At some point shortly after Belle and I began to use enforced male chastity in our relationship, I discovered the Steelworxx Steelheart. We had purchased the CB-6000 as our first device (or, like so many others, some other CB-X000 variant), but the Steelheart was always on my mind. After spending about six months over the course of a year locked into a CB-6000, I was fortunate enough in October 2009 to acquire a Steelheart of my own.
I’ve now spent a fair bit of time locked in stainless. I’ve posted my thoughts over a handful of entries here on my blog, but it now feels like the right time to compile them all in one place. Plus, since the CB-6000 appears to be the single most popular male chastity device on the market, it also seems useful to take this opportunity to compare and contrast it against the Steelheart. I will compare the two devices in five areas: fit, comfort, security, hygiene, and stealth.
If you’re unfamiliar with the CB-6000 or enforced male chastity in general, you might want to read my CB-6000 tips and tricks article first. It covers a lot of basics.
Meet my Steelheart
My Steelheart is comprised of five components:
- Stainless steel 5/8″, 4 ga captive bead PA ring
- Integrated lock mechanism
- 40 mm A-ring
- Custom-made continuous PA fixing
- 105 mm chastity tube with 35 mm interior diameter (finished with the optional ring)
The PA ring didn’t come with the device, but I consider it part of the device since it interacts with the PA fixing and creates a perfectly secure system (described in more detail below).
Here’s a short video I made demonstrating how the whole thing comes together (described by some as “kind of like watching dentistry, only with a penis”).
Side-by-side Comparison Photos
These pictures illustrate how the CB-6000 (chrome finish) compares with the Steelheart. Note that the CB6K is fitted with the shortest spacer and the middle A-ring (45 mm). The Steelheart is equipped with a 45 mm A-ring (later replaced).
Every CB-6000 ships with 20 fitting combinations in the box. Combined with the optional short tube, the four spacer sizes and five A-ring diameters create 40 possible fitting combinations. This makes it an excellent choice for anyone new to enforced male chastity. All that flexibility allows one to find the right fit for their body (as well as allowing their body to adjust over time since what’s comfortable when you start is not what’s comfortable six months or a year later).
That being said, the Steelheart offers hundreds of fitting combinations. The tube can be ordered any length between 85 mm and 130 mm and has four internal diameter options between 29 mm and 44 mm. The A-ring can be ordered in six different sizes from 38 mm to 50 mm. This allows a much more customized fit than the CB6K. The trick, of course, if knowing what you need before investing hundreds of dollars in non-returnable German steel.
In the CB6K, I had settled into a combination of the 45 mm middle A-ring and the shortest spacer. That resulted in a tube length of about 110 mm. The advertised internal diameter of the CB6K is about 35 mm. “About” since the tube is actually oval-shaped being wider than it is tall in cross-section. I decided to stick with a 45 mm A-ring in the SH but took 5 mm from the tube length since the SH tube is more rounded and the CB6K’s is tapered (and therefore never completely full). I also decided to go with the 35 mm diameter since the next lower option is 29 mm and that seemed ridiculously narrow.
In practice, I found the 45 mm ring to be far too large. I attribute this to several factors. First, the materials interact with the skin very differently. The plastic tends to grip better than the steel. Second, the CB6K ring is at least twice as wide as the SH and is flat against the body while the SH ring is rounded. More surface in contact means more gripping. Finally, and probably the biggest factor, the SH is much heavier than the CB6K. Based on all this, I decided to order a smaller A-ring. Since my SH has an integrated lock, I had to send the entire unit back so the different parts of the locks could be fitted properly. That was kind of a pain, but understandable.
The end result is I now have an exceptionally well-fitted device. There is little I can imagine doing to it that would make it fit better.
“Comfort” is a tricky thing to discuss. Personally, I’m not looking for a device that is so comfortable that I don’t even know it’s there. I think a certain amount of tolerable discomfort is a hallmark of living in enforced chastity. I also kink on the bondage aspect of chastity and am more than a little bit of a masochist (OK, I’m a pain slut). Therefore, what’s comfortable for me might not be for you. Rather than trying to convert you all to my way of thinking, I’ll focus on intrinsic properties of each device that contribute to their relative comfort.
Near the beginning of nearly every stint in one of my CB-6000s, I end up with a irritated spot on the upper right side of my scrotum between the A-ring and the tube. Not just some times. Almost every single time. I suspect this is caused by the fact that my right testicle sits a little higher than my left leaving that side of the scrotum with just a bit less wiggle room and in contact with the device more often (most notably during erections). The area of irritation lines up with a seam on the A-ring where the three pieces come together. The extra contact has a cumulatively irritating effect. I suspect the wide surface area of the ring and its sharp corners contribute as well. I have experienced a much more mild version of this with the Steelheart, but not as often. I attribute this increased comfort to the combined fact that the ring is narrower and a solid smooth piece with a slightly wider gap between the ring and tube.
With the chrome version of the CB6K, I’ve found the interior of the tube to also cause irritation. Unlike the clear version, the chrome device has what appears to be unfinished paint overspray inside the tube. This causes roughness which has resulted in friction sores on the penis shaft more than once. This is especially annoying since I can’t actually see into the tube and haven’t always been able to feel them as they develop. It’s so bad that I’ve pretty much taken the chrome tube out of rotation for use of periods longer than just a few days.
While I have not yet seen anything like this with the Steelheart, the PA fixing running up both sides inside the tube has caused momentary pinching in the past (usually as erections begin or subside). This may cause issues over time, but it hasn’t so far after about three weeks of wearing.
There are three areas of the Steelheart that I have found can lead to discomfort. The more severe of them is the integrated brass lock mechanism. At certain times, mostly when sitting, the sharp edge of the lock can come into contact with the skin above the penis causing a very distinct pain. It’s never broken the skin, but it certainly feels like it might. I resolved this by rounding off the edges of the lock with fine grit sandpaper (as you can see in the image).
The other sharp spot is at the top of the A-ring where an area has been leveled-off in order to attach the female half of the lock system. As you can see in the picture, the skin there tends to roll up against the edge. I’ve found that, over time, I’ve become accustomed to this and it no longer creates any real discomfort, but it was somewhat annoying for the first few weeks.
Finally, I’ve found that a weld at the bottom of the tube which attaches a ring along its edge can be a problem. The ring is supposed to make the device more comfortable by providing a round edge at the opening of the tube, but occasionally (and for reasons I can’t identify), one of its welds can irritate the skin underneath the shaft of the penis right where it meets the top of the scrotum. I wouldn’t categorize this irritation as anything more than “moderately annoying”, but I’ve seen it twice now so it’s no fluke.
In my experience, a trapped-ball style chastity device cannot be made perfectly secure (in which “secure” means the chastised male cannot get out unless the device is unlocked). They’re deterrents, nothing more. A barrier between a man and his desire to do something with his cock. These devices can be made into more efficient deterrents through the addition of various add-on items, but a determined individual can defeat any trapped-ball device with soapy water.
In my opinion, a well-fitted Steelworxx is just slightly less secure than a CB6K. Internal diameter plays an important part of determining how easy it is to slip a device off. If the diameter is too large, it’s easier. The CB6K tube is wider than it is tall in order, I believe, to make it more secure. The Steelheart’s tube is more or less circular. The tube of my particular device is noticeably bigger around than a CB6K’s. However, that’s not a factor in my security.
About a year ago, I got a Prince Albert piercing because a) I really liked the look of them, and b) I hoped to take all my control out of the chastity experience. In the CB-6000, PA piercings are typically used to make the device secure though use of a wire looped outside the tube and through a PA ring and the device’s lock. I experimented with this many times but found that the wire didn’t allow my penis enough freedom to move up and down in the tube and kept a gentle yet persistent tug on the PA ring most of the time eventually causing intolerable pain in my piercing.
Steelworxx offered a potential solution to my problem. Their PA security mechanism is a thin steel rod that fixes to the device’s pins and descends into the tube. The end of the rod is a hook that’s supposed to keep the PA ring from slipping off. Steelworxx claims this makes escaping from the device impossible. In my experience, though, it just doesn’t work. My ring kept slipping off the end of the rod, oblivious of the hook on it’s end. It just wasn’t hooky enough.
This led me to design my own PA fixing. In mine, the PA fixing is a continuous rod, open on the ends, that locks onto the device’s pins. It allows the ring to slide up and down on either side, but there’s no way to it to get off. I thought at first that this design might allow pretty much the entire penis to be removed from the tube making the ring accessible, but I’ve found in practice that only about two-thirds of the shaft can come out, stopping just before the glans, and access to the ring is totally impossible. I made a short video demonstrating this (and no, it didn’t hurt).
In short, the device is now totally secure. Once locked onto my body, there’s no way to get it off without the key (or heavy machinery). I don’t believe anyone able to use one should purchase the standard Steelworxx PA fixing. If you’re interested, I’d recommend one like mine. It allows freedom of movement within the tube, but not so much that escape is possible. If you’re not pierced and you’re looking for a more secure experience, I cannot recommend the Steelheart.
UPDATE: Steelworxx now offers the continuous PA fixing on their website.
One of the things I like about the Steelheart is its sleek profile. In exchange for those looks, though, is a device that gets dirty easier and is decidedly harder to keep clean than the CB-6000.
The SH has a single round hole at the end of the tube that’s significantly smaller than the CB6K’s wider slot. That big slot (plus the six side vents) make it easier to get clean, soapy water into the device while it’s being worn. Also, urine drains out of the CB6K much faster whereas in the SH it tends to accumulate prior to draining (peeing in the SH is a significantly warmer experience). The net result of all this is a device that needs to be cleaned more often. Where I could, if careful, get away with cleaning the CB6K once a day, I have to clean the SH twice (usually with soap in the morning and just a warm water flush in the evening).
The flip side of these issues, though, is another of enforced chastity’s holy grails: vertical urination. The prevailing wisdom online seems to be that wearing a chastity device means always having to sit down to pee. Before I got my PA, I could, with a bit of fiddling beforehand, usually align things in the CB6K in such a way as to make peeing while standing possible. After my PA, it was impossible. There were two holes through which urine passed and a ring. I couldn’t make it all work. Sitting was my only option. The SH’s little hole changes all that. It tends to create a coherent stream that drains in a controlled fashion while peeing. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that vertical peeing in the SH is easier for me than peeing with no device.
Personally, I’ve stopped worrying about whether or not someone sees the occasional strange bulge in my pants. In fact, I know they do as I’ve often caught people taking a glance in that direction, but the only people who might know what’s causing it are exactly the ones I’d probably be most OK with being “out” to (and, to the best of my knowledge, nobody I see every day is in that camp). All the rest are left to think whatever it is they think when they get a random peek at the thing lurking beneath my zipper.
That being said, the Steelheart is a better stealthy device if only because it tends to curve downward more than the CB-6000 and is smooth. The integrated lock removes a bunch of awkward bulk in front and the lack of a flared head (as on the CB6K) makes the resulting bulge a bit more natural looking.
Another aspect of stealth is sound since, as an all-metal device, there can be a bit of steel-on-steel contact. I’ve found the PA fixing to be able to move around slightly which leads to a bit of subtle noise, but the biggest issue with regard to sound is the PA ring itself bumping against the tube walls. When the tube is mostly full, there’s no noise, but as the meat recedes and space is opened up inside, it can be very noticeable (sometimes even through clothing). I will be using an acrylic PA ring next time I wear the device and that should mitigate the noise issue quite a bit.
Here are some posts where I documented my initial experiences with the Steelheart:
Dreaming of steel – August 7, 2009
Upgrade – October 11, 2009
Steelworxx Steelheart first impressions – October 27, 2009
HNThumper X – October 29, 2009
Further Steelheart nerdery – October 29, 2009
Security wankie – October 30, 2009
3.6 times hotter – November 2, 2009
The Steelheart returns – December 22, 2209
Key card – December 31, 2009
Original publication, January 10, 2010
Added weld issue to Comfort section and noise issue to Stealth section, January 20, 2010
Added a link to the continuous PA fixing Steelworxx now offers, June 3, 2010