Tracey Cox dare! Travel Vibrator

July 10th, 2013

You know anything billed as a travel vibrator is almost designed to fail. And I hate vibes that use AAAs, but the weird shape of this one lured me in and I took the plunge. The odd shape makes it hard to photograph and I just had to know what it was like in my hand. It’s good news, then, that I don’t hate it. It’s kind of an awkward sex toy, but Dare! isn’t the worst vibrator I’ve ever tried. I’d recommend it if you have a limited budget and want something simple that’s travel friendly and discreet, but I might recommend other toys first.

So, let’s talk about that shape. The Dare! is this flattish, rounded toy. Let me explain. It’s like a makeup compact that’s stretched to become more oblong than perfectly round. It’s much larger and thicker, of course. In fact, it doesn’t actually fit in the palm of the hand, which you can see in the product photos. The white “base” of the compact shape is thicker, so it resembles a skinny egg if you’re looking at it from the side. I don’t even pretend that I am a decent enough photographer to snap a shot. You just need to take my word for it.

The result of this unique shape is that you can use the Dare! travel vibrator in several ways. Press the flatter part against your body or wedge either the tip of base between your labia. This actually provides a bit of hands-free stimulation because you can hold the vibe in place between your thighs. It’s a bit bulky, but I was even able to slip it below my panties. The vertical position is probably the best because the vibrations are focused in the tip of the pink end. The design is all hard and sleek plastic, so there’s not any difference in how it’s going to feel. The slickness means little need for lube, and the rounded but firm tip on this toy worked well for pressure without stabbing myself.

However, I don’t see this as a couples vibe. How the hell are you going to use it during sex if you’re doing cowgirl or missionary? Doggie style would work in the most awkward of ways. Sorry, folks. It might work for body massage, though.

And the vibrations are surprisingly deep considering that this thing uses 2 AAA batteries, which you insert by twisting the white and pink portions of the toy away from one another. They’re still not super strong, but I don’t think I’ve felt vibes this deep from any toy that uses AAAs as a power source, and that’s saying something! My vulva doesn’t get all tingly and numb because the vibrations are high pitched. The battery pack design makes this toy splashproof, so it’s safe to wash with soap and water and probably take into the shower, but the sensation from the water might drown out the vibes.

The settings include a low, medium and high steady vibration. There’s also three pulsation settings but as the Dare! vibe is only comparatively powerful, it’s not powerful enough to make those work for me.

One thin that definitely doesn’t work for me is the button placement. It’s on the side, protruding from the decorative silver band. This means you need to stick your finger tip or nail into the gap to press it. This sucks. My nails bend. Yours might break. The button is small enough that some fingers will be too big to reach i even without nails, and it’s hard to push. You really need to give it some oomph. To turn off the toy, you have to press and hold the button, which is even worse. There’s plenty of surface area where the button could be placed, so I don’t understand this.

While I was surprised by the vibes on this toy and enjoyed the shape more than I anticipated, the frustrating controls are going to prevent me from using it on a frequent basis or, perhaps, ever again.

2 Comments


U Touch Down

June 17th, 2013

The second piece in the U Touch line is a gently-curving internal vibrator called the Touch Down. Topco graciously sent me this in addition to the Touch Up, which I previously reviewed. That vibrator was constructed well and reminded me of Siri, but I really do like Lelo’s offerings better. The Touch Up doesn’t look all that different from Lelo’s Liv or the similar vibe by Sportsheets. There is a version with a more pronounced head, but I don’t need that for G-spot stimulation.

Aside from the shape, there’s really nothing different between the Touch Up and Touch Down. They have the same packaging, for example. I didn’t post the photos from the Touch Up because I wanted to do the comparison shots with Siri, but you can see them here. There’s an outer cardboard sleeve, and inside of this is a thicker box that opened with flaps.

IMAG0834-1Magnets inside the flaps open to reveal the vibrator on the right and the adapter and instructions on the left. These items are in a thin box inside a narrow divider. The use of space seems a little weird because much of it is empty. Overall the presentation is nice, but it’s not really functional. I mean, the box is big and clunky and there’s no storage pouch. I really prefer a pouch to any other method of storage, and the lack there-of seems like an incredibly oversight here. Get it together, guys.

I do like the design though. It’s gentle and middle-of-the-line in terms of size. It’s easy to hold and reaches my g-spot; although, you might need something more drastic if yours is tucked further behind your pubic bone. There’s about 5 inches to insert with a few inches of hard plastic as the base where the controls sit. The base tapers to this narrow, almost-flat shape that I actually find easy to hold and maneuver.

With a girth of 1.3″, this toy is easy to insert with a little bit of lube and no warmup. It’s not the toy for a size queen, however. The silky silicone does not have a discernible seam to the touch. I like how it feels in my hand, but it collects lint. Duh. I shouldn’t even have to say this in reviews anymore. Let’s just call it “that lint sucking material.”

Topco uses slightly thicker layers of silicone where the toy bulges out at the G-spot area, so it’s a bit softer. However, the whole thing is softer in general than you might imaging from the photos. I’m not talking squishy and bendable, but a little give if you really squeeze it. If you find other toys a little too poky, this might be a better design for you. Overall, I prefer the design of the Touch Down to the Touch Up.

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Like I said, the toy itself is pink and white. It looks slick, I must admit.Sure, there’s no cool colors, but you’re sticking it inside you. Who cares? The LED control panel looks cool, but it suffers from the exact same issues that I had with the Touch Up. It’s just not intuitive. There’s some good ideas, but the implementation is lacking.

You’d think that the four-button setup is pretty easy, and there is a + button as well as a – button. The other two cycle through other settings, too. However, the + button doesn’t turn on vibrations. Instead, you have to hold the up and down arrows simultaneously for a few seconds to turn it on and off. This is completely lacking in intuitiveness in my opinion. I should be able to turn it on by simply pressing the + button and turn it off by pressing the -.

What makes it worse is that all the toys in the U Touch line come with the same, generic instruction manual that doesn’t actually talk about the toy itself. It has general instructions for inserting batteries, when there are none. Nowhere does it say that you have to press both buttons to turn on the toy. There is a note about how the toy locks, and I do have to say that I like this feature. It locks while it’s on after five seconds of disuse. Because I frequently accidentally turn off vibes, I like this feature. Pressing the + and – buttons simultaneously unlocks it. Of course, I find that I have to stop playing and raise the toy to my face to see those buttons. Sadly, there’s no indication that you’ve turned it from locked to unlocked, which is pretty inconvenient.

IMAG0835-1I do still prefer this one, and it’s under $100. I wish I had Liv or a similar G-spot vibe to compare power. I don’t need much on my G-spot, so I don’t think that I can accurately be the litmus test for consumers at large. That.. and a litmus test doesn’t use female ejaculate. Har har.

However, I did compare it to all the other G-spot vibes I had handy and charged and.. the Touch Down was weaker than all of them on their lower settings than its highest.

  • The Form 6 G3 might be slightly weaker at its lower settings but is deeper
  • The highest setting of Touch Down is comparable to the third or fourth setting on the Mona. My Mona 2 is dead.
  • Minna Ola, which is really too weak for me, is stronger.
  • The Key Ceres and Nomi Tang Getaway.

As you can see, I couldn’t find a single toy that was weaker, and it was hard enough to find one that was on par with the U Touch Down’s power output. Really, none of the vibes on this list, save for the Form 6 G3, are anything more than middle-of-the-line. So, there’s that.

This isn’t a loud toy by any means, but it does seem to run at a put that’s just a little bit louder than you’d expect. Will your parents bust down the door because “What are you cutting with a chainsaw?” No. Then again, I doubt they’ll rescue you from your throes of passion due to the Touch Down.

I wanted to love this toy, and while I don’t hate it, it’s just not wooing me.

2 Comments


U Touch Up

June 6th, 2013

I was excited when I first found out about the U Touch line by Topco. I haven’t used as many of the company’s products as I have other lines, but I generally thought of Topco as more generic. However, the U Touch line brings with it sophisticated designs and unique controls are a step in the right direction for the company in my opinion. In fact, this is part of the “UltraZone” line, which includes a few toys I wouldn’t mind trying.

Even the packaging is a step up. U Touch toys come in boxes that secure with magnets. Pull open a ribbon, and you’ll see the toy nestled there. The chargers, with multiple power adapters, and instruction book are nestled in a smaller box in a separate compartment. This whole box is in an outer cardboard sleeve. All in all, it’s nice, but I prefer something a little less bulky. Topco isn’t offering storage pouches with this line, which is something that I’d prefer.

Topco sent me both the U Touch Down and the U Touch Up, which struck me as incredibly similar to the Lelo Siri, which is one of the toys on my Divine Toy box, meaning I actually use it since first trying it. I couldn’t help but take some comparison pictures, in fact.

So, I took a few pictures of the two side by side. There’s some definite similarities in the design; however, the U Touch Up is larger than Siri. The bottoms of the toys also have different shapes. While most clit toys tend to curve against the body, the U Touch Up seems to bulge out in a round way.

The hard plastic of the plastic also flattens out much more as you can see in the photo above. I actually found this shape to be a little less ideal for me personally. I like getting pressure, but found that the rounded underside wasn’t working. Perhaps if it had been concave or more angled. I wound up using the very tip of the U Touch Up, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s just not as intuitive as I’d like.

U Touch Up and Siri

U Touch Up and Siri

Both have silicone where the toy will touch your body. I got the pink, which is very light. A similarly-feminine violet is familiar. For a while, the product page described is as magenta, which it is not. The silicone on this is a little more plush and softer than the Siri. It’s silky smooth to the touch, and while the vibe isn’t exactly seamless, it’s put together well. You might want to take extra care about the seam when washing it, but the toy is waterproof.

I probably wouldn’t be concerned if the vibrations were a little stronger. These toys have an internal motor, which you charge via magnetic adapter. It reminds me of the magnetic charger that comes with Fun Factory’s newer toys. The magnet part is round and flashes while charging. Instead of plugging directly into the wall, the end is a regular USB plug, so you could charge this with the included adapter block or with your computer, which is convenient. I won’t lie; I stole the adapter block to use with my iPod, so that it doesn’t have to share the same adapter as my phone.

The result is fairly buzzy and pretty weak vibrations — from the vibe, not my iPod. To add to my disappointment, the vibe always returns to the setting you last used it on. Unfortunately, I wind up thinking I can turn it up, but it’s already maxed out. It’s no secret that I like strong, deep vibrations.

The controls leave a little to be desired as well. Topco is trying to do something new, which I admire, but I don’t think they’re quire there. The control panel uses touch sensitive buttons that have backlighting but lack haptic feedback. There’s a little indentation where the buttons are, so I can find them, but I never quite know if I’m actually pressing a button.

You’d think that the four-button setup is pretty easy, and there is a + button as well as a – button. The other two cycle through other settings, too. However, the + button doesn’t turn on vibrations. Instead, you have to hold the up and down arrows simultaneously for a few seconds to turn it on and off. This is completely lacking in intuitiveness in my opinion. I should be able to turn it on by simply pressing the + button and turn it off by pressing the -.

What makes it worse is that all the toys in the U Touch line come with the same, generic instruction manual that doesn’t actually talk about the toy itself. It has general instructions for inserting batteries, when there are none. Nowhere does it say that you have to press both buttons to turn on the toy. There is a note about how the toy locks, and I do have to say that I like this feature. It locks while it’s on after five seconds of disuse. Because I frequently accidentally turn off vibes, I like this feature. Pressing the + and – buttons simultaneously unlocks it. Of course, I find that I have to stop playing and raise the toy to my face to see those buttons. Sadly, there’s no indication that you’ve turned it from locked to unlocked, which is pretty inconvenient. I’d like to see the control panel blink a couple times or something when I’m trying to press a button to indicate locked status. A similar blink when it turns off would be useful.

Remember when I talked about feedback? Well, the lack of it makes it really hard to tell how many settings there are. Plus, I seem to have to press the buttons repeatedly to get them to work. Siri’s buttons just seem to make much more sense. I counted about 13 speeds. Apparently, there are 16. This is overkill, and fewer speeds would likely make it easier to differentiate between them.

The top speed is a little loud and higher-pitched than Siri. The lower output makes me feel a little disappointed. Aside from steady vibes, there’s a number of pulsation and escalation settings, but the weak vibrations do seem to hinder them from being fully effective. Ultimately, it took a lot of time and effort on my part to get off with this toy because the shape and vibrations just don’t cut it.

One awesome feature and a generally high-quality build doesn’t save this toy. I imagine that many people want more feedback when pressing buttons, and it seems like Topco tried too many new ideas at once. The touch control panel definitely needs some work, but I would like to see improvements because I want to love it. I just can’t… yet.

3 Comments


Le Reve Rechargeable

May 6th, 2013

I have such a love-hate relationship with rechargeable vibes. I mean, you don’t have to buy batteries, which is awesome. Some of them are super strong – -also awesome. Being able to reach for a vibe and have it ready to go it great, but if you don’t use them frequently enough, they might die. Plus, when a rechargeable vibe does, you have to give it time to charge. you can’t just pop in new batteries.

Most of those things are fairly insignificant, and I’d be willing to overlook them if the vibrator gets me off and feels fantastic, but I just never know what to expect. This was the case with the Le Reve Rechargeable. It’s cute, but would it be strong? The answer to that question is ‘No.” Sad.

Let’s get this out of the way: this toy has the very sort of vibrations that I do not like. No, it’s not even an issue of liking it. They just don’t work for me. I need something more than weak and buzzy, but that’s all that this one offers. It’s a shame because I feel as though Pipedream is marketing this line as higher quality than other products. Fortunately, you can find it on Amazon for less than $30. So if you happened upon this vibe there, you wouldn’t feel quite so disappointed if it didn’t work for you.

The one thing that I noticed about this almost immediately was how similar it looks to this little mouse-shaped laser cat toy I have. The vibrator is the bigger toy — heh heh — but it’s got a similar shape.

IMAG0680-1

Just add a little mouse face and, bam!, same thing.. sorta. This shouldn’t bother me, but it kinda does. The shape tapers, so it’s all about pinpoint stimulation. If that’s not for you, and it’s not my cup of tea, then this toy isn’t for you.

It does curve to fit in the palm of you hand or against your mons, but the curve doesn’t quite fit with my pubic bone. This might not be your issue, however. Nevertheless, the buttons aren’t positioned so that you can simply hold the Le Reve Rechargeable in your palm. They’re at the rounded end, which means you couldn’t just turn it around if you wanted a broad contact area.

Although the toy is small, the vibrations really are focused at the end, however. It’s weird how quickly they taper out. This may be due to the hard, plastic body of the toy. It’s glossy and slick. You won’t need much, if any, lube with the Le Reve Rechargeable. However, if you like drag ,you might be better off with a silicone clit stim like Siri. There is a ridge that I can feel going around the toy; although, it’s not seriously protruding.

The buttons consist of two, a plus and minus. They’re silicone and easy to find, even in the dark. I appreciate this. A similar soft silicone covers the charging port, which is on the port near the butt of the toy. You can see it just a bit in my photo above. This makes the toy waterproof, but I wouldn’t submerge it. According to the product page, you only need to charge for an hour, which is a plus. I’ve charged it once, but I’ve used it far less than that, so I can’t tell you — yet — how long the charge will last.

Operation is super simple, and while some places this list as “ten function,” I think there’s actually more vibration levels than that. However, they’re all quite buzzy and quite close together. I can find more difference between the sound output than the vibration output. Le Reve Rechargeable isn’t the loudest toy I’ve ever owned, and you should be good if you close a door and turn on a fan, but I find it to be a little loud for its strength.

My advice? Skip this one if you need power.

3 Comments


Silicone Personal Pleasurizer

April 28th, 2013

At taking one look at the Silicone Personal Pleasurizer, you might expect me to hate it. In fact, I expected the very same. That’s why I was pleasantly surprised when I popped in some batteries and I didn’t. So I will tell you why I didn’t hate it, and why it might work for you.. if you aren’t me.

This little vibrator is a lot like a bunch of pieces of crap given names like “butterfly kiss.” This one does not have a butterfly on it. Yay for that?! I’ve tried a number of these, and I didn’t really like any of them. I certainly didn’t keep them in my collection – gah! This is mainly because they were all made out of crap materials, so I have to give Cal Exotics pops for moving to silicone with this one. No, I didn’t flame test it before passing it off to a good friend who definitely needed it more than I did, but even some silicone is better than the TPR or jelly crap of yesterday.

One of the other things that I disliked about similar toys is how flexible the neck was. Tiny girth + too much flexibility = no good G-spot stimulation. Fortunately, CEN has also disappointed less in this department by making the silicone a little more dense. It’s still flexible, but you’ll get more G-spot stimulation with fewer problems. This is great for anyone with a more sensitive G-spot, but it’s not going to be your cure-all if you need a lot of pressure.

Another improvement is the longer neck; at least, it seems longer to me than I remember this style of vibe being in the past. The shaft looks something a little like a thumb, and while the whole thing is 2.75″ long, you can insert around half of that. The product page says its got a girth of 1.5 inches, but this isn’t true. It might be at the point where the clitoral stimulator is, but that’s not going inside you. No, this one is much more like an actual thumb width — somewhere between .4 and .75 inches, depending upon the location you measure it on the shaft. Obviously, the tip is bulbous for G-spot stim, so it’s thicker there.

And you know what? There’s one more thing that I don’t hate about his toy. This one’s going to be a shocker, too. I like the vibrations. I mean, they’re not earth shattering, but they’re impressive for using just two AAAs. The package says this has two motors, and it actually makes a difference. The vibrations are both stronger and deeper than I ever may have experienced from that power source.

There are only three levels of steady vibes and no other settings, but I think the vibes would be enough for some people. The downside to this is that the toy gets quite loud on the highest settings. It’s not whisper quiet. Sorry guys. Companies should really stop using that descriptor, period.

A single push button operates the toy, which is easy enough to use. An o-ring makes it waterproof, so you can enjoy it in the shower, and that would mean the sound output matters a little less.

Still, it’s not a perfect toy. The clitoral nub is directly at the base of the shaft, which means that if you clit isn’t pretty close to your vaginal opening, you’re SOL. That’s really the biggest downfall to these type of toys, shaft flexibility aside. And the nubs on this clit stim? Are kind of weird. I’m not really into them. I’d be just as good with smooth silicone.

So this isn’t the perfect toy for me, but it’s a definite improvement and better than I expected it to be. You might like it, and with an MSRP of $28, it’s not badly priced, either.

5 Comments


Lovehoney Flash USB Rechargeable Mini Vibrator

April 17th, 2013

Flash

Flash
$39.99 from Lovehoney

As a techie, I love that so many sex toys now charge via USB. Hell, I even stole the adapter for one to charge my iPod. As someone who likes a lot of power, however, I’ve found most of the available options to be pretty disappointing. I wish I could say differently about the Flash (aah ahh) but.. I can’t.

I can’t really write this review without comparison the Flash to Lelo’s Mia, which may be the first USB vibe I ever tried. I liked it quite a bit — and still do — and it’s kind of set the standard in terms of strength and quality. No, the Mia isn’t what you’d ever call a “powerhouse,” but it is designed well and is enough to get me off (when the damned thing isn’t dying on me! arg.).

So let’s start with design. This really isn’t that much different from a flash drive — hence the name — except there’s a soft, silicone tip. It’s has a gentle curve and tapers a bit. I don’t feel either way about this shape. It’s easy enough to use and it would work for many people. It provides pinpoint stimulation, which would better for me if the vibrations were stronger. However, I do generally prefer diffused vibes.

The shaft is roughly four-sided with rounded corners. There’s a single, soft button about halfhalf up. It’s easy to find and there’s tactile feedback when you push it. It’s also lit from beneath, so that helps if you can see it during use. To use, you press the button once to turn on and keep pressing to go through all the settings. You have to press and hold to turn off the vibrator. In my opinion, you have to press and hold a little too long. But that’s just me nitpicking.

The vibes are really high shallow, and this becomes even more apparent as you go through the three steady settings. It’s ridiculous and almost nonexistent on the “highest” setting because the frequency increases so much. I hate it. Seriously. I like Goffrey Lannister better. Then, there are four escalating and pulsating patterns that you probably won’t care much about because the Flash just doesn’t have the power to make them interesting. I’m sorry, but it’s true.

Another thing that really bothers me about the Flash is the quality. The toy pulls apart into two pieces, one plastic and one silicone. The area where they join just seems weak. I feel like if I apply pressure in the wrong area, the whole thing would just break. This makes me wary when I wash it. It’s supposed to be 100% waterproof, but I wouldn’t submerge this.

It’s between this area where the standard USB interface lies, and you just plug this into your computer or AC adapter as anyone with an Android device has one of those handy. This is convenient.. and it makes me really want to love the Flash and similar toys but, my God, they all fucking suck.

So this toy? Didn’t get me off. My clit quickly became “immune” to the vibrations that were too weak and buzzy. I opted for the Mia, which is much, much stronger and a little deeper in comparison, but it died. Sometimes I just want to insert batteries, you know?

Meet the new Flash USB Rechargeable Mini Vibrator from Lovehoney!

7 Comments


Sensor Vibrating Vagina Balls

April 3rd, 2013

I’m not going to pull your leg. I think this is a weird toy idea to begin with, but if it had any chance of succeeding, it probably isn’t with the design that Maia Toys decided to go with — sorry guys.

So, this is a vibrator molded into something like kegel balls. The balls are coated with a velvety silicone that thins out to create a connector in the center. While it is The whole The balls are designed so that they’re flatter on one side than the other, which makes them oblong and not quite balls in reality.

The design is also a noticeably than most kegel balls. In the photo below, I’ve paired them next to my K-balls, which are roughly the same size s most “full-sized” vag balls. Ignore how much my flash washed out the colors. They measure 5″ long from end to end. At the widest, each ball has a diameter of about 1.5 inches. It’s difficult to fully measure the length of each ball because they’re oblong, but the connector in the middle is no longer than one inch.


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If you’ve already had trouble with the Luna Beads or Smartballs, then these aren’t the ones for you. I knew I wouldn’t even be able to insert both balls, so it was only one. What this means is that you’re going to be awkwardly waddling around your life if you try to keep these balls inserted for passive PC exercises as you go about your day. It’s possible with other PC exercisors, but not these. That’s a shame, because I think it really reduces their functionality.

On the other hand, if you only want to exercise your PC muscles while lying down in a comfortable position, you could grasp the outer ball and pull for a more intense workout. I’m lazy. This is the only reason I use vag balls, so this is kind of a no go for me personally. I think a single “ball” design might be easier for this idea, but then you’d have the problem of controlling it..

As this is a vibrator, you have to insert batteries and turn it on. One end of one ball is a plastic silver cap. There’s a matching “cap” on the other ball, but it’s not functional. This one runs on two LR1 batteries, which must have come with the vibrator itself because I don’t remember having any. I also don’t remember getting them. The cap uses a half-turn style, and it’s super finicky. I find it hard to get a good grip on it and turn. You have to use two hands without exception. The battery cap also serves as the controls. A partial turn locks the cap in place, but if you keep turning it, it turns on. It’s not very handy at all, and I loathe toys that I have to turn on before insertion because of poor design.

Also? I keep grabbing the wrong end to remove batteries, and I feel like I’m going to break this.

And when it’s on? The vibrations are buzzy and weak. The vibes tickles my hand. Ugh. They focus in the ball that doesn’t have the batteries, so at least it will be inserted. There’s a terrible rattle, too. On the other end, there’s this little plastic “window” that serves no purpose that I can understand. On mine, it’s not fully attached, so it sort of bounces around the casing of the ball. In fact, it does this if you just shake the toy.

Of course, there’s only a single level of vibrations, and the sound output is just unacceptable. Even if these were smaller and I could fully insert them, I would never wear them out like you might with other kegel balls. People would be like “yo, Imma let you finish, but you forgot your vibrator lady.”

You could use the Sensor Vibrating Vagina Balls without the vibrations turned on, which I’d love to recommend, but the size is going to prevent me from doing soy.

I think it’s great that Maia Toys is trying to do something with an old standby, but I’m just not sure that the company hit the nail on the head with this idea.

2 Comments