(Better than what? Fair question. Better than living with Mother Palm and her five daughters, by all accounts. Bacchus avidly and sincerely doubts that companionable ladies have anything to fear from this form of competition.)

Now, is that a backwards and indirect way to start a sex blog entry, or what? Enough pussyfooting (if the expression may be forgiven) around and beating about the bush. (Hmm, forgiveness for inapt expressions probably getting to be an impossible dream by now. Stay tuned, it only gets worse from here.)

Buy The Fleshlight
The web is awash with tales of The Fleshlight — a male masturbation toy that apparently doesn’t suck. (Literally or figuratively — can we just stop noticing the inapt turns of phrase for a while? If Bacchus was a competent writer, he’d be getting paid for all this.)

Anyway, this toy is all over the web, has been since about 1998 or so, but given the nature of things it’s tough to find a guy who will admit to having tried it. (Personal reviews in the comments are hereby solicited.) However, many of the reviews are positive. For instance:

About a week later it arrived. I was instantly worried when I felt how heavy it was, but that ended up being a plus. Once it was unwrapped, I ran a finger over the pink lips. The feeling was soft and malleable, “Real Feel Super Skin” is simply amazing. It’s light mild sent of vanilla was pleasant and not over powering. I followed the easy instructions and got to work. A few moments later I was moaning in ecstasy.

Is the “Fleshlight” better than the real thing? No. But if you had the real thing, you wouldn’t be reading this. Is it better then your hand? Oh yes! I couldn’t believe how good it felt, so close to the real thing, but no need to buy flowers.

The folks over at Clean Sheets were a little more reserved in their endorsement, but they still gave this item a thumb (or something) up:

Our reviewer’s first impressions of the product were “I GOTTA have this” and “very unusual feel.” Said one man; “The appearance was relatively life-like. The vanilla scent was oddly pleasing.” Indeed. Closing your eyes and touching the material is eerie; like touching the real thing. One man said “Closest thing to the real thing I ever felt.”

In use, they seem to cull all kinds of honors. “With the right lube, the feel is very nice.”

Overall, this product received very handsome commentary: “Not as good as the real thing but definitely better than your hand. I like using it while watching videos.” “This is tons of fun and feels great. It’s almost the perfect sex toy!”

Buy The Fleshlight
Bacchus has not yet tried this device — it’s not exactly cheap, and there’s an “ick factor” (reported on by the folks at Nerve) that’s impossible to ignore. (However, even the Nerve reviewer appears to have enjoyed the Fleshlight once he, uhm, “screwed his courage to the sticking point” and got down to business.)

So: Any fans of this thing out there who want to tell us how it feels?