I’m trying out a new format for my reviews by using subheaders and making a mini table of contents at the top of the post. One of these subheaders will be for information that I feel could be relevant to trans women because I’m frustrated by how many reviews are cis centered. Feel free to let me know what you think about these changes.
As much as I love the world of luxury dildos and vibrators I simply don’t have the sort of pocket change to try out every Lelo or solid diamond butt plug that catches my eye. Until my boat comes in and I can buy the fancy ass vibrators I’m focused on finding good quality vibes at a wallet friendly price. My favorite vibrators are the ones that are affordable but can mimic some of the functions of the more expensive ones. Sure they’re not waterproof and might give out in a few months but when a $20 vibe can do one or more of the functions that I like in a $120 vibe I’m not going to complain.
One of the nicer vibes that I’m currently ogling is We-Vibe’s Tango (Any deep pocketed people out there who wanna throw a girl a
bone vibe?). I’m a power queen and totally interested in the punch that this little vibe packs. Although I’m obsessed with my Hitachi I recognize my need for a smaller, quieter, travel friendly vibe. I’m been eyeing the cheaper Bamboo for a little while now and when I decided to treat myself after getting some good employment news I picked up the Bamboo to see if it could do the trick.
The Bamboo is a bullet style vibrator that measures about 3.75″ and a little over .5″. It’s made by the UK company Rocks-Off (although you can’t find it on their website for some reason). It comes with a AAA battery but be warned that when it comes time to change the battery you might have trouble getting the battery out. When I’ve changed the batteries at work I’ve had to pull the damn thing out but the battery on mine just slid right out. The material is ABS plastic which means you’ll be able to use your favorite lube with it. (Info on ABS plastic and lubes available at LubeZilla.) The toy is waterproof which is great for cleaning (you can use a speciality toy cleaner if you want but I just use water and a little alcohol free soap) or the shower but because the motor isn’t sealed in like a rechargeable vibrator I’d be hesitant about submerging it in the bath. You won’t get electrocuted if you do submerge it, you just have a slightly better chance of water getting past the seal and into the motor and then you’ve got a dead vibe on your hands.
There are ten settings (three speeds and then seven different pulsing patterns) that you cycle through from a button on the end. When you turn it on it’ll start back at the first and strongest setting. It comes in five colors although not all the online sites I’ve looked at have offered all five. If you want to activate your 6 month warranty you will need to create a free profile over at rocks-off.info. The plastic packaging around the toy itself can apparently be reused as a storage box but it’s too bulky for where I keep my toys. The outside box has this like London punk aesthetic that feels kinda awkward and contrived. Lots of art that’s meant to look like tattoos or something and their website continues the look with lots of skinny white models in some sort of hipster/punk style.
I’ve seen the Bamboo being sold for around 20-25 dollars at the stores and websites I checked.
For those of us into muffing I found the Bamboo with its tapered point to be a good fit with the vibrations strong enough to spread out when inside me. Muffing isn’t my favorite activity and I prefer to use it with the angled point on my frenulum (foreskin pulled back.) Lately I’ve been a bit drier than usual (I think HRT might be the culprit, I’m just not precumming as much as I used to.) which made the point of contact with the vibe a slightly irritated and sensitive but a few drops of lube helped negate that problem. The length of the vibe and its flat sides meant that I could lay it against the shaft of my clit which was mildly pleasant but the Bamboo isn’t strong enough for me to really get off on that feeling. I did use the narrow tip to trace the head of my clit and with lube that was a fun sensation.
When I laid down to try the Bamboo I made sure to keep my Hitachi out of arm’s reach. Knowing me I was afraid I’d try the new vibe for a few minutes and make a snap decision and reach for my best friend. It turns out that I didn’t even need to do this because the Bamboo had enough power in it to actually bring me to orgasm, something that I wasn’t expecting. Honestly I just thought that this pocket vibe could be a new addition to my masturbation routine; just to put in some variety before the Hitachi came in to finish me off.
Like I said before, I like a nice strong vibration, preferably something rumbly like an old cement mixer being driven at a high speed over a pothole covered road. While the Bamboo did lean more towards buzzy than I usually like I found that the highest setting was strong enough. The two lower settings weren’t enough for me (I could barely feel the lowest setting.) and I only cared for one of the seven settings. The settings mostly reminded me of someone tapping out Morse Code which meant that I’d laugh whenever I thought about someone using a dick to send messages. Maybe if I could be an adult and try those other six patterns without getting distracted and laughing I would enjoy them more but I doubt it; the patterns were either too light or had too many blanks periods of no vibration or both for my tastes.
I do wish that there were settings higher than the current highest one but because it runs off a weeny AAA battery I doubt the designers could have gone higher. The fact that it starts off on the highest setting may annoy some people, although for people who just want that power it’s not going to be a problem.
The vibe is quiet enough for me. It’s not as quiet as those tiny bullet vibes that take cell batteries but it’s quiet enough that I doubt it could be heard through a wall.
My biggest complaint (and this isn’t much of a complaint) is that the vibrations carry through all the way to the end so my fingers developed that numbness of holding onto a vibrating piece of plastic. I even wrapped the end with a hankie to see if that would help but there wasn’t any noticeable difference. Given the level of kvetching I hear from friends and customers this seems to be a problem no matter the clit/bullet vibe. As I told one customer, “If you can make a product that buffers the fingers from vibrations you’ll be wealthy.”
While I found the button to be easy to use it’s small enough that people with limited mobility in their hands may not find it so easy. The size of the vibe itself could also be a bit small and the plastic somewhat slippery (particularly with lube) but if it’s just a mild inconvenience creating a grip with rubber bands wrapped around the base could help with that. If you live near a brick and mortar store they might have a display model you could test out to see if the button/size of the toy works for you.
I went looking for a cheaper, discreet vibe that would be good for travel but still had some strength to it and the Bamboo met those qualifications even better than expected. It’s not the strongest bullet vibe out there but within its price range it’s the strongest I’ve come across. For people who don’t need a lot of rumbly power the range of three speeds and seven different settings could set this above other bullets with fewer options. Although it’s clearly not the Tango it may be able to hold you over until then.
Toy Meets Girl: Review: Rocks-Off Bamboo