[Toy Review] Mantric Rechargeable Vibrating Penis Masturbator

I’ve discussed before how difficult it is to find toys for people with penises which use truly body-safe materials. There’s a lot of TPE/TPR and other porous materials out there, including the extremely popular and well-rated Tenga and Fleshlight products. This means that they will harbour bacteria, degrade over time, and ultimately not last all that long. So I was really pleased to see that, like the whole Mantric range, this penis masturbator offering from Lovehoney is made entirely of silicone.

The Mantric penis masturbator on a white bed sheet.Let’s take a look…

The Mantric penis masturbator is cylindrical, open at one end and closed at the other. The outside is black and features a subtle geometric pattern. Inside, the silicone is the dark pinkish-red that characterises the Mantric range, and is gently ribbed – presumably, to enhance pleasure. On one side of the internal wall is a small hump. This is where the motor sits and the vibrations are concentrated. The total internal length is only about 3 inches. This toy is very light and sits comfortably even in my very small hand.

The Mantric masturbator is USB rechargeable, with a use time of about 90 minutes for a 100 minute charge. It retails for £49.99 at Lovehoney UK ($64.99 in the US.)

Buttons & Settings

The Mantric masturbator has an extremely simple The Mantric penis masturbator on a light wooden floor.one-button interface. You press the button once to switch one, then again to cycle through the settings, and you hold it down for two seconds to switch off. The simplicity of this type of interface is, as always, undermined by the annoyance of only being able to scroll through the settings on one direction. Up/down buttons on toys, people – please!

There are five settings in total – constant vibration and four different patterns. The other cool feature this toy has is a travel-lock. So you don’t need to worry about it switching on in your bag!

The Mantric penis masturbator from above.Care and Cleaning

I was worried about how difficult it might be to clean this product. Thankfully, it’s fully waterproof and submersible. This means cleaning it is… if not the easiest, at least much easier than I expected. I used warm water, a clean cloth and my index and middle fingers to clean the inside thoroughly, and then left it out to dry thoroughly. For a quick in-between clean, wiping it out with a sterile medical wipe should be fine. Being silicone, you can be assured of a full clean and not worry about it going moldy or holding on to any yucky bacteria.

In Use

I was really excited to use this product. Mr CK very much enjoys vibrations on his penis, so I thought it would be a great toy for him. Unfortunately, it really fell down in practice.

I can’t tell you this without it coming across as an #explanabrag, but it is honest-to-God true – his cock didn’t really fit! The diameter of the inside canal is only about 1.5″. This is far too narrow for anyone who is even slightly above average in the penis department.

We used a metric fuck-tonne of lube, both on his cock and inside the toy, but he had to really force to get even part way inside. An extremely tight squeeze is not, contrary to what ridiculous virginity-fetishists would have you believe, conducive to a fun or sexy time! He described it as uncomfortable-to-painful.

The other thing, and I’m giggling remembering this as I write the review, is that whenever he tried to insert his cock into this toy it made… um, a rude-sounding noise. Yeah, it sounded like a super loud fart noise. A+ for making us fall about laughing, but significantly less points for actual functionality.

This toy might work for people with cocks on the smaller side (which there is absolutely nothing wrong with!) But if you’re even slightly above average, there’s a decent chance your penis simply won’t fit inside it properly.

Our other complaint was that the vibrations are not very strong. Now, it’s possible that Mr CK has been spoiled by my using the Doxy on his cock, but penis shafts have less nerve endings than clitorises (and they’re less concentrated) so many penis-owners find stronger vibrations are better. Even if he’d been able to get his cock in properly, the vibrations are too weak to lead to orgasm.

Overall, a great concept and I absolutely applaud Lovehoney for making a penis toy out of pure silicone. Unfortunately, the functionality just isn’t quite there yet.

What should you buy instead?

I really wanted to recommend this product. There are so few silicone penis masturbators on the market that to negatively review one feels awful. Unfortunately, for most people I cannot recommend this toy. If you’re after a vibrating toy for your penis, try the Hot Octopuss Pulse III, which is extraordinary – or get a wand vibrator and a penis wand attachment. We really like the Hummer attachment (which comes with a wand in this great-value set!) – though we wish it was silicone, as the TPE is porous and will degrade over time. The O-Wand O-Gasm attachment is the only good silicone option I know of.

Thanks to Lovehoney for sending me the Mantric masturbator in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are, as ever, entirely my own. I have used affiliate links in this post, and all images are by me and not for use without permission.

[Book Review] “Buzz: The Stimulating History of the Sex Toy” by Hallie Lieberman

Image result for two and a half stars

I was beyond excited when I saw that there was a history book all about sex toys! Credit goes entirely to the fabulous Sarah Brynn Holliday (read her work, she’s great) for bringing this book to my attention. I still don’t really understand how there wasn’t any buzz (pun entirely intended and I’m not sorry) about it in the online sex positive sphere. It seems to have almost slipped under our collective radar, somehow.

The cover of "Buzz: A Stimulating History of the Sex Toy" by Hallie Lieberman

I read this book on holiday over the course of a few days. My overwhelming impression was one of being, well… underwhelmed. I wanted to love it, and I felt it was full of promise, but the finished result didn’t quite hit the sweet spot. (Yes, that was another sex toy joke.)

Firstly, let’s talk about what I did love…

I found Buzz a really accessible read. The tone is lively and the pacing and structure good. The language is not overly academic, and the 15 chapters break the book nicely into bite-sized pieces.

I did learn some gems of fascinating information. Like, did you know that the first silicone dildos were designed and made by a disabled Caribbean immigrant, who was heavily involved in the disability rights movement and set out initially to make sex aids for disabled people? Because I sure didn’t. (His name was Gosnell Duncan and if you don’t want to read the entire book, you can find a brief outline of his story here.)

I also learned that the founders of Adam & Eve also created the abortion rights organisation that would become Marie Stopes International, that dildos were illegal in parts of the USA as recently as 2003 (!), and that the founder of Doc Johnson, Reuben Sturman, was a violent criminal and a tax-avoider and eventually died in prison. There was some genuinely fascinating and little-known history in this book, and for that it is to be applauded.

I’m glad Buzz exists. Sex-related history is so under-studied and stigmatised. But it wasn’t enough and it wasn’t as good as I wanted it to be. I hope it paves the way for much better and more complete works to come.

So where did Buzz fall short?

The first thing that really upset me about this book was that there is information in it that is simply untrue. “Nearly all sex toy companies today … make their toys from body-safe materials.” Uh. Do they? (No, unfortunately, they do not). And this goes beyond inaccurate – it’s actually dangerous. Educators, writers and sex geeks like me know that the industry is still jam packed with horrible toxic toys that can do serious harm to our bodies. The average layperson, though, doesn’t know that. They might read this book and think they can go and pick anything up off a shelf at a sex store or from the internet and it will be self for their body. This simply isn’t true and is perpetuating really harmful misinformation.

Secondly, I felt the title misrepresented the book. It should really have been called “A History of the Sex Toy In America.” For a book that bills itself as a general history, it is painfully US-centric. The UK is mentioned maybe once or twice, and any other countries barely get a look-in at all. It’s frightening how often I want to remind some American writers that there is a world outside the USA.

Thirdly, it’s very cis-centric. Trans people are barely mentioned – and, upsettingly, completely excluded from a section about the Stonewall riots. Non-binary and genderqueer folks are completely absent. It’s all about “men and women” (and “penis = man, vulva = woman” in the main, at that).  Bisexual people are also largely absent, and bisexual men completely so.

Finally, this might be a petty complaint, but Buzz is also riddled with spelling and grammatical errors. I can excuse one or two typos, even in a published book, but Buzz contains so many it’s ridiculous. I’m really surprised it got past an editor.

The verdict:

Kinda like a buzzy vibrator: vaguely stimulating but quickly becomes annoying. A somewhat interesting book with a few shining sections, but disappointing when you look a bit deeper. Buzz probably would have made it to three or even three and a half stars for interesting history, but the trans erasure and the misinformation about toy safety really killed it for me. Two and a half out of five.

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