Imagine you met a guy at a party and, after a few minutes of cordial conversation, he kept loudly insisting on his brilliance as a cunnilinguist. “I have a supremely talented mouth. I can get anyone off,” he would sneer, with just enough enthusiasm that maybe you’d believe him a little bit, especially if it was late and you were a bit intoxicated and perhaps it had been a good while since anyone had even attempted to get you off.
Imagine, then, that you took him back to your place, removed your clothes, and set him loose on your junk so he could prove his claim. And he then proceeded to blow raspberries all over your vulva – making a loud and ridiculous noise, barely even grazing your clit, and certainly not getting you off. Imagine how you would laugh, as he continued to smile up at you in that unwarranted cocky manner.
This is more-or-less how I feel about the Hot Octopuss Queen Bee. It makes a whole lot of claims it cannot support. And, to add insult to injury, it makes a noise the likes of which cannot be ignored.
The Queen Bee is a new clitoral stimulator roughly the shape and size of a hairbrush. It uses “PulsePlate technology,” whereby the one of the flat sides of the “hairbrush” pounds in and out quickly, creating oscillation rather than vibration. “Although oscillators are commonplace in the medical world, Hot Octopuss is the first to bring this technology to the sex toy market,” the company’s website brags, though this flat-out isn’t true; the Eroscillator has been doing the oscillation thing, and much more effectively, for many years.
Oscillation’s claim to fame is that it supposedly produces deeper, stronger orgasms than vibration, and doesn’t tend to cause desensitization the way vibrations sometimes can. These claims, in my experience, are true of the Eroscillator – the orgasms I have with it are legitimately like nothing else I’ve felt – but with the Queen Bee, not so much. Its PulsePlate is too broad for me, kissing my entire vulva rather than zeroing in on my clit – and while I sometimes enjoy this broadness with, say, a wand vibrator, it doesn’t work so well on an oscillating toy. I have to focus hard to even detect that my clit is being stimulated. I would imagine this would be doubly true for folks with smaller clits and/or fleshier labia than mine.
This problem is exacerbated by the fact that the Queen Bee’s oscillation significantly slows and weakens as soon as any pressure is applied to the toy. I’m used to this with my Eroscillator: I tend to press it against my body early in a session and then ease up as I continue, allowing it to oscillate more intensely when I’m ready for that. But the oscillations in the Queen Bee are dampened to an almost laughable degree when the toy encounters any pressure. Unless you like holding your sex toys so they only graze your junk with the most feather-light touch, you probably won’t get much out of the Queen Bee.
On top of all that, this toy makes an egregious, unforgivable amount of noise. It’s so loud, I hesitate to use it past 9PM lest I wake my neighbors. It’s so loud, I can’t bring myself to use it when my roommate is home, even if she’s across the apartment listening to Beyoncé at full blast. It’s so loud, I have to turn the volume on my porn way up while I’m masturbating with it, or else wear noise-canceling headphones. It’s so loud, I can’t imagine using it with a partner without both of us dissolving into intractable giggles. It’s so loud, turning it on for even a few seconds makes me feel embarrassed to exist.
Are you getting the picture yet? The Queen Bee is very fucking loud. And it’s not an inoffensive, vague whirring either. It’s a rhythmic, mechanical pounding that seems to scream, “I am using a VIBRATOR!!!” I am reminded of a prank my dad once pulled at his office where he emailed a surreptitiously-named MP3 to some colleagues which, when they opened it, shouted through their speakers, “Hey, everybody; I’m watching PORNO in here!!” The Queen Bee rivals that for its embarrassment-to-amusement ratio.
I have more complaints about the Queen Bee. The buttons that are difficult to locate and press in a hurry. The unnecessarily gendered name and marketing. The claim that the non-pulsating side of the toy is in fact a feature, ideal for “gentle warm-up massage,” rather than the equivalent of holding the handle of a wand vibe against your clit for shits and giggles. But really, my main sources of beef with this toy are its false claims of originality, its tendency to give up the ghost under pressure, and that godawful, inexcusable noise.
If I wanted to eke an orgasm out of something that neither lived up to its ostentatious claims nor complied with noise bylaws, I’d just fuck that guy from the party whose loud and ineffectual cunnilingus was his proudest achievement.