Lelo Ora

April 18th, 2014

Lelo Ora
$169 from Lelo

Let me tell you a little bit about myself. I love oral sex. Now, you’d figure that’s a given, but I have met many women who say they can take it or leave it. I’m told that I should accept this as their preference, but it is not mine. I like the feeling of tongues, which can be pointed and hard or broad and soft, against my clit and between the folds of my labia. Oral sex is awesome, and I hold my breath, almost afraid to break the spell, as I wait for whoever is begin to my legs to make contact with my body and claim it in the name of oral sex.

Yes, I know this is fucking cheesy, but there is nothing quite like oral sex, which will invariably end with me grabbing the back of your head and grinding my cunt against you until I come if you’re done at least a halfway decent job and if I want to get off.

So the idea that a toy mimics oral sex is something like the holy grail for me. It has to be provide pinpoint sensation like the tip of a tongue. It has to be something I can get pressure from through grinding. And, no, I don’t want a disembodied head. At least, not for orgasmic purposes. To put it bluntly, an oral sex simulator has big shoes to fill, and no one’s gotten it quite right yet.

Although, Lelo wants us to forget that others have tried and in quite similar ways to the Ora. You see, this little vibrator is basically the SaSi by JeJoue with a few refinements and a small size. I actually like the change in size, functions and build, but that doesn’t negate the fact that the idea is not new.

Oral Sex.. from a Toy?

Like I said. This toy is quite similar to SaSi. So the Ora is a round-ish toy with one flatter end where the ball is.  The oral sex part comes from a rotating “marble” or ball bearing beneath a thin and flexible layer of silicone. When you press this against you, it’s supposed to feel like oral sex. When the ball moves, it pushes the silicone up out of the little valley where the ball mechanism is situated, and the ball itself extends a little higher than the sides of the valley.

The rest of the toy is covered with taut silicone, and is very similar to many of Lelo’s other toys. It reminds me an awful lot of Alia, but it’s definitely bigger. This is good. Alia was too small to insert your fingers to grasp, but Ora works just fine.

There are three buttons, the same as the Insignia line, embossed into the silicone. Let me say straight out that I hate these buttons. My fingertips might not be very sensitive, but I can never differentiate between the buttons to find the one I want, so I always have to pull the toy away from me and change it. I don’t like toys that do this. The Form 6 is similar but the buttons are further apart, which means I can figure out which is which. Lelo really needs to ditch this three-button-in-silicone design. Like now.

The buttons work in an interesting way. The + and – buttons do exactly what you think. The center button cycles through settings, but it also increases vibration strength if you hold it for 3 seconds. After doing this, you get a steady vibration boost kind of like the Boss.   The difference between the boost  and not boost is noticeable, both too my ears and clit. In fact, the boost actually feels deeper and stronger.  The boost stays on if you turn the toy off and back on again. I think this is a bummer. It’s like toys that start on High. Why would you do this to us, why, Lel0?!

The settings are as follows

Ora's protruding ball

Ora’s protruding ball

  • Vibration, ball moves in a circle
  • Ball moves in a circle with no vibration
  • Ball moves in back and forth U motion
  • Ball moves in U motion, vibes pulse
  • Vibes pulse, balls moves in circle
  • Ball moves in back-and-forth C shape (to the side), vibration repeats a slow escalation
  • Vibes do the same escalation, ball moves in a circle
  • Balls moves in C shape, vibration does an escalation + pulsation pattern
  • Ball moves in circle, vibes escalate and pulse
  • Ball moves in circle, long pulse

Unlike the Sasi, Ora allows you to have both the movement of the ball and vibration. There’s a setting where just the ball moves, but you don’t have to pick or choose. You can have both. The down side is that whenever vibration is on, the ball’s movement is a little less intense. This is to be expected, and could possibly be minimized with a larger ball. Read more on that below.

So, I like the boosted vibration, but I actually like some of settings, which might very well be a first for me. I am always, always, always discounted silly pulsation and escalation, but the later settings with an interesting pattern combing both feel good, and during the vibration’s pause, I can focus on the movement of the ball. This is pretty much a first for me. I do tend to return to steady vibes during orgasm time, but that’s about it.

Because the Ora is more narrow, it fits between my labia better and I get more direct contact with the ball. SaSi was kind of a letdown when it came to this. I had to hold my labia out of the way. The ball being in the “dimple” means that the rigid shell meets my labia, and this provides the pressure that I like. Yes, I can ultimately grind against the Ora, and I got off with it this way.

SaSi also couldn’t take a lot of pressure. While placing more pressure on the ball used in Ora is going to slow it down and you’ll hear it strain, I couldn’t force it to completely stop with my hand while I was trying. Of course, I imagine this stress would make the toy wear out faster, but it’s good that you can get a little pressure without the enjoyment coming to a screeching halt.

Speaking of audible noise. You’ve got both a mechanical wine due to the ball bearing and the sound of vibration. This is louder than a bullet vibe and Siri, for example. But it’s definitely not the loudest toy I own.

Room for Improvement?

There’s no doubt that Ora does this better than any other toy I’d had. But it’s also not something you’d confused with a real, human mouth and tongue. The mobile ball beneath the thin layer of soft silicone just doesn’t protrude enough. It could be a little larger given the shape and size of Ora. or Lelo could go back to the drawing board and come up with something a little larger for a much larger toy. Either way, I’d love for it to extend past the edge of Ora and make better contact with my vulva.

Even with lube, the texture isn’t exactly human. Some sort of heating element might change things. I don’t think this is particularly realistic given the size of Ora, but it’s a thought.

I don’t necessarily love the rounded shape on the other side. Perhaps it wouldn’t bother me as much if the buttons were easier to find and differentiate. It doesn’t cramp up my hands as much as most, but keeping my fingers inside the loop doesn’t feel natural, either.

The Standard Spiel

Yes, this is made of silicone. Use high-quality silicone or water-based lube. Wash with soap and water. Be careful of the charging port. There’s nothing to cover it and while technology works wonders, I’m still wary of open ports. Plug it in and charge for a couple hours to power it. Silicone picks up lint as you can clearly see in my photos. It comes with Lelo’s box, warranty and a storage pouch.

Final Thoughts

Essentially, this toy is less-than-perfect but allows me to go orgasm and enjoy sensations. This might sound weird, but that doesn’t typically happen. Orgasms are hard work. They’re about release, not pleasure. I can get both with Ora. It’s not necessarily easy, but it happens.

I think Ora will get a fair bit of use from me, but I will likely keep reaching for my old stand-bys when I want to get off quickly.

20 Comments


Love Rider Butterfly Lovers

April 7th, 2014

My body has changed since I first started reviewing. At one time, rabbit vibrators were my favorite type of vibes despite the fact that so many people seem to have so many problems with them. 6 years ago, my g-spot hadn’t yet awakened. I couldn’t squirt and I wasn’t familiar with that acute pain that occurs when my g-spot needs to squirt but can’t because something is blocking the vaginal canal. If this sounds weird, well, it is.

So I would use rabbits to get intense external stimulation with a little internal stimulation. I enjoyed the cupping of my pubic bone, which we all know is alien shaped or something. In fact, very few rabbits did much for me internally at all. The Passion Wave was one of them. Guys, that was 6 freaking years ago! And now my g-spot isn’t like that. Rabbits tend to get in the way, now. When I need to squirt, I need to get all toys and cocks the fuck out of my vagina. And the increased sensitivity of my g-spot also means that rabbits, most of which have rigid mechanisms in the shaft, kind of hurt.

So I don’t use rabbits much. In fact, when I use G-spot/internal and clitoral/external toys, I tend to use them different. Vibration gets me off clitorally with a lot of pressure. A little vibration and/or a few strokes internally literally milks my g-spot to ejaculation. Most masturbation sessions are the former because I want to get off. If I am aiming to squirt, which isn’t accompanied with an orgasm, it’s usually because I am reviewing a g-spot toy or simply want to feel some sort of accomplishment.

Where is all this leading? To the fact that this is a review for a rabbit vibrator, and it’s so weird for me now. But it wasn’t when I owned over a dozen of them. In many ways, it seems like sex toy makers have also moved away from rabbits, and perhaps for good reason. There are so many complaints.

  • rabbits are big
  • they tend to be expensive
  • they’re not one size fits all

The size issue keeps many women from enjoying rabbits because it’s hard to find one that will fit you. For me, personally, this wasn’t an issue when I was just forcing the rabbits to work, I guess, but I can no longer do it. The nice part about the Love Rider Butterfly Lovers is that it isn’t so huge so this could be a decent toy if most rabbits are too big for you to use comfortably. The shaft only has about 5 inches to insert, and the diameter is about 1.5 inches. The product listing says 1.75 inches, but this is actually the size of the flared base. See, a modern aspect of this rabbit is that it’s harness compatible. You’re going to want an O-ring smaller than that, though. A 1.5 inch ring, I would think. I don’t have a harness to check. The base also works as a suction cup, but I have no use for this.

However, the silly butterfly design for the clitoral stimulator isn’t new at all. There’s a very similar version with a rabbit clitoral arm. I think that I’d like that better. It also just doesn’t hit the right spot or do much at all. The shaft has no silly faces on it, just some surreal sort of swirls and a gently curved head that should be able to provide some G-spot stimulation. The silicone is firm enough to provide pressure but not rock hard because there’s no internal mechanism. It’s also the type of silicone that works best with lube. I did find the shaft to be rather comfortable during insertion. The length of the shaft and clit stimulator aren’t simpatico for me, however.

The motor for the toy is in the base of the shaft/clitoral arm, so it does have the strongest of the vibrations. They traveled up the shaft enough to make me squirt, but I feel like some people would be disappointed. 2 AA batteries provides vibrations with more depth, and the vibes are decent enough. You control this vibe  from a detachable battery pack. This is convenient if you want to use this as a harnessed dildo without vibration, but it doesn’t do much for me when it comes to washing because the wire  stays on the toy and just seems to get in the way.

The control pack is different because there’s a master power button on top and a trigger-style button on the bottom to cycle through the settings. Now, I don’t really like the trigger button for this purpose, but I love the idea of a trigger button. I want to shoot all my sex toys, er, something like that.

The other settings are:

  • high steady vibes
  • medium steady vibes
  • low steady vibes
  • fast fast fast slow pulse
  • pitter-patter pulse
  • medium pulse
  • fast pulse
  • slower/weaker pulse
  • longer/stronger pulse
  • tiny pulse

I hatehatehate when vibes start at the highest setting because you expect to be able to increase the vibrations, but then you can’t. However, the pulsation is all rather effective and there’s no escalation, which really does nothing for me. The vibe returns to the last setting you had it on when you turned it off.

This rabbit vibrator is also fairly loud, certainly louder than any of my Lelo toys. I’m used to toys that are pretty quiet, but maybe you won’t notice.

So, overall, this toy doesn’t make me love rabbits again. Internally, it fits better but it doesn’t offer true dual stimulation for me.  Like I said, I might like the rabbit better.  Or maybe I just want to focus on one thing and do it right.

CEN Sexpert

2 Comments


101 Vagina

March 24th, 2014

101 Vagina
$13.68 from Amazon

When I first received the pitch to review and give away this book,  I wasn’t quite sure what it was. Perhaps that’s because it’s such a simple concept that describing it takes away some of the.. “magic” of it.  I’m normally more pragmatic than that, but the description causes it to lose something special.

You see, 101 vagina is a book featuring 101 photos of vulvas and 101 pieces by the owners of those vulvas. The book is printed completely in black and white, and it has a sleek white hard cover to boot. See? You can sum up what it is so easily. But I’m not sure that you can sum up the significance of this book quite so easily.

You see, the women in those photos have different body types, skin colors, scars, body modifications and pubic hair styles. And those women all have different feelings about the reproductive organs. And some of them even have different understandings about their organs, which brings me to my first and only complaint about this book.

The photos are really of vulvas, not vaginas. In fact, the photographer Philip Werner does address this in the back of the book. I’m glad because the terminology did bother me. However, while the pictures are of the external body parts, he wanted to create a medium for discussing the vulva, the vagina, the physical and the spiritual, and the English language doesn’t really provide this.

However, many of the women who agreed to be photographed for this collection do use the Sanskrit term “Yoni,” which I’ve heard but haven’t used before. Accordingto Wikipedia:

Yoni (Sanskrit: योनि yoni) is a Sanskrit word with different meanings, most basically “vagina” or “womb”. Its counterpart is the lingam. It is also the divine passage, or sacred temple (cf. lila). The word can cover a range of extended meanings, including: place of birth, source, origin, spring, fountain, place of rest, repository, receptacle, seat, abode, home, lair, neststable.

The women who tend to use this word as they write about their vulva, vagina, uterus and more do tend to use more flowery descriptions. The first few photos had captions like these, and they weren’t my favorite. However, women wrote about their vaginas in many ways.

Some were reverent. Some were saddened. Some expressed anger. Some were clinical. Others wrote poetry. Some wrote so much that the text had to be shrunk down to fit the book’s intended format. Other were quizzical or awed. The feels were sometimes intense and sometimes indifferent. It was simply interesting to read them. In fact, I sat down with the book as soon as it arrived in the mail and had read more than half of it before I knew it!

A few of the women chose to write about the experience of being photographed nude. I thought this gave interesting insight into the project itself. It seems like the photographer made everyone comfortable and his desire to create a body positive book really worked out well.

I think that some people would chuckle or roll their eyes at the intent and the result, but I also believe that most people could benefit from reading  book like this. Cis-women could certainly feel a little more comfortable about their bodies and reproductive organs. Other people could appreciate the range of womanhood, both physically and mentally through the written word.

Here are a few of my favorite lines from 101 Vagina:

  • Eat Me!
  • Anything a man can do I can do wetter.
  • Ceci ce n’est pas un vagin.
  • Everyone thinks of themselves as existing on some part of their body — most people live behind their eyes, many imagine themselves between their lungs inside their chests, and still others have egos nestled into their solar plexus area, where their voice is born. I have always imagine that vital part of myself to be inextricably linked with my femininity, so I think that in a very real way, I am my vagina.
  • Didelphys. Google it.

Of course, there are many more than I enjoyed. There is one in particular that I cannot currently find, and some of them are too long to write up in full. and I wouldn’t want you to miss out by not reading them in their intended format.

If you’re at all looking for an interesting coffee table book or simply want to understand how women feel about themselves, 101 Vagina is certainly going to provide plenty to talk and think about.

 

9 Comments


Odeco Aine Silicone G-Spot Vibrator

March 4th, 2014

I feel as though many of my recent reviews for G-spot vibes have been lackluster. The Gigi 2 is not for me in any way, shape or, well, mostly shape. The Revive EnerG just didn’t do anything better than my Mona or Mona 2. Maia Toys and Pipedream. In fact, I really took a break for a while because I was so underwhelmed with new toys — most of which just haven’t done anything different.
After several years of sleek, silicone toys, the Aine isn’t groundbreaking. The shaft uses contemporary lines that aren’t phallic at all. The base and control panel are very Lelo-esque. I do like the black and pink scheme, however. It’s attractive. I prefer it to white and an accent colors. Aine doesn’t necessarily do anything new.
and I really feel like the difference between most G-spot toys at this point comes down to shape and, perhaps, charging mechanism. Aine’s shape is svelte with a relatively thin and. wider head and a swell at the gentle curve to stimulate your G-spot.

Perhaps what is surprising is that toy runs on AAA batteries in an age when most toys are rechargeable. This leaves Aine with a much lower price point than most rechargeable vibrators — about $75. Sure, you can find some rechargeables at that price. The Lovelife line is a decent example of that, but you’re going to pay $100 or more for the big-name toys.

Now, I am notorious for hating toys that rely on just 2 AAAs. They cannot provide the strength or depth that I want, but maybe I have been wrong. On the lowest steady setting, Aine is stronger and deeper than Mona. As you turn it up — there are 4 steady settings — the vibrations get buzzier and Mona’s highest setting is higher overall, but I was impressed enough with the vibrations that I actually forgot this was battery powered when I sat down to write my review. I think manufacturers need to recognize that turning up settings almost always decreases depth. In fact, I think the Revel Body touched on this but didn’t leverage it correctly.

Simple cardboard and plastic packaging

Simple cardboard and plastic packaging

The other settings include a quick pulsation that is identical in duration to one on the Mona. It’s noticeably stronger, however. I am really not a big fan of pulsation. I prefer steady vibration by far and the weakest but deepest setting is my friend. All of this is controlled by a round button. The button has a +, – and a center power button that you have to hold for a few seconds each to power on and off. I like instant gratification. This just won’t do. The other two buttons cycle through strengths and settings, similar to the Layaspot.

With more girth than Mona, Aine is a good vibrator if you want something that feels more filling.  Aine measures 7 inches total. You can insert about 5 of those. The shaft has a diameter of 1.5″ at its thickest, but it’s oblong and not perfect round as you can see in the photos.  There are also some stylized ridges, but I don’t feel them during insertion so they’re neither here nor there. It’s got a thick silicone layer that’s silky but unyielding so it’s easy to apply pressure during insertion. Aine is much louder, however.

The packaging with this one is fun but easily recycled, and that’s all that I care about. There’s no storage bag which is a bummer because the silicone collects lint, but it’s nothing that can’t be rinsed off. This vibe is only splashproof, so not taking it into the tub. The battery pack slides off the back of the base, and there’s not much to protect from water. This isn’t a deal-breaker for me. It might be for you.

 

8 Comments


Leaf Fresh+

February 23rd, 2014

There’s no way not to directly compare the Leaf Fresh+ to the original Leaf Fresh. As I used it, and as I write this review, I am scrambling to make those direct comparisons. The issue is that the original didn’t really leave that much of an impression. It was powerful for its size. It was bright green. But it wasn’t shaped right for me. Ultimately, I passed it on. I don’t remember who got it but, if it was you, I hope you enjoy.

As to the Leaf Fresh+, I sort of wish I hadn’t swapped that original way so I could compare. In my experience, most renewed toy lines -cough-Gigi 2-cough- tend to be stronger but not “100% stronger” or whatever the manufacturer would have you believe. I am inclined to think the same with the Fresh+. It feels strong for its size, but I remember the original feeling that way, too.

So, too, do I feel about the shape. It’s cute to look at it but I’m inclined to use it in a way where the single push button is actually in my way. I wanted to rest my finger where the button is, along that curve, to press the toy into me. This is because I do not want to use the vertex. I’m into more broad stimulation, and the corner is just too pinpoint for me. However, you could love this vibrator if you like pinpoint vibrations.
One thing that does differ is how the button works. When I wrote the original review, these were one of the few toys that used the method that pressing and holding the button increased the frequency while letting go turned it off. I like this method, but it’s not super common, and it frequently results in frustration when you’re in the middle of a masturbation jam session and your freaking vibe shuts off.

So the new button uses a long press to power off, and the normal press switches between modes. There are 5 settings overall

  • low
  • medium
  • high
  • escalation
  • varied pulsation

I would stick to the constant settings personally. I don’t find the escalation or pulsation to be my style. I prefer a slightly slower pulsation, but I’m not sure that the strength is enough for pulsation. However, I noticed a distracting rattle during the pulsation that I can’t get over. There’s probably something a little loose in the casing, and I’d be interested if any of you have a similar experience in the comments.

Aside from the rattle, the toy is quiet-ish. Louder than Lelo’s Siri but an acceptable level for what power output. This isn’t the most rumbly vibrator I’ve used, and the higher steady vibe setting is definitely most buzzy. I imagine that I would become too quickly accustomed to the vibrations after a long session, just like I did the first Fresh.

This one also retains the soft silicone, which I like when I’m holding the vibe. It’s certainly a little easier on my fingers, but a broader toy to grasp would do a better job overall. It collects lint like a mofo, but you can keep it in the storage bag to reduce that. A water rinse is the only thing that will get hair and lint off completely.

Like the original, this one is rechargeable. It comes with a USB cable that doesn’t have an outlet adapter. The plugin seems to be the same as the original Leaf line, but I have not been able to successfully charge my Leaf Life with it. Bummer because I no longer have that charger around.

This time around, I’m not nearly impressed with the whole “eco-friendly” schtick. I’m not sure if it’s all that true to be honest.

While I did get off with the Fresh+, it’s not my favorite toy. Other shapes work better for me and I think BMS needs to go back to the drawing board when it comes to the rattle.

5 Comments


Pink Lips and Other Stories for Girls Only

February 12th, 2014

I’ve reviewed quite a few erotica anthologies in the past, but I’ve taken a break because I don’t always like them. The nice thing about anthologies is the idea that there are plenty of themes and styles to choose from. However, this isn’t really the case for Pink Lips and Other Stories for Girls Only, which might be why this isn’t the book for me.

My issue is that every story in this anthology is by the same author so they all have similar themes and word usages — and I just don’t like them.

Each story tends to go like this. A young/college-aged woman who is interested in other women and has little to no experience with them. She tends to have a sport appearance with a “tight” ass and breasts that are small-but-proportionate for her size.  Her partners tend to take control and every story seems to use the term “hot bitch.” I tried to give this book a fair shake, but it’s just too hard when I don’t like the way the author writes.

But there’s something else going on there. I can’t quite put my finger on it. Maybe it’s that it just seems not.. genuine. It’s like watching “lesbian” porn full of inch-long French manicures and scissoring. It’s not really about women who like women; it’s like a man who has never witness real, enjoyable sex between two women is writing erotica about lesbian encounters.

And I can’t say this is true, but this is the sense that I get. The author has been quoted as saying that these stories mix fantasy with some real experiences, but this just isn’t the gist I get. And if it is, perhaps the author should have used more fantasy elements because the anthology comes off a bit too Mary Sue.

Another issue I ran into was simply poor writing. Things like “she  was real wet.” It demonstrates a weak grasp on language, on poetry. If I am paying for something, this should not be a case. An editor somewhere should have caught this and sent it back for revision.

All of these things are so very.. distracting. This makes “Pink Lips” the type of read that I couldn’t finish let alone recommend or pick up again.

I feel bad writing this, but people on Twitter have assured me that I shouldn’t. After all, you open yourself up to criticism. Perhaps other people will like this book more, but it just isn’t my thing.

4 Comments


Bettie Page Picture Perfect Spanking Paddle

February 4th, 2014

This review has been too long in the making and this item has definitely been too long in the drawer since I received it. I cannot wait until I have an awesome opportunity to use this paddle for a play session.

This is one of those items that I showed to everyone as soon as I received it, and we all felt the same way: it’s an awesome impact instrument.

Now, I generally don’t go for items that are branded or designed like this. Sex toys and accessories with celebrities and porn stars on them tend to be kinda cheesy and frequently cheaply made in my opinion. This paddle is not.

The entire thing comes in a sleek, long box that has a paperboard cover. Once you slip this off, the top of the box pulls off to reveal the paddle. If you flip over the to of the box, you’ll see black and white photos of Bettie Page printed inside it.

The paddle has a similar photo of the model printed on the wide end. It fades to black on the handle, which is blank save for a signature. I am not sure if this is Bettie’s actually signature, but the overall look is sleek and sophisticated.

Bettie Page Keychain

Bettie Page Keychain

While the paddle is held into place with elastic straps, there are two other items in the box. These are a keychain and a collector’s card. I’ve already added the keychain to my keys. The decorative part is round and depicts another monochromatic picture of Bettie. It uses a lobster claw hook, which I like. The card will remain in my box, which I will also use to store the paddle. I am not usually the type of person who keeps boxes — I hate Lelo boxes at this point — but I will make an exception because the design here was done so well.

The decorative side of the paddle is a textured faux leather while the “usable” side is a quilted sort of faux leather. This gives the paddle a sort of plush feel when you’re just touching it. It’s also nice to look at.

During use, the neck has give but isn’t floppy, and this paddle comes with a wrist strap that makes it easy to use. I’ve personally found that the paddle can be used for a light swat or with more force for a sting that will make your skin glow rosy red – if you want it to. This sort of versatility means the paddle will likely work for a variety of users. Even if you’re getting it for novelty’s sake, you’ll find it is good for use.

The material can be cleaned with a damp cloth, but don’t consider it sterilizable.

If my experience with the Bettie Page Picture Perfect Spanking Paddle is any indication, then LoveHoney has done a good job with this line, and I’d be happy to recommend any of the items in it to BDSM and sex toy lovers.

9 Comments


LoveLife Cuddle

January 26th, 2014

I’ve read a lot of pretty positive reviews for the items in this line. Indeed, OhMiBod’s official move from musically-enhanced sex toys to plain Jain toys seems to have been pretty successful. There’s less novelty here and more solid function. I give this a thumbs up.

Also, I kinda like the shape of the Cuddle. There’s just the faintest hint of a ridge on the head to provide G-spot stimulation more so than any other toy in this line. This includes the Dream. A more noticeable angle of the shaft also makes finding your G-spot easier. The ridge is made of plush silicone. In fact, the silicone over the shaft is quite plush. It’s softer than any Lelo vibe, for example. You can get pressure you need but it’s not going to make your pubic bone feel like it’s stabbing you from the inside out. Yay for that.

The shaft offers about 4,5 inches to insert with another two inches for grasping. The size of the Cuddle is good all around. However, you might opt for something thicker if you’re a size queen as this one tops out with a 1.25-inch diameter.

But here’s something I don’t like: the name. The cuddle? I want someone to name their toy “Motherfucking vibrator.” Let’s just be out with this cutesy BS, okay? It reminds me of that book about anal where the author was afraid to say anus.

There's just so much packaging!

There’s just so much packaging!

I really want to add another positive here, but let’s go on a tangent, instead. This Cuddle comes with all sorts of packaging. There’s this outter sleeve with a cutout heart and you see this cute pattern through it. When you remove the sleeve, there box has a top and bottom that you must separate. Not rocket science, but a lot of packaging. Once you do this, the Cuddle sits on a tray specially made for its. It’s nice packaging, okay. I like pink! I love pink and white! I just wish it weren’t wasted on packaging, which I am ultimately going to throw away. Had I not tried over 9000 Lelo toys, I would be more impressed.

So, Cuddle comes with its own little sleeping bag. I think I’ll call storage pouches this all the time. Mucho good-o. I’d much rather store toys in pouches. In fact, I kind of have to after rearranging my nightstand. I broke up one drawer of toys I really like in two: dildos and vibes. But I digress.

This vibrator has a little heart-shaped control pad surrounded by an LED. The heart shape works well for the three buttons. Plus, minus and tilde (~). I do not get to use that word frequently enough. I like standard three-button controls, but this isn’t it. To turn the toy on or off, you have to hold the ~ for several seconds. I don’t understand why companies don’t understand that we need to be able to turn off toys instantly. This isn’t negotiable, people!

The + and – obviously allow you to change the strength of the vibrations. To be honest, this might be the place where the Cuddle best excels. Even on the lowest setting, the steady vibrations are strong and pretty rumbly. The tilde also switches between settings. Aside from steady vibes, you get:

  • Pulsation
  • Fast pulsation
  • Escalation/pulsation combo
  • Slow then fast pulsation
  • Fast then slow pulsation
  • Fast pulsation, escalation, pulsation again

The strength of the motor makes the pulsation much more interesting than weaker vibes, and I actually rather like the last setting even if it’s difficult to describe. This is pretty high praise coming from someone who doesn’t use those extra settings at all.

The strength does make this toy a little louder than I’d like, however. It’s certainly louder than any of my Lelo rechargeables. I have yet to drain the battery, but it’s running now on full force so we’ll see if it dies before I finish this review (I got 1+ hours before I shut it off cause it was bugging me, too. There was no decrease in power at all). In case you were wondering, my cat does not like this.

The LED serves as a charging indicator, blinking as Cuddle charges. The port is proprietary and surrounding by a soft silicone that’s intended to help waterproof, so you have to wiggle the charger into place. I dislike that this only comes with a USB cable and no outlet adapter. I have some, but I don’t have any place to permanently plug cables to let things charge. According to the manual, it can take 2.5 hours to fully charge, and you’ll get about 2 hours of use.

However, for a USB-powered vibe, Cuddle is one of the more powerful I’ve tried. If this were my first G-spot or USB vibe, I’d probably love it. However, I’m eager to recommend it as a rechargeable G-spot vibe that’s affordable. Pinkcherry has it for just $68 right now. If you wait for one of the store’s awesome sales, it’ll be even more affordable. This makes Lovelife a brand that many first-timers might try, and I can’t argue with that.

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SheVibe Affiliate Program

January 11th, 2014

It’s been a while since I’ve reviewed an affiliate program. I’ve been meaning to talk about this one for a while. It is the most recent addition to my affiliate programs.

You can sign up here. Before this, SheVibe had a program that was sort of manually run. You could get commissions, but there was no nice dashboard. I believe you have to be approved to the new setup, but that took a short while for me. The folks at SheVibe were excited for their new program, methinks.

Once you’re approved and logged in, you’ll see some information. Right now, I see an alert about having to sending my W-9. This is standard but I haven’t because I haven’t made any sales. There’s an address, but it would be nice to submit it electronically, which you can do with places like ShareASale. It also doesn’t look like your account will show you whether you submitted a W9 previously, which is always convenient.

The dashboard lists “Account Manage” information, but SheVibe hasn’t entered this information in the most useful way. They simply list the customer support email address and company name as the contact. A dedicated email address an actual name would be far more useful, especially to affiliate newbs.

I like seeing the statistics right away, and this is pretty standard. One thing that seems amiss is there is no “Banners” or “Get links” option in the navigation. I expected to find this under “Resources” in the nav, but this wasn’t the case. That has some other stuff.. that I’ll touch on later.

Banners and Links

To access banners and links, you actually have to click the offers link that only appears on the index. This is confusing to me. It would be even more so to someone who’s new at all this. On that page, you see your commissions amount. 15% is respectable; although, some retailers certainly offer higher payouts. You’ll also see your affiliate link here. I’d really like to see my affiliate link on the index. Most affiliate programs allow this for ease.

Your link is SheVibe.com/ followed by a number. Mine is “#oid=1008_1” for example. You can append this number to any page on the SheVibe store — not community — and your links will work. Nowhere on the page is this explained. Again, not user friendly. All this information really should be directly on the main page. Fortunately, the setup of the manually links was similar and you can simply search and replace those links as Epiphora explains here.

Under “Other Promotion Materials,” there’s a menu with banners. These are all the standard banners you’re used to. They’re split up individually and you can see the banner size, but they all display on one page and you can’t simply view them in groups by size. I’d like to see this feature.

There are no banners for specific promotions or products. If you want to link to these, you can grab the banners from SheVibe’s index or forum, but you’ll have to manually create those links. I find that I link to stores much more frequently when they update their creatives (links and banners) with promotions and products. Yes, you can link to any page on SheVibe. Yes, it only requires some copying and pasting. No, the affiliate program doesn’t encourage you to do so.

You can create campaigns by adjusting your URL by adding an underscore and then a short tag after it. For example, if I wanted to indicate that I am linking from Tumblr, I might use the link http://shevibe.com#oid=1008_1_Tumblr. This data will show up on this page with clicks showing immediately.

But let’s assume you get your links set up the way you like. In the resources section, there’s a tool to track your links. There’s also the link guard feature..

Affiliate Link Guard

The link guard is an interesting feature. Essentially, you can send your visitors to a link on your site that redirects to SheVibe’s main page. You cannot direct them to any other page, but this could be useful if you frequently link to the home page, which I do in giveaway posts and the like. There are three options to creating this page:

  • HTML
  • PHP
  • Javascript

If you’re using WordPress, HTML will suffice. Copy your affiliate link into the form (the default option is your number but not the correct link). Choose “HTML ” and click “Submit.”

Open “file.hmtml” with your code/text editor. Notepad works fine. Copy the code and paste it into a new page. I’m simply calling mine “Shevibe” with post slug “shevibe.” After publishing this page, OfSexandLove.com/Shevibe redirects to my affiliate code. The HTML method isn’t instantaneous, so you’ll see my page load briefly before the redirect. However, this can be beneficial for SEO purposes. You could also create any HTML pages or edit any theme files to paste in the HTML, too.

You may be able to accomplish something similar with PHP, but WordPress is currently stripping the code out of my page despite the fact that I have Exec-PHP installed.

For most users, however, this isn’t going to be an important option.

Payment and Reports

SheVibe’s program has a low payout threshold of $25. Awesome! There’s no information about a cool off period; however. I’m not sure when payments occur. Or even how. There’s no options for payments and I didn’t enter a PayPal email, so I assume they cut a physical check.

This is ALL the information I get because I use custom links

This is ALL the information I get because I use custom links

The reports link breaks down traffic view link, banner program and time period. Stats update every week, so there’s definitely some lag with data. All my clicks appear but since I tend to use promotion banners and custom links, there’s no information for tracking my campaign success. As a whole, this is less useful than it could be.

And I guess that really sums up how I feel about this affiliate software. It works but it’s bare bones. It’s not user friendly to me, and it’s definitely not going to be for other users. A couple explanations within the dashboard would certainly go a long way, and I’ve love to see SheVibe be more encouraging with creatives.

If you want to check out the affiliate program for yourself, I encourage you to sign up.

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2013 in Review

January 5th, 2014

This might be the third year in a row that I’ve posted a best of list. I figured I wouldn’t just do the wonderful toys but provide you with some of the strange and disappointing, too.  I’ll have to fudge the lines of “this year” a bit. I must have written last year’s a little early because there were two reviews in December 2012 that didn’t make it on the list. I waited until January for this post because I really wanted to get one last review in, so let’s start there.

D.1 stone dildo

D.1 stone dildo

I liked the design but expected the Ceramix Pleasure Pottery Dildo No. 4 to be a gimmick with its hollow inside for warm. But warming this dildo up far surpassed my expectations. It’s one of the few dildos that I’ve ever used twice, and I think that says a lot.

I’ve been pimping out the Jimmyjane Form 6 G3 all this year even though it was one of those reviews from late last year. The latest version if powerful, versatile and feels luxurious. It’s the first Jimmyjane vibe that I actually like. Maybe it won’t be the last. My review was on the EF, though, so I’ll probably get around to writing something up on OSAL for you to read.

The Delight by Fun Factory was actually my second. I swapped for one of the originals — the ones that came with a charging case — but never got around to using it. When I moved last year, I misplaced the cable. I wound up trying out the Delight for shape to see if I liked it, and I did like it so much that I purchased the new Click n Charge style. Not only do I love the magenta and black, but it fits my anatomy extremely well.

The Decor Stashe Pillow in Velvish Aubergine won’t get me off but it will hide everything that does and in style.

After using the D.1 stone dildo, I have to say that this blows every metal dildo I’ve ever used out of the water. I am so grateful to have the opportunity to use it and see myself using it frequently in the future.

Another new type of toy was the Stronic Eins Pulsator, which has made its way around many of these lists. It feels good. I just need to wash off all that lint, charge it and use it again (and again and again). This was also my first video review, you guys!

Finally, I cannot tell you how much I love my SHE AfterShave Oil. I could show you the nearly-empty bottle, though. I definitely need to purchase another one.

So, there’s the good.

How about the weird? Strange? Disappointing? Ridiculous?

  • Cat toy or vibrator?

    Cat toy or vibrator?

    The Sonic Revel Body. Cool tech, totally not going to get me off. And those attachments? WTF!

  • This costume from ILoveSexy just didn’t cut it. I mean, I kinda hate the cut.
  • The Revive Energy isn’t terrible but they needed to test the storage pouch, first. Now, mine looks like a sick leopard.
  • Ovo looked like a promising brand, but the kegel balls fucking hurt. The t1 didn’t hurt. It just sucked.
  • I got 2 Gigi 2s. I am giving both away. Meh.
  • I’m not sure that this UFO vibrator works for me.. or anyone.
  • The U Touch Down and U Touch Up just need.. to be better.
  • These “keyless cuffs” are so not practical.
  • This vibrator looks like a cat toy. Pretty sure the cat toy would get me off better.
  • Icicles 39 Handle Broken From Shaft

    Bummer..

    Why the fuck are companies still making these pieces of shit?

  • I’d rather fuck the actual Flash, and he’s my least favorite of the Justice League.
  • But, hey, at least it’s better than vibrating vaginal balls.
  • Minna Ola is the most overrated, over-hyped, overpriced piece of junk I’ve used.. until the Revel Sonic.
  • Remember when that glass dildo broke before I even had a chance to use it?

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