Josey’s Product Reviews

TOYS

You gotta love a sex toy company that calls itself Fun Factory and carries vibrators with names like Freaky Fritz and Dinky Digger. The German company’s toys are made from silicone and come in such vibrant colours and funky designs, you may be tempted to display them on your coffee table.

I got my hands on their LAYAspot, a fortune-cookie shaped waterproof vibe that you, well, lay on your spot. Unlike other vibes shaped “to comfortably form to the natural contour of her body,” the LAYAspot has a more intense, yet pleasantly dispersed vibration, when you can get it to high speed. Which can be a little tricky. Like many vibes these days, the LAYAspot has variable speeds and pulse patterns as well. But because this vibe only has two buttons – one for “on” and one you keep pushing to reach the different levels – it’s a bit of a crapshoot finding the different pulsations and speed. Which is why when I found full-speed ahead, I stayed put and had a great ride. The round smooth tip of the device is perfect for dipping at the moment of truth.

The “travel size” I Rub My Duckie is perfect for the gal who’s not comfy having airport security discover her Pearl Rabbit (though she may have to explain why an adult woman has to travel with her rubber duckie). It also looks perfectly innocent sitting on the side of your tub. Visiting relatives will be none the wiser. The Duckie’s one-speed vibration is a little too diffused for my liking and, while its tail proved most effective, it was a little disturbed having its sad little Duckie eyes staring at me. Still, the Duckie will definitely make bathtime much more fun.

Canada’s “Salty Grandmother” of sex (the Globe and Mail’s words, not mine), Sue Johansen now has her own line of toys which I was looking forward to trying since she regularly test drives toys and should know what makes a good one. After trying her Royal Rabbit, I was impressed. The toy is reasonably priced compared to other silicone toys. The silicone phallic-shaped vibe has seven levels of vibration, pulsation, and escalation (though all these fancy vibrator speeds are starting to give me the same feeling I get at Starbucks where I long for the days of small, medium and large) and a little ball-shaped end, that worked better against my clit than the rather unstimulating bunny-shaped clit stimulator.

An old classic often referred to at the Cadillac of all vibrators, The Hitachi Magic Wand is more like the jackhammer of all vibrators. Or maybe the Porsche, given it takes you from 0-60 in mere seconds. In fact, I think their slogan should be: Hitachi Magic Wand: Bringing you the 10-second orgasm. Sure, the fact that it’s the size of a small baseball bat makes it not so sexy but this sucker gets the job done (Who says women can’t come as quickly as guys. We just need the right tool.) Plus, it’s a plug-in so no worrying about batteries dying at crucial moments. For those of you who find the industrial-strength vibration a little much (Frankly, I was worried I was gonna knock the little guy right out of his canoe), available attachments diffuse the vibration.

Being the oral enthusiast I am, I was stoked about theTongue Joy, a tiny little steel vibrator that attaches to your partner’s tongue with an elasticized ring and saves on jaw muscle wear-and-tear. The Tongue Joy operates hands-free (and virtually silently) with a couple of watch batteries (included) or with a battery pack which provides more powerful vibration but makes the toy sound a bit like a dental instrument. It even comes with a little barbell so you can attach it to a pierced tongue! Rubber sleeves are also included to soften the intensity. Save for the occasional teeth rattling when the toy hit his teeth, the Tongue Joy is, well joyous. And bonus, if there isn’t a tongue around, you can use the smallest of the three elastic rings included and attach the vibe to your finger creating your very own multi-speed, variablepulsation human finger toy.

The Epicurean Rose is my favourite dildo. Designed and handcrafted by Kinky Cobbler’s John R Cameron in Toronto, the silicone dildo is tastefully ribbed, slightly curved for excellent G-spot stimulation, and can be used in a harness or on its own. It’s the best! Cameron also sells a larger version called the Epicurean Rose and another called the Friend-Forever Firm.

Porn director/producer Candida Royalle’s line of beautifully designed vibrators are called Natural Contours. She gave me samples last time I saw her in New York. It’s nice to have a vibrator that isn’t penis shaped and fits the, uh, contours of a woman’s body. They also come with their own custom-designed Power for Pleasure batteries.
Turns out I needed a lot of power for my pleasure. On high speed they sounded like an electric razor and didn’t vibrate strongly enough to get me off. (Note to vibrator designers: Just because something vibrates, doesn’t mean it’ll make you come. If that was the case, hell, I’d be way more enthusiastic about taking the bus.)

I was looking forward to test-driving the Impulse HyperSonic G because Chanelle Gallant, the fabulous manager at Good For Her told me she’s smitten with it. Her staff even renamed it (can you blame them?) the Impulse Bumble G, after its cute bumble bee shape complete with G-spot-reaching stinger. One is meant to attach the elastic straps around your thighs and waist holding the “bee” in place, stinger inside and antennae against your clit. But they mostly just chafed and cut off circulation and then got in the way when I decided to go strap-free. The battery pack, which features variable speed and pulse settings, clips on (To what? Your earlobe?) for “hands-free” operation. Of course, you still need your hands to operate the buttons. Anyway, I tried this little guy upside down, sideways and backwards and didn’t achieve much more than a vibrating crotch. I suppose you could wear it around the house and make housework more interesting.

The Elite 7X features a stretchy silicone cock ring and clit stimulator into which you insert a micro bullet vibe. The “cock” ring was too small for his penis (it’s not like he’s John Holmes) but we found a way to keep the “ball” ring around his penis, move the small one out of the way so the pad would hit my clit. The vibration is great and the various speed settings (though 7 is probably overkill) can be switched from steady to pulsing, which, combined with penetration, was, well, fun for everyone. And the glow-in-the-dark control button means no fumbling. Tried with a dildo later, I was able to get the cock ring around the shaft adding vibration at the vaginal opening with each thrust. Fun for one! 

Think of the Flex-a-Pleaser like a backscratcher for your clit. The long, flexible wand with the plastic egg-shaped vibrating end allows you to get into those hard-to-reach spots during penetration. Because the shaft is flexible, you can vary the pressure of the vibrator, or insert the angled end to reach your G-Spot. It’s also a great toy for bigger women or people with limited mobility. Fun for all!

The Micro Dolphin is a tiny blue dolphin (like that’s gonna freak me out less than if it were genital-shaped) rigged with elastic straps meant to go around the thighs so the vibe nestles against your clit for hands-free stimulation with or without penetration. But the elastic is too flimsy meaning, not only does it cut into your thighs but you also can’t secure the vibrator precisely enough on your clit to get direct enough stimulation. However, a little manual assistance and this powerful, tiny vibrator does the trick, solo or with partner.

Sherbet

Sounds yummy doesn’t it? This smooth, silicone vibe comes in tasty colours like lime, orange and raspberry with a “swirl of sherbet” head. This toy is great for anal play (smooth with a textured head means its offers lots of potential for prostate massage) as well as for ‘customers of size’ (especially those that want to use it in a harness), because it’s got reach, which also makes it a great G-spot toy. A toy for the whole consenting adult family.”

Mothra (the butterfly)

For the sexy horror movie nut in your life. The name is a nod to the 1964 Japanese film Godzilla vs. Mothra (Japan 1964). This Japanese-made dual vibe has beads in the rotating shaft, a clit “moth” vibrator (with fluttering wings and antennae) and lights, lots of lights. With display cycles of purple, blue, green and red you might even be tempted to make it your treetop.

The Strapper

The gals at Womyn’s Ware sent me this strap-on harness after they read about my first strap-on, an overpriced, badly designed Doc Johnson number. They felt sorry for me and sent me The Strapper, a sturdy leather harness that can be worn jock-strap or butt-floss style. Along with it they sent a sleek, silicone Mistress dildo in beautiful teal. Silicone dills, said the very informative, frank and entertaining care-and-handling literature that came with my toys, are ideal for anal penetration.
“They clean up easily, conduct temperature [try poppin’ em in the freezer for a frosty thrill] and vibration, and won’t absorb lube.”
I strapped myself in, popped my teal penis through the hole in the front and suddenly felt quite, uh, cocky. The harness was comfy and solid, and my dick didn’t droop like it did with the previous version I’d tried. I modelled it for the boy. He thought it was a good look for me but, like last time, was still leery about the size of my Mistress, sleek as it was. Luckily, my Womyn friends had the perfect solution…

Butt Really…

A butt toy for novices, this pithy black-and-purple marbled silicone dildo comes with a little pink plastic vibrating egg tucked in the back. Super slim with a bulbous end to stop it from popping out, it’s the perfect anal toy for beginners. A little lube and it slips right in there with hardly a wince. Turn on the vibrating bullet for a little party in your bumhole, whether strapped in or hand held. A big thumbs up.You can also remove the pink vibrating bullet and use it on its own as a clitoral stimulator. 

Mini Pearl

In fact, Womyns’ Ware carries a model of the pink vibrating egg on its own called the Mini Pearl. I was happy about this one as, just recently, the cord on my oft-lauded vibrating silver egg broke and I was bummed. Now I know why they warn you not to pop these babies inside. It’s all fun and games until you end up with a metal egg lodged in your uterus. Anyway, I love these vibrating eggs, or “bullets,” as they’re sometimes called. They’re simple, small and get right to the point if you need them to. You can cup them in your fingers over your clitoris during intercourse, whether with a dildo or vibrator or a real live penis. I was thankful to have a replacement but somehow my metal egg seemed more chic and smooth. The bubble-gum pink plastic made the Mini Pearl look like a Barbie accessory. Now that would have spiced things up in the old Barbie Camper. Admittedly, plastic diffuses the vibration slightly more than metal, which is good for those of you who, unlike myself, don’t need industrial-style vibration to come. 

The Golden Bumble

A reader asked about this Vibrating Suction Pump Clitoral Stimulator after I’d written a piece on the EROS-CTD, a medically approved clitoral pump designed for women suffering arousal problems that is only available through prescription and goes for a hefty almost $400. The Golden Bumble, on the other hand, is a commercial sex toy shaped like a bumblebee that uses a pump and suction cup along with vibration to supposedly “simulate oral sex and massage your clit and labia.”
Perhaps it was the perturbing image of having a jelly bumblebee attached to my bits, but I had a hard time getting good suction and I found the vibration far too subtle through the jelly. The boy and I had some fun playing “I am a sucky monster and I’m going to suction cup your whole body” for a while, but it seemed like a lot of hardware for little return. I’ve been assured that some women looove The Golden Bumble. “Many women do not like to have vibrations directly on their clitoris. The Golden Bumble is great for that because it disperses the vibrations to the labia and surrounding area,” said one sex toy shop sales clerk who suggested I use lube on the suction cup and put the pressure gauge on max to get the best suction. I did and managed to get some decent pulsating action but I still wasn’t convinced. 

G-Spot Tango

A funky pink jelly vibrator with a twisty internal rod to get at those hard-to-reach places (like the G-spot) and a vibrating jelly cup attached by what looks like a phone cord. “Numerous controls make it the toy for the sci-fi buff or the closeted control freak,” is how it is described on the website of Toronto-based sex shop Come As You Are (www.comeasyouare.com). It sounded like a drill when I turned it on and the multiple controls made me feel like a spaz.  A friend dropped by while I was, um, working, and I couldn’t figure out how to turn the damn thing off. I had to leave this wiggling pink thing on the floor while I answered the door. (“You busy Jos? What’s that buzzing noise?”) Anyway, once she left, I picked the carpet lint off the thing and went back at it. Despite the noise and the wacky controls, the internal twisty action certainly made me aware of my G-spot. And the external vibrating cup thing, if a little difficult to co-ordinate, was good for simultaneous clitoral stimulation. G-spots of the world, unite!