Thursday 22 March 2012

Review: X10 Silicone Anal Beads

She Says:
I really enjoy using anal beads, if you've never tried them before, check out this how to use anal beads article from Lovehoney. The X10 Silicone Anal Beads were the second set of beads we purchased that were suitable to be used by me (Alex also has some ridiculously large ones which aren't going anywhere near my ass... for the time being at least!).

We bought them as a replacement to our original Lovehoney Beginners Anal Beads as we began to lust after silicone replacements for all our existing toys. For those of you who aren't yet convinced on this front, silcone is great because it's body-safe, it's soft, it's non-porous and it's easy to clean - even sterilise in most cases (by boiling for a few minutes in water). There are lots of different types of silicone, some are very soft and flexible, whilst others are more firm. Unfortunately I think that the silicone that has been used to make these beads is too soft and flexible. Maybe you think soft and flexible are good qualities for something you're going to be sticking up your bum? Maybe so for a dildo, but one of the most pleasurable things to do with anal beads is to pull them out just as you're climaxing. I find that as I get closer to orgasm all my muscles tense up, at this point I am squeezing very tight around the beads in my ass. As the material is so stretchy, when I try to pull them out the connecting part between the beads just stretches, the beads are stuck in there, held securely by my tight little asshole. I never had this issue with the previous beads, so I am really disappointed that this is the case with these. I would love to find some beads made of a firmer silicone, or perhaps with a metal/firm plastic core to them in order to avoid this problem but still allow me to enjoy the benefits of silicone.

Imperfections to surface
As for size, they are great for beginners. The first bead is ever so small (about the diameter of my little finger) whilst the largest is probably the size of a large grape. Inserting the first few is relatively easy, but again the flexibility becomes an issue as you move further up the string. Because it is so wobbly you have less control which makes inserting them more difficult.

Quality-wise, they are made from what looks and feels like a good quality silicone. However, if I'm being picky (and it is very picky, they look fine really), they do have several imperfections visible on the surface (highlighted in one of my photos). They're a really lovely vibrant colour (and were very photogenic!). They're also very cheap considering you are getting a silicone toy.

I hate to give a product like this a bad review, it is so almost brilliant, but not quite. For me the overgenerous flexibility is the only issue with this product - however in my eyes this is a major flaw and one that has a serious impact on the product's functionality as anal beads.

He says:
There are several very different sensations associated with anal play. One can stretch oneself from the outside, penetrated with a tapered butt plug for example. One can get a lovely interanlly filled sensation using a long butt plug or wide dildo. But one of my favourite anal sensations at the moment is the "popping" that comes from slowly pulling anal beads out. This is again a stretching sensation but comes from the inside rather than the outside. This makes for a surprisingly different physical feeling, as well as a psychological impression of release (I think I may be analysing too much).

A small set of anal beads is in my view a brilliant way of introducing yourself to anal play. There is a pleasing sense of progression as you increase the number of beads you are able to take. As the links between beads are so narrow, you can stop and rest more easily than with a dildo or butt plug as you prepare yourself for the next step.

There are a couple of general disadvantages to anal beads. Firstly, most sets are long. If made of a fairly stiff material, they penetrate in a long way, and can prod uncomfortably (or potentially pierce if they graduate to too much of a point). These beads completely avoid this problem as they are made from very soft silicone and will easily coil round inside you. Secondly, round balls are not the easiest thing to penetrate yourself with. A sphere reaches its maximum diameter over a very short distance, rather than gradually opening you up like a tapered toy would. However, the first ball on these beads is just 6 mm across, and the largest one is only 9 mm, so these should not pose most people too much of a problem in this regard. 

These beads however suffer from one serious flaw. The material from which they are made is extremely elastic. To give you some idea of how elastic, you can fairly easily stretch these to approximately twice their original length. Despite the advantages for insertion this gives as mentioned above, it also means that removal is quite tricky as the back bone stretches until the beads pop out in one sudden moment. This problem is exacerbated when trying to remove the beads at the point of orgasm (I believe a very popular way of using anal beads), as your sphincter clenches down on them. This is a problem I found as well as Lucy, despite my comparatively loose asshole (if that's not a too indelicate way of phrasing that). 

Unfortunately, I think this is a pretty fundamental flaw with this product, which is a shame as I otherwise quite like the look and feel of them.
Very flexible

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