Pipedream Icicles glass sex toy dildoNot too long ago, I was the lucky winner of a $25 gift certificate from a leading home party romance company. At first I planned on passing it along to a friend, thinking that I have enough stuff as it is, and none of the products I’d seen from this company impressed me that much. They private labeled everything, which annoys me, and they didn’t offer a single water-based lube option that was glycerin free. But I knew they sold sex toys, so I took a look around the company website and discovered a Pipedream Icicles No. 12 on clearance for $29. So I ordered it.

Pipedream Icicles glass sex toy dildoPipedream Icicles glass sex toy dildoI must admit, I was rather bummed when it arrived packaged in nothing but sealed bubble wrap, though. I was expecting the real Icicles boxes. But, it survived being shipped that way unscathed, and I suppose that’s what really matters. After all, packaging doesn’t affect performance, right? Still, a bit better presentation would be in order here. Especially since this company would appear to put a great deal of effort into the packaging of their “lotions, potions, and…” other stuff. They’re all about cutesy round bubble bottles, glittery tubes, and pretty boxes when it comes to those products.

Nevertheless, I’m so glad I got it. As a fan of glass sex toys, this one especially appealed to me because I couldn’t imagine how a glass rosebud would feel, so this was an acquisition out of curiosity more than anything else.

Pipedream Icicles glass sex toy dildo

Not only is the Icicles No. 12 different to anything else I’ve used, it’s also beautiful and discreet enough to sit out on top of my bookcase, which happens to be where it lives. Plus, it enjoys all the benefits of this material: body safe, nonporous, hygienic, easy to clean, compatible with any lube, awesome for temperature play, the list goes on.

So, why do I like this glass rosebud so much? Well, the bottom line is that it feels really good. On the very top of the rose is a petal texture that doesn’t seem to do much when it’s inserted, but it’s great for some external stimulation to get things started. I thought this toy would be tricky to insert, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that it really isn’t. I just have to take my time and make sure I’m warmed up first and approach from a certain angle. I don’t have to insert it very far, so the handle is plenty long enough, and once it’s inside me, I enjoy gently twisting it back and forth.

Clear pyrex glass contoured dildo with pink flowerThe shaft isn’t curved, but I can still put a little upward pressure on my g-spot, and thanks to the bulbous tip, Icicles No. 12 gives me a wonderful sensation of fullness. This one is also good for some gentle, slow-and-shallow thrusting, without fully removing the rosebud.

I think sex toys made from hard materials like glass and metal are more suitable for longer play sessions because I need more of a preamble to make sure I’m really aroused when using them. As such, I tend to experience deeper, more satisfying orgasms. If I’m in a hurry or just need to relieve some stress right away, I have an assortment of powerful vibes that can get me off in mere minutes, but I often find myself going back for more half an hour later. The best of both worlds is when I use my Icicles No. 12 in conjunction with a reliable clit vibe.

Rechargeable silicone dual action vibrating stimulator with powerful independent dual motors, one in the stimulator and one in the tip.For anyone who doesn’t already know, I love sex toys that give me dual stimulation, so I’m a big fan of rabbit-style vibrators. I seem to prefer those with a rotating shaft as opposed to vibrating, and having a strong clitoral stimulator is a must.

It doesn’t have to be rabbit shaped, but I like there to be flappy bits (long bunny ears, butterfly antennae, squishy spikes, etc.) that jiggle against my clitoris, and a bulbous nose or head is always nice for hitting the U-spot.*

There’s a new collection of luxury sex toys on the market now called Jopen Vanity. I’ve already reviewed the Vr6, which is very well designed and has plenty of power behind the rumbly vibrations its motors produce, but the dimensions just aren’t quite right to fit my anatomy. I’m happy to say that the Vr10 suits me much better. The packaging is the same, except the box is longer to accommodate the larger size of this vibe.

   

The outer box is just plain white cardboard with the company logo on the front and a picture of the Vr10 and product information on the back. Inside is a promo leaflet resting on top of the vibe, which is sitting on its charging base, and both are held in place (sort of) by a paper insert. Underneath is the charger cable, instruction booklet, and storage bag.

While I love that the packaging is minimal and recyclable, I think it should have better presentation considering this is a luxury sex toy. But ultimately, the box doesn’t affect the vibe’s performance, and at least there’s a generously sized storage pouch included.

The Vr10′s shaft has a slight curve to it, as well as a bulge in the middle with some raised ridges. The curve may look subtle–in fact, I didn’t think it would make that much of a difference–but most of my other rabbit vibes have straight shafts, and I like the feel of this one better.

The bunny’s ears are soft and long enough to flap around, and the tapered nose is great for pinpoint stimulation. There is some adjustability as the rabbit can be pushed back a bit, opening up the angle between shaft and clitoral stimulator.

   

Like a lot of rabbit-style vibes, the shaft on this one rotates. Not a huge amount, and there aren’t beads moving around, but the motor driving the rotation is powerful. So, while there may not seem to be much movement or range of motion as the shaft is twirling, it’s strong enough to be felt when inserted, AND (this is the most important thing!) no power is compromised when both motors are running. Even when the bunny is at top speed, the shaft doesn’t slow down or lose oomph.

 

There are two buttons: the top one controls the shaft motor, and the bottom one operates the bunny. Honestly, I found the controls a little counter-intuitive. Pushing either button turns the respective motor on, and to up the speed you press and hold. Just hitting the button once turns off the motor completely.

I love that there are only two buttons, but there’s no way to decrease speed without turning the motor completely off and starting back at the beginning (slowest speed). I’m more used to sliding controls, where you can easily turn the intensity/speed up or down. With this vibe, I often push a button to up the speed and instead end up switching off the motor, which can be frustrating.

  

The charger cable plugs into a hole on the back of the charging base, and the lights on either side of the control buttons will flash while the battery is charging. Once it’s fully charged up, the lights stop flashing and just stay lit. I rather like the charging base because it allows the Vr10 to stand up on its own, and it avoids having a plug hole on the actual vibe itself where water can seep in.

The shaft motor is strong, but it doesn’t have much range of rotation compared to the other rabbits I have. It seems like it’s barely even moving in a circle when you watch it, so I was honestly prepared to be disappointed because I didn’t think the shaft rotated in a large enough circle to even feel, much less properly stimulate, but I was pleasantly surprised.

Maybe the ridges, center bulge, and curved tip make up for less range of motion, but I also think it’s because the motor is powerful enough to keep the shaft from slowing down once inserted. With all that said, I think a larger rotation would be an improvement.

***Actually, I TOTALLY retract my statement about the shaft not rotating very much, as that’s fixable! Please check out my Jopen Vanity Vr 10 Update for more details.***

The silicone is smooth apart from the few shaft ridges, and it feels nice and slick with just a small amount of water-based lube, but it does attract lint. Also, there is a visible seam running down the front and back. It’s actually one of the first things I noticed when I took it out of the box. I know these things have to be assembled somehow, but I have other luxury vibes that don’t have seams, or at least if they do then they’re not as obvious. Luckily, I can’t feel the seam when I’m using the vibe.

Bottom line: The size and shape of Vr10 suits me very well. It’s an awesome and highly effective rabbit-style vibe that delivers kick-ass orgasms, but I think for the price there should have been a little more attention to detail. I’m just not sure it’s worth the $200+ when compared to other luxury sex toys.

* “The U-Spot. This is a small patch of sensitive erectile tissue located just above and on either side of the urethral opening. It is absent just below the urethra, in the small area between the urethra and the vagina. Less well known than the clitoris, its erotic potential was only recently investigated by American clinical research workers. They found that if this region was gently caressed, with the finger, the tongue, or the tip of the penis, there was an unexpectedly powerful erotic response.” (The Naked Woman by Desmond Morris, page 210)

Plastic and silicone rechargeable vibratorLet me fill you guys in on what happened with my Lelo Iris. I guess I should explain that I don’t remember exactly when I last used this vibe, but I think it was late last summer. Back when my sex toy collection consisted of nothing more than an Iris, a Hitachi Magic Wand, a Pocket Rocket Jr, and a few Liberator Shapes, my Iris got more action than any of the others. Yes, even more than the Hitachi because there’s no cord to contend with, and the Iris has dual motors with a variety of patterns and pulses.

I loved the shape, design, vibration patterns, dual motors, and everything else about the Iris, except for the control. I thought it was a bit awkward at first, and it took me a while to get used to it, but over time the button sensitivity diminished. Even just trying to push it to turn on the power got difficult, as the button became really firm and hard to press. Trying to increase speed or change function also became trickier because the firmness of the button made pushing it in just the right place a nightmare. That’s too much work and frustration to deal with when I have a stash of other sex toys that maybe aren’t exactly the same, but at least have easier-to-use controls and do as their told. So, my Iris had been neglected for many months.

The other day I decided take it out, dust it off, charge up the battery, and reacquaint myself with an old friend. There’s a light around the control button that flashes while it’s charging, and it stays lit when the battery is fully charged. Only, I got impatient after an hour or so and tried to use it even though the light was still flashing. It wouldn’t turn on. Thinking I must have locked it the last time I put it away, I pressed and held the center of the button to unlock it, and still nothing happened. Assuming the battery was so drained that it would need the entire recommended 3 hours of charging time, I plugged it back in and left it. For several hours, in fact.

Well, the light never quit flashing, even after leaving it for over 6 hours. Also, I can’t get either motor to come on. I’ve tried everything I can think of, so I must conclude that the battery has gone bad and isn’t holding any kind of charge. This is a total bummer.

I haven’t decided if I want to replace my Iris or not. It’s well past the manufacturer’s warranty, and I did get a few years of rigorous use out it. Plus, Lelo has some awesome looking newer designs I’d love to try, and I’m determined to get my hands on a GiGi first. Besides, I can still use my Iris as a non-vibrating toy. The curved shape is great for g-spot stimulation, and while the tip has some give, the shaft is still pretty firm. For that reason, I’d rather not declare my Iris officially dead. It doesn’t work anymore, so I’ll just say it’s retired.

BabeLube Natural Water Based Personal Lubricant ReviewBabeland recently sent me a bottle of their BabeLube Natural to try. As I’ve mentioned before, my skin is rather sensitive, so I avoid potentially irritating products as much as possible.

This all-natural lubricant is made for Babeland by Sliquid, so it doesn’t contain any glycerin, parabens, or petroleum products. Plus, it’s vegan friendly, and as a water-based lube it’s compatible with condoms and all sex toy materials.

BabeLube Natural comes in a plastic bottle with a flip-top lid like the other Sliquid products I’ve tried, and the plain blue label is tasteful and discreet. The lube itself doesn’t have any taste, which is awesome. I can detect a slight soapy scent if I stick my nose right up to the open bottle and take a deep breath, but it’s very subtle and clean-smelling.

 BabeLube Natural Water Based Personal Lubricant Review BabeLube Natural Water Based Personal Lubricant Review BabeLube Natural Water Based Personal Lubricant Review

BabeLube Natural contains the following ingredients:

  • Purified water
  • Plant cellulose (from cotton), which is a thickening agent
  • Aloe barbadensis, aka aloe vera, which is moisturizing and soothing
  • Natural tocopherols (Vitamin E), known for being soothing and good for skin
  • Carrageen, a stabilizer and gelling agent
  • Extracts of hibiscus, flax, alfalfa, green tea, and sunflower seed, which have healing and soothing properties, as well as antioxidants
  • Potassium sorbate, a preservative
  • Citric acid (from citrus fruits), another preservative

The ingredients list is very similar to that of Sliquid Oceanics, minus the seaweed. BabeLube Natural is a thicker consistency, though. I love a good thick lube because it stays where you apply it, and I just like the cushiony feel of a nice, viscous gel.

This lube is such a thick get that I really have to squeeze the bottle to get any to come out. However, a little extra effort on the dispensing is more than compensated by the fact that BabeLube Natural won’t drip or run, even with the cap accidentally left open and the bottle laying on its side. I even held the bottle upside-down with the lid open for over a minute and nothing dripped out.

As much as I love a thick gel lube, I wish this one stayed slick longer. It works really well with sex toys that have a smooth surface, like glass and metal, and since those materials are nonporous, this lube lasts a good amount of time. But I found that when used during intercourse, it tends to suds up with just a small amount of skin-to-skin rubbing, and with more vigorous friction it soon dissipates, leaving behind a little bit of residue.

The good news is that it reactivates with a few drops of water or saliva, but that in turn thins out the consistency. So, even though it’s a touch on the thinner side, the Sliquid Oceanics worked better for me personally.

LELO Personal Lubricant Lube ReviewLelo is a leading luxury sex toy company. Everything they make exudes elegance, quality, and class, and recently they launched a line of personal care products. I’m always on the lookout for high quality water-based lube, and Lelo Personal Moisturizer is not only glycerin free, but it’s also paraben and fragrance free.

Available in either a 2.5 ounce flip-top tube or 5 ounce pump-top bottle, the great people at Babeland generously sent me a bottle of this new Lelo lube to review.

The bottle comes packaged in a sleek black box with information printed in several different languages on the back and pictures on the sides. There is a removable plastic ring on the top that keeps the pump from accidentally being pressed, and it easily slips off when you’re ready to dispense the lube.

LELO Personal Lubricant Lube Review LELO Personal Lubricant Review LELO Lube Review

The bottle is well designed. Not only is it gorgeous, but it’s also very discreet and could easily pass for a bottle of perfume or cologne. I’m partial to pump tops because they’re super convenient and only require one hand to operate. My only gripe is that a single pump doesn’t dispense very much lube. I suppose this could be seen as an advantage, since many people may only need a tiny amount at a time, but for me I find that it takes at least 2 pumps.

LELO Personal Lubricant Lube Review LELO Personal Lubricant Lube Review

Lelo Personal Moisturizer contains the following ingredients:

  • Water
  • Propylene glycol, a humectant
  • Hydroxyethylcellulose, a gelling/thickening agent derived from plants
  • Aloe barbadenis leaf juice, aloe vera leaf juice, which moisturizes and soothes
  • Sodium benzoate, a preservative
  • Potassium sorbate, a preservative
  • Tetrasodium EDTA, a chelating agent
  • Guarana extract, a plant used medicinally that has a mild stimulant effect
  • Ginseng extract, a plant known for its aphrodisiac and healing effects
  • Avena sativa extract, (aka oats!) an ingredient with soothing properties and believed to be a natural aphrodisiac
  • Polysorbate-20, a surfactant and emulsifier
  • Aspartame, an artificial sweetener
  • Polyquaternium-5, a film forming ingredient commonly found in cosmetics and hair care products
  • PEG-45M, a humectant
  • Citric acid, a preservative

I’m not sure enough of the plant extract ingredients would be absorbed through the skin to really feel any of the stimulant or aphrodisiac effects, but at least now that I’ve looked them up I know what they do. This lube has a rather bitter taste that’s not really covered up by the aspartame, but I can detect an artificial sweetener aftertaste. As far as scent, it doesn’t really smell like anything. It’s just a nice clean and neutral scent.

I was rather surprised at the thin consistency. It’s not watery and doesn’t drip once it’s applied to skin, but for some reason I was expecting it to be thicker and more like a gel. It is nice and slippery and feels very natural, but I wished it stayed wet longer. At least it doesn’t gum up or go sticky as it dries; It seems to just magically dissipate, leaving no residue.

I really like this lube for solo play and using with toys, and perhaps that’s the use Lelo originally had in mind when they developed it. For some reason, it doesn’t stay slick very long for me when I use it during intercourse. I haven’t tried it for anal play yet, and I honestly probably won’t because I really think it’s too thin for that.

I recognize that preferences vary by individual, so if you prefer a thinner consistency lube then Lelo Personal Moisturizer is definitely worth trying. I just think it would be better if it was thicker and lasted longer.