Review: OhMiBod Lovelife Wanderlust

Welcome to the second post in the Wand Queen series! In 2015, after experimenting with lots of toys in my first few months as a reviewer, I figured out what really works for me: broad stimulation, particularly wands. So now, in 2016, I’ll be reviewing at least one wand per month from March onward. You can find my first review in the series here.

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As an avid wand user, I’m always searching for new wands to experiment with and, hopefully, add to my regular rotation. On the same day I discovered OhMiBod recently released a new wand, the Lovelife Wanderlust, PeepShow Toys contacted me with an invitation to join their affiliate program. When the lovely folks at PeepShow Toys told me they could send me the Wanderlust for review immediately, it felt like kismet. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the Wanderlust, and excitedly live-tweeted its arrival. So, how does this wand stack up to my other favorites? Did it live up to the hype?

In theory, this wand is great. It’s on the smaller end of the wand spectrum, rechargeable, splashproof (which makes for easier cleaning), and, of course, made of body-safe silicone. It features steady vibration as well as patterns, and comes with a satin storage pouch. Furthermore, it has a versatile shape: a full, round head for broad stimulation, two peaks for more targeted stimulation, and what I call a “clit nest” in between the peaks of the heart for more indirect stimulation. Unfortunately, in practice, the Wanderlust didn’t live up to my expectations.

OhMiBod’s Wanderlust product page features some quippy phrases like “Life is best when you live for the journey, not the destination” and “Not all who wander are lost. Some of us just love to take the scenic route,” which pretty much sum up my experience with this toy. Whenever I use the Wanderlust, I take the scenic route… and I drive on that road for a long time. Despite many journeys, I only reached my destination once in my time testing this toy (and it definitely didn’t look…erm…feel like the picture in the guidebook).

My complaint with this toy is simple: It has weak vibrations. The five speed levels are barely distinguishable as you click from one to another. There is a noticeable difference between the lowest speed and the highest speed, but it feels more like an increase of buzzy-ness rather than power. The Wanderlust’s highest setting matches the power level that I might look for in the lowest setting of a toy that really works for me. OhMiBod’s claim that this toy is “powerful enough to curl your toes” certainly did not hold true for me – I was only able to have one mini-orgasm with this toy, and that was on the highest setting with a huge amount of pressure on my clit.

If a toy feels good but just can’t get me to orgasm, that doesn’t necessarily mean I’ll throw it in my “never use” drawer – I’ll sometimes use those toys when warming up for a super high-powered wand, or when I want to have a long and relaxing masturbation session. However, the Wanderlust doesn’t fall into this category. It feels pleasant for a very short while, but I’m almost instantly left craving more. Needless to say, I won’t be adding the Wanderlust to my regular rotation.

If you need a very gentle vibrator and don’t enjoy massive power wands like the Doxy or Hitachi, the Wanderlust might be for you. However, if you’re looking for a small wand that packs a punch, check out the PalmPower. (I’ve only tried the corded version, but I’ve heard good things about the PalmPower Recharge as well if you don’t want to be constrained by a power cord.)

PeepShow Toys generously provided me with the OhMiBod Lovelife Wanderlust in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

Check out PeepShow Toys’ selection of wand massagers and take 10% off your purchase using code FEMME.

If you enjoyed this review and want to support the ongoing success of Formidable Femme, please consider using the affiliate links used throughout this post. Many thanks in advance!

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Review: Jimmyjane Iconic Wand

Welcome to the first post in the Wand Queen series! In 2015, after experimenting with lots of toys in my first few months as a reviewer, I figured out what really works for me: broad stimulation, particularly wands. So now, in 2016, I’ll be reviewing at least one wand a month from this point forward! I’m excited to share my thoughts with you all on my favorite kind of sex toy.

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I’ll be honest, I first bought the Jimmyjane Iconic Wand because of its aesthetic appeal. It’s rechargeable, relatively small compared to other powerhouse toys, and waterproof, so I thought it couldn’t pack a huge punch like other more well-known, corded wands. However, it sports a gorgeous design and I had been wanting to add to my wand collection, so I thought I would give it a try. You could have probably knocked me over with a feather if you had told me that I would soon be calling the Iconic Wand my new favorite toy… but here we are. Consider me knocked over.

It took me a while to admit, even to myself, that the Iconic Wand is my favorite toy. I really like my powerhouse wands like the Magic Wand and the Doxy, but I don’t love them the way I do my Iconic Wand. It’s possible the Magic Wand or the Doxy could dethrone the Iconic Wand once I spend more time masturbating with them (both are fairly new purchases), but the fact remains that whenever I use the Magic Wand or the Doxy and just can’t reach orgasm, I grab my handy Iconic Wand and get there almost immediately. (As a quick note, it’s probably easiest to compare the Iconic Wand to the Magic Wand and the Doxy, as they are well-known to a number of people, and I’ll continue to do so throughout this post.)

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So, why exactly is the Iconic Wand my new favorite? Its vibrations are powerful, deep, and rumbly, and granted, not as strong as other wands, but still incredibly strong for a smaller, rechargeable toy. It has three speeds, three patterns, and one escalation mode. I’m usually not huge on patterns, but I find the patterns on this toy really great for edging. Furthermore, the Iconic Wand is fairly small compared to other wands. It’s waterproof and rechargeable, and has a truly astounding charge life. I’ve had this wand for over two months, I use it in almost all of my masturbation sessions (around three to four times a week, sometimes more, and always for more than 10-15 minutes each time) and I’ve only had to charge it once. Yes, really.

All of these fantastic features aside, what really attracts me to the Iconic Wand is its rounded head. Combined with this wand’s strong and rumbly vibrations, its head delivers broad stimulation in a way I really adore and much prefer to any wand I’ve tried before. Pinpoint stimulation is very uncomfortable for me, so I don’t need, or even like, the kind of stimulation that comes with angling the flatter heads of the Magic Wand or the Doxy. However, not all bodies are made the same, so if the potential for pinpoint stimulation is something you look for in a wand, check out Girly Juice’s review of the Iconic Wand for a different take.

The Iconic Wand’s rounded head also taught me something very important about my masturbation style, and especially my orgasms. Prior to using the Iconic Wand, whenever I would orgasm, I immediately removed the vibrator from my vulva entirely because it got painful very quickly. However, I always felt like my orgasms didn’t live up to their full potential – it always seemed like there was more orgasm to be had, I just couldn’t get to it because it was too uncomfortable. One day while masturbating with the Iconic Wand, I absentmindedly placed it lightly on top of my outer labia right after orgasm… and the orgasm kept on going. And going. And going. I was completely spent at the end of it. I felt more relaxed than I ever had after an orgasm.

IMG_8596My clit is buried and not at all exposed, so I was easily able to place the wand on my outer labia without feeling any pain. This extended orgasm happens with other wands, but it’s always more pleasurable with the Iconic Wand. The flatter heads of other wands are too bulky to nestle comfortably between my legs and on top of my outer labia, and one of my other top wand choices, the PalmPower, is too small to provide that broad stimulation I need even as my orgasm continues. I always love it when a sex toy teaches me something completely new about my pleasure, and the Iconic Wand definitely delivered in that department!

While I do love the Iconic Wand, that doesn’t mean it’s a perfect toy. The Iconic Wand is slightly more expensive than the Magic Wand Rechargeable, about the same price as the Doxy, and much more expensive than the Magic Wand Original. Yes, the Iconic Wand is rechargeable, which only the MWR can boast, and waterproof, which makes it unique, but it’s simply not as powerful as the Magic Wand or the Doxy, which its price tag does not reflect. My other major complaint about the Iconic Wand is that its vibrations rattle the handle, and hard. My hand gets massaged almost as intensely as my vulva whenever I use it.

It should be obvious by now that I think the Iconic Wand is a wonderful toy. I would recommend it to those who like wands, strong, rumbly vibrations, and rechargeable toys, as well as people who may not know what they’re looking for but want to try to a toy with a lot of good features.

If you enjoyed this review and want to support the ongoing success of Formidable Femme, please consider using the affiliate links used throughout this post. Many thanks in advance!

You can find the Jimmyjane Iconic Wand at Peepshow Toys and AfterDarque.

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My Masturbation Playlist

A few months ago, I packed up everything I own, moved on my own to a new city in a new state for a new job, and started the next big chapter of my life. The entire move was done hastily and quickly turned into a complete disaster: the moving company took a full month to deliver my furniture, so I ended up sleeping on the floor for a few weeks, alone in my bare apartment surrounded only by the few still-packed boxes I was able to fit in my car.

When the rest of my belongings finally arrived, I knew I would have to spend a weekend unpacking and truly getting my apartment in order. Even though I had lived in my new home for a month, it was completely empty. So I did what anyone else would do: put on a great playlist and got to work.

Almost absentmindedly, I searched for London Grammar’s album If You Wait, one of my favorites. When the first song, “Hey Now,” came on, I felt like I had been punched in the gut. I was immediately flooded with feelings and emotions I hadn’t felt for a long time. It was one of the strongest visceral reactions I’ve ever experienced. I felt vulnerable. I was also confused. What was going on?

And then it hit me: That song was a regular in my playlist when I started masturbating for the first time. And I hadn’t heard it for months.

Music has always played a huge role in my life. I’ve been singing for as long as I can remember; as a hobby at first, and now professionally in choirs and operas. When I was a teenager in serious emotional pain, my favorite bands were always there for me and showed me that music is a way to, sometimes, make the darkness a little brighter. As an adult, music continues to ground me and consistently provides me with a safe haven and an outlet to create beauty and energy and something all my own.

My masturbation playlist started off as a way to cover up the noise from my first vibrator. Since I had never “done this” before, I wasn’t sure if I even wanted any background noise. Maybe just lying there in silence would be better, I thought. However, I quickly discovered that wasn’t going to work – wands are noisy! At first, I tried putting on a poppy remix of one of my favorite artist’s most recent albums, then tried a TV show to just play in the background, neither of which provided me with the atmosphere I was looking for.

I learned that just covering up the noise wasn’t going to cut it. I needed more – I really wanted to connect with my body. My search for the proper playlist evolved into more of a desire to connect rather than a necessity to drown out vibrations. After trying pump-up music and general background noise, I finally put on an album by an artist I had only recently started listening to, London Grammar. It was perfect. I mixed in some songs by Daughter, some by Broods, and my playlist was born. The deep, atmospheric, haunting songs by these three groups opened the door to the headspace I was looking for; a place where I felt truly connected to my body and my pleasure and ready for exploration.

Everything in my life had a playlist. It only made sense that my masturbation sessions would too.

However, sometime in-between when I started masturbating and when I moved to my new state for my new job, I lost that playlist. I didn’t lose it in a physical sense – I could still open Spotify and start playing it whenever I wanted – but I lost that connection to my body; lost my incredible fascination with sex toys and exploration and discovery and pleasure. About nine months passed in that in-between phase, and a lot happened. I graduated from college, moved away from the place I called home for four years, started my very first job as a college graduate, quit that job four months later, and moved to an entirely new state alone after finding a new job. My mental health plummeted and I found myself back in a deep depression from the turbulence of graduating, cycling quickly through jobs, and essentially starting my life over all on my own.

It’s understandable why masturbation, and especially working on my blog, took a backseat for a while. I also quickly realized why listening to even just the opening chords of “Hey Now” gave me such an intense emotional and physical reaction. I was disconnected from my body for months. Hearing that song reminded me of the vulnerable, intimate place where I first discovered pleasure.

Now, four months after I heard “Hey Now” again while unpacking my moving boxes, I have a revamped, longer masturbation playlist. It still includes all of the favorites I mentioned above, but a lot of new discoveries, too. I’m thankful that my lifelong connection to music helped me discover my body – and that it brought me back to my body when I felt detached from pleasure and exploration for so long.

Do you have your own masturbation playlist? What do you listen to while masturbating, if you listen to anything at all? Let me know in the comments!

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To Men Who Think They’re Experts on Queer Women’s Pleasure

A few nights ago, I was out having drinks with a man I’d slept with once a couple of months ago. We started talking about queerness, and he asked me when I first knew I was interested in women. I told him I knew when I was in high school, but couldn’t be out for fear of retaliation from my then-boyfriend, and that I was finally able to come out to myself fully in my first year of college. I also told him that the first time I seriously dated a woman, in my third year of college, it changed my entire life.

And this is when our conversation began to go downhill.

As soon as I told him how my first queer relationship opened up my world, he started asking me details about what it was like to have sex with another woman. Alright, I thought, I can handle this. I’ve been a queer educator for years, and I’m used to people asking me all kinds of questions about queer sex and relationships. Usually they’re something along the lines of: “How does that work?” and “So, scissoring, am I right?” and “But… if there’s no penis… how is it really sex?” (Hello, cissexism! Get out of here with that shit.)

This man asked me no such questions. Instead, he looked me directly in the eye and said, “How could sleeping with women possibly be as intimate as sleeping with men?”

Oh, Christ. Here we go. He followed up this question by informing me (poor, ignorant me!) that face-to-face sex “means more” than other kinds of sex, so that when a woman goes down on another woman, it cannot be as meaningful or intimate as when a man and a woman have PIV sex. Furthermore, he so graciously explained that even if women engage in penetrative sex, a strap-on “isn’t really you” (as in your physical anatomy), so your connection with your woman partner still can’t be as intimate as it would be with a man.

First of all, holy shit, cissexism. I want to be clear that I do not support any of these claims, and that they represent an incredibly exclusionary view of bodies, identities, gender, sexuality, and relationships.

I could write for days just refuting his points: That there are many, many ways to have sex, regardless of your gender; that PIV sex is not the ultimate, “final” sex act; that queer people have amazing, mind-blowing, deeply intimate sex every damn day despite what straight cis men have to say about it.

I’m not going to do that, though. At least not now. This isn’t about one conversation I had with one man who happens to believe that when we had sex, it was more intimate than any of the sex I’ve ever had or will have with women (or, really, anyone who doesn’t identify as a cis man, even though he didn’t say that explicitly.)

This is about men thinking they can dictate, and are experts on, queer women’s sexual lives and pleasure.

Remarks ranging from belligerent questions about how queer women actually have sex to deeply personal comments getting at the core of queer women’s intimate lives all have one thing in common: Straight men who think they know what’s best for women, and that what’s best for women is men.

I am well aware that people of all genders and sexualities may have questionable things to say about queer women’s pleasure. I’ve encountered this with straight women who say they just can’t imagine being with another woman, and most often with queer men who openly and freely express their disgust over vulvas and vaginas. (Misogyny from queer men is very, very real. More on that some other time.) However, I have only ever experienced aggressive interrogation and a toxic “I know more about your pleasure than you do” attitude about my sex life from straight men.

This mindset among straight men is incredibly prevalent. I deal with it all the time, and I’d venture to say that most other queer women I know do as well. I experience it on Tinder and OkCupid, where men tell me daily that I just “need some dick in my life” to “turn me straight.” I experience it walking down the street, hand-in-hand with a partner, when I’m met with gross misogyny, harassment, and queerphobia. I experience it when a man I’ve slept with tells me women can never pleasure me the same way he once did; when he becomes threatened and reactive as soon as I tell him he’s wrong.

This attitude towards queer women is dangerous and harmful. While the comments and events discussed here may seem like outliers to those who haven’t experienced them, they are part of a toxic pattern of queerphobia, sexism, and misogyny that seeks to control the way queer women live their lives and express their sexuality.

Stopping this pattern is not queer women’s responsibility, but rather lies on the men who perpetuate it, and even men who don’t. Thanks to patriarchal ideas and standards of sex, toxic hypermasculinity, and heteronormativity and cisnormativity, many straight men claim to have a supreme knowledge about sex and have opinions about how everyone regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation should be having sex.

It is up to straight men themselves to break down these detrimental ways of thinking and start to truly listen to the experiences of queer folks as well as the needs, desires, and experiences of their women partners. For straight men who already understand that queer women’s sexuality is not owned and controlled by men, it’s essential to actively work on breaking down and calling out this toxic pattern when they see it.

I think by now it goes without saying that the only experts on queer women’s sexual lives and pleasure are, surprise, queer women themselves.

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What I Learned from the We-Vibe Touch

When I started this blog, the We-Vibe Touch was one of the first toys I knew I absolutely had to try. I had been reading about the Touch’s magical rumbly vibrations from other sex bloggers for quite some time prior to starting my own site, not to mention that it flew off the shelves more quickly than any other toy at the feminist sex shop I used to work at. Incredibly strong vibrations? Check. A squishy tip? Yes please. And that scoop on the underside of the Touch? My clit dreamed of that scoop for many moons.

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A couple of months into my blogging adventure, Heidi at Sexy Time Toys offered to send me a We-Vibe Touch for review. I was ecstatic! I couldn’t wait to try the infamous Touch for myself. So, I tried. And tried. And tried again. And again, and again… you get the point. And nothing. worked. Not only could I not reach orgasm with the Touch, I found very little pleasure in using it at all.

For a while, I felt kind of like a sex blogging failure. Why didn’t the We-Vibe Touch work for me, when it had worked for so many other bloggers and toy lovers before me? After a few tries, I quickly learned that the tip of this toy was just too narrow for me. However, what about the broader back of the Touch? Or the scoop my clit dreamed of? The Touch seemed so full of potential even beyond its squishy tip, and yet I seemed to be able to harness none of it.

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After spending some time lamenting my lack of We-Vibe Touch orgasms, I eventually realized that this entire thing was actually a learning experience in disguise. In the time I spent testing out the Touch, I unearthed a whole lot about what actually gets me off, more than I had learned with any other toy (except maybe my first vibrator).

First, I learned that direct, pinpoint clitoral stimulation is not for me. I requested the Touch with the inkling of an idea that direct, pinpoint stimulation might not be my thing, but I thought maybe I just hadn’t tried the right toy yet. Using my fingers to stimulate my clit directly never brought me much pleasure, and bullet vibes were always a no-go, yet I still had hope that the Touch might be right for me since it had worked for so many others. Nope, it turns out that pinpoint stimulation, as well as stimulation from some more narrowish (somewhere in-between a bullet and a wand) vibrators, just doesn’t get me off. (I say some more narrowish vibrators because the L’Amorouse Rosa actually does work for me when I use the base as a handle – more investigation forthcoming!)

Second, I learned that broad stimulation, the kind that wands bring, is what really gets me off. I owned one wand before testing the Touch, but afterwards, when I started to figure out what I really liked, I invested in two stronger wands… and saw stars. Yup, wands and broad stimulation are where it’s at for me. As I continue to test toys and experiment with my own pleasure, this only becomes more and more true.

IMG_7691Most importantly, I learned that what gets a lot of other people off might not necessarily get me off, and what gets me off might not necessarily get a lot of other people off, and that’s okay. My pleasure is my own, and I don’t need to compare my preferences and likes to anybody else’s. My pleasure is valid just as it is.

If you are a fan of direct clitoral stimulation, then the We-Vibe Touch might be the perfect vibrator for you. Handfuls of other bloggers swear by the Touch, and I would highly recommend checking out their reviews if pinpoint stimulation and deep, rumbly vibrations are what you’re all about. The Touch is obviously a thoughtfully made, well-crafted toy – it’s just not for me.

Finally, if you’re thinking about trying the We-Vibe Touch or are just in the market for something new, I highly recommend visiting Sexy Time Toys for a fantastic selection of body-safe toys. Using the affiliate links throughout this post at Sexy Time Toys supports the ongoing success of Formidable Femme, and you’ll get a shiny new toy – everybody wins!

Sexy Time Toys generously provided me with the We-Vibe Touch in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.

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