11 July 2016

Pulse II Solo


This week it's time for a review of a product that's been long overdue: the Pulse II Solo from Hot Octopuss. The Pulse II is the follow-up to the original Pulse 'guybrator' which launched back in 2013, and when its successor arrived at the beginning of last year Hot Octopuss kindly offered to send me one to review, but due to some crossed wires I never ended up receiving it, that is until now. I apologise to my readers who may have been waiting for this review, especially poor Sue, but we're about to put this right!

Note: this toy is on sale at 60% off for Black Friday 2016, with the code BFIN60. Get it while stocks last.

2015 was a good year to own a penis; Fun Factory had launched their next iteration of the Cobra Libre only four months prior, and not one to be outdone Hot Octopuss kicked off the new annum with mark two of their powerful oscillating gadget. If you were a man who enjoyed all things vibrational then it couldn't have been a better time for you, and indeed the case remains so through to today.

Having only launched two years prior to much critical acclaim, it seemed quite soon for an upgrade, so many of us were gripped with anticipation to see what reworkings had taken place to justify this, and more importantly from a reviewer's perspective, whether any of it had been the result of our feedback. This was especially true for me, having been a big advocate of the original model. 

Possibly the biggest shake up to the Pulse is that it became the Pulses, plural, with the introduction of the "Solo" and "Duo" models for the Pulse II. The original Pulse offered multifunctionality aimed at couples play, while still primarily being a toy for the man, and it did this by offering a secondary point of vibration which could stimulate a female partner during use. The Pulse II Duo represents the point of continuity with this concept and is most consistent with the original design, while the Pulse II Solo is the new kid on the block, dispensing with this aspect altogether and focussing solely on individual pleasure. 

Today I'm going to be looking specifically at the Pulse II Solo, and I have to say that I'm quite pleased with this divergence in the design. It's not because I had any particular issue with it in the old model, it's just that it was redundant for all those but heterosexual couples, and by stripping out the redundancy from one half of the new Pulse II pairing they've also managed to make the Solo £20 cheaper than the Duo. I've always felt that affordability is massively important for consumers, and after all no one wants to be paying for features they're not using, so this is a positive development right off the bat.

So what exactly is the Pulse II Solo? I've been speaking so far with the assumption that everyone has read my earlier review and has a general understanding of the nature of these products, but for the benefit of those coming to this afresh. The Pulse is a vibrating male masturbatory aid, or a 'Guybrator' to use the term they've coined, and it's one of the very very few vibrators aimed specifically at men. It differs from nearly all other male masturbators on the market, such as your Fleshjacks and Tengas, because it takes the conventional thinking about how men get off and turns it on its head. Most male sex toys aim to replicate the natural sexual experience as closely as possible, that is they involve the penis being thrust inside something in order to stimulate it to the point of orgasm. The Pulse on the other hand requires absolutely no motion on the part of the user, and brings him to climax via the use of powerful vibrations targeted directly at the most sensitive part of the penis. For any man who's experienced the joys of vibrator use before then it probably doesn't seem that revolutionary, but within the realm of male sex toys it really is.

The design of the Pulse II closely follows on from the original Pulse, employing the same shape and the same materials, with the only real difference being the size. The Pulse II is ever so slightly larger over all, and mainly in terms of length. What's unusual though is that one area does seem to be smaller, and that's the opening where you place your penis, but I'll talk more about that later. The central channel is where the "Pulse Plate" lies, and this is the piece of technology which produces the vibrations, or to be more accurate, the oscillations. It's strategically located to make contact with the sensitive underside of the penis, where the nerve-rich frenulum is located. The channel isn't entirely enclosed, and is flanked by two flexible silicone "wings" which adapt to accommodate the size of penis placed between then. It's quite a stylish toy on the whole, and it's well made from quality body-safe materials such as silicone and ABS plastic.

To use the Pulse II you first begin by inserting your penis into the channel, and what's quite beautiful about the whole way the product is engineered is that doesn't really matter what state your penis is in, be it hard or soft, circumcised or intact, with the foreskin retracted or not. It's functional in all situations, which is beneficial to anyone who might suffer from erectile dysfunction or a tight foreskin, for example, which limits their ability to use other toys, or be intimate with a partner. One thing I did notice, however, is that the channel definitely is smaller, and that bodes less well for more endowed men, specifically men with more girth, or in this case a wider penis. The flexible silicone wings felt noticeably snugger around my penis, and they had the same problem as in the original model, whereby they're only flexible in their top half. I'm going to briefly quote myself as explanation. 
One thing I did notice though is that the "wings" are flexible mainly at the top half, and not towards the bottom, so while the top section can become almost infinitely wider the bottom of the channel always retains the same semi-circular shape. Where this could cause an issue is that most penises don't have a completely circular cross-section and are wider from left to right than from top to bottom, so depending on the size and shape of the penis you may find that once inserted to the fullest extent the shaft may hover above the Pulse Plate without actually making direct contact. This probably won't be an issue for most people, but if your penis is very wide in one direction, and not so much in the other, then it's worth bearing in mind.
Like many I happen to have a penis which is wider in one axis than the other, and the smaller (narrower) channel does exacerbate the issue of flexibility with the wings. Instead of my penis lying completely level and flat along the channel, the pressure from the wings causes it to twist to try to conform with the narrow space, breaking optimal alignment with the Pulse Plate. The only way to really deal with this is to manually push the head of my penis down into the Pulse Plate and hold it in place, which works but which isn't ideal if you were going for a hands-free experience. From my experience making the channel smaller is an unfortunate change, but perhaps there's some evidence which shows it's more suited to the penis size of a greater number of people, and it's not enough to be a deal-breaker either way. 

To turn the Pulse II on you hold down the button on the left hand side and it jumps into a constant vibration mode at its lowest intensity. It's a very powerful deep rumbly vibration, and I am inclined to say that it feels slightly stronger than the original model. From here you can either adjust the strength of the intensity using the  + and - buttons on the right hand side of the Pulse, or for the first time you can cycle through 5 different vibration patterns by pressing the power button. The strength of the vibrations is truly impressive; they penetrate deep into the shaft and can be felt all the way down to the pubic bone, and they even have the effect of making the penis appear blurry at times because the whole organ itself begins to vibrate. This "total vibration" is one of the most unique features of the Pulse II, because although the vibrations are being applied directly at the frenulum, they don't simply feel localised here, but can be felt all over. Feeling every inch of your penis vibrating is fascinating, and entirely new, not to mention intensely pleasurable. It's miles away from conventional masturbation, and it's this whole new world of sensation which makes it all the more interesting. What really makes it special though is the inclusion of the patterns finally, because their absence did let down the original Pulse. Now with the ability to experience a good rhythm of vibrations it takes the experience to another level, and you have a choice of slow or faster, as well as a couple of more elaborate patterns. Because the vibrations from the Pulse are so strong it does run the risk of overwhelming you at times, so if you want a long drawn out session of pleasure, then you have to be careful that it doesn't push you over the edge too soon. If you do manage to get it just right, and have an extended period of foreplay with the toy, then the orgasm that it rewards you with is quite explosive at the end, and definitely worth it. 

The one major drawback of the toy is exactly the same as with the original Pulse, and that's the noise. It's not a subtle toy at all, and that could be problematic for a lot of people. It sounds like a little lawnmower engine chugging away, and is liable to rouse suspicion if you live in close quarters with others. I know I'd have trouble relaxing if I was using it and I knew there was someone on the other side of a thin partition wall.

Another point I do want to raise about the Pulse II is regarding the buttons. They're smaller than on the original Pulse, and much stiffer too, which can make them awkward to push. The upside is that they're less likely to go off in your luggage, but they can be a struggle to operate while your penis is in the device, and this goes doubly if your penis doesn't quite fit in it properly and you're already using one hand to secure it in the right position. I mostly raise this with the thought of people with dexterity issues, however, because for everything the Pulse does to aid those who struggle sexually the buttons could trip them up.

The Pulse II is a fully rechargeable toy and it comes with a USB cable which plugs into a port in the rear. The port is sealed by a little silicone stopper which stays in place much better than on the original Pulse. The other advantage is that the Pulse II is now 100% waterproof, which makes it far easier to clean afterwards. 

At the start of the review I mentioned the Cobra Libre II, and I'd be remiss if I didn't make some attempt to compare the two, but the difficulty is that the two really are apples and oranges, despite at least seeming to have so much in common. The Cobra is a lovely polished piece of design, and as much as I enjoy it, the vibrations feel that much more superficial. The Pulse II on the other hand wins on the sensation front. It may feel slightly awkward to use at times, what with the buttons, and trying to keep the right bits of your penis in contact with the right bits of the toy, but the absolute penetrating power of the vibrations from the Pulse plate are without rival. It's an incredible new world of sensations, and after using them back-to-back it was the Pulse that my penis was yearning to return to. 

I have to say that on the whole the Pulse II feels like a significant step up from the original Pulse. It's a much more polished device, and while all the design features don't suit me personally I like the direction in which the company is going. The original Pulse was their first product, and on that basis it was outstanding, but you can tell that they're learning now and improving as they go along, and if there's ever a Pulse 3 then I can't wait to see where they go next. I'd definitely recommend the Pulse II Solo, but I think the question is, would I recommend it to people who already own an original Pulse? Is it enough of an upgrade to justify buying something so similar? My answer would actually be yes. There's enough new stuff going on to warrant the purchase. Before I'd tried it I didn't know what I was missing out on, but now I wouldn't want to go back. The strength and quality of the vibrations just seems to feel better, and the patterns are the icing on the cake. My only caveat would be to guys with a thicker (wider) penis, because if the original Pulse felt too snug for you then the Pulse II will only add to that frustration. 

Thanks to Hot Octopuss for providing me with the Pulse II Solo to review, and you can buy it directly from them, as well as any of the fine retailers I have links to on my blog. 

 Remember, the Pulse is on sale at 60% off for Black Friday 2016, with the code BFIN60.





1 comment:

  1. I've just installed iStripper, and now I enjoy having the best virtual strippers on my taskbar.

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