Ever bought a multi-mode vibrator and wondered how the manufacturer settled on those particular patterns? (No? I guess I'm the only sex toy nerd around here then). It turns out that most manufacturers just take a shot in the dark, but there's one company out to change that by giving women the power to find the vibrational patterns they actually enjoy.
The Flex family of vibrators are the newest release from Crave, a sex toy company based in San Francisco. The line includes the Flex, a small, single motor vibrator, and the Duet Flex, a dual-motor split-tip vibrator.
Crave has created programmable versions of both the standard Flex and the Duet Flex (currently $US119 and $US139, respectively). You can plug either vibrator into a standard USB port, enter your device's serial number, and access an elegant online interface. There are four different vibrational categories: constant, pulse, wave, and alternating. Each category has four patterns that can be adjusted, for a total of 16 options. Once you've made your selections, you download the patterns and transfer them to your Flex.
Crave is asking early users to submit their feedback about their favourites, then they will use that data to preprogram a forthcoming Greatest Hits version of both vibrators. If you just can't wait to find out what the favourite patterns are, you can also buy their standard Duet vibrator for $US149.
Both the Flex and the Duet Flex are made of waterproof, body-safe silicone. They're some of the quietest vibrators I've ever heard. They also come with a travel lock, so you'll never get stuck at in the airport security line, frantically trying to locate your accidentally-turned-on vibrator.
How To Use It
Once programmed, both Flex models operate as any standard vibrator. Just turn it on and go! The power button in the middle cycles through the four main categories, and the up and down buttons move through each of the options within the categories.
The Flex Duet has a unique design that is meant to cradle your clitoris instead of sit on top of it. You can place the prongs on either end of your clitoris and hold them there, or slide them up and down. If you want direct clitoral stimulation, you can hold one prong on top of your clitoris. The design looks unusual at first, but it's one of the best I've ever come across. "Cradling" really is the perfect word to describe the sensation; it feels like your clitoris is being held...but in a naughty way!
What I Loved
I totally geeked out getting to choose my own vibrational patterns. It made me feel like a very special little snowflake. The interface is colourful and easy to use, and it's a lot of fun getting to make such detailed and specific changes to the patterns.
I'll be honest: one of my early impressions of the Flex was that it was going to be a lot of work. I mean, 16 different patterns? Those are a lot of decisions to be made. I tried to let go of any conception I had about the type of vibrational patterns my body usually likes. I started with making each pattern vastly different from the others, then slowly started to hone in on making smaller changes. I found myself taking tons of notes and scheduling multiple rounds of testing. In the end, I actually loved having that level of diligence about my own pleasure. I've written before about how vibrators can induce lazy mastubation habits; the Flex made me think about my experience more than I ever had before. I felt like I was able to learn a lot about what my body responded to, and was even surprised to discover certain patterns I enjoyed.
What I Didn't Love
This is a beef I have with every multi-pattern vibrator, but it's hard to remember which pattern you're on. You can only cycle through the patterns in one direction (by using the power button), so you're constantly having to remember which one is which. Plus, since there are four options per category, keeping track gets even trickier.
When I was in the programming phase, I found remembering which pattern was which to be particularly challenging (again, there are 16 of 'em!) I found myself checking the app on my laptop to jog my memory, which wasn't exactly the sexiest experience. But in all fairness, that was mostly my fault for wanting to be so exact in keeping track of my choices. You don't have to be as anal as I was!
Who Should Buy It
Geeks. Seriously guys, it's so much fun to be able to program your own vibrator! There's nothing else like this out there.
Women who want to learn more about their bodies should buy this as well. A lot of my clients buy expensive vibrators and then feel let down that they don't particularly enjoy the sensation. While I obviously can't guarantee that every woman will love the Flex, these vibrators can help you learn a lot about your own unique experience of pleasure.
Women who don't like direct clitoral stimulation will love the Duet. If vibrators have never been your jam before, the Duet version of the Flex just might change your mind. The way that the prongs straddle the clitoris feels incredible without being overwhelming. Plus, many women feel far more sensitive on the sides of their clitoris than they do on the top.
Lastly: if you want to contribute to better vibrators for all, I can't speak highly enough about Crave's mission with the Flex family. I appreciate how much passion they have about actually learning what works best for women, instead of just programming in whatever random patterns some engineer comes up with.
The Final Verdict
Gorgeous design, solid mechanics, thoughtful engineering, and the ability to feel like a special snowflake? Do you need more convincing?