A while back, I wrote up a post entitled “Cal Exotic inches toward integrity,” which detailed the new and hilariously titled “Couture Collection,” a line of 100% silicone toys from California Exotic Novelties. CE is not known as a body-safe company, and many of their toys are still made of jelly, so the premiere of this line baffled me. I was intrigued, though, so I hunted down one of CE’s new toys — the Sublime — to see for myself what’s what.
CE may be improving in terms of materials (it remains to be seen if this is a trend or just a foray), but they certainly aren’t helping the earth: the Sublime comes packaged in an oversized box about as large and thick as a dictionary. The point? Probably to make the vibrator seem more majestic or something, or to account for the steep price tag ($70-$100 or so).
I mean, this thing is pretty massive. 1 1/2″ in diameter and 7″ long. The entire collection features vibes of this general size, which is really quite unfortunate. It gives me a weird feeling that CE thinks 1 1/2″ in diameter is going to be a breeze for most ladies, and I don’t think it is — especially if you’re trying to market an all-purpose vibe, a vibe to end all vibes. Obviously, some women appreciate 1 1/2″ in diameter; I just think it’s an odd choice to have that diameter all across the board.
Oh, and the silicone! How could I forget? You want to know if the silicone really is pure silicone. The answer is: as far as I can tell, yes. It has no scent, no taste, and has a soft silky texture similar to Fun Factory’s silicone. I know packaging proclamations are generally disregarded, but the fine print on this one reads “Material: Silicone.” The more prominent lettering expounds on that: “Japanese Medical Grade Silicone.” Don’t even ask me about the “Japanese” thing; I have no idea.
But all the silicone in the world can’t make up for a mediocre experience. The diameter of the Sublime, coupled with the matte silicone, makes for difficult insertion, thrusting, and even removal for me. The curled tip of the shaft hits my G-spot, but the girth of the vibrator makes it impossible for me to enjoy any G-spot stimulation. On multiple occasions, even after quite a bit of warm-up, I was frustrated by trying to get the Sublime inside me and actually thrust with it. Admittedly, this is something of a personal problem — but the resistance of the matte silicone doesn’t help.
Then there’s the button, which is a double-edged sword. It’s right there, in the thumb-resting spot, and it’s large and very easy to press. This means, of course, that it is near impossible to do any kind of thrusting without inadvertently pushing the button. I’m talking about the function-changing button — the on/off button is smaller. Anyway, there are seven vibration settings: three steady settings (low, medium, high), escalating fast pulsation, medium pulsation, fast pulsation, and a short-short-long pulsation. All of them are insanely quiet, which I was not expecting at all from a CE vibe.
It just kinda sucks, though, that you’re forced to cycle through the vibration settings.
One last thing that continues to irk me is the battery compartment. Not once have I been able to open it myself. My boyfriend has the magic touch with it, but I have not enjoyed carrying my vibrator in to him whenever I want it opened. I assume this extreme compartment is meant to keep water out (and it does), but it doesn’t have to keep humans out too.
If CE shaved 1/4″ off the girth, used glossy silicone, changed the controls, made the whole thing less bulky to handle, and made the battery compartment bearable, this would be a pretty badass vibe worthy of the $70-100 price tag. As is, it’s quiet and 100% silicone — but mediocre.
At least the Sublime represents a step in the right direction for California Exotic. I would love to see a company of their size and influence stop producing jelly and rubber toys. Something tells me, though, that I’m dreaming, and that this is called the Couture Collection for a reason — because 100% silicone is still a luxury material in the eyes of CE.