cw: very brief mention of my partner’s health problems & medical stuff
Update to this post: My partner now uses they/them pronouns.
When I requested the Exposed Nocturnal Rechargeable Lipstick Vibe, I was beside myself with excitement. I like bullet vibrators, as evidenced by my overpowering love for the VeDO Bam. I also love reviewing budget-friendly toys, because not everyone can drop $80 on a vibrator that may or may not work for them. Retailing currently at $31.50, not only does the Exposed Nocturnal strongly resemble certain expensive bullet vibes, but it features controls I was in love with. Gone, I was sure, were the days of one-button controls, in which I could only go forward, never backwards, through myriad patterns until it looped around. I could go back and forth through the five speeds. I could skip the patterns entirely, or I could use them for a tease and then finish with a steady vibration. I was enchanted by the possibilities! Plus, that angled head meant some serious pinpoint stimulation, which I was sure would blow my entire mind and make me orgasmically incoherent for days on end.
And then it arrived.
The Exposed Nocturnal Rechargeable Lipstick Vibe is a slightly larger-than-average bullet vibrator, much like the VeDO Bam. Instead of coming to a point like a standard bullet, it has a slope at the top, much like a brand new lipstick. On the bottom are the charging magnets, and a little plus and minus sign. The bottom flashes slowly when it’s charging, and glows steadily both when it’s done charging, and when it’s in use, which…kind of makes it hard to see the little plus and minus, actually. There are five speeds, as opposed to the usual three, plus five patterns, which are, you know, patterns. If you like patterns, here they are.
Currently, it is only available in three (three!) shades of subtly sparkly pink and one of subtly sparkly purple. Mine is, I believe, in the shade “Raspberry.” (The others are “Cherry,” “Dusty Rose,” and “Sugar Plum.”) Listen…I like pink. My hair, at the time of this writing, is pink. I once described my aesthetic as “six-year-old girl’s birthday party.” But three shades, with few other options, seems excessive. Pink, whether we like it or not, has very gendered connotations, which can be dysphoria-inducing. And some people just don’t like pink, without any additional baggage. I initially thought maybe the colors were to tie in with the lipstick theme, but that theory falls apart when I realized that a) their entire Exposed line comes in the same colors and b) lipstick comes in a lot of colors that aren’t pink and purple. Colors like, oh, I don’t know, red? Even Blush’s own actual lipstick-shaped vibrator comes in red. (A really pretty red. I’d wear that if it were real.)
So, the day it arrived in the mail, I started charging it. It kept falling off the magnet charger, but that seems to happen with a lot of rechargeable toys, so I’m not mad about it. It helps to put it on a surface that’s approximately level with the outlet I’m using. (As with most toys, it’s a USB charger, but any wall adapter, such as the one you may have for your phone, will work fine if you’d prefer not to charge your sex toys at your computer.) It charged very quickly, but I didn’t get a chance to try it out until the next day.
My partner tried it first. This year alone she’s had surgery and a lot of health problems, not to mention chemotherapy, and maybe that’s why she came out and said, “It’s weak and did nothing for me.” So I went in, expecting something pathetic, and tried it out on the highest setting.
My clit almost screamed with agony and betrayal at the sudden assault on its person, and then I came almost immediately.
I mean, that sounds great, right? This is a powerful toy, and a lot of people will love it. The Exposed Nocturnal is generally well made, and I think if I hadn’t found another toy whose vibrations I’m madly in love with, it would be a favorite, even with its flaws—which I will come to. I understand why it’s gotten great reviews. I do still really love the controls and the fact that I can go back and forth at will. And let it be known that I was able to orgasm with it, several times! Some of them were really good orgasms!
But strength and insta-orgasm are not everything to me, and here we get into the nitpicking. The vibration power is weird—I can’t differentiate between the top two levels at all. It’s uncomfortable for me at the higher speeds, yet not quite enough at the lower ones. And I think that’s because the vibrations feel…rattly, somehow. The usual dichotomy is rumbly versus buzzy, but to me it’s not quite either of those. It doesn’t quite feel surfacey enough to describe as a buzz, and it doesn’t (happily) numb me out or make me itch like buzzy toys. But it’s also not the depth and tissue penetration I’m used to with rumbly vibrations, where it can easily reach my internal clitoral complex. It’s like shaking a tube of marbles against my clit and hoping for the best. A lot of the orgasms I get out of it feel kind of surfacey, not the deep, whole-body experience I get with other toys, and the build-up to orgasm (which is, to me, an important part of masturbation) isn’t as pleasant to me.
And every single time I use the Exposed Nocturnal, my clit and surrounding tissue hurts a little for a while after, a phenomenon I haven’t experienced since the last time I tried a Pipedreams vibrator. It isn’t damaged, and it doesn’t last, but it’s irritating. Some of this is because of the rattly vibrations, but I think it may be because the pinpoint is, as it turns out, too pinpoint for me. I guess I have a Goldilocks clit—some toys aren’t pinpoint enough, and this one is too much. I need one that’s just right. Porridge optional. I may have also been spoiled a bit by having mostly used a silicone-coated vibrator lately to soften any contact. That’s not a mark against this toy by any means—some people will need or want something that precise, and tons of people prefer a hard vibe, rather than having it softened by another material. And I will say, the pinpoint nature of it makes it one of the few toys I can use in the bath comfortably; not only is it waterproof, but because it’s so pinpoint, my chub don’t get in the way of my clit, even with my thighs close together due to the size of my tub.
It’s frustrating to me, because there is so much I like about this toy. It’s well-made, it’s pretty (if you like pink), it’s discreet and easy to throw into a handbag or makeup bag. And plus and minus controls should be standard, because I really hate one-button controls. If I could combine the controls with another motor, I’d probably never leave my room. But as it is, whenever I use it, I just find myself wishing it were a little rumblier, a little more this and a little more that. I even kind of liked one of the patterns (a standard escalating buzz) for edging (delaying orgasm), and then found myself annoyed that, after edging, the only thing I had nearby to finish off with was this same toy.
I have to say: I love the fact that decent rechargeable toys are becoming common and budget-friendly. While the vibrations in the Exposed Nocturnal aren’t my cup of Earl Grey, they are strong, and I know there are more expensive toys that are much, much weaker and buzzier. With rechargeable vibrators becoming increasingly budget-friendly, I’m starting to side-eye some of the “luxury” brands’ dedication to price. $80-$100 was undoubtedly a reasonable price for a rechargeable plastic bullet in 2012, but now, in 2019, it seems excessive. I also know that $80 isn’t a lot of money for some people! But for me, it’s a lot to put out for something that may not work for me, especially given the fact that motors tend to die and toys need replacing. (Blush does offer a 90 day warranty on the Exposed Nocturnal, though, so that’s a nice reassurance if you, like me, have ever had a toy die within a month.)
The Bottom Line
Despite my nitpicky complaints, this is genuinely a pretty good toy. The Exposed Nocturnal Rechargeable Lipstick Vibe is not the toy for me, but that doesn’t mean it’s not the toy for you! It’s very strong, and very pinpoint, and for some people that’s exactly what they need. If you find you want something with a hard, precise surface, if one-button controls absolutely frustrate you to tears, or if you simply want to try out a powerful, rechargeable vibrator for the first time, the Exposed Nocturnal is an extremely affordable option. There’s a good chance that you’ll have orgasms, and for $31.50, that’s a good outcome!
Purchase through Betty’s Toybox for $34.99