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Straight Up

Studio: Evolved » Review by Don Houston » Review Date: 5/20/10

XCritic's Advice: Skip It

images courtesy of ADE

Okay, having reviewed lots of sex toys in the last ten years, I've seen an awful lot of decent toys and some that were best suited to let the dogs tear apart. While a certain clique of the toy reviewing community abhors discussing anything to do with price, I admit that I am not of that mindset, knowing full well that most consumers do not have unlimited funds and looking into pricing helps guide that old fashioned concept of "value". If this upsets a few people, so be it, but Nadine and I are not shills for toy companies any more than we are for the movie companies, you know, the kind that throws temper tantrums when their latest masterpiece fails to measure up and they don't want us speaking out about it. With that in mind, we took a look at a new toy from Evolved Novelties called the Straight Up from their Silicone Roulette line.

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The basic premise of the Roulette line is that it is made in Europe from European parts, admittedly costing a premium over the vast majority of toys on the market that are made in Mainland China. Personally, I don't care where a toy is made, how sucky the wages are, or what the politics of the government are in third world countries when it comes to sex toys but I know a handful of socially conscious types that worry incessantly that they are supporting dictatorships and all that sort of thing so I have promised to mention this in my reviews. With the Straight Up, they will feel secure knowing that the only part of the merchandise made in China is the clear case, a pretty cool case at that. The toy itself, from the motor to the scent, latex, and phthalate-free silicone, are all from Europe, even assembled there according to the packaging.

The toy measures a hair under 8" but only about 5.5" of that are safe for insertion, about the spot when the water proof seal is located. The top screws onto the bottom section that holds the wheel switch (which allows more fine tuning than a button switch) with a thick "O" ring, some kind of oily material hopefully making a good seal since this one twists on with only a half twist. In testing under water, it held but that was a static test and not very deep so buyer beware if you take this thing scuba diving on vacation. It is also 1.75" thick at the thickest point, decent enough for most people if not for the plenitude of size queens I've met in my time. It comes in several color variations as well but this one was the purple and black, others can be found at the company website.

Given that the device lasted in excess of two hours on the highest setting and only used two AA batteries (some websites list triple A batteries but I assure you that they are wrong), I knew this wouldn't be as strong as a plug in wand device or a Sybian yet I expected a fair showing considering it cost anywhere from about $60 to $80 online. Sadly, even using brand new coppertop batteries, the strongest setting was on the weak end, perhaps best suited for a beginner or someone that doesn't get a lot of sexual stimulation very often. The silicone used felt nice enough and it was slightly pliable (less than jelly or hollow toys but certainly more than any of the plastic toys we've encountered), Nadine jokingly pointing out she found the vibrations weak enough that they were barely above that of a dildo.

The best testing did not take that long as a result though, Nadine's interest wavering for one of the better toys on our list. She suggested more than a few times over the last week that if this only had a stronger vibration to it, she would really like it a lot better, even trying it out as an anal toy since the RoHS compliant device was easily sterilized (always clean your toys before and after use). Still, as appealing as the origin of the materials was and the look of the device (not to mention the again pleasing case it came in), or even the very quiet nature of the thing, it barely registered on her scale. She also pointed out that she needed extra lubrication, not because of its size but due to the silicone, when pressed she said other than as an anal toy it might suit as a secondary device for use in a technical DP (double penetration with toys or a toy in one hole while a cock was in the other) so she hesitated to suggest it as anything higher than a Skip It even though she is usually quite fond of toys from Evolved Novelties (the caveat being the rating scale jumps from that to recommended without a highly qualified middle ground).

So, if you want a toy that feels good and provides little vibration, the Straight Up from the Silicone Roulette at Evolved Novelties is an expensive route to take and might leave you hanging but for beginners, it just might do the trick. Oh, and the case itself was first class but the insert used to hold the toy up for display was kind of cheesy by comparison, though frankly, even the best cases are merely icing on the cake for the two of us, typically adding few points when done well but able to weaken an otherwise decent purchase when handled improperly. Lastly, the toy had no relation to the Paula Abdul classic pop song though I admit that I wouldn't mind seeing the songstress take this (or any other sex toy) for a whirl.

You can email me with questions at Houstondon @ hotmail.com if you have any constructive criticism of the review too. :) Also you can follow me on twitter @HoustonDon

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