Guest Written by Bobby Box (@bybobbybox) is a freelance writer and editor whose work on sex and culture has been published in countless publications, including: Playboy, Elle, NewNowNext, Billboard, Daily Beast, Them., The Advocate, Women’s Health, Mel Magazine and AskMen.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I’m not a fan of strokers––or at least I wasn’t. My first experience was with the over-hyped Fleshlight (yeah, I said it), when I’d foolishly forgotten to lube up and nearly skinned my shaft with one excited stroke, resulting in trauma and a firm reluctance to use a stroker ever again.
Mind you, I still lived with my parents at the time and my Fleshlight shared space with Batman figures from my childhood, so it’s safe to say that I was fairly young and inexperienced. Now, with nearly a decade of writing about sex under my belt, I’ve decided to gives strokers another chance.
To mark this brave and momentous occasion, I got my hands on the Zero Tolerance Different Strokes Dual Vibrating Stroker ($69) and the Zero Tolerance Sucking Good Stroker ($109) and set forth on my redemptive journey. Here’s how things went.
Zero Tolerance Different Strokes Dual Vibrating Stroker $69
At first glance, the Different Strokes Dual Vibrating Stroker resembles a traditional stroker, in that it is a cylindrical sheath that you slide your penis into. I’m more of a traditionalist when it comes to sex toys (the fewer bells and whistles, the better), so this felt safe in its familiarity and a great way to re-introduce myself to strokers.
Since my boyfriend lives in a never-ending loop of Zoom meetings, I thought it best to use the stroker in the bathtub since the device is waterproof and so his co-workers didn’t have to hear me fucking an inanimate object. So while he was brainstorming digital solutions for a brand amidst a pandemic, I was quietly jerking off in the bathtub. (I love my job.)
This brings me to my first point: the Different Strokes Vibrating Stroker is impressively quiet. Given its intense sensations, the toy emits a very gentle hum, unlike competing products that can sound like you’re jumpstarting a generator. I can verify my man didn’t hear a thing––until he did. (More on this later.)
Vibration is an expectation for sex toys these days, but the Different Strokes Vibrating Stroker managed to stimulate me in ways I hadn’t experienced, which I credit to the motor located in the fold-over head of the device, which directly stimulated my frenulum, an area that usually doesn’t get much attention. The frenulum is the band of skin located on the underside of the penis, just below the head. It’s considered the most sensitive part of the penis and is particularly responsive to light touch.
Without applying pressure, the stroker’s vibrations were edging me to the point that I forced myself deeper inside, pulling the motor in close so I could bring myself to climax. Thankfully, the stroker has a soft and pliable material across the top, which allows you to tighten your grip, an important quality in a stroker given that cocks come in all shapes and sizes.
This was undoubtedly the most blissful bath I’d had in months, and I can proudly credit the Different Strokes Vibrating Stroker for my first stroker orgasm! Redemption was achieved and I was so proud of myself. And because the toy had edged me for so long, the orgasm was powerful. An eruption that left my body shaking.
While reeling from my Big O in the tub, the toy mysteriously turned on and began scooting across the tile floor, so I reached over and turned it off. Minutes later, it happened again. I blamed the malfunction on using it in water. Even though the toy claims to be waterproof, there’s no hard feelings––I’m real easy-going after I cum.
After the bath, I returned to the living room to do some work when my boyfriend heard a light buzzing sound and ventured to locate the source. At first, he thought the neighbours were doing some renos, but as he drew closer, he discovered the culprit was none other than my Different Strokes Vibrating Stroker, which yet again turned on for no reason (while quiet, the noise was amplified by the hollow wall the stroker was nestled up against.)
After a good chuckle, I explained how great my experience with the stroker was, and now he can’t wait to have his turn.
Zero Tolerance Sucking Good Stroker $109
When I unboxed the Zero Tolerance Sucking Good Stroker, I thought it could be one of three things: a juicer, a lava lamp, or a fancy bong. I definitely didn’t think it was a toy I could plunge my cock into––but alas, that’s exactly what it is. Specifically, it’s a toy that simulates sucking cock. Naturally, I couldn’t wait to try it out.
This stroker, which doubles as a penis pump, comes with nine vibrating speeds, three sucking vacuum functions and one that sucks and releases at intervals for a more authentic mouth experience.
Returning with the confidence from my first stroker orgasm, I was excited to have my second. So I set the stroker up, placed the masturbation sleeve into the large, vase-like device and turned it on. The toy lit up and emitted a slightly louder hum than the Different Strokes Dual Vibrating Stroker.
After some liberal lubing, I was confused by how I was supposed to insert myself into the stoker. It appears to be best utilized in a stand-up position, but I’m not pile-driving a sex toy, so I awkwardly lifted it horizontally, pushed myself inside and tinkered with the sucking options, which almost instantly triggered my stroker PTSD.
I watched as my cock was slowly being pulled, centimeter by centimeter, deeper into the stroker. Unsure when the gripping and pulling would stop, I turned the toy off out of fear and watched as the sleeve slowly loosened its grip on my shaft and I re-collected myself. Carefully, I then tested the other sucking and vibration options it had to offer, but couldn’t relax enough to fully enjoy the experience.
Don’t get me wrong, the Sucking Good Stroker doesn’t feel bad (to be fair, it doesn’t feel like a blowjob either), the experience just felt too mechanic and disconnected. Once the device has its grasp on your shaft, your only interaction from there is with buttons. You have no access to your penis whatsoever, and I felt like I was giving control to something I couldn’t easily withdraw from, which was disconcerting.
I can absolutely concede that there’s something deeply gratifying about the Sucking Good Stroker’s soft and gushy sleeve firmly gripping and massaging your shaft, but past trauma prevented me from fully letting go. Obviously, that’s not the toy’s fault. On the bright side, the stroker did introduce my member to a one-of-a-kind experience that others may enjoy, particularly if you’re a fan of penis pumps.
If it were up to me, I’d recommend the Zero Tolerance Different Strokes Dual Vibrating Stroker. As I mentioned, it gave me my first stroker orgasm and the experience felt far more intimate than with the Zero Tolerance Sucking Good Stroker. As a traditionalist, I prefer working with my sex toys to cultivate pleasure instead of relying on it to do all the work.
Perhaps the most poignant lesson was in learning that bathtub orgasms are wonderful self-care, and that rubber duckies won’t be the only toys accompanying me in the tub from now on.