Review: Fuze Foreman

“If my dick was a dildo, would you give it a good review?”

You can file this question under “things people ask sex toy reviewers that they would never think to ask anyone else.” You can also file it under “questions you should think carefully before answering truthfully.”

‘Cause let’s be real. Flesh-and-blood penises rarely hit my G-spot unrelentingly like the Pure Wand, stroke my A-spot thrillingly like the Tsunami, or fill me up like the Eleven. They don’t, because they can’t. It would be physiologically unthinkable. And that’s fine. Dicks are fantastic, and sex toys are fantastic, and there’s not a perfect overlap between their arenas of usefulness, but of course there wouldn’t be. Sex toys don’t respond to the touch of my tongue, moan in my ear, read my responses to discern what I’ll want next, call me a good girl, or smack me around. Sex toys are not the partner I want; they are tools that can be used by me, or by my partner(s), to give me particular sensations that I want. Human beings are more than the physical sensations they provide.

I bring this up to help explain: if the Fuze Foreman was a flesh-and-blood dick attached to someone I liked – or even a strap-on dick worn by someone I liked – I would adore it. But it’s not; it’s a piece of silicone I fuck myself with, and I have different standards for those than I do for phalluses cute people fuck me with.

In my orgasm spreadsheet (nerd!), the Foreman only appears in the “dildo” column alongside other dildos, never by itself. The reason for this: I get bored of it quickly, and switch to other toys in due course. Its 1.43″ diameter is small compared to the dildos I love most, and with just 5.5″ of useable length, it barely grazes my A-spot and can’t consistently stroke it in the way that I like.

It’s designed to look like an uncircumcised penis. Aesthetically, I appreciate this; in use, not so much. The “foreskin” makes the head of this dildo smoother and less pronounced than more G-spotty realistic dildos, so there’s none of that popping sensation that a more defined head provides for my G-spot. The Foreman feels okay, especially if I’m fantasizing about getting fucked by someone mega-cute, but there are so many other options that feel so much better to me. My vagina is a busy lady and has no time for subpar penetration.

However, I’m an optimist (a cocktimist?), so I found a silver lining: I loooove the Foreman for blowjobs. If you are in the market for a dildo to put in your mouth – whether it’s going to be strapped onto someone else at the time, or you just want the solo sensory satisfaction of suckin’ on a dong – realistic Fuze dildos are some of my favorites to suggest. The glossy-versus-matte ratio of their silicone feels fairly realistic, especially when wet and heated, and the various veins and imperfections are a treat for the tongue. I’ve been practicing my deepthroating on the Foreman recently, and it gives me a lot of the same pleasure I get from blowing a human. Plus it looks remarkably realistic in beej-themed cam shows and Snapchat clips.

Like many Fuze dildos, the Foreman is also optimized for strap-on play. It’s designed to angle upward in the way erect factory-installed dicks often do, and it’s got a ridged base so the wearer gets some clitoral friction during use. It’s even got a little hole at the base that a bullet vibe can go into… although, honestly, I mostly use that as a finger-hole while blowing this dildo, like it’s a bowling ball. (Or a “blowing” ball?! Har-de-har-har…)

When I want to get properly fucked by a silicone dick, I’ll still reach for my Mustang, Maverick, Sam, or Uncut. They all hit my spots more accurately and fill me up more satisfyingly than the Foreman does. But when I’m in the mood to suck a cock and there are no flesh-and-blood ones immediately available to me, I’m likelier to grab the Fuze Foreman than any of those other ones. It fits in my mouth like a dream. And it even shares a name with a certain hot doctor from House, M.D.!

 

Thanks very much to SheVibe for sending me this product to review!

Review: We-Vibe Nova

“You should buy this rabbit vibe,” my co-worker at the sex shop half-jokes while restocking the wall of rechargeables. “We’ve only got one left and we’re not re-ordering it when we sell out. I want it gone.” It’s some garish, hot pink, unfriendly-looking thing. I don’t want to buy it.

“I don’t really like dual-stim vibes,” I reply with a shrug.

He narrows his eyes at me. “If you don’t mind me asking: is that ’cause you don’t like internal stimulation, or external?”

I choose my words carefully. “I don’t really like internal vibration. And I’m also too much of a control freak for rabbits. I like to decide what kind of stimulation I’m getting internally and externally at any given time; I don’t want a toy to decide that for me.”

This was true, until I discovered the We-Vibe Nova. It’s a rabbit of a different color.

It’s rare that I’ve liked dual-stim vibes in the past. I can count the ones I’ve enjoyed on one hand: there was the Jimmyjane Iconic Rabbit, the California Exotics Silicone Jack Rabbit, and a jelly CalEx rabbit that felt good aside from the mild chemical burns it gave me (beware of phthalates, kids!). These vibes all have two major things in common: their internal portions rotate rather than vibrating, giving my G-spot the pressure and motion it craves, and the internal and external portions can be operated independently from one another, satisfying my need for control over my sex toys.

The Nova’s internal arm doesn’t rotate, but it doesn’t need to, because I can thrust with it. If you’ve ever tried to thrust a dual-stim vibe inside you, you know how frustrating it can be. The clitoral arm of rabbit vibes typically needs to be placed just so to make contact with your clit in the particular way you like, and thrusting disturbs this delicate balance. You therefore have to choose, in any given moment, between pleasing your G-spot and pleasing your clit. It’s like moderating an explosive debate between two screaming six-year-olds: you can’t win.

But the Nova changes all that. Its clitoral arm is brilliantly flexible, such that it moves with me as I thrust, maintaining constant contact with my clit. This makes all the difference in the world. I can piston the internal arm against my G-spot as fast and hard as I like, and the vibration on my clit continues all the while. This magic is why the Nova gets me off more easily and consistently than any dual-stimulation vibrator I’ve ever tried.

The centre button of the Nova’s control pad lets you choose whether the vibrations of its various patterns and speeds will emanate from the internal arm, the external arm, or both at once. Because I’m not too fond of internal vibration, I usually leave that arm turned off. Even by themselves, the clitoral vibrations are deliciously rumbly and strong, sinking deep into my clitoral network and resulting in profoundly satisfying orgasms.

In recent years, We-Vibe has introduced an app, We-Connect, through which you can control (some of) their toys via Bluetooth. This is genius in some ways and less so in others. It’s cool to see visualizations of patterns as you use them; I particularly like one called Surf, where the external vibrations remain steady while the internal ones pulse, creating the illusion of someone’s fingers tapping hard against my G-spot. I like being able to flip through modes and speeds with a swipe or tap of a finger. I like that the app gives me the ability to cede control of the toy to a partner who lives far away – I don’t currently have anyone in mind for this, but it’d be a cool Skype-date activity if I did! The only major drawback of the app is that lubey fingers don’t mix well with smartphone touchscreens, but that’s easy enough to solve.

I will admit, the Nova is not foolproof. It always takes some shifting and shimmying before I get it situated just right on my G-spot and clit. I have to tilt the toy’s handle toward my butt to get the internal arm to press up into my G-spot the way I like, but I’m used to doing that with toys. The Nova’s control pad also feels far away from me when I’m using it, because the handle curves downward right where the controls are, so it’s not always easy to change speeds or patterns in a hurry (although the app helps with this substantially).

But overall? The We-Vibe Nova is easily the best dual-stimulation vibe I’ve ever tried, and the one that gives me the best, most consistent orgasms. I’ve always rolled my eyes at that famous Sex and the City episode where Charlotte becomes addicted to her rabbit vibe and doesn’t want to leave the house anymore, let alone waste time having sex with men who’d never satisfy her like her vibrator does – but I can sort of understand where the show was coming from when I use the Nova. It wouldn’t make me eschew partnered sex altogether, but it sure does make lukewarm Tinder hookups seem less appealing. Why waste time on a dudebro who might not even know where my clit is, when the Nova dominates both my clit and my G-spot and can be controlled via smartphone?

If you need me, I’ll be curled up in bed with my Nova.

 

You can get the We-Vibe Nova at Come As You Are for $170 CAD (about $127 USD!), at SheVibe for $149 USD, at PinkCherry for $142 USD (or $180 CAD), or at Peepshow for $149 USD.

The Unfortunate Truth Behind Sex Toy Gift Baskets

As a fancy femme, I’m a sucker for good presentation. So I definitely oohed and aahed when I pulled my bright-purple XRated Basket out of its shipping box. It’s such a good shade of purple, too. Swoon.

I am also partial to anything that comes with pretty-lookin’ ribbons, because I get to wear them tied in bows in my hair like the princess I am. #FemmeSexNerd

It’s too bad that the appearance of this gift box is the only good thing about it. This is XRatedBaskets’ Hers Basket. Let’s take a look at what’s inside…

Time for some real talk. Companies that make sex toy “baskets” or “boxes” usually do so by cobbling together seemingly the cheapest, lowest-quality toys they can find, packaging them up nicely, and selling them at a significant markup. This basket is no different.

I actually requested XRatedBaskets’ “S&M Basket,” because it contains some things that aren’t meant to go in or on the genitals – e.g. rope, a paddle, nipple clamps, restraints – so it seemed like a safer bet. Cheap kink toys will typically cause less damage than cheap sex toys, in my experience. But they sent me the Hers Basket instead, which is, frankly, full of stuff I can’t and won’t use.

Literally, there are eight things in this basket, and seven of them will never make contact with my genitals unless I somehow become possessed by a demon who is cool with porous, potentially toxic materials. There’s a PVC dildo, a TPR vibrating clit pump, some TPR “vibrating nipple pads,” a jelly fingertip vibe, a squishy PVC G-spot vibe, and a panty vibe shaped like a fig leaf which doesn’t specify its material but brags its “battery lasts for up to 30 minutes!”

All of these things claim to be phthalate-free, but there is no regulation in the sex toy industry which obligates companies to tell the truth about phthalate concentrations in their toys. Indeed, one toy that claimed to be phthalate-free was actually found to consist of 61% phthalates when tested in a lab. So that label is essentially meaningless, put there to fool consumers into buying cheap stuff they’re led to believe is body-safe.

The packaging of this jelly dildo boasts, “I’m body-safe: phthalate-free,” but flip it over and it warns, “Use with a condom for maximum hygiene and safety.” Condoms don’t even totally prevent leaching if a product contains toxic chemicals, though, so it’s a moot warning.

To add insult to injury, I thought I might be able to at least use the lube included in this basket, but it contains glycerin and propylene glycol, so that’s a hard nope as well.

The one and only thing in this basket that I can safely put in or around my bits is an Afterglow toy wipe – but, y’know, I usually just wash my toys when I’m done using them, and since the toys I use are nonporous and actually phthalate-free, washing them is enough to get them genuinely clean. Including the wipe is a nice gesture, but would be nicer if XRatedBaskets actually cared about your hygiene and health enough to send you toys that won’t cling onto your body’s bacteria and give you chemical burns inside your orifices.

If you want to get someone a fabulous gift box of sexy items but don’t want to spend a lot of money, you’re better off buying them stuff that isn’t for their genitals, since, as I’ve said, low-quality sex toys can cause all kinds of health problems. XRatedBaskets has an S&M Basket and a Massage Basket that mostly fit the bill: each contains at least one phthalate-ridden sex toy but mostly non-genital items.

But my honest recommendation is that you buy your amour just one or two really excellent toys instead of trying to get them a zillion things on a shoestring budget. An inexpensive body-safe vibrator and a bottle of good lube will run you less than $50 if you shop smart, and will result in more orgasms and fewer chemical burns than an $100+, jelly-laden gift set put together by a company.

 

This post was sponsored by XRatedBaskets, and as always, all writing and opinions are my own!

Review: Lelo Heaven Scent Pleasure Set

A Lelo candle and a Lelo vibrator, both purple

Lelo wants you to feel ashamed of your junk. There’s no other possible explanation for this abomination. You don’t create a scented vibrator unless you believe genitals are inherently smelly and gross. You just don’t. So that is what Lelo must believe. Or, at least, it is what they must want you to believe, so you’ll buy their products.

People were understandably upset when Lelo released their revamped Lily vibe with “aphrodisiac” scents in 2015. “Just what every girl wants: a vibrator that smells,” Twitter users deadpanned. “There’s still no credible scientific evidence that aphrodisiacs, y’know, work,” Diane Kelly pointed out. “JUST MAKE A FUCKING VIBRATOR, LELO,” Lilly begged.

Some concerns were reasonably aired about whether the toy’s fragrance is actually “body-safe” as Lelo claims. They posted a “how it’s made” blog post which explained the aroma comes from “scented pellets” mixed in with the regular plastic pellets that are melted down to make the Lily. They say the vibrator is “sealed and sterilized” in the final step of production, so theoretically the scent should be locked inside, rather than leaching out to fuck with your vulva’s pH. But I’d still hesitate to recommend this toy to anyone with infection-prone parts. (After all, Lelo is the same company that somehow claimed it’s a safety feature that you can’t tell when their condoms are punctured.)

Lelo sent me the Lily 2 as part of one of their special Valentine’s Day offerings, the Heaven Scent Pleasure Set. In addition to the vibrator, the set contains a scented candle – to continue the theme of “Let’s cover up your icky body smells with perfumey fragrances!!” – and a bottle of Lelo’s own lube. I’ll talk about each in turn.

a purple scented candleFirst, the candle – which is, admittedly, the main reason I requested this set over any of the other Valentine’s sets Lelo recently came out with. I am a bit of a scented-candle fiend; Bath & Body Works is a staple of my mall trips, and I’ve been known to stand around in shops inhaling deeply from candles long past when my friends would’ve liked to leave. My thought process was, “Well, it’s a Lelo set, so I probably won’t like most of what’s in it, but at least I’ll have a scented candle to enjoy.”

They kinda fucked up the candle too, though, because of course they did. It’s supposed to smell like “bordeaux and chocolat” (yes, chocolat, spelled the French way, as only über-pretentious Lelo would). To my nose, it smells more like artificial raspberry candy – which, fine, but I wouldn’t exactly describe that scent as an aphrodisiac. The wick on mine was also placed weirdly off-center, so that only about half of the wax actually got used, halving the burn-time of the candle. Boooo.

a bottle of Lelo lubeAs for the lube – Lelo makes a big bragadocious deal out of telling you their lube is paraben- and glycerine-free (great!), but it still contains propylene glycol, a known irritant that can cause vaginal infections. I will concede that the futuristic-lookin’ pump-top bottle thrills my inner fancyperson, and the lube sticks around pretty well and has a good consistency. But though the packaging claims this lube is fragrance-free, it smells like rubbing alcohol and tastes like bitter chemicals. And in this, 2017, the Year of Our Lord Sliquid, I should not have to use any lube that carries any risk of vaginal infection. Better options exist, and they don’t even taste gross.

Now onto the vibe itself. The Lily 2, I will admit, is a pretty awesome vibe. The motor is noticeably stronger than that in the previous iterations of this toy. It’s rumblier than your typical external vibe – not quite so rumbly as the Tango, say, but certainly closer to that end of the spectrum than many other clit vibes. My clitoris is a certified snob and I still find the Lily 2 plenty powerful and rumbly enough to get me off when combined with a great dildo.

The shape isn’t my favorite. When the tip of the toy is nestled on my clit the way I like it, the buttons are planted in my mons, so I have to lift up part of the vibe to change the speed (which I do a lot). However, that’s because I prefer to place vibrators on the shaft and hood of my clit, rather than the head; I’m sure there are plenty of people who will find the Lily’s shape more intuitive and comfortable. It certainly curves nicely against my body and gives me placement options both pinpointed and broad.

the purple Lelo Lily 2 vibrator on a turquoise background

I also like the Lily’s silky, matte plastic coating, its well-crafted and prettily-lit buttons, and the fact that it’s waterproof. It’s quiet, sturdy, locks for travel, and comes with a cute storage bag. There’s a lot to like about this vibrator, actually. Which is why it’s so disappointing and so typical that Lelo loused it up by adding a scent for no goddamn reason. (A scent which, by the way, I can barely smell when the toy is pressed against my nose, let alone when it’s pressed against my clit.)

There was a time when Lelo made consistently good, standard vibrators that everyone loved. But in recent years, they’ve gotten into a bad habit of adding offensive gimmicks to everything. They made a cock ring for bankers, a We-Vibe ripoff, a lacklustre cunnilingus simulator, a tuxedo for your dick. They made shitty, probably-unsafe condoms and hired known abuser Charlie Sheen as their spokesperson. In short, they’re a mess. Most of my blogger friends refuse to support them anymore, and I have to agree that I won’t feel right recommending Lelo to anyone unless and until they apologize for the Hex condoms and their various sexist missteps. On top of all this, it somehow makes me even angrier that Lelo had a perfectly fabulous clit vibe which they chose to taint by adding a gimmicky scent no one asked for.

If you want a great rechargeable clitoral vibrator, get a Tango, Lust L2, or Form 2. If you want some lube to use with it, pick up some Sliquid. If you want a scented candle, grab one by Jimmyjane. If you want to spend $129 (!) on a better Valentine’s Day gift than the Heaven Scent Pleasure Set, consider a night’s staycation at a local Airbnb, a big gift card to your sweetie’s favorite bookstore/makeup company/repertory theatre, or – hell – a Magic Wand Rechargeable. (Everyone needs one of those.)

But don’t give your money to Lelo, especially not for Valentine’s Day. There’s nothing less romantic than abusive spokespeople, bitter lube, and genital-shaming.

 

Disclosure notice: Lelo provided this product to me in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.

Review: Satisfyer Pro 2

the Satisfyer Pro 2 clit stimulator

“It’s like a blowjob for your clit.”

That was the buzz, back when suction-based toys like the Satisfyer and Womanizer first arrived on the market. It would be an understatement to say that my curiosity was piqued.

I love blowjobs. I love clit stimulation. I love clitoral suction, and think it is drastically underused and underestimated as a cunnilingus technique. And as a jaded old sex toy reviewer, I love toys that promise new, unique forms of pleasure (so long as they actually follow through on that promise). So, needless to say, I wanted – nay, needed – to put one of these toys on my genitals ASAP.

My pals at Peepshow sent me the Satisfyer Pro 2, a rose-gold little dynamo of a clit stimulator. Like the Womanizer and the other models of Satisfyer, this one produces a suction sensation via “pulsating air” inside its little silicone nozzle. You glom it onto your clit, turn it on, and it starts sucking away. Nifty.

The Satisfyer is absolutely a Womanizer ripoff, but here’s the thing: it’s better than the Womanizer. How much better? Let me count the ways… It’s a hell of a lot cheaper ($60 vs. $99–219). It’s far prettier (the rhinestoned, leopard-print Womanizer looks like it was designed for a bad Liberace impersonator in a porn parody). Its hourglassy shape feels more ergonomic in my hand. It has a wider variety of speeds (11 vs. 8). It’s waterproof. It’s not called the fucking Womanizer.

I also disliked the comparatively bigger jumps between speeds on my original Womanizer. The Satisfyer’s speeds ramp up more gradually, so I don’t encounter overstimulation or discomfort nearly as much. Considering that this type of toy is all about direct clitoral stimulation – which I normally find too intense – those tiny jumps between speeds are important. I can sometimes enjoy direct clit stim if it’s very gentle, the way the lower speeds on the Satisfyer are – but if, like my pal JoEllen, you categorically hate direct clit stim, you will hate both the Satisfyer and the Womanizer.

Some people say they find the suction sensation uncomfortable after a few minutes. It definitely engorges the clit, like a clit pump. I enjoy that feeling, but if that idea freaks you out – or if you’ve tried other types of suction toys and found them uncomfortable – then definitely skip these toys.

While I mostly like that suction sensation, it does get a little intense during orgasm. Someone once found my blog by Googling, “Is it normal for the Womanizer to cause orgasm so intense it is painful?” and yeah, that’s normal for the Satisfyer too. When I have an orgasm using a vibrator, I automatically readjust its position on my clit during and after that climax, to accommodate the hypersensitivity that occurs in those few seconds. No such jiggering can be done with the Satisfyer because it stays decidedly suckered onto my clit. Ergo, my orgasms with this toy are punctuated with a sharpness that borders on discomfort. It’s a sensation I semi-enjoy, in a kinky, forced-orgasm, be-a-good-girl-and-take-it sort of way, but I could see it being a dealbreaker for some folks.

the Satisfyer Pro 2 clit stimulator

Remember earlier, when I mentioned that the Satisfyer is waterproof? That’s important, and here’s why: that “pulsating air” technology does some truly cool shit underwater. It basically turns the toy into a little water-jet, as the air coming out of the nozzle sprays water directly onto your clit (or wherever you aim it). For me, this hearkens back to sodden trysts with bath faucets in the early days of my masturbatory career, so it’s a familiar and much-loved sensation. On especially sensitive days, I can get off from that minuscule spraying action alone.

That said, I have an all-time favorite way of using the Satisfyer. If you want to give it a shot, here is my formula for a truly excellent Satisfyer session, the Kate Sloan way…

Step 1: Get super, super, super high. Ideally on a sativa-dominant hybrid. Something zippy and sensual.

Step 2: Put on a long blowjob porn compilation video.

Step 3: Put the Satisfyer on your clit and turn it on.

The combination of weed hypersensitivity, hot-as-fuck BJ visuals, and a vaguely BJ-reminiscent sex toy is almost too much for my stoned brain to handle. It takes me a long time to get to orgasm this way, but once I get into a trippy blowjob-porn trance, I neither know nor care how long I’m jerking off for. The Satisfyer is magical for this purpose, I think partly because it feels so psychedelically different from any other clit toy I own (with the exception, of course, of the Womanizer).

For all these reasons and more, the Satisfyer – not the Womanizer – will be my pick from now on when I’m craving direct clit suction. But that’s not a thing I often crave. My ultra-sensitive clit prefers indirect stimulation, like a Magic Wand pressing through my leggings and underwear, or a Tango wedged against my clitoral shaft. Both Satisfyer and Womanizer brag about the quick and numerous orgasms they can wring out of you, but I find the opposite: my body’s so unaccustomed to the suction sensation that those orgasms take longer and are harder to achieve. They’re worth it, as they’re often more intense, but most of the time I still prefer sweeter, subtler sensations that get me off more easily and reliably.

Sometimes your clit just needs a blowjob, though.

 

Thank you so much to Peepshow Toys for sending me the Satisfyer Pro 2 to review!