[Toy Review] Atom Cock Ring by Hot Octopuss

Remember that terrible cock ring I reviewed (read: made fun of mercilessly) a few months back? This is… not that.

I adore Hot Octopuss. Their innovative products, their anti-stigma work and their community-minded stance all put them firmly in my “Amy’s Favourite Companies” list**.

I’ve previously reviewed their Queen Bee and Pocket Pulse, and was thrilled to receive the new Atom Cock Ring to test.

Let’s Take a Look, Shall We?

My hand holding the black Atom cock ring. The purpose of cock rings is to keep blood in the penis in order to make a person’s erection harder and bring about a stronger climax. Vibrating rings have the added bonus of providing clitoral stimulation during penetrative sex. It’s a simple premise, but one that is so often executed really badly.

Hot Octopuss describes Atom as “the next generation in cock rings”. It retails for £69 (heh) directly from the manufacturer.

The Atom is a stretchy black silicone ring, with a large contact area with a raised nub to sit against the clitoris. It is adorned with a simple metallic-coloured ABS band with the company’s crown logo, on which the up/down speed buttons sit. The company name is also stamped into the silicone. The aesthetic is minimalist, masculine, and sexy as hell. Also provided is a useful little drawstring storage pouch.

The Atom is rechargeable via a USB cable, and completely waterproof – useful if shower sex is your thing! It is controlled via three simple buttons, and has six settings in total – constant vibrations and five different patterns. Each one of these can be adjusted up or down in intensity.

A word for the girthier penis-owners: you’re gonna need lube, friends! This ring’s diameter is only about 1.5″ so, though it is nice and stretchy and should sit comfortably once it’s on, you should be sure to use plenty of lube to slide it into place without discomfort. As ever, use water-based lube with silicone toys.

Body-Safe and Easy to Clean

The entire surface of the Atom is coated in super soft, silky silicone. The decorative band is ABS plastic. This means it both feels lovely and is completely body-safe and non-porous. As it’s waterproof, it is also easy to clean with warm water and some gentle soap. For a quick clean, as ever I recommend toy wipes or body-safe sterile wipes (I buy in bulk from medical supply sites).

When it comes to cleaning, the only issue is the seam where the band connects to the main body of the toy. This area could be a germ trap, so take extra care when cleaning it.

Oh, and a quick note on matte silicone: as a material, it picks up lint and fluff like nobody’s business. Expect to have to give your toy a quick rinse before use if it’s been in storage for a while. It’s generally a good idea to do this anyway.

What We Loved

The Hot Octopuss Atom on a white and purple dildo with little hearts.
Feat. Ambit by Godemiche dildo, because obviously this very masculine cock-ring needed to be paired with the most femme dildo I own.

The Atom boasts by far the strongest vibrations I have ever felt from a cock-ring. They are powerful, rumbly and on all levels, immensely satisfying. My limited experience with vibrating cock-rings in the past has been that they are so weak as to be either pointless or annoying. No such problems here! The vibrations are more than strong enough for even my power-queen clit. Finally, Hot Octopuss have made a cock-ring that will actually give the clitoris-owner some pleasure when used during PIV sex!

It was also tight enough to actually have the desired effect of giving my partner a stronger, harder and longer-lasting erection.

Of course, I also love that it’s body-safe, well made, and from a company whose ethics and business practices I trust.

What We Didn’t Love

The biggest problem with this toy from my perspective is in the placement of the buttons. They are, as I mentioned, situated on either end of the ABS band across the top of the toy. (The on/off/change pattern button is separate, and is embedded into the silicone just below the “down” control). This button placement means that changing the settings during sex is difficult and will almost certainly interrupt your flow. We had to pause to look more closely at which button was which, and then to change between the settings. The single biggest improvement Hot Octopuss could make to this toy, should they bring out a second edition, would be to include a remote control.

There are no other major issues. We do have the issue that Mr CK likes patterns while I like constant vibrations, but that’s definitely an us problem (/excuse for him to torment me, because I have a teasing and denial kink).

Atom or Atom Plus?

Hot Octopuss actually released two cock-rings last year, the Atom and the Atom Plus. I have not tried the Plus personally; however, I will tell you what I know about it so that you can make an informed choice about which to get.

Whereas the Atom features one motor primarily designed for clitoral stimulation, the Plus has two. (“The world’s first cock-ring to house dual integrated motors,” according to Hot Octopuss. Exciting!) The second motor offers intense stimulation of the perineum, the area between the testicles and anus which is extremely pleasurable for many people. So if you’re into this kind of stimulation, you might want to get the Plus. If you’re not fussed, you can stick with the Atom. The Atom is worn just around the shaft of the penis, whereas the Plus goes around both the penis and balls. The Plus is, of course, physically bigger and more expensive – it retails for £89.

So do we recommend it?

Yes, we do. It’s really hard to find quality, body-safe toys with good motors for people with penises. Hot Octopuss are ahead of the curve in redressing that balance. If you’re a fan of cock-rings and looking for something to take your sex to the next level, or if you’re after clitoral stimulation for you or your partner during penetrative sex, you can’t go wrong with the Atom.

In Mr CK’s words: “hands down the best cock-ring I have ever used!”

A banner ad for sex toy company Hot Octopuss, who sponsored a post on sex and mental healthThank you to Hot Octopuss for sending me the Atom cock-ring in exchange for an impartial review. I am an affiliate with Hot Octopuss and if you buy any product from them directly using the affiliate links in this post, I will make a small commission. The Atom (and Atom Plus) are also stocked by SheVibe and Peepshow Toys, for my non-European readers. Thanks also, as always, to Mr CK and his extremely patient Stunt Cock for allowing me to do things to his genitals in the name of journalism. 

Pictures of product by me, other graphics by Hot Octopuss. Not to be used without express permission. 

[** Ooh – post idea? Maybe.]

Antidepressants: My Longest Relationship

As long-time readers of this blog will know, I have depression. Apart from a brief period between 19 and 21 where I struggled along drug-free, I have been on antidepressants for my entire adult life.

A white woman's tattooed lower legs, wearing black high heels and black knickers around her ankles. By Hot Octopuss. For a post on antidepressants and sex.Today, I wanted to share a few true stories about how these drugs, which probably saved my life, have interacted with my sex life with occasionally hilarious, sometimes sad and frequently frustrating results.

That Time I Didn’t Have Sex for 9 Months

A pretty older woman with long flowing hair, wearing a patterned shirt. Sitting at a table with a mug in front of her, smiling into the camera. By Hot Octopuss, for a post on antidepressants and sex.My first go with antidepressants came when I was 18. I was in a horrible corporate job that was basically slowly ripping out my soul. My boyfriend was abusive (though I couldn’t name it as abuse at the time). I was trying to come to terms with my bisexuality. And most of my friends had gone off to university, leaving me isolated and lonely in my hometown. It was a bad time.

I went to see my GP, adamant I didn’t want medication. What did I want? Just someone to talk to, I think. To feel less alone. They told me I wasn’t sick enough for counselling, and sent me away with a prescription for Prozac.

Prozac and Amy, it turns out, are not friends. It took me from depressed to suicidal. It gave me horrible heartburn and killed my appetite such that I lost a stone in a few short weeks. And worst of all, it killed my sex drive. I couldn’t feel anything, I didn’t want anyone touching my body, and I was so sad and exhausted that evenings and weekends were for mindless TV, naps, and the kind of writing that only comes out of me when I’m trying to stay alive,  not for hot passionate sessions or dirty quickies in the kitchen.

During that time, my boyfriend raped me a handful of times, but I didn’t have consensual sex for about 9 months.

That Time I Discovered My Denial Kink

A male/female couple lying on a bed, face down, him on top of her nuzzling her face. By Hot Octopuss for a post about antidepressants and sex.I’ve already written about how I came to be on Citalopram at the age of 21 (be warned if you click the link, it’s not a pleasant story). A few weeks into that saga, my boyfriend (a different boyfriend to the one discussed above, this one even more abusive) and I were having sex. I was rubbing my clit while he finger-fucked me, a surefire way to get me off. And I just… couldn’t get there. It wasn’t happening. My vulva became sore, and then numb, as I kept chasing that elusive orgasm that just. would. not. come.

Loss of orgasm when on antidepressants is, it turns out, extremely common. So why didn’t my GP mention this to me when they gave me the prescription and we discussed possible side effects? Why didn’t the leaflet included with the pills, which I read religiously three times before popping the first one, say a single word about sexual side effects? Probably because our culture doesn’t regard women’s orgasms as important. And certainly not depressed women’s orgasms. So when I asked for help, my doctor essentially said, “trouble with orgasm is the price you pay for not being depressed”. Okay then.

I made it my mission to learn how to orgasm again while on the medication – which, in all other ways, really was helping me! I masturbated until I was too sore to carry on. My partner and I had sex in all kinds of different positions and configurations. Being poor and without access to good toys at the time, I tried with the vibrators I had. But they were too weak to get me anywhere. It took me a month before I finally reached orgasm again, after over an hour with a high-powered vibrator borrowed from my metamour.

During that month, I was pissed off – at myself, at my doctor, at the pills – and frustrated as all hell. But I was also… more turned on than I had ever been in my life. I soon realised that I kind of enjoyed the ache that came from having a really good sex or masturbation session but not reaching orgasm. I liked the submissive feelings I got when my partner came and I didn’t. When he laughed at my frustration during a particularly Dominant moment… woof. And when my orgasm finally reared its elusive head once more, it was the most explosive one I’d ever had.

I was relieved to have the option to orgasm again, of course. But I’d had a taste of something I liked. I started playing with edging and waiting before coming, both in my masturbation and during sex with my partner.

And that, friends, is how citalopram taught me I have an orgasm denial kink.

That Time I Started Coming Off My Medication

A woman's body from behind, wearing jeans and naked on the top half. She has long flowing hair. By Hot Octopuss, for a post about antidepressants and sex.Which brings me to a couple of months ago. Together with my doctor (a new one, who is amazing) I’m working on coming off citalopram. This is because, having been medicated since the age of 21, I don’t actually know what I’m like without it any more. And I want to find out.

The first two weeks on a half dose were hell. I was crying endlessly, arguing with my partner, barely sleeping, and pretty much oscillating between numbness and crushing, unbearable sadness. And, for that period and a little longer while my body adjusted, my sex drive went haywire.

Specifically: I was horny as hell every moment I wasn’t sobbing, but I at the same time I couldn’t bear the thought of anyone touching my genitals, including myself. It was disconcerting and strange to say the least. My body was all “yeah, lets go!” while my brain wasn’t having any of it.

And Now… What Next?

Mercifully, things have calmed down. I’m still on the journey towards coming off the antidepressants, currently on a half dose with a view to cutting down further in the next few weeks. But the effects on my sex life so far have been fascinating.

Firstly, I’m finding I can come more quickly and easily than I used to when I was on the full dose, especially while masturbating. Gentler toys or my fingers can get me off more often and more reliably. I still love my power tool vibrators, of course, but it’s not all about them now. I can have multiple orgasms more quickly, and more often. And I’m enjoying more than ever experimenting with different sensations, and trying out all kinds of new, different and interesting toys.

The Hot Octopuss company logo.

Heads up: this post was sponsored by the wonderful people at Hot Octopuss, who make fantastic and innovative sex toys for both penises and vulvas. Check out their stuff, particularly my personal favourite, the Queen Bee. Images are property of Hot Octopuss and not to be used without their express permission. A banner ad for sex toy company Hot Octopuss, who sponsored a post on sex and mental health