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How the penis disappeared from the sex toy

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by Hannah Smothers

You’ve seen what a penis looks like. Sure, there are variables that make each one a little different—the world is beautiful that way—but, generally speaking, they all fit a certain mold.

As the male sexual organ, the penis was designed to transport sperm from one body into another. As an added feature, the penis can also summon orgasm in a female partner during this process. But we know this isn’t always the case. While a healthy male organ works pretty well for its intended reproductive purpose, there are some design flaws in terms of maximizing female pleasure.

LILY 2So what if you could redesign the penis, make it a little bit better? Which pieces would you change, and which would you keep? Erasing the need for reproductive functionality, would you scrap the whole thing and start from scratch? In the end, would this magic device—capable of bringing women waves of pleasure—even resemble the penis in its current human form?

Welcome to the world of modern-day vibrators, a place largely devoid of the original pleasure device.

As sex toys have become increasingly sleek and modern—taking cues from the minimalistic designs of like Apple and Ikea—one clear trend has emerged: They no longer look like human penises. In fact, they no longer look human at all—which, according to designers, entrepreneurs, and sex therapists alike, is a very good thing.

Kitschy and grotesque

The first time the American public saw a non-human organ used to stimulate sexual arousal was in the early porn films of the 1920s. Over the previous few decades, small home appliances marketed under the guise of medical necessity (to cure the female ailment of “hysteria“) had become commonplace—kind of like how we now see “personal massagers” advertised in Brookstone. But in the new black-and-white pornos of the ’20s, audiences saw these appliances used for very non-medical purposes.

zini-deux-293x300And once the public was confronted with the idea that these devices could be used strictly for pleasure, the products disappeared from women’s magazines and reputable store shelves.

Vibrators made a second coming about 30 years later, during the sexual revolution of the 1960s. But even though Americans were talking about sexuality more openly than ever before, we still weren’t totally cool with the idea of incorporating these objects in our sex lives. In response, early industry leaders made them as outlandish as possible: Rotating glitter-dicks, two shafts emerging from one testicle-shaped base, rubber duckies that secretly vibrated. We displaced the awkwardness of using machines as sexual aids by turning these aids into novelty objects, or toys.

But there was a big problem with this approach. Since the products were advertised as “novelties,” not health aids, they were held to lower standards than medical devices and other things we put inside our bodies. The cheap toys were unsafe, ugly, and ineffective. And not at all sexy.

“I don’t think anyone has ever said, ‘I want a vibrator that looks like a bunny rabbit and a penis all smashed together,’” Ti Chang, the female co-founder of sex toy and jewelry design company Crave, told me. “I think the sex toy industry has really had a lot of male voices—it’s been men designing products for women, so it tends to be very male anatomy centric. Like, ‘Oh, it’s sex, she wants a big cock, so we’ll just make lots of different colors of cocks, and to make this really silly, we’ll put a little rabbit on it.’”

Companies like Doc Johnson—a leading novelty company for decades, notorious for its line of Zini DonutRealistic Cocks—offer a good example of the “she wants a big cock” mentality that dominated the industry during the late-20th century. Robert Rheaume, the president of high-end sex toy company JimmyJane, charmingly described these hyper-realistic dildos as the kind of severed penis you’d get if “there was an Orc from Lord of the Rings walking around, and they cut his penis off.”

He also argued, by nature of them being just so grotesque, they’re not very sex-positive. He put it to me this way: “Let’s say you and I are well into our sexual relationship, and I pull out this giant, Doc Johnson, 15-inch cock,” Rheaume said. “You might be like, WOAH, where’s that going? Get out of my apartment right now, I’m leaving—call me a taxi, call an Uber. It’s just intimidating and scary for some people.”

Kitschy, intimidating, grotesque—all are terms you could use to describe the sex toy market up until the early 2000s. The poor designs, cheap rubbers and plastics, and incredibly dick-centric domain of products presented itself as an untapped valley of junk, just waiting for a messiah. This is what Ethan Imboden, the founder of JimmyJane, realized upon walking into an Adult Novelty Manufacturers Expo a little more than a decade ago.

“As soon as I saw past the fact that in front of me happened to be two penises fused together at the base, I realized that I was looking at the only category of consumer product that had yet to be touched by design,” Imboden said in his 2012 Atlantic profile. Coming from an industrial design background, and lacking the desire to manufacture what he saw as landfill products, he left his job designing everyday consumer products to launch JimmyJane—a sex toy company that would put safety, design, and sex-positivity first. Around this time, a small, luxury intimate toy company in Sweden called LELO started doing the exact same thing.

post-phalic 01The kitschy sex toy industry was primed for a big change, and companies like JimmyJane and LELO were ready to usher it in.

Disrupting the dick

Skeuomorphism is a concept in technological design that describes our tendency to retain tactile aspects of the physical world as we move more of our lives onto screens. At Apple, for example, skeuomorphic design was thought to ease the transition from the real to the virtual. Turning a page on your Mac or iPhone would closely resemble turning a page in a real notebook, paper sounds included. If you can recreate the physical aspects of a very familiar, tactile world in the flat, virtual reality of an operating system, designers have long believed, maybe more people will feel comfortable using the product.

In sex toy design, this has translated into manufacturing dismembered penises and inventing crevices meant to resemble human vaginas and mouths. But why—if women and couples are looking for something more than their own, very real human parts—would they want a plastic knock-off of those same parts in bed? Just as some people argue that retaining archaic, physical traits of notepads on our iPhones is unnecessary, companies like JimmyJane and LELO saw retaining the original design of human organs as unnecessary and outdated.

Of course, there will probably always be a market for straight-up dildos—which are different from vibrators—and which, by nature of their intended internal purpose, must resemble a human penis. But female-oriented vibrators allow more room for innovation.

With this in mind, JimmyJane and LELO’s emphasis on design, coupled with major tech advances of the early 2000s, allowed these pioneering sex companies to essentially reinvent the penis. “Technology drives the industry—it’s tech, tech, tech,” Patti Britton, a clinical sexologist in southern California, told me. “Everyone’s going for the faster, the most options for control, as well as these really unusual and really sophisticated designs.”post-phalic 02

Those sophisticated designs are now pretty commonplace, and they look nothing like human parts. The design shift comes as a result of technological advances, yes, but also reflects a pretty significant ideological shift. Vaginal penetration, as we now know, isn’t necessarily the key to female orgasm, and penises aren’t naturally shaped to stimulate the elusive G-spot. Skeuomorphism started disappearing from the industry, and the dick was reinvented—and ultimately displaced.

Luxury investments

When sex toys start looking less like severed organs, it gets easier for consumers to take them seriously. And when consumers start to take them seriously, it opens up room for a luxury class of sex toys—something that LELO and JimmyJane, especially, have capitalized on. Most of LELO’s products start at more than $120, though the company also boasts a 24-karat gold plated vibrator for $15,000. As Steve Thomson, LELO’s global marketing manager, told me, creating toys that last a lifetime, like a nice espresso maker or television, is “a way of challenging assumptions about the sex toy market as a whole.”

“There’s always going to be a place for novelty goods and phallic-shaped items,” Thomson said. “But I don’t believe that’s the future of sex toys in any way. People are moving away from the assumption that it’s purely a substitute for a partner.”

post-phalic 03To Thomson, as well as industry leaders at JimmyJane, Crave, and the numerous other companies that have joined the modern sex toy craze, the future of sex toys is in making objects that fit easily into a consumer’s everyday life. That’s why, as technology improves, we see things like app-controlled panty vibes and vibrators equipped with memory that will store your favorite sexual patterns.

Along with loosening cultural values around discussing sex—almost everyone I interviewed cited the Fifty Shades of Grey franchise as a major breakthrough—the shift in toy design has transformed the industry from a $1.3 billion a year industry to a $15 billion a year industry in revenue alone. “If it’s okay for the modern mom to have dialogue about Fifty Shades of Grey, sexuality and masturbation, I think it gives us complete permission to have these conversations and to make these products available,” Rheaume said.

He’s not wrong. Research shows that not only are more women using toys, they’re owning up to using more toys. Consumers are literally taking their orgasms into their own hands, and they’re commonly paying upwards of $150 to do so. Is it worth it to buy a vibrator that costs a bit more than something you might find at your neighborhood adult novelty shop if it means it’ll last longer and isn’t toxic to your body? Absolutely.

But not everyone can afford it, and while some products come with a money-back, orgasm guarantee—they don’t always work as advertised. Has design for the sake of being beautiful, and innovation for the sake of being advanced, displaced the actual functionality of the vibrator?

That’s what was bothering Janet Lieberman, a mechanical engineering grad from MIT and enthusiastic sex toy user. Facing repeated disappointment in the toys she bought, Lieberman realized she was in a unique position to utilize her expertise to make things better. The technology was good, but she saw it going in the wrong direction. There was a sort of machismo attitude slipping into products designed for women—who cares if your device can track your orgasms, give you Bluetooth feedback, and looks like modern art if it doesnt work?

Now, as co-founder and lead engineer for the New York-based sex toy company Dame, she’s ushering in the newest wave—and quite likely the future—of sex toy design.

Women come first

One of the big problems with the sex toy industry is how male-driven and controlled it’s been throughout most of its history. Sure, the men at LELO and JimmyJane have women’s desires in mind—both Thomson and Rheaume told me about the extensive research measures their companies take when designing new products. JimmyJane, for example, relied on data about average labia size from the renowned Kinsey Institute when creating its new Form 5 vibrator, which is designed to simultaneously stimulate a woman’s labia and clitoris.

And to make sure the products hitting the market are truly effective, the leading companies also rely on demo communities—women who test new prototypes and provide detailed feedback. But, as Lieberman argues, there’s a difference between running a product by a demo audience and having a woman—the target consumer of the product—involved each step of the way.

And so, it’s becoming increasingly common to see women-run sex toy companies, or to see women involved in the design and engineering process, according to industry insiders. “If they’re products for women, you kind of want women everywhere in the process so they’re making the right priorities,” Lieberman told me.

A female designer and engineer, for example, might know right off the bat whether something is going to work. It’s not that men don’t take all the important components into consideration—after all, some of these products are used mutually between partners—it’s just that women are more likely to understand the various nuances in their own anatomies, and take those into consideration in the engineering process.

While enabling sex toys to track activity and communicate long distance via the internet—both features on the newest models—is cool, Lieberman and Crave’s Chang both stressed a personal mission to deliver what sex toys have long promised: really fantastic orgasms.

“Having an orgasm is like a birth right, you should have it!” Chang said, in a sentiment famously voiced by Nicki Minaj and, more recently, Amy Schumer. In her process at Crave—which steers clear of trying to mimic anything anatomical—function always comes first.

Lieberman and her business partner, Alex Fine, took a similar approach when building Dame’s first product, a couple’s vibe called Eva. “I wouldn’t say that one of our primary goals in designing this was that we wanted it to be beautiful,” Lieberman said of the device, which resembles a futuristic beetle. “We wanted it to be accessible, but we put function ahead of form.”

They also wanted to make sure the cost wasn’t prohibitive—a sex toy that’s too expensive can actually detract from sex, she argues. Eva sells for $105, a price-point Lieberman attributes mainly to the device’s high-quality silicone and the rigorous research and design process that went into it. Lieberman likens the Eva to a pair of really good headphones: You can hear the music, it sounds incredible, but you aren’t super aware of the fact that there are two small speakers in your ears.

Lieberman acknowledges that before sex toy designers could think about getting back to the core purpose of the industry, consumers needed to be introduced to beautiful, high-end luxury products. But the next wave of sex toys will likely follow her function-over-form philosophy—and encourage an even bigger audience to come.<

So, are we moving toward a world where penises, and human sex organs, are obsolete? Of course not. We’re just moving toward one where we can do better than what the average human body has to offer. As Patti Britton, a certifiable expert in all things sex, put it, there will always be an element of humanity that can’t be captured by even the most elaborate of sex toys.

“We’re still human beings—we’re skin and bone and flesh and energy,” Britton told me. “So far we really haven’t matched that one in the lab, we may one day. But I think, overall, humans will want to be with humans. That’s how we’re wired.”

Complete Article HERE!

Hers and Hers, Part 2

Hey sex fans!

It’s Product Review Friday, the final edition of 2014! And, like we promised last week, we go out with a bang with this our last Zini review. Look for all of our Zini reviews by going to drdicksextoyreviews.com, use the search function in the sidebar and type in “Zini.”

Dr Dick Review Crew partners, Joy & Dixie, are back again today to show and tell.

Zini Hua —— $150.00

Joy & Dixie
Joy: “Last week we introduced you to Dixie’s vibe, the Zook.  Today is my turn and this is the Hua.”
Dixie: “You will also remember from last week that we told you that these two vibes are virtually twins in concept—stylized rabbit vibes; the only differences between the two are the contours of the pleasure points and the stiffness of the clit stimulating leaf.”zini hua
Joy: “The Hua is a slimmer version of the Zook, but to be frank, neither one is the least bit intimidating. The Hua has more texture to its insertable shaft then does its sister vibe, but, like its sister, it is sculpted to look like a bamboo shoot. The clit stimulator is reminiscent of a bamboo leaf, but, in this instance, it has considerably less give than does the same appendage on the Zook.”
Dixie: “This vibe, like its sister, is covered in a luscious, high-quality, latex-free, nonporous, phthalate-free, and hypoallergenic silicone. Silicone is our material of choice for insertables. But don’t forget you must always use a water-based lube with a silicone toy the Hua. A silicone-based lube would mar the finish. The Hua comes in four different colors, Joy’s is a scrumptious violet, and the handle is glossy black.”product_hua_02
Joy: “The Hua, again like her sister, has two motors, which deliver five speeds and fifteen vibrating functions. The vibrations are the buzzy kind not the rumbling kind. The three-button control panel that is easy to handle and operate. The “+” button turns on the vibe and accelerates the speed through its five settings. The “-” button decelerates the speed and turns off the vibe. The round button between the other two rotates through the pulsation modes. Every press of the button makes the Hua flash a different color. And it is remarkably quiet.”
Dixie: “The vibe is about eight inches long. The insertable portion is about three and a half inches long. The clitoral leaf is about an inch long.”
Joy: “I’d like to return controller and vibrating functions for a bit if I may. The Hua, like the Zook, will alert you to how much charge is left in the battery, which is pretty cool. Press and hold the round button for two seconds, the vibrator will blink an LED color. The color of the LED corresponds to how much battery life your vibrator has left. I already mentioned that as you rotate through the vibration patterns the light in the controller changes color. All you have to do is remember the color associated with your favorite vibration pattern and you can go to it in a jiffy.”
Dixie: “Two other features make this vibe very appealing; it’s waterproof and rechargeable. The Hua comes with a USB recharging cable. It takes a couple of hours to fully charge the unit and you get several hours of pleasuring on a charge. Another thoughtful feature is the travel lock.”
Joy: “The recharge port seals with a watertight plug, but you have to be sure that the plug is set good and tight before submerging it in the bath or when cleaning.”
Dixie: “The fact that Hua is made of silicone and its fully waterproof makes it so easy to clean. Mild soap and warm water does just fine for everyday cleaning. But you can also wipe it down with a lint-free towel moistened with peroxide, rubbing alcohol or a 10% bleach solution to sanitize for sharing. And it should be shared!”zini-hua
Joy: “Like we said in last week’s review, the Zini packaging is exceptionally nice. Their vibes come in a distinguished looking black gift box and all the components are recyclable. Open the box and find the Hua in a plastic bubble. Under it you will find the recharge cable, owner’s manual, and an chic drawstring storage pouch.”
Dixie: “Last week Joy made a point of saying that stylized rabbit vibes, despite looking similar to one another are not all the same. I want to reinforce that thought again this week. One size or one shape does not fit all! Each of our bodies is different; what will work for me, won’t work for Joy and visa versa. There are so many variables — insertable length, curve of the shaft, length of the clit appendage, and on and on.”
Joy: “Exactly! While I really like everything about the Hua, it doesn’t really have enough oomph to get me off. But then again, I am not the intended audience for the Hua. I’m thinking it’s geared toward a woman, or a couple new to sex toys.”
Dixie: “And like last week, we want you to know that the Hua is just as handy and pleasurable in your butt. So all you folks out there experimenting with anal sex, we bet you will enjoy it too.”
Joy: “Let’s recap, shall we? Hua is body-safe, healthy, GREEN, rechargeable, waterproof, moderately powerful, and super quiet. The sad thing is, it’s not available anywhere in North America that we know of.”
Dixie: “I know! We can’t get over the fact that, for the most part, the wonderful Zini line is unavailable here in the US. I hope that changes soon.”
Joy & Dixie “On behalf of all the members of the Dr Dick Review Crew we want to wish all of you happy holidays and the best in the New Year.”
Full Review HERE!

ENJOY!

Hers and Hers, Part 1

Hey sex fans!

It’s Product Review Friday! And we’re comin’ down to the last two reviews of the year. Both this week and next we will feature a Zini vibe. You are following these reviews, right? If not, I suggest that you do because they are doing some remarkable stuff. You can find all our reviews by going to drdicksextoyreviews.com, use the search function in the sidebar and type in “Zini.”

Dr Dick Review Crew partners, Joy & Dixie, are here to tell us about today’s pleasure product and they will return next week to review our last toy of the year too.

Zini Zook —— $150.00

Joy & Dixie
Dixie: “So the reason that Joy and I are up two weeks in a row is that we have two very similar vibes to tell you about. They are both Zini vibes. They are virtually twins in concept—stylized rabbit vibes; the only difference between the two is contours of the pleasure points. If this seems a little vague at the moment, don’t worry, we’ll clear it up for you.”zook 01
Joy: “The two vibes in question are the Zook, today’s review, and the Hua, which we will tell you about next week.”
Dixie: “The Zook is a pleasure to look at and handle. Its sculptured, relatively slim shaft is vaguely reminiscent of a bamboo shoot and the clit stimulator is reminiscent of a bamboo leaf. The vibe is covered in a luscious, high-quality, latex-free, nonporous, phthalate-free, and hypoallergenic silicone. You will want to use a fine water-based lube with the Zook, of course. Because you know that using a silicone-based lube with a silicone toy is a no-no, right? It will mar the finish. The Zook comes in three different colors, mine is dark wine.”
Joy: “The Zook employs two motors, which deliver five speeds and fifteen vibrating functions. The vibrations are the buzzy kind not the rumbling kind. And, like so many of the other Zini products the Dr Dick Review Crew has reviewed, it features a three-button control panel that is easy to use and understand. The “+” button turns on the vibe and accelerates the speed through its five settings. The “-” button decelerates the speed and turns off the vibe. The round button between the other two rotates through the pulsation modes. Every press of the button makes the Zook flash a different color. And it is remarkably quiet.”product_zook_04
Dixie: “I noticed while using the Zook that the vibrations are equally strong in the handle as it is in the insertable end. This may be a problem for some women, particularly older women have very sensitive hands.”
Joy: “Yes, it wasn’t a problem for me either, but you make a good point.”
Dixie: “The two other features that make this vibe so special are it is waterproof and rechargeable. This delights me no end. Another recent Zini review revealed that one of their other high-end vibes, the Roae, wasn’t waterproof and so it didn’t get as praise worthy a review as our review.”
Joy: “The Zook comes with a USB recharging cable. It takes a couple of hours to fully charge the unit and you get several hours of pleasuring on a charge. Another thoughtful feature is the travel lock. No surprises when you travel with this beauty.”
Dixie: “The fact that Zook is made of silicone and its fully waterproof makes it so easy to clean. Mild soap and warm water does just fine for everyday cleaning. But you can also wipe it down with a lint-free towel moistened with peroxide, rubbing alcohol or a 10% bleach solution to sanitize for sharing. And it should be shared!”
Joy: “Each of our colleagues on the Dr Dick Review Crew, who have had the good fortune to review one of the Zini products, has called attention to the esthetically pleasing packaging. Dixie and I concur; it’s really very nice and ready for gift giving. Heck, it even comes with a very elegant drawstring storage pouch.”
Dixie: “I want to call attention to the recharge port, which is sealed with a watertight plug. Take care to ensure that the plug is set good and tight before submerging it in the bath…YUM!…or when cleaning.”product_zook_01
Joy: “Zook is the more girthy of the two vibes. The Hua, which will be reviewed next week, is sleeker. Zook’s leaf-shaped clitoral stimulator is more flexible than its sister, the Hua. This flexibility has its advantages and disadvantages. It’s soft to the touch, and if your clit is super sensitive, that might work for you. But if you’re used bearing down with some pressure on your clit, then this may be frustrating. I know I say this every time we review one of these stylized rabbit vibes, but it bears repeating. The one size or one shape fits all concept is a fiction. But then again, maybe that’s why there are so many styles and shapes out there. The trick is for each of us it to find precisely the right one that will pleasure us. And there are so many variables — insertable length, curve of the shaft, length of the clit vibe, and on and on.”
Dixie: “We wholehearted recommend the Zook, particularly for a woman new to vaginal and clitoral stimulation. We also want to let you know that the Zook is just as handy and pleasurable in your butt. So all you guys out there experimenting with anal sex, you will enjoy it too.”
Joy: “Let’s recap, shall we? Zook is body-safe, healthy, GREEN, rechargeable, waterproof, moderately powerful, and super quiet. The sad thing is, it’s not available anywhere in North America that we know of.”
Full Review HERE!

ENJOY!

All that glitters

Hey sex fans!

It’s the black Friday edition of Product Review Friday! And we turn again to Zini for today’s pleasure product.  I believe this marks our seventh review from their line. You are following these reviews, right? If not, I suggest that you do. You can find all our reviews by going to drdicksextoyreviews.com, use the search function in the sidebar and type in “Zini.”

Today we have a vibe designed for women. Here is Dr Dick Review Crew member, Christa, for the lowdown.

Zini ROAE —— $135.99

Christa
I loves me some high-end sex toys. They always make me feel so elegant, and that’s a pretty hard thing to do because I ain’t elegant at all. In fact, I’m kind of a schlub. Don’t get me wrong, just because a vibe is expensive doesn’t make it good. I’ve learned that the hard way.zini_roae_black_gold_size

I know you’ve seen the stuff I’m talking about; stuff that comes in gussied up packaging with fancy-schmancy logos. Stuff that looks so promising, but turns out to be a big fat dud. I hate when that happens. My time on the Dr Dick Review crew has helped me become a little less dazzled with the externals, like packaging and shit like that, and withhold judgment till I get my hot little hands on the thing and put it through its paces. Because, like they say, not everything that glitters is gold.

This gets me to my Zini ROAE, which, curiously enough, is black and gold. BTW, it comes in other color combinations too. Now when I see a vibe doin’ the whole gold thing, I say to my self, “Whoa! Are you trying to dazzle me? ‘Cuz if you are, I’m way ahead of you, buddy.”

So what is the ROAE, you may be asking. Well I’ll tell ya. It is indeed an attractive internal/external vibe, a highly stylized rabbit design if you will, that is supposed to stimulates your G-spot and clit at the same time. It has dual motors and it is covered in luxurious latex-free, nonporous, phthalate-free, and hypoallergenic silicone. It is beautiful to the touch. It’s also rechargeable, via a USB cable, which is the only way to go nowadays. If you’re still buying battery-operated toys, I don’t even know what to say to you, except GET WITH IT!

zini_roae_gspot_vibrator-02-lrgI was sad to learn that the ROAE is not waterproof. That’s a bummer. I expect all high-end vibes to be waterproof, don’t you?. This spashproof nonsense has got to stop, if ya ask me.

Here’s the thing about the ROAE; it’s a really great design, but it seems like the designers just blew off the recharge port cover. It’s made of this really flimsy plastic that could easily snap off. Had they made it so the port cover was sturdier and created a watertight seal, like their SEED vibe, all would be well.  I mean, why in the world would a company go to all the expense of making something as good as ROAE, but skimp in this very important detail? It’s beyond me.

Anyone who has used one of these internal/external vibes, and there are dozens and dozens of them out there, will know that one size does not fit all. All of us gals have a slightly different genital configuration. Sure everything is in approximately the same place—clit is here, G-spot there—but our uniqueness will either make of break a vibe design for each of us. What works for you may not work for me. I gave up hope long ago that I would ever find precisely the right configuration of an internal/external design to pleasure both my G-spot and clit at the same time. I guess I’m just built weird. But that doesn’t diminish the effectiveness of the ROAE. I don’t mind rocking it back and forth—a little G-spot stimulation, then some more clit stimulation. To tell you the truth, I’m not all that enamored with my G-spot. For me it’s all about my clit. When I jill-off I rarely insert anything into my vagina. I don’t use the ROAE, or any such vibe, internally, even if the designer says that’s how it’s supposed to be used. I’ll be the judge of that, if ya don’t mind. The tip of the ROAE is real good for clit stimulation too and it provides a different sensation than the flat head pad, at the other end of the vibe, the side that is “supposed” to be the clit stimulator.zini_roae_gspot_vibrator-03-lrg

The ROAE delivers a kind of diffuse stimulation, even at its most intense. I chalk this up to the silicone skin. I suspect it mutes a lot of the vibrations. This isn’t a bad thing, especially for women new to vibration. But if you are one of those gals that needs a vibrator that is so intense you need to kick-start it, this vibe will disappoint. The ROAE is remarkably quiet too.

I like the three-button control panel, which is easy to use and understand. The “+” button turns on the vibe and accelerates the speed through its five speeds. The “-” button decelerates the speed and turns off the vibe. The round button between the other two rotates through the 15 pulsation modes.

Remember only water-based lube with a velvety silicone toy like this.

Now to the issue of clean up. Because the ROAE isn’t waterproof you can’t clean it as well as you might like. Submerging a toy for deep cleaning is optimum, but there’s no submerging this guy. There is an obvious seam between the gold plastic in the handle and the silicone skin. I discovered that I needed to use an old toothbrush, along with the warm water and mild soap, to make sure this area is clean. The owner’s manual says you can’t use chemical or alcohol-based cleaners on it. WHAT? I don’t know why this is so because every other silicone toy I know of doesn’t exclude these types of cleaners. Whatever, this pretty much eliminates the possibility of sanitizing it for sharing. That’s another huge bummer because my butt-boy BF, Alex, sure enough wanted to use this toy in his ass. He reminded me that all G-spot vibes also work on P-spots. “Yeah, Alex, I know. You tell me that every time I get a G-spot vibe to review. I may just wind up giving it to him and forgo using it ever again myself. ;-(

zini-roae-black-gold-boxed-1-850x850I want to call attention to the packaging; it’s signature Zini all the way. It’s elegant without being ostentatious and it’s recyclable.

I was torn about a recommendation. On the one hand, the ROAE has a beautiful stylistic design; it’s made of silicone, and it’s rechargeable. On the other hand, there is the spashproof, not waterproof, issue, which has implications in terms of cleaning and sanitizing. For the longest time I struggled with this. I had to ask myself, could I wholeheartedly recommend a super pricy vibe that has such glaring problems? In the end, the answer was, sadly no.
Full Review HERE!

ENJOY

Pearly, Not Prissy

Hey sex fans!

Look, it’s the latest edition of Product Review Friday comin’ your way. This week we bring you another toy from one of the sex toy industry’s heavy-hitters, FunFactory. We’ve reviewed a bunch of their products over they years and we either really like ‘em or we don’t like ‘em all the much. So it’s been kinda hit and miss thing. To see all our other reviews use the search function in the sidebar, type in: FUN FACTORY, and presto.

Let’s check in with Dr Dick Review Crew members, Joy and Dixie, to see what they have for us today.

Pearly Rechargeable Silicone Vibrator —— $109.98

Joy and Dixie
Dixie: “We would like to introduce you to Pearly a new rechargeable vibrator from Fun Factory.”
Joy: “As you can see Pearly is one of those stylized rabbit vibes that are all the rage these days. What’s unique about this one is it’s short and pudgy. It’s less than 7” from stem to stern, with 4-1/2” in insertable length and less than 1-1/4” in width. It’s a sweet little thing.”Pearly01
Dixie: “Don’t let the diminutive size fool you. Pearly packs a punch. It features 12 impressive functions, which delivers amazing sensations to your G-spot and clitoris (or P-spot and taint) simultaneously. There’s nothing prissy about Pearly. Just so you know; comparatively speaking, it’s loud. It’s not loud for loud’s sake; the superior motor delivers deep and satisfying vibrations. They call it ‘deep vibration technology,’ but a rose by any other name is still loud, if you know what I mean.”
Joy: “Yeah, I was surprised by that too. And when you turn Pearly on, it starts at the midway point of the vibration mode. That will surprise some who are used to having things start out slowly before they work up to a more intense vibration. And ya don’t get to the pattern vibration till ya exceed the top speed.”
Dixie: “Pearly is made of high-quality latex-free, nonporous, phthalate-free, and hypo-allergenic silicone. It is fully waterproof and easy to clean. Mild soap and warm water does just fine for everyday cleaning. But you can also wipe it down with a lint-free towel moistened with peroxide, rubbing alcohol or a 10% bleach solution to sanitize for sharing. And it should be shared!”
Joy: “Pearly’s silicone skin has a matte finish. That means there’s a bit more drag with this finish than you would find with a standard silicone finish. You’re gonna want to use a lot of lube with it…water-based lube, of course. Because you know that using a silicone-based lube with a silicone toy is a no-no, right? It will mar the finish.”
Dixie: “I want to get back to the waterproof feature. This is why I like Pearly so much. I figure, if I can’t use a vibe in the bath, why bother? And, as I said at the get-go, this sweetheart is rechargeable. It comes with a USB Fun Factory Fun Click ‘N’ Charge Magnetic Charger and requires 6 – 8 hours of initial charge time.”
Joy: “Like with just about every rabbit-type vibe I’ve ever tried, Pearly just doesn’t fit me. It fits Dixie just fine, but I can either get the G-spot stimulation I’m looking for or the clit stimulation I need, but not both at the same time. It’s just the way I’m built.”
Dixie: “The control buttons are in the handle. You switch Pearly on using the FUN button and you scroll through the functions using the plus and minus buttons. You use the minus button to explore the intensity of vibrations and the plus button to explore the patterns and pulsations. Press the FUN button once again and the vibrations stop. I like this on/off feature a lot. I hate having to scroll through vibration modes to get to the off switch. Pearly also has a travel lock button.”
Joy: “Let’s recap, shall we? Pearly is body-safe, healthy, GREEN, rechargeable, waterproof, and powerful. It’s a bit pricy, but you’re paying for German engineering and superior materials. So I think it’s worth it.”
Full Review HERE!

ENJOY

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