17 January 2013

Oxballs Sparkplug


Ever since I first tried out the Oxballs Cocksling last year I knew that the next item on my list would have to be the Sparkplug, and as luck would have it the generous people over at Esmale contacted me last week and offered to send me one to review for them. Naturally I gladly accepted, and now you can find out what I thought of it after the jump!

The Sparkplug isn't an easy product to categorise, because essentially it's something unique, even more so than the Cocksling. It takes the basic design of the Cocksling, which is itself a form of cock ring, and builds on it and improves it by adding an extra 'tail' piece which stimulates the perineum and anus. In a way it's like the ultimate male toy because it targets all the erogenous zones at once. Gone are the days of needing separate cock rings and butt plugs, because the Sparkplug does it all. I like to think of it as almost an article of clothing rather than a toy; once you're stood there with everything strapped and plugged up you're naked but you're not. With the silver version especially I liken it to a piece of armour which you don before ravaging your partner, as that's what its appearance always brings to my mind whenever I see myself in the mirror wearing it.

Much like the Cocksling the Sparkplug is made of thermoplastic rubber (TPR), which is a little unusual for an Oxballs product given their general preference for silicone. There's a good reason for this choice, and it becomes apparent when you realise just how stretchy this material is, much more so than any silicone that I've encountered. TPR is a safe material, though less highly regarded than silicone because it is slightly porous, but this factor only becomes an issue if you're considering sharing the toy. Porous materials can't be sterilised, and as part of the Sparkplug is insertable this is normally something you'd want to do before giving it to a partner. In this case the prudent thing to do would be to have one each, just to be safe. The only other downside to the material is that it does have a slightly chemical-like odour, but as I discovered with the Cocksling this odour soon dissipates once the Sparkplug is removed from its packaging and allowed to air for a few days. 

The Sparkplug comes in the same minimal packaging that I mentioned in my reviews of the Cocksling and the Oxballs Urethral Sounds. The product is heat-sealed inside a small, clear, polythene bag which bears no branding, nor has a sticker on it denoting what the product is. There's also noticeably an absence of any pamphlet explaining instructions for use or how to care for the product. If you're environmentally conscious and a fan of minimal packaging then you might appreciate this, but I would have preferred a little something extra.

The construction quality of the Sparkplug is generally pretty good, and it appears to have been manufactured in the same manner as the Cocksling. There are several mould-lines and creases along the surface so it's not perfect, but they're not that noticeable and don't spoil the overall aesthetic. Two of the openings in the Cocksling-portion feature a slight divot, designed to accommodate the corpus spongiosum - the third erection chamber of the penis through which the urethra runs. This is intended to reduce pressure on the urethra and allow ejaculation whilst the toy is being worn. There is some slight branding on the product, with the words "Oxballs" and "Sparkplug" embossed faintly into the material.

The design of the Sparkplug does look a little strange at first glance. Mine is silver so I tend to think of it as something which could have fallen out of a plumber's toolbox. The silver finish is actually rather good; it's visibly metallic rather than being merely grey but by another name, but they do come is a variety of colours to pick from. The front of the product is just your standard Cocksling design, but out of the back extends the section with I've dubbed the 'tail.' The tail connects to the part of the Cocksling which sits behind the testicles, and it extends for around 4" before turning a sharp right-angle. This cylindrical piece is designed to rest along the perineum, and is around 7/8" thick. Beyond the right-angle is the insertable portion which measures 5"; 4" of this is bulged, while the remaining inch is smooth and forms a neck of sorts. There are five bulges in total: two small, two medium, and one large central bulge which has a 5 1/8" circumference.

When it comes to putting on the Sparkplug it's fairly obvious thanks to the design which bits go where, so it eliminates any of the potential confusion involved with the Cocksling. It doesn't matter really if you try to put it on when you're erect or flaccid as here is where the stretchy material comes into play. The amount of elasticity in the material really is incredible; you could put your fist through the smallest hole and wear it like a wristband if you desired. The first part of the procedure, unsurprisingly, is identical to with the Cocksling. To start off simply pop your penis through the back hole and out of the front, then simultaneously stretch out the hole at the bottom and the hole at the back until you have a piece of material that looks like a strap, and hook this strap over and under the balls to drop them into place. The extra 'tail' of the Sparkplug makes getting the balls into place slightly more difficult than with the Cocksling, but you quickly learn to work around it and adapt. After everything is in place it's time for a few quick adjustments, and tugging a little extra skin of the scrotum through the hole will ensure optimal comfort. It does help at this point if you have less pubic hair, so you won't get any caught while you're tugging the material around. The next step is to insert the butt plug portion at the end of the Sparkplug. The simplest thing to do is just bend the 'tail' forwards into an accessible position, cover it with your favourite water-based lube, then line it up right and push it into place. The soft material will work a bit against you in the insertion process as it compresses and bends around, so you'll want to guide it in from the tip. It's important to keep your sphincter as relaxed as possible to ensure a smooth process, and it also helps to push each of the bulges in individually, else their size and shape might present a slight obstacle.

Wearing the Sparkplug feels incredibly comfortable and is a really pleasurable experience. The material at the front fits snugly around the penis and testicles like the Cocksling, and gives a constant reaffirming squeeze to the whole area, but without feeling in any way too tight. What really surprised me was how well the 'tail' section fitted into place. The measurements of each portion seemed to align perfectly with my anatomy, as though it had been tailor made. The first segment of the tail ran flush against the perineum, applying a light pressure and giving the pleasant sensation of something lying between my legs, especially when I squeezed my thighs together. The right angle then turned upwards exactly where my anus was positioned, meaning there was neither too little nor too much material in this portion. The bulges on the insertable section act to anchor it firmly in place inside the body - thus avoiding slippage - while the soft material flex allows it to flex into a natural position, and the sphincter rests on the smooth area below it. The insertable section is just the right length to feel pleasantly filling but without being excessive, and the thickness should be suited to most people who enjoy moderate anal play. There really is something incredibly comforting about how it feels when it's on, as though everything it touches is being taken care of, and I could see myself wanting to walk around wearing it all day. On top of that it's also quite an arousing sensation; with something happening at every point between your legs, immediately you want to go forth and have sex.

The front section of the Sparkplug is in many senses a cock ring, so it functions in much the same manner and helps to keep blood in the penis and create a stronger erection. The separate hole for the testicles holds them slightly away from the body, instead of allowing them to become closely tucked up under the penis as they typically do prior to orgasm. This has the effect of making you slightly more aware of the balls, and the scrotum almost seems more sensitive to light touch. The interesting thing about the Cocksling-section is that when you first put it on it has a tendency to pull the foreskin back and then hold the skin in place around the base of the shaft, preventing the shaft skin from being very mobile or able to slide back over the head again. This can be quite fun if you've always wanted to try out sex with a bare glans, but otherwise you can simply hold the Sparkplug against against the body and then slide some more skin through the hole at the front, and restore the normal functionality of your foreskin.

The Sparkplug is great for use during sex where you're the active partner, as it offers all the benefits of the Cocksling but with additional anal and perineum stimulation. If you otherwise enjoy wearing a cock ring and a butt plug during sex then the Sparkplug is sure to be a hit. Obviously if you're going to need access to your anus during sex for other purposes then the Sparkplug may get in the way a bit, and it could be easier to stick with a Cocksling instead. The Sparkplug is great for solo play too, especially in conjunction with a Fleshjack, as you don't need to be with someone else to enjoy how it feels. One thing to note is, that like much like the Cocksling, due to the design of the front section it does cover the bottom inch of the shaft, meaning you potentially lose that in insertable length. Like with any cock ring it's advisable not to wear the front section for more than 30 minutes at a time, in order to restore normal blood flow to the genitals; I noticed that my balls had begun to feel slightly cold to the touch after prolonged use, so that's probably a good indicator of when to stop. The Sparkplug is very easy to take off when you're done as plug section at the back just pops right out, and the front stretches open once more. I was a little surprised when I took it off how naked I suddenly felt, and how much I noticed its absence and missed the pleasurable squeeze it gave.

To care for the Sparkplug, and prolong its life, you want to avoid using oil-based lubricants when wearing it, and simply wash it with anti-bacterial soap and hot water after use. After several washes you may notice that the formerly shiny surface of the material becomes slightly dull and matte, but this isn't cause for concern.

Overall I really love the Sparkplug and would recommend it to anyone; in fact I would go so far as to say that every man should own one. It's a fantastic creation which really feels great to wear. The only slight downside is the initial odour, but it's not too bothersome and it doesn't linger.

You can buy the Sparkplug from Esmale in a selection of colours, and currently get 20% off on the silver version. Get an additional 10% off when you use code 'INCEND10' at the checkout.

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