My partner and I have wanted to try a sex toy like the Astrea II: Remote Vibrating Thong for a long time, for probably the usual reasons people want to use such toys: an interest in discreet public play, control dynamics, and the plain ol’ glory that is a vibrator. We were pretty excited when the package arrived, even though the diamond shaped purple box looks like it could equally house a product for yeast infection or bikini hair removal. A little too Lifetime, for me, but it could be a lot worse. They were obviously trying to make it tasteful, for which a little bit of credit is deserved.
A consideration for tastefulness is also apparent in the thong itself – sexy and comfortable, despite a big honkin’ piece of vibrating plastic that is strangely reminiscent of the early menstruation days when I wore pads big enough to smuggle Haitian immigrants. After a while, the vibrator is… still ridiculous, but it feels less awkward and the peculiarity of the experience is overcome by the thrill of being in public, anticipating the moment when my partner turns it on.
The vibrator’s volume is barely audible, which is impressive given the intensity of the vibration. It’d be perfect – if I was in the right place. The little pocket meant to hold the vibrator in the thong is slightly too low for it to actually vibrate my clit. Maybe it’s not supposed to do that? Seems odd. If I was going to have a truly magnificent, possibly orgasmic outing with my partner, there would definitely be some stimulation of my clit involved. Instead, I spent most of the time joking with him about trying to adjust the way I was sitting or standing (hunched over) so that it would stimulate my clit more and my labia less.
It feels pretty decent and there is a lot of potential in this product; however, a significant design flaw is still enough to lead to disappointment. And I was.
Oh, and speaking of flaws – the thong will fit “most sizes” according to the box, but unless you purchase this toy from Babeland or some other self-respecting online source, you may not know that the thong only fits up to a 38” waist.
The first one that Babeland shipped to us happened to be defective. While that was unfortunate and caused a delay in our testing of the product, these things are bound to happen, but Babeland quickly set it right, and in the end, it afforded us a very interesting insight into the product. But more on that later.
The Astrea II is one of many of California Exotic Novelties and the Berman Center’s offerings into the sex toy realm. The box makes me think of the word “Monistat” every time that I see it. I’m not sure of why this word comes to mind, and the association that implies is a bit odd too, but I can only chalk it up to my deep seated emotional problems or expert package design.
The product itself is a remarkably simple design and a great idea. Just like Communism. It is a relatively small vibrating square that is inserted into a pouch in the crotch of lace panties. The on/off functionality of the vibrator is controlled by a “compact wireless mini remote control” intended to be in the hands of your partner. That way you can play with power dynamics and radio waves at the same time!
Also like Communism, this device fails miserably in practice and application. One major flaw prevents this product from being worth while. It is in the wrong place for clitoral stimulation. Obviously I can’t comment on this firsthand, but I am told by Her that because of this flaw, the product does not do that much for her. And that doesn’t do anything for me.
The appeal for the person holding the superfluously large remote control (almost 4 inches) is being able to make the person wearing the vibe squirm and writhe with the flip of a switch. Ideally this could be done in situations that She would have to strive to control herself in. Instead, it made her giggle and jump a little the first few times I did it and then She barely responded at all. So what I end up with is a large piece of plastic with a little red light that I can turn on and off instead of the remote control to Her pleasure.
Ok, you get the idea of why I dislike this product. Instead of continuing to beat a dead horse, I’ll move on to the interesting (and hilarious) thing that we learned about this product by ending up with two of them.
The malfunction in the first one was in the remote. The vibe worked fine, which we learned when we got the second one. When I activated the second vibe with the remote, the first one came on too. That’s right. They all work on the same frequency.
Take a moment to think about the implications of this.
For me, it means one of two things; The manufacturer of this product either thought that they would never actually sell enough of them that there would be two in close range of one another, or they were just so short sighted that they honestly didn’t think to worry about it.
I like to think the first.