The Best & Worst Sex Toys Of 2017

I have reviewed a couple of hundred products on this blog over the past two years and over a hundred of them were in the previous twelve months alone. That is a large number of reviews to have written and yet, I still feel like I’m ambling around in the dark sometimes. I started to feel like I’d found my feet in the last months of 2017 and although there are still things I’d like to change and adjust, I feel like I’m on the right path at last. After I’d spent lots of time on the admin side of things, I decided to take some time to reflect on the posts I’d done over the last year, the products I’d tried and tested and the companies I’ve been lucky enough to work with. I came up with a list of my best and worst sex toys from 2017 and I’m going to kickstart that list off with vibrators.

Best & Worst Sex Toys of 2017!

The best vibrator I tried in 2017 has to be the Zumio Clitoral Stimulator. Yes, it looks unusual, takes forever to charge and doesn’t like it when pressure is applied but I can’t deny the way my body responds to it. I’m a lover of direct contact so the small surface area of the Zumio is perfect for me. The strong sensations resonate through hot spots on and below the surface of my clitoris and bring me to climax within minutes. It’s earned a place inside my bedside table and regular rotation schedule alongside a couple of other new favourites.

Second place goes to So Divine’s Let’s Go Crazy, a heated vibrator that gave me hope that there’s a perfect rabbit out there for every vulva. It fits my anatomy perfectly, has a huge variety of settings and heats up to a temperature that my body definitely agrees with. I never thought I’d be raving about a rabbit this much, but I’m a big fan of this one. Last but not least, third place goes to the Satisfyer Pro Penguin Next Generation. Whilst it’s not technically a vibrator, it has to be said that clitoral stimulators like this one have taken over the sex toy scene of late. This was one of my favourite models and I’m eager to see if anything else can top it in 2018.

As for worst vibrators, I’d have to go with the Vive Ombra. I tried the Minu from the same brand in late 2016 and I felt the same way about that product. I also have the Cleo which I’m yet to review, but I think it’s obvious how that review is going down. All of these vibrators have underpowered, buzzy vibrations that are uncomfortable to hold against bare skin and although I could orgasm with the Ombra if I waited long enough, those testing sessions were the most boring I’ve had in a long time. Life is short, I don’t have time for half-assed, underwhelming orgasms.

Favourite Dildos of 2017

Tantus are my must have brand for all things insertable and they released some of their most popular dildos in a new formula of silicone in 2017. I’ve only tried one of them to date but it turned out to be the best dildo I tested all year. The Super Soft Vamp is wonderful for g-spot stimulation, filling vaginal stimulation and anal penetration. I couldn’t use the original Vamp for backdoor sessions as it was simply too firm but this new soft version is comfortable enough for me to manage and achieve fantastic orgasms.

I don’t know if awarding a toy a place on this list that wasn’t released in 2017 is fair, but one of the most enjoyable dildos that I tried this year was an older model from the Pipedream Icicles range. The #24 is beautiful to look at, ideal for anyone with a tentacle fantasy and glorious for fans of texture. It has been one of my most-used insertables over the past several months and I think it will continue to be a firm favourite. Third place is awarded to another toy from the brilliance of Tantus and that is the Uncut #2. Realistic dildos are not usually my thing but the thought of a toy with foreskin intrigued me. It was better than I had anticipated and now I have a toy that’s resembles my partners shape when he’s not around, which I just love. I hope to try the #1 in 2018 and see if that ticks as many boxes.

It’s extremely difficult for me to pick a worst dildo for last year as I didn’t try that many. Last year seemed to consist of vibrators for the most part. I think I only reviewed around ten dildos, most of those from Tantus. My mission for 2018 is to try more insertable toys of all shapes and sizes to see what is out there that I have been missing out on or luckily avoiding. Got any suggestions for me? Let me know in the comments or send over an email.

Favourite Plugs of 2017

In 2016 I forgot all about anal products. I was so focused on bondage and dildos that butt plugs and beads got completely overlooked. I made sure that changed in 2017 and anal toys quickly became one of my favourite categories to write reviews for. There was no contest for which toy would be awarded first place in this round. It had to be B-Vibe’s Rimming Plug 2. I was blown away by the strength this beauty had. The rimming sensations felt out of this world and it’s simply one of the most unusual feelings I’ve ever encountered with a sex toy, in all the right ways. The Trio Plug from the same brand is also pretty fantastic and I can’t wait to see more from them in 2018.

There were so many wonderful products that I could have placed at number two but in the end I decided to award it to We-Vibe’s Ditto. Shape wise, this was new to me. I hadn’t tried anything in my butt shaped like this before but it was surprisingly comfortable and secure. It can be worn for hours without any problems and the dimensions make it ideal for newcomers. The remote control allows a partner to be involved and the power was as expected from this wonderful company. It doubles as a clitoral toy too, which makes it even better. Third place goes to another So Divine product – the Sweet Sensation. A classic teardrop shaped plug with a sparkly crystal for extra aesthetic credit and princess play. I spent 2017 recommending this plug to everyone who asked about beginners anal products and now they’ve introduced two new sizes for those at more advanced levels.

The worst anal product was without a doubt the Swiss Navy Silicone Anal Lubricant that I tested for the Pleasure Panel back in April. Lots of the other reviewers reached the same conclusion as me. This  lubricant had a confusing consistency, not what I’d usually associate with a silicone-based product, and it just was not thick enough for comfortable anal sex. It contains clove which is supposed to be a mild numbing agent. Whilst I didn’t feel any loss of sensation, I gained an odour to my nostrils that was repulsive. This is one lube that I wouldn’t recommend to anyone. It may even be worse than Durex.

Before we conclude this round-up and get on with 2018, I want to award one company with the title of retailer of the year. This company was one of the rare few that had no ethical problems, social media screw-ups, offensive outbursts or customer service complaints and I believe they deserve to be credited for that. Peepshow Toys are a great company that stock only body-safe products, post helpful guides and articles from sex-positive people and genuinely care about their customers. I worked with them on several product reviews last year and have nothing but good things to say about my experiences with them so far. Please support them by visiting their store and following them on social media!

What were your best and worst sex toys of 2017? Let me know in the comments below!

Review: Vive Ombra

Vive Ombra
One of my favourite places to shop for sex toys is Harmony. They have some fantastic offers going on a regular basis and I can’t usually resist a good discount code. When I came across one for 20% off a selection of pink items, I decided to have a quick browse and see if I could find anything interesting.

I’m usually somebody who complains about the amount of pink in the industry, but I was quite curious to check out the Vive range, especially at such a good price. I decided to buy three toys from the brand and they ended up being the Minu, the Cleo and the Ombra, which is the topic of today’s post.

The Vive Ombra is made from premium silicone. It’s hypoallergenic, non-toxic, virtually non-porous and completely body-safe. It doesn’t contain any latex or phthalates. The silicone has a silky soft finish which allows it to glide easily across the skin with minimal drag or friction. It is recommended to use water-based lubricant with this product to improve the experience, but I have found a small amount is all that’s required for me personally. I think you’ll all be pleased to know that the silicone is anti-dust, which is a huge bonus and seems to be something of a goldmine in this industry. Even if it did attract lint like the plague, the Ombra is fully waterproof so removing it wouldn’t be a problem.

Vive OmbraIt is fully rechargeable via USB so that is simply placed into a charging port whilst the jack is inserted into the DC port located on the back of the toy. It is covered by self-healing silicone to keep the toy’s waterproof abilities intact, but this makes it stiff to get the jack into place to begin a charge. Sometimes you have to be quite forceful with it.

I thought this may have gotten easier after a few charges but it hasn’t. Nonetheless, the charge time isn’t bad at all. It takes around seventy minutes and this offers a reasonable forty minutes of playtime. This lessens to thirty minutes when used on the highest settings. It will show a green light when fully charged, white when active and orange when it needs charging.

It’s such an easy toy to understand as there’s a simple three-button control panel to operate the functions. The middle button turns the toy on and off when pressed and held for a few seconds whilst the plus button increases the intensity and the minus decreases. I found these buttons were much easier to operate than those on the Vive Minu, they were not stiff and awkward to press this time around and I feel that the button placement was much better.

The Ombra has ten settings, three constant vibration modes and seven patterns. I found all of these to be buzzy except the first constant speed, which had a minor amount of rumble to it. I liked that none of these settings had the high-pitching numbing that I hate, but I can’t say that I was impressed or thrilled with the power that they had to offer. It’s definitely not as enough intensity as I need, so I would rate this best for those who like low to mid range power options. If you need a power tool, this is not going to be the right product for you.

Vive OmbraUnlike the Minu, I can actually orgasm with this toy but it takes quite a lot of time. If I’m honest, I get bored when I use this. If I’m not climaxing within five to ten minutes I begin to lose interest. I prefer my clitoral orgasms to be quick and intense, not drawn out and mediocre. There doesn’t feel much difference between the power of this and the Minu, so I think the shape of this one has a lot to do with how it makes me feel. I think the Ombra is better suited to my anatomy and provides much better contact with the clitoris.

The Minu focuses on general vulva stimulation but doesn’t have the strength to do much past causing a gentle tingle to the area. The shape wasn’t really working for me. The Ombra however, has a rather firm head which means I can apply pressure as and where I need it. The flat, angled tip allows me to get good precision too, which is something that I appreciate. I think a smaller surface area would make the contact feel more direct and pin-pointed, but as it is, it’s great for people who like their stimulation to be slightly broader but not as wide-set as stimulation from a wand.

Overall, I think the Vive range could be better. Based on my experience with the vibrators from this range so far, I’m not tempted to try out anymore. I simply need more intensity. The Ombra does have some good features such as the small amount of flex to the shaft which makes positioning easy and comfortable and the finger loop could be useful for those with motor issues/weak joints. I personally find the loop uncomfortable and frustrating so I don’t use it, opting to hold above the buttons instead. If you’re not a power queen and enjoy broad clitoral play, then this might be worth a try but I’d recommend trying the We-Vibe Touch instead.

You can purchase the Vive Ombra (£69.99) from Harmony. Affiliate links have been used.

Review: Vive Minu

Vive MiniSometimes Harmony have fantastic offers where you can get 15% to 20% of all items in a set category and when I came across one of these offers against all pink items, I decided to have a quick browse and see if anything took my fancy. I seemed to be drawn to the glorious shade of pink used within the Vive range and as I’d heard some good things about the brand and they were all included within this offer, I decided to buy three toys which eventually ended up being the Ombra, the Cleo and the Minu, which I’ll be talking about in this review.

It is made from hypoallergenic, non-toxic and body-safe premium silicone which is free from both latex and phthalates. It has a silky type finish, which allows it to glide easily against the skin with minimal amount of drag. A small amount of water-based lubricant is recommended to remove that small amount of friction and improve the experience, but it’s not essential. It doesn’t attract any lint as the silicone is anti-dust, which is a huge bonus and fairly rare with silicone sex toys, but it is fully waterproof anyway, so even if lint was collected, it could be easily removed.

It’s rechargeable via USB, so that is simply plugged into your chosen charging port and the jack is inserted into the DC port located on the back of the toy. It is covered by self-healing silicone, to keep the toy’s waterproof abilities intact, but this means that it can be stiff to get the cable into the correct position and begin a charge. I thought this might have gotten easier after a few charges, but it has not. It takes 100 minutes for a complete refresh and this offers a reasonable 70 minutes of playtime, providing your not constantly using it on the highest setting.

Vive MinuUnfortunately, the charging port isn’t the only stiff aspect of this toy, as the buttons are too. I found them extremely hard to push down, very rigid and uncomfortable to use, to the point where I wish they had simply been designed within the silicone, as this would make the process much easier. There are three buttons on the control panel, a central button which turns the toy on and off, a plus button which cycles through the settings and a minus that cycles back down.

It has ten modes, three constant modes and seven patterns, all of which are buzzy. I liked that they didn’t have that high-pitched numbing vibe, but I wasn’t impressed with the strength behind them, as it turns out it’s not much. I couldn’t get this thing to bring me to an orgasm, regardless of the position I used it in, how I placed it, how much pressure I used or what setting I chose. I tried this toy around fifteen times in various moods and states of sensitivity and didn’t manage to achieve one orgasm unfortunately. This doesn’t mean it’s a terrible product, it just means it is simply not strong enough to satisfy the power-hungry appetite of my clitoris.

If you are more sensitive than I, or don’t need as much intensity as I do, then I think there’s a possibility that this product will work for you. It does have a great shape and can be used as a lay-on or knicker vibrator, as-well as being held into place over the clitoris, which would be great if it was stronger as it could stimulate multiple areas of the vulva at once. If you’re not a slave to a Doxy, Tango or We-Vibe Rave then I would give it a chance, otherwise I’d look elsewhere. This isn’t a power queen crowd pleaser.

Vive Minu

Overall, I don’t think there’s much more I can say about it. It’s one of those toys that are incredibly hard to write about as there’s nothing particularly terrible about it, but nothing great about it either. It’s just sort of there. It’s an average, buzzy vibe with special silicone and typical noise levels. I don’t see this wow-ing many people, but maybe you’ll like it more than I do? Let me know if so!

You can purchase the Vive Minu (£59.99) at Harmony. Affiliate links have been used in this post.