I want to buy a new toy! Something with gspot and clit stimulation that packs a pretty good punch without having to be plugged into the wall. Ideally under $100, but if you have a super great recommendation that is a little more than that, I’m all ears.

I take it you are looking for a rabbit! I’m also going to address “clamp” vibes because they have a similar function, but rabbits first. I picked three rabbits that I dig for various reasons; they are all different sizes and price ranges, as well. They have in common that they do most of the standard jack rabbit stuff- clit bullet, rotating shaft, beads, bumps, bells, whistles, etc. This is generally what people expect of rabbits, and despite not being the prettiest toys out there, people absolutely love them. As always, if you live in the region, pay me a visit for a (fully clothed) test drive and a shopping trip. When purchasing a rabbit, be aware that even the best bunny money can buy can fall flat if your anatomy just doesn’t line up with the relevant buzzy bits on the toy (don’t you wish there was a standard way of measuring the distance between your clit and g-spot, and that toys advertised their “range” in that measurement? A girl can dream) and that’s part of the reason I picked three different sized rabbits- hopefully one will be the right size for someone reading this.

Three rabbits I dig: Continue reading »

With the release of the Smart Wand, I take it Lelo is trying to muscle in on the market for that classic clitoral power tool the Hitachi Magic Wand, but that’s a hard product to beat. The main drawback to the Smart Wand as compared to the Magic Wand is that it comes with slightly less power and a significantly higher price tag. For a toy that became popular for its unrivaled power, a competitor that doesn’t stack up in that regard seems like a failure.┬áThere are also no Lelo-approved attachments for the Smart Wand, at the time of this publication (could you slap on a Hitachi attachment? Uh, let me know if that works for you because I have no idea). However, I’d like to offer a few very good reasons to replace your Hitachi with a Lelo…

1. Materials- The Hitachi Magic wand is made of…well…do you even know? With so much buzz about phthalates, I’m surprised that the Hitachi Magic Wand has largely escaped this absolutely valid criticism. Hitachi’s power tool has been the same for years and years, and was created far before phthalates were considered a concern in sex toys (related to point #2…). Even assuming it does not contain phthalates or that it is not a concern because the Magic Wand is an external toy, still, what the hell is that head made of? Some kind of…coated foam? Come on, we can do better than that. The Lelo Smart Wand, like all of Lelo’s products, is covered in pure, safe silicone, so you know it is phthalate free and body safe. You can also sterilize it with bleach and know this heavy-duty cleaning won’t damage your product. Silicone is a clean, safe material for sex toys, and that’s what you’re getting with Lelo. And isn’t it nice to share? With the Smart Wand, you can do so safely!

2. Honesty- So we all know the Hitachi Magic Wand is a vibrator. Massager? Hee hee! Aren’t those oh-so-80s pictures on the box hilarious? But Hitachi is not a sex toy company, and the magic wand was never explicitly marketed or designed for use on the genitals. Would you trust Sony or Mitsubishi to make one isolated sex toy? Lelo, on the other hand, is ONLY concerned with adult products. The Smart Wand, therefore, is made with full acknowledgment and concern about using it around your junk.

3. Convenience- While the wall plug is what lends the Hitachi Magic Wand its extreme power, it also places the toy on a short leash. And while leashes can be sexy, your masturbation session coming to a screeching, infuriating halt because you accidentally yanked your vibrator out of the wall socket is not sexy. It it shitty. You know what is totally not shitty? Masturbating, unfettered by cords and wires, even in the shower. Smart Wand has got you covered.

4. Functions!!!- This probably won’t be terribly convincing for a lot of die-hard Magic Wand fans. A lot of people can’t climax without very strong, constant stimulation, and the vibrations offered by the Hitachi Magic Wand are unbeatable to that end. So if functions, for you, are just distracting, go ahead and skip down to point #5. But pulsation! And waves! And low vibrations! The Magic Wand is for someone who knows they want simple and serious. The Smart Wand has broader appeal and is a toy that will “grow” with the user’s preferences. Low vibrations for the beginner, all the way up to the big guns for serious vibrator aficionados. And ironically, the Lelo Smart Wand strikes me as a lot more useful as an honest to god massager for sore muscles than the Hitachi Magic Wand.

5. Voting with your wallet- When you buy from Lelo, you support respect for the adult industry, a guarantee of quality, green production standards, and everything else you’d expect from a respected high-end toy company. As I said before, it is worth considering that when you buy a toy from Hitachi or another non-adult-specific company, you aren’t getting the same dedication to the craft of the sex toy, nor are you going to get the same production and safety standards. Lelo toys come with quality guarantees and an impressive family line of much-loved vibrators of all stripes.

And by the way, I’m not trying to slander the classic Magic Wand. I just don’t think enough attention has been paid to some serious perks that come with the Smart Wand, and I felt very much the same way about the Tiani (and the inevitable comparisons to the WeVibe). I’m mostly hearing “uh but it’s not as powerful?” without an accompanying chorus of positive voices. You guys…the Smart Wand is good fun. Go get one.

Here is an incomplete list of things I wish people knew about me before they were allowed into my store:

1. At no point will I ever picture you using your toys or engaging with your media, so go ahead and give me some details so we can pick out the perfect pegging equipment. I want you to be safe and happy, and unfortunately, sex toys are not intuitive. I can really get verbally graphic about what you do with this particular toy and never once turn it into a mental image. Yes, I will show you how to use those electric shock nipple clamps, hand ‘em over!

2. I know exactly what I am talking about at all times. I have been engaging in some form of sex education for eight years. I read industry magazines every single month. I make it my business to know things about sex, porn, and toys. Please, just ask- I’m a professional. Related to…

3. Yes, I went to college, no, I am not disappointed in my job, no, I don’t feel shafted and useless, no, I am not one of those miserable unable-to-function millennials that you keep hearing about, and yes, I take my job very, very seriously. (The frustration I feel about people projecting their standards onto my life is the subject of a whole other post…)

4. I am personally invested in the work I do here. Sex is my hobby, religion, and profession. I don’t think you’re a freak and I am definitely not just a warm, disinterested body behind the counter. Don’t insult me- of course I care about (you, your fetish, your sex furniture, your g spot, your asshole, your bedroom, the perfect lubricant). However…

5. I work retail, not sex work (though some might say my job straddles a thin line between the two). I don’t want to go home with you and your girlfriend, I’m not consenting to be audience to your exhibitionism by virtue of working here, I don’t welcome commentary on my appearance (“But I’m complimenting you!” is not a valid excuse), I do not appreciate being objectified. I’m trying to work. This is a place of business. Do not tell me how great it is that you could throw me around like a ragdoll (this, verbatim, comes out of someone’s mouth at least once a month) because I’m such a *cute*little*tiny*thing!* Don’t ask me how tall I am or how much I weigh or why I try to hide behind these big glasses and messy hair. I mean seriously, fuck you. I know I’m hot, get over it. Keep it to yourself. Once again, this could be a post all on its own.

6. If you treat my store like a sideshow, I’m going to treat you like a child. (Note: Children are obviously not allowed in my store.)

7. 90% of the time, my job is just like any other retail job. Really.

Oh Tiani, you beautiful, sleek, sexy thing- you’re fantastic!

This should come as a surprise to absolutely nobody, but the Lelo Tiani is one amazing combination of form, function, and fun. We got one at Ontario Video and News the very day that we sold our last little Swedish silicone wonder, the Lelo Siri, and I couldn’t wait to charge it up and give it a whirl (just in my hands, of course!).

Two Lelo Tiani vibrators

As soon as I opened the box, the elegant black case a harbinger of the beauty inside, my pulse quickened; though I never judge a sex toy by its package (or a book by its cover), opening a Lelo toy always feels like opening a luxurious gift from a lover. Under the lid, nestled in carved out spaces in a flocked black block, lay the deceptively small, simple Tiani, a metallic Insignia pin, and the toy’s glitzy yet classy metallic gold remote control. Friends, Romans, countrymen, I was truly taken aback– who doesn’t love great presentation? I know I do! My co-worker and I stared down in reverence, running our fingers over the silky smooth silicone. I immediately dumped out the contents of the rest of the box, plugged in Tiani’s little head, and began an agonizing two hour wait for the battery to charge.

Before I proceed, I should clarify that I’m serious as a heart attack about my strong reactions to this toy: I love sex toys, I love giving people what they want, I love gadgets, and hey, I also love the color purple, so Tiani was more or less made to blow my mind. I am also talking about Tiani here, not Tiani 2– we don’t have one of those yet. So if any of this is no longer the case with the updated Tiani, my apologies- I’m just behind the times!

Tiani makes use of an accelerometer in its remote control, technology you’d recognize in, for example, the iPhone. This makes it possible for the remote to sense its own position and general movement. This is the key to Tiani’s first two functions. Upon turning it on and linking the toy and the remote, Tiani will buzz at 10% power. Keep the remote flat in the palm of your hand and it will remain at this power; tilt it, and the intensity of vibration will increase. With the remote totally vertical, Tiani will buzz at 100% intensity. The remote is surprisingly sensitive, though occasionally slow to respond. In this first mode, subtle movements of the hand are more than enough to deliver a surprise jolt of power to Tiani’s vibrating head.

Click the center Insignia button and you’ll proceed to the second vibration mode. In this mode, shaking, tossing, or rolling the remote will produce a unique pattern of vibration in Tiani. When the remote is perfectly still, so is Tiani, but give the remote a shake and Tiani will vibrate at full intensity, coming back to a full stop in a few seconds. It is tough to explain how fun these motion-sensitive controls are, so to understand the full potential of this vibration mode, you’ll have to make your way to the friendly neighborhood sex shop and ask for a test drive.

After these motion-sensitive modes come six patterns of vibration, all of which can be set to higher and lower intensities using the plus and minus buttons on the remote. The remote mirrors all vibration in the toy, which is perfect for when a lover is operating the toy for you; the remote can also be set to remain still in vibration modes 3-8, which eliminates the possible distraction of the vibrating remote in your hand.

The Insignia pin, though it initially seems a frivolous addition to the box, presents an interesting possibility: my manager pointed out that if you wear the pin out of the house (with Tiani in your pants), you can engage in some secret exhibitionism. Savvy folks on the street will see the pin, know you are wearing a Lelo toy, and can take in the sight of you trying to contain your ecstasy on the subway, or at the grocery store, or a bar. Intrigued? Here are some ideas…

Go dancing.
Put on Tiani, some tight, lacy undies, give your date the remote, and set it to vibration mode two. In fact, go ahead and strap the remote onto your date’s crotch or underwear and you’ll both be in for lots of surprises on the dance floor.

Show off at dinner.
Same setup as “Go dancing” but give your date complete control over the remote. You’ll never know when Tiani may start buzzing away.

Run your errands.
Same setup, but toss the remote in your pocket or purse. Running to catch the bus? Stopping short in the car? Tossing your bag down at the DMV? I’m sure this will spice up your everyday tasks. As a sex toy enthusiast, I just don’t think errands should be boring when Tiani is out there…

Stay home.
Pick up a set of bed restraints and whatever other gear you desire, tie yourself or your lover up, and engage in a little playful tease and torture from across the room.

Now I’d like to address a few common complaints I have seen and heard regarding Tiani.

“The WeVibe is better!”
The WeVibe is different. Vibration travels very well through Tiani’s internal arm, so particularly for people who only need a little nudge to climax during intercourse, I’m sure Tiani’s single motor is more than enough. A large percentage of people only use vibrating toys externally anyway, so Tiani places a single motor where it is most likely to be needed. I can easily see how the WeVibe’s powerful dual motors would be too much for certain users, and also how Tiani’s single motor would be too little for others. I’ve never had the chance to charge up and play with a WeVibe so I can’t speak to its possibilities as a sneaky exhibitionist vibe, but I will say that Lelo has been consistently praised for its excellent toys year in and year out, so Tiani is an addition to growing tradition of excellence. I promise Tiani is still awesome, even if you really wanted those dual motors.

“The remote is so confusing!
This one I won’t argue. Tiani is not the toy for the technologically challenged. There is much room for improvement with the control interface, particularly the vibrating remote. A quicker way of turning off the vibrations in the remote would be quite welcome. The minimalism in the remote is the only factor which seems like a sacrifice of function in the name of design. But if you tend to be an early adopter of new technologies and you love gadgets, this toy is unbeatable. I also understand that the updated Tiani 2 can be controlled without the remote.

“It won’t work without the remote!”
This has been remedied with a built-in control interface in the toy for Tiani 2.

“It doesn’t work through clothes!”
To test this complaint, I balled up Tiani in a sweater, held the remote out at arm’s length, and gave it a whirl. It worked fine. I can see how this could be dodgy, but the one at my store worked alright, even on old batteries and a limited charge. I vote you take your pants off and get over it.

Even given a few legitimate complaints, if you know what you’re in for with Tiani, it is certainly worth the money you’ll spend on it. When you purchase a Lelo product, you are supporting a higher standard of pleasure products (high quality toys, unparalleled respect for the industry and product, product guarantees, safe materials, etc) in addition to green production standards. Buy it from us and you’re supporting an independently owned brick and mortar sex shop staffed by the most helpful, knowledgeable clerks in the land.

Tiani is currently in stock at Ontario Video and News, and I would love to give you a demonstration of this fun little toy before you take it home. Catch me on the right night of the week and maybe I’d love to make you a deal, too. Round out your purchase with a set of bed restraints, a soft blindfold, and the perfectly minimalist Hypersensitive Water Based V Lube by Icon Brands.

Until next time…may your vice be nice.

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