2 April 2013

Tenga Flip Hole White

The other day I received a quite unexpected message from the people at Tenga. It turned out that they'd seen my review of the Flip Hole Red, and appreciated my honest assessment so much that they wanted to offer me an original White Flip Hole to try out as well.

There are currently different four different Flip Holes available - White, Black, Red, and Silver - each with its own completely unique texture inside. Apparently the White is the most popular all round choice in the series, so I've been really looking forward to the opportunity to compare and contrast it with the Red. You can get a quick run down on the differences between them all here.

Now that the package has made its way to me straight from the neon lights of Tokyo, you can catch the review after the jump! 

I thought I'd start this review today with a quick look at the packaging for the Flip Hole. This isn't something which ordinarily I'd do, but when Lovehoney sent me the Flip Hole Red to test for them it didn't come with any packaging, only a polythene sandwich bag with it inside, so I'd like to take this opportunity to fill in any gaps in my previous review.

The Flip Holes come packaged in a simple clear-plastic cylinder, slightly larger than the toy itself, and sealed up with cellophane to prevent tampering. The two end pieces are quite thick and solid, with recesses in them to hold the product in place, while the central tube section is thinner and more flimsy, and has the name of the product printed on it. It's actually a really nice piece of packaging because not only is it fairly minimal, but it displays and showcases the product well, while also being a convenient place to store it. The end caps of the tube pop off nice and easily, and there's an adequate amount of room between the Flip Hole and the sides of the packaging to allow you to get your fingers in there and lift it out.

Along with the Flip Hole itself the packaging also includes a small instruction pamphlet clipped beneath the base cap, as well as three phials of different lubricants which sit behind the Flip Hole in the tube. What I love about this is not only do they include lubricant so you can use the product straight out of the box, but they give you a selection to choose from, and the re-sealable phials resemble test tubes from chemistry lessons at school. In this regard it's far superior to the 5ml sachets of "Fleshlube" which come with every Fleshjack. I'm going to concentrate on the product itself for now, so I'll leave a thorough review of each of the lubes for a later date.

The Flip Hole has a rather unique design in the world of male masturbation aids, and one which sets it aside from many of its competitors. It comes in two pieces, the main body of the toy, and a separate end cap which plays an integral part in how the toy functions. Both the case and the cap are made of a solid ABS plastic, which in this instance is white. The main case of the toy features two long oval-shaped windows cut out of each side, revealing the translucent TPE material which lines the interior. Because of these windows you can actually touch the TPE whilst you're using the toy, which is slightly unusual but not really an issue. Strangely enough on my Flip Hole Red I noted that the TPE felt very sticky, but this wasn't the case at all here, which makes me slightly wonder what happened to the Red one before I got it, but I digress. If you look closely at the windows you'll notice that within the TPE is embedded a thin sheet of plastic on each side, and this protrudes through the surface in the form of six white buttons. The purpose of these "buttons" is to allow you to squeeze them and apply pressure to the penis whilst using the Flip Hole.

What's unique about the Flip Hole is that the body of the case can actually be opened in half along a hinge at one end, and here's where the end cap comes into play. The cap has two long arms which extend up the sides of the case to lock the two halves together. When the toy isn't in use you place the cap over the opening to protect it, much like you would with any other masturbator, but when you are using the toy you slide the cap onto the opposite end, so that that it leaves the opening free but still holds the case firmly together. It's a rather clever design in my opinion.

Looking at the Flip Hole overall it is quite an attractive little toy, and vaguely space-age in appearance. It's also quite a compact device, and smaller than your standard Fleshjack. In total it's only 7" in height, and around the circumference it measures 9", making it something which is comfortable to hold in one hand, as well as being easy to grip onto.

The key feature of the Flip Hole is undoubtedly it's aforementioned ability to be completely opened up and unfolded into two halves, and this is something which naturally carries with it its own set of pros and cons. My experiences with the Flip Hole Red left me rather sceptical about the merits this design feature, and I came down more heavily on the 'con' side, so it should be interesting to see how my opinions may have changed as I go through the various aspects again.

The first big benefit to having a mastubator which opens is when it comes to applying lube; instead of having to try to squirt some through a tiny aperture, you can simply unfold the Flip Hole and spread the lube copiously over the interior. It makes it much easier to get a nice even coverage over the whole length, and into every nook and cranny of the texture.

The second big benefit is almost the reverse of the first, because it involves washing it. Cleaning the Flip Hole couldn't be more simple: you simply open it, rinse out the inside, then leave it open until it dries. It's so much less hassle than cleaning a Fleshjack, and it dries faster too. You can even balance it on the arms of the end cap to use it like a drying rack.

The first issue you're likely to encounter surrounds the orifice of the toy. The opening is only 2cm in diameter, which isn't incredibly wide to begin with, but this then only extends into the toy for a depth of 2cm before it's completely blocked off by a solid section of material which acts like a diaphragm. When you insert yourself into the toy, instead of the material stretching to accommodate the girth of the penis like it would with a Fleshjack, it stretches slightly, then the two halves split apart, and the material around the opening bursts outwards and down the shaft. As is happens this doesn't actually affect the performance of the Flip Hole, but it does look unusual, and gives you the impression that it's not supposed to happen. There is a benefit to that diaphragm-section, however, at that's that it does prevent any lube or bodily fluids from escaping through the orifice of the toy once you've withdrawn your penis.

The next issue is that the toy isn't airtight and it tends to leak out air all along the divide between the two halves. This has two consequences: one, you don't get a strong sensation of suction like you do with some other masturbators, and two, that it can be quite noisy and produce a lot of popping, squelching, and reverberating sounds.

The inside of the Flip Hole has a 6" long cavity, and as I mentioned at the start each colour has a different interior texture. I can wholeheartedly say that I like the texture of the White immeasurably more than the Red. My first issue with the Red was that it had no real canal built into it, so it felt like my penis was simply being squashed between two halves of material, and this had the effect of only stimulating the top and bottom of it. The White is completely different in this regard, when you look at the material you can clearly see that it has a central groove running along it, with material extending upwards from the surface, and this has the effect of stimulating all around the penis, both the top, bottom, and the sides. The result is much much more satisfying. If I were to really focus on everything then I would probably say that you get a slightly less all-encompassing feel than you do with a Fleshjack, but it's not something that you're actually going to be focussing on during use, and it won't even draw your attention unless you're specifically looking for it. It really does give you great all-round stimulation.

The other thing I love about the White is actually the details of the texture itself. For me the Red was just bland and felt like bumps, bumps, and more bumps, none of which delivered any overly satisfying sensations. Again the White is far superior in this regard and I really enjoyed what it had to offer. The array of ribs and nodules all produce a wonderful feeling, which varies from light brushing and tickling to a deep massaging sensation. I found it all very pleasurable, whether I was thrusting with long slow strokes, or more quickly. One of the neat things around the Flip Holes is that there's a slightly different texture on each side, and you can definitely differentiate them during use. The differences can be a little subtle but it's enough to offer variety, so if you've become slightly too accustomed to one side you simply withdraw yourself, flip it, and start again. The fact that it's not quite the same is something which your brain immediately picks up on, and it pulls you back into the experience. I especially like part of the texture which they call the "end orb" and this feels truly fantastic along the frenulum, especially right when you're ready for climax. This observation contrasts with the Red which I found almost indistinguishable from side to side.

When you're in the midst of using the Flip Hole quite a surprising amount of the inner material does bulge out of the windows on either side of the case. In this way the material tends to largely displace itself rather than stretching to make room for what's inside. Because of this if you want to get a significantly tight sensation then you will need to squeeze the aforementioned "buttons" on either side. This process actually works very effectively, and the ability to adjust the pressure is an enjoyable feature to have on hand. I found that it far outperforms the functionality of the soft-case Fleshjack Sword in this regard, and offers more versatility. It's quite fun to play around with and experiment where and when to add the pressure, and to what degree. It does require a certain level of continuous adjustment during thrusting though, if you've found a level of pressure that you like best and want to try to keep it constant.

The Flip Hole White delivers a far more natural sensation than the Red. I'm not sure that I could go as far as saying that it feels realistic, but whereas the Red felt vaguely alien the White gives sex-like sensations more akin to those produced by other high quality masturbators. Either way end result is very enjoyable no matter how you try to classify it.

The toy is perhaps a little more awkward to warm up than a Fleshjack, because the material inside is permanently attached to the hard outer case, so you need to submerge the whole thing in a basin of hot water. Personally I wouldn't bother as they never seem to hold their heat for long, and it just creates more hassle and mess.

On the whole I have to say that I really love the Flip Hole White, and it's almost a relief to be able to utter those words. Possibly the most disappointing thing about the Red was actually the fact that it was disappointing. The Flip Hole design always seemed to me like it had a lot of potential, and now I'm glad that I'm finally able to say that I like one. It's truly amazing how much difference a change in the design of the texture can really make. I can safely say to anyone that I give my full recommendation to the Flip Hole White. It feels absolutely fantastic to use and it's so easy to clean afterwards; it's definitely a serious rival to the Fleshjack on all fronts. If you're thinking about a Flip Hole then start with this one!

Big thanks to Tenga for sending this one to me; you've given me a whole new level of faith in your brand.

The Flip Hole White can be purchased from these fine retailers:

UK & Europe: SexToys.co.uk, Lovehoney UK, SexShop365, and Esmale.

North America: Lovehoney USA, and NiteTimeToys.

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