On the off-chance that you aren’t familiar with it, steampunk is a science fiction movement combining Victorian aesthetic with more advanced technology. Its focus on gears, brass, and steam-powered mechanics, placed amidst softer Victorian details, makes it easily identifiable. It’s risen in popularity through the years, to the point where you’d be hard pressed to go to any reasonably-sized comic convention and not find at least one Steampunk Iron Man cosplay.
So what happens when the two concepts merge? Rocks-Off magically transforms into Dr. Rocco’s Pleasure Emporium, for all of your sexy steampunk needs. I’m a long-time steampunk aficionado, and I was overjoyed when SheVibe announced that they would begin carrying toys from this line. I was going to request something from the Dr. Rocco’s line anyway, but to my delight, a vibrator was on the Reviewers’ Official List of Official Things You Can Review Officially and I was on it like brass on gears.
The Zeppelina is, as per the name, shaped like a zeppelin. (Steampunk loves airships. It’s a hallmark of steampunk, second only to goggles on top hats.) It’s a little over seven inches long, with a point at one end that grows to a more bulbous shape, then tapers again. The online photographs all show the silicone covering the toy as a gorgeous brassy brown, but in person it iridesces between purple and a coppery green, with that brown appearing somewhere in the middle. It’s designed, despite the silicone coating, to look like pieces of metal riveted together, with a sort of fishnetty texture along part of it, and a ring of gears near the base. The one button (sigh) is hidden among the gears, marked only by Rocks-Off’s R logo. A rechargeable vibrator, it plugs in at the back. It’s supposed to have lights to indicate how charged it is, but the lights are malfunctioning on mine. (I emailed SheVibe to make sure it wasn’t going to blow up. They assured me it was not but that if it actually stopped working to let them know. The indicator lights were the only thing that didn’t work; the toy is otherwise 100% functional.)
I love sex toys anyway (obviously) but what I love the most are sex toys that can inspire a fantasy, or at least, contribute to one. That’s part of why I’m so fond of fantasy dildos. Fantasy vibrators are, I feel, somewhat less common. But when the Zeppelina arrived from the Pleasure Emporium, that’s exactly what it was. Like other steampunk props and creations, it spoke of a past that never really happened, a world that never really existed. Somewhere between possibility and impossibility is where my imagination likes to play. Before I’d even tried the Zeppelina, I wrote erotica about it, constructing most of it in my head while running errands before I was able to type it up that evening. At that point, even if the Zeppelina proved a disappointment in use, I was extremely fond of it, and grateful for the way it affected my imagination. It could be the device—as in my story—of a brilliant steampunk inventor. It could, with its rivets and gear details, be an appendage of an enthusiastic android lover. It could be a pleasurable torture device belonging to a mad airship pilot. (Look, I’m not responsible for my imagination. I just live here.)
But, of course, as the good book says, man cannot live by erotica alone. The Zeppelina may inspire fantasy, but if the vibration sucks, it’s also going to inspire disappointment. Some critics claim that steampunk, like its predecessor cyberpunk, is more about form than function, and if we learned anything from the Rianne S Heart review, aesthetic can’t be all there is to a sex toy. So what happens once it’s charged?
Having had one Rocks-Off toy, I was expecting the Zeppelina to be a mild buzz, maybe enough to get me off at higher levels. So when I turned it on…I was unprepared.
The first level was powerful. I don’t just mean that it was more powerful than expected. It was actually, genuinely, without reservations, powerful. It was so powerful that when my spouse first tried it, they hated it. True, the power is on the buzzy side of things, but it’s real power.
The second speed is more. It’s a little more buzzy, but also noticeably stronger. I could get off with the first one. I will get off with the second one. It’s a little weird, and almost feels like there are two dueling motors, though I can’t find anything to indicate this is the case. It just has an odd quality, like the vibrations are echoing or something, but you know what? It’s still fuckin’ good. Even the buzziness isn’t too terrible—I can use it for a long time without getting numbed out or sore.
Speed #3 is the highest, and to be honest, it’s often too much for me. It is, like the rest, kinda buzzy, but also just really, really strong, to the point where I usually find it overwhelming rather than pleasurable. If I’m already going and thoroughly turned on, I can sometimes use it and have a really ridiculous orgasm, but for the most part, I stick with level 1 to get myself turned on, and 2 to get off. (And then I do it all over again.)
There are patterns, too, and if you like patterns, you’ll probably like these. I also like patterns, but honestly, I usually forget they’re there because I’m busy with the steady speeds. I appreciate that if you turn it off and back on, it starts again at the first steady speed, so I don’t have to click through all those patterns when I’m only using the first two settings.
The tip is nice and in that spot of “pinpoint, but not too pinpoint” that my Goldilocks clit likes, although I find that the vibrations are strongest not in the very tip, but the side of it. That’s fine, though, and makes it pretty easy for me to hold.
On the subject of holding the Zeppelina…listen. The button being part of the gear design is extremely cool visually, but can also be a little irritating. I’ve learned to hold it in such a way that my thumb can find the “right” gear pretty easily, but if you’re not paying attention, it’s easy to lose the button and have to pick it up and move it around to find it among similar-looking decorations, which can be an annoying interruption. Puzzles where you have to find the right node among several similar ones are great for, like, escape rooms, but not necessarily for sex toys.
The Zeppelina is designed to be insertable (though for vagina only—it is not anal-safe) but honestly? I found the bulbous part too uncomfortably thick for me. I have dildos that are wider, but for some reason this one just didn’t work for me, maybe because under the thin silicone layer there’s no give whatsoever. This is fine for me, since I’m not much for internal vibration, but also a bit of a disappointment that I couldn’t use it in every way that’s intended.
At $59.99, the Zeppelina is a little steep, but given the fact that it’s rechargeable and the design is spectacular, I think it’s well worth it. This is definitely a case where you’re paying partly for the aesthetic and the fantasy aspect of it. However, if you want a steampunk vibrator and can’t drop sixty bucks on this guy, Dr. Rocco has also got a line of cheaper battery-powered steampunk vibes, like the Halcyon. I have an even cheaper, non-steampunk bullet vibe from Rocks-Off that I’ve reviewed and while it isn’t the kind of vibrator I daydream about, it’s lasted several years and is pretty dependable!
If you love the steampunk aesthetic but aren’t necessarily looking for a vibrator, or want something anal-safe, Tantus also has an awesome-looking silicone dildo called Steam Hunk that hits a lot of the same notes—metallic silicone, rivets, fake technology. What more can you possibly want?
If the levels being Strong, Stronger, HOLYSHIT seems like too much, this might not be the toy for you. If you can’t stand a little buzz in your vibrations, this might disappoint a little as well. And, of course, the price isn’t accessible for everyone—which is why it’s nice that they have some cheaper options.
The Bottom Line
This toy is a steampunk dream. The look of it is wonderful and inspiring, and someone put a lot of care and thought into the design. And functionally, it’s pretty damn good! It’s not going to replace my usual vibrator every time…but sometimes, when I want to spark my imagination, I’m going back to the Zeppelina.
This item was provided by SheVibe in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.