Jopen Key Aries Review

Jopen Key Aries - boxThe first time that I saw the Jopen Key Aries was at a blowjob workshop that my partner & I attended while touring the sex shops of NYC. It sparked my interest. An unobtrusive, silicone finger vibe certainly has the potential to make oral sex more exciting. However, it was also easily forgettable. I returned home without a single fleeting thought of this little toy… until Bondage Bunnies contacted me about writing a review.

It’s important for me to be honest & admit that I was hesitant. At the time, their selection of body-safe products was severely limited. In fact, Jopen was one of the only trusted brands available through their site. (Their selection has since grown to include a few fabulous brands such as Doxy & Tantus.) Normally, the lack of body-safe toys warrants an instant “nope” from me. But my personal curiosity about the Aries overpowered my mixed feelings on this one.

Let me be clear: My issues with Bondage Bunnies are not personal. They have been both polite & patient while my health problems have delayed this review. However, as a sex educator who is dedicated to body-safe materials, I have a bit of an ethical dilemma about working with companies that offer toxic toys to their customers.

Jopen Key AriesShould we refuse to support these companies until they take our sexual health seriously? Or should we speak with our money, paying for the products that we want to see more of? 

Everyone has different ideas about what it means to be a responsible consumer, and I can’t make that decision for you. What I can do, as a blogger, is speak up. I can tell my readers to be careful.

There are a lot of products described on Bondage Bunnies’ website as “silicone” which I would bet my vagina are actually jelly. There are toys in their “anal beads” section that contain string (a bacterial nightmare). Some are actually mislabeled kegel balls that can get stuck inside of the body if they are mistakingly used in the butt. And of course, there are anal plugs with insufficient bases or retrieval cords that I would not trust for a second.

Jopen Key Aries - batteryIf you know that you’re buying a product created by a trusted & ethical manufacturer, and you find a great deal at Bondage Bunnies…that’s fantastic! But if you’re not sure, please do outside research. Read reviews from sex bloggers. See what people are saying about the product & the company who makes it. Take a moment to see if other (trusted) retailers stock it. You deserve sex toys that will not cause you harm. 

With that being said, I can finally begin my review for the Jopen Key Aries!

description text

The Aries is your typical finger-style vibrator: a toy that is worn on the hand to provide effortless stimulation during sex play, usually with a partner. It’s small (slightly less than 2.5″ long, 1.75″ tall, and 1″ thick), waterproof, and uses one AAA battery. Jopen offers it in 3 different colors (pink, purple, or turquoise) — but Bondage Bunnies only stocks pink.

Jopen Key Aries - full packageThe Jopen Key Aries is bean-shaped with a “fin” on one side. It can be held between the fingers so that it rests on the inside or the outside of the hand. It is made of two components: a hard ABS plastic vibrator with a twist-open cap and a thin silicone sleeve. The sleeve is removable, which can make cleaning easier… but it’s also extremely snug and difficult to reassemble. The silicone itself has a matte finish and is ribbed for extra sensation.

This vibrator is your basic one-button model. A quick press of the silver “Key” button turns the toy on. Repeated presses allow you to cycle endlessly through the 5 different settings of steady vibrations, pulses, and waves. Pressing & holding the button for about 2 seconds turns the toy off. When turned back on, it will start from the beginning; it will not remember the last setting.

The small cardboard packaging is tastefully designed with images of the toy and basic product information. Inside the box, you’ll find a short instructional sheet (with information on the one-year warranty) and a travel/storage pouch.

experience text

I wanted to like the Jopen Key Aries. …I really did.

Jopen Key AriesJopen generally impresses me. The Key Comet II is one of the best things that has ever touched my G-spot & the Lust L1 is one of the most underrated & unique external vibes I own. With my recent issues surrounding vaginal pain, I had hoped that this little vibe would be a good first step to bringing sexy back.

If only it had power!

At first, I thought that perhaps the problem was my general lack of libido & arousal. (After all, crippling depression + the impending threat of painful orgasms does NOT make for enthusiastic masturbation.) But then I managed to dig through my vibrators, sifting through the ones that have languished and lost their charge over the last several months, and — SURPRISE! Even the PicoBong Kiki 2 (for which I described masturbating as “an absurd test of endurance”) at least makes my clitoris stand up and demand more.

With the Jopen Key Aries, my clit couldn’t care less what happens next. On a good day, the vibrations feel like I am lightly brushing my fingertips over my genitalia after a good, clean shave. There’s sensitivity, but not pleasure. When I apply the toy directly to my clit, the buzzy vibrations feel good for about 30 seconds before I am completely numb. And if there’s any thrusting going on (with my partner or a sex toy), you might as well be holding a potato to my crotch.

Jopen Key Aries - in hand

My penis-having partner, on the other hand, quite likes this toy. He is much more sensitive to vibrations than I am. (He can even feel them traveling through my fingertips!) And while the Aries still isn’t powerful enough to bring him to orgasm by itself, it certainly increases his pleasure. We’ve found that it makes for a great addition to blowjobs and handjobs, particularly when held against the frenulum, testicles, or perineum. It may not be versatile enough for both of us, but I am happy that it works for him.

bottom line text

Jopen Key Aries - in boxMaybe I wasn’t being very realistic, but I wanted more out of the $20 Jopen Key Aries. Sure, it’s small and convenient. It doesn’t get in the way during sex. And it only kind of makes my hand go numb from its buzzy vibrations. But there is literally no possible way for me to orgasm with this thing. I had expected a motor that was reminiscent of Jopen’s other toys. And although they do make a rechargeable finger vibe (the Key Pyxis), I can’t say if it’s any better.

With so many high quality external vibes on the market, I feel confident in telling you to look elsewhere. Invest a little bit more money into the delightfully rumbly We-Vibe Tango or Touch. They may be slightly larger, but I actually think that makes them even more comfortable to hold. And they certainly have a better range of vibrations!

2star

Pros: body-safe silicone & ABS plastic, small & convenient design for partnered sex play, waterproof, affordable

Cons: very weak & buzzy vibrations, not rechargeable (takes one AAA battery), may be difficult or uncomfortable to hold for some individuals, vibrations may make fingers numb and/or tingly


Special thanks to Bondage Bunnies for sending me this product free in exchange for my honest & unbiased review. 

screen-shot-2016-09-17-at-8-21-04-pm

If you would like to purchase the Jopen Key Aries, you can do so here

PicoBong Kiki 2 Review

PicoBong recently released a 2nd, new & improved line of 5 previous designs: the Kiki (mini external vibe), Ipo (finger vibe), Tano (butt plug vibe), Honi (bullet vibe w/ retrieval cord), and Mahana (U-shaped dual stimulation vibe). These revamped vibrators may look exactly the same as before, but they boast one major difference: twice the power!

description textPicoBong is the more affordable/less luxurious sister brand of Lelo. They value body-safety while cutting expenses in other areas: rechargeability, fancy packaging — and laughably pointless extravagance. They have separated themselves from Lelo’s golden dildos, bro-marketed cock rings, and satin penis suits. (Seriously. It’s like they’re getting sex toy ideas from The Onion over there.) Instead, PicoBong’s designs are neon-colored, frill-free, and almost always under $100. If Lelo products were made for rich business executive Barbie, PicoBong is definitely targeting her younger beach-partying sister, Skipper.

PicoBong Kiki - sizeWhen PicoBong contacted me about reviewing one of their new “Power Up” products, I was intrigued. Although I didn’t have any previous experience with their old line, the idea that they had doubled their power — from a single AAA battery — appealed to me. Powerful vibrations are my jam and if I could recommend a halfway decent $40 vibe, I’d be a happy blogger.

The Kiki 2 is a bullet-sized (4″ long, 1″ wide) vibrator with a diagonal flattened tip, created for external stimulation. It is made from hard ABS plastic and is almost completely covered in a thin layer of velvety soft matte silicone. The bottom of the toy (the only portion NOT covered in silicone) twists off to accommodate 1 AAA battery — which PicoBong claims will last 2 hours. It is available in 3 colors (hot pink, turquoise, and black) and is waterproof up to 1 meter. The noise level is advertised as “near silent,” but I’d still suggest a closed door & maybe some light music/TV to drown out the sound if you need to be discreet.

The Kiki 2 has extremely simple 2-button controls: the + button turns the toy on and increases vibration intensity, while the – button decreases intensity and eventually turns the toy off. (Both buttons are “hidden” within the large PicoBong logo embossed on one side.) Honestly, I have no idea how many vibration settings it has. Some online reports for the original Kiki say 18, but I certainly can’t distinguish between that many. I do know that once you have reached maximum intensity, you can then press & hold the + button to cycle through the 12 vibration patterns. Unfortunately, I don’t think that there is a way to decrease the intensity while using the patterns; the – button simply returns you to a constant steady vibration.

PicoBong Kiki - pkg

Included with the Kiki 2 is a small instruction manual & a 1-year warranty. It comes packaged within a very minimal cardboard box with a plastic front and a ridiculous fake history of the toy written on the back.

“Found inside a meteorite in Siberia in 1908, the original Kiki was long kept a state-secret due to the uncontrollable pleasure it would bring to anyone who approached it. It was eventually smuggled out and resurfaced in San Francisco 1967, accidentally beginning the sexual revolution and the Summer of Love.”

I couldn’t make this shit up.

experience textSometimes we have to remind ourselves that optimism should be cushioned with realistic expectations. This is especially important when you are a self-professed power queen with a tiny battery-powered vibrator in your hand. I didn’t expect the Kiki 2 to compare to a wand massager or my beloved We-Vibe Tango. I set the bar low. All I wanted was a relatively easy orgasm; a task that is normally quite simple for me, despite what you would assume from my love of all things strong & rumbly.

PicoBong Kiki - batteryI was impressed when I powered up the Kiki 2 for the first time. At the very least, it makes my Lelo Lily feel like the $100+ paperweight that it is. At best, I would compare it to the Jopen Key Comet II — or perhaps even a buzzier version of the We-Vibe Touch’s lowest setting.

But even though it seemed strong enough, the Kiki 2 did not give me easy orgasms. Before using this toy, I had believed that medium-to-high vibrations were all that my clitoris needed. Broad vs. pinpoint? Buzzy vs. rumbly? I had my preferences, but none of these things seemed to be a deal breaker — on their own. The Kiki 2, however, combines all of my least favorite forms of stimulation: buzzy vibrations, medium intensity, & pinpoint shape.

Actually reaching orgasm with the Kiki 2 requires immense concentration & absolutely perfect conditions. My masturbation session is no longer fun; it’s an absurd test of my endurance — with very strict rules.

  1. PicoBong Kiki 2I cannot use a different (stronger) vibe beforehand, or my clit is desensitized to the Kiki 2’s meager efforts.
  2. I have to spread my labia out of the way & raise my clitoral hood in order to expose as much of my clit as I possibly can.
  3. I have to avoid lube, because it removes the small amount of friction that actually makes the vibration somewhat pleasurable.
  4. I cannot pair the Kiki 2 with an insertable toy, because even the simple act of thrusting a dildo makes the vibrations seem to fade away into the distance.
  5. And most ridiculously of all… I can’t allow myself to get too interested in the porn that I am watching, because it takes the concentration away from my clitoris.

If I abide by these rules for an agonizingly long amount of time, I am eventually rewarded with a very weak & disappointing orgasm. Hooray.

bottom line textObviously, the PicoBong Kiki 2 does not work for my body. But even if I remove my own bias; even if I consider that it could potentially be great for someone who enjoys buzzy, surface-level, pinpoint vibrations… I still have difficulty suggesting it based on the price.

PicoBong Kiki 2It simply does not feel like a $40 toy to me. It may be body-safe, but everything else about it still reminds me of my first $20 vibrator from Spencer’s Gifts. And considering that you can buy some really amazing rechargeable toys for nearly the same price, simply by catching a good online sale… well, I really don’t see this as being a financially savvy decision. (Let’s not forget that the constant need for batteries will drive the price of the Kiki 2 up even more in the long run. Especially since PicoBong warns that using rechargeable AAAs will “result in decreased vibration intensity.”)

I’m all about catching good deals & getting the most bang for your buck — and that’s exactly why I cannot recommend the Kiki 2. There may not be anything inherently wrong with it (if you enjoy this type of vibration)… but unfortunately, there’s nothing outstanding about it either.

2star

Pros: nonporous & body-safe silicone, waterproof, multiple intensities & patterns, easy controls

Cons: battery-powered, buzzy vibrations, doesn’t seem worth the cost


Special thanks to PicoBong for sending me this item in exchange for an honest, unbiased review. 

PicoBong_Logo

Affiliate links have not been used in this post, because none of my affiliates currently stock the updated version of this product.

Blush Novelties Luxe Mio Review

description textWhen looking through my collection of sex toys, the Luxe Mio dildo by Blush Novelties practically screams “one of these things is not like the others.”

Blush Novelties Luxe MioIt’s a short & squat little object, vaguely phallic and seemingly designed more for its girth than anything else. Rather than being curved for precise G-spot stimulation, the entire dildo tilts upward, ending with a pronounced ridge & wide, flattened head that will press or rub against the front wall of the vagina during use. Although the girth-focused design may be intimidating for some, the tip is nicely tapered to make initial insertion easier. And with a slight decrease in diameter near the base of the toy, the shape actually reminds me more of a vaginal plug than a dildo.

The Mio measures approximately 6″ on its longest side, leaving about 5.5″ of insertable length after accounting for the circular, suction cup base. (I’ve had mixed results with the suction cup, but the base itself does make the toy both anal safe & harness compatible.) With a 1.8″ diameter at its widest point, the Luxe Mio is the most girthy toy that I own — not counting the Traz Rhino Genesis, which only got used for my review.

So why did I, someone whose body is unskilled in the ways of girth, request that SheVibe send this item in exchange for an honest, unbiased review? For one, I have my eye set on a certain breath-takingly beautiful toy that sports a somewhat similar shape and a full 2″ diameter. (In other words: vagina training.) But also, the Luxe Mio is only $26.99! And as I stated in my review for the NS Novelties Colours Pleasure dildo, I am extremely passionate about finding affordable, nonporous & body safe sex toys that I can recommend to my readers — even if the manufacturer is also still creating items of a porous & generally questionable nature.

Luxe Mio urethraBlush Novelties advertises the Luxe Mio as being “pure silicone” and the flame-test does appear to confirm that. It is, however, the firmest & most unrelenting silicone dildo that I have ever felt. Seriously. This toy offers almost zero flexibility or squish. The surface is matte & velvety soft to the touch, rarely attracting dust, hair, or lint — but causing a bit of drag unless well-lubricated. There is a divot in the tip (where the urethra would be), which is a mild cleaning annoyance that serves no discernible purpose. There is also a visible seam that runs vertically down the middle of the toy, but I have never found either of these things to be noticeable during use.

Although it’s probably not a widespread issue, my Mio does have a couple of small dents on the shaft. It confuses me because I’m not sure if it’s surface damage, an imperfection within the original mold, or (and this is me being skeptically cautious) collapsed foam under a layer of silicone. At the moment, I’m refraining from cutting it open like I did my Cal Exotics butt plug. (Since the interior of the toy never comes into contact the body, the toy should still be body-safe. I would only take issue with the “pure silicone” claim.)

Luxe Mio imperfections

The Luxe Mio is available in only one color: a dark lavender. The packaging from Blush Novelties consists of a clear plastic box that offers basic toy information and is covered in pink & purple designs. (Not to worry: SheVibe will ship this item in a discreet cardboard box, of course.)

experience text

Luxe Mio packagingObviously, I expected to be challenged by the Luxe Mio‘s girth… but vaginas are magical — and mine totally surprised me.

Of course, it helps if I start with my Tantus Vamp: only slightly smaller (1.75″ diameter), but still completely comfortable to insert. And I definitely need to smother everything in a thick, cushiony lubricant such as Good Clean Love’s Almost Naked. But if I take things slow and give my body a moment’s rest at even the slightest hint of pain (which usually happens as I triumph over the thick head), then the Luxe Mio by Blush Novelties is surprisingly enjoyable. In fact, I think that I like this toy more & more every time I use it.

At first, I tried to thrust with it — like I do with most of my dildos. I knew that the short length & large head would confine me to slower, smaller motions but I still wanted to see if it would rub against my G-spot. There was just one small problem… Before I could make any sort of honest assessment, the muscles of my vagina would tighten and completely prevent any further movement. Suddenly I am The Eternal Masturbation Girl with a dildo literally stuck inside of my vagina.

So I gave up on thrusting.

Luxe Mio sizeAnd that’s when it all came together: This toy is perfect for hands-free power-clenching.

Normally, it is of upmost importance that I hold onto whatever dildo I am using at the point of orgasm. If I don’t, my vagina muscles will forcibly push it out of my body, which can be both distracting & disappointing. But because the Mio has a girthy & more “plug-like” design, it stays firmly in place — no matter how hard my muscles contract around it.

I get an amazing sensation with the Mio that I  honestly haven’t ever been able to experience in a pleasurable way before. I feel ever-so-slightly stretched but completely filled. It’s like my vagina is safe & secure, all wrapped up around the Mio’s bulking form.


Unfortunately, as I was finishing this review, Blush Novelties was the subject of quite the uproar on Twitter. Apparently, Blush has created (yet another) dildo that looks almost identical to Tantus designs. When Metis Black publicly expressed her distaste, Blush began accusing Tantus of being a copycat first & went on the attack — both to Metis AND any blogger who dared to believe/support Tantus instead of them.

Screen Shot 2016-01-14 at 8.30.09 PM

***

Screen Shot 2016-01-14 at 8.28.24 PM Screen Shot 2016-01-14 at 8.44.33 PM

Of course, Blush deleted all of these tweets before the night was over. They also sent me a direct message stating that the employee behind this fiasco has “been removed” from the company.

If you haven’t already seen the products that have been in question, Erika Lynae was VERY quick to create a helpful little visual chart. I’ll let my lovely readers form their own opinion.

Blush vs Tantus


bottom line text

I’m disappointed in the behavior of Blush Novelties. I truly enjoyed using the Luxe Mio dildo and was excited to be able to suggest an affordable silicone toy that offered a bit more than the “average” girth. But drama like this makes me pause. It makes me examine whether or not I want to personally & financially support a company that I consider to be unethical — and quite rude.

But regardless of my opinion, the fact remains that people can only buy what they can afford. I’d much rather my readers buy a body-safe silicone toy from a company that gives  me the creeps instead of settling for a porous or toxic toy that could put their health at risk. 

3star

Pros: nonporous & body-safe silicone, very affordable, offers more than “average” girth, may provide G-spot stimulation for some, suction cup (your results may vary), safe for anal play & harness compatible

Cons: could be too girthy for some individuals, urethral divot collections bodily fluids, potential for small flaws in craftsmanship, manufacturer displays questionable behavior on multiple levels (creates porous toys, possibly copies other companies’ designs, verbally aggressive towards those in the sex toy industry & bloggers)


Special thanks to my lovely affiliate, SheVibe, for providing me with this product in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.

shevibe_468x60

If you decide to purchase the Luxe Mio — or if you decide to shop for other sex toys instead — please consider doing so through SheVibe. SheVibe is a fabulous company, created & run by individuals who are passionately dedicated to sex toy education, affordability, & body-safety. In no way do any negative opinions expressed within this review extend to them as a retailer.  

Tantus Vamp Review

vamp1

Description & First Impressions

The Tantus Vamp is a simple sex toy. There are no internal vibrating mechanisms. No fancy bumps, ripples, or curves along the shaft. The design is obviously phallic in nature, but without super-realistic veins, testicles, and skin-tone gradations. Measuring 7″ long with a 1.75″ diameter, it sits squarely in the middle of the size spectrum: girthy in a way that is comfortable for most, but certainly not winning any size queen awards.

Compared to other (more flashy) products, the Vamp is easy to overlook… but don’t let its simplicity fool you. This toy is like when a friend says they’ll bring mac & cheese to a potluck. At first, you roll your eyes and think, “Seriously?! I can get that from a box.” But then they show up with a magical concoction of white cheddar & truffles & bacon and all of a sudden you’re like, “Hey, I totally underestimated you! You’re invited to all of my dinner parties!” Except in this case, the Vamp is your friend and “dinner parties” is code for masturbation.

The Tantus Vamp is made entirely from nonporous & body-safe silicone that is surprisingly firm but flexible. Its thick, sturdy base makes this toy both harness-compatible and safe for anal use. And although the shiny finish does create a couple of mild annoyances (attracting loads of dust/hair and creating a fair amount of drag during use), a little soap & water/sex toy cleaner and added lubrication will fix those issues immediately.

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m always on the look out for affordable-but-safe sex toys, and the Vamp is one of my absolute favorites to recommend. Normally, this toy comes in two colors (cream & purple) and hovers around the $40 price point. But it’s also available as one of Tantus’ special Grab Bags. This means that for only $25 you can get the Vamp in a surprise color. (Sometimes they are beautiful combinations of colors, and other times they are pretty average-looking, like mine. But it’s always an exciting game of chance!)

So the Vamp is a high-quality, versatile sex toy that is easy on your wallet… but how it feels is obviously very important too. With its pronounced head & deep coronal ridge, this is where the true magic of the Vamp makes itself known.

Experience

vamp2The Tantus Vamp makes my G-spot very happy in a subtle, relaxing sort of way — a completely different sensation from more intense & overwhelming toys like the Jopen Key Comet II. Being primarily straight, the Vamp may not seem like an immediate choice for G-spot stimulation, but the head is so prominent that it does the job with ease. This is great if, like me, you enjoy thrusting with toys but have a pubic bone that tends to get “hooked” by more extreme curves.

Plus, as someone who recently discovered that she’s not a huge fan of large toys, the Vamp is the perfect size. The girth is just large enough to provide a nice feeling of fullness without being uncomfortable. And although there is a distinct ‘popping’ sensation during insertion (which I personally dislike), my body adjusts quickly and effortlessly. It is definitely my go-to “big toy.”

Bottom Line

The Tantus Vamp is a great, high quality dildo without a lot of the bells & whistles that complicate many other toys, making them tailored to very specific needs. Of course, that’s not to say that everyone will enjoy this toy; sexuality is very diverse. However, I do believe that the Vamp is capable of pleasing a wide range of individuals because of it’s beautiful simplicity.

If you’re looking for a girthy (but certainly not huge) “everyday” sort of dildo, this may just be it.

4stars

Pros: nonporous & body-safe silicone, on the large side of “average,” pronounced head may stimulate G-spot, thick & sturdy base

Cons: may still be too large or small for some individuals, pronounced head may be uncomfortable upon insertion, general straight shape may not be stimulating enough


If you are interested in purchasing the Tantus Vamp, please consider ordering from my affiliates: Tantus (who offers the regular, grab bag, and the new vibrating grab bag option), Peepshow Toys, or SheVibe!