Sunday, April 28, 2013

iGino One Review

~I received this item from iGino for free in exchange for an honest review.~

Companies more and more are recognizing vibrators can come in more shapes than have already been explored.  Rianne S came out with the Matryoshka, a small vibrator that resembles Russian stacking dolls.  Lelo has the Mia 2, shaped like a lipstick. Fun Factory has a UFO.  Joining the tradition of it's-not-what-it-looks-like is the new iGino One.

A little bit about it:  The iGino One is a compact, rechargeable clitoral vibrator (external use only) that at first glance looks nothing like a vibrator.  It's rectangular in shape (about 4 inches long by 2 inches wide), and has a removable cap. Under the cap is a little vibrating nub, which is the business end, so to speak, of the vibrator.

The iGino One comes with a USB extension cord, an EU wall adapter, US wall adapter, storage pouch, extra gaskets that go between the vibrating head and the body, and one SkinTouch head.  The SkinTouch head (made of EVA, aka foam rubber) is an optional attachment that gives the vibrating head a different feel.  According to the manufacturer, the vibe is compatible with water based, silicone, and "natural oil" lubricants.
SkinTouch head attached to the iGino

The iGino One charges via a USB port, is splash-proof but not waterproof, is one speed, and does not have a travel lock function (what keeps vibes from coming alive in your suitcase at embarrassing moments).

A brief note about the type of vibration.  iGino is equipped with "vibraMoove," which combines vibrations with movement.  They claim this is a unique sensation when compared to other vibrators.

Packaging:  The iGino One comes in a heavy duty, pink and white cardboard box.  You know how I feel about pink.  But more on that later.  The box itself is nice, simple, and classy.  It's neither discreet nor particularly indiscreet.

What I loved: The shape of the iGino One is truly unique.  It's roughly the size and shape of a smartphone or mp3 player.  The hinge the USB plug swings on even looks vaguely like a camera lens. In short, when the cap is on it looks nothing like a sex toy, so no need to panic if you leave it out and someone sees it.  Unless of course they pick it up and turn it on.  It's pretty obvious what it is at that point.  Anyway, it's a completely different design that doesn't follow traditional bullets or phallic-shaped vibes.

The vibrations, though only one speed, are relatively strong.  Seriously, for a rechargeable vibe, I'm impressed with the strength.  In fact, it is one of the strongest compact rechargeable vibrators I've seen. The vibrations are somewhere between buzzy and rumbly, but lean toward buzzy.  I usually can't (or don't) orgasm with buzzier vibes, but the iGino has just enough mix of rumbly that it isn't a problem.

The shape is easy enough for me to hold comfortably, although the comfort level of holding it will vary from person to person.  I do have to say, though, that most of the vibration stays in the head instead of the body.  Although the body does vibrate somewhat, it's not so much that it is particularly bothersome.

What I didn't: I'm going to start with the obvious.  If you've been reading my reviews, you know one of the big things that annoys me is assuming that women love pink.  Some women love it, not all.  I hate that pink is the go-to color for toy manufacturers.  I would have loved to see the toy in an accent color that was more neutral as far as stereotypes go.  Like yellow.  Or green.  Or grey.

The tagline, "What women want," which is written on the package, is kind of annoying.  To be honest, I really find it kind of insulting.  It's like saying, "Here, try this.  You'll love it.  If you don't, there's something wrong with you."  No one knows better than me that not all toys are for every body, and no toy should pretend to be.

The SkinTouch head didn't particularly do anything for me but dampen the vibrations.  For those that find the vibrations too powerful, the head is an excellent attachment.  For everyone else, skip it.

The iGino One is supposed to be slim enough to fit between lovers during intercourse.  I will say that yes, it is slim enough, but when Husband and I tried to use it during lovemaking, the vibrating head didn't hit my clitoris.  It just sort of hung out in the netherspace between us, not really vibrating anything except diffusely when the head somehow managed to hit something.

I was particularly excited by the idea of the "vibraMoove" technology, but was disappointed in it's implementation.  Although the vibrating head does move, it does so at such a rapid pace that it feels like most other vibrators.  In short, to my clitoris, the fact that the head is moving as well as vibrating doesn't feel any different than just vibrations.

Since the iGino isn't waterproof, that leads to the question of how to clean it.  I asked and was told that alcohol-free wet wipes are the way to go.  I happen to have a collection toy wipes that work great for this, but not everyone has toy wipes on hand.  Further, I prefer to wash my toys whenever possible instead of wipe them down.

The iGino is only one speed, and they told me:
The "Vibramoove" allows to vary the intensity of the stimulation simply by changing the inclination of the contact surface. This is the reason why the first version of the iGino has only one speed.
 Eh...I'm still going to say multi-speed is better, but it looks like they are still working on the design.

The last thing I really need to say is that the iGino is loud.  Like, really, really loud.  It sounds like electric hair clippers.  It's great that the shape is discreet, but in a situation where you would need the shape discreet, there is a really good chance you need the sound to be as well.  The good news is that iGino is aware of the sound issue, and they are working on it.

Final thought: The iGino has a lot going for it, but there is still a good deal of room for improvement.  It will retail for a cost of approximately $99, which is pretty standard for a high quality vibrator.  However, most luxury vibes of this price point tend to be multi-speed and often have a pattern function, a travel lock, are waterproof, and are extremely quiet.  The iGino is very new to the market, and doesn't have any of these features.  A vibe of that price that can only be used for clitoral stimulation should be, at the very least, multi-speed, waterproof, and quiet to be able to hold its ground against more well known manufacturers like Lelo, Fun Factory, and We-Vibe.  In my opinion, either new features need to be added, or the price needs to come down.

If the iGino One sounds like it might be for you, you can purchase your own from iGino.

~I received this item from iGino for free in exchange for an honest review.~

Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Breast Ogling Heart Health Myth

There is a charming idiotic myth about sexual and cardiovascular health that's making it's way through society again.  Have you heard it?  Allow me to give you the very brief version of this myth.  Remember I said myth.  And I'll say it again.  It's a myth.

The myth states that a doctor in Germany by the name of Karen Weatherby discovered that for men over 40, it is good for their health to stare at breasts that are D cup or larger for 10 minutes a day.  Doing so, supposedly, has the same health benefits of a 30 minute aerobic workout and is good for cardiovascular health.

This story has been reported on several health and wellness sites (along with some tabloids, of course).  Even more reputable sites didn't pull down their stories when comments alerted them to the fact that the Karen Weatherby breast study is in fact a complete and utter hoax.  And not just any hoax, but a hoax that is at least 14 years old, likely closer to 16.  This myth is old enough to get it's learner's permit and start practicing parallel parking.

As a critical thinker, the very idea that breast staring = exercise seems completely ridiculous, so why did so many people buy into it?  Even more disturbing, according to some comments I read, men were intending on using this "study" to defend their blatant staring at other women to their wives and girlfriends, and they should just understand.  Why are they--why is anyone--buying into this nonsense?

My guess: wishful thinking.  We, as humans, appreciate beauty, but we also believe staring is rude.  As a woman, I would be extremely uncomfortable if a stranger came up to me and said he was going to stare at my chest for 10 minutes for his heart health.  Or if Husband said he was going out for a while to look at some boobies (which I'd also find a little odd, because, well, I'm right here).  This myth gives people a pass to stare at whatever they want, whenever they want without apology.

Look, I'm not saying breasts aren't awesome.  I'm not saying men don't notice them.  I'm just saying when you run across "studies" like this, you have stop and think.  Look it up.  Don't take anything you see or read for granted.  Heck, I expect you to look up what I say if something doesn't sound right to you.  Stop, drop, and roll.  Stop, think, research.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Leaf Vitality Review

~I received this item free of charge in exchange for an honest review.~

Oh, the Leaf Line!  How I've lusted over them for a long time.  They're high quality and just gorgeous, but I've put off owning one because they seem to be one of those toys where you either love or hate it.  I'd like to thank Vibrator Kingdom for providing this piece of lovely for me to review!  They are quickly becoming one of my favorite shops.

A little bit about it: The Vitality is part of SWAN's Leaf vibrator line.  This particular one is a rabbit-style vibrator in that it has a clitoral arm and a vaginal arm.  Each arm contains their own motor controlled by separate buttons.  Arm 1, and what I think of as the clitoral arm, is just under 3 inches long, and flatter than Arm 2, which is more rounded and just under 3.5 inches long.  the entire toy itself is roughly 5.5 inches long.

The Vitality is silicone, waterproof, rechargeable, is equipped with a travel lock (so it doesn't start to vibrate in your suitcase), comes with a precious storage bag, and is multi-speed.  However, to change the speed, you press and hold the buttons.  Just pushing them once turns the motor on and off.  The vibrations themselves are not silent, but nearly so.

Packaging:  The Vitality comes in a heavy duty cardboard box with magnetic closure.  It's sort of classy minimalist.  Well, a picture's worth a thousand cows.  Or something.  So here:

What I loved: First off, it's green.  I mean the color.  It's green!  It's not any shade of pink at all!  This, friends, makes me very, very happy.  I know not everyone exactly loves green, but it's such a welcome departure.

I love the fact that the arms are controlled separately.  Maybe I want clitoral vibration, but not vaginal, or the other way around.  Or I want strong vibrations in one place, and slightly weaker in another.  The separate controls makes it easy.  Only two buttons makes it simple.  The vibrations are nothing to sneeze at either, being a 4 out of 5 as far as strength goes.

Moving on.  The bulbous handle on the end makes the Vitality ridiculously easy and comfortable to hold and move without my hands getting tired.  I used the Vitality multiple times and never got any muscle cramps.

What I didn't: Although I tried--oh how I tried!--to orgasm with the Vitality, it is just not happening.  The strength is fine, although the clitoral arm is a little buzzy, while the vaginal arm is more rumbly.  But the buzzy isn't so terribly buzzy that it causes a big problem.  The problem, it turns out, is that I can't use any pressure with the Vitality.  Where the arms meet is just too flexible!  As I get close to climax, I need to be able to increase the pressure of the toy against me.  This is true both for my clitoris and my G-spot.  The Vitality just bends away from me if I try to use pressure.  For this reason, I can not have an orgasm with the Vitality.

Final thought: This is a fun and beautiful toy, but not being able to use pressure with it is a deal breaker for me.  However, if you only need the vibrations and don't care about the pressure, then you will likely love this toy.  It has a lot of really great aspects going for it.  It's quiet, beautiful, and has decent vibrations.  Being too flexible is my main concern, and it is unfortunately what makes the Vitality not work for me.  Still, if you like your toys to be slightly flexible, then you may well love this one!

~I received this item in exchange for an honest review.~

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Vibrator Kingdom

I'm going to take a minute to talk about Vibrator Kingdom.  They are the fabulous company that sent me my Leaf Vitality vibe (review coming up next).  I'm not getting any sort of compensation to talk about them and I don't usually glow about companies this much but they had so many precious little touches that really impressed me, I couldn't help it.  Even their website is creative and delightful.  It's non-threatening (no naked pornstars swinging from chandeliers), but still stays fun.  

When I opened the box from them and pulled this out, I didn't want to continue to open it, it's so pretty!

I mean, look at it.  I don't like animal print.  I don't like pink.  But I mean, look at it.  I loved it.  It's fabulous.  Vibrator Kingdom offers free gift wrap and gift messages to all orders.  If I were you, I'd take advantage of that.  Because, I mean, well.  Just look.

Orders also come with informational inserts on products and toy material safety.  My package came with one about the dangers of jelly toys and why you should choose silicone instead (THANK YOU!!!).  And then there are the packets of samples and freebies that the orders come with.  And this sticker that was on one of them:

Oh, and this mini-pencil that came in one of the sample packets:

I totally want to use it in inappropriate situations, like grocery shopping.  I probably won't, but I want to.  Also, I won't mention that I wasn't sure right away if this was a writing pencil or an eye pencil.  Let's say I knew right away it's just a regular pencil.  (Shut up.  I was a bit lacking in the sleep department at the time.)

You may be thinking, "But this is a UK company and I am in the US.  It will take forever to get here."  Well, let me tell you all of this fabulousness arrived here in the US from the UK in under a week.  In short, these pleasant little extra touches just make a company a joy to work with and I highly recommend them.

Monday, April 15, 2013

The Night of the Zombie Vibrator

I'm about to tell you a story.  A true story.  Scout's honor.  OK, I was never a scout, but my parents did take me to sign up for scouts once, but were told that they were already full.  So I never got to be a scout.  Sad face.

Anyway, I'm going to tell you the story of the night of the zombie vibrator.  OK, it wasn't so much night as it was early afternoon, but that doesn't sound as scary.  No good story begins with, "It was a bright and sunny afternoon, just like this...woooo!"  I don't tend to buy bullet vibrators, as I find them to be buzzy and annoying.  The exception would be high end bullets, like the We-Vibe Salsa.  However, many companies give away bullet vibes as freebies with orders so it's likely that even if you never actually buy a bullet vibe you will own one at some point.

One day, I decided to give bullet vibes another chance.  For science.  Or boredom.  I don't remember which.  So I pulled out a tiny, silver-colored vibrator with no manufacturer's name on it, inserted the batteries, and turned it on.  Yep, just as annoying as I remember.  I twisted the dial to turn it off, but it kept buzzing away.  I tapped it, shook it, gave it the evil eye, but it wouldn't turn off.  Like any sane person, I took the batteries out.  That's where the story should have ended, but it didn't.

I lay the batteries apart from it (out of reach of children.  Never, ever allow button batteries or watch batteries within reach of children.  EVER), and set the bullet on top of my wardrobe.

Dzzt dzzt dzzt.

What was that?

Dzzt dzzt dzzt.

No freaking way.  I turned back to the wardrobe and found the vibrator had turned itself back on without any batteries in it.  I picked it up, and it buzzed a few times in my hand before finally going quiet.  I stood there, utterly confused.  Hey, but that's what electrical engineer husband is for.  I asked him about it, and he just shrugged, which means he doesn't know, doesn't feel like explaining it, or doesn't believe it actually happened.

Still want an answer, darn it.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Bedroom Misadventures: Episode 6

My hormones have been really wonky.  They get that way sometimes.  There's nothing wrong with me, it's just that my body likes to screw with my mind.  I'm also a week late, but am 99% sure that I'm not pregnant.  My own system hates me that much.  I've been checked, and I remember the doctor shrugged, smiled, and said, "It's just the way you are."  OK, actually he said, "It's just part of what makes you adorable," because I was an extremely new mom at the time and he was trying to be fatherly and calm me down.  I remember him as a friendly, older gentleman that actually gave two craps when you talked to him, but not in the creepy way.  But I digress.  Anyway, when I've had about as much hormone-induced panic as I can take, my body mysteriously rights itself.  Lather, rinse, repeat.

My libido has been very bizarre because of it.  Sometimes it's kicked into overdrive; sometimes it's nonexistent.  Over the weekend was one of those crazy hormone induced (and probably partly literature and toy shopping induced) overactive sex drive times.  It lead to a long, wild, passionate happening.  Happening?  Yeah, it was kind of unique (to us, anyway), so I'm going to go with "happening."  I came out the other side of the evening relaxed, peaceful.

And bruised.

Parts of me (exterior parts, thanks) were a little sore and stiff when I went to bed.  When I woke up, I found I had bruises on my wrists.  Bruises that are almost unnoticeable, since my skin is very tan due to lots of outdoor time recently, but still there.  To a scrupulous and nosy eye, they look suspicious.  Would they turn darker?  Become more noticeable?

"What's the big deal," you might think.  "Who's going to notice?"

Well, probably the people at my kids' school, for starters.  I have meetings there this week, and I'll be sitting in very close proximity to other moms who notice everything.  And I'm taking notes for the meetings, so my wrists will be front and center.  Would they notice?  What would I say if they did?  I could say, "I walked into a doorknob/doorway/wall/chair/counter."  It's plausible.  I do that all the time.  Walk into things, I mean.  But it would be lying.  But what choice do I have?

You know what I'd like to say?  "We got a little wild and had one of the most intense love making sessions we've ever had.  I can't wait to fall into bed with the man I love and do it again."  That would the be truth.  But you can't freaking say that.  Because kids are all born in cabbage patches or brought by storks and sex is just a word people say on TV.  I don't like that.