Review: Jimmyjane Intro 2

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I don’t think you quite understand the incongruity of shitty sex toy company Pipedream having bought out luxury sex toy company Jimmyjane. This is like if McDonalds bought out the Rainbow Room and started selling a deep-fried, mystery-meat bastardization of their filet mignon. This is a strange thing. This is a thing that should not have been allowed. And yet, it happened.

The Jimmyjane Intro 2 is, essentially, a deep-fried mystery-meat filet mignon of a sex toy. Pipedream took the bare bones of one of my favorite clitoral vibrators – the Form 2 – and made it cheap, battery-powered, awkwardly large, and even buzzier than before.

The Form 2 fit in my hand perfectly: small, smart and spartan. The Intro 2 is like the large-print version of the same toy – it feels unnecessarily big, to the point that I am always aware I am holding a sex toy and the vibrations can’t just melt into the periphery of my perception. This might make it a better choice than the Form 2 for people who struggle with hand dexterity – but for me, it’s just annoying.

But my main issue with the Intro 2 is the vibrations. I mean, it’s a vibrator; that’s always going to be the make-or-break factor. The Form 2 was buzzy-ish to begin with – moreso, certainly, than other blogger-revered clit vibes like the Tango and Siri 2 – but it had a rumbly base note that endeared it to my clit. The Intro 2 lacks that rumbly foundation, and is all buzz. That’s great if you like that, but I don’t. It numbs me out within a couple of minutes, leaving me to grumble gripes like “My kingdom for an Eroscillator!” and “Nah, that’s cool, I didn’t want to be able to feel my genitals or anything.”

imageThe Intro 2 also lacks my absolute favorite thing about the Form 2: a setting where the vibrations moved quickly back and forth between the toy’s two “ears,” creating what Jimmyjane termed “sensation in stereo.” To me, this setting felt more like oral sex than other toys that actually try to mimic oral sex; the vibrations flippity-flopping from one ear to the other were like the side-to-side flicking of a firm tongue. This setting’s been phased out in the Intro 2, and it really bums me out.

And we need to talk about the one button on the Intro 2, because it makes me want to throw this vibrator into a fire. Whereas the Form 2 had an elegant three-button control system (up, down, and change mode), the Intro 2 only has one button, via which you are forced to cycle through its multiple modes and speeds one by one. If there’s a particular setting or speed you love and want to get back to, you have to get through all the other ones first. No vibrator should be designed this way. Give me intuitive vibrator design or give me death.

It is, in some sense, exciting that Pipedream is trying to make fancy-ass Jimmyjane toys more accessible to lower-income folks. Not everyone can afford to spend $80+ on a luxury vibrator, and I get that. But even at a low price point, there are options that far outperform this buzzy, cumbersome facsimile. If you want a decent, rumbly clit vibe for under $50, try the Jopen L2 or Sensuelle Point. If you can afford to save up for something pricier but really excellent, grab the Tango for $79 ($71 with my discount code GIRLY10); it’s rumblier and more intuitive than anything Jimmyjane’s ever made, pre- or post-Pipedream buyout.

Babes, your clit deserves better than the Intro 2. Just like Jimmyjane deserved better than to be bought and rebranded by a company like Pipedream. Give your clit a happier ending than Jimmyjane got, please.

Thanks to Peepshow for sending me this toy to try!

Review: Jimmyjane Iconic Wand

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It’s funny that Jimmyjane made a toy called the Iconic Wand when the sex toy world already has an iconic wand. It’s a bit like if Samsung launched a phone called the Iconic Smartphone (bonus points if it was formatted like “iConic”). Like, dude: you’re not fooling anyone.

But I should quit hatin’ on this toy, because it’s actually pretty decent.

My first exposure to the Iconic Wand was when JoEllen mentioned it while I was in Portland. She said that the controls were in an inconvenient place (which they are – more on that in a minute) but I was nonetheless intrigued by the wand’s beautifully simplistic look and its promise of “deep, rumbling vibrations.” So I asked Peepshow Toys to send me one to try, and they hooked me up, like the vibrator angels that they are.

Let’s get this out of the way: the Iconic Wand’s buttons are positioned so oddly that it seems like the toy wasn’t tested by humans prior to its release. Or at least, not by humans with normal wrists with bones and tendons. In order to switch the wand’s mode or speed one-handed, you have to hold it so far down the handle that you’re almost touching the head. Not ideal, Jimmyjane. The toy’s gently curved handle is otherwise very ergonomic and feels good in the hand; this vibe could’ve been improved substantially by just shifting the buttons a few inches up. But alas.

The controls themselves are easy to figure out. There’s a power button and a button that cycles through the wand’s modes and speeds. It has three solid speeds and four patterns, and while I don’t normally love patterns, these ones are kind of great: there’s not a lot of space in between pulses and escalations, so they can actually be a turn-on rather than a drag.

The vibrations are, as advertised, rumbly and strong. YAY. It’s damn impressive that Jimmyjane managed to pack such a punch into a toy that’s only about two-thirds the size of the Hitachi, especially given that Jimmyjane’s vibrations have historically erred on the side of buzzy and inconsistent.

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While I think the Iconic Wand’s vibrations are more than strong enough to give wonderful orgasms to most folks, it doesn’t work all that well for me, because of its shape. The top of the wand is completely rounded off, so I can’t tilt it for a more pinpointed sensation on my clit like I can with more angular wands. It delivers broad, all-over vulva stimulation, unless I use my other hand to hold my labia wide open – and who wants to do that when that hand could be operating a dildo instead?

The Iconic Wand also vibrates the fuck out of my hand no matter where I grip it. Grrr.

But, you know, it looks very pretty while it’s doing that.

I think the Iconic Wand is a marvelous choice if you want a super-powerful vibrator without the size or weight of a standard massager vibe. It’s elegant, waterproof (!!), has great speeds and patterns, and is possibly one of the best things Jimmyjane’s ever made. But if you need pinpoint stimulation or subtler vibrations, or if you have any wrist mobility issues at all, I would skip this one. After all, the Magic Wand Rechargeable is about $10 cheaper and it’s a tried-and-true classic – it is actually iconic, and for good reason.

Thanks so much to the good folks at Peepshow Toys for supplying me with this toy!

Monthly Favorites: Grey Glass & Fingerfucking

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You guys, August was such a weird/exciting month for me sexually. It was a bit of a whirlwind. Let’s identify some highlights…

Toys

• Surprise, surprise: my most-used toy of the month was the Fucking Sculptures G-Spoon. Or, as Luthvian aptly calls it, the “G-Swoon.” Nothing else feels quite like it, except maybe the fingers of a partner who knows exactly where my A-spot is and how to stimulate it. Holy fuck.

Peepshow Toys sent me the Jimmyjane Iconic Wand this month and I have been diggin’ it. It has its problems (hang tight for my review) but it feels Hitachi-esque without the Hitachi’s excess bulk or noise. A surprise smash!

• The Eroscillator could be on this list for literally any month of my sex toy reviewing career, because I got it when I started my blog and it’s been my right-hand man ever since. But I felt a renewed appreciation for it this month, when I used it in a partnered-sex situation for the first time in a long while. It still works really well in that context. (And, to the immense credit of the dude I was using it with: he already knew what it was, and was interested to feel how oscillations differ from vibrations. ♥)

 

Fantasy fodder

• In mid-August, I got finger-fucked so excellently that the memory proceeded to make me blush and giggle daily for the rest of the month. I had never really thought of finger-fucking as a particularly nuanced skill before, but hooooly shit, some people are ridiculously, brain-warpingly good at it.

• This Jake Peralta/Nick Miller crossover fanfic hasn’t even gotten sexy yet, but the very idea of that pairing entertained me in my carnal moments after reading it. (Let the record show that Bisexual Jake Peralta is canon, now and forever, amen.)

• I experimented this month with jerking off to non-sexual recordings of people who have attractive voices. (Mostly Benedict Cumberbatch reading poetry.) It didn’t really work. My mind got too wrapped up in the subject matter and I couldn’t focus enough to get off. Does this mean I don’t have a voice kink?

 

Sexcetera

• hahahaaaa I got laid for the first time in ~16 months. It was both a totally big deal and not a big deal at all, if you know what I mean, which is nice. (Just in time for my breakupiversary, too!)

• I attempted Tinder this month. It is kind of awful (for me, anyway). I have feelings about it. You will get to read ’em soon.

 

Femme stuff

• I am in talks with an Etsy seller to order a piece of vulva art-jewelry custom-made to look like my actual vulva. Obviously I am going to write all about it when the deal is done and the vulva-ring is on my finger!

• My new signature scent is Elizabeth & James Nirvana White. It is summery, feminine, and a little bit sexy (much like my previous, much-beloved, tragically-discontinued signature scent, Kate by Kate Moss). My bestie says it smells a bit like white wine, which might explain why I’m drawn to it…

NARS Audacious lipstick in “Charlotte” is the ideal cranberry red and you can’t convince me otherwise.

 

What were you obsessed with over the past month, my loves?

Vibrators For People Who Hate Vibrators

This post was inspired by a beautiful, sex-positive friend of mine, who… hates vibrators. She attended one of Betty Dodson’s Bodysex workshops, and of course, since I’m a huge sex toy geek, I asked her what she thought of the vibe Betty provides for workshop attendees (it’s the Mystic Wand, if you were wondering). My friend just shrugged and said, “I don’t like using a vibrator. It feels like having sex with a robot.”

I was slightly flabbergasted, but I shouldn’t have been. There are plenty of people who don’t like vibrators.

However, I think that at least some of those people’s aversion to vibes might be due to a fixable factor. So, with help from some folks on Twitter, I came up with this list of common reasons why someone might not enjoy using a vibrator, and I’ve provided possible solutions for each issue.

Important note: There are people for whom vibrators just don’t work, period. I’m not claiming that everyone can or should love vibrators. If other methods work for you, keep at ‘em and don’t let me rain on your parade! This post is for people who have been dissatisfied with vibrators in the past but are interested in giving them another shot.

Problem #1: Vibrators feel too weak, cause numbness, or make you itchy.

Solution: If you’ve felt this way about a vibrator, it was probably too buzzy, or didn’t have enough power, or both. I can see how this could be a huge deterrent, because it even deterred me! My first few vibrators were cheap and/or battery-powered, which are the types of vibes that tend to be buzziest and weakest, so I just thought vibrations felt only okay and caused fast numbness. Well, they don’t have to!

The opposite of buzzy is rumbly (at least, in vibrator-speak). Rumbly vibrations don’t typically cause the numbness that buzzy vibes can, nor will they make you itch. They also feel stronger because they penetrate deeper into the skin. If you have a clitoris, rumbly vibrations will stimulate the internal portion as well as the part on the surface, and many people find that sensation more pleasurable, myself included.

My all-time favorite rumbly vibrator is the We-Vibe Tango (here’s my review). It’s small, because it’s meant for clitoral stimulation, but what it lacks in size, it makes up for in ridiculously thuddy and yummy vibrations. If you want something you can use for penetration or clit stimulation, try the Lelo Mona 2; it’s not quite as rumbly as the Tango but it’s pretty close, plus it has a gorgeous and effective G-spot curve. If you want to try rumbly (and SUPER STRONG) vibrations on the cheap, seek out a Wahl 2-Speed at your local pharmacy – but keep in mind that it’s the jackhammer of vibrators, so you should probably use some kind of fabric barrier between your body and the toy, at least at first!

Problem #2: Vibrators feel too intense/strong/overwhelming.

Solution: I think the Hitachi Magic Wand is largely to blame for the commonness of this problem. So many people think it’s “the ultimate vibrator” because plenty of experienced vibrator users say that it is – but I am going to take a bold stance and declare that the Hitachi is not a good vibrator for beginners. Husbands, stop buying Hitachis for your vibrator-virgin wives! Please, for the love of all things holy and sexy!!

If you already have a vibrator that feels too strong for you and you don’t want to buy a different one, here are some suggestions. Try putting a fabric barrier between the vibrator and your body, like a folded washcloth or your underwear; this will dampen the sensations. Try starting off with the vibrator on your inner thighs or labia instead of putting it directly on your clit. If it’s a Hitachi, outfit it with an attachment like the G-Spotter, which will muffle and focus the sensations all at once.

If you think your current vibrator is hopelessly over-intense and you want to get another one, here are some you could try. Anything by Lelo will have multiple speeds (usually 10), starting very low and ending reasonably high, so you can control the power of the vibrations with much more precision; I recommend the Mona 2, Mia 2, or Siri. Lelo’s not in everyone’s price range, I know, so if you’re shopping for something cheaper, just make sure that it’s body-safe (probably made of silicone or hard plastic) and has multiple speeds. Something like the Bswish Bcute Classic or Turbo Glider would be great.

Problem #3: Vibrators are too loud, and it distracts you and/or arouses suspicion among your housemates/family.

Solution: You need a quieter vibrator, bro.

The aforementioned We-Vibe Tango and Lelo toys are very quiet. In general, you’re going to want to avoid anything battery-powered or electric; rechargeables are where it’s at.

Alternatively, you could muffle your loud vibrator with a blanket, or put some music on. But you’ve probably already thought of that.

Problem #4: Vibrators are awkward to use or hard to control.

Solution: Okay, first of all, let’s get this out of the way: sex toys are inherently foreign objects, so they will never feel quite as natural and intuitive as your own hands. You can get smoother at using them with practice, but they’re not really an extension of your body so they’re always going to feel more like tools than appendages. If you’re not cool with that, no worries; you don’t have to use sex toys. No one will force you.

But if you want to use a vibrator that’s as uncumbersome and unobtrusive as possible, you’re going to need something that is both ergonomic and super easy to control. I recommend one with easy up-and-down buttons, like the Lelo Siri, or a simple twist dial, like the Shane’s World Sparkle Vibe.

If your issue is that vibrators are hard to hold onto or slip out of your hand at crucial moments, try something with a looped handle, like the Lelo Alia, or a grippy plastic handle, like the Bodywand.

Problem #5: Your partner is threatened by sex toys, or you think they would be.

Solution: My first instinct in this situation is to tell you to “dump the motherfucker already,” but I realize that your partner’s insecurities may not bother you as much as they would bother me, and also that your partner’s insecurities may well be changeable and fixable. You deserve better than someone who wants to limit your pleasure, but I’m not gonna tell you how to live your life.

Insecure partners, especially those who are men, may have issues with realistic (i.e. penis-esque) toys that they would not have with less representational toys. If that’s the case, then of course I suggest getting a toy that looks nothing like a penis. Most Lelo toys look like tech implements from Planet Sophistication. Jimmyjane toys are also very design-y and often look more like coffee table decorations than sex toys, so maybe they’ll be less distressing to your partner than a 9-inch rubber dick.

That said, size can also be an issue for some partners, especially if they have concerns about their own penis size. In that case, I’d recommend something small and unintimidating, like the We-Vibe Tango or a hella basic Pocket Rocket.

If your partner worries that a sex toy will “replace” him or her, you may be able to quell that fear by using the sex toy with them, having them use it on you, or getting a toy like the We-Vibe that is specifically made to be used by couples.

Problem #6: Vibrators feel too impersonal/inhuman, or don’t feel like “the real thing.”

Solution: The obvious solution is to incorporate vibrators as part of “the real thing.” Trust me when I say that the combination of a vibrator and a human partner can be explosively terrific. I hate the narrative of vibrators being some sort of replacement for a partner, because I think they work best when paired together!

If you don’t have a partner at the moment, but still want a “real”-feeling experience, you could try a realistic dildo like the VixSkin Mustang. (I know, it’s not a vibrator, and this is an article about vibrators. But people don’t vibrate, so the most “realistic” toys will be ones that don’t vibrate either!) I am also a fan of the Stronic Eins, which thrusts back and forth – like a real penis, only faster and more consistent.

There are a few cunnilingus simulators on the market. I haven’t found one that I’m really happy with yet, but you might like them. The main ones are the Sqweel 2, Sqweel Go, Je Joue SaSi, and Lelo Ora. Some people (myself included) also say that the back-and-forth oscillation mode on the Jimmyjane Form 2 feels like a flicking tongue. If you choose to buy a toy that’s meant to mimic oral sex, definitely pick up some lube, too – oral lovin’ is nothing without lubrication!

Do you know anyone who hates vibrators? Why do they feel that way? Have you ever overcome your vibrator hatred? How did you do it?

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?