The term “couples vibrator” is one that sparks a great deal of debate on social media, blogs and forums. This is because these types of sex toys tend to be inclusive to one particular type of couple (a straight, male/female partnership) and don’t vouch for other couplings. I’m not majorly fond of the term myself but for the purpose of this review I shall be using it as this toy has clearly been designed with a couple in mind. I bet you guessed that based on the name Partner though. I do think this was intended to be used by a straight pairing but I believe that anyone in a partnership consisting of a vulva, clitoris and something penetrative (be that a finger, a penis or a dildo) could potentially make it work.
I haven’t tried many couples vibrators over the past couple of years that I’ve been reviewing, but the handful I have tried have all been at the higher end of the pricing scale. I was intrigued by the Partner range for that very reason as all of their current models come in at entry-level to mid-range price tags. I understand that not everybody wants to, or can afford to, splash out over $100 on a We-Vibe Sync or Classic, so I had high hopes that one of these models would be good enough for me to recommend as a more affordable alternative. I have tried all three of the existing models now so it’s time to answer the big question. Which one is the best? The Partner? The Partner Plus? Or the uber cute Partner Whale?
Arriving in a white and blue cardboard box with a glossy product shot on the front and back, I was pleased with the presentation. The images were tasteful and gave off a welcoming, non-intimidating vibe that would be ideal for those who may be new to the sex toy scene or introducing a toy within their partnership for the first time. The box lists some key features on the sides such as the number of functions, materials used and the fact that it’s waterproof. Inside, I found the Partner Whale, the charging cable and a user manual. There’s no storage included.
Made from a combination of velvety soft, smooth silicone and a touch of abs plastic, there’s no concerns about the safety of this toy. It’s non-toxic, latex and phthalate free, odourless and hypoallergenic. I expected the Partner Whale to have some drag to its silicone body because of the ridged texture on the internal arm but there wasn’t much at all. It has some, as silicone always does, but nothing that a quick coating of water based lubricant couldn’t remove. I lube up both the internal arm and the area of the external arm that makes contact with the clitoris for comfort. After use, I give it a thorough rinse with warm soapy water and leave it to dry.
It is a rechargeable vibe with a USB connector on one side and a magnetic cap at the other which attaches to the corresponding prongs on the toy. The control panel flashes whilst the Whale is charging and the light goes solid once complete. The manual states that each charge should take around two hours, which I’ve found to be accurate, and this should provide up to sixty-five minutes of use. We’ve found the use time a little less but we tend to use it on the high power speed consistently.
There’s only one button on this vibrator and that is located on the external arm. Press it once firmly for a few seconds, wait for the control panel to light up and the vibrations will begin. Tap to cycle through the ten available functions and press and hold down for a few seconds to turn off. One button means it’s easy to understand but it also means you have to scroll through all of the settings if you miss the one you were looking for. I’d have loved a central power button with up and down arrows to change settings more conveniently. I hope this will be the case with future Partner vibrators.
The Whale has the same irritating order of patterns as the other two models that I tried. The manual states that pressing and holding the button down for two seconds will start the vibrations at the lowest massage level but from my experience with the Partner range so far, this isn’t true. All of them have started on high intensity before going down to medium, low and then the seven patterns. This is deeply confusing to me as the majority of people seem to like to start at the bottom and work up to full strength, not start on full and crawl back down.
I personally whack my vibrators up to full power straight away on most occasions so this wasn’t majorly problematic for me but I can see why it would annoy other people who prefer the opposite. I like a ton of strength with rumbly vibrations but this combination seems to be hard to find in these types of couples vibrators. Partner’s Whale doesn’t have any depth to its vibrations whatsoever. All of the sensations are surface level and buzzy. They couldn’t reach most of my external nerve endings. They do have a reasonable of strength to them and the buzzing is tolerable but it takes a while for me to get off from them.
The Whale has a very similar shape to the Partner Plus but the dimensions are different. The external arm is 3.5 inches around at its widest point which covers the entire clitoral area. The internal arm has 2.3 inches of usable length and a maximum girth of 2.5 inches. This is not very wide at all so I expected my above average partner to have no problems inserting him underneath it. My partner has a larger girth that provides a full feeling at the best of the times so I did feel rather like I had reached full capacity with both of them inside. If it had been much wider then I think I would have struggled to accommodate them both but it was manageable with warm-up and splashings of lube.
I can’t say that our encounters with the Whale have been the most comfortable sexual experiences for my partner. He felt that thrusting was difficult with this toy as the external arm kept sliding out of position each time he pulled back, poking his schlong. I think external stimulation is the most important part of a couples vibrator so the fact that the pressure kept disconnecting as the external arm moved back ruined the experience for me. This was not an issue with the Partner or Partner Plus so I can’t put my finger on a reason why this occurred with the Whale. I would have thought that the subtle texture made for better grip than the silky soft silicone that the others have but apparently not.
One thing I loved about the Whale was the internal arm. I wasn’t fond of the squishy, flexible arm that the previous models had and Partner have improved on that massively with this version. It has a firmer shaft that gives me adequate pressure and the added bonus of ridged texture on its inside. These ridges aren’t defined enough to bring me to climax on their own but I always appreciate some love and attention against my front wall. I felt the shaft was just about long enough to hint, grind and push against my g-spot in sync with my partners movements but it may not fit everybody’s anatomy in the same way.
Overall, I think the Whale has adorable aesthetics, a fitting colour scheme, better firmness than the previous two models and fun texture to add some extra flavour. It has all of the benefits of the others such as body-safe materials and being rechargeable, quiet and waterproof. It unfortunately also has the downside I’ve commented on previously – buzzy vibrations. For the next model I would love to see a change in motor. Low frequency, rumbly vibrations would be fantastic. I’d also love to see a three button control panel for ease of changing the settings. If those two things were combined with the shape of the Partner Plus, the dimensions of the Partner and the aesthetics and texture of the Whale then I think I’d have found my perfect match.
You can purchase the Partner Whale Couples Vibrator ($49.95/£36.75) from Peepshow Toys. Get 10% off your order with the code NatandTom. We received this product free of charge in exchange for our honest review. Thank you!