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?

Review: Leaf Spirit

Leaf is a company that tries desperately to market their toys as eco-friendly. First of all, they’re green, which looks cute as hell but doesn’t actually change their ecological footprint as far as I’m aware. Secondly, they’re rechargeable… like many, many other toys out there. And thirdly, they have a couple of other nice environmentally-conscious touches, like post-consumer recycled packaging and a natural canvas storage bag. If you’re eco-conscious, these vibes might appeal to you, but there’s really not that much setting them apart from any other rechargeable vibrator.

The one I chose, the Leaf Spirit, has a divine shape, which is what drew me to it. It’s tiny, curves to fit easily against my vulval mound, and has a gently pointed tip that my clit loves. It’s the kind of vibe that works well for use during missionary-style sex, because it fits so perfectly between bodies.

Aside from that, though, there isn’t much to love about the Spirit. Its motor, in particular, is hugely disappointing to me. At its highest speed, I’d say it’s comparable with the middle speeds of the Lelo Siri or maybe the lowest speed of the We-Vibe Tango. Translation: this is not for clits-o’-steel or even clits-o’-calcite.

Don’t get me wrong – the vibrations of the Spirit are nice (not so buzzy as to be numbing, yay!), they’re just not quite strong enough for me. If you find yourself staying on the low-to-middling speeds of your current vibrator (assuming it’s not the Hitachi or the Wahl, of course) then you might enjoy Leaf toys. I was able to reach orgasm with my Spirit once, but it took a long time and I had to pair it with a great G-spot dildo, which wouldn’t have been necessary with a vibe of passable strength.

The way the Spirit’s speed-changing mechanism works is kind of cool, if perhaps foreign to most toy users. You press its one button once to turn it on, and then hold it down any time you want to turn up the power. At any time, you can press it once to turn it off. This can be frustrating if you’re extremely accustomed to a different system, but I found it wasn’t that hard to get used to.

The Spirit has the added benefits of being waterproof and quiet, though I have to qualify that even if those are important criteria for you, the We-Vibe Tango is still better.

At about $120 depending on the store, the Leaf Spirit is ridiculously overpriced for a toy that really doesn’t deliver in the vibrations department. But if your clit is ultra-sensitive and you dig the sweet green aesthetic of Leaf toys, you might not be as disappointed as I was.