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Review: Tantus Splash

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For me, the Splash was an acquired taste, kind of like Fernet.

If you haven’t tried it, Fernet is an Italian liquor that has an herby taste. Some people don’t like its distinctive flavor, but when I was in studying in Argentina in college, it was everyone’s drink of choice. Like, if you don’t like Fernet there, just go home. So I tried it again…and again…and before long I was in love with its weird flavor and sharing a huge vat of Fernet and Coke with about 10 friends while out at the boliches.pennysblog_splash2

That’s how the Splash was for me. I’d heard other bloggers rave about it, so I was dying to try it. But the first time I did, I didn’t really like it.  It felt strange and almost irritating, and I wondered what all of the hype was about. I’d heard that the type of people who like it are “texture sluts.” Obviously we all have our preferences, but I wanted to join the texture slut club. So I tried it again…and again…and now I love its exceptional texture.

The Splash is an intense dildo. Not because it’s super girthy or curvy, because it’s not1, but because it’s firm and has drips of silicone along its body that provide truly unique sensations. Just look at it. It looks part sci-fi, part artsy, which I love. Realistic toys are great, but sometimes you just want to masturbate with something that looks like a shimmery alien blob, am I right?

The Splash isn’t a dildo I use to thrust with wild abandon. I squeeze around it, and with a vibe on my clit, I use short, minimal thrusts, because that’s all I need to devour its texture. The little ripples on the top of its head feel amazing going it and rubbing on my g-spot, and when inserted deeper, the drips feel fabulous. As is standard for Tantus dildos, the Splash is harness compatible and anal safe, and since it’s 100% silicone, it’s hygienic, and it can be boiled and sterilized.

My vag isn’t always in the mood to be Splashed. But when I  do get a sudden craving for its drippy texture, nothing else will satisfy. And I can now proudly say I am a texture slut, thanks to this gorgeous dildo. I <3 you, Tantus.

If you love textured toys, you need the Splash. If you’re not sure if you like texture or not and want to try something new, the Splash is amazing, and I bet you’ll like it. If you want to try out the same texture but aren’t sure about its size, you could try the smaller Splish. If you don’t like texture, the Splash probably isn’t for you, but Tantus has lots of other high quality, 100% silicone dildos to choose from!

Don’t forget to use code PENNY at checkout for 15% off!

pennysblog_tantusbannerThanks for sending me the Splash in exchange for my honest review, Tantus!


  1. it has a 1.75″ diameter 

Lelo LUNA Smart Bead Review

pennysblog_LUNASmartBeadA week ago Lelo came out with their new LUNA Smart Bead™, a product that is supposed to function as a personal trainer for your vag. Sounds amazing right?! Spoiler alert: be prepared for an incredible let down.

The idea behind the LUNA Smart Bead™ is that you insert it and follow a 5 minute workout program, squeezing your PC muscles when it vibrates and relaxing them when it doesn’t. Based on your performance, it rates your orgasm potential and gives you a routine based on that the next time you use it. After doing the routine every day, you’re supposed to progress to higher levels and strengthen your muscles over time and therefore your orgasm potential as well.

The Smart Bead™ is silicone (but is hard and has no give), and its retrieval cord seems to be made of plastic, though the manual doesn’t specify. It’s fairly easy to use–here’s how it works:

-You press the power button to turn on the LUNA Smart Bead™. It blinks to show you what Level you’re on (it starts you at L3: Intermediate.)

-It gives you a 5 minute kegel exercise routine to follow–when it vibrates, you squeeze your PC muscles, and when it stops, you relax them. As you squeeze, it increases the vibration (you may or may not feel it.)

-After the 5 minute routine, it signals it’s over by vibrating 3 times quickly and then turns itself off.

-The next time you turn on the LUNA Smart Bead™, it blinks to show what Level you’re on (it remembers based on your last workout and is supposed to select the right level for your next routine.)

I was really excited to try out the LUNA Smart Bead™ because I like the idea of following a short kegel workout routine everyday, and a product that can rate my orgasm potential seemed like a really cool idea. Since Lelo’s other kegel workout product, the Luna Beads, are awesome, my expectations were high.

But sadly, the LUNA Smart Bead™ is so disappointing, I’m embarrassed for Lelo.

First of all, it doesn’t seem to measure “orgasm potential” or really anything for that matter. The first time I used the Smart Bead™, I almost threw it against the wall when it gave my vagina an L1 rating. I know my vagina isn’t an L1: Beginner, “For the uninitiated who has never practiced before” (quote from the manual.) Um, no. I have long, intense orgasms. I squeeze and workout my muscles frequently. I was incredibly insulted, although I had a hunch that the Smart Bead™ was full of shit already.

pennysblog_lunasmartbead2So, Jake and I experimented with the Smart Bead™. Jake, who does body building and is very strong, went through the 5 minute program, squeezing the bead with his hand as hard as possible, and it gave him a L3 Intermediate score. Afterwards, I tried squeezing it with my hand, and it gave me a L4 Advanced score. There is no way I was squeezing it as hard as Jake, so it clearly isn’t actually measuring strength. Within the week I’ve had it, I’ve also tried it as intended vaginally, and it’s given me scores of L1, L3, & L2. If it measures anything (which I’m skeptical that it does) it’s definitely not muscle strength or “orgasm potential.”

The second fail of the LUNA Smart Bead™ is its vibration. I get that it’s supposed to be a workout product and doesn’t necessarily need to be super strong, but the vibration is disgraceful. Let me put it this way: it’s about the same strength as the first speed on the crappy Princessa. It’s supposed to increase in strength as you squeeze, and sure, it does…it goes from incredibly weak, buzzy vibration, to slightly less weak, still incredibly useless vibration. Coming from Lelo, makers of Mona, this is just sad. And in the manual, it claims that the Smart Bead™ provides a continuous vibration mode “purely for pleasure.” HA.

Gross.

Gross.

In addition to its questionable workout levels and disappointing vibration, the Smart Bead™ is battery operated. Lelo products are known for being rechargeable as a standard, so this is a backwards move on their part. And not only is it battery operated, you have to take off the top of the Smart Bead™ to insert the battery, so it has a seam on the part you insert. Lube and juices crust along the inside of the bead, and it’s gnarly. And since it’s only waterproof when closed, that means it’s pretty much impossible to clean thoroughly. Oh, hell no.

Regardless of the fact that it doesn’t really measure orgasm potential, it could be debated that using the Smart Bead™ daily could increase your muscle strength. And sure, I guess it could, but using it is a snooze fest. It’s too small to provide any real muscle resistance, its vibration is weak, and it will occasionally stop vibrating for 10+ seconds , which doesn’t seem like a lot, but when you’re focusing only on the program, it’s enough to almost put you to sleep. Don’t worry though, it will eventually awaken you with sad vibration. And then disappoint you by its crappy level system. And then straight up infuriate you by the fact that it can’t be cleaned thoroughly and that it’s battery operated. Oh, and to add to it all, it only comes in 2 shades of pink. I guess it makes sense that it debuted near Halloween, because the Smart Bead™ is so bad, it’s scary.

I haven’t been this disappointed by a Lelo product since the horrible Ida. At least the Smart Bead™ doesn’t hurt. But its design is incredibly flawed, its vibration is sad, and it’s a ridiculous $109. If you saw the Smart Bead™ and thought it’d be cool to try, I strongly recommend that you reconsider. Get the Luna Beads instead, and let’s hope Lelo decides to fix the Smart Bead™, because it had the potential to be great…but instead it’s just an incredible disappointment.

Thanks for sending me the Smart Bead™ in exchange for my honest review, Lelo!

Review: Vixen Creations Buck

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Y’all, I am in love. Simply put, Buck is perfection.

But let’s back up. First, let’s talk VixSkin. Vixskin is a dual density silicone from Vixen Creations (they’re located in Austin, btw!), and it’s unlike any other silicone I’ve ever felt. It’s super squishy with a hard core, and it’s incredibly detailed. It reminds me of the uber realistic materials I used to sell at the sex shop…except it’s 100% silicone and hygienic! I seriously want to meet and give major high fives to whoever created the recipe…it’s life changing. I recently got my first 3 VixSkin dildos: Buck, Tex, & Johnny (more reviews upcoming–spoiler alert: they’re all awesome,) and Buck is my favorite.

pennysblog_buck_2Buck is girthy and veiny, with a 2″ pronounced head and ~6″ shaft, with a flared base. Its shaft starts at about 1.8″ below its head, and maxes out at a little over 2″ near its base. In use that translates to…perfection. Buck feels amazing thrusted shallowly, its head nudging on my g-spot, and it also feels fabulous thrusted deeper, its shaft providing a delicious stretch at my vaginal opening. Since it’s so squishy, I can thrust it wildly, but it’s also hard enough to feel intense. Did I mention its head? My g-spot adores it.

With eyes closed, Buck feels incredibly real, which makes it perfect for role-play and fantasy. In fact, I fell in love with my partner all over again when he asked me if I wanted him to use Buck on me while I gave him a blow job. Adam used to be my fave for threesome role-play…but Buck has taken over the throne. Adam feels great, but Buck feels more realistic. At first Buck’s look and prominent veins seemed a bit over the top to me, but after using Buck, I love everything about it. Never change, Buck!

pennysblog_buck_3Now I usually have at least one of my VixSkin dildos out on my desk so I can squeeze it in between writing. They’re so squishy–they’re like stress-cocks. When I first got my Vixskin dildos, someone tweeted at me about how I’d soon find that even cleaning them is fun, and it’s so true. Washing Vixskin is like giving soapy handjobs, and it’s fabulous.

I have zero complaints about Buck. At 2″, it will be too girthy for some, but for me, it’s perfect. I’ve heard VixSkin is more reactive to hybrid/silicone lubes, so I’d recommend sticking with water based, though I do that with all silicone toys to be safe anyways. Since it has a flared base, Buck is harness compatible and anal safe, and it can be easily cleaned with soap and water or boiled for 3 minutes.

Should you get Buck? Yes, I think you should. I am enamored. Buck es mi amor. If all of my dildos disappeared, Buck would be one of the first I’d replace… I shudder to think about that happening though. If you’re looking for an awesome realistic dildo with some girth, I definitely recommend Buck. My Buck is “vanilla,” and it also comes in caramel and chocolate.

Get Buck at SheVibe, Lovehoney US, Lovehoney UK, or directly from Vixen.

Thanks Vixen Creations!

Review: Tracey Cox Supersex Toner Balls

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Tracey Cox Toner Balls

I have a confession, y’all. I’ve been slacking on using kegel balls. It’s part laziness, park forgetfulness, and part me thinking that my vag is probably pretty strong from clenching around sex toys. But kegel health is important! And if there’s one body part I want to be strong, it’s my PC muscles. I need to be able to crush skulls with my vaginal canal…and squeeze around dildos harder, of course.

So I mostly wanted to try out the Tracey Cox Supersex Toner Balls to remind myself to do more kegels, and it worked!

The Tracey Cox Supersex Toner Balls (try saying that three times quickly) are made of body safe silicone and hard plastic, and they feature two balls with weights inside that move around and a stretchy silicone retrieval cord. Together they’re about 4.5″ long and 1.5″ wide. At first glance, they look…boring. You can’t switch out the balls for different weight combos like with the Luna Beads, and they’re Generic Sex Toy Pink. But somewhat surprisingly, I like the Supersex Toner Balls.

When I wear the Toner Balls, they feel similar to the Luna Beads. They’re not quite as jiggly, but I can feel the balls’ subtle movement as I walk and move around. They’re fairly big for kegel balls, so I can always feel them, and they remind me to squeeze and exercise my PC muscles. They’re also really comfortable, and I’ve worn them for hours while out and about without any problems.

Although the fact that you can’t switch out the balls means they aren’t as versatile as the Luna Beads, I like that the Toner Balls aren’t in a holster. I use the blue beads on my Luna Beads anyways, so the holster is somewhat superfluous, and vag gunk loves to congregate around where the holster meets the balls.

I also like that the retrieval cord is made of soft flexible silicone because it’s easy to tuck out of the way, and it doesn’t poke at my vulva.  I’ve heard of a few people who have issues with the stiffer Luna Beads cord irritating their urethra, so a soft silicone cord should eliminate that problem. The cord is odd when I’m naked though–it feels like I have an antenna coming out of my vag. I’ve heard that the cord’s stretchiness can be an issue, but I haven’t had any problems with it. I just do a sort of gentle tug, tug to get them out, so I don’t stretch the cord too much.

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Toner Balls vs. Luna Beads Original & Noir

Weight-wise, the Toner Balls are fairly heavy at 78g (Luna Beads weigh between 56-74g using both balls.) They’re advertised as good for beginners, but they might be too heavy for some. If you’re interested in trying them and aren’t sure if you can handle the weight, you could try the Toner Ball Set and start with the single ball.

The only issue I have with the Toner Balls is the hard plastic circles on the balls. They don’t seem to serve any purpose, and although I haven’t noticed any vag gunk collecting there, there are tiny ridges that could potentially hold bacteria etc.

Although they aren’t really orgasmic toys, kegel balls are awesome because your muscles also have to work to hold them in as you move and walk around, so if you wear them while you’re active, you’re getting a workout without any actual effort. It’s kind of like sitting and watching a workout video in your sweats with a glass of wine…except it actually works!

Simple and effective, the Tracey Cox Supersex Toner Balls are a solid set of kegel balls, and for $26.99, they’re a great deal. I recommend them for anyone looking for inexpensive kegel balls, especially if you don’t care about switching out weights and feel ready for heavy balls. If you think the Toner Balls might be too heavy, you could try the Toner Balls Set instead or go for the Luna Beads since they have more of a weight range. If they look too big for you, the Luna Beads Mini/Noir are also good options, though I prefer bigger balls so I can feel them when I wear them.

*UK readers: the Toner Balls are available here!

Thanks, Lovehoney!

Review: Minna Limon

pennysblog_limon1The Minna Limon is a photo op waiting to happen: it’s a vibrator that resembles a lemon or lime, and its tagline is “Fresh Squeezed.” But the Limon is more than just a cutesy fruit shaped sex toy–it uses unique squeeze technology which allows you to customize its vibration.

Made of body safe silicone, the Limon has a round body, a tapered tip, and a single button for turning it on and off and controlling which vibration mode it’s in. It has three vibration modes:

1. Free Play Mode- Press once to turn on the Limon. Now, when you squeeze it, it vibrates, and the harder you squeeze, the stronger its vibration.

2. Record Mode- With this function, any pattern you squeeze will be repeated back to you, but anytime you stop squeezing and start again, it starts the recording over. If you want to lock a pattern, hit the button again to go into lock mode.

3. Lock mode- In this mode, whatever pattern you recorded will play back over and over, even if you squeeze the Limon again. If you find a pattern you like, this is the way to go.

Its round shape seems somewhat ergonomic, but since the whole body of the Limon vibrates, it makes your hand start to tingle very quickly. It also spins around like it’s dancing, and once you add lube to the mix, the Limon can be very difficult to grasp securely. It’s as if the Limon has a mind of its own–and it’s a rebel. It doesn’t want to give you pleasure, it wants to sneak off and join the circus. It’s the Runaway Vibrator. As catchy as the fruit theme is, it’d be easier to use with a handle or something more to grasp.

pennysblog_limon2Despite the Limon being challenging to hold, I still enjoy using it because its vibration is strong and rumbly (power wise, it’s similar to Mona), and I love that I can create my own pulsation patterns. I usually don’t like the pre-programmed pulsations in vibrators because they often feel robotic, but with the Limon, I can create a pattern than works and tease myself really well, prolonging my orgasm until it’s explosive. My favorite pattern is a variation of pulse, pulse, longer pulse on high power, so it rumbles and stimulates my inner clit but doesn’t make me come immediately because it isn’t steady vibration.

My clit really enjoys round vibrators/being surrounded with vibration, and pinpoint stimulation isn’t my go to, so the Limon’s round shape works out well for me. Although its tip looks like it’s meant for pinpoint clitoral simulation, since it’s so short, it’s not going to work for everyone’s clit, so if that’s what you’re looking for, keep that in mind.

My favorite ways to use the Limon are for clitoral only stimulation alone or during penetration with a partner. Since it’s hard to hold and also requires two hands to program how you like it, using it by myself with dildos just doesn’t work out well. The Limon is one of my favorite vibes to use during penetration with a partner though…the teasing pulsation has led to me having up to 5 orgasms in a row! Some other great things about the Limon: it’s very quiet, it’s waterproof, it’s (USB) rechargeable, and its silicone is silky smooth/doesn’t attract lint as much as a lot of other silicone.

Here are a few tips for using the Limon:

-Read the manual–it’s helpful.

-Only put a small drop of lube on it since it’s very hard to hold if it’s all lubey.

-Once you have a pattern you like set up, grasp the Limon by its hard sides–it’s easier to hold that way.

-To create a steady vibration mode, squeeze the Limon with one hand, and simultaneously use your other hand to hit the button twice to lock it.

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Besides the Limon being difficult to hold, I also had issues with defective Limons. Plural. The first Limon I received didn’t work at all, and the second worked for a few weeks, but then got stuck in charging mode (the light was on even when it was unplugged) and then stopped working completely. The third one seems to work fine, but I’ve only had it for a couple of weeks. Normally I wouldn’t recommend a product that had this many issues, but I know a lot of other bloggers who’ve tried the Limon and haven’t had any problems, so perhaps it was just bad luck. The Limon does come with a 1 year manufacturer’s warranty as well, so if there’s an issue, Minna will take care of it quickly.

I was somewhat concerned about flying with my Limon, since their website says air travel can deflate it, but I took it along on 5 flights during some recent traveling, and that didn’t happen at all. Since it’s not lockable for travel, I drained its battery life to ensure it wouldn’t go off during security, and I didn’t have any issues with it or my other toys in my carry on.

The Limon could definitely use some improvements–it would benefit from a handle or some shape that was easier to hold, it should be lockable for travel, and I wish you could save vibration patterns. But even though the Limon has its flaws, the fact that it can make me come hard (and sometimes over and over) means I am able to overlook them and enjoy it anyway–but I don’t recommend it for everyone.

Who I do recommend the Limon for: people who want a unique vibrator to use for teasing or who want to try customizable vibration patterns, people who like rumbly vibration but don’t need super strong toys. Who I don’t recommend it for: people who prefer steady vibration or those who have hand/wrist issues. I also wouldn’t recommend it as a first time vibrator, since it’s a bit complicated to use.

Thanks Burlesque Toyshop! (now closed)

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