I wasn’t, at first — I was legitimately intrigued and even somewhat optimistic when I first heard about it. When a big company like Topco realizes rechargeables are the way of the future, it’s reason to be excited. But apparently not that excited.
This line offends me because it takes everything we love about rechargeables and shits on it. It steals what’s good and alters it until it’s 10x worse.
And then it asks for $85 for the thing, as though we don’t have a precedent, as though LELO and Je Joue and Jimmyjane and Fun Factory don’t exist and haven’t spent years developing this technology. At least when LELO asks $169 for a toy we can be like, “well, they’ve been making rechargeables for 10 years, and the power is pretty epic.”
The U Touch Side, which sounds like a fucking instructional dance video from 1988, is not epic. I am convinced, in fact, that it should be rebranded as Your Own Personal Hell™.
The first disconcerting omen came in the form of a little silver symbol on the box, next to which was the phrase “touch screen.” When I held the toy in my hands, I actually said out loud, “oh no. They mean that literally.”
A quick fact about buttons that give no tactile feedback: CONSUMERS DON’T LIKE THEM. This has neverworked out in the past, and it’s not going to work now. You are not ~revolutionary~, Topco. You are not ~up with the times~. You’re just desperate.
The Side comes with a matchbox-sized manual that I’m guessing is the same one they throw in with their UltraZone toys, since IT BARELY PERTAINS TO THE ACTUAL U TOUCH LINE. It also echoes dumb warnings I’ve heard before, such as “apply a reasonable amount of water-based lubricant to the surface of the product,” and it warns me not to “trample” the product, so I’ll be careful not to do that with my hooves. Also, apparently I should charge the toy for 4 hours before every use if possible. You know, for “better results.”
The manual isn’t where the useful information is, anyway. Instead, check out the the tiny gray print on the box before you throw it out, since that’s the ONLY PLACE you’ll find instructions for how to turn this motherfucker on and off. Except they’re worded in such a way that you aren’t exactly sure what they mean. Hint: if reviewers have to powwow on Twitter to figure out how to turn your damn toy on… do I even have to finish this sentence?
For the record: you hold the up and down arrows for three seconds simultaneously to turn it on and off. A Topco rep explained that while this toy doesn’t technically lock for travel, having to press two buttons at once makes it “nearly impossible to turn it on without the user’s involvement.”
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.
And that sensation of relief should not come from a vibrator turning off.
But you know when this vibrator WILL decide to respond? When you’re gripping it on — where else? — the handle, and your thumb grazes one of the “buttons” accidentally (because where else is your thumb supposed to rest…?). That’s the coolest.
By this point, I could not have given one shit whether this toy felt good or not. But I endured the testing period anyway. Vibration-strength-wise, it lands between the LELO Gigi and the LELO Siri. The Jimmyjane Form 4 is much stronger, and the LELO Mona 2 is laughably stronger and rumblier.
Also, the Side starts on the highest vibration intensity. My favorite!
When I said that Topco shits on everything good about rechargeables, that was a slight exaggeration. The charging situation is actually pretty slick. It’s magnetic, but not as finicky as most magnetic chargers. The adapter lights up easily, red, and when it’s finished it turns green. This is literally the only redeeming factor I can muster.
Topco, come here, dear, and listen close. Do not jump in the rechargeable game unless you’re ready to spar with the big boys. There’s no need to unnecessarily create “innovative” features. Really. All you had to do was create something reliable, body-safe, and easy to use, with many vibration settings. But you couldn’t do even that.
It doesn’t help that you have no fucking clue how to name toys. I hate to ask what your staff’s children are called.
The Topco U Touch line can be found on Amazon, but please, please, please don’t.