Toy Review – The Queen Bee by Hot Octopuss

 In Review, External, Vibrators

I hate this thing.

Sometimes I know I’m going to hate a toy, but when someone asks me to review it I agree anyway, because a blog of only glowingly positive reviews isn’t fair. This was not the case with the Queen Bee. I thought I’d be really into the Queen Bee, I specifically rushed at the chance to request the Queen Bee because of all the hype it was getting, and for that I kind of hate myself. Because I hate it. So much. And now here I am stuck reviewing it, when I’d rather hurl it over my 28th floor balcony onto the major highway below me and watch gleefully as it gets smashed into a million tiny pieces. I hate it so much I actually considered the ethics of just paying to use someone else’s already-written review and calling my obligations filled. I don’t feel like doing this at all.

Alas, here we fucking are.

photo of the queen bee branding on handle

I was so eager to get my hands on a Queen Bee because previous to its release, Hot Octopuss has gotten pretty excellent reviews. Their first toy – The Pulse (and all of its subsequent iterations and updates) – swept through sex toy land like a wildfire. Hot Octopuss had created a new kind of penile masturbation device (which they coined the “Guybrator” because unnecessary gendering of inanimate objects is all the rage) – a vibrating and pulsating C-shaped sheath that wraps around the penis rather than fully engulfing it like the Fleshlight or Tenga sleeves that dominate the market. One of the biggest selling points for the Pulse over other more traditional sleeves is that the Pulse can be used when placed on a penis that is not erect. This filled in a huge gap that other sex toys were leaving behind, with the elderly, disabled, and those unable to achieve and/or maintain erections. Hot Octopuss products had received enormous praise for not only being truly innovative in their field, but delivering a solid sex toy that actually pleased a great deal of people. I expected much of the same from the Queen Bee.

Photo from above showing queen bee, carrying pouch, user manual

I got none of the same from the Queen Bee, despite Hot Octopuss’s claims that I totally would. 

I’m just so angry about all the marketing language they’ve used. Let’s attack the shit out of it. “Reinventing pleasure”? Sure…maybe…let’s find out how!

The Hot Octopuss website reads

“Founded on medical science and patented across the world, the Queen Bee is a powerful next-generation clitoral stimulator.

Utilising our multi-award winning PulsePlate Technology™ to deliver a unique and intense experience, the Queen Bee is setting new standards for female toys.”

There’s of course no source for this “medical science” so just believe them, they did some science I guess. The frequent use of the words “powerful” and “intense” all across the web description is something I’m going to scream about in just a moment, but I want you to start considering the audacity of the existence of those word in this description. “New standards in female toys” because again, we must absolutely make sure people know women are supposed to use this, not anybody else, that’s not who it’s for! Aren’t we past this? The “pulse plate” thingamabob is basically the same as the one that’s inside The Pulse products which penis-havers seem to really like, what’s stopping them from using the Queen Bee instead? Not everybody with a vulva is a woman, not everybody with a penis is a man, not everybody even identifies as man or woman – IT’S A SEX TOY FOR EVERYBODY. And the constant touting of these awards HO has won? Listen. Lots of stuff wins awards for things that have nothing to do with whether or not it’s a good, pleasurable, or useful product. There’s a bunch of really shitty-feeling toys that have won awards for the tech inside of them or for the aesthetic design of them. That someone figured out how to solder some shit together in a brand new way is award-worthy in a tech field but not in a “this feels good on my genitals” field. Companies love to boast about their award-winning toys because that makes people think they’re going to like it more. As far as I can tell, HO’s awards are all from XBIZ, and I can’t tell what XBIZ’s criteria for an award are. I can tell you that the same years HO won an award for Best Male Toy, they were accompanied by brands like Lelo, Pipedream, Screaming O. I’m personally not all too impressed by XBIZ awards.

***Update 1/26/19*** HO reached out to me after finding my review in order to clarify a few of the points I’ve made. Apparently the links to the scientific research were available on some of the pages that related to The Pulse toys (which I did not read all of because…I was not reviewing those toys…) but the links should now be available on the Queen Bee pages as well. The “pulse plate” in the Queen Bee is the same tech used in the plates of the Pulse items

But what really set me off when I started reading about the Queen Bee?

Unlike conventional sex toys, the Queen Bee uses a ‘piston’-type mechanism in order to generate extremely deep and rumbly oscillations. These high-amplitude oscillations are significantly more powerful and intense than standard vibrations and often lead to a unique and very powerful orgasm.

PulsePlate Technology™ is the patented ‘piston’-like system the Queen Bee uses to deliver high-amplitude oscillations rather than the low-amplitude vibrations typically found in conventional sex toys.

Although oscillators are commonplace in the medical world, Hot Octopuss is the first to bring this technology to the
sex toy market.”

Excuse me? Eroscillator literally has the word OSCILLATE IN THEIR NAME OKAY and they’ve been around since at least 2008. It’s true that the Eroscillator’s oscillations are side-to-side rather than the up-and-down thumping the “piston-like-system” in the Hot Octopus products does, but HO is not the first ever to utilize oscillation tech in a sex toy. There’s even been knock-off Eroscillators that are basically just electric toothbrushes with a different tip (which is essentially all the Eroscillator IS when you open it up, just…y’know…better) that have existed before Hot Octopuss came on the scene. It’s possible to make big claims without being deceptive. It’s even more possible to just not make big claims – if your toy is really truly good, people will talk.

***Update 1/26/18*** HO tried to clarify with me that their claim is supposed to say they’re the first to use medical oscillation technology in the sex toy market, and they conceded that others have used…non-medical??? oscillations before them. This is another update they’ve made to the Queen Bee description pages. This is still a sticking point with me, though. This is the guy that invented the Eroscillator – he’s also the inventor of the electric oscillating toothbrush which completely revolutionized oral health. Even if the mechanisms inside the HO products are not similar to the ones used in tooth brushes and the Eroscillator, I still don’t totally enjoy the insinuation that dental health is not a part of the medical sciences field?  This still feels like such an absolutely unnecessary claim to put out there. Does it actually help sell the toy? Is someone out there going “I only play with my junk with things that are utilizing special medical devices and that’s how I’ve made the decision to buy from Hot Octopuss”? The Queen Bee is not being marketed as a device to help women with medical issues like the Pulse was, so do its buyers even care? It certainly didn’t make the toy any better for me…

photo from above showing "pulse plate" side of toy

I’d be significantly less angry and nit-picky about all this if the Queen Bee actually lived up to any of its big claims, but I don’t think it does. At all.

The pulse plate is a 2.5″ x 1.5″ oval situated at the big end of the device, and as advertised, it thumps up and down when you turn it on. By all accounts it sounded like a cool new idea, but in practice it falls on its face. The pulse plate can’t even reach my clit without me spreading my labia and pressing the toy hard into my vulva, but what happens when you put even the slightest bit of pressure on the pulse plate? It stops thumping because you’re holding it in place. This isn’t supposed to be a vibrator, but that’s what it turns into if you do anything more than gingerly rest the pulse plate against your skin. If you have a super exposed clit or are trying to use this on another part of the body uninhibited by folds of flesh, it may do what it says it will, but for someone like me who has to actually put a toy deep between their labia, this kind of thing does not work. I laid on my back, legs askew, just holding this thing against my body for what felt like eons and getting absolutely no pleasure whatsoever because it was just vibing the outside of my labia….and not even that well. The Eroscillator’s oscillations work because no matter how hard I push the tip of the toy into my body, it can still move in its side-to-side motion. If I rotate an Eroscillator tip onto its side and push down, it stops working as well because I’ve stopped it from moving half of the distance it’s supposed to travel and instead just vibrates in place. Turning the Queen Bee on its side to allow for the full motion of the pulse plate is not how this works though.

Photo from above showing the back of the queen bee including power and intensity buttons, charging port

I have all the same “this 2.5″ wide surface doesn’t fit between my labia” problems with the back of the toy. Why would I try to use the back of the Queen Bee? Because Hot Octopus says that the back of the device carrying vibrations is a “feature.” This is true only if you consider the word “feature” to be synonymous with the words “side effect.” All of my vibrator’s handles rattle – nobody has ever tried to tell me that was an added bonus. There’s no possible way HO could have made a toy like this that did not transfer vibration into the back of the design but honestly I’d be way more impressed if they had, because vibration transfer makes vibrators difficult to use for a bunch of people with hand pain and disability. That’s the kind of thing I’d give an award for.

I’d also give an award for not being SO FUCKING LOUD. I was offended the very second I first turned the Queen Bee on, it’s just such an overwhelmingly awful rattle, and it only gets worse as you turn the intensity up. Honestly it reminds me of my hand blender. There’s no way you could ever pretend this is anything other than a sex toy if someone were to overhear you. I don’t even have to be discreet about sex toys and masturbation – I can be as loud as I want – I just don’t think the toy should be significantly louder than I am. 

front and back texture comparison photos

I’m kind of excited that I don’t like and will never again use the Queen Bee because cleaning it would be a fucking chore. The top is smooth and for some reason printed with the image of the pattern created by the actually textured back. I can just imagine the joy of scrubbing lube and body fluid gunk out of each one of those itty bitty pits, and all the creases created by the side seams and pulse plate. I also really hate the magnetic charging port, I wish that “innovative technology” had never happened to sex toys. More often than not I come back into the room after thinking that my toy has been charging up for hours only to find that the cord shifted an 8th of an inch and broke the connection, leaving me with a still-dead toy.

The Queen Bee got three – and only three – things right in my book.

  • It’s waterproof, which you need to be able to get that thing clean
  • Despite being made of TPE, it’s non-porous (the rare use of medical-grade TPE, sort of like the Eroscillator) 
  • Hot Octopuss gave us separate power, intensity, and pattern buttons, so you don’t have to cycle through stuff you don’t want trying to get back to a setting you accidentally skipped.

Unfortunately I can find handfuls of waterproof, non-porous toys with sensible buttons on them so none of these upsides saves me from believing the Queen Been to be an absolute disaster.

Hot Octopuss sent me the Queen Bee in exchange for my honest review. You can click any of the links above to purchase one from my affiliate retailers or buy direct by clicking Here

Hot Octopuss Queen Bee Tl;dr