11 March 2013

Jimmyjane Hello Touch


Sam from Simply Pleasure got in touch the other week and asked if I'd be interested in reviewing the new Jimmyjane Hello touch for them. It's a type of toy that I've never tried before, and I'm always keen on indulging in new experiences, so I readily accepted. It also happens to be my first item from this particular manufacturer. 

The Hello Touch is a rather unique product on the market today; it's a vibrator designed to be worn on the fingertips, so you can touch yourself in a more natural way while still getting that vibrating sensation that you'd want from a sex toy.

The unit consists of a plastic powerpack, about the size of a disposable cigarette lighter, connected to two vibrating pods by a thin 8" cable. The whole unit is permanently sealed, so the pods can't be removed from the battery pack, and I actually see this as a bit of a missed opportunity. As it only comes with two pods it might have been an idea to sell another two as an optional accessory which could be plugged in alongside the existing ones. Each pod contains a small silver vibrating motor, about the size and shape of a watch battery, and is sealed within a clear plastic housing. The pod in turn fits inside a silicone holster designed to be worn over the fingers. The powerpack has just two buttons on it, one for 'on' and one for 'off', neither of which is labelled, so it's up to you to remember the positions.This comes with a small grey cuff, designed to be worn on the wrist, and the powerpack fits into a pocket on the top.

The vibrators themselves aren't that strong, and are quite buzzy. In terms of intensity I'd put them at a low medium, and they have that high frequency feel to them. They're the sort of vibrators which are good for shallow surface stimulation, but not for deeper penetration. I'm almost certain that one of them is stronger than the other, though I don't think that this was ever intentional. There are no real options with the vibrators, just one strength and no patterns, so you have to be hopeful that they're set to a speed which suits you.

The Hello Touch is powered by two AAAA batteries, and no that wasn't a typo. Thankfully they do come included with the product as they're not the most easy to find items, and unless you're in the habit of taking 9V batteries apart you're unlikely to have ever encountered them. The manual states that you can get 6 hours of use out of the batteries, which seems reasonable, but I'm not sure how wise it is to power your toy with such an uncommon battery. The logic is clearly centred around keeping the device small, but I can't see that going up to a standard AAA would have been that much detriment to the device.

When it comes to using the toy for the first time your fingers will slip quite easily into the silicone holsters as the material does stretch out nicely. The only thing is that this is quite deceptive, because while it does stretch easily once you let go and the material contracts it feels rather snug around the fingertips. Quite rapidly you can start to feel the circulation being cut off by the tightness, and the tips of your fingers begin to turn a shade of crimson. The Straps manage to position themselves across the nail bed as well, which isn't the most comfortable position to experience a feeling of constant pressure, so before you've even begun to use the toy you do start to wonder "how long am I going to have to leave this on for?" Steadily the fingertips do begin to throb a little, and I'm sure that the following sensation would be pins and needles, though the presence of which is quite hard to distinguish once the device is turned on. 


The fabric cuff fits quite well I found; it was a small struggle to pull it over my hand but it felt snug around my wrist. I should point out at this point that I am a slender man with mere 6" wrists, so I do question how well this snug one-size-fits-all cuff would fit larger people. The powerpack slips into the pocket which holds it firmly in place, and conveniently the material has marked on it the locations of the buttons, so you know exactly where to push. What is strange, however, is that the fabric shows three buttons, while the Hello Touch only actually has two, so you're left with this interesting traffic light design where the middle marking serves no purpose. The cuff doesn't look bad while it's on, if aesthetics were a concern for you in this situation; it just looks like a sweatband with a strange lumpy box on the top. I can see that they were trying to keep it small, but they could have made a bit more of the shape, and there's plenty of room for it to be wider. A quick look into modern watch design would have been beneficial for the person behind this I feel. I'll admit that when I first put it on I did have visions of looking like Seven of Nine from Star Trek Voyager, in the way in which she had Borg technology all over one hand, but instead I look more like I was assimilated by an Apple knock-off.

Actually turning the device on and off is awkward because of the way in which the buttons were made. They're stiff, ever so stiff, and require an awful lot of force to depress. You can't simply tap a button on your forearm and have it respond, instead you need to rest your wrist atop a surface, then come down on the buttons with the full force of your other arm for them to react. I'd consider this a design flaw, because heaven forbid you need to turn the thing off in a hurry. It's actually easier to operate the controls when the device isn't within the cuff, which rather defeats the point of it.

For the most part the Hello Touch is quite quiet; I can turn it on now and hear only a faint buzzing above the whirring noise of my laptop fan. The problem is that it's not consistently quiet; sometimes you'll move your hand in a certain way and suddenly it starts making an almighty racket. For such a small toy it's surprising how much noise it can kick out, and once it starts it can be difficult to make it stop. It can really throw you out of the moment when the noise starts; it's a gentle vibe so you want to couple it with thoughts of relaxation, but when it sounds like a miniature road crew is digging up your fingertips with tiny jackhammers it ends up being quite disruptive.

The Hello Touch can be used anywhere on the body, and the key really is not to think too much about what you're doing. Just keep in mind all the places you typically touch on a partner's body, or where you like to be touched yourself, and then just proceed as if the toy wasn't even there. For most areas it's best to wear the pods on the index and middle finger, and then you can let your hand start to wander, stroking across the arms, chest, nipples, the inner thighs, and wherever else takes your fancy. It's best to use a light touch I found, because then the vibrations can be felt more across the surface of the skin, whereas with a firmer pressure they become absorbed into the body and are less noticeable. The downside of the silicone cases if that they do grip and drag a bit across the skin, rather than sliding easily, so it's not a seamless action.

The main focus of the Hello Touch is obviously going to be the genitals, and it does feel quite nice just to slide the vibrating fingertips all around the pubic region, across the scrotum, along the perineum, and around the anus. For penile simulation it's best to switch the pods to being located on the thumb and forefinger, then starting at the base of the shaft you can lightly grip the penis and run your fingers slowly up towards the head. This delivers quite pleasurable sensations, and gently repeating this action up and down can be a nice way to gently tease yourself or someone else. The most effective area to stimulate in this way is the highly-sensitive frenulum, and to make things a little easier it's worth applying a little lube to the area to reduce the drag. Another good idea is to place one finger on the frenulum, then the thumb on the other side of the penis, and squeeze the head between the two. The combination of the pressure on head and the vibrations coming from both directions delivers quite a satisfying experience. I'm not certain that I could ever climax from this alone, as while it is a pleasurable sensation, it's not a strong sensation, but I'm not certain that I'd ever really want to use it to that end either, as I don't really see that as the purpose of this toy.

There are of course other uses for the Hello Touch, both the manual and the Jimmyjane website suggest that it can be used anally, with fingers inserted whilst wearing the device, but I don't feel that that's something I completely agree with. I decided not to put it to the test for a few reasons, 1.) I know that buzzy vibrations do absolutely nothing for me anally, without exception, 2.) as a matter of hygiene; when you think of all the other places your fingers can go whilst wearing these, is it really worth the time spent trying to scrub them clean again after they've been inserted there? 3.) as a precaution; the silicone holster portion can be removed from the vibrating pods, albeit with some force. While personally I believe this is highly unlikely to ever happen, the silicone portion could feasibly come off whilst inside you, and then you'd be left fishing around trying to retrieve it from within your body. I can understand why some people might want to try this, that "come hither" motion with the fingers is highly regarded as a prostate-milking technique, so the curious may think that doing it with vibrating fingers would be a good idea. My only suggestion is, douche thoroughly first to make sure everything is as clean as can be, and put on a rubber glove over the device before you insert any fingers, that way you can't lose anything.

One alternative use I do quite like involves taking the two pods (sans silicone jackets), placing them on either side of the head of the penis, then sliding up the foreskin to hold them in place. That way you get a nice constant vibration on the penis, and your hands are left free to do other things with.

I get the impression that it's designed to be more of a couples toy, and that's certainly how I'd use it. Outside of testing the product I can't really see myself spending a lot of time sitting around touching myself with it whilst trying to masturbate, but at the same time I would use it with a partner. I primarily see it as a tool for foreplay, something for teasing another person with as you slowly explore the nooks and crannies of their body with a gentle vibrating caress.

When you are done with the Hello Touch for the day it's quite easy to clean as the vibrating pods are waterproof, so you can give them a good wash, you just want to be certain not to submerge the battery pack as this would surely damage it. The Hello Touch even comes with its own rather unusual cloth pouch for storage, which actually works fairly well once you figure out what you're doing with it.

The hardest part of this review has to be the summary, because would I recommend the Hello Touch? I think that probably a lot of what it's going to come down to is the price. It currently retails for around £40 / $65, and when you think about what else is available on the market for a similar price it's just not worth it. If it was £25 then yes, I'd probably tell you do go for it; it's a fun bit of kit and that sort of price would take into account the flaws I highlighted, as well as the slightly cheap-looking insides which greet you when you change the batteries. For £40 you can simply get more bang for your buck, that's the same price as the We-Vibe Salsa, a rumbly rechargeable toy, with multiple powerful settings, almost guaranteed to satisfy you. Would I recommend this toy for personal use? No, it just won't hold your interest. Would I recommend it for use with a partner? Yes, it certainly has its role here, but you have to think of it strictly as a foreplay tool. If you know exactly what you're going to be using it for, and you don't mind paying over the odds, then go for it as it does bring something new to the table. 

One thing I will say for the Hello Touch is that it does have potential, it just should have spent longer in R&D. Give me version 2.0, with a watch strap, easy to use buttons, the sort of tiny rechargeable battery that Lelo fit in their Tor cock rings, and vibrators which are quieter and more powerful, and maybe then we'll be talking.

If you'd like to try the Jimmyjane Hello Touch you can buy it from Simply Pleasure.

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