This is part two of a multi-part review of the Fifty Shades of Grey product line. Obviously, all opinions here are mine and completely subjective. To judge for yourself, visit our store.
After being pleasantly surprised by the thoughtfulness and high quality of the lubes and body care products in the Fifty Shades of Grey line, I looked forward to reviewing the toys. In a nutshell, a lot of thought went into the discreet packaging, the thorough instructions, and making the toys useful to beginner users.
Fifty Shades Vibrators: It’s all about the instructions.
I’ll be honest: the vibrators in the Fifty Shades of Grey product line are basic. Really basic. In some cases, there are other toys out there that offer more speeds and intensity for less money. The Fifty Shades of Grey tie-in line tries to be as complete as possible for users who only have access to adult products through stores like Target. To appeal to a broad audience, designers gave a lot of thought to the packaging. Discreet monochromatic boxes contain instruction manuals, grey satin-like storage bags and thick storage boxes for the heavier toys. Quotes from the book related to the toy highlight the boxes’ exteriors.
What makes these toys interesting are the instructions. The Fifty Shades toy manuals are well-written guides full of instructions, ideas, and diagrams for using the toys on women and men. The toys are reasonably good for someone new to using vibrators, but the instructions make them invaluable!
The toys themselves are somewhat basic, but decent quality and enough power for a beginner. The Insatiable Desire Mini G-Spot Vibrator is a light-to-medium strength silicone vibrator with three speeds and seven pulsation patterns. The single AAA battery (not included) doesn’t provide this silicone vibe with a lot of power for toy users needing oomph, and it’s more for a G-spot beginner. To that end, the instructions detail how and where to find a woman’s G-spot. (For the record, I have never seen a toy that came with instructions on finding the G-spot until this one.)
Boasting hard plastic with a velvet-touch coating, three speeds and four pulsation patterns, the Charlie Tango Classic Vibrator is a longer, insertable toy with a bit more power than the Insatiable Desire (and a bit louder, too). Any kind of lubricant will work for this slender, charcoal gray vibe. It’s a well-made, basic vibe similar to the Bswish Bgood Classic, and comes with a grey satin storage bag.
The We Aim to Please Vibrating Bullet is the one toy I’m seriously disappointed with in the line. It’s a one-speed bullet vibrator made of hard plastic. There are other bullet vibes on the market that offer more speeds for the same price (or less), such as the Power Bullet Platinum 3″. It comes with the standard grey storage bag, but the creative use ideas in the manual aren’t enough to redeem this one.
A stretchy, one-speed silicone erection ring will keep a man harder longer while vibrating on her clitoris. It’s nice to see a toy in this line specifically for men, and the matte silicone texture has a pleasant feel and is easy to grip. The Yours and Mine Vibrating Love Ring comes with extra batteries and a silver storage bag.
Non-Vibrating Toys Offer a Bit of Everything
Two sets of Kegel balls, anal toys, and a glass dildo round out the toy portion of the Fifty Shades line. These are simple but well-constructed toys with beginners in mind (with one massive exception).
Kegel balls (also called Ben Wa balls) became immensely popular after being featured in the books. Kegel balls strengthen the vaginal muscles and pelvic floor and help improve bladder control. When in use, the balls constantly massage the vaginal walls; this feeling has been associated with intense sexual arousal. The Fifty Shades line offers two types of balls: one for beginner-to-intermediate users, and one set for very advanced users.
The Delicious Pleasure Silicone Pleasure Balls are shiny silver plastic Kegel balls in a removable matte silicone sleeve. The ball-within-a-ball design creates gentle movement inside the vagina. The balls can be used in the sleeve for easy insertion and removal, or by themselves for additional challenge. Water-based lubricant should be used with these if contained in the silicone sleeve, but if the plastic balls are used alone, any lube will do.
For the advanced Kegel ball user, the Inner Goddess Silver Pleasure Balls are two solid steel balls weighing nearly 7 ounces attached to a silicone cord with a metal retrieval tab. My first reaction to picking up the box was, “These things are heavy!” Due to their impressive weight, they come in a sturdy storage box plus the normal silver storage bag. I have never found a set of Kegel balls this heavy before, and am frankly surprised that the Fifty Shades line included such an advanced toy among their products.
The product line offers two toy options for exploring anal play. The Something Forbidden Butt Plug is a 2-inch (6 cm) silicone anal probe. It’s not really a “plug” because it has a ring on the end rather than a flat base to prevent complete insertion. Someone should hold onto the ring during use to prevent it slipping all the way inside. On the plus side, the ring is larger than usual and would be comfortable for larger fingers to grip. The non-porous silicone also makes it hygienic and easy to clean afterwards.
The other anal toy option is a series of graduated oblong silicone anal beads with a ring on the end. The Pleasure Intensified Anal Beads vary in size from 1/4 inch to 1 inch, so nothing too intimidating. They come with a storage bag, instructions, and advice on lubrication and insertion. Once again, the instructions make this toy an excellent choice for those new to anal play.
Finally, the toy portion of the Fifty Shades is complete with the Drive Me Crazy Glass Massage Wand, a slightly curved glass dildo with bumps on one side for extra stimulation (and easier grip). The curve makes G-spot and prostate massage easier. The clear glass is pretty enough, but it’s a little expensive for as simple as it is. Glass offers a lot of possibilities regarding texture and color of which other lines like gläs and Icicles take full advantage, and in comparison this Massage Wand is aesthetically very bland.
Overall, the toys that Fifty Shades does well are done very well. The instructions alone are a reason to suggests these for beginners. Even the simpler toys are constructed with good-to-excellent materials. There is nothing I would consider poorly made; my only complaint is that some of them don’t offer as much variety as other toys at a comparable price.