In my early 20s I was something of a vagabond. I traveled for the experience itself, feeling good and strong as a young woman out on my own. A travel rule I had was to only pack what I could carry myself. I made packing lists in my journal, revising them on each trip. There is an art to knowing exactly how many pairs of underwear, tights, and knee socks one will need for a trip of any particular length. I decided I needed to be self-sufficient and eco-conscious as much as possible so that I would be prepared for almost any situation that might come up. First aid kit? Check. Writing and Drawing tools? Check. Flatware and travel mug? Check. Safer sex materials? Check. Vibrator?… I tried a handful of small vibes, mostly of the bullet variety, but none really stuck with me because of the paltry vibrations or the ease with which they broke. This was a gaping hole in my otherwise perfectly precise packing ritual.
When I first set eyes on the Duet by Crave I had a feeling about it: Maybe this was the travel vibrator I’d been seeking all those years ago.
It is roughly the size of a lipstick or a mascara wand at 4.5” long and pleasantly weighty for a vibe of this size. The Duet has a mid-range strength landing between the Jimmyjane Form 2 and Kandi Kisses by Bedroom Kandi (both rechargeable vibrators and stronger than any AAA battery or watch battery operated vibe.) What keeps the Duet a go-to on my bedstand and in my travel pack is the mid-range rumble in the tone of vibration. I have learned that the more high-pitched or buzzy vibrations either make my vulva itch or make it go numb after a short time, so I need a motor that has a little thud in it. Even though the Form 2 is stronger, the Duet has more rumble and therefore is better for me.
The shape is also really lovely. I love direct stimulation on my clit, but if I’m feeling especially sensitive I need to work up to it. I’ll use the “swell” setting (a steady crescendo of waves repeated) and press the entire vibe against my labia. This gets the blood flowing and after a little while I can pull the vibe towards my belly and position the tip of the prongs on either side of my clit. There are 2 other patterns of the pulsing variety, but I only use the “swell” and “steady” settings. The prongs are beveled differently on either side of the toy, which I didn’t think would matter because it is so slight to my eye, but woo-boy! My clit can tell. When I’m ready for the more direct vibration I always prefer the more flat side because it gives me more surface area.
This is a nice vibrator to hold. It is flat and fits easily in my small-ish hand. I can operate the buttons with the same hand I’m holding it with, which is necessary if I’m holding a dildo in the other hand. And I LOVE that the buttons have a raised “+” and “-” so that I can adjust the strength without looking. As I mentioned earlier, this small vibe has a little heft to it which is nice. It feels luxurious. The pronged tips, a motor in each one, are coated in silicone that is smooth with little-to-no grip and the base is metal with a chrome finish. The shiny chrome is totally sexy, but does hold onto fingerprints so it can look a little smudgy after a lot of use, especially with lube fingers. Mine is very scuffed up as you can see in the photograph, but I’ve also been using it for 4 years! 4 years of being thrown in a purse for date night, packed in a carry-on, even taken on road trips and used to alleviate stress in traffic jams.
Another cool thing about this rechargeable vibe is that it has a USB charging port built into the base of the toy. Just pull apart the toy from the middle and there it is! The base looks like a memory stick, so it can be charged anywhere without being obvious. I’ve charged it in my computer in the airport, no big deal. I can tell when I need to recharge my Duet because when I turn the toy on it will pulse 1-4 times depending on how much charge there is in it. I like getting a little heads up from my electronics about where we’re at, because it sucks to start masturbating and have the toy die immediately and without warning. The pulse notification really speaks to my need to prepare for whatever might be coming my way.
As long as the base and tip are connected completely there will be a seal preventing water from getting into the charging port via the seam in the middle. I’ve used the Duet in the bathtub, completely submerged. The only downfall is that I can’t use silicone lube due to the silicone on the toy. But a tiny dab of coconut oil on the tip mixing with the smoothness of the silicone surface meant I could still glide the toy along my labia without the grippy dryness that happens sometimes in bath or shower sex.
A pet peeve of mine is not even having to do with the Duet, but rather the marketing that often comes along with high-end sex toys. The Crave website says that the Duet is “so quiet you could use it in a library.” Claims like this make people believe that vibrators should be totally silent. This is just not possible. The Duet is very quiet FOR A VIBRATOR. I can not hear it over music being played, or porn dialogue, or even my A/C. But if I were in the reading room of my public library and decided to turn on the Duet, everyone in the room would know. And that is ok, because I should not be using a vibrator in the reading room of the library anyway. Context is key.
These days I’m not on the go nearly as much as I used to be and I think I might have done all the hitch-hiking that I care to do for a lifetime. But I am still making lists and working on my packing strategies even if it is for a tiny date night kit that fits into my fanny pack. The Duet vibrations are strong and of a good frequency. I can use it anywhere (except a library.) If I cared about being discreet, this would fit the bill. With my Duet I feel good using a sexy vibrator that was meant to last and I know that with this in my hip pouch I’m prepared for whatever lays ahead.