When it comes to vibrating sex toys, I know what I like best. I like big, powerful rumbly vibrators; I like broad areas of stimulation so that I can feel them across my whole vulva; and I don’t really like internal vibration, although perhaps that’s because I’ve just not found one that works for me. And I especially like companies that are enthusiastic and support sex bloggers and technologically innovative. So you can imagine how excited I was when the Scarlet Ladies offered me a Pulse III Duo from Hot Octopuss – a version of their famous sex toy that is designed as a couples toy.
The original Pulse was developed as an aid for patients with spinal injuries and erectile dysfunction, initially to assist with fertility treatment by allowing ‘involuntary’ orgasm and ejaculation without an erection, but they have extended well beyond that now, creating a masturbator that uses oscillation rather than vibration via their PulsePlate technology to provide powerful pleasurable sensations for penis owners. And now, they’ve created a couples toy – the same famous oscillating sheath with an extra clitoral stimulator for her pleasure. Was I excited to try it? Absolutely!!
Now as this is a review for the Scarlet Ladies, a sex positive organisation aimed at empowering women, this review is mainly looking at the benefits of this toy for vulva owners – much has already been written about how great or not this toy feels on a penis, such as this by the ever fabulous Girl on the Net on how the Pulse lets you ‘wank like Batman’ and was the exact moment that I fell I love with the Pulse!
The Pulse III Duo looks super sleek and futuristic. It is made of matt silicone that is wonderfully soft to touch, but does need thorough cleaning after use as lube seems to dry and stick to the various grooves on the surface. As it’s silicone, it needs a water-based lube but can be used without any by holding the toy still. It is 100% waterproof and comes with a magnetic USB charger that doesn’t compromise its waterproofing.
But did it work for me? Kind of…
As a solo toy for women, it’s surprisingly good considering that isn’t it’s designed purpose. It’s big enough and powerful enough that I could grip the whole oscillating toy between my thighs to stimulate my vulva while pushing the top vibrating part hard against my clit. The curved shape fitted my body pretty well and still allowed some room for movement, rocking it back and forward as I needed. My orgasm wasn’t super powerful and it wasn’t super quick, but it was still pretty damn good!
From a more technical perspective, the clitoral vibrations can’t be switched on without turning on the main oscillator too so they just felt like a more powerful backwash from the oscillator. The clitoral vibrating part has three speed settings only with no different patterns (the penis gets six!), and is controlled by a remote control – very helpful when the toy is wedged in my vulva! But they weren’t that powerful and their addition did feel a bit like an added extra that was included to widen the market for the ‘Guy-brator.’
As a couples toy, however, I found it more difficult. I love, love, love watching my husband touch himself. I love watching him stroke his cock and grip the shaft exactly as he likes. I love watching the expression on his face and hearing the sounds he makes when he’s wanking. He doesn’t often use toys so there was a certain delicious novelty to watching him play with himself in a different way, to watch his face as he experiences those famous oscillations.
But when we used it together, it was awkward. Lying against each other so that his sheathed cock pressed against my clit was difficult to align properly. We also couldn’t really move once we’d found the right position and it was all quite squashed. The partnered sex that I like most is more fluid, more spontaneous, and this required careful positioning and sort of lowering myself into place. And, once there, it just didn’t feel good enough to persist when we could put the toy aside and have our regular sex instead, or stop trying to use the toy together and just watch each other wank separately instead. When dampened by both our bodies, the clitoral vibrations just weren’t strong enough to make up for the awkward fit and uncomfortable body position.
And maybe that’s the key – maybe because my husband and I are privileged enough to be mobile and flexible, this isn’t the couples toy for us. If penetration was impossible, this would allow us to gain the physical closeness and intimacy of face-to-face sex with the added benefit of vibrating and oscillating stimulation but, as it was, we had to just lie there and wait for the orgasm that the toy promised, and it took too long.
So as happy as I am for the Scarlet Ladies for giving me a Pulse Duo so I can watch my husband look so damn hot when he uses it, I’m not sold on it as a toy for vulva owners – and it pains me to say that as Hot Octopuss are a brilliant company that consistently supports the sex industry and is so sex positive, and I really, really wanted to love this toy but I can’t. It works pretty well alone but there are better options, and as a couples toy I’m afraid that ‘awkward’ sums it up…