The Jail Bird will be sent back to Mature Metal for some adjustments. The cage is off-center and the inside of the cuff ring needs a little more buffing, as I’ve mentioned before. In the mean time, I have some observations regarding its general design.
The thing to remember in this before I start is that I’m not coming to the Jail Bird from a CB-X000. I’ve already been wearing a custom stainless device for a year now. I think much of the exuberance over the Jail Bird can be attributed to the fact that for most, it appears to be either replacing a plastic device or it’s the wearer’s first device. That’s not to say the JB is not a good device. I think it is. It’s not a bad choice for many based on its relative affordability and Mature Metal’s prompt and courteous customer service. However, there are at least two things in the way it’s designed that I think could be improved.
First is the cuff ring (AKA, A-ring or, as it’s referred to by Mature Metal, base ring). As you can see in picture on the right, the Steelworxx Steelheart’s cuff ring is about 20% thicker than the Jail Bird’s. A thicker ring adds weight, but in my opinion, it also adds comfort. I find the JB’s thinner ring bites more severely than the SH’s. It’s hard to compare them head to head, but part of the reason I think the SH is more comfortable is because its thicker cuff ring distributes the pressure of the erection across a larger surface area. Mature Metal offers cock rings that have two 1/4″ rings welded together. I don’t know if that’s an option for the Jail Bird or, if it is, how much it adds to the cost, but I’d advise those interested in an MM device to inquire.
Another aspect that may contribute to comfort is the fact that the Steelheart’s ring is perfectly circular while the Jail Bird’s it somewhat irregularly circular. It may be the case that the more consistant circle of the SH also helps distribute pressure, but I’m not at all sure. Mature Metal offers an oval ring as well as a circular one which, I assume, is for comfort but I’ve not worn that one so I don’t know for sure. It looks as though Steelworxx uses machine-made rings while MM uses hand-made rings. That would make the SW rings more “perfect” but with fewer sizing options (6) while the MM rings are less “perfect” but have many more sizing options (19). Again, this is mostly speculation on my part, but it seems correct to me. If MM’s rings are hand-made, then that may preclude them from using steel as thick as that used by Steelworxx.
The second area of Jail Bird design I’ll comment on is the placement of the post on the cuff ring relative to its mate on the cage. As the image below shows, the top of the cage on the Jail Bird sits offset from the ring.
The Steelheart, by comparison, benefits from its unique integrate lock so that the top of the tube aligns to the top of the ring. I prefer this for two reasons, one being purely aesthetic. With the cage lower on the device, extra space is created at the top which allows the scrotum to migrate up during wear. The cage ends up looking like it’s nestled in a pink meat pillow. On the Steelheart, the scrotum hangs more naturally. Second, the Jail Bird has a tendency to turn while worn so that the top of the device will end up down along the side somewhere (think 15-20 minutes before or after the hour on a clock an you get the idea).
I don’t know if the different cage location effects the performance of the device. I did find myself having to adjust my scrotum more often in the Jail Bird, but that could be due to the non-smooth interior of the cuff ring or the fact that the smaller cage size relative to the Steelheart’s tube caused everything to get pushed back more. I don’t know.
One benefit of the lower tube could be increased security. As you can see in the image on the left, the lower-set cage causes the penis to be pushed down by at least a 1/4″ before it goes into the cage. In effect, this seems to mimic the function of a KSD-type device. The down-side is it’s not ergonomically correct and could contribute to discomfort (and the tendency to rotate).
I’m not sure how this could be addressed. The post could be mounted on the top of the cuff ring, but then extra care would need to be taken to ensure the back of the post didn’t dig into the body uncomfortably. The approach I think I’d prefer would be to see the receiving hole moved down into the cage more so that it was lined up with the first penis ring, but doing that would necessitate a change in the locking mechanism. The security screw on my device could be mounted on top of the device, but I’m not sure how one would secure it with a padlock.
None of what I’ve written here should be seen as an indictment against the Jail Bird. As I said above, it’s a fine device and, in my opinion, likely to be better than a plastic device for most people. You have to remember that I’m a giant nerd and this kind of thinking is part of the complete Thumper package.
As always, YMMV. I’m interested in hearing the thoughts of other Jail Bird owners in the comments.