G-Swirl Vibe

May 1st, 2010

The G-Swirl Vibe is the production of two trusted names in sex toys–Good Vibes and Fun Factory. This result is a toy with all of Fun Factory’s signature elements and Good Vibes branding.

G-Swirl comes in packaging that is Fun Factory style in function (magnetic flaps et al) but the deisgn featured Good Vibrations branding. The branding continues onto the vibrator itself where the Good Vibes logo is embossed onto the silicone (this logo is below the clitoral nubbies, though, not on the useable part).

G-Swirl is a smaller G-spot vibrator with a ring of nubs around the base of the shaft to stimulate the clit and/or perineum. Mine is a very light pink which I don’t love but Good Vibes sells G-Swirl in other colours which are pretty neat; I personally like raspberry.

The silicone shaft is designed with several ridges and ends with an angled head to stimulate the G-spot. The shaft can be bent any which way and the nubs at the base offer give as well, typical of Fun Factory silicone. The silicone is more the shiny, “grabby” type than some FF toys, however. It definitely picks up lint or cat fur (not like my cats ever poke their noses where they don’t belong) and use of a water-based lube can aid in penetration. As you would expect, G-Swirl has no scent and, when cleaned properly, shouldn’t pick up scents. (If it does, many people swear by Before & After toy cleaner to remedy this issue.)

G-Swirl is a bit thicker than some G-spot vibrators and the texture can be easily felt. My vag tends to be pretty texture-picky but the size and shape of the ridges on this one were pretty enjoyable. The base–which is the widest point–has a diameter of 1.6″. The area just beneath the head (the narrowest part) has a diameter of 1.35″, so you can see the shaft gradually increases.

G-Swirl is mostly straight and offers 4 insertable inches. This might not work for you if you require a longer or curved shaft to reach your G-spot. I found the combination of the small head with its slight angle and softness of the silicone didn’t adequately stimulate my G-spot. I can usually rest a toy against my G-spot and squirt in seconds but I just couldn’t get enough pressure from the G-Swirl.

G-Swirl controlled by Fun Factory’s second generation style flower/star dial (although the internet suggests that a third generation, Smartvibes version also exists). The dial “locks” into place at two settings: Off and High. You can “customize” your experience by using any setting in between. The G-Swirl is fairly powerful on its highest setting, pretty standard for a toy powered by 2AAs. The highest setting is also quite deep, not surface level at all. The shaft carries these vibrations quite well but the denser nubs around the base don’t really.

Which I don’t really think matters because the nubs only extend out from the base about 3.4″ at the most. Needless to say, they come nowhere close to my clitoris and while the nubs curve upward (or body-ward, you might say), they don’t do so enough to really even stimulate the vaginal entrance.

I did notice that G-Swirl feels stronger in my hands than during use. It could be because the shape isn’t right on my G-spot, however.

Sometimes the G-Swirl seems a little rattly which adds to the noise output. Without the rattle, it’s actually pretty quiet. But it seems like the rattle comes and goes and is definitely more persistent on higher settings.

For those of you familiar with this style of Fun Factory vibes, the battery cap can be a little difficult to wrangle. There are two points which you must squeeze to pop it off the end and it can be a little hard on the fingers.

However, it’s pretty secure and G-Swirl is splashproof which makes cleaning with soap and water (a must for toys which collect lint this easily) a breeze and shower play an option.

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Lussuria Rechargeable Vibrator

April 29th, 2010

By now, most of you have heard of the Vida vibrators, a new line of silicone+metal sex toys with fancy designs and an impressive site to boot. They’re working hard at PR, too, with a mysterious Twitter account and appearances with celebrities. They really want you to believe that these vibrators–Lussuria, Vanta, Zara and Urja–are the new “it” thing and, I admit, I was drawn in and in case you are too, here’s the low down.

Vida vibrators are made of silicone and anodized aluminum. The metal part does have a sort of plastic-y look to it, even in person, but a tap with a fingernail proves otherwise. It looks particularly rigid up close. In addition to this, my Vida Lussuria is quite the hefty piece but I wouldn’t call it unwieldy because the weight is compacted into a 7″ frame which isn’t bulky in the least.

Lussuria’s design is one which which curves gently outward from a thin (.79″ diameter), straight shaft in the center to produce two bulbous ends. While the ends are thicker than the center point of the shaft, they are flat-ish. The side on which the control is positioned is significantly wider (just over 2″) than other side, the head (which is about 1.5″ wide). The head itself is somewhat spoon or scoop shaped; one side is convex while the other has a little “dimple.” The head angles slightly upward from the thinner part of the shaft while the base curves slightly downward for an extremely loose “S” shape.

On the convex side of the head, there are 4 silicone ridges. The ridges are mostly firm but not quite as rigid as the metal parts of the vibrator. These work well for G-spot stimulation while the spoon side can cradle the clitoris. I don’t think I’ve seen any pictures, yet, which depict the dimple on the head so I was pleasantly surprised when I opened Lussuria and wondered whether it would work well for clitoral stimulation.

It does. Lussuria has a functional design which I really like. The ridges easily cause me to squirt and I was surprised at the orgasms produced via the clit dimple. The overall design is easy to manipulate comfortably and with precision, too.

The shaft, head and last inch or so of the base are coated in silicone (the shinier, kinda “grabby” style) while the anodized aluminum surrounds the single button. There is also a pink stripe/lighted area which follows the contours of the metal. This area has a lot of edges and seams which are not very smooth and neat. I can see it collecting debris and the imperfections reduce the impression of quality IMO. There are especially some imperfections in the pink border which detract from an otherwise awesome colour scheme. At the very end, a small flap is cut out of the silicone; this flap plugs the charging port when Lussuria is not charging. While Lussuria is purportedly waterproof, this flap is not seamless and I would not submerge it.

To turn on the vibrator, simply press the button once. A pale pink light around the button and the pink “border” part both light up. Pressing the button pages through 5 settings of steady vibrations and then back to the lowest. These vibrations are fairly strong but become much too buzzy as you increase strength. The button must be pressed and held to turn off Lussuria but this will also turn it up 1 level higher which is kind of annoying. If, for some reason, I needed to turn it off quickly, it would get louder before turning off.

Even if the vibrations didn’t become buzzier as they increased, I would never use this beyond the second or third setting because Lussuria is damned loud. I guess it’s because of the metal but I think Vida should have come up with some noise solution before releasing these vibrators and calling it “quiet” is simply a lie. The sound does not aid in discretion at all and I am not fond of toys which hurt my ears.

I was a bit disappointed that Lussuria did not come with more information. It comes with a booklet which contains warranty information, instructions and promotional materials. More pages are dedicated to advertising other products than anything else. The instructions do say that the first full charge will take 3 hours and subsequent charges will take 1 hour. I haven’t had to recharge my Lussuria yet, which is awesome, but I have no idea how long it will last and I guess Vida doesn’t want customers to know, either.

Lussuria does come with a few interesting acessories. First and foremost, it has its own storage case which vida describes as a “faux leather vanity tote.” It looks a bit like a small train case with a handle on the top and a zipper around the front and sides. Vida sides into a foam cutout inside an there is room to toss in the charger beneath the foam. If you remove the cutout, you could use the case to store a few more toys, too; it measures 4.5″ x 8.” x 3.” The Vida logo is embossed in black and red on the front but I have to warn you, this “faux leather” stinks! I mean, the smell of it gives me a headache and I don’t want that on my toy.

Luckily, Vida also provides a cushy, store envelope made from microfiber. The design is unique, a rectangular cloth which folds in thirds and ties with a ribbon. Inside is an opening to tuck your Vida vibrator but it’s not actually deep enough to hold Lussuria; it will stick out the end of the envelope. I suspect Vida made a one-size-fits-all storage pouch and failed. You don’t have to place the vibrator in the pouch, of course. You can simply fold it into the cloth and tie it up; it just fits.

The whole thing comes with a black gift style bag bug mine was just folder, empty with the Vida box. I suspect that would work much better for in person purchases. d=

Lussuria actually worked pretty well for me but Vida needs to work out more kinks before they can call these toys “luxurious” and charge as much as they are for them. The idea of aluminum + silicone is neat but a pure silicone vibrator wouldn’t have been any worse. It also would have reduce the number of seams in the toy and hopefully the volume level. The train case and storage pouch are cute but neither offer the perfect storage option. I say skip the frills and lower the price, then we’ll talk.

This sex toy review sponsored by Adult Sex Toys : over 8,000 sex toys and adult toys to choose from.

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Stockroom

SexToy.com Video on Demand

April 24th, 2010

I do not watch a lot of porn. Nor do I watch it for long periods of time when I do enjoy it. For this reason, video on demand services seem really appealing. I like the idea of being able to pay by the minute. I decided to give Sextoy.com’s service a shot.

When I first logged in, I immediately recognized the software as the same program which powers another VOD site I’ve used. This means I was already familiar with the site but it does make it a bit less.. unique than other sites. It’s similar to my last affiliate program review; I can’t knock a service because they use popular software but it doesn’t help with branding.

I’m going to be honest here and say there are almost too many options. So I’ll highlight a few of the good points for you.

Account Center
When you’re logged in, your account info including remaining minutes and link to your favorites and saved items is displayed on the top left.
Search Options
You can search by title or actor
Recent Additions
The right sidebar shows the most recent additions.
Video Preferences
You can specify your preference for gay or straight films
Language Settings
There are multiple language settings

There are a lot of films already displayed on the front page which gives people who are not so familiar with porn–like me–an idea of what they might like. If i want to see the most popular stars or films (even by category), I can. There are pages which divide the title by category, studio, star and more. There’s even a glossary to explain what terms mean and to direct you to the type of films you’d like best.

And when you click any specific film, you’re given a lot of useful information including stars, run time and description. Many (maybe all) listings have a scene directory with screencaps so you can browse in individual scene, if you’d like. There is a tab with extensive cast information and viewers can choose the quality of their streaming video (Low,Medium, High, Ultra and Mega); although only certain titles are available in all qualities.

But I have a few gripes, too, and most of them are not so easy to list.

My biggest complaint is that there is simply too damned much going on. I don’t know how much this software can be customized but there are so many options that is can really be intimidating. It is to me even though I have used it before. The front page has dozens of links and images and it’s almost to the point of being offensive. I wish there were a streamlined version with less suggestions. This would be much more helpful to me.

The focus is on films which tend to be the type that can be summed up as this “Adjective Body-Part Pt #.” You know, all those series that just seem a little tacky. And those are great for some people but it takes a little more time and patience to find more quality films, IMO. I did find some which might be a little more up the porn snob’s alley. Tristan Taormino films as well as some by Candida Royalle. The more time I spent looking, the easier it was to find some movies that at least looked interesting, to save for later.

The video player itself leaves something to be desired. It’s functional but not intuitive. Video plays in a pop up and there is a flash player which looks something like WMP. Of course, since it’s streaming, it takes some time to load. You can skip ahead but it’ll need time to buffer as well. If you prefer you can actually watch the film in WMP, which might be a better idea. I find the player to be a bit frustrating in Firefox. It’s not fully supported so I can’t click the link to view all the scenes. IE also shows extra options for rating and sizing which Firefox does not. Of course, this is not the fault of FF but of the coders.

But it’s mostly functional. I can pop out the video to full screen; although, even on “Ultra,” very few films are high enough quality for me to do so without being annoyed. The content could use a little TLC. I guess I supposed that I would get not only a clearer picture if I chose a higher quality setting but a larger one, too. Not so. This seems like a no brainer so me but, like I said, I’m not porn aficionado. The options which are not available in Firefox allow the user to zoom but, in my browser of choice, I only have regular and full screen options.

I think that SexToyTV is definitely useful for those who like to watch porn on their computers and don’t mind sacrificing a little quality or having to take time to get to know the site. I typically prefer porn which requires a little less effort. Sometimes the desire to watch porn actually leaves me before I find something suitable. If you plan to try it out, I’d make most of your purchases in bulk. As can be expected, you get a better discount that way ($.09/minute as compared to $.20/minute). It’s maybe not my perfect porn solution, though.

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Contour M Massage Stone

April 23rd, 2010

I don’t own a whole lot of Jimmyjane products even though they all seem pretty nice. As much as I like massage, I’ve never had a partner who really enjoyed giving them. However, I think Jimmyjane’s massage stones could certainly help with that!

From the right angle, this ceramic massager looks like the letter a lowercase letter “m.” Hence the name. To me, it seems like someone took a square slab and pushed in the middle with something round. The result is a broad, round side and a concave side with four rounded, “points.” Although, nothing is angular about the Contour M; it’s all smooth, rounded lines. The massage stone is off-white in appearance.

The ceramic stone has a bit of heft but it’s not heavy at all. I have glass and metal toys which weigh significantly more. The finish is sleek and completely smooth except for one “leg” where Jimmyjane is printed in grey. The letters can be felt with a finger but are not obtrusive.

The slick surface glides smoothly across the skin and moves even easier once massage oil–like that from a Jimmyjane candle–is added. I chose to use the Contour M with some Kama Sutra Oil of Love, simply because I did not want to wait for a candle to burn. The ceramic feels quite cool and the addition of a warming massage oil was interesting, too. If you’d like, you could dip the massage stone in a bowl of warm or cool water for temperature play.

I hit up Jimmyjane’s website for some usage instructions. I admit I don’t know much about massage technique but I did find the Contour M to be fairly intuitive. The broad side fits in my palm and fingers allowing me to stimulate with one or more of the “nodes.” I found it easy to do tiny circles with all nodes making contact. Applying more pressure with a single node results in more pinpoint stimulating, like that move some people do with their elbow.

On the other hand, it’s easy to apply pressure to a broader area with the other side. I find my movements to be larger and it’s easy to lean into strokes, really putting your weight into it (like using your knuckles). It is slightly more cumbersome to hold in this position, however. I was surprised just how easy it was to use the Countour M. Jimmyjane even suggests trying some genital massage, which I did. The four nodes work okay for this. I wasn’t aiming for orgasm and I’m not sure if I even could but it was nice.

The one thing I really enjoyed was how easy it is to apply pressure with the massage stone. If you find that giving massages puts a painful amount of strain on your hands or fingers, then this can relieve some of that strain without limiting the effectiveness of the massage. Of course, the ceramic is rigid and quite unforgiving so you don’t want to be too firm.

During use, the Contour M can become a bit slippery depending upon the oils or lubes it comes in contact with. I didn’t find this to be a large problem but I wasn’t using a large amount of oil, either. Nevertheless, cleaning is a breeze and the massage stone can be washed with soap and water. Storage is a simple matter because it won’t pick up any lint or interact with other materials. You may want to wrap it in a cloth of some sort; I wouldn’t mind if this came with some soft cloth or bag for that purpose.

Contour M, like all Jimmyjane products, is luxurious. This isn’t the cheap plastic roller massager that makes an appearance every year before the holidays. This isn’t something you find in the $1. It is, however, an intimacy enhancing tool which I can see lasting a lifetime. Even if you don’t have a massage partner, it’s still good for solo use. My legs appreciated a little massage with the Contour M. I can see it making frequent appearances when I am stressed or even just for the fun of it.

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Win Eco-Friendly Toys

April 21st, 2010

AdultSexToys.com is hosting an Eco-Friendly Sex Toys Giveaway which ends tomorrow (Earth Day!). You can still get some entries by heading to the contest page and submitting yo

  • Following them on Facebook
  • Sharing the contest on Facebook
  • Following them on Twitter
  • Blogging about the Contest
  • Linking them with a banner

Lots of ways to enter this one – even my blog post will count as an entry.

The prizes are all eco-friendly materials such as silicone, wood or glass and both the Lelo Lily and We Vibe are available for rechargeable options.

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The Myths of Sex Toy Reviewing

April 20th, 2010

I was so excited when I got my first toys to review. I know you were, too! I know if you have just discovered how awesome it is to not only play with vibrators and dildos and butt plugs — Oh my! — but to do so for free in exchange for some words, then you might still be floating on cloud 9. That’s totally cool. I know I wanted to jump right into things and I was sure I was awesome and I made some beginner’s mistakes. I like to think I am beyond that; most people get some gentle guidance or learn from example. Some people realize that reviewing actually takes work and give up when it becomes apparent that companies expect some sort of quality.

The truth is outsiders and newbies may have some misconceptions about sex toy reviewing:

Toy reviewing requires no effort.
True, I’ve seen some rather shoddy reviews which could only have taken seconds to compose but to be a successful reviewer, the ones who earn respect and gain a following learn to do a few things. Like use a toy more than once, even if the first time is horrible. They work on improving their writing skills and describe things in painstaking detail even when the details have become boring to them. They discuss toys with friends, proof read dozens of times, deal with defects and argue with delivery services. The types of reviewers I like to read research materials and compatibility. They double and triple check waterproof capabilities and try toys in ways they would not normally use them, all in the name of a good review. *I wouldn’t be surprised if consistently bad reviews disqualified you from reviewing.
It’s all about experience.
I call bullshit. In fact, most quality review programs have something to say about experience: keep it limited and keep it relevant. I believe this guideline is in place for good reason. Quite simply put, your personal experience can never predict someone else’s personal experience. Furthermore, sometimes I can’t even predict how well a toy will work for me despite being myself. Hard facts generally give consumers a better idea of whether or not a toy will work for them.
Every toy is awesome!!!!
No, it’s not. Toys are made of potentially dangerous materials. Toys break. Defects abound. Poor designs can actually cause pain. And sometimes even a toy which is awesome just does not cut it for me. I wish it weren’t so but it is. In an effort to produce a good review, however, I will try to explain to you why the toy might be awesome for others even if my experience failed (see above).
Sex toy reviewing makes your sex life so much fun!
I won’t lie, it can. It can be a great “excuse” to get your partner or even just yourself to try something new. It can make masturbation or sex more pleasurable. Maybe you’ll have it more frequently. But there’s a big downside to it all. It can get mechanical. Pretty soon you start looking at everything as all numbers and sizes and materials and compatibilities. Like anything which starts out fun but becomes a “job” of any sort, you can forget to smile, to enjoy yourself. Plus, not every partner is okay with the idea of sex toy reviewing. Your sex life can actually take the back burner without even realizing it and sex toys can be pretty intimidating. There are just times when reviewers need to step back from toys so you can enjoy sex — solo or with others — again.
You will be the best reviewer ever.
I am always so excited when I embark upon a new adventure. Sometimes my ego swells a bit and I imagine myself taking the place by storm, making “thank you” speeches while holding flowers. It just doesn’t work that way. Every program has different expectations and limitations. It takes time to learn the ropes and to excel. I like to think I’ve done that but if you look at some of my first reviews on the blog or EdenFantasys, you will see I was not amazing when I started.
Reviewers are loose sluts.
There are a whole bunch of myths about the type of people who use sex toys and then to have the nerve to write about it! The truth is, the reviewer friends I have made are all extremely different. Males and females, some folks who don’t fit any category. Straight, gay, queer, bi and more. Young and old. Some have a lot of sex with the same person, no sex at all, or some casual sex. In fact, it seems that reviewers are just as likely to be the “girl next door” as they are to be the promiscuous one. No single generalization really applies, except maybe that they do like sexual sensations and are mature enough to write about it in a helpful way. Also, just to remind you, the vagina is a muscle which does not stretch out!
A good writer will never struggle with a review.
There are certain types of reviews I just find more challenging. Switching up the format can be difficult, too. I think all reviewers, no matter their writing talents, have days where words just refuse to flow in a way that sounds good and makes sense. It’s to be expected and if you experience it, don’t sweat it.
It’s all about the reviews.
Although I pride myself on writing helpful reviews and I spend a lot of time on them, I know that the reviews themselves are frequently not the end game. The truth is, reviews (especially offsite reviews) offer publicity and exposure. They bring in potential customers. In addition to this, links and keywords work to raise a website’s (the store you review for) search engine rank. Sometimes that is just more important than content.
Reviewers have a direct line to manufacturers.
As much as I’d like, this isn’t true most of the time. Most of the companies I work with are stores, not manufacturers. I assume some manufacturers read my reviews but the fact of the matter is, I review products which have already been designed and created. I am not a beta tester. My complaints do not necessarily mean a change will happen. Even if manufacturers contact me because they want that sort of criticism, nothing might happen because of it. My power is limited.
We talk about sexuality, so we want to talk about it with you.
No, just no. Unless we initiate the conversation, we probably don’t want to be having it. Back off. The same goes for pictures and videos.

To all your reviewers, what misconceptions did you originally have? Is there something I missed or something you find people assume? Let me know in the comments.

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Best Women’s Erotica 2009

April 18th, 2010

Okay, so I may be a year late but I am no hardcore erotica collector. I mean, I’ve enjoyed a story here and there but I usually opp for a toy over a book. Still, it’s nice to switch things up a bit and that’s exactly what I did when I requested Best Women’s Erotica 2009 to review. Not only does it not vibrate, but it’s in a different series than any I’ve read before. ‘

This volume has a hot cover. It’s not entirely explicit but it just draws me in. A dark haired, fair skinned woman lies on the floor in the corner with a fishnetted leg against either wall. At first glance, she appeared to be wearing ballet slippers but they are, in fact, heels. The deep red of the wall is just a sensual colour.

The first few pages contain an introduction by editor Violet Blue. Even her introduction to the content of this book is a somewhat erotic story about mythological Persephone. This leads to an absolutely enthralling depiction of Peter Pan’s Tigerlily and her sexual frustrations. Although I do not particularly remember Tigerlily, Valerie Alexander does a stand up job of bringing a sexualized version of Never Neverland to life in “Fly.” It gets you excited for what the rest of the collection will have.

And then Best Women’s Erotica 2009 falls flat on its face, having done the exact opposite of “saving the best for last.” No, it gives it to you first and every other story pales in comparison. Sure, there are lots of themes: straight, gay and in between, BDSM, toys, anal sex, voyeurism, sex in public, roleplaying and more. And, in general, the writing is superb and the editing slick. Although, there is on story in particular which I won’t name, that seems so sub-pay I can’t believe it actually made it into the book. There are authors whom I’ve read and enjoyed before. It’s safe to say that many have been previously published, this isn’t their first rodeo.

Yet, the entire volume is almost completely lackluster. Where it gets my attention at all, I find the stories to be too drawn out. Some of the pieces seemed to just go on forever and not even in the name of build up; there were pieces which simply didn’t know where to end. I know that erotica is subjective but there are usually 2 or 3 pieces which I really like in any given collection and a handful more I will enjoy upon rereading but may not necessarily remember. Most of the stories in this book, however, I forgot by the next time I picked up the book with only a day or so in between!

I suspect that maybe I shouldn’t be reading “Women’s” erotica. Maybe I need something more direct, less sensual, shorter. Perhaps I am not the right audience. Maybe I want to read less about love and sweet encounters (not that there isn’t more to be found in this volume). I concede and accept that. I’m still sort of shocked I didn’t enjoy myself more.

In fact, as I try to recall just what it is that I liked about other stories I’ve read, it strikes me that Best Women’s Erotic 09 is deeply rooted in reality – save for the Peter Pan story. There’s no tentacle sex, bestiality or other fantasy. Essentially, there is nothing really different or unique. In fact, some of the stories are more than a little cliche like the one about a woman having sex with her dance instructor. I just need something more out of the box.

Maybe if you prefer in the box, reality-rooted erotica with more sensuality than you might normally have, you’d enjoy Best Women’s Erotic ’09. I don’t know.

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