Review: Bad Dragon Tako

If you’ve grown up in the Internet age, you’ve seen tentacle porn, or read jokes about tentacle porn, or, in some capacity, are familiar with tentacle porn. It generally originates with Japanese hentai, and while there are old examples (such as the 1814 erotic woodblock print, The Dream of the Fisherman’s Wife), the prevalence came about due to Japanese censorship laws. Artists weren’t allowed to depict an erect penis, so an artist named Toshio Maeda found a substitute and others followed suit. Tentacles were expressly not genitals, so they were able to skirt the laws. People in many countries viewed these completely non-obscene works, and somehow it became a staple of hentai, as well as fantasy fodder for…well, a lot of people. It’s also entered the public consciousness as a source of humor, and many discussions of innocuous anime ends up a discussion on tentacle porn…somehow.

[A rainbow silicone tentacle resting on a stack of assorted, non-pornographic anime and manga, and also Pacific Rim. The background is green fabric with bubble-like blue dots.]

Tako, formerly called simply Tentacle, is a platinum-cured silicone representation of—you guessed it—a tentacle, made by Bad Dragon. (Tako is Japanese for octopus, as most sushi aficionados know.) Bad Dragon has been around since 2008, and was one of the first companies to produce exclusively fantasy sex toys. Fantasy sex toys, depicting a variety of non-human shapes for sexy purposes, don’t exist only fulfill fantasies for furries or teratophiles/xenophiles/exophiles/monster fuckers, although that’s a popular and valid use. They’re also a great option for people who, for whatever reason, are uncomfortable or uninterested in realistic human penises. That list can include, but is not limited to, lesbians, people with trauma, or hetero men who want to explore insertion. And sometimes, people simply want to experience a sensation they can’t get with a human penis—or a model of one, as the case may be.

My partner has bought many, many Bad Dragon toys over the years, and has enjoyed just about all of them. But I find a good number of them too big or awkward to use—or, periodically, too small. Their size charts have improved considerably over the year, but for a long time, you had to stare at a Coke can for comparison and hope you were judging correctly, and I generally guessed wrong. Or sometimes, because they have multiple silicone densities to choose from, the size was fine but the squish made it impossible for me to use, sort of like trying to thrust with Play-Doh. I mean, I assume, I’ve never actually tried that. (My partner likes using the very squishy Chance we have as an unusual packer or as an impact toy, though, so all is not lost.)

So when we decided to buy the Tako, purchasing it in both medium size and medium density, I was pretty excited that we’d have a toy I could definitely use regardless. The tip is very tapered, and those suction cups seemed like a lot of fun for a texture fiend like me. We bought it during their annual June pride event, so obviously we had to get it in rainbow colors, because if we were going to be penetrated by nefarious tentacle demons, they were going to be beautiful tentacle demons.

Unlike the Colours Pleasures dildo I recently reviewed, Bad Dragon’s rainbow is almost pastel. The red is decidedly pinkish. The colors are also slightly less defined, though not quite gradient. Bad Dragon hand-pours their toys, so the colors aren’t going to be exact to each product, which I find fun and interesting but might annoy you if you want precisely what you see on the screen.

[The Tako emerges from a swirl of blue lamé, looking like a tentacle reaching out from a maelstrom. The suction cups are aimed at the camera and heavily in focus.]

The silicone itself is…interesting. A medium firmness is still pretty squishy, and the head of the toy flops a little, though not to the point where it’s unusable. Bad Dragon’s silicone mix is also kind of a lint magnet, so you definitely have to wash it off whenever you want to use it, especially if you have cats because, as you know, cat hair gets everywhere regardless of where the actual cat has been. Like all true silicone, the Tako can be washed using normal soap and water or a toy cleaner, and can be boiled to sanitize if you’re sharing between partners, or if you want to go from anal to vaginal use. You can also soak it in a 10% bleach solution.

For internal use, the Tako is a weird sensation. The head is tapered but has an arrowhead-like flare to it, which you can definitely feel, but it’s nothing like the bulbous head of most phallic toys. I like to use it facing either way—with the smooth side upwards, the head strokes my g-spot more directly, but with the suction cups facing upward, the texture is more noticeable to me. Because of its tapering and S-curve, it’s not easy to thrust quickly. It lends itself better to slow movements, which is atypical of how I usually masturbate. The tentacle’s shaft gradually gets larger, and that’s another interesting sensation—Bad Dragon’s ad copy offers a “stretching” sensation, and it’s there, but not the way it is for most large toys. It’s a temporary, recurring stretch if you’re trying to thrust with it, or a steady, immobile one if you leave it.

While I’m still too much of a butt wimp to use it anally, it seems very well designed for it. The tapered design, the material, and the huge base makes it safe enough to use, and the fact that it has a lot of squish regardless of firmness level makes it comparable to the horrible jelly toys that are so often advertised as being ideal for first-time anal play. Of course, if you really are trying out anal play for the first time, a small plug or probe under $20 is probably going to be a better bet than a $95+ tentacle.

[The Tako resting on some blue lamé to resemble water, surrounded by plushies of sea creatures: an octopus, a shark, and a seahorse. The shark has a pirate outfit. In the background is green fabric with bubble-like blue polkadots. There’s also a plastic mermaid tail.]

It took me a while to adjust, because it really is strange, but it’s actually a pleasant kind of strange. In conjunction with a vibrator and some water-based lube, I can orgasm without difficulty—but it’s for a leisurely masturbation session, when I have plenty of time to kill. The sensations take their time building up. If I’m having a day where I need to get off in five minutes or fewer, the Tako does not get to come out to play.

As someone for whom fantasy is a heavy part of her sex life, I love that this makes a great prop for a lot of fantastical scenarios—a noodly appendage, a weird alien tongue. While it gets the most use as an internal dildo, I’ve also used it externally, to tease my clitoris, or even to soften a powerful vibrator (press the vibrator to its head, press the head to my clit). It also makes a decent impact tool, although it’s impossible not to giggle if someone’s spanking you with a rainbow tentacle.

The one issue I have with the Tako—and with all Bad Dragon toys—is that I find the base really clumsy to hold. It’s roughly the size of a cheeseburger. This is great for anal use, because with a base like that, that toy isn’t going anywhere you don’t want it to. But it’s still awkward and, depending on the shape of your body and how you choose to hold it, might get in the way if you want or need clitoral stimulation. Fortunately, it doesn’t block mine, so I’m still happy. Because the base is heavy, though, many people find this an advantage if they want to ride a Bad Dragon toy, but that’s not my preference, and with the Tako’s curvy, floppy shape, that seems like it might be awkward.

[The Tako posed amidst some seashells, crystals, a dolphin pendant, and a green fish figure. The background is blue lamé, which reflects blue off the wooden surface the objects are resting on.]

The Bottom Line

The Tako is a fun toy. I wouldn’t recommend it for a first time toy, due to the price and the fact that it’s not quite as intuitive to use as a traditional dildo, humanoid or otherwise. But it’s a unique sensation, and excellent for fantasy or roleplay, or just for something a little different.

Buy from Bad Dragon for $95-155

(I’d like to note that Bad Dragon came under fire a few years ago with accusations of transphobia. They have radically changed their site, forums, and approach to social media since 2014. My non-binary partner has no qualms about buying from Bad Dragon and feels the accusations have been sufficiently addressed, so we continue to support them, but your own moral compass may point differently. While I haven’t tried it, Uberrime makes a cool tentacle dildo, which you can buy from SheVibe. )

This review was not sponsored, and the toy was purchased with my own money. I do not have an affiliate relationship with Bad Dragon, and purchasing through them will not garner me any income. The post does contain multiple affiliate links for other products.

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