This article is sponsored by Lovehoney. Basically, they sent me a gift card and said ‘buy whatever you want’ in exchange for a review. I’ll try to keep my review honest and fair nonetheless.
“I’m not turned on. Are you?” said Moineau.
“Not really,” I replied.
For the past 20 minutes, we’d been lying on the bed of a hotel room, phones in hand, trying our hardest to connect our handsets to the Nova 2 App Controlled Rechargeable Rabbit Vibrator from Lovehoney.co.uk.
What started out as a sex toy review session was quickly descending into a farce, as we lobbed the Nova 2 at each other, getting more and more frustrated by the app’s interface.
Was kinky remote play possible?
The We-Vibe X Lovehoney Nova 2 is a rabbit-style vibrator designed for remote play, something I get asked for advice on a fair amount.
The idea is one person has the Nova 2 vibrator connected to the app and starts a ‘session’. The other person, who might be in the same room or miles away gets a ping on their phone and accepts the invite to join the session.
At this point the remote user is granted control of the vibrator, and uses the app to control the speed and vibration mode from wherever they are in the world.
Although I own a fair few sex toys (read 34 BDSM Sex Toys I Own and How I Use Them) I’d yet to invest in anything app controlled. It had been on my list for a while as a way to spice up long-distance power-play in Dom/sub relationships, and so I jumped at the chance when I saw it listed on the Lovehoney.co.uk website.
Pretty much any toy can be used in a power-play style if you know what you’re doing.
Why was I particularly interested in the Nova 2 App Controlled Rabbit Vibrator?
Because I reckoned it would be great for my edging technique.
For those who haven’t listened to my podcast episode 9 powerful techniques to supercharge your dominance and drive your submissive wild allow me to explain in brief…
My partner lays on her bed, fingers or favourite toy at the ready.
I instruct her to start playing with herself until she reaches an 8 out of 10 on the arousal scale, and then stop.
This repeats several times, each time taking herself closer to a 10, at which point she is allowed to orgasm or not depending on my mood (as a romantic/soft Dom I always let her come ;)).
This is a great technique to heighten orgasm, but one which also works great for long-distance play.
I figured having actual control over the toy from afar would take things to the next level, and was hoping the We-Vibe Nova 2 Rabbit vibrator would allow me to do just that.
Nova 2 overview and specs
A few days after I placed my order the discreet package from Lovehoney arrived. Here’s an artsy shot I took of the Nova 2 box once I’d unpacked it.
Inside the box was a mini instruction book, a cloth storage bag, and most importantly, the USB charging cable.
I charged it up and stuffed it into my suitcase as we were off on holiday. According to the instructions a single charge provides around 40 minutes of play time.
The Lovehoney website lists the following features of this toy:
- We-Vibe Nova 2 rabbit-style vibrator for tandem G-spot and clitoral stimulation
- Use with the new and improved free We-Vibe app for long-distance play
- Arced arm flexes as you thrust to ensure consistent clitoral contact
- Rechargeable via USB with long-lasting battery life makes it a travel-friendly choice
- Posable G-spot stimulator lets you achieve the best angle again and again
- Allergens: Latex-Free, Phthalate-Free
- Features: App Controlled, Extra Quiet, Rechargeable, Remote Controlled
- Waterproof: Submersible
- Flexibility: Flexible
- Material: Silicone
- Power Type: Rechargeable
- Vibration speed: Speeds and patterns
- Circumference: 4.25 inches
- Insertable Length: 5 inches
- Length: 8.5 inches
The We-Vibe Nova 2 has two vibrators inside it, one in the ‘bunny ears’ and one in the main shaft. Each of these vibrators can be controlled independently from within the app.
Maybe this is a common feature on all rabbit-style vibrators, but personally, I’d not seen it before (probably because I’d never used a rabbit before).
The app has a couple of ways you can control the vibrators inside the Nova 2:
- Slider mode. Slide two circles (one for each vibrator) up or down the screen to vary the intensity of the vibrations.
- Regular mode. Pick a vibration style (smooth, tempo, wave, tease, etc.) from a list of about 20.
- Grid mode. The screen is divided into four sections, each section representing a different vibration style. Tap your finger in one of the sections to have the toy vibrate in that mode. Three of the sections are preset vibrations, and in the fourth, you can pick a custom vibration style.
- Freestyle. The entire app screen becomes touch-sensitive. Tap anywhere on the screen to send a buzz to the Nova 2. Hold your finger on the screen for a continuous vibration.
We tried all the different settings, eventually settling on Slider mode, and picking a vibration pattern that buzzed the shaft vibrator a few times followed by a few buzzes on the clit rabbit ears, and then repeated.
The We-Vibe App
The We-Vibe app was relatively straightforward to begin with.
It was fast to create an account and to get the toy connected via Bluetooth to a phone. Simply hold the button on the Nova 2 for five seconds, and an alert pops up in the app asking if I wanted to connect to it.
Starting a ‘play session’ and inviting Moineau to it was also relatively easy.
The issues came within the play session screen.
The top half of the screen represents me. The bottom half represents Moineau, connected remotely.
What threw us off was that we had both registered the toy within our apps when we were testing.
In the purple portion of the screen, I saw a circle with the text NOVA 2, and kept trying to click it. Basically, this is for when I am the one with the toy and the other person wants to control it remotely.
Instead, Moineau needed to connect to the toy and then I needed to click the circle which would appear in her half of the screen. Moineau also had the Bluetooth on her phone turned off for some time which meant she wasn’t able to connect to the Nova 2 until she realised.
Once we’d overcome those two hurdles, and had Moineau’s app connected to the We-Vibe Nova 2, and were both in the ‘play session’ together, I was able to click a button to request permission to take control of the toy.
And here was where he hit another stumbling block.
Once I connected, I couldn’t see any way to actually control the toy. The app just said I was connected and showed nothing else.
After about ten minutes of connecting and disconnecting, thinking we were doing something wrong, and getting more and more frustrated, suddenly the controls appeared in the app.
Apparently, we had been doing everything correctly, but a bug in the app’s UI meant the control would only appear every now and again.
This is a big flaw with the app and I hope We-Vibe addresses this bug quickly or points out where we were going wrong.
Once we did finally get everything working as it should, I was impressed by the design of the app and how well it worked.
As well as being able to control the Nova 2 vibrator remotely, the app had a chat function and a video call function for the two participants in the session to talk to each other. A nice touch to save you from having to switch between the app and Whatsapp (although I have no idea what We-Vibe’s security and encryption protocols are like and where that video data is streamed to, so I’ll probably stick with Whatsapp for my sessions).
I also liked how all the We-Vibe range of sex toys is shown within the app, meaning if you own more than one of them, you can use the same app to connect with them.
Using the We-Vibe Nova 2 in a BDSM scene
Now all the technical details are out of the way, you might be wondering… “What did it feel like? Did it get you off?”.
I’ll leave Moineau to tell you a little bit about that.
For all my openness when it comes to discussing my sex life on Kinky Events and on Chief’s podcast, I’ll admit that I’m rather conservative when it comes to using sex toys during my own masturbation. In fact, I don’t use sex toys when I masturbate (I prefer the tried-and-trusted double finger swirl if I’m getting myself off) – and perhaps that’s where my initial reservation came from when trying out the new We-Vibe Nova 2 with Chief in our holiday hotel room.
Though I’m not sure that my lack of experience using vibrators on myself can wholly be at fault for the frustration of troubleshooting a gadget gizmo that promises app-controlled pleasure through vibration and intensity.
When we did finally get the app and vibrator to sync to our phones, I found the sensations relatively pleasurable… once I became aroused thanks to Chief’s various tactics (the largest sex organ is the brain after all). There are multiple vibration patterns that the Nova 2 can cycle through, and with some experimental fiddling, we found a couple of settings that felt more pleasurable than the rest. An advantage of the Nova 2 to more standard rabbit-style vibrators is certainly the customisation of pleasure offered through this vibrator’s flexible arm to reach the user’s internal and external pleasure zones, as well as the variability of vibration and intensity offered through the app interface.
That said, I think it will take some more experimentation on my part before I can tell whether or not the Nova 2 is worth the cost. I can see its potential – definitely for couples searching for a remote, long-distance play sex toy – as I really like the idea of my Dominant having control over my pleasure when we’re apart. In that regard, I think I’ll leave the vibrator for when Chief and I are both feeling frisky over the distance but, personally, I don’t think the Nova 2 (or any toy) will replace my trusty digits for solo play any time soon!Moineau
Once we’d got over the technical connection issues, and the Nova 2 was inserted, it took us a little while to get the bunny ears positioned over Moineau’s clitoris in a way that felt comfortable to her.
The weight of the toy meant that even when lying down it kept shifting around and moving out of position. I would have loved the Nova 2 to be a hands-free toy, but realistically it isn’t designed for that – you’ll have to keep one hand on the base to steady it.
As I wanted Moineau to enjoy the sensations rather than worrying about the toy slipping out of position, I used my hand to hold it in place. This did mean I couldn’t use the app to change the intensity or pattern of vibrations, but this wasn’t too much of an issue as I’d chosen one she liked the most and an intensity which was enough. (If we were using the Nova 2 for remote play I’d have Moineau hold it with one hand).
The frustrations of the app setup meant we weren’t all that turned on, but the vibrations were slowly starting to have an effect.
To ramp up the BDSM aspect of play I mounted Moineau in a 69 position and had her suck on me as I held the vibrator in the right spot on her clit. Face-fucking is one of our favourite activities so it didn’t take long before the combination of my hips thrusting me into her throat combined with the fullness of the vibrator plus the clitoral stimulation from the bunny ears led to a pleasurable orgasm for her.
(I might also have inserted a butt plug for extra fun if the moment had been right. As well as the Nova 2 I had also purchased a clear butt plug from Lovehoney’s anal sex toys category, but we didn’t get around to using it this time.)
I’d consider this a win considering we went from turned off to orgasm in under ten minutes (much of that might have been due to the act of giving a blowjob, which has become a bit of an NLP anchor for orgasm, but I’ve no doubt the Nova 2 heightened the sensation).
I guess we’ll have to try the toy in a few more situations to get a real feel for it.
What a hardship.
Pros of the We-Vibe Nova 2 App Controlled Rabbit Vibrator
Things I liked included:
- Material. The entire vibrator is made from a single piece of smooth, seamless silicone, which is also latex-free and phthalate-free. The buttons are moulded into the silicone, meaning there are no holes for water to get into during washing, or where nasty germs can hide during cleaning. It also makes it fully waterproof should you want to have fun in the shower or bath.
- Flexibility. The main shaft, although made of harder silicone than the clitoral vibrator part, can be bent up and down, helping you get an angle which feels right for the shape of your vagina. This isn’t something I’ve come across with other sex toys, which are normally fixed in place.
- Batteries. Many sex toys have compartments where AAA batteries are concealed and have to be regularly replaced. Not the Nova 2, which opts for two small metal attachments on the base of the unit where a magnetic power supply (included) clips on. A USB charging cable was included with the product.
- Size. The Nova 2 has a circumference of 4.25 inches, an insertable length of 5 inches, and a total length of 8.5 inches. Personally, I feel like this is a good size. It’s big enough to feel pleasurable (unless you’re a Size-Queen) yet compact enough to be carried around (We-Vibe kindly include a cloth carry bag in the package).
- Power. The strength of the vibrations at maximum intensity was strong. Not mains-powered magic wand vibrator strong (regular readers will know that’s one of my favourite sex toys), but a good strength nonetheless.
- Packaging. The Nova 2 packaging was classy. The box looked pretty and the toy came with a handy cloth carrying bag which could hold the toy and the USB charging cable.
- Price. At the time of writing Lovehoney is offering the We-Vibe X Lovehoney Nova 2 for £95.99. This falls towards the lower end of what a remote-controlled, app-powered vibrator generally costs, and I would consider it good value, although this might be out of the price range for some.
- Warranty. We-Vibe offers a 2-year warranty on all its products, including the Nova 2.
Cons of the We-Vibe Nova 2
Things I liked less were:
- Sealed batteries. Because the batteries are sealed under the silicone skin of the vibrator they cannot be replaced. I don’t know how many charges the toy can take, but if the battery ever did die, you’d have to buy yourself an entirely new toy. I suspect the batteries will last a very long time, however.
- Weight. The Nova 2 is pretty weighty due to having to contain rechargeable batteries and two vibrators hidden inside. This means that it doesn’t easily stay in place when inserted.
Final words on the We-Vibe Nova 2
Overall, I like the Nova 2. It feels well-made, powerful, stylish, and reasonably priced. Aside from the app connection bug which will hopefully be fixed shortly, I can see myself using this toy in more BDSM scenes in the future.
It’s a nice little addition to my arsenal of sex toys and will make remote dominance and submission play that much more interesting.