Reviews

Reviews

The bread and butter of this blog: sex toy reviews!

Review: Swan Wand, Mini Swan Wand + Swan Curve

Review: Swan Wand, Mini Swan Wand + Swan Curve

When I hear the word “swan,” I think of a few things. Grace. Elegance. The color white. Bjork. Overwrought symbols of romance. Ostentatious pool floaties. And, because the folds of my brain are lined with a freakishly encyclopedic knowledge of sex toys, I think of a line of rechargeable vibrators called Swan. Swan is not the manufacturer. The toys are actually produced by BMS Factory, a company that prefers to mysteriously hide behind the names of their various toy lines. They make the favorably-reviewed Leaf and PalmPower lines, others called Pillow Talk and Lux, and the motors in some stuff from Jopen. If you’ve ever seen the phrase Powered by PowerBullet® stamped onto a sex toy box or printed in marketing materials, the toy’s made by BMS. Counter-intuitive . . . read more

Review: Evi

Review: Evi

I’m on edge, watching my every move. Like the first day on a new job. Like the feds are after me. Like a driving test. Like masturbating at age 15. But I am not actually in a high-stress situation. I just have something in my vagina. And its name is Evi. The Aneros Evi is a… kegel exerciser. Imagine me saying that with the same sort of hesitance in my voice as when I say “don’t worry, I can kill that spider” or “surely the Republicans can’t continue standing by him after this.” In actuality, the Evi is more defined by what it is not: it is not a butt plug (although it looks just like one), and it is . . . read more

Review: Gala

Review: Gala

My clit is a pretty sensitive creature. You’re going to need to know this going in. Take notes for the final test. When I haven’t had an orgasm yet, I can usually come during one of the lower settings of a vibrator — generally speaking, with good vibrators. I’ve been known to “just get the first orgasm out of the way” during my masturbation sessions; I’ve accepted that I come quickly at the beginning, so I figure, why fight it? The We-Vibe Gala doesn’t even get me there. Even when it’s my first toy of the night. When I haven’t come yet. When I’m watching pretty boys blow each other in a fort or fuck passionately by an outdoor fireplace. It . . . read more

Review: Smooth Operators (Snazzy, Choosy, and Classy)

Review: Smooth Operators (Snazzy, Choosy, and Classy)

Blink and you might pass right over them. They’re not terribly attractive, not revolutionary in function, not aggressively marketed. These vibrators have no celebrity endorsement or PR campaign behind them, and I’d bet serious money they’ve never been mentioned in any mainstream magazine. You can judge a lot about a sex toy without holding it in your hands, but there’s one thing you can’t predict, and it’s the thing that matters most: vibration quality. This is where the Smooth Operators pleasantly surprised me. The Toyfriend Smooth Operators — Snazzy, Choosy, and Classy — are made by a company named Tickler, and again, you could be forgiven for not knowing they even exist. The Swedish brand tends to lay pretty low . . . read more

Review: SenseVibe

Review: SenseVibe

The SenseVibe, much to my dismay, is not a fortune-telling sex toy. It can’t give you the weather forecast or lift your mood. It cannot intuit what your vag or clit wants. It is, despite the enigmatic name, merely a rechargeable dual vibrator from a newish company named SenseMax. I know what you’re gonna say. “Piph, you don’t even like rabbit-style toys, why would you want to try this one?” AN ASTUTE OBSERVATION, my friend, because yes — I am normally highly averse to dual vibes. They are very anatomy-specific, significantly less likely than other types of sex toys to properly align with genitals. They make grand promises of all-in-one stimulation, promises that often prove empty. They condition consumers to expect . . . read more

Review: Zumio

Review: Zumio

When you’re a sex toy reviewer, certain toys can feel like a blessing from above. Mediocre masturbation sessions are par for the course with this job, and even toys that aren’t exceptionally terrible can start to feel insulting and exhausting after a while. If you’re lucky, there’s one toy in your to-review queue that you actually enjoy using. One that is effortlessly satisfying, enough to get you out of your head a little, remind you that sometimes this gig ain’t so bad. There should be a name for toys like this… hmm, “savior toys”? The Zumio is my savior toy of the last few months. Sometimes, it was the reason I kept masturbating when I wanted to stop. I’d psychologically . . . read more

Review: Doc Johnson TruSkyn

Review: Doc Johnson TruSkyn

I should start with an apology, because when this line of sex toys came out, I mocked it. “Hahahahaha Doc Johnson acting like they invented silicone,” I tweeted derisively. But what I didn’t realize is that these aren’t garden-variety silicone toys — they’re made of squishy dual-density silicone, and I am so on board with more affordable dual-density dildos. (“TruSkyn,” though? Still ludicrous. Good lord, when will misspelling words become uncool again?) So, I must eat my hat. I’m sorry for preemptively ridiculing TruSkyn. While I do think it’s amusing to watch bigwig sex toy manufacturers “discover” body-safe materials 500 years behind everybody else, it can only be a good thing for consumers. Dual-density silicone has been the domain of indie . . . read more

Review: Stronic G

Review: Stronic G

Four years ago, my G-spot was forever changed by a revolutionary sex toy called the Stronic Eins. Not really a dildo and definitely not a vibrator, the Eins features an internal weight that facilitates a back-and-forth thrusting movement. This “pulsator” felt unlike anything I’d ever tried, wiggling against my G-spot so enthusiastically, and quickly became one of my favorite insertables. Fun Factory’s Stronic line proved that innovation is still possible in the sex toy industry — true innovation, not gimmicky and spurious “innovation” with air quotes. So a few weeks ago when an email popped up with the subject line CONFIDENTIAL: Secret Preview of New Stronic?, it set my heart fluttering. I was in the middle of writing a different email, but I immediately . . . read more

Anatomy of a negative sex toy review (or: the Mimic)

Anatomy of a negative sex toy review (or: the Mimic)

You’re mid-masturbation and you’ve forgotten what it’s like for orgasm to feel achievable. You’re doing everything right, theoretically: the vibrator’s cranked up to its highest intensity, held faithfully against the favored side of your clit. You’re watching queer porn. Your vulva is well-lubricated. The cats are at bay. There is no reason this should be unpleasant. Except that the vibrator you’re using is absolute shit. Does it even qualify as a vibrator, really? These “vibrations” are pathetic and so, so buzzy. It’d be laughable if it wasn’t so sad. Actually, the emotion you feel is irritation — and it’s tainting everything. You become inordinately annoyed at the porn for daring to jump between sex and interviews; you need all the eroticism you can . . . read more

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