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Insert from right to left.
Insert from right to left.
Photo: Eric Ravenscraft

The Tenuto, MysteryVibe’s vibrator for men, doesn’t work quite the way you think it would at first glance. Your eye is drawn to the rounded tip that sort of looks like every vibrator you’ve ever seen. You start to think about how it’s supposed to work, but no obvious answer comes to mind. You’re intrigued, maybe even a little excited, but a bit confused.

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That feeling is what using the Tenuto is like, from start to...well, finish.

I first encountered the Tenuto—which retails for $150—at CES, where MysteryVibe’s founder Soumyadip Rakshit demonstrated how the Tenuto is designed to be used by sliding one directly onto my fingers. My fingers went through the hole, with the palm of my hand resting on the Tenuto’s largest bulge.

That’s when I realized I had been looking at it backward. While you might think the device is meant to go alongside the shaft—and you can technically use it that way—it’s mainly designed to be tucked underneath. The, for lack of a better word, “seat” is curved slightly upwards so it can press against the perineum, an all-too-often neglected erogenous zone.

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As its design starts to click, it’s hard not to marvel at the thought that’s been put into the Tenuto. It packs six vibration modules, and it’s pretty obvious where they all sit. One is at top of the arch that goes over the top of the penis, four flank the arms that connect the arch to the seat. Each of these four are within a visible bulge in the device and are strategically positioned to stimulate the base of the shaft, as well as the sides of the balls. Finally, a sixth module is nuzzled in the seat.

The hardware is impressively designed, but with one minor quibble that I would’ve liked to see handled differently. The device charges using Micro USB, which is fine. But the port is exposed, on the end of the device designed to be the closest to the user’s butt. There’s no rubber flap or anything to protect it from water, sweat, or any other fluids that should never come into contact with electronics. Nothing bad happened to this port during my testing, but it still has me a little worried.

I’m probably more worried than I need to be about ruining this port.
I’m probably more worried than I need to be about ruining this port.
Photo: Eric Ravenscraft

Taken all together it’s a powerful stimulation array, but the mobile app is what gives the Tenuto its power. Each motor can be controlled individually, and the app gives users the ability to create their own vibration patterns, or choose from a selection of ready-made presets. Buttons underneath the seat allow you to adjust the intensity of the vibration. If you’d rather not mess with an app, you can also just turn the device on and it will use a default preset.

It’s good that the app is optional because while testing the device with my partner, I discovered a new way to ruin sex: a firmware update.

It took a moment to figure out how to connect the device to my phone. The buttons have a tactile design that makes it easy to figure out which one you’re pressing without looking. Which is convenient when the buttons are inches away from your anus.

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But once the device was connected, the vibration stopped and the app informed me that it had to roll out an update via Bluetooth. And then upload the vibration patterns. And then initialize the app. Okay, lesson learned. Update your sex toys before you use them.

After some initial awkwardness, though, the Tenuto provided some fun sensations. The company provides an illustrated, NSFW guide of positions you can use its various toys in, either alone or with a partner. And even if you never buy a single thing you from this company, you should check out the guide because it’s hilarious. Using the Tenuto alone is, appropriately, called the “Han Solo.” Performing oral on someone wearing a Tenuto is “Fellatioship of the Ring.”

You absolute nerds.

Using the Tenuto alone was satisfying, but a bit more work than doing things the old fashioned way. But a little hard work never hurt anyone! Using it with a partner was more cumbersome. My partner and I tried the Giddy-Up Buzzin Stud and the Mission-ary Possible and oh my god yep I’m typing these words look at my fingers go why isn’t it stopping.

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In both positions, my partner later told me that the thickness of the Tenuto made penetration more difficult. The thickness of the Tenuto makes it impossible to go as deep as you might be able to otherwise. It’s not an experience-ruiner, but it does mean that how you move will matter even more than it already does.

On my end, any positions that worked against gravity felt more awkward. The Tenuto is fairly rigid so it stays somewhat in place if you’re on top, but the weight of it is still resting on the top of the shaft. Which can be a literal drag. Plus, things don’t tend to stay in place during sex. So it can take work to find a position where using the Tenuto isn’t more distracting than stimulating.

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But even for all its rough edges—metaphorically, not literally, thank god—it’s hard not to admire what MysteryVibe is trying to achieve here. Sex toys for men are often either mainly for anal play (which is great, but it’s not for everyone and that’s okay), embarrassingly over-complicated, or just poorly designed.

MysteryVibe put serious thought into the Tenuto. Some aspects of using it might be awkward, and it was easier to use alone than with a partner, but that’s okay. I’m 100% down for normalizing sex toys that men can use on their own, so I have to give MysteryVibe credit where it’s do for putting in the work. A for effort, solid B for execution.

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If you’re not in a position to spend $150 on a male vibrator, though, might I recommend an inexpensive cock ring?

Disclaimer: MysteryVibe provided a sample unit for this review. Under normal circumstances, this would be returned. For obvious reasons, MysteryVibe probably won’t want this one back, but this did not factor into the content of this review.


Freelance writer for The Inventory.

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