What would you get, if your crossed a Fleshlight with a Flip-Hole and a Cobra Libre? Something amazing, right?
The Apollo Power Stroker by California Exotics was one of my favourite toys from the last year (the husband actually states it as his favourite toy of all time). So when I saw that they were releasing not only an updated version of the Power Stroker, but this little contraption as well – I knew I had to have it. This is the Alpha Stroker 1. The Alpha Stroker 2 is exactly the same, but is blue rather than grey, and has a ‘realistic’ vagina sleeve instead of the gender neutral sleeve. You can read a review of the Alpha Stroker 2 over at RuffledSheets.
I begged Lovehoney to stock it, and finally, when I got the email to say it was in stock, I rushed to make my purchase. The wait was killing me, knowing I’d have to wait until the following day. Then disaster struck! I got hit by the dreaded man flu and it put me out of action for a few days. Now that I’m feeling much better, I’ve finally been able to give this a couple of tries. So, was it worth the wait…?
Unlike both the Hydro and original Power Stroker, I was surprised to see this arrive in much sturdier box. The outer packaging just has pictures of the toy with lists of it’s features in different languages. Inside the box, you get the Alpha Stroker, a USB charging cable and a little leaflet – however I found this almost completely irrelevant, as it was far too generic and wasn’t specifically aimed at this toy, rather all of the toys in Cal Exotic’s line up.
The toy has a good sturdy weight to it, and does look somewhat like a slightly curvier Fleshlight. It has an ergonomic handle which has the power and function buttons, as well as the charging point. The sides of the toy contains 2 ‘panels’ which can be squeezed during use to customise the tightness. Underneath the cap is the textured sleeve which in this model is supposedly ‘gender neutral’ (at least that’s what Cal Exotics listed it as on their website) but clearly, it’s meant to be an arse.
The toy is USB rechargeable. When it arrives, it actually is already pretty much fully charged, so you can get down to it straight away. It’s lasted about 2.5 hours before I’ve had to put it on to recharge, and whilst there is no official word on what the recharge time is, a couple of hours seems to be enough to bring this back up to full battery again. The Alpha Stroker has 30 functions, and inside the case, there are 2 vibrating ‘eggs’ which sit on the side of the case. It also features a ‘memory chip’ which will remember the last setting you were on prior to switching it off.
The toy is made from a combination of ABS Plastic (case), TPR (the sleeve) and Silicone (decor and buttons). The case does have a soft matte finish, making it very easy to grip. The sleeve has a similar texture to the sleeves in the Fleshlight, if just perhaps a tad softer. As the sleeve is made from TPR, you are going to want to ensure you thoroughly clean and dry the sleeve before storing it, as these materials can be porous, and harbour bacteria of not treated and looked after properly.
So after giving the Alpha Stroker a good once over, I was very keen to give it a try. As the sleeve is made from TPR, you are best off using a water-based lubricant, and you’ll want to make sure you apply a good liberal amount to yourself, and inside the sleeve. You can hold the toy in 2 different ways – firstly, you can hold it the ‘regular’ way where you grip the outer-case. This gives you access to the 2 ‘pressure’ pads on the side of the toy, which like in the TENGA Flip Hole, helps you control the tightness of the sleeve. Using the stroker like this felt a little cumbersome. The Alpha Stroker has a circumference of almost 11 inches, compared to a regular fleshlight which as a circumference of 8 inches. It was still usable this way, but if you have slightly smaller hands, you may find it a bit too awkward to hold. Which is where the ‘ergonomic handle comes into play.
This is also where you would control the vibrations as well. Simply grip the handle and then you can stroke with the toy that way. Again, this felt slightly unnatural, but was much easier then trying to grip it round the sides.
The sleeve says it’s ‘textured for life-life touch and feel’. Well I’m not quite sure I would go that far, but it felt pleasant. The sleeve has a good amount of tightness, feeling a little bit tighter then the Fleshlights I have, although in terms of ‘texture’ it did leave a little bit to be desired. Inside the sleeve, by the entrance, on the bottom, there is a series of tiny little round bumps which will stimulate the frenulum upon entry, and then there rest of the sleeve has some very light ribs. However the sleeve did grip you nice and tightly, and without the vibrations, it did feel pretty good.
So onto the vibrations. Like the Hydro and Power Stroker, the Alpha has 30 different vibration patterns. The vibrations do seem to transmit themselves very nicely through the sleeve – but this is the important thing to remember – the vibrations are not meant to be the main ‘feature’ – it’s the sleeve doing all the work, the vibrations are just an added ‘extra’ – a nice added extra, but a bonus, rather than being the main event. My problem I had with the vibrations, is that whilst they felt nice and helped enhance the stroking sensation, I actually found it difficult to tell the difference between the patterns – they all felt so extremely similar. I also couldn’t find the ‘beginning’ or ‘end’ pattern – cycling through the different patterns just has you going completely round in circles, where as on the hydro, once I’ve been through all the patterns, it stops then when I proceed, it starts on it’s lowest pattern again. This isn’t really an issue, but it can make it quite tricky trying to remember where your favourite pattern was. This is one instance where the memory chip does actually come in handy.
But ultimately it all comes down to how it felt, and it did actually feel really good. The pressure pads (for me) didn’t really do what I had hoped. Squeezing them didn’t really enhance the tightness, but when squeezed towards the opening, it does make the vibrations feel much stronger, and I am happy to say it did lead me to a nice big orgasm. This, however is where we get to the biggest problem I have with the Alpha Stroker…
Clean-up and Maintenance
For anyone that has a Fleshlight, you already know how much of a fuss it can be cleaning the buggers out. Although thanks to their open-ended sleeve design, cleaning is a case of flushing water through the sleeve to remove any ‘deposits’ and then making sure it’s dry and powdered before putting it away. The Alpha Stroker is essentially ‘closed’ at one end, meaning you can’t just rinse it through. I say ‘closed’ – there is the tiniest of holes at the bottom of the sleeve to help with suction, but it’s certainly not big enough to use it to just ‘rinse’ through – so you will need to completely turn the sleeve inside out in order to ensure everything is gone. This is a little tricky, as the sleeve is very ‘top heavy’ but it will turn.
Once you’ve ensured the inside is nice and clean, I pat it dry with a lint-free cloth, and then carefully turn it back the right way. I finish spritzing and cleaning the outside and then left it to air dry. Once it’s dry, you’ll notice the sleeve goes a little tacky, so you’ll want to give it a light dusting with some renewal powder (cornflour) before popping it back into the case, and then putting the lid on to keep it clean and dust-free, ready for next time. The outer case can be wiped with a damp cloth. The Alpha Stroker is waterproof, so you could clean the whole case under the tap, but I don’t think it’s necessary, unless you made a lot of mess with lube.
I liked this toy. It’s not revolutionary in any sense, but it’s got enough versatility going for it, and I can appreciate what the designers of the toy were trying to accomplish, even if it doesn’t quite hit the mark. Speaking of versatility, they say you are able to use the sleeve outside of the case as just a regular pocket ‘pussy’ type thing – however I personally wouldn’t recommend using it that way – as it’s so much heavier at one end of the sleeve, it’s just awkward trying to use it that way. It’s rechargeable, very quiet, easy to use and provides a good amount of sensation. The only thing that really lets it down is the pressure pads and the clean-up routine.
Who would I recommend this too? Well I guess anyone who has enjoyed using a Fleshlight and wanted to take it up a notch with some vibrations. I think it would also make a great first time toy as it can be used in multiple ways, is discreetly designed and considering what you are getting, it’s certainly a more cost-effective investment in the long run. You could easily buy 3 different toys to achieve all this one toy does. It also looks pretty nice too.
Where to buy
Since writing this review, Lovehoney no longer stock this particular toy. However, you can still order it from SheVibe (UK/US/CA/AU).
The Lowdown | Apollo Alpha Stroker 1