Prostimulator

In the second of two reviews for Blush Novelties this week I’m going to be looking at the Prostimulator – a vibrating prostate massager for men.
Get the run down after the jump!

The Prostimulator is the first vibrating prostate massager in Blush’s collection of toys aimed at men, and like many products of this kind it’s made in two separate parts, with a silicone outer shell and a removable vibrating bullet housed inside.
The design of the Prostimulator will immediately seem familiar to anyone who’s spent time looking at prostate massagers, as they all largely adhere to the same basic shape, whether it be something from Nexus or Aneros. Just comparing it to the G-Rider I reviewed last month and the resemblance is indisputable, though it does look a little more like that toy’s cousin the Nexus G-Play.
Like with the Purity 2 the exterior portion of the Prostimulator is made from silicone, which is fast becoming one of my pre-requisites for reviewing at item. I’m a big fan of silicone because of its properties of being odourless, non-porous, and completely body-safe. The silicone in the Prostimulator feels identical to that of the Purity 2, so again it’s a little bit on the firmer side, and comes with this nice velvety-feeling satin finish, which is quite appropriate for a toy of this type. The only other thing to comment on about the finish is that the surface of the toy does have a mould line running around the length of it, but it is a very subtle one and feels quite smooth. I can’t imagine anyone being able to notice it once it’s inside the body, so it’s worth mentioning but not worth worrying about.
In comparison to other products of this type the Prostimulator is actually quite small, as you’ll notice if you put it next to something like the G-Rider. This almost seems to be a running theme with Blush products so far, but in this case I’m going to say that it can actually be viewed as a positive. I’m sure that many men are put off the idea of trying prostate stimulation due to fears of having to insert something large into what was previously only an exit, but in this case the toy really isn’t intimidating and shouldn’t discourage anyone. It measure 5″ in total with 3 3/4″ actually insertable, and the average girth is only 3 1/2″, so it’s pretty compact.
The Prostimulator does unfortunately incorporate into its design one of my pet peeves with vibrating butt plugs, prostate massagers, and the like, and that is the protruding end of the vibrator. The end has to stick out because that’s where the button to operate it is, and where the end cap unscrews to access the battery compartment, but the issue is that this means there’s no possible way to sit down when wearing it. Personally I enjoy using anal toys in a seated position, so this does present something of an inconvenience to me. The other slight issue with the design is with regard to the cavity for the bullet. The bullet can of course be removed, but the inside of the cavity is completely smooth which helps to form a vacuum within, making it rather difficult to pull out the bullet. Once the bullet is out it’s actually equally hard to get it back in again, because a pocket of air becomes trapped in the bottom of the cavity, and continually forces the bullet part way back out again. Eventually with some wiggling you can get it back in properly, but thankfully as the whole thing is waterproof my advice would be just never to remove it at all.
The vibrating bullet has seven different modes, two more than on the Nexus. There are three power settings, low, medium, and high, followed by four different patterns, erratic pulses, fast pulses, slower pulses, and fast & erratic pulses. The modes are cycled through by pressing the button on the end, and you have to go through all seven before the toy turns off again. This could prove a problem if you need to turn it off very quickly, but otherwise it’s fine. Like with the Nexus, and indeed most other bullet-powered toys, the vibrations are very buzzy and surface-focussed. Because the bullet only extends around halfway into the silicone portion, the vibrations can be felt most strongly around the middle of the toy, rather than at the very tip.
When it comes to using the Prostimulator it’s a very comfortable object to insert, with the satin finish holding water-based lubes well, and the small size passing into the body without much resistance. It positions itself quite well, with the flared base comfortably sitting between the buttocks whilst preventing over-insertion, and the slightly narrower section above the base acting like a neck to help the toy stay put and avoid slippage. As it is a smaller toy it’s not the most filling thing in the world, so its presence within the body is quite subtle and it doesn’t draw a great deal of attention to its being there. You do feel some pressure against the prostate initially following insertion, but it’s not that firm and becomes much less apparent over time. With it inserted the button to turn on the vibrations is easy enough to locate and operate, allowing you to start trying all the different settings and finding one which suits you best. When it is turned on and vibrating you feel a pleasant enough tingling sensation within the vicinity of it inside the body, but it’s not really that special. I’m not a great fan of buzzy vibes when used anally as I find that really only a strong rumbly vibration can penetrate deeply enough into the prostate to produce the desired effect. If you’re not looking for anything too strong though then this may appeal to you, and there is always the option of replacing the bullet with something more powerful later down the line, like the We-Vibe Salsa.
The Prostimulator can be used in a variety of ways, including during sex and masturbation, or even while just walking around the house, and I’m happy to say that it will stay in place during all of this. The only thing you can’t do with it, as I mentioned before, is be seated, so this does limit your positions somewhat. The vibrating motor is reasonably quiet, enough not to be heard through a closed door, but I wouldn’t leave it turned on if walking around in public, as the faint buzzing could draw some strange glances.
The packaging for the toy is of a simple clear-plastic clamshell design, and is nice and tasteful. It’s not ideal for long term storage so I’d probably suggest recycling it to save space.
Overall I’d say that the Prostimulator is a pretty good toy. It has a couple of design flaws, but it’s made from a quality material and is of a size which will suit first-timers to anal play. The buzzy vibrations do let it down, but that might just be a personal preference. If you’re looking for a big powerful prostate massager then I wouldn’t recommend it, but if you want more of a casual vibrating plug then it’s worth considering.
You can find out more about the Prostimulator and other products over on the Blush website.

Nexus G-Rider

This week the friendly folks over at (the now defunct) SweetFun.co.uk have sent me a Nexus G-Rider vibrating prostate massager to try out. It’s a toy I’ve been interested in for quite a while because of its rather appealing shape, so I relish the opportunity to put it through its paces. This is only the second product from Nexus that I’ve tried, after the Nexus Glide which I reviewed last year, but I do have my eye on the Nexus Revo 2 in the future.

The G-Rider is one of different 8 vibrating prostate massagers currently manufactured by the British company Nexus, and it’s been on the market since around 2009. The design of the toy has it assembled from two separate parts: there’s an exterior sleeve manufactured from 100% silicone, and inside this is a removable-battery operated vibrator. Part of what drew me to the toy initially was the fact that it was made from silicone, as silicone is one of my favourite materials due to its properties of being odourless, non-porous, and completely body-safe.  
The G-Rider is available in an assortment of colours, varying from retailer to retailer, including a delicious red which strongly appeals to me as you might imagine. Mine came in a nice simple black which, while not always my favourite colour for a toy, actually quite suits it in this instance.

The Silicone portion of the toy is almost completely seamless, with only the faintest visible hint of how it may have been moulded, and which you would need the eyes of an eagle to spot. I really can’t fault its construction at all, and it’s entirely free from any defects or raised mould lines. The surface of the silicone has a matte finish which feels velvety-soft to touch and almost begs you to caress it with your fingers. On the scale of sex toy silicones it is one of the slightly firmer ones, and it doesn’t have a great deal of give in the surface when you squeeze it, but it’s pliable enough to bend and flex in the right places.

The shape of the toy may seem familiar as all Nexus products tend to use broadly the same design for their insertable portion, and you’ll also notice similar offerings from companies such as Aneros. This section of the product has been ergonomically designed to correspond to the internal contours of the male body. At the top is a bulbous section which protrudes forwards and is intended to apply pressure to the prostate, then below it the shaft waves in and out a couple of times before meeting the base. In all the insertable length is around 4 1/8″. Unlike the the Glide the shaft of the G-Rider is a good thickness, and measures 4 1/2″ around the widest point. By far one of my favourite aspects of the design is actually the base of the toy, which is shaped rather like a kayak or surfboard, only with upturned ends like the tip of a Persian slipper. Towards the rear of the base the surface is completely smooth, while at the front the top area is covered in raised nodules designed to stimulate the perineum. Underneath the base is gently curved and the removable vibrator sits completely flush with it when inserted. I really like this particular feature because it’s unlike a lot of similar products where the vibrator protrudes awkwardly.

The G-Rider is a nice easy toy to insert, and thanks to the matte finish on the silicone it holds water-based lube incredibly well. Because it is a slightly thicker toy you want to be careful with what you’re doing if you’re a beginner, and remember to relax and take it nice and slowly, but I wouldn’t say that it’s a toy which a beginner should feel the need to avoid. Initially there is something about the shape which makes it not quite the most comfortable toy to insert, at least compared to something with a completely straight shaft, but once you get over that first bump then the rest of it slides smoothly and effortlessly into the body without a hitch. When the toy is inside the body it does feel incredibly comfortable to wear, and also pleasantly filling, but at the same time you can feel the tip pressing firmly against the prostate. The whole toy settles into quite a secure position, thanks to the thinner neck-like section of the shaft above the base, so there’s no need to worry about slippage. Meanwhile the shape of the base itself allows it to slot perfectly between the buttocks where it nestles quite discreetly – enough not to be noticed under clothes. At the front the upper surface of the base all makes contact with the perineum, while the pointed tip applies some light pressure to a pleasant effect, and this can be increased slightly by clenching the sphincter and drawing the toy marginally further into the body. The G-Rider is quite versatile in how it can be used, from in the midst of sex to simply wearing it while walking around, and there’s nothing in the design which would make any of this even remotely awkward. One the best parts is that you can even wear it while sitting down, which is why I’m so glad that the vibe doesn’t protrude at all. When sat down you can really feel those nodules in the base pressing into the perineum and stimulating it, and the rounded underside allows you to rock back and forth to generate extra stimulation from the toy both inside and outside the body.

The vibrating aspect of the G-Rider is powered by a small bullet specially designed to slot into the base of the toy. The bullet is only 3″ long and therefore doesn’t extend all the way down to the end of the silicone portion, stopping around 2″ from the very tip. When the bullet is inserted the only part of it which is visible is the flat base, which is where the power button and battery compartment are located, making it unnecessary to remove the bullet when changing the battery. The bullet is powered by a single AAA battery, but as it’s not waterproof it probably is best to remove the whole thing prior to washing the silicone section, and thankfully this is easy to do so.

Operating the bullet is done by depressing the button on the base. A single press activates the vibrator and an additional press cycles the setting. The bullet has only one level of intensity, but there are 5 different modes of vibration to choose from: 1.) a constant vibration, 2.) a long vibration followed by a long pause, 3.) a constant vibration again, 4.) a short vibration followed by a short pause, and 5.) a medium vibration followed by a short pause. Audibly mode 1 sounds slightly different to mode 3, as though it’s intended to be a sequence of very rapid pulses whereas 3 is a true constant, but in practice they both feel much the same during use, and would be indistinguishable if you were unable to hear it.

The vibrator feels reasonably intense, similar to a RO-80mm bullet, and is also on the more buzzy end of the spectrum, verging slightly towards a medium. It’s not really my ideal vibe in an ideal world, but the position of it within the insertable portion of the toy immediately improves its performance, and the vibrations travel through the silicone well without much noticeable dampening. Inside the body you definitely get a pleasant feeling from the vibrations, similar to using the Tantus Zing, but the fact that you have patterns to choose from is a big bonus. Because it’s not even a remotely rumbly vibe you don’t get that targeted penetration of vibrations into the prostate, but you do get a nice tingly feeling all throughout the rectal cavity.

One big plus about the bullet is that it is whisper quite during use, and at most you hear a slight buzz from coming beneath the bedsheets, so you’re not going to cause a disturbance with it. Once you’re done with it for the day you simply hold the button down to turn it off, but you do have to hold it for a good 3 or 4 seconds, significantly longer than with other toys, so you can’t kill the power in a rush. In the case of being interrupted it’s just as well that it’s quiet.

I have to say that unfortunately the quality of the vibrator just isn’t that fantastic, and it does let the toy down somewhat. As soon as you pop it out you can tell just from a first glance that it’s a little run of the mill, and a closer inspection reveals things which don’t build confidence, such as loose wires floating around inside the battery compartment. I dare say I could overlook things like that to an extent if everything worked perfectly, but in my experience the vibrator can be quite temperamental. One of the electrical contacts for the battery is in the cap to the compartment, and if it shifts and isn’t aligned quite right then the whole thing can just cut out. I spent quite a while trying to figure out why sometimes it wouldn’t turn on and other times it would turn off without explanation. Once you know the reason why it’s not too much hassle to deal with, but the fact that it happens at all is annoying. The other issue is that the battery gets stuck inside the compartment and isn’t at all easy to remove. You really have to shake it and tap it for a while in order to dislodge it, so if you like to remove the battery before you store a toy away then it will frustrate you. When you consider how great the rest of the toy is you really feel as though it deserves a little more than this cheap looking bullet; something which enhances it rather than detracting from it. They could easily have made it a little longer, a little thicker, a little more powerful, and a little better quality.

Overall I’m going to say that on the balance of things I probably still would recommend the Nexus G-Rider, flaws and all. The shape of it is something which I absolutely love, both the insertable portion and the base. It’s comfy, you can sit on it, you can walk with it in, you can wear it during sex, and through all that it gives you some good firm pressure on the prostate. The vibrator admittedly isn’t amazing, but it is adequate. If you like big rumbles then it doesn’t have much to offer you, but if you’re happy with something less then that buzzing/tingling sensation which it creates should satisfy. I do wish it had more ‘oomph’ but when you compare it to something like the Bad Boy from Rocks Off then the Nexus G-Rider has the better shape, the better feeling material, the better bullet position, and the better choice of vibration modes. It’s the clear winner in its price bracket, and on that basis I’d say it’s worth trying.

You can buy the Nexus G-Rider from:

Silver Swan

This week I’m taking a look at the new range of luxury vibrators from Swan, the Canadian company behind the highly-regarded Leaf vibes (one of which I must get at some point). When a PR company got in contact with me recently and asked if I’d be interested in reviewing one I was happy to oblige.
The Swan collection is primarily aimed at women, though they do have a few products which would be suited to unisex use, such as the Tundra, the Mute, and the Trumpeter. I ended up receiving the Silver Swan, which as you can probably tell is your more traditional rabbit-style vibrator. I was a little apprehensive at first because of this fact, and worried that the review might end up being a little out of my comfort zone, but like all good stories there is in fact a twist, and later on I shall endeavour to explain why this toy is also rather man-friendly.
You may be thinking that you’ve seen this design somewhere before, and that’s because in North America the whole collection is under licence to Jopen for their Vanity range. The only difference is that the Swan collection comes in fuchsia while the Vanity range is purple. The Silver Swan corresponds to the Vr3 for anyone who may be wondering.

I thought that for a change I’d start by looking at the packaging for the Silver Swan. Normally packaging only forms a cursory footnote in my reviews, but with a high-end luxury product such as this the packaging can almost be as important as the toy itself for some. The box for the Swan certainly sets the bar high from the outset with its design, which is always a welcome sign. It’s constructed from a heavy duty cardboard, and by “heavy duty” I mean that it’s as thick as the binding of a hardback book. It feels reassuringly solid and sturdy, almost like a trinket box which someone might leave out on a dressing table. The exterior of the box is almost completely glossy-white in finish, with the exception of the two ends which have information printed on them in small black text, and the top of the lid where a photo of the toy stands out against the white in its bold fuchsia hue. The name of the product and the company logo are printed alongside the photograph, so it’s not the most discreet box in the world, but it certainly is tasteful, and in a way which elegantly normalises vibrator ownership.
The lid of box is a hinged flap held down by magnets hidden under one of the sides, so it’s nice and easy to get into time and time again. The interior is lined with a sultry black paper, and gives off that unmistakable scent of ‘newness’ as soon as you open it. Inside the box you’re greeted by a black cardboard wallet which houses the square white instruction manual, and below this you’ll find the vibrator itself, the power adaptor, and a storage pouch, all sealed inside cellophane bags. The quality and presentation of the packaging is really impressive, especially if you’re buying it for someone as a gift, as they’ll really feel like they’re being treated to something special. It’s also a nice little box to keep to store things inside, whether it be the vibe itself or something other, and the plain white faces mean that it could be discreetly slipped onto a bookshelf.
The vibrator itself is really a lovely toy to behold and an expert piece of craftsmanship. It’s moulded out of one continuous piece of body-safe 100% platinum silicone, and features an ever-so-soft velvety matte finish. The toy is described on the box as being “virtually-seamless”, and while it does have a raised seam running the full length of the body, it’s quite subtle. You can see the seam and feel it with your fingers, but it feels soft like the rest of the toy, and isn’t pronounced enough to be felt inside the body during use. As well as being safe and completely odourless, the non-porous silicone coating protects the electronics inside the toy and makes it completely waterproof. Not only is it safe to wash the toy under the tap, but it can also be fully submersed and used underwater in a bath or hot tub. The entire Swan range is available in only one colour, a rather bold fuchsia which I find quite attractive, but if you’re not into the more pink range of the spectrum then it may hold less appeal.
The design of the Silver Swan is pretty much like one of your typical rabbit-variants, with the large insertable bulb at one end, and then the smaller arm protruding from midway down the shaft. This does beg the question of how this toy could be used by anyone other than a woman, as surely it’s created with only that anatomy in mind? I did mention at the very start that the toy has a trick up its sleeve, and that trick is its flexibility. You see the toy for the most part has a firm core underneath the silicone layer, and this can be felt in handle, the bulb, and in the tip of the arm. There are two areas, however, where this is not the case, and I’ve done my best to highlight them in an image. The point where the arm meets the shaft is made completely of silicone, barring any wiring running through the centre, and so is the narrow point where the bulb joins onto the handle slightly above the arm. The result of this is that these two areas have a great amount of flexibility in them and can bend away from each other in different directions. Once you’ve spread them apart you’ll notice that there’s some familiarity about the shape which follows, and that’s because it looks just like the Ego E4 prostate massager, and all of a sudden there’s that “a-ha!” moment. So there we have it, a rabbit vibrator which can be used anally by a man, and we’ll get on to how it performs in that capacity in a little while.
The vibrator is powered by PowerBullet technology, and as the Silver Swan is a dual-stimulator there are two of them present. The primary motor is located right in the tip of the bulb, while the secondary motor is found within the arm. Each motor is controlled independently by a separate button in the handle, allowing you to precisely adjust how much intensity you get from which part of the toy. Pressing a button once activates the corresponding motor and causes the button to illuminate with a red glow, letting you know which one you’ve pressed. Holding that button down then steadily increases the power level and makes the motor vibrate more strongly. Pressing that button again will turn the motor off completely. Both motors can be used simultaneously, but you will want to adjust them one at a time. Holding both buttons down at once for a couple of seconds will lock the controls, meaning that they won’t respond to being pressed. This is a useful feature for travelling as it prevents the toy from accidentally being activated inside luggage. To re-enable the buttons they must simply be held down together again for another couple of seconds. 
The motors inside the toy both vibrate with great strength and intensity, and the first time I held it in my hand and turned it up to maximum I was honestly surprised by the sheer power of what I was feeling. It was almost like touching my hand to the side of some large industrial machinery which was operating at full capacity. Both motors are comparatively quite low and deep with their vibration amplitude, with the arm motor being the slightly more buzzy of the two and the bulb motor being more rumbly. If I was to place them on a scale ranging from buzzy to rumbly then I’d say that the arm motor was definitely a more middling medium amplitude, while the bulb motor was in the lower medium/rumbly range, as I have encountered a deeper vibration sensation in other products. Despite the sheer intensity of the motors they are actually surprisingly quiet. When you’ve got the motors turned up to full power they only let out a low hum which couldn’t be heard beyond a closed door or thin partition wall, though someone sharing a room with you would be aware of the sound. One slightly strange aspect about the toy is that sometimes when both motors are turned on, and up to full, it can rattle. This rattling sound doesn’t appear to emanate from within the motors themselves, but from elsewhere in the toy which is merely reacting to the vibrations. It may just be an anomaly in my model, but when the rattling occurs its the nosiest aspect of an otherwise very quiet toy. Having said that the rattling can generally be stopped by adjusting how you’re holding the toy, or by squeezing it more firmly within the body, so it’s not a huge deal.
Shape when flexed
As always the most important question with any toy is how does it perform, and the first thing to get out of the way is inserting it. The advantage of a matte silicone is always how well it holds lube, especially a thicker water-based lube which is what you’ll be wanting if you’re using the Silver Swan anally. The insertable end has a bulb with a 4 1/2″ circumference, but it does have a nice little taper up to that point which helps to ease it into the body. Anyone with moderate anal experience should be able to handle it, but it’s probably not a toy for a complete novice. The firm core makes it easy to push the tip through the muscle, while the silicone coating adds a nice cushion to the entry, and once you’re past the widest point the rest slips in with ease. The distance between the tip and the fork where the arm extends from the shaft is 3 3/4″, and it’s possible to insert the entirety of this. As soon as the arm comes into contact with the perineum it gently bends down and out of the way while the toy is drawn into the body, and there’s no need to use any additional force to manoeuvre it into this position. With the toy fully inside the body the bulb nestles up nicely against the prostate, while the arm pushes down quite firmly against the perineum, and together they create the sensation of a squeeze in just the right places. The narrow portion of the shaft acts rather like the neck on a butt plug, and it keeps the whole thing held perfectly in place with no slippage. 
The motor in the arm has to be one of the highlights of the toy, as it actually does what no perineum stimulator in any other toy ever has. The combined pressure of the arm and the intensity of the vibrations actually delivers a noticeably strong and pleasurable sensation in the perineum, even more so than the Ego E4 which has its one and only motor in the perineum section. The only slight downside is that if you wear it for too long then it can become a little uncomfortable, presumably due to the prolonged pressure. After a while I began to get the urge to move it so as to allow the skin underneath to breathe a little. The big motor inside the bulb also performs well, and as soon as you start to crank up the power you become aware of the intensity. As always my preference is to have the power set to maximum, and at this level the vibrations penetrate the prostate to a significant degree, though they do so less well than the Lelo Billy due to their less rumbly nature. In my experience rumbliness really is key to a successful anal vibe, and having the vibrations travel in a directed fashion rather than being absorbed by the body. The sustained vibrations from the big motor in the Silver Swan are definitely powerful enough to deliver a pleasurable sensation throughout the prostate, especially when used in conjunction with the secondary motor in the arm, which acts to magnify the effect. The one area where it lets me down though is the fact that it only has a constant mode, and no vibration patterns. I find that I get by far the the most pleasure in the prostate from a rhythmic sequence of pulses, whereas after a while the sensation from a constant vibration starts to have less impact. It would have been nice to have a few options of the toy pulsing at maximum intensity, and steadily ramping up and down through various power levels. I say this out of personal preference of course, and if you’re someone who almost never uses vibration patterns on a toy then you surely won’t notice their absence.
It mustn’t be forgotten that the toy has a handle, because handles aren’t just places to put buttons and house batteries, they’re also the root of how you manipulate a toy during use. There are two main handle-related activities, there’s thrusting and angling. Thrusting with the toy works fairly well; it allows the big bulge on the bulb to rub back and forth across the surface of the prostate for a little added stimulation, whilst simultaneously giving the perineum a little breather as the pressure from the arm subsides. Angling the toy, however, is another matter, and unfortunately works less well. If you want to try to direct the tip of the toy into the prostate and apply a firm pressure then you’ll find that sadly this cannot be achieved. The issue, it turns out, is that very flexible section in the middle of the shaft which allowed the Silver Swan to be used successfully as an anal toy to begin with. When you attempt to direct or angle the toy using the handle, the tip doesn’t follow because the shaft simply bends in the middle where it’s weakest. Getting any pressure on the prostate is just a no-no as it turns out, so if that’s what you were craving then you might be disappointed.
The Silver Swan is a rechargeable vibrator and features one of the most ingenious power adaptors that I’ve encountered with any sex toy. The charger comes in two separate parts: there’s a transformer connected to the power lead which plugs into the toy, and then there’s a selection of different prongs which clip onto the transformer, depending on where in the world you want you use it. There are four different attachments in total, one for the UK, Continental Europe, Australia / New Zealand, and North America / Japan. Each of the sets of prongs clips on really firmly to form a secure unit, and it’s a simple button push to pop them back off again and switch them. For added peace of mind the button is located in a position where it can’t be pressed while the charger is plugged into a socket, so there’s no chance of accidentally separating it while live current is flowing. The design is convenient in two ways, firstly because you can buy a Swan product anywhere and know that it’ll work when you get home without the need for adaptors, and secondly because you can customise the charger when you’re planning to travel abroad on holiday. The other great thing about the charger, which may strike you as insignificant initially, is that it actually has “Swan” printed on it. For those of us with a number of rechargeable toys, being able to identify which charger amongst a drawer-full goes with which toy can be a godsend.
When in use the charging cable plugs into the back of the toy through a water-resistant seal, and a light in the handle illuminates to indicate that the battery is receiving power. It takes around 3 hours to do a full charge initially, after which the light will extinguish to signify that charging is complete.
As I mentioned at the top the Silver Swan does come with its own storage pouch, which is lovely if you just want to keep it in a drawer by the bedside instead of in its box. It’s a 10 1/2″ x 6″ black drawstring bag made of a shiny satin-like fabric, and with the Swan logo printed on one side. Like many sex toy bags it’s very spacious, by which I mean oversized. There’s room enough in there for the vibrator, the charger, even the little cardboard wallet with the manual, and probably several other toys too. I’ve never quite understood why they make these bags so large; it’s almost like something from a magician’s kit, only you’re pulling out a different kind of rabbit… It is a very good quality bag, however, so you won’t be endlessly pulling stray black threads off your toy. I’m a big fan of companies which include storage pouches, so kudos to Swan. My only minor niggle, and this is strictly a matter of preference, is that I would have liked to have seen a white bag instead, like the ones used by We-Vibe. The fuchsia contrasts so nicely against white on the outside of the box, that I would have liked to have seen this mirrored with the pouch.
When it comes to caring for your toy you’re just going to want to wash it gently with some antibacterial soap and warm water, and you may wish to do this both before and after use, as like any silicone it does attract dust with a special prowess. If you’re sharing the toy then it can be sterilised by wiping it down with a mild 10% bleach solution. Things not to do with the toy: don’t boil it as this is likely to damage the electronics, and don’t use a silicone lubricant unless you’ve performed a patch test and are confident that it’s safe. 
Overall I’d have to say that the design and build quality of the Silver Swan are truly exceptional. It really does have the look and feel of a luxury product. In terms of performance it truly is lovely to use, but I’m left feeling that it’s probably slightly better suited to a woman. As much as I love that squeeze against the perineum, and the intensity of the motors, when I’m looking for a specialist anal vibrator I like just a little more rumble and some patterns to choose from, and there are specific prostate massagers which do that job better. It’s undoubtedly a fantastic product, and in the right circumstances I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it. As a shared his-&-hers toy I could see it being ideal, as from a male perspective it’s definitely of a high enough calibre as a prostate toy, and while this may seem terribly presumptive, I can’t imagine a female partner not enjoying what it has to offer, but feel free to take that last statement with a pinch of salt. Swan is unquestionably a company which I’ve been left with a lot of respect for, and I’m pleased that I had the opportunity to test one of their products.
If you’d like to buy the Silver Swan, and indeed the rest of the Swan range, then they’re available from Simply Pleasure in the UK, as well as other fine retailers.

Ego E4

Last month Jopen brought out their new “Ego” line of men’s toys, and when I spotted the E4 prostate massager I just knew that I had to try it out. I’m always on the look out for a really good wearable prostate massager and I thought Jopen might just be the ones to deliver this. Read the review after the Jump!

The E4 is one of those toys which, on paper, looks as though it has everything going for it; it’s made by Jopen, it’s silicone, it’s waterproof, and it’s rechargeable. It turns out, however, that there’s a very sharp divide between where it succeeds in form and fails in function.
The design of the E4 is by far my favourite feature of it. It’s actually a surprisingly small toy when you first look at it, measuring only 3″ along one side and 4 1/2″ down the other, and it nestles into the palm of your hand. It forms the shape of an upside-down number seven with two bulged ends, and it slots neatly between the right-angled L-shape designs of some manufacturers, and the horseshoe-like C-shapes used by Rocks Off. The whole toy feels very solid and rigid, but it is coated with an outer layer of royal blue silicone, which gives the surface a little give. The finish is generally good, aside from a subtle mould-line which can barely be felt, and the silicone has a soft velvety matte finish.
The circumference of the insertable portion is 4 1/2″ around the widest point, and it slips quite easily into the body. It should be suitable for the majority of people, though your complete novice will likely require a little warm up first. Once it’s inside the body it feels very comfortable and it sits in the perfect position. The short arm of the E4 lies flush against the perineum and applies a nice gentle amount of pressure, while the long arm does the same for the prostate inside the body. I actually couldn’t like the shape more, in terms of wearable prostate massager designs this shape has to be my favourite because it actually works with my anatomy. The other great thing about the shape is that once it’s inside the body it stays put, with absolutely no slippage, so you can wear it whilst walking around or while having sex, and it won’t be going anywhere. The shape also allows for you to comfortably use the E4 in the seated position if desired. As it’s not the biggest device it’s naturally not going to feel that filling, but as someone who generally does prefer big toys I have to say that this actually wasn’t an issue for me, and it just felt like wearing a really pleasant butt plug.
The vibration for the E4 is created by the PowerBullet which is located in the perineum arm of the toy, much like in the Lux LX-3. I for one will never understand the logic behind this, and frankly I find it incredibly irksome. These products are intended to be prostate massagers, therefore you want the vibrations to be primarily applied directly to the prostate, and that means putting the motor in the insertable portion and not outside of the body. When you turn the E4 on it starts off with a very gentle and low rumbling vibration, which seems like it would be quite pleasant as a first power setting just to warm you up.  When you press the button for a second time the E4 turns off again, which originally made me think it only had one power level. To increase the power you need to hold down the button until you reach your desired strength. The vibrations seem to do a reasonable job at travelling down the rigid body of the E4, and initially they feel around 80% in the insertable portion the strength of what they do at the source. As soon as you hold the E4 directly by the end with the motor you’ll notice that the strength of the vibrations at the opposite end drops down to only about 50%, and this presents a slight issue during use. 
When the E4 is being worn inside the body the vibrations feel quite pleasant at the highest power, but they’re not really that special. There’s a soothing tingle along the perineum, but inside the body there’s not that much of note to be felt. There’s no real ‘oomph’ going on, as the vibrations around the insertable portion aren’t strong enough to draw your attention to your prostate, let alone penetrate it deeply and create pleasure. The positioning of the motor really spoils the E4 and makes it one of the more lacklustre products I’ve used. It delivers slightly more sensation internally than something by Rocks Off, or your basic vibrating butt plug, but overall it is rather a disappointment. Even if the motor was in the correct position and could deliver the power where it was needed, the fact that it has no vibration patterns lets it down equally. Constant vibration in my prostate does little for me, it’s the rhythmic pulses which really deliver satisfaction, but the E4 has none of that.
If there is one thing to say about the motor in the Ego E4 it’s that it’s quiet, and whisper quiet at that. You could stand silently in a lift with it turned on and the person next to you would be clueless.
The E4 is charged by USB which reduces the bulkiness of the cable, which is handy if you want to take it travelling. If like me you’re not a huge fan of having to plug every gadget into the computer to charge it then you can buy adaptors which allow you you plug the cable into a standard power socket in the wall.
The Ego line all comes in some rather nice packaging. It’s just a simple cardboard box which slides open to reveal a solid foam insert with recesses cut into it to house the E4 and cable. Altogether it’s not that bulky, so it’s useful for long term storage.
To care for the Ego E4 you want to remember to only use a water-based lubricant, as it may react with silicone. To wash it after use you can simply use anti-bacterial soap and hot water, and the toy is safe to submerge. Alternatively you can use a spray on toy cleaner or a toy wipe. To sterilise the silicone you can wipe it over with a 10% bleach solution, but don’t attempt to boil it as the heat may damage the electronics.
Overall I’m afraid that the Ego E4 isn’t one which I’d be jumping to recommend. As much as I love the shape and the the look of the toy, when I’m paying over $100 for a prostate massager I expect those vibrations to be explosive, and this was more of a whimper. Really it’s just such a disappointment; the design had so much going for it, and then the performance let it down entirely. If the motor was in the right place, and it had some patterns, then I could really love this toy, but right now if you want an excellent prostate massager then it has to be the faithful Lelo Billy.

Update: Despite being used only once or twice this toy completely ceased functioning altogether within a short period after obtaining it.

Odeco Hedone

This September I’ve been sent a funky vibrator/prostate massager from Odeco to test out.

Check out the review after the jump!

The Hedone is a vibrating prostate massager from the Chinese manufacturer Odeco, and if you’ve ever held any negative thoughts about Chinese manufacturing then this is a toy which will change your mind.

The product comes packaged in a lovely presentation box which sets the tone of quality from the very start. A thin outer cardboard sleeve depicting the product slides away to reveal a sturdy plain black cardboard box beneath. The inner box is very discreet and wouldn’t arouse suspicion were you to discard the sleeve and keep it by itself. The lid of the box slides off completely and inside is a foam-padded interior which safely houses the toy, the charger, the manual, and also a handy cloth toy pouch giving you another option for toy storage if you don’t want to use the box.

The manual for the toy is rather basic and contains what I would consider to be “awkward” English, i.e. not written by a native speaker, but it’s still legible and explains adequately how to charge the toy. It also has the slightly annoying habit of referring to the toy as “she” and “her” rather than simply “it”, but that may just be a personal peeve.

The insertable portion of the toy is made completely from medical-grade silicone, making it soft and flexible, while the handle is made from a hard ABS plastic with a silicone coating, giving the whole toy the same velvety feeling. Because everything is silicone you know that it’s completely non-toxic and body-safe, as well as being odourless. For a high-end toy you couldn’t pick a better material.

The construction of the Hedone feels very solid and durable, and like it was built to last, which is something that you’d expect from a product in this price range. It also feels quite weighty, slightly more so than similar products such as the Lelo Billy. There is the faintest of mould lines visibly running along the length of the insertable portion, but it isn’t raised at all and can’t be felt to the touch, so it won’t impact use. Reassuringly the whole toy comes as one completely sealed unit.

The Hedone has a lovely design and is very attractive to look at with its unusual shape and dusky black colour. At the far end it has a big bulbous tip measuring 11.5cm around, which sits up against the prostate. The tip is connected to a slimmer shaft of only 8cm in circumference, which is curved in order to angle the tip into the right position. The whole shaft has a completely smooth surface along the top, but on the underside is a row of five subtle bumps. At the near end of the shaft is a nub which sits against the perineum and prevents the toy from being over-inserted, thus making it completely anal-safe. Measuring from this nub down to the tip, the insertable portion comes in at 4 1/2″ which is comparable to something such as the Lelo Billy. Beyond the nub is the handle portion of the toy which takes the form of a loop through which a finger can be placed during use. On the top of the loop are the buttons to operate the toy as well as the charging charging port. In total the toy measures in at a combined length of 7 3/4″ from end to end.

The Hedone has three motors in it which is quite unusual for any toy. At the end is a big rumbly motor “A” which feels really strong and powerful, comparable to that of the Lelo Billy. In the middle is a slightly buzzy motor “B”, and in the nub near the handle is motor “C” which is very buzzy. Motor “A” targets the prostate and it can really be felt there. The vibrations are directed in precisely the right place and are intense enough to penetrate deeply into the prostate for a really satisfying and pleasurable sensation. Motor “B” is located in the part of the shaft where the sphincter rests, so this is where it stimulates and the sensations can be quite pleasant like a tickle or a tingle, but stronger. Motor “C” is intended to stimulate the perineum, but it is extremely buzzy and hard to detect any real vibrations coming from it. For the most part the Hedone is quite quiet when turned on, both inside and outside of the body. Interestingly each motor makes a different pitch of sound when it operates, so you can identify it by ear alone. While motors “A” & “B” are quiet at all intensities, when the toy is turned up to maximum motor “C” unfortunately becomes quite noisy, similar to the sound of a phone vibrating against a hard table.

The vibration function is operated by three sealed buttons on the top of the toy which are very responsive and easy to use. There is a power button which must be held down for a couple of seconds initially in order to turn the toy on, and also a “+” to increase the vibration intensity and a “-” to decrease it. The power and “-” buttons have a red light which flashes when you press them, but the “+” does not. The Hedone has 10 different vibration patterns which I will describe below, and these can be cycled through by pressing the power button repeatedly. As there are so many patterns cycling through to find your favourite one can be time consuming. One annoying fact is that as soon as you change pattern it resets the power level to zero, so then you have to crank it all the way up to maximum again. If you’re at a point where you’re really enjoying the feeling and you just want a different pattern to help push you over the edge, then having the intensity drop to zero can really spoil the moment, and you then have to try to build back up to that point again once you’ve adjusted the power. Another strange feature is that changing the power level interrupts the pattern sequence, so every time you press “+” or “-” it returns whichever pattern you’re on to the start of the sequence.

The patterns are as follows:

1. A constant
2. B constant
3. C constant
4. C-B-A medium length pulses
5. A-B medium length pulses
6. A-B-C long slow pulses
7. A-B-C medium length pulses
8. ABC rapid simultaneous pulses which don’t reach full strength
9. ABC simultaneously, increasing in strength from low to highest power, but cuts off immediately after reaching max.
10. Rapid pulses of all three, but with timing slightly offset

While there is a good variety of patterns the problem with it is that the patterns all seem to involve creating different sequences of the three motors, rather than the sort of patterns you find in a toy with only one motor. The one motor you really care the most about when using it is motor “A”, as that’s the one stimulating the prostate, motor “B” is nice but not that important, and motor “C” is almost irrelevant in that you only know it’s on as you can hear it rather than feel it. The patterns I liked most were 4,7 & 10, and I did find these enjoyable to use, but what I really would have liked would have been to feel motor “A” by itself vibrating in a series of different patterns, rather than just feeling all three motors jumping around and vibrating in a different order. It’s almost as though the designers over complicated the device. On paper it sounds really good to have 3 motors instead of just one, but in practice it makes it harder to achieve a good selection of patterns.

When it comes to using the toy the bulbous tip will make it slightly more tricky to insert for those who aren’t used to it, but lucky the velvety surface holds lube very well which aids the process. Once it’s inside it’s a very comfortable toy thanks to the flexible silicone shaft, and the tip nestles up nicely against the prostate. The only downside to the flexibility is that you can’t direct or angle the tip into the prostate more firmly in the same way as you can with the Lelo Billy, as the shaft simply bends when you apply pressure laterally. One of the best features of the Hedone has to be the loop handle as it makes it so much easier to thrust with the toy, whether you’re pulling it deeper into the body or back out again, it makes both actions easier. The other advantage of the loop is that you don’t accidentally hit the buttons while holding it.

The toy is rechargeable and only takes 2 hours to charge up to maximum. The plug for the charger is a little bit tricky to get into the toy. You must insert the end of the plug through a small hole in the silicone, and the manual says to do it “gently” but it requires some force which had me slightly worried as I didn’t want to break it. The manual says to insert it until you feel a “subtle click” but I wasn’t aware of one, you just need to push it in as deep as it will go. After that is done everything works fine; the lights around the buttons flash to indicate that it’s charging, then go constant when it’s finished.

Because of the charging port the Hedone is only splashproof  rather than waterproof, so when you’re rinsing it under the tap you want to make sure to keep any water away from that hole. The toy can be sterilised as it’s silicone, but only by wiping it down with a 10% bleach solution, as it wouldn’t be clever to attempt to boil something electronic and non-submersible.

Overall I really like the Hedone for its bulbous tip, its flexible silicone body, and its strong vibrations. These things make it a strong contender against the Lelo Billy. The downsides really are that the selection of patterns could be better, one of the motors is unnecessary and noisy, and it’s annoying having the vibration strength decrease when you switch patterns. It’s still a quality prostate massager though, and depending on how you intend to use it it could be just the thing you’re looking for.

The Odeco Hedone is available from Simply Pleasure.

Simply Pleasure, click here

Fun Factory Duke

The Fun Factory Duke is a prostate massager that I’ve had my eye on for a while; I really like the idea of a wearable prostate massager and perineum stimulator that can be used hands free, but I haven’t had much luck with similar products such as the Rocks Off Bad Boy, so I was eager to try out the design of the Duke.

The Fun Factory Duke is made from silicone, but unlike similar products, such as the Rocks Off toys, it’s made from a soft silicone and exhibits the qualities that you’d typically expect from a silicone toy. The material is nice and bendy and flexible, and can be moved around without too much effort, it also has a good amount of give in the surface so you can squeeze and compress it. The surface of the material is matte which gives it the slightest amount of drag, but it feels lovely and velvety to the touch, without any hint of texture. The silicone portion is formed from two halves, giving it a mould line running the entire way around, but this is incredibly subtle and can barely be seen or felt by the finger, let alone when it’s inside you.
The Duke is quite a strangely shaped toy in design, and looks a little like an S depending on how you hold it. The toy has three main areas: a bulge at the tip which is designed to sit deeper inside the rectum to create a fuller feeling and anchor the toy there, a rounded nub which puts pressure on the prostate, and an arm which sits along the perineum to stimulate it. Inserting the toy at first can be a little fiddly and requires you to guide the tip inside because of how bendy the portion below it is. Once the tip is inside the rest slides in comfortably and smoothly; because the widest section is no more than 1 1/4″ it’s very easy to snake the toy into the body, even for someone who isn’t experienced with anal play. When the main portion of the toy, excluding the bulge at the tip, is inserted around halfway you’ll feel the end of the arm-section touching up against the perineum. As the silicone is so flexible the arm will bend to fit around your body as you push the Duke in the rest of the way, and eventually will sit completely flush. The downside is that because the arm is so flexible it doesn’t apply any pressure to the perineum, but it is a nice length and does rest against the most sensitive portion of the perineum, right behind the scrotum. When the The Duke is fully inserted it feels really comfortable, and almost as though it’s natural for it to be there. There are a few downsides to the design of the Duke however: because of the absence of a neck in the design the Duke naturally wants to slip out of the body to a degree, and this means that it’s difficult to maintain a firm pressure against the prostate. You only want to use a small amount of lube, preferably as little as possible, as if you apply it liberally then it’ll really start to slide out quickly. The arm portion also helps to pull the Duke out; by virtue of it being stretched elastically it forms a lever action against the perineum as it tries to regain its natural shape. You’re going to find yourself never wanting to relax your sphincter completely in order to keep some pressure there holding the toy within the body, and you will need to occasionally push the toy back inside. This can be a bit of a nuisance, especially if you wanted to use it during intercourse with a partner. If you choose to use the toy in a seated position in order to keep it in place then the downside is that as soon as the base of the Duke touches whatever you’re sitting on, then all the vibrations immediately get transmitted downwards and into that, and you feel them far less inside the body.
The vibrations are created in the toy by Fun Factory’s own German-made bullet. The bullet is 2 1/2″ long and 7/8″ wide, and slots into a hole in the silicone portion. The hole for the bullet is located in the portion of the toy which is inserted into the body, rather than in the arm that stimulates the perineum as with Rocks Off toys, which is a welcome feature as it directs the vibrations right where you want them. Unfortunately the size of the bullet and the depth of the hole means that the bullet only sits in the lower half of the portion designed to stimulate the prostate, and so the strongest vibrations will be occurring at the region where the sphincter holds onto the toy, rather than at the prostate itself. The size of the bullet, being short and fat, means that it’s the only one which can be used with the Duke as nothing else will fit. Personally I wish they had used a more traditionally shaped bullet as I would like to have had the option of using my We-Vibe Salsa with the toy as an alternative. The bullet has 6 functions, 3 speeds and 3 vibration patterns, and is operated by a button located on the side. The button has to be one of the worst features as it’s completely unresponsive; when you press it it doesn’t move at all, and you have to hold it down for a full second before it does anything, so it can be difficult to tell if you’ve pressed it firmly enough to activate it. The other issue is the location of the button, it’s very hard to access when the toy is inserted, and you end up with a finger pressed between the side of the toy and your left buttock as you try to feel around to press the thing. You begin by holding the button down for a second which turns the bullet on at its lowest speed. This speed unfortunately is pretty worthless and can barely be felt so you’ll want to quickly change up to the next one. Cycling through the various options takes only a brief press of the button which is much more convenient, provided you remember to press it firmly enough each time. The second power setting is strong enough to be felt and is pleasant, but it’s the top setting which is where the toy really comes alive and gets quite enjoyable. If you turn the toy on when it’s outside the body then you can see and feel just how well the vibrations travel throughout the silicone, but there is an issue with this. If you turn the toy on to its highest setting and touch the portion which is supposed to press against the prostate, then the vibrations feel pretty strong there, but then if you hold the toy by the portion where the bullet is located then you instantly notice a reduction in vibration strength up at the part which touches the prostate. You can imagine that every time you clench to try to hold the toy inside the body all the vibrations are going to go straight to the sphincter and reduce the sensation against the prostate. The three vibration patterns are disappointing because bizarrely they all appear to be at the lowest vibration strength. The first pattern is an ordinary sequence of short evenly spaced pulses at a medium speed, the second is the same but at a fast speed, and the third reminds me of a steam train pulling out of the station, the way the pulses start slowly and steadily building up. Of the three patterns the third was definitely my favourite to use. Typically I enjoy patterns, but in the case of the Duke I shunned them in favour of the constant mode as I needed the power that it offered. The vibrations themselves feel more rumbly than they do buzzy, so they penetrate the prostate quite well provided the power is on high enough. The vibrations give a pleasant sensation throughout the region, but nothing which felt like it would drive me to orgasm. To turn the bullet off again when you’re done the button needs to be held down again for a second.
When it comes to cleaning the toy the bullet must be removed first as it isn’t waterproof. The silicone portion can then be washed or sterilised depending on your preference. The bullet is very easy to remove as the silicone around it is thin and stretches.
Happily the bullet is quiet enough that the Duke could be used whilst someone was in the next room, or stood outside of your door.
The bullet is rechargeable and uses a magnetic charger that comes with the toy. The charger is slightly odd as it doesn’t sit flush with the toy, but the magnets are really strong and hold the charger in place, so the connectors make a strong contact and it charges without worry. In this regard it’s miles better than the charging system of the We-Vibe Salsa. Reassuringly the charger also lights up to let you know that it’s working. The bullet will last for only 30 minutes on a single charge, which is a little disappointing.

The Duke Comes inside a lovely presentation box made from cardboard, and which also features a clear plastic viewing window at the front. For some reason when I opened mine it was very dusty inside, with particles stuck all over the silicone of the toy which appears to attract this.

Overall I have to say that I’m rather disappointed with the Duke due to the high hopes that I had for it. In my opinion it’s probably the best toy of this design, and in this price range, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone over any of the Rocks Off toys that I’ve tried, but objectively it still isn’t that spectacular. I really like the creative thought and innovation that Fun Factory have put into this toy, but it just has some flaws which need ironing out.
If you’d like to try the Duke then you can buy it from these fine retailers:

UK & Europe: Lovehoney UK.

North America: SheVibe, Lovehoney USA, and NiteTimeToys.