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Finger on the Pulse by Greta Christina
Reviewer Greta Christina has worked in and around the sex industry for over a decade writing about it, editing books about it, and living it. She edited Paying For It, a collection of articles by all kinds of sex workers: dommes, escorts, peep show girls, T-girls. She's got a novella called Bending coming out next month in Susie Bright's book Three Kinds of Asking For It (published by Simon & Schuster). In response to overwhelming member requests for reviews of sex toys, sexy films, and other sex whatnots, Ms. Christina brings her girl-about-sex wisdom twice monthly to Adult FriendFinder. You can check out Ms. Christina on her web site, www.GretaChristina.com. Or write your comments to her here on the site. Her handle is Sextoyreviewer.

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Pulse-Right Bullet Vibe, $26.00
On Porpoise Sleeve, $18.00
Available at Good Vibrations stores and www.goodvibes.com

I'm not usually a fan of battery-operated vibrators. My clit likes a serious dose of intense, jackhammer stimulation, and most battery vibes I've tried are more like a butterfly than a jackhammer. With a very few exceptions, I've found them more frustrating than anything else -- they're strong enough to get me all worked up, but not strong enough to actually get me off, and I eventually just give up and switch to my old reliable plug-in Wahl.

But I do understand the desire for a small, portable vibrator that doesn't tie you to the wall socket. It's nice to have something you can stash in your purse or take on vacation, a toy that'll get you off in campgrounds or office bathrooms or the back seats of cars -- or just anywhere in your house, regardless of proximity to a power outlet. (On the sofa where you watch dirty videos, just for example...)

Well, the folks who make the Pulse-Right Bullet Vibe for Good Vibrations have solved the power problem (at least to some extent), and in a fairly smart way -- they made their vibrator take a 9-volt battery, instead of your standard AA's. The Pulse-Right's 9-volt battery pack is a little bigger than your usual bullet vibrator, but it's not hugely bigger -- it's still quite portable, still small enough to easily slip into a purse or a backpack. And more power means... well, more power.



Like, a lot more power. The Pulse-Right is the first bullet vibrator I've tried that actually got me off. And how. The toy provides tightly focused, high-frequency vibrations that, at their highest level, are intense to the point of relentlessness. The first time I tried it, I was actually whimpering and yelping -- something I very rarely do when I'm just buzzing off by myself in my own living room. In fact, the highest setting was almost a little too strong, and that's not something I often say about vibrators. The highest setting was what had me whimpering and wriggling and begging for mercy, and I couldn't keep it set there for more than a few seconds, not until I was right about to come. Just to be perfectly clear -- this isn't a complaint. It's a high compliment. It isn't often that I find myself pleading for mercy from my own vibrator...

If this sounds like too much for you, never fear. The Pulse-Right has two different steady-vibration settings along with three pulse settings, and there's no law that says you have to crank it up to the highest level. You can also adjust the intensity just by opening and closing your legs. Closing your legs tighter together will dampen the vibrations somewhat, while opening them wider will let them loose to their full insane glory. (When I was whimpering and writhing and begging for it to stop, I was also spreading my legs as wide apart as I could, which I suppose casts some doubt on the sincerity of my pleas...)

And speaking of the pulse settings: Oh, sweet Jesus. What a lovely treat. Teasy, seductive, rhythmic, it's just the thing when I want to be gradually drawn in instead of grabbed by the throat. When I'm feeling a little bit turned on but not really ready yet for full throttle, the pulsing is the perfect thing to bridge that gap, to carry me from "Hmm, that's a thought" to "Yes, yes, oh God yes, now now now."

Oh, just for the record: Good Vibrations also carries a similar toy in a ten-speed variety (the Top Ten Bullet), with five vibration levels and five pulsing speeds. But the controls to adjust the settings on that one are kind of fiddly and non-intuitive, without much rhyme or reason to the interface. When I'm in the heat of passion, I don't want to spend precious moments mucking about with the damn vibrator controls while my mood gradually fizzles away. Heck, I was getting frustrated with the Top Ten just playing with it in the store -- I can't imagine what it'd be like in the bedroom. I understand that it's tricky to design a control panel for a small portable toy with ten different settings, but surely they could have done better than "Apparently Random." More isn't always better: I'd go with the five-speed Pulse-Right over the ten-speed Top Ten in a heartbeat. The controls on the Pulse-Right are super-simple: a basic vertical slider, with three pulsing speeds and two steady vibration levels. Very easy to adjust, no matter how dark the room is or how worked up I'm getting.

Now, before I get carried away, I should make it clear: This isn't nature's perfect vibrator. I like the Pulse-Right a lot, but it's got some annoying characteristics, and it's not replacing my precious Wahl as my go-to vibrator anytime soon. For one thing, while the toy is plenty powerful, it's not really as strong as a plug-in. It vibrates at a higher frequency than my Wahl, but the vibrations aren't quite as rock-solid. If that makes sense.

The main annoyance, though, is that it's hard to hold in place. There's no handle or shaft or anything to grab onto -- just the little vibrating bullet, attached by a wire to a battery pack. So if you want to shift it around or hold it in a particular spot, your only option is to grab on to the bullet itself -- a sub-optimal choice, since it (a) dampens the vibrations and (b) makes the bones in your fingers feel like they're being shaken out of their joints. This makes it hard to point it just right if I want to masturbate in any position other than flat on my back (and even flat on my back presented some challenges). If I want to be, say, on my hands and knees, I either have to clamp my knees together (which also dampens the vibrations), or tuck the bullet into underpants or a G-string or something (which doesn't strap the little sucker against my clit as tightly as I might like). I guess I'm still searching for the miracle vibrator that'll stay firmly on my clit all by itself when I'm on my hands and knees with my legs spread and my ass in the air. (There are definitely some things a girlfriend is good for...)

But to be fair, none of these drawbacks are the result of design flaws or shoddy workmanship or anything. They're pretty inherent in the nature of the beast -- the best bullet vibrator in the world is going to have the same problems. And it's only a problem if you're using the bullet for clitoral play -- if you want to use it inside your pussy or your butt, you should be fine. (Note: If you're going to use this or any bullet vibrator inside you, play safe: don't tug on the wire too hard, and if you're going to use it in your ass, put a condom on it to pull it out by, so the bullet doesn't pop off.)

Anyway, the On Porpoise Sleeve does address at least some of these problems, even if it doesn't make them disappear.



Also designed especially (and in this case exclusively) for Good Vibrations, the On Porpoise is a silicone sleeve that slips over the bullet, with a protruding nose for extra fun. The sleeve is a very useful option, and adds to the toy's versatility in a number of ways. The ones I found most handy: It dampens the vibrations a bit, for those who find the solo bullet too strong. It makes the bullet easier to grab on to with your fingers (the dampened vibrations make it less bone-shattering). It stays in place better, since silicone is a lot less slippery than that silvery plastic bullet material. And the protruding nose focuses the vibrations in a very tight, very tiny spot, pointing them exactly -- and I mean exactly -- where I want them to go. (They also make a similar sleeve with rabbit ears: not my thing, the firm little pointy porpoise nose was just right for me, but I'm betting there are women out there who'd have a grand time with two small, slender, madly-vibrating silicone bunny ears.)

There are other sleeves designed for bullet vibrators which would serve many of the same functions. But I like this one: mostly because it's made out of silicone, the sex toy material of champions. Silicone is firmer than jelly or rubber (the stuff those sleeves are usually made of), so the dolphin's nose doesn't slip all over hell and gone. And unlike jelly or rubber, silicone isn't porous, and cleans up nicely.

Final verdict? A good one. I've been having some fine old times with the Pulse-Right over the last few days, and I plan to have many more in the days and weeks to come. It's not going to replace my trusty Wahl plug-in -- I've been using the Wahl for almost two decades, and I hope to use it for many more. (I may well die with the Wahl in my hand and a smile on my face.) But if I want to whack off someplace that isn't near a wall socket, it's good to have a portable vibrator that actually works.

You can check out Ms. Christina on her web site, www.GretaChristina.com. Or write your comments to her here on the site. Her handle is Sextoyreviewer.

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