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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The Girls Bestie Vibe

November 10th, 2014

reviewer’s remorse

noun

1.

overwhelming regret upon using or opening a sex toy for the first time and knowing instantaneously that there’s no way you can like it — and you can’t even send it back for a refund because it was free!

2.

theme of this post

Let’s set the stage shall we? I am so excited for new brands that sometimes I let my excitement get the best of me. I forget to check all-important stats such as length or girth or, God forbid, power source! of a toy. Or I forget that I really don’t like clitoral stimulators shaped like bunny ears. You can guess which one I am guilty of this time.

Yes, the bestie has silly bunny ears. Yes, the vibrations are incredibly buzzy, so those ears wind up.. offending my clit. It’s not a powerful barrage. It’s not over-stimulating. It’s simply the wrong kind of stimulation. My clit is offended, okay?

If you like bunny ears fluttering over your clit, then maybe yours won’t be offended, but I’m pretty terrible at guessing these things.

Bestie’s charging base reminds me a lot of the ones that comes with the Form 3 and Form 3. The rounded butt sits in it. However, there’s actually a plug on the base that inserts into the port. I slightly prefer this because it means that it won’t fall off my nightstand and go rolling across the floor. Or that my asshole cats can’t run off with it like they’ve been doing with my Yooo.

Anyway, A green light flashes while it charges. The soft silicone area around the charging port lights up blue when it’s in use, but the button doesn’t light up. It’s raised and embossed, so you won’t have any issues finding it.

The vibrations are both incredibly buzzy and whiny, and Bestie provides you with three incredibly buzzy levels of steady vibes in case you weren’t sure how offended your clit would be to start with. There’s a buzz-buuzzz mode,  and a pulsation that sounds like it’s an alien trying to communicate with us and a fast pulsation leading up to a slower pulse. The laughable vibrations aren’t enough to make these feel good, however. Plus, the weird noise is sooo distracting. It’s not loud, but it’s at a specific pitch that makes me want to punch someone in the junk.

I guess I think it’s cool that Vibratex has moved away from shitty toys like the Rabbit Habit, of which I broke two when I was 18, and to rechargeable silicone toys. But these are only splashproof and far overpriced for vibrations that literally feel on bar with watch-battery-powered bullets to me. Most of their battery-powered toys rely on AAAs, which I never ever like. When compared to the Magic Wand Original, which they know make, it’s obvious these toys represent the extremes with no middle ground. Boo!

And while Amie might have been a better shape for me — it’s similar to the Minna Limon — I’m sure I would still find myself underwhelmed by the power. The Limon is just $29 more. It’s expensive but well worth it in my opinion. If you’re looking for something under $100, the We-Vibe Tango at $80 is your best bet. I haven’t used the newest model, but I still rely heavily on my original Tango. I still fucking LOVE my Siri, and the Leaf Spirit also costs less than $100 at Good Vibes.

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Svakom Leslie

October 18th, 2014

So let’s talk about the shape. Leslie is a gently curved vibrator that will provide subtle G-spot stimulation. It has no hook a la Ella or Gigi, so you’re not going to get intense stimulation of your G-spot. The silky smooth silicone feels quite nice in my hand.

Yet, it’s not the shape or size of this toy that is its main appeal. Leslie is a self-heating vibrator that has the ability to raise temperature on its own and either in combination with or separately from vibrations.

A separate button enables you to turn on this function, which in and of itself isn’t that impressive. I don’t think I’d ever use Leslie without vibrations is what I mean. There’s a very gradual increase in heat, so you’re not worrying about burning yourself. At its warmest, it’s supposed to get up to 104 degrees F (40 C). If you’re just letting it test for curiosity’s sake, you’ll definitely feel the heat!

I would hazard a guess that some people wouldn’t feel it that much when used internally, however. I like it, though. Paired with the vibrations, I feel like this is a solid vibrator. There are 5 different modes:

  1. Continuous vibes (with multiple speeds)
  2. Escalation
  3. Pulsation
  4. Faster/stronger pulsation
  5. Fast pulsation

The manual lists 6 modes, but I’m not sure what the last one is. Perhaps heat? While the steady vibes aren’t too buzzy or weak. In fact, I really like them.

The four buttons on Leslie work in an interesting way. There’s a single button to turn on and off the heat, and there’s no way to control the specific temperature as far as I can tell. The control panel remains lit as long as heat as on, so you’ll never forget it. There is a “S” button that you press and hold to power on and off. It takes a few seconds to do this. There are also two arrow buttons. Pressing them once will cycle through speeds or strengths of the current setting while pressing it twice takes you to the next setting. It’s not difficult but it is different to use.

The build reminds me of other upscale toys and, like I said, I love the silky texture.  However, During some of the modes, I can hear an obvious rattle internally. This wouldn’t stop me from using Leslie, but it’s a sign that more work could be done and it’s distracting on the lower settings, when you can more easily hear it.

Leslie isn’t terribly loud, but the stronger modes do seem louder than I’m used to. I’d like to see the maximum noise output be equal to the quietest setting ideally.

Leslie is rechargeable via port on the bottom of the toy. It’s not covered like other toys, but Leslie is designed to be water resistant. I think that water would minimize the heating effect as I always find water distracting when in the shower.

Although there’s no serious G-spot hook, the shaft is curved slightly and large enough to feel filling thanks to the rigid inner core. Size queens will have to look elsewhere, however. With an overall length of just over 8 inches, Leslie offers about 6 inches for insertion until you’ll hit the buttons. The control panel is in an interesting position, by the way, on the side of the toy and running vertical. You could insert past the buttons, but you won’t be able to adjust the vibrator obviously. At its widest, Leslie is about 1.5″ in diameter. The tip of the shaft tapers for easier insertion.

On the other side is the Svakom logo, which matches in shape. There’s an LED light that shines through, which I never noticed before. It’s really not going to be something you can even see during use, but it is pretty.

Don’t be like me and use silicone lube with this toy. It’s a bitch to wash off.

At $175, this toy is more than luxury priced. If you are spending that much, I’m not sure if I would recommend Leslie unless you really want to try the warming function, and you have the expendable cash. I completely understand that this is more than just your typical vibrator, but the temperature aspect isn’t so remarkable that I would recommend Leslie to everyone. Some discerning buyers will definitely enjoy it, however! When buying directly from Svakom, you have your choice of plugs, which is awesome!

Leslie comes in black, white, wine red and purple. In person, the wine red is more of a deep raspberry. Pink haters beware!

You can take your chances and buy it for ~ $130 at Amazon. You can check them out at my affiliate store for under $150, too! There aren’t that many retailers selling Svakom products, but Leslie is definitely one that would do well in an upscale sex toy shop, I think.

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Entice Emilia

September 23rd, 2014

CEN’s Entice line is attractively designed. Sleek boxes and toys that come in purple or pink silicone with clean lines attracted my eye. I opted to try the Emilia. It’s a dual stimulator that’s almost-but-not-quite a rabbit. While I may have loved rabbits once upon a time, they’re not a favorite of mine anymore.

I actually first tried the Emilia externally. This was where I found myself curious about the flexible neck of the shaft. It’s not exactly floppy, but it’s not good for pressure that I like externally. This also isn’t going to make it a good thrusting toy internally, and while it’s not as difficult to use as the Dorcel vibe, I would prefer a more rigid shaft.

The shaft is also pretty small, so this might be a good toy if you’re not into gigantic insertables. I do tend to like something larger, however. The specs measure it as 1.25 inches in diameter. This is actually the max with at the toy closer to the edge of the shaft. It’s gradually thinner toward the neck, where it’s flexible.  I don’t typically need a pronounced head to get G-spot stimulation and the curve of the shaft was almost perfect.  This might not be the vibe for you if you do like a ridged head that you can’t possibly ignore.

Similarly, the tiny clit protrusion is just a fraction of the length of your typical rabbit. Unless your clit basically dances right at the edge of your vaginal opening, it’s not going to provide direction stimulation. This might be okay if you like general stimulation. The curve of the toy did seem to hug me almost perfectly.

It seems like CEN had some trouble with the two motors. Perhaps My Emilia is defective, but there’s a distinct rattle as though the housing isn’t tight enough around the inner workings.  While I’m use to the first settings being steady vibration, this isn’t the case with Emilia. The first setting is both motors, the second is just the clit stim motor and the third is just the shaft vibration.

This is followed by a fast pulse in both motors, a surprisingly deep escalation pattern and a back-and-forth escalation between the two motors. The last setting is both motors going steady. It seems to be stronger than the initial mode in the cycle. Fortunately, it returns to this first mode when you turn it off. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have been able to describe the settings at all. They’re in some crazy order that makes no sense. The two modes where both motors are vibrating continuously should be right next to one another. And there’s no helpful material. The included instructions are generic for any sex toy and not the Entice line or the Emilia specifically.

All of this might you think that I dislike the toy. But to be honest, it was effective enough when used as anticipated to get my to squirt. I actually quite like the weird escalation setting, and some of the other settings seem to produce vibrations that are deeper than the steady vibes. There’s definitely some quality control issues, but this isn’t a terrible toy by a long shot. It even survived a silicone lube incident. My bad.

The shaft vibrations are fairly deep, but there’s a rattling of the housing that makes them seem buzzier than they are. The clitoral vibrations a deep, but any setting that uses both motors makes this less noticeable.

This is especially true when you consider the price. It’s less than $60 fro Sextoy.com. In fact, you can save 15% with code EMILIA15 when you buy it now.

Caveat: this toy is toy is touted as USB rechargeable. It comes with the cable and no AC adapter. You can find adapters for at cheap as a dollar at places like Walgreens, though. The real nit I have to pick is the charging port access through the silicone at the base of the toy. Other companies have tried that shrinking-hole style. It’s especially frustrating with  Emilia because the hole seems slightly misaligned with the port beneath it. I have to find the right angle to get it to go in. With frequent use, I’ll be a pro, but I’m not sure how frequently I’ll use this.

CEN Sexpert

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Svakom Echo

September 5th, 2014

Echo
$110 from Svakom

Who loves to discover and try toys from new companies? This reviewer! And the newest company on my radar is Svakom, an American company with a European office. The company makes toys that are, at first glance, similar to Lelo. However, Svakom has some original designs that really make this brand worth looking at a second time… and I totally plan to write about those toys. For this post, however, I’ll focus on the Echo.

Echo is a tiny clitoral vibrator that is remarkably similar to Lelo’s Lily. Lily was one of those toys that I lusted over for months, but I was rather disappointed by the time I actually got to try it.

In fact, Echo even comes in similar shades, and buttons placed on the underside of the toy is one of the issues Echo shares with Lily that have made this experience more lackluster than I had hoped for.

Echo gentle curves so cup your pubic mound. The under side has less of a nub than Siri or the Layaspot, however, so I found myself having to press it against myself with some force to get the pressure and contact I enjoy. This makes it less than luxurious and more of a workout. It might work better during missionary sex where your bodies press it against you, but I haven’t been able to try it.

Because the buttons are on the underside, you need to lift it up or completely remove the clit to change the settings. I’m more apt to do the latter because it’s easier, but it also means you’re interrupting stimulation.

There are two buttons to control the toy, but they run vertically along the toy rather than Lily’s horizontal buttons.  Echo is much more narrow, too. This doesn’t make it any better – or worse. I’d prefer if it had a bigger nub rather than a more narrow body.

One button turns on the button. It’s not labeled, but it’s in the upper position. The lower button cycles through several steady vibration modes when you press it once. A quick double-click moves through two modes each of pulsation and escalation. Pressing for several seconds turns off the vibrator. Obviously, one button has a single function while the other button bears responsibility for all other functions. And the buttons are swapped with their roles from what you’re normally expect.

This wouldn’t be a huge issue if I loved the vibes, but I don’t. Echo has shallow vibes that aren’t super strong. I can get off with a lot  of effort,  but I’m not sure it’s worth it. According to the vibe, you’ll get 5 hours of use out of a single 1-hour charge. I haven’t used it that long to test, however. It’s fairly quiet, so you needn’t worry about noise.

I do like the finish, which is silky smooth and soft,  made of ABS plastic. It’s not silicone, but it’s one of the safer materials.

There is an open charging port on the end, so I’d be careful of that when washing, and this one isn’t waterproof so don’t take it in the shower or bath.

Echo retails for $110. that’s well over the price of some similar toys, like the Siri, which I am more likely to recommend. However, my other experiences with Svakom products have been pretty awesome so stay tuned!

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Fun Factory Flora

August 10th, 2014

A couple years ago, fun Factory released a line or two or smaller toys. These included Bubbles and the Mini line, of which  I reviewed the Ocean. They all boasted the fine craftsmanship of Fun Factory in addition to the company’s bright colors, which we all know and love.

The company has come out with a new bunch of products after the Stronic Eins, and they use the same control setup. I think Fun Factory simply wanted to created some small vibes that use the same control panel type. The company does it periodically. I’ve seen a number of button setups for Fun Factory toys.  Remember when FF toys used that unique dial? Yeaaa. They’ve come a long way since then. The original Paul and Paulina wasn’t any better, either.

For a while, the company was creating toys with three buttons. Two were the typically to control the toy while the last worked as a boost, one of the things Fun Factory is known for. However, buttons on the Big Boss and Yooo were much harder to push than they should have been, especially when you have to press two at a time. Fun Factory’s Flora uses the same 3-button setup, but they’re smooth — almost beveled looking — and much easier to push. The control panel no longer lights up when you touch it, which I liked but seemed not to work consistently.

However, a two-button setup would’ve been fine. The third button, which features the Fun Factory logo, simply acts as a master power switch. If you touch one of the other buttons while the toy is off, the third one lights up to let you know to press it. Kind of useless. I also think the + and – buttons should be switched so the – button is toward the bottom of the toy.  In fact, they’re printed upside down. The thought is that you’ll look down and it will be right-side-up, but I can’t even see toys because of my short arms, and most toys use the other arrangement.

Flora starts at the last setting you had it on. There are a number of steady vibrating levels. The lowest is the deepest, and the highest definitely tickles my hand uncomfortably. Fun Factory has put better motors in other toys. If you keep pressing the + button, it changes modes.

  • Up and down escalation
  • Fast up/down escalation
  • Faster escalation
  • Fast pulsation
  • Low vibe/Fast pulse
  • Varied pulsation

The modes are different, which makes them interesting especially the last setting. The last one is especially different, but the escalation is redundant.

It seems a little loud — louder than the Siri, for example — for the power output.

Like the Stronic, this one uses a two-contact magnetic charger. The contact points are at the end of the base, which is rounded. I find this to be awkward. If the Flora is sitting on a table, it is tricky to line up the magnet and cable, which will have to bend to stay in position. This makes it waterproof, but I don’t personally require this.

My pink Flora reminds me an awful lot of the Fun Factory Curve. It collects lint, attracts hungry cats and needs a little bit of lube to feel slick.

My biggest peeve with this vibe might simply be that I’m not sure what it’s intended for. With just four inches to insert and a diameter of just over 1 inch, it feels far too small inserted. But it doesn’t need to be this size or generally phallic for external stimulation. I can’t tell if Flora is a stupidly giant pocket rocket or a tiny g-spot vibe. It did neither thing well for me. I do think the ridged design is fun and would be great if this were larger.

At $90, I can name a number of rechargeable internal and clitoral vibes that would be a better deal. The Laya Spot is a better option if you don’t need rechargeable or super strength. We Vibe’s Tango is a much better clitoral vibe. The Lovelife Cuddle is a better g-spot vibe that costs less than $70, too.

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Jopen Key Comet II

July 14th, 2014

Have you ever just wanted something so bad? You couldn’t help but think about it?

In this case, it wasn’t that I wanted the Comet and the followup, the vibrating Comet II.

I wanted to love them the way that other people did. The way that people loved the Pure Wand.

Perhaps I should have known better.

Why wasn’t my love affair meant to be? Perhaps it’s because the curve of the Comet II is so round. I guess I prefer an angle. And the shaft is so rigid. There’s no give at all to make it work with my anatomy. There’s no give or pliability to that 1.5-inch knob at the end.

And if I was built like everyone else, I’m sure I wound love the curve and bulbous head. Most people are going to find this heavenly as the curve pushes the head of the toy directly toward their G-spot rather than just sort of gliding past it like it did with my shallow G-spot.

The buzzy vibrations are particularly unacceptable to me considering this is a rechargeable toy. There’s no excuse for them to not be anything other than causes-your-hand-to-go-numb.  Yet, they are. And the vibrating patterns are lackluster and utterly forgettable because of it. Seriously? It’s 2014. What the hell is wrong with you people that this made it off the drawing board let alone the assembly line?

Ugh, okay.

And marketing, packaging (it does come with its own storage bag) and waterproofiness just aren’t going to sway me when a toy doesn’t work for my anatomy. But even if I loved the shape, I would likely be disappointed by the vibrations. Especially because there’s a single continuous vibrating mode. That’s it. Not even a confusing high-medium-low. You can’t go up or down. Well!

If you’ve read reviews from anyone who has tried both, you’ve likely head that while the Comet II does add vibration to the design, it doesn’t do so in a way that makes both of them necessary. In fact, I would argue that the shallow vibes are so insignificant that they don’t warrant even the price jump between the two. This is especially true because the motor replaced the translucent part of the handle with plastic that is much tackier looking in my not-so-humble opinion. The glass looked much prettier. It might have been weightier, but I don’t have the original to compare.

Okay, so what might you like? The silicone has a bit of drag to it. Good for g-spots, maybe? If yours give a second thought about that kind of thing. I personally like that the entire length of the Comet II is less than the Pure Wand, which curled right into my belly button in the weirdest way. Like, how do other people even use it? There’s a knobby end on the Comet II where the button is, easy to use. Others have complained about it being a bit hard to grasp, however. Certainly, the slickness of lube makes it more difficult, but it’s not like this wasn’t an issue with the Pure Wand.

I can’t bring myself to love the Comet II, but I am the exception and not the rule. You might want to check our reviews from Property of Potter or Mr Will if you think you’re more like them.

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