Review: Sistalk Doctor Whale

Friends keep asking me what the deal is with the little stuffed cyclops-whale displayed in my room. “It came with a Kegel toy I’m reviewing soon,” I always say, which is a strange sentence. #SexToyReviewerLyfe, amirite?

Sistalk recently sent me their Doctor Whale vibrating Kegel exerciser – and that accompanying Doctor Whale stuffed animal. (I don’t know what he’s a doctor of, nor where he got his medical degree.) It’s a cool idea: an insertable vibrator equipped with pressure sensors, so it can vibrate your G-spot pleasurably while also guiding you through a Kegel exercise regimen and sensing how well you’re doing on your workout. The toy is controllable via an app called Monster Pub, which is also where you can set up and track your Kegel exercises. You can use Sistalk toys as regular wearable vibrators as well, controlling their vibrations via the app.

Sistalk designed this product well in some ways: its silicone is smooth and soft, it’s easy to insert, and it’s comfortable to use. The whale’s tail sits against my clit but doesn’t really vibrate it, so I’ll never have an orgasm from this toy alone, but that isn’t really its aim. The whale’s body is big enough that I can feel it when I squeeze around it, but not so big that it’s uncomfortable. To my surprise, the motor is quite good: rumbly and strong enough to please my fickle G-spot. Physically, the toy is well-thought-out.

But problems arise once you get into the Bluetooth connectivity and app-controllability. The connection between the toy and my phone is always tenuous at best, usually disconnecting after a couple minutes if not sooner. Other reviewers have experienced this issue too so I know it’s not a fluke with my particular toy. Needless to say, it’s hard to focus on a Kegel exercise routine when you’re concerned the vibe will disconnect at any moment, which it inevitably does.

The app itself is too busy, bursting with options. I’ve dated enough app developers to be able to hear their tut-tutting in my head as I flip through this app’s overburdened menus and screens. There’s also a language barrier which makes many of its instructions confusing or downright hilarious (I’m still gigglin’ about the Kegel exercise narrator telling me to squeeze my “vageena” tighter).

I think this line of toys has a lot of potential; the designers just need to fix the connectivity issues, tighten up the app, and maybe construct a more stimulating tail for this li’l whale. Until then, I recommend the We-Vibe Sync if you’re looking for an app-controllable vibrator, and a good old-fashioned pair of Kegel balls if you want to work on your pelvic musculature. Hopefully Sistalk works out the kinks with their products so lots of folks can enjoy these adorable, health-promoting monsters!

 

This review was sponsored, and as always, all writing and opinions are my own.

Review: Doxy Die Cast

When Doxy gifted me a Die Cast, I heard proverbial angels singing from heaven. Because I knew orgasms aplenty were on my horizon.

See, if one thing is true about Doxy wands, it’s that they are strong. I’m not the ideal person to be reviewing Doxy wands, in fact, because I’m so sensitive I barely use the power for which they’re famous. My Die Cast is the only toy in my regular rotation that I always wish had a lower speed. I turn it on and think, “This can’t possibly be where we’re starting. This is a higher speed than most of my vibes end at.”

But don’t get me wrong: it gives me orgasms nonetheless. Lots and lots of ’em.

The Die Cast is an updated version of the original Doxy Wand. While it’s hard to find fault with a strong, rumbly wand vibe, I have a couple quibbles with my original Doxy: the buttons sometimes get stuck and skip speeds, and the squishy PVC head makes the vibrations feel somewhat buried. Both these issues are fixed in the Die Cast, so I use it far more and enjoy it more when I do.

The Die Cast’s head is silicone, so it’s non-porous and easier to clean. It also transmits vibrations better than the PVC did, so it feels even stronger than the original wand. The head is “double-weighted,” too – a technology that is supposed to make the Die Cast’s vibrations feel rumblier. When I use the original Doxy, I only go up to the second speed; with the Die Cast, I literally only ever use the first one. (I know, right?!)

This is, if anything, my one major complaint about the Die Cast: I wish it had some lower speeds. While using it, I’ve often had the thought, “This thing is like the belt sander of sex toys.” True, I can hold it on my outer labia so it only stimulates my clit indirectly, or use it through clothes, or employ other techniques I’ve developed for dealing with overzealous wand vibes, but I would rather not have to do all that. If it’s been a few days since I’ve used a vibrator, often the Die Cast will feel alarmingly, almost uncomfortably strong, prompting me to grab a weaker vibe to use as a warm-up until I’m ready for more.

The Die Cast’s body is made of a titanium/aluminum alloy. It feels super sexy and sensual – and I love the glittery texture of my red one! – but it makes this wand heavier than the original. I only tend to notice this when I’ve been using it for a while or when my chronic joint pain is flaring up. If you have strength or mobility issues, you’ll want to go with a lighter wand.

Like many powerful vibrators, the Die Cast is lovely for forced-orgasm play. At my request, a partner cuffed me into my under-the-bed restraints and then held the head of the Die Cast in his palm, pressing it against my clit while he pushed two fingers inside me and muttered filthy shit in my ear. After I came so hard I practically ascended to heaven, my beau grinned and said, “Are you glad you asked me to do that?” and yeah, I really, really was. However, like I’ve said, the Die Cast is somewhat heavy, so it’s not as well-suited to forced-orgasm scenes as something lighter like the Magic Wand Rechargeable.

The MWR also has the benefit of being cordless, while the Doxy wands are corded. This doesn’t bother me when I have the space and forethought to leave my wand plugged in, but if it’s a choice between standing up to plug in an unplugged wand and just grabbing my MWR, usually my lazy ass will go for the MWR.

Noise-wise, the Die Cast is comparable to most other electric vibes of this power level: definitely audible if you’re in the room with it, but probably undetectable through walls and doors.

On the whole, I’ve still been reaching for my beloved Tango and MWR more often than the Die Cast, because I like their wider variety of gentler speeds and that they’re lighter and easier to hold than this big heavy behemoth. But if you need power, and want it to come in an absolutely stunning package, I can’t recommend the Doxy Die Cast highly enough. It’s gorgeous, well-made, and does the fucking trick.

 

Thanks very much to Doxy for supplying me with this wand to review! You can buy the Die Cast at Peepshow ($200 USD), SheVibe ($190 USD), or Come As You Are ($236 CAD/~$190 USD).

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.

Review: BMS Factory Swan Wand

Here’s a fact about the BMS Factory Swan Wand: I once knew a super-hot sex toy salesperson who told me the Swan Wand was his favorite toy.

This piqued my interest on two levels. Firstly, when someone whose literal job it is to know about sex toys tells you their favorite toy – and indeed, he was hyper-knowledgeable about toys, moreso even than me – they probably know what they’re talking about. And secondly, when a hot person tells you about a sex toy they love, it’s hard not to imagine them using it. On themselves. On other people. On you. Whatever.

I didn’t own a Swan Wand at the time. But he kept telling me to buy it. And his very endorsement made me want to do what he said. (It certainly helped that he was pretty dommy, too.)

Here’s another fact about the Swan Wand: I once mistook it for a motor vehicle.

I had the vibe with me when I got on a streetcar one night, and must have bumped it through the side of my bag as I sat down. It jolted to life but I 100% assumed it was the streetcar’s thrumming motor I felt against my elbow. I had earbuds in, so I couldn’t hear the wand clattering against the other contents of my purse. It took me over ten minutes to realize what had happened. The Swan Wand’s vibrations are that strong and rumbly. (I cringe to imagine what the other streetcar-riders around me thought was going on in my bag.)

Though this vibe has the word “wand” in its name and often appears in the “wand vibes” section on sex toy websites, it’s not really a wand in the traditional sense; it’s more of a super-powered G-spot vibe. I can take the smaller (1.5″ diameter) end in my vag comfortably with a good water-based lube, though I wish it was a little more tapered to allow for easier insertion without warm-up. The larger end, by contrast, has a 2.5″ diameter – so, while some people could insert it, I have not attempted it and tend to use that end more like I’d use an actual wand vibe: for broad, general stimulation over my whole vulva.

Each end of the Swan Wand has its own motor, and they feel quite different from each other – so cool! While both motors are remarkably strong and rumbly, the one on the larger end is rumblier: I can feel it physically thrumming against me like a jaguar that’s swallowed a jackhammer. However, despite this, I still use the smaller end far more often, because my clit prefers its pinpointed shape.

The Swan Wand is rechargeable (with a surprisingly long-lasting charge for a dual-motor toy), fully waterproof, and has a convenient travel lock (which I foolishly forgot to turn on before the vibe clattered to life in my bag that day on the streetcar, natch). There’s a lot to love about it. But I have a couple issues with it that make it unlikely to become a go-to for me.

First: the controls. The Swan Wand has two buttons – one to control each motor – and they both work the same way: you press once to turn the motor on, press additional times to scroll through the toy’s 7 vibration functions, or press and hold to increase the vibration speed. The toy’s LED light flashes gradually faster as the vibration speed increases, and then turns solid once you’ve reached the max speed. At any point while on a higher speed, you can press the button again to bring the vibe back down to the speed you started at – a useful function for people like me who get overstimulated easily and need to dial things back multiple times in a session.

Try as I might, I can’t seem to get used to this controls scheme. I keep accidentally hitting the button instead of holding it down, so I’ll flip to a different vibration pattern at the key moment when I needed to boost the speed. Additionally, I find it hard to get to the exact speed I’m looking for, because the press-and-hold system is imprecise if you have a somewhat slow reaction time like me. I would much prefer a simple “this button increases the speed, this one decreases it” interface.

Turning the vibrator off entails pressing both its buttons at the same time – a not-entirely-intuitive move for many. (God, I can’t even tell you how many times I had to help a blushing customer shut off our demo Swan Wand at the sex shop where I used to work.)

My other major issue with the Swan Wand is that the intense vibrations travel throughout the toy’s entire body, so you feel them in your hand the whole time you’re using the toy. This isn’t as annoying as it would be if the vibe was buzzier and more numbing, but it’s still pretty annoying, and often puts me off of using this toy when I would otherwise like to.

That said, you’re probably not gonna find a stronger G-spot vibe than this one. I find it stronger and rumblier than some of the industry’s other major contenders, like the Lelo second-generation G-spot vibes, We-Vibe insertables, and Fun Factory G4 and G5 vibes. G-spots typically respond best to deep vibrations such as these, rather than more surface-level ones – so if you already know you like vibration on your G-spot and want to kick it up a notch, the Swan Wand would be a great investment.

But I use vibrators externally almost exclusively, and this one is a bit too hand-numbing and unintuitive to operate, so I’ll probably only reach for it when I need a lot of power without much finesse.

 

Thank you to Adam & Eve for providing this toy for me to review, and for sponsoring this post! The discount code “GIRLY” will get you 50% off almost any one item on their site – including this vibrator, if you choose to buy it – as well as free shipping on your entire order in the U.S. and Canada. 

Review: We-Vibe Wish

“It’s like two Tango motors in one toy,” said one of the managers at the sex shop where I worked, and my ears perked up so hard they practically fell off.

The We-Vibe Tango is my favorite vibrator. It’s my bedside buddy, my travel-size titillator, my ‘gasmic go-to. It comes with me on sex dates and on vacations. I use it solo, with partners, and various combinations thereof. It’s simply the strongest and rumbliest vibrator of its size (with the possible exception of the Swan Wand Mini, which I sadly don’t yet own), so nothing has yet unseated it as my number-one toy-bag essential.

You can imagine, then, how excited I was when I heard the We-Vibe Wish was like two Tangos in one. And in my favorite shade of bright turquoise, no less. “I Wish I owned one,” I started joking every time I showed it to customers at the shop, but it wasn’t really a joke.

The good folks at Luxury Vibrators sent me a Wish to try, and I’m sad to say it didn’t quite live up to my hopes. There’s a lot to love about it, but it’s not as flawless a fit with my personal anatomy and vibrator usage style as I had expected.

First, let’s talk about the motors. Yes, plural – because there are two of them. As it’s been explained to me, the vibrations shift back and forth quickly between the motors, creating what We-Vibe calls PowerPulse™: “a new, ultra-powerful vibration sensation that feels like waves of pleasure.” Indeed, it whirrs and rumbles unlike any other vibe I’ve felt of this size; the quality of vibration reminds me of the lower speeds on the Magic Wand Rechargeable, which is a very, very good thing.

That said, when I put pressure on the toy, I can feel the motors’ rhythm skipping like an arrhythmia. It doesn’t take much pressure to activate this flaw; sometimes it happens just from me lightly resting the toy against my clit. This is apparently a common problem with dual-motor toys: it was observed by many a reviewer about the Jimmyjane Form 2, for example. In the case of the Wish, it doesn’t interrupt the sensation on my clit too much, but it is definitely noticeable and often distracting, and makes me worry that the motors’ function will decline as time goes on.

As with most newer We-Vibe toys, this one is controllable via the company’s We-Connect app. While I love using my phone as an intuitive remote for more complex toys, it’s less useful for a simple vibe like the Wish: it’s easier and quicker to just cycle through modes using the vibe’s one button than to connect the toy to the app. You can use the app to let a partner control your vibe from across the room or across the planet, though, so that’s cool. And while the toy’s button lets you cycle through only three steady speeds (more on that in a sec), the app gives you more granular control: you can swipe or tap your way through 10 different steady speeds, plus several vibration patterns, plus make your own patterns if you are so inclined.

At the store, I used to tell customers that the Wish would be perfect for use during PIV – but now I regret that, because it isn’t really true. Despite its gentle, vulva-esque curve and squishy silicone housing, it’s just a little too big and bulky to comfortably fit between bodies, unless you’re intentionally leaving enough space between your pelvises. That curved shape also causes the Wish to make a rhythmic purring noise when a partner’s body moves against mine during intercourse. It sounds like a goddamn jaguar. “It was a bit distracting,” my beau said, tactfully, after a PIV sesh in which we were trying to be Seriously Kinky but just ended up Seriously Giggly because of those damn noises.

The other distracting factor: I was expecting the Wish to work like my ol’ faithful Tango, and it doesn’t. I thought it would have four steady speeds and four patterns, and that you’d have to cycle through all of them to get back to the beginning; that’s how the Tango works, and it’s not a perfect system, but I’m used to it and know how to do it in a hurry. The Wish has three steady speeds followed by seven patterns, which, as you might imagine, has been a bit of an adjustment for me. During PIV with a partner, I kept clicking to what I thought would be the highest steady speed, only to accidentally activate a pattern and fuck up my own impending orgasm. This is frustrating, but as with any vibrator, I could become accustomed to it if I was using this toy a lot.

It’d be less annoying to cycle through those ten modes if the Wish’s button was easier to locate and press in the heat of the moment. It’s smaller and flatter than the button on the Tango, takes a more thorough push, and feels tactilely similar to the magnetic charger port right next to it, so I have to look right at it when I press it, or I risk missing it altogether. This, again, would be mitigated if this was the only vibe I was using and I was therefore forced to get used to it, but that’s not the case. Even so: why does We-Vibe insist on only putting one button on most of their toys? I think everyone would be happier if they had an “increase speed/next mode” button and a “decrease speed/previous mode” button. It’d be way more intuitive than having to cycle through all the speeds and patterns to get back to the first one.

Shape-wise, the Wish is well-designed. Its pointed tip will appease those who like more pinpoint sensations like the Tango could deliver, while its edges and flat sides are ideal for broader stimulation or even full-body massage. In many ways, it feels like a wand vibe without the bulkiness and heaviness most of those toys suffer from.

It’s also just super cute. I love the way it looks in my hand: adorably turquoise, sensual but not overtly sexual, substantial but not massive. It’s the kind of toy that probably wouldn’t intimidate a partner (unless your partner is the worst), and that wouldn’t horribly embarrass you if you’d left it lying on your nightstand when company came over.

On top of all that, the Wish is 100% waterproof, charges magnetically (via a much better-developed system than the Tango’s frustratingly weak magnetic charger), and comes with a one-year warranty. I want to like it. We-Vibe tried so hard to make this a great toy. But the pressure-induced skips in vibration, plus the annoyance of having to cycle through all the modes, make it unlikely to join my roster of go-to vibes. It’s bigger than I’d prefer for usage with a partner, and more finicky than I’d prefer for usage alone. Dammit.

I’m still waiting for someone to make a decent competitor for the Tango. C’mon, vibrator industry. You can do it. I believe in you!

 

Thanks so much to Luxury Vibrators for sending me this product to review!