I have listed out the brands that I’ve researched and found to be reputable. That isn’t to say that each one makes only non-porous toys but I believe that, as an example, Evolved, is trustworthy that their porous TPR toys are still non-toxic. If this changes, I’ll let you know. If you get a sex toy that has an odor? Ask the manufacturer/brand. Call them out on it (Consider the packaging, sometimes a smell can be from the packaging – if so, the smell will dissipate after separating it from the packaging for a few days). Also keep an eye on the Coalition Against Toxic Toys for their recommendations and to Dildology as they begin to build their catalog of results.
This isn’t the end, the information here isn’t finite. Things are changing, education is being passed around, and reporting will continue to happen. I will keep writing. I want you all to do your research and keep writing. Take off your blogger hat sometimes and put on your journalist hat. YOU CAN DO IT! We can be the revolution, we can be the change.
All text and images on this site require permission before they can be used anywhere. To obtain permission click here to contact me
FYI: This review has been updated on the “100% medical grade silicone or not” issue, below
In general, I seem to have the reviewer’s equivalent to a trained drug dog’s nose when it comes to spotting outrageous marketing claims on sex toys. JimmyJane has a knack for turning out highly modern, yet obscenely priced luxury sex toys, many of which have fatal flaws in the design or have lackluster vibrations. I can still recall my visit to Babeland Seattle as the Day The Wool Fell Off My Eyes, as I turned on item after item from JimmyJane and cringed. Their Iconic Collection, as an example, is merely a bunch of overpriced, white-only reproductions of common, mass-marketed (and cheap) sex toys like the pocket rocket, vibrating bath ducky, slimline straight plastic vibe, etc. That line is 100% “mutton dressed as lamb”. Or then there is the mind-boggling one-speed-buzzy-wonder (and by wonder I mean “someone actually buys these??”) that is the Little Chroma/Steel, etc. I’ve owned the Form 3 and Form 6, but frankly couldn’t be arsed to even review the Form 6. I hated it, not quite as much as I hated the Form 3, but not enough to be bothered to review it.
So when I saw what appeared to be another “Iconic” attempt from JJ, I agreed to review it if only to prove that it’s not worth the money. Yes, I know. That’s awfully jaded. But you don’t get to where I am in reviewing without being able to smell the shit past the air freshener. I owe no one anything but the honest, hardcore truth in this review (one reason why I adore SheVibe).
JJ was promoting this sucker hard, and sent out press releases touting how “innovative” it is. Sure, they’re made a lot of changes but innovative it is not. There have been similar vibes, mainly by Fukuoko. Sure, visually this thing is an improvement on the glove. I’ve heard mixed reviews on the power of the glove, some say that the Hello Touch is more powerful than the Fukuoku glove. But “three times the power”? Of what?
I think it’ll be easier if I break everything down. Step by step down the road to the corner of OhGodWhy Lane and You’reKiddingMeRight Blvd.
Packaging and Copy
The packaging is actually pretty damn minimal. In fact, likely the most minimal I’ve seen from a luxury sex toy company. I’m actually not complaining about this, though. Fancier packaging leads to a higher priced item, and ain’t nobody got time for that shit. But you see…when things like these are said….I tend to call bullshit:
I get it. They need to say things that will sell. It’s like the whole advertised-burger-vs-reality-burger thing that I’ve mentioned before, except this has to do with performance rather than visual aspects.
But these? Please, don’t listen to these people. None of them actually tried the thing, I’d bet my last month’s commission on that. So these words are why I write this review. Because people deserve to know the truth, and that truth isn’t sparkly or pretty.
But the thing I take the most issue with is this, and it will be explained further down:
Product Design (Flaws)
Prior to the Hello Touch, Fukuoku was the only company to make something like this. I seem to recall that there was a product just like the Hello Touch, except 3 fingerpads instead of just two. The Glove has 5 vibrating pads, but the downside is that it looks and feels like a damn ski glove. It’s not sexy, which I think is why JJ went to such lengths to create the Hello Touch with such a minimalistic, low profile.
Fingerpads: You can, in theory, put the fingerpads on any finger or your thumb, if it’ll fit. I do not have particularly large or fat fingers, although thin women will have smaller fingers than I. But these pads are uncomfortably tight. There is no pain, but they do stop bloodflow. After 4 minutes of wearing them, my fingertips were cold and starting to hurt. If someone with big, burly hands were to try this? Well, they can’t even get it on. A friend attempted to try these on for me; his hands were big with thick fingers – he couldn’t even tolerate it for half a second, it was so tight. You can see below what it’s doing to my fingers. Also below I just wanted to show you what I mean by “big, burly hands”. My awesome friend and his lady sent me this requested pic to show what I mean. If your hands look like his? Forget it. You’ll have no hope of wearing these fingerpads. Hell if you’re even close to his finger size, you’ll have no prayer.
Also, the fingerpads CAN be removed from the vibrating pods and you should do so for more thorough cleaning. When everything is lubed up and has been in use, the lube can get inside these pads, in between the vibrating pod and the pliable material, making it quite easy for the pod to slip out. It is not, however, easy for the to slip back in. If you don’t get it just right before you shove it in, you’ll be trying for a few minutes. Sometimes I was able to get it right away, sometimes not.
Vibrations: I’m just not sure what JimmyJane thinks the Hello Touch is 3 times more powerful than. When you first turn it on, if the pads aren’t on your fingers yet, you might think it has a bit of a kick. But of course when a vibrator is held firmly near it’s motor, the vibrations will always dampen to some degree. That’s what happens when you put the pads on your fingers, especially since these things are so damn tight. But while the vibrations in this thing are not ever going to be enough to even tease me, they might be enough for those who don’t really need much in the way of vibrations for a clitoral orgasm. I wouldn’t at all classify the vibrations as deep, or rumbly, or thuddy. They are just shy of being surface-buzzy, so I have felt more buzzy vibrators (a perfect example is the Extase Liberte – the Hello Touch is actually just a smidge more oomph-y than the Liberte and definitely not buzzy in comparison to it). My very first reaction to the vibrations was “wow, this is utter crap” but I’ve shown this to a few sex toy noobs and am, uncharacteristically, amending my initial judgment …..slightly.
However, I don’t think that the vibrations would be enough to be felt internally, on the g-spot, nor would they really do a whole lot for a penis if you can manage to adjust your handjob so that the fingerpads touch flesh. Should you try to turn the fingerpads around so that they are on the top side of your finger and hope for just proxy vibrations coursing through your fingertip, you will be disappointed. I also don’t feel that the vibrations would really be enough to aid in body massage, at all. They’re about as effective as blowing on skin. I have actually read a couple of reviews that indicate that the vibrations on this can be considered “powerful” and I am left shaking my head. I know that everybody likes something different but if you truly feel that the Hello Touch is powerful in use, then that is a good indication to me that I can’t read any of your other reviews because our idea of “powerful” is at opposite ends of the scale. On a scale of 1 to 4, as SheVibe rates things, I would rank the intensity of this absolutely no higher than a 2. If halfsies were allowed, I’d go firmly with 1.5. The beloved We-Vibe Salsa (Tango) blows this out of the water on its LOW setting. RO-80mm bullets are also much more powerful than Hello Touch. Even the Lelo Mia 2 on a Lowish-Medium setting (there are at least 10 discernible power settings) is more intense than the Hello Touch.
Power Pack: Moving on to the power pack, we find even more flaws. The most obvious being that the buttons take a good amount of pressure to turn off and on. If you have any sort of disability or weakness to your fingers, please don’t bother with this. I personally had to press really hard and dig my fingernail in, especially to turn it off, and that action therefore jammed the power pack into my wrist which also hurt like hell. In fact, sometimes I actually had to yank the thing off my wrist and use two hands to press hard enough to turn it off. When you take out the battery holder, you can see on it the buttons that turn it on and off. These line up with plastic dots glued to the silicone(?) button pad. When the battery pack is out of the case, the buttons are easy to push, so it’s merely just yet another design flaw. Also, in order to replace the batteries, there is a cap on the end that you must pry off. I have found that this is impossible to do without good, strong fingernails.
The grey wristband that holds the power pack is unbelievably confusing at first. If you don’t use this thing often, you’ll at first forget which button turns it on and which turns it off, because JimmyJane wanted to be so modern and minimalistic that there is no indication which is which. To up the confusion factor, they have imprinted three circles on the wristband. The top and bottom circles correspond to the buttons on the power pack, but that middle circle has no purpose except to annoy and confuse you. Actually when I looked inside (the inset bottom-right photo above) I could see that there were 3 raised buttons there on the inside of the power pack sleeve, yet as seen on the inset bottom-left photo, there is nothing in the middle for it to depress. The non-adjustable wrist band holds the power pack. The wrist band fit me mostly fine, but had to stay closer to my hand; on my girlfriend who is skinny, the wristband was too big and so the pack just flopped around. Could you sew the wrist band and make it fit a smaller wrist? Sure, but then it may not fit your partner. Another design flaw, although minor in comparison, is that the wire that runs from the pads to the powerpack is a lot longer than in the photos on the JJ site. I have a lot of extra length and that would just end up getting in the way and getting caught on things during use.
And yes, there is only one speed, and no patterns. Adding insult to injury, the power pack takes AAAA batteries. No, this is not a typo. I actually thought it was a typo when I read Joan Price’s review because I had never even heard of AAAA batteries. The only thing that I’ve seen that these are used in are those portable blood glucose monitors. The average price for a 2-pack is around $3.50 from what I’ve seen, and the power pack runs on 2 of these. They do include 2, thankfully. But a AAA battery isn’t really all that much bigger, I don’t understand why they couldn’t add on a few millimeters and allow the use of a more common battery. If you’re feeling adventurous though, you can rip open a 9-volt battery and steal the AAAA’s from there.
Included: Alright so we’ve determined that the box and such is minimal and definitely not good to be reused for storage. They do give you two of the required AAAA batteries. They also give you a pouch. I think. Did they perhaps forget to put a snap on mine? Because honestly, this makes no damn sense. It only snaps on one corner and it really doesn’t take much jostling around inside a bag to open up. I had mine in a section of my handbag and sure enough after a day or so I pulled out just the pouch. The manual is very minimal and is basically a series of drawings.
Anal Play?? OH HELL NO
Yes. JimmyJane actually recommends the Hello Touch for anal/prostate stimulation. I am utterly dumbfounded and frankly, upset at this. NO. ABSOLUTELY NOT. NO. This is NOT safe. If for any reason you are dead set on doing this, then please use a fingercot to cover the pads and hold them on.
You see, each vibration pod is removable from the finger pad/strap. They are not one solid unit. This design does allow for easier cleaning, but it makes it not very safe for anal play. Once you are using this internally and rubbing around, lubrication (natural or from a bottle) will start to get in between the plastic vibration pod and the finger pad harness. With pressure applied, especially the sort of pressure that the rectum can provide, there is a chance that the finger strap harness thingie will slide off the vibration pod and stay in your butt. If the straps are not super tight on your finger, then the pressure combined with lube could make the whole thing slide off your finger, remaining inside. This isn’t a problem vaginally but could be anally; vaginally you could use your fingers to go retrieve it while anally you would likely end up tugging it by the cord. This could damage the vibration pod, or again separate the vibration pod from the silicone finger strap and leave that part inside the rectum.
BAD, JIMMYJANE. BAD.
Silicone? Actually, Yes
Edited April 28th 2013: Originally, I performed a flame test on this and it behaved in the exact same way as the Bedroom Kandi Hold on To Me kegel bead holster that was the flaming star of my Flame Testing video. Pure silicone is not supposed to burn up, melt and disintegrate like this. The material that was left was sticky, and there is a piece of missing material where I burned it on the finger strap part. Interestingly, the portion that holds the vibrating pod didn’t catch to flame quite as easily as the straps – it did burn, there was ash (both could be indicative of actually being pure silicone) but there was material destruction after the ash was wiped off, and the material was left sticky/tacky. At last year’s MomentumCon, where the Flame Testing video was filmed, I got confirmation from a few industry pros who know what they’re talking about, that that behaviour is not indicative of pure silicone. It IS indicative of a TPR-silicone blend called SEBS. The material on these finger straps doesn’t look like the obvious jelly-like elastomer of cock rings; in fact, it more resembled the O2 layer that you’ll see on certain Tantus dildos. But trust me, the O2 silicone from Tantus doesn’t behave this way in a flame test. I’m willing to say that it appears to be a blend and not medical-grade silicone, but at least it appears to mostly be a blend that is more parts silicone than what I found with the Bedroom Kandi piece. Still, though, the fact remains that Hello Touch failed the flame test, and I am extremely disappointed.
UPDATE: A fellow silicone warrior, Jacq of Sugar in Baltimore talked with me at Catalyst recently. She flame tests the toys she sells, and we compared our results. Her Hello Touch passed the flame test – she held a light to hers for 5 minutes, and it never caught on fire. There was no material destruction or loss, just a black scorch mark that could be wiped off. I showed her mine and she concurred that mine was not silicone. I also showed this to a few other industry silicone professionals who again concurred that it was not pure medical grade silicone. Another reviewer, Blacksilk, has perf0rmed the flame test and her results were exactly the same as mine: material goes up in flames in less than 5 seconds, destruction, loss, change. I have now contacted JimmyJane via Twitter (twice), Facebook and finally I sent them a detailed email. I have been ignored. I am equally as upset by the material issue as I am their reaction.
I put out a call to arms to my readers and rounded up the funds to get this officially lab tested. This lab test then got handed off to become first validation test for a new organization, Dildology. Surprisingly, despite what had been regarded as a “fail” in the flame test, the JimmyJane Hello Touch was confirmed to be pure silicone, specifically Polydimethylsiloxane. The lab told us verbally that it was “almost pure”, however the report given did not go into details about that, it merely confirmed that there was no other polymer present, no organic additives and no polymers. We are waiting to see the actual data from the FTIR test to understand what was meant by “almost pure” —> Another update: I talked to the lab, he didn’t mean to imply that there was any polymer in there besides polydimethylsiloxane, and there were no additives or plasticizers. He actually DID run both FTIR and GC-MS to be sure, since I told him about the flame test. So, you should feel confident that it is silicone, ok? <—
Regardless, the flame test ended up failing us, the consumers. It is less accurate than previously thought. Currently the only way to ever know the truth is to employ FTIR and GC-MS testing at a lab, which is what Dildology plans to do for the industry and consumers.
- Visually, it is an improvement over the Fukuoko gloves
- Very small all around
- The vibrations are not so surface-buzzy that they have no hope of getting someone off
- Might be decent for a scalp massage, but you’ll certainly make a mess of their hair, possibly yank some out
- Retail is about $65 for this, I feel it’s too much since it isn’t even silicone
- Vibrations won’t be enough for most people
- The buttons on the powerpack are obscenely hard to push
- The powerpack wrist band is not adjustable, and will not fit very thick arms or thin arms
- The finger straps are only comfortable on the smallest of feminine fingers
- Requires an expensive and more-obscure-than-watch-batteries battery, AAAA size
- Cords are mostly minimal but can still snag and get in the way
- Vibrating pods require patience and dexterity to put back into the silicone fingerpad strap things
- Useless even as a body massage companion, the vibrations are just not enough to add to the experience
- You will need a travel pouch, as the silicone material will attract dust/powder/fur/hair, but the included pouch is fairly useless
So, NO Gizmodo, this is NOT the “best sex toy ever invented”, not by a long shot.
Unfortunately, this style of vibrator just cannot seem to be perfected yet. It’s kinda like the remote control bullet or panties. These types of sex toys are nearly always very expensive, fairly weak in vibrations, aren’t going to fit the majority of the population and simply don’t deliver on their pie-in-the-sky promises. These actually are “novelty” items. So I have nothing else to recommend to you instead of this, if the idea is something you like. I think that JimmyJane should knock it the fuck off with ridiculous shit like the “Jet Set” and the damn Bouncy House, because their collective brain cells are needed to produce something decent in the sex toy world (which this isn’t).
The Hello Touch was provided to me by SheVibe in exchange for an honest review.Read More
All text and images on this site require permission before they can be used anywhere. To obtain permission click here to contact me
I’ve been acquainted with Aneros as a company for almost 10 years now; long ago hubs and I got him one of their first Aneros prostate plugs. It was great and all, with a couple flaws and a big learning curve. A few years ago I found the Nexus Neo for him and he hasn’t gone back to his Aneros since. But suffice to say I’ve known about Aneros and the ground-breaking work they have done.
At last year’s Momentum Conference, Aneros gave out postcards allowing attendees to get their hands on the first run of their new product for vagina-owners, the Evi. I was curious so I asked for one and received it a few months later. When I opened my package I was a little skeptical at the froofy large, red lace drawstring bag that the whole entire box fit into. It was pretty, though, if you like that sort of thing. The modern and sleek boxed opened to show this oddly shaped, bright-red thing – Evi. Instructions and platitudes were included. The shape looked 47 kinds of wrong to me to achieve what they promised, but I tried it anyways.
Where My Vagina Says “What the Fuck?”
The bulbous portion of the toy and the neck will go in your vagina. Yes, it seems to be pointing *away* from the g-spot. The handle bar looking bit rests in between your labia and should come in contact with the clitoris for many women. The handle bar portion isn’t “T” shaped, it won’t be tickling your ass (even if you would like it to). The handle bar portion combined with the weight and the angle made me constantly feel like the thing was about to fall out of me as I walked around. It wasn’t painful, but it was uncomfortable. Sitting with the Evi in me felt uncomfortable/painful and frankly I have a lot more padding than some women – if I can feel the seat of my chair pressing up on the Evi in an awful way, I can only imagine what that would be like for someone 70 pounds lighter than me with a much smaller ass and thighs. I didn’t last very long before I yanked it out and tossed it in a drawer.
A month or three later, Aneros sent me an email asking me to fill out a survey on how I liked it. They asked if I’d tried it standing, sitting, laying down, etc and I was soon growing as bored of the survey as I had the Evi. But I gave them the benefit of the doubt and I paused whilst filling out the survey to actually go try everything they suggested. I sat. I wiggled my hips. I humped the air1. I laid down and thought of England (what? I know a lot of hot English bloggers), I laid down and thought of Brad Pitt, thought better of it and thought of Angelina Jolie instead. I laid on the bed and thrust my hips up in the air like a convoluted yoga move2. I concentrated on doing my kegels properly, just to make sure. I could feel the external portion nudging somewhere in the vicinity of my clitoris but my g-spot was left totally out of the party unless I grabbed Evi by the handle and forced it to speak to my g-spot like a proper young lady. Er, wait.
I felt it coming but I couldn’t stop it in time…
I sneezed. While sitting in a chair with the Evi inside of me. AND IT REALLY FUCKING HURT3.
So if you get nothing else out of my review, please listen to me: Do not ever sneeze with the Aneros Evi inside of you. If you feel a sneeze coming on, no matter what you’re doing you shove your hand down your pants and get that hunk of silicone out of there. STAT.
Here is where I become confused and therefore in turn confuse you. Evi is advertised with phrases like “designed to comfortably and effectively ‘hit the spot’ without the need for vibration.” and “With correct insertion, Evi will alternately stimulate the G-spot and the clitoris with a simple Kegel exercise.” so…is it a Kegel exerciser, or a sex toy? Both? “Mind-blowing orgasms”? I’m side-eyeing you real hard, Evi.
For me, it’s neither. The front curve doesn’t stimulate my g-spot, even with the most enthusiastic kegel crunch. The handle does not even come close to stimulating my clitoris. I don’t require a jackhammer vibrator to orgasm, but I do greatly prefer vibration so that the internal portion of my clit can be stimulated. I have, a few times, been able to orgasm from manual clitoral stimulation. This is not even in the ballpark of a finger. Ok, so a slow-building orgasm is never going to happen for me with this. But couldn’t I just use it as a unique kegel exerciser, and maybe get a little aroused at the same time?
Sex Geek Time
Unlike the Luna Beads which are passive kegel exercisers, the Evi is active. Look, I can forget I’m cooking something on the stove until I hear it sizzling two rooms away or smell it burning. Despite the fact that the Evi isn’t subtle, I still forget to actively do something while wearing it. I think I’m preoccupied by how uncomfortable it all feels. or, ya know, SQUIRREL. After doing some more digging, I may have discovered one reason why it feels so godawful uncomfortable to me:
*put on Sex Geek T-Shirt*
First thing I noticed was a very compressed rectal canal on the left. The second thing I noticed would explain why Evi isn’t really hitting my g-spot – that tiny curved portion of the Evi that is near the g-spot area has very little surface area to actually contact the g-spot – and since there is no one set location of the g-spot (hence my drawing edited to show where the g-spot could be), if yours doesn’t fall in the exact place that Aneros thinks it will, it’s not going to work for you very well. My g-spot happens to be a lot closer to my vaginal entrance than Aneros’ drawing shows.
Aneros Evi is about 5ish inches long, although it’s really hard to determine length in something as oddly shaped as this. It only weighs a couple ounces. It is hard plastic covered in a red silicone skin. Most of the Aneros for Men are just hard plastic. If that might cut down on the price, I’d be all for it – with a Velvet PU coat, ABS plastic can feel almost just like the silicone skin. It’s a matte finish silicone, the kind with the “silicone soft touch” added in like Lelo, Je Joue, etc5. It is all one solid piece so if you really felt the need to, you could add it to your dishwasher on the Sex Toy Cycle6, but I don’t think you should boil this. I’m not really sure, since it’s not 100% solid silicone. Anyways, it’s non-porous and would be easy to sanitize. Other than the odd red lace bag that encased the box I received, they do not include a pouch for the Evi to store it in. The box is nice but it’s not meant for discreet storage. It retails at about $70, and that right there is one part of my two-fold main reason why I won’t be recommending this.
Despite the fact that Aneros tries to specifically claim that Evi will fit ALL women7, Evi is not an every-woman sex toy. Hell, nothing is, this I know. And I know that sex toy makers need to write up amazing copy to sell their wares; nearly8 everybody who makes something does this. But my experience of the Evi vs their shiny, promising copywriting feels quite a bit like advertised burgers vs reality burgers. First of all, I don’t often have the time for an Aneros Experience. I don’t have hours to lay in bed, contracting my muscles, waiting for the 2:00 Orgasm Train to roll in. I just don’t have that kind of patience, frankly. In the pursuit of sex toys I have indeed spent up to an hour trying in vain to reach orgasm – the resulting orgasm was not 10 times better because of the wait. Aneros Evi is quite a lot like a rabbit vibrator – as a woman you could try out 20 rabbit vibes and if you’re lucky, one of them will hit all your spots in the just-right area with the just-right amount of vibration to create your own personal Nirvana. And due to the (in my opinion) grossly inflated price, I’m going to stand by my recommendation of the original Lelo Luna Beads set for killer kegels. They’re very much “set and forget” as they passively go about toning your kegels while you go about your day. I know damn well they work, because I once wore a set of the heavier beads for half a work day; the next morning I woke up with PC muscles that were sore like ab muscles get sore when you do too many crunches.
I’m trying to think up a good explanation for the type of person Evi would work for as advertised, and I really can’t. Not because I think that Evi isn’t right for anybody; but because it was such a complete and utter fail for me personally. After my third and final time (about 4 hours before writing this) of trying very hard to feel even 1/10th of the love that some people on my Twitter feed profess for Evi, as I pulled the Evi from my vagina I swear it said “thank you” to me and I apologized for putting it through that again. I promised to not do it anymore and it mostly forgave me; some weird unnamed spot in there is still quite tender as I write this.
One final tip if you decide to purchase: Evi, like anything Aneros makes, has a learning curve. You’re not going to achieve tantric orgasmic bliss the first time out (if ever). Be prepared to give it a few tries. Carve out some quiet, alone time. But please, please don’t lay there doing kegels like a bunny on meth for an hour just to reach orgasm or I promise you, you’ll be in pain the next day and do you really want to tell your boss what happened or explain to coworkers in 2 days why you’re still walking funny?
- And felt down right ridiculous, like perhaps they put this suggestion in as a joke to make you feel like an asshole after doing it ↩
- Again with the ridiculous measures, does anybody get off from that??? ↩
- And I also piddled a little bit. Yeah I know, I need to work on my kegels ↩
- God I was SO TEMPTED to put in Grumpy Cat here but I just did that in the G-Vibe review and thought it would be a bit much ↩
- This meant that I was able to use silicone lube on it – again despite the Party Line clucking to not mix the two, if you mix smart and right it can work out just fine. I tried Wet’s plain silicone lube and their hybrid, both worked just fine and didn’t damage the silicone skin on the Evi ↩
- And by that I mean top rack, no suds, “sanitize” setting ↩
- The fact that they try to claim that one item will fit ALL women very much irks me because it can’t possibly be true – g-spots are not all in the same location, vulvas and clitoris..es? are not all identical…you just can’t make one thing, especially something that is so oddly shaped, and claim that it will indeed fit every person with a vagina ↩
- I almost just said “everybody” but then I thought about Tantus who doesn’t try to claim that any of their toys will give you earth-shattering orgasms for everyone, they’re very realistic folks ↩
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A few years ago a new concept in dildos arrived, called the Split Dildo. The reaction was as split as the sex toy itself. I’ve read polarizing reviews of both adoration and contempt, so when I was asked to review the Funtoys G-Vibe I figured I would land firmly in love or hate. I was a little nervous at first. I expected a lion, however, and got a kitten.
I’ve never tried the Split Dildo but it seemed that the dildo was not modest in girth, and according to Kara Sutra required quite a bit of pressure to keep the “ears” together and was something you definitely felt. Unfortunately, the G-Vibe is….boring. It looks like a nice luxury vibe; in fact the stylings look a lot like the first Lelo Insignia line. The silicone is even the same as Lelo, with a matte silky finish to it. The buttons are nearly identical to the Lelo Insignia line and the vibrations even remind me of early Lelo and the Insignia Isla – very surface-buzzy and moderate at best. More bark than bite, actually – sure it’s “quiet” but it’s not “nearly silent”, yet even so the noise is more intense than the vibrations. There are two motors, one in each tip. At high speed the vibrations may fool you into thinking that they have potential, if you barely touch the thing, but any pressure at all gives you faux-vibrations. I’ve experienced this before in toys: the Extase Liberte, the original Lelo Tiani, and the Picobong Honi to name a few. It has the sort of vibrations that force you to try the patterns hoping, in vain, that the rapid-fire changing of the motor will give you something that maybe feels like a little more oomph. And in fact the final pattern does. Those staccato every-3-seconds bursts of just enough more intensity end up frustrating you more than anything. It tells you that the motor might have had the potential to ekk into the realm of rumbly but stopped 2 miles from the border. Funtoys describes the G-Vibe as having “six modes with changeable intensity from light tremors to intense vibration”. The “intense vibration” part of that statement couldn’t be more wrong.
The “intuitive controls” are just fairly average. An increase button, a function mode button to change between patterns, and a decrease button. Standard. The buttons are in a good place on the handle, maybe that’s what they mean? There is no button-lock feature, either, like Lelo and a few others. Also take note of the fact that the G-Vibe is merely water resistant. This confuses me greatly. The charging port cover is a silicone plug in the hole – a similar design to Lelo and many other makers of luxury vibrators. Hell, the Lelo Tor II has a completely open charging cover and it’s labeled as waterproof! Be that as it may, I’m not one to doubt what a manufacturer says. But if they want to get into the luxury sex toy game, then they need to make it waterproof. It’s one of those features that people who don’t masturbate in the shower/bath (like me) don’t care about but it doesn’t take away from what we DO like; and there are plenty of people out there who do really enjoy their playtime in the water. Speaking of the charging port, you should initially charge the G-Vibe for 8 hours. It’s said that you will get 4 hours on a single charge, but I would imagine that for at least 2 of those 4 hours the vibrations will be greatly decreased from the pittance they already are.
The ears might look intimidating, especially if you use both of them internally, but they are very very pliable and soft. In fact, I’m almost willing to say they’re just too wimpy. The design is flexible and Funtoys thinks that you can use this design for lots of various methods of stimulation. But the fact is, the vibrations are not enough and the split portion doesn’t do what it should – which according to their site, it should “create a sensation of fullness without stretching the vaginal entrance” and ”Simultaneous stimulation of 2 spots: G-spot and the opposite side of the vagina” – which, in case you were wondering, the “opposite side of the vagina” spot1 has a real name: perineal sponge. But since the ears are so pliable and the split requires very little pressure to stay closed, I don’t really feel what the company advertises. Perhaps it was because I wasn’t aroused enough for the PS-Spot to want any attention but the bit of vibrations that I felt on the posterior vaginal wall just made me feel a little like I had to poop. My g-spot requires a decent amount of pressure OR an intense level of thuddy vibrations, neither of which the G-Vibe could ever come close to offering.
With my skepticism firmly intact I tried to use this as a dual-stimulator in the traditional sense. While the upward-facing ear did actually touch my clitoris, the vibrations, lack of pressure and slim profile meant that I felt very little externally or internally. I decided to go about trying the other suggested uses Funtoys came up with.Sure, it feels slightly different from a straight dildo of the same width, but I don’t feel any sense of fullness nor do I feel enough pressure on either the G-spot or Perineal Sponge to register as anything special in my brain. Despite this, it doesn’t mean that it’s easy to insert. You still have to hold the ears together at the tippy top, you cannot just jam Squidward here into your hole and hope for the best. This maneuvering means, for me, awkward and uncomfortable positioning contortions. In fact it was damn near impossible for me to insert this. I had to contort and reach to basically shove my fingertips, along with the tips of the vibe, up inside of me to get it started.
No? Well how about…..
First of all, my nipples don’t meet up like that. Second, when you try to hold it like oversized chopsticks or the JimmyJane Form 2, something curious happens. It sounds like the same “fatal flaw” that was described by many Form 2 owners – when pressure is applied disproportionately to the two ears OR applied mostly equally and the toy is held handle facing the sky, the vibrators in the ears get kicked out of cycle and almost form their own bizarre pattern. It’s no longer a steady vibration.
The G-Vibe comes in 3 colors – if you don’t like pink or purple though, you’re out of luck. The packaging is indeed very lovely to look at, even if it’s not very discreet for storage. When you open up the box the vibe sits in a foam-like cutout – the glue that is used in this bit (my best guess anyway, is glue) has a subtle but offensive odor to me. I can smell it on the vibe despite washing, and I can smell it on the included storage bag. The bag is drawstring and made of white nylon, it feels quite nice. It does have the Funtoys logo, “ft”, which is discreet. The included charger is USB-only. I enjoy the *option* of USB, but I don’t want it to be the only way. Luckily I have a couple USB-to-wall-plug thingies and that works too.
At the end of the day, I just couldn’t get into this sex toy nor would I recommend it. The vibrations would have to be more like the We-Vibe Tango or hell even the Je Joue MiMi for me to even consider recommending it. Perhaps with truly thuddy-rumbly vibrations that have more power, the stimulation of the G-spot and PS-spot could be felt but as it stands now it was nothing to write home about. While a few people did seem to enjoy the intense pressure from that Split Dildo, the G-Vibe takes caution to the extreme and instead leaves you wanting something more from the split internal portion.
- Until I did my research on split sex toys, I had no idea about this arousal spot. OF COURSE it must be added to the litany of Alphabet Spots. Most often it is referred to as the PS-Spot. Sadly in their drawings, Funtoys just lists it as “P” to which I first thought “um….we don’t have a P-spot”. ↩
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.
Due 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.
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.
Now 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.
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. Many women have great luck with silicone dildos that to me are barely curved; there are also some decent glass options that have a partial C-curve and pronounced bulbous tip (for example, the B2B G-Spot is plain glass, double-ended, longer than it’s nearly-identical cousins like Amethyst or Bent Graduate and hits a nice median price point of $60).Read More