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: Pipedream Ceramix No. 1

I really wanted to like the Pipedream Ceramix No. 1, because it’s hard not to like a butt plug that looks like a toadstool from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. I am all about that Lewis Carroll aesthetic – but this plug just doesn’t work for my body.

The Ceramix line is a step forward for Pipedream: it’s a whole series of toys made of a somewhat innovative, body-safe material (ceramic, bien sûr!). I think the only ceramic toy I’d tried prior to this one is the Pleasure dildo by Duncan Charles Designs, and while I really liked it, the company’s website is down and the toy doesn’t seem to be available anywhere online anymore, to my knowledge. So it’s nice to see more ceramic options on the market.

Ceramic is a groovy material for sex toys. It has the firmness and temperature-play capabilities of glass or steel, but it’s relatively light compared to those two. It’s smooth to the touch and feels luxurious but is often pretty affordable. And of course, it’s non-porous and phthalate-free. Score!

When I looked at pictures of the No. 1 plug, I thought that the white spots would be raised bumps, which seemed potentially painful to me. But nope – they’re just dots that are painted onto the surface of the toy and imperceptible to the touch. That was a definite plus for me, but if you’re looking for mega texture, you’ll want to look elsewhere. (I recommend the Tantus Twist!)

The No. 1 is girthy, at 1.75" in diameter. It’s also short (3" insertable). This combination can be dangerous if you don’t warm yourself up properly, because the slope from the tip of the toy to its widest point is steep and sudden, or at least it certainly feels that way in use. I didn’t always practice responsible warm-up protocol when using this toy and insertion was sometimes painful as a result. Learn from my mistakes!

It’s a relief when you finally get the toy all the way in, because the discomfort of insertion goes away, but then the discomfort of actually wearing the toy kicks in. The base is round and digs into my asscheeks (y’all know how I love thatnot!) and the business end of the plug seems to stretch my ass uncomfortably no matter how much lube I use or how slow I go. I know some folks are into that stretching sensation, or might even enjoy buttcheek pain, but… I really, really don’t like those feelings. There were many times during my testing process when I’d literally squirm and writhe around while using this plug because I just couldn’t get comfortable, and wanted to yank the plug out ASAP.

So, while I really like how the Ceramix No. 1 looks when it’s sitting on my desk, and while I appreciate that Pipedream is trying to do something unique with its Ceramix line, I just can’t get on board with this plug. It causes me all sorts of aches and pains and is too girthy for my tastes.

Thanks to Pipedream and PinkCherry for the toy!

Review: Pipedream Metal Worx XL Luv Plug

I loooove steel; it’s indubitably my favorite material for anal toys in particular. But there are some things you gotta know before you think about investing in a steel butt plug.

1. They’re probably not a great idea if you’ve never engaged in any kind of anal play before, because they’re heavy and immediately very noticeable. You might find the sensation a bit overwhelming; it’s like diving into the deep end without any swimming lessons. Try something small and silicone first.

2. They work with any lube, so use what you like. However, my across-the-board policy on anal lube is that I use exclusively thick, gel-like, water-based ones. I have yet to find a silicone-based lube thick enough to work for my butt, and despite the generalization that water-based lubes tend to evaporate quicker than other kinds, I find that types with a gel consistency last seemingly forever – or at least, long enough for me to get my butt jollies and then pop the plug out pain-free.

3. Be extra cautious when carrying or washing a steel plug, because it is bound to be HEAVY and you can do some serious damage with it if you’re reckless or careless. Don’t drop it in the sink, or you risk cracking your ceramic. Don’t drop it on your toes, or you risk cracking your bones. To quote Mad-Eye Moody: “CONSTANT VIGILANCE!”

4. Steel plugs must, must, must be designed ergonomically for the body, or they will be uncomfortable at best and agonizing at worst. Read reviews (like this one!) to get a good sense – though not a perfect sense, because everyone’s body is different – of whether the toy you’re thinking about buying is actually butt-friendly, comfortable, and seems to have been tested by actual humans at some point during the production process.

I was sent the Metal Worx XL Luv Plug and it’s okay but I have some quibbles about it. My butt has been spoiled by the best steel plugs in existence, the Njoy Pure Plugs, so my standards for steel plugs are high, but maybe that’s a good thing.

I just drafted a whole paragraph about how this plug is supposedly “extra-large” but isn’t actually that big, and how I suspected that the measurements on the product page must be inflated. But then I got out my tape measure, just to make sure, and apparently this thing actually is TWO INCHES in diameter, like it says it is. Holy shit. My vagina can’t even handle two inches of steel, let alone my ass. How is this witchcraft possible?! I guess the shape is so nicely tapered that it lets my butt smoothly transition from tiny tip to wide-ass middle. There is sometimes a little pain or discomfort if I don’t warm up properly by using a smaller plug for a while first, but it’s not too bad. (Definitely start with something smaller if you’re new to anal play, though. The Mini Luv Plug, for example.)

Basically all my problems with this plug are with its lower half, i.e. the neck and base. The upper half is fine – great, even. Properly sized, comfortably tapered, pleasantly heavy. Just fabulous, really.

But the neck… It strikes me as being too thin, even considering that butt plug necks are supposed to be thin to make the plug more comfortable and help it stay in better. This neck just feels so thin that it’s like I can hardly tell there’s even a plug inside me, once it’s fully inserted. It makes me wish I had just a little more girth to clench around. When I masturbate with a butt plug in (which I don’t do very often, but still), I like to have some sense that there’s something in my ass so I can imagine I’m being butt-fucked; this one feels almost imperceptible when it’s in because the neck puts no pressure or weight on the opening of my ass at all.

The base is the worst. It’s one of those terrible round bases that seems to have been designed by someone with no knowledge of the existence of buttcheeks. I can wear this plug comfortably if I’m lying down spread-eagled and my cheeks are wide apart (how d’you like that image?!) but if I’m walking, sitting, or doing normal human things, the (SHARP) edges of the base start to dig into my chubby butt. That feeling is about as far removed from “sexy” as I can imagine.

My other problem with the base is the sparkly clear crystal on the bottom. It’s very pretty, definitely an appreciated aesthetic touch, but it’s poorly designed. The middle of it is flat but the edges slope upward, so that if the toy is jostled at all while standing on its base, it tips over, usually resulting in it falling onto some part of my body in a painful way or rolling off my desk. Maybe other people don’t care about this, but dammit, I think a toy should be able to stand up on its own. If you can’t display it or stand it at the ready next to your bed, then what’s the point?!

I might recommend this plug if it were cheaper (as many Pipedream toys are), but it sells for $63 or more, depending on where you get it. For that price, you could have your pick of the small or medium Pure Plug, or spend just a little more and get the large. The Pure Plugs have a way better design than the Luv Plug, in that they feel super comfortable the entire time you’re wearing them, and they stay put when you put ‘em somewhere, whether that “somewhere” is your butt or your bedside table. You can also really feel them when they’re in – in a very, very good way.

It’s hard to go wrong with a steel plug, but the XL Luv Plug just doesn’t get it quite right. Better luck next time, Pipedream.

This toy was sent to me courtesy of Pipedream and PinkCherry. Thanks, babes!

Review: Pipedream Icicles no. 53

A dildo doesn’t always have to be groundbreaking or unique to be good. Sometimes it can just be a standard, get-‘er-done, regular old dildo that just gets it right. The Icicles #53 is one of those dildos: not fancy, just good.

I’ve tried toys from the Icicles line before, to varying degrees of success. #26 hurt my butt; #2 was satisfactory, but when I gave it away to a friend, she accidentally dropped it and it broke into two jagged pieces; #24 is legitimately unique and one of the prettier pieces in my collection; #6 was a fun adventure in texture. Overall the quality of the Icicles line is only so-so; I’ve seen other reviewers say that the color flaked off of theirs, for example. However, I think the line is a good, relatively low-cost option if you want to expand your collection of glass toys – just stick to designs that have minimal coloring and no thin/breakable-looking bits, and you should be alright.

I actually requested a different Icicles toy but got sent the #53 instead – which is fine, as I’m sometimes pleasantly surprised when I try the random things companies choose for me. This was one of those cases.

#53 is an all-glass dildo with 6.5” of insertable length and a diameter of 1.4”. It has the most subtle curve of any dildo I’ve ever seen – so subtle that I occasionally have to take the toy out of my vag, make sure the curve is oriented the way it’s supposed to be, and then re-insert it. The head of the toy is defined and penis-like, which I am totally into.

There’s a very subtle, pale pink corkscrew-like texture that covers the whole shaft of the toy below the head, but this pattern feels so meek in comparison to the bulging head that I can’t even feel it. If you like a lot of texture, look elsewhere (the aforementioned Icicles #6 is great for this).

The main reason I’ve been using the fuck out of this dildo recently is that it’s weirdly good at finding and stimulating my A-spot. The gentle curve and tapered head make this possible, along with the just-right length of the toy. It does absolutely nothing for my G-spot – the curve isn’t intense enough for that – but my anterior fornix is getting a whole lotta lovin’.

That said, if you’re not into A-spot stimulation and you’ve ever tried a glass toy before, I think you’d be really bored by this toy. Like I said, it’s nothing fancy. It’s a pretty standard glass dildo, at a size that’s slightly below average on the dildo spectrum. There are lots more interesting-looking toys in the Icicles line, and there are other companies doing cool things with glass too.

This lovely toy was provided to me courtesy of Pipedream and PinkCherry. Thanks, babes!

Review: Icicles no. 6

Glass toys are such a weird change from other materials when you haven’t used one before, or when (like me) it’s been a while since you’ve used one. They can feel unyielding and uncomfortable, like they’re infiltrating your insides instead of gently slipping into you.

I had that experience with the Icicles no. 6 initially: it awkwardly pressed my NuvaRing into my vaginal wall, bumped my cervix constantly, and generally felt like a bit of an assault.

However, then I had the bright idea to get turned on first. I had forgotten how important this is when using glass toys, or any other kind of super-firm toy. Especially for those of us who, like me, have a somewhat weak-hearted vagina.

This dildo is suuuper long – 7 inches, in fact. Part of that is because it’s harness-compatible and has smartly factored in the inch you often lose when you put a dildo in a harness. But if you’re not using it that way, it can seem intimidatingly long. I can only fit about two-thirds of it inside my short-ish vagina; even at maximum arousal, I can only get it in up to the first ring, so my vag doesn’t get the benefit of that particular texture.

I do get to feel the little nubs, though, and they are fun. In fact, they’re the reason I requested this dildo from Sensual Intelligence: I had never tried a glass toy with that texture before. The modest 1.4" diameter of this dildo makes the nubs a subtle sensation, not an overpowering one. They just provide a little bit of scritchy friction against my vaginal walls that is surprisingly lovely.

The dildo’s head is flared a little bit, as any good dildo’s head should be, if you ask me. It’s too narrow to stimulate my G-spot with any intensity, but if I angle it just right, it can get all up in my A-spot like a champ. Y’all know that I basically live for A-spot stimulation, and this dildo manages to provide it while also gently stroking my walls with its nubblies, so it gets a big gold star from me in terms of sensation (provided I can keep it from bumping into my cervix, which takes a little practice).

Some people have reported that the paint on Icicles toys tends to flake off. The Icicles line is made by Pipedream, a company known for its shitty toys – so yeah, I wouldn’t be surprised if paint was coming off in people’s orifices. Personally I haven’t noticed that with this toy, but I can see that the pink parts are painted on the surface (messily, too!) rather than being embedded in the toy like they ought to be, so I am a little concerned. If you want an Icicles toy without the risk of paint problems, try their clear rippled dildo.

While the Icicles no. 6 obviously isn’t perfect (nothing by Pipedream is), it has produced some pretty intense orgasms for me because of its A-spot access and firm feeling. Just make sure you warm up before you use it!