Thursday, 17 October 2013

Review: PULSE

A month or so ago, I was contacted by Hot Octopuss to ask if I would care to review an upcoming product: the PULSE, something already causing a bit of a buzz in the sex toy world, if their website is to be believed. As you may (will? should?) know, I'm not overly a fan of sex toys, but this one looked very good, and may have been the one to change my mind. Was it?

Here's the review.

Looks a bit like a vagina, on reflection.
PULSE is a male sex toy (a "stimulator", apparently). Unlike the REV 1000, which is a "male masturbator", the idea of the PULSE is that you fit it around your erect penis (you can put it through a hole or open two "wings" at its sides if you're already erect or too big to fit through the hole) and it creates a vibrating sensation designed to stimulate you to orgasm. Sounds familiar, but I was willing to give it a go. It also has functionality for couples, as you can use it during sex or for foreplay, but the lady needs to be on top for that, according to the diagrams.

Admittedly, I fail to see how that works at all, due to its size and shape, unless both of you are very flexible. But I digress.

Keep Calm and Review This Product
The box design is... well, very... black. That's pretty much all it is, save for the top of the box with the Hot Octopuss logo superimposed over a stock model photograph, and the promotional bumph down the side, points separated by the crown from the "Keep Calm and Carry On" poster. There's a picture of the PULSE, avec crown, but as that's also black, it's easy to miss. And some diagrams straight out of Science Now! that I read in year 7. Still, the packaging isn't the same as the toy inside, so what's that like, ILB?

I tried masturbating with this about three times. The design of the PULSE allows for a flaccid penis to be put inside first and then stimulated through vibrations until it's erect, which I did first off. It's made of silicone (black, again) with a curved, ergonomic design, which I will admit is clever, because the penis fits nicely inside it, and it doesn't slip out easily, even when flaccid. I was also pleasantly surprised to find that I initially enjoyed the vibrating sensation emanating from the spot where it... well, emanates from, I suppose. A few dirty thoughts and I was erect, which boded well for the rest.

And here, it ended.

It passed the first test, sure. I had my erect penis inside it and it was working perfectly well. Controls on the side of the thing allow you to cycle through five intensities of vibration, although all of them are quite strong. The intention, clearly, is to allow you to have a hands-free orgasm either solo or with your partner. But it's not a masturbation toy - that is to say, you can't grab it and move it up and down, even with lube - it stays in place. I could stimulate the tip of my foreskin with my index finger, but couldn't get to my shaft, which I suppose was fine. Hands-free orgasm it is, then.

Fifty Shades of Black
Gasp of horror: I didn't have a single orgasm while using this. Why? Well, as with every other sex toy I've used, there were just some things that didn't work with me at all, no matter how aroused I was (and I was very aroused).

The first is the sound. While vibrating, it makes an annoying buzzy sound a but like someone's trying to strangle a Stylophone. While not as loud as some other toys I've seen and used, it's still very audible, especially if you're using this in silence, as I was. In fact, the further you turn up the revs, the louder it gets. Even discounting the "will the neighbours hear?" factor, it's very distracting indeed, and difficult to ignore if you're trying to construct a fantasy in your head, as I was.

It also doesn't really do the hands-free thing it promises. If I didn't use my hand to steady it (realistically, both hands; it needs both thumbs to keep it balanced properly), it just flopped down at a weird angle, which was uncomfortable, especially with a hard penis. Whether sitting up or lying down, I was incredibly aware that most of my concentration was going on keeping it upright, because although it's comfortable inside the thing, if it's not in the right position, whatever's outside won't be!

Something else I noticed may or may not be unique to me. The PULSE is meant to be one size fits all, but it didn't quite fit my full erection at all times. I don't know if my penis is too big, or the wrong shape, or whatever (although I doubt it is either!), but the head was too far out of the other end of the PULSE (wherever I positioned it), and all the vibrations from the centralised "hot spot" here focused on the middle of my shaft as a result. It wasn't unpleasant, but bits of my penis weren't getting enough stimulation to make it a massively pleasurable sensation all over. If I pressed my penis down at a specific point (causing a worrying grinding sound), I could actually feel it growing, probably caused by a combination of the vibrating and the pressure from my thumb, but left to its own devices and the PULSE just let me down. I could feel myself going soft without any hope of climaxing. Very disappointing.
View from the top - or TIE pilot's helmet.

And the one final thing which I really don't like: how my penis felt afterwards. Left desperate for a release after spending far too long trying to orgasm with the PULSE, I decided to bring myself off using my favourite sex toy: my hand. As soon as I grasped the shaft of my penis, I could tell something was different. It was warmer than usual - much warmer. It was also much, much less sensitive than it usually is (and mine isn't very sensitive to begin with), and it took me a while to orgasm with something little more than a warm lump of flesh. It was an almost frictionless wank, and although I did eventually orgasm from it, I could hardly feel the orgasm itself - notably, the pleasurable pulsations while actually ejaculating were barely noticeable. Also very disappointing, especially since I wasn't wearing the thing at the time!

So, yeah. Another sex toy that failed to make me orgasm, and a big disappointment, considering the hype and the thought that's gone into this one. If I'm actually going flaccid while using a toy, rather than getting ready for the promised "most intense orgasm you have ever experienced", then it's clearly not working. And I tried. I really did. I tried it lying down, sitting up, kneeling. I tried it while flaccid and while erect. I even tried visual stimuli and physical stuff too, like touching my nipples or cupping my balls. It just didn't work. I was barely even close.

Would I recommend the PULSE? No. I'd recommend it, perhaps, for something to use as a prelude to sexual activity - because it elicits an erection well enough. I suppose, if you need an erection, this would be a useful toy to have on hand. But I don't imagine many people would need to do that if they can get the right stimulus with another toy (or, indeed, their hand) or just by having sexy thoughts, which is what happens to me!

Not unexpected, really, considering my usual experience with sex toys, but still disappointing, nevertheless.

And I really wanted that orgasm, too...

PULSE (with PulsePlate technology), kindly provided by Hot Octopuss. Available soon from stockists worldwide.


Sati said...

Shame it didn't do it for you, since it looks pretty neat. Compact, easy to clean, unlike a lot of the Fleshlight-type things I've seen. Unintimidating for women who might find a sex doll or fake vagina a little weird. (Double standards are alive and well. *sigh*)

I'm curious, though - with these toys that don't get you off, do you try a few times on a few occasions, or decide that if it's not working the first time it won't? I know my feelings for sex toys range from underwhelmed to outright annoyed when I first get them. Aside from the first one, when I was 14 or 15, I have yet to be satisfied by a toy on the first go. I can usually (not always) get there, but it usually takes 60-90 minutes. After three or so goes, it gets easier and my opinion of it (usually) improves.

Of course, I have more motivation to keep trying, since a) nobody ever sends me free stuff and b) I CAN'T get myself off with just my hands, so I'm sort of forced to keep trying.

Not that I'm saying you should, if it doesn't work for you. I was just curious about whether you've ever persevered and got a different result than the original one.

Innocent Loverboy said...

Well, my method of testing a sex toy is to have two or three goes, rather than just the first try, which never works. In the case of this one, I tried three different times in varying positions, once with lube (as suggested in the instructions) and twice without (also suggested).

It never seems to work for me, although I'm pretty sure that's mostly a combination of three things:

(i) the toy isn't right for me in terms of size, shape and area
(ii) my penis isn't sensitive enough for just vibrations to work, however powerful they are
(iii) I'm so used to using my hands that anything else seems a little pointless
(iv) the feel of something unnatural and a buzzing sound can be very distracting

I'm not saying it's never going to work; it's just that if it doesn't work within a few tries then I'm pretty convinced it's not going to work unless something changes massively.

In case you are interested, I did try the REV 1000 a couple of times after I wrote the review and had the same (painful) experience. I do intend to try the PULSE again to see if anything changes, but if it doesn't, I'll leave the review as it is.

As always, thanks for your comments, lovely Sati.

BlokeToys said...

I have to say we've had a completely different response from our customers about this toy, and having seen so many positive comments coming in several of our guys here (including myself) have invested in one and enjoy it a lot.

I'm not sure if there are other reasons for your negativity about this toy, and other products. Perhaps you have an expectation of things not working out, so you're subconsciously making that so? You do seem to be automatically negative about this before you've even taken the thing out of the box lol

I agree with you on some of the other vibrating toys, the Rev1000 was a disappointment, and so was the Cobra Libre (don't even get me started on that one!) but the PULSE seems to be doing great things for a lot of guys out there.

I guess it does all come down to personal sensations and attitude, and if you are less sensitive than the average person in the penis department, or you go into these things expecting to be disappointed, that's obviously going to have an impact.

Innocent Loverboy said...

I think a large part of the problem with this toy and others for me is that I do suffer a little from an insensitive penis - I only ever orgasm from masturbation and sexual intercourse, and even then, it takes a while. I've never received a handjob or blowjob that has gotten me there and a sex toy is no exception. They just don't work.

A big part of my problem with the PULSE is that my penis was either too big or the wrong shape for it - I suspect the former (and so does Adam, creator or PULSE). I felt the buzzes partway down my shaft and the PULSE plate itself didn't go near any traditionally sensitive bits, such as the frenulum or head; I was left with a faint vibration on the underside of my shaft - that's not going to do it for me!

What might improve this may be an adjustable PULSE plate - one you can move to suit larger or longer penes, perhaps? - but I don't even know if that's possible!

I suppose I do seem fussy when it comes to sex toys. But if it doesn't work, then I'm going to say that it doesn't work. I am aware, from reading the reviews out there, that I am in a minority not having any orgasms using this thing, so you shouldn't suffer from any loss of business or anything from my one review. But I'm certainly not going to be buying one!