6/30/15 update: There is an even newer version of this product — The Pulse II — which David Pittle reviewed. See his update below. Enjoy!
Presenting… The Pulse, a pulsing, oscillating, amazing vibrator for penises that does not require an erection for his pleasure!
That’s right — unlike other vibrating “sleeves,” the penis does not have to be hard to start enjoying it. Spread open the flexible flaps, rest your penis in it, turn it on, and enjoy the sensations.
The fabulous folks at Smitten Kitten first showed me this vibrator, praising its qualities. The Pulse penis vibrator works for men of all ages, and it’s especially splendid for pleasuring an older man. If you get erections erratically, this toy will make you hard. If erections are not in the picture, you’ll still feel tremendous sexual pleasure.
Of course I had to get some men of our age to test the Pulse for us. You can imagine how easy it was to get three volunteers! These men all live in different places, and I wanted to give them each plenty of time to play and experiment, so I arranged with Hot Octopuss, the British manufacturer of the Pulse, to send one product, and the dear folks at Smitten Kitten sent two more.
Here’s what my Pulse-pleasured guys told me:
I’m a man, almost 58, who has had a number of sexual issues going back more than 8 years. Most of my issues — temporary impotence, lack of sensation, pain with orgasm — are because I’m a prostate cancer survivor who was treated surgically. Recently I’ve been able to resolve many of these issues.
Given my past challenges, I’ve haven’t taken a lot of time to explore penile sex toys beyond cock rings and therapeutic penis pumps. I wasn’t sure what a toy could do for me anyway. But that changed with the Pulse! While not a traditional sleeve toy, it does deliver vibratory sensations to the penis. It has a number of speeds and intensities that are easily set by a lighted button.
It has a unique feature where some of the vibrations are concentrated in a circular section that delivers an extra boost to the highly sensitive underside of the head of the penis. For me, it’s been a great erection builder. I’ve enjoyed taking the time to play and experiment with the various settings of intensity.
Because I still have some limited sensation, I’ve not been able to reach orgasm using the Pulse exclusively. But it is a very pleasurable toy and has warmed me up to some very nice plateaus. It’s made of hard plastic and high-grade non-toxic silicone. It can be used with or without lubricant, but is more effective as a “stroker” toy when used with lubricant. It’s easily cleaned with a damp cloth.
The Pulse is one toy that’s worth the money! It has easy-to-use controls, fits nicely in the hand and has a coin-like, raised bump inside at just the right place. It feels wonderful!
On the low setting, with a little water-based lube, this thing got me hard in no time. And this was after I’d had sex and a great orgasm earlier in the day. I’m over 50, so that’s saying a lot. The next day, this thing had me orgasming in minutes.
Watch out if you get lube on the hand you’re holding it with though — it can get slippery. It performs well, but does take a couple minutes to clean due to the ribs inside. A quick wipe with soap and water does the trick — it can’t be submerged.
This is the only criticism I have: It comes with a USB charger cord but without an adapter to plug into a wall outlet. Fortunately I had one, and you can pick one up cheap.
David M. Pittle, Ph.D (age 70+):
Most men’s sex toys seem to be some form of sleeve to simulate a vagina. The Pulse is different. Like the sleeves, it is a tube for the penis to enter, but it is open at the top with wings that bend out, so the penis can be simply laid into the tube on top of the strongest point of vibration. This creates the greatest sensations on the most sensitive part of the penis, the frenulum.
This is an amazingly versatile sex toy. My experience with it was “five stars.” That puts it right up there with the Hitachi Magic Wand.
I was skeptical about the battery because battery toys that are powerful run down fairly rapidly. Ten or fifteen minutes of use and they need recharging. Not the case with the Pulse. In a tribute to battery engineers, the Pulse ran for four sessions of 15 to 20 minutes and was still going strong.
This is a great product. The only criticism I have is that it can’t be immersed in water. The water will get into the battery compartment. That is somewhat minor, but given the price, a waterproof charging system would have been nice.
Update: David received a sample of the new Pulse II Solo and had this to add:
There is a new king in town: The Pulse II Solo. First, the new model’s vibrations are not only stronger, but also feel more effective and include programmed patterns. Second, the vibrations come from a piston mechanism designed for penile stimulation. Third, it works longer per charge. There are many other improvements, but these are the most apparent.
The Pulse II Solo maintains the open top with expanding wings. A flaccid penis can easily be inserted. As it responds to the vibratory stimulation, it becomes as hard as it can and continues to increase sensitivity. As this happens, those wings spread to accommodate the growth in girth.
The vibratory plate, located under the penis glans at its most sensitive area, is large enough to continue to make contact during the expansion. There are many nerve endings at the base of the penis. The Pulse II Solo is able to simultaneously excite these nerves without losing touch with the nerves in the glans.
As you can tell, I was excited by the original Pulse, but I’m an out and out fan of the Pulse II. It is without doubt the best vibrator sex toy for men with erectile challenges that I have seen. As a sex therapist often dealing with older men with erectile dysfunction, this is very important to me. I will certainly be recommending this product.
I applaud the Hot Octopuss company which has taken pro-sex political stances and is promoting improved sex for seniors. Their blog entry, “Coming Of Age: Over-55s Most Sexually Satisfied” is worth reading.
In my case, not so. The inside part that holds the penis is comfortable and stimulating for him, but the outside part that supposedly can stimulate the clitoris is mostly hard plastic and doesn’t vibrate much, not the least bit sexy for me. Of course, your experience may vary, and another woman reported getting plenty of pleasure from it. [Note: This comment was based on testing the original Pulse. I’ll update it when I’ve tested the Pulse II Duo, which I understand is greatly improved.]
My recommendation is to let the man use this on his own — he’ll love it, and he deserves a superb sex toy of his own!
Check out Shamus McDuff’s review of the Pocket Pulse.
Thank you, David Pittle, for continuing to review sex toys for men here. My readers and I are grateful! Readers: your comments are always welcome. — Joan Price
Guest post by David M. Pittle, Ph.D., M.Div
Erotic Electro-Stimulation — what a charge! Attach electrodes to your genitals and get stimulated through electrical energy. Eugh! But if it could be a shockingly great form of sexual stimulation, why not?Although I consider myself sexually sophisticated, Electro-Stimulation – known as E-Stim — was beyond my experience or knowledge. I wanted to try it myself. Two of the leading vendors were kind enough to send me their units: ElectraStim from Cyrex, an English company, and Erostek, an American firm.
My first action was to try them on myself and then to enlist another man and two women to volunteer to experiment. These are not just men’s or women’s products, they are great for both. (I had fantasies of finding a couple to try it together, but that got too complicated.)
ElectraStim “Flick” EM60
The ElectraStim “Flick” EM60 is a small device, 2.2 x 3.5 inches and only ¾ inch thick. Nicely styled, it has a soft, flocked back and a well-designed control panel. It felt good to hold and use. It came with two penis rings as well as a vaginal probe and several stick-on electrode pads like your physician uses for an EKG. The EM60 has 24 intensity levels and seven different patterns, which you can set to your liking. Like all E-Stim devices, the stimulation is not necessarily steady. And when you hold it and “flick” your hand, it provides an extra jolt of power. The EM60 is a good choice for a first experience because it comes on slowly, but you can build it up to almost full strength with levels of pleasure all along the way.
This is a very different device from the ElectraStim. The Erostek ET232 looks a lot less sophisticated in packaging, but it packs many more functions and much more power. There are 15 patterns including one that responds to voice command. The Erostek ET232 arrived with conductive penis bands, and a ball shaped insert for use in the vagina or anus. Enough variation to please almost anyone.
Testing the Devices
To get the best idea of what worked, we began with the EM60. We placed electrode pads near the base of the penis. Our second test was with the penis rings or bands. For the women, we used the pads on either side of the clitoris and then the vaginal probe. After testing the first unit—and some well-deserved rest–we repeated the test with the Erostek ET232.
The results were amazing. The women had orgasms with both devices with the pads. With the vaginal probe, the results were even more spectacular. One of the women had exquisite feelings leading up to each of several orgasms. Changing the orientation of the probe to be either next to her G-spot or side to side made a difference in the feeling, not less or more, but pleasantly different.
For the men too, the results were spectacular. The penis rings or bands produced the greatest pleasure. This increased with one band just below the glans and the other around the scrotum. One man said that he had two full orgasms in a row before “finishing.”
All volunteer testers liked both devices. They praised the EM60 for being easy to get into and providing a soft and comfortable feeling that could be taken to a high level. They liked the Erostek as more aggressive and stronger with a different feeling to it.
Is E-Stim safe? You must use it correctly, which includes using lubricant and keeping the electrodes below the waist. Never use it if you have an implanted pacemaker or defibrillator. Read the instructions and follow the cautions. It should be as safe as your masturbation sleeve or vibrator if you follow the rules. In our testing, we measured blood pressure and heart rate before and after each test. Both heart rate and blood pressure do rise in any sexual activity, but there were no instances of anything out of the ordinary.
(Note from Joan: Of course, we do not give medical advice here, so consult your doctor to be sure. But be prepared: your doctor may have no idea what you’re talking about. Educating doctors is a good thing.)
I can say confidently that these “beginner” models from ElectraStim and Erostek are great products that will keep working for years. They are an investment for long term sexual pleasure. Which to choose? You won’t be disappointed with either.
– David M. Pittle, Ph.D., M.Div., is a therapist in San Rafael, CA, who has been helping people with sexual issues for over thirty years. Many of his clients are age 50-80, when good sex is important, and dissatisfaction may lead to loss of shared intimacy that can threaten the total relationship. David specializes in helping women who are not experiencing sexual satisfaction and men with non-medical and medically-related erectile dysfunction or other issues.
(I am sad to tell you that my friend, sex therapist David Pittle died December 2017. We value his sex toy reviews. Read more reviews by David Pittle)
questions you thought you couldn’t ask anybody. I interviewed Charlie Glickman by email on topics of particular interest to our age group:
Q: What are the benefits of prostate play for a man over 50, particularly?
CG: Besides the fact that it can feel amazing, there are a few great reasons to try prostate play. First, it gives you new possibilities and choices when it comes to sex. A lot of folks go their whole lives having sex in more or less the same way, which is rather like eating the same food all the time. If it works for you, great! But if you’d like to try something new, it’s a really fun option.
Second, a lot of men find that prostate play really is the male G-spot. If you’ve ever had the pleasure of pleasing your partner with G-spot play, imagine how much fun you and your partner can have when you reverse that.
In addition, there are some important possible health benefits. I should stress that these haven’t been scientifically proven, mostly because there’s not a lot of funding for this kind of thing. But many men have shared their stories and there do seem to be some patterns. Massage increases blood flow, which helps bring oxygen to your cells and keeps them healthy. And since prostate massage can be sexually arousing, that increases circulation even more! It also helps relieve muscle tension in the pelvic floor.
A lot of people, especially men, have tight pelvic muscles, which can lead to mobility difficulties and even prostatitis, an inflammation of the prostate that can be caused by muscles squeezing the gland. Massage reduces that. Prostate massage can also break up biofilms, which are a protective coating that bacteria can form, much like plaque on your teeth. By breaking them up, massage helps your body’s defenses protect you.
And lastly, prostate massage gives you greater awareness of your prostate, so if you get an infection, you’ll notice it sooner and get treatment.
Since about 50% of men at age 50 have an enlarged prostate, they might have difficulty urinating or have the urge to urinate frequently, especially at night. Massage can reduce those symptoms, though most men find they need to keep doing it regularly. If you prefer to do it solo, an Aneros Prostate Massager is perfect for hands-free massage. How often can you do something that’s good for you and feels great?
Q: How does prostate play enrich sex if erections are undependable?
CG: Exploring sexual pleasures that don’t depend on erections gives you many more choices when you want to have sex. And since one reason erections can be tricky is that stress and anxiety interfere with them, knowing that you don’t have to have an erection to have fun can actually make erections easier. So by helping men let go of their worries around erections, prostate play opens up lots of new directions.
Q: How can a man suggest prostate stimulation to his female partner if he fears she will think anal play is “gross” or “dirty”?
CG: Fear of “the mess” is one of the big three concerns we heard from men and their partners when we wrote The Ultimate Guide to Prostate Pleasure. Contrary to a lot of myths, the rectum (the last several inches of the digestive system) isn’t a “holding tank.” In general, there won’t be much there until you have that “gotta go to the bathroom” feeling. If your diet doesn’t have enough fiber or if you take a medication that affects your digestion, there might be a small amount left behind, but it’s easy to take care of that with an enema.
Enemas aren’t hard to do, but there are some tips for making them work better. Check out this page on our website for some suggestions. And of course, we have lots more to offer in the book.
Q: As you speak to audiences about your book, what questions/ concerns/ stories keep coming up for our older age group?
CG: It varies a lot. Many older men have come to see how stereotypical definitions of masculinity are holding them back in their lives and are ready to explore new ways of defining who they are. These guys are often more willing to explore anal play and prostate pleasure without letting those notions get in the way. On the other hand, other men are still very locked into these beliefs, which often keeps them from discovering how much fun prostate play can be. So we hear stories from both ends of that spectrum.
Q: I imagine you also encounter negativity from some. What keeps you going?
CG: Knowing that right now, somebody is having a great time because of our book is a huge inspiration. I don’t think anything works for everyone, so the fact that there are some negative responses isn’t a big deal. I know how many people we’ve reached and who have told us that the book has changed their sex lives. And that’s amazing.
Charlie Glickman PhD is a sexuality speaker, trainer, writer, blogger, and coach. He’s certified by the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists, and has been working in this field for over 20 years. His areas of focus include sex & shame, sex-positivity, queer issues, masculinity & gender, communities of erotic affiliation, and many sexual & relationship practices. Charlie is the co-author of The Ultimate Guide to Prostate Pleasure: Erotic Exploration for Men and Their Partners. Find out more about him at www.charlieglickman.com or on Twitter and Facebook.
Tenga Flip Hole and 3-D Sculpted Ecstasy: Sex Toys for Men
Guest post by David Pittle, Ph.D.
While most of the male masturbation market has churned out artificial vaginas, Tenga’s Flip Hole is a real improvement.
The Flip Hole is designed to open up completely. This allows you to lay your penis down on one side, then close it up for use. Or you can close it with the clip and enter the hole.
Each comes in a package with the texture side out and on a mounting stand. For use, we take it off the stand, a dowel that goes up the middle, and turn it inside-out. (Actually it comes inside-out, so we turn it “inside-in.” See the photo where the Module texture is partially turned.With the exception of the Zen, I found all the textures pleasant and virtually indistinguishable. The Zen had a softer and gentler effect—but the difference was not extreme. Of course, you might have a different preference.
David M. Pittle, Ph.D., is a therapist in San Rafael, CA, who has been helping people with sexual issues for over thirty years. Many of his clients are age 50-80, when good sex is important, and dissatisfaction may lead to loss of shared intimacy that can threaten the total relationship. David specializes in helping women who are not experiencing sexual satisfaction and men with non-medical and medically-related erectile dysfunction or other issues. Visit his website here.