Loveo Nox

December 2nd, 2015

Now that I’ve given more than one sound-controlled vibrator a try, I feel pretty confident comparing how they work and, more than that, whether or not they’re even a thing we need to have at all. Unfortunately for companies like Lelo and Loveo, the answer to the latter question is an unequivocal “No.”

Let’s start with Loveo’s shape, a slightly-curved shaft intended for G-spot stimulation. The head isn’t as flat or narrow as some G-spotters. It definitely is rounded and wider than some toys. The gradual taper feels more filling than some G-spot toys, but I can see why is would be a poor fit if you need an extreme angle for adequate G-spotting.

This is all covered in silky smooth silicone that could be primed with some lube but doesn’t have nearly as much drag as a Fun Factory toy, for instance. Aside from the plastic buttons, it’s covered in this somewhat-squishy layer of silicone that’s much softer than a Lelo toy.

It’s also waterproof thanks to the charging ports that’s similar to many toys on the market. You’ll need to wiggle the adapter into the port just right. I’ve had more problems with this type of port than I care to admit. I don’t know if it’s just me, though.

I’m not thrilled with the appearance, either. It’s not that it’s pink. Enough of my fellow bloggers have made public their annoyance with a certain shade befit only for Barbie. But the silver, plastic panel appears cheap. And the shape of the buttons offers no redemption; although, they do offer a nice tactile feedback when in use. It’s just the whole design reminds me of Maia Toys, too pink, too little, too late, yet not enough to stand out in any recognizable way.

Next come the buttons, 2 of which switch between modes and 2 that adjust strength of vibrations. You must first turn it on by holding the + button (holding the – turns it off) then press either the H to turn on sound activation or M button to use regular vibrators.

When you’re in steady vibes, pressing the M quickly cycles through escalation, pulsaton, a combination mode, mixed length pulses and back to steady vibrations. Interestingly, there’s a mode through the cycle that does nothing at all, which is just a wasted button push in my opinion.

The vibrations are on the buzzy side of moderate, especially when you turn up the strength, and there are only three levels of them when on the constant vibration mode. They’re enough to make me squirt but not the type that would get me off clitorally.

If you’ve used Siri 2, then you know what to expect from Loveo Nox. There’s a slight delay when making noise. You can imitate a pulse once you get used to it, but it’s much harder to achieve escalation. For steady vibrations, you would need constant noise. I find using my breath works especially well.

Music is a toss up as it’ll vibrate constantly if it’s too close to the source or the music is too loud. But the microphone in this toy, which is located in the handle, seems more responsive than that of Siri 2. There’s about a 6-inch range before the toy cuts out.

It’s undeniable that the sound-responsive function in these toys is useless as a solo endeavor. Short of screaming yourself hoarse or blaring music, both of which would likely get the cops called on you, it’s nearly impossible to create loud enough ambient noise. One could arguably masturbate closer to a source of sound, perhaps a laptop or seated in front of a desk, but that’s not my style. And it’s still a big “if.”

I think that about sums up my opinion on “innovative” “features” of sex toys. If I have to completely change my masturbation habits in a way that’s distracting, this feature is really a liability. I would even give companies some slack considering my unusual need for pressure and general ability to get off within single-digit minutes, but the Loveo Nox is one that seems just as trying for most users.

With that said, it might be more useful during partner play, when your partner is able to breathe, moan or otherwise make noise into the microphone but this still requires your partner to adapt to the toy and not the other way around. I can’t see how this bodes well.

With many toys that are “new” or “improved,” I find myself trying to sell it on virtues of being a decent albeit unremarkable toy when you fall back on standard functions, but Loveo has included a motor that’s generally forgettable. This is especially true when compared with vibrators that have dual motors or especially deep vibrations.

I always feel bad when writing a review that’s negative, but I would feel worse leading my readers astray. If you’re looking for something better, the Loveo Nox isn’t it. It’s different, but that’s certainly not a selling point in this case.

There are plenty of attractive toys, toys that stimulate the G-spot with a similar amount of girth, vibrators made of silicone and those that offer deep vibrations that would be a better investment than this one.

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Boss Dildo

May 6th, 2015

I’m not sure I can describe how excited I was over the prospect over own the Boss dildo. I own the original AAA-powered Boss, which I described using the word “love”, and the larger and rechargeable Big Boss, though the latter is one of those toys I really should use more! I saw no reason why I wouldn’t love this new offering from Fun Factory.

Each of the toys in the Boss lineup varies slightly. The Big Boss was larger than the original, and the “stub” is a dildo with a suction cup base that doesn’t curve in a way that suggests “clitoral stimulation.” Not that the other two really offered much without bending them; although, I did do this with the original quite a bit.

I rarely order dildos in flesh tones, so was pleasantly surprised when this showed up in the caucasion variant, I guess. It’s also available in black, like the two vibes, and pink. The Boss dildo (pictured here with the Joyboxx Playtray) has a texture quite like the vibes. It’s velvety in your hand. During use, however, this creates a fuck ton of drag that requires nearly as much lube. This is especially true around the contoured head, which has a more intense “lip” than the vibes, but the overall head is less pronounced. The texture of the dildo also seems smoother than the vibes but no less draggy.

The Boss dildo is fairly impressive with seven insertible inches and a diameter of 1.7″. In terms of toys, the Boss dildo falls somewhere in the middle. The original measured 1.6″ wide and about the same length. The Big Boss is slightly wider and ever-so-slightly longer for insertion but definitely longer overall. Because of the color, the dildo appears to be wider, but black is just so slimming!

Big Boss, Boss dido and the Boss vibrator

Big Boss, Boss dido and the Boss vibrator

Because I don’t tend to warm up with other toys or use many insertibles that are this large, the Boss dildo just winds up feeling a little cumbersome. But the size and firm-ish texture are probably going to work really well for someone who likes that sort of thing. It’s firm enough to thrust like crazy once you’re all lubed up. Although, the asymmetrical suction cup base is a little weird for using as a handle. This isn’t a deal breaker, however.

The Boss dildo still has two ridges that come toward toward the base. These are more like the original Boss because the Big Boss, the ridges were quite defined. They’re more gradual on the dildo. With the vibrators, this was intended to stimulate your clit. This isn’t really the case, however, because it doesn’t curve enough, those the curve is more akin to the original Boss, too. Without the vibrations, it doesn’t do anything for my externally, so I find myself reaching for another toy.

The curve does do a decent job of stimulating my G-spot, but it’s no Pure Wand or Comet, so some people might need something more. Good Vibes also suggests you give this one a try for prostate pleasure.For me, the Boss is less about shape and more about size. It’s filling, and conquering it fills me me all sorts of price.

Ultimately, I think I like this shape better as a vibrator. Because I so often tend to simply hold it in place while stimulating my clit, it works better to rely on vibrations rather than thrusting as the source of pleasure with the texture on the Boss dildo. I’d love to recommend any of the vibes to my readers, but it doesn’t look like Fun Factory makes it any longer. This is a shame because it was a wonderful toy, both in vibrations and size/shape.

If I’m being honest, the Boss dildo is the type of toy I’ll keep in my drawer and forget about until i feel so guilty that I have to use it, but it’s not the type of toy I’d use for a quickie session where I want to cum, squirt and get back to work.

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Mona Wave

March 2nd, 2015

Mona Wave
$179 from Lelo

Listen, guys. Lelo is trying really hard to be innovative. It’s not enough to make toys of silicone that are rechargeable. They did that. And then everyone else did that. They’ve got to get a couple steps ahead of the game.

It certainly wasn’t cutting it for them to try to revamp some of their most-loved items. The sophomore versions of most toys, including the Gigi, just fell short. Perhaps the second Mona was an improvement.

And Lelo took heart, maybe? Because they tried to do something completely different with Ora, which was met with disdain from almost the entire sex-toy-buying community. I liked it, but the original obviously wasn’t ready to be released. And Siri 2? Props on increasing the motor for one of my favorite clit toys, but that whole “music vibe” thing is a joke.

So what else can Lelo do? Fun Factory has already done something interesting and relatively successful with the Stronic line, so I guess Lelo’s going to stick to mimicking manual g-spot stimulation.

That’s where this whole Wave thing comes in. Lelo picked two popular toys, Mona and Ina, to “upgrade.” Rather than just creating another g-spot vibe, Lelo has allowed the head of Mona to wag back and forth — like the “come hither” motion. There is also vibration, and you can use them together or separately if you’d like.

The vibration alone isn’t any better than the original Mona or Mona 2. The original has been discontinued, but you’re going to save a chunk of money if you buy Mona 2. To be honest, this is probably the best option for anyone who isn’t entirely sure that Mona Wave isn’t for them. Unless you’re comfortable throwing away money. And this is why.

The problem, I think, with Mona Wave is that it’s one size fits most. And if it fits me fairly well, that means it’s going to fall short for a lot of other people.

The back-and-forth motion performs at a uniform pace. If it works for you, that’s great. It’s just kind of boring. And there’s no increase or decrease in intensity to get you to the point where you’re going to have a g-spot orgasm or squirt. This is going to mean that “one size fits most,” results in some pretty unhappy customers.

As far as toys go, the Mona Wave is all about providing the same sensation instantly. Maybe you’ll reach for it after another toy has gotten you almost there.. but why would you? You could use the vibration and curved shaft to stimulate your G-spot and then turn on the wave function, but that seems kinda fickle, and you may find yourself removing the toy to look at the buttons.

This is always an issue with me when I’m using toys that have more than one function. I can never just switch between them, and I’ve never thought that Lelo’s standard 4-button control panel was quite as intuitive as it could be.

Mona Wave might have 10 speeds, be waterproof and come with a warranty, but none of that is going to mean much to disappointed sex toy lovers who aren’t able to successfully cater their masturbation style to the Mona Wave rather than the other way around, which I think many people argue is the better way. So Lelo’s claims that Mona Wave is the first of its kind that will revolutionize vibrators is just a claim the company can’t back up.

 

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Lelo Siri 2

January 27th, 2015

Siri 2
$119 from SheVibe

If you were to look at Siri 2 without the original to compare, you’d think they were exactly the same design. This isn’t exactly true. Siri 2 is a little sleeker, for example. Perhaps to make it less obtrusive during use with a partner. Siri 2 is completely waterproof, though. Bonus if you like shower masturbation, but you’re definitely not going to get use out of the sound-response feature in the shower.

The silicone on Siri 2 also feels more plush and smooth to the touch. Although, this isn’t something I really noticed in use. Siri 2 is just a hair shorter from tip to tip, and the silicone tip is a bit more pointy than the original. But these are all minuscule changes that neither enhance or detract from the design of the original. I do like my Siri 2 in black, but you have to choose from pink or purple if you don’t like black.

Unlike Lelo’s other sophomore vibrators, Siri 2 is noticeably stronger than the original. However, the increase in power also comes with an increase in vibration frequency, so it feels buzzier. I can deal with a vibration that’s a little weaker but more rumbly. It’s part of the reason why I still love my Layaspot. However, the buzzy vibrations of the Siri 2 could be improved upon. I’m not sure they’re a deal breaker.

Although.. the weird music-inspired settings of this clitoral vibe aren’t really doing it for me. I’m not a fan of those extra modes at all, so I’m a bit surprised that I like even one of them. However, there’s something about a steady pulsation that seems preferable to me than these musical vibration modes, which don’t have quite the right rhythm to keep my clit interested. And let’s be honest, the description is pretty pretentious, too:  classical, reggae, rumba, folk, hip hop, soul, techno, and jazz. Uh, okay. Right.

But maybe that’s not why you’re looking at Siri 2. You want to know about how a vibrator can interact with sound because that sounds (pun intended) interesting at the very least. You want to know if it’s a feature worth adding to a toy to begin with let alone buying as a consumer?

Well. Nah. Not really.

Let’s back up. This vibrator “listens” to sounds. It can be any type of sound as far as I can tell. For example, blowing on it will cause it to respond. So will singing and moaning.. if you’re in the right position. You see, the microphone or whatever-it-may be exists at the end where the charting port it. Tapping the port is enough to get the vibrator to respond.

But the sound needs to be close enough to Siri 2; otherwise? Nada. So while I was trying to use it and sing or moan, it couldn’t pick me up.  I don’t particular masturbate to some sound. Although, I happened to have my earbuds on the nightstand next to me, so I gave it a test. I cannot begin to describe how awkward this was, but I can tell you that all my awkward effort was for nothing. Even with sound on max and my earbuds right next to Siri 2, it couldn’t pick it up.

Now, this might work if someone was using it on me and their mouth was closer to the toy, but it makes the function pretty much useless if you’re using it solo. And the argument could be made that you should pop in your favorite CD or log on to a porn site and turn up your speakers. Indeed, those background noises might even drown you out but it doesn’t even work. I have to turn my laptop on maximum and hold Siri 2 right next to my speakers to get it to respond. I don’t think my neighbors like that, folks.

It’s weird. When Siri 2 does manage to respond to sound, there’s a delay. I understand why this might be the case, but it’s altogether too distracting to find the perfect blend of volume and rhythm to get myself off when I know that simply using Siri 2 as a vibrator will work just as well. Plus, you can’t really recognize the “source” sound, anyway.

Original Siri (red) versus Siri 2

Original Siri (red) versus Siri 2

PLUS! Lelo’s 4-button configuration is really not the smartest way to go about this. It works fine for the steady vibration and music-inspired modes, but you have to simultaneously hold two buttons (either the + and – or the two arrows, I forget) for 5 seconds to turn on the stupid audio-responsive mode, anyway. It’s finicky and clumsy and not something I’m going to bother with. Sorry not sorry. That extra button that you’ll find on Ora 2 and other Insignia vibes would have been a much better option to control this addition setting, but I do understand that Lelo would have to redesign the control pad to

So while I have plenty of negatives to say about Lelo’s newest Siri, I will probably keep it charged for use. Because it is a more-powerful version of a vibrator that I’ve already come to like, and the form factor works pretty well if I’ve got another vibe or dildo inserted. In fact, I really enjoyed using it in conjunction with Lelo’s Mona Wave, another new-ish vibe that I’ll be reviewing shortly.

However, that’s not what Lelo wants us to focus on. It’s not the selling point, and I’m not sure if you can be sold when there are other alternatives for less than $100 that aren’t as frustrating and gimmicky!

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Lelo Ora 2

December 18th, 2014

Ora 2
$159 from SheVibe

Let me just start with this “Fuck the haters.”

Seriously. Fuck the haters.

Lelo’s Ora “oral sex simulators” won’t work for everyone. But I like it. And I think some of you will, too. So II’m going to write a review heralding the positives because someone has to do it. And I, brave sex toy review readers, am that someone.

I don’t want to sing blind praises. There is some fair criticism of Ora 2 and what Lelo has been doing lately.

Yes, it’s dumb for the second version of a toy to come out less than a year after the original. Lelo should have tested more and come out with this instead of the original Ora, which I felt lukewarm about at best. It may very well be that Lelo is focusing on quantity over quality lately, but I liked few toys of theirs even when they took longer to release them. The ratio seems about the same. So whatever.

No, I don’t think that hole in the design is awesome. It barely fits two fingers, and even then, they’re not in a position for the rest of my hand to operate the toy or apply pressure the way I like. And this silly plastic ring is like a magnet for the kind of shit that you should only see in a petri dish, I am sure.

Yes, Lelo’s packaging is only impressive the first half dozen times around. It’s almost completely useless after I take a toy out of the box, and I’m sick of ripping the damned foam innards to shreds just to recycle it.

And, no, Lelo didn’t know what they were doing with that stupid banker toy. Like, what the fuck, guys?

But Ora 2 is an improvement over the original, whether that original was tested enough or not. While the original was a good idea and an improvement toys like Sasi, which had already attempted to simulate oral sex for a woman (and a toy that I liked.. while it worked), it wasn’t good enough in real life that I could recommend it, especially at its high price tag.

Lelo has changed very little with the Ora 2. Size and shape are essential identical. They’re probably using the same molds for many of the parts. But the company has increase the size of the rolling ball that provides the clitoral stimulation and made it protrude more, which equals greater and most consistent contact.

And I like it. It feels closest to receiving oral than and other toy. It makes me feel a little less shitty about boys who break my heart and being single and fuck-less. Because, hey, this feels pretty good. At least I have this.

There’s another change that I find to be an improvement, and that’s Lelo’s SenseTouch technology. After pressing the button to active it for 5 seconds, the toy will respond to how hard you press it against your skin. It’s really sensitive, which is a boon. You can barely brush your skin, and it turns on. If you’re like me and you enjoy grinding against things, this will crank it up to maximum. If you have the right body type, you could hold this in between your thighs for hands-free stimulation; although, you won’t get precise control this way.

I guess this was a feature of the Smart Wand, and I didn’t notice. Oops. But it makes much more sense with how I use Ora.  The general design of the mobile ball and how it’s situated within this vibrator also work for pressure and grinding, which are my favorite parts of oral, by the way. It creates a little platform against my vulva, and I can grind until I’m panting and cumming and covered in sweat.

Maybe that’s not for you, though. If you want to use a separate toy internally at the same time, you’ll probably find Ora to be bulky. Indeed, the shape could be improved. Like I mentioned, the hole doesn’t make sense functionally. It’s more about form. My hands still wind up cramping because of this. Bummer.

The vibrators that go with Ora 2 aren’t anything like the Hitachi, but considering the source, they’re fairly deep and strong enough. Acceptable. Better than the Smart Wand with its gigantic size.

I am worried that the battery life is a little low. Because I like Ora 2 so much, I’ve been using it for around the full hour per session, which means I’m going to have to charge it every time. Get on that, Lelo.

And I’d like the track the ball moves on to be smaller and tighter. I’d get more direct clitoral stimulation while holding Ora 2 in place if this was the case.

Really, though, the improvements that Lelo has focused on make a serious difference. Perhaps the Ora 3 will be perfect, if Lelo ever makes it. For now, I’m happy enough for Ora 2, and I seriously recommend you give it a shot if..

  • You liked Ora but would have liked some of these improvements
  • You enjoy oral sex
  • Pressure and grinding are important to your masturbation style

Maybe you’ll want to wait for a sale, because $160 – $180 is certainly a lot for a toy that you may not love. You can get a free $15 SheVibe gift card if you purchase $125 right now, however.

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Lelo Smart Wand Large

November 29th, 2014

Lelo is certainly good at creating attractive products. The Smart Wands are perfect examples of this. Pretty much every other wand massager I’ve used has been a shade of hideous worthy of Medusa. Lelo’s offerings aren’t.

Lelo also decided to go the way of cordless, which means this is a rechargeable wand. I’ve only used one rechargeable wand, but I definitely wasn’t impressed with it. In fact, it’s on my swap list. I felt pretty confident that Lelo’s option would beat out that rechargeable wand, but would it be as good as — or any better — than typical plug-in wands?

I wanted the best chance for success, so I skipped right by the medium. Both options are certainly pricey, but the large costs $60 more than medium, which Lelo sells directly for $129. Hush sells the large Smart Wand for $199 CAD, or around $177 USD. Of course, you’d expect a high price point like this from Lelo.

You’d also expect the wand to be covered in body-safe silicone. It is. You can’t toss this in your dishwasher, but you can spray with bleach. The silicone covers the majority of the toy. It’s loser around the thin neck. There’s a silver plastic panel on the handle. I noticed that where the silicone tucks into this piece at the base, it’s not super secure. I can push the silicone in and get my fingernail under the edge of the piece. I guess I happen to hold the wand in a way that makes this possible. It could be more secure, but it’s attractive and likely not a deal-breaker.

Smart Wand next to Miracle Massager and Inspire

Smart Wand next to Miracle Massager and Inspire

The controls on this toy are the typical Lelo style, which makes them quite different from the switches and buttons on most wands. This also means there’s more modes than typical wands. In fact, I’ve never used a wand that is able to pulsate or escalate, I don’t think. But I’m not a big fan of all those fancy modes, so I stick to the steady vibes. The vibrations in this are rather rumbly — the type I like. But they’re also not as strong as any plug-in vibrator. That’s just not possible. The highest setting is definitely lower than that of any corded vibe I’ve got. One of the benefits of the Smart Wands, however, is the option to switch between lowest and highest. You typically don’t get more than two or three settings with most wands, and this could be a serious selling point.

But I can’t wholly recommend the large Smart Wand because it is, well, large. It’s the largest of all the wands I have, both in overall size and in the size of the head. In the comparison photo is the Miracle Massager and the Inspire. The Smart Wand just seems like a behemoth in comparison, and it feels incredibly bulky during use. The hand thins toward the centers but then grows wider again toward the base, so it feels awkward when I hold it. And the head is so large and rounded that I just feel like I can’t get enough or the right kind of pressure.

It took me a long time to build up to orgasm, and while the vibrations were enough to do the trick, shape it also incredibly important for me. Lelo’s Smart Wand might be worth the money if your focus is on convenience, depth of vibes and luxury, but I can’t see myself reaching for this toy over one of the smaller and easier to use options that I already have, even if I’m tethered to them by a cord.

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Svakom Gaga

November 22nd, 2014

Sex toys and innovation.

Sex toys.

and.

Innovation.

Those words sounds really great when you put them together. Indeed, any number of companies want to take your money in exchange for whatever “innovation” they’ve added, even if you’re already seen it before. (-cough- I’m talking to you, Lelo, CEN and Doc Johnson -cough-). I suspect I’m not the only reviewer who cringes whenever she reads the word “innovation.”

The thing is, some companies are innovative. My experience with Svakom has generally been that this is one of those companies. However, innovation in and of itself isn’t necessarily good. It might be be able to achieve mass sales. Innovation may be good for only a few consumers. Innovation might make an item too niche for the general public. The word itself is heralded as an amazing thing, but sometimes it’s just different, and that doesn’t mean it good.

This is where Svakom’s Gaga falls. Gaga is a basic cylindrical vibe that reminds me of the Freestyle, but it’s generally thinner and narrower if I recall correctly. This “endoscopic” vibrator comes complete with a tiny camera and light built into the end, so you can see inside yourself as you use it. This means you need a compatible computer — Windows 7 and 8 will work just fine — and the USB cable. I don’t know why, but the fact that this connects to my computer makes me even more anxious about keeping the port clear of water. In fact, Svakom ships Gaga with an extra nub of silicone to cover it. Smart.

The vibrator comes with a disc. It’s not a software installation disc as much as it is a software-having disc. To be honest, I’m not sure that you have to use this program, but I’m not invested enough to figure out an alternative. So you need to have the disc inserted and the vibe connected via the USB cable. Then you have to turn on the camera with a button on the vibe. If you’ve got a webcam on your computer, the software will pick it up.

The program is incredibly easy to use but as I have an external DVD ROM, it’s kind of a drag. But you know what’s worse? You can’t really see anything when this is inserted. The addition of a light certainly helps, but the way the vagina is a potential space rather than a structured cave — you’re welcome for the awkward visual? — doesn’t work as well with the Gage as you might expect. Or perhaps it’s exactly as you’d expect if you gave it any thought.

I knew this before going in, but it was still a bummer. Other reviewers said that they bought clear, plastic speculums to use with this toy. But the thing it, you shouldn’t have to purchase something else to get the base use out of it! It should just work or come with everything you need to make it work. I didn’t want to shell out any more money.

To be honest, I wasn’t so disappointed. The idea of having to use a vibrator while it’s connected to my computer isn’t one that I find all that appealing. I know it would skyrocket the price, but a wireless transmission method or even being able to record the video and play it back at a later time just make more sense to me. Then again, I spend more on computers than some people do cars, and I can only imagine the sort of damage I might be able to do when tethered to my computer with a short USB cord in the midst of orgasm.

I feel the need to mention the vibrations before I wrap this up. They’re quite buzzy and disappointing. Leslie was a much better vibrator. This one’s easy to use, though. I wouldn’t recommend it for clitoral stimulation unless you can use the side of toys. I like to use the tip, but that’s where the camera is located rather than the motor.

This isn’t to say that no one  will enjoy Gaga. Some people will be into the idea of an endoscopic vibe much more than I am, and they’ll invest in a clear speculum. If you’re into medical and/or fetish play like this, the Gage might be the sort of unique item that you just have to add to your collection. However, I can’t see casual sex toy users rushing to the stores to purchase this vibrator, especially when it’s not strong enough to serve as a traditional fallback even without the camera option.

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