See more from L.A. Weekly's Sex Issue: "Condoms Suck," "The Swingers' Story: How Two Married People Found True Love While Swapping Partners," "10 Condom Reviews for the Well-Endowed Man," "Twelve Tales of Sexual Mortification," and "UCLA vs. USC Sex Survey 2012: Who's Sluttier?"
As told to L.J. Williamson
A heart-shaped box of chocolates? Sentimental and short-lived -- not to mention fattening. But girls like having nice things, and boys like having girls who have nice things. So why not get your honey a high-tech vibrator?
The Weekly asked a married couple to test-drive some of the latest models. Here's what the missus reported back.
9. We-Vibe 3
Looks like: Like a purple letter U.
High-tech features: Unique and innovative design, made for use by couples during intercourse.
Likes: Small and elegant with a sleek battery charger. Actually stays in the right place all by itself. Brilliant design, a true innovation.
Dislikes: Rubbery coating is like Velcro for dust.
The experience: Our tester's first question upon seeing the We-Vibe 3: "Is this even going to work?" Answer: Yes. Yes. Yes! Oh God, YES! Second question: "How is this going to feel for my partner?" Her answer, after about a minute: Who cares? Just please, please, please don't make it stop.
8. We-Vibe Touch
Looks like: A pointy red tongue
High-tech features: Strong vibration with a rechargeable battery
Likes: Impressively powerful for its size. Tiny and discreet charging base. Waterproof!
Dislikes: Same as above. Partner complained about pointy shape when used in tandem, but no complaints solo.
The experience: Anyone who came up in the days of C cell-powered vibrators will be impressed with the substantial, serious shimmy the compact We-Vibe line delivers. If only cellphones could shake this sensually.
7. We-Vibe Salsa/We-Vibe Tango
Looks like: An OB tampon/a tube of lipstick
High-tech features: Super-strong vibration in a tiny package
Likes: Same as above
Dislikes: None. What's not to like?
The experience: This duo of vibrators differs only in color and shape, with a rounded tip on the Salsa and a slanted one on the Tango. They're each about the size of an index finger -- but if you could do that with your index finger, you wouldn't need a vibrator. Sleek, tiny and almost as powerful as something that plugs into the wall, these sweet little bullet vibes are the perfect size to slip into your pocket, your purse, your strap-on or his ass.
6. Oh Mi Bod Club Vibe
Looks like: A black-and-magenta Easter egg
High-tech features: Sound- and voice-activated
Likes: Remote control nestles into vibrator for storage. Comes with a special black lace panty that actually looks nice.
Dislikes: Plastic shell is a bit hard.
The experience: This vibe had the highest kink potential of all those tested, and as much couple appeal as the We-Vibe 3. Vibrations from loud music (or loud moans) picked up by the sensor cued this vibrator to respond in kind, making for all kinds of risqué amusement wherever there's a thumping bass. It has a standard on/off switch for more traditional uses, too, and multiple speeds and vibration patterns. Good, dirty fun.
5. Doc Johnson Lil' Starfish
Looks like: An unholy starfish/jellyfish hybrid with clear plastic bra straps on its limbs and a bullet vibe up its ass
High-tech features: Seven vibration patterns. Plus it's waterproof.
Likes: The shape nestles against your bits quite nicely.
Dislikes: Requires annoying and expensive watch batteries. Cheap plastic straps are impractical and easily tangled.
The experience: Despite the unappetizing idea of attaching a sea creature to your nether regions, our tester reports that it actually felt pretty good once she got it into the right position and cut off the silly, irritating plastic straps. Really, do they think we're going to walk around town wearing the thing? Wait -- don't answer that.
4. Doc Johnson iRide
Looks like: A little pink boat with a tall, fat mast
High-tech features: "iRide" at least sounds high-tech.
Likes: For the committed masturbator. You've got to admire the girl who'd make room for this gigantic thing in her nightstand.
Dislikes: Huge and clunky with a cheap Tupperware feel
The experience: The maiden voyage onboard this tiny ship was disappointing almost right out of the harbor. The long dildo portion was flexible, but the nub designed to nestle against the clitoris was as hard as a rock, which seemed backwards to our tester. Disembarked before reaching port.
3. Oh Mi Bod Freestyle W
Looks like: The joystick controller of a jaunty blue spaceship
High-tech features: Plugs into your iPod to help you rock out without a cock out.
Likes: Pleasing, if-Steve-Jobs-made-dildos design. Plastic has inviting, velvety texture.
Dislikes: You have to be looking at the controls to figure them out. Think about that for a minute.
The experience: The sensible, letter-J-with-a-handle shape of this vibe basically hit the right spots, but the vibration strength seemed backwards: stronger inside, weaker outside. The main fun here was teaming the Freestyle with her iPod and developing a whole new relationship with favorite tunes. But while the Freestyle's controls are meant to be reminiscent of an iPod, they aren't as intuitive, which can cause frustration at agonizingly crucial moments.
2. Minna Ola
Looks like: Something you'd use to style your hair
High-tech features: This programmable vibrator can memorize patterns such as long-short-long.
Likes: Sophisticated hot-pink design that doesn't look gauche on the nightstand. Comes with a satin case. Pleasantly firm yet squishy in your hand.
Dislikes: Pricey. Do you really need your wanking to be this specialized?
The experience: Slender and nonthreatening, this lady shaver-looking toy might make a good first vibrator for a young woman -- provided that young woman had $165 of disposable income to blow on a vibrator. The Ola's gimmick -- that it's fully programmable and can memorize patterns of varying rhythm and intensity (You can even make it play "Shave and a Haircut"!) -- felt high-tech and fun.
1. nJoy Pure Wand
Looks like: A lethal weapon
High-tech features: CAD-designed and covered in gleaming chrome, just like everything in the future.
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Likes: She'll take this seriously.
Dislikes: Cold, hard and heavy. Menacing, even.
The experience: The missus reports that there are two good reasons to keep this all-steel dildo by your bedside: auto-eroticism and self-defense. Sleek, space-age and very serious, the curved barbell has two business ends -- the smaller is a key to the back door, the larger opens the front, and the whole thing could be used to club an intruder to death. Rumor has it that Colonel Mustard might even have used one of these on Miss Scarlet in the conservatory.