Toy Review – The We-Vibe 4Plus and Sync
Hi there! Been a while huh? You might have noticed (or maybe you didn’t) that the site looks a little different than the last time you dropped by – that’s because for the better part of 4 months I’ve been having this fancy new one built for me and had to migrate all my content over. What did I do with the rest of the year since my last post? Oh nothing, just attended my first Woodhull Sexual Freedom Summit, and let’s see, what else….oh right just a little thing called becoming a permanent resident. No big deal, it only granted me the legal right to live and work in Canada now, after 4 years of waiting…
Anyway, it’s good to have you back! Enough about me, let’s dive into my first new review.
You’re getting a bit of a 2-for-1 special this time around. The whole reason I wound up with the new We-Vibe Sync is because I mentioned on twitter a couple months back that I really wanted to try it, as I didn’t love my 4Plus and hoped the new design addressed some of my issues. I’m going to talk about both of them here since much of what I have to say about one has a lot to do with the other, and I haven’t had the chance to review the 4Plus yet either.
Let me get the usual unboxing out of the way and then I’ll start comparing the two toys
This little pod design is new to the Sync. Unlike the old chargers and holders, everything can cram inside the case nice and tidy. When charging, the cable plugs into the back of the pod and you can leave the cover over the remote and toy. The little light in the front glows to let you know what’s going on.
The We-Vibe logo is still pasted on the front of it, but it’s slightly more discreet than the old charging port. Certainly better suited for keeping everything together if you’re traveling or have a particularly messy bedside drawer like I do.
So now onto the toys. Funny bit about how I came into possession of the 4Plus – I only bought the 4Plus because it came in a kit that had a white Tango in it. I really wanted a Tango but I’m not in love with the standard blue and pink it comes it when you buy it alone, so I spent the extra money to get the Passionate Play kit just so I could have a prettier vibrator. Story. Of. My. Life. I’d been eyeing up We-Vibe’s “couple’s toys” as this line is called since they first came out years ago, but convinced they wouldn’t really work for my body, kept putting off a purchase. I guess the Tango finally gave me a good enough excuse to splurge.
(I’m probably not going to review the Tango, I’ll just say right now that it’s great. It’s tiny, waterproof, and quiet, I use it almost every night. What else can I say?. Just about every other sex blogger out there has reviewed it if you want to hear more about it. Check out my blogroll!)
After tearing into the Tango a couple times I finally got around to trying out the other half of the kit – the 4Plus (which also came in a great non-standard color.) My fears of the We-Vibe wearable vibrator were all confirmed : it doesn’t really work for me. Why not?
– The external part of the toy doesn’t sit right between my labia. First of all, I have to really pry myself apart to wedge the arm in and that hurts. If I have the toy positioned how it’s supposed to be worn, the underside of the clitoral part is barely touching me, and the very tip of the external part is sort of digging into my pubic tissue. Worn this way, the stimulation I do manage to get is not nearly strong enough to get me to cum.
– The internal part of the toy overshoots my G-spot. Again, if I have the toy positioned correctly, things just don’t line up properly to provide the maximum stimulation.
– The internal motor is kind of weak.
– The external motor isn’t a whole lot better – not when you’re used to struggling to orgasm with the Hitachi on the highest setting.
Things get a little better if I wear the 4Plus the wrong way, but that’s not really a solution is it? To wear it the wrong way I just dont push it all the way into my vagina. The problem with this is that if I want to actually use the toy while being penetrated as it’s specifically designed for, the toy just gets pulled out completely with each withdrawl, or crunched into my body in a painful manner with each forward thrust. If I want to comfortably wear the 4Plus while being penetrated, I have to wear it in such a way that I can’t really feel the vibrations. What’s the point?
Regardless of which way I wear it, the moment I start to move is the moment the toy’s springs and my vaginal muscles collude to force the toy out of place, and consequently onto the floor. If I want to play with the 4Plus I have to make sure I’m wearing my very tightest pair of underwear overtop it to make sure I don’t displace a vibrator down my pantleg or halfway across the bedroom floor, which again means I can’t use it during sex. Or I manually hold it in place, completely defeating this whole “hands-free” purpose of a wearable sex toy.
It was my hope that the new adjustable Sync would rid me of all these complaints, that I would finally get to experience a truly hands-free wearable vibrator with a clitoral arm (I have a G-spot toy that I like quite a lot, but I really need clit stim to get off)
Sadly, it just wasn’t meant to be I guess. The Sync is all-around just a little bit better than the 4Plus, I wont deny that, but it’s still not rocking my world. Even with the added adjustability, I still can’t keep the damn thing in place. I gain points in some ways, lose them in others. I don’t think this is helped by the added 13 grams in weight the Sync has on the 4Plus. A couple of grams doesn’t sound like a big deal, but when it comes to something spring-loaded onto your bits these things matter. For me, the interal part of the toy either isn’t long enough to really hook past that ring of muscle in my vaginal canal, or the shape is just not large enough to give me something to grip on to. This is made more surprising to me considering the Sync’s body has gotten a bit bigger than the 4Plus
Either way, I don’t want to be clenching for dear life while I’m also gunning for an orgasm, and I shouldn’t have to.
On top of the weight issue, the adjustable arm is actually taking away from that clip-on feature of the 4Plus. The 4Plus arm was too tight and wanted to push the toy off of me in order to “close” the two ends, but with the Sync if I adjust it so that each end is where I need it to be in order to feel it the most, then there is nothing gripping onto me helping the toy to stay in place. With it just sort of resting inside me with nothing to hold onto, it’s even more likely to just fall out or get pushed out with the slightest contraction.
There has to be some happy-medium between this, but I don’t know what it is. Clearly the We-Vibe wearable toys are just not made with me in mind. I can still get that “clip-on” effect with the Sync, but because the spring has been replaced by “hinges”, it means that I have to sort of squeeze the toy shut on my body, which hurts, (or do a silly adjust – put it in – take it out – adjust a bit more – put it back in – take it back out – adjust again- put it back in song and dance to get it right) in order to change the bend and make it “tight” enough to latch on. But again, that means neither motor is hitting the right spots à la 4Plus.
My final problem with the adjustable arm, is that for me to get the internal motor to hit my G-spot the right way, I have to bend it so that the motor is angled a bit up and then down again. Full disclosure: I haven’t tried these with a human partner, I’ve only fucked myself with dildos to test these out, but the results should be relatively the same considering I’m using one of my smallest and most life-like dildos (The Mustang), not anything huge or weird shaped. Any time that I have tried to wear the Sync in the way that’s best for my body, it’s terrible for what I’m penetrating myself with. The head of the dildo (and presumably also a penis if I were to use this with a partner) gets sort of caught on the end of the Sync because it’s angled downwards, and drags or starts to pull the toy out. I cannot imagine that would feel very good for a penis, it doesn’t feel good as it’s happening inside me, so I still can’t use this very comfortably as a “couple’s” toy the way most people do.
So how does the 4Plus and Sync fare as just a fun little remote-controlled accessory if I’m not going to wear it during penetrative sex?
The We-Vibe app is absolutely not the worst app I’ve ever seen, but it’s just not great either. I’ll admit that once I find a toy or app that I really enjoy I become a bit jaded towards everything else. I want to know why all the others just can’t manage to be as good as this favorite. Even if the favorite isn’t truly perfect, it becomes elevated to perfect-like when I have something to compare it to.
My favorite app controlled toy is made by Lovense. Their app is just worlds more intuitive and easy to use than I find We-Vibe’s to be. To be fair I thought We-vibe’s was fine until I tried the Lovense one so again, it’s not horrible. It could just be better. How?
Well first of all it could stop crashing. The Sync has been out for a few months at the time of this review, easily hundreds of people got one before I did, so you’d expect any major bugs in the added features to the app to have been worked out by now. Unfortunately I’m not finding that to be the case. Other bloggers I’ve talked to haven’t seemed to run into the crashes that I’m experiencing, but I don’t know what else I can blame here, I’ve updated the app and my phone OS, but the crashes persist. We-Vibe’s app developers must have a bajillion crash reports from me by now. I never experienced these crashes with my 4Plus, but the Sync uses two new modes that the 4Plus is not configured for so I’m left to believe it’s a problem with these additions.
The app could also actually work when you try to “connect a lover” to it. I can connect the toys to my own phone just fine, but with both the 4Plus and the Sync, it took several dozen attempts to get my husband’s phone to connect with them. By the time he finally paired up and was able to start controlling my toy…the app crashed!
Neither of these issues is something I want to deal with when I’m attempting to engage in some sort of sexual activity. App crashes and error messages are not arousing.
Once you’re paired up and inside the app – if it doesn’t crash – you have the option of choosing which mode you want to play with. The 4Plus is limited to the pre-loaded 10 (which I don’t really mind, and I’m not usually a pattern person) and an option to create your own. The Sync’s new features are “Beat Mode” and “Touch Mode”.
The “Create Mode” is one of my biggest gripes. To use it, you can do one of two things. You can choose from the pre-loaded 10 patterns and set how many seconds you want the pattern to run and at what intensity each motor should run at, and then you add another pattern and set its duration, and then another, and another until you’ve accumulated enough time (each pattern can only go as long as 2 minutes so if you want this to keep going for a while you have to make a million additions)
The other option is to “draw” the pattern, but the graph is so shrunk that any variance in the intensity is sort of quite drastic, and again it’s time length is limited so if you want to have a widely varied pattern you have to keep making a bunch of these.
So why does this bother me so much? I’m going to revert back to what I said earlier – Lovense did it better. They don’t have a set of pre-loaded patterns on their app like We-Vibe does, but they do let other users create and upload their patterns for you to download and use if you like them. Their interface for creating a vibe is all touch-based. The timeline starts scrolling horizontally on the screen and you just drag your finger up and down the screen however you wish, creating waves or spikes or straight-aways that can be as rough or gradual as you like. When you’re done you can adjust how fast the whole thing plays, and you can change that speed at any time. You can also go for basically as long as you like, I’ve seen other people’s shared patterns exceed 30 minutes. If your partner is controlling the toy instead, they either “send” you a pre-made pattern, or they draw the pattern in real time. The Lovense app also will let you just sit for periods of time, so you can be drawing patterns one moment and if say, for instance, your waiter walks up to the table, you just take your fingers off your phone and the toy stops vibrating. When it’s all clear to keep playing, you just touch your phone again, no building and saving and sending a pattern nonsense. All you need to do is touch. Everything about this is so much more user-friendly in my mind. Also their app has never crashed on me in the middle of trying to have an orgasm.
I was very hopeful when I saw the Sync can use the new “Touch Mode”, but unfortunately We-Vibe’s idea of a touch mode is nothing like Lovense’s. With We-Vibe, it’s just a blank screen that you swipe your finger across in any which direction, and (if the app doesn’t immediately crash on you) quickly scribbling back and forth seems to make the vibrations more intense. This is absolutely not something I would ever put so much work into in order to stimulate myself, and I definitely don’t recommend this mode if you’re trying to do any sort of public play – frenzied swiping and scribbling is not discreet.
The “Beat Mode” is nothing new – concept wise. It either uses your phone’s microphone to react to the sound around you, or digs into your phone’s music library to vibrate along to whatever song you put on. We-Vibe’s version of this does let you adjust each motor to treble, neutral, or bass in the song, which is neat but I just don’t know that I’d put that much work into this one either.
I personally don’t find either addition to the app to be much of an upgrade. And did I mention I can’t keep it from crashing? You can totally forego the use of the app and use the button on the top or the enclosed little remote, but I’m a sucker for app-controlled toys and if that’s what the toy is being billed as then I really want them to fucking work!
So what’s the conclusion to all this? I very very rarely use either of these toys. On a few occasions I popped one in to warm me up for later while I was sitting still at my desk doing some internetting, and I have with considerable struggle managed to eke out a couple dissatisfying orgasms with them, but for the most part if they just up and disappeared tomorrow I can’t say I’d notice, and I just don’t think I’m built for this particular type of toy (or they’re not built for me.)
Big thanks to We-Vibe for making it possible for me to give the Sync a chance, even if things didn’t work out in the end!