Review: We-Vibe Wish

“It’s like two Tango motors in one toy,” said one of the managers at the sex shop where I worked, and my ears perked up so hard they practically fell off.

The We-Vibe Tango is my favorite vibrator. It’s my bedside buddy, my travel-size titillator, my ‘gasmic go-to. It comes with me on sex dates and on vacations. I use it solo, with partners, and various combinations thereof. It’s simply the strongest and rumbliest vibrator of its size (with the possible exception of the Swan Wand Mini, which I sadly don’t yet own), so nothing has yet unseated it as my number-one toy-bag essential.

You can imagine, then, how excited I was when I heard the We-Vibe Wish was like two Tangos in one. And in my favorite shade of bright turquoise, no less. “I Wish I owned one,” I started joking every time I showed it to customers at the shop, but it wasn’t really a joke.

The good folks at Luxury Vibrators sent me a Wish to try, and I’m sad to say it didn’t quite live up to my hopes. There’s a lot to love about it, but it’s not as flawless a fit with my personal anatomy and vibrator usage style as I had expected.

First, let’s talk about the motors. Yes, plural – because there are two of them. As it’s been explained to me, the vibrations shift back and forth quickly between the motors, creating what We-Vibe calls PowerPulse™: “a new, ultra-powerful vibration sensation that feels like waves of pleasure.” Indeed, it whirrs and rumbles unlike any other vibe I’ve felt of this size; the quality of vibration reminds me of the lower speeds on the Magic Wand Rechargeable, which is a very, very good thing.

That said, when I put pressure on the toy, I can feel the motors’ rhythm skipping like an arrhythmia. It doesn’t take much pressure to activate this flaw; sometimes it happens just from me lightly resting the toy against my clit. This is apparently a common problem with dual-motor toys: it was observed by many a reviewer about the Jimmyjane Form 2, for example. In the case of the Wish, it doesn’t interrupt the sensation on my clit too much, but it is definitely noticeable and often distracting, and makes me worry that the motors’ function will decline as time goes on.

As with most newer We-Vibe toys, this one is controllable via the company’s We-Connect app. While I love using my phone as an intuitive remote for more complex toys, it’s less useful for a simple vibe like the Wish: it’s easier and quicker to just cycle through modes using the vibe’s one button than to connect the toy to the app. You can use the app to let a partner control your vibe from across the room or across the planet, though, so that’s cool. And while the toy’s button lets you cycle through only three steady speeds (more on that in a sec), the app gives you more granular control: you can swipe or tap your way through 10 different steady speeds, plus several vibration patterns, plus make your own patterns if you are so inclined.

At the store, I used to tell customers that the Wish would be perfect for use during PIV – but now I regret that, because it isn’t really true. Despite its gentle, vulva-esque curve and squishy silicone housing, it’s just a little too big and bulky to comfortably fit between bodies, unless you’re intentionally leaving enough space between your pelvises. That curved shape also causes the Wish to make a rhythmic purring noise when a partner’s body moves against mine during intercourse. It sounds like a goddamn jaguar. “It was a bit distracting,” my beau said, tactfully, after a PIV sesh in which we were trying to be Seriously Kinky but just ended up Seriously Giggly because of those damn noises.

The other distracting factor: I was expecting the Wish to work like my ol’ faithful Tango, and it doesn’t. I thought it would have four steady speeds and four patterns, and that you’d have to cycle through all of them to get back to the beginning; that’s how the Tango works, and it’s not a perfect system, but I’m used to it and know how to do it in a hurry. The Wish has three steady speeds followed by seven patterns, which, as you might imagine, has been a bit of an adjustment for me. During PIV with a partner, I kept clicking to what I thought would be the highest steady speed, only to accidentally activate a pattern and fuck up my own impending orgasm. This is frustrating, but as with any vibrator, I could become accustomed to it if I was using this toy a lot.

It’d be less annoying to cycle through those ten modes if the Wish’s button was easier to locate and press in the heat of the moment. It’s smaller and flatter than the button on the Tango, takes a more thorough push, and feels tactilely similar to the magnetic charger port right next to it, so I have to look right at it when I press it, or I risk missing it altogether. This, again, would be mitigated if this was the only vibe I was using and I was therefore forced to get used to it, but that’s not the case. Even so: why does We-Vibe insist on only putting one button on most of their toys? I think everyone would be happier if they had an “increase speed/next mode” button and a “decrease speed/previous mode” button. It’d be way more intuitive than having to cycle through all the speeds and patterns to get back to the first one.

Shape-wise, the Wish is well-designed. Its pointed tip will appease those who like more pinpoint sensations like the Tango could deliver, while its edges and flat sides are ideal for broader stimulation or even full-body massage. In many ways, it feels like a wand vibe without the bulkiness and heaviness most of those toys suffer from.

It’s also just super cute. I love the way it looks in my hand: adorably turquoise, sensual but not overtly sexual, substantial but not massive. It’s the kind of toy that probably wouldn’t intimidate a partner (unless your partner is the worst), and that wouldn’t horribly embarrass you if you’d left it lying on your nightstand when company came over.

On top of all that, the Wish is 100% waterproof, charges magnetically (via a much better-developed system than the Tango’s frustratingly weak magnetic charger), and comes with a one-year warranty. I want to like it. We-Vibe tried so hard to make this a great toy. But the pressure-induced skips in vibration, plus the annoyance of having to cycle through all the modes, make it unlikely to join my roster of go-to vibes. It’s bigger than I’d prefer for usage with a partner, and more finicky than I’d prefer for usage alone. Dammit.

I’m still waiting for someone to make a decent competitor for the Tango. C’mon, vibrator industry. You can do it. I believe in you!

 

Thanks so much to Luxury Vibrators for sending me this product to review!

Review: Sili Saddle

I’m conflicted about the Sili Saddle. It is, as its name suggests, silly. And yet it might also be useful for lots of people. People whose genitals are different from mine in many ways.

The product’s website describes it as a “super-soft non-penetrative manual vulvar stimulator.” It was apparently developed by a woman who had vulvar irritation and couldn’t have her genitals touched in the usual ways without pain. “It’s great for gentle solo stimulation and enhances partnered intimacy, acting as a soothing yet stimulating barrier when skin-on-skin friction is uncomfortable,” the product’s website explains. “It works beautifully as a non-vibrating pleasure pad for sensitive vulvas.”

This is a fantastic idea, and serves – I’m sure – a niche market that has always existed but has rarely been acknowledged. I know there are people who are reading this right now, eyes wide and mouth ajar, thinking: This! This is what I need!

I’m happy for those people. However, if you’re looking at this product and feeling mystified – a non-vibrating, flat disc of squishy silicone with a ridge along the underside?! – here are some other uses I’ve found for the Sili Saddle, as a person who doesn’t have recurrent vulvar pain or irritation:

Warm-up. Sometimes, if I start masturbating without getting myself turned on through porn or other means first, my clit is too sensitive to be touched right away. I can lay the Sili Saddle’s raised ridge over my clit, put my palm on its flat side, and move it around for some super gentle, indirect clit stimulation. I do this with lube if I want some slippery-slidey friction, or without lube if I’m more in the mood for anchored pressure. I don’t think I could have an orgasm this way unless I had gone several days without coming, was very turned on, and had maybe smoked a bunch of weed – but if your clit is more sensitive and your orgasms more easily induced than mine, you might like using the Sili Saddle in this way.

Orgasm deprivation. I could see the Sili Saddle being useful in a kink scenario where a dominant partner was purposely denying you sensation. “You’ve been so good that I’m going to let you touch yourself,” they’d say, and your eyes would light up – but then they’d slap the Sili Saddle onto your bits and add, evilly, “THROUGH THIS!” Then they would watch with devious amusement as you tried to eke an orgasm out of this toy. Ah, the delicious cruelty of it all!

Strap-on cushioning. When I worked at a sex shop, I heard customers complain all the time that strapping on during sex can result in uncomfortable friction and impact against the genitals of the wearer. My shop didn’t carry the Sili Saddle, but I wish it had; I could’ve sold dozens! The soft silicone of this toy is ideal for absorbing the impact of thrusting, so you won’t feel bruised after a thorough strap-on sesh. Furthermore, that ridge along one side can provide some gentle clit stimulation for the strap-on wearer that’ll add to their enjoyment.

Vibration mitigation. If you have, say, a Magic Wand, and you find it sometimes (or always) feels too intense, you can use it through a Sili Saddle to help manage those sensations. This is different from using the vibe through clothes because a) the Sili Saddle is thicker, so it subdues the vibration better, and b) it has that ridge, which sits against your clit and focuses the vibrations while softening them. I love using my Sili Saddle and Magic Wand this way when I’m getting warmed up ‘n’ turned on, especially because it keeps the vibrator from numbing my genitals before the party even gets started.

PIV padding. As someone who often sleeps with scruffy cis men, I am familiar with the perils of scratchy dude-pubes against my sensitive clit. If pubis-on-pubis contact during intercourse is uncomfortable for you, whether due to pubic hair, pressure, or some other factor, you might wanna slide a Sili Saddle in between and see if it improves things. For me, this is more of a “decreasing discomfort” thing than an “adding pleasure” thing; if I want to amp up my pleasure during intercourse, I’m likelier to grab a We-Vibe or a small handheld clit vibe.

As you can see, the Sili Saddle can be used in many ways and would, I’m sure, be an invaluable tool to folks with super sensitive and/or irritated genitals. However, that’s not me, so I doubt I’ll use mine much after I’m done this review.

It sure is pretty, though.

 

Thanks to the folks at Sili Saddle for sending me their product to review!

Review: Standard Glass S-Curve

Never buy someone a sex toy they haven’t specifically requested. You can’t know what someone’s tastes in toys are. You can’t know what will work for someone else’s body. It’s always better to buy them a gift card, or take them shopping, and let them pick out a toy for themselves.

Unless you’re my best friend Bex, in which case you can disregard everything I just said, apparently.

During my last visit to New York, Bex presented me with a handmade S-Curve dildo by Standard Glass. “It’s your favorite shade of turquoise,” they said, “and it’ll hit your A-spot!” I was stunned. It was a gorgeous, thoughtful gift – the kind of toy I would have picked out for myself. How did I get so lucky to have a friend as good as Bex?

We were hanging out with my FWB, with whom I had a sex-date planned for the following day. “You should fuck me with this,” I chirped at him. But he’s a Responsible Adult so he just nervously eyed the hard tile floor we were standing on and said, “Please don’t drop that.” I slipped the toy back into its gift bag to appease him: “Okay, dad.”

The next night, at the hotel we’d booked, I broke out the S-Curve. “So how does this work?” my fuckpal asked, and I shrugged and said, “I don’t know! Let’s find out!” He lubed the long, smooth end of it and slid it into me, curve facing up to access my A-spot. Moans spouted from my mouth immediately. Oh, yes.

As its name suggests, the S-Curve has a gentle sloping “S” shape. Many of my favorite toys do, in fact; I definitely have a “type” when it comes to dildos. The formidable metal Njoy Eleven, the heroically G-spotty NobEssence Seduction, and my beloved Fucking Sculptures Double Trouble all have this basic shape in common. What can I say? I know what I like.

The S-Curve’s similarities to the Double Trouble are all the qualities I love about it. It’s long enough, and has a subtle enough curve, that it can get all up in my A-spot without bothering my cervix. (It can also hit my G-spot if I thrust it more shallowly, though I usually don’t.) Like another S-shaped glass toy I love, the Fucking Sculptures G-Spoon, the S-Curve’s meager 1.25″ diameter is roughly equivalent to the size of two fingers – i.e. the exact number of fingers I request and enjoy most when partners are fingerbanging me – so it hits my spot brilliantly and I can fantasize about partners fingering me to my heart’s content when I use it.

My FWB calls the S-Curve “the Double Trouble on easy mode,” and for my intents and purposes, it is. It goes for my A-spot with the same precision and deftness, but because it’s slimmer, lighter, and has that bloopy end, it’s much easier to hold onto and thrust with. If I’m craving a side order of girth with my A-spot stim, I’ll still reach for the Dub Trubz – but if all I want is targeted stimulation of one particular internal spot, it gets the job done perfectly.

All S-Curves, while handmade, are basically the same dimensions – 8″ long and 1.25″ wide. It is a glass masterpiece, a beauteous work of art. I don’t need my sex toys to be beautiful, because I don’t spend a lot of time actually looking at them while I’m using them, but it’s nonetheless nice to have something so elegant-looking on my nightstand.

Bex is still the only person on earth I would trust to choose a sex toy for me. They knocked this one out of the fuckin’ park.

 

You can buy the S-Curve at Come As You Are for $120 CAD (that’s about $90 USD!).

9 Impeccable Indie Impact Implements

As you may have noticed, I love impact toys. I especially love weird impact toys: implements that would make good conversation starters at kink events, and that widen the eyes of tops and bottoms alike. Indie toymakers are often the best companies to look at when you want something unusual. I am lucky enough to own several impact implements from indie artisans; here are some reviews of them…

My leather paddle by Oddo Leather is bright pink and adorable. It’s made from latigo leather and contains two metal rods which give it its structural stability. It’s got that signature delicious leather smell, and comes in a variety of colors.

As a top: The leather handle is grippy enough that it stays securely in my hand even if I get sweaty. There’s a little suede strap I use to hang the paddle for storage but that isn’t long enough for me to stick my wrist through; I’d like to replace it with a longer one so I can have a little more assurance that I won’t accidentally throw the paddle while using it. The edges of the handle are a little rough and sometimes dig into my hand if I’m holding the toy tightly, which I generally am. I like the satisfyingly loud noise this paddle makes when it hits skin. Some particularly hard hits cause the internal metal rods to bend a bit, but it’s easy to bend the paddle back into its original shape.

As a bottom: As you might expect from a leather paddle, this one is pretty stingy. If a blow lands not-exactly-flat against my skin, it can feel thuddier, but not by much. On me, this paddle doesn’t bruise, it just reddens the area. It also doesn’t get above a 5 or 6 on the pain scale, even when a lot of power is put into the hits – so while it might be a good choice for an impact beginner, or for someone who eroticizes the sound of impact moreso than the pain, for me it just leaves me wanting more.

My acrylic layered paddle by Funkit Toys was custom-made to my specifications; a lot of stuff by Funkit is highly customizable like this. I asked for it to be made in blue and green, and for it to have five layers of acrylic; you can order anywhere from two to six layers in your paddle, and the more you get, the thuddier it’ll be. This paddle is also the most affordable option in this post, with its price ranging from $10 (two layers) to $22 (six layers).

As a top: I love how smooth, heavy, and well-constructed this paddle feels in my hand. The top of the handle, where it meets the blade, is made to resemble the analogous part on a chef’s knife, because Funkit Toys’ lead fucksmith Kenton is also a chef – so my index finger fits comfortably in that spot when I hold the paddle, though the way I spank, I usually like a little more momentum and hold the toy further down its handle to allow for that. The paddle’s impact surfaces are glossy, while its edges are matte, making the handle sufficiently grippy without sacrificing the beauty of that shiny finish. I would like this one a bit more if it was shorter and wider, because that’s my preferred shape to hit people with, but as is, it’s still wonderful.

As a bottom: This paddle is so mean! When it lands flat against the skin, it’s got a sharp stingy bite with a little thud to back it up – but when it lands a little off-kilter, or when I’m purposely hit with the side of it, it feels much thuddier, like getting thunked with a big heavy metal pipe. This toy can get up very high on the pain scale, in both stinginess and thuddiness. Depending on how it’s wielded, it can leave broad bruises or more focused stripes. Thuddier hits (especially those from the rounded edge of the paddle) get so deep that they might still ache days later.

My rainbow paddle by Funkit Toys is made of wood and gets its vivid, distinctive colors from spraypaint (with a clear coat on top). Kenton makes wooden paddles in several different shapes and sizes; this one is 16 inches long, and wider than the acrylic paddle but still fairly narrow for a paddle.

As a top: This paddle is made of very light wood, so in use it barely feels like I’m hefting anything at all. However, sometimes this makes it hard for me to gauge exactly how hard I’m hitting. The handle is entirely straight and a bit slippery; I wish it had a wrist strap for added stability. The wood makes a really satisfying smacking noise when it hits.

As a bottom: I get a surface-level sting from this paddle that falls more on the “bad type of pain” side of the spectrum for me, which would make it ideal for a true punishment spanking but also means it’s never gonna be a favorite of mine. I do sort of like it as a warm-up, used fairly lightly, because the broad stingy swats get my skin all tingly and sensitive and ready for more hits – but it gets up into high pain levels really easily and I can’t take much of it after that. It reddens my skin but I have yet to obtain any lasting marks from it, partly because it hurts so much that I always stop before I get to that point.

The Billiard Banger by KinkMachineWorks is such an inventive piece of kink wizardry. It’s a literal billiard ball at the end of a metal and hard plastic rod. Mine is a black 8-ball, which I chose for its #WitchyFemme vibes, but you can get a wide variety of different colors and numbers.

As a top: I love the heaviness of this toy – it’s not so heavy as to be hard to wield, but just heavy enough to feel substantial, well-made, and powerful. My arm does get a little tired if I’m swingin’ away for a good while, though. I thought the smooth metal handle on mine would be difficult to grip (KMW also sells a ribbed-handle version, if that’s a concern of yours too), but it’s got enough grippiness to it that this usually isn’t an issue. Depending on what kind of effect I want to achieve, I can bounce the ball against skin for a series of quick hits, or follow through with my swing for big, strong, thuddy hits.

As a bottom: Getting beat with a billiard ball is a thuddy and penetrating sensation, like getting punched by a tiny fist. On me, it rarely creates bruises, but it leaves sore spots under the skin that I can still feel days later. Having the same spot get hit over and over again is always a super-painful thing for me, but particularly so with this toy; the thuddiness stacks up and creates an almost bone-deep ache that I mostly really like. The toy’s handle and the billiard ball itself both have a naturally cold temperature, so rolling those parts of the toy along my skin between hits can be a soothing and surprising sensation.

The 1″-thick rubber paddle from KinkMachineWorks is a thing to behold: thick, heavy, and intimidating. It reliably gets an “Oh, wow” or a “Yikes!” whenever I show it to a fellow kinkster.

As a top: Most of this paddle’s weight is concentrated in the business end rather than the handle, so it can sometimes feel a little weighty and difficult to aim effectively. The flex of the rubber gives it a nice bounce, so while it’s heavy, my arm doesn’t get especially tired from wielding it. Its heaviness also means you don’t have to put much effort into your swing to get a big, strong hit out of it; however, this also means you have to check in with your spankee more to make sure you’re not overdoing it. The rubber causes my hands to smell like a truckstop after I’m done using this paddle, which I don’t really mind, but I’d prefer if it didn’t.

As a bottom: Wow, ouch, this one hurts a whole goddamn lot. Hits from this paddle’s flat impact surfaces feel thuddy with a topcoat of stinginess, whereas hits from the sides or end of the paddle feel thuddy like a punch. I imagine that this toy could leave some pretty gnarly bruises, but I’ve never been hit with it hard enough to find out, because it gets so painful so easily that I always back off before the point of bruising.

My Lexan paddle from KinkMachineWorks is one of my all-time favorite impact implements. Lexan – also known as polycarbonate – is a type of plastic that’s very hard and durable, making it ideal for paddlin’ with.

As a top: This paddle strikes a good balance between being heavy enough to feel impactful but light enough to be comfortable to wield at all times. I love the shape and size of it: it gives me a lot of surface area with which to smack broad swathes of my bottom’s skin, but can also be aimed effectively and precisely when need be. And dammit, you can’t beat the view of a butt being slightly squished beneath this see-through paddle.

As a bottom: The reason I love this paddle so much is that it – for me – strikes the ideal balance between thuddy and stingy. The stinginess makes it painful enough to send me into subspace relatively quickly, but it’s not all sting, so I don’t get burned out on it too fast. Its thuddiness also enables it to bruise me easily and beautifully. I think if I could only keep one impact toy from my entire collection, this is the one I would choose.

My torquemada from Creative Kink is made of beautiful pink-glazed wood. A “torquemada,” so far as I can tell, is a wood paddle that’s inlaid with metal studs. Woof.

As a top: This paddle is very big: it’s as long as my entire arm from shoulder to wrist, and almost twice as wide as my forearm. While this makes it look extra-menacing, it’s not my favorite to wield; it feels a little clunky and hard to manoeuvre effectively (though that might be less true for a bigger/stronger person than I). In addition to the flat side, the studded side, and the thuddy rounded edges, I can also hit someone (lightly) with that pointy tip at the top; it’s not as sharp as it looks, and it’s sort of like whacking someone with a dull pickaxe. This is a highly versatile toy!

As a bottom: The flat, non-studded side of this paddle feels as stingy as wooden paddles usually do (i.e. very), though its heaviness gives it a little bit of thud that balances it out nicely. It reddens my skin real quick and hurts a whole helluva lot. The studded side is even worse: the studs are rounded, rather than sharp, so they’re probably not gonna break skin or anything, but they do add some extra oomph to the hits, making this one of the most painful products in this post. I also like that the studs feel cold while the rest of the paddle remains room-temperature; it’s a little extra sensory weirdness that adds to the overall effect, and could be an especially fun tease if I was, say, blindfolded and tied up.

I requested the Lexan cane from Creative Kink because I already owned the aforementioned Lexan paddle and knew I liked this material for impact play. It’s so swishy and cute and reminds me of a wand Ollivander would pick out for the kinkiest wizard.

As a top: The handle of this cane is made of a grippy black foam; this toy was clearly designed by actual kinksters who understand the problems faced by impact tops! The Lexan is firm enough to allow for a stern caning, but also has juuust enough flex that I can pull it back with one hand and let it spring forward onto whoever I’m spanking, in an intense but precisely aimable motion. The significant length of this cane gives me the freedom to slice it down on both of my spankee’s buttcheeks, or only one at a time, whichever I want.

As a bottom: To my surprise, I find this cane never hurts thaaat badly, no matter how hard I’m getting hit by it. It’s more thuddy than stingy, but never gets beyond a 5-out-of-10 thud for me. It leaves pleasing red stripes on my skin, and occasional mildly raised welts, but isn’t mean enough to create bruises. While this description might make it sound lacklustre, I actually love getting beat by this cane; the pain is enough to send me into subspace after a little while, without being so bad as to distress me.

The aluminum cane by Creative Kink is a formidable thing; when Suz first felt mine, her eyes went wide and she said, “Oh, this one would be mean!” She is right. It is.

As a top: The weight of this cane makes it feel a little top-heavy in use sometimes, so I can’t always aim as precisely as I would like to. I also wish it made a bit more noise; it’s almost silent as skin absorbs its impact. It has the same grippy foam handle as the aforementioned Lexan cane, so it stays put in my hand when I hold it. I feel a little apprehensive wielding this toy, because it’s so heavy and hard that I feel like I could accidentally injure a partner pretty easily; I’d need to be very careful and focused to feel comfortable using it on someone. But damn, it makes me feel powerful.

As a bottom: Canes are traditionally stingy but this is perhaps the thuddiest one that has ever existed. If I couldn’t see what I was getting hit with, I’d have no way of knowing it was a cane and not a thick metal pipe. I love that it’s naturally cold; that adds some sensory excitement to the thuddiness and can be soothing in between hits. As with many heavy thuddy implements, this one bruises quite effectively, and the bruises are gorgeous stripes. Swoon.

What are your favorite impact toys from independent toymakers? Got any Etsy treasure-troves or local artisans to enthuse about?

Review: 5 Vibrators Under $30

5 vibrators on a rainbow checked background

When it comes to sex toys, you get what you pay for. There’s a reason my favorite toys range in price from $79 to $299. True, many of these are so pricey that I’d have to save up for them for months if I wasn’t a sex toy reviewer, but they’re so good that they’d be worth it.

That said, not all cheap toys are bad. When people come into the sex shop where I work and want to buy a vibrator without spending an arm and a leg, I always recommend the Turbo Glider and the Orchid G, two low-end vibes that I know are actually pretty decent. My first-ever glass dildo cost me about $25, and made my vagina very happy for years. You don’t have to spend a zillion dollars to get something good; you just have to know what to look for.

I’ve partnered with Peepshow Toys to review five vibrators today, all under $30. I got to choose which ones I wanted to review, and aside from price, I had just two mandatory criteria: all the vibes had to be made of body-safe materials, because nary a phthalate nor a porous toy shall ever touch my bits again, and they all had to be waterproof, because I use toys in the bath fairly often. I picked five that met my standards, put ’em to the test, and was pleasantly surprised by (some of) my findings!

The B Swish Bcute Classic is the cheapest vibrator of all those mentioned in this post, at just $16. It requires one AA battery (not included) and is made of soft, smooth silicone and ABS plastic. The design is pretty classy and luxe-looking for a $16 toy, and I like the emerald-green color. Size-wise, it’s a happy medium between a bullet vibe and a classic insertable “smoothie” vibrator: you could use it internally if you like your penetration on the shorter, thinner side, but I only use mine externally.

Unfortunately, this vibe’s performance befits its low price point. It has the fewest vibration patterns of any vibe mentioned here (only two, plus three steady speeds), and it’s also the weakest and buzziest of these vibrators. Even on the highest speed, my clit barely registers that there’s a vibrator on it. This is exactly the type of vibe I try to steer first-time toy users away from, because if you thought this is what all vibration felt like, I wouldn’t blame you at all for thinking vibrators just aren’t your cup of tea. NEXT.

The Maia Twistty Madison invoked my rage instantly with that extra “T” that looks like a typo, but that’s not the only reason I hate it. First of all, it’s hot pink, which, no: enough already. It’s also got a ripply texture to it. There are definitely people out there who enjoy clitoral texture, or who would use a vibe this small internally, but I’m using it as a clit vibe and prefer those to be untextured. Thirdly, it’s got a showy LED light in the base that lights up brighter when the toy is vibrating more strongly, which is honestly pretty distracting and would be an actual goddamn health risk for people with epilepsy, I’d imagine.

The main issue, though, is the motor. (Well, what do I expect for a vibe that takes one AAA battery?) It’s weak. It’s buzzy. It induces numbness and itchiness in any body part it touches, including my hands as I hold it. It has 7 vibration patterns and most of them are too erratic and strobe-like to actually be pleasurable. Aside from the cute, silky, pink storage bag it comes with, there’s really nothing I like about this vibrator.

The Rocks-Off Bamboo is the last shitty vibrator I will rant about in this post, I promise. I really wanted to like it, because it’s so pretty: rose gold ABS plastic, angular and classy. I like the tilted flat tip (that same feature is one of the reasons I love the Tango), and I like that it’s thin enough to potentially fit between bodies during sex but long enough that I don’t feel like I’m clawing at it with a T-Rex hand.

But once again, the motor is a sticking point. While it’s slightly rumblier than the two vibes above, it’s still way too buzzy to get me off. In addition to its 7 patterns, it has 3 steady speeds, which – get this – you have to scroll through in order from highest to lowest. I fucking hate vibrators that work like this, because I never, ever use my vibrators that way: I always start at a low speed and work my way up, and I think that’s pretty common! So, while the Bamboo is gorgeous for a $21 vibe, I will definitely never use it again.

Okay, now let’s get to the good stuff. The ScreamingO Charged Vooom, despite its silly name, quite impressed me. It’s the rechargeable version of their standard Vooom bullet, and is so damn much better, as rechargeable vibes are wont to be. It’s pink, but it’s a deep, sexy, purply-raspberry pink that I actually like. It charges via USB with a cable that you have to stab through the little silicone hole at the bottom. Its one button cycles through 3 steady speeds (arranged goddamn properly, i.e. from low to high) and 7 patterns. Like the Twistty, the Charged Vooom has a light in its base which brightens and dims depending on the setting you’re on, so I wouldn’t recommend this one to folks with photosensitive epilepsy.

And the motor. HOORAY FOR THIS MOTOR. It’s not Tango-rumbly, but it is pretty rumbly for a $29 vibe. I can actually feel it thrumming against my clit and activating my internal clitoral structures instead of numbing me out. I can get off with this toy, consistently and easily, which is far more than I can say for any other vibe in this post thus far. It’s also the quietest one of the bunch. And because it’s the only one of these vibes that’s a standard bullet size, I’ll be able to use it with toys that have a hole for a bullet, like the Tantus Echo or the We-Vibe Dusk. YAY!

I saved the best for last, y’all. I got an excited email a while ago from a reader who said that the VeDO Bam rivals the Tango, and, well, you know me. I love my Tango. That shit got my attention. Like the Charged Vooom, the Bam costs $29, is rechargeable, and has 3 steady speeds and 7 patterns. But it’s thicker and longer – big enough that I could use it internally but small enough that I probably wouldn’t – and the motor is better.

It’s really kind of remarkable. I want VeDO to send their motor engineer(s) to give talks for other vibrator companies, to explain how you design a great motor for a cheap vibe (or for a vibe at any price point, frankly – even luxury toy companies sometimes fuck this up). It’s a little buzzier than the Tango, but still plenty rumbly and plenty strong. It gives me orgasms easily, quickly, and consistently. For TWENTY-NINE DOLLARS. Damn, VeDO! You done good!

Though the motor rules, the controls interface could be better-designed: you have to cycle through all the modes one by one to get to the one you want, the 3 steady speeds are arranged from high to low (?!), and I wish the patterns’ intensities could be adjusted. But that’s asking a lot for a $29 bullet. Aside from those quibbles, I adore the VeDO Bam; I’ve been using it almost as much as my Tango lately!

What are your favorite cheap vibes?

 

These toys were sent to me by Peepshow Toys in exchange for an honest review.