Archive of ‘Sex & Toys’ category

Jopen L17 Review: High Hopes, Bruised Genitals

I was thrilled when SheVibe said they would send me a high end dual-stimulator vibe. For a long time, the dual-stim market was dominated by jelly Rabbits, and these are still the first toys that a lot of laypersons think of when they hear the term “vibrator.” Made famous by Sex and the City, but sadly more toxic than even Carrie’s relationship with Big.

Luckily, higher end companies have begun to climb aboard the Rabbit train with silicone dual stimulators. JeJoue has FiFi, Lelo has Ina and Soraya, and Jopen has a whole host of options. One of these options comes from their Lust line, a step below the pricier Envys. I chose the L17, which looks sort of like a big thumbs up.

JopenL17

It’s pretty common for me to accidentally choose a toy that is a bit big. My eyes are truly bigger than both my vagina and my anus. Often, I grow into these toys, or I’m surprisingly able to fit them in anyway (as was the case with Neo). Not so for the L17.

Admittedly, the L17 isn’t technically big. The shaft is 1.5″ in diameter at its widest point. I have definitely used toys that thick without problems. It’s the shape that makes the L17 completely, totally unpleasant for me.

The bulge in the shaft is made to stimulate your G-spot. Great idea, really and truly. It’s a classic, and I do believe that size is going to be appreciated by someone. But for me, it caught on my pubic bone, felt like it left a bruise, and caused me to have an anxiety attack. And still, I pressed on. I tried to insert the shaft deep enough so that the clitoral stimulator could reach, but it just was not happening. I could not make contact. I thought maybe it was just because the short, round handle made it a little difficult to maneuver, but even with my partner’s help, it just wasn’t going to work.

For now, I’ll stick to using two toys to get the exact right combination of G-spot and clitoral stimulation. (At least I until I find the dual-stim that’s made for me.) Mona 2 and We-Vibe Touch, Vixen Mustang and Lelo Mia 1.5…

Jopen asserts correctly that the toy is virtually seamless. For once, a company seems to actually know what that means. Yes, there is a very thin seam, but you actually cannot feel it at all, and you have to squint to see it. The charging port is one that’s now familiar to many high-end toy users: You push the charger through a tight silicone hole, and the effectively hole closes up when you pull the charger out. This makes the toy waterproof, which is always appreciated when it comes to cleaning. It has 5 functions, including incremental, patterns, and straight vibration; L17 also has various speeds, for both the clitoral arm and the shaft.

I tried to use the L17 as an external vibe next. But dual-stimulators simply aren’t made to be used that way. I’m fond of the dual-motor construction, and the buttons were easy to press. Technically, I believe it’s a well built toy. I just can’t recommend the design for anyone build like me.

This probably won’t work for you if: You prefer thinner toys, you have an unexposed clitoris, you aren’t used to pressure against your pubic bone, you have a hard time gripping small/rounded handles, or you tend to need a warm-up toy for penetration.

This will probably work for you if: You’ve been looking for a dual-stim that focuses on the G-spot, you enjoy thicker toys, your G-spot is more than 3 inches from your clitoris, your clitoris is exposed, you have a good grip, or you have experience with (and enjoy) equally sized dual-stimulators.

I believe that if the L17 were a bit smaller, I would have really liked it. As it is, it just doesn’t work with my anatomy. You can purchase the Lust by Jopen L17 from SheVibe for $75.

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Review: Nomi Tang Better than Chocolate 2

When I was contacted by Nomi Tang about reviewing the Better than Chocolate 2, I was skeptical. (If you read my blog regularly, you’ve noticed that I’m skeptical about a lot of things. I’m a jaded sex toy reviewer.) The original Better than Chocolate had received mixed reviews despite winning a Red Dot Design Award, and after seeing it in person at the shop where I used to work, I wasn’t impressed. When I received my BTC2, my interest was officially piqued.

Nomi Tang Better than Chocolate 2

Physically, the shape is the same. It still kind of looks like a manta ray mixed with a piece of modern art furniture. But BTC2 is considerably smaller than the original Better than Chocolate (and the Music Edition). BTC2 is made of soft, matte silicone; instead of taking AAA batteries, it is now rechargeable. Better than Chocolate and Better than Chocolate 2 are like Matthew Lewis (aka Neville Longbottom): You can see how they got from point A to point B, but the transformation is impressive.

In use, I’m actually wowed by how much I like the BTC2. The Original had mediocre vibrations that tended toward buzzy. This iteration is exactly how I like my vibes – strong, but not jackhammer, and nicely concentrated. While it’s not the absolute quietest vibrator I own, it is quiet enough that I would recommend it to apartment-dwellers, or those living with relatives. If you look closely, you’ll notice that the BTC2 has a visible seam. During use, I didn’t notice this at all.

The trackpad control is one of the main selling points of the BTC2. Honestly, though, I found the controls a little bit difficult to get used to. I think I’m just so reliant on the basic 1 or 2 button interface that most vibrators have that even something that should be intuitive gets a little cloudy for me. BTC2 uses a thin trackpad as its control, with a Nomi Tang logo as one “button”. I say “button” because rather than it being a physical button, it’s a separate touch area that you tap to control. You use the logo button to change modes, and swipe your finger up and down on the trackpad to change speeds. There’s also a dedicated power button located right behind the logo button, off the trackpad. While I found it a little difficult to change modes in use, I really like how the controls are hard to accidentally press. There’s very little chance of accidentally turning it off. My partner found the controls easier to use than I did, and was pretty enthusiastic about them.

For such a small vibe, the battery life is quite decent. I’ve only charged it once, and I’ve used it about 4 or 5 times. The charging port is similar to those on the Lelo Insignia line, in that you poke the charger in and once its pulled back out, it theoretically closes up to be waterproof. Like the original, they claim that the BTC2 is waterproof up to a meter. Because I don’t have a bathtub, I haven’t tested it underwater. But this feature does make it a lot easier to clean, which is something I always appreciate.

My only gripe: While the packaging is beautiful, I wish there was a bag included for travel. You could absolutely travel with the box, which is lined with a nice grey satin, but it takes up considerably more space than just the BTC2 itself. Perhaps I’m spoiled, but I would have preferred a satin bag to satin inside the box.

Overall, I would give the BTC2 a big thumbs up. Two situations in which Better than Chocolate 2 would really shine: Anyone who finds gripping smaller vibrators challenging (ex: arthritis sufferers), and anyone who wants pinpoint stimulation in a more ergonomic form than a traditional bullet vibe.

Better than Chocolate 2 retails for $89. I received mine free of charge from Nomi Tang in exchange for an honest review.

Tristan Taormino’s 50 Shades of Kink

When I was contacted about reviewing 50 Shades of Kink, I anticipated that I would blow through it quickly and have the review up just as fast. Wrong! My apologies, Clies Press.

If you’re looking for an introduction to kink without the fluffy handcuffs and the Cosmo spin, this is a great guide to pick up. It’s like an antidote for 50 Shades of Bullshit Abuse Grey. 

50ShadesofKink

This book covers a lot of practical concepts, from what BDSM is, to what kinds of play can be incorporated, to safety. I fucking love that safety is one of the first topics that’s covered, and is one that comes up over and over again each chapter. Safety encompasses consent, compassion, sub care, setting boundaries… Everything that’s totally ignored in the mainstream disaster from which the book borrows its title phrasing.

In chapters 6 through 10, you’ll learn the basics about some of the most popular kinks like bondage and sensation play. Taormino doesn’t just give you suggestions and allow you to run wild. Instead, the reader is given ideas, and all of the important information necessary to execute them safely. Did you know that a misplaced cane can cause kidney damage? Yeah, this is serious stuff.

Now, this book is an introduction. As such, it’s pretty short, and it doesn’t cover any one particular topic in depth. I’m sure you can find whole books just focusing on Dom/sub, pet play, D/s lifestyle, etc. This book is meant to be one of your first forays into kink. Read more. Read lots. Read often.

Personally, I didn’t find this book to be particularly useful in my bedroom. But as a sex educator, it’s really important for me to have a general grasp of many different sexual preferences, kinks, and pleasures. I’ll be honest with you: My sex life is not as crazy as one might think. (It’s good, but nobody’s writing controversial erotica about it, y’know?)

You can pick up your own copy in both Kindle and Paperback editions on Amazon.com, or through Clies Press directly.

Have You Heard the About Sex 101 App?

Sex 101 is a new app, developed by the folks at The Sex Trend, that utilizes RSS feeds to aggregate sex blogs and deliver them right to your phone or tablet. It’s full of information from well-respected sex bloggers and sex educators.

Why an app? Personally, I think that’s important because sexual health information isn’t the kind of thing you want to take risks with. It’s important to have resources that are trustworthy, well-informed, and easy to access. That’s why this app is a huge step forward, not only for bloggers who are getting their content out there (credited and consensual), but for consumers too. And, if you’re looking for info on the go, it’s a hell of a lot easier than sifting through pages and pages of questionable Google results.

Currently, it’s available for free on both iOS and Android platforms. Soon, you’ll be able to find my content there, as well as some of my favorite bloggers like Cara Sutra.

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WeVibe Touch: Reboot Review

If you’re a longtime reader, you might know how fond I am of the original We-Vibe Touch. When I first encountered the Touch, while working in an adult store, I was impressed by the motor but anticipated that the shape would be impractical. I thought it was weird, frankly.

Oh, how little I knew then. What a baby sex toy enthusiast I was.

WeVibe Touch

Somewhat recently, We-Vibe revamped both of their clitoral vibrators, known as Touch and Tango. I remember hearing the first whisperings of change and being both excited and skeptical. “How could they make it better?” I wondered. Well, they did.

The most obvious change to Touch is its new coating of satiny matte silicone. In short, it’s glorious. I actually took it out of the box and rubbed it against my cheek. (Sidebar: The new packaging is so much less frustrating than the old polygon-style boxes.)

The second most obvious improvement is the charging mechanism. It’s still magnetic, so the Touch is still waterproof, but it’s now much easier to see that the Touch is connected to the charger, and to ensure that it won’t accidentally become disconnected. They’ve also replaced the wall outlet with a USB cable, which is awesome for those of us who travel internationally (or just don’t have very many wall sockets).

Once you’ve turned the new Touch on, you’ll notice how much they improved the button. Since the Touch operates on a single button system, how well that one button works is extremely important. The original Touch had a very firm button that was a little difficult to push, especially in use. WeVibe has totally fixed that problem with the new Touch’s button. It’s the same size and shape, but it makes a discernible ‘click’ when you’ve pressed it, and feels both easy to push and sturdy. I never thought I would feel so passionately about a button, but here we are.

In use, it’s just as dependable as the original Touch. I find it extremely easy to have an orgasm with the Touch, which is nice when you want something guaranteed to leave you speechless. Personally, I love the gently pointed tip. You might prefer the little clitoral nook. That’s the beauty of the Touch: It’s versatile. Also, it’s small, it holds a charge very well, and its button isn’t likely to be pressed in transit, so it’s one of the main vibes that I reach for whenever I travel (and I’m traveling a lot these days). It might look kind of like a potato, or a tongue, or a potato-tongue, but it’s impeccably designed.

Of course, I had to see how the new model compared to the old one. Both have 8 vibration modes: low, medium, higher, highest, and four patterns including a “wave” and a “cha-cha.” I’m not much for patterns, but if you are, I think you’ll find something to suit you here. Turning them both on, I was surprised: While the motor is the same, the old Touch actually felt stronger in the first vibration mode. I think it has something to do with how the old silicone felt like it grabbed at your skin a little bit. By mode 3, though, the vibrations themselves were not distinguishable.

“But wait, how could they improve it without making it stronger?”

The original We-Vibe Touch was already extremely strong. Its motor was the same one that WeVibe put in the Salsa and Tango, arguably the strongest bullet vibes on the market. In order to make it any stronger, they would probably have to make it either larger or more expensive (or both). That would have been totally unnecessary, in my opinion. Instead, they focused on the externals, and they did a bang-up job of it.

As with all We-Vibe products, the Touch comes with a one year warranty and an awesome customer support team. (Seriously, the folks at We-Vibe are top notch.)

New Touch has absolutely earned its place on my list of Holy Grails, right next to Mona 2 and the VixSkin Mustang. Thank you, We-Vibe!

You can get your own Touch at one of my favorite retailers, SheVibe and LoveHoney.

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