I Wore a Vibrator During Sex So You Don’t Have To: A Review of The Newest Couples’ Sex Toy

Tiani 2

Lelo’s Tiani 2 Couples’ Vibrator.

If Charles and Ray Eames had designed vibrators, they would have looked like the Lelo Tiani 2, with its rounded corners and candy colors. I really wanted to love Lelo’s new Tiani 2 couples’ vibrator. Not only is it a valiant attempt to solve the intractable problem of the male anatomy– the inability of the penis to stimulate the clitoris during sexual intercourse–but also the device and its packaging is gorgeous. Ensconced in a sleek back rectangular box lined with velvet, the Tiani oozes luxury. It even includes a gold pin with Lelo’s logo. Maybe you’re meant to clip this pin to your lapel so that other  Tiani owners can identify each other, a hanky code for the sex-toy set.

So I approached the task of reviewing the revamped Tiani with excitement. Designed to be worn during intercourse, the Tiani 2 joins the cock ring in the pantheon of couples’ vibrators. Unlike the cock ring, the Tiani 2 attaches to the vagina, a much more difficult task, as the cock ring easily wraps around the penis like a genital wristwatch. A cavernous realm inhospitable to interlopers, the vagina is less capable of retaining sex toys within its vast, sloppy depths.

The thicker half of the Tiani 2 contains the vibrating motor; this is the part intended to be pressed up against the clitoris, while the insertable half of the vibrator (its “wearable attachment”) anchors the device in the interstices of the vagina. The Tiani 2 comes with two interchangeable attachments, one of which Lelo designed to stimulate the G-spot.

Since it’s a couples’ vibrator, I had to convince my AARP-eligible boyfriend to test it with me, which wasn’t difficult, as the Tiani 2 doesn’t resemble a medieval torture device, unlike some toys I’ve proposed. So last Sunday afternoon, after a breakfast of Nutella-and-marscapone stuffed French toast at Dino’s, we decided to try it out. Using the Tiani 2 requires a lot of prep work. It’s not like you can just pop it in and call it a day. It’s like preparing a tiny turkey for baking inside your vagina. You have to baste it with water-based lube, synch it to the remote, and then position it just so in your vagina’s dark, oven-like interior.

Foreshadowing our frustration to come, before we even placed the vibrator in my vagina, we argued about which way it should be worn. Since he’s an ex-engineer, I should’ve listened to his advice. He asserted that the larger stimulator should press against the clitoris, while I argued that it was supposed to be worn internally. So I did it my way, shoving the larger bulb into my vagina while the non-vibrating tail sadly poked out. It didn’t feel good, but it wasn’t completely unpleasant either, so I decided to pretend that it was the right way. To make things more disconcerting, I was wearing a cumbersome brace on my arm to protect a broken thumb which, when combined with the vibrating hot pink massager lodged in my crotch, made me feel like a discount sex robot with a bad attitude. At the same time, my boyfriend was slinging a chartreuse remote around, asking me if I could sense the vibrations changing speed in my vagina. It looked as if he were conducting a symphony in my pubis, an off-key, amateur production with an audience of zero.

But I soldiered on, offering my genitals as a testing ground. Of course my boyfriend, who’s not a dildographer, felt less of a sense of duty, but he tried not to let it show.

“Ow,” he said two seconds after we began having sex, a slight wince on his face. “Are you sure this is the right way?”

“I don’t know. Let’s keep going,” I responded without making eye contact because I wanted to retain the illusion that I was bringing him pleasure. Driven by his justified fear of the repercussions that would result if he gave up so early, he continued to have sex with me.

“Let’s try it the other way, just to see,” he gingerly requested. Since I wasn’t feeling much pleasure either, I agreed to awkwardly remove the Tiani 2 with my one working hand and insert it “his way”—also known as the right way. It felt good until about thirty seconds into sex, at which point it began to migrate from my clitoris to the right side of my pubis, skittering out of my vagina as it did so, until it unceremoniously plopped onto my $15 Target polyester blanket.

So we swapped out the attachment, hoping that this would solve the problem. Once again, after less than a minute of sex, the Tiani slithered out of my crotch with disdain. At this point I was convinced that my vagina was oddly shaped or that the designers of the Tiani had done little user testing. The package said that the earlier iteration of the Tiani had won a design award. Since my vagina has won no design awards, I tried to give the Tiani the benefit of the doubt.

“Maybe I do have an oddly shaped vagina,” I pondered, my sadness mixed with pride that even my genitals are iconoclastic.

The verdict: The Tiani 2 didn’t work for me. Whether it’s the fault of Lelo or the fault of my vagina, I’ll never know. What I do know is that all vaginas are different and maybe it would work for yours.

But even though my vagina rejected the Tiani outright, I still haven’t lost hope. Lelo makes another type of couples’ vibrator that attaches to the penis, and the We-Vibe company makes a version with two motors. I won’t give up until I’ve tried all of them. And if neither of them works, maybe my boyfriend and I will have to engineer a couples vibrator designed specifically for my, apparently unusually shaped, vagina. The Tiani 2 is a beautiful stab at solving one of a woman’s most frustrating problems: the fact that the clitoris remains outside of the vagina, a lonely intercourse bystander in need of assistance from a hand or a pubic bone, waiting for the day when some brilliant inventor, some Thomas Edison of the pudenda, transforms sexual intercourse forever.

—By Hallie Lieberman

Full Disclosure: The Lelo Company sent me this vibrator to review.

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