Is the Pyrex Half Empty or Half Full? by Greta Christina
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Reviewer Greta Christina has worked in and around the sex industry for over a decade writing about it, editing books about it, and living it. She edited Paying For It, a collection of articles by all kinds of sex workers: dommes, escorts, peep show girls, T-girls. Her novella called Bending is out in Susie Bright's book Three Kinds of Asking For It (published by Simon & Schuster and can be found at amazon.com). In response to overwhelming member requests for reviews of sex toys, sexy films, and other sex whatnots, Ms. Christina brings her girl-about-sex wisdom twice monthly to Adult FriendFinder. You can check out Ms. Christina on her web site, gretachristina.com.
Vibrating Blue Swirl Pyrex Dildo ($89.95)
Available at Extreme Restraints, www.extremerestraints.com.
I liked it, I had fun with it, I got off on it!
It's a clever and imaginative idea, and for the most part it's well-executed. I do have some critiques of this toy -- which I'll get to -- but I wanted to make it perfectly clear right from the outset: This is a good one.
The Vibrating Blue Swirl Pyrex Dildo is... well, the name is pretty self-explanatory, actually. It's a dildo, made of blue Pyrex glass, with a raised swirl around the shaft, and it vibrates.
How do I love this? Let me count the ways. For starters, I'm a huge fan of glass dildos, and have been since I first laid my horny little hands on one. When it comes to dildos, I like a lot of pressure but not a lot of friction; I want my dildo to slip and slide around in my pussy with no chafing or catching or arguments of any kind, but I also want it to deliver firm, insistent pressure, again with no arguments and no questions asked. And glass delivers beautifully. It's as smooth and solid as metal, without being nearly so heavy. It also retains body heat very effectively, and since it isn't porous, it's easy to clean. So the very fact that this is a glass toy means I'm already pretty well sold.
But now we come to the really fun part -- because this isn't just any old glass dildo. This is a glass vibrator. Until recently, I'd never heard of any such thing -- but as soon as I heard about it, I knew I wanted to try one. All the slippery, rock-hard fun of glass, and vibrations too? Yes, please.
As long as the vibrator part actually works, that is. And this one does, quite nicely. There are six different vibration settings: three steady ones (low, medium, and high); a steady pulse; a wave-like pulse in a short-short-long pattern; and a quickly fluttering pulse that starts at the low setting and cascades up to the highest strength before starting over at low again.
My lovely testing assistant and I immediately dubbed these last two the "teasers," or the "torture" settings. And not at all in a bad way. Quite the contrary. Teasing is a wonderful thing -- you get off so much harder and wilder when you've been wound up for a while beforehand -- and both the "short-short-long" and the "low-medium-high" settings on this toy are perfect teases. The sensation they give is intensely pleasurable, a delight to just lie back and enjoy... but before long, they make you hungry for more, building you up into a frenzy, giving you a tantalizing moment of that highest setting and then snatching it away, leaving you squirming and begging for it to come back. Which of course, it does... but only for that brief, enticing moment again. Yum.
As far as the other settings go... well, being the sensory-overload junkies that we are, we found "low" and "medium" to be almost entirely pointless. But the steady pulse is very sweet: not a tease, exactly, more of a sensual thrum, giving a calm, almost Zen-like pleasure. And the "high"... well, to be honest, it's not the relentless jackhammer that both my assistant and I prefer. But it does pretty well for itself, especially for a battery-powered vibe. I do wish the "high" setting were higher -- if you're used to plug-in vibes like the Hitachi or the Wahl, you've been spoiled for this thing, and may not find it getting you off.
FYI, there are two control buttons on the thing, each of which runs through the vibrate/pulse patterns in a different sequence. I wasn't quite sure of the point of this at first; but it does mean you can build up or step down depending on your mood, and you can switch back and forth between two settings (not any two settings, alas -- they're paired off) without having to run through the whole sequence again.
And glass turns out to be a magnificent material for a vibrator. All that slippery smoothness and rock-hard solidity feels amazing when it vibrates. The firmness means the vibrations come through sharp and clear, and the slickness means the vibrations can slide around on your clit and your labia with no resistance, in a way that's both sweet and nasty.
As far as the swirly ridge around the shaft goes... well, the truth is, I normally prefer smooth toys to super-ridgey ones (just a personal preference). But again, because it's all slick and smooth and glassy, the swirl doesn't add a ridiculous amount of friction. It's kind of nice, actually; it adds a little extra sensation without being a seriously rough ride.
Then you add the fact that it's not just glass but blue glass, with a swirly ridge that's all iridescent and sparkly... okay, I'll admit it, I'm a sucker for pretty sex toys. But I don't think I'm alone in this. There's no bigger turn-off than that godawful pinky-tan diseased-flesh color that crappy sex toys are so often made of. And there's nothing that makes you feel more like a sensual, decadent libertine than taking an exquisitely made art object and sliding it into your lover's cunt. A lot of the time I don't care what a sex toy looks like, as long as it isn't actually repulsive; but vision is one of the senses, a part of the whole sensual/sexual package, and I don't see any reason why it shouldn't be indulged.
Yes, you want to be careful with glass. You want to not drop it on a cement floor, and you want to run your hands over it and make sure it's not chipped before you stick it in your coochie or your butt. But the glass they make sex toys out of is extremely strong, meant to withstand a fair amount of abuse. It's not like a light bulb or a test tube or any of the other colossally stupid glass objects people have tried to use as dildos over the years. So as long as you exercise some fairly obvious caution, you should be fine.
Now here's the critique. One of the toy's big selling points -- one I haven't mentioned yet -- is that it lights up. There's a blue light in the tip and a series of four little red ones along the shaft, all of which light up when the vibrator's on, and if you have the vibrator set on one of its pulse settings, the lights pulse right along with it. It looks totally cool, very space-agey, and it makes an already beautiful toy completely stunning to look at. The lights aren't included in the toy's name (probably because "Vibrating Blue Swirl Pyrex Dildo" was already long enough without adding "Light-Up" to the mix)... but they are an important part of the design, very much front and center in the Extreme Restraints catalog description.
But because the pretty lights are one of the toy's big selling points, there's something that's important for you to know: They don't always work.
The first time we got one of these vibrators in the mail, the blue light in the tip worked for about ten or fifteen minutes, and then stopped completely, never to return. It was disappointing and frustrating, especially since the lights were a lot of what we were getting into. The pretty blue light cast these wicked-cool patterns on my lovely testing assistant and her lovely vulva, and the patterns were even cooler when the strobe effect was on. The blinky red lights weren't quite as special, but they definitely added to the space-age, alien-probe quality of the toy. The overall effect was really eerie, in this nerdy futuristic/otherworldly way, and when we decided to go with it and turn off all the lights, there was something sort of magical about having the bed and our bodies lit up by nothing but our vibrator. So when the blue light faded and died right when things were getting good, we were pretty bummed out.
But we figured it was just a fluke. Defects do happen, even in the best toys. So we exchanged it for a new one... and the new one also had defective lights. The blue one in the tip did the exact same thing as the first one -- it died after just a few minutes -- and the little red ones along the shaft never lit up at all. We wouldn't have even known they were there if we hadn't been looking for them. Very disappointing, indeed. (Oh, while I'm quibbling: The shaft that the batteries go into is too narrow, and it's extremely hard to get the batteries out once they're in. Not a huge deal, but annoying.)
Now, Extreme Restraints was very nice about exchanging the first defective toy, so good on them. And I'm sure they'd have been nice about replacing the second one as well -- I just didn't feel like mucking about with it. But I'm guessing that you won't feel like mucking about with it, either. So unless you're up for a few rounds of "exchange the sex toy until you get one that works perfectly," you should probably forget about the pretty lights entirely, and decide "yes" or "no" on this toy strictly on the basis of its other features.
And in fact, you might well decide "yes." After all, a pretty blue glass dildo with iridescent swirlies, which vibrates and pulses at six different speeds -- that's nothing to sneeze at. That's pretty darned cool. If we hadn't gotten to see the light show in the first place, we never would have missed it.
But we might not have been as excited about the toy, either. We would have had a perfectly lovely evening, and we would have said perfectly lovely things about it. But during those ten or fifteen minutes that the toy's lights were working, we were raving about it unconditionally and somewhat incoherently. And I'm sorry that I can't do that here. Without the lights, this is a very neat toy, beautiful and unique, and I'd give it a solid 7 out of 10. But the lights raised it from "pretty damn cool sex toy" to "amazingly special rare treat that you want to rave about to friends and strangers you pass on the street." I really wish they'd kept working.
Available at [extern url='http://www.extremerestraints.com/stat/ec7510.html' target='_blank' text='www.extremerestraints.com'].
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