Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Pleasurists Edition 142

via CalvatoWelcome to Pleasurists, a round-up of the adult product and sex toy reviews that came out in the last seven days. If you like what you see and want more of it be sure to follow our RSS Feed and Twitter.

Did you miss Pleasurists 141? Read it all here. Do you have a review for Pleasurists 143? Be sure to read the submission guidelines and then use the submission form to submit before Sunday August 14th @ 11:59pm Pacific.

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On to the reviews…



Anal Toys

Sleeves, Cock Rings, & etc.

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Pleasurists adult product review round-up

Fukuoku 9000 Review

Upon first glance, the Fukuoku 9000 looks like a robotic device or an android appendage (which maybe it is), but flip the side switch of this right-hand oriented, watch-battery-operated device, and you’ll get strong buzzy vibes eking in from the device through your fingertips. This massager is phthlate free and comes with two watch batteries which operate the massager. I got this futuristic vibe from Babeland, a woman-friendly, sex-positive sex toy company.

The Fukuoku 9000 comes with three textured vibration sleeves and a carrying case which has a belt loop (don’t ask, I wouldn’t wear this in public either). Ironically, the carrying case holds the emblem “FuZuoku 9000” rather that than “Fukuoku 9000” which I can only blame on a manufacturer’s error.

[caption id="attachment_554" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Note the mysterious "Z" that's supposed to be a "K"?"][/caption]

At first, I wondered if this was a knock off of a more expensive brand before I noticed the discrepancy. However, I know that this is a legitimate copy of the merchandise . I assume that the typo might be attributed to the fact that this toy was made in China, so perhaps there was a translation error of some kind. I’m actually curious how many other people got merchandise from the reject stock, not that I’m complaining. I’m just amused by the typo.

The case is made of a man-made material which as far as I can tell is unidentifiable. It’s strong, flexible, well-stitched, and fastens shut with sewn-in Velcro. The previously mentioned belt loop is large enough to fit a standard-sized belt.

The Fukuoku 9000 is made of plastic. It has an expanding finger compartment where you are supposed to place your index finger inside (or any finger that has enough of a pressure point). I find that the finger compartment is best suited for women with small to medium sized fingers. For larger hands this massager may feel a bit pinchy. My hands are about average-sized (perhaps a bit small, I’ve been told that my fingers are rather skinny) for the American, white female and I felt that this was a teensy bit snug. I imagine that this fits perfect on someone with small or delicate hands.

One of the nice things about this toy is that there’s a slight divot in the plastic where the tip of your finger rests. I feel that this makes the toy more contoured to your hand to the point where it almost seems like it’s a part of it.

The battery compartment is located on the side opposite to the finger compartment. You can easily slide the top of the battery compartment off, although I sometimes have problems getting the top to line up right and go back on properly. The toy is watch battery operated and it’s rather difficult to get the batteries out once they’re in. I suggest removing your batteries after use to avoid draining the batteries especially since watch batteries die quickly, are expensive, and will continue to drain even when the toy is off.

The silicone sleeves come in three different textures: four horizontal lines, a target symbol, and a circle of dots. Out of all of them, my favorite is the four lines, and my least favorite is the circle of dots.

I noticed the most stimulation from the lines, especially when I dragged the lined sleeve sideways across my clitoris, as opposed to an up and down movement. The intensely disliked the dotted sleeve. It felt prickly and painful to my clit, and no, not prickly like having someone with facial hair down there, think vibrating dots of unbearable sensation. I’m not sure if I have an overly sensitive clit, but the sensation was horrible. I noticed almost no stimulation at all from the target-shaped sleeve. All I could feel was the buzzy vibrations.

There’s only one setting for the vibrations, two if you count off as a setting. While I love the design of the vibrator, I don’t like the vibrations. The Fukuoku 9000 is marketed as the first personal finger massager with 9000 vibrations per minute.

I’m not entirely sure how to classify the vibrations. They’re gentle, and pleasant at first, but the vibrations are just not right for me. Sure I can get off with this massager, but it’s not as deep or full as I’m accustomed to. Oh, yeah and it gives me numb clit.

If you want to use a lube with this massager, only use a water-based lube. Silicone and oil-based lubes are damaging to silicone.

To clean this toy, wash the silicone textured sleeves separately from the massager. I suggest using hot water and antibacterial soap or if you’d like, go ahead and run them through the dishwasher. To wash the plastic base, either spot clean the plastic with an antibacterial soap and hot water, or wipe down with a toy wipe. You do not want to submerge this massager since there is nothing to block the water from getting inside the internal battery casing.

Ironically, this personal massager was originally created for massaging and not masturbating. My personal opinion is that it’s slightly better for massaging than masturbating. Overall, I think this massager is okay, but it’s by no means my favorite. It’s very unlikely that it’s going to become a regular in my arsenal.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Condoms for a Cause Sampler Review

Do you like supporting companies that donate funding towards a good cause? Do you use condoms? Do you support safe sex?

If you said yes to any of the preceding questions (unless you have a latex allergy), I highly recommend getting the Condoms for a Cause Sampler from Babeland, a woman-friendly and sex positive company. It’s a simple way to keep you and the one(s) you love (or the one(s) you love to shag) safe from sexually transmitted infections or unplanned pregnancy.

Another suggestion for these condoms is using them for your toys. They’re great for keeping things clean. I happen to be lazy and this makes clean up faster. Using condoms on your toys is an especially good idea if you have toys that aren’t as safe in quality, such as rubber, jelly, orTPR. If using lube for any of these condoms, use only a water-based lubricant.

The Condoms for a Cause pack includes six condoms total. Four are by Proper Attire and two are by Sir Richard’s Condom Company (The Pleasure Dots Condoms are included in this sampler) .

[caption id="attachment_533" align="aligncenter" width="224" caption="Keith Haring Condoms by Proper Attire"][/caption]

Two of the Proper Attire Condoms are Proper Attire® Keith Haring Condoms (purchase benefits the Keith Haring foundation, which supports AIDS-related education, research, and care), another two are Proper Attire® Basic Condoms (benefiting Planned Parenthood® Federation of America). Two condoms from the Sir Richard’s Condom Company are also included, the purchase of which donates one condom to a clinic in Haiti for each condom purchased.

The Proper Attire Condoms are constructed of thin premium latex all condoms from Proper Attire in this sampler measure at7-9/10” long and 2-2/5” wide with reservoir tips of 54 mm. This company also carries an XL condom which is slightly larger.

The Basic Condoms (part of the Proper Attire Brand) are simple in packaging showing only a Maple Leaf and the motto “Required for Entry.”

The Keith Haring Condoms come in a more festive wrapper, showing a montage of dancing figures and barking dogs (the design is circa 1985 by the Keith Haring Foundations). It sports the same “Required for Entry” motto as the basic condoms. The condoms in this line are colored, the color selection of which appears random for this sampler. If you were to buy these condoms in a regular pack directly from Proper Attire in a three pack, the colors you would receive would be red, yellow, and blue.

[caption id="attachment_534" align="aligncenter" width="223" caption="Happy Valley Realistic Dildo pictured wearing Keith Haring condom in green"][/caption]

The colored condoms I received came in yellow and green. I’m not sure about this discrepancy. But it appears that Babeland carries a wider selection of colors than the website of the manufacturer. The color of the condoms is rather transparent and only adds a slightly colored hue for the green and yellow condoms.

According to the Proper Attire website, the condoms are FDA approved and have underdone high quality testing. I found that the Proper Attire Condoms felt a little too thin, since I am used to using a thicker latex condom. This however was not an issue as the condoms were actually much more durable than I thought they were initially. I generally keep my nails at medium length, so I was a little paranoid. I decided to sacrifice one of the condoms and see how much stretching it could endure. For the condom to tear, I had to stretch out like a canvas and poke the stretched latex with my nail. I can’t vouch for there being a lack of microscopic tearing, however, one of the best ways to prevent this is to practice good hygiene and keep your nails well manicured, smooth, and short. If you are the one putting on the condom, your partner will surely appreciate it.

The Pleasure Dots Condoms by Sir Richards are made of 100% natural latex are FDA approved, and include lubricant which their website says is present for “optimal gliding.” The condoms are also free of glycerin, spermicide, parabens (which have been linked to cancer), and the dairy product casein, meaning these condoms are vegan friendly. The Pleasure Dots Condoms include tiny little bumps covering the very middle of the exterior of the condom, which are intended to stimulate the partner on the receiving end. The Pleasure Dots are just one of several other available condoms from Sir Richards including extra large, ultra thin, and ribbed. I could not find information concerning the size of these condoms and their reservoir tips on Babeland or Sir Richard’s site, but they seemed to fit my larger, girthier toys just fine.

[caption id="attachment_536" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Classic Bender by Doc Johnson modeling Sir Richard's Pleasure Dots Condom"][/caption]

According to my own personal measuring of the condoms, they appear to measure about 8” from the base to the reservoir tip. The first time I used the condom, I used the Happy Valley Realistic Dildo, which is made of a very sturdy firm silicone and has a slight girth to it. I found the bumps to be uncomfortable with the firmer toy. The second time I tried a larger toy (Classic Bender by Doc Johnson) that was made of rubber (a softer, less safe material) and found that the condom could shockingly enough accommodate the large toy without tearing. With the softer rubber toy, the condom was much more pleasant and in fact, very enjoyable. All in all, I was pleased with this sampler pack from Babeland.

Astrovibes Aries Review

The Astrovibes (Aries) vibe by Fun Factory is an adorable toy that I got from this sex shop I trust.

[caption id="attachment_522" align="aligncenter" width="225" caption="For 15% use coupon code SV8 at checkout at EdenFantasys.com."][/caption]

I purchased this vibrator a few months ago. I was very excited by the novel concept of having a vibe that corresponded to my astrological sign. The cynic in me couldn’t help but think it was gimmicky, since I place little or no faith in astrology, but I’m a sucker for novelty. As for the cuteness factor, I think I’m spoiled, or perhaps I was born under a lucky sign. ;) My personal opinion is that the Aries vibe is by far the cutest in the line.

There’s a vibrator that corresponds to each sign of the zodiac, and Eden Fantasys carries all of them except for the Sagittarius and Libra vibes. I’m not sure why they don’t, but if you're curious, here's some info on the missing vibes.

The Sagittarius vibe  looks like a glorified pointy penis. My guess is that it’s supposed to look like an arrow?

On another site (not Eden Fantasys), I was able to locate the Libra vibe, which looks like an abstract adaptation of scales. It's a shame that it's so difficult to locate a reasonably priced libra vibe. The shape looks fantastic for stimulation. The retailer is trying to sell them (and eight other vibes in the line) at $60 a pop.  Amazingly, they were originally priced at $85.99 each. Can you say highway robbery? The astrovibes that are available at Eden Fantasys are only going for $34.99 each. Due to the major price jump, I think that the line may have been discontinued since it is also no longer available at the Fun Factory website. As a result, some other sites are probably trying to cash in on limited availability.
Traditional red  bulged multi-speed silicone vibrator with curled horns accents.Multi-speed traditional vibrator with a Taurus shaped head and smooth textured shaft.Contoured multi-speed silicone traditional vibrator with hand-shaped accents on the shaft.Silicone multi-speed  traditional vibrator covered with little nubs and little crabs.Special shaped silicone traditional vibrator with a nub on a tip of shaft.Green traditional multi-speed silicone vibrator in the shape of a woman.Traditional vibrator from Astrovibes collection with a scorpion like shape and multi speed option.Silicone traditional multi-speed vibrator with a Capricorn like appearance.Dark blue traditional silicon multi-speed vibrator with waves accents.Blue silicone multi-speed traditional vibrator with Pisces accents.

In terms of discreteness, I can’t say that it looks anything like most toys I’ve seen (minus the other vibes in the line), but by the very fact that it’s so adorable, it’s likely to get picked up by houseguests or roommates who are curious as to what it is. For that reason alone I wouldn’t just leave this out (unless you’re like me and have roommates and/or friends who know you have/review sex toys and don’t care if they see them lying around in your bedroom).

The toy itself measures at 7 1/2" total length and has an insertable length of 6 1/2". The circumference is 5” and the diameter is 1 5/8.” It’s composed of medical grade silicone. The toy is very flexible and bendy, but at the base it’s firm where the plastic battery compartment is located underneath. The vibrations happen to be strongest at the very tip and gradually decrease on the way down to the base.

[caption id="attachment_523" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Check out that Schnozz"][/caption]

It’s thickest at the base and gradually narrows from the base until midway through the toy, where it suddenly become much thinner; it then juts out again where the horns are, before dropping off sharply at the head where it ends with a very sudden point at the nose. (From this point on henceforth, I will refer to him as “Pointy.”)

Fun Factory was very detailed, as usual, and gave Pointy a smiling face, horns and even nostrils. Pointy is adorable, but unfortunately those little divots on his well-carved face make for an annoying cleaning experience. Yep, body fluids will get stuck in the grooves. It’s inevitable, but he doesn’t seem to mind too much. I think he likes cum on his face.

[caption id="attachment_526" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Awww. How could you say no that face?"][/caption]

I personally found the girth to be too wide at the base, so I can’t adequately insert it as much as I’d like. I like thick toys, but since it slopes so much, it wasn’t a good fit. Usually with thicker toys, I choose a simple design that’s consistently girthy from base to tip. I assume that a shape like that allows my vagina to adjust to the girth. The sloping shape of this toy, however, didn’t afford me deep penetration. Other reviewers have commented that the point was great for stimulating the g-spot, but that was not the case for me. I found the head too bendy and soft and overall improperly suited to stimulate that area. I also felt little or no stimulation from the grooves on his body which was a disappointment.

Another problem I’ve noticed with Pointy involves his very namesake. Pointy’s nose feels great outside of my vagina, on the labia and my clit but not so great inside my vagina. The first few times I used this toy, I just didn’t like it. I’m not sure if I wasn’t lubed enough, if I was masturbating at an unusual angle, or if I was just getting too rough (perhaps all of the above), but his nose rammed into the walls of my vagina. Yeah, say it with me, “OW!”

Recently, I haven't had this problem when I decided to give toy another chance. I used a different water-based lube than I usually do, Moist, which is extremely thick for a water-based lubricant. It seems to have eliminated the “ouchy” problem, however, I’m still not a fan of the toy.

This toy is not for anal insertion because it has no flared base, so don’t put it there (practice safe anal please). If I can’t appeal to your logic, be smart enough to put a condom over it.

The toy is operated by two AA batteries and is controlled by a dial base. To insert batteries, remove the base, add the AA batteries facing in opposite directions, and screw the cap back on. Then twist the dial base.

I don’t find the vibrations to be all that impressive. Honestly, I feel like they’re rather low and I’m baffled by the rave reviews I’ve seen for this toy and the similarly shaped toys in this line. Not to be melodramatic, but I feel like I’ve almost been lied to. The vibrations seem strong to my hands, but not in my vagina when used for penetration. The vibrations, likewise, don’t feel well distributed. I would have loved if there was a little more “oomph” at the tip, or well, everywhere except the base where they're predominantly concentrated.

[caption id="attachment_528" align="aligncenter" width="225" caption="Side View"][/caption]

Although I’m not a fan of the vibration distribution, the vibrations are good enough at the tip for pinpoint vibrations on the clit, nipples, outside the anus (with a condom on), or other erogenous zones. He’s a little louder than I’d like. The vibrations could likely be heard through a door or under covers.

Since our buddy Pointy is made of silicone, you can’t just use any old lube with him; he can only be used with water based lubes. I know it might be tempting to use silicone lube with a silicone toy (it seems logical, right?), but don’t do it. I swear to God don’t do it because chemistry will screw you over. Silicone toys and silicone lubes bond together and essentially destroy the toy by breaking down the silicone and making it gummy in texture. Yuck. If it weren't for the hardworking reviewers at Eden Fantasys, I probably would have made the same damn mistake. That being said, I almost feel like there should be a warning on silicone toys and lubes to tell the consumer that they are not compatible.

[caption id="attachment_529" align="aligncenter" width="225" caption="Pointy's Underbelly"][/caption]

Pointy lacks an O-ring, so you can’t submerge him in water. This means no shower sex, or cleaning via boiling or dishwasher. I’d suggest using anti-bacterial soap and running him under water to clean him up. Like me, you might end up using your fingernails to dig out your, ahem, excretions… You're going to want to wash him frequently since he attracts lint and fuzzies, although this vibe doesn't attract nearly as much lint as some other toys I've had.

The vibe came in an awesome box covered with stars, a nice touch considering the zodiac-themed line. In general, all toys from Fun Factory have wonderful packaging. It almost feels like it’s in a display case. The toy comes with a free itty bitty sample of Toy Fluid lube and a promo flyer showing all the other quirky products available from Fun Factory.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Image borrowed from Eden Fantasys"][/caption]

Overall, I’m neutral about this toy, but I’m slightly more disappointed than pleased. I’m a sucker for novelty and I like cute (or weird) toys because at the very least they’re fun to look at even if they aren’t fun to use on my junk. Sadly, that's how I feel about this guy. I can’t bring myself to get rid of him because he’s cute, but he’s just not good in bed. His smile indicates that he’s eager to please, but he just doesn’t know what he’s doing, especially with that damn nose.

Maybe it was because my expectations were too high, but I wasn’t as impressed as I thought I’d be. Don’t get me wrong, it’s precious and by no means a “useless” toy, but I felt like it was “okay” as opposed to “mind-blowing.” Overall I give him a pretty average rating of 3/5 stars. If it weren't for the fact that Pointy is made of silicone and rather cute, I'd lean more towards giving  him a rating of 2/5 stars. By far not the worst out there, but I feel this toy has a lot of room for improvement.

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