Review: Lelo Siri

Lelo recently came out with three new products (well, not so new anymore I guess) in their Femme line. I was lucky enough to get the clitoral stimulator, the Siri, for review. These new products come with certain differences when compared to their older sisters; Siri in particular is marketed as having more power than Lelo’s other clitoral vibes. I’ve never had issues with the levels of Lelo’s vibrations, but I’ve read reviews by many other bloggers who complained about lack of power being Lelo’s one weakness.

Siri is incredibly cute. It looks kind of like an easter egg, and comes in 3 different colors – including a beautiful, vibrant red that I was really excited about. (Red is one of my favorite colors and I’ve found that there’s an unfortunate shortage of red sex toys.) I got sent the pink version, though. Oh well.

I don’t think I’ll be able to delve beyond appearances without comparing Siri to Lelo’s other products. Let’s see how Siri stands up compared to the old product designs, and to one of Lelo’s other clitoral vibrators, the Lily.

New Packaging & Control System

First off: the packaging. One thing Lelo is known for is their elegance and attention to detail when it comes to presentation. Siri’s packaging is much the same as the old packaging: a flimsier outer box, then a plain black storage box. However, once I lifted the lid of the storage box, my heart sank a little. I expected Lelo’s typical plastic “mould” that holds the toy in place, and houses the manual, charger, 1-year warranty, 10-year quality guarentee and satin storage pouch underneath it. Instead, I found a paper & plastic clamshell. This looks significantly tackier to me.

Looks aside, the new packaging poses a problem because you need to tear it open to get at the toy. Once you do that, you have to throw the clamshell out. With the old system, you could use it to store your new toy safely in the storage box if you wanted. Now, the toy will be left loose; rattling around in its box if moved.

The other noticeable difference is the control system. Siri has four buttons: the top and bottom ones control strength, and the left and right ones control mode. Hold them all down for a few seconds to lock and unlock the toy. Pretty intuitive. And the buttons still light up.

Compared to the old controls, there are things I like and dislike about it. The old button was a big circle, with each spot on the circle corresponding to the aforementioned functions. On the plus side, these buttons are bigger and easier to press. On the minus side, I can’t distinguish between the buttons with my fingers as easily. Usually when I get off, I’m under the covers and so the toy is under the covers, too, out of my sight. With the old controls, I could move my finger around the circle and feel for the part of the circle that I wanted. I find it harder to differentiate between these buttons, which means I sometimes don’t press the right thing on the first try, which can be a little annoying. Annoying also is the fact that I have to press these buttons harder to make them work, so I’m usually pressing one button twice, because the first time doesn’t work.

Siri is rechargeable (2 hours of charging time for 4 hours of use), displays a white light when charging and a red light when the battery is low, and is made of matte silicone (colored part) & plastic (white part). To sterilize the silicone area of the toy, you can wipe it with 10% bleach solution or rubbing alcohol. Also, silicone toys are not compatible with silicone lubes.

Is it stronger than Lelo’s other vibes? My answer is undoubtedly yes. I’m very happy with the Siri and look forward to trying even more new Lelo toys! (I’m looking at the mint-new Insignia line next.)

Check out the Siri & more sex toys at Your Adult Toy Store.

Review: Lelo Bob

When I first held the Lelo Bob in my hands, I knew we were not meant to be… because the toy had been mailed to me to use as a prize in a contest I was holding. Nevertheless, I had carefully snuck a peak into the box, and I liked what I saw. Much like Lelo’s ad image for Bob, looking at it made me think I was carefully unwrapping an expensive, fragrant cigar. The Bob, despite its decidedly unclassy name, was sleek and gorgeous, and I knew I’d eventually want to try it out myself. Unfortunately, when I did, I realized that Bob’s functionality wasn’t quite as up to par with its attractive appearance.

As with all Lelo toys, Bob is presented beautifully, and comes with a satin drawstring bag and one-year warranty. It’s also made of the smooth, hard silicone that is typical of Lelo.

Due to Bob’s small size, I was able to slide it in very easily, and then… I could barely feel anything. I could feel it when I clenched around it. It felt very thin and unsubstantial. I don’t even use large plugs regularly; my go-to plug is the njoy pure plug medium. While a beginner couldn’t take the pure plug without using something smaller for a while first, it definitely isn’t size-queen material either. Bob is very comfortable, definitely, but part of the point of wearing a plug, for me, is feeling it, if only a little bit.

On the other hand, there was a part of Bob I definitely could feel, lodged between my cheeks: the handle. I’ve read some reviews that criticized Bob’s potentially unsafe base, and though I could definitely feel it, it also didn’t seem enough to prevent the entire toy potentially slipping into my ass, especially when I was sitting down. I was paranoid about the Bob being pushed in somehow, since the handle is round rather than phlanged and it seems like it could be pushed in with a little force, especially if you’ve used larger objects in your ass.

Bob, while usable by people of any gender, is essentially designed for people with a prostate, and I was fortunate enough to try it on L. He had it in while we 69ed, and here the handle was a plus. I very much enjoyed putting my finger through the loop and pulling it in and out slightly while I blew him. Afterwards, he told me that he could also feel the handle very obviously, and that the plug felt more noticeable in his butt (than, say, the Bootie), probably due to the plug’s length. He didn’t see himself wearing it for long periods of time, but definitely liked fucking me with it in.

As for cleaning: Bob is made of silicone, which is body-safe and non-porous, and can be shared after being sterilized. To sterilize the plug, you can wash it with 10% bleach solution, put it in the top shelf of the dishwasher with no soap, or boil it for at least 5 minutes. Also, silicone toys are not compatible with silicone lubes.

So, my verdict? Bob, while quite the looker, was just not for me, although I can see plenty of people, most probably anal beginners, enjoying it.

Specs:
– Type: Anal Plug
– Material: Silicone
– Length: 3.75″
– Width: 1.25″
– Colors: Bordeaux / Deep Blue
– Price @ Vibrator.com: $45

Review: njoy Pure Wand

Ah, the Pure Wand. The Holy Grail of g-spot toys. Sexbloggers far and wide have heralded it’s magical, squirt-worthy properties. The many reviews that have already been written probably already adequately describe just how wonderful the Pure Wand is; nevertheless, I’m adding my perspective to the mix, hoping that it will enlighten at least a handful of people.

When Tickle offered to send me a Pure Wand to review, I actually cheered. I got it in the mail, hurriedly took it out of the package, and opened the trademark, elegant njoy black box with pink satin lining.

The Pure Wand was intimidating. It’s not enormous or anything like that, but c’mon. It’s 1.5lbs of steel. My first thought: you could probably kill someone if you clobbered them with it. My second: that hard, unyielding, heavy thing was meant for my pussy? The third: hmm, shiny steel is pretty sexy.

So it was intimidating, but in a very sexy sort of way.

For a while, I did nothing but open the box and take it out, admiring and feeling the weight. I have to admit, after hearing about the Pure Wand making women squirt, I worried a little about whether the Pure Wand would “work” on me or not. What if it didn’t?

Anyway, I finally got around to trying it out. I put down a towel, just in case. I dabbed on a few drops of lube – I didn’t need much with its smooth surface – and went to town.

The end with the small “ball” made for a good warm-up. It tickled, teased and tantalized my g-spot until my wrists began to ache. The large-ball-end was pretty heavy, and thrusting while holding that end for an extended amount of time is tiring.

I switched to the large-ball end. I thought it would be difficult for me to get it inside me, since I typically prefer small toys, but it slid in easily. And pressed against my g-spot firmly and insistently.

It was at this point that I experienced a strange sensation: I was overwhelmed with pleasure, but also felt like I needed to pee. I continued to thrust, but I was so distracted by the need-to-pee sensation that I knew there was no way I was going to come like that. So I copped out, held the Pure Wand still, and got myself off by rubbing my clit instead.

A quick Twit and Google search later revealed that the needing-to-pee sensation was a typical precursor to squirting. I’d have to get over the weirdness of it first, though. It’s not that I worry about peeing by accident, but I just associate needing to pee with, well, the toilet. Which I don’t find sexy at all.

Doesn’t it make you horny just looking at it?

For some reason, the first time was the only time I felt the peeing-sensation with the Pure Wand. So, the Pure Wand didn’t get me to squirt (it hasn’t yet, anyway), but that hardly matters, because it feels so damn good. After the first long wank session, I’ve gotten off with the Pure Wand in under five minutes almost every time, unless I make a conscious effort to hold out. I love the firm pressure against my gspot. I love the weight of it in my hand. I love pulling it out of me and feeling how hot it is after warming up to match my body temperature. I love how cool and sudden it feels slipping inside me. I love the physical and psychological thrill of having steel inside me.

The Pure Wand is the only toy that has made me moan aloud while jacking off. And every time I was trying out the Pure Wand, my Twitter feed was literally a flutter with <3s; just ask my Tweeps.

It also works very well as an anal toy. I wasn’t ready for the large-ball end, but the small-ball end feels great.

The Pure Wand does come with a bit of a learning curve (ahaha…), since its shape is quite unlike most dildos out there. I use the same kind of gentle rocking motion that I used with the Lelo Ella, instead of thrusting hard and fast, or trying to thrust with the curve of the dildo, which I did the first time I used it, but which served no purpose except to tire me out even faster.

Oh, also, since the Pure Wand is steel, i.e. nonporous, you can share it. Make sure to sterilize it via boiling, bleaching (with 10% solution) or dishwashing (top shelf, no soap) before sharing. Sterilize it as well if you’ve used it anally but want to use it vaginally the next time. Germs + vag = no.

So… the Pure Wand: it didn’t make me squirt, but it does make me moan. And I fucking love it.

Specs:
– Type: Dildo
– Length: 8″
– Insertable Length: 7″
– Circumference: 5″
– Diameter: 1 1/2″
– Weight: 1.51lbs
– Material: Steel
– Price @ Tickle: $110

Download njoy’s spec sheet.

Five out of five hearts!

Review: Lelo Mia

If you’ve been following me on Twitter, you would have read that I recently answered a sex toy reviewer ad at Vibrator.com. I was accepted, and they sent me the LELO Mia to review, from their discreet sex toys line =)

First, let me get a couple of things straight – I don’t normally use sex toys. I’ve never even used a vibrator before (I’m not counting the vibrator-component of an unopened Trojan vibrating cock ring that me and the Actor stole from the college newspaper office… and no, I don’t know what it was doing there). That said, I’ve also been aware of LELO for quite a while, and I love them. Their products are sleek, simple and beautiful, and the Mia is no different. No tacky semi-see-through plastic, no garish pictures of half-naked babes on the packaging. LELO nicely presents their products in pretty gift boxes, complete with storage bag and 1 year warranty (!). LELO is pretty much the “Apple of sex toys” (well, one of the Apples of sex toys, at least).

I happily took Mia to bed with me every night the first few nights after I received her in the mail. Mia is a “lipstick vibe” that comes in pastel pink and dark rose. Definitely discreet – it basically looks like a tube of lipstick or a highlighter or a large USB stick, and I’ve frequently left it lying around on my desk without any of my friends commenting on it.

Concerning the vibrating itself, Mia has ~ 10 intensity settings and three different “pulsation” settings (long pulses -> short pulses). LELO’s website points out Mia as a good beginner vibe. I don’t exactly have anything to compare it with, but I hadn’t expected to be able to take the higher intensity settings, but turns out that I was able to after all =) Mia takes 2 hours to charge and provides up to four hours (!) of pleasure.

The cleverest thing about the Mia? To charge it, you plug it into your computer’s USB port.

F found it a little annoying that you don’t have the option of charging it at an outlet, but for college students like me =) or busy working women, it seems perfect since we’re on computers all the time anyway.

Oh, and the Rationalist was using my computer while I was charging it for the first time, and he typed away for about half an hour before being all “This isn’t a USB drive, is it?”, took it out of the USB port, and turned it on, which… um… sort of gave the game away. Granted, the + – buttons make it obvious what the Mia is, but not if you don’t look too closely =)

Yay Mia! 4/5 Stars.

Review: Lelo Ella

Lelo is basically my favorite company when it comes to vibrators, but I’ve long wondered what the Ella, the one dildo in their product line, would be like. And whether or not it would hold up to my Tantus dildos, because I heart Tantus to no end.

Ella looks just as elegant and discreet as any of Lelo’s other “pleasure objects.” I don’t dislike the way penises look, so I don’t specifically want my dildos to look as un-penis-like as possible. My typical preference in dildos is in between realistic and abstract. However, I definitely appreciate the discreet beauty of Ella. It doesn’t look like a dildo at all, and I’m confident that I can leave it lying around my room without my friends noticing it and making comments. With the Ella, you get the typical excellent Lelo treatment: Ella comes in a sleek black box, with an instruction booklet, one year warranty, and satin storage pouch.

via heyepiphora.tumblr.com

Ella is made out of hard silicone. The toy really doesn’t have any give at all, except at the neck. I don’t really recommend bending it too much because of how thin the neck is. The silicone material is finished off with Lelo’s typical velvet matte, which feels great to touch. Before I jack off with Ella I always find myself fondling and caressing it just because the material feels so nice. Also, like other silicone toys, Ella is non-porous, pththalate-free, and can be shared. Just make sure to sterilize it with a 10% bleach solution, boil it, or throw it in the dishwasher (top drawer, no soap) before sharing.

Both ends of the dildo can be used: the G-spot end, that looks exactly like that of the Lelo Gigi, and the pointy end. I did not much like the pointy end. Why? Because just by looking at it, I completely expected that it would feel like my vagina was getting poked. And that’s exactly what it felt like. That end of the toy does have a nice curve to it, and feels quite filling and pleasant, but that point coupled with the hard silicone is just uncomfortable. Also, there are two tiny LELO insignias stamped onto either side of this end. Lube can easily get stuck there, which makes cleaning a little difficult. (I’d recommend using n old toothbrush.) This end makes for a nice handle, though. Well, except for when I try to grab onto it with lube-y hands. The smooth surface makes it extremely slippery when it’s lubed up.

The G-spot end was what I was most excited to try. Gigi was the toy that lead me to find and play with my G-spot for the first time, and actually have a G-spot orgasm (that I was aware of, anyway). I had high hopes that Ella would grace me with the same result. Like with the Gigi, I had to do some initial maneuvering in order to hit my G-spot. I typically push dildos inside me up to a certain depth, because that’s what feels the most comfortable. However, using the Gigi or Ella requires me to push just that little bit more. After that, however, Ella zeroes in on my G-spot perfectly. I’d been reading that there was a bit of a learning curve with Ella, and I found that to be true too. Its sharp curve catches on my public bone a little bit if I thrust hard and deep like I usually do, so I had to thrust shallowly, or use a sort of rocking motion, so that I was lightly pummeling my G-spot with the head of the toy. Once I figured out how to use it, though, I happily jacked off with Ella until I felt the familiar sensation of a G-spot orgasm washing over me; spreading over my body from deep within my cunt.

I don’t think it’s a toy for everyone, though. For one thing, it’s a bit on the small side. The shape is perfect for G-spotting, but I would almost prefer if the toy was a little thicker, just so that I could have more to clench around. And if you’re a size queen, the Ella probably wouldn’t be enough for you.

But Ella passed my test, alright. This toy makes me want to stretch out my wank session and really enjoy every minute of it.

Specs:
– Type: Dildo
– Size: 7″ x 1-1.5″ at widest point
– Material: Silicone
– Color @ Babeland.com: Deep Rose
– Colors @ Lelo.com: White, Black, Deep Rose
– Price @ Babeland.com: $44

4 out of 5 hearts!

Review: Bend Over Boyfriend

I was looking forward to reviewing Carol Queen’s Bend Over Boyfriend DVD from Babeland.com both because of my interest in strap-on sex, and because I’ve been interested in seeing more of Carol Queen‘s work.

Bend Over Boyfriend is a part instructional, part erotic DVD that was released in 1998. (A follow-up DVD was released after, with more focus on the erotic.) It was a bestseller when it first came out, during a time period where (I’m under the impression that) not many resources related to sexuality were readily available. Carol and her partner Dr. Robert Morgan spend 30 minutes talking about why people find pegging sexy and how to do it right, and then spend the next 30 minutes giving us a live demo. Interspersed with Carol and Robert’s material is footage of two couples, first sitting attentively and watching their own copies of BOB, then trying out the techniques themselves.

Carol and Robert clearly know their stuff. First, they each talk about why a person would find pegging hot, and what they would potentially take away from the experience. Then they delve further into some of its mechanics (which are applicable to couples of any gender combination, but are aimed at opposite sex couples here):

– Common myths about anal sex

– Communication with your partner and why its important

– The prostate gland and how to play with it

– Cleanliness and safety

– Foreplay and prepping (for both the pegger and the… peggee?)

– Choosing lubes, butt toys (plugs, etc), dildoes and harnesses

I know most of the material already, since I’ve come across it in other writings about anal sex and BDSM, but they go into amazing detail, and I really appreciate that. Their presentation, though, leaves much to be desired. The video quality isn’t very good, and at times the camera isn’t even in focus (!!!). (The video was independently produced, which might have something to do with it.) Carol and Robert don’t really do anything except look directly into the camera and talk. I felt like I was watching a sex-ed video, or was being lectured at by two professors, not unlike those at my college classes:

carolandrobert

Carol attempts to change things up interspersing their dialogue with scenes of the couples watching the video, interacting with each other, and prepping each other for sex. This doesn’t really help break the monotony, and actually ends up being distracting. I mean, first off, there are a few idiosyncracies from the 90s that I couldn’t not notice:

Wha?
Wha?

And then there’s the weird pink or green tint that randomly appears:

pink

Not to mention this babe dressed in nothing but a doctor’s coat who pops up every now and then to feed us cheesy one-liners like “A finger a day keeps the doctor away! *WINK*”:

???
???

And, finally, it’s just plain distracting to watch people flirt, lick and get fingered, when I’m trying to listen and pay attention to whether I can use oil-based lube with a silicone dildo or not.

Besides those little snatches of erotic scenes, the action doesn’t really start until halfway through the DVD. Rapt attention is paid to safe sex in all of the scenes – no one is rimmed, fingered, or fucked without latex gloves, condoms, or cling film (did they not have dental dams back then?). Again, all the scenes are all interspersed with each other. I really would have preferred watching them one by one.

Anyway, first Carol straps on and fucks Robert while he’s bent over. It was an interesting scene for me to watch, because Carol and Robert are quite a bit older than me, and when I’m watching porn I don’t usually look for people in their age group. The scene didn’t make me feel uncomfortable or anything, it was just… interesting. Carol and Robert have wonderful chemistry and obviously get very into the scene. Carol makes sure to keep checking how Robert is doing, and Robert assents breathlessly at things he enjoys. They both reach explosive orgasms at the end. It’s very authentic, and their passion made me smile.

carolandrobertfucking

And then the two couples, who I creatively dub Couple #1 and Couple #2. I don’t think any of them are very experienced with acting in porn. The little dialogue they have sounds contrived, and the sex scenes are awkward at times. But there’s something charming about how they aren’t pornstars. Since this DVD is aimed at the average Joe, and its message is that anal sex isn’t just some crazy thing you see in porn – that anyone can do it – it’s kind of appropriate that the actors don’t look like they just walked off of a centerfold. That said, I am as superficial as the next person, and certain things about the actors did get in the way of my enjoyment of the scenes.

I wasn’t a big fan of Couple #1. I didn’t find either of them particularly attractive, and Guy #1 just plain annoyed me. He looks bored the entire time, whether he’s watching the video, or watching his girlfriend get naked and try on a strap-on, even when he gets fucked hard up the ass. The height of his excitement is when he says: “oh. Oh yeah.” Girl #1 is cute and giggly and a little awkward – quite endearing – but Guy #1′s lack of emotion basically ruined the scene for me. I can’t even remember much about it now, except that they switch positions a few times, and Guy #1 tells Girl #1 what he wants her to do.

Bored…
Bored…

Slightly less bored
Slightly less bored

On the other hand, I really liked Couple #2. Girl #2 is butchyfemmeish and curvy and tasty, and I found Guy #2 so attractive. I think it was the combination of his long hair, slim body, nice ass and air of ambiguous sexual orientation mixed with a healthy dash of expressive sexuality that did it. He’s easily the most natural out of the four. He moans and asks for more, and at one point gets on top of Girl #2, grinding himself down on her strap-on and flinging his hair back in rapture. He also plays more with Girl #2′s strap on, rubbing against it and giving her a blowjob (yum). They also seem more engaged with each other than couple #1: they look at each other, smile at each other, and seem to be enjoying themselves a great deal. Girl #2 kind of loses interest as the scene wears on, but Guy #2 more than makes up for it. Eventually, Guy #2 comes all over Girl #2′s tits.

couple2b

couple2c

I really would have liked to see the girls orgasm or get more obvious pleasure out of it, especially since Carol made sure to accentuate that women can get pleasure from pegging as well as the men.

Pegging is already sold on me, so I wouldn’t recommend using this DVD as a way to try and convince your lover(s) to try it out with you. Carol and Robert delve very thoroughly into all aspects of anal sex with little or no fluffing. Some would say they’re a little bit too thorough. (Did you know anal sex is actually good for hemorrhoids because it increases the blood flow in the rectal area? Or that vegetable shortenings can be used as lube, but smell really bad if you leave a stain?) If you and your partner(s) already want to try it, or if you just want to educate yourself, then go for it.

Personally, I’m happy that I watched it, but would prefer to find something more current. Maybe another one of Tristan Taormino‘s guides, for instance.

Specs:
– Type: Instructional / porn
– Length: 60 minutes
– Release date: 1998
– Directed by: Carol Queen
– Featuring: Carol Queen and Robert Morgan
– Price @ Babeland.com: $34.95

Three hearts out of five.

Review: bswish bcurious

Throughout my sex toy reviewing career, I have only ever reviewed two clitoral vibrators – both of them Lelo toys. This is somewhat surprising, considering that I get off from clitoral stimulation more often than anything else. I suppose my dildo obsession simply overpowers my love of clitoral stimulation. Anyway, when I saw that the bswish bcurious was being offered for review, my interest was piqued. It was a perfect chance to try out a clitoral vibe from a new company.

I was drawn to the bcurious’s design – the black and pink color scheme and curved shape – and that it’s rechargeable. Besides the Lelo toys and Fun Factory’s click-n-charge line (which is relatively new), I’m hard pressed to name other rechargeable clitoral vibes, and I definitely prefer recharging over using batteries.

My feelings about the bcurious are lukewarm. In many ways, it’s an excellent toy, but there are a couple of things that bug me about it and prevent me from giving it a stellar rating. Firstly, the positive: its shape doesn’t just look snazzy, it feels completely intuitive in my hand. It fits in my palm, my index finger curls over the top and my thumb rests on the controls. It’s not evident from the picture, but a dip runs along the back of the toy that my finger rests in very comfortably. Plus, can we get a cheer for pinpoint stimulation? This is the only clit toy I currently own that is both pinpoint and ergonomic. The Lelo Siri and Layaspot are round and blunt. The Lelo Mia is pointed, but rod-shaped. The Lelo Lily is just a little too small to fit well in my hand. I can see myself reaching frequently for the bcurious for its shape alone.

The bcurious is made of black matte plastic and has pink silicone accents. The charging port is at the side of the toy and is sealed with a tab-like thing similar to what you find in cell phones and digital cameras. The toy is marketed as waterproof and, while I haven’t tried it underwater, the seal and lack of perceivable gaps in the toy make me feel fairly confident about it.

As for the vibrations, there are seven different options: low, medium, high, escalation, pulse, fast pulse, and short-short-short-long pulse. The low is great for warm-up, but I usually switch to medium before long. And here’s the first problem: apparently 3 vibration levels is just not enough for me. I can usually make do with the low and medium settings alone, but sometimes the low is just a little too low and the medium is just a little too high. If there was a mid-point between the two, that would be perfect. As for the patterns, I generally don’t use them much, but I do like the pulse settings alright. Noise-wise, the bcurious emits a buzzing sound that you could probably hear across a room, but not through a wall.

The controls consist of two buttons at the toy’s base: one button turns the toy on, and the other starts the vibrations and cycles through the different settings. The buttons are at the perfect place for my thumb, and depress in a very satisfying pressy-button way. There’s no way to “lock” the controls, but I wouldn’t be worried about traveling with this toy since you need to press both buttons to turn it on. I actually put the bcurious in my checked luggage on a number of flights and long bus rides with no problems. My second issue with the toy, though, concerns the controls: you can press the button to progress to the next setting, but to get to the one before, you have to cycle through them all. Or you can turn the toy off, then on again, to start at the beginning. I find this irritating because I sometimes want to go from the medium to the low setting, and can’t.

The bcurious comes with a manual, a storage pouch, and a charging cord. The pouch is made of what feels like the same material that sweatpants are made of, has a drawstring top, and a tiny tab on the side with the name of the company, but it’s barely noticeable. The charging cord can be plugged into a USB port (!), or into an adapter and then into a regular outlet. Charge it for 2 hours to get 2 hours of play. The control buttons in the base blink blue when the toy is charging, and glow continuously once it’s done.

So there you go. I can’t call this toy a favorite, but I definitely like it and wouldn’t hesitate for a moment to recommend it to anyone else.

Review: Laid D.1

When Babeland offered the Laid D.1 for review, I was intrigued because I’d never heard of the company “Laid” before. It’s a relatively new company1 based in Norway, and its sleek designs looked promising. I have to admit, I was mostly drawn in because it’s based in Europe, and I really like the two European sex toy companies that I know of2.

The D.1 is a mid-sized, silicone dildo that’s marketed as a G-spotter; its pièce de résistance is its asymmetrical head that’s provides both a rounded surface and a pointed surface to stimulate your G-spot. You can supposedly switch between them with a gentle twist. Also, it’s bright blue! Seriously, more manufacturers need to move away from purple and pink, and incorporate bright, candy-colors into their product lines.

Unfortunately, its revolutionary design doesn’t work all that well in practice. It was quite unintuitive for me to use, and it took me a while to find my G-spot with it, although I did manage after a while. I couldn’t feel much of a difference between the two surfaces; except I could tell when the pointy side wasn’t on my G-spot because I could feel it poking my vaginal walls. I tried the “handle” end, as well, but it was too pointy for me to find pleasurable. Since the surface is so smooth, also, if I get lube on the handle or on my hand, things get slippery very quickly, which makes maneuvering the dildo difficult.

During my lengthy toy reviewing stint, I’ve found designs that really work for me; and maybe I’m just being inflexible, but now that I know what works, I’m loath to deviate much from it. For G-spotting, I like the wide, flattened head of the Lelo Gigi or Lelo Ella, and the large, ball-like head of the Pure Wand or Ophoria No. 3. The blunt-head style took a bit of maneuvering at first, but felt amazing once I got the hang of it, and the ball-head style honed in on my G-spot almost instantly. Both of these styles were more effective than the D.1. And when I’m not using a dildo to stimulate my G-spot, I prefer toys that are heavily textured (e.g. the Tantus Echo), while the D.1 is perfectly smooth.

However? I am terribly enamored with the Laid D.1 Stone, which is made of – get this – Black Norwegian Moonstone, or Blue Pearl Larvikite. It’s absolutely gorgeous. Damn, I should have tried to review this one instead. Okay, it’s exactly the same shape as the silicone one, but maybe the material would improve upon it somehow?

Anyway, to sterilize the Laid D.1, you can wash it with 10% bleach solution, put it in the top shelf of the dishwasher with no soap, or boil it for at least 5 minutes. Also, silicone toys are not compatible with silicone lubes.

I guess I just know what I like, and the Laid D.1 isn’t it. It is a well-made dildo, though, and perhaps it will suit your needs better than mine.

  1. It introduced its first products in 2010. [↩]
  2. Lelo is Swedish, and Fun Factory is German. [↩]

Review: Kinklab Wartenberg Pinwheel

The Kinklab Wartenberg Pinwheel from SexToy.com is a classic BDSM toy. It may look a little bit like a pizza-cutter (actually that’s what J called it when he first saw it), but Wartenberg wheels were originally used to test neurological responses. It fell into disuse because of hygiene issues. Its medical-related background and appearance is part of its appeal to me; as is the lovely sensations it produces. Running it lightly over the skin results in a tickling or slight pricking sensation; if you exert heavy enough pressure, you can break the skin.

I tried it out with J. I got naked, and he gently ran the sharp tips over my back and arms, while I squirmed and giggled. Being naked while he was clothed, and having the steel points coasting all over me, was quite an enjoyable sensory experience. It’s hard to describe. It felt like tickling, but very intense tickling concentrated on a very small area of skin. Then he moved on to my breasts and nipples, which definitely started to turn me on.

I teasingly ran the wheel over his arms a few times. He thought it was interesting; probably would get a bit overwhelming after a while, which was true for me. After about 15-20 minutes of tickling and poking, I had had enough.

I attempted some research on how to clean the wheel if you break a person’s skin and then want to use it on someone else. Obviously, that can be dangerous since you’re getting blood on the implement. Google yielded no results; I got the most responses from Twitter:

– soak it in a 10% bleach solution for 1-2 minutes

– boil it

– wipe it down with “medical wipes”

– sterilize it in an autoclave (can be found in tattoo parlors and used for a nominal fee); if any other method is used, wait at least 21 days before using on someone else

The best response I found was actually a comment by Mina made on Panthera Pardus’ review of the same product:

I would sterilize it the same way doctors sterilize a lot of things. Go to the drug/grocery store and get yourself a bottle of betadine (or any brand of povidone iodine) It’s a general antibacterial sterilizer most commonly used to prep people for surgery. Put a little in a container and add water. You’ll want it to be a “tea” color. Put the wheel inside and let it soak for at least 10 min. The dry.  Just note that the povidone iodine will eventually stain the container after continual use. Make sure to rinse your hands after using it, but if you are trying to be completely sterile I would suggest wearing gloves while handling the wheel during the sterilizing process or washing your hands with the povidone iodine as well. May I also suggest using hot water.

I’ve yet to determine if this wheel is made of surgical-grade, non-porous steel, which is the only safe material that would be share-able. Couldn’t find any information on Kinklab’s website.

The wheel also comes with a nice leather sheath that snaps shut.

I really don’t have much to say about this product; it either works for you or it doesn’t, and I don’t see much opportunity, or NEED, for variation of any sort on its basic shape and appearance.

I really like Wartenberg Pinwheels. I’m glad that I own one.

Specs:
– Type: BDSM/Medical fetish toy
– 
Length: 7″
– Material: Steel
– Price @ Sextoy.com: $14.85

Four out of five hearts!

Review: Just in Case Condom Compact II

CNVJIC-A400BLKTa-da! This is my first review for SexToy.com, and it’s a condom storage case.

The Just in Case Condom Compact II is designed to look like a powder compact. (There’s a version I that’s a lot shinier and girlier and comes in lots of different colors, but I preferred the sleek, sophisticated black of version II :) )

There are a lot of other types of condom cases out there (French envelopes, condom cubes…) which you can either carry with you when you’re out and about (you know, if you in into someone you absolutely have to fuck in that restaurant bathroom, or if you go home with someone… it’s good to be prepared!) or set unobtrusively on your nightstand. Portable condom cases don’t just save you the embarrassment of having condoms dicovered by friends who rudely rifle through your bag, they protect the condoms from items you might be carrying with you that have sharp edges, guarding against potential holes, as well as not exposing them to your body heat, like they would be if you stashed them in your wallet/pockets.

As a condom case, the Just in Case compact works fine. It holds two condoms, and easily snaps open and shut. I also very much like how it’s designed – out of glossy plastic with a simple logo. It also comes with two complimentary Lifestyles condoms.

What the Just in Case has that other condom cases might not is an added layer of discretion, since it’s designed to look like a compact. I decided to see how well it held up to one of my younger sister’s actual powder compacts:

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Exhibit A! As you can see, the Just in Case compact is pretty much exactly the same size and shape as a regular compact. The manufacturers have even thought about details like sticking a production label on the back in the same spot. There’s even a tiny little hole in the back, just like a regular compact (also check out the reflection of my wonderfully classy Winnie-the-Pooh comforter):

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Functionally, I’m not quite sure what purpose the hole serves. It definitely isn’t big enough to allow poking (unless you carry pins with you…).

When you open the compact up, here’s what you see:

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There’s even a mirror inside! However, clearly the Just in Case doesn’t have any powder in it, so anyone curious enough to actually open it would be puzzled as to why you were carrying around an empty compact. Granted, making it an actual powder compact would be costly not to mention inconvenient to use, but adding a powder-poof would be a possible improvement.

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…And the secret is revealed! If you pull up the “floor”of the compact, there are the condoms. The floor is pretty tamper-proof: when you snap the compact open, it opens to the mirror part, and there’s another catch holding the floor in place, so you need to actually open that compartment to get to it. I.E. if you’re not looking for it, you won’t realize it’s there. Just be careful to close the two lids separately, because if you close them both at the same time, the floor doesn’t snap back into place.

So far, I’ve carried it around with me pretty constantly, and I also use it as a hand mirror when I touch up my hair/lipgloss/eye makeup, and nobody I’ve been with has made a comment about it.

In conclusion, the only things that might give the Just in Case compact away are: the emptiness, and the fact that it feels significantly lighter than a regular compact.

All in all, though, I think it serves its purpose pretty damn well, so it get’s

5/5 stars :)

Review: Intimate Organics Sensual Cocoa Bean & Gogi Berry Cleansing Gel and Body Souffle

Intimate Organics Sensual Cocoa Bean & Gogi Berry Cleansing Gel (translation: bath / shower gel) and Body Souffle (translation: body lotion) from PinkCherry.com are something else: they aren’t sex toys, or lube, but they promise “to leave your body and mind relaxed, invigorated and ready for whatever your night holds.” I put them to the test one evening to see if they left me feeling ready for a sexy evening.

I hopped in the shower and as soon as I snapped open the Cleansing Gel, my nose was filled with the scent of what seemed like, to me, chocolate and raspberries. Yum. The only problems were that the scent was kind of artificial, and it only lasted while I was in the shower. Once I got out, I smelled myself (good thing I didn’t run into any of my housemates) and the smell had pretty much gone. Kind of defeats its purpose, if you ask me.

Next, I dried myself off and smoothed on the Body Souffle. Now, I grew up in a tropical country and I am currently living in the frozen wasteland (not really) that is New England. My skin dries out so fast here that it’s not even funny. After trying a slew of products, the only ones I’ve found that actually keep my skin moist are Eucerin (which is dermatologist-approved and specifically for dry and sensitive skin) and a moisturizer from Lush, the name of which I’ve forgotten by now. Basically, the Body Souffle had a lot to stand up to.

It held up alright. It left my skin soft and shiny, but definitely wouldn’t protect my skin completely from dryness. The good thing about the Body Souffle was that the chocolate-raspberry smell lingered a lot longer, basically all afternoon.

To be honest, I have mixed feelings about the scent. On the one hand, I love desserts, and chocolate especially, so I definitely found the scent pleasant at first and was turned on by the idea of making out with a partner and smelling that on them, or having a partner smell it on me (and thinking that it made me even yummier ;) ) However, a while after my shower, when I was in the library and kept catching whiffs of the scent on my hands as I worked, it started to wear on me, and instead of liking it I began finding it too sickly-sweet. It didn’t help that I ran into my friend SA and she asked, “what’s that smell? It smells like those cupcakes I had as a kid with lots of artificially colored icing all over them.” Not what I want my lover to associate me with when we’re about to get down and dirty.IN.002207-250-1

This is probably just my personal preference though. If you like sweet smells, you’ll probably like these products, and I have to commend them because of their 100% organic and vegan-friendly ingredients.

If only the Cleansing Gel had a stronger smell, and if only the Body Souffle was less overpowering. My verdict is: for now, I think I’ll stick to my favorite bath & skin care brands, Lush and the Body Shop. The pricing isn’t that much different anyway.

Specs:

  • All-natural, organic ingredients (no parabens, glycerin, DEA or animal products)
  • Vegan-friendly
  • Cleansing Gel amount: 240mL (4oz)
  • Body Souffle amount: 150mL
  • Price (of each, separately) at PinkCherry.com: $14.99

Two out of five hearts. 

Review: ID Millennium

ID is one of my favorite lube brands, and for good reason. Just like vodka quality is judged by “purity”, so does it go with me and lubes. ID Millennium? Is as pure as a lube can be: it doesn’t smell like anything, it doesn’t taste like anything, and instead of sticky residue, it leaves behind a slick softness. Kind of like if you just rubbed moisturizer into your hands.

This lube works very well with anal play, and is very long lasting. You only really need a couple of drops, so even though the bottle I received is tiny (1oz), I’ve used it multiple times and I’ve barely even used any up. The tiny bottle is also perfectly travel-sized.

I’ve read that this lube doesn’t wash off in water, which at times is a negative thing because it makes it more difficult to get off my hands/toys post-wank-sesh, but that’s the only complaint I have about this lube.

That’s really all I have to say about this lube. It works. Just remember not to use it with silicone toys, since it will fuck up the toy.

Specs:
– Material: Silicone
– Amounts: 1oz / 2.5oz / 4.9oz
– Prices @ PinkCherry.com:
 $9.99 / $14.99 / $28.88

Review: Heart 2 Heart Cuffs

The Heart 2 Heart Cuffs encapsulate three things that, IMHO, are essential for a set of cuffs: they’re affordable ($35), pretty, and well-made. In fact, I’m so taken with them that I want to try and collect the whole set: another pair of cuffs, blindfold, and whip, which have the added charm of being decorated with rows of tiny red hearts, which make me think of the Red Queen in Alice in Wonderland (for me, a good thing).

The cuffs are fairly simple. To my understanding, from reading the packaging and the product description, they’re made of real leather, though shinier and more towards the patent-leather type. The leather is soft and pliable. None of that tacky, stiff, unpleasant bullshit that comes with shitty or fake leather. They also come with shiny silver buckles, studs and D-rings. The best part? They’re black and red. Which is my favorite color combination (um, just check out the theme of this blog). Now I have cuffs that match my lingerie! Yay!

The cuffs aren’t lined, but they’re comfortable, and I can strain against them without any chafing. I also couldn’t tease the buckle undone with my fingers, even with the cuffs connected together with a carabiner. Fairly escape-proof.

I’m very happy with these cuffs – as functional and wonderful as the Sportsheets Under the Bed cuffs are, it’s nice to have something prettier and a little more heavy duty. I only have a few criticisms:

#1 The set doesn’t come with any kind of connector. They’re cheap enough that I’m sure it wouldn’t kill the company to include one. I don’t own any, so I had to steal a carabiner off of one of my roommates’ Nalgenes.

#2 The cuffs don’t look like they’d fit people with thicker wrists/ankles. My wrists are tiny, and I already use the fourth hole. I honestly doubt that anyone has wrists so bony that they’d need to use the first or second hole.

#3 If you look at the underside of the cuff, the line of holes is accompanied with a long cut of some sort, that goes down the length of all the holes. It’s not that big of a deal, and the cuff doesn’t threaten to rip apart or anything like that. It is a little ugly to look at, though.

#4 I just cannot back putting “2″ in the name of a sex toy. I am not a teenager on AIM, and I don’t want sex toys that make me feel like one.

There you have it. My BDSM toybox is growing, and the Heart 2 Heart Cuffs are a wonderful addition to it.

Review: Fun Factory Gigolo G2

The video review of the Fun Factory Gigolo G2 is a little rushed because my sister was in the room when I was recording it and I felt self-conscious :/ I didn’t even talk about what it felt like! To be honest, I don’t have much to say about that besides: the vibrations felt good, they were strong enough to get me off, and they were quiet. Not whisper-quiet, but but not terribly attention-seeking, either. I like how it sounds more like the thrum of a cell phone ring, and not… buzzy and drill-like, like some vibes are. Definitely satisfied with the vibrations. Gripping the base of the toy in order to thrust with it was a little awkward, though, since the base is also where the control dial is located.

The Gigolo comes in Fun Factory’s signature red and tan packaging with a clear, plastic side that displays the toy, and magnetic snaps that keep the box closed. It comes with a brief manual, mini catalogue, and Toyfluid (water-based lube) sample. The manual that comes with this toy doesn’t indicate whether or not it’s waterproof, but I would guess that it isn’t. The battery compartment isn’t airtight and there’s an obvious seam all around it. The specs at Vibrator.com indicate that the toy is “splashproof” but I’d probably still be hesitant to use this around water.

Though it could use some improvements, I really do like this vibe.

Review: Forplay Toy Cleaner

Today I’ll be reviewing an “Adult Toy Cleanser” by ForPlay from PinkCherry.com sex toys. I requested it as a change from straight-up sextoys, and also wanted to try something that I could contrast with the antibacterial dish-soap I’ve been using to clean my toys so far.

I’ll get the banalities out of the way first: using this cleaner is pretty straightforward. The cleaner comes in a 7 oz bottle, which lasts for about 11 washes. You pour 2/3 oz into 3 quarts of warm water and stir it around with your hand to mix the cleaner in. The bottle has lines along the side marking 1 oz so you can measure out the amount easily. According to the description on the bottle and on PinkCherry.com, the cleaner is compatible with pretty much anything, but works better with soft materials like silicone. I tried it out on a few of my toys and it was a relatively straightforward process, although I didn’t find it necessarily more convenient or hygienic than just using soap.

That said, I discovered the problem with this cleaner when I decided to Google the main ingredient so I could contrast it with soap/other cleaners in terms of efficiency and hygiene. The main ingredient, as stated on the bottle and website, is Nonoxynol-9, known to some as N-9. The bottle describes N-9 as a “stabilized aqueous solution” and warns that it may cause irritation if splashed into one’s eyes. Fair enough. I don’t generally let my toys get too close to my eyes anyway.

Some quick research online and a shout out to my Tweeps yielded very different results. Apparently, N-9 is used in spermicides, condoms, cervical barriers and lubes because people thought it guarded against pregnancy and STDs (it can kill microbes in vitro). That would make sense as a sextoy cleaner, because spreading STDs and other germs is always something to guard against when sharing toys, right?

No. Studies have shown that N-9 not only isn’t effective in guarding against STDs, but actually increases the likelihood of contracting them by 50%, to be precise. And this is including HIV and HPV. It irritates the vaginal wall, and several of my Tweeps said that using products with N-9 in them caused itching.

Okay, so the toy cleaner isn’t meant to be applied directly to one’s vagina, just on the toys, so if you rinse the toys thoroughly, you should have nothing to worry about.

N-9 is more effective in killing bacteria, which would make it a more effective cleaner than ordinary soap. But what about, say, bleach solution or rubbing alcohol? I’d be more inclined to use one of those instead of shelling out ~$10 for something that isn’t absolutely body-safe.

2/5 stars.