Mr Boss by Fun Factory Hybrid Vibe Review

“How quickly the time goes by,” I said when I realized that it’s been more than a decade since I bought my first toy. Just a little less since I acquired an indispensable (then) addition to said toy – a battery charger and a set of rechargeable AAs. My high libido combined with the fact that the poorly designed stink-jelly rabbit was draining four AAs every few uses made that purchase necessary for my budget. Ever since there wasn’t a rechargeable battery I paid more attention to then that first AA set. Yes, I’m including every phone I’ve had.

This is why my reaction to Fun Factory’s new idea was “in high school I would have killed for this!”. I’m being ridiculous and hyperbolic but you get where I’m coming from. Combining a battery vibe with a battery charger is an idea so neat that I would have never come up with it. Now that they have I have an opportunity to test it. Let’s take a closer look at Fun Factory’s Mr. Boss.

Pleasure aspects

Mr. Boss is above all a smaller, weaker version of a flagship Fun Factory vibe and dildo duo Big Boss. I’m really grateful for the more modest size as the pink Big Boss dildo in my case is the saying “too much of a good thing is a bad thing” made silicone.

Both Bosses are two of the most realistic Fun Factory products (only ejaculating dildo POP created in collaboration with Sememnette comes (pun intended) closer). But even beige toned Bosses look more like they were drawn by Erika Moen than cast from a flesh and blood dick. I’ve got nothing against very realistic replicas, and yet I have to admit that this kind of loose inspiration is more to taste.

The texture of Boss’s silicone is velvety, grainy, which on one hand stops it from collecting every hair and bit of fluff from the sheets (they still catch the majority, mind you) and on the other causes quite a bit of friction. When it comes to Big Boss this combination of drag, above average girth (1 3/4″ diameter) and ridged head makes me avoid the toy so much I don’t think I’ll ever review it. But then it comes to the smaller Mr. Boss that bit of roughness is the detail that changes sensations from “ok, you may continue” to “this feels pretty good”. Oh, what a difference 1/4 of an inch in diameter makes!

Luckily when Fun Factory designers were resizing the toy they didn’t shorten it too much. So while the girth is considerably less, Mr. Boss is still easy to use – I don’t have any issues with holding it and thrusting with it to my vag’s content. And those thrusts, as I already said, feel pretty damn good.

Adding vibration makes the experience even more pleasurable. Mr. Boss’ vibrations are strong and rumbly for an AAA vibe. Claims of it being “the most powerful battery vibe” need to be taken with a spoonful of salt. Yes, compared to other AAA vibes that are swathed in as much vibration-dampening silicone, Mr. Boss really shines through. But it won’t be a challenge to a C-battery chugging beast nor will it rattle as hard as hard plastic “Ace of Spades”. But that’s just physics and not the toy’s fault.

Having said that, I’m impressed with Fun Factory here. The vibrations go deep and remain noticeable even when I pair the toy with a mains powered wand. At first glance, the vibes are focused in the head, but this is misleading. As soon as pressure is applied it’s clear that they are mostly felt in the middle of the toy. This has mixed results: the downside is that it makes the toy less versatile. I can’t imagine using Mr. Boss as a clit vibe (tough if I got it as one of my first toys, I’d probably make do). On the flipside though, when using this toy “according to its purpose” the motor vibrates against my prominent pubic bone, catching all of my lower G-zone, including the nerve endings near my urethral opening.

What surprised me the most about this toy is that I almost always use it in one of the pulsation modes, opting for patterns with longer pauses. This NEVER happens. Patterns are something I try out to do my due diligence during testing and only revisit when I’m really bored. I remember gushing over Miss Bi’s rhythms, but a) I only enjoyed faster pulses, not “pausy” ones b) I got over them quickly. There is something about this motor tough, that makes it feel more noticeable when it’s in a pattern mode. That’s why I’m really glad that Fun Factory decided to keep using the memory function – pick your favorite setting and hold “Fun” button for a few seconds and the toy will start on this level until it resets (memory is reset by opening the battery compartment or draining the batteries).

Practical aspects

In my opinion Battery+ series is marketing move meant to convince people who shy away from rechargeables because they fear that the built-in battery will stop holding a charge. My oldest Fun Factory toys have been with me for around five years and I haven’t seen any warning signs from any of them. I don’t know if that would be still the case if I had fewer of them, causing heavier use (but also less chance of forgetting to periodically up the charge). I’ve never heard of Fun Factory’s toys not holding charge tough, so I’d say that those fears are not founded here.

Aside from memory function Mr Boss has a few other good design solutions that I’ve come to expect from Fun Factory: intuitive, working control panel with light up, raised buttons that click (other makers, watch and learn!!!); travel lock, charging level indication, compatibility with Click’n’Charge, being waterproof.

one blinking led, charged – from 0 to 33%

There is one thing that trips me up with Mr. Boss – the price. Battery+ vibrators are sold without rechargeable batteries or Click’nCharge charger for a bit more than some fully equipped Fun Factory rechargeables. To get the full Hybrid experience out of your Battery+ vibe you need to additionally buy a Hybrid kit (Click’n’Charge charger and 2 AAA rechargeable batteries). Otherwise, you got yourself just a simple battery vibe for the price of a rechargeable one. What gives? Maybe that’s only because they are new… At least on US Fun Factory site Hybrid kits are not as expensive as those in Polish Fun Factory store.

The price is the only thing that keeps me from issuing a full seal of aproval, especially since otherwise this is a solid, good toy I’d recommend to people who are looking for a high friction/medium power inserable with a bit of a G-spotting head. If you are in this group and:

  • need something that can be taken on a long camping trip but will still be used when you go back to civilisation
  • predict that charging a reachargable toy every 3 months for maintenance my slip your mind
  • already have AAA toys/accessories that you use frequently but still haven’t bought a battery charger for them
  • want to escape planned obsolence due to built-in batteries not holding charge after a couple of years 1.

you might give Battery+ toys, Mr. Boss, in particular, an extra close look.

I’d only strongly discourage people with parts very sensitive to friction, but that goes for all Fun Factory insertables. Go for powdery, silky finish, sensitive folks! To all the rest, Mr Boss is a solid, easy to use staple kind of vibe.

 

  1. But as I said, doesn’t happen with FF anyways

Don’t spring this on me – Fun Factory Spring (clitoral vibe) Review

Bargain hunting on the Internet has become one of the most popular ways of wasting time and money. While others browse clothes, shoes or books, I prefer looking for good deals on sex toys. I check out auctions on a certain website and stores whose proprietors don’t really know what they are selling (more chances you can find silicone priced similarly to jelly-shit) 1 .

From time to time I buy something – sometimes for quarter the normal price, sometimes for half and other full (but for items I couldn’t get otherwise in Poland). The results are very different: from toys that we joke we’ll fight for custody of in case we split2 to… oh well… Fun Factory Spring.

Maybe I shouldn’t be so harsh. After all this toy is not evil incarnate. It’s not like it’s LELO Ida which deserves it’s own horror movie as a homage (or even a full season of American Horror Story). I can point out Spring’s strong points without having to think about it or exaggerate. A toy without those features (almost) wouldn’t be able to make my favorite list. But… Let’s start from the top.

100_2470Fun Factory Spring is a rather short and girthy vibe covered with pistachio or raspberry-colored silicone sleeve. Because of it’s brand you don’t have to worry about safety of the materials – it’s just what it says on the package – pure, medical grade silicone body and non-toxic hard plastic base. The sleeve covering the motor is quite soft and gives way when squeezed firmly with fingers but not then in use. The finish is matte, without grain. In my experience it has far less drag than Fun Factory’s Flash or Calla but more than LELO Ella. A drop or two of lube go a long way with this one.

Fun Factory SringThe tip and the shaft of the vibe is decorated with four randomly placed convex flowers. While the three down the shaft aren’t very prominent and I don’t feel them much, the one near the end stands out more and saves this toy from getting Disappointment of the Year award. Why? I’ll get to that in a bit.

Spring is powered by a long-lasting inbuilt rechargeable battery. To charge it up you need Fun Factory’s universal magnetic Click’n’Cacharge charger (recently they introduced a USB version). Older versions of the charger tend to be finicky, but newer (with the sticker – just like on the photo below) don’t disconnect just because someone dared to jostle them a bit. When the toy is fully charged, charger’s light changes to constant (old version) or turns off (new version). To get on the good side of environmentally conscious and those who lack free space Fun Factory often sells it’s vibes without the charger in case somebody already bought one with a previous toy purchase.

Fun Factory Click and charge new charger

Spring is easy to control with two buttons:

“+” – long press to turn it on, smoothly increase speed and then to access the first of three patterns; short press to go one level up in speeds or patterns.

“-” – long press to turn it off; short press to decrease speed or change from patterns to constant vibration.

There is no way to lock the toy to protect it from accidentally turning on while at the same time keeping it uncharged hurts the capacity of the inbuilt battery. Fortunately the buttons are designed quite well and I haven’t had any problems with them.

So far so good. You might think Spring is a quite decent vibrator: safe materials, nice look with no seams or defects, long-lasting rechargeable battery… Good B grade, maybe even B+ is I add that it’s not too noisy (can’t be heard from a closed door, comparable to other FF products). Oh, if it wasn’t for the vibrations! According to Fun Factory they are strong and deep. Maybe they are strong. But deep? More like deeply buried. As it is I grab my Spring, press “+” twice, feel the power buzzing in my hand, put in on my clit…. and fall asleep with boredom. Pressing it harder doesn’t help. Going to one of the three pulsing modes only makes it worse. Only thing that helps is rubbing the texture near the tip against my clitoris. The nub in the center of the flower helps to focus and direct just a bit of the vibrations. Then, flexing my thigh muscles as hard as I can, thinking most perverted thoughts I can imagine I can squeeze one, weak and totally unenjoyable orgasm.

I thought that since it’s so bad at external stimulation, internally it could do better. After all the irregular shape with a bit of a curve could theoretically be good for my G-spot. No such luck – the length of the toy together with the shape of the base make it so I can either insert it or grip it well. No room for both, even with my preference for shallow vaginal penetration. Once natural juices or lube are added to the mix there is no way I can thrust with this toy.

To sum it all up I’m really glad Spring was just an auction win. For the price it normally costs I expect to get more that I do from a cheap plastic “classic” vibe. In this case I got less.

Fun Factory Spring has become a tool of punishment for us. We get to use it on ourselves when we forget to charge anything better or buy AAs. Although it’s not quite fair since I get the brunt of it – Caramel prefers her fingers.

Caramel’s input:

It’s true – I don’t know how they achieved it but it’s one of the few toys that simply irritate me. When I put it on my clit I feel only light buzzing. I can make it feel better by rubbing the texture but why bother since I get more and easier with just my fingers? Then I don’t have to deal with itching numbness that Spring brings. It’s only good for irritating and tormenting. I really don’t need much clit stimulation to come. Just a tiny bit enough! But with Spring I need to rub the texture on my clit very fast or the vibrations will numb me before I have a chance to come. I blame this on too thick silicone skin and the fact that it doesn’t stick to the insides of the toy. It dampens the vibrations and decreases their depth. One day I will get mad enough to skin it and we’ll find out if this is what causes the problem.

100_2458

  1. Caramel: Wild is banned from buying new things till she deals with the backlog.
  2. Caramel: Speak for yourself – I’m not joking.

Better safe than sore – overview of sex toy materials

When shopping for a sex toy people usually take into consideration price, size shape and overall look. Not everybody wonders what that toy is made of and whether the material is safe to use. In this post we’ll try to shed some light on this matter.

2014-03-24 14.52.12

Let’s start with the most important thing that we need to warn you about: phthalates.

Have you ever felt uncomfortable burning sensation while using a sex toy? Many women who experience that tends to blame their body – they think they have an infection or that they rushed the penetration. I know I did. However, if this burning sensation occurs while using the toy or afterwards it might be caused by phthalates. What exactly are phthalates? They are substances that are added to hard PCV to soften it. The problem is that this mixture is not a stable one. Phthalates start leeching from the toy making it smell bad, covering it in an oily film that irritates and dries out skin. What makes matters worse is that doctors aren’t aware of the toxic toys problem and therefore can’t properly diagnose irritation caused by phthalates.

How can we avoid unhygienic and unsafe toys?

We need to chose wisely, picking toys made of safe materials. Below you will find a list of most frequently used sex toy materials.

Rubbers, jellies, etc.

Most of the toys are simply made of rubber. Some kinds of rubber are safer than others. The best way to tell the difference is to smell the toy. It shouldn’t have much of a smell. If you feel a rubbery smell that means that the toy is most probably unsafe. Better safe than sore. The problem is that in brick and mortar sex shops toys are displayed in packages so we have to ask to check them. Moreover, toys are left in an airy room lose the smell. Other troubling signs are: changes in color (e.g. yellowing) and shape, leeching paints on other toys, being covered in an oily film, appearance of bubbles of gas. Those toys are a hazard not only to your genitals but also to everything they stay in contact with. They can decompose in a drawer or a bag, covering it and everything in it with toxic, stinky goo.

TPR/TPE

Thermoplastic rubber and thermoplastic elastomer are examples of non-toxic rubber (as long as the toy is really made of them and not only labeled as such on the packaging – a common practice). It can be cleaned with soap and water or sprayed with a toy cleaner. However, because toys made of rubber are porous, even branded toy cleaner won’t be able to remove all microorganisms. Using more effective methods of killing bacteria and viruses is either impossible (like boiling) or inadvisable (like alcohol or bleach solutions). Therefore if you plan to share between partners or orifices cover them with a condom. This is especially important if you plan to use the item anally as well as vaginally – a condom will always be safer than a thorough washing. Only water-based lubes are compatible with those toys.

Latex

Latex is most often associated with condoms and snug fetish clothing. Sometimes it is also used to make dildos, vibrators or plugs. It’s porous and therefore hard to sanitize. It is best cleaned with toy cleaners and lubricated with water-based lubes. Because frequent exposure to latex increases the risk of developing latex allergy that worsens over time, we recommend using latex-free alternatives whenever possible, especially if you already started developing a sensitivity.

Elastomed

Medical grade elastomer is another kind of rubber but this time non-porous and easy to clean. Despite it’s advantages there aren’t many toys made of it. Manufacturers we trust that use it are: Sin Five, Naomi Tang and Fun Factory (only in their Laya Spot and first model of Smartballs). As above soap and water or toy cleaner for cleaning and water-based lube for reducing friction.

Skin-like

Under this category we placed toys made of branded materials such as Cyberskin as well as those cast with whatever was left in the factory. We can’t be more specific since full composition of those toys is not publicly known. Some of them were tested and pronounced phthalates-free but the vast majority wasn’t, so we have no way of knowing. But what is known, is that even high-priced branded materials as Cyberskin are porous and prone to mechanical damage. If you want realism it’s safer to pick dual layer silicone dildos, particularly those made by Vixen Creations (their silicone blend is called VixSkin).

The problem lies with toys for penises called sleeves or strokers. High end ones are made of Cyberskin or TPR because this material is very soft and comfortable. Silicone sleeves are rare. Although the risk of acquiring an infection by putting the penis into a toy is less than when putting a toy in the vagina, keeping sleeves clean is still important. They should be rinsed right after use, before body fluids dry up on them. Some of the toys can’t handle even gentle soap so it’s important to read care instructions from the manual. CAUTION! Use only water-based lubricants with skin-like materials.

Silicone

Silicone is a non-porous material that can be sanitized with alcohol or bleach and boiled. However, going to such extremes is most often unnecessary as for our intents and purposes it’s non-porous. Simple mechanical cleaning with soap and water is all you’ll need, unless you plan to use the toy vaginally after putting it in the ass and wish to be extra safe. If it doesn’t have a motor, boil it (just don’t let the water boil out or the toy will get burned!). Dishonest manufacturers sell toys made of cheaper materials as 100 % silicone. Some of those products can’t withstand boiling. It’s for us to decide whether we want to use a toy that probably isn’t silicone and therefore has pores that may harbor bacteria or to risk boiling. True silicone won’t be harmed by boiling. As it happens toys made of pure silicone are very durable and unless we throw them into flames or leave them in the mercy of our pets they will serve us as long as we want, all the while looking and working just as good as they did when we purchased them.
We can use water or oil-based lubes with silicone toys. Silicone-based lubes should be avoided in this case since they can damage the toy making it gummy. If we really want to use a silicone-base lube we can do a spot-test on the base of the toy. A few of quality silicone lubricants are fine to use with silicone toys.
It is worth remembering that sometimes condoms come pre-lubricated with silicone-based lubes. So if we want to use one we should either buy the ones without lube or those where the lube is marked as water-based.

The best course of action is to buy from trusted manufacturers. This gives us certainty that what we get is 100 % medical grade silicone. At the end of this post we compiled a list of manufacturers we trust.

Flame test

Flame test is quite popular with reviewers. It’s results can be hard to interpret, especially to those with limited experience as there are no clear-cut guides. It consists of putting a flaming match or lighter to the silicone. If the toy isn’t silicone it can melt. If it’s silicone it can burn, leaving a layer of light gray ash and soot that can be easily removed. The material damage to silicone toys is minimal unless we let them burn for too long.

(We plan on flame-testing a few of our toys and putting the video here)

That’s all for the soft materials, but we have a few others that are safe and fun:

Metal, Glass and Ceramic

All of the above are non-porous and can be cleaned well with soap and water. If we let body fluids get dry on them a bit of dish soap goes a long way. All three can be sanitized with alcohol and covered in all kinds of lubricants. However not all glass and metal toys are created equal. For example, beloved by reviewers, dildos and plugs by N-Joy are practically indestructible as they are made of high quality stainless steel. I wouldn’t say the same of their knock-offs despite the fact that they look just as good in official photos. Ceramic toys shouldn’t be boiled, metal and some kinds of glass can be, but we can’t see a reason to do so apart from piece of mind.

Glass toys!? Really?

Yes, really. Some people can be surprised but glass toys are a thing. Borosilicate glass that is used for high quality glass toys is very durable. It’s the same glass that is used by Pyrex brand for their cookware. But even if we buy lower quality glass there is no reason to fear that the toy would break during use. More care is required during washing since that’s when it’s easier to scratch the surface with rings or drop the soapy toy.

It is safer to store glass toys in separate padded pouches since they keep toys from taking a chip off each other. We should also be careful with extreme temperature differences, especially if the toy isn’t made of borosilicate glass. Instruction manuals usually warn against putting toys in the freezer or microwave.

Wood

Quality and safety of a wooden toy is determined by the finish that has been applied. Wooden toys made by top companies like Nobessence have long-lasting, body-safe and non-porous finish. However most of the wooden toys are made by small companies that only cover them in a few layers of washable waxes that leave them porous. Best way to determine whether the toy will keep it’s shine (and stay microbiologically safe) is to check what kind of sealant the company uses by visiting their website. Specific are instructions are usually provided with the toy.

Hard plastic

Hard plastic is another safe material (unless it’s been covered with a toxic finish or paint). Pores in it are small enough not to encourage bacterial growth. However, plastic toys are often covered with polyurethane (substance used to make non-latex condoms) to get satiny, matte finish. Those toys are marked with “PU coated”, “love cote”, “velvet cote” etc . As this material is easily stained we have our doubts whether it is non-porous. We recommend covering with a condom when sharing between orifices or non-fluid-bonded partners.

Plastic can be sanitized with alcohol or toy cleaners. It can’t be boiled as it will become brittle. We can use all kinds of lubes with it unless it’s covered with PU – then it’s best to stick to water-based.

Another problem with plastic toys is that they are sometimes covered in a layer of paint that chips off during use. If you don’t want flecks of probably not tested paint in your genitals better steer clear of vibes that look like they are made of metal but are actually plastic.

Leather and its imitations

We included those because of BDSM gear and harnesses they are used for. Both are impossible to disinfect so they are best suited for fluid-bonded partners. Other solution is to assign toys to people who are likely to leave their body fluids on them – e.g. a whip to the person who gets hit with it or a harness to the party who wears it.

Trusted companies

Below you’ll find a list of companies that don’t lie when they claim that their product is 100% silicone.

Tantus
Happy Valley
Babes-n-Horny
PleasureWorks
Standard Innovations/We-Vibe
New York Toy Collective
Bad Dragon
Aneros
Marc Dorcel,
Nomi Tang
Vibe therapy
Vixen Creations
LELO
Fun Factory,
BS is Nice
rocks off
Je Joue
Nexus
Bswish
Evolved Novelties
Toyfriend
Minna Life
Laid
Mae B