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Sex - Exploration | November 24, 2021, 10:19 CST

Male Masturbators for Beginners
Ready to level up your solo sessions and partner sex? There's a toy for that.
Kay Johnson looks up near a window.

Written by

Kay Johnson
Illustration by Tré Carden

There is a certain taboo, a stigma if you will, around men owning a male masturbator. A 2016 survey of 1,200 Americans found that 20 percent of the men who participated admitted to owning sex toys, compared to 42 percent of women who said the same. But this flies in the face of the benefits: Owning a male masturbator can teach men what they like in bed and help with stronger, longer-lasting orgasms.

With so little research available on male masturbators, it can be hard to know which is best for you. We chatted with sex experts, coaches and sex toy professionals in search of advice for uncovering the best types of male masturbators for men new to sex toys.

Masturbation sleeves

Wearable sleeves (for added length and girth)

If you're experiencing erectile dysfunction (ED) or premature ejaculation (PE), a penis sleeve to wear during sex may prove a game-changer.

"It instantly increases the length and/or girth during sex," said Dainis Graveris, a certified sex educator and relationship expert at SexualAlpha.

Wearable sleeves vary widely, from realistic-looking to fantastical, specifically in the shape of animals or other creatures.

"Some have textured external details that look and feel like a real penis from the head, frenulum and veiny shaft," Graveris added. "Others have textured internal details or vibrate for mutual stimulation."

Hands-free solo masturbation sleeves

Hands-free sleeves are a high-tech version of male masturbators—some models provide up to 240 strokes per minute. Others have app connectivity, so you can connect to interactive content, webcam platforms or long-distance partners.

"When it comes to mimicking the experience of penetrative sex, you can't do better than a penis sleeve," said Casey Tanner, a certified sex therapist and sexpert for LELO. She suggests looking for sleeves with waterproof, high-grade silicone that's easy to clean after each session.

"Take note of where the sleeve houses its motors," Tanner added. "The most pleasurable experience will come from a sleeve with more than one motor spaced throughout so that it massages the entire shaft of your penis."

When the sleeve does the work for you, you're free to fantasize and go wild. Tanner recommends looking for a model that requires no manual involvement and one that "uses sonic waves to massage and automatically adjusts the speed of the motor based on how deep you thrust."

Manual sleeves for solo play

Illustration by Tré Carden
Illustration by Tré Carden

If you're looking for a more affordable sleeve, a manual penis stroker might be the right toy for you. Graveris explained manual sleeves consist of two parts: the outer case and the inner sleeve.

"The inside sleeve is smooth and elastic and imitates the likeness and tightness of a real vagina or butt," Graveris added.

By far the most popular sex toy for cisgender, heterosexual men is the array of Fleshlight sleeves, each made from patented SuperSkin material.

"They are also pretty discreet for better handling and storage," Graveris said.

Eggs (for those on a budget)

Illustration by Tré Carden
Illustration by Tré Carden

"Egg masturbators are the cheapest male masturbators on the market," Graveris said. "These masturbators are soft and stretchy sleeves that enhance stimulation during masturbation. The egg is just the outside shell, and on the inside is a smaller silicone egg with a textured tube."

Graveris noted these inexpensive sleeves are designed for one-time use, but you could use an egg multiple times as long as you clean and dry it properly. He recommends them for people with zero to limited sex toy experience and suggests looking for a six-pack—each egg having a different texture—so you can explore the various sensations to see what works best for you.

Cock rings

Illustration by Tré Carden
Illustration by Tré Carden

Cock rings are great for men who sometimes have trouble staying as hard as they'd like during sex or want extra sensation during their solo or partnered sessions. Some cock rings simply wrap around the base of the penis, while others are designed to wrap around the testicles as well.

"Cock rings are one of the simplest and most effective male sex toys on the market," Graveris said. "They help increase blood flow, and that can result in stronger, longer-lasting erections."

For someone wanting to test the waters, Graveris recommends a cheap but quality product made from a soft silicone material. These cock rings stretch up to three times their original size, making them super easy to put on and remove.

Another option is to try a vibrating cock ring, as they offer more stimulation for you and your partner during sex.

"The more vibration intensities a ring offers, the more likely you'll be able to tailor it to your needs," Tanner explained. "Try finding one that's shaped to pleasure your partner as well. Some cock rings have one section that is slightly thicker, so it not only massages the penis but also the clitoris of a partner during penetrative sex."

Wrapping it up

Whether you're curious about male masturbators and want to try something affordable or you're ready to dive in with a high-tech toy, there's no shame in testing the waters. Investing in your pleasure will not only help you amp up your solo play but it'll be more fun for your partners, too.

Kay Johnson looks up near a window.

Written by

Kay Johnson

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