28 October 2013

Tantus Stroker

The lovely Brianna over at Tantus recently asked me to put together a list of Tantus toys that I'd be interested in trying out, so I gladly obliged, and then the next thing I knew the Stroker turned up in the post much to my excitement.

Unfortunately the excitement didn't last for long because it soon transpired that "part A" wouldn't fit into "part B." At this point I didn't really know what to do, as I couldn't write a full review for a toy which I couldn't actually use, so I hemmed and hawed over it for a while, and desperately applied more lube to see if anything might budge. Now you can imagine my embarrassment, because I was essentially about to e-mail someone and say "I'm sorry, but my penis is too big for your toy." It almost doesn't sound like a serious complaint, and more like something that someone would invent for the sake of bragging "yo bro, my dick's too big for this thing; who's the man!?" (this is how I assume frat guys speak). Luckily Brianna was very understanding about the situation and was happy for me not to do the review if I didn't feel comfortable with it, and honestly my biggest concern was that anything I'd write would be unfair as I hadn't managed to use it properly.

I've decided that I am going to write a little overview of it now though, because from my experience I did gain a few insights into the product which I feel would be worth sharing with other guys contemplating buying it who may be a little larger than average.

The Stroker is Tantus's first foray into the world of male masturbators, and also the first 100% silicone male masturbation sleeve on the market. As usual Tantus is the company that's out there innovating, and that pleases me, even if the product turned out to be not quite to my tastes.

The Stroker is available in two sizes, a regular and an XL. I decided to go for the regular when I was putting together my wishlist, and I must bear some of the responsibility for that mistake. It's difficult to know which size to pick until you've actually had a chance to see one in person and feel the material. The XL is described as being "for the man who needs a little extra" and compared to most of the men I've been with I do have a fair bit extra, but compared to some of the porn star dildos I own I have a little less, so it was a tough call. The question is do you want to risk something which is going to be a little too tight or a little too loose? As it transpires with this toy you always want to err on the side of bigger.

The design of the Stroker is quite simple; it's a rather nondescript-looking hollow white tube with four evenly spaced ridges on the inside. In terms of discretion the Stroker scores very highly because even I wouldn't suspect that it was a sex toy if I didn't already know what it was. If you saw it lying around the house you might easily mistake it for a piece of pipe from a plumbing job. In total the toy measures 4 1/2" in length, with the widest internal diameter being 1 1/4" and the smallest only 3/4", so it needs to do a fair bit of stretching before it can be used. I've mocked up a cross-section of the toy on the right just to give an idea of what the interior is like, and as you can see the ridges are almost the shape of right-angled triangles, and remind me somewhat of the valves in veins, so you'd imagine that it would be easier to insert yourself in one direction rather than the other.

The Stroker is of course made from silicone, not a material you typically encounter in masturbators, and possibly for good reason. Silicone has a lot of advantages such as being odorless, non-porous, and body-safe, which makes it brilliant for a wide variety of other toys. As dual density dildos have taught us silicone comes in a multitude of different hardnesses, or "shores," and the Stroker is described as being "super-soft and stretchy" but respectfully I have to disagree with this point. If you play around with the toy in your hands then you'll find that the thinner areas do indeed stretch fairly well, but the sections of thicker material which form the ridges are surprisingly firm and inelastic, and attempting to stretch them out with a couple of fingers takes quite a lot of force. In my experience I've definitely encountered softer silicones, such as on the exterior of a Vixskin toy, but I don't know if limitations in that particular material would make it unsuitable for something like this.

Actually using the toy is where this mini-review hits a bit of a roadblock, as this is where I failed to have any success, but I will briefly outline my experience just to highlight the issues I had with the toy. The crux of the matter is really that I couldn't insert myself at all, not with all the lube and determination in the world. The thick sections of material around the ridges simply would not stretch sufficiently, and in fact the act of pushing my penis up against it merely caused all the blood to be forced from the head, rather than making the silicone ring widen. At one point the deflated head did manage to be squashed through the first ridge, but then another problem was encountered, because now that tight ring of silicone began to tug uncomfortably on the loose skin behind the head. Any thoughts of being able to insert the shaft at that point were quickly scuppered when it started to feel as though any more force would tear off my foreskin, and so it was necessary to abandon the attempt. Even removing my penis from that short distance into the toy was not especially comfortable.

What I learnt from the experience was that in order to enjoy the toy you need to meet three criteria: you need to have a below-average endowment, you need to be circumcised, and you need to like a lot of tight pressure when you masturbate, what's commonly referred to as the "deathgrip." If you meet all these then it might just be for you. For me none of the above apply, so I merely found it impractical and uncomfortable.

Later on I did discover one way in which I could make use of the toy, and that was by turning it inside out. Doing so widened the hole left in the centre, as well as leaving a smooth inner surface, which made it possible for me to get more of myself inside. Unfortunately it was a rather bland experience and felt less satisfying than just using a hand for masturbation.

So after all this what are my conclusions about the Stroker? Well it saddens me a little because this is the first Tantus toy which I didn't like and wouldn't be inclined to recommend. It's definitely a quality piece, and a unique one at that, made from good materials, but the design simply didn't work for me. I briefly considered giving the XL a shot but I can tell already that the outcome would be the same. I'm happy that Tantus made the effort because I'd far rather see quality silicone strokers on the market than smelly unsafe "jelly" disasters, and I'm sure that for some people out there this toy can be enjoyable, but sadly it's just not for people like me. I think that the only way I could enjoy a silicone masturbator would be if it was made from an incredibly soft silicone gel like the sort found in cosmetic implants. It's disappointing, but for now I'm going to put this idea to one side.

The Stroker and Stroker XL are available directly from Tantus.

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