Dec 302014
 

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

Oh hey, remember 2014? It was the year I was a guest on Sex Out Loud Radio, I taught a sex blogging class, I fell in love with someone new, and I bought a house. This year I coined a new catchphrase, “that’s not where my clit is,” which can be applied to any unsatisfactory experience. I shook my head in disgust at the LELO PinoTeddy Love, and shitty G-spot articles. I hung out with my friends, bid farewell to the makers of fantastical dildos, and said hello to my new sponsors. I conducted several hugely successful giveaways, one of which netted some of the most creative entries I’ve ever seen. I also got back-ups of my favorite vibrator and wouldn’t shut up about it.

Through it all, though, I did what I do best: I put a bunch of new stuff in/around my vagina. Now, I will use my discernment to tell you which toys sucked the most and which toys sucked the least (err, ruled the most) this year.

As in 201320122011, and 2010 (jesus, I’ve been doing this a long time), I’ll first list the best/worst toys, then give out awards such as “Biggest Disappointment” and “When I Use This Toy, My Desire to Throw It Across the Room Rises Exponentially With Each Passing Minute.”

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

Best sex toys of 2014

Epiphora's best sex toys of 2014

  1. We-Vibe Pleasure Mate Dusk  Sneaking in at the final hour, this surprising product quickly became a staple in my vagina. No, uh, it became my laziest masturbation tool. It’s meant to go in your butt, but I wear it vaginally at my desk and the vibrator hugs my clit, turning me into a useless blob of arousal and hands-free orgasms.
  2. Jopen Comet II Wand — An expected but nonetheless formidable addition to the list, the Comet II Wand continues right where the original Comet left off and relentlessly targets my G-spot with very little effort on my part. As I wrote, “I literally did not want to go a few seconds without [the Comet] inside of me.”
  3. OhMiBod Lovelife Cuddle — I’m still so excited about the Cuddle. It’s only $69, which is a steal for a rechargeable, and it’s really good. It has the versatility, both in vibrations and shape, that is the hallmark of a well-thought-out sex toy. It’s like my beloved Mona 2 (which I almost added to this list for the third year in a row; please congratulate me on my restraint), but $70 cheaper.
  4. Crystal Delights Ash Girl — The second dildo of the year to blow my mind. I am a texture slut and because of that, this toy is everything. Also, it’s incredibly attractive.
  5. We-Vibe Tango — Best enjoyed as a companion for the Dusk, the We-Vibe Tango is a very mighty toy in its own right. Any company that can pack that level of power into a toy the size of a Nerf dart gets my accolades.
  6. PicoBong Moka and Ako — Although I haven’t reviewed these two battery-operated vibes, they are quite good. Moka is, honestly, better than all its flat tip competition, and Ako is an inexpensive little clitoral vibe that I am now constantly recommending to vibe newbies. Also, it’s shaped like a bean.
  7. OhMiBod Lovelife Adventure — Me, enjoying a triple stimulator? It seemed implausible, and yet the Adventure did it for me. Somehow, it just hit me in the right spots. Unfortunately, it’s last on the list because it’s hard to know if it will hit others in the same spots.

Worst sex toys of 2014

Epiphora's worst sex toys of 2014

  1. Fun Toys G-Vibe — Am I more offended by the idea of this toy, or the actual sensations it produces? Probably the former, but I don’t care — I’m putting it at number one anyway. The world does not need another sex toy in the shape of a Y. This is not the solution to vaginas everywhere, and Fun Toys needs to stop acting like it is. (Also, it’s SO FUCKING BUZZY.)
  2. LELO Hula Beads  Why the Hula Beads exist at all is still a mystery to me. They rotate, and they’re supposedly for on-the-go pleasure or something, but they feel like they are making ice cream in my vagina. I wrote, “I legitimately thought I was inducing my period one time by wearing them.” I shudder just remembering.
  3. LELO Ora 2 — I feel confident saying that nobody is surprised by the failure of the Ora, but that doesn’t make it any less upsetting. A toy claiming to feel like oral sex should, at the very least, offer a variety of unique and pleasurable sensations — not a single lone setting that only feels good when I hold the toy just right. Also, I haven’t been to hell, but I can only assume it consists of perpetually cleaning vag gunk out of the crevasse of the Ora.
  4. OhMiBod Lovelife Discover and Smile — In a strange plot twist, the smaller toys in OhMiBod’s Lovelife line are absolutely worthless. They’re so buzzy it scares me.
  5. OVO L1 Silicone Love Balls  These mostly-forgettable kegel balls would not have made it onto either list, except for the fact that the silver paint on some of them started FLAKING OFF after normal wear and tear. I took a hammer to the silver balls because that’s how much I hate toxic toys.
  6. Unique Condom (not pictured) — I, myself, never actually tried this strange iteration of everyone’s favorite contraceptive (it wouldn’t unroll onto my boyfriend’s penis), but 16 of my amigos did. The reports were lousy, including one particularly apt comparison to a Crunchwrap Supreme. Also, while writing this list I mentioned the Unique Condom to my boyfriend, and he carped, “god, that thing sucked.” It was somehow burned into his memory even though it barely touched his penis and probably ruined only about 3 minutes of his life.

The Ends Justify the Means

(My favorite review of the year.)

The Magic Banana

It was a narrow race, but due to overall content and also that amazing photo (single best use for Bananagrams in my household since I can never beat my crossword-obsessed boyfriend), I’m giving this to the Magic Banana. I was prepared for the sensation of being “gently disemboweled” by this toy, but actually found it to feel oddly mundane.

The Magic Banana did, however, come with a “note on empowerment” and silly manual which I could not resist riffing on:

COMING SOON TO A VAGINA NEAR YOU! TOTAL AND COMPLETE EMPOWERMENT! THE REVOLUTION WOMEN HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR!1 THE REVOLUTION WILL BE VAGINIZED! FEMINISM OVER!

Truth from a friend: “I feel like that’s not how empowerment works… people don’t mail it to you.”

Shrink wrapped in a box patterned like a banana leaf, the Magic Banana is simultaneously hokey and woo-woo. Like, the manual actually has a section entitled “Getting to Know Your Magic Banana.” The creator of this toy is Janeson Rayne, a “yoga educator, veggie chef, fine artist, and mom,” and her face is splashed all over everything, in a way that kinda starts to feel like your mom is watching you masturbate and giving you disturbingly specific G-spot tips.

Also, I’ll never not be proud of using the Magic Banana to remove vaginal clogs.

Honorable mention: The Fun Toys G-Vibe is likely my second best review this year, particularly for its takedown of the creators’ stupid origin story and for lines such as “the only nipples it would be able to stimulate at the same time would be those of a child.”

Otherwise, I consider these my best zingers of the year.

Everyone on earth could have told you that the rolly ball on the original Ora didn’t protrude enough. I suffered through that toy, and I can confirm: it was like a ladybug crawling gingerly across my clit.

LELO Ora 2 review

If these toys can be disassembled by a drunk girl fumbling around on Skype, I feel like that’s a bad sign.

Tenga Irohas review

People who enjoyed the condom: 25%
People who likened the condom to a plastic bag or saran wrap: 75%
People who used the word “crinkly”: 44%
People who complained that the pull tabs make it hard to apply when drunk: 13%
People who felt that the existence of this condom proved that the universe and/or a deity hates them: 13%

Unique Condom review

I keep thinking this is what it would be like to be fingered by Salad Fingers.

Fun Toys G-Vibe review

I’m like a dude just waiting for the orgasm I’m certain I will get. The orgasm the world owes me. Like I’m wearing a suit, hands behind my head, self-satisfied smirk on my face, while my secretary blows me under the desk.

We-Vibe Dusk Pleasure Mate review

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.

Fun Factory Stronic Zwei and Drei review

I can get off with it — on high. I like the size and shape of the tip against my clit. But the vibration strength is just sad, especially compared to my beloved Mona. It’s pitiful, like an anti-choice legislator admitting he’s “never even thought about” why a woman would get an abortion.

LELO Gigi 2 review

—————

Hardest to Wrangle

(My most difficult review to write.)

Fucking Sculptures G-Spoon

I spent a lot of time giving the Fucking Sculptures G-Spoon the benefit of the doubt, feeling puzzled about why I never seemed to like using it. This gorgeous glass dildo should have been a home run, with its enormous size and G-spotting curve. But something about those ridges and the overall weight of the toy, I realized, fucked it up for me. I hated giving a dismal pronouncement about a toy made by such a rad company, but I had to report the vaginal truth.

Honorable mention: In another case of “why oh why don’t I like this,” the BS Atelier Wild Stripes turned out to be far too gentle for me, and I had a hard time articulating any further than that.

—————

I Risked My Life for You; You Are Welcome

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

Fun Toys G-Vibe

Due to its horrifying split shape, the Fun Toys G-Vibe can supposedly be used in a variety of ways. So, of course, I had to try using one prong vaginally and one anally. No. No. No no no no. It hurt. I winced. I endured it longer than I should’ve. My masturbation session was ruined, and I was literally sore the next day.

Unforgivable.

—————

Cats’ Choice

Crystal Delights Ash Girl glass dildo

The Ash Girl from Crystal Delights came with a CAT BED!!!!!!!!!*

*Actually, it’s just a padded storage bag.

—————

Biggest Disappointment

LELO Gigi 2 rechargeable G-spot vibrator

I am forever sighing about the LELO Gigi 2. Touted as a long-awaited improvement over the original Gigi, it almost entirely wasn’t. The best new feature was that the toy is now waterproof, and I say that as a person who never jacks off in the shower or bathtub. It claimed to have 100% more power, but:

I definitely spent 5 minutes of my life with both my Gigis on high, switching quickly between them on my clit, ignoring the porn, and wholly unable to discern if there was a difference.

Finally I called my boyfriend into the room to resurrect the blind vagina clit test. After much back and forth with my eyes closed and my clit on high alert, I tentatively chose a winner. Then I opened my eyes.

I was wrong. I had chosen the old Gigi as the one that was marginally stronger, if at all.

MY CLIT HAS RENDERED ITS VERDICT.

Honorable mention: After the life-changing thrusting toy that was the Fun Factory Stronic Eins, I expected greatness from the Stronic Zwei and Drei. It was not to be. Both have shapes that are not as conducive to movement, and therefore don’t feel nearly as orgasmic.

—————

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

Black LELO Ora (original), blue LELO Ora 2

You do not know the pain of being a sex toy reviewer until you have to sit there, legs spread, forever re-positioning a toy against your genitals to try and squeeze an ounce of pleasure from it. It reminded me of my time with the SaSi, which yes, I dug out of storage just to verify that the Ora is about on the same shitty level. Worst of all, when I finally eked out some pleasure from the second generation Ora, it didn’t feel like a success — it felt like a betrayal.

Honorable mention: I couldn’t have an orgasm with the OhMiBod Lovelife Smile or Discover. Not that I physically wouldn’t be able to, but I refused to because the orgasms would have been so bad.

—————

Most Heinous Controls

LELO Hula Beads

Because LELO keeps insisting on this remote-controlled technology, I feel justified in giving this award to the LELO Hula Beads. The remote control is non-intuitive and the entire process convoluted, but what makes it truly the worst is trying to get the two parts to interact properly. Sometimes the toy responds to the remote; sometimes the toy responds several seconds later; sometimes the toy doesn’t respond at all. Rad.

—————

Stupid Sex Toy Trend of the Year

Sex toy crowdfunding Indiegogo nightmares

Crowdfunding.

I never would have thought, when I “launched” the Joy Ride as an April Fool’s joke in 2013, that the crowdfunding of sex toys would become such a pervasive thing. But it has, and now the campaigns range from the astronomically unsuccessful Lovable Undies ($0 raised — good work, team) all the way through the frightfully successful Eva (1,270% funded). Many of them are downright horrifying, as in the case of the HandieTeddy LoveGlov, and Sex Kitten, or just really dumb, as in the case of the Joyboxx.

What I hate most about crowdfunding, more than the grabby-hands begging and yes, even more than the undue press that all the campaigns seem to get, is the sensationalist claims. Eva, for instance, is apparently “the first truly wearable couples’ vibrator,” as if adding truly in there obliterates all protestation. HUM is “the first artificially intelligent vibrator.” MiaMaxx is “the worlds [sic] longest thrusting pleasure toy.”

I’m not wholly opposed to crowdfunding. But there is reason to be wary considering some scam campaigns with products that are physically impossible to actually produce still receive tons of press and money, with no recourse from Indiegogo.

Unless the company has already legitimately manufactured a sex toy, as in the case of Minna’s kGoal, OhMiBod’s blueMotion, or Orgasmatronics’ Ambrosia Vibe, don’t trust it. Because I guarantee you some of these people don’t know how to fucking make what they are peddling.

—————

Manufacturer of the Year

OhMiBod

I have admired OhMiBod for years, ever since they thanked me for calling their first toy “a shoddy piece of crap.” Okay, they didn’t thank me for that specifically, but for my honest critique. They also appreciated my negative review of their kegel balls. And although I don’t like their new blueMotion as a sex toy, the technology that allows you to control it from LITERALLY ANYWHERE is amazing.

2014 was the year OhMiBod finally came out with something that I love, the Lovelife Cuddle. It’s also the year I met Brian and Suki, the company’s creators. Brian, who was in town for literally one night, somehow made time to buy me a drink. A person with such good ideas who genuinely wants to do right in the industry and isn’t hurt by criticism — actually listens to it — is rare. Brian is that person, and OhMiBod is that company.

—————

There you have it! My favorites and least favorites of the past year. What about you? What was the best toy you discovered in 2014? The worst? Your favorite stupid sex toy trend?

  • Pegasister42

    The Eva tries to brag about being non-intrusive and hands-free, but I think I’d rather insert the we-vibe or hold a normal vibrator than try to spread my labia with those weird leggy-things. Especially cuz it doesn’t fit some bodies. You know what fits more bodies? Holding something on your clit.

  • PRECISELY

  • I love OhMiBod so much… even when I don’t love a specific toy, I love them. When I love a toy (hello Adventure!!) I love them even more!

    I stand firm in my love of the Unique condom. Love it. Love. It.

  • Deborah Zarett

    The store I work at has those fucking salad tongs for sale, but I doubt anyone’s ever even asked to try it, much less buy one. Oh, and 99.99% of anything made by California Exotic Novelties (not including Jopen in this) and Nasswalk (shudder) is complete and utter shit.

  • Deborah Zarett

    Oh, and there is NO SUCH THING as a “strapless strap-on” (this means you too, Tantus) unless your PC muscles could lift a cinder block.

  • TheFriskyVixen

    I just got the pleasuremates collection in the mail yesterday. I tried the Tango while trying out the Comet wand I got for Christmas. Amazing! I also got the We-Vibe 4 Plus for Christmas. It isn’t nearly as awesome as the Tango in it’s vibrating abilities, however, having Guy play with me and bring me to orgasm from across the country is awesome. I wish it existed when we had 7 months of an LDR before he moved in!

  • Lia Heavvymetalqueen

    I discovered your blog this summer so I’d say it was the most important breakthrough in my sex toy history.

    And you’re so going to end up convincing me to get a Lovelife Cuddle. A question about it though – how “full” is the silicone on the insertable part? Just a thin layer over the motor or thicker? Because I can only save up for one toy, and the Cuddle would be perfect, but I’m kind of afraid of crushing the motor with my superhuman kegel muscles like I did with my old Fun Factory mini vibe….

  • It’s a very thin layer. No squish at all.

  • Rbeez

    I have some weird sensory quirks and issues, and preset vibrational settings often (not always, but often) leave me a bit uncomfortable. This is why I love Minna and OhMiBod — I either design the vibration myself, or can select exactly the music I want to “feel”. They aren’t the strongest or rumbliest, but they’re suited to my comfort level, and it is really fun to have it vibrate along with music. (I’ve worked in audio engineering, so that’s maybe part of the appeal as well.) I really wish they’d do a music version of the Better Than Chocolate 2, which reviewers say is much stronger than the first (its music version was merely OK to me), and it comes in a great royal blue! Blue! (I really like all the shades of blue, most of my toys are blue, or purple. The teal Limon is adorable.)

    And I find I really respect them as companies, especially now, OhMiBod, reading your relationship with them. So many companies are hyper-defensive, and OhMiBod took your critical review and ended up making better products. They and Tantus are some of the first toy companies who when I went on their website I wasn’t put off — they weren’t crass, or obnoxiously self important. In a weird way, when I looked at them, I felt safe, sure that they weren’t just pushing crap that could hurt me. Even little touches like OMB calling support “Customer Care” and showing us their designers, and Tantus listing their values and vision made me feel more comfortable letting their products help me sexually. Sure, I’m still tired of the unavoidable pink, and they aren’t perfect, but when they work for me and I know they’re good people, it’s a great big plus.

    I might consider trying the Cuddle, since even though it’s preset it has more modes than most preset vibrators, and is a better price than ones from companies I don’t like as much. It’s always good to try out different things when masturbating, and when it’s a company I feel good about supporting, why not! Even if it is pink!

  • Rbeez

    Haha, I realize my comment got really long, it sounds like a love letter to them. But since I’m so weird and had those specific needs/wants, it is really nice to see that others appreciate their place in the sex toy industry, so I guess I just word vomited, woops.

  • They and Tantus are some of the first toy companies who when I went on their website I wasn’t put off — they weren’t crass, or obnoxiously self important. In a weird way, when I looked at them, I felt safe, sure that they weren’t just pushing crap that could hurt me. Even little touches like OMB calling support “Customer Care” and showing us their designers, and Tantus listing their values and vision made me feel more comfortable letting their products help me sexually.

    That’s such a good point. Because I am so sick of the pompous sex toy companies that are like EVERYTHING WE MAKE WILL CHANGE YOUR SEX LIFE! FOREVER! But not actually giving a fuck about consumers at all.

  • Lia Heavvymetalqueen

    Hmmmmmmm. Dang. The battle between the Cuddle and the Mustang for the only sex toy I’ll be able to afford with my birthday money continues…thanks!

  • Rbeez

    Yes! Many of the “luxury” brands act like they’re too “cool” for their customers… Like, that does not make me want to buy from you at all, I am the customer; I am the one who does YOU a favor to purchase your stuff. That’s how consumerism /works/. And when they pretend to be less snooty, like the first of the Picobong debut, more than half of it is not only crap, but dangerous. (the Tano… ow…!) When a company does care, I can see it, and it makes me like their products more, because if I or someone has a problem, they will work on making it better.

  • Artemisia Absinthium

    The Eva looks a lot like a toy I product tested a few years ago called the LadyHug. Which didn’t stay in place like it was supposed to at all.

    But I literally cannot figure out from looking at it how the Eva is supposed to stay in place hands-free at all. Like…that’s not how labia work?

  • Oh my god I forgot about the LadyHug!

  • I reviewed the Hula Beads for a retailer, and when I said in my review that the remote control is shit and that I could hardly get it to work at all they actually insisted on sending me a new one for they just couldn’t believe it doesn’t work!

  • Am I the only one who thinks that The Handie looks like it belongs in a Hellboy movie? Because yeahhhhhh.

  • Chad

    I love how in the picture of the creators for Hum, the one who should be excited about it just looks pissed off to have been subjected to it.

  • And also a lot like a mannequin?!

  • framdani

    mantap gan.. infonya sangat rekomended thank gan Vimax Asli
    saya share juga ke yang lainya Metland Rumah Idaman Investasi Masa Depan

  • Pegasister42

    Are you planning on reviewing the Revel Sol? I can just picture the headline: Shit Orb 2: Electric Boogaloo.

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  • Pegasister42

    That Glov doesn’t look too breathable, either. No thanks.

  • No whole new review, but I’ll probably update my original review.

  • Pingback: Review: OhMiBod Lovelife Adventure |()

  • Stephen Dini

    I have always wondered do those bunny ears or cat ears hurt you girls? I can never understand how they can be comfortable let alone enjoyable up in there.

  • Pegasister42

    Also they throw shade at the eroscillator

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