Joyboxx is what you get when you think inside the box: the world’s first and only patented hygienic storage system for sex toys. It’s designed and now also manufactured in America and keeps your sex toys safe from prying eyes, dust, germs and bacteria before, during and after play.
Born from the encounter between the unmistakable soft and velvety silicone, metal, carbon fibre and leather, here come 12 freshly forged pleasure objects: 12 limited-edition pieces arranged neatly on the black and purple painted wood walls, waiting to be freed from the elastic bands and to loosen inhibitions to the rhythm of arousal and desire.
Each piece is named after a person, a place, a time that played a key role in LELO’s history.
The Anniversary Collection is limited to 1000 pieces - 800 black zinc and 200 pink with premium 18K rose gold.[caption id="attachment_5772" align="alignnone" width="1000"] LELO Anniversary Collection - Suitcase Pink 18k[/caption]
The very moment LELO handed us one of the 200 pieces en rose, my better half and I pictured the perfect photo shooting: a whole day spent in a luxury historic Italian building in Turin together with other four or five girls who would have liked to stay in front of the camera for one day, alternating shots and poses with vegan meals, bubbly toasts and free chats.
In less than one week, we lost our first choice location, then the plan B one, then we tried to craft a plan C but, at that point, all the locations available were too small, too far away or too expensive, or the respective owners were too on vacation. Then we lost the models receiving texts about setbacks, love troubles, unexpected menstruation and impossible public transport connections. Less than 48 hours before the shooting we were out of locations and less than 24 hours before, we were out of models. But still hell-bent on it.After browsing through every nook and cranny of AirBnb and every contact in his iPhone, my better half found the unfindable: an improbable location, smaller, darker and further away than what we were looking for, which turned out to be perfect, and two proactive girls who, regardless of under-way periods and sunburned skin, decided to get involved without notice and to save our shooting. Just to avoid last-minute surprises, the day before the shooting we went for a walk-through of the venue. There, in front of the house number written in a Whatsapp text, the front gate opened revealing the unexpected smiling face of a dear friend we hadn't seen in years, overturning a memory drawer that was left sealed and forgot for a long time. Then came the hugs and we stopped worrying about the shooting. The next day, at 5:30 pm on a midsummer Monday afternoon, we were in a Mongolian yurt surrounded by a magical wood on the outskirts of Turin. Around us, Buddha statues, Tantra images and the natural light filtered through the circular opening in the roof (and mosquitoes). In the spotlight, just her: the Anniversary Collection.
Our models-for-a-day had never been in front of a camera, never got naked in front of strangers and never tried a sex toy before.
The initial awkward stage lasted just the time it took us to set up camera equipment and lighting: within minutes, topless was the new normal, the supposed defects turned into a faded memory, and LELO sex toys started waving in the air, vibrating on the hands and slapping buttocks between one shot and the next.The shooting turned into a cheerful experience of friendship and sharing. Unburdened by clothes and taboos, everyone enjoyed a new lightness and forgot worrying about the body and the projected self-image. It's always wonderful to see girls, women who feel confident and comfortable with their own body and suddenly switch from criticising it to loving it and playing with it. Here is the outcome of a busy half a day's shooting during which LELO's suitcase, captured by I'M the Ph's camera, played the part of the star but remained just a pleasure for the eyes.
It's time to move to practice and turn this triumph of silicone, leather and pink gold into pleasure for the body. In the coming days, we'll make the acquaintance of each piece and we'll tell about it in a huge final review.Pictures: I'M the Phabc
Before the product: in the beginning was the conceptDame Product, the American brand behind Eva, was born when tho women, a psychologist and an engineer from MIT, met and decided to bring their skills and interests together embarking on a mission "to design well-engineered sex toys" developed around users' real needs and based on scientific research "to heighten intimacy and to openly empower the sexual experiences of womankind". Eva was developed to bridge the pleasure gap, the disparity between men and women when it comes to experiencing pleasure and achieving orgasm. According to several researches, only one in four women can reach orgasm through vaginal penetration alone. For the majority of women, clitoral stimulation is key to orgasm but it's also hard to get during vaginal intercourse, especially in certain positions, either using hands or a vibrating toy to help. Before Eva, there were two categories of wearable sex toys for couples to use during intercourse that leave the hands free to explore, move around, lean on the skin, grab the sheets. One is the penis ring type and the other the We-Vibe type, the couple vibrators with two vibrating arms, one to be inserted into the vagina and one that rests against the vulva to stimulate the labia and the clitoris. Both the solutions can be very distracting and may get in the way causing discomfort, especially for men. Eva's ambition is to glue to the vulva becoming like a natural extension of the body and to enhance the female pleasure experience without penalizing the male one. Surely Eva revolutionised the market of hands-free couples' vibrators. Whether it improved it can be said only after trying it.
First date with EvaWhen I received Eva, I was expecting great things from that small silicone shell with slender wings that had collected positive reviews and media ovations. Eva came inside a minimalist packaging with a reassuring aesthetic, the kink you'd expect to find in a pharmacy, at the Apple Store or in a bright sex-positive shop run by enlightened people where every woman would feel comfortable walking in and snooping around. In the pack, I found Eva, a sleek neutral-coloured charging base/travel case, a USB cable, a soft pouch and the user manual. Up until then, I was still in butterflies-in-the-stomach and stellar-expectations mode. Then I tried Eva. As it happened with other toys, after a couple of tests I couldn't help but wonder whether the problem was me or the sex toy. As I usually do in such cases, I turned to the holy Google and looked for the reviews written by who's populating this field longer than me and is respected and esteemed by the blogosphere. This time I appealed to Dangerous Lilly, who started blogging about sex in 2008 and has been writing (brutally) honest, informative and reliable reviews since then. Not only her review confirmed my doubts and concerns about Eva, it also destroyed the romantic image I had of my cute little vibrator: when she compared it to the shape of the uterus I started to look at it with new eyes. To remedy, I had to find a substitute image, cute but more realistic, and now I think of Eva as the IKEA's heart-shaped cushion with arms (and that's not necessarily a good thing, I'll get there). I'll just say her review worked as a green light to post mine. So, however unpopular and discordant with the happy, hetero couples featuring in the presentation video, this is the story of my never-blossomed love affair with Eva. [little marginal note: Dangerous Lilly's review refers to the first version of Eva. The changes in the updated version are minimal and consist in slightly reduced size and weight (which, apparently, don't translate into an improved wearability), a different button placement from the front to the top and the waterproof feature which makes it (uselessly) submersible].
An impossible matchThe first challenge was putting Eva in its place. Literally. The theory goes: you pull each labium over one wing at a time until Eva nestles in the vulva and stays in place. In practice, I tried to place Eva using a wee bit of lube but it kept slipping away from my vulva. So I tried with no lube at all and I started tinkering with my labia by pulling them in every direction and make them cover up and block Eva's wings, and somehow I managed to put it in place. Now the theory goes you turn it on and select the vibration intensity by pressing the single button and focus on the lovemaking, also attempting the"adventurous positions". I'd have been happy with the easy and boring ones but Eva wouldn't stay put. The few times it looked secured to my vulva, it managed to break free from the hug of my labia. I tried to hold it between mine and my better half's body, but then it started moving around, vibrations were no longer directed to my clit and, despite its compact size, it felt uncomfortable and worked like a hard barrier pushing against the body. Every position where my vulva wasn't pressed against another body wasn't even conceivable because every time I attempted to rotate or kneel, Eva immediately popped out.
The centre of attention, not pleasureA wearable vibrator should free the hands as well as the mind, allowing you to just follow sensations without caring about how to hold it and place it in an optimal position and how to avoid arm and hand from standing in the way of pleasure. Dame Products' mission is to "create toys that fit into your sex life, instead of making your sex life adapt to our products", but Eva works in the opposite direction and gets all the attention. Mind and body are constantly struggling to find out how to wear it, how to keep it in place, how to avoid movements that make it slip away. Every time I was able to wear Eva, I felt like it could get loose at any moment and I was so focused on the logistics I could hardly feel the effect of the vibes on my clit. By that time, every feeling, the contact with another body, the intimate connection with my partner had taken a backseat and the mission of our entwined bodies wasn't embarking on a journey in search of pleasure but holding a piece of vibrating silicone.
Not-so-sexy gesturesI think gestures are a huge factor in sexuality and we all picture ourselves involved in a pleasure session referring to an ideal repertoire of bodies moving sensually ad harmoniously in a perfect synchrony of movements and sounds that ends in an orgasmic acute and a choreography of bending backs and hands sinking into the mattress. I'm not saying this is how things really go, but I'm quite sure everyone wants to show to the partner the most sensual and bendy version of themselves, even if they know they are flexible like a wood stick, and expect gestures and sounds to flow naturally. Feeling beautiful, confident, desired or at least comfortable, helps to loosen up and just follow arousal and desire. Crumpling up on yourself to tinker with the vulva and move the labia to trap a silicone thing while your partner is patiently looking at you without having the chance to help is not exactly how you fantasise about starting a passionate encounter. If the condom is seen as a break on pleasure and arousal, then Eva is not even able to get the sex car get started.
Uncertain vibrationsPressing the button you can switch between three vibrating modes/levels. I read some complaints about extremely mild vibrations, but being a fan of soft, low-intensity vibrations, the opposite of what's considered a power queen, I didn't find them limiting. However, I got the impression the vibrations are quite basic. Compared with other sex toys in the same price range, it just can't hold a candle. Eva currently costs more than 100 £ and should compete with sex toys from brands like LELO, Iroha Plus or Jimmy Jane, but I would never choose it over my LELO Smart Wand for the couple play, although the wand may result cumbersome and keeps one hand and one arm busy. Even a toy like the Iroha Mini, which costs less than 20£, left me with a better impression. The big difference is that the Mini, albeit simple (it's a small and functional clitoral vibrator that fits in the palm of your hand and works with batteries) delivers what it promises (if not something more), while Eva promises the moon but doesn't even deliver the kind of star you buy on the internet.
Is it a matter of vulva?I wondered whether the reason behind my complicated relationship with Eva was the geometry of my anatomy. Surely a certain shape of labia can facilitate to place and use Eva and having labia big enough so that they can cover most of the vibrator might help. What I do know is that there are so many different shapes of vulvas (it's been enlightening to look at the plaster casts of all different vulvas made by I Show Flag artist) it would be impossible to design a sex toy that precisely fits everyone. But there would be no point in having a vibrator exclusively shaped for one only kind of vulva. I think a wearable sex toy makes sense only if it can be used by all or almost all of the women, maybe struggling a bit, to experience pleasure. It looks to me like Eva is designed for a very limited number of vulvas. As Dangerous Lilly pointed out, Eva is probably not your choice if you have minimal outer labia (unable to cover it up) but long inner labia that might get in the way; surely it's not for you if you prefer strong vibrations and some pressure on your clitoris; obviously it's not for you if you appreciate a good lubrication during sex (who doesn't?).
Final thoughtsI cannot imagine that all the positive reviews about Eva are made up or are a way to hop on the bandwagon and take advantage of its visibility. And I'm happy for the media resonance and the revolutions it started: the popularity of Eva (and Dame's arguments about the role played by sex toys into the sex life) convinced Kickstarter to make an exception to the policy banning "pornographic material," and open its platform to Fin, the finger vibrator developed after Eva, and the first sex toy ever posted on the pioneer crowdfunding platform online. I believe Dame Products deserves credit for bringing attention to female pleasure and initiating a global positive dialogue to break taboos, improving knowledge of the women's body and sheding light on the importance of the clitoral stimulation during intercourse. Unfortunately, all this work has yet to turn into a product that can actually revolutionize the female sexual experience during penetrative sex. That's why Eva is useful like the IKEA heart-shaped pillow with arms: cute and cuddly but unable to hug back and kind of unsentimental when it comes to conveying emotions.abc
Bubbles is a wooden dildo.Since I can feel your scepticism running down the broadband, I’ll start from what I usually end my reviews with: conclusions.