Toy Review – The Crescendo by MysteryVibe
God I hate this toy. I hate this toy more because it was actually not a terrible idea but the reality of it falls so short, it can only build a deep resentment for its horrible failure. MysteryVibe supposedly took a very long time in releasing this toy due to changes made from reviewer feedback, and even after all that waiting I still feel like they severely jumped the gun.
The Crescendo is a silicone, rechargeable, waterproof, flexible, six motor vibrator which came into existence through a crowdfunding campaign, a forty five person team at MysteryVibe, and a handful of product development companies. As I looked into MysteryVibe’s company and the number of people who are involved with this toy went up, so did my disappointment.
First of all, I want to address the way the MysteryVibe website talks about this toy. I understand the way companies market their products and I understand that not every single person in the world will agree with others about the quality of a product, but I feel very strongly that MysteryVibe is sort of misrepresenting the opinions of actual Crescendo owners by touting its excellence through the voices of literally everyone but.
On the Crescendo page the first paragraph reads “Loved by thousands, desired by millions.”
I’m sorry…millions? Who did that survey? Millions of people even know about the Crescendo in the first place and when explicitly asked, said they absolutely desired such a thing? I would love to see this data.
The description goes on to say that “Everyone from sex bloggers to TechCrunch, GQ, The Guardian, The BBC, Glamour, Vice, Bustle and more are raving about it.”
Interesting, I follow a lot of sex bloggers, some at the top of the reviewing industry, and I have yet to see any one of them rave about the Crescendo. Of course that doesn’t mean that no one who reviews sex toys enjoys this one, I don’t know everyone in this industry… but you would think that if there were lots of sex writers among the millions of happy customers raving about their toy, MysteryVibe might quote at least one of them in their Testimonials page? It would be reasonable to think that a sex toy company would value the opinions of sex toy reviewers quite highly, right?
Wrong. The Testimonials page sees input from a handful of people including tech companies, those from other sex toy manufacturers (who also do not receive a mass of praise from reviewers), the CEO of a porn awards company, a “leading blogger” who does not review toys, and a photographer. Nothing against Sigurdur William, but when I’m trying to decide whether or not a tiny machine will cause me great sexual ecstasy when placed upon my genitals, I don’t consult with the guy who takes pictures of landscapes unless he is offering his own personal review of his Crescendo experience – but that does not seem to be the case. Like almost everyone else quoted in these testimonials, he just thinks it’s a cool idea.
I did some Google digging to find the positive reviews of this toy that I know are out there and see where myself and those people differ in opinion. What I found was that even with the people who did enjoy the Crescendo, their reviews are no “raves,” many still point out a number of issues and cannot recommend the toy for a wide variety of people.
Which brings me to my next gripe, none of these testimonials on the MysteryVibe website actually say that the Crescendo is a good toy, they say that it’s an interesting toy. There are a plethora of interesting toys out there, but interesting, unique, and yes oftentimes even innovative do not automatically equate to good, useful, and pleasurable. I actually think that as I mentioned earlier about MysteryVibe jumping the gun, companies lean too heavily on being “new and unique!” and fall flat on delivering reliable, pleasurable, quality product. This trend is doing everyone a massive diservice, especially when unique-but-fucking-miserable-to-use products are retailing at almost two hundred dollars a pop. Few average sex toy consumers can afford to blow that kind of cash on something that was promised to wow them with its fancy bells and whistles but leaves them utterly disappointed when you get it out of the box. Many sex toy manufacturers and retailers (understandably) don’t give refunds for used sex toys, and lots of consumers wouldn’t even think to try even if the company does take them back. I can’t return a 6 pack of underwear that is in a sealed bag, so why would I think I could return a used sex toy? Even less will go through the hassle (and sometimes embarrassment) of returning a toy and going back on the hunt for a new one that serves them better. There are a number of people outside the sex toy connoisseur realm that honestly don’t understand that not all toys are the same, and that a bad experience with one shouldn’t mean writing off all of them forever. It gets even worse when companies use a lot of advertising that makes it sound like their product will work for everyone – we feel like we’re whats wrong with the equation when the toy doesn’t satisfy us. “Loved by thousands, desired by millions?” Well then I must be a freak with a fucked up vulva – right? – because I hate this toy. I’m extremely familiar with saying those words, I’m very well versed on the fact that some – nay, many – sex toys just fucking suck and it’s got nothing to do with me personally, and I’m at a point in my personal sexual travels where I don’t truly feel broken when a toy doesn’t suit me, but millions of people out there are not me. For millions of people out there, this kind of shit is tough to handle.
Finally, companies need to be more careful in trying to frame their toys as better than others, they’re almost never correct. The little illustration is perfectly fine, but MysteryVibe asserting that their toy is suitable for all genders, bodies, sexual orientations and couplings where previous types of toys were not, is just not true. Plenty of people with penises, single people, people with prostates and the appropriate attachments, pansexuals, disabled people, etc use wand-style vibrators. A single lesbian can use a pocket rocket. A polyamorous married gay trans person can use a Rabbit. The Crescendo is non-phallic and it bends, yes, great….but it didn’t break the gender, sexuality, orientation, or marital status barrier. Are all the toys listed in the infograph usually marketed towards specific demographics? Yes, but MysteryVibe isn’t calling out shitty biased marketing, they’re trying to tell you that their toy is the first toy that everyone can use. This is false. (Also, don’t you fucking come for my Hitachi or so help me god…)
Anyway, rant over, I guess I’ll talk about the toy…
The one thing MysteryVibe did really well is packaging and by golly do I wish a pretty box could give me an orgasm. Sadly, that’s not the case, because the box is the best part of the whole thing.
The Crescendo magnetically charges on this little plastic charging saucer, which may or may not work for you. While I still cringe every time I have to forcefully pierced the skin of my waterproof toys, terrified that I am breaking them, I have an equally difficult time with magnetic chargers – namely that the toy always manages to roll or get knocked off said charger and when I come back to use it later, it’s still dead. If you’re someone with a cluttered nightstand and/or cats…good luck. (Cat owners know what I’m talking about.)
I will give them credit for separate intensity buttons and separate mode buttons, but if you asked me without looking at it what side each were on and which direction they go in…I’d have no idea. You may think I’m being too picky but there’s nothing like being right on the edge of orgasm and wanting to turn the intensity up but accidentally turning it down or changing the pattern. All this variety gets a bit dangerous.
And let me talk about variety for a moment. SO. MANY. PATTERNS. Turns out, in small-scale studies, people don’t actually like patterns. There is one mode lost somewhere in the middle of it all that is just steady vibration but it’s for all six motors at once. That’s it. Every single other mode is a pattern of some sort. I will continue to yell and scream about patterns once I talk about the shape.
First up : What the fuck is that? Where does that go? Why?
Best I can assume is that you’re supposed to place the Crescendo in such a way that each fin rests on either side of the clitoral shaft…but it’s so uncomfortable. Maybe because I completely lack said clitoral tissue that may or may not be intended to stuff inside this weird little channel, but all those fins do is dig into me. This is the kind of thing that makes me think nobody honestly tests these toys before they go into production, because sex toys keep showing up with points and edges and corners and sharp fin things. Genitals are sensitive, stuff that feels just soft and plush in your calloused, weather-beaten, life-toughened hands can and will feel so much different when you shove it between your legs. These things don’t do any kind of gentle fluttering across my skin like wings of little silicone sex butterflies…they jab me. Please stop.
It bends. Revolutionary! – except I can’t really think of a real-life scenario where I actually need it to do stuff like this. It’s cool that I could theoretically bend it in some sort of gentle L or C shape to fit between mine and my partner’s bodies during missionary, but I’d rather pick a different position and use a toy that actually gets me off than struggle to orgasm with something that can bend all fancy.
Ah yes, the G-spot AND clit vibe all in one, bonus if you can use it with a penis inside you à la We-Vibe wearables. Except….no. If you were to insert your first finger into a person’s vagina to where you can feel their G-spot, and then place your thumb on their clit and try to pinch, the space between your two fingers is not actually that great in a lot of vulva-havers. I can sort of force the Crescendo to make an even tighter C-shape, but then I can’t insert it. I have to leave it a bit loose and once it’s inserted, I have to push or pull it against my genitals to bend it again and that fuckin’ hurts (a problem I had with positioning We-Vibe wearables) With it bent like this, the parts of the toy that are actually making meaningful contact with my body are lodged up against my cervix and sitting flat atop my pubic mound. Not helpful.
Oh, but what about the other motors throughout the rest of the body? Cant I just push any part of the toy against my clit and solve the problem? I wish. Thanks to my clit being buried the way it is and the shape of the Crescendo being relatively flat, I have to find a way to pry my labia apart and shove something that’s flat and 1.5″ big between them. This just doesn’t work for me. All this flexibility doesn’t actually solve any problems in my life.
What if I completely abandon using all these amazing “features” of the Crescendo and just insert it like a dildo? Well…it’s fucking flat. I don’t like inserting this thing at all, regardless of how straight or bent the shape is. And what if I turn it on its side so the vibration is more pin-point against my clit? Well let’s talk about the intensity. Six motors right? And supposedly the two at the ends are equipped with “Powerboost” (something I’m seeing talked about in other people’s reviews, I can’t find anything in the manual or website about this) to make them stronger than the other four. Sounds great…performs terribly. Even if I ignore all the patterns and just turn the whole thing on full steady blast at its highest intensity, it’s buzzy. My Tango on its lowest setting is more powerful than the Crescendo at its best.
Now let me get back to the patterns. Oh man, those patterns.
You can use any of the ones that are pre-loaded into the app/toy or create your own. Most the ones that are pre-loaded have a tendency to use the entire length of the toy, but as I mentioned before I can’t find any configuration that gives me decent use of the full nine inches this toy is. This means there’s moments in the pattern that are vibrating the air or non-responsive parts of my genitals, or most likely my hand. Wow. So good. I love handgasms. [insert eye-roll emoji here] If MysteryVibe had spent a fraction of their time developing these twenty seven currently available patterns on making even one of their six motors decent, maybe we’d be getting somewhere.
Finally, let’s discuss the app. I am the woman who loves sex toy apps, surely this must be my favourite part?
For reasons I can’t understand the use of the app involves this weird swiping of the “Play” or “Vibes” bubbles, and to get back to the home screen requires an equally strange swiping motion (which is indicated nowhere on the app page, nothing happens if you just tap them and once you’re away from the home page there is no little bubble to swipe to let you get back to the home page, you just have to guess.)
The app worked okay out of the box, but then I had other reviews to write and set the toy aside for a couple of weeks. When I brought it back out a few days ago and went to connect I was informed I needed an update. Thats fine.
And then there’s syncing…fine fine fine
I tried at least a dozen times over an hour to no avail. Without completing the update, my Crescendo wont sync to the app, which means I can’t use the app to control the toy. So that’s pretty useless to me now. I tried deleting and reinstalling the app with no success. I don’t know if the app is just buggy in its current version or if my Crescendo will never again pair with my cellphone, but neither possibility is something I would be excited to pay almost two hundred bucks for.
In conclusion : terrible. I’m sorry, I want to applaud MysteryVibe for their obvious tons of effort in bringing the sex toy world an interesting and innovative design, and lots of customizability, but a mechanism that can actually deliver an orgasm will always outweigh the neat design it’s packaged in. For the considerable amount of time and work that went into developing this toy I just cannot believe it actually feels so awful.
Big thanks to Luvoqa for sending me the Crescendo to review!
If you’d like to give it a try, you can purchase yours here.