Hello frisky readers! I'm Jay, a sex-positive, experimental fellow from Nova Scotia. Today I'd like to talk with you about a toy called the Tenga Flip Zero. Some of you may have heard of Tenga before, they're the same geniuses who came up with the very cool, egg-shaped masturbation sleeves. I like the Tenga Eggs because they feel really cool, small, and easy to pack. Plus the Eggs are inexpensive, and they add a little something extra to hand jobs.
As a fan of the Egg, I was intrigued when Tenga came out with the Flip Zero. The Flip is sort of shaped like the Egg, but quite a bit bigger with more pronounced internal ridges and bumps to stimulated the male member. Plus I thought it looked like a two-handed lightsaber on the shelf, so obviously I had to try it out. I mean who wouldn't want to place their penis inside a lightsaber, right?
I got the Tenga Flip home and opened up the box. The flip arrives on its own plastic stand with a clear, domed case over it. The device looks like it's on display, like it's some sort of artifact Indiana Jones would collect. Upon taking apart the display case I discovered the Flip ships with a user's manual and a couple of single-user samples of lubricant.
The manual shows us how to open the device, which sort of pops open like a classic flip phone. (Oh, so that's why the call it the Flip!) The manual also explains setting up the device and how to use its display stand to set it up to be cleaned and dried after use.
From the outside, the Flip looks like a space-age shampoo bottle with a hole at one end. This entrance starts out about “pinky finger” sized, though it easily expands to admit at least three fingers, so it should be able to accommodate most male members. Two wider sides of the Flip are squeeze pads. Pressing on these pads pushes air out through the mouth of the device. When the air has been squeezed out the Flip contains a vacuum which helps to “pull” the lucky user inside. The pads can also be lightly pressed while the penis is inside the Flip to increase pressure.
The inside of the Flip is made of a soft, gel-like material which contains all sorts of bumps, nubs, curves, balls, and ridges. These are designed to stimulate in a variety of ways and provide light pressure to key regions of the penis. There is a ball, for instance, at the far end which lightly presses against the tip of the penis while there are ripples in the middle to tease the shaft, and some gear-like ridges near the entrance which I believe are intended to imitate fingertips.
To use the Flip, we first crack it open, apply lubrication to the inside ridges, and then snap it shut. Then we can squeeze the side pads to let the air out and insert the erect penis into the device. I found the initial entry went better with a touch of lube on the head of my shaft.
How does it feel?
The first thing I noticed upon getting to know the Flip in an intimate way was that it is relatively heavy. The Tenga Egg doesn't weigh much more than your average chicken egg, but the Flip clocks in at a little over a pound. Laying down and moving the device vertically at arm's length may feel like a workout after a while. I preferred to stand and hold the Flip still in front of me. Then I could move my hips in a rhythm I liked while my arms just steadied the device in place at hip level. Call me lazy, but this posture felt more natural.
When I first started using the Flip I noticed two other things very quickly. The first is that the opening, while small at first, easily gives way to allow entry. I was worried it might chafe, but the gel-like entrance moves aside smoothly. The second was that the lube and device start out cool to the touch. Some people may like this, but I trend to prefer warm sensations to cool ones.
At first I wasn't getting much sensation from just sliding in and out of the Flip. However, this changed quickly when I used the side pads to squeeze the air out first before entering the device. Having the air removed (and maintaining pressure on the pads) causes the Flip's vacuum to pull the shaft inward and kept the sides of the device close, providing extra sensation. However, the Flip still wasn't doing it for me.
I had been talking with my partner Elle about the Flip and she pointed out that maybe I was rushing into things. She suggested I take a few days off from sex and orgasms, then try again. Possibly with warmed up lube placed in the device to give it a more inviting temperature. (Pro tip: if you plan to warm up lube, put its container in a mug of warm water, do not place lube in the microwave.) During our conversation I realized something: What I was missing with the Tenga Flip was a sense of ritual and anticipation.
The Flip isn't a cheap gimmick to be used once and tossed away, it's a $159, high-end device. It's meant to be the centrepiece in the self-pleasuring event. To get the most out of the Flip we should approach using it like high tea or lighting incense prior to meditation. Setting up the Flip should be part of the experience, a time to gradually build anticipation, not a chore to be rushed through.
So I took a couple of days “off” and put together the steps I would go through. On the special day I warmed up a mug of water, heated some packets of lube, carefully opened the Flip and liberally applied the warm lube to its interior. I reassembled it and carefully squeezed out all of the air. Elle contributed to the experience by sending me flirtatious texts and encouraging images to fuel my desire.
I want to be entirely honest here. The ritual, the building desire, the flirting, the warm lube - it all helped. It made the experience better and, especially with all the air pumped out of the Flip, the sensations were better. I liked the subtle sucking motion the vacuum of the Flip provided. However, it still wasn't enough. The Flip, remarkable piece of space-age technology that it is, just doesn't mesh with my style. To be clear, there isn't anything wrong with the device - it doesn't feel bad - but it feels to me somewhat impersonal.
The toys I've really enjoyed lately have tended to be small, light, and thin. What I enjoy about the Tenga Egg I mentioned above is that it acts as a textured addition to my hand or my partner's hand. It's like a glove, an extension of the hand, not a replacement for a hand. The Egg is light, personal, and convenient. Elle can squeeze a few drops of lube into the Egg and we're off to the races in seconds.
The Tenga Flip is quite a different beast. It is a stand-alone device that takes time to set up and use properly. It isn't a glove to fit over a hand, it's more like a robot hand that stands as a replacement for my own hand or my partner's. The Flip feels like it is designed to be wooed, to be engaged in the ritual of self-seduction, to fill in for a partner rather than enhance what an existing partner is doing. All of this is very cool and the Flip does a good job at being an artificial lover. However, its approach is just not what I tend to look for. I want something that enhances what my partner and I are doing rather than substituting for us. Perhaps I'd feel differently were I single or travelling more, away from home, but for now I'm more of an Egg-man than a Flipper.