Update 04/03/22: this product is seasonal only and has been discontinued. Individual components may still be available.
With only three days to go, we’re definitely into the home stretch of this adventure now! In case you’re brand new here (hi, welcome!) I’m currently reviewing Lovehoney’s “Best Sex of Your Life” adult advent calendar, a set aimed at couples which offers a sex toy, kinky implement, or other item to improve your sex life each day.
So what’s behind Door #22?
Door #22: Penis Sleeve
I’ve had a wide range of feelings about the items in this advent calendar, ranging from very positive to “ugh, seriously?” But today is the first one that has genuinely, seriously annoyed me! Let’s take a look at this stretchy penis sleeve and find out why I’m going “aaaaahhhhhh no!”
- Material: A jelly-like “soft plastic”, possibly TPE.
- Colour: Clear.
- Body safe? No. More on why below.
- Power: N/A.
- Waterproof: Yes, submersible.
- Size: 4″ total length, very stretchy.
- Lube compatible: Should work with any kind of lube.
- Cleaning: You really can’t clean this material. Gentle soap and warm water will clean surface dirt but since it’s porous, it’ll never be entirely clean again.
The basic idea of a penis sleeve like this is that you stretch it over your penis before penetrative sex. The bumps and nodules supposedly offer additional stimulation to the receptive partner, while helping the wearer to “last longer”, presumably by reducing the sensations they can feel.
Setting aside all the problems with the ubiquitous idea that a penis owner’s job is to “last” as long as possible during sex, the premise of this toy pisses me off. Sure, wearing a penis sleeve might mean you don’t come as quickly (or at all, until you take it off). Why? Because you can’t fucking feel anything!
I also seriously question how much these little jelly bumps and ridges are going to do for the person being penetrated. They’re not really pronounced enough to have the effect of, say, a highly textured dildo. I suspect the effect, for most people, will be little more than that of one of those “ribbed for her pleasure” condoms (i.e. basically nothing.)
Then we get into the safety issue. The website and packaging insists this penis sleeve doesn’t contain phthalates, so let’s take that at face value. But phthalates aren’t the only reason to be wary of jelly-like, “soft plastic” and TPE/TPR sex toys. According to toxic toy expert Dangerous Lilly, these materials are often softened with mineral oils and can contain other harmful chemicals besides phthalates. The material is also unstable and will begin to break down after a few months. (That myth about silicone toys melting together in storage? They won’t, but these mystery soft plastic toys likely will!)
This material is also extremely porous. I have mixed feelings about porous materials for external toys (TL;dr: probably okay for a few uses, but replace them often) but I NEVER recommend using them internally. Just from handling this penis sleeve, taking photos, and leaving it out on my desk overnight, it’s started to dull and get cloudy with lint, house dust, and the oils from my skin. You will NEVER get this thing clean, and it will harbour bacteria that could potentially give you a nasty infection. If you absolutely must use it for sex, please use it once and then throw it in the trash where it belongs.
Bottom line: I actually can’t tell you how it feels, because my partner and I both refuse to put this contraption anywhere near our genitals. Steer clear. I cannot stress enough how much I hate it. The fact that it’s included in a set that is fundamentally marketed at beginners, who may not know any better (because we don’t exactly get taught about toy safety in sex education), just makes it worse.
If you want to get your own Best Sex of Your Life advent calendar, they retail for £120. You can also get 10% off this or anything else you want to order at Lovehoney by using my code “coffkink10” at checkout.
Thanks to Lovehoney for sending us the Best Sex of Your Life couples’ sex toy advent calendar to review. All views are our own. Affiliate links appear in this post and shopping through them helps to keep the site going!