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?

Review: Jimmyjane Little Chroma

The Jimmyjane Little Chroma is an old vibrator. It was designed and released years ago. Its technology is outdated, at least in the realm of luxury sex toys. And yet, when I was offered the Little Chroma to review, I wanted it. Because Jimmyjane’s marketing hustle is strong.

They made me want this vibe, with their talk of it being “everlasting” (they sell $20 replaceable motors for when the first one burns out) and “versatile” (yes, you can technically insert it in your vagina, though it’s only 2/3″ wide so I doubt you would) and “waterproof” (it isn’t really, but we’ll get to that). They make it sound damn enticing, like the best investment you could possibly make for your genitals. But the Little Chroma is all talk, no walk. It can’t live up to its hype.

First, the few good things about this toy: it’s made of aluminum, so it feels really smooth and sexy in the hand, and it holds temperature exceptionally well. It comes in cute colors like purple and black. It has a 3-year limited warranty. But… that’s about it. Everything else about it sucks.

Jimmyjane’s marketing for the Little Chroma is based on several lies-by-omission. I’ll list them for you here.

Lie #1: Vibrations. Jimmyjane’s website simply describes the toy’s vibrations as “strong-yet-silent.” What they don’t tell you is that this toy only has one speed. That’s right: unlike virtually every vibrator that sells for more than $15, the Little Chroma doesn’t offer you any options in terms of vibration strength. If you don’t like the one setting they supply you with, you’re fucked – and you probably won’t like it, because it’s as weak and buzzy as a typical bullet vibe.

In the instructional manual, Jimmyjane claims that the Little Chroma’s one speed is “the right speed” and that you can change how strong the vibrations feel by changing where you position the toy on your body. It’s true that the vibrations feel slightly stronger at the tip than on the shaft of the toy, but I only ever use the tip because even there the vibrations don’t feel strong enough. And yet somehow they make my fingers numb as I hold the toy. Ugh.

Using the Little Chroma takes me back to the days when I first started using vibrators – mostly cheap, battery-operated ones, because I was 16 – and I would go numb from the high-pitched vibrations within minutes. I would then have to physically rub the vibrator against myself in order to reach orgasm, and sometimes I wouldn’t even get off at all because there was no sensation left in my clit. Eventually I discovered rumblier vibes and found out that if a toy is good, you can usually just leave it in one spot and let it do the work for you. The Little Chroma does not fall into this definition of a good toy: it desensitizes me alarmingly fast, and I have to rub it up and down against my body to get anywhere close to an orgasm. This process also takes a lot longer than getting off with virtually any other toy.

Lie #2: Waterproof. With most waterproof toys, you can set them down on the side of the bathtub, settle into your bath, get comfy, and then grab your toy and have a nice orgasm with it. This isn’t possible with the Little Chroma, despite its claims of being waterproof.

See, the Little Chroma is only waterproof when the toy’s battery chamber is screwed shut – makes sense, right? – but when the battery chamber is screwed shut, the toy is on. There is no “off” button; you just unscrew the cap to turn it off. So when it’s off, it’s not waterproof – and when it’s waterproof, it’s always on. It has to be on the entire time you’re near water or you risk ruining your $125 toy. I cannot overemphasize how irritating this is.

Lie #3: Quiet. Don’t get me wrong – the Little Chroma is reasonably quiet when it’s actually in use. But when you’re twisting the cap (which, remember, is every time you want to turn the vibe on or off for any reason), it becomes loud, like a tiny little buzzsaw.

So picture this: your roommate comes home unexpectedly, or your mom suddenly knocks on your door while you’re masturbating, and you have to turn off your vibrator in a hurry. Not only does it take several seconds to twist the cap to the “off” position, but the vibrator also becomes weirdly loud while you’re doing this. If your intruder didn’t know you were masturbating before, they will certainly know when you slowly and loudly attempt to turn the toy off. Discreet? Nope. Not in the slightest.

Lie #4: Worth the price. The Little Chroma costs $125. You also have to pay for the AA batteries it uses, and an additional $20 for each additional replacement motor if the first one dies. For that much money, here’s what I think you ought to be able to expect from a vibrator: at least 5 speeds, rechargeability, full waterproofness, and easy orgasms. The Little Chroma delivers on none of these things.

True, the Little Chroma was designed at a time when expectations for luxury vibes weren’t really established yet and when consumers were still setting the bar pretty low for what a vibrator should do. But if we’re viewing this from a 2014 paradigm, the Little Chroma is a colossal waste of $125+. You’d be far better off spending that money on a Lelo Mia 2 (stronger, many more settings and speeds, rechargeable, waterproof) or a We-Vibe Tango (way stronger, 4 speeds, rechargeable, waterproof, super quiet) – hell, you could even get both of those, because even put together, they’re still only $25 more than the Little Chroma. And way, way, way better in every conceivable way.

Here’s what Jimmyjane should do: make the Little Chroma rechargeable, give it a much stronger and rumblier motor, turn its twist-off cap into a twist-dial speed controller, and make it actually waterproof. That could make it one of the best vibes on the market – but I doubt it’ll ever happen.

Review: Jimmyjane Form 4

I can’t even count the number of times that a toy ostensibly designed for penetration has ended up making friends with my clit. It’s not that I hate internal vibrations; I like ‘em when they’re rumbly. The problem is that most penetrative vibes seem to have been designed with no knowledge of how the vagina works at all.

The Jimmyjane Form 4 was sent to me by the lovely ladies at Sensual Intelligence, an eco-friendly, women-run, health-conscious retailer. (Y’all know I don’t normally make a hullaballoo about particular retailers, but a company with such great ethics is worth making an exception for, am I right?) While I do enjoy the Form 4 overall, it’s laughable that it’s been marketed as a penetrative vibe.

First off, it has no upward curve for accessing my G-spot, nor does it have the big, defined head that so many successful G-spot toys have. I can turn it around and use the larger end to penetrate myself, and indeed that feels better, but then the toy’s controls are inside my vagina – so it’s not really a workable solution.

The Form 4 is also too short to reach my anterior fornix unless I shove it all the way inside of me – which, once again, presents the problem of “How do I operate a toy whose controls are buried in my vag?”

As a clit vibe, the Form 4 does much better. Its motor is smartly located right in the tip of the toy where it ought to be, so my hand doesn’t get vibrated into numbness while I’m holding the vibe and my clit gets the brunt of the sensation. Its five speeds and three patterns are nicely varied. The vibrations are fairly buzzy, so I start to go numb if I use it for too long, but this can be remedied by using some of my usual techniques for dealing with overly buzzy vibes.

As for the vibration strength, it’s remarkable for a rechargeable, as per usual for Jimmyjane Form vibes. It’s in more-or-less the same range as the Lelo Siri and We-Vibe Tango, though it’s buzzier than both of them.

Like all the toys in the Form collection, the Form 4 charges by sitting upright in a dock. All the Form toys use the same dock, which is handy. This charging system feels futuristic and easy; I’m a fan.

The toy’s noise level is low-to-medium – it can be heard throughout the room it’s in, but not through a closed door. Annoyingly, it has a seam that wraps around its entire perimeter. The toy is waterproof, though being surrounded by bathwater dampens its vibrations somewhat.

Can you tell from this unimpassioned review that I feel pretty ambivalent about the Form 4? It works, it gets me off, it’s fine, but it doesn’t excite me. I don’t crave it; it’s not a go-to. When I want internal vibrations, I choose something rumbly instead, and when I want a clitoral orgasm, I grab something hella strong or wonderfully shaped or unusually stimulating. At $150 (depending on which retailer you get it from), the Form 4 seems overpriced for what it is: a dependable but ultimately boring clit vibe.

Sharing the Sexy #20

• Here’s a great essay about being intersex.

How to be an ally to your fat lover!

• This typography series by Sophia Wallace, Cliteracy, is fucking spot-on!

• Ever wondered how to recycle old sex toys? Now you know!

Jenna from silicone sex toy maker Tantus did an AMA on Reddit. Goooood readin’.

Lilly’s review of the Jimmyjane Hello Touch is way better than mine and contains lots of information that might be of interest to you.

• This asshole wants to start “Have Sex with an Ugly Person Day.”

• Metis Black explains how to spank. I’m reviewing one of Tantus’ new paddles soon and I’m so excited!

• Toronto-dwellers: have you got your Feminist Porn Awards ticket yet? (I’ll be at the conference. Let me know if you’re going and want to say hi!)

• Hugo Schwyzer says being pegged makes men better lovers and better feminists.

Review: Jimmyjane Hello Touch


I don’t know how to feel about Jimmyjane. Their Form 2 is one of my favorite vibrators ever, but I hated their Iconic Rabbit. I enjoy their elegant, minimalist designs and marketing, but at the same time, they can be really pretentious sometimes.

Their newest release is the Hello Touch, a duo of tiny vibrators that you strap onto your fingers and operate via a control panel embedded in an accompanying wristband. It pretty much straddles that line between Jimmyjane’s great qualities and its annoying ones.

This review is a hard one for me to write, because the Hello Touch is marketed as a couples’ toy, so both my opinion and my boyfriend’s should be reflected in the review – and we disagree on this toy.

I like the Hello Touch’s aesthetic – it reminds me of iPod earphones and those armbands that athletic folks tuck their iPods into – but my boyfriend says he thinks it’s ugly and tacky-looking.

The finger-bands fit my fingers fine, but on my boyfriend, they’re uncomfortably tight. His fingertips were literally purple after using the Hello Touch for 20 minutes or so, and I don’t think he has freakishly big hands for a man. (I don’t know what his ring size is, but mine is 6, if that helps you at all.)

Sorry to be the one to break it to you, but: the Hello Touch is not powerful. It’s marketed as being three times as strong as any other fingertip vibrator, and that may well be true, but fingertip vibrators are infamously weak. Furthermore, it has only one speed, which is a dealbreaker for many women – including me, usually.

The Hello Touch runs on two AAAA batteries (who the fuck has AAAA batteries just lying around their house, by the way? Not me!), but it’s not much stronger than your typical watch battery bullet. You have to keep in mind, though, that the Hello Touch is not the kind of vibrator you just set down on your clit and leave it there til you come; the vibrations are meant to enhance the stimulation already being provided by fingers, which explains why they’re not that strong on their own.

The wristband is comfortable, stretchy, and has a compartment for the vibrator’s battery pack, on which the on and off buttons are located. This would be a great design, except for the fact that the buttons are impossible to push through the fabric of the wristband. Seriously, you have to press down soooo hard to get the vibe to turn on – and I know it’s not just due to me being a weakling, because my boyfriend had the same trouble. Every time, we’ve had to take the battery pack out of the wristband compartment and turn it on that way, which ruins the intended convenience of the wristband system.

With all that said, though, I actually enjoy the way the Hello Touch feels. My boyfriend is great at fingering, but it’s not usually enough stimulation to get me off, so the vibrations are a welcome addition.

You can wear the little vibrators on your fingerpads for maximum power, or you can flip ‘em around to the backs of your fingers, so that your fingertips themselves will vibrate. I like that last way better, both when masturbating and when having my boyf use the toy on me. It just feels… cool.

My man feels very strongly that the Hello Touch messes up his fingering mojo. He says he can’t really feel what he’s doing when the vibrators are strapped to his fingers, both because of the physical presence of the vibrators and because his fingertips go numb within minutes. However, I never noticed his performance suffering from the Hello Touch getting in the way.

At $65, the Hello Touch is one of Jimmyjane’s cheaper offerings, but even that seems a bit steep for a one-speed fingertip vibrator. It offers some pleasant sensations and makes for fun partner play, but I don’t know if the pleasure it brings me is really worth that much.