Last week, I was the featured sex educator at a panel about sex and relationships at New College of Florida.
I decided to bring some products from my teaching kit with me so that students could get a feel for different types of toys and lubes and so I could answer their questions.
I made sure to bring toys with me that would elicit at least a few “what is that?” comments from students. While toys like the Pure Wand brought giggles, looks of confusion, and delight, students had a completely different reaction when they picked up the Pop dildo.
“Is it a pump? What does it do?”
When I bring toys to colleges, I often watch curiosity turn to delight (or alarm), but Pop was different.
When I told students that Pop is an ejaculating dildo, and that it was originally created to help couples reproduce with at-home inseminations, some students teared up. When I mentioned that some trans folks might use Pop as a tool that affirms their gender identity and presentation during sex, they got quiet and contemplative.
The Pop is fun, don’t get me wrong. But it’s also much more than a toy. For many people, the Pop dildo could be life-changing.
Pop is a silicone ejaculating dildo made in the United States and Germany, produced by Fun Factory. It comes in four colors: toffee (light-medium flesh tone), cocoa (medium-dark flesh tone), raspberry (bright pink), and slate (black).
The dildo, internal tubing, and bulb are all made of medical-grade silicone, while the “lock” pieces (shown below in the instructional video) are made of ABS plastic.
Pop is harness-compatible, but does not come with a harness. Its retail price is $140. The bulb that comes with Pop doesn’t hold a ton of liquid (about 1 tablespoon), so if you’re looking for something to produce a more dramatic effect, you might be interested in purchasing the larger bulb — it holds four times as much liquid as the standard size.
How It Works
I’m going to be honest: I struggle with Ikea-style instructions. Nearly all of the furniture I’ve ever purchased has been from Ikea, so I’ve assembled my fair share of couches, tables, and bed frames. Assembling the Pop for the first time was an experience on-par with the time I assembled a sleeper sofa with built-in storage by myself while drinking wine.
That’s to say: I cried a little bit because I just don’t understand visual instructions well. 85% of the assembly was fine, but I struggled with the “Luer lock” and the tip.
The instructional booklet that comes with the Pop wasn’t helpful to me, but if you’re someone who has a good understanding of spacial dynamics and really loves playing with Legos, you would probably be fine. If you are like me, Pop has an instructional video that is very helpful.
Once I watched the video, I stopped crying and finished assembling the thing. Watching it be assembled was so much easier for my brain.
Pop’s assembly is fairly simple once you understand how it works, but a key thing to remember is that you will need to disassemble and reassemble it after each use.
Unlike other ejaculating dildos on the market, Pop is intended to be able to be fully sanitized, and is therefore safe to use for at-home inseminations. In order for Pop to be fully sanitized, they recommend fully replacing the tubing after each use. Pop comes with 5 tubes, and once you use all of those you’ll have to purchase a refill kit, which runs $45. The refill kit comes with 5 tubes and a bulb.
Once assembled, you can fill up the bulb with your liquid of choice. To ejaculate, just press down on the bulb, and, well…pop goes the dildo.
A portion of the tubing gets pushed into a seam in the base, so the dildo will still rest flat against your body if you’re wearing it with a harness. Figuring out where to put the bulb is more of a challenge, and if you have any type of stomach rolls, they’ll likely press against the bulb, which could cause some “pre-cumming” to happen.
What to Use It With
Once Pop is assembled, you can fill up the tube with your liquid of choice — that could be semen, lube, water, or something else (but keep in mind that some fluids could cause bodily discomfort or trigger infections). Pop recommends Sliquid Silk, a hybrid (silicone/water) lubricant that looks eerily like semen. Recently, Sliquid released Pop Lube, which was formulated specifically for use with the Pop dildo.
The two lubricants have identical ingredient lists, but Silk is a 9% silicone blend while Pop is 12% silicone. The higher amount of silicone in the Pop lubricant makes it slightly longer lasting, but otherwise, there are not many significant functional differences. The Pop Lube description specifically states that it is safe to use on the external portion of the dildo, not just with the tubing — so it won’t cause problems with the silicone. With any lubricant that you use with Pop, make sure to do a patch test on the base.
Both recommended lubricants are pretty thick, though, which means you’re not going to be getting a geyser effect once you press down on the pump.
^This won’t be happening with either lubricant
If you really want the “WHOA BABY LOOK AT THAT!” effect, sticking with water will be your best bet. If you’re more interested in a semen-like look or feel, then either of the recommended lubes will get the job done.
How to Clean It
The dildo portion of Pop can be cleaned with hot, soapy water, boiled for 3 minutes, or put through the dishwasher on sanitize mode (without dish detergent).
Because the bulb is opaque and the tubing isn’t transparent, you can’t tell when those components are clean. Wash, rinse, repeat is your friend here.
The best way to ensure that the tubing is fully sanitized is to change it, which is why Pop provides you with 5 tubes when you purchase the dildo. If you aren’t going to change the tubing as frequently, wash the tubing immediately after use with hot, soapy water, flushing the tube and bulb multiple times until the water runs completely clear.
Who It’s For
Pop’s original iteration, The Semenette, was developed out of a desire for at-home inseminations that weren’t so clinical. In its updated form, though, Pop has recognized that there are many types of people who may be interested in an ejaculating dildo.
At a personal level, I really appreciate what Pop does for couples who aren’t able to reproduce on their own. As a queer woman, I often think about my reproductive options: would I want to be inseminated? If I did, would I want to do it in a doctor’s office, or use a tool like Pop? Or maybe I don’t want to be pregnant, and would rather adopt. But then there are so many underlying issues with adoption. So maybe I will get pregnant. Maybe?
Thinking about the ways I am (and am not) able to reproduce stresses me out. But I appreciate that I have another option on the table — because the Pop would allow both my partner and I to be involved in the insemination process, and that’s really important to me.
Transgender people who want a product that affirms their identity may enjoy Pop because it allows them to have the visual experience of ejaculation. And with that ejaculating functionality comes an important question: who pushes the button? A Femme Cock also contemplated this during their review process, and it’s something I’ve thought about since day one.
My gut says that the person doing the ejaculating (the person wearing Pop) would be the one to squeeze the bulb, but technically, any of the people involved could. If you and your partners are into orgasm control, this would be a great way to involve a more visual component — when you’re ready to let your partner cum, the ejaculation visual can make that experience even more powerful.
There are a lot of stereotypes around people with (physical response) arousal difficulties: that people who can’t get erections are too old to have sex, that not being able to get wet means that you’re “all dried up” permanently, or that the people involved aren’t into what’s happening.
But let’s be clear: physical indicators (such as erections, getting wet, and having an orgasm) have nothing to do with someone’s interest in sex. Someone could have an erection, but not be aroused, or be aroused, but not have an erection.
Erections and getting wet are indicators of one thing: physical stimulation. That could include something as simple as a breeze going under someone’s skirt or it could mean that someone wants to have sex. The only way to know how someone is really feeling is to ask. And of course, someone could be aroused, but might not be showing physical response indicators.
Here is a list of other things that could inhibit someone’s ability to get an erection or ejaculate:
- Alcohol use
- Drug use (this includes recreational drugs, as well as opioids, antidepressants, and blood pressure medications, among others)
- Depression or anxiety
- Nerve damage
- Spinal damage, including compressed discs or pinched nerves
- Low testosterone
For people with penises who want to experience erections, not being able to get one (or maintain one as long as you’d like) can be incredibly frustrating. Pop can be a helpful tool for these folks, helping them regain some amount of control over their own bodies.
Couples Who Are Not Fluid-Bonded
To be fluid-bonded means that two or more people are sharing bodily fluids — usually semen, vaginal fluids, or blood — with each other.
In US society, there’s an expectation that being fluid-bonded is a key step in a relationship’s “seriousness.” But that just isn’t true — people within highly committed relationships could choose to not fluid bond, and that doesn’t mean they aren’t committed or faithful to the expectations of the relationship. And being fluid-bonded doesn’t necessarily indicate that people within the relationship are more committed to each other than people in other relationships.
People may practice fluid protection for a variety of reasons, but one major factor is HIV or STI status. HIV, Hepatitis B + C, Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, and Syphilis can all be transmitted through various bodily fluids.
If a couple chooses to be fluid-protected, Pop is an option for risk reduction that goes beyond “use condoms.” If you wanted to still “ejaculate” onto or inside of your partner while maintaining your fluid protection, you could strap-on with Pop (using the SpareParts Deuce harness if you have a penis) and still have the experience of ejaculation while maintaining your boundaries.
Pop is a great option so many people — whether you’re looking for something to help with insemination or you want the visual of ejaculation, Pop gets the job done. At a pretty high price point, Pop is going to be an investment, but its high-quality materials and manufacturing mean that that investment is going to last a long time. If you’re looking for a toy that can ejaculate, Pop should be on your list.
Thanks to POP! for sending me a sample to review. I bring Pop with me when I teach workshops, so if you want to learn about it in-person, contact me today!