The Femedic reviews: the MysteryVibe Crescendo

Hand holding crescendo vibrator

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Vibrators are getting smarter. There are now toys that measure, track, and store data on your orgasms, and others that can be controlled long-distance via apps. A quick peek on Kickstarter showcases a whole host of sex toy technology in development that promises to collect even more types of data.

At its core, ‘smart’ technology is simply tech that learns. It collects data and information and uses this to react to commands you input with a personalised experience. Like a Fitbit, or your Netflix recommendations.

MysteryVibe are one company on the bleeding edge of smart sex tech, but not just because their toys dazzle us with science. Their flagship vibrator, the Crescendo, stands apart because it also takes the word ‘smart’ in its most literal sense.

The doing: solo sex

The Crescendo is designed in a way that allows for simple, and fundamentally human, interaction, by bending and moving with us authentically as we play. Six motors run along the entire length of the toy, with 12 preset patterns to choose from. If you download and connect the toy to the MysteryVibe app, you can alter the intensity of these patterns — down to the intensity of each individual motor — and re-order them into any sequence you please. You can then download this back onto the toy and enjoy the thrills of your own personal oeuvre. The future, friends, is now.

Shaped in a flat, straight line, the Crescendo narrows at one end and widens at the other, with the wide end featuring two fin-like flaps that would nicely secure around a penis. For those who, like me, have a vagina, this toy allows for multiple penetrative possibilities, including bending the Crescendo into a C shape for g-spot stimulation or more of a U for dual vaginal and clit stimulation.

Because the toy bends when you apply pressure to it, it’s not really suited for wand-style clitorial stimulation. Plus, because the whole toy vibrates, there’s not necessarily a place to grip for a long time, unless you don’t mind the feeling of your hand vibrating, too. The motors are strong enough, but in the grand scheme of sex toys, I would say they’re more ‘buzzy’ than ‘deep’.

I felt a bit overwhelmed by the amount of choice available when I started using the Crescendo and tried out a few different positions before hitting on a winner: g-spot stimulation via the C shape. Once in this position, it just took a few minutes of tapping the toy for me to orgasm.

It did take me longer than usual to orgasm, which was in part due to the time it took to figure out which position worked best. It was also because of the position of the control buttons: they are on the side of the wide end of the toy and as play progressed I changed the pattern and intensity by accident a few times.

Partner play

With the MysteryVibe app, one person can control the vibrations of the toy while the other enjoys them. This, coupled with the joy and warmth of human intimacy, makes for a very sexy and enjoyable experience. Again, my partner and I were initially overwhelmed by the sheer amount of choice available, both on the app and in terms of all the possible positions we could each try.

Because partner sex is much messier and less predictable than solo sex, I felt the Crescendo offered more here than it did when I used it alone. It moves easily so can account for spontaneity, and you can take turns using it regardless of what sort of genitals you have. If you have a vagina and you like penetrative sex, though, you probably won’t be able to fit both the toy and a penis in comfortably at the same time.

There is no such thing as essentially ‘male’ or ‘female’ pleasure, there are just bodies and what each of those bodies likes and doesn’t like

It did take a while for us to feel like we were getting the most out of the toy, and I think even for the next few times we play with it we’ll still feel like we’re learning. It’s territory I’m looking forward to exploring.

The context

The Crescendo is billed as the “World’s first truly unisex and universal vibrator”, and you know what? I’m here for it.

There is nothing about the shape or design of the Crescendo that is gendered or assumes anything about its user. It is clean and slick and essentially, a blank canvas for you to bend and customise. For me, this is a sight for eyes in blistering agony: my view is that pleasure and libido, in their most raw forms, deserve to be felt and explored in ways unfettered by gender. There is no such thing as essentially ‘male’ or ‘female’ pleasure, there are just bodies and what each of those bodies likes and doesn’t like. The Crescendo has been designed with this as a core principle of its being, and it shows.

While there is certainly room for improvements on any future iterations or sibling devices — there have been reviews mentioning difficulty from an accessibility perspective, for example — this toy should be lauded as an exciting and progressive step forward in encouraging us to rethink how we understand and seek pleasure.

The important details

The toy is covered in matte, body safe silicone, is waterproof and can be cleaned using warm, soapy water. Make sure you only use water-based lubes with this toy: oil or silicone-based products could cause damage to the surface. It also charges wirelessly, which is a nice detail.

The packaging is nothing short of luxurious. There is a lovely black quilted carry/storage case that ties up with a black ribbon, which comes inside a sturdy and chic black box. In another life, it might have housed a fancy watch.

Noise-wise, the toy is quite discreet.

The verdict

What makes the Crescendo truly smart is the way it communicates with our bodies in their own language: movement. This, coupled with the toy’s ‘smart’ menu of vibration options, enables exploration while still delivering enough of a core pleasure experience.

One playing devil’s advocate might say that sex toys don’t need to be everything to everyone, and that it’s fine if they just focus on one sensation or position and do it well. I hear that, but will say that designing with inclusion in mind is always commendable, and that choice — whether between toys or vibration settings — is a luxury.  

Depending on the type of solo sex you like, the choice the Crescendo offers might overwhelm or even cramp your style. But, ultimately, the very fact of choice is the toy’s selling point.

If you enjoy a good g-spot orgasm, the Crescendo does the job. If your orgasms are all about the clitoris, then a wand might serve you better.

If you are after a fast-and-hard, deep-vibrations sort of solo sex, the Crescendo’s motor strength might be a sticking point. But if you like ‘buzzy’, mid-range vibrations, the Crescendo gives you a lot to play with.

If exploration is important to you during partner play, and you’re not too bothered about the risk of a ‘learning’ period breaking your flow, I think the Crescendo is well worth a look. I’d suggest becoming familiar with the app before you start play, though.

 

This review has been created as part of a partnership with MysteryVibe. We have provided a fair review.

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Monica Karpinski

Founder & Editor, The Femedic

Monica is the Founder and Editor of The Femedic. Against a journalism background and after years of leading content marketing projects in the healthcare space, it became clear that health information out there for women simply wasn’t good enough. No-one had bothered to look deeper into the ways women were searching for information, or consider the depth of what they actually needed to know. Instead of waiting for the perfect publication to approach her, she created The Femedic.

Monica has been named one of The Drum’s 50 under 30 for influential women in digital 2018 and was shortlisted for Female Entrepreneur of the Year in the 2018 British Business awards. She speaks and writes widely on gender and health inequality.

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