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.

Monthly Faves: We-Vibes and Teams of Tops

So hey, I’ll get to the sex stuff in a minute, but what’s really exciting me today is my new website design!! It was done by Jessica Mullen and Kelly Cree, some smart and savvy babes I’ve known online for years. They totally understand my brand and my vision, and I feel like my site is so much more aligned with what I want it to look and feel like now! Hope you dig it. (Make sure to click around a bit; there are four different headers that randomize, and they’re all gorgeous.) Now, here are the sexxxy thingz I liked best in February…

Sex toys

• GOD I LOVE THE WE-VIBE NOVA. Bex gifted me one over a year ago, and I’m pretty sure I tried it once before retiring it to the depths of a drawer somewhere. But this month I kept noticing the Nova at the sex shop where I work, and explaining it to curious customers, and a coworker told me Erika Moen had reviewed it well, so I decided to give it another shot. And damn, it is good. My review will be up soonish!

• Speaking of We-Vibe… I’m also loving the Touch lately. (They sent me the Dreamy Desire Collection to review, and the main appeal it held for me was that it contains a limited-edition dark blue Touch.) It hasn’t unseated their Tango as my favorite rechargeable clit vibe, because the Tango’s hard plastic conducts vibration just a leeeeetle better than the Touch’s squishy silicone, but it’s definitely a new “starting lineup” toy for me.

• Shall I give We-Vibe the hat trick and rhapsodize three of their toys in this post?! Yep, looks like it… A We-Vibe rep came to my work to teach us about their toys, and several of us got gifts. Mine was a We-Vibe Sync, the much-anticipated latest version of their flagship couples’ vibe. It’s very fucking excellent. The motor is strong and rumbly, the adjustability rules, and using the We-Connect app to give myself hands-free orgasms using my PHONE makes me feel like a badass sex-spy. My heart’s all aflutter for the Sync!

Fantasy fodder

• When crushing on fellow sex toy nerds, sometimes I fantasize about bringing them to my room, showing them my sex toy collection, and telling them to choose a few toys to use on me. It’s interesting (and hot) to imagine which toys each person would choose, and why – and then what they’d do with them. (Some of my fave toys for partners to fuck me with, FYI: the Double Trouble, Eleven, and S-Curve!)

• At a party this month, I got spanked by three different people, working in tandem like a relay team. It was hot and cute and I proceeded to ponder it for weeks afterward, sometimes substituting different people into the fantasy and seeing what that felt like. One person pulling my hair and scratching my thighs, one person checking in with me occasionally and bringing me icewater, one smacking my ass, and the three of them periodically rotating roles… Unf.

Sexcetera

• This month I had sex at a sex club for the first time (not counting that time I did so for a porn shoot, because that’s quite different!). It was pretty fun, although I don’t know if my anxiety would ever let me relax enough in that kind of situation to actually have an orgasm.

• Some of my work elsewhere this month: I wrote about sexist tropes in pop music for Teen Vogue (!!) and warming up for big penetration for Ignite. On our podcast, Bex and I talked about humor, attraction, romance, and sex toy retail.

• February orgasm stats: I only had 21 orgasms this month, versus 30 in January. My mental health sort of dipped a bit in the middle of the month, which usually results in fewer orgasms for me, plus I worked longer hours over Valentine’s week and didn’t have a lot of spare energy for jerkin’ it. While I did have some partnered sex this month, all the orgasms I had were solo. (Womp womp.)

Femme stuff

• This is boring, maybe, but winter sure makes me appreciate excellent lip balms more than I usually do! My current faves are the Nivea Lip Butters; I have them in a few flavors and they’re delightfully moisturizing.

• I finally did it: I bought a pair of heart-eyes emoji earrings. Mine are from FandomVerse Shoppe and I love ’em.

• Fellow retail workers and other folks who have to stay on their feet for long hours on the regs: I would love to hear your recommendations for cute shoes/boots that will support my feets properly! Currently I’m rocking my ol’ faithful Frye harness boots as per usual, but I’m thinking about maybe getting some Danskos or something. What say you?

Little things

Big tough cis dudes who make good use of their privilege and ability to intimidate other men into better behavior. A work-date with Taylor and Andrew over coffee and pizza. My favorite dancey jams of the month: Do You Love Someone, Talk Too Much, and Mother to a Brother. Coworker crushes. Steak and martinis with my mom. Customers who find my jokes amusing. Bursting into tears unexpectedly at a beautiful story someone told at Body Pride (that link goes to naked pictures, FYI!). Kink-flirting. Fancy cocktails with Anais. The sheer euphoria of palpable attraction. My new “I Heart Blowjobs” embroidery from Crass Stitches. Pre-drinking/femme time with Rosaline. Making out in a heated swimming pool under the stars. Myq Kaplan’s life-ruiningly funny comedy album No Kidding. The folks at Sili Saddle hand-delivering one in my favorite colors to my doorstep. People for whom punning is flirting. A photoshoot with Taylor and Suz at the Ritual Chamber (photos and story coming soon to a blog near you!). Having lots of cool new sex books to read (most notably: Closer by Sarah Barmak and Becoming Cliterate by Laurie Mintz). The zen calm of sweeping and mopping a floor. The Adventure Zone, fucking always (the cliffhanger ending of the latest episode killed me!). Punning and giggling with Brent over Facebook Phone at 2AM after a long, difficult day. Cleaning and reorganizing my entire sex toy collection, as a sex spell of sorts.

My Top 5 Favorite Vibrators of All Time

The title of this post is pretty self-explanatory, so let’s hop right to it, shall we?

1. The Eroscillator (review) is my favorite sex toy in the universe. End of story. I’ve easily used it hundreds of times since I got it 3-ish years ago, and it’s still going strong. The oscillations feel noticeably different from regular vibrations; they seem to go deeper into my internal clitoris and don’t cause me numbness like vibrations can. The Eroscillator is also long and thin so it fits nicely between two bodies for use during PIV sex; the Eroscillator + penis combo is one of my favorite ways to get off ever ever ever. I particularly recommend picking up the fingertip attachment because I find the harder attachments too intense sometimes.

2. The We-Vibe Tango (review) is my favorite rechargeable vibe, bar none. It’s soooo strong and rumbly, and the focused shape is perfect for my clit. I don’t love that you have to cycle through the modes one-by-one, but I’ve gotten used to it now so it doesn’t feel like a big deal to me anymore. It’s also waterproof and water doesn’t really dampen its magnificent rumbling. The only thing I don’t love about my Tango is the way it charges, but that’s been updated since I got mine, and I hear the newer ones are a lot better in that regard.

3. The Hitachi Magic Wand gives me very mixed feelings, but now that I know how to use it in a way that works for me, I at least don’t hate it anymore. It can get me off on those days when my bits seem irreparably numb or finicky, and it also works through multiple layers, so if I’m too lazy to take off my pants, that’s not a problem for the Hitachi. It’s a classic for a reason, and that reason is that it’s strong as fuck.

4. The Lelo Mona 2 is just exactly what a penetrative vibe should be. The handle is long enough to provide adequate leverage. The controls are easy to use, even in the heat of the moment. The vibrations are strong and rumbly enough to stimulate my vaginal walls without numbing them. The curve accesses my G-spot with minimal effort and feels good whether I thrust the toy or keep it still. It’s waterproof for bathtime shenanigans. And the toy can be repurposed for clitoral use, no problem. Lelo recently tried to update the Mona but you can’t improve upon perfection, man.

5. I only just received the Lelo Siri 2 and my review is forthcoming, but suffice it to say: this new offering from Lelo is simple and effective. Or perhaps effective because it’s simple. (Seriously, Lelo, stop trying to make everything so fancy all the time. Just keep making easy-to-use sex toys with excellent motors like this one and you’ll stay on top.)

What are your favorite vibrators of all time?

Vibrators For People Who Hate Vibrators

This post was inspired by a beautiful, sex-positive friend of mine, who… hates vibrators. She attended one of Betty Dodson’s Bodysex workshops, and of course, since I’m a huge sex toy geek, I asked her what she thought of the vibe Betty provides for workshop attendees (it’s the Mystic Wand, if you were wondering). My friend just shrugged and said, “I don’t like using a vibrator. It feels like having sex with a robot.”

I was slightly flabbergasted, but I shouldn’t have been. There are plenty of people who don’t like vibrators.

However, I think that at least some of those people’s aversion to vibes might be due to a fixable factor. So, with help from some folks on Twitter, I came up with this list of common reasons why someone might not enjoy using a vibrator, and I’ve provided possible solutions for each issue.

Important note: There are people for whom vibrators just don’t work, period. I’m not claiming that everyone can or should love vibrators. If other methods work for you, keep at ‘em and don’t let me rain on your parade! This post is for people who have been dissatisfied with vibrators in the past but are interested in giving them another shot.

Problem #1: Vibrators feel too weak, cause numbness, or make you itchy.

Solution: If you’ve felt this way about a vibrator, it was probably too buzzy, or didn’t have enough power, or both. I can see how this could be a huge deterrent, because it even deterred me! My first few vibrators were cheap and/or battery-powered, which are the types of vibes that tend to be buzziest and weakest, so I just thought vibrations felt only okay and caused fast numbness. Well, they don’t have to!

The opposite of buzzy is rumbly (at least, in vibrator-speak). Rumbly vibrations don’t typically cause the numbness that buzzy vibes can, nor will they make you itch. They also feel stronger because they penetrate deeper into the skin. If you have a clitoris, rumbly vibrations will stimulate the internal portion as well as the part on the surface, and many people find that sensation more pleasurable, myself included.

My all-time favorite rumbly vibrator is the We-Vibe Tango (here’s my review). It’s small, because it’s meant for clitoral stimulation, but what it lacks in size, it makes up for in ridiculously thuddy and yummy vibrations. If you want something you can use for penetration or clit stimulation, try the Lelo Mona 2; it’s not quite as rumbly as the Tango but it’s pretty close, plus it has a gorgeous and effective G-spot curve. If you want to try rumbly (and SUPER STRONG) vibrations on the cheap, seek out a Wahl 2-Speed at your local pharmacy – but keep in mind that it’s the jackhammer of vibrators, so you should probably use some kind of fabric barrier between your body and the toy, at least at first!

Problem #2: Vibrators feel too intense/strong/overwhelming.

Solution: I think the Hitachi Magic Wand is largely to blame for the commonness of this problem. So many people think it’s “the ultimate vibrator” because plenty of experienced vibrator users say that it is – but I am going to take a bold stance and declare that the Hitachi is not a good vibrator for beginners. Husbands, stop buying Hitachis for your vibrator-virgin wives! Please, for the love of all things holy and sexy!!

If you already have a vibrator that feels too strong for you and you don’t want to buy a different one, here are some suggestions. Try putting a fabric barrier between the vibrator and your body, like a folded washcloth or your underwear; this will dampen the sensations. Try starting off with the vibrator on your inner thighs or labia instead of putting it directly on your clit. If it’s a Hitachi, outfit it with an attachment like the G-Spotter, which will muffle and focus the sensations all at once.

If you think your current vibrator is hopelessly over-intense and you want to get another one, here are some you could try. Anything by Lelo will have multiple speeds (usually 10), starting very low and ending reasonably high, so you can control the power of the vibrations with much more precision; I recommend the Mona 2, Mia 2, or Siri. Lelo’s not in everyone’s price range, I know, so if you’re shopping for something cheaper, just make sure that it’s body-safe (probably made of silicone or hard plastic) and has multiple speeds. Something like the Bswish Bcute Classic or Turbo Glider would be great.

Problem #3: Vibrators are too loud, and it distracts you and/or arouses suspicion among your housemates/family.

Solution: You need a quieter vibrator, bro.

The aforementioned We-Vibe Tango and Lelo toys are very quiet. In general, you’re going to want to avoid anything battery-powered or electric; rechargeables are where it’s at.

Alternatively, you could muffle your loud vibrator with a blanket, or put some music on. But you’ve probably already thought of that.

Problem #4: Vibrators are awkward to use or hard to control.

Solution: Okay, first of all, let’s get this out of the way: sex toys are inherently foreign objects, so they will never feel quite as natural and intuitive as your own hands. You can get smoother at using them with practice, but they’re not really an extension of your body so they’re always going to feel more like tools than appendages. If you’re not cool with that, no worries; you don’t have to use sex toys. No one will force you.

But if you want to use a vibrator that’s as uncumbersome and unobtrusive as possible, you’re going to need something that is both ergonomic and super easy to control. I recommend one with easy up-and-down buttons, like the Lelo Siri, or a simple twist dial, like the Shane’s World Sparkle Vibe.

If your issue is that vibrators are hard to hold onto or slip out of your hand at crucial moments, try something with a looped handle, like the Lelo Alia, or a grippy plastic handle, like the Bodywand.

Problem #5: Your partner is threatened by sex toys, or you think they would be.

Solution: My first instinct in this situation is to tell you to “dump the motherfucker already,” but I realize that your partner’s insecurities may not bother you as much as they would bother me, and also that your partner’s insecurities may well be changeable and fixable. You deserve better than someone who wants to limit your pleasure, but I’m not gonna tell you how to live your life.

Insecure partners, especially those who are men, may have issues with realistic (i.e. penis-esque) toys that they would not have with less representational toys. If that’s the case, then of course I suggest getting a toy that looks nothing like a penis. Most Lelo toys look like tech implements from Planet Sophistication. Jimmyjane toys are also very design-y and often look more like coffee table decorations than sex toys, so maybe they’ll be less distressing to your partner than a 9-inch rubber dick.

That said, size can also be an issue for some partners, especially if they have concerns about their own penis size. In that case, I’d recommend something small and unintimidating, like the We-Vibe Tango or a hella basic Pocket Rocket.

If your partner worries that a sex toy will “replace” him or her, you may be able to quell that fear by using the sex toy with them, having them use it on you, or getting a toy like the We-Vibe that is specifically made to be used by couples.

Problem #6: Vibrators feel too impersonal/inhuman, or don’t feel like “the real thing.”

Solution: The obvious solution is to incorporate vibrators as part of “the real thing.” Trust me when I say that the combination of a vibrator and a human partner can be explosively terrific. I hate the narrative of vibrators being some sort of replacement for a partner, because I think they work best when paired together!

If you don’t have a partner at the moment, but still want a “real”-feeling experience, you could try a realistic dildo like the VixSkin Mustang. (I know, it’s not a vibrator, and this is an article about vibrators. But people don’t vibrate, so the most “realistic” toys will be ones that don’t vibrate either!) I am also a fan of the Stronic Eins, which thrusts back and forth – like a real penis, only faster and more consistent.

There are a few cunnilingus simulators on the market. I haven’t found one that I’m really happy with yet, but you might like them. The main ones are the Sqweel 2, Sqweel Go, Je Joue SaSi, and Lelo Ora. Some people (myself included) also say that the back-and-forth oscillation mode on the Jimmyjane Form 2 feels like a flicking tongue. If you choose to buy a toy that’s meant to mimic oral sex, definitely pick up some lube, too – oral lovin’ is nothing without lubrication!

Do you know anyone who hates vibrators? Why do they feel that way? Have you ever overcome your vibrator hatred? How did you do it?

Review: We-Vibe Salsa

I feel pretty “meh” about the We-Vibe proper, but their clitoral vibes are the bomb-diggity. (Is that phrase still a thing?) Previously I swooned over the flat-tipped Tango, so I knew I’d like the pointy-tipped We-Vibe Salsa. And dayum, gurl, it delivers.

The Salsa’s been discontinued (boo!) because it wasn’t selling as well as the Tango. This is sad because a) it’s awesome and b) it had color options that went beyond the typical gendered colors that the sex toy industry tends to offer. My Salsa is a sexy, deep black, but it also came in red and white.

The main thing I love about the We-Vibe clit toys, the thing that makes them indispensable and irreplaceable, is their deep, rumbly, wonderfully strong motor. I don’t think there is another clit vibe on the market that feels like this. It always feels weird and exaggerated when I say that a sex toy company is doing something that literally no one else is doing, but that’s true for these toys. They have no rivals. If you like rumbly power and don’t want to mess with something heavy like the Wahl or big like the Patchy Paul, these tiny vibes are absolutely the way to go.

I also recommend the Tango and Salsa to people all the damn time for these reasons: they’re fully waterproof, they’re quieter than the majority of vibes on the market, they’re rechargeable, and they’re small enough to carry around in your handbag or pocket.

…Not that you would necessarily want to carry them around, though – because, as I observed in my Tango review, they don’t have a locking option for travel. There is a distinct chance that your Salsa will start vibrating in your purse if you put it in there. If that’s okay with you, fine, but I know it would be an issue for me if my vibrator turned on while I was in a sociology lecture or at the movies, so my “on-the-go” vibe will continue to be my Lelo Mia 2 for the time being.

My other major quibble with the Salsa and Tango is that they only have one button, which you have to use to cycle through the 4 speeds and 4 patterns (which, by the way, are pretty good as far as patterns go, if you’re into that sort of thing). Sometimes I want to be able to move back and forth quickly between two or three particular settings, without having to cycle my way back to the beginning again.

The Salsa/Tango uses a very fickle magnetic charging system. The charger attaches to the bottom of the toy magnetically and it has to be just right or it won’t charge. (Hint: you should see a steady light on the bottom of the charger if you’ve done it properly.) This issue, combined with the fact that these vibes have a noticeably short battery life (60-90 minutes of use, depending on which settings you favor), made me mistakenly believe that my Tango’s battery had permanently died from misuse recently. Turns out I just wasn’t charging it right. So watch out for that.

The Salsa and Tango are each about 3 inches long, so there’s not a lot of space between the tip and where you’ll be holding the vibe. That means that your fingers might start to go numb if you use the toy for a while. It’s a worthwhile tradeoff, though, since the vibes’ small stature makes them ideal for using during PIV sex. You can never have too many intercourse-friendly vibrators, if you ask me.

Although the Salsa has a few annoying issues, they are worth overlooking for the totally astonishing quality of its vibrations. My whole clitoral network gets rocked by this toy, resulting in orgasms that feel deeper and happen quicker. Few toys can actually have a noticeable effect on orgasm quality, but this is one that does, so it’s worth picking up.