Masturbation Sleeves Don't Deserve Their Taboo Reputation
When we think of sex toys, we typically envision a vibrator or some other toy meant for a vagina—one that stimulates the clitoris or hits the G-spot just right. But toys for penises exist, too. The most popular type of products on the market geared towards dicks are known as "strokers," aka masturbation sleeves. These gadgets are convenient to use, offer a respite for your hand and give users a completely new set of tactile sensations to enjoy.
"Male sex toys are often thought of as pornographic and dirty,” said Joe Vela, co-founder and CEO of Emojibator, a pleasure-tech brand. "This is much different from the way brands today celebrate modern female pleasure, which is seen as sexy, empowering and healthy." It’s important that we investigate what a penis toy even is, because many devices don’t deserve a reputation of being vulgar and taboo.
"Male pleasure should be seen as health care the same way female pleasure is," Vela added. "And brands should start designing and marketing their products with this in mind instead of with flesh and pornstars." Playthings for your willy can be luxurious, well-made and entirely without the sleaze factor. It’s time to give masturbation the attention and reverence it deserves.
The art of the masturbation sleeve
There are plenty of high quality sex toys made for penises. Masturbation sleeves are exactly what the name suggests: squishy, elastic tunnels into which someone inserts their penis for maximal stimulation. Some models are reusable, while others are disposable. It’s important to read the directions and be sure you’re cleaning and caring for your masturbation sleeves in between self-love sessions, as they can collect bacteria and become exceptionally unhygienic.
When you think of a sleeve for your member, you may think of the infamous Fleshlight. This toy is designed to look like and replicate the tightness and feel of a welcoming human orifice, made from a material called elastomer that gives it the stretch and tension. Many are shaped like vulvas and anuses and come in a variety of colors and sizes. Breaking free of the "must-look-like-a-vagina-or-anus" mold, however, several companies have instead chosen to take the lead in creating beautiful, artistically crafted tubes, especially for masturbation.
Sex toy company Tenga has a variety of models designed to offer unique sensations. In a world where young people are laden with death grip syndrome from too tightly strangling their shafts while masturbating, it’s never been more important to offer new and interesting ways to get it on with yourself.
If you’re into gadgets, sex tech company Hot Octopus has created the Pulse, which “has an oscillating plate that stimulates the frenulum to assist in getting to erection," explained Taylor Sparks, an erotic educator and founder of Organic Loven, one of the largest BIPOC-owned online intimacy shops. "Once achieved, the toy can continue to be used to [reach] orgasm or put aside [to engage in] penetrative sex." Or, for the budget-conscious masturbator, the Kiss-X FTM stroker is small, easy-to-use and only costs $30.
It’s time to celebrate pleasure over ejaculation control and erections
Vela believes we’re finally moving into a mindset of allowing men to join the sex toy party, shame-free. "I think there’s an opportunity for men to respect their bodies, own their pleasure, and look within," he said, "so that they can have open-minded conversations and evolving views about male sexuality."
Celebrating all sex toys, regardless of what genitals they are designed for, reframes our entire understanding of pleasure, which should be the most important thing for everyone during sensual experiences. Allowing men the space to explore what they actually like, rather than stressing the importance of staying hard for X amount of time and performing in Y way turns sex into a pleasure-based activity that doesn't require any sort of performance metric at all. Who needs pressure when we’re all just trying to have a good time?
So don't limit wanking off to a job your hands have to do, like a neanderthal. Instead, grab a bottle of lube and invest in some handsome silicone for your masturbatory pleasure.