Meet the Toy My Partner and I Use When We’re Too Lazy to Have Sex

Graphic: W+G Creative
Gone are the days when every vibrator looked like either like a purple penis or an oversize microphone. Now, not only can you find vibrators in amorphous and varying geometric shapes, but you can also find vibrators that resemble rings, giant eggplant emojis, pickles, and even baby chickens. (Whether or not vibrators should be shaped like baby chickens is a discussion for another day, though). As a sex writer who tests and reviews vibrators for a living, none of these varieties really surprise me, per se. I'm now open-minded to any and game to try all of them, so the day the Hot Octopuss Pulse Duo, which looks like a vibrating spaceship, got delivered, I didn't think too much of it. But, my partner definitely felt differently.

My partner, who has a penis, was excited about the opportunity this new toy provided us: to use it together. Like the love child of a Fleshlight and a rumbly vibrator, the Pulse Duo is often called the world's first "guybrator" or male vibrator. But the toy isn’t just for men. Rather, it can be enjoyed by anyone with a penis (regardless of their gender identity) or a strap-on for solo or partnered sex. In fact, Julia Margo, COO of Hot Octopuss calls it a couple's vibrator.

Hot Octopuss Pulse Duo
Graphic: W+G Creative

Shop now: Hot Octopuss Pulse Duo, $199

The Pulse Duo is slightly larger than but similar in shape to a toilet-paper tube. The spherical toy is worn by the person with a shaft, and inside the tube sits something called PulsePlate technology, which, Margo says, “is designed to press against the frenulum on the underside of the shaft for intense, rumbly stimulation of the wearer.” And on the outside of the toy, there’s a second motor that “a vulva-owner can enjoy during partnered play if they position it just right,” she says. I, for one, officially couldn't wait to try.

Here’s what happened when my partner and I tried the Hot Octopuss Pulse Duo.

The first time my partner and I used the toy, he applied lube to himself, slipped his shaft in the toy, then let the toy—you know—do its thing. He says it helped him sustain an erection, but also that the wearable didn't quite feel arousing. So after a few minutes, he took it off and instead tried using it as a stroker by rubbing the device up and down his length. Let me tell you: Very fun for him to experience and very hot for me to watch. Now, sometimes, when we don't have time really get it on the way we like to or we're feeling too lazy to get into it, we’ll both grab our go-to vibes (him, the Pulse Duo and me, the Le Wand Point or Lelo Ora 2) and enjoy a quick-in-dirty mutual masturbation sesh.

“The toy allows you enjoy the intimacy and intensity of a face-to-face sex, but with minimal effort and without penetration.” —Julia Margo, COO of Hot Octopuss

The second time we used the toy, we got in a missionary position, but instead of inserting his penis inside, well, me, he positioned his penis inside the Pulse Duo, and then positioned the bottom of the toy in such a way that it vibrated against my vulva. I was pleasantly surprised by how pleasurable the vibrations felt, and my partner said for him, “it feels shockingly like intercourse.”

While, generally, I prefer P-in-V intercourse without a toy between us, sometimes this is difficult because I have a hypertonic pelvic floor, which means I hold a lot of tension in my vagina. Some days, this can make penetration not only uncomfortable, but downright impossible. And on those days, the Pulse Duo has been a gift. That's because, as Margo says, “the toy allows you enjoy the intimacy and intensity of a face-to-face sex, but with minimal effort and without penetration.”

And while the steep price and out-of-this-world aesthetic may be understandably off-putting to some couples, Margo says for a vulva-owner who finds penetration painful or a penis-owner who has erectile dysfunction or manual dexterity issues, “the Pulse Duo can make intimate sex that might not otherwise be possible, possible.” And that's a pretty serious win. Plus, as my partner and I have found, it's also great for couples short on time—which, let's be real, is all of us, at one point or another.

Another “couples” sex toy you might try? The Lelo Tor 2. Oh, and if you’re looking for lube to use with the Pulse Duo, I recommend Sliquid Sassy.

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