Tenga Air-Tech Gentle / Regular / Strong comparison

I’ve been a little inactive on the review front lately, and to make up for it I’m going to be doing a little something fun today: comparing all three of the new Tenga Air-Tech masturbators, courtesy of my long-time friends at SexToys.co.uk

This is exciting for me because typically when there’s a range of toys to choose from you never see them all reviewed by the same person, and often I find it quite difficult to decide what’s going to be the right one for me to buy when I’m piecing together different people’s opinions and experiences. I had that very problem with the Tenga 3D, and I ended up picking poorly. I’m hoping that by me looking at the Air-Techs all at once I’ll be able to offer some continuity.

The Air-Tech is Tenga’s latest iteration of their popular original Deep Throat Cup masturbator, and the twist is that for the first time they’re now re-usable. This is big news for a brand that predominantly focusses on disposable single-use toys (with the notable exception of the Flip Hole line), and this is achieved by replacing the interior structure of the toy with a removable sleeve made entirely from TPE, rather than the combination of TPE and foam that was fused inside previous models. The trade-off that comes with this however is the price, you’re looking at around double the cost of the originals, but that’s still around a third of the cost of a Fleshjack or a Flip Hole, so in my mind this is an excellent deal notwithstanding.
From the outside the Air-Techs are very much like their predecessors, duplicating their form in size and construction. The whole toy is 6 1/8″ tall by 2 1/2″ wide, which last time I compared to a beer can, and which I still feel is the most convenient way to convey how they feel to hold. The outer shell is made from a single piece of hard plastic in a vaguely hourglass-style design, giving a comfortable groove to wrap your thumb and fingers around whilst holding it. Again the toy is accessible only via an end cap at the base which pops on and off, and it features a small vent hole at the top.

Unlike the Deep Throat Cups the Air-Techs do not come pre-lubricated, which is understandable as they’re a multi-use product, but instead Tenga includes a sachet of lubricant tucked within the channel of the toy, which is always handy to have.

The Air-Tech is available in three different options, each of which features not only a different coloured case, but a different tightness and internal texture too. The white one is the “Gentle” and the loosest of the three, the red is the “Regular”, and the black is the “Strong” which is supposed to be the tightest and most intense texture. I’ll discuss their differences and how they feel individually in just a little bit.

One of the other innovations common to all the Air-Techs is what they call the “Airflow Structure.” The exterior of the removable sleeves features a spiral of ribs which are designed to channel air out of the plastic case via the vent hole as soon as a penis is inserted into the sleeve, and in the process create a sensation of suction during thrusting. The suction can then be adjusted by covering the vent hole with a finger to restrict airflow, much in the way that one would tighten the end cap of a Fleshjack. The only problem with this is that I found that when I covered the vent hole entirely I could neither insert my penis into the toy, nor pull it out again if it was already inside, because there was no other point for air to enter or exit the case, and this movement of air is necessary for the Air-Techs to function correctly. The only way to really adjust the suction is to try to carefully cover only part of the vent hole with your finger, and while this works it can be a little fiddly. With the vent hole left completely uncovered I didn’t really notice any increased sense of suction in the Air-Techs compared to my experience with the Deep Throat Cup, so I’m not entirely convinced of the effectiveness of the Airflow Structure, but one thing I must point out is that the toys get very noisy during use, with air whistling and wheezing out of the vent holes with every thrust.

Air-Tech Gentle

The Gentle, as the name might imply, is marketed as the least intense of the three, so I decided what better place to start than at the bottom and work my way up. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect beforehand, because normally when presented with a choice such as this my instinct would be to go right down the middle and pick the “Regular” one, as perhaps like most people I neither consider my penis to be particularly over-sensitive nor under-sensitive. As it turned out I was almost immediately taken aback by how good this Air-Tech felt.

The inside of the Gentle is lined with a spiral texture which is actually quite subtle. It’s enough that you can tell from the feeling that there’s there’s some sort of ridging there, rather than it being completely smooth, but not enough that I could have actually identified what that texture specifically was without looking at the cross-section diagram. The central channel itself undulates and has a varying thickness, but the overall tightness of the toy was something that I found quite comfortable as someone who has an above average girth. With the toy well lubricated I was able to slip inside of it without needing an excessive amount of force, and once fully inserted it felt quite snug, but without exerting too strong a squeeze. With the first few slow thrusts you can feel that changing tightness within the channel, as well as the shallow fins of the spirals rippling over the head of the penis, and as you increase this to a more vigorous speed it becomes very pleasurable. What I love about the Gentle is actually how natural it feels; the whole combination of the texture, the tightness of the channel, it’s all perfectly balanced and comes together to give this wonderful sensual massaging feeling to the head of the penis as you thrust with it. It glides smoothly back and forth and gives nothing but pleasure with each stroke. I almost had to tear myself away and move on to the next one, because it felt so good that I could have kept edging myself with it for hours. I’d go so far as to say it’s an unparalleled level of satisfaction in this price bracket.

Air-Tech Regular

After how much I enjoyed the Gentle the Regular had a bit of a tough act to follow, and again I wasn’t sure what to expect, because I almost felt like I’d just found the right foot for my glass slipper and yet I was still continuing the search.

The interior of the Regular is quite different to that of the Gentle, this time opting for clusters of round bumps along a channel that’s otherwise mostly smooth, and each of these little bumps is quite readily identifiable during use. The channel is also notably tighter, requiring a greater degree of force to insert oneself into it, and once it is on as far as it will go it does have a tendency to want to shoot right off again if you’re not holding it in place firmly. During thrusting the little round bumps feel quite firm and pronounced, and they do a wonderful job of stimulating the frenulum as they slide up and down the underside of the head of the penis, but elsewhere they have a slightly different effect. As the bumps catch the corona of the glans, because they’re so relativity firm there is some mild discomfort, and likewise there is a slight sense of chafing in some areas of the shaft skin, exacerbated by the added friction caused by the tighter channel. On the whole though the toy does feel pleasurable to thrust with, and as you build up a good rhythm it drowns out the modest sensations of discomfort, but it just lacks the natural feeling that the Gentle has. In a way it’s also a little boring in comparison, having a largely smooth channel punctuated by clusters of bumps, and in terms of sexual stimulation I wouldn’t really consider it to feel any more intense.

Air-Tech Strong

And finally onto the Strong. This is supposed to be the tightest and most intense of the lot, so had I saved the best for last?

The Strong incorporates quite an interesting internal structure, which probably isn’t completely apparent from the diagram I’ve included, but the lower half of the channel is covered in lots of little raised squares, much like the Tenga 3D Module. Beyond that it has a couple of tight rings followed by a slightly wider chamber, giving it the most varied texture of all three Air-Techs. In terms of tightness it really does increase this over that of the Regular, despite bringing back the undulating channel seen in the Gentle to mitigate it slightly. Even with plenty of lube it did require a significant amount of pressure to insert myself into the toy, but it was doable, though the issue of the toy wanting to go shooting off with the Regular was amplified here. When it came to thrusting with the toy there was a lot more going on than with the Regular, and those textured squares felt pleasurable all around the full circumference of the head – including the frenulum – and the sensation of tightness was quite obvious and heightened this. There was some slight chafing along the shaft, specifically around the inner lining of the foreskin, but I found it less bothersome than with the Regular. One of my favourite points in the texture was towards the end, where the two tight rings were situated, and as the head passed through these the ridges did a great job of stimulating the corona. The pocket at the end, despite appearing to have texture itself didn’t really add much, as once the head had fully passed though the rings there was no further to go, leaving it sat stationary here. The Strong doesn’t have that natural feeling of the Gentle, but it definitely couldn’t be described as boring like the Regular either. It’s a little too snug to be my ideal, but it’s intensely stimulating and definitely enjoyable.

After considering all three my runaway favourite has to be the Gentle, followed by the Strong, and then with the Regular in final place, just going to show how my instinct to pick the middle option wouldn’t have served me well. What I haven’t said yet is who I think each of the models would be best suited to, so let’s look at that now.

The Gentle – best suited to those with a thicker penis; Tenga don’t have a U.S. (Ultra size) model of the Air-Techs available yet, so the larger canal can more comfortably accept greater girth. Likewise it’s good for anyone who prefers less of a squeezing sensation. In terms of sensitivity it’s perfect for anyone with an average level of sensitivity, I really wouldn’t restrict it to just people who worry about being too sensitive; I know that the head of my penis is less sensitive now in my mid-20s than when I started masturbating in my early teens, and the Gentle has more than enough sensation. It’s also ideal for those who want a natural sensation from their masturbators. I’d suggest that it’s probably going to be less suitable though to men who are circumcised and typically require a lot of pressure and friction to stimulate themselves, and also to anyone with a considerably below-average girth.

The Regular – best suited to those with an average penis girth, or who prefer a slightly more snug grip from their masturbators. For guys who think that the head of their penis may be a little more desensitised, but who really enjoy stimulation specifically along the frenulum region. To be avoided by those who prefer a really slick masturbator and find any hint of friction/chafing unpleasant.

The Strong – best suited to anyone who prefers a tight gripping masturbator with a lot of varied texture. To those who really enjoy exploring the unique sensations of something manufactured, rather than something that feels realistic. Great for anyone with a thinner penis who needs that smaller channel to provide them with stimulation. Least suited to guys with a thicker penis as it’s a real squeeze in there.

As a final point, if your girth is over 5 3/4″ in circumference then I’d suggest holding off until a bigger version comes available, as you’re looking at too tight a squeeze in any of them then.

Once you’re finished with the Air-Tech it’s quite easy to clean ready to use again in the future. You simply pop the TPE sleeve out of the plastic case, rinse it out, and leave it to dry. The instructions even suggest that you can use soap on it and turn it inside out (unlike with a Fleshjack), which aids matters. If you simply rinse it out then the inside can be very slow to dry as it’s only open at one end, so I found it helped to turned it inside out and dab it off with a paper towel. As the insert is removable you can also pre-heat it before use in a basin of warm water, but I found it heats to your body temperature pretty rapidly during use anyway. Actually getting the insert back into the case when you’re done can be a little fiddly, just due to the shape of the thing, as that narrow section of plastic around the middle hinders your ability to get the first part of the sleeve past it. There is of course also the option to use the sleeve without the case if you wish, though I didn’t try it this way myself.

For me what’s quite interesting about the Air-Tech range is actually how they’ve designed the interior textures compared to the Deep Throat Cup. The Deep Throat Cup had a little bit of everything going on inside it; there were bumps, there were ridges, there was something I can’t quite describe at the end, and I rather liked that assorted medley of sensations all in one toy. The Air-Techs conversely stick more closely to a single texture each, with the spiral Gentle, the bumpy Regular, and only the Strong breaking out from that a bit. Personally I don’t have a problem with a continuous texture throughout, but it’s something to bear in mind.

So, what’s the verdict going to be on the Air-Techs? Well honestly I’m a fan, and it’s the Gentle one that really won it for me. This whole range of toys is well made, reusable, affordable, and instead of just being one-size-fits-all it actually has targeted products for different people. So long as you buy the right one I think you’re going to be happy, because they all feel good in their own right, but the Gentle is my favourite. This is the one that I think feels the absolute best and which has no drawbacks in my eye. It’s the one that I’m going to keep using, and the one that I’d feel most happy recommending to most people out there. It’s also the one I foresee myself sending to people as gifts. The only possible drawback is that the Airflow system is a bit of a dud, but I only really care about that because they mention it so much as a feature, otherwise I wouldn’t have given it a single thought.

I have to thank SexToys.co.uk for sending these to me to review, and if you’d like to pick one up and try it out then be sure to use my discount code below and save yourself 10%.

Fun Factory Cobra Libre II

In late June Fun Factory quietly put out a press release announcing a new updated model of their vibrating male masturbator, the Cobra Libre II, and it finally found its way into this month’s edition of ETO magazine where I read all about it. Amidst all my eagerness to find out how they’d improved it I was lucky enough to be sent a unit by Fun Factory to review.
I reviewed the original Cobra Libre back at the start of 2013, and my views on it were largely positive, but I did have a few niggling complaints about things such as the temperamental touch-sensitive buttons, and it appears that these have been addressed in the new version, so it should be interesting to put it to the test.
Last year also saw the release of the Pulse by Hot Octopus, the first direct rival to the Cobra Libre, so it looks like we’re in for a three-way comparison, with the old, the new, and the competitor all being weighed against each other.
As always, check out the review below.

On the surface the Cobra Libre II has changed very little from its predecessor, still sporting that iconic design based loosely on the 1960s British car the AC Cobra. In fact the only noticeable change is the addition of three shiny new buttons on the top, which replace the old touchpad controls, and I rather prefer this tweak to the appearance. Aside from this the outer shell remains largely identical, both in style and proportion, leading one to believe that the real changes lie under the bonnet, so to speak.

The Cobra Libre is the most “gadgety” of male sex toys that I’ve encountered. Not only does it look sleek and stylish, designed specifically to resemble a piece of technology that wouldn’t look out of place on a desk, rather than a crude facsimile of an orifice, but it also devotes its energy to bringing the user to climax in an entirely unconventional manner. The Cobra Libre was the original vibrating toy for men, back when all the alternatives involved thrusting, and it stimulates the penis exclusively through the use of two powerful motors mounted within it.

The Cobra Libre II is made largely from a solid ABS plastic, while the area at the front into which the penis is inserted is made from a soft pliable silicone, which is great for both comfort and hygiene purposes. The toy comes in a choice of two different colour combinations, down from the four variants which existed of the original model. There’s an entirely black version, or a red and black version, and luckily I received that latter so it matches my older version.

The opening of the Cobra Libre II is roughly 1 1/2″ in diameter, which isn’t huge but should be sufficient to accommodate most men when inserting the tip of their penis, and the pliableness in the top portion of the silicone aids with this. The inner channel of the Cobra Libre II has the strange oddly-shaped configuration that I struggled to understand in the original model, and the initial diameter of 1 1/2″ only extends to a depth of around 3/4″ before the material at the bottom takes on a stepped-shape which reduces the height of the opening by over half, and then the rest of the cavity continues at this size. The explanation according to the Fun Factory website is that the interior shape of the toy is designed to expose the glans “through the so-called ‘crowding out’ effect.” Perhaps something is lost in translation but this description doesn’t really mean anything to me, so I feel none the wiser. It also states that the silicone is intended to snugly hug the glans of the penis, which is something I can’t deny. Because of the unusual shape of the cavity it’s difficult to get much more than the head of the penis inside it, despite it having a total depth of around 3″, and in the process the snug fit tends to squeeze all of the blood out of the spongy glans, leaving it rather shrunken and deflated. I included a few photos on my previous review of me demonstrating this with a with a modestly-sized dildo, and I may recreate them again here at some point.

In order to use the Cobra Libre II you’ll require some water-based lubricant to eliminate any friction between the silicone and the delicate skin of the penis. I found that it’s easier to apply the lube directly to the inside of the toy rather than to the penis itself, to avoid unnecessarily lubing too much of the shaft. Once the penis is inside the toy as far as you can get it it feels like a reasonably tight fit, with the head being squashed between the firmer bottom half and the thin silicone flap at the top. There are two ways you can have your penis inserted into it, either by using the toy in a seated position with the penis pointing forwards, or when lying on your back with the penis pointing towards you and the Cobra Libre resting on your stomach. Of the two options the former seems like the one which was intended primarily, as in that configuration the frenulum rests on a slightly raised point inside, thus applying additional pressure there.

The Cobra Libre II is operated by 3 all new buttons on the top of the device. The “Fun” button turns the toy on when pressed for half a second, and turns the toy off once more when held again for the same length of time. The toy starts up not at the lowest setting but at a medium vibration, but this can be quickly reduced by pressing the ‘-‘ button once or twice to take the device into one of two slower training modes. To increase the power of the Cobra Libre the ‘+’ button is pressed, and by using these two buttons it’s incredibly simple to cycle up and down through all the different modes. In total the Cobra Libre II has 11 different modes: 2 slow training modes, 3 constant modes of incrementally increasing strength, 3 vibrating patterns of gradual increasing and decreasing intensity known as the slalom modes, and 3 free form patterns known as the rock ‘n’ roll modes.

The buttons are a vast improvement over the touchpad on the original Cobre Libre model. They give you tactical feedback when you push them, so you know that you’ve actually selected a change in mode, the device automatically responds when you use them, and you can’t accidentally hit one by mistake and ruin what you were doing. I can’t tell you how many times I accidentally turned on my old Cobra Libre when I had it out to compare with the new. It makes me so glad that they decided to make the change. It’s also incredibly easy to use the button locking feature on the new device. You hold down “Fun” and ‘-‘ for half a second and it locks the buttons, perfect for travelling when you don’t want anything starting to rumble unexpectedly in your luggage, and you hold down “Fun” and ‘+’ for another half a second to reactivate the buttons once you’re ready to use it again.

Once you’ve got to grips with the basics of the toy, and are ready to use it, the Cobra Libre II is actually a very impressive piece of equipment. It’s powered by two strong motors which sit within the body of the toy, one at the rear and one in the middle. These are both intense rumbly motors, but one seemingly more so than the other, causing them to vibrate at different frequencies and slightly out of rhythm. The motors have been significantly upgraded since the original Cobre Libre, and when you have them side by side it’s immediately apparent how much stronger the new ones are. It’s a little like comparing the purring of a pussycat to the growl of a tiger.

When you first turn the device on it immediately throws you in at the deep end with quite a strong rumbling sensation working away at the underside of the penis. If you’re already quite aroused then it’s a bit like “whoa!” and it can take you by surprise, so it’s good that you can quickly switch down into the training mode and give yourself a chance to become accustomed to the sensation before you explode ahead of schedule. It’s a stark contrast to how the old model starts with a very low and mellow vibration, but it’s evidence of how far they’re gone in overhauling the motors.

At the lowest level of the training mode you get quite a light and pleasant sensation, and the vibrations focus along the underside of the penis all around the sensitive frenulum, giving a gentle tickling and titillating feeling, which could probably be sustained indefinitely without ever inducing climax. As you get more and more used to it you can start to crank up the power to the higher settings, and this increased intensity brings with it a more and more pleasurable feeling which you can gradually sustain for longer and enjoy whilst still not having an orgasm. The highest power level of the constant vibrations is really quite strong, and easily enough to make you climax by itself, so if you want to get the full enjoyment out of the toy then it’s best to skip over it at the beginning to allow an opportunity to play around with some of the patterns. I did a little experiment with the two Cobra Libres to determine just how effective this new increase in power actually was. One of the things I found about the original device was that I couldn’t always orgasm from it, especially if I’d been engaging in traditional masturbation beforehand. On those occasions there just wasn’t enough power to send me over the edge, so I engineered a situation like that, and sat there using the original for a good 20 minutes on the highest setting to see if it could make me cum. When it failed I switched to the Cobra Libre II, and I’m happy to report that in 5 minutes or so the new motors had got the job done.

In contrast to this I must say that the Cobra Libre II still doesn’t feel quite as powerful to me as the Pulse by Hot Octopus, but they do employ quite different technology. The Pulse’s oscillating “Pulse Plate” sits right up at the surface of the toy, pressed against the frenulum, and delivers all its power directly into it with great intensity. The motors of the Cobra Libre II on the other hand are buried deeper within the device, rumbling powerfully like the focus of an earthquake, while the vibrations have to travel up to the surface to find the penis lying over the epicentre. Both are strong and effective, but you experience them rather differently, and of the two the Pulse is the one which feels more full on.

As well as the increasing power of the constant vibrations, the Cobra Libre II does of course have the 6 different patterned modes to offer. Unlike with the original Cobra Libre the patterns are all quite distinctive and much easier to differentiate from one another, but they’re still not particularly easy to explain so again I’ll include a scan of the pamphlet.

I must say that I like the patterns on the Cobra Libre II a whole lot more than those of its predecessor, in fact I was pretty “blah” about the patterns altogether on the old model, but I actually enjoy using these ones. The sensations from each are actually different enough that it’s worth trying them out, and exploring with them. I can even say definitively that I have a favourite one. There’s a pattern which gives the sensation of a massaging kneading action being applied to the head of the penis. The two motors work in such a way that it feels as though something is rolling over the underside of the glans, starting at the tip and working its way down. It’s really rather nice. The only downside is that during the patterns the vibrations aren’t actually strong enough to make me climax, no matter how long I use them for, so I tend to think of them as like a little playground to mess around in for a while. It can be useful whilst watching porn, so you get this constant level of pleasurable stimulation throughout the 20 minute scene, and then you can switch to the full power of the constant mode at the end when you’re ready to finish up. It’s all about how you want to use it really, the patterns are a bit like foreplay with your sex toy, slowly drawing out the experience over a greater length of time.

One of the positive changes about the Cobra Libre II is that I get a much more consistent experience with it than I did with the original. Over the two weeks I’ve been testing it it’s never failed to make me climax, and that’s not something I could say about the first model. It used to be a bit touch and go whether the toy would be able to give enough to just push me over the edge, but the Cobra Libre II works every time, and I think that’s an important feature of a sex toy, especially one in this price range.

Once you’ve mastered your preferred technique for using the toy then you’ll be very happy with the result, because the vibrating stimulation can produce some very strong orgasms, especially if you edge with it by continually adjusting the power to prolong the experience. The way the Cobra Libre operates allows you to be stimulated without clenching the PC muscle in the process, so it seems to build up much more tension in that area, and when it’s finally released the muscle will spasm giving a powerful orgasmic sensation. Climaxing in this manner feels quite different, and is definitely worth experiencing first hand.
When you’re done with the Cobra Libre for the day, clean up is made so much easier by the fact that the toy is waterproof. You just need to be careful not to spill anything on your way to the sink, because fluid is rather prone to drip out the front of the mouth. Some sort of reservoir in the back might have helped. You can just wash it with antibacterial soap and some hot water, but you can also sterilise the silicone part by wiping out the inside with a mild 10% bleach solution. As well as the toy being completely waterproof, thanks to improvements with the button design the Cobra Libre II can actually be used underwater now, in a way which the old model could not.

The only real downside to the Cobra Libre II is that it’s now much more noisy than it used to be. Where the old model used the hum quite softly, the new one really kicks out a good old roar and rattle. It’s clearly a consequence of the new motors, but it’s also a little unfortunate if you’re looking for something exceptionally discreet, but still I doubt it could be heard through a door or partition wall, and it’s a little less noisy than the Pulse too.

The Cobra Libre is a rechargeable toy, and it comes supplied with a “Click ‘n’ Charge” magnetic adaptor. The end of the cable clips onto the two little metal electrodes protruding from back of the toy, and it stays in place quite securely. The new charging cables have a USB connector, so you’ll need to plug it into a PC unless you have an adaptor, or alternatively you can use one of the older “Click ‘n’ Charge” connectors if you own one. The buttons on the toy light up and flash in a different sequence to indicate how charged the battery is, so you can track its progress, and all the lights go out when it’s full.

Overall I’d have to say that I’m really impressed by all the improvements made to the Cobra Libre II. It’s a far better toy now then the original, and well deserving of its price tag. The buttons are fantastically easy to use, the vibrations are truly powerful and consistently satisfying, and the patterns are now a joy to use. The only real drawback is that extra noise, but honestly it’s liveable. Vibrating toys such as the Cobra Libre II offer an entirely new type of masturbation for men; something which feels pleasurable, intense, and which delivers great orgasms. I’m so happy that Fun Factory decided to update this toy, and I’d recommend that any man tries it out.
The Cobra Libre II is currently available from Lovehoney UK, Lovehoney USA, and SheVibe

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.

Tenga Deep Throat Cup Cool

Recently I was lucky enough to win myself a new limited edition “Cool” Tenga Deep Throat Cup from SexToys.co.uk, via a little summer competition they were running on Twitter. I was planning to add it to the review bank at some point, but then another company got in touch with me and asked me to review a very similar product from a different brand, so I decided I might as well do this properly and compare the two. I’m going to start with a general review of the Tenga first, because it is the original, and then we’ll see how the other one holds up in a subsequent post in a few days time.

The Deep Throat Cup is part of Tenga’s range of single-use disposable products, which also includes the Tenga Eggs, but while the two are quite similarly-priced the Cup is that much more robust and incorporates a solid shell, like a miniature Fleshjack.

The whole Cup is 6 1/8″ tall by 2 1/2″ wide – making it not all that much bigger than a beer can if you want to imagine how it is to hold – and you get pretty much all of that height in insertale length. The outer shell is made from a single piece of hard plastic in a vaguely hourglass-style design, giving a comfortable groove to wrap your thumb and fingers around whilst holding it, and the interior is lined with soft-stretchy TPE, much like that used in the Tenga Eggs and Flip Holes. Because the Cup is built as a completely self contained unit it’s not intended to be taken apart, so the only access into it comes in the form of the end cap at the bottom, and a small vent hole at the top.
The Deep Throat Cup comes pre-lubricated ready for instant use, which is a rather handy feature. Once you remove the cap at the end you’ll notice that not only have they lubricated inside the toy, but also all around the orifice, so there’s no need to lubricate your penis prior as it’ll slip right in with ease. In the “Cool” edition they’ve used a special cooling lubricant which gives you a nice whiff of menthol as soon as the Cup is opened.
I found that upon first insertion the Tenga Cup felt quite snug around my penis. The head passed easily though the stretchy material of the narrow 3/8″ wide orifice, and into the first chamber, but as I pressed on to the full depth there was a definite feeling of resistance. It’s a slightly odd feeling to describe, because I wouldn’t call it “tight” – there wasn’t that sense of tightness that you get from some masturbators, where there’s an strongly stimulating sensation of an elastic material squeezing and almost strangling your penis, instead there was just a general feeling of pressure around the shaft, trying to force it back out of the hole. A sort of “snug” feeling, for lack of a better word. Interestingly when I did let go of the Cup the whole thing popped off the length of my penis, but I have to say that this “snugness” doesn’t actually adversely effect the use of the toy in any way, at least it didn’t for me, am I am quite thick, though if you’re someone who’s pushing around 6″ in circumference then it could be another matter.
The inside of the Cup is very liberally lubricated, so you get a nice slick and slippery passage down the full length of if, and that definitely helps when you’re using a firmer stroke in one direction to overcome that “snugness.” The cooling lubricant has a fairly subtle effect and does feel quite pleasant, but I was expecting something a little stronger, with a noticeable tingle or refreshing chill like I’d had from other lubes and even shower gels, so perhaps it’s a little disappointing on that front. It’s still a nice sensation to have just for a change though.
The soft TPE which forms the central channel of the Cup is textured, and separated into different chambers each with their own choice of bumps and ridges. I won’t bother explaining them too much because I have a diagram which does a far better job of illustrating what you can expect. I recommend starting quite slowly when thrusting, because then you can really identify all the different areas and lumps and bumps that you’re feeling. I almost like to think of it like Braille for the tip of your penis; rubbing the head over all these textured areas and trying to tell a story. The Deep Throat Cup is especially good for long strokes, because then you get the whole spectrum of sensation all in one. It may not be the deepest toy, but from end to end the head goes on quite the journey of stimulation, so I wasn’t really bothered that an inch or so of shaft couldn’t fit inside. The whole texture gently brushes and massages the head all around with every stroke and feels great. My favourite area has to be where all the nodules are in the middle, because these work absolute wonders on the frenulum, and nothing gets me off more than having that region stimulated. Eventually when it does come time for shorter strokes that’s the part of the texture that I focus on. The Chamber at the end is a funny one, because it has different textures on different sides, and what I like about that is that it means you can rotate the toy when you’re using it to find the one you like the most, or just for a bit of variety.
When it comes to thrusting with the toy at speed the individual textures become somewhat lost, and they’re just not prominent enough to be discernible. I don’t think that this is necessarily a bad thing though, because the textures all just seem to meld together into one very pleasurable blur, rather than you losing them. What I like about the Deep Throat Cup is that it’s not over-stimulating; it delivers a lot of enjoyable sensations, but it doesn’t overpower you and have you needing to stop every few minutes for fear of cumming too early. You can carry on for a reasonably long time, allowing things to slowly build up, until you’re ready to let loose.
I mentioned at the start that there is a vent hole in the top of the Cup, and this allows for air to escape during use, and in fact if you bend over it you’ll be able to feel little menthol-scented puffs of air coming out. The other use for it though 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 the toy starts making quite noisy slurping sounds. Personally I don’t like too much suction as it diminishes the amount of texture you can feel, so it’s a trade off.
After sitting here and going through all the points of what I like so much about the Deep Throat Cup, the biggest downer is that it’s a disposable toy, because not only would I recommend it, but I want to use it again. The truth is though, I think you probably can use it again. Mine certainly didn’t start falling apart after once use, and it still has plenty of lube inside, so I’m going to hang onto it. The only thing you have to be careful about it not ejaculating inside it, because washing it out would be tricky, and I don’t imagine it would air dry well either.
I have to say that I’m really impressed with the Tenga Deep Throat Cup. It may not have that pillowy lifelike feel of a Fleshjack insert, but it has a soft comfortable interior with a stimulating texture, and honestly it’s the best thing I’ve ever put my penis in for under £12. In fact I’ve had more expensive toys which I liked less. If you want to try out a great little masturbator, but don’t want to shell out for the expensive ones yet, then I really recommend one of these. Use it for a week and you’ll be a complete convert.
The Tenga Deep Throat Cup Cool is available from SexToys.co.uk and Lovehoney.

Tenga 3D Spiral

I can’t remember the last time I reviewed a new masturbator, which is a little surprising when you might assume that they’d be the bread and butter of any male sex toy blog. A lot of the time I seem to get caught up in more prostate-focused toys, so this should be a refreshing change of pace.

I’ve actually been looking for a decent mid-ranged masturbator for a while, because for the most part these toys seem to be split into two distinct categories which couldn’t be further apart. You have the likes of your Tenga Flip Holes and your Fleshjacks, which are large, hard-cased, reusable products, and come with a price tag of up to £60 depending on where you buy them. No matter how many times I say that they’re amazing, for some people that price point will always be a hurdle that they can’t quite get over, and that’s fair enough – even I waited to buy my first Fleshjack until it was on sale for £35. At the other end you have the £10 toys, the entry level single-use disposable products, and the smelly Chinese-made creations which express no such limitations but start to tear apart before you’re done trying them for the first time.
When Tenga came out with their 3D range last year I was immediately intrigued, because they did seem to be a line of products which finally bridged that gap between the two extremes. When I was pondering out loud about them on Twitter recently a representative from the company kindly offered me one to try out, so now I get to review one for you and see if it fulfils its niche as I had hoped.

The 3D range of Tenga products includes six different designs, all which appear rather sculptural and attractive when you see them stood together on their stands. It’s easily Tenga’s most artistic collection of toys, with each brilliant white piece looking as though could have been hewn from a block of marble. Six gives you a nice element of choice when you’re contemplating what to try, but potentially almost too much choice for those unfamiliar with male sex toys and unsure where to start. Thankfully, though, there are reviews around to help, making it less of a complete stab in the dark. I decided to begin from a point of familiarity and picked out the Spiral, as it reminded a bit me of one of my favourite Fleshjack textures, the Vortex.
The Spiral is actually a surprisingly small toy – and naturally that goes for the rest of the 3D range too. It’s never easy to gain a proper sense of perspective from a lone image devoid of reference points, but it measures in at only 4 1/2″ tall by 1 7/8″ wide. It’s firmly in the territory of pocket-sized masturbators, and a world away from the likes of the Flip Hole.
The design of the Spiral is pretty much given away by its name, but it actually has two levels of texture going on. The predominant shape is that of the spiral itself, which stems from a hexagonal end piece, giving six peaks and six grooves which swoop around and around the length of the toy. Within the spiral the entire surface is ribbed with a step pattern, giving a staircase-like appearance as it twists around from end to end. These ribs feel most prominent at the peaks of the spiral, and are more shallow as you sink into the grooves.
The Tenga 3D toys are made from a material called “Ag Antibacterial Elastomer” where the ‘Ag’ is the chemical symbol for silver, which is what gives the material its antibacterial properties. It’s a really stretchy material, so it should accommodate any penis size, and it feels lovely and soft when you run your fingers and hands over it, and feel the little ridges ripple back and forth. Even though it’s an antibacterial material, because it’s an elastomer it is porous, and therefore shouldn’t be shared with anyone, because it can’t be fully sterilised after use.
When it comes to using the Spiral the first thing you need to do is to flip it inside out, putting all that lovely texture into the channel where the penis is going. Looking at it in this configuration gives a completely different view of it that you wouldn’t have imagined before, and if you peek through the opening then the inside of the Spiral is just like looking down the barrel of a gun in the title sequence of every James Bond film. This gives a much better perspective of how it might feel, compared to seeing the texture on the outside.
The opening to the 3D is quite narrow, and because the whole thing is floppy it’s not quite as easy to insert yourself as with some other toys, but provided you have sufficient lube over yourself, and around and inside the toy, then the material readily expands to allow entry. As the 3D range all feature a closed end, and are quite snug-fitting, you will tend to get an air pocket at the end which can cause it to balloon slightly. As a matter of preference you can leave it there, or squeeze it out to help generate a bit of suction during thrusting.
Once you start to use the Spiral the feeling that you get from the texture is really quite intense, almost bordering on discomfort, which comes as a little bit of a surprise compared to how soft the whole thing feels against your hands. For this reason I found it best to start off quite slowly with the stroking motion, and without any external pressure being applied, allowing time for my penis to adjust to the level of sensation, which thankfully didn’t take too long. As soon as you’ve become accustomed to how it feels you can begin to build up a faster motion, and it begins to transition into pleasurable feedback from using it. Somewhat unusually the region of the penis which experiences the greatest impact from the texture is the corona of the glans, and you can feel each little ridge rubbing back and forth across it all around the head. The frenulum, on the other hand, experiences very little in the way of stimulation from this texture, which is unfortunate as being the most sexually responsive area it’s the place I like to feel things in most.
One of the upsides to the 3D range is that because they’re caseless you can squeeze the soft material as firmly as you like, applying a pleasant degree of pressure to the penis, and changing up how the experience feels over all. It’s handy because you don’t get that feeling of overwhelming tightness that you get from some other masturbators, so you have to option to clench it as much as you want, or let off a little if you fear you’re reaching climax too soon.
When you finally do reach orgasm with the toy I found I had to stop thrusting with it immediately, because the heightened sensation in the head that comes with climax just made the intensity of the texture suddenly unbearable. This is a bit of a let down, as continuing to stimulate yourself during ejaculation is one of highlights of the orgasmic experience, so having to just stop dead felt a little bit jarring, and had a negative impact on how much I enjoyed the orgasm. A lot of what this comes down to is penile sensitivity, and this varies a lot from person to person, and can be affected by things such as age and circumcision status. If you’re someone who has an exceptionally sensitive penis, and barely likes any direct stimulation of the head, then this texture is not for you. You probably wouldn’t even get to the middle stage where I found that it felt pleasurable, and instead would just hate every minute. If on the other hand you don’t find that your penis is very sensitive, and you struggle to reach climax, then the intensity of this texture could be ideal for you, and you’ll find yourself merrily thrusting away with it post-climax.
A nice thing about the closed-ended design, is that once you’ve cum the mess is all self contained, so you needn’t worry about it leaking out of end caps, or having to mop it up with tissues. You can simply walk to the bathroom and slide it off over the toilet, dumping the contents into the bowl.
Cleaning the Spiral is also a nice simple affair, as you just have to turn it inside out once more, rinse any fluids from the surface, and place it back onto the stand it comes with to leave it to dry.
Trying to sum up the product is tricky, because I like everything about it except the texture, and that’s a pretty big part of it. I think I’d reach two different conclusions if I were reviewing the Tenga 3D in general, rather than the Spiral specifically. I have to say that that texture just isn’t for me, at least not with that material. It was just too much, and that’s my fault for picking it, but I make these mistakes so you don’t have to. It’s a texture that’s only going to work for people who need a stronger level of stimulation in their penis to get off, for everyone else it’s going to be uncomfortable. The range in general, it’s well made, well packaged, beautifully designed, easy to use, easy to clean. If you can find the right texture for yourself then I’d probably recommend it for what it is and at the price point it sits, because amongst those other 5 there has to be one to suit everybody. I’m really starting to wish I’d gone for the Polygon instead, but never mind.
The Tenga 3D Spiral is available from these fine retailers:

UK & Europe: Simply Pleasure, SexToys.co.uk and Lovehoney UK.

North America: SheVibe, Lovehoney USA.