Jail Bird nerdery

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.

Click to enlarge

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.

14 thoughts on “Jail Bird nerdery

  1. Great comparison, Thumper, and really useful info. People getting into chastity who decide they want a device are going to spend, at a minimum, $150 and potentially quite a bit more so it is helpful to have posts like this to make an informed decision. I could have used this info back in August!

    We went with an expensive metal mistake to plastic to the Jailbird and yes, you are right, in that respect it was a tremendous improvement. Knowing that, we are very happy with it. Would another device be better? Perhaps. But the Jailbird (and the Watchful Mistress) are working well for us at the moment.

    One thing Ab has noticed is the tendency for the JB to rotate, as you commented. His swings over to 2 o’clock. I think I saw you post once (somewhere) that the Steelheart did the same for you? Rotated to 10 o’clock? That seems to be one of the reasons that Ab wants to take it off and readjust. That rotating can be uncomfortable.

    At first I thought I was being wildly extravagant to buy two devices but now I am thinking it is actually quite practical. Think about other things we wear close to our bodies. Do you wear the same shoes every day? For women, do you wear the same bra? I am not sure it is realistic to think one device is going to be comfortable all the time, day in and day out. While the fantasy of being locked all the time is a great one, the reality is that bodies are living things and perhaps, flexibility in devices is important to address that. I am thinking back to your sore dick problem in August when you had to remove the Steelheart for 24 hours or so. If you had the Jailbird at that time, would you have been able to wear that in the interim? Or did you need to be completely device-free?

    One other thing I would be interested in hearing from other wearers: the MM devices are rolled and welded while the tubes from Ms. Lori are cast. I wonder how much difference that makes in comfort and fit? I don’t hear much from Ms. Lori wearers—perhaps cost is a barrier for people to buy those, plus the fact that the majority of her devices require a piercing. The latter is not an issue for you, Thumper, but for many guys, it is.

    Thanks again for this useful info.

    D

    1. One thing Ab has noticed is the tendency for the JB to rotate, as you commented. His swings over to 2 o’clock. I think I saw you post once (somewhere) that the Steelheart did the same for you? Rotated to 10 o’clock?

      The Steelheart does rotate sometimes, but not nearly to the extent the JB does. Another reason that I just thought of that the JB might do this more is that the SH had a lot of its weight up front which might help keep it centered while the JB is very light. The lightness is a good thing, but it may be contributory to the rotation.

      If you had the Jailbird at that time, would you have been able to wear that in the interim? Or did you need to be completely device-free?

      If I remember correctly, I think I could have worn the JB just fine. There are several positive attributes to the JB that I hope to get into when I write the full review and the openness of the cage is one of them. It’s a very different experience than having the cock closed off and in the dark. That particular issue was, I think, caused by hot tub water collecting in the tube. Obviously, that wouldn’t have happend in the JB.

      Regarding Lori’s devices, they’ve always looked very heavy to me. And the fact that many of them use the PA as their main anchor point to the body makes them totally unacceptable to me and my apparently fragile piercing.

  2. 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.

    Yay! Now you’re talking to me, bro!

    I should point out that when manufacturers buy stainless steel rings (yes, you can buy them), they tend to come in certain sizes. In the US, that would probably be 1/4″ profile, in 1/8″ increments. The SH is thicker because they’re probably using a metric standard (8mm?).

    One of my early attempts at making a hinged ring used 1/4″; I didn’t have heavy enough equipment to shape anything bigger. But you’re right – it tended to cut into me a bit, and wasn’t comfortable under, uh, pressure testing.

    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.

    I believe that Aarkey had a custom made JB on which a small guide was welded on the top of the cuff ring. I actually made a modified stainless steel version of the CB3000 locking pin for him with a slightly rounded back edge that wouldn’t rub or be irritating.

    Seriously, the problems that you’re describing are all issues that I discovered when trying to build my own form scratch. I’d get a great idea, then try to make it. Then I’d discover it pinched, or wasn’t secure, etc., and work on trying to improve the next model.Thing is, it’s hard working with stainless steel, and sometimes the mods don’t come out the way you want because you miss little things, like (as you mentioned) the alignment issues.

    I suggest that you send this feedback to MM, not as critique, but so that he can think about the potential issues in order to make a better product.

    1. The SH is thicker because they’re probably using a metric standard (8mm?).

      I bet that’s right. And the rings Dietmar uses are obviously machined, not hand-made.

      One of my early attempts at making a hinged ring used 1/4″; I didn’t have heavy enough equipment to shape anything bigger.

      Excellent, so my hypothesis was correct. I bet it’s the same with MM. I wonder why he’s chosen to make the rings rather than use manufactured pieces. I’m guessing it’s so he can offer more sizing options.

      Thing is, it’s hard working with stainless steel, and sometimes the mods don’t come out the way you want because you miss little things, like (as you mentioned) the alignment issues.

      I’m very impressed by people like the ones behind MM and SW because they seem to be one man operations. That means they develop all their own designs; dream them up, build prototypes, wear-test them and then move them into production and sales – probably all out in their garages! Being capable of that kind of ingenuity and craftiness is pretty impressive, IMO. I think the biggest difference between the two manufacturers is perhaps experience. SW offers over a dozen models based on 3 or 4 basic designs while MM has five models based on maybe 4 distinct designs. It just looks like SW has been at it longer.

      I suggest that you send this feedback to MM, not as critique, but so that he can think about the potential issues in order to make a better product.

      I think he’s aware of the blog, but yeah, I should make sure he get this feedback. I’m trying to be careful in not being overly critical. This is just objective feedback from a nerd who maybe thinks too much about how these things work. As you well know, chastity devices live and die in fractions of inches and subtle adjustments. I’d rather he see my observations as a chance to engineer a better product than as mere caustic criticism.

  3. One other observation. When I had my Chastity Heart “Cage” made, from reading a review on the site, I asked for the horizontal bars to be on the inside. The thought here is that the horizontal bars provide a little easier experience with less “grabbing” than the vertical bars on the inside.

    I can’t say that it’s better, as I didn’t order and try one of each, but I noticed that yours is vertical, and wondered if there was any pulling or tugging due to that?

    Also, without the PA piercing contraption, is pull-out a concern? With a fair amount of lubrication/soap, I can back out of mine, and replace, although it’s not a terribly enjoyable experience. Have been wondering if a KSD device might be available, or if anyone has used the pullout pin device that MM or CH suggests? (the pin locked in the cage doesn’t seem all that workable, or comfortable).

    thanks for posting the review – concur on most of the points, although this is my first device.

    btb

    1. When I had my Chastity Heart “Cage” made, from reading a review on the site, I asked for the horizontal bars to be on the inside. The thought here is that the horizontal bars provide a little easier experience with less “grabbing” than the vertical bars on the inside.

      I can’t say that it’s better, as I didn’t order and try one of each, but I noticed that yours is vertical, and wondered if there was any pulling or tugging due to that?

      Dude, I’m doing my best but can’t figure out what you’re describing here.

      Also, without the PA piercing contraption, is pull-out a concern?

      I’m sure I could pull out of it, but I didn’t try (very hard). The fit is pretty snug. All by itself, I think it’s probably more secure than a stock Steelheart.

  4. I ordered the pull-out pins for Ab’s Jailbird. I ordered a small and medium blunt, and a small with the cross-hatched end. The latter I think is for playing. We haven’t tried it yet.

    We did put the small, blunt pin in the JB when it was still quite new. After about 24 hrs., Ab asked me to take it out. He said it was uncomfortable–not terribly so, sort of like a pebble in your shoe–but annoying enough that he didn’t like it. We haven’t used it since then.

    I will note that Ab is not a “try to get out of the device whenever I can” kind of guy so he didn’t really need the incentive of the pull-out pin. For someone else, it might work differently and be more useful than it was for us.

    D

  5. Very thorough and professional reviews, thumper. You have an impressive site and I appreciate the information that comes from nerdery. I’ve been interested in upgrading protectors for my two chaste-boy husbands — we currently just have cb3ks which are fun, but not long-term devices — and this information is very helpful. Thanks!

  6. Any issues with the Jail Bird’s being detected through pants. I mean, if you’re not wearing jeans, I imagine that those bars would leave a bit of an impression at times.

    1. When I am wearing jogging pants and the like, with underwear under there, it’s not a problem, but if you can handle going without underwear, or are wearing truly tight material, yeah, they will show. Through underwear alone, it stands out quite a bit, but since I rarely wear anything other than loose jeans or jogging pants and shorts, I do not have an actual field test for anything tighter than that myself.

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