Oct 052015
 

Jimmyjane Form 5 and Hello Touch X vibrators (plus masking tape labels)Why does Jimmyjane still exist?

That’s mean. I know. I should delete that. I should write a new first sentence, something less hopeless and definitive. But sitting down to tell you about Jimmyjane’s recent releases, that is the question that pops into my head. Why, year after year, do they create products with little to no understanding of human needs? Why do they fail to improve upon anything, to move forward in any meaningful way? Why do they insist upon peddling $4,000 bouncy sex castles and $35,000 private jet rides rather than getting people off?

Take, for instance, the Form 5. This is the fifth vibrator in the Form series, after we’ve been subjected to a glitchy tooth, malformed tongue, bowling pin, and an insertable vibrator with its control buttons on the insertable part. All have been mediocre. Not astronomically bad, but not good. The Form 5 follows a similar trajectory: interestingly shaped, seemingly innovative… not at all logistically functional as a sex toy. And that motor. Oh god, I have thoughts about Jimmyjane’s motors.

Then there’s the Hello Touch X: a rechargeable version of Jimmyjane’s once-promising fingertip vibrator Hello Touch. Great! Maybe it will have more than one speed setting now! But no, it doesn’t. Just one vibration intensity and 10 levels of ELECTROSTIM. And it’s not easier to operate either, because why would they do that! That would be progress!

I feel like in the venn diagram of “people who want fingertip vibrators” and “people who love estim,” there is very little overlap in the middle. But logic is not Jimmyjane’s forte.

Jimmyjane is like that aging, obstinate techie hipster in the room who for years has been standing around with a beer in his hand bragging about his grand idea for a Facebook-killing social media website but has never lifted a goddamn finger to make it happen.

Form 5

Jimmyjane Form 5 rechargeable vibratorWhen people pick up the Form 5 in the sex shop I work at and ask me what it’s for, I feel at a loss for words. I have no earthly idea what it’s for, and I don’t think Jimmyjane does either. Their tagline for the toy is “for him, for her, for us,” which I imagine being parroted by a gender-binary-loving shrug emoji. Get creative! It can do anything! For the only two genders that exist!

In reality, it can do nothing.

This toy looks like a mouth open in a silent scream of confusion, which is exactly how I feel every time I try to use it. How. Why. What. How do I position. I don’t. I don’t understand at all. At first it seems enticing, like the tips should waft pleasurably against my vulva. But they’re not floppy or flexible enough, so pressing them against my body only makes them jab me. Plus Jimmyjane’s terrible motor means they don’t move a lot — they just sadly buzz.

Using the Form 5 means constantly adjusting it, and never to much satisfaction. Sometimes, I shove both tips to the dominant left side of my clit, but usually I gravitate toward flattening the right tip against my clit, so the other tip just kind of pokes the crease between my vulva and my leg. It’s weird and feels like I’m trying to apply a sticker to my genitals. What is this, a slumber party turned circle jerk?

Never does it make sense to use the toy as “intended,” because that would mean impaling my vulva with the tips as I struggle to access the nub (sorry, Pleasure Dome) buried in the middle. Supposedly Jimmyjane got data on average labia size from the Kinsey Institute to design this toy, which GREATLY CONCERNS ME because I am 150% sure my labia are not abnormal, and in no world can I make this vibrator pleasurably stimulate my labia and clit at the same time.

I can come with the Form 5, sure, but moooom do I have toooo?

In the “for him” part of the equation, I guess you’re supposed to slap your penis down between the flaps like you’re serving up a hot dog? I had my boyfriend try it. It was alright, he reported, but “pretty buzzy… the Hitachi is better.”

And still, still, Jimmyjane doesn’t include a storage bag with their $145 “high end” vibrators. Oh, but they do MANUFACTURE one. You just have to buy it separately. Also, for perhaps the first time, I actually counted the vibration patterns on a Jimmyjane toy and there are THREE? ARE YOU SHITTING ME? Way to cut corners everywhere, Jimmyjane. Oh my god.

Hello Touch X

Jimmyjane Hello Touch X finger vibrator with electrostimI don’t even know where to begin with the Hello Touch X. First of all, I have to consult the manual every time I go to use this toy, especially in estim mode. And Jimmyjane didn’t deem it important to put symbols on the buttons themselves, instead assuming all customers will tuck the control pack in its totally dorky wrist strap. So… you’re going to look like a dweeb while using this toy. It’s just a fact.

Used solo, the little bastards start cutting off circulation to my (arguably small) fingers the moment I put them on. While the toy does allow me to do movements I wouldn’t normally do with a sex toy, the vibrations are weak and buzzy and could only get me off in times of great need. Having a vag-goo-covered contraption strapped to my fingers also hampers my ability to use my right hand for anything else… and considering my masturbatory MO includes skipping shitty blowjobs in porn and putting everything on hold to compose a brilliant tweet, that’s a problem.

But used with a partner? I hope you’re ready for your relationship to be tested. Literally the first thing my girlfriend said after they started using it on me was “um, I can’t feel your clit. I feel like a teenage boy rubbing through your pants, like, ‘clitoris is between legs right???'”

It was awful. My girlfriend’s manual stimulation skills, which are usually so on point, were severely hindered. Their fingers were awkward and imprecise, with too much added girth to be able to surround my clit even if I told them where it was. We felt farther away from each other instead of closer — as if hipster Jimmyjane was standing in the corner going, “hey. ‘Sup. Enjoying my sweet invention?”

The best part of my girlfriend’s fingers on my vulva is feeling their fingers on my vulva. The best part about rubbing my girlfriend’s vulva is feeling my girlfriend’s vulva. The Hello Touch X deprives us of this joy, substituting instead a singular vibration intensity that doesn’t even remotely make up for it.

If, like me, you had lofty dreams of internal stimulation plus vibration against the G-spot, retire that fantasy. Inside a vagina, with barely any movement from my fingers, the pads threatened to slip off. “It’s like we’re being punished for using lube,” I narrated.

But it was inevitable. When I removed my fingers, the pads went bye bye. Queue simultaneous wincing. Queue me extracting the toy by tugging on its flimsy black cord. Queue fishing in my girlfriend’s vagina.

To reiterate: IT WAS AWFUL.

But once we tossed the Hello Touch X away and touched each other with unaided fingers, we felt closer than ever before. Thanks, Jimmyjane!

As for the electrostim, I’m not a fan. It weirdly pulses, which makes me feel like I’m at a physical therapy appointment. My boyfriend described the sensation as “sharp” and made a face when I tried it on him. We both love the Neon Wand, but the Hello Touch X just feels obnoxiously tiny and prickly. Also the fact that there is no digital readout to tell you which setting you’re on is ridiculous and dangerous. I could be on setting 5, I could be on setting 10, I could not have the estim on at all — who knows!

It feels tolerable on my arms, so I (stupidly) thought I could handle it on my vulva. No. Even on a low setting, I cringed and yelped and jerked my hand away.

This is more than enough suffering for my art.

Here’s the deal: if you want estim, get the Neon Wand. If you want a flapping sensation on your clit, consider the Magic Wand Rechargeable with the Flutter attachment. If you just want a vibrator that works really, really well, get the LELO Mona, Eroscillator, or We-Vibe Touch. If you want vibrating fingers, I don’t know what to tell you, honestly. It hasn’t been done well yet.

Jimmyjane, I wanted to review these toys because I still have a smidgen of hope for you. I desperately want people to buy your products and not regret it. I want improvements — deeper motors, user-friendly designs, pleasurable shapes. But they never seem to happen. You keep throwing wads of money into PR campaigns instead. You keep releasing toys that don’t actually feel good or work well. Discerning customers know the truth, and I know the truth: you haven’t produced a single amazing toy. Not one, in all your years.

Please do better.

  • I felt like I was standing near a Great Evil when I unknowingly stood too close to their booth at SHE. I then worried about a lightning strike if I was too close, but thankfully I don’t put my face on the internet so they had no idea I was THAT LILLY who is “paid off by Lelo to hate them”. Whew.

  • I had literally blocked out that horrific memory of using the Hello Touch X with you and didn’t remember it until I got to those paragraphs. UGH. Sorry Jimmyjane but having my sexual skills completely sabotaged, and then having someone lose a tiny vibrating object my vagina and be forced to carefully extract the still-buzzing remains by a thin electric cord is not my fetish

  • #thatsnotwheremyclitis

  • JimmyJane: the sex utensils you *think* you want before you know any better

  • Dannicula

    YESSSSS I have eagerly awaited this!

    I hate just about everything to do with JimmyJane, from their design to their philosophy on what people want. I also heard through the grapevine (a sex store manager) that they were bought out by Pipedream. Is that true? She warned me away from ever buying their bullets because of this.

    Regardless, thank you for hammering home just how useless these toys appear. Good lord.

  • Jeroen Droomt

    Yes, Jimmyjane is bought out by Pipedream. If I remember correctly, they communicated this out in the open.

    But, to be completely honest, even before this buy-out, they were shit-faced. Form 3? Form 4? Don’t make me laugh. Those were some pretty lousy products.

    The one thing me and my partner really liked about Jimmyjane were their massage lotions (beyond cooling, beyond euphoric and beyond warming). But they stopped manufacturing those…

  • Probably referring to this merger: http://techcrunch.com/2014/02/20/diamond-products-acquires-tech-centric-sex-toy-maker-jimmyjane/

    If you take a look at the JJ Iconic line, you’ll notice some… remarkable, shall we say, similarities to a lot of “lower end” products. That “wand petite” is a Wanachi. Rabbit is decidedly Vibratex, just white (and still elastomer), qnd that’s a screaming O cockring if ever I’ve seen one. They’re just all white now. Somehow better? Nope.

  • The hipster imagery is the best…just the best.

  • Tzipora

    In one of those, it’s hilarious after the fact and if it doesn’t actually happen to you but a special kind of hell while it’s actually occurring, I simultaneously burst out in snorting laughter over “fishing in my girlfriend’s vagina” and saw the most hysterically awesome imagery of someone winding the reel on a tiny fishing pole, pulling the finger pads of the Hello Touch out of a vagina. Teeny tiny fishing pole.

    Also, this takes the “little man in a boat” euphemism to an entirely new level.

  • Polly Vincere

    Such a shame really. I remember the company holding so much promise at the beginning. Fast forward to now and thanks, but no thanks, to everything they make.

    Since I’ve been catching up on 3 years of sex blog reading lately, here’s the sum of the JJ reviews:
    1. Oh looks cool and different!
    2. Umm, I’m supposed to do what with this?
    3. I’m bored/scared/turned off by this.
    4. Why, just why JJ?

    I thought they could redeem themselves with the interchangeable deal, but I read those are lame too.

  • Dannicula

    Well then! I’ve never gotten the point of their “iconic” line. It’s always just been “so what other people have but…white?” and of course, more expensive. I dunno, I’ve just never been inspired to buy anything from them.

  • 0 102

    “If you want vibrating fingers…”
    i just use a tango in a tantus soft cock ring around 2 fingers for the vibrating finger thing.

  • Whoa.

  • Jane

    A friend of mine saved up for a JJ vibrator for her first vibe because they were “so special” and then thought vibrators just didn’t work for her for years. I talked her into buying a Wahl and know she knows the problem was so not her…

  • Girly Juice

    THIS IS GENIUS & IMPORTANT

  • Girly Juice

    Never have truer words been written about Jimmyjane. I kept wanting to quote specific parts on Twitter but there were too many perfect phrases to choose from.

    I don’t consider the Form 2 and Form 4 COMPLETE failures (each has gotten me off at least a few times), and the Iconic Wand is pretty decent, but I’ve always had the same sense that you express in this review that Jimmyjane could do SO MUCH BETTER if they just put in a little more effort and pre-release testing. They have cool ideas, they just need to get better at refining those ideas into toys that actually work well. (And have rumblier motors.)

  • TJ

    I was trying to find a way to describe how the Form 5 looked, and I just couldn’t place it, and then it hit me. It looks like an eel would’ve looked in Finding Nemo . . . if it happened to be a fat, sausage-y eel. Is it sad that I have a voice for it, too?
    “hhhhHHHEEEEYYYYYYY MMMMMAAAARRRRRLIIiiiiinnnnn….”
    This toy makes no sense and I’m a little horrified. I’m going to curl up with my toys in a corner and promise to protect them from the JimmyJane under their beds.

  • I’ve never worked for a sex toy company (alas), but I’ve worked for so many companies whose products and policies were like Jimmyjane’s– they seemed entirely based around daft ideas the board of directors came up with in the shower. Who needs market research, testing, or customer feedback? After all, pleasing the customers is far less important than pleasing the trade shows and venture capitalists.

    “Supposedly Jimmyjane got data on average labia size from the Kinsey Institute to design this toy” — they design solely using statistics rather than actually giving prototypes to real people?

  • I admit I read it as “fisting in my girlfriend’s vagina” the first time around.

    And TBH I’m certain that, somewhere out there, there’s someone who gets off by having toys pulled out of their vagina with a teeny tiny fishing pole. I’m just imagining JJ unwittingly taking this niche fetish mainstream.

  • They’re for those wannabe ultra-modern people whose entire apartments are white.

  • AceDenise

    I made the mistake of buying the Little Chroma when I first started with sex toys again, mostly because it was the smallest insertable I could find and I was struggling with vaginismus. Luckily I got it at Amazon so it was about 40% off, but- NEVER AGAIN. I have been tempted by Form 2 and maybe 4, but they’re just too expensive for how little they do. A simple AA-powered Velvet Touch classic vibe is stronger, and a lot cheaper than the LC. And now that Pipedream has their claws in? I have lost what little hope I ever had for Jimmyjane.

    I admit I was intrigued by the idea behind this toy, if it was done properly it could be fun but.. it’s Jimmyjane. Nuff said. Whenever I hear “Jimmyjane” now my fists close reflexively AROUND my money to protect it and my wallet clenches shut, as if anticipating a hard punch.

    Thanks Epiphora, for once again saving me from another worthless toy and for another hilarious eviscerating! And thanks Jimmyjane, we can always count on you to provide the material for said hilarious reviews from Epiphora!

  • Jillian Boyd

    Seriously? PLEASURE DOME?

  • Jillian Boyd

    Also, have you read the essay on JJ in Best Sex Writing 2013?

  • AceDenise

    I MUST TRY THIS. Brilliant.

  • AceDenise

    Exactly. I bought the LC before I knew better. Fortunately it didn’t take me long to figure it out. And get a Tango.

  • AceDenise

    Or maybe for mental patients living in a white padded room? (Hopefully they don’t do that anymore) Actually, that sounds like a good place to stick the JJ design team. As a punishment for their awful ideas.

  • AceDenise

    And I don’t mean that as any insult to the people here dealing with any mental health issues, I’m sorry if it came off that way. I just realized how that comment looks and I’m sorry about that. I am leaving it in place because I take full responsibility for my thoughtlessness and I hope it will not be taken the wrong way. I applaud all those who are struggling with mental health issues and the added pressures that brings to their lives, I know several people in my life who are, and they are stronger than I will ever be. I think the JJ design team should be the ONLY ones in such a place, if it exists. But that probably wouldn’t help them do any better, unfortunately.

  • AceDenise

    I feel really bad about my stupid comment earlier and I am truly sorry for it 🙁 Where’s my time machine..?

    And I actually knew someone years ago who was into that ultra modern, all-white and chrome color scheme. I was afraid to touch anything or sit on a chair. Or even breathe for that matter. Obviously that person didn’t have or know any children! I’m not even sure THEY actually lived there- it was so sterile.

  • AceDenise

    That “wand petite” looked familiar to me but I couldn’t place it- don’t they make an all-white Wanachi too? I bet it’s exactly the same item, but rebranded as a Jimmyjane product. Jimmyjane and Pipedream are perfect for each other, they’re both terrible. A match made in sex toy hell.

  • Whenever I hear “Jimmyjane” now my fists close reflexively AROUND my money to protect it

    I DIE.

  • I have not, but it looks… rage-inducing?

  • Dannicula

    Witchcraft ._.

  • Dannicula

    Like I can’t express how awesome this is because I literally have an extra one of these rings that my guy just doesn’t want to use for weird reasons. I will never have to loosen my death grip on it!

  • Dannicula

    OK I need to know the origins of this story because I feel I have somehow missed it.

  • vulgarvag

    Harsh but it needed to be said. Thank you for speaking the truth!

  • Also WTF with us moving BACKWARDS in numerical order? I feel like that’s indicative of this having been cutting-room fodder until they ran out of things to release. Should have stayed on the floor if you ask me.

  • AceDenise

    My clit wants to die, as well! I have to reassure her that no, I won’t let that mean old Jimmyjane near her, and then bribe her back with the eroscillator..!

  • AceDenise

    Because statistics are always right, of course. And let’s not forget, all #women are the same. Jackasses.

  • Spangle

    http://www.goodvibes.com/display_product.jhtml?id=GV13818&lref=Cat_catalog70002_cat33823_ALLPRODUCTS_11
    You could also get one of these and replace the original bullet with a Tango. These are the only ones I’ve seen that are silicone and have a removable bullet, but there might be others.

  • Dannicula

    #thatsnotwheremyanythingis in this case~

  • Aubrey

    You used to call Aerie by feminine pronouns (she/her) right? Was it weird to start using they/them/their for your girlfriend? I have a trans person in my life and I’m struggling with the pronouns. :/

  • This is true. No, I didn’t find it too terribly difficult. The more you do it the easier it becomes, until you get to a point where the former pronouns no longer feel like they fit.

  • Sarah

    Have you tried Form 3 during cowgirl style sex? Positioned so the hard part rubs against your clit – it’s the best orgasms I’ve ever had. Pretty useless on your own though.

  • The snark is strong with this one

  • I feel like I am the only one who likes any JJ toys LOL.. well, one..

  • BuggieBee

    UGH THANK YOU. I also work at a sex shop, and whenever people ask about the Form 5, I just… stutter? I don’t have any good answers. Usually I just go with a shake of the head and “you know what? Let me know you something else.”

    We’ve had training with JJ, and I don’t understand how a company can be so informed on anatomy and still have such a poor understanding of it? Like have their employees only seen charts and diagrams of genitals, but never actually touched any?

    Sigh.

  • rosefromfriction

    I was so sad about the Hello Touch X. I thought, finally: black wrist cuff, rechargeable rather than hard to find battery type – that’s an improvement. I’m sure it will be less lackluster than the first one was, i thought. Additional iffy feature – weird for most people, but i didn’t hate the idea. That said: I literally bought another of these because I thought it was so weak as to be malfunctioning and had to know. Findings: Nope. Just realllllly weak estim (like, barely feelable, personally) and weak irritating vibrations while still costing more. I feel like I’ve spent a lot of time trying to hope their products better, but fuck it, i’m not even carrying this. I gave the one I bought away and decided to just eat the cost.

  • Polly Vincere

    Speaking for myself and my own experience changing pronouns with a lover who transitioned whIle we were together, it’s a matter of your greatest effort. It means changes inside your mind about how you identify that person. As much as you may want it to, the change doesn’t happen overnight in your mind. You have to practice thinking in the new terms about the person.
    It wasn’t that it was hard for me to change pronouns, it was that it took effort more than I thought it would because my mindset about the person’s gender had to change, not just my pronouns.

  • FieryRed

    Pipedream and JJ in business together? Sounds like a good fit.

  • chick

    “Mouth open in a silent scream of confusion”
    Priceless.
    I love your reviews! I feel compelled to go to a sex shop just to have an up close look at the latest overpriced invention.

  • Well now I’m disappointed 🙁

    Good to know now that the Hello Touch X isn’t worth the money or time…I’ll be steering clear of Jimmyjane products now. Still holding out hope for a vibrating toy that simulates finger play…I guess I’ll just stick to the tried and true Rabbit.

  • Sara Testarossa

    Went back to this to reread what you said about the estim because I had the non-pleasure of testing one of these to make sure it worked the other day. My coworker and I didn’t know why there would only be one vibration speed. The electrostim felt a little bit like a tens unit at low settings but more like a shock collar or stun gun at higher levels. I tried it up to level 5 on my arm, the less sensitive side, before taking a break, then went up to 10. I like electricity, but this was uncomfortable and surprisingly strong, but not in a way I liked. I’ll stick to the neon wand, too, excellent recommendation.

    Oh and the packaging? PITA (especially since we had to put it away after testing).

    The original Touch earned my colleague’s’a hate due to the battery pack being such a pain.

    Thanks again for doing what you do 🙂 I appreciate it even more now that I’m testing things but in such a limited way.

  • sayitwithsarcophilus

    And… Jimmyjane’s come out with a new rabbit. I know vulvas are all different, but the Form 8 looks like a serious contender for “that’s not where my clit is.”