We-Vibe Ditto

So November is here, the month of gunpowder, treason, and plot – Thanksgiving if you’re across the pond – and Black Friday seemingly everywhere now. It’s also a reminder to me that I’ve had this little toy in my possession for a year now, and it’s about time that I put my thoughts down on paper.

Following on from my recent review of the Hush, here’s one that’s long overdue.

 

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We-Vibe Tango USB

Two years ago I went on a quest to find a powerful bullet vibe that I could use in place of the buzzy battery-powered vibes that came packaged as standard with many prostate massagers and butt plugs on the market, and that quest lead me to the We-Vibe Salsa. Almost instantly the Salsa became my all time favourite bullet and I was ready to recommend it to all who asked – and even those who didn’t – but then about a year later two things happened: We-Vibe announced that they were phasing out the Salsa in favour of its identically-powered yet differently-shaped cousin, the Tango, and the power button on my Salsa gave up the ghost, becoming temperamental at best and entirely unresponsive otherwise.
Naturally I was quite upset to suddenly be Salsa-less, but I muddled along and made do with substitutes where I could, and then suddenly this month the generous folks at Simply Pleasure came to the rescue and offered me a new We-Vibe Tango to review. I say ‘new’ because it turns out that while We-Vibe were phasing out the Salsa, they took the opportunity to make a few design improvements to the Tango, and you can find out what I think about the changes below!

Traditionally bullet vibes have always been considered a product almost exclusively for women, but with more and more unisex toys containing bullet holes these days, items such as the Tango are proving to be a convenient powerhouse to give a welcome boost to an assortment of other novelties in your toy drawer.

The Tango is a nice compact vibe which measures in at only 3 1/2″ long by 3/4″ wide, putting it just a nose ahead of the Salsa (or 1/8″ to be precise). It’s a little longer than the battery powered bullets you get included with some toys, but the width allows it to easily fit inside products made by Tantus and Rocks Off amongst others. The body of the toy is manufactured in one single piece from ABS plastic, and comes in a choice of only two colours, blue or pink, down from a selection of six in the old Salsa/Tango line. This does make the product feel a little more gendered now, but I’m sure it’s simply a reflection of which colours retailers reported as being the best sellers. The surface of the plastic is very smooth and shiny, and they’ve even managed to eliminate the faint moulding moulding mark that was on the tip of the Salsa, leaving it flawless. The end of the bullet is angled on one side, giving it a flat surface which resembles a tube of lipstick, while the other side of the tip is gently rounded as on the Salsa, but it doesn’t reach quite such a pronounced point at the end. The base of the toy is finished off with a solid white silicone-rubber cap where the power button is located. The Tango has a lovely sleek appearance, and as well as being attractive it also looks quite discreet.

As with the Salsa the Tango has eight modes in total: four differing speeds as well as four varying vibration patterns. This makes it especially good if you’re going to use it inside another toy, as standard bullets typically only have one mode of on or off. The bullet is activated by pressing the button at the end once, and every subsequent press of the button will change the Tango to the next mode. Once you cycle through all eight modes pressing the button again will switch the vibe off. If you want to switch the vibe off immediately then holding down the button for a couple of seconds will do this, and the next time you turn the vibe on it will remember which mode you were using last, which I found to be a very handy feature. The button is nice and responsive, you don’t have to push it too firmly, and it feels reassuringly well-built. I said the same thing about the button on the Salsa before it failed on me, but you can feel that the button in the Tango is one of the areas that has been upgraded, and it makes a good “click” when you press it. The vibrations from the Tango are wonderfully strong, and even at the lowest setting they feel deep and rumbly. When you use the Tango inside another toy, such as a butt plug, it’s this power which really helps the vibrations to travel through the thick layers of material and still be able to be felt deep inside the body. It has to be the vibration patterns which are my favourite part though, as the rhythmic pulsing of the vibe inside a butt plug causes some great sensations internally, especially in the prostate. The vibe by itself is quite quiet, though I would say it’s a little louder than some other bullets I have, but still not enough to be heard through a closed door or a thin partition wall. When it’s inside another toy the sound gets muffled exceedingly well and is even less obvious.

Aside from utilising the Tango inside bullet toys, the other way I can put it to use as a man is for penile stimulation, and this actually turned out to be one of my favourite things to do with the Salsa. Vibrations can feel incredibly stimulating on the penis if they’re used in the correct manner. Typically I don’t enjoy bullet vibes for this as they’re too buzzy, but the Tango is different. The Tango delivers strong vibrating sensations deep into the penis, which feel great when it’s applied to the head and around the frenulum. What’s fun about the Tango compared to the Salsa is that the angled tip gives you two different ways to use it. When you have the flat side applied to the penis you have a greater surface area of the bullet making contact with the skin, which increases sensation. Typically I find myself using the rounded side more, just as I would have used the Salsa, and perhaps out of habit, but it’s nice to have the option of both, and to be able to switch between them mid masturbation to add in a little variety. Despite the tip being slightly less pointed than on the salsa it’s still great for applying more precise and concentrated stimulation, and the difference isn’t discernible to me. The different vibration patterns also work well in this instance and can increase the level of pleasure, and hasten climax. It can be great to use just for teasing as part of foreplay, or in combination with a handjob to enhance the experience.

The Tango is a waterproof toy, which means it can be used in the bath or shower if you’re considering taking your play outside the bedroom. It also means that it’s very easy to clean, as you can splash as much water over it as you like. As a precaution you only want to wash it with hot water and anti-bacterial soap, or with your favourite toy cleaner / toy wipe. Plastic is a durable material, but it’s not advisable to go boiling electronic items.

The Tango comes with a rather clever magnetic charging system that works through USB. It’s comprised of two basic parts, a white dock which connects to the Tango magnetically, and a separate cable which runs between the dock and a USB port on a computer. The advantage of the magnetic system is that it allows the Tango to be 100% waterproof. The way this is achieved is by having a solid silicone-rubber cap at the end of the Tango, which is where the control button is located. Either side of the button are two metal electrodes which protrude above the rubber seal, and these in turn connect to two shallow metal depressions on the underside of the plastic dock. When all the metal parts are touching the current flows and the Tango charges. The improvement here is that the electrodes on the Tango protrude significantly further than those on the Salsa, and thus always maintain contact for the duration of a full charge, unlike on my Salsa which would frequently break the connection and stop charging well before it was done. The only slight downside to the improved electrodes is that their protrusion can feel somewhat uncomfortable on the finger when you’re trying to press the button that sits between them, but I’m not going to complain as it’s preferable to the nightmare I had charging my Salsa. The dock itself has a little orange LED on it which illuminates whilst charging is taking place, and goes out to indicate that it’s complete. Once the is Tango is fully charged it has enough battery life to last for 2 hours, which is impressive for a toy of its size. Another new feature on the Tango is that an orange LED next to the power button will start flashing to indicate when the bullet is low on power, which is very handy so you know when to charge it up again, and avoid taking it out of your drawer next time only to discover it has only 60 seconds of life remaining.

One of the nice added features is that the Tango comes with its own white satin storage pouch. It’s a little oversized compared to the diminutive bullet, but it’s useful for putting the USB charging cable in too for when you’re travelling.

Overall I’m exceptionally pleased with the Tango; it’s powerful, versatile and a quality product. I’m very impressed that they’ve managed to iron out all the complaints I had about the Salsa, and as such I’d have to give it full marks. The difference in shape of the tip is something that I’m neither here nor there about; I do like the versatility of it, but I was also perfectly content with that of the Salsa, and could see myself being equally happy with either, so it’s not a game-changer for me. The USB charging, though, is a massive improvement as far as I’m concerned, and in fact the only thing I could honestly say that I miss about the Salsa was its scarlet colour, otherwise I’m a full Tango convert.

The We-Vibe Tango USB is available right now from Simply Pleasure.

Make Me a Sex Toy

There comes a point when you’ve tried as many different sex toys as I have that you start to get a pretty good idea of what works and what doesn’t, from the shape of things to their functionality, and you begin to wish you could make little changes to the products you already own, or even combine the features of two toys together to create something entirely new.
I thought I might try out a new segment on my blog called “Make Me a Sex Toy”, where I cobble together something that I’d like to see in the future, something that I’d put into production if I worked for one of these companies, and here’s the first instalment.

Last night during a period of mild insomnia I thought to myself “I wish We-Vibe would make a prostate massager”, and then I proceeded to design the entire thing in my mind. I chose We-Vibe because they make a selection of compact, high-quality, and very powerful vibrators, which are exactly the sort of things I look for in a prostate massager, so it would seem to be the ideal region for them to branch out into without too much trouble.
Design
  • The shape of the prostate massager is something which I would co-opt entirely from the Jopen Ego E4. That toy had many shortcomings, but the the inverted-7 or L-shape was by far its stand-out feature. It was a compact size which fit nicely inside the body without poking you anywhere unwanted, yet its bulbous ends applied a firm pressure to both the prostate and the perineum, while the narrow neck made it comfortable to wear long-term without slippage.
  • Similarly my material choice would be the same: a firm hard plastic core with a velvety silicone coating, though you’ll notice I opted for a different colour. The rigidity of a plastic core maintains that pressure on the prostate, where something more flexible would not. It increases the ease of insertion, and it better transmits vibrations. The silicone coating makes the toy more hygienic by virtue of being non-porous and sterilisable, and it also contributes to the sense of comfort by having some give in the surface and warming with body heat.
  • The toy would employ a magnetic charging system, primarily because I prefer them, but also because they’re easy to use and ensure the waterproof nature of the item. I would locate the contacts on the underside of the toy where they would be completely out of the way during use.
  • The power button would be on the front of the toy where it’s easily accessible during use, similar to the placement that Rocks Off use, and to allow you to sit down while wearing the toy without accidentally hitting the button as would occur if it were underneath.
  • The motor would be at the tip of the insertable portion to ensure the full force of the vibrations were inside the body and directed at the prostate. I probably would not bother with a second motor in the perineum arm as I view this as mostly unnecessary and an added cost, not to mention the issues surrounding trying to fit two powerful motors and a battery into such a small device.

Functionality

  • The motor would be identical to the one used in the We-Vibe Salsa / Tango due to it being the most powerful and rumbly vibrator of its size that I’ve experienced, and thus should be able to deliver the sort of vibrations needed to really have an impact on the prostate.
  • The modes would be the same as in the Salsa / Tango: four incrementally increasing speeds and four different vibration patterns. The ability to adjust the strength of vibrations doesn’t require the precision of a sliding scale in a prostate massager, thus discrete levels should more than suffice, and the inclusion of vibration patterns is an absolute must.
  • There would be a single button on the device used to turn it on/off and to cycle through the settings, so as not to clutter the design, and to increase ease of use when pressing a button in a location that can’t readily be seen. The button would also allow for locking the device during travel.
I think that really these are all the key points I’d like to see fulfilled in my ideal compact, wearable, prostate massager, and if anyone ever builds something like this then I’d be eager to try it. Is there anything that you’d like to see in your ideal prostate massager?

Update: Lelo released the Hugo and Bruno prostate massagers in 2015, which fulfil this concept.
 

We-Vibe Salsa

Recently I’ve found myself thinking a lot about bullet vibes, which might not seem like the traditional territory for a blog slanted towards sex toys for men, but it’s surprising how many toys out there – aimed at both sexes – are actually powered by bullets. One of the main companies to do this is Rocks Off, who use their RO-80mm bullet in their prostate massagers, butt plugs, cock rings, male masturbation aids, you name it. Even Tantus have bullet holes in several of their dildos, and include a free vibe to use in conjunction with them, so it’s an increasingly common practice.

My problem has always been that I’ve found the bullets that come with all these toys rather lacklustre; they’re buzzy, one speed, and frankly do little for me, so I’ve been on the lookout for something to give them a little more “oomph”, and that’s when I learnt about We-Vibe.

We-Vibe currently makes two compact rechargeable bullet vibes, the Tango and the Salsa, both of which I have heard very positive things about. At their core they’re essentially the same product, with only some surface differences in the shape of the tip and the colour selection available. I opted to buy myself a Salsa because it has the more traditional shape, and it’s available in red, so it should match the toys I plan to use it with.

Update: This product has been discontinued as of 2013. Please see my review of the new Tango which replaces it.

The old review continues below

Traditionally bullet vibes have been considered a product exclusively for women, but with more and more unisex toys containing bullet holes, items such as the Salsa are proving to be a convenient powerhouse, to give a welcome boost to a range of other novelties in your toy box.
The Salsa is a nice compact vibe which measures in at only 3 3/8″ long  by 3/4″ wide. It’s a little bit longer than the battery powered bullets you get included with some toys, but the width allows it to easily fit inside products made by Tantus and Rocks Off amongst others. The body of the toy is manufactured in one single piece from ABS plastic, and comes in a choice of three colours; I went for the red as I felt it best lived up to the name. The surface of the plastic is very smooth and shiny; there is one moulding mark on the very tip of the toy, but it has been smoothed down and polished over, so while you can see a faint dot you can’t actually feel anything there. The tip of the toy is tapered, giving it a gently rounded end which blends seamlessly into the straight shaft, before finishing with slight outward flare. The very end of the toy is finished off with a solid white silicone-rubber cap where the power button is located. The Salsa has a lovely sleek appearance, and as well as being attractive it also looks quite discreet.
The Salsa has eight modes in total: four differing speeds as well as four varying vibration patterns. This makes it especially good if you’re going to use it inside another toy, as standard bullets typically only have one mode of on or off. The bullet is activated by pressing the button at the end once, and every subsequent press of the button will change the Salsa to the next mode. Once you cycle through all eight modes pressing the button again will switch the vibe off. If you want to switch the vibe off immediately then holding down the button for a couple of seconds will do this, and the next time you turn the vibe on it will remember which mode you were using last, which I found to be a very handy feature. The button is nice and responsive, you don’t have to push it too firmly, and it feels reassuringly well-built.* The vibrations from the Salsa are wonderfully strong, and even at the lowest setting they feel deep and rumbly. When you use the Salsa inside another toy, such as a butt plug, it’s this power which really helps the vibrations to travel through the thick layers of material and still be able to be felt deep inside the body. It has to be the vibration patterns which are my favourite part though, as the rhythmic pulsing of the vibe inside a butt plug causes some great sensations internally, especially in the prostate. The vibe by itself is quite quiet, though I would say it’s a little louder than some other bullets I have, but still not enough to be heard through a closed door or a thin partition wall. When it’s inside another toy the sound gets muffled exceedingly well and is even less obvious.
Aside from utilising the Salsa inside bullet toys, the other way I can put it to use as a man is for penile stimulation. Vibrations can feel incredibly stimulating on the penis if they’re used in the correct manner. Typically I don’t enjoy bullet vibes for this as they’re too buzzy, but the Salsa is different. The Salsa delivers strong vibrating sensations deep into the penis, which feel great when it’s applied to the head and around the frenulum. Initially I had been concerned that perhaps the We-Vibe Tango would be better suited to this, due to its flat surface, but in fact this level of surface contact with the skin can be duplicated by using the side of the Salsa, while the tapered tip is great for applying more precise and concentrated stimulation. The different vibration patterns also work well in this instance and can increase the level of pleasure, and hasten climax. It can be great to use just for teasing as part of foreplay, or in combination with a handjob to enhance the experience.

The Salsa is a waterproof toy, which means it can be used in the bath or shower if you’re considering taking your play outside the bedroom. It also means that it’s very easy to clean, as you can splash as much water over it as you like. As a precaution you only want to wash it with hot water and anti-bacterial soap, or with your favourite toy cleaner / toy wipe. Plastic is a durable material, but it’s not advisable to go boiling electronic items.

The one annoying thing about the We-Vibe Salsa has to be the charging system. On the surface it seems like quite a clever system, comprised of two parts. The power adaptor plugs into a white dock in the shape of a hemisphere, which then connects to the Salsa itself magnetically. The advantage of the magnetic system is that it allows the Salsa to be 100% waterproof. The way this is achieved is by having a solid silicone-rubber cap at the end of the Salsa, which is where the control button is located. Either side of the button are two metal electrodes which protrude slightly above the rubber seal, and these in turn connect to two shallow metal depressions on the underside of the plastic dock. When all the metal parts are touching the current flows and the Salsa charges. Where the problem lies is with the rubber seal itself. If the thickness of the rubber is even the slightest bit too much then it prevents the electrodes in the Salsa from making a firm connection with the dock. This is precisely what happens in mine. When I first plug the Salsa in to charge the charging light will come on for about 30 seconds, indicating a flow of electricity, but then it goes out completely. The only way to maintain a firm connection between the Salsa and the dock, sufficient enough to charge the device, is to physically squeeze the two parts together, thus compressing the rubber to such a degree that the electrodes can fully touch. As you can imagine this is inconvenient, I would prefer to just be able to plug my Salsa in and leave it alone while it charges, rather than having to sit there holding it for 90 minutes. The only alternatives are to either try to jury-rig the dock with some small pieces of metal foil, which proves quite fiddly, or to place the Salsa in such a position where I can use the weight of a heavy object to push the two halves together, but the shape of it makes it awkward to achieve. I have no doubt that it would be a fine system if it worked, but the level of precision that seems to be required leaves it victim to the natural variances which will always occur in the manufacturing process. Once is Salsa is fully charged it has enough battery life to last for 2 hours, which is impressive for a toy of its size.

How I have to charge it.
One of the nice added features is that the Salsa comes with its own little cloth storage pouch. It’s a little oversized compared to the diminutive bullet, but it allows you to put the charger inside it as well, which is perfect if you’re travelling.
Overall I’m very pleased with the Salsa, it’s powerful, versatile and a quality product. If it weren’t for the issue with the charger then I’d probably give it full marks.

*Update: Unfortunately after no more than a year of ownership the power button on my Salsa has failed, making it extremely difficult to turn on or off, let alone cycle through patterns, and rendering it almost unusable. After all the problems I’ve had with the charger since day one, and now this, I’m feeling less than impressed. When the toy does work it’s fantastic, and I couldn’t recommend anything better in this size, so I want to give the benefit of the doubt and believe that with all the issues I was just the unlucky recipient of a faulty model. Let me know in the comments if you’ve experienced similar problems.

Hybrid Toy Concept

I haven’t been shy about my criticisms of the Rocks Off prostate massagers, my main problem being the awkward horseshoe shape, so when I saw the L-shaped Butt Boy I’ll admit that it piqued my curiosity. My other problem, though, has been with the RO-80mm bullets they use to power their toys, I simply don’t find them powerful enough, but earlier today I was struck by a moment of inspiration. 

Someone recently mentioned on Twitter that We-Vibe make their favourite bullet vibrators, so I went and looked up their Salsa model, and as it happens it’s exactly the same dimensions as the RO-80mm, only it’s rechargeable and has multiple vibration speeds and patterns.
It was clear to me what had to be done; I want to combine the silicone sleeve of the Rocks Off Butt Boy, with the superior bullet vibrator that is the We-Vibe Salsa, and see if this experiment truly does create a superior prostate massager.
Now all that remains is to acquire the various parts and put my plan into motion!

Update: I’ve since purchased both parts and you can read my reviews by clicking one of the links above.