Review: Fun Factory Laya II

How does that saying go? “Be careful what you wish for; you might get a less-good version of it”? Yeah, something like that.

I tried the battery-powered Fun Factory LayaSpot back in 2013. In my review, I wrote: “The vibrations are too weak and surfacey to get me off… I really wish they would overhaul this vibe as a rechargeable, because I would buy the shit out of that.” Lo and behold, four years later, Fun Factory came out with the Laya II, a rechargeable upgrade on the LayaSpot.

This new model has the exact same shape and dimensions as its predecessor, so devotees of the classic will dig it. The Layas’ shape is one of the things I like best about them: the rounded tip can dig into my clit with the moderate pressure I like, and is broad enough to cover the whole head of my clit but pinpoint enough to stimulate only where I want it. It feels comfortable in my hand, which wraps around it ergonomically such that my index finger can rest over the controls. It’s really quite a well-designed vibrator, shape-wise.

Motor-wise, though, not so much. The reason I wanted a rechargeable version of this toy is that Fun Factory is known for their fantastic rechargeable motors. Their other rechargeables, like the G4 Patchy Paul and G5 Big Boss, are remarkably strong and rumbly – but they’re all big enough to be used internally, and I wanted a li’l clitoral vibe, since I use vibrators externally almost exclusively. The Laya II does not have the signature bomb-ass Fun Factory motor; it has, instead, something weaker, buzzier, and disappointing.

It’s possible they did this because of size constraints – you can’t fit the same mechanics into something little like the Laya II that you could fit into a bigger, penetrative vibe – but other companies have managed to make powerful, rumbly clit vibes. (The We-Vibe Tango, VeDO Bam, and Swan Wand Mini come to mind.) I believed that if anyone could make the next truly great clit vibe, the one that would rival the Tango at long last, it would be Fun Factory. I’m kind of bummed that that isn’t the case.

Don’t get me wrong: the Laya II’s motor is fine. It can get me off. I’d rate it as a 6 out of 10 on the buzzy-to-rumbly scale – not awful, but not my favorite. And any level of buzziness grates on me these days, frankly. Like my friend Epiphora says about rumbly vibes: “My clit perks up, longing for orgasm, becoming an active participant in the process. Using a buzzier vibe, my arousal level is more stagnant, less dynamic, and the masturbatory experience is just not as fun.” The Laya II’s vibrations feel great for a couple minutes, but then their buzziness numbs my clit, so I have to move the vibe around, thrust my accompanying dildo faster, and/or crank the power. That buzzy quality would be understandable in a $50 battery-operated vibe like the LayaSpot; it’s less reasonable in a $120 rechargeable like the Laya II.

These vibrations are also loud. They make a high-pitched, jangly clattering noise that reminds me simultaneously of bees and snakes. And they numb my hand. Like it’s been stung and/or bitten by a bee and/or a snake.

To add insult to injury, the Laya II has a super unintuitive controls scheme whereby hitting the “plus” button again after the third steady speed turns the toy to a vibration pattern. This has tripped me up multiple times: I keep thinking I can increase the vibration speed further (because my clit’s so numb that I need mega-powered vibrations at that point), but then accidentally switching to a pattern and fucking up my impending orgasm. Aaaargh!

It’s just so frustrating that Fun Factory put such a sad motor in a toy as otherwise lovely as the Laya II. It makes me want to crack this vibe open and replace its motor with one from the We-Vibe Tango. You know, if I knew a damn thing about electronics and could do that. Which, alas, I don’t and can’t.

 

Thank you so much to Fun Factory for sending me this toy to review! You can shop their toys at SheVibe, Peepshow, and Come As You Are.

Dildoface: Rainbow Amor

Dildoface: Rainbow Amor from Girly Juice on Vimeo.

Pride is one of my favorite dress-up occasions of the whole year. It’s common to see Pride spectators and participants wearing eye-gougingly bright colors, over-the-top kinky ensembles, or sometimes nothing at all. For a fan of the outrageous, it’s a beautiful time to be alive!

Inspired by Pride weekend here in Toronto, I decided to make a video. It’s the first in what’ll hopefully be a series of DILDO-INSPIRED MAKEUP TUTORIALS! (How did I never think of this before?!)

In this video, I show you how to do an obnoxiously bright rainbow eye look, inspired by the Fun Factory Rainbow Amor. It’s one of the cutest dildos in my collection, and even featured prominently in a strap-on selfie I took this morning. What better dildo to evoke an eyeshadow look?

If you want an Amor of your very own, you can get one at SheVibe. The rainbow version has been discontinued (boo!), but you can still get one in pink, orange, or black. Adorbz!

Let me know what you think of Dildoface: should I do more videos like this? What dildos from my collection would make for good makeup muses? I’m all ears!

Sex Toys for Canadians

Sometimes it feels like, when you live outside of the USA, you get the short end of the stick in terms of being able to buy stuff. Imported American products are usually more expensive here in Canadaland, plus you have to pay shipping fees that are sometimes exorbitant. No thank you!

Fortunately, there are some great retailers who provide toys to us northern folk without ridiculously overcharging us or obligating us to pay staggering import duties. Here are some of my faves…

Sex Toys Canada was one of the very first retailers to send me stuff to review, so they hold a special place in my heart. (I’m also the main writer on their blog!) They’re based in Montreal, so if you live in the easterly part of Canada, orders will get to you especially fast.

They’re always having excellent sales and deals; check their homepage for any current discount codes. They also have a sale section that’s full of amazingly cheap stuff.

PinkCherry.ca is another one of my Canadian faves. They’re located in Mississauga (or thereabouts – I’m not actually sure) so if you live in Toronto or the GTA, you’ll get your order very quickly. Mine always arrive within 2 business days, which makes me really happy – (almost) instant gratification!

Check their homepage and/or subscribe to their mailing list for updates on current deals and sales. A word to the wise: they have some of the lowest prices in the biz on Njoy toys; you can get the legendary Pure Wand or my all-time favorite butt plug for lower prices than I’ve seen anywhere else. Put some steel in yo’ holes!

Sensual Intelligence is committed to only stocking toys that are body-safe and eco-friendly. Not many companies have that much integrity so I really respect them for making that choice.

They have many of the high-end, luxury sex toys that would be prohibitively expensive to ship from the U.S., like the Stronic Drei, Form 2, and Jopen Lust.

Fellow Canadians, where do you get your sex toys?

Sex Toys I Want to See in 2014

I haven’t been reeeeally excited about a new sex toy since the Jopen Key Comet Wand. 2013 was mostly a year of mediocre releases in the sex toy industry.

I want 2014 to be different! Here’s what I’d like to see happen in the industry this year…

New Njoy stuff. I’m obsessed with both my Pure Plugs, I am never disappointed by the mighty Pure Wand, and I think my Fun Wand is beautiful even though I don’t use it very much. There are still a few toys in the Njoy catalogue I haven’t tried yet – the small Pure Plug, Pfun, Pure Plug 2.0, and colossal Eleven – but none of those really strike my fancy. What I want is for Njoy to release a new toy, ideally something that innovates G-spot stimulation like the Pure Wand did. I feel like I’ve been hearing rumors for years that Njoy is working on something new, but I haven’t seen any proof of that yet.

Back to basics with Lelo. As Epiphora recently observed, Lelo does their best work when they’re keeping things simple, i.e. not messing around with the weird technologies they insist on implementing in their Insignia line. It’s infuriating that Lelo bothers with stuff like rotating Kegel balls, awkward couples’ vibes, and poorly-designed remotes when we know that they are capable of true greatness. Their basic vibrators (no bells, no whistles) transcend basic-ness and become reliable toybox workhorses. Please, Lelo, for the love of all things pleasurable and fun, quit with the “technological innovations” and go back to doing what you do best: toys that vibrate and feel good.

A new Fun Factory clit vibe. Fun Factory’s been coming out with insertable toys left and right lately – most notably, their Stronic pulsators – but it’s been a loooong time since they’ve released something just for clits. In 2013 I reviewed their ancient LayaSpot and implored them to rehaul it and re-release it as a rechargeable vibe with their signature super-rumbly motor, because, holy shit, that would make my clit so so happy. I could finally stop using my trusty Patchy Paul on my clit all the time.

Better rechargeables from Jimmyjane. C’mon, Jimmyjane, I believe in you! Your Form 4 may be too buzzy, your Form 2 may be glitchy, your Hello Touch may be an awkward attempt at innovation, and your Little Chroma may make me want to throw it across the room every time I use it, but I know you can do better. Your toys are beautiful and classy; they just don’t have the oomph to bring it home. Design a rumblier motor, hone it til it’s glitch-free, and release something amazing. I know you can do it!

Smaller O2 dildos from Tantus. I love my Cush and Adam, but sometimes my vag just isn’t up to such girthy toys. I know I’m not alone in thinking that Tantus should fill out the smaller end of the size spectrum of their O2 line. (There used to be a smaller O2 dildo called the Niagara which apparently sold so badly that it had to be discontinued… so that’s not exactly encouraging.)

What sex toys do you hope to see in 2014?

The Best and Worst Toys of 2013

It’s that time, folks! Here are my favorite and least favorite toys I reviewed this year (some of which actually launched this year, some of which didn’t)…

Best G-spot dildo: Without a doubt, the Jopen Key Comet Wand. This silicone/glass hybrid launched early in the year and knocked the socks off most sex toy reviewers who tried it, myself included. It produces shockingly intense G-spot sensations and looks gorgeous all the while. (Available at PinkCherry, Sex Toys Canada, and Early to Bed.)

Best glass dildo: The SSA Glass Royal Adventure. Glass toys can be hit-or-miss, because a shitty design can make for a very uncomfortable or even painful toy – but the Royal Adventure suffers from none of these issues. Its corkscrew-like texture massages my vaginal walls and its slightly bulging head feels lovely on my G-spot. (Sadly no longer available; these are similar: Icicles no. 5, Mr. Swirly, Pink Swirled Delight.)

Best realistic dildo: The VixSkin Maverick. I finally got around to trying this one after worrying for months about whether or not my vagina would be able to accommodate it, and I surprised myself with my vaginal proficiency! The Maverick is an ultra-satisfying monster of a dildo, with a G-spot-pleasing mega-sized coronal ridge. It wears well in a harness, too! (Available at Lovehoney.)

Best vibrator: The Lelo Mona 2. I haven’t reviewed this one yet, but it was, without a doubt, the best vibrator of the year. Strong, rumbly, rechargeable, waterproof, quiet, versatile, elegant, and ergonomic. If you can only afford one vibrator, get this one. (Available at PinkCherry, Sex Toys Canada, and Lovehoney.)

Best sex toy innovation: The Fun Factory Stronic Eins. There are no other toys on the market that pulsate like the Stronic line, though I’m sure there will be by this time next year, given the success of these toys. The Stronic Eins is the ultimate in lazy masturbation and is a dream come true for folks who fantasize about PIV sex. And it comes in an obnoxiously bright pink hue. (Available at Sex Toys Canada, Early to Bed and Lovehoney.)

Best kink implement: The Tantus silicone paddles. My favorite is the Wham Bam but you’ll get a rollicking good time out of any one of them. (Available at Tantus, PinkCherry and Lovehoney.)

Worst dildo: Indubitably the Joyful Pleasures Joyful Plant. I requested it knowing I wouldn’t like it, and naturally, I didn’t. I mean, it’s shaped like a tiny eggplant. At least now I have a cool story to tell when people ask me about the weirdest toy I’ve ever reviewed. (No longer available; try the rest of the Joyful Pleasures line at PinkCherry.)

Worst vibrator: It was a bad year for vibrators. Very few high-end (i.e. body-safe and rechargeable or electric) vibes launched, and those that did were mostly shitty. But the ones I hated most out of all the vibes I reviewed this year were the Leaf Spirit and Fun Factory LayaSpot. They were too weak to get me off, and I didn’t like their color schemes much either. (Leaf Spirit available at Sex Toys Canada. Fun Factory LayaSpot available at Sex Toys Canada and Lovehoney.)

Worst butt toy: The Something Forbidden plug. Literally one of the worst toys I have ever reviewed, in terms of safety and design. My butt still fears it. (Available at PinkCherry and Lovehoney.)

Worst sex toy innovation: Another one I haven’t reviewed yet – the Lelo Ida. You’ll have to wait for my full review to come out, but for now, just know that I literally screamed in pain the first time I used it. (Available at PinkCherry and Sex Toys Canada.)

Worst kink implement: The Sportsheets Doggie-Style Strap. I’m sure it would be useful for some folks, but my boyfriend and I got no benefit out of it whatsoever. I might try to work it into a future outfit as a pink cummerbund. (Available at PinkCherry and Sex Toys Canada.)

Aaaand that’s a wrap! I’m going to take a little blogging break until the new year, methinks – and then I’ll be back with more sex toy reviews and sexual musings in 2014!

What were your favorite (and least favorite) toys of the year? What do you hope to see next year?