Skinny Dip Bath and Shower Gel

July 15th, 2013

It’s seems like forever ago when I wrote a review for the suntouched candle in skinny dip smell. I still have it, actually, because I’ve had so few opportunities to use it since then. I loved the scent but, honestly, it reminded me of something dreamsicle like. The sweet vanilla was very obvious and I detected hints of citrus, even though the company actually makes products in the dreamsicle scent. Thus, I knew what to expect when I wanted to try the shower gel from TabuToys.

If you’re not so familiar, then you’ll probably be happy to know that these products are all about remaining natural and good for you. Instead of chemicals, you get natural ingredients such as hemp seed, which is the basis of all Earthly Body products as far as I can tell. I’ve tried a few more hemp seed products since I initially used the massage candle, and I think I’m a fan. Among the perks are the following:

  • Paraben free
  • Petroleum free
  • Phthalate free
  • Cruelty free
  • Vegan

Honestly, I’ll put just about anything on my body as long as it smells good. When it comes to shower gels, a nice lather is also important. The Skinny Dip bath & shower gel by Earthly Body does absolutely both. Now, if you were just taking a sniff at the bottle on the shelf of a store, you might be a little disappointed. You can’t smell much in the bottle. You have to actually put it on your body and let it lather up. Then, the sweet vanilla scent wafts to your nose. I find the smell of the body wash is a little more gentle, less aggressive than the candle. If you want something that’s more lightly scented, this might be the product for you.

It’s also great at lathering. The foam is big and fluffy and fun. Is that a weird way to describe it? I like big, fluffy shower gels. I like to feel the silky foam on my body, and this body wash delivers in that department. It feels luxurious. And I get clean, so that’s awesome.

The bottle is a little smaller but the benefit of this is that the opening is also smaller, so you don’t tend to squeeze out as much product at once, and you really don’t need to with the amount of lather that you get.

The ingredients such as hemp seed lend to moisturizing, but a good lotion or moisturizer after your shower is probably best if you have rather dry skin. Mine’s not, especially in summer time. Earthly Body makes a hand and body lotion in the same scent for that. Other products in the line include body mist, a combination massage candle and body butter and massage oil.

Now, it’s not perfect. For example, it’s a little rough on this sunburn that I’ve managed to give myself, so you may want to pass it up if you’re super sensitive or have a skin condition that soaps tend to irritate. It’s also slippery. I forget this because I only have a shower, but you could kill yourself in your tub if you have nothing to stop skidding. That’s really just the way it is with any body washes. It’d be cool if they had a bar soap, but body wash doesn’t leave residue like that.

You’ll save $4 if you buy this from PinkCherry, and the store is offering free shipping for orders over $49 for a limited time. It’s definitely worth checking out.

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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.

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SHE AfterCare: AfterShave Oil

July 1st, 2013

It’s summer. I’m shaving my legs and thighs and bikini area frequently because I have to wear shorts. Or nothing at all. But shorts when I leave the house. I walk everywhere, too. You need to know that this results in some awful after-shaving rash. It’s not razor burn, nor do I have ingrowns most of the time. The sensitive skin on my inner thighs just can’t deal with the friction and chafing caused by the heat and movement. I know I’m not alone with this.

At first, I thought that a product like shaving cream alone would help. It does help, but not nearly enough. So, I need a product to use after shaving, too. In the past, I’ve used products from the drug stores. I’ve sprayed myself with Coochy Aftershave spray, but it just wasn’t enough. It was a thin layer that seemed like it existed to provide relief after the pain. What the hell is the point in that? I need something to prevent the rash and discomfort in addiction to soothing it.

This AfterShave oil is it. Now, this line of product is created by Sexual Health Enthusiasts, which also makes Afterglow wipes. There are four products in the lineup, including a feminine wash and another that I’ll review shortly. Unfortunately, the markup at $20 seems high. However, it is the best product I’ve used for my sensitive inner thighs after shaving. Period. If you don’t experience the irritation that’s so bad you can’t sleep, this isn’t something you need. It’s something I might club you over the head with a stainless steel dildo for, though.

Use is as simple as spraying on after I shave. After a fresh shave, I might spray twice in a day. The instructions say to rub it in but since rubbing is part of my problem, I only rub it in if I’m using the aftershave oil on other places, but my thighs will do the rubbing in right for me. The base of this is silicone, so it’s pretty much lube for your shaved skin. IF you don’t rub it in, it’s going to feel heavy and wet. However, this is actually ideal for me. You might consider it before going for a walk or a run or anything where friction is an issue. I can’t help but wonder if silicone-based lube would work in a similar fashion.

I usually spray twice on each thigh. I’ve had this bottle about a week and made a little dent, but I’ll use it much less frequently when it cools down and I can slip back into jeans. Plus, I only use it daily for the next two days or so after a shave. If you have to shave less frequently, the 4 ounce bottle will definitely last you longer. I still think it’s worth it.

This spray oil has an abundance of ingredients that also sooth and soften. The ingredients list is really much longer than your typical silicone lube:

Isopropyl Myristate

  • Cyclomethicone
  • Dimethicone
  • Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil
  • Chamomile Oil
  • Salicylic Acid
  • Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract
  • Mineral Oil
  • Meadowfoam Seed Oil
  • Crambe Abyssinica Seed Oil
  • Vitamin E
  • Retyinyl Palmitate
  • Squalane
  • Bergamot Fruit Oil
  • Rosemary Leaf Oil
  • Orange Peel Oil
  • Phenoxyethanol

All in all, the list is pretty natural. Almost all of them are intended to moisturize or soothe your skin. You’ll notice Vitamin E alongside chamomile, for example. However, you’ll want to take notice if you’ve got sensitivities to mineral oil. Of note is Salicylic Acid, which you’ll usually find in acne products. This could be a boon to you if you break out in the places where you tend to shave.

Having used this for months, maybe years, I’ve found no negative effects from any of the ingredients. Nor does it stain my clothes. The scent is light and definitely plant-like. It’s not something sweet that I love, but I don’t mind it at all. It’s clean and fades quickly. It’s similar to the AfterTrace Odor Neutralizer. I cannot imagine anyone taking offense to this.

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Ultimate Guide to Prostate Pleasure

June 21st, 2013

Now, I have no prostate. I don’t even have a partner with one. What I do have is an interest in reading. It’s why I read all about the Multi-Orgasmic Man a while back. It’s also why I read a shitty little book — pun intended — called Tickle My Tush. It was intended to be an entry-level book about anal play. It didn’t go very deep. Okay, I’m done with the analogies. Now, I really am. When I walked way from that book, I was disappointed. It only briefly touched on any single concept, and it used these “cutesy” terms that made it oh so difficult for me to take it seriously. Ultimate Guide to Prostate Pleasure does not do these things. In short, it’s the book you want if want to explore anal play, if your partner does, or if you just want to know how it feels.

Doctor Charlie Glickman and co-author Aislinn Emirzian have set off on a journey to educate the masses, and I feel educated! The book doesn’t feel like a pamphlet that is better published online. It’s a complete 15 chapters that are chock full of information, and this guide to anal prostate pleasure is actually a pleasure to read. I found myself wanting to read the next chapter, so it didn’t take long for me to finish it at all.

Some of the chapters in Ultimate Guide to Prostate Pleasure are:

  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Hygiene
  • Penetration 101
  • Searching for the Magic Button
  • Bringing Up the Topic
  • Massaging the Perineum
  • Anal Sex and Strap-on Fucking
  • Real Men Don’t
  • Possible Benefits of Prostate Health

In the beginning, I found myself merely browsing the content. I didn’t need to read it word for word because I’m not a newbie to sex. I don’t need convincing that prostate play is good. There’s nothing wrong if you do, but you can’t review sex toys and hang around this corner of the blogosphere for this many years without picking up a thing or two. Still, I stopped to read the firsthand accounts from the men that Dr. Glickman had interviewed. Thanks to their responses, he was able to pretty accurately describe not only how prostate stimulation feels but how it differs from person to person. I think this is an important distinction to make because not everyone will experience it in the same way or even enjoy it. This might be especially important for men to read because it lets them know that they’re not alone. These asides were intellectually interesting to me, but that was all. One thing I noticed was how there were many in the beginning of the book but very few toward the end. That did make Ultimate Guide to Prostate Pleasure seem a little unbalanced.

One of the things that I liked was how consistent the authors were about the fact that prostate stimulation varies on a case-by-case basis. It might make you cum, it may cause you to lose your erection for a while, it may not be the end-all and be-all the first time you try it. I especially liked the advice not to jump into toys the first couple times, and the authors are quick to point out that a person should experiment with his own prostate before introducing it to a partner.

Another thing that stood out is how trans friendly this book is. Dr Glickman takes time to discuss FTM individuals who still have a prostate that now acts something like a G-spot in a woman. In one chapter, he discusses talking to your doctor about prostate health issues, and he is gentle and supportive. If I were in that situation, I think I’d like to see Dr. Glickman. The same gentle support extends to the partners of people who are interested. Ultimate Guide to Prostate Pleasure assures the reader that prostate play is normal and that there might be some undue side effects, but you walk away feeling like you can handle them.

As far as technique goes, this is where Ultimate Guide to Prostate Pleasure was most helpful to me. There are chapters each on prostate massage, toys, the perineum and anal sex/strap-ons. My experience with prostate stimulation has been through the perineum, and the descriptions matched up quite well. In the toy section, the book discusses brands that are failiar to me like Nexus and Aneros. It also describes strap-ons, harnesses and harness-less strap-on dildos like the the Nexus and Feeldoe. The toy chapter even goes on to explain how urethral sounding can stimulate the prostate, which I didn’t know before. I guess you can teach an old dog new tricks.

If I wanted to explore internal prostate stimulation, I feel like I’ve not got enough information to locate it, try a few different methods and help my partner relax along the way. The book often suggests sliding along the prostate rather than poking into it, which I can appreciate because my G-spot prefers the same sensation.

Illustrations are scattered throughout the book where they’re helpful. I found them most beneficial in the chapters about toys and positions — where Glickman discusses using pillows or Liberator shapes to aid you. The illustrations have a hand-sketched appearance. They’re simple and easy to understand. For people who are less experienced, the good doctor and his co-author cannot recommend enough using lube and being in a state of arousal before you begin. Good advice for anyone.

A particular chapter that I found to be of note is “Real Men Don’t.” In it, the authors discuss some of the stigma around prostate play. In earlier chapters, they reassure the reader that strap-on sex is just your partner stimulating you so there’s no worry to fear that the act — or you — are gay. This chapter goes further to explain how society tends to lump a “real man” into a box and how this is harmful to people no matter where they fall on the gender spectrum. Men must do certain things to be considered real men, otherwise they’re too womanly, which is an insult to woman as well. Dr. Glickman explains why trying to fit into the box leads to emphasis on values over pleasure, and this just doesn’t cut it when it comes to prostate exploration. He recommends forgetting the box to enjoy it by yourself or with a partner.

If you’re still not convinced, the final two chapters suggest that prostate play can benefit prostate health and the common prostate conditions that exist. The book ends with several resource lists. You’ll find other books, places to buy toys and websites with additional information. However, I really don’t see what information you won’t be able to find in Ultimate Guide to Prostate Pleasure.

While the title might indicate that Ultimate Guide to Prostate Pleasure is for men, it would be a good resource for any man’s partner — gay or straight — trans-men or couples. If you only have one book about prostate play on your bookshelf, Ultimate Guide to Prostate Pleasure should be it. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that it’s the best book on anal play of any sort that I read simply by being inclusive, realistic and easy to digest.

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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.

IMAG0837-1

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.

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Nick Hawk GIGOLO Keyless Cuffs

June 8th, 2013

Let me preface this by saying, WTF “Gigolo?” That’s not sexy. That’s not a selling point. What is wrong with the branding here?

And then I’ll say something nice, like, I really enjoy the look of these cuffs. The chain rope that connects them and the leather appearance are different, and it’s just different. The chain that connects them is a tube of chainmail, while the cuffs themselves are a braided rope. The braid is thick and tight, and the material is softer on your skin than metal cuffs, even with something soft around them. However, the material is pretty stiff, and that’s a difference I noticed between my cuffs and the product image. The keyless cuffs look quite round by default, but they’re not. They are folded in half in the box, and the crease remains in the cuffs as you can see in my photo.

However, they’re really made for form and not function, unfortunately. These are the type of cuffs you’d keep around for a photo shoot, but they’re not the cuffs you’re going to reach for in the heat of the moment. I’ll tell you why.

Rather than band-type cuffs that connect via snaps or an O-ring or metal cuffs, with which I’m sure you’re all familiar, these are two loops that do not open. Instead, there’s a small faux-leather strap on each cuff. The strap is permanently attached to the one side, while you wrap it around the other side and fasten a snap to secure it. You slide the leather enclosure up and down the cuff to make it tighter. Ideally, this design would work for both wrists and ankles because it’s adjustable.

However, it just doesn’t work very well. When the snap is fastened, you can’t move the strap up and down the cuffs. So, to adjust, put on or remove them you must completely undo the strap and then re-wrap it around the cuff. The strap really is quite tight. In fact, I can barely put this one with two hands let alone one.

What this means is that I would have to spend a lot of time just getting this on or off or in the right position, which could be a real downer when it comes to the mood. It’s much too much effort, and while it might loosen up a bit over time, I don’t have the patience to deal with it. I can’t imagine many people would.

When it comes to specs, these keyless cuffs has a circumference of about 12″ each, so they should work for ankles as well as wrists. There’s no minimum, really. I guess you could lock someone’s finger up in this. Because the strap is so tight, I cannot get out of these cuffs even though it’s just a single snap securing them. There is a little less than 4.5″ of slack between the cuffs, thanks to the chain and hardware. This is more than the tiger striped cuffs that I have, so this design, if it worked better, might be good if you’re not so flexible or have short arms like I do.

The connectors between the chains use a “swivel design.” This means added flexibility because you don’t need to keep your wrists in a single position. You can squirm as it were.

Maintenance is, well, iffy. I would consider these porous, and the braining provides lots of nooks and crannies for liquids to get into. You can wipe them down to preserve their appearance, but I wouldn’t share them among non-fluid bonded partners.

CEN Sexpert

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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.

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Maia Astral D3 Dong

May 12th, 2013

I’m still not sure about the naming over at Maia toys. I think perhaps something more memorable would help them out, and I kind of hate the word “dong.” But who doesn’t?

So this is the only dildo I was able to review for the company, but it’s also my favorite of the items that they sent me. The blue, or astral, is a medium sky blue. I also had a medium lavender, which I donated to a friend in need. For some reason, the box photos show a rather shiny finish, but this isn’t the case. This dildo has a satiny smooth exterior, which feels just great in my hand. It also picks up lint, but man does it feel good when I grasp it.

The shape is a bit more difficult to describe. It looks “twisted” but this dildo actually has ridges. If you’re looking at it from the side, they angle downward. There are four ridges, and while each is wide, they’re not that far off the shaft. However, you can still feel them quite well. If the contoured head, which reminds me of a number of Tantus dildos, isn’t enough to stimulated the G-spot or whichever spot you’re aiming for, the ridges will.

There is the slightest — and I mean slightest — G-spot curve. I find that the head works well enough for me, and the combination of the ridges and head should work well for most people. However, I can’t guarantee it. This thing is almost seamless. It’s super smooth, which is awesome.

The area around those ridges is the most dense of the entire toy. There’s some give but its mostly around the thinner part of the toy, above and below the area where the shaft is. All in all, I thought I wouldn’t like the size + shape + firmness, but I kind of fucking love it. It’s simple yet effective. It doesn’t require much from me, that’s awesome stuff, man.

IMAG0455To give you a better idea of size, we’re talking about 7.25 insertable inches, with a bit more length thanks to the suction cup, which sucks a lot.. in a good way. The widest part of the head has a diameter of 2 inches, but it’s oblong and narrower when you turn the dildo. Around the widest ridge, we’re talking about 1.9″. This dildo is on the larger end, and while it’s not the biggest toy you could ever play with, it’s certainly filling. The valleys on the shaft are probably 1.65″ wide or so, while it narrows to about 1.5 inches right below the head. This might not the dildo for the feint of heart or newbies.

It’s definitely the right toy for someone who likes bright colors, filling sensation and the ability to use it on a hard surface. Hey, that isn’t my thing, but there’s no judging thing. I find the suction cup provides an interesting hand hold that’s squishy and easy on the write. I like this, because the size makes it a little on the heftier side.

No matter how you use this one, you’ll need to wash it wish soap and water to rinse off any pesky dirt, lint or, as in my case, cat fur. Like every other Maia toy, this comes with a storage bag. It’s bright blue, to match the dildo, and soft and stretchy. Of course, you could store this with like material without worrying about reactions, but you’ll want to avoid silicone lube reactions if you like it.

I’ve seen this ranging from $27 to $35, and that’s a fucking awesome price. Plus, it comes in that windowed box. I like those. You know what? Go buy it, now.

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.

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