♦ The Doc Johnson Wonderland Pleasurepillar, sold by Lovehoney, is one of five vibrators in Doc Johnson’s new Wonderland range, based (as you might be able to guess) on the weird world of Alice in Wonderland. This particular mint-green vibrator is based on the character of the Caterpillar. I love all things Alice in Wonderland, whether based on the book itself or simply using that sort of quirky gothic style, so I was keen to try out this toy.
The packaging is very impressive, especially for a company I don’t usually associate with sophistication. First, a smooth, white cardboard sleeve with fancy gold-coloured lettering, showing an image of the Pleasurepillar backed by a Wonderland-style chessboard. Once you slip off this sleeve, there is a white box with the gorgeous, gothic Doc Johnson Wonderland logo on it. The top, bottom and right edge of the box are designed to look like the yellowed pages of a book and the box opens like one too, held closed by a hidden magnet.
Inside, the Pleasurepillar is held in a flocked plastic insert opposite another gothic image showing the five vibrators in the Wonderland range. Above this is a small amount of blurb that also mentions that each product in the range is made of body-safe silicone, features 10 functions and is waterproof. Sadly, this is the only product information you really get aside from an incredibly generic safety leaflet hidden behind the flocked insert, but apart from that issue, the packaging is wonderful. Classy, very true to the Alice in Wonderland gothic style and actually quite luxurious. I love it!
The Pleasurepillar is made from ABS plastic on the battery cap and is made from silicone everywhere else, making it body-safe and non-porous. Both the plastic and the silicone are incredibly soft and silky, which gives the toy a lovely surface. The colour of the toy also really appealed to me, with a pretty mint green shade. Sadly, there seemed to be some discolouration on mine, though, as the plastic cap and the silicone shaft were different but similar shades, which I felt really ruined the look of the toy.
The toy is 5.4″ long and roughly cylindrical, with three bulges along the shaft before curving into a bulbous little head. The shaft is 1.3″ diameter at the widest bulge and 1″ at the narrowest and the bulbous tip is an ellipse, roughly 1″ by 1.25″. It is waterproof and it takes a single AA battery, but that is not supplied.
The shape of the head is a sort of bulbous curve very much like the pad of a thumb and is very well shaped for rubbing over the clitoris. The smooth curve of the tip feels very pleasurable and really works well for circling around my clit and gliding smoothly over my skin.
As for the shaft, the toy is flexible from the last bulge upwards, having no internal structure under the silicone there. This makes for an interesting experience as although you can apply a fair bit of pressure and precision with the head of the Pleasurepillar, there is a fair bit of give to the shaft.
The caterpillar-like bulges on the shaft of the toy are very vexing. Externally, they’re useless and internally they make it hard to insert the toy and get very much in the way of moving it back and forth inside. That said, the inconvenient bulges aside, this thing does find and stimulate my G-spot rather well, though some might find the flexibility issue off-putting.
The Pleasurepillar is a vibrator that does a fair few things well, except that none of them are “be a vibrator”. It’s pretty, it’s safe, it’s awesomely-themed, but it is weak, buzzy and appallingly designed.
To operate the Pleasurepillar, you press the button on the base once to turn it on and then each time you want to change modes. To turn it off, you hold down the button for two seconds. It comes with ten modes: three speeds and seven patterns. Personally I would describe the modes thusly: (1) ‘high’ speed, (2) medium speed, (3) low speed, (4) rapid rising pulses, (5) fast pulses, (6) slightly slower pulses, (7) fast pulses almost indistinguishable from the first fast pulses, (8) small slow pulses, (9) big slow pulses and (10) pathetic flickering. But here’s a video that’ll likely be more helpful…
Do those patterns seem all the same to you? They do to my clitoris too. There’s a fair few of them, sure, but they’re basically all different kinds of pulsing at imperceptibly different speeds. Where’s the rise and fall? The wave? The variations of quick and slow? Seems to me that the point of patterns is variety and you just don’t get that here.
It’s a good job the base lights up gently and flickers in time with the patterns too, otherwise I’d barely know the thing was bloody well on. It’s pretty quiet (seemingly quieter than my camera’s hum on the video), which is nice if you’re into that, but still louder than it is strong. And that’s because it’s horribly weak. Buzzy as hell and horribly weak.
I really cannot say “buzzy as hell and horribly weak” enough to get this across here. The vibrations carry appallingly and are weaker than a watch-battery bullet, and when you’re compared poorly to a watch-battery bullet in terms of strength, you may as well give up . On my clitoris on “pathetic flicker” mode, I honestly couldn’t tell you if it was on. When I use it on my G-spot and put another vibrator on my clitoris, I can’t tell it’s on on any of the modes or strengths. This is really a problem because although the Pleasurepillar does fairly well (again, bulges aside) at rubbing my G-spot, I can’t really feel the vibrations there. It may as well not be a vibrator. And if it may as well not be a vibrator, it may as well be any of my better-at-rubbing-my-G-spot-and-not-plagued-with-bulges dildos I own.
Thing is, for fans of making-any-goddamn-sense-whatsoever, there are two things that are actually worse on the Pleasurepillar than its weak speed and they’re both related.
Firstly, it’s back to that description of the patterns and speeds. Did you notice how the three speeds go from highest to lowest? I just hope you don’t enjoy warming up slowly through the power levels of your toys, because if you do you’ll find yourself looping through every other mode to get the next speed up. Ridiculous. Of course, I just bung weak vibrators like this on the highest speed and imagine hard that I’m actually with the We-Vibe Tango, but it’s still unbelievably stupid.
Secondly, the way the vibrator works when you turn it off and turn it on again. Watch this…
Curiouser and curiouser! So, what, the Pleasurepillar has a memory function (usually a function that remembers which mode you were on when you switched the toy off and turns it back on on the same mode), but it actually remembers the mode you were on and then comes back on on the next mode in the series? Are you actually kidding me? Dear God, it makes me want to tear my hair out! That is just so fucking stupid! Other than starting on a completely random setting, that is the worst thing it could do. I hope you don’t take a particular fancy to any of the modes, because if you turn if off to reach for some lube or something and then come back to wanking, you’ll have to go through every single other mode to get to the one you were using. Every. Frickin’. Time.
So when I put it onto the highest speed, turn it off to conserve battery while I grab a dildo and come back to it, it’s moved on and gotten weaker. And I have to press the button as quickly as I can to get back to where I was. And I hope I don’t accidentally rush past it. Or accidentally throw the Pleasurepillar at a wall in rage. Who designed this? WAS IT SATAN?!
If nothing else in this review tells you anything, try this: I have never been as angry about a toy as I have about the Pleasurepillar. Even the woeful Doc Johnson 10X Power Bullet was just weak and rubbish. This is weak, rubbish and incredibly badly-designed.
Good points: the packaging and theming are beautiful and I really love the idea of literary-inspired toys (I hope the Wonderland doesn’t put others off making more), the colour is lovely, the vibrator is made of decent body-safe materials and the shape of the head is really good.
Bad points: anything to do with it being a vibrator, plus those annoying bulges.
Sure, some people probably like mild vibrations, but even if that’s what you’re after, there are better toys out there for you than this. Toys with an ounce of common sense. I know, I know, I should find it brilliantly appropriate and very dedicated that everything in this Wonderland-themed vibrator is topsy-turvy and nonsensical, but let’s face it: this wasn’t a cute attempt at a literary nod. This is bad design, pure and simple. I want my vibrators to be strong, ideally rumbly, easy to use and practical. The Pleasurepillar is none of these.
Nonetheless, if you still feel compelled to buy one, you can pick a Doc Johnson Wonderland Pleasurepillar up at Lovehoney now. Or, failing that, I might have one going, provided I haven’t chopped off its head. ♦