For six years, I've been testing and reviewing sex toys. Many readers entrust their future orgasms to me, and I do not take that honor lightly. My reviews are snarky, honest, and delightfully void of euphemisms.
The Gigi used to be one of LELO’s flagship toys. A true fan favorite. The kind of toy people would keep on their wishlists for years, save up for, tell all their Tumblr friends to buy. But I am officially revoking that honor; I’m using the past tense. The Gigi has not kept up with the times.
I tried the first Gigi in 2009, back when I was still wowed by rechargeable toys and slick packaging. It was “elegant,” I conceded, but I was disturbed by the high-pitched whine it emitted — and disappointed by how short it was. Although my vagina had yet to become a black hole, I still found it too petite.
When rumblings about a Gigi 2 started surfacing, I was thrilled. Surely, in its second generation, this promising toy would be given the power boost it needed to compete with LELO’s best, the Mona 2. Surely, they would lengthen the shaft and update the cramped control pad. This was exactly what Gigi needed! MAKEOVER TIME!!!
But none of it was to be. The only significant improvements are that the Gigi 2 is fully waterproof, has no high-pitched whine (I’m not ashamed to admit I said “oh, oh yes” when I turned it on), and has 8 vibration patterns instead of the original 4. It comes in four colors, including a vibrant turquoise and a lovely steely grey. Oh, and it’s made with “softer silicone,” which translates to a silicone that is just as rigid, but doesn’t smudge.
And that’s… it. Nothing about the design of the Gigi has changed. This toy is still diminutive, with less than 4″ of insertable length (at least before my vag is greeted by the ribbon of silver), and 1.27″ in diameter at its widest. The buttons are still frustratingly close together, even for my tiny thumbs, resulting in a lot of inaccurate presses.
LELO claims Gigi 2 has 100% more power than the first generation. But I definitely spent 5 minutes of my life with both my Gigis on high, switching quickly between them on my clit, ignoring the porn, and wholly unable to discern if there was a difference.
Finally I called my boyfriend into the room to resurrect the blind vagina clit test. After much back and forth with my eyes closed and my clit on high alert, I tentatively chose a winner. Then I opened my eyes.
I was wrong. I had chosen the old Gigi as the one that was marginally stronger, if at all.
Internally, the Gigi does what it does best: it is a delicious G-spotter. That shape, as we’ve found, is just what the G-spot ordered. Even for as small as it is, it definitely hooks up in there and strokes my G-spot into oblivion. And now that I like vibrations on my G-spot, I can appreciate them.
But this thing is so short, I’m lucky if I can find an inch of dry plastic to grasp at the base. Prepare to become acquainted with your bodily juices.
And there’s another problem: a friend gifted me the battery-operated, similarly-shaped PicoBong Moka, and no joke, it is BETTER THAN THE GIGI. The vibrations have less depth, but they are stronger. The Moka has the precious extra inches that the Gigi lacks, even if its buttons are in a dumb location. And uh… you’re looking at $47 instead of $119. A difference of $72. LELO has been upstaged by their own child company.
And so, an opportunity for true improvement of a classic toy was missed completely. Gigi 2 suffers from the same downfalls as the Gigi of yore. The price is no longer justifiable. The legendary shape can be found elsewhere, for less money, while another has taken the throne. Oh, how the mighty have fallen.
Have a question for me? Email me at hey.epiphora [at] gmail [dot] com.
Welcome to a special edition of Ask Piph focused solely on the legendary njoy Pure Wand! If you somehow haven’t heard of the Pure Wand, it is a solid, double-ended piece of stainless steel that many (including myself) regard as the G-spot’s/prostate’s savior. I get a lot of questions about it, so I decided to compile them all in one place.
I’m buying a Pure Wand to use on myself (as a guy) but also with partners. I was wondering what tips you could give me on how best to use the toy after I’ve spoken to my partners about it. What sort of motion is best with the Pure Wand, a thrusty one or just a constant pressure on the G-spot?
I don’t use penetrative toys with my boyfriend often, but the Pure Wand is one of few insertable toys that I am happy to have him use on me because it is pretty foolproof. The worst you can do is poke someone’s cervix, which is true with any toy, but with the Pure Wand, a lot of the angling is done for you (which I find to be the most frustrating thing about partner toy use). However, it is heavier than most toys, so be prepared for an arm workout.
Without stating the obvious too much, every person is going to be different. I imagine some people like a constant pressure, while others prefer a soft rocking motion, and others crave a swift thrusting. I personally like a pretty short thrusting motion, just back and forth, where the user’s hand moves parallel to the bed. It might be worthwhile to watch someporn in which people use the Pure Wand on themselves and each other.
But your best bet is to have your subject try the toy on their own, then show you how they thrust. Watch closely, give it a shot, and communicate during. It’s definitely an odd toy to handle at first, but you’ll get the hang of it.
Am I the only one who has not gotten off with the njoy Pure Wand? I’ve used it a few times, and it just doesn’t do anything for me. There doesn’t seem to be any magic sweet spot that it hits and I feel like I’m being probed by an indifferent robot. Either I am suffering from a serious personal deficiency (no G-spot?) or I need inside access to the Pure Wand Guide for Dummies. Please tell me I’m not the only one who doesn’t love the damned thing?
You’re not the only one. Lorax and Adriana aren’t fans either. But with that said, I’m inclined to think that more practice is needed.
Everyone with a vagina has a G-spot (it’s a part of the body also known as the urethral sponge), so it’s not that. But are you warming yourself up before using it? The G-spot responds better when you are already turned on. Are you using something clitorally while you use the Pure Wand? G-spot stimulation is greatly enhanced by simultaneous clitoral stimulation. Have you peed and removed all distractions? Make sure you are REALLY aroused and relaxed before picking up the Pure Wand. Without that, all the positions and movements may make no difference. Although, of course, you should try a variety of movements and positions as well.
DO NOT GIVE UP. I have faith that you can succeed with the Pure Wand. In fact, I gave this exact advice to one reader in your same boat, and days later she wrote back, “Thank you thank you thank you. Everyone with a vagina needs a Pure Wand.” Her secret? Staying in a hotel room away from the kids and having her partner use the Pure Wand on her during oral.
I truly love my Pure Wand, but it has never made me squirt. I definitely know where my G-spot is and can touch it with my fingers, and I swear I’ve watched every squirting technique video and have read every piece of literature on female ejaculation, but even the Pure Wand does not make it happen. Seriously — what am I doing wrong?
A few things I would suggest, if you aren’t doing them already: put a towel or Liberator Throe under you, and pee beforehand so you don’t have any lingering worries about making a mess. Take your time getting turned on: use a warm-up toy on your G-spot before using the Pure Wand, along with a clitoral vibe.
Then, with lots o’ lube, insert the Pure Wand and gently rock it back in forth inside of you. Keep using the clitoral vibe if that feels good. When you’re ready, put your game face on and thrust like a mofo. In my experience, you have to thrust like a mofo to squirt. Try to relax as much as possible and keep your vaginal muscles open, not clenched. Increase your thrusting speed until the need-to-pee sensation creeps up, then becomes overwhelming. Then THRUST SOME MORE. If you feel a release on the horizon, push out with your muscles. Hopefully, hopefully, you will squirt.
I’m a G-spot beginner (as in, I’m not even entirely sure I’ve pinpointed it). Would investing in a Pure Wand be a good idea, or should I wait until I’m better, er, acquainted with my G-spot?
Part of me is screaming yes, but the other part wonders if you should try something less extreme first. I took a poll on Twitter (always the most accurate) and peeps were pretty evenly split. There are two schools of thought when it comes to this question.
@Epiphora YES! It was my very first G-spot toy, and I didn't even know what my G-spot could do before the Pure Wand!
The first school is that you should absolutely get the Pure Wand because it’s one of the best G-spotters money can buy. It has been proven to work for a great many people, including folks who previously didn’t know where their G-spots were. It is likely to pinpoint your G-spot faster than most other toys, and its shape does much of the work for you. It has a smaller end, so you don’t have to use the big bulb to begin with. Also, it will spoil you in the best possible way.
@Epiphora I will have to say no. Pure Wand was one of the first toy I got and the weight + size was a bit scary at first.
But, for some, the size, shape, and weight of the Pure Wand can be intimidating and overwhelming, and if it turns out that you don’t like G-spot stimulation, there is no back-up usage for the Pure Wand (except as a weapon, of course).
In my opinion? If you want to go for the G-spot gold, are not terrified by the thought of a chunk of stainless steel entering you, and have the money, go for it. Get the Pure Wand. Just make sure you pair it with a good clitoral vibe, like the LELO Mona 2, Eroscillator, Vibratex Mystic Wand, or We-Vibe Touch.
Yes! I was not kidding when I called these three toys my trifecta of G-spotters. I find it very difficult to choose between them, and if I want to pound my G-spot into oblivion, it really just depends on which material I’m in the mood for.
Here’s what it comes down to: it’s easier to squirt with the Pure Wand, it’s easier to wield the wooden Seduction (so lightweight!), and the G-spot stimulation is most intense with the Comet G Wand. I find the G-spot stimulation more intense with less movement with the Seduction and Comet, while the Pure Wand definitely has to be thrusted in order to feel all of its glory. But because of its stainless steel, it glides the most effortlessly. The Comet drags the most, requiring the most lube.
Basically, all are amazing, and you won’t regret any of them. And if you’re wondering if you should own all of them or if that would be redundant — you should own them all. Eventually.
1. Just look at it.
2. It’s called the Magic Banana.
3. Just look at it.
4. It came with a “note on empowerment.”
5. Just look at it.
COMING SOON TO A VAGINA NEAR YOU! TOTAL AND COMPLETE EMPOWERMENT! THE REVOLUTION WOMEN HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR!1 THE REVOLUTION WILL BE VAGINIZED! FEMINISM OVER!
Truth from a friend: “I feel like that’s not how empowerment works… people don’t mail it to you.”
Shrink wrapped in a box patterned like a banana leaf, the Magic Banana is simultaneously hokey and woo-woo. Like, the manual actually has a section entitled “Getting to Know Your Magic Banana.” The creator of this toy is Janeson Rayne, a “yoga educator, veggie chef, fine artist, and mom,” and her face is splashed all over everything, in a way that kinda starts to feel like your mom is watching you masturbate and giving you disturbingly specific G-spot tips. This toy is a “self-exploration tool,” I am told over and over, as though I’m about to enter a sweat lodge and find out who I really am. The advice is mostly inoffensive, except when it claims that the Magic Banana can induce clitoral orgasms, and when the word “breathe” is used instead of “breath.”
However! Underneath all the fruit and yoga references, there’s a sex toy that at least does something different. The problem is that it’s as overpriced as organic food and fine art.
Touted as both a kegel exerciser and a G-spotting implement, the Magic Banana is made of medical grade plastic tubing — which was confirmed as non-porous only after the woman who created it asked the manufacturer. It reminds me of those sweet-ass jump ropes in grade school, only not nearly as floppy. My boyfriend didn’t realize it was a sex toy at first (which, how? Every new thing I ever acquire is a sex toy), so I guess in some world that would make it “discreet.” Only it’s far too odd to be overlooked.
As you might imagine, the Magic Banana is a treat to insert. You have to pinch it together and drizzle the lube just so over the loop. Once it’s in, I suggest keeping it there until you’re done. Otherwise you’ll be tasked with re-inserting a lubey tubey mess.
I braced myself for Split Dildo-like sensations of being opened up with a softish speculum, then being gently disemboweled via the vaginal canal. The Magic Banana is nothing like that. The Magic Banana is very subtle, very tame.
Use #1: For the “inner magical muscles.” Uh, yeah — PC muscles. Sure, it doesn’t try to escape my vagina. Sure, it physically moves down and up when I squeeze it with my muscles, as a lot of things would. But it feels like nothingness. Now, if there were a gauge on the end telling me how much pressure I was exerting, then I’d be impressed. Otherwise, the Luna Beads are a lot more fun and don’t require me to take time out of my day to sit there slack-jawed and flexing.
Use #2: Pleasure. Just clenching it does little for my G-spot, unlike with toys that are curved or bulbous on the tip. The stimulation here comes from movement, because I can feel it expanding slightly against my G-spot as I tug on it. It isolates the G-spot stimulation, giving no vaginal wall stimulation at all. Truth: when I fuck myself furiously with it, it’s kinda great. I can even get really into it and nudge my cervix.
I keep thinking, this is a G-spot toy for people who don’t want to feel anything. For people who want G-spot stimulation but don’t want any sort of perceptible girth. Literally, even the diminutive Tantus Acute feels bigger than the Magic Banana.
I have a theory that the Magic Banana could help folks find their G-spots, but I’m 5 years out from finding mine and in no position to be making pronouncements like that, especially considering the lukewarm reviews I’ve read from people I trust (i.e. not the Ashley Madison blog). So, until I read a report of someone discovering their G-spot thanks to the Magic Banana, I remain skeptical.
Use #3 (invented by me, you’re welcome): Vaginal clog removal.™ This thing lassoes the blood and vag gunk right out of me, making the towel look riddled with blood spatter. However, this talent makes the Magic Banana amazing for removing errant things from my vagina. It was able to corral and remove tiny ben wa balls from deep inside of me on the FIRST TRY, and I bet it would also work well for sweeping out a menstrual cup.
But I keep coming back to the price. $69? Really? Assembly of the Magic Banana cannot take more than 5 minutes. They probably glue each end of the tube into the handle and call it a day. If this were $30, I’d say go for it. It’s a different sensation, something weird to add to your toybox, but not for $69.
Just as I am not a lube connoisseur, I am also not a condom connoisseur. I haven’t tried a ton of them and don’t feel strongly about any particular brand.
So when I was contacted by Unique Condom, I thought it would be best if I enlisted the help of friends, fellow bloggers, and brave souls who follow me on Twitter. Plus, it would create a sample size of humans that would be hard to discount. Yep — on this one, you can’t just blame my picky vagina (although I know how much you guys love my vagina).
The Unique Condom is a non-latex (synthetic polyethylene resin) condom that comes in a credit card sized package. It’s $7.99 for the 3-pack, or about $2.66 per condom, making it more expensive than most condoms but not quite as expensive as internal condoms. The Unique Condom claims to be thinner and stronger than a latex condom, with easier application due to its pull tabs (that are supposed to pop off once you finish unrolling).
One of my friends gave me their leftover Unique Condom to try, but it wouldn’t unroll — it was tangled in itself, and my boyfriend made this horrible yet sadly familiar wincing face as I attempted to apply it to his penis. I think fate was trying to tell me something. Also, the condom literally looks like a curled Q-tip wrapped in saran wrap. This does nothing to assuage my fears about effectiveness, which is not mentioned anywhere on Unique’s website.
But don’t let me sway you! The following people did much more thorough testing than I, and we are forever indebted to them and their heroism. Please enjoy, and for those keeping track on your scorecards…
People who enjoyed the condom: 25%
People who likened the condom to a plastic bag or saran wrap: 75%
People who used the word “crinkly”: 44%
People who complained that the pull tabs make it hard to apply when drunk: 13%
People who felt that the existence of this condom proved that the universe and/or a deity hates them: 13%
The only thing I could think of when I saw the condom after I unrolled it (with their weird plastic-wrap-like tabs on the condom) was that there was a GLOB OF VASELINE on it! As if that was an adequate personal lubricant — I don’t want any petroleum jelly in my genitals, nor does my partner. Where did that leave us? NOT FUCKED. No thanks, UNIQUE CONDOMS.
[Note from Epiphora: I've been told that Unique will be swapping out the vaseline for silicone lube.]
Unique Condoms are definitely different, if by “different” one means odd and awkward.
To begin with, the material they are made from, Synthetic Resin AT-10, is essentially plastic wrap. It sounds and feels exactly like the shrink wrap you have in your kitchen cupboards. Secondly, three condoms are packaged in a plastic harness with sticker pull tabs that are nearly impossible to get a hold of. Once you get the package open, there’s the condom, squished into the shape of a q-tip with pull tabs. It opens into a round shape easily, but then you have to use the tabs like the plastic pieces that cover the sticky parts of a band-aid. This requires coordination, lest the tabs’ shrink-wrappiness grab hold of any and all short hairs in the vicinity.
Which brings me to the last, and most salient point — Unique condoms completely deaden all sensation, for both partners. Not joking — neither I nor my husband could feel anything. We had to visually ascertain that we had even achieved penetration.
First off, I want to say that putting on a condom has never been so fun. I dare say putting this thing on was almost as enjoyable as popping bubble wrap, and that’s something serious. I had concerns about how crinkly it was, but I found the condom to be perfectly fine in terms of comfort. The thinness wasn’t mindblowingly noticeable, but it felt good. It wasn’t until after I used it that I discovered it was lubricated with Vaseline, which for sex educators is a serious no-no (the human body doesn’t shed oil-based products when used internally, which can lead to infection.) This is a problem that can be easily remedied, however, and I hope Unique will consider a water- or silicone-based alternative.
The first one got stuck and wouldn’t go down past the head no matter what we tried. When we got the second one on, my partner looked semi-disgusted and said “oh my god, it feels like a sandwich bag.” Intercourse was attempted for about forty-five seconds before I was actually wincing and my partner stopped and said, “okay, I will do literally anything if you will just take this fucking thing off me.” The feeling was mutual.
This thing takes me back to my younger days when I covered my toys in saran wrap, and the scraped walls of my vagina are glad to be rid of it. It’s loose, nowhere near adequately lubricated, and… crinkly. To top the whole thing off, it’s also short, and won’t cover the last half inch of my partner’s equipment (6 1/2″).
I have some choice words about these Unique Condoms.
Who seriously thought it was a good idea to manufacture condoms that apparently require a full page of illustrated instructions? I read the instructions, but I still was slightly puzzled and second guessing myself when I actually opened the package.
After reading the justifications for the shenanigans Unique Condoms was about to put me through, I was skeptical. First, there’s the thinness issue. It’s supposed to be exceptionally thin and “more sensitive than latex.” I hate that claim. Everyone makes that claim. Sure, it’s pretty thin, but it certainly did not enable us to get lost in the moment. It made crackling sounds inside my vagina. My vagina is not full of Pop Rocks, nor is it a festive Christmas fire over which I’m roasting chestnuts, so it really ought not crackle. Ever. It’s a little distracting, and caused such bad chafing that I had to throw in the towel.
When I made my partner pull out, he took one look at his Unique-clad penis and exclaimed, “It’s like a plastic bag!” Indeed, there was a visible seam running along the head, which was made more apparent by how much air had somehow entered the condom and puffed it up. Final verdict? Unique, yes, but not in a good way.
Everyone else who had to try this monstrosity has my sympathy. Maybe we should form a support group.
What’s worse than having sex with crinkly dried out saran wrap fitted over a dick lubed with Vaseline? Having sex with a Unique condom.
In all my years using protection (17 to be exact) these were THE WORST condoms I’ve ever tried. Sure, the ‘pull tabs’ make putting them on quick but doing so in the dark, while intoxicated, was a futile attempt. If I didn’t know better I’d think the universe was punishing me for something.
Also, the pull tab concept is not ‘new’; Sensis did them way back in 2009, and way better. These tabs are like someone got a little crafty with plastic bags cut into strips, a label maker, and clear drying self adhesives. I swear there’s an Etsy for this shit.
All things considered, I get what they’re trying to do and I appreciate the effort, but I’d happily spend a little more (less in most cases) for non-latex condoms made by ANYBODY else. At $7.99 for 3, Unique just isn’t worth the time or hassle.
I (cis-female) arrived at my (cis-male) boyfriend’s house after returning from a short holiday interstate. Souvenirs were dispensed, clothes were removed, got down to business. We both squinted at the credit card-shaped package for a minute. Happily, it was easily applied by me, one who frequently struggles with foreskins and latex condoms. It lubed up fine, tasted of nothing.
Soon we were distracted, but when we’d finished, I asked him what he thought. “It was weird. But not ‘bad weird.’” Those were my thoughts too. Outside of me, it felt a little crinkly, like a mixture of cellophane and cling wrap. But inside my vagina, it felt fine: more like slightly wrinkled skin than the rubbery feel of latex.
Warning: Boyfriend didn’t pull out as soon as he came, contrary to the condom’s instructions. His penis was getting soft when he pulled out, and the condom slipped off more easily than a latex one would. Overall, for me, more pleasant than latex. For him, perhaps a little more sensation. We will use them again!
I liked the concept of this condom, but it missed the mark. We tested this condom during blowjobs, missionary, girl on top, and doggy style.
The positives: The condoms are tasteless, nearly odorless, stay put during vigorous intercourse, and contain semen very well. My partner reported that sensation was comparable to other condoms.
The negatives: Application is reminiscent of of that of a band-aid and cannot be easily accomplished in some common fucking circumstances, such as in the dark or while drunk. The pull tabs pissed me off with their unnecessary existence and the four resulting tinyclingysticky pieces of trash per condom. A thick circular seam around the reservoir hits the back of my throat and vulva uncomfortably and my partner reported reduced sensation in tip of the penis. Blowing this is like deep throating a ziploc bag. During vaginal sex, even with lots of Sliquid lube reapplied frequently, I was too distracted to be able to orgasm and was sore afterward. This condom will not be getting anywhere near my butt.
Overall, it is not comfortable to be fucked with this condom. The only sexy feature is the slick packaging design.
I’ve been hearing everyone bitching about hating these and frankly I can’t relate at all — I freaking LOVE Unique condoms and so does my partner. Why? They feel like you aren’t using a condom at all. They kind of shrink wrap the penis (and according to my partner take a minute to warm up) so you really feel it rather than the condom. The strips made application super-easy (I have shaky hands) and pop right off. I adore these and want many, many more.
They are different than other condoms so if your inclination is to look at anything different and immediate mock it and/or seethe with rage, these aren’t for you. You will have to be willing to, you know, try something new.
It is important to apply them to a DRY penis. We used one after an enthusiastic blow job and noticed it slipping down.
They do have vaseline on them. I used first them and read later. I’m not loving that fact. Seriously, why vaseline?
If you’ve said to yourself, “God, I wish I could shrink wrap my dick in Saran Wrap so me and my partner will not get off at all,” then blessed be this product. The ugliest fucking thing I’ve put in me since prom. And in case you like your awful sex with a side of burning infection, Unique comes coated in VASELINE. It’s bad enough the bike tassels that hang off the sides didn’t pull off the first time I used it. Oh yeah it also sounds crunchy. It’s like fucking a hard shell taco for 20 minutes.
Just what I need: a burning, shriveled, Crunchwrap Supreme of a condom, complete with little curly sideburns like an Orthodox Jew. When I see products like these, I can only wonder: Why does God hate us? Why?
The Unique condom was aptly named, it has a different application process than “traditional condoms,” using an applicator tab, or as they refer to it, a pull system. Since it’s made of synthetic resin the Unique condom was ultra thin and allowed for a lot of sensation. I will say that I actually found the condom to be a bit loud while being used, and there was definitely a bit of a learning curve with putting it on.
That being said, I do have two concerns about this product: how the condom is being applied and its lubricant. Since you are using both hands to pull the condom on you don’t have a free had to pinch the reservoir tip. This could lead to increased risk of the condom being ineffective since if/when there is ejaculation there is nowhere for it to go. The condom also comes lubricated with vaseline, which could make folks more susceptible to internal infections.
Overall, the Unique condom does what it set out to do: be a thin condom with a different application process. It’s definitely a great choice for anyone who has a latex allergy or someone who wants something they can safely carry in their wallet.
So, here’s the thing. Once you get over the fact that the thing that is about to enter your body is shrink-wrapped like the tofu kielbasas in the back of your fridge, it’s not so bad. Once you get over the fact that it crinkles like the wrappers of those mysterious red candies your grammy used to give you, it’s not so bad. Once you’ve been treated for the yeast infection that the petroleum jelly lubricant gave you, it’s not so bad. Am I willing to go through ANY of those things for sex that is “not so bad”? Absolutely not.
Oh and by the way, the Unique Condom must be applied to a DRY penis, so say goodbye to foreplay, or at least keep a designated saliva/lube/vag juice washcloth by the bed for some sultry dick-wiping.
Oh, I wanted to like the Unique Condoms, I really did. My husband and I were both very impressed with how easy these things are to use. We didn’t bother to read the page of instructions that came with them, and still managed to figure out how they worked (in the heat of the moment no less).
Now while I have to applaud anyone who’s out there working on how to make having safe sex the easy and simple thing to do, I cannot endorse these condoms. They are just too damn crinkly. I’ve never really noticed a condom during sex before, but when we used the Unique Condoms it just felt like there was a plastic bag moving around inside me. Not really pleasant or even slightly romantic. And the size seems to be all wrong too. My husband’s an averagely endowed guy, and the condom was clearly too big on him. Even on my Vixen Leo, it’s pretty baggy.
So, while I love the concept, I hate the execution. Sorry Unique, but keep trying!
With a name like “Unique,” 2 pages of instructions, and hyperbolic claims about not being able to see or feel it, this condom had a lot to live up to. For me, it didn’t. Feel it? Oh yes. See it? Absolutely. Also, while it may be “so thin” it sure didn’t feel that way.
The good: the condoms are packaged in, essentially, a credit card and putting one on using the applicator strips was like watching a magic trick up-close. The bad: the condoms come with nuclear launch code-like instructions for putting them on, they felt “crinkly”, didn’t stretch (too small), were thicker than other thin condoms I test drove, and it’s likely (happened to me) that removing one condom will open the covering of the adjacent one. Kudos for making condoms easier to carry, but I personally wouldn’t buy any.
Pulling on the condoms with the newfangled tabs has a slight learning curve, but it’s easy once you know how. As with most non-latex condoms, these are noisier than latex but also don’t have that awful balloon smell.
It really “seals to a dry penis” like the marketing copy says, which is good for heat transfer and sensitivity (more sensation than Kimono Microthin, not quite as much as Crown Skinless Skin) but becomes a problem at removal time: my partner found it painful to peel the condom off his penis after sex.
The crinkly material creates a texture that feels friction-y for me, no matter how much lube we use. About 5 minutes of penetration produces so much vaginal rug-burn that we have to stop. Maybe there’s a way to master a perfectly smooth application for friction-free sex, but if we couldn’t do it, I don’t think most people could.
I appreciated the easy mode of application, and I feel like this is a new breed of condoms that accommodate for multiple different sizes of penises (specifically in terms of girth) that doesn’t sensationalize big penises, which is really exciting. The material itself was a little iffy, it kind of felt like that new and improved plastic wrap that Glad came out with like 10 years ago, by which I mean that the texture was a little rough. The condom hugged my penis snugly, and felt comfortable during use, except I never really got used to this new texture. I think if I continued use I would though. Either way, I enjoyed the condom and want this company to continue building on this idea and upgrading it.
What about you? Would you try this condom of the future? There’s a 75% chance it will feel like fucking a Crunchwrap Supreme and sound like Pop Rocks, but there’s also a 25% chance that you’ll love applying it and it won’t feel like much at all. Me, I’ve learned a thing or two about statistics over the years, and seeing as there is no information about the Unique Condom’s effectiveness save for a money-back guarantee, I’ll pass.
What you may not know, and should know, is that the main reason I’m going is thanks to the generosity of my pals at SheVibe. They’re sponsoring me like the supportive badasses they are. Also, what you definitely don’t know is that while I’m there, I will be one of the interview subjects for Tristan Taormino’s Sex Out Loud radio show… in front of a live audience.
Oh god, it is going to be terrifying and exhilarating!
In this informative session, successful sex bloggers Lauren Marie Fleming, Epiphora, and Mona Darling will share with you the expertise they’ve amassed in their over 15 years combined experience blogging—plus how they turned their one-time hobbies into profitable online (and off-line) businesses.
We’ll discuss legal considerations for sex bloggers, such as which platforms are adult-friendly, how to create an LLC, and what to do if someone steals your content. We’ll also talk about how to get free products for review, accept paid ads, and become a master at affiliate marketing. Hear our tips for expanding your reach further with online classes, community sites, and smart social media tactics. Finally, learn how a blog can be a jumping-off point for speaking gigs and even book deals.
No incomprehensible gibberish about SEO in this session—audience members will leave with concrete ways to improve their presence and profit online.
As you may have guessed, I’ll be the one supplying the rabid thoughts about reviewing, ads, and affiliate marketing, and I’ll probably find a way to bitch about bad social media tactics, too. Each of us has a different forte, so I think it will be an informative, well-rounded session.
My flight and room are booked, so it’s official that I’ll be there from Wednesday, March 12th through Monday, March 17th. I’m not saying you should get there early just to hang out with me… NO, YEAH, I AM. Come hang out. And if you see anyone from SheVibe, give them a hug or buy them a drink. They deserve it.
Othercontenders have come and gone, but the fact remains: the We-Vibe Tango — and its sibling the Touch — are the strongest, rumbliest rechargeable vibrators out there for their size. Unlike most little rechargeable clit vibes, the Tango is made only of plastic. No silicone to cushion or buffer the sensation. Vibrations shine through loud and clear.
The Tango is also extremely versatile — capable of replacing many of the shitty shit bullets that come with other toys. Need that dildo to vibrate in a meaningful way? Want to buzz your genitals while wearing a harness? Looking for an upgrade to that butt plug? Call in the Tango.
But it has caveats that keep me from screaming BUY IT! BUY IT NOW! Some are specific to my masturbation style, but most are cold, hard facts. Serious facts that point to We-Vibe toys dying left and right, as if from a sickness.
First, my own shit: the Tango confirms a sea change for me. I used to be all about the littlerechargeableclitoralvibrators. Blinders on, subscribing to some amorphous idea that clitoral equaled small, I was on a mission to find the best one. The We-Vibe Touch came close, with its power, but I docked points for its battery life and controls.
Now I’ve come to realize that perhaps the solution to my turmoil has been in front of my face all along: get a bigger vibrator, one with more space for a motor — and a handle to prevent my fingers from vibrating off. Which the Tango definitely attempts to do.1
So, the size of the Tango is no longer a selling point for my particular clitoris. And, okay, maybe I’m spoiled, but four steady vibration settings just seems half-assed.
Now, the unfortunate facts. The Tango is unreliable. It doesn’t hold a charge well, and I have had two We-Vibe toys permanently die on me. In both cases, the toy worked fine at first but then stopped taking a charge. To their credit, the folks at We-Vibe have been very accommodating, going above and beyond to give me tips and replace my poor dead toys. (Maybe they’re petrified of my wrath?)
But this is not an isolated incident. I’ve heard somanyaccounts of othersexperiencing the sameissue where their We-Vibe Tangos, Touches, and Salsas die. This is a trend that cannot be glossed over. Even with as many as I own, I’ve never had a LELO toy die on me. Just, statistically, comparatively, We-Vibe toys are extremely unpredictable. A one-year warranty isn’t much solace.
Also, the gripes I had about the Touch still apply: crinkly storage bag, maddening one-button interface, charging light fit for a dollhouse, finicky magnetic charging, can’t be locked for travel, notoriously only lasts 35-55 minutes on a charge. Like, I can easily exhaust the toy’s charge in a single masturbation session. Is it wrong to expect more?
When the Tango works, it’s fabulous. It’s everything people have said: strong, rumbly, worthy of getting me off in even the toughest of situations. The tip is excellent because I can use the flat part or turn it around for something even more pinpoint.2
I still like the Touch better — although a little less intense, it’s easier to hold and the silicone appeals to my clitoris — but the beauty of the Tango is that you can hack other toys with it. As a substitute for that shitty watch-battery bullet you hate, it will fit into:
And it is the only rechargeable toy that can do all of those things.
Still, I find it hard to make a steadfast determination about the We-Vibe Tango. I love it when it works; I hate it when it dies mid-jack-off or when I see yet another person tweet about theirs biting the dust. For the sake of what little moral integrity I have left, I cannot heartily endorse the Tango. But I can’t deny that when I’m vulva-deep in porn, stuffing myself with a dildo and pressing the Tango firmly to my clit, I want to.
Even I may be late to this announcement, but it appears that Maine-based Whipspider Rubberworks is dying and/or dead. SheVibe tried to place a re-stock order with them last April, and haven’t heard from them since. Whipspider’s Etsy store is empty and they haven’t posted on Facebook or Twitter since March. I emailed them but have not heard back. It is looking grim.
This is really upsetting because there is no other company quite like Whipspider. Their 100% silicone designs are colorful, whimsical, and incredibly detailed. You can tell that a lot of love goes into them — which makes sense, as they’re just a tiny 3-friend operation.
Whipspider made the gorgeous Jellyfish, which I love, the Tentacle, which I hate (my never-to-be-finished review consisted solely of these lines: “The Jellyfish works because liberties were taken with the subject animal to make the sex toy version compatible with the human body. The Tentacle, though, will fulfill only your fantasies of being teased mercilessly by a sea creature”), the Mantoy, which I’m indifferent about, and the Screw, which I like but haven’t used a ton.
They even made things that didn’t make much damn sense, like vibrating beetles and orchids. But that was Whipspider — they went out on a limb didn’t follow anybody’s rules.
SheVibe, to my knowledge, is the only online store that still carries Whipspider (other than Whipspider’s own site, which I have no experience with and which has an expired security certificate…), so if there’s one you’ve been wanting, you best be picking it up now. You can’t have the last Ghost because, uh, I bought it. What’s left:
* I have insider knowledge that there is only one left of each of these. Don’t delay if you love praying mantises or unicorns.
I hope that I’m wrong, and perhaps Whipspider will get a second wind like Jollies did. But I’m not counting on it. This much radio silence does not bode well.
It’s so sad to see such a wonderful, creative company joining the ranks of other fallen sex toy manufacturers such as Ophoria, Papaya Toys (which SheVibe also still carries, but I’m pretty sure they’re kaput), Phallix, and Penetralia. I guess, when you’re around as long as I’ve been, this is destined to happen. But it still fucking sucks.
Yes, we play with dildos, but not in the way you think…
Yes, we ride sex machines, but it is not very sexual. I just want to share the wealth that is the Sybian, and everyone’s curious about whether it feels like $1,300 of awesome. For many of my sex blogger friends, I am given the distinct honor and privilege of controlling the dial while they ride. I can now die happy.
We all agree that there is a point, somewhere after about 60% power, where we start to feel like we need to poop. That’s also the point at which Queeraschino starts yowling, “I haaaaate it!” But Redhead Bedhead is not phased…
We start a Sybian guestbook and everyone records their experiences. Queeraschino, missing not a single beat, runs into my kitchen, flings open my freezer, and returns with a bag of peas for her crotch.
Each of us reports our favorite setting on the Sybian — or as Aerie calls them, our “sleep numbers”:
Yes, we get naked, but that’s only because we Skype Lorax in from their atomic green bathtub, drinking an entire bottle of sparkling cider and showing off the horrifying Eiffel Tower dildo, and because I have to loan Aerie my pajama pants during her ride on the Sybian because jeans are not appropriate Sybian-riding attire.
Yes, we play games, but when we play Cards Against Humanity, we tweak the black cards to read “what’s worse than the iGino?”, “what did EdenFantasys airdrop to all the sex bloggers?” (Winner: A web of lies), and “what is arousing to the CEO of Pipedream?” (Winner: Fabricating statistics). We call my boyfriend in to fact check whether it is actually possible to get so angry you pop a boner. He claims no.
Yes, we snack (Redhead supplies what is now her signature fishbowl drink — complete with gummy sharks), but when Queeraschino brings in a plate of dick cookies and I comment on how small they are, she yells, “everyone’s DIFFERENT, Epiphora!” We also invent Rumosas™. This has nothing to do with being a sex blogger, but everything to do with being geniuses. It sounds disgusting, right, but it is NOT. Fact: Rumosas taste better when imbibed out of Babeland mugs.
Yes, dildos are everywhere, standing proudly on the coffee table among the crackers, cookies, drinks, and dips. Everyone brings a few toys for comparison purposes, for squeezing and for mocking. ArchVixen’s Cadet in particular is a hit. Fittingly, the shitty toys end up falling into a somewhat shitty 3-layer dip. But they’re silicone, so, easily cleaned. (Eventually.)
Yes, we chat about sex things — without hesitation or preface, we compare sex toy experiences and vagina facts — but when our conversation devolves from the lack of racial diversity in our city to Queeraschino’s “name your favorite Jew” giveaway to this…
…we make sure to tweet about it. There is lots and lots of tweeting, photo-taking, and phone-gazing, and nobody ever scolds anyone else for not “living in the moment.” Because that is how we live in the moment. In our own strange little bubble of sex blogger normal.