12 Days of Girly Juice 2017: 9 Best New Sex Toys

It was a good year for sex toys! I acquired over 65 new toys this year. (Yeesh. Being a sex toy reviewer is weird and great.)

You would think it might be hard to pick my top 9 favorites from that massive number, but actually, I’m a total snob. It’s rare that I acquire a new toy and love it enough to keep using it after I’ve reviewed it. Here, then, are the 9 best new treats I got this year, and where you can get ’em if you think you’d also like ’em…

9. Kronic Sensations wooden bat. I picked this up impulsively one day at local Toronto sex shop Kink T.O., and it was such a good purchase. These bats are incredibly thuddy, like getting hit with an actual mini baseball bat – so if you like your impact sensations deep and penetrating, rather than surfacey and stingy, you’d be into these. (Available at Kink.)

8. Sportsheets under-the-bed restraints. These are so basic, so useful, so necessary that it’s odd to think they haven’t been attached to my bed for my entire adult life. But no: I only acquired them earlier this year. They’re the easiest way to seamlessly incorporate bondage into your sex life. When I’m having a lot of kinky sex (i.e. not lately), I use these all the damn time. A++, 10/10, would recommend. (Available at SheVibe, Ignite, Peepshow, PinkCherry U.S., PinkCherry CA, the Smitten Kitten, and Early to Bed.)

7. Zumio. I’m rarely in the mood for this thing, but when I am, woof, I need it. It’s one of the best tools available for intense, pinpointed clitoral stimulation. Its mega-intensity also makes it useful for kinky forced-orgasm scenes: if you’re holding a Zumio to my clit, you’ve got my goddamn attention, I’ll tell ya that much. (Available at SheVibe, Ignite, Peepshow, the Smitten Kitten, and Early to Bed.)

6. We-Vibe Gala. I just got this recently and am already loving it. (Full review to come in 2018!) Its two-eared shape makes it ideal for people like me who abhor direct clitoral stimulation and prefer having their clit touched through the clitoral hood or inner labia. The motor is also excellent, as is standard for We-Vibe toys. (Available at Come As You Are, SheVibe, Ignite, Peepshow, and the Smitten Kitten.)

5. ScreamingO Charged Vooom. I reviewed this along with a cadre of other cheap vibes and the Vooom was the only one I loved and continued to love. This zippy little raspberry-pink bullet vibe performs remarkably well for its price point, and makes a capable understudy for my beloved Tango when needed. (Available at Come As You Are, SheVibePeepshow, and PinkCherry U.S.)

4. Weal & Breech purpleheart paddle. This beaut unseated my previous favorite impact toy from its throne this year. Fancy, handmade, and one-of-a-kind, it makes me feel like a kinky queen. The perfectly balanced weight and ergonomic handle make it clear this paddle was created by kinksters. I’ll never forget when, midway through our first spanking session with this toy, my then-boyfriend moaned low in his throat, “I reeeally like this paddle,” to which I moaned back, “SO DO I.” (Similar product available at Come As You Are.)

3. We-Vibe Nova. I technically got this last year, when Bex gifted me one, but didn’t give it a proper shot until early 2017. The Nova is, hands-down, my favorite dual-stimulation vibe I’ve ever tried. As is par for the course with We-Vibe, it’s thoughtfully designed, high-quality, and pleasantly rumbly. When I’m craving deep vibration on my G-spot and clit simultaneously, I know the Nova is the best tool for the job. (Available at SheVibe, Peepshow, Ignite, PinkCherry U.S., PinkCherry CA, and Early to Bed.)

2. Doxy Die Cast. Definitely the prettiest wand vibe in my collection! I still reach for my Magic Wand more often, because it’s lighter and the lower speeds are rumblier, but the Die Cast has definitely snuck into my starting lineup this year. It’s wonderfully luxurious and always powerful enough to get me off. And that glitter finish! Swoon! (Available at Come As You Are, SheVibe, and Peepshow.)

1. Standard Glass S-Curve. A gift from Bex, this is indubitably the best toy I received all year. Quite possibly my favorite dildo ever, now that I think about it. Yes, the S-Curve has usurped my beloved Double Trouble as my vagina’s favorite thing, simply because it’s slimmer and more targeted and doesn’t require warm-up like the DT does for me. The S-Curve finds my A-spot with such ease and speed that it’s pretty much the closest thing I have to a “press here for orgasm” device. I’ve also heard reports from partners that it’s a simple and intuitive toy to fuck someone with. Win-win! (Available at the Smitten Kitten.)

What were your favorite toys of the year?

Review: We-Vibe Ditto

I was in a room full of other sex toy salespeople, at the sex shop where I used to work, when we first heard about the We-Vibe Ditto. At that time, it was a new development and being kept hush-hush – but the room erupted in excited exclamations. “Yes!!” the common sentiment went. “We-Vibe is finally making a butt plug!”

However, that excitement didn’t stick with me once I actually held the Ditto in my hands (and in my butt). It isn’t quite what I wanted.

My first problem with the Ditto: I can’t figure out which way it’s supposed to go. Normally my advice to anyone struggling with this question would be, “Put it in whichever way feels most comfortable/pleasurable!” but I find the Ditto slightly uncomfortable and not-quite-right whether I insert it with the base pointing forward or pointing backward.

Most of the time, I wear it so the base extends forward, toward my vulva, because it feels a little less awkward that way and the plug’s protruding curve can stimulate my G-spot (indirectly and gently) if I orient it that way. But then the base slightly blocks my vaginal opening, making it difficult to combine the Ditto with girthy dildos (or big dicks).

I had a cis male partner try out the Ditto, and he observed that its shape made it feel difficult to insert but not all that filling once actually inserted. I’ve noticed the same thing: insertion is awkward and a little uncomfortable, and what results is a surprisingly underwhelming feeling once you’ve got it in. It makes me miss the heaviness and impactfulness of my Njoy Pure Plugs, with their ergonomic shape and delicious neck-to-plug width ratio. The Ditto feels like it’s stretching me, but not in an especially pleasurable or comfortable way.

One side of the Ditto is flat, and a partner pointed out to me that this might make it more comfortable for double penetration, since the dick or other dildo wouldn’t have to compete with the plug’s curvy swell for purchase. However, I find the plug so uncomfortable oriented that way that I can’t imagine being able to fully focus on other sexual sensations while that was going on.

Aside from the shape, though, the Ditto is a wonderful plug. The vibrations are pleasantly rumbly and strong, so I can feel them all through my G-spot and perineal sponge when the plug is in. You can control the vibrations via Bluetooth using We-Vibe’s fabulously designed We-Connect app, which is intuitive, fun, and allows for a long-distance partner to control the toy if you so desire. The plug is rechargeable and waterproof, and comes with We-Vibe’s 2-year warranty. It’s made of soft, smooth silicone that plays well with water-based lube and feels luxurious to the touch.

But the shape of this plug just doesn’t work for me. I want We-Vibe to give it another shot – because if they did, they could make one of the best vibrating butt plugs on the market, right up there with B-Vibe’s excellent plugs. For now, though, my butt just refuses to enjoy the We-Vibe Ditto and its strange, uncomfortable shape.

 

Thanks to We-Vibe for sending me the Ditto to review! You can grab yours at SheVibe, PinkCherry U.S., PinkCherry CA, Peepshow, IgniteCome As You Are, or from We-Vibe direct.

10 Reasons the We-Vibe Tango is (Still) My Favorite Clit Vibe

I’m moving to a new home next week, and while I’ve packed up almost all the sex toys I’m planning on bringing, there were a few items I just had to leave out incase I needed them sometime before leaving. Among this group of exceptional outliers is my duo of We-Vibe Tango vibrators.

I got my first Tango just over five years ago, and it was love at first orgasm. I’ve owned a total of four Tangos in my masturbatory career – due to, it must be said, these toys’ one major flaw, their less-than-stellar battery that tends to give out after 2-3 years. But the Tango is one of those rare toys that I’m happy to keep re-buying every few years if I have to. The orgasms it provides are so deep, delicious, and consistent that they’re worth shelling out for.

Here are the 10 biggest reasons the Tango remains a bedside staple of mine, all these years later…

It’s strong. Like, shockingly strong for such a small vibe. There are only a few other bullet-sized vibes this strong that I can think of: the Jopen Lust L2, Swan Wand Mini, ScreamingO Charged Vooom and VeDO Bam. There’s also We-Vibe’s other mini-vibe offering, the Touch, though it’s made of soft silicone instead of hard plastic so it doesn’t conduct vibration as well as the Tango. Suffice it to say, the Tango is easily one of the strongest vibrators you can get at this price point or this size.

It’s rumbly. This is a different consideration from vibration strength; it’s the quality of the vibrations. The Tango rumbles, thrums, pounds against your body; it does not cause near-instant numbness like buzzier vibes do. What’s remarkable about the Tango is that it remains rumbly even at its higher speeds. This is ultimately what makes the Tango indispensable to me: almost nothing else is this strong and this rumbly, and certainly nothing else of this size.

It’s small. The Tango is my most-used toy during partnered sex. This is partly because it’s one of my most-used toys overall, but also, it’s particularly well-suited to partner play because of its size. It slots easily between bodies during intercourse, can be tucked into a pocket or purse at a moment’s notice for a sex-date, and doesn’t get in the way if I’m pairing it with a dildo or a partner’s fingers.

It’s waterproof. As a diehard fan of the bathtime wank, this is an important consideration for me. What’s more, being underwater doesn’t seem to dampen the Tango’s vibrations much, if at all.

It’s rechargeable. This is pretty much a requirement for me; I don’t fuck with battery-powered vibes anymore if I can help it. The Tango’s finicky charger used to bug me, but a We-Vibe rep taught me a trick to make it easier to use, and now I have zero issues with it. Yay!

It has a versatile shape. I most often press the Tango’s flat tip against the right side of my clit, but there are tons of other ways to use it. You can play with the pointed tip or the broad rounded side; you can lay it against the whole length of your clit or just one specific spot. So many options!

It’s quiet. Particularly for a vibe this strong, the Tango is uncommonly quiet. It’s still audible, yeah, but it’s certainly no Le Wand.

It can be used in other toys: anything that has a hole/slot/sleeve for a bullet vibe. This includes, for example, some vibrating cock rings, butt plugs, harnesses, and dildos. Throw out the shitty, buzzy bullet that comes with these toys, and grab a Tango instead. It’s strong enough that you’ll be able to actually feel the vibrations through the toy.

It can be used hands-free. We-Vibe’s own Dusk attachment allows for hands-free orgasms, as Epiphora first chronicled in her review. Depending on your anatomy, you may also be able to pull off this neat trick I do sometimes: I can tuck the Tango between my outer and inner labia, and it’ll more-or-less stay put while I scroll through dirty fanfiction, click around porn sites, and so on. Magic!

Are you a fan of the We-Vibe Tango? Why or why not?

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!

Review: We-Vibe Nova

“You should buy this rabbit vibe,” my co-worker at the sex shop half-jokes while restocking the wall of rechargeables. “We’ve only got one left and we’re not re-ordering it when we sell out. I want it gone.” It’s some garish, hot pink, unfriendly-looking thing. I don’t want to buy it.

“I don’t really like dual-stim vibes,” I reply with a shrug.

He narrows his eyes at me. “If you don’t mind me asking: is that ’cause you don’t like internal stimulation, or external?”

I choose my words carefully. “I don’t really like internal vibration. And I’m also too much of a control freak for rabbits. I like to decide what kind of stimulation I’m getting internally and externally at any given time; I don’t want a toy to decide that for me.”

This was true, until I discovered the We-Vibe Nova. It’s a rabbit of a different color.

It’s rare that I’ve liked dual-stim vibes in the past. I can count the ones I’ve enjoyed on one hand: there was the Jimmyjane Iconic Rabbit, the California Exotics Silicone Jack Rabbit, and a jelly CalEx rabbit that felt good aside from the mild chemical burns it gave me (beware of phthalates, kids!). These vibes all have two major things in common: their internal portions rotate rather than vibrating, giving my G-spot the pressure and motion it craves, and the internal and external portions can be operated independently from one another, satisfying my need for control over my sex toys.

The Nova’s internal arm doesn’t rotate, but it doesn’t need to, because I can thrust with it. If you’ve ever tried to thrust a dual-stim vibe inside you, you know how frustrating it can be. The clitoral arm of rabbit vibes typically needs to be placed just so to make contact with your clit in the particular way you like, and thrusting disturbs this delicate balance. You therefore have to choose, in any given moment, between pleasing your G-spot and pleasing your clit. It’s like moderating an explosive debate between two screaming six-year-olds: you can’t win.

But the Nova changes all that. Its clitoral arm is brilliantly flexible, such that it moves with me as I thrust, maintaining constant contact with my clit. This makes all the difference in the world. I can piston the internal arm against my G-spot as fast and hard as I like, and the vibration on my clit continues all the while. This magic is why the Nova gets me off more easily and consistently than any dual-stimulation vibrator I’ve ever tried.

The centre button of the Nova’s control pad lets you choose whether the vibrations of its various patterns and speeds will emanate from the internal arm, the external arm, or both at once. Because I’m not too fond of internal vibration, I usually leave that arm turned off. Even by themselves, the clitoral vibrations are deliciously rumbly and strong, sinking deep into my clitoral network and resulting in profoundly satisfying orgasms.

In recent years, We-Vibe has introduced an app, We-Connect, through which you can control (some of) their toys via Bluetooth. This is genius in some ways and less so in others. It’s cool to see visualizations of patterns as you use them; I particularly like one called Surf, where the external vibrations remain steady while the internal ones pulse, creating the illusion of someone’s fingers tapping hard against my G-spot. I like being able to flip through modes and speeds with a swipe or tap of a finger. I like that the app gives me the ability to cede control of the toy to a partner who lives far away – I don’t currently have anyone in mind for this, but it’d be a cool Skype-date activity if I did! The only major drawback of the app is that lubey fingers don’t mix well with smartphone touchscreens, but that’s easy enough to solve.

I will admit, the Nova is not foolproof. It always takes some shifting and shimmying before I get it situated just right on my G-spot and clit. I have to tilt the toy’s handle toward my butt to get the internal arm to press up into my G-spot the way I like, but I’m used to doing that with toys. The Nova’s control pad also feels far away from me when I’m using it, because the handle curves downward right where the controls are, so it’s not always easy to change speeds or patterns in a hurry (although the app helps with this substantially).

But overall? The We-Vibe Nova is easily the best dual-stimulation vibe I’ve ever tried, and the one that gives me the best, most consistent orgasms. I’ve always rolled my eyes at that famous Sex and the City episode where Charlotte becomes addicted to her rabbit vibe and doesn’t want to leave the house anymore, let alone waste time having sex with men who’d never satisfy her like her vibrator does – but I can sort of understand where the show was coming from when I use the Nova. It wouldn’t make me eschew partnered sex altogether, but it sure does make lukewarm Tinder hookups seem less appealing. Why waste time on a dudebro who might not even know where my clit is, when the Nova dominates both my clit and my G-spot and can be controlled via smartphone?

If you need me, I’ll be curled up in bed with my Nova.

 

You can get the We-Vibe Nova at Come As You Are for $170 CAD (about $127 USD!), at SheVibe for $149 USD, at PinkCherry for $142 USD (or $180 CAD), or at Peepshow for $149 USD.