Luxury is the name of the game around here, and if you’ve read my review of the Fleshlight, you are already aware of my jealousy regarding the disparity between high-end sex toys available for penises versus vaginas. There are TONS of pleasure machines available to compliment the female anatomy which are also phenomenal in their design, efficiency, and materials. While there might not be an overwhelming array of toys for boys meeting these same standards of excellence, there are a handful. I have been on a quest to shed some light on the best offerings available for those of us not so lucky to be able to service our private parts with the likes of a LELO MONA. Of these fancy male jerk tools, one in particular had my attention: Alpha One’s ‘The Ring’. The Alpha One Ring is designed and made in the UK by Working Title Design from aluminum, steel, or gold (plated), and a pair of stretchy silicone inlays. After lots of ‘research’ recently, here are some general impressions on The Ring. As far as I can tell, this might be the first real review of the product (wine opener for scale).
I’ll start with my expectations of The Ring. From pictures, I thought the ring was one, solid piece of metal with a thick, yet pliable silicone disk set in the middle with a hole for penetration. I assumed the sensation would be a blow-job-esque (lip action, at least), and the silicone would stretch to create a fair amount of contact along my shaft as I moved The Ring up or down.
I knew it would be pricey, as most awesome female toys are, but the $200 sticker price for the steel seemed steep, given there are no internal electronics etc. But, in the spirit of nice materials like silicone, and a chance to get rid of the dreadful old flashlight-shaped (pain in the ass to clean) mega masturbator, I sought out the best deal. It turns out that there are fairly few retailers for Alpha One in the US, but one of them is a fairly reputable brand called Ah@life. Coupon codes are easy to come by for the site, and they ship for free, so I figured I would give it a go. All said and done, I got the steel model for only slightly more than I would have paid for the aluminum model (which they did not stock).
My hope was to be so overwhelmed by the performance of The Ring that all other male sex toys would be relegated to the trash for the rest of time. Unfortunately, that was not the case. I like the Alpha One Ring. I just don’t love it. We are not new best friends, but we will still hang out from time to time. The Ring has a number of qualities I really liked; honestly there was nothing about it I didn’t like. In the world of pleasure though, having your socks knocked off counts for a lot. There were just a few too many caveats to using The Ring for everything to be pure bliss.
The build quality of the toy is superb. It’s packaging is well thought out. The unboxing experience leaves no room to wonder about whether you wasted your money. When you hold the ring in your hand, it feels stout, almost like a paper weight. For that reason, I almost wish I had gotten the aluminum model. This thing has a pretty substantial weight to be jacking off for a long time. That said, its weight didn’t cause me any abnormal forearm or hand fatigue.
I was really excited about how easy a toy this size would be to clean after use. I was not disappointed. The toy unscrews to give access to all surfaces that might need washing. I wondered if the rubber (yes, actually two different, stacked silicone sections with holes), seated in place by two plastic disks, would be replaceable if it ever wore out. Since I didn’t want to break it, I didn’t yank on anything. Also, the rubber shows excellent durability so far, so maybe this won’t be an issue. Only time will tell.
Alright, alright, you want to know how it feels…I’ll tell you. The closest comparison, I’d say, would be if you isolated the sphincter muscle from anal sex and slapped some steel around it. This thing is tight, and in a fairly focused sense. Depending on if you angle it at all, you can also generate a sensation similar to having your cock ‘popped’ out from inside the corner of the mouth during a blowjob. The toy requires lots of lube, of the water based variety to be safe (don’t want a silicone reaction), to be comfortable during serious masturbation, but a little bit will suffice if you are only using it to tease during foreplay. Alpha One offers up using The Ring as a cock ring, but I think it’s a bit heavy to do that practically. I found that in order to cum, I had to use a pretty focused effort right at the base of my glans (head). It was enjoyable for me to have a small amount of friction at certain points, too.
I am well endowed, so it was very snug, but I’m sure some guys might not fit inside the toy. I was almost uncomfortable with it at first, being right at the limit of accommodation, but I got used to it with the help of copious lube. I will give a helpful hint that cock rings are useful with this masturbator because of its tightness. It’s so snug that it can push the blood out of your member if you don’t take precautions to maintain your glorious woody. If you are *very* girthy, make sure to check some measurements against the manufacturer’s specifications before plopping down your piggy bank.
One of my only true annoyances wasn’t really with the product, but rather an accessory. Most luxury toys come with a storage solution of some kind these days, and The Ring did, too. It has an appropriately sized, crushed velvet storage sack. The problem is that it got tiny black lint on the white silicone of the ring. No fun. I would recommend that Alpha One change to a nice microfiber bag, like one your sunglasses might come in, or perhaps a neoprene one with a squeeze-to-open top, or better yet, a nice hinged case like a high-end watch might come in. Thoughts for the future. Anyhow, I am using a sunglasses bag for mine presently. Lint-free, I am happy to report.
Pros: should fit most, silicone inner, gorgeous metal outer, waterproof, great for ‘tip’ action…
Cons: velvet case = lint, aluminum might have been a better weight, not a replacement for masturbation sleeve…
Here are some specifics on The Ring from their website…
“Precision machined in the UK from a solid block of hi grade Aluminium or Stainless Steel, Then plated in 24c Gold and hand polished to a mirror shine, Alpha One brings a jewellery quality designer product range into the adult lifestyle market.”
The quick and dirty:
My overall impression of this thing is good. It doesn’t do everything, but what it does do it does very well. At $160 ($140 for aluminum), this toy is not cheap. I can tell it will last a long time, though. Remember to lube up, even as an aide for fellatio. I am pumped no matter what, though, to see such fantastic design and materials quality in a toy in the men’s department these days.
Thanks for reading!
Stay classy, stay naked
M & L
In the interest of full disclosure, we purchased the Alpha One The Ring completely on our own. We were not compensated in any way for this review by Working Title Design.