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Review: Tantus Charmer

pennysblog_charmer2Usually it annoys me when sex toys are described as “personal massagers” (I don’t use them to massage myself, I used them to fuck myself!) but in the case of the Tantus Charmer, I actually do feel like I’m giving my vagina a massage when I’m using it.

The Charmer is a 6.8″ long matte silicone dildo with ridges along its shaft and a 1.4″ max girth. Unlike the other two Tantus dildos I’ve tried so far (Adam & Flurry) which feature dual density silicone with a hard core, the Charmer’s silicone is soft and bendy, though it still has a firm feel.

When using the Charmer, I enjoy taking my time thrusting it and squeezing around its unique shape. The Charmer doesn’t throw my g-spot against the wall and fuck it (metaphorically speaking) like my other bigger and harder toys do– it’s gentle; it massages and teases. The Charmer’s sloping ridges caress my g-spot, awakening it slowly.

Since it’s flexible and not super girthy, the Charmer is a natural choice for a warm-up toy, and that’s how I use the Charmer most of the time. Sometimes the Charmer’s subtle stimulation is enough, but more often I find myself craving a more intense dildo to finish up with. When I do enjoy the Charmer by itself, it’s definitely a longer jack-off session, since it doesn’t have enough girth, curve, or a prominent head to make it a toy for a quick orgasm.

pennysblog_charmerOriginally I thought the Charmer wouldn’t be able to make me squirt because my g-spot loves the pressure that hard and/or girthy toys provide, but I have on occasion been able to ejaculate with the Charmer paired with my We-Vibe Tango. It’s definitely a toy that takes some build up though, not one that makes me feel like I might squirt immediately.

If you’re looking for an internal/g-spot or prostate dildo that isn’t super intense, the Charmer is a great option. Unlike dildos that have a prominent head sometimes do, the Charmer doesn’t catch on my pubic bone, and since its ridges are subtle, it’s ideal for gradual g-spot stimulation.

Since the Charmer has a flared based, it’s safe for anal play and can be paired with a harness. It’s actually the first dildo I’ve tried anally (with a condom*), and it’s fairly easy to insert. I still consider myself more of a butt plug enthusiast though, and I doubt I’ll use it anally much.

If you’re looking for a slim dildo for warm-up, a toy that provides pleasurable g-spot or prostate stimulation that’s not super intense, or just a toy to use to make sweet, slow love to yourself, then I recommend getting a Tantus Charmer. If you prefer girthier toys or need intense pressure and stimulation however, then you’d probably find the Charmer underwhelming.

Thanks Tantus for sending me the Charmer in exchange for my honest review and for making high quality, body-safe, bad ass silicone toys! You rock!

*Although silicone can be boiled, sterilized, and used both vaginally/anally, silicone can retain butt smells and even the idea of possible butt germs on toys I use vaginally turns me off, so condoms it is.

Review: Lelo Ida

pennysblog_Ida1

Lelo’s description of the Ida, revised by me for accuracy:

Discover a mind-blowing new way to share destroy intimacy with Ida™, the premium couples’ massager worn by women when making love attempting to have sex. Ida™ is the world’s first remote-controlled couples’ massager to combine powerful mediocre vibrations with thrilling rotations incessant poking, offering completely new painful stabbing sensations for both partners. More Less pleasure for him, more pleasure pain for her with unlimited few possibilities for play – your love life will never be the same again! 

Well, at least they got the last part right! When used as intended, the Ida will change your love life, but not the way it claims.

Marketed as a “couples” vibrator, the Lelo Ida is a silicone vibrator that is supposed to be worn during penetration. Its design features a small round disk meant to sit on the clit and vibrate, and an attached 3″ by 1″ shaft that is supposed to vibrate and rotate, except it has no room to rotate when crammed up in a vagina with a penis. That’s probably a good thing though, since Ida already pokes at my insides without any added motion.

The worst experience I had with the Ida was trying to use it in doggy style, when Jake couldn’t even insert himself all of the way, and just trying to sent sharp pain through my vagina.

The best (aka least painful) way we used it as a couples’ toy was in missionary. In this position, at first it isn’t so bad, and at least we can actually insert it, and I’m not screaming in pain. But when we start thrusting faster and harder, Ida’s arm starts to feel really pokey and uncomfortable (for both me and Jake), and before long I want it out. Even after it’s out, my vagina feels raw and used and not in a good way, and Jake is desensitized from Ida’s buzzy vibration.

Basically, the Ida makes it its mission to ruin sex.

After letting Ida chafe and prod our genitals a few times, Jake suggested trying it during anal, and I welcomed the thought of not trying to double stuff my vagina. In theory, wearing Ida vaginally during anal penetration actually seemed like a genius idea, since it could provide hands free vibration and should rotate as intended without the hindrance of a neighboring penis.

Sadly though, the Ida still fell short. Ida’s disk barely reaches my clit, and its vibrations aren’t deep enough to satisfy me during anal. I tried pushing it into my clit, but its circular shape prevents pinpoint stimulation, and it frustrates me, which leads to anal sex becoming uncomfortable because I’m no longer relaxed like I need to be.

pennysblog_Ida2As a couple’s toy, Ida fails in just about every way. As a solo vibrator though, Ida actually provides a unique sensation. The first time I tried it, I kept thinking this kinda feels like a mini DJ roomba on my clit, minus the jams. Ida’s rotation causes the disk portion to move in circles (like a little robot!) which feels pretty rad.

Lelo could be on to something with this design if they made the shaft bigger and made the vibration stronger. But as it is, the internal portion doesn’t really do anything for me because it’s too small and too weak, and I can orgasm clitorally when it’s on the strongest setting while pushing the disk against my clit, but it’s nothing to write home about.

Another thing I do like about the Ida is the SenseMotion technology, which allows you to control the vibration intensity simply by moving the controller rather than searching for buttons to press. When reading the manual it sounds complicated, but it’s easy to use once you figure it out.

I also tried using Ida with my Charmer, since it’s the softest/most flexible dildo I have, and while it didn’t poke me as much as it did with Jake, it didn’t add anything. The vibes are too buzzy, and it feels weird and out of place. I’d much rather use a good regular vibe than a “hands free” vibe that I have to cram in my vagina with a dildo to use.

The Ida can be controlled by two different SenseMotion modes (I like the one where you tilt it to increase the vibrations) or by scrolling through the 6 programmed modes. In any mode you can increase and decrease vibration, but the internal and external portions can’t be controlled separately. Ida is waterproof and since it’s made of silicone, it can be cleaned and sterilized with soap and warm water. Like all Lelo’s, it’s rechargeable and comes with a one year manufacturer’s warranty.

When I first read Epiphora’s review, which starts with, “I think my boyfriend is going to break up with me over the Lelo Ida,” I made a joke in the comments section:

New marketing idea for the Ida: the toy you buy when you want to break up with someone.Tagline: Can we be done yet?

After trying the Ida myself, I now realize that Ida’s ability to ruin sex is no laughing matter. Also, I have a new tagline idea:

Ida: the toy for those who like a challenge (can YOU finish without crying?)

I can’t in good conscience recommend the Ida, unless you just want to collect every toy ever made by Lelo or you’re into vaginal pain. At best, the Ida’s roomba-esque movement feels nice during solo use (but not $200 nice) and at worst, it will stab your insides and probably ruin sex. If you want to try a Lelo vibrator, get a Mona or Mia instead.

P.S. If someone wants to buy me a Mona 2 to make up for the experience of trying this toy, that would be amazing!

 

Review: NobEssence Romp

pennysblog_romp reviewThe Romp is my new favorite butt plug. It surpasses my other faves like the comfortable Bootie, the filling Ryder, and even my beautiful Crystal Delights plugs. It’s truly as amazing as Epiphora made it sound in her review, which is what led me to trying it.

The Romp is my first wooden sex toy, and it’s made by NobEssence, a supplier of premium hand-sculpted organic wooden toys that’s been around since 2005. It comes in various wood types; mine is made of Yellow Heart, an exotic wood usually from Brazil. Like all NobEssenece toys, it’s hand finished and sealed with Lubrosity, a smooth, impermeable body-safe polymer coating. It’s 3.5 insertable inches long and 1.5” at its widest point.

I don’t really know how to describe the Romp’s shape, so I’ll just say that it’s perfect-for-butts. Its tip is easy to insert, and once I get past its widest point, my butt sucks it in, and it stays in place like that’s it’s job. It doesn’t require as much lube as silicone toys—a little bit of Sassy is perfect. I’ve tried it both ways but prefer wearing the Romp with the handle pointing up towards my back.

Once it’s in, the Romp is comfortable, but I’m definitely aware it’s there, and it’s fun to squeeze and clench around, and the handle is great for tugging on. Although I thought it might be weird to sit with, it doesn’t get in the way, even when I tried sitting on hard wood. Though it’s comfortable, I can definitely feel the handle between my cheeks when walking around, so I don’t think I’d wear it out in public.

The other way I use the Romp, during vaginal sex, is in a word, intense. Especially at first, the pressure and added stimulation from the Romp is like whoa, and I find myself wondering if it’s too much, but it’s not, and before long I’m used to it and it’s amazing. The Romp doesn’t poke Jake or get in the way during sex, and it doesn’t escape my butt even during mega-orgasms.

pennysblog_rompreview2I tried the Romp vaginally before using it as a butt plug, but the handle is too short, and I can’t really move it around to stimulate my g-spot. I think with a longer handle the shape would be promising, so I’d love to get my hands on the Intrigue at some point. I’ve read about people who like using the Romp as a kegel excerciser, so that’s also a possibility.

The Romp shouldn’t be boiled, but it can be easily cleaned and sterilized with non-abrasive soap and water and or a wipe down with a 10% bleach or alcohol solution. The wood doesn’t seem to retain butt smells (unlike silicone toys), which is awesome.

The Romp is so awesome that I literally had a nightmare that it got ruined because someone took sandpaper to it or something, and I was inconsolable, no joke. It was horrible. I wouldn’t wish a ruined Romp on anyone.

So, should you get the Romp? Yes, you should, ASAP. It’s a pricey toy, but it’s worth it. It’s gorgeous, comfortable, and its shape is amazing. If my nightmare had come true, and some sick, heartless person maliciously ruined my Romp, I’d buy another one stat. I kind of want to get another one with a different type of wood, but that seems excessive (plus, now I want to try all the NobEssence toys.) The Romp could be too big for anal beginners or too small for someone accustomed to much larger toys, but I’m having trouble imagining anyone not liking it.

Thanks Burlesque ToyShop for sending me the Holy Grail of butt plugs to review! See all of my photos and posts with the Romp here.

Review: Lovelife Cuddle

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I was both hopeful and skeptical of trying the Lovelife Cuddle G-spot Vibrator from OhMiBod’s new line of traditional (as opposed to their trademark music based) toys. The line in general seemed promising, with a range of rechargeable, moderately priced silicone toys, but I wasn’t sure if the Cuddle would be big enough or have enough curve to stimulate my g-spot.

The Cuddle is 6.5 x 1.4” and made of matte silicone, with a plastic handle and heart shaped control buttons. The silicone is hard and not at all bendy, though the subtle ridge on its head is squishier than the rest of the shaft. The Cuddle has 6 vibration speeds controlled by pressing and releasing the +/- buttons and 6 functions controlled by the ~ button, which can be used at any power setting. It’s also rechargeable with a USB connection, splash proof, and relatively quiet.

Right away I found myself comparing the Cuddle to the Lelo Gigi, which is similar in size and design, and when competing for my clit’s favor, the Cuddle wins. It’s not a lot stronger than Gigi, but it’s stronger, and I actually enjoy some of its functions, which usually annoy me but in this case do what they’re intended to do—bring me near to an orgasm and then tease me by changing the pattern. I can orgasm with the Cuddle fairly quickly, even though it’s not as strong as some of my other vibes.

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As for g-spotting, the Cuddle provides pleasurable though not very intense stimulation. It’s small, but it’s curved enough to rub my g-spot and hard enough that my g-spot responds, even though there isn’t a ton of pressure from size or pinpoint stimulation. Compared to the Gigi, it’s actually slightly girthier overall and has a longer curve, which works to its advantage. Like the Gigi though, it’s short, which makes it harder to thrust than longer or more curved g-spot toys.

My favorite way to use the Cuddle is clitorally first, and then move on to thrusting it internally, without the vibration. I tried it with the vibration on, but I don’t like it—I have yet to find a toy with vibration that enhances g-spotting rather than just tickling or irritating me.

pennysblog_cuddleheartcontrollerOverall, I like the Cuddle, and it outshines the Lelo Gigi, which is pretty amazing considering it’s $50 less, but it doesn’t wow me. It could be stronger and rumblier (rumbly vibration, people!) I also don’t like that it comes with a USB only charger and that you have to hold the whole control panel for a few seconds to get it off. When I’m done with a toy, I want it OFF ASAP, so I can de-lube and de-come myself and get a snack or do whatever I need to do. The first time I used the Cuddle, I didn’t know how to turn it off, and the heart/face shaped controller that I thought was cute at first seemed to mock me as I fidgeted with it, trying to get the damn thing to turn off.

Lastly, I usually I don’t care much about sex toy packaging, but I can’t not mention the Cuddle’s cutesy, overwhelmingly pink design and box. Though I’m not a big fan of pink toys because the industry is over-saturated with them, I don’t mind the Cuddle’s hot pink design since it goes along with the heart theme, and the box is fun– I’ll definitely re-purpose it for something, since I store my toys in plastic bins.

Overall, the Cuddle is a decent clitoral vibe and petite g-spot toy. If you want a rechargeable clitoral vibe and don’t need a lot of power or a small g-spot toy without a lot of girth or intense stimulation, then you might like the Cuddle. If you’ve been eyeing the Gigi, I’d definitely recommend trying the Cuddle instead, since it’s similar but slightly more powerful and significantly less expensive.

Thanks Good Vibrations for sending me the Cuddle in exchange for my honest review!

Review: Tantus Little Secrets Spoon Vibrator

pennysblog_littlesecretsspoonEven before I tried the Little Secrets Spoon, a 3.4 inch longer bullet vibrator covered in a silicone sleeve, I began to form a grudge against it. As much as I like its refreshing orange color, and as much as I love the Tantus toys I’ve tried so far, I was immediately turned off by what was the bane of my existence for three years: tiny cell batteries.

When I worked at the sex shop, we tested all of our vibrators during checkout since we didn’t accept returns. To do this, we’d insert the batteries and cycle through the functions to make sure everything worked. Enter tiny batteries from hell.

Not only are the cell batteries that go into bullets and other toys generally annoying and often difficult to insert, they also have short lifespans. So sometimes when a vibe I tested didn’t work, it was because the cell batteries were dead, so I’d have to go get another. And another. Until finally I found one with functional batteries.

Seriously, those tiny cell batteries are what my sex toy clerk nightmares were made of.  Nightmares that featured a line of grumpy customers, all with armfuls of bullets, finger vibes, and cock rings to be tested. To make matters worse, we were supposed to tell every customer that they should take the batteries out between every use in a sad attempt to make them last a little longer.

Despite my hatred for tiny bullets and cell batteries, I still wanted to like the Little Secrets Spoon. I love Tantus, it was my first orange toy (score!) and even though it’s a cell battery operated bullet, at least it’s covered in high quality, non-porous silicone. But it wasn’t meant to be.

The second strike for the Spoon was its lack of vibration settings. I’m not a big fan of pulsations, and I don’t need a lot of functions in a vibe, but I do need at least some kind of buildup of increasing power, unless the toy’s only setting(s) are jack-hammer strength, like the Hitachi. The Spoon only has one speed, and it’s disappointing.

Which leads us to the Spoon’s ultimate failure—it couldn’t get me off. The first few times I tried it, I became irritated by its lack of settings and power and ran for another vibe. In an attempt to be fair and give the toy a proper chance to get me off, I brought it with me on an out of town trip, without packing any other vibes. I was reading Best Women’s Erotica 2014, and I was so turned on I thought I might come without even touching myself….and it still couldn’t get me off.

It was the ultimate disappointment. In the heat of the moment, without any other options, I thought the silicone was dampening the vibration and maybe if I pulled off the sleeve, it would be stronger. After struggling to yank the thing off in an act of desperation, I was disappointed to find that it wasn’t any different. My clit was so annoyed by its buzzy and eventually numbing vibrations that I didn’t even bother to finish myself off with my fingers afterwards. (Read: I didn’t even want an orgasm after using it. Seriously.)

Ruining my orgasm was strike three– you’re OUT Little Secrets Spoon.

And I almost forgot to mention that the Little Secrets Spoon is described as a “g-spotter” toy. It’s too small, not curved enough, and not shaped to be a g-spot toy. No, no, no.

I can’t in good conscience recommend the Little Secrets Spoon. Even if you don’t need a lot of strength in a vibrator, the Spoon only has one speed, and it’s little batteries are bound to annoy you, and even though it’s sheathed in lovely orange Tantus silicone, under it all it’s still just a crappy little bullet vibe. If you’re looking for a quality clitoral vibe, I suggest the Lelo Mia or We-Vibe Tango instead.

Side note: The Spoon’s silicone sleeve fits over the We-Vibe Tango and transfers its vibration well, which is its one redeeming quality (assuming you have a Tango already.)

*Thanks Tantus for sending me the Little Secrets Spoon in exchange for my honest review! To read about some Tantus toys that did wow me, check out my Adam O2, Flurry O2, & Ryder reviews. 

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