I Tested a 'Smart' Vibrator That Uses AI to Chart Your Orgasms

Ever wanted data about how hard you cum? The Lioness rabbit vibrator is the first of its kind to use biofeedback to graph your spank sesh.

Aug 25 2021, 8:00pm

My days are measured in dildos. My bedroom is basically a self-contained ecosystem of clitoral stimulators, standing rabbit vibrators, and whatever lubed-up toys slip in between—no Vajankles though, PLS. (Va-just kidding. No kink shaming here.) Anyways. In all my time spent slinging sex toys, never have I ever seen a schlong like the alien life force that is the newest Lioness rabbit vibrator—probably because I’ve never met a vibe that’s “smarter” than me.   

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“Wait, so how’s it a ‘smart’ vibrator?” a friend asked when I started describing the Lioness 2.0, despite not fully understanding how it worked myself. “It’s supposed to give you biofeedback with this app,” I said. They squinted. “It’s like a Fitbit for your clit.” Ohhhhhhhh. A Clitbit. Tight.  

Initially called SmartBod, the Lioness origin story takes us to UC Berkeley, where alumni Liz Klinger and James Wang first started toying with the idea of bringing better tech into sexual wellness products. “Klinger and Wang figure that the urge to quantify, measure and explore one’s body should logically extend to female excitement,” reported the university’s alumni magazine in 2015 (which, dur). “We help women learn more about their own bodies and about themselves [by] using sensors inside the vibrator that can capture unique arousal and orgasm characteristics,” Klinger said, explaining that the data gathered from those sensors on the vibrator, which measure everything from heat to contractions, was then visualized on a computer or phone so that you could lock eyes with your own orgasm and go, OK. So that’s what did and didn’t work for me. 

Fast forward a few years, and the first Lioness was born. Fast forward to now, and the vibrator’s second iteration—which even offers a live view of your spank sesh—has hit les shelves.

The Lioness Vibrator 2.0

I know, I know. Do we reeeeally need robots to tell us more about what’s already happening in our bodies? Is this another thinly veiled, elite-tech “proposition for the communists?” I, too, was wary of whatever data-smothered snake oil this vibrator could be offering. That being said, even in 2021, the world of sex toys—or sex tech, as it is slowly being rebranded—can feel really... dorky? Sexist? Tapped-out? Even some of the best toys are made by companies with cringe brand names. There are still vibrators called “the boyfriend,” and far too many turtle-choking, unsafe, plastic and battery-powered bullet vibes out there. The bar for quality engineering is so far below the floor, it scratches the ninth level of hell. 

So I was stoked to test the Lioness. I wanted to see if this was the One Vibrator to Rule Them All, so I gave it a go under different conditions to see how, if at all, it might change my relationship to my orgasm, my body, and the hot girl robot from Wall-E. These were my findings.  

The first use

I’m really shit with technology. I can never sync my WiZ light bulbs to my phone, and regularly spank my electric kettle (not a euphemism) to get it to work. But after about five or 10 minutes, I got the hang of setting up my Lioness vibrator with the corresponding Lioness app (there’s also a troubleshooting page online), as it basically holds your hand through every step of the process, from what the buttons do (there’s only two, which I appreciate for usability) to syncing your first “session.” There is literally an accelerometer and gyroscope in the vibrator that tracks where it moves (the company is currently working on those visualizations), and there are sensors in the vibe’s shaft that measure pelvic floor movements, which generally assume three different orgasm patterns: Volcano, Ocean Wave, and Avalanche. Yes, they all take after their namesake

That’s not to say they’re the end-all-be-all of orgasm patterns, of course. But Lioness says the categories are a result of “longitudinal data [gathered] from three users over three years, with hundreds of sessions therein, in beta testing with around 50 users, and have generally held for what we’ve seen in over 3,500 anonymized, aggregate sessions.” Damn. Aight. 

OK, but back to the vibrator itself. 

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You can just barely see its little sensors. They live under its purple skin (you can also get it in grey, but purple seemed appropriate for Leo season). Anywho, the sensors reminded me of that lady who “biohacked” her body with a chip that unlocked her house with her hands. Rich people shit, amirite? Unfortunately, with a price tag of $229, the Lioness isn’t cheap, but the technology is cutting-edge, and I guess someone’s gotta fund it. Fortunately, they have the option of letting you pay for it in increments. Though, if you haven’t yet tried a rabbit vibrator and don’t know if it’s for you, maybe start out with the Better Love rabbit vibe before graduating to the Lioness. 

So how is the actual sex toy, without its techy furls? That’s like asking who Dolly Parton would be without her hair. It’s just not going to happen, Brad. But the answer would still be: Two big, French-tipped thumbs, all the way up. The Lioness is a smallish vibe that’s easy to ride and has both a curved tip and a long rabbit attachment for clitoral stimulation that’s rounded instead of spliced like a lot of other “bunny ear” attachments, which I personally find better for sensitive clitoral stimulation. As far as the orgasm goes, I think I was a little too concentrated on the app to do my best work, but it did make my left contact lens roll into the corner of my head with pleasure, which means that, yes, it’s bomb! And also that I look like Columbo when I cum. 

Vibrators are such a subjective experience, but I think this is a great introductory toy. (Plus, it also has a quiet, high-pitched motor, so you won’t bother your roommates.) 

Analyzing the data

[Clears throat in Pauly Shore.] WOWOW, buddy. This was fun. I hate to admit how fun it was, because I love to bitch, but looking at your orgasm seismograph thingy is so interesting and empowering, and it gave me a thrill I’d not felt since I’d last signed on to Neopets (2001?) to see how my Shoyru was doing (never satiated). 

Here’s how it works: After masturbating, you clean that sucker, please, and then turn on the vibrator again, open the app, and tap “Sync Sessions.” Once synced, you literally rewatch your horny experience through a graph with little spikes and dips that represent all your contractions and orgasm(s). You get to zoom in and out on your phone’s screen, annotate the graph, and watch as the Lioness targets what it thinks is your orgasm. In my experience, it’s always been right; orgasms are usually indicated by sharp spikes with one to two second contractions, like a metronome. All in all, it reminds me of when I would smoke pot and watch my first boyfriend use Garage Band. Just delightful. 11/10 would recommend. 

Like a Rorschach test for your pussy

Things got even more interesting once I racked up a few sessions and started to see patterns. I learned that I have extended, Ocean Wave orgasms (my favorite) at night and when I focus on a combination of clitoral and G-spot stimulation, but when I’m stressed and more focused on clitoral stimulation, I have Avalanche orgasms. There's also an entire breakdown page in the app that tracks your average session time (one minute and 32 seconds; leaving no crumbs) and the time of day (I’m a morning and night person, which I already knew). There’s even a live-view option, which is a cool feature, but a little too distracting for me. 

I suggest diving into your data right after you’ve masturbated, while your memory is fresh—and to shake up your routine. I tried the Lioness at different times of day, with and without lube; I tried it with purported libido stimulants (big win, IMO) such as this maca arousal water; and I even tried it in the presence of ridiculous 1970s baroque porn, because I wanted to see what my orgasms would look like when I was both distracted and about to snort milk from my nose, which is sometimes how I feel when I’m having sex with another person, and I think you do too. (I mean, sex is a splooshy riot, dude. It’s weird!) So it was both hilarious and validating to see my vagina’s confused reaction to powdered wig people pumping it out over a tray of macarons. I ROFL’d, and so did my contractions. The chart doesn’t lie. 

TL; DR

I could have written 1,000 more words on this vibrator (bless you if you’ve made it this far) because, for one, I’m still exploring all the bells and whistles in the app, which also includes notes from fellow users and their own “tests” (wonder what a cannabis-fueled orgasm looks like? One after a concussion?), and because I’ve simply never had this kind of symbiotic experience with a sex toy.  

The most accurate, “modern analogue to what Lioness is [like],” Klinger told me, “[is] something like meditation apps because they’re about improving self-awareness.” The Lioness technology, she explains, is kind of like a sleeker version of what Masters and Johnson used in the mid-20th century when they had a bunch of lab equipment to track human sexual response. Only this time, it’s in your hands. 

“The feedback we got from people was that it helped change how they saw sexual pleasure,” she tells me, explaining that it helps move users’ relationship to self-pleasure away from a space of abstraction, shame, and taboo. “It has [also] helped facilitate conversations between partners about pleasure in new ways, because there is data and visuals you can refer to,” she says. 

I get it. I think a lot about how we, as both consumers and women, make space for technology in our lives in the larger scope of, IDK, people burning women at the stake? Making body stigmatizing crap like this? (I wanna give the Lioness to Silvia Federici, and get her notes.) Not to get too deep, but creating and owning a visual representation of my sexual pleasure isn’t just a novelty in the historical context of how women have been able to educate themselves on their bodies, or explore their pleasure—it’s a radical act. 

The Lioness 2.0 can be purchased on Lioness official website


The Rec Room staff independently selected all of the stuff featured in this story.

Tagged:

sex toys, sex toys for couples, Rabbit vibrator, vibrator, smart vibrators, smart sex toys, Lioness

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