Well. I’ll start with a somewhat-abbreviated bio of sorts.
As a kid, I was the only girl in my family. I was tomboyish and nerdy. I was often mocked by my peers for my red hair, and for always getting the highest score on tests. I was sensitive, too — the type of kid who rescued drowning worms from puddles after it rained.
I frequently turned to books for refuge and for new experiences to enliven my world. My family was (and still is) very religious, so there were many things I might never have learned about but for my insatiable appetite for reading anything and everything that looked interesting. One day, when I was probably 13, I pulled a book down from a high shelf at my grandparents’ house, and opened it to a shocking photo of two naked people demonstrating a sex position. I quickly snapped the book shut, my heart pounding. After a moment, my curiosity got the better of me and I opened it again, flipped through it, read the captions. I snuck it home with me. Continue reading Who am I, and why am I writing about sex toys?
It’s clichéd, but it’s true: I have a love-hate relationship with the Opal.
I love it for being a rechargeable silicone vibrator coated in glass. Smooth, slippery, shiny, sterilizable glass. I’ve searched and searched, and I’ve found plastic battery-operated vibrators with glass sleeves, most of which are just ugly, or plastic battery-operated vibrators covered in matte-textured glass, which defeats the main purpose of glass as a sex toy material; I’ve found glass dildos with a loop for holding a bullet vibrator. That’s it. Nothing else. So I emphatically congratulate Jopen on that feature alone. THIS IS AN EXCELLENT FEATURE, JOPEN.
Jopen made the original Key Comet G Wand (which appears to have been discontinued in favor of the newer acrylic vibrating version), a glass g-spot dildo with the insertable end coated in silicone. The company reversed that process with the Opal, which was clearly a fabulous idea. The slickness of glass makes it one of my favorite sex toy materials, and I would dearly love to see more high-quality, rechargeable, glass-coated vibrators.
I love the texture of Jopen’s silicone, which covers the clitoral arm and handle of the Opal; it has a very fine matte finish that feels buttery, almost silky to the touch.
I love that the internal arm’s shape is excellent for g-spot stimulation, although its rounded tip is on the very-large side for me currently. The manufacturer’s measurements state that the widest dimension is 1.75″ in diameter, but according to my measuring tape it’s a little smaller than that — about 5.25″ circumference and 1.65″ diameter. The insertable portion is also only 5″ long from the base of the clit arm, not 6″ as stated on the box. I’ve only been able to work my way up to getting it inside my vagina twice in the several months I’ve owned it, but the second time was quite pleasurably intense, even with the vibrations turned off. The shape is similar to a larger, rigid version of the Tantus Sport, one of my favorite silicone dildos for powerful g-spotting.
I like that it’s fully waterproof, too!
I hate the clitoral arm. The angle is too acute and the connecting point isn’t flexible enough, which means it either pokes me just below the clit or, if I manually bend it upward, exerts too much pressure on my very-sensitive clit when I let go. The inward-curving, ball-shaped tip only creates more pressure and more localized stimulation, when what my clit usually prefers is vibration along the entire right side. The only way I was able to use this toy vaginally was by holding the handle with one hand and pulling the clit arm away from my body with the other while thrusting. If you’re someone who enjoys strong pressure and focused vibrations, this could be a positive for you. But overall I really think Jopen should have left off the damn clitoral arm and just made this a glass-coated g-spot vibrator.
Unfortunately, I also hate the buzzy-as-fuck vibrating motors. I’ve mentioned that my clitoris is apparently more sensitive than the average clit, and often I prefer weaker/gentler vibrations. But using the Opal’s internal arm as a clitoral vibe — which I thought might be great for me, what with the hard, slippery glass coating — is not great. It’s a frustrating tease. Its vibrations are so weak that no matter whether I angle it for broader or more focused stimulation, using more or less pressure, I just can’t get enough intensity. Turning up the speed only increases the buzziness and actually makes it feel weaker. On the first try, I was eventually able to eke out an orgasm, but it had been over a week since I’d masturbated and it still left me wanting. On subsequent trials I have not even gotten that far. The other night, after giving it one more chance clitorally, I finally held it up and said to it, “I hate you.” Which, in that moment, I did.
And that’s the internal arm, which is definitely large enough to house a powerful, rumbly motor, and which needs strong, rumbly vibrations in order to add anything worthwhile for most g-spots. The motor in the clit arm is more powerful, but still buzzy, so even on the lowest speed it’s too much stimulation to use directly on my clit. Yet because it’s so buzzy, I can’t use it indirectly through my labia majora to stimulate the subcutaneous parts of my clit, either.
I hate the noise the Opal makes. It sounds like a Vitamix blender, and nearly as loud. Okay, that’s a bit hyperbolic regarding the volume — but it IS loud. And the sound it makes is not sexy. Part of the problem is that the firm silicone covering doesn’t fit snugly around the front of the handle, so its vibration against the hard plastic inside adds an extra layer to the buzz of the two buzzy motors. If I use it in bed under the sheet and comforter and fuzzy blanket, it muffles the noise somewhat. But it’s still audible and annoying, even on the lowest speed.
I dislike that it’s a high-end vibrator, and a glass one at that, that didn’t come with a storage pouch. The sturdy, silver-trimmed black box does make a decent, if bulky, storage case with its magnetic closure and foam insert shaped to cradle the vibe and charging cord. The box has a big rectangular window on the front to showcase the toy, with a sheet of clear plastic inside keeping the contents from falling out. This doesn’t lend itself to easily getting the toy out and back in, nor does it hide the vibe from children or roommates. Beneath the thick black foam that holds the toy, there’s a thin panel of the same foam that can be placed on top of the toy instead, covering the opening in the lid. But the box is still bulky, and a plush storage pouch would have been much better.
I dislike that there is no user manual. Many purchasers are likely to need one, if only because charging the vibe requires pushing the connector pin through a tiny dimple in the base, piercing it to create access to the port beneath. Having read reviews of other toys that work the same way, I knew to do that, but I doubt someone without a lot of sex toy experience would figure it out.
I dislike that it only comes in two eyeball-offending colors: bright pink, or what Jopen calls “purple” but is really a deep fuchsia, as I’ve tried hard to represent faithfully in my photos. I thought I might have been sent the pink, at first, because the box does not list what color is inside – there is only the window in the front and an image on the back to go by. But the one I received is closer in color to the online image of the purple one, and I did state that I’d prefer purple over pink, so I do believe this is the color being referred to as purple.
I dislike that I have to cycle through all 10 functions to get back to a previous setting; powering off and back on doesn’t work because it remembers what setting I was on last. I guess the techs thought that would be a helpful feature — and for those who only want to use one specific vibe pattern, it would be, but that person is not me. There are two buttons, a power button and a function button; click the power button to turn on or off, and click “10X” to cycle through the three steady speeds and seven patterns. The buttons light up when the vibe is on, and they flash while being charged — it’s fully charged when the lights stop flashing. And speaking of the controls, every single one of the functions involves both motors doing the same thing. There is no way to have just one of the motors vibrating, or even to have them alternating with each other.
Ah, Opal. I had such hopes. If you can call a mixture of anticipation and trepidation “hopes,” that is.
Trying a dual-stimulation (a.k.a. rabbit-style) vibrator is always iffy, because this category is well known among honest sex toy reviewers for being an especially anatomy-specific type of toy. Vulvae have almost infinite variation in their proportions, so finding a dual-stim toy that will suit both your individual measurements and your stimulation preferences is difficult at best. I do like my Zini Zook, though, and have had great orgasms with it in the right circumstances. Same goes for my Leaf Vitality. And the Opal has that delightful glass coating and g-spot-targeting shape. So when I saw it in SheVibe‘s list of toys needing a review, I had to at least give it a chance.
A bit more about that glass coating: The back of the box says this is “durable tempered glass.” Tempering is a method used to make glass, such as automotive side windows and shower doors, tougher and slightly more flexible than non-tempered glass. It also causes the glass to break into small chunks rather than blade-like shards when broken, making it safer in case of impact. Being me, I was skeptical, so I read up on it and learned that tempering involves creating inner tension and outer compression in the glass, and this can be done either by cooling the outside much faster than the inside, or by using a chemical bath of liquid potassium nitrate. Given that this is just a glass layer over silicone and/or ABS plastic, the former method does not seem feasible but the latter method could have been used, and if so, this is likely a large part of the reason for the ~$100 price tag.
If the manufacturer had used decent vibrating motors, I could look past that clitoral arm-which-does-not-work-for-me-but-just-might-work-for-others. But Jopen, California Exotics’ luxury brand, seems to have focused mainly on an elegant exterior while neglecting the quality of the motors inside. This is a real shame. My only other Jopen vibrator currently is the tiny KeyAries, which also has a very buzzy and weak motor, but that’s often to be expected from such a small, battery-operated vibe. If We-Vibe could get a powerful, rumbly motor into the diminutive, rechargeable Tango bullet, Jopen should certainly have been able to fit at least one into the Opal.
Perhaps they’ll create a second-edition Opal with better vibrations and a more flexible clit arm. The company has done upgraded versions for several of their other toys, so this is not a completely unrealistic hope.
Reader, if you enjoy intense stimulation with (or without) weak, buzzy vibrations for your g-spot, and also localized pressure with (or without) medium-strength, buzzy vibrations for your clit, then this could be the perfect sex toy for you, depending on your vulva’s configuration. It is body-safe and sterilizable, it’s rechargeable so you never need to buy batteries, it’s waterproof, and it comes with a one-year warranty. And of course there’s that excellent glass coating. It’s available from SheVibe, one of my very favorite ethical online sex toy shops, for $99.99 with free shipping.
If you don’t happen to meet this very-specific description of the ideal Opal user, fear not! SheVibe carries a wide variety of other quality, body-safe toys. I currently own many more good dildos than good vibrators, but I can personally vouch for Leaf, Crave, and We-Vibe vibrators, and other reviewers I trust recommend L’Amourose as well. (Lelo does make some good vibrators, but I can no longer recommend them due to both ethical and qualityissues.)
I’d been interested in trying this silicone dildo for at least a year or two, but was concerned that the shape would be too extreme for my ultra-sensitive vagina. Because of this doubt, each time I had the room in my budget for something new, I always purchased some other toy. I now know that was a mistake.
When a delightful Twitter chat with a BS Atelier rep resulted in an offer of products for review, the G-Spot in their Small size was one of the three shapes in which I expressed interest. Their rep told me they’d send something out to me, but it could take some time because, oh, they make each toy to order. How cool is that? Continue reading Toy Review: G-Spot (Small) by BS Atelier
I had low expectations for the Aries based on its size, but also high hopes for it based on its shape.
The reality falls somewhere in the middle.
Yes, as a small vibrator, it’s decidedly buzzy — though not the MOST buzzy I’ve ever felt. A given vibrator’s position on the buzzy-to-rumbly scale seems to be determined mainly by the size of the spinning weight inside it, so it’s very unusual to find a bullet-sized vibe that ISN’T firmly on the buzzy end of the spectrum. Since most of the space inside the Aries is taken up by the single AAA battery, there isn’t much room left for the motor and spinning weight. Continue reading Toy Review: Key Aries by Jopen
I must begin by saying that I am not a fan of realistic-looking dildos.
It isn’t just because I’m a gay woman. Nor is it because I considered myself heterosexual for the first 25-ish years of my life. It’s mainly because, to me, an object that closely resembles a dismembered body part is just…a bit odd. Especially when there are so many other shape and color options in which one can make dildos.
I recently bought the Rebel by Fuze from SheVibe, which is made of their softer silicone formulation, Fuze Ten. To my nose, it has a light smell. Not a terrible smell, but I’m used to scent-free silicone toys. So, I emailed Fuze to ask about the material and what could be causing the smell.