Mar 042012
 

There’s something to be said for the simple things in life.  Sure, sometimes we want a toy with lots of attachments or tons of moving parts, but sometimes we want the comfort of something that only does one thing and does it well.  That’s the joy of bullet vibes: these compact little vibrators are easy to use, versatile, and affordable.  If the only experience you’ve had with these small packages of buzzing pleasure is the cheap metal ones that are handed out like candy, however, with the little button that’s hard to push and their lackluster vibrations, you may be a bit underwhelmed.   Good thing Babeland is here with the Obsession, a powered-up bullet vibe that’s entirely waterproof.  So whether you want some buzzy fun in your bed, in the shower, or anywhere else, the Obsession’s there to make sure you’re not left wanting.

  • Toy: Obsession (sent by Babeland.com for review)
  • Type: Bullet vibrator
  • Manufacturer: Babeland
  • Material: ABS Plastic
  • Price: $28
  • SMT rating: 0 (Nice and rumbly vibration)

The Obsession is a Powerful, Waterproof, and Affordable Bullet Toy

The Obsession is a plastic bullet vibrator with a small hand-held control unit.  The bullet, cord, and control unit are all totally waterproof.  It runs on 2 AA batteries (not included).  The bullet is about 2 1/4″ long and 1 1/4″ wide at its widest point; this means it’s slightly larger than the more common metal bullet vibes you tend to see.
While some people may prefer the compactness of a cordless bullet vibe, I tend to find that the ones with a control unit have better control and are more powerful than self-contained bullet vibes.  The Obsession has a nice, rumbly buzz at its higher levels, and has 7 different speed/patterns.  The controls are simple: one button to turn it on/off, the other to scroll through the different settings.  One nice touch is that the toy has function memory–when you turn it off and then on again, it will restart on the same setting it had when it was turned off.  So if you find a particular speed or pattern really hits your spot, you don’t need to scroll through to find it again next time you play.  On its low levels, it is quite quiet, and on the highest setting it has an audible buzz, but not as loud as an electric toothbrush or similar item.  When it’s under the blanket or pressed up against/inside a body, it’s nice and quiet.  The control unit makes it easy to adjust the toy without having to remove it or stop the stimulation, which is nice.  It’s an excellent toy for clitoral stimulation, and since it’s plastic, not silicone, it’s safe for use with silicone lubricant as well as the other usual lubes.  It can also be used vaginally, and tends to nestle nicely against the G-spot for many women.  As with any other toy that can only be really retrieved by the cord, I do not recommend the Obsession for anal use.  While the cord seems nice and strong, an embarrassing emergency room visit can await the unlucky vibe-user who happens to have the cord pull out while trying to retrieve the toy.
You’ll recall that with the Honi, another bullet vibe I reviewed a couple months ago, I was troubled by the places on the toy that were difficult to clean.  Thankfully, the Obsession has no such problems; it’s nice and smooth with no weird crevices for stuff to build up.  And since it’s totally waterproof, it’s particularly easy to wash without having to worry about hurting the battery case.
There’s few negatives about the Obsession.  Other than the aforementioned warning about anal play, the only other real qualm is that if you pass by a setting you like, you have to scroll through all the settings to get back to it, since it only has a single function button.  But this is a trade-off with the simple nature of the toy, and those who want a toy with very few buttons to figure out will likely be happy to do a little extra scrolling in return.
Overall, the Obsession is a high-quality, enjoyable bullet vibe.  It’s affordable, but not of cheap quality, it’s easily cleanable, it’s waterproof, and it has a nice buzz for a toy its size.  If you’re looking for a simple bullet vibe that isn’t a wimpy disposable, the Obsession makes a great choice.
Dec 112011
 

They say that the winter holidays are a time for giving and that giving is more fun than receiving, but I think that you can have fun on either end–or both–with this toy.  The Cush is a dual-density silicone dildo by Tantus with a semi-realistic shape and a gorgeous, unrealistic color.  It’s on the hefty side of moderate (see the video) and plenty firm with a wide flared base, for fun anywhere you want to put it.  In addition to the great feel of the firmer core and the somewhat softer outer layer, this is a uniquely beautiful dildo.  It makes use of having two layers of silicone by putting a frosty white color over a rich purple core.

  • Toy: Cush (sent by Babeland.com for review)
  • Type: Dildo
  • Manufacturer: Tantus
  • Material: Silicone
  • Price: $62
  • SMT rating: N/A
The Tantus Cush is a gorgeous and delicious-feeling silicone dildo
Like the previously reviewed Tantus Bandit and Mark, the Cush is a dual-density dildo; it has a firm silicone core, with a softer, squishier silicone outer layer.  As with the Bandit and Mark, this dual-density silicone gives the Cush a deliciously realistic feel.  The Cush’s density is a little firmer than some other dual-density toys, making it plenty flexible but not too much so.  It has a very nice feel to the touch and is enjoyable to squeeze with a hand or other body parts.  The Cush’s 6.5″ are pleasantly smooth with some texturing on the shaft, and its 1.75″ width gives it some nice heft.
The best part, however, of the Cush is how beautiful it is.  Unlike the Bandit and Mark, which are flesh-colored, the Cush embraces an unrealistic aesthetic, with a frosted-white outer layer and purple core.  The purple of the core peeks through differently depending on the thickness of the outer layer in the given area, and gives it a very pretty sort of “icicle with snow on top” look.
As far as I’m concerned, the Cush doesn’t really have any downsides or caveats to speak of.  As usual, it is important to note that since the Cush is a silicone toy, it shouldn’t be used with silicone lubricant.  This is particularly important for these dual-density toys, as the squishy outer layer of silicone can be particularly vulnerable to a conflict with silicone lube.

Nov 162011
 

  • Toy: Oden (sent by Babeland.com for review)
  • Type: Remote controlled vibrating cock ring with AAA battery powered vibrating remote that goes with a rechargeable cock ring vibrator
  • Manufacturer: Lelo
  • Material: silicone and hard (ABS) plastic
  • Price: $149
  • SMT rating: 0, moderate strength vibes for both
One thing I’ve learned over my years of doing toy reviews is that people friggin’ love remote controlled sex toys, but they rarely live up to the hype and expectations.  So, can a premium company Lelo pull it off?  They have a new line of high brow vibes, all featuring unique wireless remotes paired with the design sense that so many folks love about Lelo.  So, lets dive in, shall we?
Whew. Seriously.  You get the works with this package!  In your sassy black box (Lelo always has great packaging) comes your usual paperwork (directions, 10 yr warrantee, etc.) the Lelo insignia brooch, charger, satin toy bag, a vibrating battery powered remote control and a vibrating rechargeable cock ring with a unique design that resembles a giant sperm with a curly tail.  Plus, there is a special little plastic tab which acts as a key to get the back of the remote open and closed for swapping out the batteries.  That’s quite a lot of stuff to play with!
So how well does it all work?
Pros:
  • If definitely feels like you’re getting a lot for the money with the Oden.  The packaging is lovely, as always, and if you loose the key for the back of the remote you can still get it open using a US nickel or similarly sized coin.
  • If you charge it for about 2 hours, you’ll get about 2 hours of use.  This isn’t too terribly far to plan ahead, and will last long enough for the vast majority of folks.
  • The remote vibrates, too!  That means that you can easily monitor what the cock ring is doing by feeling the remote, which is pretty cool.  You can also use it’s many settings to stimulate other areas while the cock ring does its thing.
  • The ring is an open circle, making it very adjustable and easy to get on without awkwardly sliding it down or shoving your bits through.  It’s also easier to adjust where the protruding vibrator on the ring hit’s the partner’s body.
  • Have trouble finding an insertable innie vibe with a clitoral vibe that hits your body right?  The Oden is a great fit for wrapping around your favorite phallus-type vibe.  You can adjust the tilt somewhat and place it at the right depth, and if necessary you can easily use your thumb to push the Oden’s vibe against your clit while grinding away with your toy.  Heck you can even use the remote to buzz yourself elsewhere at the same time. Go to town!
Cons: 
  • Few products meet my desires for easy cleaning, and neither does this.  All of the pretty chrome Lelo toys have a troubling valley where the chrome meets the silicone coated ABS plastic, and that area requires special cleaning attention lest crustiness build up.  This is true on both the remote and ring for this toy.  Furthermore, in order to recharge the vibe on the cock ring, it is unscrewed from the ring-tail and plugged in.  The place where these two parts screw together collects quite a bit of lube and people juices, and is not easy to clean without pulling it apart and flushing out the tail part thoroughly and pulling out the Q-tips and cleaner for the vibrating section.
  • This remote is stronger than most I’ve reviewed, but it still didn’t do well when the testers’ plush bodies were pressed together.  It just couldn’t get the signal through all that flesh.  Would it work better for skinnier owners?  I’m probably not the one to ask.  When the signal is lost the controller keeps vibrating but the ring stops, which is frustrating.  It would have been better if it continued at the last known setting, but alas.
Noteworthy:
  • The remote uses buttons to switch settings, but there are two other unique ways to turn it on, if you’ll pardon the pun.  One setting allows you to tilt the vibe to control it.  The more vertical it is, the harder the buzz.  The other reacts to shaking or jiggling – flail madly and it buzzes harder.  Hm.  While these were interesting features and may be enjoyable for some folks, I found them functionally useless and didn’t even include them in the video – but I am adding it here so you know this about the product.  You still have to use the buttons to synch the product and turn it on/off, so if you trouble pushing buttons you’re still out of luck.
  • Be sure this toy with a quality water-based lube (like Maximus), as silicone lube may eventually wear down the silicone coat and oil based lube with be especially hard to clean out of the toy’s crevices.
  • Cock rings don’t work for everyone.  The vibrator on this cock ring extended nicely and was flexible at the base as well as nicely contoured, so it’s probably going to work for a wider range of people.  For some women their clit is right above their vaginal opening, so a shorter vibe is best.  For many others it’s a little higher above the vagina, so the extra reach is important.  And remember, flesh cocks don’t carry vibrations well and all cock rings work best with grinding-style style vs. thrusty sex.
So there you go!  If you’re interested in vibrating cock rings but need a vibe that doesn’t stick out as far from the ring, or you prefer an enclosed ring to help keep him harder, you might also want to check out the: Tor by Lelo, JimmyJane Iconic Ring, or the Ophoria V-Ring.  Or you might try the Koa ring, by Lelo’s economy priced brand, PicoBong.  I haven’t reviewed that one yet, but it may be worth a look as it also has a vibrator that sticks out further, and there is no remote.

Nov 042011
 

  • Toy: Mahana Duo Vibe (sent by Babeland.com for review)
  • Type: AAA battery powered vibrator, dual vibe innie/outtie combo
  • Manufacturer: Picobong
  • Material: silicone and hard (ABS) plastic
  • Price: $69
  • SMT rating: 0, low to  moderate strength vibes
While rumor has it that I’ve never met a toy I didn’t like, I’m sad to report that I am not a fan of the Mahana Duo vibe.  It’s not that it’s crappy, it’s just not worth your time or money.

The Mahana Duo is not twice the fun

The Mahana Duo vibe from Picobong is meant as a lower-cost alternative to the high-quality, classy but more high-end toys from Lelo (which shares the same toy design team).  Unfortunately, it ends up being a get-what-you-pay-for situation, and so is hard to recommend.  The Mahana Duo is a combination innie-outtie vibrator, like several other toys that have been previously reviewed here (see the bullet list at the bottom for these more highly-recommended toys of a similar style).  It has a flexible C-shape with both ends containing vibrators; one end is meant to be inserted, while the other should rest against the clitoris.  It’s about 1/2″ wide at its widest, and takes 2 AAA batteries (one for each vibrating end).
On the plus side, since it’s from the same design team as Lelo toys, the Mahana Duo has a reputable brand to back it up, and is made from body-safe silicone and ABS plastic, as we’ve come to expect from its higher-end siblings.  It comes in two cute colors (pink and blue) and has a smooth, simple, non-intimidating visual design.  If the C-shape stays in place correctly, then its innie-outtie design can be useful (but see below on our testers’ feelings on how well it stayed in place).
Unfortunately, the Mahana Duo raised many qualms and negative points in testing.  First of all, it’s difficult to clean well; the engraved Picobong logo and the edges where the vibrator-ends screw onto the plastic are both grooved in a hard-to-get-at way.  Cleaning the Duo thoroughly would require Q-tips and a lot of patience.  It didn’t come packaged with any directions, instead opting to include a little six-sided die with various toy emblems on it.  This is exacerbated by the fact that the controls are somewhat non-intuitive; the buttons aren’t readily visible, and are hidden beneath plus and minus signs that blend into the logo.  It just feels cheaply made, with little aesthetic appeal and the sharp contrast between silicone ends and plastic middle.  The vibrations are fairly low-level and lackluster.  Additionally, C-shaped innie-outtie toys are meant to be able to stay in place without help (and maybe even be able to stay in place during intercourse or other play).  None of our testers, however, reported that the Duo could stay in place without constant assistance.  Finally, if you’ll watch the video review, you can see that the toy began making loud, ugly buzzing noises during the course of the review after only a couple of uses.  It’s normal for vibrators to become slowly louder over the course of many uses, but to have a toy start making such obtrusive noises so early in its life is a bad sign.  Overall, it’s hard to justify spending the money on the Duo–it has no special qualities to recommend it and several flaws that speak against it.  Here are some better alternatives that fulfill the same functionality and general design of the Mahana Duo, but are worth your time and money:
Oct 202011
 

Babeland.com is doing a wonderful October fundraiser called Pink October: Come for a Cause.  For each qualifying purchase, 10% will go to the Young Survival Coalition, which helps women under 40 with breast cancer.  One of the best ways to have fun while making a Come for a Cause purchase is by checking out the Power to the Pink kit.  This kit contains a delicious bottle of Sliquid Pink Lemonade flavored lube, a Babeland Buzz vibrator, and the ever-popular pink Mystic Wand.   Check out the reviews for all three products in these videos!

The Power to the Pink Kit is a fun way to support breast cancer survivors

Sliquid Pink Lemonade flavored lubricant is one of the most high-quality flavored lubes I’ve encountered.  It has a strong fruity lemonade scent, but only light to moderate flavor, so it isn’t overwhelming or sickly sweet.  It works quite well as a lube, especially considering it’s flavored (most flavored lubes tend to be stickier and less useful for actually lubricating).  It has a body-happy formula, a quality Sliquid products are known for.  And its pink lemonade flavor is unique and refreshingly different from the usual strawberry/cherry flavors of most flavored lubes.

The Babeland Buzz is a waterproof and easy-to-use bullet vibrator.  It has a simple one-button control, and provides strong buzzy vibrations.  It has all the convenience and fun of a good bullet vibe, plus it comes in a cute sparkly pink color!  Note: be careful to tap the batteries all the way down when putting them in, as I found it was easy to get them not-quite-all-the-way in by accident and think the toy was breaking (see video).

For the full scoop on the Mystic Wand, you can check out my review of it from last year.  In short, the Mystic Wand is a portable, battery-powered vibrator.  It has a variety of settings with powerful vibrations, and is nice and lightweight.  Plus, the button panel has a really bright blue light, so you can pretend you have some strange piece of alien technology between your thighs (if that’s your thing)!

Aug 292011
 

 

  • Toy: Ola (sent by Babeland.com for review)
  • Type: Rechargeable vibrator, mostly button-free controls, touch-responsive vibration, waterproof
  • Manufacturer: Minna
  • Material: Silicone
  • Price: $165
  • SMT rating: Strong 0 if you squeeze hard, but not quite a 1.

The sex toy industry is always looking for the newest, fanciest, prettiest way to seduce you into purchasing a brand new best friend.  Sometimes, these attempts are gimmicky flops, but every now and then one of their crazy ideas really hits the spot, if I ain’t being too subtle.  The Ola by Minna (aka the Minna Ola) gives us a truly original way to control the power of this S-shaped, waterproof, rechargeable sex toy.  The underside of the small part of the S is a squeezable, soft, enticing little touch-pad that reacts to pressure.  Stroke it softly, and it responds with an immediate rumbling purr.  The harder you squeeze it, the more intense the vibrations get, culminating in a very respectable intensity level.

The Minna Ola lets you make your own vibration patterns and control them by touch

The Minna Ola is rechargeable, and its recharger connection is magnetic, which makes it easy to line up and attach.  Thoughtfully, the Ola lets you know how charged it is by vibrating one to three times (three being fully charged) when it’s turned on; this is much more useful for people who are visually impaired than the “blinking light” method of demonstrating charge that many other toys use.  The S-shape of the toy works with the body in all sorts of delightful ways, whether you use it on the vulva or in the vagina.  The main draw, of course, is the touch-responsiveness.  You can use this to create all sorts of fun sensations and patterns, and when you find a favorite, you can use the second button on the toy to memorize and repeat a pattern until you want to give it a new one.  The Ola even comes fully charged, so you can start playing with it right away!
The touch-responsiveness of the Ola may be a downside, depending on what you like from a toy.  If you enjoy upping the vibration intensity or flipping through patterns by simply hitting a button, you may find the touch-pad too fussy a way of controlling the toy.  While this touch-vibration style makes it a great toy for exploring, either with a partner or solo, the creativity necessary to use it effectively keeps it from being totally effortless.  It’s intuitive, but not effortless.  The body isn’t flexible, which could be a plus or a minus, depending on what you’re looking for.  Finally, like any other silicone toy, you need to use water-based lubes, not silicone-based, with the Ola.
Overall, the Ola is a cool new type of  vibrator.  Its touch pad is intuitive and easy to use and allows you to let your creativity shine in what sorts of patterns you make for yourself (or your partner).  It’s a fun, sexy toy, and while the touch-pad is certainly unique, it isn’t a cheap gimmick.  The Minna Ola is being sold exclusively through Babeland, and I appreciate that they sent me a copy of this delicious toy for review.