Dec 312013

[Check out my annual best/worst tag for older and newer lists!]

2013 was a good year. I attended CatalystCon East AND CatalystCon West (even doing a panel), hit 500 postsbecame a superhero, conducted my most elaborate April Fool’s joke ever, and oh yeah, I was gifted a $1,345 Sybian. I spilled my guts about the horrible sex toys I used to lust afterwhy I hate pink, and why I think sex toys should not be called “pleasure objects.” I wrote my epic beginner’s guide to sex toy reviewing and gave you a peek into my life as a sex toy reviewer.

But most of all, I tried heaps of new sex toys and brought my wrath down upon them. The majority of the stuff I tried this year can be pretty firmly classified as either “really awesome” or “really horrible,” which worked out well for these yearly lists.

As in 2010, 2011, and 2012, I’ll first list the best/worst toys, then give out faux awards such as “Most Heinous Controls” and “I Risked My Life For You; You Are Welcome.” PLUS, I’ve added a new award this year: “Stupid Sex Toy Trend of the Year.”

Don’t forget to comment with which toys you loved and hated this year!

Best sex toys of 2013

Epiphora's best sex toys of 2013

  1. Jopen Key Comet G Wand — Prophetically, I wrote in my review of this dildo, “[it] has a very good chance of being the best sex toy I try all year.” Well, NAILED IT. Nothing came close to the G-spot majesty of the Comet G Wand.
  2. Fun Factory Stronic Eins — A very close second, this toy is also an awesome G-spotter. Because it thrusts back and forth on its own, it does most of the work for me. I find myself craving it often.
  3. LELO Mona 2 — This is totally cheating, since Mona was on last year’s best of 2012 list, but this is my list and I’ll do what I want, because I did not find a new clitoral vibrator that trumped the Mona in 2013. I continued to use the Mona religiously, and in fact I added a line to my bio which reads: “When not smashing out paragraphs for this blog, I can be found working on the floor at a local sex toy boutique, making it my personal mission to sell as many Mona 2s as possible.” Truth.
  4. (Hitachi) Magic Wand Original — 2013 was the year I finally “got” the Hitachi. After my first one gathered enough dust to throw anyone into a sneezing fit, I acquired the new and slightly-improved version and promptly became quite addicted to it. I now have one Hitachi next to my desk, and another next to my bed. As it should be.
  5. Vixen Creations Buck — Rounding out my extensive collection of VixSkin, Buck turned out to be one of the best I’ve tried. I called it “the Goldilocks of VixSkin dildos” because the girthy body and gentle G-spotting head are just right. (I still love you, Mustang and Maverick!)
  6. Eroscillator 2 Plus — This year, I tried the less expensive and less strong version of my beloved Eroscillator, and found that it was still worthy of recommendation. Good news for wallets everywhere, and a reminder of how goddamn much I love my Eroscillator.
  7. LELO Mia 2 — Although I was disappointed with the marketing of the Mia 2, this USB-rechargeable vibe remains a favorite for sneaky wanks and traveling.
  8. Fleshlight Flight (not pictured) — Fleshlight’s smallest sleeve yet was a hit. If you don’t need the extra inches (and ounces) that the regular Fleshlights boast, it’s a great choice. And cheaper, too.
  9. Honorable mention: Silver Bullet — I tried this to see if I wanted to put it in my holiday gift-giving guide, and it turned out to be the solid, inexpensive toy I hoped it would be. For $16, it’s hard to beat.

Worst sex toys of 2013

Epiphora's worst sex toys of 2013

  1. LELO Ida — I knew this one had to take the #1 spot. It’s the only toy on the list that caused me physical pain and made my boyfriend want to break up with me.
  2. Jopen Vanity VR1 Not only did it completely fail at the “exciting” thing it was supposed to do (vibrate when I squeezed it with my PC muscles), the retrieval string came out of its socket after very light use. I can think of few things that are more of a waste of $135.
  3. Shiri Zinn Cupcake Always the trooper, I tried this confection-shaped vibrator solely to make sure it sucked. It sucks. Oh my god, it sucks.
  4. Wake-Up Vibe I discovered that I actually do not want a big bulky thing hanging out in my underwear, no matter how much it promises to wake me up with vibrations. Also, it bit the dust for no apparent reason.
  5. iGino One — This crowdfunded disaster is equipped with a pink, flower-shaped head and the tagline “What Women Want.” I do not think the creators of this toy have ever met a woman?
  6. Lovehoney Flash — This sad little toy reminded me of how horrible buzzy vibrations can be. I likened it to bees stuck in a gourd, which may have been good enough for Cleopatra — but not me.
  7. Topco U Touch Side — Bigwig Topco’s attempt at a rechargeable toy featured a shape stolen from another company and “touch sensitive” controls that responded roughly 3% of the time.
  8. Revel Body — With loud, public cries of “revolutionary!” and claims of being better than all other vibrators, the Revel Body was poised to fall far. And fall it did, earning a nickname along the way: “Shit Orb.” It’s like a grotesque eyeball staring at you!
  9. Lovehoney Mini Magic Wand — Much like the Flash, the vibrations in this toy were so buzzy I could barely derive any pleasure from them.
  10. LELO Smart Wands — These promising poor souls were ruined by a glitch that causes the vibrations to randomly drop down to a lower intensity out of nowhere. Orgasm ruiners are not allowed around these parts.
  11. LELO Luna Beads Mini — I really could not feel them inside of me. At all.

The Ends Justify the Means

(My favorite review of the year.)

Revel Body AKA "Shit Orb"

This was a hard choice, and the world is still divided on whether this is the best one, or whether the iGino, Ida, or Cupcake wins. But I have a fond place in my heart for the Revel Body review because I wrote most of it at Queeraschino’s house in a delightful, fiery rage after the CEO of the company threatened to sue me over calling the toy “Shit Orb” on Twitter. (The scandal!)

What made the review better, of course, was the aftermath: the CEO jumping into the comments section to make an ass out of himself, the suspicious Twitter account that popped up to “refute” my review (with a profile photo stolen from a site called Average Woman), and eventually, the eerie silence that comes from a company finally realizing they should just shut the fuck up.

My favorite part of the Shit Orb review was this paragraph:

Good god, I feel like I have a terrorist in my midst. An egomaniacal terrorist who purports to be my friend but gets drunk and makes extremely insensitive jokes about “disabled persons” at parties. A terrorist who is secretly stealing all my money and wiping all the data off my computer. How can my vulva be safe? Oh wait, it’s not — it has loose skin and hairs!

But I did like these other moments throughout the year…

I feel pretty strongly that if a sex toy cannot handle my uterine lining, it is not “what women want.”

iGino One review

I even, one brave brave night, set out five VixSkin dildos for comparison purposes. Because what is a sex toy reviewer if not a vaginal endurance champ who uses sex toys in succession as if sampling a plate of cheeses?

Vixen Buck review

Other bloggers experience loud vaginas when wearing the Luna Beads Mini. I don’t. At first I thought that other reviewers had echo chambers for vaginas, but then I realized (and verified with LELO) that the design has changed . . . I even did some extreme naked pelvic thrusting toward my phone’s microphone to be sure. I’d upload it, but it’s just 16 seconds of phone movement and mouth-breathing.

LELO Luna Beads Mini review

The Flash is the very definition of buzzy. And so, I resent it as much for its objective qualities as I do for what it represents. Like American Cheese and Hostess Fruit Pies trying to pass themselves off as food, like Exodus International’s notion that gay people can be “cured,” the Flash should not be disseminating the idea that this is what a vibrator is.

Lovehoney Flash review

Then I look down and I’m holding a fucking cupcake against my vulva and that’s just embarrassing.

Cupcake review

I can see it in his eyes. The despair. The dread. When I say, “hey, you know what we should do?” his features fall because he’s afraid I’m going to say “have sex.” But instead I say, “watch Orange Is The New Black” or “boil the potatoes for dinner” and all is forgiven. For now.

. . .  he looked at me with pained eyes: “can we be done?” Cruelly, I told him to try to come, since he had been so close before Ida was introduced. But before he could attempt that, his penis slipped out and we looked at each other like fuck it.

Afterward, I apologized. (This would become a trend.) “It’s okay,” he said. “It’s not like I thought it would be any good.”

LELO Ida review

The cord isn’t any longer, which is a shame. The 6 feet work perfectly for my jacking-off-at-my-desk set-up, but will still be a dilemma for people who masturbate upon tall beds or away from outlets. (I just pictured someone going to a coffee shop to use their Hitachi. For the outlets.)

Hitachi Magic Wand Original review

Hardest to Wrangle

(My most difficult review to write.)

LELO Mia 2 in the Adore Me Pleasure Set

LELO made it hard for me when they sent me the Mia 2, because they sent it as part of a set containing shitty and overpriced bondage gear. Also, the Mia 2 is not much of an improvement over what I now call the Mia 1.5. How does one articulate that a toy is still good while expressing extreme disappointment in the marketing tactics? I am not sure I succeeded, and I’m fairly certain this review continues to scare people away from the Mia — which is not what I wanted to do.

Honorable mention: I tried to ignore the fact that I even had the Wake-Up Vibe in my possession… but then the truth caught up with me.

I Risked My Life for You; You Are Welcome

(A toy that caused pain, night sweats, disillusionment, etc.)

LELO Ida vibrator

I risked my relationship for you, peeps. My boyfriend feared me every time I opened my mouth, thinking I was going to make him test the LELO Ida with me again. But also — it physically hurt in ways that made me wish I was not a sex toy reviewer:

Once, I warmed up with some fairly large toys first, which made insertion easier — and thrusting slightly more achievable. My boyfriend was pain-free and almost didn’t want to murder me in my sleep, but there was still this sharp, unpleasant pain for me, and I couldn’t pinpoint where it was.

Honorable mention: The new Tantus paddles. Wooo, boy, the pain! I know, that’s the point, but I don’t suggest nonchalantly thwacking yourself with them like I did.

Cats’ Choice

G-Spot Lollipop J-Pop

My cat’s favorite thing on earth is plastic. Especially crinkly plastic. So the plastic bits that came shrink-wrapped to the J-Pop were, according to him, THE BEST PRESENT EVERRRRRR.

Honorable mention: I got a couple small things from Sportsheets, like nipple clamps and bondage wrap, and my cat thought the plastic bags in those were also THE GREATEST. (He, unlike me, is easily pleased.)

Biggest Disappointment

LELO Smart Wands

If successful, the LELO Smart Wands would’ve been the rechargeable wands to rule them all. But instead, they do not feel ergonomic, they don’t hold their charges, and they crap out right when things are getting good. LELO needs to stop trying to make “innovative” things and focus on making solid, dependable vibrators. I know they’re capable of it, so this is just upsetting.

Honorable mention: I was hoping to laugh maniacally at my ability to persuade someone to send me super luxurious bedsheets, but instead the sheets were mediocre as fuck. Damnit.

When I Use This Toy, My Desire to Throw It Across the Room Rises Exponentially With Each Passing Minute

GONNA HAVE TO GO WITH THE IGINO ON THIS ONE, for the sole reason demonstrated in the above video. It sounds like a goddamn electric razor. It can get me off, but definitely isn’t any fun getting there.

Honorable mention: The LELO Ida, of course. There was definitely a moment at which it was vigorously tossed away from me.

Most Heinous Controls

Topco U Touch Side vibrator

The Topco U Touch Side would be hard to top, considering:

It’s nearly impossible to turn it on or off. Full stop. It will take you between 1 and 19 attempts. I’m not being hyperbolic. I did tests, excruciating tests, and it averaged out to about 6 presses. Remember, this is a double press, using two hands. Who the fuck has two hands free when they’re masturbating? What kind of monsters did they design this for?

This is especially awesome when you start cycling through the settings and find yourself in vibration pattern purgatory, unable to halt or change the mode. Sweating profusely and suffering from hallucinations, you’ll be on the brink of insanity when finally, after 8 attempts, the vibrator will finally turn off.

Honorable mention: Programming the Wake-Up Vibe, which runs on 24-hour time, was a test of my patience.

Stupid Sex Toy Trend of the Year

Aqueous Vibe

Water-powered sex toys.

So far I’ve been exposed to the Aqueous VibeWowerShower, Private Jet, G Splash, and ClitWafer. FIVE! I’d try them if I had any way of disassembling my shower head, but I do not. Somehow I doubt that, when I buy a house, any of these products will still be around for me to try. Too… bad?

[Update: There’s a standalone bath toy called the Bubble Love, and I heroically tried it.]

Honorable mention: Acting like you’re the first person ever to manufacture body-safe, ergonomic sex toys.

Not at all honorable mention: Products that enable you to never talk to your partner ever again!

Manufacturer of the Year

Fun Factory logo

I’m gonna go with Fun Factory. Amid other claims of “revolutionary” new shit, they actually innovated with their Stronic line. I was worried, at first, that these would be better in theory, but they are actually wonderful in execution. Thank you, Fun Factory, for making something that lived up to the hype. It was a breath of fresh air for this jaded vagina.


There you have it! My favorites and least favorites of the past year. What about you? What was the best toy you discovered in 2013? The worst? Your favorite stupid sex toy trend?

  • LOOSE SKIN AND HAIRS. Also that time you thought my body was cavernous. Lorax and their chamber of cunt secrets. I think that audio recording was possibly the highpoint of the year for me. The fact that SportSheets charges $20 for a roll of vetwrap offends me. Good post. A+, would read again.

  • The whole Revel Body drama left me speechless. How the hell Robin Elenga manage to finagle his way into a CEO position with this level of gross incompetence?

  • Leen

    I would answer your questions at the bottom or comment on this list at all, but I actually got a Magic Wand two weeks ago for my birthday and it’s made me stupid from repeated exposure. Whooo, boy. (Also got a VixSkin Mustang after reading All The Reviews and it’s also amazing and spectacular and TIE DYE.)

    My favourite (least favourite?) trend that has probably been around, but I’m only noticing in 2013 is the whole “C Spot” thing. Who came up with that? Why? Can I hit them with a shoe?

  • C SPOT. I don’t know who invented it, but PicoBong are some serious offenders.

  • I love your picks.
    Just really getting into sex toys and starting my blog this year, I’ve had a lot of fun figuring out what I like and what I don’t. A lot of what I bought or requested for review was strongly based on some of your recommendations.
    I love the Pure Wand, Key Comet, Mona2, Salsa and more.
    The worst offenders were some Lovehoney/Tracy Cox and Cal Ex toys. Not a huge surprise there.
    I’m looking forward to another year of you calling out companies on their shitty sex toys.

  • beautiful thunder

    I absolutely LOVED your review of Lelo Ida. Hilarious! When I first saw the design I honestly couldn’t understand how it was ever going to work.
    My best buys personally, so far, based on your reviews – no less! – were: Lelo Ella and Njoy Pure Wand. I am also expecting Lelo Mona 2 in the post any day now (Christmas sale!).
    Next in line to buy are probably Stronic Eins and some nice dildo. Through the years I’ve owned so many toys of various quality and got a little bored with most of them, but after having found your blog my interest in exploring new things has reawakened.

  • Your hatred for the Lelo Ida makes me feel better about my own hatred for it. Thank you for that.

  • I love that I’m able to go “I remember that, and that, and that.” while reading this. And, it reminds me that I need to pick some things up off my wishlist (Buck, Mona 2, Mia 2).

    *I’m freaking excited I’m able to comment again! Gonna have to do a comment drive by on your other reviews, here in a bit. 😀

  • tonyinabag

    clitwafer has to be one of the worst toy names i have ever heard.

  • Heaven

    Great picks for your best up there. Too funny about your cat liking the plastic from the G-spot.

  • Leen

    Dishonour on them, dishonour on their cows…

  • Nerdychick91

    Sadly, the best sex toy I added to my collection this year is discontinued: the Tantus VIP SuperSoft. I was terrified of it when I opened the package, since it was my first dildo other than my Realdoe Slim that I got for pegging. It looks enormous, but it’s one of the first toys that I can thrust all the way in without EVER worrying about cervix-bashing pain. I love that thick, squishy motherfucker.
    Honestly, that whole paragraph above is blasphemy because I was gifted a Stronic Eins out of the blue while in Germany this summer, but sometimes I really don’t want to use a whole gallon of lube just to save my arm/wrist from tiring, y’know?
    On an optimistic note, holiday sales mean that I have both a Tantus Alumina Motion and a Pure Wand (that I got for 66 MOTHERFUCKING DOLLARS HALLELUJAH AMEN) currently in the mail. Starting 2014 off right.

  • Whitney M

    Great summary of the year of sex toys gone by. 🙂
    Now that you’ve come to love the Hitachi, do you think you will review any of the head attachments? I ask because the Vixen Gee Wizzard is starting to look stunning as fuck.

  • thelesserunknown

    Bests of 2013 for me: Fun Factory Curve, Stronic Drei, Vixen Randy, Wahl.
    Worsts: Didn’t buy anything that sucked thanks to this blog and a couple of others. Tantus Ripple Small and NS Novelties glass eggs are the closest thing to a bust that I got this year, and that was just because they’re smaller than I like.
    I forgot where Moodsign first showed up on my radar, and damn, it elicits an urge to thwack people who want sex but don’t want to talk about having sex. But pretty LEDs! In PINK AND BLUE by default.
    Your analysis has saved me from buying a Smart Wand and many other gambles that probably would not work for me. Thanks for a wonderful year of toys in retrospect.

  • nuala macmoragh

    My favorite find this year was the Vixskin LoneStar, which is both great on myself and for strapon play. I HATED the Sqweel. It’s probably the most efficient tease and denial device–as soon as I got close to cumming with it, I’d add a little too much pressure and the little tongues would stop spinning. I think after two or three rounds of this stupid game, I tossed it aside and grabbed the Eroscillator. I put it away and haven’t given it another go since.

  • I think they meant “Waver,” but I could be giving them too much credit…

  • I did review the Deluxe G-Spotter attachment once, but it might be worth looking into some other attachments. The thing about insertable attachments for me is that I’m not a huge fan of internal vibrations.

  • tonyinabag

    i’d imagine so.

    my ‘cat’s choice’ would be my fun factory amor, since i found fang marks in the head. 🙁

  • lola

    Can you do a review of “My Celebrator”…? It would be awesome.

  • I dunno, I kinda think one shitty Eroscillator knock-off is enough for me…

  • skookum

    Your picks are awesome. I’m still pretty new to buying sex toys, so I’ve relied a lot on your recommendations. And it’s paid off very well 🙂
    My favourite by far is the Lelo Mona 2, but I also love the Lelo Mia 2 and Njoy Pure Wand. Kudos also to the Lelo Luna Beads (currently on day 2!), Jopen Key Comet, and various Sliquids.
    And I’ve had no unhappy purchases this year BECAUSE I READ YOUR BLOG YAY.

  • seductionsextravel

    Why the hell do I teach men at how to get better with women and how to seduce them when women have such an incredible amount of toys that they can rely on to get an orgasm? No real penis can compete with this electronic shit 😀

  • Pingback: The Inpenetrable Truth: The True Tale of a Woman, Her G-Spot, and the Comet G Wand | Peep's Scoop()

  • GoodDirtyWoman

    I came here looking for your “best” recommendations and wound up lingering for the laughing as loud as I orgasm over the “worst”.

  • Pingback: The Inpenetrable Truth: The True Tale of a Woman, Her G-Spot, and the Comet G Wand | Peep's Scoop()

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