Zolo Pocket Pool Straight Shooter

Last week I reviewed the Zolo Cup, Zolo’s answer to the Tenga Cup, and found out that it came up a little short. This week I’m going to be reviewing another Zolo product, also kindly provided by the folks at Bondara, the Zolo Pocket Pool, which is more or less a Tenga Egg. You may be sensing a pattern here.
Whereas last week I did pretty much a direct back-to-back comparison with the Zolo and Tenga cups, in this case I reviewed my Tenga Egg back in June of 2012, so we’re going to have to rely mostly on my memory when ascertaining which is superior.

The Pocket Pool is by no means an original concept, something which I had been quick to praise Tenga for in the past, but where I have to give Zolo credit is in the branding. There are 6 different Pocket Pool options to choose from in total, each packaged inside a black plastic sphere, and wrapped up in colourful cellophane to make them look like billiard balls. Where the notion of Tenga’s “Egg” comes off as a little goofy, there’s something a bit cooler about the Pocket Pool, both with its appearance, the innuendo in its name, and the laddish connexion to a popular pub game. I can imagine it superficially having a broader appeal, especially to male shoppers buying for themselves.
Once you peel off the cellophane and crack open the black ball you’ll find inside a wobbling white ovoid resembling a hard boiled egg, almost like a reverse Kinder Surprise. The toy itself is a thin, stretchy, textured sleeve, made from what appears to be TPE, and it comes perched atop a little plastic cone into which a small 5ml sachet of lube is tucked. In total the sleeve is about 2″ wide, and comparable to the Tenga Egg in size.
Each of the Pocket Pool variants has a different texture on the interior surface, which can be easily seen by flipping the sleeve inside out to reveal the raised pattern. For the most part they’re quite dissimilar to the designs found inside the Tenga Eggs, offering up a little variety, but they seem equally prominent in depth which is reassuring. The Straight Shooter that I was sent has what’s described on the Zolo website as a “wheel texture”, and indeed it does rather remind me of a child’s pinwheel that you see being sold at the beach. The raised areas are arranged almost in a spiral, and packed quite closely together, giving a nice first impression when you run a finger across them.
The base of the sleeve has a 1/2″ wide orifice which serves as the access point into the toy, and the easiest way to make use of it is to enlarge it with your fingers and pull it over the tip of the penis. The soft material is incredibly stretchy and able to fit over a penis of almost any size, and once on it completely covers the glans, along with the sensitive areas of the inner foreskin, giving a snug yet comfortable feel.
You will want to (need to) apply lube to the inside of the sleeve before using it, whether that be from the sachet provided or some of your own, but it doesn’t take more than a few drops to give a sufficient coating. This time around I decided to use my own lube, after my experience with that included with the Zolo Cup, but it’s a personal preference. 
Kevin Warhol modelling the Zolo

My initial impression of the sleeve once it was on was that it felt very much like my recollection of the Tenga Egg, and gave that feeling of a secondary foreskin hugging the head of my penis. It’s a pleasantly natural and realistic feeling, which I find is always a good starting point with any masturbator. Once you begin to play around with it the natural feeling continues, and the sleeve glides comfortably across the surface of the glans as the material stretches out. It’s possible to stretch the sleeve down almost the entire length of the shaft if desired, but I found this to be unnecessary, and that the Pocket Pool was much better suited to being used primarily to massage the head and top third of the shaft where the most erogenous tissue lies. The advantage to the sleeve being thin and flexible is that you can apply as much external pressure as desired during use, and it’s this combination of stretching the material and squeezing it that makes the internal texture come to life. It’s not the most stimulating sensation in the world – nor would you expect it to be – but amidst that natural and foreskin-like masturbatory experience, you can really pick out many of the little ridges as they pass over the glans, and especially where they tickle the frenulum. It’s a enough to give a satisfying little boost to your everyday hand-job, and make it that much more enjoyable with these extra points of interest to feel. 

One thing I really did like about the sleeve was the density of the texture, because it meant that the bumps stayed quite close together during use, allowing them to be felt more. One of the things I was less fond of with the Tenga Egg I tried was that the texture seemed to spread apart too much when it was stretched, leaving my penis rubbing against smooth sections of the material at times, but that didn’t appear to be the case with the Straight Shooter.
For me the Pocket Pool works well as a toy for prolonged use, one, because it isn’t too intense, and two, because it’s entirely enclosed when it’s on, so the lube doesn’t evaporate and you needn’t stop to reapply. It allows you to edge for a sufficiently long time to make the most of it, and then when you are ready to finish up it catches all your ejaculate, leaving you mess free and avoiding any real clean up.
The Pocket Pool sleeves are intended to be single-use, just like the Tenga Eggs, but honestly I’m in no rush to throw mine out yet. The material is a little thin and fragile, so I can see it tearing if you try stretching it to some real extremes, but it’s also pretty well made, so provided you rinse it out after use and exercise a little care I see no reason why you shouldn’t be able to prolong its life to several uses.
So, down to the important business, would I recommend the Zolo Pocket Pool? This time I’m going to have to say a resounding “yes.” It may not be the original, but it’s just as good as the Tenga Egg, and right now at Bondara they’re a pound less at only £6.99. It’s a fun toy which feels really good, makes masturbation a bit more interesting, and it’s got some nice branding to go with it. It’s a great thing to chuck in a suitcase for a weekend away, or just to treat yourself to a little something different.
You can buy the Zolo Pocket Pool Straight Shooter, and the rest of the range, from Bondara.

Zolo Cup Personal Trainer

A couple of weeks ago Peter from Bondara got in touch and asked if I’d be interested in reviewing one of the new Zolo products they had in stock. Zolo wasn’t a brand that I was familiar with before, but it’s an American company (with products manufactured in China), that specialises in a series of male masturbators very similar to those on offer from the Japanese company Tenga. I hate to use the word “knock-off” but that is immediately what sprung to my mind when I saw them, so it remains to see whether they’ve managed to take Tenga’s idea and improve upon it in some way, or if indeed it’s just a poor imitation. I reviewed the Tenga Cup a few days ago, so let the comparisons begin!

Like the Tenga Cups the Zolo Cups are a range of single-use disposable masturbators, and there are seven to chose from in total, each with a slightly different internal texture. I was sent the “Personal Trainer” unit which claims to be able to help you “Improve your performance in the bedroom” and “train yourself to last longer,” a little bit like their answer to Fleshjack’s Stamina Training Unit.
The Zolo is a similar size to the Tenga cup, measuring in at 6 1/4″ tall by 2 5/8″ wide, again putting it in that sort of beer can territory. It has a slightly more basic design to the outer casing, with the plastic shell being largely cylindrical, only broken up by 5 shallow grooves running around it, and these are spaced out in such a way to give you a convenient place to rest your fingers for a comfortable grip. The interior is filled with an entirely unknown material, but which I’m guessing from the look and feel is a slightly sticky form of TPE. I’ve checked the side of the packaging, the manufacturer’s website, several different retailers’ pages, and I’ve even tweeted to Zolo, but still I haven’t found an answer about the material, so make of that what you will. Like the Tenga again it’s built as a self-contained unit with only a cap for access at one end and a vent hole at the other, so there’s no taking it apart.
When I popped the cap off for the first time I was surprised to discover that the Zolo doesn’t actually come pre-lubricated, which was one of the features I really liked about the Tenga as it makes it instantly ready to go as soon as you want it. Instead the Zolo comes with a 10ml sachet of lubricant crammed into its cavity for you to gingerly pull out, then tear open and squirt into the chamber. It doesn’t sound like a lot of lube, or indeed look like that much in the sachet, but once you’ve emptied it all into the cup it actually proves to be quite a generous amount.
Inserting myself into the Zolo for the first time was a little uncomfortable because I discovered a ring of dry foam packed directly behind the orifice, and this scraped over the head of my penis before I got deep enough to to reach the nice lubey TPE part. I found I could only get about a third-halfway into the Zolo before I got stuck, so I removed my penis and the ring of foam promptly popped out with it. I double checked the packaging to make sure I hadn’t missed some instruction to remove it, but there was none, and I decided to leave it out anyway, despite the orifice now hanging loosely like a limp slice of wafer thin meat. The second insertion was much more successful; no more discomfort and I managed to get in all the way, though I didn’t feel as though I was in as deep as with the Tenga, and the loose material around the orifice had popped out and stretched down my shaft like a hungry pair of lips. Like with the Tenga the Zolo does feel similarly snug when you’re fully inside it, and if you let go of it it will pop right off the end of your penis, but it should still be usable for people with a broad range of penile girths.
The inside of the cup does feel quite nicely lubricated once you’ve got the full sachet emptied in there, but the word I find myself drawn to is “sufficient.” The lubrication is sufficient to use the toy, but it’s definitely not there in such liberal quantities as with the Tenga, nor is it of such a slippery consistency. The lube feels quite thick and quite gummy to the touch, so while it does lubricate you don’t get quite such a slick motion. Personally I would have preferred to use a lube of my own, one of a good quality that I trust, such as Give Lube, or Gun Oil, as I feel that would have given a better result. The other issue I found is that lube does tend to leak out of  it during use, possibly because I had to remove the foam pad, so I found a lot of it congealing in my pubic hair.

The central channel of the Zolo is textured, and like with Tenga it’s not the same texture throughout, but rather separate and distinct areas each with its own assortment of bumps or ridges as it may be. One of the nice features of the Zolo is that is actually has a cutaway diagram of the internal texture printed right on the side of the case so you can refer to it during use, and this was especially convenient for me as a reviewer when I was trying to figure out exactly what I was feeling at each depth. The inside of the toy is very soft and feels comfortably pleasurable as you’re thrusting away with it, but I found the textures much less discernible than with the Tenga, which came as a surprise to me as this is supposed to be the “Personal Trainer” model. I was expecting something with a much stronger sensation, delivering a sort of stimulation that I’d have to work hard not to react too, but instead it was just a mellow feeling of the head of my penis being gently massaged by something altogether non-distinct. My favourite area of the texture is right at the very start, where there lies a series of small ridges, and these are easily identifiable. The ridges mostly give pleasing stimulation to the corona of the glans, with some occasional reaction from the frenulum. Beyond these are a series of bumps, and every now and then you’ll feel one tickle the frenulum satisfyingly if you have the Zolo orientated just right, but otherwise it’s easy to miss them as they’re slightly too spaced out. The rest of the channel is supposed to have a few bumps and ridges along it, but from what I could tell it might as well have been smooth, not that there’s anything wrong with smooth; my first Fleshjack had no texture and I still enjoy giving it a whirl on occasion.

I found that my preferred way to thrust with the Zolo was to focus on the entrance to the toy, with lots of short strokes to catch the ridges and bumps, only occasionally going the full depth to add some variety, and this was actually pretty satisfying and pleasurable. Like with the Tenga it’s not over-stimulating, in fact it’s even less stimulating than the Tenga, so you can carry on for a long while with it, and you still get that lovely feeling of something soft and slippery massaging the head of your penis with each stroke. It’s definitely better than just a hand alone, and despite the build up being quite relaxed, after a sufficient amount of time spent edging with the Zolo it delivered quite the powerful orgasm, so there’s no complaining about that.

In terms of suction it works pretty much the same way as the Tenga; I don’t see that either one has a real advantage over the other, so I might as well just repeat my thoughts verbatim from the other review. In fact the only real difference is that the Zolo makes more of a farty noise compared to the Tenga’s slurpy sound, but I feel like I’m really lowering the tone with this sentence. The vent hole in the top of the Zolo allows for air to escape during use, and its other purpose is for creating suction by covering it with a finger during the out stroke. This actually works surprisingly well, and you do get a strong sucking sensation from it, but in the process it diminishes the amount of texture you can feel, so it’s a trade off.

I have to say that on the whole I actually like the Zolo cup, but I’ve also reached the conclusion that there is no doubt that it is indeed a Tenga knock off, and on every point the Tenga just edges out ahead of it and beats it. So then, would I recommend it? Well for this one we’re going to have to talk about price. If it were in fact a cheaper knock off then I’d be sat here saying to you “go ahead, buy it! Save a couple of quid and you won’t mind the drop in quality for that price.” The fact is though that it’s not. The folks over at Bondara currently sell the original Japanese-made Tenga Cup for a bargain price of £9.99, while the Zolo Cups are all £11.99. For me that makes it a no brainer, buy the Tenga and get something better for less money.

Thanks to the folks at Bondara for sending me the Zolo Cup to review. You can check it out on their website, along with the rest of the range, and you can also buy the original Tenga Cup there.