NOTE: This post has been revised and extended. Read it here.
Reader Doc has asked:
It has been decided — no, not by me — that I’m to start wearing a ‘device’. Though you’ve reviewed, compared, and described many, many devices over the time I’ve been following your blog, I would like your evaluation of which is (a) the best, and (b) what is the second best of all available. I know this would be subjective, but I’d rather not ‘reinvent the wheel’. (Oh, it has been agreed that I’m to start after the holidays — on January 1st, 2014.) I suspect others may find your “final” recommendation(s) useful, too… Thanks!
Hmm. I feel not unlike the Sorting Hat…
First things first. I assume you’re cool with being locked up and the “it has been decided, no not by me” thing was just a bit of hotness tossed in to torture the poor unlocked guys who read my blog. If so, well played. If not, are you sure you want to try this? If you don’t and are doing it for your keyholder, any device you get will likely end up living in a drawer far more than your pants.
With that out of the way, allow me to prevaricate a little more.
I like to say the best device is the one between your ears. In that, and touching on my first question to you, if you don’t want to submit to the device in the first place, then you’ll end up wanting to cheat and slip out of it or whatever. Of course, some folks go about this denial thing without devices and that’s fine if it’s what floats their boat, but even those of us with hardware need to have the proper mindset. I’m currently in the Looker 02 and have been for something like going on three weeks. I can pull out of it any time I want because it’s insignificantly more secure than the Jail Bird or the CB6K or any other stock trapped-ball chastity device.
But I don’t pull out. Ever.
I’ve already bought on to the deal with Belle. She decides when I’m locked up and when I’m not and I abide by her wishes on the matter. There are lots of times I wish the device was off me so I could have access to the penis, but I’m well past the point where I’d cheat to get around it because I want far more for her to care that I’m locked up. If I want her to care, I have to care.
So anyway, then there’s the issue of defining what “best” means. There are arguments to be made that cost, comfort, security, hygiene, and stealth are all important factors when considering “best.” Also, keep in mind I’ve only worn seven(!) different devices (CB-6000, silver CB-6000, CB-5000, Birdlocked Neo, Steelworxx Steelheart [two different devices], Steelworxx Looker 02, and the Mature Metal Jail Bird [two different devices]). The only way to know what the best one is is to know how important each of those attributes is to you.
Here’s my take on them (with the silicone device essentially ignored because it sucked so much and the CB-5000 ignored because it’s an odd bird).
COST: We’re fortunate enough that cost is not the driving factor in any decision Belle makes with regard to buying a device. We’re not so fortunate that we don’t have to stop and consider the very high cost of something like a Steelwerks device, but even that is, eventually, something that we could afford if she wanted it. I was just in a conversation with some folks on Twitter about buying knock-off CB6Ks the other day. Doing so saves you some money (sometimes, a lot), but, as I eventually said, you only have the one penis. Why risk it for a few bucks? If you can’t afford a real CB6K, wait until you can. We call that “saving.” But I digress.
Steelworxx versus Mature Metal are about a wash, cost-wise. There’s a perception that MM is cheaper and I’m sure in some cases they can be, but once you start adding on options, they both get to the several hundred dollars pretty quickly (Pro Tip: The prices shown on the Steelworxx site include VAT which those outside Europe do not pay. Create an account with your shipping address and watch those prices magically fall.)
The plastic/silicone devices are far cheaper than the metal. Also, metal devices are all custom so you need to be sure of your measurements if you don’t want to deal with costly and time consuming do-overs.
COMFORT: Complicated. Except for the silicone devices, comfort is all about fit. The Looker 02 and Jail Bird I wear have A-rings 2mm bigger than the Steelheart. The Steelheart wakes me up and is, occasionally, uncomfortable. Like, it can hurt. The other two are cake. I sleep through the night. No issues. That’s 2 lously little millimeters.
You could use something like Mature Metals sizing rings or do what I did and pick up stainless rings from the hardware store, but I’ve found that measuring like that is an imperfect science (Belle’s first Steelheart was way too big, both in the A-ring and tube length). For those who have not yet played with enforced chastity, my recommendation is to start with the CB-6000. It’s inexpensive (relatively) and allows lots of fit combinations to help you figure out the best sizing for you.
That said, I don’t think the CB6K is the most comfortable device. The A-ring in particular has nasty corners that dig too much during erections. Right now, the most comfortable device I wear is the Looker 02 (even with the urethral insert). The Jail Bird is a close second and would be just as good as the L02 if not for its open design at the end of the cage. The Steelheart, with a well fitted A-ring, would also rank pretty high.
SECURITY: The only really secure device (as defined as one you cannot get out of) is one that incorporates some type of piercing. Short of that, you want a device that feels secure. That’s, again, about fit. You want it to feel snug but not tight. Something that seems like a second skin until an erection comes along. The first Steelheart hung too low and was too heavy to feel like I couldn’t slip out at a moment’s notice without the PA fixing in place.
So, the best device in this department is the one that’s attached through your dick. I only wear one like that.
HYGIENE: The most hygienic device I currently wear (defined as the one that stays the cleanest after a day of normal urinating, etc.) is probably the Jail Bird. The Steelheart will always trap a small amount of urine even after the most thorough attempt to get it all out. Some guys seem really creeped out by that (it’s no big deal as long as you rinse it out at night). The Looker 02 has a tendency to retain urine in the urethral insert and therefore leaks after you’ve peed. The CB6K is about as good or bad as the Steelheart, but, since it’s plastic and not metal, it’s a bit harder to make thoroughly clean.
In any event, if the idea of dealing with lingering urine squicks you out, the JB is the way to go. Next best is the Steelheart, then the CB6K, then the Looker 02.
STEALTH: Stealth is defined by two metrics. Visibility and sound (as measured when wearing sweats or pajama pants, etc.). The Jail Bird with the security screw option is totally silent. The Looker 02 is nearly so. The Steelheart with the PA fixing and PA ring in place occasionally makes some noise, but not much. The CB-6000 was actually the noisiest due to the lock banging against the tube when I walked around. With regard to visibility, the CB6K (non-S version) was the most noticeable of all I’ve worn by far. The others are much less so (with the Looker 02 being the least visible), but of course, they’re all custom so YMMV.
SO…which is the best?
It’s a bit of a Sophie’s choice. They’re all good for different reasons. I guess, right now, if I could only wear one, I’d lean very slightly towards the Looker 02. Its tendency to trap urine in the tube is annoying but not a big deal for me. It’s super comfy and pretty fucking hot. However, if you’re new to a device, I still recommend the CB-6000 (probably the S version depending on your flaccid size). It’s a relatively inexpensive way to dabble and will help with figuring out sizing if you ever decide to go with steel.