L’Amourose Rosa

Right at the end of last year an e-mail arrived in my inbox from L’Amourose, offering me the opportunity to review one of their products. As it happened I’d seen a number of very favourable reviews popping up all over the place for their Rosa massager, so naturally I was curious to see what all the fuss was about, and too if it would live up to its reputation.

I gladly accepted the generous offer and a couple of weeks ago a shiny Rosa showed up on my doorstep, courtesy of the folks at Pasante (whose condoms I have fond memories of, as they were handed out freely in several of the bars I frequented whilst at university). With some thorough testing done it’s now time for the review, so head below. 

The Rosa is a rechargeable dual-motor vibrating toy, designed with unisex use in mind, and perhaps unsurprisingly in this instance I’ll be looking at its capacity as a prostate massager. I’m a big fan of prostate massagers, or at least the idea of prostate massagers, but I’m also highly discerning and greedy for a lot of power, which means that many of the ones I’ve tried and tested fall short. I’ve reviewed around ten vibrating prostate massagers to date, and the typical flaws I find are weak vibrations, buzzy vibrations, vibrations in the wrong place, less than ideal shape – I’m sure you get the picture – and typically I’ll end with a recommendation that the reader considers the Lelo Billy instead. I’ve had the Lelo Billy since late 2011, and in all that time I’ve kept asking myself “will something better ever come along?” and with the review of this product the question arises again, so I thought I’d put it right at the start. “Does the L’Amourose Rosa outperform the Lelo Billy?”

…The answer is “Yes.” If you’ve read my Billy review you’ll recall that as much as I liked it I ended by pointing out that I wanted something with more power, and more physical size, and the Rosa comes through and delivers both of these in an impressive way. Perhaps it’s too early in the review to be declaring that I have a new favourite prostate massager, but it looks like I just have, so if you want to know precisely why then you’ll have to keep reading as I break down the Rosa in more detail.

The Rosa has something of a simplistic design for a prostate massager, with a smooth and gently-curving body, unlike many of the strange and bumpy designs favoured by other manufacturers, and I’m actually quite glad of this. The shape of the insertable portion is somewhat similar to that of the Lelo Billy – albeit thicker – which could explain my fondness for it, though at the same time the bulbous tip is not dissimilar to a slightly thinner Tantus Ryder – another toy of which I am a big fan. The base of the toy is oval in shape, which in itself is a little unique, and on the underside of it is a hard plastic shell cut like a gemstone, into which the charging contacts are embedded.

The whole toy is 5 3/4″ from top to bottom, with around 4 1/2″ that are actually insertable when you take into account the curve. Around the thickest section of the shaft the circumference measures 4 3/4″ which isn’t massive in and of itself, but which is quite substantial compared to other toys of this type. Around the neck of the toy the girth is a more modest 3″. The base is 3 1/2″ long by 2″ wide.

The construction of the Rosa is of an excellent standard, befitting its price-tag and placement as a high-quality luxury toy. The whole device feels very solid and firm, and it’s covered with a reasonably thin coating of platinum silicone, which gives it a velvety soft feeling to the touch and a slight amount of give to the surface. The silicone is available in a choice of three colours, black, pink, or this absolutely beautiful emerald green which looks like the centre of a tropical lagoon. The Rosa is largely rigid, save for a flexible section of the neck right above the base, allowing the toy to be gently bent in any direction.

The Rosa features two motors in its design, which is a little uncommon for a prostate massager. Its primary motor is located in the tip of the insertable portion, while a secondary motor lies in the base to provide external stimulation – in this case for the perineum. The motors are activated by using the (+) and (-) buttons on the side of the base, and a central (~) button between them is used to cycle between the 7 different vibration patterns.

With the application of a little water-based lubricant the tip of the Rosa is very easy to insert – though a little less beginner-friendly than the Billy – and the smooth silicone body slides comfortably into place. The shape and the design of the toy gives a very pleasant sense of fullness, with the curved shaft pushing the bulbous tip up into the prostate and providing stimulation before the motors have even been activated. In my case I found that the shaft was ever so slightly too long, and with the Rosa sitting in a comfortable resting position the base didn’t quite touch my perineum, though thanks to the flex in the shaft I could bend it up and into place without having to push the toy in deeper.

The position of the buttons makes them ever so slightly fiddly to operate unless you have your legs spread completely apart, as otherwise they get nestled up against your buttock / upper thigh, but it’s very easy to identify what you’re attempting to push just by touch alone, so you’ll always know whether you’re about to increase the power or change the pattern.

The vibrations start on a low purr with both motors activated and on constant, but even at that point it’s apparent how rumbly the internal motor is. I turned the power up to maximum pretty quickly and I really was impressed by just how much the Rosa can put out. The vibrations are low, deep, rumbly, and ever so strong. In terms of sheer power it completely out performs the Billy, and the vibrations can be felt penetrating deep into the prostate gland itself. My immediate physical reaction to the sensation was twofold; I began to get a spontaneous erection, and secondly I found myself tightly clenching my anal muscles at intervals, which pulled the Rosa deeper inside me and pushed the bulb right into the prostate gland to a pleasurable effect. On this setting alone the Rosa felt amazing and I was quite happy to sit there for quite a while enjoying the deep vibrations and the sense of it being physically thrust into the prostrate by my own contractions.

The next two vibration settings are perhaps the least interesting of the lot, the first turns off the external motor which is quite useful if you simply don’t see the use of it – and because it is the louder of the pair – and the setting after than does the opposite, turning off the internal motor and leaving on the external, which in my opinion is a little pointless. The four settings after that are all patterns, and patterns are what I really enjoy with prostate massagers, but I do have slightly mixed feelings about those on the Rosa. Because the Rosa has two motors the patterns are largely formed by alternating between them both, similar to in the Odeco Hedone, and I don’t love that so much because the only pattern I’m really interested in is the one coming from the internal motor, and every time it switches to the external one it seems to put a break – or overly long pause – in that pattern.

The first of the four patterns has pulses of vibrations coming out of the internal motor at one second intervals, which is unfortunate because that gap is just too much to get a good rhythm. Half a second after the internal motor pulses the external motor then pulses, and that sensation alone isn’t very satisfying, so I tend to get frustrated by this pattern. It feels like there’s a lot of waiting for something to happen, punctuated by something unnecessary happening, so I just can’t enjoy it.

The next pattern is one of my favourites, and it’s similar to the one before only faster. The internal motor pulses at half second intervals which is perfect to establish a basic rhythm and it feels really good. This time the external motor actually complements it, because it provides a nice extra tingle in between the main event of the wonderful internal vibrations. I call this the “printer” setting because of the way it sounds, with a longer deep vibration followed by a shorter higher pitched one, much like the sound of a printer carefully printing a line of text across a page, followed by another sound of the sheet of paper quickly being pushed forward by one line. This is assuredly the most stimulating of all the patterns, and it’s the one I go straight to when I want to get off. At times it feels as though I could almost climax from the toy alone and no additional stimulation.

The third pattern is another one of my favourites, and this is what I think of as the relaxing pattern. The external motor vibrates constantly, while the internal motor starts off low and steadily increases to full power before dropping back down and starting again. This really is a massage setting as the vibrations almost feel like physical motion as they ramp up in power, giving the sensation of the prostate being deeply kneaded. Something about the slow pace of it and the deep vibrations just puts me into a completely relaxed state, and I feel like I could close my eyes and lie there feeling it for hours at a time. In this regard it’s quite unique and definitely a winner.

The final pattern is one which again I’m less keen on. It’s a completely erratic pattern with both motors vibrating seemingly completely at random, and I just can’t enjoy that. Without some sort of rhythm it just doesn’t work for me.

The second pattern is the one I choose to masturbate to, and it definitely has a significant impact on my orgasms. Not only do my pelvic floor muscles contract more strongly during climax, but I found myself unexpectedly shooting further, and too did my orgasm feel stronger. Not only did the Rosa feel fantastic anally, but it delivered measurable benefits for a regular orgasm which was a most welcome discovery.

One of the fun things about the Rosa is that it stays put when it’s inserted, and the base nestles comfortably between the buttocks, so you can walk around a bit whilst wearing it, just like with a butt plug, or you can wear it whilst having sex with a partner, which is definitely something on my list of things to try eventually. You can also sit down whilst wearing it, and use the base to rock around on for extra stimulation, though the down side I found was that the vibrations from the external motor go straight into the mattress and create a lot of unwanted sound.

On the subject of sound the Rosa is actually a pretty quiet device, so you can use it confident that no one on the other side of a door or partition wall will be able to hear it. The external motor is the louder of the two, but I found I could muffle this by squeezing it with my thighs.

When you’re done with the Rosa it’s easy to clean as it’s waterproof, and because it’s silicone you can sterilise it too by wiping over with a mild bleach solution, allowing you to share it with a partner. To charge it you simply place it onto the provided magnetic charging dock, and afterwards it can be stored in the black velvet pouch that it comes with.

I really am a huge fan of the L’Amourose Rosa, largely because of the sheer power it puts out, but also because of the wonderful size and shape of it, and all the extra little details such as the charging dock. I’ve been waiting a long time for something to beat the Lelo Billy, and this feels like its bigger stronger brother has finally arrived; it’s the upgrade I’ve been craving. The only point where I’m not 100% convinced is with the vibration settings, because of the 7 choices I like 4 and have no use for 3 of them, and considering that two of the 4 are nearly the same, it’s closer to a 50/50 split. I’d really love if there was another pulsing setting that was even faster that what’s currently available, but you know what, this isn’t going to stop me from recommending this toy. When you couple together my favourite vibration patterns with the incredible power and design of the Rosa, it’s enough to make this a must have toy for everyone. It’s an investment, but it’s worth it.

Thanks to L’Amourose and Pasante for sending me this fantastic product.

The L’Amourose Rosa is available right now from Lovehoney UK.

It’s also available in North America from Lovehoney USA and SheVibe

Make Me a Sex Toy

There comes a point when you’ve tried as many different sex toys as I have that you start to get a pretty good idea of what works and what doesn’t, from the shape of things to their functionality, and you begin to wish you could make little changes to the products you already own, or even combine the features of two toys together to create something entirely new.
I thought I might try out a new segment on my blog called “Make Me a Sex Toy”, where I cobble together something that I’d like to see in the future, something that I’d put into production if I worked for one of these companies, and here’s the first instalment.

Last night during a period of mild insomnia I thought to myself “I wish We-Vibe would make a prostate massager”, and then I proceeded to design the entire thing in my mind. I chose We-Vibe because they make a selection of compact, high-quality, and very powerful vibrators, which are exactly the sort of things I look for in a prostate massager, so it would seem to be the ideal region for them to branch out into without too much trouble.
Design
  • The shape of the prostate massager is something which I would co-opt entirely from the Jopen Ego E4. That toy had many shortcomings, but the the inverted-7 or L-shape was by far its stand-out feature. It was a compact size which fit nicely inside the body without poking you anywhere unwanted, yet its bulbous ends applied a firm pressure to both the prostate and the perineum, while the narrow neck made it comfortable to wear long-term without slippage.
  • Similarly my material choice would be the same: a firm hard plastic core with a velvety silicone coating, though you’ll notice I opted for a different colour. The rigidity of a plastic core maintains that pressure on the prostate, where something more flexible would not. It increases the ease of insertion, and it better transmits vibrations. The silicone coating makes the toy more hygienic by virtue of being non-porous and sterilisable, and it also contributes to the sense of comfort by having some give in the surface and warming with body heat.
  • The toy would employ a magnetic charging system, primarily because I prefer them, but also because they’re easy to use and ensure the waterproof nature of the item. I would locate the contacts on the underside of the toy where they would be completely out of the way during use.
  • The power button would be on the front of the toy where it’s easily accessible during use, similar to the placement that Rocks Off use, and to allow you to sit down while wearing the toy without accidentally hitting the button as would occur if it were underneath.
  • The motor would be at the tip of the insertable portion to ensure the full force of the vibrations were inside the body and directed at the prostate. I probably would not bother with a second motor in the perineum arm as I view this as mostly unnecessary and an added cost, not to mention the issues surrounding trying to fit two powerful motors and a battery into such a small device.

Functionality

  • The motor would be identical to the one used in the We-Vibe Salsa / Tango due to it being the most powerful and rumbly vibrator of its size that I’ve experienced, and thus should be able to deliver the sort of vibrations needed to really have an impact on the prostate.
  • The modes would be the same as in the Salsa / Tango: four incrementally increasing speeds and four different vibration patterns. The ability to adjust the strength of vibrations doesn’t require the precision of a sliding scale in a prostate massager, thus discrete levels should more than suffice, and the inclusion of vibration patterns is an absolute must.
  • There would be a single button on the device used to turn it on/off and to cycle through the settings, so as not to clutter the design, and to increase ease of use when pressing a button in a location that can’t readily be seen. The button would also allow for locking the device during travel.
I think that really these are all the key points I’d like to see fulfilled in my ideal compact, wearable, prostate massager, and if anyone ever builds something like this then I’d be eager to try it. Is there anything that you’d like to see in your ideal prostate massager?

Update: Lelo released the Hugo and Bruno prostate massagers in 2015, which fulfil this concept.
 

Metal Worx Luv Plug

This week it’s time for my second review for the folks over at ThatPosition, who generously sent me the Metal Worx Luv Plug along with the Lelo Bob which I reviewed at the start of the month. The two products are similar in that they’re both small, manual, prostate massagers, so it should be interesting to compare and contrast.
I’m quite a fan of the Metal Worx toys, and am steadily building up quite the collection, with this being number 4 now, so I have high expectations for it.

I always find myself starting a review for a Metal Worx toy by talking about the packaging, which ordinarily would be something left to a footnote, but it is a little bit special. The Luv Plug comes in a heavy duty case, the style of which you might expect to see a professional photographer storing expensive lenses inside. The corners are all constructed from a lightweight metal, while the side panels are made from a textured black plastic which resembles carbon fibre. The lid is hinged on the back and has a firm clasp on the front. Inside the case is foam padding, with a groove cut out into which the plug snugly fits. Not only does the case help give the Luv Plug the appearance of being precious and expensive, but it’s also a great place to securely store it when not in use. The only downside is that the case is a little bulky if you’re short on space, measuring 7 1/2″ x 3 1/8″ x 3 1/8″.
Despite its name, the Luv Plug, the toy should really be considered more of a prostate massager than a butt plug, though clearly there’s no reason why it shouldn’t be used as both. The design is immediately recognisable if you’re familiar with the njoy Pfun, as the two do bear some unquestionable similarities. The shaft of the toy has two main bulged sections which curve upwards, reminding me of the sight of someone doing abdominal crunches. At the end of the shaft is a small handle which takes the form of a slightly-squashed ellipsoid loop, allowing a finger or two to be slipped through it during use, similar to with my njoy Pure Plug 2.0. Uniquely for this Metal Worx product the back of the handle is adorned with a slight embellishment, in the form of a plastic faux-diamond which is embedded into it. As far as I’m concerned it doesn’t really add anything to the overall appearance, and I might go so far as using the word “tacky” in reference to how it looks, but its presence there certainly isn’t going to make or break the toy. The Luv Plug is made from polished steel to a generally high standard, and the surface is completely smooth. Unfortunately if you look closely there are a couple of minor blemishes and imperfections on the piece, but they’re not significant enough to be felt, are so are only bothersome in relation to how much of a perfectionist one is. The toy has a total length of 4 1/2″, with 3 1/2″ of that being insertable, and a 3 3/4″ circumference, making it a relatively small toy. The one area where the Luv Plug does feel big though is in terms of weight; given the high density of metal it’s one of the heavier toys in my collection.
When it comes to using the Luv Plug its much less of a beginner’s toy than the Lelo Bob  and this is down to a couple of factors: firstly the head of the plug is that much larger than on the Bob and it has a rapid taper, and secondly metal is a hard and unforgiving material, so you’re really going to feel its presence without any cushioning for the sphincter. For those reasons I’d say it’s a step or two up from the Bob  though a very patient novice could probably still manage it if they were determined enough. Provided you’re sufficiently prepared and relaxed the smooth surface of the Luv Plug allows it to glide comfortably inside the body, and the advantage of metal here is that you can pick any type of lube you like; I always opt for silicone with a metal toy because of how slick and long-lasting it is. As the toy goes in you feel a couple of bumps, or “pops”, as the sphincter passes over each bulge, and this can be a pleasant sensation, then it finally comes to rest with the handle sitting securely against the outside of the body and preventing accidental over-insertion.
As with the Bob the intended way to use the Luv Plug is to grip the handle by slipping a finger or two through the loop, and by slowly making short rhythmic thrusts back and forth. The obvious difference here is with the complete rigidity of the material, compared to that flexibility that the Bob has just above the handle. Before I’d tried either toy I was convinced that I was going to prefer the metal, because of the ability to really angle the toy into the prostate and apply a firm pressure, but it turns out not to be the case at all. No matter how I use the Luv Plug, somehow it always seems to miss my prostate, and I actually find it disappointingly unstimulating. Whether I thrust normally with it, or if I really go prodding around in search of the prostate, nothing seems to deliver a satisfying result. Something about the length or shape of it just has it skirting around the very target that it’s designed to hit, whereas the Bob  with its flex, has this natural ability to move itself into the right position. I have to say it was quite an odd experience for me, and it goes to show that even after all this time of reviewing toys you can’t always accurately predict how something’s going to work for you until you’ve tried it. Setting aside its failures on the prostate front, one thing I did like about the design of the Luv Plug was how those distinct bulges felt when you pop them in and out of the sphincter, so that should appeal to anyone who enjoys textured anal play. The other thing you can do with the Luv Plug is just to wear it like a butt plug, but it’s not best suited to that; the handle makes it awkward to sit on, the weight and shape makes it prone to slippage, and there’s no significant stimulation to be gained from doing this either.
One of the best features of the Luv Plug is how well metal conducts heat, which naturally makes it perfect for temperature play. In this regard it is many times better than glass, which is another popular material for this. Just picking the toy up at room temperature will give the impression that it’s already cold, which is fantastic if you’re into low temperatures as it reduces the need to wait while it chills in the fridge. If cold isn’t your thing then simply holding the plug in your hands for a few seconds will be enough to bring it up to a more comfortable temperature. Personally I love the feeling of a cold toy as it slides into the body, and find the sensations nothing short of amazing. The only downside is that the cold feeling doesn’t last long, as the metal quickly sucks the heat out of the body and becomes quite hot to the touch. To deal with this it’s handy to have a bucket of ice water nearby, as a quick dunk in there will have the toy back down to frigid temperatures in no time. Similarly if you like your temperature play at the other end of the spectrum, a dip in a basin of hot water will also do the trick.
The Luv Plug is very easy to clean as metal is a highly durable and non-porous material which is able to be sterilised. You can wash it with antibacterial soap and hot water, wipe it down with a 10% bleach solution, or boil it in water for a couple of minutes. Just be sure to dry it thoroughly when you’re done, as the packaging only specifies that it’s steel, and not stainless steel, so there is the potential for rusting if you’re not careful. One other thing is that metal does show up fingerprints, so depending on how fussy you are you may find yourself polishing your Luv Plug before putting it away.
I’m going to be brief in my conclusion today and simply say that you should buy the Lelo Bob instead. It was interesting for me to have two seemingly-similar, yet vastly different toys to compare, and there was a clear cut winner. The Lelo Bob feels better in every regard, and is also more affordable, so there is no doubt in my mind which I would recommend. The Luv Plug is well made, has a nice case, and is good for temperature play, but it misses its primary mandate and therefore defeats the whole purpose of itself. 
The Metal Worx Luv Plug is available from ThatPosition

Lelo Bob

It’s funny to think that after all this time spent reviewing sex toys over the past two years, I’ve only tried out one product from the Swedish company Lelo, but then again I’m not quite the right demographic for their range of luxury vibrators. This week I’ve been sent the Lelo Bob to review, which is a small manual prostate massager for gentlemen. I don’t know about you guys, but I find ‘Bob’ a rather amusing name for a sex toy, mostly because I’m a big fan of that early 90s David Lynch cult-classic ‘Twin Peaks’ – if you’ve never seen it then I highly recommend it and you’ll understand exactly what I mean. I can already hear the eerie theme music in my mind, and Kyle MacLachlan uttering the name “Bob” in his oh-so-distinctive manner. I digress though, so let’s get on with the review.

The Bob is a rather stylish little prostate massager from Lelo, and unlike its vibrating cousin the Billy it relies entirely on manual thrusting to stimulate yourself, or indeed a partner.
The design of the Bob is actually fairly small, making it perfectly suited to men who are just starting to explore anal-play and prostate stimulation, and who might not be used to inserting more than a tentative finger into the rectum. In total it’s around 4 3/4″ long, including the handle, and of this about 3 1/2″ inches are actually insertable, which is more than enough when you consider the relatively shallow location of the prostate within the body. The widest part of the toy is no more than 1 1/8″ thick (3 1/4″ circumference) so there’s really nothing about it which should alarm anyone, though more seasoned anal players may be tempted to greet its modest size with some scepticism, but I caution you not to write it off.
The shape of the Bob is rather like tadpole, albeit with a gently curved body; it’s quite bulbous at the end with a fairly rounded tip, and then it gradually slims down to a very narrow point where it joins onto the ring-shaped handle. It’s clearly a shape which has been quite well thought-out in order to maximise its performance, which is always reassuring when you think how many toys seem to have been designed by someone who appears to never have seen the human body, but Lelo is one of those companies from which you can expect quality.
Like all of Lelo’s products the Bob is made from 100% body-safe food-grade platinum silicone, and it has this soft velvety feel to the seamless matte finish. Silicone is one of my favourite sex toy materials not only because of its safety level, but it’s completely odorless, and indeed tasteless, so none of your senses risk being offended. Overall the Bob is made from a pretty firm silicone and is solid all the way through; there’s really no give to the material, nor any flexibility, except for one area, and that would be the very thinnest point at the neck where the body meets the handle.
When you’re ready to start playing with the toy you’ll find that it’s very easy to insert. Because of the size no sort of warm up is required, even for the tightest of unexplored sphincters, and a little relaxation, gentle pressure, and patience should have it slipping inside in no time. The matte surface of the silicone holds onto lube incredibly well, and a good slathering of the water-based variety is essential to ensure smooth entry. The Bob feels very comfortable as it goes in, and even though it is quite firm the size of it prevents this from being an issue and it won’t upset your sphincter, even if you find it squeezing down hard against the toy. Once you’re over the widest part of the toy the slender remainder glides into place without an issue, and the hoop-like handle acts as a safety measure to prevent it from accidentally slipping entirely inside.
The way to use the Bob is to grip the handle by slipping a finger or thumb through the hoop, and by slowly making short rhythmic thrusts back and forth. The curve of the toy directs the bulbous end up and against the prostate where it applies a gentle pressure, and the thrusting rubs it back and forth across the surface. When used in this action the Bob is much more effective than I would have imagined, and surprisingly pleasurable. You get some really nice sensations from feeling it rubbing against your prostate in this way, enough to keep you going with it for a while. My initial fear with the Bob had been down to the flexible neck, because I’ve used other toys with a similar feature before, and in those cases the result had always been that I was unable to direct a firm pressure onto the prostate, rendering them less satisfactory than would have been ideal. Somehow the Bob manages to avoid this problem; while it is true that you can’t exert a firm pressure onto the prostate, it transpires that you don’t actually need to. Somehow the shape of the Bob works perfectly well on its own, simply when making an ordinary thrusting action, so you don’t need to attempt to angle the toy further into the prostate and prod away at it. My only other concern had been with the size, because I am known to enjoy big toys, and while it certainly isn’t the most filling toy in the world – far from it – the enjoyment gained from thrusting more than makes up for it, making it a good toy for beginner and experienced user alike.
Because Lelo is a brand that’s known for its quality the Bob comes in some rather nice packaging. You get a simple cardboard presentation box which comes inside an outer sleeve, and everything is very discreet and elegant. You’d never suspect that a sex toy was inside, rather that it might be something such as an expensive pair of cufflinks, or a small gadget. Inside the box the Bob is held in place securely by a plastic insert, and with it is included a small pamphlet as well as a black satin storage pouch, which is great for keeping the Bob inside when you pop it into a bedside drawer, so you don’t have to bother with the box on every occasion.
Overall I’d be happy to recommend the Lelo Bob to anyone, and especially beginners. It’s a great little toy which is well made, of a high quality, and can do a lot for its size. It’s definitely a toy which can deliver pleasure where you want it, and one which is worth checking out.
The Lelo Bob is available from Lovehoney U.S, Lovehoney UK, and SexToys.co.uk

Fun Factory Stronic Zwei

Not long ago the German manufacturer Fun Factory came out with a revolutionary new thrusting vibrator for women, called the Stronic Eins. After reading several reviews of it I immediately became curious about how it would actually feel to experience the sensations from it first hand, and being the fan of innovation that I am I  began to wonder if there was any way that I could use it myself. Luckily for me, however, Fun Factory have just released the all-new Stronic Zwei, with a flared based specifically designed for anal use, so I need wonder no longer.
When Sam from Simply Pleasure asked if I’d like to try one out I have to say that I was thrilled by the offer and positively ecstatic, so huge, huge, thanks to them for sending it to me.

I feel that I should begin this review by saying that the Stronic Zwei is a big toy, and this is definitely something which anyone considering it should bear in mind. Often manufacturers try to take a safe middle road when designing the dimensions of these things, take for example my favourite anal vibrator, the Lelo Billy, it’s wonderfully powerful but only about an inch wide, so fill you up it does not. The Stronic Zwei, in contrast, throws this out the window and is proudly girthy. I’m not sure whether this was intentional, or rather a necessity in order to house the complex mechanism inside, but either way it’s probably going to be a bit of a gamble. While those such as myself will love the girthiness that it has to offer, just as many people – if not more – will be put off by the fact that they’re simply not able to insert something of that size. The question is, though, if you can’t currently insert it, is it worth the effort to reach a point where you can?

The differences between the Stronic Zwei and its predecessor the Stronic Eins are largely cosmetic, but these are enough to completely change its purpose, making one anal-safe while the other is not. For the curious “Eins” and “Zwei” are simply the German words for “one” and “two,” so while it may sound exotic to the ears of those of us in the Anglosphere, it transpires to be a rather simplistic naming technique. Recently Fun Factory have even come out with a third addition to the line, the Stronic Drei, which I hope to try at some point. The common feature in all the Stronics is the handle which is made out of a black matte plastic, and located on it are the three buttons used to operate the Stronic, along with charging contacts which connect to the power cable.

The insertable portion of the Stronic takes its somewhat familiar shape from the thick layer of silicone which covers its inner workings. The silicone itself is soft and velvety with a matte finish, and somewhat extraordinarily for an electronic toy has not even a hint of a mould line. Down by the handle the silicone flares out on two sides, like the hand guard on a sword, giving the Zwei its anal-safe credentials, and then the shaft itself undulates down its length with two main bulges which mirror the shape of many prostate toys. On the whole only around 4 1/2″ of the toy are actually insertable, but the circumference of the largest bulge is an even 6″, making it short yet girthy. What’s interesting is that the two “fins” of the guard piece don’t lie completely perpendicular to the shaft, and sit at a slight diagonal angle, and I’m not entirely certain of the thought behind this design. The shaft of the toy itself is quite rigid due to the solid core, so while the surface of the silicone does have some give to it, there’s largely no flex to the toy at all. The only exception to this is at the very tip, because the core only extends around 3″ of the way down the shaft, so the last 1 1/2″ at the end is just silicone all the way through. The overall appearance of the Stronic Zwei does rather remind me of a torch, and I’m not referring to the electric kind, it’s more like the sort of flaming torch you’d find at an Olympic relay, or I guess if I were American I’d liken it to the Torch of Freedom that the Statue of Liberty holds as she stands watch over New York harbour. You have to hold it at just the right angle to get the full effect of it, but the top half does look like a torch flame flickering in the wind if you hold it aloft.

The Stronic Zwei has a total of ten different settings which are comprised of three “algorithmic” modes, three constant speeds, three “dynamic” modes (patterns) and a generic “on” setting. What’s different about Stronics is that they’re not vibrators in the traditional sense, they thrust, and this is immediately apparent as soon as you turn one on. Inside the core of the shaft is a solid mass which oscillates back and forth when the toy is activated, and this is what generates the thrusting sensation. It’s very impressive to see it in action, and just holding it in your hands is enough to get a good sense of how it’s going to feel as it shakes around like a pneumatic drill. The toy is turned on by holding down a button labelled “Fun” and then off again by pressing it a second time. It begins on the default setting and then you have the choice to either switch down into the algorithmic modes by pressing the (-) button or go up through the constant and then dynamic modes by pressing the (+) button. It can be slightly confusing without consulting the manual, and in fact I missed the three algorithmic modes altogether the first few times I used it, so I’ve included a copy of the relevant page below. The different modes don’t all loop together like a cycle, and are instead arranged in a linear fashion, so once you press a particular button all the way through to the end of that section you’ll need to switch over and start moving back through them all again in the opposite direction. The button system works well for the most part, and the buttons are nice and responsive, but my only minor niggle would be that the toy doesn’t remember which setting you were last using when you turn it off and on again, instead always reverting to the same default, so each time you need to cycle back to your speed or pattern of choice.

Inserting the Stronic Zwei is relatively simple to begin with, provided that you’re used to the size, and the squishy silicone tip makes it a rather comfortable experience without the need for warm up, while the matte surface holds onto lube nicely and allows the shaft to glide into the body. The second bulge along the shaft can be a little tricky to overcome and requires a bit of force to encourage it into the body. What hinders things somewhat is the guard piece built into the silicone, because frankly it’s the wrong shape. I mentioned previously that it’s not perpendicular with the shaft, and herein lies the problem, because not only is it diagonal, but it slants the wrong way. You’ll find that as you’re trying to insert the second bulge the front fin of the guard will begin really digging into the perineum, while the fin at the back is an inch away from ever touching the body. It turns out that the only way to get the guard piece to sit flush with the exterior of the body is to rotate the whole toy by 180 degrees, but this isn’t ideal because then the buttons on the handle are pointed downwards and out of sight, and the curved tip of the shaft is no longer angled into the prostate. Your only option is to restore the toy to its original position and live with it not sitting quite right, but it does seem like rather a ridiculous design mistake to make, and not something that I’d expect from Fun Factory. When the toy is fully inserted the girthiness of it does feel pleasantly filling, but I have to say that it doesn’t stay in place very securely, and this is distracting, so you need to retain a constant grip on the handle. This is down to two things really: firstly there isn’t a sufficient neck on the shaft below the second bulge, so the sphincter really has no place to clamp down around to hold the toy in position, and secondly the pressure that the uppermost guard fin applies to the perineum acts like a lever, and the result is that the second bulge will try to work its way out at the slightest provocation.

When you first turn on the Stronic Zwei it is a completely unique sensation, and slightly strange at that. I was talking the other week about the Revo 2 being a pretty innovative anal toy, but I feel that the Stronic goes so much further than that. Even at low speeds it really does feel like thrusting, but what’s funny is that you can feel the inertia of this mass moving in and out, but with a complete lack of friction to the surrounding areas, and without the sensation of the rectum expanding and contracting. Immediately I found I had to urge to crank up the power to see what more it could do. One small let down is that it’s not an especially deep thrusting sensation; because the mechanism of the toy only extends 3″ into the shaft, and not all the way to the tip, that’s all you’re going to get, and possibly less if the guard piece interferes with your ability to insert the entire shaft. The result is that the thrusts feel quite shallow, sort of like if you were having sex with someone and instead of doing a full stroke they opted just to continually pop the head of their member in and out of you, and it does leave you craving more. Thankfully the  power settings do go some way towards compensating for this, and when you have it set to number 4 it does feel quite strong. The rapid thrusts of this power level feel vigorous and produce a deep rumbling vibration which permeates through every part of the body in the near vicinity, and especially into the prostate. At this point all you’re focussed on is the effect on the prostate, and I found that this is the feature that really makes the toy worthwhile. The throbbing, pulsing sensation delivered by the thrusts into the prostate is really quite wonderful, and while it’s not marketed specifically as a prostate massager is definitely performs well in this regard. I have to say that as always I couldn’t help but crave a little more power. I kept thinking back to the surprise I had with the Palm Power and wondering what the Stronic Zwei might have been able to offer if it was mains operated rather than rechargeable.

Feeling the rhythm and vibrations of the toy alone is pretty nice, but the experience is really improved if you help it along a bit with some manual manipulation. Using a very gentle thrusting action to massage the prostate with the shaft of the toy really improves the sensations it provides, and after a while of this I did start to feel as though I may be on the road towards a prostate orgasm as there was a steady build up of feeling in the area.

The three patterns of vibrations add some nice variety to the toy and in fact I found myself alternating between all of them just to mix things up. They feature various sequences which include a mixture of slower weaker thrusts and faster more powerful ones, so it’s harder to get accustomed to the rhythm like you can with the steady thrusts.

The Stronic Zwei is a rechargeable toy and it utilises Fun Factory’s magnetic “Click ‘n’ Charge” system, just like their other products that I’ve reviewed, the Duke and Cobra Libre. The end of the charging lead clips onto the contacts at the base of the handle and stays firmly in place thanks to the strong magnets, so it won’t accidentally become dislodged. During charging a red light on the plug illuminates to indicate the flow of power, as well as the buttons on the Stronic which glow sequentially, and everything conveniently extinguishes when the charge is complete, letting you know that it’s ready to use. Because the charging system is the same on all Fun Factory toys it means that the adaptors are interchangeable, so they sell them separately from the toys themselves so you don’t end up with more than you need. It makes it it very easy to find the right charger for your Fun Factory toys and relatively hassle-free.

The Stronic is also a completely waterproof toy which makes cleaning it a breeze, and the silicone allows it to be carefully sterilised using a mild bleach solution, which is always a handy thing for any toy being used anally.

Overall the Stronic Zwei is a rather tricky toy to evaluate because it definitely has its high points and its low points, but what its design really highlights is the potential for this sort of toy, which currently is the first of its kind. It’s a really well made product which utilises quality materials, as well as being both rechargeable and waterproof. The shape can be pretty annoying with its backwards guard piece and the fact that it doesn’t stay in place well, but it’s also pleasantly girthy. I think that possibly the overriding factor has to be how it feels, and it really is unique, unique in a way that I think you have to experience for yourself. The thrusting sensation is like nothing you’ll feel from any other toy, but more importantly it feels good. It really targets the prostate in a deep permeating way which few other toys do, and for that reason I’d have to suggest trying it. The real difficulty for me is the price, because it is expensive. I couldn’t honestly sit here and say to people that this is the be all and end all of anal toys, and that they should splash out safe in the knowledge that they’d never need to buy another toy, because that simply isn’t the case. What I can say though is that by and large it delivers, and it delivers something pleasurable. If you want something that’s new, that’s different, and that’s going to take you to somewhere you haven’t quite been before, and if you can comfortably afford it, then the Stronic Zwei is definitely a worthwhile piece to invest in, flaws and all.

You can buy the Stronic Zwei from Simply Pleasure.

Nexus Revo 2

A couple of weeks ago the folks over at (the sadly now defunct) Strawberry Blushes got in touch with me and asked if I’d like to review a product for them, and out of all the wonderful items to choose from in their catalogue, the one which stuck out to me the most was the Nexus Revo 2, so I was thrilled when they generously agreed to send it to me.

The Revo 2 is the successor to the original Nexus Revo prostate massager, which as it happens is a product that I’ve had my eye on for quite a while now. The Revo 2 was only announced at the end of last year, and up until recently hasn’t been widely available to purchase, so it’s always fun to try out something so new.

When you think about choosing a prostate massager, generally there are only two main considerations to take in terms of functionality: do you want something that’s manually operated or hands-free, and do you want something which vibrates or something which doesn’t? Beyond that your choices are pretty limited, which is what makes the Revo line so special, because they really are a first of their kind. What the Revo offers that other prostate massagers don’t is motion, physical motion. It’s actually not at all uncommon to see toys for women with moving parts, such as many rabbit vibrators with shafts that rotate and twitch about, so naturally I’ve always wondered why nothing like that existed in a prostate toy for men. It makes me rather please, consequently, to see that now something like that does indeed exist. The name ‘Revo’ is short for the dword revolve, because that’s precisely what the shaft of this toy does, and what sets it apart from every other product in this category.

Physically the Revo 2 is quite similar in design to other prostate massagers, and has that distinctively-shaped insertable portion which you’ll recognise from the G-Rider. Alongside this it features a standard forward-projecting arm designed to sit flush against the perineum, and this forms part of quite a large and bulky base section which houses both the battery and presumably the mechanism to rotate the shaft.

The Revo 2 is made from a combination of ABS plastic, and silicone which coats insertable sections. It has a two-tone colour scheme allowing you to visually differentiate between the plastic and silicone portions. On mine it has a black silicone section, while the plastic area is Playstation-grey, but it’s also available with the colours reversed. Aesthetically it does look quite nice, though there’s a certain inescapable cheapness that I find associated with the appearance of grey plastic. I recall seeing the original Revo in a purple option, so it’s a shame that they didn’t carry that through to the Revo 2, as I do enjoy a splash of colour in my toys. The choice of materials for the toy is great as both the plastic and silicone are completely odourless, non-porous, and body-safe, so you can feel confident when using the product.

The construction of the Revo 2 is done to a high standard, with the possible exception of the occasional mould line here and there, but these blend in quite subtly with the soft velvety finish of the matte silicone layer, and can barely be felt. One of the big differences with the design of the Revo 2 is that it’s now waterproof, which should make cleaning it a far more simple affair.

The other major difference with the Revo 2 is that it’s rechargeable, and that’s a change which I’m glad to see they made, as for a toy of this price I’d expect not to have to be dealing with batteries. Like the Ego E4 the Revo 2 is supplied only with a USB charging cable. I must say that I’m not a huge fan of this practice as I don’t enjoy having countless devices plugged into my computer to charge, though I can see how it might benefit people who travel a lot and are happy to charge things from their laptops. There is always the option of buying an adaptor plug which will allow you to plug your standard USB charging cable into an ordinary power socket, but it does mean an added expense on top of an already pricey toy. The charging cable connects to the Revo 2 magnetically, and it attaches firmly enough to do the job adequately, though the design behind it isn’t quite up to the standard of the Fun Factory Click ‘n’ Charge system. You can leave the Revo 2 sat in a variety of positions, and the charger seems to say put quite happily, which is useful because the rounded underside of the Revo 2 makes it hard to stand upright.

The Revo 2 is operated by a large round button towards the front of the base, and it has six settings: slow revolution, slow revolution with constant vibration, slow revolution with rapid pulses of vibrations, faster revolution, faster revolution with constant vibration, and faster revolution with rapid pulses of vibrations. You press the button once to turn the toy on, and this starts the tip of the shaft moving around in a clockwise direction, then you press the button again to cycle through each of the settings until finally it turns off again. unfortunately there is no way to quickly turn the device off altogether, nor to have it turn on and already be set to your favourite mode.

When it comes to using the toy it is rather comfortable to insert, though it may present a slight challenge for beginners to anal play, as the tip of the shaft is rather blunt and has a 4″ circumference. As such I’d recommend a warm up toy in this circumstance. Once it is inserted, and not yet activated, it does just feel like any other prostate massager, though immediately the shortcomings of the large and cumbersome base start to become apparent. Unfortunately because the base is so large you simply can’t sit on it, at least not in a manner which is at all comfortable. This is a disappointment for me because I do prefer to assume a more seated position on the bed when using toys such as this.

Once you turn on the Revo 2 and start to experience to motion of the shaft it becomes apparent that there’s a bit of a design flaw. The initial sensations coming from the rotations are quite subtle and not all that easy to feel, and then you realise the reason why. If you look down at the device you’ll see that the base is moving around quite a lot outside the body, and as a result the shaft is moving less internally. There’s nothing to hold the base in a stationary position, so it’s a bit like holding a helicopter by the rotors and having the body of the craft spin around instead. The only way to try to counter this is to a.) hold the base in place with your hand, which then makes it no longer a hands-free toy, or b.) hold it firmly in place against a surface by sitting on it, which as I mentioned earlier is not comfortable, so neither solution is ideal.

When you have successfully secured the base you’ll discover that the motion of the shaft can be felt much more strongly inside the body, which unfortunately brings me to the next problem. The shaft is too long. Now the shaft is in fact only 4″ long, which doesn’t sound like a great deal, but the thing is that the prostate is not 4″ deep inside the body. When you can really feel that shaft moving you can feel exactly where it’s touching, and every time that head moved around in a full circle it felt as though I was being poked firmly right in the back of the bladder. For me being poked in the bladder is a little uncomfortable, and doesn’t really increase my sexual appetite, so every time I tried the toy I just couldn’t seem to enjoy the way this felt. What I did discover though was that if I pulled the toy about halfway out, and held the base firmly in place, then as the toy rotated the head would actually hit my prostate, and it felt pretty nice in the process. This was a little frustrating though, because it proved that the concept could work in principle, but that the design was just at fault. Had the shaft been an inch or two shorter then I could be raving about it right now instead of being critical. What I originally liked about the toy was the idea that something electronic could duplicate that “come hither” motion that people use to stimulate the prostate with their fingers, and had it managed to achieve that then it would have been fantastic. It came so near, yet it was also so far off.

The other aspect of the function is that it can be set to vibrate along with the physical movement. The source of the vibrations appears to be located down in the base of the toy, which is unsurprising considering all the mechanics going on in the shaft. The vibrations aren’t the strongest in the world, but what’s unusual is that they appear to get buried inside the toy. I wouldn’t expect to really be able to feel them at the tip of the insertable section, but you can’t feel them that strongly along the perineum arm either. The vibrations just don’t seem to travel up to the surface of the toy and focus anywhere along it, instead they seem to get lost deep within the base of the toy and dissipate out in all directions. All you get is a vague tingle emanating equally from everywhere and it doesn’t add much to the experience, whether set to constant or pulses.

One nice thing about the toy is that it isn’t overly noisy. It isn’t completely quiet, and you do get a strange mechanical whirring noise going on when it’s activated, alongside the humming of the vibrations, but it’s mostly unobtrusive to hear, and it won’t be audible to anyone in another room.

The Revo 2 does come inside a lovely black cardboard presentation box, which helps to make it feel expensive and luxurious, and included with it is a black cloth drawstring pouch for everyday storage.

On the whole I’m probably not going to recommend the Revo 2 to anyone, and by this point that shouldn’t come as a surprise. I really do love the idea behind it, and the fact that Nexus have gone and created something quite innovative, but the performance of it really just doesn’t work for me. The clincher here really has to be the price though, because it does currently retail for £120, and I just couldn’t justify spending that amount of money on it. If you’re spending over £100 on a toy then you’re really going to expect a lot of bang for your buck, and not something which vibrates meekly whilst prodding you in the bladder. It was definitely an interesting experience for me to try out, and an educational one at that, but unfortunately not one I would have been happy to pay for the pleasure of. My quest for the perfect prostate massager is destined to continue for now.

If you’re interested in the Nexus Revo 2 then it’s available from: Bondara, Lovehoney, SexShop365, and UberKinky in the UK.

Thanks to Strawberry Blushes for sending me the item, though they may no longer be around.