Jul 062014
 

Hot Octopuss PULSE vibrator for menSkeptic: Converted. I’ll admit, I was skeptical of the Pulse when it first came out – and a small part of that is the company’s name: Hot Octopuss. It doesn’t do it for me. And then somewhere along the line, it got dubbed the “Guybrator” and my eyes rolled out of my head. But I read a few positive reviews, started to rethink things and asked Lovehoney if we could review the Pulse. My cis male husband has enjoyed vibrating objects placed on and around his cock in the past, so I thought that he would at least find it decent for foreplay. What we didn’t expect, however, was for it to work so well. I mean, look at it!  But, don’t knock it til you try it. So far, it’s been used under conditions where one would think that an orgasm would be nearly impossible for him: in a lot of pain from dental work, stressed out, exhausted, even on low sex drive days. He was able to get the release he needed to feel better – and not just a boring release, either. The Pulse vibrator has consistently been able to provide a very powerful and intense orgasm.

The Pulse as a Couples Vibrator

The Pulse performs really well as a solo male masturbatory aid.  But Hot Octopuss felt the need to market it to couples, too.  I can understand that there are perhaps some applications with disability / ED where this could be a good idea, but in practice it doesn’t work for some body types. It does vibrate through the hard plastic material at the back, but not a lot. It’s possible for it to work if both people are of a somewhat thin build, and the clitoris is easily accessed. You’re not supposed to apply a lot of pressure to that vibrating/oscillating pad, so the couples’ uses confuse me; it seems like quite a bit of pressure is going to be applied naturally. But really, since the backside is made of hard plastic and the Pulse isn’t exactly small, trying to use it as a couples’ toy just does not seem….comfortable. The only “couple’s time” the Pulse is seeing for us is the husband using his Pulse and me using my Tango – mutual masturbation.  The Pulse does one thing really well, so let’s just let it shine there, okay?

The Noise Issue

It’s a bit loud. The company is working on fixing that, though. If you live alone or have plenty of totally-alone time to use it, you’re fine but otherwise this isn’t something you can sneak into the bathroom to use unless your house has some ambient noise. For my husband, the noise wasn’t distracting during use. It’s certainly nothing like Hitachi Magic Wand; it doesn’t have the typical high-pitched whine of many sex toys. It’s a very low-pitched rumble. We have A/C units running in our house so when I shut the bedroom room it couldn’t be heard; a TV turned on in a hotel room at a normal volume should be enough to cover up the noise. I’ve heard reports from other users that theirs seems to be louder than the unit we have, but it’s hard to compare sound based on heresay.

Will it Fit?

My husband is girthier than the average and so the silicone wings are a bit spread out on him. The Pulse also slows down the farther the wings are spread. If you spread the wings too far, the motor stops altogether. If you possess a pretty thick cock, bigger than 2″ diameter, you’d do better starting off with the flaccid penis in the Pulse and getting hard that way, rather than trying to open and wrap the Pulse around an already-erect cock. My husband’s cock is not perfectly “round” like most of my dildos, it’s more elliptical shaped, and is about 1.75″ at the widest part of the shaft. He’s also circumcised. The silicone is very “draggy” and there’s ridges on the inside; in short it would require quite a bit of lube to glide smoothly for most if used as a stroking toy. 

Shown below, the Pulse is attached to a Vixen dildo (the Realistic Medium Bent) which is 5.25″ long and 1.6″ wide; in the second photo it’s attached to the Vixen Vixskin Buck which is 6″ long and nearly 2″ wide. In the final photo it’s shown on the Sportsheets Flare dildo which is about 5.75″ long and 1.2″ wide.  I don’t think that the Pulse would work well for a penis less than 4″ long; the overall body of the Pulse is rigid plastic and the entire thing, tip to base, is 4.25″ long with about 3.25″ from the vibrating pad to the bottom edge.

Showing the Pulse on a Vixen Medium Bent Dildo for size reference Showing the Pulse on a Vixen Buck for size reference Showing the Pulse on a Sportsheets Flare dildo for size reference

The Pulse in Use

Hot Octopuss Pulse - Showing the Flexible silicone "wing" portionThe Pulse vibrator can be used solo in two ways – with lube as a stroking toy or without lube as a vibrating toy. Without lube is really how this toy shines, in his opinion. As far as he’s concerned, if you want a stroking toy, get a Tenga or a Fleshlight. But the Pulse brings something entirely different to the party. It’s intense and it’s nothing like sex. There’s no pretending; it’s not trying to feel like vaginal or anal or oral sex. It just feels different. Where you position the oscillating pad is really up to you. The instructions tell you to place it right at the frenulum but when my husband was playing around with it he moved it up and down the shaft of his cock to test out various spots and found that a spot about an inch below his frenulum was where it felt best for him, and the most intense. He also enjoyed being able to masturbate without lube – easier clean-up! 

Personally, I need constant vibration on my clitoris to get off – I hate patterns. But every vibrating sex toy my husband tries, he wishes it had patterns and the Pulse is no exception. For as good as it feels now, he thinks it would feel even better if there were a few patterns….pulses? Make it actually live up to its name?  For him, this would make it even more intense. He already rates the Pulse pretty high but feels that adding a few pulsating patterns would be a significant improvement.  The oscillating pad delivers a deep, penetrating intensity that reminds me of my favorite vibrator, the We-Vibe Tango. If Hot Octopuss were to add in some pulse settings to the Pulse….this might be the penis’ version of the Tango.

To keep it where you want it, a hand is sort of required. Resourceful folks could probably come up with a way to make this hands-free during use for whatever reason. He needed a helping hand to keep the oscillating pad at maximum just-right contact on his cock, pressing lightly from the open side. Those with a cock that is curved toward the belly will need this helping hand more. Some sort of fabric sleeve that snugly can encase the Pulse and penis would work best, I think, to create a hands-free situation.

Cleaning and Water

The Pulse isn’t even splash-proof, which is a big downfall. It not only makes clean-up a little more difficult, but it removes the possibility of using this in the shower. To clean the Pulse you can only use a wet cloth. The charging port is covered by a silicone plug but it doesn’t stay “plugged”, so I can see why it’s not classified as splashproof. It is made of safe materials – silicone and ABS plastic – but the seam between the plastic and the silicone can trap fluids and dirt, so pay attention to that area. On our Pulse, there is a spot where the silicone has pulled away from the plastic farther than it seems it should have, which the company is aware of and would replace if that happens to you.  The units are glued together by hand, which means there will naturally be a bit of human error but they’re quick to respond to customer service issues.

Showing the charging port on the Pulse Visible spot on the Pulse where the silicone has unglued from the hard plastic shell

Should You Buy It?

We think Hot Octopuss’s PULSE is pretty fantastic. I can’t recommend the couples’ toy aspect of it, but I don’t feel that that should ever have been a marketing focus to begin with. The Pulse has, so far,  performed consistently and delivered very powerful orgasms in less time than it would normally take him via manual stimulation. It charges via USB, is smaller to store than a Fleshlight or Tenga Flip Hole, and in short just feels great. If you require a quiet vibrator, then keep an eye out for their redesign. For my UK friends, you can get it here.

 

Thanks to Lovehoney for hooking us up with the Pulse, a great sex toy for men! Lovehoney has a 100 day return policy so if you don’t love it, send it back.

A special note about purchasing from my links in this review: Most of these links will take you to Lovehoney.com, their US Site, but Lovehoney is still based in the UK. It needs to be noted that when a US customer orders from Lovehoney.com, the package will be sent from the UK – and this means customs forms. I wanted to point this out because of the discretion issue – there will be wording visible that might bother some – it will say “Novelty items” and for some people, that’s enough to raise an eyebrow if others receive your package for you.Or maybe not! It’s not enough for me personally to have any issues, but I did have two readers contact me who were just feeling a little extra shifty about it, given their living situation. If you want any more information on this or have any concerns please email me or contact me on Reddit.

 Posted by at 12:01 pm
May 102014
 

Jopen Ego e5I get a lot of sex toys to review, so recently I nudged my husband to find something he’d like. It’s been a long time since he’s had something he loved for a prostate massager, so after some poking around at Shevibe he picked out the Jopen Ego e5. The Jopen Ego line is specifically aimed at penis and prostate toys; most of the line, in fact, is comprised of cock rings. They have four cock rings, all of them looking like some giant plastic kiddie costume jewelry ring you’d get in a toy vending machine for a quarter. Then there’s the Ego e4, which looks like your average prostate massager – aiming to hit the prostate two-fold, from inside and out. But the Ego e5 intrigued him. It looks very much like your average g-spot vibrator. In fact, I can see strong resemblances to the Envy Five, except that the Envy Five doesn’t have an anal-safety base.

Usually it’s true that what’s good for the g-spot is good for the prostate – something curved or angled, or just big and fat. And while one aspect of the Jopen Ego e5 is good – the motor is located at the end – it has a lot of small issues that don’t add up to a win for him.

The Good

The vibrations are quite nice – much more rumbly than buzzy, and pretty powerful in fact. I wouldn’t call it the most powerful motor I’ve felt, but it’s certainly no weakling. The silicone is nice – no texture, not a lot of drag, but not super silky, either. It doesn’t attract lint and fur easily. And the overall shape is great to be used externally – much enjoyment was had when I pressed the length of it against him during a blowjob. We positioned the vibrating tip to press against the anus, and he received pressure and vibrations against the perineum, balls and base of his cock.  And as I mentioned above, it’s also good that the motor is located in the tip.

Jopen Ego e5The Bad

While the vibrations are rumbly and powerful, apparently straight vibrations are not something his prostate enjoys. It’s overkill, it’s boring, it’s just nothing special. If the Ego e5 had a pulsating function, it would have greatly improved his opinion. And despite the shape of the Ego e5 appearing to be prostate-friendly, he simply couldn’t get it to really hit his prostate. Not to mention the fact that the best position for him during use made the middle “bloop” rest at the sphincter – very uncomfortable indeed. He also kept hitting the button during use and turning it off. The Jopen Ego e5 uses a single button – you click it to turn it on or off, but must press and hold to ramp up in vibrations. Once you’re at the maximum level of vibrations, there’s no way to back down in intensity without turning the vibrator off completely.  There’s also a decent amount of flex in the first “joint”, which he isn’t sure is a good thing. He personally likes a lot of pressure on his prostate, though. Ironically, he’s had better luck with a straight, hard plastic vibe than the Ego e5.

What about the G-Spot?

Honestly I think this vibrator would be better suited for g-spot users. I tried it out before handing it off to him, and while it wasn’t quite powerful enough for my tastes, it should be powerful enough for most. And, this would give us g-spot people another damn color choice besides the pinky-purple that Jopen seems to think we want. The gender binary and stereotypes are strong with this company. The entire Ego line only comes in royal blue, while most other Jopen lines only come in “femme” colors.

Should you get it? Jopen Ego e5

At the end of the day, unless you think this would make a great g-spot vibe, we can’t recommend the Jopen Ego e5 for prostate play. After failing with this style we began to think that the e4 would suit him better, but then we read Incendiaire’s review and found out this baffling bit: on the e4 the motor is located in the external arm. What the fuck? Why? Regardless, the Ego prostate massagers just don’t seem to be worth the price tag. I honestly don’t see him ever using it again for its intended purpose, but we may pull it out for blowjob assistance now and then. Of course, I have an aresenal of other vibes that work just fine for that application.

 

Thanks to Shevibe for hooking us up! I hope to find him something else wonderful for prostate massage in the near future. For now, the list of possibilities includes: the Nexus Gyro Xtreme, the Fun Factory Duke, or the Lux LX3 Plus. Anybody have any experience with those?

 

Tantus Stroker XL

 Reviews, Sex Toys, Toys for Penises and Prostates  Comments Off on Tantus Stroker XL
May 202012
 

Just like there are many different types of vibrators, there are different types of masturbators for men. The Tantus Stroker XL is pretty much exactly what the name implies: Something to add on to your stroking. It’s not going to mimic a blowjob or sex for the most part, but it can be a great alternative to the simple hand job.

The Tantus Stroker XL is in a small class; there really aren’t many high-quality, silicone masturbators out there. While most men are never going to share their masturbators, having something made from a very porous material can still be a downfall (ever forget to clean up after a good masturbation session? It happens to me, and the husband, more than one would like to admit). My husband has ruined both a Fleshlight and a Tenga Fliphole from either forgetting to clean it and then putting it away for awhile, or cleaning it but not letting it dry 100% before putting it away for awhile. He’s never experienced an obvious mold situation with those, but they did both retain an unpleasant odor that didn’t go away with rubbing alcohol.

It’s not exactly easy to accurately describe the feel of the Stroker XL. It’s solid, yet soft. It stretches and moves, yet not nearly as much as rubber, jelly, TPR or Elastomer blends. If you’ve tried a Fleshlight product or any Tenga product, they’re much softer and much stretchier. Yet they’re also porous. They’re a little difficult to clean because you’re restricted in what you can use. Tenga products tolerate soap and water, whereas Fleshlight can only tolerate water or a little rubbing alcohol if absolutely necessary. Silicone, of course, can be boiled, thrown in the dishwasher, washed with soap and water, etc. The mere fact that the Tantus Stroker XL was made of body-safe, easy-to-clean silicone was enough to persuade us into trying it. The silicone has a more matte “texture” to it; it is partially translucent when unstretched. It doesn’t catch and hold onto dust and fur/hair as easily as the more “sticky” material of the Tenga Fliphole; however it does gather up some detritus (much moreso than the Tenga 3D strokers).

The Stroker XL is bigger than the original Stroker. Just a little over 5 inches long, the unstretched inside width is 1.5 inches; the unstretched inside width where a ridge is is only 0.9 inches. This sleeve does stretch and has give, and it is soft….yet those ridges are very, very substantial. There is nothing subtle about this stroker. Each ridge is almost 1/2 an inch thick from the outside of the stroker to the inside edge of the ridge. If your cock is sensitive at all – if you don’t like pressure, if you prefer the silky, smooth things in life – you’re not going to like this. The prominent ridges can easily “catch” on the frenulum. Perhaps for someone with a cock that is not as thick as my husband’s, it wouldn’t feel so overwhelming (he’s about 7.5″ long and 1.75″ wide).

I got my husband the Tantus Stroker XL and a Tenga 3D Sleeve (Pile) at the same time to try. Despite the fact that the Tenga was a little *too* soft for him and he ended up being a little too rough with the material, the Stroker was a little too much. And this is coming from a guy who can enjoy a really firm grip on his cock during a handjob. We started out at first with the Tenga 3D, switched to the Stroker XL, and then back to the Tenga 3D. He did say that the Stroker made his cock more sensitive, which allowed him to climax more easily then using the Tenga. That’s not to say it’s a necessary step in order for him to orgasm with the Tenga. He did use a lot of lube with the Stroker and after just a few minutes use, his cock was noticeably more pink than before. You know how your clitoris or penis is really sensitive just after orgasm? Well I’d recommend that you remove the Stroker XL from your penis before you climax. Our thought is that the sensation would be unpleasant to slide it back down just after orgasm.

Another aspect that drew us to this stroker is that it doesn’t look like anything. It’s pretty plain. The “realistic” stylings to the Fleshlight products don’t do anything for my husband; neither do designs that look like a flower, a dinosaur, etc. Since this is a “Stroker” it is open-ended and will not provide any suction. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but my husband prefers masturbators that cover the entire head of his cock and the shaft and so he didn’t really love this open-end design.

The standard recommendation is to proclaim that only water-based lubes can be used with silicone products. However, Tantus uses only high-quality, pure silicone. A high-quality silicone (or blended) lube will not necessarily ruin the product. I’ve successfully used a couple of silicone lubes on Tantus items. Another option for someone who prefers a thicker lube for masturbation is to use Boy Butter, either formulation. Tantus has said that coconut oil is perfectly compatible with their silicone and I asked them if Original Boy Butter was safe with the Stroker; a resounding yes was the answer!

All in all though, this isn’t going to get used anymore. Tantus would have to completely remake this in a softer silicone for it to be good for someone my husband’s size.

 Posted by at 12:17 pm