“Best Of” Series: Male Sex Toys

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Right before I started writing this edition of PinkCherry Best Of’s, I asked a buddy what his dream sex toy would be. Without skipping a beat (haha), he says, “My hand and a phone.” Well, obviously! Here’s the thing though, I’m pretttty sure that your own hand doesn’t technically count as a sex toy, and the phone thing is debatable.

We’re not here to argue, though, so we’ll push on past the hand/toy enigma and get to the point. Today we’re taking a look-see at some toys that are definitely toys, and more specifically, they’re toys made for your favorite penis owner (yourself included, of course). The king of Toys for Boys* Land is the masturbator, also known as the stroker or sleeve, so we’ll start in on some history, how-to’s and more.

As an aside, we wanted to write about this topic because there seems to be a bit of a taboo lingering around the idea of male sex toys. Loud public conversations about vibrators won’t raise many eyebrows (we’ve tested this), but start talking about sex toys for men and you’ve got an instant- and possibly judgy- audience. Fact is, men have been putting their penises into things that aren’t real vaginas, butts or mouths since the dawn of time. Why are we squeamish/shy about the idea of *men using toys? Is it the (ridiculous) idea that ‘real men’ shouldn’t even need the option of something that isn’t a real live sexy lady or super-ripped guy? Is it the old ingrained idea that male masturbation causes blindness and hairy palms? Do we really think that a kitten dies every time we masturbate? Discuss!

The History of Male Masturbation

Anyway, back to masturbators. Root word: masturbation. It’s the punch line to many jokes – (What do you call a guy who cries when he masturbates? A tearjerker), subject of millions of puns (it’s a touchy subject), and just as many euphemisms (five knuckle shuffle, the boneshaker, batting practice etc). It’s also something we all do, and, as my phone-holding friend made pretty clear, it doesn’t really require anything fancy. The strokers, sleeves and otherwise we’ll get into were designed to add a little, or a lot, of extra enjoyment to your hand, or, in some cases, take over completely. Sometimes Hand Solo needs the night off, right?

A little background: Prehistoric rock paintings depict male masturbation, and masturbatory images and references are all over Greek mythology. It was considered a normal and natural urge, some cultures even going so far as to say that male masturbation guarded against ‘destructive sexual urges’ Of course, some straight-laced academic and religious types found a way to ruin the fun by declaring masturbation a disease of the mind, defilement of the body and root of all sorts of physical and mental problems. They were and are incorrect, obviously. All sane circles now consider masturbation healthy, normal and downright necessary.

As for a means to male masturbation, there are lots of choices. No need for stale bread and olive oil (an ancient Greece special) or the classic warm water soaked washcloth these days. As of 1960, the Supreme Court ruled that sex shops were legal in the United States, which meant that men were free to wander down to their local shop and buy up all the rubber vaginas they wanted. Of course, there weren’t many shops to choose from, and not many masturbators were being manufactured yet thanks to good ol’ stigma. Enter the 90’s and the rise of the World Wide Web! We all know how this story goes. Suddenly, access to sex toys for men, porn, lube and message boards appeared. Also, the Fleshlight was born. Still one of the most recognizable names in the sex toy world, the Fleshlight’s soft inner sleeve + hard outer case combo inspired a ton of options for male strokers. The toy’s popularity also attracted lots of attention from the adult industry and top porn stars began signing on for endorsing pornstar signature series - versions of strokers molded from their bodies and bits.

Modern Male Sex Toys

Most of today’s stroker style masturbators follow the same formula. An orifice, be it pussy, butt, mouth, or something completely non-detailed, sits at the front of a soft sleeve sized to fit over the erection. By the way, if you need a refresher on how to masturbate, with and without sex toys, we’ve got you covered.

The sleeves of today are made of soft rubber, rubber elastomer, and silicone blends, making them supple and clingy like real skin. Smaller travel sized versions are widely known as pocket pussies. These can come in or out of a case or container that makes them a little more discreet.


Using a stroker is as easy as can be (check out some of our product videos), just hold it in your hand (hands may not count as toys, but they’re important!), slip it over the shaft and stroke away for the stimulation. The vast majority of blowjob toys and masturbator sleeves are textured on the inside, and since there are literally thousands of possible textures, finding a favorite will be no problem. Of course, strokers double as a toy couples can play with together- have your playmate use it on you, or you can use it on them. Note: you’ll want to have lots of lube ready before diving into a stroker. Any favorite water based lubricant brand will be compatible with most stroker materials. However, you may need to do some research to learn how to choose the best lubes for masturbation. While you’re at it, check out some other creative masturbation positions for men.

On the less manual end of the male sex toys, there are bigger and more lifelike options, too. Lately, there’s been lots of attention paid to the ‘real doll’ type sex friend. More and more available technology is making crafting sometimes scarily lifelike companion dolls that much easier. There are even sex doll brothels springing up across the world, but we’ll get to those in another post. These dolls are nothing like the gag gift blow up versions of the past; they’re not cheap, they’re a lot harder to hide or store, but for the ultimate realistic masturbation pleasure experience, they’re a top choice for sure. If you’re not ready to spring for a full life sized sex doll, there are plenty of realistically sized and shaped versions of vagina, vagina and butt, breast and man-bodied sex toys for men that’ll fit under your bed.

Somewhere between the pocket pussy and the real doll, there are the automatic and vibrating male sex toys. Boasting more features that the standard sleeve and including things like hands-free stroking, simulated sucking and any number of vibrating functions & functionality, these toys require a little more effort than their grab-and-go siblings. You know what they say though, the best things in life are never easy, but they’re almost always worth it! Now, most of these strokers still requires a holding hand, but nowadays, many are coming complete with mounts or suction cups that leave your hands/arms/fingers free to roam. Actually, a new batch of strokers we just got in even features a holder for your phone, so, to my buddy, I stand corrected. Hands and a phone DO make a pretty great sex toy, after all!

*PinkCherry would like to state loud and clear that we are 100% supportive and respectful of all positive gender identities, presentations or positions on the binary. We try our best to be completely inclusive, and never intend to leave out, overlook or mislabel any person. We believe that everyone and every body is deserving of pleasure.


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Written By: Melanie Pollock

Melanie Pollock is a writer, photographer, researcher and long-time content contributor to PinkCherry. She’s been involved in the adult toy industry for over fifteen years, but her passion for all things sexually positive, inclusive and accesible goes back much further than that. Thanks to a background in journalism, getting to the truth of the matter is always a top priority for her.