Tag Archives: epic fails

Review: Lelo LUNA Smart Bead

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: Vibratex Princessa

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Update 2017: The crappy Princessa is no longer available–hooray for clits everywhere! If you’re looking for a good small vibrator, check out the Tango/Touch instead or browse my other vibrator reviews.

The Princessa looks like a cross between a flower, a nipple, a bug, and an alien, which is of course why I wanted to try it.

One of Vibratex’s new line of petite, rechargable travel vibes (along with the more traditionally shaped Amie and Bestie,) the Princessa is made of silicone and ABS plastic. It’s smaller than I thought it would be (3.3″ long and about 1.5″ wide), and its vibration is concentrated in the “nipple” part, which is firm but has some give to it. The petals/ticklers/feelers/whatever-you-want-to-call-them are very flexible and only transfer a small amount of vibration. The power is controlled with a flower shaped push button and has a cycle through design (low, medium, high, pulse, increasing pulse, helicopter (more on that later), and off.)

The Princessa is one of those toys that I wouldn’t have bought or requested to review if I had felt it first. Its vibrations are very surface level and buzzy (I think it’s actually the buzziest vibe I have), and I was doubtful that it would be able to get me off after feeling it. It also has almost no range; the 2nd speed is slightly stronger than the 1st, but there’s almost no discernible difference between the 2nd and 3rd.

The Princessa is also kind of like a small dog that’s overcompensating by barking non-stop–it’s obnoxiously loud for such a petite, weak vibe. When it’s set to steady vibration, it sounds like there are bees buzzing around my clit, and on its last setting, like a helicopter is about to land between my labia. So there’s that.

pennysblog_princessa2Despite its weak vibrations and annoying buzz though, the Prinessa can still get me off, most of the time. Something about the pinpoint stimulation from the hard nipple part on my clit combined with the feelers tickling my labia works for me, though I think I get off more from rubbing action than the actual vibration. I really wish the Princessa had power akin to that of its cousin vibe, the Mystic Wand, or even better, the rumbly goodness of the Tango.

I was reminded the other day that vibration power is very relative during an impromptu show & tell of my toys with two friends, when one was impressed by the Princessa’s vibes (and scared to death of the Doxy’s.) So if you are very sensitive and prefer a light tickle vibration, the Princessa might work for you. For most people though, the Princessa’s light, buzzy vibrations won’t cut it.

The Princessa comes with a pink pleather zipper storage bag, a charger dock, a USB wall converter (which is nice because many vibes don’t), and a 1 year manufacturer’s warranty. You can charge the Princessa with or without the port, and the light turns green when it’s at full charge. It’s showerproof/splashproof but not submergible; I haven’t used it in shower but have cleaned it without any problems.

Since it’s silicone it can be washed with soap and hot water or a 10% bleach solution, and I’d recommend using an old toothbrush to get in around the bottom of the feelers. Normally I’d say the Princessa is ideal for travel since it’s small, but the noise factor might be an issue.

Although I can get off with the Princessa, its weak vibration and unwelcome soundtrack annoys me. Unless you like buzzy vibrations or absolutely must own an alien nipple flower vibe, I don’t recommend it. If you’re looking for a small travel vibe, try the Mia for more of a range or the Tango for sheer power instead.

Thanks SheVibe!

 

 

Review: Lelo Ida

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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!