Saturday, July 26, 2014

Review: The PULSE from HotOctopuss

UPDATE: Watch our second (and much sexier) video of azp using the PULSE on Fetlife at:
https://fetlife.com/users/117876/ videos/267874

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When I saw this new "guybrator" from Hot Octopuss, I thought it would be a great toy to share with my #1 sub and online lover, azpanties, however, I did take my time sending it to him!

The PULSE is dark blue, almost black in color. It has a hard shell of ABS plastic with flexible skin-safe silicone wings and lining, and should only be used with water-based lubricants. However, unlike many luxury rechargeable vibes, it is not waterproof.

There aren't any of the useless and annoying waves and patterns that many manufacturers are building into vibrators these days, and in fact, it actually oscillates rather than vibrating. One the co-founders explains the medical technology behind the device and it's uses in this video from their website:



Truly international, it comes packed in a gorgeous box (the front is shown above) with only a USB charger (which circumvents the issue of including different plugs for different countries) and an illustrated instruction booklet - written in ten different languages!



It should be charged for 4 hours before the first use. We didn't test fully draining and recharging it, but according to the materials, subsequent charges are 3 hours for up to 2 hours of use. Even though azp hasn't always fully charged it, we've never an issue. I wish I could say that for some of My toys!

Since I don't like things hanging off my laptop, I found an adapter and plugged it into a power strip for its first charge. After it was done, the fiddly cover over the charging port simply would not go back in and stay there. azp subsequently pulled it off rather than mess with it!

Since it's open-ended, it is easier to clean than most male devices, but my advice for Version 2.0 would be to change to something like magnetic charging, which would get rid of the issue with the plug, and might also allow it to be more waterproof for cleaning and in shower use.

The controls are straightforward and easy. There are plus (+) and minus (-) buttons on the sides, which allow the user to step up or down through the Nine Levels of Intensity, Holding down the minus button for 1 full second turns it completely off. There isn't a travel lock feature, but the buttons aren't that easily pressed by mistake, and I mailed it across the country without an issue.

It fits nicely in the hand, but azp and I both found it difficult to hold it and to control the intensity buttons at the same time while using only one hand. It works much better to hold it with one hand, and change the setting with the other.

The sound is quieter than many vibrators. (The booklet says "below 55 db".) azp compared it to his Sonicare toothbrush. I could not hear it when he used it on Skype, but he has no problem hearing my Jack Rabbits!

As far as strength goes, azp was enjoying it at around a six (6) or a seven (7), but did ask if he could go all the way up to the 9th level. The reactions that I've read from other men range from cumming easily at lower speeds all the way to someone who normally has difficulty reaching orgasm not being able to cum with it. azp wasn't able to cum with it hands free, but says that he could easily cum with it at any level as long as he is stroking with it.

To me, it felt like a vibrator, but was not especially intense. On the outside, there didn't seem to be a lot of difference in the settings, but as a plus, there was no issue with the vibrations being too intense and putting my hand to sleep. It's a nice intensity to hold, but probably not strong enough to get me off if rubbed against my clit.

The "coin" that you see inside is the Pulse Plate, where the sensation is concentrated. It is designed to be held against the frenulum, which is also sometimes called the frenum. This is the point just under the cleft of the head of the penis where many men are the most sensitive. (The other point that I've observed on some cut men is slightly further down the underside, where their circumcision scar is.)

The instructions say not to press too hard on the Plate. I could easily press it hard enough with my finger to cause it to stop oscillating, and azp had the same issue if he pressed it too hard. In addition to being frustrating, holding it down too long could conceivably break the device.

One of the things that I love to do is to rub my clit along the underside of a lover's cock while I am on top of him. (Rubbing against someone or something like this is called "frottage", from the French "frotter", meaning "to rub".) In this way, I get the intense stimulation where I need it, and he gets the tease and enjoyment of my using him for my own pleasure. Usually his penis has to be fully hard and long enough for this to work.

I really like the idea that a lover, especially one who has erection issues, such as a certain older ex- of mine, could put this on as illustrated and enjoy it while I enjoyed riding it and him.

However, I'm a BBW, and in playing with it, I found that it was so wide that was difficult to nestle it as deeply as I would like in between my outer labia. (Yes, I have big lips!) I found it too awkward to adequately test being on top of it, but I'm afraid that my weight would also put too much pressure on the Pulse Plate, causing it to switch off. There is the potential for switching the position where the man is on top and controlling the rubbing, which might work better, but, from my experience, it's size and intensity probably would not hit the right spot for me.

I thoroughly cleaned it and took pictures of it alone and on my beautiful stunt cock (a new Candy Violet Fun Factory Bandito that I unboxed just for this photoshoot). However, as you can see, I had the hardest time keeping the PULSE clean of dust and smudges. Ditto for the little, black instruction booklet.

I also have to admit that, as I was cleaning it to send it to azp, I forgot that it wasn't waterproof, and put it in the sink with some other luxury toys! It would not turn on immediately afterward, however it had been sitting a while. I charged it and then it started, so it might have simply lost it's charge.

Luckily, it was still working fine when azp received it. For our joint testing, he used it under my direction and answered questions while I watched him on cam. One of the nicest things for me about the open-ended design is that I can actually see azp's yummy reactions. He can also catch the cum, or cum on himself, rather than having to clean it out of some toy. (I suppose most guys would just use a tissue, but azp is required to eat it all so not having to try to tongue a Fleshlight is a plus!)

azp was taking part in My World Cup Chastity Game when he received it and many of the Rewards were hands-free releases, so we decided to test it that way. He quickly found that if he tried to use it completely hands-free, the weight of the mechanism on the top/back of it would cause it to slide around to one side or the other of his cock, and the Pulse Plate was no longer where it needed to be. At one point, he even tried using rubber bands around it to hold the wings tighter, but it still turned around to the side!

azp doesn't normally have any issues getting hard or cumming. He got hard more slowly when only using the PULSE versus using his hand, and it was fun to watch it happen. He found that he wasn't able to cum while just holding it still in one place, but that he could while stroking with it. He described it as being an intense sensation, but only in one area, and he found that he needed to move it around to to cover a larger area.

He would like to see a way to make the wings grip tighter so it would provide better sensation over a larger area, which might also prevent it from sliding to the side when used hands-free. I was joking about giving it a velcro closure, but I doubt that would have worked any better than the rubber bands.

I recorded our most recent testing session. During this session, I specifically did NOT do anything (such as playing with myself or describing a fantasy) to try to give him stimulation beyond the simple fact that I was watching him and giving him instructions, which he loves anyway! I noticed that he didn't shoot as far as normal and it took longer than normal for him to be ready to cum, both because he had already been using it for so long and was getting numb when I gave him permission to stroke.

You can watch the explicit video of azpanties using the PULSE here:
                   PULSE Test Video
(Be warned that the video quality is low: I was using a screen recorder on one small portion of the Skype window while we talked. Reducing the Zoom on your browser helps. Also, the sound has been removed for privacy reasons.)

Note: The cock ring he is wearing in the video is his 24/7 collar, a 1 7/8" Master Cock Ring from Gear Essentials, which we call The "Mistress". Over 1/2 a pound of Solid, Shiny Stainless Steel, it reminds him every day who he belongs to!

To summarize:
Trying to use the PULSE as a couples toy would be awkward at best, and unsatisfying for someone with my anatomy. When used hands-free, it kept moving out of position and couldn't get the job done. Despite the fantasy, I could not have simply strapped it on my sub and MADE him cum hands-free with it.

However, it is a NICE hands-on, "vibrating" stroker: It is simple to use, quiet and easy to clean, but is not waterproof. The open design also means that it fits a larger range of sizes, and makes it easier to watch the action!

Unlike other toys made specifically for men, it is designed so that it can be used and enjoyed while soft, offering a new option for men with erectile issues. However, the oscillations may need to be stronger for men who can have problems cumming.

Pluses:
Quiet Enough Not to Scare the Neighbors
Open Ended for Easy Cleaning
Designed so That It Can Be Enjoyed Without an Erection
One Size Fits!

Minuses:
NOT Waterproof
Won't Stay in Place Hands-Free
Stops If You Press Down The Pulse Plate

To Make It Better, Add:
Waterproof Charging
A Way to Tighten the Wings
Stronger Sensations
Better Design for Her (or just drop that part)

Where to buy:
Those in the UK and Europe can buy from the Hot Octopuss site, but Lovehoney has FREE International Shipping!

UK: Lovehoney.co.uk

US: Lovehoney.com
        +10% off by clicking here*:  http://shrsl.com/?~63kz

* Click the link at any time while you're shopping on the site and the discount should be added to your shopping cart. These are my affiliate links, which don't cost you any more, but I will get a small percentage of your purchase amount for referring you.

NOTE: From my experience, all Lovehoney purchases are still shipped from the UK, and those outside the UK may have to pay a currency exchange fee to their bank whether they buy from the US or the UK site.

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Note: I received a sample PULSE free from Hot Octopuss in exchange for an honest review.
I am an affiliate of Lovehoney, but also prefer them for their free shipping and customer-friendly returns policy. I am also happy to be able to also offer a 10% discount to my readers on any purchase from Lovehoney.com.

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