Tantus Duchess Review

One thing that I love about Tantus (and there are several) is that they are continuously working on improving their line of quality silicone toys & making them more accessible to customers. Love their designs, but low on cash? They decided to use up spare silicone to create super-cheap grab bags. Need just a bit more reach during masturbation? They developed dildos with handles. Love girthy toys, but struggle a bit with comfortable insertion? Just another wonderful use for their O2 dual density silicone.description text

Tantus DuchessMeet the Tantus Duchess: the exact same design as their older Duke dildo — but squishier! Tantus’ O2 line of dual density silicone toys are made from two layers of silicone. First, there is the firm inner core which gives the toy stability and prevents it from drooping or folding over on itself when bent. Then, there is the softer outer layer which provides a much more comfortable, forgiving surface. I’m a big fan of dual density silicone in general; I simply love the way it feels. But when a toy is pushing my limits in girth, that extra squish can make all the difference.

The Duchess is available in 2 colors: ice (blue) & candy (pink). It has a super straight shaft that measures a fairly average 1.5″ in diameter. However, at the end of that shaft is a thick, 1.8″ bulbous head that definitely enters into more girthy territory. Although the entire design is more simplified than realistic, it does include the semblance of a frenulum and a very pronounced coronal ridge. Its insertable length measures 6.5″.

Tantus DuchessThe Duchess is one of Tantus’ “vibrators,” but it’s really more of a “vibrating dildo” — a silicone cock with a hole in the base for the addition of a vibrating bullet. (Tantus will include one of their own bullet vibes, but it works well with my beloved We-Vibe Tango too.) This hole also accommodates Tantus’ suction cups, and the base (measuring approximately 2.75″ across) makes this toy both harness compatible and anal safe.

Made from 100% silicone, the Duchess is both body-safe & nonporous. It also has a unique combination of different silicone finishes. While most of the toy is matte, the head is ever-so-subtly shiny. And although both of these textures create a lot of drag when not lubricated properly, the glossiness of the head seems to lubricate easier and assist with insertion. (Unfortunately, this gloss finish also attracts loads of dust, hair, & lint — so keep that toy cleaner handy!)

I received my Duchess as a bulk review item from SheVibe, so it did not come with any packaging. However, I can say from experience that Tantus’ packaging is always super tasteful and gender-neutral.

Tantus Duchess

As you may be able to notice, the color (and therefore, the consistency) of my Duchess is slightly uneven. The inner core was not entirely centered during the molding process, leaving one side squishy & white and allowing much more of the firm, blue silicone to show through on the other. I’m happy to say that although it doesn’t look like the stock photos, this has not affected my experience with the toy in use. 

experience textTantus DuchessIn the past, I have gravitated towards insertable toys with a girth of about 1.5″ — branching out to 1.75″ only when my vagina was feeling particularly mighty. But ever since Woodhull (when I was suddenly & irrevocably inspired by Lunabelle‘s beautiful collection), I’ve decided to up the ante.

My first attempt at something a little bit larger was the Blush Novelties Luxe Mio. I liked it a lot, but it didn’t really mesh with my masturbation habits. I had to slowly work up to it with other toys, carefully choose my lubricants, and still be prepared for the inevitable hint of pain. For someone who usually likes to knock out a few orgasms and then return to her latest Netflix obsession … it was all a bit too time-consuming. A real “special occasion” dildo.

Even with the same diameter, the Tantus Duchess is wildly different. All of its challenge lies in the head; a head that, while certainly bulbous, is made entirely from squishy & glossy silicone. It lubricates easily and offers up a friendly, give & take relationship with my vagina. (I don’t even have to focus on using my most cushiony lubricant or choosing my next largest dildo as a warm-up toy!) On the rare occasion when I have felt discomfort with the Duchess, it’s completely limited to my vaginal opening and it’s over before I know it. Since the size immediately drops at the shaft, there’s no lingering ache while I anxiously wait for my vagina to adjust to the size. (Seriously NOT my idea of pleasurable pain.)

Tantus Duchess - Bullet VibeThe completely straight shaft also allows me to use the Duchess as a thrusting dildo. It doesn’t hook behind my pubic bone. And despite its size, it doesn’t get stuck in place by my clenching muscles like the Luxe Mio does. (Just remember to reapply lube, because the matte silicone can — and probably will — dry out.) The large coronal ridge feels wonderful when it grazes against the front wall of my vagina and the bulbous head provides great pressure. The Duchess is actually one of the few dildos I own that I love to use for both active thrusting & stationary pressure/clenching.

As for the addition of a vibrating bullet? Meh. As with most Tantus products, I feel that the design is fantastic on its own; I actually find vibrations to be a little distracting. However, I am happy to say that despite the thick silicone, vibrations do travel down through the tip of the toy. (They are pretty muffled though, so this is yet another time when I would suggest a really powerful bullet vibe like the We-Vibe Tango.)

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I’m surprised by how much I love the Tantus Duchess. Sure, if I’m looking for intense & direct G-spot action (which I usually am), I’ll reach for another toy. But for those times when I want to challenge myself just a little; when I want to be able to thrust with wild abandon & still get some stimulation & pressure on the front wall of my vagina; when I want to clench my muscles around a nice, thick chunk of soft silicone…the Duchess is perfect. Huge plus that I don’t have spend all night working up to it, too.

Although it is a little bit pricey ($89.99 at SheVibe), I can assure you that this is one very high quality dual-density sex toy — and one of my personal favorites for experimenting with larger sizes. You really don’t get better than Tantus.

4stars

Pros: bulbous & larger-than-average head, pronounced coronal ridge, softer dual-density silicone (with firm core) makes size more comfortable, straight shaft makes thrusting easy, body-safe/nonporous, has space for vibrating bullet or suction cup, harness compatible & anal safe

Cons: potentially uncomfortable insertion for those who are used to smaller toys


Huge thanks to my affiliate, SheVibe, for sending me this toy in exchange for an honest, unbiased review! 

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If you’d like to purchase the Tantus Duchess, please consider doing so here. (And if you like the shape of the Duchess, but the dual-density isn’t important to you & you’d like to save some money, the Duke is only $64.99.)   

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.)

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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.

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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


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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.

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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.