From custom fleshlights to the Autoblow 2, men have slew of high tech oral sex stimulators at their disposal. It was high time we ladies got ours, particularly given that most of us require some form of clitoral stimulation to orgasm.
On first hearing about the concept of the Womanizer -an allegedly revolutionary suction-based clitoral stimulator from German company Epi24- I was pretty intrigued. However after my first spin with it, I’ll confess I was on point of roundly panning the device (bear with me).
What's MEH about it
$$$. It retails for $189 in the US. That’s a steep gamble on an unconventional product. (I was personally thinking, “That’s like 13 old fashioneds at a chichi midtown joint- to justify that kind of pricetag this thing better be mindmeltingly good”)
QUESTIONABLE AESTHETICS. If you’ve ever looked at an ear thermometer and thought “This is great, but it’d be even better if looking at it literally seared my retinas” you’re in luck! You can chose from such tasteful, understated design options as leopard print, giant roses, several shades of iridescent faux crocodile skin, and (the version I went for) a hilarious Ed Hardyeqsue “Tattoo” style. All come equipped with a giant hokey gemstone button that serves to dial up the intensity
- PROBLEMATIC NAME. Maybe something got lost in translation or the Germans have a weird fetish for Britney circa ’08 the way they do for Hasselhoff, but stateside the name has problematic connotations, particularly given that the device is supposed to be focused on leaving women happy and satisfied
Putting aside my kneejerk apprehension, I set out to try and evaluate the performance of the Womanizer as objectively as I could.
HOW IT WORKS
The splashproof, USB-rechargeable device consists of a soft silicone tip attached to a hard plastic body that features two control buttons: a small silver on/off switch and the aforementioned garish gemstone button that toggles between five intensity levels.
When you hit the “on” button the silicone tip starts to glow an ominous red reminiscent of Hal 3000's all-seeing eye. I’m still not entirely sure if the red glow is meant to evoke sensuality, help you find your clit in the dark, or something else entirely.
Anyway, when the device is turned on it produces subtle, relatively quiet suction and vibration sensations localized in the silicone tip meant to contact with your body (the vibrations can’t be felt in the handle of the device).
If you touch your finger to the tip you will feel the subtle suction- though I was taken aback at first by how gentle it was. Initially I worried my device was either defective or else that my beloved Hitachi and other …less subtle toys had ruined me for something so nuanced.
In any event, to use the device you position the silicone tip directly over your clit (the manufacturer suggests you can use a touch of water-based lube if you prefer) such that the gentle suction will seal it in place.
The ultimate sensation of the so-called “PleasureAir Technology” is less of a strong suction and more of a hyper-localized, gentle rhythmic variation in pressure *around* your clit, though without any direct contact. You can vary the intensity of the combined sensation and vibration by pressing the gemstone button to cycle through five levels of intensity- though quickly tapping the silver on/off button serves to reset you to the lowest level.
I made the mistake of giving my new toy its first test run with a partner. As I would later learn, the Womanizer is unequivocally better for solo play, as it functions best when held very still in place (effectively constraining you to be on your back) while it slowly, gradually draws blood into the clit to increase sensitivity and arousal.
The added friction, mental distraction and logistical coordination of doing anything with a partner while using it detracts from that delicate buildup and your ability to mentally center in on it. (Some consolation- though it was hard to enjoy the Womanizer’s intended function during sex, we did discover that it worked great for nipple stimulation...)
TAKE TWO (AND THREE, AND…)
My friends will tell you I’m not one to shrink from a challenge, so even after that dismal initial showing I was still determined to give the thing one more go to see how it could possibly justify all the glowing reviews I had read (to say nothing of the astronomical price tag). I decided to take a new tack and be a bit more patient with the toy, given how understated its sensations seemed to be. With my afternoon blocked off I got down to it.
Instead of dialing up the intensity to the higher levels as I had the first time, I decided to let it idle on the second level for a minute or so. Despite not really being in a particularly switched-on frame of mind I noticed that my body was nonetheless responding. Periodically I would slightly lift it off to re-engage the suction, which also felt pretty nice.
As I continued to tinker with the intensity levels I found myself thankful for the on/off button’s dual functionality as a means to reset to the lowest level since often times in matters of clitoral stimulation the line between “not intense enough” and “unpleasantly intense” can be a fine one.
A lot of the marketing around this toy has focused on how it allegedly enabled a preponderance of users to orgasm in “60 seconds or less”. Obviously everyone is different but I personally found this toy more satisfying when I used it to drive a more protracted build-up. Without putting too fine a point on it, this new approach worked like a charm every time.
The sensation of something so intensely localized and targeted will not be for everyone. The fact that the Womanizer requires patience (other reviewers have described it as a “meditative” toy), limits how you can move and what you can do in conjunction with it will also not be for everyone. But even for someone like me who typically prefers intense friction or penetration I found it to be a really nice change of pace and a very unique sensation unlike anything else I've encountered on the market. Contrary to many blunter instruments out there it really does force you to slow down and focus on your body, which I daresay is to the good.