Dame’s Suction Vibrator Feels Like Getting Oral From A Cloud

I’m trying to be less of a dick to my clitoris. This feels embarrassing to say, as a 29-year-old woman who has never had any major qualms with it. I mean, we’ve been through a lot: there was The Summer of Yeast Infections; the experience of visiting Judy Chicago’s art installation of plated vulvas (equal parts empowering and exclusionary); the awkward fingering of sexual partners past and uninformed masturbating techniques. These were products of a predominantly cishet, cultural obsession with vaginal penetration. Growing up, that was real sex. Correct pleasure. The necessary foundation for an orgasm, as seen on MTV and in health class. Which. Is. Bonkers. Rude, really, when most of my climaxes have statistically been achieved through clitoral stimulation. Hence, why I was jazzed to try a new suction vibrator called "Aer" in my evolving quest for cliteracy. As the first-ever suction vibrator from sex-toy darling Dame, it’s the latest addition to an impressive repertoire of toys engineered for “closing the pleasure gap” by working with actual consumers on product development. On a scale of meh-to-astral-projection, where would this take my orgasm? Most importantly, how would it change my relationship with my clitoris? All of these questions (along with others you didn't ask) are answered below.
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Sleek enough to impress your mother, yet discreet enough not to be inappropriate should it land in the hands of a child.

My Aer didn’t just arrive. It made a full entrance in my parents’ mailbox (howdy, she’s quarantining with family) in a chic silver envelope, intriguing my mother and 3-yr-old nephew alike. “I had to let him open it,” she told me after they checked the mail, “it’s so shiny.” Golf claps for that one, Dame: you’ve made packaging sleek enough to impress your mother, yet discreet enough not to be inappropriate should it land in the hands of a child. Things like that matter.
Within the envelope was a tie-dye, blue-grey pouch with a silky, moss green lining – and therein was my Aer: matte, smooth, and about the size of a small mango. Light, and easy to hold. Gender-neutral, with its cloudy lilac color. Hell, it even matched my nail polish. On paper, it was perfect. Made from medical grade silicone? Yup. Eco-friendly? Cue the magnetic USB rechargeable. Water-resistant? Mhm.

Aer’s rumble is actually pretty deep and was even more muffled once the suction part touched my skin.

I was bummed when I turned it on and it sounded like a swarm of deep-voiced jet skis. “Mom, can you hear my vibrator?” are words I never want to say (and still haven’t, although, honestly, she DGAF; last week she called a vagina a “piss flap”), so I waited to toy with the motor intensity when I knew my family was watching TV. But here’s the thing I forgot about new vibrators: if you’re afraid it will be loud in that initial unboxing, it will always seem louder. Aer’s rumble is actually pretty deep (unlike the shrieking motor of my favorite headbang dildo), and was even more muffled once the suction part touched my skin. Duh, I thought, placing my pointer finger over the hole, then over my stomach, then over my nipple (shoe fits!). Sweet relief for discretion’s sake and because, well, I was rooting for Dame. This company was founded by sexologist Alexandra Fine and engineer Janet Lieberman in 2014 — who have since talked passionately about holding their products to the same standard of “value engineering” they saw in every other electronic device, and about changing the world of sex toy development in the larger scheme of changing the way we talk about sex. A world of intentional vibrating, if you will. 
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Alas, the clit is not a Bop It. Aer understands that.

For me, the first sign of a good vibrator is seeing how my body responds in the initial seconds of use. Before I feel stimulated – and we’re talking seconds here — I should feel like some tiny ghosts just cracked my whole back. My spine becomes a noodle. My breathing is better, deeper. In that sense, Aer is a testament to its namesake; it’s so light and ergonomic that it felt like a natural extension of my palm, traveling around my clit as if it had been there before and instantly getting me to relax. For me, that’s convenient — and I imagine that for people who seek more accessible toys, it’s a relief. Especially when we’re working with the clit. “Unfortunately, this isn't an organ that's usually taught about in school or otherwise,” says Dr. Li Lock, Interim Director of Education and Research Associate at Planned Parenthood Great Plains, and the Research Specialist at Transgender Training Institute, “It's often up to individuals to figure it out for themselves. Some folx may enjoy direct external stimulation of the exposed head, packed with nerve endings; others may prefer a deeper internal stimulation of the parts of the clitoris extending inside the body, using fingers or toys. Some folx may like a lot of attention on the clitoris; for others, it may be too intense or uncomfortable.” Lots of things, they emphasize, “can change how our bodies feel (like hormone therapy, birth control, pregnancy, etc.), which may impact our preferences for different types of stimulation.” Sex educator Haley Hasen agrees. As the founder of a “trans, sex worker/ erotic labor, kink/BDSM, STI, fat-body, mental health/ illness, disability-affirming, anti-racist and ANTI-anti-Semitic” platform, she’s passionate about giving the clit the attention it deserves. “I was taught in a very cishet, binary sex education way,” she says. “I believed until a few years ago that penetrative sex was strictly for male pleasure and that my job was to lay there and pretend to enjoy it. I thought I was ‘broken’ because I could not orgasm. I always knew it was there but was never taught what to do with it. Rub it? Flick it? Scratch it?” 
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Alas, the clit is not a Bop It. Aer understands that. The five speeds and patterns were easy to play around with, and edged me into climax for a few minutes without numbing, hurting, or overwhelming my clit. I especially appreciate this as a right-brained bean who tends to lose my orgasm(s) in the pattern-tap-dance of toys that have, like, 20 different settings. Remember, your body is smart. You share a language that will both memorize, and evolve your path to pleasure. But sometimes, less is more when you’re building that kind of communication. 

We deserve not only trust with our vibrators, we deserve chemistry.

If I’m honest, Aer helped me realize that I wasn’t just sleeping on the power of the clit during my early twenties – I was gaslighting its abilities. I love penetration. I also love marzipan. But that doesn’t mean I should build every delicious meal off of a foundation of almond meal when garlic tostones also exist. “I highly recommend watching yourself in a mirror to learn how your body depicts pleasure,” says Halsen, who has “moved away from an orgasm-based mindset, and towards a pleasure-based mindset” as she continues to explore clitoral pleasure, and I'm going to do the same. In terms of brainpower, it helps so much to have Aer on my side. It gives me confidence (and orgasms). Its sensitivity feels near-sentient (also impressive, for a non-motion-sensor vibrator), and its whole aesthetic schtick — however lame as that might sound — feels elevated, but sincere. That's important because we deserve not only trust with our vibrators, we deserve chemistry.
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