Aug 012014
 

Put on your sunhats, make your best lemonade, and fill up the pool, because the time has come for the greatest party of the summer. It involves ORGASMS.

Giveaway: the great LELO Mona 2 vibrator summer party!

This is the party I’ve been wanting to throw ever since I fell in love with the LELO Mona 2 vibrator years ago. I am bringing Mona to the masses and giving away ten of them, thanks to the amazing generosity of LELO. Not only is the Mona 2 the best vibrator on earth, but this giveaway is open to everyone on earth. Yes, my dear international readers! You too!

The Mona 2 is a deceptively simple-looking toy, but it succeeds precisely because it gets everything right: it’s rechargeable, it’s strong and rumbly, it’s waterproof, and its shape is awesome both internally and externally. Perfect for Mona parties and orgies, or just getting yourself off in the most streamlined, glorious way imaginable, it’s a toy I wish everyone owned.

The best thing about the Mona is how versatile it is, so I’ve designed a giveaway with entry methods that will appeal to many different tastes. You can go all-out and try to win with every method imaginable, or focus on just a few. Here’s how the winners will break down:

5 random winners

Right off the top, half the winners will be chosen randomly by a computer based on entries in the widget below (the widget also has a landing page if that’s easier). Entry methods include following me on every social media channel in existence, referring your friends to this giveaway, blogging about the giveaway, subscribing to my newsletter, etc.

1 winner for best artistic representation of Mona

Are you the creative type? Concoct a song, poem, drawing, painting, sculpture, or whatever dedicated to Mona (be inspired by Lunabelle’s Mona made from fondant). According to my friend JoEllen, “if someone doesn’t sing a song to the tune of ‘My Sharona,’ I’m gonna be really mad.”1 You must post a photo or link to your art in the comments section of this post.

2 winners for best sob stories

Better at words than art? Me too. Leave a comment on this post about why you need a Mona and my two favorites will each win one. “Sob story” is a bit misleading — you don’t have to make me cry or grovel at my feet, but maybe a reason besides “I like orgasms” would be good.

1 Twitter trivia party winner

Mark your calendars for Wednesday, August 13th at 4 p.m. Pacific and join me for an hour-long Twitter trivia party (#monaparty). I’ll be asking questions about the Mona and LELO, and those who answer correctly will be entered to win one at the end of the party. (Hint: trivia questions will be culled from LELO’s site, my Mona review, and my back-up Mona post, so study up!)

1 winner for best tweet

If you’ve mastered the art of 140-character cleverness, this is your rodeo. Of course, you can use the giveaway widget and send out the usual stock tweet, but if you get more creative you could win this. You must use the hashtag #monaparty and include a link to the giveaway (http://bit.ly/monaparty).

———

I’m using a different giveaway widget this time (shout-out to Adriana for making me aware of it!), with a couple new options. Let me know if you have any trouble.

Deadline: Monday, August 25th at 11:59 p.m. PST


Giveaway: the great Mona summer party!

  1. This does not mean that if you do this you will automatically win. If, however, you have picked up on my favorite band and use one of their songs to praise the Mona, you have a very good chance. []

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Jul 302014
 

Stone eggThe stone egg of my dreams showed up at work the other day.

I’ve been waiting patiently for it, ogling the eggs with each new shipment. But I knew this egg was the one the moment I laid eyes on it.

Buying a house is not like that. No matter what those delusional (and/or extremely lucky) people say, you will not know a house is “the one” when you see it. You will not be filled with immense, undeniable joy. You will, instead, look around, nod, and say, “yeah, this could work.” Then spend the next week wondering if you’ve made a grave error in submitting an offer — an offer which was accepted.

In the past three months we’ve seen a lot of houses and eaten a lot of donuts, but the neurotic part of me will perhaps never feel like I saw enough to make an educated decision. I’ve seen houses with stairs leading nowhere, suffocatingly small kitchens, terrifying wall art, and more basement “kill rooms” than I can count. But I’ve also seen gorgeous yards, amazing hardwood floors, and adorable kitties. All aspects must be weighed.

I don’t know why this one is the one. It doesn’t have the enormous office I thought I required — just a humble bedroom. But it has a beautiful kitchen, and a completely finished basement, and there’s a big porch overlooking the quiet neighborhood. I’ve spent 7 years listening to cars drive by outside my apartment, and I cannot wait for the sound of silence.

Also, no more skittering about outside to take photos quickly so I don’t offend any of my neighbors’ delicate sensibilities.

I am in a weird state: simultaneously thrilled that I’m going to have an actual office with an actual door, and terrified because this is the biggest sum of cash I will ever spend at once. Also, did you know that hoses cost a lot? Yeah, I might be broke before I can even water my lawn.

So if I’m scarce here for the next month or so, it’s because I’m busy packing, getting rid of everything I own, launching my next giveaway, painting, masturbating, rearranging, preparing for my upcoming online class, and decking out my new office (I still need someone to embroider me something that says “I Think You Hate Sex“).

Turns out, the stone egg isn’t anything special. It’s not a challenge for my vag — it doesn’t want to escape on its own. It’s not as stimulating as the LELO Luna Beads. Gorgeous as it is, it isn’t perfect. Nothing truly is.


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Jul 212014
 

Everyone pause and bask in this moment.

I have found a sex toy crowdfunding campaign that isn’t shitty.

kGoal kegel trainer exerciser sex toy

It’s a squeezable silicone bulb — er, they’re calling it a pillow — that measures the clenching of your pelvic floor muscles, and it’s called the kGoal (get it? Sounds like “kegel”? If you pronounce “kegel” that way?). It charges via USB and wirelessly communicates with an app on your phone, which serves up your exercise history, suggested workouts, and “max squeeze.” I see a community scoreboard coming on.

As added incentive, the kGoal’s motor offers vibrational biofeedback as you do your exercises, while the outer arm is equipped with a status light and second motor. So, you might be able to get off with it. Which would be a great bonus.

I’ll proudly admit that prior to a recent planned orgy, I researched options for kegel strength testing devices in hopes of having an epic kegel-off. But everything seemed really primitive and medicinal — dubious white plastic devices with sketchy pump bulbs — or too difficult to actually acquire, as in the case of the Airbee and Kegel8.

The kGoal, while not exactly the most attractive or ergonomic of sex toys (let’s be real: it looks like a potato with a growth), is at least technologically advanced, body-safe, and rechargeable. Plus, if anyone’s going to utilize squeeze technology, I trust Minna the most, since they’ve already used it in their Ola and Limon.

Still, I have some fears:

  • It could turn out like the vagina-offending Jopen Vanity Vr1 and I’d be so mad.
  • The lack of a smaller neck makes me fear it might be uncomfortable and/or difficult to keep in place.
  • “Splash resistant”? Bitch plz.
  • Nobody has $175, especially when actual kegel exercises are free, and cheap yet effective kegel balls exist.

But, for once, I choose to remain optimistic. As of this writing, people have pledged $222,725 of the original $90,000 goal, which means the kGoal will definitely will become A Thing. But if you contribute even $1, you get to vote on which color the toy should come in. So. LET’S MAKE ORANGE HAPPEN.


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Jul 122014
 

Bouquet of hand drawn sex toysShe greets me at the airport with a bouquet of hand-drawn sex toys. Eleven toys, all of them my favorites, with green pipe cleaner stems. On the romance scale, this may surpass the CD that my boyfriend made for one of our anniversaries which included a Tegan & Sara cover and 5 minutes of our cat purring into a microphone.

- – -

Aerie lives in a swanky condo on the third level. It has sparkling wooden floors, kitchen appliances that beep at you if you don’t do their bidding, and best of all, air conditioning. We make delicious coffee in the morning with a hand grinder and a french press. Her bed is swathed in comfy grey sheets and pillows. I feel like I’m in a hotel, even more so waking up next to a beautiful girl.

- – -

One evening, we have sex until we’re starving, then scarf In-N-Out. Another night, she makes me homemade teppanyaki and I have a breakthrough in how to hold chopsticks. On a particularly glamorous evening, we go to AsiaSF for the dinner show. Gorgeous trans ladies lip sync and dance on the bar. One performer grabs my hand and makes me touch her boob… and her crotch. The bachelorette parties lose their minds.

The bartender asks us whether it’s a special occasion, pressing us on our relationship.

“We’re, uh, friends who have sex with each other?” I fumble. “‘Friends with benefits’ doesn’t sound right.”

- – -

KissThe first time we had sex was at a play party. Neither of us had been to a play party before… or had sex with a woman. I’m not counting the half-assed dry-humping of my youth. I’m talking tongues, fingers, open-air vulvas. Before that night, I’d literally never had sex with anyone except my boyfriend of 9 years. I was that sex blogger.

Was.

Aerie and I got together thanks to Snapchat flirting, crafty play party planner friends, and a mutual love for massages. Everyone else was talking, eating chips, and sporadically hitting each other with floggers. The king-sized hotel bed sat empty, waiting. Aerie and I were sitting next to each other trying to act natural. Well, I was casually using my Mona under my nightgown, so maybe not.

Finally she said, “can I give you a massage?” I could not say yes fast enough.

Massaging turned to kissing turned to naked caressing. She told me she might be getting sick; I consented to possibly catching a cold. Then I went down on her.

I had no clue what I was doing — but I went off instinct, off what I’d seen in porn. I doubt I was super good. I was probably sloppy, unfocused. But I buried myself in her vulva and did whatever seemed right, whatever she wanted me to do.

“Are you sure you haven’t done this before?” she asked.

Somewhere on the other side of the universe, someone was squirting on the pull-out bed.

Aerie went down on me, then I taught her to use the Comet Wand on me. I was overwhelmed by the sensation. There is a swiftness and effortlessness about someone else using an ergonomic G-spot toy on you correctly. I was almost unable to focus on her tongue and then the vibe on my clit. But I did, even in a room full of people, and I came hard.

Then I stood up and put on my Joque harness, with Mustang strapped in. It was meant to be: I brought my Joque but not my Mustang, Aerie brought her Mustang but not her Joque. Queeraschino helped me tighten my harness, because that’s what friends are for.

As Aerie grinded on me in cowgirl with her beautiful boobs wafting above me I thought, okay, I get why guys like this. After that, she came with the We-Vibe Salsa on her clit and my fingers inside her, pressing hard into her G-spot.

When we were finished, the room clapped for us and Queeraschino said, “um, I have something to tell you… I think you’re gay.”

I gulped down all the water on earth, then grabbed my phone and used its last bit of battery life to text my boyfriend: definitely had sex with Aerie. He replied, that’s awesome!!!

- – -

At AsiaSF, the bartender asks what we’re doing afterward. I tell him we’re going to Mr. S Leather, a sex shop. He wants to know if we’re going to get some new toys.

“Probably not,” I say. “We have way too many already. Seriously.”

He is entranced. He tells his co-worker he wants to hang out with us after.

- – -

Kink.com Armory tourAs we walk up the stairs into the Kink.com Armory, a horde of skateboarding stoners asks, “hey, are you guys models?!” When we don’t reply, they yell, “YOU ARE, AREN’T YOU!?”

The tour guide shows us a padded cell, interrogation room, slaughterhouse, kitchen complete with fake food, bathroom, doctor’s office, gym where they film Ultimate Surrender and Naked Kombat, and a “normie” bedroom with a cage built into the staircase. In the hallway we pass several 55-gallon barrels of lube, complete with pumps and spouts.

The most surprising thing is how banal everything is. It’s mostly like a huge warehouse. Even the Upper Floor doesn’t have the sparkling grandeur that I thought it did on film.

Vibrator from the 1930s in the Good Vibes antique vibrator museumWhile in San Francisco, we also visit several sex shops, including Good Vibes Polk with its antique vibrator museum, and the best-named sex shop on the planet, Does Your Mother Know. The biggest takeaway from Good Vibes? Vibratex’s The Girls vibes are just as useless as Penny and Millenia said. The biggest takeaway from Does Your Mother Know? No matter how much of a boss I think my vagina is, visiting a gay dude sex shop can make me feel like a twerp in no time.

Our last stop is Wicked Grounds kink cafe, where we ogle their beautiful artwork and buy mugs. There’s a sign at the register which reads, “would you (or your sub) like your drink in a dog bowl?” I take a picture of it and send it to my mom. She replies with disappointment, where is a pic of YOUR dog bowl drink ???

- – -

I usually spend the fourth of July holed up in my apartment, vaguely listening to the blasts outside. This year, we walk hand-in-hand to a park to see them set off huge fireworks. I wear a sweater I wore in high school whenever I made out with boys in winter. The fireworks are so close that we have to crane our necks to take it all in. She lets me lay my head in her lap.

- – -

“You’re the sweetest,” she murmurs.

“You’re as sweet as a kitten,” I reply in a half-asleep fog. “With a cupcake on its head. A cupcake-shaped growth.”

She laughs.

“A growth that affirms your opinions. And has WiFi.”

I run my hands over her arms, explaining that I am making sure she is in working order. I poke her collarbone. “Checking bone density,” I explain.

Somehow, these weird things are endearing to her.

- – -

Paint ALL the nails!When we drive, we listen to old episodes of Sex Out Loud. Joan Price talks about getting yourself in the mood for sex rather than waiting for it to strike; Nina Hartley talks about having different partners for different things.

Sex with Aerie is so different from the sex I have always known. It is slower, with an inherent understanding that comes from having similar bodies.

Together, we are trying new things. Electricity. Double-ended dildos. Face sitting. New sex toy materials. Oral techniques. (Shout out to Sliquid H2O for being perfect and not tasting like anything.) Clitoral massage techniques. Different harnesses. Mutual masturbation. Whether my Diva Cup will stay in place while I’m being fingered (answer: YES). How quickly I can thrust with her Pure Wand to squirt all over her luxurious Throe.

I love her hipbones. And her labia. I love feeling her G-spot.

And there is still so much to learn.


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Jun 252014
 

The Business of Blogging About Sex with Epiphora and Lauren Marie FlemingEver since I started speaking on panels with other lovely industry peeps, I’ve been energized to spread the gospel of the sex blog further and wider. This September, I will be doing just that in the form of my first ever online class, taught alongside the unsinkable Lauren Marie Fleming.

Lauren is one of the finest people I’ve become friends in recent years. She has a really exceptional brain and enviable drive for what she does. She’s also a big deal: when I was eating a burrito at a food cart pod with her mere days ago, someone came up to us and said, “e-e-excuse me, are you Queerie Bradshaw? Can I get a selfie with you?”

Our class is called “The Business of Blogging About Sex.” It will span four weeks and will tackle everything from adult-friendly hosts to writing solid content and of course, making the money you deserve:

Do you consider your blog a business? Do you want to? This four-week interactive course will take you through the dos and don’ts of running a successful sex blogging business. Long-time, expert sex bloggers Epiphora (HeyEpiphora.com) and Lauren Marie Fleming (QueerieBradshaw.com) will share with you the knowledge they’ve amassed in their 15 years combined experience blogging. They turned their one-time hobbies into profitable online businesses, and you can too.

Each week will focus on a different topic, from website set-up and content creation to monetizing and acquiring readers. This class will address the special issues that come with blogging about risqué topics, including finding your niche within the sex world and maneuvering through the ever-changing terms of service that affect sex writers/workers on the Internet. Learn how to write with conviction and consistent voice, plus how to garner advertisers, implement affiliate links, obtain products for review, and use social media to your advantage.

Each student will receive critical feedback from both Lauren and Epiphora, and weekly assignments will give you concrete takeaways from the class that you can implement right now to boost your business and online presence.

You want to take a class with us because we each have blogging and branding smarts, but we’ve acquired them differently. She has graduated law school, written a sex blog for Curve, attended and spoken at (approximately) a thousand conferences, and launched Frisky Feminist Press. I’ve written nearly 300 sex toy reviews, honed my blogging skills in the HTML and CSS trenches, and built my blog into my main source of income. We are an excellent team: just look at the Google+ hangout we did.

A complete week-by-week breakdown of topics is available on the sign up page, but rest assured you’ll be working hard and soaking up the info like a sponge! Let’s go back to school, pervs!

Sign up now!


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Jun 192014
 

This is not cute. This is not adorable. This is not acceptable.

Teddy Love vibrating teddy bear... kill me now

A teddy bear with a vibrating muzzle? Really? This is condescending, infantilizing, and damaging. This is not how we get over the stigma around sex toys. This product is WHY THERE IS A STIGMA AROUND SEX TOYS.

Completely overlooking logistical issues such as how the fuck do you clean vag juice off it (the muzzle is made of thermoplastic elastomer, which is porous, and the body is covered in FUR), I am deeply offended that these people are expecting me, as a woman, to coo over this. It’s “inspired by every girl’s first fuzzy love,” because all women are the same, right, Todd? We’re all perpetual children… who now want to stick pointy bear tongues inside ourselves.

Marketed differently, this toy would not warrant any rage from me. Plushies, ageplayers, and other kinksters could love this, but the inventors blatantly ignore those markets. I bet they’d be astounded at the existence of those markets. Why cater to a niche when you can use the classic angle that always works: shame. The campaign (because of course they’re trying to crowdfund it) reads, in part:

Teddy Love is a paradigm shifter in the adult toy industry . . . Teddy Love is not intimidating to buy online or in a brick and mortar store. There is no stigma attached to purchasing a Teddy Bear that happens to provide pleasure, unlike bulky and obvious sexual devices, that may be embarrassing to purchase . . . Teddy is so cute and lovable you can cuddle and fall asleep with him after he is done pleasuring you with his powerful 10 speed vibrations.

Yes, stop buying those BULKY, ostentatious sex toys and get yourself an enormous stuffed bear instead!

Like, good luck getting people to crowdfund a vibrator when your target market is deathly afraid of vibrators.

Screenshot from the now-defunct Teddy Love crowdfunding video

Update: The video from the crowdfunding campaign has disappeared, but we can remember it forever with this screenshot and my original run-down of some of the horrifying statements it included. Word for word.

  • “Have you ever seen someone walking through an airport, in a restaurant, or though a place of business with a large adult toy visibly protruding from a handbag or briefcase? Well, our novel and discreet product Teddy Love can be placed anywhere, inconspicuously, without fear or embarrassment.” Or you could just tuck your sex toy into a pouch or bag? No? Your schlong must be hanging out all over the place?
  • “The nose touches the clitoris and the tongue goes into the vagina. The controls are in Teddy’s ears, making him the ultimate listener.” Oh fuck RIGHT off. I don’t need a listener. I want to fuck my own brains out.
  • “Our manufacturer in Hong Kong is Disney certified.” I… I don’t know what this means, and I’m not sure I want to know. Nor do I think Disney wants to know.
  • “Our vision is to have Teddy Love placed in every sexually active adult bedroom in America.”
  • “Join us in this exciting opportunity to liberate women’s sexual expression and freedom.”

This product truly makes every other “discreet” (i.e. “let’s make it look like a household object that women love because all women are the same, right, Todd?) sex toy seem ergonomic as fuck. Teddy Love just can’t compete with vibrating sponges, cell phones, lipstick, cupcakes, mascara, duckscandy barsmake-up brushescompacts, pens, and lint rollers.

And oh my god, this company must have spent thousands on stock images of generic ladies over which they lay slogans such as “A Night Alone? No. A Night With Teddy.” “Guilty Pleasure? Teddy Won’t Tell.” “Hop. Skip. Jump for Joy. Teddy Love. Your New Toy.” And the most confounding: “Beach Bum. Beach Bear.” (Did they have a sale on girl-on-the-beach images?)

They also appear to have bought their Twitter followers — look at all those unhatched eggs.

The fundraising goal is $50,000 (two idiots have pledged so far) and perks include tank tops, tote bags, an ominous “Toys for Better Sex DVD” that I kind of really want to see1, and a $450 Party Pack for “bachelorette parties, wedding parties, or that special girls night out.”

SLUMBER PARTY! LET’S HUMP ALL OUR TEDDY BEARS!

Also:

The bear is suspected to retail at $79.95.

Fuck you.

  1. Will it acknowledge that other sex toys exist? How will it advise me to use them? []

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Jun 172014
 

BS Atelier Wild Stripes silicone dildo (large)Finally, a manufacturer is going balls-to-the-wall with their silicone sex toy designs — and I love how flamboyant and playful they are. Spanish company BS Atelier makes a dildo for everyone: one for vegans and/or those who miss Gateway computer boxes, one for horror fans, another for people who like to splatter paint, and even one for that dude who keeps his socks on during sex.

I chose none of those dildos. I chose the uncategorizable Wild Stripes, which is striped diagonally with black, white, orange, pink, purple, red, and grey. I chose it solely based on how attractive it was. Shape was, honestly, secondary in my mind.

Yet, as much as I prefer things that go in my vagina to be aesthetically pleasing — that’s kinda the door (labia?) policy — it isn’t enough here.

The Wild Stripes dildo comes in a heavy duty plastic bag reminiscent of astronaut ice cream or croutons, complete with tear-off, resealable top. Inside is a tiny folded up manual and a packet of Yes water-based lube. The instrucciones read, in part:

For a greater satisfaction them should be used with watery-based lubricants . . . Silicone is a very resistant material, if kept them in a place without dust and far from objects that could scratch them, the BS dildoes and pluggeds will last many years.

The pluggeds! They can last many years!

Actually, the manual is pretty useful. It even recommends using a condom if going from anal to vaginal penetration — “it is not sufficient to wash them,” it states. Accurate.

But, as adorable as this dildo and its manual are, I feel uncomfortable with the $90 price tag attached. The Wild Stripes just doesn’t deliver in the sensation department, and I’m somewhat wary about its construction.

It seems silly to quibble about the finish on a dildo, but… it looks… scuffed? Like a gym floor? And it has several nicks in the silicone that I didn’t put there. This dildo is not glossy like a Tantus toy. It’s not silky like a Fun Factory toy. It’s not flawless like a LELO toy. The silicone is draggy, and the finish is imperfect. I get the sense that, as a new company, BS still needs to refine the art of dildo-making.

This would be easier to overlook if I liked the way the dildo feels in use, but I don’t. It attempts to go for the flat tip G-spotting shape that I love in the LELO Ella and PicoBong Moka, but it’s a half-assed attempt. The edges are too rounded to do much of anything wondrous for me. It kind of feels like a shapeless blob, especially in comparison to other toys. And the silicone drags at my vaginal opening, requiring more and more lube as I go.

Around the same time that I got the Wild Stripes, I acquired the similarly-shaped Pleasure Works Siren, and it was impossible not to compare the two — and crown the Siren the winner. The Siren is shiny and its shape has more definition, so it glides well and hits my G-spot more readily. It also costs $40 less than the Wild Stripes; it’s just not particularly pretty.

I’d venture to guess most people don’t have $90 to burn on a dildo that looks great on a shelf but only halfway succeeds in its function as a sex toy. The small BS toys aren’t as expensive, though, and for folks who prefer lighter and gentler G-spot stimulation, they can be great. Lorax also likes the Alex style, so not all hope is lost.

But the Wild Stripes is just too imprecise to do anything worthwhile for my vagina. If you want a silicone dildo that feels really awesome and that you can show off to your partner’s parents when they come over for dinner, get a tie-dye Mustang, the Tantus Splash, the Jollies Jollet, or a tri-colored space toy. They’ll be impressed with your quality taste in dildos, and you’ll get immense rather than mediocre pleasure. Win/win.

Thank you, SheVibe!


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Jun 042014
 

Fun Factory Stronic Zwei pulsator anal sex toy, sunbathingNo matter what I say in the rest of this review, the fact will always remain: the Fun Factory Stronics make me come like a motherfucker.

Like, this is a persistent, undeniable problem. And it’s embarrassing. I’m a sex toy reviewer. I should be able to control my orgasms. But the thrusting motion — coupled with some epic clitoral stimulation — does me in every time. Too quickly. I lose count of my orgasms. I get delirious.

The Stronic Eins shook the world wide open last year with its revolutionary (and you know me, I don’t throw that word around) back-and-forth “pulsating” technology. At $200 a pop, I was dubious, but the Shake Weight-like movement jostled my G-spot perfectly and I fell in love. I was primed and ready to welcome the newest Stronic shapes, the Zwei and Drei, into my vagina.

But even after thousands of orgasms, I still like the original Eins more than the sequels. It’s the simplest — before all the unnecessary plot twists.

The Zwei and Drei have all the same features as the Eins: they’re rechargeable (and last an insanely long time on a charge), made of 100% silicone, completely waterproof, lockable for travel, and equipped with ten thrusting settings that range from jerky and erratic to fluid and consistent.

The Zwei, or Butt Stronic, is primarily designed for anal use (advanced, it’s 1.85″ in diameter at its widest), but my world is all vagina all the time, so that is how I use it. And damn, its girthy, curved head is amazing thumping against my G-spot… until I try to conquer that middle hump.

Stay with me: when I was in high school, the only cool place to hang out with your friends after 8 p.m. was a 24-hour diner that served huge-ass cinnamon rolls. If someone was able to consume the last big corner of their cinnamon roll, we’d call it “conquering the hump.” It was an achievement, except for the part where you’d go from feeling great to feeling sick.

That’s what the middle hump on the Zwei is like. I can insert it — and I must, because being unable to makes me feel like a rookie — but I really have to shove it in, and it takes the toy from feeling awesome to feeling wrong. The way the bulge rests at my vaginal entrance is not pleasant, especially if my muscles clench around it. Plus, the flared base blocks access to my clit.

Which, forgive me. I need to have a moment here. No matter how you use it, THIS TOY DOES NOT AND WILL NOT STIMULATE THE CLITORIS. Get it out of your head right this instant. This is not a rabbit and it does not vibrate. If anyone on earth can get off from the subtle nudging movements of this toy on their clit, I will be floored. I think it’s about as likely as Apophis crashing into earth…

Okay, hold up. I am being informed, as I write this at a coffee shop with my freak of a friend JoEllen, that she can get off with hers by holding it parallel to her body against her clit and letting it rub back and forth. She is acting it out with her hands, and the bougie moms nearby are none the wiser. I still stand by (most of) my tantrum, though. Clitoral stimulation could be a bonus for a few people, but should not be why you buy a Stronic.

So to avoid my clit being blocked and my vaginal entrance from feeling awry, I end up using only 2.5 inches of the Zwei. Just that first curve — which I will admit is quite glorious. I’ve likely never been so stimulated by 2.5 inches. But… the Eins offers more inches and a shape that glides more easily.1

Fun Factory Stronic Drei pulsator sex toy, chillingWhich is why the Stronic Drei is also a let-down. The stage was set and the stars were aligned for me to love it: it’s textured, it thrusts, it’s MY COLOR. But the ridges dull the movement, making it my least favorite of the three Stronics released to date.

Whereas the Stronic Eins can work its way out of me on even the mildest of settings, the Drei locks right into my vagina. I often don’t have to brace it against anything to get it to stay in place. This sounds like a benefit, and for some people it very well might be — but it means less thrust and not much sensation beyond whichever ridge happens to be just inside my vag. I may or may not have used a mole on my arm as an indicator of how fast the toy was moving… and it wasn’t very fast. It didn’t even budge during a fairly strong orgasm.

No matter how pretty or how turquoise it may be, there’s no point in buying a $200 thrusting toy when the thrusting is convoluted. If it’s the shape that appeals to you, there are many cheaper things.

Maybe my vagina is just a venus flytrap, I thought. So I loaned my Drei to a friend (more like she stole it off my kitchen counter as she was leaving my apartment one day) and she confirmed my experience. She also owns and loves the Eins, but felt that the Drei latched onto her pubic bone too. “When I tried to pull it out, I realized it was stuck,” she said as we walked to Taco Bell. “and I thought, if she wants this back she will have to pry it out of my COLD DEAD VAGINA.”

I did get my Drei back, but I didn’t miss it while it was gone. My Zwei actually belongs to another friend (yes, I’m aware I now sound like the bodily-fluid-swapping monster the world thinks I am), and once I give it back I will miss its girthy G-spot goodness… but I’ll survive. I am content with the original, the Eins. It’s long enough; it’s smooth; it doesn’t thwart access to my clit; it’s one of the greatest sex toy inventions in recent history. With the Eins, you get the most thrust for your buck — and at $200, every thrust counts.

Get the Fun Factory Stronic of your choice at SheVibe, Good Vibes, Babeland,
Lovehoney (international), or Come As You Are (Canada).

  1. Well, once you’ve applied the requisite 500 squirts of lube that Fun Factorys notoriously matte silicone requires. []

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May 282014
 

Tenga Iroha vibrator line: Sakura (pink), Midori (green), Yuki (white)If you like pushing around the skin on a wrinkly dog, you will love touching the Tenga Iroha vibrators. They feel spongy, like marshmallows, with enough give on the outer layer that you can push it around like dog skin. They’re really addicting to touch, but that criteria would only matter if I were reviewing a set of stress balls.

These are sex toys, and as sex toys, they perform adequately. I’d give them a passing grade, maybe a C+ or B-. But I’d also give them some stern suggestions for improvement and hope that they try harder next time.

The Iroha line is Tenga’s first attempt at making vibrators; they’ve always only made toys for penises. These vibes are unique because the outer layer is silicone, but the inside is polyurethane elastomer, which gives them their plush, mochi-like feel that truly is unlike anything I’ve felt before. Yuki is the white one that resembles a snowman; Midori is green and pear-shaped; and Sakura is pink, with pointy pincers reminiscent of the Form 2.

These vibrators charge like perfect specimen under a clear plastic cover, via USB or the included wall adapter. This isn’t discreet in the least, and would be a nuisance to travel with, but it’s drop-dead simple and looks sophisticated as fuck. It also keeps fuzzies and debris away from the toys while they charge.

Which reminds me: the Iroha toys claim to be “lint-free.” One time, my cat waltzed across my desk and sat on one, and I can report, there was not much to show for it. I even petted him with Midori (which he loved) and there was approximately a single hair to pick off. So my highly scientific cat tests point to yes, they are “lint-free.”

Tenga Iroha Sakura vibrator, brokenI was feeling positively toward these toys overall, until one night when I was Skyping with a friend and whipped them out to show her. Somehow — and I really don’t know how, although I guess it happened when I was pushing the skin around like I do with wrinkly dogs? — the control panel popped off the Sakura, exposing all the innards and wires.

If these toys can be disassembled by a drunk girl fumbling around on Skype, I feel like that’s a bad sign. I contacted Tenga and at first they explained that it was a known defect with Sakuras only. But then it happened to my Midori. And Yuki. Finally I was told it was an issue with weak claw joints that connect the control pad to the main body, which have now been strengthened in the entire line.

I sent my Irohas back and received all new ones. I haven’t experienced the issue with my new Irohas, although I can still push the skin away from the control pad. These toys do have a year warranty, and I trust that Tenga would replace any faulty units. Still, it gives me pause. Does Tenga know what they’re doing? Are these toys ready for prime time?

I’m not entirely convinced, because the Irohas are splashproof only,1 and they have a paltry three vibration strengths — and one pattern. Most rechargeable clit vibes2 are waterproof and offer more settings. For $99, the Irohas should be more adjustable.

The vibrations in the Irohas are neither particularly buzzy nor particularly rumbly. Speed setting #1 works for a couple minutes, until I’m like, “okay, next.” Speed setting #2 is decent, and the third and final speed is enough to bring me to orgasm no problem, but… do I always want to be going to the last setting to have an orgasm? I often have more than one orgasm per session, needing slightly more power as I go, and these don’t provide that flexibility.

The single pattern is a generic pulse. Fuck that shit.

The Irohas do feel unique and cushy in use; the word that keeps coming to mind is “pleasant.” I don’t use a ton of pressure with my toys, so I can’t make a pronouncement on whether they’re good for folks who do. It could be a fruitless and frustrating exercise, or, as one reviewer happily reports, it could “prevent a case of Bruised Clit the next morning.”

A friend suggested I use an Iroha during sex, as perhaps it wouldn’t be as pokey as other things. I guess it wasn’t as easily jostled into my vulva, but then, I only engage in sex positions with low risk of that happening. As I made my way up to the third setting, it became apparent: don’t send an Iroha to do a Mona’s job. A few more strength settings would’ve brought me to orgasm much more quickly.

Shape-wise and otherwise, I like Yuki most. Somehow, it feels a bit stronger than the other two at its highest vibration strength. The flickering, pinpoint sensation of Sakura is also nice. Midori is my least favorite because it is the most rigid at the tip, although I like how its rotund body stimulates my labia. Overall, Yuki offers the tangible squish of the dual-density materials with the consistency in shape that I need. Just not, always, the strength I need.

I think the ideal person for one of these vibes is someone who really really REALLY wants a body-safe, rechargeable clitoral vibrator that is soft and squishy, but does not need that vibrator to be waterproof or turbo-powered. Otherwise, you’re better off with the We-Vibe Touch or LELO Mona 2, which are stronger, rumblier, and considerably more rigid.

As for me, I still feel favorably toward the Irohas. They feel nice, and I can see myself pulling out the Yuki if I’m in a leisurely mood… but I feel burdened by the missed opportunities. Tenga has something good going here, but they squandered it with the lack of vibration options, non-submersible design, and questionable construction. I hope a second generation is in the cards.

Get the Iroha vibes at SheVibeGoodVibesBabeland, Early to Bed, or Lovehoney (international).

  1. They can be run under a tap for cleaning, though, according to Tenga, but they cannot be submerged. []
  2. See the LELO Alia and MiaJe Joue MiMi, Jimmyjane Form 2, 3, and 4, We-Vibe Touch and Tango, Crave Duet and Solo, and Minna Limon. []

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