This toy is made of super soft, squishy, smooth, swirled, semi-matte, 100% silicone. There's no texture, other than the semi-matteness. Being made of silicone, it is odorless, tasteless, nonporous, hypoallergenic, latex- and phthalates-free, sterilizable, hygienic, and the ultimate luxury in a toy.
Without the included bullet (see below), the Tantus Swirl is super soft and flexible, with no seams or irregularities. When the bullet is submerged into the toy as deep as it can go, it firms up dramatically. If you have worries about whether you can take such size, you can leave the bullet out, and it still goes in fine, if a little floppy.
Vixen silicone is much squishier and has more give than, say, Tantus silicone or Happy Valley silicone. Because of the lack of density (due to the bullet hole), this may be the softest silicone plug I have ever encountered.
The Tristan Swirl is shaped much like the original Tristan and the Tristan 2, with a spade-shaped head, long neck, and hourglass-shaped base, which is much like Tantus's standard buttplug base, but not as uncomfortable.
As for size, the Swirl is 3.75" long, with 3.25" insertable. At its widest point, it is 1.75" in diameter (5.5" in circumference), and its neck is 1.25" in diameter (4" in circumference). This is not a beginner plug.
Do you see how pretty the swirls of the Swirl are in the photos? They're prettier than that. They're shimmery, shiny, multi-colored (black on the edges, purple in the middle) ribbons throughout the entire toy, though most noticeable in the head. They are faintly metallic, but extremely gorgeous.
In the base of the Tristan Swirl, there is a pocket about 2.5" deep where the bullet vibrator can be inserted. The bullet is your typical push-button, watch-battery, on-or-off variety, with a cord attached for easy removal. The vibe itself is about 2.25" long, so there is some extra room when the bullet is completely inserted. This means that the vibrator won't abruptly turn off when you move. Absolutely ingenious! Because the tip of the bullet is located maybe .25" up from the widest point of the toy, vibrations are felt inside the body, instead of just around the anus.
The vibrations (though buzzy and very surface-y) can be felt throughout the entire toy due to their proximity to the middle of the toy. When the bullet is inserted in the toy and turned on, it is virtually silent. The bullet seems not to be waterproof, but the Tristan Swirl itself is.
Before inserting the bullet, dab a bit of lubricant on it to aid in removal. Do not remove the clear plastic strip that is inside the battery compartment of the bullet, or the push button will not work and the batteries will rattle. If the bullet starts vibrating without the lid being on it, replace the strip.
Silicone is really the easiest material to take care of, because of its non-porousness. To clean on a daily basis, without sharing between people, you can clean off the Swirl with just soap and water or a commercial toy cleaner. To sanitize, if you're sharing with someone, boil for 3-5 minutes, put it in the dishwasher (no soap, top rack), or wipe down with a 10% bleach solution or rubbing alcohol. It goes without saying to remove the bullet before cleaning. To clean the bullet, just wipe down with a damp cloth. Please use a condom if you're sharing in the same session. No silicone lubes unless you do a test spot on the bottom.
Storage is a snap, too. You can store it in the tube it came in (see below), or store it with your other toys. It picks up lint pretty good, so a plastic baggy or lint free pouch is suggested to keep it lint free. Avoid keeping it with lesser materials.
The Tristan Swirl comes packaged in one of Vixen Creations' smaller tubes. On the side of the tube is the standard sticker, including that the Swirl is made of 100% silicone, made in the USA, has a lifetime warranty, how to clean, how to store, and lubrication compatibility.
The tube is great for storage; you can keep the bullet and the plug together in it, and they both fit just perfectly. It's great for travel, as it's see through, but not blatant as to the contents. It's minimal, but reusable.
I cannot speak enough about how awesome the Tristan Swirl is. It has to be the most comfortable plug I own, despite being an inch in circumference larger than my largest toy. It almost feels like it's a part of your butt.
To be honest, the vibrator side of this plug is boring. It doesn't give me any added stimulation from the plug being in because it's not very strong. It's like a slight tickle. I've used the Swirl three times now, and only had the bullet in once. I prefer it without the bullet, as it is even more comfortable and not as solid.
It feels great when I put my Wahl up to it, though!
Objectively, it is worth every one of its 5 stars.
Subjectively, it is also worth 5 stars.