In this Arcwave Ghost review, we put this new sex toy to the test to see if it lived up to our expectations of such a reliable, premium brand. Arcwave has, over the past couple of years, built itself a reputation as a producer of some of the best sex toys for men. Its toys lean towards the premium and special: the tightness-adjustable Arcwave Voy stroker and the boundary-pushing Arcwave Ion are not, by any means, standard toys.
We'll not speculate on the company's change of direction here with the Arcwave Ghost – let's just call the Ghost an effort to diversify its product line. The question is whether this simplistic closed-ended stroker can match its labelmates for effectiveness – and, probably more importantly, whether it beats its indirect competition in the form of the Tenga Egg.
Arcwave Ghost review: Design & Features
The Arcwave Ghost couldn't really be more simple. It's a closed-ended tube of Arcwave's silicone blend, sized just right to fit reasonably tightly over (most of) the average penis. Add plenty of the best lube and go to town: this isn't the kind of toy that demands an extensive instruction manual.
The Arcwave Ghost offers different textures on each of its faces. On one side, you get a pattern of stepped, flattened-off bumps; on the other, a spiral of grooves. Flipping this inside out to reach its alternate mode is easy enough, and doesn't come with the same terrifying possibility of tearing that softer toy inners do. This is some strong, stretchy silicone, which scores it serious points over the fire-and-forget Tenga Egg. This is designed to last, rather than end up in the bin.
Although it's priced more towards the low end at £19.99, Arcwave has at least offered the Ghost some of its signature design touches; it comes in a neat case which is as sturdy as the Tenga Egg's crappy plastic egg isn't and is vented to help the toy itself to dry, and it's available in a blue, mint or black – a change from Arcwave's so-far black-only range.
Arcwave Ghost review: Does it work?
It's tricky to write a review of an adult toy without getting too descriptive. Hopefully you're not here for smut. But it's hard to avoid doing so here: this is bloody weird. The Arcwave Ghost is basically a narrow balloon, which means applying it to the penis inevitably results in a lot of awkward fumbling and some very flatulent sounds; you can, just about, roll it up and apply it almost like a super-thick condom, but this is a pretty odd experience.
When it's on, the Ghost is just kinda there. Its closed loop means it's not so much a stroker as a penis cover, sitting tight as you do the hard work as you usually might; it generates suction and adds a little texture, but we wouldn't call it remarkable. It just didn't do an awful lot for us; it's hard to generate noticeable friction from either texture, given that the suction tends to keep the Ghost in one place no matter how much lube you use. Basically, this is just a layer of gummy rubber between penis and hand, with all the benefits (or lack of) that come with that.
It doesn't quite cross the line into being uncomfortable, and this is stretchy and yielding enough that the Ghost's end won't present too many people an uncomfortable barrier – it didn't for us, at least, although that's partially because it didn't move too much once put in place. We're also glad that Arcwave chose to make its length a uniform cylinder rather than flaring the end, which could potentially have made it even tougher to move. Plus points, though: it's very easy to clean, and basically mess-proof.
Arcwave Ghost review: Verdict
OK, look, this isn't bad as such. It's not unpleasant or over-stimulating or garishly anatomical. But it really didn't do an awful lot for us; we didn't find the Ghost super-exciting, and its powers were more (appropriately) ethereal than anything else. You might love it, however, we think its effectiveness is going to depend a lot on the thickness of one's appendage, something we're not able to reliably test.
If you're not likely to fill it out (and can therefore get enough movement for the twin textures to do their magic rather than acting as grip) there's a good chance you'll have a lot of fun.
Arcwave Ghost review: Alternatives to consider
The Tenga Egg, being a rubbery closed-ended thing designed to be stretched over a penis, is the Ghost's most obvious competitor. It's not as good – the extra material here, the thickness, and the durability makes the Ghost a far better toy – but both offer the same kind of experience, and they're similarly compact. The lower price of the Tenga Egg may even make it more attractive, at least if you know you're willing to throw ten bones at something you'll use twice or three times.
If you're looking for something compact, or perhaps a starter toy, you'd be much better served saving up just a little more cash and opting for something like the Fleshlight Quickshot Vantage. As durable as this might be in terms of materials, it's unlikely to have as much staying power as a proper stroker would.