Vibrator Review – Vibease

Vibrator Review – Vibease

Introduction

Communications technology sure has some interesting consequences for the couple dynamic. When I was a teen I ended up in a long distance relationship utilizing dial-up internet access. It certainly wasn’t my smartest move, but it was possible, and that was new and exciting. I’m sure there must have been a little of that buzz when the telephone was invented, or telegraphs, or reliable mail service. Each of these things in turn increasing the frequency, affordability, and options for connecting with distant people. From scorching love letters, lusty phone calls that last too long, or hot and heavy webcam sessions, long distance communication has been used to start and maintain passionate relationships—and honestly after recalling all these things, sexting seems pretty darn lazy.

Today we are pleased to bring you a review concerning the latest development in long distance love making, network controllable vibrators. Vibease kindly provided us with their signature product for this review, no strings attached. From this point forward, we will be using Vibease for the product and company name interchangeably—due to Vibease doing the same on their website and the box it ships in only saying “Smart Massager” after the Vibease logo. It’s pretty awesome that we were able to get one this way, because I’m not sure we’d be reviewing or owning anything in this category otherwise. Why? Too many unknowns at a price point that demands certainty. I dunno about you but I don’t frequently drop a Benjamin+ on a ‘maybe’. Long time readers may recall we were in the same situation with fantasy themed sex toys, and that our first was a loaner. To that end, we’re splitting this review into two major sections. First, we’re going to do a short synopsis of our experience with Vibease and list out the groups we think would and wouldn’t benefit the most. Second, we’re going to do a deep dive into the product for both your benefit and some fine grained feedback for Vibease. One final note before we get started, if you’re reading this during the initial publishing Vibease is running a 25% off labor day sale with the LABORDAY19 check out code. That’s a considerable chunk of change in real dollars at this price point.

Primary Synopsis

Our experience with the Vibease was positive in a few ways. Most importantly Vibease gives us new ways to play as a couple, point of fact we think the remote control feature is the biggest strength of the product. As you read on, remember that bottom line, Vibease is an excellent way to bridge a distance gap of any size. As always, use case is going to greatly effect whether we recommend the product or not, so I’m going to list the groups of people I think will get the most bang for their buck out of Vibease.

  • Established couples with busy schedules
  • Any couple in which at least one partner does a lot of traveling
  • Any couple comfortable with public play
  • Couples with mismatched work shifts

There’s also a list of people I think could get a lot out of the Vibease with some caveats, and should read the full review and do their own investigating.

  • Women offering Kik or GFEs or other remote play services
  • Women that are into audio erotica
  • Women that live in places where winter traps them indoors for long periods of time (or get cold enough where they get out less)

As with any toy, there’s just some things Vibease isn’t the right solution for. Despite the marketing, we don’t think the solo experience measures up to other options available to you at this price point, or even significantly below this price point. Again, we think the strengths of Vibease really shine in you+1 scenarios and a lot of the design trade-offs are tilted towards that use. We’ll get into the specifics of that in the long section. For now, here’s a list of use cases we think aren’t well serviced at this time.

  • A couple in which either partner spends a significant amount of time in a cellular dead zone
  • Anyone that owns a phone that typically has bluetooth connection problems
  • Women with plenty of access to private alone time looking for a pure solo play vibrator that will get the job done on its own
  • People who frequently misplace chargers and have a tough time keeping their devices charged—this is meant as sort of a humorous gimme

Finally, the Vibease is made from body safe materials. I almost forgot to mention that as we don’t review toys that aren’t, but I’ve been careful to mention these things so far. The packaging is also nice and it comes with a drawstring pouch to aid with portability and storage. Now lets get into the nitty gritty and have some fun.

Deep Dive Review

Alright, for me this is going to be the fun part. As a note, all testing was done for the android version of the app. Since this is our first remote play toy Emily and I took a lot of time and effort going over the features of the Vibease, finding out what worked for us and what didn’t, and the first thing we need to get out of the way is expectations. The Vibease is an external wearable, and it’s sized and weighted as such. These things can only get so small and vibrators in particular become less effective as they’re shrunk down. This is why we have a bit of a problem with the ‘solo’ toy claim from Vibease. Perhaps partnered with other toys, and certainly not “ultimate”. In Emily’s case the Vibease lacks the power to send her over the edge, it can get her there, but she can’t seem to crest that hill. Adding both a vaginal and anal plug setup didn’t change that. You know what though? That’s completely fine. It’s about expectations. As people experienced with sex toys in general, and with vibrators too, we knew going in that we were going to use this thing to tease, edge, and embarrass, rather than leaning on it the way we would a larger wand vibrator, or even a comparably sized bullet vibe that doesn’t have to worry about also fitting in the wireless circuitry, and the Vibease excels at the tease, edge, and embarrass bit. We think Vibease may want to consider these facts in their marketing and make sure they’re not mismatching customer expectations and design limitations and strengths.

On that note, Emily and I just aren’t fans of narrated erotica in audio form. That’s one of Vibease’s big ticket selling points. The Vibease comes with some pre-programmed scripts that syncs vibrations carefully to audio. While this is mostly done in the form of narrated erotica, some of the free samples include background soundscapes of nature, such as the beach, or a thunderstorm. Emily actually enjoyed those more than the narrated erotica. Of course, everyone’s mileage is going to vary on this one, you know whether or not you already like audio erotica novels and I’m even willing to go out on the limb that the Esthesia—Vibease’s dual stimulation, G-spot and clitoris, insertable vibrator is a better fit for this use case by default. So far, synced audio is a walled garden experience, which we think is a bit of wasted potential. At the end of the day this is just a programmed routine timed to synced audio. There are other exciting potential applications for this! Please open this up to the creator landscape if you can. I could see a collaboration with companies that specialize in porn for women too, such as sssh.com. I could imagine creative people spicing up their workouts if they had the tools to sync their own audio.

Oh, speaking of workouts, back to the wearable size issue with vibrators. Maybe you’re a flirty show off, and maybe it would turn you on, but I imagine most people using this in public will be doing so with the idea that it’s clandestine. We think the size of the Vibease is basically perfect, but that doesn’t make it magic and this is going to print through your yoga pants. Denim booty shorts are fine though. It’s less about the coverage and more about the material. A long shirt or dress or skirt should fix that problem, it’s just something to keep in mind. If you’re already struggling to hide panty lines, you’re probably printing with the Vibease. I think for some of you that could be a thrilling turn on though and in other situations that could be mitigated just by what you’re doing. Like, I know we mentioned not liking the erotica much but if you wanna take this thing on a jog you’re probably going to be moving too much for the printing to matter and throw on some audioscaping while you’re at it? Could be fun. That’s not something we did mind you, that’s just a thing I could see being done effectively. The extra elasticity strength provided by some good workout pants would definitely hold the Vibease in place for a run.

Let’s talk about the app for a minute, and maybe a few more minutes, because the app is absolutely central and critical to the function of the Vibease. You need to create an account with Vibease to get started, which threw me for a loop for a few seconds before I considered the partner play requirements. I do think you should be able to access basic quick play and “turn the toy on” functions without signing up or signing in though, and we’ll get to the reasons why in a minute. Back to the sign up process, it was easy and straight forward. Emily and I both guffawed at the prospect of ‘signing in with Facebook’ though. I don’t care how skillfully that lizard man pretends to drink water like a human, I don’t trust Zuckerberg or his company anywhere near vibrator data. I appreciate Vibease being mindful of our connected world, but I’ll just give them an email address the old fashioned way thanks, and that’s just what we did. I don’t trust google much either with data privacy, but I trust them more than Facebook not to sell the fact that we have a Vibease or who-I-use-it-with data.

After the simple registration process you’re presented with some simple categories of use. The first is the Vibease Market where they have all their paid audio erotica options. It has a trending and new section to help you sort that out. The next section is where you access your purchased/free audio to use with the Vibease. In the bottom-right corner of this section is the Vibease icon, through which you access ‘quick play’. In our opinion this should be a more prominent option, perhaps with its own menu. We understand why they put it here—this technically is what allows you to vibrate to any audio source—but this is the only place you can access unguided solo operation of the device. We feel that warrants a more prominent placement in the UI. The third section is where you access and control your partner play experience. Behold, the best part of the whole Vibease experience. From here you can connect to other app users—hence the need to sign up—and send invites to the app through basically any app on your phone that allows you to input text, everything from Discord to the WordPress app. Once you are connected you can start a ‘chat’ with the user which lets you text, send audio or images, and of course send requests to control the vibrator functions. Using the three dots menu, you may also set up a user as a ‘trusted partner’. A trusted partner’s requests to control your device are automatically approved, the critical function for ultra stealth public play. We also appreciate the thought that went into deciding that outside of opt-in trusted partners, every control request must be manually approved by the device wearer. Good job here Vibease.

Inside of the chat area there are three nice options for remote control play. The first gives you a dynamic touch screen interface with two axis. One controls the speed of the device and the other controls the power of the device. Sliding your finger to the top right puts the device at maximum speed and power, the bottom right is low speed high power, the bottom left is low speed low power, and the upper left is high speed low power. You may freely slide your finger to any combination in between. This mode requires the most attention and intimate knowledge from the partner and long term partners are going to make the best use of this control section. The next control section is a pattern graph that lets you set the power and rhythm of the device in a repeating loop, I used this section a lot, as once it’s set you can do other things like continue to flirt in voice or chat, send pictures, etc. In the next section are some preconfigured vibration patterns to select from. I found ‘flick’ to be especially compatible with Emily. These patterns, like in the second option, will repeat until they are changed. On that note, a word about section one—the Vibease will fill communication gaps for you by simply continuing your last selection so if you put your finger all the way to the top right of the graph and let go it will stay on maximum power until it’s told to not be there. If you disconnect completely it will maintain whatever its last command was whether that’s a repeating pattern or a strength you chose in control option one.

In the next section you set-up and pair your device with your phone. Once again Vibease shows consideration to privacy here. The pairing process must be started with the device OFF. That alone prevents a ton of known hi-jacking methods. Good job Vibease. Remember those presets I was talking about in control option 3 in the paragraph above? Well in this section you can alter and save these presets. If you find any of the presets to be useless, congratulations you now have a custom pattern slot, go nuts! I know I’ve talked a lot about shortfalls in the app, but you can really see how much effort was put into the user experience. Even where we disagree with how that experience goes, you can’t say they didn’t consider it. This section too is a real highlight of the software. You may also play patterns from here so it also functions as a sort of secondary solo play mode, though it’s not as completely off the tracks as the one we pointed out before.

Finally, you get your standard three dots menu, from which you can change your profile settings, your privacy settings, check your app version, send invites to friends/partners, request support, rate the app, and explicitly log out. It’s a well rounded and well thought out options menu.

We also want to communicate to everyone how much quality of data connection matters for using the Vibease. It’s story time. We have three children, and we planned an entire date around using the Vibease. We get full on dates about once a month, they are rare and fun events and represented the perfect time to take the Vibease features for a spin. So guess what happened? Our local cell phone network decided to take a colossal shit that day. Emily and I were on separate networks and they were both affected. We fiddled with the Vibease for an hour with no luck, generating things like java null reference errors in the app and all sorts of things that would make a less tech savvy user blame the software or the device. But I also noticed that Discord wasn’t working either, for either of us. SMS was working, but that was about it. Insidiously, the cellular networks were presenting us with data bars, but they would rapidly ping pong from 5 to 1, good signal to terrible. Anything that relied on our Data connection was totally fucked, for hours. Ultimately, at an hour in to our 5 hour monthly date, we decided to salvage what we had left and ignore the device. Total, fucking, bummer. Again, this wasn’t the fault of Vibease, I’m just pointing out some inherent pitfalls that come with chaining things to a cellphone. Any of you that have had a day of PokemonGO ruined because a cell tower decided to take a dump knows exactly the kind of frustration I’m talking about. EX raids anyone? As soon as we got back home on a network that didn’t suck ass—we were mall crawling that day, we got on the public wifi at the mall and it offered zero relief as it was the first Saturday that students were back and the network was saturated to uselessness—the app worked flawlessly. No more silly Java null reference errors when trying to update my profile. This is a problem that could erroneously present itself as a problem with the device or the software, and I will renew my pleading to Vibease to have more ‘offline’ function options. Remember, you have to be signed in to even use the manual operation options.

As I mentioned above, this could be a useful device if you are a sex worker that offers GFE services or other remote play services. The privacy settings are there and it’s easy to completely control who can pester you with control requests. Again, on the privacy front, Vibease gets top marks from us. The only snag I can really see has to do with the paragraph above. There’s a lot that can go wrong with cell phone leashing, most notably, the cellular network itself, and it only takes that being shoddy on one end to ruin the connection. It’s amusing to say outright, but the weakest link in the Vibease model is the cellular towers themselves. Aside from that though, I say go for it, or at the very least consider it. If remote play services aren’t part of your hustle(thank you Tawney for the jargon), don’t worry about it.

Things to know about Bluetooth before you dive in. It’s really easy to disrupt a Bluetooth signal. Maximum range with direct line of sight is something about 10 meters, but Bluetooth signals are disrupted by a lot of things, and particularly human flesh. You can intentionally disconnect the Vibease by aggressively crossing your legs. Sorry, that’s the tech. So here are some pointers to keep connected. Keep your phone as close to the vibrator as you can within reason. Thicker clothes will disrupt the signal more. Crossed legs or putting your thighs real close together will really do a number on the signal. Keep other sources of wireless signals away, especially other Bluetooth. That’s pretty much it.

So what do we have here when we really get down to brass tacks? I think what we have is an excellent way for couples to connect over distance and to tantalize and tease each other to increase desire and stay connected. When it comes to a toy like this, the software is really what’s going to make or break it. As a standalone vibrator external wearables have too many size constraints to measure up to other options. The connectivity and the software that provides that connectivity is what makes these toys worthwhile. That’s why we spent so much time going over the ways the software could improve. As the Vibease exists now, it’s already an excellent edition to a couple’s warchest—that must be stressed, it is already good. We however, see a lot of room for the Vibease to get even better, and we hope it does.

Once again. I’d like to thank Vibease for providing us the opportunity to review a toy in this class.

Vibrator Review – Shibari Mini Halo

Vibrator Review – Shibari Mini Halo

Vibrators have really come a long way in the last decade or so. Several factors in the sex toy market and society have converged to put us in a pretty good spot when it comes to the choices and functions of vibrators.

When I was much younger, Amazon was not a thing, online shopping was hardly a thing, and the local porn store was about the only place to get anything resembling a dildo or a vibrator. Emily, like many other young women, resorted to the few household items that would work for such purposes, like the end of a hairbrush. Inside the stores weren’t much better, most vibrators available to us were incorporated as part of insertable toys made of unsafe/toxic materials like ‘jelly’. There were a few wearables but they were tiny low-powered bullet vibrators inserted into more unsafe plastic housings in the shapes of things like dolphins, butterflies, and rabbits. The Hitachi Magic Wand existed but there was a somewhat negative social stigma around it—such as shameful stereotypes indicating that users of such a device used it because they were otherwise unpleasurable.

Fast forward several years and we have open, online, discreet market places full of toys made of body safe materials. Womens’ orgasms are a thing that’s discussed and considered now and the stigma around it is less. In this environment wand style vibrators have made a resurgence.

The Shibari Mini Halo is one of those wands. For those of you who’ve already been in the wand market the Mini Halo may not need much of an introduction, it has thousands of customer reviews on Amazon and several reviews and articles on it already printed. So we’re going to do two things with the review this time. One, I’m going to talk about Emily’s experience with the wand and our experience with it as a couple. Two, I’m going to talk about why to have a vibrator at all and how it fits into your war chest, as this is our first vibrator review.

So let’s go over some basic features. The Mini Halo comes with 20 different speeds and 8 vibration patterns. It’s a cordless water resistant entry-level wand with an entry-level price of just under 30 dollars US on Amazon. I find most of the pictures of the wand don’t really convey the size properly. It’s a lot bigger than it appears in the promotional material at approximately 8 inches. Wand style vibrators are meant to only be used externally so we won’t be assigning a D-score here. You get one button to cycle through intensity levels, and one button to cycle through patterns, both only go in one direction and then cycle back to the beginning, there’s no ‘oops no that one!’ back button. These settings aren’t remembered when the wand is powered off either. Speaking of powering off, the wand requires an extended press of the power button to turn off and it can be sorta clumsy.

These are restrictions and caveats you’d expect on any entry level wand, but how are the vibrations!? You know, the part we really care about. The wand feels pretty powerful to me, and Emily is very satisfied with how the vibrations really seem to penetrate her anatomy. This is definitely on the rumbly side, so it’s comfortable to use for long sessions and isn’t prone to numb your hands or vulva if you’re sensitive to that sort of thing. When Emily uses this as part of couples play I can definitely also feel the vibrations and they’re not weak, so keep that in mind if you plan on using this as a couples toy. I find in those situations that if she uses it straight away it makes for a quick session, but if she waits until we’re both almost already there it makes fireworks happen. The Mini Halo is also water resistant and is regularly Emily’s shower buddy. It also comes in three colors, pink, purple, and black—we got purple. Emily finds that the cyclical selection modes means the best way to handle intensity and pattern is to feel it out and to not change when you find something that’s hitting the spot.

So as far as entry level wands go I’d say the Shibari Mini Halo is well worth its reputation and its price. It’s a great first wand that doesn’t disappoint in the performance department or leave a gaping hole in your wallet. If you’ve never tried a wand style vibrator before you can’t go wrong with the Mini Halo. If you decide later that you need to upgrade features—like phone app integration—or performance there are many options out there, but a beginner may not know enough about their preferences to make those choices right away and the investment is larger. We highly recommend this vibrator to the wand beginner, and to the toy beginner as well.

So what’s the use of these things, as a couple. A lot of you will think that’s self-evident, some of you will wonder why that’s even a question, and the rest of you are nervous about putting a toy into your bedroom to begin with, especially something as purpose built as a vibrator. Well for one thing a vibrator and especially a wand vibrator can stimulate your clitoris in a way that a man just simply physically cannot do. For a lot of men this is actually a source of insecurity so don’t forget to talk to your partner about these sorts of purchases always. If they’re insecure about it you may have to walk them through those feelings.

I think the best way to kinda illustrate that is with some of our more extreme toys like the Chance I got Emily from Bad Dragon. Chance is a toy that resembles a horse both in shape and dimension, the thing is humongous if you order it that way and we did. I get questions about this that essentially boil down to “How can you let your wife use that thing knowing it’s so much larger than you, you can’t compete with that!”. Well that’s kinda the idea and when I tell people that they’re surprised. First of all, competition on a scale as one dimensional as size is wrong-headed to begin with. There’s things I can do both physically and emotionally for Emily that no toy ever could. No toy is ever going to make Emily not want me and given those priors the only thing I’m doing by saying no to any sort of toy is denying Emily at best a harmless experience and at worst a stellar orgasm.

So that’s really the start and end of that line of thought. “I can’t do the things that does”. Yes that’s the point of it, if you could do those things and you could do them on command with life never ever getting in the way no one would buy them. It’s the sexual equivalent of telling your wife you’re not to go to the sushi restaurant because you can’t make sushi as well as they can.

Anyway, hope that clears up some things on the philosophy of toy use and why it is we dedicate a large portion of our content to that. Hope you enjoyed the review!

I am not a paid reviewer. My content comes from me and I was not solicited in any manner for this review. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

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