The iTap is plastic, but the surface is made of a nonporous, polyurethane material known as Velvet Cote. This material is pthalates-free and gives the vibe a velvety smooth texture on top of the rigid plastic body. It is odorless.
The iTap vibe is a "traditional" design. It is slim, cylindrical, and tapers toward the head to a point. Its size is beginner friendly - not too thick and the tapered head makes penetration easier. Those who are hoping for a more filling experience, or G-spot stimulation, will want to look elsewhere. For either camp of sex toy user, the tip of the vibe is great for clitoral stimulation.
The shape is so minimalistic, that the thought of someone finding it is less mortifying. It certainly doesn't pass as a household item, but it looks less 'scandalous then say, a realistic dong complete with balls. I feel fine leaving mine on my dresser in the dorm, but my roommate is fairly comfortable with these things.
The base, which is both battery compartment and the controls of the iTap, looks a little bare without the usual dial or button that I'm used to seeing on my vibrators. The only adornment is a little sticker that says "Touch Me!" on the cap to the battery compartment. Instructions on how to insert the batteries are included on an insert, complete with diagrams. The base unscrews and pops open to reveal a chamber for two AA batteries. These are loaded in positive-end first. To close the compartment: line up the black triangles on the cap and threads, push down to hold the two pieces together, and then twist to lock it closed. Be aware that the iTap will only run on alkaline batteries; rechargeable batteries will not work. If you have inserted alkaline batteries properly and the toy is still not running, or running and stopping, try fresh batteries. The iTap can be a bit of a power hog.
The main draw of the iTap is its new touch-activated technology. Instead of pressing a button or turning a dial, you simply tap, touch, or caress the flower-shaped base of the toy and the vibe buzzes to life. The iVibe has five functions, each successive function activated by a new tap, and the sixth tap turns the toy off. In order, the functions are, in onomatopoeic fashion:
1. Bzzzzzzt (straight vibration)
2. BZZZZZZZZT (straight vibration on steroids)
3. BAM BAM BZZZT
4. BAM BAM BAM BAM
5. BUM-DUM BUM-DUM BUM-DUM
The one drawback to this design is that to get to your favorite function or to turn the toy off, you must cycle through all the settings in between. An emergency off-switch would be a welcome addition.
I have found that when batteries are starting to run out, the toy will often turn on for the first function, but then be unresponsive to following taps, and will not even turn off. In this case, the cap must be manually unscrewed to cut power to the vibe. On the other hand, when a fresh pair of batteries has just been inserted, the toy is so sensitive that it may turn on just by holding your hand close to the base. In a few instances, the iTap, running on fresh batteries, would glitch and skip over a function. When it is in the mood to work 100%, however, it is very easy to use and I have yet to accidentally change the settings in the middle of a session. However, this may be because I don't generally put my fingers or thumb on the base of the toy when using it. If your fingers glance over the flower-shaped indent in the base where it is touch-sensitive, chances are you may change settings accidentally.
All the settings have rather strong vibrations. Holding the shaft tightly in your hand will give you a numb feeling after a few minutes. The noise level of the toy is also a little high, and if someone else is in the same room, or the door is open, it can easily be heard. However, behind a closed door, the hum of the vibe blends in with other background noises, such as the sounds of air conditioning. In dead silence, however, there is little that can disguise the buzz of the iTap.
The iTap is not at all waterproof, and does not claim to be. Be careful to take out batteries when cleaning, as water can get into the battery compartment and a mere tap is all it takes to turn on the vibe.
The iTap can be cleaned with antibacterial soap and water, or wiped down with isopropyl alcohol. It should not be boiled. There are no grooves or crannies for fluids to hide in, so cleaning is relatively easy. The iTap does not have a flanged base, so please do not use it for anal play. If shared a condom should be used for maximum safety, even though Velvet Cote is non-porous. It is compatible with water-based and silicone lubes.
The iTap's box displays a photograph of the product and some catchy phrases that advertise the product and sum up its functions and controls.
The toy was a little frustrating the first time I tried to play with it, but more due to its pickiness for batteries than anything else. I first tried a pair of rechargeable batteries, which were rejected without so much as a faint buzz. I then popped in a pair of alkaline batteries which have worked fine for other toys, but weren't fresh enough for iTap's tastes. I swapped those for another pair, which were less used. The iTap ran for a few minutes before it started glitching on functions and randomly turning off. By this time, I was getting pretty tired of putting batteries in and then shaking them back out (rechargeable batteries were especially hard to wrestle out), so I was relieved when I popped in two brand new alkaline AA's and was rewarded by a fully functional vibe.
I enjoy using this vibe for quickies, especially for clitoral stimulation, since I'm a fan of strong vibrations.