Pulse by Hot Octopuss

Anyone who keeps up with my blog will know that I’ve been extolling the virtues of male vibrator use for a while now. Personally I just love it, whether it be a sophisticated contraption like the Cobra Libre, or simply repurposing a powerful bullet vibe like the Salsa/Tango or Form 2 to use on the most sensitive parts of the penis. The thing is though, that frankly there aren’t a lot of vibrators actually marketed at men, but Hot Octopuss are changing that now, and already I think that this may be my favourite new product of the year.

Note: this product has since been replaced by an updated version, the Pulse III Solo

The Pulse is the first product released by a new British sex toy design company called Hot Octopuss, and it’s a vibrator created especially for men, or a “guybrator” as some of their literature describes it. It’s primarily designed as a toy for solo use, but also with an application for couples if desired – albeit heterosexual couples so understandably I won’t be focussing on that aspect.
The design of the toy is an exceptionally stylish thing to behold, and it’s not easy to explain precisely what it looks like because the whole thing is pretty unique. I don’t think it would appear out of place masquerading as a piece of alien technology on the set of a science fiction film, but back down on Earth the closest thing I could compare it to is a conch. The big sweeping sides that curl upwards like part of a shell definitely give the appearance of something which may have washed up on the beach, while the ridges along the underside are reminiscent of the fossilised remains of something prehistoric. The bottom half of the toy is made from a shiny black plastic, and this is where all the mechanics of the Pulse are housed, while the top half is made from a flexible matte silicone and forms a semi-enclosed channel into which the penis is inserted. The channel itself is about 4″ in length, and 1 1/2″ wide in its resting position, though the flexible silicone “wings” which enclose it can be easily bent to accommodate more width and create a snug fit. Towards the far end of the channel is a raised “button” which is the Pulse Plate – the source of the vibrations. This is positioned so that during use it will sit just below the glans and up against the frenulum – the most sensitive part of the penis. The whole unit is reasonably compact  and its ergonomic shape fits very comfortably into the hand. On either side of the body is a button, a + for more power and a – for less, and these are easily accessible when holding the unit.
The build quality of the Pulse is of a very high standard and it looks particularly well made, and not at all cheap. It also feels quite robust so I would expect it to be quite durable down the line.
Using the Pulse is quite a straightforward matter; to start with you simply spread the “wings” of the device and insert your penis so that it aligns properly with the pulse plate. The “wings” are flexible enough to spread by a large amount and accept a broad range of penis sizes, as I discovered by inserting various anatomically-correct dildos into the toy. One thing I did notice though is that the “wings” are flexible mainly at the top half, and not towards the bottom, so while the top section can become almost infinitely wider the bottom of the channel always retains the same semi-circular shape. Where this could cause an issue is that most penises don’t have a completely circular cross-section and are wider from left to right than from top to bottom, so depending on the size and shape of the penis you may find that once inserted to the fullest extent the shaft may hover above the Pulse Plate without actually making direct contact. This probably won’t be an issue for most people, but if your penis is very wide in one direction, and not so much in the other, then it’s worth bearing in mind. Because of the way in which you insert yourself you don’t actually need to use lube with the Pulse which is an added convenience. You can of course still do so if it’s your preference, but I didn’t find it necessary.
To turn the Pulse on you start by simply pressing the + button once and it begins on the lowest setting. Boy are you in for a surprise. When I talk about strong, powerful, deep rumbly vibrations, this is precisely what I’m thinking about. For a non-mains-powered unit the strength and quality of the vibrations is truly spectacular; it’s almost like holding a Magic Wand vibrator to the head of your penis and it blows the Fun Factory Cobra Libre out of the water by a mile. Bear in mind this is only the first setting and it keeps on getting stronger each time you press the + button, so this astonishing level of power only continues to grow. There are times with other vibrators where they feel pretty strong, and good, but I just can’t get over that plateau and climax, so I return to traditional masturbation to get there. That’s never going to be the case with the Pulse, because if you’ve tried vibrators before with little luck, and are convinced that your penis is stubborn to their effects, then I’m certain that the Pulse would soon change that. Even on the lowest setting I feel as though I could reach orgasm in only a matter of seconds because of how intense and wonderful the feeling is. On the flipside the fact that the lowest setting is so strong means that it’s not so easy to tease yourself with the toy. When you’re starting at orgasm strength you can’t really get a steady build up, and if things are suddenly too much and you want to prolong it more then the only place to go is off. It really is testament to how strong the toy is that I’m saying this, because normally I ignore the lower levels and go straight to maximum. To give another perspective, the intended way of using the toy is with the foreskin retracted and the Pulse Plate directly touching the sensitive inner tissues of the penis, but I tried it with the foreskin left covering the head and the vibrations were still strong enough to work their way through and make it very pleasurable, which is good news for any guys out there with foreskin troubles who would still like to try a sex toy.
The Pulse has only a constant vibration setting rather than also including patterns, such as with the Cobra Libre, and what you make of this is going to be down to preference. Personally I’m fine with it and find that constant vibration works best for me on the penis, and I don’t need a load of patterns on top of that to confuse matters, but others may prefer something rhythmic to imitate the ebb and flow of thrusting, and this happens to be absent. When you’re cycling through the vibration strengths with the + and – buttons, holding the – down for a second or two will quickly power off the whole unit, just in case you need to do it in a dash, which is always useful.
The idea behind the Pulse is that, much like the Cobra Libre, it’s a toy where you insert yourself and allow it to do its work, rather than it being a thrusting toy, and in fact it’s suggested that it can be used entirely hands-free. I found that the hand-free approach didn’t work so well for me and I got the best effect from it when I held it in the palm of one hand and used my thumb to apply pressure to the top of the shaft and push my penis into the Pulse Plate so that it made full contact. By themselves the silicone “wings” aren’t quite enough to grip it so sufficiently as to achieve this effect without some outside force. For solo use I wouldn’t really consider this as a criticism, but for couples use you may want to have both hands available to do other things with.
The only point about the Pulse which I’d list as a proper negative is the noise, because it is louder than other vibrators I have. It’s up there in electric shaver / electric toothbrush territory. It’s not crazy or ridiculous, it’s still within the bounds of acceptability, but it’s louder than I’d like. If you’re someone who’s in a living situation where you’re concerned about other people hearing your sex toys, then I might be concerned about this one. It’s a case where you’d want to drown it out with the TV to be safe.
The Pulse is a fully rechargeable toy and it comes with a USB cable which plugs into a port in the rear. The port is sealed by a little silicone stopper which easily comes out, though which can be reluctant to stay in place when you try to put it back in again. Unfortunately because of the charging system the Pulse isn’t waterproof, in fact it isn’t even advertised as being slashproof, and they recommend that at the most you wipe it over with a damp cloth. This is a little bit of an inconvenience, but at the same time the design of the toy means that you probably won’t be getting bodily fluids all over it anyway.
Overall I’d have to say that I really would recommend the Pulse, and considering that it’s the first effort from a new company I think they have done spectacularly. It’s not perfect, but Hot Octopuss are off to a flying start and I can only expect great things from them in the future. The Pulse is a really well made toy, it uses quality materials, it’s insanely powerful, it’s easy to use, and it’s practically guaranteed to be able to give you a great orgasm. The only downsides are the noise, the fact that it’s not waterproof, and that it might not quite suit all penis size/shape combinations, but in the big picture I think that these can be overlooked because of how it really excels on its strengths. Compared to the current market-leading male vibrator, the Cobra Libre, it’s the Pulse that I would be inclined to recommend. 

Tantus Stroker

The lovely Brianna over at Tantus recently asked me to put together a list of Tantus toys that I’d be interested in trying out, so I gladly obliged, and then the next thing I knew the Stroker turned up in the post much to my excitement.
Unfortunately the excitement didn’t last for long because it soon transpired that “part A” wouldn’t fit into “part B.” At this point I didn’t really know what to do, as I couldn’t write a full review for a toy which I couldn’t actually use, so I hemmed and hawed over it for a while, and desperately applied more lube to see if anything might budge. Now you can imagine my embarrassment, because I was essentially about to e-mail someone and say “I’m sorry, but my penis is too big for your toy.” It almost doesn’t sound like a serious complaint, and more like something that someone would invent for the sake of bragging “yo bro, my dick’s too big for this thing; who’s the man!?” (this is how I assume frat guys speak). Luckily Brianna was very understanding about the situation and was happy for me not to do the review if I didn’t feel comfortable with it, and honestly my biggest concern was that anything I’d write would be unfair as I hadn’t managed to use it properly.
I’ve decided that I am going to write a little overview of it now though, because from my experience I did gain a few insights into the product which I feel would be worth sharing with other guys contemplating buying it who may be a little larger than average.

The Stroker is Tantus’s first foray into the world of male masturbators, and also the first 100% silicone male masturbation sleeve on the market. As usual Tantus is the company that’s out there innovating, and that pleases me, even if the product turned out to be not quite to my tastes.
The Stroker is available in two sizes, a regular and an XL. I decided to go for the regular when I was putting together my wishlist, and I must bear some of the responsibility for that mistake. It’s difficult to know which size to pick until you’ve actually had a chance to see one in person and feel the material. The XL is described as being “for the man who needs a little extra” and compared to most of the men I’ve been with I do have a fair bit extra, but compared to some of the porn star dildos I own I have a little less, so it was a tough call. The question is do you want to risk something which is going to be a little too tight or a little too loose? As it transpires with this toy you always want to err on the side of bigger.
The design of the Stroker is quite simple; it’s a rather nondescript-looking hollow white tube with four evenly spaced ridges on the inside. In terms of discretion the Stroker scores very highly because even I wouldn’t suspect that it was a sex toy if I didn’t already know what it was. If you saw it lying around the house you might easily mistake it for a piece of pipe from a plumbing job. In total the toy measures 4 1/2″ in length, with the widest internal diameter being 1 1/4″ and the smallest only 3/4″, so it needs to do a fair bit of stretching before it can be used. I’ve mocked up a cross-section of the toy on the right just to give an idea of what the interior is like, and as you can see the ridges are almost the shape of right-angled triangles, and remind me somewhat of the valves in veins, so you’d imagine that it would be easier to insert yourself in one direction rather than the other.
The Stroker is of course made from silicone, not a material you typically encounter in masturbators, and possibly for good reason. Silicone has a lot of advantages such as being odorless, non-porous, and body-safe, which makes it brilliant for a wide variety of other toys. As dual density dildos have taught us silicone comes in a multitude of different hardnesses, or “shores,” and the Stroker is described as being “super-soft and stretchy” but respectfully I have to disagree with this point. If you play around with the toy in your hands then you’ll find that the thinner areas do indeed stretch fairly well, but the sections of thicker material which form the ridges are surprisingly firm and inelastic, and attempting to stretch them out with a couple of fingers takes quite a lot of force. In my experience I’ve definitely encountered softer silicones, such as on the exterior of a Vixskin toy, but I don’t know if limitations in that particular material would make it unsuitable for something like this.
Actually using the toy is where this mini-review hits a bit of a roadblock, as this is where I failed to have any success, but I will briefly outline my experience just to highlight the issues I had with the toy. The crux of the matter is really that I couldn’t insert myself at all, not with all the lube and determination in the world. The thick sections of material around the ridges simply would not stretch sufficiently, and in fact the act of pushing my penis up against it merely caused all the blood to be forced from the head, rather than making the silicone ring widen. At one point the deflated head did manage to be squashed through the first ridge, but then another problem was encountered, because now that tight ring of silicone began to tug uncomfortably on the loose skin behind the head. Any thoughts of being able to insert the shaft at that point were quickly scuppered when it started to feel as though any more force would tear off my foreskin, and so it was necessary to abandon the attempt. Even removing my penis from that short distance into the toy was not especially comfortable.
What I learnt from the experience was that in order to enjoy the toy you need to meet three criteria: you need to have a below-average endowment, you need to be circumcised, and you need to like a lot of tight pressure when you masturbate, what’s commonly referred to as the “deathgrip.” If you meet all these then it might just be for you. For me none of the above apply, so I merely found it impractical and uncomfortable.
Later on I did discover one way in which I could make use of the toy, and that was by turning it inside out. Doing so widened the hole left in the centre, as well as leaving a smooth inner surface, which made it possible for me to get more of myself inside. Unfortunately it was a rather bland experience and felt less satisfying than just using a hand for masturbation.
So after all this what are my conclusions about the Stroker? Well it saddens me a little because this is the first Tantus toy which I didn’t like and wouldn’t be inclined to recommend. It’s definitely a quality piece, and a unique one at that, made from good materials, but the design simply didn’t work for me. I briefly considered giving the XL a shot but I can tell already that the outcome would be the same. I’m happy that Tantus made the effort because I’d far rather see quality silicone strokers on the market than smelly unsafe “jelly” disasters, and I’m sure that for some people out there this toy can be enjoyable, but sadly it’s just not for people like me. I think that the only way I could enjoy a silicone masturbator would be if it was made from an incredibly soft silicone gel like the sort found in cosmetic implants. It’s disappointing, but for now I’m going to put this idea to one side.

The Stroker and Stroker XL are available directly from Tantus.

Fleshlight Shower Mount

Is it really August already? How the summer flies by. I was very fortunate this month that Lovehoney contacted me and asked me to review the all new Fleshlight Shower Mount for them. It’s a pretty self-explanatory device which allows you to stick your favourite Fleshlight / Fleshjack to a wall, but in case you’re in need of a little more explanation here’s a very NSFW video of a sexy man demonstrating how to use it.
Catch the review below.

The Fleshlight is quite easily one of the best male sex toys on the market today, as well as being one of my personal favourites, but possibly the only area where it’s let down is by the fact that you have to hold it during use. The need for it to be held somewhat limits its applications by restricting it to more of a masturbation device than something to thrust into and simulate sex, but now the people at Fleshlight have finally come up with a clever solution.
The Fleshlight Shower Mount is an adjustable suction cup which screws onto the base of most Fleshlight models in place of the existing small end cap. It’s quite a simple device on the whole and has three main features: firstly the cap section which connects to the Fleshlight can be screwed into place as tightly or loosely as you desire, allowing you to adjust the suction within the Fleshlight, just like you would with the standard end cap. Secondly, the Shower Mount has a hinge in the middle which allows you to alter the angle at which your Fleshlight projects from the surface that you’ve affixed it to, according to your personal preference. The hinge moves through around 130 degrees, so you can thrust into the Fleshlight horizontally, up vertically, up diagonally, down diagonally, or anything in between. The hinge is adjusted by loosening and tightening a small plastic nut, so once you’ve selected your perfect angle there’s no worry of it shifting at all. Thirdly, the most important feature of the whole device is the suction cup itself, and this is good size at 3.5″ in diameter. The suction cup works by first wetting it and placing it against a smooth surface, then by rotating a small slider to lock the suction cup into place. Once engaged the suction cup holds really firmly, even with the weight of the Fleshlight on top of it, and it can withstand a good amount of vigorous thrusting without being knocked off.
Although the device is called the “Shower Mount” it can be used anywhere that you have a smooth surface available, such as on the door of a mirrored wardrobe if you really want to watch yourself in action, on a floor-to-ceiling window of a skyscraper if you’re feeling like an exhibitionist, and even on laminate flooring if you’d prefer not to use it in a standing position. As long as the surface is smooth then it’s fine, but probably the biggest advantage to actually using it within the confines of the bathroom is clean up, as once you’re done fluids are likely to drip out of the end of the mounted Fleshlight, depending on the angle you’ve set it to, so better for that to run down the shower tray than onto carpeting. If your surface isn’t completely smooth then don’t worry, as the Shower Mount can handle a small amount of unevenness in the surface of a glazed tile without falling off, but it really does need to be a full sized tile – mosaics aren’t going to work. When you are finally done with the toy it does actually come away surprisingly easily, despite how firmly it was held only moments prior. You simply rotate the slider into the unlock position, then pull on the small tab on the suction cup to peel it away from the surface.
On the whole I have to say that I’m a really big fan of the Fleshlight Shower Mount; I wasn’t sure that I could like my Fleshlights any more than I already do, but this little device just went ahead and improved them, and I’m definitely going to be getting a lot of use out of it. It opens up a whole new world of hands-free pleasure with your favourite masturbation aid.
One slight downside is that the Shower Mount isn’t compatible with the clear Fleshlight cases. It mentions this on the packaging and at first I didn’t believe it so I felt compelled to test it out for myself. It transpires that the end of the clear case is ever so slightly larger than that of the other colours, enough that it won’t readily screw onto the Shower Mount. The Shower Mount does now come with an adaptor to make it compatible with the Flight though.
I’d definitely recommend the Shower Mount to anyone who owns a Fleshlight; it’s great if you’d prefer to thrust into your toy, it can be used in a wide variety of locations and holds extremely firmly, and it can be adjusted to whatever angle suits you best. 
The Fleshlight Shower Mount is available from Lovehoney UK, and Lovehoney USA.

Big Teaze Toys VërSpanken™ and WaterWieners™

This week Nice ‘n’ Naughty have sent me the all new VërSpanken™ from Big Teaze Toys, and they were even kind enough to throw in some WaterWieners™ as well.
The VërSpanken™ is a totally new type of masturbator for men and I’ve been intrigued by the design of it for a little while now, so I’m excited to be trying it out, along with its interchangeable inserts, the WaterWieners™.

In the world of male masturbators there isn’t a great deal of variation amongst the designs; generally it boils down to a standard tubular sleeve with a textured interior. Some have a hard case, some don’t; some open up for cleaning, some are sealed; some are multi-use, some are disposable, but on the whole there’s a pretty tried-and-tested configuration which manufacturers stick to. What’s interesting about the VërSpanken™ is that it completely ignores all of that in favour of totally new approach, and this is something which I’m always pleased to see.
The design of the VërSpanken™ is something of a curiosity; it’s made from a hard plastic outer shell which houses two spongy rollers (known as FoamWieners™) within it, rather like a cross between a Victorian clothes mangle and a section of the obstacle course in Pat Sharp’s Funhouse. It comes in three different variations: the Smooth, the Wavy, and the Bumpy, and today I’m going to be primarily focussing on the Wavy. What’s clever about the design is that the rollers can be removed and are completely interchangeable, allowing you to swap them around and even mix and match. There’s also the option to replace them with the WaterWieners™ which are sold separately, and I’ll cover these in more detail later.
The plastic shell of the VërSpanken™ is hinged at one end and fastened by a clip at the other, which easily pops open allowing you full access to the interior, both for the purposes of swapping the rollers and cleaning the device. The rollers are fastened into position by two nubs in the material which pokes through a couple of holes on either side of the case, and this holds them firmly while still allowing them to be taken out with ease. The rollers themselves are made from some sort of a foam rubber which has been filled with air, like a miniature dirigible. The material has a slight odour to it; it reminds me of a mechanic’s workshop, or some sort of epoxy. It’s not really noticeable unless you press your nose right up to it, and I wouldn’t describe it as unpleasant, but perhaps my nose just has a taste for glue. The air-filled sausages turn out to be quite squishy, and though the foam-rubber walls do seem fairly thick, if you squeeze too hard then you’re liable to blow a bubble out of one of the sides of the material. On the wavy model there is a pattern of ridges built into the material, arranged in concentric ellipses like the race track in the Olympic stadium, and both patterned faces sandwich together when the VërSpanken™ is closed shut.
Using the VërSpanken™ is pretty straightforward and hassle-free, though it does come with an instruction booklet that contains several directions/suggestions, all illustrated rather coyly with the use of a banana, just in case any sex toy consumers out there might have their sensibilities offended by the alarming sight of a line drawing of a penis. You simply want to lube up the device and your penis, then slide it into place. The material is purported to be compatible with any type of lube, so feel free to go wild with those silicone and oil-based lubes which are usually the death-knell for any other masturbator. Because the rollers are so squishy you’ll find that your penis will slide into place with ease, without an excessive sense of tightness, so though it may look like a mangle it’s not going to have quite the same result. The best way I found to use the VërSpanken™ when thrusting was with the two handed approach, one placed on either side of the toy, and then thrusting up and down on the shaft. I was sat on my bed doing this rather rhythmically, starting to gently bounce up and down on the springs of my mattress in the process, when suddenly I realised that the way I was operating the toy made it look like I was using my penis as a pogo stick, which caused me a moment of amusement. Because the design of the toy causes it to make fairly minimal contact with the penis compared to other masturbators, you have the choice of how long of a thrust you want to make. A short thrusting action will focus the stimulation entirely on the head, while longer strokes will place more emphasis on the shaft. I found that using it on the shaft wasn’t very productive and I opted instead just to pop the head in and out of the rollers and concentrate on that. A medium length stroke is more likely to get the foreskin caught up in what’s going on, awkwardly dragging it back over the head in the up stroke and I didn’t find this entirely preferable just because of the way in which the rollers tended to grab onto it.
In terms of how the VërSpanken™ actually feels physically during use, I have to say that it’s a bit of a strange product; it’s not really stimulating enough in the ways that you want it to be, but at the same time it’s too stimulating in the ways that you don’t. Looking at the amount of sexual sensation and pleasure that it delivers it’s actually quite lacklustre and not all that exciting; I was playing around with it for a while and my reaction never really got above “it’s O.K.” or “it’s kind of nice.” There’s always going to be some degree of a nice feeling when you’re rubbing your penis with something, but I just wasn’t overly impressed, and at times I was even on the verge of being bored. When you then consider how it feels on the other side of things, just in terms of ordinary touch sensation, it can be a little uncomfortable during use. The FoamWieners™ themselves are soft on the whole, largely due to being filled with air, but the foam-rubber material that the exterior is made from is somewhat firm. Sliding your penis across the ridges of the Wavy design just isn’t like using the texture of any other masturbator; the material doesn’t give enough in the surface, so those bumps are mildly painful and they really offer nothing in terms of sexual satisfaction. I daresay that the smooth one would be better in this regard, but that still wouldn’t fix the issue with the sexual experience generally being a bland one. I suppose the crux of the matter is that at some point whilst playing with the toy I thought to myself “I’d rather be using by hand” and frankly that says it all. If you’re going to by a sex toy then it’s supposed to enhance things, not make you want to go back to what you were doing prior.
My experience with the WaterWieners™ was much the same as with the FoamWieners™, but with a couple of notable differences. I should mention first that the WaterWieners™ also come in the same three textures as the FoamWieners™: Smooth, Wavy, and Bumpy, and this time I had the Bumpy to try out. Much like with the Wavy prior I found the bumps on the Bumpy WaterWieners™ to feel uncomfortable against my penis, and also not especially conducive to delivering sexual satisfaction. The first real difference between the WaterWieners™ and the FoamWieners™ is that the WaterWieners™ are tighter. Because they’re filled with water rather than air they don’t really compress when you squeeze them, so it’s more difficult to force anything between the rollers. The instruction pamphlet does suggest that the VërSpanken™ can be used with the catch undone, so this is a good option to consider, especially for men with larger girth. If, however, you really do crave tightness from your masturbator, then you’ll probably prefer the WaterWieners™ over the FoamWieners™, and happily use it with the catch fastened. The other difference with the WaterWieners™ comes down to what you can do with them; the liquid centre allows you to alter the temperature of them, either heating them up in the microwave, or cooling them down in the fridge. You just need to be sensible about how you do this, because if you make them too hot then you’ll burn yourself, and if you put them in the freezer instead of the fridge then you’ll have two unusable blocks of ice until they thaw. The ability to change the temperature is a nice added feature over the regular FoamWieners™, especially if you enjoy sensory play.
On the whole I have to say that I wouldn’t be inclined to recommend the VërSpanken™ line of products; the  simple fact that I realised that my hand would have been preferable speaks volumes. It’s quite a reasonably priced piece, around half the cost of a Fleshjack, so it’s easy to be tempted, but I have to say that it would be a false economy. You can get some brilliant budget Tengas for even less so it’s worth weighing up your options. Strangely enough I do quite like the concept of the VërSpanken™ still, just not the execution, so it’s not something I’d write off completely. It’s different, and it’s got that going for it, especially with the mix and match concept, and with improvements I could see potential in the design, but in its current state I’d have to say no. It’s really a matter of the materials; uncomfortably rubbing myself between a couple of rubbery balloons, or water-balloons, with firm ridges/bumps just isn’t the road towards good orgasms, at least not in my case. If they used a material where the texture stimulated me in the right way, then we’d be talking.
Small Logo RedThe VërSpanken™ and WaterWieners™ are available from Nice ‘n’ Naughty

Tenga Flip Hole White

The other day I received a quite unexpected message from the people at Tenga. It turned out that they’d seen my review of the Flip Hole Red, and appreciated my honest assessment so much that they wanted to offer me an original White Flip Hole to try out as well.
There are currently different four different Flip Holes available – White, Black, Red, and Silver – each with its own completely unique texture inside. Apparently the White is the most popular all round choice in the series, so I’ve been really looking forward to the opportunity to compare and contrast it with the Red. You can get a quick run down on the differences between them all here.
Now that the package has made its way to me straight from the neon lights of Tokyo, you can catch the review after the jump! 

I thought I’d start this review today with a quick look at the packaging for the Flip Hole. This isn’t something which ordinarily I’d do, but when Lovehoney sent me the Flip Hole Red to test for them it didn’t come with any packaging, only a polythene sandwich bag with it inside, so I’d like to take this opportunity to fill in any gaps in my previous review.

The Flip Holes come packaged in a simple clear-plastic cylinder, slightly larger than the toy itself, and sealed up with cellophane to prevent tampering. The two end pieces are quite thick and solid, with recesses in them to hold the product in place, while the central tube section is thinner and more flimsy, and has the name of the product printed on it. It’s actually a really nice piece of packaging because not only is it fairly minimal, but it displays and showcases the product well, while also being a convenient place to store it. The end caps of the tube pop off nice and easily, and there’s an adequate amount of room between the Flip Hole and the sides of the packaging to allow you to get your fingers in there and lift it out.

Along with the Flip Hole itself the packaging also includes a small instruction pamphlet clipped beneath the base cap, as well as three phials of different lubricants which sit behind the Flip Hole in the tube. What I love about this is not only do they include lubricant so you can use the product straight out of the box, but they give you a selection to choose from, and the re-sealable phials resemble test tubes from chemistry lessons at school. In this regard it’s far superior to the 5ml sachets of “Fleshlube” which come with every Fleshjack. I’m going to concentrate on the product itself for now, so I’ll leave a thorough review of each of the lubes for a later date.

The Flip Hole has a rather unique design in the world of male masturbation aids, and one which sets it aside from many of its competitors. It comes in two pieces, the main body of the toy, and a separate end cap which plays an integral part in how the toy functions. Both the case and the cap are made of a solid ABS plastic, which in this instance is white. The main case of the toy features two long oval-shaped windows cut out of each side, revealing the translucent TPE material which lines the interior. Because of these windows you can actually touch the TPE whilst you’re using the toy, which is slightly unusual but not really an issue. Strangely enough on my Flip Hole Red I noted that the TPE felt very sticky, but this wasn’t the case at all here, which makes me slightly wonder what happened to the Red one before I got it, but I digress. If you look closely at the windows you’ll notice that within the TPE is embedded a thin sheet of plastic on each side, and this protrudes through the surface in the form of six white buttons. The purpose of these “buttons” is to allow you to squeeze them and apply pressure to the penis whilst using the Flip Hole.

What’s unique about the Flip Hole is that the body of the case can actually be opened in half along a hinge at one end, and here’s where the end cap comes into play. The cap has two long arms which extend up the sides of the case to lock the two halves together. When the toy isn’t in use you place the cap over the opening to protect it, much like you would with any other masturbator, but when you are using the toy you slide the cap onto the opposite end, so that that it leaves the opening free but still holds the case firmly together. It’s a rather clever design in my opinion.

Looking at the Flip Hole overall it is quite an attractive little toy, and vaguely space-age in appearance. It’s also quite a compact device, and smaller than your standard Fleshjack. In total it’s only 7″ in height, and around the circumference it measures 9″, making it something which is comfortable to hold in one hand, as well as being easy to grip onto.

The key feature of the Flip Hole is undoubtedly it’s aforementioned ability to be completely opened up and unfolded into two halves, and this is something which naturally carries with it its own set of pros and cons. My experiences with the Flip Hole Red left me rather sceptical about the merits this design feature, and I came down more heavily on the ‘con’ side, so it should be interesting to see how my opinions may have changed as I go through the various aspects again.

The first big benefit to having a mastubator which opens is when it comes to applying lube; instead of having to try to squirt some through a tiny aperture, you can simply unfold the Flip Hole and spread the lube copiously over the interior. It makes it much easier to get a nice even coverage over the whole length, and into every nook and cranny of the texture.

The second big benefit is almost the reverse of the first, because it involves washing it. Cleaning the Flip Hole couldn’t be more simple: you simply open it, rinse out the inside, then leave it open until it dries. It’s so much less hassle than cleaning a Fleshjack, and it dries faster too. You can even balance it on the arms of the end cap to use it like a drying rack.

The first issue you’re likely to encounter surrounds the orifice of the toy. The opening is only 2cm in diameter, which isn’t incredibly wide to begin with, but this then only extends into the toy for a depth of 2cm before it’s completely blocked off by a solid section of material which acts like a diaphragm. When you insert yourself into the toy, instead of the material stretching to accommodate the girth of the penis like it would with a Fleshjack, it stretches slightly, then the two halves split apart, and the material around the opening bursts outwards and down the shaft. As is happens this doesn’t actually affect the performance of the Flip Hole, but it does look unusual, and gives you the impression that it’s not supposed to happen. There is a benefit to that diaphragm-section, however, at that’s that it does prevent any lube or bodily fluids from escaping through the orifice of the toy once you’ve withdrawn your penis.

The next issue is that the toy isn’t airtight and it tends to leak out air all along the divide between the two halves. This has two consequences: one, you don’t get a strong sensation of suction like you do with some other masturbators, and two, that it can be quite noisy and produce a lot of popping, squelching, and reverberating sounds.

The inside of the Flip Hole has a 6″ long cavity, and as I mentioned at the start each colour has a different interior texture. I can wholeheartedly say that I like the texture of the White immeasurably more than the Red. My first issue with the Red was that it had no real canal built into it, so it felt like my penis was simply being squashed between two halves of material, and this had the effect of only stimulating the top and bottom of it. The White is completely different in this regard, when you look at the material you can clearly see that it has a central groove running along it, with material extending upwards from the surface, and this has the effect of stimulating all around the penis, both the top, bottom, and the sides. The result is much much more satisfying. If I were to really focus on everything then I would probably say that you get a slightly less all-encompassing feel than you do with a Fleshjack, but it’s not something that you’re actually going to be focussing on during use, and it won’t even draw your attention unless you’re specifically looking for it. It really does give you great all-round stimulation.
The other thing I love about the White is actually the details of the texture itself. For me the Red was just bland and felt like bumps, bumps, and more bumps, none of which delivered any overly satisfying sensations. Again the White is far superior in this regard and I really enjoyed what it had to offer. The array of ribs and nodules all produce a wonderful feeling, which varies from light brushing and tickling to a deep massaging sensation. I found it all very pleasurable, whether I was thrusting with long slow strokes, or more quickly. One of the neat things around the Flip Holes is that there’s a slightly different texture on each side, and you can definitely differentiate them during use. The differences can be a little subtle but it’s enough to offer variety, so if you’ve become slightly too accustomed to one side you simply withdraw yourself, flip it, and start again. The fact that it’s not quite the same is something which your brain immediately picks up on, and it pulls you back into the experience. I especially like part of the texture which they call the “end orb” and this feels truly fantastic along the frenulum, especially right when you’re ready for climax. This observation contrasts with the Red which I found almost indistinguishable from side to side.
When you’re in the midst of using the Flip Hole quite a surprising amount of the inner material does bulge out of the windows on either side of the case. In this way the material tends to largely displace itself rather than stretching to make room for what’s inside. Because of this if you want to get a significantly tight sensation then you will need to squeeze the aforementioned “buttons” on either side. This process actually works very effectively, and the ability to adjust the pressure is an enjoyable feature to have on hand. I found that it far outperforms the functionality of the soft-case Fleshjack Sword in this regard, and offers more versatility. It’s quite fun to play around with and experiment where and when to add the pressure, and to what degree. It does require a certain level of continuous adjustment during thrusting though, if you’ve found a level of pressure that you like best and want to try to keep it constant.
The Flip Hole White delivers a far more natural sensation than the Red. I’m not sure that I could go as far as saying that it feels realistic, but whereas the Red felt vaguely alien the White gives sex-like sensations more akin to those produced by other high quality masturbators. Either way end result is very enjoyable no matter how you try to classify it.
The toy is perhaps a little more awkward to warm up than a Fleshjack, because the material inside is permanently attached to the hard outer case, so you need to submerge the whole thing in a basin of hot water. Personally I wouldn’t bother as they never seem to hold their heat for long, and it just creates more hassle and mess.
On the whole I have to say that I really love the Flip Hole White, and it’s almost a relief to be able to utter those words. Possibly the most disappointing thing about the Red was actually the fact that it was disappointing. The Flip Hole design always seemed to me like it had a lot of potential, and now I’m glad that I’m finally able to say that I like one. It’s truly amazing how much difference a change in the design of the texture can really make. I can safely say to anyone that I give my full recommendation to the Flip Hole White. It feels absolutely fantastic to use and it’s so easy to clean afterwards; it’s definitely a serious rival to the Fleshjack on all fronts. If you’re thinking about a Flip Hole then start with this one!
Big thanks to Tenga for sending this one to me; you’ve given me a whole new level of faith in your brand.
The Flip Hole White can be purchased from these fine retailers:

UK & Europe: Lovehoney UK, and Esmale.

North America: SheVibe, Lovehoney USA, and NiteTimeToys.

Fun Factory Cobra Libre

This following review is for a discontinued product, and remains for reference only.
Please read my review of the NEW Fun Factory Cobra Libre II
The old review continues below.

It’s been a long time coming but my review of the Fun Factory Cobra Libre is finally here. I’ve wanted one of these unique masturbators for a while now and I finally acquired one last year, but unfortunately it was faulty so I waited a little while before replacing it. Now that I have one in fully working order you can read my verdict after the jump!
The Cobra Libre is a masturbator unlike any other because it relies solely on vibrations to stimulate the penis. Like many men I’m a fan of using standard vibrators on my penis, such as my beloved We-Vibe Salsa and the wonderful Rocks Off RO-140mm Soft Tip, so I was really intrigued by the idea of a handsfree vibrating device designed specifically for men.
I’ve heard several people say that the design of the Cobra Libre reminds them of a race car, but to my eye it bears more resemblance to a small whale, though you need to flip it upside down to get the full benefit of this. You can just make out the wide mouth at the front with the narrow throat, the bulbous main part of the body, and the stubby T-shaped section at the rear which looks like a tail.
The Cobra Libre is made largely from a solid ABS plastic, while the area into which the penis is inserted is made from a soft silicone. The toy comes in a variety of colour combinations, and I picked the option of black plastic and red silicone. The opening of the Cobra Libre is roughly 1 1/2″ in diameter, which isn’t a huge but should be sufficient to accommodate most men inserting the tip of their penis, and the pliableness in the top part of the silicone aids this. Inside the opening the Cobra Libre has a rather odd shape, 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 step-shape which reduces the height of the opening by over half, and then the rest of the cavity continues at this size. The internal shape doesn’t make a great deal of sense, and makes it quite awkward to get the penis inside it properly, as I’ve tried demonstrate with a modestly-sized dildo below. Despite the interior having a total depth of around 3″ it’s actually almost impossible to get much more than the head of the penis inside, and in order to do even this you’ll find that all of the blood will be forced out of the spongy glans in the process, leaving it shrunken and deflated.
In order to use the Cobra Libre you’ll require some water-based lubricant, else the skin will catch on the silicone and you won’t be able to get inside it. It’s easier to apply some to the inside of the toy rather than to the penis, otherwise you’ll just end up unnecessarily lubing the entire 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, as in that configuration the frenulum rests on a slightly raised point inside, thus applying additional pressure there.

The Cobra Libre is operated by 3 buttons on the top of the device. The bottom button turns the toy on when pressed for a couple of seconds, instantly reduces the toy to its lowest setting when tapped briefly, and turns the toy off once more when again pressed for a couple of seconds. This button contains a blue light which illuminates when the toy is on, and flashes when the settings are changed. The upper right button is used to increase the strength of the vibrations, and it does so incrementally each time it’s pressed. Once the maximum intensity is reached further pressing of the button will begin to cycle through the vibration patterns. The upper left button is used to decrease the strength of vibrations, but the strength cannot be altered whilst the toy is running a pattern, so as soon as you press the left button the pattern ends and it returns to constant vibration mode. The buttons themselves are some of the most unusual I’ve encountered in a sex toy, and unfortunately I don’t mean that in a good way. They use a touch-pad design which is very unpredictable and not always as responsive as you’d like it to be. There have been multiple occasions where I’ve been tapping away at the buttons, trying to get something to change, and the toy has acknowledged none of it, and other occasions where I’ve accidentally brushed one of the buttons very lightly and it’s completely wrecked the setting that I had it tuned to. What I really dislike about the buttons is the lack of feedback; there’s nothing to depress, and no click to confirm that you’ve actually interacted with something. This was especially frustrating with my first model which arrived broken, as I had no idea why nothing was happening due to the lack of feedback from the buttons. The buttons really aren’t great, but after a while of using it you do start to learn little habits and get a knack for making it respond correctly in the majority of circumstances, so it’s not all bad.

When it actually comes to using the toy – once you’ve inserted yourself successfully and figured out the controls – the Cobra Libre is actually quite an impressive piece of equipment. I’d read quite a few mixed reviews before I decided to take the plunge and order one; some were singing its praises from the rafters, while others were saying that it really did nothing for them, and I’ve actually had both experiences. It took me quite a few sessions of testing it to get to the bottom of this, but I think I’ve figured out why. Before we go into all that it’s worth a basic run down of how it works first. The Cobra Libre is 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 quite intense rumbly motors, but one more so than the other, causing them to vibrate at different frequencies and slightly out of rhythm. When you first turn the device on it starts at the lowest level with only one motor operating, and this feels like quite a light sensation and a pleasant introduction. It’s also quite quiet at this point. The vibrations seem largely to be focussed along the underside of the penis, so you feel them all along the sensitive frenulum, though some also travel through the silicone across the top to fully envelop the head. As you start to crank up the power the other motor kicks in, and they both begin to vibrate more strongly in unison. The highest power level is really quite strong, and enough to make you climax by itself, but it’s great just to play around with the strengths and ramp it up and down for a while, especially while you’re watching porn or something. Towards the top end of the power scale it does get quite noisy, and someone may hear it through a closed door. After you’ve played with the power you have the patterns to choose from, and these are quite interesting. Each motor vibrates independently, so the patterns involve them simultaneously following different sequences. There really seems to be a lot going on at once with the patterns, to the point that I can’t really differentiate them. They don’t seem vastly asimilar from one another, none stands out as the one that I like the most, nor could I really attempt to accurately count them. I’m not great at trying to describe patters, but luckily the enclosed information pamphlet has diagrams, so I’ve included a scanned copy below. The patterns can be fun to sample, but they’re not really my favourite thing; I expected to like them a whole lot more, but most of the time I find myself sticking with the constant vibrations.

What I discovered about the Cobra Libre is that what you get out of it depends greatly on how you use it. The first time I ever tried it I warmed up first with a little regular masturbation, then I put my penis inside it and began to try out all the various settings. The vibrations seemed nice to me, but try as I might I just couldn’t orgasm with it. I almost ran down the battery in the process and I ended up feeling gravely disappointed. For a brief moment I felt that I could fully relate to women who buy vibrators that don’t do anything for them, and that sense of frustration they must feel after all that build up and no release. The very least you expect from a toy, especially an expensive one, is that it will get you off, so I wasn’t too happy, but at least I had my hand to fall back on. The next time I used the Cobra Libre was a completely difference experience altogether; as soon as I had an erection I popped it straight into the toy with no prior touching and it made an amazing difference. On this occasion the vibrations felt as though they were having a far greater impact. Rather than merely being a tingling sensation which felt enjoyable over the head of my penis, this sensation was enough to steadily build me upwards orgasm, and I even had to turn the power down at some points in order to forestall that event. The contrast between that and sitting there prior with it turned to max and getting nowhere is quite stark. It would seem that the body almost learns from whatever stimulation you start with, and when you switch to something else the body can’t adapt to it immediately, and suddenly that alternate method is no longer effective. Because of this you get a variety of options regarding how and when you decide to use the Cobra Libre during your play, either alone or with a partner, and all to different effects. Use it at the start, in the middle, or at the end, and the resulting experience won’t be the same.
Once you’ve mastered your preferred technique for using the toy I can safely say that it produces some of the strongest orgasms I’ve ever experienced. If you edge with the Cobra Libre, continually adjusting the power to prolong the experience, then by the time you finally do allow yourself to climax it will be intense and explosive. Some of my orgasms came with such force that I thought I might have strained something. 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 it’s like opening the floodgates. It’s one of those sensations that every man needs to experience for himself 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. Even though the toy is waterproof it can’t actually be used in water because of those pesky buttons again. They’re not designed to function when wet, so unfortunately bath time fun isn’t on the cards.
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 “Fun” part of the company logo which is formed out of metal on the back of the toy, and it stays in place quite securely. I found it best to put the toy on the edge of a table whilst charging, to allow the cable to hang downwards completely, else it sits at a weird angle and can interfere with the connexion. The blue operations light on the power button illuminates during charging, letting you know that everything’s working.
Overall I’d have to say that despite the flaws with the Cobra Libre, including the buttons and the weird shape of the interior, it’s actually a really great toy. Using the Cobra Libre introduces an entirely new type of masturbation for men; something which feels truly pleasurable, intense, and which delivers great orgasms. I’d love to see Fun Factory come up with an updated version, but until then I’d still be happy to recommend the Cobra Libre to anyone.
The Cobra Libre is available from these fine retailers:

UK & Europe: Simply Pleasure.

North America: NiteTimeToys.