Smartballs (Black/Magenta)

July 10th, 2009

Smartballs have been reviewed a million times. Probably more. I can’t think of any toy which has been reviewed more. I actually cringe when I read another new review for them so I don’t want to inundate you with what you already know but I still wanted to try them for myself and PinkCherry provided them for me to do so.

In the event that you forgot or haven’t stumbled across one of those reviews, here’s a quick rundown: Elastomed (specially treated, non-porous elastomer), weighted, silicone retrieval cord, 0.3 lb, 4 1/2″ length, 4 1/2″ circumference, “ribbed”, dual-colour (with multiple colours available), vaginal exercisers with flexible connector which can be washed with soap/water or toy wash (but no boiling); made by Fun Factory (with Fun Factory’s standard packaging).

There are a couple things which are remarkable:

  • Smartballs are not round, they are actually oblong.
  • The connector is longer of that in the Luna Beads or K-Balls.
  • The combination of these things means a longer exerciser overall.
  • Different colours seem to offer differing amounts of stimulation via internal ‘vibrations.’
  • Smartballs offer the most stimulation via ‘vibration’ than either the Luna Beads or K-Balls.
  • Smartballs are also the heaviest which I consider no coincidence.
  • The retrieval cord is connected to the end of one ball, which is very points.
  • Silicone lube can be used.

There are also a few things I experienced:

  • Smartballs are more difficult to position than K-Balls. I needed to readjust them to find the right place for them to sit. If they were in a different position, they were uncomfortable, even painful. They also wanted to slip out more. I feel this is all due to the longer connector and oblong shape.
  • The ridges offered no help for insertion. My fingers were nowhere near there; however, insertion wasn’t so hard that I needed the ridges.
  • The ridges made no difference in sensation.
  • The retrieval cord on Smartballs is stiffer and more annoying than the cords on similar vagina balls.
  • Like all vaginal balls, the Smartballs push out tiny air “pockets” (queefs, I guess?) from the vagina. This can be annoying/distracting or may not affect you at all. I always have to get use to it, when I first put them in.
  • Although I could feel the inner vibrations more, they weren’t pleasurable. Furthermore, the shape of the balls didn’t work with my shape as well as the K-Balls. G-spot stimulation was little to none.
  • I was able to experience intense G-spot stimulation with one ball poised at the entrance to my vagina and a strong massager style vibrator.
  • The pointy end where the cord is, fucking hurt/pinched!
  • Vaginal balls are not good for stationary activities.

My personal preference for kegel balls is not Fun Factory’s Smartballs. They are certainly well made but my specific shape and the oblong balls do not mix very well. I think all of my issues would be solved by making the Smartballs round and while I know every woman is different, I think that one improvement would make them more enjoyable for the majority of women.

It is of significance that Fun Factory has released a sort of Smartballs 2.0 with their Teneo Deo (and Teneo Uno) Smartballs. These exercisers do lack the painful, pointy place as the way the retrieval cord is connected has changed. However, they still appear to be oblong.


Laya Spot

January 8th, 2009

Hey! You can check out how I feel about Layaspot years later in this post in my A Toy A Day feature, where I give older toys another go ’round. Fun Factory has also released an updated version, the Laya II. Check out my review!

The Laya Spot might be small but it should never be underestimated. This toy’s tiny stature was both surprisingly small yet enough to get me off time and again. It has quickly rekindled the passionate spark in masturbation for me, causing me to increase my frequency. I would not be lying if this was the only toy I could for the rest of my sexual life, I would be satisfied and I think everyone with a clit should own one.  Period.

No matter how detailed a toy’s description is, I am nearly always surprised at its size when it finally shows up. Perhaps it was because of the close ups of the Laya Spot, but I didn’t realize it was so tiny. It’s no mini bullet but it easily fits in the palm of my hand, making masturbation much more effortless than before.

My Laya Spot is black and purple with the main body of the toy being a softer black Elastomed and the controls and battery cap a hard purple plastic.  This makes it a fairly hypoallergenic toy which can be cleaned with soap and water but Fun Factory does not recommend boiling or wiping down with alcohol so I’m not sure it can be sterilized.

Overall, it’s a quality toy which even the packaging suggests. I had heard that Fun Factory has impressive packaging and I must concur. The Laya Spot came in a box which didn’t waste a lot of space or packaging.  The box contained two “flaps,” with a bit of information about the toy. These flaps folded down and stayed in place with small magnets.  My Laya Spot also came with a small instruction sheet (in several languages) and a sample of Fun Factory’s water based (thus safe for everything) lube, ToyFluid.

The Laya Spot is a really unique shaped toy which I think is its best selling point. The rounded ends work perfectly for stimulation and I think this toy would work well for women of all shapes and sizes and perhaps even regular massage, too. With my fingers reaching toward the controls and the heel of my hand resting over the battery pack, I can easily control the Laya Spot. I use it like the instructions suggest, placing the Laya Spot over my mons. However, it could be used in a variety of ways – perhaps with the battery pack stimulating the vaginal opening which I didn’t try. The placement I like would also work well during many sexual positions so I hope to try that, too.

This position worked well when it came to using the controls. For the most part,  I was able to reach and use the controls which include 2 buttons. Holding the + button turns it on (while holding the – button turns it off) or increases the vibration. After the highest level, which I thought was pretty impressive for this small toy, it begins a couple patterns of pulsation.  So you have a lot of options, quite literally, at your fingertips.

Although the vibrations were very nice, I used this toy without having it on and also got off. I think the innovate shape is that effective. I also didn’t love the pulsation settings so I kept it on regular vibration most of the time. There are something like 7 levels of vibration so that certainly didn’t disappoint.

Most of the time, I used the Laya Spot through my panties. This wasn’t for any real reason but it definitely worked out. I finally decided I wanted to try out this little toy with the included lube so I lubed it up, slipped out of my clothes and began my merry journey. The combination of no fabric and lube provided a sensational vibrating feeling and the tip of the Laya Spot glided easily where I directed it with my hand. I soon came a handful of times.

I have yet to play with the Laya Spot and not orgasm so I’ve been pretty impressed. I also have had very satisfying orgasms with this toy and I am the queen of frustratingly unsatisfying orgasms so that says a lot. In fact, I feel so relaxed after playing with the Laya Spot. I’m usually so uptight about everything and something about this little toy just clicks with me and is extremely pleasing.

I also love that it’s small enough to take just about anywhere, which I imagine I will do in the future. It’s shape makes it fairly discreet so people won’t automatically know what it is. It is a little loud for its size, especially on higher settings but it’s not something you’ll hear through a wall.

So, is there anything I don’t like about the Laya Spot? The answer is “yes,” sadly. It’s only splash-proof, not waterproof. It would be damned near perfect if it were waterproof. The battery cap does seem pretty snug but I am not going to risk it. The battery cap is another issue. After inserting batteries (2 AAA), I didn’t close it all the way. The last little push you need to firmly close the cap, which twists on,  is pretty hard so it can seem like it’s fully closed before it is. Before I realized this, the cap popped off a couple of inopportune times.

Finally, and I don’t know if it’s just me, but the Laya Spot had a rather offensive odor when I first opened it. It was something like super-condensed BO. It has gotten better as I have washed it a few times since then and generally keep it in the fresh air. I really don’t know what this is about. I haven’t really read any reviews where others have experienced the same thing so I don’t know if it’s necessarily a material smell or what but it’s really, really unpleasant. Luckily, everything else about this vibrator is so impressive or I might have given up on it.

If you like clit stimulation, the Laya Spot is a great vibrator, any way you look at it. The unique shape made this an amazing toy, even when used without vibration and I cannot recommend it enough!