Review: Ako by Picobong

 

     Picobong is a sister company of Lelo, the luxury adult toy company that is known for rumbly vibrators that are made of buttery-smooth silicone. Picobong is the line of affordable, battery operated sex toys that are more economical but, from what I hear, most are just as good as Lelo. I was stoked to try the Ako from Tabutoys.com, but a little worried I wouldn’t like it considering the reviews I’ve seen of other Picobong toys not being so good. I’ll state it early that the Ako is amazing. It’s stronger than my Mia 2, and I’m seriously shitting daisies over how amazing this little affordable vibrator is. Thanks you so much to Tabutoys for letting me give it a go!

Picobong AkoDesign:

It’s an ergonomic vibrator that fits comfortably in my hand, and offers a lot of direct pinpoint stimulation to the clitoris because of the sharp edge of the tip. It seems to be made for right handed folks; sadly, what isn’t? When I’m holding it my thumb naturally falls onto the buttons on the side, making it easy to change the speed or settings. The base is ABS Plastic, and has graduated edges that I imagine wouldn’t be very comfortable if you tried inserting it. It’s called an outie vibrator for a reason, so stick with external stimulation only.

Picobong Ako

Since the Ako is made of the same buttery smooth silicone as Lelo toys, it’s safe to usewith water based and hybrid lubes. Some people say that pure silicone lubes are now found to be safe to use with silicone toys if both are high quality products, but I’d err on the safe side and stick with water based. With a hybrid lube, I prefer to do a spot test first by putting a little lube on a portion of the silicone toy that isn’t used often. If it discolors after you wipe off the lube, it means they aren’t compatible. It also hardly picks up any lint at all, but of course it’s covered in lint in the pictures I took for this review. My luck…

Since it’s waterproof, clean up is simple. Soap and water, toy cleaner, or a 10% bleach to water solution would do. I prefer soap and water, but if you are sharing with partners it’s best to over clean than under clean. Boiling vibrators to sanitize is a serious “no”. It’ll ruin the inner workings of your toy and render it useless.

I personally don’t keep the Picobong charm on my vibrator. We’ve all heard of anal bead cords holding onto bacteria and being porous. Same goes for any cord, in my book. Besides, the charm looks much cuter on my backpack for school.

Function:
Picobong Ako Batteries

It’s powered by two AAA batteries. The battery cap pops off when you give it a slight counter clockwise turn, and there are little indicatorsshowing which way to put the batteries in along the inner white band. The cap locks back into place easily and is waterproof. Pressing the + button for two seconds turns it on, and you can hold the + button until you reach the strength you want. At any strength you can press the M button and it’ll enter into the different modes. Cycling through all ten will bring you back to the regular constant vibrations mode, unlike the Mona 2 which lets you cycle backwards through the modes. With this one you can only go forward. Fine by me, no biggie.

There are 12 different settings, and around 10 different speeds that you can set to work with those settings. At its highest, it’s stronger than my Mia 2 by Lelo, but a little weaker than the Lelo Mona 2. I’m quite impressed with it. It’s much cheaper than the Mia 2, and got me off much easier.

Also worth mentioning is the travel lock option. I didn’t see anything about it in the instructions or online, but you can lock it by pressing and holding the + and – buttons for x amount of seconds (somewhere between 3 and 5 seconds). To unlock, you just press and hold them again. So neat! It’s not like that buttons are super easy to push, but I like the added security of knowing it won’t start vibrating when I have it tucked away in a duffle bag.

Personal Experience:

I love it. It’s rumbly, strong, and has so many different modes to choose from. I love the tip of it. It’s long, but thin, so I can turn it on its side to get more broad stimulation, or focus the edge on my clit to get pinpoint stimulation. Even if I do decide to use the straight edge for direct stimulation, it’s not an overwhelming pinpoint stimulation like the Salsa can be.

Picobong Ako

Comparing it to the Salsa, I think I may actually like the Ako more. If I haven’t used my Salsa in weeks. Sometimes it’s way too much, almost to the point of numbing me. I think the Ako is a more partner-friendly vibrator. If she rubs a little too hard or runs the tiny little Salsa tip up against a very sensitive part of my clitoris, I end up in pain, not pleasure. With the Ako, it’s more surface area for her to work with, but it also has a nicely edged tip to help me cum easier; or at least as easy as it will be for me – we all know my orgasm troubles! The tip also makes it easy for me to find my partners clit. I easily slip this between her labia and don’t have to worry about using another finger to help me find her clitoris.

One concern I have is hand numbness. I haven’t experienced it yet, but I do think it could potentially cause some hand numbing because the vibrations run along the entire length of the toy.

Overall Rating: 5/5

Strength: 4/5

Volume: 2.5/5

It’s a little loud, but not loud enough to be heard from behind a closed door. It’s definitely strong. And it’s worth the money. Considering it runs on two AAA batteries and is affordable, I think this is a fantastic vibrator to own for both speed queens AND those who are new to toys.

http://www.tabutoys.com/

Picobong Ako was provided to me for free in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. This is in compliance with FTC guidelines.

My First [and Second, and Third] Vibrators

I was 16 years old and had wanted a vibrator since I could remember. Being a very sexual teenager from the start, I was open with my friends and let all of them know how desperate I was. And I got lucky twice!

My friend, her boyfriend and I were at the local mall and stopped by Spencer’s to look at their black lights and posters. I feel like everyone stole their first vibrator from there. I had never stolen a thing in my life, so I refused. But once we got to the parking lot after perusing all the other shops, they showed me what they got for me; a purple pocket rocket with interchangeable heads. I could’ve kissed them both right there!

I loved my little pocket rocket! I wish I could remember which company made it. It sadly only lasted me about a year until the battery cap cracked in half. I was so pissed to have to go back to using my hand. I’m still not one to get off easily from manual stimulation.

When I was 17, I was itching like crazy to finally turn 18 and be able to go to the porn store and buy a new vibrator. Luckily, a friend who was of age (thanks, Dizz!) surprised me with a grab bag from our local porn store. They usually consisted of lube, condoms, and a vibrator. It was a classic vibrator that looked like a mini lightsaber. I lucked out too! It wasn’t pink. It was a bright turquoise and strong as hell. Oh, how I loved it. I rarely had to change batteries and it quickly became my best friend…til I broke it. See a trend? I wear these things out!

THEN (still not 18) I got my hands on a “massager”. It was one of those usual over-the-shoulder jobs with different plastic heads. I lucked out cuz one head had a pointed tip. I remember the first time I tried it. I’m pretty sure I lasted 10 seconds and laid there staring at in post-orgasm bliss for about a half hour. Then of course I went at it again. It was amazing.

I’m really lucky that all of my first experiences with sex toys were safe and hygienic. They were all plastic and I took care of them as best as I could guess. I didn’t start experimenting with other, more scary and harmful materials until I was of age and could purchase my own toys. Previously I was too shy to ask my friends for dildos or vaginal vibrators that weren’t hard plastic. I thought for sure people would think differently of me for wanting something that’s insertable. Silly me, really. These friends who helped me out back then are still some of the most sex positive folks I know! But once I got into insertable toys, that’s when I had my first experiences with things like Jelly, PVC, etc. Thank goodness I never had a reaction, and I’m so happy I’ve learned better since those young days of desperation! Only silicone for this vagina.

Review: VIP dildo by Tantus

 

The Tantus VIP dildo is sadly on closeout sale right now as it’s being discontinued (or at least that’s what I think closeouts are for. I haven’t personally talked to Tantus so I can’t speak for sure). I had to snatch one up because, like most Tantus dildos, it was on my wishlist for quite awhile. The VIP is a medium to medium/large phallic silicone dildo that also has testicles protruding from the base. I know, not something you’d expect a lesbian couple to want to own. But I needed to have it! In my head, the extra surface area from the longer and wider base would mean me or my partner (whoever is wearing it in a harness) could potentially get more clitoral stimulation while thrusting. I also thought that the larger base would make it easier for me to control while masturbating, and I loved the look of that curved shaft.

The VIP has an insertable length of 6 3/4″. The diameter of the head is 1 5/8″, and at the base of the shaft before the balls it’s 1 1/2″. The base of the dildo is 4 5/8″ long, and 2 3/8″ across, giving it a substantial amount of surface area to allow for clitoral stimulation for the wearer. The shaft has a prominent curve, great for G spot and prostate stimulation. The VIP has a sculpted head, simulating the glans penis. The prominent corona of the glans really is my favorite part of this dildo. I know I go on and on about how much I love texture, but this under-textured dildo still satisfies me due to its curve and slightly bulging, kinda stiff textured head. I love it!

As always, Tantus silicone is hypo-allergenic, phthalates free, non-porous, easily sanitized, and latex free. Cleaning this silicone is easy; soap and water, 10% bleach to water solution, top rack of the dishwasher (without detergent) on the sanitizing cycle, or boiling it for 10 minutes will work.

The VIP is a very sturdy, non-plushy dildo, so be careful when thrusting hard. The finish on the VIP is unlike the other Tantus dildos I’ve tried. It’s more of a matte velvet finish that substantially cut on the usual drag and lint magnetism other Tantus dildos have. The base of the dildo is the usual shiny Tantus silicone, and comparing how the two different finishes pick up on lint when I place the VIP on my bed shows that the velvet finish hardly picks up any at all. This is a huge deal for me since most of my dildo fucking happens with my partner, and we don’t always like to be careful. The VIP isn’t very bendy or giving. It somewhat easily bends upwards in the same direction of its already-present curve, but only bends downwards enough to completely straighten out the shaft. It won’t bend anymore beyond that.

underside  The VIP comes in black, pink pearl, and purple haze. I purchased the purple haze because purples and violets are my favorite colors. The purple has the same gorgeous, glittery iridescence as my Tantus Purr, but the matte finish makes it look even better.

Now for my experience with it; I love it. For solo play I usually enjoy most silicone dildos I try, but with harness play with my girlfriend I’m very picky. I never thought I’d find a dildo that I enjoy [maybe] as much as my Tantus Echo. The Echo feels amazing strapped to her. I can have a gushing G spot orgasm easily. But the VIP is slowly taking over as queen supreme of what my pussy needs. Oh, and get this, I actually enjoy the balls! What?! Not for fantasy purposes, but they are actually useful! When I’m masturbating and get sick of thrusting the dildo, but don’t want to take it out and throw it to the side, I usually prop the balls under my ass and go for clit stimulation with my Salsa. The balls help me keep the dildo inserted and also give me some stability to rock on the cock hands-free. That’s a feat in my book, but I’m a lazy masturbator and hate having to use both hands.

My GF’s thoughts; the balls make it easier for her to control when she’s wearing it or thrusting it with her hands, both because the dildo then doesn’t pull away as much in our Rodeoh, and also because it helps her feel whether or not the dildo is slipping out of me. She said it’s very easy to thrust hard and fast by gripping the base and balls between her thighs, and I can attest to this. Normally the Rodeoh would stretch just a tad as she pulled out, so thrusts wouldn’t be as hard because of it. She also said the clitoral stimulation was decent. Our Rodeoh makes dildos sit rather high on her pubic bone, which is great if we wanna use a bullet vibrator in the Rodeoh’s pocket so she can get some clitoral stimulation, but it sucks if we’re skipping a vibrator. The balls of the VIP fit nicely in the Rodeoh and got her off easily. One complaint she does have is that it’s heavy, but what can ya do?

Overall Rating: 5/5

We love it. It’s exactly what I expected when I had my eye on it for almost a year. No regrets and nothing more to add.

The VIP Super Soft is on sale now at PinkCherry.com. The Super Soft is the same design as the VIP, but is made of Tantus’s cushier silicone.

Ode to My Diva Cup

My reasons for switching from tampons and pads to a menstrual cup were numerous; I was sick of spending money each period on pads and tampons, I heard that menstrual cups help relieve cramping, I had this weird fascination with cups, and I bought into the green marketing scheme (which in this case actually worked).

The Diva Cup is just one brand’s version of menstrual cups. There are different brands, shapes, sizes, and materials used in the different kinds of menstrual cups out there. The Diva Cup is pure silicone; meaning it’s non-porous, sanitizable, phthalates free, and hypoallergenic. You can sterilize it the same way you would silicone sex toys; boiling, 10% bleach to water, good old soap and water, or even sex toy cleaner. I prefer soap and water, and I sometimes boil mine since I noticed the clear silicone can sometimes discolor a bit and boiling seems to remedy that. When using soap and water, I like to fill the cup then close my palm over the opening and turn it upside down. Then I gently squeeze the cup so that water and soap flood through the tiny suction holes along the rim and get rid of any residual blood and crud.

Prior to switching from tampons to the cup, I had serious menstrual cramps that usually kept me in bed for two days. It got to the point that I sometimes couldn’t even eat or keep any food in my system for the duration of my cramps, and clearly that’s a pain in the ass and reason enough for me to try anything that is claimed to be helpful. I had heard that menstrual cups can help alleviate some of the cramping. The theory is that during menstruation the cervix lowers into the vagina, and tampons jabbing it can worsen the cramps. The difference between cups and a tampon are that tampons are just a cotton cylindrical chunk whereas cups are literally a hollow cup that sits around the cervix (if the cervix is low enough for this to happen). Mine tends to descend pretty low into my vagina. Some women have even said they’ve felt their cervix just a little less than an inch inside their vagina. Ever wonder why you pull a tampon out and only see the lowest part of it bloody while the top is still dry? I never understood that til I wrapped my mind around this concept.

So since the cervix tends to ascend and descend during the various stages of a woman’s cycle, it can also move from one side to the other, putting positioning the menstrual cup on a bit of a learning curve. My cervix sometimes creeps over to one side mid-way through my period, usually around the time that it’s ascending back upward in its usual position. It took me FOREVER to figure out just where I need to put the cup and why it wasn’t catching blood when it was completely inserted and opened properly. Turns out it was likely that my cervix opening was outside of the rim of the cup.

General insertion is pretty easy. Most of the how-to’s I’ve read say you should first try to figure out where your cervix is. It feels like the ball of your nose when you insert a finger and feel around. I can feel the little hole of the opening on mine, so I know which way to aim my cup. I usually fold my cup over once and push it in, parallel to the ground. Once I release my grip, the cup pops open and I push it in a little further until the stem is passed the opening to my vagina.

Insertion is rather easy when my period is heavy, but when I’m towards the end of it the silicone can be a bit draggy. Not as draggy as Tantus, but nowhere near as buttery smooth as a Lelo silicone. I just use a silicone-safe lubricant and lube up the rim of the cup.

I wish I was one of those wonder women who can wear the cup for the full duration of my period, but I can’t. I also can’t only wear my cup. I need a pad to feel secure, and sometimes I just have to switch to tampons because I’m paranoid of break through bleeding. I also usually do have some break through bleeding the first couple of days. I think there’s only been one period where I successfully wore only my cup for the full length of my period, and I sure did feel happy about that. One of the problems is that I’m a heavy bleeder. When I exclusively used tampons AND pads (that’s SUPER tampons, and overnight pads, every single day of my period), I had to change my tampon about every two hours or I’d bleed through and have an accident. This is just for reference to give you an idea of how much I bleed. With the cup I can go 4 – 6 hours before I absolutely have to empty it. Now, even though that’s a longer time than with tampons, it’s not the same kinda break through bleeding. With tampons I’d just get some spotting or a few gushes, but if the suction of my cup breaks, a good portion of the blood it’s holding will come out. And that’s a LOT. Like, more than my little pad can handle when I’m out running around at school or work. So I tend to empty it often when I’m out and about, or if I know that day is gonna be a particularly heavy bleeding day I just stick to pads.

So has my experience been perfect or foolproof? No. Sometimes I get so frustrated with breakthrough bleeding and the finnicky insertion that I go back to tampons. I also hate futzing with my cup in public bathrooms, so I avoid that at all costs. But I’d never toss the cup. I use it for about 70% of my period, and that’s definitely saving me some money.

Here are some additional resources if you’re looking for more information on menstrual cups, sizing, brands and the like:

  •      Vagina Pagina’s Wiki post on Menstrual Cups
  •      Vagina Pagina’s Community Menstrual Cups tag
  •      Menstrual Cup Community on LJ