Darling Nikki is Rebellious Magazine’s resident sex toy reviewer. While she writes her reviews from the perspective of a cisgender woman, she wants to remind her readers that any sex toy can be for any body!
I had planned on writing something up last month for Valentine’s Day, but February is short and sometimes life has other plans for you. There is never a shortage of Valentine’s Day-related sex toy articles, though, so I wasn’t terribly upset by needing to put testing for certain types of products on hold for the foreseeable future.
About two months ago I was diagnosed with pelvic floor dysfunction. Usually when we talk about the pelvic floor, we talk about kegels and strengthening the pelvic floor muscles (especially after childbirth). Stronger muscles lead to better muscle control and stronger orgasms. But for some people, particularly those with vaginas, kegels are the exact wrong thing for their pelvic floor dysfunction (PFD). I have what’s called high-tone PFD: rather than my muscles being too weak, they are in spasm and too tense.
I’ve had to make a lot of adjustments, particularly in my sex life, for these reasons. PFD can make sitting and standing for long periods of time difficult, it can make intercourse painful, and it can mimic UTI symptoms. Sometimes, because the muscles and tissues of the pelvis are all connected and there are so many (specifically for those assigned female at birth), PFD can cause external pain (like clitoral or vulvar). Everyone experiences it differently, and anyone of any gender can have PFD, though it is less likely to be diagnosed in those assigned male at birth.
Due to my diagnosis, it was recommended by my pelvic floor physical therapist—yes, that’s a thing!—that I stay away from internal vibrations for now. Since I experienced some clitoral pain, I couldn’t use any toys with pinpoint clitoral stimulation, and it just so happened that I had a toy sitting in my review queue that ended up being just what I needed: the Sola Cue.
Though it’s actually a g-spot vibrator, it’s the Cue’s rumbly vibrations that work for me externally. The Sola Cue is rechargeable, 100 percent silicone and waterproof. The vibrations are most rumbly on the lower settings, so much so that you can actually see them come to a rumbling stop as you turn the toy off. I haven’t had a chance to try it internally, but I’ve read some great reviews, and a lot of reviewers love it as a g-spot vibrator! I don’t have that option right now, but I can tell you why I love it as an external vibe.
The reason it worked so well for me was because the vibrations aren’t pinpoint. It’s a fairly small toy, but because the vibrations are so deep (they’ve even been called “thuddy”), I could hold it above or next to my clit and feel the rumbles through my internal clitoris and labia. The lower two levels were perfect while I was dealing with external clitoral pain and had to adjust my toy-using habits. At about $80, it’s on the lower side of higher priced toys, but it’s one of the rumbliest vibes I’ve ever tried, and could be great for you if pinpoint or buzzier stimulation aren’t your things (the higher settings get a bit buzzy but still have an underlying rumble). Also, the light blue color is gorgeous and so under-utilized in the sex toy industry. My favorite way to use the Sola Cue was by first heating it up in my WARM. The heat soothed my external sensitivity.
I did get to a point, however, where traditional vibrators (even the Cue) weren’t comfortable for me, which is why I am so grateful that Betty’s Toy Box agreed to send me the Eroscillator 2 Top Deluxe Combo for review. There’s a lot of info out there about this product—it’s the only sexual aid ever endorsed by Dr. Ruth, it’s helped anorgasmic (or “pre-orgasmic”) women—women who’ve never been able to reach orgasm. The difference between it and traditional vibrators is that it oscillates—it moves back and forth quicker than the eye can see.
The Eroscillator looks like a big electric toothbrush and has several different attachments, but the only one I’ve been able to use so far is the Ultra-Soft Finger Tip—an attachment that looks and feels like a big squishy marshmallow. As soon as my Eroscillator arrived, I tried it out (the beauty of an electric toy is that it doesn’t need to be charged!) and experienced the best, most comfortable orgasm I’d had in weeks. I say “comfortable” because while I am still able to orgasm with PFD, my orgasms have been different, sometimes weaker—every once in awhile even a little uncomfortable. My pelvic floor muscles need to be retrained, and contracting them for/during orgasm is difficult, making orgasm harder to achieve or weaker overall. My physical therapist has said that it can be a slow process, but there’s no reason why I shouldn’t get back to where I was before the PFD.
But back to the Eroscillator—I’m looking forward to trying the variety of attachments it came with, but for now, I’m loving the marshmallow head. Because of the material of the “marshmallow,” there’s a bit of drag when it oscillates directly against the skin, so I just add some water-based lube and it feels amazing—like a super-powered finger gently moving back and forth, a sensation unlike any other toy I’ve tried. I use it on the shaft (or hood) of my clit and it hasn’t irritated my clitoris at all, as long as I keep it on the lowest setting (which is still pretty powerful).
I’ve also noticed that my body’s response to stimulation is changing overall—for example, my labia are a lot more sensitive (in a good way) than they used to be, and holding the Eroscillator’s marshmallow tip against them, which indirectly stimulates my clitoris, is enough to get me off. I don’t know that I would have realized how much my body was changing if not for the Eroscillator. (Side note: Those with penises may also enjoy the oscillations of the Eroscillator!)
I’m no longer experiencing consistent clitoral pain, but I still have some external pain and I’m still sensitive—so I’ve been using the Eroscillator exclusively for the last few weeks and can’t wait until I can experience everything it has to offer. It’s a bit pricier: the Eroscillator 2 Plus clocks in at $184, while the Eroscillator 2 Plus Top Deluxe is $239. With the price tag and reputation it has, I expect the Eroscillator to last a long time, but if/when it does wear out on me, I’ll be happy to save my pennies so I can buy one for myself.
I’m still in physical therapy and working on healing my PFD. My future reviews will have to be adjusted accordingly, much like certain parts of my life. At least one more installment of this column will focus on using toys while living with PFD.
Columnist’s full disclosure: I wouldn’t be able to provide quite as many reviews without the occasional generosity of manufacturers and, sometimes, online retailers whose missions I can get behind [insert obligatory sex joke here]. However, my reviews are always honest and unbiased.
Editor’s Update: Check out the second column in this series on pelvic floor dysfunction.