The Arcwave Ion is brand new kind of sex toy for people with a penis, launching with a pledge to get you off in a way you’ve probably never experienced before.
Made by WowTech (known best for its Womanizer and We-Vibe brands), it promises a different kind of male orgasm than your bog-standard, thrust-action Fleshlight. It does this by focusing exclusively on the tip of the penis, specifically the frenulum (the super-sensitive, elastic fold of skin that joins the underside of the glans, where the head meets the shaft). Using air pressure stimulation rather than friction, the Arcwave Ion is designed to pleasure you in a way that is more intense, a sensation the company describes as feeling akin to how a woman experiences an orgasm. It’s based on similar technology found in the company’s toys for vaginas.
To test out this theory, we’ve been putting the Arcwave Ion through its paces (quite literally – we’re already on our second review unit) for the last few weeks, ahead of its wider launch. Priced at $199 (£169 in the UK), the device is currently available to pre-order, with delivery starting from January, so check out the rest of our Arcwave Ion review to see if it’ll be worth splashing your cash on.
Arcwave Ion: Design and Overview
One thing to love about the Arcwave Ion is that it’s packaged up in a super-elegant and modern charging case, which is quite cleverly designed to be both versatile and discreet. From the outside, you’d never know it was a masturbation device – ideal if you’re the kind of person to get embarrassed carrying sexy toys in your hand luggage (not that this particular scenario is so relevant right now).
Push a button and the case will pop open to reveal the masturbation sleeve, which is charged via metal contacts (in case of contact with water) and surrounds a DryTech Stick. This is essentially a replaceable silica pack that’s hosted inside a cage and helps to wick away any left-over moisture after the Arcwave Ion has been washed.
One other nice design touch is the charging case, which has a battery level indicator on the outside, denoted by four LED lights. The device is charged via micro-USB (cable included).
Once out of its charging case, the Arcwave Ion device is essentially a masturbation sleeve made of two parts: a hard plastic side which hosts the controls, and a super soft and subtly-ribbed silicone tube, which accommodates the penis. The great thing about silicon is that it isn’t porous, so doesn’t degrade over time. And in the Arcwave Ion it feels exceptionally soft and silky, stretching pleasantly without much force needed at all. You will need some water-based lube, though.
Thanks to its premium features and high-end design, the Arcwave Ion is reassuringly well made and from the get-go, makes you feel you’ve invested in a product that will offer some decent mileage.
As noted in the intro, we did have to return a broken unit in exchange for a new one, but that’s not too uncommon for the first units coming off the production line of a brand new design – there was no problem in getting it swapped over.
Arcwave Ion: Features and Functionality
While design gets a massive thumbs up from us, some high-tech and rather innovative features means that functionality is just as impressive.
Once you’ve slid your penis inside the silicone sleeve, it’s time to turn it on. There are three buttons on the underside of the device to control it: a plus and minus button to control intensity, and a silence button to, you know, shut the thing up.
Holding the plus button turns it on, which commences the Air Pleasure technology – the defining feature of the device and the same tech the Womanizer range toys use. It’s basically a new type of stimulation based entirely on pulsating airwaves, which Wow Tech says targets the Pacinian pleasure receptors in the frenulum. Like a clitoral stimulator for men, this is supposed to create a more intense orgasm.
So does it? Yes…and no.
Arcwave Ion: Experience and in-use
You can’t expect to just shove yourself inside, hit a button and have your eyes roll back in your head, metaphorically speaking.
To take full advantage of the cutting-edge air pressure sensation, it’s all about maneuvering the penis so it’s in just the right position so that it feels the most pleasurable for you. There is an art to this, and if you’re impatient you’ll just end up getting frustrated and resorting back to our dear friend Rosy Palm. Orgasming with the Arcwave Ion is definitely more of a marathon than a sprint; it’s centred more around edging than just a wham bang thank you ma’am sort of experience, which is why it will need some experimentation.
It also isn’t immediately obvious how exactly you’re supposed to use it. The instructions don’t make it clear whether you should thrust your penis in and out of the Arcwave Ion like you would a Fleshlight – with the air-powered stimulation acting as a bonus – or if you should just leave it there for the air pressure tech to do the work for you.
After firing a quick email over to the PR, we were made aware that it’s the latter. So no, you’re not supposed to bang the living daylights out of it but instead, leave it in place for the innovative air tech to do the work as it pulses against the back head of your penis, offering a sucking like effect.
Thankfully, you can control the intensity of this using the plus and minus buttons to get the effect that’s right for you. What we found, however, is that the lack of friction you’re used to in other forms of masturbation will make you want to whack the intensity up to maximum, which can be very noisy and off-putting. The air stimulation can create a loud sucking sound when cranked all the way up, somewhat akin to NooNoo, the vacuum cleaner from the Teletubbies. Not exactly something you want to be thinking about in the throes of solo pleasure.
The neat thing here, though, is that the silence button enables a Smart Silence mode, which ensures the Arcwave Ion air stimulation will only activate when it senses skin contact, minimizing these sounds. Also, over time you’ll find you don’t need intensity level at top notch. Instead, you can use your thumb on top of the silicon sleeve to push down on the penis head and guide the stimulation into the right places during use.
So how does it feel? The sensation is novel and as a result quite peculiar, especially on your first try. With all of WowTech’s marketing alluding to a mind-blowing, sensory experience, we were expecting a little more. The main thing to make note of here is that it really can take some getting used to.
The orgasm you receive at the end of your air-fueled pleasure session will likely be different to what you’re used to as well. For me, that wasn’t necessarily better, nor worse. It was, however, a welcome change.
Arcwave Ion: Is it worth buying?
The Arcwave Ion doesn’t come cheap. Priced at $200/£170 it’s a purchase that many people won’t consider lightly, especially as there’s no guarantee it’ll be to everyone’s tastes. And let’s be honest, if you don’t enjoy it, you can’t really just pop it on eBay like a second-hand phone.
We recommend giving it a go, for sure, but at $200, it could be a risky purchase if the resulting experience isn’t for you. At this price, you could also opt for a more ‘regular’ smart toy – like the Kiiroo Keon, for example – and get the benefits of syncing it with other toys and 2D or VR content. It could, however, blow your socks off and make you wonder how you ever lived without it, but it didn’t for me.
Either way, it’ll definitely take a little experimentation before you work out how to get the best experience out of the Arcwave Ion.
Arcwave Ion: Rating
Arcwave Ion Review $199/£169
The Arcwave Ion is a super innovative and stylish bit of kit that doesn’t only look good but offers a completely new dimension to male masturbation in the form of a fresh air-based stimulation. While there is some trial and error involved in getting the sensation to your liking, it does fulfil its goal in providing a novel and unique solo pleasure experience. If you’ve got the money to spare, it’s worth giving a go, just don’t expect to be blown (literally) away from the get-go. This thing will require time and patience, but the experience is definitely worth exploring if you can afford it.
Ease of Use
User Review( votes)
- Silky smooth and comfortable silicone contouring
- Super innovative
- Light, portable and discreet-looking
- Sucking sound of air can be off-putting
- Takes some getting use to
- Not immediately apparent how to use