Photo: Courtesy Of We-Vibe.
I’m not new to the We-Vibe; it’s the first couples' toy I ever tried, and remains one of the best. Hands- and strap-free, the vibrator is designed for use during intercourse: One curved arm of the U-shaped toy sits between the labia and stimulates the clit, while the other arm fits inside the vagina (next to the penis) during intercourse — meaning tightness and vibration for both parties. The vibe had already been through four iterations when today, the fifth was launched: the We-Vibe 4+, which is — drumroll please — app-enabled.
It’s by no means the first web-connected vibrator. Lovense released “the world’s first Internet-enabled sex toy for cyber sex,” Remote Pleasure, back in 2009; it was controlled using a mouse. Earlier this year, OhMiBod introduced its Remote App, which connects your phone with your partner's vibrator using Google+. When I heard that We-Vibe would be making its own contribution to the world of teledildonics — the word for computer-controlled sex toys — I enlisted my partner as a (willing) guinea pig to help me test it out. We planned to try the We-Vibe 4+ both during sex and on me alone, with him controlling the settings from his phone. Talk about next-level sexting.
The We-Vibe 4+ comes with a small, wireless remote control, USB charger, and mod white storage case that looks helpfully like a Glade PlugIn — which is what you can tell your mother it is when you forget to put it away before she visits. The toy itself is a bit more compact than its predecessors, with a more matte silicone than the first three versions, and more ridges where the toy makes contact with the clit and anterior vaginal wall (a.k.a. the supposed location of your G-spot). Apparently, four hours of charging provides up to three hours of playtime — but my partner and I didn't make it that far.
Photo: Courtesy Of Hayley MacMillen.
First, my partner and I both downloaded the (free) We-Vibe 4+ app from the iTunes App Store. We connected our apps with the toy using Bluetooth, and I registered the vibe as mine by punching its serial number into my app. So, the next time one of us is out of town, my partner can send me a connect message by email or text, and I can send him a link that enables his app to control my toy remotely.
I tried the We-Vibe solo first, with my partner in the driver's seat. We-Vibe has always touted the value of its toy for solo sex; although a traditional, cylindrical vibe offers both more precise clit-targeting and deeper penetration, the We-Vibe is definitely pleasurable when used during masturbation — even more so when someone else is in control of it.
You can determine the activity of the external clitoral arm and the internal G-spot arm separately, or you can link them; vibration patterns include "Echo," "Surf" (to be used during Beyoncé songs), "Wave," "Cha-Cha-Cha," "Crest," "Bounce, "Pulse," "Peak," "Tide," or, if you're feeling like some more-vanilla sex, the classic "Vibrate." (Another thing to note: You can't play music from your phone while it's controlling the toy — a flaw future iterations will hopefully resolve.)
I did feel that some of the toy's vibe patterns were overly complicated; I just don't get that much out of my vagina vibrating to the rhythm of a ballroom dance. But, I'm open to the idea. Most enjoyable were the predictable oscillations of "Tide," "Wave," and "Vibrate." My partner was especially amused by the array of options. "I'm gonna ramp up the G-spot a little bit," he informed me from the other side of the bed. "You want more clitoris? Okay, I'm doing a sine wave now!" (What, talking functions doesn't get you hot? You can get deliciously nerdy with this thing.)
What I liked most was how much fun my partner was having. How did I not know about teledildonics the last time I tried a long-distance relationship? Skype sex is all well and good, but actually controlling how your partner feels, whether from halfway across the world or from the other side of the room, is infinitely more intimate — and hot.
The partner portion of the experiment was rewarding, too. Notably, the vibe provided the clit stimulation that so many standard, heterosexual sex positions lack. Pro tip: Use the toy while one partner wears the vibe and gives oral sex, and the other controls the toy, for an intense shared experience. The We-Vibe is somewhat bulky, so it's important to either be wet or for lube to be on hand. And, in certain positions, it feels as though the toy might fall out; girl-on-top is one of the more successful choices, as it both keeps the toy in place and aligns its outer arm most closely with the clit. At $179 a pop, the toy isn't a cheap thrill (for one of those, this pick may be more your speed), but it's certainly a sexy one.