Christine: Sexually adventurous as I am, I managed to talk a partner into trying out a vibrating cock ring. From his initial hesitation, I should’ve known better.
All the literature out there talks up the benefits for both partners. Guys get the sensation and satisfaction of extending their orgasm, whereas girls get effortless clitoral and g-spot orgasms. Maybe our cock ring was broken, but my partner and I spent 45 minutes of going at it before realizing that we were both faking it. If anything, the toy just drowned out our phony moans with its annoying buzz.
Since then, I’ve avoided toys for two. They’re supposed to add adventure and sensation to the bedroom, but they don’t all work for every couple. Part of the problem is that many couples’ toys only come in once size. Attention toymakers: Vaginas aren’t all alike.
Then again, most couples’ toys can also be used solo. Guys can rock the cock ring on their own, and devices such as the WeVibe are pleasureable even without a partner. Thus, they’re a great investment even if you’re single.
Beyond toys, body supplies like sensual massage oils and powders, or chocolate body paint stimulate extra your other senses in the bedroom. You could use these products solo as well, but that would be depressing.
With Valentine’s Day approaching, reviews for couples’ products seemed appropriate. After my cock ring incident, I’ve learned not to use men as my guinea pigs, so I tested the products (except for the massage oils) by myself. Lena, though, tested them with her partner.
Christine: The Tuyo ($64.99), upon first glance, doesn’t look like a sex toy; it looks a futuristic pod gadget. Big Teaze is a company known for its “sillier” designs, such as the I Rub My Duckie. However, they created a line called B3 for those who like their toys to be more sophisticated. Lena and I previously reviewed the Onye, and the Tuyo is part of the same collection. Both came in beautiful satin-lined boxes, and in both cases, I wanted to like the product because of the packaging. But the Tuyo shares the same flaw with the Onye: It has one clicker that cycles through the different speeds, and it’s impossible to backtrack. Even though the eight speeds feel pleasant, the circular toy’s radius seem too great for comfortable use, with or without a helper. Efficacy: C; Design: D.
Lena: Enclosed in a satin-covered case, the Tuyo doesn’t disappoint when it comes to presentation — but that doesn’t make the device look any less like a pool ball. Luckily, it doesn’t feel like one. Lightweight and equipped with three speeds and five vibration patterns, the Tuyo is a buzzing ball that fits as easily on a palm as on a vagina. When I tried out the toy on my own, I found the Tuyo easy to handle by rolling it with my palm. But when it came to getting me off, the Tuyo just couldn’t finish the job on its own. Though it is technically suitable for couples, the Tuyo doesn’t feel as comfortable when two are playing. Try as we might, my partner and I couldn’t find a way to cradle the Tuyo between his testicles without him getting ticklish. Though I’m open-minded, there’s only so much you can do with a flawed concept. This is the first spherical sex toy I’ve ever tried, and sadly, I think it’s going to be the last. (Efficacy: B–; Design: B)
Christine: The We-Vibe presents the option of both internal and external stimulation for solo or partner use. The first edition ($130) offers two speeds, but the second edition ($85-$95) gives you nine. It’s controlled by two grooves in the top center, by pushing the left groove, it gives one speed; to stop it, push the right groove, and vice versa. This allows the user to control the speeds easily, which is ideal for couples play. It’s great for solo use as it allows for hands-free stimulation of two regions. However, the biggest issue I have with the We-Vibe is that for such a pricey toy, it seems incredibly flimsy. The company gives you a carrying case that seems like an eyeglass hardcase. I don’t believe I’ve ever been afraid that I’d break a sex toy. (Efficacy: B; Design: B)
Lena: One of the only toys on the market designed especially for couples, the We-Vibe performs equally well in mutual and solo play. Despite its diminutive size, the We-Vibe delivers powerful vibrations, and remains flexible enough to be used alongside penetrative intercourse. One end can be inserted inside the vagina while the other provides external stimulation. While the mechanics of solo enjoyment are pretty self-explanatory, using the We-Vibe with a partner takes some getting used to. There’s definitely enough room down there to fit two, but since orifices vary by size, this toy may be better suited for those with roomier openings. As a petite Asian gal, I didn’t think the We-Vibe felt uncomfortable, but the constant readjusting was a bit annoying. The We-Vibe is also rechargeable, but unfortunately, my first-generation toy only survived a few sessions before I broke the charging mechanism. I have high hopes for the newest version. (Efficacy: B; Design: B+)
Kama Sutra body oils and paints
Christine: Kama Sutra markets products that aren’t just for lovemaking. Instead, many of their products focus on bodily intimacy, like massages and other foreplay events. They all come with a glorious scent, and they’re incredibly well-made. Their Oils of Love (14.99) work exceptionally well for back massages, along with their Honey Dust Body Powder (22.99). I wish, though, that their oils were packaged better. You just get a bottle with a cork, which can lead to messy re-openings. Their Honey Dust Body Powder comes with a feather, which makes application easier, and it comes packaged within a plastic bag and then satin pouch to prevent mess. Their Lover’s Body Paint (11.99) is tasty, and it comes in three flavors: milk chocolate, dark chocolate raspberry, and rich caramel. (Though I admit I refuse to mix food and sex because of the mess.) Their Body Soufflé ($17.99) is rich, luxurious lotion that smells delectable. These products are somewhat difficult to find, and ordering them online seems to be the way to go, as I haven’t seen any of these in sex shops around Boston. (Overall: A)
Lena: If you’re going to incorporate food into your bedroom routine, then be prepared to shell out a little extra for quality products. This isn’t one area where you’ll want to cut corners. Kama Sutra is one line of intimacy products that won’t make your nether regions break out in a mysterious rash, but the price point is a bit higher than Cool Whip (or whatever it is that people put on their bodies during sex). Kama Sutra’s Body Soufflé, a decadent massage cream, comes in a variety of yummy-sounding flavors (vanilla, chocolate, mint, and strawberry), though it smells much better than it tastes. If you don’t have a back to rub, it can also double as an extra moisturizing lotion. The Oils of Love and the Honey Dust Body Powder, my favorite product, are also great for massage, though the former has no warming properties. The latter is created from actual honey and has a pleasant sweet taste without being sticky. (Overall: A–)